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Bait and Switch Cheater Tactics

A common refrain among chumps is “I never saw it coming.” Followed by all the ways their unbeknownst cheaters demonstrated they were invested. They sent goopy love letters. They bought a new house together weeks before D-Day. Professed undying commitments. Swore on their children’s lives they’d never cheat. Bought the chump flowers/jewelry/a new band saw/boobs/pressure washer…

Then D-day hits and the cheater says they never loved them at all.

No, every year was a MISERY.

Yesterday’s letter had a passage that summed up this mindfuck very nicely.

We were best friends for 25 years! Just 4 months before his affair started he cried on Xmas morning about how great his life was and how lucky he was. He wrote me long love notes that same year, including weeks before his affair began.

Can anyone relate? Mine asked me to marry him. I discovered the double life less than six months after our wedding.

So, today’s Friday Challenge is the ol’ bait and switch. What ways did your cheater throw you off the trail?


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  • X Dickhead gave me a diamond ring – very similar to my engagement ring only larger. I look back now and wonder if it was meant to be for an AP he was with and never intended for me 💍

      • Same. One year at Christmas he got me a blue cameo necklace. It was pretty and I said thank you but he was upset that I wasn’t excited enough. Did I know how long it took him to find a blue cameo. I stared at him blankly because I had no idea why he would be searching for a blue cameo necklace specifically. He got upset and talked about how I had one when I was young and had loved it so he went out of his way to get me another one.

        Except, I didn’t have one. I didn’t even know they came in blue. I wonder if some other woman told him that story and he later thought it was me or if he just full on bought it for someone else and then that didn’t work out and he couldn’t return it so he gaslit me about it.

        • I’ve mentioned before that the ex had a disorder of buying multiples of things he liked. Exactly the same. Shoes, coats, motorcycle, campers… Bizzare I just heard he got sibling puppies. Hope that’s going well cause he’s never had to train one let alone two.
          One Mother’s Day towards the end he literally hurled a pair of diamond earrings at me stating he bought them for DD but she didn’t have her ears pierced. Later I asked if he simply had a stash that he handed out to every side piece. Naturally he said no but he was already a proven liar.I guess the kicker was that was about 25 ys in and he was one of many who stated the you’re not my mother bit and had never been kind or given me anything on that day. Look what you get if you stick around for more abuse.
          He did state several times I needed a new car which was simply bait from a future faker. I wish I’d gone ahead and let him get that but I would have not had a voice in what I wanted. I liked what I had though it had high mileage. I eventually bartered it for work I needed here and bought a used vehicle of my choice. It’s still being driven and dependable for the other person.

          • Oh boy. “I got you a gift. You should love it. Its exactly what I wanted for you. Why don’t you like it? How ungrateful you are. I went to so much trouble to get this for you. I try so hard to make you happy”……

            • I’m fairly certain that I also got presents that were intended for someone else. I also got guilt presents and presents designed to make me think he was actually invested in our relationship. What I never got was a present that was chosen with thought and care to what I actually wanted and would love.

          • In my hopium-fueled wreckonsillyation, I yearned for a new set of wedding rings that would symbolize the new, stronger marriage after his one (cough, sputter) affair. Yes, I was THAT far down the rabbit hole (shaking my head at my self).

            I used to browse websites featuring wedding rings BY THE HOUR. He future faked the fact that he intended to buy one ALL THE TIME…he would ask my ring size and do all sorts of little gestures inferring that it was around the next corner.

            Just as we were having our 25th wedding anniversary (where I thought the ring would appear) we had a reversal of circumstances and the money for the ring was needed for family stuff but shortly thereafter the future faking started back up again.

            Just before he died, in a rare moment of asking him to account for himself, I asked him “You refer to buying a ring all the time but dont do it, what gives?” He said “successful men’s wives have big diamonds and Ive never been successful enough to buy one”.

            So there it was, the ring (had it been real) had NOTHING to do with me or love, it was to show his level of success. In the end, I was SOOOO GLAD he never bought it. What the hell would I have done with it if he had?

          • I eventually found out that some things he bought me, he also bought her. Not so much that he went out and had a stash he just gave to every vagina-owning person he knew, but just that he couldn’t be bothered to pick us out individual gifts. Absolute fuckery.

        • I had this happen more times than I could count. Klootzak would insist that I had been to some hotel or restaurant where I had never been. Or he would say something about me liking or not liking something or talking about something that was clearly not me. The first few times it happened, I thought he was losing his mind and tried to correct him. He was insistent I was wrong and that I had actually eaten at a restaurant where I had never been. Tried to gaslight me about it! Then after D-day, I realized he was misremembering when he had actually been to those place with OW or had been told those memories by them. He could only compartmentalize so much.

        • For mother’s day, he got me red velvet cheesecake. He expected me to be over the moon because it was red velvet.

          I have zero affinity for red velvet. I’m a New York cheesecake girl all the way.

          I’ll bet Ichabod Pigeon-Toes loves red velvet.

          Also, apparently I’m afraid of bridges….? (Nope!)

        • “Except, I didn’t have one. I didn’t even know they came in blue. I wonder if some other woman told him that story and he later thought it was me….”

          makes an unladylike snort at the memories Same Katie! I actually forgot about this. my dickhead did this all the time, like so often I thought I had early onset memory loss. One Christmas he cooked us a swordfish meal (because nothing screams saint nick like predator fish) and I was reluctant because I’m allergic to mercury, something found in fish like swordfish, but he wanted to recreate that “magical dinner I had in Fiji when I had swordfish and everything was perfect and my heart… ”… ok I forget what my heart was supposed to feel like but it was bad poetry about a fricking fish meal… anyway he wanted to do it… 1) I’ve never ever ordered swordfish in my life, in fact still have never seen it on a menu & 2) I ate a bag of salt & vinegar chips my one and only time my feet was on Fiji soil because I had a connecting flight and couldn’t leave the airport and I was only 13. Predator fish meal backfired and we spent Christmas night in emergency after… surprise surprise… I had a mild but still scary-ish allergic reaction. What a dickhead, UGH! But we’ve been divorced for sometime and so now looking back on this trait I just LOL at the would be poet AP who’s inspo was fish dinner, what a deep soul (snort not).

      • I’m sure that every time he bought me a piece of jewelry, it was because he was cheating with some new conquest. So gross, and tainted all those memories.

    • After my ex moved out but before divorce, when he was still coming and going to see the kids, etc. I went through a cabinet that was attached to the dresser he had used. In there I found a pack of sexytime coupons and a box wrapped in red paper. They were next to the empty bag from the store where he had bought my valentine’s chocolates (last Valentine’s day before DDay). I wondered at the time if these had been intended for me or Schmoopie and why he hadn’t given them to either of us. The coupon book disappeared a few weeks later (so clearly intended for Schmoopie). The box in red paper is still there to this day. Maybe someday I will get curious and open it (it was seven years ago now that it was discovered), but for now it just sits there as a reminder of his betrayal.

  • Mine wanted to update our wills to make sure the house and all the assets go to each other (we hadn’t updated them since we had been renting many years ago) And he was in the middle of reno-ing our kitchen when he left to make our forever home more comfortable for us. He left me with a half demoed kitchen that I had to find contractors to come and finish the job he half started/finished. Took me over 6 months to find someone to come in and clean up the mess he left. And we had plans to go on vacations, he was under the impression that he could go and cheat with his co-worker, and then we would still go on our vacations that were planned. He was very surprised when I cancelled them.

    • We planned a family trip to Hawaii. My friend had lived there for a bit and I was like let’s go already because we can stay at her house for free for a majority of the trip then spend some time with the kids at Disney’s Aulani. A few weeks after purchasing the tickets on my credit card, he drops his affair bomb. Well the kids and me had a great time in Hawaii and he had to give me his cancelled flight ticket credit during the divorce.

      • We were planning a trip to NZ with another couple when he dropped the affair bomb. Of course, I assumed the trip was cancelled. Our couple friend also assumed it was not going to happen, but my ex threw out the idea that the two guys go on the two-week vacay together, just the two of them. Our friend refused!

        FW was so clueless about how people would react. He’s got a very low EQ.

    • Last August/September we went to Disney Aulani (we were Disney Vacation Club members) and shortly after we got back I had a brainstorm. Our family had been talking about doing Christmas this year at my sisters’ in Washington State because they always have to Zoom in (the rest of us live around each other in Southern California).

      I had this great idea that we could take a train up the coast of California and make stops in some of our favorite places: San Francisco, Portland, and then stop in Washington for Christmas, then up to Vancouver BC, a place I’ve always wanted to go. FW LOVES trains like little boys love trains. He literally watches videos of cameras mounted at the front of trains for hours. I was so excited about this idea because of how much he would love it. And he did. So we booked it with a sleeper car and everything.

      A couple weeks later was DDay. About a week after DDay, FW actually had the nerve to ask if I still wanted to go on the trip “as a family”. WTAF?!?! I told him absolutely not, I was still going to go and see my sister and take our daughter. He later told me that it was too expensive and he could still cancel it and get the money back. Fine, whatever, I agreed. Truthfully, I doubt he ever cancelled it. I think he’s still going and taking the child mistress. Why cancel a trip that I lovingly planned in such detail when you can just swap out your inconvenient wife for your barely legal side piece?

    • “he was under the impression that he could go and cheat with his co-worker, and then we would still go on our vacations that were planned. ”

      Every time I think I’ve seen it all, someone here at CN proves me wrong. There is no limit to their crazy thoughts! Why on EARTH would he think you’d still vacay with him? They are so backwards thinking!

  • Six months before DDAY on NYE fuckwit told one of her friends that she was the happiest she had ever been.

    Six months later she’s talking about how she’s taking her life back and that I had been abusive our entire marriage.

    • On New Years Eve before DDay, ex wrote an email to me and the kids about how great I am and what a wonderful mother I am. How anything the family is was only because of me.
      How grateful we should all be.

      At his deposition that email was on the very top of the document pile! My lawyers used it to show I was certainly worth every dime he didn’t want to pay!

      His face said it all.

      • Rebecca, that sounds familiar. FW tried to tell the attorneys (and I’m sure his AP) that I wouldn’t have sex with him anymore. Except he had texted me a few weeks before DDay that he was in line at TSA for a work trip (who knows if that was true) and I replied “I hope what we did this morning put a smile on your face and makes waiting in the line easier”… and he responded in a way that farther clarified what we did. And we used that text to shut him up with the attorneys too. The weird part was he would rarely have sex with me… I was always begging for it. But of course right before DDay, he was getting it in before discard and telling me how much he loved me.

        The biggest bait and switch was him wearing a wedding ring every day and kissing me goodbye and saying “I love you” before heading to work. He did that every day until DDay. Then the mask fell off and he was like an alien.

        • “The biggest bait and switch was him wearing a wedding ring every day and kissing me goodbye and saying “I love you” before heading to work. He did that every day until DDay. Then the mask fell off and he was like an alien.”

          100% my experience as well. Then the cognitive dissonance was crazy-making for me. I literally thought I was going insane, because of the way he played it.

          • Happy Now, I agree that FW gaslighting is so disturbing and crazy making. The change in FW was so abrupt that before I doubted my own sanity, I really did think he had to have a brain tumor (as so many of us do).

            • I hate the gaslighting, made me so so stupid,, I thought I was going crazy accusing him, but lo nd behold I was right,, what does FW stand for is, it F*** wit?

          • Yes. Exactly the same for me. Prior to this I hadn’t even heard of the phrase ‘cognitive dissonance’. She, too, became a complete alien. It was truly shocking to behold. Changed me forever.

      • Klootzak gave a speech at his last military promotion which laid out how much I supported his work and how he would not be where he was in life without me. I have the hard copy saved.

        Funny how then when he decided he wanted to discard me, everything I had done for him was meaningless and all his success was his own. 🙄

        I also have my last SF-50 from when I had to resign my well paid federal government position to follow klootzak’s career. My supervisor wrote in all caps that I had no choice but to resign because they could not move my position to the new location. It says, “(Mr Wonderful’s Ex’s) spouse had received PCS orders to (base name/city) and she has resigned to follow her spouse to their new location.” Had I been able to stay in that position, the difference between what I would have been earning and what I am working in the private sector is over $30k per year. So that will be on top if my document pile, too. His career was supported by me and I sacrificed mine for him as well. I would have earned a pension in that federal post….

        • Cheaters military retirement was a horrible experience as he had just stated his intention to divorce me “because I was a terrible wife”. He planned the ceremony a thousand miles away and did not figure in our sons final exams (so son couldn’t go) but OW was there in the second row with her fake date.

          Just before the ceremony, he could see that I was on the verge of tears over the whole thing so he faked a “we will get through this promise to reconcile” just before the ceremony so that I wouldn’t dry and embarrass him. As soon as the day was over, he assured me that his plan to divorce was still in place.

      • They’re so surprised when they can’t bend reality to their will and actions have consequences, aren’t they?

    • That’s familiar. We went on a vacation one month before discard. He was gushing to friends about how happy he was and plans for our next anniversary. It’s part of why no one believed anything I said and I lost all friends at discard because they knew how much he loved me so I must be lying.

        • Oh yeah, it was definitely intentional. He told me that he had been actively planning our divorce for over six years while he smirked in my face. And I was so confused because he knew nothing about the process or laws in our state. He tried to take my inheritance and that was untouchable in our state, it’s not considered community property. He was shocked by the laws and the divorce papers. I wondered what the hell he was doing for those six years. He obviously didn’t even do a basic google search for “divorce in Nevada.”

          Then I started talking to people and reaching out for the support I desperately needed and their reactions made me realize what he had spent six years doing. He was planting little seeds everywhere. My own sister even had no empathy for me and rolled her eyes at me and asked “What was he supposed to do?” Maybe not lie to me? Maybe not waste two decades of my life faking a marriage? Maybe just ask for a divorce like a normal human being rather than do it as cruelly as possible and attempt to drive me to suicide? There was this whole narrative that I was this evil harpy and he was the poor put upon husband who just endured it for love. I hope they feel stupid now that he’s been arrested for being a pedophile. I’ll never allow any of them in my life again but I hope they feel really damn stupid.

          • I’m w/you, Katiepig. I hope anybody that bought your ex’s stories about you and your relationship are feeling like the dumb idiots they obviously aspired to be. Good grief, what sad people.

    • Go team NYE dday! Was a hard anniversary the first year (made worse because thanks to pandemic closures, it just happened to be the day I finally got in for a STI panel, which I ordered when I realized FW had been a serial cheater for years). Now it’s something to celebrate: my freedom and fortitude! Never have been a big NYE partier, but now I feel justified sitting out the festivities and using it as an excuse to do something quiet and special for myself. Hope you can reclaim it n some way, too.

      • Laying with my feet in stirrups helped me come back to life. I cried my eyes out in my GYNS parking lot and called my then husband in tears at such humiliation. He said, I’ll come right there to comfort you even though I’m at work!! I said …oh no you dont!!!! Never go to a crocodile for swimming lessons. Comfort yourself!!! Go get tested. Mine said he’d been with only one. I saw the footprints of many. Never believe a lying liar that lies.


        • I’m so sorry that you had this experience. The audacity they have at not having protected “contact” and bringing that shit home—ugh. I, too, had the “WTF is this?” with my medical provider. She sat down and let me know (1) it was an STI, (2) incurable, (3) not “dormant” for decades so it was him and (4) I would have this for When I confronted STBX, he said “you must have gotten it before we met”. 25 years with him, no issues. Turns out #2, #3 (mb, #27, who knows) may have not been honest with him and vice versa. :/ Shocking, I know.

          I recently met someone–ok, 10 months ago, fixing my picker and learning my boundaries–and had to have the horrible, humiliating conversation about STBX’s co-curriculars and what he did to me because we were becoming physical. Fortunately, this man is kind and lovely. He let me know he had a lot of medical questions (so did I) about how to be cautious/not spread anything, but it wasn’t a deal breaker and we would “work it out”. Then he kissed me. 🙂

          Since I thought (hoped?) something like that could happen, I have been taking daily medications; I have had 3 incidents–the last being over a year ago–since January 2020 (when it “randomly” appeared… [insert best middle school eye roll here]). Ultimately, while I had no choice in where STBX’ pecker was inserted–I stupidly believed his words of family, faith and fidelity–I am in control of me. Best result? He has to live with himself and I don’t.

  • not me but one of my best friends. she and FW bought a house, got a mortgage and moved in during the pandemic (can you imagine how much work that was to organize?). All the while, he was having an affair with the OW. My friend was discarded 6 months later, as a parting gift, he left her with a UTI. He moved in with the OW and they are still together in twuv wuv.

    • I can’t believe how evil these cheaters are. I think given the opportunity and need they would actually murder their chumps and justify their actions. It’s not the opportunity that makes the crime, the crime is born within the criminal. Sometimes I shiver to think what I might have escaped from.

      • I think you are correct. After my STBX told me he wanted a divorce and wasn’t in love with me anymore, things got tense in the home with him. I was in grieving mode. He was leaving every day going out and hitting the sack with anyone he could. One day he lost his temper when I ignored him when he was talking to me. I literally pretended like he did not exist. He grabbed my wrist, did a body pat down on me, scratched me, pushed me and I called the cops. He got arrested and has been out on a restraining order since. This has caused me to have “severe” nightmares about him coming back to kill me. The look on his face when he got handcuffed was enough. I knew then he may try to hurt me again. I have cameras up, game cameras, and neighbors are aware. I’ve never been so scared of anyone as much as I am him. I think he would rather see me dead and if he can get by with it, it will likely happen.

        • Im so so sorry, I understand the fear. Keep safe. Im so glad you have good neighbours. Big hug. Take care

        • Oh Lord, I am so sorry! What an evil creature he is! I pray to God he will never get anywhere near you again and that you will soon heal from the trauma he inflicted on you and have deep peace of mind because you’re safe!

      • I believe klootzak would kill me if he felt he could get away with it. He wouldn’t even flinch. He wants to keep everything and introduce DS8 to his latest schmoopie as his new mom. Mind you, he hasn’t yet even moved out of the house or signed the separation agreement. He is busy burning CDs if music for OW. Because mentally he is maybe 12 years old.

      • ClearWaters, you’re right. That happens quite a bit. I see news stories like that all the time.

      • Chris Watts spring to mind, and I know many other cheaters have gone so far as well. I think most don’t out of sheer laziness, or because murder doesn’t serve their needs best (thank goodness). Otherwise I think more cheaters would do it. They’ve already shown they don’t care about hurting us and in some cases even enjoy it.

      • ClearWaters, I used to say shortly after D-day to my support group that the only way the FW XW could have hurt me more was to have the affair and murder me to get rid of me and get her hands on what money I had. I could totally believe a scenario like that where she rationalized doing it. Hey, anything for twu wuv and greed, right? Ugh. Makes me sick to think about it.🤢🤮

      • I’m also very glad you escaped, ClearWaters. Nobody needs to deal w/that level of awfulness.

      • This was actually something that I worried about too. There’s a desperation when they get caught and honestly, I’m surprised the #s for murdered chumps aren’t higher. (Well, I suppose I should say, I don’t know what the actual numbers are, but I don’t hear about it daily so that’s what makes me say I’m surprised they aren’t higher)

    • I moved the house and kids 1000 miles after XW had moved ahead for her new job; 2 months after we arrived she dropped her bombshell. TBH it still doesn’t completely make sense: it was the wrong direction for AP (we previously lived 200 miles from him, coincidentally in his childhood hometown where his parents still live) and it didn’t make sense to choose a new house (and a dental plan, and childcare) based on a future that she was going to nuke in a few weeks.

      I think that
      (1) there’s a lot of denial. XW couldn’t admit to herself that she was planning to leave me and was tricking me and the kids into joining her, because that would have made her a shitty person. So instead she pretended to me and herself that the marriage still had a chance, while picking fights with me (and setting up romantic getaways with AP) so that – practically speaking – it was doomed. But she didn’t say the word “divorce” first! And
      (2) there’s a lot of magical thinking. XW thought she would keep the new house, somehow. That though she’d have the kids half time she’d still have as much time for work, because somehow I’d still do all the domestic tasks like during the marriage and I would continue to “support her career”. That AP would come like with her even though he had his own wife and kids 1200 miles away. Objectively this isn’t a plan, it’s a dream – but I think that’s what she expected would happen.

      I realize that a lot of this is untangling the skein, but this type of behavior continues to this day. She agrees to a custody change that I suspect she won’t honor, but she believes she will .. up until the day her schedule changes, and then suddenly the change is void. She won’t make dental appointment for the kids and refuses to let me make them, but thinks somehow magically their impacted wisdom teeth will resolve. If this were just about the affair / divorce it would just be a “her” problem, but since the pattern repeats long into post-divorce life it is unfortunately also a “me” problem.

      • I think you make a really great point about magical thinking – it explains a lot about the unreality that’s inherent in their thinking and “plans”. How so often the plans are ludicrous and based on assumptions that everything is going to go their way. Some things will because they have the edge as they are the only ones aware of these “plans” but even spouse appliances fight back or the logistics just don’t work out. So much disruption for NOTHING….for fantasies. But the entire affair is a fantasy because real life doesn’t consist of furtive kisses, sleazy motel rooms and polishing the back seats of cars. There’s a lot of REAL WORK that goes into real life that takes the shine off the apple eventually. In the end, they end up with either nothing….or another spouse appliance. Did your ex work it out with her AP – did he leave his wife & kids for her?

        • Yes and no. On the one hand, they synchronized everything pretty well, and he divorced his wife and married mine. On the other hand, he got 50% custody of his kids who live 1200 miles away, so he can’t be here full time. But (back to the first hand) XW is gradually, gradually driving a wedge between him and his kids, so he really only spends about 30% of his time up there (not even close to 50%).

          It seems to me to be the worst possible outcome: two marriages destroyed and they can’t even live together because of their respective custody obligations; AP spends just enough time with my XW to thoroughly screw up his kids (both in therapy for “abandonment issue”, one repeatedly institutionalized) but is still gone enough that my XW has had to learn to do all the domestic stuff (cooking, cleaning, paying bills, driving kids, etc.) that she never did when married to me, which makes her perpetually angry at me over how much (legitimately, though IMO predictably) harder her life is now.

          Basically, they both got what they wanted but now they’re angry about it. She takes it out on me and he takes it out on his XW; I am fortunately unaware of how they treat each other, except that apparently they have furious, screaming, plate-throwing fights (which proves they love each other), whereas she and I always got along (which proves we never did). You know: passion, drama and a soupçon of violence – the bedrock of a good marriage. (I only know this because our daughter related this as relationship advice she’d gotten from her mother, reported sarcastically because daughter is one smart cookie).

        • I had an aunt who was disordered. She was never diagnosed, but there was clearly something very wrong with her, even before she went off the deep end and sued my dad. She constantly rewrote history in her head and didn’t have a firm grasp of how actual events happened. It was traumatizing.

          She also had a very childish, magical way of viewing the world and seemed to believe she could bend reality to her will. She was shocked anytime people called her on her shit or fact checked her. She was shocked when the authorities saw through her lies and penalized her. She truly believed anything she said made it so. It was like dealing with a vicious child.

          I’ve seen almost identical thinking and behavior in other disordered nutjobs: the impulsiveness, the magical thinking, the omnipotence to the point they’re seriously delusional.

  • She threatened divorce every single time I told her that I believed she was sexting on Facebook Messenger and in a private group. She had me telling my doctor that I needed something to help me not be so “paranoid”. She let me take those damn pills for 6 long years, even though they never “calmed my paranoia”. Her hope was to dull my instincts enough to make it easier to cheat. She would always swear on the children that she never once did anything inappropriate.

      • It really is, it’s like something out of a Hitchcock movie. Here, drink the milk, honey….it will help you sleep……forever.

    • I needed therapy she insisted. Our marriage was dreadful because of my problems. She was in therapy and it was helping her so much. We could have a much better relationship if I did my part.
      The entire time she was having sex in her first grade classroom with at least one other coworker. I guess that was her part.

    • “swear on the children that she never once did anything inappropriate”

      lies flow like water

      • It’s terrifying, this common theme of swearing on their own children’s lives with lies. Mine did it too, even after I threw his parents’ lives in there for good measure (they mean more to him than his own kids do).

    • Those Wild Goose Chases…we had gone to a Catholic marriage retreat where he faked his way through. I had a deep sense of dread and foreboding…nothing he said to reassure and soothe me felt real. He clearly did it to clam the waters and make his cheating easier.

      We stopped for lunch on the way home and he looked at me with an attempt at “sincerity” and said that our marriage would be better if I got alone better with my parents. Dad is a narc and mom was a full blown alcoholic with borderline personality disorder. What an ingenious way to sidetrack me and give him space to fuck Susan. Good thing for me, I never took his suggestion. Based on how mean they were to me, He was telling me to stick my head in that blender to make his cheating easier. “Submit to their abuse so you dont notice mine”

      • I set up one of those weekends when he was doing the minimum to have a marriage. But he was kind of cranky. Not normal. Figured out later that it was her birthday. My guess is he was pissed that he couldn’t be with her for an out of town trip so he was pouty the whole time. I hate that it was also a lie of the mirage.
        He seriously should have just let it all go to be with her. There was no money shared, not kids together, only a year or so married in our fifty’s. A decade later it seems he’s married her.

        • The smoking gun of Dday was a letter he wrote Susan which was save on his computer that I cracked into. It was worse in that I had just turned 40 and he treated my birthday like the non-event it was to him (while all my peers got huge celebrations thrown by their husbands).

          Yea, if he wanted to be with her, he could’ve told the truth and left, but he was way too much of a coward, so his plan was Abuse Her Until She Throws Me Out.

          My next big birthday was much better…with new love on a yacht in the Aegean (with a chef)

    • Same here, Eric. I needed pills for anxiety. Guess what was causing my anxiety? I realized what was going on when I didn’t have symptoms when he was gone. I also never had “memory issues” or a “hearing problem” when he wasn’t around. It’s funny how cheating and gaslighting can be twisted into something wrong with the chump.

    • Oh my gosh, I was on anti-anxiety meds for more than half my 30-year-marriage, while FW acted like my frailties were annoying and even allowed our kids to tease me for struggling. I weaned myself off and worked hard to keep myself stable, only to have him dump me because I was “hard to live with.” I’m eight years out, and in a healthy new relationship that has made me aware I wasn’t the problem. FW was the basis of my anxiety.

  • My ex never bought me anything. He started going to his friends Bill’s house. Started to go on hunting trips in Bill’s cabin. Funny I never met Bill. This from a man who never liked to stay in cabins. No love bombing. Just more verbal and financial abuse. On D day I was emotionally drained and on a verge of a breakdown.
    After D day I asked him why he cheated. He said they where just friends. Never had sex. He just liked hanging with her because she was fun and liked to play pool. I wasn’t fun. And she complimented him all the time.

  • After I took him back his first round of girlfriends that he left me and the kids for (reconciliation, kids… don’t do it), he spent a a year telling me he was the luckiest man on earth and that, because of what we had gone through, we were the strongest now that we had ever been. He even pitched the idea of performing a public vow renewal ceremony, which I refused; I was still shaken by his last abandonment and the last thing I wanted was even more public attention. Shortly thereafter, he packed up his bags and moved into GF#3/Wifetress’s house.

    The old bait and switch is interesting because the gold was always intermingled with rust; he would rell me that I was the best thing that ever happened to him, but he also treated me with increasing cruelty or apathy as he ramped up for the discard. Total whiplash, no wonder I went on antidepressants.

    Have I mentioned how much I love being single? It’s the best.

    • Oh the public vow renewal…..gag………I used to watch a reality show – Real Wives of Orange County…I just thought it was funny, but there was one woman on the show, Shannon, who seemed to be a pretty nice lady with 2 lovely teen girls….and she found out her husband was cheating. I always thought he was a sleazebag but they were married a long time and she just couldn’t get over the affair but wanted to. They recon’d and did a very lush Public Vow Renewal…..gag…….and sure enough broke up permanently not long after. I’m not sure if he married the same wifestress or if it was another one….he’s a sleazoid, but the wifestress ended up divorcing him after having the prize baby, so he has to pay for that one as well as what he paid out to Shannon. So the idea of the PVR always leaves me…….gag. Shannon’s story is a classic one of what happens with an affair and how much it devastated her, it was painful to watch and she got a lot of the…why don’t you just get over it baloney from her “friends”. I think her last name is Bedore if anyone wants to look her up. I think she’s doing well now without her FW.

      • My ex wanted to have a recommitment ceremony. Like he was committed in the first place. Where do these people come from?

      • I’ve just looked Shannon up and to me she’s got kind eyes, with a bit of sorrow in them as well, as I reckon most people with good hearts and loving souls do get in our eyes over time!

  • We spent YEARS looking for the perfect house. And we kept finding it! But every time, there’d be some flaw that made him change his mind, or some sudden concern about his job stability or some other excuse about timing.

    We checked the weekend open house listings every Friday, and one week, the laptop in our bedroom was open to a house, which I assumed he wanted me to check. I told him it was for a rental, and he said no, it was for sale, I read it wrong—almost challenging me to reread it. So I did, and noticed the open email on the page stated he’d already seen it, it was available the next week, and asking some unknown woman when she could move in with him.

    It took just a few minutes to search his emails to her, and about two more minutes to figure out he fell for a catfish scam.

    In retrospect, the house-hunting with me was future-faking. He was probably doing the same to the online AP/scammer, too. He promised to put her through college, buy her a hair salon, and find a way to give her a baby, since he was over 60 and she was under 30. He didn’t want kids and he didn’t want to work, so my guess is this would have been bait-and-switch if he hadn’t fallen for an online romance scam.

  • Ex fuckwit got himself a flat, which he assured me he was doing up “for us”. Turned out the rat faced whore was living there with him all the time.

  • My ex asked me to quit our jobs & buy a farm & BnB a thousand miles away & move (said it was his dream) about 2 months before D-day. I said I wanted to wait until I finished my MA (six months) to consider it. What happened to his dream? he’s still here living here 15 minutes away from me with the Schmoopie. 🤷‍♀️

    • Their future faking is perhaps – to me – the worst thing they do, because they uproot their families for all this fakery and then they pull the rug out. It’s so evil. It’s absolutely diabolical.

  • I knew there was a shift in his demeanor right after his promotion to Captain in the PD. At the promotion ceremony, I pinned the bar on him. He was grinning kind of self consciously, kind of the “Ahhh Shucks, little boy grin”. I remember in hind sight looking across the room and out in the hall was the female dog catcher (his direct report), craning and looking in the room. (I had not clue at that time).

    Almost immediately after the ceremony, he started spending more and more time “working”. He was distant with me. To the point that after a few weeks I questioned him about it. He assured me it was work pressure and he just needed space to adapt.

    He got a bit better, we had some good times, then early that spring he said he wanted to buy a river property, long story but we worked long and hard for several months during the summer getting all that done and set up. He of course went down there a lot on weekends for plumbing and other property issues.

    He wanted so spend our Christmas there a week before actual Christmas because we were going to see my family in TX and our son in AZ for actual Christmas. He gave me a gold necklace, he had never gifted me jewelry in our marriage.

    Anyway long story short Dday was Christmas day. I had figured it out right around Thanksgiving. But, up to his promotion day he was acting “normal”. He had always been a bit selfish, but I just accepted that as his flaw. Funny it ever gave me a thought or inkling to go fuck someone else because of his selfishness.

    I would say all was normal and he was putting on the show up until he got his promotion and frankly he needed me in place to secure that promotion and he knew it.

  • Booked several vacations every 2-3 months for the upcoming year, we were looking at purchasing a boat and looking at condos to buy as a vacation spot/additional income property. The vacations weren’t little either. We were early 40’s empty nesters (both daughters were in college, we were done having kids by age 22) so we were planning some epic trips. BTW I am still traveling the world on those epic trips with friends or solo traveling while he’s stuck doing kiddie theme parks with Whoreen and her two very young kids. Of course those have to be scheduled around school holidays and sports and visitations with her ex. They were 4 and 8 when he and the ditch pig (an ex best friend/his best friends wife) “found” true love with one another and the oldest is now in middle school. People who see him tell me they witness the misery when they see the two of them interacting and he looks exhausted. But he’s shared with others that he can’t be alone so he won’t leave…at least not until he finds some poor unsuspecting woman as a replacement or until Whoreen bleeds him of every dollar she can and then decides she doesn’t want to be with an old, bloated alcoholic. (He’s 10 years older than her).

    Pretty sure I got the better end of this deal even though it didn’t feel like it at the time.

    • You definitely did! And he got the end he deserved. “Whoreen”, “ditch pig” – 🤣😂🤣. Love it.

    • Amazing how so many of them end up screwing themselves. They throw away a perfectly good spouse, a great spouse even, and their kids and end up with what? Raising a new batch of small kids into old age and being stuck to a work-financial schedule when he could have been having a much better life with you. They do it to themselves. Short term “gain”…..loooooong term loss. I wonder if this woman is cheating on him already – 10 years older and an alkie is not appealing. I hope he’s absolutely miserable and it only gets worse.

      • Mehitable, one thing I’ve seen in the stories here that surprises me is how often the FWs cheat on chumps who are the family breadwinners and then end up in disadvantageous financial situations. Idk. I guess this just shows bad judgment. And as was mentioned in another post today, denial and magical thinking.

        After my parents’ divorce, my dad ultimately ended up living in a manufactured house on a piece of land in the country. He had no pension or retirement savings, so he worked until he was 70 and then took a reverse mortgage on the property and lived on that and his Social Security until he died at 76.

        My mom retired at 64 with a pension and a paid off house. She lived on the pension, Social Security, and RMDs from her IRA until she died. I inherited her house, the IRA, and stock from her former employer (household name consumer goods company.) I think one reason she left my father, besides his crazy alcoholic behavior and cheating, was that he just wouldn’t save and invest.(Ironically, he had an MBA in Accounting.) I can’t blame her for being worried about her financial future with him.

        As she used to say “I guess I won!”

        • Yes: Denial! Magical thinking! My ex knows he made a huge mistake in cheating on me (and that now, as a single person, his quality of life will go way down), but I just think there was a crazy level of denial in play when he set out to cheat.

      • They never trade up. I think it’s an extension of the cheater’s impulsiveness and magical thinking. They don’t exist in reality and are astonished when they face consequences.

        • Mine is sure he traded up, she has a pool, he told my son” we have a pool now” a house to fix-up as we were in a rental, and she owns a dive business so he is saying he has a dive business now, but two younger kids that hang around 24/7.. I hope I get to definitely get my trade up and show them

  • He would make casual references about infidelity which lead me to believe that it was, for him. completely unthinkable. Like once after normal sex, he said “I wouldn’t even know how to have sex with anyone but you…”.

    Early in our marriage, he once got in this very strange, almost manic state and said that he could never handle it if I cheated on him . He seemed to be begging for my faithfulness (and to the uninitiated, it seemed that he was promising likewise). I think now that he (who had just finished a 3 month training far away so we had been apart) had just had his first sidefuck after our wedding. I think that maybe when we married, he thought he was going to be faithful and this then-recent episode blew that up.

    He really liked to spend money, so buying gifts was something that came easy to him. I have a few nice pieces considering how young we were when he bought them.

    • “He would make casual references about infidelity which lead me to believe that it was, for him. completely unthinkable. Like once after normal sex, he said “I wouldn’t even know how to have sex with anyone but you…”.”

      Same here with the casual references! He would joke that he could never have an affair because of his toenails, which were kind of horribly disfigured (a fungus condition he never bothered to treat). He had this condition for the entire 23 years we were together and always, always wore socks, even during sex. He’d joke that he couldn’t have an affair because he’d have to keep his socks on, and apparently that wouldn’t work in an affair setting. That his feet kept him humble and loyal. He’d made this joke off and on for years, including right after we’d have sex.

      For the life of me I still can’t understand why anyone would do this… nor how they could do it, casually and to the face of the spouse they’re cheating on, while snuggling after sex.

      I also got the strange, frantic, manic state once, but in my case it was him trying to tell me he was going to “only get his sexual needs met from me.” At the time I assumed he meant stopping his porn usage, which was by his own admittance an addiction and a source of great shame. Now I think he may have been trying to stop his affair at that point (which I had no idea about) and this was his way of “telling me.” His mental state and face were so weird and agitated; it didn’t “fit” the porn issue in terms of intensity of emotion and always stuck out in my memory.

  • My ex was more enthusiastic about our surprise pregnancy a year before I found out about the affair than I was, even though he was already five years deep into the affair with our best friend/the OW. I was not thrilled about it to say the least, but he was adamant that it would be a blessing in disguise and good addition to our family even though I thought we were done. When I called him out about it on D-Day, he said he didn’t think I could mentally survive any other options, and reiterated that he wasn’t leaving the kids, just me, so the baby didn’t matter because she wouldn’t be affected. Point of fact, he’s used her as his do over child and has instantly become Disney dad with her despite being a horrible parent to the other three and a horrible husband. But you wouldn’t know that by the way he treats her, dotes on her, spoils her and indulge is her. Almost like he’s trying to assuage the guilt I’d like to think he feels.

    • This is so sad and I’m so sorry; I went through similar. I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd (not unplanned by any means) and he was just starting his affair with the OW, when he told me he was divorcing me, he basically justified it by saying that he was just discarding our marriage but not the kids. It’s disgusting.

    • Cheater almost begged me to have a 3rd child. He was hoping for a much-wanted-by-him daughter. I had an alcoholic mom and was OK forfeiting any attempt to do the mother/daughter thing from the mom side. He fawned over her and they were buddies so much so that when he died, she said he was her best friend.

      But even for her, he couldn’t be the consistent parent that kids need. Shortly before he died, he was supposed to pick her up at her waitress job. It was late in the evening and dark and she was schedule to close the restaurant. He came home alone saying she was taking too long. He left her alone in the dark in a bad part of town. I ran from the house and drove over. Thank God, the manager stayed with her until someone arrived. That level of disconnection was bizarre, even for him. Cheating on your family changes people at a cellular level.

      • Your best friend doesn’t desert you late at night in the dark in a bad part of town. I hope she comes to realize what a POS he really was. People like him should not have their memories honored.

        • I should have added that I now consider my daughter as one of the most wonderful blessings in my life, so it’s ironic (considering all his treachery) that he was pivotal in her existence.

          Unfortunately she has chosen to create a version of him in her mind who is loving and loyal and she misses that person a lot. My meager attempts to remind her of his failings were met with a stone wall (not that that should be surprising). I have had to accept that her version him is something I need to not meddle in.

          Cheater was such an absent parent (even when he thought he was great) that once son called for a ride home and I said “One of us will come get you” and he innocently said “what other person are you referring to?”

    • Actually I doubt very much that any of our FWs feel “guilt” as we would understand it. I consider them amoral. The idea of a conscience requires some sort of emotional construct. I think they lack the emotional bandwidth. They are excellent mimics, and they figure out what societal norms are very early in life. Most people with this personality type probably live their whole lives undetected. FWs profess to “love”, but their idea of “love” is seriously flawed. Consider their over reaching sense of entitlement and their obsessive narcissism. I would argue FWs are incapable of love as we understand it. The whole concept of love is alien to them. I would never share this opinion with my children.
      Directly after discovering FW’s horrific infidelity, one of my daughters asked me, “Did he ever love us Mom?” Of course I said he loved her with all his heart and I tried to pull specific examples from our shared history to prove it to her. Much later I realized his idea of love was similar to holding a snake in your hand and watching the snake curl itself around your wrist and talking yourself into seeing this as a demonstration of love from the snake. To a FW, “love” is a calculated move. They profess it when convenient and they have something to gain.
      In my opinion your FW is acting as a Disney dad as a form of narcissistic supply.

      • Snake coil love from the narcissist…perfect and fits my FW and explains why I thought and he said he always loved me, through 27 years of cheating in marriage

  • I wish I could say cheating bastard ex said lovely things or gifted me with nice things, but I’d be lying. Truth is, I was so accustomed to his sheer indifference I’d grown to expect nothing and sadly, accepted it.
    So certain he was that his secret life would continue unabated, he took me to an attorney to have trusts set up for our joint estate, although he did not put his liquid assets (banking/investment accounts that he held individually) in it. It was amazing how quickly my divorce attorney unraveled it all to my benefit. 😊

    • Thank God there are laws against fraud, even within a marriage.

      I took a history of our CC and our bank accounts the day after he walked out the door. That way, I had a physical account if he tried to sell or move anything. Not that there was a lot of liquid assets, but we had some rental property and of course his retirement.

  • Here’s my bait/switch: Cheater Ex Husband finally decided he was ready for us to try for another child. We have one son that he made me wait a long time for and he kept putting off having another child with many excuses for several years. This time he was unusually pushy about trying for another child. We were not successful in conceiving which I am grateful for. It came out that Cheater Ex was pushing for us to have another child right around the time his affair with his coworker started. That coworker wanted children but was physically unable to have any.

    • That he wanted you to have a baby so his co-whore would have a child to parent (guess he was thinking he’d get 50/50 custody….or more) may be one of the most despicable actions out there.

      • Yeah, it’s something that makes me feel more than a little ill. He won’t admit that her not being able to have children was the reason he was suddenly all for us having another child. The ex dropped his idea of more children when his affair fell through, and as his affair blew up he told me to find someone else to have kids with. There’s a lot more I could say about that, but long story short my Ex only has supervised visitation with our young son with me having full physical/legal custody.

    • I am blown away by the sociopathic arrogance of the presumptuous notion that he could get you to give birth in order for his whore to benefit from it. Truly evil. What did they think they could do, kidnap the baby? Or perhaps he thought he would get custody of a newborn, despite the fact that a baby needs to be breast fed. That is insane.

  • Mine did the normal stuff, professed his love often, talked about how great I was to other people to the point where it used to make me uncomfortable at times. People I had never met or even heard of seemed to know way too much about me and it was awkward when I would meet them. He was that guy who loved his wife so much, I’ve since found out that’s a type, the “wife guy” and a lot of people are leery of them. He said the right things 99%, he would do nice things like bring me gifts but it didn’t feel real. I remember trying to talk to him a lot and ask if he was happy because I didn’t feel like he was and I wanted to know how I could help. I would get a lot of shit for my “insecurities” but it often felt off. The whole 20 years I was ridiculous if I worried something was wrong and then at discard I was a stupid bitch for ever thinking he loved me or was happy. There is no winning with these people. LOL

    But mine also would talk about the girlfriend in high school who cheated on him and how much it hurt and traumatized him. So when he was crying about that and how humiliating it was, he was already cheating on me. It was basically diversion. I remember thinking it was weird he was still so hurt about it too. It was a very short relationship, a couple of weeks or less and they didn’t even go to the same schools. But then I felt like a bitch for thinking that but isn’t it weird to cry about your high school girlfriend of a week or two years later to your new wife? I think that’s weird.

  • My FW gave me a diamond necklace for Christmas just 2/3 months before he discarded me, pregnant, and wrote an emotional note about how I was his everything. It’s a mindfuck.

  • 6 months before Dday he bought me new living room furniture. Not just new but expensive, the kind that will last a lifetime, for my 40th wedding anniversary. He had already met her by then of course…. I got the furniture 😁

    • It is supposed to be some kind of consolation prize? I just don’t get something like that. I think you got the better deal though.

  • Pushing me to strive for promotion at work – which required me to work ridiculous hours – to prove myself (she’d previously said that I wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve it) and, at the same time, criticising me for always being at work and (I now know) using the time that I wasn’t around to hook up with her AP.

    Sucks to be her though.

    I got a clean break divorce, custody of our 3 kids and – just after the divorce was finalised – the promotion at work. She didn’t see a penny of the pay rise or enhanced pension and boy was she salty about that. I guess that the “bait and switch” got re-baited and re-switched. And to anyone who questions whether I deliberately made sure that the promotion only took effect after the divorce ….. I couldn’t possibly comment. 😉


    • Luckily cheaters are not all that bright. Also, they have to devote their limited brain cells to policing their affair partners actions. Mine was so busy feathering his new love nest and PDA in the hallways at work (and closets), he couldn’t find time to submit documentation to the court. Oh, well. Too bad, so sad.

      A good friend told me right after D-Day, “You are no longer responsible for him.” And it stopped me in my tracks. Because, for decades I tracked and managed all of our financial life and I was continuing in that mode, gathering information and putting it into two equal stacks. After D-Day, I released that responsibility. He needed to gather and submit his own documentation. He was shocked I didn’t do it for him.

      • After we split, my FW called me from jail. He’d been arrested for driving on a suspended license and wanted me to … do something? I only discovered this later since I didn’t answer his call.
        NOT NOT NOT my problem. I distinctly remember thinking, “Thank god I don’t have to deal with that shit anymore.”

        • Wow, the nerve. He blows up your marriage, then has the audacity to call YOU for a bailout.

          Sadly so typical of cheaters. They don’t care about anyone but themselves and think other people should be thrilled to be of use to them. They’re like children, but meaner.

  • We were planning a vow renewal ceremony and second honeymoon, and talking about having another baby. A few months later he met OW (who was also married), and after knowing her for about three months decided he wanted a divorce and kicked me out a week or two after OW left her husband. He changed his tune to “I’ve been miserable for 10 years” and that the talks we’d been having were him trying desperately to save our marriage or something. He denied the affair and said he loved me and missed me. We reconciled after 3 months and I moved back home, where he continued to treat me like absolute garbage while spending all his time and energy on OW (and being so sweet and supportive of her).

    Eventually he told me he hated me and kicked me out again.

    • The mental gymnastics these FW’s do to justify their shitty behavior is mindboggling. It is all about preserving their fragile egos and justifying their actions because there should never be consequences for them.

  • Mine told me about his “new friend” on 1 December 2022. He then gaslighted me for two months for asking once if they were in a relationship (to which his response was that they were not having sex when – spoiler alert – they were!). He had decided that we were moving and made me go look at houses miles away in gap between this D-Day. He really forced the issue. Insisting on our spending time looking at houses. What a w*nker. And I know he is now because through financial disclosure I can see how much he spends on pornography and there is no way you spend that much without a hand being busy (he doesn’t need two!). I wonder now if this was about conning me into doing up the house as he thought it would be sold when we split and he is as much motivated by money as he is sex. We worked out a schedule of works for the refurb. Guess who did all the work?! Yup, not Mr Busy Hand. On D-Day, we had a lovely couples day our only child not long having gone to uni. He kindly had sex with me, used out joint account to take me out to lunch and discussed options for our next holiday. Then wham, 7pm on a Sunday evening. Just in time for me to be completely in pieces for the start of the working week. It must have been so hard for him.

    • “I wonder now if this was about conning me into doing up the house as he thought it would be sold when we split and he is as much motivated by money as he is sex.”

      I wouldn’t doubt it. They are greedy people, so of course they want to squeeze every dime they can out of the marriage.

      Our stories are similar.
      I also did a remodel with my FW because he wanted to move, hypocritically claiming it was because it would be better for our daughter to be closer to family. I agreed, but with sadness in my heart because I adored our old place. I then spent two years trying to drag his lazy ass off the couch and ending up doing most of the reno myself, all for a house I didn’t even want. It turns out he had already decided he would leave me. I was bereft when I had to leave the house my kids grew up in, and I had to leave it for a scumbag who wasn’t even planning on staying with me. Not only that, the new house he decided he wanted was actually further away from family. It was never about my daughter. The POS had already written her off, too. What he really wanted was rich new hunting ground to find APs, as we had lived in a small town where the pickings were slim.

      He arranged for me to find out on Sunday night after we had spent a “romantic” day together as well. He made sure he was seen with his AP by people I knew on Saturday night. So Sunday evening I got the call that changed my life. Nobody can tell me he didn’t set that up.

      Mine is a porn slob, too. It sounds like he’s your FW’s brother from another mother.

  • Well.. i don’t even know what to write, because basically everything nice he did in our relationship was like that because he was cheating (leading a double life) since the beginning. So in those 6 years many steps forward were taken and he professed his love to me daily. But yeah, 1 year prior to D-day we got married and he was in this post-wedding bliss for months, very lovey-dovey all the time and just sooo happy he married me, showing off his wedding ring all the time and just so proud of it. We bought a new, bigger house just 6 months before D-day and moved there, which was intended to expand our family. We already started “working on” our 2nd child basically the same week that he went on a “business trip”, which was actually a 3-day fuck-fest with the latest and longest standing OW and also another couple they met on tinder.

  • While I was pick-me dancing and catering to his sexual fetish to act out his “inner woman,” he gushed at me “I want to live with you for the rest of my life!” It was so over-the-top out-of-character that I mentally side-eyed it.

  • During the time (10 years before D-Day) that he told our mediator that he wanted out of the mirage (thanks, VH), I have handwritten letters he wrote of his undying love. He threw me a huge 50th birthday bash and gave a toast for all to hear about how great I was as a wife and mom. lol. AND, he got my initials tattooed on his nether regions. 🙄

    By the way, this reserved, bespectacled, preppy looking physician is the last person in the world you would suspect of having a tattoo.But, then again, it makes sense now. There was another/secret side to him that he kept hidden…at least until D-Day when he seemed to say “Fuck it!” to everything that used to seem to matter to him.

    Bottom line:
    The love letters, the tattoo, the planned trip abroad, the renovation of our lake house for retirement–all these things indicated that he wanted a future together.

    When I pointed this out, he actually said he DID intend to stay with me (so how unhappy could he have been?) until I blew it by getting angry about something that he said or did. (By the way, I’m convinced that, in the discard phase, he purposefully engineered fights to get me to react angrily. Anyone else experience this?)

    The AP, who knew she was in a contest, performed admirably. Me, not so much, I guess. It’s like swimming laps for fun and then having someone say you lost to the person in the other lane. And this guy (my ex) saw nothing wrong with setting up a contest and naming himself the sole judge. He thought I should have been happy that, after 35 years together, I came in second! So flattering!

    It’s all a mindfuck and lie.

    But I was lying, too. I mean, I lied to myself by puffing on the hopium pipe. I thought I had a relatively good life with that man, but I was miserable. I couldn’t seem to see how fucked up our relationship was until it was over. I needed this distance.

    I’m so much happier now, approx 4 years from D-Day. AP-now-wife won a turd, as CL says. And, during their most intimate moments, she gets to look at my initials. So happy I’m out of that craziness.

    • “(By the way, I’m convinced that, in the discard phase, he purposefully engineered fights to get me to react angrily. Anyone else experience this?)”

      I sure did. He would do or say something awful, then accuse me of “starting a fight” when I objected to his behavior. This was one of his ways of justifying cheating. He used to say over and over, almost like it was his mantra, that we didn’t get along. The truth is that despite what a dud he was as a husband and father, we got along well when he wasn’t being mean or acting ridiculously entitled. The droning refrain “we don’t get along” was just him trying to convince himself that the problem was a personality clash, not his abuse.

      “It’s like swimming laps for fun and then having someone say you lost to the person in the other lane.”

      Great line.

      “And, during their most intimate moments, she gets to look at my initials.”

      😄 Enjoying the view, bitch?

    • “By the way, I’m convinced that, in the discard phase, he purposefully engineered fights to get me to react angrily. Anyone else experience this?

      Absolutely, I could look back over the year of discard which started right after his promotion in Oct of 88. Overnight I could feel the shift away from me. He cycled back and forth for a few months, avoid me, then spend time with me; depending on what he wanted. By the last three months of the marriage he was screaming and yelling at me for really stupid things. In our earlier marriage I would have yelled back, but for the most part I just stood there in stunned silence. I think my body was shutting down from confusion and fear. But of course I didn’t recognize it while I was in it.

    • My FW would start fights over literally NOTHING (“why are your shoes on the G-D- hearth???” when I had been putting my shoes on the hearth for FIVE YEARS with no comment from him [and he put his shoes there too], for example), then say, when I tried to figure out what the hell had happened to make him upset, that he “wasn’t going to stick around” for my “pouting” as he called my being legitimately upset, and leave the house. Usually slamming the door on his way out. He’d, of course, never respond to text messages or calls when I tried to figure out what I’d done wrong and why he was so upset.

      Realized later the “fights” were completely manufactured so he had an excuse to leave and go see OW.

    • “I thought I had a relatively good life with that man, but I was miserable. I couldn’t seem to see how fucked up our relationship was until it was over. I needed this distance.”

      Oh, Spinach, do I feel this! I thought I was happy, I really did. I thought I was so in love. Never mind the depression, growing anxiety, and huge weight gain (all me). I was happy, dammit!

      Now I look back and see how desperately unhappy and lonely I was, but spackle–even unconscious spackle–had become my way of life. Tell everyone what a great husband he is because he does the dishes or shows an interest in our daughter. He looked like father/husband of the year because, in a lot of the families I know, the man simply doesn’t do those things. But really he did nothing. He would run mysterious errands all day on the days he didn’t work (he’s a nurse) and then come back in the evening when he was bringing our daughter home. Then he would get on his iPad or phone and that was where he stayed all night. Unless he “went to bed early,” in which case he did those things upstairs. He had already banished me to sleeping in my office because my apnea was so disruptive for HIM (nvm how disruptive it was for me to, you know, not breathe).

      At the time it didn’t occur to me how easy it was for him to banish me/me to accept being banished from the marital bedroom. That wasn’t normal. Not for 2 years. I told myself it was normal, but it wasn’t.

    • It’s so interesting that you say this – that now you can see, from a distance, that things were not working out and the marriage was fucked up anyway and now you’re much happier. I think that’s true of so many people who have normalized a lot of negative shit in their marriages and don’t realize until the FW runs off, how unhappy they were with that person or how fucked up the FW really was for a long time. When I talk to people who are going through this, and there are always more than you think, I tell them that there probably have been more problems than they realize for much longer, and they will be a lot happier with this person OUT of their lives. It’s good to hear you confirm that yet again. I almost always tell people not to bother with recon but either just separate for a while or go straight to divorce. Recon usually doesn’t work.

    • Yes yes yes to everything spinach said.

      He did manufacture fights to justify his withdrawing from a planned event.

      One of the weirdest was after he had COMPLAINED ENDLESSLY about us not going on a family trip, I spent like 2 months extricating everyone from their commitments and planned a weekend getaway for us all. We were literally packed up and in the minivan when he came hole from work and manufactured a fight to avoid going on the trip. I simply wasn’t having any of it and said “I will not fight with you, we are leaving on this trip, stay home if you like”.

      He looked like a fucking loon continuing to argue by himself as we sat in the van watching him.

      I closed the van doors and drove away. 10 minutes later the phone rang, he wanted to go.

      None if this (or things like it) made any sense until I was told (by accident, the person thought I knew) that he was a chronic cheater.

    • Spinach, this is pure brilliance “it’s like swimming laps for fun and then having someone say you lost to the person in the other lane.” That is EXACTLY it.

  • I’d have to say the willingness to get married, have two children, build a house together, buy a boat, talk about putting in a pool and an outdoor pizza oven so we could spend lazy weekends at home together as a family was more than enough bait and switch to keep me from figuring out his long bike rides and fishing/hunting trips were actually videotaped sex romps with a coworker.

  • A month before ex hooked up with the work OW, he wrote me a beautiful note in my Valentines Day card about how much he loved me and our toddler son and how he wanted to start working on baby #2. Welp.. I guess what he meant was start working on Baby #2 with his much younger, married employee.

    Thankfully no baby from that affair. After a year of pick me dancing, I filed and left. Almost 10 years later, ex is in a relationship with a woman 20 years younger, who he met at work when he was her boss and she was married. Yep, another workplace affair. She left her hubby for my ex. This summer, I found out ex secretly hired her at his new company without anyone knowing they are involved. The leopards really can never change their spots.

  • The bait and switch tactics our mind boggling. One month prior to the day he told me he needed my signature to qualify for buying a two family home. Previously decades earlier he had moved to Florida while I was in grad school and I lost my multi family home due to the fact, he never sent me any money. I said no. Weeks later he announce he’d found someone who doesn’t even make any money.

    The bait and switch bit him in the ass as he gave up his business spent all kinds of money on stupid things and is broke . The only way he can leave her Is with the help Of his adult children he abandoned. The man is a joke. He got exactly what he deserved.

  • Right after we celebrated Christmas with his family, he had his arm around me and told his family he’d never been happier than he was right then. He dumped me two days later and left the state to be with his AP.

    Also, earlier that year we’d taken on a big remodel of the kitchen and utility rooms in our house. The affair was already in full swing. Not sure why he wanted to spend that money if he was so checked out.

    • Glad, maybe his plan was to fix up the house to sell in order to fund his new lifestyle with the AP.

      • I owned the house before we got married, and even though he could have made a claim on it he didn’t. Honestly, he is a wreck with finances. (He also left a good job, and has been underemployed much of the time since, and I think he cashed out his retirement during that move.) Who knows – none of it will ever make sense.

    • So many stories of houses being remodeled and then they get discarded by FW – who usually instigates the remodeling! What is up with that? A friend of mine is going through what I hope is divorce soon – his wife before she started her baloney with a boyfriend in another state (or maybe she was doing it then too) started painting and re-painting just about every room in the house. She told him her ambition was to become a house painter….I don’t think so somehow but I’m not sure what that kind of crazy is about.

  • we renovated the entire house during the pandemic, which wasn’t easy because of supply chain issues. many compromises had to be made. it was a big project and i managed it. we lived in a shitty rental house during the reno, which is what you do, and i noticed how infuriated my X was with how shitty the rental house was, and how much he missed having his things around him.

    during the reno, i worried a lot, too much, that he would like it, you know?

    also, during the reno, he was promoted to executive VP.

    we moved back in without beds (because of the supply chain) and he proclaimed he was so happy with the house, it was wonderful. we were going to live out our days in these great house, our kids would bring their partners home to stay with us, grandkids would come along, etc. etc. he loved it, he loved me, he loved our life. this was in may. by october he was hateful and spiteful, saying he didn’t love me, didn’t like me, etc. etc.

    we separated in november when i found texts from his AP, his direct subordinate at work, the one he put forward for promotion to director. uh huh.

    recently he commented to the kids that he didn’t like the renovation, it wasn’t to his taste, blah, blah, blah. FUCKING ASSHOLE. i spent a whole year on that job, a year i could’ve focussed on my own project(s).

    but he always kept me busy with his things, his life, you know? it was always about him.

    i don’t miss that guy. i’m sorry i wasted 32 years on him, but i don’t miss him. i like being single and doing my own thing.

  • He wanted me to join him on a retirement course sponsored by his work, allegedly to plan our retirement, which he was endlessly enthused about. He nagged me for weeks about it, but a whole week of talking about retirement didn’t appeal to me. He also suggested we move somewhere close to our grandchildren after retirement. We started looking at towns near there to see which ones we liked. He talked about retirement almost obsessively, speculating about all the fun things we could do together. He waxed rhapsodic about it so often that it was starting to get weird.

    After D-day I got; “I cheated because I couldn’t stand the thought of retiring with you.” 🤡

    That was but one of many excuses (he quite literally had a new one every day for a couple of weeks after Dday) but that one stands out for sheer, batshit incongruity.
    Apparently, he wasn’t planning on retiring with me, he was really planning to dump me as soon as he could afford to, but that fizzled out because schmoopie didn’t want anything more serious.

    I’m glad I declined to go to that retirement course with him. I have a funny feeling the real reason was because schmoopie was also taking the course. He never admitted it and I never asked, but I did find out that at other times when he badly wanted me to do something it was so I could unknowingly be around his AP.
    The great cosmic joke on him is that he was set to retire three years ago, but can no longer afford to without my income.

  • Well, for a twist on the bait and switch theme today, I offer my current situation as a schadenfreudelicious snack by proxy for all of my fellow chumps today.

    Traitor Ex the Pimp and the Craigslist cockroach think I am a clueless dummy that they can rape and rip off with impunity.

    They don’t know me vewy well.

    The Velvet Hammer is coming down on those two evil MF’s, assisted by detectives, my board of directors, a certified fraud examiner, police departments in possibly more than one jurisdiction, the district attorney’s office, Homeland Security, and the local coalition to end human trafficking.

    I can’t wait to see the look on their faces.

    I am a nuclear warhead in sheep’s clothing.

      • Afternoon update…

        Special ops and Homeland Security are now involved. The case is being reviewed and I am waiting to hear if they are taking it on.

        • Let me know when it makes the front page of the local news, VH. I want to share a little vicarious schadenfreude.

        • I’ll light a candle and pray for your success in this matter when I go to Confession shortly!
          Child trafficking is an evil no one should ever tolerate and if you have any power to prevent any of it at all, may God give you all the power to do so!!
          And yes, please do keep us updated!

    • “schadenfreudelicious”

      Love this.

      Am very curious to see if they get the comeuppance they deserve.

  • Bought a new house and then D-day 3 weeks later – surrounded by moving boxes when I was blindsided after a 22 year marriage. Later found out he sent the mortgage information to AP and they live there now.

  • We’d been talking about starting a family and making plans for how it would work financially. He’d been getting quotes for new windows on our house and we’d been discussing holiday plans for one final trip before ttc. But, apparently he hadn’t loved me at all and had been planning on leaving me the whole time. After he left, I found the Christmas presents he’d bought me wrapped up under the bed – I think he wanted to keep his options open to the last possible moment and only left when he was certain his AP was going to give him room and board.

  • We bought a house together four months before he sent me an email stating that our 15 year relationship was over. I paid half the downpayment on the house although he earned 3x what I did. He never seemed to have money; it’s expensive having a double life. He asked me to give him checks towards the down payment — and multiple checks, so it didn’t look like either of us were “trying to evade taxes.” Also he felt it would be much better for my name to be only on the deed, not on the mortgage. It would “protect” me since I earned much less than he did.

    Silly, chumpy me. In my state, if you’re not married, and your name is only on the deed, and not the mortgage, and you can’t prove you paid the downpayment, you have no legal claim to it. And when I tried to prove we were domestic partners, I found out that he had been removing my name from things like health insurance, renter’s insurance, etc during the previous year so that I couldn’t prove domestic partnership. I lost the house, lost the downpayment, and am very glad I never got sick during the year he’d removed me secretly from his health insurance. I’m six years out, and my life is good, but I still have nightmares.

    • That is horrible …so planned and evil.

      Early in my Chump journey (on an RIC online board), there was a Chump who was taken off health insurance by her Cheater. The Chump developed cancer that could not be treated because she was without insurance and she died.

      This sort of shit is why I believe that it would have felt better to have been beaten by thugs who left me to die in a gutter. I didnt love the thugs, I didnt trust them, I didnt make a life with them, so their terrible behavior is shocking on a level yet not the same way as being betrayed by a partner.

      • In most places, it is illegal to take a spouse off of health insurance until legally divorced and then that person needs to be given the COBRA option. That crime should have been pursued.

  • Started taking me on trips after not being available or interested for 20+ years. Lots of flowers. Lots of sweet talk. Saturday date nights. I was so excited about these relationship crumbs but was still very confused because all this love-bombing was peppered with lots of ignoring me, serious emotional abuse and sexual coercion/forced duty sex (he absolutely knew of my distress and confusion in the bedroom and did not care). He gave me “Love” + Hate. I was so. confused.

  • He threw me off the trail by being too perfect of a husband and father. He seriously made normal cishet husbands look bad by comparison to how thoughtful and fastidious he was. Flawless mask, and I know from whence I speak when I say this. First red flag was at over 14 years in, when he slightly raised his voice to me after I had our third baby.

    Lovebombing me silly for 15 years, 1 month, and 8 days until he suddenly walked out on me and our 3 kids, then ages 8, 6, and 10 months, just weeks after tricking me and my elderly parents into a cross country move. Turns out he’d discovered I figured out he’d been shtupping his married male former coworker for 8 years prior, and our fraudulent move to bumfuck was so they could each move their whole families to bumfuck to take jobs together. 🙄

    Their little closeted gay schmoopie narc on narc relationship honeymoon imploded within about a year of them working together. OM stayed at the job after my ex got terminated and moved away. They no longer speak to each other. I’d imagine my ex resents that he blew up his own happy home and reputation for their Twu Wuv, while his old bald short drunk loverboy did not have to give up a thing! OM’s flying monkey wife was even provided proof about the affair by my attorneys, and they called her as a trial witness, but she is way more gullible than me and she’s stupidly still married to that POS. 🤣 She also tried to disparage me to my kids and change their religion so fuck her, too. Lol

  • My husband wrote me a loving 30th anniversary card and brought our entire immediate and extended family (my side) on an overseas private boat trip. Trip of a lifetime stuff. Spoiled me with gifts while on said trip. Asked me for a divorce a week after getting home.

  • I’m stuck on his body language as over and over throughout the years he would stand with his arms out in frustration and say, “Of course I love you! Why do you keep asking me these things?” And he would follow up with conversations with family and friends (including our adult children), saying, “See what I have to deal with?” All the while, he was leading a secret second life. And in the end, his children believe I am the crazy one as they have been trained since toddlerhood. All those years of him having to deal with a crazy woman, they feel sorry for him and understand his only choice was to have side chicks.

    It’s a mindf**k.

  • I was in the process of adopting FWs disabled son whose biological father was a deadbeat. I had basically raised him as my own. The whole year during adoption due diligence FW was banging some loser across town while lying that she was out with work friends. I actually postponed my divorce a few months to finish the adoption because I genuinely love the kid.

    • “I actually postponed my divorce a few months to finish the adoption because I genuinely love the kid.”

      You are a genuinely good soul. Your kid is lucky to have you. I’m surprised your FW let you go through with it under the circumstances.

  • Every so often I would wonder if he still loved me because he was always criticizing me and complaining to me about everything I was doing wrong. Then some holiday or whatever would roll around and he would give me a card with some nice loving message in it and I would chide myself for being paranoid and doubting his love.

    On the last Christmas before DDay the tag on one of the gifts he gave me read “Be mine forever, please”. I thought that was weird, we were married, of course I was his forever and I loved him and why would he doubt that I would be his “forever”. I also thought his saying that meant he wanted to be with me forever. In truth it was probably him showing his own insecurities and he clearly didn’t think wedding vows carried the same weight that I thought they did.

  • Not sure if this fits the topic, but here goes:
    I found a new (boxed) whiffle ball and bat set hidden in X’s car.
    When I asked him why he had a whiffle ball set he said he bought it for us. To play. In the street.
    If that right there didn’t set off alarm bells…
    Funny to find out later, Co-Worker
    “Friend” had a 5 year old and a 9 year old.
    Gee – I really wanted that whiffle ball set!
    Have to give him credit for coming up with a plausible explanation so quickly. Cause ya know, I’m a whiffle ball kinda gal.
    Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

  • My ex was stationed across the country and surprise! He called me from the airport to pick him up as my “birthday gift”. Did I mention we’d just had a house built? Anyway, I’d called it the “best B-day I’d ever had” cuz he cared so much he flew out to surprise me. Well I was definitely surprised a couple months later when I found out he was cheating, again. And I initiated the divorce. It was a couple years after that, because his OW really hadn’t known about him being married… we somehow bonded over his shared tormenting and I found out he’d stopped to stay with her for a week on the way back from leave. He wasn’t actually hiking the AT like he’d said.
    The man had me buy him hiking boots and had a pack delivered to my house. A pack he never used. All to throw me off the scent.
    Some people’s kids. Damn.
    I hit meh a long time ago and am happily remarried to a wonderful man who put the broken pieces of my trust back together again.

  • Ex came home every day and said how much he loved me and how lucky he was to have me as a wife and how great a mom I was.

    Then after DDay he said he’d never loved me and how he wished he’d met her instead back when we got married. We were married for 15 years with 2 kids.

    Later in a rare moment of honesty he said he loved having a wife and a mistress, felt he deserved it for all the sacrifices (?!?!) he’d made for our family. 🙄 (he literally always did whatever he wanted and I held down the fort and took care of the kids while working full time – what sacrifices?).

    I am SO much happier without him. Wish I could block him completely, but alas – kids.

    • On DDay FW told me “it’s not your fault, I just married the wrong person.” That was so incredibly hurtful. Now, 11 months later, I look at that and laugh. What a loser. He had never had a girlfriend before me. So who was the right person he should have married? Because you know who it wasn’t? The child mistress. And how do I know that? Because b*tch wasn’t even f’ing born yet! All his (paid) APs are in their early 20s and we were together for 21 years. So he was saying that ONLY to hurt me.

    • “Later in a rare moment of honesty he said he loved having a wife and a mistress.”
      Yeah, I can relate to that.
      I got the “ one woman can’t take care of all my needs” speech. ( which a friend and I laughed really hard over years later) What a pos he is! He told his son pretty recently that he was “ not his equal”. I thought to myself, thank God almighty he’s not!!!
      Yeah, you are so unique and rare compared to every other person in the universe.
      No one could possibly understand him, he was the rarest of rare purple people eaters. How could I even remotely expect someone that damn exceptional to be faithful to me, a mere mortal being?!🤷‍♀️
      So many unanswered questions in life. I wonder who’s he’s hired to carry his throne about in my absence?

    • “Later in a rare moment of honesty he said he loved having a wife and a mistress, felt he deserved it for all the sacrifices (?!?!) he’d made for our family.”

      Wow. Ding. Ding. Ding!!! No doubt that’s how they all feel. #entitled #maskdropped

  • Yeah, he tried this.

    He could tell it wouldn’t fly, because I was the one who’d been having grievances about him (our lackluster sex life) for years at that point. He kept keeping me invested, moving in together, moving again to relocate for his job, renovate the house he owned to go live there, etc.

    So he didn’t have a leg to stand to try and recriminate how this and that, while he never said one peep about any of it! Thankfully he wasn’t stupid enough to insist too much on this. He did try to stick to the vague nonsense of “I wasn’t feeling accepted”, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean!

    • Looking back, it was probably “how dare you complain about me breadcrumbing you in the sex department, I’ll show you” and never expressing that association because I then would be onto him and the fact his hurt was all intentional.

  • He bought me a spectacular sapphire necklace for my birthday – one month before he and his intern/AP blew up their marriages in the same weekend. He told me when he gave me the gift that I was the best mother and wife and he was so grateful for me. It was so beautiful and I was so shocked I started crying. Later, the story was that the necklace was a test to see how thankful I was to help him determine if I was a good enough person to stay with. Apparently, I was not grateful enough.

    • “the story was that the necklace was a test to see how thankful I was to help him determine if I was a good enough person to stay with.”

      Oh, BARF. That’s disgusting.

  • I’m one of those “drive your car till the wheels fall off“ kind of person. I like driving around in a nice car as much as the next person, but it’s never been a hill I’ve chosen to die on.

    I’d been driving a minivan (which was purchased used) for 20 years, so nobody can say I didn’t get my money’s worth. Plus, my triplets learned to drive on that vehicle, so it had seen its share of scary moments! I planned to donate it to my church for their car ministry; they fix up vehicles that have seen better days and then they give them to people who desperately need reliable transportation.

    Just prior to this, FW of 40 years said, “You’re going to need a new car“ and I didn’t disagree. He asked me what I wanted, and I told him a Honda Odyssey. He started scouring local car ads to find a used one and lo and behold, there was one available for sale in our small town. We met the owner, took a test drive, and struck a great deal. Exactly 2 weeks later, FW gave me the standard ILYBINILWY speech, packed an overnight bag, and abruptly moved out to be with Married Howorker who apparently, he’d been dating for at least 6 months. So it seems the Odyssey was my “Thanks for the memories“ consolation prize. I’m still driving it and it’s going on 17; I think it’s the only gift from him I’ve kept.

    • Makes me think of chumplady’s reference to winning the new set of luggage! I often chuckle about that idea.

  • My pos ex was really good at love bombing. He remembered every date right down to “weekly anniversaries”, and he’d send emails telling me how much he loved me every day. Got me cards constantly even though I’m not that into cards, but I appreciated the thought.

    After Dday he claimed he didn’t mean any of it… wasn’t really him but he did it because he thought it was important. Then he product a list of all the ways I needed to change.

    Right. I’m 19 years younger, make 3x as much money, am an endure athlete, and he has a limp dick and a shitty toupee. And he’s a nasty passive aggressive fuck.
    Buy “I” needed to change for the privilege of having him.

    Ironically, he thought i wanted the marriage so he went the bullying route. But it actually made it a lot easier to detach when I realized the whole relationship had been phony and he was a shitty deal for me. And my kids put up with him but really don’t care for him.

    He was shocked when I filed and cried, begged, and sent flowers. Att hat point I felt nothing for him.

    The funniest part was that he told nobody I’d left him. Not his daughter, not his friends….nobody. And he thought we’d date…denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. He even sent me a bday card after the divorce was final and then emailed to ask why I hadn’t thanked him. I finally blocked him.

    And I found out that he was talking to the whore multiple times a day after swearing that he couldn’t remember when they last spoke.

    She was on marriage 5 when I left. She’s now on marriage 6….not to him. Lol

    • “My pos ex was really good at love bombing. He remembered every date right down to “weekly anniversaries”, and he’d send emails telling me how much he loved me every day. Got me cards constantly even though I’m not that into cards, but I appreciated the thought.”

      Boy, do I know about this! FW remembered EVERY single date in our relationship: the first day we talked online, the first time he sent me flowers, the first time we talked on the phone, the first in-person meeting, the first kiss… every possible first and anniversary was cataloged in his head. And he would write gushing messages on Facebook about how much he loved me, how amazing I was, how lucky he was to have me… I got lots of beautiful cards for birthdays, Valentine’s, every holiday. Until the last couple of years of our marriage. Then it was because they were so expensive and I knew how he felt about me, he didn’t need to waste money on cards to tell me, he showed me every day!

      Every card I gave him was read and then (literally) thrown in the trash. But when I stopped buying cards since he didn’t appreciate or save them, I was being mean.

      He also would bring me gifts constantly. Sometimes they were strange. Some weird, non-essential electronic gadget he saw online or at the Apple store. But I thought it was a sign that I was always on his mind. Yeah, that or he thought constantly giving me gifts would keep me distracted. Sigh.

  • We were actively trying for another baby. We were getting finances in order so we could buy a house closer to his work, so he could spend more time with the family. We’d gotten back from a road trip with our small children to visit friends 2 weeks before he decided he was in love with the jobsite receptacle and she’d helped him realize how miserable he’d been for the past 4, 6, 8, all of the years (the story changed a few times).

    I had family members laugh when I told them, because they didn’t believe it. I had HIS friends call me to ask if he was having some kind of psych episode. The blindside was intense. I was told more than once, from independent parties, “I thought that if anyone would make it that you and FW would!”

  • Ex fuck wit got me a cleaning lady! She was from his AA meeting! She really needed work! We could help her and the I didn’t have to worry about the house not being clean because I worked all the time! He was such a great guy helping us BOTH out!!!! Yeah, he was shtuping her.

    • What an ass. What is it about these shitheads that they want the whore in the Chumps face.

      My fw drug his whore in our house and sat her on our couch. Yes, he was a pos, but what kind of a woman would do that. She had agency, she knew what was going on; couldn’t she have had enough self respect to say no.

      I don’t think even professional shrinks can figure out these ass-wipes, though many have tried.

      • OW hung out with us all the time. FW set up “play dates” for the kids (and UGH, her daughter and my son now attend the same school and are in the same grade [though not the same class], so even though FW is dead and they had broken up a few months before, she is STILL in my life). I made dinner for her on her birthday, had her over for Christmas (it was her first Christmas without her kids and I felt SORRY for her – this was during our wreckonciliation when FW was supposed to be working on our marriage), we went to events together, not to mention she was our coworker. FW and she SWORE they were “just friends” and FW said I was crazy, jealous, and paranoid. Nope. I was right.

        She sat at my dining table one time and sang “Jolene” with zero shame.

      • I agree with you and it scares me. The more I read the infidelity group sites the more concerned I become. I have suspected for a while that smart sociopaths are able to fool every personality test and easily deceive psychologists and therapists. Statistically speaking, the vast majority of sociopathic studies have been done in prisons. Lets face it, the ones in prison were stupid or crazy enough to get caught. What about the smart, normal functioning ones that fly under the radar and never get caught? I believe that 4% ratio of sociopaths per the population is vastly underestimating the real percentage. In the beginning, I thought how in the hell did I end up with someone like this? Now I think, it is far more common than anyone realizes.

        • You are right on that, lucky. The stats are based on diagnosed cases, and since most of them never get diagnosed, the actual rate is much higher.

  • “It’ll be so much fun to take the grandchildren to Costa Rica in the off-season and they can learn Spanish. I can teach them how to surf”.

    Didn’t really align with taking the Ho worker to our vacation home of 11 years in Costa Rica at the end of a men’s trip. She flew down there when the other men we’re leaving.

    Daughter said to him mom thinks you’re cheating on her. He ran around the house like a crazy person, saying I would never cheat on your mother.

  • I kept getting a different kind of bait-and-switch from the Lying Cheating Loser. The Peanuts kind. The kind where Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown just as he believes he’s going to get to kick it this time.

    An early example: when we were first dating, the LCL was living across town, rent free, with his widowed aunt.
    At some point, his cousin (aunt’s daughter) moved home and insisted the LCL be charged rent.
    So he moved out in a huff, and in with me in my tiny 237 sqft studio apartment. In return for living with me for free, I asked him to put my truck on his insurance, and he agreed.
    Three months came and went. He paid for nothing, not even a bag of groceries. Nor did he insure my truck.
    So I put my foot down. Contribute financially or move out.
    He secured an apartment the same day.
    I should have let that be the end of the relationship.
    Fucking moocher.

  • DDay-1: The sex keeps getting better and better. I don’t think my body could feel any better than when we are together. I love you so much and there’s no place I’d rather be than here with you forever. I am so lucky.
    DDay: I don’t know why I saw sex workers
    DDay+1: I deserve sex that is about me.

  • We bought a house together four months before he sent me an email stating that our 15 year relationship was over. I paid half the downpayment on the house although he earned 3x what I did. He never seemed to have money; it’s expensive having a double life. He asked me to give him checks towards the down payment — and multiple checks, so it didn’t look like either of us were “trying to evade taxes.” Also he felt it would be much better for my name to be only on the deed, not on the mortgage. It would “protect” me since I earned much less than he did.

    Silly, chumpy me. In my state, if you’re not married, and your name is only on the deed, and not the mortgage, and you can’t prove you paid the downpayment, you have no legal claim to it. And when I tried to prove we were domestic partners, I found out that he had been removing my name from things like health insurance, renter’s insurance, etc during the previous year so that I couldn’t prove domestic partnership. I lost the house, lost the downpayment, and am very glad I never got sick during the year he’d removed me secretly from his health insurance. I’m six years out, and my life is good, but I still have nightmares.

  • I feel so much better reading all your posts. I’m not a blind idiot I guess. Same stuff-buying things (some I assume he bought 2 of, a couple things I was gifted that most likely just never got to some side fuck rando because things ended) that he acted like I really wanted (um, no, never mentioned that stuff and one expensive looking bangle bracelet with that inset Hawaiian Koa wood was just WAY WAY WAY TOO BIG for this chick with the tiny birdie wrists! He asked why I never wore it-it wouldn’t stay on idiot!). He worked in the corporate office of his employer so he just had things delivered there-easy to keep me in the dark, especially by charging things on a Visa I didn’t know about (found out about it when he died and I had to pay it off…). Also found out about a PO Box he had before he was working at the corporate office-cause, A CHEATER needs somewhere to have all this crap delivered, right?

    And oh ya, never spoke badly of me to the folks who didn’t know he was a big cheater. After he died and I questioned some of them, they all said he gushed about what a great wife/mother I was. Psycho… Turns out I was the perfect wife appliance. Bless those of you who have moved on with new partners. Mine has been dead for 7 years now ….I did some online dating and actually did a long distance 9 month relationship with a friend…but I think I’m just sort of done and very content being single. And being menopausal and possibly demisexual to start with (hadn’t hear of it until recently-if the shoe fits…), I don’t have the drive or motivation to “get back in the game!”.

  • The ex’s birthday is tomorrow. 3 weeks in advance of his birthday in 2019 (just after my dad had died), he indicated that he would like to go to Bruges for his weekend away present. I booked and paid for a lovely trip. He booked holiday from work, he said. He dumped me on 2 September and left. He came back shortly afterwards. I knew nothing about the long-standing affair with exgfOW. On his birthday he was in the house so I gave him a card and told him about the gift. I said I assumed he wasn’t coming. He pulled his usual sad sausage face and said ‘no’. So I went on my own and had a wonderful time. He texted me a couple of times because I don’t think he believed I had gone! I sent him a photo of me in a bar. He got the message. When I came home he said he missed me as he yet again invaded my personal space. He left for an AirBnB the next weekend. I am still so proud that I went on that trip alone. The hotel arranged for me to eat in gorgeous restaurants. I was strong. He made the error of underestimating me and not for the first time.

  • Mine threw me off the trail by marrying me, giving me 2 kids, helping me start a business, coaching soccer, taking care of kids, buying me a house and a car, taking me out to dinner, writing me love letters, Being really into sex and a great lover, telling me he loved me, that I am his ideal woman, a great wife, he wants to grow old with me. Basically acting like we had a good marriage and life. Total mindfuck. Just goes to show you that its not you, that they know exactly what they are doing in manipulations to keep you hooked, bread crumbs to keep AP hooked and keep up appearances.

  • “Mo Anam Cara” – that means soul mate in Irish. Had that engraved on our wedding rings. He is a lying liar who lies. No affairs, just people he met up with on Friend Finder, Oh and cannot forget the fiscal abuse from the guy who is “good with money” His house is up for sale next week due to not paying his taxes. All he owes is $5500 which is less than one month of take home .

  • I truly believed FW and our family had gotten beyond DD#1 in 2007 when DD#2 happened in 2021. My bait/switch was more broad based in that others were floored when we separated in 2021 (only to wreckoncile until this past April when I left for good).
    Based on social media posts, friends / family thought we had the perfect marriage – and so did I, until his 20yo female coworker became his “best friend”. The mask came off fast and suddenly FW (53) is telling me he’d been unhappy for at least 7 years. In my head and heart I KNEW this was bullshit, but of course was pick me dancing like crazy. I begged him in counseling to tell me what had happened, and gave example after example of times we’d been so happy together during those years. Of course small arguments had happened, and one or two major ones, but there were no red flags indicating he was “miserable” and “suffering” with me and my “anger”. Over those 2 years, I blamed myself but realize now it was all gaslightling bullshit and he was rewriting history to protect his fragile ego. Also, yes he probably was miserable and suffering, but not because of anything I did, but because he hates himself

  • There was no big, outstanding bait and switch, just much the same as what you have all shared here. I thought life was one way–he made damn sure of that–while it was a completely different way.

    For me, it is more about the cruelty of how he did it. He handled all our finances because I “wasn’t good at it.” Just like I wasn’t allowed to do the Costco shopping or to have a Target credit card because I couldn’t be trusted with them. And I, a very self-contained, responsible, self-advocating woman just accepted this character assassination.

    So when Mr. Responsible told me that our finances were in dire straits and I needed to take on more freelance work, I did it. I did it so hard that it was killing me while he refused to take on even one extra shift (RN), even though one extra nursing shift would pay more than I would make in most of my low-paying freelance writing gigs. I was working 7 days/week, 15 hours/day or more with my full-time work and side gigs while he would sit at the table or in bed playing games and watching videos every day. I barely left my office. I was sleeping in my office, eating at my desk. Eating exclusively fast food because I didn’t have the time for better and he didn’t want to cook, so I depended on what he brought me.

    I barely spent any time with our daughter because I was always working. I gained something like 80 pounds during the pandemic. Mr. Responsible wasn’t spending time with our daughter either, of course, he would send her to her room with her iPad because he was “busy.” He disappeared every day that he wasn’t working for hours or even the whole day. He would say he was running errands. Or he was sitting at Starbucks near our daughter’s school scrolling social media after dropping her off. I rarely left the house, let alone my office. I lost any in-person friends and social groups before the pandemic even hit. Post-pandemic I was too busy to even think about socializing. (Spoiler alert: he was spending most of that time at hotels a mile or two from home with the child mistress.)

    My doctor diagnosed me with apnea, then diabetes. My depression and anxiety got worse. She told me my ankles were swelling from lack of movement and too much weight. But I didn’t know what to do! FW said we needed the money and that meant sitting at my desk all the time. I figured it was a temporary problem and it would get better, finances would ease and things would be like they were before.

    On DDay, he came into my office and lay down on the bed like he often did while I was working. He had stopped ‘relations’ with me some time before, first because he claimed I was obviously not interested (not true; it was just never anything special), then because he said his depression meds gave him ED, then because I had gained so much weight he wasn’t attracted to me anymore. Following my diabetes diagnosis, I cut sugar and carbs so drastically that I lost 60lbs in a few months and almost instantly fell out of diabetes. My doctor was thrilled, I felt so much better and I wanted to show that to my husband.

    I went and lay down with him, he put his arm around me and told me I was his best friend and he loved me so much. I pointed out the weight loss and how good I was feeling. I suggested that when I finished working and before I had to pick up our daughter from school, maybe we could resume relations. He told me again that he wasn’t attracted to me anymore. I pointed out that I had lost most of the weight that he said was the problem. Then he said it wasn’t really the weight. Shocker, right?

    That was DDay Part I when I got the whole “Don’t I deserve to be happy?” rigamarole from him–but there was nothing about cheating. Yet. This was all about how he didn’t feel the same way he did when we got together, he didn’t believe that men were biologically engineered to be with one woman for life, he had been unhappy for years, ever since his dad died 7 years before and he realized how short life is. Blah blah blah. This went on for about 45 minutes with him repeating “But don’t I deserve to be happy?” over and over. This was non-specific, middle-aged man angst. I kept saying that I didn’t see how he was attaining that happiness by sitting on his iPad or phone all day–he wasn’t running marathons or dedicating his life to charity. Where was he finding meaning if not with me or our daughter? Eventually, we had to table the discussion because I had to get back to work.

    DDay Part II was that night when he took me out to dinner at a local family restaurant we had been to many times with our daughter to ‘finish our conversation.’ That is when he ate an entire meatloaf dinner AND PIE like a sociopath while telling me he was done with our marriage, he was done with me, had been done with me for a long time. He had been soooooo unhappy and only stayed with me because he didn’t want to hurt me. Or spoil my fairytale. Or because I had a terrible temper and he was afraid of me. Or because I’m so unstable he worried about my emotions and what I might do. There was A LOT of excusing himself for staying with me by blaming me in a lot of different ways. Maybe he was trying them on for size to see what fit, I dunno. He capped everything off by admitting that he cheated. Not once but consistently, with many women. In fact, he was currently in a four-year ‘relationship’ and he was in love with her. But he wouldn’t leave me or initiate a divorce or move in with her unless I wanted him to.

    He was very clear that he was done with me but any next steps had to be taken by me. He wasn’t going to do anything to change the situation, it was all on me. His capper for the discussion was, “I know you won’t appreciate this but MAN, does it feel good to finally get that off my chest!” Yes, I imagine it must have been so hard to be him. Ahem.

    So I guess the bait and switch was thinking I was married to a decent human being, only to find out that I was actually married to a pod-person narcissist.

  • Delurking to say this one resonates with me.
    Cheater #1 and I were married for 20 years. According to his revised history, he was unhappy for 19 of them. OK, whatevs, then why didn’t you bounce? I was the one that filed and pushed for the final dissolution.

    Fast forward to this spring as I’m getting ready to sell the family home, which took ownership of, and bought out C#1’s share, oh so many years ago. I come across a box of old cards and letters that date back to my first marriage. As late as 18 YEARS into the marriage he was writing doting, loving notes in said cards for all occasions and holidays. Yep, obviously soooooo unhappy. (insert eye roll here)

  • The future fakes were on steroids the last 6 years of our marriage. ( he was already with the 15 year younger mistress he left me for and was a long term serial cheater throughout most if not all of our marriage, I pieced together afterwards, but was mostly confused and in the dark about all of it at that time)
    We bought a retirement beach house on the Chesapeake Bay in 2010 with retirement planned for 2016.
    We had a 30 year vow renewal on that beach front in 2010 that was a surprise for me. Our three adult children were involved in the picture perfect ceremony, reading written vows he wrote out for one son to read and my daughter as my maid of honor and other son his best man. I couldn’t be happier, the ppl I most loved on this earth joined in a loving bond forever. He made a bouquet for me that was really beautiful and gave me a ridiculously expensive three diamond ring, symbolic of the 30 years together and our three kids. ( that’s since disappeared and he denies absconding with but I fully know he did.) It was a charmed w/e, at least to those who weren’t sociopaths.
    He then bought us elaborate outfits( pirate and wench type) to do treasure hunts on our beach for our grandchildren and was bizarrely and frequently planning that out. (None of our 23-28 year old kids were even in serious relationships at the time.)
    He convinced me by actions that nothing was more important to him than his family and the love we all shared and I believed it.
    We added on an addition to that house, basically another whole house really, pretty unnecessary, original house was plenty big enough in my eyes.
    He did do things over the top and huge as long as I’ve known him, I just assumed that was who he was. I needed very little to be content, he needed everything to be content, but it was always onto the next big thing, the next big project. He was never satisfied, it just was never enough for him. Never time to take in the moment, always on the move to something much bigger and better. That was pretty exhausting honestly, but held excitement too. I let him tornado along to keep him in his happy realm, because I was highly agreeable and had a severe case of what I call, “ putupwithitness” and it was all about his journey after all. I just never acknowledged that until I was out. I was happy if he was happy, I wasn’t looking for things to make me whole.
    We sat in a bathtub we purchased in a Houston showroom to make sure it was comfortable enough for the two of us they we bought for the house.
    We put a really big tub sink in our lower bathroom, that he chose, of course, with his future fake plan we would bath our grandchildren there together. Our bedroom in the new addition had a view of the bay, so we could wake up to that every morning.
    He told me every single day he loved me for the 38 years we were married, calling or texting me numerous times every day.
    He talked about so looking forward to retiring with me. We had all our plans of how we would do it down to some very specific details. I was so excited for our next chapter!
    I spoke at his retirement party to hundreds of ppl about our history and how much I loved him and couldn’t wait to get him back from the company he worked for the last 40 years and I fully believed it all!! I was dating him 6 years before we wed.
    Then, I don’t know, I think he flipped a coin at the very last moment and schmoopie got the “winning” toss. What a prize she got! He told me he was emotionally a very different person now and that he didn’t want to take care of anyone anymore.( WTF? Isn’t that what family do for one another, not out of obligation, but love?!)
    He married that mistress two years post divorce and he has seen two of his kids only once in that two year period and the third won’t see him without his wifestress, but has requested he’d like to see him sometime. ( hard for the kids to grasp the father they so loved and admired their entire lives is such an a-hole!) FW refuses to see that son because he won’t accept schmoopie. 😵‍💫
    My youngest ( 30 now) got engaged two weeks ago to a wonderful special gal we love. He doesn’t plan on inviting his father to his destination wedding and they know there will be a lot of drama over that issue, which is a source of great angst for us all. It doesn’t end after divorce, the pain is soooo drawn out.
    The couple to wed will offer the FW dad a get together afterwards for maybe a dinner or something so they can celebrate with him. They haven’t seen FW’s side of the family in the 5 years since divorce and FW doesn’t try to create that either. We were incredibly close to them all forever up to that point.
    It’s all mind blowing to me and probably will always be that. Hard to make peace with it, as we all so well know.
    Our kids are the best too, how he can trade them for another narcissist is beyond me. ( kids call her Cruella deVille) I will never ever be able to understand that.
    Reading all these very similar posts, helps to enforce the reality that it is all on them and they are very deeply disordered people. It is tragic and sad to see ppl implode their lives so dismally though. It never feels good. It won’t make me happy when his life goes belly up, which it shows signs of.
    Every 4th of July, which is beach week with my kids and family at our house, he gets hospitalized level injuries with Schmoopie in attendance 1600 miles away from us. ( severed a radial artery from a stingray while out fishing, trying to get it off a hook it was snagged on and nearly bled to death way offshore the first year he wasn’t with us, tripped backwards by a camp fire the following 4th of July and cracked 8 ribs and other injuries hitting some stump, two more injuries that my kids said are equally as bizarre and bad that we haven’t discussed, because it’s way too difficult to think about it, that happened the next two 4th of July’s). Karma? A death wish?
    He’s somehow creating it from guilt I imagine, it’s not coincidental four years in a row. None of us wish him bad events in his fictitious life, we are just deeply hurt by it all and so wish he didn’t destroy a good and loving life.)
    It’s hard to get past it, as much as I’m happy I’m not in the cesspool of disorder and deceit any longer.
    It’s so dark and scary, but to me mainly, just tragically sad.
    My mission in life now is to get myself and my kids to a better mental place. We can’t change what happened to us, but we can continue on with the very real love and bonds we share and hope that will be enough.
    Hopefully all that darkness we don’t have to carry into future generations. It’s a continual work in progress.
    No one walks away from these traumas unchanged. But I am a firm believer that there is not one bad thing that has ever happened, without something good to arise out of the ashes.
    You’ve got to look exceptionally hard and long to find it sometimes, but it will always be there. I will never give up on that belief.

    • “No one walks away from these traumas unchanged. But I am a firm believer that there is not one bad thing that has ever happened, without something good to arise out of the ashes.”

      I agree. I know I have been blessed. I also know, there are scars. A few times in the early years I would wonder if there was ever any time he was alone with his thoughts, and ever just looked around at the cesspool life he had run to and thought, WTH happened. But, that likely never happened. I think he just kept running from himself, and likely only had a couple squirrels throwing knives in his head.

      • Susie Lee,
        My FW didn’t end up with the Schmoops. When they went belly up, he went looking for me to be Plan B but I couldn’t and wouldn’t. Affair was years and years long before I found out with a long and cruel discard phase. Anyway, my point is, they HAVE looked around and for sure thought “wth happened?”. They are alone and don’t like it. I’m here to tell you, I get 0 satisfaction from it. You’d think I would feel vindicated, but it just all feels senseless. Oh, of course, he blames me. A years long affair and drawn out discard phase, but since ultimately he changed his mind at the very last minute, he sees the ending of the marriage as a choice I made. So his unhappiness is once again my fault. Color me shocked.

    • You asking the question, “isn’t that what family do for each other” reminded me of one of the things that I had the hardest time processing on DDay Part I. FW was so insistent that he was unhappy because our marriage no longer had the butterflies and excitement we had when we first got together over 20 years ago. I said that’s not how it works. Love matures as we age, it becomes more solid, less ‘butterfly-ish’. I saw this as a good thing, a sign of maturity and confidence and stability. He said that he decided when he stopped feeling that excitement to see me or talk to me was when he started looking for it elsewhere.

      I told him that he was being a child. That’s not how love or relationships work. But if there’s anything I’ve learned about FWs since this all started 11 months ago, they are all about themselves and the instant gratification. He would have found any excuse a good reason to do what he did.

      • Conchobara, The irony here is that they go find APs and get that brand new butterfly feeling again, but if they last with the AP for 20 years, the same damn thing will happen. Of course, given the number of chumps I see here who have DDays at over 50, these FWs will be in their 70s by then. (And likely looking for 50 year old schmoops to cheat on wife #2 with)

    • Quite a story, chumpasaurus. May your future be bright & filled with love. And absent sociopaths.

  • IVF treatment. Brutal. Just tell me you’re not interested so I’m not going through every fertility test known to man.

    • I am so sorry. I also went thru IVF. Four of them for the first child we had. Brutal on my body. Grateful for the children. FW was seeing hookers during this time. He saw the first sex worker within a year of marriage. He was so unhappy from the beginning, he had to turn to “maladaptive coping strategies.” Yet stayed for 35 years, 4 children with one stillborn, 3 home purchases and the death of our eldest child in 2019.

  • Throw me off the trail: oh I don’t even like him as a friend. We can’t study in the same group with her because she and he don’t get along anymore. You’d think I was talking about kids, not people in their 30s and 50s.

  • Mine suddenly thought we should get matching tattoos. Thank goodness I was only like 1 months post-partum and couldn’t have at that point anyway but it also rang some alarm bells..which I ignored. A month later was D-Day #1.

      • Yeah, FW wanted to have a new baby immediately after our daughter was born. When he knew I was in no position to agree to that. Of course, by the time she started preschool he was already cheating and never mentioned having another one again.

        Though he was plenty happy to let me apologize to him, crying, that I hadn’t given him a second baby before I had to have a medically-necessary hysterectomy.

  • My FW never wore his ring as it got damaged in the garbage disposal. But right before DDay he finally got around to having it fixed and he was absolutely glo

    • Oops. He was absolutely glowing when he showed me he’d had it repaired. He talked a lot about how much he missed wearing it and how much more connected to me he felt when it was on. He said he’d never take it off again. It was about two months later I found out about his 25 years of a double life.

  • I received a commitment ring and we were building a new house. Went to see it every week for 7 months, had plans to have his family travel here a week after our move in and he even spent 2 hrs in IKEA custom designing our closet. The same day he put our last deposit on the house he also booked a flight to see the side hoe who he had been with for a year and a half. Thankfully it all came to light a week before we were suppose to get the keys to the house and I walked away from everything. In those moments he said “what did you want me to do, I haven’t loved you for years”. Those were the hardest words to hear, but looking back it was clearly true. D Day was my rock bottom because my identity was so tied into that relationship. That part was was on me, loving the potential of that life more than valuing every warning sign that was there. But that’s all in hindsight as I look back, in the moment I couldn’t see it because I didn’t want too. That’s ultimately what you learn through this healing journey, which is hardest part to come to terms with. As I continue down this path I get to put those pieces back together for myself and it in those moments that I can see it was what I was doing all along, I just need to truly love myself.

  • I was thrown off the trail, too…frequently…
    Over the course of nearly 4 decades, I was the chief communicator with all the members of his large, geographically scattered extended family. All texts, emails and calls about events, gatherings, reunions, trips, etc, went to me, at his request.
    Two trips to Hawaii right before Covid hit (one trip ended just days before an alcohol-soaked encounter w/a whore).
    Dinner out with a (more local) whore and her current husband while he was having regular encounters w/her.
    Nice lunch out with another whore, in another state while “visiting,” who also gave me her phone number.
    Countless lies over the years to throw me off…

  • Mine held my hand at church. What a sweet gesture, I was so touched. Then blamo!

    • Mine always tried to hold my hand in front of others.

      Phony appearances mattered more then anything else.

    • That is painful FF.

      I remember just two weeks before Christmas, (I knew something was horribly wrong) I was sitting by fw, and I just couldn’t take anymore. I went to the alter to pray for strength that I knew I was going to need. I didn’t tell anyone what I was praying about. I remember the preacher looking at FW in confusion. I found out later that he asked fw after the service and fw lied to him and said he didn’t know what was wrong.

      I mean no dis respect to faith or preachers, but when the crap hit the fan about a week later, that was one pissed off preacher. Oh and just the week before that fw had convinced the whore to come to church, and she did.

      At that service she was so upset about getting in some kind of mess at work, and she was standing there looking at fw (he was her boss) and I remember saying to her; “it will be ok”. Her eyes never moved to look at me , she just stared at fw.

      Even then, though I figured he was fooling with someone, I didn’t suspect her. She just didn’t seem to me like someone that a man would risk his marriage and job for, but guess again.

        • What hypocrites they are when they dare to go to church and pretend to be all holy and devout!
          In the summer of 2021, which is when my X started on the cocaine, or what he admitted to me when I finally copped-on and confronted him about it, my adult son was living in a shared hosue with mates in the city and as we didn’t have to drive in and out twice a day , fie days a week, I persuaded we’d start going to Mass at a Taditional Latin Mass church in the city centre.
          So there he’d be, like good Catholic boy, at a Latin Mass with me every Sunday for the entire time my son was living away from home, and I was loving it, but he was only going through the motions because he was sniffing! The hypocrisy of him is galling.
          No wonder that whenever I tried to persuade him to start going there again, he’d just look at me “gone-out” and then ignore me and no wonder he refused point blank to go to Confession! In fact, the last time I very gently suggested he go to Confession, he barked “I’m FINE! I DON’T NEED TO!”! So I said no more about it!!
          Was it the sin of false pride, having lied to himself as much as me that he was justified in what he was doing? Was he scared of what the priest might say? Was he hiding the shame of what he was doing from himself behind hubris?
          I don’t know, but it’s on him now!!

  • I can relate. They are delusional and suffer from a personality disorder. The worst part is no body that has not gone through understand or believe it. I would only speak here now.Im so done with people that remain friends with these kind of people.

    • The crazy part is, people with personality disorders don’t actually suffer from them… everyone around them does.

      • Yes, psychopaths, sociopaths and those with NPD just make others suffer, because as Tracy says , it doesn’t hurt them to hurt you!
        Those with Borderline PD, also a Cluster B PD, do suffer themselves as well as causing others to suffer though.In fact they can suffer very badly and often suffer severe depression and suicidal ideas. Many BPDs do end up killing themselves out of despair if they don’t get the skilled help they need. Unlike those with one of the Anti-Social PDs or Narcissistic PDs, people with BPD can be helped by therapy, probably because they DO suffer themselves and are seeking relief, as you would!
        That doesn’t make them safe to get involved with though!

  • Someone mentioned how their FW said he liked having the wife and mistress( I typed up my input to that but it got deleted before sending and I should have typed it in notes like I know to do, lol)
    My FW gave me the line “ one woman can’t take care of all of my needs” ( a friend and I laughed really hard about that years later).
    Yes, they ARE that level of unique and special in their own private universes.
    He recently told our son “ you are not my equal” implying his great worldly accomplishments and demanding respect from his son, who has zero respect for the man now.
    What an idiot he is! And thank the Lord God above he is not anything like his father, in every single area that actually counts in this life. Honesty, respect, morals, integrity, trustworthiness, responsibility and love. He towers over his father’s head.

    We were driving to his retirement dinner and I found some orange tictacs on my car door, which I made some comment must be another woman’s. He made a bombastic big deal about that and said loudly to the kids in the back seat, “ your mother thinks I have another woman” and laughed over the complete absurdity of that with them. How totally ridiculous a thought!!
    I guess my gut knew, but my mind hadn’t caught up. He had a five year mistress at that moment and lived with her full time when he was Mon-Fri in his work state for the entire past year and kept another $5000 apt as a front that he never even lived in with photos all over the walls of me and the kids for the monthly visits I made to go see him. ( the rest of the w/e’s he flew home to me and we were planning and buying for our retirement home on those w/e’s, which was exciting and fun, for me!!)
    It seems pretty dark that he would actually make a point of laughing at the utter absurdity of him having a mistress with us when that was exactly what was happening. Yeah, that’s 100% sociopathic and they get off on being so slick no one will ever catch them.
    I remember the last few times I ever saw him, I couldn’t even look into his eyes, I had to divert my eyes to the side.
    Once I saw who he really was, it was like viewing a blackened evil soul of a man, I couldn’t unsee it and I wondered to myself how I could have missed it.

    • ‘Once I saw who he really was, it was like viewing a blackened evil soul of a man, I couldn’t unsee it and I wondered to myself how I could have missed it.”

      So familiar of a feeling. And it is weird how the first time I actually saw those shark eyes was the night before he left. But, after I saw them that night, I then began to remember a few times over the last couple years I had seen that look. So weird.

      • Or money is just a means to an end to them, the ends being the gratification of their basest and most sordid urges or the buzz they get from making mugs of people, because they think it proves their cleverer than others, especially us chumps! Or both the thrill of sleaze and the buzz of power?
        They’re poisonous!

  • Mine started taking me on all kinds of fancy vacations where he professed his love to me and told me how we were so lucky! We raised five kids! We had it all!!!

    He told me later he was worried I’d “trade up” if he didn’t take me on vacations, like I cared about that instead of just being married to a man who loved me and was faithful. Like I was a shallow person who just wanted vacations out of a relationship.

    He knew I was going to leave if I truly found out and he was already paving the way for me being a materialistic person, instead of just wanting a true partner.

  • Mine went to counseling with me for almost a year and a half. We had to have spent $4,000 on that marriage counselor whom he repeated lied to and told her “there was only one” and “I love my wife.” He even spent $600 on a double date on Valentine’s Day for an expensive dinner 2 months before telling me he was in love with the OW. Wow . . . just wow!

  • We bought new wedding bands to signify a new chapter in our story. I remember him picking his out with me, he seemed excited. He still wore that ring after he moved out, while living with her, and as far as I know after marrying her.

  • Well, my ex sold his house, quit his high-profile job and moved to my city 1000 miles from his since I was “the love of his life”, “his soulmate”, “the best sex he ever experienced” and we were “meant to be”. And oddly enough it still turned out that he had been cheating on me with multiple women from day 1 of our relationship. It became harder to hide it when living together, of course, and when I found out and threw him out there was a long ongoing sad-sausage period of moaning about how mean and vile I was leaving him to himself in this situation when he had SACRIFICED so much for me. Of course he paired it with gaslighting, more lying, threats to drag me to court and show that he actually had the right to my house (I have no idea what he meant, but he tried), long statements of me being a frigid narcissist who never could give him what he needed (oh, wait) and then there were the occasional love letters stating that he knew I would forgive him because still his perfect love meant to be yadayadayada. This went on for years, e-mails from new accounts every time I blocked him, until I met my now husband which finally shut him up. After ten years (yes! Ten fucking years!) he made an effort to try to get back into my life that I completely ignored. Thank god haven’t heard from him since.

  • The year I discovered mine doing online dating, he gave me a pair of nosehair clippers (which I do not need) for Christmas. I think they were originally intended for his father. He never actually met anyone, just online fantasy and we did stay together. I don’t know if reconciled is the proper word, I think I just terrified him into submission, but he’s never done anything since. I do check. He’s given me a lot of lovely gifts since but…..I will never forget the nosehair clippers.

  • Wow, these comments are painful to read. I’m thinking:

    These people are abnormal- so cold blooded. None of our FW cared about us adequately, but these stories just show wanton disregard for the feelings and even basic survival needs of THEIR FAMILY (that they DECIDED to create). They are narcissistic people who have no empathy.

    To have an affair is bad, always with deceit and misuse of resources.

    But to move everyone to another state, begin a new life (baby), plan renovations and retirement etc etc all while knowing they will likely leave soon is just evil. Unnecessarily so! Why add the extra layers of pain? I know faking and’s just hard for me to understand even after living it.

    No wonder we are so chumpy- we believe in the relationship not because we are stupid, but because they are setting us up for that (until something better comes along). Part of the existential angst of D day is doubting your lived experience. Future fake is just lovely plans when you are living it.
    No wonder it can be so hard to recover from this callous and abusive behavior. It can be hard to trust your own reality. The fact that we do recover and even rise above is amazing. And we do it with integrity.
    They really do suck.

    • “But to move everyone to another state, begin a new life (baby), plan renovations and retirement etc etc all while knowing they will likely leave soon is just evil.”

      This is the stuff that stuns me. I’m amazed how many house renovations and move stories are on this one page. And also having another baby. I can’t imagine being in an affair and considering leaving my spouse AND putting them through all this extra work and changing their lives and futures only to up and leave. It IS evil and we are far too easy going about adultery in this society. Right now I’m reading about the really disgusting antics of a Governor and a Congresswoman that have come out at the same time and we really need to start enforcing higher standards in general. It’s not the politics, it’s the behavior – the complete lack of caring and concern for their spouses, their families and THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

      I wonder if these FWs in these CN stories are conflicted about leaving – maybe they are hoping if they come up with some massive project like these renos or moves that it will “force” them into staying with the spouse – force them to make up their minds? Or is it just a distraction from the affair? Or maybe we can never understand such evil behavior, because this is EVIL and we need to start making moral judgments again as a society. I would like to see people who engage in these activities and abandon their spouses & children be punished for it. I think all divorce should be “at fault” if adultery is involved, and people who desert their families through these actions should lose ALL their marital financial interests and all custody of the children. We have been far too tolerant of bad behavior for way too long and it’s destroying society, one family at a time. I’m just fed up. This has to stop.

      • “I wonder if these FWs in these CN stories are conflicted about leaving – maybe they are hoping if they come up with some massive project like these renos or moves that it will “force” them into staying with the spouse – force them to make up their minds? ”

        I would have loved to believe that, because then I might have at least had the feeling that I mattered a little. But, I doubt it. In my case he insisted we buy a river side property, and talked about our grandchildren enjoying it. He knew I didn’t want to do that simply because I was pretty sure we couldn’t really afford it, and also if he had wanted to do something to make me happy he would have offered to fix up the heap we lived in. No, it was what he wanted for him and schmoops to have a getaway. I do believe in my case he was not planning on leaving for at least another year, to get the mayor re-elected for his second term. Then I am sure he hoped to keep treating me so nasty I would leave then he could drag the whore out of the alley as his new squeeze. But alas someone at his place of work filed an ethics complaint and his house of cards fell around him.

        These two were so sick that they tried to tell folks including my son that he and whore never had sex until after we were separated. This after he had already admitted it to me, and I had hundreds of dollars of women’s and boys clothing (her son) on our joint credit card bought in the town where the river property was. Obviously no one believed it.

        “It’s not the politics, it’s the behavior – the complete lack of caring and concern for their spouses, their families and THE GENERAL PUBLIC.”

        This is true, it is so engrained on all sides. Powerful positions attract corrupt people. My mother in law used to say if you aren’t crooked when you go into politics you will be when you come out. I hated when she said that. Her son seemed to prove it. But to be fair, I think he was a lying cheat before he got involved in politics, and I worked for two years hard in politics and I didn’t become corrupt. So I tend to think that corrupt folks will be corrupt no matter where they work or live.

        • Unfortunately politics attracts so many sleazebags and opportunists. I always believe that if you act like a creep in private and lie and cheat on your spouse & family and be disloyal….you’ll do it to the voters too. There’s no disconnect between private and public….it’s all about hiding it from a spouse or from constituents. But if the spouse can’t trust you….the voters can’t either. We just have become too non-judgmental and I really think these people need a hard come down. The message has to get out that this is NOT acceptable behavior we can wink at. It destroys families. What destroys families will eventually destroy the country. Okay….off soap box.

          In your case it sounds like he was doing some long range planning for his marital afterlife. The sheer villainous machinations of this is breath taking. Before you found out about his trollop, did you have any idea he was like this? To be able to hide his plans and intentions for so long… tops for hiding info is usually a couple of hours. Much of the stuff we read on here is just simply diabolical. And yet….despite all their plans, they so often get caught and fail, LOLOLOLOL! They usually end up worse than the Chumps, sometimes MUCH worse. All their planning comes to a much less happy life with someone who uses THEM. Maybe it’s all they can really understand.

  • He said he was going out to buy me something special for Xmas… he came back emptyhanded but as I was the one doing finances I could not help but notice a $500 charge at the vapeshop on that particular day. Not sure what all he bought there but I’m pretty sure it was solely a ‘special’ Xmas gift to himself (something to do with getting high without giving himself away with the smell if I had to guess).

  • Here’s a different kind of bait and switch:

    Ok, so our daughter had a baby 6 months before what would be D-day.
    She and her husband were in training to be physicians (crazy hours!) and needed help with childcare. My ex offered our services for one week a month. He’d just retired and said he had the time. Because they live about 100 miles away, we’d have to stay in their small apartment during that week.

    I was impressed with my then-husband’s generosity. “What a guy!”

    Guess what, folks? Turns out this was his way of getting me out of our house for a week a month so he could “play” with the AP. He rarely showed up to babysit. The fucker! There’s something about using a grandchild as your excuse to fuck your AP in your marital bed that’s especially gross to me.

    Our daughter is now NC with her dad bc of years of emotional abuse. He hasn’t seen that little one in 4 years, nor has he ever met the little sister, now 2. It’s sad, really. So sad.

    Me? I moved to be near those kiddos and am happily babysitting frequently! The 4 yo had a sleepover at my place the other night. When she put her little hand in mine in the middle of the night, I felt a happiness that I can’t describe.❤️ Doesn’t get any better than that.

    • I agree. In fact I think using the marital bed in any situation for their betrayals is just above and beyond any decency for a human being. Not excluding the AP, what kind of a low life does that. It goes beyond cheating.

      I am so glad you are getting to enjoy your family, sans cheater.

      • I think schtuping in the marital bed is next level abuse and a strong indicator of their anger and how intensely they want to destroy you. It’s another degree of dark.

        • Agreed.

          I don’t know if they did it in our bed, but I wouldn’t put it past either of them.

          I do know he brought her and she willingly came to our house so he could introduce me to her. (she was his direct report). I think that showed hostility towards me too. The year of discard had begun (unknown to me) but soon after that “visit” he did begin to get nastier and nastier to me.

          The only reason I think he might not have defiled the bed is because his mother lived right catty cornered behind us, and she didn’t work regular hours so she could have easily seen something, or even walked in on them. She had keys to the house.

    • Wow, that is wonderful, I love your relationship with your grandkids, nothing can replace that. What that dummy has lost just so he could screw some POS….incalculable loss for him. Also, I think there is nothing more disrespectful than cheating in the marital bed, that is so low it’s on the outside of the bottom of the barrel. It’s cruel, vicious and utterly disrespectful of the spouse and marriage in general. It’s like crapping in your face.

      • Mehitable,

        I agree, finding out a cheating spouse or partner had sex w/their AP in the bed you shared is another terribly nasty turn of the knife.

        I remember asking my FW XW on D-day if she had done that in the bed we’d shared most of our adult lives. She said something like, “oh no, that would have been wrong.”

        Later in the week, when I told her I had to know how many times she’d betrayed me physically w/her rich older boss, she said four times (not that I believe that now). My next question was, did you have sex in your work offices? I was trying to wrap my head around how I could have been the last to realize they were having an affair, because they seemed to have hidden it well. Again, her response was something like “oh no, that would have been gauche.”

        When I asked her where their sex did take place, she said at his house, which was walkable from their workplace.

        Here’s where her sociopathy is clear to me. How she could say it would be wrong to have committed adultery in our bed, and in her workplace, but in the house (and probably bed!) of the wife that had been married to her AP for forty years? THAT’S ok?! Unbe-fucking-lievable.🤬

        These fuckwits are incredibly disordered and further down the path towards sociopathy than I’m comfortable with, and I’m sure CL and the rest of CN agrees.

        I know I keep saying it, but it keeps coming to the forefront of my mind when I respond to these posts and think back on the shitty way my FW XW decided to end our marriage after almost twenty five years w/her exit-affair (more time than that if you include the time we dated and lived together before marriage):

        I am so much better off without that horrible person in my life. She showed me who she really was w/her awful actions, and I have accepted what a terrible spouse and person she is. Let her former boss have her! The two of them are no prizes to anyone but themselves. They’ve met at the bottom of the sea, and they can stay down there w/each other like the fucked up fish they are. I’m living my best life with the whole rest of the ocean open to me.

        I hope this is where the majority of CN is at. If you’re just at the beginning, please be kind to yourself, and realize this over time: You are so much more deserving of a better spouse or partner, should you want that again (you certainly don’t have to). The fact that they chose to do this awful thing to you and your relationship w/them reflects badly on THEM, not YOU.

        They’re the scum who need the most fixing, but it will likely never happen. We all can improve on ourselves, and should, but at least us chumps didn’t treat our spouses or partners as horribly as they did us, because we have better character than them when it comes to love and relationships.

        We’re the ones who love fully, not them. Not perfectly, just fully. And if that wasn’t enough for them, they had morally and ethically reasonable ways to exit out of the relationship. They chose not to. That’s on them. Totally.

    • “There’s something about using a grandchild as your excuse to fuck your AP in your marital bed that’s especially gross to me.”

      Yes, it’s disgusting. It sounds like he lost everyone but his selfish whore, so his life is going to be empty, while yours is full. I do think FWs feel the emptiness of their shallow existence. They stupidly think the fix for it is ego gratification.

    • “When she put her little hand in mine in the middle of the night, I felt a happiness that I can’t describe.❤️ Doesn’t get any better than that.”
      Agree with you Spinach! That’s the good stuff in life, it doesn’t get better than that.
      It is really tragic that these unconscious cheaters will never understand that. That’s maybe the most disordered thing about them IMO. I think true karma would be them becoming fully aware of what they have actually given up in life.
      They wouldn’t survive that though, and it’s not going to happen anyway. They are not capable of seeing that.
      Ironically, I think we receive most of the hurt for that, because we fully know what they sacrificed for cheap thrills and it’s unfixable. Cosmically tragic.

  • Told me he loved me and asked me to move across the country to be with him. Cheated and dumped me over email a week later. Eventually found out he had a fiancee the whole time.

    I feel silly saying this, considering most other people here were married to their cheaters for years, even decades. I only dated mine a few months, but we were friends for a couple years before that and thought I knew him. As if the initial betrayal wasn’t enough, he harassed me for months afterward demanding I forgive him and telling me all our mutual friends hated me.

    It’s crazy how just a few months with a sociopath can traumatize you for years. And I wasn’t even married or sharing finances or kids with the bastard.

    • Cam, Don’t feel silly. Trauma is trauma, regardless. It’s not the pain Olympics here. You should feel grateful you got out so quickly. My D-Day was a month after my 35th anniversary. Completely blindsided when I discovered his hooker habit.

    • But you experienced a shorten but complete cycle of the whole sociopathic experience. It can be deeply damaging too. The cognitive dissonance is indescribable.
      Glad you got out of that,Cam, sooner than later. And as Erin says, trauma is trauma. It goes against all our beliefs in humanity, that’s a lot to take on, regardless of length of abuse.

  • Around six weeks before I discovered many years of my partner’s involvement with “sugar babies”, we got a new puppy. I remember asking him if he was prepared for this commitment because we were close to retirement and getting a puppy is a long term commitment. Unbelievable that he would bring a helpless animal into this shitty situation.

  • Delusional gave me a set of air Pods, and another, and another. I thought it weird at the time. He was likely giving them as “gifts” to the escorts. Once he settled on a few regular escorts, he had extras. Gave me a std too. One std gift is too many.

  • I guess there was some bait and switch w/the FW XW. In the fall of 2016, when she and her AP/rich boss were mutually seducing each other, she was going on trips w/me to find claw-footed bathtubs for the house we down-sized into because we had to stay in the village we were in to keep her local political position.

    Then she let me enroll in college courses and buy a new MacBook Air for those courses (w/my money, of course 🙄), all to satisfy her demand that I find a job w/better pay, better hours than the mattress sales job I had taken to help support our family after I left pharmacy as a profession.

    What scum these people turned out to be. So lacking in good character. I’m so much better off w/out her. We all are better w/out these awful people in our lives. Be well, CL & CN. I’m pretty tired after a long week of work. Today was my Friday. 😊

  • Mine took me and our whole family on a trip with his new Spider motorcycle. We drove to a beautiful old town. Got a bbq chicken dinner in a little Cafe. Then he took all the grandkids one at a time, into the roads through the woods. He even let my adult son ride the bike alone which never ever happened before. No one could touch his bikes or ride them. It was perfect weather in the Spring. I was dazzled at this new man all full of magnanimous spirits. It was part of the deception and impression management. Lies and more. Weeks later the truth came out on D day of multiple affairs.
    My kids and grandkids were shocked. But but..the chicken dinner, the rides in the forest, the joy.? Fooled ya!!

    • Ya he fooled everyone….for how long a few days, a few weeks, a few months? How long is that deception supposed to last or when did the kibbles get depleted? One trip doesn’t make up for years of deceit.

      • He fooled me for 3 years. He was bipolar so all his strange behavior and over the top impression management, late nights ” shopping”, hours on the computer and talking about woman at his job…I attributed all this to his mental illness. There was a cycle of kindness ( bike rides, bed and breakfast weekend, time to eat out at fun places)and then abuse. It’s called the cycle of abuse and it escalated. I also blamed covid, the death of both parents and 4 close friends for his abuse which included coercion and demands to act like a street walker. So my head stayed in a blender high speed low speed. But once I knew and D day happened, it took me 10 tortured days to file and get a restraining order.

  • Mine encouraged me to retire early from my 29 year career with the same company. Although our financial advisor gave us the green light, I still had misgivings. When I told him I didn’t think the time was right, he doubled down and told me how much I deserved it, how life was short and what a great time we’d have together when we retired.

    Then my mother needed an operation and would need care for 6-8 weeks. This was before remote work was an option. So, the decision was made. I retired and traveled across the country to care for my mother. FW stayed behind to complete renovations on our kitchen. A complete gut job remodel that he insisted on doing himself with his friends in the trades, even though I wanted to hire a real contractor. He said it would give him purpose during retirement and something to do while I was away. He said he couldn’t wait for me to come home to our beautiful new kitchen.

    D-day happened the day after I brought my mother home from the hospital. I had been retired for 2 1/2 months. He told me he had moved out of the house. There wasn’t another woman, he just hadn’t been happy for a long time. I’ve heard of people who pass out from shock when getting bad news. I can understand how that happens. That is how shocked I was. It was like the wind was knocked out of me.

    The next six weeks were a nightmare. My mother did not have an easy time with her recovery. I was shell shocked and not sleeping. I was consulting attorneys long distance, feeling furious and helpless. He left our 15 year old little dog all alone in the house, which was in disarray from the remodel, which made me even more furious. That little dog was like our child. My daughter was able to come over and care her, but my daughter is busy with a job, a family and her own pets to care for. It wasn’t feasible for her to take my dog home with her. It still makes my blood boil when I think of how he abandoned my precious little dog.

    Finally, I was able to come home. I came home to my house a complete mess, a halfway completed kitchen remodel and a traumatized dog. I hired an attorney the next day. There was a short-lived reconciliation that lasted about two weeks. I caught him talking to his Chinese massage parlor OW and threw him out for good. I got a good settlement and life is much more peaceful now, FW free.

    I did not deserve any of what he did to me. I can say with a completely clear conscience that I was a good wife to him. My only regret is that I wasted so much of my life with that sociopath.

  • similar to the writer we bought a new boat just 6 months prior to DD. He cried on our first trip bringing it home bc he was so happy that we were in such a good place, it was the boat of our dreams and i’m
    the one who found it. Sadly i was already feeling that gut that something was wrong and literally asked him at the boat loan signing ,”If you are planning to leave me tell me now before i sign a new boat loan!!”. we all
    laughed and still i had a pit. one week prior to DD (xmas) he got us matching E bikes for the marinas, matching sunglasses etc… wtf, unlike the writer tho on DD i asked when did you stop loving me and he replied, I still
    do… i responded This is not love. Is this what you want? Online se workers over our marriage?? He could not and would not fight for our marriage and now i see that as a blessing. I think it may have dragged out the trauma.

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