Better the Devil You Know?

I’ve noticed time and again when chumps in reconciliation explain themselves, they say some version of this:

“Well, I don’t trust Bob. It won’t be the same, but I’m glad we’re still married. Because after this, I’m not going to trust anyone again anyway. So why start over? If I’m going to be twitchy about infidelity, I’d rather work out my issues here in the marriage. It won’t be the same here, but it won’t be different anywhere else.”

Drives me cra-zy.

Let’s say you got food poisoning.

“Well, the oysters at Bob’s restaurant made me puke for days and land in the emergency room. But I’m going to keep eating at Bob’s. Of course, I won’t trust oysters any more, but why try other oysters? Or food at other restaurants? I’m just going to get poisoned again. So I’ll just eat some bland toast and learn to live with queasiness.”

Look, to be in reconciliation — that rare unicorn — you have to trust. That’s the colossal hurdle, trust is what was destroyed that has to be mended. To say you’re going to live in a marriage without trust is not reconciliation — it’s limbo. It’s an arrangement. Heck, it might be Stockholme Syndrome. But it’s not a marriage. You’re saying the bland toast and the nausea are your new normal and you’re okay with that. Why expect more?

Why? Because there is a WORLD out there with WAFFLES and STEAK and BUTTER and BARBECUE and CHERRIES and SUSHI and CHOCOLATE. There is a cornucopia of goodness you are missing out on because you’re settling. You’ve winnowed down your world to “It’s a good day when I don’t wind up in the ER.” Hey, it’s been eight days since I last puked!

Life isn’t the absence of vomiting. It’s being able to eat and enjoy.

Marriage isn’t the absence of cheating. It’s being able to trust and feel safely loved.

If you’re in reconciliation and you think this way? Just admit that you’re settling, okay? Do not damn the rest of us. Do not assume that WE suck — because we don’t. We are not equivalent to your Bob. There are a bazillion loving, full-hearted people who don’t cheat and lie. You could walk right now into a bar and swing a cat and hit someone who is better than your spouse — because that person hasn’t cheated on you.

“YET” you say.

Okay, live with your cheater who you have 100 percent certainty cheated on you, and whom you will never trust again. You will choose that over the odds of a stranger who has not cheated on you? Who has better odds? What’s worse than 100 percent certainty Bob cheated? Can you do the math? “Oh, there is a 150 percent chance this stranger will cheat…”

GAH.

Just admit you’re sticking with the Devil you know. You know why everyone else looks like a Devil to you? Because you live in Hell.

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Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
9 years ago

Staying and deciding not to trust is a sure fire way to get bitter. True bitterness. Either go for full reconciliation unicorn style or divorce. Staying and deciding never to trust serves no one ultimately.

Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead
9 years ago

Oops…thought it didn’t post.

nicolette14
nicolette14
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Tracy, I love your book!! I read it twice, please write another one and make it much longer book to read. When I was reading it, it felt like you were talking to me directly… Thank you!

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  nicolette14

Nicolette, be sure to leave a book review on Amazon and Bookreads!

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

haha oops I meant “Goodreads”

nicolette14
nicolette14
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

will do. 🙂

Lioness
Lioness
9 years ago

Once you were cheated on you will never trust that individual again!
I am 100% sure. Staying is believing you cannot do better.

ChumpDad
ChumpDad
9 years ago
Reply to  Lioness

I trusted again… weeks shy of 10 years later… I guess I shouldn’t have trusted.

Jamberry
Jamberry
9 years ago
Reply to  ChumpDad

The hard fact is that we cannot cheater-proof our lives. Getting chumped once is hard enough, I can only imagine how terrible it feels to get chumped again. PAChump and ChumpDad, I am really sorry to hear that your courage was met with more betrayal. You don’t deserve it.

I am going to try at love again. If I find myself with another cheater, I know exactly what I need to do. Hope I don’t sound cavalier — I am not going to let my first husband’s infidelity derail the rest of my life.

nicolette14
nicolette14
9 years ago
Reply to  Lioness

I second that! and I am 1000% sure!! You fool me once shame on you, you fool me twice shame on me. Like I said before, my ONLY and BIGGEST regret is that I didn’t dump his worthless ass right away! My life has never been more content, peaceful and happier since I got rid of the pathological lying, cheating fucktard!

PAChump
PAChump
9 years ago
Reply to  Lioness

I trusted again … then got cheated on again.

chumpittychump
chumpittychump
9 years ago
Reply to  PAChump

Me too…

Chump-sans-frontiere
Chump-sans-frontiere
9 years ago
Reply to  chumpittychump

Hate being a member of this serial chumped club but we’re in good company. 🙂

lovehonorcherish
lovehonorcherish
9 years ago

My stbxh asked for a second chance at our marriage and I willingly gave him one. I poured my heart and soul into the recovery and reconciliation of our marriage only to be informed by the AP a year later that I was still being duped. My stbxh had the balls to ask for another chance! At that point I told him to take a hike…that I wanted to be his wife and partner not his babysitter! I told him that I would not spend the rest of my life wondering what he was up to every time he was out of my sight. I would rather take my chances divorcing him…if I meet the man if my dreams? Wonderful! If not? At least I won’t spend every minute of every day in a state of anxiety because I am stuck with a man I cannot trust and one who has zero respect for me or our marriage! His response to all of this? “Why are you acting this way? I’ve NEVER wanted to be divorced from you! We can make this work!” Made me want to vomit then…still does : (

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago

My ex told me over and over he never should have married me, felt no passion for me, we were better off not married, blah blah blah. Then once I filed for divorce and he was served, he said, “I’m not even sure I want to get divorced!” Yeah, whatever.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

The repeated pronoun in that sentence says it all.

nomar
nomar
9 years ago

Good call, LHC.

“Why are you acting this way? I’ve NEVER wanted to be divorced from you! We can make this work!”

Classic case of Fucked Up Cheater Thinking (“FUCT”).

“It’s impossible for you to want to divorce me because I don’t want to divorce you.”

Er, WHAT???!?!? I don’t think you understand how logic works.

Examples of the FUCT phenomena abound. For example, “I didn’t intend to hurt you so you weren’t hurt,” “I think my affair partner is sexy/smart/cool, so if you met her/him I’m sure you’d be great friends!” and, “The whole time I was having the affair I never stopped loving you.”

You know that greasy paste that builds up in the drains of your house, comprised of coagulated fats and hair and dead skin cells and such, to the point that water can’t get through the drain at all? This stuff is the intellectual equivalent. If you let it it’ll clog your brain until sensible thoughts can’t get through at all and you end up with mental toilet overflow.

Chumplady? She’s the Roto-Rooter woman who runs a verbal drain snake in one of your ears and out the other and churns away until common sense flows freely once again.

Jode70
Jode70
9 years ago
Reply to  nomar

I never got the we can make it work but was used as a doormat for 20 years. I was high on hopium.. Worked and worked for my marriage even after multiple EA/PA. A couple of weeks after he ran off with the final OW, I got my act into gear, decided to sell the family home, got child support going, move on with my life (through so much pain and heartache), pushed for everything I could in the settlement (with the help of my wonderful best friend, who happens to be a lawyer) his response, I never thought you would be like this and try to hurt me!!! What am I supposed to do if I want to buy a house in the future with the OW!! Um What… are you seriously joking.. so you can do anything you like, cheat, lie, manipulate, so much mental and emotional abuse over 20 years, you entitled piece of crap and yet when I finally for the first time in 20 years think about me after you abandoned your family, move forward with my life, I have to think about how it would effect you and your new OW… I think NOT!!!

ExpatChump
ExpatChump
9 years ago
Reply to  Jode70

I never thought you would be like this and try to hurt me!!!

I got something similar: “why so aggressive?” When I replied that he doesn’t get to leave me with nothing after me sacrificing my career and living in a foreign country for 15 years, he said
“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Jode70

I’m incensed for you!

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Phhht! Roto-WHAT??? This girl from Down Under is just snorting into her Lemsip (Yes, full of a bad head cold.) Not the done thing here to call anything an anything Rooter – I guess you all know what a rooter is, huh?

For those who don’t – a fucker, a player, as in “will root anything with a pulse.”

So a Roto-Rooter in this context is pretty damn snort-making!

Rosie Boa
Rosie Boa
9 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

…and another chump from down under…I love it when Americans say ‘I’m rooting for you’ and my mind goes WTF?!?

Jode70
Jode70
9 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

Yep another Down Under chick here. It must be going around… flu last week yay!! Love the reference to a rooter 🙂

Sammie D
Sammie D
9 years ago
Reply to  Jode70

Yep down under. I am glad others got a laugh from the rooter ref

Only way is up
Only way is up
9 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

Hi another one from Down under – laughed when I read this.

Maree
Maree
9 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

Hi there from another girl Down Under! You have described it better than I could have. Hope the Lemsip works for you?

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Dear CL,

If you have ever had the ‘privilege’ of having a major sewage backup in your basement, a service person with a Rotor Rooter would become your new best friend!!!

You, my dear, are Chumps best friend! nomar gave you an ultimate compliment! I absolutely love her analogy! Going into my ‘favorite Chumplady comments’ file!

ForgeOn, ChumpNation!

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

Nomar is a man.

fiestypants
fiestypants
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

“Nomar is a man.” I just busted laughing when I read that. Don’t worry ForgeOn. There are so many people on here that I’m always trying to file away who is what gender and always forgetting. I just stick with “they” or “you” as those are safe. lol

notyou
notyou
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

I was under the impression that “nomar” is Mr. Chump Lady…am I wrong?

notyou
notyou
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

Some of the things that gave me the impression are that “nomar” on here has given law as a career. Also, when I went to Amazon to buy the book, there was this single bad review with lots of comments from other people. One of the commenters was a Paul A. Schorn of Texas. As my cursor passed over that name one of those little mini profiles popped up and there was the word, “nomar” under that name.

At any rate, ” nomar’s” comments on here are typically dry and funny, so I enjoy them…whoever he or she is.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

Mr. Chump Lady has posted here before . . . remember? I can’t remember which thread it was.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

Notyou, So far as I know you. Are wrong, if he is, then he prefers to be anonymous

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

I don’t know, but I recall that Mr. Chump Lady is a Red Sox fan (see comment above yours). And they’re both lawyers. But I believe nomar lives in a “small Southern town” — kind of a stretch for Austin.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  notyou

When I speak to him I call him Mr Chump.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Whoops! My bad….Very, very bad.

Thanks for the correction, Miss Sunshine!

And thanks nomar! You are awesome! (Excuse my ‘badness’….. Please?!)

ForgeOn!

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

Clearly not from Boston, where NOMAHHH is still remembered fondly/not fondly as a former Red Sox. (Nomar Garciaparra, fyi.)

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

At least you don’t have that…*ulghggh!…uuuhhhulgh!* drain “paste” in your brain.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

hey! sometimes it’s really necessary…and then you get your life (plumbing) back. And are so grateful….

buttercup
buttercup
9 years ago

Do you think it’s part of the “sunk costs” mentality? The convincing yourself that it’s just not worth “all that work” with no guaranteed return?

IMHO, it may be something like….control issues. It may seem on the surface that there is the typical chump fear and anxiety–but deeper, perhaps these people have some disordered bone of their own—control of the outcome. They don’t WANT to go out there, not because there is no person to trust. I think any halfway intelligent human being knows that to be ridiculous….but they are so supremely angry at their spouse for cheating, and GODDAMNIT, they are going to force that person back into line if it kills them.

Isn’t it true with Narcs that “bad attention is better than no attention”? Doesn’t this kind of smack of that? THIS IN NO WAY SUGGESTS THAT THE CHUMP DESERVES WHAT THEY GOT.

There isn’t any law that says that the cheater is the only disordered one in the pair. Just because the chumped didn’t cheat, doesn’t mean that they don’t have serious mental problems too. I know a couple just like this—a Classic Narcissist and an Inverted Narcissist. Excuses abound, believe me. But when you get down to the brass tacks of it, you can finally get her to admit (after he’s cheated on her for years. discovery. drama. hoovering. honeymoon-sort of in a sick way. rinse. repeat.)—–that she likes the way he treats her when he’s in the “I’m SO SORRY” phase. She craves being with this man. And he is a royal douchebag of the first order.

Just my opinion. 🙂

MGirontree
MGirontree
9 years ago
Reply to  buttercup

Buttercup, I fall under that category. I am going through therapy trying to figure out why I not only turn the other cheek but I insists to be hit harder. “why, this side of my cheek is just not as red as the other, can you please swing your arm back far enough so the impact knocks me off my feet.” I must enjoy being hurt.

buttercup
buttercup
9 years ago
Reply to  MGirontree

MG, I don’t think you like it and I don’t think you deserve it. I don’t think you’re disordered whatsoever.

Why would I say that about someone I don’t know? Because you are here, you know what is happening to you and you are doing everything in your power to change the circumstances of your life.

Disordered people do not ever look at themselves and say, “What is WRONG with me!” That’s the definition of disordered. It’s all you and never them.

Big hugs to you….stay strong. Talk to your support people, your reality checks. I was saying this to myself just yesterday. KEEP YOUR REALITY CHECKS. Even when they say things you just cringe to hear. You know the ones who love you, the ones who stick around and listen and bring you soup and watch your kids and give you room to breathe.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
9 years ago
Reply to  buttercup

Sometimes the things you are saying, buttercup, might apply. But there are lots of reasons people stick it out too long–fear of financial fall out, fear of how it will affect kids, social stigma of divorce (much higher in some circles than others), abuse and fear that it will increase if she/he leaves.

I hate to see it all reduced to control issues and the suggestion that the partner who is being cheated on somehow enjoys the drama.

It is easy to see the benefits of leaving once you’ve left, but they can be much harder to see from the inside.

buttercup
buttercup
9 years ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

E—-I agree with you completely. I was absolutely NOT saying that the chump enjoys this, or that it boils down to control issues.

My point was—that sometimes, especially when you try and try and try and try with someone who has been chumped, to get them to “see the light” to value themselves and to DO something about the situation—and you get roadblocks. excuses. oh…they come to you with serious complaints and it’s bad—but every single solution, no matter how big or how small—-is IMPOSSIBLE, just cannot be done. No Way. Nope. Can’t do anything about the situation…because of ______.

I was pointing out that sometimes…there is the possibility that these people, and you can spot them after awhile, because they sort of have the some of the same characteristics of the cheaters—-circular arguments, especially…..that there is absolutely no hard and fast rule that some people who do not cheat, are disordered themselves.

I like Outofthefog.net. It describes the different psychological disorders very well. DPD struck a chord for me, in applying it to the pair that I know—The Dysfunctional Duo, I call them. They feed off of each other. She’ll complain and she’ll try to garner sympathy when he does these things over and over to her—-but never, EVER, not even once, have I heard a reasonable response as to why she doesn’t kick his ass out. She just stares off into space when the questions become too specific as to why she allows this to continue.

In my opinion, if you want to do that dysfunctional dance with someone, then you two go off and do it alone. Please don’t reproduce, and most definitely, please don’t pull family, friends and well wishers into it with you. If you aren’t going to do anything about it, and you are really just not interested in changing anything—-like CL said—admit it, move on and keep your drama to yourself. Don’t patronize ME because I decided that the bullshit isn’t something I’m willing to tolerate.

I think that the folks here are WANTING HELP….they want to DO SOMETHING about their situations, but they are held back by fear, or abuse, or financial repercussions. They’re normal responses and the self realization that they need help in sorting this out is normal. The ones I am talking about, the ones that will complain and complain and let this go on for eons without any move to do anything, ever—damaging kids and everything around them….are not normal.

I don’t believe that someone like that—an Inverted Narcissist or any other type of disordered—would last long here, or even come here to begin with.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  buttercup

Well-said.

I really like helping people who try. Not so much those who wallow and/or hoover and/or feel entitled to let/force others to do for them what they could/should do for themselves.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  buttercup

buttercup!

You are absolutely ‘spot-on’! I share your ‘humble opinion’……

My son knows a couple just like that, but they are newlyweds. (5 weeks—No years of ‘sunk costs’ here!) Son’s description of the most recent ‘rinse and repeat’ with said couple is enough to make one vomit! It is totally messed up all the way around!

And the girl married this guy knowing full well his history. (Lived together for about 2 years) So, it is not always because of ‘sunk costs’ they do the ‘rinse & repeat’, but still is VERY disordered……..

Son is cutting them out of his ‘circle’! (Finally!)

Forge on, all……

Meg
Meg
9 years ago

They like being the “Devil We Know,” the quintessential “Bad Boy.” It’s fun for them!

It makes me sick to think of all the second chances (a hundred of them) I gave my cheater. Over almost 10 years, he NEVER ever stopped cheating, no matter how I lovingly trusted him. It helped that he worked at various out-of-state jobs all those years. I was pretty easy to fool. Oh yeah, he expected the unconditional love for him. He greatly enjoyed putting one over on me, getting the many second chances and then abusing me with them. But you know what? He never gave ME a second chance. He never cleared out all the soulmate ho’s and focused on how to love me unconditionally. He just continued the cake eating and excess kibble, with a smug smirk on his face. He never hit bottom…until the divorce papers were served. By then it was too late because I had moved on. There is no one new in my life (yet), but I have high hopes!

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago

My father cheated on my mother after I was born resulting in a half brother. They separated and were on their way to divorce. Then my mother got pregnant by a co-worker, so, I guess being the times (around 1960) my parents reunited and my dad raised my sister as his own. It’s a huge family secret.

My mom never trusted dad again, although she loved him very much. At the same time, she became a horribly bitter and unhappy person, making my life miserable in the process.

Flash forward to around their 27th anniversary and he runs into an old classmate and has an affair. This time he goes to my mom and tells her and they separate and actually divorce. But due to circumstances in their lives, several years later were re-married simply so that my father could give my mother his healthcare benefits. They never shared a bedroom during this second marriage.

Knowing what I know now, I’d have told my mother not to remarry him. She never trusted him and she threw his infidelity in his face every chance she got, but worst of all is that she became more controlling and obsessive and bitter with every passing year. This did not have to be her life.

Now they are old and dad is in ill health. Due to my chumping I live with them. In some ways I’m glad they have one another now. In other ways she’s still utterly miserable; I’ve never known such an unhappy person and as much as I love my father, she should have moved on with her life years ago and found someone who cherished her.

I’d rather find a way to be happy alone than to be in a marriage like they have.

diana l
diana l
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

It sounds like you are angrier at her than at him.

PattyToo
PattyToo
9 years ago
Reply to  diana l

Wow, that’s a long, long life of resentment! And, not valuing your own needs, just the so-called marriage institution, as if they have to present a ‘family’ to the world, and none of it is real.
Definitely a story we can learn from. It’s better to cut and run!

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  PattyToo

PattyToo, it truly is. It’s heartbreaking that this was her/their reality.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Here’s another way to look at it. He’s a cheater, for sure. But when she needed a father for a baby she had with someone else or health insurance, he stepped up. So whatever his issues are, he was not avoiding that level of Commitment. Both my parents had narcissist tendencies and my dad used alcohol. There was infidelity on both sides, I believe, and I can’t recall them ever being affectionate with each other. I don’t know how much of the “stepping out” was a reaction to how poorly they related or whether it was just 2 narcs looking for kibbles. She left once and went to her dad’s–a serial cheater who abandoned all his wives (3) as soon as the kids hit puberty. But she came back and stayed. She had no education or skills and no inclination to get a job. And he had his own life and they went on. It was in many ways very sad but also typical for the time (they grew up in the Depression). I think a lot of their problems stemmed from her trying to live through him and his career and community standing and his narcissist way of seeing her as having lost her sparkliness once they married. Whatever it was, it was a dynamic that neither was willing to let go of and paid off for them in many ways. My mother could be a martyr and play out her narc games while he put a roof over her head. My dad could do as he pleased. If she objected, he just stayed away more–work, community finctions, drinking. I don’t blame one or the other–it was the two of them as a couple.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LAJ, yes, I think my dad may have been a serial cheater, and for that reason alone my mother, a smart working woman (with a low self esteem), should have left him. But he’s my dad, and while I’m disappointed that he chose to cheat, I love him because he’s always been there for me. He may be a jerk to my mom but he stayed in the relationship for us three kids. Was that a good thing? I don’t know. But it’s hard to fathom my life without him in it. And my poor mom just punished him for his infidelity for the rest of their lives — and that’s no way to live. A sad situation.

diana l
diana l
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

You know, I think you could look at the situation as your mother stayed in the relationship for the sake of her children. It made her unhappy, but it allowed you to have him there. It may have protected your sister from stigma and it surely allowed all the kids to have a better standard of living.

In return he hurt her and tried to dump her 27 years later after she had stuck with him.

It’s not surprising that she’s bitter. She gave up a lot for her kids and she went on loving your dad and he just betrayed her again.

To me it seems like he’s getting to come off as the noble one who took care of his kids and her health insurance while she is bad for being mad at him.
He’s not really as nice a person as he seems if he treated your mom the way he did.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  diana l

Yes, I am. Is it right that my dad cheated on her? Hell no! But perhaps she would have found actual happiness if she had moved on from him.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  diana l

Maybe she identifies more with being a chumped woman and doesn’t want to make the same mistakes as her mom, and is pointing out how awful the consequences of choosing reconciliation are? That’s my read.

Teresa Flanagan
Teresa Flanagan
9 years ago

My favourite line from a friend who is in a reconciled relationship: “Half a loaf, is better than no loaf at all”.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago

That attitude of, “well, I have to stick with my cheater because otherwise I’ll have no one,” is the attitude that assures you the person will be chumped again. Basically saying, “I’m not good enough to deserve anyone better than a lying cheater.” The cheater smells this attitude like a shark smells blood, and knows s/he is free to cheat with no real repercussions.

Chump Princess
Chump Princess
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

This has certainly been my struggle. I should have left years ago. Instead I spackled like a demented contractor intent on saving a house that should have been condemned. Everyone thought I had the bestest husband and the bestest marriage, and at times, I actually experienced it – it wasn’t 25 years of hell, to be sure. However, there was way too much that ended up being spackle over cracks and fissures for years – enough for me, in hindsight, if I had not been blinded by the good times (which dwindled more and more as time went on) and the memory of the good times, to have noticed and maybe done a run for the border. And for what did I stay and spackle? To end up where I feared most being.

People who cheat, I believe, have some type of cognitive processing problem and/or character disorder at their core (or both). If your thinking is fucked up, and you’re using that same brain/thinking in an attempt to resolve whatever you perceive your problem to be, then the solution at which you arrive will almost invariably be fucked up. Thus, the “cheater’s pig-latin” and “stupid shit cheaters say.” (Hat tip to namedforvera and CL.) Of course, I have come to this understanding a little late, but better late than never.

Sometimes your life can be an example and sometimes it can be a warning. I hope mine can function as both. I’ve provided the warning, now I’d like to live the rest of my life as an example – one worth following. It is a process to be sure.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

“I spackled like a demented contractor intent on saving a house that should have been condemned.”

How do you make something so sad make me laugh out loud, Princess? Thank you!

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Our Chump Princess has a way with words, no doubt. And I am nicking that line. 🙂

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

Great post. I love the spackling contractor image.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Yes, that was great

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

This is the battle I’m fighting with myself right now GIO, I know that I’ll be happier once I’m out of my marriage, but it’s like I think I don’t deserve that.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Hey–you’re fighting. Something in you realizes you DO deserve better. Listen to THAT guy.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

We’re on your side, ANR. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want a better life.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

I try, Miss Sunshine. I try as hard as I can. And you know, he’s a nicer guy than the the other one.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

She’s right. Do it ANR. Sometimes you have to fight for what you want. Keep pushing. 🙂

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I will RK. With help from my friends here and out in the world, I will.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Why not? Why shouldn’t you be happy? What would you say to a son, daughter or friend who said they didn’t deserve to be happy so they were staying with someone who hurt them and cheated with no remorse? Just askin’. Love yourself first. That’s not narcissism; that’s appreciating the gift of your one “wild and precious life.”

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LAJ, I would fight like a bear to get them to know their worth. I would love them with all my heart until they could see they deserved to love themselves. I find it hard to get that sort of passion about myself though. 🙁

Toni
Toni
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Ha ANR – me Too! I was starting a pretty well received (VERY modest numbers of readers) blog, and painting, and officiating weddings. I lost all my drive and it’s hard to get started again. Every time I try to blog I feel too embarrassed to put myself out there, a year and a half later…Oh he did his job on me far too well. Altho’ to the eye I’m very outgoing and confident inside I’m still that frightened little girl my childhood instilled in me. And for a while I felt he had just put the nails in my coffin. I would try to paint and just cry, but I’m starting to stir. After missing a month of work, anemic and with pneumonia I’m starting to feel like myself again, still reading here everyday since right after Dday Jan 2013. Broke and anxious because of him but I’m starting to feel like my old self…

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Then that is your first order of business. If you don’t have that sort of passion about your own life, how will you find a caring partner? Here’s a question: What would you be doing if you did have that kind of passion for yourself? Write it down. Then do those things. If you have to, “fake it till you make it.” And you might ask a good counselor why this is difficult for you. You seem like such a smart and caring person. This lack of self-regard and care might be a result of living with a disordered person. How that lack of self-regard and care manifested in me was gaining 45 pounds and giving up big chunks of myself. All of that can be changed, even in people over 60-.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Well hell, I’m only 48! The lack of self-regard and care aren’t a huge mystery — I was raised being alternately belittled and leaned on emotionally by my mother and have lived the past 17 years with a very similar dynamic. In between, I was unfortunate enough to be raped twice, which takes its toll. What I need is strategies for recognizing when I’m being unrealistically hard on myself, and also when I’m being too easy on myself because I think I’m too weak to act. I also gave up huge chunks of myself, and actively hurt myself in a variety of ways (though less in my marriage and much less after my sons were born). I’m not thinking of a caring partner right now — well I am, of course, because I’m lonely as hell, but I have a long way to go until I can trust my picker. Thanks for your encouragement, LAJ. I always enjoy what you have to say, and it’s humbling to think you think of me as smart and caring.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

ANR, are you familiar with Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements”?

One of the agreements is to Be Impeccable With Your Word.

It not only pertains to what we say to others, but what we say about ourselves. Be gentle with yourself. Use this time to discover who you are — someone worthy of love and respect.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Thanks for the tip, ML. I’ll look it up. I try to be worthy of love and respect, anyway.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

ANR, I struggle with this too even though I’m out of my marriage. It’s hard to know what came first — poor self-esteem causing me to pick a cheater, or living with a cheater causing poor self-esteem. Even though I’ve been out of my marriage for a couple of years, I still occasionally struggle with self-esteem. It’s getting better, though, I can feel myself getting stronger.

ExpatChump
ExpatChump
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

I’ve filed (he also initially said he wasn’t sure he wanted a divorce), and am leaving in a couple of days with my kids for summer vacation. When I get back in six weeks, STBX will have moved out and we will meet with our lawyers regarding settlement. I am wondering if maybe I’m making a mistake. Am I better off without him? Why? How? How is a single mom in her mid-40’s with trust and communication issues ever going to find someone else while he gets to waltz off into a new relationship/life, and probably really doesn’t have any regrets?

Marci
Marci
9 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

Expat,
Focus on your own path. Stick with your decision because as others have said, the stress of staying will kill you. The stress of adjusting to single life…will bring many emotions…some extremely positive.

Work on your trust and comms issues with a professional. Give yourself time to heal, learn and like being single. Don’t necessarily think it’s necessary to rush into a new partnership. And above all, don’t make it a pissing contest with your ex. You know history repeats itself, he’ll be in hot water again given time, so there is no need to envy him.

I know this sounds like psycho-babble, but having lived it myself, I would say that time and self-examination are the healers. Ignore the distractions, look in the mirror, and focus on loving YOU and your children.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
9 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

As a single mother of two in her 40s, I can assure you that it isn’t easy. But, for me at least, it is much less stressful than my marriage was.

Most of what I miss, I never had. I didn’t have a husband who went to the zoo with the family or played games around the table with the kids, or went out with me while a babysitter watched the kids. I had the fantasy that family life should look like that and a spouse who did what he wanted when he wanted, and if it wasn’t all about his interests or flattering to him, he wasn’t participating or supportive. Recognizing this has made being alone a lot easier. Leaving my husband wasn’t like leaving my right hand behind, it was like leaving a brain tumor behind. I can see better now and think better now and live a healthier life now.

It is hard because parenting is hard, but doing it alone isn’t any harder than it was before.

As for a partner, well, I haven’t made any progress in that direction, but I don’t think I’m ready to, and it is good to have something to look forward to for another day!

DoneNow
DoneNow
9 years ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

Eilonwy, is that name a reference to a character from my favorite books when I was a kid, or something else?? I haven’t seen it in 30 years!

DoneNow
DoneNow
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

Now she know how to kick some ass. I need to read that series again.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

Another Prydain fan! Yes, it is a literary reference to a character I loved.

lyn
lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

Eilonwy, I always say there’s one thing my husband did an excellent job preparing me for, and that is being alone.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  lyn

Eilonwy and lyn, GREAT POSTS. I’m with you both.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

You wonder if you’re making a mistake? Why wouldn’t you be better off with someone who betrayed you? If you have trust and communication issues, why does staying with a known cheater seem like a better option? And really, what does it matter that he gets to waltz off into a new relationship? He’s still a cheating douche bag and he’ll do it again.

Instead of asking all the questions you listed, ask those. And find a good therapist to help you sort this out. You don’t want to meet anyone until you’re thinking happy again.

You’re going to be just fine!

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

My kingdom for an edit button! I meant Why would you be better off . . .

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

If you compare your immediate future as a single parent to his with his AP after divorce, you will of course feel as if you were coming out on the short end. But just because he has a new female in his life doesn’t mean his life will be happy or healthy. He isn’t getting a character transplant. You, however, are getting a do-over, a chance to rebuild your life from the ground up, kids included. I think the most important moment in my recovery so far was when I felt. for the first time, that I don’t need a partner. My life is busy and full, and I am happy with what I have. It would be great to meet someone new, but I am not looking. I am living, one moment and one day at a time. At your age and in your situation, I am sure I would have felt as you do now. But from 20 years up the road, let me tell you that if you work on having the best life you can, every day, you will come out far ahead of where you would be if you reconciled with a guy who is currently planning a life with his Schmoopie.

Nicole
Nicole
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LovedaJackass – you are so right! I really think I reached Tuesday…that perfect day of “meh”…when I realized that I was OK with being a single mom. That I was OK with being alone – not in a relationship – and not even “looking” for a relationship. I am slowly filling my life with more volunteer activities, focusing on my career, getting my oldest son off to college and my youngest through his teen years, and becoming comfortable with doing things by myself. Who knew going to the movies alone is so much fun!?! My Ex and his little schmoopie are still together and to the untrained eye are having so.much.fun with their swinging single life of no responsibility for children and family, but I know that is has to be a hollow life at the core. My life, to the outside observer, may seem quiet and a bit lonely now, but it is a real and authentic life and the bedrock core of it is integrity and strength and peace.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

LAJ and Nicole, so beautifully said and so inspiring.

jinx
jinx
9 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

The same way a 57 year old sahm does….you take one step a time. You move forward, you get angry, you scream, but you do something. The last 13 years of my life have been filled with both hellish lows and heavenly highs. They tried to destroy me, but
I’m still here. God’s not done with me yet. This is the most horrific situation I’ve had in my life yet, but I know that God is grooming me for something special. This marriage and overcoming the truly evil things done for me are only making me stronger. “Watcha my smoke!”

DoneNow
DoneNow
9 years ago
Reply to  ExpatChump

Hello fellow single Mom in her mid-40’s with trust and communication issues. We’re better off because THAT STRESS WILL KILL YOU! I would rather be alone that live with the abuse. I don’t care if I ever find anyone again. OK, sometimes I care. But my focus right now is making sure I can live life on my own. If I find someone else, great. But they better be pretty fucking fantastic. No, he won’t look back, he won’t have as many regrets, but you weren’t putting him through a hell he was desperate to escape, were you? I don’t know you’re particular situation. But when it’s bad enough, you leave. Because you have to, to save yourself and your children. The rest will follow. Good luck!

Sammie D
Sammie D
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

So well said DoneNow. Thank you

DoneNow
DoneNow
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

I wish we could edit our posts. So many grammatical errors!

DoneNow
DoneNow
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Thinking I wasn’t good enough is partly what got me into this mess in the first place. I didn’t realize it for a LONG time, because I thought he had changed when we got married (we were so young!). But the truth is, he kind of sucked at first too. My expectations for him were so low, but really high for my own behavior. At sometime I began to feel like I deserve to be with someone who’s at least as honest as I am, with the same values, like maybe that was something I did deserve. “You deserve what you tolerate.” Harsh, but true. When you believe you deserve more, your won’t accept less. And sometimes that takes some work with a good therapist!

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

Yeah — doing that work now. You know my wife kinda sucked at first too, but I expected to be treated badly, I think. Long story.

MGirontree
MGirontree
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

ANR,” ……but I expected to be treated badly…..” I working on my issues too and am so grateful that I now have the opportunity to better myself.

lale
lale
9 years ago

I’d choose no loaf over half a loaf with herpes on it.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  lale

Not really funny…

Deborah
Deborah
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I don’t know how you all feel but as I told my cheater, I don’t like leftovers. That’s what I felt I was getting and it didn’t sit well with me once I found out he was cheating while with me. He was doing this for the 30years before I ever met him, 20 years to his one and only wife and to both long term girlfriends before me and to the short term ones as well, I am 100% certain he is still doing it to the new Chump since he met her 3 weeks after I dumped him.

He comes from a cheating father and a cheating uncle so there really is no where else for him to go but cheat.

So glad to no longer have leftovers, a half a loaf or whatever you want to call it.

I like appetizers, entrees and every now and then some dessert. Eating well is important to a good life and so is being in a good relationship. I would rather not eat then eat poorly and the same goes for a relationship.

I prefer to call it trash which I happily threw out despite the pain I had to work through afterward. It’s a great feeling going from victim to victor and getting your self back as well as taking your own power back. Each day really does get better once you get over the hump and get your feet back on the ground and the cheater really no longer matters.

This has now allowed me to make the changes in my life I have been wanting to make for a long time, a big one is starting my own business which will open on 8/18. I am so excited about that. I really feel the rest will all fall into place with time. It’s great to now know I am fully responsible for all of my decisions, I didn’t really get that until I was with a cheater. That feels very empowering to really know that and it has seeped into all areas of my life. I feel a confidence I haven’t felt in a really long time and I know when I meet someone new, he will be far better than trashcan man because I will not except less.

I am learning my value each day and looking back at me when I was with trashcan man I don’t really recognize that person anymore but I get who she was then and why and it’s ok. I had to go through that to get where I am going and now it’s starting to get fun again.

CL and this site has been responsible for 50% of my recovery and my hard work the other 50% and I am forever grateful for that. Having my own feelings validated with love and toughness from everyone here has kept me motivated and focused to get my ass back in gear and get a life! You all helped me realize what a complete waste of time cheaters are and how truly strong, intelligent and ultimately feerless Chumps are. This fact only makes cheaters look even worse, not sure that is possible but Chumps seem to make it so!

Thank you all for helping to bring back my big smile, I have said it before but it’s true.

The nice thing about this bunch is there is a lot of anger but not very much bitter here and I like that a lot!!! Anger is good and healthy and motivating after this happens and bitter is just sad, lonely and full of regrets with defeat as the end result.

Personally, I think all of the chumps here are super sexy and I don’t even have to see any of you to know that.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Deborah

YOU ARE AWESOME, DEBORAH! Great post. I feel the same.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Yeah, Deborah–I loved your post!
Especially the part about us being all sexy and such.
😉
And ain’t that the God’s honest truth! Or, the gods’ honest truth–your pic.

It’s a great feeling going from victim to victor and getting your self back as well as taking your own power back.
Perfect!!

PattyToo
PattyToo
9 years ago
Reply to  Deborah

Deborah, I had to copy and paste most of your post, it was so perfect! I wish you great success in your business! Anyone who learns from life like you do, will ace this for sure!

Deborah
Deborah
9 years ago
Reply to  PattyToo

Thanks Patty!
One thing that wasn’t perfect on my post was the misspelling of except which should have been accept. What doesn’t kill you makes you smarter and stronger. There are now so many smart Divorce Legal advisers here. Everything a Chump Needs is right here!

CL, job well done!!!

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Deborah

See!? You got this! And congrats on the new business! You are a perfect example of what I’ve been trying to convey . . That yes all this sucks and it was like walking through fire, but then the world opens up. You not only have to trust they suck, you have to trust that things will get better, and you take ACTION to make things better. 🙂

Deborah
Deborah
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Thanks RK! You speak the truth. Life is better then before after this, because you know you went through this fire on your own (with help of course. but the real work and action taken are all you!). This is so empowering and confidence building and removes so many fears that it is impossible for life not to be better. Dante can keep his inferno.

I don’t feel bitter, I feel so much better! LOL.

Now I will shut up because I am starting to sound like fucking Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Ha!

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  lale

Ha Ha!

Lily Bart
Lily Bart
9 years ago
Reply to  lale

Ha ha. Exactly. I mean the contents of the loaf clearly matter.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  Lily Bart

moldy loaf, imho. [it being summer and all…]

Meg
Meg
9 years ago
Reply to  lale

LOL. SO true.

nomar
nomar
9 years ago

Except that “half a marriage” is really no marriage at all.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago

I still tend to rehash the implosion of my marriage to Asshole here and there, but it’s only been final a little over 4 months so that’s normal. But each time it happens, I always say to myself, “Well, that sucked. But at least now nobody is lying to me, cheating on me, or stabbing me in the back.”

Divorce has been a great relief for me. There is something so empowering to know that you didn’t curl up and die when the one thing you feared the most came true. I spackled for years with this man, finding things occasionally, but I always ended up shoving it aside, putting on a smile, and carrying on in our fabulous marriage. After all, everybody thought he adored me, but deep down I knew I couldn’t really trust him, not when I caught him fishing for strange on occasion. I just didn’t want to really admit it. I was scared of what would happen if he ever really did cheat on me and guess what – he finally did.

I didn’t die, although I felt like I did for a while. I’m still upright and breathing and amazingly, when he exited my life, a great many other happy things ran in to fill that void. There is such a sense of relief and gratitude now that I really didn’t have pre-divorce. The only regret I have was not leaving him sooner. But it doesn’t matter, I’m happy now so I’ll take it. 🙂

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

“I didn’t die” I should tattoo that on my forearm, Lots of things have gone wrong in my life, but I have yet to die. You understand the uselessness of so much of our fear, RK. Thanks for posting this.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  ANR

Lol. That would be a good tattoo! 🙂

I’ve told my daughter this . . . We all gotta die of something, but I’ll be damned if it’s going to be because of this moron.

None of this is easy or fun or forgettable. I know how HUGE it is for us here. But the good thing is, the pain really does fortify you. Be grateful for that. For me, after all the shit I’ve had to contend with in my life, I really thought losing him would break me. Oddly enough, losing him did the opposite. I can’t say I never feel bad anymore because I’d be lying, but my rational brain always intercedes and says, You’re fine. Relax. You’ve lost nothing. You’re just as worthy now as the day you were born. That’s important, because none of this will matter when we’ve all had a chance to really think about what we’ve “lost” and what we still have. We still have ourselves. That matters more than anything.

Chump Princess
Chump Princess
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Rumblekitty,

There are so many people who post here with whom I would like to sit outside on a warm night and sip wine, while munching on cheese, crackers and fruit, and you my friend, are one of the people at the top of that list.

The first major, major d-day (there have been so many of varying degrees that I’ve taken to trying to classify them) I was devastated. This last one I thought would kill me and it almost did. But here I am, alive. I think about the blurb I see occasionally which says, “Remember that person you thought you couldn’t live without? Well, look at you, living and shit.”

I cannot let his mistreatment of me define me. I will, however, allow the lessons I’ve learned from this experience refine me.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

Awe gee! Thanks buddy!! I’m glad my posts don’t make you want to throw up. Sometimes they are ridiculously Pollyanna sounding, as I am one cynical bitch. It’s just, you now, this shit was big! But I don’t have to tell you guys that. Lol.

Deborah
Deborah
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

Princess, I see a Queen growing inside of you! : )

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

Yeah, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a big chump retreat?

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

That’s a great idea, We could meet up at Syringa’s house in Sandpoint, Idaho. It looks spectacular. 🙂

Gaby
Gaby
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

let’s do it!

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Gaby

I have a ridiculous vintage camper fetish. That’s my post-divorce goal: refurb an old camper and drag that bitch west. Lol

Syringa
Syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Come on Rumblekitty…I even have a place for you to park it!! We’d have a blast!!!

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I hit that site every day. lol I don’t have the funds yet to buy anything, but I still look. I’m hoping next summer I’ll have enough saved up to buy something and just spend a year making it awesome. Yes the Shasta’s are adorable. 🙂

Chumpness in Seattle
Chumpness in Seattle
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Yes, this! I so, so, so want a 1958 Shasta, with wings! I still have my truck, though obviously the horses and trailers that belonged to my previous life are all long gone ( though somehow he still has TWO Porsches to style around in). I’ve wanted a retro trailer for literally years, and the whole idea was always squashed, mocked, or called stupid…. But no more! Mine if I want one…. And I have all kinds of ideas for incorporating one into a business plan. First things first… we are one week out from mediation day that to my amazement actually produced a settlement, and it will probably take another 30 days for the lawyers to make it official, everybody re- agree and sign off, then send to court…. It’s been a very long and painful 13 months of separation, but then again, the 33 years before that sure didn’t go the way I expected either. I’m scanning http://www.tincantourist.com and craigslist weekly….

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Yay for you RK. My sister texted me the following when my divorce decree came through, and I will never forget it:

“You are finally free of the lies.”

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Yep. I was of course sad that he did such a horrible thing(s) to me, but I know the truth; and that’s I’m not rolling around with a hyena anymore. All you can do is wipe off the grime, stand up straight, and keep heading towards those things that make you happy.

I have a few friends that remarked that I seem to be doing so well I should consider dating, but I’m not there yet. This is the first time in 22 years I am single. (I was married before this last jackass and had boyfriends in between those two.) I LOVE not having to answer to anybody. I feel like myself again, and nobody is standing behind me tapping their foot wanting to do their shit, or asking things of me, or making me feel like I have to decipher what they want. I don’t have to do any of that shit. If I want to get laid, I can. It’s not like I can’t do that if that’s what I really want. lol

My rambling point is it’s ME time! I completely reject the notion I need to be paired up and/or dating to be healed or whole. That’s not going to get me to happy. Being single and being grateful for it gets me to happy. If I meet someone later that fits into my life – great, but it’s not my goal. I’ve been married twice to two idiots that I should have left long before I actually did. There is no way in hell I’m going to do that again.

BBQ at my house this weekend! Everybody’s invited!

Gaby
Gaby
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

“I’m not rolling around with a hyena anymore”

so true, lol

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

” I LOVE not having to answer to anybody. I feel like myself again, and nobody is standing behind me tapping their foot wanting to do their shit, or asking things of me, or making me feel like I have to decipher what they want. I don’t have to do any of that shit.”

I was so scared of being single, but now, I LOVE having my own space. It’s wonderful sleeping in a bed that’s all mine. I can stretch my legs out diagonally, snore, fart, flip around, stay up late reading…. no grief from anyone (my cat and dog don’t care). My bathroom drawer is full of makeup and hair clips, my shower contains only endless containers of curly hair taming products (CL knows what I’m talking about!), my closet is mine alone. It is WONDERFUL!

I actually am dating a nice man, we just passed the nine-month mark. It’s great… we get together on the weekends, have fun, go out for breakfast and then back to his place for hot action, then later I go home to my own comfortable bed. Perfect! So much better than spending every night sharing a bed with a creepy liar.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Glad, I’ve also discovered that the freedom of doing my own thing for the first time in my life is incredibly awesome. I still struggle with missing my kids from time to time, but I do enjoy finally being able to put myself first in my life.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I’ve been to 2 big social events alone and had a great time with “nobody…standing behind me tapping their foot.” Hyena-free living! I’ve still got a lot of things to restore in my life and until I feel like my own life is rock solid before I try to have a committed relationship again. I’m another one with multiple divorces to men that I shouldn’t have married. And I say this not as a knock on any of them. Just that they weren’t people I should have been involved with. Gratitude for the life we have is really the starting point for everything. I wish I had know this 40 years ago but it’s never too late.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Yep I agree . . . Gratitude makes everything so much sweeter. And yay hyena-free living! It almost brings a tear to my eye to see my word got picked up here and YOU GUYS GET IT!! Ha ha!

I’m sitting on my bed right now, watching my shows, with my doggie by my side and I’ve never been so happy. I wouldn’t wish the shit I’ve been through on anybody, but I almost wouldn’t trade it if it means that without having gone through it, I wouldn’t be so happy right now.

That’s a weird thing to say, I know.

Rosie Boa
Rosie Boa
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Yay Rumblekitty!

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I love your kick-ass attitude, which is all full of gratitude and being helpful and encouraging of others.

You’re awesome, with an awesome handle, Miss Rumblekitty.

Deborah
Deborah
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Not weird at all RK, I get it completely! It’s a knowing happy. That is the best kind of happy!!!

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Oh I’m there!

jinx
jinx
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

“There is something so empowering to know that you didn’t curl up and die when the one thing you feared the most came true.
and
I didn’t die, although I felt like I did for a while. I’m still upright and breathing and amazingly, when he exited my life, a great many other happy things ran in to fill that void.”

Going through the legal issues now. Can’t wait until I have my life back, wherever I land!

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

“There is something so empowering to know that you didn’t curl up and die when the one thing you feared the most came true.”

I also agree that my husband cheating and leaving was my biggest fear. When I found his journal and discovered he was having an affair with his married coworker I thought “here it is — my biggest fear is coming true!” It was like I’d been waiting for it to happen all my life.

Sometimes I’ve wondered if my fear of being cheated on (and the insecurity that fed the fear) actually caused it to happen, but I guess that would be just another way of blaming myself for the actions of another person.

Anyway, I was amazed and surprised in the first few weeks after he left that I somehow managed to get up and keep going forward with my life. I realized there were people I could reach out to for help. I was blessed with wonderful friends and family who rallied around and helped me move forward. I was much less isolated once I was outside of my marriage.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Well, I never EVER would have thought my then-husband would have done what he did, so I think whether or not we feared it has nothing to do with it. And I am pretty sure there are people who fear it who have completely faithful spouses…

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Frankly though, if you think you need a legal contract to keep your wife faithful, maybe you should divorce now.

Yeah, I don’t think it works that way 🙂 If it did, I would recommend you start being afraid of having a perfect, happy life… and winning the lottery 🙂

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

When golfers putt or basketball players attempt free throws, they can’t be afraid of making a mistake or they will miss the shot. I don’t think chumps “cause” cheating, but the lack of self confidence that underlies that fear may influence our pickers. We look for something “safe” and maybe that’s not the same thing as looking for character. I wouldn’t relive the 3 months before and after D-Day again for all the world, but I did learn from it. The person I have to trust first is myself. And as you say, you do find out who will stand beside you in the tough times. Hard lessons but life-changing ones.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

“I still tend to rehash the implosion of my marriage to Asshole here and there, but it’s only been final a little over 4 months so that’s normal. But each time it happens, I always say to myself, “Well, that sucked. But at least now nobody is lying to me, cheating on me, or stabbing me in the back.” ”

Rumble, I still occasionally rehash the implosion of my marriage, and it’s been four YEARS. But the memories are faded now, like something that happened to someone else, and I rarely think about it anymore. I still get plenty angry over the craziness my ex is causing our son NOW (he pulled a mind-boggling stunt a couple days ago), but I don’t really feel angry about the marriage anymore. I’m just thankful to be the hell out. You’ll feel that way too soon enough.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

You’re an inspiration, RK.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Just know it gets better ML. You might have to fight for it, but it’s worth it. I would never say it if it wasn’t true.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

RK, I believe you. I still have dark days, but my darkest days are firmly behind me.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Yes.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago

My story involved one magnificent (barf) D-day, and months and months of finding buried shit that indicated years of either cheating, or trying to cheat (or feather a new nest).

Ex would claim, with each new revolting discovery, “you can’t make me say I did something I didn’t do! There just ISN’T anything else.”

And then, of course, there was…

No way that trust could be re-established. Just no way. It became clear that his speech was like a cheater’s pig-latin: everything he said needed to be reversed. If he said there was nothing more, there was absolutely more. If he said they din’t send dirty pictures, I have had to assume the pix they sent were dirty. et cetera.

Once I got that clear, it was (relatively) easy. No more untangling or the like.

Of course, it still hurt like hell, but I knew what I was dealing with.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

#My story involved one magnificent (barf) D-day, and months and months of finding buried shit that indicated years of either cheating, or trying to cheat (or feather a new nest).#

That’s what happened to me. Kept finding new shit and then more new shit. It was astounding and what’s even more astounding is that ex, to this day, says cheating is not why we divorced, it was reason A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J….X, Y, Z. And everyone of those reasons all somehow come back to me being lacking in some way.

Fuck that noise. When you realise that your partner has been cheating for years there really can’t be any other reason the marriage died, because that means that person was not investing in the marriage for the duration of his/her cheating, except MAYBE in between affairs.

Like I said, fuck that noise.

Gaby
Gaby
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

That is my story too Nord. He keeps saying it was because of me.

At the beginning he got me so confused at one point that I did ask my therapist (who knows him) if I was crazy, because if I was I wanted to know. I wanted to know how I screwed up so I wouldn’t do it again. It took many sessions for her to convince me that I am fine and he is the messed up one… but boy, he had so much power over me that I believed everything.
But not any more.
We will heal.

Wastedheart
Wastedheart
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Raising my hand as a member of a most humiliating club, though proud to count Nord and Namedforvera as my similarly-situated comrades. Horrific DDay was the most shocking and painful day of my life — if you had told me then that I’d discovered just the tip of the iceberg and that the truth (as much of it as I know) was so much worse, I don’t know that I would have survived. But there was always more, including revelations of cheating, secret communications with ex-girlfriends, chronic lying and dating site profiles since the beginning of our dating relationship and through most of our marriage. In other words, there was never a time when his feelings for me — shallow as they are — weren’t diluted by his interest in other women. Once I finally processed this, reconciliation seemed an absurd consideration. If this is how much he valued me when the relationship was fresh and passionate and unencumbered by real life, what kind of treatment could I expect after our marriage was so obscenely polluted by betrayal, humiliation and distrust?

Cheating aside, you really do get to a point where you start counting the lies you’ve been told and admit that you cannot have a real relationship with this sort of person. If it were a contractor lying about the status of your project, or a customer lying about the status of payment, or a friend lying about gossiping about you, a repeated lie would be grounds for never dealing with that person again – and the stakes in those relationships are much more trivial. Yet so many of our spouses try to convince us that re-investment in the relationship is such a reasonable and safe proposition. To them, it is not their horrible conduct that cripples the marriage, but our anger for being conned, the compulsion to monitor the demonstrably untrustworthy spouse, and our inability to stop searching for clues into our own secret history (particularly when it’s regularly rewarded with a jackpot of new filth).

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago
Reply to  Wastedheart

Amazingly well articulated, WH. Thank you.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  Wastedheart

Again, a great post WH.

Looking for wisdom
Looking for wisdom
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Fabulous, WH. You nailed it.

Deborah
Deborah
9 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

I still am amazed how these cheaters seem to function even somewhat normally with all the crap they have going on simultaneously. Is it some kind of form of creepy ADD or Ego Hyperactivity? It would be kind of fun as a science experiment to just be a fly on the wall inside one of their brains for a day to see how they file each cheating activity away to get to the next one. It is so crazy their capacity for crazy on a daily basis day in and day out.

Perhaps it’s done all day long in a little snip its. Now is time for pics of tattoed hot chics online, ohh look sextexting time. Now look time to go on Craigslist Casual Encounters. Oops look it’s lunchtime, time to go for a handjob at the local massage parlor.

Ok, let’s get an hour of work done.

Now more sexting.

Dinner time, time for the girlfriend or wife and kids. Sex with the girlfriend and or wife or both? I forgot.

Going to sleep, but before I do let me check out the Craiglist ads again and maybe get in some flirty sextexting while I look at some sexy pics on line.

Next day, same thing? WTF???

No wonder they can’t plan ahead or be organized, LOL.

Chump Princess
Chump Princess
9 years ago
Reply to  Deborah

Deborah,

“Perhaps it’s done all day long in a little snip its. Now is time for pics of tattoed hot chics online, ohh look sextexting time. Now look time to go on Craigslist Casual Encounters. Oops look it’s lunchtime, time to go for a handjob at the local massage parlor.”

This is hilarious! The crazy thing is I think they just operate on auto-pilot. I believe their only thought is what will make ME feel good right now. ME, ME, ME! What about ME?!!! I don’t think any thought is ever given to the real life consequences to other people of their choices and behavior. That’s why their relationships with the OW/OM appear to us to be so juvenile and, as nomar commented the other day, stuck in some pubescent time warp.

And thank you, Wastedheart, for so eloquently stating the reality of why I am so often sad and angry all at the same time.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

This sounds pretty on target to me:
“I believe their only thought is what will make ME feel good right now.”

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

Always remember that with the disordered, whatever they admit to is what they think you already know. You never really get more than the tip of the iceberg.

Maree
Maree
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

GIO, spot on comment. Although I got many times from the ex, “I am not guilty of the things you are accusing me of”!! Also, my ex was so weak that I used to say that he “was all tip and no iceberg”. 🙂

Gaby
Gaby
9 years ago
Reply to  Maree

lol

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

It’s also helpful to remember that whenever their lips are moving they’re lying! My ex would always work around the truth and find every way possible to say stuff without actually saying it. I recognize it now but I didn’t when I trusted him.

Ali Rose
Ali Rose
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

“cheater’s pig latin” . . . That describes it perfectly.

buttercup
buttercup
9 years ago
Reply to  Ali Rose

NamedforVera—that is EXACTLY how it happened for me! Now I hear him say something and I do the “mental switch”—he said that OW was never in my house, she was. He said she never met my kids, she did (and he got them to lie about it). He said “it was just once”, it was over 1.5 years, every chance he got. He said he would never jeopardize me or my kids’ safety, he did.

If he even recounts a story that is benign—that a friend of his said something—I now realize that this is his passive aggressive way of “telling” me. It’s always “the friend” or “someone else said” and it’s really him saying it. COWARDLY and pathetic.

I have enough shit in my life to take care of with work and outside problems—I simply do not need to come home and wonder if my spouse is trustworthy. There’s enough of those vultures on the OUTSIDE, I don’t need it inside the gates. It’s a simple safety issue—the guy (or girl) didn’t just bring the enemy into your safe place, THEY ARE THE ENEMY.

Carrie
Carrie
9 years ago
Reply to  buttercup

Buttercup, I too have to do the “mental switch” when he emails me anything. Email only because I will not talk to him. He has lied to me so much and about so many things he gets his lies mixed up. My stbx needs some serious therapy but will not go because “there is nothing wrong with me.” I will be grateful to finally be rid of my freak.

DoneNow
DoneNow
9 years ago
Reply to  buttercup

Amen, buttercup. That’s exactly it. I wouldn’t accept that treatment from a stranger. Why, then, from someone who’s supposed to be on my team? He always takes the cowards way out. When I finally told him about the stuff I’d uncovered while in a counseling session, he said he’d “forgotten.” Really??? The MC ate it up. “It’s very common for people to compartmentalize and black out things that are too painful to remember.” But he did it again after everything was out in the open, so he must have remembered something about how to be a lying, cheating dickface.

Now when he offers up information about anything, it’s so clear to me that it’s a lie. That random text to explain that he tried to come and see the kids, but his boss wouldn’t let him? Bullshit. Random compliment? Bullshit. Anything that he volunteers without me asking is an attempt to see if I’m still buying what he’s selling. It’s so transparent now that I know who he is.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

My best friend said it this way: “He isn’t in your corner any more.” And whatever else, that is the minimum a spouse should be–a person who is always in your corner.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

That was such a painful realization when I realized on dday that my then-husband’s loyalty belonged to OW. The light switch had been flipped. And it took a while for it to really sink in. I am so thankful to be over a year past dday. Time really does help.

lale
lale
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

“I wouldn’t accept that treatment from a stranger.” Hear, hear – sometimes I think what I’d do if a coworker treated me how my ex did, and it’s so much more clear that his “explanations” and caught-in-lies are absolutely unacceptable!

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  lale

lale, Yes! this. Plus also DoneNow, Buttercup & Ali Rose…. They all read the same damnable book.

GateauxDispenser
GateauxDispenser
9 years ago

I agree with Moving Liquid, could happily be alone than be in the marriage I have. Let’s have a show of hands who got married while Schmuck-Face was carrying on with the EA/PA/whatever FuckingA. Hope It’s not just me. As I posted before I would rather be hosed with hot effluent than re-experience that hideousNess again. Yeah our wedding anniversary is a real fucking laugh riot. I swear half the wedding guests only showed up to see if I would rip his fucking head off. And that is why dear fellow Chumps, reconciliation sucks like a mother-fucker (I stayed for my daughter btw) Sorry about the swearing xx

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago

My ex was fucking men even in our dating days, and all the way through the entire marriage and most likely during the bogus reconciliation. Plus a few women along the way and the two married women he was fucking at the end of our marriage.

It was only recently I realized he must have also fucked the drag queen Donna Summer he once gave a ride home from the drag queen nightclub. Not sure how to classify that one. LOL!

Kat
Kat
9 years ago

Oooh Ooooh, me. My ex had another woman and was answering sex ads. Some of them for men. It explains the bloated Dean McDermott sex addict look he had in our wedding pics.

Wastedheart
Wastedheart
9 years ago

You mean there was only one lurking in the background when you were married? Wish I were so lucky! 😉

Kat
Kat
9 years ago
Reply to  Wastedheart

And he had at least one dating profile on ok cupid. And he was doing sex chats. There’s nothing like having to confirm that your husband is cheating by identifying his penis in an ad response. I always wondered if I could recognize a significant other just by their junk. Now I know.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago

Because my fear of the “devil I didn’t know” was so great, I threw away 20 years of my life with a man who certainly was a devil. I can never get those years back, the prime of my life. For all those in uncertain reconciliations, or afraid to leave even though you know you should, please don’t be me. Get out and start living. I’ve created a good new life, but it sure would have been easier if I started when I was younger.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

What ifs and regrets do nothing for you right now though. I like to think that what I went through were things I needed to learn.

One time I went to a card reader that told me I was a womanizing, fighter pilot from WWII. Wouldn’t you know now I’m a woman who hates to fly and have been jerked around by both husbands? Lol. Just chalk it up to things we had to learn and keep the feet moving forward. Be thankful for the good, sweet things in life. :).

I’m so gross. Insert eye-roll here.

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

I agree wholeheartedly Glad, same with me. I spackled mightily 15 years before D-Day and desperately believed my (then)-husband when he turned cartwheels trying to prove that he was not cheating. He was, and once I believed his lies I slowly lost my emotional stability and my health and happiness, trying to not see what my gut so clearly wanted me to see for so many years. I have created a new life, and I am even (recently) re-married to a wonderful man. But I would love to get back the 25 years of that marriage, or at least the last 15 years when I should have listened to my gut.

I want to hug my fellow chumps who have that same decision I faced before them, and who still have their best years ahead, and whisper “Please listen to us, run run RUN LIKE THE WIND and be free of the suffocating lies. It WILL be better in the end.”

Lily Bart
Lily Bart
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

GladIt’sOver,

Maybe the prime of your life is right now. I’m not trying to drop cliched platitudes on you or anything, I swear. I just think it’s possible that the “prime” of one’s life is when he/she has the wisdom to enjoy it.

🙂 -LilyBart

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Lily Bart

I really like that sentiment, Lily Bart.

blue
blue
9 years ago

Thanks, CL. I struggled with this as well. I was told: Well, your XH is probably less likely to cheat on you again than some random guy because XH has suffered some of the consequences of his cheating, e.g., humiliation upon his family finding out and the realization that he might lose his family (after I filed for divorce), and so probably won’t do it again.

Kat
Kat
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

Oh blue. Unlike lightning, cheaters are MORE likely to strike twice.

SAchump
SAchump
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

Eight years ago I discovered my STBX kissing a supposed EA (now I think it was an OW) in my home, not far from where my toddler daughters were sleeping. I forgave him because he argued that it was the result of a night of drinking and he was confused for that instant. We went to MC (he reluctantly) and I assumed that we had reconciliated and totally convinced myself that he would never, ever do anything like that again because he loved me and knew how much he had to loose. I thought that it was better to work on with someone I had invested so many years on and had two daughters with, than to begin again, with low chances of finding anyone who fit me so well. The new DDay came about five months ago and I immediately kicked him out and filed for divorce. During this time I discovered other supposed EA´s and when I confronted him about it he said that he only cheated with the OW (the last one)…the others: he resisted because he still loved me. He blameshifted and said that I was mean because I only took into account the one time he cheated and did not praise him for the the other times he could have and he didn´t. So CL´s phrase is sooo perfect “Marriage isn’t the absence of cheating. It’s being able to trust and feel safely loved.” It took me 8 years and a terrible DDay to understand that after that first time I was never able to feel the same way with him again, but I was too afraid to end it because it did not seem a good enough excuse then….I wish I had.

Gypsy57
Gypsy57
9 years ago
Reply to  SAchump

“I was mean because I only took into account the one time he cheated and did not praise him for the the other times he could have and he didn´t.”

Just curious…

Did he ever praise YOU for NOT cheating??????

Just a wild-ass guess but…probably NOT!

Rosie Boa
Rosie Boa
9 years ago
Reply to  SAchump

Oh yeah, LAJ, hand that man a bitch cookie!

Jeez I love that term!

SA Chump – At an earlier stage in my marriage (during the gambling addiction), STBX told me he was a good husband because he didn’t drink or hit me. My younger, confused self took that as a valid point. Bitch cookie.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Rosie Boa

my Ex said, “I don’t know what you are so upset about? I stayed with you longer than any of the others!” yes, bitch cookie.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Rosie Boa

Yes, and Jackass was a better man than anyone else because he wasn’t a drunk. Bitch cookie.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  Rosie Boa

Mine told me she was “very fiscally responsible generally, except for that one time”. That one time involved giving (“lending”) her fuckbuddy $200k. Bitch cookie.

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago
Reply to  Rosie Boa

Yep, mine sincerely told me “I’ve been a gooooooood boy!” because of the kinds of porn he DIDN’T do.

Bitch cookie.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  SAchump

OK–“It’s your fault I cheated because you didn’t praise me enough when I didn’t cheat.” Bitch cookie.

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Bitch cookie!

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
9 years ago
Reply to  chumppalla

Nom Nom Nom!!!

kimmy
kimmy
9 years ago

I gave my exH more chances than he deserved. Five of them! Yeah, I know, I was a little slow at pulling the plug! CL……..your description above for the excuses to reconcile is exactly the excuses and reasoning I gave to myself. FEAR was my motivating factor to stay in my marriage not LOVE! Sure, I loved my exH for a very long time. The marriage was familiar. But with each and every new discovery of yet another sucker punch to the gut, I loved him less and less. Until really, all I was staying for was the fear of a new unknown future. I went to years of therapy and I got stronger. I knew I wasn’t happy but I was afraid to make the necessary changes to make my life better. Mostly because I didn’t see how it would be better. OMG! Now that he is gone, I am divorced and my daughters and I have a new home, I only wish I had filed for divorce after the first devastating dday. Now I am repairing myself and gaining a life!

Life truly has so much to offer. It is sometimes hard being alone but I love having myself back. And so do my daughters!!!!

LoopyDuchess
LoopyDuchess
9 years ago

This is a very apt analogy for me. My D day came when I was suffering from an extreme form of shellfish food poisoning.
He was sex texting and arranging a hook up with ho-worker while I was violently puking my guts up in the toilet.
On the upside I may never have found out for sure if it wasn’t for that pesky mollusc!
I haven’t gone back to mussels, or him, since. Don’t trust either not to make me sick to my stomach again.
BTW, great book CL. Kept me strong when I did have a wee wobble last week.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I’ve had shellfish poisoning. The worse physical experience of my life. But I can’t fathom that and D-Day in the same year, let alone simultaneously.

Much Better Off Now
Much Better Off Now
9 years ago

This quote might help explain it:

“The Hell of the known is better than the Heaven of the unknown”

People living with a cheating, crappy partner live in figurative hell- managing, coping, tiptoeing around their troubles. They’ve somehow come to believe that living the way they do is manageable. Don’t rock the cradle. Don’t upset the house of cards. What they fail to realize is that living this way is robbing them- it’s soul sucking and life draining. You get robbed of your hopes that anything will ever change because, after all, the Devil is all you know. You stay because you hope/ pray/ think that things will change, and that all the time you’ve spent must be worth something after all. Leaving somehow means you’ve given up / acknowledged defeat. What a load of crap.

When you get the courage to leave, to leap, to go- the other side can be glorious. Sure, there will probably be a lot of bumps along the way to Heaven. No one ever said it would be easy, but it sure is worth it! All men are not the “same”. All women are not the “same”. The possibilities for a better life, one free of your cheating, dead weight baggage of a partner are endless.

blue
blue
9 years ago

This is like Sartre’s play, “No Exit.” Three people trapped in a room, emotionally torturing each other, but when the door opens at the end, everyone is afraid to leave.

I was terrified of being alone and could not imagine life without my XH. Now I find life as a single mom not so bad (and not so different from before, as I was the one taking care of the kids anyways), though lonely at times, but way better than living with my XH (and his parents!).

Kat
Kat
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

Muwahahahaha. I just found out today that my ex (stbxh) is living with his mom right now. I know a bunch of us are staying with parents and I myself had to live with mine during my pregnancy. But damn it if that isn’t the last thing my stbxh ever wanted. Oh how the mightily self involved have fallen. Of course I doubt it will really mess with his dating prospects since his last girlfriend wasn’t all that concerned with life circumstances or class considering she was dating him while I was six months pregnant. Still, living with your mom while in your forties and making six figures…hahahaha. Warms the cockles of my heart!

blue
blue
9 years ago
Reply to  Kat

It’s strange, my XH is also living with his parents. Or rather his parents are living with him and cooking and cleaning for him, while XH pays for their housing, food, etc. My XH always said that he had an abnormally close relationship with his mom, who never thought that any woman could be as good a wife for him as she could. Maybe there is something about narcissistic men feeling a need to live with their mothers, or overbearing, jealous, controlling, criticizing mothers who make their sons the center of their world raising narcissistic men.

Kat
Kat
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

My ex’s mom drives him nuts. I bet he’s at the bar all the time when he doesn’t have the kids. Actually, he’s probably got some idiot woman whose house he stays at. Just another way that his outside life accurately reflects the devolution of maturity in his inner life. Can’t wait till our divorce is final and he transfers all his baggage to new gfs lap. Of course what scares me is the possibility that he and his mom are saving up money for a custody fight. Although, my stbxh gets his lack of impulse control from his mother. And his sense of entitlement. So maybe neither one of them can save a penny. I think you’re onto something blue. At least in my narc ex’s case.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
9 years ago
Reply to  Kat

My ex is living in an old RV parked in his sister’s driveway. He’s not a kid, either, he’s almost 49. Still considers himself inspirational, though. Ever see the Chris Farley skits on Saturday Night Live where he plays the motivational speaker living in his van down by the river? LOL!

Kat
Kat
9 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Chris Farley, oh heck yes! I’ve lived in some weird places temporarily. Never considered myself inspirational while doing it though. Ha…I am literally having a glass of wine and some macaroons (which I have renamed bitch cookies) to celebrate. Ok, I’m not at meh. But then, it’s only Monday.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago

OMG! This is one of the most prevalent theories with the RIC and it drives me batshit crazy!! I also think it is one of the biggest reasons that chumps stay stuck and I would know because I bought into that theory too!! Cheaters play right into it as well. I got to hear this gem from my ex on more than one occasion-“There are no guarantees that the next person won’t do this to you”

That might be true but I was 100% sure that he already cheated on me and given what little work he was doing to help me heal after he detonated the affair bomb on our marriage, I was betting the odds that he would cheat again. None of this clarity came to me until I started reading CL unfortunately but better late than never I suppose.

I think all of chump nation should “pimp” the link to this post on every reconciliation website we can find!

PattyToo
PattyToo
9 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

You just reminded me that mine said that, too!
‘You’ll end up with someone else that will do even worse to you’.
Like he’s putting a curse on me! Actually, I met someone, we’re serious about each other, and he treats me like a Queen! He has long, heartfelt talks with me, and considers all my requests, and respects me.
So Jerkface, your little tactic was just another lie. Good thing I didn’t listen to you, anyway.

Persephone
Persephone
9 years ago

“Life isn’t the absence of vomiting.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

UnderConstruction
UnderConstruction
9 years ago

“Life isn’t the absence of vomiting. It’s being able to eat and enjoy.

Marriage isn’t the absence of cheating. It’s being able to trust and feel safely loved.”

This is the part that sums up my final realizations about my relationship and the very reason I decided to end it, finally. Parts of myself that I used to love are finally being uncovered again since ending this fake reconciliation.

Walking away from wanting things to work out between us felt like leaving behind part of my life that I’d fought so hard for – but after realizing that by staying I was willing to never feel whole and deeply joyful ever again, walking away feels more like a resuscitation that an amputation. I’d say “I wish I’d walked away before trying for reconciliation”, but if I had I’d probably have always looked back and wondered if leaving was the right thing to do. Now I know for sure that I fought hard for “us”. I gave it my whole heart and all of my time. I have no regrets about moving on now. It’s time for me to go rediscover this life and create what I want for the rest of it. I’m excited to be entering a life free from anxiety about someone who is supposed to be my best, most trusted friend on the planet! I wish him well, but the constant anxiety was not me wishing myself well. It was wishing myself unwell, every day and every night. Time to wish myself well, too! Thanks for this article, CL!

Chump Princess
Chump Princess
9 years ago

“I wish him well, but the constant anxiety was not me wishing myself well. It was wishing myself unwell, every day and every night.”

AMEN and LIKE!!!

Verity297
Verity297
9 years ago

I didn’t get the chance to reconcile…thank goodness!

I got the amazing opportunity to find someone new!

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago

“You could walk right now into a bar and swing a cat and hit someone who is better than your spouse — because that person hasn’t cheated on you.”

This made me laugh out loud!

Meg
Meg
9 years ago

During all the false reconciliations, I had a growing sense of dread, of anguish. I think that anguish can kill you. It corrodes you. Divorce sent all that anguish on its way, freeing me to feel good again, happy! From the other side, I can honestly say that limbo, having to be the marriage police, and feeling unloved is hell on earth. And him with his “Devil May Care” attitude!