Reconciliation Stories

reconciliation stories

The Friday Challenge is reconciliation stories. If infidelity makes a marriage stronger — how did your attempts at reconciling with a cheater work out?

***

So, riffing on the Renegade Sex Therapist post, I thought Chump Nation could do its own data mining on cheater reconciliation stories. (Of course critics will say I’m drawing from a sample of bitter bunnies…)

According to Esther Perel, recovery from affairs brings marriages back to life and makes families stronger and more resilient.

“An affair is an act of betrayal and also an experience of expansion and growth,” Ms. Perel said in an interview. “It is a relational trauma, but it isn’t a crime. The family can often come out of it stronger and more resilient, and often an affair will draw the couple out of a place of deadness.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/fashion/first-comes-sex-talk-with-these-renegades-of-couples-therapy.html

So, how’s that working for everyone?

I know many of you have shared your stories here before, but for the newbies, or anyone else who might be googling “Reconciliation Stories” and stumbles on this page — tell me, what was the result of your reconciliation? Any words of advice?

My advice to anyone set on reconciliation is ironclad boundaries, a credit check, and a post-nup. If the cheater can’t get behind that, there’s the depth of the “sorry.” I’d add that any cheater who assumes you will reconcile with them is still an entitled POS and not worth your time.

I’m skeptical of unicorns.

The reconciliation stories I read here time and again are trusting chumps who are rewarded with more cheating and lost years waiting on a FW’s potential. Not to mention the money spent on therapists and God knows what else. (Sex ranch retreats anyone?)

But hey, my bias is clear on the banner — leave a cheater, gain a life. Expansion, growth, and resilience? That comes after you refuse to be abused any longer — and exit the scene.

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scotty
scotty
8 years ago

**CRICKETS**

🙂

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  scotty

LOL!!!!

jetfuelonly
jetfuelonly
8 years ago

I was married for ten years, then stbx had an affair that resulted in a child. I tried to make it work, but there were affair footprints all over my life. So, after a year I left. I had no job, no work experience, all I had was a small mutual fund. I left everything behind, including my three children. I just didn’t have the energy to fight.

We were divorced on July 1st, and ended up being remarried a year and a half later…Oh, CL, where were you in 2003?!?!?

So, up until 3 years ago, I thought we were those lucky unicorns. Then I started noticing I was nervous and anxious around him all the time. I am pretty positive he is not cheating, that being said he is heavy into porn (because I withhold). I have been in therapy since our original break-up, and one day my therapist commented on my devotion to marriage counseling without a partner.

Anyhow, I wish I ditched this cheater and embraced my own life (with my kids) ten years ago, because now the mistress is borderline personality disorder, and there is nothing I can do about her. My nerves are shot, my reserves are spent. Worst thing is, I tried to pull out again a few nights ago, and I now I’m stuck living in my daughter’s bedroom. He is swearing loyalty and devotion. He is pursuing therapy, but the remorse and neediness is sickening…

What a waste of ten years.

Irish
Irish
8 years ago
Reply to  jetfuelonly

GET OUT. Heavily into porn screams CHEATER. Ask me how I know. Just go with your plan to leave. You can do this. If I can do it so can you!!! Porn is an an insidious monster. It will if it already hasn’t taken him over. Porn becomes who they are. Not what they DO, but WHO they ARE. And they don’t change. They just get better at hiding it. And if he’s doing that I wouldn’t give the benefit of the doubt that he’s not getting some on the side. Save yourself. Please. You are mighty and you are worth it.

GOOD LUCK. keep reading here. The people here are so smart and compassionate.

Hugs

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago
Reply to  jetfuelonly

How horrible, Jet fuel only. I just honest to God don’t see how anyone could reconcile with a spouse who has a child with another person during the marriage. We had the whore’s dog and that was really pushing the limit.

onthehill
onthehill
8 years ago
Reply to  jetfuelonly

Jet, I was married for over 30. 10+ years ago, my X had an emotional affair. He swears up and down he never went outside our marriage for sex. After I announced I was divorcing him, he made statements to everyone who would listen, that I was “unceremoniously dumping her devoted husband”. Yeah, devoted to controlling and screwing me into the ground – emotionally and financially.

My X had always been emotionally and verbally abusive. But it was the insidious kind. The kind you don’t realize until you are almost a shell of your former self. I recall about 8 years ago or so, contacting a womens’ shelter. They gave me steps in how to take my son and disappear. I couldn’t though, because I had (and still do) an elderly mother with no other family. So I hunkered down and ate his shit for the next 8+ years until I couldn’t take it anymore.

I kicked him out. I was/am nearly broke, in my mid 50s, with no degree or significant job history. And the court system banned my X from even contacting our son. Although my situation would terrify some (and at times, me) – I wouldn’t trade it for another DAY with the kind of shit I lived with all those years.

DON’T waste any more years. Find a therapist ON YOUR OWN. One who not only specializes in marriage – but DIVORCE too. YOU NEED HELP. Do this on YOUR terms, not his. Don’t let him dictate the narrative, starting NOW.

imadeitthrutherain
imadeitthrutherain
8 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

You are very strong indeed, on the hill!
Ditto everything you wrote!!

Your post gave me flashbacks of emotional and secretive “connections” my STBX had with other women in the past. He gave me such a hard time for being uncomfortable with those “connections” when I found out about different things that happened. Something was WRONG WITH ME because I was upset when my husband would go on bike rides and out to our favorite beach and pizza place while I was in a class on Saturdays. He took our 4-6 year old along! My son TOLD on his Dad, about the outings with Bicycle Girl. (albeit innocently) Chump Lady is helping me see that I was RIGHT to be concerned.

I have knowledge that before my STBX moved back east, he dated Bicycle Girl the month before he left – so he has already cheated on his affair partner – with one of these old “emotional connections”. We are still married but we haven’t been living together almost all year now. So, I cringe at what I don’t know….and don’t WANT to know.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  jetfuelonly

Glad you are getting out now, never too late to get free. Jedi Hugs!

Judith
Judith
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I did start working on a 5 year plan a few years ago, with the help of my therapist, this included getting all my shit straightened out. I have gone back to school, and have been working. I’m at year three, but unfortunately had to jump the gun, because I just reached my limit.

My biggest hurdle right now, is trying to convince my family what is actually going on, because on the outside he provides very well for us, I mean I drive my dream car, we have a beautiful home. The family just refuses to accept my stbx is a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde because of the Borderline.

GiveUsFree
GiveUsFree
8 years ago
Reply to  Judith

Judith, why does it matter at all what your family thinks? I understand that it feels better when there are more people on your side, but it feels best when you are free. It sounds like you’re caught up in a fools errand (convincing your family that you should leave and divorce him), but the only one who needs to be convinced is you. POW- I just blew yor major obstacle up- you are now FREE! 😉

And I wouldn’t disregard a porn problem- it can be a serious problem in a marriage and can be a “trigger” for some cheaters to cheat or a sign that they already are cheating.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward
8 years ago
Reply to  Judith

// , Proof of the whole secret “other” family may put a dent in the Jekyll part.

Even if no one acts like it, might it not raise (Heh, so to speak.) some doubts?

DEANN
DEANN
8 years ago

Feeling sorry for the newbies reading those reconciliation blogs! An affair not only kills a marriage, it kills souls. When someone rewrites your history and your children’s history it is not growth… it is a deep despair.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago

I found CL the night I found out about the affair so I didn’t have high hopes for reconciliation. I did, however agree to marriage counseling, because I thought it would look really bad if I didn’t go. Part of the blame the victims “she wouldn’t even go to counseling.” I now realize it was a missed opportunity to set a boundary.

During the second couples session the counselor began telling me all the things I would have to do and all the changes I would have to make to get him comfortable to talk to me and tell me the truth. It was all on me, the faithful partner, to make what I now know is the “timid forest creature” feel safe being vulnerable. My response was that I had my own pain to deal with and I didn’t have the capacity to deal with his problems too.

I had him served within 48 hours.
Thank you CN for being my guiding light on my “Trek to Meh!”

Over & Out
Over & Out
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

I tried to get my now ex into marriage counseling long before I ever knew of his affairs. He was narcissistic and controlling and I was unhappy. He refused to go. I went alone. My therapist told me that without my husband participating, I would be the only one trying to mend things. The advice I got was to not rock the boat, don’t nag – accept that he won’t change. (Worst advice ever!!)

We had a new baby at that time and I wanted the marriage to work. So I walked on eggshells for 20 more years. At times I would again suggest we go to counseling, but he always refused. I had the problem, not him.

I stayed for the kids. He was verbally and emotionally abusive to me (behind closed doors – no one knew the vile things he said or the threats he made), but at least he wasn’t physically abusing me… (That’s how screwed up my thinking was!!) I was determined to stick it out until the kids were grown. They had not asked to be brought into the world and as long as I was able to maintain the peace with him we lead a somewhat “normal” life in appearance. The kids weren’t aware of the really bad stuff.

When I discovered he was fooling around, however, I was finished. I had deal with his bullshit for far too long and was a good mother and wife in spite of it. I didn’t step out of the marriage like he did! My kids were teenagers. One in high school, the other in college. I decided I couldn’t wait another few years.

He and I had a blowout one night and he threatened to leave me. Instead of crying and begging him to stay I told him that I thought it was a good idea if he did. He packed a bag and walked out. I felt SO RELIEVED. A weight had lifted.

After a few days on his own he asked for one last chance to make things right with me. I stood my ground. He then said he would go to marriage counseling with me. I told him it was too late. I had been there, done that. He went to a therapist on his own and was so proud of himself…

However, whatever he told the therapist focused on me – not my husband’s drinking problem, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, superiority complex. I was coined “The Runaway Wife” and he even emailed an article about it for me to read. It was all the things I needed to change… I couldn’t even read the whole thing. Blame the victim. I told him that I did not want to reconcile and it was over. Of course that declaration made “Bitch Enemy #1” and a very nasty divorce ensued. BUT I got out!!

It has been 5 years now and I am still dealing with the emotional scars and re-wiring my thinking. However, my life now is 1000 times better than it was.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Thanks DDW and KFMM. I wish it felt as good as it sounds. Much thanks to you both for the encouragement. I still can’t get him to leave the house. As my attorney says “It’s a control issue” and not likely to end any time soon. I think the worst of it is the more time I spend separated from him the more I see the psychological abuse, and destruction. I can’t believe I let myself get to the point I did. I can’t believe I was so wrapped up in taking care of the kids and working to put food on the table while he traveled about 100 days a year, that I didn’t notice I was the victim of abuse. The realization is staggering. Hugs to all who make this a wonderful place to learn, grow, and self reflect.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Alloutofkibble,maim so sorry to hear this. My ex would not leave enter and I couldn’t afford to move out and pay the mortgage so I stuck it out. Ex became Frantic to reconcile and the longer I said no the crazier he got, the more he drank, the more aggressive he got. I thought he’d never *really* hurt me, I was wrong. End result, he nearly shot me. then I got him out with a protective order. I should have left long before that, my house is a house, my life was not worth the risk. You have kid so think hard about whether staying there is safe. It is a hard thing to deal with, listen to your gut on this. Jedi hugs and be careful!

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Thanks DDW. I feel like I’m walking the line right now. Would that I felt I could paint the room or vacuum at 2am, but I’m not about to chance it. (It is fun to read those things though) He took some of my property and when I ask for it back he gets really angry. I’ve gone from walking on eggshells to almost not being able to breathe when he is home, which is every day since he doesn’t have any work right now. I am trying so hard to be careful. He’d never let me take the kids so I stay close and I try to be home every second I can to monitor and stay on top of things. I am strong. I can get through this. I feel it in my soul, but yes I am being very careful.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Hon, contact the local women’s shelter and at least get some advice on safety. Sending you good energy and hope you can find a way out safe.

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

I’m pretty sure I hate your husband.

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Assemble, Chump Nation Vigilantes!

We need to turn our attention away from body disposal for a bit, and concentrate on encouraging foot-dragging STBX’s to vacate the premises.
A few suggestions:
“Before you leave today, please bag up all your belongings, seal them, and leave them in the sun for a few days. We have bedbugs and the exterminator is coming.” If he doesn’t do it, bag his stuff up for him and leave them on the lawn. Bedbugs, right?
A hearty dose of laxatives inserted in the evening meal for a day or two, then stop, then start up again. Repeat this cycle until he packs and departs.
Paint the bedroom he’s sleeping in. One wall at a time. Move all the contents from one side of the room to the other with each wall painted. Don’t be too particular about how you move them, or about what you dribble paint on. Once you’re done, change your mind about the color and repeat.
Drive-way oops on his car.
Park your car blocking his. Each time.
Do his laundry, especially his whites. Oops again.
Drop off his dry-cleaning, give the wrong name and address, and lose the ticket.
Temporarily switch from DSL to dial-up.
Let the milk go bad. Ask him if he wants cereal for breakfast.
Get a new puppy. Oh, were those your alligator shoes? Wait, let me get the camera–isn’t he cute?
Host out-of-town relatives for extended visits.

Helpful hints, anyone?

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

Lol, EA. I personally had no problem getting mine out, he was happy to run back to his mommy & daddy. His mommy was equally happy to have a kid back home to distract from her own live-in narc for a husband. Until she perhaps realized there were then 2 narcs under her roof? Insert college aged OW I o the rescue with money she’s happy to share and an apartment she will supply for him to get out of his parents house.

He exterminated himself. 🙂

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

HECK YEAH, AllOutofKibble!! You kick bootay!!

I wish I could go back to smack myself, and shake myself to “WAKE UP!” and not have been so traumatized to the point of immobility. I was patient and did nothing for 8 months thinking that he’d “come to his senses,” or that “surely he won’t trash 23 years of investment for a whore,” but no. Eight months after DDay is when I finally remembered who I am, and got angry with his continued destruction of my family and marriage before filing against him. If I had done like you and just kicked his ass from the beginning (which is what he expected me to do!), I’d be 8 months further out from the BS of that hell he put us through. Proud of you, girl. (((hugs!)))

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

You rock Alloutofkibble!

Red
Red
8 years ago

I tried reconciling for about 2 years – the same amount of time he devoted to cake-eating. When I had a really good sales month, bought him a car, and the first thing he did was go show his girlfriend, I FINALLY accepted the fact that he wasn’t going to give her up any time soon.

Looking back, I should have gone with my gut instinct on D-day: put his sh*t on the lawn, change the locks, and file for divorce. Because he didn’t deserve 5 more minutes of my time at that point, let alone 2 more years. Expensive lesson.

FreedomFromCrazy
FreedomFromCrazy
8 years ago
Reply to  Red

Yes, Red…I feel ya on the two years. Hindsight is 20/20 though. Actually, I should have left him when I discovered he was trying to meet people online when we were married only 3 mo. But I was young, stupid, and in love. He had the audacity to commit himself for a few days and I had to attend a session with him & a quack who said he was a sex addict. Our subsequent counselor that I chose, undiagnosed him and said simply he was horny & immature. I should’ve ran then…
Fast forward a few years and two kids later, and the fuckwit decides to start banging a buck toothed midget he worked with. He wanted to reconcile and so did I for the kids sake. After the pick me dance that I guess I “won”, it was a rocky, distrustful, bitter road for 2 years of separating and “trying again”. I finally realized that the mental movies, constant suspicion, and always knowing that he CHOSE to fuck another woman & lie to my face repeatedly, would never leave my psyche if I stayed with him.
Divorce was filed, a few financial matters to clear up, and it’s done.
I have to say, I am soooo excited to go back to my maiden name. Aside from our children, I want nothing from him attached to me.

lotusblossom
lotusblossom
8 years ago

Love the reference to the fuckwit banging a buck toothed midget! What always strikes me reading Chump Nation blogs is the humour, intelligence and erudite language everyone uses! It’s as though you have to be bright, talented and witty to be chumped!

This blog has truly kept me sane. I bought Tracy’s books days after I’d thrown him out (punching him whilst my dad and brother “restrained” me) straight after DDay with stuff bagged in garage and locks changed. I’ve kept going with the divorce despite the pity, rage, charm attacks since April last year. Couldn’t have had the insight and strength of mind without CL otherwise. That and my obsession with exercise now!

FreedomFromCrazy
FreedomFromCrazy
8 years ago
Reply to  lotusblossom

Thanks, Lotusblossom:) I agree, the CL and all of the candid posts from the other chumps of the world truly keep me off the ledge…and the rusty ax in my garage out of the fuckwit’s skull.

CRHCHK
CRHCHK
8 years ago

I’m so sorry you had to go through this, but I laughed like crazy at “buck toothed midget.” Thank you.

Luziana
Luziana
8 years ago
Reply to  CRHCHK

I have often referred to the Howorker/Baby Mama as “Bruce Springsteen with Tits”

LiningUpDucks
LiningUpDucks
8 years ago

My reconciliation consisted of jumping through every hoop imaginable to schedule us for couples therapy, having my heart break as he continued to text her (right in front of me!) while lying about it, deflecting the therapist’s request that he stop seeing the OW, and then finally catching him at 2am at her house.

In short, it was delightful.

with brave wings
with brave wings
8 years ago
Reply to  LiningUpDucks

the ex husband would text the mistress in front of me too! just disgusting

Chumpish
Chumpish
8 years ago

Yeah, I remember X texting, posting porn to one of his many twatter/g+/dating/linkedin/dailymtn/ porn sites right in front of me – his screen facing the wall. All part of the degradation that delights his sociopathic ass.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
8 years ago

Mine would hide out in our children’s bathroom for 40 minutes at a time 4-5 times each evening. Stupid Chump that I am – I was worried about his bowles and ass falling out of his body. SOMETHING had to be wrong, huh?? Only to learn that he was being a whore, but hiding it from our eyes. What a fucking DOUCHEBAG. ALL of them.

sara
sara
8 years ago

“…worried about his ass falling out…” KibbleFree-MightyMe thank you for making me laugh! And just ew on these furtive phone obsessed porn poopers. I hope you disinfected the girl’s bathroom.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  sara

“these furtive phone obsessed porn poopers”

LOL, Sara! That phrasing gave me a chuckle. I had one of those “porn poopers,” and when I think of the many months he spent gaslighting me and blameshifting about it, I feel sick inside. Even now, the sound of someone snapping open a box of Wet Wipes is a trigger.

sara
sara
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

I hear you FoolMe. It’s been over two years and I’m still raw.

saralou1972
saralou1972
8 years ago

Mine did the same , reckoned he had bad bowels lol he even took to taking the dog out for a walk on a evening , he never walked him , found out later he was talking to her, he worked shifts the first time in years and he had a responsible job, so would tell me he was working long hours and weekends ect, all the time I was worrying about his stress levels lol what a chump

JustAroundtheBend
JustAroundtheBend
8 years ago
Reply to  saralou1972

Sounds like “Bonfire of the Vanities.” Only, the main (cheating) character was looking for a phone booth to make his call. that novel was published in 1989. My, has the world changed in such a short time.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward
8 years ago

// , Some things in the world haven’t changed, though, it seems.

DavidB
DavidB
8 years ago

I admit I have not left or separated since DDay 6 months ago. My daughter has one more year of school and I really want to be at home for her senior year. The concept of affairs making a marriage better baffles me. I have constant visuals and disgust when I look at her. The years of lying and deception (and sex) do not seem to be a great foundation for the next 25 years. There is no false hope on my end, just going to see if I can make it through one more year. What I find, is that all cheaters seem to be the same. They look for validation for their actions. I will never validate or take blame for her actions. As far as R, I have been to a few marriage counselor sessions. The lady is pretty good. Christian based and will put the cheater in their place. That being said, I dont see how anyone could ever get past the effects of the betrayal……. nor do I feel the urge to do so!

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  DavidB

I just knew that I could not lie to myself enough to ever let this go. We all deserve so much more than staying with someone who , obviously, must hate our guts. These fucktards that claim they “never stopped loving you” are warped beyond belief.

Finally realized
Finally realized
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

It’s just a pathetic attempt at damage control. I was told afterward that during the entire two years of his affair, it was really me he wanted. Huh?

Maybe the fact that we were so easy to lie to for so long because of the trust we had for them makes them think that we’re actually stupid.

Or maybe they’ve become lying machines incapable of truth.

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
8 years ago
Reply to  DavidB

Graduation years are tough under the best of circumstances. As you said, it will pass very quickly, and there’s so much to do: college and scholarship applications, campus visits, senior trip, activities. It’s also an expensive year. In retrospect, it’s amazing we don’t try to sell juniors on dropping out and getting a GED.

Spend as many of your weekends with her as you can: camping, traveling, fishing, shopping. whatever you both enjoy. Freeze your stbx out of these activities. Plan a mid-winter vacation with your daughter, and another one for spring break if she’s not doing a senior trip. Invite her out to dinner a couple of times a month.

Find that balance where you’re getting maximum time with her, and making sure she gets the time she needs for finishing up college decisions and preparing for it financially. And somewhere along the line, have the frank talks with her about the marriage, and that you will be leaving her mother after graduation. Let her have some warning, and go through the grieving process.

Recognize that she’s going to want to spend time with friends, and during weekends when she has other plans, you make other plans, too. Go fishing with friends, travel, whatever. Get a dog if your life will accommodate that and you roll that way. It will help to have a friend, and give you a good excuse to get out of the house regularly.

I think you have a very clear vision of how you see this playing out, and I think it will work out fine. You’ve lost hope for any reconciliation, and in a way, it will be easier because of that.

I was separated for several years before I filed for divorce. I was close to pulling the trigger a couple of years ago, but stopped and considered that my son was gong into his senior year of HS and my daughter was wrapping up her senior year of college. Even with the multi-year separation, I knew that the divorce would add more stress to an already full year, and made the decision to wait. In retrospect, I’m very glad I did. It would have simply been too much. It was especially hard on my son (his dad is manipulative, and did his best to work on me through him once I finally filed. He couldn’t see or didn’t care how much it hurt our child), so waiting until my son had a life-after-school escape from the drama was absolutely the right choice. My daughter later thanked me for waiting as well. It also allowed us to go through the travel-for-graduation together without the extra tension of the divorce hanging over our heads.

Ultimately, you’re the one who will be making the choice and you and your daughter will have to live with the consequences. I just wanted to be a voice for the possibility that your plan can work just fine. Be proactive, defend your boundaries, and stay busy planning your future happiness.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  DavidB

Meanwhile you have time to get your ducks in order.

DavidB
DavidB
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I do….. I have plenty of rock solid proof… not that it matters in Texas…. Who knows what a year may bring, 6 months has not made anything better!

Marci
Marci
8 years ago
Reply to  DavidB

David
My admiration for staying for your daughter’s sake.

A good friend of mine did similar while his Cheater was screwing the kids’ tennis coach and openly parading her affair. He slept on the couch for a year, but then that turned into three years, because there was never a good time to leave, apparently. It finally ended when wife asked if lover could stay over (sleep in their bedroom while chump was in the rec room!).

Now, I have gotten acquainted well enough with the now-adult daughter and asked her if her Dad’s staying around before she left for university held any benefit for her. Her reply? “No, I hated seeing my Dad humiliated and often wished he would just take control and do what was best for him. I had a lot,of respect for him when he just told my Cheater mother where to stuff her games”

I guess it depends on how much your daughter knows about the situation. It may be important for her to see YOU valuing yourself enough to take a stand. When you do leave, it is healthier for her to be told the facts about why, just the facts, no judgment of her mother.

My sympathies, I know that grinding feeling. I hold the world record for stupid chump behaviour. My fiance cheated (four month affair during our engagement) but I forgave him and was married to him for 29 years. He never apologized and even “stayed friends” with the OW. Honestly, sex with him made me queasy every single time over the years. I too thought I was “doing it for the kids”

onthehill
onthehill
8 years ago
Reply to  Marci

Before I announced my intention to divorce my now-X, I read up on whether it was better to wait until kids are off to college. The answer was a resounding “No”. There never *is* a “good” or “better” time to divorce someone, and adult children can be hit just as hard. At the time I read about this, my son was in the summer between 7th and 8th grade. I decided not to wait. My son even eventually told me he was praying we’d get divorced!!

The fact that your daughter only has a year, I can see the point of waiting – but – I hope that she isn’t being led to believe that your marriage is in tact. I hope that she has the idea that you are staying there for HER and her only; to see her to the end of high school. She should be prepared for the fact that you will not be staying with your wife – if in fact that is what you intend.

DavidB
DavidB
8 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

I understand the cut and go option would be best in many ways. I also know that one year is just a blink….. What I will not do is sleep on couch and be humiliated!!! My wife understands and does have some fear….. that if she farts in the wrong direction I will be gone and never look back. She is actually trying to R…. I just dont care anymore. And she knows it. But, I know being out is difficult to be there as you should for my child….. so I will stay and then I will go.

ANC
ANC
8 years ago
Reply to  DavidB

David, I just did what you are planning on doing. It really can suck the life out of you. Please make sure you have a therapist for yourself. There will be mindfuckery, blameshifting and the whole bag of the “we” statements, as in “we created this situation whereby I was forced to cheat” scenarios.

Don’t talk with your cheater about yourself. Stick to logistics. Get your financial house in order. Retain your attorney. Get your will and trusts in order. This is an exciting time for your daughter. Help her have a great year and also find a family therapist to help her thru your transition next summer.

Good luck!

DavidB
DavidB
8 years ago
Reply to  DavidB

Well a year sounds like a long time at this moment. But by summer of next year my daughter will be off to college and then I can do what is best for my mental health. They will know the why and see the outcome of soon enough. I could not do years….. but one yes.

Chumpita
Chumpita
8 years ago
Reply to  DavidB

David, I respect your decision, but a year is a long time for your mental and emotional health though I can imagine that you are considering you might not get custody and that is your greatest fear. That shows you are an awesome Dad! But I forgave a Dday 8 years before the final one, and I did it for the children because they were so young. But in hindsight, it would have been better to have divorced him then because the children would have learned very early on to live with separated parents as a “normal” situation. Now they are 9 and 12 years old and have to deal with the grief and disappointment of their cheater father and their parents divorce. However, kids are more resilient than you imagine, especially if you tell them the truth. If you lie to them, they will alway resent the disfunctionality. I am sure that the sooner you leave, the more your kid will respect you. Since she is older, you can have a good heart to heart talk of why you are leaving. It is important that you model a good parent as well and not show her that you should stay with a cheater for the sake of the kids. When I told my 12 year old the truth 6 months after Dday, she thanked me and I felt a big relief from her because she had been blaming herself! Now it is really easy to teach them that you should never stay with a friend, boyfriend, husband or any person that abuses, lies or treats you badly. They understand perfectly well.

TheLondonChump
TheLondonChump
8 years ago

I’m not clear how sleeping with someone else makes a relationship stronger. Probably easier to tell your partner how you’re feeling and spare everyone a lot of pain, including your children.

I was a chump, because I believed the initial cover story of “We’re only friends, I haven’t slept with him”
We went to MC, where I was told she is “frozen” and doesn’t know what she feels for me. How’s that for a sucker punch. And then discovering the full extent of the affair two months later — weekend in Paris, dinners around town, and shipping my kids out on sleepovers when I was out of town for work.

Once you lose trust, in my opinion, you can never rebuild it. I remember scouring the house for her Underground travel pass to get proof that she was, where she said she was going to be. And my life imploding when it was just another lie….
Don’t stay – you’ll drive yourself crazy and become a paranoid detective tracing leads.

I”m better off without her, and her lies. And I found someone who appreciates the things I do and provide.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  TheLondonChump

Mine said he was “numb”.. which is a bit like “frozen”.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

If they’re “frozen,” let’s make it official. Cryogenic preservation for all cheaters!!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest……my personal feel is that they “melt” real fast in hell! 🙂 Ah yes, just my take.

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

I got that too! He was like an empty shell! Emotionless, in a trance of sorts. Just awful! So much for affairs “making you feel alive”! He was and still is like a zombie, totally devoid of his former self!

FreedomFromCrazy
FreedomFromCrazy
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

“Frozen”? What a crock.

I’m imagining Elsa singing “Let It Go” LOL.
Maybe we all need to take a cue from the one Disney princess that didn’t need an assclown prince to save her.

TheLondonChump
TheLondonChump
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

You said it… so text-book…I went straight into the pick me dance, until I realised that you can’t make someone love you. That was a really painful lesson.

18 months post D-day, and a year after divorce, and she’s shacked up with the affair partner. So in love, and yet not an engagement ring or wedding bell in sight. Guess it’s hard to trust a cheater.
I hope that whenever their “soulmate” is late coming home, they’re always wondering if they are off sleeping with someone else…

TwinsDad
TwinsDad
8 years ago

Based on my experience, I would advise against marriage counseling, unless the cheater is remorseful, asks what you want, sets it up, and it is all about owning up to the affair and the damage it has done. I was in marriage counseling for a year and a half. We went through three counselors. Each time the counseling sessions started out being about what was wrong with me that caused her to have her affair. Once we started trying to talk about her issues and the damage her deceit had done, it was time to find a new counselor (“she isn’t helping”, “keeps going over the same stuff”, “I feel like she is blaming me for everything”). Meanwhile, she is continuing to hide new affairs WHILE WE WERE IN COUNSELING TO, SUPPOSEDLY, FIX OUR MARRIAGE! Sorry about the yelling. I then went through utter hell for another year and a half while she continued to stay in the guest bedroom while we went through the divorce process. I am so very much with CL and her advice on reconciliation. Get a post-nup that is very generous to you. She/he won’t go along…there’s your answer.

StrongerEveryday
StrongerEveryday
8 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

Wow, TwinsDad, I thought I was one of the few and NOT proud that was stuck under the same roof for a year and a half after the emotional end of the marriage. Yeah, that was fun.

We had a brief foray into marriage counseling, and he would unleash his anger after the session when he felt the focus was too finely narrowed on him. Poor muffin. I will say this, though: I told him he had to find the therapist and schedule it, and if he could manage all that, I’d go. He STILL didn’t take it seriously and he STILL lied throughout. I had my finally moment of clarity when I found messages between ex and OW making fun of the counseling and talking about just how soon they could meet up after one of our sessions. Ain’t love grand?

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

TwinsDad,
I agree. I know many people who’ve gone to couples counseling only to have their spouse lie through the whole freaking thing. They sit through every single session acting as if they’re trying to save the relationship while they are leaving it to go meet their AP. It’s all bullshit and it’s all image management. Two of the people I’m speaking of are my ex AND his older brother, both narcs.

My personal experience was that my ex did just fine during his individual counseling, because he could bullshit & project for the entire hour. Then I’d come in for my hour and tell our therapist the same story, except the roles were reversed and my emotions & affect were realistic. Imagine our therapists awkward position there…yikes.

Now I’ll say in my therapists defense that he actually warned me ahead of time that in order to gain STBX’s trust in the process that he might be a little hard on me in the beginning. Perhaps this is what some of the therapists you guys have seen that blame the victim are trying to establish, but they just didn’t have the opportunity to earn you ahead of time? Or maybe they’re doing this to gauge who really IS at fault? Just a thought. I digress…
And during that first session he did point out a few things about me that were trivial in comparison to the stuff STBX was doing, but, had he not warned me, would’ve really upset me and made me think he was going to be blaming shifting on me. STBX had ONE fault pointed out to him during that hour and all it was was that I needed his help and that I was doing so many things by myself and managing it well that he needed to be more receptive to me asking for his assistance. THAT’S the extent of the blame he had to assume during that session….and guess what…he never went back. He decided that that therapist (our 2nd therapist at this point that he said this about) wasn’t helping him anymore. He wasn’t even capable of accepting any type of responsibility…the only way he was going to attend therapy was if the entire thing was dictated by his narrative and placed all the blame on me.

Moral of this rambling post is that 1. Typically they’re lying in therapy in the first place and 2. Once they have to assume ANY blame whatsoever they check out.

In my experience, it’s a waste of time I could’ve spent healing or packing up his shit.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

I should add, though, that I still see this therapist and I adore him. He’s been a Godsend in my recovery from all this and it wasn’t until after the divorce was underway that he began to tell me that he was trying to uncover the extent of STBX’s “illness” back then. He explained to me that we would tell the same stories but the roles were always reversed and that he knew STBX was the one lying because his body language, affect, facial expressions never changed, they were always “un”. He also said that in the 3 months they had weekly appointments they never reached any level measurable level of depth in their conversations; if STBX would complain about something I’d done and the therapist would try to go deeper or get more info STBX would ramble, get confused, gloss over it, etc.

Then when I came in I’d tell these stories and I’d cry or fidget from the anxiety they were giving me or even sugar coat them so that I didn’t have to admit my husband was an abusive prick. It didn’t take our therapist long to figure out who was authentic and who wasn’t.

I wish all therapists were like him. It sounds like some of you have had some awful experiences. I’m sorry for that.

pucksmuse
pucksmuse
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

A friend went to counseling with her husband (self-centered the point of ridiculousness) and she got very frustrated with the tone of the first few sessions. Husband was very into sports and in the first session, the (male) therapist chatted with him about basketball for almost thirty of the sixty minutes before finally settling down to talk about the issues in the marriage. The next session was the same, sports, sports, sports, and then let’s talk a little about the marriage and how my friend was “nagging” husband too much with her requests that he help parent their child and maybe participate in the relationship. Finally in the third session, about twenty minutes into the sports talk, she finally exploded, “Hey, do you think maybe we could talk about our problems instead of spending half of the session talking about fucking basketball?” Husband was MORTALLY offended and looked at the therapist with this, “See what I put up with?” look on his face.

The therapist called my friend later and told her, “Just so you know, there was a method to letting him chat about sports and lay some guilt at your feet. I was trying to get your husband to relax and trust me and feel in control of the situation so he would open up. If I started in on him right away, he would have walked out immediately. Trust me, I see his faults.”

Eventually, the therapist came to suspect that the husband had NarcPD. Therapy didn’t do him much good, but it gave my friend the strength to leave him eventually.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  pucksmuse

Pucksmuse, this is so good to hear. Thank GOD there are therapists that see through this shit.

OnTheMend
OnTheMend
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

The bummer is that they see through it and have a plan but don’t let us in on it until we push. Same thing happened to me with two MC’s. First one letting him be the joke teller in sessions diverting the serious conversation and attempts at solving problems into laughter. I called her on it years later because it kept me thinking that something was wrong with me for not wanting to waste my time with joking around. I wanted to get something done. Party pooper! Thus confirming my role as bummer, drag Mom to my fun XH. She said she thought he would bolt and had to earn his trust, but how did that help me? It didn’t. It sucked. She took the criticism well. The second one was not able to get him to admit to the affair. She let him spew his BS about being a Passenger in our lives (which he must have concocted with his own short term therapist) even though he loved me and knew I loved him. She did not press to ask why I thought he was having an affair and just took him at his word when he said he was not. To this day he has not admitted it. I called that MC too and told her that I was very disappointed in how she handled it. That’s great that she wanted to take it easy on the Narc so that he’d come back, but how did that help me and my truth? He gets away with it all again and again. She also listened to my criticism and I hope she will give another chump some strength and support the next time around.

erbrown83@gmail.com
erbrown83@gmail.com
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

I also have a great counseling experience. We started MC before D-Day, though he was already cheating. We started because of his sudden “unhappiness” (saying that makes me laugh now- huh maybe closer to Meh than I thought). So we went for 3 or 4 sessions before D-day. Those sessions were hell! All the blame on me. Him never owning up to anything, doing any of the reading (Yes 5 love languages which I read in two days and highlighted parts I found useful for us- while he was reading some teenager romance novel because “everyone” at work was reading it when in all actuality STBX and Howorker wanted to go see the movie together so he was reading it for OW. Yes, I am sitting next to him on the couch reading marriage self help books and he is reading for her- so sick). When we went to the next session after D-Day – yes he showed- she immediately separated us saying Marriage Counseling isn’t for couples going through an affair. Sent him to a male therapist to work on his issues and I am still seeing her to work through mine. She is a strong Christian but never pushed the “Godly wife” card on him. Just kept asking me if I can walk away saying I did everything I could. Finally 6 months ago when asked I said yes. She immediately flipped a switch and got on the Leave a Cheater Gain a Life side and has been a godsend to me!

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

Twins Dad.. I also had a MC that made our sessions 100% about how much I sucked as a wife. Once he eve said “Wow Mr. Newchumpatl, this is a beautiful woman here- it must have really sucked not to get sexual satisfaction from her”. Compliment? Insult? Completely inappropriate thing to say? I was so dumbfounded at the time, I didn’t say anything.. but later I thought, I should have said:

Well maybe if Mr. Newchumpatl would say, empty the dishwasher, or put the baby to bed, or hang out with me at night instead of retreating to the basement to “work out” and “play video games”… I’d be in the mood for love.

Sheesh! I had the same experience. MC downplayed all of STBX’s obviously flagrant activities with MOW while concentrating what was wrong with me, even encouraging me to get on Anxiety drugs!!!!! What a WASTE of time and energy!

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

I have heard these stories about these MCs who focus , almost exclusively, on the BS’s deficiencies etc. makes me wonder what type of training MCs go through. I know it must vary, and there may be good ones out there, but it seems very few want to zero in on the cheater.
Besides the profit motive ( if they come down to hard, the cheater bolts, hence no fee), I suspect they sense that the BS is in a vulnerable/suggestible state and more willing to keep coming back, despite the blame being heaped on the BS.

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Arnold, that’s a good point. In my experience the MC almost sucked up to the cheater and I got the feeling he was just trying to keep him from bailing out. As it turns out, my ex only went to two session and then claimed years later that MC didn’t work.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Arnold that is the only thing I’ve ever read about MC doing this to BS that actually makes sense. Of course if they come down too hard on the cheater they’ll bolt. Cheaters are just like timid forest creatures after all.

What a crock of shit!

Chumpita
Chumpita
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

After my first DDay and reconciliation therapy I ended up in therapy by myself for postpartum depression…I caused his affair because I had a baby and was not feeling like my old happy sexy self anymore! I was depressed! The worst thing is , I actually believed it was my fault !

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago

Reconciliation was pretty short lived. Shall I talk about the part where he rewrote our history and never loved me? How about when he needed to stay in touch with the OW? The promise to cut her off that was broken as soon as it was made, 4 times in a row? No? Seeing his car parked in front of her house on Google Earth? Hahahaha, fun times. Maybe the time he came begging me to take him back, coerced me into sex and gave me an STI, all the while swearing he’d never had sex with OW? Or afterward when he insisted I must have cheated because OW was a saint who couldn’t possibly have an STI? Shall we talk about the marriage retreat where he wrote down the thing that upset him the most about me, how it was really awful when I called his OW a whore? Or shall we fast forward to giving up, and asking for a divorce? Cos that’s when he assaulted me, set me up and got ME arrested for DV, and later pulled a gun, threatened suicide and threatened me. Because you see, he really wanted to reconcile and keep the OW, he called me evil because I wouldn’t let him have his “friend”. Of course at the same time, I couldn’t have a “friend”. When I refused to play any more he wouldn’t leave. Cheaters often want reconciliation because they’ll loose control over you, they’ll loose money, they’ll loose face. They want you there taking care of them, while they fuck around. Warning, if your spouse goes into rages be careful playing the pick me dance, be even more careful when you stop. When they find the rage no longer keeps you in check, they escalate.

Trusting
Trusting
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Mine used actual whores. I thought I was being polite calling them “prostitutes”. He thought that was harsh and referred to them as “professionals”. Are you a doctor? a lawyer? Be careful about calling yourself a “professional woman”, someone might get the wrong idea.

Gone
Gone
8 years ago
Reply to  Trusting

Mines are “providers” and he’s a “hobbiest”… sigh. I just garden and paint for my hobbies.

Finally realized
Finally realized
8 years ago
Reply to  Gone

Those are two of the most absurd euphemisms I’ve ever heard. He says that with a straight face?
He makes it sound like such a sweet, innocuous matter.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Holy shit, Dat. I had no idea the extent of your story. My God I am glad you survived that and are here giving your perspective. Very powerful stuff. Thank you for sharing.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

how it was really awful when I called his OW a whore

Yeah, mine says “She’s not a whore”. I said.. really.. PROVE IT. I have a right to call that skank whatever I want to!

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

I too was called judgemental when I said that I didn’t think the OW was acting ethically..

HappyNow
HappyNow
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

When my teenaged daughter called his MOW a whore, he kicked her. He actually kicked his child in defense of his whore. I’m well rid of him indeed.

yesiamchump
yesiamchump
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

I called my XH girlfriend a F…Whore and he never said anything. Didn’t even defend it. I thought what a coward doesn’t even stand up for her behind her back. I wish she knew this. lol

expatChump
expatChump
8 years ago
Reply to  yesiamchump

Same. I called her a whore and he didn’t defend her. Punk asses are all the same.

Chchchchump
Chchchchump
8 years ago
Reply to  yesiamchump

Literary genius OWhore wrote to my advocate, who was chiding her for lying about attempts to cause me trouble after Ducktard threw HER under the bus:

“I used to be as blameless in these matters as Chchchchump herself. Now you could call me skamk, whore, slut, tramp,harlot, adultress, and many other unpleasant things with impunity”

(she missed a few. Probably wanted to beat us to the punch)

“You are free to pour your vituperation on me at will. Go ahead. Cast hot coals on the path I’m walking barefoot.”

( self-pity is so unattractive)

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  yesiamchump

Yeah, when I called the assorted other women ‘ugly whores’, I was told they were ‘nice girls’ and ‘attractive’. I was told was evil.

It’s not too hard to figure out why he’s at the curb–alone. Those particular ‘nice attractive girls’ will have nothing to do with him and he can’t find any new ones to take their place….maybe that’s because he’s not driving around in my Mercedes and unable to pull of the delusional illusion of living the high life anymore.

He’s reaping what he’s sown his entire serial cheater alcoholic life.

Cindy
Cindy
8 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

Yeah, XH didn’t like when I called his skank a Whore. She complained, you know, because she’s a woman of high morals? So, he took me off of the Costco membership. (I’m busting up reading this – really? I’m taken off of the Costco membership! Wow!).

seacurlz
seacurlz
8 years ago
Reply to  yesiamchump

These people are something else! My XH told me I was being mean and judgmental when I called the OW a whore who had no problem sleeping with a married man with a family. Losers!

JC
JC
8 years ago
Reply to  seacurlz

Yes, seacurlz. I got the “you don’t know him” line from my ex-wife when I told her that I didn’t respect her AP, that he was a sleaze who couldn’t land an unmarried woman, etc.

Why do cheaters think that defending their APs is a good strategy for maintaining the marriage? All it does is show how invested they are in the AP, and how little they care about you.

Iceman
Iceman
8 years ago
Reply to  JC

My wife has mentioned r AP name but that’s about it. She hasn’t told me the finer details. I don’t know if that means shes still protecting him or not?

KarenE
KarenE
8 years ago
Reply to  Iceman

Iceman, it means she’s keeping control over everything, just like narcs love to do. Hope you’re OUT of there!

Freebird
Freebird
8 years ago
Reply to  seacurlz

Mine called OW (who he’s still with) a rotten cancer whore who ruins everything she attaches herself to. He said this after he found out that she had screwed around with his friend. When I found out he needed to call his friend to confirm whether or not it was true during reconciliation, that’s when the divorce was filed. Guess who he went back to for a soft place to land during the divorce? Calling her a rotten cancer was the only true thing he said during that whole wasted year.

Finally realized
Finally realized
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

That mine shaft scene was so cathartic! I played it a few times more than was perhaps necessary.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Love those old loony tunes . Ever watch “The Dover Boys”? Good Ol’ P.U. :P.U,P.U., we’re all for you. Yeaaaaah, team.”

Mehphista
Mehphista
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Oh, looky! The Downgrade…..

I expanded my self-worth and grew the hell out of there.

‘Reconciliation’ after cheating was just another form of abuse. The Perels of this world are just like the Vichy French.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago

I tried R. Did the pick me dance. All he did was lie to me, to the MC, to his IC, to his family and continued to pursue the OW. He continues to this day to deny it.. says they are “just friends” and I’m ” blowing it all out of proportion”. Going to her apartment, hanging for hours, lying to me about where he was apparently doesn’t qualify as a “red flag”. Neither do the mean comments, the ILYBNILWY speech, the coldness, the fitness craze, the calorie counting, the new clothes/cologne, the manscaping, the odd phone number on his cell phone. All of these are easily explainable and not “necessarily cheating”.. his words.

The sad thing is I would have done most anything to hold my family together. I have young kids and that makes it so much harder. But I can not swallow what’s left of my dignity. If he could be honest with me, come clean, express remorse, maybe I could get past it. Be he continues to defend his relationship with the slut, and minimize what he’s done to me. It is what it is. No unicorn here.

TwinsDad
TwinsDad
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

newchumpatl – yes, it sounds like we went through a lot of the same shit. I too would have done just about anything (and did) to hold my family together. I couldn’t even bear to say the “D” word for a long time. I’d think about it and putting my kids through it and would sob like I did at the side of my mother’s deathbed. Also sounds like our ex’s had a lot in common! Mine was all into “Jazzercise”. Was an instructor for a while – all that did was cost money. Used this as an excuse to postpone our MC, BTW. Low carb diets, woman-scaping, piercings that should only be done by 20 year olds. Then the drinking. God I’m so glad to be rid of her for all but a few minutes twice per week!

startofsomethingood
startofsomethingood
8 years ago

I was given a stone cold abandonment cheater who walked out on me and our special needs daughter who was five at the time. He moved in with the OW shortly after. I stood for the marriage for almost 2 years. I was completely brain washed by the reconciliation Christian websites (stopdivorce.org in particular). They prey on your devotion to God, that you must forgive and remind you how God hates divorce. My time spent trying to reconcile with a hologram cost me my farm, horses, 60,000 and I’m still fighting in court for child support. False reconciliation put me in the hospital twice. To all the newbies out there. I beg you!! Lawyer up right away!!! Do not waste your time and risk your health. Especially if you have children. Don’t chase the unicorn.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago

I am so sorry you went through that. There is a girl in my DivorceCare support group in a similar spot. She is “standing”. I feel for her. She’s young, has no kids.. I want to say to her “RUN”!!!!! Claim your LIFE sister. Serve that fucker papers like YESTERDAY but she won’t do it. It’s against her beliefs. But he’s using and abusing her! She comes to these meetings like a hologram herself. I worry about her.

I like DivorceCare, I’ve met some good people there, but sometimes the “Christian” answers are a bit off. Being a Christian wife is all good and fine when the husband lives up to his end of the bargain. But if he doesn’t, it’s much much harder and I feel sometimes they can be judgmental. I think the women get the short end of the stick at times if you follow their beliefs to the letter. A guy at one of my social clubs told me when I explained what I was going through “God hates divorce”.. I said, maybe, but he loves me. He wouldn’t want me to be treated this way.

I am glad you saw the light and claimed your life. Good for YOU! You are mighty.

Chump Princess
Chump Princess
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

There is a Christian counselor who is featured in the Divorce Care videos (Leslie Vernick) who has a website and several books. In one of them, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, there is a part where she makes the point that while God does want you to LOVE people unconditionally, he does not want nor does he expect for you to RELATIONSHIP with people unconditionally. She then gives the example of Jesus and the scribes and the Pharisees, that while he loved them and tried to lead them in the way they should go, he did not relationship with them because they preached one thing and lived another. If Jesus did not relationship unconditionally, I’m pretty sure that God doesn’t expect any of the rest of us to do so.

startofsomethingood
startofsomethingood
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

Thanks NC. It took a while but I’m working toward MEH. Divorceminister is a much better site for a Christian perspective, which I found here at CL. I also went to Divorce Care but was “standing” at the time so not really listening. It saddens me to see people try and reconcile when it’s obvious there’s no hope, because they’re listening to such nonsense. My stbx repeadly said he wasn’t coming back but there’s a false reconciliation excuse for that too: he’s in the fog, the devil has taken over, blah, blah, mindfuck, blah.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago

Yes, the devil. That very well may be but you can’t make someone do the right thing. You can’t ruin your life trying to save someone in the “fog”. You can’t make sense out of the senseless or expect reason from unreasonable people.

Gypsy57
Gypsy57
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

“God hates divorce”

I would like to remind the people who say this that it appears that God hates ADULTERY even more than He hates divorce, as he made a commandment against adultery!

He also made a commandment against LYING and COVETING THY NEIGHBOR’S WIFE (SPOUSE).

DavidB
DavidB
8 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

God does hate divorce. But take note, that one of the very few biblical reasons for divorce is???? You guessed it! Adultery! God also in old testimate days, allowed for stoning of the adulterer!

startofsomethingood
startofsomethingood
8 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

Amen Gypsy!!! So true!

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

Tell it, Gypsy 57 !!

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

Exactly Gypsy57. Like I say, DivorceCare in on balance a good thing and I think it varies from church to church.. but I take some of it with a huge grain of salt.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago

No reconciliation here, fortunately. Our marriage was pretty much over before I even found out about the cheating. I found out about the affair 4 days after divorce papers were filed…and with that information coming to light, most of his abusive, erratic behaviors made sense.

I spent my pregnancy and the first year of our daughters life in a spouse inflicted abuse hurricane & did all I could to navigate that storm while he offered no explanations for his withdrawal and constant abuse. I believe the planned (by him) pregnancy triggered some fear within him and cued the mask to begin to slip, he didn’t have the time, the patience or the desire to keep up the loving husband act any more. I got the memo a year too late.

BUT I knew that once I kicked him out I couldn’t handle any more of the abuse I had been dealing with. The only way I couldn’t reconciled with him is if he were another person without any narcissism or sociopathy. And that’s obviously not possible. So….reconciliation wasn’t really an option for either of us; he knew I figured him out and I knew he was damaged beyond repair.

God bless all of you out there trying reconciliation. I pray that you have that rare unicorn cheater who does a complete 180 for your marriage.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

TBJ, you sound like you were married to someone a lot like Scott Peterson. Fortunately yours wanted a divorce instead of killing you and the baby. Has he given up his parental rights yet. You were lucky. He sounds dangerous.
I know of 7 cheaters. None of them reconciled. I know one who did and his wife dumped him later. He was a drunk pos. who makes up these stats about reconciliation anyway?

nomar
nomar
8 years ago

I truly believed I could make reconciliation work, and having been raised and married in the Catholic church I felt obligated to try. Of course, I did all the work to research therapists, presented candidates to my cheating wife for her choice, and scheduled the appointments. She attended a few times but participated only minimally. We were supposed to make lists and write heartfelt letters to each other of different sorts. Things we felt were missing from the marriage that “caused her to look outside of the marriage for fulfillment,” things we would be willing to give up to make the marriage work, additional things we would be willing to do to make the marriage work, etc. I went overboard, as if there was counseling extra-credit. Thinking now of the drivel I wrote makes me cringe. She never put pen to paper, not even in response to what I wrote to her. We were supposed to get separate counseling as well. I did. She went once and then no more. Which is understandable given that she was continuing an affair at the time, though one different from the one I knew about. Looking back, I’m pretty sure she was loving the attention from all directions and the fact that she knew more than everyone else in her sophisticated romance heptagon.

The two weeks I suffered in reconciliation were the longest and most painful of my life. By far. I would have died of a heart attack induced by sleep deprivation and stress had I not discovered Ambien. The farce only ended when our counselor told my cheating wife, “You need to look at your husband and tell him the affair is absolutely over so he will have a safe place to stand and work on your marriage.” She said it in a perfunctory manner, as if it was a mere formality, and was stunned when my ex replied, “I am committed to reconciliation but I can’t guarantee the other relationship is over because I don’t know what I’ll do if the marriage doesn’t work out.” The counselor just stared, obviously confused that my ex *would just play along for Christ sake*. At which point the counsel said the only reasonable thing I heard from her in in half a dozen visits, which was that we couldn’t continue with joint counseling until she figured out what she wanted. Thank God a day or two later I discovered the ongoing affair and filed for divorce the same day.

I believe reconciliation is theoretically possible, but I also believe anyone who can cheat for an extended period of time lacks what it takes (e.g., remorse, self-reflection, empathy, and the ability to defer gratification) to make that happen. I also believe the great majority of professional therapists have no clue how to handle infidelity and simply repeat tired old saws that usually keep people stuck in bad relationships and sometimes even blame the victim. I truly believe that in the majority of cases joint marriage counseling for infidelity causes more pain and mental trauma than it alleviates.

Mme. Perel writes that “OFTEN an affair will draw the couple out of a place of deadness.” Often? Really? Where are all these people? I have personally known at least two dozen people who have been the victims of infidelity, and every single one of them was devastated by it. Every. Single. One. I have frequented several infidelity boards since early 2009, and the handful of “successfully” reconciled victims of infidelity there seem miserable, members of the Marriage Police with a fragile and inflexible outlook on life who go through spackle by the barrel and have lost all sense of humor about love and families and life in general. I have never met a single victim of infidelity who convincingly conveyed that reconciliation gave them a better relationship. Not once. OFTEN? C’est merde, Ms. Perel.

Other Kat
Other Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Ditto on the letters here–MC asked us each to write a list of qualities in the other person that we valued, admired, or appreciated. When asked to produce his list, STBX said, “Oh I didn’t write one, I believe such statements can’t be forced, they must come organically.” And of course as others here have experienced, we went on to explore all of the reasons my “trust issues” were the reason the marriage was falling apart, not the fact that STBX was cheating, which of course he lied about. I too have often wondered why so many MCs seem utterly clueless when it comes to recognizing partners with NPD. Of course, it didn’t help that I was still utterly codependent and didn’t call him out in front of the MC for fear he’d vanish into the forest, never to be seen again.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Nomar, I am so sorry you’ve had these terrible experiences, but I’m glad you’ve come out with some sense of humor intact. Your line about doing reconciliation work like there was “extra credit” made me laugh out loud in recognition. I think so many of us recognize ourselves in your description–all the ways we went the extra mile in the hope that the universe would reward our extra hard work. And maybe it does, but the EXes certainly never do!

2long
2long
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Wow. You had one of those rare marriage counselors who knew how to flush the cheater out into the open. We had one that knew the score, even though my wife and I didn’t, but was unable to convey that in any meaningful way. She simply told us that she was suspending our sessions indefinitely “because you’re not on the same page.” Unfortunately, my wife took that to mean that *I* wasn’t getting it.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Nomar,

That is truly awful! Been there on the sappy letters trying to get the cheater back. Wrote a few of my own cringe-worthy epistles.

You would think a MC who supposedly has “specialized” in such matters would be able to grasp what cheaters are actually saying. “…I can’t guarantee the other relationship is over..” AKA she is still cheating. Crazy these counselors can’t see it is not a matter of them figuring out what they do or do not want. Either she did not see it or lacked the intestinal fortitude to confront.

WhatAChump2015
WhatAChump2015
8 years ago

Letters – yep. MyHero asked why I wanted to be married to him. I wrote out a heart felt 2 page letter outlining the reasons that I wanted this to work and my commitment to the “better we”. He took the letter and when I asked if he read it, he said yes, and “oh, do you want to talk about it now?” with a snarly and mean tone…I said, no, I guess not. (I didn’t know that he was already likely involved in an EA at the time). I wrote more letters and apologies that he either read and ignored or refused to even read as “he didn’t want to feel bad”. WTF?

I did the pick me dance before I even knew I was dancing.

nomar
nomar
8 years ago

Yeah, I think anyone in the healing arts has an ethical duty to warn people that they are doing something that will hurt them. “No, Mr. Smith, you definitely should NOT drink lye. It won’t cleanse you of the evil spirits that you imagine live inside you. In fact, it will cause esophageal stricture and may dissolve your internal organs burn you to death from the inside out.” An ethical therapist ought to say something similar to a chump trying to reconcile with an unremorseful cheater.

Thomas
Thomas
8 years ago

Reconciliation is like living in the toxic radioactive aftermath of a nuclear blast. EVERYTHING is tainted – and if you stay, it is a lifetime of dealing with the fallout. Your life is never the same, your relationship is haunted by the ghost(s) of the affair partner(s), and your view of your wife is forever downgraded from lifetime partner to slut. The mind movies are nightmarish. Children are impacted negativlly, being caught in the crossfire, (how about losing your sense of security), and families often choose sides and treat the offending party with open contempt, hatred, or polite disdain. It’s awkward.

How do you reconcile with the fact that you were thrown over for someone else? That you are now “plan B”? That your life with your wife was a sham? You are putting your all on the table supporting your family and they are giving their love, affection and emotions to someone else?

I admit that I was poorly prepared to deal with the revelation of her affair, years after the fact. I smoked the hopium pipe. I got ill-advised counseling. Now that I am wiser and learned a lot from Chumplady, I would advise: RUN for the nearest exit. Reconciliation is really not worth it.

FreedomFromCrazy
FreedomFromCrazy
8 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

Wow, Thomas…well said! You hit the nail on the head. Perfectly describes the last 2 years of my life. I know deep in my heart that brighter days are coming now that the divorce finalization is in sight.

2long
2long
8 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

The RIC websites will tell you that reconciliation is hard, but worth it if it succeeds. Mine was hard, and life is reasonably good, but more in spite of the fact that I’m still married, not because of it.

startofsomethingood
startofsomethingood
8 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

Bravo! Well said!

kimmy
kimmy
8 years ago

My experience with reconciliation was soul stealing! My exH and I were married for 17 years when his cheating began. I discovered his cheating almost immediately based on his weird behavior although he would never own up to it. I had to get the proof to corner him so he would admit to it. I tried to stick with my marriage for five years after that. I went to individual counseling. We went to marriage counseling. My first clue that he wasn’t into the couples therapy was his inability to leave work early to make our sessions. I constantly had to change the appointment. After two sessions……the therapist hit a nerve with him and he told me he was never going back to see her. I told him to find another therapist. He wasted time playing ANGRY BIRDS on the computer every night after work and told me did not have time to find a new therapist. I should have walked then! He continued to see the OW the entire time. He wasn’t that remorseful. He wasn’t THAT in love.

Side note: I thought that reconciliation was the best thing for my two teenage daughters. I wanted them to have an intact family unit. They both saw the dysfunction and they are both happy that I did what I had to to fix myself and become a better mom for them. (Detective work is exhausting!!) My oldest daughter told me she secretly wished I divorced him a LONG time ago!!!! Kids are pretty smart!

In short……………reconciliation is a complete waste of time! Even if he stopped seeing OW and really tried to fix things……the trust would never return and I no longer thought of him the same way!

Much Better Off Now
Much Better Off Now
8 years ago

It’s trashy TV, but does anyone else watch the Real Housewives of Orange County? I’m not one for reality tv, but one particular episode caught my eye. The husband of one of the show’s character’s had an affair. They’ve been going through “marriage bootcamp” on the show- what a joke! The “counselor” seems to be as delusioned as this Esther character, believing the affair will actually make them stronger as a couple. In one exercise, she had the couple pretending one spouse had died, and made the other read a tribute to the “dead” spouse. GAG. All the while, I can’t help but feel really sorry for this lady. She’s being mislead by everyone around her, and no one seems to have the balls to tell her to flee this marriage. Her husband actually said his biggest fear was that “she would never get over” his affair. So, she tiptoes around, not wanting to express her hurt, just so he won’t get angry that she brings up the affair. I’ve caught myself screaming at the tv. Of course he doesn’t want her to bring up the affair- he wants to sail along like nothing ever happened. Allowing her to express her pain means he’d have to acknowledge he caused it. The sad thing is, my ex said pretty much the exact same thing. I did what she did- all before CL of course! No more chumpiness for me!

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 years ago

Poor Shannon. CL would certainly help strengthen her while she is trying to make it work. I can see in some of her interviews that she is on the verge of tears. I know how she feels. How do we get over someone else being put before us? How do we ever trust them again? Betrayal hurts so bad.

laurabb2001
laurabb2001
8 years ago

Yes. I watched the episode last night and all I could think was, “how can I get her CL’s site info?’ That was so hard to watch.

chumptastic
chumptastic
8 years ago
Reply to  laurabb2001

Raises hand sheepishly….Yes, I love my trash TV. I feel so sad seeing Shannon’s anguish and how she is trying to pretzel herself into some form of acceptance. Been there done that. She’s only six months from DDay and they keep referencing a two-year timeline for her to “get over it.” I know that they got that time frame from Peggy Vaughan of “Dear Peggy” fame. What Peggy actually states is that she has never seen a couple recover from an affair in less than two years. I feel terrible that Shannon has to do this on TV (even though she signed up for it) with a stop-watch ticking. Her husband seems totally checked-out to me. The onus seems to be all on Shannon “to get over it” and not on the hubby to step up to the plate and be part of the recovery. The couple’s retreat was so very tired…going sraight to what’s wrong with the marrige and glossing over the affair. I agree laurabb2001, how do we get her to Chump Lady? Although, she states that “divorce is not an option”, I still think she could benefit from the wisdom and humor of Chump Nation.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
8 years ago
Reply to  chumptastic

What Peggy actually states is that she has never seen a couple recover from an affair in less than two years.”

That sounds about right. My ex was enraged that I wasn’t 100% recovered from his staggering level of infidelity in just two months. He started up the usual cheater blame shift: If I couldn’t get over his adultery, then how could our marriage survive?

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago

I tried for almost two years to reconcile. Each time he came back to me with promises that she was gone for good, he was “over” her, he promised to sign a post-nup, anything I wanted to stay together because he “really loved me and not her”! Right! The minute he got his damn foot in the door ALL promises evaporated. This went on for about six times. Finally he came back and I could see it was just to be sure he could secure some personal benefit, such as, getting taxes done jointly and his mail to see if his “fancy” PhD had arrived! I was DONE! I told him to get the hell out and never come back! He was floored. Divorce was final in March. He came and got his crap in May and moved to Florida to live with his Schmoopie! Good Bye and Good Riddance! I wasted so much time. If I had to do it over again, his shit would have been on the front lawn five minutes after I got the ILYBINILWY bullshit and I would have filed immediately! My advice to anyone who finds out they are married to a cheater is to skip all the questions, MC, false reconciliation, pick me dancing etc. just get your pencil and calculator out and start deciding what this fucker is going to give you for the years you put up with their bullshit! Consequences are a bitch for these folks and they are counting on your poor broken heart and chumpiness to take advantage of you! Don’t do it! It plays into their narrative.

Portia
Portia
8 years ago

I never expected marriage, or life, to be easy. I expected bumps in the road, like illness, financial problems, child rearing difficulties — normal stresses and problems. I thought marriage meant I would have a partner and we would help each other through this stuff.

Then I found out about an affair — who knows whether it was the first, and really what does it matter? It certainly was not the last. There was just an awful feeling, like I was asleep and having a bad dream. I didn’t want to believe it, but the evidence was right there. Then the faux remorse, and pleading, and promises to do better. Some slithering about trying to find fault in the marriage that “caused” his wandering. Poor sausage stuff — he was out of town, had too much to drink, was lonely and missing me. Such drivel. But I tried, really tried to get over it and move on. The marriage counselor tried, too, but I don’t believe they can really help you unless they are trained in Cluster B behaviors, and familiar with the whole saga of sex addiction excuses.

What I discovered was actually more about my character than his lack of character. That became evident. Once I accepted the truth and got past the initial shock and horror, I started evaluating the whole marriage. Why was I drawn to him in the first place? What had we accomplished together? Was he really a help-mate? Why should I stay married? The answer was always the same — the whole relationship was built on a foundation of lies and wishes. I had no help, the accomplishments were not joint. The only good thing that happened was I have two fine sons. I worried about what would happen to them — but it turns out they were fine then, and have grown into fine men now. They anticipated the divorce, and understood that I could not continue to live with their dad. Once I was sure my children would be ok — I was gone.

I have no regrets about that decision. It was the best thing to do. I wish I could say that I learned enough to protect myself then from future problems, but that was not the case. I still had many things to learn, about other people, and mostly about myself. It was a process, and there were times I felt despair, and times I felt great joy. There were bumps in the road, and I survived without a partner. I discovered I am very strong, and very self reliant. I discovered that no matter how strong and self reliant I was, I still needed the help of a few good friends and family members.

The life I have built for myself while I was traveling to MEH is not a remarkable life, but it is, for the most part, a good life. Much more peaceful, much more enjoyable. Fewer bumps. I am so glad I left the drama and angst of trying to build a life with someone who was never really there. I only regret that I wasted so much of my time trying to figure it out. Time is too short and sweet to waste. If you must try to chase the reconciliation unicorn, do it in your dreams. While you are awake, use your time more wisely. Unicorns are too delicate to survive in the real world.

tony
tony
8 years ago
Reply to  Portia

I think by your prose that you are remarkable Portia, plus it seems you have fine children which is another remarkable accomplishment.

Plus, do cheaters dream of electric unicorns?

KenderJ
KenderJ
8 years ago
Reply to  tony

Let me guess the reference….Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick?

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  KenderJ

I read that book two weeks ago. Brilliant.

Cheaters are androids. Devoid of empathy. If only chumps had a voight-kampff test when we first met them. Would have saved ourselves so much pain and misery.

Portia
Portia
8 years ago
Reply to  tony

I’m not sure about electric unicorns (?) or if cheaters even dream. They do plot, which may be a form of day dreaming. If I had to guess, I would guess their dreams would be more like nightmares, a kaleidoscope of mirrors and colored glass, and pulsing light and vulgar images. Somehow they would be “conducting” the swirl of light and parts, and thinking that they were a great maestro. Sadly, when they wake up, they will only be a shadow of a person, suffering from a hangover of overindulgence and broken promises.

Thanks for the remarkable observation — I hope I don’t brag about my sons too much! I can hardly believe they are as “normal” as they appear to be when they saw so much dysfunction when they were small. It gives me hope for tomorrow, and allows me to believe in the resilience of the human spirit. Forgive me, I am a proud mother. .

JC
JC
8 years ago

My reconciliation ended in divorce.

A few months into my wife’s affair, she insisted on MC, so I went. But, during the first MC session, she made clear that she was *having* (read, “ongoing”) an affair. The MC told us BOTH not to make any sudden moves. In other words, wife could keep cheating while we worked on things. That’s like going to an AA meeting 1 hour per week and then binge drinking the remaining 6 days and 23 hours.

So I moved out.

Then wife said the affair was over, went to therapy on her own, etc. I moved back in weeks later and re-attended therapy (with a new MC). The second MC also offered terrible advice (such as, “You should have an open marriage.”) I suspected my wife was still cheating. A few months later, I confirmed. The entire purpose of MC, in my wife’s eyes, was to trick me, family, and friends into believing she was “trying” to fix things.

So I filed for divorce and never looked back.

It’s been two years since then. My wife is *still* with her AP. After I left her for good, she helped her AP cheat on his girlfriend–>fiance–>wife–>stbx (who, like me, quit her job and moved across the country to be with her spouse). Together, my wife and her AP destroyed 2 marriages, each of which were the culmination of 10-year relationships.

Look, maybe your marriage wasn’t running smoothly. Maybe it was like a car that needed an oil change, and you could take it to the MC to get that oil change. But…instead of telling you that the car needed an oil change, your cheater purposefully rammed it into an oak tree at 70 mph. Then did it again. Then again. And again. The entire time you were in the passenger seat. Without a seat belt on.

Now the car is totaled, and you’re maimed and in need of emergency medical care. Yes, the car technically still needs that oil change from MC, but your gaping wounds and lacerations are more pressing, as is the fact that the car is a pile of twisted metal that can barely sputter down the street. And yet…your cheater keeps on driving that car…taking out mailboxes at 10 mph…insisting that the oil change will fix everything.

See a doctor. Get bandaged up. Ditch the car. Ditch the driver.

JC
JC
8 years ago
Reply to  JC

I should add that both my wife and her AP are serial cheaters, having cheated on every significant other they ever had. Their current “relationship” will last as long as it takes for one of them to wander. It’s not a matter of “if.” It’s a matter of “when.”

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  JC

What a pitiful way to live your life. It’s one thing when you are 20 something and inexperienced, I could almost forgive OW if she were young and stupid.. but she’s over 40- and really, she ought to know better. She DOES know better, she just doesn’t care.

Neither of them thought of anything but themselves. Not me, not my two sons, not extended family (H has family members not speaking to each other over this). They do not think of collateral damage at all because they are so self absorbed.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  JC

A great analogy. I think my H would stay with me if I could just “forget” about it and “shut up” about it and move on. Buy his lame story about “they are just friends”.. without offering any proof (for example, if that were true, why not have the slut call me and reassure me? I mean, if they ARE just friends, what woman wouldn’t do that? I would. If I had a male friend whose wife thought I was banging him, I would make that right PRONTO. Not only for my friend, but for myself)- yet this doesn’t happen, despite me suggesting it over and over.

He wants me to get back in the car without a seatbelt, without any care of my wounds. I am supposed to say that I was wrong to HAVE any wounds at all. No… my heart WASN’T ripped from my chest!

He cannot and will not face the pain he’s caused me because he won’t admit he’s done anything. So convenient. It’s all in your head newchumpatl.. you are making a big deal out of nothing.. why can’t I have friends that are women.. why are you telling me who I can be friends with (translation- you aren’t the boss of me)?

It’s exhausting. At least your XW admitted the affair, granted her behavior afterwords was horrible but at least you got an admission. Many of us never get the satisfaction of our partners of DECADES telling us to our FACE what they’ve done. Too cowardly.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

Oh hell no.
The slut in my particular story did precisely that: “You and him are great together! He’s not my type!” – while she was fucking my then-boyfriend.
Nearly got homicidal when I found out what was REALLY happening though! (And this was through detective work, not by their fucking admission!)

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago

When my (now) ex-wife left the home, I was desparate to have her back. She had already coped to an EA with indications of another minimally EA present as well on top of that one. I knew she was going to cheat on me when she left and even pleaded with her NOT to do so. As I remember, she tearfully promised me she wouldn’t…and promptly broke that promise…surprise, surprise.

We went through four MCs before the end. My ex-wife is a professional Marriage Counselor herself and ascribed to the school of Perel as far as affairs helping a relationship (“A cry for help” idea). It helped/helps me to remember her actions of ripping into me during multiple MC sessions then calling her lover who was hidden from me and the MC at the time. Pretty coldblooded.

I am not anti-reconciliation. But I am anti-false reconciliation. Cheaters need to own their cheating 100% and need to come to reconcilation recognizing it is an extravagant gift they are getting from their spouse…nolt something they are owed.

Working It Out
Working It Out
8 years ago

Amen!

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago

Married 32 years, 27 years of reconciliation with a monster. I will never know if he was cheating during those years. It doesn’t matter. I was doing the two step pick me the whole time double time. Slowly but surely, the scales on my eyes fell as I realized, I was in a marriage alone with a guy who was lazy, only interested in his kids when there were kudos to be had, and abusive when anything rocked his little world. He has gone back to the original schmoopie and moving to eNVy. I count myself so lucky to have survived it, with a decent settlement, and another 30 years to go. (I am nearly 60). Just think of the life I can have.

ps Here I thought the embroidery was done by Chump Lady, expanding her vast and mad skillz.

Stayin Strong
Stayin Strong
8 years ago

Best analogy I read about reconciliation is the plate theory. If you break a place and shatter it, you can try gluing it back together, but it will always just be a broken plate. I took that analogy and ran with it. There is not enough glue, therapy, or transparency that would ever allow me to trust my ex-h again. And as much as I hate the OW I feel like I should send her flowers for taking that asshole out of my life.

Divorce hasn’t been easy and the kids and I struggle to this day, but now we struggle on our own terms. Had you told me 5 years ago that divorce would be the best thing that ever happened to me I would have said that you were nuts. Now I am frustrated at myself for hanging in there for so long. I realize that my fear kept me locked in a place of depression and anxiety. That is no way to live.

To the new chumps, I’m sorry you are going through this, but try keeping the broken plate in mind. It will always be a broken and cracked.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Stayin Strong

I like this analogy! Only I’m going to pretend the plate broke because I winged it at his bald fucking head and then it bounced off and slammed into Florence Sluntingale’s old lady mushroom hairdo. Part of the reason I haven’t taken Asshat up on some of his (fake) sad offers to do *anything* is because I simply don’t believe or trust him anymore. And while we’re at it, I will pull a Homer Simpson and ask for glass plates, not so I can see the TV while licking the plate, but so we have some sort of transparency in this freaking house.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

LOL. Forence Slutingale!!!!!!! That is pure GOLD.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

I rechristened her ‘Florence’ after months of being beyond pissed knowing the anger he took out on me and (very minimally, mostly just by not being present) our special needs 7 y.o. probably stemmed from his double life. Asshat is incapable of multitasking (literally cannot hear/answer a simple yes/no question while he’s texting away like a teenager) so why would he be able to handle the added stress of multiple lives? Taking the high road and eschewing the snark where she is concerned isn’t doing it for me. Awesome (“Patients love me!”) doctor banging a private/discreet (read: sneaky/deceitful) nurse – sigh.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

I hope you nailed his ass in the divorce.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

I totally read that wrong at first. Need more caffeine….

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

I bet we all have “pet names” for our spouse’s affair partners, none of them nice. but that’s a whole other column.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

In the first few days post D-Day when I was actually speaking to him about the REAL issue at hand. HIS cheating and imploding our family, not my complete failure as a gold-star issuing wife, I tried out ‘Whore’ and ‘Bendypornstar’ a few times but they didn’t work for me 😉 In the middle of night a couple of months ago, I read a funny post on here so that’s when I added the word ‘slunt’ to my already colourful vocabulary.

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago

May I also add the fact that I became obsessed and turned into a snooping, marriage police fool. And of course, it was obvious that the affair was still going on, but the OW was more than willing to accept a second seat for a while. Then the OW would apparently get impatient and pull a shitty that would upset the whole delicate balance of our reconciliation! GAG! Then he would try to deny the nasty little bitch was still waiting in the wings! It was awful! These idiots do not give a damn about the betrayed spouse or the family that they are systematically destroying! It’s “fun” for them! Trust me, just get rid of the dead weight and let it go! Life is much better on the other side of their warped fantasy!

Trusting
Trusting
8 years ago

After a year of separation, things were finally looking up. We reconnected over the holidays(2013). My doctor’s office called me in January(2014) to let me know I had the clap.

It STILL took me 6 months to ask for a divorce. Slow learner…

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  Trusting

Well that sucks! WTF? Some sort of fucked up Happy New Year chump gift! These assholes should be shot or tortured till WE feel good too! So sorry this happened to you!

Trusting
Trusting
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

It was even more thoughtful. I was on a really strong immune suppressant at the time. He spent about an hour and a half trying to convince me he had no idea how it could have happened. I think that was what finally emptied my spackle bucket.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Trusting

I’m so sorry! Like this stuff isn’t frightening enough. I, too, am on a powerful immunosuppressant and a second ‘weaker’ one. Asshat’s a physician, who prescribes these meds to his own patients, but he has never ONCE acknowledged the added danger he put me in. Gah!

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
8 years ago

I’m not sure I ever entered a “reconciliation” phase. Once the first cat was out of the bag, it was like a stream of cats. I was shell shocked to find out that what I thought was one emotional affair, was actually much bigger. Every time he told me “that’s all… that’s everything” I’d find out about another affair, and more sordid details.

We may have had a chance if he had been honest, but I’ve come to learn that honesty is impossible for him. He loves the lie. He loves the secrets. It’s all very sickening.

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
8 years ago
Reply to  ItsAJourney

Trickle truth sucks. Mine did that too. And each time he vowed that was all of it. Until the next time he spewed out more info. I actually think he got a thrill out of it. The therapist told him to stop doing it because each time, it reset me back to DDay. He told cheater he would work with him to document everything and they would present it to me at one time. But cheater lied to him and told him there was nothing more to tell. And then I found out about the prostitutes. The end. oh, and the therapist apologized to me.

zyx321
zyx321
8 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

Yup, trickle truth Sucks with a capital S.
During (false) marriage counseling, exH told me, in consecutive weeks:
Yes, there was an affair 13 yrs before as suspected, just an EA, but he loved her
He has feelings for a woman at the new workplace
By feelings, he loves her more than the first one, 13 yrs before, but it is not an affair; they have not done anything wrong, but the marriage was over years ago
Finally, yeah, affair from 13 yrs ago was physical, but only 1x (uh, huh.).

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  zyx321

It is disheartening to see so many horrible stories about trickle truth. I know virtually nothing about the (one and only if you believe it) affair and unless it is going to help the postnup/divorce, I don’t much care at this point. But I do wonder if and when I will hear more and worry that it will get to me. Asshat’s dad was also a much beloved doctor who liked nurses and had no concept of boundaries.

ItsAJourney, the image of a ‘stream of cats’ this morning made me snort fluoride rinse out my nose. Maybe it was because I was operating on four hours’ sleep.

ChumpFromF
ChumpFromF
8 years ago

May 2014: out of the blue, says he wants out. Shocked, I negociate, and learn about his holiday schmoopie, but view it as a single mistake in 15 years, which I can accept. New arrangement: he gets an appartment close to work, and comes home on weekends and days off, he expects us now to travel around, he wants pictures of every city.

The reconciliation year that follows:
– I go to beauty parlors, hair salons, buy new clothes, but never get a compliment
– I take care of everything as usual, but I am on my own all week, and very miserable
– I have to use Skype to chat with him every night (he likes to show that he can be trusted)
– My heart beats and I hold my breath till I’m blue while I do research on the Internet, and I find a lot of clues
– I discover that it was a 3-year affair, with a middle-aged plain Russian woman
– it was twu luw, she dumped him for another (Russian women have several preys in parallel)
– He expects me to help him recover from heartbreak
– He gets up during the night and hides to *%rbate with his phone in the other hand
– I find a letter written to his rival, where he says he intended to marry the woman in May 2015
– He checks his phone all the time, wants me to believe he checks the news / the weather / the time
– Weekends are frustrating, it’s drive, walk, drive, walk…
– I cannot find free time to do what I want
– Sometimes he says mean things to me, gets aggressive

May 2015: he asks me to take a 2-week vacation to help a single Russian lady discover our area !!!! Turns out he lured her with the photos we took on weekends, she bought a plane ticket from Moscow thinking he was single, they talked on Skype behind my back.He warned her of my existence only a week before she arrived. Weirdest moment: picking her at the airport, where she was wearing 12cm stilettos.

Year wasted. On another hand, it was easy to push him out, this reconciliation year was so disgusting.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpFromF

Wow… what a story. And what a POS!!!!! I think we chumps are usually good people who want to live our marriage vows and who are forgiving, and often, that means we get taken MORE advantage of. You are mighty!!!

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago

Here’s what reconciliation will get you:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3149877/Nobel-prize-winning-novelist-Mario-Vargas-Llosa-leaves-wife-Patricia-Enrique-Iglesias-mother-Isabel-Preysler.html

In April he reportedly told his spouse of half a century: ‘It’s not a fling like the other times, Patricia, this time it’s for real, and when I get back to Madrid, I’ll be leaving our house.’ He is said to have added: ‘I’m done. Now I feel what happiness is. I don’t have much time left.’

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

“a fling like the other times”… reminds me of my Cheater saying in high melodramatic voice, “I don’t even know if it’s REAL with her, Muse, or just, just just… just another THING!” That should have been a clue to the truth I discovered six months after D-Day that this wasn’t his first affair.

Patty
Patty
8 years ago

Esther Perel is an idiot who would say/do anything to get published and make a few bucks. Same with those other “better marriage after infidelity” shysters.

But that said, my husband had an affair fifteen years ago and we are still together. It took a lot of work to get to where we are now, and he did almost all of it. We are happy, and I would say our marriage is good considering the adultery that nearly destroyed it. But not better than it would have been without the cheating. It wasn’t perfect before the affair and it certainly isn’t perfect now. Our family, especially our two children, was emotionally damaged in a way that can never be completely healed. Once betrayal happens it changes things forever. There is no going back to what you had before.

Every single time I read that “better marriage after adultery” crap I wonder how bad would it have to be to be IMPROVED by infidelity? And if it WAS that bad why on earth would anybody stay in that kind of marriage long enough to be cheated on?

Still a Chump
Still a Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  Patty

Wow, Patty…. I think you are me 9 years in the future. We are 4 years into reconciliation, and I wholeheartedly agree with you that betrayal changes things forever, and that hearing the “better marriage after adultery” makes me totally enraged. My husband also did/had done/is doing most of the work to repair our marriage, as he was mostly responsible for destroying it. I don’t yet know how this will play out for our 3 children, now 10-14-16. I hope by getting them into therapy up front, and being honest with them about the reason dad didn’t live with us for a while, and why he was permitted to move back in, will provide them with some resiliency, and understanding of boundaries and consequences, but that is still a hope for now. We are content and get along for the most part, although there are still days and triggers that set me off. I do not celebrate our wedding anniversary any more, as it is too painful to me.

For those that are interested, the work my husband did included: initiating MC for us and IC for him, including a psychiatrist. We saw the MC for 3 years!! and he saw 2 different ICs for a total of 3.5 years. Still seeing the psychiatrist quarterly for med management. Part of this process has been a diagnosis of bipolar, and medication, which has made a huge difference. He did not want to take the meds at first. I said he could be unmedicated and divorced, or medicated and possibly still married, and I began speaking to divorce attorneys. He took the meds and now says he wishes he had used medication for years. He is now 100% responsible for maintaining his mental health, as I am not his mommy, his therapist, or his boss. On the home front, I drew firm boundaries about his equal participation in the life of our children, and in the management and maintenance of our house and family life, and he is now participating as an equal partner, something he did not do for the 17 years of our marriage prior to DDay. He has left social media and has no locks on any electronics, which I may choose to pick up from time to time to peruse (I don’t do this much as I resent being marriage police, but need to remind him every now and then that I will do it.) He lived out of our house for several months, and had to earn his way back home, which included apologies to me, our children, and my family (parents and siblings). He got a vasectomy, something he had resisted for years. (To be clear, I didn’t require a vasectomy — just said that I was through with chemical birth control forever. He could have chosen condoms.) He got regular STD tests. I set up a separate bank account for myself that he is aware of but does not have access to, while retaining my name on all of our joint accounts. He has greatly reduced his fitness and workout schedule, and scaled back on running races, which used to dominate all of our family free time. I now claim time to work out or go to yoga several times a week, something I was never able to do bc I was always holding down the fort. And he understands that this is the only reconciliation opportunity he will ever get. One more EA or AP, and he’s out the door, with immediate NC.

So CL, you asked what does real reconciliation look like? Well at least my case, it looks like that. Doubt Esther would be pestered for glamorous TED talks and NYT interviews on that narrative.

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
8 years ago
Reply to  Still a Chump

I imagine that if reconciliation could work at all, it would look something like this. Still A Chump, I wish you the best. Hold those boundaries! You’ve given him more than he deserves.

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
8 years ago

Oh, reconciliation!!! Does it count as reconciliation when you are the only one working to reconcile?

My reconciliation consisted of feeling that the unicorn was attainable and putting every ounce of my soul in trying to save a marriage that wasn’t salvageable. Reconciliation consisted of giving in to his every whim, breaking my back trying to please him, doing the pick me dance, and giving up my soul for someone who had nothing to give in return.

When I realized the unicorn was really dead, reconciliation became the fun times of crying in the bathroom each night, checking phone records, wondering who he was texting on the phone, trying to sneak a peek at the phone that was locked down, rethinking and reframing every action and word from his mouth, and becoming a person I did not want to be.

One of the biggest regrets and one of the things I hate him for the most is the false reconciliation time. I know he enjoyed my dancing and loved the kibbles while still enjoying the affair with the OW. If I could take it back, I would have thrown him out the day I found out about the affair. Thankfully I wasted less time than many other chumps, but the hit to my self-esteem by “auditioning” to see if I still deserved the role of wife was a dagger to my heart.

I wish I had found CL a little sooner, but thankfully after DDay2, I found this site and started to realize my worth. It is not easy, but nothing good in life ever is…and I consider it good that I “left a cheater, and gained a life.”

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
8 years ago

As a chump, this is my perspective on Ester’s statements:

“An affair is an act of betrayal and also an experience of expansion and growth”

Agreed. I have learned a lot since discovering that my now-ex is a serial cheater, masterful liar, and manipulator, among other things. My knowledge has expanded to the extent that I now recognize his attempts to further manipulate me and triangulate me and my daughter. I ignore these attempts by turning the conversation elsewhere if I engage in conversation with him at all. I have ‘grown’ as a person and am much closer to being mentally healthy since his destructive behavior and abusive treatment is gone from my daily life.

“It is a relational trauma, but it isn’t a crime”

It’s certainly not murder but it is one of the worst types of betrayal. Unless someone has personally experienced it, they certainly cannot claim to understand it and frankly shouldn’t attempt to speak as if they do.

“The family can often come out of it stronger and more resilient, and often an affair will draw the couple out of a place of deadness.”

My daughter and I are getting stronger every day and we are much happier than we were when cheater’s toxic lifestyle was present in our daily lives. She spends time with her dad but it’s on her terms, when she wants and for how long she wants. As for me, I don’t know what my future holds but it’s certainly better than if I had stayed in that relationship. I didn’t know that then but I do now. I agree that am coming out of this a much stronger and resilient person.

One last comment – I’m glad I attempted reconciliation with cheater. I knew I was willing to do whatever was needed for our relationship and family, just as I had always been. But in doing so, I realized the type of person he really was simply by noticing the huge discrepancy between his actions and words. I was able to walk away from him knowing that I had done what I could and not feel guilty at all.

Marci
Marci
8 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

Byebyecheater,
You say it very well -although an incredibly painful and disappointing process, if we chumps make our journey a true learning process, then it sets us up for better future relationships and healthy boundaries. Sounds like you set a great example for your daughter of how to approach such a situation.

Susan
Susan
8 years ago

I tried to R. Never was able to get past the sex act of him w his lover. Could never put myself in “her” place. He never could understand it. When his answers are, “We each had sexual partners before we married and it wasn’t a problem.” OMG!!!

He protected her to the nines when I first found out. He played the”victim” role sooo well, and his answers to me, “I didn’t know how or what to do, or how toget thu this mess.”

My marriage was good, I was blindsided , it was a 30 yr marriage. He and anyone who knows us, knew we were good. It was he who went into midlife crises telling me I just don’t understand where he was coming from when he was so vulnerable.

All he wants is the marriage back. He’s is doing everything humanly possible to do so that he knows how to in his way, but it the betrayal that can never be taken back.

Sadly, we both still love each other, and when I ask him when we are “discussing” our situation what do you want from me? Your OW was crying on your shoulder bc her hubby had cheated on her!! What about me??? Did you think I was made of steel? Do you think it wouldn’t effect me? His answers, “I thought our love for each other would get us thurough, you can even ask her, she’ll tell you how much I loved you. She was jealous of you, and the love I have for you.”
My response, OMG!! Was that before you fucked horror after?

His affair was for a yr and half. We stayed together for 6 months, my anger couldn’t take it anymore and I asked him to move away to I could heal without looking at him always. It’s been 4 yrs and we are still living apart but in limbo hell.

Meanwhile I met another man and started to see him. Hubby does not know, no one does, as I am fearful financially as I am completely depended on my husband and am afraid he’ll turn on me. I feel very guilty now as if I am now the cheater .., it’s all so fucked up…
What was once I good life is anything but.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Susan

‘fucked horror’ lol. That is what they both are – a complete horror. I am worried Asshat will not be as generous as he has promised all along and fear that battling it out will mean I will be alone for more of what’s left of my non-limping days. I feel totally superficial but I admit it, I want to be in a (functional) relationship with a (functional, ie no cocktail of Viagra and Cialis required) nice guy. Adultery is a felony here so I guess I share my bed with an old, snoring cat (who held down Asshat’s ankle and chomped down hard on his Achilles’ tendon the first time he stayed over all those years ago) until things are final. And what is it with these creeps who think that once they say sorry a dozen times you can unsee the ‘horrors’ they were up to. Gross! Reconciliation is so not for me so I am choosing to leave him to the awesome bed he made with whoever he has in it as long as said person gets nowhere near my vulnerable child. May you find peace with the slimeball soon 🙂

ChumpFromF
ChumpFromF
8 years ago
Reply to  Susan

“Did you think I was made of steel ?” Good question, they do behave as if we are not hurt, it doesn’t make sense.

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago

Well, since my XH refused MC (read: I-will-have-to-give-up-cake-eating-if-I-go), I didn’t have that experience. Instead, I turned into a Super-Amazon-Chump! (I just checked my Kindle, and I have 40+ downloaded books/book samples that pertained to his behavior. Fortunately, one of them was CL’s book.)

Later, after I moved out, I was encouraged to attend something known as Beyond Betrayal. I may be wrong, but when I asked what the format was about, I was under the impression that they looked at the cheating spouse as someone who has a sickness (ala Poor-Sad-Timid-Forest…..). I was still in that awful process of waiting for the divorce to go through, and I felt that going into the program at the time would be akin to being strapped into a seat that was about to go into the Haunted Mansion ride, but not the entertaining one at Disneyland. Also, I didn’t agree with the philosophy that was offered to me about BB. The cheater is not “poor-sad-sick”. They are “entitled” to throw their wedding vows and marriage under the bus (or logging truck in my neck-of-the-woods), so they can continue to scarf down kibbles (or whatever) at the all-you-can-eat-Strange-buffet.

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
8 years ago

My D-Day was the most nightmarish thing I’ve ever been through. That morning, the X holds my face in his hands, looks into my eyes and says, “I love you so much, baby” and kisses me. Two hours later, I find him in a hotel room with the butter-faced whore.

And that’s what these “therapists” don’t understand. This shit is soul-crushing. Yeah, yeah, it’s just a little betrayal, you’ll get over it. But no really . . . my D-Day was worse than when my mother died. I feel funny saying that, but I couldn’t control that, and neither could she. But that betrayal? That was a carefully orchestrated series of lies and duplicity so that this man, who I considered my best friend in the world and love of my life, could buy more time to fuck me over emotionally AND financially. You don’t get past that overnight. And God help you if you don’t find a decent therapist.

I got lucky there. I found one within two weeks that was fully supportive and never once suggested reconciliation, not that I had that option in the first place. He told me, once you break trust, you can’t get that back. That guy saved me years of anguish by just calling a betrayal a betrayal and helped me concentrate on looking forward. This site really saved me as well. I remember after I found it, I went skipping to the therapists office with a couple printouts of particularly fun posts. He loved it.

Fuck reconciliation. In my opinion, it’s better to just rip the band-aid off and deal with the burn. I can’t reconcile with someone who wanted to destroy me. That would destroy me.

Good luck to the new chumps. Don’t waste any of your precious time on this planet trying to fix something you had no control over breaking.

Susan
Susan
8 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Oh I know exactly what you mean… My mom died 8 weeks before my DDay. I couldn’t even moure my mom death, before I was hit w hubby affair.
I could deal better w losing my mom, as she suffered so much, and there is closure and support, and help… Family support to get through. With infidelity, until you go through it yourself, no one truely understand how much it sucks, hurts, and so painful to go through.

I wish now I put in my marriage vows,”if you cheat, don’t ask to come back as it is way to painful.”

Tessie
Tessie
8 years ago

My two attempts at fixing my marriage, were of pretty short duration. I guess they could be called attempts at reconciliation.

The first was when I gave him three days to make up his mind, who he wanted, me or the OW. We had a special Alanon meeting we went to. It was sort of like a date. Once a week, it was our one special time. That day I was due to chair the meeting. He knew this. That was when Schmoopie showed up. She plunked her skank butt down next to him and proceeded to snuggle, and pat his thigh….all through the meeting. All of the people there knew he and I were married. They kept looking at them, and then at me. As I watched the show, I decided I was going to hang on to whatever shreds of dignity I had left, and chair the goddamn meeting to the best of my ability. Well I did, and afterwards I went into the ladies room to cry for a few minutes. Then I splashed some cold water on my face, and went out to meet the enemy. They were saying their fond goodbyes on the porch as I walked by, ignoring them, and got into the car. When cheater ex got in beside me, I turned to him, and told him…..”You want her, you’ve got her. Let’s go home and pack your shit!” He was all….”Wait a minute, wait a minute, you have to give me some time to make up my mind.” I told him…Fine, you’ve got three days.” Unfortunately he picked me. Of course he didn’t stop seeing the OW skank, and she later dumped him because he was not making enough money to support her in a style she would like to become accustomed to. Yep, true wuv at it’s finest. That was when I knew it was time to start laying the groundwork to get my boys and I the hell out of there.

The second was a one time visit to an MC. The MC refused to address the issue of his girlfriend. It was the standard of what I could do to make cheater ex happy in our marriage. I kept saying “What about his girlfriend? He is cheating.” The MC refused to even comment on cheater ex’s infidelity. ” We’re not discussing that now.” I was so angry and traumatized that to this day I don’t remember much of that session. I just remember that cheater ex spun it so everything was all MY fault, and he was as pure as the driven snow. Of course his take was that I was the one abusing him. And he told everyone who would listen. When I refused to go back to that MC, he told everyone that I was the one cheating and wasn’t even trying to save the marriage. All behind my back, naturally, controlling the narrative. Asshole.

At that point I was done, in every way possible. I was just trying to finish nursing school, and get my nursing license so I could support my boys. We coexisted in the same house, but that was about all. I refused to sleep in the same bed with him, or even talk to him much at all that except for daily family business.

Eventually cheater ex alluded to the fact he was thinking about killing me and my sons and then killing himself. That’s when I got a restraining order and left with my boys, after some feverishly desperate preparation on my part to be able to rent a place for us and move. I faithfully followed every recommendation of my women’s advocate to try to keep us all safe. Cheater ex’s equally disordered family got into the act. They wanted him to divorce me for the longest time. He filed. I got the best lawyer I could afford through the women’s center. She was a pit bull, thankfully. I got physical and legal custody of my boys and a little bit of child support. I also got the house. The judge refused to grant supervised visitation. That enabled cheater ex to kidnap an murder my youngest son five months later. True to his word he also killed himself.

Reconciliation is just giving them more time to screw you over in my book. Cheaters actions prove their poor character. Poor character is much more about what they are, the basis of what they do. Shitty actions are fixable, shitty character is not. Especially if the bearer of said shitty character sees nothing wrong with it. Reconciliation is a waste of the chumps valuable time and gives the cheater more time to abuse you. My opinion is that reconciliation is a farce and a huge waste of time and money.

Gone
Gone
8 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

I am so sorry. That is just so horrible.

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
8 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Tessie, you’ve been through so much. What a nightmare! You are a pillar of strength. (((big hug)))

Patsy
Patsy
8 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Tessie that is a level of abuse that is just awful – did you know he was capable of that and did that judge get to know about what happened?
You are completely right that shitty actions are fixed but shitty character cannot be.
I wasted 5 years ‘reconciling’. It was a whole other level of humiliation and abuse, and I did it to myself – despite reading CL faithfully. Some Chumps just take a lot of time to get over the fear and drop the hopium pipe.
One day at a time, Tessie x

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

OH my gosh Tessie, I am so sorry for your loss and pain. I can’t even imagine. You are a mighty woman and I am in you awe.

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago

Tessie, I have read your story before, but that still doesn’t prepare me for the almost physical slap in the face feeling I get when I read it. It’s just truly beyond words how evil this guy was. Prayers and hugs to you. Thank you for sharing.

moving forward
moving forward
8 years ago
Reply to  not Juliet

Yes. Thank you for sharing. Hugs to you.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago
Reply to  moving forward

Yes, Tessie, Everytime I read your story, I am amazed that you are still standing. That you can even write about that incubus (need more words in the English language to describe this guy). All I can do is send you love and blessings. How long ago did this happen? Much love

Tessie
Tessie
8 years ago

It will have been 24 years this month. A lot of time, yes, but some things change your life forever. I’m doing OK, except anniversary time, which will be July 26th or there about. (My son’s body wasn’t found for almost 2 weeks so I don’t know the exact date he was killed.) A few weeks around that date are still hard, and I find myself a bit raw this time of year.

I cant tell you how much it means to me to be able to share. First it gives me hope that my story can save someone some measure of pain, or perhaps even save a life. Secondly, it lets me say to someone that yes, there was once a beautiful, handsome fourteen year old boy who was smart, and funny, who loved pancakes and coke,who pestered the living daylights out of his older brother. A handsome fourteen year old boy who grew tall and lanky in his last year, who had hair the color of caramel and eyes the color of milk chocolate, and who was loved, oh, so loved.

I miss him every day.

Thank you for letting me share, and thank you for your compassionate support. Hugs right back atcha.

Marge
Marge
5 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

I’m reading this years later and it makes my heart break.
I’m so sorry for your loss…he sounds like he was a special kid.

Her Blondeness
Her Blondeness
8 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Tessie, your description of your beloved son brought tears to my eyes. I have lived through the pain of betrayal twice, but I cannot even imagine losing a child like that. That you can talk about it so sweetly and compassionately leaves me in awe. Hugs and kind thoughts to you, especially as this dreadful anniversary approaches.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  Her Blondeness

Me too.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

What a tribute to your son, Tessie. Thanks to the power of your beautiful words, many other people will now remember him as well. Thank you for that, and God bless.

Other Kat
Other Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

There are no words, Tessie, I am so very sorry. I am in awe of your strength and willingness to share your story.

Gone
Gone
8 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Your live for him still shines through. I wish you love and support as you go through the grief of this upcoming month.
It helps me to keep in mind that my paranoia may not be irrational, and that it’s okay to check the locks twice.

nomar
nomar
8 years ago

Several people have mentioned that, although reconciliation was painful and failed to save their marriage, they are glad they went through it, with which I agree. Anyone feeling this way might be interested in an amazing TED talk by author Andrew Solomon titled,

“How the Worst Moments in Our Lives Make Us Who We Are” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiM5a-vaNkg

20 minutes but very much worth every bit of it. He does an amazing job of explaining how we often overcome abuse not by denying it or running away from it but by weaving it into a new identity. That’s how I feel now about infidelity, seven years after my first D-day. I am a better person, a better husband in my second marriage, a better father, a better friend. I never would have picked this path, but I now wouldn’t have it any other way.

unicornomore
unicornomore
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

At the time, I thanked God for my reconciliation and was so glad to have a shot. I was willing to do ANYTHING to save my marriage. I thought that we were in “reconciliation” for 7 years between Dday and his death but shit I found in my house seems to indicate that the first 18 months of what I thought was our recon were quite likely a time of intense cake eating for him.

He did a really crappy job of working towards real healing…there were excuses and more lies and blame and avoidance and refusal to go to counseling and very little remorse communicated to me. Him acting like nothing happened hurt 90% as bad as when he did it in the first place. It was a horrible reconciliation and I came to learn after his death that he was a serial cheater.

The person I was then was not willing to “give up with out a fight”…the person I am today is amazed that I fought so hard to stay with a man who didn’t want me.

I now fight with myself trying to figure out what I regret about the whole thing…the irony is that being married at the time of his death gave me everything free and clear (and a big life insurance pay out) and the suckness of our marriage taught me things about life and love that I was too shallow and immature to understand before.

30 yrs ago I dated a great guy who I would have made a terrible wife to because his sweetness seemed dull and predictable. I would never have really appreciated him and taken everything he gave for granted. Im totally different now and Im going to marry this same sweet guy in 11 days and I will be a great wife to him now that I understand the real value of kindness and real true decency.

My horrible experiences brought me to where I am now which is a really great place…I may need to watch that Ted talk

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Congrats on your upcoming marriage! I wish you much joy and happiness in your life together!

Gone
Gone
8 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Congratulations! I think the big thing about chumps is that we can learn and grow. I wish you happiness and joy in your upcoming nuptials.

unencumbered
unencumbered
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

I have to agree with this post. I needed to try so I could look myself in the mirror, and my kids in the eyes, and know I gave our marriage my best shot. I learned, however, that you cannot save a marriage singelhandedly. I do not regret the year I took to set boundaries, observe and process before deciding I was done. I needed time to absorb the extent of the betrayal, see the pattern of behavior which did not match the words, and assess from the distance why I didn’t feel any different when he moved out.

To this day, I know I could have found it in my heart to forgive him, if he has shown humility, consistent remorse, any sort of empathy for my feelings and a willingness to work hard to get me back. I never saw any of that so I felt, after 1 year of trying, that I could honestly say I tried but it wasn’t to be. After reading CL for the last several months, I see that I am not alone and that people who cheat seem to all be cut from the same cloth…People who are capable of affairs are not capable of humility, remorse, empathy and/or hard work.

I am happier than I have been in years now that I am not longer married, but I still mourn the loss of my innocence, in believing that people are innately good and to be trusted. 17+ years is a long time to trust that someone is one person, and then find out you were married to a hologram. I did learn a lot during that ‘reconciliation’ year, and since..I learned how to stand up for myself, trust my gut, hold my head up high and show my 3 boys what a strong woman looks and acts like. Lessons learned indeed.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
8 years ago
Reply to  nomar

Nomar, that is how I feel as well. Although the bogus reconciliation was a huge mistake and a nightmare, I cannot say I am sorry that I did it, as the whole experience was necessary for my growth and my new life.

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
8 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

^^^I third that!

krking911
krking911
8 years ago

following

krking911
krking911
8 years ago

foll

TheClip
TheClip
8 years ago

By ‘Deadness” did she happen to mean …you may end up dead. That has been my experience with reconciling and his affair. We attempted to reconcile…he continued to screw around,take mutaul funds and live duplicitiously…he left again…he insisted on settling out of court…when I refused because he was acting irrational and extremely hostile… he beat the crap outa me and threatened to kill me in front of our child. So what grew? His hostility. What became stronger and resilient? My resolve in ending this fucking cluster.
SHOVE. IT. UP. YOUR. ASS. ESTHER.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Esther is an ass, “and often it will draw a couple out of a place of deadness”, if by that she means the chump gets away alive and suffering from PTSD, then yeah. But she doesn’t, cheating is a form of abuse and goes hand in hand with others, this the idiocy doesn’t get at all.

pucksmuse
pucksmuse
8 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Agreed, also, I object to overwrought, flowery word usage as a method to sound smarter than she is and dress up her ideas as somehow intellectual.