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Dear Chump Lady, Is it possible to be too meh?

Dear Chump Lady,

Is it possible to be too meh? I’m 2 1/2 year out past DDay. During that time I was devastated like so many others. Married 15 years, 2 kids, both had jobs that we love and while money was tight at times we could basically do what we wanted. He left with the classic “I don’t love you anymore, you’re lazy, didn’t keep house good enough, etc.” Which of course cuts straight to the soul.

Turns out he was having an affair and too cowardly to admit it, so blaming me was easier. Coming out I had no idea how beat down I really was. I believed and became all the negative qualities he told me. But I’m not really like that! I lost the person I was. Of course I did the usual chumpy moves and decided to rediscover myself and show him I am the woman he’s loved.

Anyway, fast forward, my question is can you be too meh? He likes me today, meh okay roll with it. He’s too “busy” to be around, meh okay I roll with it. I am the ultimate prize for narcissists. And quite frankly to me it’s progress to be indifferent if he is here or not. But I still like (and I don’t have anything else going on anyway) when he decides to like me. Actually he tells me he loves me and I’m his home.

The problem isn’t that you lied the problem is now I can’t believe you. EVER. Good or bad. My best friend swears I’ve turned sadistic. Please let’s see how much and how many times he can shit on you. I’ve hit the Guinness world record. And it’s entertaining to predict his behaviors. Sadly I know the game too and how to feed him cake. I mean my hands bleed at times from clapping. Although I don’t feed him like I used too. He’s TEXTBOOK NPD.

I’m not against finding someone new. I really did, early on, need a withdrawal period but feel like I’ve weaned myself off him. I don’t NEED him for anything. Financially I’m better than when we were married even. Hired a housekeeper to help. I’m not a slob but housecleaning is not my fav. And hello? I LOVE clean house Friday! My relationship with my best friend is strongest it’s ever been. Thank god because I’m pretty sure I would have shriveled up and died without her. Because the social circle is smaller for sure from this divorce. And I truly feel my kids are relieved to have a house to decompress and not walk on eggshells in.

I know I need to bite the bullet and just quit him but for some unknown reason I’m still on this hamster wheel. So too meh? Is it possible? Because if affairs, lying, rages, walking on eggshells, narcissism aren’t enough WTH will actually push me over to the fuck you side of meh? Pick a side I know.

Sucker

Dear Sucker,

I’m confused. It sounds to me like you’re divorced and things are pretty dandy. The kids are happier. The house is cleaner. The finances are better. Your friendship is stronger.

And then you write:

He likes me today, meh okay roll with it. He’s too “busy” to be around, meh okay I roll with it. I am the ultimate prize for narcissists. And quite frankly to me it’s progress to be indifferent if he is here or not. But I still like (and I don’t have anything else going on anyway) when he decides to like me. Actually he tells me he loves me and I’m his home.

He tells you you are his HOME and you’re divorced? You said you still “feed him cake” just not like you used to. So I can only assume, Sucker, that you’re very much NOT meh, you’re still a sucker. He comes and goes as he likes (where is the custody schedule?!), and you try to be indifferent to whether or not he still likes you, but then confess — hey — you DO like it when he likes you.

This is NOT what meh looks like. You’re kidding yourself. This guy is still very much in your orbit, taking up way too much real estate, and this is exactly why you aren’t “finding anyone new.” Old is still flopped on your sofa waiting for dinner and a nice fuck.

Time to find some boundaries. Divorce isn’t much of a boundary if you let them keep eating cake. Hah! See I left you! Is pretty hollow when he’s still there.

So first step, Sucker, is NO CONTACT. Take revolving door off your house. You only talk to him by email or text about the kids and their schedule. That is IT. You abide by the custody schedule and if you don’t have one that’s clear enough — you GET one, pronto. And then you communicate with him with zero emotion short statements like “I’ll have Suzy ready for her visit 4 p.m. on Friday and will drop her off…”

Second step, internalize who he REALLY is. Yes, he lies to you and yes, you can’t believe a word he says. That is WHO HE IS. Meh is not “fuck you” — meh is “I know who you are, and I’m not going to bother with you.” Fuck you is still anger that he’s not the person you want him to be. Meh is acceptance, yep, he is that asshole.

Third step, once you accept that he’s that asshole, you arrange your life accordingly. You don’t traffic in nonsense. You don’t care if he likes you or doesn’t like you. Because he’s a liar and someone prone to drama, you parallel parent and pretty much scrap any ideas of co-parenting, because getting consensus with a wing nut is near impossible. All you can do is make sure you enforce visitation and document when that doesn’t happen and why. And when you have enough noncompliance with the court order, you go back to your lawyer and get it changed.

Oh and yeah, that sucks. Up side? More time in your happy house with your happy kids without him. Up side if he takes them? More time to discover that awesome person you are and work on her self improvement. And take in a movie or two, maybe with a nice new friend.

 

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  • I swear CL lives in my head. These posts come at the same time that I’m going through this same “step” in my life. Sucker, I think this is still denial of what we are actually in. My STBX doesn’t want to truly let me go for his narcissistic reasons and I’m sometimes ok with that because I’m tired of feeling hurt over what’s happened. Boundaries are in play and many don’t get crossed but some do because it’s easier and convenient at the time. Plus, I like the feeling of “getting along” opposed to fighting. It’s very confusing at times, but then I read these posts and it makes sense and I try to go further in the healing process. Good days and bad days, but the important part is to not go completely backwards. Keep moving forward. Good luck.

      • I think we really know what we need to do. We are smarter and better than we give ourselves credit for. It’s a process that we all have our own time frame for and we will get there eventually. I can see it most days. That “meh” that I read about, but sometimes I just miss what I thought I had. I know I’m smarter than to believe it was real, but that’s where it hurts the most. I hate thinking it was all such a big lie. BUT, I’m determined to move on and find a life that’s happier than the one I thought I had. Good luck, Chumpaholic!

  • Oh man. I’m only Meh adjacent currently, but CL is dead on. I’m only now really starting to internalize that he is a horrible person. But I do not care if he “loves” me. I’d prefer him to actively hate me right ow, honestly. His love is kibbles, and as CL says, kibbles are not satisfying. You deserve so much more than feeding on these scraps!!!

    CL, I want to thank you so much. It’s so nice to have a place where people understand this crazy shit. I started an anonymous blog, to vent my feelings & it soooo helped. Pinot in one hand, blog in the other. I feel like I’m releasing myself from this crazy.

  • Ooooh man, do I ever smell cake!!!!! Your narc is getting exactly what he wants; no committment, no repair for the damage done, NO responsibility for anything at all, and still kibbles and good times! While you get what, Sucker? Crumbs?

    You SOOO need to start believing you deserve more than crumbs! You deserve to be ONLY with people who actually care about you and respect you! But keeping him around provides just a tiny tiny bit of what you need, enough to block out your actually doing things that WILL GET what you really need – a life FILLED with people who care about you and respect you!

    No Contact is the only way to go, here, and every time you long for him or are tempted to see him again, ask yourself; WHAT is it that I need (because it’s NOT about ‘who’!!). Then try to figure out how to get that (closeness, fun, sex, pleasant times, company, closeness ….) in a healthy way, with healthy people. And learn to let yourself feel that longing, without running to cake-eater-man as a bandaid.

    It really won’t take long until you realize how little value this person has to you, and how hungry you are for MORE and BETTER! You deserve more and better, not this crappy person!

    • Exactly. Need to keep reminding myself of this over and over until it sinks in: “ask yourself; WHAT is it that I need (because it’s NOT about ‘who’!!). Then try to figure out how to get that (closeness, fun, sex, pleasant times, company, closeness ….) in a healthy way, with healthy people.” Sooo important to internalize this. Thanks, KarenE

    • “every time you long for him or are tempted to see him again, ask yourself; WHAT is it that I need (because it’s NOT about ‘who’!!). Then try to figure out how to get that (closeness, fun, sex, pleasant times, company, closeness ….) in a healthy way, with healthy people. And learn to let yourself feel that longing, without running to cake-eater-man as a bandaid.”

      Thank you for this KarenE!! This is a great line and I love it because thats what it is… we are missing something and we think its them and run back to them to feel better (at least I have). I really needed this one, thank you!

      • These are the feelings that I went crazy over and back and forth on for months while I kept 100% no contact. I wasn’t married and no kids so it was easier to walk away. I realized that I wasn’t missing the real him at all and that’s why it was so easy for me to walk away and never wanted to go back. I was missing the feelings of being in love and thinking I was loved in the beginning. Once I realized the actual WHO I was thinking about, I would throw up in my mouth a little every time because the visual of the real him both physically and mentally actually nauseates me. It’s kind of funny actually.

        The mind really plays tricks on you. Once you gain control of your mind it becomes much easier.

        It is a kind of lazy to fantasize about what you thought what was and it takes more work to actively look at what was and who he/she was. Of course it’s painful as well but it’s only painful when you don’t look at the truth of what happened, because when you do, you get pissed and eventually get to meh.

        Because really who wants to be used, abused and lied to by a complete worthless turd?

        It takes time, practice and staying in the truth and believing that what happened really happened but first you have to get through the incredible trauma and feeling like the rug was ripped out from under you.

        After that you get to the happy feeling that the Creep is finally gone and out of your life and you now know how to spot mentally unstable people and stay far away from them. If due to divorce and children you still have to have minimal contact, you are happy that it’s minimal and perfunctory contact because you are no longer married to them and they have no affect or effect on your life as a whole.

        Now I am definitely at Meh and so happy to have the Creep completely removed from my life. I definitely know who and what he is and don’t want him any where near me.

        It wasn’t easy getting here but I am so glad I did finally get here and so happy not to have to look at his face ever again! The best thing I ever did was block him from Facebook and my phone so he can’t contact me at all. NO CONTACT WORKS!!!

        • Michelle:
          For me it was both Who he was and what he was as well as what he did and didn’t do to me and for me.

          For example:
          He didn’t watch out for my best interest and put both my mental and physical well being in harms way without my knowledge and at first, his initial reaction was to lie but he quickly realized that wasn’t going to work with me so he proceeded to tell partial truths.

          He was and is,selfish, angry, moody, mean, didn’t do any critical thinking or original thinking, cruel, lazy and creepy guy who was manipulative and controlling and could cry and stop crying on a dime and phony. Always vague when it came to explaining bad events in his life like why his 23 year old son will have nothing to do with him or why his last long term girlfriend and he couldn’t get to the point of living together or getting married.

          This is how I saw him at the end of our relationship once he could no longer cover up who and what he really was.

          In the beginning he was fun, caring, sweet, confident, attentive, knowledgeable about certain things and so comfortable to be around, easygoing and relaxed, funny and quirky in a good way. Now when I look back he wasn’t any of those things. He was kind of boring, socially awkward,not sure of himself and fishing for things about my feelings toward specific situations. Seemed to have a slight uneasy undercurrent about him at all times.

          Now why would anyone want that person back in their lives? I know I wouldn’t.

          • It’s bizarre how each of these people act from the same script. Reading your description of your ex sounded just like mine. And then they all react the same way. I think once we figure out how to roll with how that script plays we can predict the outcome of our actions towards them. I just need to remind myself that he isn’t who I thought he was deep down. Then I need to figure out what it is that I need to feel whole again. This blog helps alot and therapy sounds good to me again. as long as I don’t go backwards.

            • Michelle
              All you need to figure out is how to keep contact to almost nothing and remove them from your life and mind as much as possible. It’s simple. Getting there is another story.

              If you make a written list of the good and the bad, I am quite certain the bad always outweighs the good by a mile. That should help get things in perspective.

              Just stop pining for what isn’t there and stop looking for it from someone else. It’s all about getting your self esteem back and knowing that they are toxic poison.

              Unconfuse yourself so you can see things for how they really are. It took alot of going forward and a few step backwards before I felt confident again. There were a few anxiety attacks along the way and friends were key in helping me stay strong. Not to mention going to a therapist right after my break up for a couple of months at the suggestion of a friend.

              But without question No Contact was key as well as really knowing my boundaries and enforcing them. Abuse is not ok for me and this was a toxic and abusive relationship. It becomes much easier once your focus goes back to you and taking care of you, that’s when the real healing happens and you move forward. Forgiving yourself helped me as well as I beat myself up like crazy over being taken advantage of and feeling like he got over on me big time.

              I forgave myself once I realized that all I did was allow myself to be vulnerable in what I thought was a happy, healthy, loving relationship. Time proved me wrong and that wasn’t my fault, I am happy, healthy and loving, he wasn’t.

              • I am not at meh! yet but No Contact has definitely been a huge part in helping me recover. I am in the process of removing my cheater from my life by divorce but removing him from my mnd has been a lot harder. Forgiving myself has also been hard but I’m getting there.
                No Contact helped my persepective hugely, I realise that I miss what I thought I had – a loving partner who was committed to me and a future together. I can know see that I didn’t have that, I just wanted to believe I had and was papering over the cracks and settling for less and less.
                It is only when you take a step back you see things for what they really are.

              • Alice- I agree with you about missing what you thought you had. I feel that way all the time. I feel like I was trying to fit my ex into the mold of who I wanted and needed him to be in the time of my life he was in. My best friend keeps telling me that he is a great friend, but a terrible husband. She is 100% correct and that makes me sad. On the flip side, I don’t need his friendship. I have a huge support system. I just need to be a part of that support system and not let him get to me. Good luck to you!!

              • Thank you, Deborah. I’m keeping your reply. What you said makes a lot of sense and has definitely hit home!

  • Sucker,
    You need to get some good counseling. You are 2.5 years out and still hanging around an NPD person? Why? Is it the children? NPD is not good for the children. What NPD is doing to you is not good for the children either. Your offering of cake to the NPD is not modeling good behavior to the children. This. Is. Not. Good. Parenting. So, what holds you to this NPD person? Get some counseling about boundaries and moving on. Have your best friend help you find a good counselor.

  • This isn’t Meh. This is the antithesis of Meh.

    Meh is when you can run into your ex in public and not utter a word to them.
    Meh is when someone asks about your ex and all you say is “He’s an ass. I’m not worried about what he’s doing with himself.” and leave it at that.
    Meh is when you don’t care one way or the other what he thinks of you.
    Meh is when you’ve truly moved on to the point where you can start dating others with no residual feelings for the ex.

    What you’re doing is absolutely not “Meh.”

    What you’re doing is cake. You like it when he likes you, so you keep letting him back into your life at his leisure. That’s not Meh. He doesn’t get to face any real consequences because he can now go do whatever, or whoever, he wants, and still come back to you when he feels like it. You’re not his “home,” you’re his cake.

    Don’t let him fool you with stupid lines like that. He doesn’t mean a word of them. He didn’t mean it when he said that he loved you when he was cheating on you, he doesn’t mean it now. He knows what he can say to get you in his back pocket and, TRUST US HERE, he will say whatever he thinks you want to hear to KEEP you there. Think it’s not like that? It is. He’s doing that right now. Learn to not put anything past these fuckers. If they were decent people, they wouldn’t be cheaters and we wouldn’t be chumps.

    I heard the same shit. A lot of us did. It’s not a relationship, it’s cake and kibble and it most certainly is not “Meh.”

    Get yourself to true Meh. Go NC. Cut off his cake supply. You’ve got to stop letting him tell you that you’re his home and realize that when he “likes” you, it’s when he wants something from you. Don’t give it to him.

    • Exactly!! It’s the best cake…

      My husband has said that if we ever do divirce, he hopes we can still sleep together. My sideways glare only fueled his belief that he is so super special, that even divorce won’t keep me from him. Can’t wait until he sees that is never going to happen!

      Stop now, sucker!!!

        • We “reconciled” for 4 months while I was pregnant with my son, 6 weeks old. I knew it was dumb, but hormones, ugh. He quit his job 4 weeks ago, took another one across the country. In the midst I found out he is still cheating, so I’m getting my shit together before file. He has no idea yet.

          When I kicked him out & was talking divorce, he said the above. Idiot.

  • This doesn’t sound like meh at all. This sounds like developing a hard candy shell around your soft nougaty center so you don’t get hurt more. Cuz it seems you’re only divorced on paper, not in your head where it really counts.

  • Dear one (Please, stop calling yourself “Sucker”), if you were/are his “home”, why did he trash you? He poured gasoline all over your life, struck a match, and tossed it, eyes wide open, at your heart.

    I understand, though, your deeper feeling. Attachment; being bonded. You conceived children together. “Not meh enough”? In my experience, “meh” is the purest and rarest diamond, the emotional Grail. I’m over three years out and still, at times…the grief…! There have been several deaths in my family since the ex deserted me, and he did so while I was very ill. My health has not recovered.

    Get this man out of your head. He’s an emotional arsonist.

    You have a best friend? GIFT!! My friends saved my life when the blow came down. Turn your heart and your head towards the people in your life who actually *care* for you, and rest in those genuine relationships.

    You write that you’re not the person you were … No, you’re not. It’s a whole death/rebirth process; it takes a long time.

    DIGNITY, dear writer!

  • P.S. I just found this and thought, “Perfect!” …

    Be taught now, among the trees and rocks,
    how the discarded is woven into shelter,
    learn the way things hidden and unspoken
    slowly proclaim their voice in the world.
    Find that far inward symmetry
    to all outward appearances, apprentice
    yourself to yourself, begin to welcome back
    all you sent away, be a new annunciation,
    make yourself a door through which
    to be hospitable, even to the stranger in you.

    (David Whyte, poet, from “Coleman’s Bed”)

  • I’m definitely not at “meh” yet, although my divorce was final 1.5 years ago. However, it’s been over two years since I actually saw or spoke to my ex in person. We have almost zero contact, maybe a text message once a month regarding child support at most. Our son is old enough to make all visitation arrangements himself, so I do not need any involvement there. I do not look at anything regarding my ex online; not IMDB, not Linkedin, not Twitter, not his many websites, he’s blocked on Facebook, I do not Google his name, I do not watch his many videos on YouTube (I saw a few of them more than a year ago, not since then), I haven’t read his book (I did read the hilarious description of it on Amazon, though), no dipping at all. I unfortunately DO hear about him from our son, but not much in the way of details.

    What I’m getting at is that THE LEAST CONTACT POSSIBLE is the only way to meh, and even then it’s hard. No contact is ideal, but not possible if you have kids together. I think you have built a protective shell, but are still hoping, hurting and dancing inside, Sucker. I understand the liking him to like you, because believe me, I would have also liked that. But he doesn’t like you, he’s just USING you. You aren’t meh or indifferent, you are still allowing this man to own you. Cut all unnecessary contact now, and you’ll start to heal.
    You cannot move on with your life while you are keeping one foot in the past. And a filthy cake eater doesn’t deserve your time, your attention and certainly not your love.

    • Well put, GIO. Im nowhere near meh — still with my cheater/swindler, but Im not glad when she likes me — Im suspicious. Hard week here — another self-entitled rant from Agata and more evidence of deception. Need to cut the cord but … I cant seem to do it.

      • ANR, I’m suspicious, too. Whenever STBX is nice or does something for me, I can almost bet that he’s going to do something nicer for OW. His “niceness” is part of his attempt to prove to me and more importantly to himself that he is a nice, upright guy–not really an immoral adulterer. It’s also an attempt to balance things out. He likes things “even,” so if he does something for her, he has to do something for me.

        • for me, i think it means a) she’s afraid im going to divorce her and b) shes doing something rotten that shes compensating for by, like, making me a pecan pie and being nice to my mother. insane. eventually it ends up with her turnimg on me, the kids, or all of us

          • Yes, my stbx did that as well. .. he would do something nice then we would “pay” for it later when he would turn moody and ugly.

        • That makes total sense that they do these nice things to just prove to themselves that they aren’t such bad people. I think it’s so hard for us to see them for what they really are because we are caring people. The opposite of them. Plus, we’ve invested time and energy into something we couldn’t change. We are fixers. We need to put that time and energy into ourselves and fix us now. It’s so sad really. I always felt great with my STBX, but then it became “if I can make him happy then I’ll be happy”. This all goes so deep that it’s easier to keep up the destructive behavior. We need to feel worthy again. Ugh!!

  • I’m confused too. While most “Dear Chump Lady” letters express a specific concern with a specific question, yours reads more like a speech.

    In fact, your letter took a second-person singular turn in that one sentence halfway through, and you addressed Chump Lady like you were addressing your ex. Whether it was a Freudian slip or a minor grammatical error, that tells me you’re still dealing with a ton of emotional fall-out from your betrayal.

    You’re also nowhere close to “meh,” let alone “too meh.” “Too meh” is when your ex OD’s or gets into a crippling accident and you merely shrugs your shoulders and let out an “Oh well!” in reaction. Gauging your life on “he loves me, he loves me not,” not to mention your OWN admission that you like when he likes you and “I don’t have anything else going on anyway” (your words) suggests you’re still very much wrapped up in his fickle emotions.

    Please listen to Chump Lady when she tells you to remove the revolving door from your home! Take a sledgehammer to it if you have to. “I HATE YOUR LYING ASS!” on Monday and “Ooo we’re pretending to be husband and wife!” on Tuesday is going to absolutely cripple you emotionally and will have devastating effects on your psyche in the long run.

    You’re not going to heal by steeling yourself to his manipulative behavior. And you can’t pretend to be dismissive of his nonsense as if he were a two-year-old having a temper tantrum in a grocery store. (“Ohh little Ricky had another meltdown today. That boy, I’ll tell ya…..”) That’s not “meh.” That’s called enabling, co-dependent behavior.

    You are “meh” alright, but you’re “meh” to your OWN emotions and heartbreak, which suggests you’re STILL carrying his cross while pretending your own cross is nowhere to be found. Believe me when I tell you that you need to drop that fucker wherever you found it and lock your doors. You need to ask yourself how YOU truly feel about everything he’s put you through. How do YOU feel about him coming-and-going as he pleases? How do YOU feel that after 15 YEARS and two kids, you’ve not only been reduced to a booty call but you’re forcing yourself to treat your relationship with him, or what’s left of it, as some sort of twisted board game?

    This isn’t Monopoly. This is your heart. And it’s not going to heal as long as you feed him his cake. And let’s not get it twisted: Feeding him cake with a sardonic attitude is still feeding him cake. Back to my 2-year-old analogy– If little Ricky screams and cries for a cookie and you give in with a “Here you’re damn cookie! Shut up!”, you’ve still given in.

    I think all of us Chumps can empathize with what you’re going through. Years of work put into a relationship and all of the sudden you’ve been reduced to an option and what you thought was a true, loving, ADULT relationship has suddenly been reduced to something of the trashy high school variety.

    NOBODY over the age of 19 deserves that kind of relationship. Especially not after you gave 15 years of your life to that man. It’s time to ask yourself the KEY questions, drop the contemptuous pretense, emotionally distance yourself from his mindfuckery, and get back your heart.

    One last thing. You wrote: “I am the ultimate prize for narcissists. And quite frankly to me it’s progress to be indifferent if he is here or not.”

    1) You’re not indifferent if you “like when he likes” you.
    2) It almost sounds like you’re punishing yourself for his actions by dismissing yourself as a mere “prize for narcissists.” You obviously know enough about narcissism at this point to know that narcissists treat prizes like children treat toys: Flashy and sparkly at first but can be disposed of at will.

    Don’t you think you deserve BETTER than that?!

    • Going to have to agree with this. Being a “prize for narcissists” isn’t something to be proud of. Or even joke about. That’s so messed up. Don’t devalue yourself like that. Your ex is devaluing you, but that doesn’t mean that you have to internalize it.

      It’s okay to value yourself more than that.

    • Chris is spot-on.

      Get yourself into counseling NOW! You are being abused. You have been abused. Go talk to a women’s shelter for a list of recommendations. You want someone who’s experienced at dealing with victims of emotional abuse. Infidelity is abusive in and of itself, but in your case, the infidelity is the shellack on the narcissistic abuse.

      You are not “meh.” You are resigned–willing to accept the unpleasant–and you take the crumbs of his approval (you like it when he likes you). This is classic of abuse victims. You live for the crumbs. You deserve more than crumbs; you deserve the wholesome meal, and you won’t get that with your narcissist.

      So get into counseling. Go No Contact. Find a support group for abuse victims. I guarantee you will be shocked by just how similar all your stories will sound.

      Once you excise him from your life, once you work on cleansing the wound through your therapy, only then will you heal.

      Good luck to you. Keep us posted.

  • Dear Sucker,

    Have to agree… you are not at Meh!

    I have a gf like you. She has been split from her ex for three years, does not have a separation agreement yet mostly due to her stalling, and she tries to convince me and others that she uses her ex as much as he uses her. She has him come to the house regularly to do maintenance, chores etc and uses the excuse that it’s his investment too and so he should be keeping it up too. But when he comes they talk, cajole, same ole, same ole like when they were married. To me it’s some kind of toxic power play. He’s already had like 5 Asian girlfriends, and she has had a bf or two, all of which do not understand the dynamics of their screwed up relationship and find it very threatening to developing new relationships with each one of them.

    No, to me your in some kind of denial that this really is toxic and that it really is over!
    Either that, or you are becoming narcissistic yourself and need kibbles or some type of sick revenge on your ex.

    I being a Chump myself understand the pain and grief we all most go through when this happens to our marriage and the terrible devastation! However, now I look at it as an opportunity!!! Yes, an opportunity that not everyone gets in their life. Now you have the chance to get it right, but that means doing the hard work of looking at yourself and why you allow these NPD people in your life when you could have good, genuine relationships and real LOVE. Don’t play that game that the narcs play. Winning is not everything. What are you actually winning anyway? Keep all your good traits and build on them and go find the real thing in all your relationships, and cut all the Narcs out!!!

  • Sounds like he has the ideal situation for him. You’re taking care of the kids and the money. Your house is clean and he doesn’t have to do anything about it. He can come and go whenever he wants to. You say nice things to him and possibly sleep with him.

    You provide him with a home, but he can’t still have girlfriends, his own place, money to spend on just him, time to hang out with his friends, and no responsibilities at home.

    Maybe you need to get angry before you can get true “meh.” This sounds more like I have really low expectations so I don’t get hurt when I’m treated badly.

  • “I still like when he decides to like me” – those words tell you that you’re not Meh. I’m going through this kind of situation with my NPD too so I am grateful that were honest enough to open up about your limbo state with him. I am glad I am not alone.

    I think you might only have succeeded in numbing yourself enough to have the ability to have him around, which is ultimately what the chump in you wants. He gets cake, you remain able to orbit him. Stop giving into the chump side.

    Good luck and please follow CL’s advice of no contact. I’m fighting to do the same, sister!

  • My ex was sweetness and light for the little time I had to do with him after I left.

    Kept telling me, anyone who would listen, and my divorce lawyer how I was the most amazing beautiful person on the planet that deserved everything, kindest soul, blah blah blah…. big long emails to my divorce lawyer with this crap.

    Then my divorce lawyer said he was putting a clause in our agreement to enable us to sue the bejeesus out of him if he’d given me an incurable std… he immediately turned Cujo. Leopards don’t change their spots.

  • Sucker,

    I hope you will clarify some things because your letter is a bit confusing, my take on your situation. You are divorced but whenever your ex wants to fuck you or have dinner with you or hang out with you, you are there for him? And when he doesn’t, you don’t care because you don’t have anything going on? So you are just sitting there doing nothing with your life, not interested new friends or hobbies or in finding a partner, you’d rather hang and to continue to fuck someone who totally fucked your life over? If that is correct then you are not even close to meh. If that is true then you really need to get into therapy, it sounds like you do not allow yourself to feel anything. That’s not meh, that’s oblivion, that’s erasing your life. Your friend knows it, that’s why she’s telling you to stop.

    I have another issue with your letter, you may not have considered this because despite your divorce you are acting like you are still married. I would like to know if your ex is in a relationship with his (former) OW or someone else? Because if you are divorced, and he’s in a relationship, then YOU have become the AP, the OW, the unethical person that doesn’t care if she/he fucks someone who is cheating.

    I don’t know that it what is going on but anecdotal evidence from this site indicates most cheaters are in relationships with the person they cheated with, or someone new. And frankly, no matter who that someone is, they are expecting monogamy from your ex. I may get some blow back on this but I would never do that, not to my worst enemy, because I am true to myself, even if the other people involved have flexible ethics, mine are not.

  • What would he be like if you weren’t so easygoing? What was he like when (if?) you established boundaries he didn’t like and stuck to them?

    Did he respect them? Did he get angry? Did he manipulate you into changing things back to what he wanted?

    I’m guessing, really I am, that it would unpleasant and he would definitely *not* like you or think you were his home. Why are you trying to avoid that reality?

  • I have one other idea to add. Sucker, consider this– when you continue to let him into your life, it’s like you’re validating what he’s done to you. He doesn’t see any consequences. You’re still acting like good ‘ol Sucker, letting him hang out and being nice to him, so his A wasn’t that big of a deal after all, right? Is that the message that you want to send to him?

    I lived with my XWH (he was STBX back then) for eight whole months while we worked on the legal separation with a mediator, and I looked for a new home. While living with him in hell and working every day to get away from him, I made sure that I had boundaries of steel, and we weren’t even close to being divorced at that point. I remember when he hugged me one day, and I pushed away from him and said something along the lines of, “That’s not appropriate. We are no longer physically affectionate with each other; that’s from our former relationship.”

    He was very mad when I did that because I was showing him that life was changing, and consequences for his nasty A behavior were inevitable. He thought we’d just go on being best buddies, doing things together with the kids, having him over for dinner in my new place…. yeah, I think not. I was probably more cordial to him when we were still living together because it made things easier, but once I had moved out, I reduced him to someone who received brief, emotionless emails about children and money matters. We hardly see each other, and I have as little contact with him as possible. THAT is the road to meh.

    But even still… I’m not totally at meh. So, I imagine that it would be impossible to achieve meh in your current situation. I hope you take whatever steps you need to start getting there. The nicest word I can use to describe your life right now is limbo. 🙁

    • I think it is so hard to get to meh without going NC. I didn’t even know what meh was when my ex first left, but I knew I couldn’t stay around him for one more minute after what he put me through and keep my sanity.

  • Can I ask a question of the community? I’m in a somewhat similar situation to this poster. Not in the fact that I still want my NPD ex to like me, but in the fact that I’m still friendly to him, despite his behavior.

    We have a young child together (he left me for a coworker shortly after the baby was born), and the stints when I have gone no contact have been terrible. Primarily because he encourages our child to lie to me and tells her awful things about me. Unfortunately for me, she’s not old enough to fully understand what’s happening, and I’m terrified that all of this compartmentalizing will lead her down the NPD road too.

    So I’m nice to him. I chat if he wants to chat. I act as if everything’s fine, as if we can be friends. These days, my bullshit meter is finely tuned, and I see through everything he says. I feel like it’s ultimately better for my daughter if I keep up the act. Am I way off base?

    • Conflicted, that doesn’t sound similar to the LW because you are doing it calculatedly to keep your daughter healthy (I assume this doesn’t extend to sex or cooking him dinner or having him in your house any time he likes). It sounds like he’s alienating you from your daughter unless you provide some kibbles. IMO, if you have to bullshit the bullshitter so your daughter is not harmed that is a different thing all together. I will leave it to the Chumps with kids to advise ways to make it easier, I don’t have any experience with that.

    • Sometimes we have to do our own gaslighting to the exes to get by. I did quite a bit of it myself while I was still living with STBX. It’s about self-preservation and/or protecting our loved ones. Your life is probably easier if you play nice with him and tell him what he wants to hear. No one can fault you for that when dealing with an NPD.

      • Yeah, I am taking things step by step. My husband doesn’t know I’m done yet, but I imagine NC will be really hard with a 4, 2 and 9 week old if he moves back to this state. I now without a doubt, I will not be cooking him dinner or sleeping with him. But I imagine some form of kindness wouldn’t be horrible if it keeps things good for the kids. For my husband, the cruelest thing will be if I say no to his advances. that is when he was most horrible during our separation. But he became less crazy when I was kind in regards to our children. Like, you and I are parents, but I’m just your friend. We’ll see…

    • conflicted, I’ll agree that you’re not in the same situation as the LW.

      I’d suggest that you and your child go in for counseling, though. Your daughter needs to get some reinforcement that her NPD dad is using her as a weapon against you. As she gets older, she will need to understand the reason for the divorce a bit more, though as others recommend, you don’t want to get into the gritty details or editorialize. Basically, you want your child to be able to discern normal from crazy, realize that dad is crazy, and while she can love him (and he love her–as much as he’s able)–she is safer loving him from a distance.

  • and I should clarify, by friend I mean I don’t spit on you. Not call me and tell me your problems…more like mere acquaintances. Don’t care enough to hate, or to hear about your day. Just a smile and a “your son’s tball game is at 7pm if you want to go”

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