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Cheaters and Misogyny/Misandry

A reader wrote in to suggest some discussion topics and one of them was:

Is there a relationship between being a cheater and misogyny / misandry?

My STBX wife loves to collect “anti-men” cartoons, etc. on Pinterest. You know, the kind that say “Menopause… Menstrual… all Woman’s problems begin with Men.” She’s made the statement to me and many others that she “hates men,” which I find to be odd, considering her disdain certainly has no apparent affect on her ability fuck men outside of her marriage. Her mother holds in contempt her father, and her sisters (one divorced, the other has come close many times) seem to share in this view. It’s not the funny “battle of the sexes” here, we are talking about vilification for the simple fact of being a male. It was only when I reminded her that she has a son, that will grow up to be a man one day, did she even acknowledge that it “might be a problem.”

My perspective is that infidelity is abuse, and when you see cheating from the lens of abuse — versus, oh say,  your deficiencies drove them to it — cheating as misogyny/misandry makes sense. Abuse is about POWER — the misuse of power, the enjoyment of power over another, and the “authority” it gives one to justify their horrible acts. So when viewed from that angle? Hatred of men (you in particular) to your wife might feel like a perfectly valid reason to cheat on you. You “deserve” it. You’re Other.

Isn’t that what all bigotry is about? Whether it’s homophobia, or racism, or sexism — it’s about making someone Other. We deny our connections, our commonality. You cannot be a bigot and an empathetic person. Empathy requires that we get inside another’s person’s head and feel their pain, see their perspective. Bigotry says, well if you feel pain it’s because you chose it — your fag lifestyle, your inferior brain, your laziness. Whatever attributes a bigot wants to ascribe to you, gives them permission to abuse you — and then blame you for that abuse.

Cheating on someone is a total abuse of power. To be intimate with someone is to be vulnerable to them. In marriage, we hold those bonds as sacred. We vow to be faithful to one another, which another way of saying we vow not to abuse our power.

When cheaters lie, gaslight, and blameshift — these are acts of power, of gaining advantage by keeping the other person in the dark. The cheater knows what they’re doing — you do not. How delicious.

How does that translate into curating a collection of insulting cartoons on a Pinterest board?  IMO, those are all pretty little justifications for abusing you. Women’s oppression is real, but if she identifies as a “victim” then perhaps she feels entitled to cheat because she is righting some historic power imbalance. I know, it’s pretty thin soup — but cheaters and wing nuts of all stripes use some pretty crazy justifications. Hitler felt entitled to Poland because Germany needed a little elbow room (Lebensraum).

As for cheating and misogyny? Sure. Same deal. I think there can be an element of “keeping a woman in her place” misogyny when a man cheats. Especially if she’s pregnant, or a mother of small children.  She vulnerable and not going anywhere.

I always thought it curious about my own ex that he cheated on very bright woman. His first two wives were exceptionally accomplished people — more accomplished than he was. The first had a PhD in chemistry (he only got a masters). The second wife graduated first in her law school class. On the face of it, they were nobody’s fool — but he made a fool of them. However they shined in their public lives, he made a misery of their private lives.

He grew up with rigid gender roles, and while he talked a good game about equality or admiring a woman’s smarts, he still felt entitled to his dinners cooked and his laundry folded, and not having to do a damn thing around the house.

I could go into a whole segue on porn. I don’t have a problem with porn, but there is a kind of cheater (my ex was one, I discovered) who is obsessively weird about it. I think it feeds this idea that people are commodities, just a bunch of different bodies contorted in different ways, when you get tired of one, upload to another. It’s a removed sort of sexuality. Sterile, stylized, airbrushed, not intimate.

Cheaters are not intimate people. To cheat on someone is to lack connection to them. It’s a refusal to deal in an honest, considerate way.

And that’s the larger point, I think. It’s not that cheaters commit misogyny or misandry — it’s that they commit infidelity. This lack of empathy tends to permeate their whole life. They’re equal opportunity jerks. They can dress their narcissism up however they want to, point to whatever abhorrent ideology that “explains” it, but at the end of the day — it’s all about them.

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  • I just found photos taken during his A that I shot. (He is looking at me). In all of them he looks at me with anger, disdain and hatred. Sometimes there is a bit of guilt and kind of “poor me” expression all mixed up. It’s very disturbing to look at them (and the fact “I didn’t see that”). I realized it’s his “regular” look. His words were in complete contradiction to the facial expression so I was confused and didn’t know why. I’m starting to realize these emotions I can so clearly see are what he’s been feeling all along. Can I generalize and call it misogyny? He would never express that kind of sentiment, but his actions are a totally different matter.

    • That “look of hatred” is what got mine busted (eventually). I truly could not understand why he would HATE me. I could understand he didn’t love me but hate was a different story. When that look kept coming, I hired a PI.

      • Yep, I get the look of hatred at times. At the beginning it was the sad puppy dog. Then some anger and hatred, then just hatred. Now its starts with sad puppy dog, then he realises I am simply staring blankly at him so it goes to nervous smile, then ‘wounded’, and then anger and ‘proud’. What a dork.

        • I call it the “two-headed monster syndrome.” They try on the nice guy face, but when that doesn’t work…watch out!!

          • I remember the first time I really saw the look of hatred, and he shot it at me during his A (which I wasn’t aware of at the time). I remembered thinking that whatever we were arguing about wasn’t deserving of such an ugly look. Now I get it.

        • never got a look of hatred (at least that I recall), but I do remember feeling like he wanted to hurt me during that time. Like we got in a fight (about him talking to the affair partner on the phone while we were at a wedding reception, though I didn’t know that’s who she was at the time) and later that night when he was drunk he got slightly violent with me, sexually. I was actually a little afraid. He also was obsessed during this period of having sex with me in a position that I found extremely painful. Which he knew and didn’t care. It was like all he did want was to hurt and demean me. His one and only insult of my sexual performance was during the affair as well. (I’d never gotten an outright insult immediately following sex before, I’d previously just gotten general remarks at off times on how I needed to “spice things up”…).

          That’s probably why sometimes it’s hard for me when people assume the reason why they have the affair is because of your lack of sex life and that you might not be good in bed or whatever. Or do I just assume they assume that because of my own insecurities? Because my ex did basically blame it on that. And after years of his vague comments and inability to ever seem like it was good enough for him, it’s hard not to internalize it. I tell myself he wasn’t ever satisfied about ANYTHING and he won’t ever be completely satisfied about anything – so sex is just one more thing in a long list of things he would never feel he got all that he deserved no matter what I did. But still, I can’t help but feel insecure. Also because I guess I realize I should have done more or wanted it more, etc. I hope that it’s just because it was with him and his lack of interest in what I wanted also contributed to that. And I guess since I’ve already told everything else, I’ll just add he was also the only man I’d ever been with, so it’s not like I have any other opinions to go on. Ugh, I should have never married the first guy I slept with. That wasn’t the plan, ever. Just wanted to be “in love” the first time. And chumpy me just latched the fuck onto that first love and never let go.

          • anotherErica,

            Don’t beat up on yourself. It was never you. It was always him. You want to know how I know? Because I was the woman who brought home some bacon, fried it up in the pan, and never ever let him forget he was a man and my Top1% of His NPD Class still cheated with anything that had legs that opened (I am assuming that having legs was one of his requirements), sought out prostitutes and watched porn as if it was insulin and he was diabetic. I could be the Madonna or the Whore. Never mattered. He was and is a disordered Jackass (my apologies to hard-working, decent Jackasses everywhere).

            Your Ex simply refuses to assume responsibility for being a Wascally Wabbit (sorry Bugs!) – an asshole King among asshole princes. Easier to make it about you than to admit he is a pig from the bowels of hell. People like to “assume” that it’s about something you didn’t do (or you did) because they feel it somehow protects them from what happened to you. It’s the same psychology used by the women who make comments about what a rape victim had on. Seriously? Even when you tell them that statistically most rapists can’t even tell you what the victim was wearing, they still cling to their belief. It makes them feel safer – until it doesn’t.

            It takes a special kind of awesomeness to be a Chump (look at Tracy) so wear your Chumpiness with pride anotherErica.

            • I try to wear it with pride – but occasionally I do still feel like it makes me a little vulnerable. I guess because you never know what is going on behind closed doors, but now with the divorce and being open about the reason means you are sharing some kind of intimate stuff. Even without going into detail at all. So, it’s like I’m exposed but nobody else really is.

              And it is hard occasionally when you wonder what they *really* think about it/you.

          • Same here my Dear. Only guy Ive been with too. You have nothing to compare it to so its hard to determine if its you or not. It also doesnt help that they go out and have sex with others.

            My x used to always say “I really dont understand why you have such low self-esteem. You are georgeous and are the perfect package”.

            Really??? you cant figure out why I have low self esteem??? He had cheated on me with 16 other girls (that I know of) and would tell me that Im 99% perfect but just missing the one thing thats actually important to him: I didnt “Understand” him!

            Sex is such an intimite thing and for that to be betrayed is hard to swallow to this day, especially because he is my only.

            • yep, we’re chumps who always take on blame too. That’s why we get lower self esteem, because we believe the shit they say.

              Maybe we should have demanded more as well?! Too late now, but for next time 🙂

              I tell myself it’s pretty unfair to compare someone you’ve been with for a long time, no matter how good it might have been, with somebody brand new! and exciting! and forbidden! yuck 🙁 But anyway, seriously, they get like a million points just for showing up. I think that’s why these guys cheat as well. They don’t want to have to “spice” anything up at home, even if that’s what they say they want. It’s too much work. Why not just find somebody brand new where you don’t have to worry about it at all? You just show up, and just by circumstance it’s “better”. Not that what we were was “bad”, we were just “familiar” and therefore, I guess, boring.

              • It is only within the last couple of months, since I have removed myself from the relationship and ceased to do the “Pick Me” tango and have been able to look at the relationship from a distance that I realize (intellectually) that his cheating had absolutely nothing to do with me or what was or wasn’t going on in our bedroom. After 28 years, there had been many instances that we would be intimate and it was all I could do to stifle a yawn or keep from snoring. He was frequently pretty lazy and perfunctory – almost as if he was just masturbating in my body. However, I never cheated, never even considered it. I simply tried to make it less boring by trying to bring my “A” game, as much for my sake as his. Then the “excitement” he eventually brought to the bedroom seemed very objectifying – as if he was trying to recreate some of his movie and internet porn. It wasn’t as much about an intimate connection between us as it was about playing out his porn fantasies.

                Many times, it is just all about them – that’s why the partners can be interchangeable. It is totally selfish. That’s one of the larger appeals of the AP – the fantasy. There are no chores to be done, no bills to discuss or be paid – no responsibility.

                My STBX’s pursuit of his current OW is that she now has financial resources which will allow him a certain level of financial freedom and security – otherwise, he could have left me for her 20 plus years ago when she first offered herself up on platter like a Thanksgiving turkey. As I slowly unravel the emotional umbilical cord that has kept me tethered to him and this relationship, more and more I am happy to leave him to her.

                And just once, before I die, I’d like to have a caring, meaningful relationship with an adult – and maybe I’ll start with having one with myself.

          • AE.. also don’t forget that trust is the biggest part of great sex. If you don’t trust your partner, if they don’t give you an environment that allows you to grow sexually, to experiment without fear of repercussions, then why in the world would you want to have “spiced up” sex with them? That is just another form of blame shifting. It wasn’t your inexperience or perceived inabilities that caused him to fuck someone else. It was his inability to commit. His insistence that his dick was more important than his vows.

            My relationship was amazing sexually. Im fact, that is the only part of my ex abuser I miss even a little bit. But it didn’t matter because it’s not about the sex… it’s about power. Don’t ever let him try and convince you otherwise. You could have been Jenna Jameson and he would have still cheated on you… because he thinks he deserves to.

            Wait until you meet someone that you really want to have sex with… that you trust to keep you safe and not judge. You’ll bloom. Give yourself time…….

            • Yes, you’re right. It should have been something we did together, not just him telling me to do something for him (as usual) and insinuating any problems were my fault.

            • Erica,
              I was married before and quite honestly have some experience from several relationships. He was BY NO MEANS the best in bed, but that didn’t matter to me because I loved him, and to me sex isn’t the sum of a relationship. I would NEVER have told him that, but being groped in a rough manner when he was “in the mood” certainly didn’t put ME in the mood.
              Unlike him, there are men out there that Just. Love. Women. And that shines through in bed. For the longest time I felt ugly and old and just plain gross because he made me feel that way. That was the main reason he gave me ln DDay – that he just wasn’t attracted to me after 12 years (yes I gained weight, menopause, first desk job I’d ever had in my whole life- which supported us, and depression caused by all of the gas lighting, etc.).

              And then he admitted that he had cheated since day 1. I have 100% no desire for ANY type of relationship but I am sure glad, thanks to this site that the fog is lifting. Because for the longest time I truly felt hideous. It’s NOT you, XO

              • yeah, seriously (re: sex isn’t the sum of a relationship). Have you ever read that statistic that men actually do usually marry their best sexual partner?

                These guys/gals/cheaters really do mess with our heads. I think that is the main reason I do want a relationship again is to find someone who will make me feel good about myself. Who will actually enhance my life. I do feel pretty good about myself most of the time (the occasional self-pity post notwithstanding, of course). But it would be nice to get some external validation. The trick is actually finding that person… for now, I got my fellow chumplady chumps! And all the other stuff that is good in my life!

  • Sometimes it’s not the look of anger or hate but indifference. When there was no obvious reason for it to be there. When you thought all was fine.

    • Indifference is more painful than hatred to me. I’d rather someone hate me. At least there’s SOMETHING. But complete indifference? Finding out that someone you loved just doesn’t feel a damn thing at all? That cuts deep.

      • I thought it was indifference for awhile but then realised it was an act when the daily emails raged and raged, yet when we saw each other in person he was indifferent. Hell, even today I got a series of emails about support. He’s broke after his holidays this summer and very annoyed. What a dork.

    • hi there fare away from me,i thought i had the best hubby from the world,
      married 25 years,got a nice love letter in the morning on my desk and flowers
      and nice pencil
      he has written,
      the night with you was wonderful,i love you so much.
      2 days later i found out the affair.
      yes he had hobbyholism. went to play dart in his team,went fishing,went
      to play baseball in a team with his age from 48 years.
      okay i let him do,but what he did with cheating on me after all the wonderful
      25 years i did not except at all.
      yes i was heartbroken a lot and my boy from 23 years old had a break down.
      but he is over it now and went back to college.
      yes i got sich with panic reactions and i am in therapie.
      after 7 years he went out from the army and went to school in germany and i
      was the person which offert him a good job in a world company.
      i had a niche intimacy with him,tell me one person what was going on his
      mind, i don t look bad and many men flirted with me but i never would have
      the idea to cheat on him,never.
      i knew i loved him,but he sure did not know what he was doing that time and
      the young fresh meal tasted diffrent for him.
      he wanted the divorce,because he got manipulatet from the other side.
      nice to catch a married man which is making enaugh money,i went with him
      through the bad times,now he has to pay my boy and me because i got sick
      and can not work.
      she does sure not like it with 27 years old,she want s all.
      but she does not get all.
      i told him the time i found out that i never want to meet in my life such a cheater +
      like him and he schould go out of my heart and my life forever,because he broke
      a good hearted woman s heart so deep that she got sick.
      hope i do feel better in time,i have to work out the hurt,it is takinge time,
      special if a good man in 25 years marriage changed into a monster.
      iris from germany

  • I remember that look.

    His eyes were as flat and dead and impersonal as a shark’s.

    • I’m in the middle of a move, so am going through old things… ugh. I found an old journal and just randomly opened to a page and started reading. It was all about this look of pure disgust that he used to give me. He didn’t hate me, he was absolutely disgusted by me. I used to tell him “I could live the rest of my life without ever seeing you look at me like that again.” Now, of course, I know why I got the ole stink eye……

      Interestingly enough, I was particularly sensitive to it because it’s the same look my Father used to give my Mother. He had affairs through their entire marriage.

      smh….. I was so blind. Such a Chump.

  • “I could go into a whole segue on porn. I don’t have a problem with porn, but there is a kind of cheater (my ex was one, I discovered) who is obsessively weird about it. I think it feeds this idea that people are commodities, just a bunch of different bodies contorted in different ways, when you get tired of one, upload to another. It’s a removed sort of sexuality. Sterile, stylized, airbrushed, not intimate.”

    I can relate to this.

    My ex was a porn ADDICT. To him, life was about two things: Porn and video games. And the more nudity in a video game, the better. (There was this one game character that I still despise to this day that he would go ON and ON and ON about. She was this cat character with humongous breasts and fur in strategic places. She might as well have been completely naked for all the coverage she had…He couldn’t understand why I was uncomfortable with him wanting to get a door-sized poster of her.)

    My whole relationship I felt like I was competing with porn stars who’s faces I hadn’t even seen. When I wasn’t busting him actually looking at porn, I was worried I would again. He would make compromise after compromise and empty promise after empty promise with me, and always break every single one of him. Porn was his top priority. After we actually broke up, he said how he would rather be single with porn than with me and have real sex.

    I think he is a bit of a misogynist. He has all the ear marks of a guy who acts like he likes women, but under the surface, he likes women for what he can get from them. I.e. sexual gratification. Can’t get his dick wet? You’re not worth his time. Unless you’re his girlfriend, then you’re just there for show. He won’t connect with you because he can’t be truly intimate. Even with female friends. He cycles through them. When we were together, it was a revolving door of friends. New ones all the time and I would wonder what happened to the old ones.

    He would get jealous of me when guys catcalled or whistled at me from cars or hit on me on the street. As if I was doing that just to make him feel bad (yes…because it’s SO FUN being street harassed…) Evidence of the “You’re asking for it” blame. “If you dressed differently/walked differently/didn’t go out without me/etc then guys wouldn’t harass you” kind of bullshit. He would get so bent out of shape.

    But then he would tell me how he wanted to get hit on out in public, how compliments from other women were better than compliments from me, and how he wanted to go to Germany with his brother and get phone numbers from women using his “I’m a sexy American” angle. He would make all kinds of justifications as to why he should be allowed all the attention he wants from women, but god forbid I get a single WORD from another man, because that would mean I was just trying to make him feel bad.

    So porn addict, “I was asking for it,” he was allowed extra attention but I wasn’t, and cheated on me. Yah. I’d say there’s a big connection between infidelity and hatred of the opposite sex.

    • Wait a sec….he wanted a POSTER from a game????? Did you marry a 15 year old? Unreal.

      • To be fair I’m not fifteen but I have a poster of Darth Vader. Mind you I don’t masturbate to the poster like this jerk sounds like he would to the poster of his video game girl. I think Vader is cool. He likely likes her for different “attributes”.

        • Oh he wished he could bang her. He wanted me to role play as her. He used to tell me how he would alter her colors in the game to all flesh toned so shed look naked.

      • I thought the same thing! This guy is a grown up? Really? He sounds one small step away from the Furry Fandom.

        • CL
          Wouldn’t you say though that cheaters are immature? They don’t want to put on the big girl/boy pants and face life’s responsibilities?

          • Totally. Talk to my husband about the whole man-child thing — he rants on about it. I think it’s part of our cultural, this never never land. Can you imagine your grandfather with action figures? Women are guilty of it too, for sure. Not the toys and video games so much as dressing like you’re perpetually 16.

            • Actually, the store is called Forever 21. There’s a link between cheap shit (see: IKEA), cheap clothes, and cheap people.

        • ChumpLady:

          …He’s a furry too. Got more than one character. His page is full of fur porn. You have nooooo idea how right you are. I had to battle him on that too. No matter how much I tried to explain to him how much it bothered me, he would not understand why it was not ok to be getting porn drawn for him from other women. He also did not understand why it wasn’t okay to get porn commissions of him and other people’s characters.

          • Though in defense of NORMAL furs, thank all that is holy that not all of them are like he is. I’ve met some furs that don’t like the porn part of the fandom and stay far away from it. Myself being one of them. I’ll draw animal characters, but that’s it. You will never, ever catch me drawing fur porn or getting as involved in it as he did. You won’t find half-naked cat-girl posters on my door, you won’t find me commissioning porn, and you won’t ever see my characters having sex with other’s. I draw a line in the sand and never cross it.

            It’s possible to appreciate characters from games or movies, or create ones of your own in the same way GreenGirl likes Darth Vader or Star Wars. Being a fan is one thing, but getting so deep into it that it quite literally disrupts your relationships and poisons your sex life is QUITE another.

            • Are these people what they call “Plushies”? You know…they get dressed up like bunnies and foxes, in full fur regalia—and then have sex with each other? 🙂

              • I’m not involved in that part of the fandom so I have no idea what they call themselves.

            • Everything in moderation. The difference between having a glass of wine with friends or being an alcoholic.

              There are people who play computer/video games or who collect stamps or coins or build miniature trains or like to sail or play poker or bowl with their friends once a week and who lead healthy, full, productive lives. Then there are people whose hobbies become obsessions, where poker in so important they gamble away the family house or their life savings, where they’re so caught up collecting or building or playing that the rest of their lives become secondary.

              People like CL’s husband will understand they can’t see the baseball game because the kid has an emergency. People like Kara’s STBX become so caught up in a game or hobby that real life holds no appeal.

              There’s a difference.

              • I think there’s been some confusion. Just to clear up:

                -I was never married to him. Thank gawd. It was a long-term, exclusive (or so it was for ME…) relationship in which he lived with me. We do not have children together. …Also thank gawd.

                -He’s been my ex for a while. I have been out of the relationship over 4 and a half years. It was an emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship. He’d been a porn addict throughout the relationship, as well as soliciting online attention from other women, including a personal add on a fur site he claimed was “just for making friends.” My DDay was at the end of our relationship. I discovered only the FINAL OW. There were others before her I didn’t know about.

                -I had one more DDay two years after the breakup when I met, by chance, one of the girls he cheated with. He had cheated on me with her early in OUR relationship, juggling us both for a little over a year. I never found out about it until after the breakup. He had also cheated on her with her friend, while he was cheating on me with her. None of these girls knew I existed. The girl I met hates him just as much as I do.

                -He has, since finding out that I now know EVERYTHING, cornered the other girl (who is now my friend) in a grocery store and screamed at her for telling me about, according to him “our thing.” She told him “Our thing? What the hell are you talking about ‘our thing?’ You said you were single and lived with a room mate!”

                -Since THEN, every time he sees me in public, tries to tell me he doesn’t know who those girls are. That he never actually cheated, and he can’t understand why I would believe “some chick’s” word over his. …Well, chumps, I wonder why THAT would be…

                -He also tries to tell all my friends that I’m a compulsive liar with a problem who can’t accept the truth, and who just wants to turn him into a bad person, and that I need to “let go of him.” This is also the ex who didn’t believe I was actually engaged to someone else. When that was announced, he spied on one of my profiles and accused me of making up my own engagement just to get under his skin. I have not heard from this ass in a while, and the only times I ever do are when he tries to speak to me in public. I never reach out to speak to him. This is virtually the only place I feel is safe for me to vent about all the frustrations he’s caused even AFTER the relationship was over. Things that I had no safe space to talk about before, besides my now husband.

                Speaking of which, y’know that engagement I was accused of making up?

                …I got married last week. 😉

              • Well said, Green Girl!

                I have noticed that male narcs often become “hobbyholics.” They golf obsessively. They have to have time for their hobbies. The hobbies become a form of escapism. Go to your daughter’s skating exhibition? No way. Can’t miss hunting, fishing, golf, etc.

                The activities themselves aren’t bad, but hobbyholism is a common male narc quality.

              • The hobbyholism is often an attempt to stay young. Mom is then stuck with ferrying the kids, cheering them on, etc.

                That’s one pattern, anyway.

  • This is an interesting post. My ex has all the empathy in the world as long as it doesn’t involve his own relationships. He’s not a bigot. He feels sorry for the underdog. He felt sorry for me and our kids when someone or something else hurt us. But he is completely unwilling, and I think unable, to acknowledge or ‘own’ the fact that his actions are hurtful to others.

    This was apparent throughout our divorce. Example: During the divorce when our 24 year old daughter found out about the OW she called him, screaming. His response: You shouldn’t talk to your father that way. We’ll continue this conversation when you can be more respectful. WTF? She’s old enough to throw him under the bridge, how does he think he’s going to successfully scold her into civility when he’s just been busted for violating the very rules he taught her to live by?

    This continues in his relationship with our adult children. I know that he loves them and desperately wants to have a normal relationship with them. Over the course of 4 years they have made small steps in that direction but no thanks to him. What he needs to do is spend one-on-one time with them, rebuilding. But no, he only makes cross-country trips to see them with OW (now wife) in tow. The kids dread those trips. They know enough about the genesis of the relationship to want nothing to do with her, and you would think that he would care enough about his kids to respect their wishes part of the time. But no, he seems to think that if he just doubles down with it he’ll wear them down. Maybe so, but I bet he’d make a lot faster progress if he would leave her home most, or even some, times and work on things by himself. His approach defies logic and is contrary to his self-interest. I have decided he’s just not equipped to empathize with their feelings. Like the kids say, there’s a short circuit in his head.

    • My ex tried to shove the final OW down the kids’ throats maybe two months after dday. They flipped and I got in touch with her to explain that they were still in a lot of pain and this was not the way to go about it. It’s the only time I spoke with her and she was as young and dumb and wide eyed as I figured she would be. Eventually one of the kids met her and then, finally, the other one. It’s not gone well and now they can’t stand her.

      • My POS ex told my son a week after the divorce was final, and introduced my daugther to her the next day. She was traumatized. D-day was on 06/28. What a PIG!!!

        • And speaking of barn animals, my POS isn’t even my Ex yet, and I had moved out of the house (actually, I was chased out by his mentally and emotionally abusive behavior) for a couple of months (one of my children is still living there prior to leaving for school) and the POS STBX brought the OW into the house to stay for several days. My children were thoroughly disgusted. She has more than enough money to afford a hotel and actually has relatives that live in the area. The two of them are self-centered, self-involved, immature, inconsiderate rat rectums – and those are their good qualities.

    • Mine is working on the same agenda. He married the OW one month after the D was final and moved her and her kids in. He doesn’t want to talk anymore with our kids about the D; as far as he’s concerned, that’s all in the past, and they need to get over it and start loving their new family. If he had just taken the time to date her, spend time alone with his kids, and put his relationship with them before the one he has with her, then he might not be headed down the path of alienating his children. They are little right now and want to please him, but at some point in the future, they are going to grow up and realize how he always came first and how his OW was more important to him than their relationship with him. I feel sorry for my kids because I don’t think that they’re going to grow up and feel as though they had a great father. I think they’re going to grow up and want very little to do with him.

      • My ex has the ‘I don’t want to talk about it ever again’ thing as well. Drives the kids mad because they’re still dealing with all the fallout from the divorce and want to figure it out. But he refuses to deal and if they force it he gets angry and shouty and they end up in a big fight. It’s ridiculous. And he’s a dork.

        • My ex does the same thing!!…Its just so much easier to accuse me of alienating my kids against him. It goes back to having empathy for THEM and npd’s aren’t capable of it. This has affected my son to the point where he told me last night that in some ways he feels like it’s HIS fault that his relationship with his dad sucks. I was quick to tell him that NONE of this is his fault. Isn’t it amazing that NPD people have an all-consuming amount of empathy for themselves and NONE for anyone else ??

          • Yes, he says that me talking to the kids about what happened when they want is alienating them. No, it’s actually me just giving them a place to discuss things when they get frustrated or angry or whatever. And sometimes I have to bring things up when they want to know why we’re financially strapped or have to move or why I’m thinking through various options for the future.

            The ex created the whole mess yet wants to blame others because it’s not all sunshine and roses and there are still a lot of dark feelings.

          • KDL,

            Good point. I’ve noticed that NPD Dads tend to accuse others of being “over sensitive” when the Dad says something hurtful and reaps a negative reaction. But they themselves are incredibly sensitive!!! So, sensitivity is a one-way street for them. Others are not allowed to react, but they can get enraged over some little thing. The NPD men I’ve known (and I’m not saying only men are NPD, just this is my experience) are very brittle and thin-skinned. They hold deep and long grudges for slights. Yet they demand that others immediately get over whatever they say or do. Very weird. They are utterly unaware of the contradiction. They seem completely unable to put themselves in another person’s shoes.

    • Roslyn, I call that behavior- being surgically attached to AP, and expecting the children (mine are all adults) to embrace this sack of poo- shoving it up your nose. It’s painful, but they could care less, oh, hey, another power play! Let’s make our offspring feel less important, and if they want a relationship, it’s totally on the Narc’s terms. Thank god, my sons are all strong men, and they won’t be within a mile of the woman who wrecked our family, they won’t even discuss her existance.

      • Correction: the short circuit isn’t in his head, it’s in his brain which is located a ways south of the head.

  • My X is a born and bred misogynist. When his mother wasn’t waiting on his father hand and foot, he treated her like shit. When Dad had a day off from work, it was HIS day, not a day to spend with her or his kids. My X went to private school; his younger sister went to public. My X went to college; his sister never did.

    If I could offer any advice to someone getting involved in a serious relationship, I would ask them to meet the parents and family. What you see is exactly how you will end up being treated.

    I’m not without fault. My father ruled the roost, and my mother was a child of an alcoholic, who enabled my Dad to mentally push her around. I married a man just like my Dad.

    • I can totally relate to this. XH’s maternal grandfather was a misogynist, and not only were XMIL and her mother expected to keep an immaculate house, they always ate AFTER all the males in the household had eaten their fill (father and 3 brothers). XMIL tells story after story of how the boys were favored, including her being denied a college education because, according to the grandfather, sending women to college is, “A waste of money.”

      I was so proud of XH for being so much more enlightened. And yet, looking back, he really wasn’t. If there were two pieces of anything, he’d take the larger one. If a glass was chipped, he’d hand it to me. If funds were limited, I went without.

      Back when iPods were new, I bought him one with 8 gigabytes of memory for Christmas. He pouted because it wasn’t 16 gigabytes. When I got him a 32″ TV, he took it back in disgust and got a 36″ ($150 more – my dime). Meanwhile, if he bought something for me (rare) and I did anything less than thank him 100 times and tell him he was the god of all that was generous, he’d pout. Return something? NEVER! He would have gone ballistic and I would never have heard the end of it.

      All entitlement shades of his maternal grandfather – it’s clear as day now. Sad how you can only recognize all those red flags in hindsight…

    • Ugh. Ditto on the mother waiting on everybody hand and foot. His mother was actually a child of an alcoholic too. And the world revolving around his father. It’s probably the only family that celebrates fathers day more than mothers day.

      No daughters, so can’t say how that would have gone…

  • The idea that cheaters–like haters of all stripes and other sociopaths–really can’t really connect with others is powerful.

    In Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, most of the characters refer to the African-American character by the N word. The female character in the story never gets her own name as she is seen merely as someone’s wife. The predicament of these two lonely characters–inhumane treatment justified by racism or sexism–is at the heart of the story. At the climax, they fail to recognize what they have in common. Instead, they try to assert power over the “other,” and the story’s tragic outcome is fated.

    Carl Jung says power rushes in to fill the vacuum left by the absence of love.

    • That’s interesting. I think chumps have the problem that they want to fill that vacuum and I think wing nuts prefer the vacuum to love. Love is for suckers.

      Very chicken or egg thing. Do bad people go after power because they weren’t loved? Or because they cannot love, they go after power instead? I tend to think it’s more of the latter. They’ve got wiring issues. They don’t do “love” the way other people do. Giving them more of something they don’t value, understand, or can’t really experience isn’t useful to them. Power? Now that’s something they can get behind. That has some tangible VALUE.

      • Spot on. Towards the end, I often said to my STBX, “I wish I could put this into an Excel spreadsheet for you” while doing the pick-me dance. I literally arrived at a conclusion that I could save our marriage if I could quantify the VALUE. Ugh… the stupid shit we do. Check that, we “did”. Moving forward!

        • I got to where I would say “Now, I put a lot of time and effort into making this special gift for our anniversary, and I need you to show appreciation for it.” It was like there was an emotion chip missing…

          • I think my ex resented anything I did for him, feeling like it was some sort of competition and me doing something nice meant he’d have to do something to even up the score. I only see this now and it’s all kinds of fucked up.

  • My STBX hates women, but it took me a really long time to realize it. Kind of a love-hate relationship. He loves porn and objectivifying women, and sex with women (and cheating, apparently). But there is something below the surface. He loves to demean women. And he does not believe in equality of the sexes…at all.

    You can hear it in his language. If he stubs his toe, he curses “fucking BITCH”. Which is kind-of a common thing to say, I guess, but he says it with such hatred that it scares me. Seriously, the way he says it makes your blood run cold.

    I’m no psychologist, but if I had to guess, I think his hatred of women comes from his childhood. His father abandoned the family early on. I think my STBX subconsciously blames his mother – she must have been difficult to live with, otherwise his father would not have left. That MUST be the reason. Because the alternative is unthinkable, namely, that it was my STBX’s fault that his father left the family. Even contemplating that option results in unbelievable emotional pain. Thus, my STBX’s deep-seated, subsconcious hatred – he hates his mom for being the “reason” for his father abandoned him.

    BTW, just because I have this theory doesn’t mean I condone his behavior.

    • Same with mine. His parents had split (he blamed the Mom) when he was 16 he ran away from home, managed to have 2 kids of his own along the way, then says it was HER FAULT that she did’nt tell him when his Dad passed away.

      Now mind you he was fishing on various boats, had no address, lost touch with both HIS kids, owes $60,000 in back child support and didn’t contact his Mom for 20 years and had no contact with either child OR Mom till he was with me.

      I don’t know where he is now (Thank you Lord) but I suspect he with his Mom because her health is failing, (the neighbors 1000,00’s of miles away contacted me so I HAD to call him) and he wants her house.
      Fucked up much? And I was the perfect Chump to try to get everyone to “Love one another” But his hatred for women ALL because of his Mother was his identity, It just me years to “believe”. My fall off the Chump cloud was a hard descent.

    • What strikes me as so interesting is when you are in the relationship you don’t see clearly at all. It’s like you are legally blind and everything is honky dory and great and loving and perfect and you are sooooo happy.

      Then after it’s over, you see so clearly that nothing was hunky dory and all the signs were there, the fucked up family where all the men were cheaters. The way the ex did objectify women as only good for attracting men in a sexual way or if they were “nice” as mine would put it.

      Their total and utter selfishness, I can remember so many times now after a work day my ex would tell me that he was in a mood. WTF does that even mean? He would just say it and it didn’t effect our time together in a negative way but just the statement itself, “I’m in a mood.” Who the fuck cares, asshole!

      OMG, when I look back at everything from beginning to end now, it makes me feel like the biggest fool on earth. There were so many weird, backward, obviously off things he stated that I would just think, that’s weird and let go. Until the end when it all came together so clearly and all I wanted to do was run like hell from him. When I called him over to his laptop to explain to me what the fuck the Craig’s List Casual Encounter Ad on an open tab was and I saw him deflate like a saggy balloon and then I saw a black empty look in his eyes as if his soul left his body completely and there was nothing there at all that looked human. It was frightening. He went pale and didn’t know what to do and all he said was “I didn’t see this coming.” Well asshole, neither did I!

      But the sad thing is now looking back all of the signs were there for sure, I just couldn’t put them all together to make a clear picture until the end because the signs were so weird and nothing I ever saw before and they were sometimes subtle and other times not so subtle but they didn’t make any logical sense each on their own.

      Recently when I saw him in person at a trade show which he never attends but suddenly this year had to go. He was heading toward me and we locked eyes and I saw RAGE in his eyes and face. He didn’t stop to talk to me, turned and went down the aisle but then texted me all sweet and nice, How beautiful I am to him and how beautiful I looked and how he thinks of me often and wanted to know how my health was.

      Two months after I left him my thyroid starting growing like crazy and I had to have it removed completely this past June. I am sure the stress from what I went through came out in my thyroid. Thankfully, all is Ok now and I feel much better.

      I texted back to him, “Who is this” he texted, “Carl!” (now forever known to me as Carl the Creep) I said, “Oh, I erased your number months ago from my phone”. He continued with “You are so beautiful, I hope you have a lot of people telling you that they think you are as beautiful as I think you are.” WTF, like you are the only one who has that magical power to tell me that? My , reply, “I don’t like you and I don’t respect you and that is all I have to say to you.” To which, he replied, “Understood, I will not bother you again.” – Yeah right until next time stalker! I will never reply again should he ever try to contact me. This time he caught me off guard as the look I saw vs. the text he sent was from two different people.

      Then when I went to lunch, his new girlfriend was standing outside by herself actually followed me for 2 1/2 blocks until I lost her. I knew it was her from a friend (who no longer is a friend) had me look on FB to see who she was. I was on the phone so didn’t get to stop and ask her what her problem was but when I turned down a side street, she continued down the avenue but then stopped to look around.

      She looks like and not kidding, Gene Wilder. So of course, I had to be a bitch and put in his head that he was now fucking Gene Wilder. I replied to his text, “Excellent and tell your friend, Gene Wilder never to follow me again.”

      The best part was his reply. “I would never have anyone follow you, I wouldn’t do that.” Who are you referring to as Gene Wilder? ” I said , “I don’t know her name but your friend standing outside who just followed me. I am sure you will figure it out since not too many people look like Gene Wilder.” He protested one more time to know who I was speaking of but finally said, “Oh, I know who you are referring to but I think it’s a little harsh,but I get it.”

      LMAO, I have to say that made my day! Even if it fed his twisted ego thinking I was jealous, which I am not.

      I am thankful but would be more thankful if he would put all of his energies on her and leave me alone completely. But after that, I will make sure not to ever allow him back in my life via even a brief contact.

      So I agree, these faux people don’t like the opposite sex at all and in the case of gay narcissists they probably also hate the same sex. There is a cruel misguided hatred and resentment undercurrent. They stand up for no one except themselves.

    • DuckLinerUpper,

      Wow. Amazing.

      I was going to write to CL about this.

      My father definitely did not like women. He hardly ever mentioned his mother, and he hated his aunt (Mom’s sis, who lived with the family). As an adult, he would swear and curse a lot, and always with that extra venom that you describe. “Bitch,” a word he liked to use and often used in front of my mother, was a big favorite. I always felt like his use of the word “bitch” around my mother (and it was not directed at her, but just at whatever situation bothered him, like a car that suddenly stalled) was a bit like using the n-word, was a bit weird, was transgressive, was somehow…extra. He also used to change his voice when he swore and used to make grammatical mistakes that he would never make in normal speech. “Don’t that just get yer ASS out!!!!” was a favorite. I could go on. But there was a quality to his profanity that was almost…lip-smacking. It wasn’t normal cursing.

      By normal cursing I mean, CL is ironing her favorite shirt. She drops the iron on her toe. She says, “@%$$&$&^$%!!!!” OK, it’s elegant, but she swears, gets it out ther5e, and moves on. The cursing I described above — and I’m not sure how well I described it — is different. It’s not normal curse words, it’s got tones and anger and grammar errors added to it (and my father knew correct grammar) in a way that bends the cursing, twists it, gives it more bite. I was going to write in to CL about this. It’s almost like a venom-inject into what is, admittedly, bad language, but then it takes it one step further. With my father there were all kinds of tones, emphases, rhythms, sound effects that added to his cursing, that made it worse, that made me cringe even as an adult. (Until that one day when Chump Son de-chumped and dropped the guillotine on the relationship. Not a cutoff, but just my first effective comeback, described earlier.) Sometimes my father would use words like “Guinea.” What made it worse (along with the grammar errors, was that I knew he knew better. He knew correct grammar. He knew ethnic slurs were wrong. (He actually was not a racist at all.) He knew my mother was standing in earshot when he’d let a word like “bitch” slither out of his mouth. And he’d say it in a slithery, extending kind of way.

      I wanted to write about this because it always bothered me. Chump Son is the eldest son (what they call the “family hero”) of a dysfunctional relationship. I was the Mama’s Boy, which is not actually a good thing (as Mom tries to compensate for Dad’s negativity by raising her son in a certain way, to go out there and be an achiever). This language always hit me hard, and it sucks to even think about it now. In any case, I was going to write in and ask if others had heard this kind of — I’m not sure what to call it — swearing with a special, anti-social edge.

      I think we just found another “tell” that reveals — in this case — the NPD male. (I focus on that issue, NPD males, since that’s my experience, but I know NPD is not limited to one gender, though some of the literature claims it’s more common in men.) It’s this weird, demeaning, transgressive kind of “sensuous swearing.” Now, I don’t mean sensuous in a positive way at all, but there was something lip-smacking about the way my father would curse. Yes, he’d curse when he was mad, but he also got some thrill, I think, out of crossing language boundaries and out of speaking in a way that was demeaning. Whatever had gone wrong, somehow that compensated.

      Thanks DuckLinerUpper. Yours was a great post. Anyone else ever notice this? This kind of swearing on steroids? I think it’s a big, bad red flag. Way bad.

      • Typos: I meant to write “OK, it’s NOT elegant….” when CL does normal swearing in my hypothetical example.

        And the aunt was my father’s aunt, the sister of his mother.

        I guess I’d call what I’m describing “special effects swearing,” or something like that. I think it’s a tell for NPD and for deeper problems. Beware if you hear that!!!

  • “Hitler felt entitled to Poland because Germany needed a little elbow room (Lebensraum).”

    If cheaters are like Hitler, than the Reconciliation Industry pushes chumps to be Nevile Chamberlain. For the children’s sake/we need peace in our time.

    • GreenGirl, that’s so funny — I often write drafts of posts and leave them in a folder for later and I have one on Neville Chamberlain and reconciliation! Okay… maybe I need to finish it now. Too weird! Chump minds think alike…

  • Misogynists loathe women completely–use them as props. This, I don’t think, is much different than what you’re describing in your STBXW, Mr. Reader.

    My STBXH is a misogynistic pig–and he is a serial cheater. You’d think that he just loves women’s company…but he doesn’t. If it wasn’t this current fuckbuddy, it would be some other fuckbuddy–doesn’t matter to him apparently. One is as good as another, they just play a specific role for him. When they don’t?

    My H’s first affair, which he denied vehemently, until it morphed eventually into “all the AP’s fault, she misunderstood me going over to her house every day, playing husband” (I’ve since found out the truth after being informed of this latest affair, not from HIM, mind you)—my STBXH said the most demeaning and denigrating things about her. When the lies of him “just helping out” and “she’s just a friend” didn’t work, it devolved into “she’s crazy” “she’s delusional” “I question her mental stability” until finally, “She and her husband are dangerous”. He’s fucking her every day and yet she’s crazy, delusional, unstable and dangerous. Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

    This latest one, he tried the same schpiel. Fool me once…. They just aren’t that bright, Mr. Reader….really. Trust that they may not even REMEMBER what they told you yesterday to cover up their lies.

    She probably does hate men, just as my STBXH hates women. You might want to distance yourself from that crazy…she’s telling you very clearly who she is.

    • Hmmm…weird. When I first suspected about final OW he told me of course he would have a relationship with her. Why? Because she had a physical quality he didn’t find attractive? Another one that I found out about? Of course he wouldn’t fuck her because she had a ‘man’s face’. Well, he fucked that man-faced bimbo for nearly a year so unless he was paper bagging it it couldn’t have been all that bad.

      • That’s what I mean, Nord. He claimed she’s nuts, dangerous, not attractive—yet he was over there fucking her every day. I certainly makes absolutely no sense whatsoever–until you realize that all they are doing is mimicking what they see normal couples say/do–in order to get what they want. They want to get laid? You’re the most beautiful creature he’s ever seen. You’re so smart and clever and funny and you’re his bestest friend ever—until you’re not. Until you don’t put up with his gaslighting and lying and cheating. Then…you’re onto his bullshit and he knows it doesn’t work anymore—NEXT!!!!

  • Dear Fellow Chumps,

    Since I am apparently an over-achiever, I will let all of you decide if my STBX is a misogynist or no more than a demented, degenerate covert narcissistic pig from the bowels of hell (I humbly apologize to hard-working, bacon-making pigs everywhere).

    When I became involved with my STBX he had what I would describe as a fairly benign stash of porn – a couple of books and some magazines. At the time, he actually had less than my mother (that’s a story for another time). As time went on, he added a few more books to his collection and began acquiring movies, eventually getting catalogues from which to order (they recognized a good customer and apparently had very astute people in their marketing department). Then, voila! he discovered internet porn – and wasn’t he happy when he did! During this entire time, our sex life would ebb and flow, and I would be blamed for any “ebb.” “You were asleep. When I tried to wake you, you wouldn’t wake up. You apparently weren’t interested in having sex with me.” He found me out! That’s what I was thinking when I climbed into bed – not that I was tired from working a full time job, doing most of the housework and performing most of the childcare.

    When I complained about how much time he spent on internet porn and how little time he was spending with the actual woman sleeping next to him, I was blamed because I didn’t wait up for him (even though I sometimes waited in bed for him for as long as an hour and a half before calling it a night). The internet porn eventually lead to prostitutes (of the S & M variety). I was also blamed for that. There were pieces of paper all over where he had written down names of prostitutes, their “services” and the cost.

    At the same time he was viewing movies, trolling the internet and jotting down notes, I have since found out, he was also having affairs with various co-workers. Then there were the two major affairs, the last of which is why we are divorcing, which he made no effort to hide (in fact, throwing them in my face), and of course, for which I was to blame. I was flawed, he was never happy, I was mean, even the kids didn’t like me, we were always incompatible, I wasn’t supportive enough, I didn’t really understand him, yadda, yadda, yadda. Blame-shifting? Gaslighting? Projection? I’ll take all of the above for $200.00 Alex!

    And that is only a small part of the story.

    So Fellow Chumps, you tell me – misogynist? asshole? misogynist asshole? Or just your run-of-the-mill demented, degenerate, covert narcissistic pig from the bowels of hell (again, my apologies to Porky and Wilbur)?

    • I wouldn’t hesitate label that guy with every derogatory appellation that comes to mind.

      All of the Above Alex — and the horse he rode in on.

    • Intimacy avoidance. Can’t have an adult relationship with someone who might have actual expectations.

      DTBT. My STBX is the same way–only a lot more childish. The waiting until you are either so tired from a 14 hour day, or actually asleep is classic for him too. Then the pouting. Then the “you don’t love me anymore” bullshit. You have to wonder whether they are really trying to sabotage the marriage or they are just too dim to understand that their behavior is sabotaging everything.

      Who the hell wants to have sex with a childish, pouting, porn addict anyway? Seriously, I haven’t caught STBXH with hookers (yet), but the porn thing–that has to be one of the best mood killers ever.

      • The fact that he seemed to PREFER the porn was the larger issue. I can be pretty laid back and open-minded and thus, I can be pretty ambivalent about someone watching or reading a little porn. However, when it appears that you not only want to read the porn and look at the porn but now you want to BECOME the porn, you’ve got a problem – and it isn’t me.

        • That’s what I mean—intimacy avoidance—they prefer “sex” with something inanimate or alien (hahahahaha!!! poor aliens). Porn, hookers, bar hookups, internet hookups….they have no connection to them, therefore, they don’t have to live up to any expectations.

          I thought it was just pure laziness on his part. If he got me when I was just sooooo tired—it wouldn’t be so much work for him. You know. Foreplay can be such a drag!

          But that’s not it. It’s a game. It’s a power play. “I’m going to initiate sex with you when it is convenient for ME!”

          I read something about “narcissistic injury”–anything that smacks of criticism, they go off like a roman candle. Even tiny little things set them off–and they remember them FOREVER, as if you killed their dog or something.

          Having an adult relationship, intimacy—like CL says, it’s the ultimate vulnerability—if you don’t connect by avoiding—they can’t get any type of narc injury. Apparently, they feel extreme pain when THAT happens….just not when they’re hurting you by betraying your trust (and giving you an STD).

          • I so agree with you, especially about it being a power play. When I reflect on it (and I’m really trying to do that less and less, but I haven’t gotten there yet), he would complain about me not initiating sex, but when I would, he would tell me, “I’ll be there in a minute.” An hour and half later, I’m asleep, he comes to bed, then I would get accused of not responding to him while I was asleep. I started to wonder if he had a penchant for necrophilia along with everything else. So either passively or aggressively (and so many covert narcs are passive aggressive, too – what a bonus package I had!) he decided when we had sex, but I was always to blame for any lack of frequency.

            Is it any wonder I’m in IC? I should be doing it on an inpatient basis. Instead, I hang out with my friends at CL – best therapy that money can buy.

          • My cheating ex BF’s mother DID kill his dogs! His folks split over her cheating, she moved in with the last AP. He went to mom’s for the weekend and when he didn’t see the dogs (which he considered his) she confessed she had them put to sleep because she was moving and couldn’t take them.
            I’m sure this must excuse everything…ahem.

            Sadly he wrote me a letter early on, stating he did not want a relationship like his parents’, filled with infidelity. Silly me, I took him at his word.

      • I think all adjectives and nouns you included should be used. Maybe there’s a catchy acronym in there.

        I would like to add on to this by saying my (ick, there should be a better pronoun) ex NPD husband said I wasn’t emotionally available, not interested in sex (Um..not with a mean asshole) and that I hurt his feelings over the years by sleeping with my back to him AND not reaching out to him when I was asleep. WTF!!! It might be that it’s like sleeping with a furnace with him AND I have to get up early for my job while he sets his own schedule.
        Sometime after D-Day and moving out, he said his heart was broken so he started gambling compulsively, drinking to excess and visiting whores. I suggested that after doing it to two wives, he might want to get some professional help. No, he can work it out himself, he thinks. When I mentioned that many people who are unhappy in life find healthier ways to deal with their problems, he said that many people didn’t. Right. That’s why it’s okay? Also, he likes Russian women because they know how to treat men. Oh, god, I said. He wasn’t one of those weirdos who go on a tour with other pathetic men to find a Russian wife? No, there are other ways to meet them, he said. Gross. Gross. Gross. An attractive, charismatic 60+ man who was educated in the finest private schools from elementary school to post-graduate school prefers to meet women over the Internet, stay in a depressing, cheap flat in some Post-Soviet country and wine and dine some little chippy. He even told me he broke up with Ivanka six times. Hmm. Might be a warning sign there.
        I said this was pathetic, disturbing and he should not mention it to anyone he works with as it will seem really, really weird.
        He fancies himself a feminist and supporter of human rights yet spends his time being a sugar daddy in countries where it’s illegal to show that you are gay. He also likes to rant about Obama being a sell-out and not sticking to his word to close Guantanamo and Bush and Cheney should be prosecuted for war crimes. Fine. He’s entitled to your opinions but the irony is completely lost on this 15+ year liar who thinks he’s helping young prostitutes in Manila because they can send home the money they earn fucking disgusting men like him to their villages. It’s a win-win!
        See the “problem” in the marriage was me. He was so starved for intimacy and close connection with someone that he turned to prostitutes because in their time together, they were so kind, tender and connected with him. Was he listening to the words that were coming out of his mouth??? But he didn’t really get that fucking whores isn’t REAL intimacy that he has claimed he was missing, not that it’s often sexually abused women, or women who are driven by the exigencies of their poverty or their pimp or sex trafficker to be fucking such a entitled American man. I told him that wasn’t real life–in real life, you have conflict with your partner and you work on it and you reach a deeper, more satisfying level of intimacy blah, blah, blah…Deaf ears. Why bother? Except hearing him say such unhealthy, disturbed beliefs helped add to the pile of reasons.
        Now what was this thread about? It’s so easy to go off!

        • Join the Sexual Peace Corp! Bring aid and comfort to the backward and disadvantaged cultures of the world! Volunteer now!

          My God, I’ve heard it all now. A cheating narcissist’s wet dream.

          • “Join the Sexual Peace Corp!” Hilarious!!! My STBX Pig from the Bowels of Hell would line up for that detail so fast he’d peel the paint from the walls.

            • Chumpalicious,
              You cleverly summed it up with your slogan. Well done! People on this site have such clarity and humor despite what we’ve been through. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

              NPR has had some pieces of late on sexual trafficking. I emailed one of the reporters to thank him for his excellent work in illuminating the sex trade and that it had been particularly unsettling for me as I had discovered that my husband traveled to some of these same countries to purchase prostitution services from young women and the gut wrenching pain I felt to learn of the betrayal and that he was capable of using vulnerable women for his own needs. He replied within moments. I keep the email in my inbox to remind myself that there is kindness and decency and people with moral character out there. It’s funny sad how a response like his below from a stranger can mean so much to me.

              “Dear ,
              Your note is both heart-warming and devastating, and I applaud you for your strength. It is indeed an extremely difficult topic for journalists, but a debasing wrenching reality for so many around the world forced into prostitution by violence and the threat of violence or by the needs of poverty. The impact on you personally is horrible. I appreciate that you chose to share this example with me. Thank you. Please be as well as you can. —pm

              Phillip Martin
              Senior Investigative Reporter

              • nwrain;

                That’s a very nice response. I never really thought about the connection until now. I mean that across the globe, they are suffering with what is really a home grown problem. Too close to home. I feel the need to apologize to the greater sisterhood for not reining these pigs in as a society.

                I think I’ll go take a shower now.

        • And he’s stupid enough to believe that money actually goes to those girl’s families?

          Your ex has absolutely no clue how the sex-slave trade works.

      • Agreed, Abby. My STBX paid little attention to me unless he’d been sexting with various Facebook “friends” or whatever else he was doing on-line. Then he’d wake me up & be pissed off when I wasn’t interested. When he got involved with the very proud owner of a large amount of silicone who he met on Facebook, he blamed me saying I didn’t love him & all he wanted was “to be loved.” Now he thinks silicone woman “loves” him because they have kinky online/phone sex. She also flew across the country to answer a booty call from my STBX who she’d never met in person. Wow! What’s not to love about her? She was married at the time also but took it upon herself to message me that if I’d only been more compassionate & kind to my STBX, this never would have happened. Hmmm, so kind & compassionate of her to cheat on her husband! Her third, BTW. They had another booty call when STBX flew to fuck her again in person as soon as we split. Otherwise, the entire relationship is online & on the phone – definitely a lack of real intimacy there. The internet was the beginning of the end of my marriage & Facebook sealed the deal. It just made it easy for my STBX to find skanky women who were willing to have online sex & wouldn’t make any demands. And all that porn.

        • It reminds me of one of the few episodes I caught of “Married…With Children”–where Al agrees to have sex with Peg—and he has to grab his porn magazine…get a good visual…and then says, “Ok! Ready now!”. Asshole.

          The disconnect is just scary, isn’t it? There is no true intimacy with these people (some women are as guilty as some men are). They really are so good at pretending to get what they want, getting what they want, wanting more than they’ve got, blaming everyone else for when their behavior is seen as unacceptable…the timeline for all of this bullshit encompasses marriage, kids, holidays, financial entanglements—by the time we get to the stage where we are just finished with their crap, 20 years (or more) have passed.

          There really should be some type of personality testing required before you can get a marriage license. I mean it. One of those ones with 3,000 cross referenced questions–where you might be able to fake it and lie about a few things, but overall, it gets a pretty accurate picture of what you really are?

          But then…..I was in love, too. Love. The thing that you can’t really test for–you have to trust that they feel it, and they don’t. What a sucky realization.

          • My ex *loved* Married With Children. He used smart alec-y quips from that show to pepper his conversations with. It was embarrassing that he had so little ability to engage in a spontaneous, authentic dialog with other people. Looking back, I can see that that was part of the whole narcissistic syndrome.

            • OMG yes!!! LOL!!! I thought I was crazy! I’m not the only one!! STBXH lives through movie dialogue! He compares himself with heroes in movies, says things straight from movies or television shows–doesn’t preface them with “Well, like in that movie such and such, Jack says…..blahblahblah”.

              NO. They say it like it’s their own words! They’re so CLEVER, you see?? Just so funny and witty and charming….until someone gets “that look”…you know, the one that says…didn’t I hear that in a movie once? The person is just too polite to say it to his face–but then you start to notice that nobody wants to come around anymore, that “friends” fall away mysteriously.

              I think it’s when a lot of people start to connect the dots–that the NPD is really just some type of reflection of anything around him–that they do the withdrawal (mine is classic for this behavior. he calls it “depression”)–or they seek out new sources–enter APs, hookers, internet buddies—people who he doesn’t have to do all of that work with, people who really don’t care who he “really” is, so he can pretend pretend pretend. All a fantasy world.

              I cannot wait to get rid of him. These past few months, especially since reading all of the advice on here–I have seen him in such a different light (as if seeing him fucking around wasn’t bad enough). I cringe when I think of my daughter having anything to do with him, though. This is going to be rough, explaining to her that what she think she sees or hears when she’s with him, isn’t always going to be reality.

              • Funny, it’s rock songs for my STBX. He’s got lyrics for every occasion. And he lives for his faux friends on Facebook to LIKE & comment on every video he posts & snarky comment he makes.. His FB persona is not the person I married & I don’t like him. Also can’t wait to be free of him. It is kind of shocking to me how many people are willing to engage in these sordid, shallow “relationships,” like the Weiner women. If a stranger sent me a dickture, I’d be appalled. When did this all become acceptable, normal behavior?

                I appreciate all the comments & thoughts here in Chump Lady land on this touchy & confusing subject. STBX berated me for lack of passion when I refused to be his personal blow-up sex doll. It’s good to know I’m not alone. Before I found this site, I thought I might be going crazy.

              • LOL! It made him really easy to win arguments with because after he’d blown his RAM cache of comments, he was done. pfft.

              • As I said below, he used to call me a “guilt gun”. He got it out of a book he was reading…we were fishing (commercial fishing, like a month at a time) and all of a sudden he ran into our room and started screaming at me – over and over. It was totally out of the blue and our mate literally had to yell at him to stop – I was sobbing so hard. Why I didn’t leave him as soon as we hit the dock I don’t know…it was like I imagined the whole thing, and I was trapped. guess he was missing the whores and the drugs?

              • A few weeks before we split up the song “A Team” by Ed Sheeran came on the radio and he pointedly said to me “You know that’s about a crack whore right?” I said no, not really and wondered why he thought that was something he cared enough about to tell me…boy did I find out.

        • Reminds me of a time that I came back home from visiting my daughter across the country for a week and my PC was “broken”. Now the X wasn’t computer “literate and I did most computer things for him…resumes, looking for a truck on Craig’s list, whatever. He disconnected that computer, took it to a shop had it ” fixed” and PAID for it himself, brought it home that evening,reconnected it, sweating bullets the whole time. Think he got a virus from porn or what? His nickname for me (usually out of the blue) was ” guilt gun”

          • Yes, he feels guilty and it’s your fault!!! That’s why they’re so mad with us. They f**k up and then they feel shitty being close to us, so it must be our fault that they have these unpleasant feelings they cannot own.

  • Then there’s the whole fact that my ex had me move to this small town (yes, yes, should have taken him up on his threat to not marry me if I wouldn’t come here) so my career was immediately sacrificed. He’d always wanted me to stay home with the kids and by the time it happened there wasn’t even a question in my mind about doing it either at this point… career had already been completely downgraded.

    But THEN… he resented me for it. The time I got with the kids. All the “fun” I got to have. I was never “grateful” enough about it. Also, the house was never clean enough, food never fancy enough. He expected me to take care of everything but the lawnmowing. Any errand that had to be run needed to be done during the day, during the week. Oh, and god forbid I complain about something that happened to me during the day. He’d just one-up me and tell me how his day was worse. All he did was contribute a paycheck to the household. Oh, alright, he did help with the kids. I will give him that.

    If he had ever thought of us as anywhere near equals (doubtful), that stopped the moment I stopped working. What he wants at home is something like a slave/employee. Who is very dumb. So in that sense, his assistant/AP is perfect for him!

      • My ex not only wanted me to be the primary carer to our child and do most of the work around the house, I was also the primary breadwinner. How much of a chump was I?! At first I thought it was great that he wasn’t bothered by my success (I don’t mean to sound arrogant about that but we work in the same industry and I am significantly senior to him despite a minor age difference) until I realised he didn’t respect it at all. He is such a narcissist that he felt entitled to that and for me to act as a little wifey as well. The mind boggles.

    • I prefer the term ‘servant’ , because that’s exactly what I felt like.

      • Frederick Douglas had two wives. His first wife was a former slave and uneducated. She bore his children, cooked and cleaned his house. She was a workhorse. His other wife was an educated wealthy woman of good social standing. He spent hours with her immersed in intellectual discussion, and treated her like a delicate flower. I feel such empathy for Douglas’ first wife! She couldn’t do anything to convince her husband not to live with the second wife under the same roof, but she did manage to keep her from ever entering her kitchen. That was her sanctuary and her turf.

        • That sums up my marriage quite nicely – I was the workhorse and his APs and Prostitutes were held up as examples of female accomplishment and value. He once told me that his S & M prostitutes were very bright women (the 2 to which he admits) who were doing what they did to put themselves through college. I guess the fact that I attended college and worked in the library didn’t confer the same prestige and allure on me as being a prostitute. Go figure.

          • But CP, he was just exploring the many facets of womanhood! Snort!
            I actually didn’t know there was a BA in S&M….

  • “Women’s oppression is real, but if she identifies as a “victim” then perhaps she feels entitled to cheat because she is righting some historic power imbalance. I know, it’s pretty thin soup”.

    Thin soup my ass. This is a hearty stew in a Russian winter. These words cut through a whole entire swath of justification. Dammit…

    Hey, STBX wife: News flash. I *was not* there when woman got the beat-down, or beheaded, or denied an education, or whatever. That’s not me. My momma and dad raised me with pretty much an equal hand. I *won’t* bend over and serve as your fucking proxy male to be punished for all of men’s sins any longer. Fuck that.

    Abuse is abuse is abuse. And YOU STBX are an Abuser.

      There is never historical justification for abuse. I don’t care if it is just one generation back and in your family, or institutionalized for centuries. That NEVER means it’s is somehow justifiable to cheat, lie and abuse. NEVER!

      I used to say “I’m not your Mom.. don’t take that out on me.”

  • For myself, my ex prefers a strong woman (like his mother) but what attracts him also repels him. Over time he came to hate all the things he loved about me to begin with. The woman he cheated with was a weak little thing that needed rescue, it made him feel stronger. Until I wanted a divorce, then he was really screwed because he really didn’t want to actually take care of or rescue anyone, just wanted the illusion while he was taken care of. Also the whole black/white thing. I was awesome in his eyes until I was horrible. I was the best thing that happened to him, then I was the C word. Black or white, in his eyes I was very good until I was completely evil. And when he reached that point, the OW was a fucking saint, he actually said “she’s better than you or I could ever be”. Black Queen or White Queen, there is no Gray Queen for people like him.

    • Hmmm…this all sounds scarily familiar. Amazing how we all come here and all tell the same stories, with variation in the details.

    • I saw that black white polarity show up as ‘you’re either for me or against me’ with nobody on the middle ground. And being for him meant approving of him perving on a woman young enough to be his daughter. Not to approve was to show him ‘disrespect’ and got you 86’d out of his life. That included the kids.

    • Yes– I think that the strength and independence I showed was something he came to hate over time, and as time passed, I became more independent.

      Divorcing his sorry ass was probably also the strongest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t think he expected it at all– he was hoping that I’d continue to be a soft and pliable marshmallow and that I’d beg him to stay, that it was my fault, and that I’d change.

      Sorry, XWH. When I told you that cheating was a dealbreaker for me 17 years ago, you should have believed me.

      • Nord – “Amazing how we all come here and all tell the same stories, with variation in the details.”

        Yes! The most difficult thing for me initially coming out of the relationship was the confused “dog look” people gave me when I tried to describe what I believed had happened to me. People who have not experienced infidelity and the break up of a marriage with someone who has a personality/character deficit/disorder think that you’re exaggerating or you’re blowing things out of proportion because you’re hurt and/or angry. It wasn’t until I found an infidelity website and this site that I realized my situation wasn’t unique and that the crap my STBX was spewing wasn’t even original.

        I believed his fascination with barely legal females, his relationship with prostitutes, his porn obsession, his serial cheating, his need to dominate and control (except with “Mistress” Insert Ridiculous Moniker Here) our relationship up to and including our sex life, while all the time assigning blame to me for anything and everything that HE decided was wrong with the relationship, was something out of bad Lifetime movie – until I found SI and then found this site and Tracy and all the fabulous people who post here.

        It was then I realized that I was not alone and that I could connect with people who understood that what had happened to me was abuse, that the story I had to share was not because I was just hurt or angry and who had similar stories to tell. I heard pieces of what I thought of as MY story being told by others as THEIR story. It was the first time in a long time that my reality was validated (with the exception of IC).

        And then to top it off, there’s Tracy herself who gives great advice on how to embrace and begin to reclaim the you that was lost in the F*cked Up From the Floor Up relationship in which you found yourself.

        I wear the label of Chump proudly.

        • “I believed his fascination with barely legal females, his relationship with prostitutes, his porn obsession, his serial cheating, his need to dominate and control (except with “Mistress” Insert Ridiculous Moniker Here) our relationship up to and including our sex life, while all the time assigning blame to me for anything and everything that HE decided was wrong with the relationship, was something out of bad Lifetime movie..”

          As said frequently here, Chump Princess. This is my story too. It was all about him in the bedroom. 30 seconds of foreplay despite my begging an cajoling. Why would someone who complained that I had a low libido would not want to make the situation a little more fun for me is baffling. But then he’s a narcissist.

    • “there is no Gray Queen for people like him.” You mean, there are no real human beings for people like him, w/their qualities and flaws, strengths and moments of weakness, people who we forgive the bad stuff because there’s a lot of good, and because we can REMEMBER there’s a lot of good even when there’s bad.

      There are only shadow-puppets who are or are not fulfilling their ‘needs’ at that moment.

  • CL, you’re spot on with your comments about the narcissistic cheater’s lack of empathy. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to label it as misogyny…but yes, my ex was all about seeming to be progressive in his choice of women. He once told me he was attracted to the intellectual and/or artistic types, and professed to understand feminism. But behind closed doors, dammit, he wanted me to do all the housework, kid rearing, and cooking. He tried to pressure me into quitting my job because it didn’t earn enough money. After years of living this way, the intimacy in the relationship was exhausted, and he used this as the “reason” for the cheating. I’m now thinking the intimacy on his side never existed to begin with.

    BTW now he’s got himself a little lady architect for a gf. How long will it take her to wise up?

    Admittedly, I’m not a misogynist, but now that I’ve been burned, I am certainly more wary. Maybe that comes from living in a marginal neighborhood where I often see parasitic relationships? I don’t think that’s the same as man-hating…

    • Jade, that sounds just like my XWH. He claimed to love that we were intellectual equals with common strengths and interests, but I don’t think that was true. My family members told me after the D that they thought he treated everyone very condescendingly (which I spackled, in true chump fashion). When I was a SAHM for several years, I think that worked for him because it made him feel superior to me. When I returned to work because his job was on the line due to the recession, that was the beginning of the end in his mind. He wanted me to quit, and I thought that was foolhardy and impractical. Once I launched back into the workplace and began to carve out a life for myself outside of the house, he felt his “needs weren’t being met,” and he started up the A about a year after I resumed working.

      The OWife, in that sense, is perfect for him. She doesn’t have a college degree and hasn’t worked in years. She’s perfectly content to let him play lord and master over her since she is dependent on him. I hope she enjoys orbiting around him like a helpless, lesser planet for the rest of her life. I’m so glad that’s not my life anymore!

      • MovingOn, I left out the ultimate irony…ex whined to my attorney that he might owe more child support because I had “voluntarily impoverished” myself because I had a low-paying job. Yet he was just fine with me as a SAHM working part time at the same job. If I hadn’t stayed part time with my employer, I’d probably still be looking for full time employment.

        Not long before I found out about his affair I had gotten involved in local activism, and not long after I got myself to career counseling. I am sure he found it threatening. I got that same line from him, that his “needs weren’t being met.”

  • My ex idolized his married ho-worker AP too. In the journal I found he wrote “she is my PERFECT PARTNER.” He listed all her saintly attributes (A leader of leaders! Sexy! A super mother! etc). Even his counselor told him he was living in a fantasy. No one could be as perfect as he thought she was.

  • MISOGYNY/MISANDRY–I’m sure there are some genuine woman-haters and man-haters among the serial cheating population, but my sense is that more of them are prone to plain old MISANTHROPY , “the general hatred, distrust or disdain of the human species.” That was my ex-wife, especially the disdain part. She just didn’t think other people were as smart, clever, or deserving as her. This applied to me, her husband, but also the two female business partners she lied to and ripped off until they threw her out of the business they started together.

    Though with the passage of time I have come to suspect there was more hatred in the ex than she showed: after D-day I found an blog she kept in which she described how her head was filled with a constant stream of violent, abusive profanity directed at everyone around her. Yikes!

    I suspect the cheater’s hatred or disdain for people just often comes off as gender based because in a hetero couple the person who is closest to the cheater and therefore receives the brunt of the hateful words and acts is the spouse, of the opposite gender. If they were gay, they’d treat their same-sex partner just as horribly.

    • I think you’re right. If you’re projecting your narcissistic garbage onto every moving human form around you, you’d almost by definition have to be a misanthrope.

  • My STBX started to hang out with some real loser and what I considered to be, misogynistic types. They drank and “cheers!” each other every 10 seconds for absolutely nothing. One buddy spoke about how large and lazy his wife was while the other enjoyed a sexual relationship with a married woman. Wonderful. I was busy trying to explain to my STBX that these two were losers but nope, he loved ’em. The company you keep…

    In hindsight I realize my STBX was just like them. Now I think he likes to be the “hero” and wants to be relationships with people who simply do not challenge him or that he can look “amazing” in. In reality he’s not so much.

    The best part of soon to be divorce? These so called buddies are out of my life and now in hers.


  • My divorce was final 1.5 years ago. Ex and I have zero communication other than very infrequent text messages regarding child support.

    A few days ago, out of the blue I received a text from him. He wrote, “Thought you would find this hilarious!” He sent a photo he had taken of a newspaper cartoon.

    The cartoon was a man sitting on a couch at a party, face practically touching a young, blond woman’s giant boobs while he spoke to her. Right behind the couch stood a woman who was obviously his wife, but didn’t realize what was going on. The caption for the cartoon was, “Most of John’s wedding vows should have been followed by LOL.”

    Now, my ex sent that to hurt me and express his sheer hatred of me. Wanted me to know what he thought of the very fact he’d been married to me. This is retaliation because I just opened a case with the child support agency in our state.

    But the cartoon itself, so misogynistic. My ex spent our entire marriage fucking other men, I guess you could say he doesn’t like women too much.

    • Wow. What a complete and utter POS.

      I am no longer comparing these people to pigs. That is not nice to the pig.

  • My ex isn’t particulary mysogynist. He’s an equal-opportunity hater. In all the years I’ve known him, I haven’t seen a single person he actually likes and treats like he likes them. There are some he loves (as much as he’s able); his mom, our kids, me for a while. But even his closest friends (all two of them, for a few years each over 14 years) got treated disrespectfully to their faces and criticized behind their backs. Same for his family, EVERYONE at his many jobs (especially bosses), and of course, myself.

    Actually, hater is the wrong word for this guy; negative, critical, judgmental, extremely envious of others …. Such a treasure! Just got back from my first long vacation w/out him, just me and the kids, and everything was so much easier, so much more pleasant and uncomplicated, so much lighter. Ah, I can feel the ‘meh’ coming on!

  • For my entire 10-year marriage I had the feeling that STBX wanted me to be a Stepford wife. When I expressed this worry he told me I was crazy, and pointed out that he was always bragging to people about my glittering career. (I was somewhat famous.) Then I left that career for something less high-profile but far more fulfilling, demanding, and real. The new job made me happy in a way I’d never known. I guess that didn’t sit well with him. A few months later he left me for his 28-year-old subordinate. Meh — she can fold his underwear now. My job makes me happier than he ever did.

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