The Impossibility of the 180 and Other Reconciliation Advice

On the latest episode of Tell Me How You’re Mighty, Sarah and I debunk a popular tenet of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex — the 180.

Coined by therapist Michelle Weiner Davis of Divorce Busting, the 180 is a set of instructions for chumps to follow so that their cheater sits up and takes notice of them. Essentially, it’s a manual on how to win the pick-me dance.

Hang on, I thought the pick-me dance was unwinnable, Tracy. 

Yes, exactly! But failing and recommitting is profitable.

As Sarah and I go through the many steps, we’re both struck with how utterly absurd and contradictory this reconciliation advice is. ASK NO QUESTIONS. But also be cheerful, outgoing, and attractive! But not too outgoing. The cheater is very scared now. It’s not a good time to discuss the marriage. DO NOT BE NEEDY! Ask for no reassurances! TELL NO ONE!

And on and on and on.

Pretty much this is a solid half-hour of me sputtering.

I’ve debunked the 180 before, but now you can hear it in audio. And also listen to our trial-tested results of pick me dance failure. (Spoiler: Sarah hung up her dance shoes after discovering her husband’s TWO Christmases.)

But beyond just debunking the 180 and other reconciliation advice, Sarah and I also dig into the harmful and toxic messages that are often spread in the name of reconciliation. From victim blaming to gaslighting to manipulation tactics, we discuss how these messages can perpetuate a cycle of abuse in relationships.

So, CN, did you try the 180 and other reconciliation advice? Hey, just pretend that you’re just FINE! Ask no questions! Care for another shit sandwich? Don’t mind if I do! (gobble gobble…)

How’d that work for you?

Or did you see through the absurdity and decide to take a stand for yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
6 months ago

I didn’t try the RIC or 180 or pick me dance… because FW left on DDay and moved right in with AP and her 2 kids.

But at the time, the only articles I could find were ones about how to save my marriage and do the 180 and pay a fortune to some quack to help me “win him back.”

Thankfully, even when I was in the worst of it, doing the 180 wasn’t an option for me. He had fully discarded me on DDay. But looking at it now, it’s so weird that the concept of the 180 is to gaslight yourself — pretend everything is fine. Let FW cheat and you have to stfu. And now you have to be a better spouse too. It’s like the 180 is meant to REWARD the Cheater.

Can you imagine if you were getting physically abused by your spouse and the majority of articles in the first page of your Google search told you to shut up and take it? And now improve yourself as a punching bag. Advising you to get better at putting on makeup to disguise the bruises… meanwhile don’t do anything to trigger him because it’s all your fault? It’s mind boggling that the RIC and 180 exist in 2023.

Leedy
Leedy
6 months ago

MichelleShocked, your analogy–“disguise the bruises,” etc.–is amazing! Just perfect, in driving home the violence implicit in the program of the 180.

Orchid chump
Orchid chump
6 months ago

I didn’t realize I was pick me dancing before DD. I got new breasts because he didn’t like mine after breastfeeding. I also bought a book, “How to improve your marriage without out talking about it.” 😂. My stbx was sleeping with craigslist prostitutes so I didn’t really have any one to compete against. I was really lucky to have come across Chump Nation. It totally saved me.

The Divine Miss Chump
The Divine Miss Chump
6 months ago

Well said, Michelle. I wonder how many of us were subconsciously doing the 180 when our gut kept sending a “something is not right” message and we spackled over it and kept going. In retrospect, that was certainly the case with me.
The 180 messaging is fraught with blame shifting at it’s core. Couple that with the constant negative reinforcement from an FW and it’s no wonder so many Chumps begin to define themselves as unworthy and unlovable and become trauma bonded to their abuser. Especially if they experienced a similar lack of affection or abuse in their FOO.

gonegirl
gonegirl
6 months ago

I don’t understand the RIC and “religious” people. Is there a program that focuses on the cheater and their behavior? The reason why I mentioned religion is because many of the RIC programs are religion based.

You can dance, dance and dance but unless the cheater actually changes, you will wear yourself out. But changing is too much work for them.

Shadow
Shadow
6 months ago
Reply to  gonegirl

I think I’m lucky that both the priests I’ve told about my STBXH’s cheating and other behaviour have not only supported my descision to make him leave and stay away, they have advised me to separate and build my own life. One priest, who is a really kind and caring person, declared my X to be “a very toxic individual” in horrified tones! These are Catholic priests, and marrige is til death in our faith, so whilst we Catholics can’t remarry unless we get an anullment as well as a divorce, at least I have not been pressured into “forgiving” him in terms of taking him back and killing myself trying to keep him faithful- quite the opposite!
Yes, Christians have to forgive, but only in terms of not seeking revenge and being willing to let the anger go, albeit at it’s own natural pace. It sounds to me like these Christian RICs pressure BSs to ABSOLVE adulterers without any sign of true repentance on their part! This is a serious theological error because God Himself only ABSOLVES us if we repent! Until we repent of Mortal sin i.e. grave sin, we have severed our relationship with Him of our own free will. Adulterers sever their relationship with their BSs of their own free will and it’s not up to us to do so much as a tap to restore it because it’s not us who broke it!

Mehitable
Mehitable
6 months ago
Reply to  gonegirl

Unfortunately a lot of people just take the Christian message of forgiveness to extremes. You don’t have to forgive people who put your life in danger and try to destroy you. We’re not Jesus Christ – that was his choice but it doesn’t have to be ours, if we’re Christian. People also forget what Christ said to the woman taken in adultery – they emphasize his “forgiveness” but they forget that he said “Go forth and SIN NO MORE.” You have to really change and most of these cheaters don’t. They keep the fruits of their affair, sometimes the AP itself, and they go on to continue to cheat. They got plenty o’ sinning left in them!

Shadow
Shadow
6 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Yes they have! Most of them just carry on as before, or leave and set up home or even marry the AP! That’s not repentance!
Repentance would be them willingly giving up ALL sexual and romantic activity and being prepared to live chastely until death at the very least. At most, they should demonstrate consistent effort to win back their BS’s trust and respect, without any expectation of success and absolutely NO pressure on the BS whatsoever that they would ever take them back! I think Tracy’s right in that hardly any cheats ever do this, because the character flaws that enabled them to cheat are too ingrained in most of them!
As Dr. George Simon so clearly explains in his work, most cheating is a demonstration of a disordered character and such people are rarely willing to humble themselves at all, never mind to the extent they’d need to to to rebuild a marriage they’d emotionally nuked by adultery!

Kb22
Kb22
6 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I think many people use religion (sometimes they use the kids) as an excuse to stay with their cheater. They are hanging on for dear life, groveling even, but using religion as an excuse to appear noble rather than pathetic. So not surprising the reconciliation industry also uses religion to lure chumps.

Ms Done With Him
Ms Done With Him
6 months ago
Reply to  gonegirl

One of the key tenets of most religions is “forgiveness”, turn the other cheek, hate the sin, love the sinner. Christian religions have the added guilt of the son of god dying a horrible death to forgive all of us for our sins. The behavior doesn’t matter if they’ve asked god for forgiveness.

I was raised fundamental baptist / went to church school and was horribly abused under the guise of religion. Jesus abusers / cheaters are the worst.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
6 months ago

Too much emphasis on forgiveness without the “sinner” expressing remorse and contrition, as well as “forgiveness” that actually means putting aside the abuse and staying with the abuser.

A better religious precept: love your neighbor as yourself. That means you are supposed to love yourself, not in terms of “self-esteem” but by caring for yourself, acting in your own interest, valuing yourself.

Mehitable
Mehitable
6 months ago

I personally believe these kinds of beliefs are incredibly destructive to people who have already been damaged. If you’re in a situation where someone is harming you, to me it makes no sense to “forgive” it which to me, contributes mightily to the abuse. It’s perhaps my major disagreement with Christianity but I also think that people don’t really understand what Christ meant anyway.

hush
hush
6 months ago
Reply to  gonegirl

Yup. Some Christian counselors are pretty delusional and urge Chumps to “stand for their marriage.” No matter what the cheaters did to the kids, and no matter the cost. A male Chumped buddy of mine is still being told this “stand for your marriage!” RIC crap by his church’s counseling program, even after his wife suddenly became an atheist and walked out on him and their 9-year-old daughter, so she could go move in with her married boss who lives over an hour away. His wife has never asked to come visit their daughter, and totally ignored her daughter’s birthday, too. And yet his church still tells him to basically wait for her to come home to them… someday? This is straight up batshit crazy advice!

I told my friend to read Chump Lady, referred him to a divorce lawyer, told him to how to get STD tested locally, and since he’s a Christian, I urged him check out the Bible for himself on this topic. “If the nonbeliever leaves, let it be so. For God has called you to ☮️” – 1 Corinthians 7:15. He can also look to Matthew 19:9 for how sexual sin is grounds for divorce.

Hence a real Christian who actually knows their Bible would be telling this guy to get a divorce.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
6 months ago
Reply to  hush

Don’t forget Divorce Minister!

hush
hush
6 months ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Thank you, I’ve referred my friend to him!

Mehitable
Mehitable
6 months ago
Reply to  hush

The one grounds for divorce that the the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, have ALWAYS allowed, is adultery. You don’t have to stay married if there is adultery. That’s very clear. Adultery breaks the marriage bond. For most people, irretrievably.

Conchobara
Conchobara
6 months ago
Reply to  hush

After DDay the last thing I wanted was to go back to church — we’d been fallen away for several years at that point because FW wasn’t sure he believed anymore and it was easier not to argue. I also didn’t want to go alone and have to make excuses. A few months ago I decided I needed the community and reached out to our former church. They were amazing.

The parish administrator put me in touch with the associate priest (we are Episcopalian), a retired female priest, and the youth group for my daughter. I had a meeting with the associate priest and he was so kind, so understanding and warm, and VERY critical of FW. He told me that there is absolutely no excuse for cheating and that most of those ‘turn the other cheek’ and ‘love the sinner’ things are taken out of context.

He told me that since FW had never shown any remorse and done it for years that I had every right and reason to be upset and he knew that God was there for me and our daughter in our pain. He never, ever made an excuse for FW, play for any kind of RIC, etc.

I’m beyond grateful!

Shadow
Shadow
6 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

I’m glad you met a prelate who has right understanding of this matter, as I did, thanks be to God!
Thinking about it, pressuring, guilt-tripping or manipulating chumps to reconcile with cheats in any way could well be considered one of the 4 Sins Crying out to Heaven for Vengeance; the 3rd one “Oppressing the poor, especially the widow and orphan”. In a way, we chumps are sort of widows and the children of cheats are all deprived of good-enough parenting from the cheating parent, if not totally deprived because so many cheats abandon their children as well as their spouses. Too many chumps on CN have experienced the pain of their children being rejected by the cheating parent and have to try to be both mother and father to their kids, and to help to heal the deep wounds cheats inflict on their children!
I do feel like a widow in a way, only my X’s body is still up and about! It would actually be easier in some ways if he had passed away whilst loving and loyal, as I have read others on CN say. At least then your grief is acknowledged and you can mourn them and keep the happy memories! Cheating means you have to keep your grief mainly to yourself ( unless you’ve a very close friend to confide in, or have a therapist who gets it!) and any “happy ” memories are too painful, just feel like deceptions and make you feel even worse! I personally won’t allow myself to entertain them! He’s ruined them all!
Thus, you could say that the RIC and anyone who tries to pressure the chump to “forgive” as in reconcile, with all the self-negation that usually entails, is oppressing a widow, and if there are children, the orphan too! Serious sin, that! Really really bad!!!

FYI_
FYI_
6 months ago
Reply to  hush

You can refer your friend to Divorce Minister also.

hush
hush
6 months ago
Reply to  FYI_

Thank you, I’ve referred my friend to him!

Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
6 months ago
Reply to  hush

Marriage standing is such toxic advice, I almost did that myself. Calvinists are some of the worst a producing this garbage; they fixate on such low success rates of for marriage standers. Many of the high-profile standers who espouse this garbage did remarry their spouse, but you don’t hear about the ones who didn’t and are still standing.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
6 months ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

It takes two people to be married, last I looked.

Mehitable
Mehitable
6 months ago
Reply to  Josh McDowell

Considering what those recon’d marriages must be like, these folks probably don’t have any fear of Hell.

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago
Reply to  gonegirl

I do think that many religious folks are focused on the cheater, my preacher was clear about who the sinner was and what he needed to do to get out of sin; whether he and I survived or not. FW walked away, he was hell bent on marrying the whore, and no way was he going to walk away from his sin. At least until he married her and started cheating on her, which meant he was still living in sin, AND he was pursuing more sin.

That is why so many of the RIC’s don’t focus on the sinner, they will walk away and there goes all that money; unless they can persuade the Chump to keep dancing and paying in hopes the cheater will see the light. He/she won’t of course, but that’s a lot of money stacking up in the meantime.

It Is What It Is
It Is What It Is
6 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

My kids had more common sense on what the church should be teaching about the sin of adultery. My FW married his mistress who he personally baptized into the faith. My kids were appalled. In their view you should forsake your sin, not marry it! 

Shadow
Shadow
6 months ago

I doubt that “Baptism2 is valid because Baptism is a minor exorcism, and in order to effectively exorcise, the minister must be in God’s Grace i.e. free of Mortal Sin, or the devil and his demons will take no notice of it and stay put!
I don’t think cheats are possessed; that’s very rare and thorough testing to rule out neurological and psychiatric disorders has to happen plus the criteria for possession has to be met! I do think some may be under what is called demonic influence though, which is the next stage of demonic activity after temptation which is their ordinary activity and which we all experience.
The fact that your cheat and AP are making such a hideous mockery of God and the Christian Faith makes me suspect they are under demonic influence! They are in grave danger and in dire need of a deliverance regime, but that’s not your responsibility! They’ve no one to blame but themselves and are probably so mired in Pride they’d reject any notion of it anyway!

Juniper
Juniper
6 months ago

When my 18yo son chastised his dad (X) for continuing his relationship with AP (a family friend), X said to our son, “Mom and I are divorced now. It’s not wrong anymore.” 😶

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

I wasn’t raised with religion but I don’t think religion is the problem anymore than the broad heading of “therapy” is the problem. It’s all in the interpretation and what concepts are cherry-picked by the practitioners due to personal biases.

I noticed that “ex cheaters” were heavily over-represented among RIC therapists. I imagine that the victim-blaming/abuser-coddling religious leaders are generally FWs as well. Fox meet hen house. It’s fucking absurd.

Shadow
Shadow
6 months ago

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a fair few of them were cheats themselves! Either that or have never even had someone close who’s suffered this filthy sort of betrayal! This would explain the lack of empathy any compassion for the betrayed spouse, and any children!
I also think that maybe some of them don’t get it simply because of a lack of knowledge and insight though, a sort of ignorance and lack of education. The counsellor I had did say that it’s only very recently that abuse other than physical or sexual has been recognised for how harmful it really is, , or that abandonment is a form of abuse and we here on CN know now that most in the field do not regard adultery/cheating as abuse, nor does the Law or wider western society. We know it’s been minimised and even normalised! So, some of it could be lack of knowledge or poor standards of training and education in their field. Could be! TBH, I think you could write a book or at least some articles that would be very valuable in this regard, because I have certainly leant a lot from your posts and find them really thought-provoking! In fact there’s a few of yours from recent CL posts that have really got me thinking and I need to respond to! Blimey, I could be at it all day, lol!
I do think Susie Lee has a point about money as well though! If you’re paying for your therapy/counselling, the bottom line might not be so much your wellbeing as their profit, a bit like the pharmaceutical industry; there’s not quite as much money in curing people as keeping them dependant on what you’re selling!
I got the support of my priests free of charge, as I suppose they give it as what we call Acts of Charity or Acts of Spiritual Mercy, which are part of a priests pastoral duties and have to be free! It’s a bad job if these marriage counsellors attached to Christian Churches charge their clients a fee! At the very most, they should only ask for donations from those who can afford it and only as much as they can afford! It’s not an Act of Charity or Mercy if you’re getting a ( hefty?) fee for it!

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago

My fw did me the supreme favor of leaving and not coming back, oh he made noises of “trying again” down the line, but it was not real and even if it was, it was too late.

However, during the year of discard, I am sure I unknowingly did a few of the things (this was pre 180/internet).

Just for fun I did read the steps and I was stuck by as you say the contradictions. My favorite was the one where under no circumstances talk to him about the good in the marriage or your feelings etc. Then a few steps later said if he talks to listen intently to what he has to say, really listen. So basically your thoughts and feelings don’t matter, but you must bend over backwards to really hear what he is saying. Vomit.

Orlando
Orlando
6 months ago

The last two posts don’t seem to be showing up on the CL Facebook page? Don’t most of us women already read “how to improve your relationship” via women’s articles? Did my ex ever read one? I’ll bet not once, ever. I think he read stuff about improving sex. That’s all that mattered to him. So it’s not a stretch that we end up going down the RIC road to save our marriages after infidelity. I think I initially did the 180, but that’s because it took time to get my bearings. Once I did, the bloom was off the rose & I saw him for who he really was: his dick mattered to him more than anything else.

lulutoo
lulutoo
6 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

I have a funny comment related to women reading all the ‘improve your relationship’ books. I work in a bookstore and one day a man came in and asked me where the ‘relationship book’ section was. I took him to it and as we walked there, I commented, “You know, I’ve worked here for over five years and you are only the second MAN to ever ask for the relationship section.” So he replied, “Well, my brother is getting married next Sunday–” [and I said, “Awwwww…”] and he continued, “And I thought it’d be funny to get him a gag gift.”

FYI_
FYI_
6 months ago

I mean, the 180 is contingent on the premise that you would be able to utterly suppress your common sense, your self-preservation, any remaining self-worth — your entire Self, basically. Plus, it’s advising betrayed people to manipulate!

All of that sounds like a winning formula for a happy marriage going forward. 🙄

2xchump
2xchump
6 months ago

This is my FAVORITE topic because many of us did the pick me dance and did Not know it! We knew we were being disrespected, treated with contempt and thrown into a trash compactor ..so we TRIED HARDER! Why? We did not know. That was me until D day. I pulled out every trick and chocolate cake too. There were days that seemed to pay off and then the abuse started up again. That cycle you know well. But this is on purpose and only a cheater could write this 180 drivel. It is right out of cake eating 101! How you can have a silent appliance, no humming noises, ice maker working,and keep baking cakes. Again I ask the question on why we are doing twirls and not protecting ourselves? Do we keep having sex even if we know they are cheaters and lying and are cheating? So we get pregnant( yes I did this but I didn’t know!!). Getting pregnant means you trust them right? What about STDS– trust them? What about our joint life time savings? Trust them? In the blink of an eye my account was half gone while i was doing the blind dance. Joint everything, gone? Dance around that!
Back in the 70s there was a book I followed completely called Fascinating Womanhood..to the point you wrap yourself in clear plastic wrap and meet him at the door. Like that. The 180 is putting the chump.at such risk, emotionally to be silent and keep the marriage going at all cost and at such hurt. Its all loss,Spiritually as she gives up her agency and physically to sacrifice her body.Pure humiliation and the blame is on you! After 2 cheaters I can tell you, this dance could be deadly. Read Chump lady’s book, Leave A Cheater first, then decide if your life is worth it.

Elsie_
Elsie_
6 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

Yes, I read Fascinating Woman along with Me Obey Him. Both normalized men acting horribly and women who held the keys to fixing their marriages. That’s really, really off.

Both parties should behave decently and have the well-being of their marriage in mind on an ongoing basis.

I spent several decades trying to fix myself to get him to behave and care about our marriage. It didn’t work at all. After all, he just wanted to behave the way he wanted, and our marriage didn’t mean a whole lot to him. Until I said “enough,” and even then, he was clueless as to why I was giving up.

Conchobara
Conchobara
6 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

I had a therapist recommend that saran wrap thing to me, too. Early in our marriage FW was complaining that things weren’t ‘exciting enough’. Little did I know at the time that this was due to his p0rn usage. To clarify, it wasn’t frequency or my availability, it was my willingness to try new things. Which I’d always been. I should’ve seen this as the opening, early salvo to what became a massively traumatic DDay.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
6 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

Are all these men out there just dying to see their women in saran wrap? I understand the idea in theory, it’s a little adventurous, and involves nudity. But it just seems so SPECIFIC.

Skunkcabbage
Skunkcabbage
6 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

Remember that scene with Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes?!

Genesis
Genesis
6 months ago

Love the Podcast. I could listen to hours of you two chatting, you both have beautiful soothing voices.

I did read a similar “to do” list when I first found out about the cheating. I didn’t follow it because it seemed like it was placing me at fault and that I had to fix “it” (or myself), sang I knew I wasn’t responsible for another person’s shitty behaviour, even if I was married to them.
This magical thinking – as if we could “make” them cheat – is damaging. If I could have made FW do anything it certainly wouldn’t have been “fuck around”.

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago

14. When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words. Don’t push any issue, no matter how much you want to!

23. Be patient and learn to not only listen carefully to what your spouse is really saying to you. Hear what it is that they are saying! Listen and then listen some more!

So basically shut up, eat that shit sammie and give your cheater full range to continue to shit all over you.

24. Learn to back off, keep your mouth shut and walk away when you want to speak out, no matter what the provocation. No one ever got themselves into trouble by just not saying anything.

I beg to differ that last sentence is all shades of wrong. Not saying anything and taking more and more is what keeps you in abuse. I prefer the saying: “all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do/say nothing”. You can not appease bullies.

Mighty Warrior
Mighty Warrior
6 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

24 strikes a chord. When my then mid-80s mother was told that the ex had left me (I did not know why he had left at the time), she said ‘when he talks to you, don’t say anything back, don’t complain about his drinking, just keep quiet, don’t provoke him’. In her own marriage to my father she was constantly doing the opposite, but then ‘all couples argue, it shows that they love each other’. No wonder I need therapy every week!

The Former Mrs. FW
The Former Mrs. FW
6 months ago

Yes — D-Day was June 9, 2013. I didn’t file till February 2014, and didn’t serve and move forward till August 2014. 10 D-Days in that time. I did so much pick me dancing, trying to do all the things the 180 suggests and more. I had a one year old at the time and just couldn’t imagine losing my family. It makes me shudder now what an evil, manipulative liar FW was during that time. Looking me right in the eyes telling me he had broken things off with Young Married Employee Schmoops, while booking hotel rooms, sending gifts, sending i love you texts and opening more hidden email accounts behind my back. There is no 180 with these cheaters. They’ve shown you what deception they are capable of. The only answer is to walk away and, painful as the process may be, don’t look back.

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago

I think the scariest thing possible is having young children to feed, and going through this. I am so fortunate I only had me to think about. (Our son was grown).

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
6 months ago

Yes, I was one of the dummies who, in desperation and godawful pain, paid Michelle Weiner Davis, who is a big wiener.

The only good thing about The 180 is that somehow, in Googling, it led me here.

Thankya, Jesus!

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
6 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

I looked into the pricy “save your marriage” type weekend interventions and I’m sure I would have paid for them if XW had agreed to go. She wasn’t interested in working on the marriage though, because – you know – that’s work! The point of having an affair isn’t to end up with more marital work.

Elsie_
Elsie_
6 months ago

A friend of mine pointed out that all the reviews of those weekends are collected right after the event. The big question is how are they doing a year, five years, or a decade later?

Probably not good.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
6 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Relationships are a skill and require emotional maturity. Telling the truth and keeping agreements are at the top of the list. Lying and conducting a secret double life prove they are a poor choice for relationship partner.

This whole idea of someone changing is a moot point for me.

I have no desire partner with someone who needs changing on such a critical, basic, fundamental level.

ChumpedForANewerModel
ChumpedForANewerModel
6 months ago

The first 6 weeks after DDay1, I did the pick me dance, tried the RIC and went against my gut. Then DDay 2 hit and it was like Nope….Not doing this anymore. I got an attorney, and I started the process.
Dancing and holding in what you feel is just wrong. Everything about this favors the cheater and can leave the chump hanging in for weeks, months and even years. My EXFW was siphoning money like crazy while I was dancing. Fortunately, between me and the forensic accountant, we were able to find the money trail and EXFW had to pay back the marital waste!!!!
Sure, FWs will do anything they can while you are dancing and trying to save the marriage. It is just an opportunity for them to keep you from seeing what they really are. I truly admire all the chumps who just left without trying to “save” the marriage. That is mighty. I am just so glad I am out of it and it has taken so much stress off.
The idea that you can change a FW is just another means of hurting the chump and collecting money from further abusing the chump. Staying and trying to save a marriage that is unhealthy will just take a toll on the poor chump and any children involved. The cheater will NOT change EVER. They feel that it is their right to cheat.

KattheBat
KattheBat
6 months ago

The contradictions are there to make you spin! That’s why it’s called the 180.

Be cheerful! Be happy! (Dances forward)
Not TOO cheerful, it’s overwhelming and don’t talk about your marriage being happy! (Turns around dances backward)
But you have to listen to the cheater’s feelings! (Turns around again goes forward)
DONT BRING UP THE AFFAIR DONT TALK ABOUT IT! (Turns around and back again)
And a two, three, four, and kick-ball-change, you dizzy yet?

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago
Reply to  KattheBat

It is good I didn’t really have a chance to pick me dance. I am a clod, and I likely would have killed myself in the effort.

Shadow
Shadow
6 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

He did blag me into doing a sort of “pick me shuffle” for a couple of days (by getting me to feel sorry for him and be worried he would harm himself although I’d not intention of letting him move back in!), but I was just too knackered to put much effort into an actual pick-me-dance, because I was drained dry by his carry-on even before I knew he was cheating!
I’m still a bit annoyed about it but I’m grateful that I wasn’t really able for it now and didn’t go and give it stacks on the “pick-me” dancefloor! At least we swerved that waste of time and energy Susie Lee!

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
6 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Yeah. I’m with you, Susie. I had no choice because he said he wanted to be with her. Had he suggested that we “work on our marriage,” I probably would have laced up my own dancing shoes. Ugh. 💃🏻

Of course, the insistence that a chump needs to “work on a marriage” that the chump often didn’t even know was in trouble implies that the cheater’s affair was a result of flaws ON BOTH SIDES and not simply a result of shitty, entitled, FW behavior. 😡 FW logic: “I may have been unfaithful, but you forgot to buy bananas.” #holyfalseequivalence

MamaChump
MamaChump
6 months ago

Another comment mentioned that many of these “counselors” are religious or use religion in some way to encourage chumps to stay. This is so ironic and maddening to me. For Christians, the Bible gives us example after example of God using consequences to create and refine character in those he loves. I have a friend who lives out his Christian faith more than almost anyone I know, and he reminded me of how God himself responds to sin. He said to me that I would have been enabling my ex’s sinful nature and denying him the opportunity to experience the consequences of his sin had I not divorced him. Essentially, I would have been standing in the way of my ex coming closer God. It was one of the most freeing conversations of my life. Unfortunately, my ex’s family, friends, and new wife have continued to enable his sinful nature; however, I am confident that that is one thing I will no longer have to answer for on judgement day.

Shadow
Shadow
6 months ago
Reply to  MamaChump

Your friend is very wise and absolutely correct in this.
I’ve only recently found out that Lenience is response to sin, including adultery, is actually regarded as a sin in Christian teaching as deprives the sinner of any incentive to repent and try to amend their ways for the better. In the Catholic denomination, adultery is a Mortal Sin, i.e. it completely severs the adulterer’s relationship with God, putting them in grave danger of eternal damnation if they die unrepentant.So, it is actually what’s called a Spiritual Act of Mercy to give consequences for sin, and for Mortal Sin like adultery, the consequences have to be serious too. The hope is that ultimately they will realise the depth of harm they’ve inflicted, on their victims, in the case of adultery us chumps, on their own souls and most importantly, on their relationship with God! It’s to give them a wake-up call!
Of course, only God knows hearts and minds and only God knows the future but He wants that all souls be saved so He gives us as long as possible to repent and change our ways.From behavioural science, the secular world has learnt that if one wants a behaviour to stop, one must stop rewarding it and impose consequences that make the perp uncomfortable or are unpleasant to them. This usually involves the removal of attention , ignoring it or in extreme cases, ignoring the perp and No Contact plus severing ties with an unrepentant adulterer/abuser is an example of this, taken to the ultimate limits because adultery harms. God of course knew this long before scientists, like He knows everything else long before we do!
So, if we as sinners all, never had any unpleasant consequences for bad behaviour as kids, we’d all be unsafe to know, so good-enough parents give consequences. This is not cruelty but an act of love. It is an Act of Christian Charity or Mercy to impose consequences on an adulterer, in the hopes they may one day repent and be saved, but also to protect the spouse and children for any further harm. To “forgive” or really pardon, an unrepentant evil doer is to reward Mortal Sin and that’s the sin of Lenience, which is not a Mortal Sin unless it’s done knowing it’s wrong but still, enables the evil doer to carry on causing harm and rewarding it! I’ve waffled but I hope I make sense?
It does remind me of the wise words of Edmund Burke “The only thing needed for evil to thrive, is that good men ( and women!) do nothing!”

HunnyBadger
HunnyBadger
6 months ago
Reply to  MamaChump

I love everything about what your friend told you. He is absolutely right. God truly forgives everything and anything, but to be forgiven the sinner has to own up to what they’ve done and to actually repent. (Give up the sin, truly turn away from it). In the meantime there will be consequences. When we protect people from natural consequences, all that happens is that they continue down their primrose path causing more and more harm.

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago
Reply to  MamaChump

I just take the bible at word. There is biblical dispensation for the betrayed spouse to leave an adulterer. It is given for a reason, and I believe that reason is God knows the pain and destruction of adultery on the betrayed spouse and gives them the option to walk away. The bible also gives the sinner the option to walk away from their sin, but it does not give them the option to keep the betrayed against the will of the betrayed.

Shadow
Shadow
6 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Yes, and St. Paul tells us we don’t have to stay with an ubeliever. I would say that unrepentatn adulters are unbelivers no matter what they say they are, because if they truly believed in Christ, they would honour their vows, strive to love their spouse selflessly as Christ loves the Church, would have healthy consciences that caused them pain when committing grave sin or even at the temptation to commit grave sin, and would take all 10 Commandments deadly seriously, including the one against adultery.
We know that adulterers don’t do any of the above, so their Faith is weak at best, but most likely not real at all and just a mask! We do know that adulterers/abusers love their masks and the mask of a “pious Christian” is often very effective for them. However, as Our Lord said , “By their fruits ( actions and consequences) ye shall know them!” We all know the fruits of cheats and their deceit and treachery!

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago

Oh yeah, it was so easy to seem cheerful and outgoing when– despite eating like a Teamster and taking a load of supplements my very alarmed family doctor prescribed– my BMI kept dropping until it was about 17, I stopped sleeping entirely and I started having random fainting spells.

To her credit, the family doctor was so pissed when she learned FW was cheating that she cut off his Viagra prescription without explanation. She felt like she’d pointlessly subjected me to a year’s worth of cancer and rare metabolic disease screenings for the weight loss and weirdly impaired immune system markers when the diagnosis all along was “abuse/gaslighting.”

Could there be anything more macabre than the sight of a catastrophically depressed, insomniac bag of bones with clinical panic disorder who’s sick all the time being goaded into acting “cheerful and outgoing”? Any therapist advising this should be called in front of a licensing board. It reminds me a bit of those scenes from films where starving POWs rouge their cheeks with drops of blood and try to appear perky and energetic to avoid the periodic culls of sick prisoners. WTF.

It Is What It Is
It Is What It Is
6 months ago

In a fit of 180 optimism I asked my husband about his “encounters” with the many sex workers. I was trying to make me his safe person that he could be totally honest with. So I sat for a very long time while he regaled me with all the nitty gritty of scheduling, anticipating, meeting, and having sex with a woman you pay. As disgusted as I was, I stayed focused on him and trying to make him feel comfortable. I learned all kinds of terms I never wanted to be acquainted with such as: The girlfriend experience, where the sex worker pretends to be your girlfriend so you feel less guilt about paying for sex. I learned that he had been on a site where he shared his experiences with other “hobbyists”, rating the girls like Amazon purchases. I learned about the “legend” that was very expensive, had fabulous ratings, so he had to experience her. So he flew across the country to meet up with her. I could go on all day. What amazes me is that I ever let him touch me after all that. But I was pick me dancing so hard at that point. I really thought that allowing him to “confess” (brag) would be cathartic for him and cause him forsake his double life.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
6 months ago

It’s truly astounding the things that didn’t stop me from continuing to be an excellent wife appliance, sex included. I know that the FWs should carry the shame. But I am ashamed of what I put up with.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago

You missed your calling as an international secret agent who would never break under interrogation. How you managed not to howl bloody murder and break shit while listening to that bragging litany of disgusting betrayal and nauseating misogyny is a testament to your Zen-like self control.

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
6 months ago

I’d have to say that an awful lot of the 180 seems to have been written to either protect the Cheater’s feelings or to isolate them from the consequences of their unilateral decisions, with only the Chump putting in the hard work. Sod that!

Thankfully, I never tried it. At the point that it became clear that what was going on in our marriage (and Ex-Mrs LFTT’s infidelity was but one of the problems), it was clear that (firstly) our marriage wasn’t worth saving (she had made sure that it wasn’t) and (secondly) that the marriage couldn’t be saved unless it was on Ex-Mrs LFTT’s terms, which included me agreeing to an open relationship. Sod that too!

LFTT

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
6 months ago

The only suggestion XW had after DDay, when I asked what I could do to save our marriage, was “be happier” (one of the rules of the 180). I can confirm that “don’t make me see the suffering I am causing” is definitely a desire of the cheater.

Even in the midst of panic attacks, catastrophic weight loss, cognitive impairment and permanent fight-or-fight activation, I understood that this was not a reasonable request at that moment. I gently pointed out that, while I wanted to “be happy” for her, it was kind of hard to do when my world had just been pulled out for under me, weeks after starting a new job in a new town where I knew nobody and had no support, and that I might need some time.

Her response was “Well, this wasn’t the plan. We planned to wait for the spring” This was actually peak empathy from her: not “I’m sorry” or “that’s hard” but “Don’t blame me! I intended to deceive you for another six months but I just couldn’t restrain myself.”

I later came to understand that this was just the last in a years-long series of secret tests that she had been subjecting me to. I had been failing those tests because (a) the tests were designed so that I would fail, providing her with an excuse to leave the marriage and (b) my competitor was obviously aware that he and I were vying for her affection, so he was on his best romantic behavior with her (much better behavior than with his actual wife, for instance).

In the end, though I’m sure XW sincerely desired that I would fail these tests, she was nonetheless disappointed that I didn’t pick-me dance. My reaction to her saying “I’m leaving” was “we need to get to counseling stat to start the hard work to fix our marriage”, not “you are so wonderful that I will do whatever you desire to keep you”. That wasn’t the response she wanted so she refused to go to counseling.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago

IG, you wrote: “b) my competitor was obviously aware that he and I were vying for her affection, so he was on his best romantic behavior with her (much better behavior than with his actual wife, for instance).”

I’m wondering whether– in the course of their one-sided pickme dance competition during the times chumps are in the dark– typical he-poachers/OMs are quite as self-negating as she-poachers/OWs frequently seem to be and if this causes more chump confusion, at least initially?

Let me see if I can clarify… For instance, I learned soon after D-Day that the AP in my situation was basically performing painful and humiliating porn antics that probably never gave a woman an organism since the discovery of fire. She also scurried around FW with a dustpan and listened to him drunkenly holding court on his favorite boring-as-hell spiels with rapt attention. Even in the throes of D-Day trauma I was easily able to look at what the AP had done to “win” and feel no pangs of regret that I didn’t “step up” to meet the “challenge.” Like yay, biggest masochism/suckupery prize and maybe some major chafing and torn ligaments in the bargain. Just a big “no.”

But now I’m thinking if the behavior of the AP had seemed like a more normal rendition of romantically idealized– you know, “good listener,” “great insights,” “gentle and supportive,” “sensitive to my needs,” blah blah– I probably would have felt– at least at first– much more “outdone” or torn about it.

So did your ex represent the AP as being in sort of a normal range of “romantic” bs? If so, ugh. But part of me would bet that there was nothing “normal” about it because– likely due to differences between men’s and women’s social shame over kink– I suspect she-FWs are more prone to lie about and hide the depths of the creepy, icky, embarrassing, blatantly unhealthy kink and relationship dynamics they engage in during affairs whereas he-FWs frequently seem to brag about the same things and often have no clue that stuff is gross and weird.

Overall (slightly fuzzy) point is to wonder whether male chumps often face a little extra bs challenges in dealing with FWittery.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
6 months ago

I can’t really answer that, as neither my XW nor her AP have admitted to me that they had an affair, much less provided any details. My information is mostly secondhand from AP’s then-wife (though some of that is from credit card receipts rather than the actual confession; AP did forward a bunch of his sexts (with my wife) to his wife; I gather they were embarrassing and gross but don’t know that they reveal a lot about him as a romantic partner). He has more money and is much more willing to spend it than I am (for instance, I wouldn’t buy myself $90 underwear even if I had 7 figures sitting in the bank), which I think XW found validating. Mainly, though, I think XW likes the drama with AP (he is volatile, and of course affairs produce intense emotions) more than she liked a solid 17-year marriage.

As I’ve mentioned before on here, XW has some weird ideas about love (for instance, that AP loves her more than I did because he is suspicious and monitors her when she travels). Personally, I do not consider stalking and sexting to be normal romantic behavior but I think XW does; also, AP did buy her a lot of presents and they texted for hours/day (in my and the kids’ presence, which I’m sure was a thrill for her), so – by her standards – I think he was a good romantic partner for her. I do need to stress though that he was being a crappy husband to his actual wife during all this, so it’s not like he is such an enlightened gem of a new-age man. I assume he’s regressing to his previous mean now that they’re several years married, but I’m not really privy to any current details. The kids report that they yell at each other (which proves that they really love each other) so I think the drama continues, which may mean success in my XW’s eyes.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago

Thanks for responding, IG.

Like I commented to Conchobara below, I’m kind of chewing on a “misanthropology” theory that she-FWs and OWs may have a lot in common, especially if both tend to veer towards something close to “hybristophilia”– i.e., show a secret, pukey attraction to knuckle-dragging Java man types, liars, sadists or even criminals. They may marry the decent, positive types out of self preservation but part of them still hankers for ick.

The fact that these kinds of exaggerated, toxic dynamics are common in both cheating and hardcore porn could also shows how unoriginal and copycat people with personality disorders might be. Even their secret fantasies and alter-egos are from a stock catalogue.

UXworld
UXworld
6 months ago

IG, we need to meet up and swap stories someday.

“The kids report that they yell at each other (which proves that they really love each other)” describes perfectly the “comfortable in the dysfunction” mindset that mine apparently kept hidden from me for 20 years.

Conchobara
Conchobara
6 months ago

FW paid for all (most?) his cheating but his child mistress definitely did these things. After all, he purchased her services on a site intended for the purpose and paid her a hefty monthly stipend. I doubt that she was enjoying his “kinks” as much as he was. Though the women he flew in to ‘educate’ him may have been. Or some of the Tinder hookups. Or the who-knows-how-many-others.

He was mighty proud to tell me that he cheated because he NEEDED these kinks and he knew I’d never go for them (so: my fault). So he found it elsewhere. And wanting to leave for more of it.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  Conchobara

Conchobara–

And in the end, do you feel “deprived” not to wading through a cesspool?? Lol, I know I don’t.

Like I said, I keep noticing that she-chumps seem to get more gross, icky details about cheating because male FWs seem to be more “forthcoming” about exploits and prouder of them. On the one hand– reeeetch– it’s horrifying, shocking TMI. But on the other, I think some female chumps start figuring out pretty quickly that, had we pickme danced “sufficiently,” it would have been over hot coals and through a bog of raw sewage. Not an enviable role in the end.

I’m sort of chewing on a theory that cheating– whether by male or female FWs– often includes really cartoonish gender and sexual roles because affairs may be all about reenacting toxic childhood trauma and dysfunctional FOO dynamics (which, statistically speaking, often involve very exaggerated, toxic gender roles). This is why I suspect she-FWs are probably also engaging in a lot of servile, masochistic behavior during affairs which is more like OWs than OMs. That’s not to say some she-FWs– like some OWs– aren’t dominatrix types, but I imagine that pimps-up/hos-down is more common in affairs just like it’s the more common fantasy scenario in hardcore porn.

I also get the sense many OMs typically play the knuckle-dragging toxic “master/dom” role interspersed with love-bombing so that a lot of she-cheaters are playing out bodice-ripper Harlequin novel fantasies that their non-creepy, good dad/good provider chumps weren’t “fulfilling.” But women don’t tend to brag about those things as much so male chumps aren’t as “privy” to how nauseating their FWs’ affairs really are.

In short, I’m guessing a lot of she-FWs and OWs are akin to “hybristophiliacs” or prison groupies who are turned on by assholes, sadists, liars, cheats, felons, etc. And that a lot of FWs and OMs play out cartoon caveman sex-beast roles during cheating and seek out cartoon “subs” as cheating partners. All told, I suspect most parties reenact the most popular porn dynamics.

Anyway, this is all my armchair social science (what a friend jokingly calls “misanthropology”) because I’m frustrated that modern research isn’t looking into the connection between domestic violence and cheating.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago

Speaking of abuse, gaslighting and the role of doctors and other authorities in enabling the latter, I just took the kids to see Killers of the Flower Moon. It was clearly a passion project for Scorsese. I’m not sure if the exploration of diabolical mindfucking, betrayal and triangulation is as honed and successful as The Power of the Dog but it certainly argues for the deadly potential of these things.

No spoilers but one hint: the kids didn’t like Leonardo DiCaprio in it (“who’s that guy?” lol), thought it would have been better with a different actor. I thought maybe it’s not a great idea to hire a pickled FW to play a pickled FW if you want a truly nuanced performance. But one thing comes across very well as a classic FW profile: compartmentalization, rationalization, coercive control, blameshifting and inability to take responsibility for causing predictable harm.

Viktoria
Viktoria
6 months ago

On my D-day I was shocked to discover that he “picked” alright: both me and the 31 flavors of pay-for-strange. Of course he picked me! And all the lovely ladies on adultlook. He wanted it all! It’s good to be king!

I did not want to be part of a harem, so I was OUT immediately.

NO CONTACT is the perfect antidote to the 180.

Mehitable
Mehitable
6 months ago
Reply to  Viktoria

The only sane response! Who the hell would want to be part of a harem? Well, I guess there are the Mormon Sister Wives but not a lot of them hopefully.

2xchump
2xchump
6 months ago

Yes I remember the scene in Fried Green Tomatoes with Kathy Bates in saran wrap. Just like that. But people pleasing to save your marriage and your man is so ingrained, much more than I ever believed possible. It could be in our survival DNA. Have woman in any other time in history been able to advocate for ourselves and live? And care for our children without a male hunter/ worker? And survive outside the home? Ever? Centuries of dependency and keeping ANY turd happy or you are put outside? In other countries you lose your children and go back to your parents house in shame? We have a lot to turn around and it’s not by accident we are afraid. I hope we can change the narrative but it is a big wave. I’m so thrilled to be free and grateful to live in a country o can survive in after getting out of abuse.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
6 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

You’re totally going to love this book. “Demonic Males: Apes and the Evolution of Human Violence by Harvard primatologist Richard Wrangham. It covers everything you’re talking about and basically substantiates you’re point. Plus the author makes a very elegant argument that the only way to save the planet is to support women in solving this problem.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
6 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

I went to a seder at a friend’s house and knew that I recognized one of the other guests but couldn’t place her. I have a bad memory for that kind of thing, so I said to my friend “I recognize that woman over there but I have no idea who she is. I’m afraid I was sitting next to her last year and she thinks it’s rude I haven’t even acknowledged her. I think I should go over, say hello, and apologize that I’ve forgotten her name.” My friend answered “You idiot. That’s Kathy Bates.”

Mehitable
Mehitable
6 months ago

I think there are elements of the 180 that can be helpful, especially the emphasis on detachment and doing your own thing but maybe that could be found in the Grey Rock technique. I’m not very conversant with either, but obviously no Chump should use any technique that involves blaming the Chump or building recon. Wastes of time, energy, and personal integrity. Maybe a modified 180 could work?

New Beginnings
New Beginnings
6 months ago

Yes, 4 solid years of pick-me-dancing…..

It’s been 6 years since I gave up that fight and I am gloriously happy now. I have a new house, a new job and a new life. My only wish is that I had dumped his sorry a$$ sooner. Four wasted years!

Mighty Warrior
Mighty Warrior
6 months ago

Ah, the 180! When I was unceremoniously dumped with a list of my faults, I was unaware of the at least 10 year probably 26 year long-distance affair with exgfOW. That discovery (finding emails that had not been deleted on the home computer when I was uploading a job application) came about 8-10 weeks later. And the ex kept me dancing all over the place during that time. I came across the 180 post-dumping, pre-discovery. It didn’t sit comfortably with me because I knew that the ex’s behaviour was cruel, unkind, and manipulative even without being aware of the affair. I knew that he had crossed a line from which there was no coming back. Although I was distraught on discovery of the affair, it made more sense to me than what had gone before. I have to be honest and say that I behaved in line with the 180 for a large part of the marriage: this boiled frog did everything possible to keep the ex happy and content because his moods were unbearable. Finding out about the affair was ultimately a relief. It gave me an easy reason to start divorce proceedings immediately and to get rid of him from my one precious life as quickly as I could. I’ve never regretted that despite my sadness that this is how it turned out. Being married to the ex once he reached 60 (I’m 63) would have been ugly. He will only become worse, more moody, more self-absorbed, as did his mother who, when I knew her, was not aging happily and gracefully. My life would have become even more stressful and I would have been too scared to end the marriage.

Stepbystep
Stepbystep
6 months ago

Jeez. I remember being so relieved when I found the 180 because it seemed to meet me where I was – terrified, dumbfounded and isolated. I couldn’t tell anyone what I was experiencing since it would end the marriage. The 180 gave me actions steps when I couldn’t think clearly and some sense of control/dignity. Unfortunately, it was actually instructions on how to give CPR to a corpse.

susie lee
susie lee
6 months ago
Reply to  Stepbystep

Yep, it gives “hopium” to a weakened person. No way do I think it is a good thing, but sometimes I wonder if that natural hopium (sans professional hopium dealers) may be a temp good thing to get us through the beginning horror safely, then by the time we get a bit more clear headed we are ready to deal. That initial despondency is horrible, and could be dangerous if we didn’t have something to help us through.

Again, not saying hopium is good, just for some of us it might be what helps us stand again. But no professional mental health person should be encouraging it to continue.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
6 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

I see exactly what you mean. it’s not something counselors should condone in anyway. But in those early days, if a chump stumbles on some hopium, I do see where it might be helpful as a temporary crutch. I was beside myself in the early days. I thought my life was over. And my brain simply couldn’t process it all. I wasn’t able to focus or think clearly at all. In my case, it was lockdown which sort of hit the pause button on everything, and I had my kids to think about. But for some, hopium might get them past those first few days/weeks until they can think clearly.

Mr Wonderfuls Ex
Mr Wonderfuls Ex
6 months ago

After first D-day, I definitely pick me danced but before that, was doing so unwittingly. All I knew was he had all this criticism of me and I was jumping through more and more hoops. Exhausting.

In the good news department – I FILED TODAY. Klootzak had been given over 2 months to agree to a separation agreement and didn’t leave and didn’t sign. Just sat around like business as usual going on. Except he ramped up his time with schmoopie.

He is currently staying with her this week and about to get served. It’s a filing on infidelity grounds and schmoopie’s initials and address are listed. They are going to see Bridges of Madison County this Friday night. I hope the process server hands it to klootzak as he is heading out for fancy dinner and cheater saga on stage. It has already been communicated to his attorney to tell him to not bother coming back home.

I know I spent good $ on a PI and it might not yield much. Maybe I won’t get to see schmoopie cry through a deposition. But to have it all on public record is valuable to me. This is how I am speaking my truth. With facts, photos, and videos of the shenanigans.

M1
M1
6 months ago

Congratulations, Mr. Wonderful’s Ex, I’m so happy for you and your son!! Well, that sounds terrible but you know what I mean. It’s a huge step and I wish you both the best through the process and on to a better life.

chumpedfor38years
chumpedfor38years
6 months ago

Yes, unfortunately I was one of the stupid chumps that paid money to an organization that promised to help our marriage recover from his affair. What a joke! It was all about how the FW shouldn’t be made to feel guilty or ashamed because that might make them ‘relapse’ into infidelity 🤮. After the first group meeting with our ‘counselor’ and other couples, my FW told me that I had no right to talk to me about his affair since it was actually my fault. Yeah, I was born at night but not last night! Bye, bye FW!

Last edited 6 months ago by chumpedfor38years
thrive
thrive
6 months ago

I’m one of the lucky ones. My FW agreed to counseling shortly after DDAY. I said he’d have to block Ow and never speak with her again before I’d go. He said he couldn’t do that…so no reconciliation and I filed. At first I was devastated that he wouldn’t try, now I am glad…got it over with in 7 months (3 of which were mandated by state). Hugs!

Elsie_
Elsie_
6 months ago

In many ways, I think it was a blessing that I was so very busy right after my ex left to live in another state. I was working multiple jobs and dealing with two very upset, stressed college students living at home. During that period, we also sold the family house which required a huge amount of work on my part. He came for a week to get his stuff, do some projects, and make some decisions, and then left me to get it done. I did.

When we had been apart a year, I decided that I was done. I emailed him that I was done with all the reconciliation talk then. I remember some months after that finding some RIC websites, but I clearly knew NO WAY EVER. My ex contnued to shame-and-blame, trying to get me to rescind my decision, but I held firm. He kicked off the divorce.

So I didn’t know about the 180 but had certainly been trying the majority of those for years. He had been talking about divorce for fifteen years, and I thought that if I just tried harder, it would never happen. What happened he ultimately chose to live so far away that the last shreds of the marriage shattered, and I was done. I had no trust and no hope.

justme
justme
6 months ago

Nope. I refused to “let it go.” I would not stop talking to him about the shit that kept hitting the fan. Then, I kicked him out of the bedroom, to the couch, to the cleared out spare room. During a conversation he asked if he was going to have to move out. I asked him do you want to be here? If not . than leave. He said he thought he was going to move back into the shared bedroom. I asked him why would I allow that? He had no answer for me. He eventually admitted that he did not want to leave. If I kicked him out? He could claim I am a bitch for doing so. These people have no shame and no common sense.

HunnyBadger
HunnyBadger
6 months ago

Pickme dancing is not my style, but when the FW moved out I was so confused and upset that I started googling to figure things out and ended up with the RIC for a year. Twelve months of struggle and suffering, doing everything I was instructed to do, and the whole thing was about as effective as crossing my fingers while hopping on one foot.

The RIC is akin to a well meaning but seriously misguided old man who tells the bloodied survivor of abuse that everything will turn out okay if she just goes back to her attacker and smiles more. Don’t tell anyone, don’t question why the abuser is breaking your nose again. Remember: you’re in competition with the OW/dopamine/midlife crisis and you need to be interesting and wonderful no matter what. If your cheater sees your pain they might feel…*gasp*… shame, and then it’s game over.

The Pickme dance is humiliating enough, but the RIC has added a whole new set of contortions to the choreography, and you’re going to need to do it like a pole dance. To prove to your FW that you are carefree, you’re also going to be wearing a heavy woolen body stocking over your sunburn. With luck your FW will think that raw, heated, blistering sunburn is just a set of rosy cheeks.

No thank you. Not only am I worth more than that, but in finding Chump Lady and LACGAL I had confirmation that it was normal to feel furious and crazy and utterly broken. It also allowed me to realize that I had a say in the outcome of my own life. Suffering is optional..,but not advisable.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
6 months ago

When I was reeling from the discard, I google to find infidelity resources. I was still desperate to think Jackass was coming back. (mentally insert face/palm emoji). I found a Reconciliation Industrial Complex site that featured the 180. Of course, I wasn’t living with Jackass, so didn’t have to deal with an in-house FW, just a guy who had ghosted me after pursuing me and after 30+ years of what I thought was friendship.

I’ll give the 180 this much: it helped me to not text, call, plead, or otherwise debase myself. What of course didn’t work was the magical impact of pretending to be focused on my own life and recovery. At its heart, the 180 is manipulative and self-destructive. The goal is changing someone else, not yourself. The better advice is what we get here: Leave a cheater. Gain a life. And that means having standards for how people treat you; that means recognizing that cheating means your spouse/partner is not trustworthy and that it isn’t irrational or selfish to leave a relationship with someone you can’t trust.

The 180 also does nothing to change the dynamic created by cheating because the goal is what is impossible–trying to change another person. The cheater is still in the drivers’ seat. The chump is still pick-me dancing for someone who can’t be trusted. And worst of all is the chump staying laser-focused not on their own life but on keeping a relationship at all costs.

chumpintraining
chumpintraining
6 months ago

OMG I totally tried the 180, bought the Divorce Busters book, paid that clown Mort Fertel an amount I’m embarrassed to admit out loud and danced my tits off. 8 years later I’m SO GRATEFUL that I didn’t win the pick me dance. My teenage boys have grown into amazing, kind, loving, and empathetic young men. My only regret about that time is that I didn’t love myself enough to realize that I deserved so much better than that narcissistic, sexually entitled asshat. Instead of twisting myself into knots for 8 months (including accompanying him to visit an attorney after he knocked up the mistress and she was threatening to keep him from having any contact with the baby!) I wish I had just walked away with my settlement and gone to lick my wounds with support from people who actually loved me.