Can I Send the OW His Emails Begging Me to Take Him Back?

begging to take him back

She receives emails from her cheater begging her to take him back. Should she forward such missives to his affair partner? Could be fun…

***

Dear Chump Lady,

I owe my sanity to you and to Chump Nation. Thank you.

I have been reading your blog for years, but I continued to believe that he did not suck. How could a good, caring, gentle man change so much? So I pick-me danced very hard. I spent too much time in shock and feeling numb. I am finally divorcing him after over 3 years.

Chump Lady, I will not delve into all the details as most narratives follow a similar pattern. After 15 years old marriage, I was completely blindsided. Our connection was often praised by those who knew us. I believed he was my soulmate and he never failed to express how happy and fortunate he felt. So, you can imagine my shock and sadness.

I spent a good three years in depression and I had no idea what depression was. Before, I used to be a happy, cheerful person. I read your blog daily, revisited the comments repeatedly, and even memorized your book. After many years, I began to feel like myself again.

We do not live in the same house.

He refuses to divorce and insists on a restart, believing we will repeat our wedding vows.

This is absolutely impossible and I know what I want. I occasionally communicate with him via email for divorce details. (I exclusively write in a formal manner). This is cost-effective, considering how expensive lawyers are. I also know him well so I maintain a friendly approach until I get what I want.

He often includes some personal messages in his emails. I never ever respond to them. These are some of the messages he wrote: “I have destroyed a beautiful marriage”, “I desperately want my life back with you”, “you are my only love”, “I cannot live without you” and many more. I learned to ignore these messages because I know that he sucks.

The last one was about a trip he wanted to take. He wrote that he bought a ticket for me to travel with him. He will do everything he can to gain my trust again. We can start over, see our families and he can apologize to my family for everything he has done. He adds that he is depressed because he cannot see me. He will leave her if I say “yes” to him (I swear this is his own words, horrible man). No one means anything to him but me. If I had not read this blog, I would have found these very impressive. Of course, I ignored this email too. I am sure that he went to the trip with the OW, because he cannot stay alone.

I never engaged with the OW.

She never engaged with me. Is it because she is too stupid or too confident? I have no idea. I always thought affair partners enjoy making themselves known.

Here is my question: Don’t do it if it feels good, I know. But can you remind me why I should not write to her for the first and last time right after my divorce? Why should I not send her just one email after all these years, and block her afterward? Just a quick email with all these snapshots of his messages: his terrible life with her, his love for me, what horrible mistakes he has made, etc.

It would give me great pleasure to destroy her confidence.

I know I should not waste my time on these people. For years I was quiet like I did not exist; I felt worthless for a long time. I do not care about him anymore; I will never be with him, so I am not pick-me dancing. It would just give me great pleasure to make her feel worthless.

PS. My husband started hanging out with her after I was diagnosed with cancer. We had just moved here, and my family lives 2000 miles away. I knew no one here. I left this detail to the last because I am recovered now and I did not want to sadden the readers. She knew everything. He knew that I was all by myself. Even this alone makes me extremely upset.

Stone Heart

***

Dear Stone Heart,

I’m going to give you the advice you did not ask for: GET A LAWYER.

We’ll get to Schmoopie in a moment, but let’s first tackle some alarming sentences.

I continued to believe that he did not suck.

I think you still suffer from this affliction. For starters, you’re receiving all his “I can’t live without you” bullshit. He can live without you. He is, in fact, living without you. Across town. Probably with Schmoopie. You didn’t go no contact, which is the first rule of healing from fuckwits.

Why didn’t you go no contact?

I occasionally communicate with him via email for divorce details. (I exclusively write in a formal manner). This is cost-effective, considering how expensive lawyers are.

No. This is a waste of your time. Why are you expecting a lying liar who lies to give you a fair divorce settlement? Have you consulted with an attorney? Do you know what you’re entitled to? Do you know what he spends on his affair partner(s)? Or that you could ask for that money back in a divorce as dissipation of marital assets?

Writing in a formal manner does not make you an attorney. Nor does it give you objectivity, which you desperately need.

You are grossly underestimating your own chumpiness AND seem to have a misguided notion that a guy who walked out on you when you had CANCER is someone you can rely on to not screw you over.

Has it occurred to you that he doesn’t mean a word of what he’s saying, and is just trying to avoid the costly consequences of divorce? Or that he could be moving monies, or otherwise feathering his nest while leading you to believe he wants to reconcile?

I think you’re still performing the pick-me dance.

Only now you imagine you’re calling the tune, and he’s dancing for you. He isn’t.

I also know him well so I maintain a friendly approach until I get what I want.

You do not know him at all.

Let me introduce you to your earlier sentences.

I was completely blindsided.

I continued to believe that he did not suck.

You were completely fooled by this fraud of a man, and it took you three years to grasp that he’s a liar you cannot trust.

LEAN INTO THAT. Follow it to its logical conclusion…

He does not have your best interests at heart.

He cannot be counted on to keep any promise.

You should NOT be having to finesse this. If he was, in fact, repentant — he’d give you the fair settlement. No cajoling. No diplomacy. It would come from the goodness of his heart, or his shame, or whatever vestiges of a soul we’re supposed to believe in. That hasn’t happened. It’s been THREE YEARS. Unleash the lawyers.

Oh, but that wouldn’t be nice, Tracy. He might get mad.

There are no nice divorces.

Cheaters are constantly trying to convince chumps to leave the lawyers out of it to “save money.” It’s the biggest load of crap. No one saves money in a divorce — good legal counsel costs money. And freeing yourself from a FW is worth every dime. I would trust your attorney far more than your FW on what’s considered equitable.

Your “friendly approach” will not get you what you want. I’m sure you were a friendly wife. Didn’t keep him from cheating. Please, please, please hand this over to the professionals and go NO CONTACT with Mr. Sea Cruise.

Now we can discuss that matter of the messages.

These are some of the messages he wrote: “I have destroyed a beautiful marriage”,

Why would you be interested in someone who destroys beautiful things?

“I desperately want my life back with you”,

Which he expressed by fucking someone else during your cancer treatments?

“you are my only love”,

Define “only.”

“I cannot live without you”

Then why is he still existing?

He will leave her if I say “yes” to him

You know how incredibly insulting this “offer” is, right? Boy, they really imagine they’re prizes. Wow.

But can you remind me why I should not write to her for the first and last time right after my divorce? Why should I not send her just one email after all these years, and block her afterward? Just a quick email with all these snapshots of his messages: his terrible life with her, his love for me, what horrible mistakes he has made, etc. It would give me great pleasure to destroy her confidence.

Oh why not let her breathe her own fumes a bit longer? Then she can be broadsided later, waste more of her life, and you can be smug in the knowledge that he’s a phony with her AND you.

Why give her a heads up?

It’s not like she gave you any warning.

Once you have your settlement — God speed, lawyers — I suppose you can send it if you want to. But I wouldn’t. Wanting to hurt her is still caring. And I think it’s best not to care about the emotional state of fuckwits.

Also, in my experience Schmoopies believe what they want to believe and are impervious to evidence. In my early chump days, I once sent the long-term OW links to my then-husband’s active dating profiles with the heading: “Your Boyfriend is on Match.com.” (She believed at the time she had won the pick me dance). Didn’t go over well. I got a cease and desist letter. As far as I know, she’s still an active side-dish fuck in his fourth (fifth? I’ve lost track) marriage.

My point is, Schmoopie is clearly not a woman of discernment — cheating with a married guy whose wife is undergoing cancer treatments? Not a quality individual. He loves you? She can work with that. She already acts worthless. Who cares if she feels worthless.

If you’re looking to destroy someone’s confidence, I’d start with your cake-eating, fraudster husband. Why not send him a ticket for a cruise on a sewage canal? (Right. If it feels good, don’t do it. Drat.)

Just focus on getting OUT. And perfecting the no contact.

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KatiePig
KatiePig
11 months ago

Yeah, you need a lawyer. Even if you get a no contest divorce out of him, get a lawyer. My whole divorce cost only $1,000 because I was able to get it uncontested but my lawyer gave me invaluable advice. I actually panicked and hung up crying the first time I called a lawyer and I will be forever grateful that he called me back immediately and calmed me down and helped me make a game plan before I ever gave him a dime. Call a lawyer. Call a bunch if you need to until you find a good one. They are so worth it.

sleepyhead
sleepyhead
11 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

Oh yes, I agree. Mine ended up costing $2500 because even though it started out as uncontested, my ex decided to pitch a (literal!) screaming fit when we finally got to court and my lawyer had to meet with the judge in private to straighten it all out. He threw another tantrum while signing documents in the paralegal’s office but the lawyer put a quick end to that. She was so helpful, not just with the legal stuff but with cracking down on my ex’s antics and talking me off the ledge multiple times during the process (I can look back now and find the whole thing entertaining – it’s actually a multifaceted story – but not so much back then). Worth every penny.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago
Reply to  sleepyhead

“I can look back now and find the whole thing entertaining”

This is so true. I look back on the whole affair and the legal fiascoes and I just laugh now. It’s proper ridiculous. Like a soap opera. It was decidedly NOT funny at the time, but now…hilarious.

Battletempered Lionheart
Battletempered Lionheart
11 months ago
Reply to  sleepyhead

FWIW to everyone out there- mine cost $28,000 in legal fees.
Fuckwits suck.

NotAnyMore
NotAnyMore
11 months ago

Mine cost $25,000. I had to take out a personal loan to pay for it. Worth every penny.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago

Mine was almost $50,000, and FW and I didn’t even have anything of value other than our house (not much there either, TBH). FW just stonewalled and faught and refused to communicate, or wasted my time and money with utter bullshit (false accusations mostly) the whole time. We never even got to trial, which would probably have doubled that number. But FW killed himself before our first hearing, and so saved me a bundle (and I got everything – what little we had).

STILL worth every penny.

Boudicca
Boudicca
11 months ago
Reply to  sleepyhead

I want to hear the story! I bet it’s funny 😁

Badmovie19
Badmovie19
11 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

Willie Nelson said it best: Why are divorces so expensive? They’re worth it. Ask friends and families for the names of some family law attorneys. Find a family law attorney whose concentration is only or mainly practicing family law – you want someone with experience. Also, if there is a pension for possible splitting, ask about their experience – many family law attorneys have limited pension splitting experience especially with Federal pensions which are there own can of worms. An attorney may refer you to another attorney just to handle the pension splitting. No matter what you pay in legal fees – you are facing something that could impact you for the rest of your life! You aren’t throwing money away on legal fees – you are protecting yourself and your children!

CBN
CBN
11 months ago
Reply to  Badmovie19

Yes, I saw a separate attorney to draft the order for the feds to split my ex-FW’s TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) account (similar to a 457 or 401K). I had a very experienced family law attorney, but even he never messed with splitting federal pensions or TSP accounts. It’s a specialty unto itself.

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
11 months ago
Reply to  CBN

Same applies to military pension. I wouldn’t perform my own operation, why on earth would I go into the biggest financial risk of my life without a seasoned attorney? I went to law school and even I know that the person who represents himself has an idiot for a client.

Conchobara
Conchobara
11 months ago

“There are no nice divorces. Cheaters are constantly trying to convince Chumps to leave the lawyers out of it to “save money.” It’s the biggest load of crap. No one saves money in a divorce — good legal counsel costs money. And freeing yourself from a FW is worth every dime.”

Ain’t that the truth! FW tried to get me to end discovery with a lengthy email about how it was such a waste of money and we could settle everything between us and just turn it over to my lawyer afterward. He went on and on about how my lawyers didn’t have my best interests at heart but HE DID and if we weren’t wasting money on lawyers there would be more to go around.

All this from the guy who squandered $250k+ that I can find (the rest was taken out in cash) during his 7 years of cheating and has blown through another $40k in the 8 months since DDay, cleaning out all joint accounts. He also stole the money to pay his lawyer’s retainer fee from a joint account he has with his MOTHER that she set up in case she died suddenly and he had to pay bills out of pocket. She was livid and closed the account when she found out. (He also cleaned out our 12yo daughter’s bank account but I could honestly go on and on…)

Clearly, HE is the trustworthy one. Totally. I should absolutely put my faith in him again. HAHAHAHAHA

We have our settlement conference with our lawyers this Friday. We’ll soon see just how ‘fair’ and ‘remorseful’ he really is, won’t we?

thelongrun
thelongrun
11 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

Go get him. For yourself; if there are any kids for them too, and for the rest of us chumps. Knock him on his ass.

Wishing you the best of luck, Conchobara. We’re all rooting for YOU.😁

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

Something about asset theft on top of every other type of violation makes me especially furious. I hope you’re able to recoup every cent and then some.

damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
11 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

break a leg on friday, conchobara!

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

Let us know how it goes, Conchobara.
Your FW is beyond despicable. He belongs in prison.

Little Wing
Little Wing
11 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

I am sending you Blessings galore for you that you get the very best outcome in this.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
11 months ago

SH,

I suspect that your husband is trying to do wo things: to delay the onset of consequences and; to keep his options open should things not work out with his AP. You need to recognise this and get the best lawyer you can; let them handle communications between the two of you, particularly if you don’t have children.

As regards bringing the AP down a peg or two, I’d advise you not to poke the hornets’ nest when you don’t have to. Much better to let your husband be distracted by her while you focus on lining up a divorce on your terms and your timeline.

LFTT

PS – He doesn’t get to “refuse to divorce.” Reframe that in terms of you “refusing to be married to someone who clearly has a girlfriend.”

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago

Thank you. I agree, he is delaying the consequences. Also, he is not sure things will work out with OW. My first comment is awaiting moderation, but I will leave things to my lawyer. I tried to end things with him amicably but he keeps dragging his feet.

Cat lady
Cat lady
11 months ago

Honestly, I think you’re in denial a little. After my third D-day FW said we can still fix it and if it doesn’t work out he would give me half of the flat we owned and half of his bank account. Lol. When I asked him to file for divorce he refused. He then told me we can’t get divorced without being separated for 2 years (bs). He then told me my lawyer doesn’t know what she’s doing (bs). And once I finally filed he refused to pay for any costs, he “forgot” my contributions towards the mortgage (but I had noted it all down in a notebook to keep track AND had bank statements for proof. Thanks, childhood trauma lol) etc etc. He just became this really horrible feeling less person. It’s like he was empty inside all of a sudden. Get a lawyer. Better safe than sorry.

Mmarg
Mmarg
11 months ago

Also, refusing to go on a trip with him is smart. It gave me the chills that he wants this. It’s like the start of many a true crime story.

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  Mmarg

Mmarg I did it once years ago, right after I found out. He just wanted to have fun and act like nothing happened. I strained myself to look like I was having fun too. I thought that he would not want an angry and questioning wife. It was horrible because I felt like a hostage.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

You ARE a hostage when someone is cheating.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
11 months ago
Reply to  Mmarg

Terrifying but excellent point. We see so many news stories where a FW kills their chump because the consequences of divorce are just that unbearable to them. Early on after DDay, I worried about this. I would never of thought him capable of murdering me and /or my child previously. But there was a level of desperation/looking trapped/hopelessness that I saw in him that first year and it scared me a bit. I also note that in the news stories, most of those murdered spouses were not physically abused prior to the murder, so while the cheating FW obv displayed a lack of character, they didn’t seem homicidal, until they were. It’s a very scary thing. The flip side to that coin is the # of FWs that get the divorce and then realize that schmoops is not all that and that they blew up their lives for nothing, and then choose suicide. We have a few Chumps here that have dealt with that first hand.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  SortOfOverIt

I don’t think Chris Watts so much as threatened violence prior to killing his wife and daughters. Jennifer Dulos reported increasing threats but not assault before ex-husband Fotis Dulos murdered her. I don’t believe Laci Peterson reported assault prior to being murdered by Scott. But all three men were cheating and I’m sure there are many more cases like this. I’m waiting for studies on the association between cheating and domestic violence. My guess is there’s a very strong association because, when I did advocacy for dv survivors, I never met a victim who hadn’t also been cheated on in some way. I began seeing battering as little more than the violent enforcement of sexual double standards because, even if not all cheaters are violent, virtually all batterers are cheaters.

If studies like this were every undertaken, I would also guess that potentially losing money in divorce wouldn’t turn out to be the main motive for violence but more along the lines of abusers being like dogs with two bones. Related to something called “masked dependency” in batterers, even when they have no intention of reconciling, most can’t stand the idea that their victims will ever move on to have fulfilling lives and relationships without them. To the degree that leaving victims in dire financial straits is reassuring to abusers since this lowers the “risk” the victims will ever have fulfilling lives, and to the degree that victims having money might facilitate fulfilling futures, I wonder if abusive exes are just as likely to try to kill their former victims if the victims get a windfall from another source outside of divorce.

I have a long wish list for social research that’s never been done. I get the feeling there may be political reasons for the gap (FWs with power over research funding not wanting to be eyed as suspected abusers when they’re caught stepping out?) so I’m not holding my breath.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
11 months ago

HOAC,

“Related to something called “masked dependency” in batterers, even when they have no intention of reconciling, most can’t stand the idea that their victims will ever move on to have fulfilling lives and relationships without them.”

That is very interesting. We see something like when people leave a partner and the partner then stalks or murders them. The whole “if I can’t have you, no one will”. I had never attributed this to cheaters, it was easy for me to assume those cases were about the money/avoiding consequences, but it’s true that your theory fits.

A study would be fascinating. We always talk about them all having the same playbook, but it seems like it is deeper than that. Many seem to have the same disorder.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  SortOfOverIt

SortOfOverit

Buried within a book in the resource section of this blog titled The Batterer by DV researcher and criminologist Donald Dutton, there’s an explanation of “masked dependency” and several other syndromes and peculiar quirks of batterers that overlap a little too neatly with serial cheaters. Like I mentioned, this no longer surprises me because after five years of doing advocacy, I started to suspect the main MO of batterers and “coercice controllers” was enforcing sexual double standards, the goal of which was total sexual freedom for perps and zero freedom for victims.

Just a qualifier about the following: discussing childhood traumas and “fears” of abusers isn’t a sad sausage bid for amnesty since, for one, the same psychology has been attributed to serial killers. I think most have never heard of reformed serial killer. By the same token, Dutton argues that recidivism for batterers is about 97% even with therapy and jail time (and worse without either). Dutton also argues that batterers who show signs of masking dependency can be statistically the most lethal once they “blow.” Understanding abuser psych isn’t the same as sympathizing or condoning but can be helpful with strategizing to contain perps and protect victims.

Anyway, the concept of masked dependency provides more dimension to the classic “cycle of abuse”– tension building, explosion, remorse/lovebombing/repeat– by explaining why this potentially happens and why many abusers tend to be willfully blind to their own MOs. From what I understand, masked dependency is when an adult abuser conceals from others and often from themselves the depth of their pathological, infantile psychological and emotional dependence on their primary partners. You could say they tend to play it cool, may not express overt jealousy and territoriality, may periodically express disdain or bland disinterest towards victims and might not express the kinds of blatantly misogynistic views associated with cartoon batterers– all the better to conceal dependency and a driving need to control victims completely.

Theoretically, due to whatever horror show traumas they endured as children, these abusers tend to express their disordered attachment through extremes of “push/pull” behavior towards intimates fueled by ever-shifting, internally generated fears of either abandonment or “engulfment” by partners. But also because of dysfunctional upbringing, these adult abusers (theoretically again, though Dutton studied batterers like bugs for decades and makes consistent observations) have a catastrophic sense of shame over any “vulnerable” feelings, particularly dependency on partners.

From what I gathered, the “batterer” version of reactive attachment disorder is almost like a “love allergy”– feelings of affection or neediness can trigger violent shame, terror, resentment of the “power” abusers imagine their victims wield over them, and impulses to control the distance and proximity of partners. If the victim partner feels “suffocatingly close,” the abuser will sabotage the relationship to push the partner away to a certain distance. But if the victim then seems “too far away,” thus triggering abandonment fears, the abuser will do whatever it takes to draw the victim in closer whether through lovebombing expressions of remorse, threats, betrayal or violence. And on and on and on until victims are emotionally exhausted and paralyzed like Skinner dogs lying inert on the floors of a shock boxes.

Typically abusers will blame partners for triggering these demented fears rather than recognizing that the shifting fears are internally driven because to admit to the fears would be to admit to shameful infantile dependency on partners. Having such a carefully maintained blind spot for their own MO might partly explain why many abusers seem to have a kind of selective amnesia about their own abusive behaviors and could also explain why, when they abuse, abusers bafflingly seem to behave as if they’re “getting even” for some terrible thing the victims supposedly did. For example, if the abuser feels “suffocated,” they won’t acknowledge that they had recently threatened or cajoled or schemed to socially isolate their victims into very close proximity as a reaction to some earlier fit of abandonment fear. Instead they blame their own victims for trying to “control” them for nefarious reasons (that the victim is a voracious ogre and trying to consume the abuser, etc). If victims then try to leave or are emotionally withdrawn, abusers typically won’t acknowledge that their recent abuse and sabotage had caused this distance. Instead abusers attribute the victims’ distance to the victims’ coldness, lovelessness, evil disloyalty, etc.

Dutton, like most DV researchers, tends to only discuss jealousy/infidelity in terms of abusers’ paranoid fears of victims cheating but not in terms of abusers cheating. I think the reason for this partly lies in problems caused by judicial and public responses to and views of victims. In my experience, DAs would refuse to prosecute well-documented DV cases if the victim merely alluded to the abuser committing infidelity on the grounds that “out of jealousy,” the victim “fabricated” the abuse. Bystanders tend to react this way as well so victims quickly learn to stop talking about that aspect of DV and, possibly as a result, that detail doesn’t end up in the literature and case studies. What’s ironic about it is that cheating is often the trigger for DV victims to finally attempt escape because, to the degree that they sense their abusers might only have kept them alive as long as they provided “sexual services,” the fact their abusers were looking elsewhere for those “services” may be taken a signal that the danger of staying might finally exceed the considerable danger of leaving. So, basically, many victims who cooperate with prosecutors may have been triggered by infidelity to finally make a break for it and are particularly in need official protection… except that mentioning infidelity will lose them that protection. So fucked up.

IMHO, the thing about cheating is that it checks all the attachment disorder boxes: 1) Cheaters can manage abandonment fears by emotionally paralyzing and entrapping victims through traumatic betrayal (not to mention all the blameshifting DARVO crap cheaters tend to howl in the midst of cheating in an attempt to trigger FOG or “fear/obligation/guilt” in victims); 2) Cheaters can further mask their own shameful dependency by showing disloyalty to the victim (“Who needs ya, Bitch”); 3) Cheaters can “dilute” their shameful sense of dependency on victim partners by spreading out that dependency to more than one partner which also serves to hedge bets against abandonment; 4) Through betrayal, cheaters can manage their “engulfment” fears “rebelling” against the victims’ imaginary scheme to “control” and “consume” the abusers.

The above is the first way I tried to reconcile why most batterers seem to cheat. But then I started to wonder if enforcing one-sided monogamy wasn’t the whole point of it.

Since Covid, the term “masked dependency” mostly brings up stuff about wearing or not wearing masks during the pandemic so, unfortunately, the term remains a pretty obscure clinical reference. It’s too bad because it explains so much about abuser psychology and, if it were more widely understood, could help the justice system to support victims and could help victims protect themselves. Personally I think it easily applies to the majority of cheaters and I believe any broad studies on the overlap would probably confirm this. But that’s where things get a bit political. Probably because most major media are cross invested in the porn and dating app industries– both of which arguably depend on increasing rates of adultery for market growth (the population is shrinking and focusing only on single clients puts a cap on profits)– we’re now in an era where cheating is being continuously promoted as some groovy, sex-pozzy life-affirmation. In other words, digging into clinical associations between domestic violence and cheating wouldn’t be good for the bottom line.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

HOAC,

I can’t cite any studies, but my local domestic violence organization teaches that cheating is domestic violence.

If anyone here is inclined to seek help, here’s the link:

http://www.centerfordomesticpeace.org

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago

I’m glad to hear the concept is spreading. A few years ago I saw a British advocacy network include infidelity as a form of “IPV” or intimate partner violence and I got really excited about it, but little turned up when I did a general search. I think front lines advocates come to recognize the association but the “official view” takes much longer to catch up– usually when the old guard in social science dies off and stops rabidly defending moldy old tenets and professionally punishing anyone who contradicts them (aka, “Planck’s principle”).

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  Mmarg

Shudder, yes. Particularly if the trip involves sea cruises (“We were drinking heavily, I turned my back and heard a splash, Mr. Bahamian Constable…”), canoes (“She went out alone to see the fireflies…”) or canyons (“I didn’t think she’d really do it though she’d been struggling with mental health for many years…”)

Battletempered Lionheart
Battletempered Lionheart
11 months ago

HOAC,
Agreed 100%. I’ve been around this site for five years and at the beginning I thought this kind of comment was a bit dramatized/ exaggerated.
Now I am no longer a newbie and I know it is not.
A giant part of my recovery was coming to terms with what fw was capable of. It’s unthinkable at first, but gradually the wool gets lifted from your eyes.
Someone from here told us to go to Google News and search for suicide/homicide. There are so many stories of (mostly) men who shot their families and turned the guns on themselves. The majority of them look like a guy you’d see teaching Sunday school or volunteering as a baseball coach.
I’m glad I know this for safety reasons but at the same time I’d like to unknow it. It’s chilling.

Weedfree
Weedfree
11 months ago

I just received a “I am so grief stricken, I have lost my family, I will never recover, our poor little boy he is so sad, (n.b. he isn’t- lack of individuation), you don’t even care about me” message from FW. Our son lives with him half the time, he is spotted around town with AP and recently recommenced working with her. We don’t communicate except about our son only if essential. It’s been 2 1/2 years since we spoke. The trigger for the sad clown message: court application for property claim. He used every trick in the book to obstruct the process, seemed not to care if the children and I ended out on our ear. Although I work in DV I am still grateful for the reminders on this site of how this particular type of abuser operates. Coercive control is not always visible, the tactics are not necessarily recognised by the legal system or are minimised, but coercion is still present and thwarts your ability to be free of their control.

And don’t message the AP. She is probably a narc too and the messages would only be filtered through a reverse UBT (facts become bullshit)

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  Weedfree

Weedfree, I used to think that he was honest about his grief. It is infact to control and abuse the spouse further. It took me a while to understand this. I do not ever believe him. I imagine him with a clown hat when he emails me such things.

weedfree
weedfree
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

SH you’ve made me think about what grief actually is – it is person dependent really. A FW’s grief (other than a waa waa that sounds dramatic and elicits an emotional response from the target), is most likely related to loss of control, their image etc, not loss of a loved one. I dont think my ex even had a normal response to the death of his own father – it was just, well, weird. Definitely some deficits in affective empathy.

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  weedfree

Weedfree, what you said made me think as well. When I think of his grief, I visualise regret, embarrassment, sadness of breaking a family, losing thousands of memories and future plans together. But I am wrong. It is just how I would feel.
As you said, his grief is about losing control of me and the situation. When I found out, the first thing he said to me was not “I am sorry”. He said: “Everything was more fun and easier before (for him), I wish it continued like that.”
His response to death of his father was unusual as well. He acted like nothing happened. People who met me at the funeral for the first time thought that I was the real daughter of his father, because I showed empathy and I was very sad.

Weedfree
Weedfree
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

There’s a dark future Friday challenge for us – in which other areas of life did your FW demonstrate empathy deficits.
E.g. He wasnt very nice to Aunty Ethel. Or our pet rabbit Fluffles. Oh and there was that one time he chopped up our neighbour and buried her under the pear tree out the back. (This is not based on a true story. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental. Please don’t call the cops.)

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  Weedfree

Reverse UBT lol. Absolutely. Not to plead sympathy for FWs (or batterers or serial killers or other types of serial offenders who harbor similar sick thinking patterns) but I think the general wisdom on abusive personalities is that these are people who learned from infancy to cobble together an imaginary sense of existence and self-worth from empty fantasy, stolen pocket clutter and whatever rotting scraps or dry husks left lying around by whomever passed as parental figures. It gives them the superpower of drawing any meaning from events and communication that suits them. I think one of the reasons many FWs act so “blindsided” when chumps run out of hopium and turn on them is that no one can out-do a FW in terms of delusional projections. FW’s can, almost like flipping a switch, turn loving and loyal partners into ogres and fiends if doing so justifies betrayal. They can destroy their families and run up fatal debt for syphilitic barflies or Freddy Kreuger and call it “twu wuv.” They lived on scraps and lies themselves as children and don’t see the harm in demanding chumps do the same.

By the same twisted token, APs can turn being face-banged in office supply closets and listed under “Poo Brothers Septic Services” on FWs’ phones into “star-crossed destiny” that they’ll pine over forever. I remember a cringy episode in The Sopranos series on this theme where Tony Soprano meets his dead father’s former “goomar” (“comare” or side piece) for whom his dad stole the family dog. A pile-up of two generations of delusional thinking ensues where criminal liars project positive qualities on other criminal liars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqRUOHLvUYc

For a recap: The aging goomar tearfully plies Tony for money she was supposedly promised by the dead father. She brags about another supposedly star-crossed affair that JFK was ready to leave Jackie for. There’s this nauseating progression where, at first, Tony– epic FW in his own right– projects his own narcissism on his father, imagining that his father was justified in cheating, had found true love with a magical glamor queen (bonking JFK is taken as further evidence of her klassiness), that his dad had heroically “rescued” the family dog from Tony’s evil mother and that his mother deserved to be left alone in the hospital during a miscarriage while his father spent the night with the side piece. Tony risks alienating other gangsters as he tries to get money to her but then slowly realizes she’s nothing more than a retired alcoholic hooker and pathological liar living in a fantasy world and still hustling for whatever she can grab. But he still won’t admit even to his shrink that his father and his father’s side piece were garbage. He can’t conceive that his sainted father might have contributed a bit to his mother’s raging craziness.

I thought the episode nailed it. There’s no point straightening people like this out. They all suffer from Schrodinger’s trashiness where they both know (enough to hide compromising facts from others) and don’t recognize this trashiness and criminality in themselves and the people they’re presently projecting positive qualities to.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago

“It gives them the superpower of drawing any meaning from events and communication that suits them.”

I used to be absolutely baffled at the conclusions FW would draw from the most innocuous communications, or the really far-fetched ideas he’d get from things I did. (The weirdest being when he’d say I had a “tone of voice” that was angry or insulting or whatever, but it was based on a TEXT MESSAGE where I was like “I’m running about 5 minutes behind because of traffic” or something equally factual.) But I think it’s because they don’t operate in reality at all.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  ISawTheLight

What makes them more criminal than nuts is when they can suddenly manage to operate in reality if it suits them or if the consequences of confabulating are too stiff. But like you I was sometimes amazed at how much FW would invest in his fabrications. I also remember how, when he was inventing some counter-accusation against me, he would suddenly sound bratty and juvenile like a school yard bully tattling to teacher and protesting against detention because “dat udder kid hit me first!”

But where was “teacher”? It’s not like I was going to believe the absurd fabrications so who was he performing this outraged, quacking “innocence maligned” act for? An invisible judge and bystanders? God? And then I realized what he was doing wasn’t crazy at all but diabolical. He was “rehearsing” and demonstrating what he was going to say to others about me behind my back as a threat of character assassination as well as demonstrating his investment in it. It didn’t matter if I believed the lie as long as I understood the threat to destroy my credibility and reputation if I stood up for myself. It’s why rape victims so often drop charges.

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
11 months ago

Like Concobara, I’m quoting:

“ There are no nice divorces. Cheaters are constantly trying to convince chumps to leave the lawyers out of it to “save money.” It’s the biggest load of crap. No one saves money in a divorce — good legal counsel costs money. And freeing yourself from a FW is worth every dime. “

For anyone still in the early stages and not yet divorced, read that again. And again.

My divorce was ugly. The worst. I served FW immediately. He fought everything. We even ended up in court over emergency financial support (pendente lite) for me and my son and the house. It was a shit show. It cost us over 6 figures.
And then I ended up with a shitty lawyer I had to take to task with the state bar.

But guess what? WORTH IT. I ended up with a great lawyer in the end. Excellent settlement. Protected my finances while FW was in la la land with schmoopie. I was divorced in ONE YEAR. Sold the house. Got a job after being a SAHM 10 years. And was able to right my ship very quickly.

Without FW in my life or finances, my financial situation is so much stronger than it ever was with him. EVER. In the marriage, money was just disappearing. And most of it wasn’t from anything sinister… Just FWs mismanagement. He was double paying healthcare for years (that neither of us could recover). He works IN FINANCE FFS — a CFO — and yet he’s completely incompetent at personal finance. And then there’s the sinister… I’ll never know everything he was doing with our money.

But even with a 6 figure shit show divorce, I’M AHEAD. You have to get rid of FWs. The lies and deceit will always cost you more.

If you haven’t gotten divorced in THREE YEARS? I can’t imagine the financial loss in that time.

One last quick story I’m sure I’ve told on this blog several times. I had a friend who announced she was divorcing her FW about 6 months after started mine . But she is a penny wise, a pound foolish. Sooooo worried about “wasting money on lawyers.” So she dragged her feet. She shared a lot of personal info with FW. Even let him know when she started dating — which he was able to use to get out of paying her spousal support. He was also able to use up over $200k in their savings. And because they did a “cheap” settlement without much with attorney involvement, she just agreed to it to get free… after FOUR YEARS. I was done in 1 year… yet it took her another 3 1/2 years of crying to me and saying “How do I get divorced like you?” Every time I said “GET AN ATTORNEY” she refused and said it was a waste of money. By the time she finally divorced, she realized her mistake and how much money was lost. Way more than me. And she ended with only limited child support. I got 7 years of very helpful spousal and child support.

Please listen to CL. I want to keep that quote on hand because it comes up time and again.

Divorces suck. They are hard. They aren’t nice. They are expensive.
They are worth it.

Go no contact. Get a divorce through an attorney.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago

“Without FW in my life or finances, my financial situation is so much stronger than it ever was with him. EVER. In the marriage, money was just disappearing. And most of it wasn’t from anything sinister… Just FWs mismanagement.”

This is my exact story. We were always broke, teetering on the brink of disaster. I managed the finances and it was a constant battle to stay afloat. FW didn’t consult with me about things and there was often not enough to cover bills when they came due. Without him, my bank account increased quickly, even though my expenses were almost the same as they were when I was married (the rent for my apartment cost about $500 MORE than my entire mortgage payment, which I was only paying half of when married, for instance). I got debt free in just one year from almost $10K in credit card debt, even while paying my lawyer $1,000 every month. FW was living with OW and so had two incomes, both quite good, and they were struggling financially. His lawyer dropped him for non-payment. The power got shut off because he didn’t pay the gas and electric. Etc. OW left him, and he was stuck with a huge, expensive rental home that she refused to help pay for. He died up to his ears in debt, and cited his financial woes as one of the reasons he killed himself.

After he died, I saved up over $20K and bought myself a house.

My divorce cost $50K, and would have been a lot more had FW not checked out in the middle of it (we were headed to trial). In spite of the fact that he asked for the divorce, he dragged his feet and fought me every step of the way (turning over his financial documents was one of the things he refused to do). IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY to have a good attorney. She saved my sanity, kept me from being stupid, and got me most of what I wanted. I have no doubt she would have rocked my trial had it gotten that far. Don’t skimp on the lawyer. FW never listened to his lawyer, and finally went pro se, and ended up making a lot of mistakes that benefitted me (all the while insulting my attorney and trying to “correct” her, probably because she was a woman).

IcanseeTuesday
IcanseeTuesday
11 months ago

Stone Heart – Although I’ve been divorced for 2 and 1/2 years (which is when my healing began), I only regret not protecting more of my retirement savings and equity in the marital home. And since I was the one who filed – and paid most of the legal fees – I wish I had asked for some of that money, too.

Your FW is acting as though his needs/musings should continue to direct your future. It actually is the least expensive method he has of avoiding consequences. All communication should go to your lawyer from now on.

And sharing his emails with the OW – that’s high school behavior. It won’t help you and your dignity is priceless.

susie lee
susie lee
11 months ago
Reply to  IcanseeTuesday

It seems they all think THEIR needs are paramount. It surprises and enrages them when the Chump does not see it that way. Of all the nerve…

And I wonder if in their diseased mind they actually think, well chump has always put my needs first, so it just makes sense to them. Who knows, skein and all.

Thrive
Thrive
11 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

I think this was true for my divorce. I got a lawyer, he didn’t. I really believe he just thought I’d handle everything honestly which I did. But he could have fought for the island house he wanted where he and schmoopie were living. Instead I got title and sold it giving him his share of money. This resulted in schmoopie finding another sucker cuz she really wanted the island house. He found another woman to move in with but he owns nothing except his bank account. I’m sure he would have lost that house eventually cuz he doesn’t know how to pay a damn bill. Oh well!

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
11 months ago
Reply to  Thrive

The ex got a lawyer at the last day of the deadline to answer my petition. His counter petition had the wrong years for car he drove and the car I drive. His participation went downhill from there. He thought he would take our vacation home in Costa Rica (had taken AP there) and our commercial property and me the home.
He started blowing through his IRA without paying taxes on distributions. I suggested the sale of the foreign property, I knew he needed the money. Buying the girlfriend, a Louis Vuitton bag, and an engagement ring, furnishing their new apartment, plus their drugs were costly. He agreed, but was still uncooperative in the whole process. Must’ve killed him because he had told people for a decade it would be our retirement playground. Both Attorneys were helpful in that respect. I lived on my half during the remainder of process. Thank goodness it was sold just before COVID. He blew his half in 6 months.
He did get the commercial property, his practice was dead by then. He sold building and holds the mortgage with balloon payment in 2025. He’s got a judgment from Chase and was denied a credit card from synchrony for rooms to go furniture.

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  Thrive

Thrive I am glad it worked out well financially. They are so lazy that they have no strength to fight for anything (they did not even fight for us). But it is okay, in the cases like these it totally works well for us. They even take their OW to special places they have taken us before. This alone shows how lazy they are.

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

The only thing my idiot RIC marriage counselor got right was when she said klootzak was “not that creative.” It’s why they dog through their high school reunions looking for supply. It’s why they use the same nicknames for every OW/OM. Zero creativity.

Rebecca
Rebecca
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

You may be quite surprised to see how hard he fights once lawyers are involved and there is money at stake!

I am concerned reading the letter and your responses that you don’t fully realize what’s ahead.

It is ugly, scary, expensive and can be LONG. You need to speak with several lawyers to get the full picture of what’s ahead. Take the previous advice of finding someone who only does matrimonial law and ask them their thoughts on infidelity before telling them your story.

I also hope that you have every tax return, bank statement and any joint credit card statements already out of the house and in a safe place.

I’m sorry to say this but I don’t think you fully appreciate how much better cheaters are about lying and stealing! From you!!! They have way more experience and know how to play you while you’re playing catch-up! You’ve given him a huge head start over all this time.

Divorce from a cheater isn’t pretty or easy. Don’t underestimate him.

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Rebecca thank you. I live in a no- fault state. I spoke with a couple of lawyers some time ago and mentioned them the infidelity, but they immediately reminded me that we are in a no-fault state. Does the lawyer’s approach to infidelity change the outcome? I personally didn’t think that it would make a difference.

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

Even in no fault, you may be able to get back 1/2 of dissipation $$$. I got more assets probably because my attorney told his we’d be deposing her.

Rebecca
Rebecca
11 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

One other thing to remember.
Your lawyer may want to use the threat of putting the AP on a witness stand.
If you contact her, she has ammunition before the judge that you were hostile!
Do NOT ruin that option.

Thrive
Thrive
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

Yes. My FW did the same thing. He took OW on the same trip we took to AZ Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Tucson. At the time I was so gobsmacked I didn’t know what to think. Now I get that he was playing it safe so he could appear in control. The smart intelligent experienced dude.

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
11 months ago
Reply to  Thrive

“Now I get that he was playing it safe so he could appear in control. The smart intelligent experienced dude.”

Agree. He took his 33 years younger AP to DC and stayed at same hotel we took our 3 children(all ololder than gold digger). My son said did she get a sticker book too? ( to check off all the sites)

Weedfree
Weedfree
11 months ago
Reply to  IcanseeTuesday

“Your FW is acting as though his needs/musings should continue to direct your future”
Wise words ICST that I also need to hear atm

AdmiralChump
AdmiralChump
11 months ago

one of my biggest regret was doing the pick-me dance and sabotaging my ex’s relationship with schmoopie. When i confronted her side-piece he dumped my ex the same day because she became a liability. i would have been better off if they had rode off into the sunset together and left me alone

MrWonderful’sEx
MrWonderful’sEx
11 months ago
Reply to  AdmiralChump

Yes, I won’t dare contact an OW for that very reason. After D-day # 1 I stupidly wanted contact but now I know better. I would very much like to let a chumped spouse know he is being taken for a ride but the OW can have klootzak. Like Rodney Dangerfield said, “Take my wife… no, PLEASE take my wife!”

NotANiceChump
NotANiceChump
11 months ago
Reply to  AdmiralChump

So true. A narcissistic cheater without a willing subject to stare adoringly in their direction and put them on a pedestal is a problem indeed! My kid complains about her dad’s current partner, and I get it and am a listening ear for her frustration, but I always remind her that it is far better for her dad to have a love interest than not…because when he doesn’t have an adoring fan, he starts making trouble for us.

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago
Reply to  AdmiralChump

“i would have been better off if they had rode off into the sunset together and left me alone”

Ain’t that the truth.

AdmiralChump
AdmiralChump
11 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

unfortunately he was stringing her along and was never going to leave his wife. now his family and marriage is still intact, mine is not, and i had to clean up the mess. cest la vie

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  AdmiralChump

C’est la vie and “vive la difference” as they say. I get the feeling that it’s somewhat more common for male APs to be going along for the (proverbial and literal) ride and more common for female APs to be in it to win it. It used to make me envy male chumps a little because at least some can count on the fact that the least bit of friction or inconvenience will send most male mate poachers scuttling away like cockroaches looking for other desperate, disordered she-narcs to feed on while she-poachers are generally already shopping online for wedding dresses and are harder to scrape off. But the closer I get to meh, the more I realize that male chumps may be in greater danger of getting stuck with FW spouses and partners for all the above reasons.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
11 months ago
Reply to  AdmiralChump

I think the urge to destroy the adulterous relationship ultimately amounts to a failure of “trust that they suck” (as you imply in your last line). We think that breaking them up will hurt them, but if we really believed the message that they suck we would want them to stay together to inflict maximum suffering on each other (and maybe – maybe – inhibit their access to the dating pool as a public service). L’enfer c’est les autres.

I’m years out and every once in a while I catch myself doing this sometimes. They go off on a fabulous trip and I feel jealous; but then I remind myself of what it was actually like to travel with XW and it sets me straight.

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
11 months ago

We’d return from a trip and he’d act so weird, like he had too much togetherness with the family, like we weren’t sick of him and his idiosyncrasies and lack of flexibility

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
11 months ago

Perfect choice of quotes since it seems to have arisen from a couple of philosophical FWs who constantly tormented and manipulated each other while presenting their relationship as the intellectual ideal in public. I was a fan of both in college until reading the letters in which they both mock and scheme against a series of underage victims whom they used, abused and passed around like joints between them.

For anyone feverishly longing for updates on 20th century French poly-protagonists, despite the fact that Sartre is universally credited with the phrase, “hell is other people,” it was first penned by Simone de Beauvoir in her novel about a tortured threesome in which the female protagonist murders her lover’s side chick and then kills herself. Then the phrase was borrowed/plagiarized by Jean-Paul Sartre for the play “No Exit” about a threesome in hell in which the male protagonist was obviously based on Sartre and the “malignant lesbian” character of Inez was clearly based on de Beauvoir.

I always think of the de Beauvoir/Sartre drama as exemplary of the danger of staying with an abuser: eventually becoming as malignant as the most abusive member of a couple. Maybe she was always as big an asshole as Sartre but, while being fame-hungry isn’t really an admirable trait in anyone, it just seems unfair that she probably had to eat more shit than Sartre to hang onto the union and the fame that came with it. Sartre never fictionalized his personal torment about de Beauvoir’s infidelity but she did. And it probably didn’t make de Beauvoir happy and might even have inspired her most famous work, “The Second Sex,” when, after she tied with Sartre for first place in the Sorbonne’s exam for the coveted title of “professeurs agrégés,” the tie was settled by putting Sartre– who’d previously failed the exam– in first place and de Beauvoir in second place. I also always wondered what de Beauvoir felt about the fact that Sartre’s most famous quote was plagiarized from her.

I don’t think the de Beauvoir/Sartre drama absolutely proves that all poly relationships are bs but I think the union should probably stop being waved around as a positive example of ethical non-monogamy. After all, it bred the phrase, “Hell is other people.”

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

“I think the urge to destroy the adulterous relationship ultimately amounts to a failure of “trust that they suck” (as you imply in your last line). We think that breaking them up will hurt them, but if we really believed the message that they suck we would want them to stay together to inflict maximum suffering on each other (and maybe – maybe – inhibit their access to the dating pool as a public service). L’enfer c’est les autres.“

Excellent point. It took a very long time for me to realize that they were each other’s negative consequence.

As Napoleon said, “Never interfere when your enemy is making a mistake.”

(The end of our MIRAGE was no mistake, BTW. I do not want to be legally partnered with a traitorous lying cheating thief).

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

….being in a relationship with a cheater or a side piece is like eating out of the garbage cans at the ballpark after the game. There is no accounting for taste or forcing it on anyone. I’d rather eat my freshly made Crazy Crab sandwich delivered to my seat in Field Club (SF Giants fan here).

They chose to be deceived and in denial about each other. It’s not within my power nor am I the right messenger to enlighten. Much better to keep my hands clean and stay out of the “find out” stage of f**king around.

They who get the last laugh laugh loudest and longest. Especially from my primo seats in Field Club eating my delicious crab sandwich.

Magnolia
Magnolia
11 months ago

I love the crab-sandwich-primo-seats image of gaining a life! Gorgeous!

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago
Reply to  Magnolia

❤️ Hi Magnolia! ❤️

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

What I really desperately want is some control in the most painful situation I have ever been in in my entire life. I don’t have it. The anger and pain and fear and life damage is off the charts. No one gets arrested. And if they did, the most they would get is time in jail. I want make them feel the pain and fear that they have inflicted on me and my daughter. I do not have that power. Very difficult to sit with that.

It does help me to think of people who have had to endure worse. Not to dismiss or invalidate how I feel and what I am going through, but to see that I am not alone in suffering and be inspired to keep going and appreciate that at this time I have a lighter load. The family that I think of daily is the family of Shanann Watts, whose daughter was cheated on and strangled, and whose husband also killed their children. All he gets is jail time. He gets marriage proposals in jail. There are a lot of sick people in the world. I defer to them when it comes to expert tips on how to handle being violated and keep living. My life has been nuked but I am alive and my daughter is alive. My instincts about divorcing him were correct. My realization that he is not a good choice for a life partner is correct. I got to get out of marriage to someone with poor relationship skills and unwilling to learn them, and he is the bad guy.

It’s not my job to make anyone understand or fix anyone or straighten anyone out. I am not the right messenger or teacher. I need to use all my energy for healing and bettering me and my daughter, to get away from people who intentionally harm us.

The secret is what makes the affair thrilling. Reality is a buzz kill. I worked as a housekeeper for a couple that had been having an affair FOR DECADES before they left their spouses and moved in together. I had a front row seat to the ensuing shit show when real life took the place of the thrilling secret sexual
double life. They were miserable with no assistance from their former defrauded spouses.

Keep your precious time and energy for yourself. For all you know, today might be your last day on earth and you want to spend it well.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago

“a couple that had been having an affair FOR DECADES before they left their spouses and moved in together. I had a front row seat to the ensuing shit show when real life took the place of the thrilling secret sexual double life. They were miserable with no assistance from their former defrauded spouses.”

It was only 4 years for FW and OW, but I also had a front row seat to see it completely fall apart once they moved in together. Their “happy home” lasted all of three weeks before OW fled in terror. I didn’t have to lift a finger. After FW died, I found out just how miserable and disordered their life was together. Anything but bliss. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, alcoholism, abuse (both of them), suicide attempts (FW finally succeeded), fighting, insecurity, financial difficulty, and general chaos.

Honestly, get out of their way. Without the chump as an easy target, they turn on each other. In my case, their mutual misery with their respective spouses is a big part of how they “bonded”. But when the stbx spouses don’t care anymore, what is there to talk about? OW’s husband remarried quickly. I (finally went no contact and) moved on with my own life and stopped caring what they did (other than how it affected my son; but even that was limited to what I could do, not trying to control what happened at FW’s house). Real life, with kids, and bills, and trash, and two sets of custody schedules, etc. ruined the excitement of the affair. It all crumbled. Far, far faster than I had anticipated (I’d thought they’d last a year, but they didn’t even last a month). I knew what FW was like to live with. OW didn’t. But she fucked around and she sure found out. She’d been so accommodating and willing to do whatever FW wanted, including being a side piece, that I suppose FW thought he could treat her however he liked. He was blindsided when she packed up and left him.

Orlando
Orlando
11 months ago

Involuntary: same. My ex was always miserable on vacations. I spent the entire time placating him while trying to give our kids a memorable holiday. Since apparently FW has returned to “being himself again” according to our kids, I actually snigger when I hear him & Schmoops have gone somewhere. If a guy isn’t going to be happy on a Star Wars ride with his kids, or riding a boat underneath the Niagara Falls, or camping outside roasting marshmallows, or relaxing on the beach sipping fruity drinks with his family, I highly doubt a mere Schmoopie will keep him happy for long on a vacay! I don’t buy into their “image” anymore because I was also vested in an image once with Fuckwit & I wasn’t happy (downright lonely & exhausted tbh). So we gotta let go of any FW & Schmoopie jealousy. They are getting richly what they deserve: not one, but two fuckwits!!!

threetimesachump
threetimesachump
11 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

Fuckwit squared…can you just hear the happiness?
FW^2 = Exponential UNhappiness

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
11 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

“So we gotta let go of any FW & Schmoopie jealousy. They are getting richly what they deserve: not one, but two fuckwits!!!”

Thanks for the reminder of what FW was like on vacations.

The man could make hitting a tennis ball back and forth across the net with his young kids a miserable experience. And don’t get me started on sledding.

Hopeful Cynic
Hopeful Cynic
11 months ago

If you send the OW the messages from your ex, she’s going to ask him about them, he’s going to tell her he’s just lying to you to try to manipulate you into giving him a better settlement, or that you are the one lying, and she’s going to believe him. The only thing it accomplishes is that it keeps his triangulation going strong.

And yes, get a lawyer and do the divorce right. He can refuse to cooperate right now but with a lawyer and court it will happen despite that refusal, which you can’t get done alone. Right now he’s got you in exactly the holding pattern he wants, which is probably to his financial benefit.

Apidae
Apidae
11 months ago
Reply to  Hopeful Cynic

Or, she’s going to laugh along with the FW about what a fool LW is for believing him. “I just play nice to get them to cooperate” can run both ways. I would not assume that the OW is a poor deluded fool who thinks she made him monogamous.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
11 months ago
Reply to  Hopeful Cynic

Hopeful, this is DEAD ON. “If you send the OW the messages from your ex, she’s going to ask him about them, he’s going to tell her he’s just lying to you to try to manipulate you into giving him a better settlement, or that you are the one lying, and she’s going to believe him. The only thing it accomplishes is that it keeps his triangulation going strong.” I wrote a long reply elsewhere with many many many reasons why they shouldn’t engage with the AP and your two sentences are just so much more perfect and to the point. They LIE. That is all we need to know.

Trudy
Trudy
11 months ago

He’s with the other woman but he’ll leave if you say the word? How almighty clueless he is. Why do these guys think we want their dirty dicks back? Ick ugh !! Like Ivana said. Don’t get even. Get everything.

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  Trudy

Yes, it is true and he wrote it more than many times. It is disgusting and insulting. I have no respect for him. I envy couples who get a divorce for other causes (not adultery or abuse), who respect each other and can stay friendly.

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
11 months ago

“Also, in my experience Schmoopies believe what they want to believe and are impervious to evidence.”

This has been my experience as well. Just I approached my then-H with receipts and proofs (which he still denied even in the face of overwhelming proof), an AP is equally delusional and pigheaded (if they weren’t, they likely wouldn’t be affair partners).

Here’s how it will probably go. You’ll email her FW’s letters. She’ll show them to FW. They’ll both agree that those emails are fake and you made them up because they are true loves and heroes in their own story and you are their villain because they said so (even though pretty much the opposite is true but when, in any movie you can think of, is the first wife/chump shown sympathetically?). The contact from FW (if you still and in contact; please see CL’s earlier advice on lawyering up and going No Contact) will become harsh, threatening, and decidedly unfriendly. If there’s one thing FW hates, it’s having the things they actually say and do exposed. It will flip a switch and all platitudes of “please, consider reconciliation” (aka “please, dangle a little longer while I figure things out”) will dry up. He will become hostile and start telling everyone who will listen that you are the b*tch he always thought you were. AP will follow suit and together they’ll rewrite the public narrative by casting you as a shrew and themselves as star-crossed lovers.

All this will happen (or something resembling it) when the chump stands up for herself or when she pushes back against the injustice of it all. Trust me, they are waiting for an opportunity; you initiating direct contact with proof (which they will easily refute because proof is nothing to adulterers anyway) will do it.

If it feels good, don’t do it.

High road. No contact. Lawyer up. Revenge is silence and success on your end. Let the AP have her misplaced confidence. Trying to squash that will not put a dent in her armor; it will likely (bizarrely!) have the opposite effect with the bonus side effect of giving her and him the opportunity to officially declare you a liar and a bad person. You’ll then discover it’s your armor that’s dented because you’ll get angry messages back from FW telling you that you’re a bad person for sharing that “super private information.” And even though it’s galling (“I’m a bad person? I’m a liar, FW? Are you sure you aren’t looking in a mirror?”), it will hurt to see that vitriol leveled at you.

Don’t do it. Learn from our mistakes. Reaching out like that is like reaching into a barrel of electric eels because you think there’s a prize at the bottom. There’s no prize, the eels will zap you and they won’t feel any remorse in doing so.

Revenge, if we want to think of of like that, is silence and success.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
11 months ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

“Revenge, if we want to think of of like that, is silence and success.”

Yes!! And define success however you wish. For me, it’s setting boundaries, knowing my worth, and living in peace.

susie lee
susie lee
11 months ago

“Also, in my experience Schmoopies believe what they want to believe and are impervious to evidence.”

Yep, and unfortunately it is one of the traits that they share with us Chumps. Good news is most of us learn from our past, most of them don’t, because they don’t have the character and self respect to work on themselves. In my case the OW was desperate for a meal ticket and she would have and did for the rest of her life, put up with anything to maintain that MT.

And here is the thing, that ass wipe liked it that way, gave him full power.

So you really don’t always know the OW’s situation, they just may not care, and he could mean no more to her than a port in a storm. Or as CL says, he could just be smoozing you to play nice. Heck she may even be writing the notes.

SouthernChump
SouthernChump
11 months ago

Yeah…..I wouldn’t waste your time sending those messages. It gives FW and Smoochie Sidepieces pleasure knowing when you squirm. Sending those messages shows you still care, so it’s a big fat NO in my book. Stay stoic – THAT is bitch energy! Why? Because you know she isn’t safe and at some point he will do the same thing he did to you but most likely worse.

Now, lawyer up and go no contact. It’s time to show him the other bitch energy! And, nothing says “Fuck You” like sicking lawyers on his ass. He will be blindsided bc he thought he had you fooled. Don’t say a word, just let your lawyers handle EVERYTHING and go after him for EVERYTHING! Remember this is the douche bag that separated you from your family and fucked you over while you had cancer. Sic the hounds on him and watch him squirm!

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

Bitch energy! I love it, I will use it.
I will remind myself to stay stoic and use my bitch enegy.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
11 months ago
Reply to  SouthernChump

SouthernChump, “Because you know she isn’t safe and at some point he will do the same thing he did to you but most likely worse.” It will be worse because when she gets chumped she will realize that she should have known better. Most of us chumps were blindsided, most were shocked that their lovely spouse was actually a cheating FW. The AP? When they end up on the other side, and get cheated on, they will realize they have no one but themselves to blame, they got with a cheater and the cheater cheated on them too. God forbid they married them, the cheater maybe learned from their first divorce and has assets hidden “just in case”.

Doingme
Doingme
11 months ago

It’s not your job to get him out of his new relationship. At some point the lies catch up with them and the OW has expectations. It’s not your job to save h him from himself. The grass is rarely greener.

File for divorce immediately.

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  Doingme

I believe the grass is dry but painted green in this case. I have no idea what kind she is. A married man who abandons his wife when she needed him the most, and he fools her for months. This is the type ow is okay with.

Beachgirl
Beachgirl
11 months ago

Tracy you nail it every single time busting thru cheaters bullshit, and frankly sometimes our own bullshit we convince ourselves of.

Little Wing
Little Wing
11 months ago
Reply to  Beachgirl

“….and frankly sometimes our own bullshit we convince ourselves of.”

Amen to that, Beachgirl. Amen to that.

Lizza Lee
Lizza Lee
11 months ago

Dear Stone Heart, have you ever heard of personality disorders? I had not until the marriage counselor eventually told me that he thought my ex had a personality disorder. I’d suggest you do a little research into the subject of covert narcissism. You called your soon-to-be ex “a good, caring, gentle man.” Obviously he is none of those things and HAS NEVER been. A good, caring, gentle man would have been with you every step of the way during cancer treatment. This guy is a monster pretending to be good. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And he has ALWAYS been a bad guy. He tricked you. And he enjoyed tricking you. It makes him happy.

Since you have never had contact with the other woman you have no idea what lies he has told her. She probably thinks he was already divorced when she met him. Or he could have told her that he lost his wife to cancer. I would not be surprised if he also sleeps with other women besides her. And he enjoys getting away with everything. You really don’t know him at all.

It’s past time for you to go no contact, hire a lawyer, and divorce him. Even if he “refuses” a divorce that’s his problem to contest it in court. His refusal doesn’t really mean anything.

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago
Reply to  Lizza Lee

“Obviously he is none of those things and HAS NEVER been. A good, caring, gentle man would have been with you every step of the way during cancer treatment. This guy is a monster pretending to be good. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And he has ALWAYS been a bad guy. He tricked you. And he enjoyed tricking you. It makes him happy.”

Yes. This is a painful realization to come to, but it’s essential to getting free from coverts.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

You would not want the Schmoopie to think that she won a valuable prize, which is what any engagement with her implies. Stay away from cockroaches carrying diseases. That is what side pieces are.

You got blindsided, thinking he was a good guy. She CHOSE him, knowing right up front that he’s an a*****e. She does NOT think like you, and will not respond to anything like you would. Be grateful you don’t think like her.

The worst thing you can do to a dog is ignore them. The best thing you can do to a side piece is ignore them, unless you need to set some boundaries legally, and then an attorney is the contact person. It’s much more impressive to have the pit bulls ring their doorbell for you.

He’s treating her the same way he treated you. Leave the playing field while whistling “I’ve got a secret!”, GET A LAWYER, and let the moron find out for herself. You have no idea who he is. You do know he is unsafe, untrustworthy, and associates with the same. Use that new insight to protect your well-being.

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
11 months ago

I told AP not to speak to me when I was in our office, she flipped out, stuck her face in mine looking all the more the unstable person she is.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

I should also add that it was pointed out to me that Traitor Ex and the side pieces are extremely manipulative, and that revenge (as opposed to healthy consequences) is manipulative, and if there’s anything I do not want to be, it’s like them.

BECAUSE

I have found the ultimate satisfaction and deliciousness in keeping my side of the street clean so that neither one of them can truthfully say anything bad about me.

It’s a way better payoff IMHO.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
11 months ago

Amen to this!! We should keep our side of the street clean. Stay beyond reproach.

Even so, cheaters may lie and accuse us of all sorts of things, trying to convince others that there IS dirt on our side of the street. If some people believe their BS, so be it.

I like to think that deep down people know the truth. The FW and AP know. Let them bear that burden.

I, too, have incriminating texts that I could share with the AP, but I won’t.

NO CONTACT is the most powerful weapon.

And, as others have pointed out, these two cheaters are, no doubt, treating each other the way they treated their respective spouses, i.e., like shit. Just step away and let the craziness happen.

Oh, I suppose they could be happy together, in the way that character-challenge people know happiness, but whatever. Not engaging, not providing that third leg of the stool is that most powerful revenge.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

….pointed out to be by both of my long term trusted beloved therapists….

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

Whenever sweet-talking from a cheater makes you wobbly, Google and read the sweet-talking texts from the cheater dentist in Colorado (James Toliver Craig) to his wife as she lay dying in the hospital from the arsenic and cyanide he had been putting in her protein shakes.

Sweet-talking from a cheater is their way of hypnotizing and controlling you. Consider it a date rape drug; it’s their generic version of Rohypnol.

Don’t fall for it.

Apidae
Apidae
11 months ago

As the saying goes, sometimes the cheapest way to pay is with money. This is one of those times.

Little Wing
Little Wing
11 months ago

Tracy: Back in 2019, you did a blog on “If it feels good, don’t do it.” Someday, how about a Friday theme of “Did you ever ignore that advice?” And if you did ignore that advice, what did you do? And how did that all turn out?

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
11 months ago

Yes… yes… yes… hire a lawyer immediately! Mr. Sparkles absolutely thought he could smooth talk (and occasionally weep) his way out of using lawyers. He even showed up for our first appearance in front of a judge (where I was with my lawyer and asking to have a marital pre-nuptial agreement upheld)… without counsel! The OW had a cousin who was an attorney and apparently gave Mr. Sparkles some reasons to cite… the judge proceeded to ask 3 questions to Mr. Sparkles before making his determination to uphold the pre-nup. Only after that did Mr. Sparkles hire an attorney and we could finally get down to the business of finishing the divorce.

Likewise, when we attended the court-mandated child custody mediation meeting, he approached me afterward inviting me to go to lunch because he wanted to discuss a proposal for settlement… I told him to put it in writing and send to my attorney. He never did.

On the topic of “if it feels good, don’t do it”… CL is spot on. OW’s don’t want to be told they’re winning a cheater – deep down, they know already… but if they’re willing to be an OW, they don’t care or they’ve been convinced they’re “special” and they need to believe that to justify their horrible behavior. Their moral character is as compromised as your spouse/partner. Mr. Sparkles OW did eventually dump him for cheating on her… but he had a new GF within days. I subsequently told the GF who wanted to be friendly with me that I had survived a very abusive marriage (financial, emotional, sexual) with Mr. Sparkles and no-contact was preferred for my wellness. She’s marrying him. Do I have personal ad proof that he’s cheated on her… you betcha… am I doing anything with it… nope. Not my monkeys, not my circus anymore.

Lawyer up and go contact, then your healing can really begin!

You’ve got this.

Zip
Zip
11 months ago

I actually don’t think most OW’s, OM’s think they got a cheater.
I think they think their wonderfullness, entranced a FW who had never cheated before and the connection was just too powerful. I’m sure in FW’s case he painted a whole great guy persona who was in an unhappy marriage and didn’t know how to get out because he didn’t want to ‘hurt’ me 😆.
If only he was with someone like OW, he’d be happy.

OW was also a married FW with kids. I’m sure FW also didn’t think he was getting a cheater…….she was fantastic and they had a connection. All logic is out the door with FWs.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago
Reply to  Zip

Yes, exactly. In my case, it seems OW’s narrative was “we just met at the wrong time”, so if FW had met her first, he would never have married me. So in her view she was righting a wrong that should never have happened. (She was married with kids, too. She left her husband for mine, though she spun it as “escaping” an abuser. HaHa. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. My ex was WAY worse.)

LOL

Maisie
Maisie
11 months ago

Cruise on a sewage canal…… I love it ! Thank you Chump Lady !

Orlando
Orlando
11 months ago

I was also tempted to send Schmoopie stuff but I took all of Chump Nation’s advice that it would be futile. He would lie & Schmoopie (having the I.Q. of a raisin & highly competitive to boot, I am told by my kids) would mindfuck herself to believe him. Besides, Schmoopie would think you did this to get her to dump him so you could get him back. You don’t want that perception put out there!! Schmoopie is going to do what Schmoopies do with or without your help. I agree on the lawyer thing, gas his ass already!!!!

KB22
KB22
11 months ago

As CL and everyone else is stating…get a lawyer. If your cheater plays financial hardball and that is highly likely, you may want to remind him that you are still in possession of all the emails where he professes his undying love. As you stated he doesn’t do well on his own, so losing schmoopie may send him into a panic and make him agreeable to your divorce demands.

Doingme
Doingme
11 months ago

In 2010 I was told, “I found someone and want a divorce”. Prior to CL I went full force into evidence seeking. He was dating three women and Sharon, an abused woman fell for his lies.

I did d send her the texts professing his love to me and she dumped him in a second flat.
In speaking with her I learned the value crime narrative he’d perfected.

I also spoke to Cheryl a woman I knew and she too filled me in on the lies he used in an attempt to con her. She told me there was something wrong with him too.

I won the pick me humiliation dance and as he aged the pickings got slim and he dumpster dived until Nancy, a crazed explosive whore. In 2014 I found CL and filed. He got what he deserved.

Not all OW are aware and some believe the con. I learned the hard way to chose myself.

Don’t waste your time on OW, it’s your husband who is a predator.

Doingme
Doingme
11 months ago
Reply to  Doingme

‘Victim narrative’

ChumpBucket
ChumpBucket
11 months ago

SH-
My D-day was 2 1/2 years ago. I saw a lawyer shortly after, but was in shock and in crisis, so everything she said felt so overwhelming and the retainer felt impossible for me at that time. So I did what a lot of Chumps did–I sought solace from the person who caused so much pain. He said we couldn’t afford a divorce, so we should work things out (and by “we”, he meant I needed to do the pick me dance and prove myself worthy of him because the affair happened due to me “emotionally unavailable”). He also declared that if we did get a divorce, it would have to be through mediation to keep the costs down. The following 2 years were an emotional shit-show for me. I felt paralyzed and my emotional experience was a Venn diagram of anxiety, depression, numbness, and avoidance. I had LACGAL as my guide, but I was stuck. I also believed that we could not afford a divorce. After finding out more crap, and lots of talking with a few close friends, I did the scariest and bravest thing I’ve ever done in my life: I committed to getting a lawyer–even if I had to put it on a high interest credit card. Paying off a debt felt much more doable than spending any more of my life in misery. Ultimately, I was able to borrow money from a friend and family member. When I told FW that I filed, he was furious with me and demanded why I did this to him (I shit you not) and he demanded to know why I thought I needed a lawyer when mediation would have been just fine. We have been married for 25 years. We have 3 kids and one has special needs. He has a history of being manipulative and emotionally abusive and I have a history of being a co-dependent doormat. Please find a way to get a lawyer–it is the only way your rights will be fully supported. Don’t waste your time on the AP–she made her choice and she can deal with whatever the consequences are. All of your emotional and strategic energy needs to be focused on your well-being and getting a fair divorce.

ChumpBucket
ChumpBucket
11 months ago
Reply to  ChumpBucket

And, btw–I wanted to acknowledge how hard it is to not go down the rabbit hole of thinking about the AP and the FW’s behaviors/wanting to address them somehow. I would obsessively check the AP’s social media, as well as FW’s; I wasted time and money on background searches on FW; I ruminated, had intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and generally felt like I was losing my mind. Since going gray rock in January (I still live with FW), these symptoms have reduced gradually, but significantly over the past 6 months.

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  ChumpBucket

ChumpBucket, I am very sorry, and I understand you well. I had episodes of nightmares, I ruminated, started crying out of a sudden, I was talking to myself to figure out a way out of this madness, I was talking to him like he was next to me. Like you said it felt like I was losing my mind. Then I removed him out of the house. My life changed dramatically for the better. He was slowly driving me crazy and he knew it.

chumped48
chumped48
11 months ago

I remember one conversation (in the EARLY days right after I filed 4 years ago) I had with FW. He was picking up the kids and casually offered to help with some things that needed to be fixed on the house (BIG, expensive things). I very stupidly assumed he actually MEANT that. It was a few days (weeks?, months?) later when he hadn’t followed up at all and I realized it was a BIG FAT LIE that I fell for. From then on I knew that I had to stop assuming he ever told the truth and that has served me very well. Something in my brain just needed to click and to stop applying actual real human emotions, empathy to anything he says because it’s just all a con #trustthattheysuck That was one of my early trustthattheysuck moments and I remind myself whenever I think FW is telling the truth (he’s not).

Zip
Zip
11 months ago

‘he never failed to express how happy and fortunate he felt’ Your FW sounded like mine………until the cancer factor. In my case (not the same, but interesting), FW went into full speed ahead with OW when I had an injury that caused me to be off work.
I had a stack of huge over the top loving cards and letters I would have loved to give OW, but I didn’t know who she was at the time.
I get it.
I wish CL would do a post about the formerly known as Great Guy cheater. They are very hard to get over for many reasons.

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  Zip

I agree Zip. I considered my husband a charming, fun, intelligent guy. It took a very long time to change his image in my head. He began to lie, I spackled. He was cheating but I couldn’t believe it. He was going to be back to normal, this was not making sense. I have over two thousands of pictures of me and him from the last 10 years. You would feel the love through them. Am I crazy, am I just making up that we had a beautiful life? No. But the change was so dramatic that it was very had to get over it and it was very traumatizing.

Motherchumper99
Motherchumper99
11 months ago

Stone Heart, I get “it.” You’re scared and angry and want to control the situation. I second CL— get a lawyer this morning. Don’t waste another second. I spent 10% of what I got in the divorce. It took 15 months from filing to trial award. Most of that time was spent waiting. It is hard to move forward with a lawyer and filing for divorce when you think you are giving up control of the situation. But, your control is an illusion and this delay only hurts you. As to contacting OW— they don’t care. They’ll laugh at you behind your back and say mean things like how desperate and pathetic you are and how you’re a stalker and won’t let go. Ask me how I know! He’ll lie and say he wrote those things to make sure you didn’t lawyer up— he’s right— it’s working because you haven’t handled this like a boss with a hired gun, kick ass professional telling those FWs what’s what. Don’t worry about them— they will live miserable lives without your fuel. They are horrid- no need to do anything.

loch
loch
11 months ago

“He’ll lie and say he wrote those things to make sure you didn’t lawyer up— he’s right— it’s working because you haven’t handled this like a boss with a hired gun, kick ass professional telling those FWs what’s what.”

^This

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago

“If he was, in fact, repentant — he’d give you the fair settlement. No cajoling. No diplomacy. It would come from the goodness of his heart, or his shame, or whatever vestiges of a soul we’re supposed to believe in. That hasn’t happened. It’s been THREE YEARS. Unleash the lawyers.”

This is better than solid gold advice, it’s platinum.
A cancer cheater 🤬 is the worst kind of cheater. There is no human decency left in somebody who would do that, if indeed there ever was any. This guy is going to try to screw you over in the divorce if he can. Protect yourself. I had a “nice guy” cheater too. It’s fake. They drop the mask when they realize they can’t manipulate you anymore. Then you’ll see who he really is. He’s still thinking he can dupe you. Be far away from him when he finally understands that he can’t. In the meantime, I would try to use his fake contrition to get favorable terms in the divorce. I told mine if he gave me what I wanted I would consider taking him back and we might get remarried. He bought it. It might be worth a shot for you.

Regarding sending OW his texts, she is going to believe him when he tells her you spoofed them because you’re jealous. She’ll believe that you’re trying to get her to dump him so you can have his fabulousness back. Don’t waste your time on that stupid bitch. Just let her invest in FW and then be cheated on. Unless OW has an ex who does not know she cheated, in which case do inform him so that he’ll understand she is not going to be fair to him in a divorce either.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
11 months ago

SH,

I understand your desire to send that letter. I understand it with my entire core being. But I am going to echo what so many others say, don’t do it. It is not worth it.

I am lucky in that my FWs AP is long distance. I don’t know her, I have never seen her in person. I have seen 4 photos and she once texted me. The text came because they were very off and on and during one of their “off” times, she got really mad at him. She texted me to piss him off and hurt me. (I knew about her and she knew that, she wrote just to say some hateful things) I didn’t respond to the texts. I VERY much wanted to. I was able to hold off immediately because of this blog, I remembered “if it feels good, don’t do it.” Then with time, I realized that it would drive her nuts that I didn’t respond. So that kept me feeling pretty good about it. I also recognized that if I engaged with her, she might continue to text me and I didn’t want to open myself up to any more pain.

As others have said “Why WARN her?” I understand that you want to take her down a peg, but it’s much better to let her get blindsided. Also, YOU know he has been begging you to take him back, so relish the fact that he is making a fool of her and don’t tell her. Let that be where you get your satisfaction from, knowing he sucks and that she has no idea.
As others have said, get a lawyer. Many do free or cost efficient consultations… book one. You will learn enough in that one call to see why a lawyer is the way to go. At the very least, you will learn more about what you are owed.

Finally, him being with her is a good thing. I know that sounds nuts. But if they are together, he thinks he has options. And you can line your ducks up with a lawyer and more easily get the heck out of this craptastic situation. Mine very recently broke up with AP and it seems like it may be permanent. (who knows as I can’t trust a word he says, but it really seems to be the case) It caused him to go full press on reconciling because now a divorce isn’t his escape route to a better life with schmoops, NOW he sees it as he is losing EVERYTHING and wants to reconcile, and I don’t want that. I like you, have been dealing with this for years and when things were finally moving forward, they split up and I find myself wishing they hadn’t..crazy but true. He tried everything to get me to reconcile because the consequences of divorce are terrible and there is no schmoopy prize. Housing is pricey and now he won’t have her financial help as he will live alone, so NOW he loves ME and needs ME. If housing was less expensive, he’d be happy to discard me and I know that. Trust me, you do not want any of that messiness. She wanted your FW so bad? Let her have him and exploit their togetherness to get yourself free. Trust me, she will know that she didn’t win a prize sooner than later.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago
Reply to  SortOfOverIt

My ex tried to get me back after Schmoopie left, too. He lied/covered up the fact that she’d left for awhile, but I figured it out really quickly (like, within days). FW started to invite me to do things with him and our son – go bowling, stay to dinner, etc. I turned down every invite because…NO. By that time I was completely over him and had zero desire to ever get back together. I think the real reason he “wanted” me back was financial. OW had left him with a big rental house he couldn’t afford on his own. I was doing well financially. We were selling our house and had a contract, and FW started asking the real estate agent if we were “locked in” to it (yes, we were). I think he wanted to move back in (after I’d spent a ton of money and time — all my own, no help from FW — to fix the place up). Whoops. I knew Schmoopie was flightly and a very bad choice on his part, but he didn’t listed to me, of course. And so he chose her and lost us both.

Regret
Regret
11 months ago

Please consider a cautionary tale of divorce without a lawyer, because it was too expensive to involve one:

My college roommate’s little sister did this. She married right out of college and started a family; he was a young pharmacist. They had 5 kids and she never worked. Then he wanted out and convinced her that he had her best interests at heart and it would be best if he only paid child support and took all the assets. No lawyers were involved. She went along with this because she loved and trusted him.

Now, the kids are aging out of the child support system. They are still at home and still have expenses, but there is no income coming in. She and all 5 of the kids are in a two bedroom apartment in a HCOLA area and she is working as a housecleaner, as well as other odd jobs. Hubby remarried a doctor and they have a big house with a pool and spend their money on exotic vacations. Hubby will not contribute a dime to the over 18 kids’ expenses or college. He does occasionally invite them over to the pool.

My roommate had actually offered to pay the up front retainer on the divorce lawyer and Little Sis refused. She thought this would be the best way.

GardenLady Chump
GardenLady Chump
11 months ago
Reply to  Regret

Regret,
How sad and definitely a cautionary tale.

Leftbehindlily
Leftbehindlily
11 months ago

I am not clear on how dealing schmoopie a dose of her own medicine is an indication that you still “care”. I think it is an indication that you are defending your personal space, frankly. I know, I know – schmoopie didn’t have the “contract” with you. FW had the contract. However, schmoopies everywhere have broken the contract of sisterhood and decent society and we should stop letting them off easy. At one time in human history, there were consequences – big bad social consequences – for bad behavior. We need to bring that back. Revenge is a dish best served cold, etc, but let me tell you, as one who served it – it is delicious and life sustaining.

NotANiceChump
NotANiceChump
11 months ago
Reply to  Leftbehindlily

If you care enough to try and blow up this person’s reality…then you care! Meh is about personal peace. Enacting revenge prevents this personal peace. It is incredibly difficult to get to meh, and not everyone actually wants to be there. Some people want revenge, they want that shining moment of retribution. Some people require this to move on. So be it, but people do it because they care, in some form or fashion, about blowing up the lives of the people who wronged them. I cast no serious judgement on this. Sometimes a little retribution goes a long way! But it doesn’t bring peace, it just makes you one additional agent of chaos. And it’s a bottomless pit where one act begets another and another an another. Plus, you invite these disordered people into you life every single time you communicate with them. Who needs that?!

Emma
Emma
11 months ago
Reply to  NotANiceChump

Not a Nice Chump, I hear you and agree of it was an ongoing obsessive activity it’s not helpful to getting to meh. I did one or two minor acts (not blowing anything up anywhere) for my own sense of mischief and it was part of a different phase of this whole process forward and away from the FW’s crazy world. I stand by my action as it did me good. Just one little bite back on my way past all this.

sasha
sasha
11 months ago
Reply to  Leftbehindlily

By attempting to jab the AP, you’re only giving them ammunition to tell others how you’re a crazy, obsessed stalker and that’s why FW had to find someone else to be with. That’s why you shouldn’t bother communicating with AP. It might make you feel good temporarily but engaging with them actually has the opposite effect.

Apidae
Apidae
11 months ago
Reply to  Leftbehindlily

YMMV I guess, but I don’t have any interest in going back to a time when the ‘consequences’ for FW behavior fell on women, even when the “OW” was a victim instead of a willing collaborator.

Emma
Emma
11 months ago
Reply to  Leftbehindlily

I’m going to join the unpopular kid’s table here and say that I’ve done a small number of little fun things that have given me giggles and naughty smiles to myself. I didn’t expect anything I did to change any outcome, except to carve back a fun little “badass” side of myself. It was fun, for my own pleasure, and it didn’t lead to any repercussions. That’s me. More specifics: I sent a few fun texts when we still shared the same phone service. I could then see that the gals he was texting with deep into the night suddenly went radio silent after my texts. Of course I know he’ll get more of them, but in the meantime I had fun not being the good girl.

And about revenge: why is it okay to “get everything” a la Ivana Trump, or many others? I guess my former husband was not very asset laden, or else maybe I’d feel differently, but I can’t imagine a way to stay more involved with a man than by taking his money every month, or on one grand chunk. I understand if you have kids to raise, but if you share no kids, why is the money link allowed, while one should “get one’s own life”? Doesn’t that include one’s own income? Yes, I could have gotten a lawyer to insist he het a life insurance policy in my name, and then what, I’m waiting for him to die so I can move to a place I like, or travel?

I guess if I had a rich jerk to take his dough, I probably would. But I don’t, and sending a few texts for my own laugh was some fun for me in all this heavy drama. I don’t recommend it to anyone else because I knew I could get away with it. It was a bit of fun for me and part of the fun was knowing it was “wrong”! Ha ha ha

But, to each her own. To me, financial revenge (er–equity) is still staying linked. Could I use a thousand dollars from him every month? Yes, but I’d rather stand on my own two feet, even if I have to wear flip-flops. I don’t want anything to do with him nor his hard earned money. And yes, he works hard for his money. Why shouldn’t I too and then have the pride in myself that will come with that.

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago
Reply to  Emma

“And about revenge: why is it okay to “get everything” a la Ivana Trump, or many others?”

It’s the only compensation we will ever get for the harm they did us. So hell yes, I was getting everything I could. That bastard destroyed my mental health and gave me HPV, and am now at high risk for cervical cancer. In principle it’s no different than filing a lawsuit for damages. In most places the law no longer allows us to sue for divorce, with the FW’s cheating and abuse being issues which affect the settlement. With no fault divorce, you don’t have any form of recourse to get what you deserve.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
11 months ago
Reply to  Emma

I want an equitable split of our marital assets because we had a legal marriage contract that he broke to cheat. If I were independently wealthy and could walk away and the $ didn’t matter? I would. Because yes, to cut that tie 100% would be glorious. But I don’t want to lose my home or retirement funds just because he has a wandering #$%k. (I am not jumping on you at all, I am just explaining my reasoning, which is also my guess, the same reasoning a lot of people here probably have. ) I am truly looking for a “fair” split though. We don’t have a lot of assets at all, so I just want my half and I am fine with him also getting his half. Maybe your question is more for chumps chasing a split that isn’t fair and skews in their favor? Ironically, the FWs are the ones known for hiding the assets and trying to screw their betrayed spouses as much as they can on top of the cheating.

Emma
Emma
11 months ago
Reply to  Emma

Before anyone jumps on me, I want you to know I did the lawyer route on my last divorce 22 years ago. I had kids with that FW. I spent $40,000 on lawyers fees over several years to get $750 a month in child support. He was very litigious, but hardly had any money himself. The legal proceedings were a constant stress for our kids, and for me as well. It made parenting very stressful, and their young lives full of strain and conflict. I came to pretty much hate lawyers. No, I do hate them. Unless you’re divorcing Donald Trump types, what do they do for you? I had expensive lawyers, what, to squeeze out $750 a month from a teacher? To protect me from his violence? I was constantly afraid he’d try to kill me. Yes, I had orders of protection. And what good do they do? Not much. He made our daughter cry to me all the time about the $750, how unfair it was to him…

So, no, this time I went lawyer-fucking-free. SOOO much better!! Of course, with FW#2 there are no kids and no assets, plus he’s non-litigious like me. It’s been a breeze to divorce him actually. It’s almost final. Cost me $335. He has nothing to squeeze out and I’d rather squeeze money out of my own abilities.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago
Reply to  Leftbehindlily

“I know, I know – schmoopie didn’t have the “contract” with you. FW had the contract.”

This is one of the justifications used to absolve side pieces of responsibility that I vehemently disagree with.

A committed relationship is akin to merchandise in a store or money in a bank vault. If I walk in and an employee says I can help myself, it does not absolve me of culpability.

If someone in a committed relationship issues invitations to participate in a secret side relationship, all individuals who knowingly accept the invitation are committing an offense against the unknowing partner.

I wonder what a judge would say to me if I were in court for shoplifting at the behest of a salesperson and I said, “Well, I didn’t make vows to Neiman Marcus.”

susie lee
susie lee
11 months ago

“If someone in a committed relationship issues invitations to participate in a secret side relationship, all individuals who knowingly accept the invitation are committing an offense against the unknowing partner.”

Bears repeating.

I get so sick of the “whore didn’t make any promises to you” schtick.

I agree sending the texts likely won’t work out well in terms of hurting the whore, but spare me the defense of whores/whoremongers.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
11 months ago

THANK YOU VH!!! For centuries, and often, still today, cheating men were seen as a “boys will be boys” situation while the “other woman” was held almost solely responsible. (I know women cheat too, apologies to Chumps here betrayed by a partner who is a woman, but for this particular scenario, it does tend to be only about men cheating with women) Now there is a swing where you hear “the other person didn’t make vows with you, only your spouse did.” And that IS true. But it is like they are OVER-correcting the problem where only the “other woman/homewrecker” got blamed in the past, when what was needed was a more “in the middle” approach.

My husband betrayed me. He is the only one who betrayed me. But his AP got involved with a married man who has a child. She behaved poorly. She helped him deceive me. And she is partially responsible for a lot of my pain. She is a stranger that didn’t owe me fidelity like my husband did, but she’s still a gross person with no morals.

This new movement where people really do want to absolve the APs 100% does NOT sit well with me at all. It enrages me.

OHFFS
OHFFS
11 months ago
Reply to  Leftbehindlily

Revenge can be enjoyable, but she likely won’t get it by sending OW the texts. FW will just say they are made up and the whore will believe it. FW will be enraged and therefore even less likely to be reasonable in the divorce.
The best revenge is getting the money so Schmoopie can’t enjoy her/himself on your dime.

NotANiceChump
NotANiceChump
11 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Accurate. And it basically extends in an invitation to these people to stay in her life. Nothing sends a stronger message than silence.

KatiePig
KatiePig
11 months ago

I also want to say, do not warn the other woman. No, no, no. Let her waste as much of her life as humanly possible. May she stay with him 30 or 40 years and then find out about all the ways he betrayed her. She’ll be too old for any more whoring at that point and she’ll die old and alone. A decent person can recover and rebuild a life after a long, fake marriage. it’s hard but it’s possible, because they’re a decent person. But a whore who got off on screwing married men and breaking up families? No one wants those women when they are old. Nobody really wants them when they were young either, they’re just easy to use. Old age is not kind to these women, I’ve seen it. They don’t age well, and they don’t deal with aging well. The ugly inside them just keeps creeping out.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago
Reply to  KatiePig

Katie Pig,

👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

I only warn people I care about. Let the lower companions who violated me keep whippin’ and jingling in their toxic dysfunction.

Moreover, side pieces often have side pieces too. It’s very possible she has her own stash of side pieces and won’t care.

I really enjoy saying nothing when it’s time to say “I told you so.”

damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
damnitfeelsbadtobeachumpster
11 months ago

huh.

that narrative sounds familiar. “we don’t really have the money for lawyers, i mean, it’s a waste, and our case is quite simple, let’s use a mediator.” is there a manual available on-line that these douche-canoes access? i’m starting to wonder.

oh well. i immediately consulted a lawyer and used her on an hourly basis during the mediation, and, when it inevitably broke down, shifted the case over to her. it was resolved quickly. i continue to use her when my X tries to withhold monies, change the terms of the SA, etc. etc. and it is resolved quickly.

both the mediator and my X were flabbergasted when i told them i’d been consulting a lawyer throughout. so much so, that i said, “did you really think a woman in my position (SAHM with outdated qualifications) would not consult a lawyer during negotiations? that makes no sense.”

it costs but it’s worth it. i have someone on my team, who represents me and helps me, and i need that help. it’s as simple as that. it’s a relief to have a good lawyer. i think that, once i shifted over to the lawyer, i was able to move into a final phase of grieving and get over the marriage/mirage/extravaganza. in essence, my lawyer contributed to my mental health.

PS your X is empty and always has been. he is devoid of empathy.

loch
loch
11 months ago

“is there a manual available on-line that these douche-canoes access?”

must be.

threetimesachump
threetimesachump
11 months ago

Excellent way to put it…that you’re basically getting both with a lawyer! If you have to choose between a therapist and a lawyer, I’d definitely go with the lawyer.

MollyWobbles
MollyWobbles
11 months ago

“that narrative sounds familiar. “we don’t really have the money for lawyers, i mean, it’s a waste, and our case is quite simple, let’s use a mediator.” is there a manual available on-line that these douche-canoes access? i’m starting to wonder.”
Mine pulled the same crap and was absolutely “devastated” when I went “behind his back” and hired a lawyer on my own. Duh asshole. You keep lying to me and you think I’m going to trust you with my financial future? Hell nah.

ChumpFox
ChumpFox
11 months ago

No one can dish out tough love the way CL does. This response is exactly the medicine all we chumps need. Always believing the best in people is our greatest strength and weakness. Excellent restraint in not forwarding those messages to the OW, Stone Heart. Those two jerks are not worth the drama.

FinallyFreeChump
FinallyFreeChump
11 months ago

My FW after I got him out of the house, “I’m so sad to lose you. You’re the most significant relationship of my life and given my age, likely the most meaningful I will ever have”

A month later he’s introducing mutual friends to his new girlfriend and telling kids how happy he is

Trust they sick

MsAzure
MsAzure
11 months ago

First thing I will say to Stone Heart, as a fellow C-survivor is do NOT destroy the healing peace you’ve built. Do NOT. He is a double-vile a-hole (as opposed to a single-vile a-hole) because he decided to discard and devalue you at one of your most vulnerable and greatest times of need. In other words, you needed to rely on the promise of your vows in “in sickness and in health” and he said, “Nope. I renege. I don’t value or love you enough.” PIECE. OF. GARBAGE. I believe you when you say you don’t have any interest in taking him back. Thank goodness. It sounds as though you’ve gotten yourself to a place of solid footing and he’s trying to undermine that. Healing is YOURS.

It also sounds to me like he’s simply trying to stir up the pick-me-dance again because his shallow, ill-founded, oozing crusty affair is running out of cheater-heroin steam. If you alert the OW as to his pronouncements to you, the intense insecurity within her, the one that causes her in part (besides an extremely shitty character and non-existent morals) to go after another woman’s husband, will be revitalized and she’ll probably try to fit the extra 10 lbs she’s gained since “relaxing” into the affair with you out of the picture, into some sort of sleazy, red polyester lingerie. And, she’ll most likely respond back to you, trying to pull you back to the filthy riptide of the love triangle.

Your STB ex is like 99% of men of a certain age – even with his decayed, non-existent character – who cannot take care of themselves or live alone. The bachelor life is terrifying for them, unless perhaps they are a George Clooney look-alike with an exotic villa and a black American Express card.

The greatest thing you can do, for revenge, to these two horrible people who have calculated to hurt you is NOTHING. Leave them be. Let them eat away at each other like acid. Best revenge ever. Be very discerning with your time and energy. Keep healing!

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  MsAzure

Ms. Azure thank you. Infidelity is very hard to deal with, and when it’s done while the blindsided spouse is most vulnerable and dealing with a serious life challenge, it is so much harder. He is a piece of garbage as you said. I love how you describe her too, she is those and even more.

Zip
Zip
11 months ago

He would tell the OW that he sent you those emails to keep you on his good side to lower divorce costs so that he had more money for them. She would think that was reasonable and acceptable.

Sasha
Sasha
11 months ago

Real talk: this “divorce” has been dragged out for many years because FW is using you, Stone Heart. As long as he’s still married to you, he can’t be pressured into marrying the AP. He is prob telling her that it’s your fault that he’s not divorced yet. Again, he’s using you and making you look like a fool in the process. Hire an attorney and file, and I’m sure that the love messages from him will stop immediately.

Of course, that assumes that you actually want them to stop. Maybe you quietly like getting them, and maybe you haven’t hired an attorney and gotten serious about the divorce because you don’t want to divorce him, or more likely, you don’t want him to end up with her. All fair and human, but seriously… you’re still playing by his rules, formal language or not. It’s basic triangulation. Get an attorney and get on with your life. I don’t see anything about minor kids or custody in your letter, so there is no reason to not be No Contact. This divorce should already be done and over with IMO.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago
Reply to  Sasha

“As long as he’s still married to you, he can’t be pressured into marrying the AP. He is prob telling her that it’s your fault that he’s not divorced yet. Again, he’s using you and making you look like a fool in the process.”

My lawyer said this about FW – that he was dragging out the divorce and blaming me for it because then he didn’t have to commit to OW (who was definitely pressuring him to marry her). Meanwhile he also avoided the financial consequences of divorce, got to watch me suffer (if only vicariously), hoped to ruin me financially by wasting my money on lawyers, and since he knew I don’t believe in starting another relationship while still legally married (I just think it’s wrong) he was also keeping me single and alone. I suppose he thought everyone was like him and had to have SOMEONE to make them feel worthy. Jokes on him. He’s been dead two years and I’m still single because I LIKE being single and I CHOOSE to be single. I’m not lonely in the least. I’m happy as a clam and my life is peaceful and just how I like it.

MollyWobbles
MollyWobbles
11 months ago

FWs who cheat on their spouses when they’re sick and FWs who cheat on their spouses when they’re pregnant are the worst of the worst. You can’t trust this guy. You don’t know this guy. He’s a MONSTER. Lawyer up now and run as fast as you can away from him.

Elsie
Elsie
11 months ago

I get not being quite ready to end this chapter. You were fighting cancer and getting used to life apart. But you can’t really make progress healing emotionally until you are divorced. He still believes that he has a chance with you and thanks that persistence will wear you down. So be honest with yourself and end it.

I think part of our desire to contact our replacement(s) is jealousy, but what are we jealous of? When they pair up, it usually isn’t with someone that is going to be a long-term, in-sickness-and-health type. Anyone can put on a good show for a while, but this relationship likely won’t last either. And apparently, the STBX wants that type of fling, or they wouldn’t have pursued it. So let them have it.

Also, consider what attorneys call “dissipation of marital assets.” If you delay the split any longer, there may be less to divide. My ex was very secretive about his finances during the divorce process, and indeed, we found out why later. If I had waited much longer, one of the transfers may not have gone through.

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago

It is Stone Heart here. Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation. I appreciate you all for taking the time to respond. I have just stated reading your responses.
I have talked with a lawyer who was very professional and experienced in similar situations. The moment I found out about my husband’s antics, I transferred half of the money in our joint bank account to mine. I also learned that I can claim half of what he wasted to entertain the low-class OW all these years. I will continue with a lawyer from now on and make him pay for it as well. I do not want to sound superficial but I am so upset that all I can do is to get as much money as I can. Will it cover the cost of my suffering? Never! I never cared about money in the past. I always closely watched our income vs our expenses, never complained or compared us to others who can afford more. I understand that our good qualities are scorned by cheaters. They value worthless OWs more.
Who would find a man, who is cheating on his wife when she needed him the most, attractive?
What kind of man leaves his home and wife for such a piece of crap?
He has no integrity, no values and he found his match.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

Stone Heart,
To be fair, it’s NOT superficial to want the best financial outcome for yourself. You may feel like it’s about “sticking it to him” in a vengeful way, but you get ONE chance to get the settlement right. You are in a no fault state, so you really aren’t in a situation where you can really screw him over, unless he agrees to be screwed over, and FWs generally aren’t, they DO the screwing over. What you can do is make sure that you get a FAIR settlement for yourself. I don’t know anything about your marital finances, but for me, I don’t think I will ever date again. I know I could change my mind, but I really don’t think so. So I am embarking on a future as a single mom with a moderate single income. I can’t afford to walk away with less than I am legally entitled to, period. I need to come out of this as solid as possible because my future is going to be less financially secure. Some chumps are in better financial positions, and they also should get what they have coming to them. Why shouldn’t we all? It’s not superficial, it’s the bare minimum of “fair”.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

“I never cared about money in the past. I always closely watched our income vs our expenses, never complained or compared us to others who can afford more.”

I was the same. My FW constantly complained and whined when other people had things he didn’t. And the thing that made him angriest in the divorce was having to pay me money of any kind.

No, you will never cover the cost of your suffering. But money may be VERY important to your FW, and in that way getting as much money as you can, particularly money spent on OW, will be painful for FW. Obviously FW doesn’t care about YOUR suffering, but if he’s anything like mine, he cares about his own.

susie lee
susie lee
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

“What kind of man leaves his home and wife for such a piece of crap?
He has no integrity, no values and he found his match.”

You have it stated correctly. It took me a while to figure out that what he did was seek his level. His life played that out.

Thrive
Thrive
11 months ago
Reply to  Stone Heart

Good for you! That’s a good start. Definitely get what you can. A good lawyer will get you your half plus half of whatever squandered on the OW. Sometimes a forensic accounting is neede. Keep going. This is a tough situation. Glad you are fighting for what is yours! We all highly recommend NO CONTACT. Let the lawyer do the talking. These FWs know our buttons. Hugs!

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

My OG therapist said something to me years ago which I have always remembered, “If it doesn’t come from him, you won’t trust it.”

If and when the relationship car crashes, l’ll have greater confidence in the news if it has nothing to do with me. It will have greater impact on them if the car crashes because of each other without my interference. They bond over and are United in their opposition to you. That’s why it’s essential to not engage.
Engaging is perpetuating the game. They SET IT UP as a game of three. An affair is a three-legged stool. If you take away one leg of a three-legged stool, guess what happens? 😛

It feels counterintuitive and like “letting them get away with” to walk away and not exact revenge, cold, hot, or room temperature. But the dynamics of an affair involve THREE. Cheaters and side pieces deliberately set it up that way.

Walking away and not engaging is the most powerful thing you can do to upset the dynamics, and that is really what I want.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago

Exactly. One I truly stepped out of the picture, they crumbled. I admit, it took me YEARS to go no contact. But I finally did. They lasted only a few months after that.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

….I want to do everything in my power to prevent either one of them from being able to blame me for their relationship troubles, and the best way for me to do that is to stand down and not interfere with whatever needs to play out between them.

What would you want to do if you could know that receiving emails from you with proof that he was cheating on her interrupted her planned trip to drugstore where she would have run into him buying condoms with another Schmoopie? We really can never know the effects our actions will have. (I do know someone that was at a drugstore buying condoms with a guy she was dating and they ran into…..HIS GIRLFRIEND which she did not know about from the guy who was masquerading as single.)

A lot of cheaters drag their feet with divorce because they don’t want to get married to the side piece and they can pin their inability to get married on the betrayed spouse.

THEY DO NOT THINK LIKE YOU and you do not know the big picture or what is going on behind the scenes. I have heard that any attempts to manage or direct can have serious (undesirable) consequences, and I agree think that’s true in situations like this.

You don’t want to rip yourself off of the most delicious karmic consequences that you could
never think of or plan or execute!

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago

“A lot of cheaters drag their feet with divorce because they don’t want to get married to the side piece and they can pin their inability to get married on the betrayed spouse.”

Yup. I said this in an above comment too. I truly think that’s what FW was doing in my case. I KNOW OW thought the divorce was taking so long because of ME. But I just wanted to get it over with, and FW was the one roadblocking in every way he could.

ISawTheLight
ISawTheLight
11 months ago
Reply to  ISawTheLight

“I want to do everything in my power to prevent either one of them from being able to blame me for their relationship troubles, and the best way for me to do that is to stand down and not interfere with whatever needs to play out between them.”

I will add that FW STILL tried to blame me for their breakup. He said OW left because of all the “stress” of the divorce (my fault, clearly, for not just disappearing and taking nothing I was entitled to). He would never accept that it was his own abusive, controlling behavior that finally drove her away. Of course not.

NoMoreMsNiceChump
NoMoreMsNiceChump
11 months ago

I agree. My D-Day was just before Xmas. On May 1 GG announced he wanted a divorce. In retrospect what he really wanted was for me to do the pick-me dance. But I hadn’t yet discovered CL so I assumed (silly me!) that people who board trains to Chicago want to go to Chicago and people say they want a divorce actually want a divorce. I decided that if a divorce was inevitable then I might as well look on the bright side. I started listing all the pros of being a divorcee and was surprised how pleasant that life seemed. I took the preliminary research into divorce options GG himself had done and placed in front of me to reinforce his lie.

By late June I had informed both our families that we would be divorcing, much to his surprise, and filled his family in on the reason why. By mid-July I had filed and by early August I had moved out. He made some halfhearted hoovering attempts but by then I knew what hoovering was and ignored him.

I still savor the delicious irony that my sham of a marriage ended not because I stopped believing his lies but because I believed his final lie all too well. I don’t think he ever realized how throughly he had hoisted himself on his own petard. Had he bothered to get to know the woman he was married to for almost 3 years, together with for 5, he would have known that I am conflict-avoidant with women in general. A pick-me dance was never in the cards for me. However, if he had never mentioned divorcing me, years more of mad spackling to avoid admitting I made a mistake in marrying him might have been.

SortOfOverIt
SortOfOverIt
11 months ago

NoMoreMrsNiceChump,
I applaud you for making it happen. Good for you!! And deliciously ironic that you believed him on the one thing he wishes you wouldn’t have.(The utter dum dum!!!) I have a similar situation. Three years ago he told me he was in love with someone else. We were in a pandemic lockdown and that stunted any progress towards divorce initially, here we are 3 years later, still together. I have spent 3 years coming to terms with this, while hearing all the ways the affair were my fault, all the ways that we don’t work and they do . I am ready for this to be over. Now they broke up and he wants reconciliation. I have zero interest in a reconciliation. And when he pleads, I am able to give him all the reasons why we will never work, reasons he has been supplying me with for 3 years! The irony!!!

Abby
Abby
11 months ago

Stone, whatever you do, don’t send those notes to AP. She’ll tell << everyone who will listen >> that you did it because you’re obsessed with FW, that you clearly want him back, that you want to break them up, and that you’re crazy. Don’t give her any ammunition whatsoever. APs already know that their man is a lying adulterer — they do not care! As basically everyone else has urged you, please call a divorce lawyer and get this finalized asap. Un-tether yourself from his bullsh*t romantic life.

NotANiceChump
NotANiceChump
11 months ago
Reply to  Abby

Exactly right. Sending something like this is fuel for these people to tell the world that the letter writer is obsessed with them and off her rocker. It doesn’t matter what the truth is. And, in actuality, sending this kind of thing does denote some level of obsession, so they wouldn’t be that far off. Also, this idea that learning all of this information would hurt the OW is fools gold. She either chalk it up as “fake news!” (haha) or will believe the cheater ex when he tells her that he only said and did all those things to get a better divorce settlement…whic, frankly, is probably mostly true.

UpAndOut
UpAndOut
11 months ago

Stone Heart – Sounds to me like you are still in limbo.
Once you petition for divorce, using your own divorce attorney, you will have your mind taken up by an unfamiliar process, thinking about yourself and your needs.
No one deserves this & you’ve gotten a start, by reading CL.
Go out and make your best life, without thought to the OW. What are you going to do with your life? Peonies? Chickens? Book club? Hiking?

Stone Heart
Stone Heart
11 months ago
Reply to  UpAndOut

UpAndOut, although I was formal in my communications with him, and never responded his emotional messages, it made me happy to see that OW didn’t have magical powers. Why beg me if all is great on the other side? Yes, cake is an option, but it also shows that he loves no one but himself.

charlotte
charlotte
11 months ago

You’re still doing the Pick Me Dance. IMHO, you may not necessarily want FW back, but you don’t want him to end up with her, either. You want her to see those messages, which you hope will be digested as, “See? He loves me, not you. He doesn’t love you as much as you think he does. See?!? What do you have to say now?!” They won’t be taken that way, though: they’ll be used against you somehow, and you may end up like Chump Lady and on the receiving end of a cease-and-desist letter.

The only message you need to send is one to a great divorce lawyer in your area. Pull the trigger and get off the rollercoaster.

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
11 months ago

Yeah I gotta agree with CL on this one. I think its a stalling tactic so he can not pay you, or marry the OW. Maybe shes putting the screws on him to get married.

Unfortunately, you just cant believe ANYTHING they say. Expressing remorse, or wanting reconciliation. Maybe he wants you to be the OW. Or to get you back and have her as a side piece again. Life is terribly boring for him right now. Centrality and drama is what he wants. It sucks to think that we are not special to them and loved. But we arent.

NotANiceChump
NotANiceChump
11 months ago

There’s definitely some nativity going on here. Being friendly and cajoling toward a disordered person may get you some of what you want or need, but not all of it. I tried this approach, and it worked to some it extent for a while…but it also extended my divorce proceedings by more than a year and prolonged my suffering, and inevitably resulted in me hiring a lawyer to finish the job. Getting proper legal threats was the only thing that got my ex to actually settle fairly (enough anyway) and sign all the papers. I wish I had done that at the beginning and saved myself a year of pain. I think it’s a kind of wishful thinking that this approach will seal the deal. Either that, or the letter writer gets something out of these interactions with her ex…which, frankly, is normal…but still ill advised (per CL’s advice). There is only one way to deal with this type of personality, and it’s with blunt force legal trauma.

❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
❤️ Velvet Hammer ❤️
11 months ago

Feeling chatty today. Sorry.

Traitor Ex was caught spying on me and our daughter through the windows of our house after dark over a year after he left. Primary cockroach was still in orbit.

Later that year, I discovered posters made from photos of him and me, and a family picture of the three of us in the loft area of the buildings at our business. He was using the loft as a private space. I had asked him to vacate it and he was ignoring the request. I went up there to get his crap out. I had not been inside for almost two years and was shocked to see those posters.

Last November my mechanic found an active GPS tracker on one of my cars. We had been divorced for over a year.

What he was saying the whole time? He hated me, he didn’t love me, he wanted me out of his life, blah blah blah. Who knows and who cares what he really feels and thinks. He lies so much I don’t think even he knows. The bottom line is that he’s got serious problems, as does anyone who he cheated with.

Don’t engage with them unless legally necessary. Teaching a pig to sing is a more worthy expenditure of time and effort. Playing a game taunting/informing the cheating accomplice is a waste of time and possibly dangerous. Cross the street when you see Crazy coming.