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Wife shares detailed saga of confronting husband & mistress during secret vacation. AITA? PARTS 3&4 OF 4 PART STORY

Wife shares detailed saga of confronting husband & mistress during secret vacation. AITA? PARTS 3&4 OF 4 PART STORY


When this woman continues to share the story of confronting her husband and his mistress, she asks the internet:

"I confronted my husband & his mistress. Now are family is breaking up. AITA?"

Link to Parts 1 & 2 of OP's story

And now, Parts 3 & 4:

Today my STBX dropped off the kids after having them for a few days. He told me yesterday he would be dropping them off at noon. When 1:00 arrived I was a bit worried. All my texts to him were answered with 1 or 2 word answers. That is strange for him to do.

I get a text at 1:45 that he is on his way and that the AF is with him. Ummm, what? I was never informed that she would be here with the kids. I have no idea if she has been here the whole time or just flew in today. I was furious. I don't care if it's her or anyone else; I want to know who my children will be around. Period. Full stop.

So they arrive and I let her into my home. While he sorts through the mail she stands awkwardly in my foyer. So then I say, "I will just tell both of you since you are here, if the kids are going to be around her or anyone else, I want to know. I support your relationship and I'm happy you (AP) are here with them, I just want to know beforehand and not after the fact."

He looked offended. He smushed his face almost in disbelief. She stood statue still and refused to make eye contact. I understand her position.

She was in enemy territory and then I hit her with a bomb. I'm not mad at her, she probably had no idea he didn't tell me. Maybe he lied and said he did, who knows. But she is a mom, I'm sure she gets my point, whether she agrees or not.

My issue is with him. I know I'm right, I know it should be a non-discussion, common sense if you will. But no, he left being very cold to me and I started to second guess my decision to say something.

Did I let my emotions get the best of me? Or did he gaslight me and make me feel like I'm crazy? Did they think because we had one meet that she had the green light to play stepmom now?

Newlyweds always look forward to their honeymoon. White sandy beaches, topical drinks with little umbrellas, sex all day and all night...paradise right? Well my STBX and I never took one. We were in the process of buying a house and could not afford to do both.

Well, I say we were buying a house but in reality it was me. I put the 20% down and the mortgage/deed is in my name because he was broke and had terrible credit. But, he said he was ok with skipping the honeymoon and that when we were married for 10 years we could take that honeymoon together. Super sweet, right?

Well, we booked the Bahamas trip for August 2020 but COVID had other plans. Thanks COVID. Then as you all know, him and the AF started their little relationship in September of 2020. Well, this weekend he took our honeymoon trip, with her. A lot of really crappy things have happened since I found out about the affair in November, but this one really hurt.

I gave this man 13 years of my life, 2 kids, a home, bought him 2 cars, made countless meals, stayed up with newborns and sick children, shuttled the kids to activities, etc. And my 'reward' for years of doing literally everything was taking her on the trip we booked together.

He really twisted the knife he plunged into me with this one. So this past weekend I unplugged. Took the boys to the beach and had our own mini vacation. I was keeping myself occupied and spent time making memories with the boys.

Saturday evening after the boys are in bed my phone rings. It's my XMIL. She probably is just checking up on the kids. A bit of back story, they've had a rocky relationship over the years and he does not speak to her for things that I found out later were mostly just lies and stories he made up in his head. Anyway, I ignored the call. I just didn't feel like chatting.

A few minutes later my XSIL calls me. Now I think something is wrong. I answer. She is concerned and angry. "Are you ok? What's going on? Have people been calling you?" I was so confused. Well as it turns out his AF took a picture of them together in the Bahamas, posted to her Facebook and tagged my STBX. What? I was in complete shock. Let me explain..

A lot of people don't know about our situation. I haven't told my extended family, most of my coworkers and even some friends. He was so paranoid about his family finding out because he knew they would be upset, especially his grandmother who thinks he is the golden child. So, there it is. Out in social media for all to see. Our shared family members, my coworkers and friends.

I was livid. He took away the possibility of us salvaging our marriage with his affair. My hands were tied, he was in love with someone else. Fine. Now he took away my privacy. My marital status is now out there for all to know. Again, I was stripped of the ability to make a decision for myself and tell people on my own time.

I went through my phone and saw I had missed calls from 2 coworkers and a friend. I can only assume that's why they called. I haven't called them back because I don't know what to say, "Haha yea I'm separated! Yea, I didn't want to tell people till I was legally divorced. Yes, he has a girlfriend. Sure, I'll retell the story and live through that pain again, no problem!"

So I confronted him via text. His response? "We are divorced in everything but the paperwork. You've gone on dates and living your life just like I am." Ummmm, what? You mean the only thing that really signifies a divorce is the one things we don't have? What an idiot.

And yes, I've gone on a handful of dates but I'm not posting about each one to social media and sending selfies to our family and friends. Look, I get it. You are in a relationship and you are happy. That is great. All I'm asking for is a little respect. You publicizing your vacation with her also effects me. But, I guess you have to give a shit first to recognize that.

I want you all to know I read each and every one of your comments. A lot of you have stated that I need to start doing for me. I want you all to know that I hear you and I agree with you. I have been wrestling with a decision for the past few weeks now concerning my future and the boys' well being.

Today when I pick up the boys from his apartment I am going to tell him my plan in which I require his signature. I hope he doesn't fight me on this. It's what's best. I don't want to reveal too much or my reasoning as you never know who is reading. I will update you all soon.

Months ago when we started the mediation process there was a great deal of negotiating. We both flip flopped on our wants and made compromises. Frankly, the divorce is getting ugly. One thing I was never willing to compromise was retaining the house in the divorce.

I made concessions and declined alimony but never wavered on the house. It was agreed that the house would be 100% mine and there would be no alimony. Now, because my STBX was so done with the mediation process and looking forward to his new life, he never took the time to have the house properly assessed.

Instead he opted to just take a number off an outdated website and use that as our base point to figure out home value. Idiot. Our mediator did the numbers based on what we owe on the house and what our profits would each be.

Then she figured out what alimony over a period of time would be and it was close to what his profit for the house would be. So he agreed to the arrangement. But, the home value was inaccurate. He didn't know that, but I did...

So, now that our divorce agreement filed into court has me owning the house (which is only in my name btw), I had to have him sign off that I could sell it before the divorce was finalized and that he could not retain any of the profit from the sale. He came over to pick up the boys and I talked to him about it.

I explained how a move would help the boys as we would go live with my mother who lives in a fabulous school district. It would also help me to not struggle financially and allow me to return to school for my 3rd degree without worrying about tuition or childcare.

Our kids would have round the clock care from me and my retired parents and be close to their cousins who also live in that town. He agreed it was a good idea, signed the paperwork and left. I immediately sent the papers to my lawyer. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

The next morning I awake to a long text message from him. With time to think and time to speak to his AP probably, he became very angry. He accused me of making a selfish decision and it wasn't best for the boys.

So you mean to tell me a better school system, town sponsored sports teams, living with grandparents who have time to spend with them, going to school with their cousins of the same age and allowing me the ability to not struggle financially and provide them with more is a selfish idea?

So I asked him, when he plans to move across the country to be with AP, will that move be in the best interest of the boys or him? Silence. He knew I was right so he switched gears.

He then complained about the commute for him to pick up and drop off. I reminded him this move adds to my daily work commute as well and is not just an issue for him. But it would benefit the boys so I'm willing to do it. Plus it's only 18 miles farther from him. It isn't clear across the state.

Then the real reason; he wants money. He said he deserves some of the profit for the money he contributed for 10 years. Ok, I see your point, but you gave me the house willingly after I declined alimony. Then you signed off willingly that I could sell before the marriage was finalized.

You should have done your research about what the house was worth like the mediator suggested instead of just relying on the internet. If I give you a dime it's out of the goodness of my heart because I'm not obligated to do anything for you.

So I asked him, after all these months and what you put me through, do you deserve my kindness? He changed the subject and complained about something else. Avoiding the question and the obvious answer.

Now I get to truly start over. My boys and I will be surrounded by family who love and support us. I will have zero financial worries, be able to return to school, put money away for the boys college and have enough left to put down on another home when the housing market settles down.

This is a decision that was necessary for my future and the future of my boys. I've been waiting to get to the point to be able to do this and the time is now. The boys will start in a new school with their cousins in September and I am already looking into town sports and activities for them. I know my STBX is angry and bitter about this, especially since his hands are tied.

But he made a decision for himself a few months ago to start this affair and that was exactly how I felt. Now we both move on and look towards the future we selected for ourselves.

The past few days I spent at the beach with my dearest friend and her children. The kids played, ate pizza, swam and made great memories. We all did. I appreciated the mental break from life and just kicking back and soaking in all life has to offer.

In the evening we tucked in our children, who were rightfully exhausted, and then sat outside in the warm salty air and talked.

We sipped white wine and gabbed for most of the evening. It was so lovely and a reminder that good friends are so necessary. The family that you can choose. Of course our conversation drifted from time to time to my STBX and that is to be expected.

She started speculating on why and when and all other factors that could have lead to his decision and there were so many questions. After finishing our glasses we came to the conclusion that there is no rhyme or reason and logic fails us in this inquiry.

What we did start to explore, which I had not previously, was what were her motivations? She legally divorces and a month later is dating my STBX. Granted they were friends and former colleagues, but to jump right into serious dating less than a month after a divorce seemed strange.

My friend then said, "She didn't even get the chance to have a rebound!". Then it hit me; is my STBX the rebound? A man was giving her comfort during a difficult time, giving her gifts, flying to her, etc. Is it possible this is a safe and comfortable rebound for her?

Aside from regular visits, he has flown out there 3 times just to accompany her to weddings. During my investigation before confrontation I read multiple messages from him telling her that he loved her and she did not reciprocate that sentiment. Maybe she does now, but she did not then.

Again, I know this is futile, a waste of my time and will be fruitless; but I'm so curious to this possibility. I know many have stated that I speak too much about him, should move on, live my life, I am woman hear me roar, but the real truth is this post is therapy to me.

A diary entry if you will. At no point did I ever expect or promise to be a role model or a beacon of shiny light to struggling victims of infidelity. Instead, I am being honest and truthful to what surviving a cheater looks like. It's unforgiving, it's empowering, it's a struggle and most importantly, it's a process.

So yes, I will get to the happy place we all hope for, but until then this is the journey. Take the ride with me and see the reality, or sit on the sidelines and wait for the happy ending. Makes no difference to me because I'm strapped in and gunning the gas. Buckle up buttercup because it's full speed ahead.

Back in May of this year I made the custody schedule that my STBX and I currently follow. I took into consideration all of his visits out to see her and I structured a fair and equal schedule. Again, that was May.

He left on Wednesday evening to go visit her and he was set to take a red eye home last night (Sunday) and then pick the boys up this morning. I confirmed the pick up times before he left and even during the day Sunday. I awoke to this message today:

While I was not happy he seems sincere and I understand flights are currently unpredictable. I had appointments scheduled for today and plans this evening which I had to reschedule. I had to also explain to the boys that the schedule for today had now changed.

I told him he should probably avoid red eyes moving forward and he agreed. Again, I'm relaying all of this to you very calmly but I was a bit frustrated and annoyed this morning. Then I retold the story to my sister and she commented, "It seems weird that he got the same exact flight time.

Sunday flight schedules are usually different than Monday's." She was right... So, I looked up the airport he was flying out of and there was no delayed or canceled flight scheduled for that time on Sunday evening. He was lying. He never scheduled a flight for Sunday.

He was always due to return Monday evening, he just didn't bother to tell me. When I called him out on it and asked for his flight cancelation information, he just sent the new flight for this evening and said he 'wasn't going to get into this with me today'.

All I asked for was a screen shot from his United account showing the flight was canceled and he couldn't do that. Instead he just insisted I was crazy and failed to provide any evidence that he was in fact telling the truth.

This is a great example of what he does. On the exterior he is kind and apologetic, but deep down he is manipulative and sneaky. Then when I call him on the BS he is defensive and dismissive. I'm frustrated because he is always telling me we need to communicate better and meanwhile he still refuses to do so.

"Do as I say, not as I do". I wonder if the AP knows he did this? I doubt it. This woman is welcoming this pathological, manipulative liar into her life and she has no idea. I honestly feel bad for her but I guess that's what you get when you knowingly poach a cheater. He is probably telling her I'm going off on him for a completely different reason. Always making me the bad guy.

I feel a bit defeated because I know while he lives here and we share this custody arrangement he will continue to take advantage and manipulate me. Then he gaslights me into thinking I'm crazy. It's a cycle that I don't know how to break.

The part that angers me the most is if he would have told me before he left that he needed an extra day I would have been accommodating. I wouldn't have booked appointments or made evening plans. I would have said 'ok' and told him I'd like to just tack on an extra day somewhere for me.

No harm, no foul. Why couldn't he just do that? Why build a story about being at the airport most of the night, talking to flight reps for 2 hours, trying to get earlier flights that were booked or expensive, why do any of that? What/who are you protecting? I honestly don't understand his motivations or reasoning. All I know is that I need this behavior to stop so I can go about my life.

First and foremost let me just say, the audacity of my STBX will never cease to amaze me. With that being said, let's talk about money. January 2020 my STBX and I created an MSA.

This MSA had me declining alimony and keeping the house. Come March 2020 he wanted to change the MSA for a different custody arrangement, not for the house or other assets.

June 2020 we sign our MSA but in our state once the paperwork is served to the defendant they have 30 days to contest the MSA; spoiler, he did not contest. July 2020 I decide I want to sell the house so I have him sign another legal document waiving his right to the home and any equity/profit from sale.

Now we fast forward to September 2020. He wants the house. I swear this man makes his own rules. Luckily I had hired a lawyer already and she explained to me that his chances of getting the house now are non existent but he could fight the relocation of the children.

She explained that would be a lengthy procedure and very expensive on both of our ends. I know for a fact my STBX is struggling financially so I called his bluff. I told him to get a lawyer. I can prove financially that I need to sell the house.

I can also show they are moving to a far better school district, will be attending school with their cousins, have more opportunity for extracurriculars and will have round the clock care from grandparents.

I took the children to see their new school and it is quit amazing, the kids are so excited to go to their new school! I have all of the chips stacked in my favor. Also our MSA has him tentatively moving out of state at some point.

Why would a judge agree to keep them closer to their dad if he will be leaving soon? His defense for the relocation? It's a long drive... Really?? The commute went from 12 miles to 28 miles. I didn't move across the state. Is it convenient? No, I get that, but it's not impossible.

He suggested the boys start their new school in January. January?! He said they should stay in the house until it is sold. This suggestion makes no sense. If the commute is your issue how does that commute change in January?

Newsflash: It doesn't. It makes zero sense to have the kids start a routine only to pull them out. They will start a new school and be behind on whatever curriculum they are teaching. So I thought about it, what is his motivation to push for January? Then I realized, his lease is up in March.

He is probably moving to her state. So a commute from January to March is much easier than September to March. Once again, a decision made in his best interest and not in the boys'. I think he sees the odds are not in his favor on this one and he has stopped fighting me...for now.

So money. It makes the world go round, right? It apparently makes my divorce more complicated as well (insert eye roll). MY STBX since learning I would be selling the house has asked me on different occasions for 5k, then 10k, then 15k and now with the threat of lawyers, 20k.

Ummm, did you eat paint chips as a kid? Cause you are serious delusional. You are entitled to nothing. If I give you a dime it's because I want to and you can't give me a dollar amount that i am 'gifting' you. It's my money, buddy. I told him I'm no longer entertaining talks of money with him. He knows he's at my mercy and I kinda like it.

Lastly, I received a Facebook message on 8/23 which I never saw because the person was not my friend. I saw it yesterday and low and behold it's the AP's ex-husband. He says to me: "Hi (insert real name), it's (insert AP EX name). How are you? I feel like we should talk.

Maybe we can help each other figure some things out? I just wanted to reach out and see if you wanted to talk about anything. I am not really that surprised. They talked for years." Wow, plot twist. I've heard terrible stories about him. But the AP has heard terrible stories about me which were untrue.

Could she be as big of a liar as my STBX? Could the APEX know more than I do about their affair when it comes to timeline? Maybe he knows a move date? I feel like this is a conversation I should entertain, but cautiously. I messaged him back and I'm awaiting a reply. I will post once I have some answers.

Readers, I'm sorry it has been so long, especially with the cliff hanger I left you with. My life, as usual, has been a bit upside down. Between moving, selling the house, starting back to in person school and my graduate program I don't know if I'm coming or going.

But I of course made time to speak with the AP's Ex (APEX). First of all, as I stated in pervious post, I was told this man was a terrible person. A drunk, a gambler, a womanizer, etc. And stupid me, I listened.

But now I can hear the other side of the story. One that isn't tainted by my ex and his AP. I learned so much so forgive me if it seems all jumbled. I have no idea where to start. So in a nutshell, here is what I learned:

He did have a drinking problem but got sober in 2017. The APEX has known that they have talked for years and unlike me, knew there was romance brewing. I learned that my STBX met her a few years ago for dinner when she was in the area for work and he told her that he loved her.

She told her SO and he said he knew at that moment something would happen with them eventually and he shut down emotionally with her. That was the beginning of the end for him. He confirmed my notion that she liked to be fawned over. He suspects she entertained my STBX for the attention and to receive attention from her SO. Gross, right?

Anyways, they were not meshing and grew apart. They did not divorce in September of 2020 as I was told, but instead they separated at that time and weren't legally divorced till March 2021. Even grosser, right? She raked this man over the coals financially as well. She closed out their join account and took all the money and then filed for divorce.

What a peach, huh? She brought up his 2017 rehab stint to get full custody with supervised visitation for him. She is also introducing him to her family and friends as her new boyfriend and leaving out the affair and the fact that he is married still. The APEX is apparently still friendly with her family and some friends and wants to make sure that this fact becomes common knowledge.

Justified exposure and I'm here for it. The APEX also thought my STBX was already living in their state and was not aware he was staying in her house with her when he visits. Spoiler: It's his house, not hers. Needles to say he is NOT happy about this. He was also not aware till he found me on Facebook that we had children together.

Apparently this wasn't an important detail for the AP to bring up when she mentioned my STBX to him. He also confirmed that she is a spender, money is like water, and she will probably bleed my STBX dry. We ended our hours long text chain with a job for each other.

He is tasked with finding out the official move date for my STBX and he would like to know when he is traveling to their state and staying in their house. Phew. That was a lot. I hope you were able to digest all of that.

I had a rather expensive phone call with my lawyer the other day. It turns out he can challenge the MSA for the house but it will be a long process and the divorce will probably be finalized by the time it goes through.

She also said the timing isn't good, as he had his 35 days to dispute the MSA and he has waited until after I put the house on the market to fight for it. She assures me the judge will see this as a back peddling money grab on a legal document that we both agreed to and not support it.

As for my relocation, he can also dispute that but I officially live in this new town and have completely moved out of my house. My STBX claims I violated my MSA with legal custody enrolling them in a new school. My lawyer again reminded me I am the custodial parent and if I moved they have to go to school where ever I live.

He is still pushing for the 20k and my lawyer is confident he has zero grounds for receiving it and will ultimately give up this fight as it's an expensive legal process and he is currently in the red financially.

Oh, get this, the boys had their first day of school on Thursday (9/9) and I was going to pick them up from my STBX place on 9/8 and bring them with me so that they can start fresh in the morning. The evening of 9/8 was technically his night to have them but he agreed to me taking them days prior.

So he sends me a text claiming that 9/8 was his night and he would keep them home on their first day of school unless I agree to the 20k. Excuse me, did you just hold my children prisoner for a check? Are you admitting truancy? I told my lawyer this and she balked.

She said this will be the first screen shot she presents if and when we go to court. Bottom line, nothing is in his favor. His AP is trying to squeeze me like she did her ex. But baby girl, you don't know me, so you obviously don't know who you are fg with.

Have you ever seen 'A Bronx Tale'? It's a classic coming of age mafia drama with a touch of romance and a dash of racial tension. Ok, I'm no Siskel & Ebert, but I think this film is must watch. Lately I've been thinking about this film much more.

There is a scene in the movie in which the young protagonist is angry at a kid who has not paid him back $20 that he lent him. Sonny, the wise crime boss/father figure asks him, "Was he a good friend of yours?" and the young man replies, "No, I don't even fuckin like him".

So Sonny tells him, "There's your answer right there. Look at it this way, it cost you $20 to get rid of him. He's out of your life forever". I keep circling back to this scene because I feel like it is so relevant to me now.

My wish, selfish as it may seem to some, has always been that my STBX would move away and leave my boys and I to move on peacefully. Is it possible that by giving him a check that I could make this happen?

Again, I'm just toying with this idea. I know my STBX. I know what he ultimately wants and that's to leave and start a life with her. If I give him money I would be financing his move out of my life. Let me explain how I know this to be true..

Last week when we argued about money and he asked for a ridiculous sum of 20k to pay for his expenses of shuffling the boys back and forth and wear and tear on his car I called his bluff. I told him I'd give him the 20k but stipulated that he can't move out of state for 2 years.

He was enraged at this. "You can't tell me what to do with it and where I can live, blah blah blah." If he really wanted money to pay for commuting expenses for the kids (like he claimed) he would have snatched this deal. But he didn't, so I know he has no intention of staying.

So if (and I said IF) I decide to give him money it would only be carried out after he signs a legal document stating that he is receiving a one time payment. I have been more open to this idea because: 1) I want him to go, 2) My house is under contract and I am receiving well over asking, 3) If he moves out of state he owes me close to 1k a month in child support and I'll make my initial 'investment' back in no time.

But I also HATE the idea. This man bet it all and won. I was the victim and I lost and I feel like I keep losing. I know I'm playing the long game here and years from now when the AP bleeds him dry and/or he cheats again (cause he will) and/or my kids grow to learn what he did and want not part of him, I will have won.

But I feel like for that to happen I have to take some lumps now. I'm going all 3 rounds and the bell hasn't even rung for the end of the 1st. I have a lot of thinking and talking to my lawyer to do. Is it another loss for me to give him the money, or is it just another of my elaborate (yet patient) plans like the one that started this post months ago? I'm still debating...

Sometimes, and only sometimes, my life shocks even me. I sit back and look at the situation and think, "This poor girl. How did she ever get here?". Then I snap back to reality and realize that poor girl is me. Just when I think the worst has been done and I've seen it all another event surprises even me.

It's like I'm walking around in complete state of disbelief and my jaw is locked in an open and stupefied position. Four very short days ago I actually had a moment of weakness and entertained the idea of giving him what he wanted (yet again) and signing a check over to him.

And then, just to kick himself in the pants, today happens and now there is zero doubt in my mind. He will never see anything from me and that's the only thing he will be able to take to the bank.

Wednesday and Thursday night, according to this months custody schedule that HE made, were supposed to be his overnights. He told me a few days ago that he had to be in work very early Friday morning and asked if I he could dropped the boys off Thursday evening and lose his night with them due to work. I said 'ok' and we kept it moving.

Today (Friday) while at work I get a text from APEX. The AP text him to warn him that my STBX would be there at 8am Saturday morning to watch their oldest child's sports practice. She wanted to give him a heads up and asked APEX to be respectful. This would be the first time they have met. APEX isn't thrilled about it and I don't blame him.

But, APEX text me to give me a heads up that he was in their state. But wait, how could this be? He had to go into work this morning (he usually works from home #thankscovid) and there is no way he could be there.

So I thought about it; how could I figure out that he took a flight this morning or potentially after work today?

Then I remembered, he has my EZ-Pass in his car. If you don't know what EZ-Pass is, it is a toll pass transponder that allows you to zip through road tolls but records the date, time and location. So, I returned to my Nancy Drew days of yore and logged into my account.

And there it was, he left his apartment at the first toll at 5:58am and exited at the toll for the airport at 6:03 (yes it's a short distance, especially at 6am). This was not the direction he needed to head to for work.

He obviously boarded a plane this morning. So he gave up an evening with his kids, on a night he scheduled, to go to see her and her children, and then lied to me about it. Just to be at her son's practice and eat dinner with them and not his own boys. Ladies and Gents I present to you, father of the fin' year.

So i call him, multiple times. No answer and forwarded to VM most of the times as well. Then I text him, he reads but does not respond. Then he finally responds almost 3 hours later and says he was on a plane and wasn't ignoring me and he didn't board until after he was done with work which was after 1pm.

Then I tell him I've seen the EZ-Pass and he reads my messages and doesn't respond. He has been caught. He has no defense. Caught in a timestamped lie. How can you defend yourself from that? Spoiler: You can't. But honestly, I'm happy. So, so happy. He helped me make my decision about the money.

For the tiniest second I thought we were going to reach common ground and be amicable. That we've establish mutual respect and were going to be forth coming adults. HAHAAHAHAHAHAHA, stupid me. He's an idiot and incapable of that. Insert face-palm slap.

So, I deactivated the EZ-Pass, have fun paying tolls on your way home. He's broke and can't afford a lawyer's retainer so he just paid a fee to have a document drafted that asks for the 20k. I'm supposed to sign it and return it to him. I told my lawyer to ignore the letter.

It's not a filed motion, it's a letter asking, no no, begging, for money he doesn't deserve. So it will be ignored. Want to take me to court? Pay a lawyer like I did. And then after you wasted money you don't have, on a case that I have checked and doubled checked that I can't lose, then maybe you'll see how royally screwed you really are.

At about 10:30am I had to text him. I didn't want to, I want to start keeping him at arm's length. But I had to make sure he was picking the boys up from school. So I text him and asked for confirmation. He seemed confused as to why I needed confirmation.

Perhaps it's because you are irresponsible and completely unpredictable? I had questions for him about why he lied but i realized asking would be futile. He would just lie, or gaslight or even ignore. So I decided to do the same. Why am I jeopardizing my sanity?

It's like pulling teeth and honestly, all the teeth are rotten. But then, to my surprise, he starts interrogating me. He has questions about APEX. Well apparently APEX spoke to the AP and stated that he questioned my STBX's character since he is still married. Her response?

'They separated before we did (lie) and their paperwork has been in the courts for over a year waiting to be processed' (2nd lie). I think I see why my STBX and her get along so well! Literally made for each other. Anyway, APEX knew when we separated and that we are still married.

So he retorted that we've only been separated since 12/2020. And this is why men can't be trusted. I trusted APEX with a little bit of info and our cover is blown. My STBX wanted to know how he knew this since apparently me, him and the AP are the only ones who know we are still legally married. What's wrong hunny? Afraid people will find out your dirty little secret?

Her friends and family will find out that she is a husband stealer? Yikes, that won't help the perfect little image you have.My STBX claimed the APEX is scum, unsafe, can't be trusted and if I'm talking to him I need to stop. Wait, hold up. Did you just try to tell me what to do?

I'm sorry, you must have me confused with someone who has to listen to you. Cause I know damn well that's not me. So I ask, 'What does it matter if I talked to him? I didn't choose to have children with him. If he is so unstable her procreating with him is more unsafe than me speaking to him.'

This sounds like a her problem and not a me problem. Again, I think him saying he is unsafe for the children is using her kids as the scapegoats. I think they are just afraid of their dirty laundry being aired.

Concerning the neglecting of our kids to hop a plane to her state; he claims that I have it all wrong. Warning: Here comes the lies and gaslighting! He claims he drove to the airport in the morning, boarded mass transit and headed to work. Then returned to the airport and hopped a plane.

Are. You. Crazy?! This is the craziest thing I've ever heard. Not to mention he lives in a commuter town, closer to the city he works in than the actual airport. How does this even make sense. My reply, "Listen _____, it doesn't matter. I don't ever expect you to be honest and that's fine.

You've lied to me for over a decade and I don't expect any of that to change. It doesn't matter, it's AP's issue now, not mine!" Then he went on to defend himself, claiming he 'hasn't lied about a thing'.

A dear friend told me, he thinks he is playing you and winning but he is playing this game alone. I'm not a competitor sitting across from him at the chessboard.

Each time he thinks he's winning by dealing me a blow he's actually hurting himself. Every lie he tells makes it a little bit easier to not give a shit. Every stupid, selfish thing he does only helps my case against him. He is playing this chess game by himself and every winning move is a loss. Only once the divorce is finalized, and the chessboard is cleared, will he see that his king has fallen and all the pieces are mine.


Wolves travel in packs. Elephants form herds. Birds flock together. Cheaters keep close company. Could this last statement be true? I believe so; let me tell you all a story. My STBX had 2 close friends. These friends, along with their amazing wives, would spend time with my STBX and I going to dinners, children's birthday parties, concerts and football Sundays.

While the wives and I had no connection except our husbands we ultimately became friends. This is the story of those women, their STBXs, and how narcissists attract narcissist friends. These women are all now divorced or going through the process.

We have found strength in each other and for that I am grateful. If you thought my story was intense, I hope this post makes you realize there are women in situations just as inconceivable as mine.

I addressed the other 2 members of The First Wives Club about posting their stories and they were excited to let the world know (anonymously of course) their stories. I asked each woman to select a nickname that represented their ex and I'm excited to tell you the story of Dobby and Campanella.

Dobby: This man was an outgoing man who was always the life of the party. Sometimes irresponsible but always concerned with the well being of others. He was always very kind to me and when he met his now ex I was over the moon for them both.

She is a smart and spicy woman who is kind and painfully honest. They seemed to compliment each other so well and I even shed a tear at their wedding. But only a few short months after their wedding things would take a turn. Dobby was cheating; with men. Yes, you heard right folks, men.

And how did she find out? Well he came clean, via a text message while she was working. Wow, talk about timing. Now can we blame someone who battles with their sexual identity? No. But to not be upfront and honest about their uncertainty with their partner BEFORE the marriage and then accept their sexual identity and opt to cheat is what stings.

She was hurt and confused and questioned how she got there. While he looked for men online and through apps she was left in the dark. Of course his narcissistic mentally made him a victim.

She is the only one legally divorced now and she is living her best life. Moved out of state, got a great job and is embracing her new lease on life. I’m so proud of her and hope to be her one day soon.

Campanella: Let me tell you about this ‘man’. This guy literally stepped in it when he met his STBX. She is a literal beauty queen who is kind, comes from a good family, and so very intelligent. But, early on into their marriage there were questions about his loyalty to her.

On one occasion she found a Bumble profile of his in which his profile picture simply cropped her out. Idiot... On the outside he was outgoing and a friend to all. But obviously, he was too friendly. While he not only had issues with commitment he also has issues that need to be clinically diagnosed.

When I say this I mean his mood shifted with the wind. He started to become very nasty. He would yell at her and say such terrible and undeserving things. Perhaps he was pushing her away out of guilt? Or maybe he’s just a jerk. My money is on the latter. But never fear, remember I said she was intelligent? She started recording his rants and verbal abuse.

She had enough ‘evidence’ and was about to leave, but he got smart and realized what she was doing. At that point he took her phone and deleted all the saved voice memos and even took a swing at her. Big tough guy, right? The next day she picked their child up from daycare, filed a restraining order and never returned.

Today his moods still change. He sends her pictures of women he’s dating and then a day later he’s begging her to get back together. The First Wives and I agree that he is only doing this because the fear of being alone is now overtaking him. Who will feed his narcissistic ego?! He will probably be just like my STBX when he meets a new fool, I mean woman, to coddle him.

My point in sharing these stories was simple; we are all dealing with narcissists. Some stories are more complex than others but all are tragic for the victims. So if you are reading this and think my story is too wild to exist please know that my story is one of many that can be told.

In the end though we are all better off for taking the steps to move on. I hope if you are struggling with a narcissist, cheater, abuser or overall piece of trash partner that you take the steps to leave and move on. There is better out there for you, you just need to step outside and find it.

I dread Mondays. Not because of returning to the work routine (well also because of the work routine), but because of the return of my STBX. On Mondays he returns from a long weekend visiting the AP in her state and he usually returns guns a blazing.

He will text me paragraphs demanding things. He will become even more hard headed and confrontational. Yes, he develops beer muscles, for lack of a better term. He spend a carefree weekend playing the role of supportive boyfriend and amazing stepdad.

I'm sure he's excellent at it, it's very easy to put on a temporary show. While there I picture them laying on her couch and coming up with evil ways to destroy me, ruin me financially or just plain shit talk me. None of this is good, her hate for me is probably all rooted in a lie he told about me.

Don't worry love, the lies will start involving you soon too, be ready. They probably sip cheap wine and evil laugh to themselves. I picture her cackling and snorting at elaborate scheme they create to demolish me. Gross.

So Monday he returns with an agenda. A to-do list created by his puppet master. I can see it now: 1) Berate her early in the morning while she is just starting work so she can start her day off unpleasantly. 2) Demand money that you are not legally entitled to. If you annoy her enough she might cave, right?

Harassment goes a long way! 3) Tell her about all the things she has done wrong. None of this is factual and a twisted truth, but she's a nice person, she will feel guilty anyway. 4) Half heartedly apologize for the affair.

Don't actually mean it because hey, you can't change it and you aren't actually sorry. But it's nice to be patronizing. 5) Remind her you are doing everything in the best interest of the children.

Having an affair, potentially moving out of state, fighting their mom on every decision, not giving her money for them, losing your temper at the drop of the hat when you have them all is in their best interest, right? By the time he checks off his honey-do list my head is spinning.

I'm emotionally exhausted and angry. I feel helpless, alone and strangely guilty. I honestly feel guilty I subjected my kids to this. Why did I choose this man? Why did I do this to them? But this time it was different. This time I didn't want to play the helpless victim. This time I took charge.

I called the court house to see what is delaying my divorce. Turns out the courts must be operated by Lloyd and Harry because they misplaced half of my paperwork. Yes, they misplaced or improperly filed legal documents pertaining to my divorce and maybe many others as well.

So I called my lawyer who is also a bad ass woman and she gave that clerk hell. When I spoke to her afterwards she was ranting and out of breath. If anyone wants her business card let me know, she is worth the money.

Anyway, I get an email from her today that they are fast tracking my divorce, skipping the Zoom calls (thanks covid) and making a final decision just from the submitted paperwork. Well I'll be damned. Looks like my divorce is closer than I had imagined. Goodbye helplessness; hello freedom.

Today was a normal day. Normal refusal to get out of bed, normal straining to put my face on in the mirror, normal coffee, normal gridlock, normal coffee stain on shirt from stop and go gridlock, normal work banter, normal paperwork, normal return home gridlock, normal homework, normal dinner, normal wrangling of children for bedtime, just, well, normal.

As I settled in from my rather routine day I notice that my emails have no refreshed all day. Waiting for the red bubble to appear with an ungodly high double digit number I cringe at the thought of emails I've missed that need replying.

I swipe through all the junk and ads offering discounts (we all know they aren't real discounted savings in those promo emails) and see an email from my lawyer. The subject; Congrats.

I stop. A hard, full stop. Like a deer in headlights. It has to be it. This is everything I've been excited for. Everything I wanted. My future, scary and unpredictable, all sit in an email just waiting to be opened. I am ecstatic and petrified.

I know when I open the email and read her words that not only am I starting a new chapter, it's a whole new God damn book. Honestly in that moment, I'm afraid and jealous of my STBX. I'm so angry that he has taken the cowards way out through this whole process.

Never did he experience the heartache, trauma, frustration, jealousy and inadequacies that I felt. Like the vile toad he is, he jumped from my lily pad to hers and never even got wet.

Meanwhile I'm in a pond with no lily pads in sight and I feel like I'm sinking. I listen to my own thoughts and I'm disgusted with this woe is me mentality but it can't be shook. I think I have the right to feel this way but the bad ass in me refuses to show the world the fear I am suppressing. I swallow hard and open it. It is done. We are done. The process is done, I'm free.

I should be drinking. Popping the bubbly and celebrating. But I think what people don't say is that when you divorce it's more like death. Death to a life you had. Death to the stability you thought you had. Death to the comfort you had grown accustomed to.

Now I ask myself, 'what do people do in times of death and despair'? They eat. Check, did that enough already. They find comfort in friends and family. Check, my loved ones are my rock whom I rely on heavily.

They remember the good times. Check, I have my boys as a constant reminder that even though it went south, I have two amazing people to show from it.

They move on. There it is. Move on. I need to look to the future. No, not just a romantic one, but a future that is mine to take. Decisions that are mine to make. Memories that are mine to create.

And for once, I can be selfish. I can make the calls that benefit my boys and I. I can grab life by the horns and tame that bitch. Put its head on my mantle as a reminder of the time that I found bravery and faced life head on. I'm ready.

So loyal readers who sat with me from the beginning, let this be the post you've be waiting for. A woman who has come full circle. A woman who might not have created a perfect circle, but she is trying. A woman who will still have major bumps and divots ahead tackling him persistently asking for money, moving, and just being a plain old jerk.

Some of you will stop reading and if this is our goodbye then I thank you and wish you the best. Some may continue to read only to hear what becomes of my ex-husband and the future karma he may face. I have found it so helpful for myself to be real, honest and vulnerable in my writing.

I hope I have helped some of you in the process and for that reason I will continue to write; for you and for me. I have navigated this whole experience blindly and have revealed to you my story and my sacred inner thoughts. So I leave you with just one more piece of advice:

Stay classy, sassy and a bit bad assy. I thought it would be easy. The weight dropped and instantly super model thin. But that's a lie. Anyone who says the drama ends with divorce is lying to you. It's a trap, that person can't be trusted. The problems just change.

It's like drama got a face lift but it's still ugly at it's core. The house is sold. The HUGE check has been deposited and here comes the troll from under the bridge. He furrows his brow and demands 'his' money and new custody. Just when I feel like we reached a stale tolerance of each other here come the dramatics.

Here is the latest struggle; trips to her state with the kids. He wants them for Christmas. I agreed, Christmas Eve with me and Christmas Day they hop a plane to sunny _____ and they spend the holiday week as a 'family'. Cute, right?

I asked they be back for NYE and my birthday. That was a struggle. "But NYE is my holiday this year..." he protest. Ok, but Christmas Day is a shared holiday which I am giving to you. Reluctant compromise but compromise none the less.

Then he starts to inquire about taking our 5 and 9 year old on random weekend trips there. Do you even understand the exhaustion they will feel Monday in school after two trips at 5 hours each way in less than 72 hours?

How is this what is best for them? I think it's what you want, the desire to play house, but it's not what's best for them. I suggest he look to take them on extended weekends or spring break. He then says that he expects a problem with holidays when he moves.

I remind him our MSA says he will come here one weekend a month. Not the other way around. He's is out of his gourd if he thinks I'm going to allow our children to fly that often during the school year.

But don't worry loyal readers (I'm honestly not sure how many of you are left), this is something I will not budge on. Our MSA states the custody. He comes HERE. They do NOT go there unless it is for 4-5 weeks in the summer. Sorry, play house with her kids, not with ours.

He is grumpy and accuses me of 'doing what I please and expecting everyone to fold'. I remind him I followed the custody schedule he wanted, compromised on his travel and holidays and have even negotiated a small amount of cash for him. How am I winning?? I'm being too nice. I am folding.

But since he didn't get everything he wanted I am the bad guy. Sigh, hello narcissist, it's been a while but I see you are still around and staying strong. My thought is if I stay strong and firm about him coming here he will eventually stop coming. Is that terrible? Kinda. Is that necessary?

Also, kinda. I don't know what the best thing is. Perhaps I let my feelings about them playing house hurt me but I have to remind myself it will probably short lived. Something about leopards and spots. I remind myself to stay focused on the real issue; the boys.

This will all come to a conclusion and eventually run its course. Stay strong, and stay firm, just till his eventual move. Time heals, time reveals truth, time...I need it to hurry up.

For months the ex and I have gone back and forth about the topic of travel for the holidays. In October he suggested he take the boys to her state for the holiday. I agreed but wanted them home for NYE and my birthday celebration. He agreed. Easy peezy, no fuss, no muss.

Then a few weeks later he complained he wouldn't have the boys for either holiday (Christmas Day is a shared day) so I reluctantly agreed to return the boys on the evening of the 24th so they may spend Christmas day in her state. All was well with that decision, yet again.

Then I guess the little birdie he cheated with chirped in his ear again and he came back a few weeks later and demand he get NYE as well (it was technically his holiday but I gave him Christmas Day for it) or I should fly out to pick up the kids if I wanted them back for NYE. Sigh, this coparenting with the AP's input is tiring.

Realizing that we could NEVER compromise I told him we stick to our legal agreement; we share Christmas day and he gets them NYE to be returned on the 1st. He was not happy with this deal either. Bottom line: if he doesn't get 100% of what he wants he isn't happy.

But, I know sticking to only the legal agreement will benefit me and the boys in the long run. I say this because earlier this month he said when he moves across the country it will be expensive and difficult for him to come back here monthly to visit as our MSA states.

He wants the boys to go there monthly instead. Oh no, no, no. We are not shuttling 2 young boys across the country monthly because you no longer like the legal agreement we made.

I emailed my lawyer and gave her a heads up this was his thought process incase the situation gets sticky in the months to come. Her and I are prepared. So, by sticking to the MSA now, I can give zero wiggle room in the months to come.

On Wednesday (12/22) I got a call from the school nurse telling me my 5 year old was a close contact of a positive student in his class. I called my mother immediately to have him picked up, scheduled a COVID test for both boys and then called my ex.

His first response, "Well that fucks up my trip". Umm, yes, our son is fine, thanks for asking. Now both boys are a close contact and can't travel. So what does he do? He boards an earlier flight and disappears. Wow. I shouldn't be surprised, guess spending Christmas with her kids was more of a priority.

I know some of you will say, 'What about his health? He is risking exposure too". Well my son was exposed on Monday the 20th, my ex had both boys the 20th-22nd. He wouldn't be risking exposure, he was already exposed in this case. I'm sharing this story now as I wanted to wait for their covid tests.

But after months of back and forth and him changing our arrangement the boys don't even end up going. He says he is devastated that the boys couldn't go but had zero issue bailing early and not seeing them at all for Christmas.

Both boys are fine and are actually getting tested again tomorrow for their return to school next week. Now that I know they are not sick I can only assume this whole thing was karma.

His selfish behavior and hard headed mentality was for nothing. Karma. My ex called at 7:30pm Christmas evening to have a 90 second chat with them and has yet to ask me how anyone feels. Didn't even ask about test results. I wonder if AP knew this was why the boys did not travel?

Perhaps he lied and said I was not allowing them to. I only say this because she has a small child who is not of vaccination age. I really hope, for that child's sake, my ex isn't an asymptomatic carrier. I will be requiring him to get tested as well before he picks up the boys on the 4th.

I'm sure he will say he is fine, or just say he got tested already. To which I will ask to see the results. I've learned the hard way his word means less than nothing. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! The boys and I had a fantastic time. Happy New Year to you all!

While I have always been good at thinking a few steps ahead and seeing the writing on the wall before it has even been written, there was one thing I was always sure of: he was moving. For months he danced around it. Why? Excellent question. I wish I could answer it.

There are a lot of questions I wish I had answers for. But one thing was always obvious, he was leaving to live a life with her and her children. Now let's analyze this logically. Why would you have an affair with a woman across the country, visit every other weekend as well as long holidays, if you never had any intention of living there and making it work?

Just that piece of 'evidence' is all you need, but wait, there's more. My boys told me before Christmas that daddy got a job at a big, well known company. I told them that wasn't correct, thinking that he told them he worked there just so they would understand that he worked for a company in some capacity.

Putting a face to a name if you will. So when I finally asked him (purely in conversation) he told me the boys were right. And, I hope you are sitting down for this news, his office is located in her state. So why, why, would you take a job in her state if you 'weren't sure' if you were going to move there?

I also sent him a custody schedule early this month that runs through May 1st and he has never even looked at it. Normally he's quickly responding and telling me weekends he has booked to travel to her.

Something wasn't right... Lastly, his lease is up March 1st. No way he was going to re-up for a year. Sometimes I feel like I need to check myself in the mirror. He must see 'idiot' written across my forehead somewhere and I have yet to find it.

So he text me yesterday to tell me the news. This isn't news. This is information you have known and have withheld. I don't (and probably never will) understand why he can't be transparent. I'm not asking for personal details, I need information to schedule the rest of my life.

Literally, the rest of my life. Because as I (and many of you) have speculated, I doubt he will be in their lives for much longer. Is that sad? Yea, it's superficially sad. The boys will not have a father around.

But, he wasn't really the father they needed. Lately he has been better but it really was a last ditch effort to save the fragile and awkward relationship they have. I think about how 10 years from now when they are older and understand, I have no idea how they will react towards him.

Knowing that he had an affair, fought me constantly, and then disappeared 4 months after our divorce was legalized might really alter the relationship the 3 of them have as adults. How he maintains that relationship over the next few years will be important. I hope for everyone's sake there is some effort, but as a magic 8 ball would say, "outlook not so good".

The up side is my child support is more than doubling. This will be helpful as I have been house hunting and that extra money would help me get a better house for the boys and I. I'm excited for this.

The boys are excited for this. I think the 3 of us are eager to start our lives over. They have already asked to come see houses with me, to pick out their bedrooms and are excited for the possibility of getting a pool! I hope I can check all of their boxes, they deserve everything.

It's almost here. I have every type of emotion swirling through me. Will I miss him? HELL NO. But I think what controls me the most is the probability that he will be selfish right until the end. Let me give you some context. He is moving. Bye, see ya, don't let the door hit ya..etc.

Now, any normal, well adjusted person would prepare, right? Well, not him. Oh, no, not him. Instead he has spent his child free weekends in her state. I learned through mutual friends that he was celebrating birthdays (of her friends), paint-balling and of course treating her to a fancy Valentine's Day evening.

Again, normally this would be none of my business and I would have no reason to care, EXCEPT, he has already hinted that he will not be taking the kids the last weekend of the month as scheduled.

Apparently opting to enjoying his weekends and then give me the children on his scheduled weekend to finally handle his priorities. But who cares about my time, right?

But I ask more importantly, what about the kids? Is this 'see ya later' only to disappear like a thief in the night? No explanation, just a normal goodbye that translates to 'good bye forever'?

Here is my prediction: He is currently across the country. He will return on Monday the 21st to have the kids for 2 nights and then disappear. Poof. Houdini himself couldn't pull off a better trick. The greatest disappearing trick of all time. Now let me tell you what brought me to this idea.

It wasn't a crystal ball but simply his inability to provide detail. He has sold everything that mattered to him or was worth anything. Years of expensive memorabilia piled into a U-Haul and sold. He is also having his car shipped across country.

Good idea, but when I asked when it was being shipped he told me 'the guy hasn't given me a date'. So you hired a company and told them you are outta here on 3/1 and they have not given you a ship date. My guess?

He has a date that he isn't willing to share because he knows it will prevent him from being here for his parenting time. I've seen this movie so many times, at this point I can recite the dialogue.

When I talked to him about this he claimed he was 'doing the best I can' and 'I don't have any help'. So, I offered to help. I told him I had offered to help him pack up things on both weekends but he chose to be in her state instead.

His reply, "Stop trying to control the situation'. Wait. I offered to help because you had no help and you classified that as me being controlling? That bothered me. Not because he's a dick, I know that part can't be helped. But because he knows me. He knows that wasn't a controlling comment. So why say it?

I realized he said this because he has to. Me being a good person brings him guilt. He knows this move is selfish. He knows he has been difficult. He knows the affair was wrong. But it's easier to make me the villain than to face his own faults. Perhaps he has told so many lies about what an evil person I am to his AP that he now believes them.

What ever the reason, the chameleon has changed his color. He is now her shade and will blend in and mimic whatever she feels. This is something narcissist do. He is charming and agreeable to her. If she has an opinion about me; it's now his opinion as well. She is his new supply and he will drink it up.

He will mold himself to everything she is...until he gets bored. Until the allure fades, daily life and routine set in and she is no longer feeding his ego. And then what? Then he does what he did to me. He pulls away, he resents, he's secretive, he cheats, and then vilifies. Again, the chameleon will change their color. It's just the chameleons nature.

The day came, and the day went. Last Saturday, 2/26, he left. Yes my prediction was right, he said he "wasn't changing a cross country trip" to keep the kids his last weekend even though just a few days before he said "thing are up in the air" about the move.

I wish I knew something about gambling because I could have bet it all and won. I'm sure anyone that has kept up with my story since the beginning also knew the odds of him leaving early were a good one.

We could have all made a few coins. He dropped off some things to the house on Thursday evening and said bye to the kids. It wasn't emotional or long winded. Just a hug and a goodbye. The next day I went to his place to get the larger objects that did not fit in his car.

We packed my car in silence and then once the trunk was closed the awkward moment began. Do I just leave? Throw him deuces and jump in my car? What is the protocol for saying goodbye to the man you were married to for 10 years, knew for 15, had children with, cheated on you, etc.

So I just said, "Well I guess that's goodbye. Good luck to you out there." He then looked at his feet and started shifting his weight. No. This cant be what I think it is. Is he...sad? He then says, "C'mon, you are going to make me cry". I'm going to make you cry?

That statement made me furious. So I said, "Why the hell would you cry? Every decision you've made for the past 1`8 months was all for this moment. You wanted this and you got it." He wanted validation.

He wanted reassurance. Bottom line is, he's comfortable with me and he knows I'm a logical person, he wanted me to tell him this was the right thing to do. That it was ok he is leaving the kids.

Hell, maybe that it's ok that he cheated. I guess my comment made him realize the days of moral support are long gone and he stiffened up. I turned to get into my car and as I left I said, "So much for the past 15 years. Goodbye!" He scoffed. Good, he's angry with me again. I prefer that.

I spoke to him for the first time yesterday since he left. The boy's spring break is in a month and the plan was that they would be going to him for the week. I sent him a message asking about dates and he did not seem eager.

He said "he had to look at a calendar and work on things on his end". He didn't jump at the comment I made about keeping them for Easter and my oldest's birthday either. Something is up.

Turns out her children will be in school that week and they both have to work. Who will watch/entertain the kids for a week? He is not going to make it work. I don't think he can even if he wanted to. To all my betting people: What are the chances the boys go visit him for a week in April?

Now, onto new business. I met someone. Well I didn't just meet someone. I've been dating someone since December and dare I say it, he's really amazing. I have hesitated to say anything as honestly, I'm scared.

I'm afraid the same thing will happen to me again. I'm afraid to introduce the boys to someone and then it dissolves. I'm afraid of truly opening to someone again. But I will say so far, he is completely different than my ex. I'm cautious, but enjoying his company, affection and attention.

He knows my story, he's been in the room while I've had phone calls with my ex and he has heard the gaslighting first hand. I think he is being very patient with me because of this.

I warned him early this would take me time and he understand. I'm not the same woman I was 2 years ago. That's not a good thing or a bad thing; it's the truth. So for now I'm cautiously optimistic and just taking it day by wonderful day with him.

10 days. That's when the boys' spring break starts. It’s only 10 days away and still no word from the ex about airfare and travel arrangements. Back in the beginning of March when I asked him about this we tried to figure out logistics. I say we but it was actually me.

I volunteered to pay my way to fly out there (I was going to have a mini vacation for myself after drop off) and he would pay for the boys’ airfare. He assured me that he had travel credits from their missed Christmas trip and all would be covered. Then, radio silence.

Not a peep. I’d ask about dates and he'd say he ‘needed to check his work calendar’. Then it was, ‘I have to check OUR calendar’. Lastly, it was ‘ the airline is giving me problems with my credit’. So I waited. I waited 3 weeks. Tonight I had to make the call. I wish I never would have picked up the phone to dial his number..

He informs me that his credit is for only one set of tickets. So he says, ‘how do you want to work this? You want to pay their way here and I’ll pay for the flight back?’ No, no I do not want to do that. Hard pass. This is not my responsibility to pay. YOU agreed via our MSA to come here once a month.

YOU decided it was too big of an expense and now want them to come to you. YOU moved across the country for a woman and left your children. Now YOU need to pay their airfare or come here. He told me we have 50/50 custody so travel expenses should be the same.

He told me he spoke to people (people are obviously his girlfriend) and they think our arrangement is absurd and unfair. Ok there, Chief. Whatever you say. Please show me the law degree of said people. He said our whole MSA needs to be changed. Wanna change it? No problem.

Get a lawyer. He won’t because financially he can’t. He couldn’t afford to pay 2,000 in airline tickets, but can afford a lawyer? We went incircles arguing the same points and I realized none of us were being heard. So I told him to get a lawyer and hung up.

So I opened up my wallet yet again and called my lawyer. That’s one bill I will never be angry about paying. She told me he can make demands until he is blue in the face, but until he hires a lawyer and files for the change it’s all just hot air.

Then even after he files she is confident that a judge will see his reneging on our legal agreement as a negative.

Then the judge will ask why he moved and when they see it was purely for his benefit and not at the best interest of the children he will not alter the agreement. Best part is, if he files he will have to travel back to my state to attend court….but doesn’t want to travel here to visit the kids.

Moral of the story: He never really cared about the kids, it was all about besting me. Besting me out of money, time, sanity, the list goes on and on. The hard truth is he has moved on.

I was perfectly fine with him moving on and leaving me behind; I welcomed that. But the kids, that hurts. They are slowly asking less about him and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Bad for him I’m sure, but for the kids, it might just be the best.

I'd like to introduce you to a new game I play. Some, who are survivors of infidelity and narcissist, might be familiar with this game. I like to call it, 'Healthy or Trauma'. Being in a new relationship after you have left a cheater is hard, mentally and emotionally.

I find myself loving every minute with him, enjoy the comfort we give each other, but I also find myself analyzing things more than I ever have. I have not been in a healthy relationship so I often find myself wondering; what is normal and what is not?

Is this action, behavior or response a healthy one or am I doomed to make the same mistake again? For the first few months I played this game in silence. He ignored what I said to him when he was watching the game: normal?

I had to ask him to help me with something: normal? He answered a text and put his phone in his pocket: trauma? He plays a video game and disappears for a bit: trauma? He has been unbelievably patient with me and navigating me through this new relationship and it has made me so comfortable.

The trust is building; but it's not sturdy. It's not the Empire State Building. More like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was becoming exhausting playing this back and forth game in my head. I knew I didn't want to make the mistakes I've made in the past. Am I being too cautious and overanalyzing?

Yes, probably. But who wouldn't in my place? Was I getting in my own way by doing this? What should I do to ensure this relationship is healthy and grows?

I decided to start at the beginning. I wanted to correct the first wrong step I took with my ex: not communicating properly. So, I told him about my game. I told him that I over analyze (he knew this part already but the game bit was new) and I question if things are part of a healthy relationship or am I leading towards trauma again. He understood.

He laughed. He comforted. He hugged. So while I have not been able to stop playing my game, I'm now no longer the only player. He understands my thought processes and communicates with me. He sees the wheels turning in my head and puts them to a grinding halt. I apologize to him for how my mind works and he won't hear of it. We are rebuilding, he says. Yes, yes we are.

Readers had some thoughts on OP's long saga:

leader6 writes:

Yes, reading this has filled me with rage this morning. She needs lots and lots of therapy. Her ex husband is absolutely a genuine narcissist but she keeps folding over and over again. She just can’t stop letting him get away with everything.

Her thought processes are irrational. I don’t know if she was always like this, and that’s what attracted him to her, or whether years of living with someone like that has affected her decision making, but reading this made me feel ill.

I had a husband like that. I had to pay him to leave, but thankfully he was such a pathetic arsehole that he did leave and never saw the children again for a decade. They’re mostly all grown up now and they call me second husband dad (their request and choice).

We occasionally hear from my ex when he is between women and wants to whinge about something, but he only stays that far away because I cut contact with his bullshit years ago. I can’t determine if this woman has become so used to the drama that she can’t function without it or if she’s also a little unhinged but in a different way. Ugh.

treason0 writes:

I think if people were to read my diary, they would find me insufferable and exhausting and dramatic and rambly too. OOP seems like she's spent years putting her family above herself, and like she's never had space to breathe. I don't blame her one bit for finding a space where she can get all her thoughts out. She's processing in real time, so it figures that its messy.

plus, when you've been rejected so publicly.. sometimes you need some attention and validation. Someone to tell you that they were wrong, you were right. It makes sense that she's feeding off the attention nosey redditors are giving her. Its not super healthy, and she needs to find another way to move on without the validation from reddit. but its fresh and new for her, so I think extending a little grace towards her isn't too much to ask.

I feel for her. her ex is a bum, the affair partner sounds vile and getting cheated on fg sucks. killing with kindness only works if you're killing other people with it, not yourself.

Sources: Reddit
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