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Trust That They Suck

Here’s a problem people new to infidelity get stuck on all the time — they don’t really trust that their cheater sucks.

They pine. They spackle. They remember the good times. They spend a lot of time in therapist’s offices trying to untangle the cheater’s skein of crazy. They wonder what they did to make this person cheat. They wonder why their shared life together wasn’t enough.,

Trust that they suck.

When you romanticize all the fabulous things they are doing with their Schmoopie? The lingerie she bought to show him? The stuff she does in bed that she never did with you? The trip he took her on (probably to a place you went to together).  And you imagine all the wonderful, sexy, good times you are missing out on?

Trust that they suck.

The holidays are especially rough. Especially a holiday like Christmas that’s centered around gift giving. Oh, the OW gets diamond earrings and I get a lump of coal and a giant legal bill? Splendid. Thanks. You may miss those holiday traditions you shared with your cheater, or with their family. Everyone gathered around the hearth, in handknit snowflake sweaters, crooning Christmas carols and eating exquisite marzipan chocolates…(No, it’s probably nothing like that, but the pain of exclusion can play tricks on the mind.)

Trust that they suck. And their family probably sucks too.

We have all these carefully crafted excuses for why they don’t really suck. They’re having a midlife crisis. This isn’t the REAL them. The real them will be coming out of the “fog” and will recommit soon!

Trust that they suck.

Cheaters suck. A person who betrayed you and endangered your health and well-being and your children’s? They suck! A person who is so selfish as to eat cake and fuck around on the side? They suck! When you internalize that they suck, and realize you are pining for a flaming dog turd? Then you will heal.

Why would you pine for a flaming dog turd?

You’re human and you’re grieving. We bond. That’s what loving people do. It’s hard to put a shared life into reverse and detach. Grief takes time, and you usually flounder through all the steps, denial, bargaining, anger, before you get to flaming dog turd acceptance.

Narcissists (and cheating is narcissism) are really good at projecting that they’re all that and a bag of chips. They were sparkly, and you know how great it is when they sparkle. You fell for it, so it’s natural that someone else would too. The affair partner hasn’t discovered the full magnitude of the cheater’s suckitude yet (look how long it took you), but oh, they will.

The best salesmen and charlatans excel at creating an air of exclusivity. I have something very special to offer you. Are you elite enough to be worthy? They want you to want what they have. They would love for you to do the humiliating dance of pick me and fight to be worthy. It’s part of the mindfuck you’ve been living under, to which the best antidote is reality. Mr/s Sparkle betrayed you. They’ll do anything for an ego kibble. Anything. They aren’t exclusive. They’re thirsty attention whores.

At some level you’ve bought into the idea that this is best you can do. Trust that YOU don’t suck. Part of this is on you, chumps. Trust that you deserve better. That this isn’t your lot in life to pick from the reject pile of humanity. Yes, we’re all God’s children and in some way flawed. This isn’t about acceptance and unconditional love. Adult love comes with conditions — conditions like your partner should not act in ways to actively harm you. Conditions like mutuality and respect. It’s okay to have deal breakers. Your cheater is not the be all and end all. There are other, much better people out there deserving of your time and attention and love. Go find them!

And leave the cheaters to doing what they do best — sucking.


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  • All very true and very timely during the holiday season. It’s my first one where everything is split and yes, it does suck. I hate that I’m not going to see my kids open all the STBX’s family gifts, which was a big deal and I was very much a part of. I hate that he will even argue about times to return them to me. I hate it all. But what I don’t hate? Not having a sucky slutty cheater in my life. And he is a man-ho. Anyone who’s extra nice to him will eventually get a go, it seems. So as much as I’m not loving the holidays this year I am happy to not have him around. Grrr…just hate that it’s fucked up how my kids feel.

    • Although these comments are old, they are still completely relevant and helpful. My cheating ex is marrying the other woman next weekend. 1 year to the day our divorce was final. She’s 5 months pregnant and although I am on the upside of my healing there are days that I still cannot understand. My mind keeps trying to make excuses for the poor soul. I mean does he really love her? Was this planned the whole time we were trying to make things work? What makes her better than me? And now I get to listen to my daughter come home and explain every detail of this fucked up wedding. Yay me.
      16 years was thrown away like an old shoe, an afterthought. I know she can have his lady, drinking, condescending ass. But I still get sad to think how easy it was for him to cheat and walk away.
      Now I am dating myself, loving myself, getting stronger and more confident and just pray for peace in my heart and mind. He’s a 43 year marrying a child who must accept him for what he is.
      I deserve better than that .

      • Yes you do!!! It is so important to know your own worth. You are worth so much more than what your ex can offer. His cheating had nothing to do with you and everything to do with his entitlement and insecurities. I feel sorry for his new wife.

        My ex of 15 years was sleeping with prostitutes unprotected, when he finally told me a day before my STI swabs came back why I was sick, I asked him how could he do this. His response was, “I deserved it.” I said, “Yes you do, and I don’t deserve you.”

        I’ve started dating again too. It’s so nice to have the freedom to start over and know what you can and can not accept. If someone doesn’t live up to my standards, I move on. I’m so much happier with myself. I don’t need a man to complete me. I want my son to grow up to know what a good relationship should look like, built on trust, mutual respect and kindness. If I find someone that holds the same values as me that will be nice but if I don’t that’s okay to.

        Congrats on getting stronger and more confident!!

  • You are EXACTLY right. When you have been cheated on and find out that your judgement is off, you stop trusting your feelings. You WANT to believe the best. You want to validate your original premise about this person…that they are really good.
    I got caught up in this for SO long. Even after the divorce.
    People who betray you aren’t good. They aren’t. They suck. Believe the PROOF that is right in front of you. Stop believing what you THOUGHT was true and SEE what is true.
    Once again, great post, CL!

    • Very true. Quite recently, in fact, STBX was being a bigger pain in the ass than usual and I reached the point where I simply said, ‘You are a bad person.’ and ended the conversation. That’s what is boils down to: he’s a bad person and if I didn’t have kids with him I would never have to deal with him again. I don’t like dealing with bad people.

        • People that cheat are bad people. Period! I wasted 13 years believing my STBEX was a better person underneath the cheating! Big fat lie! Chumplady..spent all of lady tear reading dozens of blogs on cheating & dozens & dozens of books… Yours is the only one which is true to reality!

      • I remember (fondly) on the day he was finally moving his crap out of the garage because the divorce was final and the house was mine… he was stomping around moving boxes with my older stepsons out of earshot and said maliciously, “You’re a bitch.” I replied, “And you’re a whore, now get out of my house.”… he was so stunned that I clapped back he stuttered with, “Oh yeah, my name is still on the deed…” (I just walked in the house and locked the door. I had his name off the deed two weeks later.)

    • I have never found as good of an explanation of how I have felt the past 5 years of my marriage. How could I be so blind? Beat myself up the entire time. Questioning my judgement, my intuition…everything about myself. I finally got the wake up call when I caught him starting an EA this past May.

      And he sucked so much he still blamed me for his A from 5 yrs ago. Up until the day I moved out. We are now divorced.

      Sometimes I think ‘suck’ just doesn’t describe him enough…lol

        • suckapolypse gets my vote. Or by extension sukapolypsefragilistic expialidocious ( which remember rhymes with atrocious ). Carry on.🎶

        • Pun alert: Suckerberg; suckertorte (that one is hella good, cake); suckerpitch (futball field (German double pun alert)); suckotash; hot nights sucker in the city; take me back to old Kensucky; Mesuck, Sad sack and Abed they go (top that! (you won’t)); [pun barrel alert] what blight from yonder window breaks? tis the beast and Jules he hit is the suck; suck enchump-ed eve-ending; good night and good suck! Meh.

          • ‘Futball field’ is actually a bi-lingual (two tongued, forked tongued) pun string; an Infidelity Diet-tribe. ‘Fut’ (‘u’ like ‘oo’ in gooey) is a German juvenile slang word for vagina, ‘ball’ is an English juvenile slang word for sexual intercourse, ‘having a ball’ is heard, but not said, ‘playing the field’ (far from home base) is both background (out field, out playing the field, outplaying the feeled) and focus (infield, in fields where they lay, baseball, base-ballers, ‘rounding the bases’ to score her, running, running the show, centrality, narcissism) of the pun, which makes this also a self-referential bi-lingual pun string.

          • AL
            Your pun brain is Grand Central Terminal of puntrains.
            Dang! 😂

    • 2.5 years and he said he couldn’t commit found out he was seeing other women. We had a long distance relationship. He didn’t want me to move. I know now a red flag. But I didn’t want to see it

  • I think this was a hard reality for me to accept because my STBX “only” had one A that had gone on for about three months when I discovered it (to my knowledge, but I have never found evidence of other As, and there were several red flags that led me to the one he had). I started reading about cheating, and I always felt guilty that I didn’t want to reconcile with him– like divorce was only for serial cheaters that one has given previous chances to.

    Yet… even before I discovered CL… there was always this feeling in my gut. So what if it was “only” once? I don’t deserve to be cheated on EVER. I deserve a man who thinks better of himself as well– the fact that my STBX never used protection not only spoke to how little he thought of me but also how little he thought of himself. I deserve someone who has more self-respect in addition to respect for me, and staying with STBX, even if he wasn’t a serial cheater, would be settling for less than I deserve.

    So, I agree with CL and would like to add– any amount of cheating sucks, and even cheaters who only cheat once suck. If you don’t want to give them a second chance, then don’t! I sometimes wonder if, deep down, my STBX assumed I’d just beg him to stay and would try to be the wife he felt he was entitled to instead of the one who “drove him” to have an A. Too bad that I turned out to be a woman of my word… I told him that I’d never tolerate cheating, and I MEANT IT!

    • Well done, MO. You know yourself, you know your deal breakers — and I think it’s interesting that you think his affair was his way of getting you to work harder to up your game for the awesomeness that is him. Cheaters soooo deserve that stratagem to fail.

    • Let me add that for those who only know of one affair, you can give them a second chance by separating and seeing how the cheater deals with the consequences of breaking trust in the marriage. That gives chumps a chance to figure out what they want without the cheater getting life to go on as usual while the chump wrestles with the agony of D-Day and beyond. Staying with a cheater post-D-Day put almost all the emotional work on the chump, as the dynamic usually is the cheater begging for a second chance and then whining that forgiveness doesn’t come fast enough and that the Chump needs to “trust” blindly again. The Chump needs time and distance to evaluate the relationship as a whole and to see that life without a spouse is not a death sentence; the Cheater, even more, needs to see that callous, cruel, selfish behavior has a cost. And then the Chump can see how (or whether) the Cheater deals with rebuilding trustworthiness.

    • My theory on the only-one-affair unicorns is: 1) they wanted to get caught so you’d either pick me dance or do the hard work of filing for divorce (remember, they’re entitled)… 2) you should play the lottery if you actually think you caught them on the first try… 3) if it was their first and only, let them go have it… now that they have a taste for the spark of cheating, I doubt they’ll give it up… and remember what CL says about people who marry their OW/OM… they’ve just left an opening for a new OW/OM.

  • CL – where the hell were you 6 years ago ? It took me 6 long, pain-filled years to try and work it out. Your take on the spackle is dead-on. That’s what I did in my marriage and after the separation, after the divorce and all these lonely years since. Yes, 6 years on and I am only now not grieving – sad, but true. What a waste of energy and time on a stinking piece of dog turd. I did love the projection of the affectionate, loving, devoted husband of 31 years, while I am guilty of spackling the sicko behind it all.
    All I can say is thank you, thank you, that I had enough sense of self to say cheers, I am out of here (despite his pleadings) once I found out it wasn’t only 1 affair with a younger woman as I had been led to believe. His prolific extra-mural activities with other women and men is mind-boggling. So was his total detachment and distance once I left. It was as if the 31 years together never happened – he had a new girlfriend within a week of my leaving and oh, how I battled with that. The pain of that was indescribable.
    I have never told our adult children the full story, they know he was unfaithful. They are proud of me that I left and would not accept the disrespect and disregard he showed me while projecting the image of the loving devoted husband. Will I tell them the scope of it all? I don’t know. I guess I am still guilty of spackling. It was hard enough on them that we divorced, never mind finding out there Dad is bisexual and a slut on top it.
    I just recently met a lovely man – we have electrifying chemistry between us, we dance, we laugh, we are having fun. We are in our 50’s and life is suddenly fun and full.
    The best thing that happened was finding out the scope of my ex’s serial cheating, though I thought it was the end of my world. Otherwise I would not be free of that piece of stinking shit that I was so proud to call my husband. I have a sense of self and I am proud of myself. Not so pleased that it took me 6 long years to get to this point though, what a terrible waste of precious time.
    Thanks CL you are an angel to all fellow Chumpers.

    • Six years ago Lynn? I was climbing out of the abyss myself. My DDay was November 2006. Sorry, I had to spend time in the chump trenches to make every mistake, fail at things quite miserably, and get kicked in the teeth a few times before I accumulated the snarky wisdom you see before you at

      I am so happy to read you met a lovely man! You deserve every happiness after 31 years with a serial cheater! OMG.

    • Good for you! I get teh spackling and the fact that you don’t even realise you’re doing it until you’re out of it. Then they’re furious that you won’t spackle anymore and poof…it’s like you never existed and/or you’re the enemy now. I’m going through it right now. He can suck it.

    • Lynn, I don’t know if you are still reading here but I am reading old comments tonight. Your story gives me inspiration and so similar to mine though only 16 years here. DDay involved one OW (he lives w/her now) and yes the pain of his seeming rejection was indescribable… months later to find out about multiple affairs with women and men, porn use, possible pediphilia (which he had many times fantasized out loud about during sex w/me and I blocked it out over the years). Seven months of therapy confirmed that he is an abuser, not surprising as CL points out infidelity IS abuse. So happy for you that you came out of the fog and life is good for you now. Thank you!

    • Margaret – I know this is an old comment but it’s really good to see someone in their 50’s who has found a new love. I am 50 now and three months in, seeing a future is really hard. Thank you.

  • CL i just want to second, third and fourth what you and Lynn said.i was lost in a fog.had no idea what i was dealing with.for years i just hoped and prayed that somehow she would change and we could be a happy couple somehow.(the abuse reduced my selfesteem to a nub) i would leave her and we would get back together.again and again.when she cheated(the time i caught her) ,we werent living together but were seeing each other.(she stole her friends bf)i made up my mind then and there to get a divorce and when i got my ducks in a row i did just that.THE stupid thing i did was i left the issues of visitation and child support unresolved.(my stupid ass thought we were going to be friends).
    i didnt know what a narcissist is.i had no idea what a cluster b disorder is. i was told (by a church councilor) that she was probably toxic but i was unable or unwilling to really wrap my mind around what that meant.i didnt know that there are a lot of people in the world with personality disorders that cannot change.they are the way they are because their brain is wired that way… its been just more than 10 yrs after the divorce and i finally get it. now i have the knowledge to be in a state of MEH..but still my xw and all her enablers can just go to hell.i just dont care anymore one way or another.and that goes for all narcissists and their ilk and cheering section. they can all just go eat garbage.. i want to thank you ChumpLady and everyone else here and James of and IM FREE IM FREE

  • “I’ve been [cheated on] and left for someone; all those things. And it was sometimes a surprise, and sometimes you saw it coming. The most painful was when I kept trying to get [one woman] back. But we all make dumb mistakes.”

    — George Clooney

    Yes, folks, even GEORGE F’IN CLOONEY, arguably the Cary Grant of our time, multi-gazillionaire and ladies man, has been cheated on and dumped for an AP, just like the rest of us.

    And for all of his celebrity and infinite wealth, George had pathetic moments right along with us. I don’t know the man, but I can only imagine the “I kept trying to get her back” statement implied that there was lots of spackling, Pick Me dances and Post-Trainwreck Romanticizing going on.

    Can you imagine GEORGE CLOONEY doing a Pick Me dance? Someone so rich and famous and TDH (Tall, Dark, Handsome)? It happens to ALL OF US!

    I know. I know. It’s one of those interviews designed to show that celebrities are just like us “regular folks” (“Hey! I shop at Walmart too!”) But there’s also a great teachable moment in there.

    For all the millions of women in this country who’d willingly sign their lives away and do a complete Anastasia Steele lifestyle makeover just for the opportunity to be Mrs. Clooney, there’s more than a few cake-eating, dynamic mis-managers who’d willingly break his heart.

    This doesn’t just happen to male celebrities either; Eva Longoria was also cheated on in her last marriage.

    • Just goes to show anyone can be a chump. Even the most beautiful and fabulous among us. Surely this was before he was George Clooney and more of the struggling nephew of a has been jazz singer from Kentucky. Talk about the best revenge is living well!

      • Oy, no picking on Rosemary! Lovely singer and a lovely lady. But yes, the list of fabulous people who have been cheated on is long. No one is immune.

  • So well said. Towards the last weeks when I was beginning to come to turns with the reality of his serial cheating and that it was over and I made a comment to him that I would be sad for a bit and then I’d be over him I caught an unusual look on his face. His mask slipped and he was shocked! He wanted me to be devastated. He wanted me to fall apart at the loss of his Greatness. And so he prolonged the agony. Renewed the hope. And in the end I cried and cried and he loved it. He got off on it. I would take that back if I could along with ever thinking he was all that! He wasn’t. He sucked!

    • Don’t worry about being honest with your emotions? So he got a bit of a thrill seeing tht you were hurt? That’s his problem and his sickness. Be happy that you’re actually emotionally true to yourself.

      Now, buck up, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and go be happy and awesome. And don’t change who you essentially are while doing that. Find your best self and go be it. He’ll figure out one day, when it’s way way too late, that he screwed up the best thing that ever happened to him.

      • I know! Thanks Nord! I guess he got a good kibble feeding off of that one and I felt emotionally famished.
        You’re right that we need to fill ourselves up and keep going. I’m thinking about your Christmas and being alone. I will be, also, so I’m looking to volunteer somewhere. There’s a group home for troubled boys (or their families) and some don’t get to go home. Maybe I’ll go over there and play some games or something.

        • That’s so cool that you’d volunteer HC. Do it! Great way to get out of your own head and help someone who needs bucking up too.

  • “Why would you pine for a flaming dog turd?” ~ BWA HA HA!

    CL, you gave me my second howling laugh of the day! … and I love your use of “spackle” 😀

    This will be my third Christmas without the one I loved. This will also be the first Christmas without one member of my immediate family who died suddenly, just two weeks ago.

    No more mourning someone who, out of his own agony, fear, and — the killing blow — asshole-ishness, broke my life for a while. Every loving bond is worth shouting from the mountaintop! As for the rest of ’em … As one of my friends once said of a certain someone, “May God bless him and keep him … far, far away.”

    As for the ones who leave suddenly, helplessly … We the remaining really need to ramp up our love and our mercy … and our stands for our own good souls. Real love, I’m finding, doesn’t take shit from another. Real love doesn’t fling it, either.

    It really is the hardest work we ever do: to love …

    He and I loved, and we lost. Holy shit, did we lose. There was deep, deep love between us … and it didn’t abide. The whole mess makes more and more sense in retrospect … and I know this: I DIDN’T CHEAT.

    To rise up from the rubble and shake that shit off … We are heroes to do this. The worst injury a person can survive, from the soul on out, is betrayal.

    We are heroes who vow, and hold fast to our vow, that we will remain with another we love … We will love, honour, and protect … and if we must leave and we have any control over how we leave, we must go with all the grace we can strew on the road.

    There’s a totality of loss through betrayal that nearly crushes the life out of a person. In some ways, a death is easier to cope with — the ending is utter; that person is GONE. In betrayal …

    So, yeah: Why would we pine for flaming dog turds?

    Me, I’d be doing my bit to put the fire out, for the safety of all. Then I’d be gone. (The smell–!) And I sure wouldn’t be pining for the one who flung the turds!

    • SOH, I’m so sorry for your loss. And this is a bad segue from my condolences, but LOL at the friend who said “May God bless him and keep him … far, far away”! Love that!

  • Hi CL

    Thanks from downunder. In June this year my ex informed me that she had been having an affair for 2 years and didnt love me. Two weeks later she had a breakdown and ended up in psych hospital (with me rescuing and paying) after i said we needed to carve up the finances.

    Subsequently she said she like like to try again but “needed time”. I didnt know how to do what i needed to do for 4 months. I abstained from alcohol for a month and stumbled on CL. That was the end of her sorry ass!! You articulated exactly her moves and bullshit. My heart and head immediately aligned, im over her and have never been happier. She is still in therapy having been qdumped by the affair twat and me (her faithful husband).

    after 15 years of marriage and 2 kids i have emerged stronger and better than ever. With Xmas approaching my kids and are jetting off to spend some time in the sun with my large, wider family and everything is great. The ex is dealing with the consequences of her actions and id tell you how she is doing if i cared but i dont!

    Thank you Chump Lady you came to me at a time in my life where i needed help in doing what i knew was the only course of action – you rock!

    the S Man

    • Thank you S Man! Comments like yours really mean the world to me and make all those what-am-I-writing-a-blog-for? unpaid hours worth it. I’m so glad you didn’t fall for her “rescue me” schtick. And that the kids are doing great! And that you’re much happier! Of course you are. 🙂 Addition by subtraction. Have a happy holiday there with the kangaroos and wallabies!

  • What a great story, S Man. You really figured this stuff out about as early on as anyone I have heard of.
    Weird, isn’t it. One has to come to grips withthe fact that someone you thought you knew was never who you beleived her to be.
    I still cannot beleive I ever fell for the disguise my XW wore during courtship. Once that mask came off, even before the cheating, it was hell living with her.

  • Actually come to think of it, things weren’t so great for me, either.

    I am only now starting to see that I was the victim of what is known as ambient abuse. Apparently that is a type of emotional abuse that is so subtle that it impossible for outsiders or even psychologists sometimes to see, and it’s easy for the victim to rationalize away.

    I was definitely putting more energy into the marriage, I saw plenty of cracks, and the mask slipped quite a few times, but I chalked it up to stress or Mid life crisis or other rationalizations.

  • Part of trusting that they suck is trusting that you don’t… That’s hard to do when you are built the way so many of us are – CL describes us as easy “marks”. We tried to be good. We tried to do the right thing. And we think too damn much and too damn hard.

    Sure, we sucked in our own amateurish ways. But can you compare that to a true suck artist? If you can turn your mind to it – you might see the degrees of sucktitude and you might be able to trust that while you too may have sucked, someone else sucked more… At my worst suckage, I was a drab, dull, boringly cloudy day. My ex was the perfect storm.

    • Bede, I think a lot of us chumps do suffer from some degree of low self-esteem. I have battled this my entire life. I felt ugly and worthless as a child. I was teased and ridiculed. My father would beat me up. Some how, I was a late bloomer and turned into a beautiful woman, but it still catches me by surprise.

      As for us sucking as an EXCUSE. ha! sure. sure. we had an argument, now he is FREE TO GO OUT AND FUCK HALF THE EASTERN SEABOARD. There are ALWAYS alternatives. Like actually FUCKING talking to your spouse.


      “honey, when you said, that I had a bush growing out of my nose and that I should cut my nose hairs, it made me feel angry and like punching your face in.”

      Me: Oh, I’m sorry, its just that it makes me wanna throw up. Is there a better way that I can ask you, so you won’t feel demeaned?

      Him: just hand me the scissors. I’ll get the message.

      point being. THERE IS NO EXCUSE. and a husband, like mine who turned it into a lifestyle… keeping at least 2 on the side and constantly looking for fresh pussy…

      we NEVER have the entire story. where there’s smoke there’s fire. If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a noise?


  • Chump, I love you, very deeply.
    Please can you change your other name to Trixie or something? Anything but T****.
    Feckin go girl!

  • I don’t know if anyone is still reading this thread or not, but for those who think it was ONLY “one,” that is rarely, rarely the case. First of all, there IS no “only.” Words like “only,” “just,” “a couple” (a couple hundred?) are the loaded words of a serial cheater. They will ONLY confess to what it is that they think that you know and no more. If you find chat, it was ONLY chat– not in person. (wrong) Or sometimes, it was ONLY chat– JUST flirting, no online sex. (wrong)
    Fact: Studies have shown that men who chat and cyber sex online are far more likely to have IN PERSON AFFAIRS than those who don’t.
    and the culprit here is porn. Porn turns into desire and the “ol’ ball and chain” is always so tired, I’ll JUST get on yahoo and see what little tart wants to wake up my wick. so, so, fucking easy and from there… they are gonzo.
    BTW, cheaters very, very often LIE and tell their victims that they are single. clues can be you don’t really know where he lives or where he works. But, some are very slick with elaborate stories of bi-coastal EMPIRES.


    This brings me to a question that maybe CL can address, (if you see this) Well, actually its two points and if you’ve already covered this than great and if not, then here are my questions for you.

    Is a man who is otherwise a good husband, father, bread-winner, trash dumper, who’s spending say 10-15 hours a week or even one or two, a cheater? I say yes, for several reasons, but I’d love to hear your take on that.

    Two, my husband had at least one woman that he used as a confidante. She was an ex fuck buddy from 30 years earlier and lives half-way across the world. (very safe distance). Finding their emails of intimate confessions about his OTHER LIFE, traumatized me perhaps even more than the discoveries of the in person affairs. BTW, it was ONLY once or ONLY a few times, or “it wasn’t what you think.” “it wasn’t easy.”

    YES, he said that it wasn’t easy to fuck his 29 years younger, albeit “fat and homely and with lupus” fuckbuddy.

    He also confessed that he lusts after virtually every woman he sees.

    So, sorry for the digression, but that latter constitutes an emotional affair. no sex. (well, that I know of) but the betrayal hurt me deeply.

    I was right there for him. always. (well, always before D-day #1) but I was still there. He could’ve turned his life around. But then again, maybe he couldn’t. Okay… he’s a flaming turd. 27 years down the drain…

    • I agree..doesn’t matter if it was only one time. My ex husband said many of the people he had sex with once, didn’t make it easier for me or the risk of getting HIV better. My ex was special..he not only had sex with women but many men as well. He went WAY beyond that to criminal sexual things which is why he has zero custody of our 3 children. I haven’t seen him in years and it’s been almost 7 years since his confession and then rapid dissolution of marriage. Being cheated on with men was a whole new ball game. I felt incredibly ugly and lots of shame. It took me a few years to one day think, ‘Oh wait, he wanted a dick’, therefore he went elsewhere, most of his prospects were male. I am sure some of you like me were sexual abused by your ex, so please get counseling if you are having flashbacks or fear/anxiety.
      My husband was so mad I filed for divorce, he had the nerve to say, ‘I can’t believe you are doing this! I never thought you would leave me.’ Obviously he didn’t! Dating has been tough after being with a psychopath. I was just 31 when I divorced him and my kids were between 3 and 8 years old. I now have one in highschool who desperately wants a dad but dang I know we are much safer alone than with a psycho. Seeing how many are out there is terrifying!

  • jesus. I should proof-read BEFORE i hit reply. I left out the word PORN in my first question.

    hmmmmmmmmm… very telling, ain’t it. I was so traumatized, I fucking blocked it all out.

    the second question which I never really spat out is: Are emotional affairs considered cheating and an offshoot of that is: is your spouse allowed to have friends of the opposite sex and not include you. My h did this all the time. In fact, one (a married sex therapist)– very cute, petite blond who had cleavage for DAYS, would phone and ask for him straight away. No, “Hi Laurel, how are you… is Fucktard home?”

    • If he has a porn habit you are uncomfortable with, and he doesn’t respect that, then yes – it’s a big issue. If he ignores how upset porn makes you feel, and does it anyway, he is showing you that his dick means more to him than you do.

      Emotional affairs are affairs. They are cheating – taking energy and intimacy away from the marriage. There is also this: adults fuck. A man is not going to invest time and energy in a woman not his wife unless he has some intention of eventually sleeping with the other woman.

      The married sex therapist was a cold bitch. I’m sorry you had to deal with that. Married men should not have female friends. If they do, they should only communicate with those women when their wife is around. The wife most definitely should be included in the friendship. Not including you in the friendship is in the same category as a middle school child saying, “We can only be friends in our neighborhood; you can’t sit with me and my friends at the cool kids’ table.” It’s rotten when it happens to you as a kid, and the adult equivalent is rotten, too. It also basically shows you their maturity level.

  • Thank you, from the bottom of my heart Chump Lady. The moment my H told me he had been cheating on me, I knew I would leave him. That he chose when I was changing our 2 year old’s diapers to let me in on this, and that he had actually cheated on me many, many times is an even better indication of his wonderfulness. When I get wobbly in my choice to divorce this man with a 2 & 4 year old, while 23 weeks pregnant, I come here. To shore up my resolve. To stop spackling, stop clinging to the old idea that he actually cares about me. You really have been a lighthouse in the storm. Someone who understands, who has been there…and still says GET THE FUCK OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I need to read this every day. “Trust that they suck.” When I start to think of him being all happy with the OW, I have to “Trust that they suck”. Thank you CL.

  • I have to read this often, as well, because it is easy to forget how badly they suck! This, and my ‘100 reasons I don’t want him back’ doc (only took a couple of months of ocassional additions to get up to 97 DIFFERENT items!).

    It also helps me that all our ‘couple and family’ friends think he sucks, are coldy polite when they run into him (and he didn’t have any friends of his own). And even much of my ex’s family thinks he sucks. He has 3 siblings, all super pissed off at him and not in contact w/him. The relationship w/them was already rocky because he already sucked before fucking around (negative, critical, boring), but his affair was really the last straw. His ex-step-mother can’t bear to be in touch w/him any more. His mom still talks to him because … she’s his mom. But he avoids talking to her, I don’t know if it’s shame or not being able to admit he’s really unhappy, after everything he’s done. And his dad still talks to him – but he’s the one the ex learned violence and infidelity from! Of course, his dad is even more self-centered than he is, so it’s never been a really satisfying relationship. So this summer I’m taking the kids to visit HIS mother and siblings, ’cause the kids don’t want to travel w/him, they don’t know (at least overtly) about the infidelity, but they know he sucks in other ways.

    He sucks, and I’m not the only one who sees it! I imagine even the OW will figure it out at some point – poor her!

    • Karen – sounds similar to mine. My mother in law actually lives right next door to my parents (and in fact rents from them). She is disgusted by my husband’s behavior. Yeah, you suck if your own mother is embarrassed and appalled by what you’ve done. What a douchebag.

      • That’s gotta be satisfying, Kay! The guy’s own mother … what a loser he is!

        When I was very young and very foolish and very in love, I married an alcoholic. Took me a few years to figure out how much and how often and how persistently he drank, a few more to use the fencepost on hope, but after I left, his mother said to me; ‘I love my son, but you did the right thing’. Very reassuring.

  • I just had to reread this post. I just saw my husband out riding motorcycles with his girlfriend. First time I’ve seen them together. Luckily I don’t think my 6 and 8 year old kids saw them. They don’t know Daddy left because of another woman. I hate him with a white hot passion but it still made me sick to my stomach. I must trust that he sucks. Better her than me.

    • Just the fact that they do this shit when they’ve got kids to raise, kids who love them and count on them … that is TOTALLY proof that they suck! GOOD people make every effort to make their marriages work when there are kids, and if they have to give up, they do it HONESTLY.

      We are grown-ups, we took our chances in getting into these relationships. Our kids had no choice. KILLS ME!

  • I have really enjoyed the wisdom that comes from this sight. I wondered if I could ask a question that I cannot answer. Is every cheater a Narcissist or a BPD? My husband cheated but doesn’t seem to fit the mold as I see described here for N or BPD. I guess I am wondering if there are other categories of cheaters besides those that have personality disorders. If I had to guess I would say my husband might have an addiction to sex. He had always thrived on adrenaline, adventure and enjoys living life to the fullest. He is a pilot and that seems to go along with his personality as well. I would really appreciate any input you all might have.
    I may have posted this in the wrong place but am not sure about how to navigate this site just yet so forgive me!

    • He sounds like a classic N to me. He’s a pilot and I’m sure everyone knows it. He’s has big balls cause he’s a legal bad boy. I can almost see his swagger. Mine was top notch in the business world and bragged about his business conquest. One woman isn’t good enough. It’s ok to have a little extra, after all he deserves it!

  • He sucks, he sucks, he sucks. It’s not a MLC it’s not narcism. It not me not being nice enough, sexy enough or exciting enough.
    He sucks.

  • This is definitely the hardest time to think that they suck. With Christmas coming fast and as a chump husband still getting to pay for the honor of being cheated on it can be hard to remember that THEY suck and not you. When you hear they may be going to a chalet in Gatlinburg over the break and your kids mention that they have cable and the internet when they visit Mom and her boyfriend. That they get to go out to eat everytime or realizing how cool the presents under the tree at their house will be and how bare bones it will be here it is hard to remember. This is not how I thought my life would go………Oh well, I’ll go back to remembering that even if I spent 17 years as chump I am not evil

    • Hang in there. Your kids will know you love them and that you are a good, honest person who has their best interests at heart.

      And in a few more weeks it will be 2014 and hopefully 2014 will be infinitely better for all of us.

      • Hi Chuck. I feel your pain. Kids are wiser than u think… They will one day see beyond the spackle and know you love them. Remember she sucks! Reclaim your life, find happiness in your self & remember living well is the best revenge!

  • So true! I just hope that the AP will soon find out how badly my husband sucks so she can get karma FAST!

  • Yes he sucks and so does his family. He is spending Christmas with his parents so that he can bask in a house were his aging parents literally can’t stand each other, but I’m sure his mother will manage to throw a few digs in my direction. When I look at pics of him, I see an old fart who tried to take me down the tubes with him.

    He is dull, boring, mean, and his looks have long faded. There was nothing the other women did better than me….except lick his ass. I am happy, no ecstatic and look forward to my future. I feel like Bruce Willis’ character in “Death Become’s Her.” I have hope and dreams with every new day!

  • I’ve been noticing headlines at the grocery store recently – Tori Spelling has been betrayed by her husband. Is he a sex addict? Does he have a “love” child?

    Spelling met her “soul mate” when he was married with two kids and they busted up the marriage.

    Sometime karma works.

  • How do I reconcile the fact that my XH seemed so sweet, caring, self-sacrificing, idealistic and a really good person when I met him over 20 years ago back in college? However, there were already hints of something amiss–a “pathologically close” (his words) relationship with his mom and older sister, who both disliked every girl XH ever went out with (including me) and seemed very possessive of him, and autogynephilia (a tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought of being female, wearing women’s clothing, undergoing sex reassignment).

    After we got married, I was surprised by his angry outbursts. I felt that he became much more cynical, stressed, career-focused, moody and angry than he was as a college student. It was the XH I met during college that I fell in love with, but he never fully reappeared during our marriage.

    Also, it’s hard to reconcile XH’s behavior with his “good guy” image. He doesn’t appear to be a sleazy, smooth type of guy. He’s the kind of guy that people instantly like and trust, who will say, “he’s a really good guy.” Sometimes I thought of him as Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde. I guess he saved his Mr. Hyde for me and the home, but it all depended upon what happened at work–sometimes he was in a great, generous mood; other times he would be snappy and blame me for everything. So hard to predict, which is why I found myself avoiding him.

    Will he change and be the good, happy guy for his next OW? He said he has learned his lesson. I’m afraid he will be this great, loving, caring, wonderful boyfriend/husband to his next OW and have a great, happy life with her. I know this shouldn’t be my concern, but it does bother me. Last year, he kept on saying that I was interfering with his happiness, that marriage was me with miserable and that he needed to be free, but when I filed for divorce, then he kept on saying he was miserable without me.

    • blue, He will be the same way with her. Like other chumps have said, he will behave better in the beginning to get her hooked and then his true colors will show at home. She will be in the same situation that you were in while he keeps up his nice guy appearance to the outside world. None of his shit has anything to do with you. You didn’t cause it, you can’t fix it, and he really does suck.

    • I know this is years old, but I just wanted to say that the “good, happy guy” and the “sweet, caring, self-sacrificing, idealistic” and “really good” person are all an act. The thing is, these guys can’t keep that up forever. My husband was the same. And he acted like the sweetest, most over-the-top loving guy for the AP too. She bought it hook, line, and sinker. Meanwhile he was abusing me horribly. Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde is exactly right. I saw the real him, she saw the act. She thought I was crazy and lying. That I was the horrible wife who was making him miserable. But when I stepped out of that mess of a triangle and left them to it, he turned on her since he had no other target. His mask slipped with her and he started abusing her too. She found out that I wasn’t making things up, that I wasn’t just trying to ruin his reputation with my claims of abuse (I’m sure she read all the divorce paperwork, including my petition, which was based on “excessively vicious treatment” as well as adultery, and my discovery where I outlined the most horrible things he’d done to me, and I’m sure he made every excuse and said I was lying). She ended up leaving him because he abused her and scared her so badly. Truth is, he was a miserable and abusive man. Leaving me for her didn’t change that. He couldn’t maintain that loving, caring persona. Three weeks in the same house, living together 24/7, with the stress of financial difficulties and three kids was just too much. (Though I know he was abusing her in far more subtle ways from day 1, the same way he did me. The “loving” stage is every bit as abusive as the later stages. It is setting you up for the inevitable fall from grace – since we are all human and WILL disappoint a person who expects perfection and for us to solve all their problems. I heard him give subtle criticisms AND specific compliments/suggestions to shaper her into what HE wanted. “I like women with high ponytails”, “you’d look really good with long hair”. One time she was at our house [!] for dinner with the kids and he told her her butt was huge, and while she had her back to him, I could see her face. It FELL, just for an instant, and then she made a joke and played it off like it didn’t bother her. But I had seen the hurt in her eyes, and I also noticed that that evening, she didn’t finish her meal, which was very unusual for her. He also used to compliment ME in front of her, like “your ass looks great in those jeans” or “I like your skirt” or “I love your red hair” and lo and behold the next time I saw her she was sporting whatever it was of mine that he said he liked. She was pick me dancing too. From the very beginning. I watched her transform into someone who was unrecognizable as the woman I’d first met. Into ME, though me ten years earlier. Unfortunately, we worked at the same place, all three of us, and our kids were friends, so I had a front row seat to see all of this.)

      The OW isn’t going to have “a great, happy life” with your husband. Even if that’s what it looks like. Even if they stay together for years. My ex and his AP painted their life on social media as a perfect fairytale. I found out later (after my ex committed suicide) that their life was filled with alcoholism, depression, anxiety, suicide attempts, screaming fights, insecurity, anger, and physical violence – BOTH of them had all these things. OW was hospitalized for attempted suicide. When I cleaned out his house, I found enough medications in both their names to fill a pharmacy. They’d had an abortion (not sure why) and it spun OW into a mental health decline. Their life was anything but a fairytale, in spite of the smiling, kissy-face pictures they put out for the world to see. I found all her letters to him throughout the affair. They were full of insecurity, jealously, her being grateful that he had deigned to notice her, that he was SOOO amazing. She often apologized for little “mistakes” she had made. Talking about how great it would be when he finally divorced me (he took his sweet time and dragged it out for over FOUR YEARS while she hung around waiting). It was really pathetic. And this was when it was supposed to have been the amazing affair that was enough to make both of them discard their marriages for one another.


      I hope that you have been living your best life without that duplicitous man.

      • “Their life was anything but a fairytale, in spite of the smiling, kissy-face pictures they put out for the world to see. ”

        After all they most of them faked a happy marriage with us if we take them at their word that they were “unhappy for ten (20, or 30) years”.

        Because I moved out of state, I only heard bits a peices of their life until years later when my son told me that his dad and the whore had gambled themselves into bankruptcy.

        He drug her out of a trailer park, bought her a house, sold that house a couple years later then began the descent into destruction.

        She is now living on a small SS pension in a trailer park, paying 50 dollars a month on a RV he financed a year before he died. he has been gone for a couple years now.

        My son begged him not to buy the RV because his health was bad and he wouldn’t live long enough to pay it off. His response “what do I care, I will be dead”. Yeah he loved his whore. He never loved anyone but himself.

        He didn’t even leave a pension, as he convinced her to sign away her widows pension, so they could enjoy the money instead.

        He tried to get me to do that too, but I refused. He likely forged my name anyway, if he could get away with it.

        She only worked until about age 38, so her SS is not full.

    • I was married for 35 years to an autogynephilic man who is super-creepy close to his sister (who was always competitive with me and never thought I was good enough for her brother–and neither did he!) and also has a “good guy” image at work (we worked at the same place, and one day another professor who had just learned we were married–we have different last names–said “You’re married to X? You’re SO LUCKY!). He dropped the dual bombs of his belief he was trans and his emotional entanglement with an ex-student at the same time, after we’d been married 32 years. He is now with another woman, who knows only the fraction of the truth about him that he felt he needed to tell her (because he knows I’ve talked to people), and believes him when he says it was “compensatory behavior” (but for what?) and that he “doesn’t need that now” (while to me he said it was a lifelong impulse).

      Autogynephilic men do not change, even if they go through purge or denial cycles. They also learn to compartmentalize to a pathological degree, to keep the compulsion secret. What you experienced was the carefully calibrated above-ground public persona designed to protect the sordid secret sexual basement where he is what he considers his “true self.”

      They are never going to be whole. They are never going to be happy (witness your ex saying he was unhappy with you and after you!). They are never going to be psychologically healthy. He is not going to change for the OW (or next woman) because he is incapable of change.

      I occasionally have the same doubts as you surface, especially now that he’s with another woman, but when they surface (still, although I left him five years ago and it’s four and a half years since divorce) I have learned to repeat “They don’t change” and “Trust that he sucks” until I remember all the things that convinced me those two mantras were true.

    • Blue, he was great when it was easy to be great. At 22, self-sacrificing didn’t actually require much sacrifice. The stakes and stresses are much greater when there are mortgages, mouths to feed, activities to coordinate, aging parents, etc. Life isn’t a party with some classes and part time work in between anymore.

      Some people can talk the talk, but when things start getting real, they cannot walk the walk.

    • My FW is the same. Everybody thinks he’s a great guy. He saved his dark side for me.

      To answer your question, no, he will not change for anyone else. He is who he is. It was never about you. These people just need an emotional punching bag. He might be on good behavior with schmoopie while the honeymoon period lasts, but he’ll start to devolve into his true shitty self when the novelty of a new relationship wears off, which it always does. You can take that to the bank.

  • but it does hurt so much that they suck. especially if you never saw their suckiness before.

  • I don’t know how you all do this. I read this blog often just to keep my confidence from sinking. I live in India where family is everything. If I leave the cheating husband, my daughter and I will become an outcast in all social circles. I have the maturity to deal with it but I dont think my 13 year old daughter has it. It is so complicated here.

    • Hi Nila, is moving overseas an option or somewhere far? He’ll I don’t know what I’m talking about, I can’t even drench up the courage to leave my effn lying cheating husband hugs

  • I cannot re-read this enough. Every. Week. I keep hoping it sticks – hoping I’ll remember to trust that he sucks, but I waver on it so frequently. I hope I get tired of feeling this way soon. Tired of feeling like they are sharing the life I thought we were sharing. Tired of caring about someone who didn’t care enough about me to honor a damn thing. I am so thankful this blog and the book exist for me to refer to. One of these days, I will trust that he sucks.

  • Honestly, I wrote a post, than the dog, the real one, not the STBX, deleted the whole thing with one jump on my laptop!
    Anyway, I am totally new here, found out I was cheated on 2,5 months ago after 10 years of relationship, marriage, 2 kids etc… First I found out myself he had an affair, of which I somehow thought he tripped over her and fell in love. I sent him away, let the OW call me, and told het to f. off because I have 2 kids, one of them his and not ours, and I felt danger the two boys would be separated. Mom lives 500 miles away, boy lives with us. The OW was surprised that we did not have an open relationship, because they met at Tinder and met 4 days a week! I absolutely thought he was busy! I am, we work hard.
    When he came back after I sent him to a retraite camp to sort things out for myself at home, I found out the story was uglier. Why are fellow-women so mean to tell me – in hindsight, nog right away – that they always knew he screwed the waitress and a friend of mine?
    Anyway, he comes back, and to my surprise, tells me he is sorry all is true and he has to tell me even more, in order to keep me from hearing bits and peaces, so he tells me everything and it is terribly bad. He practically screwed around since I got pregnant 8 years ago. Almost the entire relationship. He wants to make it right, takes care of the kids, me, the house everything. He loves me, thinks he has been the biggest fool and if I want to go, he understands, but desperately wants me to give us a chance.
    I know I can make it by myself, I am great, I take care of the kidsand I can provide for myself having my own company. I just am not over him yet. What if he means it and I get to keep the boys together and with me. On the other hand, what if he is all bullshit still and I become this shallow version of me, looking for evidence and clues. I hate him for making problems while we are fine and happy and have healthy and wonderful children. But I feel like I need time to mourn about us, I absolutely loved us, and I am scared for my sons. I am so hurt, and so sad, I just think it is so unfair. I read the differences between remorse and fake, I think he feels remorse, but I feel the deepest repulsion about what he did and feel like screwing that nice 27 year old chasing me for months (off course, never touched him, “whe don’t do that in our marriage”). Superangry!

    • I hope you trust that he sucks. Cheating on you all that time? I don’t see how that can ever be fixed with any kind of remorse. Having a one-sided open relationship, while you mother his child? No. Open relationships can be fine for some, but he didn’t give you the courtesy of telling you it was open so that you could look around for younger and better. Yuck. Stay superangry and stay on this website.

      • Thank you Sarah. My heart has been ripped out again last weekend: found out he has had contact with the latest OW twice last month while I thought we were trying to see if there would be a chance.. So, I took steps towards divorce by sorting out the financial status, and find out that he made a complete mess of his own business account and I am legally accountable for the debt in there of which he did not tell me. Artists! Superangry changed to superscared and angry but my boys need a strong mom, not a shallow version of me. I am filing and if in debt, so be it.. Sort is out from the outside..

        • Grace

          From all the forums I have looked at, it is confirming my opinion that once a Cheater always a Cheater. My WS just admitted that she had seen AP a few times over the last few months since DDay. whilst we were supposed to be working out whether we can reconcile. They just suck – I now trust this fact

          • Hi Real monkey, sadly I needed more time to figure this out. Just this morning he confirmed seeing the AP again. It’s not like I wanted him back for myself, but all the ‘she meant nothing, I am so sorry, I am gonna do what’s best for the kids now’ didn’t mean a thing. Not a word about the effect on our sons. They know he had an affair with her because he told them 10 months ago, the drama master. Boys were 7 and 11 back then and he felt the need to inform them, because he was in so much pain.

            We shared the house, but I kicked him out just now and feel relieved for myself but worried for the boys. The oldest one is my steph-son. He lives with us since he is 2 because his mother had mental health issues (!). His mom lives 400 miles away, he sees her every few weeks. I want the boys to stay together, they love eachother like siamese twins. I want to do whatever is best for them now and just now contacted a family lawyer to see how I should go from here. As for STBX, today he woke up with AP, came to pick up his steph-son at his STBXW to bring him to his XW. I pray I can stay in my stephsons live to guide him and to keep him sane and faboulous like he is. What a shit…

            • Grace, actions speak louder than words. He’s telling you what you want to hear so you don’t enforce consequences for his wretched behavior by leaving. And so far his pretty words have worked to keep you on the hook, but his actions tell a very different story than his mouth. If he’s so sorry, get him to agree to a post-nup that makes him responsible for all the debt he created behind your back. He clearly hasn’t just been lying about other women, he’s been lying about $$ too. Who knows what else he’ll lie to you about.

              As for the stepson, you can ask your lawyer what you can do, but at the end of the day your responsibility is to your bio-son (if only because legally that’s the only little human you have rights to parent once you split). Staying with a terrible lying cheater to facilitate a sibling relationship is not a good enough reason to stay. It’s his dad’s job to facilitate that. If he loses his relationship with his brother, that’s HIS DAD’S FAULT, not yours. Do you want your son to grow up believing it’s ok to lie to and cheat on his partner and the mother of his child(ren)? That’s what staying with his cheater dad teaches him.

  • I just realized something: poor sausage was doomed from the start. His grandfather (father’s father) spent 20+ years in the military moving around all over marrying, making babies, cheating, then leaving his children behind. To my knowledge, he has 6 or 7 children total with about five or six different wives/girlfriends….poor sausage’s father has been with his wife for over 25 years and has had two or three long-term affairs- lived with one in another state, and the others left his wife for them only to come crawling back months later.

    I told STBXH that I would never be his mom- once he cheats, he’s out…nevertheless, this past year has been the longest, mind-fuck, emotional rape that I never imagined…

    It’s only been 48 hours since he left with the last of his shit declaring, “I’ll never make this mistake again!!!” ( he had “come back” to “work things out”- lasted two weeks until I started “picking fights and pushing too hard too fast”) and I see him even more clearly than ever. Fucking asshole…Like grandfather-like-father-like-son.

  • Hi CL

    I think I’m getting to Flaming Dog Turd acceptance. It’s nearly 4 months since DDay and I’ve been through all sorts of feelings, including guilt about may failings (no more), a desire for reconciliation, loving, forgiveness etc. etc. but just then I was thinking about how my WS would be round at the AP’s house at lunchtime screwing him whilst I was at work providing for her and our kids and whilst his wife was also at work and I just thought “WHHHHHAAT!!!, how shitty can you get?” It’s just such shitty behavior from someone you thought loved you that your brain can’t quite comprehend the total shittiness of it. I mean, I don’t know how she ever looks in the mirror anymore. She’s expecting me to wait for her to decide what she wants. No chance. I certainly trust that she sucks. The divorce petition is on the way. I look forward to getting a life.

    • Hi Real Monkey Love,

      The not comprehending their shitiness is hard at times. I am 6 months out from having kicked him out after my GPS showed me he was with AP when he said he was at therapy. I still, months later, have to drive by AP’s house at night to see if he is there. Yup he is. He now lives with her and her 3 kids, while our 2 kids barely want anything to do with his unremorseful ass. I am getting closer to feeling meh. He will suck with her, just as your ex will suck with her new victim. One day they will start to smell the stench that is the Flaming Dog Turd. And we will be kicking back, eating popcorn and enjoying the show!

  • why do I feel so overwhelmingly like I suck. I feel like the crazy ex wife, the Personality Disorder. I’ve bought his line big time because for 24 years he was kind, thoughtful, caring . . . I thought. Then in the last two years he says he was unhappy in the relationship. He says things like, I’ve found it difficult for years living with your anger. I feel unhinged, like I am a truly bad and truly crazy person. He was unhappy in the relationship he says and then fell for a work colleague. They had an “emotional affair” for 15 months before he finally told me about it. And for those 15 months I walked on eggshells, wondering where his love had gone, wondering why he seemed to dislike me all of a sudden, wondering why my pathological fear of abandonment was in overdrive. He says he compartmentalised – he could love me (even though he was unhappy in the relationship) and have a daily rendezvous with the love of his life.
    Now he’s gone after a short and failed attempt at reconciliation with me. He did NC with her but clearly grieved her so badly that his resentment for me grew tenfold.
    I’m two and half months in, I’ve lost 20 kilos since August last year, I’m unwell and on the verge of losing my job. My teen daughter is starting to think I’m crazy too and my adult son can’t bear my pain anymore. Antidepressants are doing me in, I vomit, I shake, I’m broken. I’m 52 and feel like there is no future, no life to look forward to. I really want t let him go but can’t reconcile the lovely man that he was for so long with the emotional wasteland he has become. I feel on the edge of doing something dramatic – an urge to run, escape, reinvent myself. I want the years to pass, I wan to be 5 years down the track. I want this pain and crazy obsessiveness to stop.

    • I understand your post so much. 37 years with my xH. Four days after our 32 wedding anniversary I got a phone call. From OW 1 who was now mad at OW 2 who was edging her out. So she decided to out OW 2 by calling me.

      I don’t know if he ever cheated before. I had no indication in the past he did. We were planning our retirement in 10 years. Just refinanced our home to pay it off faster. Just started a major remodel in our house. I was getting my dream kitchen that I waited 28 years for. Our kids were practically all gone. Two out of the house. The only real disagreement we’d had in years was over our youngest because he is bipolar and has problems and the xH didn’t want to face it. We started to travel, finally getting a chance to enjoy our life more. I supported his business so he didn’t have to have a “real job”. We just had our first grandchild enter our life. Things seemed, well, good. And slam — I get a phone call.

      Then he tried the “she is just a friend” crap. And the “of coarse I love you” crap. But when I said he couldn’t talk to her at all, he was “well I’m not gonna lie, I’ll probably see her again”!!! WTF???

      Then within a week he was gone and never spoke to me again. I literally spent almost every day of my life from the age 16-53 with this man and BOOM — Gone. Lawyers came along. He lied through that. Divorce was final last July. He still hasn’t finished what he was supposed to do. Even my lawyer says he has never dealt with anyone quite like my xH. My son’s are as stunned as I was. Although he was not a good father and they don’t really miss him much. I’m lucky they are so supportive. All three have tried to help me see him for who he really always was; selfish.

      And through it all? I still cry for him. I still think I was the problem. I went to counseling. I have kept my head enough to keep my job. I’ve plowed through a home remodel on my own. I’ve done everything in a timely manner. I’ve been honest. Never once done anything wrong. But yet — I still cry. How long does it take to understand and believe he SUCKS? I mean, some days I get that. Because he does suck. He took OW 2 to our cabin and fucked her in our bed on our 32 wedding anniversary. He SUCKS.

      This man picked up our son from a rehab and took him to a bar. He SUCKS. He talked my son into leaving the rehab early and coming to live with him and the OW and then took him to Mexico with them where he drank for a week, came home sick, packed his bags and landed on my door. He SUCKS. Who does that to their kid who is an alcoholic? Someone who SUCKS.

      And yet – my mind thinks of him every day. Over and over. Of us when we were young and so in love. How do I get rid of that??? When will that stop?

      Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want him back. EVER. I love my dogs way more than this shitty person. And I never never never want to date or ever let a guy get that close to me again. I don’t ever ever EVER want to hurt like that again. But – I sure wish I could go a day, an hour even without thinking of this horrible man and how much pain I am still in.

      When will it truly be my turn to be meh???

      • Dear 37wastedyears, big hugs to you. It will, it just takes time and that’s hard, but believe it. One advice: change your name from 37wastedyears to Iwaswonderfulallthistime or something like that. You loved your man, you raised three beautiful boys, you made a home. He just could not value that because he is an ass. Does not make your love, and all you have done and given less valuable, it was priceless and so are you x

      • You’re early on. Mine was a gray divorce too.

        My ex couldn’t let it go. We had to prepare and threaten a contempt motion three times to keep closeout going, and then his attorney died, so my ex played attorney for a while. It’s been a little less than two years since his last bogus legal flareup, but who knows? My attorney closed the file but said it required just an email to engage him again.

        I still think about my ex some, but I usually cut it short with, “what a jerk, don’t spend time on him.”

      • 37wastedyears- It’s rumination you are experiencing, it will fade. You need to find something for you, exercise, a class, reading is difficult if you still have these thoughts. Binge watch Netflix – something to distract from the thoughts. I repeated positive phrases to push the intrusive thoughts out. Maybe writing the thoughts down then destroying the writings. It takes time. I never thought it would stop for me and now I find myself thinking about my yard, my house, and kids.

    • What you are experiencing (or experiencED – I really hope things have improved for you) isn’t you being crazy and unhinged or sucking. It is a trauma response. You were gaslit and abused and lied to. What you are feeling is perfectly normal (thought it’s horrible, I know).

      I too used to lie in bed shaking. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I lost 30 lb. I was obsessed with “what could I have done differently?”, “why did he do this?”, “what does she have that I don’t”. The answer is IT ISN’T YOU. It’s HIM. You ex is an abusive, lying, cheating asshole. He was never a “lovely man”. He was a man who was pretending to be lovely because it got him what he wanted. When you were no longer of use to him (because he’s found someone else who is easier to dupe and abuse), he had no reason to pretend anymore.

      I understand feeling like there is no life to look forward to. If your husband is anything like mine, they demand that you make them the center of your life and don’t really let you have a life of your own. So when they are gone, you feel like you have nothing.

      It took a long time (3.5 years, for me), but there IS a life, YOUR life, YOUR future. Without someone like him there to tear you down. I am happier now, without him, than I have ever been. Happier even than I was during the “good” part of my marriage, when I thought my life was perfect and wonderful. Because my life is mine now. I truly hope that you have made it through this bleak, painful time and found the wonderful joy and freedom on the other side.

      • “If your husband is anything like mine, they demand that you make them the center of your life and don’t really let you have a life of your own. So when they are gone, you feel like you have nothing.”

        So true ISawTheLight! I had become such a shell of who I once was because I had to make my needs smaller and smaller to accommodate his demands. Of course without him being able or willing to make the same sacrifices for me. Been divorced 3 years now, and it’s so good to feel so much more like myself again.

        For the newer chumps here, sometimes you have to do a little work to train your brain not to ruminate so much. That rumination can really keep you stuck. Journal your feelings so you can process them but don’t just sit and think about the same thing over and over again. Driving was where I would trip up the most. So many songs could trigger so many feelings and memories. I got into audiobooks. Really gave my brain something “new” to focus on which helped so much. I used Libby and Hoopla to listen to them for free from my local library. Sometimes I listened to self-help, sometimes fiction or memoirs. Other times, if I didn’t have my book on, and found myself ruminating, I had to force myself to think of something else. I’d snap a rubber band on my wrist and make myself think about the weather, the latest news stories, what kind of dog I might like to get someday. Carve new pathways in your brain, and force the old thought patterns that led to your ex atrophy and shrivel up. Is it challenging & tiring sometimes? Yes, but it does work.

        • ” a shell of who I once was ” is the perfect way to describe it. I was a vibrant, happy, interesting, independent person when I met my ex. Over the years I lost everything that made me “me”, because he criticized, insulted, demeaned, and cajoled me into become what HE wanted me to be (a carbon copy of him and his interests). I didn’t even know who I was when he left me. I remember the first day I didn’t have my son and I was sitting on my bed (in my mom’s spare room where I was living), and I had NO IDEA what to do. What did I like to do? How did I like to spend my time? What did I like to eat/watch/read? I had no idea. My whole life had been him, him, him. What will make him happy? What would he think of what I am doing? What can I do/buy/make him to stave off his anger?

          I had to go WAAY back to my teenage years to rediscover myself and slowly rebuild. I thought about some books I got from the library repeatedly as a teen, and I thought “I remember liking THOSE” so I went on Amazon and bought used copies (they were all out of print), and read them (actually just looked at the pictures at first – they were decorating/gardening books with lots of lovely pictures, and that was all I could manage mentally). That was step one.

          Now I feel myself again. I’ve rediscovered my old hobbies and added new ones. I’ve rekindled friendships with people FW didn’t like and tried to isolate me from. I do things for myself now. I dress how I want. I stopped wearing makeup. I don’t feel pressured to be skinny. I listen to the music I enjoy (FW laughed at me for what I liked). I reread favorite books over and over (FW would get so angry if I read the same book more than once). No one is insisting I watch horror movies (FW loved them) or getting mad when I watch period dramas. My thoughts aren’t preoccupied with pleasing someone else, or keeping his emotions in check. I don’t have to live in fear, walking on eggshells. No one is stalking me. I rarely have PTSD episodes anymore (FW died, and that really helped, as he is GONE from my life). I have more time, energy, and money than ever. My health has improved dramatically. I finally got a cat (FW was “allergic”, but I think he just hated that cats are independent and not slavishly devoted like dogs; though my kitty LOVES to be cuddled and is very insistent on it). I bought a HOUSE for myself and my son, with LAND, and am planting trees and a garden and decorating everything just the way I like it. I love being single.

          I could never have dreamed my life would be this good. Certainly not when I was a puddle on the floor wondering what I’d done to make him abandon me for, frankly, a horribly immature and stupid girl.

          If new chumps are struggling to imagine their life as a single person without their spouse/”partner” (we all know they arent’ really partners), know this – IT IS SO MUCH BETTER. You can’t imagine how much better.

    • “He says things like, I’ve found it difficult for years living with your anger. I feel unhinged, like I am a truly bad and truly crazy person. He was unhappy in the relationship he says and then fell for a work colleague. They had an “emotional affair” for 15 months before he finally told me about it.” I hope you realise what utter bullshit this narrative is, that he is spinning to justify his behaviour, saying you were angry and that drove him away. Acting like he was all reasonable, longsuffering and loving and you drove him away. It’s not true, he just can’t say, I met someone who massaged my ego, made me feel like a teenager again because I’m, emotionally immature, and instead of leaning into my relationship with you, I chose to rewrite the story to make it your fault, because who can live with themselves if they are willing to be that shallow and self-serving, and of course I know people will tell me an asshole if I admit the truth. And if you were angry little mozzie, looking back I think you’ll probably find you got frustrated and resentful because a part of knew he wasn’t pulling his weight, or was acting deliberately confused of incompetent, as if he was going, “this is the best I can do, and you are being mean if you expect more from me, for me to rise to the occasion, and make an effort, as much as you do.” Don’t see them as the romance of the century, he’s just emotionally inadequate and hooked up with someone else with low standards and shitty life skills who would allow him to indulge himself in his juvenile fantasy world where everything is easy with no responsibilities. I get that you’re in the shock stage, it’s all very new, and the cognitive dissonance is acute. Having your reality shattered so completely will bend your mind, have you had someone professional to talk to, to sort out your thoughts and feelings? I understand, sometimes I just wished I could go to sleep and wake up in a couple of years, when the pain had past and things were better. The pain is incredible, but it is finite. You can do this, and I think if you take a careful look at what you’ve been doing in your life, you’ll see that you’ve been doing a lot of it solo anyway for a while. Get those lawyers working to secure the financial side of things, but you’ll probably find little else changes as you’ve been doing it all already. You are incredibly strong, have faith in yourself that you can do it.

      • “Don’t see them as the romance of the century, he’s just emotionally inadequate and hooked up with someone else with low standards and shitty life skills who would allow him to indulge himself in his juvenile fantasy world where everything is easy with no responsibilities.”

        HAHA. This is a PERFECT description. Your whole comment is spot on.

  • Trust that they all suck! I cant add much to except to say that my ex husband sucks in the choicest of places like open air car parks, local dogging spots and Sand dunes and wetlands equipped with a flask of lukewarm coffee kitchen roll and binoculars # Dirtylyingcheapskatesucker

  • It’s really important to list the negative traits of your ex, as well as, all the times that they treated you badly… so when you start reminiscing fondly of them or your life together – that you have this list that reminds you it was not all roses.

    • I did this and it really helped. I also listed his ugly physical traits that I overlooked. He has so many ailments, and is truly ugly AF.

    • This, i made a list in notes on my phone, and every time I started to feel nostalgic or doubt my decisions I’d read it. There’s some really shocking items there, and it always reaffirms my commitment to my own wellbeing by reminding me, “what kind of human being would do those things to another person?”

      • I could have written this, Stig. My list is up to nearly 100 items and I honestly wouldn’t ever share it with a soul, it’s so demeaning and embarrassing that I allowed him to get away with mistreating me so badly for so long.

        I also have a “ways in which my life is so much better alone” list on my phone, for a more positive slant.

        • Ooh that is a good idea, I must do a ‘way’s it’s better’ list. Thanks

      • I wrote down every horrible name and epithet he called me (on a regular basis) in a note on my phone. Seeing it in plain letters really showed me just how awful my life had been. I’d become so numb to it. I think most people would be horrified. No one should ever speak to their spouse like that (or anyone, really). It was pages and pages of the most disgusting things. It really kills any sentimentality when you read that stuff over.

  • I love these classics! There does seem to be common thought patterns after Dday. One that defies logic is something along the lines of: “X and AP are over there living their best lives while I’m over here suffering.” I thought that a lot in the first year or two and it took time to see that there was no way they were living anything that I would label a “best life.” By definition, a 50-year old man who destroys his otherwise wonderful 25 year marriage, devastates his children to the point they develop anxiety, depression, and attempt suicide, leaves his community, gives up everything that matters to live the life of a 22 year old — sleeping on a mattress on the floor of a studio apartment with a woman who is almost his daughter’s age and was living in her dad’s basement ….. that is NOT my idea of a “best life.” But at first I kept thinking about how they went on trips, didn’t do any parenting, had no housework, yard work, etc etc etc. it took about 3 years after the divorce to finally stop those thoughts.

    • I was slow too. I was separated long-distance for well over a year until I got that my best life might be living in someone’s basement with the college kids and the dog while he did whatever with whomever. He lived by the coast in a gated community with paid yard service, supposedly in a house he picked for us, but I didn’t quite believe that. He had female friends and was vague about how he spent his time. He was retired, so I didn’t believe he spent the whole time walking on the beach. I also knew the college kids would not quit specialized programs to be with Dad. He said we’d buy the house of my dreams and travel if we got back together. I managed our finances and wondered where all the money would come from for that. Not from what we had, for sure.

      So, I parented through our children’s rebellion and mental health issues alone while he had fun. I worked three jobs, went back to school, and researched divorce law. He initiated it, and I had to agree. I was ready. Both kids got through the worst of it and graduated from college debt-free. They are both valued employees and are advancing in their careers. And I’m fine financially, finally winding down work to just one part-time job.

    • My god…they are all such EPIC losers!! Good riddance, fuckers.

      • After the high-conflict mess, my attorney said at signing, “I hope you know that he didn’t deserve you. Not a bit.”

    • My ex is in his 50s and finally graduated college 5 years ago (not due to any hardship, just 30 years of fucking around).

      Since then, he’s tried 3 different careers, can’t find stable work, and continues to drive for Uber despite his wife begging him to get an office job because they needed the money and health insurance.

      I went on one of those people finder sites a few years ago and looked up Fuckwit. Surprise, surprise, he had dozens of traffic violations and liens going back to the 90s. Even had a forced eviction in the last few years.

      I laughed at the list at first, until it just KEPT GOING and suddenly it wasn’t funny anymore. How did I not see this level of dysfunction? How can anybody be this stupid and irresponsible?

      Like many people, I once fell for the idea that infidelity is just a horrible mistake. Now I see it as just one symptom of a greater underlying problem. These people are disordered losers and the truly crazy thing is, they don’t see it. My ex sincerely believes he’s brilliant and doesn’t notice people roll their eyes whenever he opens his mouth.

  • As I read this classic and knowing that I’m nearly 8 years out since DDay and fully divorced for 7 (I’m completely in the “gained a Life” phase and at meh), I paused to remember what it felt like in the throes of the trauma. Unfortunately I didn’t find Chump Lady until I was already free of the FW, but I know that while I was struggling through it, reading to “trust that they suck” would have not been completely able to penetrate my grieving brain. It’s so hard, right? You remember the good times. And you miss them and may still be in love. Meanwhile FWs completely discarded you and left you floundering… and all you can do is imagine how AP is reaping all the benefits. You are sad. You are frustrated. You feel in your soul that they need to fail…. so that FW can feel the pain… so that AP feels the pain… and to prove that FW is the problem. Otherwise you’ll feel like a failure, right?

    But the further you can get away from a FW — with TIME — the more you can see how they still suck. My therapist gave me great advice on this. She said “FW never got therapy. So all the crazy you’re dealing with.. It’s still there. He doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with him, so he is destined to repeat it.” That’s very much a “trust that they suck.”

    And she said “Just sit back and watch the dead bodies float by” — meaning that I wouldn’t have to do anything… FW sucks and will continue to fuck things up. And sure enough she was right… I got to hear from FWs boss what a piece of shit FW is (when I ran into the guy by chance walking through a parking lot). I got to hear from FW’s sisters in law what a shitty guy he is and how much they hate AP (this was several years later — they finally reached out to me). And I watched AP freak out and become abusive to our son and son no longer trusts or likes either of them —- he continues a light relationship only with his dad. AP really blew it. And FW sided with her over his own son.

    FW got a ridiculously high paying job. He never had money with me. And when I told others about it they screamed “It’s not fair! How did he get it?” But I know he sucks so I didn’t care. He could make millions every day and fuck it up. I know he’s a shit human and eventually it would come out. And sure enough… FW has been let go from that job too.

    FW bragged about taking AP on trips we would never go on… like Paris. My son was devastated that his dad was going to Paris with AP and not him… until I reminded him “everywhere your dad goes, there he is.” My son laughed because his dad is MISERABLE on trips. And FW hates the French. I’m sure Paris was a shit show of a trip 😂

    So no matter what part of your journey you are on, know that TIME is a big part of this. Eventually you will look back and not only trust that FW sucks… You will be grateful FW is gone and fully at meh. Happy Tuesday

    • I agree. Whatever he showered on whomever, I was fine being below the poverty line for several years until things got settled. I had a nest egg and wasn’t eligible for public assistance, but we managed.

      Our mutual therapist said my ex would likely repeat the game multiple times, thinking it would make him feel better, but it wouldn’t. He’s smooth and likes to throw money around, making him attractive to certain types.

      Yes, grateful to be in my own chapter of life.

    • “‘Just sit back and watch the dead bodies float by’ — meaning that I wouldn’t have to do anything… ”

      I didn’t have to lift a finger either. Even before FW and AP broke up, I got to see other evidence that his life wasn’t going well – such as getting a call from our insurance broker (at this point we had separte policies, but FW still used my broker because I doubt he knew how to find a new one). The broker was trying to reach FW and couldn’t get ahold of him, because FW’s insurance had dropped him. Too many speeding tickets and accidents. I’d been on FW’s case our entire marriage, trying to get him to SLOW THE F DOWN and be more careful, because we ended up paying thousands in speeding tickets, traffic lawyers, remedial driving classes, and car repairs due to his erratic (entitled) driving. Our insurance premiums doubled. There was something very satisfying about the fact the FW continued this trend after we split (I also remember when OW took FW to New York for his birthday – while denying there was an affair of course, they were just friends – and FW ended up getting a $500 speeding fine, which I had to help pay; I still sometimes feel like billing OW for that), and his insurance dropped him, which means that he had to settle for whatever predatory company would cover him and pay accordingly. Meanwhile my insurance payment is low every month and my driving record is excellent.

      • My FW had 4 licence suspensions for DUIs here in France (should have had many more) and eventually they cancelled his licence, which meant he would have had to retake his test AND pass the code in French (he knew he couldn’t do it). Before they took his licence we spent THOUSANDS repairing other people’s cars and his, paying fines etc. After suspension no. 3 his insurance dropped him and when he eventually got his licence back he had to go with catastrophic insurance – which cost over €500 per MONTH! Frankly it was a good thing when they eventually cancelled his insurance and that, in my opinion, is why he went back to the States because his US licence was still valid!

        • FW had his licence suspended at one point (hence the remedial class and the lawyer). I’m truly shocked he never got a DUI, as he drove while intoxicated many, many, many times. Of course all the accidents were always the other person’s fault (even when my ex made an illegal U-turn across three lanes of traffic rather than, you know, wait until the next intersection and do it properly). It was scary to be in the car with him (even leaving aside the way he’d verbally abuse me in the car because I was a captive audience) because of how he drove, and if I showed any fear or dared to comment, he’d scream at me.

    • Oh Michelle, this hit home “My son was devastated that his dad was going to Paris with AP and not him… until I reminded him “everywhere your dad goes, there he is.” My son laughed because his dad is MISERABLE on trips. ”
      I am in the early days, and it isn’t guaranteed that his long distance AP will even end up moving here to be with him. Heck, all things considered it is more likely that she WON’T than that she will. But I am a worrier by nature, so one of the things that had previously really had me stressed was that he would be able to take our kid on vacays with the AP. My finances will be really strapped…so that won’t be something I am able to do and the idea of that particular shit sandwich just really got to me. But then I remembered the very few times we have gone away and how unpleasant it is to travel with him. He is just a big grouchy ball of negativity and stress the entire time while there, and all the pre-work is all on me. And I realized, as you said “where he goes, there he is.” She can have him. I’ll enjoy inexpensive day trips with my kiddo.

  • Perfect timing for this post! I’m visiting all my kids in Las Vegas and asked my oldest if he thought his dad was happy now. My son said “yes, he loves it when no one cares for him and worries about him”. I guess he felt he had too much responsibilities loving a wife and his three kids. All I could say is how sad is that. I am so fortunate to be out of that situation. I can’t imagine how my kids feel other than “they deserve better”. Honestly wish it was different. At least I can be there for them like and love them like they deserve!

  • Yes, it’s very hard to figure out. Mine was a gray divorce, and I’m truly a perpetually hopeful and positive person. My attorney said that I had to put away “nice Elsie” when it came to the divorce, and then I could become myself again when all the legal drama truly ended. My attorney sometimes talked like a therapist and called me on my spackle. My ex being who he was, it took a while, but once the divorce was final, I had no problem being all business with my ex. He wanted more blame-and-game including side deals, and I wasn’t up for it.

    I have such a wonderful red-flag meter now, though. I go to a twelve-step group, and there are scads of them there. Thankfully, I was warned and hone my spidey-sense about that sort of thing there. Why on earth would I would to start over again with someone playing such stupid games?

  • Trusting that they suck is key to healing. I knew from DDay2 (yep did some dancing at DDay1 and even went to RIC for six weeks). When DDay2 hit (he did not give up Schmoopie, he just want further underground) I knew without question that he sucked. Fortunately, FW wasn’t the brightest light on the porch and I was able to gather evidence of what he had done (my son found FWs home made porn with Schmoopie in his shared photo account)! I was able to trace the majority of money he spent on Schmoopie and secondary Schmoopies. I got a good lawyer and happily I am in a fault state so we went with adultery. I knew the whole time that he sucked. During our judicial settlement conference, I found that the cheating itself was not the important part but the fact that he spent money (and a lot of it on affairs) got me an excellent settlement! After fighting me for 18 months he folded when the retired judge gave him the opinion of what would happen in court if he did not settle. FW signed the paperwork very quickly and started paying. Just about three months ago when he made his last payouts of retirement and investments to me, I got the much anticipated “You are the Most Awful Person” email from FW. It was followed by a second email a week later and stopped by my lawyer after that. I found the emails so amusing that I invited my girlfriends over and with some wine and snacks, we laughed the night away. His attempts to try to get a response from me or to tear me down failed. Instead, I was just laughing because I no longer cared what he thought about me (it was mostly projection, criticism about my looks, weight and how vanilla I was in bed).
    Looking back, it hurt like hell at the start but then once I realized he just sucked, I began to heal. I had really bad times in the early days. The odd thing is right after I filed and FW was out of the house, I got one of those calls from work about emergency contacts and the social information. I vomited my whole story out and probably was pretty crazy on the phone with this poor man. Just three months ago, I ran into him as I was doing a research project at work and I apologized profusely and turned varying shades of red. Even after that, he actually asked me out!!!!! He is a chump as well (how chumps find each other is still amazing, I have several really wonderful chump friends). We have been dating since. The relationship is so different because I am experiencing reciprocity. It is fabulous when this happens, and I am amazed. We are taking it very slow and it is pretty darn good. I can’t be certain how this will evolve but I am willing to enjoy his company and that is a big bit of progress (at least for me). I think that I may even be able to trust again.
    I guess the moral of the story is that once you trust that they suck, you can move on and get rid of that cheater and then take back your life and live it as you want. I still think about the early days and how awful that was but once I saw CL’s word TRUST THAT HE SUCKS!!! and came to CN and heard TRUST THAT HE SUCKS I began to do that. It made the difference for me. Thanks CL and CN! Chumps can all be MIGHTY!!!!!

    • What a wonderful story, CFANM! Thanks for sharing. I’m 15 months out from dday1, and I’m slowly gaining a life. Still waiting to see what amazing things life has in store, without FUCKFACE’s deadweight in my life.

    • I love the war council party and the happy chump-meets-chump event. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is a timely post for me.
    Sadly, I forgot to trust FW sucks because I was focused on being kind and doing the right thing. The backstory is that last week my dog got sick. She seemed to be getting better, but then had a sudden, severe downturn. The vet suspected liver cancer. She died Sunday night. I let FW come with me to say goodbye, as she was his dog too and he did care about her. His feelings for dogs are pretty much the only genuine tenderness he can muster up. So I felt I should give him that opportunity. After it was all over, he used the fact that he was upset about her death as am excuse to berate me about something. I tore a strip off him, and it must have stung, because he sent an apology text in the morning. Too little and too late. That was the kick in the pants I needed to realize he is more disordered than ever and he should be nowhere near anyone at a vulnerable time. I am immune to his bullshit, so it didn’t make me feel worse. I was just outraged on principle and on behalf of my daughter, who is very upset with him. I did not answer his text and have no plans to speak to him now or in the future. When our other dog’s time comes I certainly won’t invite him along to say goodbye. The vet can probably arrange for him to do it on his own.
    I am now trusting there is no situation in which he will not suck, that there are no limits to his shittiness.

    RIP my sweet girl. 💜 Forever in my heart.

    • so sorry about your sweet dog, and that your daughter was upset. I”m glad, in a way, that you gave the FW another chance to try to show he is human… of course he failed, but you did a good thing anyway, because you’re a good human. He isn’t.

    • So sorry for your loss, OHFFS! Peace and condolences to you.
      I’ve experienced losing dogs a few times now myself and it’s never an easy thing to get through. They get so deep into our hearts, they are just pure love!
      Can’t imagine adding my FW to that stressful event, that’s trauma with a cherry on top!
      If I were you, i’d def would not text that guy any longer. I can barely stand the emails, I couldn’t manage the anxiety of texts.I maybe email a few times a year with business issues and that’s almost too much for me. I stay out of any personal conversations and ignore questions that he tries to steer me towards. We still have a house to work out between us, but when that is decided upon, I will shut down the email too. Because……..
      HE SUCKS!!!

    • So sorry about your pet! As far as your ex’s spoilerism, it seems to be some kind of FW ritual. If it’s the worst thing to do or say at the worst moment to do or say it, they’re gonna do or say it. At least you’ll never have a single pang over excluding him again.

  • I like to see these old posts with a refreshed reminder to-
    TRUST THAT THEY SUCK!! I hope the old posters have gotten to peaceful places in their lives, just want the happy endings for others.
    I think I would weaken and break no contact and “ be the bigger person” if I wasn’t reminded over and over here that he doesn’t deserve to have me in his life and I need to hold that stance firm. I’m still angry as hell at him for blowing up our family, but I do pity him for his choices too.
    It’s been five years. He’s become the poor widdle sad victim in his mind now. He sees me as turning his three adult children against him. Acts shocked in emails that he hasn’t been able to see them any holidays because they would rather be with their mother. ( go figure 🤷‍♀️)
    What does he expect from me? Force my kids to want to spend time with him and the two year Schmoopie wife?! They don’t. I won’t.
    I think he is just really pissed off that it didn’t turn out according to his envisioned plan for all of us ( he’d leave is wife that loved him after 38 years of marriage and barely even talk to his kids and somehow everyone would come around eventually and see it as he sees it, just one of those things in life we have to swallow)
    Which is…….. hey, life is short after all, let’s just get over it and move on, shall we ?!
    No, FW, we don’t agree with your assessment of the situation and we don’t want to swallow one morsel of your shit sandwiches you’re peddling.
    You betrayed your family for decades and now that they know it, they can’t just brush it off as easily as you have. They have souls!
    I refuse to be the mediator between him and his kids anymore, I’ve done that all their lives.
    Oh, your father didn’t mean to be such a flaming a-hole kids, it’s just that work is too stressful for him, his mom has cancer, his dad just died, he has heart disease, a midlife crisis, FOO issues, maybe he’s bipolar?, the stroke probably fried his brain, he’s a genius level artist and we all know they are a bit strange and unpredictable anyway, he is depressed and it shows up as anger, he’s Italian, the outbursts are genetic and on and on we go.
    But there simply is no legitimate excuse for being a prick your whole life that holds up anymore for us. He’s used all his stop being a shithead cards and you don’t get to start a new deck, shithead.
    If he wants a relationship with his kids, he’ll have to manage that all on his own, and they go way deeper than his superficial fluff life, they are waaaayyyyyy better people than he is.
    My youngest son made a comment the other day about how it hurts to see that his dad has no genuine depth to him or spirituality and it makes it difficult to relate to him as much as he wishes he could.
    We aren’t talking about religious spirituality here, but more the inner goodness that you hope lives in people, their spiritual essence. Their father is hollow when it comes to this trait, as shallow as you can possibly get I guess.
    He’s pretty annoyed with them ( the kids) now and thinks he DESERVES their respect as their father. He believes he’s earned it just from being their father, like blind respect or something.
    I’d say even God’s meaning of ‘ Honor thy mother and father’ meant honor them IF they deserve to be honored. Their father has not earned that right by his crappy actions through his life. That’s on him. They do not owe him respect for providing sperm.
    We do all trust that he sucks, so it becomes helpful with any interactions to remember this.
    But it sure doesn’t make it any less painful to deal with.
    It truly sucks that they all suck so sucktacularly!

    • Yes, you are so right. Your kids have the right idea! My son is 27 and, in the Navy, and is NC with the FW. Of course, that is my fault that the son is NC. I don’t care what FW thinks his relationship with his son should be because it is not mine to handle. In the early days, FW tried to lay everything on me and how my son is closer to me and I should mend that. No thanks, the kid is grown man and makes his own decisions. My son has told me that he doesn’t want to bother with FW because he neither trusts or respects him. That is 100% his choice and I respect him for it and should he ever change his mind then I will accept that too. FW just can’t accept people for who they are and thinks they should all dance to his tune. Yep, they suck!

    • Chumpasauraus, my ex was just like yours. He was so entitled that after the divorce he wanted me and his adult kids to go to counseling with him so that he could fix his relationship with his kids. After being married to him for 25 years, there was no way I was going to spend another second of my time helping him. And still the ex blames me that his kids are no contact with him.

      • Snapoutofit,
        Same! FW tried to force me into counseling with him to fix his relationship with our son. And he expected me to pay half his therapy too. I laughed at him and his flying monkey therapist. Even his lawyer tried to force it. Nope. How is it my responsibility to sit through therapy with FW to help him with his son?? WTF? FW is an abusive prick. I told his lawyer and his therapist that every coparenting coordinator said FW was deficient as a father and he needed therapy and “parenting lessons”… but that wasn’t MY responsibility and I wasn’t wasting my time and money on HIS therapy. And of course they couldn’t enforce it. Thank goodness

  • The best salesmen and charlatans excel at creating an air of exclusivity. I have something very special to offer you. Are you elite enough to be worthy?

    Being a chump translates across all areas of our life is terms of….. Warning – Dangerous Person Alert.

    Bernie Madoff, one of the most vicious con men of our times, framed his “Investment Club” as so elite and privileged that he routinely rejected big names. Titans of show biz and business would come, hat in hand and beg to join the Club that had 18% plus returns for 30 years. Madoff would reject them with an air of sadness and hope. One day…they could join. Dwell on the ironic horror of this- begging the thief to steal your money.

    People lost their entire life saving, their homes to this guy.

    Kevin Bacon and his wife lost so much money that Bacon revealed how if his wife had not take the show, The Closer, they would have (gasp!) been forced to live like us peasants. Hence his hawking of dead pig for Jimmy Dean.

    But the unwashed masses do not have million dollar media contracts at their fingertips to out run bad decisions.

    There was one lone voice…much like Chump Lady…shouting out into the abyss: This makes no sense! His name is Harry Markopolos. Markopolos obtained a copy of Madoff’s revenue stream and almost immediately spotted a problem: the return stream rose almost steadily, with very few down months – something that never happens in the real world of volatile markets.

    He wrote the SEC, the FBI, other regulatory agencies and he was, for a decade…derided, ridiculed, defamed and ignored. And then the bomb dropped…only because Madoff decided to do so….it was all a hoax. A pyramid scheme to make a Nigerian Prince emailer be ashamed. The only money was the other “club member’s” money.

    What do we take away? This: you are too brilliant/amazing/sexy/smart/edgy/hip/based for me? I have to dance like a monkey with a hedgehog on my head to please you?

    Agreed. I need to you get far far away from you. Don’t text.

    • I saw the documentary, that guy was amazing. The YEARS of frustration he must’ve felt. And despair! And finally vindication. But if the SEC had listened, so many would’ve been spared. It’s absolutely shameful how institutions failed us. One sociopath and a LOT of enablers.

      • Yes! He was so brave. 😻

        Before I watched the documentary, I did not believe his sons did not know. After watching it, I am not so sure. They were down on the “legitimate” floor, actually trading stocks. And now they are both dead- suicide and cancer- deaths of stress.

        But, the wife? I think she knew.

        What do you think?🧐

  • I remember one conversation that should have hit me like a 2×4 but didn’t till much later. He was trying to tell me why he had cheated, when he knew he would probably get caught, and how I felt about cheating. This was the last EX. He knew the former EX had cheated, and that was what ultimately ended the marriage. He said he wanted more of my attention, and he thought I would fight for him and his love. Seriously. You know how to start a fire, but you want a bigger fire, so you pour gasoline on it. Then your house catches on fire, then you are homeless, because you have no insurance. Good plan, mate!

    I flat out told him, early on, this was a “one strike and you are out issue.” But you see, he was special, and needy, and I was so good to him he wanted more of me, so he cheated. When you untangle the skein, buy plenty of headache meds. Their word salad causes a headache like no other. Don’t waste your time with logic. Accept they suck!

  • Cheaters break up families and devastate children. They hurt kids, willingly and without care. Because they deserve the kibbles and high of cheating. Of course they suck! If their family wasn’t there for you and embraced the co- abuser, then yes, of course they suck too. Charming people can really suck too.
    Thx CL!

  • I know that “they’re all good and a bag of chips” is not meant literally. But now I think I would like a bag of chips.

  • “Adult love comes with conditions — conditions like your partner should not act in ways to actively harm you. Conditions like mutuality and respect. It’s okay to have deal breakers” This! I have said many things about this subject…1) the only unconditional love I know of is that of a parent and child and a dog and it’s owner 2) in relationships love is on the list but not necessarily at the top of the list, respect trumps all, 3) without boundaries and deal breakers we aren’t in a relationship we’re in an abusive situation 4) never knock your ego as it is the governor of your boundaries and deal breakers… I can talk about this for a very long time but it only breaks my heart further

  • My Evil Ex was decades ago. But I can still feel how his put downs shaped my choices in life. It’s a waste of time to ruminate, but I think that maybe those memories are coming up when I spackle for my mother. They were ridiculously alike. Not in cheating, but in envy, in rage, and in sabotage. I can’t seem to trust that my mother sucks. But as I start a new creative career that I never trusted myself to try before… Memories of her (then him) keep coming up like a badly digested meal.

    My mother used to say that I’d never succeed in college or in life. That he was the best I could do. Of course she never did it in front of others, and told me that I imagined it. She’d do it when I felt demolished or particularly happy. Of course, she had had a hard life and reason to envy me. I was supported through college where her father & husband blocked her. Also, I wince at some things I did as a teenager, and also some of my attitudes then. Still, seeing that destructive narc pattern is helping me disregard some deeply felt things. I keep thinking that I can support my family-of-origin, without sharing my vulnerabilities. #thoughts

    • I’m sorry you had to go through this….know that you are mighty

      • Thank you NYN. Sometimes I want to ask commenters here about hopium for parents. I couldn’t care less about Evil Ex. Figuring him out was a lot easier. But the parental stuff feels so much primal, or even beyond feeling. SMH

    • Daughter of narc mother (maybe a psychopath?) I relate to your post. Her abuse, which continues to this day, left lifelong marks….

    • Sounds familiar

      We often marry a copy of our worst parent it seems

      Jealousy does seem to be the root of a lot of shtty behaviour

  • After a few years of healing, I am able to remember/understand how flawed he was. If I wanted him to understand why his comment or belief was biased or cruel, I had to ask him how he would feel if his daughter (from his first marriage) was treated that way. He never could empathize unless it was regarding his own blood. I just came to expect that he wouldn’t participate in a nuanced conversation about ethical behavior. By the way, his daughter was allowed to be late or MIA, to take money set aside for college, to “take” her cousin’s boyfriend without consequence.

  • Last night my 6-year old was talking to me about cyber-security and changing his password, etc. etc. I said, “this is great that you’re learning this bud, are you learning computers at school?” His response was, “No mama, Daddy googled himself to find what was online and he taught me.”

    (SMH) Does the fuckwit really need to teach my 6-year old how he manages his image online?! He is covering his tracks from something again …

    Trust they suck indeed!

  • I’m a bit on the fence regarding skein untangling. When I did victim advocacy, we couldn’t really stop people from wondering why abusers abuse but we could at least help steer the untangling away from dangerous pop-psych apologism that peddles victim-blaming/split-blame theories and urges victims to “fix” abusers which typically requires a perverse amount of minimization of abuse in order to cast abusers as “redeemable.” The latter is the default information that the culture is drenched in and which is stuffed down people’s throats from every corner so we’d try to promote alternative views as antidotes. Pardon the mixed metaphors but, kind of like how keeping calcium reserves high can reduce the body’s tendency to absorb heavy metals from the environment, we’d offer the skein-untangling “combs” of cutting edge, peer-reviewed, non-victim-blaming research on domestic batterers and, because the research tends to overlap, studies on serial rapists and serial killers. The hard statistics on domestic abusers (97% recidivism even with therapy and jail) are hopium-free and can act as hopium antitoxin.

    The way most survivors reacted to reality-based information on abuser psychology and tactics flew in the face of the usual victim-blaming theories that domestic abuse victims are all codependent and either “seek out” or “draw in” abuse on Voodoo tractor beams. If the victim-blamey theory were true, then, if given the option of A) absorbing information that minimizes abuse and casts abusers as fixable sad sausages; or B) absorbing information that casts abusers as intractably dangerous and unfixable, then victims would always veer towards option “A”– hopium-peddling theories which encourage victims to stay in these relationships. But that’s not what happened. Given the option, most people were intensely, excitedly drawn to “B.” I think it effected people’s actions.

    The problem is that most people are only exposed to “A” type information. Because of this, I totally agree that people in the process of emerging from abuse who, if they try to figure out why their abusers abused them, are at very high risk of running into the yawning trap of RIC-style apologias and deadly disinformation, which is the most pervasive and turns up first on any web search. That coupled with the understandable captor-bonding tendencies of recently traumatized victims can lead to further entrapment. And even if someone is working from good data and solid theories in the “B” category, it would be a mistake to think that absorbing these things will lead to an instant sense of closure and a mistake to wait for that sense of closure before escaping abuse. Any way you slice it, most survivors are going to have to make a leap of faith and “trust they (abusers) suck” on their way out because, for normal people, captor bonding takes its own time to loosen its grip. That’s because captor bonding isn’t an intellectual process but a lizard-brain survival mechanism and can’t be wholly undone by intellectual exercises, at least not in the short term. Only when someone feels completely safe will it completely dislodge. Over time we can train our brains to be more defensive but I suspect hardly anyone feels fully “ready” to escape abuse.

    Once out and completely safe, skein-untangling– at least the reality-based kind that uproots victim-blaming lore and pragmatically exposes the recognizable tactics and disguises used by abusers– can help with fixing pickers, help to boost the immunity of children against getting entrapped themselves and help in getting rid of implanted, residual false shame over having been subjected to abuse. It’s sort of funny that cutting edge humanist research usually only ends up confirming what common sense and folk wisdom have already argued. But there’s one good argument for combing over the “social science” skein: because most of the toxic bs is spewed in sciency-sounding language, sometimes fire has to be fought with fire. In an era when laws and policies might be based on cellular or social science, it’s really a given that a degree of science literacy is necessary even to participate in democracy. And, bonus, it helps block retraumatization when your brain can take apart the sciency-bs faster than it can sink into your nervous system. It helps maintain your sense that evil doesn’t “win” when you know that smarter, more accomplished people than the sciency-sounding bs-peddlers have already wiped their feet on the crap arguments. It’s generally good for stress reduction.

    It’s worth mentioning that I worked as an advocate before dealing with a FW so it obviously didn’t completely protect me, which added an extra level of “I shoulda known better” embarrassment. But, again, abstract data alone isn’t a bulletproof shield. Plus back when I was learning these things, all the information on DV was geared towards overt violence. It wasn’t a fine enough filter. The fact that even people who are trained in spotting the signs of DV were typically missing all the less blatant and more common cues of coercion and control has led to a worldwide movement to educate the public and add coercive control statutes to DV policies and legislation.

    So here I am, playing catch-up like everyone else. I’m finding it fascinating, especially because the domestic abuse skein isn’t the only one I untangle. The new information I’m dredging up on coercive control is filling in gaps regarding a lot of other things like corporate and political corruption and repression, inequality, environmental abuse, human trafficking, history, anthropology, sociology, etc., etc., etc. My kids are totally into these discussions and get so excited they start jumping up and down and shouting over each other. No surprise since, like some environmentalist whose name I forget once said, “Facts tend to cluster around a good theory.” It’s sort of a brain party when this happens. A lot of facts– even seemingly unrelated ones– cluster around the concept of coercive control (including cheating) being part and parcel with intimate partner violence which relates to all forms of repression and social control throughout history. Clarity– even regarding dark subject matter– is a light in the darkness.

    • “The hard statistics on domestic abusers (97% recidivism even with therapy and jail) are hopium-free and can act as hopium antitoxin.”

      THANK YOU for saying this!

    • What an insightful post! You should publish this as an essay— seriously! So much to consider, and I love your writing style too. I’m a 29-year lawyer, and notice excellent writing immediately.

      • Thank you for the kind words. Ah, I wish I’d gone to law school. It seems like such a great position from which to effect change as I’m sure you will throughout your career.

  • Cheating is not an aberration from who they really are.

    It is the revelation and the indication of who they really are.

    For con artists, criminals, and cheaters the Nice Guy/Gal stuff is bait in a bear trap, used to reel in a mark and keep them rooted to the spot. Like good old B. F. Skinner taught.

    I don’t call myself his ex-wife. That title
    is reserved for former wives that were treated like a spouse. I call myself his former hostage, which is what I was. My participation in the relationship was based on his lies and phony persona. My informed consent was ripped off. When DDay hit, you could have knocked me over with a feather. It took a LOT of paint stripper and time to remove 27 years worth of daily applications of Nice Guy shellac. What did I think about those things that didn’t fit the image? Hey, we all have issues. Or, there must be something wrong with me because he’s such a Nice Guy? Thankfully I got my “glasses” fixed (thank you Therapist, Chump Lady, and Chump Nation!) and am looking back with 20/20 vision.

    It took a while for my eyes to adjust to reality, for my head and heart to synch up. It’s a PROCESS. When I was little, I thought the song lyrics were “cherry shoe.” I still hear “cherry shoe” instead of “cherish you”……belief is a powerful influence…..

    I can report that he left with his truck and the clothes on his back and moved in with the Craigslist Casual Encounters “Sole Mate.” And he has since been caught on Tinder by our daughter, who was watching a video on his phone when he got a drop-down message. So I guess his unhappiness with me and our marriage caused him to cheat on her too? 😂

    Unhappy? I believe it. But it’s because he sucks. There’s a lot about me that sucks, but tricking someone into being my husband while I fuck them over and knife them in the back isn’t on my inventory.

  • I have to repeat myself that he sucks because I still have a hard time believing it sometimes.
    He was charming and talkative. He liked to spend, and was happy most of the time. He was smart and good at his job. He did not criticize anyone or me, or never looked for a reason to start a fight at home. We always told each other how lucky we were.
    Our home was peaceful.
    But I can also add that he LOVED attention. He would tell me that it was what he lived for. I used to laugh at it. His desire to be the center of attention was pushing me aside when we were with people. I let him lead the show, I didn’t mind. But at some point I began cut my sentences short because I knew he was anxious to talk. He was over the top in crowds. He drank a lot. At some point he became evasive. He detached himself so quickly and easily that it was almost overnight.
    I still don’t understand how easy it was to dispose me. Not a tear despite so many years together. I show love to my pet and feed him, I come home and he is overjoyed to see me. He cries when I leave. But not my +15 years of ex-husband, and I have a very hard time to understand that.
    He tried to come back but it was too late. He always told me love words and said that he was so happy with me. How can he discards a friend, a wife, a confidant of many years like that is beyond me.

  • True words CL

    At first we so badly want things to ‘go back to the way they were.’ before Dday

    But they never will

    And it was all an illusion, a bitter pill to swallow

    But an honest life beats the hell out of living with a liar

  • NFV, I can so relate to what you are saying! Again, I’m continually shocked at the similarities that arise in these disordered people, it’s really such an extraordinary mystery. Kind of like the same area of the brain was destroyed in all of them and their crappiness to us erupts as a result. So bizarre!!
    My FW wasn’t a drinker, but he was kind and good and fun and he showered me with love. I felt like the luckiest woman on earth and always wondered what I did to deserve so much good coming my way.
    But he also needed the attention, more than one person could ever give him. ( once said to me as an excuse for his cheating that one woman could not fill all his needs! 🙄)
    He was center stage ANYWHERE we went and stood out as an extremely gifted and talented guy that was so much fun to be around. He actually is pretty unusually amazing, so it seemed natural he would get such attention. Always the center of any gathering we were at, but I really didn’t mind or at least that’s what I told myself. I was just as enamored as everyone else and I sat back and enjoyed the show he would put on for all.
    I rationalized to myself that he needs to be recognized for what he does and that I loved him enough to let him have that and can sacrifice any attention because of that selfless love I had for him. I didn’t like to be center stage anyway, I glowed in the unseen corners of rooms, where you could do cool things, but you didn’t need the applause for doing them, you just liked to contribute is all.
    I think he turned into another being after Ddays started showing up.
    He did not like to see the mirror I was unconsciously holding up for him, the way I saw him now was not the way he wanted to be seen and adored. He didn’t want to be a shit head in my eyes, even when he knew he was one! He wanted to keep shining bright, brighter than anyone else.
    I couldn’t reflect that to him once I knew the truth and he then began his spiraling cruel devalue of me to grease his inevitable exit.
    I just wasn’t given that memo, I still loved with every bit of my being. He also told me every day of our 44 years together ( except the last two when he jumped ship with schmoopie number 15 or so!) that he loved me and was so happy and grateful to have me and that our family was just amazing and we had lots of shared dreams in our lives.
    I’ll never understand how you are capable of hurting someone as bad as that. Never.

    • Wow!
      Chumpasaurus45, it gives me goosebumps to read such similar stories, infact almost identical stories.
      The attention he got, how you let him take the center stage without considering it sacrifice on your part, and felt enamoured by his shining character..These alone tell me that you invested in this relationship with all your heart, not only did you let him be, but also fully supported him to be himself. You applauded his talents. I am very sure you have many good qualities but you did not think of competing with him. It was natural for you to watch him shine among crowds all these years even at the expense of staying in the background.
      I did it all too.
      Imagine the situation in reverse. If you were the center stage, I am sure you would be uncomfortable with him staying in the back. But they did not mind as they only craved for more and more attention and focused only on themselves. It was probably like that throughout the whole relationship but we loved so deeply that we did not see it.

      I listened to his family for years telling me how precious and talented he was. I agreed. They hardly ever talked about me and I did not mind. Because of my dad’s job, I often traveled internationally at an early age. I was lucky to go to good schools and I had a lot to talk about but it did not matter. It was all about him and it was my joy to watch him shine.
      Then, he decided that he deserved a double life. After I found out, the first things he said-out of many horrible ones- stuck with me. I believe they highlight who he really is. He criticized me for the first time and said that I was too humble. The other thing he said was: do you know how much the ap and her friends admire my talents? Well, it was all I did for +15 years, admiring him and letting him be. I did not mind that he had to go to this course or that class, or be unavailable a lot to follow his dreams.
      All my friends, relatives and family admired him to the expense of leaving me in the background. It was never enough, and it will be never enough.
      Big Hugs Chumpasaurus45🌺

  • Thank you Chump lady for reminding me of this simple truth which must be engraved in my soul and activated when I weaken. It is my belief,after 2 cheaters, that these creatures from the black lagoon, have had a secret life FOR YEARS!! Maybe it started small and undetectable, in fact it might have been baby steps at first. Porn in my STBXHs case,was never innocent and involved creating a cheating scenario in his mind. Next for him and what I did know was phone sex lines and whispery strangers. Then it was woman at work he talked about. Seemed innocent? I gave that a pass..many emotional affairs that I passed by. All the while family life kept going. Cook outs, kids games, he attended everything and participated. Each year he was weighing my cake against his porn heart affairs inappropriate behavior now and then,forgiven because he shone in our family. Both my husband’s had the same pattern. They both wobbled and seemed more engaged than ever with family and loving me, but then go back into the darkness. The day came when all the subterranean cheating could no longer be hidden and it comes out full force. We THINK this is new, came out of Nowhere!!!!! We want to win this lying turd…but indeed this plant has deep roots and the begging and crying was for the cake and the consequences. It is true, it is true. They are grand actors to keep a double life going and they cannot ever be fully trusted ever again. It is deep, it is entrenched, it is lack of character,it is age 11 or 12, it is entitlement, it is arrogance, it is not a slip up, or mistake and if you can be played, you will be used. I highly recommend against this, but learning from the pain can work too if you are into it. Watch your own health and protect your gentle heart. Leaving a cheater is not for cowards. I was left by one soon after delivery, the other waited until I retired and I was no longer of use. But I left him. I felt much better leaving him because he did not like the consequences and liked the chocolate cake with frosting. Not Me anymore. I’m finding my life. Thank you Tracy CL & CN!

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