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Did You File First?

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I’ve read a gazillion chumps stories, and one thing that never ceases to astound me is how cheaters don’t file for divorce. Oh sure, they love you but they’re not in love with you. They might threaten to end things. Heck, they may even live on an air mattress across town — but the actual work of divorce?  Why break up this beautiful cake thing we’ve got going. If you want it Chump-o, you’re going to have to do it yourself.

Having to clean up a relationship you didn’t destroy is insult to injury. But hey, Splendid People have better things to do and consequences are so ugly.

So today’s Friday Challenge poll is to tell CN if you had to file first. How did cake end?

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  • Yep! Filed first and sorted out all the separating of assets and finances on my own. After him having left twice due months on end in a twelve year period. They are spineless when it comes to doing anything in plain site.

      • Yes I did! As soon as I discovered the affair, I was in a lawyers office the very next business day.

        What baffled me was how long he drug out proceedings. The divorce took almost two years.

        • Yep same here! Found out about the affair on the Sunday and submitted my application for divorce on the Monday!

          Why fuck about when you know they’ve crossed the unrepairable line?!

          I hear people all the time say “why should I look bad for filing… he’s the one that cheated!”

          Who is actually going to give a shit who files in the long run? Friends? Family? Nah. It’s old news before the end of the week! Get filing!

          • I found out on a Friday Night while he was out of town. Filed Monday Morning before he returned. It was my youngest child’s 5th birthday. Leaving was the best decision I ever made. It was the start to freedom, her 18th birthday will be full freedom.

            • I immediately kicked my ex out after the ILYBINILWY. He said there was no one else (ha). But after a week or so apart, he was outraged that I had secured a lawyer! He didn’t think we needed lawyers. Then he asked if I wanted to file or if I’d like him to file. I told him that I don’t want the divorce, he does. He can file to nullify our marriage. And, so he did.

        • My ex is a lawyer. I had to file and do everything. At one point, he had to ask me if we were divorced yet. He never even bothered to read the separation agreement. I proposed the settlement and made it fair. He insisted I would have to pay all the kids’ costs in the first year after divorce so he could “get back on his feet.” I agreed, just to get him to sign. I had to pay for the lawyer that he said would review it for him. That went nowhere so I had to request the retainer of $1,600 back from that lawyer. After he finally signed the damn thing, he would come back and make demands and act all threatening and say he was going to “invoke the contract” if I didn’t do what he wanted. I had to tell him that the “contract” doesn’t say that. Every single damn time. I sometimes wish I had played harder ball and not offered an equitable agreement. But I only had to spend $2k in legal fees to get it done, so all-in-all, it was worth it to be free of that FW.

    • DoneLikeDinner
      Filed first after finding out the hubs of 23 years had been schmooping with men-on-the-side since 2005. Feel lucky to have my health, half the assets and soon-to-be divorce papers in my hand. He has since lost his family, his health and any self respect in the community. Not my monkey or my circus…

  • We got out separation agreement together pretty quickly after 10 years of his lying, cheating and cake eating. However, he would not file for divorce.

    I think it kept Miss Piggy on her toes and she couldn’t expect a ring with him not being divorced blah blah blah.

    After a few years of me ignoring him, he called up one day out of the blue and said that we have to get divorced Right Now!!!

    We turned the separation agreement into our divorce. Easy Peasy.

    He’s now married to her and they seem happy enough. But he’s never stayed in one place for so long, so I expect some fireworks one of these days.

    • Mine asked for the divorce and his abuse (not physical just everything else) escalated. I filed and he fought it. Took almost 2 years to get to trial. He lost big time. Got physical and legal custody of kids. Then he defused to sign over the house that neither of us lived in. Had to get a judge to assign a trustee to sign the deed over (still tried to fight it). Refused to sign divorce documents for 3 months. Judge took care of that. Then the mother f er appealed our divorce! Like what the F! That took two years. He lost, obviously.
      Tried to deny that he asked for divorce and that he was shocked that I filed. Then I show the document he signed with his first lawyer that was for divorce and custody in court. Signed weeks before I filed and one day after he announced our divorce to me. On his 9th lawyer across 3 states and 9+ years later still in court because he cannot handle the fact that I win. Every. Single. Time!

      • I have similar story. I found the secret emails, naked pictures text messages to another woman.. I told him I wanted divorce then he kept bugging me when I was going to do it and if I had gotten a lawyer. Once I finally did all hell broke loose and he started to get physical. went to court 7 times because EVERY DAMN thing that needed to be done by him had to be force. I even had to have the judge EVICT from our own house we owned!
        Oh I filed for divorce on Valentines Day! 😉 It was my best one in all the years married to him!
        As an update we have court coming up … yay for me .. ugh

        • ChumpNoMore, that is how you celebrate Valentines Day when you are married to a
          Cheater! Bam, better than chocolate!!!! Here are your papers you cheating whore!!!! I hope you enjoyed that bit of deliciousness.

        • Mine delayed getting necessary documents to court so many times, and with such transparent excuses, that my lawyer wanted him charged with contempt.. at my expense, of course. I finally wrote out a final agreement that was a clean and total walkway and gave it to my lawyer and said make it happen. The lawyer was very unhappy because he was sure I was entitled to a good bit of the assets we knew Cheaterpants was concealing, but I was exhausted and my legal bills were piling up, so I insisted, and that was how I ended his otherwise endless delay tactics. I lost a lot of money. It was totally worth it.

        • Same. Mine had already moved out when I discovered the OW and I filed the next day.

          I’m on my 2nd attorney, I’ve had 10 court dates and am about to have an 11th because he refuses to do anything unless he’s forced to. I have been actively trying to get divorced since Nov 2019.

        • Congrats, CNM! It is so crazy that these FW’s see themselves as “honest” victims. They won’t move out, they won’t file, they fight it… they are willing to lie in court – to further attack their families. I doubt any member of CN, no matter how jaded and hardened, can fathom behaving this way. Even if I was presented with some magical opportunity to lie about my FW that would ultimately bring about a more “fair” conclusion to all of this, I couldn’t do it. I don’t know how FWs live with themselves.

          • I honestly don’t see how fw’s do it either.

            When I found out the decade of a con job my ex pulled on me and others, I still shake my head.

      • RafdNoMore, I salute you. You are now claimed as my Chump Spirit Animal. I’m four months past divorce and going back in front of the Judge to force him to comply with the Court Order. I will channel you and fight that fuckface. I’ll also keep in mind that every time I get in front of the Judge, I walk away with more! I don’t mind the Court Date at the end of the month. I enjoy watching the Judge eviscerate him. I’ve won every single time, why would this be any different.

        I’m so glad to read your Chump Story! Good for you!!!!

      • YEEEEES! I love it!

        In case it helps. One of my relatives + 5 others sued a person who kept suing them. Apparently harassing people with the legal system is a big no-no!!

        It took a few years but they each got a settlement of well over a million dollars and he is blocked from ever suing her again. May be something worth researching- or at least hopefully get him to have to cover all of your legal fees every time he brings up something new.

        You are MIGHTY!

  • Filing for divorce set off an interesting chain of events that included his flying monkeys trying to convince me to stop the proceedings and reconcile (again). Even one of the OWs got involved, mocking me for divorcing him, even after she mocked me for reconciling earlier. It was awful, but it made it really really easy to “trust that they suck” because while all this was happening, FW did precisely nothing. He just said some charming words that convinced people he was sorry, and they flew off to do his bidding.

    • “Even one of the OWs got involved, mocking me for divorcing him, even after she mocked me for reconciling earlier.”

      Holy shit! WTF??😳

      That sounds *fascinating*. I’d love to hear the story, if you feel like telling it, BDU!

        • I don’t think that’s as rare as you think.
          I got calls, emails and texts from two of cheater’s girlfriends after he broke up with them. Very spiteful and hate-filled communications. They were relentless. Police involved both times before they stopped.
          Cheater got love notes.
          Frankly, they are welcome to him. But he’s moved on. He’s “fickle”.
          I would love to see this topic covered: did the AP reach out to you after DDay?

      • TBH, I have CPTSD from the whole experience and I’m still struggling to put some of the smaller pieces in place, but the big pieces go like this:

        FW was a candidate for ordination, so my divorcing him really stuck a stick in the spokes of that particular wheel. Nevermind that he made choices…. But I digress.

        So the church began their process of discipline, which involved FW going up in front of the congregation and confessing so they could keep him accountable and “surround me with love and support.” So he looks repentant and willing to do whatever it takes to save the marriage, though in private, he did nothing at all. I never even received a confession or an apology, lol.

        His public display made me look like the jerk for divorcing him, so the “love and support” became people convincing me to give him another chance at reconciliation because he’s so willing to be repentant.

        All this to get to OW. So there were many women he was with over the course of our marriage, but this one was the only one that was there consistently the whole time. I’m weirdly a tiny bit grateful to her, because she shared screenshots of conversations that really empowered me to finally say “enough.” She didn’t share them directly with me, though, she posted them publicly. Mutuals informed me what was up. I took screenshots and filed. She wrote me several manifestos about how “done” she was, and they’re kind of hilarious now (I sent one to CL awhile back, it was therapeutic) because she both plays the victim and power trips, usually in the same paragraphs. She wasn’t aware, of course, that there were so many other women, and because she was “done” with him, I didn’t have to worry anymore and I shouldn’t run his life and career by divorcing him.

        It’s been almost a year now since things were final and I got a new message just last week…

  • Not only did I have to file first but he refused to sign unless I dealt with him directly. He went so far to lie to the process servers face regarding his identity. I accessed a current photo of him on linked-in and voila, papers were served.

    • Hah! Cheater ex tried to hide from the process server.
      I was wracking my brain trying to figure out where he was.
      Through a strange set of circumstances, I happened to see one of his fuckwit “sex addict” buddies in my therapist’s office. He was the appointment before me. I knew his first name, but not his last.
      When I walked into the office, I saw his check that he used to pay for the office visit on the desk. I saw his full name and from that I got his address. I drove by his house and BINGO! Cheater’s car was in the driveway.
      Cheater was served the next day.
      Sadly, this was the best thing I got out of therapy.

      • oldcrone, that’s cool AF, like some detective show. I’d hire you as a PI 😁

        Good luck if you’re still trying therapy. I’ve had one life-changing therapist, one very good one, and three worthless ones. So if you think therapy would help you, don’t give up. You just need to have a “next!” mentality. Kind of like online dating 😁

  • Found out ex was cheating in decades-long affairs and group sex with same two women (that’s only what I found out, I’m sure there’s more). I immediately filed to end our 25-year marriage myself of course. Yet I remember a bizarre conversation with him where he kept claiming it was he who decided that he “chose them” and not me. We will never truly understand the pathology.

    • This: we will never understand their pathology. I think this is part of my meh – giving up trying to understand and make sense of it.

      • Agreed. There are things I will never know, but I decided I didn’t even want to wonder about them, much less know. I know enough to know he’s disordered and I needed to get away from it.

      • This is why we don’t “untangle the skein of their fuckedupedness.” It’s a waste of time, and it does us psychological and emotional damage.

      • Yep. We can understand that their pathology was real and that it fucked with us, we can forgive ourselves, and we can learn to identify red flags and maintain boundaries – but I don’t think we can fully unravel the skein. Thank god! As my sanctimonious FW ex used to say about “bad” people who “wronged” him: “The sickness is on them.”

    • My now ex did the same thing. I guess she decided the marriage was over but forgot to tell me! I guess all the stuff we did in the bedroom while our marriage was over (and I didn’t know it) was her way of saying goodbye?

      • Macdaddy, 🤮 I hear you. I got “well I thought you were going to divorce me anyways (because of one sentence I’d said two years earlier when he tried to move to Poland by himself), so I didn’t think you’d care.” Which is why he kept cheating secret for a year and lied to my crying face for two full months after I started to put two and two together.

        They make no sense. The only answer that makes sense is “cake.”

  • Yes, I filed. I even volunteered to get him a counselor and drove him to his first appointment like an idiot. But as for divorce, I lined it all up and executed everything but his signature to get it done.

  • I filed first. However, I did discover previous emails the night of D-Day that he was communicating with a solicitor with statements of “My wife and I have agreed to divorce and split assets equally. How fast can this process occur?” Of course I never even knew he was unhappy and considering divorce. When I questioned him about this, he just said he was gathering information. Within 3 weeks, I did my own research and actually ACTED ON IT. I served him with divorce papers on the grounds of adultery. He with his arrogant self still went back to the original solicitors to represent him during the divorce — even after he had set them up with lies.

    It was 3 months into the divorce process that I discovered how deep the betrayal went, and I began to wonder if he even knew what was true and what was a lie anymore. If you have not filed, do it now. It is always worse than what they confess to. Get out now to save you further trauma.

    • I had to file because he wouldn’t. He wasn’t enjoying love/sex cake but was enjoying money cake while living in an apartment he’d set up for Schmoopie on my dime. The only way to save myself from a lifetime of debt (he’d already run through all savings, college and retirement funds and racked up $400,000 in hidden debt on Schmoopies) was to file. Best move ever.

    • “It is always worse than what they confess to”.

      This is so true. In fact, I think it is always worse than what you ever get to discover. There’s no way, they get the upper hand from the get-go, you only get physical evidence once they become sloppy and it takes time. Time erases their footprints.

      This realization sends shivers down my spine, because what I already know and have hard evidence of is so horrible to look at and impossible to fathom.

      I reached a point where I really don’t want to know anything else anymore, it would only further complicate the life I am trying to have.

      • “I reached a point where I really don’t want to know anything else anymore, it would only further complicate the life I am trying to have.”

        *Exactly*. Once you’ve seen what they are, what would be the fucking point? I’m certain fucktard’s betrayal wasn’t his first rodeo. So it’s not going to benefit me to know any more of his shit bag behaviour.

        Any further knowledge of, the gory details of, their shitessence, is a waste of time and energy. They cheated, they lied. To our faces. Fuck’em.

        And may they and their whores rit in hell. 😈👿😈😂😂

        • “may they and their whores rit in hell”.

          They already are. It’s what Tracy: their punishment is being themselves.

          • “They already are. It’s what Tracy: their punishment is being themselves.”

            I agree. I got to know about some of it, but I feel certain that for most folks that treat others like that, they get to experience themselves at some point. Regardless of the story they create for public consumption.

            • Hi, Susie! Hope you’re doing well.

              I believe you are a protestant christian.

              Let me tell you what some modern roman catholics believe hell to be like (my FW XW pays lip service to this view). It goes roughly as follows.

              God’s forgiveness through the sacrament of penance not only absolves the sinner but erases the sin (though not it’s temporal consequences, that will have to be accounted for doing time in purgatory, failing an indulgence).

              If one dies in a state of grace she/he has got his ticket to heaven, with an eventual stopover at purgatory – only saints get nonstop flights. Heaven is the perfect alignment between the soul’s will and god’s will, a state of eternal contemplation of and participation in God’s glory. One has no recollection of her/his earthly screw-ups, one is mesmerized by God’s presence.

              But… if one dies with unforgiven mortal sins staining one’s soul (divine mercy could change this at the very last moment, but it is not to be taken for granted), then it’s a one way flight for hell.

              Hell is being alone with your sins and the regret thereof for have trading eternal bliss for some sidefucks. One is left to contemplate her/his own earthly screw-ups forever and ever with no hope for redemption (“abandon all hope, you who enter here”). Hell is not other people as some fancy cheater once said; hell is oneself if you’re a fuckwit.

              I don’t personally believe any of these things, but I think they have a beautiful, powerful metaphor built in.

              Many of our fuckwits are already experiencing hell as they have to face their insane choices, the destruction they caused, and, frankly, the shitty human beings they are. It takes tons of impression management to try and go on with their daily lifes and I bet this is also exhausting as hell.

              A christian person may take heart in the fact that they still have time to repent and change their ways. But do they ever?

              • I am a Christian, raised Baptist, now Catholic, but my faith has not changed. Christian is Christian.

                But, I don’t think them having to live themselves and suffer the consequences of bad character and bad decisions is restricted to religion. Play stupid games win stupid prizes.

                Yes some will have so little conscience and be lucky enough to get through life seemingly scot free, but not many. (if any).

              • Dear Susie Lee,

                my guess was sort of wrong then 🙂.

                I only made the distinction because some reformed christians here in Brazil are not comfortable to be put in the same shelf as catholics. Also, there are some slight differences in their views about afterlife, that nonetheless pisses people off big time 🤷‍♂️

                Whatever, I now realize I’ve made a fool of myself preaching to the choir 😅

                We brazilians have an even more fit saying for what I was just doing: “trying to teach the priest to say the Mass”.

                Anyway, it was just a pretext to say hello to you. Hello! Cheers!

          • BrazilianChump

            Don’t ever regret saying anything to me. I am not quick to get offended, and honestly I have never gotten too wrapped up in the weeds of religion, so much of the dogma is opinion. To me there is basic truth, which is easily understood. The rest of it I am not going to spend a lot of time worrying about things I have no control over. I can read the bible and enjoy it and learn from it; but won’t get wrapped around an axle over it.

        • “And may they and their whores rit in hell.”

          Yep, I know he spent thousands on whore(s), and for the last at least three years he lied to everyone, conned so many folks. Yes he paid a huge price, no not losing me, losing his position in life. But it wasn’t punishment enough, so why worry.

  • Oh yes….I had to file AND pay for the whole thing. Meanwhile, he was off living with the smoochiepie immediately after DDay and spending every penny in our joint account on romantic weekends and family vacations while I was barely able to survive on a part time job. I honestly filed to protect myself financially. I believe if I hadn’t filed, we would still be married but living separately to this day. He certainly wasn’t going to clean up his mess himself. Thankfully, I had a badass lawyer so he pretty much gave me everything I asked for. All he got were his clothes and a few power tools…and smoochiepie had to get a better job to help him pay my mortgage and spousal support.

    • Angie, hahahahaha. I wish you could have heard my evil chuckles when I read the last line of your post. There is some comeuppance.. I like it when a homewrecking whore has to pay you!!!!! You rock!

    • “and smoochiepie had to get a better job to help him pay my mortgage and spousal support.”

      👍

      In my case whore quit working right after they married, (at age 37ish) and never worked again. I bet she was surprised when those gifts and dinners stopped. Susie was no longer helping pay for their romance.

  • Yep, I had to file. He dragged his feet doing his part because his dad was dying so I didn’t push it. Then his dad died and he still didn’t do anything. When I asked him why he was delaying the inevitable he said “we’ll be divorced when I say we will.” Weird thing is his married whore filed a month after I found out about them and left him. So in her situation, the cheater actually filed.

  • I sure did and got it done in record time. From dday to the day the divorce was finalized was only 40 days, and 34 days from filing. I should mention, this is in a at-fault state.
    Like most of my marriage, I did all the work, but this time it paid off. Zero regrets.

    • That’s quick! Mine was 45 days from asking him to move out to signature on separation agreement (the financials and sole custody of kids to me). I had to find him a lawyer (seriously?🤦‍♀️). My attorney said I had six weeks before the guilt wore off. He was desperate to head to the States to meet his AP/sexting partner he met on FarmVille.

      Legal divorce took two years as it didn’t matter to me and I could stay on his health insurance until legally divorced. Only then did he walk over to my lawyers office to sign the papers.

  • My FW filed before I knew about the OW(s), and then seemed surprised and bewildered that things had to be done beyond that- an agreement drawn up, assets divided, property exchanged, etc. He expected us to work out some agreement magically without effort on his part and that it would happen as fast as possible. He was further dismayed (at my “bitterness”) when I got a lawyer, went NC, and set terms that were favorable to me.

    • OMG, what an idiot. My ex is like this too. He’s surprised that things take work, and don’t magically just happen because that’s what you want.

  • Yup, that’s how it played out. He packed his bags and moved out, told me that he never loved me and he truly loved his AP(s) instead, moved in with the APs, and began living “the life he always wanted to live.”

    But he never lifted a finger on paperwork.

    At the time I was a member of another “so your partner turned into a stranger and left you?” help groups. They encouraged me to start the paperwork myself because he was acting like a cruel lunatic and I needed to protect myself and my children. It was my biggest nightmare that he’d somehow get full custody because he was now in a two parent, two income household situation and I was… just a stay at home mom (at the time he left).

    So, while spending my evenings in a puddle on the floor and while still in love with that jerk, I created my own separation agreement based on legal examples I found online and had him sign it in front of a witness. It gave me full custody and he didn’t care; he happily signed. Then, using money my mother lent me, I took that first step, crappy homemade separation agreement to a lawyer and she used it to flesh out a proper divorce agreement.

    I encouraged FW to get his own lawyer. He never did. He said “No need, you’re already on top of that.” He was deeply, deeply in his honeymoon period with GF#3 and didn’t want to spend money he didn’t have on a lawyer. He was thrilled that I was doing the work though and he felt like I approved of our divorcing.

    I didn’t approve of any of it though. All throughout the divorce process, I didn’t want my marriage to end and I didn’t to be doing this! It was heartbreaking. I did it anyway because I knew that my marriage *was* over (no matter what those Facebook memes want to tell you, it only takes one person to end a marriage) and I was terrified that if the “cruel stranger who had replaced my husband” decided to take matters into his own hands that he’d take the kids away from me. THAT fear was my motivation to push forward on a divorce I never wanted.

    So, while a mess on antidepressants, for the first time in our whole relationship… I was in power. He was in such a state of lovey dovey bliss with his new mistress that he didn’t care too much about the divorce paperwork. In our last in-person meeting (in a food court/I knew better than to ever be in an unsafe, private space again with him), I walked him, page by page, through the divorce agreement. I needed to see that he *understood* what he was about to sign. He could see that I would be the full custodial parent but would never deny him fair access to the kids (and I never have/he usually sees them each weekends), and that important parenting decisions (like healthcare issues or what church I decide to take them to) are mine. I threw him a huge bone of taking on our shared credit card debt all on my own (because he never used to have his own card and “our” credit card was in my name only, as was our car loan *sigh*) but he was to keep me as the beneficiary on his life insurance policy until the last child was of a legal, self-sustaining age and then, if he wanted, he could change it.

    He was thrilled. I was sobbing. People in the food court kept looking over at us and then awkwardly looking away again. He took his copies and drove over to my lawyer’s office and signed everything in front of whomever he was supposed to sign it in front of (the most work he ever did to facilitate the divorce). Then he proposed to GF#3/Wifetress shortly thereafter in some sort of big, publicized spectacle that thankfully I avoided seeing online. (She said yes. The crowd cheered.) The ink wasn’t even dry on the papers and would take another few weeks (months?) until the found their way to a judge who would approve them and finalize the divorce. Technically, he was still married. (But a little snag like being married never stopped him from pursuing other women before.)

    It was hell. Absolute hell. My lawyer brought out the tissue box everytime I came in because I literally sobbed my way through each of our meetings. But I’m so glad I pushed through and did it. I’m so glad his lazy “I’m distancing myself from my marriage and that includes the divorce part too” butt decided not to involve himself meaningfully in any way in the legal process (even though it would have been in his best, legal interests!). I was able to take control over a horrible situation, ask for what I wanted, and get it. He was deep in his honeymoon period with his AP; little cartoon hearts followed him around wherever he walked. He was thrilled that I was “finally getting with the program” (I… wasn’t.. I just didn’t want him skipping into the sunset with my heart *and* my children) and doing the legal legwork that he couldn’t be bothered with because he was too busy feathering a perfect love nest.

    I was so *lucky* that I pushed through and took control of a divorce I never wanted while he was made out of stars and throbbing cartoon hearts. That, chumps, is the best time to divorce a FW: when they view you as a pitiable obstacle to their happiness. File while you’re still an obstacle because once those cartoon hearts fade, the FW grows colder, less generous, and far more likely to view you as an active enemy to their happiness instead of just a passive obstacle. Judging on how he behaved in the months and years after (oh boy, did he ever start to get meaner), I never would have gotten the divorce deal from him.

      • He and GF#3/Wifetress are still together (I guess third time’s the charm for affair partners, lol) and have been married longer now than FW and I were married. She can have him; it keeps him off my back and (mostly) out of my life, which I appreciate.

        • Wow! You are the badassiest Mama Bear. Doing “what’s best for the kids” knowing it was best for you when it’s not what you signed up for.

          Bravo!

          • As soon as it was all legally over I gave the kids my last name instead of his. (I moved his last name into their middle-name section; I didn’t want to take it away from them entirely; they can always take it back when they’re adults if they want.) He was still in cartoon-heart land and literally didn’t care what I did with them (which was both exciting and heartbreaking). I didn’t want his last name anymore; he and his parents were all in love with GF#3/Wifestress and looking at their surname every day broke my heart, so I took my maiden name back and gave it to my children (who couldn’t read yet, so the change was not jarring at all and they didn’t know what their last name looked like anyway, lol).

    • Fourleaf, what you managed to do while in despair, pain, and trauma is miraculous. You were empathetically looking after your children and being a strong adult. FW was a lazy ass looking after his addicted d**k. Bravo. I know how hard and painful it was for you. You survived! You are powerful! You lost a tumor, not a partner. Brava!

    • I should add that, while it was absolute hell, I was extremely lucky to have been able to divorce him during his honeymoon period with GF#3/Wifetress. Not every chump gets to strike while the iron is hot and I acknowledge that. I was quite fortunate.

      • Fourleaf, I also had to initiate and file for a divorce I desperately did not want. I consider it further abuse. But like your FW, mine was off living his “best life” (which in his case meant moving into a college dorm at the age of 34 to be near his undergrad gf).

        He also was happy just to sign whatever and took practically nothing from the house at all. He had a rude awakening a couple of years later when he wanted to come collect “his stuff,” and I reminded him per our agreement the house and contents were mine, and that I had not kept “his stuff.”

        I thank God I did not have children with him and applaud you for going the extra mile for them no matter how hard! You are so right it is best to strike while all they want is to move on, if you can, before the new reality sets in,

        • “…moving into a college dorm at the age of 34 to be near his undergrad gf).”

          I had forgotten your FW and his ridiculous living arrangement. Good grief, what an idiot.

        • A 34 year old moving into a college dorm 🤣🤣🤣 I know most unis have separate housing for students pursuing masters and doctorates but I’m picturing a grown ass man (in age only mind you) moving into a dorm. The ridiculousness!

    • I could have written this 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻

      The cartoon hearts following him everywhere too…..until he flipped to the rage channel. Thank god we were close to trial when that happened. I got everything – 82% of all assets, none of his tax debts, full custody.

      And, yes, I filed. Btw (I’m a lawyer, not anyone’s lawyer here- seek counsel in your own area) but filing first is a huge advantage if you go to trial — you set the narrative. First impressions with the Judge matter, a lot!

      • Yes, strike–even if you don’t want to–while there are cartoon hearts circling their heads. I “fought for my marriage” (ugh) after D-Day #1/GF#1 which did me no favours. I didn’t make that mistake after D-Day #2/GF#3.

        • FourLeaf, I love your naming it “cartoon-heart land”. What an amazing outcome, you are mighty!

          You were wise in throwing him a bone, another strategy that worked.

          My only asset was my pension and while he was in cartoon-heartland I offered up paying his portion of health insurance (until my job ended) and kept the pension. Time marches on and this turned out to my advantage. I’ll be able to support myself this year when I retire. Great insight!

    • Fourleaf, my story echoes yours in so many ways. And like you, I was extremely fortunate that he was so wrapped up in finally getting to live the life he “always wanted with the perfect person for him” that he was willing to agree to almost literally anything. I’m forever grateful to (1) my sister for recognizing that and encouraging me to strike while the iron was hot (since I was a puddle of goo on the floor and could hardly string words together to make a coherent sentence in the days and weeks that followed “ILYBINILWY, we’re getting a divorce”), and (2) my badass counselor (found through my Employee Assistance Program) who listened to my story through my seemingly unending tears and told me that this was my golden opportunity to take my power back after 15 years of emotional abuse.
      I borrowed the money from my sister, got myself a lawyer, cried in her office on every visit but got the separation agreement drawn up giving me custody of our 12 year old son, our home, and my car. I wanted to keep my retirement which was worth a whole lot more than his, so I put that in there too. I let him have the things I knew were important to him (his trucks, boat, and camper) and I took the credit card debt too. I knew he’d agree to this because he just wanted to start his life over fresh with this woman was so in love with, after all he’d already run off to Ohio to be with her. He didn’t care about anything except his happiness, didn’t think about future repercussions of anything in that separation agreement. I also made twice his salary but I don’t have to pay him alimony either. He just wanted out, so I gave that to him as quickly as possible. He never lifted a finger in any of the divorce proceedings, never even bothered to get a lawyer. As with everything in our 15 year marriage, he let me do all the heavy lifting on this too even though he was the one demanding it. All he had to do was go to my lawyers office to sign his name in front of the notary. Then we had to wait 90 days before it would go to the judge per the law in our state and 3 months and 5 days later, we were divorced.
      What happened to him and schmoopie you may ask? Well, about a month after he signed the papers, things really went south. Turns out, she didn’t have a job, a car, or any money and he had quit his job here to move 10 hours away to live with her. So he also had no job or money. He ended up moving her down here and living in his camper with her in his parents back yard!! In the middle of winter! Then about a month later, he kicked her out of the camper because “she was crazy” and hard core started harassing me to take him back (complete with suicide threats). But what about the girl?! Don’t worry about her, his parents moved her in to their house. That’s right, this rando he met online from another state. They moved her into their house because they knew he loved her and they would work it out. Did they bother to even pick up the phone to check on me or their grandson after D-day? Nope. Guess being their daughter-in-law for 15 years means less to them than the internet rando, but i digress. Crazy bunch, the whole lot of them!
      I didn’t take him back. By the time that nonsense started, I had been free of his mind-fuck for a few months and it didn’t take me long at all to see how much easier my life had gotten without him in it. I distinctly remember laying in bed, sobbing, saying to myself “how am I going to be a single parent? I didn’t sign up for this, we were supposed to do this together.” But it didn’t take me long to realize I had been doing everything myself our entire marriage. I was already doing all the childcare, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, volunteering, helping with homework, scheduling, and working a demanding 40+ hour a week job. Along with taking care of a grown ass man-child. Take that man-child out of the equation and things got so much easier. My life has only improved without him in it. The peace and stability (emotional and financial) are priceless. It was a horrible experience to live through, but as my counselor said “it doesn’t feel like it now, but I promise you, one day you’ll look back on this and you’ll thank him for doing you a huge favor”. I thank my lucky stars every day that I was able to move quickly and stick to my guns even when he turned the manipulation up to 100. My life is infinitely better for it.
      Fourleaf is right, when they’re in the honeymoon phase of luv and just see you as an obstacle to their happiness, that’s the best time to divorce. Fuck all that advice that says ‘don’t make any decisions in the first year’ or ‘just wait and see what happens’. Nope. My advice is to get a lawyer and file. When I was questioning whether or not I should continue with the divorce proceedings during the ‘trying to win me back’ phase, my counselor told me to power through. She said, “there’s nothing that says you can’t watch his actions and see what he does while continuing the divorce proceedings. See if he follows through with any of the things he’s saying. You can get divorced and eventually decide to date him again if he shows that he’s made real changes”. She knew what she was talking about. Did he make any actual changes? Nope. He’s currently living with another girlfriend, probably making her life as miserable as he made mine. She thinks I hate her because that’s what he tells her. I don’t. The only thing I feel for her is pity because I know her life. In fact, I’m sure she’s a very nice person, those are the people he preys on and takes advantage of. I realize how fortunate I am in that it worked out this way for me and I know not everyone is this lucky. I’m rooting for all of you chumps currently in the thick of it. Just know it gets better. You’ve got to wade through a river of shit to get there, but it does get better.

      • This is absolutely the best advice for Chumps who don’t “want” the divorce but who want to secure and control their own future to the extent that is possible: “When I was questioning whether or not I should continue with the divorce proceedings during the ‘trying to win me back’ phase, my counselor told me to power through. She said, “there’s nothing that says you can’t watch his actions and see what he does while continuing the divorce proceedings. See if he follows through with any of the things he’s saying. You can get divorced and eventually decide to date him again if he shows that he’s made real changes”. She knew what she was talking about. Did he make any actual changes? Nope.”

        If cheaters say they are going to change or they have changed, the only way to know is time–and distance. Once you take them back, your own old patterns are sure to emerge. Take time to change YOU from someone who tolerates abuse and/or lack of reciprocity and respect to someone who expects a partner to treat them with kindness, respect and reciprocity.

        • Yep, I believe when most cheaters say they want the marriage, what they mean is: “I want to go back to the old marriage, where I do what I want, and you shut up and take it.”

          I can’t blame most cheaters, they had a pretty sweet deal before they were exposed.

          • This is SO TRUE!
            Chumps are high quality people, who enhance life for everyone near them. Fuckwits know this, so of course they want to bounce back!
            My X is doing his same old thing, wrecking himself, and I’m glad I’m only seeing it from afar. Poor mess.

          • “Yep, I believe when most cheaters say they want the marriage, what they mean is: “I want to go back to the old marriage, where I do what I want, and you shut up and take it.”

            Precisely. Cake, delicious cake. And the cherry on top, duper’s delight.

            “I can’t blame most cheaters…

            Oh, I can.

        • I also struck when he was in the honeymoon phase. He kept the AP a secret but I knew. Like you all I always did everything. I found a lawyer and had him draw up separation agreement with what he told me and a few things I wanted. My lawyer warned that I was getting much more than was norm in my 50/50 state. I said I’m going to ask and then we can negotiate if need be. There were only a few things I had to take out but he signed it after having the agreement for 3 months. Didn’t get a lawyer to look it over. I got the house (still owe a lot but has equity), full legal and physical custody of the kids, child support and alimony. In my lovely state we have to be separated for 1 year if you have kids before you can file (unless adultery but my lawyer advised against it since FW signed the papers and you have to go to court to prove adultery and that’s an added expense that wasn’t going to get me any more than I already had). I was going to file in June but FW couldn’t wait, got himself a lawyer and had me served Mother’s Day weekend. Shmoopie isn’t here legally so he needed to hurry up and marry her before she self-destructed. He lied about the separation date which pissed me off. Since he was in a hurry to divorce my lawyer and I dragged things out a few months more and I made him change the separation date. I have a clause in our separation/divorce agreement that whoever violates it will have to pay the lawyer fees and court costs. Our divorce was final this October and he secretly married AP in November. Still hasn’t told his kids or family about her. #lyingcoward #notagbacks

      • “Fuck all that advice that says ‘don’t make any decisions in the first year’ or ‘just wait and see what happens’. ”

        Absolutely. They can wipe you out in a few months or less. I wanted mine to file, but had he drug his feet, I would have had to. Also if I had to file, I would have used his fear of publicity against him.

        • I have a feeling this outrageously unreasonable (albeit very common) advice to not making any decision in the first year (why exactly one year? Why not 2 hours or a century?) was coined by a cheater. It sounds devious in the most obvious ways.

          One year after discovery is time enough to hide moneys, get a head start with the narrative (character assassination) and see if the fairy tale with AP won’t go sour and if it’s safe enough to go all in and trade wife/husband appliance by the whore (I use the word now for both genders).

          It is obvously a time *for the cheater* to regroup after being caught red handed, and don’t have consequences raining down on him/her while TKOd.

          It is like they calling for a technical time out just after they committed a foul.

          They don’t play by the rules, they’re always trying to bend the rules to their favour. Cheaters in every sense of the word.

          • I too think maybe it is cheater/RIC inspired.

            If you have ever read some of the reconciliation sites, they are full of; take your time, do 180, then the scum bag will come crawling back, he is in a fog etc.

            I won’t name the most sickening site. I read a lot of it just out of curiosity, as my fw is long gone. I toggled between being outraged at the stupidity, and feeling so sorry for the (mostly women) following that advice. I wanted to get on there and scream NOOOooooooo. But I knew it would not end well.

            • “If you have ever read some of the reconciliation sites, they are full of; take your time, do 180, then the scum bag will come crawling back, he is in a fog etc.”

              No, I never got to read from these sites because I found Chump Lady and Chump Nation first, thank goodness!

              How could I ever thank Tracy enough for all she’s been doing? Does this woman has a clear idea of how many lives she’s saved (metaphorically and litterally)?

              • I found CL first too, but way after my divorce. When fw and whore started tearing my son and his family apart with their selfishness and nastiness; I googled narcissist’s because I was thinking, WTH is wrong with this idiot. CL popped up, and I learned so much in hindsight. I found the links to the crazy sites on CN.

                I had lived another whole life, but when I found CL, decided to stay for the smart folks, and to in any small way I could help baby chumps.

                I did pretty good through my devastation, but there are a couple things I wish I had done different.

              • “How could I ever thank Tracy enough for all she’s been doing? Does this woman has a clear idea of how many lives she’s saved (metaphorically and litterally)?”
                Her advice is so sound and logical.
                Immediately after DDay (before I knew anything and in disbelief) I signed up for the Marriage Helper save my marriage course. It only made me feel worse.
                I was reading books, blogs listening to Reddit stories and started seeing a psychiatrist looking for answers.
                I saw someone mentioned LACGAL and quoted her In a comment section of an Affair Healing web page. Her words made so much sense. I promptly bought the book.
                I also frequently recommend LACGAL and the web page on the Marriage Helper FB forum. Now that I have seen the light it is so painful to read all the Chump holdout stories on the FB page
                CN needs to promote and get the word out.

              • To Susie Lee:

                You helped this baby chump here big time. Thank you for staying!

                (((Hughs)))

        • I hope CL’s sage counter advice to the prevailing narrative/“conventional wisdom” makes its way into wider circulation: Why it’s essential NOT to wait to make decisions.

          Shocked and destabilized chumps, navigating uncharted territories while being gaslighted and while high on hopium, are incredibly vulnerable to this kind of BS, especially when it’s widely accepted as truth. After dday 1, I was one who kept what was going on a secret and withdrew in shame and sadness to “protect” myself, my relationship and my ex. I truly did not know what to do, but I felt as if my life depended on my next steps – which on many levels, it did. So… I privately turned to the internet, where I found all kinds of reassurance, stories and advice that encouraged me to stay and essentially sacrifice myself. Turning to the RIC for support is like turning to a community of people with eating disorders who are encouraging each other to starve, validating a dangerous mindset that emphasizes superficial and imposed values; whereas turning to CL/CN is like turning to people struggling with eating disorders who are encouraging each other to make nutritious choices and tap into their inner strength and worth.

          ‘Freeze’ (spackling and being ‘positive,’ ‘mindful’ – and numb) and ‘friend’ (dancing the pick-me dance and practicing forgiveness) were maladaptive survival mechanisms that kept me stuck in an abusive relationship that had been hurting me for a long time but that escalated dramatically after dday (when things went from bad and confusing, but mostly manageable, to fucking insane). My first instinct was to leave, however, and that never went away – creating significant internal dissonance at even the safest, most hopeful reconciliation moments with my FW ex. I try not to feel regret, because what’s the point, but I do *wonder* what might have been if there was more chump-centric info and support out there.

          CL does it best and did it first, but she can’t do it alone. What if we *all* started blogs and social media campaigns (hypocritical hypothetical from a super busy chump – who nonetheless gets sucked into CL daily – without social media, who does nothing to contribute to the cause)? Would the Google searches turn up different results? Infidelity is so common, yet chumps are marginalized, minimized and mocked. I feel both naive and idealistic *and* like my flailing CL character when I write this: I wish I could DO something. It’s too late to correct my own mistakes, but not too late to change the context in which infidelity/abuse are viewed, nor to help others see the light sooner so they can get out or, best case, never even get in. Not too late to help society trust cheaters suck. Maybe someday I won’t feel like I’m wildly waving my arms?

          • I like what you are saying. From reading these posts CL appears to have a smart loyal readership. (Perhaps the loyalty is why we were taken advantage of) CN needs to just post on these RIC sites recommending the Web Page and LACGAL.

      • “I didn’t take him back. By the time that nonsense started, I had been free of his mind-fuck for a few months and it didn’t take me long at all to see how much easier my life had gotten without him in it. I distinctly remember laying in bed, sobbing, saying to myself “how am I going to be a single parent? I didn’t sign up for this, we were supposed to do this together.” But it didn’t take me long to realize I had been doing everything myself our entire marriage. I was already doing all the childcare, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, volunteering, helping with homework, scheduling, and working a demanding 40+ hour a week job. Along with taking care of a grown ass man-child. Take that man-child out of the equation and things got so much easier. My life has only improved without him in it. The peace and stability (emotional and financial) are priceless. It was a horrible experience to live through, but as my counselor said “it doesn’t feel like it now, but I promise you, one day you’ll look back on this and you’ll thank him for doing you a huge favor”. I thank my lucky stars every day that I was able to move quickly and stick to my guns even when he turned the manipulation up to 100. My life is infinitely better for it”.

        That’s it. Very similar story here.

        Beginning to have a life of my own and loving it. Yes, peace and financial and emotional stability are priceless.

        We don’t need them, never needed; they are the ones who feasted from our blood sweat and tears, but it’s over now. Go find new blood, vampires!

    • 👏👏👏

      Fourleaf, you kicked ass from the depths of your despair. I can only wonder what mightiness you’re capable of in your best days. Doing what is right when you don’t want (never wanted) to and would have lots of legit excuses to stay low says a lot about your integrity, character and strength. Standing ovation for you, Mama bear! Your kids are better off now that you managed to deflect any input from their fuckwit father away from their big life decisions and maintenance. You is what is best for them, you realized it clearly even in a moment of confusion, and acted upon this realization. Wow!

      My motivations for filing and my worst fears of what could happen if I didn’t (or if I gave FW a headstart) were pretty much the same as yours, so your words resonate very deeply with me.

      P.S.: I too have wondered if in a custody dispute the judge would favour FW for being in another relationship and therefore living in a house with two incomes and “two parents” (ugh!). This seems outrageously unfair to the parent who chose to stay single and devout her/his time, energy and money to raise the kids instead of be chasing tail. Is it really a thing?

      • I’m not sure if it’s an actual, legal “thing.” (Maybe in some areas?) The idea was just a personal nightmare in my own head that spurred me to motion.

        • I totally get it.

          I had (and have) some ghosts of my own making haunting my head too. Funny that’s exactly what FW called some preoccupations of mine: my ghosts (little did she know I had hard physical evidence fuelling some of them; I think ghosts are real sometimes).

          Maybe we just get used to anticipate chaos and suffering after living under a FW’s whip for a while, and can’t help but worry about possibilities, no matter how far-fetched they seem. Afterall, don’t many of our betrayal stories sound too far-fetched to uninitiated ears?

          Also, FWs sometimes make us believe they are all powerful and can make happen just whatever they want. It has taken me lots of therapy to get rid of the almighty devil image I projected unto my FW XW after DDays. Still struggle a little with that and the anxiety thereof.

      • There was a really good movie about that many years ago, about a nurse single mom who had her daughter taken from her by her ex who had married, and wife was stay at home mom. Made me cry.

        Wish I could remember the name of the movie, or the woman who played the nurse.

    • I would love that he still saw me as vulnerable but he totally sees me as the enemy. As if I am the one who caused him to cheat. If he had his way I would be dead. His seperation agreement offer was a total joke for 32 yrs of marriage. His lawyer will receive our counter this week. I expect there will be smoke in the neighboring county when his head explodes. We are not even scheduled for mediation until June. I filed last June. He’s with his possible wife #3 on weekends because she is out of state. She thinks all he needs is her love. She can deal with him, eventually the mask will slip and it won’t be my monster to deal with anymore. Thank God my children are adults but it hasn’t slowed down his harassment of one of them. Just want him to go away.

  • Yes, I filed first. Stupid me, I let her know ahead of time what my intentions were. She lawyered up and suddenly everything had to be “fair.” Living a double life and screwing your boyfriend while you were pregnant and I was home being with the kids every weekend like a chump was fair?

    • CM, isn’t it great when they after screwing us over royally, theft of marital funds, emotional and verbal abuse; all of a sudden “lets be reasonable”.

  • Of course I filed for the divorce. (His first ex-wife did, too.) His crappy job wouldn’t afford him to hire an attorney.

    He got bent out of shape because at first we were going to try to file ourselves for a dissolution, but I soon realized only a fool had herself as a client.

    Ex also wanted to go to mediation. We weren’t married long, so we had nothing big to divide like a home, and we didn’t have to arrange custody because we didn’t have a kid. Neither of us were entitled to alimony or things like that.

    Then he asked crappy questions like, “Where did you find this guy?” about my lawyer – implying I was possibly sleeping with him. Ex also took offense to basic, boilerplate language in the papers, but I had my lawyer make those changes just to get Ex to sign. Then he wanted more changes, and my lawyer said he was going to have to charge me for more work. I told my ex he either had to sign the papers as is or hire his own lawyer and make the changes he wanted. That’s when he finally signed the papers.

    Bonus story – when Ex went to my lawyer’s office to sign the papers, he was sobbing hard. Even some stone cold attorney at the firm felt bad for him. I think my lawyer thought I was a bitch after that. Whatever. They didn’t know Ex was a performative, cheating, abusive jerk. I got my divorce and I’m free.

    • My X was a serial cheater, who routinely left me alone with our kids, while he went to bars, or screwed his secretary. And more, you all know how we were treated. Once I divorced him, and moved to my better life, he started sending me texts that he was sobbing like a little girl 🤦🏻‍♀️
      I’m sure it was true. In his mind, I was supposed to endlessly take it, and not ‘break up the family’
      Then again, he is mentally ill, so I can never understand him!

  • No he filed. I called him about three weeks after he moved out and told him he needed to file so we could get our finances separated. He said he said (and I always laugh when I remember this) he didn’t want to hurt me.

    I said you want the D you file. It was important to me for him to file for that very reason. However, I had also seen a lawyer and the lawyer said it would be to my advantage if he did file. Of course I didn’t tell fw that.

    He was between a rock and a hard place. He had an ethics complaint filed against him for petitioning for a raise for his direct report, while he was hiding his relationship with her. Whoopsie.

    Anyway, he waited about another week and filed. If he had not in pretty short order, I would have had to.

    I am betting he told the brass, he had just recently picked up schtumping the work whore. Who knows but, he moved into an apt, and whatever he was doing was aimed at saving his ass on the job. I am sure the mayor had a quick investigation done, before he called fw into his office, which included getting a call log from his work land line phone, and his work cell phone. Cell phones were in their infancy then, but getting all the numbers he called would have been easy.

    I already knew he was on his cell phone most of the time he was home, including very late at night.

    Work whore was removed from her job as dog catcher and put in dispatch.

    He wanted excitement in his life, he got it. At least until he was demoted, and put back on street patrol.

    I was home falling apart, barely able to get through the day. But hey a guy needs his excitement.

  • No, sorry to be a lone dissenter, the cheater filed. He was so convinced that he met his twu twinkie- after I kicked him out upon discovering her – & after boinking her for a week non-stop, that he needed to follow his bliss (or was it his dick?). Anywho, it all happened so quickly, my head spun.

    The OW is very good with manipulation, I’ve discovered, & FW can be too dick-dumb. But I also planted a seed of doubt with him when I saw how rapidly it was all happening. I might have suggested a pre-nup to him (hehe) & now he does want one before marrying, according to my kids….and so they still aren’t married. Dick-dumb lasts only so long apparently.

    This is also a great time to get a good settlement when they are dick-dumb (however, beware self-serving OW/OM who might be behind the scenes to stop this from happening).

    Cheater filed & that was to my advantage even though it was a terrible time emotionally & mentally for me. However, it all worked out in the end.

    • Mine filed first as well. In Australia, you can only file one year post separation. After I found out, I spent a week in shock, trying to figure out what the hell happened to my marriage. In spite of his lies that he ended it with the OW, I then found out he was still speaking to her. So I kicked him out- essentially making him homeless (she lived 5 hours away), grey rocked him and told him that we would now only speak through lawyers. He was so panicked! His mother told me he’d been miserable for a year (news to me!! He would spend a hours each night talking to me about our dreams). He tried manipulate me into doing his bidding with the house and custody of our one and four year olds. When I wasn’t compliant- he turned so nasty. He wanted me homeless (“neither of us are getting the house, I dont care if you are living on the streets”). By the one year mark, the other woman well and truly had her clutches into him. He sent me an abusive letter with the divorce papers stating he never loved me and his life was so much better.

      He continues to be abusive now two and a half years later by attempts of malicious and false claims through third parties- kids school, the police and my work….. none of it worked as he was proven to be a liar and it just made him angrier and angrier.

      My lawyer has been my saving Grace. In spite of all of this, I am so much happier. I am so grateful that soulless, piece of trash released me from a monster.

      • MM, I was wondering, when you say file one year after separation; how do you prove the separation, or is it a legal separation then file for D.

        In my state you could fine for legal separation, then the minimum wait post separation was 2 months. Or you could file directly for D, and the legal wait time is still 2 months.

        My fw filed for D, but my lawyer got it changed to legal separation, with six month temp maintenance.

        • If the divorce app is opposed by Affidavit (not sure what it is called in US) with a witness affidavit as well. Chumps in Australia please be mindful of time limits- please do not file for divorce unless you have resolved property matters (sometimes that’s ok if you want to prevent the other party from making a claim against your assets.) You’ve only got one year to file for property after divorce.

          • I think when I see that a year separation is required it may mean the same as a waiting period or similar for most US states.

            It just sounded like folks would have to prove separation of one year, and how would they do that without some legal document to serve as proof.

            • In my state you need there to be one year of separation and as far as I know, it is assumed that there was onw year unless one party opposes it and gets a witness to say you were still living together and eating meals together and so on.

              • Interesting. Seems like that would invite delays, and also with no legal separation of finances pose great risk to a chump.

                Our Divorce finalization took a year, but my lawyer had a temp maintenance/ legal separation in place within a week after he filed.

                Our was a no fault 50/50 state, but really that is just the starting point, once all is added in it is rarely 50/50 I would guess.

  • I filed for divorce. 15 days after he’d left. I wasn’t no contact at the time and messaged him to let him know (the hopium was in play). He messaged back..
    ‘You need to do what feels right for you, if this is where you want to go then I cannot prevent you from going ahead’ and ‘ For me, I was hoping for some calm, I wasnt ready for this yet’. Total mindfuckery. I was put in a spin with these words, like a tiny feather within a tornado.

    What he wanted was to live in the matrimonial home but have separate rooms or another suggestion of his was to build a log cabin on the garden where he would live. Although I was toking on the hopium I at least had clarity about telling him to get the fuck out of my house. That house is about to become all mine. 👍🏼

    Hugs to you all ❤️

  • Filed first and got 3 properties ready to sell( after he brought schmoopie to play and shop through our things first). I had to do all of the work of divorce. It became my full time job for almost 2 years while he gummed up the process and caused legal costs to skyrocket. They suck

  • I filed first, too.

    The Friday night I discovered his texts about fucking the rat faced whore, I was out of there, and in a solicitor’s office on Monday. They sent him the letter telling him I was filing on the grounds of adultery.

    Fuckwit came over a couple of days later, to try and sell me this bullshit, “it was just lad’s banter! Nothing happened!”

    I squirm now to think I actually wanted to believe this blatant crap; I actually texted CL to ask her if she thought it could possibly be true. Thankfully she texted back no, he was gaslighting me, and to get on the forums for support.

    I’ll never cease to be thankful to you, CL, I didn’t even know what gaslighting *was*. 😳🙄

    Fuckwit refused to sign the admission of adultery, so my solicitor advised me that pursuing it would bring rat faced whore into it, and make the whole process longer and more expensive – she advised proceeding on the grounds of ” unreasonable behaviour” instead. If I’d had unlimited funds at my disposal, I’d have pushed on the adultery, I’d have loved to drag that whore into court, but I took her advice.

    Of course fuckwit dragged it out, trying to make it as difficult as he could, ignored mediation requests (which came back to bite his arse in the FDR 😂), ignored letters, everything. “You/the Court/police are not the boss of me”.

    I finally had to pay to get him served. The process server went to fuckwit’s flat on *Valentine’s Day*, rat faced whore opened the door, and voila! he was served. 🐀😂. The process server said he looked ‘absolutely furious’. I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the door closed… 😂

    At the FDR, the judge awarded me the entire proceeds from the sale of our home plus costs. He got an £800 barrister’s bill. 😂😂😂😂

    Just goes to show; fuckwit shot himself in the foot by his own delaying tactics.

    Of course, I never got the costs.,👿👿👿 but at least I got a good settlement.

    • “I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the door closed…”

      They really do hate it when they are no longer in control.

    • “The process server said he looked ‘absolutely furious’”.

      When I first handed my FW the agreement our lawyer had drafted for her to review and sign she’s gone berserk, tore the document into tiny pieces, stomped into it, then grabbed a framed picture of us from the wall and shattered it into pieces on the floor. All in front of our kids I was there to pick up.

      On one of the rare occasions she dropped the kids at my place, I presented her another copy of the same draft. She signed it over the trunk of the cab she was in and then slapped the rolled up papers across my face with all her strength (again, in front of the kids). My glasses landed at the sidewalk.

      I really don’t know how I put up with so much shit.

  • I was told, “I found someone and want a divorce.”
    This was after 41 years of abuse. Once I saw the skank and with the support of a wonderful therapist I was the one who had to file.

    My attorney said it was a simple divorce and I put down a deposit. However, it interrupted his travel plans he booked a short time after dday. It took a year to the day to rid myself from the serial cheater.
    I was told he was entitled to my small pension. He was too lazy and cheap to hire his own attorney and I was able to keep my pension and support myself in retirement.

    I recall asking him in the early days if it was worth it? Never seeing beyond his dick and avoiding taxes (self employed) earned him the opportunity to live in poverty with the hole he dug for himself.

    Filing and going no contact eliminated the forever cycle of abuse once and for all.

    My divorce with no assets cost 💲 1800.00. I let go of the cash he hid and instead made him pay for all his credit cards. Recently, I was informed he’d been with her for a year and a half prior to the announcement as she was bragging to adult child.
    Don’t care, Meh.

    • I think the most valuable asset I got out of my D was that fw had to assume all the debt. It was only fair as it was run up by his spending on what he wanted. I did get a tiny house free and clear, but debt free, that is power.

      It was not his plan, but he was in a mess of his own making.

    • Doingme…last words I said to the fuckwit was, “I hope in the end, this has all been worth it to you.” This was 2 days after divorce decree was signed & over 2 years since he set foot on what was now my property. He was there to pick up his shit from the cellar – luckily there was an outside access so I didn’t have to let him in the house. From the porch I was supervising what was being removed. When he was finished he stepped up on the porch & thanked me for allowing him to get his stiff. WTF? as it was a court order. It was then that I uttered my last words to him. He looked alittle taken back. It’s coming up on 10 yrs now.

      • Hirt1

        His last words to me were in the court hallway as we waited for copies of the settlement we’d signed. He told me he thinks about me all the time.

        My response, I’m single. Seven years FREE!

  • Mine definitely didn’t want divorce and didn’t believe I would go through with it. She evaded and was abusive to the process server. During the separation, she also refused to make any payments on the credit cards under my name that were run up to put her through nursing school. When I pointed out how shitty this was she coldly said “You knew the financial consequences of divorce.”

  • I filed. The dick thought we could just live separate lives. I said, “I can NOT be married to an adulterer.” He pointed a finger at me and loudly said, “And that’s your problem! You’re so judgemental!” My guess is he was hoping that I’d agree to separate lives having our respective side pieces, and then down the road he could turn to our sons and say, “Well it must be okay with your mom because she has her boyfriend too.” And that would have brought me down to his level alleviating any guilt on his part I had to file else I’m sure we’d still be married.

  • I filed first. It was tricky for me — he insisted on a confidentiality agreement because he knew that if it came out that he had a bdsm and god knows that else sex addiction that he would lose his therapy license.
    I wanted the divorce so badly that I finally agreed not to write a book about him — as if anyone really cares to read about such a wretched person. Five years later — I’m ok — he’s remarried and a practicing therapist.
    Two of his “specialties” according to his website — addiction and men’s sexual health. Aaaargh

  • Nope, I had to file. After two DDays, I had enough. Moved to separate area of house, installed locks and alarms on my door and went no contact with him. Got the ducks in the row as best as I could , hired a pit bull attorney and filed. He claimed to be shocked and surprised and of course completely without fault. Unfortunately, my son had pics of FW and Schmoopie that FW accidentally put on my son’s shared photo account. The Pi also got some nice pics and other evidence. He spent $$$$ on Schmoopie that we know of.
    FW got a lawyer but wants to drag his feet and claim poverty (he has unsuccessfully tried to hide assets). He is trying to settle but the CDFA still does not thinks his offers are good enough. Court date is set for a Tuesday but we fully expect that he will come up with a settlement before that to avoid his shit going on record. During this process, I made sure everything goes to the attorneys. He tried to engage me in talking but got no cake and was extremely pissed that my only answer was to tell him to go through the attorneys. The kibble supply ended and he was not happy. Guess he thought the pick me dance would continue forever. Guess he was wrong. He can have his 32 years younger Schmoopie and she has a real prize.

    • I also have a CDFA. After my first attorney consult, she was my second appointment. She held copies of financial documents for me that I was able to smuggle out of the house. She helped convince me that a fair settlement will result in my ability to support myself, raise my child, and still have a nice retirement. I know she will keep me from accepting something less than equitable.

  • He wanted the divorce, and then did NOTHING to further it (besides threatening me, so I ended up moving out of the house) and in fact kept waffling and talking about reconciliation while he all but lived with his AP (and then DID move in with her). He did send me some BS “separation agreement” which he either found online or his girlfriend gave him, which I did NOT sign.

    I finally told my lawyer I was done (I had been trying to “save” something that was not worth saving) and was ready to file. We put together my complaint and were about ready to serve him when BAM! he filed first. He knew I was going to file (since my lawyer had contacted his to ask if the attorney could accept service on his client’s behalf) and I think my stbx wanted to control the narrative. *I* couldn’t leave *him*, because then people might think there was something inappropriate about his and AP’s relationship. I had also stopped doing everything he wanted me to do, particularly when it came to custody. He thought he could intimidate and scare me by filing. His complaint was the most ridiculous thing my attorney had every seen. She couldn’t believe his lawyer put his name on that crap (it was obvious my stbx had written it, not the attorney). Twelve pages of accusations where he basically showed his hand and every argument he intended to make. It was 90% bald faced lies, and 10% distortions of the truth. And so petty and gross. He didn’t come out looking particularly good in it, either (he admitted he wanted me to destroy evidence of his abuse, trying to use my refusal to do so to make ME look bad, lol). It made it very easy to make my countersuit. Which was a page and a half. I did counterfile, because we are in an at-fault state, and I was absolutely going to make my case for cruelty and adultery.

    Honestly, he saved me the filing fee, and I opened a bottle of champagne the day my lawyer told me the news.

    THEN, even though he filed, he dragged his feet every step of the way, filing his discovery MONTHS after it was due (and then having the audacity to file a motion to compel because mine was a week or two late), and when he did finally file it, it contained only a fraction of the requested documents. He fought me on EVERY LITTLE THING and cost me $50,000 even though we were nowhere near actually getting divorced. My attorney and I actually thought he was deliberately slowing it down to avoid marrying AP, and also to “punish” me and keep me stuck in limbo. If I had to do things over again, I would have filed the minute he admitted to his “emotional affair”. Instead I fought like hell for four years for a marriage that was slowly killing me (that is not hyperbole).

    My ex ended up taking his own life before the divorce even got to a pretrial hearing. He was in despair because AP left him, he was completely broke, and the court kept ruling in my favor. And though I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, and it was horrible, in the end it saved me a ton of money, completely freed me emotionally and mentally (no more fear! He was VERY abusive and scary), and set my kid up financially (between life insurance and social security, my kid’s college is pretty much taken care of, and then some).

    It was a wild and horrific four years (plus a decade of abuse before that), but it’s over now, I’ve truly moved on, I don’t waste time in rumination or hate or anger., I don’t even hate AP anymore. I don’t feel sorry for her, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m grateful she came into his life. Because of her I got OUT. I lost a lot of people along the way, but I found out who my real friends are, and I’ll take that over fair-weather people any day.

    I am finally HAPPY. I’d forgotten what happy felt like. It is wonderful.

  • He actually went to a lawyer first, but it was to see about a post-nup. It was a carrot he was dangling to get me to stay. He stated that the lawyer had said to him; “You say you were planning to leave her when you were having this affair. Look, you got what you wanted. She’s going to leave. So why are you doing this? If it goes to court, a judge will probably give her more than 50% since you have an adult child with special needs. I’ll charge $8000 for a post-nup, plus she needs a lawyer for that as well, and it will cost a lot more to represent your interests in a divorce. It’s cheaper and easier to just offer her something she’ll accept so you can avoid going to family court.”

    He came back from that deflated. He had actually thought it was always a 50/50 split, and I had told him that usually it was, if both parties agree, and I was not going to agree. He certainly didn’t want to go to court and be publically embarrassed by being shown for the asshole he is on public record, so he offered me more. I got 60% of the income and 75% of the home equity, plus a new house in my name. I was delighted to agree to that. I also demanded he take out a two million dollar life insurance policy on himself for the sake of his disabled daughter. He did. Getting all that took some of the sting out of being betrayed. I later inherited some money and property as well.
    Fw, otoh, lives in a crappy one bedroom rental and has no life. 😃

  • In 2018 I busted the skank. She said she wanted a divorce but wouldn’t file. In the meantime when she wasn’t around I put everything together to talk to my lawyer. He said he never had a client so well prepared. She still wouldn’t file after I asked her one final time even though she was saying things like “we’ll get divorced then we can remarry in two years.” So Thanksgiving 2018 she took sparkle dick to her family gathering. That was my final straw and so I filed on Black Friday. She drug it out for 27 months to avoid paying child support and maintenance by getting fired or quitting her job after they got busted at work. Going on 4 years she still is working part time and the two fuckwits are still together but it’s extremely toxic over there. None of the kids want to be there and my 13 year old son has said he wants to cut his mother and her family out of his life and he has told he doesn’t need a mom. So I took her back to court going for full custody now. Of course she’s fighting like crazy to keep it 50/50.

  • I filed first. I moved four hours away to a safer place and had him served. When I left I just walked out with a car load of essentials and my old sick with cancer dog who was on doggie palliative care. I just left. No explanations, no note, no phone call no discussion, just walked out the door. Fuckface never even looked for me, he didn’t call, email, text, send the police a missing person’s report. It took the process server nearly two weeks to serve him. Even then he just sent me a text explaining that he would send me the paperwork to sign away my rights to his pension and any support. He then requested I sign the document that would allow him to use the local hotshot men’s rights attorney I had consulted while looking for my “pitbull of a lawyer”. 33 years of marriage, 35 years of being a couple,( ok I was a couple not him, ) and he didn’t care if I was even alive.

    I filed first from a safer place at the advice of my therapist and my lawyer. Both of those professionals urged me to flee to safety before I filed. I took back my power two years, nine months and 18 days ago by the act of filing first.

  • Cheater was excited about leaving. He told me he wanted “something different.” Being a trusting Chump it didn’t occur to me that he was cheating. He told me many times he wasn’t that kind of guy and I believed him. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t get angry, I was understanding and calm. This is what I was reduced to. I thought when he gets over his mental illness, brain tumor, middle aged crisis he will appreciate my understanding and we can live our lives like this never happened. (I can feel my face flush as I’m typing). I actually believed this.

    To answer the question, he filed first. I heard a loud knock on my door one morning, it was cheater. He was giddy, as he excitedly told me he had filed as he handed me a book on divorce.
    I remember looking at him and thinking he’d lost his mind.
    I found out later the “something different” is an attorney so I assume this was her idea. One of many.

    There were also the text’s he’d written to a women I didn’t know, that sounded like they were written by adolescent girl using teenage slang and abbreviations such as k?
    That was just the beginning of. the nightmare.

    • Sounds familiar—the giddy excitement and brainless expectation that I would appreciate his new ventures. Their narcissistic delusions are stunning! I hope you are well past that idiocy now!

  • Yes, I filed first.

    Knowing what I know now I would have done it a lot quicker, but I had done so much work to not get divorced like my parents.

    I had to protect myself financially because he was (is) financially abusive also.

    He was too busy sending the neighbourhood teenagers for pedicures, and facials before taking them to the cottage that he had rented for that activity and f**ing the neighbours wife.

    • “I had to protect myself financially because he was (is) financially abusive also.”

      This seems so common, my fw was using married finds to pay for his “dating” long before I even suspected. I still don’t know how he kept it so quiet from his work situation. She obviously had reason to keep quiet, as money was flowing to her. Tell me these whores aren’t equally responsible. Bull shit.

    • My parents and grandparents never divorced. I stead of trying to not be like my parents, I think part of my brain didn’t want to be the first in my family that I knew of to get divorced. I had done a ton of genealogical research as a hobby and the divorces were on FW’s side of the family. It made me wonder if there is a FW genetic defect. But anyway, I didn’t want to be the first in my lineage to have “failed.” But thinking back on my cheater grandfather and my poor chumped grandmother, I now see that just likng the first in my family to go to college, in filing for divorce, I will be the first of my tree to have successfully gotten away from a FW to start a better life. It took me a long time to see that, though.

  • As soon as I discovered Crooked Willi was cheating on me with his co-worker, I retained a lawyer and filed for divorce. He had no clue that I knew, so during our Friday morning marriage counseling session I confronted him and told him I wanted him out of the house and out of my life. The counselor was shocked herself, but convinced CW it would be good if he left so things could cool down. My brother was waiting at our home and made sure CW got packing. I had taken the garage door opener out of his car, so as he was backing out and reaching up to click it, I stood in front of the car and clicked the garage door shut for him. You’re welcome! I changed the locks and that Monday morning I had him served at the office.
    Divorcing an extreme narcissist meant I was screwed over financially but it was soooo worth it. My son (who was 16y at the time) chose to be 100% with me and I have kept my honesty and integrity intact, priceless!

  • Yep, same here. It was an exit affair, so he wasn’t trying to keep any doors open or get me to pick-me-dance. He was off to his new life – and it was down to me to clear up the mess of our joint lives, including filing for divorce and doing most of the work. I still remember me making proposal after proposal and him just knocking them back without making a counter-proposal. Even my solicitor started to get pissed off. They were getting loads in fees, but could see what effect it was having on me.

  • One of the many things that Ex-Mrs LFTT has never forgiven me for is that I divorced her.

    I was advised not to pursue the divorce on the grounds of adultery but to go for unreasonable behaviour, which I did. It really went badly wrong for her when she dragged her feet, lied to our mediator and it all ended up in court. She compounded her lies to the mediator by lying to her legal team, who relayed her bullsh*t to the judge without checking …. he did not like this one bit. I got an excellent settlement, including a clean break, and she found that 20% of her settlement was eaten up by her lawyer’s fees and almost another 20% in covering money that she’d borrowed after she left the kids and I.

    All my fault apparently.

    LFTT

  • I found the marriage counselor(s), I moved out, I told both our families, I separated bank accounts, I planned the wreckincilation trip, I filed for divorce and provided 30 years of financial documents, I paid a qualified family lawyer, he yukked it up with an old family friend who was also an attorney, I arranged all the notarized signatures, I resumed my maiden name and notified dozens of institutions of the change.

    I ATE THE SHIT SANDWICH.

    It took a couple years. He never protested. One time he was asked to leave some of my remaining boxes at a neutral location, but otherwise I could say he didn’t lift a finger.

    I am glad I took control of the divorce. But maybe it was just reflective of the emotional and administrative responsibilities I had throughout the entire relationship. I wonder how many weddings would take place if the FWs had to do half the work.

    • Both my therapist and attorney told me similar things that narcissistic cheaters are LAZY. They don’t do stuff unless it’s easy. This is because they are immature children who don’t know how to be grownups and don’t want to do the work.

      • Sounds like my STBX. My attorney has been waiting months for bank statements which could be downloaded in seconds (if he knew how 😂). Instead we are going to subpoena the bank and add the cost to the growing list of expenses he will be ordered to pay. He is hellbent on leaving me penniless and on the street, which won’t happen after 41 years of marriage, but as long as we are married I am entitled to all his generous retirement benefits. You would think for that reason alone he would be quick to finalize things. What an idiot!

  • Yes I filed on grounds of adultery . This wasn’t difficult to prove as she was pregnant with my husbands baby she was also engaged to my husband !
    Her social media posts did nothing but help me as here you need grounds to divorce or you have to wait out the separation period . So we hit him and hit him hard with all the proof .
    He said he would “ agree” to the early divorce but he wouldn’t pay a penny towards it as this was my idea !! He was living with her since day 1 and it’s my idea ?? Ok then !!
    His lawyer said it would be best to wait the Separation period and she would discuss with her client ( him)
    I paid the money told my lawyer I ain’t waiting get him to court . He didn’t show up to get divorced and since he could defend himself and he had a lawyer he simply couldn’t be bothered .

    He married her a few weeks later

  • Yup, I had to file, even though he did not want to be married- couldn’t even say the word divorce. It was mutually agreed I would file, but at that point I was still on the Hopium. I filed, found him a suitable place to live with the kids, found the mediator, etc. too wrapped up with the younger AP to care about his kids,
    Newbies out there, skip the mediator.
    We had agreed to share tax returns, and found out the next year he had a second job !? Tried to negotiate for more child support for 6 months, then filed in court. Ironically I only asked for $125 more…. judge awarded an additional $1000. Again, that first mediator was worthless (though not their fault ex lied…)
    Nine years on, kids now in college, I barely ever think about him, only times such as Xmas when I went with the kids to see his mother. But those were rough days, divorce we worked at the same place, he moved away and started a new family, my kids were devastated, then followed by suicidal kids….
    Of course, I am to blame with all that…never mind his actions, etc,

    So newbies, it does get better. Just time, therapy, hopefully a good friend to two to listen…
    Regardless of how things turn out, you are BETTER OFF WITHOUT THEM.

  • The comments are all very inspiring, helpful, and motivating. My D-Day was October 30, 2021. The spouse admitted to have a 5 year “emotional” relationship with another woman because I wasn’t meeting his emotional needs–got all sorts of crazy blame-shifting. He became very angry when I said I wanted a divorce and now pretends like everything is fine. I am still in the relationship, and working very quietly behind the scenes to gain more financial independence. I have no doubt I will be the one to file.

    • Wishing you luck, CMC. I’m sorry you have to go through this and now endure the horrible period of lining up ducks. You’ve got this!

      • Thank you! I take things one day at a time. I have to keep reminding myself that small steps will lead to big results.

    • In 2010 I discovered the FW was deep in an emotional affair with a woman the same age as our oldest son that he’d met while out with me. I was devastated. Didn’t leave as had just been diagnosed with the big C and didn’t know if I’d survive. He begged for my forgiveness, he partly got that.

      In 2011 I discovered he’d sent a bouquet of flowers to a much younger work colleague. This was a week after our wedding anniversary for which I had received nothing! Again I was so hurt. But he convinced me it was just a friendly gesture.

      July 2020 DDay 3. This time he tries to gaslight the bejeezus out of me. I didn’t know which way was up. But I got rid of him. He still tried to convince me it was just a friendship and that she’d been a ‘distraction’ and nothing more. The night he left our home he moved in with her.

      31 year marriage, 34 years together. He’s been a complete FW regarding the divorce too. Lost the relationship with our adult children due to his actions since leaving me. I am almost free. Paperwork going to the judge any day now.

      Stay strong

      • Thank you. I’m sorry you had to go through all that BS and I hope the big C is part of your past. I am grateful for the people here who have shared their stories. There’s a saying that goes something like, “someday the story of your struggle will become someone else’s survival guide”.

      • Good for you! Be sure to tell us when the divorce is final. A “distraction?” Oh, is that what they’re calling it these days. 🙄 what a cowardly, lying sack of dung.

        My fw not only didn’t give me anniversary gifts, he spent every anniversary with his ho, in the guise of doing “volunteer work” so that I’d look like a bitch if I complained. He would gone from morning until at least 1 or 2 a.m. and sometimes not until 4 or 5 in the morning, so that he didn’t have to see me at all on that day. There is no bigger passive-aggressive “fuck you and fuck our marriage” than deliberately shitting on the wedding anniversary. Then when the idiot was caught, he actually thought I’d reconcile. 😄 We were together more than 30 years too. That didn’t mean jack shit to him apparently.

        My kids don’t have a relationship with him either. He has nobody, not even any close friends anymore, and his family is a train wreck so they’re of little use to him.
        Sucks to be a fw.

    • Yeah right. They were completely chaste for five whole years. These fuckwits must have rocks in their heads to think we’ll believe nonsense like that. Keep the faith, CMC. You’ll be free soon.
      Love your name btw.

  • I filed first. The only thing that came out of our 1 session of marriage counseling was that the MC explained to XW that she was “way ahead” of me (ie, she had already discarded me and found someone new, but I had thought I was married for life up to a couple weeks earlier) and it was going to take me some time to catch up.

    A couple months later, everything but the filing was done: Kids had been informed. XW moved out. We had informal custody worked out. AP left his wife and kids and bought his own house. She and AP spent Christmas together. Our lives were already largely separated.

    In the end, when I did file (because XW was making bizarre choices like tricking the kids into meeting the AP, and I didn’t trust her judgment without a legal document in place), I think I was pretty nice about it: I warned her it was happening, I declined to have her served at her place of work and just sent the documents through the mail, informing her lawyer at the same time. I didn’t ask for majority custody. I didn’t file on grounds of adultery.

    And yet, XW called me to rage and cry about it. She was sobbing and screaming and telling me she couldn’t believe I would do this to her. It was actually the only time I saw any significant emotion from her during the whole process, I think because it was the only step that I took on my own time; everything else she controlled to the last detail. She got a tiny, tiny taste of what it’s like to have your life blasted apart and she absolutely couldn’t handle it.

    • Why the eff do they think it’s ok to manipulate their kids into hanging out with the APs? I know now that the dick used to intentionally set things up so his family and the latest AP were at the same event …..then they would sneak off for a while. It added to the excitement. What sick people.

      • I don’t know. In this particular case, my daughter knew who the AP was (because she’d broken into her mom’s phone and seen their texts) but my XW didn’t know that she knew. XW pretended that she and the kids were stuck at the airport for an hour because “uber dropped my call” and her “work colleague” just happened to be flying through our hometown so she brought the kids to meet him. I only found out about this because my 16-yo daughter was so obviously distraught at being lied to by her mother, and forced to pretend not to know the identity of the guy her mother was having an affair with, that it was obvious to me that something was seriously wrong when XW finally dropped the kids with me.

        My daughter refused to tell me what was wrong for a several days, saying “I don’t want to hurt you, Dad”, until finally I convinced her that it wasn’t the kid’s job to protect the parent at the kid’s expense. Come to think of it, that’s also when I found out that during that trip XW had left our kids behind (at friends’ houses) and driven 300 miles (across state lines) to spend the week with AP. Without telling me, of course. Those were the “bad decisions” (referenced in a post above) my XW was making that finally convinced me that I couldn’t trust her judgment and I needed a legal document that defined what conduct was unacceptable. I filed for divorce the next week.

  • My ex ran, saying that the distance would “save” our marriage. My wonderful divorce attorney said that spouses who run either have somebody waiting for them or want to live like they aren’t married, period. He recommended getting a P.I. so we could use the results to threaten a trial (I’m also in an at-fault state). I refused but said that if it did go to trial, we would. Thankfully it settled without that, saving me a lot of money.

    I knew that it had to be, but yes he kicked it off and filed.

  • I filed eleven hours after he was arrested for drunk driving. Married 29 years. His phone contained much cheating evidence. He kept threatening ME with divorce. I didn’t bail him. Work slut was on vaycay with her hubby and far away. He was served in front of coworkers. Told me *I* was the cruel one. I don’t fucking care. He’s thankfully gone, messed up his life, is still an addict, many health problems. I don’t care.

  • I filed. And had him served while he was in jail. One of my life’s petty joys is that his address on the paperwork is “Adult Detention Center, Xxxxx County”. We live in an at fault state, and you can bet I filed that way. My ducks are all lined up, but my mental health is not great.

    It’s been almost a year since Dday – a horrific day that revealed not just cheating but so many more levels of lying, violations and betrayals, not just me but my kids. Calling the police, having them come to my house with search warrants, having to go into hiding with my kids until his arrest, knowing the man I loved was in reality a monster with a CP collection has forever damaged me. I am nowhere near healed and I don’t know that I ever will be.

    Thank god for the court order prohibiting contact; I don’t ever want to hear his voice again. There was an evil monster under the mask of the husband that I loved and shared my life with.

    Court day for the divorce is still several months away, and his criminal trial is months after that. I have spent almost $20,000 in legal fees so far. I pray that my lawyer is correct in his optimism that evil FW will be forced to cover my legal fees.

    Someday I will write a book. Or a screenplay for a lifetime movie! 😀

    • So sorry, Surviving. Stay strong! I went to an attorney for a free consultation, the year before I finally filed. To ask “if there is CP on his computer, what do I do? What would I be liable for?” It blasted me into reality, my hope for a better marriage with a “sex addiction” finally gone, when I heard myself asking those questions.
      I’m so sorry you are going through this.

  • I filed first. 35 years. He had been with the MENSA girl for 4 1/2 years. He wanted to use a mediator but he failed to do all the things. So I filed I had intended to tell my kids in person put MENSA girl spilled the beans to them. My daughter was a little hurt until I explained that it was not the idiots place to tell them. Anyhow there are/is lots of dragging of feet. There has to be clear legal deadlines or nothing happens.

    I think Fourleaf was awesome. I could not do it when I was in the puddle stage. Fourleaf you are so strong.
    After Dday I said that I had wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He said he wanted that also just not right now. WTF.

    • “After Dday I said that I had wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He said he wanted that also just not right now. WTF.”

      Me, too. I finally just kept repeating “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you” because his narrative and trickle truths were so disorienting there was no resolution.

      He also suggested we could resume our 30 year marriage after “a couple years” apart.

  • I filed. After discovering him cheating..again. I packed his car, ( he was out of town for work). Changed the locks and hired an attorney. His attorney was awful. As in filing stupid motions, letting things get lost etc. It took almost three years to get divorced. I had to fire my first attorney because she just wasn’t aggressive enough. I am strict No contact as kids are all grown. However, recently has to consult with my divorce attorney as he is now in contempt concerning a Life Insurance policy. He should have received the attorney letter this week. Some of them never change. They just remain assholes. Yes, he did marry the AP.
    I have proof ( camera/ security) that he was going into the marital home as recent as last year. I sold that house last fall to be rid of his stalking. I haven’t pressed charges yet because I don’t want to see him again in court. But am getting to my wits end. Divorce was finalized three and a half years ago.

  • Yes, I filed. Financially I let him off so easy, and he still stiffed me. The day he was to move out I had to go wake him up and throw him out of my bed! He, as expected, said I was unwilling to work on the marriage and I was the horrible person in the relationship. That’s what happens when you refuse to tolerate his cheating. He turned out to be a deadbeat dad who hasn’t seen his children in years. Shocked? No.

  • Textbook chump experience here. I finally filed after Dday #4. She was incensed to be served. Wanted her FW, our kids, house, and all my money. I was overly generous according to my lawyer but anything less than everything wasn’t good enough for her. She fired two lawyers that told her I was being reasonable before her fellow cheater father paid for the most expensive lawyer in town. She dragged it out but I still got the fair settlement my lawyer told me I would with 50/50 join custody. It was worth it for my kids to have had me in their young lives and not be wholly raised by a FW.

  • I filed 2 1/2 weeks after DDay. I went to a free consult and they ran a Colorado back ground check on her and I saw the full extent of her double life. When I told her I filed for divorce her reply was: “I thought you were only seeing what your options were. I never thought you would actually file for divorce”. Later on she said “I never thought you would divorce me”. When you file for divorce it gives you a special kind of power because it’s a choice you make not made for you if they file first. It helped me get to “meh” much faster.

    • Hallelujah! I ignored so many red flags, and put up with so much abuse, but in the end it was me who officially ended “our” marriage. At least I have that.

    • I agree that being the one to initiate or file is part of taking our power back. To be devalued, deceived, and discarded is a huge blow. To take away their power to call the shots, and to demonstrate this to them, helps us heal.

      • To me taking my power back was just in hiring my own lawyer.

        Me filing would have caused me more grief, not less. But again that is situational.

        He tried to bully me a couple times, even after he filed; but I just (threw up the hand figuratively) and said “have your lawyer contact mine”

        I do regret that I didn’t go for three years of maintenance that I was entitled to, but I really needed him to be gone after a year.

        I only asked for six months, then he delayed it for another six months. But he was paying the whole year. I am fairly sure he was trying to delay marriage to schmoops.

  • I filed first. FW walked out abruptly on DDay and moved straight in with OW (all of us in Virginia). OW’s father is a retired family law attorney across the river in Maryland so FW thought he was getting good advice from OW I guess. She thinks she’s an expert too (although her degree was in German and French). She thinks her dad’s law degree was genetically passed down to her… or she stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.

    But FW apparently never google’ed the differences in Virginia and Maryland law. When FW left, he laughed at me that “there’s nothing you can do for a year” (can’t file until a year of separation when you have minors — true in both Virginia and Maryland.)

    Except …Maryland has legal separation. And Virginia does not. And Virginia still lets you file straight away for adultery. And even after he left, it’s considered adultery in VA.

    So I hired an attorney and they got a PI for me… and those idiots flaunted their twu wuv at a free movie (Ferris Bueller) in an Arlington park and then back to her home. I never looked at the photos but apparently they were more than sufficient for proof and to file. So within 2 weeks I had him served at the office (schmoopie coworker there too).

    Ahhhh good times

    Totally worth it. The divorce and money loss was Hell… but we were divorced in one year. Hallelujah

    • MS
      My lawyer noted that in VA. we still hold “a puritanical” legal system that also allows for suing the current AP.

      I didn’t go there as XW protected her candyman. However it was a great LEVERAGE until I pulled the already arranged trigger.

      Once I realized the horse was dead, there was no use beating it. So I count my blessings when it comes to our Puritan legal upbringings.

      All lawyers really do is submit paper to the courts. Proper form # and fee.

      I learned that in VA you can file your own divorce for $75 directly with the court clerk.

      1st D: cost $16K
      2nd D cost: $2500 with a signed/notarized separation agreement detailing property and monetary specifics. (FWs will give shit away when tranqed with foreign semen 😂)

      • I think all states should have those laws. It isn’t about using the law as much as giving consequences. Like laws against many other things, laws don’t stop it, but does give the victim some rights in getting restitution either in lieu of action, or with action.

        Those Puritans were not wrong about everything.

    • Hey MichelleShocked,
      VA girl here too! Way to be mighty!! My lawyer advised against the adultery route since I was able to get him to sign the PSA agreement that he was too dumb to have a lawyer look at! He was so ready to live his best Peter Pan life with little to no responsibility. Plus my PI didn’t have enough evidence because FW was living in a townhouse with AP and 2 other guys. In a nearby neighborhood, 4 minutes away! He didn’t flaunt AP and has tried to keep her existence a secret from his kids and his family back in Mexico even after he married her in November. He was visiting his family with our kids in Mexico this Xmas telling them that we are finally divorced because he was unhappy and there’s no one else. (His great long unexpressed unhappiness caused the divorce not his gold digging side piece.🙄🤣) Meanwhile, our 19 yr daughter had been telling all the relatives the truth about him and showing them pics of his recent marriage that the AP plastered all over her public Instagram and Facebook. lying cowards=no shame. His sparkly new wifetress couldn’t go because 1. she doesn’t exist and 2. She can’t leave the country while she tries to legalize her documents.

  • A month after D day , hoping (projecting) the discovery would lead to termination of her affair. I’d discovered she’d took off for a weekend fuckfest at a regional amusement park with AP. She was stupid enough to take photos that I’d found in the glove compartment of her car. I tossed them on the dining room table and told her “If you love this guy you need to go be with him.’ She left , with the kids , with really nowhere to go as AP was living with his mom and paying child support. She’d spent the next 6 months couch surfing and I explained all this to my lawyer. She eventually rented a dump of a trailer and I’d found that AP was staying there. That was the last straw..I got court ordered custody of the kids and filed. I was done. No way this was going to be a fixable situation. She turned into the textbook narcissistic sociopath.

  • Yep, I filed first after the second D-day, when she said she couldn’t decide between me and one of the APs. Then my lawyer drafted the paperwork and she wouldn’t sign. Just pretended like nothing happened. Even while she was traveling cross country on odd weekends for AP fuckfests. I think it was my threat to depose APs that finally got her to sign. I think it was partly her laziness and partly my use to her (economically, mostly).

  • I love the way I served his ass. Ex moved in with 24-year-old mistress the day he left marital home. She lives in a gated apartment. Process server was let in by a friend of mine who also lives in building, and he was served first thing in the morning INSIDE her apartment. Good luck with denying infidelity after that clown. That was the first step in taking charge of my future. Felt great.

  • Yep! Filed about a month after discovering the affair. He immediately moved into an apartment and moved Craigslist schmoopie in with him. And, yes, they were sleeping on an air mattress! Can’t make this shit up! In mediation, he requested the marital bed and mattress set. 😉

  • I’m actually filing today. After a year-long affair plus a few months of pick me dancing, I’m thrilled to tell her AP she’s finally all his! Although it won’t be final for a couple of months, I’m still fucking excited and feeling powerful.

  • I filed. Ex insisted on not using lawyers (“we can be amicable!!”), but it was clear that along with no lawyer, he wanted ME to do all the paperwork. I had to explain to him that I legally could not fill out his sworn financial statement for him. I ended up getting a lawyer, mostly because I didn’t want to deal with the paperwork myself and potentially get it wrong. I paid for my lawyer to draft basically everything. Ex was pro se until 6 days before the court date when he decided he needed someone to look everything over. The administrative part of ending a marriage is a lot of work. Of course FWs don’t want to do it.

  • This is actually something that frustrates me quite a bit. I read time and time again about how FW’s don’t file for divorce first or how they come back to beg for you back.

    My story isn’t like that at all. I found out about what I assumed was his cheating, I didn’t have proof. I tried to get him to go to counseling and he went to one session. For about a week I was debating filling for divorce. Little did I know, the day after I confronted him, he had already contacted a divorce lawyer. He went to counseling knowing he would file. He’s never tried to hoover me back. He filed and immediately moved on to dating others, going on dating apps, hiring hookers. I don’t believe he began a relationship or anything with the affair partner but I can’t know for sure. We had a three month old baby at the time.

    I believe he filed first in an attempt to control the narrative that I am “crazy”. I wish I had been the one to file first because it seems some people believe those who file first are mightier in some way. I never had the chance and tried to salvage the relationship given we had a new baby.

    Some FW’s really do just abandon you, file first, and don’t hoover. But I guess it’s a minority.

    • I wanted to add…if anything, I think the FW’s that file first are some of the scariest, sneakiest, cunning narcissists out there. They are smart and they are always one step ahead. In “coparenting” with him, I still find this to be true.

      • JO, there’s no shame in what happened to you. Mine might have been the same… he left me as soon as I figured it out… walked out within the hour and never looked back. He never wanted me back. He’s still with OW — living in her house almost 7 years later. The difference is that my FW had just one AP (as far as I know!) and moved in with his twu wuv and thought I was so in love with him that I would be stuck waiting through separation for a year while he used up our finances. So I had to act fast. That’s it. But he left me just the same.

        But we’re lucky, you know. In some ways it’s easier to just have them get out and there’s no back and forth of false reconciliation. We all have to deal with the hands we’re dealt from the Vegas of FWs.

        • JO, I believe my FW would have filed long ago if it were financially feasible for us. During a fight after he confessed about his 5 year “emotional affair”, he told me that we couldn’t afford to get divorced and he was fine with “just pretending’ he cared for me, and added, “because that’s what I’ve been doing for years anyway.” It all really sucks.
          You deserve a good life, so keep on keeping on. You got this.

        • Thank you. My FW often doesn’t fit the mold of what other cheaters do. It’s sometimes confusing for me. There was no one affair partner. He didn’t abandon our child, he sees him regularly, pays his share of costs on time, covers his ass using parenting software when needed, etc. This is exactly why I chose to marry him, he’s quite lovely with his mask in place. However, the trauma he inflicted on me and my older son who was 8 at the time, is very real. So the juxtaposition of what he did (evil) with how he acts (perfect) is slightly terrifying and doesn’t seem to be the norm.

          • Jo. It sounds like you escaped a sociopath. I think you had no issues such as him leaving you and circling around for more mindfuck is because you lost all value to him. But he still plays the game with your youngest because the youngest can still be manipulated and may yet have future value to him, whereas your oldest child saw the man behind the mask and is not worth the fuckwit’s time to try to deceive anymore. For me that was a mindfuck all over again. How could I have meant nothing to a man that I was married to for 30 years? 7+ years later I am so grateful that he dropped me like a hot potato.

    • JO, please don’t worry about other people thinking that you’re “crazy”. I struggled with this for a long time too, and now I just don’t give a flying f*ck. It may take a little while, but it’s so satisfying when you hear of friends and acquaintances finally figuring out all the lies and crap they say about you isn’t true. Then it dawns on them that your ex is actually a piece of sh*t and lies to them as well!! And trust me, if they do believe any of it at all, you’ll soon figure out you don’t want to be around those people anyway.

      My exAsshat was also the one to file. Sparing the gory details, right after the ILYBNILWY speech, we sat and had a very brief conversation where I asked him if he was sure this was what he wanted. He said it was. He beat me to the punch and filed first. But since we’re in a no fault state, my attorney said it really didn’t matter it would just cost him more money. And cost him it sure did!!

      Anyway, I kind of like the fact that he filed first. He couldn’t wait to pull the plug on our 26 year marriage. He did end up marrying his bottom feeder about a month and a half after the divorce was final. Now every time he sits across from Butter (I call his OW/wife that because as he was literally walking out the door on me and his family he told me I didn’t quite “spread my legs” enough for him…so I figured she obviously spread easily) I get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside wondering if he ever looks at that rat trap he waltzed off into the sunset with and questions if it was all worth it. Better yet, my eyes twinkle when I think of Butter having to contort her miserable self for the rest of her life just to try to prove to him that she was, in fact, worth it.

      Just my 2 cents…doesn’t matter who files first, you’ll always be the clear winner 😁

      • Haha thank you for this. “Butter” has me cracking up. Yes, I need to reach not giving a fuck status! Not there yet. No-fault state here as well so it didn’t matter legally. He also spent WAY more than me in the divorce bc he somehow thought it would be amicable and was pretty surprised I didn’t just agree to everything. Well, his parents spent more because they paid. Good God.

      • “Anyway, I kind of like the fact that he filed first. ”

        Same here. He didn’t want to file, but it made me feel better and my lawyer said it would give him (the lawyer) more options.

        I know no one cares blah blah blah, but I cared and I remember that he was the one who wanted the D, he could do the legwork.

        Really it is an individual choice, assuming you have a choice. Also, legal advice is different in each situation depending on state and individual cases such as holdings, fraud, SAHM/D vs working mom, so many factors.

        “I get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside wondering if he ever looks at that rat trap he waltzed off into the sunset with and questions if it was all worth it.”

        I love your name for her.

        My sweet dad told me when I was in a puddle, “Susie you will get over this, don’t let that jerk back into your life. He will spend the rest of his life looking at her over the supper table and he will know, you get to walk away and start over.”

      • “Better yet, my eyes twinkle when I think of Butter having to contort her miserable self for the rest of her life just to try to prove to him that she was, in fact, worth it.”

        I had no way of knowing this on Dday, but he would in just a few months be busted in rank, put back out on street patrol and lose his cozy work situation as the mayors right hand man. So losing me was the least of it, (I was only useful to help him get built up in the community). he had to look at her the rest of his life and know that she was the reason he gave up every thing he/and I worked for for almost 20 years. His demotion was in the local paper, and I won’t lie, when I saw it; it put a spring in my step.

        • I’m glad you got to see the fallout of his bad decisions. I may never get to see that. But if I do, I will snicker and toast “butter” for giving him what he wanted. Truly. Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it. In a way, I already am seeing some revenge and I didn’t do a thing. He had to give me the house (my dream home) and he bought himself another beautiful home for him and Butter. He also got our house in Santa Fe that his mother lived in. However, the two mortgages must have strained his finances and so he sold their house and bought a trailer in a trailer park so he’d only have one mortgage… and then spent $100K fixing up his trailer. I have nothing against having to live in a trailer but to go live in a trailer after living in a $750K house really is a step down. When I asked my son, “Do you think it bothers your dad that I got the house?”, without hesitation he said, “Oh yeah. I know it does.” YES!!

      • Omg! “Butter” — I love it!!!!

        JO–I agree with other comments here–sounds like your ex is a socio-path. I’m glad you are out of the marriage and rebuilding a life of safety and well-being for you and your kids.

    • Had her served at her workplace , factory job , where her sparkledick also worked. I have to believe that once her co workers (of the rational thinking type) found out that I had filed AND got full custody of my 2 young kids , that her lies began to surface. She lost a lot of “friends” when the curtain was pulled back exposing her for what she really was.

  • Yep, I had to file twice, FW didn’t file.

    And it was she who asked me for a divorce in the fisrt place. And it was via a whatsapp message, out of the blue. Just the most respectful and considerate way to end a 20 years marriage. I said “ok, whatever” and she pulled back, and things turned back to bussiness as usual till DDay(s).

    On a sunny sunday morning, we provisionally living cities apart during the first month of 2020’s covid lockdown, I sent her a text message with a link for a news piece about the beach we lived in front of. Her reply was a long-winded, pompous text message in which she acknowledged my usefulness as a husband appliance and my loyalty but said she needed a fresh start (she suggested I too could use a fresh start) and asked for a divorce. The kids were already big enough (8 and 6 yo, the youngest a non-verbal autistc kid) to take the blow with little fallout, she said.

    I was speechless. It was like a lightning out of a clear blue sky. I figured it could be just one of her many plays for bajulation, when she usually threatened to bail. I was so pissed off by that and so exhausted and overwhelmed by taking care of too many people at that time (kids, elderly parents, adult autistic brother) that I didn’t have the patience to reassure her of my undying love, let’s try and make this work, blah, blah, blah. I sent a sad face emoji and then “ok, whatever”. My guess was that she would take her words back as she did, with “thanks for showing me how little you love me”.

    I said later that she had to think it through if she really wanted to stay in a marriage that was making her so unhappy, and that if her decision was to leave, that she should file because I wasn’t the one wanting to end things and was very busy at the time.

    She renewed her promises to keep the family together, reassured me of her love for me and the kids, and said it was just an impulsive act, product of her declining mental health due to stress at work and the sudden loneliness. She was seeing a therapist and all was going to be well again.

    Shortly after came DDays #1 and #2. Then wreckonciliation, as I was stubbornly still breathing and sane (such a buzzkill I am!). One day her father, drunk as always, told me he wouldn’t put up with what I was putting up with, and that if I hadn’t a lawyer by the next time we talked he would call me a pussy. Unexpected, weird way of getting a really good advice! By this time I was already reading Chump Lady on a daily basis (for hours on end whenever I could) and had begun lining my ducks, since my FW’s shadiness was getting worse and worse. She took the affair further underground, just as Tracy said it could happen.

    During wreckonciliation I was in charge of cleaning after the financial and logistical mess her affair left in its wake. Massive debt, past due school tuitions for the kids piling up to several thousand dollars, health insurance for the kids also past due, kids were studying online and had lots of exams, we had to give up our rented apartment back where we used to live and she moved to the city where I work, then we had to figure out schools here, etc.
    She didn’t move a finger to solve *any* of these issues and whenever she offered a suggestion it was some delusional stupidity (like: “we don’t need to renegotiate the school debt, you just take a loan and pay it all at once”). Also, she didn’t use any of her money to clean up the mess she herself made. It was somehow *my mess* to clean up. But then, it always has been. Not the first chaos. I was a pretty experienced chaos janitor when the last storm hit.

    Then came DDay#3 – a Father’s Day! – and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was done with her. Called her parents that same night and broke the news to them. And told my FIL that I have took his advice.

    DDay#3 was so gross that even FW admitted she owed me a divorce as the leastest amend she could make for humiliating me that way.

    I committed the mistake of believing her and trying to work things out amicably from the get-go. Same lawyer (she refused to hire one), mediation, amicable divorce. It would have saved us a lot of much needed money, we would have spent US$1k or so, which I did spend to no avail.

    Shortly after, she became paranoid that the lawyer and me were scheming behind her back to unearth evidence of her unappropriate conduct at work. She said I was trying to make her lose her job to get “my revenge”. Crazy. I do know some of her enabling of the abhorrent behaviour of her AP at work (she was his boss) but nothing else. I have no idea what skeleton she has in the closet, but I am affraid of it and really don’t want to know. She began to harass the lawyer by phone and whatsapp and began to stalk her social media. The lawyer had to cease to represent both of us and blocked FW on all channels of communication. FW would yell at her. FW nicknamed her Peppa Pig and mocked her looks and weight.

    As anyone with just two functioning synapses would guess, FW’s affair wasn’t bound to be a long term success. The material she chose for AP was taken straight from the garbage can and anyone could see that (how couldn’t she?).
    He dumped her (I have strong reasons to believe she was pregnant by the time) on grounds of not playing in his league, hotness-wise (not kidding here). My son told me she was utterly humiliated and sobbed all day.

    Then she tried something stupid in front of the kids and me (it was most probably just a cry for help) and almost got committed to a psych ward. My MIL signed for her hospital discharge and the day after that she went to the forum and demanded our divorce to be halted. This was november 2020.

    I filed immediately for a litigious divorce (I don’t know if this is the english idiom for the legal term; this is a direct translation from Portuguese). It is costing me extra US$3k (I finish paying next august) atop of the wasted first thousand bucks. FW stalled things as long as she could, but ultimately ended up making a fool of herself in front of the judge with rages, insinuations, bald faced lies (promptly rebuted with documents) and trying to control my exchanges with the judge. It looked like her own lawyer was pissed off by her bigtime (she is not good at paying for things; she told me all she spent in the divorce was something short of US$400).

    Divorce was final november 2021, thank goodness! It’s good to be free from all that abuse, chaos, drama, craziness (not to mention the risk of an STD). I feel like Tuesday is within reach.

      • Thanks, Amazon Chump! Hope you’re doing well too.

        Yeah… way too much. I’m feeling like Tuesday is getting closer by the day.

        There is still some drama lurking in the background every now and then, but things seem to be deescalating now.

        Looking forward to Meh!

  • Mine dragged out because he didn’t want to give up any of “his” money. He abandoned his family via text while on a “business trip”. I filed while a mess of grief about 6 weeks later when I found his cache of “souvenirs” in the garage. 15 years worth of love letters, valentines, etc….from multiple other women. A “memory book” from one that tells of him sneaking her on base, and getting caught in his office. So much other stuff. Like you all….little things began to make sense, like why the man I married turned into a cruel stranger decades ago. So…. The lawyer I retained suggested there were benefits to filing ,a slight bit more control. The dick thought he could manipulate me into a simple divorce where we just filed the papers and it was all his, but he was in no hurry because he was having too much fun screwing everything and playing the long suffering man finally free of the “bitch”. He was FURIOUS when he was served papers. Told me I was taking away my kids college education, a selfish mom,etc…..Oh hell no! Then I assume he got his own lawyer and realized how much this divorce would actually cost him and just dragged things out as long as he could(….until he realized that the latest OWhore had money and wanted a ring on it cause she had younger kids that she was about to lose custody of. Funny his young adult kids weren’t happy for him when he got engaged while still married to me, they took offense when he spent their college money on a yet another classic car, and DD wasn’t amused when he thought he could bring a Plus One to her Catholic Church wedding while he was still married to her mom.
    The whole time we were separated he was paying the bills and my support with my own assets( my half of his MIL pension, and the greater alimony he now knew that I would be awarded if this went to court. And he couldn’t afford to go to court because all of this mess would cause him to lose his highest level security clearance( I don’t think the cheating would have caused him to lose it, but cheating with admirals wives, coworkers, not protecting his work, sneaking OW on base, lying to superiors about where he was, .and two years worth of emails from his work computer from coworker in the garage….the threat to subpoena his work credit card. He finally had to sign. I am a good person I only asked for my half. If I had known he would be married 3 weeks later, and drag out actually separating the assets, and the threat of court would have to be over his head for each and every one…..I would have gone to court and nuked the place….but I didn’t want my kids to hate me, I worried about him losing his pension, and not being able to work and pay my support. I should have done it anyway. It would have cost less in the long run. And he really is that big of an asshole. CL’s scorched earth article really hit home…..the narrative where we’re just bitter people who just want to wring every last dollar out of them and can’t move on….that’s the BS that allows them to be the horrible people that they are. Sorry for the RunOn and errors no time to proof

  • Yep I had to be the one to file for divorce. The one to find a mediator. The one to write all the paperwork. All I’d get from him is refusal to sign things.

    And when I told him I had filed for divorce (yes, this was before I found CN, I was still telling him things), here’s what he said:
    “What?!? But I haven’t decided I want a divorce!”

    The entitlement still blows my mind. It’s not up to you asshole! I want a divorce!

    He told me he deserved a wife and a mistress and he thought I’d be happy for him because he was happy.

    Talk about nothing to work with. 🤦🏼‍♀️

  • I didn’t know about CL so made some schoolboy errors initially ~~ Pick me dance. Marriage Police.
    But the cheating just went underground. And after Dday2, I realised what I was dealing with and I filed.

  • My attorney said it really didn’t matter for legal purposes. It was important to me that I do the filing, simply for what it represents in my own head. Same goes for remaining in the family home, even if I took a hit buying her out.

    • Hmmmm. My lawyer said that it would be slightly better for me if I were the plaintiff. Maybe lawyers on this site or other can weigh in on this.

      • Mine said the same thing. I think it may differ per state and circumstances.

        I had proof of financial fraud, but also my lawyer said that if he filed it would open up some abandonment issues (even in a no fault state). But the biggest plus for me was I wanted him to file because I wanted him to always know he was the one that got what he wanted, and if he filed he had to do all the leg work. He had taken all the paperwork and had always controlled the money.

        I of course would have had to file if he delayed. But, my lawyer knew his stuff. Struck as soon as he filed, and got me a kick ass temp maintenance/legal separation.

        I have no idea what happened between the lawyers or what happened in court; but I got what I wanted in the settlement.

  • Am I the lone one who went the mediation route? Ex was in honeymoon with AP, so it was really very easy. I know the common wisdom is not to do mediation with them, but FourLeaf’s point of “strike while the iron is hot” applied in my situation. He was too distracted to care and I’m extremely happy with my settlement. As much as I fantasize about having him served in front of coworkers (including AP), I know that would have enraged him and put him on the offensive which would have been bad for a settlement.

    • In my state(VA) after you file, it’s encouraged to do a formal type of mediation with a retired judge as mediator ( that’s what I did) with each party in separate rooms. If that doesn’t work then you can take it to trial, but that generally costs over 10k. Which would have been cheaper in the long run for me. Financially and emotionally.

      • That was how we did it in my state, too.. Formal mediation with a retired judge.

        She was a badass, btw, and sympathetic to my cause. In a no-fault state, I got 55% of everything. X agreed to the terms of mediation but then tried to renege on the deal. Of course.

        I refused to re-mediate the terms threaten to go to court, to have the AP deposed. I knew x would avoid that at all cost. At first I thought he wanted to protect her, and, while there may be some truth to that, I know that the FW was trying to protect his own image.

        They don’t change.

        • Oh the image management! Same in my case. AP thought my ex was divorced already, so if I had her deposed, his cover would be blown. It was wonderful leverage.

          Our process was to do the whole agreement and then file together. That went very smoothly. Now that it is final, including a clause saying it is final and cannot be brought to court, he is also trying to renege. 🙃

        • My ex cheated for the entire marriage. With men, not women. He said “I thought you knew.” And that he probably wouldn’t change. The picture could not be any more clear than that. Filed within 2 weeks of separation. I was completely blindsided and devastated.
          That was 8 months ago. 37 years in the dark of his gay in denial dungeon. But I’m out now and working on me, the codependency queen of the south. Divorce this year sometime if that works better financially for me. It’s ALL about what I want now. It IS better than it was at the beginning for sure. Thank everyone for your posts. I read them every single day.

          • I’m so, so sorry for you. You were married to a sadistic fuckwit. 37 years is a very long time. Please take the time to understand that it was never you and that there was nothing you could have done differently. I’m sure that you’ll start seeing the red flags that were always there from the beginning. It has been 7+ years and every now and then when I’m going through items around the house, or doing something in my day-to-day life, a memory surfaces and I go, “That fucker! He was cheating/lying back then!” I had to take the time to learn to like and then love myself. I hope you take that time.

            • Same here, Amazon Chump. Great comment.

              It’s been 2+ years for me since D-Day and I still get the those unwelcome memories.

              Yesterday, when I was in the process of transferring data from one phone to another, I saw a text from him that read: “I’m a betrayer by nature.” Yup.

              Southern Chump, I was married for 35 years when D-Day hit. That much history is tough to unravel. We question what was real. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It does get better. As Amazon Chump says, it wasn’t about us. ((hugs))

      • Same in GA. You can do mediation before or after filing. I chose to file before mediation because XW was acting erratically and I needed some things locked down (reasonable conduct in front of kids, temporary custody, safety of joint funds) asap.

        XW is a rule follower, so having some things on paper (e.g. during your custody time, you can’t go on an out-of-state road trip and leave the kids behind with friends) was useful. It may not be as useful to others.

        • “during your custody time, you can’t go on an out-of-state road trip and leave the kids behind with friends”- that’s a real winner. I can see why you wanted to file sooner rather than later!

  • Hiya Chumps… happy Friday… not surprising to see all our hands go up on this one… of course we had to file… the FW will enjoy their cake and triangulation and continuing refusal to “adult” for as long as we let them.

    Mr. Sparkles left me for a woman he met at the gym. It was my 3rd or 4th d-day, but the first one where he said “I’m done.” ILYBINILWY. Right away I thought to myself “she must have money.”… and I was right. BUT… he only had her on the hook, very early lovebombing days so he wasn’t pushing all his chips forward.

    I picked me danced for a year… you know, thinking that whole RIC bullshit of “for the kids”… “intact family”… “dance harder bitch”… “it’s your fault, you can fix it.”

    During that same year, I found CL and CN. I was a voyeur for almost a year on CL.com, but no surprise, once I started sharing, I started finding my voice.

    I first filed pro se – trying to save us both money. We were only married for 8 years (only, ha!) and our “joint assets” were few… I paid the deposit on the mortgage and the loan was solely in my name. I did have the foresight to get a pre-nup (we were both in our late 30’s when we married and I had a house and a 401K that I felt the need to protect – spidey sense anyone)?

    He refused to acknowledge receipt of my filing. He came over to discuss it, supposedly, but showed up with wine and our favorite movie to watch. It became clear to me he was enjoying his cake and must not have felt that he had the AP in-lock for his financial future. I offered him a minimal settlement and he rejected it. #fool

    So, I hired a lawyer, filed again and this time with the pre-nup. He contested pro se and lost. He then hired a lawyer who tried to over-turn the decision and she failed. Yay to the courts! In mediation, it was agreed that HE OWED ME MONEY… LOL… so what I had offered him in settlement to go away, he actually needed to pay me – in addition to walking away with nothing.

    Best part… the AP dumped him about 4 months before the divorce was final… funny thing, he was cheating on her (Ashley Madison – I love your hackers!). He left in 2014, divorce final December 2016.

    If you’re on the fence about filing… just go see an attorney or two… learn your options (you do have them)… it did cost me $7K in the end (cheap by most standards, having the pre-nup approved was key)… but still the best money I’ve ever spent.

    You can do this, Chump. It sucks, but it’s empowering and you will start to feel your mightiness!

  • I filed first. I started my attorney search in early December 2021 after encouragement from this board. FW had moved out 11/1/21.

    FW signed/notarized all papers that i gave him from my attorney in January. We had a postnup, 2 year marriage, no debt and no kids. I paid for the whole divorce and asked for nothing. Divorce was uncontested.

    Records online showed judge signed the decree on 2/10/22. I may be divorced but my attorney is waiting for the snail mail copies to arrive at her office (the weather is not helping the USPS). Apparently, courts/judges can make mistakes, i.e., leaving off a signature somewhere. I am hopeful my attorney notifies me today that the paperwork is ok.

  • ME …. of course!! I told him since it was 100% on him why we were going to divorce, it made sense for him to go file. He told me that he could NOT be the one to file because he……(drum roll) DIDN’T HAVE GROUNDS’. COWARD!

    Divorce was still a living HELL, and for the first time in 32 yrs of marriage I saw who he really was!! I got to discard him and 6 yrs later … there are no regrets. COWARD!

  • My Mr Sensitive (about himself) insisted on writing up our papers on our wedding anniversary, and then he wanted to do the actual filing (we had to wait 1 yr) right before Xmas. He couldn’t end it fast enough. Schmoopie left her H for him and they had plans!

  • It hasn’t ended yet but I will have to file. When he told me he wanted us to break up, he wouldn’t even use the word “divorce.” Because he is a timid forest creature.

    I don’t mind filing. I will have more control over timing, get my rebuttals (if needed), and it has given me enough time to line up the ducks. If he doesn’t like it, he can get off his ass and file any old time he wants. But he won’t. My gut tells me he wants to down the road tell our child that it’s Momma’s fault there was a divorce because he didn’t file. He only threatened to more than once when he didn’t get his way. The last time, I shut that down. The last time I stood up to him and said if he wants to file, go on ahead. It is not a threat to me. But still he didn’t but at least it stopped him threatening it and feeling powerful about it. I think after that last time he figured it out; I’m not afraid of divorce any more at all. I know I will find my way without him just fine AND I got a lot of good advice and know it will cost him a lot. He doesn’t want to share the house, 401k accounts, pension, etc. He likes the control. He will spit nails when he loses it.

  • I am so proud of myself for filing and never backing down. The day the divorce came through was the happiest of my life! BTW, it was a Tuesday!

  • He filed ,not me. I left 20 months earlier but he was in sex addiction counseling and I hoped he would open his eyes and heart. We had started marriage counseling months earlier. During this time he had joined a singles mert ip group and told neither counselor or me. When that came out, he was told to quit. He cried every session saying the meet up made him feel alive but our required dates were “no fun.” He finally asked me in counseling if I wanted a divorce and since the counselor had told me earlier that we werent going to make it, I said yes. He claimed to not want one but was doing it for me. I was devastated. Our counselor praised him for filing insread of making me fo it. I left all my power in the counselor’s and his hands. He was back at mert up and on dating sites immediately. If I had filed, it would have felt different. I have felt like garbage…easily replaced after 35 years of marrige. In filing first, I could have felt powerful for standing up for myself.

    • Don’t beat yourself up. You were under the influence of hopium aided and abetted by two forms of counseling that is not designed to support you. You have your life now, and that’s the most important way to take back your power.

  • I filed but only after nearly a year of co-habitation in our marital home (while he “worked” on getting it ready to sell, ha) and a truly traumatizing wreck-conciliation period. He was completely checked out, but not taking any steps to legally end the marriage. Misguided friends told me that meant he really didn’t want to divorce, etc., and that I should try to make it work, etc. With friends like this,…..

    No, as it turns out, he was “already divorced in his mind” and so why bother with boring paperwork, etc. Trauma-bonded, I tried so hard to make it work, especially for the sake of my child who was still in school at the time, but living with him after DDay nearly destroyed me. I still don’t recognize the person I became during those dark days. He made my life so miserable, and after one especially abusive and traumatizing episode, I moved out and filed for divorce all in the same month. The “cooperative” divorce brought out his ugly episodes of rage whenever I dared to question any of his delusional terms. I got a decent settlement but settled for less financially than I should have, just to be done with it.

  • Of course I filed. I knew he wouldn’t do it. He never does anything that requires figuring out how to do something new and acting on it. He was supposed to do the paperwork to get my name off of “our” house and still hasn’t done it over ten years after the divorce was final. (I consulted my attorney and there is no downside for me in my particular circumstances so I’m leaving it alone) I wonder if his new wife knows that I still own half the house?

    I have a friend who refused to file for religious reasons even though her cheating husband was living in a different city with the other woman. She waited for years. I think she eventually filed anyway.

  • Yep! I interviewed 4 lawyers, hired one, and had FW served one week after hearing of the affair. I’m not one to defend that lying cheater, but I really have no way of knowing if he would have done it promptly because I acted so quickly.

    When he received the papers, he texted, “Thank you.” His comment was dripping with sarcasm. He followed that with a complaint that I’d wasted money by having him served. Guess we could have gone together…or something like that. “Whatever. You don’t get to call the shots anymore.”

    It’s almost comical that he would criticize how I was going about divorcing his ass. Old habits die hard, I guess.

    So glad to be free of that toxic FW.

    • “You don’t get to call the shots anymore.”

      Yep mine was I am sure surprised when he realized he had lost control the moment he filed. He would have either way as the law is the law. But, I feel certain he thought he would control me and the law.

      The fact that he had hired a sad sack trailer park lawyer helped too. He still got most of the assets, but he also had to pay off some substantial debt.

      I walked away debt free, with a small apartment sized house, and because we were legally separated for a year with him paying all the costs; I was able to save quite a bit of money. That part was to pay me back for some of the money he spent on whores. The small house was to buy me out of his retirement.

  • Of course I had to file for divorce and even though FW’s exit line was “a divorce wouldn’t be so bad” he dragged his feet the whole way, 3 years! He wanted to file ourselves online, because it would be “cheaper”. After the asshat blindsided me I wanted a cheap divorce about as much as cheap day old sushi or cheap heart surgery. I had no money and I was terrified but I took a loan out and I retained an attorney. He got served on his birthday 🎂 (that’s what he wanted , right?). It was scary and heartbreaking but empowering. He still dragged his feet the whole way, but I finally got what was mine. It’s only been 6 months but what a relief!

    • FTS

      “I wanted a cheap divorce about as much as cheap day old sushi or cheap heart surgery”. That is classic. I wish I had used that line back then. LOL

      After X suggested that, as well as permanent separation HELL TO THAT NO, he ended up spending a forturne on an atty to fight me over spousal support. I will only say divorcing him was a living HELL. It was scary and heartbreaking but empowering. Sucks to be him now!!

      Peace

    • “He wanted to file ourselves online, because it would be “cheaper”. After the asshat blindsided me I wanted a cheap divorce about as much as cheap day old sushi or cheap heart surgery.”

      Fuckers. My fw said, “I know you have no reason to trust me, but if we both use my (his) lawyer we can save a lot of money.” What he obviously wanted was complete control of the process. No thanks.

      • Yep. Mine wanted to save a lot of money, too, and just having one lawyer was one way to do it. Unfortunately for him, I’d already seen one, and I wasn’t about to let “one lawyer” be his. He tried to dictate terms to me, but I went with what the lawyer told me I was legally entitled to. It bothered him no end that he couldn’t call the shots.

  • I remember the day X was served. I arranged it when he was home and was working in the office. Beautiful, spring morning, he answered the doorbell. They handed him the folder and after he saw what it was (no warning I had filed and hired an attorney) he threw the envelope down on the table at me and said “THIS is what YOU wanted and did”. YEP, that is the consequences of your shitty behavior for 32 yrs.

    Savage Burn, still lmao when I think about it!

  • My XH filed for divorce – saying he was having a midlife crisis and denying the existence of OW. I was one of the blindsided cases: a “tsunami divorce” with a “runaway husband”. Within the span of 18 hours, I went from happily married to abandoned. He filed for divorce quickly – serving me with papers the day before my birthday as I was leaving for a 2 week international trip with my best friend (he was supposed to go with me, and even registered to run a marathon at this destination).

    He quickly pushed to have our home listed with a realtor. The house took about 8 months to sell. He became greedy and refused to pay the landscaper or utilities after we both left the home. Refused to remove his remaining items from the home even after I moved out. During this time, I heard there was “trouble in paradise” with the schmoopie. They managed to pull it together and were engaged within a year of our 2 month divorce. They have been married for almost 7 years and have a 3 year old (he’s 50 with a 9 year younger schmoopie). The last day I saw him was the day he had me served – after 17 years of marriage.

    It happened so fast that it was tremendously difficult to process.

  • I waited on pins and needles for the other shoe to drop but I’ll be damned if I was the one that was going to file.
    I put my life on hold waiting for the day I would be served. He ended our personal relationship, it was up to him to end the legal one. In some ways it kept me stuck but I discovered by letting him file it was the best decision I ever made. It helped me heal.
    In the filing, the personal data sheet, I discovered something that could not be denied. He provided this information to his lawyer. My middle name was spelled incorrectly, the month/day/year I was born were wrong (made me younger-nice!), the date and year we were married was incorrect. After 15 years, he still got it all wrong. That was an incredible epiphany, I never mattered, I was cake to him. It was a mirage and even more so, he couldn’t even google it to provide the correct information.
    I was stunned at how, in black and white stood the real man I had been married to all along. Hopium- poof, dissonance- poof. I stared at the proof that I could not deny. Less than 30 days later I was able to reconcile my life with him and forgive myself for having made such a mistake. It was never me, it truly was him and now it can never be denied. I truly believe that’s why they want us to file and so many of us do. That way you won’t see the mask of who they really are fully removed and the glaring truth staring back at you from an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. I let it stand and the divorce is filed.
    I hang that paper on my fridge so I can remind myself every single day that it wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t me. It was him all along, I forgive myself for not being able to imagine what a person like him was and is capable of doing.
    I’m finally free from it all

  • Ex stopped coming home on New Year’s Eve 2009. Oh I knew he was sneaking into the house when I went to work as he came to change clothes, but other than that he just disappeared off the face of the earth. Mid-February 2010 he came home with my sons – who he had already introduced to the skank and put them in the difficult position of having to keep his secrets – and told me I would shortly be receiving divorce papers. THANK GOD is all I could think at that point, but I played it low key and HE walked out of there crying! By mid-July I still hadn’t received any divorce papers and since he and skank would have playground spats about every two weeks and he would move back home (although not into my bed) because “it’s still my house”, I had had enough and had him served at work (United Nations anyone!!!) because I didn’t know where the skank lived. Three weeks later we had to meet up at the bank to separate our accounts and he started talking about not wanting to “throw away everything we’d worked so hard for” over 26 years. I told him I didn’t throw it away, he did, and if he had any idea he could come back to me he was delusional – he could beat someone else up every week from now on! I think what really pushed me was the fear that if he got YET ANOTHER DUI (he did) and killed someone my kids and I would lose our home and everything else we owned because he was a drunken asshole. So I filed, ended up paying his lawyer too (although I didn’t have to – he just had no money) and I’ve been FW-free for over 10 years now. There was one lady on here a few years ago who had her FW served in his hotel room while he was with the skank he thought she didn’t know about – as far as I’m concerned she will forever wear the crown!

  • Yes, I had to file. You know how they say, “In death as in life”? Well, with my husband it was “in divorce as he was in marriage.” True to form, my now-ex was not interested in doing the work of the divorce, only in the division of assets, and protecting his retirement account.

    When it became clear to me that divorce was going to be my option, I went stealth and saw a lawyer, as I wanted to know my rights under the law and information about the process. Once I announced I wanted to divorce, he was convinced mediation would allow us to avoid lawyers. Because of my research, I knew this wasn’t true, which I told him, but of course he knew better than me. I knew he was going to have to hear it from someone besides me, so I agreed to an exploratory meeting with a mediator just to placate him. The mediator, of course, soon set him straight about the process.

    When the mediator said mediation didn’t replace a lawyer but supplemented one, and that a lawyer would have to be hired in order to file the paperwork after any mediation, which in any case it didn’t seem we needed as we were essentially in agreement about the property settlement, his mask came off. He snottily informed the mediator that if we had to hire a lawyer anyway, and “she” (meaning me) was the one to hire a lawyer, the lawyer would be working for me, and not only didn’t he trust me to “act honorably,” he didn’t think he should have to pay the fee.

    At that point, I looked at him from across the table, and said, “Do you want a divorce or not? Because if you do, then we have to have at least one lawyer. If you don’t trust me, you can always hire a lawyer to review the property settlement before you sign it. That’s what I would do if you were the one to hire the lawyer. But I am not getting a divorce without having a lawyer working for me, so you can either go with me having the lawyer, and we split the fee, or me having a lawyer and you hiring a lawyer only to review the property, in which case we’ll also split the fees, or you can hire your own lawyer, I’ll have mine, and we can each pay our own lawyers separately.”

    But because of my then-husband’s groundless and uninformed fears that if we each got a lawyer I would go after him tooth and nail, he agreed to just one lawyer, whom I hired and who was therefore working for me. I filled out all the paperwork and provided all the financial information, and had all the communication with the lawyer. I also asked my then-husband not to attend the court hearing, and although he made sad sausage noises about “being present for an important day in my life” he agreed to stay away.

  • Great poll-I’ve wondered about this myself!

    I have 2 close girlfriends who were cheated on the same time I was and all 3 of us filed for divorce while the shit stains we were married to couldn’t be bothered.

    I even had to orchestrate the refi for our house so I could get bought out!

    It basically summed up the marriage:

    If I wanted it-I had to make it happen.

    If he wanted it-he made it happen.

    It took 3 years for the divorce to go through because he didn’t want to give me half of everything-which in our state is required by law.

    I’m so grateful it’s over and I have my own life 💝.

    • I’m grateful I will be filing. In my state, there is a calculator used to determine temporary support until the divorce is finalized. Spousal support will almost certainly be awarded but the duration will be limited unless klootzak agrees to make it permanent – which I am certain he won’t. I mainly want spousal support kept in place long enough until my child is off to college. The calculator sets the temporary support quite high and every month I can keep that in place is one less month I need to worry about having spousal support last in the final decree. So if the process takes a long time, I have no complaints about it. Since I bred with a FW, I won’t truly be free of him on divorce day, anyway. He would likely be better off filing and getting rid of me faster. My state is an equitable distribution state so while 50/50 is likely, it is not guaranteed. He will fight it tooth and nail but I’m willing to be patient and pay the attorney to get a fair outcome. Klootzak will drag it out on his own and I will file my nails and let him. I already did the math. I know where the bodies are buried. I’ll subpoena some APs and take it to trial if he doesn’t play ball. I know he would be terrified of all this playing out in open court. If he takes 3 years, it only benefits me because my house payments will go toward the current mortgage paying off the principal faster than it will when I refi after the divorce. I would love him to do me the favor of dragging it out!

  • My FW wife filed first.

    Shortly before COVID, I discovered that she had been cheating since 2018. FW was enraged at being found out and blameshifted from the get go. She often got drunk and violent.

    Throughout 2020, after a short-lived pick-me-dance, I pressed FW for mediation and a child custody evaluation. She resisted at every turn—angrily accusing me of “giving up on our family.”

    In December 2020, she finally relented and agreed to an “initial mediation consult.” She promptly blew that process up.

    In January 2021, at age 50, I suffered a sudden and unexpected stroke (no doubt due to chronic FW-created stress, as I’d been in excellent health prior to D-Day). When I rebuffed FW’s dramatic pleas to use the stroke as “an opportunity for us to start over,” she became violent again.

    A month later, when it was clear that I would not be going back to work for quite a while, and would need physical and occupational therapy, my FW secretly filed for divorce.

    As many here have noted already, it’s astounding how these FWs fail to appreciate that a divorce (especially when minor children are in the picture) requires actual effort and resources. After my FW filed, for example, she threw an unbelievable temper tantrum in front of our children and me when she learned that I had actually engaged a lawyer and paid his retainer with marital funds.

    The sense of entitlement and lack of empathy are mind-blowing (literally in my case).

  • Yes. He announced his affair, then packed up his clothes and moved in with her. After 40 years of marriage.

    He said, “Send me the paperwork, I’ll sign it.” I said, “I want the house, half the retirement accounts and alimony.” He said, “You’re not getting all that.” and walked out. That was the last time I saw him except through zoom at the final court date.

    I couldn’t file the divorce because the courts were closed during COVID. Several months later they reopened and my attorney filed. Luckily she didn’t fall for the “send the paperwork and I’ll sign it” line. This wasn’t her first rodeo.

    He did not return his paperwork for weeks and weeks. Finally, he hired an attorney and his paperwork arrived. He knew very little about his finances because I had always handled everything except his payday beer and gas transactions. Think pouty seventh grader.

    He didn’t agree to anything in the paperwork so my attorney kept on track and we finally had to sit before the judge several months later. He was his usual pouty, demanding self but the judge wasn’t buying his “poor me” line. It was so super scary for me. But, I got what I asked for – my half of everything. He was livid. But, that’s okay. maybe schmoopie suck his widdle…………

    The trash took itself out, in CL language.

    • tallgrass-our judge didn’t by my ex’s “poor me” shtick either!

      I wasn’t asking for child support since we had 50/50 custody-but she demanded that he pay me child support each month.

      It felt so validating that the judge wasn’t fooled by him!

      • Yes, strongernow – I agree. I feel like our judges and attorneys must be getting more education on how to spot these losers. And that child support? – yes, for your children. Good for you! I bet I could drive up to your house today and you could show me every nickle of that money goes to raise those children. We are so chumpy!

        Sometimes on a bad day, I will think back to that zoom court day and it gives me strength to know three very intelligent people in the room (judge and both attorneys) saw him as an idiot. He had fully convinced me he was smarter than everyone else, the rules didn’t apply to his specialness, etc. for so many years. And I was the cum laude college graduate. He hadn’t learned anything new since high school. But, woah did we all have to be perfectly silent and not interrupt during his long rambling monologues of wisdom………ugh. ugh. So glad to be free of him now.

        • I think too many times women give in to unfair settlements just to get out of the mess, and I understand that; but a good lawyer/judge should not allow that if they can avoid it.

          I think children should always get whatever child support they are due. If mom or dad don’t need it, save it for their college.

    • I love how FWs think they can dictate what you are entitled to. I don’t want to bother with mediation, TBH, because I would not settle for less than half of all our assets. Why would I? He could threaten to fight for full custody of our child but again, courts in my state are loathe to cut a parent out unless there is evidence of one parent having some serious abuse allegations. And with klootzak’s weird job and desire to chase ladies nonstop, more time parenting is definitely not what he wants. Judges are catching on to their shenanigans. I would take my case straight to trial, if I could. Would be happy to. It works to my benefit for the process to take longer, though, so I will play nicely and let him waste time without a fuss. In the end, he can stomp his foot and be angry about it.

      • The ex said to me during our last meeting ‘I know what I’m in for’ with a smirk. That was the moment I fell out of love with him. I zoned in on his face and thought ‘mr property lawyer, you think you are so clever, so handsome, so fit, so sophisticated, so urbane, so charming’. You are, in fact, a vulgar coward, dull, with no personality unless it comes out of a bottle.’ I stayed calm, cried about the injustice and fight with those who love me, and pressed on until I got what I needed to survive (62 now, 60 then, no kids and a difficult FOO). Afterword: Mr I Know What I’m In For did not make one single offer during the course of the proceedings which he dragged out for as long as possible citing every excuse under the sun to create delay and forcing me to issue proceedings at every turn, costing me a fortune in legal fees. That made staying out of love with him much easier. I’d hazard a guess that he used the long distance exgfOW just as much as he used me, and that the real focus of his attention was a young fool at the fashion house he worked for.

  • My XH informed me that he had “spoke” to an attorney to see what his options were. I think he used the same attorney his girlfriend had used in at least one of her divorces. I didn’t wait. I went ahead and filed and sent the petition to his place of work so all would see.

  • The fact that so many chumps have to file first seems boggling, but the fact is, these cheaters are all about cake. It’s just another level of trauma that the person who does everything they can to destroy the marriage refuses to file and drags out the divorce process as long as possible, while the person who did everything they could to save the marriage has to be the one to file. At the end of the day, most cheaters don’t want to be divorced. They want to have their APs on the side but the faithful spouse at home taking care of the family and keeping the cheater’s shiny public imagine intact. I filed first after giving ex numerous second chances at his request, then withdrew after giving yet another chance, then filed a second time after he said he could no longer be married to me (citing all my terrible qualities of course.) I filed a few days later when I found he was in another state with the married AP. Of course, it took my attorney 3 weeks to serve him, a year to get his financial discovery and at one point, ex’s atty contacted my atty asking me if I could provide contact info for ex, because ex wasn’t calling his own atty back. In the meantime, my three years long dragged out divorce cost me $30K in legal fees. And the rest of the non-chumped world wonders why I don’t want to be bff’s with my ex “for the children.”

  • December 17, 2014, the adulterer read to me a very long letter stating he wanted a divorce, because “I want to be with someone who trusts me 100% and you can’t give me what I want — trust”. So, what does the adulterer do? Absolutely fxcking nothing! I know he was doing the smear campaign behind my back during this time, but filing for the divorce? Nope! Thankfully I had lots of wise family and friends who came in to help and they told me to file in order to financially protect myself. SO, I DIVORCED HIM! I divorced a cheater and am gaining a life free from mind fxcking (gaslighting), constant lies and of course constant different sorts of cheating (emotional, porn and ho-workers).

  • I filed first – it was very liberating and powerful for me. I had small experiences of standing up for myself in the 2 years prior. The divorce filing was my big, mighty statement and action that said “I am done with you. I am done with being lied to and abused.”

  • Im curious about the phrase “ask for a divorce.” I still hear this a lot & it pains me. After learning how to stand up for myself, I now realize that a chump does not have to “ask” their cheating spouse for anything. The cheater isn’t reliable, doesn’t live up to agreements, hides the truth, and future fakes.
    Did that phrase come from the legal language of entering the “petition” for dissolution of marriage?
    If so, yes, I petitioned the court, I did not condescend to ask the cheater for a divorce!

    • I informed my ex “ I want a Divorce!” After yet another futile round of his lying and gaslighting . He had a devastated look . A divorce was not truly a want but a need. I’d fought like hell through two “known cheats” deception , lies and other things through 20 years marriage. Fighting to save our marriage. Reading “ No One Knew” Renee Oliver having been divorced four years, and so much rings the same. We get so caught up feeling worthless and trying to prove up everything. It takes courage to end it and get out. Hurrah for those who courageously got out!

  • I filed the day the separation requirement was met. Also that day I was made redundant from my job.
    Escape from two non-ideal situations! Now I have a better job and freedom from FW! life is improved.

  • OMG of course I had to file first. I took care of the household, paid the bills, took the kids to daycare, and participated in school activities. What’s one more thing to manage?

    He didn’t want to leave a comfortable situation where he could blame his alcoholism on a deprived childhood and his cheating on his alcoholism with a smattering of ‘you’re always tired.’

    • This exactly. Just another thing that went on my list (I think his list is just ‘complain’ ‘buy myself something shiny’ and ‘chat up students’)

  • Does he miss my home made potato salad and fried chicken , multitudes of memories and milestones ? Does he still regard his newbie younger one a trade up . Maybe since they can most likely just buy things. “Shrugs shoulders” it feels so grand to toss the heartache and guessing and knowing of multiple cheats by him all the emails , calls and love pukey love poetry to ow. Since he had brow beat me off the bank account I had little money so initially filed paperwork myself .Not only did he kick me off health and life insurance , he made it to where employer did not notify about cobra . Then he proved he was not going to be decent on divisions so I got an attorney and although a flunky one , got it done. I still did the research to know how all should be done on division of assets. I’m so glad it is done , I skipped a trial do to funds and clunky lawyer but I can be ok with it ended . I’ve already started rebuilding!

  • I had to do it. Left it a couple of months after he dumped me by letter and made no moves to leave house or do anything. I was speaking to a coach as I was terrified of being a single mom (bad experience of being raised by one who turned to drink. Though I understand her a lot better now) and said ‘I will hate him forever if he leaves me and then makes me organise my own abandonment’. But she said – thankfully – get out ahead and get it done. So I did. Took a year and a month during the pandemic. He still looks better off than me. He has bought a home and is being Dad of the year. And I am still recovering. Come here to remind myself he sucks and I am mighty whatever it may look like to others.

    • Chumpsuit, he just looks better off than you. He LOOKS like dad of the year. Doesn’t mean he is!

      My ex also looks like “dad of the year.” You’d never guess how much time he spends at strip clubs…

      You divorced a FW during a pandemic. You are mighty.

  • It was so insanely insulting to have to do everything myself for the divorce. He dropped a bomb on me that he had never loved me, he hated my guts and had the entire marriage, and he had been fantasizing about murdering me for years. He had always planned on leaving me once our son was an adult. This was around 6 PM, at 2 PM that same day he had been sending me text messages about how he loved me and couldn’t wait to get home.

    I was in shock. My ex thought we should live together until our lease was up in March. He dropped this on me in July. He couldn’t understand why I wanted him out. I didn’t get him out until the end of September. I slept with a gun. (I have my CCW and I carried.) My lawyer wanted me to call the police and have him arrested but I was afraid he’d escalate and really kill me then. He’s a psychopath. I know that now. I had to make deals with him. I had to pack all of his things. He actually thought my lawyer was OUR lawyer because he thought I had gotten him a lawyer during all this. It was horrible, reeling shock through the entire experience. I vomited daily. I lost 30 pounds in 3 weeks and I’m not a heavy woman. I started force feeding peanut butter because I was afraid I was going to die.

    And he was happy as a clam through it. Trying to small talk me when he got home from work and getting upset when I just stared at him blankly in shock. Calling his OW our son’s age on speaker phone and chatting with her so I could hear it. Smiling at me and talking about how he wasted my youth and oh, sorry about that! and then laughing at me.

    One friend saw his behavior. He was in the living room on the couch and my ex couldn’t see him when he came in the kitchen and started up his shit. When he finally saw our friend, his face changed and his behavior changed, he put on a mask. That is the only friend I got to keep. Nobody else believes me. Not about any of it. Not even my own sister. Well, my son saw it and was disgusted but it’s still his father and I understand that. He does believe me but I don’t expect him to cut off his father.

    It was so insulting to get dumped so brutally and still have to do everything. And everyone we knew seemed to think that was fine. They blamed me for the end of the marriage because I’m the one who filed. What’s my problem? I wanted this. I filed for divorce. Why am I upset when I’m the one who did this? I can’t forgive any of them for that. It was beyond cruel. They’re all dead to me.

    • OMG KatiePig,
      I’m am so glad you are rid of that psycho. He sounds extremely toxic and scary. That’s so hard that people don’t believe you. I do and all of CN does. It’s horrible when you don’t feel believed and the gaslighting world worked for these fuckwits. You need to find a new world of better friends- they are out there I promise. You are seriously mighty!

    • The people not believing is the side Oder of shit that is served with the shit sandwich. So very frustrating. I am a a muscular man and my FW is petite. We are from the north living in the south. Many people bought hook line and sinker what FW told them. All the lies of how hard she had it. Even though now the proof is out about how my “sweet” STBXW cheated so many still believe it is me. After all the free medical treatment and financial assistance I gave so many of them. She had affairs on church property yet I’m bad. Amazing how so many of her church going women friends look past her actions

      • “Amazing how so many of her church going women friends look past her actions”.

        Well… many archbishops have looked past widespread child abuse within church’s walls… what to expect from the “faithful”?

        The devil can quote the scriptures for his own purposes…

        Didn’t Dante put some Popes on his literary depiction of hell? And how many bad people and outright monsters were catholics through history?

        These people who lend their ears to your FW STBXW are people with “itching ears”, to quote Saint Paul. It’s not on you, my friend, fuckwits are just everywhere.

        If I recall correctly, Pope Francis depicted the church as a campaign hospital, not a place for just the perfectly healthy. I just wished the church was more merciful to innocent victims than it has been to perpetrators. Fortunately, it seems to be going this way now. Long way to go though, imo. To the best of my knowledge, its founder was purportedly the most innocent of victims and was betrayed by one of his closest ones as well.

        • Since I was a young child I was taught that church was a hospital for sinners, not a sanctuary for saints. I still believe it.

          Christians are all a work in progress (or should be). Just like any group trying to be better.

          Of course there are many folks attending church who aren’t really Christian, but my hope is if they keep attending, maybe they will be. I don’t try to figure out who is who, that is above my pay grade.

  • Yes, He even sent me and email to tell me that our legal 1 year date of separation was almost coming up (in the state of North Carolina) and if I was going to file divorce soon; he’s be available to help sign anything that is need (oh how helpful of him).

    • Ohmigosh I got am email just like that – without offer of availability to sign. My lawyer drew up the docs of course – she was my friend’s sister and gave me a discount 😆. FW grudgingly paid half the lodgement fee.

  • In my country you have to be separated for 2 years then you can file for a dissolution of marriage. He did nothing in those 2 years to help get a financial or child support settlement- I had to push him constantly to engage. We ultimately ended up in property mediation and he was very concerned that I wasn’t going to sign the dissolution papers. He kept telling his lawyer that I was resistant to signing them so I got little reminder letters from the lawyer. My lawyer would respond back and say that FKA will sign the papers as soon as the FW provides the disclosures we’ve requested. So in his mind I wasn’t signing but we were just using it for leverage. Once we got a property agreement in place, I signed and he still hasn’t! Now he’s holding that up too. 🙄

  • My STBXW did file first. She tried to get away without adultery being listed as reason for divorce.
    When she filed she had only admitted to, and all I knew about was a phone affair that occurred 2 years earlier. It “wasn’t physical” and I believed it because I was so shocked and devastated. She put the blame on me “not being nice” and I bought it because said she was depressed and I was doing the pick me dance because I loved my wife. She was my life. I believed her and was blindsided. She took advantage of me and hoped I would go along with irreconcilable differences.
    My buddy and others pointed out that she had changed over the last 6 years and that her behavior was one of a cheater. They forced me to look and then I found plenty of evidence. Ends up she was planning to leave and spent the last 6 years telling her friends I was abusing her verbally, emotionally and psychologically. She was/is a serial cheater who has been carrying on affairs since 2015. I thought her decrease in intimacy and change in behavior towards me was do to menopause. Now I know it was because of cheating.
    She filed first so adultery would not be the reason listed. Unfortunately STBXW’s attorney forgot to serve us so my lawyer filed with reason being Adultery and that is the filing of record. Now she is slow walking it to bleed me of money.

  • Married 32 years, perceived as the perfect family…. not easy, but after years of suspicions and finally a real awakening, then reading LACGAL and many archives, I followed the advice given. After quietly playing detective for 1.5 years and lawyering up, I surprised my STBX with separation papers. In the 3 months prior to the separation and property settlement agreement, I had finally confronted him, telling him we could work on whatever. He denied ever cheating on me, saying he couldn’t believe I didn’t trust him and that I would risk ruining his reputation. He kept asking what proof I had, saying he was sure there was a logical explanation for whatever it was. Upon my lawyer’s instructions, I never let him know what I had. He would have just tried to explain away everything as nonsense and confuse me. After confrontation, he was very hateful, threatening to tell our grown children how awful I was, and did say he hadn’t been happy for a long time. I know he was looking at rental homes and property. He was also spending down our money like crazy. During this time, he was already putting out the narrative that I was crazy to his friends and family. I even had a near “accident” with him that scared me a lot. So, I enlightened the grown children who quickly supported me and sadly knew their dad has always been “weird” and was not a “normal” dad or husband. Then I finally presented the separation papers. I don’t think he ever thought I would give up my marriage, our family, or our beautiful home. Until this time he had been trying to scare me into dropping my suspicions. After the papers were given, he turned on the charm for the first time. Thanks to CL, I knew about DARVO and didn’t budge. When he realized that I wasn’t changing my mind, he continued to say things like-ok, just know I don’t want this, you are the one destroying our family, this is all your doing. He consulted an attorney, but never hired one- just signed my agreement. That makes me think the lawyer told him that if he had ever done anything, he might as well take my decent settlement. We live in a no fault state. He could’ve pushed for some things. He moved out and I prepared our home for sell by myself with the help of children and friends. This was extremely sad and difficult for me. It sold quickly. I now have a new home, we are NC except for him wanting info that involves money- like tax deductions, etc. Sometimes I wonder if he has pulled off his narrative that he is such a great guy and has no idea why I wanted to separate and that I’m crazy. However, I still believe that deep down, even his supporters know that I would have never ended our marriage and given up the life I knew, without very good reason. Our year long separation will be up before long and I guess divorce is next. He has never come begging me to work it out. It will be so sad- I never thought I would be in this situation. Although I have been strong, I have a long way to go before Tuesday. Thanks, CL and others, for giving me wisdom and courage.

    • Big hugs to you and glad he signed off without a fight. I don’t think any chump ever imagines being in this situation. I thought I would be married for life. Then after my second D-day while we were in counseling, klootzak said something about taking the long view and how we would not even think of this hard time on our 50th wedding anniversary. As he said this, all I could think was how I had zero trust in him and couldn’t imagine waking up next to such a cheating liar for so many years. I felt a knot in my stomach like I just realized I was in a prison of my own making. I had to push the thought from my mind. We were married 7 years at that point. And yet I believed so strongly in staying married and fixing and spackling that I tried to ignore my own gut. I remember the D-day when I was 7 months pregnant, finally accepting that there was going to be a divorce. Trying to map out a path to escape. Then having a babysitter who cared for my toddler witness klootzak’s behavior and bravely talk to me about it – the control, the gaslighting – and share with me books about narcissism, which I read and saw klootzak perfectly described in the pages. The realization of the need for gray rock, no contact. It took years for my brain to go from absorbing that I had to divorce this nut to realizing it was imperative that I do so and then planning escape and taking action.

      I never thought I would be divorced. I never imagined being the one to file if I was. But here I am, ducks almost all lined up, waiting on a hair trigger to file and serve him. Staying with this madness is not acceptable to me.

  • OMG yes! He wanted it. He wanted to leave. But I had to say the actual words, at each step of the process. He would hem and haw and dance around. I had to say, “you are saying it’s over,” “You are saying you are moving out,” “you are saying your want a divorce,” “you are saying she’s moving in with you,” then he’d say yes…as if it was my idea and as if it was mutual. I didn’t (at the time) want any of those things…but I had to push it along and speak the actual words that he wouldn’t speak. He even wanted us to tell our son it was mutual, I refused. And this divorce that he wanted, took over two years because he drug it out as long as he could. I had to be constantly calling and texting and pushing him along just to get it done with. THEN, on the final draft that was being submitted to the court, when I went to sign it (after he signed it), I noticed pages where he “forgot to sign” etc…. Why do they do this? It took forever and to this day I am convinced the only reason we aren’t STILL married (while he lives a whole other life) is because I made it all happen. I swear he tells himself that it was mutual, just because I was eager to get it done.

  • He filed. We actually used the same attorney since no young kids involved I pretty much took everything. We were supposed to split everything. He took things he gave me as gifts and gave to OW. I had to do the paperwork to get half his pension but that’s ok. He then married the OW. And I live happily ever after!!

  • I filed after FW rehired AP. I had been hopeful that he was doing 12 steps for his pill addiction; I hopium believed that was the reason for cheating. Plus, we had been pretty happy for 34 years, last 2 sucked, of course lost costs and all. I had felt guilty about the ‘sickness and in health’ part of the vows. When he brought her back in office and said he needed her to work there, I was done. Fortunately, I had been reading LACGAL, had been moving money, gotten CC, ran credit report, & had consulted attorney. I dropped his clothes in office. I still believe he thought he was going to come and go as he pleased. He was served at the office, I was told by another employee he was pretty upset. Wish I could’ve seen his face.

    Of course he dragged his feet, I had to spend money on subpoenas for bank records and motions. Took 2.5 years. He’s 63 and she (30) is 6 years younger than our oldest daughter, 🤮 His own lawyer told him you don’t have time to recoup what you’re going to lose and this girl isn’t going to be around to wipe your a$$ in 10 years. Yay‼️ Neither am I

    When I had to see him for the orders, I said you cost me time & money, he says how did I do that? Then says it was because he didn’t know how to do what was required.🙄.

    I was petrified to file, so afraid I’d make a costly mistake. It would’ve been a bigger mistake if I hadn’t. He’s a mess. She’s already had him sign 1/2 proceeds from sale of commercial property to her. Hope IRS does a CLAWBACK.

    • “His own lawyer told him you don’t have time to recoup what you’re going to lose and this girl isn’t going to be around to wipe your a$$ in 10 years. Yay‼ Neither am I”

      And right there is the real win for you, you won’t be around to do it.

  • I was sitting in front of the attorney’s office when they arrived the next morning after D-day and filed ASAP. I also consulted with every junkyard dog attorney in my area which blocked the cheater from using them. Then I locked every account I could and changed my beneficiaries to just my kids on everything. It’s better to be given the title “petitioner” as apposed to “respondent”

    • Oh my FW was so angry when I changed the beneficiaries! He said “Are you trying to cheat me out of what I deserve?’ Ha! Hell yes! I said, “I am protecting my childrens’ inheritance” and he replied, “I’ll divorce you!”……but he didn’t.

  • After months of enduring his half assed apologies and begging for reconciliation, half assed attendence to therapy (which he lied and lied and lied his way through), secret visits with Schmoopie and burner phones, I finally realized that my marriage was dead.

    I was trying to be the good Christian who believed in reconciliation and the forgiveness of sins. I was trying to be the good Christian who viewed divorce as a sin and to protect the sanctity of my marriage.

    Thanks to Chump Lady and the Divorce Minister, I learned that he had already shat all over the sanctity of our marriage, pissed all over our wedding vows, and only wanted to stay married for his reputation and maintaining appearances (despite his sad sausage act where he said otherwise.)

    Thanks to communities like this I learned that people don’t say what they mean, no matter how much they cry and grovel about it. They do what they mean. Their values are reflected in their actions.

    He didn’t want a divorce. He also didn’t want to stop fucking my friend behind my back. No matter how much he cried or begged if we could reconcile, he decided he’d rather fuck around and find out.

    He found out. I filed for divorce. I treated him like a threat. I could have cleaned him out for everything he was worth, but I was a little too merciful. Now he owes me a lot of money that he won’t pay.

    His actions are everything. His actions proved to me that he didn’t give two shits about me. He never loved me. I would never dream of treating him the way he treated me. He’s a monster full of convincing crocodile tears. And I feel sorry for anyone in his future who falls for it. The fuckwit can enjoy his new life glued to Schmoopie’s hip being isolated from all his friends and family. I guess the sex makes it worth it.

    And I’m free. Still have nightmares about him all the time, still feel like a failure, still bearing the brunt of the trauma. But I’m free.

  • My (ex) wife filed…like, within 24 hrs of the ILYBINILWY speech. It was strategic. In her mind, the optics were better; i.e. a sudden filing as Petitioner implied that I must have done something wrong, not her (aka: blame shifting and image management).

  • I filed first, because even though he was adamant that he was “done,” he wanted to wait a couple of years, to “let things cool off first.” Years! So I got a lawyer and filed…and he did nothing. Didn’t respond, despite the numerous letters of warning from my lawyer. So I filed a petition for a default divorce, and it was granted. Now he rages at me for “ruining”
    his life and forcing a divorce on him. I’m “controlling” him still because he did’t agree to the terms of this default divorce that has been imposed on him. Eye roll…

  • Filed first–which I had “emotional” issues with at the time (which, looking back was stupid of me) but my lawyer recommended I be the one to file. She said there was some small legal gain if we went to trial–in that our side would get to present first, which she believes is advantageous and can set the tone of the trial. She also said that it would made me feel more powerful, eventually.

    She was right, it did. Now, there’s something powerful in saying “I divorced him” versus “we got divorced”.

    • Right. That’s the reason my lawyer gave for encouraging me to file first. Thanks for refreshing my memory.

      We never made it to court (thank God), but I guess it made sense to plan ahead, just in case.

  • Asswipe kept telling me HE was divorcing me! When he came back from his overseas job, he was served bright and early (7:30 am) the next morning. Shock would not adequately describe the look on his face. It was only the LS paperwork, but he was so angry he started shaking. There are a few legal reasons I went LS first which I won’t bore you with. However, when he knew I was filing and serving him with the divorce paperwork, he managed to avoid service for several weeks. I had to hire a PI to find out where he was staying. Then, once served with the divorce papers, he had to have it explained 3x i was divorcing him. Again, he was shocked. Not sure why. Lol.
    After that, I received 21 email messages (i’d put him on phone punishment several weeks before that because he didn’t know how to speak to me without reverting to cussing and screaming). The first four were all, “How could you do this to us/me?’ ‘Why wouldn’t you wait for me?’ ‘I thought you loved me!’ Blah blah blah.” Then 17 messages of vitriol the exponentially increased with each message.
    He also contested and kept sending the divorce paperwork back with “mistakes” that needed to be corrected. In my state it’s supposed to take 60 days. Took me 10 months. I consider myself lucky that my state only allows shit to drag on but for so long.
    Two years after our divorce was final he called and told me we should work on our marriage. You cannot make this shit up

  • I filed first because he “didn’t know how to get divorced” (I mean….neither did I, but I looked it up and got the ball rolling. The global settlement offer is pending his signature, so I’m almost there, woo hoo!) The cake eating ended when the courts took physical custody of our daughter away from him for the nasty hentai games he was playing with incest themes (and one with an underaged mage), all the teen porn in his collection, and all the searches he had in his phone for “Teen Dating Apps.” and awarded me the house and the majority of the equity in it.

    • Wow! How did they get to see the searches in his phone? I would love to get klootzak’s phone info before the court. He likes to read incest stories. Heck, I am sure proof of his adultery is in there, as well. He has two phones so I’m sure they both have loads of material. I have seen his eyes pop out at teenage girls so I suspect there may be more hidden leering….

    • I’m so sorry, Mowmowface. Living with that must have been mind-shatteringly awful. I’m so glad you got out and got the house.

  • Yes, I filed, not my cheater STBX. And then his mom told me she was mad at both of us, him because he cheated and me, because I filed for divorce. It’d been six months since I’d found out he’d cheated on me, he had shown no remorse and had continued to cheat on me. But I was the bad guy for official declaring the marriage dead.

  • I filed. He told me he wanted a divorce and the next day picked up some papers from some friend of his and asked me to fill them out for him. I refused and he moved out a few days later. A few months after that I discovered the OW and I filed the next day.

    It’s been 3 years, went NC immediately and I’m at 10 court dates so far. Still married. I was awarded an equitable amount of alimony and half his pension. He doesn’t want to pay half the kids health insurance so he’s stalling again. An 11th court date will probably happen in a month.

    His life imploded but oh well hope she was worth it.

  • Yep. I had to file first. He refused to do it. After all he “loved me”.

    He cheated on me with over 25 prostitutes. But he loved me and couldn’t imagine being married to anyone else.
    He kept the entire 130 page journal all about everything he hated about me. But he loved me and couldn’t see himself married to anyone else.
    He wanted to have an open marriage so he could have a girlfriend on the side because I wasn’t giving him enough sex. But he loved me and couldn’t see himself married to anyone else.
    He choked me one night during sex because he found through the hookers that he loved being dominant. Let’s be clear: auto erotic asphyxiation is when the person being strangled asks for it because they get a sexual kick out of it. If a man wants to strangle a woman during sex, he is somewhere between mentally ill and a sadist. Who gets turned on by hurting women? And he flat out admitted it was the power that attracted him to it. BUT HE LOVED ME AND HE COULDN’T SEE HIMSELF MARRIED TO ANYONE ELSE.
    He threw things at me, kicked a flat screen TV until the glass broke, made my life a living hell for 11 months, which is the period between D-Day and all then all of the events above occurred.
    But he loved me and couldn’t see himself married to anyone else. He was so hurt when I filed 3 months ago.
    I hate him more than I’ve ever hated a person.

  • ILYBINILWY in January. Discovered affair in May. He found another apartment in the city he stayed in because of “work.” I moved with my kids to another apartment in August when our lease was up, so he couldn’t come “home” any time he pleased to pick up his mail and what not. Filed in September. He didn’t tell me his new address so I had to serve him at work. Filing made me feel stronger.

    • “Filing made me feel stronger.”

      Yes! This was it for me, too.

      A little bit of power and control after realizing I’d unknowingly spent years in a kind of threesome to which I’d never consented. That fucker. I took the reins” and also hired a better lawyer. I let my anger proper me forward.

      At this time, I was an emotional wreck. Couldn’t eat or sleep and had trouble concentrating on anything. Well, that’s not entirely true. When it came to the divorce and the division of assets, I could somehow focus like never before. Fear for my financial future was an easy motivator.

  • Nah. I packed my shit up, moved 2000 miles away, and let him do the work. Not just the legal stuff either.

    FW made me (and our kids) move out so he could sell our family home. Then his lawyer sent me a list of conditions he expected when I vacated, as if I was a tenant/maid – clean the oven, shampoo the carpet, vacuum the floors, etc. It’s funny how FW didn’t think to shampoo the carpet or clean the oven when he moved out. I’m sure he felt quite smug putting that list together. I imagine he savored the image of me sobbing over him while I scrubbed his toilet for the last time.

    Since he was planning on moving back into the house on September 1st, I vacated the first week of August.

    But first I unplugged the refrigerator with the food still in it, turned off the AC, and dumped a jam-packed litter box on top of his 18th century farmhouse table. I left the previous month’s worth of rotting trash and dirty dishes in the kitchen, filled the oven with sugar, molasses and bacon fat, and let it bake for hours. And that was just for starters. It wasn’t the 5+ years’ of dirt I cleaned while he was out fucking strange, but it was a nightmare just the same.

    And it kept me amused for the entire 2000 mile drive.

  • I filed first; Slacker Dude wanted to separate and stay on my employer’s health plan. Since he was allergic to proper work and planned to survive on un-reported income from various scams and the occasional referral from friends, he thought that the tax deduction would make that “worth it” to me. Nope. It’s nearly impossible to explain principles to someone who doesn’t have any, unless a settled determination to live like a large toddler qualifies as an ethos.

    Slacker Dude was always trying to get me to join him in various unethical schemes, in spite of the fact that my occupation requires me to avoid any connection to financial fraud. His last “great idea” was to assemble a group of potheads to get certificates for medical marijuana and invest in a grow house down the street from a notorious auto theft ring. I refused point blank, and the potheads were unable to see the thing through for obvious reasons. Even the auto thieves went to jail.

    The sleazy part: Slacker Dude claimed to be impotent due to his health condition and unable to take the pills due to side effects. I bought a book on different things to do. He marked some sections in the book and yet would never actually do anything. What did he do? Spent the money set aside for household bills on webcam girls half my age so that I had to pay the arrears to keep the lights on and a roof over our heads. Cheated on me with a former student whose wedding I’d attended. I stood it as long as I could because he has a serious chronic condition and couldn’t possibly afford treatment without insurance. Shortly after the Affordable Health Care Act passed, Mother Slacker passed on, leaving a solid inheritance to her boys. I started arranging my escape from that life with a clear conscience.

    He dragged it out with ridiculous demands for support for himself and his cat until he could log ten years.
    I asked him why, and he said that his doctor had advised him to do it so that he could go on Medicare instead of Medicaid when he got older. Since he had only a few years of real employment, the only way he’d qualify was to be on my Social Security. One of his friends whom I kept in the divorce told me that he’d basically lived off his mom his whole life. He got laid off shortly after I married him, and passed up two easy chances of employment that I know of.

    I made him sign away all claims to my retirement account (which was a lot larger than he knew) and to any property on my side of the family in return for filing a quitclaim on his inheritance. He and his even more dysfunctional siblings burned most of their money suing each other, while I received notice of my own inheritance soon afterwards.

    After the divorce was final, he called me from jail to get him a lawyer when he was charged with sending creepy messages to a minor. (Turns out he was framed by one of his siblings and was only on the Dark Web to run some kind of scam. He has a common name and little imagination, so the cops mistook him for another jerk.) He used to mock me for having only a few friends while he had hundreds, but somehow I was the only one who would take the call. (I didn’t even consider posting bail; he had property to put up.) He thinks I’m the only person who believed him. Actually I didn’t, and he apparently forgot that I volunteer for an organization that provides representation for guilty people as well as the innocent because that’s how justice works.

  • Found my definite answer on a Sunday. Monday was searching for therapist (for me), and Tuesday was searching for lawyers. Had to wait two weeks until he moved out in order to establish separation. Ten days later papers were served.
    I didn’t got everything I wanted as I was the higher income earner, pretty standard 50/50 custody agreement as I live in a no-fault state. He wasn’t dangerous towards the kids and he was fixed on “you are getting no child support as you are the one wanted to divorce me, due to some nude pictures”. Four months later we were divorced after 25 years together, and two days before it was final he was vacationing with my kids in his new girlfriend out state house for our first thanksgiving apart. He is a peach. Such a waste of air.

  • Yes, some of these dumbass people don’t understand, or like it, when we stand up for ourselves and don’t agree to their utter nonsense. They want to lead us through a divorce like a lamb to the slaughter. My ex ended up hiring the expensive “pit bull” divorce attorney in our area and I’m sure it cost him more than me. During the process every time I stuck to my boundaries, told him no, or didn’t give in to his demands, I would get the “I’m calling my attorney” crap. Ummm, ok, but that won’t change anything 🤷‍♀️. In the end, though, I know for a fact she saw his true colors and ended up being a great attorney…for me 😂. She absolutely DID NOT want our divorce to end up in front of a judge (or him) so we mediated via zoom (pandemic) and it was sent to the judge to sign off. I got an amazing settlement 😁

    I had no idea getting divorced is so much hard work. I’m not even talking about the emotional side of it, I mean the business side. Countless hours going through paperwork, statements, finances, pensions, evidence of the adultery, etc. Before the attorneys got involved, my ex was stunned when I told him that a pension is considered a marital asset. I really believe he thought we were just going to sit down with a piece of notebook paper and decide who gets what possessions around the house 🤷‍♀️

    His posts on FB after the divorce were hilarious. He actually posted a picture of his automobile, a small travel trailer, and like 3 moving boxes (literally) claiming that’s all he got after a 26 year marriage. Yep…feel sorry for me, the system is unfair, she gets everything she wants and I just have to pay out the a** monthly (we have 2 kids). Of course he didn’t state he actually signed off on our agreement before we even had to go to court. And he didn’t do too bad, really, I just did much, much better. Now I just tell people he was out getting his pickle tickled while I was actually getting a divorce.

    • Sorry for the confusing post, this was a response to a comment earlier from JO that was posted in the wrong place 🤦‍♀️

  • I filed for divorce because Cheating Sh*t Bag was most likely too lazy to do the work or he thought he was being the “good guy” by not filing. I waited for a year for him to move towards filing, while I did the work on my own, unbeknownst to him. (Yes, there was a small bit of hopium there in the beginning, for which I kick myself.) I finally wondered what the heck was I waiting for? I didn’t want him back and I wanted to move on with my life. So, since I had already done the work, I was very prepared when I decided to get things rolling. He didn’t know what hit him. I got the pets, the house, my name, and the better end of the situation. He now lives in a dumpy apartment with the skankopotamus and receives doses of karma as time goes by.

  • I wrote earlier that, like so many chumps, I filed first. I went into action mode so that I could at least control some aspect of my life, to hang on to one thread while all the others were unraveling.

    I’d like to add that the biggest head scratcher for me is how my x turned things around so it seemed as if *I* had orchestrated the end of our marriage and truly relished moving on and trying to find a new partner. He totally ignored my pain on finding out about the affair and my pleas to work on our marriage. In 3 days of pick-me dancing (from announcement of separation to confession that he was having an affair), I promised to change. I said that I was too quick to criticize. I apologized profusely. It’s really horrible to look back on that. Desperate and pathetic. But I have self-compassion now. I was married for 35 years and in total shock. My behavior makes sense.

    Despite my desperate pleas to save our marriage, he adopted a sad-sack, victimized persona. I got a lot of texts along the lines of:
    Now you got what you want
    You’ll be able to find a rich man who likes politics and cultural things that you like
    You’re so excited to get away from me and move

    And then there was the extremely crazy accusation that I somehow wanted to suck the d*** of his best friend, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. I just can’t wrap my head around that except to say: 1. that it’s all PROJECTION (perhaps HE wants to do this–closeted gay man?) and 2. that he HAS to be the victim and will gladly distort reality to turn himself into one.

    In response to ALL of these accusations, I wrote, “What?”

    Anyway, it’s a mind fuck. Best to be avoided. Looking back I can see how disordered his thinking was.

    So glad he’s this other woman’s problem now.

    • Same here .
      She put me through hell with her affair with a co-worker. Lied, triangulated , the whole cheater’s handbook.
      I couldn’t take the pain anymore and found a lawyer.
      Great surprise for her. ” couldn’t you wait until I had my thoughts sorted out?”
      And nowadays she is the hard working single mum who escaped a “loveless marriage with a controlling husband”.
      I am not controlling, neither was the marriage loveless, as far as my emotions were concerned
      But she is the victim and demands an apology- even 3 years out.

  • Neither of us had filed at the time we began mediation. The mediator asked us to decide which one of us should file. I said he should. He created the shit show, he asked for a divorce, so it follows that he should file. At that time I might have still have entertained an attempt at salvaging the marriage, which I am extremely grateful did not happen.

    That seemed like staying in honesty and integrity to me and I am cool with the truth.

    Unlike Traitor X, who lies to this day to everyone.

  • Nope. Made fw file first. However,lazy as he is it gave me time to do a lot of pre-work.

    After he filed I was able to secure the parenting plan immediately and then waited out his financial affivdavit…which had incorrect info throughout and did not disclose some key assets.

    Also – I was able to shore up stuff around the house, get a car, interview and eventually landed an entry level job. I had been a sahm for 26yrs. I skipped all over the US & Europe helping him climb. No. I don’t have a ton of liquid assets and alimony is pretty sucky.

    I do have terrific health benefits which is better than cobra and I received a larger chunk of the retirement.

    Making HIM file was absolutely passive aggressive of me. This ‘Good Guy’ was NOT going to hide under the banner of “my wife divorced ME!!!”. NOPE. Not today, Satan.

  • When our gay child inadvertently became involved with a married cheater, that child came to us in despair and horror over the discovery. FW, unaware that I knew what he’d been up to, sat right there beside me and told our child “They NEVER leave the wife” and recounted all the cheaters he’d known personally that never sought divorce. I think cheaters don’t file for the same reason you don’t take your laundry to a laundromat if you have a washer/dryer in your home. Chumps are just a convenience, a spouse appliance and it would be too much trouble and expense to relocated. They slither out the door, cheat, and slither back home again.

      • I don’t know. After a nearly 3-year affair, mine clearly wanted to leave me. When he told me of the affair, he said he wanted to marry the OW. I couldn’t dismiss it as “just sex” or whatever. He said he loved her (and that he still loved me, too). “I think you can love two people at once,” he lied.

        Because his AP had been divorced the year before, he thought the divorce would be quick and painless. He failed to appreciate their different circumstances, like no assets (her) v considerable assets (him).

        Can’t believe I used to think he was so smart.

        • “Can’t believe I used to think he was so smart.”

          Same here. I never thought of him as scholarly, but I did think he was smart and certainly smart enough not to fuck his employee, and throw away what he and I took 20 years to build. I could even understand if she was hot and he just went middle age nuts, but no.

          My son told me she was manish and just like his dad. So basically he married himself the second time around.

  • filed first because I didn’t want to end up like his first wife who was left with nothing on the streets and starving with their child. She had to get help from her brothers. When theres no empathy in a narcissist you better go first . Theryll just transit into another more advantage situation for them selves and leave you homeless so get a lawyer at least and a financial advisor.

  • Yes I did! He didn’t want to look “bad” by being the one to file even though the divorce was what HE wanted. His lawyer didn’t do divorces but accepted him as a client anyway.

    After the final hearing, his lawyer came up to me and said he “wished me the best” then said he sincerely meant that!

    Guess he was less than enchanted with Mr. Wonderful.

    • I never met my fw’s lawyer. He lived at the same trailer park that whore did. I only know that because someone from church that I knew lived right next door and heard them talking in the next yard.

      I kind of wish I had gone to court just once to see the clown. But, I was working and going to school; and just couldn’t handle it unless necessary.

  • I had absolutely no financial incentive or emotional need to file (didn’t think we could actually afford to divorce), plus I knew that his lifelong inertia would bug his poopsie. Therefore, we remained legally married for over three years while he was paying for an apartment that he never used and really living at her house. He eventually filed, and after our divorce, they got married (five people in a field, with her friend officiating, ink still damp on the officiator’s mail-order credentials).

    Not sure if it was poopsie’s eventual bankruptcy/mortgage default or twu luv that finally pushed him into severing our legal entanglement, but I thoroughly enjoyed knowing it was driving her crazy that he was still married to me. Also, I read her mother’s obituary shortly after in the local newspaper, and the poopsie wasn’t even mentioned among the other family members, which gave me another chuckle.

    He had begged me to marry him, so he could also be the one to officially end the marriage. I’m currently living my solitary, wonderful life and have no shame or regrets, as I always acted with the utmost integrity.

  • I filed quickly after I discovered the affair with exgfOW which probably lasted, long distance, the whole of the 26 years of our life together, 18 years married. Adultery was a dealbreaker which he knew (my estranged brother is a serial cheater). The ex and I are lawyers. I met with the ex for the last time nearly 2 years ago. As he put it in mediation (a waste of time and money with a passive aggressive covert narcissist), ‘the meeting was emotionally charged’. Heaven forbid! He asked at the meeting in a local pub ‘what’s the next step.’ I said ‘I started online divorce proceedings on the ground of your unreasonable behaviour yesterday evening at 8pm. You’ll receive the petition in the post in a couple of days’. His little face was a picture of hatred for me. This was a man who had complained because I had headed the ‘suggested financial settlement’ letter ‘without prejudice’. That was ‘aggressive’. A man who wanted to review and agree the allegations against him in advance. A man who assassinated my character to friends, family, and then me during the discard. Who had stood at my father’s grave with me only 6 weeks before dumping me, watching his coffin lowered into the ground, and knowing what he was planning. Who had exchanged poems with the exgfOW 4 days before the funeral. Whose family could not be bothered to send me even a text when my Dad died and who dumped me as soon as the ex dumped me. My biggest problem was untangling why, at then aged 60, I had put up with a man with no redeeming features for 26 years. Why I sold myself so cheaply, made my needs so small. That has taken and will continue to take a lot of therapy to work out. It’s money well spent. As for the ex, he left me but took himself with him. That’s punishment enough for him and exgfOW and his family. I despise each and every one of them. I don’t expect ever to be meh about any of those disgusting people. Between them they blew my life to pieces when I was at my most vulnerable. They were callous, cold, unfeeling brutes. I don’t believe in karma. Such people often do well in life. My aim is to live the best life I possibly can with what I’ve rebuilt. Most of the time I’m exhausted with the struggle and the work. But I’m still walking the planet and there was a time when that seemed impossible.

    • Mighty Warrior, I’m so, so, so glad you’re rid of him and his awful family. My former inlaws were so horrible that I give thanks about once a month (whenever I’m somehow reminded of them) that they are out of my life. I hope the rest of your life is comforting, if not actually glorious.

  • He kicked me out the front door on our 20th wedding anniversary in front of the kids. 2 weeks later he booked a trip to Hong Kong with one of his girlfriends with my money. I filed for divorce. He did not even realize we were divorced – asked for one when he was going for wife number 3 a short time later, an other marriage he had broken up. He was a little shocked I had already done it. Just going back to court now as he ripped me off a very big amount of money in the property settlement. He did not ever dream that I would be able to sort what he did, he is in shock he did not get away with his money games. He is sending me polite texts now – first time ever re our disabled son, which he took me to court not to pay chid support for. This bloke is a bloody joke. THERE IS KARMA COMING

  • Oh yes I filed first for a legal separation , 4 days after confession of 20 yr. prostitute habit. I didn’t know what a covert narcissist was until much later. 4 months later I filed for divorce. He delayed and dragged his feet with 2 failed mediation sessions , a change of lawyers on his side and was charged with contempt of court for not producing documents on time due to traveling with his new fuck buddy. He even asked in court for a divorce to be granted before a financial agreement was finalized, because it was so burdensome and time consuming. Motion was denied. Court was booked for 1 week , he finally agreed to a settlement on the Sunday night before court hearing on Monday. 3 and 1/2 years of hell, but I got what I wanted. NC and feeling Meh most of the time. I’m 65 , live alone and at peace.

    • Sounds like a lovely life, Kfindingmyway.p, and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. How did we exist so long without peace and harmony?

  • We have pretty decent laws here, no fault divorce after 1 year separation. Ours was comparatively straightforward.

    And As in marriage, so in divorce – I and my lawyer did it all.

    I packed up and left, my lawyer drew up and lodged the property settlement and a year later the divorce application.

    Exs gobsmacking entitlement showed itself when he turned up at my lawyer’s office expecting her to talk to him for free (or on my dime).

    Bwahaha he got two words for free – leave now.

  • Your story is one of the ones that make me fear for the future. But on the other side, you’re also a true inspiration for enduring all the pain and pulling through it. I sincerely hope that you’re doing much better nowadays. But still… some people’s behaviour is just really scary to me. Although my ex were only together for six years, she too abandoned me and never looked back. I truly believed she was happy and I thought I was too (I wasn’t 100% happy as I learned later on, but even then I still commited). Just like you said, it all happened too fast to process. It’s baffling to me how some people can turn their lifes upside-down without any remorse or doubt.

  • After 3 wreck conciliations and 2 years of latter I was slapped with he quit his 6 figure job and moved in with the whore. I stalled to get the last of the 3 boys through college as I was a SHM and scared after a 38 yr marriage went very very south. Yes I filed (had my ducks in a row with my lawyer already to go) that very same Friday at 4:00. His job and affair was in another state. Monday he was served and with restraining order too. During the prior 2 years I had been socking away cash, updating all old items in home….fence/water heaters/ac/pool equipment yada yada…..divorce process took a year and I ended up with 60% and the house. Tuition for son too…. It was the most difficult horrific 3 years of my 64 year old life.
    One thing that everyone needs to know that reads this…..I WOULD HAVE NEVER EVER WAITED ONE SINGLE MINUTE WHEN I DISCOVERED THE AFFAIR IF I WOULD HAVE DISCOVERED CHUMP LADY FIRST. What a waste of 2 years of my life!
    I have given chump strangers that book. But to the subject, yes I had to file because the coward piece of shit ex thought I could not roll on my own or have the guts to walk away. She who laughs last laughs hardest.

    • Brava, 38 years! Please don’t think of those two years as “wasted,” as it sounds like you were quite resourceful during that time. And just think of all that strength you exhibited — you are most definitely mighty!

  • I filed first. He told me “our time together is over” on July 12. I filed the end of July after he stopped coming home without telling me and I was left at home with his 3 minor children from his first marriage (his first wife died of cancer. Their wedding anniversary? July 12). Moved out the middle of August. He told me he got married too soon after his wife passed away. But then I found out about the first other woman. Then I found out that he cheated on his first wife multiple times. Just glad I moved quickly. I’m so sad for my step kids. That’s the hardest part to navigate now that the divorce is final. But no regrets for filing so quickly. If he got married too soon, then he could also be a single parent for real and didn’t get to keep using me as a babysitter and cook for a moment longer.

  • Yes, I did the filing. I put the dumbass through law school in our newlywed years. (I should have just gone myself.) He was doing the discard behaviors, and then suddenly left for undisclosed reasons after 22 years. Then he came back, then left, then came back, then left. It got scary and I changed the locks. And like so many others here, I thought maybe he had a brain tumor or some sort of mental breakdown, because nothing made sense. Tried wreckonciliation, and the kids and I continued to endure lots of emotional abuse. However, dumbass was officially diagnosed during hopium marriage counseling as Cluster B disordered, and after I started coming out of the fog and made a few discoveries, things gradually began to make sense. Ex was busy – schmoopies, porn addiction, heavy gambling, etc. And over the years since, a lot of other unexplained things from the marriage have made sense.

    Divorcing an attorney spouse was very difficult. He pulled all kinds of nasty tricks – he wanted mediation without my having any legal representation (mediator said absolutely not), he tried to keep me from getting a lawyer (no one wanted to go up against another attorney), he tried to keep me from getting any judge to hear the case (he practiced in front of them, so hey – a conflict), he shouldn’t have to produce income records (he was hiding income from the support calculations so he claimed client-privileged information), he couldn’t find his credit card and bank records (that we subpoenaed – full of schmoopie purchases), he said it wasn’t fair that I should get anything as he was producing the income so it was all his (totally different attitude after I supported him all through the marriage), he wanted to “plead the fifth” about all the adultery (my lawyer couldn’t stop laughing), he threatened to break into my house (he said it was legal and left his threat on my answering machine – my lawyer said he’d be a fool to try that), he changed attorneys a couple of times and at one point was representing himself to stall, etc. He tried to take everything from me and the kids, urged on by his schmoopie, a drama queen skankenstein who’d had affairs with loads of married men and had been married FIVE times.

    Typical lying, cheating spouse – alternating furious rage, sleazy schmoozy charm, pitiful sad sausage. And so I got the only attorney whom he hated, a “Super Lawyer” misogynist who was all about money and charged me ridiculous amounts (he knew I had no alternatives at that point). This attorney could not be intimated by ex and there was $$$ to be made. Ex was served at his law office by a state trooper who wasn’t fond of him, and who apparently snickered (claimed the humiliated sad sausage). He was furious – how dare I!

    So he used every legal trick, plus tried to alienate me and my lawyer from each other, even did a sad sausage crying act in front of the only judge who would hear the case, etc. He managed to stall the divorce for years – and he is the one who left! But I got mad, dug into my case like it was my job (it was – SAHM for years so no income) and became my own private investigator, gathering evidence. I had a few of his schmoopies subpoenaed to come to court and testify about all the money he spent on them, and had gathered unsavory evidence on his lawyer friends’ doings. THAT is what made him finally settle – pressure from lawyer buddies and schmoopies, about 3 years after I filed. We were married 25 years when the final decree went through. About a year after the divorce his final attorney (friend of his) saw me shopping, came up with extended hand to apologize (had believed his version of events but came to see the truth). She said she had been on the wrong side!

    Ex had agreed to spousal support which became part of the court order and was tied to his law license (thanks Super Lawyer), but after a few years ex got very ill, stopped practicing, let all his property go into foreclosure, and moved a thousand miles away. So I haven’t seen a penny of what he owes me for many years now, and can’t collect anything. BUT I did find employment after years out of the workforce, finished raising the kids myself (so peaceful when no one has to walk on eggshells and the chump is solely in charge of assets), and am thankfully long rid of the jerk!! No contact from this side for years, though he has tried a few times.

    This was all looooong before Chump Lady – if only I’d had this resource back then, I wouldn’t have been so perplexed about his behaviors, and I would have had more confidence going through the protracted divorce. I had a good counselor, and she worked to get me out of the fog, but it’s expensive and there was no other “me too” validating support like there is here. My friends and family were all happily married to their original spouses, so I was the OMG shocking story. Newbies have a lot to go through, but thankfully they can find valuable support here.

    • BeenThruIt, your story is a testament to perseverance and fortitude. Extremely well done, and I’m so glad his colleague approached you with an apology.

  • Yes, I filed first, on grounds of adultery and fraud, after several d-days and failed wreckonciliations.

    I had a secret phone, secret email, secret PO Box, but he still found out I’d be serving and he left home. After two weeks (during which he didn’t try to contact our five children at all), he left the country.

    Finally after three months of setting up the required affidavits and hearing dates, we were able to do alternative service.

    Soon after, he magically flies back to the US and spends a week as Number 1 Dad.

    Today I received his “response” and it says the respondent denies each and every of the petitioner’s claims and hopes all his attorney fees will be reimbursed.

    I knew he would fight dirty and would do exactly the things he is doing, but it’s still disappointing and frustrating.

    He has also sold one of our 3 rental homes in the three months and is secretly trying to sell another right now. He also withdrew $40,000+ while overseas.

    Serve first, serve them fast, and DO NOT let them know it is coming.

  • Mine wanted to leave, but balked that I wanted to “make it formal” with a divorce. He enjoyed being able to mess around on me using my money, as he was unemployed at the time.

    The extent of his financial abuse didn’t truly hit me until after we were separated and I realized I not only had enough money for needs, but I had lots left over. He used to make me feel bad if I bought “too many” groceries. There was never enough for me to have any sort of birthday gift either. I’ll never trust anyone else with my money again. Ever.

  • Im actually looking for the how to tell a cheating spouse that you are leaving.
    Am I a coward to do it by phone or leave a letter and let her know ill be picking up my stuff on a specific date