What Made You Leave a Cheater?

How_to_leave_a_cheaterOn yesterday’s post a thread broke out on what it took for chumps to finally leave their cheaters. Not surprisingly, we have quite a readership of folks stuck in limbo, numb, weighing options, or just resigned to a revolving buffet of D-Days.

So those of you in the Gain a Life graduating class — help the freshman out. What made you say ENOUGH? What was your tipping point?

For me, you know I’m so far out now, I don’t remember a specific a-HA moment. He’d been serving up a lot of a-HA moments for months, I just wasn’t trusting that he sucked. That’s on me.

So, quite honestly, it was a process to get toward self-preservation and protecting myself. And it’s precisely because I was so chumpy (four D-Days, did I really need that?), that I began this blog. To save you guys the trouble. To arrive at conclusions sooner. And maybe save yourself some heartache, dignity, and money too.

I would also say I had many tipping points, and each one lead to a small action. (Today I see a lawyer.) But then a retreat. (I see the lawyer, but I don’t take her advice.) And then another tipping point. (Okay, I’m going to take that advice.) It was a gradual liberation. First I had to decolonize my mind, give up sparkles and What I Thought It All Was Going to Be, and have a hard, unvarnished look at reality — this shit is killing me.

Eventually I got there. But even THEN, even as I was plotting and scheming and lining up ducks, I still wrestled with insecurity and self-doubt. I still wrestled with fear of what next, and how would I make it financially, and would I be alone the rest of my life and all those other sleepless-night-3 a.m. bugaboos.

But I did it. And the only thing that made it all better was DOING it. The actions are what informed my feelings. No contact made it better. No contact stifled the hopium, the mindfuckery, the hits of his attention. (He wants me! I won the pick me dance!)

There was no Chump Lady. I had a couple sane friends in real life, and online (where I spent an ungodly amount of time) I had proto-chump ladies lost in a sea of unicorns. A sort of underground army on a thinly disguised reconciliation site. Their “run away” messages were drowned out by conflicting advice. There was no clear message to LEAVE. There was me and my fear.

This shit takes a lot of hand-holding. Which is what Chump Nation is for. Thanks guys for paying it forward!

So today — how’d you get over to the other side? And — what’s the view like?


“How I Got Over” — I didn’t think I could love a version more than Aretha Franklin’s — but this Josh Nelson fellow knocks it out of the park!

Subscribe
Notify of

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

409 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
tallula
tallula
8 years ago

Mine was very soon after D Day. I had discovered he was cheating on me, went & got my STD test. No STDs….but I was pregnant! I was a SAHM with a 2 & 3 year old. I had banished him to the couch on DDay, but I loved him. He swore it was over. I had my doubts but wanted to believe. So one night, I stole his phone while he slept & found out he was banging 3 more woman besides the original OW. I woke him up, kicked him out. That was almost 3 years ago. Best thing I ever did!!!

It was scary, but I now have a great job, and an amazing boyfriend who is also a fellow chump. This site was my lifeline.

fbi
fbi
8 years ago
Reply to  tallula

He was my boyfriend and greatest love for 5 years. Unfortunately when I fell hard it was for a man I suspected to be unfaithful. I m a very instinctive person and I would dream he was with other women and felt it in the pit of my stomach. Along the years I grew so frustrated because I NEVER caught him with his pants down nor a confirmation from another woman. However, I did find out about his attempts with some girls he was texting, I heard him once tell his friend he cheated on me from time to time and had been with a girl from fuckbook. I guess i was in denial because I thought it couldn’t be true, not my love, he must have been showing off and all bravado. But last year we broke up, on his clock mind you, and since then I have painstakingly pieced together that he had a wild sex fling with some American stripper who was in town. I saw her phone number registering for a few months. Meanwhile, he was trying to reconcile with me by inviting me to his parent’s and buying 500$ designer sunglasses. In a weird way I know he was crazy about me too but some men are obsessed by sex. It controls them and destroys relationships. Now I know nothing is sacred with him. I don’t forgive him for hurting me, to him it was as if it were an extra curricular activity, pawns in his harem.

gintrap
gintrap
8 years ago
Reply to  fbi

Ah, fbi, mine had a harem too. Each time I had suspected he was cheating (or trying to… not a pretty boy), a minimum amount of digging had confirmed what I guessed/already knew; but that sickening churn of my stomach stopped me in my tracks and the shutters of mental denial hammered down.
Finally, was a letter from a friend of (one of ??) the OW, delivered anonymously to my work, that opened my eyes. Hit the kerb so fast his hair made an awesome whupping noise (love this phrase, thank you chump who posted this 2 years ago)

However, it was Chumplady that stopped him weaseling his slimy ass back in my life. Every time you waver, read “trust that he sucks” (I have it as a favourite on my phone).
They’re not obsessed by sex (poor sausages), they don’t really truly love us deep down (they only love themselves). They are just entitled arseholes and deserve to die a lonely lonely death, nibbled on by alsatians (but the dogs would have to belong to a neighbour, as it would just be a little tooooo much effort to actually care for another being). Keep strong. x

fbi
fbi
8 years ago
Reply to  gintrap

Thank you gintrap loved your words of encouragement. You are lucky you received such a letter, I wish I had gotten such evidence!

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago
Reply to  fbi

All my stuff went down before CL. By the time I had had enough, I was 16 years in and the ex had humped my best friend from college as well as some students and maybe his niece. I was standing under an avalanche waiting to fall when I got home early one day and saw the mail before it disappeared. The phone bill was enough to convince me. But there was also a letter from an attorney suggesting that he should really rid his life of me, the crazy bitch who was holding him back all those years. Really? Wakeup call. Holding him back? Not in this life. It was the classic projection. I was held back to let him get to the top. Then I was his obstacle, because his bad rep for hustling students wasn’t his fault. I must have done that to him. Getting angry is a good motivator.

It was the phone bill that showed him calling someone every morning as I left the driveway at 7 a.m. that got me on his trail. In short time, I had reams of stuff to confront him, and I did. With his former therapist there. He didn’t admit a thing, but he beat the stuffing out of me a few days later for exposing him, and I made a quick call and ran off to that awesome woman’s home for the night. She felt the lumps on my head and saw the bruises and thought I should go to the hospital. She was right, but I just wanted to believe he didn’t do that purposefully. Of course he did. I went home in the morning to get ready for work, and he never knew I’d left. Until I went to leave for work and he noticed the bag by the door and accused me of going out to cheat on him. In short, I’m lucky to have survived, though I never did a single thing to call my credibility into question.

A pillar of his community who would have killed me if I had not found it in me to protect myself. I cannot stress this enough. Be in contact with friends and family and have an emergency plan. Involve as many as you safely can. You need never be alone in this.

ginger
ginger
8 years ago
Reply to  tallula

technically,I didn’t leave. He left me bleeding and having a miscarriage due to std’s from his troll and stress to have a sleepover with troll(he fully expected to come back in a couple of days) She rang me the next day to tell me where he was & what they were doing.I think I may have been in shock, because I went there.He was so startled that I knew where he was and turned up there hysterical and still bleeding he rang my parents. While I was in hospital they cleared my house out.Troll was very unhappy about this because she had expected to move straight in? This troll lasted a couple of months before she found out about ALL of the other trolls?As an aside this troll then stalked me for years because I’d ruined her life by leaving him! He did make contact a month later to see if I was OK yet?and wanted to be friends again?Didn’t respond. Only other contact was years later when that troll was convicted if GBH,found a phone number and rang to remind him he was an arsehole( he was the one who let his trolls think they were exceptionally special)

Gail
Gail
8 years ago
Reply to  ginger

The first site I found was Hero Spouse which was as confusing since my naracisstic boarder line husband is not in a transitional period,,, Reading this blog makes him not fully responsible for dumping me after 36 years of marriage, trashing my reputation, stealing 30’ooo dollars, stealing our paid off 2700 square foot new home which by the way was all paid off, stealing my furniture, cars, lawn mowers, checking account, retirement accounts as well as my children’s hearts with lies! I fought for my nursing license, half my home, pension but lost the rest! I paid 17000.00 in divorce fees but my ex was a nightmare, My ex and his hoe wrecker work wives ( both work for Verizon…..Whitesboro NY stalked me at work in their work trucks getting out and confronting me at stop signs, openly cheating in front of me during the divorce etc, I left too late when my life was endangered! If I had found Chump Lady earlier I could have been on top of this and not lost so much!

whynow
whynow
8 years ago
Reply to  tallula

Tallula, that’s so AWESOME that you woke his ass up only to kick him out, lol! That’s exactly the kind of shock and awe these %$@#s deserve! CL, thank you for creating this site and reminding us that we ultimately don’t have to take this shit and have more power over many situations than we think. I love how you identified the first step as “First I had to decolonize my mind…” as I truly feel that I’ve been undergoing a process of simultaneously de-programming and re-programming my mind in order to protect myself from all the bullshit that’s entered my life because of the cheater. Thanks again : )

jenniejay
jenniejay
8 years ago

Very simple answer: I read a book. Lundy Bancroft’s ‘Why does he do that’. I didn’t think my husband was abusive till I read that but it all fell into place. I loved him very much but he was making me ill and after we split it BROKE ME IN TWO for a long time.
Three years later I have literally never been happier in my whole life. Feel great, have started own business, kids thriving. View from here is just beautiful. Don’t be scared, you won’t regret it. Promise x

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
8 years ago
Reply to  jenniejay

Like Jenniejay, Lundy Brancroft’s “Why does he do that?” was transformational for me.

I found the strength to pull the plug on my own after DDay1, but would have probably fallen for his poor sausage routine if I hadn’t found CL, CN and all the great advice and support I was lucky enough to find here.

To me, knowledge has essential in feeling at peace with my decision and in finding the courage to, as so brilliantly put by CL “decolonizing my mind from the cheater.” I was also particularly touched by a comment by LittleMightyMe on 10/9 about Swizterland friends and his word against mine. It really encapsulated a lot of my core chumpiness:
“I am a researcher for a living. I don’t draw conclusions about anything without concrete evidence.” Then I shut the whole conversation down. For others who are closer to the situation, I may be more verbose, but it’s the same tactic. “I know. I wanted to believe the best of him, too. Hell, I NEEDED to believe. I think that’s why I was so devastated when I was faced with all the evidence. It made it impossible to lie to myself anymore.”

Replacing my hopeful beliefs about my STBX with the hard evidence of who he really is and the reality that our marriage was dead for longer than I wanted to believe is one of the most painful things I have to do. The following resources might be of help to other freshmen chumps (I posted this last night on the previous blog post for Nolagirl + Snowflake14 too):

One of the links that Beth shared about Cluster B relationship cycle has been really key to my putting the hopium pipe down – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/relational-harm-reduction/2014/10/24/after-a-pathological-love-relationship-hes-moved-on-and-is-with-someone-new

Margalis Fjelstad’s “Stop caretaking the borderline or narcissist”
Patrick Carnes’ “The Betrayal Bond”
For several months, I was too angry to even get anything from Wendy Behary’s “Disarming the Narcissist”, but I am more receptive to its insights now.

Bottom line:
Does finding out you were stabbed in the back by your spouse hurt like hell? Absolutely!
Am I afraid that I will end up alone? Absolutely!
Am I frustrated that most of my savings are getting gobbled up in lawyer fees instead of being invested in a house or my retirement plan? Absolutely!
Do I believe that he suck and that I can achieve a better life for my kid and I without my cheater? Absolutely!

I am very proud that I put the hopium pipe down and left after DDay1, and I am so very grateful for all the support of CL and CN as I keep forging on to Meh.

Whether or not you want to leave your cheater, I hope that all chumps learn as much as possible about Cluster Bs so that you can change your relationship dynamics and achieve a better quality of life for your kids and yourself!

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

I also encourage an in-depth study about Cluster B’s. Chumpitude’s insight and the link she provides above can be so helpful for those newly chumped and devastated by the horrible realization that the person they believed would love, respect and cherish them forever is nothing but a facade to a vapid sub-creature. Knowledge really is power, and points toward freedom.

Scott
Scott
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

A friend gave me a book on trust, cant remember the title, anyhow…got a few pages in and the author said something to the effect of, if you know you will hold something against someone blah blah and you wont be able to trust, stop reading. I think it was supposed to hook the reader in. I just put the book down and stopped reading. I had hundreds of tiny moments but it all led back to one simple question for me. What do I really want in a relationship? It wasnt cheating, lying, turmoil or constant betrayal. It was and is loyalty, decency, partnership, trust and love. Nothing else will do for me, nor will i lower myself to not fulfilling that same expectation for the woman who is with me. He caveat is, no more marriage. Too many lawyers 🙂

sassiernow
sassiernow
8 years ago
Reply to  jenniejay

I also read a book: How Can I Forgive You?: The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To. It didn’t take long to realize I couldn’t, and did not have to. Also, I was edging up on 50 at the time and wondering if anyone would want me. That fear turned out to be unfounded, so I cut the cord and never looked back.

The view from here is just fine. I’ve had a few flings, a couple of short but happy relationships, and I’m retiring early next year with my freedom, my two dogs, and no drag on my sails.

And so, life goes on.

Jules
Jules
8 years ago
Reply to  sassiernow

I read the same book Sassiernow while I was going through the “pick me” dance. Turned out the same….I just couldn’t forgive/forget and started holding him accountable for his actions. Rather than take that responsibility, he ran into the OW’s arms, moved in immediately and they recently married. For me it was painful, but a year and a half later, I’m sooooo much better off. He actually did me a favor…I have a great job, wonderful boyfriend, lost weight, and wake up everyday knowing, as you say, “no drag on my sails!”

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  sassiernow

“no drag on my sails”–great way to put it, sassiernow.

butterflidreams
butterflidreams
8 years ago
Reply to  jenniejay

This gives me so much hope. Thank you.

newlifeahead
newlifeahead
8 years ago

Me Too! I am only three weeks out and have days where I know if he asked I would let him back home, but, NC is the only way t o go and this web site!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  newlifeahead

You’re doing well, Newlifeahead! The first two months are the hardest in terms of temptation to let them back; one day at a time!

Lucky
Lucky
8 years ago

As CL says, it was two steps forward one step back for many years.

My x had gone back to school to do 7 years of education while our kids were small. We moved a lot. We sold everything, we lived in limbo and I changed jobs like underwear for each new move.

The pay off would be at the end. His new career, financial security and a new life in a new city.

Little did I know that I was not intended to be part of HIS dream. Miss Piggy had been on the scene for the last 3 years of his education and I ate and even served the shit sandwiches in my own home.

When we moved to the new city, to the new house ( which is a rectory and I had no claim ), he snapped.

I was at rock bottom. I had nothing .
Somebody who loves you does not put you in this position.

I guess I had nothing to lose at this point. I rented a total ghetto apartment and left. With the help of a women’s shelter I received legal aid. I went back to school.

I have two amazing kids and I am divorced now. My life is small but mighty.
I have never once looked back and thought I did the wrong thing.

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Nor should you look back, Lucky!

The sunrise is always in the East, A beautiful sunset is always in the West. Focus on the good to be, not the shit you’ve wiped off your shoe. Good luck for every single day and smile to come.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Lucky, very interesting. My ex also used going to school as his front for “doing right by his family.” His first day was the due date for our now 3 year old daughter. It was an uneasy place and something in my gut told me that first day he left for classes that this was the out he was looking for. The baby came 6 days late, I was bursting-at-the-seams pregnant and I sobbed as he drove away. There were many clues through my pregnancy that he wasn’t “in it” like I thought he once was.

I never spoke up about my view that him beginning school then was a bad decision, poor timing at least, which is very unlike me. His overpowering family just kept the dialogue going in my ear “this is for your family. It’ll be a quick 6 years and it’ll all be for the better. You’ll have to put yourself on the back burner while he’s on this journey. He needs your full support.” All the while I’m fighting with my subconscious to stop telling me that we won’t make it 6 years…it’ll be a miracle if we make it one.

And I was right. We made it a year & 3 months and that was when the neglect & abuse was so defeating & crippling that I could no longer share a home, a bed or even common air with him.

Almost 2 years later & life is good.

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

Jamie, lots of those bad creatures seem to enjoy disrespecting the women they got pregnant. Lots of them don’t like “doing” kids. Mostly, it could be that caring for anyone but themselves is beyond their ability. If your ex’s family was shutting you down, it was because they aren’t caring people either. Shame on them. And good for you to get some fresh air. Hugs to you! You will be fine.

sassiernow
sassiernow
8 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

“My life is small but mighty.” Those are beautiful, empowering words.

divorceat25
divorceat25
8 years ago

I’m definitely in the freshman class. It’s strange for me because it wasn’t my choice, and in many ways my STBX is not even close to the worst of the bunch around here. But he had an affair (first emotionally, then physical whole telling me that he wanted to work things out). I’ve been swimming in the ocean of self doubt. Navigating between the “this is all my fault” channel and the “I will always be alone, and no one will ever love me” sea. I’ve been doing all the right things, taking care of myself financially, emotionally and physically, taking to my family, friends, IC and priests; but I’m waiting until I start feeling the right things, and the pain numbs a bit.

For me what made me realize I couldn’t keep “doing the pick me dance” and I had to set my boundaries was talking to my family. I know that I could have chosen to be one of those “win them over with your perfection ” wanna be unicorns. He kept blaming me for everything and gaslighting me so I kepy saving our conversations (many of them over Whatsapp) and reading them out loud to me, my friends and my family. It was good knowing that I wasn’t crazy and he was being an asshole.

And still, there is a part of me that wants to pretend that this didn’t happen. Go back to the time before I understood his emotional abuse, before I allowed myself to ask for what I wanted and stop settling for someone who couldn’t make a priority. Someone who had belittled my faith and couldn’t be part of a sacred marriage with me (who actually told me he didn’t believe in marriage anymore). Because this path is so scary.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
8 years ago
Reply to  divorceat25

I know it is hard, but the last thing you should worry about is that you “will always be alone.” There is nothing lonelier than feeling lonely within a marriage. Sometimes it is lonely being single, but it is never as painful as being lonely while married.

You can fix lonely. You can go to the library, pick out some DVDs and books, and chat with the librarians. You can go volunteer your time and skills. You can invite people over for coffee or a meal. You can join a group aimed at developing new skills (I’ve got my eye on a women’s beginning kayaking class).

But you cannot fix jackass spousal behavior. And it is ever so much worse than lonely.

DC
DC
8 years ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

You can fix lonely. You can go to the library, pick out some DVDs and books, and chat with the librarians. You can go volunteer your time and skills. You can invite people over for coffee or a meal. You can join a group aimed at developing new skills (I’ve got my eye on a women’s beginning kayaking class).

I really love this. Thank you for that.

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  DC

I agree. I’m 4 years out from D-day and although I’m alone, I’m not as lonely as I was in my marriage. It takes awhile to get to know yourself and start enjoying your own company, but if you don’t give up it will happen. People tell me I’ve really blossomed since our divorce, that I’m much more lively, confident and fun. It feels good to be becoming the person I was meant to be instead of suppressing myself to stay in a relationship that’s just not right for me.

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

DC and Lyn, Look up above. Being on your own is not being alone. You have yourselves as good company and a peaceful life as well. And with the smallest bit of confidence, you can look in the mirror and see someone you like a lot. That is a good place to start a new life, eh?

divorceat25
divorceat25
8 years ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

Funnily enough, this morning I had so much angst and I wrote that I was afraid to always be alone. Well, today I was doing a networking lunch and this very cute guy started flirting with me. I had a very innocent flirty lunch. I haven’t flirted with a guy since I was 16 years old. I know its too soon, and I not ready to date. But just knowing that other guys out there think I’m beautiful, smart and charming, is a huge confidence boost. So yeah, this is me time, but when I’m ready there will be a world of good people out there for me to find.

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago
Reply to  divorceat25

Exactly.

NoGriefJustRelief
NoGriefJustRelief
8 years ago
Reply to  divorceat25

Hooray! Good for you. External vindication makes it that much easier to believe what we know to be true.

Eve
Eve
8 years ago
Reply to  Eilonwy

We librarian chumps will be delighted to chat! And may I recommend “The Verbally Abusive Relationship,” 3rd ed. by Patricia Evans. The one book that helped me understand the mindfuckery. I actually bought a copy, which is the highest praise a librarian can give.

Jade
Jade
8 years ago
Reply to  Eve

LOL! I’m a librarian chump too! As Hermione Granger said, “when in doubt, go to the library”! Great advice imho.

divorceat25
divorceat25
8 years ago
Reply to  Eve

Okay. This is the second time CN tells me to go to a library, I think you guys are onto something. 🙂

wendy
wendy
8 years ago
Reply to  divorceat25

I will suggest more things ….. I went to a local shelter and 2 days a week I worked with lost and forgotten animals – they restored my sanity – how willing they were to love and hope again. I also got involved in anything going on in my community – if there was going to be a block garage sale – I was on it. I went to things I didn’t want to go to. And I learned to not look for another relationship. I realized that what I needed was to really find Wendy and learn how to actually like her. The loneliness was a huge hole in my heart that I had since a child (abandonment) and I needed to fill that by learning how to love myself – to love the silence, and the “aloneness”…. and gradually – very gradually it started. My talk to myself between my two ears HAD to change. I started to say good things to myself – that I’m ok…. that i’m going to make it…. and that I am worthy. All the best to you – you will grow immensely once you are out of abuse.

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago
Reply to  wendy

Wendy, loving solitude and your own time is not at all like being alone. It is finding time for yourself, which is very different. If you were abandoned, that is another hurdle to hop, but you can do that. Go to a movie with a friend or watch one by yourself or with a friend. Acclimate yourself to know you will be okay for a night or a weekend or a week by yourself. Because a good book or film or project will send your heart soaring when you feel yourself alive again. That is not lonely. It is just fine.

Michael
Michael
8 years ago
Reply to  divorceat25

After 2 years with my ex, she not only cheated and took off on me, she also told me she never believed in Jesus which she knew was very important to me. It was a triple attack. My ex also said she didn’t believe in marriage anymore. Her exact words were “why do people have to be married?” None of us chose this path. It was done to us. They took advantage of our sincere nature to nurture their ego.

You’re doing the right thing. The questions you’re asking, all the fear and doubt, is unfortunately part of the process. Sorry you have to go through this part but you’ll get there. And when you do you’ll look back at the flooded landscape from dry ground, wipe the sweat off your brow and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s scary not but when you get through you would have leveled up.

divorceat25
divorceat25
8 years ago
Reply to  Michael

I’m Catholic and my ex and I were playing to get married in Church but it never seemed like a good time (I wanted to do it back home, and we actually never went back after getting married at city hall). I now think God protected me, He knew it wasn’t the right choice and maybe I knew it too and that’s why I didn’t push for it. Finally, when we separated we went through a mini fake reconciliation where I told my STBX that I needed a Church wedding. I wasn’t going to be ostracized from my community any longer. He said yes, but then later told me he didn’t think marriage was “sacred” and he couldn’t do it. So I know now that he is not the guy for me and it is okay to want someone who can stand in front of God and swear from the bottom of his heart to uphold our marriage (even though I know Church marriages also fall apart). I’m very grateful now that my STBX and I didn’t get “married married” because it means I still get to do it, God spared me.

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael, I truly understand how you feel. I married a Jesus cheater, and was basically shunned because I tried to speak truth into the fact that my then husband, an Elder,was a predator and targeting women in our church. I had the hard evidence, and still was dismissed. The link below is to a video that helped me make sense if it:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KIYNaQr8vbw
I haven spoken to Patrick Doyle personally, and he calls my now XH “exceedingly pathological”. Mr. Doyle’s helped restore some of my belief in the spirituality of my youth, but, honestly, I’m still wary of organized religion.

Patsy
Patsy
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Narcissists and psychopaths are drawn to religion, because religion = power (and very often, wealth)

Don’t doubt yourself!

Michael
Michael
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

“I’m still wary of organized religion.”

As you should be. You don’t need religion. You just need to know your Word, What I mean is that you don’t need a bunch of “churched” types. You just need to know God.

wendy
wendy
8 years ago
Reply to  Michael

my story is here on this thread too…. and i married a religious cheater. I was always told that “God hates divorce” and I truly thought that if I left him that I would drop down dead. Yep – I was the perfect chump for him. Here’s the thing that was brought to my consciousness one day: WHY did God give the writing of Divorcement????? IT clearly says: “For the HARDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS”. Period. When people do that shit about well – did they CHEAT???? Did you try to RECONCILE? oh how many times I sucked it up because I was supposed to freakn reconcile. You know what? I was doing all the work – not him…. i was trying for both sides of the relationship. Some preacher I heard once said: “I’ve been a preacher for 30+ years and I have even occasionally seen relationships where there has been adultery be reconciled…. but what can you do with a hardened heart?” I say LEAVE. Period.

Michael
Michael
8 years ago
Reply to  wendy

“God hates divorce” – that passage is taken out of context by wussy pastors who don’t really want to deal with you and what you’re going through and would rather put you on some guilt trip rather than walk with you through your pain. That passage in context, it is talking about old Jewish men who were divorcing their faithful wives to marry younger women. They were trying to circumvent the bible to commit adultery. That what God hates. For them to take it out of context and throw it at someone who is already hurting is outrageous. And I’ll venture to say that these people should not be in biblical marriage counselor. They are sell outs and frauds. God gave two conditions to righteous divorce: adultery and if a non-believer leaves a believer. In those cases He leaves the decision to you.

For the people who asked if you tried to reconcile, you should tell them it’s not your job. You didn’t commit the offense. And you can’t save a marriage all by yourself. I would say find a new church. The people who are telling you this crap does not know the Word! They are part of what is the so called “Christian Culture” which is a gross interpretation of real Christianity.

Sorry if I sound angry. I had a lot of this type of junk thrown at me too.

wendy
wendy
8 years ago
Reply to  Michael

thanks Michael – its been 11 years – I’m looooong time out, and I’m enjoying the pure, wonderful Grace of God without a mixture of law. I agree with you – it was a fleshy/carnal Christianity masking as spiritual. The best thing I ever heard was that God gave the writing of divorcement for the hardness of their hearts. Period. That was my answer. My ex-husband cheated the week after my wedding…. and i still stayed for 21 years (i’m sure he cheated throughout those 21 years too (and by the way – one of the cheats was with a man)), I hate the whole “rubber stamp” for divorce in the church being adultery. There are a lot more complications that can be worse than adultery IMO.

chump-tastic
chump-tastic
8 years ago

I think everyone (well, almost everyone) deserves a second chance. So I did the second chance. I did the pick-me dance. I ignored every horrible sign that reconciliation was false. I put everything out of my mind except “We. Will. Get. Through. This.” Knowing the effort and huge heaping plates of forgiveness that I had doled out, when the second d-day came, I was ready. Sure, I had invested so much and so many years in the relationship. But a third chance would have been further wasted time, further squandering of mine and my child’s resources, and further physical risk for me. But that’s all the logic/weighing-options stuff. In my heart, it was an easy decision because my child was watching. How can I expect my child, the most precious human in the world to me, to grow up demanding healthy treatment from others, if I’m not modeling that? So I chose to be mighty.

All those outside voices, all those unicorns, will try to plant seeds of doubt in your head. “It’s complicated,” those voices say. You know what? It’s not complicated. It’s really just not. Do you want to be associated with your cheater’s evil empire for the rest of your life?

Ask yourself, if everything that’s happened to me had happened to a close friend instead, what would I be telling them? If you love them, you would probably be telling them to run for the hills. Have the decency to take the advice that you yourself would give!

chjrn
chjrn
8 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

I love the phrase “cheater’s evil empire”! That describes my ex and his wing nut family to a “T”. I refer to them as a cult, it’s that screwed up.

NoMoreNarcs
NoMoreNarcs
8 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

“My child was watching”

*shudders*

Literally mine was, she toddled in during a tirade (his) and her eyes were bright with curiosity. I took her and left that night.

In our case, shoulda gone much further because -in hindsight, the parental alienation had already started.

And her life has been miserable. My love alone (nor the therapy or the sports or the special trips) have been enough to restore her bond with me. I will always be the crocodile in their Peter Pan and Wendy Party. If only he were the Disney version.

I’m just biting my mental nails to the elbow waiting for her to interact enough with the world and mature enough to do some reassessment. I pray it happens. Miss her so much. She lost so many good years being caught up in his narrative that she’s lost her childhood.

So, yes the children are watching. And they are also listening. And cheaters whisper in their ears when no one is looking…

chump-tastic
chump-tastic
8 years ago
Reply to  NoMoreNarcs

@NoMoreNarcs, you miss her? Does that mean your cheater got custody of your child? *shakes in terror*

NoMoreNarcs
NoMoreNarcs
8 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

No C-T. Her father did not get custody. But long story short, I sent her to live with him (in another state) when her risk taking and substance use got out of control. I was the ‘safe’ parent and she is one angry kid. Please don’t judge me too harshly.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  NoMoreNarcs

No judgment AT ALL. At 32 now I can say that if my mother had told me to get out I wouldn’t blame her one bit. 13-17 was a monstrous age for me, also because I too was that little girl who “was watching”. The things I said to my mother during that time make me sick….
There’s no handbook for how to deal with emotional, wreckless, risk taking teenagers. You do the best you can.

NoMoreNarcs
NoMoreNarcs
8 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

TBJ, thanks for the valuable perspective.

Mehphista
Mehphista
8 years ago
Reply to  NoMoreNarcs

And she may yet draw her own conclusions about her donor…err..Dad. I think you have acted responsibly-not that your daughter’s presence will make her Dad, behave, but she will have to come up against the painful truth that nothing and no one matters to him but himself.

kar marie
kar marie
8 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

I will always love and miss the man I fell in love with and married. I will never again put the time and effort into another relationship. The man I’ve known the last two years out of a thirty year relationship is not the man I married but is the cheating lying bastard neglectful father I am divorcing. Guy I loved is dead he is no more and the kids will never know the father they should have known. He will be off to marry “perfect” whore and join her ” perfect” family. Cheaters are so fucking stupid. They deserve each other I finally gave that cheater the full boot because of comments made about his own children. What an asshole!! 30 years of my life wasted on him but I have my kids. As he progresses further into fantasy world of him and the whore and their perfect world. No matter how much he claims he loves his kids and would die for them. Its simply not true, his own children aren’t good enough to be in his new world except occasionally when they are useful like making him look good after all they might taint perfect whores family. Both have refused to attend the wedding saying its OK for dad to be happy they guess but both said they refuse to share in the joy and love of the union that destroyed their family. I have been threatened with I’d better not disappear where he can’t find me and check up on me that would ruin his new marriage you see if I make him “worry” about me. Ha the nerve of these fucking people. This nanny is disappearing first chance I get. The fucking nerve!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  NoMoreNarcs

NoMoreNarcs–you set boundaries for her. She refused to live within those boundaries, and thus suffered consequences. She will learn from that, no matter how painful it is/was for you (and her). You did well.

NoMoreNarcs
NoMoreNarcs
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thank you for the validation, Tempest

arlo
arlo
8 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

My best friend said to me at one point during the pickmedancing “Would you be ok with it if your son was treated this way, or if you saw him treating someone this way?”
Well, crap, that’s an easy one – HELL NO.

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
8 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

It’s what Chump-tastic said: my kids were watching. Yes, one was 20 and out of the house, but my daughter had just started jr high and was just 13, and because of the trauma the x-douchbag caused both of us, she immediately began sleeping with me two days after DDay. I was in shock and PTSD came to stay for about 6 months. It was in the 8th month post DDay, I told him that no one believes he’s “sleeping in his truck” and demanded to know where he was staying. He said her house. I filed that day.

See, what kept me stuck for 8 months after DDay was the immature belief that he, like me, wouldn’t dare flush 22 years of shared history down the drain. Two kids, one grandchild, and we were only 39 & 40. Things were never bad, or when it felt “bad” I now know it was because he was emotionally & physically distant from me as the result of fucking around on me. Still – not my fault.

There’s been talk of being immobilized with fear. Been there, but you gotta walk through it and take action anyway. We were over $65K in credit debt from his business idea, had a primary house, and three rental properties (his failed “business idea”). I had multiple retirement funds, while he had NONE, I had been with the same company for 12 years while he got fired over and over. I also now know it’s because he would fuck around with any married whore he could. But I REFUSED to let my daughter watch me willingly accept this douchbag’s treatment of me, and think that I was going to accept his mediocrity in this “marriage” anymore. She and her sibling knew that I was patient and prayerful for 8 months. Once I made the decision, they could watch me kick this douchbag’s ass in court.

Yeah, yeah – we should strive to be the example of kindness for our kids because no one is perfect, but when these douchbags mistake our kindness for stupidity and blatantly continue to fuck up our families and marriage while they put their genitals as a priority over our kids and us, you have to put a stop to it. It’s physical and mental abuse, and I won’t allow anyone to do that to me and my kids. No one. Also, until you love and respect yourself and your kids more than you want that cheating liar in your life, you WILL stay stuck. What are you gonna do with that substandard douche back in your life?? WORRY he’s always cheating until the day you die?? Live feeling only half-alive because of the trust and innocence he stole from you, and the resentment you now have for that douchebag? Forgiveness is great, but it cannot happen with an unrepentant serial cheater in your face.

Our individual situations are always going to be different. I knew I wouldn’t be homeless because of my job, and the education and professional certifications I had worked toward for about the last 8 years of that “marriage,” while he only invested in cheating. I was continually finding my own securiy, my self-respect, and my independence. We don’t all have that security, but if you feel stuck and like you can’t move (or won’t move right now), then move toward a degree or an industry certification at a technical school NOW. You’ll be doing something that no one can take from you, and it’ll help set you up toward financial independence. Any combination of education, training, certifications and experience = independence. If that’s not possible, then look online for scholarships to do this.

I’m 9.5 months post divorce, and 2 years to the month of DDay. Only in the past two months, I can look in the mirror in the mornings and say to myself and BELIEVE it: I’m so much happier now. I actually enjoy the solitute. I’ve never been an adult without being tethered to that cheating asshole, and this feels good. Remember that there is a huge difference between solitude and lonliness. If you’re lonely, volunteer, join a book club or a runner/jogger group, or get involved with your church, or coach little league or volunteer for the PTA for your kids. There are billions of people on this planet. You’re only lonley if you choose to be, and we’re designed to be of service to others to be free of what’s dragging us down. It’s pretty hard to obsess about the fucked-up situation when you’re busy serving others in need. But enjoying solitude is when you’re able to be happy and comfortable in your alone time. Find that difference. I just turned 41 and I’m a professional, and I coach soccer, voluneer with everything my daughter is involved in, and I run. I always did these things, but now I’m free to not worry where he is WHILE doing those things; now I don’t care at all where he is. Finally being free of that douchebag – all I had known since I was 16 – is so good. I NEVER would have thought that in the first year to 1.5 years after busting him, but it’s SO much better now.

Douchebag? Got fired from the job where he met the soulmate whore. She dumped him 20 months into their “forever.” Didn’t see that coming. She took a new lover within the week. He freaked out and now has felony assault & battery and burglary charges to his name. Now he can’t get a job (background checks are a bitch!), I have a restraining order so he can’t see our daughter, his son won’t talk to him, he hasn’t seen our grandchild since he was 1 (now 3), and the rental property he has been squatting in since the whore dumped him has been foreclosed on.

My daughter finished junior high, and is into high school taking all AP classes, and plays four instruments. She’s on her way to a full-ride college scholarship. Prior to and since DDay, she’s maintained all As. Not because of my pushing her, but because she’s secure enough in my ability to kick ass for her, and to be her one constant, sane parent. We’ve both been in counseling since DDay. She sees me working my ass off, finishing house projects, running half-marathons and volunteering to help others, and seeing me thrive even more than I did with that anchor attached to me who NEVER inspired me to be better or make a difference. She always saw me do that in spite begging the dead weight to engage, come home, be a part of the family.

Now she sees me soar with other eagles. No one is going to help you do that. It’s all on you. Go do it, so you can start your awesome sooner.

kellyrambo1
kellyrambo1
8 years ago

“Now she sees me soar with other eagles. No one is going to help you do that. It’s all on you. Go do it, so you can start your awesome sooner.”

What a great story, KFMM! You are an inspiration!!

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
8 years ago
Reply to  kellyrambo1

Awwww! I just love all of you mighty Chumps!! Much love and respect to each of you. Your stories of strength and resilience have propelled me forward, and this site has been a daily mental-health vitamin. Seriously! xxooxxooXXOO to all Chumps! =D

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago

KFMM, you are truly mighty. We all have stories that would curl most people’s hair. But they are true and amazing. Every person here has a story to tell, but they all need to hear that they are not the only one suffering for no apparent reason. Everyone here has done something hard, and we all are getting through it or have done that. Like the Special Forces, we don’t leave any chumps behind.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

KFMM–you are one mighty, kick-ass woman!!

KibbleFree_MightyMe
KibbleFree_MightyMe
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest – girl you keep me rollin’ with all of your fiesty kick-ass comments on this site! I hope you know just how brilliant and amazing you are, cuz we all do. (((hugs!))) ;D

Moose
Moose
8 years ago

Bookmarking this to read over and over. Very inspiring and very true. You are AWESOME KFMM!

choosewisely
choosewisely
8 years ago

WOW! Thank you!

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
8 years ago

Kibble Free- You are amazing! You are reaping your blessings, from leaving a fool.

sephage
sephage
8 years ago

Holy awesomeness!

Chump4Bolero
Chump4Bolero
8 years ago

Beautiful – force of nature post, KibbleFree_MightyMe! -Great advice.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Chump4Bolero

KF MM
Yes, to every word!

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago

Really great post KFMM.

Renee62
Renee62
8 years ago

Wow! Great advice! You rock KF_MM!

OnTheMend
OnTheMend
8 years ago
Reply to  Renee62

^^ This ^^ “She always saw me do that in spite begging the dead weight to engage, come home, be a part of the family.” Right on!

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
8 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

Lovely Chum-tastic – ITS NOT COMPLICATED!!! Love it!!

Rumblekitty
Rumblekitty
8 years ago
Reply to  chump-tastic

“Ask yourself, if everything that’s happened to me had happened to a close friend instead . . .”

This is something I pounded into my brain in the beginning. I would never tell a buddy to deal with it. I’d tell them to get a lawyer and run.

I tell my kid this, treat yourself like your own best friend. You’ll give yourself much better advice.

Chump4Bolero
Chump4Bolero
8 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Very wise words, indeed.

Calla2015
Calla2015
8 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

great advice!

Blown Away
Blown Away
8 years ago
Reply to  Calla2015

I truly never looked at “it” from that perspective! This spin is simply another validation that we have SO done the right thing in throwing their *** to the curb.

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  Rumblekitty

Wow. That’s a mind bender.

Marked711
Marked711
8 years ago

I now know it was a gift, but she left to be with her AP and never looked back. Still hurts like a M***F***. An old high school boyfriend that she found on Facebook after 30 yrs. To me, she’s just pathetic.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Marked711…….same here. Mine did everything in his power to get me to leave, but no, chumpy me was gonna help him see the light. You know, the light that banging a stripper 25 years younger than him (and others) was probably not what a good life would end up being.
Wholeheartedly agree too that he never looked back because he never cared. That, I feel certain of.
Ultimately he’s a fake, a fraud, a phony, a liar, a cheater, a coward, a sneak, and a no good lousy rat.
I’m sure I’ve missed some.

Yesterday marked 3 years from the first DDay though I was highly suspicious for 10 months before that. I still have sorrow but not about missing him; this time the sorrow and pain is for me.

Marked711
Marked711
8 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

You missed Snake! Mine hissed so sweetly in my ears until she no longer had a use for me. It was 30 years of a lie. Thanks for the support. Hugs to all.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Marked711…….30 years is such a long time. I’m sorry and I can’t imagine how difficult that had to be to feel like it was a lifetime (practically) of a lie. My 10 years were difficult enough let alone triple that. But we’re all better off now even if we’re solo.

Marked711
Marked711
8 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Yes! I too still have hate. I do want it to go away. Thanks for the support.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Hatred is a perfectly legitimate response to the level of betrayal that you (that all of us) have suffered. It will justifiably consume you for awhile, but there is no shame in anger, rage or hatred as long as you ease your way toward an honest, rewarding life for yourself.

CRHCHK
CRHCHK
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Agreed

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Jedi hugs Marked711, it will get better – though you may never get over the random thought that the whole world would be better off if your particular asshole was dead. I know I haven’t.

bsx12
bsx12
8 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Either I know you or there are two pathetic souls out there who did the same thing. I hope it gets easier for you. So sorry this happened. if I do know you, trust me, I told her not to do it. Virtual hugs.

bsx12
bsx12
8 years ago
Reply to  bsx12

One more thing….whether I know you or not, I’m sure she doesn’t look back because she doesn’t want to see what she gave up.

Marked711
Marked711
8 years ago
Reply to  bsx12

Thanks for this comment. Yes, I thought we almost had it made in life. I didn’t realize she had other plans. I think she doesn’t look back because she just never cared. She had no qualms walking away from what I thought was a great life (with ups and downs), because she married me for my potential (money – her words). Her new guy makes much more than me. She’s just pathetic. Thanks for the support. I don’t think we know each other (I’m in Chicago and she’s now in Austin), but so many stories are the same. Thanks.

SDK
SDK
8 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

” She had no qualms walking away from what I thought was a great life (with ups and downs), because she married me for my potential (money – her words). Her new guy makes much more than me. She’s just pathetic. Thanks for the support. I ”

Sorry to hear dude.. but my stbxw is similar. All about they money.. she wasn’t like that when I met her. But she became that way (I provided and fed that money monster). Only difference is she left me for a richer guy, but he dropped her. Now she is hunting for a new guy (already have one in sights), that makes good money. At least I know she’ll spread eagle for money, not love… and she is not my problem anymore.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  SDK

Most cheaters are shallow MFers, whether they be male or female–a wealthier man here, a younger female there, they lose much to chase fool’s gold.

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

And then rather than take their blows when the newest bestest thing finds a yet better thing and drops them like a hot rock, they think a cheap meal and a drink will bring you right back. DO NOT DO THAT!

Fifi
Fifi
8 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

I’m sorry we are all having to go through this. Personal growth can be a motha. Mine cheated with friend from 20 years ago, via Facebook, so I hear you loud and clear. I’m still fractured; it’s been a year. They’re getting married soon. It’s so crucial to hear from the ones who made it to the other side of the valley of despair. I agree with your assessment, Marked711 – they don’t look back because they never really cared. Or maybe they cared for a short time, until it (we) started looking too much like real life. Either way it’s the most painful experience of my life. I have to believe we will look back on it as a time when we were liberated to discover a more joyful life. Hugs to every one of us chumps.

kar marie
kar marie
8 years ago
Reply to  Fifi

When cheaters marry cheaters they not will get exactly what they deserve. Asswipes ho was cheated on by both her ex husbands she is a big a cheater as asswipe for sleeping with a married man so they both know the other cheats she told him she was always faithful and never cheated till asswipe. I’m sure they will marry later down the road. The kids and I have started a pool to see how long it lasts. The kids now see him for who he really is. I filed the day he told me he resented and was angry at our kids for not being the PERFECT children the whores kids are. How dare he? You don’t want me anymore fine! Fuck me over fine! Don’t blame the kids for your own short comings! Do not fuck with my kids!! Maybe if asswipe has followed up with being more emotionally and mentally present and did more instead of what was only required would have helped. As soon as this house is settled POOF this girl disappears into her own new future and fuck him. The kids are closer to me than ever.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Fifi

Jedi Hugs Fifi!

Stayin Strong
Stayin Strong
8 years ago

When I knew that he was leaving the OW’s apartment to meet me at marriage counseling. Kind of figured that there was not much worth saving at that point. When I mentioned this during MC he flew off the handle and said, “I can’t believe that you are spying on me”. Even our MC gave him the “you can’t possibly be angry that she is checking up on you” look. The MC asked him “do you want to work on your marriage and end it with your AP or do you want your AP partner?” Ex husband said, “I don’t know”. That’s when I said, “well I guess that answer says it all, we are done, I want a divorce”. I left the building and called my attorney.

I later went back to speak with the MC during my “oh shit, did I do the right thing?” portion of this rollercoaster ride. My MC said “he didn’t give you much to work with and he was never going to change. Divorce him and move on with your life. It will hurt, but ultimately you will be much happier not having to deal with him anymore”. Boy was he right!

To the freshman – not gonna lie, it wasn’t easy. Financially it was a struggle, self esteem tanked, kids fought, tension from outsider pushing me to reconsider, but looking back it was the best thing that I could have done. Life is so much better. My kids are doing well, my life is fuller, no more anti-depressants, no tension, genuinely happier. You really are stronger than you think!

Hopeful Cynic
Hopeful Cynic
8 years ago
Reply to  Stayin Strong

“I don’t know” actually means “I’m not willing to tell you because you won’t like the answer and that will wreck everything I’ve got going.”

My upheaval happened before Chump Lady, so I floundered on my own for quite some time. It was meeting with a new MC after yet another mini d-day and having the counsellor tell him she thought he really wanted out of the marriage but was too much of a coward to say so. “Yeah,” he said. “That.” That was the moment that pulled the wool from my eyes, as up to then, I had tried so hard to believe all his lies instead of all his actions.

I guess I never did the leaving myself, as it took an outside party to initiate it for me. I like to think I would have gotten there eventually, but I’ve always been one to beat a dead horse to the bitter end, I believe in loyalty and commitment so much.

Mehbound
Mehbound
8 years ago
Reply to  Hopeful Cynic

Yes, us chumps are a loyal bunch and believe in commitment but we truly are MIGHTY!

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago
Reply to  Stayin Strong

I am impressed with your MC. It gives me some hope that good ones do exist out there!

Michael
Michael
8 years ago

+1

Michael
Michael
8 years ago
Reply to  Stayin Strong

My ex pulled the “I don’t know” crap on me too. She was just stalling and she really thought she’d be the one to decide on me or the AP. She maintained that stance all the way up to the point where I had to put the bullet in the marriage.

Done&done
Done&done
8 years ago
Reply to  Michael

I don’t know was my ex’s favorite response to every question. Why? I don’t know. What now? I don’t know. Do you want to leave? I don’t know. Should I leave? I don’t know. So you wanna get back together you say, but did you break up with AP? I don’t know. Do you actually mean anything you say? I don’t know. Let’s get divorced. I don’t know.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago
Reply to  Done&done

But what they DO know is that they don’t want to tell the truth……..EVER!!

Michael
Michael
8 years ago
Reply to  Done&done

What they mean is that they don’t know if they want to downsize their kibble supply.

Mehbound
Mehbound
8 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Yes to every word! I got that response “I don’t know” for some time and could not figure it out!!!!

sammysam
sammysam
8 years ago
Reply to  Mehbound

I think there is another explanation for ‘i dont know’ – gas lighting. They are behaving like 4 year olds. And yet you stick around. They are not so subtly giving the message that normal rules of adult conversation dont apply so they are managing down your expectations in the most basic way. Its insidious. It used to do my head in [i was with a narc, not a cheater as far as I know though no boundaries with his harem. I come to this site because cheaters are narcs and somehow though I’ve been broken up with him for 8 years, somewhere he broke me and I havent been able to move on properly from the stress of living with him].

Vicki
Vicki
8 years ago

I had a D-Day in March and he apologized, cried and we decided to work on the marriage – so I thought. The AF had been his employee and he let her come back to work for him that October. I suspected things started again, but was going to ‘make him’ be the bad guy and end our marriage – I was going to “fight” for our family!

He and I were texting during a December afternoon about a Christmas party for our daughter’s softball team that night, he having asked me what the attire was going to be. Then he texted me, “I’m serious! 4 pm for smooching!!!!!” The having been an asshole to me for the two months since her return, the sneaking out at night – none of those things moved me like that one text. I replied with “WTF” and he rushed home in a complete panic, pretending the text was meant for me. We all went to the party and I played the happy wife for the kids and assembled guests, but I called a lawyer the Monday immediately following.

I still often kick myself for having tried to save things, to have been such a chump, but I am also glad that it happened that way. That text is still such a defining moment of my life and the absolute second I turned the corner from Chump to Mighty.

arlo
arlo
8 years ago
Reply to  Vicki

Yep, a missent text was the beginning of my disordered fuckwit’s undoing as well. I couldn’t appreciate it at the time, but thinking back now to the sheer panic in his voice when he called me trying to lie his way out of it, is one of the little memories I’ll just treasure always.

arlo
arlo
8 years ago
Reply to  arlo

Vicki, I had also replied “WTF”
lol

Don
Don
8 years ago
Reply to  Vicki

I get the defining text thing Vicki!
My pure defining moment came a week after BPD exWife moved out to live with Schmoopie.
I was still fighting to save the already dead 25 year marriage, and also spending hours at the hospital tending to HER gravely ill Father, with whom I had a great friendship. As part of his care, I changed his diaper because she “couldn’t handle it”.
He died soon after and I will never forget seeing the death announcement in the newspaper which named her as family…and made no mention at all of me….after I had loved and been friends with him as a father figure for 28 years.
I stared at that newspaper for a long time before finally accepting that she had simply erased me from history without a second thought….and I decided to let Schmoopie have that all for himself. I never spoke to her again.
God often sends us such defining moments.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Don

Don, this is just hateful. I’m sure he loved you. I took care of his grandmother for years while he cheated. I cut her grass, planted flowers and went shopping fir her. Yet he left this out when he was spinning his tale to the whores. They have no shame.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Or self respect

ChumpDad
ChumpDad
8 years ago

I wish I could say I was strong and might and threw my XW out. But I can’t. She was bound and determined to hold onto the OM. She wanted both though. After a week of two hour per night sleep and no eating, I gave her an ultimatum; him or me. She chose him so I asked her to leave. She spent a few weeks with a sister then moved into his place.

But… Although I didn’t end it, in the year and a half sense that time, light has dawned on this Marblehead. Wow, I can’t believe all the stuff I missed or covered up and spackled over the 20 year marriage. I can’t believe the relief that I feel. I can’t believe the money so have now. I can do things again. My boys and I experience things and enjoy ourselves now. Sure its hard being an only parent and its difficult learning to live on one income but its worth it. My future is bright not gray.

One thing I can absolutely say to a freshman, once the cheater is gone, the flood of truth comes washing in. Some of it stings and some is sad but as a whole, it is good.

kbchump
kbchump
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpDad

Exactly! My ex wife did the same after 24 years together. After several of her “leaving Friday come home drunk Sunday” weekends “with friends” I finally told her to get out. Later found out she was hooking up with our daughters boyfriends father, they also live together now. But after the loneliness and shock wear off life at home with my daughter is a lot more peaceful. No more tension, fighting, arguing..I got my daughter a shih tzu puppy from the shelter and quite frankly we’re doing ok. My ex on the other hand lost her job she had for 17 years over a year ago and hasn’t worked since, she’s 100% dependent on her new boytoy and he wants to move in his pregnant daughter with her husband and their 2 year old to their “love nest” 2 bedroom apartment. Can you say Karma? Sounds like bliss to me! He can have her!

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

That just reminded me, he got a skanky bar whore druggie and I got the washer dryer, leather couch, and my children’s respect.

Mehbound
Mehbound
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

MmmmmmDonna, the scale on this contrast sure says something!

ANC
ANC
8 years ago

I’m not a freshman any longer. I am moving to graduation though. Like chump-tastic I asked myself how would I counsel a good friend, family member or my kids if they were with a serial cheater. The answer is the same, GTFO.

I cannot drink the kool aide of compartmentalization to remain with the cheater. That’s self abuse in my opinion. I’d rather model for my kids strength and resiliency vs. mental torture and sadness. I would never want my kids to be the abuser or the victim. They need to witness healthy and happy. They should have all of those things and more in their future relationships.

Susan
Susan
8 years ago

It is a hugely scary time. I’m three years this week past D-Day and still waiting for the final Agreement to be ready. I think it will be this year’s Christmas present.

When he first told me he wanted a divorce he lied that there was no one else. So I was hell bent on trying to figure out “why?”. I sent him to our minister and then we started MC. Finally, I learned there was another woman. And old friend from college who was going through her own divorce and he wanted to save her. (35 years later). It took over a year before he told our 20 year old daughters and over a year before we sold the house. So I had a little time to get my head wrapped around it. I still thought I loved him and I tried the “pick me dance” but always felt like I was betraying myself. He seriously wanted out and didn’t want to even discuss it.

Once we sold I retreated to my brother’s home while he was in FL for the winter and those long winter months alone in CT were the best thing I could have done. I discovered what I wanted for myself. I knew I wanted to live near my old home because all my friends were there. I got my ducks in a row and I was happier than I’d been in two years.

I bought my own place and my kids (now college grads) come to my place. I’m making more new friends and have a better social life than I did when I was married. His gf has now moved from IA to live with him in NY (culture shock!) and they live only a few blocks from me. I have yet to meet her but I’m sure our paths will cross.

I’m no longer sad or angry or upset. He no longer affects me. It’s taken a long time but I’m ready to sign the Agreement and live a good life.

Supreme Chump
Supreme Chump
8 years ago

I don’t think it was an “aha moment” that finally made me leave. I had “aha moments” but I stayed for awhile hoping for change. For me, leaving my cheater was gradual. It was gradual, but finally overwhelming. And even when it was overwhelming, I was still hoping for him to change and I was still scared about divorcing him.
I remember going to an appointment with my lawyer. That was the second time I saw my lawyer. The first time I saw him was in October of 2012. I told him I was probably going to get the divorce started after Christmas. About 3 weeks after that first appointment, my father died and I felt that it was the wrong time to initiate a divorce. So I saw this lawyer again in March 2014. After talking with my lawyer, he told me that this was the second time I had come to him and that I needed to get out of this marriage. I forget his exact wording, but he told me that basically nothing was going to get better for me in my marriage. He also told me that others had the same fears as me, but once divorced they were doing just fine.
I was still scared to do this but I knew that if I left his office that I would probably put off the divorce and not ever get it started; there would always be a reason or small glimmer of hope to stay married. I knew I had to write a check to my lawyer at that moment and not leave that office without handing him a check for his retainer. So I wrote the check. And handed it over.
I was still scared and full of doubt even though I knew my ex-husband was lying, cheating, rejecting and neglecting me. I am waiting for the fears and doubt to go away. I know as things fall into place for me that I will feel better and not doubt myself. I am working towards getting to that point.
This was gradual, though. I guess I finally realized that this was no way to live.

zyx321
zyx321
8 years ago

Newbies to the site, learn from my cluelessness/good heart. I had three (sorta) DDays.
#1: ex acting funny, I checked email, and found what I thought was poetry written in French to a fellow graduate student. I do not read French. If I had, I think I would have realized the gravity of the situation. No Google Translate in those days. It was also pre popular understanding of emotional affairs. I accused, he denied, we went to MC, he gaslighted and emphasized she pursued him, just a good friends, etc, I truly believed no affair and put it behind us (though was also insecure about it).

#2: 9 yrs later–ex was acting like he did also those years before. I read email, noted weird comments from a colleague (who signs emails love you?) ex again denied, she was crazy, had thrown herself at him two weeks before asking him to leave me and the kids, etc. and I, innocent that I am, believed him. She had been throwing herself at him since day 1 on the job, and I warned ex about her. So, again, I thought it was also one sided.
(Regret, she got word that I knew something and tried to talk to me saying ” I don’t know how he spun it.” I refused to talk to her, wish I had.

#3: 3 yrs later– ex increasingly unhappy “with work” so I encourage him to take a leave from work and pursue work in a “dream field.”
He came home every 4-5 weeks to get me and the kids. 7 months in, I am exhausted with work and being a single parent.. Ex comes home and says he does not want to end up like his parents (?? What, we are nothing like them….). Ex does not want to do MC (my regret there, if they do not want it, walk away!!!) so, after three months of false MC the truth comes trickling out, and I know it is only the surface.
DDay #1, yup, an affair, but they were only physical 1x (uh, huh). He was in love with a woman at new job in different state, but he had not had an affair, etc. it took a month of trickle truthing and gaslighting, but I finally saw how much ex lied. The final kicker was looking at OW FB page, she commented she was in foreign country… Ex was there for work but said she would not be there.
Ex was too wrapped up with OW to come home and get divorced, could not even utter those words! So, I did it.
Most difficult thing I have ever done, filing when I did not want it, now, 3 years later, best thing I ever did!

Advice to newbies– it is always worse than you suspect. Do not fall for the “you are just jealous/insecure” trap. Trust your gut.

and I know it is scary, but life DOES get much better. Even the days I am struggling with the suicidal depressed teenager, I am grateful for my current life.

Lost2015
Lost2015
8 years ago
Reply to  zyx321

zyx — you’re definitely right about one thing: Things are ALWAYS worse than you suspect. I keep telling myself that every time I find out something new. Whatever I think I know, it’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. And no matter how hard I try, I’ll never know everything.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Lost2015

Yup. Divorced mine on the basis of 1 affair from years ago; as the stories spilled out, determined he was a serial cheater at conferences, on adult web-sites, and with numerous students (not just the 1). NEVER believe their minimalized stories.

startofsomethingood
startofsomethingood
8 years ago

What got me through?

http://www.chumplady.com

donna
donna
8 years ago

Same here Arlo. “Raw honesty”, it’s that something that moves us from Chump to Meh.

arlo
arlo
8 years ago

I have to say, there were many many things that rattled my cage, drove me to counseling (not helpful, BTW), and made me question everything especially my sanity, but it was THIS website and particularly the raw honesty in the comment threads, that got me to DONE.

It’s actually scary to think where I’d be now if I hadn’t found it when I did. I say it every chance I get: THANK YOU CL and CN!!! I will always be grateful, more than grateful – I owe you my life.

<3

Traveling the World
Traveling the World
8 years ago

I got “lucky” (in a way 🙂 ). On D-day, I gave my ex an ultimatum to either follow the straight and narrow or get out. She chose to work hard and stay with me…for about four days. Then, she changed her mind and chose him.
I’d like to say I was strong and unwavering at every point, but I wasn’t. My emotions swung from “GOOD RIDDANCE!” to “Oh, no, please don’t go! We can work it out!” from one minute to the next. Thankfully, I did the right things at the right times.
My first good tipping point was advice from our marriage counselor (we did go to one session in the first few days). She told me NOT to go after my wife, and NOT to even think about taking her back unless she was actually contrite about the whole thing. That stuck with me. She also assured me that the cheater would come back in short order (and she was right). For once, someone in the counseling profession actually gave advice that was good for the victim, not just the cheater.
The next big decision point, and the biggest one, was when I was in one of my “Please don’t go” moods. I was reading a book about how to work through infidelity. The book advised writing up a letter telling your spouse you would not work through things until the affair was done. I wrote up said letter. I read some more in the book, and I read something like “You should not ask for an apology. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a wayward spouse apologize.”
Maybe my mood swung back, but at that moment I thought “What? No apology EVER? This is totally f***ed up. Will I ever have any self-respect in this? This is bull****.” I tore the letter up, and didn’t give it a second thought.
The final tipping point came when she said she wanted to go back to counseling. When the World’s Most Wonderful Love Affair Ever with Prince Cheating fizzled and died within a week, the little wayward bird tried to come back about a month later (just as our counselor had predicted). I said I wasn’t so sure I wanted to talk to the counselor now, but I was wavering. I told her that I really didn’t think it was wise to take her back after she spurned my offer to fix things the first time, and that I was no one’s second choice. Not what I signed up for. She said “If we go back to counseling, I am not willing to talk about the cheating at all. Never again!”
“Then enjoy your cold lonely apartment by yourself.”
I have never looked back.

donna
donna
8 years ago

They always circle back. X is low in supply, cake, and kibbles. The latest is (said with a pity me whine) “I miss my family”, to the chikdren he hasn’t bothered with in 15 months.

Regrets? No! He misses what he had, a good life with side fucks.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago

Having an abusive partner who stonewalled me whenever I said something he didn’t agree with.
During the last period of time it happened (this was ongoing for about 9 months or so), I started searching online to figure out ‘why does he stonewall?’ and found this site. When I read the first article here, it opened the door to hell and I realised things would never change. I went no-contact shortly after that, and have been free for over a year now. Realised that there was nothing to work with. I suspect he probably was cheating – but I didn’t care anymore – I was free! No matter what flavour of fuckedupness it was, it was still fucked up.
This site is great not only for chumps, but for life lessons too. A lot of the advice helps to protect you from arseholes out there.

Lola Granola
Lola Granola
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

Lania, you are like me. This site has been great because it has helped me to sort out my own messy past. I dodged several bullets, but kept choosing narcs. Took a while to face why, so thank you, therapy.

My last effort was a very disturbed mama’s boy and workaholic, who also cheated emotionally. It took five on and off years to work out what was going on. Meanwhile, he had me waiting on him, doing the pick me dance, keeping the kibbles coming, for fear of losing him.

But how can you lose someone you never had in the first place?

That was more than 2 years ago. He left me for a divorced lady 5 years older, who he can’t marry because he’s very religious (my trouble was that I was marriageable, and thus dangerous). But given that he was terrified of marriage, they should be very happy together. I am desperately grateful to her for taking him off my hands.

I am happily single, approaching 50, and don’t want to change a thing. He ws my last chance at children, but reading this site has really helped me to accept that the children would have only been horribly hurt.

But the question about leaving makes me think of my erstwhile fiance of 20 years ago. He was a basher, boozer, cheater and liar, from a psycho family. What got me away, a mere few months away from the wedding, was that he finally behaved like such a shit that the scales fell from my eyes. The critical psychological step was being able to imagine a BETTER FUTURE WITHOUT HIM.

That’s why I love this site, because it encourages chumps to do just that – imagine a different future from the present one, a future in which you get back your self respect, your personality, your joy and your mojo.

Life is good now. Life is BETTER than I could have imagined. It’s not the future I imagined for myself at all whn I had a partner, but that was because my imagination was too limited. THIS IS BETTER THAN I EVER IMAGINED!

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Lola Granola

Yeah. I dodged several bullets of past boyfriends who cheated on me, and spewed some pretty nasty words while doing it.

With the last ex – he didn’t cheat on me, as far as I know. However, being stonewalled when he didn’t agree with my opinion, or when I wasn’t catering to his every whim – while he thought excessive time on a video game, time which was supposed to be spent with me, was fine. It was a dealbreaker. In a way, he cheated on me for a video game.

There are serious FOO issues going on with him, to be fair – but thats not for me to worry about or fix. I went no-contact over a year ago now.

I think the reason why a lot of people will stick it out, is because they want to make sure that they did everything possible to try and fix things. That was part of the reason why I hung around for 9 months – was partly because I thought he was extremely stressed with life issues. It all fell apart when he lied about two things he said he did, but I believe he actually didn’t. No proof – but given the situation I don’t believe I needed proof, because the story didn’t add up.

Life is far better now, though.

Lola Granola
Lola Granola
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

I suppose I was a bit like that – wanting to exhaust all the fixing options. Except that every time, it was flogging not just a dead horse, but a skeleton where a horse had once been … Or maybe even a horse fossil from the Chumpacious Period …

Why did I stay? Because of vanity, fear of being single, feeling like a failure for overinvesting in a poor choice, and seeing marriage as the take-me-seriously finishing line of life.

Why did I leave? Because I started to work out who I really was, stopped being afraid of being single, realised that it was better to cut my losses, and looked around me at the unhappy marriages and divorces, and thought twice.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

ABUSERS. Check.

ChumpLadyFan
ChumpLadyFan
8 years ago

I’ve dealt with a few cheaters over my lifetime so my fuse is REAL short.

There was no catalyst that propelled me to leave my last cheater. My need to respect MYSELF was simply greater than allowing myself to be disrespected by staying with a lying cheater. I refused to continue being force-fed a shit sandwich for the rest of my life.

When I read reconciliation message boards, I’m often amazed at just how much disrespect some folks are willing to continually swallow just to stay with their cheaters. And I’m even MORE amazed when other posters in the same position will blindly encourage each other to continue swallowing that shit sandwich – at all costs. Talk about the blind leading the blind. I’m assuming one must have to drop all their pride and self worth at the door there.

It’s amazing how you can change your life for the BETTER when you find your pride and self respect.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpLadyFan

CLF

I have never visited these other sites. I am ashamed to say I stayed with a cheater. I for one am regaining my dignity, strength, and self respect. These are what I believe we lose when we putothers needs before our own. It’s a pit without a ladder until you finally find one and climb your way out. CL was that ladder for me. Hopium, was my fools gold for way to long.

Lola Granola
Lola Granola
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Donna, so did I. Until I didn’t – I hit my personal tipping point.

Keep climbing. There is fesh air and sunlight at the top.

TheFiddler
TheFiddler
8 years ago

I caught the soon to be ex wife blowing her boss when I stopped by to take her out to lunch. After that kicking her out wasn’t that difficult and finding out she had been sleeping around are whole marriage made t

TheFiddler
TheFiddler
8 years ago
Reply to  TheFiddler

Whoops hit reply too soon. Once I found out she had been cheating are whole marriage filing for divorce was easy. Sometimes I think I was lucky that once I caught her she was pretty unremorseful and virtually honest in how much she cheated.

Michael
Michael
8 years ago

For me it was that a-ha moment when I saw my ex-wife for who she really is and what she is capable of. Fortunate for me, she didn’t deny anything, nor did she deny her intention to carry on her affair. She was un repentant, remorseless, and even though she showed some signs of guilt she continue to do what she was doing. Zero contrition. I decided that I wasn’t going to spend another moment with someone who could do that to me. All the stuff she said to drag things out made me sick. An all the stuff she did to try to get sympathy from me made me feel even worse. I can see she was trying to spin a tale that mitigated her actions. She tried to tell the tale in a way where she wasn’t the bad guy. It was disgusting and a monumental failure. That last thing I had to hear before putting the bullet in my marriage was when I asked her why she didn’t just stop and come home and she said, “It’s not that simple. I might be pregnant by him.” That was the tipping point and I told her I had heard enough from her and to meet me at the courthouse the following Wednesday. At that point I felt my heart just shut down.

It took me a little while but I had to come to terms with the reality of the situation, the reality of her as a person, the reality of divorce, and the reality of being single again and the pain that would come from having to readjust. Marriage is in my blood. But after finally getting there, having to put it down was worse than never having it. But it’s worth it because what I had was not what a marriage is supposed to be. It was just a cheap imitation, like crab meat on sushi.

Honestly I wrestle with what’s next; if I’d ever find someone. But right now at least I’m safe. Which is more than I can say when I was with that jackass. I regret nothing. I was real and I know I can be a good husband to someone.

Monika
Monika
8 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael, come to Warsaw. There is someone who thinks just like you!! ?yours is a very touching story that was very similar to my story. I have actually written to chumplady exactly 1 year ago. I was sad and desperate. I have survived 16 years of abuse and my husband’s serial infidelity. I had my suspicions many times earlier but chose not to act on them – NOT that i haven’t tried, i am a journalist after all. ? but i was very young, idealistic, and gaslighted and abused. i loved him or rather – the idea of him. I gave him EVERYTHING A WOMAN CAN GIVE TO A MAN. Last year in september i had finally my proof black on white – he was cheating with 2 different OW. I hv also discovered he was RECORDING ME since months!!! he was also turning my son against me – a son whom he always has ignored (Stbx is an addicted gambler and his addiction always came first!!! ). I have escaped in november 2014 from MY OWN APARTMENT WITH MY KID. i have filed for divorce in february 2015. I live in my parents APARTMENT right now because the judge rejected my plea for my return to my own apartment (! ) cause MY HUSBAND AS A HUSBAND CANNOT BE THROWN OUT CAUSE DESPITE HE iS NOT AN OWNER, HE Has the right to live there. that’s the law in Poland. stbx is earning loads of money and i have to pay rent for both apartments from my miserable journalist salary. But its OK, you know why??? Cause i dont have to see his ugly cheating horrid face anymore and walk on eggshells around him and give him… kibbles and listen to things from him to me like: “The XX (OW) called. She said you are insane!! “. Unf@@@@@ingbelievable now. I have a great son and great friends and a job at a lifestyle magazine that i love. And one day when i will sign up finally my divorce papers i WILL Get MY APARTMENT BACK. AND Maybe, just maybe, i will find REAL LOVE. and what kept me going? Chumplady!
Lost of kisses!!! Monique

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  Monika

Since you’re paying rent on that apartment can’t you end the lease? Just… Stop paying? Whatever?

Monika
Monika
8 years ago

Creative, this is my own apartment, i have bought it with my own money. I think i misused the word “rent” here. I meant the cost of monthly usage of: cold and warm water, heating, rubbish etc. That i have to pay every month. I can’t NOT PAY cause the building admin will sue me and my psycho stbx doesnt pay. monika

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago
Reply to  Monika

Understand you, Monika. In some parts of the world an apartment means a rental place and in others it means a place you buy, An apartment here where we live is definitely a monthly rental, without ownership. In New York City, an apartment might be bought for an insane amount of money. It’s all about how it works in a particular place, and what people call a place to live.

Michael
Michael
8 years ago
Reply to  Monika

Aww Monika. Thank You! You’re very sweet. And I’m sorry for what the court systems is doing to you on top of your divorce. That is horrible. But you will triumph! Hugs.

By the way, Warsaw seems like a lovely city!

Monika
Monika
8 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael, yes, Warsaw is a lovely city?. What impressed me in your letter was that “marriage was in your blood” and “you were real”. I soooo understand it! And i dont know any man who would admit to it. When i married my husband i was v young.I thought:it’s Forever, it’s destiny etc. I wanted this marriage to work. I did not know anything about addiction etc. (it took me few years to understand that he was addicted to gambling) I come from a very loving, great family, my parents are together 40 years. I loved him sooo much…. But he did not love me. He was cruel, an empty shell, a sociopathic narcissict. I still hear his voice in my head that i am worthless etc. I dont know if i EVER believe in myself again. He destroyed my naive childish belief in marriage and “eternal” love and honor and respect. I hate him for it. I know i have escaped his clutches in the last moment. But i soooo regret the lost years.I regres my begging him for apology (how pathetic i was!!! ), writing to OW last year asking “why? “(How pathetic i was and naive). I regret i fought for something that just wasnt there and that i let him destroy me. But just like you – I WAS REAL and honest and sincere and believed. i am so happy i discovered chumplady. She opened my eyes to many things. like: no reconcillation! No kibbles! And GASLIGHTING… ? i am stronger every day. Have a nice day? monika

Ohana
Ohana
8 years ago

I’m 4 years out and yes, getting out was the best thing I could have done. I wish I’d done it DDay 1 rather than DDay 3.

A few things that may help:

I really struggled with the idea of breaking the promise I made and what God would think of it. I wasn’t actively in a church at that time and it took me a while to work out for myself that adultery is specifically mentioned as legitimate grounds for divorce. DivirceMinister may have more to say on that.

DDay 1, I was just in shock. I shut down. I thought maybe he was having a breakdown because suddenly, I was seeing a stranger. The information here should really help people in that stage. We did counseling but he quit when pushed. Overall, until DDay 3, I’d say my expectations were so levered down, and I so bought into the presentation of everything being unbearably hard for him (because he felt so bad…NOT), that I finally talked myself into being satisfied with essentially no change.

DDay 2, I was sure this was the end. It was around this time I came to terms with adultery is an out. But why didn’t I leave? I wanted to be sure I’d done everything possible before giving up. This created the opportunity for me to lose my clarity. We went to another counselor. This counselor told me my x was a sex addict and to run. But I wasn’t ready to hear it so bluntly. Dismantling my life, hurting x so badly, it was overwhelming. And how could the counselor be so sure so quickly? He was right of course but I didn’t want to be unfair. Also, and I’d say this is something to be very careful of, I’d confided in a mutual friend and didn’t realize she’d bought into his story and was working to reconcile us. She never said as much but her influence was definitely a factor. She apologized after DDay 3 but of course, that was 4 or 5 extra years of suck for me. I think she fed him the lines that helped to convince me he had changed. I put together a postnup but allowed him to wimp out in the grounds it would be humiliating.

DDay 3. Finally, I was pre-armed and ready. I’d decided if anything came to light again I would make it publicly known to my friends and family. Which I did. I also withheld from him what I knew. I just told him I knew he had cheated again. For any chance of reconciliation, he had to reveal all. He never did, not even close, but I did get some hilarious tales out of it. Knowing for sure that he still lied gave me great strength. Getting out was the hardest thing I ever did. What an emotional roller coaster. He melted down in every way he could to try to make me relent. I did some individual counseling this time and it helped.

It hasn’t been easy to put things back together but I would NEVER EVER return to the life of being an appliance, basically a bit player in his life, worrying more about how things affected his fragile self than I ever worried about me. I was the strong one, he needed me. Bullshit. He moved on quickly after I left and reconstructed his life in no time. The distorted picture of the future that seemed so real was just that — a distortion.

When things are wrong, they’re wrong, and one person in the pair can’t fix them.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago
Reply to  Ohana

Ohana,

Quick Biblical primer:

1) God divorces Israel over unrepentant adultery (Jeremiah 3:8). So, divorce is not a sin as God did it. And adultery is crystal clear grounds for acceptable divorce.

2) Jesus mentions sexual immorality (Greek word, “porneia”) as permissible grounds for divorce in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9. Adultery certainly falls into the broad category of sexual immorality. Jesus does not permit us to sin.

3) The Old Testament proscribed the death penalty for an adulterous spouse and his/her partner (see Deuteronomy 22:22 and Leviticus 20:10). A divorce would not have been needed in that case. I fail to see God extend more mercy to faithful spouses under the Old Testament Law than He would in the New Testament. God is loving and merciful; God is not into victim-blaming.

Hope that helps!

-DM

Doop
Doop
8 years ago

I really struggled with my vows…the same ones he was desecrating left and right. My x was (still is) struggling with alcoholism and addiction. So I knew the adultery got me out, but I struggled with the “in sickness” part. It was very hard for me because I felt I was breaking that sacred vow. It took a lot of prayerful work for me to move past that.

chump-tastic
chump-tastic
8 years ago

Divorce Minister: such a daily encouragement!

Ohana
Ohana
8 years ago

DM, where were you 10 years ago?

I hope your primer helps other chumps avoid wasting time and suffering needless anguish. In a few words you summarized everything one needs to know.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago
Reply to  Ohana

Ten years ago or so I was getting married to my cheater…young and naive. Oh well, I am glad I serve a God who redeems such things!

Thanks for your kind words, Ohara! (And chump-tastic)

Mehphista
Mehphista
8 years ago

Genuine question, DM-how do these tenets fit with the parable of Christ and the Woman taken in adultery? I have heard more than one Jesus Cheater cite that.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

Jesus kept them from stoning her to death. Divorce is a completely different matter. Jesus never mentions her husband needing to stay married to her after her sin. He is silent on that matter.

So…

“You’re right. I will be merciful like Jesus and not call for my cheating husband/wife to be executed.”

And I agree that the part about “Go and sin no more” is also glossed over too often.

Lola Granola
Lola Granola
8 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

Jesus said to her , ‘GO AND SIN NO MORE’.

Not many cheaters stick to that one. In fact, the cheating they have admitted to and been ‘sorry’ for is usually just the tip of the iceberg.

DeeL
DeeL
8 years ago
Reply to  Ohana

Ohana, your post resonates so much with me. We traveled almost the same path. I had a lot to work through with wanting to be right with God, with wanting to make sure that I did not jump to conclusions, to not jump the gun with a person that I loved and maybe made a “mistake”. I had such dissonance with this because deep down I knew that he was wrong, that what he was making me, making “us” go through was wrong. I never really realized that there were so many choices and decisions on his part to find a new partner while he was married. At any one of those times he could have chosen us, but he never did. He chose himself, and what would be “best” for him in his eyes and never gave me or our family a second thought.
“It hasn’t been easy to put things back together but I would NEVER EVER return to the life of being an appliance, basically a bit player in his life, worrying more about how things affected his fragile self than I ever worried about me.” So well put. It hasn’t been easy, but freshman chumps, you deserve so much more than being a “bit player” in anyone’s life, especially your spouse of significant other. Do not become insignificant in your relationship, more than likely you have done nothing to make you insignificant, other than being a faithful, loving partner.

Ohana
Ohana
8 years ago
Reply to  DeeL

DeeL – GREAT point about how much deliberate planning and effort it takes to cheat. I remember about 6 months post-divorce, it hit me forcibly that x’s different Facebook views meant he had conducted a longstanding, deliberate and pre-meditated campaign of deceit. For some reason the full implications did not hit me until then. I was actually angry about it for several days before I figured out why. That’s how muddled and confused I was. That’s how hard it was to understand it wasn’t “mistakes” or “bad judgment”. New chumps, think about how hard it is to hide the long series of actions involved in even the “simplest” single episode. It’s not a mistake. It’s deliberate and a campaign. No one should have to live with that.

movin_on
movin_on
8 years ago
Reply to  Ohana

“The life of being an appliance” – well put!

LadyStrange
LadyStrange
8 years ago

I had finally had enough of the phone hoarding. After he got busted with his fuck phone and yahoo chat accounts, he just continued to do it. He would lock his phone, carry it like it was his life line, turn it upside down, put it on vibrate, sleep with it under his pillow….it was PATHETIC. He told me it was ‘none of my business’ who he was texting/sexting. I think what REALLY was the last straw was when my son told me about his fathers little sexting adventures – he also told me that his dad told him (my son) that I had cheated on him. I was IRATE! My stupid stbx has been accusing me of a ficticious affair for 15 years (and I think THAT got old too) and for cheater to believe it is one thing, but to plant that thought into our kids’ heads – totally WRONG!
It took me awhile to realize that jackass was ‘entitled’ to his phone. He could care less that what he was doing was hurting me and somehow didn’t see anything wrong with it. Oh yes – after he got busted cheating, I outed him. He didn’t like that so he sent out a mass text to our friends telling them how we are divorcing because of my past indiscretions, but I apologized for being mean and treating him like shit. Yep – for real……

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  LadyStrange

This is what I fear. There are real issues which will hurt me, that he and I chose as partners which will make my family sad. It’s emotional hostage taking. What do I want more? My freedom. The shit sandwich of my own choices- which my family won’t agree with for religious reasons- that’s the suck. Because I know it will come out, because he’s a douche.

Strad
Strad
8 years ago

I set a single, non-negotiable boundary after I found out about the affair: I don’t participate in 3 person marriages. I was lucky, as there was no false reconciliation, no taking the affair underground– he wasn’t willing to drop his girlfriend (a married woman he had known in college many years ago) because she was PERFECT and he had, in fact, been suffering DAILY being married to me for 26 years. (This was the first I had heard about that).
Update: The cheaters are now married to each other, which is what they deserve. And I get to live my life post-divorce as I wish and drama-free, which is what I deserve. I win.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
8 years ago

Coming home to discover she had taken her preferred form of birth control out of our condo and also learning of the OM. Then I read Dr. Dobson’s classic “LOVE MUST BE TOUGH” and told her in a letter to either end it plus make me sure it was ALL ended or lose me even as a friend. Got lies/denials in response and she pushed the divorce through–which was a blessing in disguise at the time.

Looking back, I find comfort strangely in realizing how little power I had over the situation. Seven–if I counted correctly–joint sessions with a marriage counselor while she was involved with the OM–unbeknownst to me at the time! This from a trained marriage therapist herself. Enough said!

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
8 years ago

I read that book too, funny that it kind of sells you the hope of getting them back. But when you read it in its harshness, it makes the reality of your situation hit home, this book helped me regain some self respect and come to terms with breaking up.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
8 years ago

I think questions like this are good and helpful — but confusing for those of us who were discarded. We didn’t get the chance to leave since we were left.

BUT, we spent painful days, weeks, months, or years coming to grips with what happened and slowly letting go of the person we thought our cheater was. So for us who were left, I say to consider asking yourself this question, “What helped you to let go of your cheater?”

In the early days, when I was still in utter shock, denial, and frankly still thought I loved and desired my cheater, what helped me to let go was to say to myself, “It doesn’t matter how much I love him; I cannot be with someone who has the capability of doing what he did to me.”

In its simplest terms, that’s what it came down to and I moved on from there. I knew I could not let him back into my life, I just had to figure out how to live with that outcome — with was long and painful.

But worth it.

xox

Marked711
Marked711
8 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

This^^^ I’m past the worst, but still hurting very much. CL and no contact (which she imposed upon walking away) have really helped. Still have a long way to Meh.

Chutes
Chutes
8 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

X checked out on me but forgot to let me know. I spent a year trying to figure out what I had done to piss him off so much. His preferred mental abuse was the silent treatment.

For me, the tipping point was suspecting he and his “work friend” were at our family home on Cape Cod together. When he came home, I went through their trash.

Poetic really; I was literally going through garbage when I came to my senses after 18 of the longest, loneliest years of my life married to him. There was no doubt. I knew then that I had married a scumbag while digging through used paper plates, used condoms and used tampons.

It was the lowest moment of my life.

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago
Reply to  Chutes

Wow, Chutes, that’s awful. These cheaters suck so much.

Ohana
Ohana
8 years ago
Reply to  Chutes

Chutes, that is a brutal image. I hope you are getting to high points now. Big hugs.

DeeL
DeeL
8 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

ML, when they leave, when they abandon, when they will not speak to you is so totally heartbreaking. The devastation is so hard, so final and so damn good in the end. The ex just up and left when I confronted him. No chance of wreckonciliation, a blessing in disguise, nothing. One day you are married, by 5pm you are being left. Total mindf*ck at the time, but the best damn thing that they have done for you in probably years. It’s so hard, so heartbreaking at the time. It probably takes years to get over. I’m 2 years out from it and it’s barely getting ok, not good but ok. Their evil really goes far and has lasting consequences, but I am confident that we will prevail. Is it the life that you once dreamed and hoped for, no. But it is an authentic life, filled with heartbreak and indecision, but at least no one making your life a living hell. We will prevail !!!

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
8 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

*which was long and painful.

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
8 years ago

I did it by spitting my heart and mind apart, I acknowledged that I loved him and still wanted him back and I told him plainly “I want you back, just so that you know, I want you to come home and we can work this out” but while I was saying it, I was simultaneously handing him one of the last few bags of his belongings because there was NO WAY he was going to leave his shit at my house without paying rent.

I let my heart still want him but I refused to be walked over, I drew hundreds of different lines. He was unable to be a better man and has permanently left me and his little kids who he adores. I felt like he left me but everyone else I know is like “well done you chucked him out.” It was like my hands were controlled by the sensible me and the sad sappy person was locked away in a pen and could only watch.

Only now, I am feeling better after half a year, NC works a treat and he truly makes my skin crawl.

Thren
Thren
8 years ago
Reply to  MidlifeBlast

” It was like my hands were controlled by the sensible me and the sad sappy person was locked away in a pen and could only watch.”

That’s an amazing way of putting it. I feel like my ex left me because he refused the try-and-regain-my-trust option I gave him (until a week later when it all hit him). But some part of me took his refusal, packed my stuff and the dog and left the same night. That me initiated NC when he begged me back a week later–even though I wanted nothing more than to go back to him.

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
8 years ago
Reply to  Thren

Well done for leaving

alan
alan
8 years ago

My stbx actually wanted the divorce and I was working the lets work this out angle very hard. She finally admitted to an affair in my opinion to push me to divorce. It worked. What she didn’t expect was for me to tell her to leave our home and move out. I’m not sure what made me do it, but it’s the best decision I made. Even after she moved out, I still was hoping for reconciliation. I just thought it was a separation to work out everything. So, i was still begging to work it out. Even went to the MC one last time. She told me one day she had made an appointment with an attorney so I figured I should do the same. I went and listened to what my rights were but didn’t do anything at that time. Still hoping. Still trying to work it out. Then somehow I got up the nerve to file for divorce even though she was wanting it. I’m a logical thinker and I knew I had to protect myself and filing was the only way to do it. But I was still hoping she would come to her senses. Then I noticed a motel charge on the credit card for a local motel. I confronted her and she said she just needed to get away from her parents. So I believed her; however, i requested a copy of the charge from the credit card company. Well I forgot that i had requested it until one day i got a text from her telling me that she had opened the credit card response, sent to me at my address, and she fessed up to it being for a “friend”. Of course she didn’t stay there with him, he was just in town and didn’t have a credit card as he wasn’t planning to stay overnight. That was the breaking point for me. I knew we were done because she was still lying and covering up her actions. Shortly after I went no contact and started the process of detaching and accepting my marriage was over. It was extremely difficult for me even though I was seeing a counselor every week. He is good and told me early on there was likely someone else. But my progress was very slow and I was totally broken. Wasn’t sure how I was going to get through another day. So I started googling how to get past a divorce. Eventually I found a support website. From there, I found CL and CN. This blog has done more for my recovery than months of IC. I have made incredible progress in a very short time. My IC even mentioned how well i’m doing. So for me, the breaking point was realizing that she was going to continue to lie. I couldn’t live with that. Even if we got back together, I couldn’t trust her. So now i’m waiting on the final divorce which oddly her attorney is dragging out. Thanks to CL and CN I feel prepared for it and have hope that there will be a future for me. I can’t thank you enough CL for this site!

SDK
SDK
8 years ago
Reply to  alan

” Even if we got back together, I couldn’t trust her. So now i’m waiting on the final divorce which oddly her attorney is dragging out”

I filed too. But I realised why she is dragging feet.. because of money. She wants the car paid off etc.. so she is stalling waiting that I pay as much as possible.

Joke is on her… car is 4-5 years then it’s paid off. I wish her out of my life, if it wasn’t for the kids, I would have booted her long ago.

DeeL
DeeL
8 years ago
Reply to  alan

Well done Alan. You hang in there and you make sure that you get what you deserve out of your divorce. I was stupid, and mushy and I got screwed in the settlement. No mercy was shown to you and the divorce process is a business deal, show no mercy.

5jumpchump
5jumpchump
8 years ago

I can tell folks who are new to this… DO NOT follow the advice of many RIC (Reconciliation Industrial Complex) “save the marriage at all costs” websites, or listen to any therapist that insists you bear on atoms worth of blame for what the cheater did. I divorced my POS only having her tell me “she had feelings for someone at work, and we have never even held hands”… Sure, despite the other BS coming over to our home at D-Day +1, who I thought might kill you, with my daughter having to witness the who whole event.

After the initial shock wore off enough for me to function, I sat her down and said you have five days to tell me everything, go 100% NC with the other POS (quit job), with no guarantees that I will stay. Don’t do this, and YOU WILL receive divorce papers. She knew I am a man of my word, and not bluffing. Five days were up, and it was nothing but “I can’t switch off my feelings like that”, blaming me for her shit; “If you were a better husband, this would have never happened”, etc… Papers soon followed. Now she could really let the mask slip and become a total psychopathic bitch, but I was driven by purpose, preservation, and anger, and am SO GLAD to now longer have this piece of garbage in my life.

100% NC since 6/13, divorced since 12/13, so meh I couldn’t care less if she dropped dead, and grateful for every day I have. I have been dating a gal (chump) for over 2 years that shows me there are good ones out there, my daughter still loves and respects me, and the world continues to spin. Please folks, do whatever you can to get out of the mess these selfish fuckers tossed you into, and gain a new, calmer, much better life without them.

sephage
sephage
8 years ago
Reply to  5jumpchump

NICE! Love this. You rock for how you handled that!!

5jumpchump
5jumpchump
8 years ago
Reply to  sephage

Thank you sephage. I’m so fortunate, as it breaks my heart reading of people who have survived multiple D-Days, the agony they speak of from false reconciliation, feeling stuck and inert staying with a filthy cheater with no hope in limbo. Gotta say what really felt nice, and had me know I did the best for myself and daughter, was when was when I told her of my new girlfriend.

Just to say the word ‘girlfriend’ to my late teen daughter, was awkward, and I did not want to have her feel weird… Nope, she said the kindest thing I could ever hear:

“I’m happy for you dad.”

After having her guts ripped from her as so much collateral damage, being a well played pawn in a rigged game from her psychopathic mom who was dead-set to destroy me, she still had the ability to be kind and share joy with her dad… I knew then everything was gonna be fine, and never prouder of my kind, empathetic, wonderful daughter.

MsMatched
MsMatched
8 years ago
Reply to  5jumpchump

Wow this touches the heart. Wonderful.

sephage
sephage
8 years ago
Reply to  MsMatched

That’s awesome! I hope to extend a virtual high 5 to you when I eventually do the same with my daughter!

TheUpwardWay
TheUpwardWay
8 years ago

It finally happened when I laid aside thinking about
– what I wanted/needed
– how much I sacrificed
– how could this happen?
– how much years I put into it

…and did a hard analysis of what I actually had… and the answer was a negative number.

What’s the view like? Let’s see… it’s like climbing a steep mountain, and upon reaching the top you see the beautiful, panoramic view of the ocean. Someone asks, “How was it, going up the mountain?”

The answer: “What mountain? Don’t you see this view?”

DeeL
DeeL
8 years ago
Reply to  TheUpwardWay

I am so looking forward to being able to say “what mountain? Don’t you see this view?”

TheUpwardWay
TheUpwardWay
8 years ago
Reply to  DeeL

Stay the course, and make the tough decisions… climbing the mountain is challenging. But you’ll enjoy it when you get there DeeL.

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
8 years ago

To be perfectly honest, the affair was the impetus for me to dump the abusive d-bag. I was a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom with 5 kids. He had been emotionally (and spiritually) abusing me and the kids for years and years. And since the divorce I’ve realized that even though he never hit me, some of his actions would be considered physical abuse. He would drive like a maniac, not let me out of the car when he “needed” to say something hurtful, etc. I remember one time in particular when The Jerk was yelling at another driver and I was terrified that the other guy would come out of his car with a gun.

Life today is amazing. I’m not walking on eggshells any more. My home is peaceful. My youngest child graduated from high school in the spring, four of them are college students, and they are recovering from a childhood spent with an asshole.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

I struggled with the same kinds of abuse. I don’t think we really have a term for them. I kind of want to reserve “physical” abuse for people who have actually experienced damage or trauma to their body. I certainly never saw myself as physically abused. But the road rage infused driving, parking me in to places (so I couldn’t get in my car and leave without hitting his), blocking my access out of the bathroom so he could keep me trapped in a small space and rant at me, disabling the phones in the house (removing the batteries), threats that I should not call the police because he had already done so and reported that I was unstable and in fear of his safety, etc. All these kinds of manipulations of my person and options seem like something other than emotional abuse (though I got plenty of that too). I think part of the problem we have getting people who have never experienced the varieties of abuse to understand the problem or even that we have achieving understanding ourselves is that we literally lack the language to distinguish the range of ways a partner can be abusive.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

I’m with you, Elizabeth. I had an associate’s degree in “He Sucks” by the time D-day hit. I had come close to asking for a divorce the month before, and then found the notes preparing him for the sexual harassment officer for an affair with a student years before + condoms in his computer bag. Took pictures of the notes, left the condoms on the bed with a note saying, “We’re over. Go to a hotel.”

He came home, 3 minutes of silence while he composed his lies, then “Tempest, come talk to me.”
T: “no, leave.”
X implores me to talk to him several more times, I succumb (largely out of curiosity), and….Let the Mindgames Commence.

I moved into the guest room the night of D-day, gave him opportunities to tell the truth (ha ha ha) & make amends (as if), threw him out after 3 weeks, found CL a month after D-day, and filed a month later when it was clear the only remorse I was going to get was naugahyde remorse.

I guess the odds were ever in my favor, as divorce was the best thing I did for myself as an adult (after having children). Guess I graduated–and it must have been a B.S. degree (or is that anti-B.S. degree)?

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Anti-B.S. degree in Husbandry.

I am using this…

Mehphista
Mehphista
8 years ago

What made me realize it was tme for him to go was how he acted on D-day-angry, dismissive and blamey.

Once the mask slips and you finally see the reptilian hatred, it is oh so time to go…..

Fallulah G
Fallulah G
8 years ago

He contacted 30 different hookers in a 3hr period – trying to find one immediately (before I got home from shopping).

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

True, someone needs to develop an app for that.

Current Chump
Current Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Sadly Tempest-there many apps for that……and they are free………………
Want to guess how I know?

Thank god I don’t have to worry about that crap anymore!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Current Chump

Sorry you had to live through that : (

Current Chump
Current Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

It’s ok Tempest, I don’t really have to deal with the “Porno Theatre of Drama” that was my STBX much anymore-except for when it has to do with our son.

I used to be angry and insulted about his free piece of ass speed dial iPhone apps before, now I just see it as pathetic and gross.

In the famous words of another chump “Not my circus, not my monkey anymore!”

Portia
Portia
8 years ago

The bottom line for me is how have you been treated? If someone loves you, they may do some things you do not like, or things that unintentionally hurt you, but the love is there, and the respect is there. You can reconcile and compromise with another person who understands that life is about give and take. You cannot reconcile with someone who doesn’t consider you a part of a team, who is not invested in a future with you, When you realize that the person you partnered with has NO consideration for you or your welfare, has NO respect for you, DOES NOT look forward to a future with you, thinks of you as a “free” resource that can be drained of all value and then discarded, then you realize that your only option for survival is to leave.

My family of origin and the extended culture I grew up in was full of stories glorifying hard work and delayed gratification. Duty, Honor, Responsibility, Generous Giving. All of these things are wonderful Chump values, and have a place in running an organized and civilized society. However, protecting yourself from those who do not share those values, and learning to recognize users and con artists so that you can avoid them are important, too. No matter how strong you are, or how great your intentions are, you cannot do it all. Everyone needs a little help and understanding and support. If the person you are with has disrespected you by carrying on an activity behind your back while continuing to reap the benefits of being in at least a surface relationship with you — you need to sever that relationship. They know it is wrong — that is why they sneak around. They can argue and blame-shift all they want to — they are operating with bad intentions. It really does not matter if it is emotional or physical, if there is one AP or legions of them, once they lie, and continue to carry on and reap the “rewards” of an illicit and underhanded “other” relationship At Your Expense, it is time to go.

Everyone has different tolerance and a different time-table. You take it and try to change it until you realize one day that you cannot do it anymore. Then you leave.

The only regret I truly have about the whole thing is how long it took me to come to realize that I was done. It is not that I enjoyed any part of the experience of being betrayed, but I did learn an awful lot from it. It happened, and there were some bright spots that came from the (mostly) bad times. I have my sons, I have a much better understanding of what others are capable of, and my life experiences are a part of who I am. I cannot write off or revise my entire history because I made a bad choice in picking a mate. I just wish I had not been such a stubborn and prideful woman. I wish I had not kept myself isolated in Denial such a long time.

Living an authentic life is it’s own reward — once you realize all you gain by doing so, you will wonder why you let fear paralyze you for so long.

Renee62
Renee62
8 years ago
Reply to  Portia

I was stubborn, in denial & paralyzed by fear too.You expressed my experience better than I ever could. Thanks for the post. It hit home for me.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago
Reply to  Portia

^^^THIS^^ You express the thoughts I am unable to articulate, Portia.

Catlady Chump
Catlady Chump
8 years ago

I didn’t leave him, he sent me an “I’m moving out tomorrow” email and left. But, and it’s a doozy of a but, I’d had d-day #3 just days prior. I was still processing that the marriage was going to have to end when he left.

The actual turning point for me was the summer before he left, before I knew what gaslighting is. We were eating dinner as a family (all 3 kids sitting at the table with us) and I mentioned that I kept smelling a really strange odor at night. Kid #2 said she smelled it, too, and wasn’t that weird? X piped in and remarked, “Smelling phantom odors is a sign of mini-strokes.”

Unpacking that: 1) is it still a “phantom” odor when two people report the same experience?; 2) my mother had a series of mini-strokes, which can be hereditary; 3) kid #2 was having a really tough time and was seeing both a therapist and a psychiatrist at that time. He fucked with his own fragile child for no other reason that to fuck with her. (BTW, kid #2 and I later realized the smell was from X’s cigarillos which he smoked secretly on the back porch while slugging down massive quantities of tequilla.)

I realized right then and there that he was lying and manipulating me just because he could. I’d already been writing notes to myself about certain events because he would say, “You don’t remember xyz right,” so I had a log of crazy. From that point forward, I refused to accept his version of reality. I knew I wasn’t losing my mind and I would stick up for the actual events. That had to make him angry since he’d been saying black was white for years.

The road to divorce was long and full of potholes. It sucked. He sucks more. He left in 3/2012; the divorce was finalized in 7/2015. I’ve seen him exactly twice in that timeframe.

My kids are doing so. much. better. without that creep in their lives. I’m finally finishing my BA. We’re not hungry or homeless, which were my biggest fears. Truly, the fears about divorce were far worse than the actual divorce. And nothing was worse than feeling like a madwoman or a shadow in my own life when I was married.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  Catlady Chump

I relate to this so much. The whole time I was with ex (16 years) he was always doing this. Always telling me he had told me things he never did then telling me I was forgetful. After DDay, and after I kicked him out and he kept coming back “to talk” he started practicing some of his revisionist lines and gaslighting that I’m sure he was telling other people (OW, etc) too, for example… “Oh Please Muse. Our relationship was horrible and dozens of times I begged you to go to counseling with me, and every single time you refused.” What? I said, that never happened. “Oh, seriously Muse. We both know that as you are getting older, you are developing memory problems.” He also claimed that “every time with had another one of our knock down drag out fights,” (actually his abusive rage-athons), “Muse, you always threatened to move out.” He said that whopper right after telling me that I should move out of our home that I paid over 90% for, so that OW could move into my home with him, and that he had “already brought her here and she liked it.” INSANE.

Ohana
Ohana
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

So glad you are free of that guy, Muse.

creativerational
creativerational
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Ugh

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  Catlady Chump

I could have written that last paragraph. We spend so much energy doubting ourselves. You’er right “nothing was worse than feeling like a madwoman or a shadow in my own life when I was married.”

donna
donna
8 years ago

First of all I did not know I was living in an abusive relationship. I was busy taking care of children and working toward buying a home on minimum wage part time jobs. The cheating was ever present. He explained it away at first and I believed these women were throwing themselves at him until I found hard evidence. Things were good until the next time. I believed he loved me and never recognized the pattern of love bombing, devaluation, and discard I was experiencing. He was a master, good looks and a good guy image. The last fifteen years were aiving hell as the devaluation stage took on a life of it’s own. It took me seven years to complete my degrees and the payoff was increased control as he wanted me to support him since he “supported me” for years. X was upset when I joined a gym with my friends, bought clothes, and talked on the phone with my friend. X started a campaign to make me look bad to our adukt chikdren. He wanted me to be with him all the time and I was forever waiting for him to come home and by then he was always too tired, full of complaints, and health issues. I lived him and supported him through prostate cancer, alcoholism, and his getting high daily. I was selfless and I learned not to have needs. The periods of “dating” multiple women at a time all the while blaming it on me became unbearable, yet I was still in his holding pattern until the final DDay. He HATED me. I saw it in his eyes. His mask slipped. The outrageously cruel things he said and did were not necessary and were meant to destroy me, the loving wife and mother of his children.

He didn’t just want to leave, he wanted to erase my very existence. He initiated no contact as soon as I threw him out. Deep down I wanted him to pick me however the pain his actions caused this time made me realize I needed help to stop loving him.

Therapy caused me more pain when I had to desk with the truth, he never loved me. This was a man who could be in the delivery room one minute and standi outside the delivery room with his “work friend” to show off his child later that same day. Every memory with him was tainted once I knew he was a sociopath.

Therapy also helped me, along with medication to file for divorce even though I still loved him. When I opened our health insurancr statements (his by accident) and saw multiple office visits and testing for HIV I was beyond crushed. When I asked him about it he laughed. I learned to STOP gaining evidence.

Getting to the other side alone was difficult even with medication and a great therapist. It took a nation of chumps to get through the lowest of lows throughout the grieving process which I work through daily. I forgive myself fior my past and believe Reconcilliation keeps the abuse going regardless of their acting abilities.

The other side? At first it felt bleak while detatching from the chaos of living wit a cheater. It’s a fucking painful process with out a doubt, facing the fears and self doubt. My identity was tied to a monster who disrespected and devalue me fior 36 years. I found strength,truth,and kindness here. After 15 months I continue to work in myself whic is necessary. I’m wort it. I deserved to be cherished and to have my emotional needs met. It takes courage fir a chump to move on from living a lie with a coward. It was worth everything I went through to get to the other side. This is where I can smile. Thank you CL and CN.