Why Did You Stay?

desperate_hand

Why did you stay? Chump Nation was theorizing about why Beyonce stays in her marriage — what was your reason? Fear of failure? Living alone with cats? You still loved the idiot after 17 D-Days?

Most of ran with the unicorn herd for awhile. Some of us are still working it out, either hanging in there to see if the remorse is real, or lining up the ducks in case it isn’t.

I’ve outlined why folks stay with cheaters before, but I don’t think I’ve ever directly asked Chump Nation what kept you there?

For myself, I’d say it was a big morass of disbelief (I still loved the jerk, it was 6 months after my wedding), hopium, not wanting the OW to “win” (cringe!), skein untangling (his, not mine), misdirected loyalty (failure is NOT an option!), and later Machiavellian attempts to “reconcile” while trying to get a post-nup. Every moment completely soul crushing. If I’d paid better attention, I would’ve seen from the start he wasn’t One Bit Sorry, despite his spasmodic “remorse.”

But my idiocy and his mindfuckery brought you Chump Lady. So, hey, it wasn’t a total loss.

So tell me chumps — what kept you stuck with a cheater?

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Heather
Heather
9 years ago

Fear! Fear of failure. Fear of being like my mother. Fear of my children being raised the way I had been, from a broken home. Fear of being less than lovable. Fear of financial distress. Fear that others would not blame the cheater, but me…. For not being enough of a wife. You name the fear and I most likely experienced it. The first affair that I knew about was after six years of marriage. The second one that I found out about was after the death of one child and two additional children, some ten to twelve years later. Both were discovered by husbands calling me on the phone.

I had to get the fear in a place where I could manage it after my children were grown, after thirty two years of marriage. I still struggle but my life has changed. My new husband is the greatest blessing! But so much damage has gripped my soul and the triggers pop up.

Oh how I could have done things differently had it not been for my fears.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
9 years ago

It was a matter of personal integrity, love for a spouse, bad counsel, mixed up religious understanding, financial dependence, and seriously low self-esteem that kept me stuck.

1) I am the type of person who keeps his word or at least, tries to make it better if I fail. It never occurred to me that people exist who do not care about their word (like my xw). That was the integrity piece.

2) And I genuinely loved my now ex-wife. Thankfully, I am now free, and that love is directed at a more worthy person–Ms. Fiestypants (and Munchkin).

3) Bad counsel. That’s a post or multiple posts in itself. Wish the “professionals” had been more attuned to how damaging and dangerous her emotional affair(s) were as well as less easily triangulated by her.

4) Mixed up religious understanding. I did not feel free to divorce. It took the adulterous revelation to feel that freedom in the end. Even then, I was hoping it did not end in divorce not wanting her ‘to win’ making her file, not me. In retrospect, I wish I would have filed in some ways. But I am somewhat ambivalent on the matter still.

5) Financial dependence. My (now ex) wife left me at one of my most vulnerable times professionally in my life. I was just getting started. I share a little about that on my post yesterday (http://www.divorceminister.com/one-day-at-a-time/)

6) I was very discouraged and needy struggling to self-support. I probably was depressed at that time. Needed some serious work in my life spiritually and emotionally to reground myself in my eternal worth and identity. This healing and work gave me strength to move forward (that and God opening some amazing doors to fulfilling work).

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
9 years ago

Pretty much the same reasons as DM, except I didn’t need him financially. I am very grateful I am no longer that person who was imprisoned by her fears. They all proved to be groundless.

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago

you just explained my reason so much better then i could have. so i am using yours to go off of.

It was a matter of personal integrity, love for a spouse, bad counsel, mixed up religious understanding, financial dependence, and seriously low self-esteem that kept me stuck.

1) I am the type of person who keeps her word or at least, tries to make it better if I fail. It never occurred to me that people exist who do not care about their word. It took me YEARS AND YEARS to figure out that i was the only person trying to save our marriage. And even thou he was saying all the right things, his actions were proven otherwise. i was taught to keep your promises, and if you want something bad enough you keep fighting for it (and i wanted my marriage and boyman) and most that you do not give up on someone you love just because they make a bad decision. (took me a while to figure out that he was doing it on purpose). i also did not want to be one of the losers that couldnt stay married (sorry chump nation) That was the integrity piece.

2) I loved my XH unconditionally. i soon figured out that he was a follower, couldnt think for himself, was weak and spineless, and couldnt handle “normal”. who made very bad decisions that effected the whole family and that i would be the one to hold my family together, that i would be forever cleaning up his f*ck up and messes. and i loved him anyways. i believe he never really understood that, how could i still love him after he did _____. no matter how much i tried to tell him, explain to him he never could “get it”. And of course it was not reciprocal. his love did have conditions, ones that i just couldnt met apparently.

3) Bad counsel. mainly people who have spent years married. who knew what our “issues” were and realized that our “problems” really were not that bad. i was told that “everyone goes thru that”, “you are fighting over the stupidest things”, “its not that bad, it could be worse” and “you just need to work it out”. So i kept trying to fix it, and if i was married to a “normal” person we could have fixed it. but you cant fix a problem if the other person refuses to acknowledge it, will not admit to doing any wrong and tries to hide every stupid little thing he did. you cant fix it if the other person, purposely lies to you and continues to do the same damn things behind your back. our problems were the same as any other married couple had, aggravated by his drinking episodes. but like i have said before. i would have stayed by his side thru it all, i just couldnt hand the having sex with some random hoodrat.

4) Mixed up religious understanding. I did not believe in divorce. It took the adulterous revelation to free me since even the church believes it is an acceptable reason to divorce. we got married in the catholic church, it is one of the 7 sacraments. dont get me wrong, i have sinned many others ways, i do not go to church EVERY sunday. i dont follow all the rules but this was important. very important. And i took it as a promise to God. i take promises very seriously and how in the world can you break a promise you made to God!?!?! it was just unimaginable for me. I even went to the priest hoping for some magically, spiritually fix for XH, only the priest himself told me i needed to divorce this man, and that divorce is not a sin in the catholic religion, (only remarriage is a sin….YAY forever single because of XH wondering dick), that given the reasons i told him, he believes it would be in the best interest for me to divorce XH.

5) Financial dependence. i can not pay the monthly mortgage payment plus the utilities on this house. my paycheck just does not cover the month fees. when he was giving me money we were doing really really good. was able to go on vacations and buy things like 4 wheelers and jet skis. now he is not even paying child support and i am struggling to keep what i have. of course things are breaking because boyman never kept up the maintenance on anything (including our marriage), he would buy stuff and then let it fall apart, it was like he couldnt get enough stuff (like a small child hordes candy or toys) but he never took the effort to keep the stuff going or in good condition. so not only do i not get paid enough to pay the monthly bills, i have zero money to fix all this other stuff that needs attention. it makes me very sad to see all our hard work go to shits. i would probably be doing ok if boyman would pay half of his child support but he seems to have forgotten all about me and the boys i gave him.

6) I was very discouraged and needy struggling to self-support. I probably was depressed at that time. i was still going thru the pain of losing my eldest child. i still wasnt thinking “Straight”. i was struggling on paying the bills, taking care of the children, laundry, house, yard, vehicles. working mostly on auto pilot (and did a damn good job of it too), trying to figure out “what was wrong with XH” and “WTF is going on”. i talked and talked and talked and talked to him, asking what was going on, even so far as asking him what i was doing wrong and what he wanted me to do to change it. mostly got stonewalled or gaslighted and being as my head wasnt on right, it blew right past me. honestly, i never thought he would leave us, i just thought we were going thru some hard times. we really never did communicate well as boyman didnt like to talk about emotions and feelings. probably because he is shallow and doesnt have any and drinks away any little feelings he has. in the end, he told me i got “BORING”. i dont think he wanted to stay with the hoodrat, i dont think he really wanted a divorce, he just wanted me to run after him and beg him to stay. i could have him back if i lowered my values and morals AGAIN….i couldnt do it. i loved him more then anything but i could do it again. i couldnt live like that anymore. i am still struggling with that even to this day but i feel i made the right choice. now all this other behavior came after the divorce and he abandoned us. never thought he would, but i guess it really is a blessing in disguise. now i am just trying to move forward.

Mehphista
Mehphista
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

MrsVain,

You. Are. So. Mighty.

Never forget that, please.

x-Meh.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

Mrsvain, don’t misunderstand the Catholic thing. Remarriage is fine for you, you just have to get an annulment if you want to get remarried in the church, which you can get because he invalidated the marriage. it’s not a sin to divorce an adulterous spouse. It’s a sin in the eyes of the church for him to divorce you in order to keep committing adultery with the OW.

MrsVain
MrsVain
9 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

I divorced him. and it is a lot harder to get an annulment. you need witnesses on both side. i doubt i will find anyone on his side that actually thinks what he did was a bad thing. and then more then one witness. smh. i am not worried about it right now. i am finally just getting to the point where i am ok with what i did and sometimes seeing how much better off i and the kids are.

unicornomore
unicornomore
9 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

In Catholicism, even adultery does not invalidate a sacramental marriage. Theoretically and ideally, annulments are not granted based on what happened in the marriage, they are based on circumstances at the time of the marriage. Was it valid on that day? My husband told me dozens of times that our marriage was invalid because he was so reluctant that day, he claims he never “gave consent” (I dont remember putting a gun to his head) but it was a ready excuse as to why he was a crappy husband.

Early in our unicorny reconciliation (at about 19 yrs of marriage) I asked him to renew our vows since he had convince me they weren’t valid. He promised to renew at our 25th anniversary then he backed out.

When I found him dead on the floor, the thought that we would never follow through with that broke my heart…it meant the world to me and he simply refused…it was a good indicator of just how crappy our reconciliation was.

I stayed and stayed and now living life without him, I wish I had divorced him years ago…I would have experienced financial devastation but I wish now that he would have lived to see the back of my head leaving him. Even the big pile of money I got when he died didnt make this worth it.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Okay unicornomore you are being silly. He’s dead, and therefore not able to cheat anymore. You have his money. You won. The kharma bus got him and you didn’t need to bankrupt yourself.

He didn’t give you what you want because he’s a narcissist. If you hadn’t wanted it, he would’ve been all over it. Disordered is the perfect word because these people think they can’t achieve anything, be anything, unless they win/steal it away from someone else. They don’t know how to love or why they should.

Stop beating yourself up and enjoy his money. I have no money, it’s fucking hard. Indulge in what you like, get an awesome pet and you might eventually meet someone you enjoy sharing company with. Do not believe you need what he purposely withheld to torture you. I mean really. What an asshole. And now that asshole is dead. Carry on.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Unicorn, I will never ever understand ‘why’ they are so flipping horrible and how they can annihilate another person like that. I know it is narcissism, but I can’t actually go into those shoes and understand destroying another person like that. That is just some abusive stuff you wrote there, like he pissed on it ONLY because it was important to you.

with brave wings
with brave wings
9 years ago

I made my ex file, too. I didn’t want to actually pay for it and I didn’t want to be the one who “gave up” for other people to judge me. I thought it would make me look like the good person, haha! I wish I would have filed and I still regret it to this day. My ex now uses the fact that he filed to prove that he wanted out so bad and he made the decision to leave me. In real life, he was screwing his co worker but he doesn’t tell people that.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago

I refused to file too even though he was trying to make me. I kept telling him I didn’t want a divorce and I wasn’t willing to do his dirty work for him.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Lynn, x filed twice and cancelled. The third time I filed and I wish I had a video of his veins popping and the anger he had when he got the papers. He screamed, I wanted to file. HaHA what a sick man. It doesn’t really matter who files, so they say. It was the best money I ever spent in my life!!

Chris W.
Chris W.
9 years ago

I made my ex file, too. He had left my house 11/13, and I consulted with a couple of attorneys who all said the same thing: “He’s going to quit (or get intentionally fired from) his $200K+ job, take a job for $70k, and then you’re going to be stuck paying HIM alimony”. I said something along Irish ‘ s infamous line, “HELL to the NO. FUCK THAT SHIT” and said, “I’ll just stay married forever and he won’t be free to marry OW”. Sure enough, when he did file, he did EXACTLY what those initial attorneys said he was going to do. Got intentionally fired so he could move 2000 miles away to live off of OW and claimed to the court “I estimate I’ll only be able to get a job making $70k”. (It was eerie that he chose the exact number cited by those initial attorneys.) I fought to not pay him alimony, and I won. In the end, I got most everything I wanted, so it didn’t matter that he filed first. Almost none of his family speaks to him any longer, they know he’s a liar, so I don’t care if he uses the “I filed first card”.

I didn’t do the pick me dance or stay very long after this last DDay. Over 20 years and 10 years married to him, he cheated on me three times (that I know of) and cheated on his first wife 4 times (that we know of), so I knew I didn’t want to do his serial cheating for the rest of my life. But I initially tried to work it out as my boys were only 6 and 2 at the time, and wanted them to have both parents. I don’t regret it. I can look my boys in their eyes both now and in 30 years to say, “I didn’t cause the family to break up and I gave him every opportunity to come back and be remorseful”. The EH is not capable of remorse, and I know now he’s a narcissist sociopath. But I can sleep at night, knowing I did what I could.

Whatawaste
Whatawaste
9 years ago
Reply to  Chris W.

Don’t be surprised that your lawyer nailed that scenario and number, if they were your ec’s attorney, that’s what they would have advised. Part of chump healing is shedding our stubborn naïveté and accepting ugly truths. I’m still working on it three years later.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Whatawaste

That story shows why anyone who has discovered infidelity, and especially if a spouse has left, ought to think about filing right away, to establish the economic status quo in a legal sense. It was just as likely that Chris W’s story could have turned out the other way, with her struggling to pay alimony to a hyena living with an OW while supporting the kids. Either way, her X got out of supporting the kids at the level he had previously established.

Chris W.
Chris W.
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

I know. There is so much I’m sure we could all contribute to an entire “Divorce” section on CL. I wonder if he would have just signed anything after DDAY to be with OW. My inclination says “no”, knowing him like I do, but it’s an interesting proposition.

My parents went through a horrific divorce 25 years ago. They literally were like the Roses in the Michael Douglas/Kathleen Turner War of the Roses movie. They fought over everything, like $5 coffee tables they bought in 1968 at flea markets. It was like what the Billy Crystal character said in “When Harry Met Sally”: “put your names in your books, because in 20 years, you’re going to spend $1000 for this dish at the law firm of ‘That’s Yours, This Is Mine'” My mom was a SAHM and the lawyers convinced her they could run up her legal bills, because the court would make my father pay them all. This was 25 years ago and NOT TRUE. My mom ended up with $300,000 in legal fees and lost 5 properties due to liens on all of them by the lawyers. I knew in my own divorce, once I rounded close to $15,000 in legal fees, I could fight him to pay child support at a $200K level, but at what cost? Would I have $50,000 in legal fees and even if I won, 6 months later he’d go back to court and have it reduced. And I’d still have a monster legal bill.

I’m not an athlete, but you hear great athletes say all the time, “give me the ball”. I know I’m like that in my job/career. I’d rather have my destiny in my hands. I know I can provide for my boys, and now I’m not saddled with monstrous debt. Which lawyers are all too happy to wrack up, as you’re hurting and you want the EH to pay. I know he’s going to pay, whether that’s karma or the burny place in the after life.

Everyone is different, and I’d love to hear stories of chumps who made the EX pay their legal fees. I just wanted to be free of not only the pathological, disordered EX, but also of debt from lawyers. Total freedom to be with my babies.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  Chris W.

Good job. You were smart and saved yourself a lot of heartache.

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

I’m a HUGE advocate for that!

Tracy, I wonder if you should have a whole chapter on what to do after D-day, or at least a page to link to here. We have all put our heads together on some really great advice that any chump should follow immediately. There is plenty of time for mourning after all the papers are signed. But a chump has to shake the chumpness off for a second, and stand up for once, and take charge.

D-day is when the cheater is riding HIGHEST on infatuation and mania. I remember the ex stating proudly and excitedly and confidently, “There will be PLENTY of money.”

Wah-wah! For me, maybe, but not for him. The dude was blinded by true love. THAT is when you put the papers in front of them–they will sign anything, because they don’t care about anything else. The idiot had NO idea what he was in for, hadn’t really thought through consequences. The heart wants what it wants, you know?

It was just dumb luck, I guess, that I was so outraged and indignant. He can call it vindictive if he wants–in the end, I won, because I reacted swiftly and with surety.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

I don’t think anyone can get through the pain immediately. It’s a process. And situations vary.

I would love to “eternal sunshine on a spotless mind” be rid of all this, but at the end of the movie, even that didn’t work. I hate it, but we have to process the pain. And we think they aren’t in pain, but it’s a different, “why don’t I have any character?” kind of pain. It presents like anger or indifference, but it’s really, “why am I not feeling anything when people around me are.” It’s pyschopathy or narcissism. Either way it’s dysfunctional, and I don’t think that they are in bliss while we are in hell.

But it probably is easier for them to move on, while we are stuck. So what can we do to unstick ourselves is the real question.

Buddy
Buddy
9 years ago
Reply to  Chris W.

Wow, what a dick head he was.

Good for you. Way to stick up for yourself. Your boys are better off.

Still, it all sucks, but that is why we are here. Else we’d be watching cat videos on you tube.

jung_admirer
jung_admirer
9 years ago

It was fear in the beginning, but eventually that subsided and I had a choice to make. I realized the marriage of 25 yrs had burned to the ground (PA during MLC). The question was: Do I build a new relationship with this woman? We negotiated terms/needs for the new relationship and I gave her the opportunity to demonstrate true remorse and atonement. She chose to make amends in the manner which I required. We are 2.5 yrs post DDay, and I did not make it easy. I’ve also spent that entire time in psychotherapy, and I am a very different person. The big difference is the emotional strength to demand and offer very clear boundaries … and a post-nup should she chose to violate those boundaries in a any significant way. Is it perfect? No. I don’t think it’s a unicorn, but I am happier than I have ever been. Kindest Regards-

working it out
working it out
9 years ago
Reply to  jung_admirer

I wish you well.

Arnold
Arnold
9 years ago
Reply to  jung_admirer

Fear. I had a disabled son and a toddler at the time I found out about my first wife cheAting. And despite all the abuse ( which I did not recognize as abuse) , I still loved her. I was in so much pain that I did not know what to do.
it took my wife’s sister urging me to divorce her to get me going on divorce.
in my second marriage , I saw a lawyer and filed right away.

SixYearChump
SixYearChump
9 years ago
Reply to  jung_admirer

It’s good to hear that you’re happy. Question: how are you managing the trust issues? I’m certain my XBF would like to get back together with me, but I have a laundry list of terms that I’m pretty sure he can’t or won’t fulfill. But, let’s suppose could/would. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life as the boyfriend police. I want to be peaceful. Have you achieved that? If so, how?

jung_admirer
jung_admirer
9 years ago
Reply to  SixYearChump

Trust only improves over time as he respects your laundry list (boundaries).Trust will never improve to the pre-betrayal level, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I had my W on a pedestal, extending an absolute trust that was naive and unwise. I refuse to be the marriage police, but it did take me a while to understand how to achieve peace. Consider this: You know how it feels to be connected emotionally to your partner. The best indication of a potential problem is unexplained emotional detachment/withholding. This is what I am very sensitive to now … Is my partner engaging me? Is she vulnerable? Is she transparent?

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  jung_admirer

Jung, feeling the change in the connection w/my partner was what cued me to the first affair, even before he had screwed her. And so I trusted that I would feel it again if he screwed around again, didn’t have to do the marriage police. Worked just fine! I think he’s still wondering how I figured it out so fast, when the affair was occurring in another city!

But my ex was transparent to me in that way – I know a lot of cheaters hide their affairs much better. NOT a good sign of ANYTHING that they lie so well!

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  jung_admirer

Willowchump, it is so hard to get past the discard. They become part of us because we love them too much. We believed we had something and it was gone. It reminds me of someone taking a video of a violent crime. I want to scream, put the camera down and call 911 or help the person. They lived outside the relationship. Mine did for 41 years. We can’t apply logic to sick individuals. I was devastated because he initiated no contact. His ho wouldn’t allow him to speak to me. That was initially when I wanted to at least talk to him. It rips us apart when we wonder first how we thought they loved us and then have to come to terms that they cant really love anyone but themselves. It takes time to heal. It does take a lot of energy. You will get there I am sure. Finding the right therapist and taking medication helps me the most. Hopefully you are seeing someone who understands Narcissistic Relationships. I had to learn to set boundaries in all my relationships. Just today I had a thought I wanted to share with him and caught myself. I have dreams of running through a house with hundreds of rooms calling out his name and I cant find him. We have to accept they are gone and we cant fix them. When you think of all the energy you put into him over the years know you have the strength. We have it, we just have to learn to put that energy into ourselves. We have to learn to be selfish.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

willowchump–When Jackass pulled the discard, I felt physically sick. I panicked because I pretty much had known exactly where he was and what he was doing every day. We talked and texted and saw each other every day, even when we didn’t live together. Then–nothing. Not a word. I wasn’t married to the Jackass and it has been almost 19 months for me. I am far more functional–I can eat and exercise and work and enjoy life. But–I am still healing and not at all ready to do more than work on myself.

I take it you are still living with this guy? That is what you mean by “no trust and no guts to confront the issues”? willow chump, I hope you are getting some therapy for the trauma you are experiencing. You will get the “guts” by rebuilding yourself because clearly something is amiss if you are this unhappy and too paralyzed to save yourself. Because that is what I hope you do–save yourself. Enlist some help. Tell someone–a therapist, a family member, a friend–what is going on and move from there. Hugs, hugs, hugs. You can do it.

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  jung_admirer

I agree. I believe my H s emotionally detached. And withholding. Literally makes me sick to my stomach. Can’t eat or sleep and it’s almost a year. Still losing weight. No trust and no guts to confront the issues.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

Jung, cheaters don’t have respect. They look for partners who are vulnerable. I did find a way to find peace, I divorced the asshole. It feels a whole lot more peaceful trusting myself. So we have to use our emotional connection to our cheater to detect future abuse? Narcissists/cheaters are not connected to their spouses emotional needs. Its like digging a hole and waiting for the bomb to hit. Its better in my opinion to climb out of the hole keep your dignity.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Jung, aren’t there boundaries defined by marriage vows? What are the clear boundaries?

jung_admirer
jung_admirer
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Sure there are boundaries defined by marriage, but our marriage needed some more specific boundaries. No opposite sex friends, no social events with opposite sex colleagues, communicate once a day during the workday, advise of all former partner communication, privacy but no secrecy in communication… These are just some of the details that aren’t addressed in marriage vows.

brinn
brinn
9 years ago

My children weren’t young… 16 and 14 at the time D day imploded our family. He made me complicit in his destruction by telling them that “Your Mother and I are having problems and we may separate or divorce” instead of telling them the truth and saying ” I am fucking another woman and your Mother is having difficulty accepting this”. I eventually had long talks with both of them and was honest…. but that day… that day my 14 year old son fell to pieces and literally crumbled into the fetal position on the sofa and cried and shook. I put my hand on the back of his head and and told him how completely sorry I was. I made him a promise… I promised him that I would do whatever it took to keep him going to the high school we had planned. That I would work two jobs if I had to so that we could still live near enough.

Eventually I told my spouse he had to leave the home. He did. But has so many do, in less than 6 months after moving out things fizzled with his Schmoopie Poo and he wanted to “work on us”. If I had not had the responsibilities of kids or I had been making much more money, I would have said no to a reconciliation. It has been 2 years since he has moved back. To say I have had a difficult time would be the world’s greatest understatement. I have not spackled his behavior. I have drowned myself in work and filled each minute of everyday with activity to attempt to stop my brain from thinking. I truly am not trying to be a Martyr, honestly. I have learned there are far worse things than not being happy. Fear. I was so fucking afraid that my babies would bear the brunt of his midlife fuck up. My daughter I knew would be fine but I wasn’t done raising my son… he was so vulnerable…I made a decision based on fear. I own that. I continue coming here and reading all the posts. I use to be a confident, articulate, witty woman. I am now far stronger than I ever thought possible but I have a whole new slew of insecurities and I no longer laugh.
My son… my beautiful 6’5″ Varsity Basketball and Varsity Volleyball Scholar athlete… he is doing well. My gut hopes I made the right decision

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  brinn

i would have stayed for my children too. i never wanted them to have a broken family. never wanted to split holidays and have them shuffle between 2 houses. like Itsajourney said, i was unhappy and stuck in the marriage for 12.5 years, whats another 12.5 years? i would have done anything to keep my children happy, safe and secure (even if it was an illusion) but in my case XH didnt want to do it. he wanted whatever the fuck it was he wanted, since he didnt talk to me i could only guess…..but he wanted to drink. to drink whenever, however, whatever he wanted. he didnt want to have to choice between doing the right thing for your family, wife and kids, he didnt want to be made to “Feel bad” for not coming home after another all nighter out with whoever accepts his drinking. even thou i wasnt saying much towards the end, he still felt bad because he knew he was fucking up…..

but he just didnt want to try to fix our problems or our marriage. it is beyond my understanding but i could do it alone. believe me i tried. now a year later, a few issues at first with anger and the littlest crying at a drop of a hat, both boys are doing good. in fact they are better then i am doing (only i dont show my damage to them) they are both doing well in school, if not better then before. they have both handled the disappearance of dear old daddy better then i am. they had done counseling and are well on their way.

i cant say it is “Better” for them but they are doing good. my worries for them were needless because they learned to deal with it themselves. although i am still sad that they have a broken family, that boyman burned his bridges with his own children, and i still worry about the future (mainly when boyman remembers he has boys and wants to visit with them),,,, we are all doing fine. taking one day at a time.

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

I, too, stayed for my son, who is now an adult. First cheating was when I was pregnant, and the ex confessed after I gave birth. I kicked him out but forgave him. Fast forward 10 years, and he cheated once again. I filed for divorce this time and he begs and begs for forgiveness and I took him back. Another 13 years and the final OW. Son is now an adult and I kicked out the cheater as fast as I could. Divorce was final within 3 months from the final DDay. Do I regret staying? Yes, I absolutely do. My son turned out to be a wonderful person and I believe he would have turned out the same if I left the cheater sooner. But this is a tough one to “know”. Who truly knows what would happen in our lives had we chosen a different path? There’s no way to play that game and get the “right” answer, so I don’t go there. But whenever I hear about a newly minted chump, I am quick to advise to run because for me, living with a cheater was constantly keeping the outside pretty so I can ignore that my life was actually a living hell.

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

*couldnt do it alone

sorry

itsAJourney
itsAJourney
9 years ago
Reply to  brinn

Brinn, I feel for you. After 3 years of living with my cheater, I’ve peeled away layers of excuses for staying: financial dependence, fear of being alone, fear that I won’t be able to manage my household. I’ve done a LOT of personal work, and I’m down to what I truly feel is the core of my staying; fear of losing my family unit, and especially of putting my two teenage (14/16) boys into an emotional tail spin.

Like you, I can hardly stomach the thought of, what feels like, dropping a bomb on their (supposedly happy) world. Things are good. Life is good. My kids have been happy and successful. My older 4 are out of the house, and doing wonderfully. I want the same for my teenage boys as well. For the life of me, I can’t comprehend why this wasn’t enough for my serial-cheater husband.

I had originally planned to stay until the boys graduated from high school. It’s a long time, I know, but I’ve been in this F’d up relationship for nearly 30 years, and 3 years since D-day, so what’s another 4? I thought it would be easier for my boys if they were transitioning into college, and out of the house.

But guess what? Recently, somebody here at CL gave me a new perspective. I can’t remember who it was, but their response to my “leaving after they graduate” plan was, “what makes you think it will be easier after they graduate?” I gave it a lot of thought… I now realize that I’ve got to deal with this crappy situation BEFORE they graduate. I want to be WITH them. I want to be able to get them into counseling, to deal with the fallout, to give them a sense of safety, and solid foundation as they move into the next stage of their life.

I wish you the best Brinn.

On a side note… It makes me spitting mad to think that these serial cheating, narcissistic pigs have ZERO concern for how their behavior affects their families. They just do what they want, and take what they want while everybody around them deals with the fallout.

TimeToGo
TimeToGo
9 years ago
Reply to  itsAJourney

My parents spent my high school years miserable. My mom was depressed and almost suicidal, but rather than divorcing they stuck it out. Then the second I hit the college campus she filed. My siblings all agree they should have done it sooner. I understand her reasoning and it would have been difficult either way. My boys are 8 and 10 and I can’t wait any longer. I should have done it 5 years ago but I was not ready.

Feistypants
Feistypants
9 years ago
Reply to  itsAJourney

I also third that comment. Waiting until they graduate doesn’t make it any easier. There’s no magic button that suddenly turns on at 18. There’s no “good time” to go through this shit, plain and simple. It’s shit when they’re 2 and it’s still a rotting pile of shit when they’re 24. It doesn’t grow in equity, there’s no interest or return on the “investment.” You’re only fooling yourself if you play that game.

Lizzy
Lizzy
9 years ago
Reply to  itsAJourney

I would just like to agree with whoever said “What makes you think it will be easier after they graduate.” For me, D-day and separation occured while my daughter was a freshman in college, less than 2 months after she moved out. There is nothing worse than getting a phone call from a child who is crying so hard she can’t talk… you can’t hold her, you can’t look her in the eye and tell her it will be OK. It is never easy so don’t wait. Like ItsAJourney said, you want to be WITH them.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Lizzy

Speaking as a college teacher, I agree that it never gets easier for kids to navigate the break up of a family. In the meantime, they can learn some pretty crippling lessons about pretending that the family is OK, about tolerating abuse and infidelity, and about sacrificing self-respect for “the sake of the children.” Kids at all ages can be amazingly resilient. And if a kid is not resilient–if a kid is fragile–it’s possible to support him or her with good counseling and perhaps therapy that includes all the kids and the Chump.

Brinn, your son has need of a mother who is happy and vibrant, who can take a few minutes for a hot cup of coffee to think about the day, who feels confident and loved, who can laugh. He has far more need of that mother than any artificially re-constructed “home.” I think you know that but you are scared to risk change. What will your son feel when he leaves home and you divorce? That the divorce is his fault because he grew up and reached for his own life? When cheaters blow up the family, none of the choices are good.

brinn
brinn
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

I do not disagree with a single word you’ve said. I weighed my options… at the time (over 2 years ago) I chose financial stability over personal happiness. I did the research (tons) and read so many stories of how so many women struggle through financial ruin after a divorce- the kids suffering the most. I was afraid that my son watching me face these daunting obstacles would spin him into depression and he would turn to drugs, sex — and ultimately falling through the cracks with low grades etc.
I was seeing a therapist at the time and I retained a attorney, their advice given my financial situation, was to keep it together. I am not ignoring any of the stories I’ve read here, or even Tracy’s own life story– but for me, financial stability was a bigger fear that trumped everything else.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  brinn

Sounds like you made the best decision you could make. Sometimes none of the options are glorious, and you have to puck the one that you can live with.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  brinn

Thanks for responding to what we wrote. You did the research and you’re following advice. You sound like your eyes are wide open.

I get the financial decision and the concern for your son, although I think you would be surprised at the value of struggle in a child’s–that’s the real purpose of sports and music physics and other tough activities. They teach kids that things can be hard and it’s important to persevere. They teach struggle and disappointment and the satisfaction of achievement. In 30 years of teaching, I have NEVER seen a kid fall into alcohol, drugs, sex or leave school because a caring parent was struggling financially. And I taught in inner-city Pittsburgh during the collapse of the steel industry, so there was a lot of massive struggle going on–people losing jobs, homes. Whole neighborhoods in turmoil, churches and schools closing. Just something to think about if you ever change your mind. Your son might be a lot stronger and more resilient than you think.

But if you’re going to stay for your son, why not make a commitment to your own mental health? What would it take to make you happy in this situation? Dinner out with the girls once a week? A room in the house for yourself? A garden? A hobby like photography or baking? Yoga or zumba or a collie class? Instead of not thinking, why not think in a journal? Or make a vision board? Or spend an hour a week thinking with a therapist or with your best friend over coffee? If you’re going to stay, give yourself and your son the gift of learning how to be happy, even in the toughest of circumstances.

brinn
brinn
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

*smiles*… Well funny you should mention that. What gives me a sense of purpose now (has been for the last three years actually) is the Basketball Boosters. I began as Vice President and am now President. And my new career that I began after D day… my company manufactures and exports rc racing tires. Did you know that there is an entire industry devoted to rc racing all over the globe? People actually make a substantial living at it!

Thank you so much for your advice. Each and every word you’ve expressed has not fallen on deaf ears.

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Although a collie class sounds WONDERFUL!!

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

good grief–COLLEGE class, not COLLIE. 🙂

EnoughAlready
EnoughAlready
9 years ago
Reply to  brinn

Hello, Brinn.

This is from a mom of two, girl three years older than boy. Separated but did not divorce (in process now, seven years after I moved out). She’s out on her own w/a degree and a job-ish; he’s trending. Just saying that I’m speaking from the trenches, and I look back and shake my head in befuddlement at how hard it was. I apologized to my daughter once for having stayed so long and then for having left, and laughed at myself for the double-bind I put myself in. It doesn’t seem to matter what I did; I still felt guilt. So just trying to say here I can appreciate your position and your decision. It was kid-centric, and you paid a price. You would have paid a price for leaving, too. You made the best choice you knew how to make under the circumstances.

I respectfully disagree with Jen that your son, at 16.5, is far from being independent. I found with my children that home is not some kind of foster care that they age out of at 18. They are just as much in need of a support system for awhile longer; it’s just a different kind of space that you create so that they can be the ones to lead the process of separating and establishing independence. This didn’t come with a guidebook for me, and as a single parent with a critical father putting his .02 in from a safe distance, it was rough. Empty nest? Boy howdy, bring it!

One suggestion I have is that you consider getting your beautiful son into counseling. Just as it was your job to take care of him, it may be the case that it’s been his job to be okay. That’s a pretty heavy load for kids; I’m the reason that my family is still together and my mother has become a hollow shell of who she was (don’t think he hasn’t noticed). I’d damned well better be okay, be happy, achieve. Most teenage sons would rather gargle with bleach then go to a counselor, but my recommendation is that you bully/cajole/bribe/explain/whatever him into going to short-term counseling, as in “I promise if you go six weeks and don’t want to continue after that, you don’t have to”. Show him your stretch marks or something. Talk about the elephant in the living-room, and say, “I know you look okay, and you’re doing great, and I love you, and I’m proud of you. But I need to know that you are making it through this. Do it for me.” Find a counselor (preferably male) who specializes in adolescent males, and explain the situation. He’ll probably go, hate it, and quit when his minimum agreed-upon time is up. But at least by then he’ll a) know someone he can turn to, b) understand that the process can help, and c) understand that the process feels fairly normal and non-scary. Then if a crisis comes along later, he’ll have that in his tool-bag, and hopefully a few other tools as well picked up from the counselor. He can learn that it’s okay to not be okay.

Don’t take this as criticism of you, please. It sounds like you’ve been incredible. But sometimes we’re too close to the trees to see the forest, so to speak. Speaking mom-to-mom, I hope you consider this.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

My son is close to 20, but has high functioning autism, so he is far from being independent. By comparison, my father died when I was 21, my sister 17. I was in college, leaving her to deal with my narcissist mother alone. She worked, saved money, bought her own car, and was out of the house by 19. When you have to, you do it, and you just need to be old enough to work and drive.

But of course we don’t want them to have to do it. I am crying reading about your children and thinking about mine. Maybe we should consider that they are stronger than we realize.

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
9 years ago
Reply to  EnoughAlready

Thank you for sharing this. I needed it too.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  brinn

Wow, that must be hard. it sounds like your son is close to being independent now. Are you considering leaving now?

brinn
brinn
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

No. He is a Jr in High School. I want him to graduate without the drama my poor daughter had to endure during her Sr. year (it so sucked for her). Until then, my house continues grow in equity by leaps and bounds (I live in so. cali). I am working full time in a new career field. And I am lining my ducks up.

Patsy
Patsy
9 years ago
Reply to  brinn

I am guessing, Brinn, that he really did not say ‘sorry’ or know how to. They kill something.

Friend
Friend
9 years ago

I stayed because he was such a good guy! Never mind that gnawing at my innards.
Everyone loved him. What was my problem? (this is a guy who strangled his pet monkey with his bare hands because he wanted to taste monkey)… Red flag? (tmi, I know… And yes, he did eat the monkey… And he said it was like killing a small child. )
🙁

Friend
Friend
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

ThatGirl, ItIsWhatItis, Kimmy, Stronger Everyday, FreeVixen, Super_chump, Lyn, FoolMeTwice, Jayne, CheatersSuck, KT, CL, CN,

This psychopath is a creep. What he has done is scary. Worse than the poor monkey (R.I.P.) is the way that he can con all those people. And my friends who see Ex for what he is, the best they can do is keep me going. So long as I live, I will be fighting for justice and what is right. Some days, like today, the best of my strength is in my pen. I write the truth, and I treasure my life. If I can do something good, then it is time well spent. (My words will be valuable to my children). I learned a lesson the hard way. He told me the monkey story early on in the marriage. Only recently did I get it.
I am actually sad to share this crap with you. Knowledge can be a heavy burden. I hope we use this knowledge for some good. I cannot change the past. I can only control myself.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

I’m pretty sure one of the big red flags that you have a serial killer on your hands is the willingness to kill cute furry animals. The experts say it’s not much of a leap to killing people once they have been killing animals.

Yikes! I’m glad you’re away from him, Friend!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

Yeah. And he *ate* the monkey. With or without fava beans, that sounds like Hannibal Lecter. Worst of all, this creature has custody of children!! Friend, I really feel compelled to help in any way I can. Surely this knowledge needs to go in front of a judge?!

MountainLily
MountainLily
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Everyone,
Thanks. You validate me. I came from a small county. Ex has the cops, the judge, CPS, a few wacko psychiatrists, church, school, daycare, pediatrician and his work (a big company) backing him up. If he left a gap the size of a crack in his system, I would be trying still.
When we formal that chump militia complete with snipers I will go back to that town. Last time I was illegally thrown in jail for 29 days on charges of: swearing. No joke. 🙁
Tempest, are you sure he doesn’t deserve the Haldol?

KT
KT
9 years ago
Reply to  MountainLily

I don’t know the right thing to say here, but… Do whatever you can to protect your children from this monster. Strangling a small child? I was having a hard enough time processing that the monkey died this way, let alone what he said about it. It literally made me cry, and, if he could do this to a monkey while thinking that he could do it to a human. I’m not saying he will, because maybe it doesn’t suit him to do so, but he’s capable (scary). My thoughts are with you.

MountainLily
MountainLily
9 years ago
Reply to  MountainLily

“yelling profanity” to be precise. Yes. Small towns do this.

Jayne
Jayne
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

Friend – I asked ‘The Great I Am’ to open tin cans fully and not halfway because I’d been deeply impressed with a public infomercial put out when I was a kid about how half opened cans could inflict serious injuries on scavenging animals (such as dogs). ‘The Great I Am’ scoffed at me with ‘that’ll teach them for scavenging in my bins’. I have always thought that was a despicable attitude and, in hindsight, have seen his attitude there as a major red flag. Strangling his pet monkey though – that, well, I’m horrified. Truly, truly red flags flying everywhere. I’m sure, like me, friend … you’d heard of people like this but simply couldn’t believe that ‘charmer’ (so capable of appearing loving, caring etc) was indeed a cold-blooded psychopath. IMHO – anyone who could have killed their ‘pet’ – and so ‘up close and personal’ (with the exception of necessary euthanasia – i.e. the poor animal is suffering and needs the inevitable death brought forward) is a psychopath. Thank God you got out of there with your life, Friend! xxx

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

That sounds like a serial killer. Wow. WOW. Your ex makes Glad’s ex look normal! Wow!

Oh, Friend. My heart just aches for what you’ve gone through, but you are being super strong. You are so much better off without this evil presence in your life!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

No offense to Glad.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Monkey-Strangler isn’t even in the same psychopath camp as Dancing Yeti (and poor Friend’s story bears this out).

onthehill
onthehill
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Mine, on the long side of 20+ years into our marriage, once said to me, “You don’t know everything about me”.

Believe me, that statement stuck with me – along with, “I like to keep people off balance”.

He only said these things once – but – he didn’t need to say them any more.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

Friend, reading that literally made me feel nauseated.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

One of the first signs of a psychopath is animal cruelty. (and no two ways around it, Friend, your X is a psychopath)

Friend
Friend
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest,
You are so right. I think I was a fool when I met him. I think that the predominate thought in my primitive, young prefrontal-cortex, shit for brains 😉 days was: “I’m gonna get married! I’m gonna have babies.”
It should have been… “Who does that?” & “Keep me far away from him.”
On a positive note: Since then, I have found some pretty cool people, like you 🙂

super_chump
super_chump
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

Good God, he sounds like a sociopath. Poor monkey; terrifying way to die, I’m sure. 🙁 I hope you are safe from him.

freevixen
freevixen
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

YIKES!!! What a creepy person on the inside. So glad you got away from him.

StrongerEveryday
StrongerEveryday
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

Oh Friend…I wonder why these sociopaths tell us these things, when they are so carefully crafting their “good guy” image to the outside world? Is it because they need the added thrill of seeing the shock and horror on our faces?

kimmy
kimmy
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

Sorry but this is disturbing! Thank god you are far away from him.

It Is What It Is
It Is What It Is
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

Sociopath much? Wow, just wow.

ThatGirl
ThatGirl
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

What?!!!???

That is probably the most fucked up thing I have read on all the infidelity sites. And let’s face it cheaters do alot of fucked up things. But that is just insane!

That must have scared the beejeezus out of you!

StrongerEveryday
StrongerEveryday
9 years ago

I was cheated on for at least half of my 15 year marriage. He was a serial cheater, and for many years I thought the OW I found out about were *only* EAs. With emotional affairs there is that particularly dreadful space for hopeful chumps, and I stayed. But that was only part of it.

At first, there were the practical matters: I didn’t have a job, my kids were quite little (the youngest was under 1), and I had stalled out on my dissertation writing. I felt stuck financially. Even after I had a job I still felt stuck; I just couldn’t figure out how I could support my kids on my meager income.

Then there was my pride. Before the affairs, I already knew my life hadn’t turned out exactly as I had planned, but I knew that my marriage was the one thing I had done that was right. When that rug got swept out from under me, I was desperate to lay it back down and sweep all the affairs under it, just so I could cling to the image that I had at least one part of my life together.

One other huge part of the reason I stayed for so long is that my parents have a high conflict marriage (what a euphemism!), and I had always vowed that I was going to give my children the example of two parents that loved and respected each other. It took a long time for me realize that I was only maintaining a facade, and the personal price was too high.

I am so grateful that I was finally hit by the lightning bolt of clarity. It rushed at me all at once, and I knew then that nothing–NOTHING!–was more important than getting away from this toxic cheater. Not public humiliation, not financial devastation, not even the pain I knew my children would feel. I haven’t had a single doubt since that moment. After all the years of pain, it was such a relief.

Susan
Susan
9 years ago

I stayed because he wouldn’t leave the house. He was having an affair with an old college gf 35 years later and she lived hours away. The kids were off at college and we pretended for nearly a year. We didn’t want word to get out when we were selling the house because it would have amounted to a fire sale. Finally told the kids during summer break and they cried for days. It was heart-wrenching but I knew it was over. He was the type of man that once he made a decision, he wouldn’t admit to failure (even thought he has now failed at the biggest thing in his life!) We’ve now been separated for over a year and he filed two years ago this month. The divorce should be signed later this month and I am happy to be free of him.

I think what made me stay and try to work it out was the disbelief from all our friends and neighbors. I had so many people say to me that they didn’t think he’d go through with it and he’d return. Some still say that but my marriage counselor was one of the best, and he, without being totally direct, asked me what MY plans were for MY future. MC’s message got through to me loud and clear and I bought an apartment and started my life without x. I love my new life and my daughters have recovered and see their dad for the NARC he truly is!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

No failure for him either. He is very competitive and a ‘winner’ in his business, always at the top across the US for what he does.
He said to me a few times in the 10 years (about his ex’s) when I’m done, I’m done! Little did I realize that it would apply to me too!

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Mine says the same thing too! When he is done with friends, colleagues, or family, he never looks back. Cuts them off. If you cross him or are no longer useful you get cut off. Many many years ago I told him he must be emotionally detached to be able to do that. How prophetic my words were. Wish I would have payed closer attention to what that meant.

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago
Reply to  Susan

“He was the type of man that once he made a decision, he wouldn’t admit to failure (even thought he has now failed at the biggest thing in his life!)”

My ex is an engineer. There are no failures in engineering or planes would drop from the sky, buildings would crumble, bridges would snap, factory production lines would shut down, etc. Engineers draw up plans, double plans & even back-up plans. There is no black & white – it is done correctly or not at all. In hindsight his “plan” to leave was drawn up without me knowing. I came across an outline/list of his “to-dos” on leaving the marriage – one bullet point was “Other woman – who needs to know right away?” His decision was to leave was FINAL – even renting an apartment 2 weeks after dday – again with out my knowledge. He’ll never, ever admit what he did was wrong because engineers are never wrong.

I didn’t have time to “stay” as he was gone 3 weeks after dday

willow humpx30
willow humpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

My cheater is an engineer!!! Plans everything! Even sex. Everything is super organized. This is what is so scary. I don’t know what he is planning at any given moment. Am I going to get blind sided? This is why I am getting all my ducks in a row and gathering all docs on his affair spending. It is frightening to think he is stashing money into secret accts so he can make a great escape leaving me in the lurch. I know it all boils down to money with this guy. Money and image. For as long as I can remember he is always counting it, figuring out ways to better increase his net worth. Always. And never fails at anything (his perception of himself).

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  willow humpx30

Had to laugh at the above… It’s willowchump damn auto correct

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

hurt1, your story is very similar to mine. Ex had everything planned out, had already seen a lawyer and had list of assets thought out, etc. He kept pressing me to hurry up and negotiate within days of dropping the bomb on me. I was so incredibly traumatized I couldn’t think straight. The cold calculations were truly mind boggling.

hurt1
hurt1
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Lyn, yes he kept pressing me too! The only contact we had was his insistent email lists of who gets what – lopsided to benefit him of course. My IC had me once reply saying that I had loved him for so long & was still too in shock to make such decisions. He then berated me about accepting the fact that I needed to get on with my own life & let him live his. His coldness is still traumatizing to think about. When I had a nervous breakdown & was hospitalized 3 months after dday I never heard from him or his family ever again.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

evil.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

My ex is not an engineer but a remodeling contractor, who also happens to be very OCD. I found a similar checklist during the awful days Post D-Day. There was a pie chart showing where he was going to move his personal possessions to, one of which said the name of a city 150 miles away. Later he said OW was interviewing for a job there. There was a bullet pointed list with things crossed off as already done (rent P.O. box, copy files) and at the end of the list it said “Clip toenails.” I found that downright amusing.

Mommy Chump
Mommy Chump
9 years ago
Reply to  hurt1

Wow- what you describe is my X as well. He is a professor in an applied physics field and we met in graduate school when we had math and physics classes together. He has NEVER been able to admit he has made a mistake in anything in the 25 years I have known him – even stupid tiny things, and like your X , he completely planned his exit. He announced the marriage was over a few days before we were supposed to leave for Europe for a month, and walked out the door two days later – moving in with OW (very young divorced woman with young kid) and my daughter and aka essentially never saw or heard from him again – he completely abandoned his teenage daughter and replaced her with OW young son. He claims he “only” had an emotional affair with OW and yet what woman would kick her parents out and invite a married man she supposedly barely knew to come live in her house with her and her young child? Something is rotten in Denmark with that story.

In addition to never admitting he was wrong, he could never loose at anything and is super competitive about everything. He could t even let our daughter occasion win at a game when she was very little and I always wondered what kind of person derived satisfaction from beating a 4 year old at a board game.

moxie
moxie
9 years ago
Reply to  Mommy Chump

OMG! Mine used to do that! He would even CHEAT to win at “Ca ndyLand” or “Go Fish”!

What grown ass man cheats to beat little kids at a GAME that is supposed to be fun?!?!

What do kids learn if they NEVER win? They learn IT WILL ALWAYS SUCK to hang out with you!

And to think he’s probably lamenting this very minute to some pair of panties that his ex wife never lets him see his kids.

****sigh****

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  moxie

That is really weird. I thought it was weird that my ex was jealous of my dogs. He even called one of them “a little asshole.” When a man feels competitive with a pet he has a serious ego problem.

chump-ness
chump-ness
9 years ago

Love, disbelief, fear, humiliation and guilt. I loved my stbx, i meant every word of those marriage vows.like the good chumps before me, i couldn’t believe he could do these things to someone he loved. But he did. I’m a new chump at 32 and a 12 years relationship (a baby compared to the strong chumps that survived 20 plus years!) so it is truely scary to deal with divorce when my friends were dealing with their first born children. I am also humiliated… I should have seen the signs but didn’t. He was cheating with a graduate co worker, so it wasn’t just his family that knew before me, but coworkers too. What a joke. But, i haven’t shaken the guilt completely yet… By the time my Stbx confessed he’d well and truely passed the buck to me for his cheating and shifted his own responsibility to his “depression”. CL Nation is so amazing to make me realise this is all mindfuckery. It makes having to do all the paperwork to undo our marriage and sell our house more bearable even though i’m not the one that wanted out. 6 weeks to go until I can divorce his sorry arse and start over from scratch. Hanging in there!

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  chump-ness

“i couldn’t believe he could do these things to someone he loved.”–That’s at the core of much chump paralysis. Shock and disbelief because we believed them when they said they loved us. But clearly that word–and the vows, the promises, the memories, the responsibilities, the hoped-for future–did not mean the same thing to them. It’s hard to believe that we loved someone with our whole hearts who in essence has no heart.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

LAJ……….▲▲▲THIS!!!▲▲▲

Erbrown83
Erbrown83
9 years ago
Reply to  chump-ness

Chump-ness – I feel you completely! I am 31 and a 14 year relationship. All of my friends are married with little ones or little ones on the way. I have a 5 year old with him. We were actually going through infertility treatments to have another baby right around Dday #1. I was in complete denial, ashamed, scared…. He was cheating with a co-worker 10 years younger (he was her boss- she has since switched locations at my insistence after Dday #1) but the humiliation that all of the co-workers knew my marriage was over before I even knew there was a problem. After Dday..I don’t know maybe #5… i know right… he also claimed depression. Started taking supplements, made a Dr appt, thanked me endlessly for sticking by him while he figured out his “illness”… basically used it as a get out of jail free card that I happily took and ran with because of my need to “get him healthy” (barf). Next Dday there wasn’t a choice… on anyones part. I printed out screen shots of his cute little lovey conversation (quoting song lyrics and saying how their “true love can conquer all- again BARF) threw said screen shots on the counter and asked when he was moving out.

chump-ness
chump-ness
9 years ago
Reply to  Erbrown83

Oh erbrown83, that sounds awful 🙁 I think it’s particularly hard when cheaterpants shift responsibility onto serious illness. At least you were decisive when you had hard evidence! I regret not unequivocally throwing him out at the begining. He did more damage in false reconciliations afterwards. All the best… stay strong, you deserve every happiness 🙂

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  chump-ness

Yes, chump-ness…..”I think it’s particularly hard when cheaterpants shift responsibility onto serious illness”. And like the XPOS shifted to blaming depression because of the death of his son when I asked many times what was wrong.(this was BEFORE any DDay!)

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Mine told me I had been selfish for the past 20 years. Coincidentally that’s when I had my first child. Yeah, selfishly caring for a child while he continued to travel the world and enjoy business trips with private jets and all that partying. Yep, I was selfish and tired and haggard. But I never begrudged him his fun. Always happy for him, wishing him safety and a good time. I was such an idiot.

kimmy
kimmy
9 years ago

Fear. He was all I knew. We were high school sweethearts. I was afraid of what my life would become. Would I be able to handle seeing him with this OW at our kids school events? Would I be able to handle dating again? I feared ever trusting anyone ever again. Best to stay with him and know what I was dealing with than eventually date and perhaps find someone far worse than him. After all…….all the good ones are taken!! WRONG!!!! Mostly, I worried about our two daughters having a normal childhood. My parents are still married after fifty years and I couldn’t imagine what my life would have been like had they been divorced when I was my daughters ages. I wanted so much for my girls. I still do.

It took me a while but I realized I was not happy. I was not the “mom” I should have been for my kids because I was too busy worrying about what fucktard was doing behind our backs. In the end, it was because of them that I made my final move and forced the divorce. And I have never been happier! I fully intend for my girls to have the very best life has to offer and I know they can have it even without their dad under the same roof as us.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  kimmy

Your kids will be better off with a strong, happy mother who isn’t teaching them to live a lie. My parents stayed together for over 40 years and it’s taken me a lifetime to unlearn the crazy stuff I learned in childhood.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  kimmy

Kimmy, you were very wise. I wasted so much time on him that I could have spent on myself and kids. That took a lot of courage. We are much better off being alone than alone in a relationship.

conniered
conniered
9 years ago

I never got the chance to stay. He was no contact from the get go and looking back now I am thankful. But the morning after DDay, I emailed him with requirements (just 3) to save our marriage. He didn’t bite. But I sent the email to begin with because I was stunned. I wondered if it was real. I couldn’t understand why, now that I knew the truth, he wasn’t apologizing. I was angry and devastated after that. Angry for our son and my heart was completely broken. I blamed myself for a short time. Then I found Chump Lady. It’s now been about 8 months and he has not even dared to ask to come back. He knows better. I made my boundaries clear I think. But, deep down, I also know he doesn’t want to come back. Ever. So. I move on. Find happiness.

Mommy Chump
Mommy Chump
9 years ago
Reply to  conniered

That is my story – I had no chance to stay either. He secretly made all the choices and then one day announced he was going. I too had a list of a few things that would have to happen if he were to come back but he also never bit. In retrospect it was the best thing for me and my daughter. No chance for multiple d-days, unicorns, or the reconciliation complex. since he also abandoned his child there was no custody battle. I am so much happier 2 years later and divorced of that ass. But I certainly do have issues – I am not at a point where I have any desire for a relationship with another adult that involves intimate trust. I know great chumps are out there and maybe someday I will meet one. But for now I want to be the crazy cat lady (two dogs, cat, 5 horses and would like some Silkie bantams too 🙂 who lives on my small farm surrounded by sentient creatures I know I can trust and who really love me – this includes my amazing teenage daughter. I enjoy teaching and being around people by day, but I also love the freedom to live life on my terms.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Mommy Chump

Mommy Chump, your story (including cats!) resonates with me. I don’t have kids, and Jackass didn’t even announce he was going. He just slid slowly out the door. I didn’t find out about the MOW until he was pretty well totally gone. And then of course no apology–just a shitload of blame shifting. When I read your post, I wondered if that kind of “discard” leaves chumps in a place where any desire for another relationship that involved “Intimate trust.” I’ve got my 2 cats, the wild critters on my 2 acres, including the turkeys who show up every night as I pull into the driveway after yoga wanting a little critter crunch. I am a teacher, too, and that keeps me plugged into a life that’s rich with energy, love and learning. But in my case, I think this encounter with someone who so clearly showed me that I didn’t matter to him was what it took to get me to focus on my own life and development instead of always looking to be part of a couple.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

MommyC & LAJ……..but I want to be with someone and trust etc again! I don’t like being alone! I love companionship. BUT the ever nagging STD that XPOS left me with has me feeling that I have no other option but solo and that’s a WOW factor for me. Disbelief and VERY hard to accept.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

I’m thinking that trusting someone again will involve first trusting yourself to make better judgments (fixing that picker, knowing about character disorder, changing the patterns that left you vulnerable to a cheater). Then it will mean managing your boundaries as you get to know a person and refusing to spackle or deny what you learn about him. And if he left you with an STD maybe you’ve got a little PTSD going on so perhaps some therapy willl get you over the stuck point.

Now in my case, I need to find a guy around 60 ( + or – a year or two), smart, funny, strong, healthy….

nicolette14
nicolette14
9 years ago

I stayed for another 3 years after the first D-day because I just couldn’t believe this “good guy” wasn’t the good guy that I so believed, so wanted to believe…He was extremely good at denying, lying, incredible at gaslighting. Looking back I cant believe I still tried to work it out, because he seemed so remorseful, but I found out later, in reality, while he was being “remorseful” with real tears, he never stopped his cheating, lying. I loved the mask, the man he presented himself to be and I so wanted to believe this good guy I cared for so much couldn’t be that kind of a low life scum…But he was/is the low life scum, parasite all along, the truth was incredibly hurtful and the good guy I loved so much didn’t exist and when I stopped listening to his words, looked at his actions, the proof and judged him with his actions, the truth was there all along, it took me a while to come to grips with the reality, that’s what kept me there for another 3 years…

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  nicolette14

Many chumps believed as I did that they were “good guys”. X always said what a good guy he was. And his bar whore said you lost a good guy. The truth is that he lost a GOOD WOMAN. I gained my life back. What I lost was my ability to tolerate an asshole.

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Clap, Clap,Clap! This!!!

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

[applause]

Hopeful Cynic
Hopeful Cynic
9 years ago
Reply to  nicolette14

I think I stayed mostly due to sleep deprivation and not thinking clearly. I loved this man so deeply and completely that I just knew he’d ‘wake’ up from the fog and do the right thing if I was patient enough with him. It took six months of mini-d-days before his ongoing deception finally got through to me and I realized that the man I had loved had always been a facade. I was the one who had to wake up.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  Hopeful Cynic

Hopeful………absolutely right! I had to wake up too; this is who he is. I just never knew it.

Einstein
Einstein
9 years ago
Reply to  nicolette14

Yup…that. And everything CL said.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Einstein

What Einstein said.

ChumpN
ChumpN
9 years ago

I am still trying to figure out why I stayed, even before the cheating. He is an abusive, manipulative asshole and I am mostly grateful to be out now. It does still hurt though. I don’t miss him but I am grieving for the lost years I suppose.

After the cheating, I was so broken, I was in pieces, totally isolated. I suppose the classic symptoms of abuse. He walked out within minutes of my discovering and I was a walking zombie.

He sleazed his way back home before I was strong enough to protect myself. Once the anger hit, after about 3 months, I was not the same woman he left. If I was going to remain married to him the bar was raised. I needed, demanded better than it had ever been. He was still an abusive asshole. The first time I stood up to him, he beat me.

I still stayed!!!

The second affair, I found a text and again he was out in minutes. I had learned though. I took his keys off his ring before I confronted him. Then every single thing he owned went out the front door in the snow and mud, no garbage bags. I even carried a bureau from the second floor and threw it out the door.

So why did I stay??? I was holding on to hope. I was hoping that the man I fell in love with was still in there. The man that treated me like gold for 2 years and then turned into Jekyll and Hyde. I did not want to accept that the horror of him was the real him. This was my second marriage, in the beginning I felt like finally I had met someone that really loved me.

Many issues from childhood for me. Alcoholic parent, abuse, you name it. I used to tell x “if I had to go through all of that to get to this life with you, then it was worth it”. Honestly, I think he used my history to manipulate me and worse, I allowed it. I forgave things I never should have forgiven, I failed to protect myself.

I guess it all comes down to not valuing myself enough.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  ChumpN

This sentence belongs in the Chump Nation sentence hall of fame: ” I did not want to accept that the horror of him was the real him.”

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Thanks LAJ! I just used this in my final letter to the XPOS going out to him on my bday!!! Setting myself free!!! (I hope!).

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

You’ll be free if you want to be. That’s the great thing about being a grown up!

nicolette14
nicolette14
9 years ago
Reply to  ChumpN

I am sorry ChumpN, I also failed to protect myself, well at least I did in the end, especially financially. He didn’t get to con me out of my home and anything else I owned as he had planned. He just got to live a very good life for free off my back for a while, but I smile to myself now, knowing he never will again.. Big hugs!

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  ChumpN

ChumpN, I can relate to “I failed to protect myself.”

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
9 years ago

Why did I stay? What a fantastic question. Thankfully, I stayed only 6 months after Dday, but of course it took Dday2 to realize that it was over.

Why did I stay? Looking back, I know that I shouldn’t have and wish I hadn’t. But don’t we all love the gift of hindsight?

I stayed for many different reasons:

1. I loved him. The man I married and spent most of my life with was a fun, loving husband for many years.

2. Financial dependence. I didn’t think I would be able to make it on my own.

3. The children. I didn’t want this to define them.

4. I didn’t want to be “one of those people”. Most of my friends and co-workers are married.

5. I am a fixer. I fix situations. I fix problems. I could fix him!

6. Excuses. “He was going through a mid-life crisis.” “She seduced him and he just made a mistake.” “I didn’t pay enough attention to him.” “I didn’t make him happy enough.”

7. Fear. What would happen to me? What would my future be? I couldn’t picture my life without my marriage and my family intact.

8. Embarrassment. How would I tell people? Would people think it was my fault? Would people think less of me?

Having some time to contemplate the reasons, I know that none of them were important enough to make me stay with a cheater. One reason I did stay was because I was so embarrassed and didn’t tell anyone after Dday. I finally shared with friends after Dday2. I didn’t have the wise counsel of friends or the wonderful advice of CL and ChumpNation to tell me “Hell to the NO! FUCK that shit!”

I keep moving forward because there is no going back!!

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago

One Step, that shame we feel at the end of a marriage keeps chumps from getting the help they need to end the marriage. Telling our stories to family members and friends (but only those we can trust will have our backs) can give us the perspective on behavior that we have experienced in the privacy of marriage, in secret, behind closed doors. Last night I was talking to my best friend about my marriage to the drinker (not Jackass the cheater). She said, “You weren’t imagining things. I was there. I saw it. You were right to leave.” Even though I know in my head I tried with my whole heart and did my best, it’s my friend who can reflect back the reality of a situation, rather than my guilt or self-blame. It’s hard when a bad marriage leaves a chump isolated. That’s when a good therapist can help us sort of the truth about the life we are living.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

The first time I confronted him, he said, “you’re crazy.” I was shocked at the tone because he had never spoken to me that way before. Never been disrespectful or cold. We had never fought or raised voices to each other. I debated whether or not I was really, in fact crazy. The facts would seem to indicate otherwise, but I wasn’t sure. He was such a terrific guy, and I am not always a terrific girl.

So I called his friend who had accompanied him on his business trip. This friend was always kind of made fun of in our social circle at work. He was a more moral version of Micheal Scott, if you will. He really wanted people to like him and that was off putting to the cool kids. I told friend, “I know I’m putting you in a very awkward position, but I think that L cheated on me. He is telling me I’m crazy.”

He paused and said three words. “You’re not crazy.” I thanked him and said that was all I needed to know. This guy should’ve lied for his friend who was very popular at work where he was not. This is the kind of guy I should’ve been with. He is a chump too. Why are we chumps only attracted to people who seem somewhat disinterested in us?

ReDefiningMe
ReDefiningMe
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

I got “you’re crazy” quite a bit, and like that lobster in the pot, you’re so removed from normal by that time, you think, “maybe I AM crazy…” instead of “what kind of shitty husband calls their wife crazy?”

I knew there was something very, very wrong. I even had this crazy re-curring dream that was my sub-consicous’ way of trying to tell me that. But I stayed for many of the same reasons: I wanted to be married; I wanted to believe that he could be the man he was on the good days; I had such a hard time becoming a mom, and I didn’t want to leave my 2 pre-schoolers (I was at home FT with them); I didn’t have a job and was scared financially; I’d made vows before God; he had demonstrated some scary signs that he was mentally ill (or just evil or both), and I thought mentally ill was covered under “in sickness and in health” – but I guess most of all, I was scared. He was from another country, and would make comments about how connected his family was, and how he could do anything/have anything/make anything happen and nobody could stop him. I thought that if I left him, he’d take the kids and I’d never see them again.

So, in retrospect, it was a complete blessing when the primary OW got tired of waiting, and threatened to dump his ass if he didn’t get back over to her. Oh, and since he failed to mention he had our second child, and had told her that our oldest “probably wasn’t his” in an attempt to minimize/cover up the fact we were still married, he left us without a backward glance. Like other cheaters on here, he didn’t take any pictures or mementos of a 10+ year marraige or his kids. Nothing. So I got to file a “missing spouse” divorce and pay for everything; and he still owes over 6 figures in court costs and back child support – but the kids and I have our freedom, our safety, and each other. The kids have not seen him since, and we’re on our second protective order to assure that it stays that way. So, fear – dark, cold fear – kept me stuck. I still feel that way sometimes when things don’t go his way in his shiny, new life, and he tried to blame me. I still look over my shoulder often; and probably always will. I hate that my kids are/were in daycare so much – but they only have a few, blurry memories of him and the crazy, evil stuff – so I’ll take it. I used to pray and pray and pray that God would save my family – and it turns out He did. He saved us by letting the exH leave.

Mommy Chump
Mommy Chump
9 years ago

Totally agree with your reasons – even though he walked out and never looked back, I certainly experienced everything in your list. Within a week of his departure, while he was trying to get me to agree to give our teenager the story “that we just grew apart” I put my foot down and told the ass “no way”. If he was walking out for his affaire partner then that was the story our daughter was hearing. I wasn’t going to take blame for his poor choices. I also gave him 1 week to tell her or she would hear my version of his bad behavior. My biggest advice to chumps is to make sure the kids know the truth about the dog turd’s cheating ways – don’t spackle. Your kids will respect you for your morality and strength and will quickly see the cheater for what they are. Also, don’t let the cheater control the narrative to your kids and rewrite trying to put themselves in a good light and you as the awful person. Keep in front of the cheater as they try to rewrite your history.

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
9 years ago
Reply to  Mommy Chump

My Xh wanted to tell the kids the reason we were divorcing was a stupid shit story of “growing apart”, “finding happiness”, or some other bullshit. There was NO way I was going to abide by the “grew apart” narrative. “Your father is a lying, cheater” is not the narrative your children want to hear, but they deserved the truth however unpleasant! Our children were old enough to figure it out anyway, and I wasn’t going to be the liar. If he was so “opposed” to them knowing about him cheating with Howorker, it sure didn’t take long him after that to bring her into their lives. What a dick!!!

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  Mommy Chump

i totally remember telling Xh that we need to tell the kids together. in my mind, i was thinking he would have to face the pain he was causing the children. i wanted him to see their faces when we told them that “daddy” was leaving. maybe i was hoping that he would change his mind and finally do the right thing to fix it, i dont know. i wasnt thinking of telling the children “reasons” but i knew i didnt want to face them alone. boyman said after i told him that….”ya, so they can hear MY side of the story” and “So the kids know my reasons too not just what you are telling them”

i was thinking WTF do you mean YOUR side of the story. i didnt realize we had two different stories to tell the kids. i actually hadnt told the children ANYTHING, but was still spackling for him. in fact, i hadnt even told the kids that i kicked XH out, i was still telling them that dear old daddy was working late, coming home after they fell asleep and leaving before they woke up. i finally ended up telling them the truth later, without boyman because he couldnt face his children pains (or mine either).

the boys know about dear old dads girlfriend and that it is not ok to have a girlfriend when you are married. they know it was not the first time he has cheated. and now that he has disappeared, we dont have to worry about HIS side of the story.

trying2fly
trying2fly
9 years ago

I have been with the asshole since I was 17. Married at 18, first child at 19. My 16th wedding anniversary is in two weeks. I have been cheated on since the first year and every year since. 4 kids later, numerous separations throughout the marriage the emotional and pychological abuse registered on the terrifying end of the scale. The most terrifying was not knowing i was being abused emotionally and pychologically and what i was feeling and thinking for 15yrs had a name! I clung to him because I loved him more than I loved myself and children. I never let go because I honestly believed no one can love him better than I could. I stayed because I didn’t want the 50+ whores he’s brought into the sanctuary of my sacred vows to win. I stayed because he had near destroyed every ounce of my self-esteem that I believed no one will ever want a woman with 4 young children. I stayed because it was terrifying thinking of a future without him in it.Its almost 6months since I took flight. I am off the crazy train and I’m still reeling and trying to wrap my head around the fact “this is it” “its over”. I know in my heart I.AM.DONE.

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  trying2fly

YES!! and good job to you!! i remember feeling everything you just said. i honestly thought nobody could love him better then i did. well apparently i am easily replaced by a married, ghetto, no values, no morals, no integrity, oompa loompa hood rat who didnt keep her own marriage vows nor take care of her own children. i am still trying to figure that one out, well not anymore because It. Just. Doesnt. Matter. Now…..

wishing you well on your journey
hugs

trying2fly
trying2fly
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

Thanks MrsVain, have missed seeing your posts in the forum.

Our assholes might wake up one day with a A-HA! Moment and realise what they discarded in pursuit of strange pussies or they might not. I fantasize mine having this aha moment when hes a wrinkling sack of shit and finally realised how GOOD he had it. Or they might go the rest of their lives being the shallow narcisstic asshole that they are selfishly unaware of the destruction they’ve caused.

agingbeauty
agingbeauty
9 years ago

Fear – and refusing to fail. I honestly thought I could tell him to get rid of OW, he would, and all would go back to normal. But it didn’t work out that way. He had a three year head start in emotionally leaving the marriage, and the war was lost before I even realized there was a problem. The two years between DDay and him leaving were among the hardest of my life. I totally bought into the reconciliation industry hopium, and spent so much time, money, and energy trying to resuscitate my marriage. Total waste of time.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have followed my gut instinct in the wee hours of that July morning as I sat there staring at the phone records showing his thousands of text messages to OW: put his sh*t on the lawn, change the locks, and file for divorce. Because he didn’t deserve five more minutes of my time, let alone two more years. His every action since has proved it.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
9 years ago
Reply to  agingbeauty

Echoing the rest. In my case in was only eight months that she was evaluating my worthiness, during which time she had me buy an electric car for her to drive. She left me and I was left with a car that doesn’t go anywhere.

syringa
syringa
9 years ago

That reminded me of an
old joke wwdsg….’why do you need a motor when you’re going down hill?’

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  syringa

Cause you HAVE to make it up the next hill. He might have dragged me and our life down a slippery slope of lies and deceit… coasting all the way down…he didnt plan on me having back up engines to fire up.
I am fired up. He can stay at the bottom. I got places to go.

trying2fly
trying2fly
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Love it, the Clip. Lol!

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
9 years ago
Reply to  agingbeauty

“He had a three year head start in emotionally leaving the marriage, and the war was lost before I even realized there was a problem.”

This! ^^^^^^^

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago

Ditto ^^^^ THIS!!!^^^^ only my time frame was about two years for the final withdrawal, he never allowed himself to truly commit emotionally. My opinion looking back on 8 years. Now after 7 months he finally admitted (what I already knew) that he “should” have ended us before beginning something new, and of course because he has admitted and said sorry (with all of the remorse of behaving as though he stepped on my toe) I’m supposed to be able to just “move on” and pretend the last 7 months never happened. The betrayal, neglect, disrespect, lies, cheating, gaslighting, blaming, tormenting….. etc. Stupid dick.

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

yep yep yep!! my time frame was a year. but holy cow!! how can a man disengage from aa commitment that was was 14.5 years in just ONE YEAR!!! well, a man that never allowed himself to truly commit emotionally in the first place.

and after the divorce was final on March 20, 2014, i was also expected to “get over it” in a matter of months. his hood rat told me over and over to “get over it” (and he let her). but i never got an “i’m sorry” or anything. i am still not sure WTF happened on HIS side. all he ever told me was “it was all my fault”

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

I’ve told mine I hope he SUFFERS for what he has done, actually BOTH of them. His cheater whore is married with three boys. Told him they are both cheating pieces of shit.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

We may have lost the battle, but we won the war!! CHEATER FREE!!!!

Erbrown83@gmail.com
Erbrown83@gmail.com
9 years ago
Reply to  agingbeauty

“He had a three year head start in emotionally leaving the marriage, and the war was lost before I even realized there was a problem.” PERFECT STATEMENT!

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago

That’s a positively perfect statement! Mine had a 2 year start on me (that I know of; I think it was more like entire 10 years now).

Mommy Chump
Mommy Chump
9 years ago

I agree – perfect summary

Matilda
Matilda
9 years ago

If I were just making the decision for me alone, I would never stay with a cheater. I ended my first marriage, of 10 years (no kids), because first WH cheated.

On Dday (current & 2nd marriage) —–which was 3 years,10 mos,& 3 days ago— I asked him to leave. He moved in with his mother, a few blocks away. We were separated for 4 mos because he would not stop seeing the coworker Slunt.

When I started Divorce mediation, he asked me to give us another chance—stated it was over with COW.
OW has since moved across the country.
I stayed because I wanted our 4 kids to grow up in a 2 parent home. Also, I didn’t want our kids around that lowlife Slunt.
Meanwhile, I guess I am untangling the skein for both of us. It has come to light that WH’s narcissistic mother is responsible for a lot of the damage in our marriage, & I have gone no contact with her.
We are still in MC.

In 2 1/2 years, we will have an empty nest—–then I will re-evaluate.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Matilda

Matilda, I never wanted to have a whore raising my children. I couldn’t imagine having to live with that. His picker this time gave him an abusive woman who has anger issues, and was arrested for domestic assault and various other charges. Her son is just like her. They are violent. My children are all adults and while I regret staying I sacrificed my dignity and sanity. I should have left much sooner. He just got worse over time.

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
9 years ago
Reply to  Matilda

“Wayward Husband” is far too nice a term for cheaters.

Thankful
Thankful
9 years ago

Fear of loss.
Serious FOO issues- loss of a father through death, loss of the man who raised me through divorce.
The desire to be a good Christian wife, understanding love is a choice.
Fear of judgment.
Of not being supportive or submissive enough.
Fear of loosing my children.
Hope.
That my marriage would improve.
That if I just tried hard enough to be the wife I am suppose to be he would love me as a husband should.
If I fixed me then things would get better.
That I was the problem – I should be grateful that he had not left me.
I should be grateful that he was willing to put up with my moodiness, my depression, my angry default setting, my endless desire for us to get ahead as a family.
That he would one day be the husband I saw glimps of and hoped he would fully become.

Why did I stay? To quote a banner my mother had in our kitchen when I was a child.
Because I was a mushroom!
I was kept in the dark and fed nothing but bullshit.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
9 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

I, too, stayed (primarily) because I was afraid to lose my children. I was afraid that my STBX would physically hurt them. I also did not want to experience the pain of not getting to see our children every day, as I had for several years. (Cheating STBX was gone for most of our children’s lives.) After STBX filed and moved out, he got to have the kids for every other weekend and some weekdays. I miss our kids and worry about them, but I can’t protect them when they are out of my presence. I hope that they will be OK.

Furthermore, I stayed because I was a grad student who had hoped to finish a doctorate and had no income.

The good news about being dumped by cheating narcissistic STBX was an old friend (also a chump) gladly took STBX’s place. New guy is a tremendous upgrade! Being loved is strange but wonderful.

mrsvain
mrsvain
9 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

“Hope.
That my marriage would improve.
That if I just tried hard enough to be the wife I am suppose to be he would love me as a husband should.”

i think we all felt this one. i was doing all the right things. i invested so much into our marriage. Hell, i forgave him for ALL THE SHIT he did in the past, that has to account for SOMETHING. it was completely beyond me that he would never love me as a husband should.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago

I didn’t stay with the Cheater; the very night I realized he was cheating, and confronted him about it when he got home from his “date,” which he at first denied then blameshifted –> after asking him to try counseling (he refused), begging him to stay (yeah, I know) then listening to hours of garbage and blame emanating from his mouth, I told him he had to leave. He initially protested that too, then left. He never came back but for 6 mos. tried getting me to play pick me but only so he could manipulate me to give him $$ (which I had in my initial trauma, offered to do to ‘help’ him, the poor sausage). When I went NC with him at 6 mos. out, and told him I’d lawyered up he was livid, then commenced smear campaign against me w/our former friends (some chose him, god bless their attempts at Switzerland);

Looking back, and having done therapy for seven months, I realize and acknowledge that the relationship itself was abusive and unhealthy because he is arguably very high on the narcissism spectrum, has sexual deviance and anger issues, to say the least; post DDay I found out he was a serial cheater, had at least one prior OW and never stopped being involved with his prior GF to me, for the first 7-9 years he lived with me and my kids. I am so very relieved and glad that this man is out of my life and that my children were not damaged by him.

I realized he was abusive during the relationship, but always excused it. I chose to stay with him anyway…. just like you keep wearing an old pair of shoes till it falls apart perhaps. I am a loyal, faithful and trusting person. Generous and giving, as well. This made me a perfect target for a man who is willing to use someone else, lie to them, cheat on them, mooch off them and laugh it all off in the end with “hey, you didn’t object!” Lesson learned. Boundaries are my challenge now.

I have been rebuilding my life with my dignity intact. It hasn’t been easy or inexpensive. It’s been 100x harder than my first divorce 20 years ago when I left with 3 kids under the age of 12 in the middle of my 2nd yr in grad school. Cheater now lives with OW. We weren’t married but were together 16 years during which I was breadwinner, Mommy, sextoy you name it, he asked and he got it from me. But I’m a doormat NO MORE. There is only one legal tie left binding us (a shared asset) and sooner or letter something’s going to give and that will get resolved as well. I’m much older than I was when I went through a divorce 20 years ago… it’s been tough, painful, lonely and crazymaking. But I’m getting there. And ultimately SO GLAD I kicked that cheater to the curb! So very grateful for Chump Lady and all the members of Chump Nation. My recovery has been speeded up and kicked into hyperdrive by reading this site daily and using the forum.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

I’m with you,TheMuse. In the pit of my stomach, I knew there was no returning from an affair (even just an EA, as he claimed at first). I had already recognized that there was emotional abuse taking place in the relationship, and wondered how much self-respect I had to eat to stay in the marriage. My answer? “no more”

Pulled all my clothes out of the master bedroom & moved upstairs, started looking for sublets within 2 days of D-day. At first, I kept contact to find out answers (but no marital contact). Then gave him 1.5 months to run through most of the indicators of faux remorse before filing, backing myself out of the relationship each step of the way. Most of ‘reconciliation’ attempts, such as they were, emanated from my asking for a divorce, him freaking out, and then FINALLY offering to read a book, FINALLY making a marital therapy appointment. His attempts were always in response to dire urgency of losing me (rather than any real willingness to change), and thus doomed to failure.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Afterwards, I realized that kicking him out that night was actually the very first time I told him that something he was doing to me was unacceptable. After 16 years! The next time was six months after DDay when I told him I’d hired an attorney and was going N.C. It was like something deep inside me finally woke up.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

And now that it’s awakened, we’ll never tolerate such abuse again.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yes!

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Fist pump Muse! You rock \m/ !!!

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Absolutely!!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

🙂

quicksilver
quicksilver
9 years ago

I went through different phases. He was controlling and verbally and emotionally abusive from the beginning, but I spackled. I believed his narrative that he was trying to be a better person and that I could help him get there with my love. I went through ten years of marriage, doing everything, paying for everything, believing that he cared about me, despite what his actions said. Then during one of our many fights, I told him how lonely and scared and overwhelmed I felt, and he told me he didn’t care. Finally, I believed him. It was true, and that day I knew I had to leave him.

Then I stayed for the kids. I tried several times to get him to leave, but he would go to the kids and tell them they had to convince me to let them stay. It made them hysterical and I always gave in. I just couldn’t bear to see my children so upset and begging me to let him stay.

Then he threatened me and I stayed out of fear of him hurting our children. He threatened to kill himself, to destroy me, to shoot our entire family. I was terrified of him. I would do anything, even live with a monster, to protect my kids. But it didn’t protect them at all. It exposed them to some horrible abuse and they started showing symptoms of stress and anxiety. I was so afraid to get a restraining order. I didn’t know if that would be the thing to trigger him to kill us.

I did finally file. I got support from a domestic violence agency, and I got courage from Chump Lady. It has taken me three years to get away. My divorce will be final in days, and he is moving out in two weeks. I am looking forward to freedom.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  quicksilver

quicksilver, you be careful. Glad you are moving forward with good advice. That takes a lot of courage. But keep your eyes open and be careful.

nicolette14
nicolette14
9 years ago
Reply to  quicksilver

I am so happy for you quicksilver! Life is truly better without the abusive cheating assholes! Yes, the freedom, you will enjoy it, because I know I am, immensely! 🙂

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  quicksilver

Congratulations, quicksilver. I wish every happiness for you and your kids.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  quicksilver

I’m glad you got out quicksilver, getting away from an abuser can be very hard and is very scary. I am so glad my ex is afraid of jail so he respects the protective order. I am a lucky one.

Tempest
Tempest
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Dat–were you able to get your protective order renewed, then?

ReDefiningMe
ReDefiningMe
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Dat – I’ll be sending prayers your way for the renewal. I remember your kindess when I was back in court. First order was for 5 years; the current one for only 2, so I get to be the f’ing rat in a cage again this coming winter. Ugh.

You are very right – the orders only work if they have something to lose by getting caught. My exH has ignored his up until I called the police and filed a report EVERY TIME he phoned or texted. He even texted me to find out what time the court appontment was for the violation of the CPO! Nutters.

I still believe that he could snap at any time, and kill the kids and me. I’ve had to almost make peace with that possiblity, which is crazy in itself. We have pepper spray guns in the car, purse, and each room in our house. I sleep with a shotgun next to the bed. The kids are both well on their way to becoming black belts. I don’t leave them alone, or allow photos to be published. But this is our normal, and we do our best to just live and laugh every day. I remember my ex’s cold, black eyes once when I commented about being suspicious of him. I remember how excited he was to follow that Chandra Levy case – he thought it was funny that whoever killed her got away with it. He loved crime stories on TV where they didn’t catch the bad guy – he would always comment on how he could get away with murder and nobody would ever catch him. There are still some days I cannot believe that this is my life. I pray that God will protect us, and grant us peace. Some days are just tougher than others.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

it’s in effect until May at this point

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Dat, I’ll be thinking about you, until you get a renewal….

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

Dat, I hope you get the renewal. It gives some comfort having one in place. My stbx however, does not respect the order. He skates right to the edge. As a former cop, he knows that the police will not enforce I’m a public place, unless he makes a threat. I know, because I called and had an officer come to my house to make a report. He looked at the pictures I took of assclown (sorry, I was trying to make it through without a cuss word ) way closer than 75ft to my car, and asked me if he said anything to me. I said no, but he was waving at me. He then said he could not tell exactly how close he was to me, and he did not threaten me, so……….

I’m glad your X reads the order enough to respect it. I have no choice but to move far,far away and start over. If the judge decides in my favor. 🙁

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

My ex violated the order in small ways to test me, I reported every single one and he got a sort of probationary period. He really is VERY afraid of jail, he’s been there several times, so for me it’s more than a piece of paper.

I’m sorry Irish, cop abusers put you in the worst position. My ex was very chummy with the cops, he set me up as you know and they never arrested him for anything. Your cop knows exactly how to skirt and he’s got friends on the force so you do have to move, no choice. Crossing my fingers for you!

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Quicksilver I totally agree with Clip. Underestimating the threat is what gets people killed. If you can get a copy, Amazon has it in kindle too, get “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin Becker. It really educated you on what you are dealing with. I found that because a lot of people knew X, they did not think he was threat to me. WRONG!! He was and still is. Be careful, Clip is right on the money about it being just a price of paper. Women get killed even with a restraining order in place. If he is a psycho, he will continue. Mine has broken into my home, taken things from my yard, gets way too close when we exchange the 2 children that will go visitation. Be very, very careful. Good luck. Hugs

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

Quicksilver… I am sure the DV agency told you this is the most dangerous time for you and your children… Filing and post divorce. Restraining orders are just paper. I think in a lot of way they give you false reassurance. when they are hell bent on getting you they will. I think most restraining orders work for the loud mouth schnooks who want to scare you but have way too much to lose( work, reputation) those people love love to lip off and tell you all the crazy shit they are gonna do to u.. Might even toss you around…break some stuff… Follow you.
Then there is the pyscho… Who will plan this shit out…. And doesnt care about the consequences. My Idiot teeters on the pyscho line. And unfortunately is a cop.
Please becareful. Ask the agency for as much help as you can get. Dont underestimate what he can do.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
9 years ago

In my case it’s doubt. I am not sure that my H has had an affair (don’t think it’s physical, if it’s anything, it’s emotional), he completely denies it. I do know there is a “friendship” that got too cozy based on phone/text records (increased frequency) but I have no other evidence, other than him distancing from me and checking many of the boxes of how guys act when they are cheating (obsessive workouts, on the Iphone all the time and secretive about it, critical of me, all of a sudden into appearance, etc), however he continues to maintain he wants to work on things and there is no one else. So right now, I don’t know if I am coming or going. None of these things by themselves are concerning but sort of taking as a whole, it makes me feel uneasy. I keep praying that things will come clear.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

newchump, he’s cheating. If he’s having an emotional affair and you are concerned and he’s distancing, that’s big trouble. Is there any evidence that he has turned away from the OW, the workouts, the criticism and distancing? Is he just saying “he wants to work on things”? That would be my guess.

That’s cake, newchump. The distancing and criticism is happening because he has to justify is disgusting behavior. He wants his new emotional affair (or worse) and his intact family. He thinks you will be satisfied with the shit sandwich buffet table and the after-dinner hopium pipe while he eats cake.

Get your ducks in a row. See a badass attorney. Find out your options. If he isn’t really working on the marriage–working hard in counseling, spending time with you, supporting your dreams–you need to protect yourself and the kids. If he really values the marriage, there’s nothing like seriously filing for divorce to find that out. You don’t want that moment when “things become clear” to be the moment he files or moves out or has transferred all the family assets to Schmoopie’s account. Get clear about who you are, what you want, and what you expect from marriage.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

Newchumpatl, I was in the exact same boat about a year ago. I told him he was getting way too chummy with the woman he taught Sunday School with (nice,right?) and he apologized and said he would distance himself, etc. Two months later my husband became abusive and horrible to me and the kids, it was literally traumatic to all of us and I’m still dealing with the aftermath. I kicked him out once the abuse continued. To this day I have no proof of a physical affair but he behaves just like someone in an affair and there is is no doubt in my mind that he had every intention to have an affair. I’m so glad I’m away from him now and have been able to see through the “good guy” I loved and really thought he was. Please be careful with this man. Mine had me fooled for 19 years. One of the big things that woke me up was that I got his credit report without him knowing and it had thousands and thousands of hidden debt on it. It was just another clue to the man he really is and I knew kicking him out was the best thing I could have done.

DefyingGravity
DefyingGravity
9 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

newchump: I understand the doubt thing. I went through it as well because I also had very little “evidence” of an actual affair, although plenty of warning signs. I stayed a year because I didn’t think I knew enough to leave and that I shouldn’t break up a marriage on suspicion alone. I finally left even without the evidence because my gut was screaming at me that something was really wrong, and I couldn’t stand the slow soul death of the relationship any more. It was killing me.

After I filed for divorce I got my evidence but good; hard, clear evidence (including his admission of it) of hundreds of encounters with prostitutes throughout the whole marriage. It was way worse than I dreamed.

Bottom line is, I understand the confusion. Even though I and probably most chumps here want you to run run run, because we’ve all been there and we know that your gut feelings are almost 100% of the time exactly right; so don’t waste any more time and get started on the healing. But you need to feel secure in your decision, and if you’re unsure, you’re not ready yet.

At some point, though, trust your gut and move on for YOU, so YOU can be happy, regardless of any evidence or what you can prove he’s done or not done. Your gut already knows he’s cheating, because you’re here. You just aren’t ready to admit it and take action yet. But you will be. You’ll know when you’re ready. Being here is a great first step. Hugs and best of luck, you can do it.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
9 years ago
Reply to  DefyingGravity

Thanks you guys

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

You can find a lot on his phone backups. That’s how I got my evidence. Almost gave me a heart attack. Only look if you are ready though. It can be devastating.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

I have 10 years of his records. It’s unbelievable when you see how many texts they send. That is how I know he sees three at a time. No wonder he didn’t want to pay the bills and brags his ow buy him gifts and pay the bill. Records show he is still hooking up with ow while with his latest. I am so happy to be divorced. They never change.

StrongerEveryday
StrongerEveryday
9 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

I’m so sorry you’re in this space. I can truly relate, because my very-soon-to-be–EX-cheater has never admitted to anything I didn’t have hard evidence on already. I too dealt with those dastardly phone records, with hundreds of texts to same number, the death grip and password protection on the iPhone, and several of those other cheating benchmarks you mention. It’s such bullshit for your H to contend that nothing is happening. Detective mode is exhausting. I hope you can get some clarity soon in the form of concrete evidence that proves your gut feeling.

Older and wiser
Older and wiser
9 years ago

Naivete and youthful belief that he just needed to mature. That we were growing together and he wasn’t a sociopath. Because how could he be? If he was as broken as I suspected, then it would reflect on my choices and I couldn’t handle that.

The thing is that all of these years on, now that I’m married to a great guy with a fantastic child, I am still incredibly wounded by the way I was used for close to a decade. That he didn’t respect me enough to be monogamous. And for years afterwards, I kept learning of other women he had duped, because the world is small.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago

Trauma-induced paralysis. Once I broke through that, I started duck-lining-up, and then got out. It took a while, since sale of the big old house was in the works anyway (required a fair amount of fixing up, and 200 year old houses don’t fix cheap…or you do it yourself (that would be me, not crapweasel.)) I did boot him to a hotel for a couple of days, then to a sort of boarding house arrangement for a few months–which I had actually forgotten about until yesterday.

Again, trauma-induced haze.

Then, incredibly painfully, we moved to a shared apartment while I maintained a fiction–mostly to him and partly to me–that we were moving forward, but it was so exquisitely painful that I pretty much had a complete breakdown. There is only so much social fiction you can maintain. I lost my job (I resigned), since my boss was a shark-narc (and I was totally blind to that). Once she smelled the blood in the water, work life became hell too.

I did get a post-nup in place during that time, and it saved all the bacon. Crapweasel was feeling guilty, and I was becoming ruthless.

Finally, the old house sold, I bought another one, moved away, and we divorced.

More breakdown as I realized I lived totally alone in the middle of nowhere and most of my old friends slammed the door in my face. Exactly one visitor in more than two years. Yup. Needless to say, I’ve stopped inviting people, it’s obviously pointless.

Oh, and my daughter came home for 2 weeks, and then left the country for good. Ran way from her parents, in my view (although she & I remain very close electronically).

My dog really saved my life, in so many ways.

nicolette14
nicolette14
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

I will tag along with FoolMeTwice, Vera. We can have a cook out 🙂

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  nicolette14

how lovely…that would be fun. But first, I have about 2 ft of snow that needs to melt out in the yard….hahhaah. and it’s supposed to rain this weekend. wheeee. One of the upsides of all this is learning to (try) and laugh at things like incredibly crappy weather, eh?

nicolette14
nicolette14
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

Absolutely! well then, we will be there when the weather gets warmer and for your info I can cook great steaks at the grill, so I am told. Not bad for a chick eh? 😉

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  nicolette14

Chump Nation Rocks! <3 you

nicolette14
nicolette14
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

YES We Do Rock Vera! <3 you too! 🙂

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

I wish I could visit you, NFV.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Me, too! I am sort of hunkered down in my happy cave, but I would come out for you.

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

NFV
I feel for you. The inertia is very hard. Like dragging a dead body. I too feel very isolated. My family and friends … My old life are in another country. I moved to the USA when I was 33 years old… Now 47. Its never felt truely like home and I am now stuck here until my daughter can consent to move with me. I really dont want to disrrupt her life anymore than it has already… So i will wait until she enters college. We have wonderful friends who have been apart of our lives since her birth… The mom squad. But they are all married with 2.5 children and now i dont quite fit in. I spend long hours looking at the phone… No texts… No one calls. I do my best to keep busy. My child is very busy… So most days are consumed with the ‘ routine’ of school , home work, ballet, music…
I find my spot on the bench and do my best at small talk.
I understand why people jump into relationships again… Its something to fill the gap. Is that wrong… Hard to say. I really have had to look inward to find my happiness. Its been on a shelf somewhere back there. I will make myself crazy making excuses on why i cant live a full life. I try everyday to find a positive… Even if its only a cup of coffee warming my hands. I breath unaided. I walk unaided. I have so much more than a lot of people on the planet. I know… I have worked in third world contries. I know have to unchained my heart and mind so they too can be free.
You find solace in your dogs… Start walking. Force your self to a dog park. Better yet… Pack yourself in the car and bring your dog site seeing. Go somewhere new… New grocery store. Try a new brand of yogurt. Seriously. One tiny act change change a lot. But you have to act. Drag your sorry ass out the door.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

TheClip……….No phone calls, no texts, no visits……ditto. Though I have a great set of very few trusted friends, I’ve worn them out and they simply act as if I’m all good and back to normal; no more discussions about it, as if it never happenedl! I’M NOT GOOD & BACK TO NORMAL !!!!!! Thats why I love it here too. EVERYONE understands and listens. Nice.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

Yes yes yes!! Agreed. My jackass has only been gone 4 months… everyone says those SAME two irritating fucking words…. “Move On”. REALLY?? It’s SO easy to say that when it isn’t YOUR life and YOUR child’s lives that have been completely dismantled with ZERO warning.

I am SO thankful for CL and my fellow Chumps. If it hasn’t happened to you…. you just WON’T get it!! Ever.

Jen
Jen
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

I understand this. One friend sang that stupid “Frozen” song to me the day after it ended for good. “Let it Go…” crap. My heart was throbbing and I wanted to die, and she thought I should just let it go.

But I get that she doesn’t get it, because while I thought he was the bee’s knees, it was obvious to her he is a jerk, and she couldn’t understand why I was with him to begin with. Did I mention she is a lesbian?

So when you can get your heart to stop throbbing, there is a little comfort in pretending it wasn’t Armageddon. He really was a jerk, and I really am going to be so much better off. I don’t need to make it my identity. There is more to me than this man who I made the mistake of loving.

I am using this blog to help me understand that no matter how much I wanted it to be different, it was what it was. A person I wanted to be my partner, instead used me for kibble while he scoped out his best possible senario. And he didn’t think that I was his best possible senario.

This time, I am not going to jump through hoops to prove myself worthy. This time I am going to walk away and hopefully meet someone who really does love me, flaws and all. This time I am not sacrificing what I enjoy to fit what he enjoys. This time I am not buying that I’m not worthy.

TheMuse
TheMuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Jen, your friend who sang the Frozen song to you was insensitive at best and shallow at worst. Just to clarify though, my daughter is a lesbian and some narcissistic user of a girlfriend of hers broke her heart very deeply, and it took my daughter 3 years to ‘get over’ it. I doubt being gay was the reason your friend lacked understanding of your heartbreak. Just sayin. ~~ Proud mom of gay daughter with a heart <3

malbecrioja
malbecrioja
9 years ago
Reply to  IHaveHate

IHaveHate, I feel like this sometimes; like friends see your caller ID and must think, “oh, boy what now?” That is another reason I find this blog particularly helpful, because you can check it and participate at any time and it helps to give healthy perspective.

Irish
Irish
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

Great post. Brought me to tears, the loneliness chumpdom brings to us. It’s so hard to make the tough decisions. And to live with the consequences out upon us.

Dragging our ass out the door. Yep it’s tough. Being isolated in our sadness, brief and hopeless anger. I agree that the small things, like a warm cup of coffee, or a nice hot bath become precious mind savers.

namedforvera
namedforvera
9 years ago
Reply to  Irish

Yes! I have been. When this present little Ice Age recedes, Dog & I will return to the wonderful parks we found last fall. Also, this morning, I did a volunteer orientation at a great place that provides household goods of all kinds to families in need: refugees, burned house victims, domestic violence life-remakers, It’s a great organization, and I can do a lot of back office non-profit-y stuff for them that won’t tax my back. Also get to know more folk in my new community–nice, like minded, giving type people (I hope.)

So that’s an idea. But it’s taken me 2 years to get stable enough for this kind of thing…

Best of luck & bon courage to you all.

Finally realized
Finally realized
9 years ago
Reply to  namedforvera

namedforvera, I’m so glad to hear about the volunteer organization. That’s exactly the place where you belong, with all of your compassion, intelligence, and wit. You can be productive and the world will benefit, plus, you will make good friends.

Lientjie
Lientjie
9 years ago

I also stayed out of fear. Fear of never meeting anyone else, fear of meeting another narc, fear of opening myself up to someone again and getting hurt, fear of trusting guys, fear of not being pretty or good enough.

We’ve been dating on/off for over 6 years. I’m 29 and I’m terrified of moving on with my life. We are now broken up again, but continue to communicate. He tells me I’m overreacting and he’s done nothing wrong. His “p*ssy fetish” are normal because everyone has some type of fetish. It’s private and he has all the right to alone time and I should appreciate the fact that he does not go to strip clubs or pay hookers for sex. (His words)

He spends hours (up to 9 hours a day sometimes) serving the net for porn, has a browsing history of Local Hotels, Craig’s list, Ashley Madison and teen porn on his computer. The younger the better – Google searches have revealed “very young tight p*ssy”.

I’ve tried to move on, but I am very insecure because of him. He’s been working on my self esteem since the very beginning. Always telling me, “if you weren’t so narrow minded in the bedroom, if you would only mastrubate in front of me, if you weren’t so boring and selfcontious, then obviously I would have no need to look at these thousands of naked girls behind your back and hiding it”.

I’ve done all of the above and more in the hope to salvage the relationship even though I hated every second of every act I performed, and guess what? None of that made him stop – it only made him hide it better and be more careful of me finding out. God only knows what else he’s been up to behind my back that I have no proof of.

WiserToday
WiserToday
9 years ago
Reply to  Lientjie

Lientjie,

I found myself in your position at the age of 36, and thought that my best bet would be to rehabilitate our marriage, because who would want me at my advanced age? Clearly, ‘desirable’ men only wanted women aged 18 to 34. I knew this for a fact because that is the age range that my dinosaur (Peekalottapuss) looked for on his first discovered date site.

And I knew that I didn’t have much to offer, because Dinosaur had publicly announced it to the world in his Adult Friend Finder profile – ‘married, but sadly lacking.’ I was 36, in the prime of my game, and still was ‘sadly lacking’. What hope was there for me to do better? So instead of leaving then, I internalized the situation as my own failure, and clung tighter to the hope that Dino and I would get past this.

Years passed. The evidence of the many flirtations, date sites, and women who were ‘like a sister’ floated up like a turd in a punchbowl with what I later saw to be a distinct pattern. Ooh, it’s been six months, better set up new date site profiles! Honestly, if the man had used the creative bent he displayed in thinking up screen names in his professed passions of art and music, he would have made his mark in the world.

So, fast forward – through the times I left, the times I made him leave, the short periods when he was ‘there’, the endless protestations of love and fake remorse that were snuffed out by my refusal to believe in words instead of actions, to the final assault that crossed the line from unrecognized emotional/financial/verbal abuse into actual physical abuse – and where are we now?

Dino is still on date sites, still on porn sites, still thinking up creative screen names, still sending ridiculous selfies to “women” who want to leave Russia or China and come be his everything, or most recently spending time and money on a user/boozer/loser whose only concern is their next tattoo or what kind of kool kool Harley the Dino plans to buy. Only now he does it from a continent away. He is still chasing that elusive perfect young pussy, and deludes himself that women ages 18 to 23 (see, he has changed! his expectations have risen!) want a 53 year old blue-collar worker, with no savings or ability to buy even a used Harley without my FICO, for his awesomeness alone. The selfies show his wrinkled face, and his badly aging body, and his vicissitude. He can’t maintain an erection with a real person because of his many years of masturbating while looking at ever-younger airbrushed perfection. But hey, that’s what the latex cock ring featured on his recent Craigslist ad is for, right?

And where am I? Alone and struggling to maintain that FICO at 58, regretting the time and effort I poured into helping someone who repeatedly chose not to help himself, chose not to evolve, chose not to mature, chose to put his self-gratification ahead of literally every other consideration of life. I have strung him along at times through my own fake online profiles, and at one point found myself being triangulated with my own alter ego! He was so damned sparkly the night he was texting with “two” women at the same time.

It has taken awhile, but I have finally learned an important lesson. If I had instead focused my efforts on myself over the years there would be no struggle now. I have flirted with the idea of a last reconciliation with a pre-nup in place, if only for the potential of future security, but money isn’t everything. I don’t want to play marriage police anymore. I virtually made it my life work, and it’s time for a career change.

Please accept my story, and the stories of the other older chumps here on CL, for the cautionary tales that they are. The narcs never change, or they only get worse with age. Their refusal to grow up can only make you grow old faster. Take your bad-assed not-even-30 self away from the chump life now. Your fifty-something self will thank you later.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Lientjie

Dear God in Heaven, Lientje, you are 29! You have a whole world ahead of you. Go no contact with this creep. And tell that counselor you need a lot of support and tough love to kick the bad habit that is staying connected to this totally disgusting creep. Tell your friends! Tell everyone who loves you that you need help staying clear of this guy.

Then go buy a book called “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. Get started on learning that you are indeed good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. If I had one wish (other than world peace and honoring human rights) it would be that young people would understand that before they can love another person in a healthy way, they have to value and love and respect themselves.

Lientjie
Lientjie
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Dear LovedAJackass, you are so right! Thank you. I will buy the book, just Googled it and found multiple sites which sells it (thank you for the referral) and learn how to love, value and respect myself again as I have, before I ever allowed this creep into my life.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Lientjie

And let us know how that goes. When you are my age (63) you will realize how beautiful you are now, what a young and precious person you are. I just gave you the advice I needed at 29, seriously.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Lientjie

Lientje, please do NOT waste your pretty! The only “issue” you have is that you’re in a relationship with an abusive assclown. If sex makes you feel degraded or you’re getting strong-armed into stuff that isn’t for you, then he is definitely not the right guy. From what you’ve shared, he’s probably not the right guy for anybody unless he gets help, and maybe not even then. Believe me, you will be AMAZED how fast your self-esteem returns once you give this guy the heave-ho.

Huge chumpy hugs speeding their way to you. You have no idea how many of us would give to be 29 again with the knowledge we have now. Save yourself!

Lientjie
Lientjie
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Dear FoolMeTwice, thank you for the hugs and your kindness. I’ve been a member of ChumpNation for longer than I can remember but I’ve never had the courage to share my story. I’ve always just read the articles and comments and thought to myself, I could be that person or that could be me, looking back on my life in 10 years and saying “what the hell was wrong with me for not getting out when I was in my 20’s”.

Thank you so much for the encouragement.

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Lientjie

Unfortunately Lientje, disturbed people like your partner are attracted to women they can blame for their insecurities. They wear you down. You are here where many of us chumps did not recognize the disrespect of an abusive partner. That is what he is ABUSIVE. He belittles his partner and has a fantasy life which will only become more destructive. Your working from HIS point of view. You know a lot about yourself and you recognize the pain of loving someone who is NOT worthy of your love. My serial cheater kept the porn a secret as many of them do. Something that has helped me immensely is knowing that my cheater was lucky to have ME. I was loving, compassionate, and forgiving. I am hopeful you will have no contact with him in the future and as we all know HE will not get help because he thinks his shit is normal. You should seek support to end this relationship because he is TOXIC. You deserve respect!!!!

Lientjie
Lientjie
9 years ago