Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

This Mighty Woman Left a Cheater While Pregnant with Twins

There’s a special ring of hell for anyone who would cheat on a pregnant woman. It’s such a vulnerable time. Yet if you read here you know that this is a sadly common experience.

On our Tell Me How You’re Mighty podcast this week, Sarah Gorrell and I talk with CN member Alysen — single mother of four — who suffered a D-Day while she was four months pregnant with twins (child 3 and 4).

And then she LEFT the cheater — while still in her second trimester.

If that wasn’t badass enough, Alysen was the breadwinner and is a “boss lady” at a Fortune 500 company. She juggles all that and solo parents four children. The twins are now toddlers. She credits this community with helping her navigate that hellscape and keeping her sane.

Sarah — also a single mother of four — and I (a rank amateur) are completely agog at Alysen’s resilience. Like our mighty chump Standing On Shoulders yesterday, she had the presence of mind to assemble a support team and throw the mofo out immediately.

How did her ex take it? Not well. Within days of Alysen’s discovery, he had a psychiatric emergency that required everyone’s caregiving. So yes, she attended to this man’s health care WHILE SHE WAS WORKING, PREGNANT WITH TWINS, AND HAD TWO YOUNG CHILDREN AT HOME.

Tracy, where can I listen to this amazing story? Is Alysen a titanium alloy? Can we replicate her mightiness? How can such strength exist?   

I’ve embedded the episode below. You can also listen on Spotify and Google podcasts. Or, if you want to do me a solid and help pay for future podcasts — sign up on Patreon and for as little as $3 a month you can listen early and ad-free. The link is just delivered to your inbox.

Also, please support us and review the podcast!

Got a mighty story for us or a comment? You can leave us a 90-second voicemail here.


Also, announcement! Generous donors have offered to sponsor two chumps for admission AND hotel expenses to come to Chumpalooza!

Here are the details:
Join the private Facebook Chump Nation page.

  1. Go to the Giveaway Announcement and comment with any detail about the event to enter to win (info on featured posts and CL blog).
  2.  There will be 2 winners. TWO! 2 attendance tickets AND double accommodations ( You have to be ok to share a room with a fellow chump you may not know.)
  3. Entries will end Friday July 28th by 9pm, EDT.
  4. Winners will be announced the following weekend.
  5. Transportation costs are your responsibility. Please make sure you can travel to the event before entering.


Isn’t CN terrific? You guys are the best.

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.
  • I have always said it would be a whole lot easier for me to be traumatized if I had staff.

    I am a full time parent by choice. I never did daycare or even left my daughter with a babysitter until she was three. I run my house. I do have someone who mows and blows the yard every two weeks. I’ve never had housekeepers or nannies or did hired childcare. I am co-owner of a business that I founded with Traitor Ex, but I do not work at the business on a daily 9-5 basis.

    I have to hear about the support staff of stories like this. I imagine there must be support staff if one is in upper management of a Fortune 500 company and a mom of four and a homeowner.

    I was a housekeeper for many years. I don’t think the support staff of working parents gets credited enough.

    I have not often felt mighty since being chumped. Launched suddenly into single parenthood, as a homeowner with no support staff other than the bi-monthly lawn guy, with just one child, I feel like I am drowning every day with my To Do list. And barely barely barely any recreation is ever on it.

    So this kind of mighty story can leave me feeling very unmighty. I’d love to hear what kind of support staff our podcast guest has.


    • PS.

      Traitor Ex, who is hardly ever around anymore (the words of our daughter) is not living the life of someone who is a parent with a child who is a minor and appropriately prioritizes that child.

      At 59 he is trying to live the life of a twentysomething single guy who has never been married and has no children. And living with someone who is happy to play along and cares even less about the well-being of that child.

      Ironically he’s able attempt it, on my back, the person he hates and likely never loved, because I, very gladly and willingly, live the life of someone who is a parent with a child who is a minor and is prioritizing that child.

      Their behavior and attitude toward the involved children proves to me that cheaters and side pieces are clueless about what love is.

      • Velvet, I really identify with your post. I don’t often feel mighty either. Even though I now own my house, I struggle to pay the bills. The only luxury I can (barely) afford is for someone to mow my lawn. I just wanted to say I read and admire your posts. I see a lot of courage in you and you are mighty in my eyes! I’m sending you a giant virtual hug <3

    • I mean no disrespect to anyone who happens to have money, yes being chumped is still horrible. But, having resourses does help the chump get back on their feet, and gain a life. Just like in my case, though I was left with very few resources, I also didn’t have dependent children, or left with huge debt on a minimum wage salary. So though, I was left with few resources and a minimum wage salary, it was easier for me to rebuild, because I didn’t have dependent children or any significant debt.

      I hope that didn’t meander too much; but resources and support folks help a lot for sure.

    • Hi Velvet, me too. Thanks for saying it first!

      I work full time and use all the childcare. I stayed home with my babies when they were very young, got a master’s degree then started part time while still married (he was gone all the time, sees the kids now more that we’re divorced). I’m glad I kept up with my career as much as I did, but it’s a struggle to advance. There’s no one to take care of all the things elementary school kids need, when I get home from work and could be studying for my professional registration. Call it trauma , exhaustion, or laziness I don’t care — I am tired and some days I don’t want to keep struggling until I can finally retire at 70 (if nothing goes wrong). I feel like an inadequate parent and mediocre employee at best. My house is never actually clean and I have a thousand half finished projects, my car is always breaking and sometimes I don’t bother to fix it because it’s just too much for one person. And God, I exercise and go to the medi spa but it’s not enough to make a difference, I look like a wrung out dishrag. I can’t care because it doesn’t make the things be done, it just gives me anxiety.

      Even when I was married I used to joke that I needed a wife, to be able to accomplish everything I was responsible for. These days it’s no joke.

      A lot of parents and specifically moms that impress me on a daily basis, when I get to know them they also feel like they’re barely hanging on, that they’re exhausted and struggling and everyone can see it. I just keep telling myself, maybe I am one of the mighty ones like them and I just can’t see it in the mirror. Velvet… I’m sure that you are.

      Well, lunch hour is over. Back to the grind; they haven’t fired me yet. Then pick up my car, then kids sports.

      • Dancin’ I think most of us have floors that could use a sweep & scrub, and homes that look far from the photospreads in Town & Country. The only time everything in my house is clean at the same time is when I spring for housekeeping service every quarter or so. Otherwise it’s this bathroom’s clean, that room has swept floors (maybe) but other things are still messy. There’s always a project waiting to be done in my house. But my house doesn’t need to be perfect to be full of love, and it is with my daughter & I there.

        Funny enough, my mom has an amazing eye for interior design, and her home DOES look like something out of Town & Country. I stopped by her house a couple weeks ago and needed to use her bathroom. I used the upstairs one in her room for one reason or another, and saw my mother’s bathroom, covered in clutter from cosmetics, toiletries, towels, etc. It was reassuring that despite how pristine the downstairs looked, she had her own mess she hadn’t tackled behind closed doors (and she’s easing into retirement with no children at home and my dad has passed).

      • “My house is never actually clean and I have a thousand half finished projects”

        Oh, there are a lot of us in this situation. We just do our best. I’ll never reach the bottom of my “to do” list, and my floors desperately need to be vacuumed, but there are more important things in life sometimes, like playing with my son. He’s almost 11 and how much longer will he want his mommy to push him on our swing? The floors can wait. I try and keep up with the dishes and the laundry and beyond that I do what I can when I can. (Though I will say, with my next raise I am seriously thinking of a getting a bi-monthly cleaning service because that would be LOVELY. I work 9 hr days, have cats, a kid [with homework], a half acre of land with an orchard and a garden and chickens and … There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.)

    • VH, I come from mountain people who attempted almost everything by using their own initiative and energy, and family members were the “support staff.” But they had “granny women” to midwife childbirths, and they counted on the best carpenters to build coffins, or things for the local church. If someone needed a barn, they all came to work, at hay time they all helped each other. Having a community of help is an awesome thing.

      As I’ve aged, I’ve started treating myself better. I have a housekeeper every other week to do the floors and deep clean the baths, because those tasks kill my back. I would have never survived raising my sons without the help of my mother, and some great childcare.

      My point is, love yourself, and find help. You don’t have to be Wonder Woman and do everything. Maybe you can trade off childcare with friends with children, or trade skilled chores. I have a friend who is great at gardening, and I am trying to figure out something I can do to trade her for putting in some flowers in the bed along my sidewalk. Life is better with a good barter, and good friends are priceless. I could never count on my Ex to even keep my children safe, much less do anything around the house. Some people grow to be an adult, some are parasites all their life.

      You have amazing drive and energy, but everyone needs help sometimes. Love yourself enough to accept it. Sometimes your children may even enjoy having a break from you, and you need a break from them. It’s not that you don’t love them, it’s just restorative to have some alone time. Your daughter sounds like she is well on her way to become an awesome adult!

      I’m not trying to tell you what to do, just giving some unsolicited advice that I learned along the way of my journey. My sons are 33 and 36 now. They seem like fine young men to me and believe me I had a few doubts when they were teenagers! You’ve clearly done an amazing job, just don’t be afraid to seek help sometimes!

    • She’s been promoted in her career since her divorce. Because she was married to a self-employed guy with less income, she has to pay HIM alimony. And he owes her child support. It’s not the pain Olympics — her story is still incredibly mighty. I don’t know about her “staff” — her family helps her out. And there is ZERO SHAME in hiring people to help you work and raise children.

      It absolutely helps to have a job and an education if you’re chumped — especially for women. I dread every letter I get from a stay at home parent. I lived through the mommy wars of the 1990s and was neutral. Now I’m firmly on the side of get a job, any job — because a) the system is broken and will not collect child support (not enough anyway) b) even in the BEST scenario where you have a reliable committed partner, you could wind up alone from death, disease or disability, and c) get life insurance.

      Being a stay at home parent is beautiful and it leaves you economically dependent. FWs abuse the vulnerable. Economic empowerment means less vulnerability. But of course it hurts like a MOTHERFUCKER to be chumped whatever your status.

      • Totally agree with this. I was the breadwinner and climbed the corporate ladder. I feel very blessed to have money to buy support. My heart goes out to people -mostly women-who are dependent on their cheater for financial support-that must be terrifying. For walking the cheater shit show and supporting the family makes you mighty! Do not compare yourself to others, we are all living our own version of hell during this mess we were thrown in. When I was a child I knew I never wanted to depend on a man cuz my father was abusive and my mom was stuck. Women need to have some income and a means to support themselves regardless of how much you prefer to stay at home. Even without cheating, there is still a 50% divorce rate and the women get the kids the majority of the time. The number of dead beat Dads is astounding. Hugs!

      • I think one of the worst things was the anxiety over not having a job at the time of the confession and realization that a divorce was imminent (and I had already gone through anxiety over not having a job prior to knowing any of this, having given up jobs in the past to move and further his career and what I thought was our life). At the time it made sense because I was only working part time when I was pregnant and would have not had the time to take off and then would have been paying all my income toward child care. I might have actually been OK with this new trajectory had it not been so horribly undermined. I tell my daughter how important it is to strive to be independent/self-sufficient, so that you don’t need to have anyone, but can always choose to have someone in your life.

      • THANK YOU. I thought we were finally past all of this mommier-than-thou nonsense where the goal is to show how much help we don’t have, because that makes us better parents somehow?

        Let’s not forget that plenty of SAHMs have “staff”, if you want to be snotty about it, ranging from unpaid childcare courtesy of Grandma to paid nannies/au pairs and housekeepers, if their FW was high-earning enough.

        • Thank YOU. I also hate to see any kind of division in the chump ranks. I get that not everyone feels mighty all the time. Of course not, this whole process SUCKS. But Jesus Christ, be happy for those who escaped, however they escaped. This is a SUPPORT SITE.

          • I’m with CL that if you can keep some sort of work, do it. But sometimes those small jobs don’t cover the childcare needed — so it seems like there’s no purpose unless you’re just ensuring you have work if your marriage falls apart? I was making as much $$ as FW before having a kid… I was kicking ass. But it ANGERED FW. So when I we had our son, we both wanted me to be a SAHM (me — to be with my son…. and now I know that he wanted me to quit so he wouldn’t have “pay competition” and to trap me). I was home for nearly 10 years… and FW mocked me and berated me when he left: “you’ll never get a job after 10 years!” It sucks no matter what situation you’re in. But if you’re a SAHM that previously worked… keep that network! Stay in touch with people you worked with! That network saved me and I bounced back quickly. A coworker from 10 years prior got me right back into a senior position.

          • Oh absolutely, my complaining is complaining, not to take away from anything she accomplished. A feat like that sure feels impossible some (most) days, but I think most of us are doing better than we feel we are.

          • This is why we need universal health care in the US and govt run day care that is free and staffed by trained personnel. The lives Chumps live is so unnecessary and could be fixed if we had term limits. All I see are politicians whose entire lives are devoted to being re-elected and this is aimed at both parties. They need to be focused on their constituents and how to support them.
            I was a sahm until my my youngest was in school and I was always aware I was so dependent on another for the actual food in my mouth. My job does not pay a lot but I have great health insurance for my family. My husband left a good job to start his own business and my insurance paid for his very serious surgery. We would have been unable to feed ourselves and our kids without it.
            I came here because of my brother, the Chump, and his kids, who were abandoned, but I stay because I have learned so much from this site.

      • To clarify, I am a full time parent whose income comes from my company, not from Traitor Ex. My dependence is on the company, not him , thankfully. We built the company together, are equal owners, and it’s just as much my achievement as his. Neither of us can force the other out. It’s another super sucky co-parenting situation.

        After reading today’s post, what was on my mind was the necessity of “support staff” whether it is family, friends, hired or voluntary. I have no family other than my daughter and a cousin who lives far away, but I do have the ability to ask for help and the privilege of being able hire it, and I do so when I need it. Still, I often feel like I am drowning (DDay was OCT 2017).

        I believe that we all need each other and that my accomplishments came with a lot of assistance, something Traitor Ex’s outsize ego and foolish pride does not allow him to admit.

      • I saw the economic disparity of one-income households when I was a young child and decided it would never be my choice. I worked in underpaid positions for years for colleges to encourage both sexes to get some type of post-secondary education or training so that they could find a job and have their own money and retirement programs, and hopefully insurance. I keep hope alive that someday the majority of people will see the value of educating all people and training all people regardless of sex or religion or color to give them the means to fight out of poverty and live productive lives with choices.

        When the entitled hold all the economic cards, they see no need for people to rise up from poverty and ignorance. They are only focused on becoming more wealthy and powerful, and they need to have people with few or no choices to work FOR them. I truly believe that we are better off as a society when we have a strong working middle class, and many opportunities for work for those who are under educated for today’s world. The need for food, shelter, and respect are universal. We will never be a truly strong or compassionate society unless we see that all members are able to access these basic needs.

      • “Being a stay at home parent is beautiful and it leaves you economically dependent.”

        💯, even working part time, if you are putting your partner’s career first you are vulnerable.

        When I wanted to leave him, Fuckwit acted like I was having a tantrum and would come to my senses. He was always one to complain about my spending (which was for the kids – but whatever he spent on himself was fine). Suddenly he was going to pay for this & that. Seriously he thought I would stay for his salary. And the fact is, if the government didn’t take child support out of his paycheck I don’t know where I’d be. Not going on vacation this summer, that’s for sure.

    • Hi VH,
      There is no doubt that financial means make leaving a cheater and gaining a life easier. But it also brings its share of difficulties, not the least of which being the shit sandwich of paying alimony to the cheater.
      We can (should) celebrate the amazing mightiness of chumps like Alysen, AND recognize that there are times we don’t feel mighty at all. We can do both.
      What we can’t do is fight amongst ourselves about who has it easier. It helps no one. We’re fighting against RIC, cheaters and the patriarchy. We’re fighting for a new narrative.
      We’ve all been dealt a majorly sucky deal. We’re all Chumps. I root for the ones like Alysen, putting the divorce on overdrive, no matter their situations. And I root for the ones who could not get out of bed today.
      How about we take courage and inspiration from the firsts, and support those on their way to that mightiness. This was the first episode of the podcast featuring the story of a chump. There will be many more and each one will have its own merits. It’s not a competition.

    • Nobody’s Chump story is judging yours or anyone else’s, Velvet Hammer. Life is not a competition. Nobody on the internet can “make” you feel unmighty except you.

      • I’m not competing with or criticizing Alysen. I was speaking for myself and about myself. I also said nothing about anyone “making” me feel how I do, and I am well aware that no one is to blame for how I feel.

  • I couldn’t see anything imbedded either. But I am not a member yet, so I figured maybe it only showed for members.

    • No, it was released on patreon a few days ago, so I think the intent is for everyone to be able to access it now.

  • I love hearing stories of chumps who had a D-day and decided “Nope, you’re OUT motherfucker!” Women or men, doesn’t matter. This is not baseball, you do not get three strikes. One strike you’re out.

    I think it gives hope to those chumps who are scared, afraid of what the unknown will be, and who have been forced to listen to RIC garbage and made to feel like leaving is wrong. The stories of chumps who dropped the FW immediately is the best possible counter to that narrative. The push back that says NO YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STICK AROUND FOR THIS. The NO, you did NOT push them to do this, nothing you did made them do this, and no you don’t need to wait around for them to “decide” between you and the AP. You CAN leave, it is OK to leave, it is MIGHTY to leave.

  • I was reading Velvet Hammer’s post and I get it. I stopped reading most of the ‘how are you mighty’ Friday challenges because they just make me feel crappy if I’m having a bad day.
    I’m also wondering if there’s a big difference between when people kick the cheater out and want nothing to do with that lying piece of shit, vs thinking you are in a wonderful marriage and life situation, and then suddenly being discarded? Pick me dancing hard and being rejected on top of rejected didn’t inspire any mightiness feelings, it was more like survival.
    I am disheartened that things haven’t wrapped up for me emotionally yet. I go through long periods where I think I’ve moved on… But then sometimes, I get caught up in memories or ugh very infrequent pain shopping (against my better judgment, but I’m always hoping to find some consequences for the cheater -which I think will make me feel better – I don’t, I end up finding a job, promotion or FW’s marriage to workplace schmoopie).
    I also think that when you are running on survival, you’re so busy… My kids are older and don’t need me as much so now I have way more time to feel lonely.
    I’m working on it.
    But I’m wondering if age, the quality of life you seemingly had while married and whether or not you had a choice in the situation, finances, support system, past trauma, personality traits….. so many things…..make it harder for some people to feel mighty?
    Although I’m happy for those who feel they are thriving – I just feel I’m living. I’m grateful for the things I have for sure, but for whatever reason, it still feels like a loss.

    • ” vs thinking you are in a wonderful marriage and life situation, and then suddenly being discarded?”

      I agree, this is a horrible situation, in the context of a 21 year marriage, yes I knew the literal last year we were together (Jan to Dec) something was off, and it grew more and more off. But, up to that point there was (to Me) no indication that our marriage was crumbling, sex was often including adventurous. We were working together and haveing sun in the community/friends/politice, but for at least three years of that he was hiding a secret life. Yes I knew he had some character flaws he had struggled with, and he had grown so much and (to me) we were so close and I just knew that despite his flaws or mine we had each others back.

      Then over night he grew cold, yes I asked him about it and he used the ever so common new promotion/job stress. In reality, he had used me to help him advance and he was quite done with me, he had simply activated the planned discard process.

      It still hurts though I have a loving sweetheart of an H now. I got to see him demoted, and humiliated on the job for his actions; but that never took away the pain of being discarded like yesterdays news paper. (I’m old).

      As bad as that was, I can’t even imagine if he had dicarded me the day after his promotion instead of doing the year of gradual devaluing and ever increasing meanness.

      Note: I think the plan was a two year discard period to get him through the next election cycle, then someone filed an ethics complaint and his house of cards fell, and he had to push on the discard accelerator.

    • I do acknowledge that I am very priviledged with how things worked out for me. I was a disaster for awhile (4-ish years), and felt like I was barely surviving. FW dumped me via text message after 10 years of marriage. I did the humiliating pick-me-dance for several years, which certainly didn’t help my healing. I was 39 at D-day, and I certainly didn’t want to start my life over at 40. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, lost 40 lb, cried every day, and some days couldn’t get out of bed. I had had no say whatsoever in what happened, but still:

      -I had my mother, who gave me a place to live and helped (and continues to help) with childcare whenever I needed it. She also gave me the retainer so I could hire an attorney, because at the time I had very little money.

      -I had a very good job, which got better after a promotion (with significant raise) that has allowed me to pay off all my debts, pay my attorney, take care of myself and my son, and allowed me to buy a house this year without the help of a partner.

      -My FW died two years ago, so I no longer have to live in fear of his continued threats and abuse, don’t have to see him with OW (AP left him about 4 months before he died, but I have no doubt there would have been other OW if he’d lived), don’t have to worry about what my child is being exposed to, don’t have to deal with missed child support payments, or seeing him and his flavor of the month at school functions or other events, etc.

      -I found a great therapist (my 4th try in finding one) who helped me so, so much with processing everything.

      -I had a kick-ass lawyer, who ended up writing off my last 10K owed as a gift, after FW died, putting me ahead by a year financially.

      -I’m an introvert, so not having a partner and losing pretty much my whole social circle, and then going through COVID and the lockdown didn’t bother me as much as I’m sure it bothers others who thrive on interaction with others.

      -I’m demisexual, so not having a sexual partner is okay and doesn’t feel like a loss to me. FW was no longer a safe person, so I stopped desiring him. It has taken me a long time to realize why I stopped having sexual desire for him, even while we were married. I need to feel close to someone to have sexual feelings, and his abuse pushed me away.

      These are things that not all chumps have, and I know am very fortunate.

      I think one thing that has really helped me heal and feel mighty is that my marriage was very unhealthy. He had abused me for a decade: verbally, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I was so “used to” it that I didn’t recognize what I was trapped in. I blamed myself for the abuse, and then for the affair. My therapist helped me see just how bad things had been, as did time and distance from FW. Recognizing that has meant that I stopped feeling like I’d been discarded, and reframing it as that I had been FREED. It didn’t matter how happy FW and OW looked on their social media (I pain shopped regularly, and their life looked like a fairytale). He had nearly killed me and now I was out. And he ended up abusing OW the same way he abused me. Their “happy” life was anything but, as I found out later via letters and other evidence I discovered after FW’s death. So even if you see good things happening to them, it doesn’t mean their life is good. I focused on filling my life with good things – pets, hobbies, friends, etc. and that helped take my focus off FW and OW.

      How far out are you from D-day? It took me about 5 years to feel like myself again. And healing is definitely not linear. Even now, I still have quite a bit of residual anger at OW which sometimes rears its ugly head.

      • This is exactly right. I found my mighty and stopped allowing klootzak to walk all over me once I changed my mindset from being discarded to being freed. My marriage has felt like a horrible trap where I am subject to non-stop emotional and financial abuse. It’s a prison sentence. There are murderers in this country who have served less time than I have.

      • Thanks, I’m under 4 yrs so there’s hope 😉! After Dday there have been neg. health things pop up that weren’t there before (and no spouse to help out), covid, kids moving out, aging parents, getting close to retirement, the cost of everything….the state of the world….it’s just a lot!

        • It is a lot. I get sticker shock every time I grocery shop. And there are times I get overwhelmed by all the problems in the world.

          As far as health goes, FW never took care of me when I was sick. I usually dragged myself around still doing everything for him no matter how crappy I felt (even when I had a potentially fatal lung infection and was on numerous drugs one of which was administered through a port in my arm). So honestly having to take care of myself with no help when I’m sick is nothing new. It’s actually better than when I was married because FW often verbally abused me when I was unwell, calling me lazy and a waste of space, especially when I had to be out of work for a few months with the previously mentioned illness. Or he’d manufacture some malady of his own and declare he was sicker than I was so HE needed care.

          There’s an episode of Call the Midwife (love that show) where a character’s (no spoilers!) boyfriend dies in an accident, and she asks a patient (who survived a Nazi death camp and lost most of her family) how she is suppose to go on and the reply is “There will be better days than this…You just keep living. Until you are alive again.” And I think that is what we have to do.

          • “FW often verbally abused me when I was unwell, calling me lazy and a waste of space, especially when I had to be out of work for a few months with the previously mentioned illness. Or he’d manufacture some malady of his own and declare he was sicker than I was so HE needed care.”

            😡 I’d like to give him a malady called SOGS. It stands for stomped on gonads syndrome.

            • He’s dead now and in a box. So I’m good. Appreciate the sentiment, though, lol.

          • “There will be better days than this…You just keep living. Until you are alive again.” And I think that is what we have to do.“
            I ❤️That, thank you

      • My therapist said 5 years to feel like my self again. It’ll be 5 years in September. I’m much better now. I admit I’d love to see consequences for him.
        No relationship with adult children or grandchildren, or his siblings is a form consequences…

      • Took me 5 years to feel like myself again, and a full 7 years since the cheater left until I’d well and truly fixed my trusty picker for friends, associates and lovers. Keep going!

    • “thinking you are in a wonderful marriage and life situation, and then suddenly being discarded?”

      So that was me 14 years ago after a 25 year marriage.

      Shock, anger, depression, suicidality, fear…I could go on and on.

      I always say here that healing can take a lot of time! Years.
      Years of picking myself up, therapy, adjusting to a whole new lifestyle and living situation, a 3 year very nasty divorce, moving (many times trying to afford my new life), getting my kids in their feet and moving forward. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

      BUT the past few years have brought a change in attitude and some peace of mind. My life is fully mine now and I can embrace that I’m much happier with who I am now and proud of how I got here.

      My message is that it may take a LOT longer for some of us to get to our Tuesday but we can get there.

      Have faith.

    • You know what? It IS a loss. My marriage before d-day wasn’t so great. I’m definitely glad I left. I have no regrets about leaving. I gained some things by leaving, really important things. But that doesn’t mean that being devalued and discarded, and losing the future I’d worked so hard for, as well as losing the sense that I was part of a family–even though he was shit at family!–didn’t (and doesn’t) hurt and wasn’t (and isn’t) a loss.

      I’m one of the fortunate ones. Our son was an adult. I had a professional job that was the same as and paid the same as my now-ex’s job. I had a pension that was equal to his. We had no debt and a paid off house. All that made leaving and life afterwards much, much easier. But I still have down days. Down days, I’ve decided, are par for the course, which makes it easier to endure them when they come.

    • Gonna weigh in here Zip. I feel you on this point 💯❤️
      From my experience there is a HUGE difference if you were totally blindsided by the abandonment and discard and affair. Especially if it happened in that order, also super fast and you were (at the actual time of abandonment) happy and thought he was happy and there were no signs at all. Count me in that camp too.
      It was seriously hardcore TRAUMATIC to go from a totally integrated life with hundreds of relationships in the mix (family-friends-local area- business etc) to absolutely none. When this happens (as it did to me) it actually means your spouse was seriously under the radar covert in their methodology and abuse tactics. And they were setting up for many many years. By the time I divorced him we had been together 18 years. It’s not as long as others but he stole critical time and resources I can never recover.
      That’s why sometimes I read here about the truly egregious FWs who seem super overt and doing obvious hideousness. Much easier to go — “ok buddy, we’re done here! GTFO l!” in that case as it is more tangible, the reasons are more concrete and evidentiary chain is there or whatever so that decision making arc is clearer for the chump.
      I also had a business that I started with my XH the cheater. So I had a few years similar to Velvet Hammer and I have the same time line as VH too. It was very difficult to work with him after the discard and he had ripped his incredibly seamless chamelonic / demonic mask right off.
      We then had to work together until all the legals were through and I didn’t find the amazing chump lady and this beautiful community for several years. I was a destroyed mess at the time and for a long time. Nothing made sense. It has taken me this past 5 years to even get my baseline calm and genuinely happy loving nature completely restored. But I STILL have my bad days!
      So I’m sending you a huge hug as I totally get where you’re coming from!
      It is never over.
      It will never be over for me.
      It haunts me.
      The echo chamber of the worst trauma that I ever experienced, is with me on the daily.
      No matter how much support you do or don’t have (and in my case all had was pretty much the support I paid for) this shit is the hardest thing anyone will ever go through.
      Everyone here, regardless of gender is a freaking hero!
      Hugs Zip and hugs all ❤️❤️❤️

      • I’m so sorry you had to go through that Samsara.
        And you’re right, it was 1st the sudden discard (from my best friend) and then discovering the why (after sooo much lying).

        I did leave my first H after years of turmoil and untreated issues on his end. Although it was traumatizing and difficult for many reasons including that there were young children involved, I didn’t looked back. I only wished that I could’ve had complete no contact, but we were coparenting.

        FW breakup hit me way harder even though it was a short marriage.
        I have to remind myself that those covert types really do a number on you. And because he is out there in the world, looking and sounding great, there were no consequences. Even though he was married in high level management, screwing someone lower in the ranks who was also married, he still managed
        to get an even better promotion and he married schmoopie. He sad sausaged his way all around work and I’m sure they felt sorry for him because he’s such a great guy – and for the way he was looking and sounding after the discard, you would think that I was the one who dumped him.
        The covert types who dump you are horrible
        and in my case, disorientate you for years.
        – but look at Ariana Grande’s latest partner. He dumped his wife and mother of his child one day to the next to be with Ariana. Will there be consequences for him?

        • Zip, the coverts are the worst. Their gaslighting is devious and hard to glean even if you’re reasonably street smart or even book smart. It’s insidious and in my view does a total number on you. The damage is real and lasting. It’s abuse and we are victim-survivors. Stay strong lovely, you’re going to feel so much better around the 5 year mark. Hang in there, keep doing the next right thing and the sunshine will come once more x

    • Hi Zip, I can empathise with your description of how you still feel, I was so disappointed to discover I felt like that instead of feeling free and happy, and I certainly felt a huge sense of loss. What has made a world of difference to me is working on finding what gives my life meaning and what I need to feel fulfilled. It is a big job to get your head around the fact that “life as I know it” is actually over, including all the unfulfilled dreams which will now never be fulfilled, but I’m not thinking about all that any more since focussing upon self-fulfilment.

      • ❤️ You are right, I’m working on that now.
        That could be a good Friday challenge!

  • IT WORKS NOW. (God grant me an IT magic wand…) Sorry for the delay.

  • If I didn’t know any better, Alysen could have been me. This was my experience almost to a T last year during my entire pregnancy. 10 years married. Second child. This episode was both eye opening and also a bit triggering for me, only because I’m still healing. Power to you, Alysen.

  • I suspect most of the chumps who read this blog have the time and resources and internet connection to do so. And that may put us in a more privileged position than many.

    But choosing to be taken care of by others or to rely on a cheater carries its own risks, too.

    My zig zag path to healing has come from replacing memories with my own pursuits and accomplishments.

    Mightiness is how we use the resources we have. My definition of a successful adult has always been the ability to fully care for oneself and those who truly depend on us.

    • I have a lot of resource’s now, through years of hard work and sacrifice, but not when I was chumped. I suspect it is the same for many. In fact I am so old, internet didn’t exist at that time.

      I was up until close to Dday a full time parent. There is, nor should there be any shame/blame a full time mother should feel, anymore than a mother who has to work to support her children fell any shame/blame for being chumped. Lordy I hated the mom wars of the 70s.

      However I do think that having internet resources has really expanded information to most, even if they don’t personally have a computer system, via libraries and friends etc. I used a library in my time, but I knew nothing about how to find good resources on being dumped and shit on. And was too embarrassed to ask anyway. Being treated like dog shit by my husband was humiliating to me.

      Yes most will learn to use their resources well, but in many cases it still will be inadequate for themselves and likely their children.

      A successful adult to me is one who keeps walking through hell and getting up from falls, no matter how it turns out. For most it will turn out fine, others may not be as fortunate; but they still succeeded just by staying the course.

      I was still so blessed as I had a full time job with a few benefits, even if it was hard to stretch the pay. I can’t imagine how tough it was for those who had children to add to the mix.

  • Ha ha. Loving the podcast. “A sea of incompetence”. LOL.

    FW was also “father of the year” if people were watching. He LOVED to post photos of anything and everything he did with our kid on social media, and just ate up all the compliments (he also trumpeted about our son’s autism, and people would SHOWER him with praise, as if FW were some kind of hero for being loving towards his disabled child, which is so ableist and gross; I support my son however he needs, but I do not use his disability for clout or to make myself look good, ever – I am also autistic and FW numerous times used that as an insult towards me, “you’re not autistic, you’re just an idiot!” which showed what he REALLY thought of autistic people).

    I agree, being a single mom is way easier than dealing with FW. FW was my second child, except he stayed an overgrown toddler forever. My workload DECREASED when he left. I realized I’d been doing 99% of the work anyway or did I have to clean up after HIM and be his secretary and personal assistant. OW took over that job, but she wasn’t very good at it. After he died, I got (obviously) 100% custody of my son. And then it was even easier, because I didn’t have to fight with him about everything anymore. Oh, I just heard the part where Sarah said “we’ve removed ourselves from a dysfuntional family”. I love that. My son no longer has a role model of a disrespectful, selfish, sexist, abusive father. I know I’m not perfect, but I hope that I can show my son what love and respect look like.

    I also find it really hard to accept help, but I am working on that. I bought a house and my next door neighbor offered to cut my grass with his ride-on mower (I only had a push mower and I have a 1/2 acre). I almost said no, but I decded to say yes. It really did help me. My neighbor on the other side offered me an extra mower that he had, and I accepted gladly. I had friends help me paint the house, etc. So I’m learning.

  • “Within days of Alysen’s discovery, he had a psychiatric emergency that required everyone’s caregiving.”

    Gee, that was awfully convenient for FW. It’s pretty easy to fake a psychiatric emergency. Just act crazy and threaten suicide. My FW tried the fake suicidal ideation route.

    That is such wonderful news about the generosity of CN. Chumps are the best!

  • Truly enjoying this podcast! How about an episode on Chumps with extreme health crisis possibly due to the FWs; anxiety, depression, eating issues, possible autoimmune, I can add cancer and a heart attack to the mix as well, but…..hopefully we have come back stronger, smarter, amazing!!

  • What strikes me immediately about the guest is how authentic she is. Alysen is obviously severely lacking in bullshit. For that her FW had to go elsewhere to wallow, as pigs are wont to do.

  • The money can become funny and the change strange if married to a liar and cheater. That covers a stay-at-home parent who is financially dependent OR a financially irresponsible spouse/parent.

    • Yep and you can think you are finaiancially secure and find out your liar has put you in serious finnancial straits.

      I have always said the best thing I got out of my D, was to walk away with no debt. he had put us in debt with unknown charges, and his buying of investment properties. Luckily when his house of cards fell it was to his advantage to stay solvent, so he took over “legally” all debt. He got to keep all the property, which he sold (for a profit) after we divorced.

      It was worth it to me, rather than go through a long fight. As for whore wife, well he gambled them into massive debt a few years later. I oft wondered if she missed me helping him romance her. Lol.

  • I lived as a single mom for all the years that FW was in the house. Now my kids are 24, 21, and 18. I feel like I can finally catch my breath.

  • On the having support front, I am seriously looking at making the leap back to a career path I gave up just as I got pregnant with my son. The pay is more than the current position I am in and I could really use it for legal fees but also to get help with the yard and for car repairs that will inevitably come. And it sure would be nice to finally have occasional housekeeping help.

    I remember when I married klootzak and he said that with both of us working, it was reasonable that we should hire housekeepers to help every other week. He talked a big talk. I hired two different companies and he made me let them both go because he didn’t like how they did things. He also claimed they scratched our blinds when dusting. So I became the housekeeper while also working full time and it never changed. Time to change that! A new job with more $ will help a lot!

    • I recommend robots to clean the floors. I have an i mop robot $200, and a eufy vacuum robot. Got it a few yrs ago but was about $250 then. Laundry you just have to do yourself anyways as well as daily kitchen if you cook. I spot clean bathrooms. If the counter is dirty one day I clean it or toilet. Takes 5 minutes and doesnt feel overwhelming! They paid for themselves after 2-3 months.

      • I love my roomba. I’ve though about getting a mopping robot too, as all my floors are hardwood or tile.

        I’m still thinking of hiring a cleaning service once I get my next raise, to clean the bathrooms and dust and all that. I’d rather do other things with my limited free time.

  • Thanks for the support and encouragement. Finding out you’re being cheated on while pregnant is horrible. The betrayal is so deep. And the vulnerability and lack of support was unthinkable. To be building a life with my husband/best friend (or so I thought) and then be blindsided by his double life while we had just uprooted our lives and moved into our dream home with our 2 kids and I was getting my twin babies room ready, was unspeakable. The support that I built consisted of my friends and family, my older kids’ friends moms (offered play dates and to bring us dinners, take my kids home from school, etc) and the post partum doula I hired for a few nights a week during my maternity leave. My friend threw me a fundraiser instead of a baby shower to pay for the doula who had experience with 6 other twin families! Another friend found used baby gear people were happy to donate. My sister in law decorated and organized my nursery. Coworkers gave me clothes their kids outgrew for my babies. Another friend put together two cribs for me one night while I lay on the floor on my side from exhaustion and played go fish with my kids. It was hard. Asking for help was hard. I had a friend as my birth partner. That was so painful (not having the father of my children and life partner) and amazing at the same time. I asked people to help me, to protect me. I felt so incredibly, betrayed. And intentionally hurt. And traumatized. And I was trying to protect my babies from it and keep myself healthy enough to grow them.

    Luckily my company gave me 16 weeks of paid maternity leave and I was able to recover from a very difficult pregnancy and birth, adjust to two new borns, parent 2 older kids alone (FW only had visitation) and have an experienced doula teach me how to tandem nurse and keep twins on the same schedule and double baby wear, etc all while filing another MOU and trying to go through mediation. I was blindsided into becoming a single mom of 4 when I thought we were expanding into a family of 6.

    I look forward to helping others when I am able. The ‘dream home’ I’m still in has a rentable space I look forward to using to help newly divorced moms and their kids. A place to help them feel safe and get back on their feet. I’m not quite ready to open my home to others, and I look forward to when I am. I’m still very much in protection mode.

    My twin babies are 15 months old. I’ve been divorced 4 months. I’m still going through this. It’s hard. For a long time, every breath was mighty. Not crying in front of my kids was mighty. Each day I did and do my best. Some times that is mighty AF. Others, not so much. This sucks. And I’m sorry we are all here. I am also grateful for this place. It has really helped me to know I am not alone. We are all mighty.

    • Hi Alysen,

      Thank you for sharing this.
      My apologies (at group level) to you if what I shared above offended you as it seems to have some others. Mom/boss/pregnant with twins /cheated on is a mind blowing massively overfilled plate and my desire to hear about the help you have was not because I feel critical of it. My ass is so kicked by the setup I have that I genuinely want to hear how anyone who accomplishes so much more than I have been able to does it.
      Years ago, working full time while building a business with my former husband when I thought we were a solid team, without children or being pregnant, totally kicked my ass too.
      It’s time management secrets that I
      am after.

      Since DDay I often wish I had the staff of Downton Abbey helping me manage the tasks of daily living because the pain of betrayal makes them such a challenge. It would not be less painful but it would be easier to have a cook and a gardener, a chauffeur to manages the vehicles, a housekeeping staff, an animal wrangler, a secretary so no one would forget to make and keep appointments, etc.

      I don’t need a guy to iron shoelaces or newspapers like King Charles lll, but I wouldn’t turn them away.

      A residential recovery facility where the cheated on could stay with their children for a period of time, to heal
      and get help leaving/rebuilding nuked lives is another thing I wish for.

      ((( ❤️ )))

      • Velvet Hammer, I think it’s ok and just human to feel the needs and wishes you have expressed. I am alone with just a few pets and feel utterly overwhelmed most of the time and have no idea how I used to be a time management ninja, so I am in awe when I read of all the things you for example cope with, or other chumps with children, not to mention new partners.

        I would like to give you some sympathy regarding comparing your situation to someone else as I also sometimes compare my situation on CL because I have only debts and there is nothing to get from FW when we divorce, and I’ve already lost my home, savings etc thanks to him. So when I read of chumps who’ve come out with – well, anything, then I wish that were me, not surprisingly.

        But I think at the end of the day, what is uniting us here is the emotional and psychological battle which each of us is fighting in order to survive and thrive, and that is independent of whatever assets we may or may not have, and it is a total leveller. I don’t believe that assets make a difference in that battle, as it’s how we cope internally which makes our life a paradise or a prison, even if it’s gold-plated.

        I am sending blessings across the ether for you to receive the respite you need xx

    • Alysen, I’m so sorry you went through and endured what you did. I give you so much credit for picking yourself up and doing everything you needed to do for both you and your babies. Your story truly has given me chills, because as I listened to the podcast episode, it felt as though I were listening to myself talk. What I went through the past 15 months is eerily similar to what you went through. My now ex husband of 10 years (together for 18) left me for his affair partner (someone who attended our gym) while I was just 8 weeks pregnant with our second child. I desperately did the pick-me dance and did not have the courage to kick him out or divorce him during my pregnancy. He lead an open affair during the entire pregnancy and while I was postpartum before we finally divorced 2 months ago. It was extremely traumatizing. I too isolated myself and tried my very best to literally do everything by myself. He too is self employed and on paper I am the breadwinner. Now that I am out of my marriage, I finally feel free. I’m so thankful you shared your story, because even though I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, it helps to know I’m not alone. I hope that I can help other women in similar situations as well. Thank you for sharing and blessings to you and your kids.

  • Cheaters pick us chumps sometimes because WE ARE the type of people who can have 2 kids, carry twins, work at a fortune 500 company be the breadwinner, deal with a spouses psychotic break and kick them to the curb. They covet us. They schmooze us and love bomb us, we fall for it. Meanwhile, they dont work, they are addicts, they dont cook, clean, shop, or take care of the kids. They are deadbeats sucking off the teats. They have poor self image, they know they suck. Their remedy?

    Get a broken bird to rescue, so they can feel like a hero. Or just to feel superior. Its all fun and games.

  • I was cheated on while pregnant and found out at month 8.

    I was so stressed and upset by it that I thought I would lose the baby.

  • A great podcast. I’m one of the cheated on while pregnant. They’re textbook! The whole mental breakdown thing! Seriously, everything follows a script.

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: