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Most Psycho Reaction to Being Busted?

sleeping bagIn the early days of the blog and holiday Freak of the Week contests, we had a winner with BarristerBelle who described her then-husband’s reaction to being busted for cheating:

After D-Days 1-3, XH was desperately pretending to reconcile. Then I saw OW-dingbat-paralegal’s text on his phone after we’d just had dinner with his grandmother. Here’s what happened next:

1. XH threw the deck chairs into the pool, then jumped into the pool fully clothed in his suit and shoes.

2. As I was calling dingbat OW to have a chat w/her, he ran into the house. After searching the rooms and yelling for him, I found him hiding upstairs, naked and lying in a sleeping bag on the floor.

3. He didn’t feel like talking to me, so he stood up and – still wearing only the sleeping bag – bunny hopped his way out of the room, and slid down the stairs on his butt (like sledding down a hill!)

This, of course, was then immortalized into a cartoon. (BarristerBelle, last I heard, went on to have a very nice life. You can read her update here.)

And if you think that’s weird, consider the fellow whose busted wife chewed their throw pillows when confronted. Also cartoon fodder.

So your Friday Challenge is to describe the weirdest, most over-the-top cheater reaction to consequences or discovery.

Were any soft furnishing harmed? Sleeping bags defiled? Did anyone wet themselves? When the mindfuck channel of self-pity is set to 11, some freaky things can happen.

Do tell.

TGIF!

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  • I wish my story were funnier but looking back, it did show a deeper side of his refusal to admit the dastardly things he routinely did.

    He had a long history of Rage-Driving. If he got mad (very often at things of minimal consequence) he would drive the minivan with me and the kids in it in ways that left me feeling like I would surely die before we got out of the vehicle. I really should have left his ass for doing this alone but Stockholm syndrome. In those moments, I was as terrified as I would be playing Russian Roulette. No fucking joke.

    I had gotten the “Im divorcing you because you are a bad wife” talk and I was pretzeling and pick me dancing all over the place. He had retired from the military and claimed he had a dinner meeting (on a Sunday about a possible job…surely nothing the wife was invited to).

    I was suspicious about a gal he worked with (who lived 3000 miles away…little did I know that this dinner was with HER…just the 2 of them, about 30 miles north of where we lived.

    I cracked into his computer and found the smoking-gun of a love letter and called him and told him to come home…that I knew about Susan and he had some splaining to do.

    He walked in the house, sat at the kitchen table, ulled himself together and his opening volley in the conversation was
    “I have never driven the car in a dangerous manner with you and the kids in it”

    Fine people…if I had had any sense in my being, that display would have been more than enough. Who denies abuse he did by denying other abuse he did? I ought to have helped him pack his bags but I did not. I signed up for 7 more years of this. The person I am today cannot fathom that decision, but I did it. When looking at crazy reactions, mine was crazier than his.

    • He said what? 🙄 Deflection level 💯

      Interesting, the road rage. My FW had it too. Out of nowhere he would tailgate at 80 mph and scare the heck out of me.

      I don’t have a crazy confrontation story. He just slunk out the door when I told him to pack a bag. That POS hasn’t defiled my house since.

      • MKJ, yes, deflection level 100…thank you for your clarity.

        He seemed to repeat abuses that would later be very hard to prove. I knew that if I tried to claim abuse, I would have gotten the “she is batshit crazy” defense from him.

        To this day, I have a lot of guilt for not removing the kids from this situation. I had no where to turn, not a single friend or relative I could go to and we were forever on military assignments stranding me. I have massive respect for chumps with kids who make the hard decision to go and figure it out and prosper (even of “prospering” is a one bedroom apartment) they are so very mighty.

        • Mine too – Road Rage crazy driving frequently. My son tells me that he was much better when I was in the car because I yelled at him about it. I hate to think what my children put up with when I wasn’t around. I have guilt over exposing my kids to that as well… I should have left sooner.

          • What is it with these people and road rage? My ex was awful about it. There was one time when I was terrified the guy in another vehicle was going to pull a gun on us because of the shit the ex was yelling at him. And, yes, our five children were all in the car. Shortly before my marriage ended I finally told the kids not to get in the car with him. He was angry all the time and even more angry when he was driving.

        • Unicornnomore,

          Let the guilt go. It’s too easy to look back and say, “Woulda, coulda, shoulda.”
          But we forget the context–all those constraints that contributed to decisions that probably made perfect sense given everything else we were dealing with at the time.

          Unburdening myself of guilt is my challenge, too. #Stockholmsyndromesurvivor

          ((hugs)) Spinach

        • Thank you for your story!
          This is my fuckwit – the dangerous driving with kids in the car, the 3000 mile away OW, the military assignments.
          Your story makes me SO glad I said “no” to his overseas assignment and filed instead. He’s back now and the divorce is finally proceeding in earnest. I need all the certainty I can muster, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hindsight. I’m so glad you’re free and you’ve built a better life. ❤️

          • DFLD,

            If my cautionary tale can help someone, I am relieved. I realized much later that I didn’t make decisions based on who he was, but who I felt he could be if he just quit acting like such an asshole. I was (as CL puts it “in love with his potential”).

            He grew up in a home where his dad was a “great guy” to everyone except his wife. Wives were nothing more than receptacles of blame and he held such (delusional yet) deep resentments against me, there was no away in hell we were ever going to have a healthy marriage.

            One of the few good decisions I made back then was to refuse to move after Dday. Me and the kids were in “good places” and his desires to move were extraordinarily selfish.

            Military marriages often require the the dependent (quite an apt word for the situation we allow ourselves to be put into) spouse to put all of their needs/career as secondary and make huge sacrifices. These relationships can only be fair/healthy if the military person is genuinely trustworthy. Once they show themselves to be selfish and manipulative, staying married is wrought with peril.

            Looking back…when our youngest was 2, he was being transferred 3000 miles away (within the US) for 2.5 years and he suggested that we not go with him. I had no idea that he was actually serious (I really thought he was joking). The abuse ratcheted up quite a bit at the next duty station and I am now convinced it was a fuckfest for him. If I were sent back to 1998, I would have divorced him right then.

            It was bone-chilling to me when I looked back on that time and realized that my desperate attempts to find housing (it was a nightmare…the area had a significant housing shortage) were sabotaged by him at every turn. He really wanted us to leave. It was right in front of me but the truth was so awful I couldn’t see it. If he had a modicum of decency in his being, he should have fessed up that he didn’t want to stay married and moved without us. We would have rebuilt and been ok, but he was a coward and so deeply didn’t want us there that he was horrible to us.

            • “he held such (delusional yet) deep resentments against me, there was no away in hell we were ever going to have a healthy marriage.”

              The problem is, they spend a long time building the case against us. By the time we realize what it happening, it is to late to do anything. First they have convinced themselves, with the help usually of a schmoopie providing exciting illicit sex and whispering in his/her ear about how awful they have been treated, and how schmoops is making it all better.

            • “dependent (quite an apt word for the situation we allow ourselves to be put into)”

              This is what I’m struggling with! We came into the marriage relatively equal. He stayed in the military and I got out, and put all family/home responsibilities on myself. Including paying for things myself until I was near broke. I went to grad school to change careers so I could move around with him – more lost income. When we sold the house I chose & remodeled (I mean, added-a-whole-bathroom-with-my-bare-hands while he wasn’t even living there, remodeled) he kept all the proceeds, of course because at this point he would need to pay the mortgage on the new house (because I was just graduated and broke, nevermind I put everything from Lowes on my own credit card). Yeah, at that point we didn’t even have a joint account!

              And then one day we chumpy Chumps wake up and realize the power imbalance we ALLOWED to happen. I figured it out a couple months after D Day – no, he really DOESN’T have my back, and I’ve given him all the power. The first thing I did was ask for my half of the house sale. With interest. He paid me, and I filed. That home equity cash has funded my lawyer. Boy, is Cheater mad about that 😆😆😆.

            • “Once they show themselves to be selfish and manipulative, staying married is wrought with peril.”

              This is a valuable insight. Once they know we know, it gets scary fast. They know we see through the sparkle and that hurts their egos, we begin to understand we need to stand up to them and look out for ourselves, and they can’t control us with the usual tactics any more. So they get desperate and become more vindictive and threatening, they smear us, and they may become agressive or even violent. Plus, they don’t want the truth about them getting out, so they want to scare us into submission so we don’t out them (or seek what is ours and/or levy financial consequences) when things fall apart and we’re no longer under their control.

    • Mine does the same thing saying he’s not xyz but absolutely is! In fact he does it so often and that I’ve come to think if he says he is or isn’t something or doing something, the truth is the opposite. It seems like a manipulation tactic. Yours knew he had driven dangerously with you and the children in the car, he was trying to manipulate you. They commonly want us to believe their words and forget their actions, as the two are not aligned.

    • Mine did the rage driving thing too. He never hit me (a claim he proudly declared once, as if that made him a good husband!), but that rage driving was horrible. I think it’s worse because they’re in complete control and there’s nothing you can do about it. No way to fight back. To do it with kids in the car is unforgivable. Luckily, they didn’t notice and we didn’t crash. But I confronted his ass when we got out. I pointed my finger in his face and said, “don’t you EVER do that with my kids again.” I think he was surprised, but he never did again, not with the kids anyhow.

      • Mine did the rage-driving thing, too.

        I was last in the car with him a few weeks after Dday (and after I kicked him out) because our dog had just been killed by a coyote. He tossed the dead dog in the back of his Jeep, and, overcome with grief, I forgot that I was divorcing this man and just hopped in the passenger’s seat. Trapped!

        He sped like crazy on the way to the vet. I remember saying, “Why are you going so fast? The dog is already dead!”

        Perhaps his reckless driving was my fault, too. Such is the rationalization of a disordered person.

        No doubt he’s driving too fast to this day. I just hope he doesn’t hurt anyone else.

        • Mine was also road raged. He’d block other cars and get so close that I’d gasp and hold onto the dash. One time a guy followed us and stopped at a stop sign and wanted to fight. Ex of course drove away.., his road rage made me so anxious I’d have panic attacks. My anxiety got so bad I couldn’t drive on the freeways without having a panic attack and being frozen in fear. A few months after ex’s discard I ventured back on the freeway. I’m now driving on the freeway relaxed and anxiety free.

      • I got that too, I’m sure now he liked to scare me and when he saw me holding on to the seat he would scoff at me. It’s probably all part of their idiotic thought process that they can do what they like.

    • The crazy driving abuse! I was subjected to it too. He would literally be driving 100mph, tailgating, swerving through lanes with my son and I in his truck. I would be white-knuckling it and shaking because I was scared, while he mocked me for flinching and jumping as we narrowly avoided collision. I don’t know how/why I put up with it for so long, but I’m glad I never have to get in a vehicle with him ever again.

      • Klootzak told me there was something wrong with me and I should be on Valium because he was allegedly not an aggressive driver. When my son was an infant, we had just left getting Santa photos taken. He turned right into a right lane that was ending. You have to yield and merge when you are able. Except he wouldn’t yield. Expected the SUV to hit its brakes and let him in. Only they didn’t. Collision to the rear driver’s side of our car. He stopped using the word “safe” to describe his driving after that. An old friend of klootzak’s once said to me that he always felt like he should be in a 5-point harness to ride in a car with him. Maniac.

        Any time he drives out of town on a trip, I half expect highway patrol to knock on my door and say he was run over. Of course, I kind of wonder if he drives like that when he is by himself of only when he has passengers to scare.

    • Yes Unicorn, we live in the madness and then to protect ourselves from things blowing up we live more madness. I did this for so long and looking it hurts. Being threatened by someone we think is going to be protecting us throws us into panic-freeze-and brainlock.”He’s just having an upset-he’s probably going to stop this and come back to being the person he’s supposed to be”…the crazy behavior is so scary it puts us survival mode. Sadly this way of threatening us gives them power to keep escalating and intimidating us. Takes a long time to absorb the reality that this is what they want.

      • “He’s just having an upset-he’s probably going to stop this and come back to being the person he’s supposed to be…”

        I never dealt with the road rage, but yes this, I remember thinking this when his rants at me got closer together and louder the last few months of the year of discard. “something is wrong, he is so stressed at work, we will get through this”

        I know now I was just hoping for my life to turn back to the life I thought existed.

        And honestly, I do think the early years were real. I think the early years our son was growing up were his only truly happy years. Taking him swimming, boating, coaching baseball etc.

        It is just that now I know that the years I thought he was maturing and growing closer to God; he was lying and slipping into a different lifestyle. He still needed me, but not as his wife so much as holding the image.

    • Mine did the road rage thing too. God forbid I’d say anything about his driving either. The stupid things we accepted for ‘love’. So glad I’m no longer part of his circus

      • My dad the original road rage. I live in the west the incline and decent on 1-70 heading west from Denver is not for the faint of heart. Held hostage squeezing your eyes so tight u couldn’t breath. Passing a line of cars on a two lane mountain pass with three kids in the car…….terror. The x….. no matter the weather..balls to the wall. 80 plus. Ice on the road just squeezing the eyes closed praying….. I had a date last year to the day. Road trip to hot springs for the night …. no mountain passes easy ride. I thought i was going to crawl out my skin open the door and jump. I was so anxious just waiting for the crazy driving, passing a line of “ gd tourist with their fu#$&ng RV’s “. Nope

        He was calm, went the speed limit; but my anxiousness just ruined the trip.. I couldn’t calm down… that trip a year ago let me know I have a shit ton Of work to do. I literally cant be in car on a mtn highway without having a panic attack…. heavy sigh. Forward.

        • With stories like this festering inside of us, Im glad I posted about this. Not the stuff of Fun Friday but many of us who suffered trapped in cars careening dangerously in ways that left us genuinely afraid of impeding death are left with some serious baggage.

          A few people spoke of telling the abuser to stop or never to do it again. I generally saw Cheater as teetering so close to critical mass, I did not dare to speak. I didn’t know what bad thing would happen but that it would be bad. The one time I crossed him was during a rage when he went to discipline middle kid for fighting with his. He did some minor annoying thing to her and Cheater went after middle kid like his intention was to beat the hell out of him (not typical…Cheater destroyed things but generally didn’t lay a hand on us). I simply said “Don’t hurt him” and rage ensued.

          Even when Cheater wasn’t raging, the fact that we all knew that he could go from calm to rage in seconds left us wary. A few times, he tried to do the “good dad” thing and take us on a drive after Church. He drove off our normal route home but wouldn’t tell us where we were going…like it was a surprise. I panicked the minute I realized I didn’t know where I was going and had no control over it. Cheater did not realize that he had violated us enough that we simply did not trust him and we came by it honestly…like everything else, he then deeply resented the fact that we were not game for outings like this.

          Even now with my sweet, calm husband, I get very anxious if he veers off of our expected path without telling me where we are going.

          I recently drove I-70 west of Denver and I can’t imagine doing it with a rage. Im so sorry. I hope that you can get help to overcome your anxiety.

    • Narcles used to do this too until one time I calmly said to him: You can drive like a fool to try to scare and punish me, (I get car sick) but it won’t be my name on the ticket. He never did it again.

      He also told me my next husband would beat me since no one would be a patient with me as he had been after I won my craft room that he wanted to turn into a yoga retreat so he would be able to have the yoga camp trolls in our home under my nose on his word to me not a week before that it was mine. Yeah, he was and is a special cookie.

    • Tail of the Dragon just after midnight, not another soul on the road, and he is going way too fast. I just knew a deer was going to hop in front of us and we would go off the side of the mountain. He was weaving in and out of both our lane and the oncoming lane, saying that it was safest to “drive straight lines when possible”.

      He also thought it was fun on long road trips to wait until I just dozed off, then to veer off the road and run over the grooved pavement to scare me awake. Hilarious.

    • Ah, the road rage. I put this further down. I should have read your post first. My ex had the road rage thing too.

      My ex when he was caught out immediately screamed ‘I’ve ruined everything’ and then repeatedly punched himself in his face giving himself a black eye. He went to the freezer and then sat on the sofa with a bag of frozen broccoli over his eyes until I got my act together and told him to get out of the house. He then flew off very erratically in his car like some crazed maniac.
      At the time he had moved out as he needed ‘some space’ and was living at his mum’s. Only, he wasn’t living at his mum’s and did not return to his mum’s that night. I’m still convinced he told the OW that I punched him. Wish I had, but nope he punched himself. Haha.

      • I’m sure this was not funny at the time but as I picture him doing this it’s as funny as can be! He gave himself black eyes; that’s crazy to a whole new level!
        Glad you’re away from that craziness.

  • OH MY GOSH I totally missed the early days of your blog. Once your somewhat healed and over being crapped on ……. looking back at the initial reactions is HILARIOUS. I had my now ex-husband talked into going to the police over his phone being hacked because someone made over 30,000 texts to a phone number to a HWrecker in a single month. We were in the car to go and he said ….. wait a minute.

    And then cried for hours.

    I wish I had a video.

    • Mine said the usual…
      Wasn’t happy for so long
      Then dissociated on the back porch for a week, so weird
      Asked him to leave

    • Alice I am also far enough from Dday to see some of the humor in the situation that at the time was not funny at all! I gotta say I can picture you sitting there talking him into going to the police for these “hacked” phone texts!😂😂😂😂. I actually changed my (this was the mid 90’s) landline phone number over an endless series of “hang-up wrong #’s”. That was Schmoopie #3, she really didn’t want to give up! lol 😂

  • I asked to look at his phone. He didn’t want me to. He kept handing it to me but locking it as he handed it over. He unlocked it and I snatched it, to get it back he almost pushed me into the pool. This was a hotel pool and a work event for him. He then made it seem like I’d behaved so badly at his work event. He had hook up apps on his phone along with lots of deleted messages to and from the OW who was also at the hotel for the event. I don’t have proof of any of this, so sadly I can’t use it in my separation/divorce. I was so naive I didn’t even know what the hook up apps were, I was thinking why are there pictures of all these skanky girls with stripper names?!

    • I had that same encounter with EH. He was sweating bullets as my two adult sons were upstairs. I said ‘Let’s ask them if they think I’m out of line.’
      All of this happened after an attempted 3 years of reconciliation that they had been aware of. It was such a mess. The way he protected that phone!!! Oy vay!

    • One morning, about two months into wreckonciliation, he got a text. I heard the ding and happened to see the text at the moment it popped up and before it went behind his lock codes (some schmoopie drivel about a sunset and missing my ex). I woke him up and demanded he unlock his phone. He grabbed his phone and ran out the door in the pouring rain in his underwear with nothing but his phone. I locked all the doors.

      We were having the house remodeled, and I opened the door to let our contractor and him in about an hour later. Turns out our contractor’s wife had cheated on him. He did an amazing job on the remodel and I ended up getting the house.

      • 🤣😂🤣. ‘He grabbed his phone and ran out the door in the pouring rain in his underwear with nothing but his phone.´

      • “He grabbed his phone and ran out the door in the pouring rain in his underwear with nothing but his phone. I locked all the doors.”

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahha!

      • I thought my x cheater was the only one who ran outside in his underwear to protect his precious phone from prying eyes 😂. I also locked him out, so he broke the garage door prying it open. It’s funny looking back on it but at the time it didn’t surprise me 🤦🏼‍♀️

      • Was it black underwear?

        All of a sudden he went from tighty whities to longer legged black briefs.

        We had a good laugh here recently about the black underwear symptom.

        • Omg! Yes from boxer shorts to black thigh length briefs. Which he looked ridiculous in btw, I remember laughing when I saw him in those. Didn’t realize that was a cheater symptom!!!

        • Yes that here too! He looked ridiculous, like an old man because he didn’t have the body for it.

        • Velvet Hammer,

          This is completely off this topic, but I came across a list you posted (recently, I think, but damned if I could find it again after I refreshed the page) of how the cheating fuckwits view things. It was like seeing a concise, condensed view of my FW XW’s reasoning. It was spot on, like you always are. Am I imagining things, or was it real? If it was real, could you please re-post it here? I’d be very grateful.

          As for this topic, my FW XW was chillingly cold in her response to being confronted w/my question of WTF was going on that was making her (insert laugh of your choice here) being so cold and distant to me over those last three to four months. So, psycho maybe only in how little it affected her to exit-affair me. I don’t think anyone short of a true abuser deserves infidelity, and even then, you might want to question how mature you’re being if you’re going to do that.

          I hope everybody in ChumpLand is having a good holiday weekend, along w/their families. My sincere condolences to any new chumps. Read up as much as you can here; it will help, and things really can get better. And don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help.

          • Wow I can’t remember exactly what you’re referring to but it sounds familiar. Do you have any more identifying details, like how recent this was, any quotes you remember?

            • All I think I can remember is that you had two lists in your response, and the second one listed at least seven to ten points regarding how the fuckwits view events (at least, that was how I was interpreting it!).

              I believe it to have been posted in the last two weeks (I thought it was within the last week), or at the very worst the last month. I was looking at it on my iPhone a couple of nights ago, the screen spontaneously refreshed, and suddenly I couldn’t find it anymore. I was very upset, because it was so dead on to me. I wanted to save it for reference.

              Hope something here jogs your memory, and that this isn’t just my mind playing tricks on me. Thanks for looking into it!😁

              • The easy way to find my past comments is to scroll and watch for the red heart and red avatar next to my blog name. That’s how I myself look for my past comments.

  • After my second DDay, around Christmas time, I had thrown him out for being so abusive to me and the kids (which was routine when he had a new GF) he came crying back and I let him in (still in my chumpie phase).

    Christmas was crazy, him abruptly leaving Christmas dinner with our kids and his parents because of some work emergency (he had to meet GF). Losing control later in the day and putting a knife threw a kitchen counter. Getting mad at the TV (which like everything else in the house didn’t work) and threw it out the window of our third story apartment.

    He ended the evening by crawling out the living room window onto the roof, like he was jumping or something. I closed the window and went to bed. He came back in and within a week, he was admitted to a hospital for a month to learn anger management, (or maybe because he had a breakdown?) Oh the early crazy years…thank God I finally got off that crazy train.

    • I know this is not the Psycho Olympics, not WOW. Your FW was unhinged. So glad you got out from under that.

    • I’m sure this wasn’t funny at the time, but I’m chuckling at this badass move:
      “I closed the window and went to bed.”

      • Right?

        I love that.

        They blow up our lives, and their own, and we are supposed to coddle them. Eph that.

        • Susie Lee,

          My FW XW tried to downplay the fact that she’d lied by omission that she was fucking her 15 year older rich boss. She tried to tell me that the sex wasn’t just about sex, but also about connecting emotionally w/her married, POS AP.

          I told her via email (she’d fully left me for months at this point), that what did she think I was, a Neanderthal? That I didn’t understand what a physical, emotional and psychological betrayal it was for her to engage in sex w/him while we were married, w/out my knowledge or consent? That it was an enormous betrayal of trust to me, and to anyone else w/a middle-of-the-road, healthy sense of morals and self-worth in North America?

          Nope. I’m stupid, stuck in “victim” mode, according to her. Also according to her, I’m a “simple” man. Yeah?! Well, there’s a lot of simple men and women worldwide based on this forum alone. It may be needless to say here, but I think she’s the stupid and simple one.

          Wishing you and your family all the best.

          • Yes, if valuing commitment, honesty, and sacrificing temporary feel goods for the good of the family etc is simple; I proudly claim simple.

  • Because it’s Friday, and Fridays are reserved for fun, I’ll leverage two references to the rock opera “Tommy” . . .

    When confronted (the infamous Driveway Incident), the Kunty Kibbler immediately became Tommy: deaf, dumb and blind. No color, I don’t think she even blinked very often. It was as if every physical and psychological function just locked up. (I could even extend the analogy to Pink Floyd. She was most definitely “Uncomfortably Numb” (“Hello? Is there anybody in there? . . .”)

    After that initial storm passed, she became The Acid Queen: a manic and flailing representation of mindless self-indulgence, justifying (without taking responsibility for) her actions with an attitude of “the whole world does it, and it doesn’t make me a bad person — in fact, YOU’RE the one who’s odd for resisting it.”

  • FW left us on Christmas with no explanation other than he needed time “to think” and would be back within 4 months. Four months go by and he’s not back, so one evening after he drops off the kids, I question him about what’s going on.

    We’re sitting in the backyard and, like a character from a bad movie, he suddenly wraps his arms around himself, starts shaking violently, and yells, “You’re abusing me! Stop abusing me! You’re abusing me!”

    Wtf?

    • “shaking violently”…. mine did the same thing, I’d never seen anything like it! It was after 2 D-day. I’d discovered an AFF account and learned that he was bisexual and had been serial cheating for over a decade! He was trying desperately to stay together, ( I guess a beard wife is hard to give up) when I discovered a phone number in his wallet for a male massage therapist. He was crying like a baby, shaking all over and saying, “I’m hurting, too”..jesus..

    • I got “you’re abusing me” with regard to employing gray rock in all interactions with her. In her mind, “cool bummer wow” was abuse.

      • Yeah, they really don’t like gray rock. When I replied “no” to a request, I was told that just saying “no” with no explanation or soft-pedaling was hostile and aggressive.

        The next time, I answered “no, that doesn’t work for me”, and was told that the “for me” part proves that I am selfish and only care about myself and that XW would not accept my answer unless I provided an explanation of how “no” was in the kids’ best interest.

        • I got told my his lawyer that I’d stalked and intimidated him. When asked for evidence all they could come up with was a email reply to his inane email where I called him a POS. And I have the new schmoopie my phone number if she ever needed to talk. Always the victim.

          • I have twin restraining orders (one from xh and one from new wife) they fabricated stories that I had been threatening them. I have spent $3K leading up to my initial hearing to contest these charges, and now we’re going to court where I can truly request evidence of such threats and harassment. There isn’t any so it should be dropped but my attorney tells me never to be sure I can predict the outcome of anything. It’s my theory that they need to keep the drama alive, life without me is a bit boring, and perhaps they are threatened by my absence!!

            • You need to countersue for harassment. The only one being harassed is you. Any level headed judge would rule in your favor.

          • ChumpDownUnder and Formally, I was told he didn’t feel safe around me, this was after an incident when he came home from visiting his “Mom” in another state and I asked him how she was doing. He became enraged, and called me an ugly, stupid, fu**ing bitch, and then ran after me and grabbed my collar and said, I should beat the shit out of you but you’re not worth it. He denied it afterwards. My guess is that it wasn’t his “Mom” he was visiting. I also got a a court order asking me to quit stalking and calling him on his phone. That I was calling him late at night, and so often he was afraid of losing his job from the lack of sleep. he had no other choice than to pay for another phone line. I called him one night, at around 10:00 pm after he dropped our son off. He was scheduled to bring him home the following night, I called to ask if he was coming back the following day. I intimidated him when I mentioned I had a broken tooth and he felt unsafe around me because he was afraid I’d accuse him of breaking my tooth. How do they come up with this crap?

            • I’m so sorry, Brit. I went through some very similar experiences. Cheaters are cowardly, delusional, entitled, phony, hypocritical, vindictive liars. Abusers aren’t actually powerful. They are pathetic. I’m far enough to meh that I don’t really care about karma (although today’s comments are far more upsetting and triggering than amusing – so maybe I’m not), BUT it recently struck me that disordered people’s brains must never be at peace. That level of avoidance, cognitive dissonance and dishonesty must feel exhausting, especially to a remotely intelligent person. I was depressed and anxious trying to navigate the whole mindfuck, and I wasn’t even the one fucking people over and lying. I repeat tonight as I do every night, I’m just so relieved that I escaped the cycle. I hope you’re out, too? Even if your ex convinced others, maybe even people you once loved and trusted, we believe you. I do.

    • I am sure there is some website that instructs people on how to employ victim language. I ought to have seen it coming as my own EX used to frequently employ the term “rape” any time he felt poorly treated. His boss was “psychologically raping” him, his coworkers were “raping his reputation,” etc. I remember early in our relationship asking him to stop using the word that way as it meant a specific physical experience that he had not been subjected to. He told me I didn’t understand how traumatic his experiences really were and that they were just as bad as any rape. In hindsight, I ought to have broke it off then.

    • Mine actually started punching himself in the face saying that was what I was doing. I think he was trying to use my words against me as I had told him before his words hurt like physical blows, but that was because he was verbally abusive to me and the kids. He liked to make himself into the victim, such a nut.

      • Mine did that so many times!!!! That was so crazy, I was so scared for him (of course), but he probably used it to say I abused him?? Who knows, the guy was strong like a bull. Me?? Not so much.

    • Mine couldn’t understand why his sister (a chump!) didn’t drive two hours to be with and comfort him after he confessed to me that he’d been cheating for almost 3 years.

      He was HURTING SO MUCH!

      My empathy-challenged ex couldn’t see that, in this scenario, both his sister and I were victims of cheater abuse.

      “I’m not at all like my sister’s ex,” he shouted. Mind you, his sister’s ex was also a doc who had an affair with a younger nurse. It couldn’t have been more similar. Lol. #highIQmoron #clueless #disordered

      • Ugh 😣
        All about them
        They really don’t develop emotionally beyond a young age.
        I thought I had seen empathy in FW when he said he’d been suffering. I thought it was because he had realized what he had done to me and his step- kids… I thought he was feeling remorse. But then after he said ‘ I am a grown man living with my parents now, that’s not exactly great!’
        He moved in with OW shortly thereafter so I guess he’s feeling fine.

    • Just wow… I had no idea that the shaking violently, psycho, freak out reaction was so common. Mine did this many times, including in front of our marriage counselor. Full on panic attack, rocking back and forth, staring at invisible objects, hyperventilating – one time, he even ran away and hid in the men’s room (our therapist was female)… every time, it instantly changed the focus of the conversation to his safety. I realize now this only happened when the topic was closing in on his double life.

      It should have been obvious what he was up to, but who wants to be “mean” to someone having a mental breakdown? He totally played on my compassion (and our therapist’s too).

      • Hahaha! Why is it so funny to me that they run away? 😹😹 Dumb ass even told me I scare him and shmoops 😹 Seems I get a real kick out of scaring him.

      • Chumpy

        Oh my… during our session I was crying my eyes out, talking about the betrayal- double life for 12+ years…. I was supposed to tell him how much he was hurting me…
        2 minutes into my talk he started looking like a ghost, silent, dead eyes… shaking
        The whole session moved from “ let’s talk about the damage you caused” to “ let’s take your h home to calm down”

        I ended up calling his work, taking care of our kids for the rest of the day/ night while he was recovering in bed.
        Well played.
        Btw. I was diagnosed with severe PTSD & depression- yet, he was able to play the therapist well.
        I had to suck it up- he had a 20 hrs of rest in bed.

        • Yep, players they are.

          I knew the last year of our marriage something was wrong. He said “work stress” “new promotion” etc. I bought it and tried to give him the space he said he needed.

          I also know I was getting lonely and I was withdrawing, which of course in hindsight was reaction to how he was treating me.

          But, it gave him the perfect example to say we grew apart etc. Of course he had been cheating for several years, but still me with drawing towards the end was the reason for us growing apart.

        • Exactly Lucy. And the conversation never seems to get back to what happened to us. Everything has been about his “trauma” for the last decade. My pain doesn’t have value.

          His unwillingness (or inability) to acknowledge what he did and apologize in a meaningful way is my deal breaker. He had chances to show he’d learned something and he hid in the bathroom. Respect, honesty, awareness, a desire to do better… without those things, there really isn’t any point.

          Please take care – I know PTSD can be a shit show. You shouldn’t have had to suck it up because he was too scared to face himself.

      • Yup. Ex lost the power of speech, developed a tremor and paralysis and a stutter. I thought he was play acting. OW #2 took him in and looked after him. He was still able to have sex with her but not look after his children to allow me to go to work. Go figure! Lying parasite! He had the doctors doing tests. All avoidance techniques and a play for sympathy combined with deflection.

    • Mine pulled the abuse stunt too. He would say something horrible to me and if I cried he would say, “You are weaponizing your tears against me! That is abuse! You are abusing me!”

      He said things like I enjoyed being raped as a teen and that I was incestuous and wanted to have sex with my own family members. Horrible lies. And that was apparently fine for him to say to me but if I cried because of it then I was abusing him. There’s no sense trying to figure it out though, it’s just not logical.

      • I’m so sorry this happened to you. And that your horrible ex weaponized it against you. They are psycho.
        Take care of yourself, you are not responsible for any of the abuse. You will heal (and probably already have) and deserve a long, fulfilling, peaceful, in another word happy life!!

  • Thinking I had to save my marriage, I organised a counselling session for us. After the session as I went to get into my car, DH jumped into the backseat and demanded sex.??!!! (it was the middle of the day, public carpark, closely overlooked by several office blocks)???!!!! Definitely not my scene, and sex with him could not have been any further from my mind at that time.

    For what felt like forever, while he rolled around on the back seat of my car with his member out, begging for sex, I stood there by my car, hissing at him to get the hell out of my car, and to get into his own car and to drive himself to our next appointment.

    (Our next appointment was in about 20 mins, across town, at the kids school, meeting with the Principal who was wanting to expel our child from school. Child had been misbehaving because he knew some of what Dad had been up to).

    DH eventually got out of my car, and made his own way to our school appointment. I can’t remember driving there, or much of that meeting, other than somehow I managed to negotiate son staying at school, while DH sat there in the Principal’s office and sulked like a grumpy toddler. That was a totally bizarre day.

    • I cannot imagine how terrible that must have been. You are trying to save your marriage and support your struggling child, and he is trying to solve everything with an orgasm. I imagine all of his coping skills were equally shitty.

      • “trying to solve everything with an orgasm. I imagine all of his coping skills were equally shitty.”
        This made me laugh so much!!

        Sorry he put you through all that… I hope you’re now ok and thriving. Wow. 😧

    • I scheduled a marriage counseling session with a therapist. I talked to the therapist explaining the session would be for MC. Ex was reluctant to go and tried talking me out of it saying that the therapist would probably ask him “what the fuck he was thinking, being married to me,” and “I’d be put away.” The day of the session, we were getting ready to leave and at the last minute ex says he wants to go in separate vehicles. He followed me in his truck, getting further behind, I look in the rear view mirror and he gets into the right turn only lane, and turns right, blocks away from the therapists office. I’m waiting for him in the therapists office, and 20 minutes goes by. Ex walks in and sits down, the therapist asks ex about our marriage. Ex jumps up, and goes into a rage, yelling, she lied!! she lied!!! then glares at me, turns to the therapist and says, she told me we were here to talk to you about our son!!! she’s a liar!! The therapist said, I’m here to help you work on your marriage. Ex glares at me and screams, no, this marriage over!! The therapist mentioned that we had been married a long time, ex’s decision could be detrimental to our son, who was a teenager at the time. Ex got up, glared at me with his reptilian eyes, and said, I’m done, this marriage is over, and stomped out of the office. Therapist was at a loss for words..,

      • I forgot to mention, ex claims I’m a Pathological liar.., and he’s concerned for my mental well being.

        • Yep. Mine said that too. He used to pretend to be concerned because I “lied” so much. I think a lot of things he did gave people pause, but this one never did. I’m boringly honest. If people weren’t sure what was wrong in our relationship, he managed to convince them he was the problem as soon as he started labeling me “a pathological liar.”

    • Oh boy, it’s classic for them to triangulate the kids into their bullshit and lies. Now THAT is abuse. 😡😡😡

  • Supposedly my ex had a ‘big’ golf tourney and won top trophy and then they all proceeded to get shitfaced drunk with all the work ladies. So about 1 am I took my dogs out for their last walk and a car pulls up and my way over drunk spouse falls out. The woman who dropped him off made all sorts of excuses so I let my dogs happily jump and scratch up her brand new car. Bitch. So he’s stumbling all over the lawn and finally stops and pees on. Tree. Then my dogs follow him. Then He turns and says ‘I don’t know why you still love me.’ I didn’t know who schmoopie was at the time but we was off for sure. Well, I didn’t love him any more but I had to play sadz while negotiating my share. I was sad for many things but not for losing 300 lbs of lying cheat. And that’s always a shock. That a guy who let himself go and looked like hell and had health probs is out catting around. Like, he didn’t even have that much money. No matter how old, saggy and ugly, still pissin on trees guys can still hook up with trash.

  • Sadly, Mr. Sparkles was very short on the humor department, but his pathological craziness is bone deep. After he discarded me and our family for the OW, his first wife called me. Now that I was being abandoned and because I had always been so good to her kids (my stepchildren, two lived with us)… she wanted me to know that she continued to fuck Mr. Sparkles for 4 years at the beginning of my marriage to him. She had the sadz about it. BUT the pathological kicker was when I shared the information with Mr. Sparkles face to face, his eyes went dark black… he said nothing and just left the room. My therapist later remarked, “If you ever doubted before now that he is a sociopath, you can put that doubt to rest.”

    Crazy is as crazy does Chumps! You’ve got this… Rock on Chump Nation!

    • Yikes. Definitely a sociopath. Did he let you go easily or did he make you earn it?

      I’m in the process of having to “earn” my peace and I wish I could crush him down into a pulp and flush him down the toilet.

      • I took CL’s direction to heart hardcore… and since he has NPD, I truly think he just started to “mirror” my behavior… so when I went no contact (only email and text) to co-parent, he did the same. He still tries to get me to engage with late child support and late co-payments for medical, camps, etc…. I just send quick notes about him letting me know if it’s easier to have his pay docked directly and he gets back on track. I refused to triangulate so he quickly bored of me.

        Be strong… set your boundaries and stick to them, do everything you can through the court and parenting apps (if you need them)… limit any reason to have contact.

  • Man, that’s extreme! I got a good laugh though.

    Mine was a runaway husband, so I missed out on that part. There were hints, and my older divorce attorney kept saying he “smelled” another woman. My ex did flee to an area of the country where an old girlfriend that he idolized lived. I chose to save what little money I had for useful things like food and car repairs so I could go to work, so I never confirmed it.

    I always felt like the attempts at reconciling and then the way he played the divorce were to please his family, not because he was truly in love with me. A therapist friend of mine once commented that men who truly love their wives and want to reconcile don’t run like mine did, and then they don’t act the way he did during separation and the divorce process.

  • Mine was constantly rage driving – god alone knows how we didn’t end up in a wreck! But one of the things I remember is him being shit-faced drunk (so what’s new) and ranting and raving in the living room incoherently in front of our kids. I started filming him on my phone so that I could send it to him later. Well he took his shoes off and threw them at me, then pulled his jeans and pants down around his ankles and hopped up the stairs like that. A few years after the divorce I showed that video to my sister and BIL and she was stunned. He had always said that I was the drunk that he had to take care of and here she had proof in her hands showing just 1% of what HE was really like!

  • I found out he was planning to leave me (he hadn’t mentioned it yet). In my shocked traumatized state, I asked why and he told me about his vague unhappiness. He adamantly denied an affair, I believed him! But in the middle of the night I got up to check his tech for OW info. ( it hadn’t even occurred to me when I found the initial he’s leaving info.). All passwords were changed. He explained that by saying he’d felt uncomfortable knowing I’d go through his stuff but he’d change them back.
    In the am he’s at the gym (like nothing happened – well actually the gym hadn’t happened in a few years 😂)and I searched through paper in the hopes of finding a name. I was still in denial – I thought maybe he had a crush. He told me the night before that he had a ‘friend’ but that she wasn’t involved in any of this.
    I didn’t find a name, but I found notes from her re their love and love making- gag.
    So when he returned, I tested how far my best friend, husband, soulmate, step -father to my kids, confidant and all round love of my life would go with his lies. It was shocking. Deep eye contact ‘there’s no one else.’ I even had him swear on the life of his kids! After about 10 minutes of his talking to me like I was his best friend and he wouldn’t lie to me (he just wasn’t happy), I showed him the notes and asked him who wrote them.
    It’s not funny perse but it was so weird. He kept saying ‘no one wrote them.’ He seemed believable!
    So I asked him if he wrote them to himself? He said again that no-one wrote them. Then my mind went really dark because he was denying black and white evidence right in front of him – I started to think maybe it was someone he was related to. Anyway, finally I found out it was a colleague, but I couldn’t know her name because of what I might do to her!!
    The lies continued on….come hell or high water he wanted to stick to no current OW, he was just ending the marriage because of the sadz.
    So then the dates of this affair supposedly in the past kept changing. It took a few weeks… but finally it was acknowledged – they had a plan, he was leaving me for her – he was trying to be a nice guy and spare my feelings.

    • “but I couldn’t know her name because of what I might do to her!!”

      You know Zip, I had not really thought of this before. I was so confused as to why he would not tell me who it was (I had to find out from someone else a few days after Dday).

      But, I remember being so upset that he was protecting her from me. Me who had never had a violent outburst in my life, not even when he told me.

      But, do you suppose the reason they do this is they know what they would do if this happened to them? Projecting?

      Of course when I found out, I never once had the urge to go after her. That was not in my wheel house, and I would never give them the satisfaction, he had to know me well enough to know she was in no danger of me.

      Weird.

      I did call her a whore once, but not even in real anger; just to insult him. That was the extent of my violent reaction.

      Had I ever encountered her in the first few months, I would have simply just gave her a disgusted look, and walked right on by.

      • Susie, In my case it wasn’t projection because I realized later FW was a coward. It may have been because it was a work thing – and that could’ve been/should have been dangerous for him. I’m sure he didn’t want me to reveal it to his employer (not that I would have). They strapped on the impression management suits and went to his boss and HR together with their true wuv stories and maybe how we were already separated (not).
        Also OW was married.
        I called her every name under the sun, and not once did he defend her.
        But strangely, the biggest knife turn was when he wouldn’t tell me her name. He was protecting her ( that hurt more than anything) – or maybe he was protecting himself?

        • Hmm, in my fws case she was his direct report, but he had already been outed.

          I mean he knew I was not combative so it was just weird to me. Didn’t matter because I found out pretty qui8ck who it was and yes I was surprised, as she was not really a traditionally appealing woman, but I never had the urge to punch her, or quite frankly even talk to her.

          So yeah, likely trying to protect her dainty reputation. Lol.

          I don’t know how his conversation with his boss went after disclosure, but I suspect not great as he was soon busted and put back on patrol. She was moved to another position in the city, and she couldn’t handle that job; so got fired within about a year.

          They waited until they were married to fire her. They did fire her for cause though.

      • XW tried to hide AP’s name from me, too. I knew who it was because my daughter had cracked her mother’s phone and told me about it months earlier, but I guess XW didn’t know that because she amateurishly redacted AP’s name when we exchanged financial information (FYI, just putting a black box on a PDF doesn’t remove the information underneath when the box can be dragged to the side, and in fact it just calls attention to that part of the document).

        The funny thing is, I was still making excuses for XW even through the end of our divorce. I thought she was denying AP’s existence because his divorce was still in process. We’re years past the end of all legal jeopardy now, though, and XW still denies the affair; the truth is, she is simply constitutionally unable to be honest about anything that reflects poorly on her. Lots has happened since then and this isn’t the principal problem we have in co-parenting, but her willingness to maintain such a blatant lie for so long is certainly one of the reasons I do not trust anything she says. In many ways AP is a nastier character than my XW is, but at least he respected his wife enough to tell her straight up that he was leaving her for someone else.

        • I got my ex red-handed on the speaker phone (or Facetime) with his AP. She had just said “I love love love you” and he had just replied “I really really really love you” . When he turned on the lights and saw me sitting there, I threw his words back at him – “You really really love her. don’t you?” He got in my face and screamed “yes. I love her and I DON’T LOVE YOU”.

          That was the only time he acknowledged the affair. It was very weird. The next day it was like it had never happened. He never acknowledged the affair to our adult children, long time mutual friends or family (I know because I told them and we talked.) Bizarre. I am sure he is telling people the “we just grew apart” lie.

          • DW, I just gasped at his words to you. It was a trigger & I find myself teary eyed at an outside cafe for lunch. Asshole.

        • “…the box can be dragged to the side…”

          I love it when they think they are being so clever with tech and it bites them in the ass… maybe a little too much! Somehow, my STBX never seemed to connect getting caught with me teaching computer science 🙂

        • “…she is simply constitutionally unable to be honest about anything that reflects poorly on her…”

      • I said “go to hell” to the other woman, he got really upset. That night he raped me. I gave in. That was the last time we had sex. I walked out 4 days later on Dday3.

      • I got the name within 15 seconds of discovery. But later he told me she was afraid of him telling me; that I would find a way to ‘get her’ and he needed to be careful etc. And sure, I could be violent if violence was necessary if my kids were in harms way, but I’d never waste my energy on a worthless whore.

        In my case I think it was all projection and storytelling to bond with each other. They had told each other these stories of how mean and abusive I was (lol) and how cold and abusive her husband was to make it seem like each other’s saviors oh how lucky they found each other bullshit. Imagine my surprise when I got a small hoover earlier this year–you’d think he’d have been running scared from me as horrible as he had said I was.

    • “No one wrote them”! What were they, then? Figments of the imagination? Manifestations from the ether? Jeebus.

    • Zip, mine did the same thing. I received a text from a burner number saying he was having an affair with a co-worker. I stood a foot away from him staring at him and asked if he was having an affair. He said no, that he never would without blinking, looking away or uncomfortable. Well the facts started adding up and then I found a picture of the slut on his computer in a state of undress. At that point, he acted like a freaked out little boy. I design and fit lingerie and decide to go through his drawers, there are 2 pairs of panties there, a small and X Large. I take a picture with my phone. We were in divorce proceedings then, but when he was moving out I told him I know about the stolen garments. He denied it. I showed him the photo and he didn’t say anything. I told him so which size fit her, the S or the XL? He then says they were the same size. I said no they weren’t and judging by the size of her ass, she wouldn’t fit in the S! That’s when I knew he was a true sociopath.

      • Adelante and Beawolf, I wish these ridiculous stories were about someone we met for a few hours!
        Mine was so smooth, but I guess in that instance he didn’t have time to prepare his lie /thus the ‘no one wrote these’ 😂.
        That underwear story is stupid weird/ was one for him and one for her? 😩

    • Gosh all sounds SO familiar! The denial of an affair, the blaming it on ‘sadz’, the discovery through love notes, the refusal to tell you her name, it being a colleague, the inconsistency over dates of when it began… All of it! We’re so much better away from people like that.

      • I met with him to discuss finances 6 months after he left me. Unbeknown to him I had started divorce proceedings on the ground of his unreasonable behaviour. He refused to admit the affair. Unsurprisingly the emails between them that I had read were imprinted on my brain. He denied their existence. I repeated, word for word, one exchange, written four days before my Dad’s funeral. She, ex gf from home town, had headed it ‘Something To Hold On To’. As I repeated each phrase he stared at me with the shark eyes and said ‘did she’, ‘did I’, ‘did I’, ‘did she’. I got to the end and looked at him as if seeing him for the first time. I thought to myself ‘I don’t like you, I don’t find you attractive in any way, you are a disgusting coward, a pathetic apology for a human being’. After 26 years, in my case from 33 to 59, it was quite a moment. I saw something evil and empty at the same time. One of those White Walker types from GoT. He’s never admitted the affair. She wants to shout their love out to the world and he wants to keep it as a shabby little secret. Good to know that they are on the same page 😂

        • Mighty Warrior your post gave me the shivers. I had a very similar moment with my xh. Horrible. Evil looking out at you. Very creepy. Also after 25 years, 30 to 55.

        • My ex kept his ex gf on the side our entire 13 years together and saw her for who knows how long before we met, yet nobody knew anything about her.

          He sees her as such a cheap piece of trash that he wants her kept a secret, yet she’s too stupid to realize it.

          But maybe she doesn’t care since she’s on marriage number 5…assuming she’s still actually married. I don’t care enough about them to find out.

          Dumb bitch.

      • It is all so familiar. Every single comment here. It’s unbelievable unless you’ve lived it – and even now, it’s surreal.

      • Thank you everyone. Feels good to tell the story. Even though I was in deep despair, I held on a long time to my Mr Wonderful idea of him – but even at the beginning – I found the ‘no one wrote them’ ( in response to luv/ sex notes) funny – in a heartbreaking kind of way! Just goes to show how deep impression management runs with these disordered people. Truth telling is just not on the menue for them.

    • Could have pretty much written this Zip. Totaly denial. Not that sort of guy you see. I went a-digging when I realized that I smelt a rat. Being told I had made him ill he was so miserable and that I needed therapy and obviously the one million other reasons (previously never mentioned in 12 ish years). I found receipts for meals, cards from bars they went to together and receipts for drinks and the shittiest poem ever.

      Did a couple of weeks of finding things out cause he was leaving at that point anyway so thought I’d gather my evidence and say nothing. When I did confront him (after mucho weeks of gaslighting) he cried and said the poem was ‘just lyrics he wrote for a song for the guitar’. He was such a sad sack of shit he could do admit to it.

      Then he ran off as ‘he didn’t have to take this’ and tried to ignore me as much as he could. One day he had to drive me to a hospital appointment and you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife. It was horrendous and I said just go and let me make my own way back but he said he’d take me home so I decided to start mentioning the 6am phone calls on the night my dad collapsed after coming out of hospital too early when he was in late stage with cancer and various other thigns he would have a clue I knew and he hissed at me. That’s what people do in shit relationships, they have affairs.

      And now, of course, I am the worst person on the planet. That quickly changed from, I still want to be (daughter’s) loving mum and dad and I still want you in my life.

      They do not like to be ratted out do they, not one bit.

      • DuddersGetsChumped, again…ugh. These things sound like things that happen to ‘other’ people. I’m not wild, I’m committed, a good mom, educated, careful, honest and hard working …..like so many here…..I’m sure a lot of us are wondering how this became part of our story! Sorry you went through that, especially with a sick parent.
        The unbelievable arrogance / coldness that happens with these FW’s once they are found out is shocking.
        Unlike a lot of the cheaters, Ex was seemingly the catch of the century until shortly before Dday. My life with him was way easier, better – he was very giving. He was covert so nothing came out until shortly before Dday. I mean, sure there were some minor passive aggressive things and he liked to get all the credit… but in the big scheme of things all his positives overwhelmingly outweighed imperfections. All this to say, coming to terms with the hidden FW in him, wasn’t easy.
        I see so many of us experienced a lack of empathy when we are on our knees. When the OW plan was f.i.n.a.l.l.y revealed- he was just going to stay in our home and have me watch him on his phone 24/7 working out his new life with OW. I told him he had to leave and he was indignant – it was his house too etc.
        These FW’s come in all forms, but their sad sausageness, blame-shifting, lack of empathy and ability to lie are common denominators.

  • So, late, late one night, I woke up and heard him on the phone with one of his girlfriends. He was sobbing, pleading, and offering her large sums of money.

    The next morning, I told him to get out. He said ok and walked out the door. That was about 18 months ago. Neither I nor our two preteen kids have seen him since.

  • The most bizarre part of my story is when FW swore he was using viagra to beat off after I found an empty bottle in his truck …in his truck! The pathetic part of the story is I almost believed him.

  • Nothing dramatic

    He just shrugged his shoulders started laughing and said “ you didn’t have a clue did you ? I’ve been cheating on for months “ by which time he was hysterically laughing .

    I of course was hysterical crying and all he did was shrug his shoulders to any questions while continuing to laugh at me then told me to shut my fucking face

    If there was a cushion there I’d have shoved it up his fat ass !!!

  • Not psycho, but jaw-droppingly cowardly.

    After I came home early from solo camping to see OWhore #1’s boots by the door, and FW came rushing in a panic out of the bedroom wearing only jeans, and I kicked them both out of the house …

    An hour later FW brought OW BACK to the house and had HER fess up about the affair. So SHE told me how unhappy he was, and how I had better not give him an ultimatum to end it (or he’d leave me) and how he felt we had gotten married too young, and how he’d cheated on HER, TOO and so she knew how I felt—— all while he was cowering in the next room.

    He apparently was unable (literally) to choke out a single word to me for nearly 24 hours in his anxiety and fear.

    • Argh! Anxiety is something suffered by people who feel alarmed about things that ought not to be alarming. Being afraid or distressed about things that are hard–like admitting that you are a jackass who is having an affair–is not anxiety, it is just cowardice.

      I hate when these jerks misuse language and lay claim to trauma to excuse their own shitty behavior and choices.

  • While on hospice for months, he had been trying to bed the nurse, social worker and music therapist. Telling them no woman, in his life, had ever been kind to him. Unknown to him I recorded his visits with them. He grabbed the nurses boob, claiming it was accidental. He was then given only male workers. He was so pissed to be called on his shit by them, he wanted me to come lay with him, give him comfort. I said hell no. He threatened to tell hospice on me and I could be prosecuted by law. WTH!! He’s dying, been a shit for 44 yrs, and tells me I’m going to jail, for not being nice to him. Hell got another idiot.

  • Alas, not my ex’s style to get wildly (and hysterically funny) crazy in front of me. Image management was always his number one priority. I am the one who had to force myself to not do anything that could be perceived as crazy.

    He did behave a little crazy with my 18 year old son in front of our 15 year old son a while back, however. Oldest son had recently returned from his Freshman year of college and both boys went to Ex’s house for dinner. Ex was serving zucchini. Oldest politely refused when it was offered to him although he was happy to fill his plate with everything else ex had prepared (including other vegetables). Ex threw a fit. Accused our 18 year old son of acting like a baby, put a spoonful of zucchini on the plate and demanded he eat it. My son refused because he didn’t like the way ex was treating him. Ex then sent him home without dinner and told him he wasn’t welcome at Ex’s house until he learned manners. Son came home devastated by his father’s rejection.
    Ok, I understand the desire to teach son that it is polite to have a bite of everything offered when a dinner guest, but I don’t think ex was handing this in the right way with his adult son. He certainly wasn’t demonstrating the right way to be a gracious host. I also think ex was not driven by son’s best interests but by the fact that Schmoopie would judge him a poor parent because his son politely declined to eat something offered. Our kids just are not living up to Schmoopie’s expectations and that’s a disaster for image conscious Ex.

    Meanwhile, ex and son had had a similar conversation before and ex had agreed that son should have agency over what he ate. This is why son was confused and hurt by ex’s behavior. Evidently, ex had forgotten that conversation. Youngest son generally tries to keep his head down and avoid the drama but he did mention to me the next day that ex’s response was “unfortunate”.

    • “Our kids just are not living up to Schmoopie’s expectations and that’s a disaster for image conscious Ex.”

      I see that happening with my kids too (16 & 20). What’s really crazy-making is OW not only thinks she’s mother of the year but that she knows everything about my kids. She judges them all the time as a way of judging my parental fitness.

      She broke up three marriages, including her own, and permitted FW to parade around in just his bathrobe with her teenage daughter at home. And we weren’t even divorced yet. She thinks being wealthy makes her morally superior.

      I cannot imagine what FW & OW would do and say if I was letting some strange man walk around in his jammies with my 16 year old daughter in the house – while we were still legally married. I would have had lawyers and custody motions crawling up my ass. But, yeah, it’s important that my kids live up to her/their “high” expectations.

      The hypocrisy is utterly jaw-dropping.

    • Chumpin, that was a wildly inappropriate way to interact with your ADULT son. Teaching a 6 year old to try different foods makes sense, but putting scoops of food on a college student’s plate is delusional. Your ex’s behavior reeks of insecurity to me – I suspect he feels threatened because his influence over your kids is dwindling. Instead of reflecting on why he might feel like that (guilt, regret, feelings of uselessness, facing mortality or whatever), he used zucchini to test your son’s boundaries and reassert his power. This is emotional abuse. He is a fuckwit.

      Your son gets to decide what he eats now. He is an adult. This does not require a conversation, agreement, remembering said agreement or even being polite to your former spouse OR his schmoopie about it (unless he wants to).

  • Whenever I found evidence of what he was doing: “YOU SNOOPED!”
    Whenever he admitted something: “YOU TRICKED ME!”
    Whenever I found the truth about my own life with him, that was a bigger problem than any of the things he was doing to destroy our relationship and any of the lies he told.
    This held up through a decade of RIC nonsense, before I finally figured out I was better off alone.

    • I heard “you’re trying to TRICK ME!”, too.

      It was when I cornered him psychologically when after years of confusion (he wouldn’t come forward on multiple signs of a double life), I just presented the evidence: “Tell me why if you didn’t do anything, I have THREE women’s names, provided by you, involved in shenigans with you”. He slapped the driving wheel, he was visibly losing the game.

      Shocking how identical they behave.

  • Well before Dday, my ex asked told my adult daughter and me that sometimes, when he doesn’t want to make eye contact with patients, he looks at them in the forehead. He practiced on us and asked if we could tell. We could.

    Months later, when my ex blindsided me with the BS that he needed some time “alone…to work things out,” I asked if was having an affair. He looked at me and said, “No. I’m not having an affair.” I remember saying, “You’re looking at me in the forehead.”🙄

    • I wonder why he couldn’t look you in the eye. Could it possibly be he actually felt guilty about lying? That would be unusual for a fw.

      Mine looked me square in the eye and brazenly lied when I asked him if he had been unfaithful to me. I later learned he would lie about things that were of no consequence, just to keep in practice. Unbeknownst to me he had been lying since day one. He was really good at it, up until Dday. When his house of cards came crashing down he lost his mojo.

      • Yeah. I wonder if he had a twinge of guilt. Perhaps.

        More likely the overwhelming emotion was fear. Fear that I’d see through his BS; fear that he’d get caught and suffer consequences. He knew what he was doing was wrong, which is why he went to such great lengths to hide it for years!!

        FYI: not only did he practice his forehead technique on me, but also viagra. The man has no shame, and I’m a guinea pig.

        • My money is on fear, not guilt. Narcissists don’t operate on guilt or remorse like the rest of us. But fear – that speaks to them.

  • On discovery of a photo of my ex and OW in passionate embrace….ex proceeded to tell me it was an old photo with a previous girlfriend and was taken years before we met.

    I said ‘you’re wearing the watch I gave you for our engagement and the jumper I gave you for Xmas last year’

    Ex: No I’m not
    Me: Yes you are…look at the photo
    Ex: Oh yeah…

  • Mine wasn’t as weird as the fws in those classic stories, he was just idiotic.

    When I told him I was leaving, he went on a “long, contemplative” walk, which he said was to decide if he loved me or not. He had previously told me he hadn’t loved me for years. Then he said he did. Then he said he wasn’t sure. All mindfuck blender shit. Anyway, he came back from his walk an hour later and announced with great fanfare that he had decided. “I DO love you!” he proclaimed, grinning ear to ear. He was bummed that I neither believed him nor cared. I think he actually thought his contrived”epiphany” would make me change my mind.

    When I was buying my new house, he drove me to the house inspection. It was a long drive and I was stressed out and tired, so I needed a chauffeur. The inspection took a long time and we were both starving by the end of it, so I suggested we stop at a restaurant we both liked in the town I was planning to move to. “I can’t go to a restaurant with you!” he cried out pitifully. Then he banged his hands repeated on the dashboard of the car. “I’m not your husband! You don’t want me anymore! So we can’t go to restaurants!” he continued to dramatically proclaim.
    Me; “Dude, I wasn’t asking you out on a date, I’m just hungry. I can go in alone and bring you a doggie bag if you prefer.”
    He refused to stop at the restaurant and sulked in silence for the rest of the drive. He morosely ate a bowl of yogurt when he got home.
    Whatta tool.

    • Yes, the false epiphanies are the worst. As if rational human beings can’t see through them.

      Ironically my divorce attorney mentioned that early on when he was formulating strategy. I think he was judging where we both were emotionally. He explained what a false epiphany was and asked if there had been any during separation. Sigh, quite a few, and I provided some examples.

      There was all kinds of irrational talk both during separation and when he called to kick off the divorce process. By the time he did “the call” I frankly expected it and had learned to figuratively just overlook it.

      I thrashed around a bit emotionally, but never got that crazy. I mostly kept it to myself (LOL). I went to work, put food on the table, and kept my bills paid like always.

      • I didn’t know a false epiphany was a well known thing with cheaters. But I should have. They really are all the same, aren’t they.

    • They truly forget that NOW after knowing of the affair
      It is no longer their decision but OURS!
      HA!

      • Seems so.

        I had given my ex one chance to come back. Total disaster. I kind of knew it would be, but for some crazy reason I still did. Lasted less than a week.

        Then several months later, he called the preacher to set up a time to talk. I went, no way I was going through with it, I just wanted a chance to reject him. Anyway, he said a few things, I just sat there. Then he turned to me and said “I can’t make any promises” The preachers jaw dropped. I just looked at him like WTH. I assume that was my cue to start dancing like crazy and competing for my husband.

        I just stood up and said to the preacher: “Thank you for all your help, but we are done here”

        That was it. I did get a chance to reject him, but as I was getting into my car he came running out of the church. He had a check in his hand and said this is our tax return, if you sign it I will give you half. I signed it and said keep it.

        It wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I though it would be.

        Asswipe ruined my dramatic exit.

    • Mine had a false epiphany too.

      I had been diagnosed with ADD while we were married, which FW never acknowledged. After our (then 16 year old) got a bad concussion during a lacrosse game, we took him for a neuropsych evaluation and discovered he had ADHD.

      This was about 5 months after FW walked out on us and before I knew for sure that he had an affair. All of a sudden, he starts being nice to me and says he wants to talk. The asswipe literally blamed “our marriage problems” on my ADD, as if I was the one who just got diagnosed. Apparently, he “understood now” that my ADD was the problem, and wasn’t I grateful that he would give me “another chance,” like some stoic victim turned hero.

      I don’t think I’ve ever been so f*cking insulted in my entire life! First, he spends seven years ignoring my ADD, acting as if I was making it up, then he uses my diagnosis as the reason he left.

      • Infuriating. They are just so perfect …..living with such imperfect spouses….we are so awful they had to cheat….then they blame us….we are vulnerable with these FW’s and they use it against us.

  • Mine removed her wedding ring and solemnly declared that she no longer will wear it as she has broken the wedding vows, followed by declaring (also solemnly) that she is going to wear the ring that I bought her for our 20th wedding anniversary on a necklace as a reminder of the “happy family” we have built … followed by telling myself and the children a few weeks later that she is going to leave and live with the OM … wtf?

    • The traitor wore his wedding ring on a chain around his neck after he left “in honor of our marriage”.

      WTeverlovingF?!!

      I said, “How about honoring the marriage by not fucking people behind my back and keeping your wedding vows?”

      I really thought only I had experienced this one!

      • I had given him my wedding ring right after Dday, I told him he could give it back when he was ready to come back. This was after Dday (when I figure it out, but just as he was getting ready to move out, he was openly cheating, but still wouldn’t say it.

        Anyway, later when it all spilled out, I asked him for the ring back, he said he had thrown it in the river. Threw it in the river my ass, he likely hocked it for 50 bucks or less the night I gave it to him.

        I really didn’t want the ring, but I should have had that 50 dollars. I didn’t give him the engagement ring thank god. That one was worth a lot more.

      • I keep feeling ‘ugh’! It took a couple of months to work out agreement – he kept coming over with his wedding ring on. I had taken mine off, but then I put mine back on because his was on… I thought maybe this meant he realized his discarding of me was a psychotic break! He kept going to work looking terrible with ring on and they offered him time off ; he told them we were separating and I guess got a lot of pity.
        Finally I asked him why he was still wearing the ring and he said
        ‘well it’s not over yet.’ Was this some type of play to get me to feel connected to him while we made our separation agreement? Just like he kept using the terms ‘we’ and ‘our’ when talking about how we could work out finances etc.
        I mean, you throw someone out like trash, you bulldoze their life and betray them and you show up repeatedly wearing the ring!

        • You might be surprised. My DH wore his wedding ring for 18 months after he moved out, purely for impression management purposes. When I called him out on it he admitted he wore it so people AT WORK would think we were still together, and that his heart was with me. Told me he wanted people to think we drifted apart and it was my fault, not his!!! Pretty sure everyone knew he’d been having an affair with schmoopie subordinate for more than 4 years.

          • This exactly! Long term affair with howorker. We’re separating and he’s still wearing his ring, I think it’s 100% impression management. Quite frankly he should be embarrassed by this women but I’m sure he’s not.
            I just can’t wear the rings anymore they feel heavy, and he’s all bent out of shape that I’ve taken them off. These cheaters are unbelievable!

            • ‘he’s all bent out of shape that I’ve taken them off.’ WTF? Certifiable. They Fuck someone else while wearing those rings….then keep them on while separated. Incapable of any type of honesty.

      • XH used the overly-expensive wedding ring that he picked out and I bought him for our wedding as his wedding ring with his AP child-bride.

        I first saw it on him a couple of months after his wedding to AP when we were leaving the courtroom and he held the door open for me. The ring was very distinctive so I recognized it immediately. It even had our initials and wedding date engraved on the inside.

        I guess he figured why bother buying a new ring when he liked the one he had and he was really only replacing one wife appliance with a younger, more stupid and submissive model.

  • I am supremely proud of my reaction on D-Day.

    He was living in my house, we were engaged. One of the first things he brought over as he slowly moved his stuff in was a pizza cutter. So we had a standing joke that he would know when I broke up with him because he would come home to find the pizza cutter in the driveway.

    On D-Day, he was at work and I texted him “who is OW?” He didn’t respond so after a few minutes I texted him a picture of his pizza cutter on his trailer that was in the driveway and said “move your things out of my house today”.

  • When I provided proof that she cheated with an AncestryDNA test on my oldest, she did confess. But what blew my mind away was as soon as she finished confessing she fell into a deep sleep. I couldn’t believe it!

    • Mine fell asleep during the concert we went to on our 22 wedding anniversary. This was just a few weeks before DDay. I guess betrayal is just exhausting work.

  • Psycho reaction? Well, this was crazy enough for me:

    For a number of years we rented a favorite house in Lanikai for three weeks. The year the affair was discovered, it was finally available for Christmas and I was so excited. He was not. What? I had to talk him into going. Totally weird. Same year, a cabin at the Ahwahnee in Yosemite became available in October, his birthday month, a miracle. People have to normally reserve those at that time of year years in advance. He did not want to go. WTF?

    DDay was November and I instantly knew why he did not want to go on the trips. We didn’t go to Yosemite but he had reluctantly agreed to go to Hawaii for Christmas. We had committed to the rental agreement which was a LOT of money we couldn’t get back. So we went.

    It was the most awful weird Christmas of my life. I adore Christmas and he and his pussy posse crapped all over it. He said not one single word to me on the five hour flight over. We weren’t even in adjoining seats on the plane. We both had aisle seats across from each other. I was being pistol-whipped the whole flight by mind movies starring them on an airplane together and me as pre-DDay chump still in the dark at home during his “business trips”. I think I had tears streaming down my face the entire trip. He was sneaking off and hiding with his phone every chance he got. I was going over his devices in Chump PI mode every chance I got. I was going to the morning AA meeting on the beach trying to stay glued together. My dopey chumpy Christmas gift to him was a piece of kintsugi, a broken Japanese tea bowl repaired with gold. And I cringe at the horizontal pick me dancing. The whole thing in retrospect was so crazy crazy crazy. What hurts my heart most of all was our amazing little girl getting dragged along behind this fucking bananas shit show. What she must have thought and felt at almost eleven years old completely breaks my heart and I will NEVER EVER forgive him and whoever he was fucking for that.

    • Wow, did this hit home.

      I had a very similar experience. I thought I was going insane – nothing made sense.

      Until it did, and the real pain started…

      • Yup, we were looking at a camper
        And he could not and could not and could not make a decision
        We finally bought it weeks later
        Then I learned of the affair the next week
        Made him sell it the next week
        F!@@###$#R

        • What is it with these idiots wanting to buy expensive shit when they know they are dumping us.

          Mine conned me into signing for a river property, he knew fully well I would never get to use it. But he and the whore needed a get away I guess.

          • I heard a therapist say it’s because even though they are deep in an affair, they don’t actually decide to leave until they do actually leave ( or are found out) like in my case.

            • That could be it. He was acting shitty, but he didn’t put the hammer down on shitty until the fall of that year. He was walking around sweating and nervous, acting crazy.

              I believe someone dropped a dime Right around Thanksgiving. I do think he was planning to eventually leave, but I think he would have liked to use my pay check and cover for another year or so.

              Imagine the fun and romance of going off to the River on most weekends with schmoops, while Susie stayed home and studied for her classes, and rested up to start the work/school week all over again.

              Oh I am sure every once in a while he would have taken me there and thrown me an occasional romp, but dang that would have been great for them.

              The whole year we were legally separated, they went down there most every weekend. They weren’t using my money then though. And he was paying all my bills, so I imagine the flowers and gifts had started to dwindle by then.

            • Mine admitted to buying an expensive car so he’d be so much in debt he couldn’t afford to leave.
              So I think sometimes they do it to try to prevent themselves from making what they subliminally know would be a huge mistake, not because they care about us, but because deep down they know schmoopie actually sucks and will cheat on them. So they are hoping to bind themselves to the spouse by buying stuff together.
              The jerk literally used the words “bind us together”. It often doesn’t work because they are too stupid to heed their own warnings to themselves.

              • You are 100% according to Vicki Stark who wrote Runaway H’s. That’s what I got out of how she answered that question of investing before leaving. Part of them wants to stay (the developed brain?) but they really want out because they aren’t ‘happy’ and they attribute that to the marriage or spouse.
                People who were suddenly dumped by long term partner- rest assured / it’s not you.
                I married that guy who suddenly dumped W#1. I was told no affair
                (Sure) but regardless. I didn’t have her perspective on it- only FW’s impression management – and many marriages do legitimately end.
                Then he dumped me. I’m sure W#1 felt very vindicated.

          • Mine decided we needed a 65 inch tv. Installed while he had whore fly to Costa Rica vacation home at the end of a men’s trip. Hope you enjoyed it. First item on the chopping block. She had been told it was all his. I made him tell her after Dday in front of me who else owned it for the previous 10 years. Dumbass cost us new Capital Gains there.

            • Yep I am sure whore thought she was landed nasty ass first into a cushy life.

              Jokes on her, he actually did get all that property except for one small two bedroom house that I got.

              Kicker is a couple years into their marriage he started gambling big time and gambled it all away, was over 250 thousand dollars in debt due to gambling.

              I don’t know if she also gambled or not, either way bankruptcy ensued.

              Honestly when my son told me, I found it hard to believe. He had not been like that for most of our years together. Or at least not that I knew of.

              I ran a credit check he left and there was no indication of unknown debt. He did spend money on her, but that was all I could find.

          • We signed for 5 years fixed rate mortgage (with early penalties for ending it early), made our loft into a cinema room, and then he started saying he was worried about money. We sat down and discussed it and agreed to jointly pay into the joint account, previously I just paid most stuff and said you save (idiot that I am) as it made no difference if we were together.

            So thought that was resolved, I was away for work about a week later and had just been paid and bills were going out and I was overdrawn. He’d refused to pay any money into the account. I called him and WTF are you doing and he paid as per usual and as per what we agreed. I couldn’t even buy a sandwich.

            All about control and trying to prove how awful you are and unhappy they are.

            Nutbags.

            • I was fortunatel that I didn’t hve to pay any of it off. I had enough fraud evidence on our credit cards (money he spent on whore and her family) gifts, dinners, clothing, toys etc.

              He got all the property but one small one, that was paid for; I got that one. But he had to take all the debt. He agreed to it, as he knew he was still coming out ahead, and he was.

              Unfortunately, he was evidently so happy with the whore that he in the ensuing years gambled up almost three hundred thousand dollars in debt, and had to sell everything, including his house.

              So he got his, but still the lies and the fraud are horrendous to bear in real time.

          • They are so self involved. It’s all about what they want.

            I used to joke with my x husband. What’s mine is His and what’s his is HIS.

            But it wasn’t a joke. He bought toys snd drove a 60k truck while I raised the kids, worked and danced like a lunatic for the slightest acknowledgement.

            I think that the cheater is only thinking of themselves and are buying it for themselves.

            There is no “we” in narcissist.

            • I agree. he wanted what he wanted and having me sign for it, was the way to get it. She had filed bankruptcy, so waiting for them to marry and doing it with her was likely not going to get him what he wanted. So he got it with me.

              I honestly would encourage women who are in the deval/discard stage to not agree to any large purchases. Unfortunately, by the time we figure it out, we have already been used.

              Very frustrating.

              • Like the brand new mustang that I bought (with my father as a co-signer) as ex’s credit was horrible. I didn’t even know I was buying the car till ex called me from the car lot. They talked me into it. $500 a month payments back in 2005 because I was young and barely had any credit myself.

                He thought he was going to get the almost paid off car in the divorce. Nope. Premarital property and if he really wanted it, I’d have to agree and he’d have to qualify for a refinance/new loan. He refused. He just wanted to take the car and let me keep paying on it. Lol

                He told everyone he let me have the car in the divorce. Anyone who mentioned that to me were immediately set straight.

                My divorce lawyer also loved that I got my hands on home loan applications and rental applications that the ex had signed with OW before Dday.

    • Why do they pick Christmas? I mean, jeez. It’s not like there aren’t 364 other days to be an ass. Especially when they have kids, for God’s sake.

      I, too, hate my FW for that and all the other mindfuckery that he did to the kids. Making and breaking promises. Acting so happy while we were traumatized. Lying to them and stealing their innocence. That was sheer torture to witness. No forgiveness. He’s lucky he’s still breathing.

  • When my ex-F**kwit was finally cornered and could no longer find any plausible excuses for the evidence I was presenting he started crying and hitting himself in the face with his fist. Gave himself a blackeye! The tactic worked (a couple of times) because I was so shocked I stopped questioning him. When faced with his own lies that he could no longer explain he just acted crazy so the conversation would end….

    He confessed once to cheating on me for our entire 24+ years together – then the next day changed the story and said he never did. That’s when I knew that the crazy gaslighting would NEVER change and I was finally DONE.

  • Not only the rage driving but mine drove drunk regularly( 2:00 was when his drinking buddies would show up at his shop). No amount of begging stopped him. I lived in fear of something happening to him or someone else when he drove home from work after these “shop parties”. The first AP ( that I caught him with)was a friend who would also hang out at our shop. Stockholm syndrome indeed.

    • Newlady, mine was permanently drunk. He would go out “to buy smokes” at maybe 7 pm and drive home pissed out of his nuts around 1 a.m., then come in looking for a fight because I was obviously “sleeping too loud”. I remember one time he was so drunk he reversed straight into our garage door. I was very open about the violence and drinking at work, and on more than one occasion I told our work’s doctor that IF (and that’s a big “if”) my husband showed up to work that day he would still be drunk from the night before (we had a common medical service). Somehow the bastard always lucked out and never got caught. But I lived in dread of him injuring or killing someone – and me losing my home and everything I had ever worked for because of it. Schmoopie is welcome to him!

      • ((Big hugs)) Attie, we’re so much better off without toxic alcoholic narcissists in our lives.

      • His car has my name on it. We’re just about to send agreement to judge. Can’t wait to sign it over. He’s had an accident & 3 windshields in the last 16 months. That’s why I kept paying auto insurance when he wasn’t. I have had to protect me. Everyone says you need to get your name off that car, no kidding!

  • When mine fessed up, he was holding a blood-soaked towel around his arm.

    He wanted me to see that he was in pain, I guess.

    Not sure how the arm got injured. Mostly likely it was self-imposed.

    He was going for chump pity. At first I did feel sorry for him, but when he fessed up, I somehow found my inner badass and left him there to nurse his own damn surface wound.

    • Ha! That is too much. When my ex did something (or I discovered something) awful, he always had a pity card in his back pocket.

      Me: I just found your ongoing filthy and mean emails, texts and voicemails with the woman you claimed to have had a two-week fling with several years ago. You know, the one you said was creepy and a stalker and practically raped you? The one you want nothing to do with?
      Him (crying): I’m working on a roof and it’s rainy and I hate heights and I feel sick to my stomach. I feel terrible, too! Do you think I like this?

      When I saw the pattern (after HOW many years?), it became so predictable. I finally started calling him out on his unflattering and unhelpful ploy – an offensive distraction: Why do you think that knowing you are “suffering” about some unrelated and trivial matter will make me feel better? It’s not penance for what you’ve done. It doesn’t fix anything. It doesn’t make me feel better. And don’t you know or listen to me at all?… my goal isn’t for you to feel bad. Quite the opposite. It’s for you to show some agency and integrity and act like an accountable, empathetic man. I don’t want a relationship built upon distrust and punishment and drama and suffering. WTF? Wasted words. He demonstrated DARVO at its finest, and it got me every time.

  • Sparkledick during a hearing in court, in front of the mediator: ClearWaters, you can trust me!
    ClearWaters: How does one trust a cheater?
    Sparkledick, a woeful timid forest creature sad sausage look on his face: But I’m NOT a cheater!

    Snorts in the courtroom and his young female attorney looks down into her lap.

    • OMG! That’s funny.

      I do find it fascinating that many of them don’t really see themselves as cheaters. Mine does some incredible mental gymnastics to see himself not so much as a cheater who lied but rather as a sad sausage who happened upon twu luv. What else could he do? He was forced to lie because I would have gotten upset. He was just trying to preserve peace and the status quo (aka cake).

      #stillmyfault

      • Apparently there’s a big difference between being a ‘cheater’ and being someone who had an affair!
        Mine had an affair but only because he wasn’t happy. It was my fault that he wasn’t happy – so technically he just ended an unhappy marriage (news to me and everyone else) in the only way he knew how. In the safety of sparkle
        Twat – latest twu wov. So is that really cheating? Or is it all my perception? Some marriages end! 😂

        • Right! I think that’s how mine feels. He likes to say that he “had an affair.”
          I almost think he likes the sound of it. It makes him feel like Don Draper in Mad Men, a show that we enjoyed watching together 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️.

          The words “cheating and lying” don’t sound as, well, sexy.

          He eschews those labels.

          I suspect that he thinks that he, too, was simply doing the heavy lifting of ending an unhappy marriage, one that I didn’t know was unhappy for him. But he’s not consistent in his excuses. If it wasn’t our marriage, my imperfections (including an inability to forgive), and his never-revealed unhappiness, it was the OW. “She flirted!”

          Sometimes I (almost) feel sorry for the OW now that she’s stuck with him. It’s as if she took on my burden. He’s a blameshifting machine. #notpleasant #understatement

          • Oh please don’t feel sorry for the whore! Yes, FW was fine with saying he had an affair and fine with saying he was the one ending our marriage – because surprise – he was covertly unhappy. All justified in his mind and it gave him a sense of power.
            Not fine with it being reframed to he lied, cheated, manipulated, used people and bulldozed the lives of his loving wife and adoring step-kids. Not fine with being told that his momentary happiness does not justify swapping out a spouse and destroying families. He called himself a bastard. I asked if he really thought he was a bastard and he said ‘no.’ I hate that they spin it and justify it, and that people always think there was something wrong with the spouse rather than something wrong with the cheater.

            • Oh, I don’t feel sorry for her. I was being sarcastic. Both my ex and she suck!! They really do deserve each other.

  • We were at a vacation house with friends and kids. After a shouting match in the middle of the night, he grabbed me by the shoulders attempting to send me to my room. I kid you not (pun intended). Yes I was shouting too, not my most diplomatic hour 🙄). The following morning, as I was contemplating the two 5-fingers shaped bruises on my arms, I told him “Do you realise it went too far? We can’t continue this way.” His answer: ” I did not hit you!”. Well, that was not the kind of answer I was hoping for. That was a bit underwhelming. That is when I (eventually!) realize I had nothing to work with, and gave up on the wedding. He was out of the house within 3 months

  • Some of these stories make mine look tame in comparison.
    My cheater never put his hands on me in 23 years, until the night he did. Knowing I shot my BIL when he attacked me while on drugs, Xhole repeated BIL’s mistake (but he was sober). After getting off the phone with his OW, he arm barred me from behind, dragged me through the bedroom, the hallway, the foyer, the other hallway, slammed me face first into the wall by the front door, opened the door, and literally picked me up and threw me into the air out the front door. I rolled (rode horses half my life), got up, and ran to the back of the house where our bedroom was. I took the screen off and climbed through our bedroom window. Once inside, I grabbed my .9mm and chambered a round. I though better of it and loaded the .45mm. His stupid ass came into the room. The only thing that stopped me from shooting him 3x in his chest was I heard my son come home and called out for us. Dumbass turned around and ran. The most hilarious sight in the world is watching a 6’2″ man weighing 235 lbs running from a 5’4″ woman weighing less than half his weight. Meh. Today, I wouldn’t waste the bullets. And, yes, I let him leave safely.
    If I am put in the position of having to use deadly force in any relationship, said relationship is a wrap at that point.

    • If I am put in a position to [fill in the blank with any number of humiliations chumps endure in relationships with cheaters] said relationship is a wrap.

  • Mine said (in our late 50’s) “When a 20-something woman touches my penis, it makes me feel so young.”
    He is now remarried to a woman his own age — I wonder what she knows about his sexual history.

      • Zip — Yes I think more people should think about doing that. By the way, I have not been able to get back out there again myself.

        • Yes, and it’s OK if we don’t.

          I’m watching an age-mate of mine struggle with adjusting to remarriage, and I’m not so sure. Both a solid people, but it’s rough. Just ordinary adjustments, but I’m not sure I want that, frankly.

      • I can’t even imagine being in a relationship again.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have a real partner, a friend I can count on and who loves me for who I am, not for how I make him feel. But I’ve seen too much to believe that I’ll meet someone who can pass that test.

        Besides, I’m tired of being told what to do – with my money, my time, my work, and my kids – in the name of “compromise.” You might say that I’m not interested in compromising myself anymore.

        • Elsie and ChumpQueen — I appreciate your comments. We live in a couple culture, and everyone is pressured to “move on” and “find a new partner.” It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who is just not sure that’s what I want.

    • I think most 20 something women would probably throw up just thinking about a 50 something penis let alone touch it. It was probably a 20 something sex worker.

      • Agree. What is it with men?? I know they’re not all like this, and apologies to the male chumps here, but so many older men seem to think that younger women find their junk attractive.

        • Yeah, I know of not a single older woman who actually believes hot young guys find her irresistibly attractive. That particular delusion seems to be exclusively male.

      • Hurt1 — oh yes, it was a sex worker, all right. Many of them, in fact. When I asked him if he ever got attached, he said, “No one works in those places for very long.” Uggggggh

        • Mine fessed up to lap dances at a strip club. He said that these young women told him he was handsome and really hot…AND HE BELIEVED THEM!!!

          What a moron!

          • My STBX is followed by a bunch female accounts on Instagram. I admit that I felt threatened when I saw – they were gorgeous, young, curvy, mysterious… all of the “better than my wife” boxes checked off. But then I noticed some patterns – focus on boob/butt pics, cutesy emojis, bad grammar and captions that made no sense, accounts that were only a few days old… and their followers were exclusively men.

            Bots! My STBX is “liking” and messaging women who don’t actually exist. Sparkle dick thinks they are fresh chances to get lucky. And he’s willing to trade any chance of repairing his marriage, family and self-respect to get his rocks off with some stolen photos and a few lines of code.

            Moron. Also, deeply sad and empty.

  • I’d realised the ex was in the closet some years before. I’d even said “don’t let me hold you back from your true sexuality, just be transparent and honest about it” (I was pregnant, walked in on him sucking our lawyers dick, long story 🤦‍♀️) meaning, dude I don’t want to be your beard and we can end this smoothly if that’s the life that’s right for you).

    Fast forward 5 years of serial cheating and a meth habit I wasn’t aware of, came across a girl on girl porn gif in his messages (I was googling something on his pgone, mine flat, he reluctantly passed it over).

    Anyway, there’s me holed up in the bathroom holding the door tightly shut trying to open the phone screaming “who tf is it?”

    Get this. He said “ok it’s a guy!” Like that would be ok! (Other evidence around the message clearly indicated this was an ongoing cheat).

    I stopped, cocked my head like a puppy, and replied “if it’s a dude why are you sharing girl on girl porn????”

    At that point he broke the door down grabbed hos phone and bolted for about 6 hours (it was past midnight when the incident happened.

    Needless to say, that was my final D Day.

    The revelations got much worse btw. Multiple double lives. None of it offered by him. Still never had a genuine apology. Not expecting one.

    • Why can’t they just be straight about this stuff? Ya wanna play for the other team (or date college students, or stuffed animals… whatever), knock yourself out. Just be honest about it. Give me the chance to make decisions based on the information that affects my life.

      Don’t keep secrets. Don’t leave it up to me to “discover” what’s going on (and then get super pissed off at me because I did). It’s so hard for me to understand how people can behave like this.

      • “Why can’t they just be straight about this stuff? Ya wanna play for the other team (or date college students, or stuffed animals… whatever), knock yourself out. Just be honest about it. Give me the chance to make decisions based on the information that affects my life.”

        If only they would. But most want to just play, and still maintain the illusion of stable family, they really think in the beginning that they will never be put in a choke hold because of their behavior. After all, they are really smart and Chump is…well a Chump. Some want to destroy the marriage, but just want to blame someone else for it.

        I agree the most heinous part of infidelity is the stealing of the BS’s agency. It affects our whole life, and we didn’t have the truth to make decisions on, but they sure did.

        • EXACTLY! That’s what kills me. A friend was asking about some of it and going, “Is it really that big of a deal if he’s into this stuff? (Stuff being sex with men and helping other people cheat on their partners and glory holes and sleeping with my friends and that kind of thing at that point)

          Like… YES. Fucking YES, it’s a big deal. Because I’m not ok with those risks and I didn’t consent to that relationship and I’m actually a person and I should get to decide if I’m ok with taking those risks and I’m not and I NEVER WAS. And he knew I NEVER WAS and so he hid it so I would be forced to unknowingly take those risks. It’s like rape. I feel raped and I’ve been literally raped before and this actually feels WORSE than that.

          After D-day I had to say “I’m a human being, you have to remember I’m a human being too, not just him” way the fuck too many times. And the people who had known me for decades who would look shocked and say “Oh…” as if they just realized I was a person. Not just his wife appliance that he kept in the kitchen who made snacks for them and entertained them at parties. Like, “Oh… KatiePig is an actual person, not just a thing her husband owns. Maybe she should have a right to make decisions about her own life! What a novel idea!”

          Fuck those people. I regret every second of my life wasted on them. May they all rot.

          • The double standards are bizarre, aren’t they? How can so many people overlook the hypocrisy in cheaters’ entitled behaviors? I don’t care – except when it’s people
            I considered true friends. It’s like they don’t see how insulting and hurtful it is. They don’t see us as people too, you are right. But I guess I also didn’t see myself as important for many years. Certainly not compared to fuckwit.

            When I realized that he had completely dehumanized me, I said so. It was when he was Hoovering, and cried and feigned remorse and said he couldn’t believe how he’d treated me and taken me for granted. Well, that was short lived. And soon he was
            telling me I didn’t see him as human. He was hurting, too. His feelings mattered, too! Just once, I wanted to matter. I didn’t want to accept that as long as I stayed with him, no matter who I was or what you did, I never would.

          • Right there with you KatiePig. I feel the same about every person who either knew my then husband was cheating on me – or if they didn’t, when they found out that he was living a double life, didn’t care one bit that he did. I still cannot believe none of them considered my human rights, my right to agency in my own life. My right to have actual consent, my right to be safe. I’m so sorry you have been through sexual assault and then were abused by a cheater as well. Fuck him and fuck them all.
            Sending you solidarity and much spiritual healing sister!

            • Sending solidarity, too. This thread is the reframe our society needs, and one I’m saving for myself. I’m with Susie Lee that the most heinous part of infidelity is the theft of agency. With KatiePig, YES it’s a big deal; we’re human, too. (And fuck those people.) And Samsara, thank you for your concise explanation of why infidelity is abuse; this is exactly why I have let go of every person who either knew about the cheating or minimizes and rationalizes it. Turning a blind eye or brushing it under the rug is inherently an attack on chumps personally, whether or not these “friends” realize it; it also shows bad character and judgement. Conversely, thinking about the people who have stood by me – especially the small but loyal handful of (formerly) mutual friends – makes me want to cry in gratitude. (Though even with them, some part of me still expects to be discarded at any moment. Hopefully a symptom of infidelity that will fade in time?)

          • You really hit the nail on the head KatiePig – to the people in their corner, the FW loyalists if you will, we are stripped of our humanity, we are not a person who deserves to be treated with dignity. In order to honor the “poor FW” narrative, we are reduced to a “thing”, an inanimate object, an obstacle to FW’s true love and happiness. We never get the courtesy of being a real person with feelings to these people and that is a very hard pill to swallow.

    • That’s a nightmare, Nena. Back to last Friday’s challenge. Reframe: cheaters are con artists. Your ex was skilled at deception (and lacking in everything that counts). You were so empathetic and understanding and patient for so long, and look how he treated you. No reciprocity whatsoever. I understand more than ever how abuse is one-sided: one person gives, the other takes. One person cares, the other doesn’t. One person steals and abuses power, the other one is ABUSED. They feel entitled to employ deception, manipulation and coercion to get what they want, and they don’t care who they hurt as long as they can avoid consequences.

      This reframe has helped me wrap my brain around what happened without taking all the blame for “letting it” happen. I was duped by a con artist for many years of my life, and now here I am. He’s still at large, duping others.

      • I heard a therapist say -on YouTube 😆- in her opinion- the only reason to accept say like 1-3% ‘responsibility’ is to give you power – to make us see that there is something we can do differently next time -say like fix our picker or leave earlier. But we’re not responsible for their shitty actions. I think the word responsibility is loaded and we need to find a better word.

  • The D-Day with my XW wasn’t exactly dramatic. (If you don’t count her threatening to kill me if I didn’t let her take the cat). But psychopathic it was.

    During the D-Day confession(s), I was sitting at the table just shocked about my world imploding. She casually listed off all her affairs over the past year, while walking to and from the fridge for snacks. Like she was listing off mindless errands she did that day. “Oh, yeah slept with him too. Slept with him a lot of times actually.” As she eats some crackers.

    Completely calm. Unaffected by anything she was saying. All I said back “what do you have to say for yourself?” And she goes, with no emotion, “this is just the real me. I’m just a bad person. I also steal. Even when I was a child, I would steal from other children.”

    Then she gets up. Goes to the bathroom, starts blasting pop music, and sings in the shower. She then slept like a baby right after. The next day, she is smoking weed all night and keeping me up as she’s laughing while watching cartoons. She had never watched cartoons in all the years I knew her before.

    It was the craziest thing ever.

  • Mr. Carp was on the golf course with his best chum when I came home for lunch and found his computer open. Mobile phone call went something like this:
    AC: I need you to come home now. I’d like you to tell me all about your affair with SchmooperFreak (Ho Worker).
    MC: I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re crazy. And I’m on the 17th hole.
    AC: I’ve got the emails and the photos right in front of me.
    MC: (offstage to chum) Got to run…Augusta’s got the arse about me golfing. She’s so fucking unreasonable.

  • another survivor of rage driving. x never hit so hadn’t joined the dots the other escalating unkindnesses and control methods were a form of abuse too.

    x was furious his ‘privacy had been invaded’ i.e. his private communications had been seen
    raged, ranted, threatened

    a week later the teens said he was on dating apps. at this time he was also sending me lovebomb messages & email) #planb thankful each day to be free now

    • Mine did this. He was furious I had invaded his privacy and told everybody I was crazy and “hacked” all his accounts. I didn’t hack anything. I told the mutual friend I trusted most how everything I found was public and could be found by anyone. She was playing Switzerland and wouldn’t tell me anything about him.

      Right after I told her, it all vanished. He went back years and years and deleted everything I had an issue with. She went and told him everything I’d said. She wouldn’t tell me anything, claiming neutrality, but she ran straight to him and repeated everything I’d said. Fucking bitch. I dumped all mutual friends permanently after that.

      • KP, I had one Switzerland friend that I know of,.

        she and her Husband were a couple friend, though he and ex were buds all through school.

        Anyway, they happened to be the ones he invited over for NY’s eve a week beofre he moved out. I already knew on Christmas day he was committing adultery. Christmas day was Dday, though he didn’t admit it until a week after he moved out.

        Anyway, I wanted to cancel that NY’s eve with them and fw said no we aren’t going to ruin their NY’s. I can’t believe I just did what he said, but I did. Asshole had no compuction about ruining my NY’s/life.

        Anyway we faked it. Then he left a few days later, I don’t think she knew about the cheater on NY’s eve.

        But, it had hit the proverbial fan, and the whole town was finding out. She came to my house after he moved out and was so sweet to me, she encouraged me to talk (and you know how we need to talk in these cases)

        I opened up, with a lot of stuff, though I didn’t go into detail about how he had been treating me at home, I was still ashamed of that. I will say it was good to have someone reach out to me.

        I never saw her again, she never called again. The only thing I can believe is, she got her gossip and she was done with me. After all her husband was not going to abandon the fw, so she chose her side.

        When I realized that, it hurt a lot; but I learned from it. Unfortunately she died a few years later of cancer. Had I known she was sick, I would have contacted her; but there was no way I could have known as she had abandoned me as a friend, and I did think she had become a friend.

        I post this in hope that new chumps will be selective of who they open up to. Absolutely find the right folks to open up to, but be wary of folks seeking you out. I much preferred the former friends that just dropped me, as at least they didn’t try to use me for their own entertainment.

        • That’s good advice Susie.
          It’s heartbreaking how many people don’t take a stand. And I bet in her mind, she was there for you. She listened….
          Then you just had nothing in common anymore. Even with Div.#1, not due to affair- long term close couple friends were never to be heard of again. It’s important that people know to have their own friends separate from the relationship.

          • Yep. She likely did think she helped. I didn’t hate her, but I was hurt that I never heard from her again.

            Part of that may have been me, I with drew for several months. I was just concentrating on doing my job, and getting through the night. I am sure public humiliation was a part of it too.

            The folks that helped me the most was a couple from church who had divorced young and got remarried when their son was a teen. He was general manager at a Christian radio station, and she was a nighttime DJ for the station.

            They invited me out on her weekend nights to visit while she worked, and I even got to announce recording and prizes to win etc. So I got a lot of on air time. It was fun and took my mind off my pain for a while. They were both amazing folks.

            She died about four years later from breast cancer, he never remarried. I saw his obit last year and he referred to his wife as the love of his life. Neither of them had ever been married to anyone else. They were both extremely attractive people, so other options was never an issue. I don’t know what caused their first marriage to break up, but he did say he didn’t treat her right.

            Whatever it was, I firmly believe they had a tremendous second marriage. All the time they were divorced the lived in the same apartment building and were able to raise their son together.

  • Mine dropped the bombshell that he was in love with Smoopie when our son (3) was less than a meter away than left for work. Like he was saying we were out of milk. Who does that after 14 years?!
    A couple of days later he was packing things to move in with her and played the Rolling Stones really loudly as he whistled and clicked his fingers- like an 80s music video. Even in my shocked state I remember thinking ‘wtf’. I love the Rolling Stones- working hard not to have bad associations of a psychopath dancing like Boris Yeltsin whenever I hear them.
    Oh and the usual gaslighting, theft, rage, threats, entitlement- all of the crazy. But the finger click dancing as you pack in front of your devastated wife is 👌

  • Can I go for the most boring? He’d already moved out and I was NC when I had my d-day. I filed with grounds and had him served. Bet he was PISSED seeing as he thought he was clever. It’s been 2 years and he’s still hiding her.

  • Mine was so embarrassed his sister was visiting and he yelled at me to “GET OUT” of my own home. Next thing we knew the Canadian RCMP were involved!

  • My ex was dumb enough to call my best friend of 20 years to tell her “all she wanted was a trophy husband”. Her response “You are not a trophy.”

    He was and still stuck on the rage channel, 12 years later. It’s like the battery in the remote is dead and he channel is permanently stuck.!!🙄

  • First communication w/me after dday, texted: “I was the victim of childhood sexual abuse.”

    First communication w/my kids, group-texted: “I am and always have been a pathological liar.”

    Kind of like those “The statement on the back of this shirt is true/The statement on the back of this shirt is a lie” tee shirts.

    One big head game. Still shocks him that we all opted out.

  • Too many. After DDay, fw jumped in his car and tried to chase me down in a snowstorm for over an hour. I had blocked his phone and didn’t know he was doing this, I but I had enough of a head start and he never caught me. Another time he padlocked the door to his office while I was out because I had just learned he saved mementos from his lame affairs there – that was pretty awesome. He’d already padlocked his other room. He cried and refused to delete emails or throw away cheesy letters and gifts from women he barely knew: “It’s my personal history! You know how I am about this stuff. Just because hitler was evil, should we destroy all evidence?” After I left, he showed up sobbing when I came with his sister to get my things – preplanned, and he’d agreed not to be there – because I was having anxiety attacks from the physical and emotional abuse and didn’t feel safe in “my” home or alone with him. She of course had to comfort him, and I had to leave. Then when I came back to try again, he called me a fucking psycho and said he was going to call the cops and it wasn’t going to be good for me. Maybe the most psycho thing was when he beat me up because I was sad when I learned about the worst of his betrayals. I was just quiet, lying there in bed, when it started. I just got up and tried to leave the room. Of course it was my fault he “lost control,” and of course “we” were abusive to each other. It is such a cliche. WTF was wrong with me? It doesn’t make any sense. It is insane to think about, let alone write out.

    Also… the cheaters and their phones and their freak outs when they’re caught. It is ABSURD! I could share a few good stories about that, too.

      • Thanks. I feel the same about everyone here – though I rarely feel brave, myself. After writing that, I thought, ‘Wow, I sound insane.’ But feeling that shame, I remembered everything else that was going on. I remembered how long it had been building, how patient and living and accommodating I’d been. It’s impossible to explain the whirlwind and the fog to people who haven’t been through it and don’t know about disordered personalities. You are blamed for staying, as if you deserved to be mistreated because you agreed to it (even though I was fighting for something better AND was making the difficult decision to stay based on a false reality); or, people believe it can’t have been that bad if you chose to stay. They don’t see the way your “partner” can leverage everything you care about and have worked for. They will take everything from you, then tell lies about you to manage their own image. After you’ve given them everything. While you’re mourning the loss of a person you loved deeply.

        My life was snatched out from under me, and I learned I’d been deceived for years. The drama wasn’t mine. None of it. I was a very capable and kind and honest person who was along for the ride, and by the end, I was clinging to my life. I am so grateful that this blog exists, because I wouldn’t have understood these patterns. Looking at what I’d endured, I felt like such a freak. I felt so ashamed and guilty and alone, sitting with decades of bizarre and crazy memories that are still very much alive. I don’t judge anyone here the way I judge myself, and this has helped me turn a more compassionate eye on my own involvement in the cycle of abuse.

        Cheaters are psychos. They are con artists. They are abusive. Chumps aren’t perfect, but we don’t deserve abuse.

        • “They will take everything from you, then tell lies about you to manage their own image. After you’ve given them everything. While you’re mourning the loss of a person you loved deeply.” This…

          Yes, mourning of a person that turned out to be fictive. I think I’ve been writing this in another comment, but the worst is not only enduring the chaotic hell they make you go through, but then also dealing with it on your own, while only very few people really understand what you’re going through.

          I’m lucky to have only a relatively short period of crazy memories and it is nothing in comparison with what most people here endured. But it’s such a deeply disorienting experience, being faced with this darkness you were never asking for. When I went no contact I really wanted to not give the FW a single more second of my attention, and yet here I am still digesting his shit through this blog.. And I’m pretty sure he’s not mourning somewhere over me, but distructing someone’s elses life instead.

          Take good care, you deserve it!

          • ‘the worst is not only enduring the chaotic hell they make you go through, but then also dealing with it on your own, while only very few people really understand what you’re going through.’ Yes. I really don’t think anybody understands except people who have been through it.
            And on top of all of that… Life goes on…. Arguments with your kids, sick parents, health issues… things really hit me hard since the implosion… We have to deal with real life stuff on top of the wound and no partner to help out. Yup, lately this blog has been my only emotional outlet!

            • Re: emotional outlet, I’m with you on that, Zip. I’m glad you’re here, because you share many valuable insights. CL/CN provides connection, humor, validation, education/awareness, and an outlet. I am so grateful I discovered Chump Lady when I did, because I don’t know how I would have survived the pandemic winter without it. And I highly doubt that I would have been able to maintain no contact. (Not because I want anything to do with that creep; because it’s so unfair and infuriating and I wanted so badly to be able to hold my ex accountable for what he’d done to me.)

              Everyone was hunkered down around me with their loved ones, and I was alone. Life is trying even at the best of times. I agree that life is hard to bear this without a partner to lean on and share with, too. Sure, I’m self reliant and have a full life in many ways, but that’s what I miss most, even though it was a fallacy. I never actually could lean on my ex, and treating him like a partner and valuing his input led me to make choices that were not in my own best interests.

              • bread&roses, Zip,
                Yes both of you have valuable comments, I always read them here!

                bread&roses, yes me too I still sometimes have fantasies of screaming out all the injustice in front of him, but this blog is sticking me to behave wiser. In any case I already found out that trying to hold him accountable only worsened things in a way that I couldn’t even imagine. These people never change their formula.

          • “and yet here I am still digesting his shit through this blog”

            Your are also helping others here.

            • Ow thanks Susie, (((hug)))!! Yes we’re all helping each other out. There are so many comments that give me ‘aha’ moments, new ways to see things.. This is better than any therapy so far on the topic! And I admire many of you out there for your humanity, wisdom, and unbelievable strength of going through so many absurd things.

      • I know, what an idiot. He said so many horrifying and insensitive things. Then and now, I wouldn’t waste my time or breath on anyone half as stupid and cruel. Yet somehow, disgusted as I was, I was still considering spending the rest of my life with this guy? Shameful. He is the antithesis of what I want in a partner, and memories like that were painful but important reminders as I pulled away. Hopium plus gaslighting = I was in love with his potential (glad someone shared that CL quote in above comments) and blind to the reality.

  • When I confronted Knave-man with indisputable evidence of his philandering, he suggested that we move the discussion to a restaurant because the conversation was going to be a long one and
    he was hungry for Italian.
    That’s amore…not !

    • Oh, I do so love this one. Let’s move to a social gathering place because I know I’m not gonna freak out in public, because I simply don’t care. Also, you will probably cause a scene, allowing me to say “look!!! they’re crazy!!”. Also It’s all about me and I’m hungry. As I cut into my Chicken parmy, you can think about how long this has been going on and that STD testing you’re going to need. If only you could have been more chumpy, I wouldn;t have to be sharing this meal with you instead of sexting. Can you please eat faster!!!

  • Mine wasn’t crazed psycho but probably worse. Christmas eve night, she said she was going to midnight mass. Dressed up to the nines, hasn’t gone to midnight mass in years. I stayed home with 2 yo son. Night got late so I called, no answer at 1:30AM. Call back in ten minutes, Oh I had to run to the pharmacy for lady things. Everything feels very wrong. She arrives home at 2 AM. I call it out and after several denials, get the truth. 15 min later me puking in the toilet she shows no sign of remorse. I “sleep” in my sons room in a ball of snot and tears. Next morning CHRISTMAS morning it;s like nothing had happened. Lets open 2yo’s presents!!!! YAY!!! As I hold my son with tears in my eyes, she sits across the room with a Cheshire cat grin and says nonchalantly. How can you ruin Christmas for our son! This is why I don’t love you anymore. Mic drop.

    • I feel for ya. They’re brutal and remorseless. That’s how it was at my youngest son’s birthday party two weeks after multiple D-Days. I was dying inside and she couldn’t have been less affected by it. She also took her ring off for the first time and had us walk around at trick or treat together and it killed me. She was acting like she was so happy.

      I had to share the house with her periodically for three months while we were “separated” and I was doing pick-me dancing. Every time I’d come, there would be a new picture of us removed from the walls.

      Fast forward, I file for divorce, she tried to come back to me constantly whenever things are going bad with her AP. I say no. She drags the divorce out, tries to make life miserable. Now she’s dating another guy who’s the newest idiot.

      • ” Every time I’d come, there would be a new picture of us removed from the walls.”

        That is hard. Mine didn’t last as long, but he took three days if I remember to move out. Each day I would come home to my house after work and there would be more of his stuff gone.

        The last day I sat in an empty closet and just stared out into the room.

  • Wow, it’s so funny (but also pathetic) to read all these stories. Definitely one of the Friday challenges that makes me laugh the most!

    My FW didn’t ever rage because his act was to be Mr Nice Guy and he’d be quite disciplined in reputation management. When trying to make sense of is behaviour, he appeared to be the most timid forest creature you could imagine. But I think (but this is only my theory, no proof as he only lives in the darkest of forest out there) that instead of anger he turns to perversion, which is why I find him scary as hell.

    In any case, after I busted him because HE (accidentally?) sent me pictures with his other ex on it, the only thing he could say was ‘sorry, I hadn’t seen there were any people on it’. As if it was only the pictures he was sorry for, not the whole situation of him being with OW…

  • I don’t know if this qualifies but it sure as heck was both bizarre and hilarious.

    On holiday in France, as we walked from the Aix en Provence markets to the bus stop he stepped in dogsh*t. Squished right into the tread of his natty new doc marten boots.

    My daughter and son started laughing like normal people do. Until ex exploded in rage at me like I’d put the poo there myself out of spite.

    Watching him fulminating while trying to clean the tread with a stick – omg what a sight.

    Then he walked over and started grinding his boot in the grass round a memorial. So disrespectful. I pointed out that the sign said keep off the grass. He stood there grinding his boot and his teeth, spitting out insults at me, his face contorted with rage.

    The embarrassed kids had already gone. I shrugged (very gallic) and walked away to the bus stop. Where all the passengers in our travel group were pretending they weren’t watching.

    I knew then I was done. When I got home I started planning and when he got home 2 months later I left him.

    • … A dude who is still a mean entitled whiney w*anker while living his dream (3 months holiday in France with plenty of money and mostly without me) is straight up just a mean entitled whiney w*anker. Nothing to work with.

      Its amazing what odd things become last straws.

    • Wow. What a little bitch. It would be fitting to send him a bag of dog crap as a divorce present.

      • Hahaha I did think of using bleach to write f*ck u on his lawn while he was away holidaying on what should have been his custody week – but following nomar’s advice I refrained. I think walking free with 70% was a decent enough slap. He hated it.

  • Reading all the stories it is safe to conclude:
    Cheaters are not happy people, they have gone down a rabbit hole of cheating and lies. Because of their dishonesty, they can’t tell us ; they’d never admit to fault.
    At the time when we find out, many of us don’t see that. We have this image that the cheater and the affair partner live this perfect life.
    My ex’s AP was married and had a daughter. So, whilst they were cheating, they lived in this illusion of being young and care free again (or whatever BS was going on in their mind) .
    But it would have only been short lived – a bit like enjoying a bonfire,only to realize afterwards that you burned down the house in the process.
    Fuck them !

  • Once my ex wife knew I had seen her with her affair partner, he convinced her to call the cops and then file an EPO. She tried to bait me into responding to texts early in the morning (the texts sounded like someone else was writing them and the most obvious set up) in order to violate this restraining order that the cops were two mins away from serving me.

    That’s how you do the father of your kids and a faithful spouse? Call the police on them despite zero interaction or threat? I guess it’s easier to do that then simply acknowledge you’re a terrible person and a liar.

    Another time after that, she acted like a wild animal when I had her phone. It was insane.

  • The last time i did the catch I took a pic of his car at her place and texted him on it. His response was to accuse me of stalking and telling me he didn’t know he’d have to always watch his back. Blerg.

    Not even an acknowledgement of his lies, bad behavior, gaslighting, etc. Oh no, he’s the VICTIM.

  • The rage driving is a real thing, for sure. Mine ramped up even more with the reckless rage driving in conjunction with the “ILYBINILWY” speech. I didn’t experience one crazy thing, but all the telltale oh-so-common signs of cheating. Suddenly his cell phone is hidden at all times. He kept his car locked even when parked in the garage, and hid all the keys to his car. The clinging to the edge of an amply sized bed, or better yet, placing a pillow in between us in the bed! The shark eyes, the running a quick errand but being gone for hours. Increased alcohol consumption. The use of language and phrases I’d never heard him use in 28 years of knowing him, it was like he became another person overnight. I’m listing these things in case in benefits someone else. I’d like to know if other cheaters did this as well – ignored jury summons, and take office supplies from their workplace. These were things my husband did from day one that drove me nuts. In addition to the rage driving, I see them now as red flags.

    • My fw as far as i know didn’t start drinking again (he had quite when we were young marrieds with a toddler.

      The following happened in our last year (the year of discard. It got increasingly worse as the year wore on.

      He did smoke a lot more, even more than he was smoking previously, he didn’t go to bed the same time I did; when in previous years before the year of discard/devaluation he did. He did go on “errands” and get to talking with the “guys” and was gone for hours. He would sit up in the living room as he was too wired up from recent promotion and job stress to sleep. Then about eleven or 12 he could come in the bedroom and say he was going to go out and ride around with they guys for a while as he couldn’t sleep, come home about three in the am, and sleep like a log until he had to go to work. He did this all mostly in the last few months of the year of discard.

      Also, increasing anger at me for stupid shit, like running out of salt; and in his office after the cleaning lady was there he found two playing cards fanned out on his lamp table, and he went off on me for my lousy housekeeping. (the cl lady had placed them there after she cleaned, she didn’t want to throw them away).

      The last six weeks or so, he accused me of being too clingy whenever I dare walk too close to him. We went to a movie with our close friends and he got agitated at me for sitting next to him.

      Up until the last month of discard (Dec) I bought the job stress line, (even though I had started to suspect cheating the last part of October, and desperately tried to scramble and fix myself and help him through this oh so trying time of his life. (Vomit).

      You know I had not thought of it before, but those cards he raged on about were kind of an omen; if I believed in omens.

      • That anger at running out of salt triggered my memory. The FW raged and raged that we out of salt once. How could I be so stupid to not know we needed salt. He suggested next time I’m at the store to buy 2 boxes of salt so we won’t run out, if I can remember- dripping with sarcasm. That is a memory I stuffed until now.

        Thank you because it’s things like this I NEED to remember when I’m feeling that trauma bond kick in again. I came to CL this morning because I needed a good swift kick in the rear to knock me out if it, thanks!

        • I have posted this before; but when he was railing at me about running out of salt, (like it was the most heinous crime a spouse could commit, he ordered me to go to Marsh (our local grocery) and buy ten boxes of salt, he stormed out the door.

          And here is the saddest part of the event, I went directly to Marsh and bought ten boxes of salt.

          The only excuse I have is I was in shock for the last few months of our marriage, I am sure I was thinking if I just did what he said all would be ok, after all he was under so much stress from work. I don’t really know what the hell I was thinking, but that seems to make the most sense. What I should have said was “go to hell you sadistic bastard” but I didn’t.

          Fast forward to the day I moved out, basically his mom and I switched houses, he got the marital house in the settlement and I got the little apartment sized house his mom was living in. Anyway, I left all but one box of that salt in the cabinet over the stove. I wondered what his mom though when she looked up there and saw 9 boxes of salt. She never said anything, but of course she had turned against me by then; so we weren’t really talking.

          After we D’d I kept that box of salt in my little curio cabinet for years to remind me to never let some asshole treat me like that again.

          Several years later after I remarried, I moved it to a bigger curio cabinet that my husband owned (his was nicer than mine). He asked me why I was keeping a box of salt and I told him. He understood, but he gently suggested that I put it in a sealed plastic bag to prevent the salt corroding other items. Years later I pitched it, as I didn’t need it anymore.

          • Oh I dutifully bought the rage salt Also. I just went into my pantry. There are indeed 2 identical boxes of Morton salt. One open, and one unopened box stuffed in the back.

            • Mine was the store brand, it likely costs 3 cents less than Morton’s. I had to buy cheap. He needed his dating money.

              If I had known he was “dating” for most of our marriage, I would have bought myself more clothes and furniture. At least I would have gotten something out of it, but I thought I was scrimping for our future.

    • Yes, stealing from work (and minimizing/rationalizing it) was a deeply engrained habit of my ex. IMO, that’s a pretty big tell: entitlement and dishonesty.

  • My ex when he was caught out immediately screamed ‘I’ve ruined everything’ and then repeatedly punched himself in his face giving himself a black eye. He went to the freezer and then sat on the sofa with a bag of frozen broccoli over his eyes until I got my act together and told him to get out of the house. He then flew off very erratically in his car like some crazed maniac.
    At the time he had moved out as he needed ‘some space’ and was living at his mum’s. Only, he wasn’t living at his mum’s and did not return to his mum’s that night. I’m still convinced he told the OW that I punched him. Wish I had, but nope he punched himself. Haha.

  • Can’t top THAT one off, oh my, but weird reactions I witnessed to being busted include:

    -leaving work to get home (so he could be in control / stop my snooping)
    -going way too fast on the highway, because he made it back in an impossible time
    -proceeded to throw up from distress

    It was just very sad all around.

    This was at first. Later on, when I found out more, he would resort to leaving or stonewalling. He’d put his headphones on and refuse to respond because I was “yelling”. Made me look like the crazy guy, ended up having the cops called on ME by the neighbors.

    I’m so glad I’m out of that madness. I dont want to have a crazy, irrational argument ever again in my life.

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