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He Blindsided Me with Cheating, I Blindsided Him with Divorce

Oh Chump Lady—

I need to thank you and Chump Nation from the bottom of my heart. You gave me a fuckwit decoder ring right when I needed it. Thanks to you, I missed so many potholes I would have driven the whole horse and buggy straight into.

I was 4 hours into D-Day when I found you. My husband of 14 years was away on a camping trip and he’d finally deigned to respond to the “the doctor says you gave me an STD I can’t stay married to you” email. He waited 24 hours then sent a garbled, poorly dictated text message whose first word was “Verizon.”

When I asked him to retype the sentence, he said: “Ignore Verizon. I acknowledge your email.” He asked me if I wanted him to stay away a few days longer. And then he told me he’d bumped his head — pretty hard! — on his ride and he thought I should know.

Chump Lady, I drank a bottle of wine, then texted him that he was a fucker and a coward who had lied to my face for five months. Then I forcibly removed my fingers from the keyboard, searched Amazon, and found LACGAL and stayed up all night reading it.

Oh. My God.

If you would have asked me about my marriage even two weeks earlier, I would have said that my husband was tricky and a little emotionally stunted but we had our good times. Chump that I am, I had already suggested in my email that we start with mediation! I read the book, highlighted almost every passage, re-typed paragraphs into my Notes app (trying to sear them into my brain), sent snippets to my sister via text. I got the biggest wake up call of my life and immediately saw my marriage and my husband through new eyes……and, in this new reality, so many things made a lot more sense.

Today, it’s 18 days later. We were supposed to take a trip out of town the week after D-Day — instead I told him to go alone (dollars to doughnuts Schmoopie got a plane ticket).

While he was gone, I got an STD test (well, for the rest of them), found a storage space, found a place to live, moved everything out of the house that I cared about (five friends showed up to help; we were out in an afternoon). Forwarded my mail. Found, interviewed, and hired a lawyer. One day after he got home, the lawyer filed for divorce and the next day they sent him the paperwork.

Thanks to you, I am now conversant in fuckwit, so I was not at all surprised when:

  • He texted multiple times before the trip to ask if he should cancel the catsitter (since I was now going to be home packing and not on vacation with him)
  • He texted to ask for my help in understanding the “confusing” paperwork the lawyer had just sent “with a list of demands”

  • He asked when in the divorce process we (translation: he) got to “communicate directly to the courts what we wanted to see happen financially”

  • He wrote this afternoon (four days after the divorce filing) noting that the lawyer letter had said he couldn’t make any financial moves — and he wanted to buy a new house so would I sign an affidavit STATING THAT HIS FINANCES WERE SEPARATE FROM MINE so he could put in a bid? (It’s worth noting that this is the same man wouldn’t let me change a chair after I moved in with him, so I think this note was less about the money strategy and more about rubbing my face in buying a new house with or for the AP).

In our first meeting, I asked my lawyer about a no contact order, and she asked me to try a civil approach first and not block him and that we could escalate if necessary. So when he asked about signing the affidavit, I wrote back: “I will ask my lawyer” (knowing the answer was HELL TO THE NO). Then I cut and pasted her response back. (“Until you have full financial disclosures you should not be doing anything. That’s why the injunction is in place. He cannot buy the house.”)

His response: “I’m sorry we cannot communicate and be respectful.” And: “I was hoping we could communicate our intentions, but I understand you are speaking only through lawyers. I’m sorry we got to this.”

Here’s what I’m winding up to: Indirectly, you have also taught my sister to speak fuckwit, so instead of replying to him I told her about the exchange and I thought you might enjoy her response (to me, not him):

1) I’m sorry you thought it would be any other way after you gave me an STD from your trashy girlfriend.

2) because you can’t do whatever you want, THAT is disrespectful? Let’s revisit that word, sir.

3) if this makes you mad, just wait.

Thank you for adding rocket fuel to my learning curve — just the message/mindset I needed and I am so grateful. I was completely blindsided and spent the first week in shock, I’ve had many crappy days, I’ve made liberal use of an emergency Xanax prescription, and I am still waiting for my high-risk HPV results. But I’m proud of where I’ve gotten and the clarity I’ve achieved. Wish me luck, chumps.


Standing on the Shoulders of the Mighty Chumps Before Me


Dear Standing on the Shoulders of the Mighty Chumps Before Me,

Girl, you don’t need luck. You’ve got mightiness to burn. I LOVE THAT YOU SERVED HIM IMMEDIATELY. Just shoot that into my veins! Letters like yours are why I do this.  And it’s the reason recovered chumps come back here and  comment — to save the newbies pain.

Well done! You snatched your power back and I’m certain he doesn’t like it one bit. The poor moppet. He’s bumped his head. You might have cervical cancer thanks to his wandering dick, but he has a boo boo! Get on that stat!

What’s this? A summons? A consequence?

Alas, it’s all fun and games until the chump lawyers up.

His response: “I’m sorry we cannot communicate and be respectful.”

And I’m sorry you can’t keep your poxed dick in your pants.

“I was hoping we could communicate our intentions, but I understand you are speaking only through lawyers.”

He’s fortunate you don’t speak through threaded pipes and a guy name Vinnie. He potentially gave you a lethal STD.

“I’m sorry we got to this.”

Isn’t it funny how they have no idea how “this” happens? It’s so unfortunate, these consequences. He fails to understand your hostility.

But my favorite part of this letter is the feigned helpless — the chump bait — that he keeps flinging and you keep failing to take. 

– He texted multiple times before the trip to ask if he should cancel the cat sitter (since I was now going to be home packing and not on vacation with him)

WHO WILL DO THE ADULTING?! You can’t expect this man to cancel a cat sitter. He’s very busy sitting in stunned silence right now.

– He texted to ask for my help in understanding the “confusing” paperwork the lawyer had just sent “with a list of demands”

His lawyer can explain it to him. They bill in 6-minute increments. Hope he’s a quick study.

– He asked when in the divorce process we (translation: he) got to “communicate directly to the courts what we wanted to see happen financially”

Oh yes sir. Everyone is totally invested in what you “want to see happen.” The court system is absolutely predicated on your wishes. At the leprechaun tribunal in Gofuckyourselfistan. Rub your summons three times and a Genii will appear.

God, he really doesn’t understand how this works, does he?

Well, not your problem! And isn’t that glorious? Thanks for the wonderful letter to start the week. Keep us posted and fingers crossed on a positive outcome with the medical tests. We’re here for you.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Dear Standing on the Shoulders of the Mighty Chumps Before Me,

    If you’re happy to find Chump Lady, just wait until you see how happy chumps are to find YOU!

    You’re an absolutely amazing example of how to deal with the fuckers (because, after all, that’s what he did). I wish I had done the same and am just speechless reading about your power and awesomeness. 🙌 👏🏻 🙏🏻

    And you already have your own tribe to move you and support you. That is mighty!

    You are setting a fabulous, detailed example of how to be a badass, powerful chump. I bow to your greatness.

    You will always find support here and thank you for sharing your story. We all know how truly awful all of this is.

    Wishing you good health and negative test results. ❤️

    • amen! YOU are amazing, and an inspiration! so is your sister! thank YOU for telling us your story ❤️

    • Thank you, Rebecca! Appreciate your good wishes, too 🙂

  • Hello Dear Standing on the Shoulders – you fucking rock. You did awesome!

    • Unrelated but fucking great username, Toxteth. Congratulations on the world’s stickiest bogey.

  • Ah geez, it sounds exactly like my ex FW. He still tries to use the passive aggressive crap with me when we have to discuss parenting issues. Just like in the movie Wargames, the only way to win is not to play. My favorite reply, if I have to at all, is KK. If it doesn’t actually require a response, like most of your FWs manipulation, I just ignore.

    What an absolute cabbage. You are mighty and strong. Keep it up! Tuesday will come. Not before he starts sending sad sausage missives though. I don’t miss that.
    Stay mighty, I’m sure he will ramp up the crap before it is over. But you can do it!

    • A cabbage, LOL. I agree. And yes: Bracing for sad sausage communications…..I’m sure there will be layers and whole geological epochs to this journey.

  • This kind of swift, decisive action should be the ordinary response to infidelity, they way swift, decisive action has become (mostly) the ordinary response to domestic violence. Family, friends, and even complete strangers should say, “Of course you can’t stay with such a person—get away from them NOW!”

    There is strength in numbers to be sure, but they’re is POWER in CONSEQUENCES.

  • Chump nation bows to your awesomeness! And kudos to your sister for being a rock of support during the fuckery. Here’s to a great settlement and no HPV. Keep being your mighty self!

  • Dear Standing – How wonderful to see the arc of chump mightiness put into action. It benefits the group, as well as you.

    Perhaps there should be a “not so early days” guide when chumps take a free breath and realize what has just happened. The support team, the self-care, the no contact are just as critical. Many chumps have written that their healing began only after a divorce was finalized.

    The term “grief” is usually reserved for a response to death. The experience of “sorrow” – deep distress, sadness, or regret especially for the loss of someone or something loved resultant unhappy or unpleasant state – is likely next.

    Wishing you (and chumps everywhere) a gentle healing.

  • My goodness, I needed this on a Monday morning. Standing on the Shoulders of the Mighty Chumps Before Me, you are Mighty with a capital M. I’m so glad you found Chump Lady so quickly and BELIEVED. It can be so hard to fight the sadness and grief of a DDay but you are moving forward and protecting yourself. How awesome! You are why so many of us stick around and hope our words resonate for the next Chump. May you get everything in the divorce. And your sister sounds like great support for you!!

    • MichelleShocked,
      I am so glad that you, an others like you stuck around and continue to share your stories. The OP here is absolutely amazing, and I hope that more and more “newly-made” chumps are able to find the strength to take her route. But as one of the chumps that stuck around way too long…3 entire years (due to fear, anxiety, gaslighting and FOO issues), things changed so much once I found CL/CN. This group is invaluable no matter WHEN a chump finds it. And I think having such a mix of situations is crucial. When I stumbled on this site, CL’s advice was crucial, but so were all the stories that people like you shared. The chumps who took swift action like the OP who avoided RIC, pick me dancing and multiple D-Days are inspiring….but the chumps who say “I stayed for x years and my FW did it again and again and again, or the FW left me for AP and then cheated on AP too…all those stories that show that this is a pattern born of entitlement and not a simple one time “mistake”, we NEED all those types of stories sometimes. My story is pretty crazy, and my friend thinks I should write a book, but this site has shown me that loads of chumps have equally as crazy stories. I don’t wish chumphood on anyone, but finding so many people in a similar situation does provide a comfort. It also shows us that the FWs, no matter their individual versions of fuckery, all use the same playbook.

  • He wrote four days after you filed that he he wanted to buy a new house and asked you to sign an affidavit STATING THAT HIS FINANCES ARE SEPARATE FROM YOURS? I don’t think this was about putting in a bid OR “less about the money strategy and more about rubbing my face in buying a new house with or for the AP.” I think this was a move to blind you with BS to get you to sign a statement that would relinquish your right to marital property and a fair financial settlement. It looks like another attempt to cheat, financially this time, and to con you into putting your acceptance in writing. A man who texts repeatedly to ask about cancelling a cat sitter is unlikely to have found a new house so quickly, unless he was house hunting instead of camping as he claimed. He had a letter telling him not to make any financial moves, and he wanted YOU to voluntarily relinquish your rights. before you got to “communicate directly to the courts what we wanted to see happen financially.”

    You have been mighty mighty mighty. He has proven he can’t be trusted whatsoever. As Tracy wrote, he keeps flinging bait. This might be some of that bait. Expect more. It might be easiest to have your attorney send him a letter stating that all further communications should go through attorneys and not you. He may deluge him/her in an attempt to run up your legal bills, but it may be worth your peace of mind to stay free of the provocation.

    I hope your other tests come back negative and you quickly clear up the current STD.

    Congratulations on standing so tall and setting a great example for chumps who follow you.

    • “A man who texts repeatedly to ask about cancelling a cat sitter is unlikely to have found a new house so quickly, unless he was house hunting instead of camping as he claimed.”

      Bingo!!! My now-exH, who for 20 years had to be constantly reminded by me to do something (“remind me later, write me a note, send me an email, send me a text, leave a voicemail on my office phone…” and still wouldn’t actually do it), was absolutely stunning in his lightning-fast response to my sobbing question “So what do we do now?”

      Within 15 minutes he emailed me a legalese separation agreement that he had composed “just off the top of his head.” This normally foot-dragging man had also already secretly secured an apartment, bought furniture for it, etc., etc., etc. Since he claimed to be working about 80 hours a week (university professor doing research), how on earth did the poor man find the time?

      So, Goodfriend, your comment hit the nail on the head.

    • Such a good point — he can’t WAIT to tell the court what he wants to see happen with the money, but (at the same time) wants to take that opportunity away from me before the process even gets rolling.

      Probably the most eye opening part of LACGAL was realizing: Wait, I thought I had a good faith partner and I was operating accordingly. I was generous, I took on administrative tasks, I paid for things.

      In point of fact, what I actually had was someone who wanted me one-down, off-balance, disadvantaged. Someone who wanted the upper hand. He’s so good at being covertly aggressive that I never noticed it until I saw it spelled out in the book — and then I saw it everywhere, in everything, and it all made sense.

    • Goodfriend, oh wow, I think you’re right! I wonder if he got this idea from consulting a lawyer?

  • Wow all some guys need is another vagina to prove how unloyal & shitty they are. You’re mighty & early days in, so if you get mad again & want to tell him off, don’t waste your time (new v-jay will be
    cushioning him from his “awful mean wife” anyhow) so expel that anger anywhere else/doing anything else. You are awesome by showing your shitty H he isn’t worth fighting over! Go Girl!!!

  • It took me 4 ddays to manage what you did (each approx 2 years apart so do the math for how long i put up with it!). Congrats! They don’t change… and in my case they didn’t even get better at hiding it. The other side of divorce is peaceful. Wishing you a speedy process!

    • I wonder if we had found CL as fast as she did if we might have had fewer D-days. I wish I had skipped my year spent with the RIC….

  • Nicely done! Welcome to CN, a little chump refuge where we support each other, chuckle at CL’s snark, and share some collective wisdom. We’re here for you! Please let us know how you’re doing.

    Good luck!💪

    • And CL serves up 4-star Michelin-quality snark! <chef’s kiss>

  • “While he was gone, I got an STD test (well, for the rest of them), found a storage space, found a place to live, moved everything out of the house that I cared about (five friends showed up to help; we were out in an afternoon). Forwarded my mail. Found, interviewed, and hired a lawyer. One day after he got home, the lawyer filed for divorce and the next day they sent him the paperwork.”

    You may become one of the gold standards around here for learning fast, moving fast and moving ON even faster!

    There will be more shitty days ahead, but with a good lawyer who doesn’t put up with nonsense plus family and friends who love and support you – your Tuesday is coming up sooner for you than for most.

    May the results not be dire and if they are dire – maybe your lawyer will indicate that Schmoopie and her medical records are going to be on the stand too (not a lawyer, just fueled by rage and caffeine today).

    Good luck! Keep us updated!

    • Maybe a lawyer can chime in. If Schmoopie is known and timeline is not disputed, why aren’t the relevant health and financial records requested more often?

      • I wonder this, too. Because we are property? If we were a stranger on the street, no one would question our rights to press charges and seek justice. But, because we signed a marriage contract, we gave up basic human rights? It feels that way. I found it appalling that it does not matter at all to the courts that there was infidelity. Yet, that is the basic premise of the contract we agreed to and signed off on. And then there’s the issue of marital rape and whether or not we, as a culture, would actually take a stand on it. Do we? My family and used-to-be-friends clearly fell on the side of “he deserves to have sex. What did you expect was going to happen?” instead of even asking why he wasn’t getting sex from me. Or even, let’s get all crazy here – worrying about me because I wasn’t getting sex because my only legal contract option was sex that was transactional and cruel. I would have liked for at least a few of them to ponder that double standard.

        • The attitude that men are entitled to pleasure and that women are responsible for providing it is pervasive, Tallgrass. People don’t question if we were satisfied because they feel our satisfaction does not matter. That’s the depressing reality of it. They would never admit this aloud, but that is how far too many people feel. Men are to be serviced and we are supposed to be happy to do so. The availability of internet porn has made an already existing situation critical. Boys are growing up expecting to be allowed to use and abuse women.

          • I agree. I think male chumps face a particular type of grueling scrutiny– the assumption that they weren’t “man enough” to keep a woman either satisfied or “under control” that fuels the “cuck” type of attacks which, because that concept is bandied about by particularly violent groups, probably comes with a sense of being in the cross-hairs. Oh, and the frequently reported tendency of she-FW’s to fabricate domestic violence charges– yikes. But I get the feeling the barrage of judgment and pitfalls that men face are tempered a bit by even greater public shaming of “whorish” wives and the tendency for average bystanders to more readily sympathize with he-chumps than with she-chumps. Not all do– some people seem to feel violently offended by any man talking about “feelings.” But those who encourage men to share painful emotions might treat the men who do as phenoms, like cats that can talk. Women who open up about painful experiences in regular social settings will never get that reaction. There’s also the fact that men face less risk of direct danger when reentering the dating arena and the cold, hard economic statistics for divorced women.

            It sucks all around and I don’t think anyone should envy the special brands of shit each gender gets heaved at them while emerging from betrayal. But I feel like there are things stacked against many female chumps that are particularly hard to circumvent. Ageism against and objectification of women tend to be worse. Statistical physical risks either from an abusive spouse going rogue or, again, from reentering the dating market are far higher. Economic risks are generally worse. And, as tallgrass intimated, one more woman coming forward with yet another story of victimization is treated like… SNORE– another drop of piss in an endless historical sea of mistreated women.

            • p.s. Considering the risks of opening up about relationship abuse, I think everyone who (credibly) opens up should be treated like a talking cat so I don’t actually resent men who get this reaction (particularly because it’s not consistent for anyone). If someone gets that reaction, it’s as it should be but just often unequally doled.

  • Standing,
    I LOVE your letter. It should be a new chapter in LACGAL (titled “Cat Sitters”?).

    Everyone should learn to speak fuckwit as a second language as early as possible, it is a language of survival. Unfortunately, I only learned to speak it (but very fluently) in my 60s, after three sons. This used to make me very sad, but now I feel part of a revolution.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! So good to know of all the mighty people out there.
    I hope the cat is OK.

  • Good news for the FW, your lawyer and the courts will “communicate” with him just fine.

    Also, literally LOL at his telling you IN WRITING that he wants to buy a house. That will be very helpful later on when he bitches and moans about how poor he is and how he has nowhere nice to live.

    You are MIGHTY!

  • “Gofuckyourselfistan”…..I’m laughing loud. I am so stealing this.

    Standing is worthy of the very exclusive bad ass bitch club, as is her sister.

  • Wow, that’s amazing! Congratulations on mastering the “chump-no-more” lesson at the speed of light.
    How I wish I found LACGAL sooner. Not sure if I would be this quick to open my eyes, but I’m pretty sure it would still speed up the process significantly. Instead – 4 days after D-day – we went to see a couple’s therapist and he recommended the book “My Husband’s Affair BECAME the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”, which is (shockingly) pro-reconciliation. BARF.

    • ““My Husband’s Affair BECAME the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”,”

      I think the only real thing about this statement would be if that affair compelled us to drop kick them as quickly as possible. True, it would be better if we didn’t have to experience the pain, but if we have to; that is the good that should come of it.

      • What bugs me about all this “I learned from this terrible thing that happened to me and so can you” isn’t even the message itself (because OK – if something bad happens to you of course it’s better to learn from it than not to), it’s that no one seems to acknowledge that (1) an accident is different from a deliberate act, and (2) there’s a difference between hearing this from a third party and hearing it from the very person who deliberately inflicted the terrible thing on you.

        My XW was not wrong when she said “this divorce is an opportunity for you” (all change comes with opportunity!) but she – the person who chose to spring it on me with no warning, under pretty much the most difficult set of circumstances imaginable – was not the appropriate person to say it.

        • Is there an echo in this place, because I heard those exact same words out of my XW’s mouth. More grist from the cheaters handbook.

          • I heard similar BS. It’s all part of their justification campaign. They spin the affair and subsequent consequences in such a way that makes them feel that they’ve actually done us a favor (created “an opportunity”), when, in fact, they weren’t thinking of us at all.

            My ex said that I would probably thank him. It’s screwy logic. I’ve said this before but it’s like thanking the drunk driver who totaled your car and landed you in the hospital for X-rays. The radiologist discovers not only broken bones and other internal damage but also a spot of cancer that benefits from early detection. Sure. It’s a benefit, but my god.

            • It’s a bit like teaching young students that slaves learned job skills.

        • Amen. I never thank adversity or evil people for “learning” because some people don’t survive the “lessons.” I wasn’t raised religious but my mother had memorized Gideons she found in hotel rooms from cover to cover when she was traveling for work so she always had a bible quote for every occasion. I think your comment requires, “It must needs be that evil come but woe betide he/r by whom the evil cometh.”

          In other words, fuck the evil “teachers.” It’s no thanks to them that we “learn” anything since– to paraphrase a wise friend– most of us could have learned this stuff from books or through listening to other people with the help of normal empathy. It was unnecessary to have to learn these things from horrendous first hand experience.

        • InGeorg,
          YES! Mine did this too. Told me how this was exactly what I needed. Was I supposed to thank him? And hey, I do think that losing a cheater and gaining a life is a good thing for me. But HE doesn’t get to take credit for that. Not to mention, he said all that while schmoops was in the picture. Once she was gone bc they didn’t work out, his message changed to “leaving is a huge mistake, why are YOU blowing up our lives?” And no, I am not kidding, he thinks he is the victim now that I am insisting on moving forward with separating. The thing he was SO insistent would be wonderful for all concerned. He wants his plan b now that AP is out. And truly can’t understand why I don’t stay. (To be clear, it’s not like he got rid of her bc he changed his mind and wanted to work on the marriage, they didn’t work out, he says he ended it…but I think she did. I think she got sick of waiting for him/found someone less married) Not that it would have mattered, he’s a cheater, I am leaving, period. But the audacity is stronger knowing that this wasn’t even his intention…to work it out.

      • 💯, now that I look back on it. If he hasn’t given me an sti I would still be oblivious to his cheating and still be in a toxic and abusive marriage.

      • Yes, the absolute worst.
        And it also didn’t match with the session, where the therapist was actually very hard on my STBXH (that’s why “we” didn’t want to stick with this guy). He told him: if you want to even remotely understand, how she feels or how huge this betrayal is, imagine that your wife just told you that your daughter wasn’t actually yours. But I guess if you’re a FW, you can’t imagine such awful things happening to you, because you’re too fabulous for that.

  • I admire the ability to move so quickly! My transition was relatively slow, I believe because of all the early programing I had from my FOO. It is good to know there is a revolution happening with younger women– learning fast instead of slow will save you years of regrets for wasting your time on someone who was not worthy of your love.

    I believe getting a head start gives you the upper hand dealing with FW’s. They are so surprised you are no longer in their thrall! I actually researched and carefully planned my separation from my children’s dad, because I wanted to make it less traumatic for my kids. Turns out they did well, and I really did not care about his shock. After years of me putting up with his BS and trying to normalize things for the kids, I guess he thought I had resigned myself to a lifetime of that. I am so glad I reclaimed what is left of my life for myself, and that my kids had a relatively easy time of it. When you are married to someone who refuses to be an adult, you are forced to take charge and be the responsible adult. Many tasks are not fun, but the result is so worth it!

    • Agree. Take charge!! Glad your kids did well with it all.

      I am happy I discounted the advice of those who urged me to go slowly and avoid making big decisions. I jumped head first into divorce. Hired a lawyer. Sold 2 houses. Packed up and moved 100 miles away–all within 6 months of D-Day. Done. Done. Done.

      Of course, my then-husband made this easy for me because he said he wanted to be with her (after 35 years with me). There was no attempt at reconciliation. I bet I would have pick-me-danced like the best of them had I been given the option.

    • “When you are married to someone who refuses to be an adult, you are forced to take charge” — so true! Nice job getting yourself and your kids out. And “I did not care about his shock” — GOOD. He didn’t care about yours.

  • OMG! I love this. You are amazing and a great example of how to handle a cheating asshole.
    I bow to your strength. I will say one thing – stay on this road of “mightiness” no matter how nasty it gets. You may be surprised how ugly and vindictive they get when “caught”
    Woman – you are a warrior!

  • I’m years out, and I still get the comments about how I’m disrespectful to XW. Declining to do favors for her is “disrespectful”; having my own opinion that is different from hers is “disrespectful”; being polite but impersonal is “disrespectful”. Basically, anything that indicates (either explicitly or implicitly) that our current relationship is different from our marriage is “disrespectful”. I won’t lie: it gets tiresome.

    • Involuntary Georgian — who is saying you are “disrespectful”? My reply to anyone that would say that would be “Disrespectful is cheating on your spouse. I am no longer married to XW and don’t do favors for exes, nor do I owe anything to anyone who is disrespectful to me.” If the complaints are from her — grey rock with a smile 🙂

    • Yeah, that got my attention too. He says, “I’m sorry we cannot communicate and be respectful.” It takes some GALL to breathe a word about respect after cheating and giving his wife an STD! Oh, and throw “communicate” in there too. “I’m living a double life, but YOU should communicate.” 😵‍💫

      • I get the same thing: “I just want to resolve this amicably” and “I’m sorry you let your anger get in the way of working this out peacefully”.
        Amicably= doing exactly what he wants without disagreement.
        Let your anger get in the way= have any disagreement whatsoever with his perfect plan.

        He Fails To Understand My Hostility I guess.

    • I remember the first time fw soon after our D was finalized tried to talk and crack a joke to me about how I knew how he is etc. I was in my sons house and only came by to drop something off. I just looked at him kind of cold, and then said something like well everyone have a good day.

      I told him before the D was final we wouldn’t be friends, I meant it. Civility was all he would get. That was the last time he tried to engage me in a conversation.

      Hard to do with young children, but mine was grown and bottom line was civility was all that was required.

      Luckily as it turned out the times I ever saw him or the whore were very rare.

    • Involuntary Georgian, my ex constantly calls me disrespectful too. “That word does not mean what you think it means,” I tell myself every time I hear it. Basically, me pointing out his lack of present parenting on his parenting time (think not taking daughter to emergency medical appointments or meeting her at the emergency room) is “disrespectful.” Nope, I’m calling a spade a spade, and somehow refraining from any name calling in the mean time.

    • Her: Do this favor.
      You: What!
      Her: I need you to do this favor
      You: Why!
      Her: Do you understand the question?
      You: What question
      Her: You are disrespecting me.
      You: What does that mean?
      Her: You don’t respect me.
      You: Well that’s true.
      Her: #@*&#
      You: What?

    • ”Maybe, maybe. It might be because I don’t respect XW. In fact, I think that is what it is. Have a blessed day further”.


    Hells yes – round of shots for the bar folks – this is fantastic! I’m super proud of you and I bet the adrenaline rush is amazing.

    But moreover – because CL got it all down on the fuckwit (charm, pity, rage) and what you’re gonna keep seeing from his behaviors – he can’t read a divorce filing but he can apply for a mortgage and demand a notarized letter from you so he can take joint assets and buy a house… UM… NO. You ain’t seen crazy yet sista 🙂

    I want to reflect on those 5 amazing friends and your sister. God damn. May we all be blessed with those kinds of advocates in our lives. I had more than a few on speed dial for almost a year until I got my sea legs and filed. On the days I wasn’t feeling so mighty, they lifted me up. I knew that my son and I were going to make it because I had an amazing group of family and friend supporters and all the fuckwit had was an OW and the flying monkeys.

    Being mighty over the long haul takes a support network – whether it be friends and family or your Chump Nation family… there will come a day when the adrenaline runs out and the anger and grief hit. And that is going to suck but it also going to be ok because you have your tribe. Remember to lean into them – you are not alone in this and I bet dollars to donuts your fuckwit is gonna drag this out in the courts for his “assets”.

    Keep on keeping on and thanks for the reminder – a Chump can have agency in protecting themselves from abuse… you would run from a house on fire right, when you discover you’ve be chumped… your house is on fire. Believe it.

  • I had another thought – you, your sister and any other family & friends that are in YOUR corner can come up with FW Bingo entries.

    Let’s see who gets the bragging rights. Because the divorce process sucks, no matter how amicable and amiable on the rare occasions when that happens. Best to make some part of it funny, if not fun.

  • This is a great submission. My thoughts to Standing on the Shoulders of the Mighty Chumps Before Me – shock is a bitch. It wears off and sometimes it gets put aside because your brain is wired to care and you were married to fuckwit for 14 years. When the shock wears off re-read Leave a Cheater Gain a Life. In fact, get it on audible and play it when you are driving. Also, another book recommended in a comments section on this site is also worth having. It is called Getting Past Your Breakup by Susan Elliott. I listened to it and Leave a Cheater over and over again. I still fucked up. My brain, my heart, my gut were all out of sync. These books and this website helped me re-sync them in the moment and helped me stay-the-course over the long-haul inspite of my short term setbacks.

    The reality is your fuckwit will do everything in his power, and his shmoopie’s power, to make you think you are the problem, you hurt him, you screwed up “our” life. And then, worst of all, you may start giving him allowances that he does not deserve and you do not need to do. Finally, his and your extended family and friends will start to say stupid shit to you or they won’t say anything at all as if nothing happened. Even worse still, some people will tell you their unicorn stories or will identify with you in weird ways that will just make things confusing as the shock wears off. Fuck them. Stick with your plan. Get confirmation for what you are doing from the books and this website and your lawyer.

    This website is huge. You can actually go to archives and search for words, phrases, terms, things that are happening to you and find dozens of submissions on that exact topic to reinforce your decisions. Because, what I learned, is that cheaters are lying liars and manipulators with common themes and patterns that they follow. That was shocking in and of itself!

    Best of luck to you and stay your course!!! Ultimately, you are doing all the right things and it will all pay off for you. Play the long game and be kind to yourself in the short game.

    • Just bought the Susan Elliott book. And, wow, I can tell this is advice based on hard-won wisdom. Thank you. Agree on the “cheaters are lying liars and manipulators with common themes and patterns” — reading LACGAL for the first time, head still spinning with the realization that my husband had cheated on me, I ALSO realized: No, he set up his whoooole life to cheat and to give himself maximum freedom of movement. This is no more the first time than I am a potato pancake. Appreciate the insights, thank you.

    • Great advice, Stephen. I also felt “trapped in the cycle” for a time. For me it turned out to be fear more than love that entrapped me. It took me some time to figure out that blameshifting had always been my kryptonite because of the very strong implication that FW would commit character assassination against me by spreading his false, whiny, faux-victim narrative far and wide. His mother had severely weaponized this tendency against other people (including me) so I figured the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. And since I had been through several traumatic previous experiences starting in childhood which had showed me just how dangerous “blameshifting” can actually be in real world ways (long story– my father was a spokesperson for an advocacy organization and once inadvertently stirred up a local hornets nest. Bad things happened) so it took all my courage to plow ahead in the face of lies, distortions and DARVO-style accusations. It also motivated me to dig up every bit of solid dirt on FW that I could in preparation to turn the table if needed. Just having a lawyer who was good at organizing the evidence of dirt turned out to be enough for FW to rethink any potential triangulated smear campaigns. Suddenly he was very concerned about keeping a lid on everything and being less contentious.

  • WOW! Way to be MIGHTY!!! You are truly an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your story with CN! Big hugs and negative test results to you!

  • Dear Standing on the Shoulders of Mighty Chumps,

    Reading your story made me throw my fist in the air, laugh at his stereotypical FW responses (mine said almost identical things), and cry tears of joy. You are one amazing person! So excited for your next adventure as the badass you already are. Congrats on knowing your worth and ridding yourself of that FW.

  • His responses show you where his head is. Up his ass.
    You did great!!! Onward and upward!
    At some point you may still need to grieve. It is still a loss of a life you thought you had. I am so sorry. It is painful, but we all get to the other side. It takes time. Be gentle with yourself. Sending you much love.

  • I really hope this is the future! On behalf of all the women who were taught to untangle the skein and pick me dance for generations and generations in my own family line and many other families.

    It is high time our culture sees -straight up- that intimate betrayal is domestic violence. I’m aging out – it’s up to you younguns to google search, find LACGAL and stop this chain of perfectly predictable abuse by people with no character. To me now, it is just that clear.

    If he had stabbed me in the street and taken all my credit cards, people would have been outraged and supported me in pressing charges to punish him to the maximum extent. Since I signed a marriage license 40 years ago, the response is that it takes two to tango and need to learn how to accept it like all the other broken, abused women in the world before me.

    • “It is high time our culture sees -straight up- that intimate betrayal is domestic violence. I’m aging out – it’s up to you younguns to google search, find LACGAL and stop this chain of perfectly predictable abuse by people with no character. To me now, it is just that clear.”

      Bears repeating.

      I have talked to my oldest granddaughter, and will my other two soon. It is all I can do now. My heart hurts when I hear of a new victim.

      • The financial abuse alone involved in dissipation of marital assets for affairs is defined as a form of “intimate partner violence.”

    • So true, tallgrass, I know there are poor male chumps too, but reading CL has made me aware of the deeply ingrained misogyny in our society which is a great part of the hurdles we chumps have to overcome, and the reason so many women believe there is no escape. I often think that CL compares to the women’s suffrage movement of 100 years ago.

  • He wants to speak directly to “the courts.” Like, who? A judge? A lawyer? Some poor bailiff trying to get to his next job?

    I am imagining “the courts” as a cluster of little fuzzy critters with bat ears and traditional barrister’s wigs all gathered around him while he complains about the confusing list of demands.

    FW: “And look at this one, splitting of assets? What is that?!”
    Courts: Weeeble meeegle morp!
    FW: I know! It’s ridiculous!

    • Exactly !

      This is FW hoping for a few more cycles from his chump/appliance. They just don’t comprehend the steps between twu luv and consequences.

      To new chumps – THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE to speaking with a lawyer and not telling your cheater what you learned.

      • Precisely. Also, on NOT telling him what you learned: It took everything I had to type “I will ask my lawyer” instead of “Google dissipation of marital assets you jackhole.”

  • If that makes you mad just wait..😂😂😂😂😂😂💪💪💪💪

  • Dear Standing on the Shoulders of the Mighty Chumps Before Me,

    We read about a lot of mightiness here, but I bow to you. The swift, clear, unrelenting consequences on a FW who was clearly expecting you to pine after him. Now THAT must hurt. Poor unsuspecting FW. Poor unsuspecting ego!

    And I am SO stealing “I am conversant in Fuckwit” and “Gofuckyourselfistan”.

    I hope your tests come back clear.

    I’m cheering for you!

  • “I can’t stay married to you.”

    So simple and beautiful, no caveats, no defending your position, NOT ONE kibble of emotion.

    And his response is like he’s glitching. Not so much like he hit his head but like you actually made his brain explode. He has no idea how to respond to this level of mightiness.

    I bow down!

  • I got the biggest contact high from this letter writer. Gonna be jonesing for another fix all week, lol!

  • Well done!! Great start out of the gates. I’m envious of your mightiness! Hugs!

  • The letter is up! Yay! I’m excited to dig in and read the post and then all the comments. Hi, Chump Nation 🙂 Thank you, thank you!

    • Thank YOU for submitting it! May he still be reeling from the sweet consequences that your attorney and the courts will be handing down to him.

      Fingers crossed that your medical results are not still more dire. May his dick melt off.

    • We’re excited for you! There will be likely be some unpleasant episodes ahead until your divorce is final, but you’ve demonstrated that you have a spine of steel! And you’ll have the satisfaction of looking back and realizing you didn’t waste any time on pick-dancing, hopium, and the rest of it. Many of us (including myself–chumped long before CL and LAC were around) can’t say that, so it’s such a pleasure to see mightiness in action!

    • Brava! Please come to South Carolina and let me buy you a drink (or thirty).

    • StandingonShoulders, welcome to Chump Nation! As a relative newbie myself (D-Day was four months ago), I’m trying to gather courage from your example, which in my case would mean trying not to listen to the fear and depression that make every step in the separation process hugely taxing for me. I wish you all the best of luck, and a wonderful post-FW life!

      • Hi Leedy,
        I hear you. It’s a hard road. I’m also moving slowly. I know what needs to be done, but ugh. I have a lot on my plate. Wishing the decision becomes easier. We’ll get there eventually. Hugs.

        • Hello again, DrDr, and hugs to you! Thanks for reminding me I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  • Wow, Standing. Just wow. I wish I’d found CL hours in, as opposed to months in. I am so sorry for this shitty situation your cheater has put you in. And at the same time I am so happy for you that in the most horrible of circumstances forced upon you by your EX husband (mighty), you’ve found the best possible path out of this mess, and you found it straight away. Thank you for sharing with CN, we love to see it. 💜🩷🩵

  • Like others here mentioned, I think the FW’s note about looking for a new house– though it likely was an “in-your-face” gesture trying to trigger a pick-me-dance– also suggests he’s been scheming on the money/property front for some time. Someone here suggested the possibility that he was already house-hunting with the schmoopie. It’s not impossible and, whether it was an empty gesture to future fake and string along a bangmaid or not, he might have already viewed some listings. Just the fact that a FW is even thinking about defrauding marital assets goes along with cheaters’ general financial skullduggery so it will be important to dig through finances to establish any “dissipation of assets” in the course of infidelity which courts will often order reimbursed even in no-fault states. And the other thing is hidden assets, including crypto, which is proving to be many cheaters’ go-to manner of pilfering and hiding community property. A forensic accountant might be in order and services that trace hidden crypt are spawning all over the place with the uptick in crypto fraud and theft.

    One fun thing I discovered while working my attorney to go over “dissipation of assets” was that many bars and restaurants will keep itemized receipts on file for three to five years. If a FW tries to argue that credit card bar and restaurant charges were buddy lunches or whatever and not related to the affair(s), getting the itemized receipts from the establishment can put the lie to this (when it turns out said buddies don’t, say, Barbie bubblegum coladas and the Schmoopster does, the court may consider).

    • I am wondering if the requested affidavit stating their finances are separate is for some other purpose then purchasing a house. For example, maybe he is trying to withdraw money from a financial institution. Claiming he wants to buy a house may just be a ruse.

    • They do consider the dissipation in no fault states, at least they did in mine. Just the threat of it, was enough to make my ex agree easily to temp maintenance, and turn over our one paid for property.

      I was on the verge of hiring a financial forensic atty, but with the agreement my lawyer got, we decided it wasn’t worth it to pursue.

      I saved money like a mad woman during my year of temp maintenance, (I could have gotten three years, but wanted to get out sooner than 3 years). Then a couple years after we D’d I sold the property to an investment company. Ass wipe could have easily paid me 20 thousand, and I would have signed on the dotted line, but no he didn’t want to give me that cash. So I sold the property we paid 20 thousand for, for 40 thousand. Could have likely got more than that but I was in a hurry.

      Actually my son worked with a realtor to get a quick buyer. I am sure he told his dad what I got for it. Hope it pissed him off.

  • I’m going through some crap here and I have to say this letter really cheered me up. That’s how you fucking do it!

    • If you need anything, even just to vent, we’re here. Sending a virtual hug if you need one.

  • Today my 12 year old grandson lied and tried to deceive me. It was blatent. We then had a long chat about how that hurts people to the core. We talked about my xHs betrayal and the damage that he did. We talked about my swift answer to such a betrayal …and how now I’m divorced as of July one. 10 days of quivering and then mighty. One D day but lots of lies accepted with few questions. Just trust. I pray my grandson has learned from my story today but I am concerned. He only confessed when hit with irrefutable evidence of the lies. But different than grandpa, this 12 year old had remorse.
    Stay in mightiness whenever D day hits you and keep those shields up. It does not let up.I am 70 and free from 2 cheaters. I have found peace and safety. I did not need this lesson again, I did not need to be so injured either time. But though these lessons are a cruel way to learn, I would have to say I have so much gratitude and so much peace which I would not have known by staying and adjusting to abuse. That should not be anyone’s answer to being chumped.

  • Wow, you get to wear the cape of mighty chumphood this week for sure! That’s incredibly efficient and impressive. Good for you!!!
    We live for the success stories and yours is a direct effect from our one and only CL influence. Love it! Made my whole day to read that, honestly.
    You are not through the thick of it and there will be plenty of dark days ahead,but you are light years ahead of the curve, so awesome for you!
    I’m sorry you are in the club and I salute your incredibly impressive reaction. Wow, wow, wow!
    That sure wasn’t my story, but the farther and quicker you get away, the better your life will be.
    Bravo to you! Stay with the nation, we need that badass energy around here!😊💪🏼

  • Standing on the Shoulders of the Mighty Chumps Before Me, you”re INCREDIBLE!!! I really, really hope you live in a fault state.

    And I hope the STD test comes back negative.

  • So much I could say…but I’ll try to restrain myself!
    1) I’m curious how you knew “that he had lied to your face for 5 months”?
    2) Your sister’s responses were great, and here’s my suggestion haha:
    “I’m sorry we cannot communicate and be respectful.” “I was hoping we could communicate our intentions, but I understand you are speaking only through your diseased girlfriend’s vagina. I’m sorry we got to this.”

    • Good question about the five months: The STD symptoms showed up in January and it took three doctors and a biopsy to get a diagnosis, since it was non-typical. The doctors all said: “I’ve seen what you think this is, and I don’t think this is it — it’s usually a lot worse” and “Maybe it’s skin tags? Skin does weird things as you get older.”

      When the symptoms showed first showed up, I asked him flat out: Have you had any new sexual partners? He said no.

      At the second doctor visit, I got the “I think it’s skin tags” again. Then she went away a really long time and came back and said: “I did some searching and I have to be honest — I still think it’s skin tags but I can’t rule out an STD”. I went home that night and said: “I need you to tell me if you’re sleeping with someone else. This is my health we’re talking about.” He said no, and I stared at him, and he said: “Staring isn’t going to change my answer. I’m not sleeping with anyone else.”

      When the third doctor’s visit plus lab test (“I think it’s skin tags but it can’t hurt to do a biopsy”) confirmed it was NOT skin tags, I had my answer. And when I read LACGAL, I realized in a flash that the fact that he had so easily lied to my face meant he had probably been doing it our whole marriage. So, five months lying about a new sex partner while being asked outright. Probably fourteen years of lying about monogamy.

      My lawyer has been practicing divorce law for 40 years, and I think she sees types and patterns just like Chump Nation does. She sketched out a surprisingly detailed picture of her guesses about this new relationship based on the very few facts I have or can intuit, and it sounds right on to me. She also said: “Prepare yourself for evidence of prostitutes. They take credit cards and they’re expensive.”

      • THREE different doctors thought something like genital warts were just skin tags? That doesn’t inspire confidence in their diagnostic abilities… You were smart to persist in getting other opinions!

        • Diane, I was thinking the same thing. It’s something we should all keep in mind, doctors see a lot of people and they get used to seeing the most common situations. We need to be persistent and advocate for ourselves like OP did. Whatever it is that the OP contracted, must look a certain way 95% of the time and all three of these docs are used to seeing people within that 95%, so they all assumed she didn’t have that. It’s also possible that the fact that she was married played a part in their assumptions. Maybe what she has isn’t something that tends to NOT have a long dormancy, so if she’s married and assumed monogamous for many years (big assumption, but still) it may also have made them think “must be skin tags”. I am beyond furious for her that the FW outright lied THREE times when asked in an extremely direct way. Extra infuriating because some STIs can be asymptomatic in men and less likely so in women. So she could be dealing with unpleasant symptoms that HE didn’t have to suffer himself. I hope her other tests come back clear.

      • What does she say about getting a forensic accountant?

        Him pressuring you to give up assets tells you that’s his weak spot, it’s where he’s going to fight you, and he’s likely been stealing money from the marriage for a long time. That’s money you should get back in the divorce.

        Also, leaving the house in your state isn’t viewed as abandonment, right? I’m sure you asked your lawyer this already, but wanted to make sure.

  • Well done Standing. You really knocked your FW off kilter. Him texting that he wants to buy a new house was sheer stupidity, even for a FW. It never ceases to amaze me though how lying, deceitful cheaters will get on their high horse and take issue with any ramifications or blowback from their actions.

  • May I ask my fellow chumps for clarification, and apologies if I am supposed to know this, but I didn’t, and it’s been niggling in the back of my mind since reading Standing’s story: am I understanding correctly that if you are in a long term relationship (years) with someone and suddenly get HPV, then it is proof that your partner had been with an infected person?

    • Can anyone confirm this is definitely always the case, please? I’ve read conflicting info in the internet and would like to be clear. At the time I was not told by my gynie that this was an STD.

      • HPV is an STI. Go to the CDC website to read up on the Human Papillomavirus.
        Also, if you search the archives, you will find that quite a few of us contracted HPV from our cheaters.

        • thank you, I have read their info. It was through reading that Standing got a HPV infection that my blood ran cold, I suppose another aspect of piecing together the real person I was together with, because I had a bad PAP smear early on in our relationship. Fortunately it quickly went from being scary to disappeared. I just never thought to connect it to FW. And I am surprised that my gynie didn’t say anything. It was a long time ago, maybe she was not aware, idk.

        • Cam, I found it confusing too, and worrying as I wouldn’t want it to come back. I did have a bad PAP smear a long time ago but I don’t have anything that I am aware of. Just reading on here made my alarm bells go off and I will be more vigilant from now on.
          Between worries about STDs and the effect of porn on men, I really don’t know if it’s worth the effort. It must be difficult to be a young woman today.

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