Why Did You Leave?

breakupBoy, we really bled a vein with the last post here “Why Did You Stay?”! UniquelyMe had a good suggestion, which was to follow that post up with something a bit more uplifting — Why did you go?

(Assuming you left. A large subsection of cheaters just seem to go “poof!” Abandonment being another topic altogether.)

What was your final a-ha, can’t-take-this-crap-another-minute moment? How did liberation feel?

Today, let’s inspire the other chumps who might not be as far along on the journey — how did it feel to take back your power?

(I may leave this one up until Tuesday, as the weekends tend to be slow. And we’ve got good stories, folks.)

Viva chumps!

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

433 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Susan
Susan
9 years ago

I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to try and work it out. But then one day I realized that I was getting nowhere and he needed to face his own future without me or the kids. Once we closed on the house in early December, he moved locally and I moved about an hour away… my brother’s home (while he was in FL) and there I stayed for 5 months. The kids were away at school and I could grieve and renew in peace. It was a snowy winter and on those days when the snow made the driving treacherous I stayed with various friends close to my old home. It was then that I really felt my grief lifting. By the time spring rolled around, I was ready to move on and bought my own apartment and with the help of friends, moved in. I haven’t looked back. In my late 50’s, time is too short to wallow in memories and grief. I am happy. I look forward to my new adventures and in a few more weeks it will all be signed and OVER!

Jane
Jane
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

You are such an inspiration to me. I’m almost 4 yr. d-day and still struggling w stay or leave. My age keeps me thinking I should stay, I have so few friends and no family to lean on at all. I’ll really be on my own after a life time w someone.

I ‘m hoping and hoping for that “bottom out,” to come soon, because the longer one puts off, the harder it becomes.

I’m so envious of everyone who finally had enough, and brave enough to do something about it.

Chump Princess
Chump Princess
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane,

I so understand how you feel, but listen to everyone who is telling you to seriously consider leaving. There were three years between D-Day #GodOnlyKnows and the one when I really had no choice but to leave. If I had left the first time I suspected or knew of any cheating, I would have been that much younger than I am now (almost 60) by many years. My age was one reason I feared leaving – that I would spend the rest of my life as a lonely old bag lady while he happy gallivanted with his OW, or when he marries her, his new wife. I didn’t even believe I would be able to go to the grocery store by myself, so tied was I to him.

You will never be the best you as long as you remain with him. Living with a cheater is consuming and draining – and you don’t realize how much until you are way from them. I will not tell you that it is or has been easy, but I can surely tell you that if you give yourself the gift of leaving, you will one day ask yourself while you stayed so long and why you were so afraid. FEAR – False Expectations Appearing Real.

Jeepin4me
Jeepin4me
9 years ago
Reply to  Chump Princess

FEAR – False Expectations Appearing Real.

Amen Chump Princess!!!

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane, I would have never left my X and the bottom fell out too many times. Each time it was worse than the last. What makes him happy? Cheating and keeping a loving faithful wife? What makes life unbearable? Being a loving faithful wife to a cheater. Save yourself. There is no loneliness greater than standing in that pile of shit and waiting. The time you waste on him is self defeating. The time you put into yourself is rewarding. I didn’t think I was strong either until I shifted my energy from focusing on the mindfuck to eliminating it for good.

Ladywithatruck
Ladywithatruck
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane, you are not getting any younger and the years slip by so fast. It is even more important that you get out now and not waste any more years. I have had women in their 70’s and one in her 80’s that left; if they can do it so can you. I am not trying to talk you into leaving but if you are that unhappy and you wish you had the courage to leave; I am telling you that you CAN do it.
There is always an excuse why the time isn’t right, you need more money, you have no friends, it’s Christmas, he said he would change (again) I thought of them all and when I left I didn’t have anything, in fact if I would have left the first time I thought about leaving but didn’t because I thought I needed to save some money first I would have been in a lot better shape. The longer I stayed and tried to prepare to leave the more he got off of me, the more he destroyed, (including my self confidence)
Call a women’s resource centre and join a women’s support group, talk to other women, make friends, find out your options. You don’t have to leave but at least you would know your options and might create a support network and feel more comfortable about leaving because you will know exactly what is available to you.
Right now you are imagining all the things that could happen, all the bad things and they are holding you back. I am not saying it will be easy but it probably isn’t as bad as you are thinking it will be.
At least if you educate yourself you are making an educated decision.
Good luck!! btw I left with nothing except my dog and slept in my truck for a month and I was 51. I won’t say it was easy but now I can say it was well worth the journey to get here.

Susan
Susan
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane —

I really felt alone when he sprung all this on me too. I thought all our friends were his friends but once people knew what was happening, the friends came out of the woodwork! Find someone you can confide in and life will start to change. I wish you peace!

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

IMHO, living with a Cheater makes life…unhappy, isolating, unwell, unbalanced. I could never figure out why my life felt like it was passing me by, and that while I had everything I ever wanted there was something missing. My ex very carefully buried me (figuratively!) and it was over many long unhappy years with him. The kids and I however had a great marriage 🙂 . Life is exhausting with the disordered, they are big time disengaged. Looking back I wished I would have left him long before I had children with him.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane, I wonder–if you decided to leave because you know it’s the right thing for YOU, and that you can only control YOU, and that you really DO NEED to control YOU rather than passively wait for things to change all around you, then you could muster the courage? And then I wonder, if you did leave, and PROVE to YOURSELF after all these years that you DO have the ABILITY and RESPONSIBILITY to leave, would it be like throwing open the curtains to a dark room, and letting the light shine in? Would you awaken something in yourself? Would you, after taking a BIG step, finally begin believing in yourself because you EARNED your self respect, and exercised your will? Would YOU GROW STRONGER and stronger with each step? Would you realize, perhaps for the first time in your life, that you can and must do for you? (Who taught you to be so passive? How did they do that? How has it served you? How has it hurt you? How will YOU change it?)

I wonder if, when you broke away and started making your own decisions (GOD, IT FEELS GREAT–TRUST ME!) that you would suddenly or maybe even slowly begin to realize your own strength, and you would begin sending out a new vibe to others. You would most certainly have the compassion of a formerly-stuck person who’d earned her freedom, and also that wisdom that can only come from doing something that once seemed so hard, and then seemed necessary–vital, even. I wonder if, after that, almost without being aware, you’d approach people–your soon-to-be friends with self-confidence and inner joy and peace and enthusiasm for hard-earned freedom. You might find that you are irrepressible, and grateful. You might realize that you get and give joy when you focus on YOU, and that this is, in fact, your primary responsibility in life. After all, what do YOU have to give if you are nothing? Who are you, Jane, and who do you want to be? Who, besides you, can make that happen? You get one chance at life, Jane. Break away–take that first step–so that you can finally figure yourself out. You owe it to you. You owe it to nobody else but you to be your own #1.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

If you don’t respect yourself, nobody else will.

Self respect starts with and comes from willful action that is self-serving and rooted in strong values. What are your values?

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane, I’m 63. Age doesn’t need to be a factor. My parents have passed. I have one sibling whom I rarely see. No kids. I have a few really good, true friends, which makes me rich. You can make friends, even when you are older. In fact, those friends might be part of your life for reasons other than “we lived across the street from each other.”

But rather than languid in limbo–take baby steps. Pull together financial records. This is important even for happily married people–to know what the exact financial situation is. Make copies of stuff, including anything that confirms the affair. Find a good therapist and spend your time there figuring out what makes you happy. Then start growing whatever that is. And sit down with a good divorce lawyer to learn your options.

I think it’s just as important for older chumps to make good decisions about the future, because we have less time ahead of us. Why waste a year or a day? Life is so precious. Even if you decide not to leave your H, at least start building a hap pie, less isolated life where you are.

unicornomore
unicornomore
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane, I stayed for 7 years after Dday and smoked the hopium pipe daily. I was so stubborn, the only way God could get him away from me was to strike him down dead, which He did. It was about 3 months after he died that I realized how much easier life with without his incessant criticism and anger. Being alone is better than living with his crap….just dont go to Chick FIl A and see all the old couples together, thats depressing.

I have said to my close friends…if Jesus walked in the room and said that He decided a mistake had been made and they were bringing my husband back to life, I would say “great, his kids and parents will be thrilled!” and then I would google “divorce attorney” . I have dreams where he is alive and Im never happy about it, I just want to get away from him.

I have gone through bad bouts of being mad at myself for not having to courage to leave him. I gave him WAY WAY too much of my life. Your dirth of friends may be directly related to being married to an abuser…you CAN go out and create a new life for yourself. Im 50 and in 4 months I will marry the love of my life, he’s NICE to me (imagine that !)

Living through his death has shown me so clearly that life REALLY IS FINITE, you only have x number of years …do you really want to live your finite years like THIS?

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

“Your dirth of friends may be directly related to being married to an abuser” – totally. He would make people feel uncomfortable, I would have to chat twice as hard to make up, I never felt supported socially. In the early days I would nag him about his ‘shyness’ – it never occurred to me that he was so self absorbed he just could not be bothered with other people.

Chumpita
Chumpita
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

I complained during my marriage about the sad and strange feeling of not having close girlfriends anymore. Now after a year of having kicked the cheater out I am recovering male and female friends from the past and making new ones. Several of my old friends have told me that they couldn´t stand being close to my cheater because of the way he treated me. And my new friends can´t believe what I have been through because they see my energy so fresh and unstressed.

Please Jane, realize that your cheater IS the cause of you not having close friends, but most importantly, he is the cause of you doubting your self-worth and your fear of being alone. He has manipulated you into believing that you can´t live without him and that life is far better giving him cake than with being on your own. Wake up! You need to get rid of him and not waste a second more of time on a looser cheater. The first step to loving yourself is realizing that you don´t need to be with people that don´t respect you. And he surely doesn´t!

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpita

Abusers isolate their victims.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

My first ex labeled all my close girlfriends lesbians to ridicule me and scare me away from them. It didn’t work, cause it was just so stupid. I do have a few lesbian friends, and they are not interested in me sexually. They are pretty awesome friends. All my friends aren’t lesbians or evil feminists. I mean I’m a chump, but I’m not stupid.

He also tried to isolate me from my family. He was a very mean person. I have always seen through him and my son (with autism) also sees through him. Even his wife sees through him. She knows I have her back if she needs to leave. That’s how bad he is.

freedom2live
freedom2live
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpita

Yes!!! Having to work so hard to make others feel comfortable, chat twice as hard! It was mostly with my family though, he was so charming to his friends and family. No one wanted to come to my house anymore but they did not want to hurt my feelings and tell me why until after the divorce.

So isolating.

SeeTheLight
SeeTheLight
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

So true, Patsy. My cheater would rudely retreat into his island of self-absorption, rarely engaging or listening to anyone else. He couldn’t be bothered with other people unless they were blindly attentive to one of his tales of self aggrandisement. Needless to say, after awhile our invitations dwindled despite my efforts to be uber likeable.

Chris W.
Chris W.
9 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Amen. Just amen to everything unicornomore says. Life is finite. Nobody deserves to throw their only life down the toilet for these Narcissistic, pathological freaks.

MovingOn
MovingOn
9 years ago

On DDay and for a few days afterwards, I wanted to stay. My ex was lying to me at that point– claiming that nothing happened, etc. We had been together for 17 years and had three kids together, so I was all on board for making it work and hoped that we could work through his online stupidity and get past it.

As we went through those five days, though, I didn’t see a man who was truly remorseful and wanting to do everything in his power to make things right. He said things like he “wasn’t sure what he wanted” and even claimed that the OW “was also his best friend” (after knowing her for about three months). Looking back, it’s clear to me now that he either wanted to cake eat, or he wanted to scare me into submission: “Be a nice, cooperative little wifey who rugsweeps what I’ve done, or I’m going back to her!” I think he expected me to do all of the apologizing and changing since I clearly drove him to cheat. So, I started to feel in my gut that staying might not be the right decision.

My ex then made it easy for me to leave. On the fifth day after DDay, my non-true love revealed to me: Yes, he had actually had sex with her several times without protection, and the relationship had gone far past the internet and a one-time, harmless meeting where “nothing happened.” I remember distinctly feeling like I had been punched in the gut by the one person who I thought had my back. At that point, I realized how very little I apparently knew him, and I no longer wished to be married to this stranger who treated our marriage and family so callously and who didn’t care enough about my physical health to put on a condom. I told him then and there that I wanted a divorce, and I never looked back.

Five days of supposed reconciliation was hell… I can’t imagine trying that on a long-term basis. Leaving was absolutely the best thing for me to do.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  MovingOn

My ex then made it easy for me to leave. …my non-true love revealed to me: Yes, he had actually had sex with her several times without protection…. I remember distinctly feeling like I had been punched in the gut by the one person who I thought had my back. At that point, I realized how very little I apparently knew him, and I no longer wished to be married to this stranger who treated our marriage and family so callously and who didn’t care enough about my physical health to put on a condom. I told him then and there that I wanted a divorce, and I never looked back.

Me to a tee. Thanks for this.

Jeepin4me
Jeepin4me
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

anyone worthy of any respect has NO respect for him. He is not honorable.

Oh my…thank you for that EPIPHANY!!!!!!

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

And, for me, the fucking of a stranger, and the complete disregard my stbx had for me and for our CHILDREN (OUR CHILDREN!!)–this was the Get Out of Jail Free card. You see, I knew before D-day that I’d put up with enough through the years. THIS was just the last straw. He knew it, and I knew it.

It was jarring and terrifying and exhilarating, like a free-fall through arctic air, but I knew I had my own parachute, I just had to pull the cord.

He said he’d thought about coming back to the family, and trying to work it out, but realized that I’d never forgive him. He didn’t want to have to live a life of perpetual repentance. And he was right. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy–only a COWARD thinks like this. Only a spineless COWARD wouldn’t fight for his family, on the basis that it will be really hard without a guaranteed outcome. A coward knows that there isn’t any substance within him–nothing for ME to fight for, nothing for ME to admire and honor and respect. He doesn’t even know who he is! And he won’t find it between the legs of a needy woman whose empty praise is eventually just empty praise. So he chose what he thought would be easier–and thus he chose to live as a coward, and that is suffocating, and NOT easy. Every day he wakes up next to the worst mistake of his life, hapless and helpless. And he knows that anyone worthy of any respect has NO respect for him. He is not honorable.

Truly, I stayed, and HE left. I was relieved. I knew that I could not LOVE someone for whom I had no respect. Feigning love is the death of one’s soul. I valued my SELF.I was able to leave because I have a fairly strong sense of self which was reinforced by separating myself from him. I could leave because I love–my children, my parents, my true friends, my work, my hobbies, my dogs, my future plans. Closing the door behind him has left a lot of room for whom and what I truly love. It has made me a better person.

I can wish and hope that he will grow and learn, and for his sake and the sake of our children, I can hope that he is growing out of his cowardice. I know he has revived an old hobby–maybe he’s getting really good at it and achieving some self respect from that? Who knows. I only control myself.

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

“Only a spineless COWARD wouldn’t fight for his family, on the basis that it will be really hard without a guaranteed outcome.”
My husband said he wanted to work on our marriage, but what he really wanted was for me to forget, and do all the work. His words: “you need to take a leap of faith.” Really?! I told him HE needed to take that leap if he ever wanted our marriage to work. He was never willing to do the work because I couldn’t give him a guarantee that I would stay after he put in all that hard and humiliating work. So be it. I can guarantee you life without me will be 20x the work that getting our marriage back on track would have been.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
9 years ago
Reply to  ItsAJourney

“I can guarantee you life without me will be 20x the work that getting our marriage back on track would have been.”

Yes, yes, and triple yes.

Well said, IAJ.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  ItsAJourney

ItsaJourney: “My husband said he wanted to work on our marriage, but what he really wanted was for me to forget, and do all the work……I can guarantee you life without me will be 20x the work that getting our marriage back on track would have been.”

Your words resonate with me–mine just wanted me to “look forward” and forget about the affair/s. The problem with working on the marriage is…they CAN’T. Working on a marriage is about devoting time and attention and love and resources to another person, about sometimes putting their needs before yours. And most cheaters CAN’T. Their poor characters have become too embedded by adulthood, and the bad behaviors & entitlement snowball as they get away with affairs for weeks, months, and years.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Here, here, Tempest. I agree.

Nothing short of an act of God could turn these disordered humans around to do the work it would take to get their marriage back on track or think of someone other than themselves.

My eye is becoming more keen to recognizing these mutants.

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

I ,too, feel the cheating was a blessing. I was so sick of walking in a minefield. By the time I figured out she was cheating, the years of abuse had taken quite a toll.

I

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Arnold,

Did you make the Senior Open?

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

Qualifier I selected is June, 3, 2015, in Madison Wisc. Open in Late June in California, I think around Sacramento ( will check).
I head to Florida next week to start preparing. Minnesota has a site, too, but I opted to get out of town to play as Minnesota is really full of ex tour players and spot is really difficult to get. It will be a long shot in Wisconsin, too, as, typically, there is about one spot at these sites with about 40 guys playing for it. Lots of big time, players , so one needs to get lucky.
But, it is just a one round qualifier, not like the regular Open, which is 36 holes in a region and then another 36 in a sectional, I think.
So, if I get hot and can keep nerves down, it is possible. It will be fun to play in the qualifier, anyway. Last time I tried, I had just turned 50. I am 61 now, but play a lot better for some reason. Just cannot hit it much more than 260.
Thanks for asking. in the unlikely event I were to get this spot, I will advertise for CL. Maybe play alongside Greg Norman, a notorious cheater, himself 🙂

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

“Only a spineless COWARD wouldn’t fight for his family, on the basis that it will be really hard without a guaranteed outcome. A coward knows that there isn’t any substance within him–nothing for ME to fight for, nothing for ME to admire and honor and respect.”

This!! OMG this!! You are so right on Miss Sunshine!

Lady Bug
Lady Bug
9 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

My soon to be x says since there’s so guarantee, it’s not worth attempting. Just easier to stay with OW.
I’m grateful for her taking him off my hands. She can have him.

Stayin Strong
Stayin Strong
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Miss Sunshine,

Mine too felt that he would want to come back if I could guarantee that I could forgive him and move on. I knew that I would spend the rest of my life checking up on him and always believing he was lying. The only guarantee that I could give him was that I would never be able to trust him again. So he took the easy way out and bailed. It hurt at the time, but now I am filled with gratitude that was what he decided to do. My life is now what I want it to be. I read so many times during the separation/divorce process that my life would be better once I was through it. It just never really believed what everyone said. Boy, was that a mistake.

Mine also wakes up to his biggest mistake. He rolls over and sees in her face the disconnection with his children, the loss of his home, destroyed friendships, abandonment by family, huge debt, inability to afford his favorite hobby and most of all embarrassment. That’s a lot of negativity all wrapped up into the person he said was good for him.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Stayin Strong

My ex said the same thing after she was caught having an affair – that she would go to counseling and reconciliation if I promised her that I would forgive her first.

So cowardly, and that she would give absolutely no effort for what we had for years and the wedding we had not even a year before.

She also screeched at me: “I won’t apologize for this forever!” This was on the day that I discovered what was going on, yet, when I asked her if she had thought about what would happen if she was caught, she said she had just not thought about it.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Stayin Strong

Staying strong, yes she will always remind him of what he lost! X lost a good woman, respect of his children and grandaughter, a nice home and basically all the connections he had to a good life.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Stayin Strong

Yes!! After one MC appointment, mine wrote me a letter saying he wanted the “old Tempest back,” but that if I was going to stay depressed, and jealous, and angry, he could so no alternative but divorce.

By the time I received the email, I had already filed ; ). He’d been told it takes 2 years to heal from an affair, but I was supposed to be over it in 7 weeks. Jackass.

AnyBee
AnyBee
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Total douche move by the cheater. I heard that one. “How am I supposed to deal with this affair if you’re just going to be all angry and depressed?” Hey fuck you and get you shit out of the closets.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

SPOT ON Miss Sunshine!! Every single word of it.

SeeTheLight
SeeTheLight
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

“And he won’t find it between the legs of a needy woman whose empty praise is eventually just empty praise. ”

^THIS^

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

“He doesn’t even know who he is! And he won’t find it between the legs of a needy woman whose empty praise is eventually just empty praise. ” – THIS.

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Print! Miss Sunshine, THIS! “Every day he wakes up to the worst mistake of his life.” Yup, in a nutshell, karma come home to roost.

lady jane
lady jane
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Miss Sunshine, your words resonated with me. Thank you.

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Miss Sunshine, your comments about cheaters being cowards is spot on. When cheater ex tried to come back a year later (we were already divorced), our son thought he would “fight for us.” Duh. Cheaters always want the easy way out.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Uniquelyme

Throughout my marriage he set it up so I would fight for him. He never fought for me. My reward for tolerating his cheating through forgiveness was always putting us back into the infatuation stage of a narcissistic relationship. And that equaled sex to him. That is where cheaters thrive. But when I expected true intimacy he could never produce. They are incapable. That shoved him into the next phase of withdrawal, insults, and cruelty. Then it’s back to ho shopping. Next right back to disregard. That was his pattern for years. He finally admitted it was always about the thrill of the chase and sex. Miss Sunshine’s words described him perfectly. He would rather funk strangers because it was easy. He is a disordered coward. We often get stuck on the OW thinking they are somehow better, more beautiful. They are NOT. It is so true, “every day he wakes up to the worst mistake of his life”. Thank you for that Miss Sunshine.!! I met her and as horrible as it felt THIS is where his fantasy left him when I detached from him and filed for a divorce. It was a long time coming. The disordered X stated he thinks about me all the time AFTER he got his copy of the divorce settlement from the lawyer I paid. That is where they end up in life waking up next to a sleazy whore!! THAT is the best revenge, WE get chump change and find Tuesday and have the potential for MEh!! Thank you lady with a truck! You opened my eyes wide!!!

MovingOn
MovingOn
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

My turn to quote you:

“Feigning love is the death of one’s soul.”

You are spot on. That’s exactly how I felt– if I stayed with him, I’d be slowly but surely dying inside a little more each day. My ex has also continued to prove to me that leaving him was the right choice. His behavior only continues to become more and more selfish and hostile.

Marci
Marci
9 years ago

Ha, ha. I didn’t leave. I chucked him out and changed the locks. Delivered his possessions in black garbage bags to the lobby of his corporate building. Put most of the good stuff in the charity bin first.

Once a Cheater shows his real stripes, I fall out of love real fast. Life is too short to put up with them.

Financial? I ALWAYS keep my ducks lined up. Never ever become financially dependent on another person.

If you can fast forward on the MEH, the good parts come along a lot sooner!!

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  Marci

So right Marci! All women should preach this to their daughters from the time they are a zygote until they leave the nest. No matter what; keep working; keep your independence; keep your job! NEVER take for granted that your significant other is going to be around to take care of you. Our lives can change with every breath we take.Whether it’s death or divorce.

My mother never stopped preaching this to my sister and I. We were very lucky because we both grew up in a time that our girlfriends were all being told to “marry a doctor”. My mother’s message? Don’t marry a doctor-become one. If not that, something else that you can make a good living doing!

I took a little time off to raise my sons, but I pushed hard to get back to work much to the chagrin of the ex. It was one of the most common fights between us in our 27 years. He never had trouble spending my paycheck but god forbid my job would ever get in the way of his good time.

Thank god for my mother and thank god for listening to that particular piece of advise!

mary
mary
9 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

I always told my daughter to have a profession – a career that enables her to earn a living whatever her marital situation – she trained as a teacher.
Her marriage lasted only 6 months before imploding into debt, lies and cheating.
I provided a roof over her head until she got her breath back. She found a nice little house to rent, met a new man, and can provide for herself and her child on her own income. Anything her ex contributes is a bonus.
I only wish my mother had given me the same advice..

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  mary

I tell my son to never agree to the stay at home mom deal. If she cheats, you are hosed as regards custody and, potentially, alimony.

juliet
juliet
9 years ago
Reply to  Marci

I’m with Marci on this one – “Financial? I ALWAYS keep my ducks lined up. Never ever become financially dependent on another person.”

More great advice “The single most disastrous thing that women do is only have a joint account with their spouse. Yes, even if money is tight at first, ALWAYS keep your own account on the side. No’ it’s not about lack of love or trust, it’s about your future and assurance that you will be OK no matter what happens.”
I have always worked and always had my own money – marriage has never changed that. I’m now remarried but still have my own bank account.

When DD came I served Cheaterpants with papers so fast it made his head spin. The solicitor asked him to leave and after a month he finally went. I’d had 7 months of his nastiness and gaslighting and DD was such a relief, as I knew I wan’t going potty after all.

Thank goodness I was paying the mortgage! He was spending loads of his money on his AP and getting into debt, He would probably have defaulted on the mortgage to take his floozy to hotels. At least I made sure my credit rating stayed good.

And thank goodness I didn’t give in to his pestering to have a joint a/c !!

Marci
Marci
9 years ago
Reply to  juliet

Juliet — I love the part about “filed so fast it made his head spin”. I’ll never forget the indignant text I got after delivering cheaterpants’ clothes to his office in garbage bags! The OW sent me an email saying how cruel I was…as if it wasn’t cruel of her to screw my man in my bed in my house while I was away earning a living to support him! I laugh so hard when I think of those two losers … They are a perfect match.

Strangely enough, I used to wonder if I was cynical and mistrusting to keep my own investments separate. If I hadn’t, I would be neck deep in doodoo now. Oh, and a keylogger on the home computer is good insurance too. Trust em, love em, then verify 🙂

Marci
Marci
9 years ago
Reply to  Marci

Here’s the thing: I was a financial advisor for years while married. Because of that, I got a close look at the way a lot of married couples organise their money. People so often have this lovey dovey approach that “everything should be shared”. Baloney.

The single most disastrous thing that women do is only have a joint account with their spouse. Yes, even if money is tight at first, ALWAYS keep your own account on the side. No’ it’s not about lack of love or trust, it’s about your future and assurance that you will be OK no matter what happens.

Assets keep the power in balance. Of course if divorce happens you have to split everything, but at least it stops Cheaters from pissing away YOUR money on the OW, or booze, or porn.

I remember my MIL clucking at me for even having a job. Good thing I did.

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  Marci

Same for both genders. If you are with a Cluster B, which is likely if you marry a cheater, they run your finances into the ground.
I was working 3 jobs, getting 4 hours o f sleep a night, trying to keep us sfloat.
men and women need to separate finances .

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Marci

Great lesson for people everywhere: “Financial? I ALWAYS keep my ducks lined up. Never ever become financially dependent on another person.”

onthehill
onthehill
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

No truer words have been spoken. Take it from one who made THAT the second biggest mistake of her life. Marrying my X was the first.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

I always had my accounts separate after he took off for Florida when I was in my last year of grad school. He was once agIn following his DREAM of living there. He screwed around and I lost my home. I was homeless with two children. I ended up there chump that I am and I found out his expectation was that I support him while he screwed around. Left him there and he returned home 4 months later crying. Fast forward 14 years later and he has the same fantasy with his new ho that he says will support him. Can’t wait for that to play out! Having separate savings, bank accounts, and credit cards helped me survive after he discarded me for the LAST time.

MovingOn
MovingOn
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Lesson learned there– I will never co-mingle my assets with another person again. I think I can love someone without sharing a bank account with him!

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

I completely agree, and will make sure my daughters have some nest egg in my name (so it doesn’t count as community property if they ever divorce). That way, if they ever need money to escape the same kind of situation as me, they have it.

Red
Red
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

“That way, if they ever need money to escape the same kind of situation as me, they have it.”

^^^THIS. When you don’t have to worry about money, decisions become black and white.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yes!

Jam lady
Jam lady
9 years ago

I had no choice but to leave. I was literally driven out of my house by my own children, at the direction of their father. He’s a coward, and used his own children to do his dirty work. I haven’t seen or spoken to my boys in 18 months, as they refuse to have anything to do with me. I’m so much better off away from that dysfunction and I know once my boys get out from under his influence they will find their way back. I will never give up hope.

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  Jam lady

Unbelievable! These entitled fucktards should never be parents. Hugs and one day your kids WILL see the truth. Hard not to after a while. My kids believed their father’s whole never had anything in common spiel up until he ditched them.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  Jam lady

Wow Jam, you are strong. I will be praying your kids come back to you soon and with clarity and respect.

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
9 years ago

My rational side says file. Be an example to your children. Stop accepting lies abuse and money being wasted. Stop the cycle. Show your kids to not accept abuse no matter what. Stand up for yourself. Stand up for your kids. The emotional side says stay. There’s so much history. So much future to lose. Graduations, weddings, grand kids, etc. I don’t want to share my kids with an ex. Or an x’s SO. My feet are glued to the ground. I want so badly to detach emotionally and to have the guts to MOVE my feet. And not dance. Which by the way I now realize I have been doing my entire marriage. Does that mean cheating was going on that long? My current guesstimate is at least 15 yrs of cheating.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Willow, mine was never happy. He let me know he told the other woman he was unhappy for the past two years. I looked back at all the family pictures and they made me sick. Living my life with a man that was going through the motions was torture. We can’t get those years back but we can have joy with our children and create authentic memories minus the cheater. Mourning the loss of what it could have been is normal. Staying when it can never be is a huge burden to bear. It is not worth the sacrifice.

ThatGirl
ThatGirl
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

15 years is a long time. That’s basically a double life.

Someone who can lie for that long is capable of, well, anything. Do not think that if you place nice and R that he will at least hang around. It is really a crap shoot. He could stay married to you his whole life. Or, one day he could just up and disappear with an OW. Or, he could get fired from his job for misconduct. Or….

My point is people like that are not dependable. He is only thinking of himself. Behavior like that has consequences. Consequences that always come home to roost eventually, and you don’t want to be attached to him when they do. There are plenty of examples of long suffering spouses who lost their homes, savings, have to deal with OC’s, the cheater gets really sick or injured and then needs a nursemaid, gets in trouble with the law or the IRS, gets fired from their job and can’t or won’t get another – and on and on. It’s not a matter of IF staying with a cheater will screw up your life, it’s a matter of WHEN.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

WillowChump, my mother was selfless and sacrificed for her children. It was horrible. I wished she would leave him as I cried myself to sleep. I learned well. I too wasted my life with a disrespectful man. My children begged me to leave him. Do it for your children.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Well, obviously it’s up to you what sort of compromise you want to make for your life. But I have to echo Dat: Not only does the future come, divorced or together, but what KIND of future? A future of knowing he’s cheating, of feeling cuckolded, of letting that many more years of abuse & neglect take its toll on YOUR life?? No one here is saying it’s easy. But I think a good number of us come out of the darkness and realize there are some awesome experiences awaiting in a cheater-less life.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Willowchump–do you want your children to see your H’s emotional abuse as acceptable and the norm? They will follow what you model, NOT what you say. Trust me on that. Set an example that good treatment is expected from spouses and get the hell out.

onthehill
onthehill
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, this is so True. I remember my mother lecturing me about not being concerned about what other people said about me – yet – she live her life worrying about what other people thought of what she said or did. Guess what – I wound up the same way (until recently).

I am glad that my son didn’t have to endure one. more. day. of my X’s abuse of us. I finally had the guts to stand up and do it. My kid is SO much happier. He might actually make the Honor Roll for the first time since 6th grade (he’s in 9th) – after FAILING two subjects last year because of his asshole father.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Here’s the other thing about kids. They are going to grow up. And you are still going to be with a cheater. A wedding? Maybe 2-3 days out of your life. Same with graduations and christening. If you count Christmas, you are talking about maybe 30-40 days out of the next 3650,

I think your emotional side needs to remember what you wanted for your life and your marriage. Certainly not 15 years of cheating. You are stuck because you imagine the future will be worse than the present. There isn’t a whole lot worse that to be married to someone who is lying, cheating and misusing marital assets

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

That whole last line, LAJ. Life is wasted on crap, and that is all it is with a Cheater. Better choice: Go live a beautiful authentic life. Damn right it’s scary, but there’s a lot to be said about living a great life versus a sad one.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

In what way do you think you will lose the future? All of the things will happen whether you divorce or stay married. You already share your kids with the POS. At least you could have a future where you share it with someone who respects you, even if that someone is only you and your kids. Get pissed off on your own behalf, it’s like spraying some WD-40 on your feet Willowchump!

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

YES!!

And you get to keep the best parts of your “shared” history. However, you get to discard the worst. you may find that your best memories of your history are those where the cheater wasn’t even there–I have come to realize that my ex who was given so much credit for being SUCH a GREAT father really wasn’t there much.

I get what’s keeping you there–I felt the same way. “What about the grandkids? What about future holidays?” Then I realized that each of my kids is going to one day have their own families, anyway. A functional family will always become blended and messy anyway (in a lovely way!). That understanding helped me a lot to move forward.

If you wait until you are unemotional before you detach, you will never detach. You’re not a robot. You do have a soul. This is really hard. And you do it anyway. And you reserve your heart and emotion for the people and things in your life that are WORTH it, not for something dead, not for a heartless bastard.

Fast forward to that wedding you’re thinking about. You have two choices, not three, my dear. This choice–you’re admired as a strong and loving half of a couple–that isn’t on the list. Here’s why: you only have TWO choices. The first is that the wedding guests are whispering to themselves that your “husband” is a jackass cheater, and you are desperately clinging to a dead marriage. Who does he keep texting, anyway? What WAS he doing last night?
The second is that people are whispering that you two divorced because he’s a cheater. He looks bloated and terrible. You, on the other hand, seem to be doing really well. You look great. You seem really happy. And you ARE happy, because you’re at your kid’s wedding, surrounded by people you love. Everyone seems to be congratulating you. You’ve been up to [pick a few] traveling, sewing, exercising, dating, gardening, knitting, visiting your grandchildren–you are in LOVE with life!

What’s it going to be?

minime1224
minime1224
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

wow for a minute there I thought you were talking to me. I am having an off day. tomorrow is the day he told me he was having an affair. I was emotionally long gone from him anyway but I never thought he would ever do that. Surprise. So it is almost a year and I am still in this house of ours, still working at my piddly job, seeing my daughter and grandkids as much as I can and dreading July 1st when I have to go to my daughters wedding in Cuba and asshole and his sidekick assholette will be there. I tell myself these are all my friends and family and I have done nothing wrong, I can hold my head up high and I am the Mother of the Bride. Where he is yes her father but a cheater and plus he brings her too. Sigh it is constantly on my mind. Some people only have to spend one day with there Ex at there daughter or sons wedding and Im stuck a whole weak on an island with him. plus the divorce isnt final yet. I feel he will look at me and go look she still doesnt have anybody !!!!!!!! No I dont sooo not ready for that. But thks for this post made me think again and change my silly thoughts . xxx

MrsVain
MrsVain
9 years ago
Reply to  minime1224

you dont have amyone yet because you are still married. you said your divorce is not final. that is all the ammo you need. he is the low life who didnt honor the marriage vows. you have honesty and intregrity.

i bet you find he is not going to be happy being there once you spread the word what a piece of shit he is since he brought his homewrecker and your divorce is not final. well now everyone knows why you are divorcing him.

hit him first with that and tell anyone who has the balls to say anything to you. YOU are right HE is wrong and he is taking proof for everyone to see.

good luck. have fun blowing him off when he starts sniffing at your skirts. and have a wonderful times without thinking or worrying about him.

be strong! good luck

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  MrsVain

To be honest, I got the most attention from women when I was not at all interested in a relationship.
I was happy being alone and had some peace, finally.
I have been with my beautiful,kind girlfriend for 3 years now. We met when neither of us was looking. She is a chump, too.

minime1224
minime1224
9 years ago
Reply to  MrsVain

thks Jen I would do anything for my daughter and trust me this has been on my mind since last year and its getting closer and closer yuck The only good thing is my daughter unbeknownst to me asked him to stay at another resort. whoot whoot We never talk about him ever. I made sure she knew what he did besides she is 31, and left it at that I never talk about him, and never told her the anxiety I have thinking about being with him and slut for a whole week.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  minime1224

To be honest I don’t know how you are going to do that. It sounds incredibly hard, but you certainly have the moral high ground. Are you taking a friend with you? Not a man, I mean a girlfriend for support?

Hopefully, seeing him with another woman with propel you to meh right away. I mean what kind of jerk does that at his daughters wedding?

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  MrsVain

Yes, you can be proud. I am so impressed that you are willing to do this for your daughter. You are clearly the “mother” of the two women fighting for the baby Solomon wisely decided to devise in half. You are the one who choose your child’s welfare over justice.

minime1224
minime1224
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Thks Mrs Vain you are dead right we are not divorced and he has carried on all year as though we were. I dont think he will be sniffing around me ever. I havent said more than two words to him in the whole year. We have been together for 34 years its as though he never was ever a part of my life, its really weird how that goes after you split and you realise what an ass your best friend turned out to be.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  minime1224

minime1224, you don’t have anyone yet because you have an inner life, you don’t need to “find yourself in someone else’s crotch”. You are are rockin, he’s the sad asshole who cannot bear to be alone with himself for a minute. Not even to be respectful to family by leaving his assholette behind on daughters wedding day. You are not stuck with him on that island, you are with your daughter and if it gets too much go get a massage or dance with the cabana boy :). Hold your head up girlfriend!

minime1224
minime1224
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

thks Datdamwuf I like that I have an inner life but she talks to much lol Today is one year and he freakn texts me after Ive gone no contact since July 1st. about his fn taxes. But I wrote back. Dont have your forms. That was it hee hee

Friend
Friend
9 years ago

I went to a lake, a cemetery and my parent’s house.
(aside from the fact that police escorted me out & he filed… Btw, one shy cop said quietly, “You deserve better.”) I left.
At the lake, I thought about Ex and it dawned on me that I could not help him, so I stood up, walked to a friend’s house and felt the tug of my whole energy ‘moving on’.
At a small cemetary, where I went for peace, I silently cried out…” All you dead people, go fix Ex. ” And the sun was shining, and in my mind I heard a chorus, “No way. His heart is dark. We aren’t going there. ” And I kinda was like, “Shit, they heard me.” And yep, Mr. Sparkley is more creepy than a small town graveyard.
At my parents house, I realized that I am not ever ‘seen’ by Ex. I still wanted to go back, but it wouldn’t have been ‘me’. So I got pulled away from Ex and I left him through choices when those crossroads came up.
I am glad I am out of there. It would’ve been better to have left sooner. I honestly did my best with what I had. I owe a few friends a big ‘thanks’ for their help in getting me away. And my GLBTQ boss. He was a lion for Christ. 🙂

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

I’m glad you’re out of there, too. I dreamt that your ex was in front of me in the road and I hit him with my car. No remorse. If you ever are tempted by regrets, picture him and OW sitting down to a feast. And we all know what’s on the platter.

Friend
Friend
9 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

I love the dream! EnoughAlready, you know, stay in the driver’s seat. You are a great friend.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

Friend–Zombies would not even eat your X’s heart, it is so rotten.

And you’re right–he tried to steal “you.” I’m so glad he didn’t.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago

I knew the very night of D-Day that I had to end it, when he seemed to turn into a completely different person right in front of my eyes; the lying, gaslighting, blameshifting, those things were bad enough. But even after I begged him to do counseling with me, to take some time to figure out what he wanted he responded coldly, in a monotone and said such outrageous, uncaring things …. my survival instinct kicked in despite how heartbroken and hurt I was. When I even said “have your fling but stay with me,” he coldly said, “No Muse, that would never work because I already ran the sharing idea by her and she won’t go for that.” I couldn’t believe my ears. He never ran any Sharing Idea by ME!… I realized then in my gut that he had not one iota of respect for me. That he was NOT the man I thought he was all those years.

We’d been together 16 years and I’d never suspected cheating till that night though in hindsight I do see there were some warning flags but he hid it very well. I was in shock and traumatized, but the final death knell, when I knew I was going to kick him out and our relationship (we weren’t married “yet” after 16 years of promises), was when he said this:

“If it doesn’t work out with her, I can totally see us getting back together again.” I responded, “you don’t understand. If you are leaving me for another woman you are NEVER getting back together with me. EVER.”

I still would have, though, as I was still filled with hopium and still spackling like crazy. Painfully, after 6 mos of doing Pick Me and him saying MORE heartless things to me (just two months from D-Day, in one conversation he said snidely, “You and I are not an ITEM, anymore, Muse.” Item? seriously? after 16 years and shared families, our entire history together, poof, just gone? Not an item? he said, “I don’t know what happened, one minute I was 100% committed to you and then the next minute I was 100% committed to her.”

When I instituted NC is when I finally saw the light. I stumbled on evidence of his previous affair 5 years before. I went in search of and found evidence of even more affairs. It hit me like a ton of bricks to realize he’d been a serial cheater and had been deceiving me since Day One while living off of my finanical largesse those man years. But that has also been my liberation…. realizing that the way he was that awful DDay night, was the real man. That cold snake is who he really is. Whether it’s a personality disorder or like my kids say, (not his kids, btw) “Mom, he’s just a bad person!” doesn’t matter to me anymore.

So proud of myself for doing what was right, that awful night in July 2013. It felt like cutting off my own limb to save my life, because I truly loved him, but what I loved was the mask, not the man behind it.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

I know you know my story and you’ve shared so much, I feel like I know yours. And I was just thinking of my own “kiss-off line” from XH (“I don’t think I love you the way I should love the woman I’m married to, and I don’t think I ever have, so I don’t think we’re worth trying to save.” — And I was thinking, I should embroider that on a pillow, so I can just punch it every time I think of those words. Forever seared on my cerebral cortex (I’ll bet they show up if I ever need an MRI), I just wish I could scrub them away, especially the “never have” and “not worth saving” bits.
If I make a pillow for myself, do you want one? (Hugs, Muse — you are mighty.)

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

NWBiblio

Yes, but he is the real loser because he chose to waste his time by staying in a relationship he did not want to be in. You were in a relationship that you thought was real and therefore your time at that moment was not being wasted.

We all come out of these things realizing how precious time is, but we were fooled, They on the other hand were the orchestrators of the situation and could have been doing something else with their lives.

These things really are that petty and are incapable of thinking of the future, and only their wants and needs in the present.

FreefromSkankBoy
FreefromSkankBoy
8 years ago
Reply to  tony

WOWOW!!! I know this is a late post. But, as newbies to this situation, I am reading the archive as I’m sure other newbies will, too. I LOVE it- “the loser because he chose to waste his time by staying in a relationship he did not want to be in. You were in a relationship that you thought was real and therefor your time at the moment was not being wasted!!!” Such strength I gathered from you post, ty, ty, ty!

FreefromSkankBoy
FreefromSkankBoy
8 years ago

I need to reread my posts before sending them….sorry about the typos

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

NWBiblio, I know exactly how you feel with those words seared into your brain. What’s seared into my mind is what my ex said as he was looking out the window on the door he was getting ready to walk out. He said “When I look in my future, you’re not in it.” That scene has played over and over in my mind and traumatized me again and again. Finally I decided to recreate the scene in my mind. Now both of my grandmothers (who are no longer here) are standing on either side of me as he says this. As he goes out the door to leave my grandmother who was strong after being abandoned with 5 kids says “You will survive this.” The other grandmother who was so loving says “You are loved.” For some reason recreating this scene in my mind helps me to get over the trauma of what he said. Maybe something like that could help you too.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Don’t let that stay in your mind NWB, it’s him, not you. My ex told the therapist “I never loved her, I just needed a safe place to stay”. Fuck em all.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

Thank you, NWBiblio, what a shitty thing for your XH to say. It’s bad enough he said the first part but “I don’t think I ever have” ?? rubbing salt in the wound. My pillow would say “Yes, I’m better off without you!” on one side, and on the other, my own little cognitive restructuring phrase that I made up that often helps me slap myself whenever I get wistful over “good” times (the lulls between walking on eggshells w/him).. “Don’t be bitter, be better!” because honestly, I know, and the night I told him he had to leave our home, that I am thousands of times a better person.

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Muse, as I read your story my chest began to feel heavy. So familiar. So heartbreaking. And then, to discover his sordid history is the fatal death blow. We’re so devoted that it takes this kind of revelation to finally (and fortunately) move us forward. Glad you made it out.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

typo: “*many” years, not “man.”

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Wondered what that meant, and liked it. A calculation of age, perhaps, as in, “How old is he in dog years?”
“How mature is he in man years?” “Not.”

Friend
Friend
9 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

Lol. Tell me the formula.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

LOL, my therapist said picture a 10 year old in a grown man’s body. Very apt.

Marked711
Marked711
9 years ago

Unfortunately I had one of those “poof” abandonment spouses. As soon as she could move to be with him, she left and I haven’t heard a thing since. Probably for the better, but it never gave me the chance to finally decide. I will never have closure and will always doubt myself. It’s an enormous hit to my self esteem and confidence.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Me, too. Runaway Husband, essentially. The book (“Runaway Husbands” by Vikki Stark, applies to wives, as well) has been very helpful in getting past the shock of abandonment. My own story has a bit of a twist (see below), so I did actually leave, just to get back SOME of the power he took from me.

My therapist asked me the other day if I would take him back if he came back to me now. (It’s been almost a year.) I asked, “What does it matter? He’s not coming back.” And he said it helps to reframe the idea in your mind that the choice is still somewhat yours (restoring power & control). I found I was unable to easily shout out “Hell NO!” like I wanted to, but I had to admit (to myself mostly) that, knowing what I know now — about his lack of accountability, his narcissism, how easily he threw away 16 years of marriage… No, he’s not a person of quality, and I do deserve better. And, sadly, his absence *IS* better.

You’ll realize the same, eventually.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

NWBiblio, I think my therapist feared I would take him back. He repeatedly said some day he will come knocking at your door. It really freaked me out. Finally I asked him if I should buy a gun. He doesn’t ask anymore.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Thanks, guys. I *WAS* there, “No WAY would I every take him back!” but I’ve backslid a bit, reconsidered my part in the whole thing, which just led to more self-induced mindfuckery. Guilty. The whole things is just such a fucking shame, y’know? His behavior, my self-punishment, all those years thinking I meant as much to him as he did to me but he just “couldn’t show it,” the fact that I found all you guys who’ve gone through similar if not the exact same thing (like it’s so common, and I just never knew it would show up on my own doorstep in this form)….

These days I just shake my head and leave it behind. But that sort of question just makes me sad (not yet jubilant, CL, sorry) that the answer is, “No, I wouldn’t.” Not so much sad for me, for the loss of “us” but … just the whole damn business.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

NW, we all have choices. Cheaters make that choice. They blame. Your role in their script is to accept the responsibility for their actions. They get no consequences. Your part in this? It’s all on the cheater. Not you. Hold your head high.

mary
mary
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

It helps to look beyond the euphoric “I won the pick-me” and now we can get back to normal version of what having him back would really involve.
Just think, he is back and all yours. OW is gone and the drama is over. Maybe your kids are grown so its just him and you. Your dream came true.
How long before it turns sour – no trust – lots of resentment – questions that will not go away – the problems that were there before all this – after a while the old life no longer exists anyway.
This familiar looking stranger and you…..

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

NWBiblio, you’ll come to a point where not only will that NO come spilling out but you will involuntarily look like you are about to throw up. When my therapist asked me that question and saw my reaction, she smiled and knew I would never take cheater back.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Marked, the “discard” is very hard to recover from. I hope you are doing the reading here about narcissism (see Dr. Simon). There are also several good sites that explain the narcissist devalue and discard moves. It helped me to understand that this happens to other people and has little to do with us, the discarded. I know that it’s helped me regain my confidence. although I’m not ready yet to think about another relationship.

SphinxMoth
SphinxMoth
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

I wonder sometimes if it’d been better for XH to do the “poof” thing too. But then, I realize, the way he made me feel leading up to the finale—it wouldn’t have mattered. He successfully destroyed something so intimate in my nature–the ability to trust–whether he died or he poofed or he had to be carted off by the police—it wouldn’t have mattered.

Hurt1, hang in there. The economy is pretty bad. I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes, when you don’t get that job you think you absolutely want or the house/apartment that you think you need or the relationship you really want—there’s a reason.

You might not ever know why, but when something is just SO FUCKING HARD—you have to fight to get everything that goes along with it and to keep it you have to keep eating shit sandwiches—that is a clear sign that this thing isn’t worth it.

Life isn’t supposed to be that hard. When it is—there is something wrong. Some things you can change, some things you can’t. I am beginning to believe the whole serenity prayer these days—please help me change the things I can change and cut the bad parts loose.

syringa
syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

I wish mine would have died when he had the chance. Just think….I would have been the grieving widow and got lots of support and the life insurance!!! Yeah, the life insurance! My house would be paid for and I’d be set for life.I could have a little shrine in the back yard to old St. What’s His Face. Haha!~

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago
Reply to  syringa

That was the plan – for him to die first. The pre mid-life crisis husband set up everything financially so I wouldn’t have to sell our home until I was ready. I could still work if I wanted but money would not be a worry. He was so concerned for me.

Well, I got a fate worse than death. He took away the only family (his) I’d known for years (my parents are deceased & my brother lives on Guam), he took away the financial security (I’ll be ok for retirement 20 years from now) & he took away my self-esteem (for now.) 5 years after dday I have to sell my paid-off home as I can’t afford it on my salary. The real heartbreak is that I don’t know where I’ll go. He took away the future of us.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

hurt1

I truly wish you the best. May I suggest moving to a great city, where there is much to do?

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Marked711, Mine was a “poof” too. It’s been 5 years & I know I’ll never “get over” the abandonment. He left me financially ok in retirement – 15-20 years from now. Went right back to school to became a paralegal thinking it was the right move financially. So far I haven’t been able to find the job that’ll help me be secure. My self-esteem was been permanently damaged as well.

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

Hurt1. I too am struggling to find a full time job with benefits. I get called for interviews all the time! Stay positive though and do what you love. I recognize when I don’t get a job it IS a blessing in disguise. I believe my gifts will find a home I just need to keep putting myself out there! There’s a reason people who win awards thank those who said, “You will never do this!”

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Marked, you can decide she did you a favor and you can decide to work on trusting yourself again. It’s hard and I’m not all the way there but it can be done. Jedi Hugs dude!

syringa
syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Marked711….Mine poofed too. And get this. Five months before he did he insisted we renew our wedding vows on our anniversary. He went from 100% committed to me to 100% committed to her within 24 hours. That’s how that guy rolled. Unfortunately I found out about his history AFTER we got married. He left a lot of shit out. But his new Schmoopie….she’s different. She’s SPECIAL. She’s the Real Deal this time. She’s convinced she got her man.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  syringa

ha ha, my cheater actually SAID that to me… “I don’t know what happened! I went from 100% committed to you to 100$ committed to her in five minutes!” I said, “that defies the meaning of the word “committed.” But this was from the same man who described himself as “fiercely loyal” to me, and said his activities with OW consisted of him “defending us against her.” Yup.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

I loved the typo that your cheater went to “100$” instead of 100%! That about sums it up, eh?

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

freudian slip, because yeah – he followed the money!!

Blindsided
Blindsided
9 years ago

8 months after 2nd Dday, which was only 6 weeks from the first, I decided that I did not like my new role as marriage police. I slowly began to emerge from the madness. I was tired of driving to and from work silently crying. I was beginning to look closely at the years spent in misery. Memories of the name calling, the mental abuse, the times it turned physical; my mind refused to let them be buried anymore. The memories not only refused to be silenced, they were screaming to be heard. Then on a cold January day I awoke and said enough. I pulled up my big girl panties and filed. May will be year since the finalization of my divorce. It’s been a year of self discovery, of reconnecting with old friends, of finding peace. There are days I am angry, sad and disgusted at how long I tolerated the mistreatment. At how weak I had been. But I am beginning to forgive myself for allowing it to happen. At age 45, I know that I am at my prime and I have vowed to make the most of the now and forget about my wasted 30’s. I am keeping my eyes on Tuesday and feel I am almost there.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Blindsided

Blindsided, emerging from the madness is a perfect way to describe the moment you realize the abuse. It took a therapist to make this happen for me. I am still recalling moments of his disturbing behavior, verbal abuse, and mental torture. Toward Tuesday!

Blindsided
Blindsided
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Here’s to Tuesday and peace!

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  Blindsided

Blindsided, you are mighty. And wise. Wise to realize what it took me too long to realize, that I too was tired of being sad & worried about our marriage all the time. — May will also be a year for me, so I’m looking forward to the passage of this first year of anniversaries (my wedding anniversary would’ve been two days ago — I filled the day with plans with friends, and it sped by just fine).

Here’s to a better life, fewer tears.

ChumptyDumpty
ChumptyDumpty
9 years ago

I committed to R but with a timeline of my youngest’s high school graduation. In my gut I knew I’d never get past the infidelity completely but did the ‘don’t look back & regret not trying’. So that was my deadline & despite an honest attempt at R I also worked on plan B. The ex trickle-truthed his way thru the first months of R, I kept uncovering more, he kept lying & manipulating his counselor for ‘atta boys’ then holding them up against opinions from my counselor & our marriage counselor that were less favorable.
I never felt R for him was anything more than trying to save face/damage control. Never felt he loved me & in fact it was clear he felt very adversarial toward me (I outsmarted him & found out his shit so *I* must be the bad guy).
The last straw came when 3 of four counselors suggested he had some tendencies of sex addiction & recommended specialized therapy, but his counselor (who was lied to) didn’t.
The ex appointed himself the expert, read up on the subject then diagnosed ME as the sex addict, not him.
I’d been feeling the D-word on my lips for several months but that was the Aha! moment I spit it out & have never looked back since.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago

After March DDay Saddam lied and gaslighted me quite well, until July 3 when he sat on my porch at the end of a nice “date”, I asked if he’d go to fireworks with me the next evening. He proceeded to tell me a story about going to a friends a couple hours away, and when I offered to go with he got more elaborate about how I would hate the barbeque cos it was an AA thing, etc, etc. And eventually with sad sack eyes, how he wasn’t sure he’d be able to go at all with his anxiety… I also asked him point blank if he was still seeing OW, he said “I haven’t seen her” I accepted all of this.

But next afternoon I realized just how fucked up that little story was, I kept hearing my fathers voice poking at me. That voice kept saying, it’s bullshit, go look. So I drove to the OW’s house for the first (and last) time, his car was parked there. No one home, so kernel of truth, he was going to a barbeque, the rest was bullshit.

By the time I got home I was done, I wrote him an email “My Dad is seldom wrong, mores the pity, I’ll get a lawyer next week so we can start legal separation”. He sent me a whole lot of pity me shit and then blame shifting shit, even called me a stalker. When all that didn’t work, he insisted upon meeting me the following Saturday to talk about us and made the same shit promises in the email, almost verbatim, as he had before.

So he came over, sat on the porch and I told him we were divorcing and he kept arguing and telling me lies and making excuses. The most telling one was this “I said I hadn’t seen OW, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to see her”. See, he didn’t exactly lie… what bullshit. I just kept saying I still loved who he had been, but I wasn’t interested in who he was now, we are divorcing. After a while he went in the living room and just sat there for an hour. I finally told him to leave, go to his apartment (the one he got so he could (work on himself, yeah right).

From that moment, I no longer wanted Saddam in my life. I did not love him any longer, he had shown me who he was for 3 months, all the love was burned out of me. That evening I was so at peace, my mind was clear, the clamor and jangle of conflicting desires was simply gone. Liberation felt like peach and contentment, a feeling of release as I began drifting off to sleep.

That should have been the end, nothing left but sorting out the financials and divorcing. Instead he attacked me that night (as I wrote in the “Why did you Stay” comments). I spent 8 months in hell with the sick motherfucker before I got away. Instead of mourning the end of a long relationship, I ended up with PTSD and depression. I ended up mourning the loss of my greatest strengths, among those; optimism and trust in people, trust in myself most of all. I lost a naivete that was essential to my soul. I have regained some peace and some joy, I’m working on the rest.

I take my que from the hummingbirds, they migrate over 2000 miles – 500 nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico to get to my yard. Those are some tough bad ass birds, even they can use a little help now and then. Time to go put out the feeders for the first ones to arrive. Jedi Peace ya’ll!

StrongerEveryday
StrongerEveryday
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

“That evening I was so at peace, my mind was clear, the clamor and jangle of conflicting desires was simply gone. Liberation felt like peach and contentment, a feeling of release as I began drifting off to sleep.”

Very well said, Dat. This describes exactly the way I felt when I knew that divorce was the only way forward. Such relief! I too didn’t realize the long odyssey facing me before I’d actually make it to being truly divorced (about 50 days to finalization now!). Though I didn’t have to go through the same level of trauma you were dragged through, right after I knew the marriage was over, I picked up a Darth Vader key chain to keep as a talisman to see me through the process. I wanted something to remind me that I needed to be powerful, and that I should try not to worry about having to be too nice. I’d been “nice” for too long.

I love how you took inspiration from the hummingbirds. I think all of us chumps need some sort of inspiration or talisman as we wade through the crap!

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

“I said I hadn’t seen OW, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to see her” — It never ceases to amaze me the slimy juvenile shit that comes out of cheaters’ mouths. As if this is some “game” with “rules” that can be gotten around! Jesus, it’s not a fucking logic class, it’s a marriage!

Good riddance to bad rubbish, Dat. You are super-mighty!

Blindsided
Blindsided
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

It truly is amazing “the slimy juvenile shit that comes out of cheaters’ mouths.” Dead on description NWBiblio….Mine told me that he never TOLD her that he loved her. When I called him out on the fact I have copies of the emails and texts where he clearly he said that he loved her, he stated he just TEXTED that he did because she liked to “play” that way and that texting and telling someone face to face is completely different. He said she knew that he did not love her, and that he loved his wife. Seriously? Where do they pull this crap from? I’ve worked with felons for over twenty years and they often lie just about every time they report to me, mainly to keep their freedom, but my ex’s lies were so far off the chart I seriously thought he was speaking to me in tongues. It’s always a play on the EXACT words. You could be standing in the pouring rain with them and they would say the sky is sunny and blue. SMH….

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  Blindsided

Yes. My H would tell me ‘there is no one else’. Because he had broken up with her the day before, because his family were coming, and therefore he was telling me the truth that there is no one else.
You cannot deal or live with that kind of thinking.

malbecrioja@gmail.com
malbecrioja@gmail.com
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Dat,
Thanks for sharing. I could relate to so much of your experience, especially in terms of those lies accompanied by such fake sorrow and anxiety…Love the words of your dad. My dad said, “dust that motherfucker off your shoulders and don’t look back.” I’m NC now, and it’s tough each day.

Regarding hummingbirds, it is said that they carry the souls of our ancestors.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago

Now you made me tear up. If they do malbecrioja then I’ll bet the hummer that always shows up early and leaves late is carrying my Dad’s soul. He was a bad ass too. Jedi Hugs!

chumpfor21
chumpfor21
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Love hummingbirds!

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
9 years ago

I just got fed up with him threatening to file for divorce (I didn’t discover his secret cheater life until four months later) and did it myself. He was pissed I hired an attorney, thinking I’d just take whatever he deigned to give me after 20 years of marriage.

He used the fact that I filed first against me with our kids, but it backfired on him when they discovered he was an epic liar and had a bimbo on the side (and had stolen money from our family. They don’t blame me now.

I’ll never regret pulling the trigger on our toxic marriage.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
9 years ago

Yeah, ChutesandLadders, marriage limbo is no place to live (http://www.divorceminister.com/fickle-is-fully-fake-repentance/). Way to go!!! While my ex did eventually pull the divorce trigger, she played the mind game of threatening divorce back and forth. Those were horrible months (later to only discover, similar to you, she was involved with at least one other man on the side at the time).

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
9 years ago

DM, finding out about his other life gave me twisted validation as to why he treated me so dismissively and callously for years. I was nothing more than the hired help to him all along. Discovering his affair and theft of our family funds only fueled my resolve to defend myself and my sons against such a hateful and selfish man.

We’re doing so much better without him.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
9 years ago

I remember my “Aha!” moment as well. It was after discovering the OM and reading Dr. Dobson’s LOVE MUST BE TOUGH. The pieces finally fit. Sadly.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago

I kicked my husband out of the house after reading that book. It clicked for me too. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I can still see our kids’ faces when we told them dad was moving out. Their hearts were broken and they didn’t understand. I wished I would have made my husband tell them why he had to leave that night. I did the best I could at the time. I told my kids everything a few months later which helped them have some peace. Now they want nothing to do with him. They don’t want to live in the dark with him. Dr. David Clarke’s book just further confirmed that making him leave was the right thing to do. Thanks for that recommendation on your site DM.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

Very welcome, Nicole S! Those books certainly helped me.

HeartChump
HeartChump
9 years ago

I walked into my favorite coffeeshop one morning and the thought came: i wonder if he is still cheating? My gut immediately said YES. then i asked myself: how sure am I about this? And again, in a split second i thought: 110%. Of course he will deny it. So my next thought was this one: who will i trust to tell the truth? My heart or his mouth?

In that moment i had a BIG AHA moment. A week later i told him i dont think the cheating stopped (after 5 DDs) and i am done. He moved out of my room and a month later out of the home. He did not protest too much. He found someone on plenty of fish even “before” he moved out but i am sure -TRUST YOUR HEART NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY!!! – they were having an affair long before that. That’s why he left so easily.

This man is a serial cheather. Dozens and dozens of hookups over 17 years. And NOW he founf someone he wants to be monogamous with. Rolls eyes.

Lose a cheater GAIN A LIFE!!!!! i tell people i am seperated and they would always say: i am so sorry. Then i would tell them: no, it’s cause for celebration.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  HeartChump

Hahaha…my ex, at one point, liked to state very adamantly ‘I’ve changed!’. But of course you have, sweetness. Despite the fact that final OW was just one of several when I discovered your cheating you suddenly are madly in love and will never, ever cheat on that sweet young thang.

Give me a break. The night I found out he was making plans to see a different woman from the sweet young thang he ended up with.

While I know I shouldn’t care I look forward to the day she discovers he’s cheating, mainly because she was and remains an asshole towards me.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  HeartChump

Yeah, he left because at last he saw his ‘charms’ no longer worked on you.

ThatGirl
ThatGirl
9 years ago

I’m not even sure in hindsight what was the last straw…there were so many of them!

I lost track of the OW, there were so many that I didn’t even bother to add new ones to my notebook (yes I kept a notebook with OWs’ phone numbers and other investigative info). I gave up trying to follow the money that wasn’t coming into our household.

I guess I had just grown sick of all the drama he brought into my life. I like peace. I don’t like surprises like, hang up phone calls, missing money that causes late bills, tax garnishments, strange emails, shit on my sheets and on an on.

I think the final straw that made me leave right then was when I discovered he had been altering his electronic paystubs, and had been doing so our entire marriage. He finally got sloppy and copied and pasted the same line twice and it hit me in the face. When I confronted him he just shrugged and offered a very lukewarm “oh, I’m sorry, you know I don’t like to talk about money. I was just trying to avoid you nagging me about stuff”. I wasn’t even mad really. Just tired. I realized that I couldn’t live with him one more second. No more planning. No more getting my ducks in a row. Living with someone that deceitful I would never be free if I kept “waiting and planning for the right time”. So I just got an apartment and left.

I left while he was at work. I left all the furniture and stuff. I took only my car, clothes, cat, my computers and a few personal knick knacks. I left him in the underwater house he wanted to buy with all the nice furniture that I bought on my credit cards, and all the household fixings (linen, cookware, etc). I didn’t care.

My life is once again peaceful.

I can pay my bills easily because my income is predictable. No unexplained “shortfalls”. The IRS doesn’t bother me. Noone calls my home and hangs up. No more wasted time investigating whores or going through cell phone bills, credit card statements and such. My sheets and bathroom are always clean. My computer is free from virus and popups because I don’t surf porn. And when I go on vacation, I don’t have to play Captain Cheer to anybody’s Mr. Grumpy Complainer Pants. Oh, and my cat very much enjoys not being kicked or shoved.

I should’ve left sooner.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  ThatGirl

Captain Cheer to Mr. Grumpy Complainer Pants – ding ding ding!

When I look back now I realise that so many of our holidays were me jumping through hoops to think up fun things for everyone to do and in the end I would get pissed off and fed up and just grumpy as fuck, because I could not figure out why none of my efforts were appreciated or even noticed.

Now, when I go on holiday with the kids we have a blast. Loads of laughs, few arguments (some, because they’re stroppy teens, but normal stuff), and we all have ideas about what we want to do.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

My ex-wife was also a grumpy twat when we did things I wanted to do.

I realize now that it was because she, like all cheaters, was a spoiled, little brat, and that this was a way to begin to isolate and control me because I eventually gave up on doing things I wanted and let her plan all of our activities and isolate me from my awesome friends.

I am still trying to forgive myself for this and I get very upset but I can say that I truly loved her, but no relationship requires this much sacrifice.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

you and me both, tony

MovingOn
MovingOn
9 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Same here! Going anywhere with the ex was like hanging out with Debbie Downer, and what’s most embarrassing is that other people noticed it but were too nice to say anything to me about it. I love that I can go somewhere with my kids, and we just have a good time– I don’t have to worry that my fourth “kid” is bored or unhappy.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  MovingOn

I can relate to dragging the bored unhappy asshole everywhere. He was the bore. I don’t miss that.

Nord
Nord
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Donna, it’s funny when you realise that he was the one dragging everyone down and now that he’s no longer coming along we have a fabulous time.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

I’m triggering from this line of comments. I took X, daughter and daughter’s friend to an outdoor rendition of “The Tempest” last June. X spend the ENTIRE play (which I paid for) sulking and giving me the silent treatment because he was worried the two 13-year olds would misbehave. THEY were perfectly fine and attentive. Guess who ruined the evening instead.

And I’m curious–do those of you who had serial cheaters like me think his a**hole behavior (which popped up sporadically throughout last summer) is a good indicator that he was on to another affair? It just struck me yesterday that the multiple devaluing-behaviors and silent treatments from last summer were similar to those I experienced when he had the affair from 8 years ago that I knew about.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, I think you’re bang-on with this (in that he was probably banging someone). Your post made me remember an eerily similar experience I had, the spring before I left my ex (this is pre-Dday). There was a fundraiser (one of many) at a local restaurant, and everyone in our blended family was supposed to be going. A few days before, my ex started picking fights with me about whether or not my kids should go, as they didn’t particularly like the cuisine at this restaurant. He wouldn’t let up on it and got actually pretty nasty (or I guess I should say nastier, since he had been horrible to me for months by that point). I kept saying, “It’s not about the food; it’s about showing solidarity as a family,” knowing that of course my girls wouldn’t show up and start making a fuss about the food or anything else for that matter. In fact at the fundraiser their behaviour was impeccable, which is more than I can say about my ex. Later I found out that the reason he made such a big deal about it was that the event was sold out, and he had been hoping to take the tickets from my girls and give them to Schmoopie and her kids.

Nice, hey?

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

FMT–yes, it is so lovely when they not only treat us badly while already treating us badly, but then try to rob their own children to benefit the affair partner. More evidence that we are well rid of them.

Her Blondeness
Her Blondeness
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Quote: And I’m curious–do those of you who had serial cheaters like me think his a**hole behavior (which popped up sporadically throughout last summer) is a good indicator that he was on to another affair? /quote

Yes. This is one of the big indicators: the betrayed spouse cannot do anything right. Why? Because you’re not the affair partner. You have been measured and found lacking in their tiny minds. Trust me, you really aren’t.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  ThatGirl

Happy for you and the cat!

Portia
Portia
9 years ago

I sometimes think I have read too many books, seen too many movies and watch too much TV. I love a logical plot and a resolution within a reasonable amount of time. I hate sloppy narrative and illogical thinking. So, all this means I prefer the world that exists inside my head to the real world that exists outside of my mind’s control. I believe all this contributes to my chumpiness.

Part of the development of character comes from seeing examples of it displayed by others. Unfortunately, we only see a moment in time, a snapshot of life if you will, where the character is displayed at that moment. Our hero’s are hero’s because we know so little about them. We do not live with them and do their laundry and endure their bathroom habits, or have to listen to them ranting about a sports event, or the fact that we somehow allowed the pantry to run out of it’s supply of popcorn. Therefore, we develop this ideal of a spouse — in our minds– who never really existed in the first place. When we meet and lust and decide to mate for life, we are doing so based on data gathered in a relatively short amount of time. We are normally on our best behavior when we are “dating”. We gloss over problems,(red flags), because we set our sights on the big picture — the life together in the long run. We are foolish. With the divorce rate over 50% for first timers and higher than that for second or more timers, we need to change the way we choose domestic partners.

I know that this is not romantic. I would prefer romance. Realistically, I do not expect it, and I have come to believe that real romance can only develop over time, after the glow of lust has worn off, and after you have discovered what living with another person really entails. True love is not about sex and entitlement. True love is being able to trust and depend on a spouse to do the things necessary for your survival as a couple. True love takes out the trash without being asked, and true love anticipates an impending argument over nonsense and exits to another part of the house before those words which can never be taken back fly out of your mouth. True love has very high standards which are difficult to uphold, and evidently is beyond the abilities of the majority of the population. I still believe it exists, even though I have not personally seen it work — thus I am probably a perpetual chump — but I will certainly be much more cautious if I ever enter into another potentially long term relationship. I am a chump, but I am NOT stupid, and I have the ability to learn from my mistakes, and have worked on my own character flaws. I can change myself, and have. I am much more cynical about others who SAY they have changed — I have to see the proof myself to believe that.

So — the reason I stayed was that I had to educate myself and work on myself until I was strong enough to leave. I had to get my ducks in a row, and protect myself as much as possible. Mostly, I had to give up on the possibility that the relationship could be redeemed. I had to accept the evidence that I had married a mirage. I had to accept the fact that I was never a real person to him, but just another source of income, convenience, and was key to the mask of normalcy that he wanted to show the world at large. I never really knew the entity beneath the mask, the portion that I saw when the mask slipped was enough to cure any delusions I had harbored, and kill any hope which still existed. Once I realized and evaluated and processed all that information, I had no choice but to leave. Living with that knowledge was beyond my ability to spackle. Quite simply, I had had enough.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Beautifully written.

I, at 31, and coming up on six months (April 1st) since my divorce, still believe in true love, romance and human decency.

However, I think you addressed a common trait in chumps – we marry based on potential. This begins the spackling process and puts the onus of the relationship on us because we are working hard and building for a future that we hold so dear, and this allow the cheater to sit back and go along with the ride.

The next relationship I have will be a mature, adult one, where I am not attempting to control her through co-dependent kindness, and instead realize I can only control myself.

I also intend to keep my mouth shut and observe the red flags and then act accordingly, and ask probing questions such as: “Tell me, what do you think about Eat, Pray, Love?”

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  Portia

“I had to accept the fact that I was never a real person to him” Your post reminds me of another “ah hah” moment. In his emails he called the OW “hon”. That is what he called me, That is when I realized my ex never called me by my name/ I could not remember the last time he’d said, or even written, my name. I even searched my years of emails from him, looked at old birthday, and other cards he’d given me. The envelopes had no name at all, the cards were all addressed to “hon”. I’m not “hon”, I have a name and an identity, I am not interchangeable.

JBaby
JBaby
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I noticed this too. He NEVER called me by my name, which made it very awkward to talk to him once the shit hit the fan bc he would start with, “Babe…” and then scramble to correct himself.

Now he deliberately uses my name and does it in such a way that I can tell he thinks he’s bothering me, lol.

In my new relationship, I call my boyfriend by his name and he calls me by my name for the most part. A pet name here or there is cool with me, but if it’s all you ever call the person, that makes me wonder about your sincerity and the authenticity of the relationship altogether.

unicornomore
unicornomore
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

“I was never a real person to him” yes, this. I was a scapegoat and quite an effective one at that. You cannot love what or whom you blame. I was simply the receptacle for his angst.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Yes: “I had to accept the fact that I was never a real person to him, but just another source of income, convenience, and was key to the mask of normalcy that he wanted to show the world at large. I never really knew the entity beneath the mask, the portion that I saw when the mask slipped was enough to cure any delusions I had harbored, and kill any hope which still existed. Once I realized and evaluated and processed all that information, I had no choice but to leave.”

Well stated.

SphinxMoth
SphinxMoth
9 years ago

I had an argument with him about why *I* got married, what my idea of marriage was. It lasted 10 minutes. I said that I wanted someone I could love, trust and grow old with, with a modicum of happiness in there somewhere—and I expected that my spouse would BE trustworthy and lovable—and love/trust me in return.

He said, “You want unconditional trust? (I guess I kinda nodded here) Then get a dog.”

Even oblique death threats didn’t knock the wind out of me as much as that statement. I don’t know why. So, a few weeks later, I went to the pound and adopted. When I saw how cruel and mean XH was–especially when everyone was playing and happy with the new pup—I knew. Nothing was going to change this person, his aggravation at anything spontaneous with me was something I had grown accustomed to—but to act like that towards an innocent puppy?

He’s gone, but we still have the dog—which has brought nothing but kindness, love, trust and faithfulness to this house.

Doop
Doop
9 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

Sphinx Moth, I wanted to let you know that when my X concluded our interactions with a final harsh abandonment (he snuck through the house, got some of his crap, and was going to move out of the state without saying goodbye) I could accept that he was able to do that to me. In my state of shock though, I could not begin to fathom how he could do that to our beloved dog.

That thought served as a very important mirror for me to hold up to myself. I could get that he would want to treat the dog better than me?!? I mean, she is fabulous, but so am I!

Those dogs have so much to teach us and show us. I’m ever grateful for mine…and that he left the state so I don’t have to share them. It did take two heart wrenching years for her to stop looking for him, especially when we were out walking and men with his build would walk by.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

Imagine–he knew he couldn’t provided the kindness, love, trust and faithfulness that the dog does.

SphinxMoth
SphinxMoth
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

LAJ, after reading my reply and then all of the other responses here—I thought, “How stupid you are, Sphinx. These good people had some of the most traumatic ‘ah ha’ moments, and here you are talking about a dog.”

It’s what finally did it, though. Cheating, porn, drugs and alcohol, constant threats to our safety—and I took all of that and thought I could fix it or at least keep me and my kids “safe” from it. Watching him jealous and angry at a PUPPY brought a clarity of the absolute ridiculousness of him and his whole schtick.

I’ve had a nasty few days–and I didn’t want to talk about the more sinister and disgusting things Asshole did to me and the kids. It was my “ah ha” moment, but so much bullshit preceded it, that it was just the straw that broke the back of my marriage.

Thanks for not laughing or saying how stupid. I know you guys would never say that—and that’s what’s so amazing about CN—I can say the stupidest things and not be put down about it.

If anybody doubts—I would advise adopting a pet. They lower blood pressure and all that—yeah—but it’s the faithfulness, the honesty–dogs never lie. They love with their whole being. Our dog has brought stability and love back into a situation where lies and deceit and anger and anguish were the daily menu.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

Sphinx

No one here would laugh at you. I read every post and pretty much every comment dating back to 2012 until I knew I would be safe to share.

And I have been.

I am sorry about your crappy days. I still get very angry sometimes also. I usually try to run or lift weights when this happens because at least I know I can make myself so tired that I do not care about anything except the physical pain and exhaustion, and that this will pay off, and it has.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

SphinxMoth, we do become so accustomed to their disturbing abuse as it so naturally flows towards a loving spouse. When they aim and fire it at the helpless and weak it is striking and observable. A puppy? An eye opener. X’asshole humiliated a homeless young man. It was gross and sick. These are such warning signs as they reveal the truth.

atmeh
atmeh
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

I found it so strange that my x was actually jealous of the attention I gave to my dog early in our relationship. Fast forward twenty years and learning a wealth of information about the disordered and I finally get it. At the time I kind of wished I had the type of guy who loved animals as I did. Maybe some day, maybe not. I have them and lots of times that’s enough. Either way it will be very telling if I meet someone whether they are a compassionate person or not in how they treat animals or even how they react to how I treat animals.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  atmeh

or jealous of his own children!! I have stories galore about mine behaving badly when the kids got the attention instead of him. My favorite was his claim that the marriage went bad because I was always doing things “for other people.” WTF–for about a decade, the only thing I did was my job & childcare.

My therapist said, “He was right–you were doing things for *other* people–the children, and not him.”

atmeh
atmeh
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

So true Tempest about the children. After my then young daughter and he would be in a fight (in the way siblings fight since he turned out to be my second child, ugh) he would say I was taking her side and undermining him, favoring her etc. when there was no way I could support him in most of his actions. She was way smarter than him emotionally as a ten or eleven year old and now I see how hard that hard to be for her to have to fight with a disordered man who was supposed to act like a father instead of a petulant child. I did support her but it wasn’t until he left and after I tried to figure it all out that I could really see how bad that had to be for her. There are still reverberations in her life (two short term teen relationships with narcissistic types) that I’m trying to circumvent and support her through the best I can with what I’ve learned. Is she just repeating what she knows? I keep trying to help her see things as they should be even though the teen years are so narcissistic to begin with.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

I think that often cheaters reveal the truth when they think they are being clever or superior. He thought he was insulting you by saying only an animal could give and receive trust from you; what he was revealing was his own inability to trust and give trust. And I’m writing this with a very loving cat trying to crawl onto my shoulder. Animals do indeed model that unconditional love we all long for, and how people treat animals speaks volumes about their character. I’m glad I didn’t say anything stupid about your post. It touched my heart, for sure.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

Hey Sphinx Moth, talking about your dog isn’t stupid. As Tempest pointed out the other day, you can tell a lot about people by how they treat animals. We might be able to make excuses for our cheaters in how they treat us, and even our kids, but pets are completely dependent on us. That’s one hell of a litmus test!

I’ve never shared this little gem before, but my ex used to love making really outrageous statements for the shock value. Think Eddie Murphy in Delirious. “Look how clever and far-out I am!” A couple of times he joked about his cat, and how he liked to put cat food on his private parts when nobody else was home and then let the cat lick it off. I think about this now and am sickened. Who the hell makes a “joke” like that other than a profoundly disturbed person?

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

no one, sounds like he maybe did that, which is even more gross…

Tessie
Tessie
9 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

Sphinx, in my book mistreating a puppy is the lowest of the low. Nothins stupid about figuring that out. I think you were very wise….Hugs!!

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
9 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Totally agree with Tessie, Sphinx.

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
9 years ago
Reply to  SphinxMoth

Good for you, Sphinx! The dog is a better “human” than the x could ever even dream of being.

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
9 years ago

I didn’t leave…at first. I was huffing and puffing on that hopium pipe like there was no tomorrow. After Dday, I was going to “fix” my marriage. I was going to be a “better” wife. He would realize his “mistake”.

He wasn’t remorseful. He didn’t stop f****** the Howorker. He would always love me, but….

The months of false reconciliation were demoralizing. Although I knew in my heart that it was over, I was doing the pick-me dance. No wife should have to “try out” for a spot in her husband’s life and/or be the marriage police.

Those 5 months did allow me time to process the death of my marriage. When Dday2 arrived, there wasn’t the wailing of shock and betrayal like before, but just a sad resignation that a 30 year commitment was over. Dday2 was the ammunition I needed to move into action.

I didn’t leave. He left. I consulted an attorney within the week. The papers were served within a month. He was “shocked” that I would do that to him. I guess it never occurred to him that I was shocked he f***** the Howorker.

I wish my a-ha moment had been Dday. But a chump is a chump is a chump. The moment I saw the evidence that he hadn’t ended the affair was THE moment.

I can’t say that liberation has been all wine and roses. This shit is hard. But I will take every day with my new life over one day of living with my lying, cheating Xh. Liberation is not a trouble free life. BUT liberation is knowing that I am worthy of love and respect, and I am not going to settle for anything less!

Lizzy
Lizzy
9 years ago

I received a FB message from one of the OW. I opened the message up at work on my LARGE screen monitor and it included a dick pic XH sent to her. I will never forget the shock I felt in that moment – I staggered to the bathroom where I could sit and cry with some privacy. Over the years, there had been signs here and there that he was unfaithful and I had always told myself that – if there was something to it – someday someone would come forward. Someone finally had. It actually took me 2 days to confront XH with what I had learned; when we finally had time to talk face to face (I waited until no kids were home), he showed no remorse whatsoever. I screamed and cried but my anguish only seemed to enrage him. He ended up leaving the house with his hands over his ears screaming “shut up! shut up! shut up!” He came back the next morning to get his clothes and filed for divorce weeks later.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Lizzy

Wow, Lizzy. The OW and your ex sound like Dumb and Dumber. Nothing says “classy and mature” like sending a dick pic of your cheating lover to his wife, or running out of the house upon being confronted with your fingers in your ears and going “lalalalalaICAN’THEARYOUlalalalalala.”

The only good thing about this story is that it must have killed any latent desire you had to reconcile with this POS. I am so sorry, and I hope you and your kids are doing mighty on your own!

Lizzy
Lizzy
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Thanks, FoolMeTwice. You are exactly right – ex’s behavior was a blessing in disguise. I had no desire whatsoever to reconcile after his childish display. And yes, my kids and I are doing mighty! I have gone no contact and kids are also mostly no contact.

chumpfor21
chumpfor21
9 years ago

I left the morning after DDay, just over a year ago. I knew by his tone and his demeanor that I meant nothing to him. He never had the balls to tell me that there was someone else (of course she promptly moved in after I moved a small amount of household goods).

That morning, my friend looked me in the eye and said, “He’s a liar”. She opened her home to me while I waited for my scheduled surgery.
I spent six months there – when I was recovered enough, I retired from my job, filed for divorce, and moved closer to my son and his family in another state. I never cease being thankful for my friend and her husband. They saw the truth of what was happening and they saw though his bullshit.

I truly don’t know what else I would have done – if I stayed – it would have driven me crazy. And Heaven knows I was in no shape to be alone at that juncture – even without the surgery problem. I was in such pain I might not have made very rational choices.

Found CL one night – more healing happens here than anywhere else. Meh is right around the corner for me. I keep reading the chapter in Tracey’s book on the hallmarks of Meh. It’s probably not a line you cross and know you are there.

I’m still lonely and I’m not over being very angry, but I’m much better and starting to enjoy my new life.

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago

The first time I kicked him out( bed on the lawn storie) he returned after 3 months of living in Tweeny Boppers dorm. He said he wanted to work on us… Though refused marriage counseling. In the months that followed he pushed hard for us to acquire a rental property under the guise of being an investment. When i said no we couldnt afford it he let it drop or so i thought. He continued to pursue the second prperty and was taking our child after school. He told her ‘ would you be mad if daddy moved out? I could get a house nearby. ‘ She told me. When I ask him about it he lied and said he never said anything like that. Of course the bank sent notification of his application for a mortgage… He lied said he never applied. He found out that he couldnt acquire the property as a primary residence because we were still married and on our first houses mortgage. He tried his best to convince me it was a rental. I asked to speak to the broker… ( i already had the card) and he said it was a private sale. I called the broker who was surprised to hear from the clients wife. Broker was told we were in the process of a divorce. Told the broker that was news to me. The broker of course contacted Idiot. Idiots explanation was ….’ He must be confused. I told him that we were going to divorce months ago’ …. Yes please pull this other leg it plays jingle bells.
I did not need to see the writing on the wall and instead took my investigations underground and dint confront him. He had frequent phone contact with Tweeny bopper and email with her and the banks. I was collecting everything I could including meeting with a lawyer and making a parenting plan. All the while he his sitting on the couch texting Tweeny … I am cooking dinner. The weekend of Tweeny’s 20 birthday he got a call from ‘ the guys’ the wanted to go out. He returned 12 hours later. I asked if he had spent time with Tweeny since it was her birthday. Phone messgaes indicated the met. This lead to an explosive arguement…. He telling me how insecure I was and how it was preventing him form wanting to stay. He denied speaking with her or seeing her. But couldnt give me a name of one of the guys he was out with’ ya know… The guys. The guys from work!! I said ‘ i need a name. I know all the guys.’ He then said I was being ridiculous and refused to answer the questions. Said he was a grown man and he didnt have to answer to me. This was his way of ‘trying’ at our relationship. I asked him what he wanted and he said for the hundreth time’ I dont know’ I went and sat on the gagrge floor… Something I started to do when I needed to cry. I dont know why there… The smell maybe.. It was his man cave. All the tools. Car stuff. I would cry. Long and hard there. On the floor… Sometimes pressing my face to cool cement for relief. It was the only room in the house where I felt nothing in it was mine… My grief wouldnt matter to the objects in here. He would take all of it when he left. The decision was made on that floor. The hardest decision I had to make and it was without him. We decided the paint colors in the bathroom. The name of our child. The medical decisions for her. Every decision together. This decision was mine. And that is when I knew.
The next weekend he had plans to take our child to his parents for the weekend. I did some serious soul searching and realized my life was a big lie and he was never going to make the call… He was going to force me to do it. That way he could sit back and justify … She was unhappy too. I rallied the Mom squad over that weekend ( with two bottles of tequilla) and I announced my decision. I was done. I told them I anticipated it would get ugly and that I needed everybodys support. They poured the shots… And i drank them…. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. They sobbed with me. I was tucked into bed floor licking drunk and babysat in the morning with scrambled eggs and ibuprofen. I called him at his parents and told him when he returned he would be moving out. He of course was livid and berated me. Telling me that it would have never worked cause i couldnt get over it. He went on and on… Attacking my very soul… And I let him. I knew it was only the beginning.
That Sunday upon his return he moved back in with Tweeny( though he claimed he was at his cousins) I started living as divorced from that day forward. The months that followed were hell… And still is. I have suffered threats, abuse and violence.
I was a girl once … And despite my crappy upbringing …. Had dreams. I am trying to find that place again… Through all this madness.

Hopeful Cynic
Hopeful Cynic
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

It’s impossible to ‘get over’ something that hasn’t stopped happening. You don’t rebuild after a flood until the waters have receded. You don’t rebuild after an earthquake until the tremors have stopped.

The power that chumps don’t realize we have is that while we can’t make the earth stop shaking or the waters stop coming, we don’t have to wait patiently for it to happen on its own. We have no control over what the disaster does, but we can get up and get out of the disaster zone.

I know that now of course, but I didn’t then. I didn’t come to my own senses in the end. Someone had to do it for me. It took a marriage counsellor telling my ex he was a coward for him to admit he wanted out. But honestly, all he’d been trying to do with the hundreds of reconciliation chances I gave him was figure out how to turn back time to before d-day and be a better liar. I don’t know if the marriage counsellor saw his cake-eating and chose to be gentle, or wasn’t that experienced with cheaters.

Anyways, being out of limbo was a relief, even if I hadn’t initiated it.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

TheClip, I admire your strength. It’s such a relief when we don’t have to spend all of our time thinking through their stories for the flaws and listen to the spin. Two months before DDay x wanted to buy an investment property with me. It was really him planning with his whore. She makes little money and he can’t get financed. Drama free is better!

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Thanks for the support… Some days are still are raw in the middle.

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Man…. I have to learn to type better… Sorry for the typos… Many thanks for all the kindness.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

TheClip–what a moving, and a horrifying story. That you could live through that and be as mighty as you are, and as helpful to new chumps, is a testament to your inner strength.

We chumps who come with background family issues are too often content with emotional crumbs. We deserve better.

(I, too, got the “you’ll never get over this so we can reconcile,” BS. Damn straight. I will never get over it. Nor should I have to. I’d have healed faster if my X had plunged a dagger in my back.)

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Clip, you moved me so deeply with your story, and the way you told it made me feel like I was right there with you on that garage floor. It makes so much sense that you would have made your decision there, and intuitively you must have known that you were laying it all down in a place where none of your own stuff was. A way to detach a bit from the horror of what was happening. You sound like you have a kick-ass group of friends, and from your posts I know you to be a kick-ass woman as well. Like you, I had a crappy childhood, and all of the shit I went through with my cheater simply confirmed the life view that I was born into: that the world is a scary and dark place, and that the people closest to you will abuse and betray you in the worst possible ways. But, somehow, I never really believed that, even during the worst moments growing up. There was that one little ray of inner light that never got extinguished, and it’s been growing and growing since I left my ex. After 18 months away, my inner child is alive and well, and I still have my dreams. I’ll be goddamned if I let that cheating mofo be my last word in love and intimacy. You will find that place again. YOU WILL. Even when you’re talking about a negative experience, your posts contain an energy that literally leaps off the page, and I’m always so glad to see your comments. Super duper chumpy hugs to you!

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Like many chumps here, you are such a good writer, Clip. One of the best reasons to leave, I think, is that inner girl or boy who hoped for love and a happy life. So many chumps want to protect their children from pain and disappointment but forget that inner child who deeply needs love and protections. Those of us who had crappy upbringings, as you put it, feel not only the wound of betrayal but the wounds of childhood rejection, abuse and neglect under that. Fool Me is right; if you can articulate this stuff, you will work through it all to make a wonderful life. And indeed, we feel both your powerful energy and your honesty “that literally leaps off the page.”

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

dear clip, you just brought tears to my eyes as I pictured this moment on the garage floor. we have all had that horrible moment… “The decision was made on that floor. The hardest decision I had to make and it was without him. We decided the paint colors in the bathroom. The name of our child. The medical decisions for her. Every decision together. This decision was mine. And that is when I knew.” Your Ex is a cowardly lazy shit. I don’t even want to KNOW how old he is, chasing a 20 yr old. i so relate to this too: “I was a girl once … And despite my crappy upbringing …. Had dreams. I am trying to find that place again… Through all this madness.” you still are the same person! you will get there and you are getting there. thanks for always telling the straight up truth in your posts, too.

Jeepin4me
Jeepin4me
9 years ago

…while packing up 30 years of my life in this house with xmr last night…I found my journals that I had written in, almost daily, for the first 15 years or so…OMG! I only read a little bit in one for 1986…1986!!!!…and that was enough to prove to myself that xmr has ALWAYS been who he is today. I am 1 month and a few days out of a 2 year divorce and reading my young woman journal proves I should have NEVER married him EVER…I shouldn’t even have DATED him! I just disappeared in that 36 year relationship. And I just never noticed.

I realize now I probably would have stayed, forgiven the cheating and lying AGAIN had he not started beating on me. …that is the only difference in all these years. I left because of the PHYSICAL abuse.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeepin4me

Wow. This is SO comforting to me. I did the same thing — finally got the courage to go back and reread my journal from the beginning of our relationship, and it’s all there from the beginning. I didn’t feel connected to him, why didn’t he give a crap about our sex life, how was I ever going to make this work, would I be able to get him into counseling??? I think it’s my upbringing with an alcoholic dad that warped me self-esteem and made me compare MY marriage to that of my parents, and I kept thinking: a) it could be worse, and b) he’ll grow out of it. Yes, it could be worse, but it could’ve also been better. Looking back, I’m a bit embarrassed to have stayed so long.

Ringinonmyowmbell
Ringinonmyowmbell
9 years ago
Reply to  NWBiblio

They were disordered from day one. We need to do a better job of educating young women. Young women should not suffer as we have.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago

I agree, R. My father was severely abusive to my mother. He raged daily. I swore I would never put up with anyone like him. I found myself a Good Guy. After saying that, I understand why I can’t date.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeepin4me

I had a similar revelation when I found in my desk after DDay a letter I’d written in 1997 to Ex when my kids and I had only been living in Ex’s house with him for about six months. I’d neatly and lovingly typed a very logical heartfelt plea for him to communicate better with me, or do counseling with me … this was in reaction to his rages and shitstorms of anger over simple innocuous stuff the kids did, or left their backpack in the “wrong” place or something. He took my letter and angrily in Full Caps wrote comments all over it like “Lame!”, “Not true!” etc. then proceeded to write so hard his pen went through the paper… one page was crumpled then flattened out again.

His scribblings described how “intruded on” he felt (wait, he asked us to move into his house??!!) when one evening, I stepped into the spot he was intending to step into, in front of the sink. He then described in detail how the next day, while I was folding laundry on the bed, he came into the room and pulled the sheets off the bed, dumping my laundry pile on the floor; in the letter comments he expressed his indignation that I was so “stupid and selfish” that I failed to realize that THIS was exactly how I’d “made him feel” the previous day when I stepped in front of the sink. I remember that moment and just being plain confused, saying “Why’d you do that?”

I should have realized then and there that he’s fucking nuts. But no, chumpy little me apologized to him over and over and over again for 16 years to every little slight that “made him” feel bad and angry. Read Lundy Bancroft’s book if you haven’t already done. It explains Why He Does those things!

In my 1997 letter I had said if “we” couldn’t change how we “communicated” (his rages) I was going to take my kids and rent an apartment. What in God’s name ever made me stay????? I was so vulnerable, single mom, divorced 4 years, really wanted to believe Ex was a “good guy’ who could be a stepdad to my kids, and a husband to me. WRONG! abuser, sexual abuser, and then I finally found out, serial cheater. I was never phys beaten but subjected to years of manipulative, out of control anger and raging. Not minimizing your physical abuse..

He had to nerve to sit there after I told him he had to move out, and through crocodile tears, sob, “I bet everyone is telling you you’re better off without me!” Yes they are I said. “But what do YOU think?!” he sobbed. Before dday, I said, I would have told them they were wrong. after that, absolutely.” He sat and cried. He wasn’t crying for me. He was crying for his own pathetic little sad victim self.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

I’ve read a few of my letters to my ex, in the days before D-day, and the earnestness of them makes me cringe. They almost sound unctuous to me now. BLECH

Like you said, Muse, they wear you down. But I think there was a point, maybe for all of us, where we knew what we needed to know. Oh to have a time machine and go back and act on that knowledge!

Friend
Friend
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Ex did stuff like that to me. Such memories! Two come to mind. Once he bopped my son on the head for no reason. I bopped Ex on the head and said, “Don’t do that to my son!” He spent hours drilling an apology out of me! I never thought what I did was inappropriate, but I conceded bc the argument was too much. #2. He kicked me out of the house once for calling my mother… Because, dontcha know, the things I was saying to her were his feelings about his mother (who had just visited uninvited… while my Mom didn’t come)… So I HAD to stop talking to my Mom to digest HIS (angry at me) feelings & by being frustrated (that he hung up on my mother), I was unfair to HIM. Gag.
Muse, abuse is so subtle! But looking back, it is like, Duh. The cheating should have been my escape… But I chose (after years of gaslighting) to believe that it must be my perception that was off.
Ask my sisters, I was a feminist in high school. Ten years of Master Underworld and I was afraid to even ask for a glass of water.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

They wear you down over time till there’s just about no self esteem or self protectiveness left. And the cheating most definitely opened my eyes. Sad to think I would have continued submitting to that other crap, for many more years to come.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Muse, “I was never phys beaten but subjected to years of manipulative, out of control anger and raging. Not minimizing your physical abuse.” I would never think you would minimize anything of the sort Muse. Just want to say, the rages are a form of physical control and abuse, if they don’t work then it escalates to the physical. My ex controlled me through his rages and anger, very threatening. On a conscious level I believed him that he had issues to deal with and he would not hurt me, on a subconscious level those rages and threatening demeanor frightened me and they changed me substantially. Back to rages are a form of physical abuse; when rages don’t work anymore abusers escalate, usually they threaten suicide – another abuse tactic before actually hitting you. Hope that made sense!

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Yes, it made sense. I guess I’m just conditioned to say physical abuse is worse. But honestly, when I say “non-physical” abuse I am talking about his finger about an inch from my face pointing, his shouting, accusing, blaming, screaming at me for hours on end. It used to happen about every couple of months. It would start with the silent treatment, for days on end till I stupidly took the bait and asked if something was bothering him. Cue the onslaught of raging at me for not having read his mind and then the litany of complaints and the victim screed he always spewed at me. I agree with you (and so did my therapist and my attorney) that Ex was controlling me through fear and domination. And when I say “non-physical,” I had forgotten till my now grown son reminded me of one incident where son came in the rm, and I was crouched in a corner on the floor with my hands over my head and Ex was standing over me, screaming at me. Sometimes during the rages, I would try to leave, and he would follow me. If I went outside, he came too never stopping talking, shouting, controlling every single word of the “conversation.” If I grabbed my car keys he grabbed them first so I couldn’t leave.

I don’t know if it would have ever escalated to phys violence but one time, he did get into a phys altercation with a sibling of mine in my home, as they were arguing over which one of them was being more abusive to me.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

And that is abuse that would have eventually become “physical” Muse. My ex told me if he wanted to kill me he could use a knife from the kitchen or hit me once. The threat IS physical harm, your gut knows it could happen so you do what they want.

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Muse,its only in hindsite and when we have safe distance that we realize how we suffered by there actions, albeit physical or verbal.
I was reading through your story and an image of my ex cleaning his automatic weapon popped into my head. As he was looking through the site he aimed it at me and made the pop pop pop sound… And said’ i could do it. ‘ the look of horror on my face made him laugh and he told me to stop being ‘ so serious’
Abuse is abuse. How ever it is delivered.
All i can hope is one day… Just one fucking day… he will be made to feel the horror.

unicornomore
unicornomore
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Mine never actually hit me but he was trained in hand to hand combat and he would remind me that he could snap my neck in a second..I think there was a time or two when he had my head in his hands when he said it (I never thought he would DO that, I wasn’t scared but I look back and realize that was a mean thing to say.

He also raged and raged badly and if he was driving during the rage he drove as if he hoped we would all die…there were times when I was sure I would net exit the car alive.

At about the same era as D day, he told me that I “deserved to be beaten” for some minor infraction (probably calling him on his shit)…he said he should beat me in a way that made it sound like he spared me because he was such a good guy.

So how did a guy say SUCH mean stuff to an otherwise intelligent person and I didnt see it as abuse? He had a keen wit and amazing sense of humor but said things in a way that could NOT be discerned as serious or a joke…I knew him for 29 years and could NOT tell when he meant something or when he was “kidding” and he used this to his advantage. If he wanted to hold me accountable for something he would say he was serious if he wanted a pass on saying something mean, he was “kidding”.

I tried to get him to see this as a dysfunction that really really hurt our marriage …I was too stupid and manipulated to see that he had no reason to stop this, it worked so well for him, he could say ANYTHING he wanted and later just claim it was a joke…it was masterful and it worked…for a long time.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

God, Muse I am so thankful you were able to able to escape this controlling asshole!! Men like this are so scary.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Your story reminds me if my first ex yanking the pillow out from under my head in bed. He said, “you don’t deserve this” and threw it on the floor. It seemed so weird. We had fought about something, but I don’t deserve a pillow? That’s just kind of nuts.

I spoke with his wife last week and she said something to the effect of, “you got the worst years of him.” I made her tell me she has backup to help her if he should get out of control. She knew exactly what I was talking about and said yes, she has church and family. The fact that she understood, tells me that he hasn’t changed, and I do fear for her. I let her know she can come to me if she ever needs help.

There are very few redeeming qualities to my first exes character. Picking good women is one of them.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
9 years ago

I left because after 25 of ‘reconciliation’ with me doing all of the heavy lifting, with me living a mantra,’that’s ok Ring, single mother’s do this all th time’ with his only offering up 10 words a day for communication that on the day of my daughter’s college graduation, on the way to a fabulous vacation that I had done all of the organizing for, he got frustrated and said the truest words he had ever uttered. He screamed at his daughter and at me, not once but several times, “I HATE THIS FUCKING FAMILY’ I was done… and from then on out, it was just a matter of time. Nothing in the years since has convinced me that I did the wrong thing. He went back to his AP, probably because he ‘promised’ her that if we ever broke up, he would look her up. Lo and behold, she is still single, never married, no degree, not even a BA and two little dogs dressed up in elves outfits sitting on Santa’s lap. He is stuck here and she won’t leave eNVy. Can’t wait to see how this happily ever after thing works out. Popcorn please!

bibi
bibi
9 years ago

OH HELL Ring, I just lost my breath!! ’that’s ok Ring, single mother’s do this all th time’
That’s EXACTLY…word for word what my ex said to me when I was home with our first newborn and he was having an affair and away constantly…..Holy Hell they are all cut from the same cloth.

I have been reading through these comments and want to write my story….to vent a little, but completely fascinated by the common thread we all have. Sheesh…..they really are too much.