A Word About Being Angry

Fellow blogger, Reformed Cad, just gave me a shout out on his blog. It was a very nicely done post and I very much appreciated it. I always like it when people take the time to reblog something I’ve written, or take the time to tell others about my blog. I think he has a closed blog so I’m not going to try to link to it. If he comes over and says it’s open to the public I’ll link to it, or he can link to it in the comments.

I am, however, going to quibble with one thing he says. She is angry. And if you read her journal it becomes obvious why.

Let the record (or blog) show I am not angry. It always baffles me when people say things like that because I think I keep it pretty light hearted when it comes to my situation. I think if you asked my mother she would tell you I didn’t get angry enough. I did indeed get dealt a shitty hand.; however, it’s better than what some other people are dealt. He didn’t attempt to poison me (as far as I know). He didn’t try to pay someone to take me out. He didn’t get physically violent with me once the divorce began. He didn’t kidnap and kill my children. He didn’t threaten me with a weapon or set me up for a domestic violence charge. He didn’t leave me after I was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease. He didn’t leave me with a nasty STD. And yes, I realize those are the extreme situations, but I’ve heard every one of those over on Chump Lady except the one about paying someone to kill me. I got that one off of ID TV, where it happens quite regularly.

He also didn’t fight me for custody of our children. Granted, that would have been a tough sell seeing as how he moved approximately 300 miles away from them and left them behind, but I know that others are having to fight for custody even when the only reason the ex is fighting is to reduce or eliminate child support.

And, while he did indeed cheat again I only lost two years of my life “wreck-onciling” with him, instead of five, or ten or twenty.

I know that I have written a lot about all that my kids and I have lost. That’s a fact. It has nothing to do with anger. He screwed us. We invested everything into this new life he said he so desperately wanted. He threw it away, and in the process the kids and I lost our home and were forced to move. Fact.

With my daughter graduating recently I was continually reminded of everything that we lost. Again, that’s a fact. It happened, and no matter how happy I pretend to be about everything that was lost, it doesn’t change that.

That’s not anger. If anything it’s sadness. Sadness that my kids had to go through that because of their dad and his crappy decisions.

I wrote the other day about the triggers that still come. It’s not anger. It’s continuing to mourn the life I had. Imagine spending twenty years with someone, living a certain kind of life, and then one day having that ripped away from you. I defy anyone to say it would be no big deal. It’s one thing to decide you are going to make big changes. It is a completely different animal when those changes are made for you.

Even when you’ve accepted that life is gone you still mourn at times. There are still things that smack you in the face and cause you to feel that loss. I’m not angry. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the life I lived for twenty years is gone, and that it was all a lie.

Do I continue to write about CF? Sure, I do. He keeps doing shitty things. I mostly shrug it all off. Nothing he says or does really angers me. Well, except for the fact that he has yet to acknowledge he has a son. That does piss me off. But the shit he says whenever he has to pay me? That’s comedy fodder for my blog. I give him about as much importance as I would a two year old throwing a tantrum.

I did ask my mom if I seemed angry because, as I said, it always perplexes me when people give me that label. She was pretty quick to answer. “No, you just call bullshit when you see it.”

That’s a pretty good explanation. I’m not angry or bitter about my situation. I continue to write because it does make me angry when I hear stories of others who are going through this same thing. It makes me angry when I hear about a spouse who is so desperate to keep a marriage together that they accept bullshit excuses and tolerate the so called “trickle truth” and evasion of questions. I know what I went through; I hate to see others go through that same thing. If I can be a sane voice out there asking, “Is this acceptable to you?” and leading someone through the dark I’ll keep writing.

As Chump Lady reminds her audience over and over, there are many avenues for those who want to reconcile. She is pretty much the only voice that tells people it’s not their fault their spouse cheated and there is a better life out there without a cheater. I don’t go so far as to encourage people to leave; I think that’s an individual choice and everyone has their reasons for staying or going. I will, however, point out when the cheater is blowing smoke up your ass. I’ll tear apart all the psycho-babble explanations for why people do the heinous things they do, and I’ll mock the “affair-y tale” love stories that mistresses share on a regular basis.

I will also never accept the idea that both parties had a part to play in an affair. Both of you were in the same marriage. Only one person cheated. I fully agree with Chump Lady when she says that you may have been the worst spouse on the planet; you may have truly, truly sucked. But you did not deserve to be cheated on and you did not cause your spouse to cheat.

Furthermore, I’m not one who believes you need to be a martyr for the sake of your children. You don’t need to celebrate birthdays with the cheating ex and the new spouse, or go on “family” outings, or look after your ex if they get sick. Your kids will survive even if you’re not pretending that the other parent is the best-est person in the whole wide world.

I’m willing to tell people you don’t have to, and in fact shouldn’t, gaslight your children. Tell them the truth in age appropriate terms. It’s not your job to be your cheating ex’s PR agent. If they didn’t want their kids to know they were lying cheaters maybe they shouldn’t have been lying and cheating. Nothing good ever comes from hiding the truth. It will always come back and bite you in the ass one way or another.

I let people know they don’t have to be friends with the ex. If that’s something you want I think you’re a little bit crazy, but okay. If it works for you more power to you. However, I refuse to perpetuate this idea that’s the way it should be. When you’re dealing with adultery you’re dealing with a person who lied to you and betrayed you. They were supposed to have your back and instead they stabbed you in it. Welcome home, Michael Myers! As Chump Lady always asks, “Would you be friends with the guy who mugged you?” No? OK, then why are you trying to maintain a friendship with someone who essentially mugged your life?

I advocate gaining a support system and leaning on them, instead of relying on someone who betrayed and abandoned you. Even in so-called “good” divorces I advocate for that because you never know how things are going to change once your ex partners up again.

I believe that no contact is a wonderful thing.

I believe that you can focus on gaining a better life without the person who cheated on you and hurt you while still remembering exactly who they are and what they did. Getting on with my life and living a much better life than the one I had with him does not equal forgiving him.

I don’t think that’s being angry. I think that’s using common sense and speaking the truth.

PSA #1- Don’t Stay Home

I’m going to make a pronouncement and it’s not going to be popular. No one will listen because no one ever believes it will happen to them. I’m going to say it anyway: Don’t stay at home! Unless you have a career that allows you to seamlessly step back into the workforce (and honestly nursing is the only thing I’ve ever heard of that even comes close; maybe pharmacy or being a doctor or some other area of the medical field would as well) I implore you to keep your job even after children come along. Other exceptions would be if you have a legally binding agreement where the working partner agrees to put money aside for your personal retirement and pay alimony in the case of divorce, OR you are independently wealthy (or come into a healthy inheritance while married- just keep it separate at all times), OR, you have a secondary income, such as rental units, or a business, or stock dividends, or that handy inheritance.

Many times women (mostly women, anyway) walk away from their outside jobs to concentrate on raising the children. When they choose to, or are forced to, return to work they frequently return at a fraction of what they were making. Many times the skills they had to perform their job are outdated by the time they return. It’s a long tough road to get back on your feet financially. Most states don’t award alimony and even when it is awarded you’re now at the mercy of the ex. If the ex dies on you you’re screwed. It’s far, far better to make a good income and know that you can take care of yourself and your kids with no help from anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved being at home with my kids. I did a lot of things with my them. We went to a lot of places. When we first moved to Utah my daughter was in year round school, which turned out to be amazing. She had six weeks off in the summer and then was on a 9 weeks on/3 weeks off schedule. We went to Universal Studios, SeaWorld and the San Diego zoo at off peak times. It was wonderful! At Christmas time, her 3 weeks started after the winter break so she got 4-5 weeks from late December to late January. I took them back east to visit relatives, which we couldn’t have done if I had been working simply because we couldn’t have afforded four plane tickets at Christmas for what would basically amount to a four day getaway if the holidays fell on Thursday and Friday, or Monday and Tuesday. Assuming, of course, that Christmas Eve was recognized as a holiday. At my current place of employment it is not. Or rather, we get a half day. I’ve worked other places which gave me a half day on Christmas Eve, as well. Instead, my kids got to spend 2-3 weeks with relatives that they didn’t normally get to see.

I spent a lot of time volunteering at my kids’ schools. I was a room parent. I was heavily involved in PTA.

I was fortunate enough to be able to sleep in when my kids had no school. I was able to take them to water parks and amusement parks and museums and zoos. We went to the skating rink and flowers gardens and matinee movies. We got to go during the week and not have to fight the crowds. We could visit family during the summer and holidays, and when family came out to visit us I was able to spend time with them. On our cross country trips we could stop at Presidential museums and road side oddities. There was no hard and fast schedule. When Rock Star began traveling for out of state meets for gymnastics our last three years in Utah I was able to go and not have to worry about taking vacation time from work. We got to spend some pretty incredible weekends together in different cities- Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, Nashville. We had a blast and I treasure those memories.

I spent a lot of time with Rock Star and Picasso as they grew up, and I am so grateful I was able to have that time. It came at a horrible price, though.

Getting hired after not working outside of the home since 1998 was not an easy feat. As most of you know my first job post separation was working at Target on the Flow team. I got up at 3:20 in the morning and went to work at 4. I was paid $11/hour. It didn’t even pay my bills. Then I took a second job working at Kohl’s as seasonal help. That one paid $10. I finally made enough money to pay my bills and be able to buy Christmas gifts for my kids but I was also working sixteen hour days many days. I worked 21 days straight. I was in at 2 in the morning 2-3 days a week and 3 am the rest of the time during the month of December, and then usually would go and work another 8 hours at Kohl’s. My body ached. I never saw my kids. I was undoubtedly tired. Finally, I got offered my job at the bank, which I began in January of 2017. Again, I made $11/hour. I kept my job at Target and would work from 4-7 and then head home, take my daughter to school, and then finish getting ready for work before heading off to the bank. There were days that I would be called in the afternoon by my boss who would let me know that a closer had called off at one of our branches that was open until 7 and then I would go over there and close. I had a few days where I worked from 4-7, and then 8:45-7:15. Until April of that year I did it all with no financial help from Cousinfucker.

He had lost his job in June of 2016 and hadn’t sent another penny to help his children.

Even now I am not in great financial shape. Because of alimony I have to claim no deductions on my paychecks. I contribute to a 401k at a whopping 6% of my salary, which is actually very little because 6% of very little is very little. And I pay health insurance on the kids at $188 per paycheck. Plus dental. By the time everything is taken out I am actually taking home less money now, despite making over $2/hour more, than when I first started. The sad part is it’s probably going to take me another 2 or 3 years to even get back to where I started. And remember- I didn’t start at a great place! I just did a quick calculation and basically, I take home 55% of what I make. The other 45% goes to taxes, 401k, and insurance.

I am at the mercy of a man who has lied to me, who betrayed me, and who left me and my kids to the wolves. He had absolutely no regard for what might happen to us when he had his little “breakdown”. He didn’t even find it necessary to let me know anything more than he had lost his job and wouldn’t be sending anymore money.

Every month it’s an adventure, never knowing when I’ll get a notification that I’ve been paid. In the earlier days he would send a check about once a week. Nowadays he likes to save it all for the end of the end of the month! I think he likes to imagine me sweating it out.

So I say again. Don’t quit your job. Don’t rely on your husband to support you and provide you with your lifestyle. Don’t plan on him providing for your retirement. I used to think this woman from another board was crazy. She and her husband kept separate bank accounts. Her money was hers and his was his. They both paid into a joint account for marital household bills. Even once they co-mingled their funds she always made sure she never made a purchase that she couldn’t afford on her own. The house they bought? She could afford the mortgage if he left. Her car? She could afford it if he left. Fast forward to today, after an affair five or six years ago that resulted in a child, and she is finally divorcing him. Ironically, she’s not leaving because of the affair. She’s leaving because she doesn’t feel he is stepping up to be the father he should for that child. Nonetheless, she’s going to be fine because she never depended upon her husband financially.

I know it’s tempting. When work sucks or there’s never enough vacation time or that sweet baby face tempts you to stay and snuggle all day it’s easy to say, “Why not? He’ll never leave, and if he does he’ll have to pay me lots of money.” They don’t always do what they’re supposed to.

I was riding high for a whole five months- able to live in my home, pay the bills, put some money away for taxes and emergencies- and then he “lost” his job and I didn’t see another dime for ten months. In that time I lost my home, uprooted my children once again, sold off most of my furniture in order to have money to live on, and left the vast majority of everything I had ever owned in my lifetime behind. I moved in with my mother and took up residence on her couch.

Yes, perhaps there might have been things that would have made it easier. The ex and I were big spenders. We didn’t save much. Rock Star’s gymnastics were very expensive. I doted on my kids and they lacked for nothing. Perhaps if we had had more money invested or saved up things would have worked out better for me. Then again, we lived in a state that required a one year waiting period so unless I could get to that money to protect my share it wouldn’t have helped.

My biggest regret (aside from staying with him) is not going back to work to put myself in a better financial situation after I found out about Harley the first time. My second biggest regret is quitting my job and following him all around the country from the very beginning. I wanted to be a stay at home mom and he was all for it. Now I wish I had buckled down and done something with my life. Instead I’m almost 50 years old and I’m still trying to decide if I should go back and get my Masters (for what I don’t know), remain at the bank and hope promotions and raises keep coming, or if I move on and hope that my decades old Communications degree plus my 2 years of work experience might translate into a much higher paying job elsewhere.

One more time- DON’T QUIT YOUR JOB TO STAY HOME WITH YOUR KIDS! It can happen to you. Yes, you! It happens all the time. And it’s happening later and later in life, when it’s a lot more difficult to pick up the pieces and rebuild. Protect yourselves.

Forced Civilization

Ta-da! This is it. Part 5. Aren’t you glad I broke it up into 5 easily digested pieces? Me too. As always, here are parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Enjoy!

I’m going to say it one more time: Maintain no contact! If you’ve chosen to remain married, maintain no contact with the affair partner. Pain shopping never ends well.

Remember all those things I’d love to say? It would only result in me looking crazy. Hell, I probably look crazy right now as I write this.

It is patently unfair. They get to preen around like peacocks and we’re expected to sit quietly, say nothing, and be happy for the new couple lest we be deemed “bitter”.

Do they “deserve” to have someone chime in on their page and remind them about the kids he abandoned, or the fact that their happiness came at The Saint’s and my expense? Sure. Would it be fun to say something like, “Hey, it’s great that you can be a dad to her kids; too bad you haven’t seen your own in over 2 years,” or “Does everyone know that you could drive 12 hours round trip to see your whore every weekend for 6 months but you haven’t been able to make that drive to see your children one time in more than 2 years?”? Well, of course it would be fun!

But it will also make me look like a bitter, crazy person. Oh, look; she just can’t let go. It’s so sad that Sam can’t focus on her own life and try to find some happiness. Looks like she’s going to let this divorce destroy her. Her poor children. Obviously, Sam prefers to be bitter and hateful instead of appreciating the fact that her husband of twenty years released her from the burden of being his wife.

Even though I’m telling the truth no one wants to hear it. They want tidy. They want shiny. They want everything to fit comfortably inside a little box. As Jack Nicholson would tell you, “They can’t handle the truth!” They don’t want to hear about all the ill effects of adultery. Affairs are between two people and we just never know what goes on in another person’s marriage. Sam probably had it coming. She was probably a terrible wife and that’s why he cheated. Besides, everyone is happier now so it was all for the best. Get over it!

In playing your role as the crazy ex you give voice to their untruthful narrative. See? I told you she was unreasonable! I told you she was hateful and mean and tried to make me eat a turnip!

You’re just a big bowl of cray cray so what else could they do? They found comfort in one another. They bonded over the craziness that was their exes and all of the abuse and neglect that was heaped upon them. Thank God we found each other and can now revel in real happiness with someone who truly loves me and takes care of me.

When you go after the affair partner instead of the cheating spouse it gets even worse! She’s now the victim in all of this. You are unreasonable! You are blaming the wrong person! She’s crying to anyone who will listen to it and everyone pats her back sympathetically and nods their head in agreement. “Why is she doing this? You slept with her husband and now she’s acting crazy! What’s the big deal? Why won’t she leave you alone? You’re innocent! My God it was just a little bump and grind!”

So you stay away. You maintain no contact because there is nothing to be gained. It is a setup from the very beginning. You are destined to lose. If you point out all the destruction and pain you’re labeled bitter, vengeful, jealous. They tell you to get over it. To think of the children. Your truth is unwanted by these people. Similarly, the cheaters’ truth is lapped up like a luscious bowl of cream.

The ex would like nothing better than to convince everyone that I’m not his victim; I’m exactly the same as him so no one should pay attention to anything I say or anything he’s done. He’s done no worse than me so I can’t talk about him.

It’s not true. I’m not sneaking around behind a clueless wife’s back. I’m not having clandestine meetings in work spaces or parking lots or minivans. I certainly never siphoned off money for a boyfriend and his kids, or took money meant for someone else’s kids. The minute I start to defend myself against him, though, I lose. Facts do not matter to them. The truth does not matter to them. The truth is malleable. You can twist it and turn it to suit your purposes.

Just like he wants everyone to believe he’s a devoted father who loves his children. The only reason he hadn’t seen them in over two years was because of me and the fact that I poisoned them against him.

You end up dropping the rope because you realize the only way to win is to not play. Kind of like War Games. The only move I can make is to keep my mouth shut and let the happy couple look like a couple of idiots with a bunch of delusional supporters. I can snark away at them over here on the safety of my blog. I have to be secure in the knowledge that the only people who really matter know the truth. I realize that if he ever were to get in my face and start slinging shit my way the best thing I could do would be to say, “Dude, I know it’s really important to you to believe that story, so I’m gonna let you have it. It seems to be much more important for you to believe that you’re right than it is to me to prove that you’re wrong.”

I’ll let you in on a little secret. As hard as it may be to stay away and keep silent, it really is the best course of action. Cheaters hate not being central. They hate not being in control. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over these last few years it’s that those of us who have been cheated on have also been slowly and systematically trained to cave and give into the demands of the cheater. It’s not always an overt type of thing; I’d go so far as to say most of the time it’s not. The cheater just always thinks he or she knows best and we follow along. We try so hard not to rock the boat, to give them what they want, to make them happy, that we often end up losing our agency.

Would it have been wonderful to have put a HUGE sign on his car that said, “I tricked my wife and kids into moving 2000 miles away so that I could resume my affair with my cousin!” along with all of his clothes in his work parking lot? Oh my God yes! Would it have felt great to post signs all along the route to our house that said, “Cheater lives here,”? Uh-huh. Or maybe renting a big billboard in their new city with their pictures on it, letting everyone know to congratulate the happy cheaters. Again, yes. Expensive, but yes, it would have been satisfying. There are definitely days I wish I had called her up and told her about my crying kids or that I had ripped him a new one, or that I had even just dumped everything of his out on the lawn.

But you know what? It wouldn’t have mattered. I would have played right into their narrative that I was a crazy, jealous, overbearing pyscho and he had to get away! On the other hand, despite doing none of that I know he lies. He tells people I filed for divorce and he has no idea why. I know he tells people I rounded up all of his stuff into black garbage bags and threw it on the curb. He continues to tell people he moved away from his kids and in with his mistress/cousin six hours away because I forced him to move out of the family home (and wouldn’t let him take one single thing with him!). Ultimately though he knows none of that happened. I cared so little for him and his antics that I simply pretended he no longer existed.

I have no scientific proof of this, but I sincerely believe that ignoring him (or any of them) is much more effective than going balls to the wall with them- spouse or affair partner. Like we can’t fight against the injustice of their stupid image management, they can’t fight against silence. How do you fight against something that isn’t there?

I would like to believe that me ignoring him drives him crazy. I was supposed to beg and plead and instead I merely wiped out the bank account and gave him the deep freeze. There was no pretending to put on a united front. I didn’t protect him. I told our kids the truth. I told my family the truth. Hell, I told the lady at the vet’s office the truth. I sang loud and proud. No fucking way I was going to own his shit show. If he didn’t want everyone in our small town to know he was a liar who moved his entire family across the country to get closer to his cousin then he shouldn’t have done it.

Every time he has tried to antagonize me I have refused to take the bait. Well, except for that one time in May of 2016. Even then I kept it pretty funny and brief.

Hacking my Facebook page? Changed my password. Contacted my lawyer. Proved it was him. Sending text messages to the mobster from a burner phone? Ignored. Playing with child support? Show cause hearing which has resulted in him having to pay large lump sums to me each and every time. Sending the checks in obnoxious envelopes? Ignored. Checks cashed. Telling me to check my damn mailbox and calling me greedy because I dared to ask about support? Let him know that if it was too much for the poor dear to hear from me I’d be more than happy to garnish his paycheck. Fucking around with paying support and doing it on his own schedule. Again, reminded him of the court order and let him know I would be filing a garnishment with the state if he did it again. Doing his own child support modification? Hey, I gave him fair warning and then I contacted my lawyer. All of his lies? Confronted with the truth in court.

As far as I’m concerned I’ve been an ideal ex. I stay away. I don’t contact him unless it’s absolutely necessary. I do not and have not ever harassed him or the whore by phone, text, email, or in person. I’ve never asked him for a dime above what he’s been ordered to pay, and quite honestly, those times when he wasn’t paying and should have been I didn’t say a word. I figure out what needs to be done and then I do it. Usually it’s through some sort of court order and then he gets really pissy but that’s neither here nor there.

I’ll say it one last time. Stay away. Stay off social media. When you feed the beast it continues to grow. It feels good in the moment but it’s giving them power. They still matter! Or, in other cases, you continue to be the big, bad hinderance to true love. What’s that they say? Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it. Continuing to beat yourself up by looking at the part of their lives they’re willing to put on Facebook is like wrestling with a pig and arguing with an idiot. It does no good. It will never help you. It’s all designed, in fact, to hurt you. You can’t confront them or you look like the crazy person and they come off looking like the poor, stalked victims. Focus on your own life. Take it from someone who did something really stupid and paid the price in self-doubt. Keep being the best badass you can be and, as Chump Lady would say, trust that they suck!

Missing the Affair Partner… One More Time

I believe I have written about cheaters who miss the affair partner (here, here, here, here, and here) and wish for understanding and sympathy. I haven’t been very gentle about that. #sorrynotsorry

I thought I would try it again after reading a comment on another blog. The comment was basically that most men have a bond with the other woman and that they’re put in this Catch-22 situation where they’re supposed to be open and vulnerable with their wives but gosh darn it, no one seems to understand how much they miss that ho. And no one is sympathetic to that. No one understands what a loss that is. Rats!

I’m going to try to reply to this with a level head and like I really care that a lying cheater misses his morally bankrupt whore. How am I doing so far? LOL I’m just yanking your chain. I know that is not very level headed of me. Do I get points for recognizing that? I can’t help it. I’ve been hurt before…

Seriously though. This is my thought process. No one wants to hear that the person you love is missing someone that caused you so much grief and agony.

It would be like if my boyfriend/husband had a friend. Let’s call him Charlie. And he did tons of stuff with Charlie- going out to dinner, skiing, golfing, hunting, meeting for beers after work. Then one day Charlie rapes me, or beats the shit out of me and puts me in the hospital. I press charges against Charlie and he goes to prison. And then my partner sighs wistfully and tells me with tears in his eyes, “Gosh, I’m really going to miss Charlie. We always had so much fun together.”

Are you fucking shitting me? Maybe instead of reminiscing about all the fun you had drinking beer, eating hot wings, and playing bar trivia with Charlie, you should focus on the grievous injury he caused me!

“Gosh, Sam, you don’t seem to even try to understand that I’m hurting, too. I’ve suffered a loss- a real loss.”

Yeah, I suffered a concussion and several broken bones. I’ll try to be more understanding while I’m going through physical therapy.

This interloper has helped to cause endless amounts of turmoil. Many times they are at the forefront, taunting the wife. He loves me. If you were giving him everything he needed at home he wouldn’t be with me. He wants me, not you. I love him too much to ever walk away. If he wanted this to end, he would end it, but he doesn’t so there is no way I’ll ever walk away.

You betray us with this person and then you want sympathy because you have to give her up. Please understand that I miss this person who has caused you so much pain. I have a bond with her! I feel a real connection.

It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you are not enough. Knowing that even though your partner supposedly wants to work things out with you that he’s still missing his affair partner and mourns the loss of her. He may always yearn for her and what could have been, and you’re expected to be okay with that and to tell him you understand. Tell me more. Cry on my shoulder. Would a threesome help? How about if I just let you bring her on over and you can fuck her right in our bed? Feeling better? Great! Sorry, I know that’s not very level headed. I’m trying to be nice.

Another reason your partner might not be so sympathetic to your plight? She loves you; you have her undivided loyalty. She does not have yours. While you are first in her life, she has been placed in the backseat for your mistress. You’ve probably shared secrets about her with this other woman. You may have even told her lies about your partner. She has not done that to you and yet she is supposed to be understanding. She doesn’t know for certain that if she and the mistress were both trapped in a burning building that you would rush to save her before the mistress. Maybe she would die while you tried to figure out a way to save them both.

This bond that you speak of between you and your mistress comes at the expense of your supposed primary relationship. If she never agreed to a non-monogamous relationship then she probably doesn’t buy into your explanation that your love is not like a pie, where there is only so much to divvy up and as more and more people enter the picture, the smaller the slice you get. No, rather your love continues to expand, much like a parent can love more than one child.

The problem with that is most people don’t consider their relationship with their partner to be similar to their relationship with their child. It is definitely a pie situation.

I find it difficult to believe that you can be all in with two or three or four different people. No, what generally happens is that each person gets a little part of you, but no one ever gets the whole you. Or in the case of affairs, one person meets 90% of your needs while the other person meets 10% but you believe that that 10% is so much more valuable than the 90% your partner offers up.

That’s about all the niceties I can do. My real thought process on this is that if you miss your mistress so much then go to her. Stop wasting my time. I deserve to be happy, too; being invested in a person who is mooning over a whore does not make me happy. You are not the only person in this relationship and your feelings and wants are not the only ones that need to be considered. Go to your mistress and let’s see if you explain to her that while you’ve chosen her she still needs to understand that you miss me very much and you shared a very deep bond with me.

I doubt it. That’s not usually what you read. It’s more along the lines of: My affair partner is simply fabulous. She (or he) is everything my spouse is not. She (or he) understands me. We have an ethereal connection.

There is no missing the primary partner. There is no thought of the primary partner. Only the affair partner.

I don’t think most cheaters would enjoy being compared to someone else. I don’t think they would appreciate hearing how their partner misses how much fun she used to have with Marco because he always took her to such amazing places. Or how she really misses Blake’s money and all that he used to buy for her. Or how fantastic Owen was in bed. Or that Ben just gets her and you don’t.

Your wife/girlfriend/partner doesn’t enjoy that either. And yet the expectation is understanding, sympathy. You poor lamb. You must be in terrible pain.

I can admit without a shred of embarrassment that I am a possessive and jealous person. I do not share. I have no interest in sharing. The mobster knows this about me. He knows that if he wants a non-monogamous relationship that I am not the woman for him. He knows that if he lies about wanting a monogamous relationship in order to “win” me and then fucks around on me that I will end the relationship without a second thought, and that there will be no second chances. He also knows that it is a two way street. I will never be unfaithful and I would never expect, nor even ask for, a second chance if for some unknown reason I did do the unthinkable.

I like to tease him about our conversations way back in the beginning when we first began talking. I don’t think either of us really thought this would go anywhere so we were free to talk about anything and to be very open and honest about it. In one of our first conversations I remember him telling me he would always love his wife. I even still have a text message where he made that comment.

You know what I thought to myself when I heard that? No, it wasn’t, “Oh, I’m going to change his mind!” It was, “He is not relationship material.” I was not going to compete with the memories of his wife. I was not going to get involved with yet another person who longed for someone else yet settled for me.

I was in a relationship for 20 years where I was basically ignored, thrown under the bus, and never made a priority. He never stuck up for me. He cheated. He didn’t respect me as a person. And he probably mooned over Harley while I tried to be understanding and forgiving and worked on all of my faults in order to repair our relationship. I will never accept that again.

If the mobster truly believed that he would always love his wife then he was free to do so. Quite honestly there was no way that I could ever stop it. But if that’s how he felt then we would never evolve beyond friends because I was not going to share again, and I would not be put in second place yet again. If I ever chose to date again then I was going to have that man’s undivided attention. He would have no torn loyalties. There would be no, “I love you but you need to understand….” in regards to another woman. You can love her all day long but you need to go along your way and leave me the fuck alone because I don’t share and I sit at the head of the table.

When you ask your partner to sympathize with you because you’re missing your affair partner, or to recognize the fact that you have a bond with that other person, you are asking your partner to take second place. You are telling your partner that he or she is not enough for you. Your loyalties are divided. We are left always wondering, “If you left me and went to your affair partner would you miss me like you miss her (or him)?”

More Advice From Mort

Oh, Mort; you’ve gotta love him. The mobster googled him and apparently for a mere $775/hour you can see him in person for counseling. If you want the intensive in-home counseling though you’ll have to shell out $8500/day plus travel expenses.

I told the mobster I was going into business for myself. For a bargain price of $5000/day I will follow you around and slap you upside the head whenever you start to feel pity for your cheater. I will research the hell out of Chump Lady blogs and give you snarky, sane advice. I will tell you that you deserve better and try to compel you to look at the reasons you’re willing to settle for so little. I’ll regal you with stories of how life can be so much better without a cheater. I’ll tell you that you can do this, that you are mighty, that you can overcome all obstacles. I’ll hopefully get you to realize there are no such things as personality transplants, and that the person you’re leaving is not a good person if they could do these things to you. If you wish to do this over the phone? $225/hour. Same price for in person counseling sessions. I figure I have as much experience and training as good ol’ Mort so why not?

Alas, the problem is no one wants to hear my message. They all want to believe that it can be fixed and that there is a magic formula to save every marriage. No one wants to hear that their partner is an entitled nitwit. They don’t want to be told that they are doing all the work while the spouse who should be doing the work is sitting back watching you dance.

They want to be told that deep down the cheating spouse is a good person. They’re suffering from toxic shame. They’re in a fog or suffering a midlife crisis. That “hurt people hurt people”. They have FOO issues. They don’t trust. They’re afraid of being vulnerable. They need your 100% guarantee that if they agree to give up the side piece you’ll promise not to leave (and to never bring up the affair again either).

That’s where Mort comes in. Listen to him and he guarantees that your marriage will be restored and you’ll be more in love than ever, or your money back.

I’ll give you his tips for free, but not without a bit of added snark.

  1. Don’t spy! Spying is bad; cheating not so much. According to Mort, spying is another form of betrayal. <gasp> Yes, spying is just like fucking another person behind your spouse’s back. They are exactly the same. It is, as he likes to call it, a violation of trust. You know what violates your trust, Mort?  Being moved 2000 miles across the damn country so your husband can get closer to his whore cousin! Having your husband try to get you to send naked pictures while he’s with his whore cousin. Showing other people naked pictures he’s taken of you while you were asleep. Telling you that he’s sending his mom money every week when the reality is he’s sending Harley the Whore money. Letting you get online and pay his whore’s cell phone bill. Those are violations of trust. Checking phones, hacking into emails, following a spouse, or plotting to put a voice activated recorder in cars pales in comparison. Not to mention those actions are all taken due to the mindfuck the betrayed spouse is living through. He urges you “not to go there” because you’ll just add to the distrust in the marriage and make matters worse. Yes, trying to get honest answers is the root of all evil. Few marriages can withstand that. Remember folks, it’s not the cheating that is the problem. It is uncovering the cheating that is the problem. Maintain your decency and integrity, chump! Okay, he didn’t call you a chump; I did. But it’s the same damn thing. Eat that shit sundae and smile while you’re doing it! You’re the better person!
  2. Hang in there! Put your life on hold! The vast majority of affairs end within a year, he tells us.  You’ve got nothing better to do than to wait out the affair partner. The affair will die. And surely there will never be another one. Don’t make an impulsive decision. Don’t impose consequences. Don’t think about yourself and what you deserve. Hang in there until the affair runs its natural course. Because again, you’ve got nothing better to do than to wait for your unfaithful spouse to wake up and come back to you. Your needs don’t matter. You don’t matter. Only the cheater matters. He goes on to advise that after the affair dies maybe you and your spouse might see your marriage and your future differently. Yep, I’m sure the cheater is thinking, “Holy shit! I can’t believe I almost had to do all this shit on my own!  Who would have done my dishes? Who would have done my laundry? Who would have cooked for me? Who would have contributed to the bank account? Who would have taken care of the kids? I don’t want to be alone. I need somebody to be here to take care of me and make my life easy. Plus… sex.
  3. Kill ‘em with kindness. I like the way you’re thinking I just don’t like your technique. I was thinking more along the lines of a crowbar Mort realizes the cheater doesn’t deserve it but offers up this gem: If you want to spoil his (or her) affair and turn your marriage around, don’t treat your spouse the way he treats you; treat your spouse the way you want him to treat you. He believes that the cheating spouse wants the betrayed spouse to leave them alone so they feel “emotionally free” to philander, but when you extend kindness it tugs on their conscience and ruins their justification for betraying you. No, Mort, no it doesn’t. That is not how this works. Cheaters cheat because they can. They feel entitled to cheat and they have crappy character. They look at kindness as a weakness. You tell your cheating spouse that nothing they do will ever make you stop loving them and they’ll kick you even harder. They are never thinking about you; they think about themselves. They love nothing more than being central. They fuck around and you dance as fast as you can to try to entice them back. It is one huge platter of cake to them.
  4. Seduce ‘em. Oh brother. He does say that no one should do anything sexually they don’t want to. I want to make that clear before I tear him a new one. He goes on to offer this useful nugget: …it’s helpful to rev up the sexual part of your relationship. Your friend may have told you, “Don’t let him have his cake and eat it too.” Yeah, you’ll feel vindicated withholding sex. But what will that accomplish? Perhaps they will preserve their dignity? Then again, who cares about your dignity when you’re fighting for your man (or woman)? It’s punitive; it’s not healing. Um, excuse me, but not having sex with someone who clearly has no respect for you and who has more than likely been gas lighting and lying to you for God only knows how long is not punitive. It’s common sense. Obviously if the cheated on spouse wishes to have sex, feel free, but how dare you try to shame someone into fucking their lying, cheating spouse? Show her (or him) what she (or he) will be missing if he takes his business elsewhere. Ah, the ol’ pick me dance performed on your back. Or your knees. Or cowgirl style. Hey, my mother isn’t the only one with a dirty mouth.

What do I know? My husband cheated and I didn’t follow Mort’s brilliant advice and now I’m divorced. Would I still be married if I had followed it? Pretended everything was fine? Seduced him on a regular basis? Never checked his phone?  I doubt it. What he wanted was total annihilation of the past. Don’t ever bring it up. Don’t ever let it affect you. Be grateful that I, cheating, lying CF, gave you a second chance. Be grateful that I chose you, Sam, over the cunt face cum dumpster.

I feel that I did do a lot of what Mort suggests. I listened with an open mind. I made changes and gave him what he said he wanted. All the changes were on my end, though; none on his. After October of 2013, a mere two months after finding out he had sniffed her out again and had been carrying on with her all summer long, I didn’t bring it up again until we were ready to move and he tried to keep me off the deed to our new house in Virginia. But that wasn’t enough for him. I wasn’t allowed to have any feelings about his affair with her. I was supposed to grant immediate forgiveness to everyone in his family, despite the fact that none of them asked for it, and none of them cut ties with her. And God forbid I have a bad day!

That brings me to my final point. Perhaps the real question isn’t whether or not I would still be married if I had followed Mort’s advice. The real question is whether or not I’m better off now without him. The answer to that is a resounding YES!

Warning: Unapologetic happy photos ahead.

How could I not be madly in love with someone who writes love letters on the sidewalk?

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My new favorite, I think.

 

Yes, maybe I could have kept my lying, cheating husband if I had followed Mort’s advice; but then I would have missed out on all of this.

The Devil You Know

I came across an article written by someone who purports to rebuild remarriages after affairs. For a tidy sum he can help you keep that delightful lying, cheating love of your life.

I have long said that I’m not here to give advice. If you’ve read much of my blog then you know that I had more than one DDay which means I forgave my lying cheater at least once. Technically speaking I suppose Harley was the gift that resurfaced three times. The first time was when he supposedly spontaneously confessed he had been “texting” other women.

True story? Her husband discovered what they were up to and messaged me on FB. Cousinfucker deleted the message and then blocked him. Why he owned up to texting her is beyond me.

Oh, and he never elaborated on exactly what it was he was texting and then refused to disclose a week or so later. I was so stupid and thought he was so honorable that he might have felt guilty simply because he was talking to other women and spilling secrets about our marriage.

So that was DDay #1. Happy Mother’s Day!

DDay #2 was August 14, 2013, three months later. I got yet another message from her husband.

Yeah, about that blocking thing… when he came back from Jezebel’s wedding Harley the Whore blocked me. I had her profile picture up all over the house when he got home and my lying cheater promptly told his twu luv all about it. Once I realized I was blocked I did some digging and found her husband on my list of blocked contacts, which was really strange because at that point I don’t think I had blocked anyone ever in my life!

DDay #3 was two years later, almost to the day. August 10th, 2015. A day which will live in infamy and is only surpassed by June 10th, 2016 as one of the crappiest days of my life.

I dredge all this up again to point out that I, too, forgave my husband at one point. I don’t condemn those who choose to make a go of it. I don’t look down on them. I’m here telling my story and sharing my thoughts so that hopefully others won’t suffer through the same shit I did.

With that said, what the hell, Mort? You’re selling snake oil!

Some of his wonderful advice? #1- Don’t ask about the affair or go to marriage counseling. #2- Tell them divorce is not an option. #3- Have sex with your partner if you want to. I’m not sure if #4 is from him or some other person promising success for 3 easy installment payments of $299, but I’ve also heard that if your partner is still in the affair then be extra sweet and understanding. Don’t make them feel any “toxic shame”.

O.M.G. This is a cheater’s wet dream! I get to fuck around and you can’t ask me about it!

Of course they don’t want to talk about it! They don’t like consequences. They’d rather engage in all that hysterical bonding. Now that’s where the fun is at!

Let’s concentrate on the sex and forget the talking. When you talk you make me feel something akin to guilt and I don’t like that. I’m so splendiferous that I wouldn’t actually feel guilt but when you use words and say things like, “You really hurt me,” and “I don’t trust you anymore,” or “What were you thinking fucking that low class whore?” then it almost makes me feel bad and it certainly doesn’t get me hot and bothered. Let’s stick to sex and forget all the talking stuff.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but let’s face it divorce is always an option when one person wants out. You can’t prevent it no matter how much you personally may be against it.

Honestly? It’s just another form of pick me dancing. No matter what you do I won’t divorce you. Keep fucking the whore. Tell me everything is my fault. Give me a list of things that I need to work on. 

I think my favorite thing about Mort, though, is his philosophy on forgiving the cheating spouse. https://marriagemax.com/cheater/  What if your spouse has done the work and is truly repentant? Don’t you owe it to him or her to forgive and forget and reap the benefits of all your hard work? Don’t you realize that your chances of dumping the cheater only to end up with someone else who just cheats on you is sky high so you may as well keep the cheater you know? I think Mort says it so much better.

Most victims of infidelity (and other emotional hardships) believe that they’ll be safer in a relationship with someone who never cheated on them or hurt them. I completely understand this FEELING. However, the OPPOSITE might be true.

In the case of the woman above, it appears that her husband really changed. And I’ve seen many people transform themselves after getting the “I want a divorce” wake up call. Unless her husband is a pathological liar or a sociopath, he’s LESS LIKELY to make the same mistake again compared to someone whose track record is clean. In other words, once a spouse learns their lesson, they’re LESS vulnerable to make the same mistake than someone who’s never erred in that way before.

According to a 1998 survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States ADMIT to having been unfaithful. The noted author Shirley Glass’ research suggests it is probably closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men! That means that starting from scratch gives the above woman a 50% chance of finding another husband who will be faithful.

Now let me ask you: at this point in this woman’s husband’s life, given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll screw up again? If this woman gave him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family years before? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.

Let me clarify that I’m talking in this case about a man who truly transformed himself and succeeded to prove that he’s changed. I’m NOT talking about someone who continually makes empty promises.

If this woman were to leave her husband, I think Las Vegas would give her LOWER odds that this sort of thing would never happen to her again.

Here lies an unfortunate irony. People wait years and years for their spouse to wake up and change their ways. Then when they finally do it, they’re told it’s too late.

I understand why someone would feel, after being cheated on, for example, that “it’s too late.” But the fact of the matter is that they’re about to walk away from a person who is FINALLY prepared to be a wonderful loving spouse.

In my experience, it’s these people, people who have made serious mistakes, people who have had the harshest wake up calls, who become the BEST spouses and are capable, more than anyone else, of forging the MOST fulfilling relationships.

Do you see the irony here?

The mistakes that ruin relationships are those that transform the sinners into people capable of the most outstanding relationships. The unfortunate thing for the victim is that they don’t know how to heal from the hurt that would enable them to reap the benefit of their ordeal.

So the roles become reversed. The person who was ruining the relationship stands ready to transform it; while the person who wanted to work on the relationship all along becomes the cog in the wheel that inhibits true love.

In other words, the woman above has a choice. If she lets her husband go, he’ll most likely fall in love with another woman and treat her like a queen. He’ll be the husband to his new wife that the woman above always wanted him to be to her. I’ve seen it happen too often. Some lucky woman owes a poor victim a lot of gratitude. But this woman has another option. She could forgive her husband and become that lucky woman!

Here’s Sam’s philosophy: Yes, if you don’t fix your picker and figure out why you settled for so little in your relationship there is a good chance you could wind up with the exact same kind of person- a person who is willing to lie and cheat and take you for granted. But if you do fix your picker you have a really good chance of finding someone who won’t cheat on you, someone who will value you. Or put another way, you already know your current partner is a cheater. Those odds are 100%. It’s done. This mythological new person? Hasn’t done a damn thing to you!

But I’ll bite. Let’s take Mort’s theory bit by bit.

Most victims of infidelity (and other emotional hardships) believe that they’ll be safer in a relationship with someone who never cheated on them or hurt them. I completely understand this FEELING. However, the OPPOSITE might be true.

Yes, it might be true. Then it again it might not be. As I said above; however, you know with 100% certainty that your current partner has the ability to cheat on you because they have already, wait for it.. cheated on you!

In the case of the woman above, it appears that her husband really changed. And I’ve seen many people transform themselves after getting the “I want a divorce” wake up call. Unless her husband is a pathological liar or a sociopath, he’s LESS LIKELY to make the same mistake again compared to someone whose track record is clean. In other words, once a spouse learns their lesson, they’re LESS vulnerable to make the same mistake than someone who’s never erred in that way before.

Well, Mort, the devil is in the details, isn’t it? The problem here is that a lot of very remorseless cheaters say they’ve changed.

What they really mean is they don’t want to go through the hassle of a divorce. You are useful to them. They’ll do a better job of keeping the affair hidden.

My own husband swore up and down that he had learned his lesson. Harley was the biggest mistake of his life. He should have bought a motorcycle instead of engaging with her. He talked to her the way he wanted to talk to me. He would never make that mistake again. I was the reason he was alive and why he fought in a war.

Two years later I was going through the exact same hell and with the exact same whore. The man learned nothing. He wanted everything to be perfect and go back to normal and at the first hint that that wasn’t the case he reached out to Harley the Whore.

According to a 1998 survey by researchers at the University of Chicago, about 25 percent of married men and 17 percent of married women in the United States ADMIT to having been unfaithful. The noted author Shirley Glass’ research suggests it is probably closer to 25 percent of women and 40 to 50 percent of men! That means that starting from scratch gives the above woman a 50% chance of finding another husband who will be faithful.

Even if I agreed with your 40-50% statistic for men cheating, I still have a 50% chance that the new guy won’t cheat and I’m still left with the fact that I’m 100% sure that my current partner is a cheater.

Now let me ask you: at this point in this woman’s husband’s life, given all he’s been through and learned, what are the chances that he’ll screw up again? If this woman gave him another chance, what’s the likelihood that he’d make the same mistake that almost caused him to lose his family years before? In my opinion, it’s dramatically less than 50%. In fact, I think it’s slim to none.

I think you are way too optimistic. You are also assuming that every person who does not wish to divorce is invested in the marriage. That is simply not the case. Many times they are simply invested in not suffering consequences. Divorce has many consequences- losing custody time of your kids, splitting retirement funds, moving out of houses, no longer having someone to do your laundry/cook your food/clean your house/take care of your kids, no longer having access to your partner’s paycheck, losing friends and relatives…

Let me clarify that I’m talking in this case about a man who truly transformed himself and succeeded to prove that he’s changed. I’m NOT talking about someone who continually makes empty promises.

That’s the kicker, isn’t it, Mort? How do we really know which one we ended up with? Is the person truly remorseful? Have they truly transformed themselves? Or are they avoiding consequences?

If this woman were to leave her husband, I think Las Vegas would give her LOWER odds that this sort of thing would never happen to her again.

I don’t appreciate your scare tactics. I also don’t believe you should continue a marriage based upon the fact that, “Well, the next person will probably cheat, too, so why bother to find someone who won’t cheat and who will value me?

Maybe this person will find someone who is 100x better than the person left behind. That is another possibility.

Here lies an unfortunate irony. People wait years and years for their spouse to wake up and change their ways. Then when they finally do it, they’re told it’s too late.

I understand why someone would feel, after being cheated on, for example, that “it’s too late.” But the fact of the matter is that they’re about to walk away from a person who is FINALLY prepared to be a wonderful loving spouse.

In my experience, it’s these people, people who have made serious mistakes, people who have had the harshest wake up calls, who become the BEST spouses and are capable, more than anyone else, of forging the MOST fulfilling relationships.

Do you see the irony here?

Ah, the ol’ personality transplant! This person is now going to be everything you’ve ever wanted them to be! Nicely co-mingled with a giant helping of shaming people into forgiving the person who has devastated them.

Here’s the problem with your thinking, Mort. If my spouse has been an ass for 15-20 years and I’ve been begging him to change his ways and to please, please, please, keep his penis in his pants and then I finally wise up and realize his behavior is never going to change so I tell him I’m leaving him, it is NOT my fault that the marriage does not survive when he is finally facing  uncomfortable consequences and promises to change to avoid said uncomfortable consequences. You are putting the responsibility of the relationship succeeding or failing onto the person who has been abused and gaslighted for years. No, the relationship didn’t fail because I finally wised up and accepted my husband was an ass who was never going to change. It failed because my husband was an ass who was never going to change.

The mistakes that ruin relationships are those that transform the sinners into people capable of the most outstanding relationships. The unfortunate thing for the victim is that they don’t know how to heal from the hurt that would enable them to reap the benefit of their ordeal.

So the roles become reversed. The person who was ruining the relationship stands ready to transform it; while the person who wanted to work on the relationship all along becomes the cog in the wheel that inhibits true love.

Again, nice job blaming the victim. This relationship could work if only you would forget what I did! Yes, I may have mistreated you and taken you for granted (not to mention lied to you and cheated on you) for 20 years, but the real reason our marriage ultimately failed was because you refused to forgive me the 21st year.

In other words, the woman above has a choice. If she lets her husband go, he’ll most likely fall in love with another woman and treat her like a queen. He’ll be the husband to his new wife that the woman above always wanted him to be to her. I’ve seen it happen too often. Some lucky woman owes a poor victim a lot of gratitude. But this woman has another option. She could forgive her husband and become that lucky woman!

It so rarely works that way. That’s the fear that keeps people stuck. He/she will be better for the next person!

No, chances are very good that he or she will not be better for the next person. Oh, it may look that way from what is posted on Facebook or Instagram. He or she may even be able to keep that mask on for a few years. It will eventually slip. The shiny will eventually wear off the new relationship and they’ll be looking for something new and exciting once again.

Mort likes to tout his high success rate of couples remaining together. That’s nice, but there’s a difference between staying together because a divorce or splitting up is too inconvenient and your partner is of use to you, versus actually recommitting to your relationship.

Not a Bitter Bunny

What is up with people accusing Chump Lady of being bitter and angry, and refusing to move on? The critics say they have read her stuff, but have they really?

I get it. If you want to reconcile you probably don’t appreciate hearing that the cheater in your life is not sorry, there’s nothing you can do to prevent more cheating, and that your chances of living happily ever after are pretty dismal. You probably don’t want to hear that your super special snowflake cheater is an entitled cake eater who will lie to keep that comfy existence. They don’t want to hear that you can’t prevent them from cheating again, and while it may be comforting on some level to hear that it wasn’t your fault, it also means you can’t control whether or not they cheat again.

As someone pointed out, though, her tag line is: Leave a cheater, gain a life. She believes in YOU, her reader, the person coming to her site for help or an empathetic ear. She believes you can rebuild. You can go on and have an amazing life- without your cheater. She encourages people not to put up with the lies and the excuses and the entitlement. She encourages people to drop consequences on the entitled cheaters. She asks the important question: Is this relationship acceptable to you? She tells people to focus on themselves and not the cheater. She’s not willing to sit there and smile pretty while eating the shit sandwich. She doesn’t believe in asking yourself what you did or didn’t do to cause another person to cheat; she instead asks you to examine what is lacking in that person that they believed cheating was acceptable.

Furthermore, while she may not be a big proponent of reconciliation she does tell people who are going to go that route to protect themselves. Get a post nup. Get tested for STDs. Run a credit report. Make them be responsible for making that therapy appointment. Make them show you they are sorry! Put the responsibility back on them.

God, I wish I had read her back when I first found out about Zack and Harley. Things could have gone so much differently. She encourages people to put their needs ahead of the cheating spouse’s, which is the opposite of what most reconciliation sites preach. I figure either we would have divorced before our cross country move, or we’d still be happily(ish) married. Instead I listened to those who bashed her and believed she had nothing to offer. I did read an article or two, but I was so used to reading blogs written by people about their own lives that I really didn’t “get” Chump Lady at the time.

I think that’s the key, though. She won’t shut up. She won’t take responsibility for her husband cheating on her. She doesn’t let the people who write to her take responsibility for the person who cheated on them either. She continues to shout from the rooftops that adultery hurts families. She doesn’t whitewash it and make excuses and pretend that it’s no big deal.

I don’t see how anyone who reads her, really reads her, could say she’s angry and bitter and can’t get over being cheated on. Her blog rarely mentions her own situation; on occasion she will point out something that happened, but most of it is general musings, unlike most blogs which are focused solely on the writer. She’s married to a fantastic guy who treats her like a queen. She has an extremely popular website. She wrote a book, for crying out loud! She recently went to Paris and bought pants at $300 a pair! I’m fairly certain she’s doing okay. Plus, as someone who has actually met her I can tell you she is absolutely lovely.

The bitter, angry commenters? They’re not bitter and angry, but like Chump Lady, they refuse to be silent. They tell their stories. Frequently, those stories are not pleasant. It’s really hard to keep the narrative that cheating is no big deal when you listen to a woman talk about how she lost her baby due to an STD her husband gave her thanks to his affair. Or when you hear a man talk about how he had to paternity test his kids because his wife cheated on him constantly. Or when you hear the heartbreaking story of the woman whose younger son was murdered by his philandering father. I remember the woman who wrote about saving up to take their young children to Disney, and her husband left them and took his mistress instead. I remember the man who was home recovering from surgery and almost died because his wife was out fucking their pastor when the A/C in the house went out; between the heat in the house and a reaction he had post-op he almost didn’t make it. Then he ended up losing everything in the divorce. I remember the woman who found out her husband and his mistress were slowly poisoning her, and the man who had his cheating wife telling her various affair partners that he was physically abusing her.  There are several women who have talked about being framed for domestic violence by their cheating husbands, men who have to pay alimony to cheating wives (obviously don’t live in Virginia), women who have been left destitute by their husbands after decades of married life, cheated on spouses losing their children to the cheater, and story after story of children being deserted by fathers and mothers alike. They simply won’t shut up about the destruction of their lives once upon a time. That makes cheating apologists uncomfortable. They must keep the narrative going that cheating is no big deal and everyone does it and there must have been something wrong in the marriage, and those people with their stories fuck that up.

Those readers aren’t bitter. They’re telling their stories. It’s not their fault the stories aren’t happy and all sunshine and roses. Here’s the part so many of the critics overlook: Most of those people have happy endings now. They can talk about how much better their life is now- without the cheater.

That’s the whole purpose of Chump Lady. If you read her very first posts she will tell you she created that blog as a brain dump to help others who are going through this. She did it so they don’t have to make the same mistakes she did. Here is what I learned, is the basic premise. The posters who have been around for a while serve the same purpose. They are there to let the newbies know that while it seems dark and insurmountable now, the pain is finite and a wonderful, new life is out there. They, too, try to warn the newcomers of the pitfalls of reconciliation. The stories they tell serve as warnings; it’s not what they dwell on forever and ever.

Chump Lady encourages getting to the state of “Meh”, that blissful state where you don’t give a damn about the cheater and what he or she is doing. You are way too focused on your own life and all the wonderful things happening for you. She encourages people to be mighty. Tell me what makes you mighty, is a frequent blog topic on Fridays. You can list everything, from merely getting up and showering when you’re in the very beginning stages of the hell of infidelity, to people who are returning to school, getting promotions, installing garage door openers, and warding off bears (seriously- there was recently a woman who was cleaning up after a freaking bear!).

She offers up a message of hope. She doesn’t encourage people to stay bitter. Yes, use that anger to propel yourself out of the situation but don’t stay in that state of mind forever. Get out! Move on! Create a better life for yourself.

Personally, I think we need a little more Chump Lady with her message of encouragement, putting the focus on what you need and whether or not your needs are being met, and not blaming the cheated on spouse, and a little less of those who continue to defend cheaters and blame their victims.

At Fault Vs. No Fault

I see a lot of discussion about this over on Chump Lady. Somebody will comment about how they live in a no fault state so they’re screwed. Or a comment will be made about how they wish they lived in an at fault state.

Before I go any further I want to make this very clear: I AM NOT A LAWYER. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. This is merely what I have learned while divorcing in an at fault state. Your mileage may vary. Just because this happened in this particular way doesn’t mean it will work this way for you.

It doesn’t matter. At fault divorce simply means you can divorce your spouse based upon a specific reason. It does not mean the judge rules that you get everything because you can prove your spouse did something that would qualify as grounds for a fault divorce.  All those people who end up with sweetheart settlement deals? Generally speaking, it’s because the cheating spouse agreed to it. More than likely, they didn’t want their dirty laundry aired or they didn’t want the mistress/lover deposed. They were more concerned with their reputation and doing image management. It was not because the judge said, “Your spouse is a lying cheater! You get everything!”

When I first spoke to a lawyer I was told that divorcing based upon adultery in Virginia really only benefitted the person who would be paying alimony if they were the injured party. In that case, they wouldn’t have to pay the cheating spouse. But it didn’t mean the cheater would be left with nothing. Property would still be split pretty much 50/50 unless there were some extreme circumstances.

Additionally, at least in Virginia, at fault divorces are very hard to prove. CF was living with Harley and they shared a joint checking account and my attorney still wasn’t sure she would have enough to go ahead with a divorce based upon adultery.

Again, I AM NOT A LAWYER AND I ONLY HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH DIVORCE IN ONE MEASLY STATE (WHICH IS NOT EVEN A STATE; IT’S A COMMONWEALTH).

Here’s the good news though. Even though I didn’t ask for a divorce based upon adultery my attorney assured me we could still bring up his bad behavior and the judge could still use that in determining his opinion.

Guess what? He definitely did. CF’s affair with Harley was a major reason his income was imputed instead of using what he actually made. He made repeated reference to CF’s affair with Harley in his opinion.

  • CF continued to talk about needing to be closer to his mother, brother, and sister; the judge noted he never once mentioned the girlfriend with whom he immediately moved in.
  • The judge noted CF had been driving 6 hours each way to see Harley each weekend with the exception of three.
  • My expenses seemed reasonable and in line with what we had spent before when we were married while his were deemed to be focused on his girlfriend and her kids. In fact, he quite bluntly said it was apparent he could have been paying me more in support instead of expending his efforts and monies on the girlfriend and her kids. In other words, despite CF crying poor and talking about how he could barely pay his bills and pay me, the judge didn’t buy it and pointed out that if he wasn’t so busy giving his girlfriend every dime he made he might be able to pay me what he had been ordered to pay.
  • This was probably the second best thing the judge wrote: This Court determines that the Husband’s mental health issues were something that he and the family were able to cope with, and that he was able to perform well at work. His exit interview documents are noteworthy in this regard. However, what changed, and what suddenly seemed to necessitate quitting his great job and heading to Kentucky, was his affair with Harley Buttface. When Husband left Whoreville for Kentucky, he immediately moved in with his girlfriend and her children. Adding the stressor of an affair to his personal situation, effectively causing the breakup of his marriage, was a self-inflicted wound that has to be factored in here. Until his involvement with another woman, he was able to find a way to be successful with his employment, working around any mental health issues he had.
  • The best example that this kind of stuff can matter even when you’re not suing for divorce on the grounds of adultery was this: This is how Husband moved up in the industry, being transferred from place to place, with each stop an opportunity to run a bigger and better plant, and make more money. This is exactly what he did. Now, Husband insists on staying in Kentucky, where he can only produce half of the $200,000 annual salary he was able to earn elsewhere for himself and his family. Accordingly, his insistence on staying in Kentucky keeps him from making approximately $200,000 per year, which he is perfectly capable of doing. He has had other employers call and put out feelers but he refuses to discuss employment outside of Kentucky. He agrees that his salary is all he can earn in Kentucky at this small plant, and he would have to relocate to earn more money.

He admits he was in a relationship with Harley when he resigned his job to go to Kentucky. He admits he went there and moved in with her. He admits that for months he had been driving to Kentucky to spend weekends with her. He admits he rents a nice home with a pool, club house, and four bedrooms, with Harley and her two children.

Husband clearly can earn more salary if he is willing to relocate, which is a norm in his industry, and under the facts of this case, finding the girlfriend to be a major reason for staying in Kentucky, the court will impute income to him of $170,000.00 per year.

Bam! Again- I did not file for divorce based upon adultery. I was told I did not have enough proof and it is extremely difficult to get a divorce based on those grounds. He got his ass handed to him despite a no fault divorce. Because I could bring up his bad behavior despite the fact I hadn’t filed for divorce based on adultery.

Here’s another key fact: We did negotiate a property settlement, which was basically his 401k and pension, plus our marital debt. He took on approximately 80% of the debt (on paper) and in exchange I only took 40% of the 401k. I did not walk away with his entire 401k while he was left with every single bill. Furthermore, I agreed to this because my attorney told me that the judge probably wouldn’t rule much differently (and if we hadn’t settled the trial would have gone on for a second day- at $250/hour it wasn’t worth fighting for.).

One more time: I AM NOT A LAWYER AND THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE! Your state/city/county may be totally different. Hell, when the mobster consulted a lawyer she told him that in their county the judges rarely grant alimony. In my city, 3 hours away, alimony was regularly granted. However, it grates on my nerves every time I hear someone talk about how they wish they were in an at-fault state as though they would get everything. Similarly, I hate when people think that just because they’re in a no fault state that none of the shitty behavior can be brought up. I brought it up and the judge listened.

While I’m on a roll I’ll go ahead and leave you with this last piece of advice. Not legal advice. Just advice.

It never hurts to ask. I read one time that when men seek 50/50 custody they receive it 75% of the time. The problem is most men are told they’ll never get it and they’re discouraged from asking for it… because they’ll never get it. Yet, when they do ask for it the statistics show they do, in fact, get it.

Both lawyers I talked to in the beginning told me that judges were very leery of granting sole legal custody to one parent. They hated taking it away and almost always granted joint legal. Granted, CF agreed to my terms and at the point we were going to trial my new lawyer didn’t even question me having sole physical and legal custody. But even back then I continued to push forward. I wasn’t going to be at the mercy of a fuckwit, especially one who couldn’t bother to parent and who had moved 6 hours away from his kids. In the end I got full legal and physical custody, and I believe if I had had to take the matter to court the judge would have granted it to me.

Finally, my lawyer told me I could ask for legal fees to be paid for by CF, and that I would probably be given something but I wouldn’t get all of it. Granted, the approximately $26,000 she submitted in court as legal fees grew another $10-$11,000, but when the judgement was rendered CF was ordered to pay me $25,000 in reimbursement. After we got the opinion back my lawyer was incredulous. She told me it was unheard of to be awarded that much in legal fees.

Unheard of, folks, and I would be $25,000 poorer if I hadn’t insisted on asking.

Real Remorse

Recently I touched on the difference between real remorse and fake remorse. Actually, what I recommended was that you go read Chump Lady’s excellent post on the same topic. But I realize some of you won’t do that so I thought I would demonstrate what real remorse looks like.

As many of my longtime readers know I am dating an amazing guy, aka, The Mobster. He’s a pretty funny guy. He’s sweet and kind, makes me laugh, takes care of me, does romantic things for me, and goes on epic adventures with me. The only negative to our relationship is the distance. We live 10.5 hours apart.

In the beginning we saw each other approximately every 2-3 weeks. We (mainly I) got by on very little sleep while talking late into the night/early into the morning. We had one weekend where we were so eager to see each other we both got up at 4 am (this was on one of my few days off from Target where I regularly got up at 3:30 in the morning), drove to a destination that was a midpoint for both of us, spent the day together, and then drove home. I think I got home around 11 pm and had to go into work at 4 am the next day.

Then September rolled around. Taxes were looming for him. He owns his own business and had filed for an extension. School was in session. Kids made demands on our time. We saw each other Labor Day and the very last weekend in September. October was more of the same, with the added little twist that we would make plans to meet up and then those plans would be scrapped for one reason or another.

Finally there came a time when we were going to get together and he had to cancel on me again. I was so disappointed. Instead of talking it through with him I turned inward and I let all my fears and disappointment rule me. I asked myself if this was a relationship that was ever going to last. I wondered if we really had what it took. Were we no different from people in affairs? We met up on weekends. We had no responsibilities when we were together. Most of the time we didn’t even have our kids with us so we weren’t playing mom and dad. It was all about us. I started convincing myself that our relationship wasn’t real and we were just fooling ourselves. He was never going to move up here. Or if he did he may be very disappointed considering he would have spent something like a grand total of 30 days with me before selling his home and his business and moving 600 miles to be with my crazy ass. I was spiraling quickly and by the morning I sent him a text that basically asked what we were doing. Eventually we talked on the phone and I was thisclose to ending things with him. I still remember him saying to me, “This isn’t going to work, is it? Dammit, I really wanted this to work.”

At that moment I snapped out of it. What the fuck was I doing? I shifted gears immediately. I apologized. I promised I would call at lunch and we would talk. When I had a chance I texted him and I apologized again, profusely. I told him how wrong I was. I asked for forgiveness. Several times since that incident I have apologized. He has told me repeatedly that there is no reason to do so. I, however, won’t let myself off that easily.

I hurt him. I will spend the rest of my life apologizing for that, if I must. I don’t ever want to be a source of pain for that incredible man. He spent years with a wife who caused him immense pain. I don’t want to do that. He doesn’t deserve it.

We talked about this again when we were together over the New Year’s Eve holiday. I told him, as I’ve told him before, that I was incredibly wrong for doing that. I was petulant and bratty and insensitive. I was throwing a tantrum. I apologized again. His response was that I was a woman who knew what I was willing to deal with. I had boundaries and deal breakers and he was glad. My response was that I was an idiot. I was stupid to be willing to throw away what we have just because we went six weeks without seeing each other.

I’ve since told him that I would rather see him once a year than see anyone else every single day.

I told him about Todd that weekend together. How I met this fantastic guy back when I was 17 years old and I fell madly in love, and then he died. I told him how I sometimes wondered if I had met the love of my life when I was 17 and only had him for a few months, and that was it for me. Until he came along. He made me smile all the time just like I did when I first began dating Todd. I told him that he had made me happier than anyone else I had ever dated (or married) in the last 30 years. I would never leave him and I was a complete idiot for even considering leaving him for such a stupid reason.

That’s a lovely story, Sam, although truthfully you sound a bit psychotic, but how is that any different from cheating spouses who swear up and down that they are sorry and they’ll never do it again? The ones that swear on a stack of Bibles and their children’s lives that their spouse is the love of their life and they were an idiot to throw it all away?

Aside from me saying I’m remorseful I act remorseful. Perhaps, “behave in a remorseful manner” would be a better phrase. I begged for forgiveness, even though he was more than willing to forgive me without the begging. I told him weeks later how sorry I was and how wrong I was. But even more important than that were the things I didn’t do.

I didn’t blame him. I didn’t tell him that if he hadn’t done x, y, or z that I wouldn’t have been a crazy loon.

What did you think was going to happen when you canceled plans on me yet again? If you had just stuck with our original plans I never would have gone all batshit crazy on you! This is ultimately your fault.

No, I took responsibility for my behavior. I owned every bit of it.

Similarly I didn’t tell him that if he had done a, b, or c, then I wouldn’t have done it either.

I also didn’t stop with merely saying the words, “I’m sorry.” I’ve demonstrated it. I’ve done better. We’ve had our share of hiccups along the way. Try being the sane parent to abandoned kids. It’s full of unique pit falls. We’re each single handedly raising our kids with no help from the other parent. We’ve had to plan a lot of things around kids’ activities. Recently he was going to come up here for the first time in almost 6 months but things with work got crazy and he wasn’t going to be able to make the trip.

Instead of getting upset about it I told him I would meet him halfway. I would even go further than halfway if he needed to work later on Saturday. We would miss out on Friday evening together but we’d have most of Saturday and half of Sunday. It would be better than nothing.

He actually thanked me for that. He told me that this time around he was the one falling apart and ready to call off the whole weekend and then I offered to drive and meet him halfway. I was the one that pointed out spending half the weekend together was better than spending none of the weekend together. “I’ve come a long way since October, haven’t I? Aren’t you proud of me?” i joked with him.

While he never holds it over my head I can tell you that if he brought it up 9 months later and told me that he felt hurt by my behavior, or something I did recently triggered that memory and upset him, I wouldn’t tell him to get over it. I wouldn’t call him names. I wouldn’t say mean things to him or use his insecurities against him. People who are truly remorseful don’t do that. I would apologize yet again. As I said, I will apologize for the rest of my life if that’s what he needs. Because I love him and I want him to know how truly sorry I am that I behaved like that. I’m sorry because I hurt him and I don’t ever want him associating me with hurtful memories. I strive every day to do better and to show him how much I love him and appreciate him.

I want to address this notion that people act like assholes because they’re ashamed of their behavior. I am very ashamed of the way I behaved. I do not act like an asshole. That is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.

I’m so ashamed of the fact that I went off and fucked a whore for three years; I lied and cheated and I am so ashamed of that behavior that I’m going to call you names, degrade you, refuse to tell you the truth, make you beg me for answers, and in general, act like a fucking asshole. I only do it because I love you.

Quick question. If your “ashamed” spouse punched you in the face would you still be telling yourself he or she loved you and was just acting out from a place of humiliation?

People who are truly remorseful and not simply trying to avoid consequences behave remorsefully. They are humble. They look to change their behavior and their responses. They apologize. They are understanding. They don’t put time limits on your anger or grieving. They realize that you are in charge and it doesn’t matter what they need; it matters what you need. They own their actions instead of putting them off onto you. They tell you what you want to know; they don’t make you beg for answers. They don’t keep secrets. They realize “trickle truth” isn’t any kind of truth at all; it’s lying by omission and trying to keep control over the narrative. They don’t try to keep you off-balance. They support you. They have your back. They realize they are not owed forgiveness or reconciliation. They focus on you; they put whatever injustices they feel they have experienced that led them to fuck someone else, on the back burner and concentrate on your feelings of betrayal. They keep the focus on what they have done; they don’t hand out false equivalencies or attempt to point out all your faults. They don’t act like an asshole and then try to justify it by saying they feel shame. They don’t rage at you or tell you to get over it already. They don’t call you names or say mean things. They don’t act like they’re the victim, or like whatever faults you may have are equal to them cheating. Above all, they want to make it right. They take ownership. They show humility.

Folks, here is the ugly truth. Cheaters don’t like consequences. Many times they will avoid them at all costs. They also love the idea of people fighting over them. It keeps everyone off balance and gives them centrality; they love the so-called “pick me dance”. As painful as the truth may be you need to figure out if the person who betrayed you is showing real remorse or if they’re simply trying to avoid consequences. Once you figure that out you may realize that while your unfaithful spouse is more than willing to stay in your marriage, they are not at all willing to do the work to reconcile.

Talking ‘Bout Boundaries

I was reading a reprint over on Chump Lady last week or the week before. It was How To Save Your Marriage After Infidelity. She was messing with her Google analytics really, knowing that that is the question so many people want answered after finding out they’ve been cheated on. I know many people, especially those who wish to reconcile, are not a big fan of hers, but she actually gave some great advice.

#1- Recognize that it’s dead. That’s a step most people don’t want to take. I get it. The reality though is that when your spouse cheats on you and betrays you you can’t trust them. You shouldn’t trust them! You probably don’t feel safe with them. Here’s the important part of that piece of advice though: We don’t control other people. The only person you control is you.

This is both good news and bad news. It gives you agency. You decide what you’re willing to put up with, what your deal breakers are. At the same time, if your cheater violates those deal breakers then it’s up to you to decide what to do. Because you don’t control the cheater. You control yourself. So, you tell your cheater you want access to all of their social media and you don’t ever want them around the AP again, and they violate that. Now it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to put up with that, or if you’re going to walk away. I can’t make you show me your Facebook/Instagram/text messages, or make you stay away from your AP, but I can leave you if you’re not willing to do those things for me and for our relationship.

#2- It’s not your fault. If you take only one or two things away from Chump Lady please make sure this is one of them.

Pay no attention to the blame-shifting. You didn’t hold a gun to their head and force them to create dating profiles. You might actually suck, but you did not make your cheater cheat. That’s completely on them. People have agency and many options, including therapy, divorce lawyers, and honest conversations. They cheated because they wanted to. It’s that simple.

They don’t cheat because you were too fat, or too skinny, or played too much Candy Crush. They didn’t cheat because they’re in a fog or having a midlife crisis or because you didn’t understand them. They cheated because they felt entitled to cheat. They wanted to and they did it. You’re not the boss of them!

Her third point was talking about the importance of having boundaries in the midst of infidelity, especially if you are planning on reconciling. Folks, as I said above if you only take one or two things away from Chump Lady make sure this is the other one. If you have any hopes of saving your marriage after infidelity you need to be willing to walk away if those boundaries are violated.

I am guilty as charged. I was petrified at times. I didn’t want to upset the apple cart. If I’m a good little wife and I keep everything perfect then he won’t be upset or leave. You know what? It didn’t help in the end. He cheated with the exact same person and this time he actually left. Or at least was making plans to leave until I found out and hightailed it to a lawyer’s and filed for divorce myself.

So, if one of your boundaries is your cheating spouse needs to give you details about what transpired? Then cheater better ‘fess up. If one of your boundaries is telling you who the AP is, cheater better ‘fess up. If one of your boundaries is letting you see Facebook, text messages, emails, etc.? Cheater better be showing you everything. If cheater hems and haws, does “trickle truth”, or just flat out tells you, “No.”? Then you need to be prepared to show Cheater the door. If you don’t? You are telling this person who has already horribly betrayed you once before that you are willing to put up with anything in order to keep this person in your life. You’re letting them know there will be no consequences for their atrocious behavior. They can abuse you again and again because the most important thing in the world is that they stay. You’re willing to put up with whatever in order to make sure they don’t leave you. Put another way: They’re the ones that cheated and you’re willing to let them call the shots on how reconciliation will play out.

Again, I get it. Sticking to your boundaries is scary. Truthfully, the cheater might leave. They’re not known for doing the difficult things. They like easy. But is this how you really want to live?

I didn’t stick to my boundaries. I didn’t realize they were being violated actually. But I recall that October back in 2013 when I found messages between him and his nephew and he was telling him how he was going to bring her with him and he was going to marry her one day.

I was so pissed and I refused to come home. He threatened to kill himself, which I later learned was a form of manipulation. We talked a few minutes about those messages but then he made his plea to give it a rest because he was “so anxious and stressed” and he just wanted a day to not talk about it. We never talked about it again. Until he tried to keep me off the deed to our new house when we moved.

I confronted him, asked him if he was moving me out there to divorce me. Once again he had the tears going. “How could you think that? I don’t know what that person is doing and I could give less than two fucks about them!” That was the end of it.

You all know how it played out. Approximately four months before D-Day #2 I was recording messages for my loved ones after they found my body. That’s how crazy he made me. That’s how desperate I felt during that period.

That’s not even mentioning the lies he told or the way he disrespected me the entire summer as he lied and handed money over to his whore bitch and her kids. I jumped through hoop after hoop trying to help him and make him happy and my payback was finding out he was fucking his cousin that he swore up and down was the worst mistake of his life.

I’m not saying that if I had been more confrontational all would have been well, but I know when we set boundaries and they step a toe over that line that’s not respect and that’s not how you behave when you are truly remorseful and wish to reconcile.

Tracy has this fantastic post called, Real Remorse? Or Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse? that should be required reading for those who want to reconcile. As much as it sucks you better be able to suss out whether they’re genuinely sorry or if they’re simply trying to avoid any harsh consequences.

I will say this much for myself. I told him back in 2013 when I found out about Harley the first time that I would forgive him this time but if he ever did it again there would be no second chances. I would leave him and I would cut him off at the knees. I found out on a Monday night  and I was calling lawyers the next day. I hated it. I hated the fact that I was in this position. We had been in our new house in a new state for a year at that point. I had a brand new pool that had been filled for six days. I had new furniture and a new car. The last thing I wanted to do was file for divorce. But I knew there was no going back. He knew what my boundary was. He didn’t care. I guess he thought I was prepared to put up with anything in order to try to keep my cushy life. Cheater found out the hard way that was not the case.