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Is Anyone ‘Grateful’ for the OW/OM?

jennifersDear Chump Lady,

I found your blog long after my husband discarded me for another woman after twelve years of marriage and three kids together. It was the first week of my second year of my master’s program, and the first time that I had relied on him to support our family. He had a spotty work history, drug and gambling problems, and an inability to budget money. The timing was not coincidental. He had waited until I deposited the funds from my student loan, then withdrew those funds and used them to pay a gambling debt. He then disappeared for the next year.

I finished school, and my children are mostly recovered from his betrayal. It was an impossibly difficult two years, but things are so much better than they ever were when I was married to him. I spent the first three years post-separation being grateful to the OW because she was the one taking care of him. Then, she discarded him for another man.

My question is this. Is anyone else grateful for the OW/OM for improving their lives so exponentially? I was committed. We had kids together. I would have kept spackling until I died, probably. Now, when he talks about getting back together, it makes my skin crawl on a visceral level. I am so relieved that I do what I want, can actually pay all my bills without stress, and am now longer catering to his every need. Thank you, OW, for releasing me from that lifetime with a fuckwit.

Laurie

Dear Laurie,

Friday Challenge accepted. Of course, YOU improved your life exponentially. Not Schmoopie. Bad things (or people) can be a catalyst for change, but the bravery to walk into that new life is all yours.

That said, I understand the relief that a FW is someone else’s responsibility now. The parasite finds another host, thank God it’s not you. I feel relief if that person is a Schmoopie (no tag backs!), and pity if it isn’t.

Both sentiments are a long way from the agonies of earlier pick me dances.

So, CN, what are your thoughts? Got some gratitude to report? Perhaps, a no-returns policy?

TGIF!

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  • I am definitely grateful to the OW howorker!! My life has totally changed!
    I met and married a fantastic guy, and am happier than I have ever been. The OW gave me the golden ticket and i ran with it!
    From what I hear they fight constantly and are always miserable. I, on the other hand, am living my best life!

    • I feel the same. Like Laurie, I would have kept spackling, kept supporting fuckwit, if it weren’t for the affair. That finally made me take action. Thank you OW!!!!

      They’re still together. He’s all yours, congrats! Just wish she could keep him busier or something so he didn’t spend so much time and energy on me – with court, with messages, whatever he can do to try to hurt me. It’s exhausting. Can’t they just ride off into the sunset together? You have my blessing, just go away!

      • Yes, totally agree. I had two little kids, had already dealt with two prior cheating episodes, and would have kept sparkling forever.

        Now that he’s gone, I’m 100% debt free, saving tons of money, we go on fabulous vacations and life is peaceful and joyful.

        I don’t deal with his constant drama, job losses, injuries/surgeries to gain attention, being in debt, having creditors send bright pink collection notices in my mail, no creditors calling for unpaid bills, no constantly broken appliances, no forgoing vacations because he can’t afford it, no more lying and deception within the 4 walls of my house.

        Life soared once Dracula was gone!

        • OMG, the injuries. Mine did it too. Mostly to get pain meds, I think. Every time he was almost recovered from something, he’d have a fall, or he’d “torque” his back in a near-accident in the car, or whatever. Then back on the couch whining about how he couldn’t do anything because pain. It got ridiculous. He had a spinal fusion surgery even though the neurosurgeon couldn’t see anything that warranted surgery. Ex milked that recovery (estimate – 3 weeks) for MONTHS. Fortunately it was his AP that nursed him through that so I didn’t have to.

          I am also 100% debt free (other than the last of my attorney’s fees), have money in the bank, pay all my bills on time, have a great job, a nice apartment, etc. My ex was so angry when he saw me doing well, because even with AP providing a second income, they were always broke. I found out after he died that they weren’t the rosy couple they played in public, but were fighting viciously, were both alcoholics, depressed, attempted (in ex’s case, completed) suicides, etc.

          I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and loving life. I’m single and I’m more than okay with that. Freedom and peace are lovely.

    • I feel similar. I am grateful. But mostly because I had made my commitment and was going to stick to it no matter what (well, except cheating it turns out). When I found the love poems between them and the questions of ‘are you just using me for sex’ from the OW on Facebook my very first thought was – OMG I have an out. An out I didn’t realize I was looking for.

  • I’m almost 4 years out from discard and 6 years from first D-Day and I can tell you even though it’s taken a LONG time I’m grateful for the OM(multiple). There are good people on the other end of shitsville. If you’re still in pain just know there is an end to it.

  • Me! Me!

    Nothing but relief about the outcomes for the entire line-up of poorly chosen partners.

    Three of the four Cheaters are with other women – two got married, while the third seems to be stringing his latest victim along indefinitely.

    The fourth isn’t capable of any kind of commitment, but may marry his longtime ex out of sheer lack of spine at some point.

    Oh, I am so very, very relieved. I don’t really think often enough about how relieved I am. I really should – it’s a lovely feeling.

    • PS just did some cheeky internet snooping on longtime ex of ex mentioned above, and accidentally found a terrific crumpet recipe on her Facebook page.

      Pain level: Zero.

      Crumpet level: Great interest.

      • I love that crumpets top ex’s!

        I never had a schmoopie to hate because my ex was into paying at massage parlors 🤢 But I’m extremely grateful to him for stepping over the line from emotional manipulation and gaslighting into physically cheating. I never would have left otherwise. I would have put up with it for the kids, when in reality, they are much better off with less of him in their life. Still working toward full Meh but every day is so much more joyful without him in it. Really my stress now if limited to having to coparent.

        • My ex was also in in to paying sex workers at massage parlors. And picking them up off the street in the red light district, I came to find out later. It disgusts me when I think about how he put my health at risk. He is actually married to one his massage parlor girls now.

          Now that a couple of years have passed, I suppose I am thankful for the mercenary whore who led him away by his dick and got him to marry her. I divorced him while he was still deep in “twu wuv” with his massage girl Schmoopie. I got the house and its contents. I kept my 401(k) and I have survivors rights on his pension. My life is much more peaceful now. My health is no longer being put at risk by a whore-fucking fuckwit, and I am no longer being used and made a fool of by a lying, cheating snake.

          Sounds like the karma bus has already arrived for him. She bled his retirement account dry, and I heard he is now trying to bring her family over here from China. 😂 He deserves everything he gets. And then some.

  • I would have never left. My needs were so small that I think they had been swept under a carpet somewhere.
    Of our 14 year marriage, he “had a mid life crisis “ for 10 of them.

    AP, now wife came along and he cheated out in the open. Blatantly. I could not look away from the f*ckery.

    He was a financial train wreck. He was selfish, mean and a flaming Narc. He only got worse with time.

    I was a Minister’s wife. I thought I had to just put up with all the other stuff. Until he found her, he covered his tracks. Once the lurve that cannot be denied came to light – all bets were off.

    He strung her along ( she had to divorce her pesky husband ) for an additional 8 years and then when she happened to come into a large sum of money, he put a ring on it!

    Thank God for her. She was the catalyst that changed my life. FW free now for almost 10 years!

    • One of my biggest questions is “What would I have done if he had lived?”

      Part of me wants to believe that I was strong enough to leave…I had money saved, I had a plan (to leave with my youngest child) but I had 2 young adult sons (and one of their babymommas and child) in my house and both were in serious mental health crises.

      If I left (and fought for my half of what our couple hood had) I did not know where they would go or how these young adults would cope. That responsibility weighed heavily on me.

      Lucky, you had a world of other peoples expectations weighing on you and all of it pressured you to submit to abuse. Our society gives religious representatives way too much latitude. I was just telling my daughter that the Chaplains in my hospital enter every circumstance with the assumption of goodwill so they can throw others under a bus pretty easily.

      Reading this thread is revelatory to me. Cheater had betrayed me for YEARS and I didnt know. His cheating did not get revealed until he thought that Susan of Seattle was his “Twu Wuv”. Her presence was a catalyst for his mask to slip and me to understand better.

      I am not grateful for her but I am grateful that she helped reveal a tiny amount of the Truth so that I could have a better understanding of the abuse I suffered. I only wish that I knew more.

      When he died, I did still truly love him. Awkwardly, I stopped loving him after I saw more clearly how awful he was to me for so long. For the sake of people I love, I dont want to relish the fact that he is dead (it is still tragic on so many levels) but Im glad the marriage is over.

      Some reading here may not know that we were friends on a RIC board years and years ago back when were both still married to them. And here we both are flourishing.

      • I love you Unicorn ❤️
        We had a long journey together and I know there are a few others here from the early days.

        I thought I would let you know that my new marriage is going well. We bought a house together and it’s so peaceful here.
        My Dad passed after 18 years of Alzheimer’s. He’s missed, but with Mom now.
        X is still doing the same old same old…but it isn’t something that bother’s me any more. The kids are adults and they know who he is and have their own relationships with him.

        Big Hugs 🤗

    • I too would have continued to accommodate and spackle.

      Affair with CrossFit Barbie was the deal breaker

      How I wish those two soulless people end up stuck with each other

      #NoTagBacks

    • Yes, these Cluster Bs get WORSE with age. Don’t let anyone tell you “oh, Narcissists mellow with age!” Not true ones, they don’t. If they “get mellower” with age, they weren’t true Narcissists to begin with.

      • Did anyone else find that the “getting worse with age” happened really suddenly? Who knows what triggered it, maybe finding a grey hair, but suddenly they go into an obsession with looks and want to hang out with twenty-somethings, and no longer care about how that impacts their reputation.

    • “I would have never left. My needs were so small that I think they had been swept under a carpet somewhere.”

      SO MUCH THIS. I put up with so much abuse – verbal, mental, emotional, and finally physical. I was a shell of myself and it was slowly killing me. I actually got sick with a potentially fatal illness (micobacterium avium intracellulare – which is essentially non-communicable tuberculosis) that normally only affects the very elderly, people with AIDS, or other serious immune deficiencies. I am convinced my body had nothing left to fight with because I was so worn down from all the abuse. I didn’t have it in me to leave him.

      So I am grateful that he cheated. AP let me escape that hell. Cheating wasn’t something I would tolerate, but that didn’t really matter since he discarded ME. It hurt so badly for so long. Until one day it didn’t. Until one day I realized I that I wouldn’t trade places with AP for the world. I remember the moment it dawned on me. My ex called me wanting to “talk” (hoover), and I let him. And I sat there on the phone seeing in my mind two pathways (it was a pretty vivid picture) – one of which was going off on my own, and the other was going back to him. And for the first time, the path alone appealed to me so much more than a future with him. He was still denying the affair at that point, but I only had to remember/imagine going back into the constant need to manage his emotions for him, for always feeling like I had to placate his rages, of never feeling good enough. And I just didn’t want that anymore. I think he expected me to start pleading for another chance when he “apologized”, and I … just thank him for the apology. He never called to “talk” like that again, even though he said he was going to.

      My life hasn’t stopped improving since.

      So thank you, OW. You probably saved my life. And what did she get? An abusive man who lied to her. She ended up leaving him. He ended up killing himself. I’m free.

  • This sentence from Laurie is what being grateful to the OW is all about: “I would have kept spackling until I died, probably.”

    I found out this week that sparkledick just lost his job at the bullshit-factory think tank that he worked for. Which explains why son #2 has been accusing me of having fleeced sparkles over the division of our assets at divorce. I can only imagine what jobless sparkles is ranting and raving about to this son (who, unfortunately lives with the dimwit, but is moving out next month).

    So what does this news have to do with being grateful to OWs?

    Well, the D-Day OW is now lost in the mists of time. I guess she was sly enough to realize sparkles was just a bag of hot air. But after my divorce I have always wished he would find another OW to take care of him so my sons would not end up with this job. Now unemployed and relying on a social security pension, sparkledick has NO chance at all of fixing himself up with an OW to take care of him. AND he soon turns 70, so any smart OW will have nothing to do with him because the few things he owns will never be split with him, 70 is the limit age in my country for steady partners to split assets if they separate.

    PS: I did not fleece sparkles. I just had better lawyers, better sense and sparkles has his brain in his dick. So what can I do?

    • Clear Waters, enjoy your settlement, that is what you can do! I’m sorry your son is listening to his Fuckwit father. Maybe give your son a copy of Tracy’s book. He might recognize his cheater Dad in those pages.

  • Yep. When I tried to leave the first two times he cheated, he threatened to kill himself and begged me to stay and wore me down. With his newest whore, he let me go without a fight. She was married with 2 kids as well but apparently worth losing his wife and 2 kids for. While I hate her, I’m also thankful for her for getting me out of an abusive relationship with a narcissist.

    • That’s exactly how I felt. I had become so small and my needs so non-existent that I would never have left. I did not want my kids to grow up without their father. It took a few years of distance before I realized how much easier it was to parent without him. The energy and resources I had used to prop him up over the years were so much better invested in my kids and ** gasp ** me. It has taken a lot of therapy and a good 12-step program to be able to internalize that my needs matter, too. It has been this site that has helped me “fix my picker” so that I will not get involved with someone like this again and completely reject the attempts he has made at reconciliation.

      • Yes! Life is so much easier without all the anxiety and drama they bring. I was the same, didn’t want my kids to come from a “broken” home but in the end, it’s all for the best. I’m glad you worked on yourself and are doing better!

        • My ex died (suicide) and honestly – my KID is doing better, not just me. My son had so much anxiety when he went to his dad’s. Between the crazy custody schedule (2-2-5-5), the absolutely toxic household, and the tension (as much as I tried to keep it away from him), my son was a mess. My ex was also really authoritarian and would give my son the silent treatment if he was upset with him. I actually hospitalized my son at one point for suicidal ideation. He was EIGHT. His dad “hadn’t noticed anything wrong with him”. I realized later my kid would fake being cheerful around daddy because that was really the only way to survive. I got all the crying, tantrums, anger, etc. because my son knew it was safe to let it out to me.

          I thought it would be really hard on my son when I had to tell him that daddy was gone. But he didn’t cry or anything like that. His whole body got really hot all at once, and then my nine year old said “I thought it might come to this”. No nine year old should have to worry about their parent like that. When my ex didn’t show up to the bus (which was when I knew something was very wrong), my kid said “I hope daddy isn’t dead”. It’s heartbreaking.

          Now my son is happy, relaxed, meltdowns happen less (he’s autistic so they do still happen).

    • That’s what happened to me. He always threatened to kill himself if I tried to discuss separation. So I just backed down every time. Then he meets OW and one day he tells me….. “I love you I’m just not in love with you” and ran off with the OW. To be honest, I don’t even think the OW was ready to run off from her own husband. I think my ex pushed her into it. It lasted about two years. The poor kids…. Yes, my life is better now…. and my family and I often joke that the OW did me a favour…. and yes, I am glad I don’t have my ex’s negativity and bullshit to content with anymore.

      I am glad you got away from your abusive relationship. Well done for having the strength to leave.

    • Mine didn’t threaten to kill himself, he just told me I was not allowed to divorce, he doesn’t believe in it. I think he really thought that was how it works, if one partner doesn’t want to divorce, then the other one is stuck. They live in a fantasy world they make up as they go along.

  • I was so convinced I was the problem in our marriage. I was too fat, I wasn’t sexy enough, I wasn’t giving enough, I wasn’t enough. Blah, blah, blah. After I found out about the cheating it was like a light bulb went off – I wasn’t the problem! Ta da! So yes, even though my friend boinked my husband while I was away working and our kid was sleeping upstairs, I am in some ways very grateful to her. I just wish they had told me sooner. Life is 1,000% better now.

    • Same story here. When I found out husband had been clucking around with my friend for almost two years (incl at our home, while kids were sleeping) – the same amount of time our marriage been feeling increasingly strained – LIGHT BULB! It wasn’t me after all. It was him. An awful, wretched trauma I’m still recovering from but..a relief: it wasn’t me.

    • XW had me convinced I was a truly inadequate husband. She certainly worked hard at it with late night harrangues, cutting remarks in front of our kids and insistence I see a therapist for all my problems.
      It has taken me years to connect all the dots and stitch together a timeline that reveals she had probably been cheating for a long time. All the sins she had been accusing me of was transference.
      While I am grateful to be rid of her, I am not grateful to her fuck buddies.

      • this was my experience and how I feel. My xw’s FB had my surname which stung a little more.

        but boy, am I grateful to be out of there AND get this… I actually am a pretty good dad (or food shopper or whatever my role was) after all!

        • Tall One – The first name thing…ugh. My ex-friend’s name (the ex-friend who seduced my soon-to-be ex-hubs) and mine are very similar, but hers is more common, so I am often mistakenly called by her name. It’s painful.

  • I would like to be grateful, but that would be so many awkward little Thank You Notes to write.

    “Dear Whore,
    Thank You for poaching my man and wrecking my home. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. I commend your enthusiastic participation in this devastating betrayal. Your ability to simultaneously write erotica, cheat with my husband and claim to be a good, Christian woman is astounding.
    Sincerely,
    The First Mrs Fuckface”

    I’m grateful to you, Chump Lady. I’m grateful to Chump Nation. I’m grateful I survived the abuse. But that whore deliberately wrecked my home and his girlfriends helped. I am not grateful to them.

    • I’m with you Thirtythreeyearsachump. I’m 62, divorced from the evil that was the ex (I refuse to say ‘my’ because I will not have any connection with him). My world was purposefully blown up at 59 after a long marriage by the ex and the exgfOW. I’m grateful that I am free. That was down to my strength and determination. It was not down to anything that those toerags and his family did. My stomach turns at the thought of them, because I invited the vampires in, and they drained me to a husk. I am however grateful that they are together. I do not want any other person to go through what I went through.

    • I’m with you 33 years. . . I’m grateful I am not with cheating XH today, but I am not grateful for the mate poaching younger AP who conspired against my family and continues to try to alienate my Childrens’ father from him (all because she wants his substantial wealth for herself). I am at Meh but when I saw what Laegertha did to Aslep in Vikings as a “farewell,” I cheered. If it was 1100 years ago, I would have no compunction about taking that same action. . . The world is lucky that my CH had a vasectomy that cannot be reversed, and that AP “hates” kids (!!!) so at least we won’t have to eat that shit sandwich . . .

    • Bravo, Thirtythreeyearsachump. I feel exactly the same. Grateful to true friends, therapists, drugs, daughter, fresh air, books, pets, sane thoughts, bravery, legal team, money to pay for it, my new job, and good health. But thankful to the infection-carrying, shallow minded, honorless pieces of shit who invaded my life uninvited? They can all go air dancing off into the Grand Canyon. Cest la vie! Good riddance.

    • Love your note!! I have no gratitude either for the OW who taunted me with “stole your man” messages & still subtly “tries” (it no longer has an effect on me)
      to taunt & flaunt on social media. But, I am grateful to be away from the man who brought that competitive beotch into my life (and my kids’) & who encouraged him to bring out his inner creep! Like I told my kids, they really are soulless-mates & we get a good chuckle out of it!

  • The second time we separated, he decided to make it long-distance. He was retired, so he could go anywhere he wanted. There was an old girlfriend there that he idolized throughout our marriage. He also said that if he cheated, it was my fault. My therapist said he was telegraphing his intentions. I had the house, the college kids, my part-time work, and our shocked friends to juggle while he went to the beach and lived like we didn’t exist.

    It totally devasted me. I realized eventually that he had run because he didn’t want to be married anymore. He wanted to do whatever with whomever. All thoughts of being friends went out the window when my ex viewed the divorce as an opportunity to show his power and control. Ultimately his attorney threw his client to the curb and worked with mine to settle it.

    My attorney had a saying that I still repeat to this day, “Only a fool would be friends with the person who burned down their house.” So as horrible as the abandonment was, it was a blessing. It forced me to work through things, and it removed him from our lives. Not having him around made the whole process easier.

    • I really like that phrase “telegraphing his intentions.” I wish I had understood that concept during my marriage. When my EX accused me out of the blue of wanting another relationship, I was dumbfounded. I thought he was picking a fight on a completely irrelevant subject in order to avoid discussing the real problems in our marriage. Six months later when he began rhapsodizing about his “soul mate,” I left him.

      It took me at least another year or two to realize the weird conversation about whether I wanted another relationship had really been all about him wanting (and in fact hotly in pursuit of) someone else. As your therapist would say, he was telegraphing.

      I hope you remain blessedly free of your EX and that your kids appreciate your resilience.

        • My ex fws version of telegraphing was to tell me about what others were doing.

          Such as, oh Bob left his wife for a whore. By the way Bob did, and for the record his wife was a lovely accomplished teacher who was fit and attractive. Whore was pot bellied, big nose and bad teeth, but she was almost 20 years younger, so there is that I guess.

          Or, whore (his direct report) is “dating” a fifty year old guy. In fact whore was “dating” a 40 year old guy who was surprise surprise fw himself.

          Or, Sam is messing around on Tina, I told him I don’t know how he gets away with that stuff. In fact fw was messing around on Susie and he knew exactly how he was getting away with it. For the record Sam and Tina are still together and I doubt very seriously Sam was messing around on her.

          • Yeah, I’ve got lots of telegraphed moves too.

            Besides what I already shared here yesterday under the subject “weird conversations with/about acquaintances or coworkers”, I’ve got some pretty nasty shit.

            Once she told me of a workmate that left her fiancé for her (and FW’s) boss. Knowing the circumstances and the people involved, I bet that was another case of cheating, securing a more advantageous position (from a fuckwit’s perspective), and discarding the not-so-useful-anymore chump with a deprecatory talk (good and old blameshifting). My XW made sure I knew the exact terms of her friend’s disapproval of her fiancé (since college). One of them was that he lacked ambition, something FW has been saying of me since our humble begginings. I felt threatened by that talk, and I think I was meant to be.

            Note: the friend and her boss/husband married and had a child shortly after this talk. I don’t recall if the birth was premature, but the timeline doesn’t add up. FW’s workplace is a nest of vipers.

            Come to think of it, and it goes well with yesterday’s post, my FW used to triangulate and telegraph from our very first weeks of dating.

            I’ve said that before, but it keeps growing more and more puzzling to myself: I don’t know how or why I put up with so much crap.

          • So interesting. 🤔 I remember having a conversation with FW waaaay back in the day where he out of the blue said that it would be waaaay easier for me to cheat on him than for him to cheat on me.

            I was a stay-at-home Mom with 4 kids attending university part-time. 🤔 I was like: What? What would even make you think of that? And also, nope. Lol. The only time I didn’t have the kids with me was when I went to classes. So bizarre. He worked full-time outside the home and often had different shifts (retail). I guess that might have been when it started already. Wow. 😳

      • Yes, “when they tell you who they are, believe them.” I didn’t get it for so long.

        I am indeed blessedly free. He periodically reappears via email with long stretches in between, but I haven’t seen him face-to-face in four years. During the divorce, I went no contact and came home to explain that to the college kids after having my attorney take over everything. They went no contact then and have remained so ever since. No pushing or cajoling on my part, they chose that. Both are out of college now and thriving on every front.

        He had been threatening divorce for years and even picked out his attorney way before, showing me that attorney’s ad in the paper one time. He said he would make the kids and me homeless. Well, that was good too because I knew exactly what kind of attorney to pick for myself. My ex tried, but he didn’t make us homeless.

        Indeed grateful that he told me what he planned.

    • Your attorney is wise Elsie. As another grey (well fake blond) divorcee, what is it with the old girlfriends that they idolised throughout the marriage? The ex was long distance (UK – North America) yearning throughout our marriage. For someone who he argued with all the time, who stormed out of restaurants and threw things and who was/is a strong feminist who wouldn’t let him go out without a tag. Who dumped him twice. Perhaps that was the clue. I think it’s laziness. They haven’t got anyone else handy and they contact the ex knowing they can wheedle their way back in. It wouldn’t work with me and he won’t try, which is good.

      • It’s lazyness, and desire to chase what they don’t have. It’s all very shallow and disgusting. Blech. Vomit.

  • When it happened, I really didn’t think so much about whore. She was just the whore that snagged the brass ring.

    I did however want him to marry the whore, in my pained mind she was the only one who could pay him back for what he did to me. Lying, stealing, emotional abuse etc. I was literally afraid he would somehow get out of marrying her. Given she was his direct report, ethics violation charge against him, and a pissed off mayor breathing down his back, I doubt he had much of a choice.

    But still I am ashamed to say it was a prayer of mine.

    I realize now of course that it wouldn’t matter what he did, he was still a fuck up and would continue to fuck up. But, he did marry the whore, and they went down the path of forever love I am sure. Cheating, bankruptcy, destroying his relationship with our son, so much more; and she got to share all that with him, and help him destroy himself: priceless. There are some things money can’t buy.

    I didn’t find out a lot of stuff until years later from my son, but it does sound like they both met their match.

  • I definitely am.

    My ex never really treated well. Sure he would do things for me, buy me birthday presents, cook some dinners.

    But he also had terrible boundaries, threw me under the bus to placate his ex wife and snotty grown daughter, was always a little nasty to my kids, and was a nasty kind of conflict avoidant passive aggressive. He’d make nasty comments under his breath and play dumb, or he’d walk behind me and change the thermostat right after I’d changed it. He’d look for little passive aggressive ways to be in control.

    And while he liked having a much younger wife, he was also very jealous of the fact that I was younger, in great shape, and made good money. He’d say things aimed at making me feel like less so he could feel better. Then of course he’d play dumb.

    But I was willing to put up with a lot for someone I thought was honest and trustworthy.

    Then I found out he’d kept an ex on the side our entire relationship. When confronted he lied about everything and got over the top nasty because he was terrified of actual conflict. In his world you paint a phony smile on your face and pretend.

    So in that sense the ex did me a favor. Once I realized he couldn’t be trusted I was out.

    A friend had said this to me: don’t divorce him because of the whore. Divorce him because he’s a nasty prick.

    She was absolutely right, at least in my case. Without the whore I’d probably still be married to him and not very happy. Today I have my own house and my 2 young adult sons live here while they go to school and work. The atmosphere is great, and we have 3 cats, a cockatiel, and a huge fish tank (ex didn’t like pets).

    And I’ve had a lovely bf for the oast 3 1/2 years.

    Ex is old and publicly single, though I’m sure he still talks to whore. But she was on marriage #5 when I left him and he’s never seemed to want to be seen with her. Not good for his image.

    He probably doesn’t realize that everyone knows he’s a scumbag.

    • Gaaah. The loud muttering and nasty comments. I understand all too well. One time klootzak was muttering loudly so all could hear that he had to clean off the stove top. I asked him if he had a problem with cleaning one thing in the kitchen when he had not planned the meal, bought the groceries, put groceries away, prepped and cooked the meal, served it on heated plates, cleared the dishes, and wiped down the counters as I had done. He just stammered. But he uses the nasty comments to gaslight our child, suggesting to kiddo that klootzak does EVERYTHING and I’m lazy. So toxic.

      • Sounds like we were married to the same man. I planned, shopped, put groceries away, prepped, cooked, set the table, emptied dishwasher and served everyone dinner, cleared table.
        During dinner I’d ask cheater how he liked his meal, he’d answer with “it’s alright.”
        That was his only response to anything special I cooked or if I did something I was proud of.
        After dinner, making heavy sighs, he’d walk into the kitchen, first complain about how many dishes there were, then announce that he could use a little help as he does everything.

        He made sure our young son heard that I’m a slob when cooking and he did everything.
        There was always his “jokes” if I left anything out like a water bottle that I’m a slob.

        In cheaters mind, putting dishes in the dishwasher and mowing our 10×10 front lawn once a week is “everything”. More justification for his cheating.

    • “Don’t divorce him because of the whore. Divorce him because he’s a nasty prick.”

      AMEN!! The other women/men are irrelevant. As many of our serial cheater exes have proven, they move on to the next target as soon as they fancy.

      I was thankful for OW during our divorce proceedings. Her existence was definitely to my benefit in more ways than one. Now she’s not on my radar, though I guess that will change if ex ever introduces her to the kids.

  • I am grateful simply that it showed me who he really was. I saw him as a genuine person who (as he said) would never do what he did.

    At least I was no longer living a lie.

    • That is the problem I am having with all this. I saw FW as the most Godly person I have ever met. We have been together for 22 years, married 18. When I found out that she was Cheating I was shocker, further devastated that it has gone on since 2015 with multiple men. After 8 months still don’t believe it and because I didn’t catch them red handed and it is so out of character from my image of her i struggle every day. The wisdom and hearing others have gone through similar situations helps me come to terms.
      Thank you all

      • They’re so duplicitous and go so far Underground that you’ll kill yourself “trying to find proof/evidence”.

        As CL always says- all of that is irrelevant, “is this relationship acceptable TO YOU?”

        • I never had proof that it was more then emotional although I did have proof of them going to dinner behind my back, so I assume there was more involved.

          What I did find;

          He lied about everything and then changed his story based on what I knew.

          He threw tantrums to try to force me to rugsweep.

          He lied about still talking to her….I saw his LinkedIn where he told her to call him at work.

          In his loads of conversations with her he never mentioned me. Not once. He didn’t want me being a part of the conversation. Of course he later claimed that she knew he was married but we all know how much trash on marriage number 5 and still carrying on with my ex respects marriage.

          He admitted once that his first thought when confronted was OMG what does she know.

          So this and the fact that he was a nasty prick made the marriage unacceptable, so I ended it.

      • Very similar situation here, Doc. I had a saintly image of FW XW that is difficult to shake off and impossible to conflate with what her deeds (that I fortunately have hard evidence of) tell me about what she really is. We were together since 16/17 yo, so it makes things hard to come to terms with. It is the slow boiling thing some people commented on this post. But I assure you, seeing them for what they are and trusting that they suck is doable, you’ll get there.

        I hear you, I am very sad for you going through all this shit and wish you good. Looks like you’re still trying to wrap your mind around the nonsense of it all and grieving the life you thought you would have. It’s completely normal and attest to your character. I am confident you will enjoy your new FW-free life. She was no prize, you deserve way better than that.

        (((Hughs)))

        • Dr Chump…I knew he was petty and mean to me, I knew he could be a real asshole, but he was MY asshole and we had kids. He was dead before I learned that not only had he had sex with his main OW

          (he had literally denied it for all of our wreckonciliation but after his death, I literally found the receipts for the trip they took together revealing that even his “coming clean” moment was filled with lies – there must have been something to hide if he went to all that trouble)

          after he died, I learned that there were more affairs before

          and once I knew that, everything had to been seen with a different set of eyes…not the ones that assumed he was faithful and telling the truth but the ones who knew that he lied and cheated.

          there were SO MANY times when he did strange, inexplicable things…I literally described him as a “quirky dude” (and I had known him since I was a teen).

          Not long before he died, I was ready to leave him because of his rage…that alone was a good enough reason. I also thought he had some religious decency in him but no matter how much good may have been in the mix…there was a LOT of bad…too much.

      • I too struggled with believing ex was cheating. Even when people I knew had seen him with someone. I was insulted they’d think that In my mind the person I married would never cheat or betray our marriage. He loved our family too much.
        My husband was a “man of integrity” The image he portrays to the world is Saintly, a rigid rule follower. I couldn’t grasp that ex was cheating. I realized I married an imposter and I had been conned.

        I found CN and began reading others stories I realized there are so many stories like mine.
        Circumstances may be different but the stories go by the same playbook.

  • I’m grateful that at the time he picked someone with moral integrity (who hadn’t known she was a chump, too, and had been quick to discard him because of his predatory behavior) and who was willing to have THE conversation that saved my life.

    I’d tried other names that had popped up during the trickle-truthing years, but she was the only one to respond and discuss openly with me her side of things. I remember distincly hearing the ring of truth in her voice and how much different it was to hear things from her side rater than his. That night I packed my bags and never came back, it was the final straw.

  • My attitude of gratitude is toward the support systems available in my world which allowed me to learn and heal and discard old FOO training and belief systems. Now I am able to live a peaceful life.

    I am glad that FW’s tend to end up with each other, and they do so knowing what they are capable of doing. I did not know how easy cheating is to do and justify for some folks. Now I do. I’m grateful to know that.

    I do enjoy stories of the disastrous consequences which happen to those who start their relationship with a big lie and expect to reap the benefits of other people’s hard work. When their plans do not work out, and they realize the error in their thinking and methods, it is a delightful moment to savor. I will never forget my Ex asking me how I could possibly afford to retire, own my home, and live comfortably. I said, I worked, saved, and planned for retirement. What happened to your retirement funds that you had accumulated during our 20 year marriage? His answer was typical. “I don’t know.”

    I smiled the rest of the afternoon. I am grateful for that. As for his numerous affair partners — I hope they learned something, but I doubt it. I just don’t care about that. A famous line from a country song comes to mind, “My give a damn’s busted!”

  • I was already very unhappily married to a violent, alcoholic, financial train wreck and had asked for a divorce many times but he always refused. What with the debt he was running up and keeping me very low on sleep for years (maybe 4 non-consecutive hours a night), I didn’t have the energy to take on the battle that I knew the divorce would turn in to. When he met the skank and moved in with her all my dreams were answered and I filed as he was out of the home. The skank left him about 3 years later because (as she made sure to tell everyone) she was “afraid he would kill her” (cudda told ya that sweetheart, if only you’d asked first)! He’s now with someone else and back in the States and on the face of it (FB) life looks good but I don’t believe he had a personality change and she’s probably just putting a good face on it. As for me, I love my life, my freedom to travel (pre-pandemic) and having the money to do it because he’s no longer draining my bank account. So yeah, thanks skank, you did me (and my kids) a great service (and I mean that most sincerely folks)!

    • God, were we married to the same guy? My ex was such a restless sleeper, plus he had sleep apnea, that I never had a sound night. He’d toss and turn and snore and stop breathing. But if I so much as shifted my pillows, he’d yell at me for waking him up. I often stayed in very uncomfortable positions because I was afraid to disturb him. When we had our baby, I slept downstairs on the couch for months because god forbid the baby or I wake him. I never asked for a divorce, though he threatened me with one all the time. He’s also threaten to cheat because I was too fat, or because I didn’t have sex with him (sometimes because I was sick or injured, other times because he’d said/done horrible things to me the day before and never apologized so I was so very not turned on by the idea).

      Only difference is, after AP left him (and told everyone she could how he abused her, including his employers, even going so far as to offer to help me in the divorce by testifying to the abuse, and saying she “had evidence”) my ex couldn’t face being rejected and having his reputation ruined like that (he was ALL about his public image) and he took his own life.

      Having money is SO nice. I didn’t realize how much of a drain he was until he was gone and I had full control. My expenses stayed about the same (some, like housing went UP), but now I regularly have money left over after paying all my bills (including a hefty legal installment every month). Funny, that.

  • The Chlorine Special (formerly known as Rider of the Purple Dildo) was never the OM — to the best of my knowledge they met (and fucked for the first time) 9 days after I said “enough.” I’ve never spoken to him — Kunty Kibbler tried a few times under the guise of “best for our daughters” but I don’t play that shit.

    I am grateful for him in this respect: my daughters have never once given any indication that they’re stressed out by him being their step-father. They’ve never once indicated that he considers himself to be my ‘replacement.’ The week on/week off custody arrangement that was ordered by the court in 2016 was never a cause for anxiety for them. And I have to think that his presence keeps their mother’s attitude in check, which helps ensure that they have a good relationship with her. As a parent first and foremost, my daughters’ positive emotional growth and well-being has to be my number one concern.

    From what I know of him, I wouldn’t be friends with him under other circumstances. He strikes me as extra-ordinarily self-centered, sees being a parent as secondary to his own indulgences, and the sort of faux-bohemian that doesn’t do well in situations that aren’t all about him (echoes of KK). But as far as I know, he’s helped create and manage an environment for my girls that doesn’t make the already bad situation with their mother worse, so for that I’m grateful for him.

    • My kids have said many times that they like it more when AP (now husband) is around, because their mother is less angry with them.

      I presume that this is some combination of her being less stressed out because he can help with adulting (XW did virtually nothing domestic or child-related during our marriage, so wasn’t prepared for the amount of work it entails), and her putting on a cheerful front for him (he spends about 1/3 of his time 1000 miles away with his kids, so XW is well-advised to put on a good show when he is around. There are plenty of young, rich, hot divorcees in his hometown).

      I wouldn’t say I’m *grateful* to him, but I can believe that the situation might well be worse if he were to dump her.

      • I was actually pissed when OW left my ex, because it made my life harder. She kept him busy, tempered him a little, and took care of a lot of things for him (he was pretty helpless). Also she had two kids and I’m sure my ex was on better behavior when they were around. I also knew that with her gone and me doing grey rock, it was likely my son would bear the brunt of his dad’s temper, which really upset me. I could see already see how my kid was learning to lie and hide things that might upset his dad (he lost his skateboard once and left it outside in the rain, and when he couldn’t find it when we had to leave, he said “I’ll just tell daddy I forgot it” and then begged me to please keep looking for it and to not say anything to my ex – it’s sad). My kid was afraid. And I knew exactly why. I lived like that for years. Yelling, silent treatment. Punishment that far exceeded the “crime”. (I have full custody now, since my ex died, and my kid is doing great.)

  • I suppose I am grateful to the concept of a soul mate.

    When my EX started talking about how one of his university students (25 or more years his junior) was his” soul mate,” I finally gave myself permission to divorce. I am not even sure my EX pulled off a relationship of any significance with the soul mate (though the receipts show he was taking her to lunch and gave her a very expensive and inappropriate graduation gift). I suspect their relationship was mostly in his head (or at least I hope it was, more for the young woman’s sake than anything else). I stopped asking questions about her. I was done. By the time we were legally separated two months later, she seemed to be out of the picture. Maybe she ghosted him after graduation? I like to think he declared his love and the fact that his wife wasn’t going to be an obstacle to their future together, and she turned pale and vomited on his shoes at the realization that the egotistic professor who had been flirting with her had a fully elaborated plan for their future as a couple. Alternatively, maybe she just laughed at him.

    I had tolerated verbal abuse, physical threats, financial abuse, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and general misery. The soul mate was the last straw.

    So, in a way, I am grateful. I was raised to see divorce as failure, but the discovery that he was trying to commit adultery (or maybe even doing so) while accusing me of not being committed enough to his endless needs was enough to make me rethink my principles and find a lawyer.

    • Overcoming the mindset about divorce is a big deal. Good for you heading for the exit before being chumped further. It’s hard to remember that we have a choice to stop accepting the crap treatment.

    • Agreed, I got the “accusations of not being committed enough to his needs”, as well. 🙄 It’s like a complete topic, in and of itself. You can hold down a full time job, do all of the cooking, cleaning, child-rearing, shopping. Sleep only 2 hours a night, and they *still* will claim you weren’t completely dedicated to *their* needs.

      🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

      • FW had been working from home for years before the pandemic hit, and then we spent basically 18 months together every moment of the day, eating every meal together, spending every evening together. Chumpy me thought this adversity was making us closer and more in love than ever. And then one day he pipes up to say he thinks I don’t spend enough time with him (instead of reading), and we never “really talk” anymore. I was like…we literally just had breakfast and talked two hours ago? Do you even realize that most people spend 8 hours a day away at work and don’t see their spouses until they get home? WTF? But of course it was just an excuse to justify looking for a new schmoopie, and nothing is ever enough.

        • I think that we could rewrite every thing we did, and do the exact opposite and the fault would be us anyway. I mean I know and handful of cheaters might take the blame for their own actions, but likely not many.

          I know one thing that got me was I spent years working in the community civic club at his request, because he had dreams of becoming mayor. Then I got involved in backing his political choice and helped get the incumbent ousted. I did’t do that for me, I did it for him. But, I am betting that his view of that after whore was that I spent too much time in civic duties and in politics and ignored him.

          We.will.not.win that argument. And it is frustrating as hell.

          The only real complaint my fw ever had about me during our marriage was I was not a spit shiner. Now I was not a bad housekeeper, but I did not spit shine, or stress over it. I don’t know where he got that standard because his mother was just an average house keeper. Sometimes I think because I was very accommodating to him and he pretty much ruled the roost it was all he could focus on to complain about. Anyway fast forward and turns out exit whore makes me look like Martha Stewart in comparison. I only know because my daughter in law told me. (My daughter in law is a spit shiner).

          My guess is if I had been a spit shiner, he likely would have used that as his excuse.

    • ” I was raised to see divorce as failure, but the discovery that he was trying to commit adultery (or maybe even doing so) while accusing me of not being committed enough to his endless needs was enough to make me rethink my principles and find a lawyer.”

      ^^^^^
      THIS

      He was justifying his abuse of me because I had “failed” as a wife (meaning I did not stroke his ego enough, didn’t make enough money, didn’t have enough sex [??? – we had sex pretty regularly], didn’t stay skinny enough, couldn’t read his mind, didn’t somehow bring him roaring success, etc. etc. etc.), meanwhile he was ACTUALLY STICKING HIS DICK IN HIS COWORKER.

      Yeah, I was done.

  • Grateful for the fact that the existence of the APs served as my 2×4? Sure, I’m philosophically grateful for that. As objects, they served in roles that were helpful to me.

    Grateful for any of the actual human beings who were the APs? Not at all. Their choices as humans were terrible. I have no gratitude that any person ever chooses that.

    Thing is, the second they each decided to become APs, they objectified themselves. They became wedges, out of order, tumors making the marriage sick. (Well, sicker. The cheater is always the primary cancer.)

    So as objects, sure, they were somewhat useful to reveal the heinousness of the cowardly liar. As people, they were heinous and abusive, so I have no goodness to offer there.

    • Well put! I appreciate the role the “soul mate” served, but I have no gratitude toward or even interest in knowing anything about the young woman who was in that role.

    • That’s the closest to the way I feel about AP, we’ll said! I agree that in participating in FW’s machinations she objectified herself, fully aware of it or not matters very little. I don’t feel anything towards that person, much like a rock or piece of furniture. As long as she doesn’t hurt my children more than she already has I am neutral and indifferent to her. I am glad I finally came to my senses but I did that on my own. No one else did the hard work for me.

      • “As long as she doesn’t hurt my children more than she already has I am neutral and indifferent to her. ”

        That is actually what led me to CL. My son and his wife let me know what was going on years later and the crap fw and the whore were pulling. Up to then, meh; but when I found out how they were treating my son and his family, well hell hath no fury…

        I never approached them, but I sure advised my son and his wife when they asked.

    • This is exactly how I feel. I’m grateful to have had the rose colored glasses removed about who the ex FW really is when he believes that no one is watching, but I’m in no way grateful to the AP/co-conspirator for this revelation.

      The AP, from her conduct (her texts which encouraged FW to emotionally and physically abuse me, as well as her list of women that she fantasized about torturing and killing) is a behaviorally disordered individual. Unfortunately she also has three children and I have concerns about the damage how her behavior will cause her children and other innocent adults.

  • This is a great challenge for those of us who have reached the other side. Newbies this one is for you.

    Yes.

    27 year relationship. 20 years married. Thought I was in a happy, secure and loving marriage. When in fact I was married to a covert narcissist with a secret life for at least the last decade. If not for the OW and divine intervention showing me the affair I would never have believe that he was withdrawing money for hookers and whatever else. Never. He gaslighted and made her the pursuer and the evil one and I believed it. This doesn’t change what I think about her character but it really showed me his. Playing the victim. I’m almost four years out from D-Day and I do not envy the pain and hurt for those of you still in the thick of things. It gets better. MUCH better.

    I am much less lonely now being alone than I was in the last 5-6 years of my marriage. READ THAT AGAIN. I am much less lonely now being alone than I was in the last 5-6 years of my marriage. Except when I was in it, I didn’t realize it. Hugs to all and Happy Friday.

    • Very similar to me in that I thought I was in a happy secure marriage. I was trusting. I made the fun in our marriage and didn’t complain that he did nothing but show up.

      We were married 14 years… friends for 20…and had a sweet little boy. My therapist told me that I didn’t know it, but if FW hasn’t left me, I would have likely left FW after our son graduated. It was hard for me to see it at first.

      But once the veil was lifted and I saw all the lies and gaslighting and garbage I had been dealing with (one of the biggest surprises was that when FW left, everything was EASIER. The house was cleaner. He had done so little, that picking up his slack was as simple as taking out the garbage and learning to use the bbq grill)

      So once I reached meh and had full clarity… I wanted to send thank you cards to the OW. Holy crap… thank you for taking that piece of shit. Very thankful she is stupid enough to take him.

      • I’d forgotten about how little they contributed too. He was a lazy slob so when he moved out my life just got easier!

        • Crazy right? Yet it’s like we are the frog in the water … slowly being boiled and not realizing it. Just by FW leaving, my life improved.

          • I use this frog being slowly boiled analogy all the time. It’s very apropos to what we all dealt with.

            They never bust through the door on Date #1 and outline in explicit detail how they’re going to ruin our lives slowly and surreptitiously.

            It’s always the slow boil. With no advance notice.

      • Klootzak goes on work trips and the only differences between him being here and not are that I take out the garbage and I do the laundry because when he is here he doesn’t want me to touch it, which makes me think he probably gets skank reek on his clothes. But yeah… the house is cleaner and we are relaxed. The improvement is immediate.

        • My XH was a business traveler too. The relief I got when he was gone was tremendous especially as the kids grew older & were not as physically demanding. But I wasn’t used to listening to my body. My gut instincts had been confused from day 1 of marriage to EH.

          I think his business travel allowed me to keep telling myself “It’s not so bad.”

          • The travel changed over time. Early in our relationship, I would miss him when he was gone. Then klootzak and I got married and he allowed his narcissistic, gaslighting, abusive behavior to come out. I started looking forward to him leaving. That should have been my sign right there. When they treat you so badly that you look forward to them being gone, that’s a sign. I thought maybe it just meant that we were getting older and settled but no… I have friends our age who still miss their spouses when they leave for work even after many years of marriage. But at the time, the gaslighting was not even known to me and he would throw up reasons why he had to have all my bank account passwords and that he criticized my weight because he was “concerned for (my) health.” Looking back, it all made me feel uneasy, sad, and trapped. I spackled way too much.

          • Cheater’s criticisms were incessant. He would criticize from morning to night about everything big and small. If called out on his attitude, he would claim he was kidding then resume a few moments later.

            I used his travel to regain my equilibrium and accomplish tasks that would be hard to do with him understood screaming criticisms in my face.

            I got so used to it , I didnt know any different.

          • I remember the same thing, feeling relieved when he used to travel, pre-pandemic. But I just told myself that he’s such an extroverted and lively person, and I’m so introverted and prefer peace and quiet, that it was natural to be happy for a little break. Marriage isn’t supposed to feel like that, I know that now. Also I’m a lot livelier when I don’t have to walk on eggshells at home.

    • Yes, I’m less lonely too despite being single. Lots of friends and love in my life, way more than before.

      I missed a local meeting last night because I stayed home with our dog who had been to the vet and was tipsy and emotional. A friend just texted me that they missed me and that everyone sent their love and concern for me and my canine friend. So sweet!

      I don’t know if romantic love will ever come my way again. Mine was a gray divorce, and I’m not looking for it. All kinds of love are out there though.

    • I was often lonely when I was married. I had forgotten what real happiness felt like. “Happiness” was just the avoidance of hurt (“What a nice day we had together. He didn’t yell at me.”).

      I am never lonely now that I am single. I enjoy my own company. I actually have friends (my ex didn’t like when I hung out with MY friends, only with his). I even have more family than before (ex had cut off his whole family – now that he is dead, they want to be part of our son’s life, and I realized that it wasn’t them who didn’t care; my son now has another set of grandparents, two aunts, two uncles, and two cousins that he didn’t before).

      I LOVE my single life. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

  • Raising both my hands on this one… I didn’t think I would ever get to this feeling of Meh, let alone gratitude for the OW… but here I am, 7 years post-discard/5 years divorced.

    Beyond the “not married to a cheating, lying, financially abusive and emotionally stunted whore”, I am grateful that I was able to raise my son to be a very smart, loving, and kind human (he’s 16, Mr. Sparkles walked out when he was in 3rd grade). I modeled strength and resiliency to my son, good life skills for him to have… he saw me grieve my loss; fight for my freedom; and build a loving home where we don’t have “silent treatments” and vague excuses for missing events… we don’t have disappearances to “go shoot pool”… we don’t have a constantly empty bank account. Instead, we have love, open dialogues, awesome vacations and adventures (just took him to an Elton John concert!), we do homework and he’s carrying straight A’s and is self-propelled.

    My blessing cup overfloweth… so do I thank the OW(s)… you betcha. And if you’re new or just not to Meh yet… keep on going… you’ll get to gratitude!

  • Grateful to the final OW- some of the earlier ones were my friends/students- but this last one must have insisted that he leave me so THANK YOU. I definitely would have spackled till death and my health would be in the toilet. I’m SURE he would have continued to happily consume cake for eternity, so she definitely instigated our divorce and now she’s financially supporting him. She’s a cheater too, so not crazy about my kids having to deal with her, but they barely see their father so most of their time is spent with me, the sane parent. This will definitely affect the rest of their lives so (in Jimmy Fallon voice), thank you, OW for giving me and my children a decent future!!!

  • “My question is this. Is anyone else grateful for the OW/OM for improving their lives so exponentially? I was committed. We had kids together. I would have kept spackling until I died, probably.”

    Yes, I’m quite grateful. After FW cheated on me and left me and the kids for GF#1 I took him back for a hellish reconciliation. I told him I would never give up on him and that I loved him and that I would always be there for him (blah blah blah) and he took the open invitation and perched back on my shoulder for as long as it took to find GF#3/Wifetress and then he was gone again.

    So, thank goodness for her. I’ve always said I was grateful that he left again. I wish they weren’t married and I wish neither of them were in my life but I’m still grateful. This man was horrible to me and horrible for me and–even in the face of blatant adultery–I clearly never would have left him. I would have spackled until I died, definitely. What a miserable life I would have had.

    Thank goodness he left me again because I never would have left him.

  • I had more than one of these relationships. I’m now engaged to a rock solid, kind, brilliant, chill, funny, responsible, and giving man after a three year relationship break coming to deeply understand and heal my trauma bonding pattern that started with my sociopath narcissist mother, and two years of careful dating with lots of weeding out of men who were damaged, red flag bearing, or boring, etc. My mother had volunteered to testify for my exhusbands parenting when he was on court ordered supervised visits and court ordered psychiatric meds and therapy. I had three kids under five. I was raised by a really bad mother who many found charming. The court got my ex to work and contribute financially and stay on bipolar meds. I couldn’t accomplish that. There were two OW that I knew of. I didn’t know about the cheating at first but the marriage tanked and his financial betrayals accelerated during that period. Yes, I would have spakled for a very long time even though I’d threatened divorce for years. It took a series of these extreme betrayals for me to see my mother and husband for what they were and to figure out that my anxious attachment and trauma bonding pattern had to be healed like a drug addiction. I was wronged of course. But I was easily fooled and put myself in danger. I am oddly grateful for the extremities of betrayals that got me to finally step back and understand the larger emotional dynamics and heal myself.

  • I remember sitting down and typing out a thank you letter to the hundreds of prostitutes, internet hookups ups, sexting partners, and online cam girls a week or so after I left. It was cathartic for me to do that at the time.
    Otherwise, I’m more thankful to T-Mobile for sending the notification that his cell phone would no longer work on the new system and that I needed to get him a new one. The account was in my name, so I had to be the one to exchange out the old one. Mere coincidence that an endless stream of texts started popping up while I was sitting in the store waiting my turn. I drove home, packed a bag, and hightailed it out of Dodge…
    And I’ve never been happier!

    • Ah I love it! Thank you, T-Mobile indeed! Sorry that had to happen but thankful it was crystal clear for you. For me it was Amazon. Got an email saying, “Thank you for returning your Avis car rental today. Due to our partnership with Avis, you get Amazon credit for $22 for this rental.” He wasn’t due home yet from a business trip so I wondered why he returned the car early. Turns out he was on vacation with the OW. I didn’t know it then…took me 2 years to figure it all out. But that Amazon email was the beginning of the end.

      • Amazon told me about AP #2 too! Turns out archiving an order doesn’t stop the store from asking the next person to log in if they want to buy another one of the expensive gifts sent to an AP.

  • Oh Yeah , for the first few weeks/months after D Day I was a wreck , but Tuesday came when I thought of what kind of person would do the things she did with no regard , no empathy , no remorse. And I was equally abhorred by the AP , no thought that he was instrumental in destroying our family. He didn’t care as long as he could wet his weiner. The light bulb came on. Now I am thankful he got that skank out of my life.

    P.S. He left her for another 5 years later. Ain’t Karma great…

  • When my story was just that i was victimized by a cheater and lout it didn’t give me an analysis that best contributed to growth and safety. My take away was to pick a better man. That wasn’t enough. I had to realize that from childhood I had become acclimated to loving behavior alternating with abuse, insults and betrayals. All I did was pick the more shiny or well disguised turd. I was a highly accomplished over giving empath type. So instead, I picked very different types of men who would inevitably let me down. After my three years alone dedicated to healing I had mad skills in seeing red flags. I had boundaries. I was emotionally able to be very single and very happy. The main problem was not the cheaters. The main gratitude is nothing outside of myself like the court or the OW. The main problem was my un healed trauma that created shitty discernment. I’m grateful that i understood that I needed to heal trauma driven behavior and I did it.

  • While I never want to cross paths again with AP, ex-friend and still his live-in co-worker, I am grateful for 3 things:

    When he wouldn’t admit he was cheating, she confirmed my suspicions

    She has the delight of looking after him as he ages. The hemorrhoids (let’s not go into that), the heart attack at 60 and a lifetime of awful eating…all hers.

    He’s not working so joint funds cover my very generous maintenance.

    I’m good with all that but thankful or grateful is still a stretch.

  • I don’t care as far as the marriage goes. If it wasn’t her then it would have been some other mess. What matters is the example she presents to my 3 adult girls and my grandchildren. She has been living with a married man for 5 years as he has refused to cooperate and I finally filed.
    I told the girls that until he divorces me I will not interact with her.

    My youngest told me one day that the thing she liked about her dad was that he was so supportive of women and women’s rights. I told her that was one thing I had liked about her dad but that she had to be careful about how she interprets that. I said look at his actions/treatment of women (he also cheats on the mess and the girls know it, he was also not good to his 90 year old mother) in his life beyond the words. I left it at that.

    • Oh I would NOT have taken well to the “supportive of women and women’s rights” comment! Sounds like you handled it very well 👏

  • “I was committed. We had kids together. I would have kept spackling until I died, probably. Now, when he talks about getting back together, it makes my skin crawl on a visceral level. I am so relieved that I do what I want, can actually pay all my bills without stress, and am now longer catering to his every need”. (OP)

    I could have written this. And also:

    “I understand the relief that a FW is someone else’s responsibility now. The parasite finds another host, thank God it’s not you. I feel relief if that person is a Schmoopie (no tag backs!), and pity if it isn’t”. (CL)

    I do understand, but in my particular chump story there could have been no relief if XW did end up with AP, unless I could get full custody of the kids and a clause denying AP access to them (both things almost impossible to do). He is a creepy dude, I don’t want that mess anywhere near my kids (had a nightmare with that just the last night). The kids already have an unhealthy ammount of creepiness coming from their mother and her FOO. Thank goodness he dumped her and her vindictiviness towards him has pushed him away from any chance of a “reconciliation” (at least I think, but I don’t understand fuckwits at all).

    I think in most situations involving shared custody of kids the X ending up with AP feels at least uneasy. There is some adding insult to injury. I can imagine though the no kids scenario and it sounds just right that the two POSs ended up together, I would have loved that. Would sit down with some popcorn and watch their going for each others jugulars after no time. Just kidding, I wouldn’t waste my time sitting through a freak show: I am currently gaining a life. But it is like someone said here yesterday, I think quoting Velvet Hammer: an affair is a three-legged stool, the chump being one leg. That stool did crumble from my departure. They did put up a good show then but I think the mushroom cloud would have been bigger and more glaring had they stayed together a little longer.

    For the guy FW XW is currently taking advantage of I do feel some pity. I thought at first it was genuine sympathy, but no, I am not that good a person: I was 16 when I felt for her tricks; he is 58, he should know better. If she end up hurting him and his family, I just feel relieved it is not me and my kids anymore. That is how cynical I’ve become. I have to admit it is good that I can let my guard down (not really, half guard instead of closed guard, but still a guard) when my kids are around him, because he is not a criminal or someone with an unsavory lifestyle (to my standards).

    But as for gratitude… I spare mine to people that willingly did me good, not as a byproduct of sucker punching me or just wanting to get laid by my XW. I am grateful to my kids, my parents, my friends, my therapist, my lawyer, and last but not least, Tracy and her amazing Chump Nation. Without you I would not have lawyered up and lined up my ducks, I would not trust that FW XW sucks, and I would still be spackling.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! A million thanks to Tracy and each fellow chump here.

  • My ex’s last schmoopie actually outed him to me on Facebook after he wouldn’t leave her alone. For some reason I never felt ill will towards her, (she was young and vulnerable, he was her boss). I thank the Lord for her everyday because I would still be in the marriage, fighting for every scrap of crumbs, desperate for him to care about our son. At first it was little things, like being able to pay off credit cards and getting the whole closet to myself. And in the 7 years since, it’s been big things- buying two houses, rental income, traveling the world, and the most loving man who treats my son as his own. All that she gave to me, and she’ll never know how grateful I am.

  • The endless devaluing is not missed and I’m grateful someone else has to deal with the lack of common sense and organisational skills.

  • Another yes here! I married one of those guys who keeps the worst of his dysfunction under wraps until after the wedding, and then he turned into a whole new person (one who deeply resented being “stuck” in a marriage h wanted instead of being single and free). His affair with OW snapped me out of sparkling.

    To give you a sense of his situational awareness, one time when I went over to his apartment to pick up some items of mine he “accidentally” took when he moved out, he whined that women had been hitting on him all the time when he was married but that dried up when he took his ring off.

    After we divorced, he and OW got together. I hear he managed to run through a generous financial settlement from her first marriage before dumping her for a younger model. I’m sure he would have done the same with our joint finances if I’d been foolish enough to stick around.

    In the aftermath of all that drama I met and married my husband of 20+ years and the father of our children. I have only the vaguest idea of what became of ex and OW, and good riddance.

  • I just found out that the ex got dumped by the skank and he’s sad and alone boohoo. He thinks she just wanted to live closer to be with her family but I think she’s got a new boyfriend as that is how she operates. Anyway, I’m glad she kicked him to the curb. I’m grateful, actually. But I still despise her for how she lives her ugly, trashy life.

  • I don’t feel gratitude, nor do I feel hatred toward the OW. Toward HER, I feel, mostly, “Meh”. The FW is her problem now, not mine. I certainly know what he is like, and am glad I am out of that nightmare. And I also know what SHE is like (willing to f*ck a married man), so have no sympathy.

    I still have nightmares about the FW, though. Not quite to “meh” on him.

    • Yeah, I don’t hate her. Really never did. But, I can’t be grateful because of the low life she and he both are. He was not her first married man rodeo. I doubt she could compete for any successful single men, they have options.

      She had three kids, was financially irresponsible, and her kids were a mess. Not their fault how she raised them, but most successful single guys just won’t go there. So she trolled for married men, and finally found one stupid enough to get her a job as his direct report.

      I never did understand how he could have done something so stupid. But there it is.

      Likely he thought until his house of cards fell that he had it all under control.

  • I had suspected my ex was cheating for several years but could never find any proof. In mid-2011, I received a ‘death bed confession’ of sorts in the form of a note from a woman, Margaret, who he worked with in his industry. He spoke of her often, but as she was several years older than him and was caring for her dying husband, I thought nothing of it. Stupid me. She thanked me for “sharing” my husband with her, extolling his wonderful qualities … blah, blah, blah. Never once did she offer any apology. I never mentioned it because my father was dying at the same time and my focus was, of course, on him and my mother.

    When my father died in August of that year, a couple from our church came to my mother’s house armed with a laptop and scanner and scanned hundreds of photos of my father. At his memorial service reception, the photos were displayed on eight different story boards, chronicling his eight decades of life. He was the only one in the pictures, but I could remember where he(we) was(were) in every single one. It was completely overwhelming! There before me was the marriage and family life I had always wanted and didn’t have. In that moment, I knew what needed to be done and I set out getting my ducks in a row.

    Margaret the AP died in March of 2012. I never let on that I knew about her, but I kept her note tucked carefully away.

    2012 brought its own complications… me still mourning my father’s death and helping my mother settle the estate, my father-in-law’s rapidly declining health, and the looming fact that we’d need to declare bankruptcy for the second time in our marriage because of the ex’s poor money management and his accumulation of $100,000+ in credit card debt. (Over a three-year period, I began to notice more and more credit cards, but never once saw a bill (they were sent to his office) and when I questioned, was told to “mind your own f&*$ing business and stay out of mine!” That led me to start writing down the cc numbers and c/s numbers so that I could monitor his balances. I was lucky to figure out his PIN codes,). We filed for bankruptcy in May of 2012. After that, I discovered he was using his father’s money while his father had been put in an assisted living facility (another long story!). His father had years earlier given the ex complete POA and the ex used that power to his full advantage. FIL died in October 2012.

    Two weeks before Christmas that year, I went to ex’s office to have a talk with him about ending our marriage come the new year. He agreed.

    Now it’s May of 2013 and nothing is happening on the divorce front. He always had an excuse for not wanting to start the process. As I was a SAHM for the past 15 years and was given a monthly ‘stipend’ to run the household, I had no access to other money to retain an attorney. At the same time, I found proof of another suspected affair. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back! My monthly stipend for June went to retain an attorney. I didn’t care about the mortgage and bills at that point … I wanted out!! When my attorney’s office called to say the papers were successfully served, it was THE MOST empowering moment of my life!! That euphoric feeling only lasted a short time until he arrived home to confront me. The 15 months that followed was pure hell!!

    The AP didn’t last long until he was on to the next one. He dated three different woman throughout the course of our 15-month divorce and is now remarried to someone else. Good riddance!

    The “straw that broke the camel’s back“ AP worked at the time as a make-up artist for a well-known wrestling conglomerate. Googling her several years later (after seeing a friend’s daughter in a wedding photo shoot where AP had done the makeup), I found an article about her career with the wrestling corporation. The article spoke briefly about her personal life and how “her busy work schedule never afforded her the opportunity to find a purposeful relationship that would lead to marriage.” I SO wanted to comment … “well, it certainly didn’t stop her from dating married men with children!” but alas I deleted my comment before hitting the ‘send’ button and went on with my cheater-free life!

    So to answer today’s Friday challenge… yes, I’m very grateful in so many ways for the OW(s)!!

    “Leave a cheater, gain a life” indeed!!! Thank you, Chump Lady, for all you continue to do to empower us all!! 💜🤗😘

    • Sue W you showed much mercy to that OW!
      “her busy work schedule never afforded her the opportunity to find a purposeful relationship that would lead to marriage.” Ha! The truth probably would have been edited out of the comments.

  • At first I wasn’t, but now I am forever grateful to both sumo wrestler slam you down next door neighbor sidepiece and suicidal lot lizard nanny 26 years younger sidepiece. (Don’t get your panties in a wad about their nicknames….they earned those master pieces!) Sumo Wrestler, literally came out swinging and physically assaulting me and my ex husband. When I found out she was beating him, I just smiled and thought he got everything he ever deserved. They are now divorced but solidified the boundaries that I have with him today. *Praise Jesus!*.

    Suicidal lot lizard nannypants, stole the heart(ha) and the HR infraction rule book with my ex boyfriend. She cried wolf and said she would harm herself, him, me, his kids and blow up his job and his life on social media if he didn’t hitch himself up with her. She lied about a pregnancy, practiced witchcraft in his house while she was watching his young boys, said she saw ghost and demons, had an eating disorder, was a serious alcoholic and had major high/low mood swings. I tried to “help” him by telling him that if any person threatens to harm themselves or others needs serious psychological help from a doctor. His response, “it was his job to help her because she was his like a part of his family!” Looking back I realize all the crap my ex did to me before she was in the picture (he was serial cheater – social media and dating apps was his playground….100’s of girls he would talk to and some he would randomly meet up with on “business trips” all over). Now, I thank God that he brought that nightmare of a catalyst in my life. That experience was the pivot point that made me do the hard work on myself to set boundaries, recognize red flags in others, and stop giving to undeserving people.

    Note: suicidal thoughts is nothing to laugh at and should be taken seriously. That said, it should not be used as a weapon to mindfuck others to stay in a toxic relationship. It’s sick!

      • Right?!? It’s like the crazier they are the more the FW gets off. It’s like a perverted sexual, mental and control freak deluge of batshit crazy between the FW and AP. It’s so fucked up!

  • Grateful to the person who spent three years of her life fighting tooth and nail to steal my husband, break apart my family and destroy my life? That’s a hard no from me. That’s right up there with “he did you a favor”, something well-meaning friends say to me about my ex leaving me for ow. Why should I give either of them any credit for how wonderful my life is now? That is all me, baby! I am grateful to myself for calling an end to the pick-me-dance three months after D-day; grateful to myself for filing for divorce, grateful to myself for building a life better than I could have imagined. I am responsible for where I am now, not the OW

  • While at first I was extremely jealous and felt extremely insecure, I am deeply grateful for the OW he chose. While she is a very shiny person, she is also very patently a bad person. So patently, in fact, that even FW admitted before leaving that she only had one female friend, and that this was because she effectively despised every other female around her, including her sister. As for males, she treated very well those she deemed worthy of maybe possibly being a (future) love interest, and the rest she despised as well.

    And then he left for her in spite of knowing this!

    So while at first I felt she was prettier, sexier, younger, sharper, wittier, more professional, more intelligent, more curious, and more accomplished, I am now so glad he chose her, because it was his choice that unveiled him, and seeing the way she trated everyone helped me realise that no, the problem was not me.

    Unfortunately, not long after, he got together with someone else, which is a shame, as that means he didn’t have time to truly experience Schmoopie’s full nastiness. What a pity! 😂

    • What goes around comes around. FW exh got clobbered through his own stupidity after I went no contact and our divorce. Losers never learn.

    • “Unfortunately, not long after, he got together with someone else, which is a shame, as that means he didn’t have time to truly experience Schmoopie’s full nastiness. What a pity! ”

      No that wold have pissed me off in real time. I wanted, no needed for him to have the full low life whore experience and for her to have the full lying asswipe experience. From what little I heard about, they gave it to each other good.

  • I’m grateful for the OW like I’m grateful for my garbageman/garbagewoman.

    I’m glad the trash is no longer stinking up my house, but I’m not going to write a thank-you card just for doing what you do.

    Garbagemen take garbage; OWs take husbands from better women than themselves. It’s who they are and what they do and there’s no need to praise them for it.

    • “Garbagemen take garbage; OWs take husbands from better women than themselves. It’s who they are and what they do and there’s no need to praise them for it.”

      So many smart women/men on here. Wish I could write half as good as most of them.

    • Yes! That strikes the right note with me. Any good that came of their ill intentions was an outcome that they did not intend. They weren’t acting as they were to try to help the chump to a better life. It’s like when someone goes through chemo and loses a bunch of weight. They don’t, say, “Thank goodness I had cancer and lost weight!” APs are just being slimy and awful. I would be relieved for one to take klootzak off my hands but grateful is not the right word to use toward them in my opinion. And I admit I used to think I would feel gratitude but the more I have thought about it, they don’t deserve one iota of positive thought from me.

      • Agree.

        Also, I know this is tangential, and we’ve been over this before, but, for the life of me, I can’t understand how the AP’s friends, who are made aware of the nature of the affair (and sordid details like sleeping in each other’s marital beds), continue to support her.

        I’m trying to decide if, in my pre-chump state when I enjoyed watching shows like The Affair, I would have done the same.

        I shouldn’t care about any of this. And I know I shouldn’t harbor a wish that the friends look at her differently, that she’s fallen a few notches, that it’s “not the same.”

        • I think most just adopt a posture of “I’m not going to comment on someone else’s marriage” and try to stay out of it.

          Or they think the chump was partially responsible for what happened to them.

          Not gonna lie, even I thought things like that until it happened to me. The RIC has made a culture out of blaming the chump and I used to buy into it.

          • Yep, there is comfort in believing that it is partly the chumps fault. If the chump had been a better spouse like they themselves are, well then it wouldn’t have happened.

            At least that is their hope.

  • I’m grateful – but not for OW (although I do enjoy the thought of her dealing with what I did for 10 years). I’m grateful to the universe for staging an intervention. Thank you God/fate/universe…..I needed that.

    • Agreed.

      I think God did try to get me to open my eyes before Dday, and I spackled. So he had to eventually smack me in the face with it.

      Ouch, but yes Thank you God.

    • I absolutely credit God in all this.

      The Bible says God sends lying spirits (2 Chronicles 18:21), a verse that a lot of people struggle with. But the point of the lying spirits wasn’t to deceive—it was to expose the truth, that Ahab cared nothing about listening to God and would follow hungrily after any lie.

      So I’m absolutely open to the possibility that God sent a woman with loose morals and fake Christianity, not to promulgate adultery but to open my eyes and show me who my husband really was.

      Doesn’t mean we should thank the lying spirit / Other Woman for playing their unholy part.

  • I don’t know if “grateful” is the correct term for me. I will say that, if not for her, et al., I would still be spellbound thinking I was married to Mr. Nice Guy and wondering WTF was wrong with me.

    I second what Rarity said above. I am grateful for the outcome but not at all for the experience that precipitated it.

  • Grateful in this instance reminds me of the Biblical story of Joseph and his brothers. His jealous brothers first leave him to die and then sell him into slavery in Egypt.. He improbably becomes the Pharoah’s second in command. Because of a famine his brother’s travel to Eqypt for food. Joseph recognizes them, messes with them, but eventually reconciles and saves his family from starving. Joseph famously says, “What you intended as harm God has used for good!”
    So who should be grateful here for the evil act against Joseph?
    -Joseph, because he ended up rich and powerful?
    -The brother’s, because their family was saved
    Joseph gives credit to God, but you could also say fate or happenstance. No credit is given to the evildoers. Despite Joseph’s reconciling with them, the brother’s always lived in fear of what he could do to them. Joseph goes on to be pretty much a megalomaniac, taking all the land from the peasants and setting the groundwork for the Hebrew captivity.
    The original evil was never reconciled.

    • Yup. Joseph was a golden child. Definitely had FOO issues. lol

      Funny you brought this up as I just told my child this story a few days ago. G-d brings the truth to us. The evildoers are just a mechanism used.

      As much as this sucks, I find so many things I am grateful for. D-day was a true revelation. D-day #2 was G-d hitting me with a 2 X 4.

  • Not grateful in any way, shape or form to FW exh. Is anyone grateful for COVID?

    I am grateful that I freed myself from an imitation husband and his sex addiction. I am grateful to the good people who helped me out on the way. I am exceedingly grateful to CL and the kind posters on this site. 🙂

  • Not his OWs per se, but I’m grateful that his current girlfriend has stuck around. She provides stability for my child when she’s over there and keeps my ex from bothering me so much cause he’s preoccupied with their world. When he’s been single, his communication toward me is even more exhausting,

  • I’m not sure I’d say I’m grateful for the OW. She’ along with my ex, caused me so much pain and trauma. They blew up my life and my son’s life (who was just a year old at the time.) She dumped my ex shortly after I filed for divorce and from what I understand is still married years later to her trust fund baby of a husband. But I think she accelerated the inevitable because of it wasn’t her, there would have been another OW at some point. My ex was a secretive liar even before his affair and a prime candidate for cheating. I’m at total meh from a romantic perspective with my ex, but the social and financial fall out of being left and having divorced him is like the gift that unfortunately keeps on giving five years later.

  • I am oh so grateful my life blew up because now I am out of relationship with FW. It took me nearly two years of living away from him to recognize covert emotional abuse. I couldn’t understand while I was with him why things felt distant, why I couldn’t relax around him, why I didn’t feel I could trust him when he was always so “gentle” and “soft-spoken” and would willingly talk to me about our problems. But then problems that he was actually causing became MY problems, that I had unrealistic expectations and it shouldn’t matter (i.e. desiring that we not constantly be late for things 🙄) I was folding myself up so so small and over time I was feeling more and more stifled. The hell that came when he was arrested for felonies he’d completely hidden from me was the worst hell I’ve ever experienced. Yet on the other side I am grateful that everything blew up so spectacularly, because I never would have seen the abuse for what it was. I would have just kept folding myself up smaller and smaller for him until I suffocated to death. I am nowhere near healed, but freedom is a beautiful thing.

  • Like Laurie, I would have stayed in my marriage forever, spackling over all of the emotional, financial and sexual abuse, never realizing how not-myself I had become, and how deeply unfulfilled I was on every level within the relationship. So yes, I am grateful, not so much for the long line of OWs that I now know were present for all of my 30+ year relationship, but that I found out the truth before I devoted any more of my life to a man who was not who I believed him to be. I am very, very grateful that I am finding my true self again and living an authentic life. I’m also grateful that ex’s new wife is one of his many stripper OWs who very clearly married him because she was aging out of the stripper game and wanted a meal ticket. I don’t have to feel sorry for her when I say, as I do often, “all sales final – no returns”. 😀

  • Maybe it’s just a matter of semantics. For me and I guess at least some fellow chumps here gratitude entails a sense of obligation and commitment to the other person. We are not takers, we reciprocate. I would never put myself in harm’s way to avert some ill from falling onto AP or new boyfriend, which is something I would definitely do for someone I am grateful for whatever. If ill falled onto new boyfriend (as I am sure it will in due time, ask me how I know), I would just shrug my shoulders (maybe pity the guy and certainly be sorry for his daughter); if ill falls onto AP I would gladly participate in it if I had any chance and if it wasn’t against my moral code or my family’s best interest.

    Now, if ill should fall onto my FW XW I would (and already did, several times post DDays) intervene for the sake of my children. Given shared custody and their love for her, what is bad for her is bad for them, that’s what I keep repeating to myself. But this obligation stems from my love for the kids, nothing else.

    I feel entitled to my bitterness towards these three people. My reactions to each one of them are modulated by my loyalty to my kids and my own moral standards. My goal is to no longer feel anything for any one of these assholes. I feel it’s getting closer by the day.

  • The final OW in my mirage of a marriage was willing to fight for her man. So desperate she placed a want ad in the newspaper looking for a dance partner ages 48-57, no marrieds as her ultimatum to pick her. They had been having an affair (with him dating multiple women) for a year and a half. You guessed it, he was 57 when he made his choice.

    I’m grateful for my therapist, Tracy, and all the chumps who supported me on my journey which ultimately made me file and gain a life. Additionally, I’m grateful for where he landed as it was instant karma. I like to refer to it as the dropping off point and believe he wakes up daily to the skankiest whore imaginable. She allowed him to be himself and true to his nature he dumped his business, moved four times and bought six vehicles over a span of seven years. She landed an investment genius. Unable to afford the rising rent he got her to move to his ultimate cheating ground, Florida. They bought an overpriced trailer in the center of the state where temps are 90 or above with humidity so high the residents are asked to stay inside for a good four months during the daylight hours.

    These are the things I’m grateful for after passing the torch to Nancy:
    She gets to wake up to a wet bed and wash the sheets.
    She gets to listen to his laundry list of complaints; the list is LONG.
    She gets to fake an orgasm and service him daily (penis pump /short stick dick).
    She has to drive the drunk on a daily basis.
    She has to wait for him for an hour and a half every morning while he grooms himself.
    She has to listen to that annoying sound he makes while cleaning his teeth with his tongue.
    She has to wait every time he gets out of the truck to put on his shirt before locking the car.
    She gets to live on a small SS check because he claimed zero on his taxes.
    She gets to travel hours to a beach because the only trailer park they could afford was centrally located.
    She gets to wish she was a snow bird instead of sitting in sweltering heat all summer.
    She gets to watch him check out every ass and tits while she’s out with him.
    She gets to scan his phone and constantly be hypervigilant given her experience as the OW.
    She thought he filed and never told her he didn’t have and attorney.
    Finally, she gets to marry him after her birthday and forever take care of a total coward who is always looking.

    I’m grateful that is no longer my life. After divorcing him I got my finances in order and focused on saving for retirement. #stuckwithit

  • I am grateful to the universe. For the people who took my place after me I feel mostly Schadenfreude, else pity.

    The older I get, the more I see how clueless most people are about psychopathy. And when I was young I was more clueless than most.

  • I am just coming into this stage. It’s been two years since D-Day.

    Recently, I saw a fb posting of the two of them at an event. It’s the same stupidly smiling pose they have been using since D-Day – just taken on a different day in a different location.

    What I see now is the truth. First – he’s ugly. And she’s ugly. Don’t know why I wasn’t able to pull off the rose color glasses earlier on that one. Would have saved me so many months of heartache. Second – I know how much he absolutely HATES going to the things she’s taking him to. I lived with the man 40 years. His fake smile is not covering his deep hatred of her parading him around. She thinks he’s having a good time. I know he’s demanding sex in transaction and his demands will only get more unreasonable and raging. I’m pretty sure she’s carrying his balls in her purse right now, but he’s covert. He’s keeping a score card and her time to pay up (not counting the sex she is giving readily now to get him to take her anywhere) – her day of reckoning is coming very soon judging by the stabs of cold hatred in his eyes behind the fake smile.

    Sucks to be him! Hahaha! Thank you so very, very much Chump Nation! I cannot imagine doing this without all of you!

  • I’m not grateful to Ex-Mrs LFTT’s AP – he can rot in hell for all I care – but I do pity him.

    Ex-Mrs LFTT and her AP moved in together about 4 years ago and a year after our divorce was finalised. He’s now the one who has to put up with her manipulative BS on a daily basis, which means that the kids and I don’t have to. The kids (now 25, 22 and 18 but 18, 16 and 11 when she left) are in a much better place now that they can put some emotional and physical distance between themselves and their egg donor.

    Coincidently, her AP is now off work with severe depression …. poor thing, I can’t imagine the last few years have been easy on him.

    Stupid f*cker should have made better choices.

    LFTT

  • i’m not grateful to the next, but i’m grateful for all i’ve learned from CL, my therapist, good friends and my kids. i’m grateful for the passage of time. we’re making it through and will be all right.

    my X and his next are not quality people, and never will be quality people. they deserve one another. i doubt they’ll last because of the alcoholic chaos but you never know. maybe she’s an alcoholic, too? i’ve seen her drink a lot of wine in a short amount of time, so it’s possible. but first she has to extract herself from her marriage without attracting too much attention. TBH i find her quite weird–awkward and a bit inappropriate given her senior position. but she’s younger and blond and wears high heels.

    i try not to think about that too much. i’ve got other fish to fry.

  • Hell Yes! Life without former cheating XW is so so much better. Recently remarried a wonderful woman who is everything I could have ever wished for. Spent my childrens teen years doing what we wanted to do rather than what fuckwit ex wanted. Thanks to scabby OM who went crawling back to his wife making laugh at how pitiful he is.

  • I lost a baby-man who loved drama and attention

    From his exaggerated food allergies to his heart ailment that he said gave him only 2 years to live (renewed every 2 years of course)

    A selfish whiner lousy gift giver shitty lover insurance scammer finger pointer and all around shit

    A big plus to my life when the garbage took itself out

  • Am I grateful to the last AP? Well, yes and no. My STBX always told me that if he was single or divorced his pension would die with him and so I imagined that even if he was ordered to pay support it wouldn’t be for long. How many years would you give an alcoholic smoker with high blood pressure and sleep apnea in his late sixties? However, discovering the most recent betrayal lit a fire under me and I did some research and discovered the pension can be split into two. So yes, the AP did light that fire and I suppose I should thank her for that.

    Along the way though, I was able to find some of their emails and I could see FW was pouring out his little soul to AP about problems at home. We had had a fight because he said I never paid for meals on the extremely rare occasions we went out. Maybe because his pension was over $9,000 per month and mine was just under $200 ? She emailed him to say “She will probably never pay” and to console him. So, no, I didn’t appreciate her weighing in on personal matters.

    As far as I know, they aren’t together any more. She probably stayed with her husband and seems to be very high maintenance anyway. FW would use Google Translate (I know, what kind of a relationship is it if they don’t even have a mother tongue in common? Mind you, they did have the tongue) and didn’t know how to erase the history. So at first I could see that it was mostly sexting but as things progressed she seemed to get quite needy and demanding. I think she fancies herself a bohemian intellectual and as she came to know the real FW she realized he isn’t the person he pretended to be.

    I look back and see how lonely I was and that I had lost me. Things aren’t rosy yet because he is fighting me at every step and it is costing a fortune in legal fees but I feel so much better – I am in control of my life. We have been married for almost 42 years (I hope it won’t be 43) and the other day my friend asked me if I had any regrets. I told her that my only regret was not having found the courage to leave sooner. Thank you to Chump Lady and Chump Nation for being a safe space to come to when things suck – I am so glad I found the book and this site and hope others are too.

  • If I am being perfectly selfish? Yes.

    But she hurt my children so deeply and profoundly that I cannot be grateful.

    Yes, if it hadn’t been her, it would have been some other dumb twat. He failed to protect our family from his demons. It’s on him. But she handed him the gasoline and matches.

  • No, I am not grateful to the prostitutes, call girls, FriendFinder, porn stars, porn industry, the other business men who gave my husband their tricks on how to cheat, or the shoe store owner that kept porn mags down in the basement bathroom (where XH worked as a teenager). I’m not even grateful to the credit card industry that printed detailed billing statements that helped me understand that XH cheated on me.
    And I hate the widespread belief that “things happen for a reason.” Did I really get an STI for some reason? Did my daughters really need to be disgusted by their father for a reason? Did my son, who is on the autistic spectrum, really need to be ignored by his father, for a reason? Did I really need to be gaslighted over the years, 35 of them, and lose my confidence in myself, for a reason?
    I call that philosophy bullshit.

    • That shoe store owner was always an “upstanding man” in his small town, well liked by everyone, respected by all, loved by his wife & kids. I wanted to gag when I saw him for the first time in 30 years. I also had to think that his elderly wife & grown children were either exceptional actors/actresses in public or were still blissfully ignorant.
      He taught teenage boys that it was ok to use women.

    • I do believe that things happen for a reason, and unfortunately the reason can be simply because a lying piece of shit and his/her accomplice decided to indulge in their own pleasure not caring who or how many they destroy in their path.

      In fact I would say that is the reason for most of the pain of betrayal. There is no good reason for evil acts against another.

      • What I was talking about is not the reason why things happen, but that some people have made known their belief that GOD makes bad things to happen for his reasons.

        .The first time I heard this was when I had a child born with a disability. Apparently “God made this happen because he knew that I would be a good parent.” Well, my background was in the assessment of children with developmental disabilities, and there were plenty of children who had parents who didn’t care about their kids and abused them.

        The last time I heard this philosophy was last month at the dentist of all places. The hygienist saw lots of gum inflammation on my exam & after I told her I had no illnesses, she asked about stress in the last year. Well, I told her- I separated from my husband, filed for divorce, sold the family home, bought another home for myself, and finalized the divorce. She said, “oh that’s a lot of stress!” Her next question was “do you believe things happen for a reason?”
        I shut her down with a firm “no.”
        But I felt like screaming, “do you believe that someone is abused FOR A REASON???!!!”

        • * God, OR a higher power. I’ve often heard this philosophy in Al Anon meetings, & in S anon meetings.
          As if your higher power caused the addict to have an addiction and act out & ruin your family so as to teach you a lesson.

  • Ive been divorced almost 6 years was married 21. After the period of rage and anger and jealousy and confusion I am finally at peace with what happened. I have zero contact with anyone from that life but don’t get me wrong, if I heard through the grapevine something bad happened to either my XH or Schmoopie I would definitely have a good laugh!
    My realization is that he is a serial cheater, has always been a serial cheater and will always be a serial cheater. I know he hasn’t changed and I’m glad he’s not my problem anymore

  • No – the OW’s my fkwit chose (40 prostitutes and counting) have badgered my life for the past several years… I guess it’s their way of fun… continued threats, phone calls to my office, I’ve paid for 3 restraining orders – it doesn’t do any good. Fkwit continues to see whores, posts his reviews on The Erotic Review along with 100’s of other men – and the whores keep whoring.
    And I go to work everyday, keep upgrading my security cameras, pay my taxes, stop at red lights, color between the lines…. after 5 years of watching the corrupt system favor the whores I’m committed to just living my best life now and stop trying to make sense of the senseless – there’s OW’s and there’s whores – they are all dangerous psychopathics.
    Congrats though to YOU for taking the high road, getting your masters degree and starting a new life – with 3 children! I too have a masters and a law degree – education is the one thing no one can take away from you.

  • Grateful to be fuckwit free.

    Schmoopie #19 is playing nurxse to x’s hypochondria on cue every major golf tournament
    (E.V.E.R.Y.) and regular minor surgeries to score “prescription ” pain meds.

    Plus has to say “no” to poopy diaper face spending (her) money.

    Not missing that. Not missing the disrespect and devalue. Not missing the covert passive aggressive.

    Any woman who moves into a house that has another woman’s wedding picture on the wall deserves the consequences.

    Adult kids figuring this out.

  • Grateful. It’s an odd word to use in this circumstance.

    Let’s say I got hit by a drunk driver and ended up in the hospital with several broken bones. Let’s say, too, that in the process of doing x-rays, the docs discovered that I had a cancer that could be treated if caught early. In that case, I guess I might be oddly grateful to the drunk driver.

    It’s kind of like that.

    I’m glad I’m free. The circumstances of my extradition from what I thought was a good marriage because of trauma bonding, spackling and/or whatever, truly sucked. Emotional pain doesn’t heal like bones. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it completely.

    But, yea, life is better now. If you’re a newbie, please know that it gets better. (Note: D-Day for me was the end of 2019.)

    • “Let’s say I got hit by a drunk driver and ended up in the hospital with several broken bones. Let’s say, too, that in the process of doing x-rays, the docs discovered that I had a cancer that could be treated if caught early. In that case, I guess I might be oddly grateful to the drunk driver.

      It’s kind of like that.”

      Perfect! Very well said! 👏👏👏

    • ” I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it completely.”

      I think it is unlikely that most folks will get over it entirely. By that I mean, it happened it is a part of us, and we have memories.

      It does not mean we don’t go on to have joy and fulfillment in our life, but as you say emotional pain does not heal the same way bones do.

  • OW distracted him while I got my ducks in order and protected ALL of the assets. She got an old parasite porn addict swinger frequent urine infections and cystitis. Thank you nature and pathogens!

    • Haha. Great.

      Ode to the OW

      You got:
      a functional alcoholic
      who dirties the toilet every time #yuk

      a porn addict
      who needs viagra #porndesensitizationisreal #over60problems

      a fly fishing freak
      who is truly addicted. #Fishtattoo #hardtoexplain

      a sad-sack cluster B asshole
      who can do the silent treatment like no other and is up to his eyeballs in DARVO

      an entitled jerk
      who always look after his own interests and wants you to clean his spittle when he gets old (he told me this, btw)

      a bitter man
      who blames his former wife and kids for all that ails him (How dare we go NC??)

      a reckless driver
      who scares the shit out of his passengers (and doesn’t care)

      a liar
      who denies lying

      a socially awkward man
      who needs to drink to “loosen up” at parties (and even then he’s super awkward; he just doesn’t realize it)

      a cheater
      who has found his match in you!

      I could go on. You got SO much in him.

      No tag backs.

        • Haha. Yep. Nothing says “twu luv” like matching, massive, upper-thigh fish tattoos. 🐟

          Maybe they carved their initials on a tree, too.

          Crazy kids.

          (To think I rubbed balm on his to make the self-inflicted boo boo feel better. I had no idea she went with him to the tattoo parlor. I had no idea there was a “she” at all. Completely in the dark. He accepted my rubbing ointment on his nether regions, knowing all the while that this tat basically sealed their commitment to each other. 🤮🤬. I even suggested he get a revision because the fin wasn’t quite like the one in the inspiration picture. 🙄🤣

  • Since my ex had seen over 50 women/couples during our 10 years together, I thought about the longest OW for this question and gave it some thought.

    No.

    She didn’t do anything for me that FW was already doing. She is just another hole he could use. She is one of those people with no self-respect and low character, like the others he met through craigslist, PoF, Ashley Madison, Tinder, etc.

    Her presence in his life did nothing for me. He did it all- gaslighting, manipulating, isolating, hurting, and orchestrating his good guy image in the face of the truth that kept popping up.

    There’s no gratitude in my case.

  • I’m not totally at meh yet. It’s Monday for me. So am I grateful to her? Hell no. She’s a whore who was fucking my husband while smiling at me at the office. She is immoral and disgusting. She hurt a child too. Do I blame her? No. She’s stupid and desperate and had no idea what she was doing. She’s never been married, has no children and she wouldn’t understand what breaking up a 25 year marriage meant. She’s also not special, she was just the only one who said ‘yes’ to my husband’s requests to find a side dish S&M fuck buddy. It could have been anyone.

    Who am I grateful for?
    Myself for telling him to GTFO
    My mum who took every late night crying call
    My huge team of friends
    My local Womens refuge who taught me about abuse
    Chump Lady and Chump Nation for understanding
    My employer who supported me through it all
    My neighbours who fed me and helped me
    My daughter who tried to keep my spirits up
    My lawyer
    My new man who really loves me

    And oddly, every now and again I can get to the point of appreciating the FW himself. I appreciate that he taught me that there are narcissistic people in the world who manipulate and lie. He taught me that I’m strong and resilient in the face of emotional abuse. The veil to a darker side of life was revealed to me and I’m much wiser as a person now. He gave me a gorgeous child. But her? She can go fuck herself. I don’t appreciate her ever, but I do feel sorry for her. She’s much weaker than me and she’s headed into a mind fuck world of pain. Karma.

  • I hope to be thankful for her. I’m not there yet. Right now, I am still wishing for a flaming poop asteroid to land on both of them. I think I have ways to go.

  • Although I’m still a fresh chump, I’m already kind of grateful that the OM crawled his way into her insecure and entitled heart. I kind of hate him too. Though honestly he’s not too bad of a guy it seems. Still LEAGUES further down than me, but the problem really lies with my ex fuckwit.

    Arguing with her was impossible, since she would instantly become an emotional mess. We never really discussed serious topics apart from the ones we agreed on. And here I was, planning on marrying and starting a family with her… Thank god, it didn’t come to that, raising children together would’ve been hell…

    She left an empty package of a pregnancy test for me to find when I picked up the rest of my stuff. Little does she know, I wish for her to have gotten pregnant with her new guy within the month that she’s with him. I don’t know what she’s up to now, but I hope shes bound to her decision for life!

    • Yeesh. Left you a pregnancy test? WTF was that about?
      Oh yeah. She’s a deranged fuckwit, that’s what it’s about.

    • I get the feeling. I was hoping my ex and AP would have a child together. Because of the stress it would put on their relationship with a newborn plus that they wouldn’t have any more weekends alone, when our kids would be with me and his kids with his ex.
      Unfortunately they didn’t.
      Ah well. Shouldn’t wait for the karma bus to come as it might never do.

  • I am not sure about grateful because I am still in the middle of trying to settle assets with the FW. I will say I am thankful I found out though. I must have done some serious spackling because he is showing his true colors of entitlement now. He really thought he would get most of the assets but between my pit bull attorney, the PI and a CDFA, he is finding out something different. His 32 years younger Schmoopie (they have so much in common) has won the pick me dance. I am glad she did. I know in the end I will come out of it okay and FW free.

    • Good god 32 years! Yeah, lots in common there. You must know… it won’t last. Sucks to be him (and her)

      • I am at the point where I really do not care how he runs the rest of his life. They both suck so they can have each other. I am sure she will enjoy taking care of him in his old age. She has the prize and I am looking forward to a simple and authentic life.

  • This is a good challenge.

    I am grateful that the OW revealed who my former partner really was. Small. Pathetic. Kibble greedy. A giver of conditional love. A love bomber. A liar. A poser. A pathetic product of her upbringing and a selfish injurer of children. A user. And…someone who is apparently deeply attracted to a woman who can only be accurately described as White Trash America. I especially appreciated that revelation, even at the time…DAMN. That was some validation. It showed that the Fw really just wanted kibbles…even if clocked in neediness with stringy hair and ugly tattoos and bucktooth emo ignorance.

    The OW and the FW also punched enough of a hole in my reality for me to recognize all of this. And eventually I met and married a person who is genuine, amazing, strong, truly loves me, and with whom I have built the strong, warm, solid family I always yearned for. With no tricks, and no lies, and no fuckwittery.

    So, yes I am grateful for OW. For both her actions and for who she is. A fuckwit. May she ever prosper in the arms of another fuckwit. When they are paired together, hopefully they are less likely to chump others.

  • I would eventually have been if not grateful, at least relieved, if she’d actually taken him off my hands. She didn’t want him either so I had to endure his wheedling for wreckonciliation and listen to his blameshifting and bizarre excuses.
    Stupid bitch could have at least kept him on a leash as a side piece so he’d have quietly buggered off, but no. As soon as he told her I knew about the affair she went kook-a-doodle-do and gaslighted him by saying that it was an not an affair, that they were just friends. Then she rabitted. Fuckwit was furious and promptly gave me enough info on her long history of slutting around to bury her. This was the woman he had told me the previous night that he loved. Dude doesn’t love anybody and is incapable of loyalty. Now he has nobody. Gee, I wonder why.

    Latrine (the schmoop) still has her chump, but they’re even more miserable together and are both raging long term alcoholics. Their livers must look like Swiss cheese. I feel sorry for the guy, but he made his choice in full knowledge of the damning truth, so it’s on him. I doubt schmoopie gets much action on the side anymore since she’s hit menopause. She’s the type who can’t even think of herself as sexual after a certain age because she really has no sexuality that exists outside of the male gaze.

    Aw. Poor widdle fuckwits fall down go boom. 😁

  • Good evening Laurie and welcome to CN,
    I really struggle with this notion. My heart tells me to be grateful for Twu Wuv, but my ex and he personally did so much damage to me that it’s difficult to not hate the both of em. I just want to be indifferent because I did all the work this last year and giving them gratitude for making me better by ruining me is just too much Philosophy 101 for me to want to go there.
    I think giving gratitude to my support group, CL, CN and myself is where my energy should go. Have a good weekend.

  • I can’t call it grateful really. He was a cheater before he found her and he’ll be a cheater after she’s gone.
    I’m only grateful I was finally able to define what the hell was happening to me.
    He dumped me to marry her, but the only one that made out on that deal was me, so I guess some gratitude for the forced escape.
    I, like so many of you, would have never left on my own. I thought I was saving him, I wouldn’t give up on my wing man no matter what happened.
    He needed me, something was very much wrong with him, that’s about all I understood.
    Lucky for me, I was ejected from the plane. Not much choice, but I know it was the very best outcome as it was going to get a whole lot worse as he was aging.
    Good luck to Schmoopie, it’s going to be a tough awakening when she finds out what he actually is and it’s not pretty.
    The two cheating low lifes deserve one another, they are not going to get the happily ever after they imagine and that’s not coming from me.
    In Dante’s imagined descent through hell, he reserved the Ninth Circle—the “lowest, blackest, and farthest from Heaven”—for the sin of treachery. The worst sinners, in his underworld, were the traitors—those who betrayed their loved ones, their country, and their God.
    I’m grateful I’m not a cheater is basically where my gratitude is.

  • I don’t remember where this came from but it’s worth reading..
    Trust
    One doesn’t realize that they truly trusted someone with their soul until they have been betrayed. The pain is immense and physical, not only mental. It is mind-boggling. The temptation is to try to work out the relationship, but when one realizes the trust had been betrayed multiple times over a long duration, it becomes evident that the trust can never be reestablished. This has been known for more than 2500 years hence the Buddhist 8 fold path and Christian 7th commandment, but that doesn’t matter.
    Confusion
    The betrayed person feels profound confusion. What is going on? Am I Imagining? He wouldn’t do something like that. He wouldn’t want to lose his family. The betrayed questions nearly every moment ever spent with the betrayer and can’t make heads or tails of what is reality. Should I reconcile or get the heck away.

    Love/Betrayal
    If someone loves another, they cannot betray them.

    Fear and Paralysis
    When someone discovers that their loved one maintains a secret life, the impact is fear. Fear of what to do, how to do it. This fear involves what will become of me and my children and those who depend on me. Even fear of what will become of the person with whom you spent so many years (even though they don’t reciprocate this fear or love.) The fear also gets back to the betrayal of trust. If you decide to leave, will the betrayer then move on to financial betrayal, turn angry and try to damage the betrayed person’s ability to make a future life.

    Humiliation
    When a secret life is revealed not only the betrayed feels humiliation for being a fool. The liar feels humiliated for being caught, but not for the betrayal. The liar typically mourns the loss of the secret life, not the decades old, less fantasy more real life.

    Secret Life
    What kind of person can lead a secret life for so long and not discuss it. By hiding the fact that an entire life exists the liar is demeaning their spouse and stealing their spouse’s freedom of honest decision-making.

    Ladies of Pleasure
    Ladies of pleasure is a misnomer for everyone involved: cheater, hooker, wife, children. Their profession results in agony, shame, sickness.

    Frustration
    The betrayed feels frustrated that the life that they worked on for so long is meaningless. Frustration that was once (seemingly) a happy existence is now mired in agony and fear. Frustration that it is so hard not to become a bitter person. Frustration that only one short life exists to experience happiness and that this life is now consumed with confusion, heartbreak and how difficult it is to destroy that kind of agony.

    • Thank you for sharing, Not Crazy. I found this extract moving and it strongly resonates with me, particularly around trust, confusion, fear, and humiliation. The fear was overwhelming for a long time. And it was so physical. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. Well over 2 years out and completely independent, I still feel like a little girl when there’s a set back. FOO issues too, which I’m working through with intensive therapy.

      Nothing should shock anyone about the world we live in. In spite of that I am still shocked by what I read here, and then I remember that it’s my story too. I have lost my trust in a large part of the human race. I am cautious, I am wary, I watch what people do not what they say. I had to do that as a child and I thought I’d got it down to a fine art. But then the ex came along and I trusted for close to 30 years. And he was living a lie which meant that I lived the same. I will never forgive and I will never forget. Evil, careless, reckless, negligent people walk amongst us. My ability to give the benefit of the doubt to a fault has gone. I’ll doubt first whilst being ready to be proved wrong if the actions justify it.

  • I am deeply grateful for the final OW. She was a much younger woman (my ex and I are middle aged). I was able to depose her but could not compel her to testify in court. I went to deposition profoundly nervous, with no idea what to expect.
    She was very open. And she was no longer seeing him, she said because he lied to her and sexually assaulted her. She proceeded to describe what he had done to me for years.
    It was as though the walls came down from the world and the sun came out.
    It was obviously a difficult and miserable experience for her, and I reached out briefly afterward to thank her for the clarity and acknowledge the unpleasantness.
    She disclosed a great deal more in communications to my attorney after that, and volunteered to testify even though I couldn’t compel her. She did, and my ex settled before her cross examination.
    My ex disclosed suddenly after decades of marriage (and 3 kids) that he had cheated throughout, and I was afraid he would kill me. I thought I was nuts for feeling this way.
    She said he told her he had been wishing I would die in a car wreck for years.
    I had long believed the time he ran into me with the car (and nearly over me) was an accident.
    She began the relationship not knowing I was not informed or in agreement – her failure was in not decisively ending it when she found out. She more than made up for it. I absolutely believe if she had not pushed him to disclose his infidelity, he eventually would have killed me. I think she saved my life. I will always be grateful.

    • Country Chumpkin, I’m so sorry for what you experienced. What an awful ex you had. Sounds like OW wasn’t using all her facilities however also seems she was caught in a pickle and did the right thing to help you, so maybe wishing her well and thanking her is justifiably in your case. Have a great weekend.

    • How horrifying! It sounds like you’re lucky to be alive and so is she. That fw belongs in a cell with a roomie named Bubba. He is one dangerous MFer.

      • In all fairness, he’s come close to doing *himself* in by accident, too, so it’s really hard to tell how to interpret what he does. He is a risk taker.

  • I actually told my fuckwit that I would have stayed with him until death parted us. It’s true. I would have kept on living half a life, in silent shame, until one of us died. I’m surprised the ex and his (still married?) schmoopie are still together, but grateful that they aren’t running around trying to ruin other people’s lives. Of course, they may be cheating on each other, but at least neither of them is bothering me. In truth, my ex told me he had decided that he was going to stay, but I refused to let him. So schmoopie didn’t actually lure him away with the promise of soulmate tru luv, nor were her lady bits capable of feats of magic.

    It will be three years this May since the final dday. I’m still decompressing from the years of emotional abuse. However, there is light and hope in my life that was missing for decades.

  • Grateful to be free and NC. Had x not cheated (again) I might have kept on trying harder to make it work. Instead I escaped and started building a new, more authentic life free from his tantrums and moods.

  • I loved that man. He broke me with his betrayal.

    But I knew I could never love him one more minute after D-Day.

    And 18 months later I am happier now than I ever was with him.

    I am living my own life for myself (and my daughter). It’s empowering.

    I never would’ve left him, or wanted to, without his cheating. And I would have never discovered my authentic self.

    The OW could’ve been anyone. They’re would’ve been an OW eventually. I don’t thank anyone but myself for getting out and for figuring out how to live without a partner.

  • NO, but I’m slowly recovering it’s taken 6 excruciating years and nearly bankrupted me. I will never have a proper retirement as I can’t afford one but we Tracy would say at least I got away from the fuckwit!🙏

  • My GF wrote a little note two years ago to my ex wife and the OM (who are still together) and it reads, “Thank you Asshole Face for leaving CT. You have no idea what you’ve given up. Good luck with your fellow cheater.” It still hangs on her fridge.
    We are both pretty fortunate to have found each other. She was with her ex fiancée for 10 years. The last year she got pregnant and ended up having a miscarriage. Her fiancée left her the week after. So many things I’d like to say to him but glad he’s 600 miles away.
    She has no kids while I have 4 (23,19,13,10) My kids absolutely love her. I’m currently trying to mediate with my ex wife for custody. Both have told her that they want no part of being with her because of all the chaos in her house. But many know how it is to deal with a single narcissist but two together is insane.

  • For me it was an amalgamation of prostitutes/whoever the fuck he paid to touch him that I was thankful for having right there in my face. For some time, it was a nebulous “something’s wrong”, but I didn’t know what. Then I did, and I couldn’t look away. My boyfriend actually sent to exit affair other man a thank you card once – somewhat a thanks for providing a room at his house for his daughter (Lord knows his underemployed serial cheater ex wouldn’t be able to on her own and glommed on to this guy for a reason), but more so for removing that parasite from his life. My boyfriend knew things about her and spackled before they were even married. It took this douche, who employed her as a house cleaner (history of inappropriate relationships with men in positions of power), to pluck her proboscis from my boyfriend’s skin for good. She’s EAP’s problem now, just as my ex is someone else’s problem. I do feel a little bad only because these people cannot be alone and will be ransacking others for as long as they live. I really don’t feel remorse for actual exit affair partners though. They knew what they were buying into. But thanks? Heck yes.

  • In a nutshell, no, I am not grateful to the OWs. With my second husband, I am not grateful to primary OW(I later found out there was another), but grateful that I discovered the infidelity. I was a professional spackler at that point. It was a very unhealthy marriage, but I just kept holding on. I actually remember saying to him, “I don’t know why I’m so upset that you blew up this marriage, it was terrible to begin with.”

    I stayed much longer than I should have out a sense of loyalty and responsibility. He became very ill/disabled and had a substance abuse problem and serious legal issues. Eventually I was the one who developed the feeling of I Love You, but I’m Not in Love With You. He didn’t wind up with either OW. Turns out they both lost interest when triangulation wasn’t involved.

    First husband I wasn’t grateful at all! He did a very hurtful devaluing and discard, ie sleeping in a separate room, not wanting intimacy, stopped buying me Birthday or Christmas gifts, etc. I didn’t find out about OW (double betrayal-she was a friend) until after we separated. He quickly impregnated her and married her as soon as the divorce was final.

    I am Meh about eXH#2’s OWs, but my ex-friend I wouldn’t piss on if she was on fire. I heard through the grapevine that they’re divorced now too, guess he wasn’t the great prize after all!

    That being said, I am grateful for living through infidelity twice because it finally forced me to confront FOO issues and fix my picker. I have a very loving, reciprocal relationship with my current SO, who also lived through his own Chumpy Hell.

  • I am grateful to the random women that the exhole was chatting up and hooking up with…finding out how little he cared and respected me freed me from a really shitty and financially crippling relationshit. Once I was free, I was in pain but hopeful and rebuilding my life. Then I met a real man, a fellow chump and the man that made my fairytale come true. Real monkey love. I never would have known that wonderful man and how beautiful a loving and reciprocal relationship and marriage could be without those random women being soooo desirable to the exhole.

    I do feel pity for a lot of them as they were single and looking for love…and he was lying to them like he lied to me. But all of them shocked me out of a horrible situation so that I could move forward to find so much.

    For new chumps – please keep moving forward. It hurts at first so so much but it will be so much better and happier in the future. It won’t feel like it initially, but it really does get so much better! So much better that you will feel blessed!

  • Something happened to me just recently that could not have happened if the OW had not torpedoed my relationship with Mr. Sleazy some years ago. I have recently reunited with a wonderful man I had dated back in my 20’s, alas at a time when I was neither ready or able to marry anyone because of family of origin issues. We became friends instead, sometimes colleagues too over the decades, both ended up marrying other people. He was widowed last year, and has recently come back into my life as a lover. It is better than it ever was–maturity on both sides has made an incredible difference; we get along really well, and the sparks just keep flying. He is the real thing–not just fun and sexy and super-smart, but also genuine, steadfast, and good, a man of character and true integrity and deep kindness who does what is right rather than what is easy. I am so in love with him, and respect him so much for all the good things he has done in our community over the decades that I have known him.
    My long-time friend/new love is everything Mr. Sleazy only pretended to be. He is genuinely good, and truly loves me; we have both endured trial by fire over the years while taking care of our sick family members and loved ones; we share very similar values about community, fidelity, and love. I hope to spend the rest of my life with him; and he has stated the same wish to me. I feel so grateful to fate and karma and the Divine spirit; I am willing to work very hard to deserve this blessing, but am also amazed at how easy it feels to finally be with some one truly compatible. I never thought this kind of love would find me at this stage in my life–I am almost sixty. My heart is full.

  • Since AP #1 was a “wholesome” animal rescue volunteer, and AP #2 was a dominatrix, I’m grateful for the realization that he’d do it with literally anyone willing to do it, it’s not about me at all, or even about them. They’re not special, they just said yes. I wasn’t special either. Nobody is. Because he’s disordered.

    • “They’re not special, they just said yes. I wasn’t special either. Nobody is. Because he’s disordered.”

      Exactly. It takes a bit to get to that. Or it did for me, about three months.

      His exit whore was the dog catcher, (his direct report) she had kept herself hidden for at least three years, likely twice that. What kind of person with any self esteem would do that? I mean I know why she did it, to keep the money and gifts flowing. I can give her a slight pass for being a desperate single mom, but for him no. He kept his real self hidden, not just from me, from everyone. He actually thought he could pull all this shit off, and land on his feet and keep everything I helped him attain. Con artists the both of them.

  • I learned the hard way that a college friend loved to steal boyfriends. It turned out she had a lot of victims. She traumatized many women in our social circle until she ran out of friends.

    15 years later, I can marvel at how much better my life is and be grateful she took a cheater off my hands. He was abusive and I have no doubt he would’ve killed me one day. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today with great people in my life, a great career, and stability.

    One of the slut’s other victims won a state championship just days after learning of the infidelity and today is an executive at a Fortune 50. This victim’s cheater ex was an anchor and it’s safe to say his departure was an unexpected blessing.

    The slut burned all her bridges on campus, got expelled for drugs, and had to slink back to her shitty hometown. The new love of her life dumped her and she got knocked up by someone else. I looked her up a while ago. She was waiting tables and ranting conspiracy theories on Facebook, so safe to say her life never improved.

  • Absolutely!! I get this sentiment.

    What I didn’t know when he left is that he was a serial cheater. He had cheated on me through my pregnancy, he had cheated on his previous Ex-wife and that he was verbally and emotionally abusive.

    At the time of the breakup though I didn’t know up from down or in from out I was so caught up in the hampered wheel of trying to make him happy.

    I am FINALLY getting back on my feet and it has been a LONG 5 years. But I am so grateful to the OW because without her giving him enough encouragement to leave I likely would have ended up caught up further in him going to jail (he committed a crime 1 year almost to the day after he left that landed him in there for a long time) than I already was and it would have been another year of misery.

  • 100%

    It took four years to reach that point in my thinking, but I am SO grateful. She (all unwittingly, I don’t pretend she ever had my best interests at heart) helped me escape an abusive marriage that was killing me, both emotionally and physically. I gaslit myself, minimizing the abuse. I was so used to it I didn’t even recognize what was happening. He had crushed my spirit. Everything in my life was centered on him. When he discarded me, I literally didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what *I* liked to do, eat, read, watch. He’d pretty effectively isolated me from any friends who weren’t his. He’d insulted and ridiculed my hobbies and interests until I dropped most of them. I felt ugly and worthless. When he dumped me, I fell into a dark depression, dropped to 96 lb, couldn’t sleep, had panic attacks. It was awful. OW joined forces with him to attack me, smeared me to all our friends, sent me threats, screamed at me, insulted me, tried to play mommy to my son when I was around, etc.

    I was raised very conservatively. No one in my family got divorced. We were taught to work through our problems. I would have stayed and kept trying, brainwashed by my narcissistic husband into thinking the problem lay with me. Truth is, he didn’t have the capacity to be happy or content, and nothing I could ever have done would have been enough.

    After my husband discarded me brutally, he continued to abuse me verbally and emotionally. It actually got worse after I moved out. I still went back to him after three months when he pretended he wanted to reconcile (I found out later he had no intention of making it work, but was doing it to placate me so I’d be quiescent through the divorce; although perhaps he would have been happy to keep me on as the utility wife if I’d been okay with him having his cake and eating it too, but I wasn’t. He didn’t cut off OW, and I was not happy about that). His abuse turned physical, and I count myself lucky to be alive. There was a pretty close call.

    After I had been apart from him for awhile, my thinking cleared up, and the reality of the hell I’d been living in for the last 5 years started to sink in. Looking back, I can’t believe what I accepted from him. It was also eye-opening and more than a little disturbing to watch his relationship with OW (unfortunately she was a coworker of both of us, so I got a front row seat). I watched her slowly morph into a completely different person. She changed EVERYTHING about herself to suit him. She basically became ME (of about 10 years earlier). I wasn’t the only one who noticed and remarked on her attempt to ape my looks (grew her brunette pixie cut out and dyed it red; I had shoulder-length wavy red hair at the time). She dressed rather dowdy and pretty modestly (long full skirts with tucked in t-shirts, or “mom” jeans and corduroys), but started wearing miniskirts, skinny jeans, and bodycon dresses. My husband also basically repeated our relationship, taking OW to all the same places, showing her the same movies, having her read the same books, listen to the same music, get involved in his hobbies, etc. It made me realize there had been nothing “special” about us. It was just his regular MO. But he took it further by doing with her things I’d begged him for years to do with me. MY ideas. And he even got her cooking my recipes, pretending that he’d just “come up with the idea”, when in fact it was MY idea, things I’d developed and been making for years. It was SO WEIRD.

    OW was convinced that all my husband’s anger and unhappiness was my fault. She said he was “a naturally happy person” and thought she could save him from me. Hahahaha. They finally decided, four years into their affair, to move in together (we were nowhere near divorced). OW lasted all of four WEEKS in the same house with him. He was abusive and scary to her too, and she left him and fled the state.

    My husband killed himself three months after OW left. He also thought she was the answer to all his problems, and he couldn’t take being dumped. By that time, I had also gone grey rock and stopped wanting him back. I had gotten boundaries and a backbone and was doing really well, both emotionally and financially. He, on the other hand, was on a downward spiral, and close to being completely broke (no more OW to pay half the bills). The court was repeatedly ruling in my favor, his lawyer dropped him for nonpayment, and he couldn’t see a way out.

    After he died, I found out just how much of a disaster his life with OW was, no matter what image they put up on social media. It was a lot like mine had been with him. And it made me grateful to be out of that mess.

    I never thought I’d say that I’m glad the affair happened, but I am. It saved my sanity, and it saved my life. In the literal sense, yes. I have no doubt the abuse would have continued to escalate to the point where I may have died. But also in the sense of me actually having a LIFE. After 15 years with him, I had lost myself completely. I was living in a nightmare and I didn’t even know it. The affair let me wake up from it.

    My life is GOOD now. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I take care of myself and my son, I have a great job, I have my own place, I have money in the bank, I paid off all my debts, I have good friends, I have family, I have hobbies, I feel beautiful, I feel like ME. And I feel safe and I have peace and my son is safe and happy.

    Yes. I am grateful for OW. I’m not religious anymore (raised that way, though), but I am reminded of the story of Joseph in Genesis 50:20 when he said “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” I went through four years of hell with this affair. But I wouldn’t change where I am today.

  • I’m grateful to the OW who called me after she found out the guy she was dating was still married to me (he had told her he was divorced and that I was crazy). That was more than 20 years ago, and I am STILL grateful to that lady.

    Life is good, I saved enough to retire (wouldn’t have happened had I stayed married; he was a spendthrift), the kids are grown and fine adults (he dropped out of their lives, but it’s not like he’d paid much attention as it was). Plus I met a lovely man who treats me like I’m a treasure (I think he’s a treasure, too).

    She dumped him, too.

  • Ex-fiance was never sure about our marriage in my opinion. He was lukewarm about commitment, lukewarm about the relationship, and perpetually put me and my needs on the back burner. His work, his friends, his family, his “reflection time,” everything came before me – I was always his last priority. With that being said, I spackled and would have kept spackling if not for the OW. So even though the betrayal still hurts like crazy, I am in some ways glad for it.

  • Yeah, I realised I kind of am. I am the stupid kind of person that still doesn’t want any serious harm to come to him, so having him be someone else’s problem to look after is pretty good.

    Early on after I found out I wanted nothing more than for them to crash and burn but now I actually want the opposite, I want her to be the person that deals with his drunkenness and makes sure he doesn’t die alone (whilst living in abject misery of course, I haven’t become THAT benevolent towards them 😉).

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