Dear Chump Lady, Why won’t he admit it?

Dear Chump Lady,

What do you do when they will NEVER admit to the truth? Even after you have hired a Private Investigator who traced him to two different hotel rooms in one week with the affair partner?

He claims she slept on the couch. Sure, because that’s what adults who have been having inappropriate contact for months do. Let me back up. I was 8 months pregnant, had literally just moved into a new house in a new city (he had been there for a few months prior at his new job that forced the move). I started getting feelings that something was going on. I started catching him in lies about where he was and who he was talking to. He became a ghost in our house — he was never around me and our two small children. When he was home, he was on his phone or his computer.

Then I checked his phone records online when he was out of town and discovered the 1000 text messages and 700 voice minutes between the two of them for the month of December alone. Did I mention they work together? He was talking to her every night on the way home from work, when I was with my kids at soccer practice or dance, and one time they talked for an hour and a half while he was out of town at 11:00 p.m. And those are just the highlights.

I confronted him and he managed to talk his way out of it, actually making me think I was crazy for even thinking anything was up between them. He swore he would stop all contact with her (even though there was nothing going on. They were “friends” and she was “really cool” and I would “really like her”). Then two days later I caught him in a lie . He had taken her to lunch ALONE, but I was “over-reacting.”  A client had canceled and he didn’t want to be a “dick to her.” So instead he was a dick to me and betrayed me again.

Then I went into labor and basically had to beg him to stay at the hospital with me. Then I had to be re-admitted with serious complications from the epidural and had to beg him again to even visit me. So this goes on and on, I catch him in even more lies and he continues to convince me I am crazy. Did I mention I had a two-week old infant at this point? And no friends or family? And two other small children?

I reached my lie threshold and I hired the investigator and got the proof. He denied the whole thing and has continued to deny the whole thing. He denied it even after I filed for divorce. Even after I said I would go to counseling and work through the infidelity for our family (something I always said I would never do).

His response is that I want him to “admit to something he didn’t do” and that “I did nothing wrong.” It is infuriating to me. I filed a month and a half ago so this is still a pretty fresh wound, but I feel like I will never get closure and never be able to get to “meh” without him admitting to what he has done. He continues to tell me I rushed to file, I “quit on my family” (my personal favorite), I never loved him, etc. But no remorse, no inkling of admitting anything. I can’t believe someone would hold on so tightly to a lie and allow it to destroy his life and his children’s lives. How can I move past this and accept that he will never admit it?

Thanks — your blog has literally got me through many, many rough times in the last month!


Dear Crista,

Let go. I hate it when people tell chumps to let go (as in “stop being bitter! let go!”), but seriously — LET GO. This guy is a disordered wing nut of the highest order. You got a PI to trail him THREE TIMES and BUSTED him every time. This is like that Richard Pryor skit — “Who ya gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

Believe your lying eyes, Crista. Don’t let him deny your reality. He can say any fool thing he wants to say, you KNOW the truth and you’re acting on that truth. His denial is just a play for control. Frankly, it’s another effort to control you and abuse you. (Because, yeah, cheating on your pregnant wife isn’t abuse enough). He is projecting his sins on you — “quitting on the family,” which is a heinous mindfuck. He desperately wants it to stick. It would be so much nicer if you would just accept the mantle of Very Bad Person Whose Fault This Is, otherwise he’s going to have to create that narrative anyway without your help. But it’s a much more convincing act if you’re in on it too.

What? You don’t want to be party to your own abuse? The nerve!

He is a sick motherfucker. To preserve your sanity, you need to go absolutely no contact with him. All communication must be about kids and finances and done solely through email so it is documented. You give all the PI info to your attorney and let them make hay with it. And you don’t engage with him. He’s a crazy person. Imagine a tinfoil hat. He is a raving lunatic in a tinfoil hat talking crazy talk. Of COURSE he was having an affair and OF COURSE he is guilty as hell. You are NOT the crazy person here, HE IS.

You know how you stop needing to be right about this? Believe yourself. Trust that he sucks. Know that your truth is ENOUGH. Quit looking to him for validation, because he’s not going to give it to you. He wears a tinfoil hat. Do you ask your local homeless schizophrenic for a reality check? No. You do not.

You’re going to get to “meh” when you really internalize who he IS — which is a cheating scum bag who was screwing around on his pregnant wife and the mother of (now) three small children. He’s that guy. A guy who wants to subjugate you and abuse you. That’s the truth. And just like he cannot control your narrative (sing like a bird, Crista! Sing!) — you cannot control his.

Let go of the need for him to “get it.” He is very invested in not getting it. Prepare yourself that he will try and smear you and deny the truth. Don’t let that bother you. You keep telling the truth if people ask “I got a PI and discovered he was cheating on me, repeatedly.” Once he recedes from your life — and he will — have faith he’s going to recede — the need for him to admit it will grow less and less and less.

I used to be hung up on wanting my ex to be sorry. Oh, he was “sorry” all right. He’d say anything. What a stupid waste of my heart. I needed to realize then, as you need to realize now, that the truth is situational to these freaks. Your ex would say ANYTHING. What’s going to happen if he admits it? Yes, Crista, you busted me. I’ve been fucking that other woman. Do you think he’s going to follow that up with apologies and mean it? He doesn’t mean it. His actions tell you everything you need to know about exactly how sorry he is — when confronted about his cheating, he KEPT CHEATING. When you were in a hospital having HIS child, you had to beg him to be there. When you were sick and alone in a new city with small children he abandoned you.

There — that’s your sorry.

Closure doesn’t exist. At least not in the sense that you have some Great Reckoning with your cheater and they explain why they did it and finally it all makes sense, and then rainbows appear, and the clouds part and a ray of sunshine comes down and bathes you in a heavenly glow.

No. You give yourself closure. You keep believing your senses and listening to your gut. You give it time. You’re kind to yourself. You surround yourself with people who believe the truth about him and hold you up. He’s a bad man. Life is going to be much better without him. I know it’s scary, especially with three little kids, but you just get the best damn settlement off him you can get, and you go build that awesome life without him. Because Crista, life is so much better without him. He is an abuser and a mindfuck.

I wish I could sprinkle some magic chump dust on you and give you closure. Actually, I wish I had my own personal cousin in the mafia to go knock his head in. But I don’t have either of these things. You’re going to have to take my word for it that “meh” is out there. Keep moving toward it and don’t look back at him. Forward march, Crista. You filed — good for you!  You are mighty! — keep going!!



  1. Deanna says

    Damn. All cheaters are bad, but this guy is grade A prime dirty fucker. I am sorry you have to go through this now when you should be focusing on your new baby and the other kids…you certainly have a whole lot of new normal to create.

    If you ever get them, his admission, his apology, his reasons will all seem hollow and leave you wanting more. They will hurt as much as the betrayal because they will be his versions of the truth (i asked why my Richard the Brave was so unhappy and he said he would have to focus on my flaws to figure that out and he didn’t want to do that). You don’t want them and you certainly don’t need them. Waiting for them puts the keys to your new happiness in his hands: You can’t have closure, move on, be fully happy until he does what you need. He hasn’t done what you needed for a very long time and you are giving him too much power. Take the power back and focus on your babies and everything that makes you happy. Fuck him.

  2. says

    What an asshat. He will never be sorry. My husband said he was ‘sorry for destroying everything’ but then he followed it up with ‘but is was really all your fault’. So what he was actually saying was ‘I’m sorry you made me destroy everything.’ Um, okay. You’re effing crazy.

  3. Kelly says

    Crista, the refusal to acknowledge the truth is just another terrible way to abuse you. You know the truth, and he knows you do. He’s dead to rights, but if he can make you waver he’s accomplished his purpose, which has always been his purpose, which is TO HURT YOU. It’s like the Holocaust deniers– they know the truth, but say that they believe it didn’t happen as a way to show their disrespect, and to heap on more pain. He is a monster of the absolute worst sort, you need to go NC as much as possible. I am so sorry you are going through this.

  4. Tallula says

    Trust me, even when they tell you the truth…doesn’t help. My H surprised me last night after counciling (we both do individual counciling) and admitted to everything and said that he was a grade A asshat for putting ANY of the responcibility on me. That he is truly screwed up, always wanted to be monogmous, but wasn’t. And it’s on him. He said that he had to keep being mad at me, because if he wasn’t, then he was this huge horrible fucktard. While I was stunned and hope that this attitude continues so he will eventually be a happy person and parent for our children, it doesn’t change my course. It doesn’t fix the hurt and betrayal. Honestly, all it did was make me sad. Hugs to you! I’m pregnant with 2 small children. I can’t imagine having to hire a PI 3 times and have my H still lie to me. Mine did come clean at first…add another OW to the mix and lie…weeee, but the blame shift is horrible. Just horrible. I’m sorry you are going through this.

  5. Arnold says

    I can relate. Never got any admissions, despite irrefutable evidence.
    For a long time, I just kept waiting for the admission and apology.
    My first XW, a serial cheater, is noew the head of the women’s program at The Retreat, an upscale treament facility in Mn. She is a” certified spiritual counselor”(are you jealosu, Tammy?). She has “worked” her twelve step program.
    Yet, despite my having tracked all her nights out, despite my finding her journal where she describes wanting to stop having sex with strangers, despite her having awakened me one night at 3 in the morning to describe the body of the man she had just been with, she maintains that all she had were “inappropriate relationships where “”””the Chemistry became Sexualized”””(love that one).
    These folks will go to their graves denying. Thie lives are lies in themselves.
    I have now just abandoned any hope of ever getting the truth, details , identities etc.

    • sunshine says

      Holy shit, Arnold! Your XW is a certified spiritual councilor and did all of that? I am so sorry. What a hypocritical mindfuck, not only of you but of all the people who are consulting and putting their trust in someone who is clearly a complete fraud. My situation was a lot like Crista’s (3 kids and all), but at least I knew (and sadly, loved) my XH and the lying, cheating, alcoholic drug user that he was. Oh my, there are some truly horrible people in this world…

  6. Datdamwuf says

    Christa, I almost fell out of my chair, your STBX sounds like my ex! Maybe some of his gems will help you feel better, at least you’ll know your are not alone. My ex said these things;

    “I didn’t do anything wrong” (his favorite)
    “You destroyed my life”
    “I’m not going to admit to this imaginary affair you’ve concocted”
    “You just don’t want me to have any friends”
    “She’s just a friend but she’s afraid to meet you because you are insanely jealous” (this one is priceless because I am the least jealous person on the planet).

    The kicker? We attended a marriage workshop, in his workbook under the section where you list the things that make you angriest about your spouse, he wrote his number one issue was:

    “When she calls OW a whore” (and when I asked him about it? he said I didn’t respect his privacy, I wasn’t supposed to read his book)

    One of the reasons my ex would not admit the affair was because he was trying to get alimony from me and in my state adultery makes that a no go. Ask your lawyer if adultery has any effect on your divorce settlement, it’s a possibility. And don’t you think a judge would be inclined to treat you better after hearing what your STBX did while you were pregnant? They aren’t just delusional, they are also cunning.

    • Bud says


      Huh? She sure sounds like the OW is a whore to me…

      Destroyed my life. My cheating wife said something very similar after I told the parents of the OM. I think it was “You made it worse for me”.

      How about this one… “It’s not like I killed someone” Might just as well have.

      You mentioned something about being the least jealous person on the planet. I used to think the same about myself until my wife cheated on me. Seems to me that Least Jealous = Most Trusting.

      • Nord says

        hahaha….when I told OW’s live in partner about the affair, I got ‘you’ve ruined everything now’. Yes, I ruined the whole set up of him being able to bang his young side piece without her equally young live in boyfriend finding out.

        • Bud says

          The “I didn’t want anybody else to know” mentality is absurd. Better get used to it Honey. Wait til the people that have been in our lives for the past 20+ years finally hear of it.

  7. Fallulah_G says

    Expecting a cheater to be honest is like expecting rain to fall upwards. The cheating in itself shows they are incapable of honesty.

    Closure is the gift you give *yourself*

    As CL said… trust in yourself… you’ll get there. And eff that mofo and his skanky ho.

  8. Laurel says

    Is murder still illegal? I guess we’ll just have to let Karma have her field day with him.

    Wonderful response, as always CL. right on the money. It blows my mind every time!

  9. kb says

    He’s a real scumbag. That he managed to make you think you were crazy the first time you confronted him is classic gaslighting. You’re not crazy; he is.

    And sadly, as everyone here is telling you, there’s nothing you can do with that. Yes, it would probably be better for BOTH of you if he would man up and admit the affair. But he can’t, and he won’t. This is your shit sandwich. The only real consolation is that once you truly trust that he sucks, you are on your way to healing, to gaining a life.

  10. MovingOn says

    Crista, I hope you get yourself a good lawyer, and if you live in a fault state, nail him for adultery. My STBX said things like this– denied at first, gave me trickle truth, sat on the fence… and that was only for FIVE DAYS (before I decided to divorce), and I certainly wasn’t pregnant, alone in a strange city without family, etc.

    I know that we would all love closure, but we will never get it from these disordered idiots. Mine has said he’s “sorry,” but we know what that’s all about– he’s “sorry” that he’s imploded his life, made himself look bad, suffered some consequences, etc. He’s not truly sorry about what he did to me or, more importantly, his children.

    • quicksilver says

      MO, “trickle truth” – love it love it love it
      One of the most wonderful things about this blog is that it gives me the WORDS. I get so muddled with his word salad and I lose every argument. These days, I don’t even try to argue with what he says because it’s all based on a trickle of truth, oozing from the cesspool of lies. I just speak my own truth. And it’s coming out like a crystal clear river of rage.

  11. Debbie says

    Dear Crista – I also went the private investigator route. Unfortunately, on the day I was sure my H needed to be followed, the private investigator didn’t have anyone available. I followed him myself (from the bank and then right back into my own house). I caught him in our bed with a prostitute. So, even though he cannot deny that he was cheating, he still says all the same things to me that your H is saying to you, “you filed too soon, you’re making an ’emotional’ decision and not thinking about the kids, if you loved me enough you wouldn’t give up 30 years of marriage”. So don’t focus on the fact that he won’t admit it. If he did, it wouldn’t change anything. It appears that matter how their getting caught plays out, they still all say the same stupid, selfish, ridiculous things. I’m so sad for you and your young children.

  12. Angie says

    My STBX “owed up to everything”, which meant that he admitted to what I had already told him that I knew about. There was alot more I had figured out, but he only “confessed” to what he knew I knew about. Did you follow all that? OK, well here is the kicker. He wrote an apology letter to me and one to my mom, with whom he had been very close to. In those letters he did admit to being a failure as a husband and son-in-law, that he had no one to blame, etc.

    The next time he stated being an asshole via text, he thew this one at me.
    “I owed up to what I did, to you and your mom. In the end it didnt make any difference”

    So apparently he only “owed up” to anything because he expected it would wipe the slate clean – bamo! All is forgiven. Dont think so bub. He didnt break down and confess because he felt so horrible and gulity, he only did it because I had proof he couldnt dispute. He figured if he admitted to what I had confroted him on, that it would get him bonus points for being honest. Thats was my “closure”, a confession of half the shit that my STBX had done (that I already knew about) that was done soley for his own selfish purposes. He got all mad when he didnt get what he thought he should from that heartfelt confession. And thats been his MO our whole life together. He never did anything that was truely selfiess for anyone. Ever.

    I know that hearing them admit to what a monster they are lurks in all of our hearts. But you know what? It usually never happens, because they are too busy throwing all the blame and muck as far from themselves as they can manage (usually towards their betrayed spouse) in hopes to salvage their own image as a good person. True closuer usually only happens on tv. Kind of like how every criminal always breaks down and confesses on the cop shows. Real life it aint.

    You are doing exactly the right thing, and life will get better. How could life without such a horrifically farked up person around possibly be any worse? You can not only survive without him, but you will thrive.

  13. GreenGirl says

    I had a friend commit suicide when he was twenty-two years old. He shot himself in the head with a gun he bought for that purpose. He didn’t leave behind a note. I kept wanting to know why. I wanted to be told he discovered he wasn’t going to get a job he wanted, his girlfriend broke up with him, he wasn’t going to graduate college (no, no, and no). I needed there to be a reason, I thought that’s what I needed to get closure. If only I knew why I could come to terms with what happened.

    I was furious with him. Bad enough that we had to mourn his death, but without a reason everyone was asking themselves what went wrong and what they could have done differently. Sending us to Hell was bad, but forcing us to stay in limbo was worse. It seemed like it would never end – that we’d be stuck asking why forever.

    I’m never going to learn why unless we meet up again in the afterlife. I needed to accept that I couldn’t get the answers I felt like I needed and deserved. Accept that the loss would always be a part of me without defining me.

    You went through the hell of infidelity and now your cheater is leaving you in limbo. But you need to accept that you will never get the answers you want. You will never get the closure you deserve.

    And that sucks.

    He killed your marriage, but admitting it means admitting he did something wrong and he is incapable of that. You need to mourn the murder/suicide of the marriage, accept that you may never know why, and move on. It’s hard, you’re going to back slide, wake up months after you think it’s over with and start obsessing again for a week. But the times will come fewer and farther between. Life will go on if you let it. You will find a new normal, different than the old normal, but stable.

    He cannot give you closure. You have to do that yourself.

    • says

      I’m so sorry for your loss GreenGirl. As I wrote about here, I also lost a friend to suicide (same method, btw). Thanks for the words of comfort for Crista and everyone here.

  14. Crista says

    Seriously, I cannot thank you all enough for this outpouring of support! First I get Tracy’s kick ass answer to my letter this morning and now this. I cannot tell you how much this means to me — I have spent so many hours and days crying and wondering if I was doing the right thing and hoping (!!) that he would just confess so I could forgive him and we could go to counseling and save our family. How pathetic is that? So many of the stories you have told in your replies sound like it could be him — I guess they really are ALL alike (and shitty). Today is the best I have felt in this whole process … you guys really gave me the boost of confidence I needed. I love that Chump Lady exists for this reason — to give us all a chance to tell our stories and support each other. I CAN DO THIS!! :)

    • Tallula says

      Like I said, my husband fessed up last night. To things I snooped and knew of that he thought I had no idea about. He MAY (heavy on the probably not) have turned a corner for himself. Our marriage is over, though. I will never trust him. If your husband turned the corner and admitted everything and you road off into the sunset…a few days/months/years later reality would come crashing in. You can’t trust him. It’s not pathetic, you love him. You loved the dream of your family. I’d say, consider it a plus for you that he is being such a fucktard. See ya!! You are more than capable, you are strong and awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • says

      YES YOU CAN! Keep going Crista! And you’re not pathetic. It takes a big heart to try and reconcile. You’ve got nothing to work with here though, the guy is a nut. And you deserve MUCH MUCH better.

      Be prepared for him to get ugly when the divorce gets real to him, or he may try and hoover you back in and find his “remorse.” Stay strong!

  15. David says


    That’s the right attitude. Some folks are so busted, they can never admit that they are wrong, and if they do “admit” to something, they’ll do it in a sneaky, conditional way that really guts it as any kind of real regretful confession. So, don’t wait for them. Move on. It sounds like you are doing great. Getting to “meh” is a process, and you are entitled to some anger along the way.

    Crista, you deserve thanks for bringing up this topic and eliciting all this hard-earned wisdom!

    Chump Son

  16. Toni says

    In all of the millions of words I have read, one thing I learned fairly early on was that I cannot look to the X for ANY type of validation. And I think that really helped me because I never even got 1 “I’m Sorry” from him and I gave up hope for that so that was one less thing for me to try and “figure out”. It really had me stuck for a while….and now even though it still puzzles me, I know he just does not care!

    • Tamara says

      Don’t feel too bad Toni, I got a million “sorry”s…. the next day (or week, or even hour) I would find “W4M” on his craigslist file on his phone. Truth is, it doesn’t matter if they say “sorry”, because they are only sorry they got caught. They have very little remorse for the battering rams they took to our lives. They are sorry we are strong enough to act in our best interest. They are sorry we are smart enough to see what that may be, but they are not EVER sorry they Hurt us. You see, they “really didn’t mean to”.

      What really sucks, is that most of us on here, at one point, really would have (or in many cases did) believed they WERE sorry. But it’s all just more lies to toss on the “you’ve got to be freaking kidding me” pile.

      They can keep their sorry’s, their admissions. We have the truth, and we all know what that does.

      • Erika says

        There it is!!! That “I didn’t mean….to hurt you, to have this happen” “Never in my worst nightmare did I think I’d do these things to you….” blah blah blah. Can’t talk about this without the non-apology apology “I didn’t mean…….” yuck. Makes me sick to think it.

        Crista, you are amazing. I’m so sorry all this has happened to you and your beautiful children. I am awestruck by your courage. Humbled.

  17. Rebecca ( says


    My STBX has never admitted to either his long time affair or diverting funds. No admission to anyone. Just “its none of your business”.

    I have a slightly different take that has worked for me.

    You have to repeatedly tell yourself that he is twisted (he is), that he is a scumbag (he is) and that you WILL have a better life (you will).

    It is going to hurt like crazy and your mind will want to explode over and over again to know the truth. You can look and find more and more evidence but it will never be enough for you to understand that this really did happen.

    The problem with no admission is that all the information that gives you “the truth” is never the same as hearing them say it. A piece of your mind will always have a question mark about what happened and why they don’t tell you the truth.

    The saddest part is that there is nothing you can do about wanting the truth. Nothing.

    What you can do is file and be proud that you did. Keep on top of the paperwork with your lawyer – you are advocating for you and your kids – help them as much as you can to get your finances and bookkeeping in order; be part of the process. What you can do is get up every day and take care of your kids (they love you and one great parent IS ENOUGH). Take care of yourself. Reach out to friends or family – ask them to fly out or travel to be with you. Ask for help and take it. You need to ask for people to support you NOW. You will be surprised by who comes through.

    If you live in a “no-fault” state, I would say hide that PI information. If you show it to your lawyer then they have to turn it over to him and his lawyers. If you live in a “fault” state, I would still hold onto the info and see where the case goes. You may need it as your ace in the hole.

    So, what is the good news? One day it won’t matter. Really! It wont matter. It will take a long time because your mind and heart don’t want to believe what you know. The facts are hard to swallow and sometimes it is impossible to believe that this really happened and that this is really your life. Just hang on. It will never seem real or make sense but, someday, it just wont matter any more.

    What CL says about one random Tuesday afternoon is true. Meh will come; you just have to be patient.

  18. says

    Crista – Your letter started “What do you do when they will NEVER admit to the truth?” Well, you get used to the fact that they will NEVER admit to the truth, that’s what you do.

    Anyway, that’s what I did. Yep – my asshat NEVER admitted to the truth even though I had his ass nailed to the wall. He would still lie and deny to this day if given a chance… I guess. But I don’t give a gnats ass. meh. That was over a year ago.

    The big difference for me is that we do not share children. Admittedly, that is a lot harder. I’ve done that thing, too, many moons ago. Just be glad you have this place for support. You’re in good hands here.

  19. carol says

    Wow Crista. It just blows me away that a man would put the woman who is carrying his baby through all the horrible bullshit you’ve been through.

    The first time my husband cheated, in 1988, I hired a PI after he denied. For a month, I lived through him getting up every morning and going to work out with this woman, who I caught him on rafting trip with (alone) a month earlier. They were just friends, he claimed. He couldn’t tell me about her and their growing friendship because I wouldn’t understand. At least he had that right. I wouldn’t have understood why my husband, who I had married only three years earlier, and who I was madly in love with, felt that he needed to tell huge lies to go on two week long trips with a woman I knew nothing about. But he wanted me to believe that my inability to accept this relationship was the problem. LMAO. These cheaters are so full of shit and they sure don’t mind rubbing it all over us and then claiming that we stink.

    I wish I could go back in time and give that 30 year old me, with swollen eyes from crying for a month, unable to eat, on anxiety meds, a big hug, as I handed $1,000.00 in cash to a PI in a Burger King. I wish I’d had the strength to save the money and just tell him that he was crazy and to get the fuck out of my life. Instead, I ended up spending almost two more decades with the asshole. And now, he has me so screwed up emotionally that I’m not sure I will ever be over it.

    Don’t waste your life on a liar.

    ((((((Crista ))))))

  20. Fallulah Gigglepants says

    Ok if I’m avoiding moderation “better do better” by hard fi… Bloody good angry song to work out to etc :)

  21. namedforvera says

    My character has admitted to partial truths, truths I have uncovered–he claims those as self-revelations–and I am quite sure there is more. Then number of times I have been told, “I can’t tell you something that isn’t true!” is nauseating. Because then a week, or two, or a month later, I find out something else new, fun, and devastating. So I don’t go looking any more.

    And frankly, the unwillingness to be honest upfront was the death knell to the relationship. It made me realize how much it was about the lying, sneaking and fantasizing–in my case, more than (I think) actually fuckin’ hoes. Well that and the 18 month long constant texting/phone + ONS affair…. But if my partner really can’t be honest, mutual, level and all that stuff when it *really* matters?? (also, the constant telling me that he’s ambivalent–that’s kind of a big giveaway….) well, there’s no there, there.

    Really hard to come to terms with. Really hard. Of course it would have been tough under any circumstance–who wants to get dumped after 20+ years for whatever reason? But to get dumped after 5 something years of cheating and gaslighting. Ugh. And realize that the actual dumping, if you will, was five years ago, and your life has been a lie since then? and not have that admitted to by the character ? (twist, wiggle…). And that finally, there is no admission that, by “mentally” dumping me and acting on it–a common law divorce, if you will–all those years ago, HE left me, not the other way around, but I’m getting the bad rep.

    Well, I guess it’s the last tasty bite of shit sandwich, right? Blame the chump for being the chump.

  22. Dara Stevens says

    Honey, everything CL has told you is the truth. The sooner you accept the “real” truth, the better for you and your children. Please follow the no contact rule, HE doesn’t deserve to speak to you, you are better than that. Right now, it’s time to let your lawyer do the talking. You will reach the Meh stage when you are ready, not when someone tells you too. Best wishes and stay true to yourself.

  23. Arnold says

    I think there is only one person that is qualified to expalin why they do not tell: Dr Tammy Nelson,PhD, Sex Therapist and International Speaker.
    I say we invite her to be a keynote speaker at the CL retreat, to be held in Austin.
    Texas is a foreign country, so it should be right up her international speaking alley.

  24. Lyn says

    Crista, I relate very much to your experiences. I also found hours of conversations and text messages between my ex and his married grad student. Even when I found a journal in which he had written about his love for her and confronted him with it, he denied everything. It was right there in black and white and he couldn’t admit it. Kept telling me I just didn’t understand and wasn’t interpreting what I read correctly. It makes you feel crazy when they do this to you for years. It felt so good to me to see it in black and white. You are much better off without this guy, but I really feel for you having to go through birth with someone who abandoned you. He is a seriously messed up, heartless person.

  25. Kimberly says

    Wow Crista, that’s messed up of him not to admit. He reminds me of my ex.

    I was talking to him about this thought-provoking short story I had read. I can’t remember the name, but the premise of the story was that a machine had been invented where you could see into the past. People ended up mostly using it to spy on other people, “my neighbors are making noise, let’s watch them starting from one second in the past”. It basically created a world where no one could get away with lying, anything could be proven just by using the machine. I said I thought it would create a world where no one would ever lie, but he said that people would still lie and that he himself would just keep denying whatever he had done, no matter what the machine showed. That threw me for a loop, but not enough for me to run screaming away from him like I should have. That would have saved me a lot of trouble.

    Good luck dealing with that fucker Crista, it’s going to be hard, but I know your life will get immeasurably better without this gaslighter fucking with your mind. Trust me, I know. I hope you have family and friends supporting you through this and that you are able to reach out when you need to.

  26. says

    Dear Crista: I’m just curious as to how you’re doing, and if you have been able to get out of the emotionally abusive relationship? I’ve been praying for you and your kids. Hugs…

  27. says

    It’s like the saying -when looking at an iceberg three quarters is under the water what you ” see” is only one quarter. The tip of the iceberg is all you get to see but you know the rest is there. Not sure who originally said this so can’t give credit where it is due.
    In my case H was saying all the right things (except apologize) love you, want to stay together, it’s gonna be better, and in some ways it was- he was nicer and more loving but when for the most part his behavior and emotions just didn’t jive with his words – i realized it’s cheaper keep her was the motto he was living by – i also think it has given him time to hide assests. Dont be fooled if actions dont matcj words. Sorry for your pain – i know how much it can cut very deep.

  28. says

    I’ve read this letter a few times from Crista, and sadly, every time I read it, the tears start to flow. The gaslighting to make you feel crazy, the lack of accountability, the hurt and confusion and the flagrant abuse astounds me, yet people behave this way more than we know. Even worse, treating anyone this way is just so cruel, yet this is narcissism at its best. Part of me also feels sorry for the next person that a narcissist gets(is) involved with, because he or she is in for trouble…eventually. Like Cheryl says, when the actions don’t match the words, it all means nothing. Hugs…

  29. Marti says

    Ugh!!! I feel for all of you. I truly do! My long-ago ex tried this line, “well technically I didn’t lie because I never SLEPT with her”. Engineers logic….sick sick sick!

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