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He Doesn’t Know If He’ll Come Home

mindfuckDear Chump Lady.

He left December 5th out of nowhere. He went to work and showed up with a u-haul. He told me for weeks that he was coming home and it was just a break. He took our son and got caught out with another girl. I left him the weekend before over her. & he called me, sobbing, begging for me to come home. Two months after he moved out . . he got a place. And denied it. He moved the OW and her 3 kids in with him. She isn’t on anything. Our son doesn’t even have a room. Her kids do though. Its been ridiculous. We had just bought our house together in July. He left in December. He just turned 30 in May. I have his one and only baby.

My mom has been doing pick up and drop off exchanges with our son. It has become too hard on me.  I was completely losing it.

On Wednesday she told him that she would start doing them. He was like, oh okay. Yesterday, I had her take formula with our son. He said he had some. She asked him if he wanted to take it in case he ran out. He said yeah so I don’t have to go back to my house.

My mom told him to stop contacting me. Everything needed to go through her from now on since she is handling it. He was like, what’s going on? She told him that this was too much on me. I needed to get it together.

He forgot our son’s blanket. My mom texted him about it. He asked if he needed to bring it. She told him that was up to him. He was like okay. I’ll be on my way soon. I want to go cruising anyways. He would have NEVER brought it or even responded before.

He showed up. I was standing in the dark with our son. He started walking up to the house. I was like, come on bubby. Let’s go see Daddy real quick. He stopped dead in his tracks and put his head down.

I was like, just come here. He hugged me. Then picked up our baby to love on him. I told him about me hitting a deer on my way home from work the other night, doing 60. He was like, where is your truck? I was like, over there. He was like, let’s go look so we did, and he kept talking.

My mom heard the baby yelling so she came and got him from us. He got in his car and then got back out when she had him. He hugged me for like 20 minutes.

I was like, please just be real with me for once. He said okay. I was like, are you planning on coming home? He told me that he didn’t know.

I was like, I just miss you. He was like, I know. I miss you guys too.

I was like do you still love me? & he was like, I will always love you.

I started sobbing. & he was like, don’t do this right now. Its going to be okay. Your have our son. Our house. Everything.

I was like, this is the life you chose for us. & he was like, I know. I have to go. I love you.

I started crying more. He was like, I said I love you. I was like, okay. & let him go.

Walked up to my mom’s, sobbing. Any other time . . he won’t even talk about our son. It’s always he has to go.

Tonight he brought our son to our house. He was a total dick. & I was like, how were you like this last night & now like this tonight? He was like, I’m leaving. I was like, I’m serious. You do all of this, say all of this, blah blah blah. He was like, I do have love for you. You’re my son’s mom.

I was like, oh okay so that’s what it was. Make that very clear then. That’s what’s up. I told him to stop his games. He said he isn’t playing games, but that’s all he does. He left.

I don’t know what to do. I’m SO lost. I’ll do good, then boom, here it comes again. I don’t know if he’s a narc or what. I’m just lost. Its all games. & its sad. ????????


Dear Melissa,

I’m like, waiting for the part where your mother chases him off the driveway waving a chainsaw. “You want to play head games, Derek?” (I imagine he’s a Derek, or maybe a Chad.) WHRRRRRRRRR!

Thank God for your mother. She recognizes you need no contact with this fuckwit. She’s there running interference. But only you can put down the hopium pipe, Melissa.

Please trust that he sucks. See a lawyer about child support, custody, and getting off a goddamn mortgage with Mr. Abandonment.

Melissa, you need to get in front of this. Start making a plan. A guy who walks out on a baby who still needs formula is NOT the sort of person who can be relied upon to pay a mortgage. Or water a houseplant.

He future faked you. He let you invest deeply in him, start a family, and buy a home together. All of which he bailed on.

NO HUGS for this monster. Unless it’s a stranglehold and you slowly squeeze…. (I’m sorry, the dark fantasies are returning. No chainsaws, no strangling — just cold hard NO CONTACT and lawyers, okay?) My point is, I’m really ANGRY for you. I want you to be angry too. HOW DARE HE!!! He doesn’t deserve you or that sweet child.

Let’s replay that sad scene and reframe this shit, okay?

He forgot our son’s blanket.

Is this a special blanket? Like your son can’t sleep without it? Get a duplicate blanket. Don’t rely on fuckwits. Have zero pretext in your life for needing a fuckwit to remember ANYTHING. And take this advice forward. We don’t call fuckwits for coats, shoes, homework, teddy bears, or fresh underwear. When your child is old enough they can contact fuckwit for missing items, or learn to do without, but best to think of fuckwits as a black hole from which things never return.

Is this fair? No. This is part of the unending punishment of breeding with a fuckwit. You must learn to stop expecting adulting and stop asking for it, because they see requests as kibbles and power. And they thrill to deny you. (Anyone who has not lived this will think I’m insanely cynical. Anyone who has walked this path knows I’m telling you the painful truth.) Get over consensus. If it happens, great. The universe is random and occasionally kind. But abandoning fuckwits are not known for their empathy or organizational skills. DO NOT ASK HIM FOR THINGS. Except through a lawyer with the heavy boot of the law. And document all exchanges with parenting software.

Also, don’t ask for things as a pretext to break no contact. Put. Down. The. Hopium. Pipe.

He showed up. I was standing in the dark with our son.

He is not moved by this. Your sad darkness does not compel him to care.

Let’s go see Daddy real quick. He stopped dead in his tracks and put his head down.

That’s not a unicorn. He feels no shame. You know how I know this? Because he goes home to his fuckbuddy and leaves you. Over and over and over, since December. QUIT LOOKING FOR SIGNS THAT HE CARES. Either he’s faking shame or he’s got gum on his shoe. It doesn’t matter. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. You don’t take a fuckwit back because he hung his head.

I was like, just come here. He hugged me.

How nice for him. No consequences. Just hugs!

I told him about me hitting a deer on my way home from work the other night, doing 60. He was like, where is your truck? I was like, over there. He was like, let’s go look so we did, and he kept talking.

HE DOESN’T CARE THAT YOU HIT A DEER. Or that you’re home alone with an infant, holding down a house and a job, and he’s offering nothing but continued heaps of trauma. Go to any Walmart parking lot and you will find total strangers who will talk to you and look at your truck with more authentic compassion than this fuckwit. HE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.

He hugged me for like 20 minutes.

No. He doesn’t get to press his body up against you after he cheats, abandons, and mindfucks. I know you’re lonely and traumatized, Melissa. I know how badly you want that hug. And I hate him for weaponizing your basic human neediness right now. He is the source of your pain, NOT your comfort. He doesn’t want to fix what he broke — he enjoys your brokenness, when he’s not indifferent. Cake is delicious — he gets to be the big swinging dick, with you there pining for him, raising his child.

Is that the relationship you want, Melissa? Is that acceptable to you?

I was like, I just miss you. He was like, I know. I miss you guys too.


I was like do you still love me? & he was like, I will always love you.


First off, don’t seek validation from fuckwits. HE ABANDONED YOU. Reach deep into your self-worth, Melissa, and cut this guy OFF. He doesn’t “always” love you. Dickdribble can’t sustain 10 minutes of interest in your dented truck. He sure as hell doesn’t connect with your soul.

People who love you ACT like they love you. Your mom? She loves you. This creep? No.

he was like, don’t do this right now.

Yeah, your emotions are so inconvenient.

It’s going to be okay.

It will be, but no thanks to him.

You have our son. Our house. Everything.

He left you with YOUR son. The house. Everything. ON YOUR OWN. He abandoned those things. It’s not a GIFT. Traumatizing you is not a FAVOR.

If you think that’s the way he sees it, get a lawyer and legally get the kid, the house, the everything. Let me know how that goes.

I told him to stop his games.

You just control you. Leave the games. Quit sticking your head in the mindfuck blender.

He said he isn’t playing games, but that’s all he does.

Okay, so dry your tears. No more sobbing for Mr. Tiddlywinks. Take your power back.

He left.

Bolt the door shut. You’re a mother. The Don’t-Fuck-With-Me chainsaw passes to you. He might’ve broken your heart, but you’ll be goddamned if he breaks your child’s heart too. No more games. Lawyer up and start being the Sane Parent. The stable person who has formula, blankets and iron-clad self-worth.

And zero time for fuckwits.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Some people are just no good. You can come up with 1000 things to call them but basically they are pretty rotten people. What he’s doing is just typical selfish, rotten behavior. I would guess he’s about five years old emotionally. He’s not going to stay with her anymore than he stayed with you. That’s him. He’s always going to be this way.

    • And get a therapist – a kind, empathetic therapist to help you understand a person like him. It’s key. It will help empower you so you can move forward. No one should be treated this way. He made his sick issues your issues. You need to grow strength to deal with all of this. Exercise, eat well, get professional help and lawyer up. You’ll be so proud of yourself. Read up on narcissism too – there’s no pill to fix it. I’m excited for you, that your life is going to be just fine, believe it! ❤️

      • “And get a therapist – a kind, empathetic therapist to help you understand a person like him.” Would change to ” … help you understand a person like YOURSELF.”
        Who cares what makes him tick? He’s a jackass — there. done.
        Get to know Melissa, and how worthy she is.

        • It is though. The hardest thing for me had been to learn to trust myself to recognize red flags. Understand more good these people tick and how to spot them. So I don’t put myself through that experience again. You’re both right. Doesn’t have to be either or.

        • Yes. But it’s important she knows who he is as well.

          Melissa: please learn about the type of person you chose to marry. He is a type, and I’m betting he’s the narcissist type. So, in addition to Chump Lady’s book, look into Dr. Ramani on YouTube and Dana Morningstar. Morningstar has three books, all of which are really good. There are many other good authors also, such as George Simon and Lundy Bancroft. This is the beginning of an important education that us chumps didn’t receive.

          These books will teach you how to protect yourself from being manipulated and how to recognize the signs of narcissism. Some day the pain will stop, and you’ll want to have a fixed picker before you start dating again.

          In the meantime, follow CL’s advice. Get a lawyer and a therapist. Lean on your mother and your friends. Stay away from the FW. Block him, and if he gets through, don’t trust anything he says.

          I’m sorry he’s doing this to you, but you’re going to be okay. In fact, you’re going to be better than you ever imagined.

          • Don Hennessy’s “Steps to Freedom: Escaping Intimate Control” is great too.

      • Perfect advice Nancy,
        Yes to all that you said.
        Melissa you opened your heart to CL, CN, so you do realize that your cheater is a jerk, but YOU are the sane, loving parent. YOU know deep down that you can do this. All the reenforcement you will always receive here will help you on this difficult journey.
        Most likely not too many years from now you will re read your post and realize there was never ever any hope for this poor excuse of a partner and father to an infant son. He does not deserve you in his life at all.
        You are Mighty for reaching out. Your pain will lessen, trust all the chumps here. They have experienced the same pain and they know there is hope in your young future.
        BIGHUGS to you sweet lady!❤️& to your precious son & your very caring mom❤️❤️

    • Absolutely true! Melissa, you bought a lemon. You do not want someone who is this evil. You have your whole life ahead of you. Thank of all the great people you will meet once you forget the p.o.s. Real men will go out of their way to be with you, and you won’t even believe that you ever cared about this overgrown toddler you once thought was a man.

  • WOW this response makes me want to ROAR this morning.

    Also this is the best line ever “Quit sticking your head in the mindfuck blender.”

    Melissa…. good luck in finding you and the best life this world has to offer. Time to worry about you and that baby. He is a Fuckwit who likes to hurt people.

    • I totally agree.
      My morning starts with CL — she saved me and this is how you start your day.
      Melissa, listen to CL, not to be overly critical of how you process your grief for breeding with a FW, but eliminate him from your life, thoughts and vocabulary and replace that freedom with something awesome. The shit sandwich is awful (especially on lonely mornings), but you will get to the point where you say “no thank you” and realize CL is absolutely right— trust that they suck.
      I’m still on Sunday morning, but it’s my morning.
      Have an awesome day

      • I also start my day with CL! I’m close to Tuesday, but CL and CN are my people, you all have saved me.

        • Start my day with CL & end it with CL while tucked in with 3 non-fuckwit cats.

  • In addition to everything above – you are the parent to the only child YOU KNOW ABOUT.

    RUN to an attorney. Get that child support lined up NOW.

    He lied, cheated, left you with a mortgage. It is another reason for an attorney – sell the fucking thing and get out from under it. Do not become “house poor”.

  • The “I will always love you” bullshit card. I have heard this one so many times (thru email, because I won’t engage in mindfuck phone calls anymore) And it is just that, bullshit! Look at their actions not their words and you will see all you need to know.

    As CL says, put down the hopium pipe and fight for your baby. He is a worthless POS!

  • Melissa

    He’ll gladly keep you on a string as Plan B. Or the occassional roll in the hay if she is mad at him.

    He is allowed to screw this tramp, but you are supposed to wait for him to decide, while he screws the tramp, and plays daddy to her kids. No one deserves this.

    Judge a man on his actions, not his words. Words are cheap. Words can manipulate easily if you are an emotional wreck.

    The only way to go here is to tell him you want no contact other than child related details

    You don’t have to pick me dance for a decent man. You never do. He has shown you who he is. Good men don’t behave this way. They don’t mentally torture their wives, a good guy would not be capable of this. He is not ‘confused’. He is corrupt.

    • Mitz, this is brilliant!!!: “He is not ‘confused’. He is corrupt.”

      You see them “hang their head in shame” or so we think, and you think that they’re confused – or mentally anguished. My XH actually said he had “turmoil” in his head. Nah, the only one with turmoil was me. They have a plan – one that has taken days, weeks, or months to execute. The look of shame is just meant to hold you off until they can take what they need to get a clean get-away. Meanwhile, the Chump is left even more devastated because they latched onto that ray of “hope”. Then the Chump feels the abandonment all over again. Even more devastating, is that by this time, the Chump ups their game and is “pick-me-dancing”. You can be perfect, and the outcome will. not. change.


      Here’s an analogy: Joe X embezzles ten thousand dollars from his employer and then walks off the job before he gets fired. Would the employer take him back?

      I think not.

      Some guts you emotionally and leaves you and a baby still in diapers to shack up with some skank with kids? Change the locks on the damn door, let your mother handle the kiddo exchange and file for child support, health care coverage, and whatever needs to be done to turn the house into money or a financially viable place to live. He’s shown you what he is.

  • Men who abandon partners are best left alone. They only care about themselves. Leaving a new mother is despicable. I know you are trying to make sense of it, but you can’t. He has problems you cannot address. You need to try and accept you chose poorly and do a lot of good self talk that you don’t deserve such brutal disregard. It’s a process, but the sooner you can get through it, the better for you! I speak from experience – abandoned without warning – but I didn’t have a child – that is so much worse. He did abandon wife #1 with an infant though. These are not keepers.

    Thank heavens for supportive mothers!

    • This right here. This is why you need to pay attention to everything written on this blog. This is a man who abandoned you. No that’s too sweet a term. He threw you away like garbage. He threw his child. He Like garbage. Who does that? Bad people do that.

    • Newlyminted is right. Good men don’t do these things. Your mind and heart are writing a romance novel. What you have is a horror story. For your son, get pissed, find your strength. There is no reason he should hear your voice for the next few years. Babies do not have big social lives. Your lawyer and your mom can communicate with him. Your mom needs to practice grey rock. Cool, bummer, ok. Take him for everything you can, while he is still with OW.
      We have your back.

  • He’s trying to play the pick me dance.
    Unfortunately your dancing as fast as you can. You know u deserve better. His child doesn’t deserve somewhere to sleep. But her kids do. That s a load of crap and you know it. Good job your mom is supporting you. He probably thinks he’s a prize, you know he isn’t.
    Ask him in person why his son can’t have a bedroom, be calm, and watch his face.

    • “I know.” Plus hug.

      Is that familiar! FW Dad. Long-term BF (accompanied by ILYBINILWY, is that spelled right?) 😉

      Only two words and minor physical contact can make a person feel so acknowledged. Cheaply.

    • Spot on! Or provide closure. This I have learned the hard way. When aked “why did you do it?”, the response is always a deflection or to blame shift. A bunch of “but, but, but, bla, bla, bla.”

      • I asked “Why did you leave me?” too many times. The last time, he said, “I was hurt…” HUH?? That’s dumb. Try again. Then he told me he’s grown a lot and now he knows better. I said, “How so?” He said, “Well, now if I’m feeling hurt, I’ll say, ‘I’m hurt.'” Wow. Lots of growth there, buddy. Good job. That was it for me, the last time I had that conversation, or any conversation with him. thank God.

  • Richard Grannon recently came out with a video where he talked about the problems with labelling someone a narcissist, and how he came up with the term VCP — very cruel person. I’m sorry, but he is just plain being CRUEL. Don’t expect anything good, and you’ll rarely be disappointed.

    My ex had the formal diagnosis from our mutual therapist, but I like VCP because it describes the results. My ex took off four years ago this month and left our lives in chaos. He ranted about how I had broken my vows and destroyed his life. Yes, he left, and I destroyed the family. He later said that I had contributed nothing to his life in several decades together. Wow. Nothing.

    The optimistic me hoped to reconcile long-distance, but the real me took over eventually and realized that our relationship had taken a serious nosedive and that his terms for reconciliation were pure crazy. He promised the divorce would be quick and fair, and it was crazy, long, and expensive. He burned every bridge on the way out and blamed the attorneys and me the whole way.

    So I’m older (it was a gray divorce) and wiser now. There are some really awful people in the world. Thankfully I’m not married to one any more.

    • A dear friend of mine, upon hearing what happened, had one thing to say.

      “It’s cruel.”

      The tone of voice, the look on his face, when he said that, left a huge impression on me. Our family therapist had used the same word about the traitor.

      I agree with you and I appreciate your post today. He may be a narcissist but the word CRUEL conjures up a very different feeling and visual that is critical to remember.

    • Cheaters seem to delight in casual cruelty. And it comes so easily to them. It’s in their nature.

      • The word that finally got through to me when I knew I needed to cut contact but couldn’t bring myself to was ‘coercive.’

  • I’ll be honest, Melissa. This was a hard read read because you are me. I went through this.

    My H left me and two babies, still in diapers, to go move into GF#3/Wifetress’s house with her young son. He left me with a house and a new car we had decided to get. He left me with no income except promised child support. He also left me with promises that he’d love me forever (despite evidence clearly to the contrary), promises that even though he was moving on he would still take care of me (nope, that never happened), promises that the kids and I would get a percentage of every freelance job he does in order to help support us (I saw exactly 0.00 of that freelance money; it’s all under the table work he doesn’t have to legally report and he’s behind on child support as it is, so, no, none of this promised extra money to help take care of us ever came through), and, of course, lots and lots of hugs for me as he was slowly inching us–while hugging– to the door so he could get that foot and that suitcase out.

    Then I would cry in the dark, alone in my house with my children sleeping in the next room, hoping that my husband–who had just made him and GF#3 “Facebook official” to the world–would make good on some of–any of!–his promises.

    Nope, his new promises, like his marriage vows, were empty air. You know who did show up and do the work and labor of loving and supporting me while I was a wreck? My parents.

    At some point I finally picked myself up off the ground when I realized that I was “the man of the house,” so to speak. I can credit my children for saving my sanity and, perhaps, even my life. I realized that my husband’s life was a trainwreck and I was standing on the tracks. Nothing good would come of any sort that.

    It is a painful–painful!–process to withdraw from that hope, Melissa. I know it is. Use your son as a motivator, if you have to; I used my kids to help pick me up. I told myself that they needed a sane, loving, reliable, and independent parent and clearly it was going to have to be me. And it’s going to have to be you as well.

    Take control of this wreck somehow. Big steps on some days, baby steps on others. Begin by getting yourself off your husband’s trainwreck collision course; get off the tracks. Start to think of him as your soon-to-be-ex-husband instead of your husband. That’s another step forward! It was a big personal step for me to type STBX instead of H, I remember.

    See a lawyer and start getting those ducks in a row while he’s in the honeymoon phase with the OW. Do it now while you can still can in order to protect yourself legally from his craziness and get yourself a good custody arrangement for your son. Use it as a temporary distraction from the pain, if you have to, but start protecting yourself from him.

    My mom drove with me to all my lawyer appointments. Heck, she paid for them because I couldn’t. My lawyer always pulled out the tissue box whenever I sat down because she knew that for the next hour I was going to be a snotty, red eyed, sobbing mess (I was) and you know what? I didn’t want to do any of that. I didn’t want to be divorced! I didn’t want to be doing this!

    But I powered through and secured an excellent separation, and later divorce agreement, that clearly favored me, and I did it because even though I didn’t *want to do it* I logically knew that my STBX was acting unhinged, cruel, and… well, insane. I needed to protect myself and my children.

    You’ve got this. You can do this. Get yourself a lawyer and go see your doctor to check for STDs.

    • Cheaters seem to delight in casual cruelty. And it comes so easily to them. It’s in their nature.

    • OH, Fourleaf – look how far you’ve come.

      I hope Melissa reads and takes your advice.

      What struck me in CL’s response:
      “He future faked you. He let you invest deeply in him, start a family, and buy a home together. All of which he bailed on.” (Future-faked is yet another brilliant concept from CL).

      Melissa – just because you envisioned and worked to have a future with this FW, doesn’t mean that the future is set. It’s time to change your future, like Fourleaf has. You were in the relationship sincerely, but the FW isn’t. It’s time to make a new future for you and your son. You will be a much better parent to your son without the FW confusing you.

  • Allow me to like, break this down:

    ” I was like, please just be real with me for once”.

    HE LEFT YOU. He moved in with Schmoopie and her kids. Your son has become his second priority, and YOU don’t matter at all. HOW MUCH MORE REAL can he be? At this point it is you who’s playing a game. It’s called Make-believe.
    I’m sorry he’s a douchebag & super sorry for your pain, but you have to realize you are compounding it. Scrape your dignity up off the floor, step back and SEE your reality. Then get busy on a douchebag-free future for yourself and your son.

    • Thank you for cutting thru the BS.
      I feel for Melissa but from her post we can assume they are not married. Was the baby planned or was it a surprise? Did her cheater really want to purchase a home together or did she forge ahead with the purchase and he went along with the program or was he an active participant in looking to buy real estate so they could be a family? I’m not condoning his shitty behavior but if they were just dating and Melissa decided on her own, this is the man I want to settle down with and start a family, without consulting him then she owns some of this mess. If he was gung ho on starting a family and made promises of a future together then, yes this is all on him. The baby is what is really important right now and Melissa needs to focus on the infant’s needs and obtaining child support. The fantasy life she imagined with cheater is over and I hope she retains a therapist to help get her through this hurt.

      • Uh, no. It makes zero difference whether the baby was planned or a surprise, or whether they are married or not. He took off and is lying to her. Repeatedly.
        The notion that she “forged ahead” while he went along with her agenda — no idea where that’s coming from. No idea. And it seems victim-blaming.

        • Nope not blaming Melissa or as you call her the victim, and certainly not saying cheater is not responsible for the baby whether planned or surprised. It takes two and both are responsible for the baby. Period. At present his actions stink and he has flaked on Melissa. If he & Melissa planned for the child and he made promises of a future together as a family, shame on him. If he was a dope with a frat boy mentality when they met, he is still responsible for the baby and he is still a POS for leading her on but at some point Melissa would need to recognize he wasn’t and isn’t mate material.

          • KB22, your original comment was not an encouraging piece of wisdom, advice, or even a hard truth addressed to the letter writer. It was a side comment to another chump about (in judgement of) Melissa. Right now, her stated priority is to go no contact so she can take care of herself and her baby. She knows fuckwit is bad news and she wants help cutting ties. I’m sure she already has enough shame and guilt, and that’s without her poor fuckwit ex’s sadz projections. He hasn’t completely discarded her yet and she’s lonely and overwhelmed and vulnerable, and I bet he’ll be back for more from her before too long. She needs to get away long enough to lock down her boundaries and really trust he sucks. I came close to getting away a few times, but I still felt a little too much like Melissa, and I wasn’t yet in the clear. The third time I came back nearly killed me, and I didn’t have an infant to care for. Now that I am more stable and not dealing with PTSD symptoms and the same level of housing, financial and career uncertainty, I can take the Maya Angelou’s oft-quoted advice to heart: “Do the best you can until you know better.Then when you know better, do better.” I have agency and I’m learning and doing better, but I’ll never understand or take responsibility for that dark cloud and what happened inside of it. I’m moving forward differently, but I refuse to accept blame for my ex’s lies, projections and broken promises. I threw love and patience and a whole lot more I to that black hole, and in return, he cheated me out of time, experiences, motherhood, homeownership and much more.

            I agree with FYI that statements that boil down to “she should’ve known better/she knew what she was getting into/she asked for it” are blame shifting, and I don’t see how Melissa is any different from any other chump (e.g. all of us) who sees and ignores red flags because of a massive skein. Yesterday’s cartoon was perfect! Once you’re free and the dust has settled, it’s impossible to make sense of what we lived through and “agreed to” by focusing on the horrifying details and mistakes we made. Dont go back for more! Abuse is coercion. Abuse is a mindfuck. No one deserves or asks for it. I read the optimism, love, concern and fear in Melissa’s letter. She didn’t go into her relationship with this evil fuckwit looking for pain and strife; she wanted (and still wants) a supporting, loving partner and a secure home to raise her child and grow old in, so she’s clinging to a barbed wire monkey.

            Furthermore, what does being married have to do with anything? Did this ever stop a cheater from cheating? It’s really none of our business and is irrelevant here, IMHO, but signing a mortgage with someone (just one example of agreed upon and broken promises we know of in Melissa’s situation) is a contract, and it implies a desired wish to commit to making a home with someone. Would you ask a chump who was married and then left with young kids by a cheater whether the kids were intentional? What about the choice to marry a fuckwit to begin with? Or “reconcile”? Or Pick Me? Would it be fair to blame a chump who raised her children under the same roof as an abusive fuckwit instead of leaving? Or (my personal situation) would you point a finger at a chump who wanted and talked about children for years but was jerked around with this intermittent carrot/punishment? After earth shattering revelations about nearly a decade of cheating, after I went through two scary and torturous years of discard/Hoover/pick me that escalated into physical violence and stalking (yes, narcissists can be violent – when their charms and lies no longer work to control), after I was left with zero equity because I let a con artist trick me into believing he’d always love me and always take care of me and he couldn’t picture his life without me, after yada yada yada… some people have said to me: well, if you really wanted kids, you should have left. Likely the same sorts of people who say behind our backs, “Well, of course he had to step outside of the marriage because Chump was frigid and wouldn’t sleep with him.” Sure.

            Cheaters manipulate reality for personal gain (demise?) and they future fake. I never married my ex, but I was with him for fifteen years. He told people we were like married or would even just call me his wife, and I told myself we had a stronger, more genuine bond than most of our married friends and acquaintances. I am not religious and I do not believe lifelong partnership is only legitimate if it is founded in holy matrimony. We didn’t have kids because that was one of the ways he future faked me. My name wasn’t on the deed, but my blood, sweat, tears and hard-earned money went into that house and property. I wanted it, I sacrificed and compromised, I worked for it, and I deserved it. Or did I not, because I was stupid enough to fall for a con artist’s lies and gaslighting?

            Well, this rambling manifesto has turned into much more than a response to your brief comment here, KB22. While I did feel the need to voice my perspective about blame shifting, red flags, abuse and 20/20, my frustrations aren’t directed at you, and I appreciate what you contribute to CN and stand in solidarity with you and all chumps. Rather, these are some of the circles my mind has been wandering in as I continue to work at GAL (moving forward, healing from trauma, contextualize using the fog and understand abuse and my role in the cycle, fix my picker, and reclaim agency and happiness in my life).

            And Melissa, I hope you find and swallow that red pill soon. I am so sorry and so much of what you wrote, I could have – a year ago. You are still vulnerable, even with your mother as a guard dog and helper, but you know what you have to do. Seriously, go as no contact as possible and keep coming here to read CL – every morning, and when you’re triggered and tempted to reach out, freak out or read RIC BS. (Sad sausage/Timid Forest Creature really helped me see through the manipulations, as did Word Salad and Trust He Sucks.) This was the only thing that worked for me, and it is already so much better…

            I haven’t even been tempted (well, maybe a little) to break NC to let fuckwit know his smug, haughty, phony young girlfriend, who was stalking my ex/me for years before I even knew she existed, is now creeping on my sisters on social media to try to find out about me (because I have zero social media presence, myself). And I’m the nosy one – for briefly, while in shock, wanting to know who my long term partner has been involving in my most intimate relationship without my consent for years? For wanting to get my things from my house (that I left suddenly because he was growing increasingly violent and cruel) with an escort, and planned? The hypocrisy. So yeah, I digress: I’m most tempted by anger, and even then, I resist pretty easily. I am never motivated by hope, vulnerability, or a desire to connect or be comforted. That was January. Then CL and NC. Six months later, still a mountain to climb, but I’m free of that hard-to-break cycle.

            • Legal marriages and common law marriages are not the same in terms of taxes, rights of succession, lawsuits, debt, etc. I know some couples who are legally married who file their taxes separately.

              • Family law varies widely from state to state. Not all states recognize common law marriages, for example. Mine does not, but that wasn’t what I was getting at above. My point (well, one of them… probably got lost in there) is that there are many ways to be in partnership. Just because a couple isn’t married doesn’t mean they haven’t implicitly or explicitly committed. It doesn’t mean that a partner has agreed to being cheated on or abused. Are two adults in their thirties who are loyal and committed less legit than some recent college grads who’ve known each other a few years and believe in Disney romances and want to play house and throw an expensive party? Of course, I spackled heavily and did not have the special, loyal and committed partnership I believed in. Am I the only one here, married or not, who did that? Year after fucking year? I know the answer to that.

                Narcissistic abusers have a way of twisting everything. For years, I would try to plan and build a future and would bring up joint accounts and expenses, equity, a need for my own security, meetings with his family to discuss their (small and falling apart) estate that we were maintaining, what was going on with his disabled mother’s long term care plans and health insurance, what was the deal with her house and her (paid by me) mortgage, etc. I was positive and wanted to talk about these things – I didn’t think it was a conflict, but I’d tiptoe around it anyway so I didn’t seem pushy, or needy, or greedy, or materialistic, or whatever else he projected on me for having needs and caring. I was sticking my head in a blender. Every single time. I’d walk way feeling confused, guilty, frustrated and sad; I’d puzzle over how to make it better, how to communicate and advocate, or how to leave. What was wrong with me? What was I doing wrong? How could I make things better? Why couldn’t he see? Why couldn’t he be kinder? He was gaslighting and resenting and devaluing me, and I felt worthless and confused but I didn’t totally get it. I would leave when I reached my limit, after numbing myself and sinking into (what I now recognize as) depression. . I did some really incredible things and actually was, and am, very independent and motivated. I have vision and a strong work ethic, and I’m not as dumb as I sound, based on the position I put myself in/was put in. But I was incredibly naive, and my ex was a particularly charming and manipulative abuser. I could never close the door, and I’d get hoovered back. I was in love with the potential and ever hopeful. At the beginning of our relationship, we were young and my ex was still grieving his dad’s premature death (5 years prior), then he was an alcoholic for years, then he was struggling with sobriety, then his mom was sick, then he needed a surgery, then work was hard, then a pet was dying, then a friend was dying… Always a crisis. The time away would help me grow strong and regain my life, abut it also let me forget how bad things were. I thought I could do something to make it better, and that FW wanted to and finally could. We were so close and we’d put so much time and live and energy in. It’s all the same, whether you’re married or not. It’s an abusive relationship. Period. it would turn into word salad Fuckwit managed to keep me around as an appliance, to nurture him, bolster his image and make him look good, help his career and ego, take care of his family and property and animals. I could go on, trying to understand and explain, but there’s too much. We all have these stories. Married or not. Kids or not. Rich, poor, unemployed and chasing down child support or recieving a good settlement and alimony. Young, old, every gender and sexuality.

                I have learned some hard lessons, but I truly did not care about being married. I don’t owe anyone any explanations about why – although I have learned some very painful, very costly lessons about investing in myself and protecting myself legally, even if I trust someone with my life.

              • I my country they are the same in all the terms you mention, just wanted to say.

      • If he didn’t want to be a father at this time he should have taken 100% custody & responsibility for his sperm and where it went.

        • Yep this she tricked me shit has got to stop.

          I am an old lady now, who was a virgin when she married, and he absolutely begged me to have a child right away, and I still maintain a man can not be tricked into fatherhood, he can be careless, she can be careless.

          The purpose of sex is to procreate, every adult with two brain cells to rub together knows that. That is why it was not meant to be casual, or taken lightly. Two connecting adults whether married or not, are responsible for creating a child.

          This woman is being treated horribly; and no one deserves that, nor does that child deserve that.

          Quite frankly I sometimes wish they would go back to jail time for deadbeat men and women who refuse to care for their children. I know the argument is well they can’t work in jail. True but if they aren’t going to support the child anyway; at least they can’t produce more children in prison. Or at least I hope not many.

          • A man can always wear a condom or refuse to have sex if he doesn’t want a child at that time in his life.

            • Exactly.

              And if the condom breaks, still his problem every bit as much as the mother.Men can abstain just as well as women.

      • Wow! Far too much victim blaming here.

        All of us here believed in someone who lied to us. I suppose on that level we all “own some of this mess.” But there is no need to point out Melissa’s role. She, like many of us, will be the primary (or exclusive) parent to a child for a couple of decades. We all get plenty of time and long, frightening nights to “own” the situation.

        And did you miss the part where her EX “doesn’t know” if he’ll come home? There are ways to leave a relationship with integrity. They involve making decisions, communicating, and working out fiscal arrangements. They do not involve moving in with a new partner before concluding the previous relationship and claiming you “don’t know” what you want.

        • Completely agree!!!

          These men need to grow a pair and be accountable!

      • Wow. What an unkind victim-blamey thing to say.

        Everyone around hear doubts whether or not they themselves are sonehow to blame for what happened to them and you will just make it so much worse with your comment.

        What on earth makes you thinkthr letter writer pushed their FW to buy a house and become a parent?there is nothing indicating that. Not even in the slightest.

      • KB22, WTF? What the actual fuck are you talking about? Why are you eager to script details that have not been provided by the letter writer?

        The guy lived with her and made a baby with her. Once she was caring for THEIR newborn, he ghosted her and moved in with OW. Those are the only facts that matter.

      • Melissa’s FW is a big boy. I’m assuming that because he got into a relationship
        with a woman, took out a mortgage, and fathered a child. Big boys are fully responsible for every choice they make. If he didn’t want the mortgage or the child, he should not have participated. He agreed to the plans, signed his name, and had unprotected sex. Then he found another woman, changed his mind about Melissa, and walked out on his child. That’s a fuckwit move, and he did it all on his own.

      • Idk but if they are married…

        “You have our son. Our house. Everything.”

        NO. You have the things he didn’t mind leaving behind. He is spending marital money, YOUR money, on the OW & kids.

        Even if you’re not married, that money should go to care for his son. Get mad, Melissa! For your son!

        Married or not, you need to file for child support STAT. Anything he’s paying now, for the house or whatever, he can stop at any time. Clearly he makes plenty of money to afford two homes. Don’t let him continue to hold all the cards. When he gets the support order, he’ll be real with you… and you’ll have all the answers you need.

      • I see this as shaming poor Melissa. What does it matter if she is married or not? She has 2 kids and a house she’d bought with this FW of a man. I hardly class that as dating. I think the focus of marriage on this is ridiculous. She was in a committed relationship with this man and it is clear to read.

        She hasn’t coerced this man into 2 babies and a house while dating!

        I thought I was in a committed relationship for 13 years to my FW. He would tell everyone we met that I was his ‘Life Partner’. If I said this is my partner, he would step up and correct me by saying ‘Life Partner’. It’s future faking whether you’re married or not.

        Melissa’s circumstances seem very similar to mine. My ex did exactly the same thing. Moved out and pretended it was just for a while. I was 3 months pregnant with my daughter (now 5) and my then 7 yr old son.

        It’s been over 5 yrs now and I’m in a much better position. He went onto marry the OW and they’ve had a child. And… it will all start all over again for him at some point, whether he’s married or not!

  • Melissa:

    We know how you feel. One minute you are at home taking care of your much loved infant and the home you share with your husband, and life is good and dependable. Then the secret IED your husband hid in your home goes off and the explosion destroys it all. There you are standing in a pile of rubble with an infant, your skin burned off. OMG the pain. How did this happen? And like all of us, you wish desperately to have your old life back.

    It took me years to realize there was no old life to go back to. The old life was really built with someone who was capable of hiding an explosive device in the home he shares with a loving wife and infant. The good stuff was fake.

    A healthy man is not capable of hurting his wife AND CHILD like this. There is no foundation here upon which to build a family. He won’t change. Don’t spend your life in Death Valley hoping for rain and a cool breeze.

    I am so sorry he is not the man he pretended to be.

    • Dear Principled Life,
      Your wording struck me “there was no old life to go back to”.
      One year separated after a long, long marriage,
      (two prior separations, lawyers, etc, teo reconciliations) moving now towards divorce becoming final).
      I am doing fine now on my own. Moved far away, bought a new house with pool and tennis and gardens.
      But- – every once in a while I worry, should I have gone back to my “old life”. Can I r e a l l y be here on my own, without him about to appear, beg me to come back, promise it will be different. The old hopium smoker wants another puff of the denial drug and the nostalgic false memories aided by my iphone which keeps sending me memory photos of vacation moments.
      As you wrote ….the false memories are lies and the the old life was living a false drama played for his benefit. I was always waiting for him to shift back into bring something I now realize( on more reality based days) he never was.
      It’s very hard to deal with what the time-thief did,
      and that he must have known he was doing. He future-faked that we’d grow old together and I thought that was worth giving up more and more quality of life. He sprinkled with crumbs I see now we’re given to sustain my hope and cooperation in
      his getting to keep me there for whatever uses he had in mind.
      I was manipulated and lied to, mostly by omission and obfuscation. I could not recognize red flags which I now see go back over thirty years-they first showed up in financial matters. How could you not see that..?! It shows me how much shit sandwich
      I went along with.
      The old life was his fraudulent project.
      Thanks for being there Principled Life, and Chump Lady. It takes a village.

      • The financial part is what got me. I scrimped and saved so he could have his precious boat. Honestly, we spent a lot of time in the summers on it, and I enjoyed it because he and my son enjoyed it.

        I lived in an old house, with used furniture, but it didn’t matter I was helping build a life and great memories. HAH.

        Why did I not notice that despite my scrimping, and his working so much part time security work; that there was still no money available for new furniture, or new clothing etc. Reason was he was spending money on his whore. I was scrimping and saving in order to help him support two households.

        How do these monsters use us like that and look at themselves in the mirror? It is something I will never understand. Also the whore is guilty too, she knew he was stealing from his family; but she let the money flow. I know that the money flowing was what kept her quiet for so long, but still for his part, how could he do that to another human being; much less the one he was united to in holy marriage.

  • Melissa, your man and that tramp he took up with are probably laughing about you and your truck. How do I know? Because he’s an evil bastard who would abandon his infant and she’s a nasty piece of work who would glom onto a man in a committed relationship with a new baby.

    You need to lawyer up and get child support and a custody agreement in place. You bought a house with this asshole. Whose name is on the mortgage? Is he still paying? You have no way of knowing how long that will last. I was married to a man for 25 years and had 5 children with him. A few months after he moved out, he suddenly opened a new bank account and stopped putting money in our joint account even though we had big bills coming due.

    And finally, you need to get tested for STDs. You don’t know where he’s been putting his dick. You don’t know how long he’s been cheating or how many women he’s been with. Your baby needs a healthy mom, so go see your doctor.

  • “He doesn’t know if he’ll come home.” He does know…and he won’t. He is into the drug that is a new relationship, and has already checked out of the life he had with you. Cheaters are missing a chip in their brains. He is incapable of love but has perfected the great actor role. He gives everybody what they want to hear then does whateverthefuck he wants. Think about your best times together. Did you feel completely happy? I will bet you always felt a little off balance. People like this get off on drama; if he returns there will always be secrets and chaos in your life together. That is who he is. You and your son deserve better.

    • Yes! They get off on drama. Melissa- please dont stoke the melodrama fires. It is SO MUCH FUN FOR THEM! They are starring in their own movie and you are a bit player supporting cast. Thats why whenever youve played a scene with them you feel like youve been had. Please stay away from this creep. Your child can fill the space of true love and devotion. Sort out your priorities and you will have a GREAT life before you. Hugs

  • Melissa,
    This is the cycle of abuse. This creep just wants you to stay in his web of control, hanging on for a small breadcrumb of love, affection, validation, just to flip and abandon you completely again. Please don’t do this to yourself and your son. I gave into a fake remorse when I had an infant as well. He said all the right things, I fell right back into. Our problems were not related to cheating at the time it was his really mean temper, and I was tired of being treated so badly (hindsight he was likely cheating). Now I’ve wasted another 10 years and am trying again to get out, he’s making it very difficult, playing similar games as your x. Please just move on, its the only way.

    Also, notice his actions and don’t listen to his words. He professes love for you, but he walked away… he left you and his son for another woman and her children. He then turned more cool towards you, all part of the cycle of abuse. Please read up on this.

  • I am so sorry you are going through this, Melissa. Please know that we are all here for you and sending you strength and hugs.

    Actions will always, always speak louder than words. Pay no attention to what he says but watch closely and see what he does.

    My ex walked out & got an apartment with his AP, too, but I didn’t know about her. He said he “needed space” and “time alone” to think. That was January 2018 and he is still texting me about how much he loves me, how much he misses me and how it has destroyed him to lose his best friend. Our divorce has been final for almost 2 years, it’s been 2.5 years since dday, he is married to the AP and they have a child. I got a text less than a week ago with the same BS, how much he loves and misses me. Liar, cheater, coward, FW! They do not change.

    A “man” who would abandon his wife and child does not deserve your love and attention. Refocus that love on your child and yourself. You are mighty! You can do this, I promise. *HUGS!*

    • Please, please, please block your ex from texting you!!!

      I know it is so hard and you may feel you desperately need that contact but it is like poison.

      You have to focus on only your new life and seeing texts from an ex holds you back. If your mind is telling you you can’t go no contact I promise you you can and should!

      You don’t say if you have children with your ex but even that can be managed with software.

      He is using you for thrills or kibbles. He is not texting you for your benefit, only his.

      NO CONTACT means no contact

      Please try!

  • Melissa,

    “Real” is not what he says in the moment. “Real” is what he does, and when viewed (and judged) from a long term perspective. You don’t need him to be “real” with you for a moment, as it’s already right there for you to see; he’s a real d*ck.


  • So many gems here in CL’s advice.
    I haven’t heard the term “future faked” before, but it describes exactly what my ex did during his affair. He prompted me to search for a different–BIGGER–house, so we spent most Saturdays for two years checking listings and touring open houses. He found reasons to turn down every one that we liked, even loved. We recently drove past one, and my now 13-year-old remembered it and told me he’d planned out how to decorate his room and playroom there. FW ex wasted a lot of our time, and now I wonder if he was shopping with someone else in mind. The one positive from the search is that when he left the laptop in our bedroom open to a real estate listing, I assumed he wanted me to see it. When I pointed out it was a rental, he said I read it wrong, so I looked closer, and on the same screen was his email to his AP, telling her they could move in in two days. Although it turned out she was a catfish scam, it alerted me to his cheating and intentions. Took more than a month to kick him out and file, then almost two years to get divorced. It’s easy for these cheaters to create and live in fantasy worlds, and chumps follow. I’m fortunate he didn’t carry through, or I’d be in a house that I couldn’t afford. Without him and his hoarding hobbies, this house is twice the size we need.
    The second point that stood out to me was that “they see requests as kibbles and power. And they thrill to deny you.” How true. During early COVID lockdown, he offered to buy and drop off groceries, but yanked that offer as soon as I told him what we needed, and to have a friend leave it on the porch. And the black hole is also true. In the early years of raising my grandson, neither parent returned the clothing and gear I bought him. In winter I’d deliver him in a complete outfit including snowsuit, hat, mittens, and boots, and they’d literally, and repeatedly, return him during blizzards and freezing temperatures in nothing more than a soiled diaper and way too big or too small t-shirt, even though I’d bought three snowsuits, 3 pairs of boots , and lots of hats and mittens, and given a complete set to each parent so he’d have them. I think CL is right; they weren’t just lousy parents, they were depriving him because they enjoyed their black hole power play.
    Melissa, your mom sounds awesome. Follow her lead, and be an awesome mom for your son. Maybe it’s fortunate that FW doesn’t have a bed for your child, since it helps prove he’s a lousy dad. Documenting that may help you with custody, and the situation may make it less appealing for FW to stay in child’s life. Yes, it hurts to have your precious son rejected too. Just remember, you two can be a family, and your son can see that as his norm.
    You hit a deer doing 60, and you were OK. Right now, you’re feeling like that deer, and he’s the truck that crashed into you and your son. You’re shaken and looking for support. Please, continue to come here, and to look elsewhere, such as your mom and friends. Don’t expect anything good from FW. As SoManyTuesdays wrote, “The one who destroyed you cannot heal you.”

  • Melissa,

    Your MOM loves you. That is how you can tell the AH a you had your precious baby with does not have a clue what that word LOVE means. That immature morally bankrupt creep who has a black hole where character and a soul should be, who is missing a brain and a heart and a spine and balls and a conscience thinks sexual attraction is love. He is a dumbass and a dope. Your MOM is right there showing you what love is. Take a cue from your mom and act as if you love yourself and your baby that way until you do. Fake it til you make it is a real tool and a valuable one.


    My mother was a true narcissist who threw me under the bus. I didn’t have the gift of a mom like yours to help me know what love was. My experience with both my parents primed me for attraction to abusive men.

    God help anyone who dares to cheat on my daughter. I have to apply that same attitude toward ME.

    An old cliche and corny, but TRUE….


    • Melissa, listen to Velvet Hammer! Velvet, you have an awesome way with words and thoughts. Yes. Love is as love DOES. Words are tissue paper, like the freaking marriage license and love notes…

      Melissa, protect yourself! He obviously never will!

  • Again, I want to express my sincere heartfelt gratitude for Chump Lady and this site.

    I am a spiritual person and when I wake up first thing I do is pray. Second thing I do is come here and read. I literally feel
    the sanity returning as I read. I feel grounded and galvanized. I get centered and I feel strength return to my body, mind, and spirit. I feel calm and clarity return. Oxygen. Blood transfusion. Vitamins. Fuel. First aid. Energy. Power.

    The Force is here and I couldn’t be more thankful.

    May the Force be with every one of us for the next 24.

    Recovery and healing is doing the next right thing, one moment at a time, just for today.

    • Velvet Hammer!
      CN is so blessed that you come here every day.
      You are the voice of wisdom.
      You lift chumps up to where they belong.
      I would have loved to have had a CL, a VH, in my time of need.
      ( sadly I told no one).
      Bless your very very kind heart Velvet Hammer.
      YOU are so loved & appreciated!

      • I was like you, I told no one of the horrid treatment I received in the year of discard. I should have at least told my family and my preacher. How can folks help us if they don’t know.

        I was ashamed, I didn’t want folks to know how awful the father of my son was. By the time my fog and pain started to lift the window had passed for many.

        I did tell my husband before we married. He also told me of some of his pain. We had both been dumped.

  • My XH played these awful mindfuck games during the discard stage too. I was a hot mess. I bought every bs line he threw at me
    “I will always love you”
    “You have no idea how hard this is for me”
    “I’m losing my family too”
    “You were always reading or taking long walks” (yes these were some of the excuses he gave me when I asked him why)
    And then the sporadic texts and calls making arrangements to talk about saving our marriage followed by days of not responding and showing up when he said he would. I let this go on for over a year after our divorce. I finally, finally, for my own sanity just cut him off of all contact. It saved my life. These crazies will mindfuck you for as long as you let them!

    • “You were always reading” made me smile. I got that one too. I got that one even from my friends,, when I was a child, well “I can’t help if books are more interesting than you” would be my response.

      • This!

        I remember at least a year before Dday, my ex was pissed off about something, I don’t remember what. Maybe I folded his underwear in the wrong direction. Anyway, I was sitting there reading a book and he looked at me and said “you use books as an escape”

        I remember just sitting there looking at him thinking “what the hell” I mean yes I use books as an escape, I was taught from a young child that books can transport you to almost any place you want to go, shows you a world you may never get to see in real life etc. I mean that is kind of their selling point.

        He just stood there for a bit, then he kind of calmed down and said “and that is ok” Looking back I am wondering if he was thinking I fuck whores for escape and relaxation, she reads books. It’s all good.

      • al K
        Omg! I thought I was the only one who heard that crazy excuse ????????‍♀️ And strange thing is, I really didn’t read that much. I read for about 45 minutes before work (before he was even up) and about 1/2 hr after dinner. He never mentioned my reading problem until the discard. It was so confusing to me????????‍♀️ I stopped reading all together for the longest time after that. Now I read whenever and wherever I want !!

        • The ex FW used as an excuse that I was “too involved in political news” and that “I was depressed when a certain Supreme Court Justice passed”. Really? That was his excuse for an affair, for what was wrong in our relationship? Then why did the affair start a year before those things happened?

          And how dare I express any feelings of things that I care about?

          It’s so revealing on the other side how much better off we are without the FWs.

          And yay for reading! As a librarian I approve! (I mostly listen to audiobooks while I run, drive, or do chores so he couldn’t use that as an excuse).

    • Yes. His BIGGEST GRIPE is that you love to read. And take long walks. And fold the towels differently than his mother! What a mean, ugly, horrible, evil person you are! ????

      That’s what they come up with. Benign BS piddly non-starters.
      I didn’t even get to hear the traitor’s “laundry list” of grievances until divorce negotiations when I wanted half of the money he hid from me. He merely informed me when he left that he had a “laundry list” and “didn’t want to get into it” (and we had two great therapists on board with us for 27 years. The “laundry list” was news to all of us.) Now he wants to Tell Me All About It. Sorry, the Complaint Department, which was open 24/7 for 27 years with a competent therapist, to whom you lied lied lied or didn’t talk to, is now CLOSED.

      Let’s take his inventory, shall we?

      My biggest gripes about him?

      He is a liar
      He is a cheater
      He is a thief (hiding money from me for 20 years)
      He is deceptive
      He is cruel and mean
      He had a secret double life
      He talks about me behind my back to whoever he is fucking behind my back.
      He can’t keep his worthless word

      If his issues with me are serious problems, I hope to fill the bomb crater he left with lots of people just like me and none like him.

      Oh, and a woman who will cheat with him “is kind”….hahahahaha!

      Chumps may have trouble smoking hopium, but cheaters are smoking trick cigars and I for one am not going to spoil the prank.


    • Why, how dare you be intelligent and active!
      Fuckwits hate that we have good qualities they lack, and they lack a lot, so they’ll use those kind of excuses.
      Mine said I was “too open and direct”. The very qualities he once claimed had attracted him to me. Pfft!
      I’m happy you got off that crazy train.

      • ….on the other hand, it makes sense that being open and direct would be a problem for a deceitful liar cheater thief con artist whose life skills are Run Hide and Lie….


        • Yes indeed. I thanked him for mentioning two of my best qualities. That shut the moron up.
          Funny how they always think they have something on us that will be, as CL puts it, a King’s X, when they actually have nothing and are just bullying punks with the emotional age of 12 at best. Narcissistic delusions are so tiresome.

  • Melissa, I sense that you are young. Usually people younger than a certain age use the term “like” the way you do. It means you have not had enough life skills to understand just how hard it would be to have a relationship with him. He’s already shown his child means nothing to him. He’s shown you mean nothing to him. I doubt the woman he’s living with means any more to him than that chair he sits on. Please look at what your life is like today and what it will probably be 5 or 10 or 20 years from now. Your child needs a dependable, stable parent. That is you.

  • #Sometimes … There are lots of things everyone on here will say to you in all of us walking this road.


    In My Story… Even RIGHT NOW – (9) YEARS after divorce I AM STILL dealing with My Son’s Dad and StepMom and their half siblings. I have no doubt in my mind that I am going to CONTINUE to Legally be “Fighting” them over what they “Think/Love” is “Best for (ALL) the children”.

    #Sometimes … In “LOVE” as a beautiful amazing human soul who is INNOCENT (Both You and Child) you HAVE to PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN and SAY “NO!”…

    There are going to be lots of times in the Journey of Motherhood to PROTECT your Child from ALL Kinds of harm You have to be the unpopular/character assassinated/everyone is upset/but I don’t care/ because this is for the best/choice you can make/at any given moment… To both Child and Father.

    Your trying to resuscitate a Dead Relationship. Just OWN that you are this particular Child’s mother. You KNOW this child better than anyone. It is your JOB to Protect them!


  • And I’ll tell you this, there’s a part of this creep that’s getting off on her sadness and her clinginess. And more than likely he and the new woman (and maybe the OW’s kids) are laughing about everything that is happening between creep and his wife. They’re laughing. It’s a big joke to them. Oh look at how wounded she is!

    The only thing you can do it’s dry your eyes and get a good attorney. And then provide for your son through the divorce process. And you make sure that the attorney insists that your son has a room of his own. First in time, first in line.

    Mom is right, but girl it’s time to get more backbone and less wishbone.

  • Why are you pushing your baby on him? He is not stepping up and their household sounds unsafe.

    How you divide parenting time will set the standard for your court ordered parenting plan. I suggest you establish majority parenting time now and document it.

    He will show a sudden desire for 50:50 as soon as child support enters his head.

    • Established doesn’t matter either, if dad wants 50/50 he’ll get the opportunity (barring documented severe child abuse/endangerment). Family court doesn’t care about the well being of the child or what the family has established. It is just the sad reality.

      • Established definitely doesn’t set anything going forward.

        But I wonder if the beast asks to have time with his son or if Melissa wants him to have time with his son? To me that’s a HUGE difference.

        I would suggest putting parenting software in place ASAP and tell the “father” that, until a court orders visitation, he can have visitation upon request. I would bet anything that there would be very little requests coming Melissa’s way.

        You’re so lucky to have a fierce mom! Many of us never had that! My mom was useless during the divorce.
        Let her show you how to parent like a parent should; not like you wish the baby’s father would.
        Become the best mom for your son and you will NEVER regret it.

        And learn now how to get your truck fixed yourself. All us chump survivors had to painfully learn to rely only on ourselves and how to care for ourselves (and our kids) on our own! You will too and it is so empowering!

  • “I will always love you.” I heard that too. There is no meaning from him in those words. He loves you like he loves the color blue or pizza or clean t-shirt. He does not LOVE like you are capable of love.

    Get the best settlement that you can. Take back your control. Be the sane parent. Some days will be really, really hard. Some days will be amazing.

    • Yes, my ex said that when he told me that he wanted a divorce. It seemed quite contradictory to me. He didn’t love me enough to stay around and work on the issues that blew up our marriage, and he didn’t love me enough to be decent and sympathetic about the problems I had after he took off. He flipped all the blame on me.

      Later he promised a quick, fair divorce, which I didn’t believe either. Over two years and five times more money than I had hoped, it was all over. There were no custody issues.

      Someone asked me not long ago if I loved him anymore. Nope. By the time I signed the closing paperwork with my attorney, it was gone. He had burned every bridge on the way out. So much for, “I will always love you.”

  • My ex also induced me to buy a house with him. We moved to a new state for his job, we bought our dream house, at his insistence. He gave me a puppy as a housewarming present. We went to Hawaii on vacation where he told me I was the most wonderful wife in the world. Out of the clear blue one Monday after I got home from work, less than 6 months after we had moved into our house, he told me he wanted a divorce.

    I tell you this so you know you are not alone. Future faked is absolutely right. But you have the power to take back your own future and your child’s. You are stronger than you know, I promise you.

    • These guys are heartless. Maybe even soulless; though I hate to say that.

      My daughter in laws sister earlier this year kissed her husband good by when he dropped her off at work and she got a call from him later that day that he was leaving and that was it.

      She had a friend rush her to the bank, but he had cleared out their entire savings. She had a house payment coming up for the house they had lived in for years. She had to sell their boat to get the money to pay the mortgage.

      Luckily she got her check re routed quickly enough so that he couldn’t clean that out when it hit.

      He says there is no one else, but we all know that is a lie.

      She has a lawyer now, and he says she will get her half of all that back, and she is a nurse with a good job; so that helps. Still the pain of course is overwhelming. Fucker was lying to her face just like most of them do while he set up his nest with the whore.

      There should be prison time for that.

      • Agreed! And of course there is always someone else! My ex kept telling me he needed to be “alone.” Yeah, alone to screw the 19 year old he started dating.

        I am so sorry for your daughter in law’s sister and anyone going through this. Until I found CN I internalized a lot of blame and guilt but now see how this same thing has played out time after time. Scary how common their playbook is when you know what to look for.

        • Oh I gave my daughter in law CLs info if she wanted to use it.

          If she comes on here she will likely recognize it.

          CL was just a babe when I went through my shit. I sure wish I had someone like her in real time.

      • Wouldn’t it be great if CL could arrange an interview with a family law attorney asking questions about leveling fraud charges at these fuckwits? What legal recourse might be available (of course, each state varies).

    • I got the dream house in a new state as well. He brought home a surprise chocolate lab puppy. Then he took off after dinner on Valentine’s Day and that was the end of a twenty year marriage.

      I still have the puppy. He turned out to be a better companion than the future faking Cheater ass.

  • Here is the absolute painful truth: the only real concern he would ever have over things like hitting the deer and wrecking the car would be the awful possibility that you might die and leave HIM responsible for his own child. He will not stay with the OW. He will not return to you (if you are lucky). He will only ever think of himself and how life is convenient and entertaining for him or not entertaining and convenient. That is the extent of his concern.

    • Plus they love when something bad happens that isn’t their fault for once. Perfect deflection. They get to play the knight in shining armor. They get to comfort poor, vulnerable, helpless chump. See, they really do care and want to help. How can we say they are cruel and hurting us? This sick dynamic (and I’ve been there) just reinforces the dynamic and keeps us feeling weak and stuck, needing comfort and protection. Which we kind of do need, but not from the one causing the pain.

  • Nick Cannon’s stating “It ain’t my decision” to have seven kids by four different women ! Some of the babies were born around the same time. Well Nick it kinda was your decision since you decided to pork these women without a condom. He can afford to financially support them but how confusing to the little ones since he’ll be running back and forth between households. All those women fighting over him. A ???? in the mud. A ????‍⬛ in the cream.

  • “Go to any Walmart parking lot and you will find total strangers who will talk to you and look at your truck with more authentic compassion than this fuckwit. HE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.”

    THISSSS – it is so hard to comprehend but so fucking true! The don’t give a flying f*ck about anything but themselves.

    I saw this the other day as well and wanted to add it here “‘I have a saying, “Trash loves trash, trash throws quality away”. Trashy people can’t relate to quality people. They envy and resent your shine, so that’s why they try to diminish you. They KNOW that you’re a better person than they are, so they seek out other trashy people because it feels more familiar”

    This guy is a POS

  • Dickdribble! Perfect name for this guy. I cheered while reading CL’s reply to this. He’s not sorry, he is keeping you on the line. He’s not a man, he is playing at being one. There is life after this, and a good one.

  • Dear Melissa, document everything. Get the house. Sell it. Get money. Dont go for 50 50 child rearing with this asshole. Try to get away from ever having anything to do with him. Liberate yourself and your child and go for a solid life that you control. Parenting with a fuckwit is a life sentence of turmoil. You do NOT need him. I sense you have a strong sense of purpose and rightness, and when you get your sheet together, nothing will stop you. Xo

  • Oh Melissa, listen to Chump Lady. Take some time and read and re-read the comments here. Everyone of us have been betrayed by our one true love. Everyone of us have reeled in the agony of desperately wanting what we thought we had. You are not alone. Don’t wait in the dark for that liar ever again. Take a deep breath, make a plan and divorce this monster. Then block his whore, communicate through your Mom, until you have My Family Wizard, then get a “pitbull of a lawyer”, then never speak to that cheater again. Don’t give him the pleasure of one more tear.

  • Melissa, why are you letting this monster bring your child to the home of his mistress, especially after he abandoned you both?
    With abandonment, you have a case for terminating his parental rights. He won’t even give the baby a nursery, FFS. Make sure the court knows that, and that he walked out on you and the baby without a word of explanation. LAWYER UP RIGHT NOW.
    No more visitation. No more hugs. Why should your mom have to bring him the child he abandoned? He doesn’t have any right to get jack shit from you. Please, listen to the advice here. There is nothing to salvage. The man has no heart.

    • Agreed, no way would I allow my baby to be taken from me without a court order.

      I doubt the court would demand it given the circumstances. He can have supervised visitation until the child is a bit older. Sorry, a child still in diapers and on formula should not be forcibly taken from his mother unless she is unfit.

      This is obviously not the case.

  • Will it be easier for Melissa if she is not married in terms of getting out of her mortgage ? Good luck collecting child support.

    • Depends whose name is on the house /mortgage. If both names are on it both have responsibility. If it’s all in his name only them it’s not her problem. If it’s all in her name only, then she is responsible but can also solely decide to sell the property.

  • My ex-husband left me after 25 years of marriage and 5 years dating before that. Out of the blue. One day, “I love you but I’m not in love with you. I will always care for you.” Yea…until he got a lawyer and suddenly, “I’ll give you half of everything,” turned into, “Mmmm…not so much.” He’s never explained when he became so unhappy in our marriage. He just walked…after a girl 21 years younger than himself. I suspect he wanted something shiny and new to play with for a while. But….he has never spoken to me since he left. After 30 years together!! He doesn’t even think of me.

    Never…I say again…NEVER trust someone that can walk out on you on a dime. He’s sick, he’s broken, he’s devoid of character, he suffered some childhood drama, his parents took his binky away too soon, he’s some sort of personality disorder or (fill in here)-opath. It doesn’t really matter what you attribute it to, he is no good for you.

    Men lie. They tell you what they think you want to hear to make everything easier on themselves. It’s like breaking the truth to you in each little step he takes out the door. It starts out, “I’ll always love you.” (Hug) (Step backward.). “We’ll always be friends”. (Step backward.) “I’ll be here to help you.” (Step backwards.) “We weren’t right for each other.” (He’s to the sidewalk now, grabbing the car door handle.) “The other woman gets me.” (Car door opens.). “She’s my soulmate.” (Engine revs…) Just little bits of truth until he’s gone and doesn’t have to look at you any more and feel guilty. Trust in that. He’s gone.

    Follow ChumpLady’s advice to a tee and you will be better off for it. Don’t waiver and think, “but he loved me…” He doesn’t now. He’s your enemy.

    • Fuckwits lie. People of poor character lie.

      Please don’t say “men lie.” it’s an affront to every male member of Chump Nation, and we are many.

      • I apologize…I was thinking of my fuckwit who was male. You are completely right…and I am sorry.

      • I was so wrong to say “Men lie.” You are right, people of poor character lie. I wrote from passionate hurt from my ex. I feel very bad. I have many male friends who do not lie. I apologize again…sincerely…

    • “They tell you what they think you want to hear to make everything easier on themselves.”

      Yep, mine said on the day he moved out that he needed space to get his head on straight. He said he was sure it would work out.

      Came back a week later to tell me he was in love with a girl he had been dating for three years. He never loved me and he had been “dating” for ten years. He just needed to get out of the house easily so he threw hope at me to calm me down. Not that I was throwing a fit or anything, but I was obviously shaken.

      Oh and he wouldn’t tell me who the “girl” was. Turns out it was his direct report and she was a frumpy 35 year old woman, with three big assed kids. She hadn’t seen girl in many moons.

      But since he was looking at her through the eyes of a hormone crazed teenager; it was likely like last call at the bar and she looked pretty good to him.

  • Melissa,

    You aren’t 15 with your first boyfriend. You have a child with a boy/man of very poor character. Of course you want what you signed up for–the house, the family–but the guy on the other end of all those promises is a disordered abuser. HE HAS LIED TO YOU OVER AND OVER. WHEN YOU KNOW SOMEONE IS A LIAR, STOP BELIEVING ANYTHING HE SAYS.

    Best case scenario is you get the house and enough child support to be a kick-ass single mother. And you get very clear boundaries on when this jackass can see your son. It doesn’t matter if you are married or not–he has to support your son.

    When a guy shows up after work with a U-Haul and moves into a Schmoopie’s place, he’s left you.

  • Chump Lady nailed this one, it’s like she has a super power for words that lift and strengthen, yet makes us laugh a little. Melissa, you are blessed to have the mom that you do. You have a little baby, and your youth! You came to the right place for emotional support, and for a reality check. Get yourself a lawyer, and don’t look back dear.

  • Never ask a cheater for ANYTHING! Not honesty, empathy, no contact, amends, closure, or whatever else you might deserve, or even need. No matter what the channel (on Charm, they’ll use it to lure you in; Pity, to get you to concede out of guilt/compassion; Rage, they’ll bully you out of it) or what brand of cheater and/or personality disorder, two things WILL happen:

    1. They will lie reflexively and with ease because it is their nature. “Harmless” white lies, lies of omission and pre-meditated plots, all the same. They can’t not. They are in too deep, and it’s too deep in them. Never expect the truth; in fact, bet on its opposite.

    2. They will withhold what you want. No matter what it is. This withholding might give some (ok, probably most) cheaters sick pleasure, but more importantly, it gives them control. “Oh, you want something from me? Everything comes with a price. What can I get from you in return?” It’s leverage. Yes, cheaters totally weapon use chumps’ desires. Don’t share your feelings or desires, even if you think it will somehow let them see how you live them, what you’re willing to fight for, how much they are hurting you and sabotaging everything, etc.

    • To clarify:

      I’m not saying not to expect or go after anything for yourself. Do go after what you deserve/need the best you can, by other channels available to you. I didn’t/couldn’t, but CL and LACGAL show chumps there are ways to fight for yourself. Just not by asking a cheater. That only makes it worse. You have to tell a cheater what you’re taking, with evidence and the law behind you. It’s the only way these entitled bullies respond.

    • SO TRUE!!! You will never get an honest answer. It’s not in their DNA.

      And, once a cheater, always a cheater! Don’t think they’ll change. It’s highly unlikely. Cheaters look out for themselves.

      • Oh boy, that old adage brings me back to the days when I was obsessively “researching” online to make sense of what the hell was going on so I could know what to do. Query: ‘is once a cheater always a cheater true?’

        I am poking fun at myself, but I’m not mocking chumps who are there right now. It’s hell and sending hugs and strength your way. But, if you’re looking for answers or stuck in anxiety and rumination, resist the urge to google any of that and stick to CL and the archives instead. Congrats on finding your way here.

  • “Dickdribble can’t sustain 10 minutes of interest in your dented truck. He sure as hell doesn’t connect with your soul.” OMG, Tracy’s language makes me feel wholesome sometimes, and I have a serious potty mouth LOL. I read through the responses and I see a lot of, he’s a narc, or some other form of disorder, and he probably is. It makes me think back to when shit actually went down and I was drowning in a sea of agony looking for that life preserver. Now I think when we get further out from it we sometimes put the cart in front of the horse too quickly. I know I did. We want to understand WHY? Yes, its very easy to do a bunch of research and find out the horror of a person we chose to procreate or live with. We can assign all kinds of names to them……narc…..bipolar…..borderline……sociopath. This is all backwards thinking. THEY did this…NOT YOU!!! I think that’s the wrong place to start and I think Tracy and most of us chumps know it too. Looking for the reason they fucked up is doing a pick me dance…’s saying to yourself that there’s something I DID WRONG. I’ll never be against self introspection but there is this Well, did you do a threesome with strangers at the bar because you were stressed out? Did you lie to you’re significant other so you could get it wet? Does the apparent love of your life and father or mother of you’re children be such a douche that you find it necessary to console with another……of course it’s always another passive aggressive excuse. “Oh please forgive me…..I didn’t mean to….I’d never hurt you…..I was drunk….I don’t remember…You’ don’t own me…..You know I love you….I only love you….people make mistakes……..he/she doesn’t mean anything to me….If you could just…….and the coup degrace……..I still love you, I;m just not in love with you. Yes, understanding them will help you heal, but the first place to start after Dday is……..Is it ok to be treated this way? Are you happy like this? Do you REALLY trust them? And most importantly of all…….why would I allow this? Answer those questions first. THEN, you’ll have a far better understanding of who they are. I AM NOT saying this is our fault. I’m merely saying that centering yourself will bring you the clarity to see things for how they truly are. That’s for you’re own sanity. Then bitch slap them with the lawyers. You can do the research later on what kind of people they are. It’s not pretty, but it might make you feel good for a few moments, because it’s irrelevant now. They did what they did and can’t take it back……and won’t. I’m with Tracy all the way on this one……….some lines you cross or things you say you can’t take back. Infidelity is one of those lines. 7.5 billion people on the planet and I’m sure someone will drum up a story were it was all hunky dory…….I don’t believe that and I think anyone who would believe that is a fool. You don’t cheat on someone you truly love. You cheat because you’re entitled or weak willed. Either way……..result will be the same. Unhappiness. Question that science all you want…….I’ll wait.

  • “I was like, JUST COME HERE. He hugged me.”

    This is the thing, right here. This is the draw. It’s something about the magnetic field of another person. The charisma. The limerance. The chemistry. The pheremones.

    And we get drawn into their field. We want to merge with them.

    And that’s what happens to them, too, right? They let themselves get drawn into the fields of others. They open themselves to leading with the field around them, as if they have no options. As if they have no choices. As if they don’t even exist anywhere but in the field.

    But we have options. We don’t have to be like them. We have a field around us, that responds to attractive people, but we don’t have to let it rule us. We have our intellect. We have our better judgment. We have our higher power. We have our family. We have our friends. We have our society. We have our conscience. We have wisdom.

    And we stop ourselves from responding. And that stops us from reacting. We’re not so hard up for a merge that we have to merge with someone who can’t love us.

    We have control over our actions.

    Melissa, this man has no power over you. His outer person might be attractive to you. The field around him might be compatible with the field around you, so instead of bouncing off of each other, you have the tendency to come towards each other and merge together. But there are thousands of men in this world that could attract you. And he is no longer merging with you. He is becoming one with another woman.

    Look at his actions. He’s telling you with his actions that he’s not as into you as he is into her. He’s telling you with his actions that he is not committed to you. He’s telling you with his actions that he doesn’t want to be in the father role. He’s telling you with his actions that he doesn’t care about your feelings.

    Fortify the field around you with the shield of his actions, for some much-needed protection from him and from your own impulses.

    Next time you think, “Come here, baby…” think of him giving the same pitiful look to his new woman. The next time you think, “Give me a hug, honey…” think of him walking past you and giving her a hug. The next time you go through the past in your mind and highlight the good times, think of him sharing his most intimate secrets with her. And just know that you need to stay away, for your own good.

    Don’t be like him. Don’t follow the field of your impulses around, like you don’t have a mind of your own that is capable of making good decisions. Make a good decision for yourself, for your child, and for those people who are invested in you.

    Stay within the fortress of real love, and put that shield of wisdom around your emotions. It’s not easy and we’ve all fallen short. But it’s a good plan to follow.

  • Wow. That is crazy. All I had to see was the name Chad on here and I was done. That is my husband’s or estranged husband’s (whatever he is these days) name he goes by. I do believe he is a narcissist and him, his mother and basically anyone they associate with does meth. It wasn’t like that for the first 6 years together. I miss him terribly. I keep trying to get something going but I can’t ever seem to get a savings going like I want after being a stay at home mom and house wife for a long time. I’m lost

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