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Is This Hoovering?

no contactDear Chump Lady

I am no contact with my ex-boyfriend, and have been since August. He “wanted a break” in January, but I didn’t know that he already had his vastly inferior-to-me girlfriend already waiting in the wings.

At this time, he would hoover me in once a month using some pretense (documents he could throw away, trinkets and gifts he wanted to give me/give back, you know what’s coming next). Have sex with me for a day/weekend, then not hear from him a whole month.

D-Day was in April, and I broke up with him two days later. He continued to hoover and I was high on hopium. He would find some excuse to meet up, we would, then have sex, and I would not hear from him. April to July’s excuse was he wanted to “work things out”.

He wanted me to do the pick-me-dance and asked me to arrange for counseling. I told him there was no reason to since he was with her, why even bother, etc. He said that he didn’t love her, and please book us a session. Chump that I was, I did.

He left 10 minutes after the second session. Anyway, the last time I was chumped again after a successful hoovering was in August. He “missed us.” We (he, my child and I) went swimming/had a picnic, and I ended sleeping with him again. This was a Monday. On Friday, My child and I bumped into him with his girlfriend at the supermarket the same week.

It felt like a sucker punch to the gut and I cut off all contact/blocked him. I sent him a letter declaring my no contact, and that was all the closure I needed. He had been trying to hoover me again and I have been holding strong so far. He finally stopped bugging me two weeks ago. I decided to stop stalking his and his girlfriend’s Facebook and social media last week, things are looking good.

My question:

My Masters degree graduation from University is coming up in October. My ex was my rock and pillar of strength at that time. He helped me financially when things got tight, he took care of my son/babysat when I had the late or night shift at work, edited my papers, etc. So I feel that I owe him a debt of gratitude for the two years he was there for us. I obviously did not invite him to the ceremony or to the after-party. I was planning to send him a message on Whatsapp with a picture of my diploma with a caption saying “thank you”. However, I feel uneasy about this because I don’t want to open another avenue for him to try to hoover me back. I just want to thank him. I just want to do the right thing.

Thanks for listening,

Graduate

Dear Graduate,

I have a Ph.D. in bullshit. You absolutely want to open another avenue for him to hoover you back. You could open a Dyson dealership with all that hoovering.

Let me be clear about the chump condition and what it is to be chumped.

He “wanted a break” in January, but I didn’t know that he already had his vastly inferior-to-me girlfriend already waiting in the wings.

That’s being chumped. You were unaware he was cheating on you.

Now you have KNOWLEDGE that he is a cheater. What comes next?

he would hoover me in once a month using some pretense

Volunteer.

Have sex with me for a day/weekend, then not hear from him a whole month.

Volunteer.

I was chumped again after a successful hoovering

No, you were not chumped. You know he’s cheated on you and OW is still around, but he doesn’t “love” her. Volunteer.

I ended sleeping with him

Volunteer.

YOU HAVE AGENCY. 

What you’re describing is a willful obliviousness to who he is. People who ghost you for a MONTH are demonstrably NOT trying to “work things out.” They’re booty calling you.

I get wishing, hoping, praying that it’s something more. I understand the hallucinogenic qualities of hopium. But at no moment after D-Day did this asswipe give you one sparkle-toss of his mane suggesting he might be a unicorn. He kept his girlfriend, demanded that YOU fix “us” and book the shrink appointment, and used you for sex.

Now you want to invite this guy to your GRADUATION?

Who’s hoovering who here? Stop stalking his social media. Stop allowing him into your life. STOP giving him YOUR power.

I sent him a letter declaring my no contact,

You know what says “no contact”?

NO CONTACT.

You know what says “Hi, I’m available for boundary trampling and recreational dick sucking”?

INVITING HIM TO YOUR GRADUATION.

He babysat your child? Great. So will 100K people on care.com — for a price far less than your self-esteem. Heck, they’ll probably edit your papers too.

YOU set the price on your worth. NOT him. YOU decide who is worthy of sharing your accomplishments and your time.

A guy who cheats on you, fucks you and doesn’t call you for a month?  NOT WORTHY.

Of course, that’s my opinion. Doesn’t matter what I think. I don’t set the price on your self-worth, you do.

But since you asked, I say matriculate into a new life. Without him.

This one ran previously.

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  • I wonder what happened to Graduate. I hope she graduated and let FW go completely. Minus a “thank you.”

    This reminds me of my 20s when I dated a guy for a few years and was so codependent I couldn’t get out of the mess we were in. She sounds addicted. It’s simple to say “go grey rock” but for some it takes multiple misfires before they get it right and finally break free.

    • I get where she’s at. I’m 9 months out from D-Day and keep getting stuck in “doing the right thing” too. Why do we still want to do that? Found out about the double life of prostitutes and massage parlors and here I still am. Moving past that for my own good and my kids-not his! Head and heart keep battling and I’m physically paying the price. I hope graduate didn’t invite and lived the best life for herself and her son. It’s good to hear survival and success stories.

      • For anyone struggling with the “do the right thing” thing … please just imagine that instead of cheating on you, they hit you on the head with an axe, shoved you down the stairs, and left you to die. Would you “do the right thing” regarding that person? Hopefully no. Emotional abuse is just as worthy as physical abuse for complete and total no contact. I don’t send thank you cards, remember birthdays, return trinkets, or other niceties with such a person.

        • Dixi Chump – Completely agree! There is no reason to “do the right thing” for abusers of any sort. They crapped all over whatever agreements you had in the relationship… there is nothing owed to them.

          Although as CL said, Graduate isn’t really trying to “do the right thing.” She really just wanted an excuse to open the door again and is actually doing the hoovering herself. Hopefully she woke up and moved on.

        • Every time I “did the right thing” it cost me another $100K. Every concession I made was met with yet another crazy demand. No more doing the right thing.

        • Lol– This came up before D-Day when, in response to me meekly and despondently (boiled frog-style) asking FW if he was having an affair, FW bellowed, “After ALL I’ve done for YOU!” (the rest was implied… that I would dare to ask him such a thing).

          So I thought about it and did the math on what he’d supposedly “done for me,” subtracted the things that had actually been for the kids and compared it with what I’d done for him. And you know what? He was in arrears.

          If he was furthermore firing me as wife and keeping me on as day/night nanny, tutor, chauffeur, housecleaner, secretary, medical researcher and nurse for our chronically ill middle kid and sex worker, he clearly couldn’t afford me or the four or five people it would take to replace me.

          Ergo, I owed him no thanks. Even if he’d, say, seemingly gone the extra mile and supported me on some educational venture before D-Day, I would have seen it as the most sadistic, traumatizing type of sabotage to cheat at some critical moment in my efforts, like setting me up only to shoot me down.

          As it was, D-Day was so traumatic that I developed a sort of associative “allergy” to all the constructive things I’d been trying to do at the time. Was I supposed to thank him for this? Roll-eyes-into-back-of-head.

          • “ As it was, D-Day was so traumatic that I developed a sort of associative “allergy” to all the constructive things I’d been trying to do at the time.”

            Wow. Same. Have you taken any of these things back up? I still haven’t. And when you were experiencing this and still in the PTSD phase, how frustrating was it to have people repeatedly tell you, “Find something you like to do”?

      • Doing the right thing is freeing yourself and your kids from the shackles of this guy’s abuse. You will all be better off when that happens, trust me.

      • I read an article on trauma recently which said that some people have a ‘submit’ response. Part of the behaviours listed to this response was to be ‘the good girl’. Rang true for me. Not sure if it fits for you too?
        I’m all for aligning actions to your values, but the ‘good girl’ thing kept me tap dancing the ‘pick me’ dance way longer than I should have.

  • She wanted to hand him a big plate of bitch cookies for doing the things a partner is supposed to do because she was still on hopium. I hope she gives us an update about this saying she never contacted the creep again and he buggered off to cloud fuckoland forever.

    “Hi, I’m available for boundary trampling and recreational dick sucking”?
    Priceless!

  • Oh dear God.

    Well, most of us have been here (raises hand).

    If Meh is a state, then this stuff is the ugly transit lounge where they keep changing your gate and you keep missing flights because you lose track of time in the airport bar.

    Get out of the bar. Pay attention. This time, catch the damn plane.

    • Yep me too. Great analogy Lola!
      I did the hoovering last time because I couldn’t believe he was so bad and our marriage was a lie. But I realised pretty quickly that he was that bad. He’d already got another chump and lied and said he was alone. Then he finally admitted he’d cheated on his first wife too. So our entire marriage was a lie. It still makes me embarrassed that I went back there for more abuse. It set me back a long way in my healing.

  • I remember reading this one before when I was stuck on hopium. I see it so much clearer now. Stepping away from the mess helps so much.

    I am firmly in Battle Royale (aka the divorce grinder). Its a tough shit sandwich and I struggle. I have been firm no contact since March now. Found that FW wanted to keep ‘coming round’ to collect this thing or that thing. What he actually did in this time was clear out 10k worth of ‘stuff’ from his man cave – I documented and photographed everything before this happened. I blocked him on everything and never search him or his ho-worker. We now only communicate via our solicitors but even using this way of communicating he still manages to make digs at me. It hurts, a lot, but soon I will be free of him and financially sound.

    He has lied about what he owns, his pensions, his savings just about everything. He’s alienated 2 of our adult children (this includes 4 grandchildren) the 3rd is just about hanging in there.

    His latest ask is for me to photocopy all the family photos (34 years worth) and put them on a pendrive for him. He doesn’t make an effort to see the actual people he wants photos of 🤦🏼‍♀️.

    His latest counter financial proposal (I’ve only been waiting since June) looks good but when you do the calculation it’s really not so good. So here I go again standing at the shit buffet ready to choke down more shit sandwiches. Really on the fence about accepting less and being free now or fighting for more and prolonging the process. What to do. What to do.

    Hugs to everyone here. This place literally saved my life ❤️

    • Fight. 100% fight. You’re going to regret it later if you don’t fight now. I chose freedom instead without realizing that I would be free either way. Now, it’s two years post divorce, and I’m in Battle Royal Part II over custody. Face the storm, and you’ll get through it faster.

      • OMG! FIGHT with every breath you have and your lawyers have. Then take a deep breath and do some more fighting.

        If there was nothing to fight over, I would have different advice. But a long marriage and grandchildren mean you are older, like me. Fighting means peace of mind post-divorce and a future without panic over what will happen to you.

        Moving forward, and life in general, is much easier when you have money. Sorry if that sounds cold but if your a certain age it’s just the truth.

        Hold on to your sanity; the divorce will be over one day as you will have no regrets.

        Good luck!

      • Everything with cheaters feels like a battle. That is a good reminder that either way we will be free. I have currently forgotten that since he is squatting and has for over a year. And uses every opportunity to hoover. I just call him on his shit and that results in him stonewalling or no communication for “punishment” which is often a gift. They love money, power and control and will do what it takes to retain as much as possible.

    • Claire,
      Ugh. I’m sorry you’re going through this right now.

      There are services that will digitize photos. I suggest you ask him to pay for that. Don’t do all the scanning; it will take forever and will probably be extremely upsetting. My ex first said he didn’t want any photos (“Who looks at them anyway?” he said) but then asked for them. I think he did so to impress the mediator. We agreed that I would give him a box of actual photos. I spent about one hour quickly going through some of the ones I have. I tossed a bunch in a box and sent it to my lawyer so that the transaction would be documented.

      As for the settlement, fight, fight, fight. Don’t accept less. Let your anger propel you. This is about your future and what you deserve. I hope you have great lawyers. If not, perhaps hire a new one. Gloves off!

      Oh, and I hope you’re not letting him come around anymore for subtle hoovering and digs.

      Here’s to your future freedom from this cheater.

      ((hugs)) Spinach

      • Or just ignore this request all together. Why take one minute of energy for this? He left the family – he doesn’t deserve photos.

        • Yes, and if the shoe were on the other foot would he be willing to do this for you?

          My ex actually bought a machine to digitize photos, did them all himself, and then handed me the boxes of actual photos, because he didn’t want to be burdened with them. Did he offer me a copy of the digitized photos? Nope. Never crossed his mind. Just as it never crossed his mind to digitize our photos (or even put them in albums, unlike me) while we were still married.

          • He didn’t offer you a flash drive with the digitized photos. Classic.

            Even if my Luddite ex had the wherewithal to digitize photos, it wouldn’t occur to him to share these. He doesn’t think that way (i.e., he’s selfish).

            Perhaps this is only tangentially related, but it reminds me of how my ex would get sullen if I didn’t remember the anniversary of his dad’s death, even though he never recognized the anniversaries of my own parents’ deaths. It never occurred to him.
            And even if I were to point it out to him, he wouldn’t get it. When you’re stuck on the all-about-me channel, it’s easy to tune out other frequencies.

            He never saw a double standard he didn’t like. In fact, he never saw a double standard. When I alerted him to one, I was dismissed as overly sensitive, having too good a memory, etc…

            Glad I’m away from the madness.

          • This reminds me that shortly after I moved out, the idiot brought me a bunch of old family photos in a trash bag and told me to “keep or toss what I liked.” I remember this was during very traumatic time, and I made some comment about our life together being trash to him. He replied that he digitized the ones he wanted, but didn’t think it mattered that he regarded the originals with such disinterest. It didn’t even occur to me to realize that he never offered me the digitized photos. Selfish ass.

            For many reasons, it took me a very long time to accept that no contact was the only way for me to regain some dignity. Every conversation was an open opportunity for him to continue the devaluation and discard process.

        • Hear hear! Klootzak – who I am still stuck in the house with – went off on vacation this week. He left yesterday and today is our child’s first day of school. He missed it and now he wants one of the first day pics I took, probably to share with his schmoopies. Eff that. If he wanted a photo, he should have been here to take it.

          I’m in the middle of sorting out how to load many old photos to Shutterfly so I don’t lose any in the split. They are on a shared drive, currently. After I load them, I can pay Shutterfly to burn them to discs for me. I’m not going to lose anything. And if I do lose a few, I will make new FW-free memories and photos to replace them. We don’t owe them our labor giving them images of the family they future faked.

    • Decisions about your future are so tough, not much of do over with the costs and time involved. Mine wasn’t forthcoming about finances and documentation. There came a point when we were assigned another judge, as sometimes happens, the judge took our July trial date & moved it too April 2022. Then I started hearing about his financial troubles, taken to collections, failure to comply with records requests in his healthcare practice. He-63 is a late life addict with a 30-year-old girlfriend.
      I decided to offer a marriage settlement agreement to him so we could be done. I don’t think he’ll ever straighten out and live a normal life again. The girlfriend will drop him as soon as he’s out of money from the sale of our commercial property. I’m glad to be finished. It was very frustrating because of the circumstances, he is deteriorating.

    • Please fight! I know you don’t feel like it right now, I was where you were ready to just swallow and be done but a good friend threw a bucket of water on me and made me get up and keep fighting and you know what? She was right? X backed down, I got what I deserved, and now I don’t have to look back years from now and realize that once again, I let him bully/beat me down into accepting less than what I deserve(d).

    • There was a discussion a while back on digitizing family pix on FW request. The best solution seemed to be offering to let them pay for a service to do this, though a service under your control since FWs should never be allowed to take possession of original photos.

    • Big hugs Claire!
      It’s a horrible battle in top of all the other abuse. I was also no contact during the divorce and settlement but he managed some cruel digs through his lawyer to get to me. The cruelty of these people is breathtaking.
      From my experience if the difference is only a few percent I’d take the offer. I refused to settle because it wasn’t 50-50 and spent another $20k and much stress just to have to settle for not much more than the previous offer. As soon as I accepted I felt so much better. Like I could move on and start planning my new life. Yes I’m annoyed that I didn’t get what was fair but at least I’m free of the piece of shit.

    • I agree with the others that say continue the fight. He is literally banking on the idea that he can wear you down. Stand your ground. I decided I’d rather fight and give the money to the lawyers than let him financially abuse me on top of the lies, deceit and gaslighting. When I stood my ground and he knew I was willing to go to court, he folded. In fact, he turned down an fixed support offer I made (he’s in commission based sales) and as a result is paying me 30% more!

      Karma baby. If he had an ounce of humanity, he would have gotten out of the marriage years earlier and not been saddled with lifetime support. And I would have had 20 years of my life back. A trade I’d gladly have made, had I known the truth.

  • Ughhhh.

    Cake for the narc. Makes me want to throw up.

    The denial is so strong here.

    Been there. Took me a long long time to heal up from the devalue discard over and over again.
    Three years wasted.

  • Yes, she wants to be nice. Good. However, there are some people you just can’t be nice to because they chew you up and spit you out. But I did that too, always “turning the other cheek.”

    Now I don’t. I had to toughen up during the divorce, and I’m far better now and speaking my mind and drawing lines. It’s such a necessary skill. My 20-something kids are much better than I am at it, but I’m getting there.

    Don’t do it.

  • I still get the occasional email.

    He uses any excuse–the death of a mutual friend, the need for medical records (that he must know I don’t have), the desire (however twisted) to wish me a happy birthday.

    I sometimes reply with one-word answers. “No” or “Yes.” Re the birthday wish: His birthday is only days before mine, so I know that in that “Happy Birthday” was a, “Damn you. Why didn’t you wish me a happy birthday?” That’s how he thinks. His mind is a hellscape. So happy to be away from that craziness and tending my own garden.

  • When another person helps me, that’s kind. Do I appreciate it? Yes I do. Do I express gratitude? Yes I do. And I recognize and acknowledge that things would have been harder without that help — or, if not that, then at a minimum I acknowledge that it is positive that the person intended to help.

    And yes, that’s true even if the person turns out to be a total pantload later.

    The part that crosses the line into codependent unhealthiness is the thinking that if a person is kind to us that means we owe them something. I don’t owe the other person gratitude, appreciation, acknowledgement, or even my attention.

    Doing something decent or kind for another person is just… right. Real kindness doesn’t demand glory or worship. When I’m kind to someone, it’s because I want to be, not because I want their praise or servitude. So if someone is kind to me and expects me to give those things, I have to see it not as kindness, but as manipulative asshattery.

    So they guy did some nice things when our writer needed it. So? Our writer doesn’t owe gratitude for that. The guy lived in her house and received all manner of goodness and giving from her at that time, and it didn’t make him value her enough to treat her like she mattered.

    Nothing is owed in return for anything positive he might have done. So, he helped. So what? It’s pretty immaterial at this point. It deserves no attention. Just like him.

  • I like how empathetic many of our responses here are. I too was once that codependent. Friends and family would look at me and ask me, candidly, “Whhhhhhy are you taking him back?” and I gave all the BS answers that we’re all familiar with: I love him; we’re a family; I’m never giving up on my marriage; everyone deserves another chance; etc etc etc

    Reading letters like this puts me in the shoes of my “Whhhhhhhy are you doing this to yourself?” friends.

    And I recall those days where I would extend an olive branch, like Graduate’s “I want to thank you for your help with my degree” olive branch. I was hoping for kibbles for myself. Anything! Any piece of kibble FW would throw my way! Some positive attention or some praise perhaps. I never got it. And thank goodness too! I needed a lot of help and time getting weaned off of my FW addiction. Nowadays my stomach curdles when I hear his voice (usually over the phone in the background) and I listen to my body’s responses. Those alarm bells, those gut reactions… they’re a lifesaver.

    For anyone still in this stage: get yourself tested for STDs. It may not be the final straw but it just might be the kick in the pants you need to start backing away from someone who gambles with your health.

  • Women especially are conditioned by society to be nice or sexy. All that “sugar & spice everything nice” crap. I believe that’s why we default to being nice despite being treated badly. Or to be sexier (than the OW) & sleep with the crappy goods this woman kept sleeping with. Too many women blame & beat themselves up about this…but society (and likely their parents) started drumming this into us when we were wee babes. However, now we know. No excuses now. No hopium, no being nice to people not deserving & no to using sex to keeping fuckwits around!

    • Totally!👏
      No trying to look like a porn star with hooker heels, painful waxing of the lady parts, ridiculous make-up, no agreeing to anal or other porn-influenced demands, no getting fake tits or dressing like hookers to compete with other women for the attention of losers, and the list goes on. I am so sick of all the pressure to be “sexy”, especially since it’s always by porn or Hollywood standards. It’s just another way to keep women focused on pleasing men and controlled. This is 2021 FFS, and I am enough just the way I am. Anybody who doesn’t think so is not someone I want to know.

      No being nice in the hope that abusers will soften their attitude, to keep the peace, or to seem less intimidating to insecure jerks.
      I am nice to other nice people who deserve it. The rest of them can fuck off.

  • I wonder what it would have been to be hoovered? I wasn’t. She gave me a list of 30 things I had to do for her to reconcile with me. I bet it is hard being hoovered. I MIGHT have wavered after I filed for divorce if she did that. I mostly got “you won’t find someone as good a me” lines of reasoning. I did have enough self respect to never sleep with her again after DDay. I hope the letter writer moved on with her life and found a good man.

    • It takes some nerve for a cheater to give their betrayed spouse a list of improvements they need to make in order to maybe have a chance to reconcile. Who do these people think they are? She must really be stuck on herself to think she’s worth all of that in spite of her demonstrably shitty character. These people have no ability or inclination towards self reflection at all, at least not beyond “I want…” and “I deserve…”. Good riddance.

      Mine never hoovered in a “give me another chance” way but he clearly still wants me to think highly of him. He can’t stand the idea of anybody not thinking he is awesome. Sorry, I used to have a lot of respect and admiration for ex. No more. I now know him for the loser he is.

    • Mine just told me how horrible I was. Still trying to tell me 4 years later on our family wizard. He used the same lines “ you will never find anyone as good as me” and “I am the best thing you will ever have”.

      His credit cards in collections, he owes me tons in medical bills for the children. He is on girlfriend #4. Living in a travel trailer.

      I have 2 children that I love and love me. I have an awesome job. Just bought a brand new Jeep “it’s better than him”. I have a nice house that will be paid for in a couple years. I am saving money for a beach house.

      They don’t hover because they know they got nothing to offer.

  • I think all of that free sex was thanks enough. She paid him more than his help was worth.

    Meanwhile, another way to look at this is that by that time she was the OW. Yes, she was OW to the OW so not trying to shame her, but still, reframing it that way sometimes helps provide one more reason to stay away. At that point the letter writer was the side piece. Who wants that spot?

    When my ex would sometimes come around doing me favors (raking leaves uninvited etc.) after divorce it bothered me because 1st, he wanted me to feel that I owed him one for being nice to me, and 2nd, he was somebody else’s boyfriend so it didn’t seem appropriate for him to be raking my leaves or whatever. I didn’t thank him by fucking him, but he was still giving time and attention to a woman not his girlfriend and someone who said girlfriend could reasonably consider a threat. Not that I had any concern for Schmoopie’s feelings. She made her bed, but I had my own dignity to uphold.

  • Congrats on your masters. You can do anything you set your mind to including becoming Fuckwit-free.
    Shore up your boundaries (I’m working on this too), go NO CONTACT, study everything you can about Narcissistic Abuse recovery (read about Trauma bonding) and you will soon be free as a bird to start your OWN exciting and rewarding life. I feel I have a Masters in learning how to recover from narc abuse after the last 5 years doing a deep dive into this subject matter. It saved my life after discovering his prostitutes, Craigslist randos, 2 OW’s that I know of….
    All this abuse takes a huge toll on your health! Get out now while you are young and healthy.

    • You are so right about the toll this takes on a person’s health. I was always so baffled at my mil’s poor health, I just couldn’t understand what happened that she was so debilitated and seemed so helpless. Well.. now I know! Her husband is a covert narcissist, and she eventually broke. I always swore I wouldn’t let myself turn into his mother, and I can see it happening. He won’t leave and give me the separation I feel totally stuck. I imagine something similar happened to his mother. His paternal grandmother (I never met) as she died and the story was always “she didn’t take care of herself”. I imagine her alcoholism and health problems stemmed from being abuse, just a guess. Now the story is that his mother “doesn’t take great care of herself”. Big digression, here but get the hell out (this is a reminder for me too) before they crush your spirit and body.

      • Exactly right. I’ll bet if we take a poll on CN the majority of us develop auto immune diseases and so much more. Trauma settles in at the cellular level. It takes a great deal of work to release that and heal.

        • Absolutely! Chronic pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, then there’s all the auto immune diseases. There does appear to be a connection. A human can only take so much.

      • Holy @&&@! I’ve been researching like crazy since D-Day and things are clicking. My FW is a narcissistic, alcoholic, porn addict, abusive, workaholic cheater. I started feeling sick all the time when he started drinking and watching porn-that I was able to catch at least. Got pregnant every 2 years and blamed that for being run down. He got so mad at me for being sick and “helped” around the house passive aggressively. Dr could never figure out why I hurt everywhere all the time. Why I couldn’t eat without getting sick. It was my soul dying!
        FW says I disappeared and that’s why he cheated. He spent years putting me down and then lost interest in me because I wasn’t as confident and capable. Mother fucker! Says he wants to make this work. Has apologized, read books I gave him, moved out for a separation, admitted everything I said above, and didn’t gripe when I started an account and put money in it to repay me for his “pussy money” as I call it. When asked why he all of a sudden feels like this is worth it he responds with, “you’re you again. You’re the woman I married and I don’t feel alone. I feel like I can trust you again”!!!!!!!! Trust me? I told him it must be nice to trust somebody. To be able to have sex and not think-Shit I hope I don’t get an STD. Guess he’s trusting me to not ever get sick again. Seriously!!

        • I’m so sorry you went though all that. He sounds like a true narcissist. They will literally suck the life out of you, when there is nothing left they will discard (but not forever). Now you’ve built yourself up and he sees you have more to give again he’s back to take all that for himself. Don’t let him. This is where CL’s no contact is so valuable, save all that for you!
          While I say this, I fully realize I need to take my own advice.
          I questioned FW and he said why is it you don’t trust anything I say? He was honestly baffled, I said I’ll let you figure that out on your own. They have bizarre logic.

          • I don’t understand where FWs get their logic from.
            I’ve got 5 kids. The older two are 18 and 16 and can’t stand FW. The 14 year old just wants us to figure it out because he says he’s annoyed. The 12 year old just told me he sees FW moving back in and things going back to normal-wake up call for me. Feel like a weak pushover. My 5 year old is doing his version of the pick-me dance. So heartbreaking to see. He’s very affectionate with FW and cries if he can’t come over some night to watch tv with him. I may have gained some confidence in this ordeal, but it’s still weak. Keep listening to Pink’s “fucking perfect” song and telling myself I’m not as shitty as I’ve been thinking for years. Got five boys to raise. Need to show what a strong woman is!!!!!

            • So hard with kids, and you have the right idea to model how they should treat women. That is a motivating factor for me. Stay strong!

        • “What happened to you?” Said with compassionate pity (never true remorse and accountability), but you know cheaters secretly love that they have the power to destroy you. Fuck that. My ex tried to get me to go back to being “me” – by which he meant, a chump. He didn’t care that it some ways, I was more me than ever, because once I knew the truth, I could use my own compass again. Or start to, once I picked through the RIC BS, settled down from the shock, and started to put aside my life dreams to make a new plan.

          Be WARY, BetterThanAWhore! Some of this is scary close to what kept me around way too long. Sounds like you know it, but your FW is not reformed. If anything, he’s bolder and less empathetic. As LAJ once remarked, personality disorders are degenerative, like substance abusers (and seems often this is co-occurring, besides). Plus, once someone has completely devalued you, then worn you down enough that you accept it, they know that there’s no red line. Even if you have the “pussy fund,” I’m guessing the FW still holds most of the power. And I’m guessing you stand to lose a lot from the dissolution of your marriage, so he’s holding you hostage, in a way.

        • A little late to this party butttt…..

          Totes. This was me. I just got the “you are now the woman I’ve been waiting for!” and other diatribe. FUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKK That. I was EXHAUSTED and now, that i’ve had enough, you think I’m worthy enough to return to. Agree that his triumphant return is based on my return to who I used to be; that’s right, I was this strong, independent, thoughtful, bright, funny, sassy bitch before you got here and she’s back. No more of this whiny, “ohhhh, picccckkkk meeeeeeeeeee” bullshit. (She’s dead and good riddance.) Let you back in for more of what I just withstood for 20+ years. Fuck you. No, really, fuck.you.I’m.out.

          Entitlement. Entitlement. Entitlement.
          That is all there is with this guy.
          Whatever.
          Divorce beckons.
          I know I will survive and thrive.
          You? You can go fall back into his wife’s pussy…and let her husband deal with you.
          I’ve got ZERO fucks left to give.

          …sry. rough day in the ‘hood.

      • He won’t leave? Lawyer up, get all the evidence on record, and separate your finances. I doubt he wants his dirty laundry aired publically, so he’ll leave if that’s the alternative.

        • I’ve been dealing with this so long, with the help of an attorney. If we can’t settle it, it will just go to court. He’s so sneaky I don’t have near the evidence some chumps have, but I have enough to show he cheated, is dishonest, and prioritizes himself. I quit looking and trying to figure any of it out almost a year ago.

  • “My ex was my rock and pillar of strength at that time. He helped me financially when things got tight, he took care of my son/babysat when I had the late or night shift at work, edited my papers, etc. ”

    I had a friend (we are still in touch) that was determined to be married before she turned 30. My then boyfriend (cheater I was engaged to) and I at the time had a friend that we took in because he was living on a half sunk boat. The friend, lets call him “Will”, was educated, tall, good looking, great personality but he was a bum. Just thought he was too good to start any low level job and work his way up. Long story short we introduced them and 3 months later they got married. What my friend attempted to do was try and make Will a success, even if it was just for show. She got him a sales job in another state, they moved and he made one good sale. That’s it. They moved back 6 months later. This was back in 1987 and she still talks about how Will made such great money and how he was so successful when they lived out of state. If he was so successful why move back? It was his one and only sale that is the reason they came back. All these years (they are still married) my friend has busted her butt working to support their family of 4 all the while making out that Will is a success. He’s not, everyone knows it and she’s not fooling anyone. He’s worked several sales jobs and they never last. He would have been better off in a blue collar position but there was no way she would have allowed that to happen. All about appearances. She retired from her job that she worked at for over 30 years and is now selling real estate. Will, is officially “retired”. So my point from this long story is maybe Graduated’s cheating boyfriend lent a hand to help out a few times (threw a few crumbs) and she has made him into some fantasy super star rock and pillar of strength that supported her while she was going to school. I would have a hard time believing that her cheater was a selfless, supportive partner after reading her post. I would also believe she gave him far more than he ever gave her during the relationship. Of course Graduated knows best but I would ask her to honestly reflect back on that time she says he was her pillar of strength.

    • Interested take, and it reminds me of something:

      My aunt and uncle were legal guardians to a young man who grew up to be very much like the Will you describe. He was charming, good looking, great personality, and not one lick of work ethic. Very entitled in that way.

      As an adult he had a habit of taking up with single moms by stepping in and offering to help with childcare, work around the house, etc. Stuff they obviously needed as they were single and overwhelmed. Then he would move in and mooch off of them. He wouldn’t contribute anything else around the house, and he certainly wouldn’t work. The truth was he liked kids enough that the babysitting wasn’t a big deal to him, it was a big deal to the Mom, and it was his ticket to easy sex and a roof over his head.

      • I’m not sure how well the British term for these unpleasant parasitic creatures who move in with someone (often a single mother) in order to get a roof over their heads will translate into American but we call such creatures “cock lodgers”.
        Generally they stop being useful in any way at all after they’ve moved in.
        A real rent paying lodger (room mate) would be a much better bet.

          • LMAO! My ex is a hobosexual, definitely. Quit his job to be a “househusband” to a nurse, and conveniently also have no work income so that he can’t be forced to pay much child support.

          • Hobo-sexual? I am immediately adding that to my vocabulary, lol. I had a run-in with one of those after my divorce. He was “helping a friend” who had recently gotten a divorce by living in their house and since he was unemployed I’m sure he was not sharing expenses. I’m guessing the friend was getting tired of being “helped” about the time I came into the picture because he tried really hard to turn a visit to my house into a residency and that was not happening. It took years before he quit offering to pay me another “visit”. Nope. No hobo-sexuals for me, thanks.

  • When I was very young, and being conditioned into the “be sweet, nice, and pretty” role of being a woman, I didn’t think I had options. My gender defined who I was allowed to be. I didn’t like it, even then, but I didn’t really question it until I got away from my FOO in college. My rebellion was relatively small, until I was far enough away from my family to start thinking clearly for myself. My father cut me off financially at 18, thinking I would come groveling back out of economic necessity. Thank God times had changed and I had an education, and the willingness and ability to earn a living. It was tremendously hard, but being low, almost no, contact with my FW father helped me grow into the woman I have become.

    Years and broken hearted experience later, I can tell you my “revolution” did not happen overnight. It takes time and practice to overcome hopium addiction and years of dysfunction training. We owe it to ourselves to be more than pretty, sweet, and nice. We owe it to our sisters and daughters to change the narrative. We owe it to our brothers and sons to change the narrative. The pendulum swings both ways. Everyone needs to learn how to be independent and self sufficient. Men are not required to support women, and women are not required to be subservient to men.

    If we learn to value who we are and what we have to offer in a relationship, we should also learn to identify who our partner is and what he has to offer. If a relationship agreement is broken, there needs to be consequences. If you recognize you are addicted to hopium, you need to check yourself into a no contact facility where your mind can clear and your heart can heal. The RIC method is like treating cocaine addiction with heroin. Do not accept the message that you should be able to change someone else, or are responsible for “fixing” something they broke. Don’t believe you are “strong” enough to stay. Believe you are “strong” enough to go. Only time and distance, and the success which come from living a life without lies will sustain you and help you build your own worthwhile life.

    Make no mistake about the intentions of those who rule. They do not want you to be educated and think for yourself. It is not because any religion dictates that, or because they have any sense of “duty” to protect the “fair sex” or another race of people. It is because they want all the power and control so that they can do whatever they want to do. We are very useful if we are enslaved, even more useful if we keep ourselves enslaved.

    • A wonderful post, Portia. Thank you. In therapy I’m working through why I did not leave at about the 15 year mark out of 26 years. Those red flags were gathering and flying and I denied them. This isn’t to criticise myself. I had been married before (he turned out to be gay!). I tried so hard to make it work and as ChumpQueen said yesterday, I lost sight of my needs completely.

      I could tell when things were bad. We would be watching tv together and I continually turned to look at him to assess his reaction. Was he happy, enjoying the programme, or was a sulk coming (indicated by picking up a book or his phone and pointed silence). At the time I knew that my reaction was off kilter. I was perpetually anxious (and often I still am) and on high alert for trouble. But I could not stop doing it or do anything about it. This man was far below me in terms of professional success (I was a CEO and he a jobbing very average in house lawyer with delusions of grandeur). I had the personality, the kind, caring, supportive temperament. I had the sophistication and the well rounded education (I read books written by all, he reads books written only by men). I don’t sulk, I enjoy life, I don’t have tantrums unlike the legendary outbursts of the woman he left me for. I wasn’t as good at tennis as him and he laughed at my efforts to improve but I kept trying. I remained curious and engaged in life. This person was not fit to share a life with me, let alone a bed, a house. But he ended up pulling my strings while I danced pathetically and desperately until I knew about the affair when I stopped and divorced him. I was enslaved to him and I had not one ounce of self-respect left. A lot of this relates to FOO issues on which I am working. But he was a shark who could smell my blood as soon as I entered the ocean. It is all puzzling, infuriating and upsetting until I find my anger and let that do the talking. No need now as we have been completely no contact for well over a year. Contact with him scared me. I was afraid of facing the pain of the insults, the shark eyes, the hatred. But I need to keep the anger warm to protect me from repetition (although I have to say that I’m not tempted to enter the ocean ever again).

    • “We owe it to our sisters and daughters to change the narrative. We owe it to our brothers and sons to change the narrative. The pendulum swings both ways. Everyone needs to learn how to be independent and self sufficient. Men are not required to support women, and women are not required to be subservient to men.”

      I wish I could give you a standing ovation. Hear hear!!

  • I paid for my XW bachelors degree. Borrowed against my 401(k) and I paid it all back. She got pregnant within a year of graduating (took her 10 years) and never put her degree to use. I never got a “thank you” and in the end got a big “fuck you” instead. Tried to recover those costs during the divorce, judge didn’t want to hear it. It is nice that you want to say thank you, but I assure you he doesn’t care what you think or say.

    • Excellent point. Don’t say “thank you” to someone who says “fuck you” with their actions and abuse. No way am I signing up for that.

      • Yes, I agree. Until I went through my crazy divorce, I thought that you always had to say thank you. Now I don’t. I was super appreciative to my legal team of course because they were competent and caring. In a business-like way, I thanked my ex when he sent documents and did what he was supposed to during closeout. He was cringy and tried to make side deals too, but I just ignored that.

        But now after it’s all closed out? Nothing. I don’t feel the need to have any interaction at all with someone that my attorney called “a terrorist.” I don’t want that kind of person to be close to me at all. Thankfully he’s in another state, and I don’t have custody issues.

    • You were a supportive spouse. You deserve a thank you. Hopefully you will receive all that is coming to you in this life for the good karma you put in, even though your spouse was clearly a deficient human being and incapable of doing so. So many sunk costs, so many reasons why we tell ourselves that we need to stick around. The sad revelation is that the investment never pays off. Once a self-centered, short-sighted asshole, always a self-centered, short-sighted asshole.

  • I’ve been coming to CL since April and this is probably the most sobering post I’ve read to date.

    I’m a chump (EA vs. PA…part of my own justification) who is still sniffing the hopium.

    The worst part is he’s even leased and completely set up/furnished a condo for himself – I refer to it as his bachelor pad…but he will not leave the marital home. When I tell him to go, he balks and says he doesn’t have to leave. Currently, he is correct, I can’t legally make him leave. When he says he is leaving me, I dissolve into a puddle of chumpy shit and say all kinds of things to make him feel guilty. The push-pull dynamic is mind boggling fuckery.

    I’m volunteering at this point though as I could be sleeping on the couch but we’re still in the same bed. We’re still having sex. I still want to hope he’s going to wake up and really realize how badly he’s fucked up, but…

    It’s been 9 months of constant devaluation. He’s living at the house and not giving me a dime (our finances were completely separated mid-May). He saved god-knows how much money and furnished the bachelor pad with decent furniture – nicer than most of the stuff we’ve been using for years…then he tries to claim its “just a bug-out place” when he needs to cool off. Why furnish a bug-out place with brand new stuff? It even matches the color scheme in the condo.

    He’s still working with his 20yo “best friend”.

    I know I don’t have a unicorn and I really need to sit with what CL said to Graduate about being the one who is Hoovering. A good friend told me over the weekend, kindly, that the switch that most people have to turn off their feelings towards someone who’s hurting them is broke. Good assessment.

    • Sometimes you’re just stuck in the trauma and you need to shut off your emotions and let your head (the part of you that knows you don’t have a unicorn) make all the decisions and take all the steps.

      I’m one of the chumps that left while still “in love” with her cheater (although that I ever felt that baffles me now). My switch was broken too. And if I’d waited for my feelings to catch up to my head, I’d probably still be in that abusive relationship that was killing me. Only after months of being free of the fuckwit and his mindfuckery, and months of grieving and mourning, and the final divorce decree did my heart catch up with my head.

      You can do this. And you will be so much better off without the human parasite currently feeding off of you.

    • You NEED a lawyer. You are having trouble making decisions in your own best interest (which is typical–I’m not blaming you, I just recognize the behavior having done plenty of it myself). Have the free consultation with a couple of lawyers and ask friends (or even somewhat distant associates) in your area who have divorced for recommendations and insights into local lawyers. Then hire one. Follow their advice about how to untangle your finances from his and evict him (or move out and get your own place). Right now, he is siphoning off resources for his own benefit. There is no reason to think he will stop this until you are out of money or a better offer appears. If he isn’t paying a dime, you ought to be able to start charging him or start evicting.

      You deserve a partner–not someone who “bugs out” at will. Like most readers, I seriously doubt he is only having an emotional affair, but even so, it does not matter. If you are being treated badly (and you are), then divorce is a reasonable path for you.

    • Sorry to say it but everyone else is right. He is probably planning to divorce you. He is getting his ducks in a row and you need to also. Pretend you are still into him while you copy all financial records but DO NOT SLEEP WITH THIS DOUCHE! Lawyer up! You are way behind the eight ball here.

      I know it hurts and I am not doing much better some days but maybe we can see this more clearly than you because you are stuck in the “thick” of things.

      The worst thing you can do is nothing!

      • Agree. By the time I knew I was playing chess, she had already captured my queen, both bishops a knight and a rook. They have an obscene head start on the chump who must catch up fast if they want to avoid checkmate!

    • “Have the free consultation with a couple of lawyers”

      Have done 3 consultations – retained one, but they were unresponsive, so I cancelled the contract. The experience honestly soured me on lawyers, but I know I need to reconsider.

      “how to untangle your finances from his”

      Done – all joint credit card accounts are closed. We’ve had separate accounts since mid-May. The only thing left is the mortgage on the house. I’m just pissed he’s not contributing anything while deciding if he wants to be with me or not.

      “He is getting his ducks in a row ”

      I feel like they are in a row and quacking…I truly don’t understand (besides kibble) why he continues to stay.

      ” my ex also refused to immediately move out”

      This back and forth started in March but as of 8/7 he has a furnished condo…he has absolutely zero reason (besides kibbles) to be staying with me at the marital house. From some reading, I know I’m trauma bonded to him and truthfully, it may go both ways – or he is addicted to the kibble…waiting to find the OW…idk. I’m just trying to get my head to overrule my stupid heart / emotions.

      • He’s not contributing to the mortgage, has leased and furnished another place… I say next time he “bugs out” you change the locks and file for temporary possession/usage of the home. After all he “moved out”.

        Marital funds are contributing to his bachelor pad so you can seek to get half of what he has spent so far back.

        He has a lease on another place so you have some definite leverage to get him out of the house.

        Get the lawyer TOMMORROW and draw up temporary orders for possession of the house.

    • Hysteria,
      I’m so sorry you are so stuck. I was too – and then one day my ex looked at me with such contempt it hit me like a ton of bricks. He’s not sorry, he’s not trying to reconcile, he just wants his backup plan. I felt like I was sleepwalking but I managed to call a lawyer. That is KEY. You need to say it out loud “I want a divorce, help me get started”. Just calling the lawyer and saying those words out loud can break the bizarre hopium spell. Your husband sounds absolutely horrific. Childish; you can’t make me leave. Entitled; needs a bachelor pad. User; still having sex with you just to screw with your head. And calling the 20yo is best friend? God what a loser. Being alone will be a million time better than living the way your are living.
      (((((Hugs)))))

      • “I managed to call a lawyer. That is KEY. You need to say it out loud “I want a divorce, help me get started”. Just calling the lawyer and saying those words out loud can break the bizarre hopium spell. ”

        and I DID this, back in July. Paid the retainer and then, silence. Nothing. I emailed 2 weeks in asking for an update and then 3 weeks in I cancelled the contract / got the rest of my retainer back. The attorney wanted me to spend $10k+++ to take him to court and try to nail him with adultery even though the worst evidence I had was a screen shot of EA telling him she loved him and worst from him was “missed sharing my fruit with you” – hurtful to me, but worth $$$$$$ / or trying to prove adultery to a judge – no thanks. It really soured me on lawyers 🙁

        Fwiw, when he’s been in what I’ll call “faux” reconciliation mode, I’ve gone through his bank and credit card statements (as recently as 3 weeks ago) and he hasn’t retained a lawyer.

        • So you had one crap lawyer. It happens. Why let that derail you?
          It’s actually good that you have no proof of adultery yet because it may mean the fact that you were having sex with him can’t invalidate your claim of adultery.
          Hire a P.I. and get the proof. Then get it on record with a new lawyer that you are not having sex with him since you have proof he is cheating. Nail him.

          I’m sorry to have to say it, but it sounds to me like you are giving yourself excuses to stay with this asshole.

        • I know that you don’t want it to be true but doing nothing will hurt you. This is happening! You need to protect yourself. It is really hard for me not have anyone to make decisions for me and I procrastinated. It sounds like you are like me. Hesitating will cost you in every way- financially, emotionally and physically.

          Research divorce laws in your state. It may make sense to spend the money to use adultery as grounds if you will gain more than you will spend. Stop paying his way though. Get your own secret bachelor pad if it will not screw you legally. You still have time because you still have access to his comings and goings (somewhat). A PI or (legal) surveillance methods can be very helpful. Go to local pro bono clinics. There is so much you can do but take advantage of the fact that he is there.

    • I agree with the others. You need to lawyer up and beat him to the punch.
      Don’t give yourself time to think about it and talk yourself out of it. Do it now.
      Then I’d change the locks on the prick, personally. He has someplace else to go, so fuck him. What’s he going to do about it, call the cops and whine that his wife locked him out?

      Most of all, stop being his sex slave. He could give you an STD, plus in some places it legally invalidates an adultery claim. I guess the reasoning is that if you continue to have sex it says you accept the cheating.

    • For me the hardest part is the death of the future I dreamed of, the death of hope.

      There is no hope, hysteria. He took your future and your dreams and shattered them to pieces. There is no putting that bad-luck mirror back together, there is only moving on, and it sucks. And it’s so sad, and so painful, but you have to open the door to all of that pain and invite it in to stay for a while.

      It won’t say forever – just until your Tuesday arrives. ❤️

    • Hysteria………. he’s sharing a house with you but not giving you a dime

      He is sticking around until the valuation is done on the house

      He’s sleeping with you and the OW, sharing god knows what diseases between you and her, including covid

      He’s busy feathering his own next while he lives for free with you

      I don’t see how fostering your own disrespect is anything but toxic

      Any man who would do this to a ‘loved one’ is a user and a self centered pr*ck

      But if you force yourself on him I suppose he will take it and use it to his advantage

      You deserve better

      Men worth having don’t act this way and he will never ever change

  • hysteria625, my ex also refused to immediately move out. I thought that gave us hope. It did not. It only meant he needed a place to crash. The day he finally moved out, I also went no contact, and it was like a massive cloud had lifted. You cannot make decisions or move forward when he is injecting chaos into your every day life.

    Please do talk to a lawyer about how you can get him out and file for divorce. The stress of trying to live with someone treating you like this is dangerously unhealthy.

  • graduate, ask yourself the following question: what if the OW is living in his bachelor pad? then you’re paying for her housing.

    this is a crazy thought, isn’t it?

    your X is not a good person and he has shown this to you on a number of occasions this year. so, ask him to leave and change the locks.

    i’m sorry.

  • Hysteria625.. Just to reiterate what a couple of others have said. The court will not look favorably on you continuing to sleep with him., after he’s been cheating. You won’t be able to use it much in the divorce. They will consider it as you having forgiven the infidelity. I had to fire the first attorney I had. She basically ignored me, let things expire. But the second one did the trick. He’s going to end up using you until there’s nothing left. Then he’ll dump you for that 20 year ole “friend”. I’m sorry.

    • I agree she should stop the intimacy, but it really depends on the state.

      In my state after we were legally separated, he wanted to come back. I called my lawyer to see if that would change anything in our temp agreement or hurt me in any way. Nope, lawyer said the only thing that would change it is if he (fw) asked to drop the divorce (since he filed).

      Luckily he acted like even more of an ass, so I kicked him out in a few days, called my lawyer and said yeah that was a disaster. The lawyer told me he expected to hear from me fairly quickly. 🙂

      But yeah, get the legal ball rolling and quit the sex is the best thing. IMO.

  • I am two years out. With lots of therapy, and currently with a self-limiting auto immune eye disorder which came out of nowhere, I am gaining clear perspective. The ex took off for a week to get ‘headspace’. I asked him if he was having an affair. He denied that he was doing so vehemently (but took 8 pairs of his fanciest shoes on the headspace week which was in fact a holiday with his ex gf). On his return he opened his arms for a hug, at the same time saying ‘I’m leaving you’. I went into zombie shock mode, which was instant and horrific. I was completely calm, functioning, smiling, being reasonable, going out to dinner with him to ‘talk’.

    The next day I travelled by train to friends in another part of England. On the way I sent the ex a text saying ‘you have been very brave in telling me that you are leaving me’. He responded ‘thank you’. This was after 9 months or so of brutal discard in a 26 year relationship, 18 years married, during which I had been on crutches following a ski injury and my Dad had died just 6 weeks or so earlier. I was hoovering him. My little dancing feet were pattering around desperately seeking his approval, as they had done for the previous 26 years. I wanted him to see how amazing I was. This person who had done his best and who continued to do his best to destroy me whilst blaming me for everything wrong in his life. That behaviour continued for another 7 weeks or so, during which time he moved back in for 2 weeks to celebrate his birthday and while he found somewhere to go. The day after his birthday I was was in such a state that I called the Samaritans. Once I found out about the affair, always denied, I moved into real grief mode, then anger, then had my 60th birthday, and then started divorce proceedings without telling him, having got my ducks in a row.

    Shock and trauma make us do the strangest of things as we try to work out how to survive. People do not understand this unless they have been through it. I am the same woman who sent that grovelling text, inviting him to hurt me a bit more. He accepted that invitation and continued to kick me about until I went ‘no contact’ (no kids) on discovering his affair. Does my behaviour make sense to me now? No, not really at a head level. At heart level perhaps it does. I am that same woman but I am also someone entirely different. I knew that he didn’t care about me. I had seen the cold, hard hatred in his dead eyes when he looked at me, the smirk when he hurt me. I knew but it made no difference because I did not believe what I was seeing and hearing. It was so far away from what I believed the reality to be. I understand why Graduate has acted as she has. I hope that now she has that perspective, and has left him far behind. There’s no room for self-blame here. Shock creates strange dissonant behaviours and makes us strangers to ourselves.

    • “Shock creates strange dissonant behaviours and makes us strangers to ourselves.”

      It does. I think I was in shock the last couple months of our marriage, the year of discard had grown progressively worse, by that time he was screaming at me for insignificant shit. I would just stand there and let him scream. Confused I guess.

      Anyway, he left for a week telling me he thought it was going to work out, he just needed space to get his head together. Space = whore in place, but I didn’t know that. I suspected at that point there was another woman, but I guess believed he was really working through his issues. What a dumb ass I was.

      He came back a week later, all clear that he was in luv with this girl (bitch hadn’t seen girl in many moons) I remember basically just sitting there, my mind trying not to scream, confused. It took a few more weeks before I started to un freeze.

      Once thawed out, I started to question why in the world he would call her a girl. I realized he had been acting like a hormone crazed teen. So likely in his mind I was the mom hashing his mellow with this girl. Standing in his way.

      She was thirty five had been ridden hard by life and had three big assed kids. Two of them teenagers. We were only 40. These guys go fucking crazy.

  • Graduate was only no contact for two weeks. That could just as easily be the old “180” that RIC says will bring a wayward back to the fold. It takes months of no contact to understand how it liberates us from hopium and backsliding.

    After 5 months of discard and 6 weeks after D-Day, I was picking out the perfect birthday card for Jackass, while telling myself I didn’t really want him back. The truth was I wanted CONTACT. That’s what the WhatsApp post would be, contact. Opening the door to the hoover because maybe the cheater will leave the OW. It’s delusional but oh so common.

    No contact is no contact.

  • This was my story. Two years on, it’s been weird to read this.
    For those asking for an update: He showed up at my door one last time in October 2018 and tried to rekindle the spark (IDK why) and it was then I realized that the spell has been broken. I just felt disgust for him. I had to promise to meet up the next week to get him out of my apartment and blocked him on everything. Landline, cell, email, social media. Up until 2019 he would sporadically send flowers, write me an email (landed directly in my archived folder, saw it when I cleaned it out), or post publicly about me on our common groups on Facebook (I solved that problem by removing the tagging feature in my Facebook). My profile has since then been on strict lockdown. No personal pictures, no more travel photos (it seems that travel photos trigger a reaction from him).
    I am in a different relationship now that’s less intense than this (thank goodness).

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