Dear Chump Lady,
I discovered my husband of 25 years and two children has been having five-year long affair. After he admitted that he was cheating, and as I’m doubled over in pyschic pain, trying not to puke, he says — “I can’t believe how I fucked up HER life.” Meaning — the GIRLFRIEND’S.
WTF! Can you please explain this?
How inconvenient of you to discover his cheating. You knowing about this could really be a buzz kill for the mistress. She might stop putting out. And that would suck for him. This is all about him, right?
Let me put it another way — affairs are about ego kibbles. And discovering the affair threatens his supply of ego kibbles. He’s mad at you the way a farmer would be mad at a hail storm for wiping out his corn crop.
He doesn’t really care about the girlfriend. Or you. He cares about his continuing surplus of ego kibbles. Narcissist cheaters need to feed. Now that you know, well, you probably won’t yield a very good harvest of ego kibbles. And the girlfriend, well, her ego kibbles were tenuous to begin with, being a side dish fuck and all… and now THIS. You just had to go and RUIN it, didn’t you?!
Make no mistake, he’s not taking responsibility here for fucking up anyone’s life. He said that deliberately to mess with your head. (He probably wrings his hands to the girlfriend about how he hurt his family.) This is your bid to start competing for his attention, to engage in a competition with the girlfriend, he wants you to feel off balance. I call this the game “The Humiliating Dance of ‘Pick Me’.” You must make your needs very, very small and put no demands on him. He also wants to you to feel very sorry for him. Woe! I fucked up someone’s life!
The guy is a mindfuck and has no remorse. I’d pack his things straight away and send him off to the girlfriend. He can start making it up to her immediately. Poor sausage.