Dear Chump Lady, He’s come out of the “fog” and wants us back

dilemmaDear Chump Lady,

I’m in need of a situational bullshit translator. My story is long and ridiculous so I will do my best to give you a condensed version. I was married for 20 years with two beautiful children when my husband decided our life wasn’t enough. His father died and I noticed a personality change almost immediately. A once dedicated family man, he began drinking more, caring about family less, and “working” late. Our marriage was clearly on the rocks when I found out about the OW.

Righteous anger propelled me into swift and immediate action. I demanded a divorce within days of finding out, had divorce paperwork completed and filed a week later. His guilt and desire to be free for the OW worked in my favor. He agreed to absolutely everything I asked for without hesitation. My divorce was finalized three weeks later and he moved in with the OW a few months later. It is hard to convey the devastation my children and I went through while giving you the cliff note version, but I’m sure you can imagine. Chumps all travel a similar path through hell.

Fast forward a year later, my ex found out life with the OW wasn’t the fantasy land he expected and ended their relationship. He told me that he finally woke up from his (wait for it…) “fog” and could believe what a disaster he had made of his life. He regretted everything and desperately wanted his family back. Thanks to Chump Nation, I know that tears are cheap and fog is bullshit. I refused and moved away to a neighboring state.

Without any prompting from me, over the last 6 months he has been seeing a therapist weekly to work on his conflict avoidance, communication, and low self-esteem issues. He finally seems to be taking 100 percent responsibility for his affair, no more talk of the “fog.” He has been willing to talk about everything as often and for as long as I’d like to, which has been surprising since he had always been incapable of talking about his emotions.

He video chats with the children every night for hours helping with homework and travels 5 hours each way to see them every weekend. He has sent me login information for all his financial, email and phone accounts. He has also been extremely forthcoming whenever the OW tries to contact him. He continues to ask for a second chance and has offered couples counseling in addition to his IC. He has also offered to give me any legal paperwork I would like including a co-habitation agreement. I am able to mark off everything from your real remorse checklist.

Now, by all accounts he seems to be the very model of remorse and reform in-progress, but my question for you is… what am I missing? I need to see this situation through the clearer lens of Chump Lady who doesn’t believe in the reconciliation unicorn. Is there some sort of backwards Prado logo I can look for to tip me off that this is just a fake? Divorce was a nightmare and being a single parent of two is harder than I imagined. I don’t trust him or myself at this point. I’m afraid that I’m softening into reconciliation Chump Sap.

ChumpBadge

Dear ChumpBadge,

You seem WAY too close to your ex’s situation for someone’s who’s divorced. I’m glad you were mighty and filed when learning of his affair. However, now I’m wondering if you didn’t file as some sort of misguided attempt at the “180.” Watch me flounce out of your life! You’re really going to be sorry! Are you watching me? Huh? HUH? SEE HOW MUCH I DON’T CARE?

And his reaction was to run full tilt toward the OW, damn the cost.

In this Pick Me Dance duel — you lost.

Since that time you have closely monitored this situation.

Without any prompting from me, over the last 6 months he has been seeing a therapist weekly to work on his conflict avoidance, communication, and low self-esteem issues. He finally seems to be taking 100 percent responsibility for his affair, no more talk of the “fog.” He has been willing to talk about everything as often and for as long as I’d like to, which has been surprising since he had always been incapable of talking about his emotions.

You live in another state, and yet you know how often your ex meets with a shrink and what exactly they talk about.

He has been willing to talk about everything as often and for as long as I’d like to…

You want to have long conversations with him… about HIM. About his emotions. You’re not demonstrating detachment with your ex here — you’re knee-deep in his skein, untangling that mofo. Hey, there are reasons why he cheated!

His father died!

Conflict avoidance!

Low self-esteem!

None of these reasons appear to be entitlement or a professed lust for cake. Nope, he’s got the sadz.

He has sent me login information for all his financial, email and phone accounts. He has also been extremely forthcoming whenever the OW tries to contact him. He continues to ask for a second chance and has offered couples counseling in addition to his IC. He has also offered to give me any legal paperwork I would like including a co-habitation agreement.

Let’s put this offer through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

He has sent me login information for all his financial, email and phone accounts. 

Hey, you can keep playing marriage police! Won’t that be great?

He has also been extremely forthcoming whenever the OW tries to contact him.

Whenever she contacts him? So, she contacts him? Does that unnerve you and make you all toe-tappy to the Pick Me Dance? Good!

He continues to ask for a second chance and has offered couples counseling in addition to his IC. 

Why would you need couples counseling if this is HIS fault? Why would you need couples counseling when you are not a couple?

He has also offered to give me any legal paperwork I would like including a co-habitation agreement.

Holy shit! Co-habitation? Aren’t you going to at least hold out for dinner and a movie? What about taking it slow and dating you? Straight away, he wants to get into the nitty gritty of living together?

He’s been living “alone” and OW-less for what, 6 months?

I’m sorry I’m harshing your unicorn buzz, CB, but I’m not feeling the genuine remorse. It’s great that he travels to see his kids every weekend. But the dude can’t take them to his place? He has to come around every week with his awesome “take me back!” offers? So you can curl up and have long, deep conversations about him?

I know at this point you’re thinking I’m making the conditions for reconciliations impossible — but really I’m not seeing the unicorn here.

People who are sorry don’t batter-ram your boundaries. He was in a fog! (Take him back.) He was in a sadz! (Take him back.) He was on a shrink sofa! (Take him back.) If he really understood the full devastation he put you through, he should feel ZERO entitlement about you taking him back. (Let alone signing fucking co-habitation agreements.)

People who are sorry don’t make it all about THEM. What about YOU? Where are the long, heart-rending stories of how much he hurt you and the kids and can’t live with himself? No, it’s all about fog and His Issues — not how he destroyed your world. It’s still What You Can Do For Him. Give him back respectability, finances, and the trappings of family. Feel sorry for him!

Does he lose a lot of sleep worrying about your single parenting? Your heartache? Your humiliation?

You’re doing the chumpy thing of falling for a kibble. He shared his feelings! OMG! A FEELING! Aren’t I the lucky one?! He trusted me with his low self-esteem!

You have feelings too, CB. I don’t see where he’s desperate to hear about yours.

If I believe in unicorns at all, I don’t think they emerge from the misty forests of fear — his fears (OMG, lost cake!) and your fears (I can’t make it alone!) That doesn’t sound like a solid foundation.

Divorce was a nightmare and being a single parent of two is harder than I imagined.

Please don’t think this man who cheated on you is the best you can do. Don’t make decisions based in fear. Yes, single parenting is hard. Being married to a cheater is harder. Playing marriage police is harder. Wondering if the OW is going to contact him, or if there are other OW is harder. Staying in a marriage with a man you can’t trust is harder.

You know, some times we get so caught up in field marshaling our way through infidelity, that we don’t grieve until later. We’re high on drama and adrenaline, and then later — the overwhelming sadness comes. It’s not Meh on a Tuesday Instant Karma Happy New Beginning Times. It’s not having anyone to help mop up when the kid has the stomach flu. It’s the Multitasking Death March. (Sign what? Be where? Due when?) It’s lonely, sexless nights.

New beginnings are hard won. But the self-respect is worth it.

You can’t do the grief work because you’re not NC with your ex. You’re still caught up in his drama. Put reconciliation thoughts on hold and take all that energy you’re directing at him now and invest it in yourself. Do the new life building work, and quit looking back at the old life. So when he has the kids — GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. See a friend. Make a friend. Befriend your toenails at a nail salon. Do SOMETHING ELSE.

Feel the grief. Get angry. Get sad. But don’t sidetrack all that to focus on your ex’s sadness. Really, who gives a shit about his feelings? He created this clusterfuck — he doesn’t get to cry on your shoulder.

Let him do the invested parent thing for several years, get on with your life, and THEN tell me if you care about unicorns. My guess is he cannot sustain it, and you’ll get to mighty and won’t miss him. Tough it out now, CB. ((Hugs))

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kar marie
kar marie
8 years ago

I sincerely believe nothing the ex tells me and observe what he does and did. And I trust that he sucks. He’s a closed up extremely stoic creep who subsists strictly on impluse. What he wants when he wants except now living with the whore and now he’s pussy whipped. Haha. I trust they both suck. The only feelings he expresses ever are anger and rage. A real cold fish and an insult to fish everywhere.

chumplisa
chumplisa
8 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

Mine was a cold fish from Sweden. I even had to live there!

I wish I had had the UBT during my wreckonciliation. It felt creepy and I couldn’t put my finder on it but it was all about him. I realized I deserved better. It was hard to pull on my big girl panties and move on but really… its the only choice. WWWAAAAAYYYYY happier now. Its hard. Still is. I am lonely and had to start over and professionally my life sucks and I am a single mom trying to get kids off to college but its nice without his cold fish presence damping our happiness. I think the kids are happier too now that I am more stable and focused on a new life. Its hard but worth it.

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  chumplisa

CL, are you sure you have no training as a therapist? I kept thinking, wow, what will she say, what will she say? And then you nailed it. What would I do without you?

Michael.
Michael.
8 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

I’ve come to realize that my ex-cheater was and is a chameleon who can morph into what ever character she needs to be, depending on who she’s with, to get what she wants. She has the good person act down so packed that if you just met her you’d think she was a decent person. Knowing this, she can’t be trusted. Even if she did truly repent from being a jackass, I would still have nothing to do with her because I would never know if it was real or not. There are plenty of other people I can hang around without who don’t have that problem.

tahitibound
tahitibound
8 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

Ahaha…an insult to fish everywhere! No mine was the coldest of fish from the frigid Norwegian waters. It must of have been an adaptive trait for living in freezing temps. Unfortunately this does not benefit the partner of said fish. We need a warm blooded animal the next time!

brit
brit
8 years ago

So true, we don’t grieve until later, I know I didn’t. Getting caught up in being strong,accepting new responsibilities we don’t realize just how devastating, how much crap we’re dealing with, we’re too busy climbing out of a huge pile of crap trying to not to look like the victim. It hits eventually and it can be suffocating. Wise words once again from Chump Lady.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago
Reply to  brit

That’s how I feel too. Like I haven’t even gotten around to dealing with my broken heart yet.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

Thankfully, just as I headed into some degree of grief over the loss of my marriage after the holidays, X exhibited yet more BS to confirm that he sucks. Not really anything to grieve, more relief at getting rid of a jackass.

Fifi
Fifi
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

Yeah, me too. I thought I’d gotten angry but no, now I’m angry, almost a year and a half later, because that’s how long it has taken to realize every dirty trick he pulled on me for the last 6 of our 9-year marriage and especially the last awful year before it finally went boom. I scream “it’s not fair!” like a little child. I’m 63 and still wish things were fair?? This is a longer road to recovery than I had ever anticipated. I wanted to jump into a new relationship and be over it. Sigh. Anyway, brit and Carmella1722, I hear you. May we all see Meh before too long.

Sketchyokgirl
Sketchyokgirl
8 years ago
Reply to  Fifi

Esteemology.com has a great post about justice and the unfairness today. “No, He’s Not Happier with Her:……………………..

KeepAwayNarcs
KeepAwayNarcs
8 years ago
Reply to  Sketchyokgirl

Thanks, Sketchyogirl, for the Savannah Grey article link. Her latest post is spot on. I had read some of her older posts about Narcissistic behaviors, over a year ago, right before I found ChumpLady’s site.

UnsinkableMollyXinAlabama
UnsinkableMollyXinAlabama
8 years ago
Reply to  Sketchyokgirl

Thank you for sharing that, exactly what I needed to hear/read today.

chumplisa
chumplisa
8 years ago
Reply to  Sketchyokgirl

Great post…. thanks!

Fifi
Fifi
8 years ago
Reply to  Sketchyokgirl

Thanks, Sketchyokgirl. Very helpful post. Hedonic Treadmill, sci-talk for “they never change.”

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  Fifi

Thank you sketchyokgirl, great article. Excellent!

Chumpalumper
Chumpalumper
8 years ago

>I don’t trust him or myself at this point. (Not a great indicator of future happiness together?)

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpalumper

That is the clincher. Personally, the trust issue is what burned any bridges with my ex. I realized that no amount of “pick me dancing” he did could erase that niggling doubt in the back of my mind… AND I truly believe that allowing someone like that back into your life is a recipe for disaster. Not a risk I was willing to take.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

brit
brit
8 years ago
Reply to  Over and Out

I did enough pick me dancing, I never want to humiliate myself like that again.
After X’s father passed away there was a distinct change in his behavior. X became
quiet, more serious, he became distant. Since he had recently lost his father I thought he was
grieving and just needed time. More excuses for inappropriate behavior. As his disinterest,
unprovoked rages, and just plain rudeness increased I thought maybe the death of his father
triggered this behavior and his mid-life crisis.. I’ve come to my senses. As Chumps we make far too many excuses for these worthless creatures.

Kerrie
Kerrie
8 years ago
Reply to  brit

I made some of the same excuses for my ex. His Father died and he seemed to be in a mid life Crisis too. The bottom line is they had choices. They could have chosen to get help for themselves instead of band aiding their own personal unhappiness by getting their low self esteem lifted in the arms of another woman.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  brit

The death of his father was part of the “discard” phase of the Jackass Experience. He was already into gaslighting in a big way, but I literally never saw his face again after his father died–although for a week or two he was on the phone telling me all his troubles. He used his grief and responsibilities to avoid any accountability for what he was doing.

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

They are emotionally stunted. Just like spoiled children, they glom on to whatever excuse they can in order to avoid accountability for their bad behavior. Never their fault — always something/someone else is to blame. After D-Day, the “fog” I was living in started to clear up PDQ!! I played the marriage police for a while and gave him the benefit of the doubt… Big mistake. I wasted 2 more years only to find out he hadn’t changed, just got better at hiding his tracks. I’ve been divorced for 5 years now and that was The Best decision I ever made. There was no looking back and wondering “what if” ever again.

Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
8 years ago

If he was a solid, loving and trustworthy partner for 20 years then I think that a reconciliation might be possible – if he is really taking responsibility for himself and owning his stuff. I love this website and have used it to help me get over a very toxic relationship with a total narcissist and mostly the advice is really sound. It has helped me not get sucked back into things with my ex repeatedly. I think that the advice for this post is a little irresponsible though.

If he cheated once because he was grieving and drinking and being a dick but is now taking responsibility for it and he never cheated before then he may just have made an enormous mistake. I’m not taking away from the pain that it caused you and your kids. He clearly was a complete wanker, but I do know that nobody is perfect and we all fuck up sometimes.

I personally lost my father, our relationship was complicated so it was an extremely difficult situation to navigate. My drinking also became excessive and I became severely depressed. I had no support from my partner and sometimes when I had been drinking I would flirt with other men. For example on the second night after my dad committed suicide my ex demanded sex from me and when I started crying he asked me what was wrong with some exasperation. I was isolated and alone in my grief and blindly reached out for support where I could – weak and stupid, but I have learned and grown a lot since then. I have also now been sober for 18months and free of exs lies, manipulation and gaslighting for that long so can see things a lot more clearly.

I’m not defending my behaviour, but I know first hand how out of control things can get when one experiences the death of a parent. It’s pretty huge. Add alcohol to the mix and you’re fucked.

I’m not excusing his behaviour either, but I can understand first hand how he could have made such a tremendous mistake. He’s a coward and should have been a stronger, more emotionally intelligent person, but he is also only human, as are we all. If we can be honest, take responsibility for ourselves and learn from our mistakes, then it is possible to change our behaviour.

I think you should consider whether he is the kind of man you want to be with as your life partner and if the pros of his character outweigh the cons then perhaps this huge error and running away from life on his part could be forgiven and understood.

I would move incredibly slowly to make sure that he is sincere though. You sound like you have come too far to just jump back into things with him.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago

Good points. Since she is divorced from him, there is really no reason to co-habitate again. It would have been one thing had he woken up from his stupor BEFORE letting things go to far with OW..but he didn’t. He went FULL THROTTLE into the relationship with OW. MOVED IN with her. Now that has crashed and burned and he wants to come home to mama and move right back in? No.

I applaud him for getting help, seriously.. that doesn’t happen much with these guys. There might be a glimmer of hope for this one.. but it’s going to take a lot more than a few sadz sausage notes and logins to his financials. He’s going to have to win you again. And maybe he can’t. Maybe it’s too high a hill to climb.

Up to her if she wants to pursue that, but I sure wouldn’t commingle finances with him. Nor would I think of him as my only choice. She needs to put herself first and if he’s worth it, he’ll wait her out and stay consistent.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago

For Nicole: You make some good points. People abusing alcohol and drugs have lowered inhibitions and also are primarily in a relationship with the substance of choice, looking for escape from perhaps both inner and outer commitments and obligations. If they get sober and stay that way for a prolonged period, it might be possible to reconcile, knowing however that a relapse into drinking and related problems is possible. I know a number of recovering alcoholics who are doing well in their lives, but one day at a time. That’s tough for the recovering addict and for the partner and kids, if they have them. Good for you that you’ve rebuilt your life.

And in your defense, your post suggests that your partner at the time was very, very abusive, to insist on sex when you were not in any shape to want it.

Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Thanks for that. It was an extremely abusive relationship – hence the drinking on my part. It almost killed me but I made it out in the end. Nightmare years. But moving on one day at a time 🙂

Lania
Lania
8 years ago

“I’m not defending his behaviour, but *insert reason to defend behaviour here*”
“I’m not excusing his behaviour, but *insert reason to excuse behaviour here*”
Also, cheating, EVEN if its a one night stand, IS NOT A FUCKING MISTAKE. It is a CHOICE. And MANY choices at that.
Cheaters have poor character. Period. No ‘but they did this so its somehow ok’.
In short, you are saying you are a cheater yourself. So what, your partner was ‘non-supportive’? I’d be non-supportive if I found out my partner was flirting with others whilst drunk, too!
Ever heard of the novel concept of having an honest conversation, or if that isn’t possible, starting the ball on divorce proceedings?

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

I’m with you Lania, even a blackout-drunk one-night-stand is cheating. You fucked someone else? I’m out. Monogamy is a choice. Cheating is a dealbreaker.

ChumpBadge
ChumpBadge
8 years ago

Thank you very much for your perspective. I do believe people can grow from their mistakes. I think you should give yourself some credit that you did not cross the line from flirting into an affair. The fact that you recognized that you were on a destructive path and are now making strides toward a healthier life should be commended. Best of luck to you in your healing!

Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpBadge

Thank you.

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago

I love your compassion and willingness to see the other side. You went through a hard time. You flirted. You were in a bad place.

That said… You didn’t go out and mess around for god knows how long, and shack up with the rebound. You thought abouT it, and maybe got a drink off someone at a bar. This partner didn’t have a one time fling. Didn’t tease someone. They gave up on their partner and broke the rules. Then they shacked up with schmoopie and now want a do over that is all about them healing.

You might have been in a hard place, this guy was in a selfish place. You are giving him too much credit, and yourself not enough. It sounds like you’re healing. Good for you! *hugs*

Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
8 years ago

Thanks. Hugs back! 🙂

KarenE
KarenE
8 years ago

I think there’s a big difference between a moment of stupidity, possibly drunken stupidity, and an on-going affair, requiring on-going deceit, followed by the abandonment of spouse and kids. The first shows immaturity and stupidity, for sure, but the second shows poor character. And that does NOT get fixed, certainly not in 6 months.

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

KarenE,

I am infuriated by your comment. Are you really proposing a “moment of stupidity” defense? Let’s use CL’s example of pushing someone down the stairs. If I, in a moment of stupidity, push someone down the stairs, I am guily of a crime. If I am drunk and do the same? Still guilty.

Excusing flirting is one thing, intercourse, even under the influence, is not stupidity, it’s culpable behavior.

Hmmmph. Arrrrgh.

KJ
KJ
8 years ago
Reply to  Ian Dubito

My husband had a drunken one night shag with the town whore in the smelly toilet of a dingy local pub ( while his friends ‘clapped and cheered him on’ outside the door like a gang of horny frat boys, no less) He may as well have had a ten-year love affair, the pain is still the same, the trust is shattered and he will join the rest of the cheaters on the slagheap of history. There is no difference, and NO EXCUSES!!!

kar marie
kar marie
8 years ago
Reply to  KJ

No excuses none. I gave asswipe four forgiveness and he did it again. What a chump I am. No more! I should have kicked him the first time. What a chump I am. Again no more! Fuck him and the whores he rides on. Its too bad I will never trust again. I always had issues with trust in this day and age its hard to have trust. I’m sure there are nice guys out there who aren’t cheaters too bad I’ll never believe them. I’m too old for this shit. I hope the world falls down on his bald head and his whores too. Fuck them in every sense.

Sweetz
Sweetz
8 years ago
Reply to  KJ

Exactly. Do we give a Rapist a “pass” just because he “only” raped ONE person whilst his friends stood around and watched?? This husband screwed a woman…and raped your soul. That is enough.

Anita
Anita
8 years ago
Reply to  Sweetz

sweetz, it’s all those little nit picky little differentiations that keep people stuck. We are just friends, it’s an “emotional affair”, we only went to the motel to sleep.” Blah blah blah. I went thru that shit with the cheater. I couldn’t “prove” he had sex with the whore. Well guess what, he couldn’t prove he didn’t. The burden of proof isn’t on me, it’s on him.

I changed my policy, and whatever was possible is what I think. He went alone, in secret, to a whore’s apartment. Sex was possible so that is what i believe. I don’t believe in “emotional affairs”. There’s only cyber, and physica,l to me. If you are in the Physical presence of the co cheater, don’t tell me you haven’t done anything physical because I know you have. A little touchy feely, kissy kissy, meaningful stares, blah blah blah. I know your whoring ass broke a marriage vow. I don’t use ” Penetration” of a whore as my standard of adultery. Life is so much simpler that way.

Sweetz
Sweetz
8 years ago
Reply to  Anita

An EA is “foreplay”. It is what is done before reaching an intended goal…this is the first step to letting their intentions be known that they are interested.

I do not accept EA’s any more than PA’s in marriage…that is what a spouse is for. They are both betrayals of what should have remained exclusive and safeguarded in marriage. An EA shows contempt and disrespect to the spouse in favor of “strange” thrills. An EA reveals the intended path that has already started in motion. The moment your spouse starts with the flirting and sharing personal/intimate things alone and one on one with a person of the opposite sex…they have just entered into foreplay. Just watch the animal kingdom…the males strut around and do dances to try and attract the females. No brainer as to what they want and intend to do. People are no different.

mary
mary
8 years ago
Reply to  Ian Dubito

I took my back when his father died and he done it again when his mother died.

mary
mary
8 years ago
Reply to  Ian Dubito

I do not believe that people have consensual sex with other people out of stupidity or by mistake – they want to do it and decide to go ahead. Maybe they are drunk, bored or lonely – they missed out on promotion – somebody has died or illness has stricken. All valid reasons to feel bad but a decision to have an affair never just happens.
Maybe affairs come in degrees….that is open to debate. A drunken one night stand is not the same as a two year affair that involves multiple lies and ongoing deception but it is still a deliberate act of betrayal.
As for today’s post – yes, this guy is making all the right noises but red flags are waving. CL knows it, we know it, and the writer of the letter knows it. It sounds like he is still very much part of her life. I wonder why this new, improved and reformed cheater is still accepting contact with OW at all..its a thumbs down from me.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Nicole

There is no excuse for cheating and discarding your family, going through a divorce, moving in with a ho for six months, and blaming it on the death-drunk combo. Just reread your post. She was right to dump the fucktard while he was still attempting image control and went down willingly.
Cheaters remorse usually focuses on the CHEATER. He wants a fucking place to sleep after the ho fucked the next loser. Good guys DONT fuck a slut and abandon their families. Selfish pricks do.
My mother died and stick dick wasn’t getting attention. He tagged a slunT. Forgiveness? Bulkshit. She did everything right and should go no contact. Let him find an apartment and take care of his children. Grow up manboy.

Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Donna

“She was right to dump the fucktard while he was still attempting image control and went down willingly.”

I’m totally down with that. Agree 100%.

I’m not making excuses for him. His behaviour is completely insane. But he doesn’t seem to be serial cheater. He’s a 20 year dedicated family man who went off the rails.

I don’t know if you would forgive my husband and take him back after such a thing myself. But i’m not a particularly trusting, loving person truth be told.

I am also a recovered addict however and have made some truly awful decisions in the middle of my active addiction. Done things that I would NEVER do now.

I think all of us here could possibly take the time to think about the worst thing we have ever done in our lives and consider why and how we did it and if it should define us forever.

People fuck up all the time. But if they learn from their mistakes then people also do change.

Alcohol is a particularly revolting drug and a precursor of all kinds of abuse.

I’m not making excuses for him. I’m saying that I can totally get how he could have been stupid enough to do it though.

If he’s making the effort to see psychologists and deal with his own bullshit then he at least, is trying, which is a lot more than I can say about my ex narc, who is with woman number 3 or four and who has her doing everything for her. I pity the poor thing. Men like him should come with a warning label.

It’s the “was a dedicated family man for 20 years” that makes me think that this was a terrible, once off attempt to not deal with life. Cowardly yes, but malevolent, perhaps not.

But trust is a very difficult thing to rebuild. As I’ve said. I’m not sure I would be big enough to try again with him. But we don’t know how their relationship was for the last 20 years. It surely depends largely on that as well?

UnsinkableMollyXinAlabama
UnsinkableMollyXinAlabama
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

That’s my advice on her situation too. Be on your own year +…process yourself on your OWN, boy…then try to work everything out, if she is still willing.

1. NO contact.
2. Kids go visit him in his slut-shack every weekend- meet him half-way if you must, but make him tke the kids to his own place.
3. Keep out of his affairs, endeavors. Period.
4. Work on yourself, CB- worry about yourself and learn to truly free of him if you haven’t aready.
5. Make him be a big boy ad do not speak of reconciliation for at east a year.

There’s my two cents, for what it’s worth.

ChumpBadge
ChumpBadge
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Very VERY good point. One that I have to remind myself of often.

Susannah
Susannah
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpBadge

ChumpBadge, I know first hand it is scary being a single mother. I was a battered wife and fled with three babies, ages 2, 1 and 9 mos. I started back to school to get my accounting degree, because I needed to support the kids on my own. I was terrified, and clung to anyone who promised they would help. This put me at the mercy of a con man who cleaned out my bank account and abandoned us in Atlanta.

Keep telling yourself “I am strong, I can do this.” You don’t have to do it all at once, just take time in one day or one hour or in ten minute increments. Do not attach yourself to anyone at this point, you are too vulnerable. Especially in regards to your Ex. Yes, it is scary as hell doing everything alone, but it is all do-able.

stbxisgross
stbxisgross
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Thanks for pointing this out. I actually wasn’t sure how I was feeling about ChumpBadge’s story and some of the comments, trying to think about it through the lens of my own situation. This is a crucial point to remember.

Sweetz
Sweetz
8 years ago
Reply to  stbxisgross

Hmm…are we saying then, that a man who hangs out in bars with friends (and skanks) should be given a pass if he gets drunk and screws a woman that night? That “one offs” don’t count…only “affairs” do??? If he stabbed a fellow drunk (just once) because he was insulted by a comment, do the police just say “well, that was one mistake” and give him a ride home to sleep it off? I think it would be nice if Chump Lady might want to address the “drunk excuse” at some point.

I had gone to bed after confronting my (Jesus Cheater) husband about his using Porn again. I awoke later in the wee hours of the morning and found my husband sitting drunk in his recliner (he gets drunk every night…nothing new there). He had a blanket over him, and he was still pissed about the confrontation. My husband suddenly whipped out a loaded Glock and stuck it in my face and shouted “YOU are NOT of God”!!! I fully expected him to pull the trigger. I told him to either “shoot me” or to “give me the gun” or I would call the police. He just stood there, so I called the police. He then threw the gun down and hid on the roof of our house.

When the police came, I told them that we were having a domestic fight, but that my husband had “left”. The way I figured it was that I was still alive, and now I had the weapon and was safe, and if he came back in and attacked me, I would shoot him personally. He tried to deny that any of it ever transpired…just like cheaters do. Then he tried to use the drunk excuse…but I told him that he was not too drunk to climb up onto the roof, hide, and navigate himself safely down after the police left. I could have (should have) had him locked up.

So much for his “mistake”. I could have been pushing up tulips.

stbxisgross
stbxisgross
8 years ago
Reply to  Sweetz

No, that’s not what I was saying.

Ranffis
Ranffis
8 years ago

I cannot believe what I’m reading…we are actually making excuses for the cheater!!!
I’ve been cheated on and I made excuses for HER….a cheater will always be a cheater and it took me years to grasp that.
I know it’s hard, but I’ll take the truth any time and any day of the week. At least you know where you’re currently standing and it’s the truth.
Focuse on you and you children….you’ll see time will put new and healthy relationships in your path.

Tflan386
Tflan386
8 years ago
Reply to  Ranffis

Sorry, but does a death in the family give someone a license to cheat? This supposition is ludicrous. Most of us have suffered a death, be it an aging parent, a sibling or heaven forbid a child. Most of us do not use this as an excuse to go screw someone other than our spouse. Don’t see how A leads to B.

ChumpBadge, I think the link betwen your ex’s grief- stricken state as impetus to start an affair is a bogus one. His personality changes were less due to his emotional state regarding his father’s death and more due to the fact that he was probably knee deep into his affair. You’ve just linked the events in your chumpy mind to give him the benefit of the doubt. Poor man, he was sooooo sad, he temporarily lost his mind. He’s ‘out of the fog’ now – sees things so much more clearly now. Not!

Jeanm
Jeanm
8 years ago
Reply to  Tflan386

My XH started affair while his mother was dying. Not an excuse as far as im concerned. He is just a POS and coward. Yes, he ignored me, kids and grandkids.
I filed for divorce immediately! He asked me not to but no way. No trust. I got fired from my job of caring.
He is a predator and ow, a criminal.
Dishonarable man, shame on him. Shame on both of them!

Jumper
Jumper
8 years ago
Reply to  Jeanm

 “I got fired from my job of caring.” LOL, their loss. Idiots.

Cheaterssuck
Cheaterssuck
8 years ago

Cheating is NEVER a mistake. It’s a choice and often times a long series of bad choices strung together.

If the cheater is honest with themselves maybe they will realize it was a bad choice but they still own it.

A mistake implies it was unintentional like picking up orange juice instead of milk at the store. You can’t accidentally fall into or on top of someone else’s genitals.

Bad choices come with consequences and this guy doesn’t want his. CL is spot on as always. If this guy is truly remorseful he will respect boundaries and let chumpbadge grieve and make her own choice.

Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
Nicole I'm Still Angry as Hell a year later
8 years ago
Reply to  Cheaterssuck

“A once dedicated family man, he began drinking more, caring about family less”

Addiction is such that people, when they are using, make terrible decisions to escape their feelings and situations. The man was in an enormous amount of pain at losing his father by the sounds of things and turned to alcohol and sex (a very real addiction) to try and deal with things. Not emotionally intelligent at all, but I am in no situation to judge.

Addicts’ behaviour is often totally alien to their true nature. People do make mistakes when they are using. Enormous, pain causing, horrible errors of judgement that are often totally unlike their sober personalities.

When they get sober, part of their recovery is to make amends for these and to learn to deal with their feelings in a more healthy way.

I think there are extenuating circumstances here and that a reconciliation is possible with a lot of work.

That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it 🙂

JannaG
JannaG
8 years ago

The real question is does the betrayed spouse want to attempt the hard work of reconciliation with someone he or she can’t trust? Ultimately, it is up to the betrayed person, but even a one-time regretted “mistake” is grounds enough to leave. If is totally understandable if that person would rather leave and build a new life and, perhaps, a new relationship on a stronger foundation.

kar marie
kar marie
8 years ago
Reply to  Cheaterssuck

+1

Jumper
Jumper
8 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

+2

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  Cheaterssuck

Well said. They want the choice but not the consequence.

I may have mis read it But it is a little to coincidental that this clarity came after I it fell apart with OW.

chumplisa
chumplisa
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

and he had to live on his own….. these people can never live on their own… and they expect us to not only do just that but raise their kids in the process. I wonder how he would react if YOU started dating???

ChumpyKindofLove
ChumpyKindofLove
8 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

That’s exactly what I was thinking.

ANC
ANC
8 years ago

CB,
What your X values is the construct of marriage. Does he really value YOU? I think the CL advice is very spot on. Where in all of his new-found consciousness are his thoughts about YOU?

He can’t just want back what he had. He needs to focus on you. Prioritize you, like he would if you were strangers. And you are strangers because the guy you married 20yrs ago never intimated he would back stab you when things became difficult. It all makes us wonder, those of us with LT marriages to crafty cheaters, who the fuck ARE these people?

Jumper
Jumper
8 years ago
Reply to  ANC

“It all makes us wonder, those of us with LT marriages to crafty cheaters, who the fuck ARE these people?”

^^^THIS^^^

hatch
hatch
8 years ago
Reply to  ANC

^^This. The construct of marriage. All the conveniences received by the faithful, clueless, committed spouse. You are just the person who happens to do it, there is NOTHING special about you to them at all. In fact the cheater tends to resent that you are working hard and caring about them and the family when they know they don’t deserve it (with all the energy they are pissing out of the marriage/family with their cheating).

He threw away your 20 years to go /live with the OW/. He is not a safe person. Maybe he can be again — would you date him? Is your history all that great really?

Chump Change
Chump Change
8 years ago
Reply to  hatch

I found a list in a diary from a few years ago: “Why I Fell in Love” with him in the first place…

Why?
He chased me very hard, for months – I thought he was conceited and immature so wasnt interested – should have listenened to my teenaged self!!!!
He had a very good education and a job as an aerospace career
was spontaneous and fun,
we had lots of adventures

But I had also written that I would not date him now…

Thinking deeper, I was 19 and he 27 when we started dating and:
I wasn’t sexual attracted to him for a long time, the sex was never great (not for me…)
He didn’t have a car, drove an old Harley or my car. (I bought most of the cars during our 37 year marriage)
One of our early dates He asked me to climb a tall chain link fence to enter a sporting event, because “why should we pay admission when we are only seeing the finals?”
His favorite tee shirt was from a bar in Alaska that read “We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you”. He even replaced it when it wore out and was sad when they went out of business!
I could go on and on…

The signs were there from the beginning. They just got bigger with larger consequences, but he spun everything and i easily fell for it.

I forgave him 2 “one night stands” early in the marriage after his “remorse” and going to marriage counseling. I was a complete fool to be so naive, thinking he would never cheat again. He never gave me any reason to suspect!

At the end what did I have?
Liar Liar pants on fire
Cheater cheater Pumpkin eater
He’s entangled me in a business lawsuit, hiding another lawsuit from me completely until he got a huge judgement against him, coincidently the day I filed for divorce
Always “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”, while pretending we were financially sound
Secretely using our equity line of credit to live on to the tune of 200k
Owes money to many local businesses and lawyers
Owes 100k in credit card debt
Drives a broken down filthy truck (he doesnt take care of his possessions)
I’ve finally realized over the last 2 years, there have been many affairs that i never suspected, he was even trying to pick up soccer moms at practices when our boys were in elementary school!
And the final straw, I learned about Schmoopie, a widow, who had been in the picture for about 18 months by then… Of course he told me it was only 3 weeks – like that wasnt bad enough?

No Pick Me Dancing. I filed.

2 years later, still not divorced, just turned 59 and why am I so sad?

Oh, because he played me so well. I was the perfect foil. He thought nothing of Wasting My Life, he did whatever he wanted to, while I believed in him, thought he was an honorable man for decades, then (smack forhead) stood by him when the lawsuit was filed, believing his gaslighting while he continued to lie, cheat and steal.

I finally saw proof of his business deceit in a litigators office – the attorney later told me “You are Mrs Madoff, (on a tiny tiny scale, but) you need to divorce this man!”

STBXH, father of our children, man I’ve trusted my entire life, WHO ARE YOU???

Its hard when somewhere very deep inside I still have love and miss the good parts of him, but my memories of nearly 40 years are tainted, because our life together wasn’t true.

He wasnt true.

Jan 5th I was in court for phase 1 of the business lawsuit, and the judge didn’t believe a word he said…

I feel like I’m coming out of a cult or something, I was so brainwashed and trauma bonded.

If only I had trusted my very first impression and never gotten involved.

How strange to be a woman starting over at nealy 60.

Sorry, this turned out to be a rant! I just don’t think they change after intimately deceiving you. The marriage is broken.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Chump Change

ChumpChange

Who are you? What are you? What do you see when you look in the mirror?

These are the questions I asked him after I threw him out. I’ve answered each and every one.

He’s a serial cheating covert narcissist sociopath who led a double life.

And when I hear the MISTAKE bullshit I respond with, “that you know of”.

Or the, “he’s not that bad”.

Once I SAW him everything fell into place as you described. They are cunning and cheat in every aspect of their lives.

I hate the phrase, “You were in denial”. Who the fuck thinks they’ve been sleeping with a sociopath for 41 years?

In the beginning I grieved for the person I thought he was and then for the person he left abandoned and broken.

Yesterday, after my daughter told me he was a sociopath she told me I was mighty.

I’m also starting over at 59 and the view is much better now. Every single day I’m going to do something for myself.

Chump Change
Chump Change
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Donna, sounds like we are walking the same path.

Narcissist, sociopath, leading a double life. What a waste of our lives.

Would love to talk to you, is ther a way we chumps can get in touch?

sephage
sephage
8 years ago
Reply to  hatch

” In fact the cheater tends to resent that you are working hard and caring about them and the family when they know they don’t deserve it (with all the energy they are pissing out of the marriage/family with their cheating).”

^^ THIS!!! ^^

I’m beginning to see that same pattern having been played out in my cheating STBXW.

Tessie
Tessie
8 years ago
Reply to  sephage

Also he’s willing to cohabit with you and he has some kind of get out of jail free document. Well that seems interesting. Living with you, he would have all the perks of a marriage and none of the responsibilities legally. What a deal for you, huh? You get to do all of the work with no legal protection whatsoever.

Charming guy.

Again, selfishness presented as generosity. Run Sweetie, run. He is not even remotely your friend.

Alzada
Alzada
8 years ago

CB brings up something that I have been struggling with. The real remorse or not conundrum. Cheater has done everything on the real remorse list. Including a post-nup. Paid for couples counseling and his IC for porn addiction. All along the way I have stressed I can leave at anytime. That nothing he has done guarantees I will stay. I have even stopped crying or getting angry in front of him. Thinking maybe he is getting kibbles off of it. But mostly its knowing I will never trust him again that makes me think I should leave. Not that he does not seem remorseful but that the trust is gone. ugh.

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  Alzada

Are you stuck in the ‘do I stay and fight for what my life was supposed to be even though it really won’t ever be that now’ the ‘I don’t want to be the woman who got Pwned by some slut /or porn/or hookers, so staying is less sad’ or… Leave and be that woman who didn’t fight and got Pwned by hookers… conundrum? I can’t see a third unicorn option for me. I either stay and be miserable, divorce and make it what I want it to be and fuck the stigma…. Because try as I might, the carrot isn’t sticking to the mule. I hate the idea of being a divorcee, the stigma. The shit I have to go through to get there. But I also absolutely hate the idea of being in my shitstorm a second longer than I have to be. There is no door number 3.

Alzada
Alzada
8 years ago

Probably the ‘Do I stay and fight….’ But also the “I am 1) poor and cant afford a good lawyer, 2) feel I should not be the one to file for divorce because I didn’t fuck around, 3) I am afraid I will be alone and never find someone else.” I don’t do the whole dating thing. Never really did. Met my cheater husband via a hobby we both shared and he asked me out. I think that if I divorce him I won’t even attempt to find someone else. Which by default means I will never have the family that I always wanted to have. Divorce stigma is not a big deal to me. Both of my parents were divorced before they met. I see the success stories here. Of Mighty Chumps that find someone they can trust and have better lives. I am not there yet. Been reading this site for two years, since D-day in January ’14. Just now getting to where I can talk about it and not get upset. Unfortunately, as you stated, there is no door number 3.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Alzada

Alzada you found the courage to post and it’s a first and mighty step for you. It feels amazing to have a voice. You are worthy of love and respect. You will find that here. It sounds as if you are dependent on him. Is there any way to change this situation?

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Alzada

I think there is a Door #3: Stop thinking about your life as a choice between whether you won vs. the AP or the hookers (etc.). Behind Door #3 is “gain a life”–whatever you have to do to get to an authentic, and eventually happy, life. Fight not for the relationship but to get yourself to a point where your default setting is “what is healthy for me?” not “the relationship defines me.”

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Oh that’s there, it’s in the divorce door, but I’m being honest with myself about my feelings. I will have to feel and go through my shame and anger at myself and chumminess, I am not pleased to be the first divorced gal within my girlfriends. That I will probably lose some of them, if not all. That I may have to sell all my shit, that I have anxiety attacks to the point of absence seizures. It’s fucking awful before it gets good. Hella to the yes I will gain my amazing life back in spades, I will work my ass off to celebrate my freedom and I will hopefully even find a nice fella who isn’t a wank. But that happens after I go through some sad soppy bits where I mourn the me I already liked quite a bit and the life I thought I had. It’s me. It doesn’t have to be everyone but I know it’s part of my path

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  Alzada

Maybe check around at your legal aide office. Even if you’re not in scope for assistance, they can often walk you through things like – how to f ile yourself, how much it costs to do a no contest divorce, which lawyers can take payment plans and have better rates for low income folks, and what your options are. I totally feel your pain. I am borscht poor. But there is no door number 3. I need out. I have to be separated for a year before I can even f ile- blessing and a curse because I can try to save money/ pay off debt for the year, but it means in a year I have to rile myself back up to angry to get it over with. Good luck to you.

Michelle
Michelle
8 years ago

“But I absolutely hate the idea of being in my shitstorm a second longer than I have to be”. Love that!

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Alzada

He has a “porn addiction”? That’s not going away any time soon, is my guess. And you are walking around on eggshells. That’s says a lot.

lostntx
lostntx
8 years ago
Reply to  Alzada

It really does need to be your decision. They cheated and there are consequences for that. That very well may mean you leaving. They should be good with that and understand. To me the bottom line is you do not trust that person. They haven’t taken the steps you need to trust them. Maybe they’ve done everything possible and you just don’t trust them. That is your right! Trust is earned. Honestly, it was catching my stbx in another lie that sealed it for me. I still remember how smoothly she answered my question when I asked her. I actually felt sorry for her! Then I found proof that it was a LIE! I knew I could never trust her again and that was it for me. It sounds to me that you are letting quilt guide your decision. You have nothing to feel guilty about! Do what you need to do! You can do it!

violet
violet
8 years ago
Reply to  Alzada

That is the difficulty, isn’t it? Once trust is gone, what remains worth keeping? I do not know whether CB’s relationship can be restored. Only she can answer that question. I do know that love without trust is a lonely place to be . The always wondering must be very corrosive to a person’s well-being.

I speak from personal experience. X was the only guy I had ever loved and I was with him my entire adult life. Hell, in many ways, i still love him. We had some truly wonderful years together. Sometimes I still cry about what we lost. But, but, but…if I can’t trust him, how can I let him back into my life? I have concluded I can’t and that is why I keep him at arm’s length. Even now, I remind myself of how painful X’s actions were to me.

I want to be clear that X never did all the awful things I read about here. He was a narcissistic asshole, but he always took care of his financial obligations, always loved our kids and never, ever was abusive. Those kinds of things should take any thoughts of reconciliation off the table. I do know a couple, though, who split and everyone thought divorced. About 15 years later, they reunited over the sale of the family home and have been together since. All our friends were shocked but they seem very happy. So I guess it can happen, if there is a genuine desire for a new beginning. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to trust whether the desire is, in fact, genuine.

Alzada
Alzada
8 years ago
Reply to  violet

I think what keeps me stuck is family history. I found out many years ago that my grandfather had had an affair. He left my grandmother when my mom was 8 and my aunt 5 and married the other woman. (I do genealogy and found the marriage license) They were married a month and then it was annulled. I never had the heart to ask my mom about it but I did ask my aunt. She said she remembered dad left and then came back after a time. My granddad is 84 my grandmother passed away last year. I think if my granddad could do that to her and she had the guts to forgive him and take him back, then perhaps I should too. My granddad is an elder at his church one of the most Godly men I have ever known. Though he was not always. My aunt said that the affair changed him that he was a different man when he came home. That he was a better father. Before she passed away I told my grandmother about my husbands affair. I had hoped she would open up about her and my grandfather. But she didn’t she referenced my mom’s first husband ( also a cheater) and my aunts first husband (cheater too) and a cousin who’s husband cheated on her. But never said anything about her own cheater husband. This leads me to think it was swept under the rug and never really talked about. So the only thing I have concluded is that the women in my family have really back pickers and pick cheating assholes. Family of chumps thats us.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Alzada

Alzada

Your pickers are set to tollerate. Break that cycle.
Porn addiction? These are the most deviant cheaters. RUN.

moxie
moxie
8 years ago
Reply to  Alzada

Alzada,

I pray you are strong enough to be the hero in your family & break this cycle once & for all.

FinallyAwake
FinallyAwake
8 years ago

This is such a timely post for me. Still living with the cheater, in limbo, ignoring each other (except he’s trying to hoover). I know I need to pull the trigger and need to move on and incredibly difficult to get over that hump.
I tell myself that I am grieving, that I need to let my heart catch up with my head. Truth is it’s a war between comfort of the familiar, hopium and trying to remember that he sucks, truly sucks. Even without the cheating he was a half-assed husband and father, critical, demanding, controlling and uncommitted.

Best of luck to ChumpBadge, I’m guessing that this was a difficult letter to write and difficult advice to hear. I didn’t even think of half of what CL said so I’m obviously still in chump fog and have a lot of work to do. Thank goodness for this forum.

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  FinallyAwake

Yep. All of what you said rings true.

lostntx
lostntx
8 years ago
Reply to  FinallyAwake

Just take one step at a time. Make the decision and keep telling yourself over and over what you have decided. Then take the next step. I would suggest take care of legal stuff without alerting them. New bank account, cancel joint credit card accounts, have your paycheck deposited into the new account, and gather up all your financial information (run a credit report). You can run 1 free credit report per year by law. Go to experian and search for free credit report. From one bureau, you can run reports for all 3 majors. Then take another step. Set a deadline to do the 1st step. Then a deadline for #2 after you completed #1. You have to take a step or you will be forever stuck in limbo. Trust us, every step gets a little easier. You have to find support that well give you advice based on critical thinking. You won’t be thinking that way. No of us did in the beginning. And take the advice you get. That’s thinking with your head and not your heart. If you wait on the heart and head to align, you may never get away. Your playing a mind game with yourself, but you have to. Good luck! Move forward and don’t look back and second guess yourself!

Abby
Abby
8 years ago
Reply to  FinallyAwake

FA, I believe you have answered your own question…

“Even without the cheating he was a half-assed husband and father, critical, demanding, controlling and uncommitted.”

And you want this……why?

Your heart has caught up…it is your head that is saying….but i dont want to be alone. I dont want to be divorced. Something bad is better than nothing. The drama is addictive.

Your kids deserve better from you than a father that is “controlling, half assed, critical and demanding”. Get rid of this negativity that is brought upon you and your kids.

Good luck to you.

Linden
Linden
8 years ago
Reply to  Abby

I was thinking this too, CB. You didn’t drop everything and get divorced on a whim. Things were already not good and the affair was the last straw, not the first. When someone crosses your “aw, hell naw” boundary, you know it. Please keep listening to that.

Nancy
Nancy
8 years ago

Of course he wants you back.. you are awesome! Who else would be so loyal, caring, understanding, a great mom, and have high moral values? Step away for a minute and look at his future. He left you in the dust for a sparkly turd, and once the sparkles wore off, here his is. His story is he is divorced? why ? He cheated. He has to own that to every future date he has. He is taking the easiest road possible to continue to associate with quality people. Otherwise, he is just a cheater who broke up his family for next to nothing, and now doesn’t want to pay the consequences once he found out what they really were.

Isn’t it interesting he is completely following the “perfect remorse” playbook? A good con always involves the participants consent. You wrote in because you don’t trust him. You are right. Good luck in a glorious turd free future!

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
8 years ago
Reply to  Nancy

Nancy,

Brilliant.

“He cheated. He has to own that to every future date he has.”

This is extremely helpful in my own case too.

Unfortunately, I sometimes imagine my STBXW happy and carefree after our divorce. But in reality, she’s divorced. Why? She cheated. Of course, she will almost certainly not tell her new beaus.

But I know it. And she knows it. And it’s UGLY.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago

Yeah…I would be concerned by how the focus is off your pain as CL stated. How is that empathetic? It is not. Giving “explanations” makes it sound like he isn’t owning his behavior 100%. Circumstances don’t make ppl cheat. Poor character does.

Lucky
Lucky
8 years ago

As usual CL is spot on. It’s still ALL about him!!!!!

If you reread your letter you will see that OW didn’t work out and now he needs his plan B back up plan to work – or he will be ALL ALONE! Poor sausage!!!

He did not chose you or your kids. He chose his dick.

He put his dick’s needs before your marriage. Before your needs. Before the lives and welfare of your children.
Never forget this!

Now he’s love bombing you again.

Until he gets what he wants. And then he can fall back into his regular old life regardless of what he’s done and when he feels all sad and sorry for himself he can follow his dick to greener pastures again.

Once a cheater always a cheater.

As CL says go NC as much as you can and focus on yourself. Stop being his Mommy and let him figure this shit on his own.

No one gets a free pass on adulthood. He needs to grow the fuck up!

chumplady
chumplady
8 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

I don’t believe once a cheater, always a cheater. That’s too pat.

What I do believe is that entitlement is hard to give up. Especially if you’re empathy-challenged.

What a unicorn would look like to me here is

1) How can I make your parenting life easier, CB? I don’t fight you on support, scheduling, I don’t triangulate with the kids.
2) I respect your boundaries. I don’t presume to sympathy and understanding. I hurt CB and I should understand her protectiveness and wariness.
3) I don’t bad mouth CB.
4) I don’t blameshift, even subtly, that a Fog made me cheat, or CB’s inadequacies. I cheated because I gave myself permission to.
5) I care more about hurting CB and the kids than I do the tangible things i lost — money, home, respect.
6) OW who?
7) I don’t presume “couple-ness.” CB doesn’t owe me counseling, a shoulder to cry on, her time.
8) I demonstrate humility by not presuming a relationship OR a timetable. No sale pitch for living arrangements. The most I could hope for is a date. And demonstrating my changed character over TIME. A LONG time.
9.) I don’t presume family cake. I can’t insert myself in CB’s single parenting life when ever I want and dress it up as “good for the kids.” Confusion isn’t good for kids.

Etc.

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
8 years ago
Reply to  chumplady

How about this ChumpBadge? Go no contact on him with no warning for 90 days. Absolute no contact. Let a family member negotiate the kid’s visitation. Is he still interested? Go on one date with him. Then do another no warning 90 days of no contact. Six months in, is he still there? Get his medical records, phone bills, internet history, therapy notes, and every single financial document you want. This isn’t marriage police, because you’ve been no contact. One final date where you tell him you’ve been having sex with some (perhaps fictional) guy while you were no contact.

Now is he interested?

Chumpella
Chumpella
8 years ago
Reply to  chumplady

Thanks Lucky and Chump Lady. I really needed to hear this reminder today.

My STBXH left me for the OW. I can only assume things haven’t worked out because now he is love bombing me and wants me to take him back. I am spending a lot of time reading articles and comments on here to remind myself to trust that he sucks and that it’s kibbles and cake that he wants and not me.

sephage
sephage
8 years ago
Reply to  chumplady

While I agree with CL that reconciliation is rare but possible, I feel compelled to add that in my experience, the numbers are significantly in favor of a cheater repeating their behavior.

I do know of one person – ONE – who cheated on his wife (drunken-one-night-stand-style), was beside himself with grief at how he had so majorly fucked up, and came clean and did the entire reconciliation thing on his own without any prompting. They stay hitched, went on to have two kids, and are doing very well over a decade later, by any reasonable measure, because he owned up to his issues 100% immediately after it happened and didn’t expect his wife to forgive him, etc. I usually expect to see a horn growing from his forehead whenever I see him!

That’s one real unicorn sighting in my albeit limited experience; but I’d bet every dollar in my wallet that real reconciliation is a true possibility in, maybe, 1 to 2% of infidelity cases.

ChumpBadge, I’d cut and run, the numbers just aren’t with this; if your ex is a real unicorn case, then on his own, without any need to involve you whatsoever, he will improve his life so much that he will not only run to catch up to you, but will even be far enough ahead of you that you’d notice him. In the meantime, don’t bet on that outcome, go find other awesome people.

Lulu
Lulu
8 years ago
Reply to  sephage

I also think that a reconciliation isn’t successful just because a person never cheats on their partner again. There are a million ways for someone to behave like a reckless, deceitful and selfish douchebag; if the core of the character hasn’t been reformed, the “cheating heart” will just express itself in other ways (like buying an expensive sports car for himself, while you’re scrimping and saving to replace the roof on the house).

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

Lulu, boy are you right. It’s not just the cheating (although that is horrific). But someone willing to thrust that stake into your heart is likely to be a poor partner in other ways.

Flowerlady
Flowerlady
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Absolutely. So true. I spend a lot of time looking at the past without the rose colored glasses on – with the piles of crumbled spackle debris on the ground. 28 years worth. There were things that happened in the first few months that should have caused me to call it quits.

sewingchump
sewingchump
8 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

Exactly! This has been my experience. The cheating is just a symptom of a much bigger problem. That entitlement thing is a bitch to live with, work around and get used to for those of us on the chump end of it. Ugh! Feels like all I’ve done is grovel for 10 years. I’ve begged for love, prayed, hoped, sacrificed myself on it’s alter and I’m now convinced the man I’ve been married to is completely incapable of reciprocity. There’s definitely something bigger at work there and I’m so sick of trying to figure it out!

CB, I say this: Even if he is a unicorn, he might just be better for someone else. Let him go and you go and find other awesome people to hang out with who don’t remind you of such hurt and sadness. That should never be the basis of getting back with anyone.

Kay
Kay
8 years ago
Reply to  sewingchump

Sewing this is so good for me to read!! Thank you.

KarenE
KarenE
8 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

Lulu, this is SOOOOOO right on! I pick-me danced real pretty and did all the reconciliation work after Affair #1, while the narc stepped up his game JUST enough to keep me around. But over time he continued to be selfish, negative, mean and entitled. At one point I had had enough of that, told him I wanted out, but he again stepped up his game, enough to make the kids and myself much happier, and very appreciative of his efforts.

THEN he cheated again.

Kay
Kay
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

I don’t know if my husband is a serial cheater. I do know he wasn’t there for me when times got tough. When our newborn was screaming for 8 (yes 8) hours in a row he suddenly had to work constantly. And if he was home to sleep, well he had to be at work so he HAD to sleep. I spackled of course at the time but I can look back over the course of our relationship and see when times were hard he worked all the time. Was he cheating everytime? I have no idea, but I know enough. Over and over when times were hard he bailed, with lots of excuses. If the excuses weren’t good enough and I questioned him, the guilt, anger and silent treatment would set in (but of course if I mentioned his silence then there would be denial anger guilt etc. it never ended!!). I bet if you look back at your life you will see evidences of his selfishness time and time again that you may have spackled CB. But it’s hard I know and it takes time.

SurferChump
SurferChump
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Wow, Lulu and Karen, your comments touched on something I dealt with too, but could never quite explain it or put it into words. It was like the cheating was just a symptom of a much bigger issue. There would be periods of no cheating, but inevitably something else would start to go bad–financial shenanigans, acting out, other selfish/entitled behavior, etc. It was as if the bad behavior had to come out in one way or another! Sometimes that entitlement mentality may not continue to express itself in the form of cheating, but in many other ways that are destructive to others.

CRHCHK
CRHCHK
8 years ago
Reply to  SurferChump

Exactly. When I finally saw that the relationship was always lopsided in every way, in addition to the fact that he lied to my face and cheated for months. Why would I want to have anything to do with this person? It’s still a tough and painful transition, but there’s no turning back.

kar marie
kar marie
8 years ago
Reply to  CRHCHK

Same here surfer, he would be fine but whenever he got totally stressed out, bamm, affair. This was the last time for me I get stressed, he stressed me out, menopause stressed me out, major surgery stressed me out. I. Did. Not. Cheat. Fucker.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  SurferChump

My XH (not the Jackass Cheater) was every bit as entitled and miserable to live with as a cheater would be. Looking back, I can’t believe what I put up with. He didn’t cheat with an OW, but I was at best #6 on his priority list, behind son, 2 grandchildren, his bff, his weekend drinking hole and his buddies there. From the time I was 21, I would have said “But I love him” no matter what he did. And there were probably 50 moments over the years when I should have walked away. But the “I love him” was really not about him–it was a one-woman pick-me dance, no cheating involved. Just me trying to get a disordered selfish alcoholic to value me, to pick ME–a big repetition of my experience with my mother. It took a DDay and 6 months of aftershock to start seeing that things in my life would never improve until I learned to truly value myself. Lose a cheater (addict, narcissist, pain in the ass), gain a life.

kar marie
kar marie
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

In a 30 year relationship married twenty five he’s done it four times ha how chumpy am I, twenty three years he was faithful at least he appeared to be. Thought we were past all that. But no entitled bastard I’m not the boss of him but now whore juice is. The big he man alpha male was too much of a chicken shit to tell me the truth. And apparently 30 years of love and devotion as a good faithful and equal partner meant and means absolutely nothing. Absolutely nothing! The only thing he cares about is being called sir, lord and master by the whore and treated the same way. He was never like this before her or maybe he was and took it this long to come out. But to realize almost thirty years of love, family, history, devotion means nothing to that bastard is beyond me. He’s erased it all and doesn’t care. Well I no longer care either. The only thing I wish upon him is all the pain and torture he gave to me. I no longer care whether he lives, breathes or dies. Harsh I know. But to turn on me like I’m the piece of shit fuck him. Take him back, never, I never want to see him again for any reason whatsoever. And him and his whore wants us to be great friends I think not. Fuck them both. He’s cheated on her in the past, he’sdoing it now. Love of his life, dream girl, bah, they will both get theirs one day. What goes around comes around.

lostntx
lostntx
8 years ago
Reply to  kar marie

I don’t think you’re harsh at all. I feel the same way. They turned on us and treated us like shit! Would we let anyone else do half of what they did to us? Mine too wants to be friends. It kills her we can’t talk. I don’t care about her financial struggles now. Well, Fuck her! Maybe you should have thought about that crap before you fucked around. I see no reason to have anything to do with her or care about her. She sure didn’t think about me and the incredible pain she caused me when she admitted to cheating and then wanting a divorce. You know they really are only concerned about themselves in all this!

TheClip
TheClip
8 years ago

Poor baby! Is he finding out that life has consequences…. and there is nobody there to fold his socks,cook dinner, walk the dog and pay the taxes? He misses the wife appliance.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

“Wife appliance”. EXACTLY. My divorce attorney uses wife as a verb as in “you don’t have to wife for that SOB anymore.”

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

You don’t have to wife anymore. I love this so much

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

ChumpBadge–your X gets a Sad Sausage degree, cum laude.

I agree with CL, you have not had enough distance from him to make rational decisions.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago

Nicole, this woman had to leave her home and move away. Not only did her children lose a family they lost their home. And look how long it took him to get out of that fucking fog. Gag a maggot.
CB, why don’t you let him have the kids at his place for the weekends while you go get some relief from parenting. Tell him to become a grown up. My husbands mother died and in his grief he reached for me and hung on for dear life. That is what you do if you are committed to your spouse. You let them in to comfort you. He fucked the OW because he wanted to. When he can show the adult realization that he harmed his family and then be an active Dad IN HIS OWN HOUSE….BY HIMSELF……then maybe.
Do you want this man to decide at 40, 45, 50 that maybe a little love from a co-worker wouldn’t be so bad? You can’t change him. Also, it took a frigging YEAR for him. That is what I see. It is still all about him.

ChumpBadge
ChumpBadge
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

Thank you for your reply. You asked “why don’t you let him have the kids at his place for the weekends while you go get some relief from parenting.” Right now, he follows the divorce decree which gives me the children a majority of the time. We live in a very mountainous area and, with winter weather, I’m not really willing to have them traveling the dangerous roads. When he is in our area, he does offer to take the children to give me a break.

ChumpBadge
ChumpBadge
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

No, he does not stay with me. He uses an area hotel.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

Let go……I would have thought that thats what the XPOS would have done/should have done when his son passed……lean on me. NOPE! He chose a stripper and many excuses instead.
FUCK HIM! Yep, still hating over here.

PucksMuse
PucksMuse
8 years ago

I can understand LW being to “into” ex’s situation at this stage. Her DDay and divorce happened SO QUICKLY that she barely had the time most chumps have to process through what has happened to their lives. Kudos to you, LW, for handling this shit like a boss and not giving HIM time to do “decide” what he wanted to do. You drew the lines and drew them quickly.

But now, the question is, are you happier now than you were when you were married to him? Do you find your life less stressful? Do you find that you’ve been a single parent for years, doing all of the family’s emotional heavy-lifting and care-taking, you just didn’t realize it? Are you more hopeful about your future now than when you were married to him? Does the idea of returning to him make you happy or disappointed?

I ask because i’ve seen several friends in cheater-broken marriages end up feeling RELIEVED once the marriage is over, because they realize that it’s actually easier being alone than being married to someone who devoted so little to the marriage/family. That it’s easier to just take care of the kids and their needs, rather than trying to chase the cheater, making sure he feels appreciated enough, loved enough, worshipped enough, just so s/he participates in the family.

It’s entirely up to you, whether you want to return or not. I would step down heavily on the side of “not,” because once that emotional damage has been done to the marriage, I don’t think you can come back from it. But that’s me, not you. I would go to a therapist IMMEDIATELY to do the emotional work you need to do before you should even consider such a step. I hope it works out for you.

pineconeelf
pineconeelf
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

PucksMuse “But now, the question is, are you happier now than you were when you were married to him? Do you find your life less stressful? Do you find that you’ve been a single parent for years, doing all of the family’s emotional heavy-lifting and care-taking, you just didn’t realize it? Are you more hopeful about your future now than when you were married to him? Does the idea of returning to him make you happy or disappointed?”

Thank you so much for this. It’s the perfect check-list for me today, and confirms my decision to start divorce proceedings this week. I’ve been a single parent for our entire marriage. I can clearly see the road to meh…

ChumpBadge
ChumpBadge
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

You have many great questions that I need to really consider. Thank you.
1) “are you happier now than you were when you were married to him?” — Honestly, yes and no. The earlier portion of our marriage was happier, the last 3 years of our marriage was absolutely miserable.
2) “Do you find your life less stressful?” — No, my life is more stressful now in many ways. I have a lot of rebuilding to do. I imagine it will get easier with time.
3) “Do you find that you’ve been a single parent for years, doing all of the family’s emotional heavy-lifting and care-taking, you just didn’t realize it?” — No, he was an engaged father for the majority of our marriage. It was the last 3 years of it that he completely checked out. I was a single parent from that point on.
4) “Are you more hopeful about your future now than when you were married to him?” — Not yet.
5) “Does the idea of returning to him make you happy or disappointed?” — IF the unicorn remorse was real, IF the current level of reconciliation effort would be sustained, and IF I could find a way to make peace with all the pain he has put me and our children through, then yes, I think I could be happy. Unfortunately there are a lot of IF’s in that sentence and no guarantees. So, the thought of being chumped yet again makes me physically ill.

Ninja Chump
Ninja Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpBadge

Chumpbadge – He’s still in touch with the other woman? Fuck that. I don’t care if it’s “only” via text, email or carrier pigeon. You used to be his wife, you are now THE OTHER WOMAN. Take a long step back and look at it. It’s a classic narc move. You wouldn’t be the first ex to become the schmoopie under the false premise of wreckonciliation.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpBadge

If you were “single parenting” for three years while he was checked out/having affair(s), you indeed have “been a single parent for years.” It’s very helpful to notice when you are minimizing the consequences for you and the kids of his long-term detached behavior, as well as the affair(s).

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpBadge

You forgot “IF I can trust him again”, lots of big IFs that are unlikely. He deliberately lied to you for a long time to carry on affair and left you for the AP. Big IFs. You are more focused all the IFs that are him, not enough on ALL the IFs that are yours. Jedi Hugs!

fireman357Paintwidow
fireman357Paintwidow
8 years ago
Reply to  PucksMuse

Omg…. Your comment completely spoke to me. This is me……sooooo hurt, sooooooo want the apology I’ll never get, but now a year later sooooooo thankful that he left me for his affair partner. I feel like I came out of the fog I was in and become more myself again everyday.
I’m lucky, because my ex’s affair partner is insecure he will cheat on her with me ( that’s rich…) he is not allowed to contact me unless it’s business related to the divorce, had to be on speaker and she has to be listening.
I love my life now, sweet amazing new also chumped boyfriend, great amazing kids who choose to not see their dad anymore, good atty so good settlement, best of all no more narcissistic asshole.
You absolutely have to shut off that crazy ass noise to see the new life that’s so amazing. NC is the only way to end the insanity.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago

I wonder, since the OW is still trying to contact, if she has saved all the texts, emails, etc. I wonder what you could find by asking her. You might find another side of him. You might find a slimy, lying, scumbag. I guarantee she has saved everything. This is a question for Chumps….should she ask to see?

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

The fact that he is still in contact with his OW in any way, shape, or form (so that he “admits” when she has contacted him), is evidence enough.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yep, that was the final ‘nail in the coffin’ for me – X would not stay 100% away from his AP. It’s a complete slap in the face, and the reason why I turned my back on him for good.
And I know he knew this was the key, because right before I left the state, he said he’d dump her and never speak to her again, if I would just give him one more chance. TOO LATE! I moved away a few days later.
They know what we require for us to feel safe, and these are the things they start offering later, like when the AP dumps their dumb ass!

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

GIANT red flag

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

yes, if he was serious he’d block her totally

This Chump medicated for your protection
This Chump medicated for your protection
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

Yes this would switch the narc channel to rage !

KarenE
KarenE
8 years ago

Although if the narc rage channel came on, THAT would be very useful info in itself.

sephage
sephage
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

I say no way, do not contact the OW. That’s getting way to involved after they’ve already divorced. CB doesn’t need proof, I think; she needs to get more distance away from this ex of hers.

Sketchyokgirl
Sketchyokgirl
8 years ago

Chump Lady, The way you break down the situation is why I come here every day. I just don’t “see” the reality like you do. When I read something like this and then get your analysis, I’m reminded why I must remain no contact with my ex because otherwise I would fall for his BS again. I think it’s more than fixing my picker. It’s more like stop taking everyone/thing at face value and protect yourself.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
8 years ago
Reply to  Sketchyokgirl

And it’s about trusting your instincts/your gut. So many of us have been blessed with good instincts but we talk ourselves out of letting those instincts guide us because we’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings or being perceived as a jerk.

It’s okay to trust your gut. Most of the time it’s smarter than your head and it definitely wins out over the heart!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago
Reply to  Sketchyokgirl

Ditto!

arlo
arlo
8 years ago
Reply to  Sketchyokgirl

+1

sephage
sephage
8 years ago

Maybe I am weird, but I’ve got no interest whatsoever in what my cheating STBXW is up to right now. None.

If she came back begging to reunite, I would laugh my ass off and then tell her to get off my property.

I wouldn’t call it meh, as I am still justifiably angry at her and her AP (who is a real narcissistic asshole, and that’s not even my own term for him, that’s what other people in the neighborhood have told me that they think of him). And I get reminded of it every time that I have to contact her and even get within downwind smelling distance of her constant bullshit.

And while seeing my daughter only half of the time depresses me, I’m waaaaay happier being single and not having to deal with my ex’s constant mindfuckery. It helps, I think, that she’s so unprepared for navigating the tougher aspects of life that she parrots whatever I am doing, and so she is gradually adopting NC (though still kibble-fishing by trying to give me waaaay more info than I need when I do have to contact her).

Personally, I am VERY glad that I don’t have the returning-cheating-spouse problem to have to deal with right now.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago

Dear ChumpBadge,

If your ex could hide his true nature for 20 years, then he can certainly hide it long enough to convince you to get back together. You need to trust that he sucks. Cheaters are going to cheat even if it takes them 20 years to get started and non-cheaters will NEVER cheat, no matter what. As far as I know, it took my ex 20 years to start cheating on me. I (accidentally) got definitive proof that he’s cheating on wife number two after only a year.

If you take this dude back he will cheat on you again. Don’t go there. Go very low contact with him and only discuss issues regarding the kids.

Anita
Anita
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Excellent point, Elizabeth!

Anita
Anita
8 years ago

Regarding the login information: Any account a cheater gives you access to is worthless. They have secret accounts, do you really think a person is stupid enough to do their whoring where they know you can see it. You can set up completely new accounts in a few minutes.

This guy hasn’t changed, he just wants his “life” back. You are incidental to that. He was probably cheating all along, and just got sloppy in the end. Sorry, mofo, goodbye is your best response.

Finally realized
Finally realized
8 years ago
Reply to  Anita

For sure. Mine – after initiating a very sincere heart to heart talk, laying out our proposed “new beginning”, wherein there would be “absolutely NO dishonesty whatsoever” and “only exquisitely transparent dealings in every way” on his part, googled “how to hide your history on firefox” that same afternoon…

I mean, as he often tells me, his mama didn’t raise no fool. (Oh, I beg to differ.)

Thank you, key logger! Yes. I actually laughed when I read it.

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago

You = mighty

chumplady
chumplady
8 years ago
Reply to  Anita

Same thing with the financials. That’s why I always tell chumps to run a credit report.

Chumpling
Chumpling
8 years ago

Wow. What an amazing takedown for the UBT. As I read CB’s letter I was thinking goodness, this does seem like genuine remorse, he does seem to be taking the right steps– how could one argue with this, thought I?

And CL brilliantly seized on the answer. It’s all about HIM. Wow. Of course. He lost his OW so of COURSE he is doing just what HE needs to do to get what HE wants. He doesn’t give a flaming frog what’s good for CB. Of course. Geez.

Fantastic. Well done.

(But how unfortunate for CB.)

LIningUpDucks
LIningUpDucks
8 years ago

CL is speaking truth here. Seeing the big picture, which is hard for you to do, in these circumstances. All us chumps understand. Most of us have given our exes at least “one more try.”

The OW fantasy wore off (as they tend to do), now you’re his Plan B. Lucky you… Yay. (no-one claps)

Don’t be fooled. The “Plan A” slot is still open, waiting to be filled. You’re still plan B, always will be. Even more so, if he knows you’ll take that kind of treatment and come back to him.

Part of your struggle, ChumpBadge, is that you want him back. You don’t want to single parent. Maybe, just maybe, you want to save face, too….get back the husband that you want to believe wasn’t a waste of years of your life.

But don’t…just don’t. History will repeat, and then you’ll have wasted even more years. Keep your legal freedom, and untangle yourself mentally from him.

Einstein
Einstein
8 years ago
Reply to  LIningUpDucks

The ex really did seem sincere every time he begged me back, and each time I gave it a shot I ended up heartbroken and disappointed. What LiningUpDucks is saying is SOOO true. Had I been his Plan A, he wouldn’t have gone looking in the first place, and when he did and got caught, he would have shown a scintilla of concern and regard for my feelings and my emotional well-being. I can forget that he screwed anything that would say yes, but what I can’t forget is how cold and indifferent he was towards me. There’s the biggest eye-opener, and that’s what completely destroys the faith and trust.

It’s years later, and he’s still begging me back, only I understand now that he’s just sad and lonely and I seem like a good idea at the moment. If I went back, the inevitable would be yet another D-day. Thankfully, the desire is completely gone.

Don’t invest any more time.

Chris W.
Chris W.
8 years ago
Reply to  LIningUpDucks

Excellent, excellent point about the “Plan A slot still being open”. Wow. Why would ANY of us want to a cheater ‘ s “fallback” plan? Yuck.

Strad
Strad
8 years ago
Reply to  Chris W.

Being someone’s Consolation Prize is no way to recover and move on.

HoustonDad
HoustonDad
8 years ago

This isn’t really the place to ask for the kind of advice she needs. People really do make mistakes and learn from them. It does happen. There are no second chances here. One strike and you’re the devil.

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

HoustonDad. STFU and kick rocks you infidelity apologist. Take that weak-ass shit somewhere else.

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

I gave my ex a second chance… I think a lot of us here have tried reconciliation at some point. We non-cheating spouses do a lot of dumb things in the name of love because we want things to be the way they were before. But once that trust has been broken (especially when it was a long, on-going affair or multiple infractions and you know exactly what was going on and with whom) it’s really REALLY hard to get that trust back. It’s really REALLY hard to shut down the “movie” playing in your head, too. I hated feeling like the other shoe was going drop and being on edge constantly. My ex hated having to be an open book and the lack “his privacy”… As soon as I let my guard down, he was soothing his “mid-life crisis” again. Hopefully for you that won’t happen in the future. Good luck! CB knows that this is not a reconciliation promoting website. She asked for opinions of what she might be missing. Just like you, she will decide whether or not she wants to run the gauntlet again.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

“here are no second chances here. One strike and you’re the devil.”

HoustonDad, we have a problem.

The cheating we’re talking about here is not a single mistake. This is not a “one strike” incident. When my cheater ex chose to have an affair, he deliberately chose to spend time with the other woman. He chose to take her out to dinner. And he eventually chose to take her to a hotel. While he was doing that he was also choosing to spend his time doing anything and everything except parenting our children.

ChumpBadge’s ex-h did something similar. We’re not talking about somebody who got blindingly drunk, tripped, and fell dick-first on a naked whore. Somebody who is stupid or immature could do that. Once. If it happens twice then it’s a lifestyle. It’s a pattern.

ChumpBadge’s husband decided over and over to think only about himself and his dick. He wasn’t thinking about her and he wasn’t thinking about his kids. He was having fun until the new fuck didn’t work out as a wife appliance. Of course he wants his old life back.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

HoustonDad was severely chumped and tried to reconcile at least twice. He couldn’t make it work. He thinks his wife was truly remorseful but that he couldn’t love her anymore. He appears to be on the forgiveness train, which is fine. It’s not everyone’s ride though. Peace out.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Blessings to HoustonDad and anyone who goes through that wringer. And it’s perfectly OK to not be about to love someone who rips your heart out. Or to feel you still love someone who is a entitled, cheating narcissist.

sephage
sephage
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

Paraphrasing Houstondad:

“Not everyone is wrong in exactly the same ways. Except CN; you guys are all wrong in exactly the same ways.”

Dude, WTF?!??

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

Yes, one strike and you’re out. Even if remorseful. Want to know why? Because no faithful spouse deserves to live feeling broken, mistrustful, and playing marriage police. Cheating doesn’t just “happen,” it involves a series of decisions, typically over months or years. If a spouse has such terrible decision making abilities and poor impulse control, I don’t trust them and I don’t want them. End of story.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

First thing my therapist told me is “you can never go back.” Because she knew a hyena when she saw one. It took me 6 months to internalize that.

zyx321
zyx321
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

Houston Dad,
No, this is not true about CN– it is not “one strike and you are a devil” at Chump Lady.. The point here is be cautious; if you decide to trust, trust, but verify. We all realize here that folks do make bad choices and can learn from them. But in the VAST majority of cases, the cheater continues down the path, whether it be one month later, or ten years later. In the case of ChumpBadge, I agree with CL assessment. Lot’s of me on the part of the exH, but where is the concern for CB?

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

Houston we have a problem! This isn’t a site for people who want the sugar coated version of the truth. That is true.

BTW-cheating is NEVER a mistake. It’s a choice. Big difference.

CB’s ex is not entitled to reconciliation with CB. She can accept what happened and keep him at arms length if she so chooses because well that is her choice. That would also be her ex’s consequence because here is the great thing about being an adult and having free will-You can make any choice you want but we all do that with the knowledge that there might be consequences. Those of us that aren’t delusional that is.

If I decide to eat a giant hunk of chocolate cake, my consequence is a spike in my blood sugar short term and if I do it every day, weight gain in the long term. If I eat that chocolate cake every day I’m not going to run around blaming everyone else that I made that choice. Nor do I believe that the gods of weight loss should forgive me and grant me my cake with no calories or no consequences.

If this guy is a true unicorn, CB should know what that looks like. This guy doesn’t sound like a true unicorn to me.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

Houston, we don’t know enough to know if this man feels remorse. What we do know is that he not only cheated, he wanted out so he could move in with the OW. And now that his affair is done, he wants a do-over. I don’t really care what book the cheater might be reading, or what his counselor tells him to do. This woman has no solid indicators that this guy has changed at all. The only way she will know is to do her healing, get clear on who she is, and figure out what she wants (other than to turn the clock back before her DDay). He made the mess. If it takes her a couple of years to get a cold-eyed look on what he has to offer, going forward, he should be fine with that. Meanwhile, my guess is that he has one life through the week and now the “family” on weekends. Cake here, Cake there.

Over and Out
Over and Out
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Well said, LAJ!!

nomar
nomar
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

If you think an affair and abandoning your family is a “mistake,” you truly don’t belong on this site. Or in a marriage, for that matter. Because you lack a basic understanding of character, compassion, and personal responsibility.

Maybe you should find a support site for the victims of child abuse or hate crimes and wag your finger at them for how they handle their trauma. SMH.

Abby
Abby
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Nomar, he never identified whether he is a Chump or a Cheater.

“I have lived thru it.” On which end? What this comment smacks of is a guy who is the typical sociopath….mimic all the right moves and expects everyone to be fooled just like before. What is so nice about sunlight is the cockroaches are seen…and what is seen cannot be forgotten.

Cheaters want us all to forget what we see and know and nust listen to their spin.

CB…he shacked up with OW and didn’t come out of his “fog” until it fell apart with her. You say he tells you when she tries to contact him? Question: why does she have any connection to him….why has he not cut her off so completely….as in, new phone number, blocked everywhere else…etc? He is telling you about it because it makes you feel that he could teeter back if you don’t grab that specialness that is him.

And child support. Lets not get into the whole cheaper to keep her thing. That is a given. Schmoopie probably wanted shiny things besides ChumpBadges EHs dick and Mr Cheater couldnt afford it. Or he triangulated with her and the kids/you and she kicked his ass out. Whichever….he didnt come out of the fod until Schmoopie Pie was smashed in his face.

The whole super dad thing is nothing for him to do right now…he has nothing else. Until he gets back everything he incinerated once before. Then it will be…..YOU can’t let it go. YOU keep wanting to talk about this, I am done now, I talked about it until you took me back and that was the goal, so get over it.

This story has sociopath mimic written all over it. The six month thing is a trigger for me because that was always the timeline with XH….he got caught cheating and it too six months of being alone, and then he was calling me “missing me”. He was in college for six months…then quit. He was on a construction job for six months, then someone “said something mean” to him (they ARE roughnecks, dude. Duh.) And he quit. He started into every hobby imaginable serially…six months go by and he quits out of boredom.

Six months is your XHs expiration date.

Oh. And you are waaaaaaaaaaay too involved in your “XHs” life. You sound kinda like you dont want to move on, not that single parenting isnt hard, but you arent even doing that…you are still with XH, just without the sex. Just an observation.

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  Abby

I am 99% sure Houston Dad was severely chumped by his wife with his friend/neighbor….I recall his story over on the Forum several months ago. He was very angry and then later, it appeared she had talked her way into reconciliation. From his comments today, he must have found a unicorn….
No shade, HD…..best of luck 🙂

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

I just want to add, Houston Dad–If the unicorn jumps out the pasture and you find yourself in need of coming back to our fold, we will welcome you with open arms, compassion and righteous love just like we did the first time—semper fi

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

It isn’t one strike… cheating is a staggeringly-enormous litany of DECISIONS – not mistakes – that betray those you vowed to love and protect.

HoustonDad
HoustonDad
8 years ago

I know what it is. I’ve lived through it. Still, some people do make mistakes and are genuinely remorseful for them. The guy in the story above has obviously read “How To Help Your Spouse Heal…” because he’s doing everything they say to do. Taking ownership, transparency, counseling, etc. It’s all there. If he doesn’t deserve a second chance then honestly who does?

ChumpBadge
ChumpBadge
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

Thank you for all of your replies. I have read the full string and wanted you to know that I understand what you are trying to say. You are right, he did read the “how to help your spouse heal…” book along with several others. I do not believe you were calling all of Chump Nation bitter, but I believe you may have been trying to say that our own personal experiences color our responses. If that is in fact what you were trying to convey, I absolutely agree with that as well. I know that the responses I get will absolutely depend on the type of site I am on. I knew that by posting on CL that I would have many people punching holes in the hope, but that’s what I wanted & needed. There have been many replies that, while I greatly appreciate them, I have to disregard because they are less about my specific situation and more about their own.
Plus, there is always the very real fact that we are all commenting and giving advice on situations without all the detailed information. That is just the nature of these types of sites. I couldn’t possibly give all the details of the damage he caused & all the details of his effort without making my original letter a novel. So, I condensed as best as I could but I now see (by the responses I’ve received) that there are very important details that I left out that would perhaps have changed some of the reaction I have received (including CL). I started to try to give more details in the replies, but most seem to see it as minimizing. It’s entirely my fault for not including it in the original post.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

Houston, the pos was gone for a year. How often did he see his kids then? How often did he read stories, look at homework, go to activities? There is a whole year out of childhood that is gone. Zippo. During that year while the mom was trying to get over her shock and grief, while she was dealing with her childrens’ sorrow he was off fucking another woman. Did the ow have kids? If so they saw more of the man than his own kids did. What he did was steal trust, self esteem and joy from his wife and a year of childhood from his kids. He hasn’t done any time for this theft. He ought to be so grateful that this very caring chump opens her home to him. He needs to move closer to them. He needs to be a 24 hour parent even though he does not live in the house. I do not believe in that counseling bullshit about why he cheated. The son of a bitch cheated, and abandoned, because he wanted to.

HoustonDad
HoustonDad
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

All this anger is why I suggested this might not be the place for her to ask advice. I used to be just as angry as everyone else here. You gotta let it go. It’ll ruin you.

nomar
nomar
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

I can’t speak for others, but I wouldn’t say I have anger toward my cheating ex. I just know who she is and have a firm opinion that she’s a very dangerous animal. I no more have anger toward her for her cheating than I have anger toward hyenas for ambushing a wounded gazelle. It’s just what they do. Better that I recognize that and act accordingly. And also that I warn other wounded gazelles when the hyenas are circling.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Exactly, nomar. We have learned to recognize a hyena and avoid it.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

I don’t speak from a place of anger over my ex. She came here because her gut tells her she needs to. I believe that. Yes, it’s possible her ex is remorseful but she’s got doubts she can overcome her own pain and trust him. HD, you tried that route and found out it’s damn hard, for you it was not possible. So should we advise the LW to try despite her doubts? We advised you not to, you did it anyway and in the end you realized you could not rekindle the love and relationship you once had with your stbx. I’m getting a little pissed at your insistence that everyone here is an angry bitter person who cannot move on. That is not true at all. Many of us simply recognize a pattern or see things more objectively than the person in the thick of it and we say what we think. When I was in the thick of it I could not see clearly, not anymore than YOU could.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

“I’m getting a little pissed at your insistence that here is an angry bitter person who cannot move on.”

+1

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

I feel like you’re just tying to make sure she is engaged in this choice- that she knows it is up to her. That’s admirable. And yes- this letter is from her so it’s positioned from her point of view, so the red flags which chump lady is pointing out may actually be about her and her feelings for ex, and her shouldering responsibility for the affair instead of allowing him to own it. We are all rallying behind what we know, which is no unicorns. If he is actually doing the work, and she chooses to give him another shot, CL has outlined some great guard rails to ensure it happens slowly, and with care to her recovery, not just his poor hurt feelers. Your right, in that sometimes we are a bit scary in our adherence to rational ‘get away from the burning house that is life with a cheater’…. But that’s what you do when you want someone to not be in a house on fire. She is absolutely able to review and declare that she’s going to give it a shot. Most of us do. And most of us have the scars to prove it. But I admire your level of hope. It takes a lot to be that open after enduring this. It’s nice to see, and please don’t stop posting it because CN is about finding your way, whatever choices you make on that path.

kar marie
kar marie
8 years ago

I’m angry damn Angy at my cheating ex and I’m staying angry at him and his ho. Will keep me from anymore further contact. I’m not angry at the world just him and his shit. I will not let that anger rule any other part of my life except where he is concerned and my anger for him is indifference and non caring.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
8 years ago

HoustonDad – There is no such thing as a “wayward spouse”. Perhaps you are on the wrong board.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

Actually there is now a lot of psychological evidence that anger can be a positive emotion; it (rightfully) targets people who break societal strictures, it motivates people to make changes in personal and public life (imagine if people hadn’t been angry during the Civil Rights era; nothing would have happened), and it helps us keep personal boundaries. When directed at a wrong-doer, it can also be a learning mechanism to help them reign in their impulses.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

You’re wrong, HD–some of us who have been divorced and still on the site do not have rage for our own situations anymore. I, am, however, righteously angry that other cheaters are enacting damage to their spouses’ and children’s lives, and using mindfuckery to do it.

Furthermore, many of our judgments that it is best to leave a cheater are cognitive (not emotional) ones–we have read myriad stories about chumps taking back cheaters, only to have 2-, 5-,, 10-, 20-,30- more years of their lives wasted with emotional abuse + more infidelity. When infidelity is accompanied by emotional abuse in other areas, there is a .025 chance that the cheater can reform, in my personal and professional opinion as a psychologist.

I’m happy that you have lost your anger over being chumped, and are moving on. Stop judging the rest of us that you have had limited contact with.

HoustonDad
HoustonDad
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I understand justifiable anger but should we here give advice to someone else from a position of anger over our own situation? That’s why this might not be the place to ask for advice on a lot of things but rather a place to vent that anger. Case in point, I don’t recall ever seeing anyone here suggest that someone give their wayward spouse another chance. Every single time a question is posed like the author of this letter posed, the advice they get is to immediately dump the other person as harshly as possible. The responses are always coming from a place of rage but not rage for the OP’s situation but rather rage being projected from their own situation.

Anita
Anita
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

You must not be looking, then, because I have HD. But personally I think any person who leaves his spouse and moves in with a tramp has blown all chances of reconciliation. And guess what, I’ve always believed that, so it’s not coming from a place of “rage”, just good sense.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I disagree; I can be angry when I think about what was done to me, and the ripple effects from X’s decision to bang as many nubile students as possible. I also get damned angry when I contemplate that the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram are still missing. But the vast majority of the time, I consider myself happy.

It might be difficult to be both angry and happy in the same moment, but there are many moments in a day and in a life.

HoustonDad
HoustonDad
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

…but anger and happiness are mutually exclusive. You can’t be happy while you’re angry and who wants to live like that? We all here, or most of us, got unimaginably screwed over by someone we loved and trusted. It happens. We had no control over it but what he have full control over is how we respond to it. We can become consumed by anger, hatred, and bitterness or we can let it go, move on, and find happiness. The choice is ours. I choose happiness.

Anita
Anita
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

HD, you can’t tell other people how they can feel. Don’t transfer your ideas onto others .

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Agree, SurferChump–anger & its expression evolved for a reason.

SurferChump
SurferChump
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

That makes perfect sense. It’s curious to me how these days anger is so unacceptable. It’s not “cool” to be righteously angry, it’s cool to be nonchalant, the bigger person, etc. But anger seems to me to be a very legitimate human emotion that, when processed and expressed appropriately, can be very positive. Of course, if we let anger simmer indefinitely without processing it, it can be damaging too.

Chris W.
Chris W.
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

It’s not anger. It’s pragmatism and establishing boundaries.

nomar
nomar
8 years ago
Reply to  HoustonDad

Yes, that’s right: nobody “deserves” a second chance after abandoning your family. You don’t earn it; there’s no quid pro quo. If you receive it, it’s a gift. You might google “grace.”

And that very sense of entitlement dooms any reconciliation.where it exists.

yo
yo
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

If he left you for another woman, thats not love. He lived with her for some time. He probably professed his love to her. Now he is ready to come back. So he loves you again? He no longer loves HER? I cant trust a man who can switch his love off and on like that. It just doesnt make sense.If it is on-again-off- again then how can that be love?

Lulu
Lulu
8 years ago

Hi ChumpBadge,

First and foremost, your husband shouldn’t be commended for visiting his children and helping them with their homework. He’s their father and he’s just fulfilling his job description.

Second, he didn’t give up the OW after Dday, or after your filed the divorce papers, or right after he was served… no, that relationship ended when it stopped being fun. If you believe that he had some grand epiphany over everything that he’s lost, then you are buying into the bullshit “fog” theory even if you disagree with it in principle.

Third, if your ex was willing to blow up your marriage and not make even the slightest effort to save it after 20 YEARS together and a couple of kids, how could you possibly sleep soundly beside him ever again, never knowing for sure if in 6 months, 5 years, 10 years or in another couple decades (maybe when he’s no longer on the hook for child support and can have a relationship with the kids independent of you) he might just stab you in the back again?

Last but not least, you should ask him to send you a copy of his proposed cohabitation agreement…just so you can wipe your ass with it and mail it back. He’s still an entitled dickhead if he thinks he get to dictate the terms of your reconciliation.

ChumpBadge, you took quick and decisive action in the beginning and didn’t hang yourself out to dry in limbo for years like many chumps do. Don’t set your ability to heal and move on by backtracking now.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  Lulu

“…your husband shouldn’t be commended for visiting his children and helping them with their homework. He’s their father and he’s just fulfilling his job description.” Yep. Give him a bitch cookie.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Bitch cookie. True dat.

DeeL
DeeL
8 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Bitch cookie +1

PF
PF
8 years ago

What stands out the most is that MR. CHEATER took off with the sparkly OW, and now that it turned out the sparkles lost the shine Mr. Foggy, Mr. Sadz, Mr. Remorse is now sharing his “feelings” with you.

Mr. Cheater was’t thinking of you or the kids when he was shacked up with sparkles, they were happily banging each other while you were left to pick up the pieces of your life. Sparkly banging while you were the primary parent, sparkly banging each other, having a great time while you were the adult.

Poor MR. CHEATER, the sparkles lost it’s shine, maybe the money ran out, maybe he was used and it wasn’t his big dick but his big wallet that sparkly loved. Poor cheater, it was foggy, he was sadz, he has feelings that he can now share with you. You’re so lucky, so lucky, lucky, to even be given the gift to forgive him.

My ex-wife’s brand new marriage is over, she’s tried the same shit on me now. I told her to take a hike on a big mountain on a foggy day.

Chris W.
Chris W.
8 years ago
Reply to  PF

It’s pretty well documented that these Cluster B’s CANNOT be alone. Ever. It’s literally pathological. If you get rid of one, they literally run around until they can find ANYONE so they’re not alone anymore. If Jeffrey Dahmer was the last person on earth, they would shack up with him, JUST so they aren’t alone anymore. (I’m not saying PF is Dahmer, but it reminded me of an important point when he said his EW’S new marriage is now over, and she’s come crawling back to him. They CANNOT be alone. We’re just the “Companion Appliance”).

DeeL
DeeL
8 years ago
Reply to  Chris W.

You have a good point here Chris W., ” they literally run around until they can find ANYONE so they’re not alone anymore. ” And if you are the anyone that they set their sites on CB, then pick yourself up and walk away from that mess. You are not just “anyone” you have value, give that to yourself.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago
Reply to  PF

LOVE your truth, PF! Sooooo true! and with wit! lol

Liz
Liz
8 years ago

A quick personal experience from the Chumpdom Battlefield: A pre-nup or other erstwhile “written agreement” is MEANINGLESS. A piece of paper can’t replace trust, fix the disordered or keep a constant tab on the state of the ow. When they decided they’re bored, want another bite of that tasty cake or to bring you up just so they can bring you down again, a written agreement is going to be run over by a mack truck. Squashed flat. Shredded. MEANINGLESS. They will offer this to create a false sense of security, if they truly want the cake, they will find a way to get the cake.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago

CB……what CL says will be a REALLY hard road to follow, but do it!!! She’s so right! He can’t be the only person you can ever fall in love with! HE SUCKS!!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Forgot to add……and the bad thing on my part is that I was like you CB with believing yours could be the one story that is a successful back together again story……till CL set me straight too!

lostntx
lostntx
8 years ago

CB, from the tone i’m picking up in your letter it sounds like you are trying to talk yourself into taking him back. You are acting like a chump! Follow CL’s advice and decide what you want. Shut-off the noise that is him with NC like has been suggested. It was at least 2 months of NC and counseling before I started coming out of the “chump fog”. I admire you for acting so quickly and decisively. Now take the advice here and heal yourself. Then and only then should you reconsider him at all. But I think you know once you do the work, he’s not what you really want. It’s hard to believe that life can be good after all this. It can be. It’s hard and it’s work. To me the alternative of going back to your old life just isn’t worth it. Be strong and think about you! I know it’s hard for a chump but you deserve better.

CalamityJane