How Is Your Life Better Without a Cheater?

I was thinking the other day that I should start a testimonials page for Chump Nation. I get the sweetest letters, like this one from Heather:

Thank you for your work. I don’t come to the site often anymore, but I am so grateful that it is here when I want it — more grateful still that it was here when I was fighting for my life. My first anniversary of divorce is next week. A year before that I knew I would need a divorce, but I didn’t know when or how I could move such a mountain. A year before that, I was floundering in a shit marriage and I didn’t know why. Is it not amazing how full and strong and wonderful you can become when you’re not being slowly eaten alive? If I am so whole and so well now, when I haven’t even been fully free for a year … well just imagine next year. I can imagine next year, in large part because of the truth I soaked up on this site. Thank you.

YES. It is AMAZING how strong and WONDERFUL you all are. This is the stuff character is made of — who you are after the sucker punch. How you rebuild. How you still have joy.

On that note, BowTie thinks the benefits of leaving a cheater should be this Friday’s challenge. He wrote:

This morning as I lazed in bed I was thinking about all of the things in my life that are better since Mme YogaPants went off chasing after her destiny — and his wallet.  As a middle-aged guy one of the bigger things was the improvement in my health.  Not only did I lose over 200lbs (170 lbs of Mme – 45 lbs from me) but there were other things.
– My sleep apnea went from double digits to less than 1 most days
– I’m on half as many blood pressure meds
– I rarely suffer from angina pains
– The dark baggy circles under my eyes are gone
– I’m eating healthier and exercising regularly

There are a bunch of practical day-to-day things that are also better now but I thought I’d just focus on the health benefits for me.

Yes, there are a bunch of negatives related to her infidelity and having the world I knew crash around me and dealing with the fallout of a divorce after more than half our lives spent together, but for a Friday, thinking about the positives is a good thing.

I’m sure that other Chumps have experienced unexpected benefits from a cheater-free life as well.

So what do you say, CN? What’s filling the place in your life where lies, drama, and burner phones used to live? What’s gotten better?

TGIF!

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Leavealyingloser
Leavealyingloser
5 years ago

I wake up and hear the birds chirping. Something just feels lighter since he is gone…

ozziechump
ozziechump
5 years ago

Dearest CL & CN
You gave me hope that I was worthy and helped me define my already crystallised purpose. I said I was better but you helped me believe it! Thank you to Zhuchi- when I saw her post about Tracey visiting Australia, you shone your light and I walked out of the darkness. I am forever grateful! You saved my sanity and my soul! Thank you.

Rebecca
Rebecca
5 years ago

The birds, the warmth of the sun, the sound of rain on the roof…
There is space to notice and welcome in the beauty of the world around me.
I laugh with friends, sleep in when I want, create my space to make me happy, spend my time and money the way I want and only concern myself with people who love and respect me.
Focused on being mentally and physically healthy.
One step and one day at a time ❤️

Nikki Lynn
Nikki Lynn
5 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

“There is space to notice and welcome in the beauty of the world around me.”
Love that! So true!

susan devlin
susan devlin
5 years ago

I realised I deserved better, admittedly I missed him, but 5 years on, I took some crap from my ex. The ow swore at me for years, then asked me to feel sorry for her. Cheeky bitch!, I think if you involved with someone already in a relationship, there’s something wrong with you.

Soldiering On
Soldiering On
5 years ago

I no longer feel every muscle in my body tightening up when I hear his car pull up out front.

Jennifer
Jennifer
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

Oh yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trumped
Trumped
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

This!!!

CurlyChump
CurlyChump
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

Oh, the dread…but mine wasn’t when I’d hear her pull in the driveway. It was when she WOULDN’T. All the times she “had a meeting that ran late” and “traveled for work” and “stayed to watch another game” after her team was done playing. She never snuck out. She had places to be. She was always leaving. And there was always so much more to the story.

ShockedChump
ShockedChump
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

This!!!^^^

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

Oh yeah, forgot about that one. It is sad that this is the way it was towards the end because there was a time in my life when my heart would lift when he came home. Later that shifted to relief when he came home. At the end it was wondering what he was going to complain about or in what way was he going to insult me when he walked in the door.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
5 years ago

Oh, geez – this! The last few years it was always “I have a project at work that HAS to be finished.” Keep in mind dbag didn’t work at the Pentagon or anywhere else of significance, but I bought that shit! What I don’t have anymore is that tightness and nervous feeling in my stomach when I think about him or that time, or when I consider my future. It took almost 3 years after DDay, but I can fall – and stay – asleep now. I also don’t need the weighted blanket (thunder blanket for dogs…) to feel “safe” as I struggled to fall asleep. I don’t have the elevated heart rate or waves of anxiety and uncontrollable crying after 23 years wasted. I also don’t wonder who’s lying to me and deceiving me right under my nose. I don’t wonder who’s screwing me over in my finances, and betraying me, my children, and my family. It just doen’t happen with f-tard gone and I’m mentally and emotionally healthy with zero contact.

Since f-tard and I had been teen parents, I DO have a 25 yo who is absolutely zero contact with the dbag, and who is one of my best friends. Our almost 18 yo daughter graduates this year and starts her college journey and I’ve been a part of it all and guided her every step of the way. I’ve been able to volunteer for her activities these past 4 years of high school with my schedule fully free, and she claims I’m her best friend. ???? The dbag has been a part of NONE of it. Daughter also has zero contact; first by a court order, now by a bulletproof child custody addendum. It all ends next month when she turns 18, so I won’t even worry about that! I even get to coach my grandson’s soccer team (son’s son) because when you become a grandparent at 37, it’s possible to still scrimmage little pee-wee kiddos at 43. Dbag last saw grandson when he was 1 yo, and hasn’t seen him since. So for me? Being 43 with two amazing grown kids and a beautiful grandson, and financial independence opens me up to a pretty awesome, relaxed, fulfilled life. I actually go to bed happy – I’m enjoying the solitude for now. After wasting my late teens, 20s, and 30s on a douche, I’m finally happy.

Oh, there are definitely “winners” and “losers” in when cheaters are found out, but every Chump ends up the winner. Regardless of the bad situations that happen as a result of getting rid of the cheaters, we still win because we have true character, integrity, and the ability to give love and fidelity to our families, friends, and (hopefully) another partner.

Nobody2U
Nobody2U
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

Soldiering on..yes! Even the kids would cringe when he came down the driveway..it wasn’t hooray! Daddy’s home! It was fear tinged dad’s home…like we were already in trouble for something we just didn’t know what…the apprehension in my son’s voice always broke my heart and filled me with a slow burning rage.

brit
brit
5 years ago
Reply to  Nobody2U

^^^^^^^^
This for me and my son and the dogs.

Cap
Cap
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

Oh man. This. Absolutely. The feeling of black gloom that fell on the whole house as the time he got back from work approached.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
5 years ago
Reply to  Cap

The sound of the garage door going up coincided with the tightening feeling in my stomach … always a sign of a “happy” marriage ..

Chumpiness
Chumpiness
5 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

Yep. The garage door opening.

Whatringofhellisthis
Whatringofhellisthis
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

yes me too. you only know that adrenaline rush if you lived it.
if i was sitting down… jumping up trying to show value. hoping he’s not mad at me. hoping for a kiss or a hug when he walked in. hoping as he opened the mail that nothing would make him angry. hoping the dogs would be perfect so he didn’t get pissed.
then worrying… did I leave my nice outfit and heels on long enough? is it ok to change into something comfortable? my feet are cold… am I allowed to wear socks? do sexy wives wear socks? I put on socks. he looks down and smirks with disgust at my socks. oops whores don’t wear socks. whores never get cold. failed again!
silent treatment. now I’m being punished for being human. reminding him that his life isn’t a porno which means he sucks and It’s my fault that he realizes this all because I’m not perfect.

I don’t miss this at all!

brit
brit
5 years ago

Whatthehelisthis, you described my life with X as if you were there..,

Speaking of pets, our dog who is house trained would pee himself when X walked in the room,
even if I were hiding him. In his loud Marine Drill sergeant voice,X would nag the dogs, sit, stay, no, lay down, sit,,, then he’d start into our son or me,

Like you I enjoy my home now and never want to feel afraid to move or look for approval, feeling as if I constantly failed his expectations.

RayRay
RayRay
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

Yes! We had a cat (now my cat) who we used to describe as “18 lbs of pure asshole”. He’s now affectionate, cuddly, and very chatty. He still has “opinions” but he snuggles up to me every night after he eats his dinner and rubs his face on me and purrs. He’s like a different cat. Animals know!

NoMoreShitSandwiches
NoMoreShitSandwiches
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

I have a dog that had nervous peeing issues as well (she is 11 yrs old, so not a “puppy” issue). Ex has been gone for 3 years now, and she is now relaxed and doesn’t have this issue anymore. We should pay more attention to how our dogs respond to these assholes.

brit
brit
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

holding the dog not hiding him, although I should have hid him.

champchump
champchump
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

Haha Brit! One of our dogs used to startle and bark EVERY TIME my ex came in the house. No one else. Maybe she knew something I didn’t at the time.

Peachy Again Soon
Peachy Again Soon
5 years ago
Reply to  champchump

I never realized how anxious my dogs were until they became so calm once X moved out. They could never sit still, always wanting to go out, pacing and barking. But once he was gone they would fall asleep after dinner every night and hardly ever bark. It was so strange.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
5 years ago

This spoke to me. It was such a relief to live in a home that felt safe. Still is, years later.

I find that I don’t actually think I am awful, left to myself. I was just awful in his eyes.

I find that it is reasonable to want to relax and be comfortable at home. I never loved home when I was with him. Now I do. I love my ragged ponytail and my cozy socks and my handmade blanky with pet hair (bright colors, not black or gray or fragile) and my book and my whatever the hell I want. I can walk naked from the shower to the closet without feeling shame for my lack of artificialness.

I don’t feel ugly for being alive anymore.

You and me, let’s pinky swear – at home, socks and other comforts, forever!

Now nobody who feels unsafe to me enters my home. I don’t feel on edge in the one place in the world that should be my sanctuary.

My pets relaxed. I had never realized they weren’t relaxed until they were.

nomorecamping
nomorecamping
5 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

It’s funny to realize I always made sure the doors were locked at night to keep intruders out – while the person who was doing the most damage to my family was inside the house with me.

He said I didn’t appreciate him and give him enough affection. Well, I don’t appreciate being used and told I’m a fat ass. That does not motivate me to give affection. I couldn’t buy new clothes because he had to buy tools for his job to make money. Even his mom was telling me I needed to buy me some clothes.

In court documents he was mad I put down $100 a month for clothes for me and our daughter. He said I never bought new clothes – $100 a month for me to buy clothes is ridiculous! How pathetic is that. I was so beat down.

He rarely verbalized any appreciation for me. He told me I had a crappy job (it really isn’t crappy – I love my job). He complained the house was a mess while never lifting a finger to help out. When he left I went into his man cave, the garage. Oh my word. Talk about dirty and disgusting. That’s what he left me to clean up. A huge mess.

Yeah, recovering from the fallout of being ‘awful in their eyes’ is hard. The person who is supposed to love and cherish you turns out to be your worst enemy nightmare and you have to watch your kid be in anguish on top of it. While people you know are all ‘happy’ he’s got a new baby.

No one blinks an eye that he threw away his family. It’s like, Yay! congratulations you threw away the family you had and got a new shiny one! You are awesome!

Now where is my dog hair covered sweatshirt, sweats and ponytail holder. 🙂

nveragain
nveragain
5 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

“I find that I don’t actually think I am awful, left to myself. I was just awful in his eyes.”

2 1/2 months post D-day and I so dearly want him to tell me he really didn’t mean it when he said he hated the person I had become. I had been taking the “healthy” path and I was awful for encouraging the family to do the same.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Yes to comfy footwear. I wanted to get some nice cozy booty slippers but ex informed me in disgusted tones that “those are old lady slippers” so I went without. I guess just mentioning it was enough to make me unattractive to him. Now I can wear whatever darn slippers I want. 🙂

ANON
ANON
5 years ago

I’d rather wear “old lady” slippers than dickhead slippers 🙂

Doingme
Doingme
5 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

“I find that I don’t actually think I am awful, left to myself. I was just awful in his eyes.”

This hit home for me AimiisFree. He never nourished me, gave a compliment, or valued anything in his life.

Well I’m back with my identity in tact. It had to come from within.

Whatringofhellisthis

Goodbye to twisting ourselves into a pretzle for the likes of the never satisfied assholes. The most attention I ever recieved was after winning the pickme dance (there were many) and dropping 30 or more pounds.

After the finally he looked at me and said., “See, you’re happier.” He was referring to my losing 41 pounds in a few months while in the paralysis stage.

Now with my for year freedom day approaching I am happy and feel good about myself.

Whatringofhellisthis
Whatringofhellisthis
5 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Absolutely, Doingme!✋we no longer have to die trying to please a prick that can never be satisfied.

And his comment to you is such a dick thing to say.

I lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks from panic and heartbreak. He decides to gaslight me about the weightloss telling me i didn’t lose any weight. people were asking me why I would lose weight so fast and if I’m sick. But he wanted to make sure I didn’t think I was thinner for many reasons.

Current Chump
Current Chump
5 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

“I find that I don’t actually think I am awful, left to myself. I was just awful in his eyes.”

THIS BY THOUSANDS!

Whatringofhellisthis
Whatringofhellisthis
5 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

I’ll pinky swear to that! forever enjoying socks when our feet are cold. ???? that is my goal – to never feel on edge in my home ever again.

newdaydawning
newdaydawning
5 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Now nobody who feels unsafe to me come into my home. Yes!!! This is my sanctuary from the world. Thank you for that thought.

Angela
Angela
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

How long did that take? We have been separated for over a year now and the divorce should be finalized by April ( I live in VA, crappiest state to get a divorce in). I still get ridged when I hear his stupid truck pull up. When does it fade away?

Tempest
Tempest
5 years ago
Reply to  Angela

I saw my X in front of me at an intersection 2 years after the divorce….meh. I thought, “he’s still wearing that scarf….what was it I needed from the supermarket?”

Two years, especially if you can go NC, and if you create your own fabulous life, is a turning point.

honeyandthehomewrecker
honeyandthehomewrecker
5 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, that is truly awesome.

It reminds me of what happened to me last April when I discovered the 3 year old undiscovered FB Messenger messages from HomeWrecker. They went into some sub-folder I didn’t know existed and I never saw them. They dated back years, to before Honey had dropped the nuke on me and the babies. She had written to help me out by letting me know she had been having an affair with my husband, but I saw them for what they were. They were NOT to help me. She was trying to get me in the know so it would force a confrontation where Honey would have to choose between us (since he was a weak liar happy to live a double life forever, which he actually admitted to me).

I read her disgusting, self-serving and embarrassingly misspelled messages, texted a couple of friends about it, and continued on to the task I sat down for. I was googling what kind of sauce I should make that would go well with this sausage and penne dish I was planning to make for dinner not 10 minutes after reading them. It was like ‘Ok, this just confirms what I’ve suspected in my heart for years. They’re both completely selfish assholes and I’m thankful he is not my problem anymore.’ The level of indifference I felt about something that would have leveled me a year or two before truly shocked me.

I relay this story for those of you who are new here. Take heart and have HOPE. Your current connectedness to pain will NOT last forever. It just feels like it will, and sometimes feelings are liars.

Hang in there, Chumps. It gets better!

Cara
Cara
5 years ago

Thank you!

NotAfraid
NotAfraid
5 years ago

Thank you for this. Thank you. I need to believe that this pain that flattens me some days (like today) will eventually become indifference.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
5 years ago
Reply to  NotAfraid

Tempest and Honey,

Like Not Afraid, I want to believe that I won’t always feel flattened by pain round the clock!

Why do I still want a partner who did not want to acknowledge my existence–except when he wanted something from me and nobody else was around to provided services? I guess that I still do not completely trust that he sucks–hard to do when almost everyone else thinks that the guy is the best thing since sliced bread and you thought so, too for a few decades. Tough, too, when he’s living the Vida Loca (plenty of kibble providers for him morning, noon, and night both at the office and outside the office) while the only attention I get, for the most part. is creepy/sleazy/completely inappropriate.

brit
brit
5 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

Rockstar, despite all the evidence I had that X sucked, for a very long time I blamed myself. I was like the Swiitzerland friends, I must have done something to cause him to leave. This might sound weird but I made myself repeat in my head “trust that he sucks” whenever I thought of him.
Gradually I came to believe it 100%. I also found that writing down all the shitty things he’s done helps to remind me he isn’t who the appears to be to the public..
By all appearances Cheater is smart, witty, charming, funny, caring, knows just the right words. Everyone thinks he’s a great guy.
While we were married people have come up to me to say how lucky I am to be married to him. The person they’re impressed with doesn’t exist, its an act.
They know the imposter, the one I married.
I’ve lost most of the people who I thought were my friends because they “couldn’t take sides.”
Having people you know or around you think they’re a great guy makes it more difficult. If you’re able distance yourself from his admirers, they don’t know who he really is.
Rockstar, you sound like such a nice, well rounded person, your last boyfriend and your X have made a huge mistake by not appreciating what they had. When your hurt your mind is clouded and it’s hard to believe, in time you will. They are the ones who are losing something valuable.

Keep your chin up and remember “trust that they suck.”

honeyandthehomewrecker
honeyandthehomewrecker
5 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

RockStar: I feel you on the whole ‘everyone thinks they are great’ dilemma, especially when that once also applied to US, their supportive spouses. Just remember, some people in this world have a PATHOLIGICAL need to appear a good person. That means that they will say whatever they must to keep this appearance up, even to themselves.

You know how pathological liars lie so adeptly and for so long that they begin to believe their own lies? It’s kind of like that. Image management preservation-types will cling with white knuckled fervor to the image they have crafted, despite demonstrable evidence of their crappy-ness. It’s a no win. Walk away to preserve your sanity. Pick your battles of disclosure, because often any attempt to reveal who they have shown themselves to be will be met with efforts to discredit you so you’ll not be believed. I lived this. Just walk away and know they are disordered. Some things we want to understand simply can’t be understood on this side of heaven. Best to you!

GoAheadandJump, I relate to the whole ‘I can’t believe this is my life’ thing. I say to my mom at least once a week ‘This crap was not in the brochure.’

CurlyChump…I help teach a divorce recovery class at my church. I hear this a lot. Being embarrassed about pain is a cultural notion, not rooted in our actual humanity at all. You are in the stages of grieving, which can last for years post-divorce. Plus, the stages aren’t linear. They jump around. One day you’re empowered and happy, the next you’re knocked over by a wave of anger and sadness. Many people make the mistake of interpreting this as a failure to heal. On the contrary, it’s a sign that you are still healing and that these feelings have a reason and a place in that process. If we try to shove them aside or hurry past them, our recovery time will actually take longer. You have to sort of sit in them and just let them occur.

Another way of looking at it is that you are in a boat on a violent sea, being tossed this way and that. Just hold on and survive until it passes; don’t play armchair quarterback and criticize yourself for what a poor job you did holding on to the rope. Just survive the storm! Hang in there.

CurlyChump
CurlyChump
5 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

I’m nearly 2 years out from becoming officially single and embarrassed that it’s still painful. I don’t want her back. I trust that she sucks. But I haven’t reached Meh and I’m lonely and sad. She blew up my whole life, esp wreaking havoc on my relationship with my teen daughters, and it has taken a lot out of me to recover.

goaheadandjump
goaheadandjump
5 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

This….
Why do I still want him and morn for what we had! Why am I so shocked this is my new life.

Rebecca
Rebecca
5 years ago
Reply to  Angela

Why is his truck still pulling up?

If it’s for child pick-up, try coming up with a different plan. Give yourself the joy and peace of mind of having a quiet driveway!

There is NO other reason why he should be there.

Angela
Angela
5 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

For my boys. I have strict boundaries with him. I never see him unless it is at school functions and we strictly talk about The boys and finances. Nothing else is allowed. I ignore all other topics if he brings them up.
I just want to know when it will get easier.

Tuesday is Coming
Tuesday is Coming
5 years ago
Reply to  Angela

He is not allowed at my house, even in the driveway. I drive my daughter to him and pick her up. He says this makes him feel “disempowered.” Well, that’s just a bonus for me. I own the house and decide who comes on my property. I am in control of NOT seeing him when I drop her off. I don’t even look in his direction and he has stopped meeting her on the porch – she just goes in the door.

THIS boundary, along with not speaking to him and having everything in writing, has freed me so much! I see him enough in our small town and we work at the same place. Ugh.

But since I’ve drawn healthy boundaries for myself, I’m much happier and less tense. I’ve also lost 20 pounds and no longer have to spend energy babysitting a clueless man-child.

No more toenail clippings in the sink. No more embarrassment for his arrogant, rude behavior, no more walking on eggshells, more FUN times with my daughter. I look better, feel better, AM better!

Bobbie
Bobbie
5 years ago

I too have to live in a small town with him them and work at the same place

nomorecamping
nomorecamping
5 years ago

No more walking on eggshells!
No more embarrassment for his arrogant, rude behavior! (After he left the neighbor commented on how rude and arrogant he was!)
No more cigarette butts or cigarette smoke (I didn’t let him smoke in the house). No more big greasy stain on the sheets on his side.
No more big flakes of skin at the foot of the bed and in the drawers at the foot of the bed!
No more alcohol in the house. (we met in rehab 20 years ago. Several years ago he and his friend started with near beer, then beer, then the huge bottle of vodka from Costco – and always trying to get me to drink – asshole)
No more yucky clothes and socks on the floor.
No more complaining about everything and everyone as he was so above criticism himself.
Now that I have bought him out of the house, no more threats of him telling me he’s making the judge sell the house, and he’s taking our child and taking our dogs away from me! (Now I have the house, our child refuses to see him, and he’d never take the dogs – they are old. He only likes young new stuff, you know. He told our daughter everything in this house is old. Lol Like his 24 y.o gf is going to stick around and change his diapers – she’s after his money, not him. I remember years ago his dad commenting on him going so fast on his motorcycle – he said, “He’s fast, but he’s not too bright.”
Yes, I see that now.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
5 years ago
Reply to  Angela

It is frustrating, how much time it can take for this to get easier. In my case, the more of my life I developed separately, the less effect anything pertaining to my ex had on me. It was as if knowing I was creating new was what closed the old door. Even simple things like new home decor (thrift stores have a lot of it), rearranging a room, donating crap he had picked out and buying replacements I picked (at the thrift store – I was very lean for $), culling (and cutting) photos so I could regularly look at pictures of my life without having to look at pictures of him or that spurted memories of things with him… I guess that’s the “act as if” thing. The more I acted as if he was my past, the more true it became.

Another thing that helped me was getting past all the first “anniversaries” of everything, especially big holidays. Once I had done everything without him once, the “tradition” feeling started to loosen it’s grip.

Journeys like this take a long time and it’s really unfair. We have all been there and we are living proof that it WILL get easier. I’ll bet within the year the feeling will start to pass. Hang in there.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
5 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

(Spurted? No, spurred. Sheesh.)

Rebecca
Rebecca
5 years ago
Reply to  Angela

As your sons get older you can move yourself out of the equation.

If they’re not old enough to be home alone during pick-up/drop-off, try and be creative. Do you have a friend who can be there at those times instead of you? Perhaps it’s easier if you bring them to him? I’m sure other CN parents will have ideas on how to change or neutralize this situation.

It isn’t always about waiting for things to get better. It’s about creating your power and changing situations to create peace for yourself!

If you start with this one issue (neutralizing his tires in your driveway), you will find many other issues that you can change to increase your peace of mind.

That is called taking back your power! Create your best life!

Fern
Fern
5 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

“It isn’t always about waiting for things to get better. It’s about creating your power and changing situations to create peace for yourself!”

Wise words. It took me way too long to get clued into this. I had to let go of caring what he thought even when he wasn’t there. I would worry if I said or did something he didn’t like he would take it out on the kids. When I realized I would never move forward with that attitude I started to shift. Not going to lie, it took some practice as these were very ingrained habits and it felt a bit scary. Seems silly now in retrospect but it was very real.

My advice is not to focus too much on the long term goal – of course you should set a vision – but really just get through the day to day stuff and celebrate the victories. Not hearing the tires or not be triggered by the sound is enough of a victory to start.

Just like we can trust they suck, trust it will get better. Be gentle with yourself. Having young children adds a layer of challenge.

Peace.

Attie
Attie
5 years ago
Reply to  Soldiering On

This!!!

NotMyFault
NotMyFault
5 years ago
Reply to  Attie

I was going to say the same. No more pit in my stomach.

ThanksButImGood
ThanksButImGood
5 years ago
Reply to  NotMyFault

DITTO!! The walking on eggshells and sick feeling in my stomach when I saw his car in driveway wondering what kind of mood he would be in.

brit
brit
5 years ago
Reply to  NotMyFault

Yes! as I read through the posts, I planned to mention that feeling of dread knowing he would be home soon, I’d hear him pull in to our driveway then open the door and my heart would sink. Feeling the pit in my stomach while he was around Watching his body language, to gauge his mood. He’d look for things to complain about,
If he was home and walked into a room I’d tense up and feel anxious. Friends I talked to over the phone didn’t have to ask if Cheater was home they could tell by the tone of my voice.
It’s so nice to come home and lay down if chose to.
I’m able to watch my programs on TV without hearing him ridicule me, or walk in and switch the channel then say, it was a commercial and I just wanted to see something. Refuse to go back to the channel I was on because his favoritet episode of “Friends” is on.

onthehill
onthehill
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

I could have pretty much written this post myself.

I now leave a sink full of dishes for a week at a time usually – he was such a fucker about the kitchen sink …. even to the point of insisting where the utensils went in there!

I wish he could see the sink NOW!! Middle fingers raised!!! 🙂

WisedUp
WisedUp
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

Same here, walked on eggshells daily for 16 years. And friends and family could always tell he was around because I acted differently.

Jodi Lynch
Jodi Lynch
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

OMG!

This. All.Of.It

susan devlin
susan devlin
5 years ago

I forgot to mention I think women expect men to make them happy, I realised I can only make myself happy.

Cap
Cap
5 years ago
Reply to  susan devlin

The first lesson that every single person should learn is that you have to be able to make yourself happy and be content with yourself. Marriage doesn’t fill that hole. That’s putting the burden of your happiness on someone else’s shoulders, and that’s too much of a burden for anyone.

Kiwichump
Kiwichump
5 years ago
Reply to  Cap
Spoonriver
Spoonriver
5 years ago
Reply to  Cap

I want someone to come along with me and enjoy the fun life can be. STBX had to drag his heels, overthink, be late, criticize or take over.

violet
violet
5 years ago
Reply to  susan devlin

I don’t think it is just women who do this. In fact, I know it’s not. There is this great myth that coupledom somehow “completes” us, makes our lives “whole.” I know many men who have bought into this myth and truly believe it is their spouse’s job to ensure their happiness.

When we look to others for what we should be seeking within ourselves, we rob ourselves of our own identity. For years, I thought it was my job to do for others without question. I had neither the time nor the opportunity to discover what my own wants and needs were.

As traumatic as what I experienced was, X’s cheating actually allowed me to reflect on what was important to me, my own hopes, dreams, and values, as well as my own fears and insecurities. In the aftermath of those horrible days, I learned to be me. This process has nothing to do with being male or female one; it has everything to do with being human.

Myachump
Myachump
5 years ago
Reply to  violet

This. I love this.

I am in the process of divorce, but STBXH’s affair made me realise I was living my life for someone else. Having to reflect on my own life is hard, because it was much easier to be tethered to someone else’s version of a life than to carve out one of my own.

MARCUS LAZARUS
MARCUS LAZARUS
5 years ago
Reply to  susan devlin

^^^THIS!!!
This is a lesson I’ll take away. Any future ‘relationships’ for me will have this as a prescreening prerequisite. Does she think it’s up to me to make her happy?

unicornomore
unicornomore
5 years ago
Reply to  MARCUS LAZARUS

I was reading the book “How to make your second marriage succeed” (or whatever the hell is is called ) and it said the best thing a person can bring to a relationship is a good perception of themselves. My second husband likes himself (in a healthy manner) and likes life. Husband cheaters 20+ years of cheating brought monsters, evil, misery and suffering into life that I didnt even realize was there.

Second husband also does laundry

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
5 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Laundry doesn’t count, does he clean the toilet?

unicornomore
unicornomore
5 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

He does emergency cleaning in moments when warranted but overall, he writes the check for the biweekly cleaning service we hired when he moved in.

tony
tony
5 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Fair enough

Doingme
Doingme
5 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

I so agree UNM. The man I’m interested in inspires me and this a new feeling. He’s a chump in the process of getting a divorce.

After dating a kind guy since the summer I felt frustrated because i was constantly keeping my caretaker, fixer, giver tendencies in check. It showed me how much I’ve grown.

silverqueen
silverqueen
5 years ago
Reply to  MARCUS LAZARUS

I think this goes both ways. I was always independent and didn’t look to him to make me happy it’s was just the opposite he constantly needed someone to fawn over him and ask him if he was happy. He wanted an independent woman that didn’t need a lot of propping up, because he needed it. I don’t think it’s a gender issue its a cheater issue. Cheaters are very narcissistic and look to others to make them feel happy.

Librawoman
Librawoman
5 years ago
Reply to  silverqueen

Yes, so true. My ex announced the children and I didn’t “contribute to his happiness” therefore he was leaving.

Chickynot
Chickynot
5 years ago
Reply to  silverqueen

Yes, this absolutely! X needed me and the kids to be as self sufficient and independent as possible = less work for him. Our reason for dreading his arrival home is we’d then be subjected to his black hole attention sink personality all day. Constant bragging about himself, and then complaining about how nobody seemed to want to talk to him, or listen to his way off the mark, unsolicited advice. Windbag free life has been wonderful.

brit
brit
5 years ago
Reply to  Chickynot

Chickynot, you reminded me of the X’s constant bragging about himself, and endless lectures with the way off the mark unsolicited advice. I’d wonder if he was ever going to shut up. Windbag free is wonderful.

I also don’t miss the road rage, he’d criticize every driver on the freeway, people who were driving normally. Innocent drivers who would happen to pass him or change lanes in front of him meant road war to him… He’d become enraged, then try to pass then block them from changing lanes further down the road. So glad I’m not subject to that any longer.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  silverqueen

This exactly.

yellowsunshine
yellowsunshine
5 years ago
Reply to  silverqueen

Silverqueen TOTALLY agree. When my dog died and I cried he had no idea how to comfort me and even said that it frightened him because for the first time I was the one that had to be looked after.

Tuesday is Coming
Tuesday is Coming
5 years ago
Reply to  silverqueen

silverqueen – EXACTLY. For me, the more independent and strong I was, the more he flailed like a toddler. He said he wanted to be with a strong woman, but his ACTIONS said otherwise. It was so confusing at the time. NOW I have all my strength to myself and am growing stronger.

Buh Bye Asshole!

PathOfTotality
PathOfTotality
5 years ago

Tuesday is Coming – I felt the same confusion. My ex told me I was “too social,” “too independent,” that I asked “too many deep and probing questions,” and perhaps most baffling, that I was “too keenly interested in men and sexuality” (because I once said it would be cool to work for the Kinsey Institute). Sorry, dude, for being curious and alive.

ANC
ANC
5 years ago
Reply to  silverqueen

This ^^^ true for me too. It was one of the things he wanted, an independent partner = less effort to pretend to invest. AND it was one of his rationalizations of being a whorenado =. “ you were too independent. It was like you didn’t need me!!!!! “ Meaning I wasn’t helpless to solve issues or suggest solutions, this not filling his vacuous black hole of need.

lemonbirch
lemonbirch
5 years ago
Reply to  ANC

I got the same thing, “I never felt like you needed me.” Guess what Douche, you’re right! I didn’t NEED you, I WANTED you. My love was freely given, not transactional, so it was uncomfortable for you. Which sorta explains why you ditched me for a stripper that you peeled off a pole one drunken night.

There was no charge for what you got from me — because it’s priceless.

Spoonriver
Spoonriver
5 years ago
Reply to  lemonbirch

Mine said he felt needed but not wanted. What the hell does any of it even mean? They are just trying to find the sound bite to justify bad behavior. It’s too exhausting.

Kiwichump
Kiwichump
5 years ago
Reply to  lemonbirch

Beautifully said lemonbirch, this is one quote I would love to borrow from you.

Holly sheet
Holly sheet
5 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Oh my, you totally just nailed my ex. With this. This is EXACTLY what I got.

This is my first post, hello !

wildcat
wildcat
5 years ago
Reply to  Holly sheet

Holly sheet – Welcome! Sorry you had to join this group that no one wants to be a part of, but we are really glad you are here. Keep reading and posting – it is a lifesaver!!!

Champchump – I don’t know if taking responsibility for your own happiness is more of a male/female issue or not, but I know for sure it is a child/adult issue. There were so many times I had to bite my tongue from screaming at my STBX:
GROW UP FOR F*CK’S SAKE!!

Cheater narcs are emotional toddlers – complete with temper tantrums and getting completely distracted by whatever is easy and feels good at the moment.

Spoonriver
Spoonriver
5 years ago
Reply to  ANC

My STBX said we could not be together because I couldn’t make him perfectly happy. My partner have responsibility making me happy was never my expectation and perfectly does not exist. I always knew I had to make myself happy. I did. I think he resented me for it. Our daughters always said “dad is never happy.” He criticized, took no responsibility to change things and made it everybody’s fault but his. If I did try to change things it was not good enough. Don’t miss that.

champchump
champchump
5 years ago
Reply to  Spoonriver

My ex hates me because I was supposed to make him happy and I couldn’t. I didn’t realize I was supposed to, because I had already figured out we are all responsible for our own happiness. I thought that was part of being an adult.

My ex thought marriage and love were supposed to come easily and when it got hard he looked elsewhere for easy—and found it.

If expecting someone else to make you happy is a gender issue at all, in my experience it’s men more often than women who have this delusion.

Doingme
Doingme
5 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Another independent woman here. I made him look good managing just about every aspect of our lives as he systematically sabotaged and minimized my needs.

Thankfully, I pulled myself out of that void of nothingness he offered up as if it was paradise. It was a living hell.

My biggest gain is knowing what I want going forward.

MrsJackass
MrsJackass
5 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Yes Doing me! Your comment hit the nail on the head completely.

Twitching
Twitching
5 years ago

My kids are relaxed. My house is clean. I don’t have to look at piles of crap that might come in handy or that he couldn’t be bothered to put away. I no longer feel pity for terrible people.

I’m in grad school to become a school principal, and I don’t feel guilty sitting down to do the work each evening after teaching all day, which takes a lot of time and energy. Nobody is looking at me while I am working and calling me lazy.

I don’t have to wonder what’s true and what’s not. There’s no investigation needed. I don’t have to keep up with the “life of the party” appearance and expectation at church, which was his M.O. I can just be myself.

I have started to hate it when someone tells me I can’t do something.

AC
AC
5 years ago
Reply to  Twitching

The clean house! Yes! Along with eradicating the BS about “I don’t remember making that mess, so I’m not cleaning it.”

The toilet that no longer smells like a sewage treatment plant. I understood the prostate issues and other gastric distress. But I never understood why that made me responsible for cleaning up the results.

Best of all… the end of the April 15th surprise. I dreaded finding out how big of a check I had to send to the IRS each year, because he believed the tin-foil hat conspiracies that paying taxes was voluntary, and had next to nothing withheld. Don’t bother asking HIM for the tax money; his account was often overdrawn before payday.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
5 years ago
Reply to  Twitching

“I don’t have to wonder what’s true and what’s not. There’s no investigation needed. I don’t have to keep up with the “life of the party” appearance and expectation at church, which was his M.O. ”
This was my former life as well. God, it feels so good to be away from that.

FeelingProud
FeelingProud
5 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Keeping up with the “life of the party” was exhausting to me! When I met him I was extremely outgoing and that is why I fell in love with him as well. Then after a few years I found myself not wanting to go out, making excuses, etc. Now I realize it had nothing to do with me. I thought I was just getting older and more boring, turns out his “life of the party” attitude was overshadowing mine and I was cringing to be around it because I knew I couldn’t be my true bright shiny self. He always used to say “you aren’t fun anymore” I thought that was so strange because he started dating me because I was the most fun girl he had ever met! No more investigations, no more having to come up with lame excuses to not go even though my real excuse is “I’m tired and have worked all day I don’t want to go out tonight” I can now do whatever I want with whoever. I used to wonder why in the last 5 years have I met a lot of shallow people. I thought maybe this is how the world is now? Afterwards I am realizing its because I was hanging out with him who is shallow and like attracts like. So glad to be rid of all of it!!

Tempest
Tempest
5 years ago
Reply to  Twitching

“I don’t have to wonder what’s true and what’s not.”

For the Win!!!

Devastated New Mom
Devastated New Mom
5 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Agree.

Nikki Lynn
Nikki Lynn
5 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yuuuup. Indeed.

peacekeeper
peacekeeper
5 years ago
Reply to  Twitching

Twitching.
Wow, I love your post.
You are Mighty!

Unrulychump
Unrulychump
5 years ago

I am healthier, and have more free time to go to the gym. I’ve bought an electric guitar and am learning to play and don’t have to worry that “it’s too noisy” in the house. There’s plenty of peace in my home for my son and I now that there’s no more eggshells to walk on. I stay up later and hang out with friends more.

He’s only been out of the house for 8 months and the peace of mind that came from just no longer feeling the urge to find out what he’s hiding from me has been the biggest benefit. No more worrying about him. I’m kinda surprised at how quickly I seem to be recovering from the discard. I give credit to CL and CN. It’s been great to know that I’m not the disordered one.

Egans
Egans
5 years ago
Reply to  Unrulychump

Your first sentence!
“ More free time”
You’d think sharing responsibilities would give you more free time.
But no! Getting rid of a leech?!
Then you realise how much they drain out of you.

KarenE
KarenE
5 years ago

I’m a better mother.

I hadn’t realized how much cheater narc’s moodiness and frequent unpleasantness were impacting my parenting. Dealing w/his drama wore me out and wore me down.

I’m more patient w/my kids, I’m more fun. And that’s just one way life is better w/him gone. Thanks, Shmoops!

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

I no longer have to feel like a tyrant for enforcing rules that only ex cared about.

Tuesday is Coming
Tuesday is Coming
5 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

KarenE – YES! I’m a better mother and my daughter is SOOOOO much happier. Her spirit is lighter. We laugh a lot.

Laughter was something I missed. The other week I caught myself giggling to the point of crying and realized I hadn’t done that FOR YEARS. Maybe even for a decade.

Feelingit
Feelingit
5 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

I was feeling exactly that KarenE but now I am not. A few months ago, I was moving toward meh and seeing how much better the mood in our household was without fuckwit there vying for centrality and blaming me and the kids for his unhappiness.

Now, as we get closer to our divorce trial, it is as if he is here again because he is in my head 24/7. I am back to not being able to concentrate and I am moody. I snap at the kids more and question myself all the time. I should have, could have, if I would have…

I know many here say you can’t be at meh until the divorce but I am feeling like I am like him because he always had a it will be better when fill in the blank, this job is done, this legal case ends, the boat is done… and there was always the next thing. I am thinking when the divorce is done, but it won’t be. I will always have stress and problems in my life. Today I am uptight and struggling to think what is better. Yes, he is not here, so I don’t have to try and please the miserable unappeasable jerk but I am in my head. I see his crap in the garage and the basement which I can’t get rid of until the divorce.

He wants control and he has it because I am fearful of what will happen with the divorce even though I have a good lawyer because it will all come down to the thoughts and feelings of a judge on a particular day.

I look forward to reading others responses and hoping I will be more optimistic.

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
5 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Hang in there FeelingIt. High conflict divorce is as tense as it comes. My shithead ended up trying to settle within the last 36 hours before the final divorce hearing. We did settle. Would I have gotten more through the judge…maybe. But I got enough of what I wanted to give up the few things I didn’t. And it saved me days in court and thousands more in legal fees.

My dad told me from the beginning that cheater was being difficult for the sole purpose of trying to get me to cave and give up a ton of things I was entitled to. I hung in there and he was the one scrambling to settle at the end.

You are dealing with a classic cluster b narcissist. This is what they do. The end is in sight…just keep holding on. Even if it isn’t everything that you want, set your mind in that it will be okay. You will figure it out. And you will be free when it is over.

Feelingit
Feelingit
5 years ago
Reply to  GetMeFree

Thanks getmefree, I just found out that fuckwit’s mother has hired a second lawyer for him. I am dying to know my lawyer’s opinion on this. Thoughts are swirling in my head. My lawyer is in trial today and it really doesn’t matter as I am sure he will deal with it fine and it would cost me his hourly rate to hear his thoughts. I will know when I need to know. I do know though that he sent the new lawyer an email saying they should talk and that my legal team is contemplating a civil suit against fuckwit’s parents for it certainly appears there is a conspiracy against me. He is exactly right. I should relax because them hiring another lawyer can only mean they are concerned with the first lawyer or why on earth would you do that? I am thinking first lawyer may remove himself since this would show a lack of confidence but who knows, I need to slow my brain and gut.

lemonbirch
lemonbirch
5 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Maybe mom hired the second lawyer for herself.

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
5 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Hiring a second lawyer definitely means they are worried. I bet he doesn’t like what current lawyer is telling him. And again, the cluster B feels entitled to what he wants. Maybe if lawyer #2 gives them the same advice, he will finally settle. Hang tight and let it play out. You are going to be fine. Even if it is slightly less. Even if you don’t bring him to his knees. Focus on you and your kids and make peace with what you can be okay with. Then anything above that is just bonus.

And also, put ALL his stuff in a single room (or a storage unit) and lock the door. Although I don’t see why you can’t force him to take it.

Ghosted Girl
Ghosted Girl
5 years ago
Reply to  GetMeFree

When a lawyer learns they are the second or third lawyer on a case- all the red flags go up.
Difficult client with unrealistic or unethical expectations. Trouble maker. Freak.

You decline the case or charge them a mint for the anticipated misery of representing them.

Sleep well this weekend- this is a 100% positive for you. I am a lawyer.

Feelingit
Feelingit
5 years ago
Reply to  Ghosted Girl

So wanted to hear from a lawyer1. Thanks. The other one that I wonder: is it likely that first lawyer will bow out. Wouldn’t adding a second lawyer be a blow to his ego? (he obviously has a big one). Doesn’t seem like someone who would work well with others.

Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
5 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

((((Feelingit))))
See below for cheater spray posts, we need to add “MIL Begone”spray.
Well, one day, MIL will be gone, ( not soon enough), and cheater boy, fuckwit, will be all out of an apron to hide behind.
You hang in there awesome lady!
You have been documenting all his shitty character traits toward his own flesh and blood, his precious Children .
You have been doing your work dligently with bright lawyer involvement. How can a judge not see how evil and self centred he is!
You are Mighty!

Leavealyingloser
Leavealyingloser
5 years ago
Reply to  Peacekeeper

Mil spray!!!! I need a gallon of that!!! I find it amazing that these mils are willing to hurt their own grandchildren if it means helping their own grown crappy kid.

Feelingit
Feelingit
5 years ago
Reply to  Peacekeeper

I hope you are right peacekeeper!!! I will take 2 cases of your spray to start and sign up for automatic delivery each month (something I never do)

You are that lovely lady I wish was here to hug in person! I had a great aunt who when we would visit when I was a child would always hand me and my sister each “a big nickel”(a quarter) it actually bought something in those days. Sometimes a frivolous toy would arrive in the mail like a big blue stuffed easter bunny and it was from her. Peacekeeper, I feel like you and she were cut from the same cloth.

Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
5 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Feelingit,
Thank you so much for the very touching compliment.
All you are going through and you take the time to reach out to me. I appreciate your kindness.
I truly am amazed how you handle each concern that comes up with each of your five wonderful Children. I love what they often come up with in ideas and in words. Don’t worry about them. I believe they have their Mother’s strong character traits and things are going to go well for you and for them.
I only have two daughters who are young adults now and it was never easy, but together we formed one strong, lasting bond.
Again, I marvel that you accomplish this ( and you do, every single day), with five Children.
Mighty, YOU are Mighty!

Xxxxxxxxxx
peacekeeper

KB22
KB22
5 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Hiring a second lawyer means they are worried. Either about the expertise of lawyer #1 or their case. Could also mean lawyer #1 is not going along with or contradicting what they want as it will not fly in court.

Doingme
Doingme
5 years ago
Reply to  KB22

Mommy’s boy is hiring another lawyer on her dime. How pathetic these two are Feeling it!

My guess is his lawyer withdrew because of the level of entitlement. The Limited as you might recall wanted me to pay him for half of the hotel and my Easter dinner while visiting my son at college weeks before Dday.

All that entitlement turns to temper tantrums with these assholes. Lawyers are pretty cut and dry; it’s called the LAW! It should work to your advantage. Judges my not want all the cheater details however they see the lack of respect a mile away.

I love that you’re confident in you’re attorney and aware! Stay strong!

Feelingit
Feelingit
5 years ago
Reply to  KB22

That sounds logical and oh how I hope you are correct!

nini1912
nini1912
5 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

This is me. When he walked out he left a tense house where I was shouting at the kids and frustrated with him – I only see now where so much of this tension came from – him doing absolutely nothing to help in the house and insidiously undermine me in front of the kids towards the end of the relationship – I gave up asking him to do things / fix things – I didnt realise I had I just got on with it myself. I tensed a lot when he spoke to me – he used to clear his throat (voice box didnt get a lot of exercise in his case) and I knew it was some criticism or something needed to be fixed /replaced (usually replaced as that was his thing – something breaks you buy a new one – never doing with something sub perfect or even attempting to rectify it – me being from the more practical background was constantly labelled mean and tight for my ‘it’s ok’ stance in life. Since he has gone my house is happier (when he first walked I thought I’d never get through it – I have five kids aged 7-14) and really didnt know how I’d do it on my own – I know now I can and I am even doing better since he’s gone because of the mean negative presence he had in our home bringing us all dow. I’m calmer – I take a deep breath and I slow down and if I’m late for work or an appointment for five minutes because my daughter needs to tell me a funny story from her day I listen to her – I didnt before- before I rushed them and rushed me because I was trying to be the good mother. Now I am the good mother – a much better one without negative cheater Noddy

unicornomore
unicornomore
5 years ago
Reply to  nini1912

” I tensed a lot when he spoke to me ”

he criticized me 24 hours a day…overtly or covertly…some of it was nasty and some of it was joking but it was relentless. After assaulting me with endless criticisms, he then said “You have a siege mentality”. At first I said “no, I dont” then I realized he was right and said “I have a siege mentality because I am under siege” (like a soldier in foxhole war having endless bombs sent in their direction.

Typical cheater/abuser…do something that causes a very natural reaction then criticize the reaction.

NoMoreShitSandwiches
NoMoreShitSandwiches
5 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Anytime I DARED to complain about anything (which was ridiculously rare) or ask for help, I suddenly had a “martyr complex” and was trying to “manipulate HIM” – what?!? The accusation of course resulted in me shutting up (or shutting down) and making my needs so small that they barely existed. He pulled out that accusation of me “playing the martyr” from year one together. Of course, it was master manipulation on his part to control me. I should have ran like hell then.

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
5 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

“You’re so defensive !”
“Then stop being offensive”

AC
AC
5 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Mine would make nasty insults then say, “You need to learn to laugh at yourself. I thought it was funny.”

Then he wondered why I didn’t respect him enough. Yeah, what goes around comes around.

Attie
Attie
5 years ago

You know that picture in American Beauty where she is lying on the bed surrounded by rose petals – well picture me, but instead of rose petals I have my bank statements AND EVERYONE OF THEM SHOWS THAT I AM STILL IN THE BLACK!

nomoreskankboy
nomoreskankboy
5 years ago
Reply to  Attie

Attie, LOL….love it!

FeelingProud
FeelingProud
5 years ago
Reply to  nomoreskankboy

Yay!! That is awesome. I am starting a Dave Ramsey program and working toward being debt free this year. I can’t believe all the stuff I racked up with him in 5 years trying to keep up with his incessant need for “keeping up with the Jonses”

sweetChumpgirl
sweetChumpgirl
5 years ago

I no longer have to listen to him play dumb songs on his guitar super loud that you can’t even think. I no longer have to worry if he is drunk somewhere getting in the car at 2am. I no longer have make excuses for his behavior to my kids, friends and family. I got freedom to live my life without excuses. I love my life! Xo sweet

Prison Chump
Prison Chump
5 years ago
Reply to  sweetChumpgirl

This! No more worrying about dwi’ s and crashes. No more making excuses. No more fretting over spent money. I actually have savings now and can afford vacations.

Jodi Lynch
Jodi Lynch
5 years ago
Reply to  Prison Chump

Yep, no more worrying about dwi’s, making excuses or wondering where the hell he is at.

Not my circus anymore.

PianoMom
PianoMom
5 years ago
Reply to  Jodi Lynch

Yep, that was my story, too. No more wondering whether his next DWI was going to end up killing someone. Swap out the guitar for a tenor sax, and our stories are the same. Glad to be free from fines and legal fees to get his charges reduced. Never again!

Attie
Attie
5 years ago
Reply to  sweetChumpgirl

Oh good Lord, you must be me in a different country! “The next John Denver” couldn’t play more than 10 bars of any song and screeched his way (repeatedly) through those. And ditto for the drink driving.

Star Tingover
Star Tingover
5 years ago
Reply to  sweetChumpgirl

@SweetChumpgirl

BIG smooches! ((hug)) 🙂

peacekeeper
peacekeeper
5 years ago

Dear Chump Lady,
I always love your cartoons.
(And, thank you so much for allowing potty mouth here).
I hope you are ok with me thinking that the can of Lysol in this picture would be of more benefit if it was shown pointed in a cheater’s genital area. If too graphic you could leave the cheater’s underwear on. That Lysol is powerful stuff.
( maybe tomorrow’s cartoon?)

(I will go to my room and behave now)
(So many happenings, I am struggling to be a peacekeeper).
Thank you for bringing SUNSHINE to Chumps lives!

QueenMother
QueenMother
5 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

I was thinking the can should be aimed to spray in whore’s mouth

TheBestMe
TheBestMe
5 years ago
Reply to  QueenMother

Hey trying to drink coffee here… LOL

twiceachump
twiceachump
5 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

I love it Peacekeeper. Or maybe label the can: CheaterBgone

Egans
Egans
5 years ago
Reply to  twiceachump

By ACME!

Loving life
Loving life
5 years ago

I can enjoy going out to eat! I know it sounds odd, but my ex narcissistic cheater was in the restaurant business so of course even the most Exquisite meal was not up to par for him. We went in a Disney cruise and he still found something to complain about or reason to make a big scene and send his food back. It was always so embarrassing. And he was in restaurant sales, he wasn’t even a chef. Yes I am definitely enjoying dining out now!

Chumpwazoo
Chumpwazoo
5 years ago
Reply to  Loving life

I’m not divorced yet, but will be in the next month or two. The ex is allergic to gluten PLUS always on some diet PLUS too good for a lot of restaurants…which includes me taking our kids to said restaurants.

A lot of times when I cook for the family, she will still make her own dinner (even though I made everything gluten-free).

I am so looking forward to eating where I want and when I want…and being free to take the kids, too!

Not to mention…
-No more cheating
-No more whining about EVERYTHING (she whined about being tired and housework when I work the same schedule as her and do more housework than her)
-No more waiting on her and being late to everything!
-Better sex (not her strong suit)
-No more drama 24/7
-No more moodiness to darken the entire house!
-No more trying to shut me off from my friends and family!
-No more me having to get approval and permission from someone else before doing something!
-Going to the beach/swimming! (She hates both)

I could do this forever!

Beth
Beth
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumpwazoo

Chumpwazoo and Doubtless, the posts from you guys and all the other male chumps just kill me when you mention things like “when I cook dinner for the family” or “I’m doing most of the housework”. Do those sorry bitches you are/were married to think that’s the norm? Not in my world. I felt like I’d won the lottery if ex put his own dishes in the dishwasher! I’ve got to believe there are plenty of good women out there who will appreciate a partner who does his share around the house and knows his way around a kitchen. In fact, if you put that on a dating profile you’d probably be swarmed. ????

Spoonriver
Spoonriver
5 years ago
Reply to  Beth

My STBX did dishes and cooked. He did laundry. He also screwed other people, spent our money and was always late, and crabby. House work is nice but not enough.

Beth
Beth
5 years ago
Reply to  Spoonriver

Not for a cheater, no. There is nothing that makes up for the other character deficits.
But a male chump who helps around the house and treats his partner as well as these guys did? Worth his weight in gold.

Doubtless
Doubtless
5 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth – totally stealing your idea. Updating my okcupid and tinder profiles with cooking, dishwashing, and laundry skills! Thanks! (Too bad you’re not in the Pacific Northwest ????) Will keep y’all updated.

Beth
Beth
5 years ago
Reply to  Doubtless

Yay, you do that Doubtless! If I was in the Pacific Northwest and a decade younger, I’d be hunting for your profile. ????

Doubtless
Doubtless
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumpwazoo

Chumpwazoo:

Dude. So feeing your post.

I get that dietary restrictions are important. I get that eating well is key to happiness. But damn let’s go one day without a deep philosophical talk about Kombucha. I guarantee those randos in line don’t give a fuck about your thoughts on soy. No – you don’t have a gluten allergy. Fucking hell it’s not your religion to always be taking about your diet. Nobody else cares. Keep that shit to yourself once in a while. She was like a teen learning about veganism for the first time and she was an over-the-hill 40-year-old.

So much better alone I am.

Ghosted Girl
Ghosted Girl
5 years ago
Reply to  Doubtless

Over the hill at 40?

Really?

Mandie101
Mandie101
5 years ago
Reply to  Doubtless

Ouch….over the hill forty year old. I’m 39 but still….

Doubtless
Doubtless
5 years ago
Reply to  Mandie101

I am a bald 46-year-old dude with a penis that doesn’t work as well as when I was 21 and less than perfect teeth. When I talk shit about my X it is aimed at my X. If I took umbrage at every unkind description of dudes I read here I would be a sobbing mess.

moominmamma
moominmamma
5 years ago
Reply to  Doubtless

I feel a bit divided here- as someone with non coeliac gluten intolerance, I know that avoiding it means some restaurants are just out. But it depends if she got tested. Nothing bugs me more than people who just decide they are gluten intolerant on no evidence-I’ve had 2 endoscopies, breath testing, the lot. I had owners come in with a puppy that they had put on a gluten free diet, for no reason, just because they thought it was somehow better-“Really really rare to have intolerance in dogs” I said , through gritted teeth .” Gluten is not poisonous”,If we get news of an impending apocalypse with say, 24 hrs notice, I will be hitting up the bakeries and eating baguettes. And croissants. And donuts….I miss bread.

ivyleaguechump
ivyleaguechump
5 years ago
Reply to  moominmamma

Biopsy confirmed Celiac, here. But what is intriguing is that, while I had symptoms my entire life, the truly BAD ones started up right around the time he started boinking schmoopie. It was also interesting that one of the first things out of his mouth, after coming clean with me on DDay, was, “…and this had NOTHING to do with your illness.” I hadn’t even made the connection.

Chumpwazoo
Chumpwazoo
5 years ago
Reply to  Doubtless

Yeah, it’s definitely going to be a requirement for the next…if there is a next lol.

Cap
Cap
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumpwazoo

Just getting a job was a step up for me. There was no more hoping he’d remember to give me an allowance, no more checking of my receipts, no more trying to force me to stay home from church by not giving me gas money. No more ‘you shouldn’t buy that thing that you want because it’s not the quality I think it should be’. Just that little bit of freedom brought me a lot of joy. I’m looking forward to the ultimate freedom of being out of this house and away from him.

UnchumpingMyself
UnchumpingMyself
5 years ago
Reply to  Loving life

I raise a glass of wine to that! My ex always scolded me for drinking a glass of wine with my meals, he was completely against me feeling anything but miserable. Cheers for enjoying a cheater/narcissistic free good meal, a nice drink and life in general!

brit
brit
5 years ago

Going to a restaurant and ordering what you want to eat without either a look you’d expect from a parent if you were a child who misbehaved in church.

newdaydawning
newdaydawning
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

Yes! And going to a restaurant I like. We only went once a year, on my birthday, to a place I liked. He would finish eating in 5 minutes then bitch about how long I took to eat.

UnchumpingMyself
UnchumpingMyself
5 years ago

Oh, I love posts like these. I am three years out of dday and 2 and a half years post divorce. My life is better in so many ways once I lost cheater ex. I am at peace with myself, my relationship with my kids is better for I don’t have to mitigate the relationship they have with their father any longer. My budget has significantly changed for the best, I am now able to put money aside. I decide where to go on holiday, and I have had together with my kids some of the best trips and vacations since they were born, trips I wouldn’t even have imagined to go on when I was with ex due to endless excuses and complaints he had about everything. I sleep better, more confortable, my bed sheets smell good. Together with my kids we get to decide what holiday traditions we want to keep and how. I don’t get to cook, wash or do any house chores just in a certain way and at certain times approved by psycho ex, but when me and my kids want it and how we want it. The only thing that frankly scares me is that I am getting so happy and comfortable living this new life that I don’t know how will I cope when a new man will come into my life. Well, I guess I will cross that bridge when I get there. Hugs to everyone!

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
5 years ago

Yes!! The dbag has super white skin, but shaved his head bald and used all kinds of oils on it, and he drank jet black espressos all day. His side of the bed (not kidding) was always a dark brown and OILY, no matter how often I washed the sheets. He ruined so many towels and sheets because of those stupid head oils and sweating out black coffee! Guess what was in the boxed up household goods I sent him off with? I bet ho-worker #1 was shocked after a week of him living at her place, and now ho-worker #2/sex addict/new wife is just as disgusted! LOL! Enjoy! ????

Now my sheets and towels are always oil & dbag-free and always fresh!

nomorecamping
nomorecamping
5 years ago

Yes, the dark brown oily stain on the sheets from him! And the tub – the tub would get a brown gunky layer of like dirty soap scum stuck to it. My tub is now white and clean and pretty!

Ghosted Girl
Ghosted Girl
5 years ago

That’s a true gift to be rid of his stank ass.

Mine used to pass gas LOUD and …. like wet. Burping. Loud ripping burps at the kitchen table.

I would say: do you not even care how I think of you? Manners?

Response: it’s natural!!! You need to relax.

twiceachump
twiceachump
5 years ago

I feel like the kids and I can live a normal life now. Although that’s hard to define-normal. For me that means no high maintenance, needy man that is controlling. We had nicknamed him ‘the hammer’. He puts on the persona of Dr. NiceGuy, always smiling, everyone’s best bud. That’s not who he is or the person the kids and I ever knew. He was his best infront of other people, especially if he was in the idealize mode.

The kids and I come home to a peaceful environment, if they want to have friends over there’s no drama, I actually have evenings free for me. When you work full time and do all the adulting and they do all the funning, you just don’t realize there’s never any time for you as it all revolves around them.

It feels like I’ve been locked up and the doors have opened up. It takes a while to feel comfortable to venture out and see what’s on the other side of that chicken coop. But I’m making my way.

For anyone trying to make the escape, it’s best to be no contact/gray rock if you have kids. Otherwise the door to that chicken coop is open, but you’re on a leash.

Feelingit
Feelingit
5 years ago
Reply to  twiceachump

Oh yes, the kids having friends over. They do that more now and I don’t have to worry about appeasing cheater and being the bridge not only between him and our own kids, but him and other people’s kids. My oldest daughter once told me before cheater left that her friends were afraid of her dad. She just laughed and didn’t get then it but now she doesn’t even talk to cheater.

Lady B
Lady B
5 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

We have kids over to play and sleep over, something that never happened when clown shoes was around, he did not like it. Even now he is jealous that we meet school friends for bbqs on a Sunday and hang at the beach after school. In his words he has no friends, yup all on line and shady. We would get invited out on friends boat previously and he wouldn’t go as he was too tired. That was his default excuse for absolutely everything, something wasn’t done or it was fucked up it was because he was tired!, never any positivity just whining like his mother the perennial victim.
Basically he didn’t want to hang out with normal family types as he’s a shit magnet who only found common ground with other disordered types.

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
5 years ago

I don’t have to live in fear of constant gas-lighting and criticism.
I feel worthy, safe, and in control of my life.
I have learned to trust again.
I feel loved, fully and genuinely.

The other improvements are only cherries on top:
No more panic attacks, and no more suicidal thoughts brought about by being treated as unworthy of love. (That’s a big cherry, I know.)
Enjoying my kids a helluva lot more, without interference from anyone. We are as weird and honest and playful as we want to be, no judgments from the outside. (Even bigger cherry.)
Spending more time with friends.
More art, more books, more music in my life. No more spiritual poverty.
More truth and connection. I can laugh more, laugh at myself, connect with others genuinely. No more emotional poverty.
Amazing sex.
I can listen to opera whenever I fucking want.
More time to do my work and so much more space in my life to be creative!
Oh, and – no more dealing with cheater’s depressing and fucked up family. (That’s no small cherry either.)

It’s sooooooo worth all the trouble.

lemonbirch
lemonbirch
5 years ago

OMG the family! I need to post this on my screensaver so I remember it more often. His mother is so narcissistic that he looks normal by comparison, and his daughter, age 11, put on 100 pounds in the two years after he and her mom split. I suggested she might benefit from counseling which he refused because “I don’t want her to feel like there is something wrong with her.”

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
5 years ago
Reply to  lemonbirch

What is it with these guys and the aversion to therapy? There is some kind of insecurity or denial that makes them associate therapy with having something “wrong” with you, rather than just trying to be a better person in the world, which should be a routine endeavor, like going to the gym… My cheater used to laugh at his sister, who is bi-polar, and at his mother, who is a very troubled person, for being in therapy — without realizing how much his addled, addicted self could have used therapy…

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
5 years ago

Narcs don’t do therapy. The other person is the one with aaalll the problems. Their sh*t doesn’t stink !

theotherwhitemansburden
theotherwhitemansburden
5 years ago

Good point. And if they do, it doesn’t help much, from my understanding of personality disorders.

Lady B
Lady B
5 years ago

Forge on your life sounds wonderful.

Nejla
Nejla
5 years ago

Ha! Just today, DD and I were being the silly morning people we are and she said, “remember how daddy used to yell at us if we made noise in the morning?” “Yep”, I said as I continued to put dishes away (a task I wasn’t “allowed” to do in the morning when the X was in the picture.) That really says it all. I will never be that person again who puts up with abuse and that fucker will never be in my kitchen. Yippeeee!

unicornomore
unicornomore
5 years ago
Reply to  Nejla

Cheater H was always cranky and difficult and the kids were so used to it they didnt know any different. The bad devalue started when daughter was an innocent 2nd or 3rd grader…one day she very casually made mention of “Oh look at that ladys porch, daddy would be SO MAD if you put stuff on our porch like that” then in the same car ride “look at their garage, daddy would be SO MAD if you had junk like that”.

I spackled over his tyrannical control over our house but once, very shortly after a cross country move with a preschooler and a nursling, he left for work stating “on saturday, I will park my car in the garage, anything in my way will be taken to the dump”..well that is cooperation for you.

Another time, I remodeled a bathroom in like 3 days and the last of the paint (on the floor) was drying and I was told if the bathroom was not ready by x hour, he would “rip out and destroy everything”…how loving and appreciative (never mind hard work and creativity just turned $300 in supplies into a $5000 jump in value to the house).

Nejla
Nejla
5 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

I have been reading he comments on my bus commute home….there seems to be a common quality among all these cheaters. They really are bullies…just common bullies. I know mine was. When all else fails just be mean to let everyone know you are having a bad day OR in order to get something even if it isn’t reasonable, just strong arm/berate your husband/wife or kids or your waiter or anyone cause it feels gooooood. They really do get kibbles from it just like a common middle school asshole. Just like someone said above, “I know longer feel pity for terrible people”, I no longer give in to bullies. X is a bully. When I exert boundaries, he has a little tantrum. Oh well. Meh.

nomorecamping
nomorecamping
5 years ago
Reply to  Nejla

Yes – total bullies. Mine used bullying to get his way. He did it at work, too. He would talk about how he cussed someone out at work like he as wall proud of it.
He was so mad I got a good spousal support payment – so so mad – I just ran across some texts he wrote me a year or so back. Mean, nasty, threatening, bullying…. accusing me of getting a free ride…. Um excuse me – I work full time. I’ve worked full time for years and also work overtime. Like my lawyer observed – he wanted to throw me away as cheaply as possible. I stood up for myself – and yes, the tantrums of the man-child. When their bullying doesn’t work that really frustrates them since they cannot reason or negotiate.

Ever_the_Empath
Ever_the_Empath
5 years ago

I’m making improvements to my house – buying furniture and stuff I like, and just spent a stupid amount of money on my Harley instead of always paying for HIS bike, HIS truck, HIS college courses…and of course, smilingly allowing him to spend money going off on “boys weekends” because he “is so depressed and it would be good for him”, when in fact they were an excuse to take schmoopie on a getaway.

Whatringofhellisthis
Whatringofhellisthis
5 years ago

I’ve been separated for just about a year now. Although my divorce is Hell on Earth… there is one positive that i can identify immediately. I have regained about 4 hours of my life each day from what was previously spent on googling phone numbers, investigating lies, searching dating sites, panicking, defending myself, and searching for clues. How I functioned like that for years on the defensive, chasing the truth, and feeling unsafe still boggles my mind.
I’ve lost a lot, I wish this wasn’t real, I’m very unhappy, but I gained back my time and my soul. Two things that a husband should never have been taking from me in the first place.

nomorecamping
nomorecamping
5 years ago

Before cheater left, I asked him about a charge on the account. He was so angry and said if I researched him he would leave me!

Well, that was all I needed to know.

Of course, I did the research and found four months of hundreds of calls to OWs number and calls to the Hyatt….. Thank goodness he left me.

I just ache for our daughter who is totally devastated and depressed after realizing what kind of a father she has – that she trusted and admired so much.

Got-a-brain
Got-a-brain
5 years ago

“I have regained about 4 hours of my life each day from what was previously spent on googling phone numbers, investigating lies, searching dating sites, panicking, defending myself, and searching for clues. How I functioned like that for years on the defensive, chasing the truth, and feeling unsafe still boggles my mind.”

Oh this was me! The constant feeling of knowing something isn’t right and being determined to figure out what it is! I cringe when I think about the lengths I went to to find out the truth. Unfortunately cheaters like to use your response to their behavior to paint you as the crazy one. If I only knew then what I know now, it would have saved me a lot of heartache, time and sanity.

NewBeginnings
NewBeginnings
5 years ago
Reply to  Got-a-brain

Me too! No longer the marriage police so I’ve gained so much more time. And the longer I go without that the calmer and safer I feel.

ironhardempress
ironhardempress
5 years ago

not having to live with that sick, anxious feeling anymore.

Off the crazy train
Off the crazy train
5 years ago

I no longer have to share my home and my life with someone who gaslights, stonewalls, blame shifts me. No more passive aggressive behaviour, no more silent treatment and no more being hurt & let down. Hurrah!

I now have better boundaries and better understanding of what behaviour I won’t tolerate, should I ever be involved with anyone again.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
5 years ago

^THIS^

ANC
ANC
5 years ago

Having the energy to reestablish with friends and family. So much of my energy was tied to filling asshat’s vacuous black hole of need that there was nothing left to give to those already giving to me.

I’m still getting away from the parasite. He already has his new host/s (fuckbuddy) in place.

Lady B
Lady B
5 years ago
Reply to  ANC

This was me dragging my worn out ass around for years. My Dad even said I had changed. I used to be adventurous and bold and became as he put it ‘wrung out’. I’m getting back to myself and my lightness and quiet confidence is returning.
Must add I like getting around the house in the morning looking like Carmeron Diaz in The eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.

ANC
ANC
5 years ago
Reply to  ANC

*reestablish relationships*

Mehtamorphosis
Mehtamorphosis
5 years ago

Just being myself and dancing around the house instead of walking on eggshells.

nomoreskankboy
nomoreskankboy
5 years ago

There are so many things that I need to compile a draft first. I’ll get back to you on this one!

Star Tingover
Star Tingover
5 years ago
Reply to  nomoreskankboy

@nmsb

This will be a good drinking game for the fire pit tomorrow evening! (Anyone else relate to [whatever]? Drink! ????

nomoreskankboy
nomoreskankboy
5 years ago
Reply to  Star Tingover

Our lists will make “War and Peace” look like an article from Reader’s Digest!

nomoreskankboy
nomoreskankboy
5 years ago
Reply to  Star Tingover

I better get started on that list, YESTERDAY!

nomoreskankboy
nomoreskankboy
5 years ago
Reply to  Star Tingover

Star, hahahahaha! I am already contemplating taking an Uber home!

Letitsnow
Letitsnow
5 years ago

The peace away from the crazy.
After the lying and cheating, and when the hovering was unsuccessful, his final statements were that “you are so sad after what I did, you cannot love me like I need”, “get over it, I’m not going to be a beaten dog Forever”.
I experienced him flipping the abuse to himself, he was the victim.
Don’t miss the rotating emotions, First charm, then pity, then rage.
The disordered manipulate and twist during and after the cheating, trying to protect their image.
He was trying to draw me back in, my mind was telling me get out! Listen to yourself if you are at this place.
Do not have to put up with his ongoing grandiosity, buying expensive items continuously.
I live conservatively and save my money.
I can now read all I want(was told that I read too much)
I see my girlfriends, travel and ski
I am independent and strong and getting braver
Most importantly, I love to go home now(was dreading it every day before)
Life is beautiful, life is hard
Believe in yourself, bless everyone here going through this madness

12YearsWasted
12YearsWasted
5 years ago

I spend a lot more time with my sisters and my mom. Ex-Dbag wasn’t too keen with lots of extended family time, so I would feel guilty dragging him along all the time. Now I don’t have to worry about that.

Even though I lost my forever home, I was able to move my son into the school district I’ve always wanted him to go to. Now instead of living in the country with only ourselves to entertain us, he’s made dozens of friends at school and has at least 6 little buddies that live in our complex who he can just run up the stairs to or across the courtyard to ask to play. There is nothing more joyful to me than hearing him discussing Pokemon or Spiderman with a bunch of other 7-9 year olds. They take it so seriously and their innocence and pure happiness at playing pretend makes me happy.

I am able to use my weekends however I like, I can go out to eat, I can go to happy hour, or to a movie. I spent a lot of time at home before, and now when I don’t have my son I can go out without planning everything to the final detail, like I used to have to do.

I can buy myself things. He never told me I couldn’t, but I felt like I couldn’t. I’m not very financially secure, but if I go to Target to pick up milk, and I see a cute Harry Potter shirt I like – I can buy it! (Which is exactly what I did this week! $12!)

I am trying to find the happiness and silver lining to this entire shit escapade. Thanks for helping me to sit down and point those out.

Pret
Pret
5 years ago
Reply to  12YearsWasted

12years….your post made me smile. I’m so happy for you. The things you are enjoying now are simply a “right” of life. They are things you and your son have a right to in this life. They are not privileges. So I hope you spend all the time in the world with your family and your little boy has a fantastic childhood with friends galore… because that’s how life should be!

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
5 years ago

No more having to pretend to the world that my life is OK. Years of making excuses as to why cheater wasn’t around and I was the only parent at functions. No more waking up with a sick feeling in my gut. No more waking up at 1AM wondering where he is. No more gaslighting.

I now have hope for a better future. I now have peace in my home (except for some discord caused by teenagers;) I no longer have to constantly wonder what the truth is anymore. And I have gotten better at setting boundaries in my life with other people.

Pret
Pret
5 years ago
Reply to  GetMeFree

For years I did the waking up at 1:00am too…texting him to find out where he is. Of course I found out later he was with his mistress. I’m sure they both had some chuckles over stupid me. Well… karma is a bitch and I’ll have the last laugh soon.

Feelingit
Feelingit
5 years ago

“No more waking up with a sick feeling in my gut. ” When did that go away? I wake up and feel fine but within a couple minutes, my thoughts go to cheater and divorce and the dread hits.

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
5 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

You are still having to play games through the divorce. You are still worried about how things will turn out. And you are still guessing at what he will do.

Come up with the worst case scenario that could happen with the divorce and then start planning your future based on that. Then when you get more, go on a very nice vacation with your kids. But at least you won’t be disappointed.

feelingit
feelingit
5 years ago
Reply to  GetMeFree

Did you do that ? How is it post divorce? Still a process?

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
5 years ago
Reply to  feelingit

I am just waiting for the decree to be signed by the judge. We have both signed it so that should happen this week.

The best part is the uncertainty is gone. I now know exactly what I am working with financially. We are not going on a big vacation but I hired a realtor last week. Next step started.

I can’t say I don’t ever get a sick feeling in my gut anymore but it is no longer constant. Only happens when he still does something crappy. For example: My little one turned 2 on Monday and cheater didn’t even acknowledge her birthday. He didn’t ask to see her. No card. No drop off of a gift. Nothing. My heart hurt for her for days. Then I got pissed but now I just accept that his suckiness went up another notch.

Now I am back to peace. You will get there, too, FeelingIt!! You just have to get rid of the uncertainty. That will come with the divorce decree.

Pret
Pret
5 years ago

I feel like I got my power back. I feel like I’m the me I was before I met him when I was in my early 20’s. The result of this is being a stronger woman so I can be a better role model for my daughter. I can see how she stands up for herself and I know it is because I survived 2017 with my head intact. When I was with him- towards the end I completely shut down. My idea of getting into a fight with him was to shut down and walk away… something in me just made me do that. Today I’m standing up for myself, my mom and my daughter and anyone else who may need me. Enough is enough.

Keepin Calm
Keepin Calm
5 years ago
Reply to  Pret

I love this SO MUCH. I feel exactly the same!

Iowachump
Iowachump
5 years ago
Reply to  Pret

^^^^ This!!!

NotMyFault
NotMyFault
5 years ago

Getting to watch whatever I want on TV (without criticism). Getting to prepare food that I want without his health concern du jour. Not having socks hung in my walk in closet. Not having his two pair of well worn pants hanging on the back of closet door. Not being abused any longer by him! Also realizing that I deserved so much better and also realizing that I will no longer accept abuse from ANYONE any longer.

Lady B
Lady B
5 years ago
Reply to  NotMyFault

Don’t miss cooking for someone and have them complain about it or say he didn’t think the kids diet was good enough when he didn’t lift a finger in the kitchen.

chutesandladders
chutesandladders
5 years ago

No more stress headaches from the barrage of offhanded, snarky remarks intended to denigrate me. I think if anyone says, “Can’t you take a joke?” to me ever again, I’ll sock them! 🙂

Or, it could be I’m headache-free because I’m not constantly rolling my eyes at his narrow-minded points of view and the way he always found something wrong – with EVERYONE.

There is a positivity to our home now. Indeed, the walls sing!

Iowachump
Iowachump
5 years ago

* I am no longer awakened by his snoring.
*I lost 20 pounds, I’m now back to my HS/ adult weight that I was before kids.
*I’m now vegan. He was a huge carnivore.
* We are no longer awakened by him banging his razor on the sink in the mornings.
* The house is cleaner.
* Our activities no longer revolve around his work & gym schedule.
* I no longer have to deal with his family and friends.
* I no longer have to sit and listen to him talk about himself for 30 mins after he came home from work.
* after years of telling him to CHEW WITH HIS MOUTH CLOSED, I don’t have to deal with that anymore!!!!

Lady B
Lady B
5 years ago
Reply to  Iowachump

Oh yeah that’s a huge one, not having to listen to someone bang on about themselves. Also mine wasn’t big on table manners and thought I had stuffy English ways for wanting him and the kids to eat with a knife and fork correctly and use a napkin, paper I might add. Don’t miss his lack of cutlery skills.

chutesandladders
chutesandladders
5 years ago
Reply to  Iowachump

Oh, the tines of the fork noise was spine-tingling AWFUL! And of course, when I asked him to please be more careful, he deliberately did it more. I wasn’t the boss of him!

Whodoesthat
Whodoesthat
5 years ago
Reply to  Iowachump

Ditto !!

Kathleen
Kathleen
5 years ago

After 34 years of what I thought was a pretty good marriage I realize now I was the only one who loved.

2 years divorced I may be financially strapped &lonley, at least I know how strong & resilient I am. Beating breast cancer than getting rid of the narc I am proud of who I’ve become.

I’m finally putting myself first after putting everyone else before me. CN & my friends here helped me thru
some difficult times!

❤️

JeanM
JeanM
5 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen

That is wonderful Karhleen..
Glad to hear/read this..
❤️

Kathleen
Kathleen
5 years ago
Reply to  JeanM

JeanM

Thank you. Hugs to you!
❤️

champchump
champchump
5 years ago
Reply to  Kathleen

Kathleen, you are amazing! Recovering from infidelity and ending my 30-year marriage has been the biggest challenge of my life. I can’t imagine dealing with breast cancer on top of all that.

You ROCK, girlfriend!!

Kathleen
Kathleen
5 years ago
Reply to  champchump

ChampChump

It is terrible for us but we find strength somehow.
He literally ripped my heart out & slandered me even to my son. I did discover that I was married to an evil reptilian of a man.

As long as I keep remembering the end of my marriage & the cruelty I will try to move forward.
You are mighty also & deserving of honesty.

He was the 2nd Cancer..got rid of both!

Bless you .. ((((HUGS))))

Got-a-brain
Got-a-brain
5 years ago

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease a year after we got married. I managed it okay with diet for 12 years. After d-day #1 I was in the hospital 1 to 2 times a month in excruciating pain, was down to 102 lbs (at 5’5″) not a pretty sight! I had a 90% blockage because of all of the inflammation; eating was painful and scary. I had to start immune suppression therapy, and developed an allergy to the meds, so the doctor sent me to hospital for each treatment, pumped me full of steroids, and were at the ready in case I went into anaphylaxis. I pick me danced the next 5 years… but was also in therapy by myself, weekly, and really came to understand that my marriage was emotionally abusive.

I filed for divorce 2 years and 8 months ago, after d-day #2, 3, 4, came in one fell swoop. When I saw the text between him and an escort, haggling price and time; there was no panic, no pit of you