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Your Best Detective Skills?

Not that we chumps want to give away trade secrets or anything, but if you’ve spent any time in the infidelity meat grinder, you probably perfected some detective skills.

No one wants to serve on the Marriage Police, however, when you’ve been gaslighted silly, the insane idea of velcro-ing voice-activator recorders under cushion seats does occur.

(Or is suggested on those RIC sites. Only 14 D-Days! But I’ve tethered him at last!)

It’s no way to live. If you’re new to this shit, resign the force and move immediately to Trust That They Suck.

Yet, detection is a skill set. So today’s Friday Challenge is tell CN your Inspector Clouseau adventures. Did you actually velcro something to a seat cushion? Run a background check? A psych-ops? Rifle through a wallet while they were sleeping?

My spy tip to anyone currently mindfucked — run a credit check. (This is quasi-legal if you’re married. Not a good idea if you’re single. You’ll have to know some personal ID info.) This will reveal hidden PO boxes, credit cards, debts you’re unaware of. And if you’re reconciling (please don’t), demand this information. If you’re divorcing, demand it as part of discovery.

I met a member of CN once, in Australia, who flew all the way from Oregon to meet me, because apparently I once answered an email from her at 3 a.m. with this tip. She found $250K in a slush fund — and the judge gave it to her in the divorce. So, she spent some of it to come say thank you.

TGIF to all you gumshoes!

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  • Well, my story is pre internet and cell phone, so it might not be relevant. But my ex was working as a ‘bodyguard’ for an escort service… and there was no published address, so I called the number one night pretending to be setting up a bachelor party for a girlfriend. It took three nights of phone calls to get to a point where I was given an address to go ‘pick’ from a catalog. I finally drove down and caught my ex in the parking lot making out with his whore (I mean she was literally an escort… soooooo).
    A little more ‘exciting’ than seeing thousands of text messages on a shared phone bill I suppose. But turns out the kicked in the gut feeling was the same either way.

  • I spent so much time and energy playing detective, I wanted 100% proof. Mine was super secret and hard to find anything out. I searched through trash cans, it paid off with receipts I found and evidence showing he had someone at our house. I searched his vehicle and found burner phones, and near Christmas found a jewelry receipt that I never received. I used his own thumb to get into his phone when passed out. Sadly most of what I found I didn’t document, so take pictures of everything, even if you don’t think you’ll ever need it. Also, for the gaslighting I made a list of what I knew to be true and even put dates if I knew it. I found so many lies that way when comparing to credit card statements.

  • Found him passed out drunk one morning, and his phone hadn’t gone into lock mode because the low battery alert had popped up and kept it from locking. As soon as I tapped the low battery alert, gay sexting/phone sex stuff immediately popped up, no wonder he guarded that phone so closely. I took screenshots of everything. He gave me no trouble during the divorce.

    • My ex became very secretive about her phone when she hadn’t been before. The fact that there never seemed to be any notifications seemed strange to me. Then when she was in the shower one morning and left the phone in the bedroom I decided to text her over something seemingly innocuous. There was no notification. That was a giveaway.

  • He wasn’t very creative with passwords. When I discovered a new email account he had been using, I got in right away. Printed a whole binder full of emails with the OW that proved a long-term affair. He had been denying it all along, hoping to be able to monkey branch from the marriage to this woman without looking bad. My discovery was two days before he left the marriage. He came that close to getting away with it. I also straight up called a number of a woman and asked her about her involvement with my husband three years before. She was really candid in her answer. I also spoke to a couple of wives of his friends who I had always got along with who let me know some stuff. An ex-wife of a friend revealed to me another woman because her daughter came home from her father’s with stories about how my husband was over spending time with the cousin of daddy’s girlfriend. I also did computer searches that turned up ghost emails that he had deleted. I don’t know how that happened, just followed instructions from YouTube videos. Got the phone co.oany to share phone records from his phone that revealed another woman’s number in another city. And in my darkest hours, I must admit that I slipped out once my kids were sleeping to see if my husband was really at his friends house that he claimed to go hang with or at the OW. It’s all a lot of crazy making to try to make sense of the truth of your reality.

  • He came home drunk again and I looked over his drunk ass shoulder to see his new password was 666 666. I didn’t check his phone dumbly until a week later when he disclosed to me that he wanted a divorce and tone for himself. While he passed out I opened the phone to discover the howorker and him have been sneaking out at lunch time meeting at Winn Dixie parking lot to hook up. I needed to see this to let go and move on otherwise I would have been nice in the divorce and regret letting things go so easily.Sometimes it is worth it to find out the info so you can move on and find yourself again xo sweet

  • Wallet search – check
    Recorder in car – check
    Background check on the AP – check
    Credit Report while married – check

    Searched his car and found her hair and his pubs. Gross!

    Onward and no contact – divorced 4 years now

  • During our divorce Ex-Mrs LFTT was adamant that she wasn’t in a relationship with her AP …. “oh no your Honour, he’s just a gentleman friend who takes me out to dinner on occasions, and I am definitely not cohabiting with him or spending a significant proportion of my time with him.”

    I had a member of my family who she hadn’t deleted as a friend on FaceBook look at her public profile; it showed her relationship status as “in a relationship with AP since XXX.” The date was the same month that she walked out on the kids and I! Similarly, I used the financial information that she provided in disclosure to prove that she was spending nearly 70% of her net income using credit cards and debit cards at a town that was 60 miles away from where she claimed to live ……. and within 5 miles of where her AP lived.

    The screenshot of her Facebook profile and the analysis of her financials absolutely torpedoed her in front of the Judge; not because she was in a relationship or because she was cohabiting, but because she was proven to be lying. Her legal team were spitting feathers (no lawyers wants a liar as a client) and she was doing goldfish impressions when this came out.

    Funny old thing, even 4 years after the event she will tell anyone that listens that I screwed her in court and that the settlement was grossly unfair to her. Nope; she screwed herself. Firstly by lying and secondly by dragging things out and running up her legal costs to an extent that they represented 20% of the settlement.


      • Moving On,

        It did not stop there.

        At one point she tried to argue with the Judge that the only way that she could afford to pay me child support (the kids stayed with me) was if I paid her maintenance. Given that he now knew that he was dealing with a proven liar (see detective work above), the Judge was not impressed. He explained that “You have agreed to a clean break, the children are with your soon to be ex-husband and this is not how this works; child support comes out of your pay.”

        I can only describe the noise that she made as “forcibly choked chicken” and the look on her face as “freshly spanked ar*e.”


        • They somehow believe they can do whatever the F they want, and everything will still go their way. And boy are they MAD when there are actual consequences to their choices.

  • It recently occurred to me that the easiest way to set up any of this evidence collection is to plan your own get away. Easy to justify if you’re already being devalued and having frequent conflict.

    The cheater will almost certainly (99%) arrange to text, e-mail, meet with and fuck the AP. You can then narrow the time frame to search devices, credit card charges, receipts and/or hire a PI.

    Warning: This is not to lead to a confrontation with cheating duo. It is to provide you (and your children) with the leverage to get the best settlement you can. If the cheater is still hiding affair, he/she does not want to be “outed” in community. Talk to a lawyer about the best way to protect yourself. Have your support team in place.

  • I was famous for my detective skills long before I even met him. One former job was working in a chart room at a medical clinic and my specialty was finding files of inactive patients stored in an off-site shipping container. I am an Uber Virgo (seven planets in Virgo when I was born) and where there is disorder and nonsense I am like a pig in mud restoring it to order and sense.

    He is also not very bright and so between my superior detective skills and his idiocy information has practically been handed to me whenever I merely glanced up from my latest issue of Vogue.

    The most damning information was actually, and tragically, discovered by our daughter. Drop down messages from Tinder while using phone….long hair in the bathroom of his townhome….

    I am a fairly intelligent Virgo who adores the Investigation Discovery Channel and I have a really great Higher Power who shows me things. Being lied to is like catnip to me.


    • The ultimate was that he told me that she was a stylist at a cheap hair salon franchise.

      I looked up her cosmetology license and noted the renewal date. When it expired, I looked it up and saw that it had been renewed in the town he had moved to, allegedly alone. I took a screen shot and the look on his face when I called out his lie was truly gratifying.

      I now have learned to stand down, not share anything relevant, and keep it up my sleeve to use for my own benefit when and if necessary.

      With a cheater, trying to down the truth is like playing Battleship. You run to them and tell them you found their shop at F4! They get all fake-apologetic, promise to tell you everything, throw you some bone to get you off track, and then they move the ship to G7. Don’t tell them ANYTHING unless it is absolutely necessary to put it on the table for YOUR benefit. Much better for you to keep information to yourself until you can sink their battleship.

      • TYPO…

        “with a cheater, trying to NAIL DOWN the truth is like playing Battleship”

        • Funny that I was also known for finding anything on the Internet before learning about the affair.

          Once I found out, I went into overdrive…

          1. Credit check – yes
          2. Reviewed bank statements going back years – yes
          3. Googling each of them “last name, first name” showed contributions from a joint address previously unknown to me.
          4. Checking multiple states property tax databases turned up property they owned.
          5. Expensive detectives in the beginning then used Craigslist for single-time observations for places I knew they’d be together.
          6. Best tip? Every credit card statement has a store number for any banks or business with multiple locations. You can google that store number and it will give you the store/bank/business location. Knowing that he was banking and using a drugstore at 11pm and 8am in a neighborhood where she had a place and he didn’t, I was able to get $ for wasted marital funds on a place he didn’t live in. We had an apartment close to his office for when he had to “work late”.
          7. Searching for political contributions showed ex listed AP’s address
          8. I researched every single client and friend of his that I knew and that turned up some interesting investments and expenditures

          Saddest thing was only finding one purchase for her of Gap boyshorts. No jewelry just cotton underwear. He threw away our life for that? Worse is that she settled for just that. Not my problem though.

          Beyond all the sleuth stuff, my best weapons were my therapist who supported me 100% and despised infidelity AND my kick-ass, killer, take no prisoners lawyer who hated my ex as much as I did! Get the toughest lawyer you can, especially if you’re in a long-term marriage, have kids to educate and you have move than a few dollars in the bank.

          Anyone can get to Tuesday but getting there is easier with a great alimony and money in the bank. My lawyer got me way more than I ever thought possible!

    • My daughter cracked my XW’s cellphone too. I only found out because my daughter was so obviously stressed and angry with her mother that I asked her what was wrong, and finally she told me. Their relationship hasn’t completely recovered, though to be fair my XW had been a pretty crap mother (too self-involved), so the ongoing tension between them isn’t only about the impossible position that her mother’s adultery put my daughter in.

  • I went full-on detective after the fact (i.e., after Dday). I couldn’t do it before because I had no inkling that he was having an affair. When I learned that I couldn’t trust this man whom I’d trusted all my life, I felt very vulnerable and afraid. It was so disorienting and crazy-making to learn that I was suddenly living with the enemy. I didn’t want to be tricked again. My armor went up immediately.

    Here’s what I did:

    *scoured bank statements, credit card statements, and phone records (gut-wrenching)

    *removed all files (tax statements going back 35 years–This necessitated a nighttime trip to Staples where I purchase a dozen bankers’ boxes. Like a thief, I frantically stuffed all the files into these boxes and brought them to my sister’s house. At the time, I was mainly intent on protecting our kids’ social security numbers. Long story. God bless her for storing that stuff.)

    When, at an agreed-upon time, he visited the house to clean out his stuff, I did the following:

    *taped my closet shut so I would know if he’d opened it
    *messed up the beds slightly and took pictures so that I would know if he’d slept in it (the assumption here was that he would once again use our marital bed to have sex with the AP. #oldthrills)
    *sprinkled powdered bath soap on the shower drain so I’d know if he’d taken a shower (same rationale as above)
    *took photos of stuff in every room (and wine fridge) so that I’d know what was taken (I called him out on all the wine he’d taken–expensive shit–and he was PISSED)

    I’m so glad those days are over. I was desperate to protect myself from being fooled/deceived again. In the end, it was the constant lying that upset me the most. Surprisingly enough, the sex part seemed a bit less significant.

    • Agree on the lying being the worst part. The sex was just a part of the betrayal, but the lying was the most hurtful thing.

    • Yep. Signed up for credit monitoring on my 3 kids to protect their ssn from being exploited by their dad.

  • Sadly enough I gave my x the benefit of the doubt for 10 years because he had “a calling” and wanted to be ordained as a minister.

    7 years of school, a lot of financial shenanigans and a nervous breakdown later, I got the speech and opened my eyes to the truth.

    I loaned my daughter my old laptop until she could get a new one for school. We had just moved ( again ), and I wanted her to be able to keep in touch with her friends.
    She was only 14 and it was a hard summer for all of us.

    Dumb ass borrowed her( my ) lap top one night while we were all out. I saw it propped up beside the bed and said nothing. The next morning I opened it ( still my password ) and saw the most God awful porn. He did not log out. Plus his private FB was open. That was all I needed.

    We were already working on a legal separation. But the thought of my Daughter grabbing the lap top to take back to her room and seeing what I saw made me furious.

    I guess my point is that they get so sure of themselves that they get sloppy. Eventually receipts will be found, phone numbers will be seen and texts will be accidentally left for the Chump to find. Pay attention to your gut. I ignored mine and waited for the universe to hit me over the head with a 2×4 !

    • Yes, they do get sloppy! I think my X wanted me to see some evidence, plus, he’s always been L A Z Y. I’m sure lots of us chumps were the ones doing 110% of the work, taking care of everything in both our lives, so when the FW cheats, they have to do it alone, and oops! They are so sloppy!

    • Mine left her smartphone on the kitchen counter one day, apparently forgetting the popup notices when the phone is locked. “Hey sexy baby!” I took a picture of it with my phone (thank God that we all carry cameras around with us all the time!) They do get sloppy. Mine also wasn’t very tech savvy. She apparently didn’t realize that I could log into our mobile phone account and see listings of all her calls and texts with the numbers called, dates, etc. I cross-referenced these lists against her contacts (which were also accessible online) and…bingo. I found numbers for four APs.

      In addition to being sloppy, I actually think they believe they have a right to their privacy-even when they are having affairs and lying. My ex was livid when she found out some of the evidence that I had. How dare I snoop into her private (ahem) affairs!

  • Hid an audio recorder disguised to look like a flash drive under our bed. I was thinking maybe I’d get a recording of a phone conversation, but ended up recording them having sex ????. Glad I did it, ended things immediately.

    • I used several of those recorders but usually kept them in my bra or pocket to record our conversations. It really helped me hear the ugliness in his voice and keep track of his lies. The last recording was of a butt call from his cell to mine after he had moved out. It lasted for over 30 minutes and turned out to the proof I felt I needed that he was gay. I heard him make a transaction at a gay spa and heard him having sex with another man.
      For years I thought it was a mistake on his part but now I’m convinced that he did it on purpose.

  • When my D-Day occurred, one of my first thoughts was “Where is he getting money to love bomb schmoopie?” We owned a business and I did the books, as well as managing our personal finances. I knew he wasn’t withdrawing money from either of those sources. So I went digging. I’d watch for him to walk out of the house in the morning. He had the same routine…get up, make coffee, go outside to feed the chickens (we also lived on a farm). As soon as I heard the back door open, I ran upstairs to the room he was sleeping in and went through his wallet. The VERY FIRST TIME I found a wad of $100 bills and a check made out to him personally (instead of to the business)…from one of our business clients!! I took pictures (with very shaking hands) and took them to my lawyer. I did this every day. I also realized that his IPad was synced to his phone and he left his IPad on his desk every day, so I had access to his emails and texts. That’s how I discovered that he was charging equipment to the business and installing for cash. This meant not only diverted income from the business, but also created ever increasing losses because the cost of the equipment was never offset by any income. Before D-Day, we had had discussions as to why we were losing money. He’d just scratched his head and play dumb. Now it all made sense. During email snooping is when I discovered he also had an Ashley Madison account. I GPS’d the work truck so I could get addresses of these cash jobs. Late at night I’d get up and sneak into the truck and take pics if all the receipts and other things and also re-charge the GPS I used everything I gathered to create files….here’s
    a receipt for equipment purchase. here’s an email from someone named Steve asking if he installed AC units and gave his address, here’s a GPS location on this date and address (matching the email), here’s a text from Steve offering g a cash payment. I did this for months (he kept stalling settlement so we had to go to trial to get divorced). The look on his face when he realized what I had been doing and everything I uncovered….priceless!

    • I bow to your mightiness and your skills!
      You’re the Queen ????
      Newbies…take notes from this one!!!

    • Damn…that is some expert level sleuthing shit right here…you are the bomb.
      I was the stupid ass who found proof of cheating and confronted him that day. Tipped my hand and lost all leverage. I bow to the Queen.

      I bet he had some narrative to go along with his scheme “my bitch wife is ______ so I have to do this to survive”

    • Mighty Mite! If you got 90% at your settlement, you deserved every penny! I wonder how many years he was skimming from your business? What a maggot. I’ll bet the look on his face was delicious for you. Excellent work!

    • Amazing skills.

      Honestly, I could have never gotten through all that. I did run CC history and found transactions for money spent on whore and her kids. That was enough for my lawyer to argue marital fraud and get me a good temp maintenance plan.

      There was also a lot of large cash withdrawals on our joint bank account, those played into it, but the CC transactions proved the fraud. Or at least convinced the judge, and fw didn’t really argue the point.

      The good news is as bad as my fw fucked me over, he fucked himself over even worse in the long run, and his life proved it. That didn’t erase the pain, but it helped a little in my recovery.

    • Thank you for all of the kind comments! ❤ My divorce was final 6 years ago and I’m mostly at meh….but sometimes I still get really angry. I worked really hard to show what he was doing, but….there was no happy ending for me or my kids. We had the worst judge….she would have been awful in normal circumstances, but she knew nothing about business. I collected all that evidence and my lawyer filed a motion to try to stop my x fund funneling money out of the business. She decided that he wasn’t stealing marital assets and allowed him to continue. Over the 2 years it took us to get divorced, he destroyed the business. It was worthless…he didn’t have to buy me out because there was nothing left. Also, the union we were a part of filed a lawsuit for non-payment of his benefits. We were forced to sell our home and the lawyers walked away with most of it….literally cost $90K in lawyers fees for us to divorce. All because he wouldn’t settle because he didn’t want me to have a penny….unfortunately he got what he wanted. My kids are both ASD and there were no provisions made for them. The judge said since they were almost 18, they could just file for SSI…my x had no obligation to support them any more. So he destroyed us financially and abandoned his special-needs children and walked away. I wouldn’t change anything though. I fought for myself and my kids…we just didn’t happen to win…doesn’t mean it wasn’t a worthy fight. I was totally able to see my x for who he really is and I consider us fortunate that we got away from kids have had a difficult time, but we’re together and that’s what’s important. Being chumped sucks, but knowing I’m not alone is the best comfort. Thank you all again!

      • I’m really proud of you for the resilience you have shown given how things transpired in your divorce. You are still amazing for putting out the best PI work I’ve read about.

        Stay strong Mighty Mite!

  • Being this was way before social media cell phones and the like I had very little more than suspicion. I formed a hypothesis of the who where what when and assorted triggers. I took pictures of his house his car his dog and under the guise of wanting to buy a house in his neighborhood I talked to the little old lady that lived 3 doors down from him(ap). I we had a lovely conversation that lady and I and she gave me more than enough information to solidify my beliefs. I knew his dog’s name and breed by the end of the conversation, the color of cars that spent the night there, yes even a navy blue Ford station wagon. I knew the guy’s official girlfriend’s name and approximate address, I knew his work schedule. I drew maps of the neighborhood and studied them ( I know pick me dance fodder) in anticipation of a confrontation ( he was a cop). I remember going home one day and she was reading the newspaper and I noticed a blonde hair on her skirt, I said as I picked it off of her ” hmmm buddy must be shedding ” enter deer in headlights look. All in all it merely means nothing now. The confrontation came in a dark alley with me telling him stay away from her and him snuggly putting his hand on his gun denying the truth. And the that same night I went to my house and she knew of the confrontation. I think she told him that they needed to cool it down for a bit because a few nights later I was nearly run down in a parking lot by a police cruiser driven by you know who. That pretty much sealed it

    • Your story is a good example why this shit is dangerous and not all Chumps get out of it alive. As much as none of us like the suffering, we’re luck to have survived.

      No Cheater is worth our lives

  • What about coming up with a ChumpLady version of Chutes and Ladders? Or Snakes and Ladders (original version). But with a chump twist? If you land on the head of a snake it tells you what misstep you have made and it determines the length of your descent.

    Just an online board – no modifying the real thing.

    Or maybe the game of Life?

    • Yes!

      When I encounter challenges in my daily life I often think, “Take two steps back…” And when things are going well, it’s “Pass Go, Collect $200.”

  • I have to say it appears that many of these cheaters are not that bright – and that includes my husband.
    He is a lawyer, Ivy League educated. Makes me wonder . . .

    So on the days when he said he had to “work late”, I called all the hotels near his office to see if he had a reservation. I soon found three hotels he had in rotation. He has always just used the same password so it was easy to get into his online hotel accounts. I was tempted to cancel the reservations, but that would not have helped me. So I just printed out the confirmations. I was also tempted to go to the hotel, show my I. D. as his wife, get a key and walk in on them, but I decided against that, too. I do fantasize about that one from time to time! I would have taken a private detective with me so he could photograph them. I still think that would have been fun!!

    • Some of them are clearly smart in certain ways (my Cheater Narc Ex has a Ph.D in physics plus an MBA), but they sure are LAZY, and I think that’s because of the entitlement. They really do feel they are entitled to do all the stupid selfish shit they do, and because of that, it doesn’t even occur to many of them to hide it properly.

      My Ex wasn’t only easy to catch (first affair I knew about before they even slept together, I think, and second it was just a couple of weeks in, and easy to confirm), he continued to depend on me to tell him what would happen going forward, what our legal rights and obligations were, etc. I guess he was so used to having me as a wife appliance that it never occurred to him that I would no longer put HIS best interests and preferences before the kids’ and mine.

      • “entitlement”

        Entitlement overrides brain power with so many of these folks. Look at the famous examples, Bill Gates being one of the latest.

        My ex was not a stupid man, but he was so used to being in control, add a bit of power to that and the entitlement just overrides their brain.

        I have no doubt when my fw started screwing his dog catcher, it was before she was hired on to his PD, she worked downtown at the big pound. He got her hired and he was likely so used to screwing her, and having no consequences (it was certainly easy to keep me in the dark) he just figured everyone else would fall into place. Then someone dropped a dime.

        All of a sudden he was running around sweating like a pig, and his world was crumbling.

      • They really feel entitled to our ‘wife appliance’ labour don’t they?! My exH texted me the night before our divorce hearing wondering what documentation he needed to bring with him to court (and expected me to tell him!)

  • I made sure to only reveal a few of the damning bits of evidence I’d collected. I also dropped a few hints about other intel but wouldn’t elaborate. Ex tried so hard to find out what I knew, breaking into my phone, guessing at my email passwords until he locked the accounts, searching my car and dressers. He only found the tidbits I’d purposely left for him. I think this helped to keep proceedings moving along and our divorce was final (short marriage, no kids) in 9 months.

  • Apple Time Machine. He had all of his devices synced to the computer, and used Time Machine for backup. So it didn’t matter that his phone was under his pillow every night (“I’m running a sleep monitoring app, see?!!”)

    He deleted all of their (OWhore’s, mostly) emails from his account after reading, but Time Machine snagged them all. Once I saw the phone bill and reverse searched the number that had thousands of texts and calls to get her name and email address, I searched every Time Machine file for every day of the previous 6 months. Detective gold. Especially as she had (probably still has) severe logorrhea and wrote several loooong emails a day.

  • I never played detective. I never wanted to be the marriage police, although towards the end I was actually policing him. He successfully convinced me the problem was I had a jealousy problem, and I believed him. When we would speak about infidelity (a chump himself!), I always told him that I would leave him before I ever searched his phone, as that would mean I had lost trust. One of my regrets is not actually going through with it, because I did want to look at it, but he left me before I reached my breaking point.

    I never had any proof though (not that I need it. His behaviour was erratic enough, he is BIG on image management, but there were no children or significant assets to protect). But for many months, no proof meant that I kept questioning myself. What if he was right? What if I was being too harsh? What if I deserved such treatment? It took me along time to connect the dots. I broke LC and NC only once for a funeral, and it’s the only thing I regret post discard.

    • Could the proof be in the way you felt while you were with him? (Suspicious?) Partners are supposed to help us with our issues, not create them and then blame us for having them.

      I wonder what really happened in one of my relationships, too. He said, “nothing happened,” like they all do, but it would have been possible that something could have happened. No matter what, I felt dis-ease about it. (Dis-ease, meaning it made me feel sick.) I worried about her.

      There are probably some men out there (not in my purview) that make women feel safe. One of those men, please!!!

  • I think my most fruitful information came from Snapchat, of all places. He was careful to hide texts & emails, and constantly changed his phone passcode. But he failed to turn off his location settings on Snapchat. Amazing how every time he was “out with the guys” or “spending some time alone” he was in the AP’s neighborhood. Well, her parent’s neighborhood because she was still living with them. LOL!

    I wish I would have started searching sooner and saved myself months of uncertainty, but I am forever grateful that I finally looked and trusted what I found. Once I had the hard evidence, every step forward felt right and has led me to a wonderful FW free life.

  • Many times during our divorce, my attorney commented that I missed my calling as a PI! ????

    I did it all… A voice-activated recorder under the driver’s seat of his car, late night trips out to the driveway to check his cell phone (he always kept it in the car), iPad searches of his emails, a credit report through one of the three agencies (all these years later I still get notifications of changes/updates to his file) and on a rare occasion that I drove his car with his set of keys (as opposed to the spare) I stopped at Lowe’s and had a copy made of the key to his business (self-employed with an office in a corporate park). A search of his office yielded his AP’s name and address (she sent him a birthday card), his Ashley Madison and Adult Friend Finder usernames and passwords, and a bank account statement and life insurance policy of his late father with my name as beneficiary. I never knew that existed and the money was long gone (his sister, who had the same name as me, impersonated me to get the life insurance money).

    Would I do it again? No.
    Nor would I encourage anyone else to play marriage police (except for the credit report). Save yourself the time, energy, and further heartache … trust that they suck, and move forward.

  • I can’t even read all this today; it’s so sad how everyone has been gaslighted so badly.

    I did all the usual. I have one thing to add though. I’m currently in a relationship with someone new who was sexually assaulted in several different horrible ways by a trusted member of her family, including voyeurism. When I described how I found out with my ex, it triggered her really badly.

    You have to do what you have to do, but remember: this is not really healthy behavior and can’t last for very long.

    • Yes if anything, I never wanted to stick my nose into his businesses, and even took a certain pride in that. But I guess when you’re in divorce and survival mode things are different, as your quality if life may highly depend on the quality of evidence material.

  • Actually never did any PI work , but everything just kind of fell in my lap. Four year old daughter mentions seeing AP’s boat. ????? Can you show me the boat? Sure Daddy. We drove 30 minutes to her work town and my daughter directed me to AP’s parents house. As I approached the house (with 2 small children in tow) They come around the corner of the house , she’s riding piggyback on AP.
    Now this AP had been divorced from a wife who , now get this, slept with AP’s father. This whole family was a real class act. Several years later my son actually described them as “white trash”.
    She was caught , but I actually thought she was sorry although I can’t remember her actually saying that. Projection. I’d expected her to end it. Again , projection. Bugged the phone (my landline) discovered a week later she was still contacting him and confronted her. Sociopathic silence. Looks of righteous indignation.The following weekend we go out on a date , get dinner , see a movie (Bill Murray , Stripes). Not a bad date, really. But things were still a bit tense. The following week I suggested she go off on her own for a weekend and decide what was most important to her , home,family,husband,stability, or AP and his support payments and living with his mom. She packed a couple changes of clothes , left on a friday , came back sunday evening. She isn’t leaving , so she must have decided (gawd , I was so into projection back then). Then , the following week I had to get the car licenses renewed so I go out to her car and rummage through the glove compartment for the registration. I find a camera.???? I don’t say anything but go get the film developed. Found out she’d taken him to see the very same movie I’d taken her to , then they drove off to a regional amusement park for a fuckfest weekend. I so wanted to save our marriage , our family , our future , but this was the absolute last straw. I resigned myself to the fact that I had really totally lost her. I looked her in the eye ( I mean I was totally broken now) and calmly told her that if she loved this guy she needed to go be with him. Again , I get this look of rightous indidignation. She goes and starts packing. That was our last day together. It took a few months to get to meh , but I got there. Due to her inherent instability , I got full custody of the kids. It took a year for the divorce. She got absolutely nothing. Then 2 weeks later she’s knocking on the door , crying “You were the best friend I ever had”.
    I just looked at her and said “No fucking way , get back in your car and go back to wherever you came from.”
    You often times ruminate if you did the right thing , the “I should’ve said this” or “I should have done that”. The point is , it doesn’t matter anymore. At the time , there was no option. I , and the kids , ceased to exist while she was in her lurid affair. My name says it all….

  • I wasn’t very good at this but I had a few fruitful efforts. The bad thing is that the info I learned didnt help me get away from him.

    I figured out from his behavior that he was involved with Seattle Susan and I decided to ambush him with “you had sex with Susan” while looking him right in the face (before he could prep a poker face) and see if he gave a tell. He didnt flinch – which later helped me realize that he was a much better/more experienced liar than I had ever given him credit for.

    I guessed his email password and found a love letter he wrote her on her birthday…that was the Dday smoking gun.

    I got hold of his phone just long enough to get Susans work phone/email and personal phone. He later gave me her personal email because he know if he didnt I was going to send her a “you are a whore stay away from my husband” email to her work and she had already been fired once over the affair.

    Throughout the whole thing and deep into reconciliation, I still flew my Unicorn Flag. After he died, however, I found stuff that would surely have landed us in divorce court had I found it before he died…

    One item was a travel expense report for one of their main fuck-fests…it confirmed that his whole “coming clean” monologue on Dday (and thus our wreckoncilation) was based on lies. Well after he died, my boyfriend (now husband) complied with my request to crack into a hard drive I found in the basement which had a file with an “Anger Management” worksheet that included the phrase “I never loved my wife”

    At about this same time, I was using a spiral notebook from an old work conference I grabbed from his office and on a random otherwise blank page was a scribble “Seattle Susan ___-___-____”. And it almost made me laugh. Pompous asshole scribbled this down thinking he would get away with this secret well hidden and his reputation intact and his dick gratified. Imagine if he had any idea that he would drop dead and I would find this and have full knowledge of what it meant. Me, the person who loved him most would learn what a selfish ass he was to me when it was too late to do anything about it.

    In the end end…I waited until a few weeks after he died and texted OW and mentioned his death as an aside, pretending like I assume that she knew when she likely didnt. I hope she was overcome with grief, bitch.

    • Lyric line from “Wicked Game”
      “It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do”

  • At the end of February 2016, after FW moved out of the house, shaking his head sadly and lamenting my anger issues and inability to forgive a “completely changed man”, I went to his new house to drop something off. He wasn’t there and just as I was leaving I noticed a big electrical cord hanging out a window. I knew, I just knew, that it was a booster for his live online sex life. If I had thought too much about it, I wouldn’t have done it, but I slid the window with the cord open and climbed in. I went to his computer and typed in the password “thankful” (he had changed and given me the password to show how much he had grown and become a new man.) I quickly searched the finder and found a video of him dated Feb 20 – the night before he moved out on Feb 21. The video was to be posted on his male live masturbation website. Yes, it’s like Facebook for perverts – you can find new friends to live masturbate with every day! On Feb 20 I was at my nephew’s funeral as he was packing up to move. Always with an eye on impression management, he took the opportunity to make his video in my beautiful bathroom instead of his new shitty house.

    My heart was pounding out of my chest when I was sitting in front of his computer. I truly thought if he walked in I could be killed. I was shaking and quickly headed home.

    Two days later he came by to get the rest of his things. I wanted to see what he would say about the video; maybe he would tell the truth. He had sworn to never tell me another lie for the rest of his life. So I asked him if he had really given up porn and when was the last time he made a video. And this is when I finally got a gift from the universe. I was able to watch him in action when I actually knew the truth. He looked at me with utter contempt and said no, he had completely changed and of course had not done any porn. And then he hit the DARVO (deny, attack, reverse victim and offender) How dare I accuse him after all the work he has done in therapy? How dare I not believe him when he tells me he is a new, honest man? What is wrong with me that I believe the worst in people? He feels sorry for me that I can’t believe people change. I am a horrible hateful woman. The contempt, the scorn, the hate. Watching him lie was so powerful. I wanted to weep with gratitude to finally FINALLY watch this asshole in action. I put up my hand and said “stop, I saw the video you made in my bathroom last week”. He froze in shock and bent forward like he had been gut punched. He sat down on the front steps and started to cry. I went inside and locked the door. Oh my god, the power that moment gave me. I will never forget it.
    (But I don’t recommend doing anything illegal in your sleuthing. I was lucky.)

    • Divorce final June 30. My ex would also film videos in the home that I lovingly decorated, My taste, and my beautiful bathroom as well. And then send them out usually over what’sapp to women in foreign countries
      the interior of my home and occasionally pictures of my children
      Not only was I infuriated but I also realized what a fool he was and the women too if they were to believe they were looking at a home that he was caring for or he had decorated
      surely the women must’ve known better. It’s like if you want my beautiful home you’ll have to take my wife as well because she’s the one who created it. It was so dumb
      The house is sold in the divorce and he’s now living in a rather run down condo. My smart lawyers also had the share of his business I was awarded taken from the proceeds from the house sale
      so he actually took very little money out of it

    • That really helped me too. When I knew he was lying and watched him and thought oh my God, this is what he’s been doing to me for years.

      • Seeing my ex wife for the pathological liar she is really helped me. I’ve only been out off the family home for six months but even when I had to deal with her recently it was lie after lie. I’ve had two lawyers who’ve seen the evidence and emails etc from her and they stopped me and said you’re dealing with a pathological liar here and I started to piece so many things together over the past 15 years that were clearly lies and gaslighting. My psychiatrist told me I’m an abuse survivor. Never even knew I was being abused until last year when I caught so much cheating.

      • Katie, your way of putting that makes it crystal clear. When you finally are able to see what you have avoided seeing-it’s horrifying,
        but sometimes it takes that distressing truth to break through the rock solid denial that has held you in this crazy grip for so long.

    • Wow, you are incredible and brave. Your instincts are razor-sharp despite all the gaslighting. I completely understand what you said about watching him in action as a liar being a gift from the universe. All throughout separation, my STBX was constantly whining about the kids and me not forgiving him despite his remorse and all the hard work he puts into therapy. He was a changed man, couldn’t we see it! One Friday, my college-age kids were home and asked to borrow his car. He said he couldn’t lend his car because he was working. Then they asked how about after work? He had errands. How about Saturday? He said he was moving. How about Sunday? He was hiking. How about Monday? Working. He didn’t realize that his phone locator was on and the kids knew exactly where he was (in Las Vegas! We live 6 states away!) and were just watching him lie. It was an empowering moment for them to see him for who he is. That’s when they decided to completely cut him off.

      • Chumpupthejam,
        So glad you and your kids got that gift of seeing him for what he is in real time. Finally a moment of real clarity in the shit show they have created. Knowledge is power, healing and validation all rolled into one.

      • Ugh. Both empowering and painful, I’m sure. It kills me how these entitled, lying asses torpedo not only their marriages but also their relationships with their kids, especially the older ones who see them for who they are. I applaud your kids for catching him in those lies and gaining needed clarity. Still, I would imagine it’s heartbreaking.

    • I also uncovered stuff in sleuthing and when I asked him if he had been staying faithful (post-wreckinciliation) watched him lie to my face about having changed and how horrible I am not to trust him. I walked out of the room and walked back in with a large box of Christmas presents he had bought for an AP and her kids not two weeks before. Also showed him nudes he had taken of himself and a pic an AP had taken of herself in bed for him. His nude was taken in our bedroom not a week before because I had just gotten a ring re-sized at a jeweler’s shop and the box from the shop was on the dresser in the background.

      He didn’t cry. Didn’t even blink. Then it was all about what a terrible person I was “snooping” in his things. I actually wasn’t. The presents I stumbled upon while looking for fireworks to light for upcoming New Year’s Eve. The photos had auto-uploaded from his phone to the external hard drive. He had set it himself to update at regular intervals. I had just uploaded photos of my son unwrapping Christmas presents and checked to make sure they all loaded before deleting them from my phone. And bang – there were all his pics staring me in the face.

      If he hadn’t been so cheap, not allowing me to buy a 256Gb phone instead of the old 64Gb one from which I constantly had to upload my photos so I wouldn’t run out of room, I wouldn’t have needed to upload and wouldn’t have seen his upload of filth.

  • Agree with all the prior comments not to share your discoveries with your cheating partner; especially if you are married with children you need to collect everything you can for the divorce (that you should file for because cheating should be everyone’s dealbreaker).

    I bought a GPS tracker from a local “spy shop” that you charge up, put into a magnetic case and can place underneath a car (legal if your name is also on the car’s title). It showed me the trip that he was going on to “find himself” was really to his AP’s family’s house. She also drove him to the airport in our car and drove it back down to our marital home….ridiculous. At the time I would call him when I saw movement on the tracker to ask where he was, and when he lied it reaffirmed that he had no compunction with lying. In retrospect I should have printed out all the GPS tracking information, all the phone bills with 1000’s of text exchanges, etc. to have better leverage of property division in court but I was still a little trauma bonded to my ex at the time.

  • This question is perfect because I am convinced that there were some fellow chumps that helped me get the proof I needed to be certain he was cheating. I hired a Private Investigator and some chumps helped.

    Married 30 years, to Mr. Shy, nice guy and never thought he would cheat. I missed some early clues, but eventually it turned to blatantly obvious and him acting awful toward me. I kept asking if he was cheating. He kept denying and telling me I was crazy. Honestly, I was also starting to question my sanity and was barely functioning. The turning point for me was when he sent a group text message to our three daughters, without me included, telling them Mom and Dad were having problems – not that Dad was cheating with a trashy person at work. That was my aha moment that I said…oh hell no, you will not pull the kids into this and try to turn my daughters against me and make yourself innocent. Plus, I didn’t want my girls to think 30 year marriages just casually end without a reason.

    This is where the PI comes in…oh and the tracker I put on his car the day before he was followed. The private investigator followed him to a “work conference” that coincidentally started on his birthday. They ended up in a totally different state than where the alleged conference was supposed to be. The PI followed him and at one point lost him, but with the tracker I was able to redirect him. They get to a hotel in the Poconos – picture champagne glass hot tubs. The PI sent a few pics of them in hotel lobby etc. and I said please get more info. They later showed up at the pool. The PI said he felt close to being noticed and he asked a group of 50ish year old woman to take pictures for him of “the guy in the pool cheating on his wife” and they were very happy to help. They took pics of the them in the pool (amongst families) grinding, making out etc. and that was it! Btw, these are the fellow chumps that I think were my fairy godmothers that day.

    I have had so many other chumps say they wish they had the hard proof because their spouse never owned up to cheating and shifted the blame on to them. This helped my sanity that I was in fact not crazy, sadly the proof helped in giving a definite but brief explanation to my daughters, and to finally take some control. I was so beaten down I am certain he never suspected I could come up with this plan. Also, I needed the smack in the face of the pictures to realize what a snake he is.

    I personally moved every bit of his belongings out of our house and locks changed before he returned from his “work conference”. As I type this, it may sound like a badass move, but it was and still is very difficult, but no regrets in hiring the PI and stopping the disrespect and mental abuse.
    Good luck to all ! This website is awesome!

  • D-day came due to the OW texting me to out him – she was tired of him saying he would leave me so her rationale was to stop him coming back to her by outing him. She had him also on the text message so he was traveling for work (actually was this time instead of with her) so he knew immediately. They had been together 2.5 years of and on. I didn’t let him back in the house – he was so worried about protecting our perfect blended family image. I went into sleuth mode – got into his FB account and found the messages where it all started and continued there until they went to text mode. Sent him the FB messages, and while he was desperately trying to get me to believe he would/could change over the next weeks I got 18 months of cell phone bills, credit card/bank statements, airline travel statements/history – all the things. Whenever a pattern developed on numbers unknown to me I would call – uncovered SEVERAL more AP’s and corroborated with the original long term AP who then also sent me tons of stuff. I’d call and introduce myself to the others and let them know who I was (they either knew nothing of me and my kids or were told he was in the process of divorcing) – let them know they weren’t the only one and should get to the doctor to be tested ASAP. Two more helped me and when these names showed up on our potential witness list (they offered to fly in and testify if we went to trial) he knew he was cooked. Also his ex wife #1 gave me info/hints – thought she was the crazy ex all those years. At mediation I had a little cart with two full bankers boxes of files – some were fake just to fill space but had a file on every financial and one on every woman I uncovered. After mediation failed and we were set to go in front of the judge for status meeting, I hired a PI and got great pictures of a new woman he’d clearly been with plenty as they were all chummy in local restaurant with her friends and went back to his “temporary apartment” for the night. But I did uncover one trans paid escort – and presented this info along with the PI pics at Starbucks to him and he signed the next day. Fast forward five years, he’d remarried right away and was turning my boys against me. Somehow he linked his phone to my youngest son’s ipad and his texts were coming through. This time was all trans escorts and one main one that he had a relationship with that was male on the bottom, female on top – don’t know what you call that but they saw each other frequently and he’d text quick messages “are you available” to others for a quick meet up – all men with women’s names via website ads for this specific hook up. Called the wife who I had never spoken to other than pleasantries – and met up at Starbucks. She had been told he cheated one time and I never forgave. She tossed him out same day too. Now the three x wives are friends , kids all like brothers and sisters because we moms made sure the kids got together ( I was ex #2), and all kids have minimal contact, some no contact. X now lives out of state with a new victim – not our circus, not our monkeys. Oh well….3 years to go until youngest is 18 and living my best – yet still single life – almost 11 years later. Life is good and I refer people to CL all the time!

    • I’ve read a few folks here that benefited from the connection between Apple devices, particularly the iPhone and iPad. I had this same situation and with it was able to see and record texts between my kids and their mother where she is very clearly lying to try to alienate them from me. Also, stuff that helped me get help for one of my kids who got in trouble with social media before it was too late. This showed that his mother was just enabling his behavior instead of being a parent. My kids and I are so lucky that she never figured out how to keep this info from me. Highly recommend keeping as much about your sources from your fuckwit after the divorce if you have kids with him/her.

  • My time of horror was late 80s with the year of discard being 1989. No smart phones, no social presence, and I was totally in the dark due to my own trusting nature, and of course I was kept insanely busy. On top of a full time job, doing all the house chores (though not up to his standards) taking college classes to up my promotion chances for more money (that unknown to me he was spending on a whore) he also kept me busy working on volunteer projects that would help him get promoted, so we could have more money in our retirement don’t you know.

    But, I love to read about how others found out stuff. I finally became suspicious the last three (ish) months of the year of discard; but it was too late to save myself from most of the horror.

  • One bit of advice that I want to pile on about here is not to reveal your methods or sources unless absolutely necessary for the divorce. While I had to reveal certain things in the process of my divorce, it has been very helpful to continue to have access to her communications since, because of my kids. I’ve learned just how insidious her attempts at alienation have been. It has helped me to combat it with my kids. She has set herself and my sons up with iPhones long before the divorce (I thought they were too young for smartphones, but she wanted to have constant access to help her to alienate them from me.) Turns out I was right as one of my kids couldn’t handle social media and got into some real trouble. However, I was able to see and record examples of her attempts to alienate them from me that has helped me better parent them. When you breed with a fuckwit, the drama never ends.

    • Yes, at first I would immediately question her about new evidence I found. That only enabled her to morph her excuses and reveal my sources. Finally (after my head cleared a bit) I learned to keep my mouth shut and my eyes and ears wide open, and document document document! I used the times she was out of the house to snoop and for financial discovery.

    • This was true for me. I’d read lists of expensive stuff he bought online a day or two before his sad sausage messages about needing a break from support payments because of all his dramatic hardships would arrive in my inbox. Just the motivator I needed to say “no, no break, you have to abide by the court order.”

  • I knew FW was “friends” with OW, and I knew that OW had poached her husband from another woman, breaking up that family. But I thought the bad character belonged to the woman only. I never liked her because she was an entitled, self-absorbed brat, and I assumed FW was smart enough to recognize how awful she truly was.

    When FW walked out on us, he promised that he just needed some space and would return home in 4 months. Of course, that didn’t happen, which got me wondering if OW was involved.

    In my state, you can do a public records search and see everyone’s legal business – arrests, parking violations, etc. So I did a public search on OW.

    I discovered that she had left her husband (legal separation) just 2 months before FW left us, and that her divorce had been finalized the previous month, which was when FW had promised to return.

    That was a bad day. Very, very bad. I remained in a haze of denial for a while afterwards, but my gut knew the truth at that point. And, ultimately, it was helpful at mediation, as ours is a “fault” state, and he did *not* want to go to court.

    If I hadn’t been so traumatized and exhausted, I would have dragged both of them into court. Because I didn’t, he still refuses to admit anything.

    I would have loved watching the cross-examination. Especially the part where OW would have to admit she poached the very husband that she recently divorced. Bitch is too good a word…

  • So much! I found a credit card statement in an unlocked file and googled the acronyms that I didn’t recognize. I worked evenings, and it turns out he was the darling of the wealthy widows and divorcees of the Meetup groups in our town and further into the surroundingvarea. I only had to ‘join’ the groups (under an assumed name) that he had paid (for outings) and there were literally hundreds of photos of him with his ‘special friends’.
    After we began counseling he was told to give me access to his email accounts – which he did – but he forgot to scour his Sent folder which contained entire threads of seriously creepy behavior. I called him on each lie in our sessions and he was truly shocked that I had the goods on him. He thought he was SO clever. Nope.
    I put GPS on his car, then drove over to the hotel near his office and caught him walking out at one in the afternoon with a to-go drink in his hand. He said he went in to use the restroom! The restroom at BK wasn’t clean enough.
    Checked his newly locked dresser drawer (he forgot I had a key) and found lingerie in extra large (I was a size 0 at the time), a display-sized box of condoms and a set of DVDs to learn how to pick up women, among other things.
    Yeah, 20 years wasted, but I found out I have great ‘research’ skills!

    • OMG The Meetup groups. Klootzak was a big fan of that angle to meet more women. My gut told me it was trouble. He would take me to a group event to try to show me it was all good but leave me in a corner to char up the single women who were there alone. If I said anything, I was accused of being jealous because he was just “being social.” It was the start of his campaign to paint me as anti-social. Ugh. I hate Meetup. Should be called Hookup.

  • I did the basic things- looking over his shoulder to get his iPhone password, finally looking through our phone bill to see fifty texts a day to one neighbor, and when I was at work, looked at ‘find iPhone location’, which showed his phone in the bedroom of her house for three hours. One funny time, I headed off for work, but had a gut feeling, and doubled back to our house. He pulled up, and she was in the passenger seat.
    One thing I know now- if your spouse is monitoring your every move, it’s probably because they’re up to something! He always had to know exactly where I was. It was super annoying, and I never treated him that way, because, we’re adults! For decades, he’d need to know where I was, and exactly when I was coming home, and stupid me was flattered by this! ???? He really loves me, he’s always keeping track of me and the kids! Awww, how sweet. No, he just needed to plan his hunting of friends and neighbors.

    • My ex also tracked me and wanted to know where I was. How sweet he’s jealous and cares about me. Nope. He tracked me so that he could go see his AP’s The serial cheater really perfected his cheating skills in the 23 years we were married. I was so naive.

      • I had the opposite problem: XW told me that the fact that I didn’t track her and check in on her (specifically when she traveled for work) proved that I didn’t really love her. At the time I just thought it was bizarre, but now that I know she was having an affair with a work colleague who lived 1000 miles away (so their only chances for physical encounters were at work conferences) I believe that she was give me just enough of a warning that she could then blame me for not uncovering the affair.

    • When I took a 2nd job, which was on an as-needed basis on the evenings and Saturday outside of my regular work hours, my ex-FW was very concerned about having my schedule so he could do his electrical side jobs when I was working so he wouldn’t “take time away from us”. It was the only time he ever used the calendar in his phone.

      I didn’t suspect a thing.

      I inadvertently made the discovery when I was increasing the data on our shared cell plan. I thought, “I wonder if Verizon still has voice and text logs on each number?” It’s the only time I was ever nosy. I knew his lock code on his phone but I never touched it, I had no reason to suspect anything.

      Sure enough, Verizon had voice and text logs for the current month. One number was obviously a frequent contact. Paid $2.95 for People Finder and got a name. There were plenty of “video/photo” texts. It could have been someone he was doing side work for, that was always going on for real.

      As soon as I got the name I texted him at work and asked him who it was. (I still wasn’t sure). This was before I discovered CL and CN so I didn’t know not to show my hand. He didn’t answer my text. I texted him to get his crap out of my house immediately. He came home and confirmed it was a year+ long affair. The one good thing is he will answer a direct question. So I was able to get many answers.

      *As a sub note: Found a video text to her about a minute before a video text to me – He had made a ridiculous recording of him dancing in his underwear. He sent it to her and then to me. Later on when confronted, he said “she had asked me if I liked to dance”.

      • Wow. The cheek to have sent the ridiculous dancing video to both of you! These cake eating Fuckwits are truly unbelievable.

    • Oh yes-he had to know every minute. This was tricky because in the early years he was indeed waiting for me,He’d always show up when I was at the beauty shop or mail shop-just to say hi and when would I be done..! So through this slightly creepy emotionally dependent behavior I became used to his checking up. As he evolved to having other things he was going-I just went sling with his eagerness to see me. Meanwhile he was out and doing his own thing and I was too confused to figure it out-until I wasn’t and the pieces foggily began to fit together..

  • If you are exiled from their phone or they turn away from you when they are on their phone so you can’t see what they are doing, I highly recommend:
    1) hide cameras so you can either see what is on their phone or get the password to stealthily and secretly get on their phone. (Cameras are only legal if you place them in your own home/car/etc., getting on the phone is legal if you are married as it’s considered joint property, if you are not married, check the laws so you know exactly what is and isn’t legal).
    2) create fake social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook as well as dating accounts on Tinder, Millionaire Match, Luxy, or any other dating site that they “drop” in conversations to friends as good place to meet people and Catfish them (this is an especially good option if you can only get so far with #1 or can’t install cameras/get on their phone). I’ll admit….it’s exhausting keeping up with all these accounts but I found my ex cheater had a 2 rando Facebook accounts that used his first and middle name and then his initials as his first name. I found his accounts on Millionaire Match & Luxy as well as his 26 yr younger sidepiece’s account on Tinder. I catfished him and got a hell of a lot of info. Then I used my stealth mode to get on his phone (at the time, in my state there were no laws prohibiting accessing another’s phone) and man that opened Pandora’s box. I got on the dating apps and looked at his who he would message….no shit, he would reach out to as many girls as he could (hundreds of them!!!!) and whoever messaged him back he would engage with and then set up secret rendezvous during work trips that he would invite me to, then *poof* uninvited me as quick as he invited me giving excuses like “His boss has to go with him now”. Through that experience I learned he had 3 sidepieces in our community who ALL knew we were together and or “my friend”, a huge number of cyber sidepieces that would message him sending him nudes/pics throughout the day and numerous cyber sidepieces that turned physical who would join him on “business trips”.

    It’s been my experience that their phone and life on social media (including dating sites) is key.

      • Yes! So thankful to be years out of that mess. He ended marrying the 26yr younger suicidal sidepiece. (She gained that name after threatening to kill herself when he tried to leave her among other things like threatened to kill me and his ruin his job). She definitely won the sparkly turd!

  • Mine wasn’t smart but sure thought he was. Even our marriage therapist (who we saw right before DDay#1 came to light) told me, when I went went for one last therapy meeting *without* my H (GF#1 had just been revealed and he saw no reason to play pretend with couples therapy anymore), “I don’t say this to hurt you, Fourleaf, but I could tell immediately in our first session with you and Mr. Fourleaf that he was likely hiding an affair and was just here as window dressing. All his answers he gave me in session were pretty much what he thought I wanted to hear. Your H spoke like he was the cleverest person in the room–smarter than you and smarter than me. But in behaving like that he pretty much outted himself to me right away, which wasn’t too smart in his part.”

    I was still shocked at the discovery of GF#1 and in love with the FW at the time so to hear our short-time marriage therapist dress him down so effectively and succinctly was shocking. I haven’t taken much away from therapy in my time (either couples or single therapy) but I will forever remember that: the FW is smug and their smugness reveals them to anyone who isn’t looking at them with rose-colored glasses.

    Or, even more succinctly, they think they’re so clever but they’re not.

    I’m no great detective; I’m just lucky that my partner thought he was Dr. Successful Sneak. His social media and email passwords were easy to guess and he thought that if he deleted a Facebook message immediately after the conversation was over (“Can you come over now?” “Yes, but use the back door.”) then he had successfully dusted over his trail.

    My advice from my time as an amateur detective: adulterous idiots often forget that there’s a “deleted folder” in their email and social media message systems. Go there and print them out because they will disappear after 30 days or so, or your FW will lock you out once they realize you’re in. Give those printed pieces of pain to someone else (friend? lawyer?) so (a) the FW can’t find and destroy your hard copies and (b) you stop reading them with blurry vision and shaking hands over and over again.

    My back-up advice: CHANGE ALL THE PASSWORDS ON YOUR OWN ACCOUNTS as you are doing this or when you have finished. After FW moved out into GF#3/Now Wifetress’s house, the two of them hacked into my accounts easily and watched me chat, in real time, to a friend about the heartbreak I was going through. FW was absolutely pissed at me and phoned me up the next day to let me know that he was on my Facebook watching me to make sure that “I wasn’t spreading lies about him just because my feelings were hurt” and, the worst of all, he screamed at me for being an untrusting poor excuse of a wife (“Marriages don’t work without trust! How dare you hack my accounts! Only the worst kind of people do that! No wonder I left!” etc) and said, very smugly, “So, I hacked you back! How does it feel to have your privacy invaded? Feels awful, doesn’t it?!?” I spent the rest of the afternoon dry-cleaning and crying in the (empty) bathtub.

    There’s no need to address the hypocrisy of what FW did/said there. The takeaway from my story is different and simple: if you are investigating the FW then shore up your own accounts first. I didn’t, and he busted in like a bull in a china shop.

    My last piece of advice: Once the detective hat is off and the need to investigate and, later, go pain shopping, is over, take it off and keep it off. He’s gone. Don’t go looking for more because you’ll find it and you’ll be surprised that your heart can break even more; even years later. The divorce is over; He’s gone. Don’t keep that detective hat on any longer because it won’t propel you along on this journey–it will just pull you backwards.

    Conclusion: (1) FWs are smug as hell and that sort of gives them away to anyone they’re not currently gaslighting; (2) If you have the detective hat on then check the “deleted folder”; (3) Safeguard your own accounts (financial, social media, whatever) first; and (4) take that detective hat off immediately after you’ve secured your escape. You’ll just find more and you don’t need more. FW’s life will just become a neverending well of pain for you; stop drawing water from that well.

    • Whoops, darn autocorrect. That’s “dry-heaving in the bathtub” not “dry-cleaning in the bathtub.” I can assure you, after getting hacked and screamed at by FW, I did not go do laundry in my bathroom.

    • Great advice! Especially the “take detective hat off immediately.” I’m struggling with this– I know there is more and I don’t need more. I need to trust that he sucks. 15 years of cheating leaves a lot left unknown. It is far past time to just let go and move on.

  • My Ex thump tinted his phone but completely forgot about his iPad which he left on the bed each morning. Completely unprotected
    When he finally put a password on it I got the password looking over his shoulder when he entered it lying, back turned ,next to me.
    I spent about 6 years in the marriage police. It drained my time, my sleep ( I would get up in the middle of the night to snoop) my emotional energy and my self care.
    We do the best we can do, but if I could do it over I wish I put that time into myself and preparing to leave.
    I did photo everything I found but in my state it’s illegal to enter another’s email w/o permission so becareful

  • I didn’t have much luck playing marriage detective but then again my counsellor from the first time I caught him cheating said “you know what’s going on why do you need proof?” My biggest regret is nothing leaving him them. Anyhoo I did put a voice recorder in his truck the weekend he was going to our cottage to install a very heavy wood burning insert( first clue as it takes 2 to move the thing). Of course it revealed he took his slut with him( and her son the evil piece of shit—who takes a little boy on a fuckfest weekend with a married man?) . He very clearly said he wanted to sleep with out dog whom my ex took with him for “company”. I stupidly stayed for another 4 years and of course he left for another slut( one that has a rich daddy and her own house and pension plan). This man is now 60 and raising her very disturbed promiscuous teenager( as I’ve said before gee I wonder where her example of how to behave came from?). Our kids are 32 and 29. Not my circus or my monkey thankfully.

    • (who takes a little boy on a fuckfest weekend with a married man?)

      I am guessing any rank and file slut will do exactly that, and even ask the youngster to lie for them.

      The slut in my situation, had a ten year old son and she was screwing my H for at least six of those ten year. There is suspicion that she she was screwing him longer than that and that the kid belonged to my ex. (my son flat out ask his dad if he was his) his dad denied it; but I think it is possible. I never saw him up close, so I can’t say if he resembled fw or not.

      I have never asked my son straight out if he thought whores son looked like his dad. Both whores son (he died at age 20) and my ex (he died in Jan of this year) are gone now.

      I think my son would have said if he thought he looked like him, as he was pretty open with me about some things that went on.

      My son did tell me that if whore told him now that his dad is gone that her son was his dads son, he wouldn’t believe her; as he would assume she was trying to gain sympathy to get money from him.

      If he was my sons half brother his dad and the whore should have come clean when my son asked. My son had developed a relationship with her son, as he was trying to get him off drugs and drinking. He failed. Drinking and drugs were involved in the motorcycle accident that killed him at age 20.

  • I was such a trusting, doe-eyed, in love, in denial Chump that it didn’t occur to me sleuth prior to D-day. Although, hind sight being 20/20, I really should have.

    Mine left while I was across the country caring for my sick mother. The only clue I got that anything was amiss was noticing on our home security cameras that his vehicle was hardly ever there. But I wasn’t watching the cameras because I thought he was up to something. I simply wanted to look at my home because I was homesick. I asked him why he was never home. He said he was staying with one of his buddies because he was lonely and didn’t like being alone in the house without me. ???? and I believed him. What a class A CHUMP I was!!

    He was actually in the process of setting up house with his massage parlor girl Schmoopie. He turned off our home security cameras and snuck stuff out of my home during the dark of night. He took all the home entertainment equipment, leaving big holes in the wall where his giant TV used to be. He took an expensive recliner that was purchased especially for me to recover from my mastectomy. I lived in that chair for months. He left me his ratty recliner that he sat in all the time. I was absolutely LIVID! He did bring my chair back, but only when I threatened include it in our divorce settlement and that a judge would not look kindly on his taking it.

    But what pisses me off more than any of the stuff he took, is that he left our poor, elderly, deaf and blind little dog all by herself. My mom was too ill for me to return right away. I still had several weeks before I could come home to deal with any of this. My daughter had to come over to care for my poor little dog. But my daughter has a life and family of her own and couldn’t spend a lot of time with the poor little thing. She was like our baby. I thought he loved her. I had even told him on a few occasions that I felt he loved the dog more than me. Can’t believe he would do that to her.

    As soon as he blindsided me with the news that he had moved out of our marital home, I made arrangements to have the locks on the house changed. There was no way I was giving him free access to my home to sneak out more stuff while I was across the country and unable to do anything to prevent it! He was furious but there was nothing he could do about it. The house was in my name only, due to his bad credit.

    I wish I would’ve been smarter, and not such a trusting, gullible CHUMP and employed some of the sleuthing skills some of you used. Might have saved me a lot of trouble, expense, confusion and heartache, dealing with the situation the way he chose to end it. I would’ve preferred not to have been blindsided, to have known all and been in the driver’s seat. But I did the best I could after the fact and landed on my feet. Thankfully I discovered LACGAL early in the process. It helped tremendously. I will always be grateful.

    • That is awful.

      Did you use the recordings in your divorce? To me and I would think most judges that is outright theft. But, I know sometimes it just isn’t worth it.

      • Hi Susie. He turned the cameras off so I didn’t have any recordings of him actually moving stuff out. And he did it at night so none of the neighbors saw it. Turns out we didn’t need to go to court. He didn’t hire an attorney. I hired a good one. I got a pretty good settlement, especially for my no-fault state.

        • I am so glad.

          My ex fw had to pay all my expenses for a year (I could have gotten 3) but at the time I didn’t think I could deal with it anymore. In hindsight, I don’t think he would have cared, as he never fought it; and from other evidence I knew he was trying to delay his marriage to the whore (his direct report). He got most of the property, but I couldn’t pay it off anyway, so it didn’t matter to me. I lived in a no fault state too, but marital theft is not covered under “no fault”.

          I got one small property that was paid for in full. (he agreed to that as a trade for me not going after half his pension). It was the property his mother was living in, but it didn’t belong to her, it was marital property.

          I know it was difficult for her, as he uprooted her life; but he did mine too, and once he broke the marriage contract; the rest of it was null and void. I had to pay the consequences for loving and marrying a fuckwit, and she had to pay the consequences for raising one. (not that it was her fault) That’s life, we both got skunked.

    • “I wish I would’ve been smarter, and not such a trusting, gullible CHUMP and employed some of the sleuthing skills some of you used. ”

      Ditto that. D-day was long after assets had been stolen and what was left, divided. And yes, I was also told that he would be “staying with one of his buddies,” and sucked it down hook, line, and sinker.

      Do grown men really have sleepovers with their guy pals?

      At the time I just assumed he was spinning through a midlife crisis and needed some male bonding time. Oh! Poor him! He was sad. I asked him if there was someone else and he said no, it was “nothing like that.” And then to further establish his fuckwittedness he said, “You’re smart. Maybe you can figure out why I’m not happy…” Right. So there ISN’T someone else, and now I’m supposed to spin circles trying to diagnose what’s blowing up our marriage based on the gaslighting you just fed me?

      So many friends tried to gently point me to the truth. Really? Are. You. Sure? I was quick to defend his integrity. Integrity. Geez. All of the clues were there. Burns like a slap to my intelligence.

      • I know how you feel, Poker Face. My ex FW was “supposedly” a Christian. He even worked at our church. It does give me some small consolation that he had everyone fooled, not just me. Everyone who knew us were absolutely shocked. He was that good of a liar, that good at hiding his double life.

        I also know how you feel about the slap to your intelligence. I consider myself to be a pretty smart person. I’m an information technology professional and I feel I make pretty wise decisions in other areas of my life. But when it came to him I was completely bamboozled. But let me tell you, I will never be that doe-eyed, gullible CHUMP ever again! The scales have fallen from my eyes, thanks in large part to Tracy and CN.

        Fool me once… Never again.

        • Yep, my fw used to sit in the back of the church listening to sermons on the days he was working. I have no doubt some folks knew of his other life, but I am still sure that he did indeed fool a lot of folks.

          Our preacher was pissed beyond belief. He made it clear. Our preacher was also one of the police chaplains and I am certain he trusted him as being the family man he was portraying.

          After discard day, and him being outed; he never showed up for church services again. He did call the preacher down the line and ask for a meeting with me to “talk” about reconciling. Honestly, by then I knew I wanted no part of it, and the preacher was pretty sure too. He said he could refer us to a counselor.

          Preacher called me later and apologized saying he say the things that he thought he would say. I said “really, he said exactly what I thought he would say” At any rate the preacher gave me a chance to reject the asswipe, so I am grateful for that.

          • Mine was Facilities Director at our church. After he moved out, he met with the entire pastoral staff and told them lies about how it was a mutual decision and we’d been living as roommates for past 10 years and had a sexless marriage. All of it bald-faced lies. Thankfully they didn’t believe him and were furious at what he’d done and let him know in no uncertain terms that what he’d done was sinful and disgraceful. One pastor was actually not in favor of the short-lived reconciliation I agreed to. That’s how bad he thought my FW’s betrayal was. The reconciliation lasted about two weeks. Two soul crushing weeks of me being the marriage police. It ended when I caught him hiding in a closet talking to massage parlor Schmoopie.

            So glad he’s gone.

            • (I wouldn’t want to hear about a colleague’s “sexless marriage”. How inappropriate but it pales in comparison to CHEATING on your spouse)

              • I know, right?! Cringe worthy for sure. As it was for me, feeling that I had to defend myself by telling my pastor that we did NOT have a sexless marriage. And in fact, we’d had relations the day before I left to go out of state to care for my sick mother. Still makes me cringe to this day, two years later.

      • “At the time I just assumed he was spinning through a midlife crisis and needed some male bonding time. ”

        Honestly in the beginning I thought this was what I was dealing with too. After all when I questioned him about being distant with me, he said it was “work stress”, it would get better, yada yada yada. After he left, I began to realize he was a serial cheater (though I didn’t use the word serial at that time) Upon day of discard he said he had been dating for ten years. Yep, I guess “dating” was what the kids were calling adultery at that time.

        • I went through this too, thinking something was wrong with him and being worried about him.

          I have an aunt whose first husband suddenly became violent out of nowhere and he seemed to become a different person and started engaging in reckless driving and other high risk activities. He died in a motorcycle accident not long after she divorced him for her safety and they found a brain tumor during his autopsy.

          So when my husband was sending me texts saying he loved me at 2:00 pm and at 6:00 pm he hated me, fantasize about killings me, and had never loved me, my first thought was omg, what if he has a brain tumor?

          And his mask came completely off after that day, he was a totally different person right down to food preferences. It wasn’t until I found evidence of old lies that I realized this wasn’t a new change. He had just shed the fake persona he used with me. But damn, that was a mind fuck.

          • We chumps always give others the benefit of the doubt, don’t we ?
            So there is a one in a million chance that a brain tumor causes a person to become violent towards their spouse. But most of the time ? A garden variety cheater.

            • Honestly it was less about giving him the benefit of the doubt and more about how completely insane it all was. He suddenly liked coffee that he had previously despised and started buying it for himself. Coffee that he would gag if he smelled it brewing anywhere. He suddenly loved cookies that had been previously the kind he hated. Things like that. It was bizarre. He literally became a completely different person. His walk changed, his laugh changed. We were married 20 years and I thought I knew him but I have no idea who he is.

              He’s definitely a cheater, a serial cheater at that, but I’m not sure how garden variety he is. I had to accept he was a total psychopath who constructed a fake persona for me the entire 20 year marriage and none of it was real.

              A brain tumor makes more sense than someone going through all that trouble. LOL

              • The spectrum of cheaters and yours does sound like he’s at the psychopath end of that.

          • “But damn, that was a mind fuck.”

            It really is. I remember when the rage fits started, I would just stand there frozen, confused. I certainly did not yell back. In reality I should have said look asshole you treat me with respect or you get out, but I was scared for him and for me.

            Weird, it was almost like I was looking through a tunnel, or even kind of an out of body experience.

            While he always had a selfish streak, and I knew that things would have to pretty much go his way; he never really was a screamer, or given to rage. I think part of it was of course the typical cheater way of creating issues to blame. I also think though that he was losing control of his life.

            It was likely a dangerous time for me, and I just didn’t know it.

          • To me when the whole mask dropped off, (after I had let him come back and it lasted a week) He physically changed.

            Looking back to the few times I saw him after the D, he just looked like a big rat to me. I mean an actual rat. Gone were the big blue eyes, and the dimpled smile.

            It is why I love and have latched on to C6’s definition of “rat faced whore” Only in my case it is “rat faced whore monger”

      • So grown men really have sleepovers with your guy pals ?

        I know of two cases where cheater crashed, after being kicked out, at a married guy friend’s house. In both cases, when the wife found out why their husband’s friend was sleeping over cheater was told to get out, by the wife. Makes me wonder about the husbands ????

    • To do that to a deaf and blind dog!
      It just goes to show you they never love anybody and have no compassion at all. I guess taking care of the dog would have taken too much time away from fucking his massage whore. Justice will come when he gets old, sick and helpless himself and schmoopie walks out on him.

      • I know! He’s a piece of shit. And I have no doubt it will go down exactly as you described, if not sooner. As soon as massage parlor Schmoopie gets her green card I’m sure she will be off to greener pastures. She must know by now that she hasn’t won the rich, old, stupid American that she thought she had snatched away from his wife. Old and stupid, yes. Rich? No. He was only “rich” because he had liquidated one of our retirement accounts without my knowledge. He has long since blown through that and is now subsisting on a small pension and whatever handyman work he can manage drum up. I have no idea how long he will be able to keep up the physically demanding handyman work. He is not young and is in poor health. Not my concern, I know. The only reason I am somewhat interested is because I get his pension when he dies. Not that I’m wishing death on him. Just sayin’…

        • My mother got the family home with twelve more years of mortgage payments, only two years of alimony after 25+ years together and half of his Social Security once he retired. Unfortunately she died before he started filing for that; he was onto wife 3.0 by then.

          • SPbaS, sorry for the loss of your mother. And that she passed before being able to collect what was due to her. That’s actually a fear of mine. As a breast cancer survivor it is always in the back of my mind that I could pre-decease him. Praying that I don’t.

          • I don’t know how long ago this was, but just for new betrayed; the ex husband does not have to be collecting his SS for you to draw, as long as you meet the requirements, 10 years married, age 62, and have been divorced at least two years.

            What you draw from his/her SS does not affect the amount he or she draws. It also does not affect the amount his current wife/husband or past wife/husband depending on the case draws. They are separate and they all have to meet the qualifications to draw.

            If you can draw more on your own record, of course you wouldn’t want to anyway. I get a lot more than my husband does, because he was in a different ret plan. If he could get more from mine he would, but the amount more that he would get does not meet the threshold of enough to change it.

            If you don’t have any SS of any significance it would be best to check into it assuming you are eligible. The SS site has all the qualifier info and forms etc.

            My ex couldn’t draw on mine because he remarried. And of course I couldn’t draw off his because I remarried, but I am fully loaded anyway on my own and since he was in a private fund he only had earrings from part time jobs.

    • The ex insisted that I take the kids to the coast for a long weekend, and I saw on the security camera that he left immediately after us with a bag and didn’t come back for days. I was gullible and deleted the video from my phone, because it’s not like MY husband would be cheating on me.

      I got the “staying with a buddy” after he left post D-Day. He wanted to take the kids for a night and my lawyer needed his current address for paperwork, he fessed up but gave her father’s address instead. I so wanted to pop a tracker on his car for the sake of the kids, but was too afraid that wold not be legal at the time.

      Do these dingbats have a playbook for this crap?

    • Oh, your poor doggie. That’s heartless.

      It sounds like you did as much as you could as soon as you could.

  • It started with a drinking glass that the other woman left in his car. Which showed that she had been in his car. Of course he had a “reason” for it. All of a sudden I just knew that he was in love with her. Eventually I learned via his email that he had a date with her. By then we had separated and I had met with an attorney, but not yet filed for divorce. I followed them to where they were and took pictures of them on their date. The divorce was filed a couple of days later.

    This was just at the beginning of the rise of Facebook for people who were not current college students. I also stalked him there for awhile. He was “in a relationship” with the other woman while we were still married. I don’t even Google him any more. No contact is my friend.

  • My idiot lived on his phone. I found all I needed in there, even though he’d deleted the texts and most of the emails. He forgot that they had contacted each other through several anonymous emails. He also didn’t realize Google kept track of every place he went and everything he searched for online. He also didn’t realize deleting photos on his phone did not erase them from his Google timeline. All I had to do was backtrack and I had photos of them cuddling, his searches about divorce, and the times and dates he was at her place or out on dates.

    He was so dumb he sent an email invitation to her to join him on an app that was for secret chatting, but under a man’s name, thinking I’d be fooled. He didn’t even think to use the name of a man he actually knows so it stood out like a sore thumb. He also had her in his phone under a man’s name, also a non-existent guy.

    Always check their phone and emails for “friends” you don’t know, especially ones with the same initials as the schmoopie. Follow the fw’s Google timeline and Google maps timeline. They go back a long way. Many cheaters are too dumb to even delete texts, so often this level of cyber-snooping is not even necessary.

  • Wow, there are some high level Sherlock Holmes in this community and it makes me sad to think how unsafe and alone we all felt in our lives, such a sick experience.
    I, unfortunately, felt so depressed and broken after the first D day discovery that I lost the ability to protect myself from further harm. I just went into “ protect the core” mode and shut down, walking through life in a zombie state while he continued to trip the life fantastic on and on with no consequences anywhere in sight. I stayed in that state of confusion and disbelief for years sadly. I wish I had been stronger. I thought he was just sick and I was not going to desert him, he couldn’t possibly know how much he had hurt me and our family, the person I deeply loved for over 40 years would not be capable of that. The ocean would stop hitting the shore before that could ever happen. Plus with all the continued gaslighting and the love bombing that never fully ended interspersed with the emotional and verbal abuse and devaluation, I couldn’t process any of it enough to save myself.
    Three years post divorce and he’s married to one of his countless affair partners and it still seems completely incomprehensible to me. I know he is not who he portends to be in ALL areas of his life 100% and it’s frustrating to be one of very few ppl that know what evil he is capable of and believe in it fully now, when he serves me little good. He’s a star on so many stages in life, worshipped and adored as this amazing, talented, generous loving and capable man and it is all a game to get what he wants out of everyone, he is not who they all think he is. It has made me distrust everything in the world and believe nothing is what it appears to be, it’s all a sick game being played. It’s like witnessing a murder but the person goes free because there is not enough proof to convict them, the injustice is debilitating.
    I did hack the main frame of his iPhone on three occasions and each one of those hacks was a mind blowing amount of information that I couldn’t even process, I just got more depressed instead of saving myself! And I shared it all immediately with him, desperately wanting a different outcome.
    Proud of all the people in CN who were strong enough to listen to their guts and act, I just let him break me. I’m glad I at least believe my own truth now and I fully “trust that he sucks”, but I wonder if Tuesday has been wiped off the calendar sometimes, as much as I remain hopeful it might someday reappear. I have great admiration for the strength and power displayed over and over on this site, it’s heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time!

    • 40 years of torture would do that to anybody. What he did, by abusing and devaluing, followed by love bombing, in an endless loop, is a very deliberate tactic to break you down. It’s called intermittent reinforcement, and state security organizations use a variation of it to torture information out of people, the reason being that it is effective. You broke free, and that took incredible strength. It’s going to take a lot of time to recover. Please be patient with yourself and don’t blame yourself.????

    • You have strength and power too, Chumpasaurus. I know it’s heartbreaking and incomprehensible that the person we loved for most of our lives could betray and hurt us so deeply. (I understand. I was with mine for 34 years.) But you are here now; a valued member of Chump Nation. You have left a cheater and are GAINING A (BETTER) LIFE!! Your Tuesday will come, I’m sure of it. As sure as I am that your ex will get what he deserves, eventually.


  • Low-tech but devastatingly effective, I found our old baby monitor. Plugged the transmitter in the living room. Took the receiver with me. The VERY FIRST time I left the driveway, I hear her phone call “He just left, we can talk now… I’ll pick you up at 11… I’m wearing the red ones you like…”. She even put the neanderthal on speaker while she dolled herself up so I could hear both sides.

    My reaction was horror mixed with relief that I wasnt going crazy. Didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. Somehow I was hoping I was wrong about her, but I just had to know for sure. Once I had 100% proof I stopped all spying because it no longer mattered. But for a brief period I could have given Sherlock Holmes a run for his money.

  • Hid voice recorders that look like USB drives in his car, in his office and the bedside table. Also had gps devices in all the cars— including mine and one the kids used because he thought I would’ve track my vehicle.

    Caught an after hours encounter with his AP in his office. Saw in real time the visits and drive bys to her apartment. Mission accomplished

  • Also Google Maps history was nice enough to show me exactly where he lived. He had no car, no job, lived in daddy’s basement, so she drove them everywhere and paid for everything. All while I was out actually earning the money she was spending on him. My lawyer loved the spreadsheets I had compiled from Maps and FindMyPhone GPS data.

    • Strava can work for that too. I figured out the address of one of the AP’s that way. Good to know to keep the kids away.

  • I downloaded all of his Facebook messages with AP on D-Day (night) when I discovered his cheating and after hours of taking screenshots of their sexting I realized that was the tip of the iceberg. Legal considering we were married and cohabitating at the time and he had given me his passwords to critical accounts prior to an international business trip.

    They loved going back over their first moments, sexting, disparaging both of their significant others, wishing I was dead, plans to run off after the holidays, plus 536 messages between each other on our 15th wedding anniversary. Oh, she looked sexy in her leopard skin tights that day at their work? Meet in the car for sex? Wonderful.

    I had dates and times that they were sexting while he sat next to me at soccer games or was supposed to be with the kids. His work wanted copies of her slipping into his office between patients for extra hot time, oh and when she was his patient too, to send to his licensing board. But I held off so he wouldn’t loose his career and not be able to support the kids.

    I live in a no-fault state so court would not have been interested in much of the smarmy stuff, but at least I knew and the split was final. I would have knocked myself out to save that marriage if he had left and I had not known the gritty details of the truth.

    Document everything. I took photos of the dozens of shoes of the same type, loads of expensive exercise gear, package slips found in the garage, duplicates of expensive jackets, hats, sunglasses etc. while the kids had one pair of shoes each with holes in them while I was squeezing the family budget to replace them.

    Use financial software such as Mint or Quicken to download and backup transactions on every account that you know of and have access to. Running reports and numbers can really help when it comes time to figure out child support, alimony, and who gets the house for what.

    • One clue was getting a call from our banker asking if we wanted to refinance our line of equity to roll in his high-balance credit cards. I didn’t know he had those credit cards. So yes, run that credit report, especially while still legally married.

    • “while I was squeezing the family budget to replace them.”

      This is what pissed me off the most. My son did without some things he needed and a lot of things he wanted, because the asshole was so tight with money. But, money for pussy was free flowing.

      I regret not calling the credit card co back and getting a ten year history. But, in real time; I think I could only handle knowing it was three years. The rest came later.

  • Two words: Previous Destinations! They forget to clear their gps in the car. I figured out the name of all his Tinder Dates and Match dates from his own car. He was cruising some rough neighborhoods in a nearby city. I figured those were Tinder. Others were there twice or more and in fancier towns. Match. He’d shower, I’d start only the battery start to turn on the electrical system and check his gps.

    • Yes, previous destinations on his new car and then the portable GPS from his old car. They can’t deny those destinations that they themselves entered. Shaking when I opened them up and saw them, but confirmed what I thought.

      Also, on your monthly cell phone bill, go to documents and receipts (online). This will list not only the calls they made or received, but also where they were located at that time. SO when he said he was in NJ and the bill came in and said he was in Newport, RI, I had more confirmation. I meditate every night and do a short journal and I would just document where he claimed to be and then compare that to where he actually was when the bill was ready.

      All this information gave the confidence to tell him very calmly and that I knew he was lying when he repeatedly claimed she was just a friend. Good riddance.

  • Sleuthing gave me knowledge that was purposefully hidden from me. Knowledge is power, and the more I uncovered the more in control I felt. I did all the usual stuff – hacking into email, Facebook messenger and bridge toll records, going through banking records with a fine toothed comb, tearing apart the house looking for clues. My heart would race and my palms would sweat every single time I sat in front of my laptop to dig. Kind of triggery for me to think about it now even though several years have passed.

    One crucial piece of information he tried to keep from me – AP’s name – was the prize nugget I frantically dug for. I only knew she was an “old friend.” On his Outlook work calendar he kept a birthday calendar with co-worker’s Bdays on it. I noticed a Bday entry for a “Dee” that was not a reoccurring event, and I didn’t recognize the name. Seemed fishy. So, I set up an Excel spreadsheet (LOL) and broke into his Facebook list of friends and listed every single female “friend” with a first name that started with D. I also visited the pages of his high school era friends and gathered more names from THEIR friends list. I must have had almost 40 names on that spreadsheet! After this intel gathering, I signed up for a free trial account. I proceeded to enter all the names from my prospective AP list and the known birthdate taken from his calendar into and BINGO there she was.
    All this makes me cringe now.

  • My ex demanded to know how I knew where one of his girlfriends lived. This was a woman I considered a friend, that I sent flowers to at work when her dog died and baked her a fucking birthday cake. I had no idea I was not supposed to know where she lived or that she would be upset I knew her address. I never knew it was supposed to be a secret. She had been to my home dozens of times where I had fed the bitch and I even had her over for Christmas and bought her gifts.

    But he was outraged I knew where she lived and demanded to know how I had her address. I told him I put a tracker on his car. I hope he drove himself crazy trying to find it.

    Really all I did was make up a young girl’s profile on snapchat and add him as a friend. He went for it within seconds. Snapchat tracks your location and shows it to your friends unless you disable it. It wasn’t hard to figure out where he was going. I knew where she lived from conversations with her about her moving there. They act like I’m a crazy stalker because I REMEMBER things THEY TOLD ME. That’s infuriating. I got treated like a nut because I remember where a woman I knew for several years lived, because I remembered how excited she was to move there and how she told me about it. That makes me a stalker.

    Well then, what the fuck was she when she was sitting in my house, eating my fucking food, opening Christmas presents I bought her while she was conspiring with my ex husband against me? If I’m a stalker for just remembering what she told me then what does all that make her? Fucking psychopaths.

  • Heres a good tip- buy them a bouquet of roses while they are at work and leave it on their car with a card or something, but leave it anonymous. When they get home, if they thank you for the flowers or ask you about them, its a good tell that they aren’t cheating. If they dont mention it at all- likely they are cheating because the only reason theyd not tell you about it is because they don’t know which one of you left the flowers.

    .. ok idk maybe that strategy sounded better in my head.

  • I highly recommend a credit check. I did this and found a secret bank account and apparently I owned several pieces of property I didn’t know about. My ex had forged my signature on a power of attorney and his mother (former monster in law) used it to put my name on some property deeds. I was part owner of snowy 400 acres of property I didn’t know about. She then used that same power of attorney to tie my name into a multi million dollar debt (6 million!) because they needed my credit and my income in order to get qualified for the loan. This case was turned over to the FBI (due to it involving a federal bank) and I had to be interviewed by them. I sang like a canary because I did nothing wrong and it the forgery was very obvious. Because of their deceit, I was able to get my ex out of the house and I got my house debt free. He got a pickup truck and a small boat and his personal belongings only. ????‍♀️

    The moral is: get a credit check, you will probably be surprised at what you find.

      • Yes. Because it was a crime against a federal bank and the amount. $6 million isn’t chump change. That loan was the largest that bank branch had done and it was done by fraud. The notary who notarized it was fired, the attorney was censured and the loan officer was fired also. It was a real ???? show.

  • This might not be as mighty as other stories here, but here is my little story. I had recently been brutally discarded after a nearly four decade marriage and was distraught and broken-hearted. My then-husband packed a few items and immediately moved in with the other woman. I was barely functioning, but for weeks I kept having recurring thoughts about his guns. You see, he was a hunter and gun collector throughout our marriage and had quite a few large gun safes in our house. I knew nothing about his guns and he was sure the guns never even crossed my mind. But the thought kept coming to me to “do something with his guns”. So I spent one whole night opening each gun safe and taking the guns out. I first took a picture of all the guns together in each safe, as I knew I had to reposition everything exactly as they were originally. I knew he would notice if they had been disturbed or moved around. I took pictures of each gun, wrote down serial numbers, and any writing I could find. Pictures of boxes of ammo, everything I could find. Then I carefully wiped away my fingerprints and repacked the guns in each safe Three days later, while I was work, I received a text from my husband telling me he had been at our house and had taken all the guns, “for safe keeping”. He was sure I had no idea about his guns at all, not a clue! I replied that I was one step ahead of him and told him exactly what I had done. I told him, he may have the guns in his possession, but none will “disappear “ as I was sending a copy of the list and pictures to my attorney. It felt so good to say that to him! My original plan was to sell everything and split the proceeds. I knew this would be one way to get even with my cheating husband; by selling his beloved guns! But after appraising the value of the gun collection, my attorney and I traded my half of the value, in the divorce, for forty acres of property we co owned. He can keep his guns; the property is worth well over one hundred thousand dollars! I still feel “mighty” just typing this!

    • That sounds pretty darned might to me.

      I took pictures of his guns too, he only had a couple, plus a rifle that my dad had given him. That way he had to declare them. The one my dad gave him, I pulled and gave to my son. Funny thing was, I know nothing about guns, so I left a part of my dads rifle in the gun cabinet. But, the fw did give it to my son; so I will begrudgingly give that to him. Of course he almost had to, as I had pics of all the stuff in the gun cabinet. I didn’t think of the ammo.

    • Excellent. For me it was both guns and guitars, lots of guns and guitars.

      He abandoned me and grabbed all his stuff before I knew what was happening but I was able to itemize every one of them in detail from memory. I am certain he was shocked to hell that I demanded half the value of his rock-god-man-crush signature series Gibson as well as half the value of his brand new AK-47, but I got it. And the Remington 870, and the Martin Dreadnought. And. And. And. I was highly motivated.

      It pays to be the grown up.

  • I feel so badly for the chumps who share children or businesses with cheaters.

    I needed just enough information to know it wasn’t “all in my head”. Every time he had denied my suspicions, I felt guilty. And when I was getting closer to the truth, his denials became the only hope I had for saving our marriage.

    It doesn’t take much chronological time to confirm cheating behavior. Then the trick becomes trusting that he sucks. I needed to remind myself that no matter how unhappy I may have sometimes been, I never considered betraying him or our wedding vows. The fact that he could, simply meant he was a lying, cheating coward.

  • I got wind of a 4 year affair I’d suspected (and asked questions about) all along. We’d been married for 5 years. My mum died a year after we got married. Work those numbers out.

    The denial and refusal to leave the home/marriage put me into paralysed mode. I kind of subconsciously, without even realising, just left him to it. I’m not sure I consciously thought this but when the time came, the 100% proof D Day 6 months later, I realised I had just left him to it (numbed out) with the intention of letting him fall into his own trap.

    No questions when he’d shower shave and after shave before going to a movie “on his own” (this guy did NOTHING on his own). No follow up to check the truth with our mutual friend Tracey when he’d shower shave and after shave before hanging with her at her place or to go to a gig together. And so on.

    The thing with liars though is they tell half truths. I thought about reaching out to Tracey, she was always asking me what I knew about the woman I’d found out about 6 months prior (name: Tracy) and searching for insight into what I’d do about it etc. I was numb at this stage so hadn’t any plans.

    Turns out:

    He had been seeing Tracy for 4 years, I’d been on to it all along and they’d both lied and gaslighted the hell out of me when asked about it. Her best friend told me but was made out to be nuts and big fights ensued. That’s Tracy no e.

    Tracey (with an e) had actually introduced him to a school friend meth dealer when I found out about Tracy (so 6 months before 100% proof D Day). Turns out he’d put Tracy on the back burner (call her decoy bitch at the stage) and initiated this new affair to keep me off the scent.

    I then met the new affair partner about 6 months after D Day with 100% proof (6 months seperated at this point) who had been told we seperated about the time of that first D day without the proof from Tracy with no e’s bestie.

    Tracey with an e and this new one we’re old school friends. My ex at same school too. Turns out the ex and Tracey with an e had been screwing each other on and off for years. I won’t go into how much she was supporting me after D Day (that’s a whole other story).

    Honestly, I was pretty good at being marriage police. But boy, I’d only ever seen the tip of the iceberg. Insane amount of affairs (previous one I’d found out about continued for two years after being found out, yet they were still together when we got married two years after being found out). Yep, what the fuck was I thinking getting married. I will never know the answer to that.

    Side note: my psych I got after last D Day was also called Tracey ???? and I found Chump Lady at the same time (Tracy again). I hadn’t understood why he’d get so worked up when I talked about anyone called Tracey/Tracy ???????? I believe hes still with Tracy 3 years later (still hidden, still think he thinks we’ll get back together, he still denies her even though she’s been caught in the act countless times (including watching me drive kids to his place from her car down the road, checking whether he’s lying re kids handover I suspect lol). I mean seriously, just come out guys, and live your best life. You’re welcome to each other really. There’ll be no drama from me (100% certain he will be telling her I’d lose my shit if they became a public couple ie made it known to my kids). You are welcome to him sweetie.

  • Google saves their searches no matter what device you’re in- so if you have an account logged in anywhere, you can see.
    I found out my ex was still googling his AP and looking up his instagram. I asked him “you promise youre still not trying to hit her up etc, right?” “No i will never do that again she is toxic etc etc i am better off without her” “oh funny cause you looked her up exactly this day”

    • The google search was a big one for me. I suspected the AP after looking at phone records. A google search showed me who the number belonged to. I saw what he did for a living and he put his home address as an LLC. One night while she had me watch the kids so she could go out with “girls”, I saw her google activity showed she typed in the AP’s address.

      I later drove over there and confirmed with my own eyes.

      Honestly, I found out more than probably 95% of chumps and I’m forever grateful what I was able to see leading up to D-Day and even the year following D-Day.

  • What can I say, I’m lo tech. Carrying around the extra key fob and key to his car helped me locate him a few times. Click Click Beep.
    Not to mention if it’s parked in her garage or outside a restaurant. Oops, darn that pesky car alarm. Why does it keep going off?

  • Mine was lazy and deleted emails from his hookups, but didn’t empty the email trash folder.

    He was smart enough to delete his browser search history after each session, but when you type a single letter into a search browser (like Google) it will often suggest things based on past searches. In my case, typing “c” suggested the no-strings MFW Craigslist hookup site. If you have “incognito mode” as your default browser setting, turn it off “accidentally” and see if it’s noticed.

    If you save passwords (or click “remember me”) to your computer, there is a file you can read that has all of the websites and user names.

    You can often find a lot of clues looking into your computer’s temporary file folder.

    If they have hidden a folder somewhere on the computer it is harder to find, but you can do searches based on the time stamps, pulling up folders used within the last day or so.

    This one is really subtle, but if your partner has a very obvious “tell” when lying (e.g., looking down and left) and then BLATANTLY does the opposite when denying an affair (uncomfortably direct staring into your eyes) – this is a master manipulator who has planned a long con.

  • You can get all the texts back and forth on your phone bill. Just shows the phone numbers but it’s a dead giveaway when there’s texting to one number all day and night.

    But my favorite (if you can call it that) detective work was when I had to help the PI get enough info on FW and AP (back in 2015). FW was in La La Land… over the moon and starry eyed that he was leaving me and running to schmoopie. He was so ridiculous that he BRAGGED about his whereabouts and what he was doing with her.

    The PI told me he needed more info on what kind of car AP drove and where they would be.

    The week after FW left, he met me at my house after son’s summer camp and while he sat in a chair like king of the castle, I asked him how things were going. I was prepping food in the kitchen and acted nonchalant. FW blurted that he was taking AP to an outdoor movie.
    He was gleeful: “We’re seeing Ferrid Bueller in the park tomorrow! We’re so excited.” Keep in mind that idiot was 47 at the time — acting like a teenager. He even shared the details of where it was.

    Then he mentioned that one of her sons was “just like” our son.
    And I said “meaning?”
    He answered “Well, he needs some extra supports — AP is looking to put her son in (insert expensive private school).”
    I said “Wow! That’s expensive! Is she is expecting YOU to pay for it?”
    And he snorted “No!”
    So I said “She must be wealthy then.” And he said “No.”
    And I said “Oh yeah?? What kind of car does she drive?” (see where I was going with this? I had to get the info for the Private investigator LOL).
    He said “An old Honda Odyssey.”
    I said “How funny! You hate them! Is it gold like my sister’s that you hated?”
    And he said “No…it’s silver.”
    And I said “You said she’s from Maryland and you hate Maryland drivers. Maryland plates?”
    He said “No… Virginia.”
    When he got up to go to the bathroom, I called the PI and gave him everything he needed. The PI told me that FW was the biggest moron he had dealt with in over a year.
    I hope I never have to play detective again.

      • It was surreal LOL. But thanks to that, the PI got all the pics and proof he needed within 24 hours. With that, I was able to serve FW within 2 weeks of him leaving — under adultery. And then FW shut up because his lawyer told him “YOU IDIOT! STOP TALKING TO HER.”

  • My first clue was when I noticed that the lines on the bow of our sailboat were tied differently. We sailed often together.

    Then came the usual red flags that we can observe without the need for spying:
    1) a perked-up interest in self-care – more haircuts, new aftershave, better clothing, manicures, etc.
    2) more time spent on his cell phone, and often seeking privacy while on the phone – texting in the bathroom, etc.
    3) an increased willingness to do everyday errands or any necessary tasks that gave him unaccountable time to be away from the home
    4) a new dedication to physical fitness, including day-long bike rides.
    5) advice to me about how I could be “perkier” and “sexier” that sounded like it was from a woman’s viewpoint, including a comfortable brand of high-heeled shoes to check out.

    In light of all this, when accounts on our shared business network were accidentally merged, including Messenger, and the chance to spy appeared, I grabbed it.

    I found miles of conversations between Knave-man and his AP: explicit photos (eww), details of their sexual requests from each other and descriptions of each other’s bodies (eww, eww), meet-up times and places, jealousies (of me, the wife, but also additional APs!), urgent requests for amorous congress or phone sex, urgings for him to take her to Paris, and thinly veiled threats of exposure – all dated and timed.
    I made a “best of” document and saved it to a flash drive.

    Knave-man can now only assume that I know about and have evidence of everything (one never does).

    This is proving enormously helpful so far for our separation, and I hope will it carry me through to a good settlement.

    • I now believe the reason he wanted a sailboat was because he wanted a bomb-proof hookup spot.

      Long after DDay and after he moved out, I finally went down to the marina and went on board to get my stuff.

      I cleaned the head with all the toothbrushes on board before I left.

  • My dumb ass ex didn’t present much of a challenge. He never logged out of FB so I just went into his computer and looked at the PM’s with the whore.

    Then I read his diary. He never put specifics but he was dumb enough to include things like her flying in and going to dinner with her.

    Of course he lied about everything until he realized what I already knew, then changed his story.

    I’m sure I don’t know everything but at this point I don’t care. He once slipped that his first thought when I brought her up was “oh my God what does she know”.

    That pretty much says it all.

    And he was so dumb that he initially thought the PM’s of “just catching up” were public and freaked out looking for them because what if someone saw them “just catching up?”.

    That would’ve been horrible for his majesty’s image management ????

    He was noticeable relieved when I finally told him they were PM’s.

    I told a bunch of people anyway and these things get around.

  • There are great apps out there that let you read the deleted text messages, photos etc from phones. This provided everything I needed to pull the plug immediately.

    I think the thing that stuck with me most is the fact that, when your radar is pinging and you feel that you’re being fed bullshit, you will very likely find something ‘bad’. I was both angry and relieved at what I found. Relieved because I realized that I wasn’t actually crazy – something was indeed going on; just as I suspected.

    The AP was also married. I took what I’d found and sent it to her. Funny story: one night I’m on the phone with her (the AP’s wife) and she’s having me talk her through retrieving the deleted messages. I can hear the conversation as she asks him for his phone. He’s calm and cool…until she tells him who she’s on the phone with. I’m an expert computer user; and the sheer panic in his voice was just sooo satisfying as he went from zero concern to full-on in a split second.

  • I went through all the suspicions and marriage policing with his first affair. He had been staying very late after work and of course my requests for a call were met with typical narc abuse and staying out even later. He denied anything was happening with his ho-worker and called me jealous, all the typical stuff. I had no proof and felt like a terrible harpy for even suggesting he was out of line. He had stayed out till 4am a few times but still raged at me that THERE. IS. NOTHING. GOING. ON. Your basic DARVO moves.

    One terrible night I went out looking for him and went down to his work parking lot. At 11pm I spot him and the whore walking up and when she saw my car she ran away from him. She actually RAN. He marched over to my car and leaned in and yelled, “What!?!” I said what the hell are you doing, he said nothing. Lie. The fact his whore ran away from him the second she saw me (cockroach!) was enough for me to be sure, even though it took a couple months more of agony and my finding e-mails and then him finally confessing for my chumpy brain to really believe it.

    In those e-mails they joked about how I was a stalker.

    This was back in 2008 so the technology was not as good as it is today. I wish I had hidden myself better so I would have seen their goodnight make-sesh in the parking lot that night, maybe that would have gotten me going. I am sure he would still have lied about it in some way, and I might have believed it. DARVO if powerful.

    I stayed for 9 more years. He learned his lesson and simply abandoned me with the final affair, having learned to take things underground and future-fake me completely. He blamed me for the failure of the marriage. As they do.

    New chumps, get your proof if that is what it takes you to get moving. I know having to be the marriage police at all is reason enough to call it quits, but if we had that kind of mighty in our factory settings we wouldn’t be chumps, now would we?

    Do whatever you have to do. Be smart, be devious, get the goods on them and get out. They lie. They are mocking you while they fuck.

  • No need to ever suspect anything, 14 happy years together. Until, a month long crazy work schedule gave howorker her chance to move in on him. After him acting funny for about a week I found an Uber email on his phone, he tried to play it off as he was drunk after work and she offered him a place to stay. God, how stupid was I, I kind of believed him, he would never be the type to cheat. He always said how annoying she was..what a chump I was..Fast forward two weeks later, I had given him some space and was coming back from my parents’ house out of state. I didn’t warn him of when I was driving home, but I now knew howorker’s address from the Uber receipt, so I did a drive by at about 1 am after driving 1,000 miles….Wouldn’t you know it, FW’s car in her driveway. I confronted him the next morning and he didn’t give me a “chance to dance”, he wanted a divorce and was gaslighting me like crazy that it was absolutely not because of another woman, shes just a friend. So, I hire a PI, he gets pretty great video of them leaving howorker’s house in the middle of the work day, her sans makeup and all. On top of that I had added a tracker to his car a day after I got back from my parents. God bless that tracker, I think I may have lost my sanity from his lies of where he was otherwise. Why lie about her if you’re already asking for the divorce? This just proved he hadn’t been staying at his parents 90 minutes away like he had said, but spending every single night at her place since I came back. He kept saying he had just “fallen out of love..” Wrong. He transferred that “love” straight to the good ole horse faced whore. Shout out to my PI, he gave me some advice after I showed interest in installing a security camera at home. He suggested I tell him I was taking another “trip” to make sure FW felt nice and safe in bringing the OW back to the condo. I hid the camera in a plant on top of the fridge, caught him face-timing her, something my shy husband never did, audio wasn’t the best but I did catch a few digs on me…”Oh she left me no clean towels before she went away, etc..” Who lies about these things?? I am only 9 weeks out from DDay struggling everyday with losing my best friend and trying to trust he sucks and that I guess he wasn’t who I thought he was. The only nice thing so far has been the fact that we already had to sell our beautiful beach condo we were living in and now his brand new mid-life crisis (36yo??) surf board has become a giant waste of money 😀

      • Thank you @Thrive, I think even more than struggling with missing my husband, is missing the person I shared everything with. I guess you’re right and best friends wouldn’t do that..

    • KS. This is so saddening.

      It completely baffles me what goes on in the head of the OW when the cheater is complaining about his wife. First, you run away upon seeing the wife approach you, which means that you know you are in the wrong and fear the confrontation. It doesn’t cross your mind that maybe this makes you a shitty person.

      Second, this man’s wife is away and you allow him to sleep over at your place as if you are a hotel. He hasn’t ended the marriage. It doesn’t cross your mind that this is really douchy of this man to be doing this with you, not to mention what it makes you.

      Third, you are facetiming this man, and he has the gall to complain that his wife didn’t leave him clean towels as if his wife is five-star housekeeping service that forgot to turn down the bed and leave a mint on the pillow. It doesn’t cross your mind that this guy is an entitled ass who is treating his wife like a maid. And, then to top it off, he’s mocking his wife as being a stalker and you are enabling him by agreeing.

      It is all depraved behaviour. It’s immature and disordered. It’s two pigs roll around in shit together and failing to smell each other’s stink. And, yet, we mourn the loss of the cheater. Feel we lost some kind of prize, lament the loss of some great life we thought we had. We have panic attacks at the thought of them with the OW and imagine that they are having the time of their lives.

      They are immature morons. How can morons have the capacity to actually carry out a deep, meaningful love? I mean, here we have it folks, glimpses into their great, deep life…fleeing wives, sneaking off when the wife is gone, making fun of her, lying. Now ain’t that just quality, or what?

      I wish that there was some magical wand that I could wave to erase the pain of betrayal and the indignities that our cheaters, and their accomplices bestow upon us. Perhaps, some form of hypnosis or eletrotherapy that could fade the memories or numb the blow. But, all we can do is hang on to what CL and other reiterate…that we are better off without them and the sooner we gain our proper lives back, the better.

      • OptionNoMore,

        Thank you so much for taking the time to say all of that, I needed it so much tonight! Thank God for CL and all the wonderful people here on CN. I really do think if I hadn’t found this place and started to read some sensible, kind words I would really start to believe there is no good left anymore in this crazy world. Thank you!

      • “It completely baffles me what goes on in the head of the OW”

        Same here. I am certain in the case of my fws OW, it was a desparate need for a meal ticket. He was providing her with a lot of financial support. (I didn’t know until after the split).

        Obviously I didn’t know the fw as well as I thought I did, but I did know he was a control freak. I imagine the financial support was what he held over her head, by that I mean I am sure that for a long while she knew that if he was outed, her financial support would end.

        Then as time went on, he got all twisted up in the workplace auger of fucking his direct report. (She was not his direct report when he started fucking her) However, he did petition to get her hired. Once all this shit started hitting the fan, he was stuck with her.

        I didn’t realize that in real time, but as some time went on it became clear.

        I am so glad it was exposed, I got to escape at age 40, I can’t imagine how awful it would have been even a decade later. I didn’t appreciate how lucky I was to be discarded until about a year after the discard. Lordy he was a fucked up mess, and she was right at his level.

      • ” It’s two pigs roll around in shit together and failing to smell each other’s stink. ”

        Also this is the most accurate portrayal of adultery/betrayal I have ever seen. Oh how I wish I had thought of it in real time, as it would have been perfect as a comment to my ex when he confessed his betrayal.

        He described it as “dating” and I did say married people don’t date, they commit adultery and he didn’t like that, and it did cause him to hang his head. But if I had said “what you are describing is two pigs… It would have been awesome.

        I encourage all you new chumps, if you get the opening to use that phrase, use it.

      • I think they have the “dual life” perfected– they have these other attributes that make it difficult when the cheating life is exposed– to not let the good other attributes explain away the cheating.

  • I was young, dumb and hopeful at the start, and reconciled. There was a story that wasnt adding up to me tho, and it involved how he was talking to someone he knew in Snapchat. Said it was completely friendly.

    WELL. Turns out, Snapchat doesn’t actually delete the pictures that are received and sent for six months and if you have their login information you can access this data and download it. You can view all conversations.

    I learned that it’s not worth reconsilation, because even if you have the patience of a saint while they try and turn themselves into decent humans, what do you get out of it? A lifetime of suppressed rage toward someone meant to be your closest, most trusted partner? So much easier starting over in a relationship not riddled with lies and insecurities!

  • Technology! – enables cheaters and it can help chumps find out.

    After finding out I’d seen his overly affectionate texts to OW x raged that his ‘privacy had been invaded’, complained about his woes, and claimed it meant nothing and tried charm all in the same interaction.

    Note for newbies – what you find is often just the tip of the iceberg (later more info emerged).

    • “Technology! – enables cheaters and it can help chumps find out.”

      I agree, in fact I think technology pretty much makes it a wash. I think the era before SM made it a lot easier for cheaters to get away with long term cheating.

      On another topic, I still to this day wonder about the make up in terms of character and self respect that a woman who will let herself be kept a secret for years has.

      I say women because that was my situation.

  • My ex is supervillain-level of devious. I try not to think how I taught him how to be a better cheater, liar, and manipulator.

    I am in cybersecurity but I didn’t need my mad skillz at the start…I did at the end, 5 years later. He was a very convincing “I’m in therapy and doing what my therapist says” master.

    Don’t tell them how you know what you know.

    • “Don’t tell them how you know what you know.” I learned this at the end. I kept confronting him and kept confronting him and he just got better at hiding. Eventually I could find almost nothing digitally even though he was still constantly on his phone, but always put it away when I walked up. There are too many secret/hidden messaging options now. I got voice activated recorders then and those told me enough. I wasn’t crazy. He chose to leave instead of confess everything. He is still trying to figure out how I know what I know.

  • I changed our joint credit card statement to come electronically to me and then I put my lawyers retainer on it.

    Ran credit report. Discovered I was only an authorized user on one card, removed myself.

    Ran Quickbook Pro reports at office by names, vendors, cash to him, refunds

    Moved $$$ for safekeeping

    • Hey Kate maybe you weren’t the other woman in your new relationship but your stunning lack of empathy for and mockery of Jennair makes you a narc of the first order.

  • I suspect you’re listening to hubby’s version of the story Kate. I also suspect that you’re not his first OW.

    Your tone and word choice are unlike the respectful and sincere conversations that usually take place here.

    • I agree with GettingStronger. I hope the stories of the chumps in this community help you to view your situation through a more empathetic lens and consider all narratives.

      Though I’m not familiar with the podcast you mention, the story sounds far from hilarious. You don’t really seem to be preaching to the choir. Read the room.

        • When I read it, my first thought was this is the cheating asshole trying to assume an identity to trash his wife.

          I still suspect that.

          • Yep, no OW would admit to laughing at her fuckwitted boyfriend’s crying kids begging him to come home. They always pretend they feel sorry for the kids, lest they offend the fw.
            It’s so over the top it’s obviously fake.

            • Spot on, OHFFS.

              “Kate,” why exactly do you think she left him in the first place?

              It sounds like she’s remarried and has moved on. Like you said, she finally got over it. But have you?

              Why, exactly are you here? If you’re here for a reality check, you’re in the right place. If you’re gaining nothing but laughs from our sadness, it’s time to leave.

      • Cheaters and OW’s just make me laugh. Can’t help it. No one would truly like or love you if they knew the lying asshole you really are. What’s so hard to understand about your kids and family never wanting to talk to you again? You deserve better than playing internet troll. Seriously…

  • I’m just gonna say this. Chumps may be chumps but we can be pretty damn resourceful ourselves ONCE we realize we’re being chumped. From my experience I just wanna say this. IF you live in a place that actually has penalties for infidelity, hire that lawyer and they’ll probably recommend a PI. PROFESSIONAL, which means they won’t break the law or get caught doing it, and I think this is justified if you can get the better settlement that you deserve. However, If you’re in a no fault place or state like I am. You need to take a breather. Many of the things on this post are ILLEGAL and could land you in very hot water. Audio or Video in a place that is considered private….ie….a bedroom, are illegal, in almost every US state unless you are present in the room and some states don’t even allow for that. Yes, I did do some crazy things, but thankfully mine was pretty easy. Her cell phone is owned and payed for by the company I own, so I saw all the phone calls and texts………a staggering amount. Like 200 while we were on vacation with the kids and extended family…….and my family asked…..where is she…she’s always gone or on the phone. Yeah, I was that big of a chump. I know I’m probably not gonna convince a new chump on Dday not to dig too much. I wish I could though. I’m an IT guy so you can imagine what my digging came up with. So I’ll leave you with this. All those horrible things you think they’re doing. They probably are and its likely even worse. So my worst was a week out of Dday. Nailed down their meeting place. Fully intent on laying the smackdown on dude, LMAO. He was just one of many. What I found was that when I got there from afar, the wind was knocked out of me. I couldn’t have beaten up or been intimidating to a baby kitten, I could barely take my next breath or stay on my feet. Yes I was LIVID, and I’ve had to fight before, but it could have been Gomer Pyle there and I wouldn’t have stood a chance… was then. I was just broken. Looking back, maybe I needed that to see reality. This wasn’t some dudes fault, yeah maybe he’s a piece of shit, but this was on her. She CHOSE this and not me or our family. Hard pill to swallow, but swallow it I did. That’s when I found me again, and knew that it was ONLY me and my kids, family and REAL friends now. That’s when my journey to mighty began. Hard fought, yes. Took 3 years and her going through 3 lawyers to end it. Sorry I got off topic. Just be very VERY careful with you’re sleuthing skills. Most importantly, DON’T break any laws. Spying or stalking are serious criminal offenses, you do NOT want those coming up in a custody battle or even just a divorce with no children. I guess in the end it’s like why we have open caskets. Closure. Just don’t make it an obsession.

  • STBX spouse is a covert malignant narc (prof. diagnosed NPD… ironically enough, she aggressively sought post-hospitalization personality assessment to “prove” she wasn’t borderline, just a strong-willed, sensitive, “bipolar” artistic/creative-type whose lying/cheating/spending is bad but NOT nearly as bad as everyone failing to understand & accommodate her special sensitivities, lol!). Falsely humble, shy, attractive, intelligent, artistic, attentive (until she’s not)… she’s somehow always juuuust on the cusp of accomplishing anything, ever (big or small). Scapegoat of her narcissistic family, her schtick was/is to use her secret double-life of sexual-predation to pass the sadistic buck on to any awkward fool deemed “lucky to even get to talk with her” (translation: she psychopathically feigns sexual interest in any/every(?) glaringly-flawed co-worker, ex, or rando she believes could never ever attract someone “like her,” then humiliates & toys with them for a bit before abruptly discarding to gobble up all the pleading & despair. Apparently, she’s especially impressed with herself if they commit suicide/become suicidal, violate their religious beliefs, or ruin their career/marriage/LTR in the process).

    How did I figure it all out?

    Google Maps timeline feature: the default setting collects, stores, & organizes all location data, screenshots, & photos taken on any given day. So, hours after she accidentally admitted to having cheated on a prior bf (whereas she’d previously always claimed to demonstrate impeccable, eternal faithfulness), her alarm went off in the middle of the night & I had a few golden seconds before the screen went dark to accept my probationary appointment to the marriage police. I’m glad I did! With just a few taps G-maps revealed that most of the nights she claimed to stay at her parents’ she actually spent in city-park & bar parking-lots (as well as the basements of these grown-ass mens’ parents’ houses… Wtf?). With court-ready time-stamps, G-maps also logged her serial-killer-esque screenshot totems of their humiliation/pain/obituaries, the nude-pics she sent as bait, the soft-core recaps of their workplace rendezvouses, etc.

    Netflix: like Google, Facebook, etc. Netflix maintains a surprisingly detailed data-set on every account & user, which the account-holder can request a copy of. Soooo, hypothetically-speaking, if you’re a covert malignant narc & it’s 3 AM & you’re bored waiting for your current target to embarrass himself to the nudes you just sent from your childhood bedroom, then every…single…action… you take in Netflix is time-, device-, & location-stamped (via ISP-logging) & added to the massive data-set associated w/ your account. There are even handy (mostly European) websites that will visualize the data-set for free (nothing like scrolling through a plot of regular activity contrasted w/ secret late-night stop-start-stop-start screenings of ‘Nymphomaniac’ or how weird it is that ‘Lolita’ & Nazi torture documentaries pinged her work IP the day she earned all that overtime pay & Gmaps logged that screenshot description of being finger-banged above the dairy cooler…).

    Cheaters– especially narc cheaters– are creatures of habit. And chronically bored. And can apparently siphon off a kibble or 2 from adultery/sadism-themed Netflix content. So, odds are that Netflix data might be just the thing your local marriage police need to crack the case of just what in the fuck has your fuckwit been up to…

    • Yep, Google maps timeline is your friend.

      Great idea about Netflix. I never thought of that, but I already knew fw exclusively watched all those disgusting “edgy” cable shows where the main characters are psychopaths.

      Your ex sounds seriously disturbed, as in serial killer level disturbed. She wants them to commit suicide? Then she will kill somebody one day if she hasn’t already. Bitch should be locked up.

  • After separation, my clever cheater came over to go thru financials. It was almost school pick up time, so he knocked on my door, and helpfully volunteered to go pick up the littlies. And left his locked briefcase outside my front door. In the 12 minutes he was gone I opened it (the code was still the default 123), and photocopied and photographed everything in there. All gold. Found copy of his signed statement he had given to police for an incident (all lies about me), copies of his phone bills, showing the myriad daily calls to Schmoops (around 2 hrs a day during work time, for 3 years), bank statements (including his credit card that I didn’t know about, full of hotel, restaurant and porn charges), and the best bit, a draft of a 3 page letter he had written her, which started “I wanted you to have some lovely memories of us”…which conveniently went on to detail so much of their affair -weekends away, restaurants, lunchtime hotel hook ups, days off together, “making love together with the sun on our backs in the churchyard” (the church where my kids were christened!!) and numerous other bits of great evidence. All in one letter! How dumb can you be, have an affair with a subordinate, and put it all in writing to her?!! Evidence for a sexual harassment case waiting to happen!!!

    When he arrived back, his briefcase was locked again where he left it, and after school afternoon tea on the table.

    While he and kids ate, I excused myself to go to the bathroom (to quietly catch my breath from the frantic 12 minutes I had whilst he was gone, and practice my poker face), and he was none the wiser. That quick snoop gave me all I needed, and enough to know he had never told the truth. About anything.

    • Early in separation we were “nesting” alternating weeks in family home to give kids stability. I came home just after she left and saw her value next to sofa. I changed my clothes and came back outta see me teen son slide the valise under the while talking on the phone. Duly noted, I set an alarm for 1 AM so kids would be asleep.
      She had printed out emails that told me her plans for divorce, how she plotted with an old banker friend to cheat me out of house and the name of her AP.
      The one that did not exist.
      I scanned it all and put it all back. I left the house at 6:15 to go to work so she had lots of time in the morning to sneak in and get it. Using that information and a little luck I found more physical evidence and a checklist of items to take with her for her hookup at a cheap hotel..
      That was the end of the nesting..
      I locked her out of the bedroom and said that I was not leaving anymore. She threw a violent fit that compelled and enabled me to get a restraining order. She never spent another night in the house. It also gave me leverage to keep the house in the settlement, despite her evil machinations.
      She never knew that I knew.

  • Finally got brave and found (and saved) their facebook messages. Cheater was conveniently logged in on shared device
    “I need some good loving” “help me with all of my problems” “I’m waiting in my car” “you’re so good to me”
    Other times found saved photos buried in email folders (again shared device)
    And of course the phone records…
    texts long into wee hours
    phone calls at 5am
    I lost track of how often and how many ways I snooped but it sure as hell beat feeling crazy

  • I saw one text banner on his phone that said “GM Babe” when I asked him he said it was nothing. I checked the phone number on a reverse look up site- and then found hundreds of telephone/ texts on cell phone bill. Looked up his email address on PayPal and discovered Ashley Madison dating site. I cat fished him on dating site, as did my girl friends. Discovered he had other dating sites when he turned in his
    visa bill for discovery during divorce.
    I opened every email, went back 2 years on bank statements.

  • Routine credit checks on him.

    Routine credit checks on myself – he took out credit cards under my name. Then would stop the mail – so I was never aware of the bills.

    Several Visits to local post office to inquire into if the mail was stopped. It was – and pick up the mail.

    Digging around the house. Found a federal tax lien correspondence under the mattress- “we’ve been trying to get ahold of you for tax bill you owe” -again no idea as the mail was stopped. House was in both our names – my name alone was on the mortgage … we filed jointly – I had no idea the IRS was after me or the house. he cashed out his retirement account and didn’t pay penalties…

    Court records searches in local counties. He had judgements on him in a nearby county. No mail = No awareness.

    Reverse search on his phone logs for unrecognized numbers. That’s where I found the escorts.

    Reverse search his phone number on Craigslist. He would buy very expensive gift cards from Lowe’s/Home Depot. In my name. Then hoc them on Craigslist for cash. That’s how he hid it from the bank account.

    Burner phones. Massage parlors. Long term work affair.

    Moral of the story – spent way too much time getting evidence and trying to get him to stop. (Was raised strict Catholic – now think the church’s stance against divorce supports abusive situations.). Married 16.5 years.

    It was rough the first two years I left him. Had 3 young kids. Little money and hardly any time. But now, 7 years out, Life is soooo much better. Remarried. Money in my account – several promotions. Own a home. Good relationship with my kids. None of this would be possible if I was still married to the ex conman.

  • I refuse to be the marriage police just walk away with your integrity intact. I’m not putting up with an unfaithful partner!

    • Having evidence of financial misconduct can go a long way in a marriage settlement agreement, many cheaters don’t want their dirty laundry aired as part of the public record, that is what I was prepared to do if necessary to go to trial. Married for decades. He is 63, howorker is 30. Parade that in front of judge.

      • Yep, that was my finances too. Asshole stole from me for years. With what I found asshole had to pay for all my expenses for a year: House payment, car payment, electric bill (house was full electric), insurance, any repairs etc.

        Still didn’t repay me for all of it, but it sure helped me get a healthy savings account for when I moved out and left him with the piece of shit house he tried to stick me with.

        Lol, I was even bored the summer I lived there and the house needed painting. I told him I would paint the house if he bought the paint. He smirked and said nope. He was still in his delusion that I would take the house and of course the house payments.

        I walked out the following spring with the few belongings I wanted and left him to it.

        The house I moved into was down the alley from the marriage house. I had such fun watching his fat ass paint that house while his mom was living there. I made sure to drive up and down that alley several times that weekend with a silly grin on my face.

      • Of course my findings didn’t occur until he had left. If I had opened up my eyes and did some sleuthing when he started acting like a pric, I likely could have gotten out of adultery much sooner.

        One has every right to investigate a partner whether it be business, or marriage if he suspect they are being betrayed or used.

        Just common sense.

  • The time where I was marriage police – not a nice reminder, because I felt pretty awful at the time. Had a lot to do with my lack of self-confidence then. I imaged the affair partner to be this awesome guy and that they had the greatest romantic adventures. Not some bold asshole who lied about his own marriage (“we are divorced but live together to pay the mortgage”).

    At that time her mac book at home mirrored the messengers on her iphone . She always deleted all her messages to him before she came home. I took a day off from work, unbeknown to her. I left for work and the returned . Opened her computer and just watched – all the seductive messages they sent and the coffee date they planned after work that day.
    Took photos of everything and showed her.

    The rest is history.

    I never want to be in that position again. I am not keen on relationships per se, but if I ever had the same gut feeling again, there would not even be a discussion.

  • Mine hid EVERYTHING and wouldn’t admit to ANYTHING when confronted. But I did DNA tested my kids behind her back. Found out my oldest wasn’t mine and she couldn’t deny it. I suspect more affairs but all she admit is that she made many “mistakes”. Met with a lawyer and he ran a Colorado Criminal background check on her and her secret life spilled out. She couldn’t deny that either.

  • My X was a real life detective. So I took good notes and fought him at his own game. I was a better detective (by association) than he was a cheater. He absolutely did not expect me to be a super sleuth and I only wish I had listened to my gut and cut him loose a lot sooner. Always shocked me at how he could LIE to my face when he knew he was busted. I set him up a few times just to prove what a damn liar he was with no shame!! Once I seriously opened up the case on him and decided to divorce him, I learned there were a million ways he cheated and lied. His thrill was getting away with this charade for decades on end. WHAT normal person could do this? ….

    Living in the land of Meh now, I only interact with him a grandkids events. He STILL lies to me even when there is nothing to gain.

    • “He STILL lies to me even when there is nothing to gain.” How odd!! Mine’s the same way. I’m NC but have some GR email exchanges re tax/alimony stuff. I’ve caught him in minor, unnecessary lies. I don’t get it, except to say that lying must be a habit by now. How sad!

      When I told mine (in the immediate Dday aftermath) that he’s a pathological liar, he told me he wanted to meet with me so that I could say that to his face. He said that if I said that to his face, *I’d* be lying, which is a head-scratcher.

      Needless to say, I declined the offer.

      So many cheaters are sad, disordered people. When I consider this, I know that he hasn’t changed for the OW. He is the way he is–a lying, low-character, entitled FW. Aways has been. Always will be.

  • First, listen to your instincts. Trust yourself. If your instincts tell you that you are at risk, that you are married to or dating or living with a cheater, pay attention. Look for confirmation. I “knew” something very early in the discard phase, but I suffered through increasingly heart-twisting, unexplained distancing and rejection for several months, until I decided to confront Jackass (who had secluded himself in his mother’s home while she was away).

    What I learned there was that he was totally unplugged from the relationship, although he was marginally polite. That spurred me to untangle the few tangible aspects of our lives that we shared. One of those was a turnpike/highway pass he had given me that was registered in his name. I contacted the state and was told I would need his driver’s license number to change the pass. He was refusing all communication so I took to the internet to see what I could find there; because of his career path, there was some possibility I might find this information on a resume or other document that might be available. What I found was he had a Facebook page with one “friend”–the married OW–and an active Messenger account. That was not exactly proof of an affair, but it was a strong indicator that confirmed why I was so concerned when he began talking about this woman, just at the time the discard was becoming impossible not to see. Subsequent events, including a phone conversation full of bluster and denial, confirmed what my instincts had told me months before. He was terrified that I would “tell,” and the husband would find out, and everyone in the neighborhood would know.

    If I had to do it over, I would simply have allowed the connection to die and never revive again. What I learned is that if someone I’m not married to wants distance, let him go (or her; there’s really not that much difference with friends whose treatment of me doesn’t meet my standard). Now I let people show me who they are. That doesn’t mean not having discussion if a relationship is drifting off course. It means finding out what I can about why that is happening and then seeing where that information takes me.

    It’s a different situation in marriage or living-together situations where property, children, money, and legality enter in. Then you need facts. So if I were ever to marry again (in theory, since that will never happen), I would hire a good private investigator and find out for sure what is going on. Quietly.

    None of this changes the pain of betrayal. But I’ve learned that I will survive if I know the truth.

    • “I “knew” something very early in the discard phase, but I suffered through increasingly heart-twisting, unexplained distancing and rejection for several months,”

      Same here, I even asked him why he was so distant, and asked if we could spend more time together. “work stress” To be fair he likely was under a lot of work stress, he was fucking his direct report, he knew if the mayor had known, he would have never been promoted, too much bad publicity. (he was busted a few months after he discarded me). He had set the mayor up for a city lawsuit, for that a a couple other things he pulled such as getting his fuck buddy hired as his direct report, and going to the city counsel and successfully petitioning for a raise for her.

      Whore was yanked out of her job right away and put in a different department as a dispatcher until she fucked that up, she was then fired for cause. Turns out dispatchers have to be smart enough to inform police officers that they are walking into a situation involving guns. She forgot to tell them that when she dispatched them to a local business. Thankfully the police officers were smarter than she was.

      and he had to know the house of cards was starting to tumble. I am sure also howorker was putting on the pressure to come out of the alleys and back seats to become the wife.

  • I did the basics. Check bank statements….. not much there. Phone records…. odd phone calls to hotels. Traced ATM cash transactions to same day of hotel calls. Biggest day was when she accidentally left phone in car and found text app she forgot to delete…… very graphic text. Then I found a computer program that data mines for deleted text….. doesn’t pull them all but found quite a bit of useful information of text to 3 different guys! Oh made her pull her pharmacy records.

  • Triangulating data became my speciality — matching cell phone records, the family calendar and receipts found in her bag. So the night she said she was working on a document with her female colleague at her house, she was actually downtown having dinner with her f*ckbuddy.

    Finding a pregnancy test kit hidden in her closet — and we hadn’t had sex in months.

    She even deleted individual messages from my WhatsApp, when I was getting really close to finding her out. Unlucky for her she didn’t know that I had started emailing myself backups of those chats.

    This and more. Her speciality was gaslighting. I blew that sh*t up… eventually.

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