He Ended the Marriage by Text

mask

Her husband ended their marriage by text. Then she discovered his 10-year double life after the Other Woman reached out.

****

Dear Chump Lady,

My story is unique, and I can’t quite get it to fit into any narrative I have read on the subject – and I’ve read EVERYTHING.

Last year, FW changed.

Withdrawn, depressed. He even went missing from work on one occasion and was found wandering down the road looking like a homeless, lost soul. All stops were pulled out to help him. My whole family rallied around. We went on holiday. I even went to the doctor with him, you know, being a supportive wife – like you are supposed to. He got tablets, went for counselling, joined a man’s support group.

Things were looking up. Still not great, but we limped along — for another year like a 25-year relationship does — when one person has checked out, but forgotten to tell the other.

All the signs of cheating were there…

Our daughters seen messages he was deleting. He was walking the dog whilst having long conversations with a work colleague. The location on his iPhone suddenly stopped working. This was emphatically denied. He gaslit me to within an inch of my life. Messages like, ‘Who would have me anyway?’, ‘I swear on the kid’s lives there is no one else’, ad nauseum …

Then one day, 6 months ago, whilst I was doing something innocuous – posting a parcel – I received a text from him. Basically, he wanted a break from ‘us’. We had grown apart. We didn’t have much in common anymore. He needed to find himself. So, that was it.

My marriage ended by text.

Still no other woman. Just wanted to find out who he was, after all these years. Maybe the supporting him through open heart surgery, a traumatic accident, his mother’s death, and taking on the sole care of his children whilst he worked away all week, had made him a bit lost.

To my credit, I didn’t do the pick me dance. I had no one to compete with, right? There was definitely no other woman. He was just looking for himself. I asked once if we could go to counselling to see if we could save our marriage, to be met with an emphatic, ‘No, I don’t want to save this, it’s over’. I never asked again.

So, I picked up the pieces of my shattered life and tried to move on.

It was – and can only be described as – a trauma. I felt like I’d been run over by a high-speed train, then left to die on the tracks. It felt insurmountable. How could I continue? I just didn’t know. But, slowly, I got a bit better. I kept going to work, I kept my routine, I had great family support. This was going to be okay.

Before BD, I had booked a family trip to New York for us as a family. It was a surprise gift for his upcoming 50th birthday. I decided to go anyway. Me and our two daughters went on a girl’s trip to New York! We were going to have a blast!

However, someone had other ideas. On arrival, I received an anonymous message (picked up by my daughter, who is 17) to kindly inform me that my dear husband (who still hadn’t found himself, it seems) had been having an affair for 10 years. Ten whole years. So, here I was, thousands of miles away from my friends and family, my full support system, with this brand-new information. It was the middle of the night in the UK, there was no one for me to talk to. I just lay all night in this strange hotel, staring at the ceiling.

How could this be true? Surely, I would know, right?

I engaged with this anonymous person, who knew details about my life that cemented the fact, that this was in fact true. I felt paralysed. They then deleted their newly established Instagram profile, and disappeared like a puff of smoke. We tried our best to enjoy our holiday as best we could. I could feel panic rising in me at random moments throughout the day, and into the night. But I parked it, well, we all did. This was something I would deal with when I was at home.

Unbelievably, we had the best time. A holiday the three of us will remember forever.

On our return, I confronted FW, who confirmed the story to be, in fact, true. The facts remain sketchy, but he confirmed that it wasn’t the full 10 years (lucky me), and they weren’t together now. She had messaged me, to get at him, as she’d been dumped. Some of things I said to him, can’t be repeated here, but goodness, I wanted him to suffer.

How could he steal 10 years from me?

This was inexplicable abuse. He had put my health at risk, lied to me and his children. He had gaslit us all. My oldest daughter recalls how he shouted at her to stop asking if there was another woman, as there wasn’t, and he would stop communicating if she didn’t drop it.

Again, I picked up the pieces. We struggled on. FW would not tell who his affair partner was. But, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, so I set about getting this information. And get it I did! She was the girlfriend of one of his oldest friends. They had since split up, but he really, really (I mean, really) didn’t want him to find out.

I sent her one message, telling her what I thought of the both of them. Then blocked her, and him. I said what I needed to say, and quietly left the room. As far, as I was concerned, they were welcome to one another.

Putting the pieces together, it became apparent that for the last year, she had been putting pressure on to tell me.

His ‘mental health’ struggles (remember I went to the doctor with him, ha!) were due to this. Everything started to make sense. How could I have been so stupid? Ten years? I never, ever suspected a thing. He was a master at lying and cheating it would appear.

FW and I started to talk. He agreed to everything I wanted in the divorce (guilt, ha). He tried to make amends. There were huge strides forward in communication. There were tears, both of us. Hell, I even considered reconciliation. He didn’t want the AP – he left her. I had won!

He said he had made the biggest mistake of his life.

Then, slowly, I realised I hadn’t won at all. He was a lost cause. Our happy years together were gone. And the grieving started all over again.

Then further devastation, as 1 month ago, I learned that the AP had died. Further revelations reveal that she knew the cancer that had returned was terminal, back when she messaged me whilst I was in New York. She was easing her conscious as she prepared for the inevitable. FW doesn’t care that she’s dead at all. Apparently, he never loved her like he loves me. What a complete idiot he is.

So, to cut a long story short. FW ran away, denied another woman, then I found out about a 10-year affair. She’s now dead, he’s living with his mate, and me and my girls have to sell our home to survive.

Freak Story

***

Dear Freak,

Your story is not unique.

Go read the archives. I promise you, you’re not the first spouse to be dumped by text, discover a long double life, or have a dead Schmoopie.

Heck, I have a dead Schmoopie story. I’ve often told the tale of paying one of the Other Women’s bar tab (she was a guest at our wedding. She was not the only OW.). Got curious a few years back, only to discover her GoFundMe page. She died penniless of cancer several years ago, had to fundraise money for her medical bills.

I felt no karmic Schadenfreude. Maybe some pity. It was a bad, lonely way to go. She wasted a lot of years on a FW.

I’m surprised you would describe this revelation from the Other Woman as devastating. I think it explains her motivations. As for expunging her conscience, it was gutless of her to tell you anonymously. I think what is devastating is to discover your husband’s double life. The orifice with which he conducted it is not central to the story.

Oh sure, she’s a person. You have every right to be angry with her. But a guy with a decade-long double life isn’t a first-time cheater.

No one is special. Not you. Not her.

You’re all interchangeable hot dishes at his great pussy buffet.

FW doesn’t care that she’s dead at all. Apparently, he never loved her like he loves me.

He’s a monster. He doesn’t love anyone, as evidenced by his behavior.

And I’d be VERY skeptical about his protestations of “love” at this point. Is that divorce finalized? Make sure you get all his generosity in writing and sign that shit ASAP.

He agreed to everything I wanted in the divorce (guilt, ha). He tried to make amends.

He tried? See what happens when you take him up on those generous terms.

Sorry is as sorry does.

I’m not sure how generous he is, when you need to sell your home to survive. He created that situation. He stole 10 years of your life. Risked your health. Deprived you of consent and the ability to chart a different future.

You absolutely deserve a more than fair settlement, and I would let a solicitor determine what that is. Not a duplicitous creep.

There were huge strides forward in communication. There were tears, both of us. Hell, I even considered reconciliation.

You need to be no contact with this dangerously manipulative person. You’ve had a monumental shock. You’re traumatized. Which makes you exceedingly vulnerable. Don’t think he doesn’t know that.

You can have no “strides forward in communication” this quickly, with a person who is so deeply deceitful. He has conducted a double life for at least a decade, that you’re aware of. He isn’t getting a character transplant. You’re high on hopium.

Closure doesn’t exist.

First off, the only communication you need to have with him is via your attorney. No relationship autopsies.

Second, remorse can be — and should be — expressed in tangible ways. By respecting your no contact. By providing a fair and generous divorce settlement. And not having ANY expectations of you — doing emotional labor for his “sadness,” expecting a shot at reconciliation, doing wife appliance things.

From what you wrote, I’m not seeing that.

He said he had made the biggest mistake of his life.

Mistake. Singular.

He made hundreds of thousands of “mistakes” in service of his deception. It was a deliberate strategy.

“Mistake” is language that keeps you feeling sorry for him. Go read about the three channels of mindfuckery — charm, rage and self-pity. He’s set at the self-pity channel.

Then, slowly, I realised I hadn’t won at all. He was a lost cause. Our happy years together were gone. And the grieving started all over again.

It’s a lot of grief.

I’m glad you realize he’s a lost cause. Please stay strong on that. Grief comes with bargaining and “Oh hey, I think we can communicate! Or reconcile!” is the bargaining stage of grief.

You think there is something in there worth salvaging. It’s extremely difficult to wrap your mind around the enormity of these transgressions. He conducted a double life for ten years. That you know of.

It’s not a little thing he kept from you. It was a Secret Sexual Basement. Go read the work of Dr. Omar Minwalla or listen to our latest podcast with him about this kind of trauma. (Comes out tomorrow.)

To my credit, I didn’t do the pick me dance. I had no one to compete with, right? There was definitely no other woman.

Well, one of the side dishes is leaving this mortal pussy buffet, so your husband may wish to keep you around. Avoids consequences for him, at least until he can find a replacement.

If you think I’m cynical, go read the millions of similar stories on this blog.

It’s not just the habitual casual betrayal of these people, it’s that you have to recognize that the entitlement is baked in — it’s DEEP. It’s not unwired easily.

He’s not lying to you about his Beanie Baby collecting habits, or funneling money to his sick mother, or his secret penchant for reality television shows. He has lied to you because he wants to maintain a harem.

Dr. George Simon once made an interesting point about lying — humans lie. It’s what they lie about and who they harm that’s the tell. Does my ass look fat in these jeans? Yes, and you aren’t going to tell me that, to spare my feelings. That’s one kind of lie. Not asking permission so I can indulge my love of Beanie Babies, or unilaterally deciding to help a family member without asking is a relationship crime, but probably a misdemeanor.

Having a long double life is a capital offense.

It’s easy to get sucked into a cheater’s false equivalency talk about “mistakes.” They want to minimize the harm. And that’s especially effective when you’re in the early days of discovery, because you can’t absorb the enormity of what he’s done. The wall of pain is too great. You will take some strange comfort in his self-serving explanations.

What I’m telling you to do feels very unnatural — go no contact. Act in your best self-interest. Sort out your feelings later.

It’s going to take years to sort out your feelings. It’s trauma.

hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,

Take “scorned” out of your vocabulary. You were abused.

You’re divorcing an abuser. Who had a double life. Because you and your children deserve better than that. And he cannot make it better, because he’s sick.

Not wander-around-the-neighborhood-in-a-sad-sausage-fog sick. But sick with entitlement and a lack of empathy. He’s man who dumped you and ended his marriage by TEXT.

Please don’t take him back. ((Hugs))

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Spinach@35
Spinach@35
7 months ago

I agree with CL! Heed her advice.

But I also want to take issue with the expression: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

It reinforces a sexist trope that women can’t take romantic rejection and will be overly vindictive in response. It trivializes what is often, in reality, actual “abuse” rather than “scorn,” and it furthers the image of women as “bitter bunnies” who overreact.

NoShitCupcakes
NoShitCupcakes
7 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

The entire quote is “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” – William Congreve (1697)

The basic plot is: The Mourning Bride—Congreve’s only tragedy—concerns Almeria, daughter of King Manuel of Granada, who secretly marries Alphonso, the son of her father’s hated enemy, King Anselmo of Valencia. Almeria is separated from her husband in a shipwreck, but they are reunited when Alphonso, in disguise, is captured by Manuel along with the manipulative Moorish queen Zara. Through a series of tragic machinations, Manuel is mistakenly executed by his own orders, Zara commits suicide, and Alphonso helps overthrow the government and publicly regains his bride.

Almeria wasn’t the speaker of the line and I suspect Congreve was having a go at the “Moors” and their supposedly base characters. In 1603 Shakespeare wrote ‘Othello’, when the English were scratching their heads about “Blackmoores” and the slave trade was in its infancy. Congreve is his contemporary.

It is said that Shakespeare based ‘Othello’ on ‘Un Capitano Moro’, written in 1565.

Anyway, I think the phrase is supposed to say more about “those” women who aren’t English than directed at all women.

Still sucks.

Magnolia
Magnolia
7 months ago
Reply to  NoShitCupcakes

Wow, so it’s giving dismissal of angry Black women / creation of the stereotype as the slave trade was ramping up?! Thanks for this info!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  NoShitCupcakes

Thank you for sharing that. One reason I love learning about word and phrase origins is that it can demonstrate how bullies everywhere and in every era have an alacrity for picking up on phrases originally coined for the purpose of bullying/otherizing. Talk about weaponized language, yikes.

Elsie_
Elsie_
7 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Yes, that’s such a horrid phrase. As if women can’t be angry and are irrational about it.

If anything, my ex was a big-time “bitter bunny” because I wouldn’t reconcile with him. The list of ways he misbehaved during separation and divorce was long. No surprise, he told his family that I was a dangerous nut job.

It felt like his fury and delusion would never end, but thankfully he seems to have finally gone his own way.

Freak Story
Freak Story
7 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

Thank you Spinach@35, I agree. I wish I hadn’t used it now. I was abused.

Freak Story
Freak Story
7 months ago

Thank you CL !! I appreciate this. I never, ever thought I would end up on the website. I have been listening to the podcasts whilst I walk my dog every Saturday and Sunday morning. They really help. I’m no contact now for 2 WHOLE weeks. He asked our daughter yesterday if Mum was still sulking…

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Freak Story

Hmm, “sulking.” Using infantalizing/pathologizing language against you to your own child borders on parental alienation. Make sure your daughter knows the actual basic story of what dad did because it’s clear your STBX is trying to get ahead of the narrative and drive a wedge between you and your child– as abusers are prone to do.

Shadow
Shadow
7 months ago
Reply to  Freak Story

Sulking? Cheek of it!
But then FWs do have the cheek of the Devil, don’t they?
Well done for going NC. I haven’t seen nor spoken to my STBXH for about 3 weeks now, and it does help not having him do my head in with his manipulation attempts. I’m a bit down in the dumps today, but it’s more about the mess he’s left me with rather than him and what he’s done. The longer you go without any contact with them, the more objective about them you become IME. It just seems easier to see them and the marriage exactly as they are and always have been rather than what you thought they were. In my X’s case, I’ve come to the conclusion that’s deeply damaged, dysfunctional and disordered and who wants that?
I bet the longer you go without contact with your FW, the more brutally realistic your perception of him and the marriage will become. I suppose that’s one of the reasons for No Contact. The Truth sets us free of their b.s. and bollix!

GayDivorcee
GayDivorcee
7 months ago
Reply to  Shadow

Agree 100%. I have been no contact with my XH for more than 2 years. The clarity and insights truly sharpen over time – as does the detachment. No contact is truly a healing balm.

Case in point, after being forced to sell the home I loved after we separated, I moved into a rental in another small city nearby. It was all I could afford until I could reestablish myself financially. 5 days after moving into my new rental, there is a large bouquet of flowers delivered to my front door. I figured it was from the real estate agent who sold our home. The attached card read: “Welcome to your new home…best wishes…XH”

Back then I actually took a photo of the flowers and sent my XH the pic with a text thanking him, and telling him how lovely they looked. I remember it all felt weird and off at the time…but in my defence, I was still in shock.

If that were to happen today, I would say nothing and dump the flowers in the trash.

As I reflect on the whole incident now, it is even weirder than I first realized. The flowers were Cala Lillies…the same flower I chose for our wedding reception.

Today I would no longer thank my abuser. I would just shrug it off. Just another disordered act by a disordered freak. Oh well.

Shadow
Shadow
7 months ago
Reply to  GayDivorcee

That was an odd thing to do alright! I doubt it’s out of goodness they do such things; I”d say it’s at best a feeble way of trying to ease the small bit of guilt that some of them might feel in what passes for the consciences, although most of them are so shrivelled as to be not worthy of the name. At worst, it’s another hoover attempt. Or it might just be that they want to wreck our heads and get them churning like cement mixers again, which is a bit sadistic! Ugh!
Last time I saw my X , as he was leaving he told me “Don’t be stuck!”. I asked him what he meant and he said don’t be stuck for money! Now he knows I’m on a tiny income and will be struggling financially but after the way he had become more and more begrudging of “HIS money” in the last few months he lived here, I was lost for words and didn’t reply! It goes without saying I’m not going to go begging to him for anything but it did set me off with my head going round again. Why did he say that? What’s he up to? Is he finally feeling a bit of guilt for what he’s done? Is it a subtle hoover attempt to lure me into contacting him as I’ve been doing my best to swerve him as much as possible? Only God knows though and I’m not cogitating on it too much now but am inclined to think it might have been a covert indirect hoover attempt and would be interested to know what others think!
Whatever he was at, it is a relief not to have to have my peace of mind disturbed by him for the last few weeks anyway!

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
7 months ago
Reply to  GayDivorcee

The flowers thing really gets to me.

It’s not even so much that AP was sending my wife flowers every week (My XW had moved ahead for her job while I was back home taking care of three kids, so she had ample opportunity to receive gifts from him without needing to explain anything), it’s more that – according to AP’s wife, who went through the credit card receipts – he sent more bouquets to my wife in 6 months than he sent to his own wife in 15 years. For some reason, I am really offended at this, mostly on behalf of AP’s wife.

Anyway, my absolutely weird reaction to this is that I now occasionally send flowers to AP’s ex-wife. They’re divorced, we’re divorced, AP and my XW have been married for some time, but I get some defiant satisfaction out of sending flowers to his XW. Maybe because I’m drawing a contrast (for myself; I’m sure AP and my XW have no idea I do this because they aren’t even aware I am friends with her) to show that a man can send a woman flowers *just to be nice*. (AP’s XW lives 1200 miles away. I’ve never met her in person and probably never will, though we keep each other apprised of various schemes our exes have hatched over the years and just generally commiserate over what shitty people they are). I guess I probably ought to bring this up in therapy…

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
7 months ago

I love this. Sure, on the surface, you are getting some defiant satisfaction out of it, but as far as “eff yous” to a FW go, what a wholesome one it is. And I am sure the other chump enjoys the gesture.

The fact that your FW’s AP sent her flowers so frequently irks me too, despite it having nothing to do with me. It’s the audacity of your XW receiving them while YOU were back home raising the kids, but also that fact that the AP didn’t send his own wife flowers so frequently, but suddenly became a florist’s dream client overnight. Just a true FW move.

I could see mine doing something like this.

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
7 months ago
Reply to  GayDivorcee

Flowers in the trash? No, I would never do that with any tainted gift. True, I’d never acknowledge them to the “giver” (manipulator). I would find them a new home, where they’d be appreciated. I’ve learned that many women have never received any flowers in their lifetime, and for some that once did, it’s been many years. “These were passed along to me, but I thought you should have them” is phraseology that has worked for me. Curiously cancels out the outrage of the “gift.” fwiw

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  GrandmaChump

I agree. Flowers are too beautiful to be destroyed by a cheater. Let someone enjoy them.

My last and only really expensive Christmas gift from fw was a gold necklace. I gave it to my daughter in law.

FYI_
FYI_
7 months ago
Reply to  Freak Story

What he has done to your daughters is deeply shitty, and this is just one more example. If he were a grown-up, if he had any morals whatsoever, he wouldn’t create yet more pain for your kids with such questions. Your kids are not there to run interference for him. Isn’t it enough that they have to move out of their home because of his actions? Apparently not — he wants to manipulate them and put them in the middle too.

What a jackhole.

Confused AF
Confused AF
7 months ago
Reply to  Freak Story

SULKING. OMG, what an asshole. Of course he doesn’t believe you’re actually going no contact, he just thinks you’re giving him a hard time or trying to teach him a lesson. They make everything about them. Another reason why you really shouldn’t break no contact. Stay strong!

Bruno
Bruno
7 months ago
Reply to  Freak Story

Sulking?
That’s a good one.

Elsie_
Elsie_
7 months ago

The morality and decency of these types is deeply broken. You can’t fix these things, so don’t. I had such a hard time getting that at first.

The second time we separated, he made it a long distance. He said that our difficulties were my fault because I had broken the marriage. Meanwhile, he lived like we didn’t exist and kept his activities and associations secret.

After a year, I decided that the damage was so significant that I was done pretending that we were going to reconcile. I didn’t trust him a bit. I had also discovered that the narrative he had told his family was vastly different from the reality with me. So there was the habit of blame-and-game in technicolor.

He tried to convince me otherwise, of course. Then, he wanted a phone call to discuss “something important.” Yes, I knew. He wanted a divorce. I had to agree. That phone call was super cringy, and frankly, I was glad he did it by phone because I could mute and laugh uproariously and pace around.

Some months later, my attorney made a “marital history” appointment so he could start working on trial strategy because it seemed headed that way. He called my husband a coward and said that was a huge red flag of guilt and deception that he ended the marriage by phone.

My STBX made the divorce process a mess and got both attorneys mad at him. Then, my ex’s attorney overshared and confirmed my suspicions. Thankfully, we settled not long after that, and I never did have to see my ex face-to-face during the divorce process. But yes, he ended a marriage of several decades by a long-distance phone call.

CurlyChump
CurlyChump
7 months ago
Reply to  Elsie_

The morality and decency of these types is deeply broken. You can’t fix these things, so don’t. I had such a hard time getting that at first.

You’re so right about that. When you are a moral person, that tries to follow the golden rule (treat others the way you want to be treated), it’s so hard to wrap your head around the fact that just because this person says they “love” you, doesn’t mean they will treat you the way you treat people you love. You keep giving them the benefit of the doubt, but these people run on a different operating system, so you simply can’t extend that grace. Actions, actions, actions. Not the promises they make, not the words they say the feel. Actions, that is the only thing to respond to. And 10 years of a double life are actions that speak for themselves.

Elsie_
Elsie_
7 months ago
Reply to  CurlyChump

I wrongly assumed that we had the same values of honesty and integrity. Of course, he accused me of all kinds of wild things, but not one of them could be proven during the divorce. He was projecting, and I knew it.

I’ve often thought that if he had been up front with “I don’t want to be married anymore” and then been decent about it, this chapter would have been different. But his approach to the guilt and shame was to try to destroy me. It didn’t work, and even his own attorney pointed out that letting go was the best path forward.

Leedy
Leedy
7 months ago
Reply to  Elsie_

“But his approach to the guilt and shame was to try to destroy me.” That happened to me too. It was shocking to come to the realization that deep down, this person whom I had been committed to for 23 years wanted to annihilate me.

Bruno
Bruno
7 months ago

The “mental health struggles” of a FW is something I am familiar with. Looking backwards, her mental health issues closely corresponded with the time I believe she started cheating. So which led to which? I am sure she was experiencing cognizant dissonance as a Jesus Cheater. During our 20+ year marriage she frequently criticized cheaters among her acquaintances and here she finds herself as one. She became depressed and was even treated with anti-psychotic drugs. Yikes! How about stop living a double life if you want to be free of your mental health struggles?

Elsie_
Elsie_
7 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

I put together the whys of the major dip in my ex’s mental health late in the divorce process for that reason. Everything was coming to a head, and he was being held accountable at some level. Thankfully, we didn’t go to trial.

Being active in a twelve-step group, I see it there too. Once folks are out of denial, their thinking gets better, and it becomes more doable to quit drugs/alcohol.

ChumpOnIt
ChumpOnIt
7 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

So much this. He also decried cheating, spending money at strip clubs, narcissistic behavior, etc. when he was knee deep in it. I think it contributed to him finally breaking and confessing. You can only compartmentalize so much before it starts to wear on you. It reminds me of a comedic video ad – “Experiencing [insert self-induced ailment here]? Try not doing that!”

Viktoria
Viktoria
7 months ago

During our 35 year long marriage I “stood by my man” by bringing his children into the world, raising them by myself half the time as he was working. I cared for him during and after his traumatic major illness, and during the creation and failure of several of his businesses. I stayed with him through 25-30 years of what I thought was his depression due to his losses and misfortunes in life. I tried working “harder” as a wife to make him happy. I felt sorry for him believing he was depressed (refusing help) and I felt sad when he was ignoring me, stonewalling, refusing to communicate, refusing to answer questions or talk about “what is wrong?” He gaslit me with “Nothing. Fine.” But I was neglected and unloved and it hurt. I felt so lonely and unloved during the last years. His behavior could be described as ‘covert’ emotional abusive to me. It was subtle; my gut picked it up and I felt unsafe. My gut did not trust him. Incredibly I did not suspect infidelity. I did not know that he was acting so strange and mean because his brain was working overtime trying to keep all his lies straight in order to keep his 25 year secret double life, involving prostitutes, a secret from me and all in our social circle. I am now facing the reality that he is a monster and he did not love me, nor did he care for my welfare. I am now divorcing an abuser.

Elsie_
Elsie_
7 months ago
Reply to  Viktoria

Personally, I think my ex loved me, but it only went so far. It was a weak, distorted type of love that made him the center of the universe. When I decided to break away, he imploded. That was scary because he had a history of mental health issues, including a suicide attempt, but during the worst of it, I promised my attorney that I would remain no contact, and I did.

During closeout, my attorney grilled me on Bill Eddy’s BIFF method and helped me compose some of the early closeout emails to my ex. I felt solid by then and ignored all the paragraphs of hate. I replied with a few business-like paragraphs, at most. It worked.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Viktoria

In the long run, I think the question over whether abusers “ever loved” us fades as the smoke clears, memories of past abuse surface and the reality that they were always abusers (in one way or another) sinks in. Then eventually the thought they could have “loved” us becomes as icky as, say, suddenly getting prison love letters from Son of Sam. Like, yuck, what a gross and embarrasing association– get your putrid and tainted “feelings” away from me, Sir!

But I also think the smoke will only clear and memories will only reorder once a survivor feels truly and absolutely safe from any and all reprisals and fallout. Time, distance and burned bridges. Then what’s left is simply grieving over lost and wasted time but not lost (ew, blech, icky icky) “love.”

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago

“In the long run, I think the question over whether abusers “ever loved” us fades as the smoke clears, memories of past abuse surface and the reality that they were always abusers (in one way or another) sinks in.”

Yep, I was a young and pretty 18 year old when we married, of course he “loved” me. But, he didn’t have the where with all to develop into a mature human who could really love. His life while we were together was all about him, and it remained so after we D’d. He left his owife in dire straits when he died. When my son tried his best to get him to not put them in debt for his last toy, and asked him how owife would pay it off, his words right in front of her was “I don’t care, I will be dead”. That is who he was. The magic of her V didn’t change him at all.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

I agree– fleeting lust/limerance and “pride in ownership” hardly count as love. We might as well be cars or pets.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago
Reply to  Viktoria

Godspeed to you in the divorce. Don’t settle for less than you’ve earned. You worked hard for it.

lulutoo
lulutoo
7 months ago
Reply to  Viktoria

Viktoria, Good for you, divorcing that disgusting abuser. As ChumpLady says, eventually “Your walls will sing.” And he doesn’t sound all that ‘covert’ either.

Confused AF
Confused AF
7 months ago

Yep, I guess they’re all the same. My STBX husband had a “burnout” a couple of years into our relationship. Supposedly it was because him and his boss, the owner of the company where he worked, didn’t get along and could never see eye to eye or agree on important work related decisions and that stressed him out so much that he was “burnt out” after one year, was on anti-depressants and on sick leave for almost a year because of that. I was of course there to support him through it all and had to understand all his depressed and grumpy phases, he even contemplated suicide (at least that’s what he told me back then).
Well, fast forward 5 years later, we were married with a 2-year old, shortly after D-day I found out that he was having an affair at his old company with a co-worker and she started threathening him that she would tell me everything. So that was the actual reason for his stress and “burnout” at that job. Of course he never learned his lesson and had many more affairs after that. These motherfu**ers are so stupid and immature, they really make themselves and everybody around them miserable.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
7 months ago
Reply to  Confused AF

Oh boy. I gave so much support and empathy to the FW who also complained about being “burnt out” and seemed oh so sad. Turns out he was sad that the AP had moved away, “trying” he said, “to end it.” How noble of her! I think she was actually trying to force his hand, which she did. By the way, it didn’t hurt that she moved across country to one of the best places for fly fishing. That man is addicted to fly fishing. It’s like telling a skier that you moved to Vail, CO, because, sniff, sniff, you just can’t bear the thought of wrecking a marriage.

Anyhow, I soothed that lying FW, assuming he was just sad and troubled about retiring.

I put literal balm on his wounds (on that ugly, massive, upper-thigh fish tattoo he got WITH THE AP. Matching tattoos!IUgh)

I thought he was clinically depressed and/or suffering from early dementia. I guess managing a double life requires a lot of juggling, which explains why he left the grill on all night and forget to put coffee in the coffee maker.

Anyway, cheaters suck. And the deception and betrayal cuts deep. Most of us probably don’t even know the half of it. And, for me, that’s one explanation for why I still feel so traumatized.

Shadow
Shadow
7 months ago
Reply to  Confused AF

My FW was diagnosed with depression and anxiety a couple of years ago too, but he refused any treatment. No ADs, not even St. John’s Wort and no talking therapy whatsoever!
And why would he, when he was medicating with cocaine and he never would ever openly talk about serous things, preferring to just moan, crib and blame anyone but himself!
And in the end , it was all MY fault anyway, so……?!

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
7 months ago

Freak Story – Your letter, combined with the recent podcast interview with Dr. Minwalla, helps me accept that the DENIAL of infidelity by my FW was abuse. I experienced a trauma similar to that felt by people who have had a family member kidnapped and ransomed. But there is no criminal investigator/negotiator available to help and that reality is quickly followed by an expectation that the planned betrayal can be overlooked.

It is a whiplash of cognitive dissonance. And it can only be managed through no contact. Healing only begins when the divorce is finalized.

Elsie_
Elsie_
7 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

I’m some years post-divorce, but I was struck by that too. The weird world of the sexual basement is traumatic for the partner in a way that most therapists (and friends/family) don’t get. It’s very complex. I’m done explaining myself to anyone at this point, but I really enjoyed that podcast.

Skunkcabbage
Skunkcabbage
7 months ago

The XAss refused to talk to me. Refused to engage. Emphatically denied everything. Gas-lighter extraordinaire. Every time I tried to talk to him he’d create an issue to derail the conversation. Make arguments. Accuse me of some terrible crime. Throw out some accusation’s of me being crazy, helpless, out of control and leave the house. Deflect, deny, accuse.

Even after I had physically left the house with the kid and the cat and what I could carry, he still pretended that he had no idea that there was a problem and couldn’t understand my motivations for leaving.

I finally had to spell it out in an email because he absolutely refused to talk to me in person or by phone. Now he goes around and tells people I broke up with him by email out of the blue. I blindsided him and took his son away.

Well yeah, because XAss is a huge coward and couldn’t face me to have an adult conversation. Ever. About anything.

ChumpOnIt
ChumpOnIt
7 months ago

I too dealt with this whole cognitive dissonance stuff coming back to bite him in the ass — he was lying to me our entire relationship (which I did not know) and then seemingly disengaged from our relationship and had mental health struggles (which I could see). It took so much talking and finally the question of “seriously, what is wrong?” and a dark joke from me about hookers for him to straight up confess what he had done for YEARS (and that was only what was confessed – usually we never know how deep it goes). I tried to hang on for several months until I realized I did not want to speak with him, look at him, engage with him, and the only solution was a divorce. He had not changed his entitled behavior nor did he once seem like he was truly remorseful. He only wanted to get past this so he could stop feeling bad. It had nothing to do with what he did to me, because that would have been a different, and, despite not knowing which end was up in so many ways, I feel like I would have known it was genuine. Please take him at face value — this is not someone you would want to “win” back, this is not even someone you know. I am still digesting what happened to me years later, but I am free and clear of it. Being out of the blender is so much better than being in it.

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
7 months ago

He’s not going to have a character transplant. Really, he’s not.

That’s what I have had to tell myself several times over the years since I divorced the cheater who was in my life. Anybody who could hide who he was for many years is a deeply twisted person. It’s traumatizing to learn that you spent many years tied to someone who didn’t exist. The person that you loved and married was a mask. He wasn’t real.

I spent 25 years with someone who spent his whole life pretending to be a good person. He eventually got tired of putting on the show. When the mask slipped I found a Bad Man behind it. Your husband had his mask ripped off by a woman who was dying. That’s why he seemed in a fog. Because his double life was threatened.

The only way to recover from this is to go strictly no contact for a long time. I’ve been divorced over 12 years now. I haven’t seen or heard from him for years. It’s the way to peace and happiness.

Rarity
Rarity
7 months ago

I’m convinced that anyone who suddenly wants to leave a marriage for vague and amorphous reasons is, in actuality, cheating.

Mine suddenly asked for a divorce 10 months into the marriage, citing our different religions. He absolutely insisted I was the perfect wife and there was no other reason but religion. He had a newfound zeal for Mormon Jesus and that was all it was. No need for therapy since therapy can’t make Protestant Jesus and Mormon Jesus the same Jesus.

After a few months of this, I said fine, I’ll join the Mormon church. Cue deer-in-headlights look. He began cycling through other dumb reasons why he needed a divorce, all of which could be addressed by therapy, yet he didn’t even want to try. He also seemingly had a mental health crisis to the extent that his family nearly had him involuntarily committed.

We eventually reconciled and stayed together 10 more years. I learned the truth from my college roommates after the divorce. He’d been cheating.

I’m sorry this happened to you FS, but you’d be surprised how many of us have similar stories.

FYI_
FYI_
7 months ago
Reply to  Rarity

So sorry that your college roommates didn’t have the huevos to tell you about the cheating as soon as they knew.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  FYI_

Yep, I do not understand this phenom of running to the chump after the fact to tell the chump he has been a long time cheater. Really, if they didn’t have the guts to do it up front, shut the hell up and stay away.

Rarity
Rarity
7 months ago
Reply to  FYI_

Yeah, one said she didn’t know how to tell me and the other said she thought I knew and took him back anyway. It’s too bad they didn’t tell me but I’m not gonna blame them.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
7 months ago
Reply to  Rarity

I think the fact that you don’t blame them is a version of “meh”. I agree with others that it is bizarre when people come out of the woodwork AFTER the divorce to tell chumps what they knew. It’s an odd choice.

But I do think a lot of people DON’T know how to tell a chump or IF they should. I see the question posted in a few different forms on social media. Like the Reddit “Am I the Asshole?” threads. Sometimes it’s an AP that tells the chumped spouse, sometimes it’s a coworker that happens to notice an affair in their office, and tells the chumped spouse. And they are looking for feedback on if they did the right thing. The amount of comments where people say “mind your own business/don’t tell” are shocking to me. Sure, there are also people who say you should tell and cite all the reasons why we discuss here regularly. But it always seems to me that the ones saying that are chumps themselves.

We need to normalize the idea that cheating is abuse. It almost seems like unless it’s happened to you, cheating is frequently seen as no big deal.

Admittedly this site has opened my eyes, I never thought cheating was ok, but I also had less perspective on the depths a FW would go. I also didn’t realize how long term it could be. Chumps that aren’t aware their spouse is cheating are out there leaving careers to support the FW in chasing theirs, or moving cross country with a FW, or having kids with a FW. It’s not just “Oh it’s so embarrassing that Bill has no idea that Sally is at the office carrying on with Jack while we all know”. Bill could be giving up his career to be a stay at home dad, and in 15 years when they now have 4 kids, and he finally finds out that Sally is a FW, those choices he made are going to have an impact on the rest of his life. Choices he made thinking that Sally was his life partner.

ThreeTimesAChump
ThreeTimesAChump
7 months ago
Reply to  Rarity

Oh, I would “blame them” for not telling me. Apparently, they figured out “how to tell you” and “that you didn’t know” *after* you had already wasted and risked ten years of your life, and *after* you had already taken out the trash. So weak of them.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago

Man was that ever a cautionary tale against being a side piece: getting insta-dumped for getting cancer and spoiling a FW’s juvenile fantasy. Because– ew– chemo and hair loss. But what strikes me about the story is that I suspect the AP was probably very surprised to get cancer because part of the underlying superstitious motive to participate in abuse is to “ward off evil.” The AP had done this– helped orchestrate human sacrifice of the chump and chumps’ children and cheated on her own partner– but D’OH!, misfortune struck nonetheless.

I truly think this is one of the reasons that bullies bully and triangulate against others– as both cheaters and witting side pieces do– because “luck is when the arrow hits the other man” as some ancient Greek philosopher put it. One thing I learned as an advocate for DV survivors and also from spending several years as a grade school class scapegoat (starving artists’ kid in hand-me-down clothes who loved opera at age 9… like wearing a kick-me sign) is that bullies have horrible childhoods like all dangerous criminals. A lot of people do and don’t grow up to be abusers but it’s what abusers learn from their awful childhoods that makes the difference– that someone’s got to be the scapegoat and, if it’s not someone else, it’s going to be them. So engineering the victimization of other people becomes a kind of rite to ward off evil. You could say that’s the fanatical “religion” of abuse– ensuring that the arrow hits someone else.

I also think that once someone internalizes this tainted, ultimately superstitious belief system, stick a fork in them, they’re cooked and the evil is baked in. Not all violence is expressed violently because bullies are cowards and will always factor risk to themselves which is why I think cheating is such a popular form of domestic abuse. It’s a way to form a mini-gang to do something truly evil and injurious (with bonus sexual degradation) to someone– i.e., arrange a human sacrifice– without the mess and without facing potential criminal consequences.

When deciding how to handle abusers, considering the real intent behind abuse can be clarifying. They mean harm. They will always mean harm and will do it religiously. That was one recent and very important finding in the study of narcissism– that sadism is invariably part of the formula. Survivors should run far and fast and burn every bridge as if escaping a dangerous cult because that’s essentially what FWs/domestic abusers and their enablers represent.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago

I could not possibly agree with this more. Well said.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

But don’t you wish you didn’t? It’s so fucking sick. If it wasn’t for the risk of ignorance, I would do anything to return to some state of innocence about all this. But, ya know, now that we’re here, it’s all kind of interesting in a macabre way. Sort of like “Aha! And wow!” but also “Ick, bleah.”

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago

It was deeply traumatic to lose my innocence in such a brutal way, but in the long run it’s been a good thing. It’s helped me to see who else in my life was also a user. Now I do not expend any energy on toxic people. It’s made me somewhat of a hermit, but I’m okay with that. I’ll find good people I can trust. My next door neighbor seems like such a person. My problem is that I’m extremely introverted and have social anxiety, so it’s difficult to make friends.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

“It was deeply traumatic to lose my innocence in such a brutal way, but in the long run it’s been a good thing. It’s helped me to see who else in my life was also a user.”

I said something like this to a dear late friend after being stalked during college. Instead of applauding my “silver lining” attitude, he burst into tears in the middle of a cafe and said, “But knowing you, you could have learned about that shit from reading a book!”

Then he offered to sic a leg-breaker on the perpetrator because he was from the Bronx (I politely declined), but I’ll never forget what he said before that.

Like you, I appreciate gaining wisdom and I value experienced people. But I’ll never thank the shitheads who teach evil lessons and I’d never wish this kind of first hand “learning experience” on anyone else. In honor of my wise and brilliant friend, I give my kids piles of books about this stuff and, bless their souls, they actually read most of them.

Leedy
Leedy
7 months ago

Your last sentence made me chuckle! And like you, I wish I hadn’t gotten such a brutal, clarifying exposure to the kind of evil that can sleep in the same bed with you but also delight in harming you.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
7 months ago

“So engineering the victimization of other people becomes a kind of rite to ward off evil. You could say that’s the fanatical “religion” of abuse– ensuring that the arrow hits someone else.”

Hmmm, this is an interesting take, something I’d never considered.

I’ll chew on it. Thanks.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Spinach@35

There’s some academic support for the idea– attraction to cults and narcissism, etc. But I actually learned this as a kid from my dad. He was a disabled combat vet who’d survived gangland NY and despised bullies because he’d seen so much of it. So when I was bullied in fourth grade, my dad gave some (fail proof) tips on how to stop it and, to illustrate, told me a few war stories involving a gang of knuckle-dragging bullies in his own unit, the gist of which was that bullies are always deeply superstitious one way or another.

My dad was sort of the “bully expert” who managed to straighten people out without getting into physical altercations. Mostly anyway. There was one story some of his art school friends told after my dad died that involved throwing a menacing 200LB antisemite off a dock in defense of a few smaller classmates. But mostly he just used his “front lines” experience with how these people think.

Magnolia
Magnolia
7 months ago

What were the fail-proof tips?

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Magnolia

Magnolia:

My dad told me to say to bullies in mid-bullying, “Don’t pick on me just because your old man beats you up.” I did this a few times and it was like some witchy binding spell. It basically ended my spree as class scapegoat for good.

The war story he told me to illustrate the general supersticiousness of bullies was about how several knuckle-dragging assholes in his unit were tormenting a scapegoat– a smaller guy who’d been recycled from too many fronts, had terrible shell shock and used to leap under bunks when shells hit too close. The latter was baited and threatened and called “coward,” “sissy,” etc. My dad couldn’t stand it so he singled out the ringleader and told the guy “I had a bad dream and you were in it. Just be careful out there.” The ringleader apparently cuddled up to my dad for “amnesty” from my dad’s prognostications, the bullying ceased and my dad was promoted to corporal.

Guess who later crossed the line of fire to drag my wounded dad to the medics? The “coward.” I sometimes reflect on the possibility that the only reason I exist is because my dad defended a scapegoat who turned out to braver than everyone else.

Anyway, I tried the “dream” tactic a few times on workplace bullies. It worked 100% of the time, but of course then there’s the problem of having bullies cuddle up to you trying to be “friends.”

Shadow
Shadow
7 months ago

Warding off evil by doing evil! Yes, it does seem that’s one of the worst traits of human beings, like ancient societies who sacrificed their babies to appease pagan gods like Molech, to choose an extreme example. You could say that’s the cause of what’s going on in Israel and Gaza as well, with both sides trying to “ward off the evil” of the other by doing evil, then trying to outdo each other in evil, to frighten the other side into stopping, only it doesn’t make either of them stop, and only makes it worse and now here we are! War! It was similar above in the North of Ireland during the Troubles ( and it may have quietened down a lot, but it ain’t over!) but it seems unlikely that there’ll ever be an equivalent of the “Good Friday Agreement” for the M.E.!
I felt that what my FW did had an element of sadism to it. I felt like he got a kick out of hurting me. His primary driver was the gratification of his basest urges but hurting me was certainly a secondary driver, of that I’m convinced!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  Shadow

I suspect sadism originally starts out as a kind of rite– appeasing the violent/ dysfunctional parent “gods” with burnt offerings to avoid being victimized oneself. DV expert Donald Dutton describes abusers as continuing to do this long after their abusive role models/parents are dead as if still appeasing their ghosts.

It also makes sense that the urge to sacrifice another person closely follows after any impulse that feels like love because of how disordered, abusive parents are often said to feel threatened by anything the child loves or enjoys (pets, hobbies, friendships, favorite uncle, etc.) and will seek to sabotage these things or punish the child. The child then learns to preemptively “sacrifice” anything they dare to like or love. It’s all a manner of groveling for amnesty. Theoretically they learn to derive pleasure out of it since the sensation of being cruel and controlling A) neutralizes an intolerable sense of vulnerability which they blame the victim for causing, ergo making cruelty a type of “revenge,” and B) cruelty becomes associated with a subconscious sense of relief or “near miss” because “better the victim does under the bus than them.”

In Russia there’s an expression that’s more apt than the “under the bus” analogy having to do with throwing peasants off a troika to “keep the wolves busy” so the rest can escape. You apparently had the great “luck” of being chosen as especially delicious wolf food.

Who were the wolves? Who knows. A lot of adult abusers– to the degree that they may have internalized the abuse they once experienced– reportedly lie for, “disremember” or otherwise cover up for their own abusers. And that’s how the cycle continues into the next generation.

Shadow
Shadow
7 months ago

Do you know, that makes a lot of sense to me! My MIL is a strange woman, whom I thought was quite nice at first but as I got to know her, not so much! She is quite cool and distant with my X, treating him more like an aquaitance who does odd jobs for her that her son. I fact, both his parents treated him like their “Joey” and only bothered with him when they wanted something, ignoring him the rest of the time. They wouldn’t even bother to so much as text him on his birthday,never mind give him a card and present, yet if they said “Jump”, he did! Every time! In fact, I couldn’t abide his father at all and neither could my son and I reckon his dad copped onto this as he couldn’t get me to kiss up to him at all and so he was very “cool2 with me and that suited me fine! TBH, the entire clan is a dysfunctional mess as I’ve found out, with some serious abuse that’s not really a secret although they do all like to avoid it as much as possible!No wonder I felt less and less at ease around them as time went on and I began to swerve them altogether!
I love reading your posts HOAC, you’ve so much insight, experience and education on these issues! You could easily write your own blog or articles or even a book, so thank you for sharing it all with us free of charge, it’s fascinating and illuminating!

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
7 months ago

Freak, CL’s advice is
spot on, leave this cheating low life fricker for good is my opinion too. He’s played you for way the hell too long, you don’t need to invest another second in his dramatic, toxic and chaotic existence. You and your daughters will have many more happy, stress free adventures together, a complete family, whole and safe.
Don’t start feeling sorry for him or worry for his mental health now that he will be fresh out of narcissistic supply for the time being. He’ll find a replacement soon, it’s so easy for them to do. My ex wants said to me “ all you bitches are the same” and I was able to view a dark side of him I never knew could possibly exist. It was scary, but necessary to know.
They don’t bond these FW’s, they care about no one at all, so anyone at all will fill that gap for them.
You get out of there and don’t look back. We all loved ppl incapable of loving. The best thing that could have happened to us is to discover that and move on to a much better life free of their drama and taking up every bit of your time and energy to save them. They are not redeemable.

I’d be thumbs upping more posts, but I’ve been having a lot of difficulty doing that since the new designed website came into being. Anyone else having difficulty clicking the up arrow and getting it to change?
Otherwise, I think the new look is great!
I listened to the Minwalla podcast this w/e too and I much enjoyed that. I’m glad CL pushed the issue with the doctor of whether he felt these secret sexual basement abusers could be fixed and how believing that to be true is not in the best interest of those who were abused by them. Hopium is much too dangerous a drug to mess with!

laushell22
laushell22
7 months ago

I would just like to understand the psychology of a person who was willingly the sidepiece for a decade. There is low self-esteem… and then there’s that.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago
Reply to  laushell22

I would guess many of them are married themselves and the marriage provide security. For single women who do it, I would guess most are willing to keep quiet to keep the financial spigot running.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago
Reply to  laushell22

Like FWs, they’re predatory and parasitic by nature. They have a ton of rationalizations they employ to avoid facing it, but that is what they are and is the only explanation you need for their evil behavior.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
7 months ago
Reply to  laushell22

Laushell,

In the case of my FWs AP, they were long distance. So my guess is that while he believed they were both equally madly in love, she had the freedom to be dating others through their entire affair. (Someone here at CN pointed that out to me) Obviously, she was still a long term side piece, but if she wasn’t actually loyal to him, he may have just been bonus kibbles. Or maybe she had truly strong feelings for him and was holding out for the day that he’d finally leave me. It would be easier to weather that without feeling too bad about herself if she had other boys on the side? (Caveat- the bar is already pretty low when you are talking APs and their reasons)

I think a lot of side pieces also think that they are special, they’ve nabbed a married person, a person who wasn’t technically “available” until they laid their eyes on the wonder of this amazing Schmoop. It’s an ego boost when you look at it that way. And of course, FWs lie, so they tell them they are trying to get out of the marriage but their spouse is an evil troll that will ruin them if they leave.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  SortofOverIt

Google “mate poacher + psychopathy.” Then Google “infidelity tolerance + rape myth acceptance.” Then, for the hell of it, Google “rape myth acceptance + racism/sexism/authoritarianism.” It’s kind of a sciency-sociological daisy chain leading straight off the character cliff. Basically not a great mark of character lol.

susie lee
susie lee
7 months ago

I looked it up and it had some interesting info.

It listed a lot of reasons for single woman poaching, but I think it missed the most common, or at least in the folks I know, including me. I think the whore in my case just simply couldn’t attract decent single men her age. She was a known married man “dater”. She finally succeeded. I am guessing she already knew fw was a cheater, so since he also knew her reputation she likely did the NSA offer; then of course fell madly in luv, managed (with his help) to get hired as his direct report; and voila she was in charge.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

I was told by a few colleagues of the AP’s and FW’s in my situation that the AP had gotten herself the nickname “Debbie-wise the Gutter Clown” (from the movie “It”), both because of her thick pancake makeup and because she reportedly went around almost blatantly “interviewing” younger guys in the office to pry out information on who had family money and then would keep “showing up” wherever the targets happened to be. It seems she actually scared people. When she didn’t get anywhere with younger guys, she apparently hooked up with some middle aged married guy with young kids who ended up leaving the firm in a panic when the AP did a “bait and switch” and began threatening to call his wife and tell HR if he didn’t leave his family. Then came FW who, by then, had also repeatedly batted out in his previous pathetic and drunken attempts to have affairs with a few married Jesus cheater types (even those rejected him). Basically FW and the AP both “won” everyone else’s rejects.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
7 months ago
Reply to  laushell22

I’m guessing they justify the hell out of it.

I have to think they tell themselves that FW was in a bad marriage, so it was basically over anyway. They weren’t the catalyst of any kind of break-up but rather the rescuers of those sad sausages who are suffering in troubled relationships. Yes, they have to sneak around, which seems unsavory (and also, wink, wink…titillating 😈), but that’s simply because society (and those damn spouses) would (unfairly) harshly judge their union. And I bet they convince themselves that their affair was a pure expression of love.

Just a thought. I have no idea.

luckychump
luckychump
7 months ago

Tracy as usual gets right to the crux of the issue. Lying. Entitlement. Lack of empathy. I know we have had this discussion many times before, and I’m not trying to excuse their behavior, but there are quantifiable differences in the narcissistic brain. Most narcissists’ ability to respond emotionally and empathize is significantly impaired or non-existent. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordersnarcissists lack empathy. They’re unwilling or unable “to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.” (APA, 2013) Research shows that they have structural abnormalities equating to reduced frontal cortex thickness in the specific brain regions associated with emotional empathy. According to research, people with narcissistic personality disorder have reduced gray matter volume in areas of the brain related to empathy and increased activity on baseline images in brain regions associated with self-directed and self-absorbed thinking. We can now see structural differences in the brain scans of people with NPD. They found that patients with NPD have less brain matter in areas overlapping with the areas associated with empathy (i.e., rostral and median cingulate cortex, left anterior insula, and dorsolateral and medial parts of the prefrontal cortex).
So yes, those FWs are fucking crazy. We just didn’t realize it until they were no longer interested in hiding it.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago

Dear Not a Freak,
I feel the need to dispell some beliefs you have, beliefs that are based on what *your* motivations would be, but have nothing to do with fuckwits.

1) Since FW dumped AP because she got sick and was no longer a convenience, she was not expunging her conscience, she was delivering him payback. Expunging her conscience by devastating you and your kids? Not a chance. It was pure malice. She died as she lived, selfish to the bitter end.

2) FW didn’t give you what you wanted in the divorce because of guilt. Guilt about his appalling behavior would have stopped him from cheating. He did it because he didn’t want the bother and doesn’t care anymore. He probably has a new schmoopie distracting him and wanted to get free ASAP. Expect him to circle back to you if they break up and he can’t find a replacement. Believe not a single word he says. In fact, make sure he has no means of communicating his lies to you, by going no contact as CL suggested.

Remember that cheaters and the skanks they cheat with don’t have noble, kind or selfless motives. They might front their motives as being that, but be sure they are getting something for themselves out of it. Hidden agenda is to fuckwits what wet is to water.

We chumps often assign normal, decent motives to these freaks, because we cannot understand the darkness in the souls. We figure there must be some humanity in there. There isn’t, or at least, it is not discernable, because it is suffocated by the weight of a huge, stinking pile of entitlement.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
7 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

“We chumps often assign normal, decent motives to these freaks, because we cannot understand the darkness in the souls.”

Like a lot of people here point out, it’s a normal, relatively benign form of narcissism to project one’s own moral principles onto others and a normal type of solipsism not to understand extreme and negative MOs and traits in others. It’s a risky and dangerous way to exist but normal. It’s hard to understand crazy when you’re not crazy and hard to understand evil if you’re not evil.

OHFFS
OHFFS
7 months ago

Agreed, though I wouldn’t quite call it narcissistic. We aren’t just projecting our personal values onto them, we are projecting values that social insitutions have deemed worthy, and more importantly, values which the FWs themselves took pains to mirror in order to dupe us. Who would suspect it was all a ploy? It’s too bizarre to imagine that anyone would date you, swear undying love to you, make a long term commitment, even have children with you, all as part of a scheme to use you, both to front as normal and to have a useful appliance on tap. It’s difficult to accept how far out of the norm these creatures are. That was the worst mindbender for me- that I had spent most of my adult life with a freak and had not known.

2xchump
2xchump
7 months ago

Dear FREAK story. LISTEN TO TRACY, DO NOT TAKE HIM BACK! GO NO CONTACT!!! I’m telling you he is lying. These creeps use us big time. Yes FS, you and all of us are highly manipulated and kind. We forgive. But we, you and I did do the pick me dance. Remember those depression days, patting his brow, massages, trying to be sexually available and healing in every way? Pick me as you bend over backwards. How about those chocolate and roses days. Pick me!!! Those are the days he feels like staying in his marriage and luves you again. He is always swelling around in his brain,YOUR WORTH TO HIM. That is how I got pregnant 🤰 with my daughter. One week every day he was marvelous. He asked me if I still wanted another baby?? I said oh yes as I only had one but with all that depression, how could we. Well birth control stopped and the one time we did it , I was overjoyed and pregnant. Within 3 weeks of this sweet news, my then husband who had been cheating for years and I knew nothing except his moods and Jeckle and Hyde ..told me WHY DID YOU GET PREGNANT?? THATS WAS A MISTAKE, IM.NIT SURE I LOVE YOU ANYMORE. Just like that. The fog broke. I had this beautiful girl with a man who left me within days of delivery for his true love. Giving my daughter her middle name. Hot and cold. These men are sick and dark and horrid. They lie, lie and trick us. RUN, FILE, DONT LOOK BACK!!!

Overmim
Overmim
7 months ago

Dear Freak, Listen to CL as she knows what she is talking about! My marriage of 25 years didn’t end by text, but the “we drifted apart” BS narrative was thrown out by him. He wanted to be “alone” to grieve his dead parents. Moved to their mansion with a buddy. Lo and behold, that buddy cheated on his wife of 25 years and is now married to the ho. My Exhole denied that any women were at his parents house and proceeded to abandon me and our 3 kids. Our oldest was crying when he told her “he’d rather be alone”. As I picked up my kids shattered hearts and time went on, I started dating.When he found out he told our son that “he hadn’t been with anyone since your mom and I separated”. Then I was required to give Exhole my boyfriends name, date of birth, address… and Ex had his buddy run a background check. A few weeks later my boyfriends boss gets an anonymous letter disparaging my boyfriend. I had my suspicions all along that Ex was cheating. Just found out last month that the skank has lived with him for over a year and the youngest didn’t tell me because “dad said not to tell you”. They met her 2 years ago! Rage Rage Rage….. Now, certain things the kids have seen and said made me realize he was cheating the whole time. It never had anything to do with his dying parents. Cheaters SUCK!

NewDayDawning
NewDayDawning
7 months ago

I came home from work to a note written on the back of a cigarette carton informing me that he was leaving. He had already packed up and gone emptying our bank accounts on the way out. Totally blindsided. Found out he had been having an 10 year affair with our best friends wife. They were waiting for her kids to be old enough for her to abandon them. Cheaters are cowards.

Leedy
Leedy
7 months ago
Reply to  NewDayDawning

Witten on the back of a cigarette carton! That is so twisted.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
7 months ago
Reply to  NewDayDawning

Oh my god. I’m so sorry that happened to you. Awful and cruel. Hope you’re doing ok now.

ThreeTimesAChump
ThreeTimesAChump
7 months ago

What I’m not hearing in this letter:
–Anything about you retaining a pitbull lawyer.
–That Pitbull is going to get back all of the marital funds FW spent on his cheating.
–That Pitbull is going to keep you and your daughters in your house.
–That you are No Contact with FW.
–That you have informed dead AP’s chump ex-bf about the 10-year affair with FW, so that he can be informed about his own life.

Mr Wonderfuls Ex
Mr Wonderfuls Ex
7 months ago

It never ceases to amazes me that FWs seem so prone to depression which is actually brought on by their being FWs. I remember on a D-day reading a text klootzak wrote to an AP saying that he believed himself to be clinically depressed. The cure? Well, he needs more pussy, of course! And then us chumps who keep being put down and degraded by these arses, we struggle and fight to keep going to work and paying the bills and feeding the kids. We don’t even have the TIME to wallow in self-pity while we walk around on eggshells while poor FW has a sadz.

And to be clear, I understand that people really do have clinical depression and need help when they do. I am not denying its existence. But these “poor me” FWs who spend all day proud of how many sparkle twats or dicks they can bag are not in that category. They are high on themselves and they do it for attention and because they feel like poor victims for not being able to get all the kibbles in the world. Poor them. 🎻

Elsie_
Elsie_
7 months ago

One time my attorney observed that his own father (also an attorney and a retired appeals judge) taught him as a young boy that adultery poisons people. As a family law attorney, he saw that constantly in his four plus decades of practice. He was at the point in his career where he cherry-picked his own cases and chose not to represent people who had committed adultery anytime recently. Again, adultery poisons people, and he found that it affected their integrity and honesty with him, so he didn’t go there.

Leedy
Leedy
7 months ago
Reply to  Elsie_

Wow–this is so interesting!

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
7 months ago

The AP had no conscience, you are ascribing attributes to her. Anthropomorphism. She was dying and it was a last hurrah for her. They get off on this stuff. Even on her deathbed, she wanted to let you know how important she is, centrality. She told you for herself not for you. They are selfish.

weedfree
weedfree
7 months ago

I think we’ve done the “I thought he had a brain tumour” challenge recently. But the wandering along a highway story reminded me of all the weird things FWs do. Mine wandered through the local mall on a Saturday morning at 10am claiming he’d been given a tab of acid for a joke and was hearing voices. I mustn’t have cared much for him by that stage as i told him not to come home til the voices stopped. They definitely have a screw missing.

Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy
7 months ago

so deeply deceitful

Freak story: I am so glad you have this forum, and all of CL’s output, to help you steer straight. So proud you saw he was no prize to “win.” CL’s advice to you is gold, hold it close. As usual, CL is right on target when highlighting the enormity of his deceptions as antidote to any bargaining impulses you may feel. Going forward, every time he turns on the charm channel, please remind yourself of her quote above: He was So. Deeply. Deceitful. He showed you who he is.

Anything else he has to say will only be from the three FW channels. If it’s not self-pity and it’s not rage, then rest assured it’s only glib charm. The only thing you can believe is that he will stay true to form, saying whatever he “needs” to, regardless of truth.

My mind goes to this as well: This man somehow convinced you (and your daughters) for years to reject your own intuition about his secrets. Sounds like two of his favorite weapons for that were rage (threatening to go silent if asked again to tell the truth about affair) and self-pity. Only when those stopped working did he go back to charm.

Point being, he’s had a lot of time/practice at manipulating you, and feels confident he still can. Simply put, this is why No Contact is your best defense.

Turned A. Corner
Turned A. Corner
7 months ago

I’m so sorry to hear your story. It’s been 10 months for me since our marriage ended overnight. Boy am I glad I found CL I did the right thing. Everyday gets easier and everyday he and Schmoopie are just 2 idiots that I don’t have to deal with. They seriously all come from some FW mould. I can’t believe I stayed 30 years!!!! AKA Clare episode ” Nice or nasty……. stats my story…. Shallow people…. no depth. anyhoo. today is the first day of the rest of my life….

Freak Story
Freak Story
7 months ago

Thank you to each and every one of you who have taken the time to read my story and reply. I haven’t got the vocabulary of some, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I still feel that my story is somehow ‘different’ we were so in love. He loved me so, so much. He was a good husband. Accepting this was a lie is going to take a long time and perhaps a lot of therapy.

For those that asked, I do have a fantastic lawyer. We have agreed an 80/20 split on all our assets. He has signed everything, and we are waiting on the conditional order being granted on 25th October (UK).

I have to sell the house, as I can’t afford to buy him out. I can’t afford to keep the payments up on my own for the next 8 years. Plus, I think I would like a new start. Somewhere that is just mine.

For now, he seems to be respecting my no contact rule. He’s in constant touch with the children though. After not seeing them for so long, after he initially left. I can only be pleased about that.

I have read CL’s advice over and over, and all the comments.

Thank you, again.

Last edited 7 months ago by Freak Story
Freak Story
Freak Story
7 months ago

Thank you everyone, especially, Chump Lady for all your valuable input. The advice is invaluable to me. I can’t express enough how much I am spurred on to maintain the no contact.

He has signed the financial order for an 80/20 split in my favour of all our assets. Unfortunately, as he was the higher earner, I can’t afford the house on my own, hence the sale. I have had a great pay rise though, so should find something that’s suitable for me and our daughters. All will be finalised by the end of this year.

Some days it’s very hard, and I just can’t believe this happened. It’s tough trying to reconcile the loving and kind husband and father that you knew, with the new one that is presented to you abruptly. A terrible shock to the system. Abuse, indeed.

Good luck to you all. May we continue winning 🙂