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The OW Is 6-Months Pregnant

broken heartDear Chump Lady

Please help me. My husband has had an affair with his co-worker (think Dr / Nurse dynamic) for almost two years. I found out 12 months ago when she texted anonymously to tell me my husband had to tell me something.

I guess she thought I would kick him out then and there (I should have), but I didn’t based on 20 years of a loving and happy marriage, our three children and that he’d never lied/cheated before. I was in shock. I was devastated. I was scared

So off I went to do what I now know was the pick me dance.

OW uped the ante and announced she was pregnant. This later ended on miscarriage or so I was told. I was beside myself thinking my kids would be subjected to a half sibling with this horrible deceitful woman. I had never felt such pain or despair.

My husband assured me the whole time I was his best friend and soul mate. He convinced me it was all a giant mistake.

I desperately wanted to believe him but this strange sick feeling never left me. I was so hurt and betrayed.

He reassured me and our kids he was never leaving. Until I found out by seeing photos that he’d spent Mother’s Day on a secret holiday. I kicked him out. He cried and promised he’d never hurt me again. I let him back. I found OW in my bed a few weeks later. Once again he cried, I cried, I kicked him out, I let him back.

Things had been ok for the last 8 months or so. I thought perhaps I could stuff my hurt feelings down and get on with life. I loved my family and my husband deeply. I could get over this eventually!

I faked my way through Christmas and an overseas family holiday. It was nice being all together.

Then the nuclear bomb dropped. She’s 6-plus months pregnant. He made a mistake several months ago and felt taken advantage of. That was it. He said last time he would see her. It was a “turning point that this shit was over and done with.”

How do I accept this is it? She’s chipped away at my front door for two years. He never locked it. I feel she has purposely gotten pregnant as a way to force his hand. She doesn’t believe in termination because you know, Christian values and all.

So now despite my husband saying he loves me, I have to divorce him. How do I face the unbearable reality that my husband has fathered a child with another woman. My kids share a sibling with the woman who destroyed their family. I am so broken. After two years I am a shell. I miss my life before this nightmare. How do I pick myself up and cope with this??

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Chump Baby


Dear Chump Baby,

You don’t divorce him because the OW “forced his hand” — that’s pick-me dance thinking — you divorce him because he’s a cruel, unrepentant motherfucker with a double live and you’ll be goddamned if you’ll model this dysfunction to your children another second.

Find your mighty and GO.

Your D-Day was a year ago. Since that time your “best friend and soul mate” has continued the affair, with grand flourishes of sick abusiveness. Vacations with DramaTwat on Mother’s Day? Fucking in YOUR BED?

You might think this is all the OW — it was HER idea! She put him up to it! And she may well have — but he is a willing participant in this flagrant ONGOING abuse of you.

And DramaTwat didn’t get herself pregnant. He’s having unprotected sex, and having it AFTER a pregnancy scare. He lives in a magical reality of how babies are made and diseases are spread. Some doctor.

He convinced me it was all a giant mistake.

This sentence is its own column. He convinced me. Sorry people don’t try to convince you. They DO better. Manipulators try to convince you.

He knew you wanted to believe. He knew that you were vulnerable — a deep investment in him, a long marriage, your family, your stability. He knew this hope was deep, and he PLAYED you with that knowledge. And of course, his abuse made you MORE vulnerable. More in need of stability and security.

it was all a giant mistake

Mistake singular. Always the solitary whoops.

No, it was a deliberate and protracted campaign of abuse. His wandering dick comes first. His entitlement is supreme. He doesn’t care about you or DramaTwat or his children, or this pregnancy. It’s all about HIM. Everything else is lies and impression management.

How do I know? By his actions.

He’s continued his double life and given you the window dressing of a fancy overseas vacation. As if you could be easily bought.

It was nice being all together.

Was it? Was it really? Or was it the momentarily cessation of abuse. Was it the lifting out of acute trauma and being fed the dream, so you’d invest further. Oh, here’s our intact family doing family things! I WANT THIS! Here’s my devoted husband! I WANT THIS!

The price? Stuffing all that abuse down into the recesses of your soul and being hypervigilant until the next episode.

Aka, the Cycle of Abuse. Incident, Honeymoon, Tension, Incident. Rinse, repeat.

The rewards are every bit as calculated as the abuse. Stop thinking of this as a poor formerly honest man caught up in a whirlwind love affair with a wily temptress and starting seeing the ABUSE. He’s not confused — he’s doing EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS and he doesn’t care who gets hurt.

How do I accept this is it?

By recognizing that the relationship is NOT acceptable. You’ll be goddamned he’ll treat you this way. Find your anger. Let it motivate you out the door to a lawyer.

How do I face the unbearable reality that my husband has fathered a child with another woman. My kids share a sibling with the woman who destroyed their family.

Stop thinking of him as your husband. Soon he’ll be your ex husband so his relationships won’t be your problem. So get him on the hook for child support before DramaTwat gets there first.

I know, you’re in the early super painful days, and my GET MAD advice isn’t what you want to hear, but I’m telling it to you straight. I don’t want you to suffer. So the sooner you get yourself to safety and go no contact with the Clusterfucks, the better for you and your kids.

How they navigate the relationship with their half-sibling is their lifelong business. It’s not that child’s fault it’s being born. Poor thing, it will have a couple of fuckwits for parents. At least your kids have you, so be the sane parent and model resilience. Sticking around for more Clusterfuck drama is NOT the sane parent path.

Take yourself out of the equation — then the OW will have to painfully learn what life is like without you as the hypotenuse. Let her have the unfettered joy of a cheater. A man who doesn’t give two shits about her kid, any more than he gives two shits about yours. (You don’t believe me? Tell me how the divorce talks go on child support. Also, good fathers don’t live double lives.) But, but! 20 years! I know you’re reading this reviewing all the happy times.

He’s a stranger. A man with a double life. You have no idea what he was up to during those 20 years and it’s probably worse that you know. People just don’t morph into double-life freaks in midlife. This is his character. It’s who he is — a giant Id of pure entitlement. He’s okay hurting you. That’s who he IS. He feeds you pretty words of sorry so he can keep hurting you. That’s who he IS.

My kids share a sibling with the woman who destroyed their family.

With their father. Who destroyed the family. Because he doesn’t care about family. Yours or hers.

If your kids have any bond with this sibling, it will be solidarity in having a piece of shit as a father.

I miss my life before this nightmare. How do I pick myself up and cope with this??

We all miss the lie. The dream we bought in to. You cope by building a new life and dreaming new dreams. The whole Gain a Life thing is a ways off, first you need to work through the Leave a Cheater part.

He broke you. He likes you broken. Reject him. Go see a lawyer today. (((Hugs))

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “You don’t divorce him because the OW “forced his hand” — that’s pick-me dance thinking — you divorce him because he’s a cruel, unrepentant motherfucker with a double live and you’ll be goddamned if you’ll model this dysfunction to your children another second.”

    CL is spot on…this advice is gold from start to finish.

    He is not anyones “husband” any more than they guy I was legally entangled with for 29 years (who fathered my children) was anyones “husband” – surely not the way I define the word.

    This is hard…hard as hell. The existence of us here shows that survival is possible, but sadly not for that wife in Colorado with a murderous cheater. Get out alive.

    • It doesn’t matter if the AP was a scheming succubus who forced his hand. He’s someone who likes scheming succubi and not only lets them into his family’s home but, ew, has skin-to-skin contact with them. Imagining there were no other considerations, I’m grossed out by people with such lousy taste. Gas station sushi. Picking up gum from the side walk. Eating cat shit.

      Post-D-Day, a few misguided people recommended that I have an affair of my own. But there’s just the logistical problem that I wouldn’t touch the kind of person who’d get involved with sneaking-around married person with a thirty foot barge pole much less let someone like that near my kids.

  • “I desperately wanted to believe him but this strange sick feeling never left me. I was so hurt and betrayed.”

    He has been counting on you to behave, well, like a Chump Baby. So stop. Use this brief opportunity to quietly put your ducks in a row, to get the financial support you and your children are entitled to, to get the therapy which helps you understand and heal from his terrible betrayal. He has been counting on you to do nothing, so be prepared for his objections. Just forward them to your lawyer.

    • From DDAY 1 until sometime fairly recently (so, for over three years), the strange, sick feeling and a sense of emptiness and detachment was a constant. It NEVER left, even during those brief moments of sweet relief like Chump Baby described, nor even after I left, and even after I went NC. I just floated through life with a looming, oppressive sense of “something is WRONG,” and both I and my world felt muted. I still feel sick (and angry) if a weird memory appears or I allow myself to dwell, but thankfully the bond to and love for my ex was severed long ago and I trust he sucks. Honestly, I still feel somewhat numb and detached and not quite myself, but it is infinitely better than the powerless, anxious, desperate and heartbroken hostage I became during wreckonciliation — from Dday 1 through leaving for good about a year later. Once I left for good, I never once regretted leaving; I knew I had done the right thing, even when I still clung to a shred of hope that everything (a/k/a the life and love I left behind) could be recovered and left the door open to my ex’s ongoing abuse. Even on hopium, I knew deep down that leaving the cheating fuckwit was the ultimate goal and my only shot at leading an authentic life. It sounds like Chump Baby knows this, too.

      You are too good for him, Chump Baby, and you and your family deserve better. Believe CL and CN, who know this story personally and thanks to thousands of other eerily similar testimonies. It’s his character, and it won’t change — nor will his abusive, cheating patterns. It is both sad and humiliating (as a recent OP put it) to learn that the partner you’ve shared decades with has been leading a double life for years and was willfully hurting and betraying you for years. It is also infuriating and unacceptable. What kind of fuckwit would con you for years to get ahead, using you like a spouse appliance and deceiving you and your family to get his kicks, only to make you pick me dance in humiliation in hopes of not losing everything you love and have worked for, once you found out? THAT is a piece of garbage. HE is the sick one. Do you really want to share a name and life with this guy? Getting out is the first step, and it feels worse in some ways in the beginning because it feels like letting go of hope and who/what you most cherish, but that’s a field of poppies and leaving the cycle of abuse is the only way to start making things better. I can only imagine the pain of the OW pregnancy layered on top of the pain of betrayal and the fear over the uncertainty and changes ahead, but please remember that the OW’s pregnancy is not a reflection of your failures, even when those FW’s weaponize it. They are the conniving, dishonest cheaters who should be ashamed and mortified but aren’t because they are disordered and entitled. ((Hugs, BC))

      • ^^THIS^^
        I have been divorced for almost 2 years, after a 36 year marriage.

        What my mind goes to most often is the ENORMITY of his deceit – over a lifetime, knowing how his infidelity (the few that I was told about and forgave) hurt me, and his knowing that I would like him to be more present to all of us. He willfully ignored me and made use of me. The kids hated when he bragged about them. They felt used also.

        What kind of a person does this? My mind says “what kind of a MF does this?” Because profanity has better descriptions.
        On the surface he looked great. But deep down he is truly disordered. I would die if one of my children ended up doing what XH has done.

        • For a long time, I thought I was trying to recover from a difficult marriage which had an especially harmful era that included extreme betrayal.

          Shortly before my wedding to Col Greatguy, I learned that I had actually been in an impossible situation (that wasn’t an actual marriage at all) that likely included betrayal, deceit and adultery from the start.

          Yes, the ENORMITY of it was very complicated to grasp.

          I understand how your kids felt. From what I can piece together, Cheater takes trash about me to everyone except his family of origin, he wanted them to think he had married well and had a lovely, intact, highly functioning family. In that he used me.

          I now realize that he was a very weak person with seriously limited coping skills and he threw me under s bus so that he could have a Depository of Blame.

          • I also believe I was used to better his image the same. Except it was basically a lie all along.

      • I feel exactly like this! Numb and detached. My ex’s constant cheating eventually stopped hurting me. I literally felt nothing. Even when he vanished, leaving me and our preteen kids, I felt nothing.

        It’s been three years since we’ve seen him. I have no idea where he went and he has no contact with his kids. He owes over 100k in unpaid child support, but the state can’t find him either.

        I wish I could feel some kind of anger, but I just feel empty. Or even sometimes kind of grateful that he chose to leave me and the kids so we’re not subjected to his insane behavior and addictions.

        Maybe one day, I’ll be able to feel again? I hope so but don’t see how to get there.

        • Dara, have you gone to court to have his parental rights taken away based on abandonment? The last thing you need him showing up again and demanding access to the kids. They will do that. They feel entitled to abandon, then come back again as if nothing happened. When his new life blows up in his face, and it will, he may decide to try to re-use his old appliances, which is how he sees you and the kids.
          I understand why you are feeling numb. I think feeling will return when you know you and the kids are safe. You’re still under the threat of him coming back into your life, so the numbness is protecting you from that fear. I suggest you take steps to be safe. I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    • Get the ducks in a row IN STEALTH MODE.

      Perhaps the only advantage you have right now is that he still thinks you’re a chump. He thinks YOU will repeat the cycle of abuse with him, that you’re the walking wounded unable to act. Great! Let him think that while you gather financial documents and phone records, gather evidence of the pregnancy/affair, and get the biggest tiger shark lawyer you can find.

      Even if you think you’re undecided about divorce, do these things anyway. More garbage is coming, and you have a window of opportunity now. Do NOT tell him you have a lawyer.

      You can grieve later. Now, get those ducks going.

  • Chump Baby, You asked how you can cope with this. That answer seems pretty clear, you stop the pick me dance, realize that the FW and AP suck, file for divorce and fight for a great settlement. He has shown you who and what he is. He has clearly demonstrated that he cannot be trusted. You cannot have a marriage, friendship or anything else without trust. This man is NOT YOU FRIEND. TRUST THAT HE SUCKS!
    Model the right behavior for you kids and show them what consequences for lying, cheating, stealing and adultery look like. Sure it hurts. It hurts like hell because your life will change but it is a hell of a lot better than being the marriage police or living with that feeling in your gut every day of the rest of your life.
    Be a bad ass! Get a great lawyer and lose the cheater. Schmoopie gets the prize (if you can call it that) but you get your freedom and a peaceful life without a FW.
    Good luck. Please know that no one here asks for this and we do understand your pain. It will end and you will be a happier person.

  • My ex also cried and said he didn’t know why he did it yada yada. Several times. I tried SO hard to look past it (so hard that I even married the guy) but it was just a repeating cycle in the end. It’s just who he is. And to be honest, it still hurts me to this day. I often miss “the good days” (because it wasn’t all bad lol) but you have to remember that’s not all of him. It’s also just incredibly cruel to be lied to, manipulated and being taken advantage of. So then I come to this page and remember that some people are just assholes who lie and really just don’t care about anyone else but themselves 🙂 Just leave. Show your kids how they should be treated. Because remember, you’re not just letting him treat you like this but also your kids.

    • How do I cope? Get a kick ass attorney. Make a list of what you want including your home, alimony, health benefits, child support and retirement accounts. And why not paying for college for children as well as education/training if you were a stay at home mom. The list is long, include a life insurance policy in the settlement. Consequences delivered.

    • “(because it wasn’t all bad lol)” – that is classic abuse. If abusers started off terrible and were always terrible, nobody would fall for them.

      They play on the same mechanism in our brains that makes things like slot machines rewarding – the tension of not knowing what’s going to happen and then relief when this time something good comes up (and abusers make sure there’s JUST enough good coming up to keep you hooked).

      • “(because it wasn’t all bad lol)” – that is classic abuse. If abusers started off terrible and were always terrible, nobody would fall for them.

        Apidae, for me your comment was a lightbulb moment. Thank you

      • Someone once posted on this blog: “how many turds have to be floating in the pool for you to want to get out?”

        It made me laugh but also was my lightbulb moment for realizing good moments can’t make up for abuse

  • “I guess she thought I would kick him out then and there (I should have), but I didn’t based on 20 years of a loving and happy marriage, our three children and that he’d never lied/cheated before. I was in shock. I was devastated. I was scared.” You didn’t, based on what you THOUGHT was a loving and happy marriage, and your BELIEF that he’d never lied or cheated before. Ad you move through the divorce process, you may well discover that he has been lying for far longer than you know, and that you have convinced yourself to overlook his selfish and possibly abusive behavior before. Cheaters do what Tracy calls “trickle truth,” only acknowledging what you find out and they can’t hide. She (or someone else) outed his affair the first time. He claimed it was over until you found photos of him cheating with her on Mother’s Day. He cried. He claimed it was over until you came home and found her IN YOUR BED. And then he boo-hooed again. And now he says he made “one” mistake several months ago, and she claims she’s six plus months pregnant. You don’t know if she was pregnant before, or pregnant this time. What you do know is that he says he had sex with her a few months ago, one time, and she’s six-plus months pregnant, which didn’t happen a few months ago. What you DO know is that when he’s caught, he lies and says it’s over, and then you learn it never was. And the discoveries keep escalating in pain.

    I had 40 years of what I thought was a loving marriage until I discovered it wasn’t so loving, and realized there were many things I overlooked and didn’t realize. Sadly, you too may find that he’s cheated before, and that he’s been using and hiding money that should have gone to you and your kids. Take a look at the Power and Control Wheel to see how he may have been harming you in ways you disregarded. This man has proven that he will not be honest with you. Believe it, and believe in yourself. Get Tracy’s book, get your ducks in a row, and get him out of your life. It will be much better.

    • Yea, I would have sworn on the lives of my children that he had never cheated before Susan of Seattle. It was 10 years (2005 to 2015) before I learned that some of his weird behavior much earlier was likely cheating. Once I knew that, I looked back with different eyes and WOA!!!! what I realized !!!

    • I too thought we had a loving, happy marriage of 27 years. People around us made comments about us and our obvious happiness and love for each other. Until that fateful camping holiday where this other hockey and lacrosse mom seemed so keen to join us on our family vacation….. He lied and denied, swore on our teenagers lives that nothing was going on, then it was “just a flirtation”, then just one kiss, slowly a little more truth came out, then some more when either one of them tripped each other up, keeping me off-balance, never telling me the truth – trickle truth to the extreme .He swore that nothing like this had ever happened before, it was a mistake, he cried, he would never do this again. I wanted to believe him so badly. Chump Baby, I do understand your shock, your disbelief, your inability to believe that this man is not who you thought he was. Your belief of what your marriage is/was is at the heart of your cognitive dissonance about who and what this man really is.
      When this happened to me, it was pre-CL days and all I had was those awful, terribly damaging books like “My husband’s affair was the best thing that happened” etc. I wasted 2 years of my life trying to get over this, trying to forgive, thinking what we had was worth fighting for. We were better than that. Ha ha.
      All he did was continue his double life and go underground, hiding things from me even more. After 2 years, this feeling in the pit of my stomach was getting stronger and stronger. I couldn’t eat more than a few mouthfuls at a time, the feeling of dis-ease was constant, I wasn’t sleeping and I realized that I couldn’t stop this voice that was telling me something was terribly wrong. I somehow knew that the feeling of dis-ease would turn to disease. Then I did some digging and found out that he had been deceiving me our ENTIRE relationship – that’s 32 years of deceit and betrayal. Wrapping my head around that was impossible, but I knew deep down that this was unacceptable. With no other family (living on a different continent and in an unfamiliar hemisphere) I left. It may not sound like a big deal, but even the night sky was no longer a familiar sight , the loss of the comforting sight of the southern cross only magnified my grief and fear of the future without the man whom I loved deeply and was a constant at my side. Despite this, I still had lots of hopium, thinking he would come back to our family, still not believing what a POS he really was. It’s hard Chump Baby, it’s hard, please accept my hugs in this time of pain and fear.
      BUT, it does get better as time passes. DO get your ducks in a row, stealthily. Acceptance comes after a while. After the anger and the sorrow. The lies and abuse your husband is feeding you is eerily like what I experienced, as many others here have. His true colours came out when he thought he could walk away with a divorce in hand and no consequences. I learnt to fight for myself, stand up to him when this stranger who had been my loving husband turned on the usual channels – the charm, the sad sausage and the rage. He filed for divorce 4 months after I left, then stalled for the next 3 years when I started fighting for my rights. Exactly as CL said they do. I found this site 3 years after I left him, just after the divorce went through. Be glad that you have the collective wisdom on this site, the voices of experience and the understanding and caring you will find here. Listen to your inner voice and this feeling – it’s both your saviour and your best friend.
      I am years out and I shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn’t left. Finding this site has helped me incredibly much in accepting what he did and now, he is just someone I used to know – I feel so grateful and lucky to have found this community, with the wisdom, the insight, the sass. I assure you that although it seems impossible to carry on, accepting this abuse is terribly wrong for our hearts, souls and minds – no matter how we feel or how much we love them – and given time, it does get better. I promise. Hugs and love to you all

      • This is so kind, honest and heartfelt advice. Thank you so much. You really get exactly how I feel.

    • Goodfriend, it’s possible it’s not his baby although most likely it is. I’m surprised he didn’t try saying it wasn’t his. So far, at least.

  • I am so sorry for what you are going through. You need to dump him yesterday. Do not let on what you are doing though until you have gotten legal advice. Take photos and/or make copies of all important paperwork. Start putting aside some cash. Take screenshots of all text messages that can prove his infidelity. Password protect your phone and change all passwords that he might know including ipads, computers, etc. Get a safe or hide things at a friend or family member’s home. Then file. Do not engage in any further discussions. Let your lawyers take it from there. Accept that he is manipulative and does not have your best interests in mind. He wants to save himself the financial risk and keep his status as a family man. Do not let him lure you back in with false promises. He has shown you who he is. It is a long road, but you do not deserve to be treated like this. Hugs.

    • Excellent advice. This guy has likely been hiding money from you already. Drs. Have lots of ways to hide money. You may need a forensic accountant. Hugs!

  • CB,

    You and your kids deserve so much better than this. Your husband is not the man you desperately want to believe that he is ….. his actions tell you who he really is and the sooner that you realise this – and act on it – the better.


  • He loved you & your marriage so much that he got the OW pregnant twice??!! I think some of our formerly-looking sane men finally let their weirdness/creepiness come out as they age….and some like the idea of upstairs/downstairs wives. My good friend had the lovely honour (sarcasm inserted) of having her then husband ask her permission to move his girlfriend into their basement to have babies with. Your husband is this guy. He may not be asking you to move Schmoopie into your basement but he’s trying to create a similar upstairs/downstairs scenario for his benefit. If Schmoopie wants this creeper so bad now…let her have him! At least you got the sane guy for a good run & now it’s time to cut him lose so he can let his freak fly!!!

      • M1: good point! He was likely envisioning a threesome.
        ‼️ Friday challenge?? Did your ex ever ask you for a threesome? ‼️

        • I know mine subtly did hoping I would get the hint. Obviously I did not because I didn’t realize it until after the split 😂 Schmoopie can partake in that fun & games now lol

    • Orlando, how interesting that you mention “basements.” I was just thinking of Dr Omar Minwalla’s paper on The Secret Sexual Basement and the resulting trauma for intimate partners.

      Chump Baby, we are joining as one voice to urge you to take back your power. We call it getting your ducks in a row. Do it on the down-low; DO NOT tip your hand to your cheating FW. He is not your friend. As Velvet Hammer often says, you are not in a marriage, you are in a mirage.

      If you haven’t already done so, get Tracy’s book, Leave a Cheater; Gain a Life. Read it; absorb it; follow the advice.

      Get a pitbull divorce lawyer who is experienced with high-conflict cases (Bill Eddy’s resources are a great starting place Make sure the attorney has experience with narcissistic abuse. They should have a good working relationship with a forensic accountant.

      Don’t agree to mediation or collaboration. That only works when the playing field is level and the players are honest.

      Get an individual therapist immediately. Again, ensure they’re experienced with betrayal trauma and NPD. Whatever you do, do not, under any circumstances, agree to marriage counseling.

      Make sure you have lots of support. Do not hide what is going on from your close family and trusted friends. To our own detriment, we chumps will often keep the cheaters’ misdeeds a secret, because we want to protect their reputations. This is insanity! And after all the sacrifice you exert to stay on the high road, the cheater will weaponize it against you in the end. Ask me how I know.

      Read this blog every day to strengthen your spine and clear your thinking. You’re decades into a trauma bond and you’re beginning a very painful process of deconstructing. It’s going to take a while to rebuild.

      We’re here with you and we promise it will be better on the other side.

      Much love to you!

      • Thank you so much. I do have an attorney but you have made me wonder if they are the right ones for my situation. Your point about meditation only working if it’s equal playing field is so true.

  • Ok chump nation, raise your hand if you blamed the OW at dday 1. I will be first to raise my hand, with a spoonful of untangling the skein.

    Chump Baby, you are not alone. Its when I found my anger that I realized our whole relationship was a lie. I hate to say it but it takes something big like this for the universe to show you to GET OUT. I am Christian, so it was God smacking me in the face hard for me to wake up. We all recover, and are so much better off. Even my kid. The hardest part for me in the “wake up” phase was how I didn’t parent well. Making excuses for their father when I should have been protecting them(I had stepkids too for 12 years, they don’t talk to me much). I understand the thought of divorce is very scary, it is. Get a lawyer, a therapist and build team Chump Baby. It gets a lot easier. Chumplady is dead on! Fathers out there living double lives is NOT a good father. Stay strong, you have our support. The fact you came here is a great first step.

    • Nope imo hasn’t been a “good” father since the minute he started cheating on their mother. So angry at him for hurting our kids and introducing this disgustingness into their lives.

  • It may help you yo intentionally look for the gap between who/what you thought you had and what you actually had.

    The person you thought you married isn’t a person who exists. That person is an illusion. The person you did marry is a deceitful, abusive, selfish, entitled, reckless, irresponsible con artist.

    The life you thought you embraced was a life of shared desire for a stable home and family and deep mutual commitment and loyalty. The ONLY life Mr. Duplicity is offering is a life filled with instability, lies, chaos, unilateral high-risk decision making (his) on important topics (sex, intimacy, finances, childcare, healthcare), and disloyalty.

    If you become more aware of how what you miss is what you never truly had while what you truly have is the opposite of what you want (and what all his behavior is demonstrating that he does want), it may become easier to grieve the real loss rather than the perceived one. This can make it easier to leave the illusion behind.

    I don’t recommend discussing this thinking with him. He’ll just screw with you each time he sees a new vulnerability. Not useful. Just know it internally and let it be your own guide, says me.

    In fact, going internal with all of your feelings is probably useful at this point in things. He doesn’t need to know your heart. He isn’t trustworthy and doesn’t deserve any of your intimacy. Good time to pull those cards close to your own chest, say you just need time to think, then start working on an exit plan without keeping him informed.

    He’s not really your husband. He’s a selfish liar who pretended to be a husband in front of you. He objectified you so he could appear socially normal and get some things he wanted. You miss the husband you wanted. It hurts. But staying near him is the least direct path to what you want in life. He’s a barrier to the life you want now. Remove the barrier. It will be worth it.

    • “I don’t recommend discussing this thinking with him”

      Exactly this. Anything you say is just going to be used against you or twisted up until you are confused and unsure again.

      He is an expert at lying to you, manipulating you, and confusing you. He has has 20 years of practice! Don’t give him any further ammunition.

    • “The person you thought you married isn’t a person who exists. That person is an illusion. ”


      I had a 25-year marriage to a con artist, too. The older he got, the more willing he was to show his true colors. I had no idea. I eventually realized that he enjoyed hurting me. He got off on it. And, Chump Baby, the person you are married to ENJOYS the drama of you finding him in the marital bed with another woman. He LOVES that stuff. He’s living his best life with two women fighting over him. Or maybe more. Who knows? Certainly not you.

      I know you’re currently fixated on the other woman because she’s obviously a terrible person. But the scum you are married to is just as bad. If your best friend found her husband in her bed with another woman you’d tell her to divorce that jerk. So, pretend I’m your best friend and DIVORCE that jerk.

      • Will do 😊
        I’m onto it. It just hurts. And my disordered thinking that off they’ll go together living my life with their new baby in happiness doesn’t help! So thank you for saying it like it actually is

    • You said it all better than I could Amiisfree. I wholeheartedly agree with every word you said here.

    • This is so helpful. I really get what you’ve said. Thank you so so much.

  • These people count on us to do one thing: keep believing, staying under the spell they’ve woven. Everything they do is an attempt to keep the spell working. But the carriage is a pumpkin; the loving husband is a vampire. Let yourself see it, and you’ll never unsee it. And you’ll be free. It hurts to realize it, but in a few years, you’ll be yourself, on your terms, and mightier for it.

    So sorry. But also? You’ve got this.

    • You are right and I played along in lock-step for years.

      If I held him accountable for some ghastly behavior, he didnt apologize and try to do better, he told me during the fight that we should divorce and I would backpedal wildly. When he did something that I considered a dealbreaker and told him I was done, he threw crumbs at me…he knew exactly the amount and sort of crumbs and exactly when to throw them to keep me where he wanted me.

      and this happened over and over and over

      People tell me that they are jealous that my cheater died, but what makes me jealous, is ever having a moment where I would have told him that the jig was up, he had overplayed his hand, and I was done.

  • This was me in 2020 until August 2021 when OW gave birth. I pick me danced my way into a 2nd pregnancy. Fw impregnated OW when my first rainbow baby was just 7 months old. He begged but did everything for her during that pregnancy that he never did for me and my 5 miscarriages plus the rainbow baby. She gave birth. Sent me such entitled shitty texts. I moved out only to find I was pregnant 3 weeks after. My 2nd is now 6 months old. FW refused a paternity test. I met other child last Saturday at a play centre and by God Fw is dumb as rocks . That child is clearly not his. Not a single feature of his. The child only got his mum’s nose and forehead. He looks nothing like her entire family or anyone in fW yet my kids even the ones who died at 27 weeks are a dead ringer of him. Someone we know commented on this. He is shitting bricks. Oh its eating him up asking everyone now if the child looks like him.its all NO’s. The bubble has burst. Chin up. Let her have him. Hugs

    • Slowbutsure, if you haven’t already, please please talk to a lawyer – FW doesn’t get to refuse a paternity test and he doesn’t get to refuse support. Your child is entitled to that support.

      And even if you’re thinking “who cares, I don’t want FW around my child ever again” – you must get a custody/support order to protect yourself. Right now FW could have a change of heart and start a custody battle just to mess with you. It would be completely on brand for a FW like this to drag you into court and fight for 50/50 custody so he doesn’t pay support, and then ghosts you.

      • I read this to mean the stupid cheating husband had refused to take a paternity test for the OW’s child. Slowbutsure knows the stupid cheater realizes the OW was cheating on him, but doesn’t want to get the lab results that prove it. The karma bus was ahead of schedule on this one–forcing the cheater to begin to suspect he too was the victim of cheating.

        • If the OW is stupid enough to sleep with a married man, then I suppose it’s no surprise she’s too stupid to enforce child support. If she files, the courts will force him to take the test whether he likes it or not.

        • Eilonwy. Yes, you are right. That’s what I was putting across. The karma train is here for OW as her replacements are emerging as well. Good luck to her.

  • Chump Baby, I know you’re hurting now. It’s hard to believe that someone you put all your faith in has really betrayed you. No one should have to go through this.

    I was in your position in 1994, with 4 kids, married 11 years. I wish I had had CL there to give me some mojo: “you divorce him because he’s a cruel, unrepentant motherfucker with a double live and you’ll be goddamned if you’ll model this dysfunction to your children another second.”

    Instead, I listened to husband’s sweet, contrite words and his promises, upped my “pick me dance” and stayed. The result was still a divorce and kids that are hurt from his ignoring them, and years of counseling. My family is not “broken” – the adult children stick together and include me in their lives. They were relieved to finally know the truth (bare facts: dad had a double life, spending money & having sexual relations outside of our marriage). They were relieved that I stuck up for myself and got out.

    None of this is your fault.

    • Thank you so much. Your reply is very helpful. You did great. It must have been really hard back then xx

      • Thanks for responding to so many of us. You have support from Chump Nation! I hope you feel a little bolstered up today.

  • It sounds really cold and uncaring, but the fact is, you’ll get over it. My ex-husband got his also very married OW pregnant about a month after I finally left him. It was the 3rd woman he cheated on me with (that I know of). Personally, I finally felt at peace once he announced she has his baby. They had kept it secret the entire time. She was still legally married when the baby was born. The way I saw it was that they both finally got their karma. They were both now forever stuck to one another for at least 18 years and she’d get to see what a prize she won. Needless to say, things got extremely ugly between both of them. She has 3 children with 3 men and lost custody of all 3 of them and my ex lost custody of all of kids as well. All due to their own toxic relationship. Just leave him, sit back, and watch karma do it’s job.

    • “She has 3 children with 3 men and lost custody of all 3 of them and my ex lost custody of all of kids as well.”


      • She also got fired from her high paying job for sleeping with a married subordinate while also married 👌🏼 Life has a way of making everything right.

    • I don’t know of anyone who this has happened to so thank you so much for sharing. I can see my FW and OW heading in the same direction.

  • Chump Baby, your hopefully stbx is nothing but a degenerate cheater. A weakling. Get a balls to the wall lawyer…today. He’s not going to come to his senses and your life will never go back to the days you thought were happy/perfect. If it’s not the current AP it will be someone else. More than likely you just can’t wrap your head around the OW “winning”. Your husband ending up with the OW is exactly what you should want…it will be a train wreck and he will be beyond miserable. OW was/is on a mission and from what I gleaned from your post, extremely unstable but calculating. Lethal mix. Love is not in this equation. OW rocked his world sex wise, made him think he was irresistible and got him hooked. Even when he left her to go back to you she pursued. She wants the prestige of being a doctor’s wife and of course financial security. I’ve known women that have gone to work in law firms and medical practices to land a lawyer or doctor for a husband. The two that I know did end up married to their prospects and both ended up in miserable marriages. No cheating was involved, all were free agents, but still didn’t work out.
    Time to move on to a new life free of dysfunction. I wish you all the best.

    • How did you know this!! So accurate! Thank you so much. I knew this but needed your clarity to put it into words.

      • If you had talked to me on 2005, I would have explained in the most deeply felt ways possible that him leaving for Susan of Seattle would have been the worst thing that could possibly happen. I now feel completely different. If you had told me then that I would regret not handing him to her on a silver platter, I would have been shocked – absolutely shocked.

        Back then, I was still holding fast to the “better” parts of our life and convincing myself that those were worth to cost of his too-frequent horrible, abusive behavior. I would have told you about the good times and how beneficial it would be for our kids to have him in their lives.

        I wouldn’t see it for years, but my kids really suffered even in the circumstance where I though he was fine “most” of them time.

        • I now also see the affair and FW leaving as the best thing that could have happened. I am SO much happier now than I ever was married. The marriage was horrible from the very start, although I didn’t realize it then. I only wish I’d filed for divorce as soon as I suspected the affair and not pick-me-danced for 4 years.

          My son is also much better off now. FW died about a year and a half ago and being a single parent is FAR less stressful than coparenting or being married.

  • CB,

    CL is spot on, as usual!

    Please remember that:
    *you didn’t cause him to cheat
    *he abused you
    *AP conspired in your abuse, but he’s the one who chose to betray you (I know it’s so much easier to point the finger at schmoopie)
    *doctor or not, he’s a man of shitty character (BTW, my physician FW also chose the most clichéd AP–a younger nurse. It took me a bit to realize that someone can be both a good doc AND a reprobate. They aren’t mutually exclusive.)
    *you deserve better
    *get righteously pissed and use that anger to propel yourself toward getting all your ducks in a row and securing a good settlement
    *he doesn’t have your best interest at heart, which is tough to internalize.
    *eat. Don’t forget to eat. You might not feel like it, but you need your wits about you.

    This sucks so much. I’m so sorry.

  • This is in no way a post to defend the OW because they are their own class. Your shitass of a husband isn’t being led around by a leash with the OW at the other end. He willfully and knowingly had sex with her, lied to you, had unprotected sex, lied to your entire family about his life and daily activities, and was willing to hurt you. Stop looking at her and turn those angry eyes to your, husband, the person who really deserves your anger for being a crap of a person. He did it to you, not her.

    You’re hurt, you’re in mental and physical pain and still trying to have hope. The sooner you admit who he really is and take off the blinders that are blocking your sight into his true nature, the better you will be able to love forward. Get a damn good lawyer and start thinking about life for you and your children. He’s already proven that your marriage wasn’t as valuable to him as it should have been. Don’t waste another minute trying to save something when you are the only one trying.

  • If the CO-homewrecker is pregnant, the baby may not even be his. I’d be wanting a paternity test as part of my divorce agreement. Claims on assets, you know.

    I do know that Maria Shriver had to cope, very publicly, with infidelity where the cheating accomplice was the family housekeeper who had a child as a result.
    It sticks in my mind as proof that cheating is about entitlement. I don’t believe there was any True Love story between Arnold and the housekeeper.

    I didn’t have a marriage. I had a MIRAGE.
    Twenty seven years, half my life at DDay, has an asterisk after it. I believed he was a good guy, a nice guy, who would never cheat. It’s been five years and at times you can still knock me over with a feather.


    I felt very much like you five years ago. I don’t feel that way anymore. It took a very long time to internalize who he is. It is so painful and I am so very sorry, for you and your children. Please keep coming back here and read every day. Get a lawyer. Get a good therapist. Get your children a good therapist. That’s what I did. That is what has worked for me.

    This is the lifeboat. Every single person here will help you. Every person here, who has never met you, cares more about you than your so-called husband ever has and ever will.

    He doesn’t care about BEING good. He cares about LOOKING good and duping abusing hurting you and your children.
    Good people don’t do what he and his side piece do. Sick people do. I feel sad for the baby.

    • Telling other people how they should feel is not OK and my ears go way back when I hear it. That goes double for telling someone they should not be angry at someone who violated them.

      It’s totally appropriate to feel angry at a side piece who knew you existed, moreover, came into your home and was in your bed. That person violated you too.

      Other people chiming in and telling me how to feel was part of what primed me to pick my former husband and stay with him.

      IDK how much time and money I spent in therapy over the years to learn to respect how I feel, how others feel. I still get royally pissed around “shoulding”.

    • Life is hard. I think about whether my actions are making the lives of the people around me harder or easier. I want to contribute to making the lives of the people whose paths I cross easier. Not leave a trail of wreckage.

      The whole point of a marriage or a committed intimate relationship is to make life easier, to have a place in the world that is safe, secure.

      Cheaters don’t care about making the lives of others easier.

      Side pieces don’t care about making the lives of others easier.

      They care only about themselves and their own gratification. I don’t even believe they care about each other. I would never want someone I loved to be in a dishonorable position. I don’t want people on my team who are pulling me off the mountain I need to climb. Cheaters and side pieces are a burden who pull others off the wall, step on those around them to get what they want. I advocate cutting the rope.

      The two families in the news, the families of the murderer dentist and his secret side piece, remind me of all the families and lives permanently damaged by stunningly self-centered cheating lying jerks, who have the deluded audacity to characterize their actions as love. Read those texts to his wife while he was poisoning her and cheating on her. Minus the actual poison, it is what every cheater does and the side piece is their very willing and eager assistant in the intentional deception and destruction of another human being, some of them children.

      They have no idea what that word means.

      • “the side piece is their very willing and eager assistant in the intentional deception and destruction of another human being, some of them children” AMEN. It is, IMO, entirely appropriate to be angry at the side piece AND your FW. If the OW knew she was dealing with a married man, she is equally guilty and equally as shitty as FW. In my case, OW knew me and had been to my home and partaken of my hospitality. She knew I have a child with disabilities. She didn’t care. She lied to me every bit as much as FW, and joined with him to abuse me and publicly smear me. She is a POS and deserves my ire (and everything she ended up getting).

    • I do too. I’m shattered. Thank you so much for your advice. It’s all so true

  • Nobody puts Chump Baby in the corner. He’s cornering you every time he cheats, lies, gaslights, impregnates OW, etc. What kind of husband does something with another woman on Mother’s Day, when he should be celebrating the day with the mother of his children?!!!! A fuckwit! I had a FW that would wish EVERYONE except for me, “Happy Mother’s Day”. All the women at church, aunts, cousins would get wished “HMD”, but when I asked him why he didn’t wish me HMD, he said and this is an exact quote, “You are not my mother.” Withholding; that’s plain-up emotional abuse. And your FW is an abuser too! Stand up and get yourself out of the corner, by taking your power back. CL and CN is full of great advice as to what to do (the beginning steps of extracting yourself from an abusive relationship). Don’t tell him what you are doing, get a bad ass lawyer, make copies of important papers, stop talking to him, etc. Read as much past posts from CL and CN to rewire your mind and heart; you were not in a loving marriage; “Aka, the Cycle of Abuse. Incident, Honeymoon, Tension, Incident. Rinse, repeat.” People who love you do not lie, cheat, gaslight and impregnate other women. That’s not love, it’s abuse. Let the OW have “the prized” doctor. They deserve each other. Hugs ((((Chump Baby))))

    • Before Mother’s Day in the ramped up devaluation stage, my ex also said that: “I’m not doing anything for you.
      You’re not my mother.” That I was the mother of our child didn’t count, apparently.

      • On Mother’s Day, my ex also said, “You’re not my mother” so that he wouldn’t have to do anything to celebrate me, the mother of his three children. Honestly, at that point, I think I just shrugged. I was so used to these subtle disses.

        Of course, on Father’s Day he expected a frickin’ parade.

    • We were invited to a friend’s house for dinner on Mother’s Day one year and on the way over FW said “Oh, we should have bought X flowers for Mother’s Day”. I asked him why he would buy flowers for her but nothing for me and his reply was “Well, you can pretend they are for the both of you except X gets to keep them at the end of the day”. I told him that was one of the stupidest things he ever said. Mind you, that was before he filed his defence in our divorce.

      On another note, I think almost everyone who writes to CL knows they have to leave, even the ones who seem to be wavering. I think what they want is someone to hold their hand as they take the leap into the unknown. I hope they find that support here, along with a lot of good advice, often hard-won, on what to do (or what not to do). We’re proof that there is a new day waiting for you Chump Baby.

    • Mine also said, “You’re not my mother.” In fact, it was a Mother’s Day when I started …. (only ‘started’) to realize I was married to a self-centered jerk. I was so hurt and said to him, “It’s all about you! Isn’t it ! It’s all about you!”

  • This whole situation is going to hurt like hell but keep one part of your brain pragmatic and on the ball at all times. You are gonna get half the assets and a good chunk of child support plus the house, car, pd college for the kiddos etc. sure he cried when you caught him – men always have the money in mind when choosing which appliance to keep. Chances are you just never caught him before. Now he picked a psycho that won’t let go and the gig is up with you. Hon, get mad AND get everything! And don’t fiddle. He’s in a mess with less wiggle now so go in for the kill quick. I know the OW stole my life. She just never realized it was 90% me and he just showed for the photo. But I had to start all over. It was a bitch but once the smoke cleared, my life is so good, I keep liking over my shoulder. Once I got free of that crazy, I really did improve my life. There’s one little part of me that still feels numb and it’s where I keep that old hurt and betrayal. It stays there so I can never go back or pity him then give him another chance. Because they will try. Even if it’s just to get some money back. But I got the last laugh and he’s miserable and alone. As it should be. Stay strong. Get your half. Keep your kids’ life routine. Go. Be free. Run. Hugs

    • Just a reminder that an AP may envy your life but no one can “steal your life.” You are the driver of your life; it’s what you bring to things that makes “your life.” The AP may want your house, your clothes, your job, your spouse, your money, but no AP gets your actual life, which is yours to live.

    • “I know the OW stole my life. She just never realized it was 90% me and he just showed for the photo. But I had to start all over. It was a bitch but once the smoke cleared, my life is so good”.

      THIS ^^^^^^^

  • “He made a mistake several months ago and felt taken advantage of.”

    Umm…what? HE feels taken advantage of? The guy who abused your trust and fucked another woman in your bed with no condom on (ewwww) feels taken advantage of? By who, his own dick? CB, do you not see how crazy that is, how abominably selfish and self absorbed this man is?
    Run run run run run run run!

    I do not for one second believe this was his first time cheating and neither should you. It is 100% guaranteed not to be his last, either.
    As CL says, we all miss the same dream you do. We all had to let it go for the sake of our mental and physical health. This stuff can quite literally kill you, CB. The stress will put a strain on your heart and your immune system. Live with it long enough and medical problems are sure to develop. There is hardly a chump here who did not have some such problem as a result of the extreme stress of living with an abuser. He is an abuser, you know. Let that sink in. Accept the truth of it. Then do as CL says. This case is as clear cut as it gets. You have, unequivocally, nothing to work with. I’m sorry.

  • This whole storyline illustrates what I believe is the core task for the chump to do so that he/she can move on with life. The chump must rewrite the narrative and take out all the fairytale dreams and endings he/she has believed in and make the storyline real. This man was not a loving husband, he was a cheater. The OW didn’t accidentally get pregnant, it is an intentional power play, just as having sex in your bed is intentional.

    This whole cheating mess is about money, power, and the art of illusion. OW wants your life, Chump Baby. She wants to replace you. She has zero scruples. Your soon to be ex has no scruples, either. He was willing to fool you and his kids and use his marriage as a way to hold OW at bay so he could eat cake at 2 places and have no consequences. He is counting on being able to manipulate you and your children.

    Please don’t blame the new baby for being brought into this whole mess. Imagine the life this child will have, born a pawn on the chess board of life. What if daddy gets that wandering urge again? What if another OW comes into the picture? What if there are other half-siblings?

    Maybe it is the chump in me, but I see stories of unknown or lost relatives catching up as adults in news stories frequently. It isn’t always what either party expects, but there seems to be a longing to know who your people are. I believe I know my people, but there could always be some surprises. My Dad was really weird and hateful, but so was his mother, and his father was an alcoholic. So, who do I blame? I can go back on both sides of the family, and there are unsavory characters on both sides. I am NOT those people. I choose to live a different life. I examined my belief system, and I choose to be responsible for my own actions. I cannot help the genetics; I received some good and some bad in that transaction. But I do not have to live a bad life because of any of the FW’s in my genetic pool.

    Gain a life, Chump Baby. Focus on that. Take control and don’t expect FW to cooperate out of any goodness inside. He values himself and what he wants above anything else. That is who he is. Anyone involved with him will be hurt. That is who he is. No one can replace you; you are an original, and you can learn self-reliance. Good Luck! Please write back and give us an update after the pain subsides.

    • Upvoted, as deserved just for “born a pawn on the chess board of life,” if there were nothing else!

      It’s not uncommon, sadly. And never a good thing.

    • Yes-“she wants your life..she wants to replace you” my experience with OW. She even made a point of telling me she really like my homes…the bitch! When she learned that I earned all the money and owned the beach house where they were doing their thing, she was gone right after I sold it. He was devastated…too bad..Karma

      • Mine too. What she didn’t realize is that I was responsible for our life. FW was TERRIBLE with money, and once I was no longer managing his finances, he dug himself into a hole he couldn’t get out of. Even having two incomes wasn’t enough to keep them afloat. He burned through OW’s savings, and then she dumped him and he was left with a rental home he couldn’t afford and she had to start from scratch again.

        Meanwhile, my bank account grew (even on just one income), and I just bought my own home all by my damn self.

  • I have to share because my husbands( pleural)were like yours. He did not change overnight!! Chump lady is RIGHT ON! His character was CRAP from day one but he Acted normal and loving. I hope you will see that ABUSIVE character more and more. Takes notes!! Your husband developed like mine, transforming whatever innocent sweetness he may have started out with, into the monster he is today . I am sorry to hit you with that word but that’s what these people morph into, one crappy choice at a time until they are full blown narcissistic characters. It only gets worse. Like any addiction or ok BAD HABIT,it is PROGRESSIVE!! Like feeding a baby leopard…… here kitty kitty..and it grows and takes your head off because that’s what big cats do. That’s what 99.6% of what cheaters do. Maybe not now..but it gets worse. One more story. I was a nurse for 45 years and hit on by doctors day and night( I worked at night too). These entitled and fawned after people start to talk to you about their sad and useless is the standard worm on the hook,my awful wife. No sex OR we are separated!!! Awwwwww…and soooo many woman fall for it. Nurse practices, other doctors, nurses, managers, EVERY person they fish with the same worm and IT WORKS! MANIPULATION is the key NOT LOVE. So I never fell for these people but I did stay with 2 abusing manipulators way too long. It is a disease, and it gets worse!!+
    He does not truly love you,you are JUST useful. I’m sorry. Get out.Now. Never let him touch you again.Ever.or hurt you again . This is not love.

  • He says it was all a “giant mistake”???

    That’s not what a “mistake” is. A “mistake” is like you used baking soda instead of baking powder because you misread the recipe. You LEARN from it! It’s using a tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon. It’s like when you’ve been roasting the Thanksgiving turkey every year for two decades, and just once you forget to check the neck cavity under the flap to make sure you’re removed the little plastic bag of entrails before you spend four hours roasting the bird. That’s the definition of “mistake”. You do it once and you never do it again. You can be the best cook in the world and still make the occasional mistake — the question is whether or not you actually make it twice.

    Accidentally falling into bed over and over with a woman-not-your-wife isn’t a “mistake”.

    • Cheating on someone for months / years isn’t a mistake, it’s a hobby at that point.

      • When my FW used the “mistake” line, I told him five years of cheating is not a mistake, it is a lifestyle. Moreover, once they get in that lifestyle, it becomes habitual. They won’t give it up for long.

  • Baby Chump, there are many here who had long marriages to men we thought we adored (25 in my case) kids (4 for me), to powerful men who earned a lot of money and afforded us a comfortable lifestyle (my X made 7 figures as a law firm partner). Young AP, then living in her dad’s basement with massive student debt and a minimum wage job, coveted my life, my home, my trips, my friends, my pets… you name it! She was willing to do anything to try to get my life. XH was willing to fuck anyone and anything for his sick thrills. He alternated between charm, rage, self pity. I could not live like that. I kicked him out. Filed for divorce. Downsized. Took massive action to end it and build a new life. It’s been 8.5 years. I’m free if their disgusting games. Completely no contact. I’m re-partnered and we just got our dream property. My relationships with my kids are excellent. My health is good. My life today is authentic and abuse-free. Peaceful.

    Get that appointment booked with the best lawyer in your community. Fight for your future. Feel all the feelings— despair, terror, loss, devastation, humiliation, anger….come over to the Fb group and we’ll support you. It’s going to get better…. On a Tuesday, after the divorce. We promise!

  • One hard truth I hope you can hear and hang on to is that he is not finished lying to you. As you move through the divorce process he will lie about both imaginable things–ways he will support you and the kids–and unimaginable things (I won’t try to predict them, just trust me–he will spout lies that make your jaw drop). Because all of us who have been down this road KNOW that the lying does not stop during the divorce process, you need to find a strong lawyer and trust their advice.

    You will be tempted to trust your lying spouse when he explains that you don’t need certain stipulations in your custodial plan or arrangements about how certain kids’ activities are funded or college tuition plans. He’ll tell you he loves the kids and would never hurt them, etc. And because you want to believe some aspects of his persona are authentic, you’ll want to give him the benefit of a doubt. But you must not. Tell your lawyer you want as much as you can get out of this divorce for both yourself and the kids and then just roll with the plans. Others will try and second guess you or manipulate the kids, but stay strong. They aren’t experts in this field, but your lawyer is. There is no point in paying a lawyer and ignoring them or trying to soften their strategy.

    • And they’ll lie about lying. “I lied to you ever day for almost three years, but the jig is up, and I’ve stopped lying,” said my then-STBX during the divorce process.

      Wrong! He was still lying. (Note: for a minute I believed him.🤦🏻‍♀️ I wanted to believe him.)

    • It’s not a real promise unless it’s in the divorce decree. If he wants to promise you the moon, great! Write. It. Up.
      Do not, ever again, give the benefit of the doubt to the person that caused your doubts.

    • “he will spout lies that make your jaw drop” – oh yes. I was flabbergasted. He accused me of starving our child, being an abusive parent, and denying our child his disability services. All in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence. Fortunately the court didn’t buy it, but I’m sure our “friends” did.

  • Chump Baby, this is a very shitty situation to be in. But you need to realize one thing – he will hurt you again and again for as long as you stay and keep giving him chances to. Do you want that? I’ve been in this situation quite recently so I can completely relate to you. It’s just SO HARD to give up on everything you worked for and the idea of a perfect family future. I kept holding on to that for so long. But once the mask falls, these fuckwits just keep getting worse and worse. Don’t stay for that. I did and I regret it very much. All the mindfuckery and brain-blending gave me constant anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, I was a shell and the kids don’t deserve to see that. And even if he would stop with the cheating (he won’t), you can never look at him the same way. At least I couldnt. Yes, I missed the memories and fake reality that I had of him prior to D-day. But that simply does not exist and it never did. The sooner you accept that, the better for you and your sanity. You would never be able to trust him again, after he broke each and every promise. Listed to CL, she knows what she’s talking about. Get ANGRY and move ON and AWAY from him. Anger and (later) acceptance of what is are two very beatiful feelings to feel in this situation. And you will get there eventually. Remember who you are, what you deserve and take your power back.

  • Wait! I do have a part 2 for the new Chump. When you have a moment, watch Animal Planet. Maybe there is a feature on Predators? Picture your doctor husband one of the big Predators..So what do these animals do? They look for Prey…that’s you and me.. sweet deer or antelope at the end of herd. Sometimes the Predators kill and eat..Sometimes they drag you back to their caves and play with you. That was me, back to the cave. The OW/OM is a Predator just . Like. Them. So they can hang out and share a leg of the prey or make babies whatever, they find each other.But me their special prey..I’m back at the care waiting for my next leg to be chewed off. It is a GAME! My STBXH played with me through Intimidation and lies until he was ready to discard me. He almost did end my Soul,not with arsenic tainted smoothies but with STDs, mental distress, anxiety, fear of me in a house bristling with guns and Ammo. He was ticking.
    I must repeat, I was NOT LOVED, it was a game with a smooth and angry preditor..PLEASE.LEAVE , crawl out of the cave and never look back. I did and I am healing in spades.
    Go in Trust and faith that you will get through this. You absolutely do not need heartless sick, lying preditor in your bed.

  • Chumped Baby- The best advise I received at the beginning was from the couples therapist when I said I was done. He had heard from the freak how sick he was and the games he was playing. The therapist asked if we had joint bank accounts. When I said yes, he said go to the bank right now and transfer it all into your name. I was surprised at how easy it was to do. That hurts both him and the whore, because you control what he receives financially from those accounts and you can start the divorce with the money and information. Also, quietly before you do the above, get as much financial information as possible. You will need it for the divorce and to know as much as possible. Find out what he has been giving her, bank withdrawals, credit card statements, etc. He has been stealing from you and your children. You hurt them by getting as much info as possible to get more than your fair share from what you did to make him successful and raise his children. Do this secretly and as quickly as possible. Then put the accounts in your name. If you believe he has hidden funds, hire a forensic accountant to find those funds.

    Regarding the kids. I don’t know how old they are, but I recently found out my daughter had a half brother that we never knew about for 30 years even though fuckwit did. My daughter doesn’t care to know him and thinks less of her father. The kids figure out real quick who the sane and ethical parent is. Be strong and mad! He has abused you and your kids.

  • So, in the meantime. One task at a time, one day at a time. Practice self-care, avoid drugs or alcohol, consider mindfulness (Tara Brach has great videos) put together YOUR team (trusted friends, family, therapist, lawyer, exercise partners, etc) do not feel you have to keep his secrets, do not forget that you have all the skills you need to care for yourself and your children.

  • I’m sorry this happened to you.
    It’s not fair and you didn’t deserve it but the facts suck.
    Your only choices now are to be:
    1) the woman with an ex husband who repeatedly lied, cheated, and knocked up an underling at work
    2) the woman with a husband who did these things and stayed with him anyway and now has to have the love child over to her home for holidays because it’s “our problem”

    As the facts won’t change all you can do is decide rationally which woman you prefer to be.

    If it’s #1 you cope by following through on that decision by putting one foot in front of the other and going day by day and reminding yourself you will feel awful for a long time. You will feel conflicted and sad and miss him because you still love him and he has abused you and it takes a long time to process this shit but I can promise that if you commit to the actions EVENTUALLY the feelings of having made the right decision will follow.

    • And ps if you choose path number one resolve in advance not to let anyone make you feel guilty or put “breaking up a family “ on you.
      HE made the choice to cheat HE chose to lie. HE chose to take actions that lead to knocking someone up.

      The unraveling of a 20 year marriage is a direct consequence of HIS choices and behaviors. Not yours.

  • They are capable of these things because underneath the fancy false face they TRULY SUCK. Character disorder!.

    Wait till you talk about dividing the money, you will see even more of his pathology and extreme selfishness

    Many of us have lives that did not turn out the way we planned. It’s doable. You deserve better.

  • “Mistake singular. Always the solitary whoops.”

    This is one of those things that so many chumps experience and it is just so interesting to me how all the cheaters have the same “takes”.

    I was planning on getting a lawyer, STBX would prefer to save money and go with a mediator. He was trying to get to the core of why I felt a lawyer was necessary. He was also gaslighting me and saying that everything I hear that is negative about mediators comes from lawyers who “just want my money.”

    I did eventually have to say “a lawyer will make sure I don’t get screwed and with a mediator, I need to be the one to make sure I am not screwed and I don’t feel confident in my ability” He said “it is as if you don’t trust me”. To which I replied “in fairness, you have been hiding an affair for YEARS, I shouldn’t trust you.” And he said “I have only ever screwed you over that ONE time.” It has been a years long affair. It is still going on. How many hundreds of mini-betrayals has he committed over those years? And I’ll tell you, he was genuinely offended that I might not trust him to do what is right.

    I hope Chump Baby can get the hell out. You are doing what I did at first, wallowing in the the stuff you CAN’T control. If she is prego, that baby is coming, whether you like it or not. And I fully understand how devastating that is to you, for all the reasons you said and more. I spent so much time worrying about that kind of stuff too. It left me frozen. Heck, I would be living my new life by now if I didn’t delay!!! But TRY to find your anger, and try to focus on what you CAN do, which is leave. And yes, get him on the hook for support before she does, that will protect your kids. Read the CL archives, you will see the patterns and it will shore up your resolve. Wishing you the best.

  • I Love the “this is the lifeboat” comment, too VH –
    So much great advice and support here.
    I’ll only add that as you get further down the road and the shock wears off a little, you may find yourself ruminating over how she “won”, how great their life is, how happy they must be, and theirs is a perfect love.
    Nothing will be further from the truth. There will be consequences for them, – there will be side long glances from “friends” and associates. There will be the stresses of a newborn, OW KNOWING he’s a liar and a cheater, he will no doubt blame her for losing everything- his reputation, his family, his children’s respect. Wait til he finds out how much he will be paying out in alimony and child support! Stay focused CB.
    He’s a rat! And she’s going to soon see that for herself. As someone once posted here:
    “My past is her future!”

  • What helped me cope was focusing on my safety.

    Physical safety: Your body needs to be safe. He’s screwing at least 1 other woman. Get to your GYNE for an STD check.

    Financial safety: You need enough money for yourself and to help the kids get to adulthood. He’s spending money on the other woman. Get to your financial advisor and bank to make sure you have access to all financial information. If most accounts are in your name, get to an attorney right away to put a “restraining order” on your accounts so he cannot move money. All funds are joint assets and you have the right in most states to 50% of total assets (vs 50% of each asset).

    Emotional safety: You need to take care of yourself. He’s all out for himself. DO NOT talk over any decisions with him. This is for your safety. Do not trust what he says. Hide what your plans are. When I did this, I felt like I was betraying him, especially during the time I was undecided about filing, but it is for you & your children’s safety that you must conceal your thoughts and plans, not to manipulate him.

    Find at least 1 good friend, relative, or counselor who you can vent to. There is a technique called Grey Rock to use so you don’t appear to be shut down from your husband while gathering information and getting ready to lock down finances and file.

    • And sadly enough, when I went to my GYNE for the STD panel, it hit me “I have to have this because he f**cked around.
      And at the attorney “I’m here, asking what my financial risk is, if he were to get someone pregnant, or get arrested (for soliciting or child porn).”
      That reality hit me like a ton of bricks and pushed me forward.

      • I meant if most accounts are in “his” name, especially if he has been a higher earner than you & has investments/401k in his name only.

  • Chump Baby, if I’m correctly understanding what you wrote about two thirds of the way into your letter, your husband told you he made “a mistake” several months ago by having sex yet again with the OW yet again, and that was the last time he’d seen her. And now HE feels taken advantage of by the OW because of the pregnancy.

    And that was the “..turning point that this shit was over and done with.”

    That declaration of your husband’s really says a lot about him. It turns my stomach – and I say that as someone who has had to work hard to quash my own tendency to lay the entire blame for an affair on “the slut who seduced my husband”.

    In essence, your husband thinks that that “shit” has nothing to do with him at all, he’s somehow above it, and that OW is creating problems for HIM. He’s placing 100% of the blame on the OW for a mess that he’s 50% responsible for creating. Even though I don’t have any real sympathy for Slut, R.N., “…over and done with” means your husband thought she was disposable, and that’s morally reprehensible.

    I know you’re in a great deal of pain right now, Chump Baby, but call on every inner resource you have, along with supportive family and friends, to help you stay on the path toward divorce.

    • ChumpBaby

      In about 3 years if you stay with this fraud, it will dawn on you that the problems in your marriage and family have one common denominator – the abusive cheating spouse.
      Your opportunity for a better life is now – don’t believe a word this liar cheater user is saying.
      Get the best lawyer now, keep it on the down low, and don’t look back.
      Your husband is not a unicorn – he’s a garden variety cheater. They don’t change.

  • I feel like this situation is more common than perhaps we all want to believe. Chump Baby, you need to file for divorce and start the child support process *immediately.* Once the OW’s baby is born, if they aren’t together at that time, she will file for child support and get the biggest percentage of the pot. Which should be YOURS.

    Actually, now that I’ve posted that, I realize that I have no idea how old your kids are. Perhaps they are legal adults now. No matter, you need to hire a hot gun lawyer and get *at least* half of your FW’s assets. The less he has, the better. Hire a forensic accountant to make sure he’s not hiding anything, the works. Go nuclear on his money, which is every man’s true weakness. Find it all, get it all, honey. Do not delay.

    • Amen, especially to the forensic accountant and getting to court ahead of the Schmoopie.

  • If you re-read your letter, you will see how much damage you are doing to yourself by listening to this lying, manipulative jackass. He f*cks his girlfriend in your bed. He gets her pregnant, maybe twice. He takes her, not you, out on Mother’s Day. All the while, he lies and cries and swears you’re his best friend.

    Meanwhile, who is looking out for your kids? Your husband certainly isn’t. CL rightly points out that he couldn’t possibly care about your kids. He was f*cking his girlfriend in their mother’s bed, in the house where they live. What utter disrespect for the whole family. He swears he will never leave, but that was a lie. He dishonors their mother by having an illegitimate child.

    You’ve gotten all kinds of good advice here. Pay attention to the stories of others because you can learn from what other people have experienced. But the number 1 thing is get a lawyer, a good one who can handle a massively entitled jackass like your STBX. If you are in a fault state, that baby as good as proves adultery. If you go for a no-fault divorce, you need to expect that your STBX will drag his feet and try to manipulate you into taking crumbs. So a good lawyer will help you figure out what a fair settlement is and what you want and need to move on. If STBX and Schmoopie are in the same company or organization, he could lose his job. So don’t sit on this. Get moving and get out in front of protecting yourself and the kids financially.

    The second thing is: tell people. Tell your parents, if they’re living; tell your siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, best friends, etc. Tell your hairdresser or your priest/pastor. You will need a support system. I’d be willing to bet that you’ve suffered all this in silence. Start building your support team with the people who love you. Don’t tell people who are social acquaintances with both of you—just the people who are your people, your tribe. Tell the whole truth and ask his for their help.

    Find a therapist who understands divorce and abuse. You will need someone to help you get off the hopium (that is, the false hope that your “husband” actually means what he says). You will need a professional to help you understand, in the gut and heart, that something is wrong with your X. As time goes on, your kids may need help, too, but start with yourself. And see your gynecologist and get checked for STDs.

    Read the archives here. Sign up for the Chump Lady FB page and our Reddit forum, where you can post longer issues and get feedback. Read Dr. George Simon’s blog, “Manipulative People.” Here’s a link: It helped me tremendously to realize that Jackass wasn’t some special guy who lost his way but rather a TYPE of person whose behavior follows a predictable pattern of jumping into relationships, overvaluing or lovebombing someone and then starting the process of devaluation. Read, listen, and learn about your real situation.

    Finally, remember that women are at risk in these situations. Men who want to hold onto the house, the money and the kids (to avoid child support) often do terrible things. What strikes me about you is that you are in so much pain but it hasn’t yet occurred to you that you must protect yourself and your kids. Keep us posted. I hope you leave and make a great life for yourself.

    • One of the saddest things for chumps is that that a lot of cheaters won’t leave, but they also won’t change their behaviour until their life becomes so unmanageable that they have to adapt their behaviour in some way. That’s why they always need the soft cushion on the AP or chumpy friends/family, to do for when they crap on everything valuable in their lives. They don’t seem to have any learning feedback loop capability, like, okay, lesson learned, I’m going to change, they just think I was forgiven, because I deserve to be (entitlement). Cheaters don’t seem to be sorry until the chump imposes harsh consequences on them, and then they charm, rage or cry like toddlers dashing themselves against a boundary, thinking that if they just go on long enough the boundary will crumble. So the only way they learn is by enforcement of those consequences, which we have to enact, on top of our own trauma, and then we called are the bag guy.

  • I love this- manipulators try to convince you.. “Sorry people don’t try to convince you. They DO better. Manipulators try to convince you.” This is so true. Anytime you feel confused with another adult- you are probably being lied to or manipulated. Clarity is not that hard. And even when it is hard, it is usually achievable.
    When you don’t speak the same language, you can figure out that that’s why you might be confused and can reach for further clarification.
    When you’re not confused, you know it. You feel right in your body.
    When you’re trying to understand and yet still have to be convinced, there’s an issue- with the other person. That twisted feeling of something being wrong, it’s horrible. Don’t minimize it. It’s a red flag.

  • So many things i could say but this one has certainly helped me with the half sibling from the affair partner.

    If your kids have any bond with this sibling, it will be solidarity in having a piece of shit as a father. 😂

  • Obviously she told him she was on birth control so he was able to believe a woman who cheats with a married man.
    Do not be surprised if he does not stay with her. He will probably marry a 20 year old because he is so mature. Snort!

  • Chump Baby, everyone here knows how difficult these situations can be. We were all the loving ones who took our commitments seriously.
    I was in a similar situation, though after the divorce filing (which took 6 months because it took 4 months of trickle truthing to discover my ex was a serial cheater, which he still disputes (only 2x, 13 years apart.. uh huh, and I have a bridge to sell you). While hammering out final divorce details via a mediator (don’t use one, hire an attorney!), a good friend risked friendships to tell me apparently exH’s AP/now GF was pregnant and she planned to move to town in 2 months, coincidentally when I was on a overseas work trip and ex was supposed to have quality time with the kids! Let’s move a pregnant stranger into the house, what could go wrong? Ex disputed this was the plan, but the details were too specific. AP was pregnant with twins, lost one, then lost the other. Within 3 weeks she was pregnant AGAIN, but they did not believe in abortion, yada, yada, yada. They had a shotgun wedding when she was 7 months pregnant, then then the baby came early at 36 weeks.
    I admit the pregnancy and now OWife situation was PAINFUL. 23yr together, 18yr married, divorced in my early 40s…and I was replaced by someone almost 12yr younger. My eldest, as a daddy’s girl, was in so much pain. In hindsight, I am glad my ex was a weak coward and trickletruthed, as otherwise I would have felt I was to blame when he walked out. Instead, although he claimed he wanted out, he could not do it; I had to file, I had to find him a place to live which worked for the kids, I had to do everything.

    While your heart heals (and it will take time), time to fake it and do what is right for you and your children.
    Get an attorney, track all monies, and get child support and everything worked out _now_. In my situation, my ex had a second job I did not know about until 18 months later when he shared his tax forms with me (we had agreed to do so). Child support was based off of the one job. Then I had to take him to court for more support– I won, but had to pay the my lawyer fees (so lost 1/2 a year’s increase). Three years later, now with 2 younger kids, he QUIT his job to “care for the eldest” as she has developmental issues. Quit the job, but was planning to start a consulting firm where he would travel 2- 3 weeks at a time. Court saw right through it, but again, I had to pay my lawyer fees.

    My ex also moved 2500 miles away, overseas, which limited time with the half siblings; they would visit during summers and some breaks, and over time the eldest refused to see their father. They are sad to not have much contact with the siblings, but they have no desire to see their father nor the OWife.

    They say time heals all wounds. Not sure if that is true, but they do scab up and become protected by armor.

    This week is the 10th anniversary of my divorce finalization. I found CL just 2 weeks later on her old forum.
    I am in my 5th year of a loving relationship with a very caring man– someone who loves me for who I am, and was not looking for someone 10+ years younger.

    Listen to CL and the others: you deserve better than this charlatan. The leopard has shown his spots, and though it is difficult, think of yourself. And if that is too difficult, do it for the kids.

    Sending Jedi ((( HUGS )))

  • I thought of one other thing. A huge mistake I repeatedly made was seeking comfort from the cheater. I was so stuck in the mindset that he was “my person” that I kept pouring my heart out to him.

    The rational part of my brain knew that it didn’t make sense to seek comfort from the person who was hurting me, but I did it anyway. It was like an addiction, and learning to NOT share my thoughts and feelings with him was every bit as grueling as I imagine detoxing to be, with all the relapses and setbacks.

    A very dangerous trap chumps fall into is the narrative of conscious uncoupling, friendly divorce. The principles meet all our highest ideals of taking the high road, remaining civil and friendly, protecting family members from pain, saving money, etc etc. The problem is that this model doesn’t apply to power-over situations of abuse.

    The divorce process will reveal the true characters of the people involved. I’ll bet 100% of Chump Nation will attest that in the divorce process you will see the true monstrosity of who FW really is behind the mask.

    As hard as it is, once I saw FW’s true character, it really helped me stop grieving and move on with my life. Even though I still flip the bird every time I drive past OW’s house, I can now honestly say that I’m better off without my ex-husband and I’d never want such a toxic poison in my life again.

    • I did the very same thing. I can’t believe I sought comfort in him. Looking back, it was diabolical how he pretended to be helping me. Oh Man!!! Thanks for reminding me. I’d forgotten how insane things were at that time.

    • “I’m better off without my ex-husband and I’d never want such a toxic poison in my life again.”

    • I went through the same thing. It felt like detoxing from a drug for quite some time, I felt so depressed without that “high”. I still “relapse” from time to time and start thinking I can trust him and tell him something personal (which he of course turns around and uses against me when he gets the chance). My therapist says it’s like the Stockholm syndrome. You’re bonded to your abuser. The person that is hurting you is also the only one who can “make it better”, at least that’s how it feels. It’s also called a trauma bond and it’s very hard to break. Crazy, all the shit we have to go through after bonding with narcissistic fuckwits.

  • Don’t spend two years like I did waiting around to see if the FW would “come to his senses.” He won’t. And you can’t trust him now anyway.

    And most definitely disabuse yourself of the idea that OW destroyed your family. She didn’t. Your husband did, as CL points out. He did not care enough about you, NOR ABOUT HIS KIDS, not to cheat and abuse all of you. Painful to hear, but it’s the absolute truth.

    • I do NOT think she should ‘disabuse’ the notion that the OW was complicit. She needs to name names and deeds in her petition for dissolution. This is not Irreconcilable Differences. It’s fraud and abuse. The OW is complicit too.

      • I think you and CBN are both right. The OW is a complicit and horrible. Full stop. But the husband is way worse. I know for me, at times it is easier to focus my anger on her, this stranger who I only know as a person whose actions are hurting me. The STBX? Well, his betrayal is the worst, but I once loved him, the feelings of anger towards him are there, but complicated.

        I think it is ok to have a terrible opinion of the AP. As long as you don’t think it’s their fault, like they lead the FW astray. They didn’t. The FW took every step against me of his own accord. But I think it is ok to dislike her and see her as complicit. Also important to understand that if it wasn’t her, it would be someone else.

  • Chump Lady dishes out the very best wisdom in the world. I remember feeling like cheater FW was all remorseful and ready to clean up his act. Hahahaha! Fat chance. I was so weak and wanting to save my family. Oh! If I could have just kicked him to the curb at that moment. It’s taken a long time to ‘get my mind right’, but my family is the better for it.

  • The only thing I really want to impress upon you, is the need to begin to protect yourself. Very first thing is get a lawyer. I don’t know if you’re ready for that, and I don’t care. Get a lawyer, yesterday. And when you do this, do not tell him. Right now I’m sure you want to curl up in a little ball, but later you’ll find that rage. And rage is really useful in getting your life back on track.

    Whatever you thought you had is done now. You can feel bad about it later. He’s counting on you to do nothing and keep excepting shitty treatment. He’ll be in for a big surprise when he gets served.

  • Chump baby’s description of feeling like a shell and then other commenters’ similar remarks about feeling numb remind me of a revelation I had a few days ago. While reading a critical article about the genetic industry’s campaign to cast criminality– specifically domestic abuse– as “genetic” (and, of course, “treatable” with expensive new gene therapies and blockbuster drugs– kaching!), I had a sudden realization that abuse isn’t any more genetic than religion. It’s even misleading to cast it as a disease (and cast the “sufferers” as poor sad ailing sausages). In the same way that a child born to, say, a Buddhist family is adopted in infancy by a Christian family, they’ll likely lean to Christianity as they grow up, domestic abuse and all the victim-blaming, self-exculpating rationalizations that facilitate it are learned family “rites” passed from one generation to the next. In fact, I think domestic abuse IS a religion or, more specifically, a toxic cult. Like any religion, some who grow up with a particular faith may eventually reject it which is why not everyone raised with abuse becomes an abuser. But too many do. Subjecting someone to intimate abuse– which typically involves ritualistically inducing the same types of damage and trauma that made the abuser’s clan dysfunctional and dangerous– is like a campaign to convert the victim to the abuser’s nihilistic faith in which honesty and loyalty are weaknesses, love and devotion are shameful, vulnerability is a punishable sin and betrayal is a sacrificial ritual to please the zero sum gods and grovel for amnesty from their wrath and punishment.

    I think it was a Dominican priest who said everyone’s image of God is drawn from their own fathers. That may be true in a very literal way for abusers. A criminologist who specializes in domestic violence described how, to children living in dangerously dysfunctional circumstances, their fathers or mothers or whomever it was who caused the most damage, fear and pain in their families takes on an almost omniscient status in the minds of abusers. To me, omniscience suggests god-like and, like jealous gods, these role model figures must be appeased. The criminologist made the point that abusive adults may continue to superstitiously fear their own abusive role models even beyond the grave. There’s no higher salaam than emulation and this may be among the reasons why abusers feel compelled to “reenact” a former abuser’s abuse. Reenactment is a vow of fealty, sort of like saying “See, mommy/daddy/pervy-grandpa, I’m just like you now! I’ve continued the family tradition! Please don’t rise from the dead and hurt me!”

    No wonder we as survivors go through periods of “brown out” and numbness where we lose all former enthusiasm and zest for life and are haunted with a sinking feeling that no good deed goes unpunished and life is just a bleak, meaningless trudge to the grave. Part of it is just the “telescoping future” effect of trauma. But I think there’s something else going on. It’s like we’re all survivors of cult abuse but, instead of fully taking on the new nihilistic faith that was shoved down our throats and developing a taste for all the cruel rites of betrayal, selfishness and dog-eat-dog one-up-manship that followers of that cult enjoy, we just lose our former faith, whatever that entails. We’re left wandering between “belief system” wagon circles.

    Obviously specific religions aren’t coded in our DNA but I do think that the human need for a sense of meaning is hardwired. It doesn’t matter if that sense of meaning is based on something existential or on a concept of God and the hereafter, it’s what drives the species. There’s a novel titled “Wild Berries” by the late Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko which focuses on the theme of meaning and the connection of all things. The author describes an agnostic conception of this as “a cloud of evil and a cloud of good” that forever circle the world and, with our actions, we contribute to one or the other which then rain down on all of us. That idea always stayed with me because it perfectly fits my concept that life has meaning. I think it’s that specific feeling that got lost after having my trust severely abused. Recovery is all about getting that sense of meaning back, the sense that what we do matters. Life matters, individual lives matter. Ripples in the pond, etc. To recover is to reclaim this. Otherwise we’re left with “Abusicism”– the idea that we’re all expendable cockroaches who need to steal and gobble down any opportunity for happiness before it’s snatched away.

  • Chumplady puts a voice to her thoughts that warms my heart with angry fire. Fuck those goddamn mother fuckers.

  • FW is a sperm donor. FW may have more kids with her and other women. You have no idea how many half siblings there may be in the future. He could be 80 on his deathbed and sire one to a floozy who thinks she will get some money. Protect yourself and YOUR kids. Divorce ASAP. Don’t let OW get your kids assets. Wake up! The marriage is OVER! Oh sorry MIRAGE. He is a lost cause.

  • I have a sick feeling the miscarriage baby was a fake test baby, FW wanting a kid with AP and tested waters to see if chump baby would stick around knowing there might be a kid. Since chump baby stayed FW and AP got busy and made sure the real pregnancy was kept hushed until it passed the legal time frame for abortion so there would be no blocks. Too much a coincidence that she found out deep into the pregnancy, and too much a coincidence she was put through the trauma of the first one which ended as a miscarriage. To me it feels like this scumbag FW was testing her. IDK, when it comes to adulterous people I wouldn’t put anything past them.

    • That’s interesting. I hadn’t thought of that. I think OW concealed pregnancy from the FW until this point. But you’re right I wouldn’t put anything past these FWs

  • Cut the line and go, run like your hair is on fire. If you have minor age children, or nearing college age children, get support and tuition locked up, now.

    I have a story but it isn’t mine to tell. I’ll just say it ends with a woman who remains married to a man she hardly tolerates. She has children that leave home and don’t look back. They hate their father and ask her why she stayed. Her children never accepted affair baby half-sibling and it was not helpful for them to see their father treat that child as the favorite. Years after her children are out the door, she has reminder of affair baby under her roof on weekends and school breaks.

    If you stay, OW and that child will forever remain in your life and the lives of your children.

    Run, don’t walk, to a lawyer’s office.

    • Yep they will. That’s what I’m struggling with so much. I don’t want anything to do with either so yes lawyer’s office I will go. It just really bloody hurts.

      • It hurts, but it will get better. I promise one day you will look back and be SO GLAD you got out. I adored my husband and fought like hell to keep him. I wish I hadn’t. The love disippated eventually, I reached meh, and now I’m glad that the affair happened. FW was abusive and controlling, and I had grown smaller and smaller trying to please him. I barely even knew who I was when he left. I would have stayed and been miserable for the rest of my life, tolerating the abuse, blaming myself, hoping it would get better if I just TRIED HARDER. Cheating was crossing a line for me. Once I had confirmation of the affair (I was in denial for so long), that was it. I was able to start detaching. It hurt like hell. I felt worthless. But my life is 1000% better without FW. I am happier. I found “me” again. The pain faded. I can even laugh now at what a ridiculous soap opera the whole thing was. It takes time, but you’ll get there. A good therapist can help a lot. And a kick-ass lawyer. You can do this.

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