Reconciliation — What did you try? What did you buy?

muffintop

Chumps tend to divide into three camps — those who tried to reconcile, those who got left, and those rare chumps who recognized cheating as a deal breaker immediately and left.

I think the majority of us fall into the first camp — we tried to reconcile. At least for awhile, until it proved false or we just couldn’t hack it anymore. Those who got left might have tried their own form of “standing” for their marriage, doing the pick me dance from afar. And those who just left the building avoiding all the mindfuckery? We salute you.

And of course there are unicorns — the rare people who actually make a go of reconciliation. Some of us believe in unicorns, some of us do not. I want to believe in unicorns, because I want to believe people are capable of authentic change. I just think it’s very rare. My arguments for that are all over this blog.

But today, I’m talking about reconciliation — what you tried and what you bought.

I’m asking for a couple reasons. First, as I was pitching my book, I had to explain to people that there are ZERO infidelity resources out there that aren’t about reconciliation. There’s “Just Friends,” “When Good People Cheat,” “After the Affair,” etc. And every single one of them is cheater-focused and assumes the chump wants (or should have) a relationship with the cheater. No one, that I’m aware of just says don’t waste your life on someone who isn’t one bit sorry — LEAVE. Or weights the post-affair discovery decision-making in favor of chumps and leaving, and puts the onus on cheaters to get their shit together. (You do that self-improvement stuff on your own time. I’ve got a life.)

People looked really shocked and surprised when I said that — I have this position all to myself. Alone. Fortunately for them, they’ve never been chumped, so they never did the 3 a.m. Amazon searches.

The second reason I’m asking is to open the floor up about your experiences. If you’ve been watching the book’s number one Amazon rating in divorce, you’ll notice the troll attack. It’s best to ignore trolls, but I expect as we come out of the chump closet and start really discussing infidelity — that it hurts people, especially kids, the costs are devastating, it’s narcissistic, and silly, and tragically wasteful — there will be more resistance to this point of view. Shut UP! Accept the narrative that you grew apart or you are are shitty, sexless spouse who drove them to it.

Or accept the narrative that you Must Forgive and love all the cheaters’ hurt away (even if they continue to cheat on you — it’s a fog, just wait, it might clear…). You know, the hopium POV.

This blog is criticized for being derisive about reconciliation. I’m not derisive about reconciliation. I think people don’t just reconcile out of fear and misplaced hope, I think they do it with incredible bravery too. They overestimate their powers, IMO. But I think chumps sincerely believe their goodness and their humility will be recognized and rewarded. They suck it up. They try harder. They love in the face of incredible pain.

It must seem churlish to some people that I don’t seem to respect that. I do respect fortitude, but I think that sort of loyalty is misdirected and you should love yourself more than the person who is hurting you and has betrayed you.

I reserve my derision for the Reconciliation Industrial Complex who makes a buck off people’s pain and peddles false hope — this idea that you can single-handedly save marriages, and that is possible, because really, you’re the problem. (Fix you, this thing fixes itself. Nice them back into the marriage because you “meaned” them into the affair in the first place.)

Those people? Yeah, they suck. I don’t mind saying so.

So tell me — what do you think of the infidelity literature and resources out there? What did you try? Did it help? Did it keep you stuck?

Should we organize a virtual chump bonfire and toss in every book in the “When Splendid People Cheat” canon?

Speaking for myself, I had four (yes four — I wear the chump crown) D-Days. I don’t regret the first attempt at reconciliation. I regret the subsequent three. I needed to try and get kicked in the teeth a few times to really understand who he was. I suspect other folks did similar. I’m not that person any more, I think people who are sorry act sorry, and you shouldn’t waste one second wondering where real remorse is. Those hard lessons are why this blog exists.

Thoughts on time spent in reconciliation?

Subscribe
Notify of

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

484 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
kath
kath
9 years ago

Well said, CL.

I, too, needed to get kicked in the teeth a few times to really understand who he was. In fact, I apparently needed to see him walk out the door into the arms of the current honey to really understand what kind of person he is. I only wish I’d known about this blog when you first started writing it. This blog and the people here are life savers.

beachi
beachi
9 years ago
Reply to  kath

🙁 oh that a hole, yup I am like that I have to see it to believe it…I sorry

LivingMyLife
LivingMyLife
9 years ago

I’m a unicorn now of 1.5 yrs. why do we have a real chance for reconsiliation. Chumplady! She saved my marriage! 2 yrs ago I started reading this blog. I started the pick me dance and was only loosing myself esteem further and he was in that FOG. I started to see I was not being valued and being used so I filed for divorce and he moved into an apartment. He signed the papers, I went no contact, but he begged me to give him a chance so I sent him CLs 7 things to do to prove it’s really remorse, he signed the postnup , went to individual counseling, blamed himself, and I’m here to say, that is why I could be myself these last 1.5 yrs and be angry and sad and crazy, ect to help heal from that infidelity pain from hell. I read CL every day and I have friends that I have helped by introducing them to CL. I know I’m rare and I thank God for your site and it’s people. CL is the best thing that ever happened to me! Thankyou

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
9 years ago
Reply to  LivingMyLife

LivingMy Life, this is the hardest thing. When the cheater did it, gave it up, his choice, and is TRULY disgusted and gutted, and remorseful, and transparent, and creates and signs a post-nup far favouring me, and goes to multiple therapists with you, and DOES THE WORK, and apologies sincerely, every day, and holds you as you vomit and cry, and even cries with you (he’s not a crier, never has been but I have seen tears in the aftermath of what he did to us) and listens to you, and answers every single question you ask, for years, and you know they are just so, so sorry for what they did. You want to leave a cheater and gain a life, that is what you always promised yourself, BEFORE he fucked your friend over and over, but you know that they fucked up when in a bad place, with crap fucking emotional coping skills, and have done EVERYTHING, and continue to do EVERYTHING to try to help mend your broken heart, front up to your friends and family, your whole damn community about their crappy-arse behaviour, owing their shit, talks to your children about why Dad did such a disgusting thing, and how sorry he is for hurting them too, and tells them they can ask him anything – and always can if they need to talk. Unicorns sure are bloody rare, but they are not always the total answer to the hurt either. I am so much better in myself, I am even more independent than I was (and I was already pretty damn kick-ass!) but that warmth, “safety” and comfort I had in my (then) wonderful man who truly loved me as much as I totally adored him, my rock, my fabulous partner in life of (then) 21 years is not there anymore. I still love him, very deeply, and I see how much he has done, how much he has learned about himself, about honesty and about speaking up when things are a bit shitty, but I am not quite on that unicorn’s back, riding off over the rainbow, sprinkling sparkles in my wake. Reconciliation is fucking hard! I know divorce is, too. And I salute all here who have overcome shitty, shitty people, and are either at meh, or well on their way to it.

Hell, this unicorn owner still bought Chump Lady’s book! I agree with the whole concept of this blog, for sure. If he wasn’t totally remorseful, and there was more than one OW, I would FOR SURE be outta here! And I will be lending said book to a chumpy friend as soon as the paper version arrives all the way from the States! Thanks CL x.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  horsesrcumin

And that is the sadness and the lie of RIC, you can reconcile but it is not likely to be better, and how long to get trust back, to feel truly safe again?

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Yep Dat. But you also realise that you take this forward. I would struggle with trust and safety with anyone now. That is the “gift” of infidelity. And I have worked bloody hard to trust people. Not happening here. Don’t think it ever will again. Not the way I did. If it hasn’t after all our hard work these past five years, including eight months of separation when I kicked him out. Like everyone here, this just is. Can’t change a damn thing. Can only try to live as well as possible despite it. With or without him. That is my driving force more than ever. And it doesn’t include forgiveness. Not in the way we traditionally think of it. Just acceptance. It happened. Can’t unfuck her.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  LivingMyLife

I am so happy for you LivingMyLife!

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  LivingMyLife

Living, THIS is what every single chump really wants.

I have heard, in RL, 3 people who have done this. So you are the fourth. My IC says that of all people he has in therapy, ONE couple has reconciled. That is because for three weeks solid he sat in the room and sobbed about the shitty thing he had done.

He said to me, Patsy, you and Mr Patsy have taught me a lot about affairs, and about adding insult to injury after affairs.

(He also loves CL’s writing style, was very animated when I took her essay on ‘why you stay stuck with a cheater’ talked about me finally owning it, and was very interested in the barbed wire monkey thing. So CL has a PhD psychoanalyst’s RESPECT!).

me
me
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

I have a friend who spent countless hours consoling me as she too had been through this … the laying on the bathroom floor screaming and crying, unable to get up. She, with the help of counselors and friends, looked like a unicorn. He went to counseling (alone) for over a year. He was “treated” for sex addiction. He signed a post-nup. He literally worked his ass off for two years to be “allowed” to come home.

When he did, there was much fanfare, it was THE topic of the annual Christmas Letter (God works miracles … The Prodigal has returned), and to outside observers, it looked like she had indeed found one of the elusive Unicorns. They scheduled date nights, she held strict boundaries, they kept separate bank accounts, everything. He jumped through hoops to prove his repentance.

Fast forward three years, while packing to go on vacation, he reached over, grabbed her plane ticket and told her she “wasn’t going.” He walked out the door (again!) and hasn’t been heard from in over a year. No child support. No nothing.

She is now back to Square One.

I know this absolutely beautiful (blonde, thin, attractive) and strong (rises to a challenge, believes in God and miracles). After being such a good friend to me, offering a hand to me when I was crying till I threw up and passed out from grief, she has now gone into hiding, will not answer my communication to her (trying to return the favor and be there for her) … now she is a recluse — no doubt feeling toxic embarrassment and shame (again) of epic proportions.

While this has been terrible for her, like a permalink on a web page, it’s that one things that is always before me, should my mind ever even start even considering the “R” word.

Seriously folks, even God, all the religion in the world, and prayers from every sain in the world, won’t override someone’s free will and choice. You can pray and counsel and do all you want, but it’s like pouring peas on cowhide, as the old saying goes. If you’re dealing with a Character Disturbance … well then, you have a … character disturbance.

Remember the old song The Snake by Al Wilson?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iscnqxkuD64

horsesrcumin
horsesrcumin
9 years ago
Reply to  me

I am with you there, me. That is the thing, whoever can ever trust anyone again after this? So many do, and I can’t work out why I can’t – not him, that is understandable – but all the other people who used to be in my life, and all the lovely people who could be, but I don’t trust enough to let through the walls. It is so fucking stupid of me! I was the most trusting partner ever, not a jealous bone in my body, I just never FELT I had anything to worry about. Why were people even like that??? Now I have no friends left, and I don’t trust anyone. I have worked hard to try to, but it ain’t coming easy to this chump! I get your friend, and feel for her, she “did it all the right way” and still got re-chumped. Badly. I am as embarrassed and humiliated, with him or without him. And it is not my shame to own! Stupid fucking cheaters!

Rant over and out 😉

Janet
Janet
9 years ago

The affair ended 1/14 and as far as affairs go it was a sad sophmoric EA and I know the woman in this case was looking for her next sugar daddy. It isn’t much a a reconciliation it is more of a we are living in the same house but most of my stuff is packed to go. No apology and I can’t really forgive him because of that. I’m not sure what is going to happen. I know if I leave I will never come back because it is so hard for me to go. I don’t feel like there is some huge rush to go. I wish that I had left as soon as he asked for a divorce. I don’t feel the same way about him.

Finally realized
Finally realized
9 years ago
Reply to  Janet

Janet, what hard proof do you have that the affair is actually ended?

I only ask because I was re-chumped with a false reconciliation when I couldn’t believe that he would do it to me again so soon. I was operating on the assumption, still, that his heart and mind were more like mine. I couldn’t take in the reality that he was able to turn right around and re-establish everything with her… a couple of WEEKS after holding me while I sobbed and sobbed, and swearing over and over that “if I have to spend the rest of my life begging your forgiveness, I will do it, gladly, if you will please give me the chance to try to make up for this horrible thing I’ve done to you!” And you didn’t even get an apology? I would be concerned, really.

My cheater did break things off with his affair partner soon after D Day but only because he thought he was dying (medical emergency) and that, coupled with my heart broken reaction to finding out he was a cheater…temporarily played on his conscience. But he refused to tell her about me and so she didn’t accept the break up and begged him not to leave her.

The contrast between her eager adoration and my dismay and hurt and anger made it easy for him to play me again. He felt like he had to hang on to me in case things didn’t work out with her, I think. And he hung onto her in case he decided I was too damaged.

The central theme is him, him, and him. His ego, his need to be in control, and his appetite for cake and those fabulous kibbles.

I wish that I had really snooped on his activity from the get go after D day but I have been ridiculously respectful of the privacy of others my whole life – well, ever since the day when I was ten and my big sis caught me in the closet reading her diary LOL. I was so ashamed of myself that it became my mantra from then on that I would never invade anyone else’s privacy again. Ironically, if my sis had still been alive when I was going through all this last summer, she would have been the first to urge me to go ahead and invade his shit.

So, are you absolutely certain that there is NO contact between them? Or with anyone else?

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  Janet

Sorry you are going though this. It just sucks.

FWIW, most affairs are silly, sad and sophomoric. At least, they not indicative of deep maturity, empathy, and awareness.

That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

Finally realized
Finally realized
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

<>

Indeed they are sophomoric and silly. I’m embarrassed for my cheater every time I think of the teeny bopper style bathroom selfies he posted to his Other Woman. Not sexting (that I have seen, I should say), but vain, proud, and silly to the nth degree. Just the look on his face. Ugh.

And I try to imagine what his grand kids would conclude if they saw them. For sure they would never again be able to take him seriously. Deep maturity? Not exactly.

expatChump
expatChump
9 years ago

Not just selfies, as well as lots of pictures of himself, by himself, that one of our daughters usually takes, that I’m sure are taken for OW benefit and sent to her. When did he become so effin’ vain?

Flora
Flora
9 years ago
Reply to  expatChump

Yes, during his affair my husband would admire himself in every mirror or window we walked by, always jutting out his jaw in this annoying way (to hide his weak chin). I remember watching him admire himself in a mirror while he tried on a jacket just after dday, when he still didn’t know that I was onto him. He was obviously extremely pleased with his appearance. So what do I do? Chumpy me goes back the next day and buys the jacket for his upcoming birthday.

Finally realized
Finally realized
9 years ago
Reply to  Flora

“to hide his weak chin” LOL 🙂

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  Flora

My husband was even more creepy. He is a very handsome, and during this time when he caught his reflection in ANY shiny surface, he would smile with satisfaction at himself.
I would cringe – but not once did I take it up with him. Nor, when he openly gawked and ogled other women.
Why didn’t I? How well trained had I been, that it was pointless, that for the pain of admitting a truth, it would be denied and I would be savaged. 3 hurts in one assertive protest of self.
That is totally on me. That I went along with the frank abuse and discard, I did.

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

Hugs, Patsy! Look how far you’ve come . . . you wouldn’t accept that now 🙂

paula
paula
9 years ago

After the discovery of my then husband’s five your affair, I purchased SEVEN books on how to save my marriage. Twenty-six years of marriage made me quite reluctant to give up on the life to which I so desperately wanted to cling.

Between the uncontrollable trembling and projectile vomiting I would read and study these books with great earnestness and tremendous hope. At first, I took notes in the margins and wrote key phrases in my journals, but I soon realized that my husband was completely unconcerned. He loved the fantastic meals I prepared as I pick me danced in the kitchen and he loved the hysterical bonding as I pick me danced in the bedroom but other than that – he was entirely unconcerned. My anguish and heartbreak were pretty damned inconvenient to him.

By book number five I began to find the writing insulting. The insinuation that I must double – no stinking triple, my efforts to regain his attention began to just piss me off.

I became so disgusted with them that I threw them into a box and took them to my wise therapist, thinking he might have clients he could pass them on to. He glanced at the titles and made a gentle remark that none of required remorse from the cheater so really, they were just a pointless jumble of words.

It wasn’t until I found Tracy (I was one of her earliest readers) that healing words finally had meaning.

Sandy R
Sandy R
9 years ago
Reply to  paula

“Twenty-six years of marriage made me quite reluctant to give up on the life to which I so desperately wanted to cling.”
Such a simple sentence..but it says so much about how we chumps feel. It’s nearly impossible to give up on that life..the one I think we all desperately cling to at one time or another. I think it’s the betrayal aspect..we would never ever do something like this to our partner, and it seems that it was/is so easy for them to do it to us. And in my case, with not a smidgen of regret or guilt. In fact, he’s happier now than he ever has been, with not a care in the world, because he got rid of the monkey on his back..ME. He truly bops around like King Crap, because he honestly feels that he did nothing wrong. Yet I still cling to that life that I thought I would have until my last day on earth. THAT’S what makes me a world-class chump.

Gaby
Gaby
9 years ago
Reply to  Sandy R

Exactly how I feel. Exactly.

Janet
Janet
9 years ago
Reply to  paula

I thought saving my 23 yr marriage was worth a try but it wasn’t he is not the man I thought he was

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  paula

“None of required remorse from the cheater”–right on target.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago
Reply to  paula

I just wanted to say that I projectile vomited too. I didn’t even know how projectile vomit could be before I did it… (I have not had kids. I am sure parents have much more vomit experience than I did before dday.)

Toni
Toni
9 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Me too…..my emotions have always affected my stomach. And Boy were my emotions on high!

zyx321
zyx321
9 years ago
Reply to  Toni

I couldn’t eat and threw up for the first couple of months.
When then H told me he did not want to try in MC, I did that crazy gasping crying that Emma Thompson did in “Sense and Sensibility.”
I guess that is a regret of mine as well… why I did not simply say “ok, let’s get divorced” when he said he did want to undertake MC.
Live and learn… when they say it, believe it.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago

I was certainly an Amazon chump, in the beginning. I also stayed up for 3 or 4 days straight haranguing Mr. Cheaterpants–and getting different answers with each barrage–. I simply could not believe that my life had flipped from perfectly OK to a fucking nightmare that made me want to lie down on some traintracks, in about 25 seconds. My ex told me about (one of) his affairs–well, part of it anyway…of course to this day I don’t think I have the whole story, and never will.

So I also spent the first couple seeks digging up shit…and digging…and digging and finding. It was awful. He kept swearing there was nothing left to find– the first time or two I actually thought I could swallow the shit buffet. By the time I found the Craig’s List ads that went back 4 years, including one that he posted while in Seattle at his mother’s funeral–(I didn’t go), I knew it was a matter of how I would get out and when, not if.

Then I started playing chess with his head.

But while I was Amazon-chumping, I even read all kinds of stuff in the scholarly literature, other people’s Ph.D. dissertations. Here’s a story in chumpery: I cut and pasted sections of someone’s diss into a document for Mr. Cheaterpants to read because, you know, I thought he cared enough to read the very best. Awww reallY?

But, at the time I liked that book about all the things a cheater can do to make his/her chump feel better (How To Help your Spouse Heal from Your Affair..blah blah, by Linda MacDonald et al. ) That was until I realized that MC (Mr. Cheaterpants) had gotten about 10 pages into chapter 1 and it was gathering dust, along with all the other books that I feverishly read. (He’d rather read Samuel Beckett plays, which might say something. Me, I guess I was Waiting for Godot).

I still think there are useful things in Transcending Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder (except for the religious part)–it validates that I as a chump was *traumatized*, before anyone else did.

Similarly, the only parts of the books like More than Just Friends and all that stuff that were of use to me then were the ones that spoke about how badly hurt I as the betrayed partner was. I re-read those almost compulsively–because in the early weeks it was the only place I was getting a reflection of how shitty my experience was.

What I did not get–and what I needed–was the road map in your materials. So I did some stupid shit, like contacting the OW (mistake!). In addition, with nothing but a great void before me I think I really must have come off as out of my tree to people and they simply didn’t understand why (what’s so bad about a little extramarital sex after all…? forgive and forget, right?). Neither I nor they really understood that what was blowing up was a volcano of years and years of gaslighting, mindfuckery, psychological abuse of all kinds.

It just culminated in his affair. So to speak.

The first MC we saw did indicate to me (alone) that it was unfixble (after she told us both it was fixable….). This was within the first week after d-day and I really freaked out. Basically it took me some time to wrap my brain around the idea that I had lost so much–it was like a sudden death.

So I didn’t walk out right away. I probably ended up with more money the way it worked out (I did a post nup first, including language that it was the basis for a divorce agreement–I’m in a brutally no fault state.)

Yeesh. it sucks. he’s an asshole. not much more to say. I’ve survived, but I wasted 25 years of my life on an asshole. My kid hates him and she’s depressed. He left a huge damage trail, and I’m slowly, slowly trying to sweep it up.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

Yeah. There are only 3 books worth reading:

Linda J MacDonald
Dr David Clarke
Chump Lady.
maybe Dave Calder, but he assumes cheaters care.

Yes, I did read the rest. Rona Subotnik, Andrew Marshall of the British teeth, Dave Calder, Relate, THE WHOLE LOT.

I tried so hard!

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

“Neither I nor they really understood that what was blowing up was a volcano of years and years of gaslighting, mindfuckery, psychological abuse of all kinds.

It just culminated in his affair. So to speak.” – YES. This.

The IC said it first: ‘Patsy, don’t you think his affair is the finally unacceptably hurtful part of A PATTERN?’ He clocked his narcissistic ass straight away.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

Yeah, it sucks when you finally figure out that you are dealing with somebody’s life-long pattern that says more about who they really are than the mask they try to wear and that you bought into and the gaps and cracks you spackled over so that you could have a “relationship” worth of your affection where one never existed (at least not the kind of “relationship” you helped fool yourself into believing you had). Guilty.

I also read all that Penny Tuppy crap, read Michele Warner Davis mega crap (How to turn yourself into a human pretzel), imbibed briefly at the fountain of “standing” (thankfully, that one didn’t last long–days–because I was into deep research mode and uncovered conclusive studies debunking the popular notion of MLCs), and I got a good bit of the Marriage Builders BS second hand, and all that MWD, and PT did was encourage a soul-crushing codependent, magical thinking pick-me-dance.

I also read some interesting things. Boy, I read a lot. Read a lot of the Dalai Lama’s ghost-written books and translations, read everything by Philip Zimbardo, read “The Power of Habit”, and “Why We Make Mistakes”, etc, etc. I realized I needed to change too, but I was so far down the rabbit hole that I was trying to interpret everything through a me-focused lens that involved trying to influence things way beyond my control.

The reading material that had merit and had a real impact didn’t have an impact until I was willing to face the obvious: that this was part of a life-long pattern for my ex-wife, and she wasn’t who I preferred to think of her as being, and the person I was attached to was largely fictional.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

I think you make a key point here, the codependent thinking at the heart of the RIC. First, there is the attempt to manipulate others into changing their thinking and behaviors. Then there is the attempt to change ourselves–not to become wiser, happier, healthier and more whole, but to manipulate others into changing. The whole relationship dynamic that describes is skewed and doomed to failure (I say, speaking as a recovering codependent raised by an alcohol abuser and a narcissist mother). A committed relationship requires two committed people, not one over-committed person and someone running the show with their flaming dysfunction. On that level, it’s really no different trying to have a marriage with a cheater than trying to be married to an alcoholic or drug addict, at which I am an absolute expert. In the end, you end up sitting alone while your partner is off getting high, altering his or her reality with whiskey or a joint or some cocaine or sex with someone new. On another level, cheaters are not just using sex as their high; they need danger, risk, excitement and power over others. Alcoholics will lie and perhaps cheat on you because their real relationship is the drug of choice; cheaters will lie and cheat and gaslight and humiliate because crushing and controlling and toying with other people is their drug of choice. And nothing gets better until we “face the obvious: that this was part of a life-long pattern for [the cheater], and [he or] she wasn’t who I preferred to think of [him or] her as being, and the person I was attached to was largely fictional.”

Finally realized
Finally realized
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

“A committed relationship requires two committed people, not one over-committed person and someone running the show with their flaming dysfunction.”

Well, you just summed everything up for me. I have to write that down and stick it on my fridge. The ironic thing is that, prior to the affair, he began to complain that he didn’t feel like I made him feel like he was my “king” – enough. Every thing I did for him, and I was truly devoted to the guy, everything was invisible because apparently the love and effort I brought to the relationship was not of value. My natural efforts on his behalf, and everything I did for him whether researching and cooking for his diabetes and inflammation, to driving two hours to see him nearly every weekend for years, to regular deep massages (with my carpal tunnel syndrome wrists), etc. etc. was done with love in my heart. But evidently those things don’t count in his world.

He kept going on about a ledger sheet, where he listed all the things he did for me, and then would accuse me, “What have you given me? What have you done for me? I bought you a microwave! I helped you to fix your car! When did you last take me out to eat?” Mind you, I am on Disability, and he owns his own thriving business. But, even so, I DID spend money on him regularly, which always meant doing without something I needed, a sacrifice. And I never mentioned the fact, which should have been obvious, because I don’t roll that way. I give freely, and no one ever in my entire life has ever, ever accused me of being cheap or of not being totally generous.

And who did he have a two year affair with? A very, very wealthy woman young enough to be my daughter. She was soon devoted to him, too, because when he’s not being an asshole and focusing on the Big Himself, he is a very charming and fun man. It’s like he is two separate people. On the positive side, he has always been my sounding board and can be so thoughtful. I have a child with severe problems, and he has always tried to help me to figure out how to manage with her. And we have such a long history…it’s just that on a regular basis, he would come out of left field with some bullshit and stress me out with uncalled for jealousy. I see now that he was just projecting his unfaithful heart onto me. I never even looked at another man, and I had no shortage of opportunities to do so.

But I spackled with the notion that those episodes must correlate to spikes in his blood sugar (!) (gads. I embarrass myself now) And I would hang in there and wait for it to blow over, as it always did. WTH.

“cheaters will lie and cheat and gaslight and humiliate because crushing and controlling and toying with other people is their drug of choice.”

He was incredibly cruel during our false reconciliation. I couldn’t take it in, really. I was so numb and shocked. It took me months to really, really begin to comprehend and process the things he did during that time and I am having a delayed reaction to it all now. But, I look back and realize that I should have seen the overall pattern, and I was in love for years and years with a fictional person. Manipulative and capable of such breath taking cruelty. And I have been only too willing to spackle and cover his “shortcomings”, always overlooking the bad episodes and telling myself that over all he was such a good man, and just to appreciate the good aspects of him and try to deal with the flip side.

It has taken me a year to assemble the picture. The online bullshit advice and the forums and the downloadable programs…even down to the pathetic ones about how to win him back…I’m ashamed of how low and lost I became. All of that slowed me down and increased my confusion and suffering exponentially. I so wish I had found CL last May or even last summer, when I was up around the clock, feverishly searching for some kind of advice to hold onto while my reality crumbled underneath me. I was reeling in such terrific pain every damn minute. Well, you all know.

I still have a ways to go to correct a long lifetime of the wrong approach. I always am so driven to understand people and why they do or don’t do things. And compassion and grace are very important to me, perhaps too much so.

Anyway, thank you Tracy. So much. Your clarity is so breathtaking for someone like me who is coming from such a place of muddled confusion and pain.

Sandy R
Sandy R
9 years ago

“because when he’s not being an asshole and focusing on the Big Himself, he is a very charming and fun man.”
This..exactly. STBX is a completely different person with the OW! She thinks he’s just wonderful, you know..he’s such a great guy! Why is this? Why do they become a fabulous person with the OW/OM?

MGirontree
MGirontree
9 years ago

My husband told me very recently that he wants me to “worship him”. He actually used those exact words. This is after he confessed to 14 years of cheating in our 23 year marriage.

MGirontree
MGirontree
9 years ago

WOW! Finally realized, your story is erringly similar to mine. I am still back and froth since my codependency tendency is quite severe. I have been taught all my life that the truth is not real and to never trust my own feelings. I have a long way to go but I am taking steps to get there.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

TimeHeals caught the point you made early on–it wasn’t what you did or didn’t go. HE has to feel like a king and unfortunately, that usually involves conquering a new country or a having whole bunch of subjects to rule. None of that is the stuff of deep, intimate human relationships. When I asked my therapist why she thought the Jackass was attracted to his MOW (who is by objective standards average or below in most categories like education, income, beauty), she said: “She worshipped him.” Huh. Clearly, he has himself confused with Thor or Loki.

Don’t be hard on yourself for not seeing it. He had good qualities or you wouldn’t have loved him. He’s just not a whole human being, sadly.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago

he began to complain that he didn’t feel like I made him feel like he was my “king” –

Suppressing gag reflex; I wonder if he’ll ever figure out marriage is supposed to be a partnership these days.

I doubt it. Kings need subjects.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

I am really impressed that you read dissertations as part of your post-dday reading.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

nah–don’t be impressed. It’s just, the training kicks in and takes over when the other brain functions shut down–you know like emergency rescue, only nowhere near as important!

They put you through such a meat grinder in a Ph.H. program that it rewires you. I had professors tell me that (kind of like Puritan ministers & parents of yore) the intent was to break you down completely and reassemble you. Nice, huh? good chump preparation…or just more of it….. (LOTS of narcs in the Academy).

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

“(LOTS of narcs in the Academy).”–Yes, indeed.

Finally realized
Finally realized
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Agreed. Big egos all over the place, climbing that ladder. And people are so corruptible when their egos are outsized. The pure scholars with normal egos can get eaten alive. To say nothing of the prof/ingenue affairs…

thensome
thensome
9 years ago

I found out and asked my cheater to leave. Had him out in under a month. Mind you, he wanted out and didn’t put up a fight which in hindsight, I’m grateful for.

Hey, if you want to give reconciliation a try, I’m fine with that. It’s ok with me that people can make different choices around cheating. However, it’s my experience that cheaters, as a rule, suck at life. They lack basic compassion and are terribly ego-centric. Sure, there may be the one-off cheater who is undeniable sorry but I don’t see many of those. Most times it’s the Chump who gets blamed for this or that and the cheater just digs in deeper.

If anyone thinks that leaving a cheater is easy I can speak to how painful and difficult it was for me even when I knew it was the right choice. It’s hard to give up on someone I love. It’s hard to give up on the family that I loved. However, once I got free of him, I looked back and realized just how abusive and sad my marriage had become. He was not the person I married and we didn’t share the same values or goals in life.

I’m out of the marriage now. I’m free from the abuse that surrounded him having his affair and his second life. It’s been hard won every step of the way but to go back to that shit show? No, thanks. His cheating wasn’t my fault. His choices were his. There were a lot of other ways to end a marriage but his choice to cheat ended the marriage. Period.

If you want to pay a therapist money to reconcile, go ahead. Read books. Pray. Go to church. Think positive. Chant. I don’t give a shit what you want to do to save your marriage if that’s what you want, so long as you think it’s working for you. But don’t for a second blame yourself for your cheating partner’s choice.

MGirontree
MGirontree
9 years ago
Reply to  thensome

THIS!!!!!!

chumppalla
chumppalla
9 years ago
Reply to  thensome

Thank you!

Full-Steam-Ahead
Full-Steam-Ahead
9 years ago

Over my journey from separation (really abandonment) to divorce, I read about 20+ books related to my experience and as well as to help me in my theological development.

My ex-wife is a licensed marriage and family therapist who pretty much successfully triangulated any counselor that we saw or effectively neutralized their ability to confront her for her bad behavior (i.e. she was good keeping the focus on me and not her controlling the “what went wrong” narrative). To this day, I particularly hate the movie: FIREPROOF (and its accompanying book, THE LOVE DARE, which I did not purchase). That was supposed to solve the problem but only fed her entitlement and contempt of me. Looking back, I don’t care for another book, HOPE FOR THE SEPARATED by Gary Chapman all that much either. RIC fodder. Mark Driscoll’s book, REAL MARRIAGE is another I found especially atrocious and far from evangelical in reality (as far as theology is concerned–and I am an ordained evangelical minister; so, I am qualified to say so.)

In some sense, I don’t regret trying to reconcile. However, I wished I had more people around me encouraging me not to accept infidelity and affirming my anger around that. I read Dr. James Dobson’s LOVE MUST BE TOUGH and that gave me much clarity on my experiences. However, I sense his book edges too close to the shared responsibility assumption than I think is healthy or accurate.

Personally, I wish more people would see infidelity/adultery as the greater problem than divorce. I think it would save people (cheater and chump alike, actually) much grief! This was not my experience in “Christian” circles nor in the counseling world that I experienced at this time (with a few notable good exceptions).

Looking at Biblical passages attributed to Jesus, I am struck by how EVERY TIME he condemns divorce it is because it is being used to commit adultery! AND divorce because adultery or sexual perversion took place prior is allowable. (Even God divorces Israel for repeated adulteries in Jeremiah 3:8).

Do I think reconciliation can take place after adultery? Yes. However, I believe in miracles and see that as a miracle–i.e. something that does not normally happen like someone being raised back to life from the dead. In the natural world, we do not default to assuming a dead body will come back to life; why do we default in the counseling world that a dead marriage after repeated lying and adultery will/can normally come back to life? It’s counseling alchemy in my opinion.

The best shot I have heard of for reconciliation after adultery is for the chump to get REALLY angry and set major consequences for this bad behavior. Until the counseling and pastoral world gets this, they will continue to sell snake oil to chumps further damaging them and handing cheaters a one-way ticket to hell as well. No one really wins accept maybe the pocket book of the counselors.

Dutch-chump
Dutch-chump
9 years ago

Exactly FSA, in a previous post I compared trying to revive my marriage to giving CPR to a rotting corpse. It only gives you a bad taste in the mouth. But I still had to try. I truly believed I possessed biblical powers…

I Amazoned my way through false reconciliation. Did the MC. Danced the pick-me. All while saying with more and more sarcasm: ‘cheaper than a divorce’… It wasn’t, only financially.

Sammie D
Sammie D
9 years ago
Reply to  Dutch-chump

FSA- I am so sorry for what you have gone through, but may I say thank you for sharing your insight.
The religiosity that I have faced since putting my husband out a week before d’day has been baffling. If I thought the elders of my former church (including the minister) would take note of anybodies opinion other than their own, I would print out (with CL’s permission of course) your post and give it to them as a how to guide. The fact that I do not wish for any form of reconciliation at any time, which will lead to divorce as you have to wait 12 months here before you can file, has been likened to his sin of 8yrs of repeated infidelity with multiple others. So in their view my stand creates a two wrongs don’t make a right scenario. I Have been astounded how people with twist scripture to enforce their agenda. I have also had a person I know lampoon me with the notion that as a christian I have taken a vow of marriage and unless my spouse has beat me I should stay true to that vow even if I never see this man again.
In her view to divorce and remarry is an act of adultery and no different to the actions of my spouse. She and I attended the same bible college so I am confused as to which lectures she attended as I have never read anything like that in my bible.

FSA – I particularly like this addition to your original post.

Furthermore, we would consider it irresponsible for a doctor, nurse, or even chaplain to tell a family that their dead loved one will come back to life. Can we pray? Sure. But the expectation that this will come back to life stunts the grieving process and actually can do significant harm to those left behind–e.g. the chump in a marriage ravaged by adultery.

The only book I read in the beginning of my journey was my bible. The first month was spent being managed by the church and venting my anger on the punching bag hung in the garage lovingly called Bob. The second month was spent feeling like a caged animal at the zoo, as I spent all my time in the hospital with my daughter 24/7 following a diagnoses of cancer, all bar the few nights my STBX stayed. I was too busy getting my head around the diagnoses, medications and side effects to focus on anything. And to know that he and I where done was just one less battle, but I kept being blindsided by those from our church who thought that only they needed to know the truth of the matter, there never ending narrative of “but you do not know what the future holds and or if this marriage will end in divorce so until that time you should not say anything and just seek God on the matter’ Focus on your daughter.

It was as though I was just expected to enter the endless state of limbo, focus on my daughter and in my spare time work on the issues that contributed to the failing of my relationship. I could not find my feet in order to grieve and move forward. Those first few weeks I was like this anger laden thunder cloud that just hovered.
I am glad that I sought professional help outside the church. I found great friends that have supported me in ways I would never have thought possible. and I found Chump Nation. I do have to give a nod of credit to ‘notyou’ I imported the book ‘living with the passive aggressive man’ you can’t buy it here. This book has been a game changer for me. It have brought such a clarity, in helping me to understand what I am facing with my STBX.

Tracy I am teary, I want to share my appreciation for you and your willingness to be a voice in the wilderness. I have not looked back since finding this site and I know others feel the same. Many of us may never have the privilege of meeting you face to face but please know that when we think of you and this site it is with a smile on a our face and knowing in our heart that what you have created is something special.

Full-Steam-Ahead
Full-Steam-Ahead
9 years ago
Reply to  Sammie D

Sammie D,

If you would like me to write a direct letter on these matters as an ordained minister, I would be happy to do that on your behalf laying out the Scripture concerning divorce and infidelity much as I have done in this comment thread but with more detail. You can use it as you wish. Contact info: fsafromchumpladyblog at g mail . com

I am sorry that you have had to experience the hurtful rigidity of religion on top of all you have endured with a cheating spouse and sick kid. Know that I am at least one pastor who does not agree with reconciling with a cheater who has demonstrated nothing but a penchant for repeated unfaithfulness. As Chump Lady says, that is abuse and a threat to your life. Only crazy and confused counselors would suggest it is a good idea to stay in a relationship that threatens your physical health–and STDs plus emotional abuse from cheating/lying do both!

steppingup
steppingup
9 years ago

Dear full steam ahead, this was one of the more refreshing commentaires I have read in quite a long time, I need to speak with you please write to me steppingup @ juno .com

Cheers

ChumpBlocker
ChumpBlocker
9 years ago

“In the natural world, we do not default to assuming a dead body will come back to life; why do we default in the counseling world that a dead marriage after repeated lying and adultery will/can normally come back to life? It’s counseling alchemy in my opinion.”

Perfect.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  ChumpBlocker

We need to remember the “counseling alchemy” metaphor and the references to bringing back the dead.

Monika
Monika
9 years ago
Reply to  ChumpBlocker

And that is WHY some (although not enough of them) MCs will NOT take on infidelity smeared marriages. It is their personal philosophy that they have a right to implement. I think legally they have to give you one or two sessions but then they have the right to refuse treatment and that’s when they usually hear “I’m sorry but I don’t think I can help you, but let me refer you to someone else…” Notyou, can you confirm this? I’ve heard it from my own therapist, whose personal philosophy/belief system isn’t as stringent but who openly says that once narcissism is identified in one of the partners (guess which one that would be: chump or the cheater?), he gently encourages the non-narcissist to recognize it, learn about it, and practice detachment. The very same therapist told me that NPD is extremely difficult to treat, and he no longer “bothers” with treatment either, just focuses on the other person. I guess he thinks it’s about saving the victim at this point. And don’t get me started on the bullshit that some MCs spew. I’ve come to realize, mainly from hearing other people’s stories that marriage counseling is a big pile of shit, too unregulated, too many incompetent people enter the profession, too much to gain financially from hooking a client into treatments, when there’s no hope to be had. On the other hand, counseling can work for minor issues, like the couples who still have respect for each other but want to solve minor conflicts, maybe need an objective opinion on minor issues, like whether to encourage a spouse to take up a sport to lose weight, quit smoking, or be more affectionate. That’s minor to me. Fucking around and NPD will not be aided by therapy.

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago

(Even God divorces Israel for repeated adulteries in Jeremiah 3:8).

The OT was still being written 🙂 The Deuteronomist(s) had the unsavory job of a re-write because Israel was promised to the Hebrews forever (the covenant). Israel’s patriarchy, however, was split into two factions: one pro-Egypt and one pro-Babylon (Egypt and Babylon were at war). The pro-Egyptian faction prevailed, Egypt lost the war, and many of the Hebrews–especially prominent members of the patriarchy–were enslaved, cities were razed, and many others fled to Persia. The result was Israel–the kingdom–ceased to exist. Now if you have a holy book that says the kingdom of Israel is promised to you forever because God says so, you have an inconvenient circumstance to explain.

In step the Deuteronomist(s) and Jeremiah et al (the pro-Babylonian faction). The Hebrews of the Babylonian captivity did a lot of soul searching, and once Cyrus of Persia (a Zoroastian who is called a “messiah” and God’s right hand in the Torah/OT) liberated the Hebrews and allowed them to return to Israel, you get the whole divorce/reconciliation story you are familiar with, but things were re-written by cherry picking which particular scribes and “prophets” were “right” and “divinely inspired” only in retrospect and around the 2nd or 3rd century AD, I think.

Full-Steam-Ahead
Full-Steam-Ahead
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

TM,

I heard that perspective when I was working on my masters at Yale. And I still do not agree with it even hearing it from some of the brightest of minds there. Plus, I do not think even they would place the canonization of the Hebrew Bible so late as you do. The Council of Jamnia took place in 90 AD, which was a council about that very subject. Plus, you have the Septuagint being written/translated around 2nd/3rd Centuries BC making it less likely for such a late editing/canonizing of Hebrew Scripture.

Anyways, textual criticism and inspiration/authority views aside, I am more interested in just presenting a perspective. I am unapologetically coming at this as an evangelical ordained minister.

We all come down in different places on what texts or non-texts are authoritative in our lives. The Bible is authoritative in my life and in many others. I am just speaking from my own experience and perspective as such pointing out that one does not have to jettison a high view of Scripture in getting divorced after adultery. The texts support leaving a cheater–especially a remorseless cheater.

redless
redless
9 years ago

Full Steam
Scary thought–bringing a dead marriage back to life. We all know what happened in Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery. Yikes!!

Chris
Chris
1 year ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I learned that the founder of Affair Recovery is divorced(ing)?

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

Full-Steam-Ahead, this is an excellent post. Thank you.

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago

Great post, FullSteamAhead! I read it three times.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago

I guess I was lucky that, much to my surprise, the overwhelming consensus of church people I know (after hearing what happened) was don’t try to save anything (which wasn’t really possible since he was long gone!), but they also said to not take him back if he ever changed his mind. I am thankful for those (unexpectedly) supportive pro-divorce responses….

But stories on here show me that my situation most not be representative at all…

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago

forgive me–I’m not trying to be quarrelsome–but isn’t that Dobson book the one where he talks about beating his dachshund into submission (or some equally small dog)???

Full-Steam-Ahead
Full-Steam-Ahead
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

If he does say that, I don’t remember it. I found it helpful that Dobson lays out the old cheater lines and calls them for what they are. Like I said, I don’t totally agree with the book itself. But I did find it helpful at the time as it gave me the idea to give my cheater choice to continue cheating or stop and work on the marriage. She chose to continue cheating…of course. The book was helpful in getting me to set a healthy boundary…baby steps.

Full-Steam-Ahead
Full-Steam-Ahead
9 years ago

Furthermore, we would consider it irresponsible for a doctor, nurse, or even chaplain to tell a family that their dead loved one will come back to life. Can we pray? Sure. But the expectation that this will come back to life stunts the grieving process and actually can do significant harm to those left behind–e.g. the chump in a marriage ravaged by adultery.

beachi
beachi
9 years ago

I hate the love dare, I got it for him, and he was reading it as we moved into our home, and that bastard left me and used the stuff in the love dare for the affair.

Full-Steam-Ahead
Full-Steam-Ahead
9 years ago
Reply to  beachi

So sorry to hear that, beachi! How awful! Not cool. Not cool at all.

beachi
beachi
9 years ago

So cracking up …. like someone being brought back from the dead

HAHAHAHAHAHA

beachi
beachi
9 years ago

Holy cow, I think I am shunned at marriage sites, the ones who have wayward and fog a lot. Yes I am a chump, a long long chump in this.

Let me see, the day I heard we were living apart because of his job and my health, and I surprised him. First thing out of his mouth was I ruined everything.

Ok, time passes, blah blah, I heard a lot of lies and had no idea, we bought a new home, our dream home. It would have been more of our dream home had his penis not found her ass or whatever it found. So I tried to get over that, we moved, as we unpacked I kept thinking of his affair.

Then holy shit I go to a doc appt out of town, come back to hear “ow hurt her back at gym she was mad I got you a home”

So, he pulled off the affair as we looked at homes and all that, it was around thanksgiving, what the hell did he do, break up with her before the holiday?

And they got back together, so all in all.

My chumpness I bought while he was fucking her

1. a home which he deserted me at very far 7 hours on freeway from anyone I know

2. ow saved enough money to buy herself a ho home

3. ow also saved enough to buy herself a ho car

I am sure I bought other things for them.

For me? I did makeovers, spas, diet, clothes, was doing novenas up the ying yang, going online and doing cyber candles to light for his soul, went to 43 priests, got him a st michaels medal had a priest bless it for him

I even took him a taco bell meal deal once ow was there he was hungry, I left it as I drove off (too many calories for me to eat, see a stupid chump) I saw the taco bell meal deal fly out of the door onto the cheap carport, which is 4 doors down from a bails bondsman office, and the next door neighbors are bikers

Ugh, we always lived in the suburbs with a pretty yard, he wants it trashy now

Naughty trash for my H

I failed I failed as a chump my cousin said she would have never talked to him again why couldn’t I be like my cousin Peggy?

beachi
beachi
9 years ago

to be clear, him saying I ruined everything wasn’t about himself, it was me, I find out he is boinking her and moved in with her and I me yes chump here ruined everything

beachi
beachi
9 years ago

I did not go to 43 priests, god I need to check before hitting submit I went to 4

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  beachi

I liked the 43 better. 🙂

Finally realized
Finally realized
9 years ago
Reply to  beachi

Four or forty three – you certainly put forth a herculean effort, bless your heart.
Novenas up the ying yang and the online cyber candles for his soul…made me smile, even as I could cry to see your earnestness. The enormous pain they cause, and the lack of concern for that fact. It’s such a contrast, isn’t it?

beachi
beachi
9 years ago

It is, I am so glad I found this site, it is the only one with any sanity to it. 🙂

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  beachi

Beachi – yup, you got me with lighting those incenses of Hopium.
My Dicko has also moved into a ‘negligible neighborhood’, from a nice home. But, hey – it’s her home so what could be better.

beachi
beachi
9 years ago

I just remembered something, I even bought those candles they have for prayer like the 99 cent store sells, what can I say I would try anything. And burn them and pray before I called him when he got off work.

Such a mess, I was such a mess.

PattyToo
PattyToo
9 years ago
Reply to  beachi

Hahahaaa
I got a ‘special’ candle from my neighbor, she said I should then write down my deepest hopes and dreams that he would return to loving ONLY ME. Then, I took the letter, went outside on a full Moon night, and burned the letter with the candle, closing my eyes and wishing. So embarrassing. I just loved that cheater, so, so much, and he ruined everything, I thought I could fix it with a candle (well, maybe?).
Gee, he kept on sneaking her into our house, while I was at work, so candles just suck!

Dawn
Dawn
9 years ago

I fall into camp 3, with a couple of fear hiccups. I found out my family man husband, who traveled 2 weeks per month, was buying prostitutes at the tune of between $400 and $2,000 per month for the past 10 years of our 13 year marriage. I had absolutely no clue and no warning when I stumbled across his “Red Light Review” page with his multiple reviews for hookers and what they would do, what they were like, etc etc. Disgusting and vomit-worthy. He was very very adept at hiding his double life, and controlled all of our finances (now I know why he was so insistent). He led a fantasy life with his favorites (Juicy Krystal, anyone?) and sexted them thousands of times a month. I trusted him completely and never thought he’d cheat, so I never checked up on his cell phone records.

Anyway, that night I found out, I confronted him (he at first started with the “I was only curious and never did anything” then it trickled out on what he thought I knew over the next couple weeks. I made him sleep on the couch that first night, and kicked him out the next morning. I met with my lawyer 2 days later and started the divorce papers. I knew in my gut that there was something seriously wrong with him that he could lead a double life and be so morally corrupt – it was like looking at a stranger in my husband’s body. So surreal.

I did have my fear and hopeful moments, when I desperately wanted my old life and my not-real husband back, and I tried reading a couple of books (Just Friends, being one of them). I tried to have him read them, to no avail. I was scared to death, mostly of financial fear as I had been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. I knew in my heart, though, that I could not live with someone who was that disgusting and who I knew so little and who respected me so little.

During that time I went to many infidelity websites, but they all felt WRONG. How could people think like that? It made absolutely no sense to me, as it didn’t mesh with my experience or how I was feeling. I was told he did it because of my co-dependency, and I allowed him to do it. Hard to allow it when I never knew it was happening! It felt like they victimized the betrayed spouses.

Then I found Chump Lady, and what a godsend and breath of truth. Seriously, she kept me sane in those early months. She honed in on all the stupid things they say, and decoded them all and it was like a light going on. Everything fit, and played out just as Chump Lady said they would. The tricks, the trickle-truths, gaslighting, everything. This blog gave me the strength and backbone to go through with the divorce and demand better for myself and my children.

I had been separated for a year when my divorce went through. He did not want people to know who he really was, and that helped me get a good settlement (not that it quieted my tongue after it was final!). The kids and I are doing better and moving on with our lives. We are 18 months post divorce, and still go no-contact except for kid and money issues. I am halfway through my degree, and excelling. Yes, there are many days when I still cry and miss my fake life, but this one is authentic and real, and I’m only going up.

Thanks, Chump Lady, for everything you do. Keep telling the truth to everyone who will listen.

Seattle Dawn
Seattle Dawn
7 years ago
Reply to  Dawn

my story is almost the same. I left my husband 3 years ago.
I stumbled upon tnaboard.
He was having affairs with several women including Juicy Krystal.(she would not make him wear a condom.)
He admitted to having bareback sex with several of the women. He would attend parties and act like a big shot.
He wound up moving in with one of them.

I almost threw up when I found out.

DefyingGravity
DefyingGravity
9 years ago
Reply to  Dawn

Your story is exactly like mine re: the prostitutes and the money, the separate finances, the gaslighting and the trickling out, and the fear and hopeful moments. I’m in the middle of the actual divorce process right now, and it sucks. I’m finding a lot of strength from the stories and support here. It’s encouraging to hear how well you have come through it! Congrats!

Dawn
Dawn
9 years ago
Reply to  DefyingGravity

You’ll make it! Keep pushing forward and don’t look back!

Syringa
Syringa
9 years ago

“Wait, come back! There’s a part of my face you haven’t walked on yet!”

Cheating X mumbled something along the lines ‘we can make this marriage work’ after I caught him in an affair. At first he denied having sex with her which was a big fat lie. Then he claimed he was ‘confused.’ Yeah, right. My devastation and heart break were terribly inconvenient to him and he would get angry at my tears.

I went to counselors. I went to some dumb break up group and couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was an internet/Amazon chump looking for ‘answers.’ I tried to unravel the skein and figure out his FOO issues. I read a lot of books, ones that were so helpful I can’t remember the names and have since given to the Goodwill. I made lots of mistakes. Contacting the OW. Groveling. Writing long, epic, letters explaining how much I loved him and how much he hurt me. Like he gave two shits.

I was subsequently dumped and divorced but he was generous in the settlement. They’re still together and I hope he stays with her because he can’t function on his own because he’s a weak wimp and needs a mommy. She helps him and he helps me. I get maintenance from him and he’s never missed a month. I suspect he’s looking for his next victim as I’m writing this. He always has to triangulate on some new pussy. That’s how he rolls. He’s plowed through lots of women and leaves a slime trail wherever he goes.

Finally realized
Finally realized
9 years ago
Reply to  Syringa

Slime trail ~ wonderful, accurate image.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago

My husband would triangulate me with the dog. It is what he was taught in FOO. The most upsetting triangulation of all for me, was with my beloved daughter.
Oh, yeah, and the deal breaker OW.

MGirontree
MGirontree
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

WHAT!!!! Patsy, that is so horrid. I am so sorry!!!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

The Jackass has to have those triangles–he likes a primary woman and one in the background (which is why he wouldn’t end the relationship when he took up with his MOW). His preferred triangle is a married woman with a husband who seems disengaged–easy pickings to be the winner there. He’s a guy who will mention the new woman to the one he is getting ready to put on the discard pile, just for fun. His ultimate triangle is one or the other of his siblings, himself and his mother. And at his age, all of that is a house of cards that will eventually collapse, leaving nothing.

FinallyDone
FinallyDone
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

YEP! Same thing happened to me with the new other women – usually way before anything substantial would even occur between them, just after the initial meeting or soon thereafter. Sadly, after this happening a couple of times, my antenna became hyper-vigilant and I could decode these remarks. It was all good fun for him — not sure if the fun came from seeing if he could fool me or from getting a jealous/suspicious reaction that stroked his ego. He was the master at triangulation – with his sister, his mother, my children, his neighbors, his pets, my pets, women he met at work, sales clerks, etc. etc. (ad nauseum).

Part of the healing process is reading through all the similar stories and realizing what freaks we were all entranced by – eerie how much alike they all are.

Triangulation, gaslighting, projection, rages, blame-shifting. Wasn’t it so much fun??

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  FinallyDone

Big signal with the Jackass: he would ask “I wonder where the husband is?” He said that about me when I was ending my marriage.

Linda2
Linda2
9 years ago

Many years ago at the first D Day, there were no online resources. Ok. I am old. There was no online! Lol! So I bought books from a Christian bookstore. It was all about being co dependent or being more of a “woman”. My CH did return after a couple of separations. I am sure he returned because he wanted my income, etc. the books were ok but they did not address our issues.
This time, I was reading as much as I could online. I did not buy anything from RIC because their advice didn’t seem to fit my problems. In fact, they seemed to be exploiting the pain of betrayed partners. Once I found Chump Lady, I had some real answers. The answers were painful but I knew they were true. No bologna. No fees either!
I am buying multiple copies of the new book. I want to have them on hand for my friends! As for me, I read CL daily to keep my mind clear. We are in reconciliation but it is no unicorn. At my age, I just figure I can outlive him and save my retirement money for myself rather than dealing with a costly divorce. I have my life and it is a good one. He has moved on from the OW. Now he has a focus for his life… Impeaching the President. Sigh… At least it keeps him busy and pretty much alone. He truly is a grumpy old narcissist.

Syringa
Syringa
9 years ago
Reply to  Linda2

Linda2…
He only has two more years to try and *impeach* the president though. Then what? Jeebus. Does he spit at the TV? Hopefully you outlive him. Make him heavy cream gravies and serve him lots of butter and ice cream.

Flora
Flora
9 years ago
Reply to  Syringa

Yes, and substitute lard for all vegetable oils in cooking. Maybe try whisking up melted lard with balsamic vinegar and garlic for a tasty salad dressing.

jinx
jinx
9 years ago
Reply to  Syringa

Hahaha, with loads of eggs and gravies made with lard!

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago

I was a pathetic serial chump, completely lost in the land of malignant hope and denial.

I’m so glad that’s over. I’m grateful I learned something from it.

moda
moda
9 years ago

I fall somewhere between, but more towards calling it a day and hitting the road.

In a matter of 40 days, I went from finding the initial Big Red Flag on the cell phone bill and sleuthing the numbers over the next several days to find that they belonged to a woman I didn’t know.. and all of the emotional roller-coaster rides that go along with trying to deal with that drama; to finding hard physical evidence that couldn’t be anything but the result of a sexual affair. I walked out that day and never went back. That was over two years ago.

Now, to be fair, in the interim I have to admit that I sometimes hoped I would find out that either the cell phone text message woman was somehow legit or that I would catch him in the act with her. Or someone. One way or the other, just so I would have hard core evidence. I got my evidence, but it sure wasn’t what I expected. Even then, he tried to lie and explain it away. Let’s just say that I promptly made an appointment for the full battery of STD testing. So, that’s what I bought.

Sammie D
Sammie D
9 years ago
Reply to  moda

I never saw the evidence, unfortunately that fell to my son, 14 at the time. I acted on his information and only that I kept very calm I managed to get STBX to leave and go to his mothers. During the week that followed he confessed his infidelity to our minister and a church elder, they made him then sit and confess it to me like some how it would help. In the weeks that followed I systematically emptied the house of his personal belongings. I have never regretted the action I took that night.

Z00keeper
Z00keeper
9 years ago

I fell in category 3. I asked once for us to go to counseling the day it came out and he looked me in the face and told me counseling would not work because I did not want to change. Which told me right there that he felt his infidelity was my fault and at that point knew I had to cut my losses for the sake of my 3 children.

Non Apologist
Non Apologist
9 years ago
Reply to  Z00keeper

I personally think it’s “easier” to make decision when the cheater just come clean and tell the loyal one that they refuse to change. It’s still very sad but at least you know that it’s NOT you, it’s him
The worst kind of cheater is the one who pretend to do all the work in reconciliation, goes to MC, admit guilt (sort of, but somehow managed to turned it into “you have part in this too”) and holding the betrayed one when she/he cries and throwing up at 3am because the mindmovies of the cheaters fucking the whore kept running in their head but still continue to cheat and wasting more time from the loyal spouse. Those kind of cheaters, their heart are made of stone

Finally realized
Finally realized
9 years ago
Reply to  Non Apologist

Non A,

Yes. Holding the chump when she shakes/vomits/sobs in the night with the mindmovies and new realizations, getting angry at her doctor when he balks at giving calming meds, calling around to find her some so her heart will stop beating overtime, …….. and all the while hurrying to the phone to text funny, happy-go-lucky sexual innuendos with the other woman….and emails, and long phone conversations about how much he misses holding her in his arms and all those other fun things she gets up to in bed. And planning happily for all the future rendezvous, and the new things to add to their Bucket List…..Trust that they suck.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  Non Apologist

Wow, it took me 5 years and my IC getting increasingly blunt and unprofessional (oh yes, and catching him with OW again) to absorb and accept that he didn’t want to change!!!

z00keeper
z00keeper
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Yes, it was my fault he cheated. And, there was nothing wrong with him. After all, it was true love. They lived next door to each other until she moved away when he was 10. Then they found each other on Facebook in 2006 and the EA started. But, it is all ok, because she is his true love. I guess him meeting me 4 years later and spending 30 years with me was not true love. *sarcasm* Whatever, he did me a favor. I am way better off and got rid of my 4th child who was never going to grow up.

Monika
Monika
9 years ago

I fall into category 3. DD was last August, he was out shortly after. Logistically, it took longer to get him out than I initially hoped for, but that part didn’t bother me as much. He was assigned a spare bed and had the privilege of spending addt’l time with his son while he looked for a new place to live. In exchange for money. Every objection was met with “fine, then go to your mother’s house or get a hotel room.” He accused me of manipulating the situation and I said “whatever, fucktard.” I can’t say he gave me every dime he earned during the transitionary period but it was close to it. He paid all the bills while he was allowed to stay. I didn’t get a particular satisfaction out of the last part because frankly, my preference would have been just to get him out on DD, but all in all, it was somewhat satisfying to observe him do a brief remorse thing. 1 therapy session, some I’m sowwwy emails from him, nothing of real value. I don’t even regret meeting all the fuck buddies because it gave me the proper perspective. Seeing all those trashy whores in person made it all that much more real. There was no spackling and no denying.
Man is dead inside, a pathological liar and sociopath. Hardcore narcissist, raised by cheaters. My only fault in all that was not being perceptive enough to see him for who he really was about 15 years ago. My heart breaks for the naive, impressionable sweet 23 year old I was when I met fucktard. I didn’t have the tools and life experience to know what I was dealing with at that age. I thought he was just a little “spoiled mama’s boy” with a short temper. Speaking of red flags, I glossed over the fact that ex didn’t have any close friends during the entire 15 years we were together. His mask slowly came off about 5 years into the relationship and when DD came around I was more than ready to leave.
Was I traumatized? You bet your ass I was. I think I still am. But there was this strange sense of relief that came with this whole experience, I can’t quite describe the feeling. It was bitter sweet in a sense.

Tessie
Tessie
9 years ago

My first marriage…I was a kid. A kid who escaped the two narcissists I was raised by and fled into the arms of another. We were together for 5 years, married a little over 2 years. I met him at 17, married him at 19, divorced him at 21. Shithead cheater hubby # 1 was a serial cheater, and I spackled and did the pick me dance most of the time we were together. I joined Alanon, went to counselling, and got out when he came close to killing me. I knew that if I did not take my baby and run at that point, I was going to die. I gave him a year to get his act together and then, when he didn’t, I divorced his sorry ass.

Enter shithead cheater hubby # 2. Before we got married I told him to go out and sow any wild oats he had left because once we got married, if he decided to cheat, we were done. He kept it together and was reasonably nice for about 4 years before I started to see his real self. By the time we hit ten years things were really starting to fall apart. We did go to some marriage counselling but there was a disconnect where he was concerned. Of course his attitude was that everything would be just fine if I would go along with his program….namely that he would get to control everything in our lives while treating myself and my boys like shit. Uh….no. When he announced that he was in love with another woman, I was at that point going to nursing school evenings, working full time nights, and trying to keep a household running on 3 hours sleep a day. I knew I had to graduate and pass my boards or I would have no way to support myself and my boys. I kept my head down and plowed along until I did. After he engineered a particularly humiliating public scene involving the OW, I had enough. I gave him the ultimatum…..”You want her….you got her…..lets go home and pack your shit!” He wanted some time to make up his mind. I gave him 3 days. Unfortunately he picked me. He kept getting crazier and crazier. I avoided him as much as possible and we did not sleep together. I left when I was able to get my ducks in a row after he told me he felt like killing me and my boys.

Sometime during that last crazy year we went to marriage counselling, this was after the OW made her appearance, and I was just disgusted the MC did not call him on having a girlfriend while being married. He of course felt entitled and said so. By the time I left I couldn’t stand the sight of him.

To make a long story short, I wasn’t anywhere near the chump with shithead cheater hubby # 2 that I was with s.h. hubby # 1. So I did learn something.

Now I am an unapologetic hard ass who will accept no shit from anyone. I am much better at spotting bullshit when it is flung in my direction and have no problem calling it what it is.

blue
blue
9 years ago

Boy, did I try a bunch.

Mort Fertel: Spent hundreds of dollars on his CDs, books and a couple of individual counseling sessions ($625/hour). He was the worst. He told me I owed my XH an apology for telling his family about his affair, as I had violated his privacy. Also said that the affair was merely a “symptom” of what was wrong in the marriage, that I was responsible for XH’s happiness, that I had neglected him. Urged me to buy XH gifts, put all my energy into being a “better” wife, more attentive, etc.

Marriage Builders: Again, spent hundreds of dollars on CDs, books, counseling sessions. Have to admit, though, that MB was pretty helpful to a certain extent. If it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have had suspected that XH was having an affair. Suggested I snoop to find evidence. Recommended I tell family and friends about the affair (which helped me get much needed support). Urged me to go NC when XH wouldn’t meet my conditions for reconciliation (e.g., give me passwords, write a letter to OW, etc.). But MB has this idea that “anyone” can have an affair if their emotional needs aren’t met, and the “wayward” is somehow not responsible for his actions because he is in some temporary “fog” and knows not what he does.

Homer McDonald: A couple of counseling sessions at $300 per half-hour. Basically told me to start dating other men, as that would be the only way to get XH back. Said that the reason XH was no longer in love with me is because he hated himself and saw me as an extension of himself (there might be some truth to this).

Divorce Busters: Spent hundreds of dollars on books and counseling sessions. Basically told me to do the 180 and keep my conversations with XH “light and breezy” and not bring up the affair.

Beyond Affair Network: Bought book, went to some support group of people hanging on to their marriages with generally unrepentant cheaters, some serial cheaters, one with a child with OW.

Marriage 911: Spoke to some counselor who suggested I write a letter to XH listing all the reasons I was “grateful” for him (XH actually tried to use this letter against me in the divorce proceedings). Urged me to persuade XH to come together to some weekend seminar (for $1000+) and claimed something like an 80% success rate for the seminar (marriage together after something like 7 years).

Bought a bunch of other books, including Love Must Be Tough (Dobson), How the One of You Can Bring the Two of You Together, The 5 Love Languages, Winning Your Husband Back, Hope for the Separated, The Art of Falling in Love, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Not Just Friends

I’m sort of embarrassed by all the stuff I read and money I spent, but, by God, I was going to save this marriage.

CL, I wish your book was around when D-day hit last year, but better late than never. Although I might not have followed your advice immediately, I think at least I would have read it and have had some “aha” moment after trying reconciliation for a bit. Thank God I did eventually find you–it was actually by way of some post on Marriage Advocates. Someone had linked to your article about cake-eating, and I thought it made a lot of sense.

Non Apologist
Non Apologist
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

Wow you sound exactly like my friend, her husband cheated and she’s the one who did the heavylifting. She bought at least 15 infidelity books, join a bunch of forum (TAM, SI, LS, MB), made appointment for MC and that cheating husband of hers do almost NOTHING. She bought him the “How To Help Your Spouse” book, it’s a thin 98 pages book and guess what he didn’t finish it

Different is she’s completely mindfucked, i don’t know what he told her her but she views him as a victim of a jezebel who kept stalking him. She trashed her churchgoing reputation and to reciprocate the OW sent her their email history, it’s clear that he was the one who pursued her and the first who emailed dirty pic

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  Non Apologist

Oooh, yes, they are the pursuers. I know OW would try and break it up, and he would go running after her. It also is the dynamic of affairs, sustained contact would destroy the fantasy.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I kept buying my cheater his favorite foods from the grocery store. I don’t know why, seems kind of weird now. Guess I was just hoping he’d see that I cared about him and come out of the fog.

blue
blue
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Funny you mention cuff links, as I did buy XH a pair, and a nice tie and designer socks (because suddenly he was becoming more “fashionable,” to impress the OW), some books by authors that XH particularly liked, some fancy teas (as XH really liked tea). I admit it’s pretty humiliating, but thank God it lasted for only a couple of months and I found Chump Nation.

Mort Fertel recommends buying personal gifts that show your spouse you truly know them, about once every week or so. If you listen to his CDs/shows, there are listeners whose spouses have already left them for their APs who are still sending their cheaters gifts to show them their unconditional love!

I also have to say that Mort is pretty dangerous to the chump, not just psychologically (by encouraging the chump to stay in an abusive situation), but financially as well. His advice could cause a desperate chump to be fleeced in a divorce action. He urges you not to file for divorce, but if your spouse does, to be very conciliatory and to make divorce “easy” on your spouse to show how much you love them. After the affair ends, your spouse will look back at your actions and realize how much you loved and cared about them and eventually come back to you.

whodathunk
whodathunk
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

I’m so lucky that when I googled whatever the hell I googled, it lead me to CL. I didn’t waste my time or money on reconciliation. I told my IC (who had also been our MC & STBX’s therapist, so she knew the history) what was going on & said “I just need to know if, in your experience, if this is something that can be saved”. She told me- I’ve said this probably 5 times in my 20+yrs of counseling…Get out! I love her.

Red
Red
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

I gave him a car, orchids, TV, dinner – the list goes on and on.

Want to know when I finally got a clue that gifts WEREN’T the way to go?

When, after giving him the car, and he didn’t say “thank you,” I prompted him like a 5 year old.

“What do you say?” I asked.

“It’s about f*cking time!” he spat, before he got in and drove away to go show OW.

Ah, yes – entitlement. A bitter, BITTER pill to swallow…

TimeHeals
TimeHeals
9 years ago
Reply to  Red

after giving him the car, and he didn’t say “thank you,” I prompted him like a 5 year old.

“What do you say?” I asked.

“It’s about f*cking time!” he spat, before he got in and drove away to go show OW.

Good lord. You are much better off without that asshole.

Red
Red
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

Yep – hard to believe I STILL wanted to save our marriage after that, huh?

Looking back, his sense of entitlement during the “pick me” dance continues to blow my mind. It took getting away from him to realize I should never have put up with ANY of that kind of behavior.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  TimeHeals

Yeah, that’s staggering.

lovehonorcherish
lovehonorcherish
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

OMG…that is utterly disgusting behavior!

Looking for wisdom
Looking for wisdom
9 years ago

Speechless.

redless
redless
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

CL I think you have something here:

1. What did you buy your cheater to try and keep him/her?
2. (following your greatness) If you wrote a (humorous) book about your cheating spouse–Title and a quick abstract about the book.

You could choose a winner and cartoon a “book” cover for them. Something to think about.

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

wow – blue. If anybody’s been through it, you have.
I was lucky enough 9 mos ago to Google ‘change in your husbands personality’. (thought for sure it was a tumor in the brain)
It took me straight to MLC – Midlife Crises. (still a great site)
Too many people daily finding out about their ‘new’ world at DDay – it can be so depressing and glad I can help there when possible.
I found CL there in a link and try to get more to come over from that site.
MLC does not EVEN come close to what this affair-adultery-lying-cheating-stealing-business is all about. It’s NOT a mid-life-crises folks. SORRY.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  Shechump

mid life crisis to this extent (blowing up your family) is about narcissism, and I tell the MLC forum that a lot.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago

My ex left me. But I think he thought after dday he would still stay in our apartment a while dating OW? He said something about how he wouldn’t bring here to our home. I was not not okay with this idea and told him so and he was gone in two days. Of course, his STUFF lingered for ages because it was just so inconvenient to, you know, pack and move. Ah well. It’s gone now.

But because I fall into category 2, my late night Google searches only led me to purchase one book: Runaway Husbands. Reading that confirmed what I expected…there was no hope and I would just have to pick up the pieces and move on with my life. I did rent and watch Under the Tuscan Sun (based on positive comments on here) multiple times as a way to encourage myself in those dark months.

Sandy R
Sandy R
9 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Runaway Husbands here, too!!

Strad
Strad
9 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

I also found Runaway Husbands really helpful. I mean, whether they physically leave or not, aren’t they all runaways? I was lucky not to experience false reconciliation. I told my XWH that he would have to drop his married girlfriend and go to counseling with me if he wanted to keep me as his wife. He refused. I divorced him. End of story.

C.S.
C.S.
9 years ago
Reply to  Strad

I must scream, “THANK YOU!” This website has been a source of comfort, insight, as well as a sounding board for those of us who have been devastated to the point of low self-esteem, self-worth, traumatized, the list can go on, as we all know. I am grateful for all of these shared stories, as they are inspiring me to “get my bitch back” – as my friends would call it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Has anyone here suffered or dealt with Parental Ailenation?

Jamberry
Jamberry
9 years ago
Reply to  C.S.

I know someone dealing with it. I recommend you look into the book Divorce Poison. It describes parental alienation and gives strategies to try to counter it.

Bellzero
Bellzero
9 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Hi Northernlight I brought runaway husbands as well. Only I brought it about 6 months after dday when I googled .. ” how to move on from infidelity” . It was like reading my story.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Oh, I also bought Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly because I realized I did not want what my ex did to make me shut myself off from everyone else and not trust again… Totally not a RIC book, but it is great for those of us who want to be reminded again why it is that we trust other people anyways…

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

I read that and her book on vulnerability during the gaslight period when I thought it was my fault that the cheater was disengaging. Her work became important because I began to see how much of myself I had lost.

Frannie
Frannie
9 years ago

I left my X after he said he wanted out of our 28 yr marriage. He had had an affair about 8 yrs previous and I decided to forgive him and we could get through anything. After I left I wound out her had been having another affair. I think deep down I had a gut feeling that there was someone on the sidelines when he said he wanted out. I basically went NC. He wanted to talk quite soon after I left but I said we had nothing to talk about. From there that was it. its been over a yer and because there had been so much hold up on his part we are going to court as soon as we get a date from the court. I too read books in fact there was one book that mad me sick being bias on the cheaters side. I came onto chump lady and others were also complaining of this book. I ripped it up and tossed it into the garbage. No more books for me. They don’t have to tell me its my fault or I failed my X. That is all bull —-. I took him back forgiving him of his discressions before. I was not going to do it again. It was obvious that he had no respect for our marriage vows or me so he’s done cruelly emotionally stripping me of my self respect. I left with my dignity, dignity that he has none of. He definitely has no self respect when he can screw another women while still married.
I have taken the high road and I don;t regret it at all. Some days I want my old life back and the husband I knew that loved me. Thats all gone and now I’m left to get on with a new alone life. Its been over a year since I left and I’m making my way and keep checking into CL. She’s the only one that will tell you how it is without putting a dam spin on things. She’s right up front. One thing I have learnt is that all this mess takes time to come to terms with and don’t let anyone tell you to just get over it or just move on. It does take time, YOUR TIME, we all go through it differently. Just be honest with yourself, do not deprive yourself of feeling those emotions (thats healing) and eventually you will come out the other side. Thank you CL for not deceiving us chumps.

P.F
P.F
9 years ago

I bought into the reconciliation industry. Web sites and books that catered to saving a marriage. The industry of saving a marriage is lucrative. Marriage counselling, individual counselling and a plethora of books that mainly state that good people cheat is an industry built on the backs of chumps.

Not only was I chumped by my wife I was chumped by unqualified counselling “professionals” and a book industry that is geared toward straining chumps of dollars. Chumps are buying the self help books, chumps are the ones reading everything they can get their hands on. Cheaters don’t read self help book and seek counselling.

I believe chump lady is big threat to the status quo. Chump lady has changed the narrative. Cheaters dislike being ridiculed, the counselling and pro cheater new age revisionists, much like the conscious uncoupling genre of the Hollywood narcissistic movement don’t appreciate sites like this.

It’s even funny how this site has been described as potty mouth site of bitter chumps.

CL….you are on the right track….you’ve got traction and you are a threat. You’ve given a voice to chumps and you’ve challenged the stereotype of what a chump is.

Being chumped doesn’t mean remaining a chump. Reading this blog, it’s apparent that the great majority of chumps are articulate, smart, successful, loving people who have a heart.

Odd, how some trolls are more offended by a chump swearing than cheaters having unprotected sex.

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  P.F

You spoke of us being described by some as “bitter chumps” and that was such a fear of mine. God forbid I be bitter! I frantically tried to figure out how I could get through this without turning into a “bitter woman.” And then, after a few months on CL, I realized I wasn’t bitter, I was angry. And I had every fucking right to be angry. That’s just one of many ah hah moments I’ve had here.

lovehonorcherish
lovehonorcherish
9 years ago
Reply to  MovingLiquid

That, in a nutshell, is my greatest fear as well…becoming bitter! It’s hard not to be sometimes. I turned myself upside down and inside out for my cheater and still I could not compare to the fabulousness that is the AP. I guess to compete with her I would have to seriously lower my standards (opening my legs to every Tom, Dick and Harry would have been an asset as well, apparently!) I’ve always been one of the “good girls” and proud of it…but the old saying is starting to feel like the truth: “Good girls finish last” and THAT truly is a bitter pill to swallow!!

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago

There are words that are thrown around in our culture that have particular venom when aimed at older women such as bitter, hag, etc. and most of us have a lifetime of training in how not to behave assertively or be very outspoken when we’re wronged. It’s time we not only find our voice, but to do it with confidence and conviction. We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.

zyx321
zyx321
9 years ago
Reply to  MovingLiquid

Ah, the bitter statement.
After I finally mentioned the OW at work (exH worked there was well), a good friend told me that someone else said I was sounding bitter. So ridiculous. I couldn’t say it the way it is without being labeled as “bitter.”
We really need to revolutionize perspectives on infidelity.

Sandy R
Sandy R
9 years ago
Reply to  zyx321

“After I finally mentioned the OW at work (exH worked there was well), a good friend told me that someone else said I was sounding bitter.”
Did your friend actually think he/she was being helpful? I am astounded by some of the things people say, especially those who have not been through this. Don’t get me wrong..there are many well-meaning people giving advice..but sometimes it’s just so far off base. And I too am afraid of being bitter. Most days I feel like I already am.

Violet
Violet
9 years ago
Reply to  zyx321

I realized a long time ago that the word “bitter” is used as a weapon to denigrate people who have been grievously wronged and changed by the experience.

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Violet

zyx321, Violet, and PF below, thanks for validating my feelings about that terrible word “bitter.” It’s just a word, right? We don’t have to give it power.

And PF, I can’t reply below your comment, but I am in full agreement.

P.F
P.F
9 years ago
Reply to  Violet

Bitter, is to go to word for cheaters and the and the unimaginative. Some even throw Yiddish bombs and the “cult” word around in their arsenal of stupidity.

the status quo….is that to have been cheated defers to being less than.

Cheaters buy into their marvellousness, when the truth is cheating is the easiest thing to do. Cheaters are a computer click from Craig’s list or membership in Ashely Madison, a beer away at a local bar, or a street corner from buying sex. Gosh, some cheaters find it at their church or Boy Scout excursions. Some cheaters get “lucky” with a friends spouse or the cleaning lady at the office…alla George Costanza.

Cheaters are tripping over themselves with cheating opportunities and yet they are marvellous. To cheat is to be marvellous, despite the comb over hair, pot belly, or the neon yoga pant wearing preying mantras.. sans IQ.

Cheaters see being called out by a chump as being bitter and not appreciate of their marvellousness. They see getting sex on the side as a testament to their specialness. If anyone has a problem with this, the bitter Yiddish card comes out. If chumps were as special they too would be cruising cheating web sites, or humping the neighbour, or jerking off to porn. Chumps are so biter that they were living a real life while their cheater douse took selfies of their groins in the washroom.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Violet

This.

Jode70
Jode70
9 years ago
Reply to  MovingLiquid

Moving liquid… I thought the same too.. If I became bitter, the world would end. I didn’t want to be that bitter ex… I only started to get angry after coming on here… Ah Ha moment 🙂 I had every right to be angry, because of the idiots total selfishness, being so entitled, he not only ripped my heart out and broke every single promise he had made but he also devastated my children which will be a life time thing.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Jode70

MovingLiquid and Jode, that’s a good distinction. And I think we can have moments when we feel bitter about what we’ve lost and how we were treated by someone we loved. That’s a whole world away from become bitter–a person defined by and controlled by that feeling. We have every right to be angry when people abuse us. That’s our defense mechanisms kicking in to say, “what’s happening is dangerous to your health and survival.” Working on ourselves keeps us from getting stuck in those bitter and angry moments.

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Agreed, LovedaJackass. I’m having to learn this now after living 56 years thinking I was less deserving.

P.F
P.F
9 years ago
Reply to  Jode70

Ironically, cheaters are bitter selffish people who believe the world revolves around them. Cheaters are bitter if they don’t get whatever they want when they want it. Cheaters are bitter toward their spouse, their bitterness is a tool they use to justify cheating.

Cheaters are groin centric attention seekers.

Funny how when chumps call them out on their crap. These cheaters or cheater sympathizers throw in the word “cult” or label as a site of “yiddishism” as a means to discredit CL’s blog and Book. These folks claim that CL is only doing it for big bucks. Ironic , wouldn’t anyone who writes a book be then labeled as a money grab.

The message is clear for those who wish to maintain the status quo, that those who are cheated on must not speak out, must own the blame of bring cheated on and god forbid they use a swear word or Yiddish word.

Cheaters can fuck around, but chumps can’t say fuck.

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  P.F

P.F. agreed. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. And if I could I’d buy 100 of CL’s books because there’s no other way to repay her for what she’s done for me.

P.F
P.F
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Cheaters and cheater sympathizers can wrap their minds around mingling cheater groin juice but they grab their hankies and feign distaste for swear words.

It’s comically absurd what cheaters lick and swallow but a chump who tells them to fuck off are being crass.

Cheaters, can fuckidty, fuck off. My potty mouth is std free and perhaps that may offend those who’s mouths have sipped from sewers.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  P.F

Yeah, pick up someone who’s in a relationship at your brother’s funeral while your husband and kids are standing there watching and that’s just another day at the “whatever makes me feel good” cheater buffet. Call those two selfish, immature assholes “fucktards” and you are reprimanded for language.

Tara
Tara
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

so true

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

hahahaha

Jode70
Jode70
9 years ago

I’m definitely in category 3. I tried everything from the “save your marriage” crap. He left one day while I was at work. Packed his stuff and cleaned out the house. I spent a fortune on trying to save the unsaveable. You know I could single handedly do this!!! He had left in his reality about 18 months before when the affair (one of many) started. If he had every really been a part of our marriage at all. I found out about her about a week later. Bought him gifts, cooked him meals, invited him over for dinner. Did the pick me dance big time. Probably did this for 10 months. It kept me so stuck. I tried harder and harder. It just got thrown back in my face every time. I stopped when the OW starting sending me messages about how I had hurt her man over and over.

I then found Chump Lady.. It was like a light came on. Everything made so much sense. The total mind fuckery that had been going on for 20 years. I had made myself smaller and smaller.

I have been totally no contact now for about a year. An occasional text about finances/kids once every few months. Even then, he never answers them or I get an essay of abuse back.

I would recommend your book to everybody in this situation. I can’t explain how fantastic you are. Time, no contact and Chump Lady have helped me to move forward. Thank you so much CL 🙂

Jode70
Jode70
9 years ago
Reply to  Jode70

I so wish I the day he cleaned out the house and left while I was at work. Just went totally no contact with him. Would have saved myself a fortune as well as my pride!!!

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago
Reply to  Jode70

Jode70 – I finally went n/c (I hope). I still like to harass him but need to stop that. I stopped it when I just told him I had been tracking his whereabouts for over 14 months. He finally figured out to turn the off button w/in 10 seconds after I said that, on MY iPad that he took. Idiot.
So, I feel quite freer now.
Yes, N/C is going to make me happier and since we don’t seem to have the ‘couple dynamics’ to settle our divorce financially between us….it’s going to cost a hell of a lot more money on attorneys. The guy never did figure out how to compromise and I trust him like I would a Scorpion. (which he is astrologically. funny)

Mandie101
Mandie101
8 years ago
Reply to  Shechump

I got a slippery fish…

Lily
Lily
9 years ago

“Speaking for myself, I had four (yes four — I wear the chump crown) D-Days. I don’t regret the first attempt at reconciliation. I regret the subsequent three. I needed to try and get kicked in the teeth a few times to really understand who he was.”

Trace,

This is my fourth D-Day….I’ve been kicked in the teeth, the gut, the vagina….you name it….Hopium is a strong drug–glad I’m finally in rehab and kicking that habit.

Tamia
Tamia
9 years ago
Reply to  Lily

Can we hear your story CL or is that in the book? 4 DDs from the same man? Or four total?

zyx321
zyx321
9 years ago

I am a cross between 1 and 2.
D-Day #1: I confronted, he denied (fellow graduate student, just an infatuation ). We went to MC. I truly thought we had dodged a bullet, that he could talk to me about anything.

D-Day#2, 11 yrs, 2 kids later:, I accused, he denied (work colleague). Said she threw herself at him and asked him to leave the family for her. I basically did the pick me dance: upped the attention, PDA in public, etc.

D-Day #3: he came home mid-year during a yr long temp position away from home: said he did not want to end up like his parents (could not say he wanted to get a divorce), loved me but not in love with me, etc.
I insisted on MC again, bought “after the affair” and “just friends.” This is the part I regret.
Not that tried, at least I did that! But that I had not found Chump Lady at that point (this was 2012). I regret that I engaged in Hopium for three months before then husband admitted to Affair #1, and that there was an OW for #3 (still claims no physical affair, marriage was over, etc). #2 he will never admit to, but it was an EA at the very least.
I regret the time that I lost with someone who did not care about me. I regret the books and the MC that made be feel that I shouldered some of the blame. I refuse to regret my actions with DDay 1, as if I had trusted my gut my kids would never have been born.

I do not regret my actions, as I was always honest, and I did the best I could with the information that I was provided.

The Chump Lady Survival Guide is definitely needed. I could have used it during those 3 D-Days (so there only would have been one!). It would be good to find a way to market it to those who suspect cheating, but are not yet sure. But most people are probably like me… they confront too soon, before enough data, because they truly cannot believe the person they love could behave that way, and treat them so terribly.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

I wasn’t married to the Jackass but we had lived together and he had pushed for a commitment “for the rest of our lives.” When we were on the verge of making that commitment real in a home that I own, he found reasons to go back to his parents’ home and postpone this new stage in our relationship. I could see and feel that he was disengaging and 3 months later I found out about the affair. Turns out his parents lived 3 short block from the married Schmoopie. As my therapist says, “He likes it convenient.” By the time I discovered the affair, he had put so much distance between us, he had essentially exited the relationship, although he denied that consistently. (He told me the last time I talked to him before D-Day, that I “was in a hurry.” I think he was enjoying the affair, saw it as temporary, and wanted to keep me in limbo in case he wanted to come back in the future. Finding out about his MOW ended that idea; he couldn’t tolerate an “accusation” of infidelity. So there was never any chance of reconciliation and that was his choice.

On my end, I saw my therapist 4 days after I found out and our session revolved around why I could never take him back. That was my official position. What I did was get on the internet and read about “why men cheat” and what to do if a partner is unfaithful. I got some hopium when I read about the “infidelity fog” and comforted myself that only 4% of affairs end in marriage. So while my brain knew I couldn’t take him back, my heart wanted him to get out of the fog, come back and tell me he was sorry. I read on a site that assumes the cheater will be off in the fog with the AP and my job was to make my position clear and go NC. That advice was useless to me. He was already gone with an account full of my money. Even with therapy and no contact other than about the furniture and other valuable he left at my house, on some level I still didn’t trust that he sucked and was probably just lucky that he didn’t come back. My story won’t help much with your question, but there was no advice for me, either. I didn’t start piecing the narcissist part of the puzzle together until a few weeks ago. I would read people’s posts about narcissist cheaters and it didn’t resonate until…it did. I think it takes people a long time to come to see what’s behind the mask of someone we love. There is no way for ordinary people to explain how someone can love us on Monday, so we think, gaslight us on Tuesday and Wednesday while cheating with an AP, and walk out for good on Thursday.

Tracy, you make such a good point about the lack of resources that don’t privilege the cheater and/or the marriage at the expense of the chump and the family. We loved the people we thought they were and we had hopes and dreams and memories that were precious to us, and so of course, we want a miracle that will realign the broken marriage with our hopes. But in my case, I was dealing with a full-blown narcissist “discard” but had no way to understand that. My therapist was reluctant to diagnose from a distance but had been quick to say I couldn’t ever go back. Her focus was “move on.” But first I needed to process how someone I trusted for nearly 35 years could just change–not just change his mind or his plans but how he talked and how he treated me. It took Chump Nation to help me trust that he sucks.

Kat
Kat
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

I’m sorry LAJ. 🙁 Being with a narcissist is like climbing a ladder and then having the the building it was leaning against suddenly removed when you’re ten stories up. Although for as long as you knew your ex I suspect it’s more like twenty stories. I think we move on from that mindfuck only once the story of who they are now completely smites the story of who they acted to be. It’s a hell of a lot harder to move on when that person just up and leaves.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

The power of spackle. While the RIC sites tell chumps about the “love busters” and all the things chumps need to change to win back the cheater (such a prize), CL points to the 2 things we do that keeps us in an abusive relationship: we spackle the cheater’s bad behavior, dysfunction and history and we give up our dignity by pick-me dancing. The unmasked narcissist is an ugly creature without the spackle. And absolutely no site I looked at suggested that my cheater could be wearing a mask, living a double life and gaslighting me.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

The most helpful book, after the Brene Brown books that focused on my needs, was Aaron James’s “Asshole: A Theory.”

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

That one is on my list of books I’d like to buy! I am glad you got a lot out of it, so I will probably now buy it sooner rather than later…

ANC
ANC
9 years ago

I’d say after learning a little trickle truth initially I was more of a category one. In denial shock and unfocused. Until I began talking to lots of people. Attorneys, friends and chump nation.

Was hasn’t worked is the suggestion of a ” narrative shift” by the MC and supported by the cheater. That’s another load of crap =major shit sandwich. It’s fuzzy logic that undermines a chump’s core values. Or mine at least. Values and morals which include things like honesty, respect, loyalty …. To name a few.

Also not working is the suggested reading of “after the affair”. This assumes your cheater is NOT NPD or character disordered or a sociopath. If your cheater is any of those 3, or a combo, the book is a waste of your time. These people are seriously fucked up to the core. There is no change. Ever. The chump is not even a person in the cheater’s mind. We are tools and objects to them…and so are our kids.

Not working at all is the notion of being vulnerable with your cheater. You know, like to re establish a foundation of intimacy. Hell the fuck NO! When a cheater can willfully, repeatedly and without remorse throw a chump and their kids away over and over and over again, I think the best course of action is to protect yourself and your kids from such a mother fucking asshole. There will be NO emotional intimacy of such a selfish individual in my head, nor in my body physically.

So now, after more trickle truth, and each trickle becomes another DDay-like experience, I am more of a category 3, or heading there.

The big R. I dunno any situation where you’d really want to continue a relationship with someone who absolutely has shown you the most egregious form of disrespect, and this includes also not giving a flying fuck about the kids either.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Yes, I agree that some of the advice I read basically asks you to make yourself more vulnerable to the cheater’s abuse. It plays right into their hands. I felt like I was laying myself down in front of a truck and asking it to run over me again and again in order to save our marriage. How I wish I’d had the strength and understanding of what was happening to stand up for myself and refuse to put up with his behavior.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  ANC

And here is the catch, isn’t it. They assume that your cheater is not a narcissist, BUT…

cheating is a narcissistic act, and they turn out to be – narcissists! The cheaters described here are the same self-absorbed, uncaring people again and again.

CL is the ONLY person who points this fact out. Infidelity is narcissistic, that it arises out of entitlement, and so to ask such a person to have the humility to NOT be self-absorbed, and to feel remorse…

Na-ah. They don’t go together, and this is why these marriages fail. Once our eyes are opened up to how little they care about how much they hurt us, how it still always is about them…. it is SOUL DEATH to stay.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

Well said.

Shechump
Shechump
9 years ago

xyz. Great post. I just want to add…I was never a self-help-book-believer. I was fine with myself. Who buys that stuff? (lots of hopiums – ‘The Secret’ comes to mind) My sister still tries to ‘habilitate me’.
Suddenly, I was out there wandering around some book store wondering what just happened to me. Just that fast. The light switch went off with my H.
Well, I picked up my computer and it saved me a lot of years of grief finding CL Nation almost right away.

Guess I was one that couldn’t accept this ‘thief’ of my life almost immediately. Kicked him to the curb and never want to see him again. He shafted me. He used me for an Alibi. He had no problems cheating on me (and I don’t know how many those are). He had no problem bringing her into my home – my kitchen! where (Godfather talk) MY CHILDREN COME TO PLAY. Left her panties and hair around. In My wonderful Motorhome that was sacred to me that we played in discovering America together…WHERE MY CHILDREN COME TO PLAY. (children in this case is actually dogs, but, you get the point). Yeah, Al Pacino rings in my head all the time..

I have 4 Ddays written down, all within 30 days of each other. Not sure what took me so long.

My Knight in Shining Dysfunction
My Knight in Shining Dysfunction
9 years ago

I dove full-force into untangling the skein of crazy. My X turned so dramatically into someone unrecognizable to me (after 14 yrs), I was certain he was either on drugs or had some sort of brain affliction. So I convinced him to go to a psychiatrist with me. That’s where I first learned about all the Cluster B disorders.

From there, I read books, found specialists, MCs, became the marriage (or should I say abandoned spouse) police, and sought the support of friends, family, therapists and support groups just to survive.

None of it worked, at least oh changing him- he is truly disordered, and I learned that I had just uncovered the latest in a long history of scary covert behavior.

Two interesting things did happen to me though-

1) I did read one Reconcilation site that advocated focusing on bettering yourself so the cheater could see your changes and grow to miss you (yuck!) but I admit I tried it, and I soon found myself doing it more for me than him. He did notice, did come back to reconcile, but was still playing his games

2) I went to therapy (best thing I’ve ever done) and joined a support group. The sadness and anger and years of lost life I saw in people there shocked me into stopping the long pick me dance I had done. I didn’t want to be pining for him or feeling alone and miserable for another 10 yrs like so many in the group had. I sprung into action getting happy on my own.

It was not easy and has taken half a decade to get there but I finally feel close to meh.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago

Tell us about the psychiatrist and cluster B? What happened in there?

My Knight in Shining Dysfunction
My Knight in Shining Dysfunction
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

I contacted her- the head of a mental health dept at a prominent hospital where I live- and begged for her to meet and assess my husband. Multiple friends who knew us both well suggested it sounded like he was having a bipolar episode so I explained to the psychiatrist that I needed an evaluation to see if he needed to be medicated. He was completely out of control in my view.

She agreed and we had a 1.5 hr session where she asked him a variety of questions. He was in a particularly smug mindset at the time so he was pretty blatant about himself, and even shocked me with some of his answers about remorse, deception, etc and his feelings about his behaviors. He did minimize some things but I stepped in with the truth at those points.

Anyway, at the end she said, this isn’t bipolar, it’s much more akin to a personality disorder and I’d say in the range of sociopathy. I’ll never forget that moment.

She said therapy could maybe help a little but this was a very hard disorder to treat or cure- that his brain is wired differently.

My therapist recommended someone based on that info and she thought he was more borderline personality. Another thinks he’s narcissistic with addiction.

I thought for a while I could be supportive bc he did have a diagnosed mental illness but he just kept devolving and didn’t care at all how it tore me or our families apart.

Chumpedtwice
Chumpedtwice
9 years ago

I do not regret the first attempt at reconciliation. Stbx at the time really appeared to do the right thing – individual counseling – marriage counseling. He SEEMED remorseful. I thought he was. I really thought at the time he understood that pain that he caused me. Apparently no so.

Fast forward a few years later – same OW – and …no I’m done with that sh*t. I was a good person. I was a good wife…I was a good partner. Him? He sucked at all of it. 18 months out and I realize how lucky I am to be rid of a cheater. Honestly, my life is good..and I’m genuinely happy. I’m living a true and authentic life. It’s all good!!

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago

Since I didn’t have a penny at the time to buy a book, I scourged the interweb desperately looking for advice on how to get past the pain of his affair. I saw through the RIC sites right away and steered clear of them. I found a lot of blogs but they seem to be in three categories, 1.) the chumps who primarily blame the other woman and not their husband (or they’ll accuse him of just being stupid or helpless), or 2.) they are stalking the other woman and doing borderline illegal things to her to get even and they are not healing at all, or 3.) they are getting a little bit of attention from Huffington Post and a few other places from writing about healing after an affair and are trying to make this sexy, which it isn’t.

CL gets that this isn’t pretty or sexy. She writes here with clarity, brevity, and insight based on her own experience and I’m sure her book is written the same way. (Buying it on the 3rd when I get paid.)

The bottom line is by coming here, I probably speeded up my healing by months if not years. You can’t put a dollar value on that.

I like many other chumps here visit the site several times a day. I need it to help keep me strong and focussed and to know I’m not alone.

Tara
Tara
9 years ago

I went through several d-days. I needed that experience to finally get the balls to leave (my first reaction was immediate kick-out and then I caved. He welcomed my weak moments and thus enjoyed a few months of cake-eating). I even went through the humiliation of signing us up for a marriage recovery program called Retrovaille, and I endured a misleading but paradoxically beautiful weekend of lies and inspiration-a program that only works for the sincere. Sensing that they were still involved, I said a prayer, and vowed that if they were found together again, I would leave. Point blank. No questions asked. I knew that I had to do so for my emotional and financial safety. I set up a “sting” operation with a workmate, and she caught them together red-handed in his mobile business truck (that I financed). I called him a few minutes later and asked him what he was doing. He said he was finishing up at work and that he would be home soon. I asked him if he was alone, and he said he was. I then informed him that his TWU-WUV just handed my girlfriend a business card and that he was not alone. They both peered out the window and saw that I was parked just a few feet from his truck, cell phone in hand. When he got home later that evening, he grabbed me around the waist while I was vacuuming and asked for forgiveness. I told him to leave me alone and that I was vacuuming because the next day I would call a realtor to come and list the house. The house was sold within a week and new owners took possession 24 days later. I was focused and sure of myself for the first time since the first d-day. So yes, I needed several d-days to finally get the courage to do the best thing I have ever done in my life. No regrets. I did the right thing. God answered my prayer.

Tara
Tara
9 years ago
Reply to  Tara

Shortly after that I discovered Chump Lady, and she validated everything I had been feeling. I KNEW then that I did the right thing……Thank you CL!

DeltaGirl65
DeltaGirl65
9 years ago

I would have given anything to reconcile when my husband traded me in for the secretary one week after the birth of our second child. Anything. I begged him to stay, which he did for six weeks until I went back to work. I took this as a sign that our marriage had a chance. In actuality, he was showing out for his mother who was staying with us to help with the baby. During my six week “reconcilation” attempt, I bought:
— Dr. Laura’s “Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” (Barf). I cried as I read the book and I highlighted in yellow all the things I was doing that Dr. Laura said I shouldn’t be and all the things I wasn’t doing that Dr. Laura said I should be. The whole damn book was glowing yellow and the paper was wavy from my tears falling into it by the time I was done.
— At my mother-in-law’s suggestion, I bought a sexy nightgown to try to seduce him because the “Our (family name) men like sex.” Keep in mind I had just given birth to a 10-plus baby – natural childbirth – and I was in no shape to be seducing anyone. The first night, I waited up for him wearing the beautiful black nightie but he was out boinking the secretary til wee hours of the morning and he came home to find me asleep in bed with my glasses on drooling on myself. with a book on my tummy. Very seductive indeed.
— Unfortunately a few weeks later I tried again with the nightgown thing and this time succeeded. But I felt like I had been raped.
— I arranged a “get away” weekend for our 16th anniversary to go out of town to a blues festival. My parents had agreed to keep the baby and our daughter. Instead, he told me he would rather me go stay with the kids at my parents so he could have the weekend to himself to “think about things.”
— Some book by Dr. Gary Smalley — I think the 5 promises of marriage. what a crock.
— I bought a book by Dr. James Dobson called “Love Must be Tough.” While it was for the goal of winning hubby back, the book actually had (compared with other material) some good stuff in it about setting boundaries and not tolerating unacceptable behavior. In fact, it was this book that inspired me to tell him to either stop seeing OW or to leave our home. When I got home that night he skulked out of the house with his duffle bag, never to return.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  DeltaGirl65

Delta, abandoning a brand new mother is the lowest of the low, in my opinion. Glad you are rid of him!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  DeltaGirl65

Of course you wanted to save your marriage. You had a newborn baby. So sorry the baby’s father was a jackass. I also wonder if your mother-in-law has had a D-Day or two in her history, based on her comment and her strategy. She should have smacked her son upside the head.

The first step out of the nightmare of betrayal and infidelity is to stop “tolerating unacceptable behavior.” That road lead inevitably to fully reclaiming our own lives.

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

amen.

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  DeltaGirl65

DeltaGirl, I can’t fathom going through all that with a newborn baby to boot.

There’s a special place in hell for cheaters like your husband.

Speechless and so sorry he sucks.

Tara
Tara
9 years ago
Reply to  DeltaGirl65

Barf to all those books you bought-you poor thing!

lindadanette
lindadanette
9 years ago

I get physically sick just thinking about the 24/7 insanity of being a full tilt #1 for way too long. The worst (if that’s possible) was going to a 12 step meeting for couples dealing with sexual addiction. I listened to a bunch of dick-heads pretend to be remorseful while recounting their upteenth “relapse”. When we left that meeting, I told my STBX that I would never forget the look of perpetual suffering in the eyes of their wives. It was a turning point for me – I got home and tried to scrub the disgust off. I went full tilt – banging into every theory, story, excuse and religious spin along the way. I just thank God it’s finally over.

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  lindadanette

I’m so suspicious of all the people who are suddenly calling themselves “sex addicts.” I feel that in most cases it’s b.s. It’s simply a lack of control, or just not caring.

People are over stimulated by internet porn and what they are addicted to is having their ego stroked.

They need to grow the fuck up.

ANR
ANR
9 years ago
Reply to  MovingLiquid

Amen. I have, at times, been extremely promiscuous. I’m not especially proud of that, but you know what? I managed not to cheat when I was actually in a relationship. In fact, it never occurred to me. I think “sex addiction” is a total crock.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  MovingLiquid

indeed! and (IMHO) the support groups are just really places where they give each other permission to continue, because, you know, none of us is perfect, we can only try, sometimes we fail, bullshit, more shit….

(an aside, the creepiest part of this was that EX told me there were people in the group he attended–briefly– who were into stuff like kiddie porn and god knows what. Even HE was revolted.) What a sewer.

Treatment-Induced Trauma!
Treatment-Induced Trauma!
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

The support group for partners of sex addicts I attended briefly reminded me of some terrifying cross between The Stepford Wives and The Twilight Zone.

No, no thank you – I do not care to ever hone my detachment skills to the level necessary to endure that kind of chronic bs! Scary!!!!

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

Yuck, namedforvera, I’m sure there’s a certain segment of the population who are “titlated” at sex addicts groups.

If I were at a group where someone talked about watching “kiddie porn” I’d have to report them — anonymity or not — I volunteer for the DA’s office and am a mandatory reporter.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

In serious addiction circles, relapse is not taken lightly. Days of sobriety are counted and celebrated. Family members are not expected to endure perpetual suffering at the hands of the addict. So it that is what is going on in the “sex addiction” industry, something is pretty far off base.

Bellzero
Bellzero
9 years ago

Can I make a confession to CL and all chumps I brought “I love you but I’m not in love with you” by Andrew Marshall. There it’s out I feel better. I brought this book when the stupid ex said to me just before discovery of the affair with the ow. As this is what the stupid ex literally said… I’m sorry ILYBINILWY.. WTH…
It has been two years since that day but it is not something you ever forget. I tried to continue with our intact family but it was bloody hard. But now it’s been 15 months and it hurts less and less.
But it wasn’t until I found CL that I began to get my roar back. Infidelity is abuse. Abuse of power, financial abuse and emotional abuse.
I chanted many time CL’s mantra ” I am mighty” and “fake it til you make it.”
What really makes me mad in my case that many friends and acquaintances say “it’s a midlife crisis.. He’s brought a motorbike and had an affair”. That’s crap I didn’t have a midlife crisis and buy a huge sparkly diamond ring and have an affair. It’s just that he felt entitled and did not give a rats arse about me or my lovely girls. I hope he rots… Obviously I’m not at meh (it’s not Tuesday yet)
Keep on telling it Tracy. As it is only when you decided you cannot do any more of the RiC crap that chumplady begins to make sense.
Cheers Bellzero xx

Sandy R
Sandy R
9 years ago
Reply to  Bellzero

“ILYBINILWY”
I got “I’ll always love you because you are the mother of my children.” Well fuck you!

blue
blue
9 years ago
Reply to  Bellzero

No need to feel embarrassed. I think I bought that book, too! Because that’s what XH told me before I discovered his affair. I think the book can be a one-pager: “I love you but I’m not in love with you” means “I’m having an affair.”

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

That is what I put on Amazon, Blue!!

Bellzero
Bellzero
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

Blue you are spot on. When I finally was able to think straight I realised that it was either the stupid ex’s attempt at justifying his stupid shitty behaviour and the affair OR the Skanky OW telling him that.
Either way they suck.

Only way is up
Only way is up
9 years ago
Reply to  Bellzero

Hi first time poster…long time reader.

I also brought that book. I got the speech “ILYBNILWY” too. I told my mother. She said “well who does he love then?” I remember saying, huh. Dear old mum had to break it to me. He had someone. She was right.

I found this wonderful site, and the fantastic people in my early days. I suggested counselling…he said no. He told me that she made the ultimate sacrifice for him. After 25 years being with this guy, and having two beautiful children with him, I then told him to use the door But don’t slam it on the way out.

Yes….ILYBNILWY…is code for I have someone.

On a side note thanks to Tracey & the wonderful group of people on this board.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  blue

So true Blue!!!!

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  Bellzero

Ha ha ha ha haaaaa! So did I. I eventually burned it.
I left a comment on amazon.co.uk about it. But in those days I believed in Mid Life Crisis and didn’t understand the presence or impact of NPD.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

My definition of a mid-life crisis is:
Your [male] partner of X years is having an affair with:
a) his secretary
b) his high school girlfriend he hooked up with on FB
c) one of his students (clients, customers)
d) your best friend
e) a married mother of three who had a crush on him 30 years ago
f) the guy who sells shoes at Nordstrom’s
g) a random skank who found him on craigslist
h) all of the above.

Your crisis is how to survive this person’s selfish behavior without losing your home, all your savings, your health or the happiness of your children.

MovingLiquid
MovingLiquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Bellzero

The male cheaters who chalk their selfish actions up to a midlife crisis really irk me. What makes a man decide at 45 or older that they’ll risk everything for a new vagina? EVERYTHING. It’s appalling and so stupid! I honestly cannot believe we would have a man in that condition in charge of ANYTHING!

Kraft
Kraft
9 years ago

My experience is I belong to camp 1. 4 years since D-day. 1 year post separation and currently negotiating a difficult property settlement. Yes, she wants lots of money and the law is going to help her.

On D day, my immediate thought was “well that’s it, marriage over”. But she pleaded with me to work it out. I just didn’t get that. It’s only after lots of reading I learnt about personality disorders, and then I realised what I was dealing with. That also explained the lack of any real remorse.

To answer your question Tracy, I spent nearly 2 years giving reconciliation (R) a chance. I don’t think I was ever really convinced. My instincts told me otherwise.

I started on the internet. Was only bombarded with RIC cons. I will never forget one website with this cheesy couple ” my husband’s affair saved our marriage and made it better. Just buy our book and DVD and we’ll show you how” Vomit!

Then I progressed to forums, namely “talk about marriage” There were some good people. Most had left their cheaters. Or were stuck in limbo and sad, like me. The rest were brainwashed chumps who could get quite narky if I challenged R. And of course there were reformed (and I use that term very loosely) cheaters who were even narkier.

I was an amazon chump, bought plenty of books. They varied in quality, but as Tracy said, they all strongly promoted R.

Yes, they kept me stuck.

My experience with books and internet is the same as I have had with MC’s and psychologists. The assumption that R is an automatic choice, without looking at all of the evidence. I put the psychology profession under the same umbrella, because their role in this has the same purpose. To help people move on past the horror that is infidelity.

What I don’t get with the books (written by educated, qualified professionals) and psychologists (also qualified professionals) , is the lack of diagnosis. All other professions, trades etc, whether it be doctor, dentist, lawyer, mechanic , plumber, take your pick, when you present with a problem will do one thing first: diagnose what the real problem is, and then give you the options of what can be done.

What is it with the psychology profession that they never diagnose anything ? (this is my experience, and the experience of many others if you read forums) It seems the approach taken is, assume the couple are here to R, and ignore obvious psychological issues with the perpetrator (cheater). Any other profession would have their arse sued every day of the week with that approach.

Tracy, I hope your book makes a huge impact in exposing the RIC obscenity.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  Kraft

Hi, Kraft, they don’t diagnose because since Carl Rogers (humanist, person centred therapy) it is assumed that people are inherently good, have an urge towards actualisation (to be genuinely integrated) and possess the skills to improve their own lives, and this can be achieved in the space of unconditional positive regard of the therapist. So to diagnose means to label and pathologise people.
As you can see, this doesn’t cover character disordered people. Unconditional positive regard doesn’t work with these people, they need challenging which is what Dr George Simon says, that they quickly learn they can manipulate therapists who work this way.
Apparently the only therapy that ‘might’ work with narcissists etc is CBT.