Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

How Much Did You Spend on Reconciliation?

chasing unicornToday’s Friday Challenge is a spin-off from Monday’s discussion of the $12K reconciliation ranch retreats featured in Elle magazine.

Okay, maybe you didn’t dish out thousands to play in a Sedona sandbox, but those Amazon books? Shrinks’ offices? Recommitment ceremonies anyone?

How much did you spend on reconciliation?

And having chased the unicorn, only to find it was a fuckwit with a carrot strapped to its head — what do you wish you’d spent the money on instead?


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Nothing on reconciliation thank God. He tried to come back three weeks after he left but I shot that down with an anti-tank gun. What I DID waste during the marriage was allowing him to have all his boys’ toys whenever he wanted, even though he never took care of anything. I.E. spending BOTH our salaries on his “must haves”, and buying rounds of drinks in the bar every night – and putting us in a precarious position over and over again even though we made damn good salaries together (I made more than him)! Oh and I also put $112,000 into our mortgage to try to reduce “our” debts – which were all his anyway! Never again! I’d rather have all my teeth out without an anaesthetic while going over Niagra Falls in a barrel!

    • Another one with 0 dollars on reconciliation!
      Maybe a Friday Challenge about how much I spent and endured trying to right my mental health?

        • Bad mental health care doesn’t come cheap either.
          I spent a small fortune with providers that had no idea what they were doing, and another small fortune trying to undo the damage.

          • old crone, you are probably younger than my 72 years. You are so right about the cost of bad mental health care and good mental health care. My husband basically checked out of our marriage when I lost my hearing and needed to use oxygen at the high-altitude city where we still live. This happened in 2014, and in 2017 he met a coworker 20 years younger than me. She apparently doesn’t want to divorce her husband, and I think after Covid showed up, their relationship has been off and on. The affair dawned on me gradually, and I felt too ill in 2021 to divorce. Just wondering how that would work out for me now. Married late, but two decades of a mirage instead of a marriage.

    • Same here — nothing on reconciliation but oh, so much during the marriage. I paid off his school loans… for a degree he didn’t finish. I contributed to his two failed startups AND to his side hustle, which went on to earn… a negative amount. He paid for his out-of-state affair with cash, so there’s that, too. I was naive. But the only book purchase I made after he left was LACGAL, so I count that as a step in the right direction!

    • I didn’t spend per se, but I missed a lot of work while having a complete breakdown post dday and then a lot on mental health care to get back on my feet. The lost income went on for some time. I’m free lance so I basically worked just enough to survive for many many months, maybe even a year or so. And then how to quantify the monetary value of lost time? The year+ spent on false R that delayed me moving on? The toll on my quality of life for so so long?

    • This was me!! I spent time on “mid life crisis” groups before I gave up! I didn’t waste any money he wasted the money on his TOYS!

  • $250.

    I had one useless appointment with Voldemort for “marital counseling”, with a name-brand relationship advice columnist here in Colorado, you all know who he is, he is a therapist in independent practice who writes articles for the only major remaining paper here in Colorado. And of course he doesn’t take insurance; he doesn’t want the oversight. Huge ???? red ???? flags. He spent nearly the entire counseling session promising that if we spent thousands of dollars on his guaranteed, sure-fire relationship improvement course, over as few as 6 to 10 sessions, we would see major improvement, and our marriage would then be a success.

    About that time is when I found you, Tracy. ????

    I never went back for a second appointment, I was grateful I was able to avoid that snake oil salesman and his false hopium, and Voldemort was gone a little over a year later (once a suitable new host animal was found, I’m sure). I shudder to think how bad it could have been.

    And I have never purchased another copy of that newspaper ever again in my entire life. I won’t support the people who support that parasite.

    • It’s great that you were able to walk away from that garbage. I had the opposite experience – I set up an appointment with someone who is also well known in this space. FW refused to go after googling her. I went anyway and she said it was better because he wouldn’t have liked what she had to say. She basically told me that my marriage was over, that men who do this abandonment thing do not come back (and you wouldn’t want them if they did and be prepared for him to stick with the mistress), I needed to accept I was getting a divorce and I needed to focus on my own healing. It was the most painful 50 minutes of my life after FW’s big announcement, but I remain very grateful for the awakening.

      • Wow, looks like you found a good one that gives valuable advice AND terrifies FWs, a 2-for-1!

        • Totally. I was so desperate I would have been completely snookered by Sunny’s therapist and signed up then and there for the 10 session package to “cure” my marriage. This lady was the opposite of what I was looking for, but exactly what I needed.

      • That is so hard to go through Maisy. I was also so heartbroken. I loved and trusted that shithead, and he knew it and use me to his full advantage.

        I was so grateful that my preacher told me I needed to get angry. My preacher also told fw that he would never build happiness on the attempted destruction of another person. In fw’s case he was right. FW just continued to slide into a miserable existence, but he did stay with whore. I doubt anyone else would have had either of them after the asses they made of themselves. At least not in that area.

      • Not quite your experience w/the FW XW, but I’m struck by some similarities. FW XW exit-affaired me for her rich, older, married boss. I got her to agree to go to marriage counseling, but she made it clear it was more for me than her, as she wouldn’t be coming back. The female marriage counselor tried to make some points, thinking that I was probably not doing much to help the soon-to-be XW. Instead, she was surprised that I was doing some things she brought up (I’m not perfect, and I am painfully aware of many of my flaws) , and awkward silence happened.

        Looking back, I don’t think the marriage counselor was prepared for the covert narcissist I believe the XW is. I think she was expecting me to be stereotypical clueless husband, and the FW XW to be a long suffering wife. That may have been the case to a certain extent, but I was the one trying to figure out how to support the family better after burning out as a pharmacist. I wasn’t the one fucking their (relatively) new boss. Never thought of cheating on her. Obviously, she didn’t feel the same.????

        So, I guess I did end up spending at least $100-200 (but you could say it was at least double that, if you consider it was our money being spent on it, as she was paying all of it from our joint checking account (I believe. Things are getting hazy after a few years).

        In a way, it was worth it, as I got three Yes! moments out of it. One, she tried to tell the counselor it was a coworker she had the affair with. I said no, it was your fucking boss. Two, the counselor thought I probably wasn’t doing much to help out at home, mentioning getting groceries. I told her with XW somewhat hanging her head that I was the one regularly picking up the groceries for the last year or two, as the FW XW had made it clear she wasn’t happy doing it anymore. Tried to take the kids w/me too to give her a break and to allow them more say in what we were eating. Third and final, she listened to the FW XW go on and on about all my faults and flaws. When she finished, she asked her if she was ever upfront about telling me how she felt (spoiler: she wasn’t). So she explained to the FW XW that NONE of us are good at mind-reading, and that she recommends bluntly telling your partner at least 2-3 times the problem you’re having w/them. Then, if they don’t do anything, take action, and they can’t say you didn’t try to get through to them. Most of what I got from the FW XW in our almost 28 year relationship (almost 25 years married before she fucked her boss AP) was cryptic, passive-aggressive hints. Not very helpful.

        I also was glad for some confirmation that I wasn’t as much an asshole husband as the FW XW seemed to think, by her actions against me.

        I also got some counseling from a psychologist, possibly for free. He wasn’t the best I think for me, but he made room in his schedule for me when he heard my story, and he too tried to get it into my head that the FW XW was not coming back, based on the actions she took. That took at least months to sink in.

        MaisyL, we’re so much better off without those assholes in our lives. I’m sending you lots of hugs, and wishing you the best for your future.

    • Agreed so many bad ones out there.

      I don’t know that not takinginsurance is a red flag though. The ones taking insurance don’t seem to be much better.

      I think for most of us who were serially cheated on and drop kicked for the whore or whores CL is the best therapy going and she is free. No stinking insurance needed. ????

    • Funny, I sometimes refer to the FW XW as a female Voldemort! So sorry you had to deal w/your asshole FW. I hope you’re in a much better place now. Lots of hugs.

  • $800 on three joint counseling sessions (not RIC per se); I would have gotten more satisfaction using it on Irish step dancing lessons for the family dog.

    Not RIC-specific, but definitely under the “wish I’d done with the money instead” category:

    In the early days of forced cohabitation, I found a huge wad of cash hidden in the bedroom closet. I removed it and contacted my attorney, who made a note and notified her attorney, who notified the Kibbler, who went into pathetic sad sausage crying fit. Eventually I ended it giving it back, can’t recall the rationale. But to this day, I wish I’d steadfastly denied knowing anything about any hidden money and deposited it in equal amounts into our daughters’ 529 accounts.

    • “Irish step dancing lessons for the family dog” lol!
      The bag of cash stuff is creepy – mine had that too.
      I bought a couple books post D-Day, and we went to 2 sessions with a Christian counselor. When I informed him at the second that I caught more lies, he told me there wasn’t much to work with here and I’d be best to get out. It was painful to hear but it helped me to move forward without looking back. Once the decision was made for me to leave, he had to release me as a patient to continue to work with FW.

    • Oh, UX! I know what you mean. I found at least 3 cash caches, myself. Used them (marital property, he had moved out) to pay for my divorce attorney. Attorney got my costs reimbursed in our settlement. One bright ray of f-ing the FW in the sea of grief.

    • I found $4000 in cash with love note on Dday. She didnt know I found that cash. As she was moving out she had more cash I would stumble upon. whenever I found it I took it. I considered it to be like drug money being that she wouldn’t report what she had stole from me over the years.

      • Wish I’d had the foresight to think of it that way. Throughout the 10 months of forced cohab, I continued to pay the entire mortgage, utility bills, car payments, etc. Judge finally told her to start contributing at month 7. If she’d paid even 1/4 of the total amount of that first 6 months, I’d have had more than $12k coming to me when the divorce was final.

    • Found a big wad of gambling(?) cash after D-Days and attempted reconciliations. Scumbag was furious that it was missing. I did disavow any knowledge, and later put a needed new roof on the house, after it became solely mine. Only wish I had more confidence in my SAHM self back then and had stashed my own wads of cash. He was self-employed and took in cash which was never deposited to the business accounts. Surprise.

      • But I did spend thousands on marital counseling, my counseling, the kids’ counseling, and every book I could find on Amazon about saving your marriage. It was long before Chump Lady, unfortunately.

  • Nothing was spent on reconciliation because he was not interested. At. All. He did nothing wrong in his eyes. All my money was spent on therapy for me and the kids and lawyer fees.

  • Jeez – I was thinking I spent a few hundred as part failed counseling efforts with four different therapists. Couldn’t find a match FW was comfortable with or able to return to after his solo session.

    Then I remembered the 5 day vacation I planned where he picked a fight almost every day, in spite of my talented pick me dancing. But that was the week I found the deleted pictures on his phone.

    He had taken her to OUR anniversary’s bed and breakfast destination.

    • “He had taken her to OUR anniversary’s bed and breakfast destination.”

      So fucked up. What is it with these creeps?

      Also, I’m so sorry you saw those pics. At the time, it must have been so painful, I’m sure.

      • Oh the xFW took his side piece to our exact honeymoon hotel. In Mexico. And sent me replica photos of her posing as I had 29 years previous. Major huge mental illness.

        • “And sent me replica photos of her posing as I had 29 years previous.”
          His Royal Highness, the King of Triangulation.

        • I always thought the overlaps were an insult to me. But then I realized how creepy it would be learning that some suitor was replicating an entire courtship down the cheesy haiku and venues and it dawned on me that the insult really goes the other way. Sloppy seconds? Bleah. Worse if the point of the replication is to “get back” at an ex.

          I would feel completely used. But that’s me. How wormy and pathetic would someone have to be to willingly take part in or even enjoy participating in such a “revenge replication”? Really, really wormy and pathetic.

          • Reminds me of the Dr. Foster series, where the mistress realizes she’s just a younger, more pliant version of the ex-wife.

    • My idiot ex FW took OWhore on the family holiday we had booked and packed for. He simply dropped his exploding bomb, a few days before said holiday, devastating us all and took her instead

      They posted mystery pictures of their chubby legs combined on social media and he thought we’d never find out. They went to all the same restaurants etc

      At least OW did, she wanted us to find out, gloating over her ‘prize’

      She still tries super hard now to show off but I just laugh at her now

    • Wait, are you ME? Went through the same thing, from the counselors he wouldn’t return to for a second session, to the complaints about the times of day of counseling, to his ignoring me or picking fights the entire vacation I planned (to celebrate his big milestone and because he’d never plan a vacation)…it is amazing how accurate the pattern is. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

    • I have no doubt that if things had gone FW’s way (OW left him, so they did not) he would have married her in the exact location and scenario we had planned for our vow renewal (which we were planning, actively, while he was already having the affair) – a boat on Loch Ness. I was totally prepared for it.

      As far as I know he never took her to our anniversary hotel (where we went every year) but I wouldn’t be at all surprised. He took her to all “our” other places.

  • We went to couples therapy, which was just a weekly opportunity to examine all the ways in which I was falling short as his wife.

    About a year after our divorce, I ran into our therapist at a local deli, and she approached me. I got to tell her I was now divorced, working in the field I’d wanted, and basically FW free. One of the greatest moments!

    • “We went to couples therapy, which was just a weekly opportunity to examine all the ways in which I was falling short as his wife.”

      Yup, after our failed attempt (less than a week) recon try, about two or three months later he went to our preacher to try and set up a meeting to “try again”. I only went to reject him, so I wasn’t real honest up front. But as soon as we sat down fw said “I always tried to get Susie to be more independant” LIE, he was a total controller and also I ) no issues with independance, hell I even did all his shit for him because he was just so dam busy. But also, in the next breath he said “I (meaning himself) am a controller”. Then the flaming lying asshole looked at me and said “I can’t make any promises”. I stood up and said to the preacher thank you for your help, we are done here and walked out.

      Preacher called me about an hour later and apologized for setting it up and said, he didn’t say what I thought he was going to say. Really? he said exactly what I thought he would say. I did tell the preacher, he doesn’t want me or our marriage back, he wants to destabilize me.

    • I consider our marriage counselor a grifter as well. $160 a session, cash up front (me paying) just to have a professional facilitate my ex’s gaslighting and abusive blame-shifting. You can’t tell me that an experienced therapist couldn’t have identified my ex as a covert/narc/ sociopath. She got at least $4,000 out of me over the years. I think she had an ethical obligation to whisper in my ear as I left one of our sessions: “run.”

  • I didn’t spend any money on attempting reconciliation with the non-Ex Mrs LFTT; that would have been a bit difficult given that while she denied ever having had and continuing to be in an affair with her AP (which the kids caught her bang to rights over) ……. she hit me with the “I have a right to be happy and this is my last chance to be happy, so we’ll have to get divorced unless you agree to an open relationship” gambit. What she actually said was “I would have suggested that we agree to an open relationship, but I know that you lack the emotional maturity to make that work, so we’ll have to get divorced.” For f*ck’s sake, who denies having an affair and then bridges straight onto the “open relationship” discussion?

    But, like an idiot, I did spend 6 months trying to persuade her to get help to deal with her alcoholism and her depression (both of which she denied were an issue), as well as a couple of other issues while she continued to live with the kids and I. Throughout this period she remained in contact with (and I am sure continued to see) her AP. She finally moved out about 6 months after D Day, pausing only to completely torch our finances as she did so.

    I just wish that I’d taken steps to get her out of my life and my kids lives much earlier, and that I’d taken much more effective steps to protect myself and the kids both financially, legally and emotionally; it took a long time (and a lot of money) to deal with the mess that she created.


    • Someone wisely once said, ”If your spouse or partner asks you for an open marrriage/relationship, you’re already in one; you’re just the last to know about it.”

      • Busygal,

        I have used that quote myself on this forum, but would not claim exclusive rights to it. If I have accumulated any wisdom, it is merely as a result of bitter experience. While I didn’t spend anything on attempting reconciliation, the financial and emotional cost (for me and our kids) of trying to get my now ex-wife to see that she needed help – and trying to do the right thing by her, despite all that she had done to us – was enormous.

        And she wonders why – now that the children are all adults – that I have as little do with her as I possibly can.


  • About $5000 on a “getaway” without the kids to “reconnect” during which he was clearly still messaging his mistress and I spent most of the week in the bathtub crying. I really wish I instead taken my kids someplace really cool and left HIM behind.

    • I spent more than that on a trip to Hawaii during which I basically sat and glared at him or sat and waited when he went out to “run errands” and was gone for hours. I think when someone is determined to cheat, they can find a partner anywhere, any time. Wish I’d gone alone.

  • $500; two sessions

    the distortions and blaming that X expressed were eye-opening. i could see the therapist didn’t like X. it was a lot. i felt like the blinders fell off and i could see this entitled, angry man. then he gave me a performance review and fired me in the therapist’s office.

    “she was a good mother to my kids but, going forward, the marriage is not sustainable.”

    the therapist almost laughed.

    • OK Tracy, I sense another Friday challenge.
      In the movie “What About Bob”, Bill Murray explains to his therapist that he divorced his wife because “She liked Neil Diamond”. He completely ignores his own extreme phobias and neurosis. So the challenge can be what preposterous reasons did your spouse give for wanting a divorce/cheating while ignoring their own extreme behavior. Bonus points for stating them while in therapy.

  • Thankfully, I did not spend too much on the RIC (maybe $300). Then I found CL and CN and knew what my gut had been telling me was 100% right! In the RIC, the “therapist” wanted me to take haf the blam at least. Guess I was such an awful partner that he just had to cheat. Nope! He cheated because he has poor character and just generally sucks.
    The great thing is while I was in detective mode, I found so much evidence as well as FW uploading he and Schmoopie’s amateur porn to our adult son’s shared photo account. That was excellent evidence and also seeing it made son go no contact with his father. It was just something you cannot un-see. It is also great in our fault state and I made sure my attorney filed for adultery. FW and his attorney are trying to bargain for no fault which is driving a much better settlement for me. FW apparently does not want his entire story in public record. Wow, you would think he would be overjoyed about getting himself a 35 years younger unemployed Schmoopie because the wife appliance was just so horrible. Guess not. He was also offended that her name was in the complaint. Gosh FW, she played a role in this and we can identify her in the pics.
    Yep, I admit while I was in the pick me dance mode, that $300 was thrown down the drain. I wish now that the money would have went for something better but it is water under the bridge. Once they cheat you have nothing to work with. I am just glad that CL and the entire CN confirmed what my gut was telling me. This site is golden. My attorney has bought ten copies of the book and gives them to her clients now that I clued her in. She has CL on her recommended reading for those who are in the very early stages. Even though our final hearing isn’t until late November, my life his improved so much since the last DDay. I know it will just keep getting better. All of the newly chumped need to know that it does get better and you will recover.

      • My attorney is awesome! She also said that infidelity is abuse (that’s a reason for my retaining her). She absolutely loves this site and the book. She said the book and coming to this site has gotten several of her clients out of the RIC and their puddle of grief and has turned them into fighters. My FW now has to pay my attorney fees thanks to her so he is trying harder than ever. Final liberation is set for November on a Tuesday no less.

  • We spent over $3,000 (high deductible health plan) on almost a year’s worth of weekly couples therapy only for my ex-wife to lie the entire time and cover up ANOTHER affair she was involved in. We even signed a written “truth affidavit” from the therapist because I kept saying I had this feeling she was still hiding something, while FW insisted everything was out there. Low and behold… turns out I was spot on.

    Once my ex-wife’s 5th affair came out (this one was 2.5 years long, and with her boss), the therapist then kicked us out of therapy for “wasting her time.”

    I was also assigned blame by the therapist and FW for the numerous affairs because I wasn’t “meeting her emotional needs” and I also had some other traumatic things happen in therapy (written about those on here before) that I needed even more therapy to recover from. If you add in those costs, we’re probably pushing $7-8 thousand and over two years worth of time.

    I’ve never done a more wasteful, pointless exercise than therapy with a FW. Flushed our money down the toilet, retraumatized me, solved nothing, and caused me to spend even more money on more therapy (this time with a good therapist) to recover from the experience. DO.NOT.RECOMMEND.

    • The whole Unmet Needs thing is a therapy trope that needs to die. Okay, let’s say there are unmet needs (and who doesn’t have them? I’m sure you had some unmet needs), that now she is secretly getting met by randos and her boss — the needs are now met — HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO KNOW ABOUT THEM? To, you know, meet them?

      • The underlying message needs to be brought up when that “unmet needs” BS is trotted out. What they are really saying is “if you don’t meet my needs, I will cheat on you”, which is in and of itself a declaration and definition of abuse. (Of course, cheating has zero to do with “unmet needs”. It’s a dysfunctional triangle, deliberately constructed to include you without your knowledge or consent. Healthy people speak up and end relationships ethically and don’t do secret double lives).

        What is so hard to do, but so worth practicing, is reflective listening. Like many of us, the intense pain and fear after DDay had me so reactive. Knee-jerk city. Damn! I revel in the times I am able to listen, pause, and reflect back, responding with a bullseye question like, “so, what I hear you saying is that you will cheat on me if I don’t read your mind and do what you want?”, leaving egg on his face put there by his own words.

        In court, good lawyers listen, take notes, and ask questions of the perp so they will reveal themselves. I learned to do this in mediation. Difficult when you want to rip the face off of your soul rapist, but oh so worth practicing.

        Cheating is the hallmark of a moron. Use your superior intelligence and moral compass and practice responding in a way that leaves them with both feet in their mouth.

        • “Cheating is the hallmark of a moron” needs to be a book title or at least a bumper sticker

    • The thing with unmet needs is that usually the chumps are the one whose needs are totally unmet… they check out of the relationship, spend their time and energy with someone else, some times for years… for god sake if really there are so mucu as unmet needs why then not just a divorce? what they have is endless need to get everything and give nothing back… we truly have a big problem with therapy, perception and the global view of “affairs happen” not a big deal… etc

      • “usually the chumps are the one whose needs are totally unmet…”

        Exactly, I spent the last yearish, being treated like shit on his shoe, not to mention the years he was spending money on whores while my son and I scrimped by.

        Not once did it occur to me to go get strange dick to comfort me.

        • I told FW that. That I was just as unhappy and unfulfilled in our marriage as he was, but I NEVER even thought about an affair.

          For me, the marriage vows I made were how I was going to behave. They weren’t contingent on my husband being perfect. He thought since I was less than perfect (in his eyes) he was justified in breaking his vows. He said I’d broken mine first. Apparently I missed the part where I promised never to get sick and to make six figures.

      • “The thing with unmet needs is that usually the chumps are the one whose needs are totally unmet”

        Absolutely. FW *never* met my emotional needs, though I tried throughout the marriage to get him to understand and give me what I needed. It did no good. I just learned to live with it because I had made vows and meant them.
        I never once thought cheating would meet any need I had from from spouse. How could it? If you need something in your relationship, you need it from that particular person, not some other person, and getting it from a person outside the relationship is not acceptable as a substitute.
        So of course they don’t cheat because of unmet needs they have of the chump. What a crock. Therapists sell this baloney because it keeps the suckers coming back for more sessions to talk about their supposed needs. If a therapist were to say; “You cheated because you’re abusive and have emotional problems of your own which you needed to deal with before you commited to anyone.” that would be the end of that. The cheater would flounce off in an outraged huff and the chump would know there was nothing to work with.
        I suspect many therapists have convinced themselves the unmet needs thing is real, but they have done so for self-serving reasons. Others flat out know they’re fleecing their patients, like these “marriage retreat” crooks.

    • What I don’t get is the lying to a therapist. I mean, if you are just going to lie to the person who is supposed to help you, why bother spending the money? Mine did the same, BTW. I started to bring up the fact he gave me an STD, glanced over at him, and he was shaking his head with a stern look that said, “don’t tell him THAT!”
      Unbelievable. I guess it flew in the face of his “victim” narrative.

      • Her narrative was that her four prior affairs were in the past, and she’d been working with a personal therapist and a life coach and she was no longer engaging in those types of behaviors, she was a changed person, I needed to forgive, etc… so that’s why she couldn’t be up front about being currently involved in another affair. The funny thing is, the one she was lying to the therapist about was the one she was the most invested in: it was the longest lasting, most intense, and when it finally came out, she claimed they were in love. I ended up finding the boss’s wife on facebook and messaging her and of course she had no clue either. Ex-wife and Boss eventually ended up in the HR office and FW was forced to leave her job. Unfortunately, there was no karma there, as she got a new job quickly that paid almost double what her old job did. That was good for me come settlement time though.

  • Around 1000$ for a ten months couple therapy. Obvioulsly futile as we were divorced within a year on latest appointement. Though I acknowledge I entered couple therapy with the intention of giving a one-year shot, no more. The primary aim was for me to be able to answer family and do-gooders with “yes, I tried everything, including couple therapy”. Our exchanged were bi-weekly variations of “I want things to come back to what they were” (exFW) and “Things must change. The way it was led me to burn out. I has proven in my mental and physical health it is not sustainable” (me). The waste of time might be bigger than the waste of money ????
    And around 1400$ for a love weekend in Rome. As usual, he picked a fight just before departure for the adult-only trip. I should have gone alone! ???? I might still do that ????

    • Rome, alone. could be the title of a book. Under the Tuscan Sun but with swears. keep a journal and write that book, alas.

    • Oh God. This pick-a-fight thing boggles my mind. Before a week-long fly fishing trip (his hobby that I actually got good at but never liked–talk about wasted $$), he started the mother of all fights. In response, I said that I didn’t think I wanted to be with him for a week on the trip. He then begged me to go, so I did. But onn the trip, he basically ignored me.

      One month later, he broke the news of his multi-year affair and said he wanted to marry the AP.

      I guess he wanted to gin up a fight to justify treating me badly and to bolster his argument that he had an affair because we weren’t getting along.

      It’s all effed up.

      Oh, btw, after the trip he said, “So you went with me to X (8-hours/day of fishing, folks!!). Whaddya want? A medal?”


      • Ugh, the ridiculous fights. I can remember the feeling of bafflement – like how are we fighting over this? Over potatoes that took a bit too long to cook and weren’t timed well with the hamburgers for our guests. Over my request that we go Christmas tree shopping NOT on December 24. Over how I organized the ski equipment in the back of the car. Months of being yelled at for small, random things that a year before would have gone completely unremarked. It’s so obvious in hindsight and just so confusing at the time.

        • For real…the fights he picked. He told me I had “overstepped my bounds” getting photographer to take family photos while his parents were in town (his parents were thrilled).

          On Friday afternoon as we were leaving on a planned family holiday (after he complained we did none) with the kids and suitcases already in the minivan, he came home and tried to pick 3 different fights none of which I would fall for. I now realize he had an OW pulling at his nut sack from somewhere

          • Good for you for not falling for the fights.

            X would create a situation by word or deed that would push my buttons. I would react, and he would then become eerily calm. Guess who looked like the crazy one? GRrrrr.

            I’m sure he got off on that.

            Wifetress must have that pleasure now. He needs others to regulate his moods. SHE WON…a turd.

            • Spinach, yes I realized that my FW would push my buttons as well and try to make me appear like the crazy one. Once it dawned on me that it was his tactic, my response was always “Run that through the attorneys”. It gave him no real reaction from me and he had to pay to run BS through the attorney. In fact he ran so much BS through the attorney and wasted so much court time, that my attorney filed for sanctions and attorney fees for me and now my fees are being paid by him. He hates it and I absolutely love it. He is no longer able to abuse me through the legal system and if he tries, he pays. I am good with that. Bottom line is they do anything they can to abuse the chump and make us the bad guy.

          • Oooo oooo. I’d love for CL to re-up a call for the laughable accusations made by the cheaters to justify affairs.

            “You were so bad at x (or you forgot x or you did x), so I cheated.”

            Here are a couple of mine:

            You didn’t buy the correct ratio of caf:decaf coffee.
            You took a nap.


      • On the last vacation FW insisted on driving for an hour in an area we weren’t familiar with for the correct brand of club soda. Meanwhile, the sun set over the pool we paid extra for.

        Almost every Saturday – our time for a drive in the country – I could count at least three disagreeable and sometimes dangerous incidents within the first 20 minutes. We would then have to get back by 4:00 so he could get together with his “car buddies”. SMH.

      • My ex would pick fights and then blame them on me by saying, “I just wanted to have a nice night/trip/dinner/drive (or whatever else it was that I ruined).” Implying I’d ruined “it” — and also that I didn’t want things to be nice? He also would point out the “nice” things he’d done for me. Creepy. I felt like a pretty shitty, difficult person. After I left, it dawned on me that pretty much every single “fight” we ever had was him being an abusive a-hole to me. Not only was he cheating and lying, but he was trying to make me feel awful about myself while he was at it. For years. None of that devaluation feels good, and then it’s crazy-making when many years down the road, you begin to piece together the many levels of deception that were also involved. But there’s nothing you can do.

        Used copy Esther Perel’s “State of Affairs” was free from my (former) best friend. The couples counseling added up, and so did the individual counseling, which felt like a life line at the time but was actually incredibly damaging. However, like most here, the massive sunk investments and opportunity costs and the permanent, immeasurable emotional consequences are staggering.

        To the recent post about “will he change for the next person?” Nope. Remember this stuff when you wonder. These people are garbage, through and through. They do very bad things, in secret, for years — to good people who love them. And then they scorch the earth when they leave. Something is very, deeply wrong with cheaters, and I can’t fathom how that could go away.

  • I bought a book to learn about “the passive aggressive man” when the real problem was that he lied and cheated. I wasted a few hours of my life reading on RIC sites about the “180” and “standing” for the relationship. I wish I had bought a good mystery novel instead. And I wish that I had ended the relationship when he was visiting and I told him to go home if he was going to treat me like crap. I didn’t know then he was chasing a Schmoopie but now I realize that treating me badly is in fact the dealbreaker.

  • I don’t know the amount, but it definitely should have been spent on solo PTSD therapy, because a picker-fixer what what I needed most (and it will need constant maintenance for the rest of my life, if we’re being fully honest — because we learn that shit as tiny children and it’s a forever weak point. Every time I get overconfident about how much I have grown, dysfunction follows, and it can be devastating. Life’s a journey.)

  • Books. Couples Therapy. Online guides. Most expensive was getting Laura Doyle “coaching”. I worked overtime to pay for it while FW was (unknown to me) off making sex tapes with AP. My parents helped pay for a second round – all together, it cost more than $4k. My parents could have kept their money for their retirement. I could have used it towards the more than $15k it cost me to divorce FW. But what I would have really loved to use it towards, would be taking our daughters to Disney World. FW and I took the girls there shortly before all hell broke lose on our marriage. While he was gone CONSTANTLY they frequently asked me “when can we go to Florida again?”, I’m sure partially because the trip was enjoyable, but also because in their little minds they thought if we could get back to that PLACE, mommy and daddy would be ok again. I always told them “someday” in answer to their question – praying their dad would come out of whatever ‘depression’ was making him so prone to rage and necessitated all of his “alone time”. Now I wish I would have just taken them while we still had a joint income.

  • It’s not just the money, it’s the time wasted too. Would be interested to know how many weeks and months have been wasted at the altar of the RIC…

  • Time. Every second I spent untangling, trying to fix the marriage, I want it back.

    And my faith in other human beings, my kid’s happy childhood memories, our sense of security. I want those back too.

    I feel like I have invested enough brain power and energy for a PhD. Probably more.

  • Chumpedforanewermodel wrote, “FW uploading he and Schmoopie’s amateur porn to our adult son’s shared photo account.” What’s with this, are they bragging? Fraudster printed out porn photos of his online AP and many of their emails. I’m not sure of the specific content, but their emails were generally about his fantasies (sexual and marriage), his gifts of tens of thousands, and her ‘I love yous’ and requests for more money. Fraudster left piles of them next to every place out preteen sat: his (pre-teen’s) seat in the dining room, his seat at the kitchen table, where he sat to watch TV and do homework, and next to their shared toilet. They each had a box of reading material, and Fraudster put the porn emails in BOTH boxes.
    She was going to be Fraudster’s trophy and he was dying to brag to someone (he said so in his emails). It was a catfish scam, and the pictures were literally of a prostitute with hugely inflated breasts and butt, showing her in poses like kneeling with her hand in her crotch, and breasts out and butt up on a bed in see-through lingerie. On the toilet top Fraudster left a book of photos of a nude couple in sexual positions and a package of a non-prescription Viagara. He also left packaged condoms all over the place. Fraudster was such a hoarder and slob that apparently tween didn’t notice until after he was gone.
    The money we spent on a few session of MC was worth it because the therapist told him to allow me to have access to his phones and emails. Of course he hid them: He didn’t tell me all the accounts or show me the OTHER phones, but I found enough evidence. He blew up and assaulted me and our tween who tried to protect me. I got him out and filed.
    Tween and Fraudster went to the same therapy practice (different therapists). Fraudster was ordered by them to write a letter of contrition before he could see tween again. It took Fraudster four months, with assistance from three therapists. He read it in a Zoom session. Tween confronted him about the book and herbal Viagara, and Fraudster claimed he got them for ME.
    That therapist was supportive of tween and no contact because of the assault, which he reported to LE. Tween had disclosed physical abuse, and therapist wrote the treatment plan for no contact unless tween wanted it, and then only when supervised by a therapist. Unfortunately he left, and I later learned that his replacement immediately started pressuring teen to spend half his time living with Fraudster. I dropped that therapist and switched to another.
    I spent a small fortune on a Parental responsibilities Evaluator. Fraudster dragged his feet, was uncooperative, tried to get out of paying. For my part, I gave factual evidence, much of it from third parties or Fraudster himself, from his emails and posts. PRE advised I have sole custody and decision making, and I got it, so that was more than worth it.

    • GF, this is an indirect form of sexual abuse. You should not expose your children to porn or the gory details of your sex life, especially an extracurricular one. My FW’s AP used to expose her kids to her filthy lifestyle, though she was more subtle.
      What your ex did is horrifying. It’s a good thing he has no unsupervised access.

    • Sounds like you went to a similar place that we went. My tween, now young adult has been with the same therapist from the practice for 7 years. Therapist has been invaluable at supporting my child and helping her develop and practice boundaries with socio-path XH.

  • I’m going to say 30 grand. Not any RIC bs, thank God above, but he bought a three diamond ring( to commemorate 30 th anniversary and our 3 kids together).
    He planned a surprise renew our vows at our new beach, that was going to be our retirement home. The most gorgeous beach you could ever imagine, the kids were with us and part of the ceremony right next to the water’s edge.
    My son standing in for a deacon read the words my ex had all printed up and planned for him to deliver. My daughter was my maid of honor and our other son the best man. Ex made a beautiful floral bouquet for me and he wore a bow tie and we were all in our bathing suits. I cried the entire ceremony and soooo wanted to believe he finally figured out what to value, was ready to stop all his out of control cheating and was recommitting to what really mattered to him.
    God, how I convinced myself he meant it! I needed to believe it was real so badly.
    So that was 2010,by 2011 he was into his next many years long mistress event and this one he decided was the ‘real deal’ , so he jumped ship in 2016, the year of his actual retirement. ( told me Thanksgiving day how I was a 160 weight around his neck, he loved to blow up holidays in particular, a great skill he possessed)
    And that diamond ring? Well, it “ mysteriously” vanished, which he claimed was because I was not careful with my jewelry( only thing I ever lost before was a gold bracelet whose clasp broke while wearing and a diamond stud that fell out of an earring).
    I surmise one or all of those gems are in Schmoopie’s engagement or wedding ring, I would bet my last dime on that.
    I’m sitting on that same beach right now, divorced in 2018, but we had a huge storage shed ( from our final move from our other home) nearby that I had been procrastinating about emptying that I am doing alone.
    It’s a painful emotional journey for me, so many memories that I deeply treasured all nuked. I cry a lot and walk the beach a lot with my best buddy Yorkie. I needed to do this alone, even though offered help by loved ones.
    I feel an internal strength in this process I haven’t felt in a very long time. I may not know where I belong quite yet in my life, and I flounder with that.
    But I do know who I am at my core. I was abused by a disordered person, I’m a good person and I like what I stand for.
    Many great adventures await me and my very solid and loving kids, I know it strongly.
    And their dad? Retired a second time, bought a beach house in another state with Schmoop and by all appearances, “ living the dream”. No family responsibilities or worries ( told me “ I don’t want to take care of anyone anymore”) and he just get to live for himself and Schmoop still imagines he cares about her, but there is no one that means anything to him but himself, she’ll find out eventually.
    According to my kids( we barely talk about him) he is plagued with the most bizarre health issues for years now, sees them once a year at New Years and they all cringe when they even have to talk with him on the rare times he calls and they share very superficially, only as need be.
    He may have reinvented himself for a whole new group of admirers who don’t know who he really is yet, but he’ll never escape his shitty moth eaten soul and values and I know he does knows that.
    I don’t wish him harm, I wish him nothing at all, exactly what he left for his family.

    • Chumpasaurus, I’m crying for you. And me. Similar touchpoints. I’m going thru house, items too. It all hurts. XFW also has all kinds of health issues. Not so fun for the new schmoopie slut. Virtual hugs

    • I promise it gets better. You are doing the emotional work and both your inner and outer lives will be much improved for your efforts. Love yourself as much as you love your kids.

    • >“I don’t want to take care of anyone anymore”

      What has he ever done for anyone else in his life?

      These parasites are all alike. Unbelievable.

  • I didn’t spend as much on reconciliation as I did getting out, and for that I am grateful. I still spent $80 a week on counselling for more than a year. That was actually it, financially. Sad that $5000 seems like such a low number.

    Can I also calculate the sanity cost? Because that was so much more.

  • I spent $399 on the “Save My Marriage” course through Marriage Helper, which promotes “standing” for your marriage. While I did find some of the information useful (like focusing on yourself) I was really frustrated by the comments in the Facebook group saying that affairs are symptoms of larger problems in the marriage and that each person played a role in the marriage breakdown. That’s just not true. I also got frustrated at the group members who basically would act like they were competing in the virtue olympics by putting up with awful abusive behavior because they were “standing”. Marriage Helper encourages people not to separate as that decreases the chances of reconciliation but there was no way I could live in the same house with my husband who was actively cheating on me. They push their 3d day workshop weekend which is now about $4000. I never made it that far to ask my ex to attend.

    • Ugh, I’m so sorry you went through that. That whole thing sounds like something I would have signed up for back in the day. 🙁

    • Thank goodness you didn’t. All reconciliation groups peddle the idea that your partner’s cheating is partially your fault – because if you believe that, there’s something YOU ($$$) can fix to stop it. If it’s completely about the other person, there’s no poor chump to be had. I had 4 years where my FW was ABUSIVE – barely home, blaming me for everything, flying off the handle at everything (my attorney pointed out that just because he never hit me or the kids doesn’t mean it’s not abusive, throwing things, breaking things on purpose and punching a hole in the wall is not ok). Not only was he not meeting my needs, every interaction with him during that 4 year period tore out a chunk of my very soul. When I found out he was cheating – not just depressed like he’d led me to believe – and I left, I cried my eyes out to my therapist telling her I felt like a hollowed out gourd. But guess what? During the ENTIRE time I never once cheated. AT ALL. So if a bad relationship is what drives an otherwise good person to cheat, I failed that test.

  • Luckily, our co-pay for marriage counseling was low, so not much actual cash for the FOUR rounds of it! But the time wasted, the books I bought that only I read, even buying two copies of some so that he didn’t have the excuse of waiting for me to finish. The time I wasted trying to “fix” him instead of knowing my worth. SO many better other things to do with my time!

  • I spent $1,100 on couples therapy appointments because I was desperate for FW to understand the pain he caused and for a coherent apology. LOL! Obviously, I didn’t get either one…

  • I did the save my marriage (SMM) course which was $375. I started it before I knew or even thought FW was cheating. She had grown distant and said she was depressed and blamed me. I started about 6 months before DDay watching videos to improve my marriage. It was funny that before I knew I watched a video on “signs that your spouse may be cheating” and although FW had 5/6 I thought no way and laughed it off as coincidence. I was so Naive. the Chumpiest of chumps! Before I knew FW was cheating I believed a lot of what they said in regards to how you and your spouse should act.
    After I found out about the cheating I realized SMM was a money grab aimed at the vulnerable. On Affair recover someone put a link to LACGAL and I immediately purchased it and read it. Once you read Tracy’s book you cant unsee what cheaters do. I did stay on the Save My Marriage FB page for months afterwards subtly recommending LACGAL and for an alternative view when people would post desperate stories of them being abused by cheaters. After 7 months of promoting CN?CL SMM administration threw me off. I hope I was able to save some people. If you are new here and still part of a reconciliation FB page get the Chumpnation word out!

    • I was in the SMM private group (still am actually. I’ve stayed in it in the hopes that a few folks still putting up with their cheaters will wake up.) I posted about SMM above. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

      • I did all my posting in that private FB group. The stories are heartbreaking with people posting horrible abusive situations followed by the tag line “But I’m still standing for my marriage”. I wish I could have done more

  • I bought books off Amazon (oh, the books!), tried to plan and sink time into fun dates for us to go on (which was hard with two babies in diapers but darn it I had to try because he said I was “no fun anymore”) and, most embarrassing of all, I bought this little thing online (I won’t go into what it was) that was supposed to make your vagina tighten up (because he said I was.. you know… not right down there after a couple of kids). I used it once… maybe twice and it hurt both times. Further research on this thing revealed it to be dangerous and, sobbing, I threw my stupid purchase away. He never even knew I bought it.

    No joke. I, a fairly intelligent woman by all accounts, basically bought dangerous vagina tightening snake oil. I could have done real damage to myself. It’s embarrassing to admit that I bought something like that just so my husband would tell me that he liked sleeping with me (to be fair, he never stopped sleeping with me, he just kept telling me that it wasn’t good anymore; my self esteem was in the garbage can because I loved this man). I’d make a joke about how stupid I was but I know better now. I was *vulnerable and desperate*. And that made me easy prey for FW and anyone selling anything that would “save my marriage.”

    And what was I trying to save? A man who didn’t appreciate me or my body after I had our children (still breastfeeding during the OW#1 days), and a man who told me, while I had children in diapers, that I didn’t make him feel needed and wanted anymore, so I got babysitters and planned dates that he reluctantly went on. It only occurred to me later on that he *never* made me feel needed or wanted; he never planned any dates; he never sunk any money or time into trying to keep me around. He thought very little of me. And I kept proving to him that I would do anything for him.

    Why was I so desperate to keep him? He was a selfish turd! Why did I love someone who was so unkind to me?

    Those stupid books and that snake oil all hit the trash bin after he left (thank goodness!) for the last time. I should have gotten a pretty new outfit and used the money to begin applying for college courses.

    • I have read a lot about the so called stretching of vagina, it is mostly bullshit. Yes some slight change can occur as we age, same as most men don’t stay as hard as they used to due to age; but folks automatically work around it. Well folks who love and care about a person.

      My fw didn’t say that to me, (my grave sin was not being a spit shiner house keeper) My fws whore had born three kids and me one, my guess is if he did a dick dipping test he wouldn’t know the difference. Nor would any of these other fw’s.

      It is in the mind, this is sneaky and wrong so exciting.

      I remarried several years later and pre marriage I told my husband to be, you have seen my house; if you don’t like my housekeeping hire a house cleaner. Actually we did while I was still working.

      The money my fw spent on whores and gambling could have hired a weekly house cleaner with money to spare. But when I suggested it, he always said we can’t afford it. Yet he compared me to other folks who had regular house cleaners.

      Icing on the cake, whore makes me look like Martha Stewert per my son and daughter in law.

      • FW was always on about my housekeeping (or lack thereof). Somehow I was expected to do it all in spite of working 60 hours a week. He did hardly anything besides the occasional load of laundry (that he just left in the dryer). He blamed me that the house was “falling apart” and dirty. I moved out (long story) and he was solely responsible for the home for about a year. We decided to sell it during the divorce, and when I went back and saw it again (to take the realtor around) I was APPALLED. The place looked like a squatter was living there. If you’ve seen the HGTV show “Flip or Flop” – yeah, it looked like those “before” houses. Filthy. The toilet was completely brown, there was mold covering the bathroom walls, the basement (which flooded sometimes) had clearly never been mopped and was full of trash. After he moved out (to move in with OW), he left dirty dishes in the sink, rotting food on the counters, and fridge full of expired and moldy containers. The yard was a complete jungle. The deck was covered with slime. It took my 47 hours and $5,000 to get the house saleable (he refused to help, either financially or with his time and effort). After he died, I had to go to his rental house to get all the marital property he’d absconded with (without my consent), and the house he had shared with OW (until she left him) was just as disgusting. My boss, who helped OW move out of her apartment, said OW was a total slob.

        Yet he used the fact that the house wasn’t spotless as one of his many “reasons” for cheating.

        My apartment now may not look like a magazine, but it’s pretty tidy and clean.

    • My ex (in a pre-divorce attempt at distraction from my very real concerns about our sex life) said “well, your vagina has gotten too big.” I mean, our daughter was 17 at the time, and I had to deliver by emergency c-section anyway, so was he insinuating that age had changed my lady bits? I did some research, and actually vaginas get smaller with age, not larger. His accusation was a cover for his porn-induced ED and his affair. They are all gross. I’m so sorry this happened to you, Fourleaf.

      • Ooof, Dawn. That is horrible. FW’s dongle wasn’t working well due to problematic circulation and porn overuse. So he became physically abusive to turn himself on. So so glad he’s gone.

    • I’m so sorry, FL – your story is heartbreaking. It takes a special kind of evil to treat new moms like that.

      F them and their wee man bits. Snake oil sellers too.

  • Marriage counseling at $180 per hour, twice a month for 3 years=12,960.

    He lied the whole time. Turns out the therapist knew he was lying. After I finally dumped his cheating ass and her stupid therapy, she sent me an apology letter.

      • Yep, because if she knew he was still cheating and not telling the betrayed, to me that is fraud. I would like to see that hit the courts.

        • We’re in Switzerland. Suing isn’t a thing here. And she retired after us so she can’t damage anyone else. But she was awful.

  • It only lasted a few days, and we were legally separated, so no money out put. He had only called to get back in the house for a few day so he could use the car for his politicking. I figured it out pretty fast.

    It was pre CN and I didn’t go to any counseling at that time. I should have never let him back in the house; but luckily I wised up fast. Caused me so much more pain. Luckily no matter how much he kissed up and groveled at work; he got busted from Captain in cushy office to patrolman. I am guessing they figured if he could be that colossally bad at decision making, he was radio active to the admin. This was way pre metoo and all the colossally bad decision makers came to light.

    Though it really isn’t a me too situation as they were humping way before he finagled her into a job as his direct report. Both of them were lying and scheming and it was obvious. Had she stayed at her previous job in the next city, he would have just been one of the other cheating liars.

  • I don’t remember how much we spent on MC while she was having an affair(s) unbeknownst to me. It was 14 years before DDay. When DDay happened I refused to go to MC. We went out to dinner twice after DDay. She just had to bring up the cheating on the first dinner. Second dinner she was all “we shouldn’t be going out to dinner because it’s not proper because you filed for divorce” while we were still living together. Both such a waste of time because it was all about her.

  • Great topic, CL. I wish I’d thought about this before signing anything, because of ask for my money back.

    About $1,250. I want to say nothing, because “he” paid for everything, but it was still marital money for the first two months between DDay and separation, so that’s approx my half.

    In addition to marriage counseling (the kind where they give you photocopies of Esther Perel brand snake oil) he insisted on paying out-of-pocket for STI testing so it wasn’t on his employer insurance. He was quite unpleasantly surprised how expensive it was. We always paid off credit cards every month, but he tried to claim his balance at the date of separation (which included the STI tests) was marital debt. Nope!

  • Thankfully only a few copays for marriage counseling, but by far the best money I spent was on CL’s book! I sat it right on my coffee table for the FW to see when he came in to pick up the kids! Oh and he saw it and even commented on it!! (Funny too because he knew I wasn’t an avid reader!) But it got my message across without even saying anything! Thank you Chump Lady!

  • The money and time spent that sticks in my craw is the 27 YEARS of therapy, on a regular ongoing basis BEFORE DDay, which I participated in to AVOID what he did.

    We both come from seriously troubled homes, were both addicts/alcoholics in recovery (his recovery I now know was another lie). I proposed counseling after we decided to date exclusively to learn the skills for a long term healthy relationship that we did not learn growing up, and also to have a forum to resolve problems which we could not resolve on our own, to slay FOO issues from our past which had their tentacles in our present day relationship. He agreed to go. I now know he lied, who knows how long, about what, and whom.

    He pretended to want to repair things it for about two months. DDay was the end of October, so this must have been for the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years Show. If he left BEFORE the holidays it would have REALLY made him look like the total AH he actually is. I went along with it for the reasons we all do, but when he stood up, walked to his truck, and left with only the clothes on his back, I noticed I did not go after him.

    The cost of a wedding. A zillion dollars and hours in counseling from 1991-2017. A bunch of money on Amazon for books. A little stash for Michele Weiner Davis on Divorce Busting phone counseling (she is a wiener, not a Weiner), and a couple of months of post DDay fake reconciliation counseling. I can’t even count but the waste is staggering.

    But it didn’t end there.

    Our daughter’s therapist asked us to go to coparenting therapy. I refused. Because he lies, he does not do anything they say, and he doesn’t appear to learn anything. Traitor X badgered me for a year and a half to go. I finally caved in, after finding the best co-parenting therapist in Marin County. What happened? He continued to blameshift, deflect, attack me, lie. He did not do anything she asked, continued his inappropriate behavior, and didn’t appear to learn anything. I departed last February. I did get invaluable validation as he revealed himself. Dr Kickass Co-Parent put him on the griddle every single session and I enjoyed it immensely. I especially enjoyed hearing about the last session, which was between him and my daughter and Dr. Kickass Co-Parent, where he had to own up to lying and not following instructions. I was told that our daughter was praised for her communication; being direct, clear, honest, not sugar-coating. And kind.

    I wonder where she got that from?


    It’s tragic, but cool, when your fifteen year old who has been abandoned by her jackass father and traded for a creepy cheap Craigslist Casual Encounter shows she is astute, and light years ahead them in terms of emotional maturity and psychological health.

  • Zero. Nada. Nil.

    But i did spend thousands on lawyers fees to get him off the mortgages & sign house deeds over to me, and to chase him for a business debt through court and now the child maintenance are taking him to court too for non payment.

    You couldn’t pay me to take him back!

  • At least $12,000 on therapy for ME over three years.

    Three years before D-Day, I talked to divorce lawyers and had an exit plan, not because I knew about the cheating yet (although I should have) but because he was so emotionally and verbally abusive to me and the kids that I was DONE. I got a therapist to help me through the transition and she talked me into delaying because I was making decisions “too fast” and should come to weekly counseling with her. In the meantime, The Entitled One got a phony mental health diagnosis and begged me to stay, which I did mostly for the sake of the kids (I was terrified he’d get 50-50 custody and I couldn’t shield them) and to be a supportive wife since his behavior was supposedly caused by mental illness. (My heart goes out to those suffering from mental health issues, which are both real and treatable. In this case, the FW was just making shit up to avoid taking responsibility for his behavior.)

    Week after week for THREE YEARS, I vented to the therapist who made supportive noises and nothing changed but her fees going up. After D-Day, and after finding CL and figuring out his narcissism and cheating, I asked the therapist if she suspected what kind of person The Entitled One was. She said, “I knew he was manipulating you.” Funny that in three years, she never bothered to mention that to me.

    Another $300 on books once D-Day hit and I went through the temporary insanity of wreckonciliation.

    After six months, I finally, truly saw him for what he was and kicked him out of the house the final time. It was early January and snowing and I remember trudging out the back door as the snow fell with armloads of books to throw in the bin. The next day, I fired my therapist and called my divorce lawyer and told him to file.

    And then I lived happily ever after. 🙂

    I wish I had that $12,000 back for a retirement travel fund, but mostly I wish I had those three years of my life back.

    • My therapist was equally useless in steering me away from my FW. When I finally understood, I asked her why? She said it was because she thought he was trying to change. Wow, what a chump.

  • Our insurer paid the untold amounts of counseling bills for a year. I bought a few hundred dollars worth of books. I should have put it toward a retainer.

    More bothersome to me is that had I not hesitated with the RIC madness, I would have filed and left. I have lost time stuck longer with a fuckwit. I also now have a child who I love with my whole heart but whose existence has slowed me down getting out. I wouldn’t trade the child for the world but if only I had been able to not have spent years of my life tethered to his monster father….

  • I really don’t want to know. I bought books. So many books. I went to marriage therapy with the FW. I went to marriage therapy alone. I’m still pissed at the “Christian Counselor” for taking my money for so long instead of telling me that there was no hope and I should divorce the asshole. And on top of the books and the money wasted at “therapy,” I wasted time. So much time. Enough time that his brother/business partner saw the writing on the wall and convinced the asshole to restructure the business to protect it from future divorce while passing it off as some noble way of giving to “God”. And I signed a document saying that I was okay with it even though I didn’t want to, because asshole said that if I didn’t sign it I was saying that I wanted a divorce. I was trying to “save” my “marriage” so I signed. And if his brother the evil Upstanding Christian Businessman™ had his way, I would have ended up destitute. So sad for him, I’m fine financially. All told, “reconciliation” cost me several million $. Do I win the prize?

    • Ugh, I’m so sorry. Betrayal upon betrayal.

      I’m not sure what’s worse – the quack therapists or the Jesus cheaters and their enablers.

    • “Do I win the prize?”

      I am there with you, he snatched my business before the D-Day. The ploy he engineered, otherworldly.

  • Around $3,000 but over a short time, about 2 months. The therapist really pushed intensive counseling – both IC for each and MC weekly. She was really about racking up the hours! I would’ve put it towards my kids’ tuition bills.

    I knew it was a sham from the first couple of sessions. We spent a majority of the time talking about what I did or didn’t do that “led to the affair.” We only spent a tiny fraction actually talking about the betrayal and FWs entitlement, etc. However, the counseling did serve a purpose for me. While I knew it was worthless and a waste of time, it did keep FW distracted (and in cake) long enough for me to secretly meet with a lawyer and get everything lined up for a relatively smooth uncontested divorce. So, the $3K may have been justified in that context. Just happy to be DONE!

  • Thousands I’m sad to say. We tried three therapists, the first two were idiots and only last a few sessions. The third we went to for a few months before she victim blamed me after she fell for FW’s charm. I walked out. We also did the Rob Weiss intensive weekend, which if I remember correctly, is about $3500. Fw also went to Minwalla’s intensive, another few thousand, I think is costs around the same, about $3500. We both do individual counseling that our insurance doesn’t cover, and both of our kids now have therapists. FW has every book ever written on sex addiction (eye roll) and also a ton of books with titles like “Help Her Heal”. It’s been an expensive road only to end up with me kicking him out. I honestly don’t care if he is a unicorn (he’s doing all the “right” things and has been since Dday). I can never get over what he did. Thirty years of chasing women and dry fucking strippers (to the tune of how much money I’ll never know) is just something I’ll never get over no matter how much work he puts into trying to show me he’s changed.

    • MollyWobbles – I like your handle 🙂
      I feel one of our therapists fell for my STBX’s charm and handsome face as well. I remember one session in particular where she talked about what I had negatively “contributed to the marriage”. It for damn sure felt like victim-blaming. I admitted to yelling on occasion. So my husband has a two-year affair with my friend and we are discussing in therapy how I sometimes “speak too loudly”. Can’t believe we worked with her for a year.

    • >I honestly don’t care if he is a unicorn (he’s doing all the “right” things

      In my experience, “doing all the right things” is more manipulation. Smart abusers ape morals and empathy, and will swear they’re working on themselves, even as they continue to stab you in the back. If a cheater was really doing the right things, they wouldn’t be cheating in the first place.

      Therapy is awful for abusers. It doesn’t improve them, it just teaches them new ways to manipulate.

    • Molly Wobbles, your experience tells me I’ve been right to be skeptical of Minwalla. People often cite him here, and a lot of what he writes makes sense (I think) and is validating, but then yikes — he’s there to treat men with “secret sexual basements”? That’s where he goes off the rails for me. He should be counseling the victims to leave, period. Now that I’m reading he makes lots of $$ from intensives, it confirms what I suspected. I may be depressed, numb, anxious and lonely, but I’m so much better at picking up on red flags and trusting myself now!

  • Mine waste was time. I spent hundreds of hours researching how to have a good marriage, planning discussions with worksheets on things we might enjoy doing together, fixing myself. 40 years of it. He could barely tolerate five minutes of any discussion like this and was clear in his words and body language that I was crazy and pushing his last buttons.

    The question I didn’t learn until chumpnation was “Is this acceptable to me?” I never braved those waters. Always the question to myself was, “Is this worth blowing up a family for?” and always, I came to the slow conclusion that it was my burden to change or tolerate. Item by item by item. Until I disappeared from myself.

    I gained a PhD in narcissistic abuse. But, there was no diploma at the end. There was a divorce attorney waiting for me at the end to hand me my freedom papers.

    • “I came to the slow conclusion that it was my burden to change or tolerate. Item by item by item. Until I disappeared from myself.”


      I’m so glad to be free now.

  • “The question I didn’t learn until chumpnation was “Is this acceptable to me?” I never braved those waters. Always the question to myself was, “Is this worth blowing up a family for?” and always, I came to the slow conclusion that it was my burden to change or tolerate. Item by item by item. Until I disappeared from myself.”

    THIS. So very very true. I have chills because this describes my experience exactly.

  • Nothing on the RIC per se. I was, however, the sole provider for our household for an entire year after the Lying Cheating Loser got fired from his warehouse job.
    I thought the plan was for the LCL to enroll in college on the GI Bill, seeing as the BAH he’d receive would be substantially higher than his previous income.
    But really, the plan was to mooch off WalkawayWoman for as long as possible, pretend to be committed to working with her in her housepainting business but be recalcitrant to the point that she’d give up and go to work solo rather than struggle to drag your grown, lazy ass out of bed. (That way, you get all day and most of the evening to yourself to play videogames, drink, smoke, and sext randos.)
    In the end, I was the one who practically enrolled him, and we made a new agreement: he would pay our rent, and I would pay all other bills and household expenses. It was an equitable agreement, even if it left him with a lot more pocket money than it did me.
    Towards the end of his first year of school, I’d had it. Really had it. I warned him that we needed to have a serious talk (I know, CN, I cringe too) or the relationship was over. He went to great lengths to avoid me – under the same roof – for about a week until I practically cornered him for my requested talk.
    How did the talk go, you wonder?
    It went so well that later that morning, I called my landlord and gave him the go-ahead to put a For Lease sign in the yard.
    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the LCL found out the relationship was over. It was May 15. Our lease was month-to-month. His classes were over for the semester. He had to be out by May 31.
    His reaction?
    To berate me for what a low-down sneaky bitch I was to “trick” him into paying rent in May, knowing I was planning to dump him. Because, had he known on the first of the month that his lying, cheating, mooching ways had finally frayed my last nerve, naturally he wouldn’t have paid rent, but instead left me holding the bag!
    I wasted years of my life and thousands of my hard-earned dollars on a lying, cheating parasite. Why? Here’s my best guess: I was rewriting a script from earlier in my life – my FOO wand my marriage. In my marriage, I was bullied and belittled. I had very little power and control.
    In the LCL, I subconsciously identified a situation where I could *feel like* I was in control. I was the adult. I was driving the train. And bonus, I got to project to the world the illusion that I was in this wonderful, loving, happy relationship. For a long time, those payoffs were worth the price of admission to me.
    Until they weren’t.
    We chumps all pay a high price. In my case, I wonder if my hard-headed self would have learned the crucial lessons any other (kinder, easier) way.
    But if I could go back to a pre-LCL point in time and still be the wise, balanced, joyful and content woman I am today, I would spend all that time, money, and energy on my kids instead.

  • Maybe $1500 for couples reconciliation therapy.
    Best money I ever spent in my life.
    Therapist saw right through my XW and held her feet to the accountability fire. So validating to have a professional therapist call her out on her lies, broken vows and triangulation with our minor children. XW walked out about halfway through our ten sessions. The therapist told me during the last solo session that XW was deeply disturbed and there was nothing I could do to fix it. That was such a life saver and turning point.

  • The value of years of mental, physical, emotional, financial, time, spiritual health doesn’t have a number. No amount of money can replace that but some can definitely help.
    I bought a few books and left a few around for the non reading ex which was crazy.
    When I mentioned the money can help is using that for therapy, replacing items, and planning for a great future.

    • Yes – can we place monetary value on the wasted days/months/years?
      I put my career/education/life on hold for this person, that socks also be assigned a monetary value. Plus his wage loss in the aftermath chaos when he kept getting fired because of poor and money spent on affairs.
      Putting myself and my career on hold cost me $600,000 in lost wages over the past decade. Plus whatever future wages/pension/interest I lost out on.
      He’s probably lost close to that amount in his own wages over the years by getting fired repeatedly.
      I also had to sell our home at a loss. And his shenanigans have cost thousands in fines and legal fees.
      What a waste of my energy trying to help this person achieve whatever HE wanted. It was all for naught.

  • Well, we should have spent $250 for the Catholic Marriage Encounter weekend. At the time we went, it was advertised for free and they provided free babysitting for the 3 day event. Unfortunately the sales pitch came out on day 3 that they would like a voluntary donation of $250 to cover the hotel rooms and food. Normally I would have handled this but I had learned over the weekend to discuss more and do less. He refused to make any contribution, getting angry that it was supposed to be free.

    • I do agree that they should have left it as they offered, and of course if folks could contribute fine, but not put folks on the spot.

  • I spent nothing on reconciliation but when he left to “figure things out” he spent our marital money on hotels and an apartment which came to about $10,000. Only to find out eight months later that there was another woman! He also wasted an airline ticket to go see our son in Hawaii. I’m glad I went ahead and went to Hawaii to see our son (3 times!).

  • At least $4K – given to us by our church – for an affair recovery intensive weekend. When I called for info about the intensive, the recovery program explained we would be introducing ourselves to the other participants and having to discuss the sordid details of why we were in an affair recovery program. So I’m supposed to talk about the most traumatic and humiliating moment of life in room that is 50 percent cheaters? Nope. I then requested we instead be part of the program’s online option, only $400. They would not return the difference of $3600. I’m glad at least that our church – which has done a shitty job supporting us relationally and emotionally – ended up paying for it.

    There have been thousands of dollars put towards marriage counseling and books as well.

    • This kind of reminds me of the time one of my kids did drugs and I had taken her to someone who specialized in defiant adolescents. I asked the counselor about putting her in an NA/AA group. Her response was she didn’t recommend that because it would put her in a group discussing (anonymously) about how they acquired drugs, crimes they had done to get the money, hiding it from parents and so on.

      A room with 50% cheaters giving each other tips — while their traumatized spouses suffered, they could pass along what they had done and what had worked.

  • When I discovered that FW had been hiding assets, playing poor and denying the family even basic essentials so he could pour more of our family funds down the bottomless gullet of Beefy the Danger Pig (as the kids called the AP) I did a matching funds thing after D-Day and spent the equivalent on the kids and myself.

    I went over the secret “affair credit card” charges and tallied cash from the affair slush fund and all the other costs related to the fuckfest, including RIC bs, individual therapy for me and the kids, and the private investigator and the attorney I hired the second the PI delivered the evidence.

    My attorney said that FW would have to pay back every penny dissipated for the affair so I didn’t want to end up spending it all on things the kids and I had been denied for years. I got all that stuff right away, including a new wardrobe for myself to replace the tatty 11 year old mom uniform and a mountain of books and laptops, etc., for kiddies. Then I still got the dissipated assets back later.

  • My cheaters financial infidelity was so different than others’, for the longest time, I acted as if there wasn’t any
    looking back, I realize there was a LOT, but it didnt take the typical forms.

    As far as I know, he spent almost nothing on OW…she made more money that he did and didnt have a family to support. My Cheaters military salary was budgeted by me to the last dollar. Their affair trips were all work related so someone else paid for them.

    Oh but I made some blunders….

    I had saved tens of thousands of $ from my job…it was either my escape fund or the kids college fund if we stayed married. He had moved away (promising he was just “working” there and there was no contact with OW) and bought an apt full of furniture. At some odd moment when I thought we were in a real reconciliation (I think I may have coined “wreckonsillyation” but I might be wrong) I think I spent about $7500 of my money to pay off his love nest. After his death, I found things in his papers hinting that they were together during that time. If I paid for the bed for them to fuck on, I hope Purgatory suits him for a bit.

    Then there was the house. He was obsessed with bigger and better houses and cars…always pushing the envelope of what we could afford. When he had declared that he was coming home (with no conditions set by me – eek), he said we needed a bigger house, so he got a big one 3 miles from the first so the kids could stay in their schools. He didnt bother with the first house (knowing I would fix everything). There was a total of 4 mortgages on the houses…and it was 2007 with the great crash looming (but we didnt know that). I prepared the old house for sale (repainted entire interior, its), sold it and closed on it myself. At its worst, we owed $800,000 on 2 houses and had 3 car payments.

    At some point, he said that the new big house was “for” me…but he complained every day and wanted to move. I had promised the kids we wouldn’t and I refused to go. By then the house was worth less than we paid for it and we were stuck.

    Then, in another moment where I wanted to show my commitment, I gave him $20,000 to try to run a company he had started. That was insane but oddly enough it paid off for a while (and he made the $ back) but it later fizzled out.

    The last big fight we had was over him wanting to buy a $40,000 car that we didnt need and could not afford. I said no and that the last car purchase was “stupid” (it was stupid, but I never ever insulted him, so even one insulting word was more than his delicate constitution could bear). He raged and smashed things.

    I was readying myself to go. I was going to leave with my youngest child and savings. I knew I would need a new car as mine was in his name. I was going to move to an apt in poor neighborhood near work so that my daughter and I could share a car.

    There was still part of me that snorted hopium and prayed that he would find decency in his soul. He was talking about moving away by himself which would save me from having to leave but $ would be very tight. I told God that if there was a place where he could be happy, I release him to go there. I thought I was speaking of California, but 9 days after our anniversary where he told me he was looking for jobs very far away, he died suddenly.

    In the year of the affair when he inflicted a LOT of abuse on me, the only good thing he did the whole year was to purchase life insurance. I asked myself if the money undid any of his abuse and no, it didnt. I wanted a real marriage and I was never for sale. It did make logistics easier. though.

    I didnt want him to die, I wanted him to be kind to me. As much as I wanted to give OW one good punch in the face (I never did and my aggression was poorly placed) I never ever thought of hurting him, ever. My loyalty to him was very deep.

    So my story is wild…at some point I would have said wreckonsillyation cost me nothing, then I might have said “over $800,000”, then I would have considered the policy that paid everything off and I might have mentioned that my subsequent husband (the quirky guy who bought the 7 butter dishes) comfortably retired young and we have no real $ concerns…and yet a few different flutters from a butterfly wing, everything could have been different. I am humbly thankful for every good thing.

  • I spent nothing on it, I’m happy to say. FW has spent a bunch of money on his own therapy, to no observable result.

    I’m actually glad that I briefly played marriage police and snooped on FW as much as I did, because it helped me to see there was nothing to work with and his promises of reform were false.
    If you are in the early days, confused, and considering reconciliation, I strongly suggest you gather as much intel as you can right away. In most cases you will likely find, as I did, that the cheater is still lying and is a much crappier person than you could ever have imagined. Gather the facts and then get out. Don’t keep on gathering them thinking you need more info to make the decision. It’s more than enough the first time you reel with horror at something you find.

    • I’m with you on gathering intel, OHFFS. It demystifies, disrupts hopium absorption and can be strategic in getting a better settlement. Knowing details doesn’t feel like it provides closure at first but clarity comes later with meh.

      • Yes, it hurts like hell at the time you find out, but I do believe it helps you to get over the FW faster. It’s a huge trust that they suck booster.

          • Now that I’ve healed, looking back, a lot of it is freaking hilarious. I sometimes think I should turn my story into a novel (names changed for privacy, blah blah). And I guarantee the reviews would say “this could never have actually happened”. But it did.

            I read a bunch of OW’s letters (as I mentioned above) and I just laughed and laughed at her pathetic ignorance and her junior high romance. Completely ridiculous.

            I laugh to think I once tried to compete with someone like that. And for a prize that was absolutely a pig in a poke. She learned. And I found that hilarious too. She left him and I figured it out (FW didn’t tell me – how embarrassing it must have been for him to have his perfect woman walk out on him) from her social media. Watching someone who had been all “I believe in SCIENCE and FACTS and I am a SKEPTIC” suddenly turn into someone who was making protection spell jars, using crystals, and reading tarot cards.

            You can’t make this shit up.

      • Yes. I looked at both FW and OW’s social media. It hurt at first. It hurt like a bitch. It made me angry. But over time I think it really helped. I could see when he was lying to me (where he was going and with whom). I saw that OW wasn’t some magically amazing creature. She was shallow, vain, hypocritical, and rather plain. I looked at phone records. I looked at bank statements. I got everything I needed to know that FW was lying to me about what this woman was to him.

        In time I could look at pictures and not feel pain. In time I stopped caring so much and would realize I’d been so busy with my own life I hadn’t bothered to check on theirs.

        After FW died, I found OW’s letters that she had written during their affair. I didn’t read them for awhile, but eventually I did. And they were the most immature, foolish, over the top, ignorant things I’d ever seen. OW was truly pathetic. I wasn’t angry or hurt reading them. Just bemused. It cleared up a few things, timeline wise.

        I think knowledge is power, especially when you are being lied to and gaslit and made to feel like you’re going crazy. Learning the truth helped me a lot. To see what he really was, to know I wasn’t crazy or overreacting or making things up. It helped me free myself emotionally, to the point where I didn’t want him back. That he was indeed a far crappier person than I thought.

  • 5 more years of my life, hundreds in “couple’s therapy,” and my dignity by agreeing to polyamory when it’s not something I wanted. Save yourself the trauma. Don’t be like me.

  • Well, in addition to the $300, I gave up a PhD offer for him, lost peace of mind for the last 4 years bc of his cheating, lost 13 years being married to him, time invested in him for his betterment, all of my savings to pay for his education, $$ for counselling for me. Can I also add in hair dye bc I’m sure I’m more grey then when I first met him!!!

  • $$$ on three different therapists, more $$$ on his “alone thinking” weekends to bang the tanning salon skin cancer floozie, more $$$ on books because I wasn’t enough somehow…

    Worth it because I have freedom and a house, new career, and he’s saddled with another floozie, her kids (and he hates kids), his overspending debt, and his alcoholic habits. Oh, and his porn addiction that her kids discovered. Fun times.

  • I tried to get her to do couple counseling with me. The counselor was good, the ex just didn’t take part, not sure if it was a waste. It was something, I felt we had to do at the time. If I would have met the Chumplady before, I probably wouldn’t have gone, of course.
    I spent an enormous amount of cash on a holiday in a 5 star resort in Bali over the Xmas holidays. I was hoping that this would be the holidays to get the family back together. Things developed and I finally kicked her out in November .
    I couldn’t cancel the trip, so I went with my kids. Taking off from the airport, I was not quite sure if that was a good move or not – the kids and I were still shell-shocked of what had just happened to us. Bali embraced us and it was the right place at the right time. So, what could have been a self-styled attempt at a reconciliation retreat, turned out to be healing for the victims of her betrayal. Still the most luxurious holidays we have ever been on and if you look at a critically, you could say that I wasted money on reconciliation, at least it was the original intention.

  • I only spent about $1000 on a few wasted marital therapy sessions. One therapist actually told me afterward, “Don’t ride that elevator all the way to the bottom.” ???? So I had good therapists, but Yahoo wasn’t interested. I wish I’d just left the money in the bank.

  • After learning of his first confirmed cheating spree I was all in for couples therapy , but the therapists were all in for the fix it with more sex and time into each other which was mute because he was fully vested in his cheat partner and not in repairing our Union . So along with basically becoming a sacrificial lame to appease his needs , in part because my brain was fried and my heart shattered, I stupidly invested in a library of self help relationship books of which only one was truly worth a dam and woke me up, Thanks to Chump lady. But by time I purchased it he was on a year long second confirmed cheat. So I had already spent a small fortune to move our family to another state. His anger escalated After I confronted him and I began to realize the danger . Soon filing for divorce. Retainer fees are not cheap and he had forced me off the joint account. I tried to do a divorce on my own and ended up with a bad attorney but I did get a little more settlement decision because of his legal clerk. I wish I could of had a decent attorney , I would have got a more equitable divorce and a monthly amount better for survivability after a 20 T year marriage. He was my second long term marriage. In both I took second seat lower paying jobs caring for our kids while they built careers . And until my 2nd Husband files SS I cannot get a bump on my SSD. I wonder how many women are aware of this fact with SS? The investment we put into the cheaters far exceeds any monetary value .

    • I agree. I don’t live in the US so I have no way of getting any money for all the years I supported him and moved countries twice. Luckily I have a good job but I busted my ass for 25 years to support his career and raise our child.

    • Uggh the ex will get my SS. I secretly hope he doesn’t know that but I don’t know how it works at this pt.

  • I spent a few hundred on counseling but it was worth it to watch him squirm and lie. It drove home that he was a shady piece of shit…he loved to project a phony nice guy image.

    The counselor told me I was wasting my time with him. I saw her privately and she was a tremendous help. She was actually my counselor first and i offered to get another for MC but he was fine with her. I realized later that it was because he had zero investment and was hoping I would shut me up, paint phony smile on my face, and rugsweep everything because any sort of conflict made baby uncomfortable.

    Glad I got rid of him.

  • What I control here is


    That’s where my focus, my efforts, and my energy belong.

    I will never again spend another penny or another minute on therapy with someone who knowingly and willingly hurt me, to coerce them into behaving otherwise.

    My therapy now is about learning to love myself. I don’t think I have been very good at that. I certainly did not learn to love and value myself in my family of origin, which set me up for the shit show with Traitor X.

  • Zero on RIC- there was nothing to reconcile when someone tells you they need to have their fantasy sex life on the side to be happy so they’re going to continue fucking others.

    But I’ve spent about $25,000 on the subsequent mental health and medical bills for myself and my daughter. $25,000 on legal fees, and now I’m on my own with a huge mortgage and no child support.

    I figure he pilfered at least $100,000 for his hookers and affairs over the years.

    But, you know what? This is the price of freedom from a lying, thieving conman. I’ve accepted that now. As my friend said, “Formerly, this is the cost of doing business.”

  • This question could make me physically ill. Adding up the 18 months of couples therapy (during which he was lying the entire time.. he said he was “choosing this” but of course never cut off contact with AP/”soulmate” and was talking about me to her the entire time); the 2-day $5,0000 intensive couples imago workshop (at the time I thought it was transformative but then learned that if it had been two days later he would have been with AP); his individual therapy; kids’ in therapy (including wilderness therapy for my eldest who thought that her struggles were “the problem” and the source of anxiety in the family); the one-week vacation that he and I took…. the total is utterly staggering. And I could certainly use my share of that $ now. But instead of feeling sick, I try to feel grateful that I’m on the other side of that abuse, and that I did the best I could. I worked on the marriage with honesty and integrity even if that was never really possible with him. And I will never wonder what might have been because I know.

    • I did the “Imago” therapy myself. Seemed to be working until we hit an “impass” (wouldn’t stop banging the twatwaffle).

  • 1/1/15-5/21/15 – fake wreconciliation period I spent $1600/week on outpatient sex addiction and partner diagnosis and “treatment.” $3500 on two “reconnect” ahem “re-abuse” trips with XH. $29k on a newish Mercedes coupe for XH because “dontchaknow the family minivan emasculated him and that’s why he HAD to cheat!” $5,000 in insurance deductible for all the visits to doctors to treat depression, low T, back pain, foot pain, and check for a brain tumor because I prayed XH cheated, blamed, hated me and kids so suddenly after 25 years of love bombing/manipulations. $1.2M in lost equity in our dream home I built because “dontchaknow the stress of the $600k mortgage MADE him fuck other women (he was earning $90k a month at this time)”…. I sold the house because he falsely promised he’d recommit????????????????????. He didn’t!

    I wish I’d spent that money on almost anything else.

    • Oh, I forgot, I spent $1800 on two STD HIV HEPB panels after Dday. Not covered by insurance. ????

    • I’m so sorry, MC99. He actually said the minivan “emasculated” him? This is a guy who gets his feeling of masculinity from his car? Wow. I thought that was mostly just a stereotype, but apparently such benighted creatures exist. You may have lost a lot of money, but clearly he is inherently a loser as a person in every possible way.
      That’s why he doesn’t feel “manly”, because he’s a worthless, gutless tub of chicken blubber. No car is going to fix that.

      • 100%. I drive a 2015 Toyota Rav, which I share with my teenager. Very practical and economical and I love that. I heard from kids that XH “hates” his brand new Mercedes and is going to buy a Porsche. So stupid— the older/heavier/balder/meaner/more selfish he gets the more stereotypical he gets (younger, dumber APs; more expensive toys; etc.). Sickening!

  • I spent our reconciliation dollars on making him pay for my financial separation and divorce from him. Much better ROI for my hard earned dollars. He paid for my legal fees from his share after the split. Plus, I also get to keep my hard earned dollars, my kids, my dog and my integrity.

  • The Friday posts are often triggering for me as chumps are invited to share specific experiences and memories. This one, however, has been liberating.

    It is clear how deficient FWs are, both in their cheating and in their lack of effort to truly save a marriage. Chumps would give anything, do anything and FWs couldn’t be bothered to read an article. To tell the truth. To think of others.

    My FW wasn’t any different. The fog is lifting.

  • I don’t want to even think about it. Do I count the money he still owes me three years later?

  • I spent three years. Some of it on hours of online searching to figure out what was wrong with him. Some of it pick me dancing. Some of it trying to figure out whether I could stay with him. Some of it gathering the courage to leave. I wish I’d left him the minute the disclosure came. It would have saved me time and agony.

  • He cost me 5 years of my life, 10000s of $s in therapy, 1000s of $s in doctor visits, a house, my two cats (he had them when i had had enough and refused joint custody), uneven split of belongings, and my trust in others and even in myself.

    I wish I should have spent everything but the $ on me. The money id have donated to the animal shelters.

  • Far too much money was spent playing the pick me dance, giving her freedom to keep being “friends” with the AP, not putting up harsh boundaries earlier.
    The cost was my mental and physical health as the stress of trying to do a one sided reconciliation (living on hopium) took its toll.. Cancer scare.. Long term health issues.. Culminating in a heart attack which was the final straw.

    • There was no formal attempt at reconciliation with the cheater who was in my life; I wasn’t tempted to go to a couples counselor because he was too cool and practiced and convincing as a liar.
      But I think the time I wasted pick-me dancing after D-day cost me a lot of self-confidence, delayed my really facing the pain and getting the help I needed elsewhere in order to recover.

  • So jealous of those who spent nothing on RIC. Let’s see…first affair I found out was when we were married 10 years and I was pregnant. Went into counseling and the main takeaway was I need to make time for his needs more, be more exciting, and not just focus on the 2 toddlers and the newborn baby. Great, so I have to get a PhD in prostitution while breastfeeding? Got it. I am ashamed to say I blamed myself and I tried. Bought all sorts of lingerie and felt like throwing up for this person I was pretzeling myself into.

    We lived in a small town and he was fucking his nurse, who was married to a police officer, so next thing I know, we moved across the country to start anew. Resumed therapy here for 2 more years and felt things were going well. One day, five years later, I even thanked God because I couldn’t even remember the name of the AP. I said wow, I am healed. At 21st year of marriage, new suspicions were making me nuts and he denied everything of course. He agreed to more counseling. We went back to our old therapist, a lovely grandma who prayed for us and told me to go to makeup lessons and just always say yes because men need sex more than women. Two years of that indoctrination then I found out he was literally sharing a home with another nurse for 2 years, raising her kids and all that shit. The man had 2 lives, like those sociopaths on TV.

    Kicked him out as soon as I learned that. But learned more and more during separation. He had been fucking nurses from day one. And he even got back with the police officer’s wife while we were across the country. Oh and the nurse who I worked with when I did his billing, he was fucking her too. Just so many nurses. It’s mutual predation. Today when I see local articles about “doctor arrested for sexual assault,” I always check out to see if it’s him. It’s just a matter of time. Praying for karma to hurry up and do her thing.

    So in summary, I have paid RIC everything I have, my life, sanity, and self-respect. I want a refund.

  • My last D-Day was Nov2020. All the SA 12 step and RIC , apparently , disappeared. Nothing online. I am so glad! It is bad enough he was/is paying 60$ a shot for counseling. Where he spends his time honing his gaslighting and bulls&^t skill set. He even paid over 3000$ for Minwalla’s BeABetterMan course. Lied his ass off there to. I shudder to think how he would have latched onto the bull spilling from that toxic waste land. I wasted almost 2yrs waiting to see if he could try to be “safe” to be around. He is out now. Now is the time of detoxing from the hopium. Wish me luck. It is a hard drug to kick.

  • Thankfully he paid for two whole sessions of marriage counselling (what an effort!). What I did spend was money I probably shouldn’t have on things to make myself feel better when I was feeling lost and alone despite being in a relationship (because he was cheating on me). At least I have those creature comforts now and all he has is a blown up life.

  • Don’t know the total value but: my therapy sessions, his “therapy” sessions (turns out he was meeting the AP instead but still being charged so I wouldn’t be suspicious), our joint marriage counseling sessions, our trip to NYC to reconnect, Victoria Secret lingerie, date nights every second weeks, books, my gym membership as she was “fitter than me”… Would like to have put all of that money on absolutely anything else. Still kept my gym membership. My nickname at the gym is “legs”. 🙂

  • By my best estimate, in excess of $24,000, I shit you not. I wish I had spent the money on my divorce attorney.

  • Real estate. A house of my own, which, having appreciated, would now be worth a million dollars and I could retire instead of working myself to the grave along with all the therapy notes.

  • I’m not going to do the math, but I spent money on 3 marriage counselors, a therapist for myself, plenty of useless books. Then I spent more to get the house sold and myself moved into my own apartment. Whatever the total, I have no regrets. It’s money I had to spend and lessons I needed to learn to get myself back. That’s honestly priceless.

  • I went to one therapy session w/FW. He refused to go back (even though he’d promised me three months) because the therapist told him he needed to let go of the past. So $175. Fortunately I didn’t buy the $2,000 reconciliation BS program I was looking at. The benefit of being broke.

    I spent a few thousand on therapy just for me, but that wasn’t reconciliation. That was putting myself back together so I could divorce him. Worth every penny. As was the $50K I spent on my divorce.

  • I spent 10 additional years of my life and helped support him through 7 years of schooling during that time.
    Only to be left for his Soul Mate 6 weeks after graduation when he got a new job.

    I cannot put a price on it. I thought I was doing the right thing. My kids were little and my Mom had died of cancer.
    I was a zombie all those years – so how do you put a price on your mental health????
    My X Husband is a Minister. It’s still a Boy’s Club out there folks. Little wifey better stay in her lane and not make a fuss.
    Fuck that.

  • Zero. He wouldn’t even entertain reconciliation.

    Apparently, I was so vile and my cake was so unpalatable that he had no desire to even try and patch things up.

    I’ve spent a lot in lawyer bills, court costs, recorder costs and therapists though. I tallied up what I’ve paid because of him and his complaints to law enforcement and custody BS over the last 6 years… around 15K… which I know isn’t as much as some, but Jeez….. 15K I could have used for piano lessons, swim gear, tennis gear, family vacay, bedroom furniture, etc.

    It pisses me off. If he was just going to off himself, why didn’t he do it 2 years ago before he made everyone’s life a living hell?

    • No real money. Spent about a week in a second hell until I kicked him out.

      It wasn’t recon, it was him slithering back into the house so he could get access to the car he needed for a few days to do his politicking.

  • >