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My Ex Wants to Live in My Basement

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cakemanDear Chump Lady,

My husband of 28 years gave me the speech 5 years ago.  He loved me, but was not in love with me, he wanted his freedom and he needed his space without any responsibility. Of course there was an OW. When I found their itinerary for a romantic beach vacation, I, or should I say, my oldest son kicked him out of the house. He went to live with his mother. And he is still living there at present.

I did the usual — begged, pleaded and pretzeled for 3 very long years. We went into marital counseling and I was under the impression (per his promises) that the OW was out of the picture. We would see each other and talk frequently during this time, and I really thought that our marriage was on the mend. Boy, was I an idiot, and a very mighty chump.

I was a complete mess. Lost 50 pounds, went on antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds, diagnosed with PTSD, lost interest in anything and everything except playing the marriage police. I became obsessed with my husband and OW.  It was truly the darkest period of my life.

Fast forward to today. I have been divorced for a year and a half. My adult kids and I are happy and thriving. I am dating a really great guy which I have loads of fun with. I have found myself again, and have learned so much from this whole experience. I know I will never be chumped again. I have reconnected with family and friends. Right now, life is pretty darn good. I still have my WTF moments, but overall I feel like I am really close to being totally healed.

Recently, my ex and I had to spend some time together due to our oldest son’s engagement. I was civil and talkative and had very little anxiety when around ex. This was a good thing for me because it helped me realize that I have finally achieved MEH.

Now for the fun part. My youngest son recently moved out of my basement, and I am now living on my own for the first time in 30 years. Since I saw my ex, he has been sending email’s requesting that I consider allowing him to move back to the family home with me to rent the basement. He is making all kinds of offers of help around the house and paying a large amount of rent if I would let him move in. He even had the nerve to tell me that I could “come and go as I pleased.”

I am just floored. What is wrong with him? Is this f’d up or what? I have absolutely no intention of letting him move back into my house.  I just can’t wrap my brain around what he is thinking.

Thank you Chump Lady.

Ruggermom

****

Dear Ruggermom,

What is he thinking?

He’s thinking you’re still of use. He misses cake.

He had a glorious cake situation before — you there begging, pleading, and pretzeling for the awesomeness of him. And he misses that kind of power and centrality. Romantic vacations with the OW, you at home sweeping up the dust bunnies and keeping the refrigerator stocked. Don’t you want that back?

Heck, Ruggermom, he’s SWEETENING the deal! He’ll pay you RENT! And he promises to not be the boss of you! You can come and go! Yes, you will have your freedom because he said so. Isn’t that special?

God, if anyone ever wanted proof that cheating is about narcissism, this is it. The idiot still thinks he’s a prize.

Dude, you LIVE IN YOUR MOTHER’S BASEMENT.

And that, I’m sure, is not the status the OW was going for. And I don’t know about your ex-mother-in-law but I would guess she probably has curfew, being a person of advanced years. And she is probably not cool with the comings and goings of a grown-ass man. Hell, she might even expect rent, or things done around the house.

But you? In his eyes, you’re still a chump. You’ve fallen for his promises before. Why not again? He can promise you whatever. Insinuate himself into your life and deliver on none of it.

But that’s okay, he would be there embedded in your house — broadcasting to the world (and your children especially) that what he did Was Not So Bad. He could control your world again. Put a stop to this ridiculous man who courts you, finds you attractive and worthy of respect. Because nothing creates relationship awkwardness like your ex-husband living in your basement.

Yes, to a dim-witted, narcissistic FW like your ex, this all seems like a very splendid plan indeed.

splendid

What’s in it for you?

Absolutely NOTHING. There never was anything in it for you, just like the good ol’ days.

You need an ex in your basement like you need an infestation of raccoons in your chimney. Actually, I think the raccoons do more around the house than cheaters. And raccoons are always cool with you “coming and going as you please,” as long as you keep the trash cans accessible.

Ruggermom, congratulations on your mightiness. You have truly gained a life — successfully divorced, no more anxiety, a relationship with someone who treats you right, healthy kids, independence.

Tell him to go blow an air mattress.. elsewhere.

And tell his mom — no tag backs.

****

This column ran previously. 

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “What’s in this for me?” is a terrific question all Chumps should learn to ask about relationships of all kinds.

    This is what I mean by getting yourself back in focus – remembering that you are someone who has agency, and needs, and legitimate aspirations beyond revolving around the Great I Am.

    It’s not selfish. But way too many of us were taught that it was.

    Mostly by outrageously selfish people.

    • Just a double up-vote.

      Getting priorities straight, hallelujah Lola. Lame-ass ex-narcs, soooo at the bottom of the list.

    • Lola, YES. That’s why I hate the whole “treat others the way you want to be treated,” “you will attract what you put out”, etc. Bullshit.

      SOME people in this world need to be way less selfish, and SOME people in this world need to be way more selfish. I think we all know who falls into those two categories.

      • So true. There are givers and takers in this world and the givers need to be more aware of how much the takers take from them.

        • Right. Long ago, a woman I knew told me, “I thought that by giving, I would teach my family how to give. Instead I taught them how to take.”

      • Right? Or marriage advice that intones that one should consider their spouse’s needs. I spent the entirety of my marriage predicting and guessing my husband’s needs/wants so I could meet them without him having to ever ask. My needs were never in consideration and after I got out, it took a long time to figure out what my needs even were.

      • “You teach people how to treat you”
        Is an incredibly victim blaming and shaming statement
        I have been frustrated and discouraged hearing it for years

        It undermines all the understanding for abuse and narcissistic victims

        • “You teach people how to treat you”

          Actually, I think there’s a grain of truth in that. I am absolutely *not* saying that in the sense of victim blaming, but in the sense that if we always bend over backwards for others, and don’t have strong boundaries, there are many narcs and just generally shitty people out there, who will decide we are doormats who they can wipe their feet on. So in that sense, I think it’s true.

          If we show others we have strong boundaries, and won’t put up with being disrespected and treated like shit, shitty predatory people tend to back off, we’re not good supply. So in that sense, we “teach them how to treat us”.

          But I agree with you it’s very often used in that ridiculous gooey sense of, ‘oh, if you’ re good to people, they’ll be good to you’, which is patently untrue.

    • Wise words Miss Lola! Earlier this week, I told a gentleman I had gone out with a few times that I wouldn’t be seeing him anymore. I did so because I am now able to determine who does, and more importantly, who does not treat me in a manner I deserve. I’ve a zero tolerance policy for bullshit these days. Thanks to CL and the whole of the Chump Nation, I am charting my own course.

    • Bravo Lola. I was forced to take a new tack with my youngest sister — someone I considered myself extremely close to over the years — because I started seeing behavior that I experienced with the fuckwit. It brakes my heart (and my mother’s) to do so, but the return just isn’t there on the investment.

        • Happens to the best of us, UX. No worries – you have a body of creative output here that is spelled correctly.
          Although, I understand and empathize with your mortification. I was going to spell here as hear as a joke and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. 😳

    • Part of recovering from cheating (and it’s a process) is not relying on others for affirmation. It took me a couple years before I received enough pleasure from my own projects that I didn’t need someone else’s opinion.

  • Tell him that is fine…..Just ask him to supply the dimensions of the basement less his own body volume so you don’t over order on the pumped ready mix concrete after they have moved in!

    • This seems like a good Friday Challenge!
      Can you top encasing your EX in concrete?
      Maybe a series of unfortunate events?
      -Catastrophic sewer pipe break
      -Inexplicable electrical shorts to plumbing fixtures
      -Bedbugs
      -Radon
      -Anonymous tip to FBI
      This is fun! Play along Chumps.

      • Bruno,

        It would be a great Friday Challenge, but Chumps will need to remember to maintain plausible deniability.

        Personally, I’d take much greater satisfaction watching from the sidelines (bucket of popcorn and a diet coke optional) as my Ex implodes; she’s doing just fine f*cking her own life and relationships up without any assistance from me …. and I have no intention of giving her a quick and easy “out.”

        LFTT

        • Yep, in 21 years of marriage with me working my ass off for him in the community and politics he secured the second highest position in his org. Within days of getting his captains bars he started the year of discard.

          Once he had dispensed with me, within a few months he was busted, (I saw that in the paper) then according to my son and daughter in law; he was shunned by the community most of who were enraged at his lying and conning. He went ahead and worked on street patrol, took an early retirement; had cheated on whore; then gambled them into over two hundred thousand dollars of debt, had to file bankruptcy. Then tried to become a preacher, but he couldn’t get along with anyone, finally fled to another state. All under whores administration.

        • LFTT, mind if I pull up a chair next to you on that sideline? I have diet Coke and popcorn to share.
          My ex FW’s life is exactly as I predicted. He’s a homeless hobosexual, fathering babies left and right, getting threats from angry husbands of women he meets (and pursues) in his job as a delivery driver.
          I’m appalled that I once considered him the love of my life.

          • WaW,

            You are more than welcome. Cheaters are soooo predictable and yet act all surprised when their magic fantasy life turns to a crock of sh*t.

            Don’t suppose you could bring some salted popcorn could you?

            LFTT

      • Years ago my sister’s FW was an IT engineer who regularly visited their employer’s international clients in a certain part of the world. He was cheating on his expense account as well as my sister, so he took elaborate measures to falsify his location and movements.

        At the time, there was an international manhunt with a $25 million dollar bounty for information leading to the capture of a very tall, bearded Middle Eastern fellow with a striking resemblance to FW (he was Greek, but he really did look like him) I suggested that my sister turn him in for the reward because he’d been leading a double life for years and would have a hard choice between going to Guantanamo for planning 9/11 or confessing to enough fraud to go to an ordinary Federal prison for years.

        My sister didn’t make that call, but it was fun to think about at a hard time for her

  • I am so glad you have moved on. What I see here is just plain old curiosity because his pea brain is so interesting in a scientific way. Your question is everyone’s. Who acts like this? Why do they act like this? It is mind boggling to realize he thinks you will fall for it. Just accept that whatever made him this way is still in charge. You will never understand because you don’t have a pea brain.

    • She was civil and talkative at an engagement party. As an opportunistic entitled narcissist he asked. It’s what they do.

      • I agree- she was friendly, therefore he felt entitled to anything because naturally she could see what a nice guy he was. How could she say no…

        • There was a time my therapist said I would be able to attend an event and be cordial. Nope. Meh, for me will never include uttering a single word or an acknowledgement. The day I was told after 41 years together that a bar whore wouldn’t like it if he spoke to me was enough. I’m honoring that for life.

          • I don’t think I’ll ever be able to speak to mine either. Maybe a nod and a grimace if I’m forced to be in his presence at our son’s wedding but I don’t want to talk to someone who wanted to kill me. I wouldn’t speak to anyone else who was plotting my murder but people are like oh, you’ll get over it!

            No. I just don’t want to talk to him. Plus my ex is also a pedophile and I went my whole teen years and entire adult life creating a huge rift in my family by refusing to ever speak to my pedophile uncle who molested my mom. So it’s like, I know myself pretty good. My uncle doesn’t haunt me and I’m meh about him but still don’t talk to him. I have precedence here I can refer back to. I’m not ever going to make even small talk with my ex. I don’t think it’s necessary.

            • “I wouldn’t speak to anyone else who was plotting my murder but people are like oh, you’ll get over it!”

              I am not sure we should get over it, “those who forget history…”

      • EXACTLY!!!! And people wonder why we don’t stay “friendly” with our FWs. Um…this….this is why. FWs see it as an invitation to Koolaid-man through our boundaries. Nope. I’ve made this mistake before. From now on it’s grey-rock-shield engaged!

    • “Your question is everyone’s. Who acts like this? Why do they act like this? It is mind boggling to realize he thinks you will fall for it.”

      It *is* mind-boggling. I’ve been totally NC from the start, blocked the fucker everywhere, changed my email address, moved away, fuckwit doesn’t know where I live, I haven’t spoken to him or ever contacted him.

      Couple of months ago, I got a phone call from a stranger asking if my booking was OK, and to please contact him if I ‘wasn’ t happy’. I said I hadn’t booked anything, and how did you get my mobile number? Oh, says he, Mr. Fuckwit gave me this number!

      After all the shit that fucker pulled, and *three years* after I divorced him, he’s still hoping I might break NC, (because as CL says, I might still be of use?). Just smh. 🙄😂

  • THIS: “Yes, you will have your freedom BECAUSE HE SAID SO.” The crux of the whole problem, the control and the narcisissm. Nailed it, CL!!! I am happily & gloriously SINGLE!!

  • I am so glad that you moved on and continue to gain your life. You don’t need to wrap your head around this. You really don’t need to respond to the cake eater. Sure, he would like a wife appliance again but you are not that person. He just wants a source of some delicious cake and thinks you would love to give him that cake. The best answer is no response but if you feel that you have to say something, NO is a complete sentence.
    You divorced him, you left a cheater. Keep on gaining that better life without a cheater. I am looking forward to that in less than 44 days!!!!!

  • Ha ha ha…you can come and go as you please.

    That’s big of him.
    #bitchcookie

    As for the what’s in it for me question, I finally asked myself this question with my ex after:

    1. Finding out he’d had a whore ex around our entire relationship
    2. Being thrown under the bus repeated to placate his 1st wife and snotty grown daughter.
    3. Him treating my kids poorly
    4. Him going out of his way to tear me down to make his pathetic self feel better.
    5. Him demanding a divorce and getting nasty when I wouldn’t “just let it go” (the whore he continued to lie about).

    After my initial shock I began to ask myself what I was getting out of the marriage. The answer was a 20 years older guy with ED, a cheap toupee, a side whore, and who was a nasty passive aggressive conflict avoider with the depth of a potted plant. So basically nothing.

    I’m guessing in this case his whore didn’t work out and he needs an appliance to take care of him. I’m glad you have no interest.

    • “the depth of a potted plant.”

      Oh Kim I love this. It didn’t really hit me until years later how incredibly shallow and stupid my ex’s whore was/is. I didn’t really know her, but as the time went by and my son and his wife told me a few things she said and did: Wow!

      My ex had to see that once the raging hormones of illicit sex quieted down.

      • LOL, it’s funny how lame the OW often are. I guess they have to be to want to be the OW. Before I could get him out of the house, my ex started calling his OW on speaker phone so I would hear the conversations. Hand to God, the first time I heard one I sat there thinking, “Who do we know who has a mentally retarded child? Who is he talking to?” I’m not even being mean, I thought he was talking to someone’s disabled kid/young teen. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out who it was until the conversation took a turn and I realized it wasn’t a child. Nope, just an adult baby. I guess it was supposed to make me jealous. It did not work.

      • Susie, my ex couldn’t talk about much beyond sports and the weather without getting uncomfortable.

        One of the conversations with his whore that I read involved her fawning over his 5k times.

        We’re both runners and apparently baby’s ego couldn’t handle that I’m faster. In fairness I’m pretty fast so I’m faster then a lot of men.

        All I could think of was that he was so pathetic he needed someone to fawn over his 5k times. We’d go grocery shopping and when the cashier would do the obligatory asking about our day thing he’d be sure to share that he’d done a 5k in X times. The cashier would of course pretend to care.

        Geez…mine were always faster bur I never felt the need to broadcast it to strangers.

        How fucking pathetic does one have to be to require fawning over 5k times?

        🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    • But did he have those ooh, so sexy flabby butt cheeks? The luuuv handles, and the glow-in-the-dark crowns on his teeth? Blue-tinted contact lenses and a bottle of industrial strength Visine? A spray-on orange tan?
      Pectorals that are doing “Downward Dog”, and bounce dangerously when he jogs near twentysomethings?
      Botox?? 5-minute hair dye (because men need it to happen FAST!)??

      • Maybe it’s unfair that in-your-face cosmetic enhancement looks particularly awkward on men but I cringe at spray tan on anyone.

      • Annie, my ex could hook him up with a cheap toupee like he has. Then he could save that 5 minutes!

  • As we say here in the south, him moving into your basement makes about as much sense as tits on a bull!
    Of all the fucking gall. Because I’m firmly entrenched in the NC camp, I’d delete his emails without reading them. But it would be damned tempting to respond by saying “the only hole in the ground I care to see you residing in is when you are laying on the wrong side of the grass and singing in the choir invisible “.

  • Does your ex think you are still FRIENDS? still FAMILY? Or maybe he thinks of nothing but himself…oh yeah, that’s what this is. How hard did you laugh at this proposal?

    • I shrieked like a pterodactyl at the fuckwit’s promise that she’ll be “allowed” to come and go as she pleases FROM HER OWN HOUSE.

      How do idiots like this even survive in the world?

  • Glad the OP moved on and gained a life. I wonder how many cheaters do the same. I also suspect the behavior reveals how few of these cheaters are comfortable alone. Neither my 70 year old ex nor his schmoopie ever truly lived on their own.

    • They need someone to shit on. Quite frankly once they have destroyed the first time; the rest comes easy.

  • I firmly expect that if XH and I both live to old age, he will come crawling back to me at some point wanting me to give him a place to live. I doubt he’s putting anything away for retirement outside of Social Security, and his SS checks will likely end up getting garnished for child support and student loan debt. Plus they’ll suck because his jobs have always sucked.

    So many cheaters, so few with good life skills.

    • Yep.

      My fw quite literally threw everything he and I worked for for 21 years away. But to clarify I don’t think that was the way he thought it would go.

      He thought once he dispensed with Susie; he would after a few uncomfortable weeks slide back into his cushy job, with his whore at his side, and everyone would accept them because after all he was the big shot. It never occurred to him that he would lose his cushy office, and promotion; and that he would be put back out on street patrol where now everyone saw him as a laughing stock.

      Never occurred to the arrogant ass wipe that he wasn’t the reason folks liked Susie, but in fact Susie was the reason folks liked him.

      Can’t say that his fate bothered me one bit.

      • “Never occurred to the arrogant ass wipe that he wasn’t the reason folks liked Susie, but in fact Susie was the reason folks liked him.”
        My ex and I were both professors at the same university, and after our divorce I was surprised to discover this was true (in many cases) for me, too.

        • I was surprised to discover that some of the people I thought didn’t like me that much were in fact simply uncomfortable around FW or even with FW in the picture.

          • Yep, I’ve discovered that people (especially women) would avoid me because of my ex husband. He creeped them out. I thought for so many years that women just didn’t like me and I could not figure out why. The only women who would stick around were the ones screwing him. It set me up to have zero decent friends and a bunch of backstabbers in my life.

            • This is particularly horrible. I am so sorry that this happened to you. Why don’t women tell each other these things?

              • My best friend got a weird feeling about him once to the point where she told her sister and showed her the messages he sent on Facebook. Her sister also got a weird feeling but there was nothing in the messages they could have shown me to alert me. Everything he did while testing women out was deniable. He talked about having her fly out to surprise me. It would have seemed nice if they had shown me. It wasn’t until later when we found out what he was doing that my best friend realized why it creeped her out. He was being a creep. He was feeling her out to see if she was receptive to him. She didn’t feel like she had anything she could really tell me, just a weird feeling she couldn’t put her finger on. I would’ve thought she was being silly.

                That’s what he did to so many women. And ones I had just met would drop me over it. I can’t really blame them. They felt like something was off but they didn’t know what.

              • “He was feeling her out to see if she was receptive to him.”

                THIS! Right on Katie Pig.

                Chumps, put this one in your binder of wise lessons learned. The is predatory behaviour in subtle form. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but your gut says something is off.
                THIS IS HOW THEY BEGIN TO GROOM.

            • KP‐- fir me I think it was also something to do with the intangible cues that victims give off that alert some people that the waters around the victim aren’t safe for swimming. Even when we aren’t conscious of being boiled like frogs, it must change us over time.

              I also lost my “before and after” comparison regarding how people treated me because I’d been in the process of prosecuting and suing a workplace harasser/stalker when I first met FW. I was already rattled. Then my middle child fell ill and I was even more embattled so didn’t notice the degree to which FW and his awful family were messing with my peace of mind. But if I remember my pre-stalking social existance, there’s a huge difference in the way people related to me.

              No surprise that I had a big social renaissance post-FW-removal. At first it really unnerved me, like “What the hell do these people want from me??” or “When are they going to go chilly and ghost me?” Then I got used to it again.

              I don’t know what’s different now exactly– maybe it’s the lack of dark circles? Or I’m less nervous, less agitated, less prone to go off on weird tangents that are being driven by subconscious terror, etc? I’m just seeing how people seem to react to me more openly and enthusiastically– like back in college. God that’s a long time in social Siberia.

              To be honest I still put the greatest value on the friends I made or who stuck around despite what I was going through and could get past that singed smell that probably hovers around us parboiled frogs. I mean specifically the ones who didn’t need me to remain in my “victim shape” and were happy about my “refurbishment.” Those friends are solid gold.

        • To commiserate: I still work at the same university with my now-ex, and colleagues regularly tell me how much he has “changed” since we split up. I sweetly point out that perhaps they are noticing what he’s like when he hasn’t run his first thought past me in private and had me talk him out of doing or saying something awful. Not only have quite a few people told me they liked him because of me, but now they like him even less (whether or not they know about hm cheating).

          • You’re made of strong stuff if you could weather having to continue working around the traitor. I imagine you’re particularly popular.

        • Adelante
          This was also true for me ~ the reason I believe is that as victims of abuse, we are coopted into the abusers fantasy that they are the great person ~ we are brainwashed and genuinely believe that others see the abuser in a favourable light, and that we will be disbelieved if we challenge that narrative, and often are ~ although of course after separation everyone comes out of the woodwork and says “oh we only liked old muggens because he was married to you”. I spent 20 plus years wondering if I was the arsehole, but of course got the opportunity to learn and grow and have greater compassion for others living through abuse.

      • I have the same experience. I noticed that if I post on social media that klootzak is headed out of town for a bit, kiddo and I get all kinds of invitations to dinner, play dates, parties at the country club, you name it. People think he’s creepy but they love having kiddo and I over. We’ll have no shortage of friends when he is gone.

        Klootzak tends to leer at our friends’ daughters and they are not comfortable with him around. I don’t blame them one bit. My son’s godparents sent us their daughter’s graduation announcement. Klootzak opened it before I saw it and ran off with the girl’s senior photo which I found later in his desk drawer. (Not even snooping… was looking for a pen!) I hadn’t realized they had even sent a senior photo along until I found it face down in the drawer. I remember asking klootzak if we received the photo they sent. He said he never saw a photo and it must have been stuck in the envelope and thrown out. The girl was 18 but the daughter of klootzak’s friend of almost 30 years. Just gross! We weren’t invited to the graduation party but I know the godparents wanted me and kiddo there but not klootzak. I’m sure they didn’t want him having an excuse to hug their child.

    • The thing about SS that I hate for people like this is they get the equivalent of half your SS if it’s larger when they retire. I under why cuz of so many mostly women making much less. But when the very able bodied FW didn’t work for years while I busted my butt, it pisses me off. Hugs to newbies! Sorry and glad you are here!

      • Thrive, not if they remarry before the age of 60, they don’t. My FW married the Schmoopie about a year after our divorce. He was 51 at the time. When my kids told me, I laughed & laughed, as now he won’t be eligible to take 50% of my SS, which is now much higher since I got rid of that fool and my earnings took off.

    • My uncle was a narcissist and a bum who never made anything of himself either. In hindsight, I see how growing up with him screwed up my picker and made me a chump.

      He lived with his mother into his 60s, never paid her a dime in rent, and let her go on food stamps without blinking an eye. Literally let his 90-year old mother call us crying because she had no food in the house. He did, of course. He’d bring home steaks from the grocery store and tell her not to touch them because they were his.

      Oh, and he also borrowed money from numerous family members, which of course he never paid back. He was unemployed for 30 years and complained he had no money because he was going through bankruptcy, yet always had money for video games, cigars, and electronics.

      Took him 40 years, but he eventually burned every bridge in his hometown and Grandma was going into a home, so he moved out (stealing her silver on his way out the door).

      He moved across the country to live with his new girlfriend, because he needed a new stooge. He shat up her house with all his hoarding crap and was dead a year later from Covid, having never made anything of himself.

      These people never change.

  • Wow, isn’t the entitlement just off the charts! Not only does he expect to determine what he does (as in, “You’re not the boss of me!”), he expects to be able to decide for her what she can do (“I’m still the boss of you, but I have generously decided you can still come and go as [you] please”).

    My ex had this same sense of entitlement. I will say this, however. That level of entitlement served me well in getting my ducks in a row, because he could not see beyond himself, which meant he never considered that I might act on my own volition and without telling him.

    • “That level of entitlement served me well in getting my ducks in a row, because he could not see beyond himself, which meant he never considered that I might act on my own volition and without telling him.”

      Yup, my fw was shocked when he discovered I had ran histories of our joint CCs and banking records. I mean I never really bothered with them before as I was pretty busy working full time, doing his volunteer work and going to school. Before that I was working and raisin a child. He managed the money and I trusted him. I shouldn’t have.

      But I still laugh to myself at his shock of some of the things I managed to do without asking his permission.

      I honestly think he had visions of me just going to work and then going home and cry in the corner and wait for him to come and throw me a mercy thump every once in a while.

      Yeah, no.

    • I don’t think my ex ever thought *I* would be the one to file, since he dumped ME. When he found out that I was getting ready to serve him (my attorney contacted his to see if the attorney was authorized to accept service on his behalf) my ex rushed to file first. Kind of ruins the narrative of “I had to leave my crazy wife” if she files for divorce on the grounds of adultery and excessive cruelty. I think he expected me to be upset, but I wasn’t. He saved me the filing fee! I opened a bottle of champagne that night.

      • ISTL: Some of these cheaters have very complex emotional disorders that explode and expose while in crisis. Yours sounds like he rushed to “file first” to avoid his own abandonment/rejection fears. It’s common that they assuage their greatest fears by beating you to it. Experiencing abandonment/rejection if you file first pushes them over the edge; doing it first for themself helps them experience less emotional distress. As for some cheaters wanting to remain in the marital home, or even return to it midstream, it is all part of the emotional regression to their childlike years where uncertainty, insecurity, immaturity and confusion reigned. They’re wanting to be in a home dynamic where expectations are known, so that they can survive in an adult world with your enabling. At the same time, they’re initiating escape and running behaviors, adultery and hostile treatment of spouse and family while at home, so it is futile to be in relationship with them. They need to be elsewhere to grow up, seek help, and learn to live in relationship with others successfully. Let them grow up on their own time and dime. Take good care of yourself and family.

        • Great point about age regression. Exactly. Having raised three kids past the toddler phase, I thought FW was “individuating” like a tantruming tot during the affair. Except– like my mother always said (when talking about megalomaniacal public figures)– there’s nothing more dangerous than a 180 LB two year old. He expected me to put up with shit I wouldn’t put up with from actual toddlers.

          Do 48 year olds suddenly grow up? I won’t hold my breath lol.

  • There was a time when my sons would put pressure on me to have “family” get togethers during holiday occasions, and other times like graduations and a wedding and a funeral where my sons wanted “all their family” in one place at one time. I believe this is because they have not been chumped, and just don’t understand. After my divorce from their dad, I did not want to share any space with him. Sometimes, at public events, I was forced to grit my teeth and play nice. But in my own home? Nope. My sons could love both parents and show respect. That is what I tried to raise them to do.

    My ex always found me extremely useful. He always wanted my assistance, but it was not because he respected my abilities. It was because he was lazy and did not want to do the work he knew I was good at doing. He thought his charm was the price of admission to my world. It took me a long time, and therapy, and a complete evaluation of my FOO upbringing to realize appreciating useful is not the same thing as loving someone. FW’s think they do you a favor by being allowed to exist in their space. Once you figure out it is always all about them, what they want, how you can make their life easier — it is easy to say NO.

    Keep saying NO. You are under no obligation to enable a user.

  • But, let me get this straight, you can come and go as you please!?
    Geez, you might not want to be so hasty dismissing such an amazing offer.
    He, in all his magnificent grandeur of manliness, would be willing to allow you to carry on with your own life in your own house!?
    What a fella he is, lol!
    The fact that he actually BELIEVES that’s a generous offer to you,that weaselly termite, is a very hard reminder of what you have come to know, he really really does suck.

  • A quickie today . . .

    (music by Men At Work, lyrics by Ruggermom)
    Tune: https://youtu.be/8jHXu86O01w

    Traveling on the road to good life
    No doing the ‘misunderstood wife’
    I heard from the fuckwit, he sent an email
    He made the plea, then gave the detail
    He said:

    “Can I live in the room down under
    After I tore your life asunder?
    Can’t you see I’m a caring wonder?
    I’ll even pay, I’ll even pay some rent”

    • 👏👏👏 this one will be stuck in my head all day, and that’s well worth it.

      Who is banging on beer bottles and playing the flute in the basement at this hour?!

    • It may be time for you to cut an album, UXworld… at least a collection of songs and poetry…

      • 🙂 I’ve got them all in a document that someday might see the light of day, here or elsewhere. I’ve divided it up into chapters named after Beatles references:

        “Here Comes the Sun” — Tributes to Chump Lady
        “Dear Sir or Madam, Will You Read My Book . . .” — Cheater Self-Glorification in the Media
        “Keep Playin’ Those Mind Games . . .” — Cheater Manipulations
        “Try to See It My Way . . .” — The “Others” Speak
        “The Long and Winding Road”. . . to Meh
        “All We Are Saying Is Give Peace a Chance” – The PC and RIC Narratives
        “When I Find Myself in Times of Trouble” – Jesus Cheaters

  • Ruggermom,

    You asked what is wrong with your Ex-husband. He’s a Cheater and he sucks; no further diagnosis is required. He is not worthy of you and you are well shot of him. And it’s interesting that he’s not finding living with his mother to his taste. Either he’s had enough of her or, much more likely, she knows exactly who he is and she’s sick and tired of his narcissistic BS and has told him to GTFO.

    As CL says, “No tag backs” – or as we’d say in my part of the UK “No takey-backies” – you owe him precisely nothing, so give him no more than that.

    LFTT

  • I would predict exactly one rent payment from someone like him. After living at his mother’s for 3 years, at his age, you’d think he could pay cash for a modest home.
    So many other viable options. I wouldn’t dream of holding him back by encouraging him to return to he scene of his crimes. There’s not enough sage to remove the stench a second time. I hope the op responded that she’s so happy with her current life she couldn’t possibly consider it.

    • “After living at his mother’s for 3 years, at his age, you’d think he could pay cash for a modest home.”

      Whores are pricey, even if they are lay whores (pun intended) they demand dinner and gifts to keep the sex flowing.

  • Did I ever need this post today. My ex-wife has been pleading with me to allow her to attend a birthday party I’m throwing for our son at my house, and I admit I’ve been considering it. Thankfully I have good friends in my corner to talk some sense into me, and the post today drove home the point of how insane her request is.

    Chump Lady never misses.

  • As crazy as this sounds, think about it. How many times did we allow totally selfish behavior. How many times did we spakel their behavior. How many times did we do all the adulting and provide sex, money etc. how much was done while , pick me dancing? We allowed and gave soo much because we loved them, it’s not that crazy. They believe we are still suckers, made to make their life wonderful. Being narcissist they can’t believe we don’t still want them or that they don’t deserve everything we can give. But how wonderful to say “No”.

    • It’s not just allowing totally selfish behavior and spackling and adulting, etc. It’s also stinting ourselves for others. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to FalconChump’s comment that “some of us” need to be a lot less selfish and “some of us” need to be a lot more selfish, and realize how often and in how many ways I deliberately stinted myself, as if giving myself the same care and consideration and effort I gave to others, the marriage, the house–you name it!–was selfish. One tee-niny example: out of an inheritance from my father, I had new windows put into our house, in to every room except for my study. For twenty-five years after that I lived with leaky single pane windows that each winter frosted over so thickly inside the room that I had to scrape the frost off. It’s a measure of my unchumping myself that after I had made the decision to divorce but was still living with my then-stbx and getting my ducks in a row, I FINALLY had new windows installed in there.

  • I only see trouble ahead. I have friends who came to some level of understanding about things, but not like this.

    A friend of mine’s daughter is divorcing her abusive, alcoholic husband, and his attorney proposed this very thing in a pendente lite hearing. The judge sputtlered and fumed and told the STBX to grow up and get a life.

    Just nope.

  • During his discard of me and me ignoring flags ex narc wanted to take the upstairs apartment we were fixing up so he could live up there. He said I could stay on his insurance while he dated and lived being “single”. Told him I didn’t get married to have my husband
    live upstairs and continue an affair with the whore. Finally after discovery of the 2 year affair I served him divorce papers. He lived in the basement until I was legally able to have him removed from my home. He moved into whore’s home for 2 years then she died. He now moved into another woman’s home where he is today. Consequences he wasn’t expecting. 35 years married but now almost at Meh. 🙏

  • Your ex is likely wanting to sabotage your relationship & won’t add any value to your life, so….My mom wouldn’t let my ex stepdad back into the home when he was sick. When asked she said “he left me for another woman so he can go ask her to nurse & take care of him”. Oh she won’t? I guess he picked wrong then”. There were people who didn’t agree with her, that she should be the “better person”, but us kids agreed with her. Ex step dad threw our mom away like day old bread. She was traumatized & it took a long time for her to gain a life. That jerk doesn’t deserve one iota of care from my mom & I’m glad mom didn’t go down that chumpy road again because there were a lot of people (family, friends, neighbours) that thought she should.

    • I’m so glad your Mom didn’t say yes. My next door neighbor took care of her dying cheater ex husband for three long hard years. She moved into his home. Their kids did nothing to help. When he died, I assumed he left her the home. Nope, left it to the oldest daughter who kicked her out, sold it and basically kept all the money. My neighbor is a sweetheart and I get angry every time I think about her wasting three years of her life. Take good care of your Mom.

      • I wouldn’t do it, but if anyone is tempted to do it; they should demand an agreement of payment, either while the sick one is living, or debt owned upon death.

    • WTF? Why would you have any obligation to nurse someone you divorced anyway? That’s what kids are for, not exes. I’ve noticed that a certain age demographic of men out there in the dating world seem to be interested in serious relationships for the first time or for the first time in a long time, and it somehow coincides with their bodies starting to get creaky and fail on them. I feel like these people have the same thing in common, that they feel entitled to other people’s care whether they treat them well or not. What a prize!

      • Begging your pardon, but care of elderly parents is not “what kids are for,” either. I didn’t have my child in order to saddle him with my care when I’m older. I’ve already joined the Swiss organization Dignitas and will, touch wood, be making my own dignified exit.

        • Adelante,

          I’m with you; the only person responsible for me as I get old is me and I’m just fine with that. I have no intention of burdening my kids in my twilight years.

          Interestingly, Ex-Mrss LFTT has told all 3 of our children that they’ll need to look after her and provide for her when she gets older, because “LFTT comprehensively f*cked me over in the divorce.” All three kids know that if anyone scr*wed her over it was herself (that’s what you get for lying in Court); they told her that she could go kick rocks.

          LFTT

        • My ex knew I didn’t want kids. 6 years later as he left for the OW, he said he did now want kids, because he wanted to make sure someone was there for him when he is old, like his gran had when she was dying. I thought it was selfish, thanks for confirming 🙂

      • Ironic Pentameter,

        A willing chump is much cheaper (no salary or wages) than paying home care aides.

    • Yup. My Mom is a retired RN. Divorced my Dad in her late 30s. Not many men knocked on her door while she was raising three kids, but as an empty nester in her 50s (with a nice retirement and home) all of a sudden she was a hot commodity. Wisely, she wasn’t interested in most of these late life men on the hunt for “a nurse with a purse.”
      She’s 87 now. Still single. Doing just fine without a man thank you. She’s my hero!

      • Yes, I’ve seen some of that in the guys that have asked me out. There’s “my business is failing but…,” “I had a triple bypass last year but…,” “I’m never going to be able to retire at this rate,” and “your house is nicer than mine.”

        Ah no. I’m winding down my work a little each year, hoping to retire in about five years. My kids shouldn’t have to care for me or help financially. A few medical concerns, but I’m basically very healthy. I’m fine.

        • I noticed this too even in my 20s and 30s – men showing up presenting themselves as dating prospects but leading with sob stories and clearly looking for a meal ticket. They’ve only gotten bolder and more desperate with age. It’s shameless and such a turnoff.

    • Isn’t it interesting how quickly enablers insist we should “be the better person” yet never waste their breaths saying the same to the abuser?

  • Ruggermom: WOW! He would be messing with your meh and his meh. There is nothing in this for you! It would put a LIAR back living under your roof. He is probably lying about paying rent, doing chores etc. He probably thinks you would feel sorry for him, believe his BS and not evict him from his home. A definite narc if he thinks you need HIS permission to live your life coming and going as you please. Why does he think you would ever consider him under your roof again?

  • I’d like to offer a toast to everyone who has survived this devastating nightmare that is infidelity, betrayal and divorce and come through with humor, courage and encouragement that helps others to realize you can survive. You don’t believe it’s possible in the worst moments of the nightmare, but stay strong and know that you can and will get stronger. Cheers to all!

  • I have a bunch of narcs (mother, weird roommate from college) in my life that I’ve been no contact with for many years now. It always amazes me the bullshit they come up with to try to “reconnect”. The weird roommate (who raped me 30 years ago- haven’t spoken in 25 years) found my work email at the university where I teach and said he noticed that I was going by my maiden name now and how sorry he was for stuff (that’s all I read before I deleted that crap). My mother just recently emailed me (no contact for years) about an old high school friend of mine that had just died. Thanks, mom-good to know- I didn’t even open that email, just saw the subject line and deleted. If there’s one thing these FWs have it’s the AUDACITY.

  • This is hilarious. Chump Lady’s response is spot on, as usual. I think FWs have the emotional maturity of teenagers, and the chump becomes like a parent figure to them sometimes. I remember when my ex moved out and into his own apartment. After some weeks (where I had our child full time- no child support of course) he had his apartment all set up and I brought our son to his apartment. He proudly showed me around. He had a scented candle lit and was playing Sara Bareillis. It had a weird “sending my kid off to college” vibe. We have been separated for nearly 5 years now, and I think he still feels like he still has a claim to my house and stuff. He recently asked for “his” dremel. He left so much stuff behind in my house, and now I see that he thinks I’m just happily storing his stuff for him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he thinks he should get part of the proceeds of the house when I sell it. His name is not on the deed.

    • When mine was moving out to “work on himself” he told me to think of it like he was going off to college!! They are all crazy.

      • Mine literally went back to college! He moved into an undergrad dorm at age 34 and started an “independent study.” No, I have no clue how. He did write me 3 years after dumping me out of nowhere to say he wanted to get the rest of “his stuff,” as if I were running a shrine or a storage unit. No way. If you didn’t take it with you to the dorm before the divorce was final, it ended up in the landfill.

    • If his stuff that you still have is in decent condition (or even if it’s not), eBay is a thing. So are Craigslist and NextDoor. Just saying.

      “Dremel? What dremel? I can’t find it”

  • I have a good friend who works in a downtown office, ground floor, where homeless people keep coming and begging. There’s no security, and these people get very demanding and even aggressive, so police have to be called.

    She has a sign that reads,
    “GIVERS MUST SET THE LIMITS,
    BECAUSE TAKERS NEVER WILL.”

  • Ruggermom— please give an update! Please tell us that XH rode off in a 1970sVW bus and is “enjoying” the camper life 2500 miles from you. Tell us your walks are singing. I can’t wait to hear 😁

  • Oh great, a cheating ex in the basement; should be on everyone’s list of least-favorite horror movie tropes.
    And maybe I’m too cynical or suspicious, but I wonder how hard he would make you work to evict him if you wanted him out.

    • You are raising an excellent point. Some of these states have laws that are very pro-tenant and make evictions exceedingly difficult. There has been more than one situation where someone has let an extra room to someone only to have the person stop paying rent and start squatting in the home with the owner living there. The tenant is protected by law and there is little the owner can do about it.

      • Regret,

        I know of a situation where four gainfully employed 50/60 something people have a squatter (man in his 50s) who came for a “visit” and is still there several (or is it seven ?) years later ! 🤣 😳 What’s the saying ? After three days, houseguests and fish have to be tossed.

    • Haha, I think we all know the answer…

      I once knew a woman married to a bum. She enabled him for years, then when she got sick of him, got one of her friends to host him “for a while.”

      It was a lie, she just wanted him out of her house and didn’t care that she and her soon-to-be-ex were imposing on this chump who was now stuck with this dude sleeping on her couch for weeks, which made him a legal tenant. Took her 6 MONTHS to get rid of him.

      Yes, husband and wife were assholes. Yes, this poor woman was chumpy. This story is one reason I’m so quick now to decline imposing requests. Takers are breathtaking in their shamelessness.

  • Constantly shocked when reformed chumps ask questions, like “My x cheater has fallen ill. I don’t know how to feel about it/ help him/her / what am I going to do?”
    My answer? Reformed Chumps: Nothing. You offer them nothing. Not bad nor good intentions. You do not give your PRECIOUS energy, anymore, to people who have abused you.

    • My ex, who left me for his much younger coworker, called me several times after OW left him, crying about how alone he was and how he had no one. And I felt NOTHING. Nothing except “oh, he’s trying to manipulate me to feel sorry for him and help him financially”. All I could think was, “that’s what happens when you reject everyone who ACTUALLY cared about you in favor of those who flattered you”. When he realized I wasn’t going to commiserate with him or offer him anything, he hung up.

    • Yes, mine became quite ill shortly after he left and had several surgeries during separation that he told me about after the fact. That was on him. Then he got COVID that went into long-haul mode from what our son was told. I hope you feel better soon, I said.

      Unless he was willing to majorly take responsibility for his behavior and end the contempt, I wasn’t going to be anywhere in the vicinity, period. He’s not a safe person.

      • If klootzak got sick, I’d say the words to him he always said to our child or me. His faux apology: “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

  • This is delicious. I hope Ruggermom enjoyed HER cake: Loser ex pleading to come back into her life as a basement tenant. How apt. Is he alone, or is there another hidden Schmoopie who would be moving in too?

    I can imagine what he’s planning to say to others: “She’s been begging me to move back for years (heaves sigh) and now that youngest moved out, she can’t bear to be on her own/can’t manage without me/begged me to start over.”

    Telling OP she can come and go as she pleases–in her own home!– is a sure sign that he’s thinking about the opposite, including how he can control her and put an end to her romance.

    Note the timing. Ruggermom says her oldest son kicked FW out of the house; when he got engaged, FW started asking OP to move back. Youngest son moved out, and OP has an empty nest. FW has been living with HIS mom all this time, and now the coast is clear for him to move back and manipulate her without witnesses or support. He’s a loser and a user. I hope OP enjoys being mighty.

    • He definitely planned to charm is way up from the basement to reclaim his throne. The basement was just his foot in the door. So glad the OP was too smart for this!

  • As I was preparing to move out (XH got the condo) XH came up with the “brilliant” plan that I could live in the spare bedroom and pay HIM rent for what I once co-owned. In other words, he wanted me to continue to supply him with $ and housework. I also agree with those who say the ex is trying to sabotage the OP’s new relationship.

    I laughed in my XH’s face. If you are in contact only by email a simple “LOL no” should do it.

  • There’s no limit to the entitlement!

    Last week, x asked if he could make one small alteration to our divorce agreement. He set forth his little rationale, basically arguing that it would save him some money. What would make this man think that I’d want to help him in any way (other than 35 years of my doing just that)?

    It felt good to decline his “offer” —“No. I don’t want to make any changes to the divorce decree.”

    I have to think his powerlessness over me must enrage him. Such is his narcissism and sense of entitlement that I guess he thought he could call the shots forever. Nope. #smh

    • It just seems to me that the more I read of others experience the more convinced I am that most of them do really think they will always be in control of their chump.

      • Yes, I know mine believes that. Thankfully, I have no custody issues, but he still reaches out periodically years after the divorce trying to reassert himself by accusing me of violating the agreement.

        It’s all bogus.

    • I want to add that I can just see my ex fw years ago sitting down with whore and saying “Whore don’t fret, Susie has always done what I told her to do; I just need to sit her down and explain to her how doing it my way will benefit her” Because Susie is just that stupid. Guess again.

  • I cannot help but wonder when this cloud of an idea formed in his head….and how much of his recent behavior was slowly modified to a create a stealth charm campaign in order to make this seem palatable (if only in his own mind).
    And, once it was shut down how he spun the story with friends to make him seem like the aggrieved party.

    • This is so true! It’s that whole charm, pity, rage channel-switching thing.

      It fries my own ass that some of x’s friends buy his self-pity routing. “Spinach got everything. Woe is me!” Ugh.

  • Ruggermom, please tell us you didn’t allow this. There are SO many reasons to say no. Beyond what CL said—evicting someone is a nightmare, even if they stop paying rent. Yes, his mother is sick of him, I’m sure. He needs to find his own place, and not with you!!

  • Just saw the comments about the cheaters who expect chumps to nurse them when ill, then continue to mistreat chumps who help. I can relate.

    My heartless ex ironically has heart problems around the anniversary of his online affair with the catfisher he planned to marry, and also ironically has sought my services to help him recover. I’m an RN and was disabled in a workplace accident. During the divorce, I discovered that he had stolen and hidden my civil and workmen’s comp settlements, and a lot of other funds; due to the statute of limitations, I couldn’t get any of that back, or any of the martial funds he removed from our joint accounts. Every year since DDay he has a medical crisis or surgery and has friends contact me seeking my help; last year he also had his nurse call me (she told me he was physically fine and was seeking attention) and left a VM promising to help me if I’d help him, all while working up a claim he owned my pre-marital property. In January he told hometown friends he was near death and didn’t expect to last a week. They called me; I stayed NC. Last month, he violated court orders and called our grandson to say god came to him, forgave him, and said grandson should forgive him too. Weeks later, he called me and said he’s back in another health facility and he’s out of money but he’s not asking me to take grandson and rush to his rescue. He said it again in case I missed it. I wondered why he thought I’d rush to his rescue, let alone take the teen grandson he’s not allowed to contact and who wants nothing to do with ex. Then I figured out he probably needs teen grandson for physical assistance, plus me for nursing care, and our home since he’s giving up his apartment (in the complex designed for and marketed to single professional women ages 20 to 40). He sees me as a nurse with a purse indeed.

    I expect we’ll see a lot of these with other gray divorces. I don’t think the APs/OWs will necessarily dump them; I think some will stick it out in hopes of inheriting.

    As Spinach wrote, their powerlessness to control us enrages them. And Magneto, thanks for the reminder to give ill or ailing abusers NOTHING.

  • Never let a FW back in your house, under any circumstances. You’d need dynamite to blast them out of your house. And no, they would not pay rent, help out around the house, or allow you to “come & go as you please”. They’d eat your food, steal or break your stuff, and stalk & question your comings & goings.

    In addition you are not safe with a FW in your house. Don’t end up like Shannan Watts & her 2 little girls.

  • Hahahaha!!! This sounds SO much like the EX. I’m 1000% sure he’d move back in with me if I would let him. He always has the sadz about how much rent is. Somehow the idea that he would be flowing with limitless amounts of money after I left hasn’t worked out for him. Also the house doesn’t clean itself. Tragic. I would definitely rather have raccoons. They are adorable. The Ex is ugly and dumb, and I can’t imagine why I ever let him near me.

  • Not just no, but HELL NO. Can you imagine dating a person whose X is living in their basement? What would that tell you about them?
    If Mr. Wonderful is willing to pay rent, he needs to pay it to somebody else well away from your house. What an entitled ass to think you would even consider it.

    • Also what does it say about a middle-aged adult who can’t/won’t support himself?

      Any self-respecting adult, even one fallen on hard times, would be jumping through hoops to get back on his feet with a stable job and his own place.

      And I say this as someone who went through that in my 20s and couch surfed for a while. I was embarrassed at imposing on others and worked multiple jobs to get self-sufficient ASAP.

  • My ex proposed this same scenario a few years ago and told me it would be better for the kids to have both parents in the same house. These people are delusional!

    • My original beloved trusted therapist, whom I saw for many years until she moved away, is still in my life today and we talk often. She has been a godsend in terms of invalidating Traitor X’s ongoing attempts to re-write history; she had ringside seats from the beginning of our relationship until she moved away fifteen years later. She reminds me that he was/is an expert liar and that it’s not a failure on my part to have believed him.

      She recommended this book by Margalis Fjelstad. It’s been a very helpful addition to my chump recovery library.

      And….

      Healing from a Narcissistic Relationship: A Caretaker’s Guide to Recovery, Empowerment, and Transformation https://www.amazon.com/dp/1538136651/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_8EEGZMA918HB4TDE986F

  • let’s unpack this a little bit. by extending this offer, your X thinks the following:

    1. he is smart and the person to tell all other persons what to do (inflated sense of self).
    2. he thinks you’re dumb. in other words, he doesn’t know you. he’s not capable of knowing you (emotionally and intellectually incapable).

    that’s misogyny right there. he’s been drinking from the fountain of ego.

  • Hello ladies. Ruggermom here. The one who USED to be an idiot and cling on to a truly pathetic loser!! I am alive and so much stronger, and can’t believe I am saying this, but the whole sh**show that was my marriage was really a learning period for me.

    Very hard lessons learned, but in retrospect, probably necessary for me. Hard way going about it for sure, but thanks to chump lady, friends and some family, and especially my boys, i know for sure that NO is a complete sentence and I believe that actions are so much more important than the words. Best of all I know I can make it on my own with/without a significant other. My gut is usually right and I deserved so so much more.

    Update on the loser, he still is!! He moved out of Momma’s basement and he and the homewrecker built a house pretty far from me, thank goodness. That meant further away from his boys and grandchildren and closer to her gaggle of kids and grandkids. No surprise that he rarely sees his boys and their families, but it sometimes is quite the revolving door at my house. Love it! 3 grandkids with twins on the way!!

    I rarely have any communication with the ex except for the occasional “if you would marry me again…” stupidity. This coincidentally occurs when the “love of his life” starts boinking someone else. Losers x2, but if that’s what they do, guess they found what they wanted. Not my problem!

    He has aged tremendously, becoming forgetful and running low on the cash.
    Thankfully when I hear the “poor me” stories, I no longer care.

    As for me, my life is good! Difficult at the moment with loosing my dad (who walked me off the ledge more than once during those dark times with the ex). I am back to dealing with a couple of narcissistic, pitiful people though-a couple of siblings who think they’re all that, but I learned the lesson on how to deal with them

    I know it is a very difficult road to travel, especially for the newbies. If I learned anything from that whole period of time it is that I MATTER! I don’t need to twist and turn and change myself to cling onto something that would not change. So much more came out after the divorce of his serial cheating ways, that I can actually laugh about it now.

    My guy and I are still together! No plans for marriage because I learned that I don’t need that piece of paper for a true commitment. We are both happy and continue to walk the path of life together-no jealousy, insecurity and so much trust in each other

    I wish you all the peace and happiness that you so deserve. Your chump sisters have your back.

    BEST OF ALL-my basement is now a huge playroom for my grandkids! So, so glad I didn’t let the basement dweller back in.

    Thanks Chumplady,
    Ruggermom.

    • 👏 Congratulations on your amazing FW free life! It sounds like your ex’s karma bus was actually a karma jumbo jet. I love it when chumps get the life they deserve and so do fuckwits.

    • GREAT to hear this update! Thankyou for sharing your story. There’s always some detail in all of our similar chump stories that need a second look (or third or fourth) and interpretations from others that I could’ve so used way back when it was all happening. I’m glad you’re free

    • Lynn,

      I can picture it-the basement as a huge playroom, grandkids running wild ! Love it 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    • Thank you so much for giving us an update!! It’s great that you are rocking life post FW.

  • I forgot to mention what my exact answer was when he asked to live in my basement:

    “Can you handle all the noise that will be coming from my bedroom upstairs from all the fun I plan to have.”

    Hahahaha-he got the message!

  • Come and go as you pleased? Pretty soon he’ll tell you that you can access your own funds and that he’ll allow you to drive without him being in the car. Hell, he might even let you vote.

  • Ruggermom, I love everything about your letter and it’s a relief that you need no convincing (those letters are why we’re here but boy, are they urgent and stressful). I am grateful to you for sharing your struggles with such honesty and grace. You describe your worst times, being victimized and abused, as mighty. It’s a different take on “dignity” that I think I needed, finally crawling out of that hole myself and trying to shed my shame for those couple dark years. In addition to the admiration I feel for you, it helps me have a little self-compassion and pride. Thanks for sharing. So glad you’re doing well.

  • He’ll bring a lady friend over and you will probably hear their ‘activities!’ That’s enough to say a big NO in my book.

  • Haha Ruggermom! This is the best karma story and guess who’s eating a shit sandwich now? The FW!
    Guaranteed his Mom’s advancing age is playing a part here in that he is now #1 in line caregiver. He had planned on that role being yours when he married but he forgot that bit about himself blowing up the marriage. Poor sad sausage is on the Reality Train.

  • The most astounding part for me was his assertion that ‘she could come and go as she pleased’. EXCUSE ME??? Its HER HOUSE of course she could come and go as she pleased!! UGH!! I don’t know why I continue to be astounded at their audacity but they just continue to stoop to lower levels. SMDH

  • Send a credit check form with a request for a non refundable deposit. Then tell him none of his landlords would vouch for him.

  • Your kids are older. Time to block him. On everything. No one wants an x in the mix. Especially anyone you have a relationship with.

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