Dear Chump Lady
Imagine this: There is a person standing before you that looks exactly like someone you’ve known for 23 years. Someone you’ve loved for 21 years. Someone with whom you shared vows to love, honor, and cherish forever. They’re telling you that they’ve always loved you. That they’re still in love with you. They say that they’re working hard to fix what they’ve done. They say that they keep hearing your wedding song (it’s in a commercial.) They say they want to take care of you. That you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to them.
They then deny that they ever cheated on you except with this one person, who they’re still involved with and whose apartment they pay for. They deny all other affairs, saying that the pics are of just friends, that the texts are misunderstood, and that another person who confirmed fooling around with them is lying. They inadvertently admit to being on numerous hookup sites, but say they never did anything. Then they tell you that they brought the other person inside your home because they wanted things out in the open. They only told you not to come home to protect you from fallout. Except you know that they were lying up until the moment you walked in the door, telling the other person that you weren’t really married. And you know they could have ended it without bringing them into your home. That they only brought them inside when they made a scene on the lawn and threatened to ring your neighbors doorbells.
So you know they’re still lying to you. Even though they’re looking you in the eye and begging you to believe them.
And your shredded heart wants to, so bad. Because you miss the person you fell in love with so much. Because this person looks and sounds just like them. Because you want to believe them more than anything in the world. But you realize now that you’ve listened to your heart and not your intuition for so long. You believed their lies over the evidence that was clear to your eyes, ears, and reason. You come to the incredibly painful realization that once again you have to take your poor battered heart and shove it in a corner. You have to somehow stop the tears that have once again started flowing and push through with what you have to do to save yourself.
Take the beloved face and voice and try to forget it. Try not to think of the warmth in their eyes when they look at you, the feel of their arms around you, and all the memories tied up in every adult memory you’ve ever had, with the only person you’ve ever loved in your adult life.
That’s where I am right now.
Imagine this: A better life without this sociopath in it.
Warmth in their eyes? Didn’t exist. Serial cheaters don’t do warmth. They do con artist twinkle. They do sparkly. They do crocodile “tears.” Their eyes have a lot of different settings, but warmth is not one of them.
I’m sorry the person you love is figment. I truly am. I know exactly how that feels. I don’t have 20 plus years of it, but I can absolutely relate to loving the myth of the person. The sparkly hologram. The cyborg who says All the Right Loving Things. And then discovering to your horror that the real them is a complete fraud.
You wrote: “once again you have to take your poor battered heart and shove it in a corner.” Once again? Has your heart been in the habit of being shoved in corners, Theresa? Because that’s fucked up. That’s not love. People who love you do not BATTER you, emotionally or physically. They don’t profess to love you and their wedding song while paying rent and utilities for their fuckbuddy. They don’t gaslight you and risk your health and flagrantly disrespect you. This is NOT love.
Every time you chose to believe his lies over your own sense of self-preservation and reason, you were battering yourself. You were choosing the pain. Hey, this is a place of chumps, we’ve been there. It takes a kind of chumpy bravery to face that pain, thinking your love will change them. They’ll notice and value you. Really you do matter to them. THIS time they really mean it…. they seem so convincing… they said those powerfully sentimental things… surely no one would say such things if they didn’t MEAN them.
You know what kind of people tell such outrageous lies? Character disordered people. Cons. People who are wired wrong. Whose empathy synapses don’t fire. Manipulators. He drew you in time and again because you were of use to him. You were a possession to him, and these freaks don’t like to lose their possessions.
The part of you that said “save yourself” is your best friend. Listen to that voice and get the hell away from this man. On the other side of this nightmare is a good life — keep moving toward that better future. He is a mindfuck. Don’t look back.