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I Love You But I’m Not In Love with You

“I love you but I’m not in love with you” is a cheater classic. Chumps misunderstand this statement as a definitive goodbye, I’m leaving for my fuck buddy, when I really think it’s more subtle than that. It’s cake speak and impression management.

Lyn asked:

I was just curious about your opinion on using “I love you, but I’m not in love with you,” to end a relationship. I have no doubt my ex felt some sadness over “falling out of love with me.”

Sometimes I wonder if he understood how allowing himself to get involved with his married coworker sucked the life out of our marriage? I felt the distance in our relationship, it seemed like something was wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Whenever I brought up my concern about their relationship he adamantly denied anything was going on.

On D-day he told me “I have so much more in common with her. All we ever had in common was the kids.” The last thing he said before walking out the door was “When I look into my future, you’re not in it.”

In Lyn’s scenario, the cheater leaves. But not before a long period of cake eating. As Lyn points out, their marriage might’ve stood a chance if her husband hadn’t directed his energies to his co-worker. But to a cheater, they see a different, to their minds justifiable reason — “I’m not in love with you.” So I can cast about and love someone else. So, which came first? The falling out of love, or the permission they gave themselves to cast about?

We all know grown up love means not feeling “in love” all the livelong day. There’s no butterflies when you’re doing taxes, or visiting the in-laws, or cleaning up after a kid’s stomach flu. I love you but I’m not in love with you is simply impression management. Translated it means – “I did unloving things, but telling you ‘I love you’ makes me feel better about them.”

It has nothing to do with you, chumps. This is about maintaining the cheater’s self image. And it softens the blow — hey, you wouldn’t impose consequences on someone who loves you, would you? They think they’re letting you down gently.

Cheater love is compartmentalized kind of love — “I love you, but I put that aside while I was fucking someone else.” The two things aren’t at all connected. Why should “love” get in the way of a good time?

Chumps naively assume that people who love us act like they love us. Cheaters subvert that assumption and turn it back on chumps. “But I’m not in love with you” is a subtle blameshift. “I don’t feel giddy and effervescent. I need sparkles. Alas, if you had only twinkled brighter, perhaps it would not have come to this.” It’s so disappointing the way you’ve let them down. What can you do to make it up to them?

“I love you, but I’m not in love with you” is your cue to perform the “pick me” dance (sung to the tune of “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me.”) They may be dumping you anyway for the affair partner, but some parting kibbles would be nice.

“I love you but I’m not in love with you” is cake speak. Cheaters take credit for loving you (because they’re so noble) – but they’re unburdened by their commitments because –King’s X! — they’re not in love with you.

Chumps, don’t try to parse with your cheater which parts of you they love or what their butterflies are saying to them today – state what you need.

“I need to be in a relationship where I am fully loved and respected. You don’t love me the way I deserve to be loved. Buh-BYE.” Don’t ask yourself what you did to be so unlovable. Don’t dance the pick me dance. Just let ’em go. I’m sure their butterflies will be migrating again soon.

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  • God I remember this statement from 1 1/2 yrs ago when the affair was revealed. Wow. You define the reason so well Cl anyone who post here regularly may know my situation but in short after being close to leaving (lease for apt in hand ) my H developed some health issues I am staying to help him with. (even though I offered to step aside and let OW move in to help him instead). More than once recently he has told me “I love you” but my therapist says it should be more like “I need you” Just thought I would share that insight with my fellow chumps.

    • Janet, I just beat you up over at the other post. Please for the sake of YOUR health, let this guy GO. God only knows how long he’ll have health issues. There are trained nurses who can be his caregiver. You deserve a life. Quit martyring yourself to his. He’s in contact with his OW every day! Yes, absolutely clear the way and let HER change his fucking bed pan.

    • Janet, I do not know you, but I agree with CL.
      Do not waste another precious day with this person. If he is still together with the OW, then he does love and support you. Let her take care of him, it is not your burden once marriage vows are broken.

    • Janet, respectfully, I want to add my support to CL’s response above. You are serving him the most decadent cake ever baked, and totally at the expense of your own wellbeing.

      In nursing school we were warned about the “super nurse” syndrome, where a nurse allows herself to believe that only HER super-duper special care can help a particular patient. Many caregivers/chumps are motivated by these types of ideas (btw, nursing school is full of chumps!), being a martyr, “a saint”, trying to gain love and attention through giving care. But, as I am sure you know, it never works out as the chump plans. There is no prize to be won here. You can’t win. You can only lose. Put your energy into something that will actually lead to greater health and happiness for someone truly special, i.e. caring for JANET.

      You don’t need to take care of him. He will not die without your care. There are home health workers trained to care for the sick in their homes.

      I am so looking forward to your post when you tell us all that you have left him for good!!

    • Janet:
      You are being kicked and abused ever day. When are you going to make it stop? When are you going to take care of YOU? Are you going to wait until you have broken ribs and can’t breathe anymore? Leave him so that you can LIVE!

    • Listen to CL and the rest of us here. I understand that it’s hard to hear it from others on what you should do. Being somewhat stubborn myself I had the very same struggles. You state that this all started 1.5 yrs ago. That is to long. We can tell you all day long how bad it is when ultimately you will need to convice yourself how wrong it is.

      Please Janet, you need to open your eyes and your heart and let him go. Keep in mind, you are not giving up on the marriage, he did. Accept that you were chumped and now it’s time for you to move on. Your husband ended your marriage and you no longer have any obligations to this terrible man.

      I hope your day of awakening is TODAY.

      • Janet,

        You are a very good and compassionate person to do what you’re doing, but I really agree with CL and others that you need to let others take care of him now and move on with your life.

        Since this happened to me, I met a woman who I have become very good friends with. She was married for 31 yrs, had 3 beautiful children and 2 wonderful grandchildren, when she found her husband was cheating on her…with another man! Can you imagine that shit sandwich? She kicked him out, but soon after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and she took him back in, and cared for him throughout the whole ordeal, and then he had a motorcycle accident which she cared for him for months more, until he was better to leave her for his gay parnter. Not long after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent radical sugery, and 16 hrs of recontruction! He was not there for one minute for her! When she woke up from her surgery, she was surrounded by her kids and grand kids and friends, but he was not there! She still cries when she talks about it.
        I can understand to feel the need to care for someone you love no matter what and if you do that as a gift with no expectations then really that is up to you. But, sadly I feel your time and love is being wasted. You are being used by a narcissist who will not truly appreciate it or reciprocate it. I fear you may get sick yourself if you don’t start giving that love to yourself and allow yourself to be loved by someone who will appreciate it. You have no guilt here or obligation, and you really owe it to Janet to allow yourself to be loved and appreciated.

          • Yes, Lyn, isn’t it? Real love should be able to go above and beyond all these things , but not for narcs. I’m happy to report that my friend is doing very well, loving life again and thriving! She is such an inspiration!

        • Yes, Janet! Many of us here had some sort of health issue where we discovered our ex’s true feelings for us. They can’t give in that way — only take, and when you’re down you can’t afford to sacrifice any life energy to one of these people.

        • This is the best point of all – we he step in and care for you the way you have sacrificed to care for him. You know the answer to this – it’s NO. And people can say all they want that this is what’s best for them at the time, it’s the right decision – listen to everyone. It’s not!!! It’s just plain WRONG. Janet you have your apartment lease in hand? Go there, now!

        • movingon51 – yep, I can see it. Cheaters take, take, TAKE without giving back. When you put yourself at the center of your universe, there’s no room for anyone else. Sad!

        • Movingon, that reminds me of a story I heard from a friend. At one point I was casting around for advice about whether to leave my husband, and she shared with me that her husband was a serial cheater, and she wanted to leave, but couldn’t. She couldn’t leave because she has chronic health issues and she needed her husband to take care of her. Not long after that, my mom got cancer, and my husband at first did not want to go with me to the hospice to say goodbye. Ordinarily a docile, obedient wife, I fought with him and told him I’d go without his permission and I would take the kids. He agreed to go but was hardly to be seen in my mom’s room. To me, this was handwriting on the wall: he said he loved me, but was not in love with me, and he was barely supportive to me through this. What if I were to get sick? Would I have been abandoned in the hospital, left to endure it alone? I decided, better to be alone 24/7 than dealing with this fake version of “togetherness.” Janet, it’s sad your husband is not well, but your decision to nurse him when your relationship is damaged is ultimately a risky decision. Will he do the same for you when you are sick? Will he stay with you when/if he gets better? You sound like a wonderful, giving person, and I honestly think you deserve more in life.

    • Janet,

      Please listen to CL and everyone else who has commented. I really understand the space that you’re in and I totally get why you stayed to take care of your H. A few months back, without the benefit of therapy and reading and sharing on this site, I would have done the same thing. You are a good person, a caring person, a compassionate person. You have a history with this man which carries all the emotions, both positive and negative, that history carries.

      However, I would like to suggest to you that it is time that you stopped putting your H and his needs before you and your needs. He does not care about you nor does he appreciate what you’re doing. In fact, he thinks LESS of you for taking care of him, even though he feels that you owe it to him no matter how shabbily he has treated you. This is why he continues to have contact with the OW. He is continuing to disrespect and demean you even while you attempt to help him heal. Nothing says, “I don’t care about you, you owe me,” like continuing a relationship with the OW while you take care of him. He’s abusing you. Only you can make him stop.

      Please leave him. I’m not saying it will be easy, but eventually you will find it is worth it.

        • Janet
          Just introspect a bit and check if you are staying back because you are unable to yet let go of your husband.You want to, but you just can’t yet cut the chord.Is it that his illness is giving you a reason to stay back..just a little bit more? At a subconscious level are you still hoping that he will see what a wonderful person you are and come back to you? Are you thinking that because he did not chose the OW to tKe care of him and instead chose you to do it is giving you some hope that he will come back?

          Janet please dive below the surface of your reasons of staying back.

          I am saying this because even after I found out about my serial cheater X I hung back for quite a while.I knew on DDAy itself that I DO NOT want to be with him but I couldn’t let go and I always found some reason to convince myself to stay back.I kept telling myself..ohh once this is done I will leave, once his career issues settle down I will leave, etc etc.One fine day , I just realized what I was doing and just walked.

          His choosing you to be the caretaker and not his OW is nothing but cake.As someone here said in some other post that the OW gets the romance and the wining and the dining and the wife gets the drudgery of cooking and care taking.It is not as if he thinks you are better than the OW .its just that he does not want the OW to see him at his worst.He just wants to present his best sparkly self to her or else she may dump him.So he reserves his best self for the OW and his sick self for you.Once you nurse him back to good health off he will go.So why are you spending your time and energy in nurturing him back to being a healthy person for his OW?

          When you took a vow of being together in ‘ sickness and health’ I am sure it didn’t mean to take care of him in his sickness just to gift him to the OW.

          Arrggh..I rambled a bit but just seeing a fellow chump being taken for a ride just gets to me.

          Hugs , Janet

          • SanityRegained, that advice was not rambling–it’s a good synopsis of the real issues. Janet, whatever you decide, please keep us up to date. Sending you virtual hugs.

          • I agree that the cheater doesn’t want the AP to see them when they’re sick, down, looking like hell and probably being a whiny bastard. S/he gets the exciting bits, the nights out, the fun, the laughs, the easy stuff. We, the spouses, get the day in, day out stuff, including them having the runs, vomiting, farting, snot running out of their noses, etc. Sorry to be so graphic but we live through all of that stuff and we love them through it. They don’t see that – they only see that they’ve got a shiny new toy who hopefully will not have those issues. Hell, the final OW in my sitch gets really pissed about farting, it seems. This makes me laugh, as ex is a champ in that arena.

        • Janet, as someone who has lived through a nightmare for over 20 years, please leave now and reclaim your life. It’s scary, I know. You feel guilty leaving him, I get that. My ex was ill for nearly a year and I stepped up. Everyone was in awe how good I was to him, including the cheater himself. Looking back, it was just another expression of my pick-me-dance. “Look how well I took care of you. I bet you can’t live without me” was one of the underlying motives of my behavior. It doesn’t work. Cheaters don’t wake up suddenly and find their higher selves. They shove their better selves in a box so tightly, it couldn’t get out. Leaving your husband will be the hardest thing you will ever do, but the distance will give you a very different perspective. And if he wants you back, let him earn you, and not the other way around. So sorry if I come across strongly; I just don’t want you in harm’s way.

          • Thank you all for your thoughtful and great advice. I am not doing the “pick me dance” in all of this but I have to admit there is still this little part of my heart where hope floats. It is hard for me to wrap my head around this “affair”. It is his 1st ( really I know this) and it is so weird. Unlike so many of you it is not like he is sneaking away and having sex . They have not seen each other in in almost a year. It is completely an EA and if I didn’t know about the “secret” cell phone I would be completely in the dark. As much as I would like to reveal my knowledge I hate to give it up. When I bring up the OW or anything else he has a fit because he can’t deny and can’t tell me the truth anymore. I wish he were a serial cheater or having sex boy it would make getting angry at him so much easier. Instead I look at him and think how pathetic he is to think what he has with the ow is real. And my chumpiness kicks in.
            PS I am cutting and pasting all of youe replies in a folder marked Good advice along with some other gems I have gleaned from Leave a Cheater Gain a Life over the last year and a 1/2

            • Paste them on to your apartment lease. This is the “We’re going to get a committee and study the issue” answer. Didn’t he meet up with the OW, as I recall? You have no idea if it’s EA or PA. Anyway, if this behavior is acceptable to you, or no big deal (just once! just an EA!) — why complain about him? Really, his continued affair with her is the price of admission for having him in your life. He adds so much to your life — how exactly? Being his nursemaid?

  • I heard this exact statement from my XH when I separated from him. Ironically, it was a couple days before I put two and two together and figured out he was having an affair with a married co-worker. Maybe it was that statement that prompted me to look more closely at what was going on? I didn’t participate in the pick me dance, fortunately, and I believe not doing that is a key part of how I was able to move on with my life. Eight months later I’m dating a man I met almost ten years ago but hadn’t seen at all while I was married. He noticed my Facebook page had changed a bit (hmmmm. Looks like she’s not married anymore) and made his interest clear. And I think that’s perhaps the point of CLs post….love and interest in your partner should be clear. No guessing, no pick me….just clarity. I never thought I’d be dating someone eight months out who I genuinely like and enjoy. Do I know where it’s going? Nope, but I’m wiser from my experience and am taking it one day at a time:-) Have faith Chumps. You never know what might fall in your lap when you least expect it.

  • I got the ILYBINILWY bullshit too. It means, “I love your paycheck but, I don’t love your dick anymore”. I’m pretty sure that’s how it was decoded. Ladies you can probably replace dick with with vagina and it will make sense to you.

    • Yup TennisHack– I got the “I still love you, but now I think I love the OW more and want to marry her” when asked how he could pretend to be a loving husband over the 15 years of his affairs and group sex with main AP and her best friend. When had he decided he loved the other woman more? Apparently as soon as I caught him, and weeks after I had paid off almost $30k of his debt.

  • My version was, “I’ll always love you as the mother of my children.”

    This after, “The children add no value to my life. I’d rather have the money I’d spend on them than them.”

    Old, gray, alone, and bitter. That’s the future I envision for him…

    • Wow, Red, what a cold bastard. Mine was the same, and I was shocked. After 17 years together (11 years w/ kids), My exH told me he was too young (mid-40s) to spend the rest of his life taking care of our 3 kids and a wife (me). Not that he was doing much anyway…! So one day he just walked out. Crazy that these guys seem to have either never developed, or somehow instantaneously lost, all of their deep emotional bonding with their families. I guess that’s just one of the many signs of sociopathy…

      • Yeah, I don’t get it. Married with children suddenly becomes “too much?” R-i-g-h-t.

        I went to school with a girl whose mother was killed in an auto accident when we were in the 5th grade. She had two younger brothers. Her father was in his late 30’s at the time, handsome, charming, and a big flirt. Yet he never remarried. He devoted himself to his kids and later, his grandkids. At our 25th high school reunion, he showed up because his daughter couldn’t.

        I asked him how he did it, how he handled losing his wife and being the anchor for his kids, because I couldn’t fathom it. (This was a year before D-day, and I couldn’t IMAGINE XH stepping up like this guy did.)

        Mr. N’s response? “You do what you have to do for your family.”

        He was right. That’s what NORMAL people do.

        I sometimes wonder who XH thinks is going to take care of him when he’s old and sick. His grad students? His parishoners? A girlfriend? Because it’s certainly not going to be his kids.

        My aunt and XFIL were born the same year. For my aunt’s 75th birthday, her kids threw her a surprise party with hundreds of people who came from all over the country (including us). For XFIL’s birthday (cheater, left when XH was 16), XH didn’t even send him a card.

        What goes around comes around. I don’t get why they don’t see that…

    • Mine doesn’t love me as the mohter of his children. He seems to resent me as the mother of his children and would like nothing more than to displace me. Not gonna happen.

      • I dealt with that for a few months. It means OW isn’t keeping him occupied and he has time on his hands. Don’t worry – he WON’T displace you. Your kids know who’s who and what’s what. That’s all that matters.

    • They have rejected and betrayed those who loved them the most. They have denounced any real “family.” They choose to commune with people like themselves–soulless and hollow. I hope they all live till they are 112 years old. They will die alone and unloved. That will be life’s revenge.

      • yeah but that means we will have to live to 112 as well to finally see it…why can’t we get our revenge now?.. LOL

        My Lawyer had just read one (of many) utterly selfish and ridiculous statements from my ex one meeting and said ” I can not fathom how you dealt with this person all those years” and I said that I wait for the day she gets hit by a Bus ….but that wasn’t happening so I went and applied for a job at the Bus station today…she said she will pretend she didn’t hear that …point is we might not get our revenge day …darn

        • I know soyouseeit, believe me, I crave revenge too. I figure it’ll happen when I least expect it. But every time I hear about a fiery crash on the local interstate I can’t help but think……

          • It has to be a fiery one car crash with no collateral damage. There are good fathers and husbands on the road, too!

  • Yep. I got the ILYBINILWY shit too. First 10 years ago during the first affair, and then, finally, last September when I confirmed his next affair. He’s still with her. I wonder when she’s going to get that same sentiment? Based on my ex’s history, it’s only a matter of time. Still trying to reconcile my heart with my head in that he TOTALLY SUCKS and he doesn’t know what real love is. I did the pick me dance for 10 years and could never 100% say for sure that my XH loved me for real, the way mature people love their spouses. Trying to move on. Your posts are so timely, CL. And spot on! They are sometimes the thing that keeps me going and reminds me of where I should be headed. Thanks, again for another great, insightful reminder.

    • All of those! My STBX! ILYBINILWY but he tells me multiple times per week I love you. He still wants sex with me and says even if he left to pursue a relationship he’d always choose me over anyone because of all the connection and stuff we have. He wants to protect me and keep me safe and be there for me. The whoremat had nothing to do with the end of the marriage. It was already dead a long time ago (but no one told me until after they’d slept together). He also fell out of love with me over shit he never told me. But in a real relationship you don’t HAVE to tell the other person your needs aren’t being met because they should JUST KNOW! (That’s why we aren’t compatible! Because SPEAKING to your partner about your needs makes the relationship fake! Because if they can’t read your GD mind or “just know” then when you tell them what you want it’s fake and forced!) We also have an unhealthy relationship but he and whoremat are a match made in heaven with her open legs and door mat ways and all her past abuse and rape and all sorts. AND she has the spark! You know the most important part of a relationship! Not the relating part or a house or conversation or KNOWING the other person! And it’s NOT infatuation! They’ve been texting for FIVE MONTHS! And she says she loves him! It’s TWU WUV! DUH! And we weren’t fun enough. Because I only BEGGED HIM to go out and he wanted to stay home and play PlayStation or fuck around with his phone because for ten years we saved and saved and saved to buy our house and now he’s thrown away our life to be with her. And I wasn’t good enough to go out with. I was only good enough to save money with and now he’s tearing it all down to be with her. We had two real vacations in ten years and two weekends in ten years. And I still love him with my whole heart. But she’s the one that he wants to be with. And our life and my love are meaningless. I know I’m worth more than that but it hurts SO BADLY to feel that some whore has taken everything you worked for and run off with half. And now I’m left broken hearted and without my person (real or imagined) and they are in each others arms and I’m crying into our cat for my future that is now deader than dead.

  • Oh, yes, the “I love you but…”
    Do all chumps get this statement?
    CL, I wish this post had been available when I first heard those words. In my case, then I would have known definitely that there another woman. It took another 6 weeks for then H to admit she existed (though still to this day claims she had nothing to do with the end of the marriage, although he was in love with her the marriage and been long over …).

    Chin up, all fellow chumps! We know what real love is… Our exes are the ones living in fantasy lands.

    • My ex also went into great explanation to our son how his co-worker had nothing to do with him “falling out of love with me.” It was all my fault for falling short of expectations he never voiced. I guess I was supposed to read his mind.

      Another lovely thing he said was “I love you, but I don’t want to live with you.” Hell, he was gone so much on “business trips” he barely lived with me anyway.

      • Mine said we didn’t have a healthy relationship. Wow, how could we have a relationship? He was never there!

        I’ve since realized that “good relationship” means two people joined at the uglies rolling around in a fermented stew of infatuation neurotransmitters. Yeah. We didn’t have that.

        • That stew, very well put. Mine is playing a staring contest with OW with regards to the money he lured her away from her family with. Her now ex tells me she says she doesn’t have any money in her checking account for her kids doc appointments. Three kids who live under exs roof half the week. Really big guy? You can reup the wifestress with some of that gold you waved in her face on my kids school yard? Last think he said to me when I exposed the affair is that he’s “crushing hard” on her. This is a 45 year old father of two. BTW, he always would get wrapped up in teen dramas on TV.

          • Right before dday my ex watched some teenage film of angst and was MESMERIZED. I realise now that the star of that film bore a passing resemblance to his final OW. He’s middle aged but still a teenager.

            • “…still a teenager.” Yep. My stbxh has a sort of Peter Pan mentality that life should be all fun, always exciting. He told me he didn’t want to settle for anything less than an exciting life…just before he walked out the door to follow his “spark”…

              • (And I will add that our life was not boring–though, of course, there are always adult, “unfun” tasks to do in life sometimes–and most of our friends and family would have probably put us in a category of having an extremely “exciting” non-conformist life. Not enough for him I guess…)

              • NL, your ex sounds like mine. He’s 48, but always crowing about how much excitement he needs in life, how he cannot settle for “mediocrity” how he should be admired for his constantly being in an imagined spotlight. He lives a bizarre, Peter Pan life these days, no real job, moving wherever a friend offers a couch, no responsibilities. But he’s “living the dream!”

              • GladIt’sOver, I think so. Based on some of your previous comments here, I have also seen some similarities in the way our ex’es view the world. Maybe they are the same personality type….the “playmate” (“SP” in Kiersey temperament sorter). I guess a lot of cheaters might be this type, actually…

          • Holy cow that sounds like my situation. Yeah, he wouldn’t have been nearly (if at all) as attractive if he hadn’t put on the big moneybags show, including hard currency. Money is the aphrodisiac of choice for many women. They don’t call them “gold diggers” for nothing.

            Trwu wuv. Got it.

          • One of the early signs I spackled over was STBX’s newfound interest in chickflick tv series. STBX has always liked more science fiction or older detective shows, and has set the DVR to pick these up. I was surprised when he started recording Vampire Diaries and Once Upon a Time. He said that his female staffer thought they were good. Of course, they were having an EA at the time, and OW sees herself as the female lead.

            And yes, I’m exiting as soon as I finish getting the retainer fee saved up. STBX is finding it expensive to keep OW, and I don’t want to be around when he gets into credit difficulties. I will gladly hand him over to her, since I suspect that her spending habits will hasten the karma train wreck coming his way.

          • Ah, yes, the mind reading! I was supposed to understand what form of intimacy he wanted/needed… never mind that I ASKED and he did not give offer suggestions.

            • But you’re forgetting the ultra-important next step AFTER you’ve successfully read their mind! You’re supposed to be able to figure out when whatever it is that they wanted (but didn’t tell you about) changes! That affection you give, now it’s suffocating. The kids who were so cute? Too time-consuming, keep them out of my way. Supporting my career by doing more of the house-and-family work? You weren’t available for the lovey-dovey weekday lunches like the AP! One minute feeling sorry for their poor victim selves, the next admiring their incredible strength and superiority!

              It’s really revolting. And because we DO care and find pleasure in giving as well as receiving, we initially DO try to read their minds, and feel crazy when they’re annoyed that it’s not working ….

              Blergh, much better off out of that crazy.

              • So true. One day it’s this, the next it’s that. They just kept moving the goal posts and we were running around trying to get the ball in once in awhile. Fuck these people. I mean really, my head aches sometimes with the shit I hear.

      • Hahaha…they really are all the same. They love to bang on about how the other person/s have nothing to do with why the marriage fell apart, unable to see that when you’re banging other people (and thus lying to your spouse) there’s obviously going to be problems in your marriage. What a bunch of idiots. They all think they’re so original and really, they’re just common.

        • Oh my God how true! Mine still truly believes that even though he was still continuing to cheat on me, that it had no affect on our marriage when we were trying to reconcile. F@%*tards is right.

          • Mine was even bringing OW in our home, when I was at work for twelve hours on a shift, and playing house there with her! But it was OK now, according to him, because NOW they were just friends! Huh?
            It got to the point the last 6 months of this, I was terrified to go home after work. He said I was ‘being rediculous’.
            Just unbelievable. I didn’t even feel safe in my own house.

          • Wasn’t it Princess Diana who said something about her marriage being a little crowded? How in the hell were we supposed to make a marriage work with the herds of AP’s our exes had, and the lies, betrayals, rejection, gaslighting, squandering of marital assets, that goes along with being a cheater???

      • OMG, my XH said the SAME thing to our boys! OW had nothing to do with the end of our marriage because, in his mind, it was over long before he met her. Well, did the thought ever occur to you, Dickbag, to let your wife in on that? I swear they all follow the same script! And OW had EVERYTHING to do with the way the marriage ended. Had he been a grownup and sat me down and told me what he was thinking, things could have ended on a MUCH better note. But he chose the sleazy, underhanded disgusting way. Nice example for our boys!

        • My ex totally rewrote history once he got involved with this second OW. How he’d been unhappy, but couldn’t articulate it, how he hadn’t love me for a long time, how the sexual attraction had faded.

          But if you actually LOOK at the year prior to the affair, our relationship was doing better than it had in a long time, in multiple ways, and I KNOW that if he had been asked just before leaving the city for the project where he got involved with the AP, he would have fully recognized this.

          He was lonely, horny and stressed in a strange place, didn’t want to make the effort to stay connected to me and the kids, and she was hitting on him. He did it because he could.

          Then so he wouldn’t look like too horrible a person, he rewrote our life together, thinking I wouldn’t notice, I guess.

          • Same damn thing happened to me, KarenE. We hit a rough patch for a few years, and she went back to school. I supported her through that, then nursing school, then working nights at a hospital. By this time, all she did was work and sleep. We were getting closer, she had begun slowing warming up to me again, we even had times when we found ourselves awake at the same time laate at night, unable to sleep, and eventually it would lead to sex, or we would squeeze one in before I went to work. That’s something we did in the first year or so of marriage. We were laughing together, planning home projects, renovations, etc.
            Then the sudden turnabout happened months after that, and history was rewritten, and she could not comprehend why I didn’t see it coming.

    • Yes, my ex gave the “I only love you like a sister, I don’t feel passion for you, don’t really love you, never should have married you” blah blah blah speech, while vehemently denying there was anyone else. Two days later I saw a picture of him on facebook with a coworker I already had suspected, and there was no doubt in my mind about their affair (I didn’t know he was screwing another woman as well until a few months later). He then changed the tune to “She has nothing to do with my unhappiness, I’ve been miserable since the day we met, I’m not having sex with her, she’s just a friend, I’m not leaving you for her.” He used to say how he was helping her with her marriage (by fucking her, I guess, I’m sure her hubby really appreciated the help) and that they “both had a lot of healing to do before they could even consider a relationship.”

      I’m sure he still says she had nothing to do with the end of the marriage, but it makes no difference now. Cheaters never see that maybe if they had been FAITHFUL, they wouldn’t have “fallen out of love” with their spouses. It’s kind of hard to maintain those loving feelings towards your same old spouse, when you’re all giddy about balling someone new. But disordered cheaters (which are the majority here) never really loved their spouse to begin with, because they are incapable of actually caring for another human being.

      • Glad, you made me laugh with this:
        “He used to say how he was helping her with her marriage (by fucking her, I guess, I’m sure her hubby really appreciated the help)”

        About a year after my ex left, swearing that he “fell out of love with me,” that I discovered an 8 pg. document about his obsession with breaking up his coworker’s marriage and how she was his “perfect partner.” He envisioned them all living together on a farm and raising her children. Funny there was no mention of her husband in this document. Anyway, I wish I’d known this as he was saying “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” It would have made it a lot easier to kick his ass out the door instead of wasting precious time beating myself up over not being a sparkly mind reader.

        • his obsession with breaking up his co-workers marriage??? WTF !!! if that was me those 8 pages would have found their way into the right hands and that farm would be a perfect place to hide the evidence…what a SICK fuck

      • Yes, I got “We’re just living together like brother and sister. Not like husband and wife.”

        Well maybe, just maybe, that was because STBX was out at the bar (or who knows where) at least 5 nights a week until 3 or 4 in the morning. And we never had sex (okay, perhaps 3 or 4 times a year when he had trouble falling asleep.) And I got the blame for never initiating sex – really? When would there have been an opportunity!? Not to mention the fact that he also told me he was not attracted to me. Well that’s going to really encourage me to be more amorous, now isn’t it?

        And like your ex, GIO – mine would never admit that he or OW had anything to do with the end of our marriage. I was just as much to blame as he was. For doing all that unattractive stuff like holding down a full time job with a 20 mile commute, putting food on the table, making the daughter do her homework and being concerned about her grades, paying all the bills, getting the dog to the vet, staying home at night except when I had to work, etc. Yep, those things pretty much caused the demise of our marriage. He was forced to go out every night to escape the nightmare that was hanging out with me.

  • It’s been my experience that it translates to “I’ve been screwing someone else for a while now and got finally them bagged”. It isn’t until they’re pretty sure they have the OM/OW sewn up that the bomb drops… Catch them before they are ready to say it and it’s like watching a smilely mask come off their face. When I caught mine the mask dropped and I got looked at like I was suddenly garbage, it was like looking into the eyes of a shark.

      • Yes. When I start feeling sad and missing him, I try to remember that look he had when he walked in the door and he told me. I had never seen him look at me like that before and it was so awful. Just awful.

        • The first time I ever saw what REALLY is inside my ex was shortly after dday. I confronted him in the hallway of our house and calmly said that I did not deserve to be treated this way after being a good wife for 20 years. He looked at me, and all of a sudden, it seemed like a DEMON was standing there. His face changed into a sneering look of hatred, his eyes turned dark and ice cold, his mouth was twisted into such a look of contempt. His voice was freezing cold when he replied, “Oh yeah, you were such a great wife and I was such a terrible husband. Right.” I had never seen his face look that way, so filled with hatred and so evil. I was so startled, I backed into the bedroom to get away from him and shut the door.

          That was the first time I saw that he’s really a demon hiding behind a human mask. I unfortunately have seen the demon several times since then, but I know very few others have ever seen the real him.

          • There is definitely a look. It is like looking an some sort of movie version of satan possessing what was once a caring, loving spouse. Then there is also the smirk. Oh, the smirk. I will never forget when he watched me get served with papers. I went batshit crazy, yelling and crying. He put his face up to mine and had that smirk. I’ll never forget it.

            • “Then there is also the smirk.”


              That is the one thing that would just make my stomach churn – that he would have said something or done something to me that was totally foul and reprehensible and when I would say anything or maybe cry, I would get that smirk. It was and is always so supercilious and evil.

              • It IS foul! It IS evil! It is also USEFUL! When I feel that I am missing him, I have only to remember that smirk. It works like a charm. OW can have him and his damn smirk! That image of him makes me sick…

    • My experience exactly. Two weeks prior he was chatting up her husband at a holiday party, bragging about my cooking and being a stay at home mom. After he was expose he and the OW made sure to let everyone know that I was the Sza Sza Gabor of rhe little ghetto city we had just moved out of. No witnesses, of course. New town and he spent the first three months schmoozing with everyone, leaving me out of the fun, tied down at home with a cranky 18 month old. It was a premeditated set up. The move, the new supply to lie too, the OW. 23 years, what a waste.

      • whatawaste… 23 years (18 married) for me as well. I know it feels like it sometimes, but it was not a waste. Not if you have a wonderful child, and you did your best.
        As I tell people, I did the best I could with the information that I was provided, and I am sure you did as well.
        I worried for a bit what lies must he have told the OW about me, but she is equally as messed up. They were both married when they met, they deserve one another.

        jedi hugs.

    • Yes, cold dead eyes. When I caught my ex, I literally watched the loving mask of an adoring husband he apparently wore every day, fall away before me. It was sickening, chilling, and I thought, who is this man? I still do not know. Or maybe I do. He is a grifter, a predator, a sociopath.

    • me too…how dare you play THEIR game with them…we are utter garbage to them thats a great analogy only garbage gets more respect …they carry IT to the curb we were just kicked

  • I spent months after Dday 1 trying to parse worse word salads than ILYBINILWY.

    I stopped trying to understand such things, but I do see–now that you’ve written about it–how some of it geared toward impression management, and … in retrospect some of it was geared toward creating a new narrative (e.g. “we rushed things’ when our dating was 2 years followed by a 6+ month engagement, etc).

    In the end with my ex, I realized everything was about her almost all of the time. Getting what she wanted exactly when she wanted it too precedence over everything else. Even if she did something nice (or heck even ordinary), I had better be ready with high-praise or there would be a fight about how I just wasn’t quite appreciative enough, how I forgot to figure out exactly how high to jump when she said “Jump”.

    Best for me to leave all that dead and buried, though. I took a long trip down that rabbit hole and spent far too long in that particular “Wonderland” already.

    The only reason, I suppose, I am bothering to comment is that I am hoping when somebody hears something like “I never really loved you the way I should have” after being told “I love you” several times a day and sometimes up to the preceding day, they understand that too was about their partner/spouse getting what they wanted when they wanted it, and there’s no real point in trying to parse that nonsense, and there’s no deeper to dig to.

    • To me it felt like our whole family had done all we could to support my ex in the things he wanted to do. Everyone had to do farm chores with him if we wanted to interact, he would never go on a vacation, or do things that other people in our family wanted to do. In the end he said we didn’t do enough, we didn’t support him enough. I remember thinking “I give up, I couldn’t have done any more.” Seemed like he was constantly searching for the next big thing that was going to bring him true happiness. He even told one of our sons he left to “find his happiness.” He promptly moved into the basement of his married coworker’s parent’s house, gosh, she was just so kind to bring him into her family since he was so mistreated in ours.

  • Yep, the ILYBINILWY is the beginning of the end, at least as far as we chumps know it. I got this too, a couple months after him meeting and being with yet another one of his tru luvs, (puke), funny thing is, I don’t even feel any love for him anymore,…… can’t imagine why.

  • Perhaps the problem is that Cheaters don’t really know what love is. Their focus has always been on themselves and they compartmentalise so easily in order to maintain their double life of deceit. We Chumps tend to love our Cheaters in spite of their flaws yet we never receive the same in return.
    That is the most difficult part if this to deal with and to get over. Knowing that the person you loved and trusted above all others has spent many years deceiving and betraying you while lying to your face every day. They are life stealers. Vampires that stole years of our lives from us! Their efforts to lie and cheat were deliberate and planned out on a regular basis. Their betrayal is very calculating. When you catch them, they say “I never meant to hurt you”, “I love you”, “I don’t want to lose you”, “It meant nothing – I’ll do anything you want to fix this”, “I don’t want to be with anyone else.” When you finally tell them you are done and it’s over you get, “I love you but I’m not in love with you”, “I have been unhappy for a long time”, “Neither one of us has been happy”, “This is all your fault”.
    Its like loving and caring for a dog and then deciding to stop feeding it and to start kicking it every day.
    It really is abuse just like you have said before,CL. That is what is helping me get through this. I have to recognize that I am the victim of abuse and I have to look at him as my abuser. That is what he is!

    • I’ve struggled with the stolen years too – 15 in my case. That’s brutal sometimes – I will never know how it feels to have children together with a man who loves them and wanted them. I will never retire with my kids’ dad – enjoying our grandchildren together.

      And he can never, or will never, understand what that means, or how it hurts. And I get that now.

      My faith helps – there’s a song that says, “He’ll wipe away your tears and return your wasted years.” I hold on to that. And the signs of a better future are there.

      Now I know that their words are like that squawking voice on the old Charlie Brown shows – it doesn’t matter what they say – it means nothing. Actions – only actions – and looking back, even though the words said “I love you” every day, the actions very rarely did.

      • Amazing how many of us were told ‘I love you’ every day yet the person saying it was acting in anything but a loving manner. I heard it right up until I found out about his serial cheating. Literally less than an hour before it was all revealed. Scary. And he’s a dick.

        • I’m reminded of Pee Wee Herman in that Cheech and Chong movie (“Nice Dreams”, I think it was) where he keeps saying he’s sorry, and then triumphantly announces “I’m not sorrr!” after all those apologies.

          “I love you”, “I love you”, “I love you more”, “ILY :)” …, “I never loved you!”.

        • Nord, Yep got the I love you up until D day. And throughout our relationship he said I love you multiple times a day. Even before I knew of any affairs it almost felt forced/ unnecessary to say it like three or four times a day. Maybe they just say, “I love you ” so they can hear us say back to them, “I love you too.”

      • Me too Redefining, the stolen years outrage me. I was 34 when my ex started his known affairs, I was 38 when I suspected something and spent years questioning him and he assuring me and everyone we knew how much he adored me and how he would never cheat, until I believed him. I was 52 when I caught him and threw his dead ass out. I am now engaged to be remarried next summer–I would have LOVED to have children with the man I will spend the rest of my life with and who truly loves me, but my ex stole that away from me. I cannot think of anything more despicable.

        And yes, my ex too, told me EVERY DAY how much he adored me. In fact, he told everyone he met from the man who cut our lawn to his hairdresser how in love he was with me. But I always feared something was missing, something was wrong with this picture.

        I love that quote, Redefining, I am going to save it–“He’ll wipe away your tears and return your wasted years.”

        • oh yes, I got “I love you” and “I miss you” every day. My ex called me every single day, he emailed me every single day saying “You OK” and signing with one of those phrases. You know what that shit was? It was making sure he knew where I was, it was making sure that I wasn’t cheating on him, it was making sure I was catching him. Even after I found out about the cheating he was insanely jealous of ME. He was sick, he thought he’d beat me down so badly that he could show his true self, he could show me that he OWNED me. He didn’t own me, apparently my caring for him gave him that impression.

  • ILYBINILWY is also a minimizing tactic. By casting the situation in a passive voice , the cheater minimizes his or her shitty choices and actions.”Pay no attention to the money I stole from our child’s college account to pay for stripper. What is important is what I AM. Which is someone who loves. And who could be mad at that?”

    Also, what usually follow this statement or is at least implied is that the fault for the cheater “falling out of love” (again with the passive voice) lies with the chump.

    • I also got the ‘but I still care about you’ statement. He lied, cheated, blame shifted, pissed all over his wedding vows & broke my heart but he ‘still cared’. I’d have hated to see what he would have been capable of if he hadn’t ‘cared’.

      • I think that’s what made me the most crazy — the mixed messages of “I love you” combined with actions that were abusive. My brain had a hard time reconciling the incongruence of what he was saying vs. what he was doing.

        By the way, the reason I wrote to CL about this is because of an article written by Vikki Stark here:

        I’ve read Vikki’s book “Runaway Husbands,” so was surprised at her take on “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”

      • Alice, mine kept saying “I care for your wellbeing” as he walked out the door. It sure as hell didn’t feel like he cared. Rather, it felt like he was tossing a crumb I was supposed to feel grateful for after 36 years and 2 children together.

        • and then to top it off, they want “to remain friends.”
          I finally told me exH, no, we are not friends… talk to your therapist if you do not understand why not.

          • zyx, that’s funny. I also patiently explained to my ex that I could not be his friend. He looked really disappointed when I said that, too. Sheesh.

            • Oh yeah,

              Lots of us have that conversation.

              I did after Dday 1 and 2.

              After Dday 1: “No, we’re not going to be buddies because I can’t imagine a future Mrs TimeHeals saying, “Let’s have Ex-Mrs-TimeHeals over for dinner”.

              After Dday 2: Just shook my head no. No need to explain. I was done.

        • That’s one of things I really struggled with before I found Chump Lady. His words & actions did not match. He said he ‘loved’ me (but not in love) & that he ‘cared’ but the way he behaved before, during & after Dday were the actions of someone who really did not give a shit about anyone but himself.
          It is only recently I have accepted that he just didn’t care.

        • Mine keeps telling me ‘you can count on me, you know’ (this a year and a half after 2nd DDay and my kicking his ass out). I asked how exactly I could count on him now, since I clearly couldn’t count on him even when he was with me and supposedly loved me and was invested in our relationship and our family. He doesn’t have an answer. I guess he just likes how saying those words makes him look and feel.

          • Karen, they are the main actor in their own one-man play. They love to spout noble words, they think they are as profound and moving as Shakespeare. It’s hilarious, really, once you have the capacity and meh-ness to step back and see it for what it is. They have no ability for instrospection. They are truly pitiful (but believe me I do not waste any pity on them whatsoever). Once in a while however, I do manipulate my ex to do something for the children by pressing upon his false nobility and valiance, otherwise I am NC.

      • When I asked him how he could hate me enough to do this to me he laughed and in his patronising voice told me he didn’t hate me. I’d hate to think what he could do if he did hate me!!!!

  • I got the ILYBINILWY speech the day after I confronted him about the affair. Funnily enough he hadn’t thought to mention to me that not being ‘in love’ with me was an issue for all the months I had desperately been trying to work out what the fuck was up with him & he was denying there was anyone else.
    My personal interpretation of ILYBINILWY from my STBXH is ‘You don’t adore me enough & OW thinks I’m the sparkliest thing on the planet’.

    • Upthread, it was noted that ILYBINILWY is the speech you get at the end. It’s the speech they give either when they announce they’re riding off into the sunset with their AP or it’s the speech they give when you confront them with the affair.

      It’s the speech I’ve not heard yet, since I’ve not told STBX that he’s STBX. I’m sure he’ll be shocked, and then I’ll get the ILYBINILWY crap.

      I think I deserve the love of someone who has the ability to remain constant, to keep the fires burning, and to be a helpmate and a playmate.

  • “But to a cheater, they see a different, to their minds justifiable reason — “I’m not in love with you.” So I can cast about and love someone else. So, which came first? The falling out of love, or the permission they gave themselves to cast about?”

    This is exactly how it went for me. STBX was casting about for a very long time.

    Seems to me what they really mean is “I’m not infatuated with you anymore.”

    • I think what it really means is “You’re not in love with ME the way you should be”. I asked my STBX once what he loved about me and his reply was “the way you love me.” So I guess what I didn’t realize at the time was that I wasn’t special….I just made him feel special. As soon as the real world entered into our relationship it was the beginning of the end. He didn’t like someone having expectations or having to reciprocate being there for someone else. This I think is the nature of what they mean by I’m not IN love with you anymore. I’m not apt to give too much thought to foo issues but somewhere in that bullshit is the spoiled kid who is either looking for some validation they never got or who still thinks they’re entitled to have the world revolve around them. It’s neither reason nor justification. They just need to grow the eff up.

      • Once, during bogus reconciliation, ex and I were doing a MC exercise on what we loved most about each other. I wrote an extensive list of things I loved about him, including, to my shame, that he wasn’t afraid to follow his dreams. When he handed me his list, all he had written was, “I can’t think of anything I love best about you, and that bothers me.”

        I had TAKEN HIM BACK after his staggering infidelity, was a wonderful mother and wife for 20 years, we shared innumerable great memories and experiences, I’m smart, funny and kind, yet he couldn’t think of anything he loved about me. I’m sorry now I didn’t throw that notebook in his face and tell him to get the hell out. Instead, the bogus reconciliation limped on for a few more months.

        • You’ll have to forgive yourself (you were traumatized then), and he probably saw you as a thing. Or hardly existing. Or like my seemed to see me – as a wallet and maid!

        • Glad, have I mentioned how much I hate your ex? I think they try to break us at the very end. Then their story that their cheating did not destroy our marriages might fly.

          • Kelly, you and I have exceptionally perverted, twisted and nasty ex’s. I wish we could ship the two of them off to some deserted island, never to be seen or heard from again.

            • Yes, but they’d probably be desperate for their threesomes, we couldn’t let that happen to the innocent monkeys 🙂

        • Your comment just made me go dig out what we exchanged at our pre-marital counseling of what we were most looking forward to about our life long commitment to each other. I wrote him a long, heartfelt letter. He wrote me a list. At the time, I would have liked something a bit more…mushy…but I thought, oh, this is just his personality, so it is romantic in his own way. And I did find it sweet and funny at the time. Upon re-reading the list just now with what I have learned here, I realize most of it was what HE gets out of it, like from a selfish perspective. And he included on his list, “Dazzle her with all my talents.” I hadn’t thought he was really looking for kibbles. But maybe he was. I have always admired his talents and spoken extremely well of him to others regarding his abilities (even now) because he is exceptionally good at his work, but….maybe I didn’t stay dazzled enough for him?? I never would have thought he needed the kibbles. I had always thought he was so self-confident and self-assured.

          • OMFG! That JUST sparked (those GD Sparks!) a memory of my STBX saying one thing he was looking forward to about our marriage ( we were a VERY long distance relationship of three years that got married after a fairly short time of being TOGETHER in one place) was regular sex. REALLY?! I just thought of that. He tells me I’m beautiful and smart and funny and kind too but that should have told me everything I needed to know. That’s what “drove him to cheat” ??? I’m pretty sure it was a whore on the “get some bus” that “drove him” directly into her dirty, wide open fuck hole! (Sorry for the visual!)

      • Very true, Kat. They want to be adored. Worshipped. A big complaint of his was that I didn’t appreciate him and everything he did enough. But the thing is – I DID! It was just never, ever enough.

        • Jazzvox,

          Actually, it is THEY who don’t appreciate US enough. If THEY took out the trash ONCE back in 1997, we’re still hearing about how we never “appreciated” them for doing so.

          I’m starting to see how they change their view of us upon marriage (or another ‘committed’ relationship). Suddenly, what we say or do isn’t done out of “love” for them; it’s out of DUTY. I think they see the OW/OM as someone who “loves” them because they WANT to, and not because they’re *obligated” to do so by some piece of paper (marriage certificate/license). If we compliment them, it’s because we HAVE to. It’s part of our ‘marital obligation’, whereas, the OW/OM gives his or her ‘love’ “freely”.

          I sincerely believe that the above view they have is a big part of the attraction to the AP.

          • OMG OMG OMG OMG! SO TRUE! OW WANTS to have sex with me and touch me! She doesn’t HAVE to because I want to. She WANTS to! You do it out of OBLIGATION! If we talk about our relationship and what we felt we were missing needs wise and then work on meeting those needs its not real! It’s all forced! That’s not how a relationship works! You don’t TALK about your needs! You are a magical fairyland mind reader and you just KNOW! OR you are SO IN SYNC that you don’t need to KNOW! It just IS! You can only have a perfect relationship if you speak he same love language. Can I just stab him already?!

      • Kat, you just gave me a creepy flashback. When we were first dating and engaged, my ex used to say that he loved me because of the way I made him feel. Did not seem so odd then, but he never talked about anything else, anything personal to me. He was my only serious relationship, we were married 25 years before D-Day.

        Flash forward now, I am engaged and getting re-married next summer (to a wonderful, non sparkly fellow chump). Believe me, we each can give a list of what we love about the other, and there are specifics. For instance, I love how calm and reasonable my fiance is when dealing with a problem or an issue with his sons, I love his voice, I love his laugh, I love his sense of corny jokes, I love how he says “long story short” but then the story is still long. I realized only when I got into a real and loving relationship how shallow my ex was, how little we could truly connect, how little he really cared.

        It’s amazing in hindsight.

        • Kelly, I just mentioned above that I re-read a list/letter we exchanged during pre-maritial counseling. Your comment made me re-re-read it. You’re right! His comments were very nonspecific and did not say anything about loving me for “my laugh” or specific habits or whatever. All vague and superficial. And mostly things that were a direct benefit to him. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess…

          • Yes, I just read your above comment Northern, it’s the same thing. We were only ever a mirror reflecting their awesomeness back onto them. It was always about them, never about us.

        • why wait till next summer ?…… and here’s something cool…whay don’t you invite some fellow chumps ..we could all come to it maybe….have it in some place like Cabos and we all come for the wedding like this whole legion of chumps showing up like an army to support you …and we can all rise together to defeat the cheating enemy and show them that they are the love nazi’s and that we will not go quietly into the night…..we will turn and fight for today is our independenc…errrrr wait I think I stole that line from somewhere

  • In response to Lyn who sent CL the message for this post.

    “D-day he told me “I have so much more in common with her. All we ever had in common was the kids.” The last thing he said before walking out the door was “When I look into my future, you’re not in it.”

    I got the same sort of crap as I’m sure we all did. She said “We have nothing in common, we don’t connect, he gets me, it comes easy to him, you need to work on…, “I get depressed when I think of spending my future with you” blah blah blah Blameshift blameshift blameshift”

    Cheaters Suck!

    • Sadly, I got a special kind of cheater, not like we all didn’t in some way. Not only did he NOT want to leave me, but still wanted the girlfriends, and hey they can live with us. Cake eater extraordinaire!

      • I think that’s fairly common, Julie.

        Look, if they really wanted the girlfriends/boyfriends instead of their spouses, they’d divorce. No one bats an eyebrow at how many people you sleep with if you’re single.

        Instead, they want to stay married because they get something from the marriage: a steady paycheck, a cook, a babysitter, a nurse–basically someone who’ll do the heavy lifting for them while they go chase butterflies and fireworks with their AP.

        • Yep, he wanted the comforts of a married life, I clean the house, take care of the kids, pay the bills, and shouldn’t expect him to be around. No reciprocity at all. I do for him, and he keeps rewarding himself with more girls.

          Hell , I even got to secretly listen to OW rant to her cousin “live”( he’s my friend, and let me listen on speaker as he called her, lol) about how I’m so awful, I had 10 years to cuddle him, and why can’t I just leave him alone and take care of the kids and stay out of their way!

          • Julie, I used to read TOW, a site for OW. It was before I found Chump Lady and I couldn’t talk to anybody. Anyway I was very interested in their perspective and their thinking.
            Most of them seemed like not completely awful women. However their judgement of betrayed wives and themselves was completely twisted. They were mostly dismissive, even contemptuous of what we are going through after we discover the truth or are abandoned. Yet, when one of them was dumped or couldn’t break the relationship they would be their sweetest , most supportive selves. Very peculiar how they’ve never noticed this discrepancy.

    • Hang on….is her name Joanna? Same bloody playbook only that how he justified himself to our then 16 year old who doesn’t talk to him anymore….can’t think why?!?!

  • The night he left, I got, “I love you, but not the way a husband should love his wife. I don’t adore you. I don’t cherish you.”

    After the “but,” truer words have never been spoken.

  • ILYBNILWY is lie-speak for, “I am in lust crazed dementia and YOU just don’t ‘DO IT’ for me like you used to.”

    It is the criterion statement for a mate who has someone else–either in his head or in his bed. It is your cue to prepare to inform and protect yourself by first finding out just whom the person IS “in love” with. People seldom if ever say it without having nailed down a “soft landing” alternative to the relationship in which they are about to hit the ejector seat button OR (even more underhanded) attempt to manipulate and frustrate the loyal partner into flamboyantly pushing the button for them so that in the process the injured party gets to appear to be the “out of control” one.

    Inevitably ILYBNILWY is followed at some point by, “Can’t we still be friends?” Which means, ” Since I am both conflict avoidant and greedy, I gotta ‘verbally twerk’ this situation in order to cut financial losses and save public face”. (Ah…NO…one can’t be friends with a cheating mate. If they had been your friend, they wouldn’t have cheated.)

    CL has hammered home again and again that cheating is a choice…a decision. Cheaters will often say, “I just couldn’t help myself, one cannot control withwhom one falls, ‘in love’.” This is rank bullshit.

    Consider this scenario:

    Person is completely and justifiably enraged to the point of losing control and physically assaulting a deserving offender. Fist is raised to strike. A third party runs up yelling to enraged person, “Car thieves are around the corner trying to break into your Lamborghini.” Does enraged person (who is presumably “out of control”) continue the attack? Hell no! Enraged person instantly whirls and rushes off to cut more important loss elsewhere. Ego falls by the wayside at warp speed.

    The bottom line is:

    We ALL make decisions “in the moment” and these decisions are affected by our prioritized values. If someone cheats on you, they don’t value you enough to remain loyal. Further, there is nothing you can do to “make” them value you enough. Absolutely nothing!! Why? Because YOU are NOT the problem. The cheater is the problem. Anything that comes out of their mouths to “justify” said cheating or to try to gaslight you into being more malleable is simply further self-serving, obfuscating bullshit. Bullshit that you should promptly and totally disregard with respect to your own decision making process. (Or as my divorce attorney told me so succinctly, “This man is NOT your friend. Make logical decisions secure in this one fact.”)

    • “Inevitably ILYBNILWY is followed at some point by, “Can’t we still be friends?” Which means, ” Since I am both conflict avoidant and greedy, I gotta ‘verbally twerk’ this situation in order to cut financial losses and save public face”. (Ah…NO…one can’t be friends with a cheating mate. If they had been your friend, they wouldn’t have cheated.)”


      Also, with the dubious “friendship,” which is usually described by the cheaters as “amicable,” then the betrayed partner will always be available to serve the cheater and the OP, who is “really nice.”

  • My Ex went through a phase where he thought he was Prince Charles: “You have the house, the children and the *title* of being my wife. What else do you want? My soul in a jar?”

    He honestly said: “my soul in a jar”. Like it was some sort of bug I found and stuck in a mason jar with leaves and not enough holes punched in the top. When I realized he would think of me as some sort of warden of his precious soul, I officially gave up. How do you reason with someone like that?

    • I think I hears a song about a jar of heart on the radio recently. Clearly sung by or from the perspective of a girl in high school. Soul jar is the kind of language teenagers and romance novels use.

      • Hahahahaha! Hilarious, but also such a good point. Princess Diana left a marriage to the future King of England, for g-d’s sake, because he was a cheater and was mean to her, yet somehow life with my mean, cheating husband is irreplaceable? Perspective! And I don’t even have to do it with the world watching. I can just leave.

  • My ex used to tell me “I love you”, and then when I found out about his affair, he told me: “I always cared about you and worried about you, but the love thing is harder for me.” HUH? The love thing is harder for you?! WTF is that even supposed to mean? And he cared and worried about me alright! That’s why he cheated on me — with an STD-infested prostitute to boot — and then returned and put his filthy d*ck inside me, and put my life at risk!!!!! I swear, these people are so cold-hearted, they might as well be made of stone.

  • CL nails it, as usual. “ILYBINILWY” means nothing more than, “I’m fucking someone else, and it looks like they are stupid enough to fall hard for me, so see ya.” It makes the cheater look like they aren’t as bad as they really are, and helps to keep the chump dangling in case the cheater wants to return for some cake, or the AP doesn’t work out as they expect.

    To a cheater, “in love” means nothing more than a tingle in their pants. They have zero concept of mature love, because they are nothing but overgrown toddlers. The idea that love is not always exciting, that passion sometimes cools a bit, that fireworks and ringing bells aren’t always going to go off every time they have an orgasm….. cheaters just can’t roll with that.

  • Wow I didn’t get the I love you. I just got ‘I don’t love you any more and never will again’.

    He still wouldn’t leave, though. Still doesn’t want a divorce.

      • Just a couple of days after my ex left I passed him while driving. He smiled and waved at me like we were casual acquaintances. Honestly! I immediately spun my car around, drove to our house and sobbed while I asked how he could treat me like someone he barely knew after 36 years. His blank expressed just floored me, there must be a switch somewhere that turns off their humanity.

        • I have to deal with seeing mine on a daily basis. Our to boys go to school where she teaches. We sit on the same bleachers while my boys play sports. I have to put up with this for another 6 yrs til youngest graduates.

          • They DO have a feelings switch. That’s how they forget about you so quick! It’s located in the dick. And as soon as it’s stuck into one of those magic vaginas the switch is permanently flipped et voila ILYBINILWY comes out of their mouth! It’s like one of those pull string dolls.

  • Great discussion. All the same li(n)es repeated over and over. It’s almost like we were all cheated on by the exact same asshole! The talking points are identical!

    One recurring talking point that stands out to me and that keeps popping up in these comments is: “He/she (read: cheat partner) had NOTHING to do with me falling out of love with you!”

    As if cheaters haven’t sunk low enough, I’m absolutely AMAZED how quickly they rush to protect the reputations and moral compasses of the VERY people they were flagrantly fucking behind your back! If you didn’t know any better you’d think their cheating was just some random occurrence that just happened to totally coincidentally happen right around the same time they were falling out of love with you! Gotta love the timing! Talk about the Universe lining up exactly right! Lucky cheaters!!

    I know some cheat partners are innocents but it doesn’t really matter. In most cases the cheat partner: a) Knows your cheater is married or otherwise “taken”; b) Could give a rat’s ass. Yet look how quickly cheaters will spin and obfuscate, lie, manipulate and gas-light…all to make YOU look like the bad guy and protect THEM!

    What isn’t mentioned here is how fucking calculating and downright vicious the whole scheme is, particularly when you’re doubling over in tears; seething in agony and wondering how the FUCK in God’s Otherwise Logical Universe could your years/decades of love and devotion be so swiftly and carelessly discarded in favor of a fuck-buddy whom your cheating soon-to-be-ex has known for about 10 minutes. And ON TOP of that, the cheat partner, who 99.9% of the time is deliberately complicit in both your heartbreak and the destruction of your heart, and usually cut from rather low-class cloth. Yet the cheater acquits them right off the bat, leaving you with the impression that you’ve been dumped for either Prince Charming or Wonder Woman herself! And gee they were only there to help! It’s not HIS/HER fault you made our relationship so miserable! I’m gonna go be with them because obviously they appreciate me more than you do! He/she LISTENS!

    That truly is the mind-fuck to end all possible mind-fucks….

    Alas, “I love you but I’m not in love with you” (no unpronounceable acronyms for this chump) and “He/she had NOTHING to do with this!” is the cheater really saying: a) This is all about me; b) Look how much I matter; c) Look how much you DON’T matter; d) This is all YOUR fault; e) Look how awesome my cheat partner was to be right there to catch me. Isn’t he/she sparkly? Shame you weren’t there to catch me when I was dealing with all of this confusion and depression! Poor me!

    • Chris, I always love your insights. Awesome post. Isn’t it something how cheaters are all alike? The same bullshit flows out of all their mouths. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female, married or long-term dating, gay or straight or mixed-up fuck prancing around in a leotard. THEY ARE SO ALIKE, IT’S SCARY. I think some scientists should do a study of the cheater brain. Hook up a few of those fuckers with all sorts of probes and electrodes, then figure out what went wrong inside their heads.

      • “mixed-up fuck prancing around in a leotard”

        GIO, oh how I love that we all know this image and use it daily in our discussions here! He is a Chump Lady meme!!

      • Glad~I think you’ll have more success with a rectal exam. 😉 I don’t think it’s their brains that are the problem, but rather having their head up their ass.

      • We all know something is fucked in their wiring thats why WE are all here…WE are the scientists and the guinea pigs at the same time. Maybe I’m wrong but there is more people following this site everyday and the number of responses and stories that are so eerily identical just baffles me…….hmmmm maybe WE ARE the experiment?……ok enough of that conspiracy theory

        but when you really think about it……

    • But CHRIS!! THEY HAVE SO MUCH MORE IN COMMON THAN YOU TWO DID!!! Don’t you see? All those years and experiences you two had together–sometimes kids together–pssht! That means nothing. The brief time the cheater and OP have spent together is magical. It Is Meant To BE!

      I never got ILYBINILWY. I got, “I’m sorry, but I just never loved you. I was a bad husband. I just never loved you.” I begged him not to tell our kids this obvious truth. Would have preferred he not fuck up their brains with any of his bullshit, but I had no say. And, as it turns out, kids know. Their BS meters are pretty well-calibrated.

      I did get the “We just have so much more in common.” You see, they are soulmates. And, as Tracy alluded to, what this really means is, “We never have to pay the bills together or sit through a 2-hour piano recital together. She’s never too tired, because she has no kids and no job, and I don’t give a shit about my kids, either, so…it all just works.” He was furious with me, too, “I was going through a hard time and YOU WOULDN’T HELP ME! SHE is NICE to me!” I asked him if she knew how much money he makes, and he was offended. Of course, he ran up bills for her, and she spread her legs for him. What a twat. Thank God I thought enough to get a separation order in place before he ran up his credit cards. What a fucking idiot. And he was such a cheapskate with his own family.

      He wouldn’t know love. He chose an alcoholic BPD over his family.

        • I have it on good authority that BPD alcoholics are almost as irresistible as video-game-addicted middle-aged anti-social borderline alcoholics with a family history of dementia, or aging hipsters who lose their middle-management jobs and decide to go “off the grid” and force their families to live in small shacks with furniture fished from dumpsters and cook on propane stoves in the backyard (two of my ex-wive’s APs).

          Stupid, stupid cheaters.

          ROTFLMHRAO (rolling on the floor laughing my happily remarried ass off).

        • It’s very true in clinical mental health practice that a borderline personality disorder is attracted to a narcissistic personality disorder. Happens quite often. Why? Well that’s a paper in itself but it’s about boundaries, often the hypersexual nature of people who have borderline personality and the need for validation for the narcissist. It’s a match made in hell.

          • I would not describe my ex as NPD. He was more of the needy, passive-aggressive, anti-social type. BPDs can light a fire in the needy. A normal guy would run like hell away from that sort of crazy. OW in my case also is very pretty and blonde. xH LOVES blondes. His birth mother and adoptive mother are both blondes and I am sure this has something to do with the attraction. I have never been blonde. It was never going to work out.

        • Same here Tracy, my ex’s long term (17 year) “main” OW, is either borderline, histrionic or both, and an alcoholic. She was willing to have a long term affair with my ex while pretending to be a family friend and sharing her best friend with my ex as well. As soon as I kicked my ex out, she abandoned her husband and sons announcing that she and my ex were the “loves of each others’ lives” and getting married immediately.

          Alas, none of that has panned out for them as of yet. Ex has moved on to younger and dumber women and kicked her and her friend out of his consulting business.

          As they age, this combination becomes more and more horrifying. The neediness and delusions of the borderline is a perfect counterpart for the grandiosity and lies of the NPD/ASPD.

          • What filth. The only bright side is seeing their lives swirl further and further down the toilet bowl of life, until they finally flush away like the turds that they are. Am I a bad person for admitting I LOVE hearing stories here of things not working out the way the cheaters and their APs thought they would?

            • I’m with you Glad. Very un-Meh of us, but I am always happy to share and cheer up myself and my fellow chumps! 🙂

            • well GIO if you love hearing karma stories my story of her epic fail is an Oscar winner for sure then but to put all her fucked up bizarre shit into a 2 hour movie couldn’t happen it would be more of a mini series …I will call it ” The Walking Twat”….get a comfy seat and some popcorn LOL

        • It’s the INSANE obsessive drama mixed with semi out of control drinking just to make it FUN! Because our marriage isn’t fun anymore! ?

    • Chris,

      This is the perfect description of what happened to me. The sameness of these disordered flaming turds from Satan’s ass is just mind-boggling. Is there some type of school they attend? Some type of manual they read from prior to embarking on their cheating careers? There has to be some kind of condition that causes so much commonality.

    • Here’s what it is, Chris on the How Could They question — chumps traffic in connection and cheaters traffic in kibbles. You felt connected by your shared history. Your ex would trade it all for the glory of kibbles.

      Basic values schism.

      • Wow, CL,this is brilliant and I think we need a blog post expanding on this connection vs kibbles schism. You just made me realize why I can’t stop the “WHY??” I hope I can use this well articulated truth to do some further healing.

        • Yes What, that “why” is something that literally survives everything, including Meh, probably including my re-marriage. It’s like a cockroach or something. I still periodically want to know, although intellectually I DO know.

          • I think we all intellectually know why, but we still wonder not exactly on the specifics, but more so on how someone could be that selfish.

            • To me the question is, how could you be so disrespectful? I put all I had into our marriage, loved him truly and deeply. I NEVER would’ve done that to him. Why the hell couldn’t he have just said, I don’t love you anymore and we could have called it quits. Still painful but I wouldn’t have wasted 5 more years trying to figure out what was wrong, and finding out he was fucking around the entire time. Ugh.

      • That’s depressing in its truth. I am all about connection and relationships… I knew he put less priority on his relationships with his family and friends (but I thought it was different with me. Sigh.), but….I guess I just didn’t realize the extent of how little he values connection.

    • Chris, This- is so true- “I’m absolutely AMAZED how quickly they rush to protect the reputations and moral compasses of the VERY people they were flagrantly fucking behind your back!”

      It reminds me when my STBX’x ho-worker was bold/ stupid enough to call his cell phone during our dinner time( I didn’t know she existed up until this point, he had only said to me he wanted a divorce). He said,” oh it’s that number that keeps hanging up, I’m not going to answer it”. I said , “Just answer it and tell them to F-off”. Well I answered it and the person wouldn’t speak to me, total silence. So I wrote down the number on a piece of paper to “research” later. He freaked out! He grabbed his cell phone put in his pocket then ripped the portion of paper with the cell number off and by God he chewed it and swallowed it! Needless to say, I started digging and found out just who called. Never underestimate the detectives skills of a scorned women!

      • Chewed it and swallowed it? Oh. My. God. That is f*cking hilarious.

        Don’t you wish you it was defective paper that had been accidentally sprayed with a poisonous substance? I’m recalling a Seinfeld episode and George’s wedding invitations.

        • I didn’t see the Seinfeld episode. But I do wish in hindsight I wrote that cell number in bigger numbers! It was about a two by one inch piece he ripped off but it was thick colored craft paper! So pathetic!

      • I immediately wrote the number on my arm, entered it my phone and sent it as a message to a friend. And only then did I confront. She just cried and said he was irrelevant and he was pressuring her. What a load of crap. She was fully on board. It’s just sick psychopathic behaviour.

    • Well said Chris once again. My ex down to a tee.

      It took me a year to establish what a mindfuck this all is and two seemingly intelligent people are so fucked. They have some what lost a huge amount of respect and comfort with their respective children. Just the time spent with their children is mind boggling.

      I tell groceries to get a stop watch and log the time spent with our two sons and then the time spent with chainsaw man ( I hope you guys don’t think for one nano second this guy looks like a lumberjack.- exactly the opposite- unfit and bodgy ). I then suggest she convert the data into a pie graph and make a fucking big poster and put it in her living room and see if she can improve the ratio of time spent with the boys. I’m seriously thinking of buying her a stop watch for Xmas.

      • Baci, you’re such a good dad, and it’s nice to see how well you’re handling your ex-wife’s absent/awful parenting of your sons. I’m about to become a single mom and the prospect of my son’s dad disappearing from his life is and has been the single factor holding me back, so I totally empathize with how challenging that must be. I have to tell you, though, every time I see you reference your ex-wife as “groceries” I totally crack up, even though I don’t know the origin of that nickname for her. It’s so funny! It makes me want to come up with a nickname like that for my husband.

        • The origin is the movie Eat Prey Love. A older man in the movie calls her Groceries. I don’t want to call her dog breath, or any of the other names sometimes mentioned on these blogs. Groceries shows a bit of respect.
          Yesterday was our youngest 14th birthday. He stayed with groceries on Friday night without any mates and as soon as he had come home in the morning chainsaw man turned up. I thought you cruel selfish bastard. Couldn’t even let our son spend the day.
          4 of his mates arrived in the afternoon to stay and since it was pissing down took them to indoor bowling. Beforehand though I invited Groceries. I have an order that I can’t go within 50 meters of the house and we haven’t spoken sensibly for many months but I thought fuck it, it’s a birthday and she needs to do something and be involved. We didn’t speak but even through what has happened I thought it a good gesture. It was uncomfortable maybe but went off without a hitch.
          Becoming a solo parent is scary at first.

          I like the reference to fear. We can fear what is going to happen but when it does its often much better but often never worse than what we feared. Don’t get me wrong I’m the first to admit I was and often full of fear. Yesterday I thought wouldn’t it be great to be a family once more but you’ve got to accept fate and the hand we are dealt.

          We have no control over the cheaters or their attitude and behaviour. I’m no shining light but you’ve just got to average it out. It’s ok to cry and its ok to communicate age appropriately with the kids. A lot of its seat of the pants. And it’s important to take time out from the kids and just rest or exercise.
          Being a solo parent gives a total new connective ness with your kids. Embrace it. Most importantly be emotional available.

  • I got a mean version of this.

    STBX (the divorce keeps dragging on and on) told me he loved me, even after DDay. Even after seeing me miserable because of his affairs. Even after making it clear that he would not give up the OW, at least not for me or because I was asking. Even after I filed for divorce (it’s just a piece of paper, he told me. We’ll always have our relationship).

    And then, after he had been kicked out of the house by my family (a long year after DDay), after he had been living with OW for about a month (during which I filed), he proceeds to tell me:

    “Since 2002, when I was first involved with someone (else), I have been falling out of love with you, and now I’m no longer…”

    I didn’t let him finish. I was screaming at that point and felt like passing out (just like when he first told me he was involved with someone else – a student at the school where he taught, no less). I understand the “I couldn’t help myself” reasoning at that point – I grabbed a pair of scissors that was near me and started stabbing at my wrist. He restrained me and wrestled the scissors out of my hand.

    And then he left, back to OW.

    And at least I finally realized, at that point, that I was done with him.

    Because at that point (October 23, 2012), he had been “falling out of love” with me for 10 years.

    10 years in which he NEVER bothered to tell me that he was “falling out of love” with me; 10 years that were filled with “I love yous” from him to me. 10 years in which he decided he wanted another kid (strange, how someone can have a child with someone they are “falling out of love” with!). 10 years in which he enjoyed having a wife who cooked and cleaned for him, who took care of the kids and nearly everything in the house, who presented well in public to his teacher friends.

    He left me crumpled up on the ground, sobbing.

    Shortly thereafter I found this website.

    And now?

    Well now, I live in a bigger house, just the kids and me. I’m working. I get time to myself on the weekends. Things are fairly calm.

    He and the OW fought a lot – seems she didn’t like having the work of taking care of him dumped on her. And when she needed him to stand by her, he couldn’t be bothered. She dumped him and he promptly went back online and found someone else to screw around with (whom he went on a “date” with, with our son in tow – the same thing he did with OW when they were first together). The OW actually apologized to me, after that, for cheating with him and hurting me and the kids.

    And after all that, the STBX asked me if he could move back in with me.

    To which I said, “Okay, stop right there. Our marriage is OVER. Our relationship is OVER. You are NEVER living with me again. You were the one who fell out of love with me. So don’t even THINK about it.”

    Too bad he fell out of love. Now he can live with the consequences of his actions.

    • Really:
      What a complete douche bag! I am surprised you weren’t tempted to stab HIM with the scissors instead of yourself. That’s what I would like to do – stab my STBXH between the eyes with a pair is scissors! Of course, I wouldn’t do it – But, the feeling to want to do it is definitely there. I also fantasize about him driving off a cliff! We have already hurt ourselves enough by staying and drinking hopium punch in order to try to save the marriage for the sake of our family. They are not worth us hurting ourselves anymore.
      They are not worthy of even being in our presence. They are not worthy of seeing us or speaking with us or even knowing us.
      That is the hard part for me – I want him out of my life completely. I still feel stuck because he is the father of my kids. He will never go completely away. Come to think of it – Does anyone have an extra pair of scissors I can borrow? 🙂

      • “They are not worth us hurting ourselves anymore.”


        Without CL who knows how long it would have taken me to see this. I’m here every day, reading every response.

        I’m counting down the time until the youngest is 18 and I can go complete NC. 8 years, 5 months, 17 days…

    • Yeah, it’s really hard to claim falling out of love while making another child. Even if it’s true that the “LURV” feeling isn’t there for them, whatever that means, then your ex knowingly perpetrated a fraud. I’m sorry Really. What a jackass. Mine married me and knocked me up in the middle of cheating and the reasons change all of the time. Thank god I got pregnant after our wedding and not a week before or he could also claim I forced him to marry me or some such bullshit.

      • Yes, my ex did knowingly do just that. It was his idea to have our third child, 4 years after he had started his affairs. Sociopaths probably consider it a good insurance policy should you suspect them or god forbid catch them. It worked for my ex.

  • Aaahhh…I hit submit…

    Thank you, Chump Lady, for writing what you write and saying what you say. You’ve made a world of difference in my life.

    • (((((Really))))) I’m so glad you found us.

      And a pox on your ex, and his teenage student OW. (Although she’s a messed up kid, okay send her pox to her Daddy substitute there).

      He’s not worth the scissors!

  • I got the same BS(bull shit) along with MS(more shit) and PHD(piled higher & deeper) too.
    H said “I’m not in love with you, never was and never will be”
    Interesting that he then said “You are my best friend, great wife, and we have wonderful relationship”.
    Talk about mixed up messages, most friends say that if he had all that WTF else does he want?
    Well, he wants his soulmate of course and he only loves me like a sister, only married because I’m his best friend, and great sex etc.

    I currently hate him, not been able to get to the Meh stage, don’t even know If I ever will.
    H is a liar, cheater, deceiver, adulterer, stealer now, and prior to BD he was the best man I ever knew.

    I wasted 22 yrs loving someone who never really loved me.

  • “I love you but I’m not in love with you” is the upgraded version of the middle school “I like you but I don’t like like you.” Notice I say upgraded not adult. Grown ups down act this way. This is done by kids who don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or “adult” children who don’t want to hurt their own ego.

    • I love this. Very true.

      My STBX said this to me. My response was, “WTF? You said you loved me, gave me a beautiful anniversary present and card. Since when?” I tried really hard to figure this out. What did he mean? How could this be? Hmmm..

      It was cheaterspeak for, “I’m having an affair and well, gosh golly, I don’t have the guts to tell you and end this with any decency so I’ll just keep mindfucking. Who knows, I might be in love with you again…so I’ll keep my options open.”

      In the future should anyone say this load of crap to me I’ll be a lot wiser. I won’t spend as much time trying to figure out the bull and say, “OK, I need someone who doesn’t act like a 12 year old. Bye.”

  • My STBX told me he loved me every day. I told him he must’ve added “like a doormat” in his head in order for it to be true. He said I was his best friend. Who fucks around on his best friend?!? I feel completely duped and betrayed. I spent 2/3 of my life with this asshole/dickwad. Ugh.

    The thing is, as soon as I found out about the relationship (I refuse to say affair, as that just doesn’t cover 4+ years of cheating) I fell out of love myself. I am completely repulsed by him and disgusted he ever touched me. I’m sure there were other affairs I didn’t know about. I hate most that I lost 5 years after I accused him the first time and he lied to me about it. I just want those 5 years back!! But no…6 months in and just wanting to be healed from this misery and move on. Sigh…

  • OK, so they all speak the same crazy foreign language. Cheatsi? Narcish? It doesn’t matter what we call it, it will NEVER make sense to us chumps because it does not make sense. It would be like talking in tongues. Even with a Cheatsi/English dictionary, after hours of painful translation, the messages are gibberish. And they have been studying this language since puberty.

    The subject of taking care of a sick cheater is one I know well. You know that expression about “either be a good example or a terrible warning? Let me be the Terrible Warning!! My Ex started a long-term affair 10 years ago. After 3 years, I found out. Pick-Me-Dancing for a few more years before he left and moved 1000 miles away to live with OW#1. After 2 years of fighting the divorce because living with OW is not all it’s cracked up to be, he is diagnosed with a serious illness. He comes back, telling me he wants to work things out. He is on my health insurance that pays better for in-state care and I happen to have also bought him long-term disability insurance that will now come in mighty handy. But despite his coming back, he wasn’t back. Phone calls to OW#1 for hours every day (never broke up) and then starting an affair with OW#2 on a different coast. What I learned: they are narcissistic. They want their kibbles. Having a serious illness is one more justification for cheating. He wants the bucket-list life all day every day and he deserves it!! I struggled with the “in sickness and in health” promises I’d made. But ironically OW#2 is a nurse!! How perfect! works its magic one more time!

    Lastly, psychotherapy literature talks about the perfect match of the narcissist and the borderline personality. It’s one of those established patterns of relationship that works in a dysfunctional way. Toxic but common. Entire books are written about it. We chumps are too normal to understand!

  • Mine was “I love you like a family member” and a few days later “If I can’t love you, then it isn’t fair to you…or to me…I have your best interest at heart.” Barrrrfffffffff!!!!!!

    • Oh, yeah, that’s another classic:

      “It wouldn’t be fair to you” because it’s really your best interests they are thinking of . They’re doing you a favor really.

      I got that one too. Twice. With backsies/do-overs in between.

      Funny thing, is once you are done … they did do you a favor by setting you free from dishonest, double-speak BS, gaslighting, and manipulation.

      That isn’t remotely what they meant though; they meant you are just too dense (bless your heart) to understand true love (Irony? Projection?), and that the lying, deception, dishonesty and generally bad character should be overlooked because now you are free to be as enlightened as them.

      • Yep. My ex told our then 13-year-old son many times how having his dad walk out on the family was really in all of our best interests. Ex was actually doing son a FAVOR, because living in an intact home with a mother and father who could not agree on how many weeks to play Christmas music each year was CHILD ABUSE.

        I also repeatedly got the speech about how dumping me for OW was really all for my benefit, in my best interests, blah blah blah. Now that a few years have gone by, I know that it’s TRUE, it really WAS the best thing for me, but of course, ex didn’t give a shit about me ever, and was only following his own selfish pursuits.

        • I got, “You deserve better.” At the time I just wanted to say, “But all I want is you,” but thankfully I held that in and actually said, “I know.”

          • Did you get mind reading (the kind where you are being told what you think, and it’s completely wrong) too?

            I got a lot of that. Thing is, I don’t know a lot about a lot of stuff, but I am pretty sure what I am thinking, and I am sure when somebody tells me I am thinking something else that they are full of crap and trying to play some Jedi mind-control game w/me 🙂

            • No, I don’t think he tried to tell me what I thought. But I do think he expected me to be able to read his mind a bit…that I should have known some things that he hadn’t really made clear in words.

        • I was told that I should appreciate what happened. Now I could go on and really become my best self, that marriage to him had been holding me back. If that was the case, why did it take over 25 years of marriage for him to reach that conclusion and why did he think he knew what I needed better than I did? His tone was so condescending that I wanted to punch him in the throat, but I didn’t.

          What he said is no doubt true, but it was his way of making his rancid, selfish, uncaring behavior appear – to himself – to be motivated out of both of our best interests. What a monkey’s asshole he is!

        • My ex told me he was doing me a favor and I could now be the writer and painter I always wanted to be. I actually think he expected me to thank him for his kindness of dumping me

          • How did he think he was holding you back from that? (Ah, wait…I am trying to make sense of this kind of behavior…) Sigh.

      • I whole-heartedly agree. MY best interest is NOT what he had in mind when he chose to screw her and abandon me.

        My therapist tells me that since OW grew up with out a Dad, she know has “Daddy issues” and she was also cheated on by her ex. She has become a husband poacher so that she can validate her self worth. I don’t think she has HIS best interest at heart. He’ll find out the hard way eventually (bless his heart -heheheh).

        I am DONE with him and am starting to see the favor he did for me!

  • It’s always for your best – they care enough about you to dump you 🙂 same speech with the I’m doing this BECAUSE I love you – what a lie.

    They do speak a very different language from us.

    • I guess if they say such things, they’re being “nice guys” in their f**ked up minds. This entire thing has made me feel dirty. I feel icky for sleeping with XH for 18 years and not knowing the REAL him. I feel icky that he was banging OW behind my back and while I was recuperating from ACL reconstruction. Bomb drop was on the way home from the airport when we spread my Mom’s ashes in Hawaii and had a funeral service for her (she passed away unexpectedly 10 months before). He told me “if only I could have felt a spark for you during our trip!” OMG, I feel so sick!

  • Back when I was in therapy post DDay breakup, my therapist told me that the problem with my ex is he doesn’t know the difference between puppy love and real love, and since he doesn’t know the difference, he doesn’t know how to transition from one to the other in a relationship.

    Then she explained to me that puppy love is the new relationship jitters. The butterflies, the excitement, the thrilling passion, which, what mature adults know, doesn’t last and doesn’t make for good long-term. Mature adults know how to go from “in-love” to “loving.”

    Loving is long-term. It’s strong. It lasts through hard times. It respects. People who are in a loving relationship know how to communicate with each other and they know how to keep that love for each other even when things are not super exciting. Loving is what makes real commitments.

    She said that I would never have that with my ex. Not because of me, but because of him. Wisest thing she ever said and I’ve carried that with me ever since she said it. It was probably the pivotal point in my therapy with her.

    Which is why, when cheaters say this, it’s worthless. Because they don’t even know what they are saying. They think being in puppy-love is the important, long-term thing (what they THINK they have with their AP’s). And it’s just a huge load of bullshit when they say “I love you” because they just have no concept of that. They conflate puppy love with loving and loving with pretty much nothing. Because if they valued loving, the kind of which holds couples together for years, none of us would be CL members.

    • Kara,
      My therapist told me the same. There is a difference between puppy love and mature love. Sadly, some people will never be able to understand the difference.

    • Very true. Right after dday, I tried explaining the difference between infatuation and mature love to my ex. I realized that for him, infatuation is supposed to last FOREVER and if the spark is gone, there is no more love. Yet he used to say he wanted to grow old with me. I tried to explain that if he wants to grow old with someone that his insistence on perpetual infatuation wasn’t compatible with that desire. That life-long love has phases and stages and infatuation like at the beginning just doesn’t last forever. I don’t think he got anything out of what I had to say. There’s no convincing him that the excitement and sparks won’t last forever, even if you are with the love of your life. He just decides that if the sparks are gone, that person was clearly not the love of his life after all.

      • My ex to a T. That’s why he keeps trying and trying with new folks, but cheats each time with his married high school love of his life. In his head, if it was twu luv, then it would be able to overcome the test of the perpetual whore. It doesn’t? It clearly wasn’t meant to be in the first place, sorry chump#xx.

      • This sort of stuff irritates the living daylights out of me. Sure, the sparks aren’t flying 24/7, but I still have memories of my father looking at my mother after giving her a cute nightie for Valentine’s Day. They’d been married for nearly 50 years by that time–and well past the age where most people think sex slows down. However, they always took time to take care of each other, even if it was something as simple as a cup of coffee at a fast food place, or a bit of reading to each other at bedtime.

        STBX never wants to take that time out for just us. I bet that a fair number of our cheaters have resisted the suggestion that they take time to have fun as a couple away from the house, kids, dogs, etc.

        Then they turn around and complain that “we’ve grown apart. We don’t have sparks anymore.”

        No kidding!

        In a strong marriage, both partners work at it. We Chumps are the only ones working on our marriages, and then our cheaters blame us for the fact that they’re the ones who’ve checked out.

      • My STBX is a gold digging, wants to have the good life, 57 year old man child. He wants to be able to spend money freely, and thus, wants the security of being with someone with a comfortable amount of disposable income. He loves to role play (thus, his soiree with the prostitutes) so basically, if the woman has enough money, he creates his role and her role and they both play, even though she doesn’t know that he’s actually playing a role. She believes it is real. The problem will arise when they have to be together on a daily basis. They don’t even reside in the same state now, so it’s all fun and games. He is classic covert NPD, so he won’t be able to consistently maintain the mask the role requires when they move in together.

        It is apparent that he has no clue what real love even looks like. He only understands infatuation, thrills, fun and minimal responsibility – he equates that with love and happiness.

      • Exactly! They can’t understand that infatuation isn’t love and that infatuation fades. They just can’t deal. It’s like they watched an overblown romantic comedy and got the impression that THAT is how love is supposed to be, but it clashes with reality.

        • It’s all because they are focused ONLY inward – what do I need? Let’s talk about my needs, me, me, me. I tried an experiment the last couple of weeks we were together, I’d start talking about how he might be able to make me happier, and define what I needed. Every time he either panicked and left the room or just stared at me like I was speaking alien! Hah, there’s my answer! Incapable of thinking of anyone but himself.

  • So true. 12 years together, and only recently did he tell me , he only felt in love with me way back when we were first dating, the butterfly stage. Oye …..F’ing moron. Let’s see how long the new chick lasts in that stage.

    I’m just so elated everyday though, that I am no longer and will never do the “pick me dance” again!!!!

    • Some of them realize that there is no such thing as everlasting butterflies (they’re called butterflies for a reason, maybe, because their life span is short?) , but too little too late, after having cheated on their wives/gfs, and gone off with the OW. But now that they’ve burnt their bridges, they can no longer come back to ex-wife/ex-gf, and if they are above a certain age and not very secure about their ability to land another girl (narcissists are very insecure, deep down), they might settle for OW. For at least a while. But don’t be fooled by appearances: on the surface everything might seem to be fine between them, but I can assure you, he is making her life hell, especially if he is a narcissist. Usually, though, OW are messed up as well, so they will put up with most of that for a long time. I mean, they’ve GOT to be messed up, if they actually believe that he ONLY cheated on his ex-wife/ex-gf and will NOT cheat on her…. once a cheater always a cheater, IMO.

      • Lara, you’re describing my ex’ perfectly. He was resentful that real life intervened in his dream of perfect love w/me, he saw NO reason to put any effort or appreciation into our relationship, and he went running to somebody new (twice) when the consequences of that lack of effort got too high for him (which believe me, was not very high at all!).

        Then he tried to come back, twice so far, and it didn’t work. NOW he seems to be realizing the value of what he threw away, not just me and our relationship, but his kids, the esteem of his family and friends, the life we had built together. Guess what happens when you burn your bridges? Somehow his perfect lurv w/the OW isn’t working out either, surprise surprise! And despite being fairly young (45 – I’m 54, so that looks young to me!), very good looking (and with that great baritone voice) and smart w/a good job, he has ZERO confidence about meeting women. Every woman he’s ever been with hit on him big time (including me).

        He’s made it clear he’s ‘settling’ with the OW, has stayed w/her so far because nothing better has yet arrived on a silver platter. He’s, of course, still the selfish, critical asshole he’s always been. He’s also made it clear he’s perfectly willing to cheat on her. What a prize!

        And the OW is paying for her own narc decisions; yes, I will have a huge EA and break up my marriage, then that affair will crumble, so then I will hit on this good looking guy who I know is married, and everything will work out wonderfully!

        Man, they all suck. The hardest to take is that he wants ME to have compassion for him because his life is so hard now. Me, of all people ….

      • Oh the OW have to be messed up. I notice he goes for soft quiet type, who don’t fight back, hmmm….This latest one is in an “open” relationship with him, except she’s not allowed to be with anyone else! Bwah!! That’ll work out well!! Funny how she saw what he was willing to do to me, but of course excuses it away and thinks things will be different with her. They probably are different, but he’s still a selfish a-hole and he’ll rain down his crazy on her soon enough. Oh I wish I could see that. 🙂

  • Do any of them confess that they messed up? In a true, remorseful, heartfelt way? It seems that most of the time they continue to be assholes and deny any culpability for their actions…

    • Cheaters are usually entitled assholes, and many if not most of them are narcissists.. I have NEVER heard a narcissist apologize. My ex certainly never did. Not even a semblance of an apology (not talking about “I’m sorry”!). His apologies were all in the form of “I didn’t mean to hurt you, but you hurt yourself with me”….. LOL!

      • I don’t think they can be remorseful or heartfelt. They are NOT LIKE US. True narcissists have a deep self-hatred, so when you reject them, rather than look inside they project that hatred onto you. That’s why they can’t apologize.

      • Oh my God, that is pathetic – it’s good to be able to laugh about their brand of crazy!

        I asked my therapist if ex was a narcissist, he said he didn’t think so, but that his behavior was narcissistic and abusive after d-day. Previously, he was a nice guy. As he pointed out during one of his narcissistic rants, “I was good to you!”. Guess that makes cheating and all of this other stuff justifiable. sighhhhhhh….

        • Well. Speak of the devil. My narc ex has reappeared. Requesting kibbles. He knows I’ve blocked his numbers, so he got his co-worker to call me. They’re in my city for work, so his friend told me he wants to meet up with me. Pretty sure narc ex is also there. The nerve he has to get his friend to call me…. I guess he thinks I won’t tell him off in front of his co-worker — or is hoping that I would , so that I will look like the crazy one.. Ex’s co-worker didn’t say ex was going to be there, though, but I am pretty sure he will be, because that guy had probably deleted my number from his phone a year ago. That’s how long we haven’t talked, even though he had been in my city several times and he never bothered to contact me to hang out (which makes sense since we only hung out when my ex was also around). UGH. He said he’d call me tomorrow. I will ask him tomorrow if he’s going to be joined by anyone, and if he will be, I will decline the offer to meet up. When I do meet up with him, I will avoid all talk of my ex, as I am sure he will report back to him.

          • Actually, come to think of it, I will avoid/ignore them both. No need for drama in my life. I’ve been feeling so good lately and this is no time for setbacks.

            I just hope I don’t run into my ex on the street over the next week, since he literally stays a few buildings away from me when he usually drops by for work.

            • Yes, Lara, that seems like the best thing to do! Why hang out with X’s friend? It WOULD set you back and really what’s the point? X is only trying to get some drama going, or his friend is, and who needs that?

              • I agree Lara, you have no obligation to be “nice” to an asshole, or even to someone who you don’t want to be around. Just say you are busy, buhbye

            • I agree with Jax, every time you engage them, it is a set back for the chump. Not dealing with their crazy is the ONLY way to escape their dark, screwed up world!

    • The closest ex ever came to apologizing was a text he sent me a year or so ago. He wrote, “I’m sorry for blaming you for things.” Kind of a vague apology, no? Ridiculous, too, because first of all, I’m not the one who lied and cheated, so shouldn’t have been blamed to begin with, and secondly, of course he still blames me for everything. Narcs like him always do. He’s never been sorry for anything, and he never will be.

      • I got, “Sorry to do this to you and your family so close to when your Mom died”…and in an email “I know that I’ve hurt you more than can ever be repaired, but I do care about you and your future….You need a man that can care for you and be good to you, and I don’t feel that I can be that person”.

    • Mine has said over and over that he messed up (when he had all kinds of sex with the neighbor). I do think he means it, he does know it stuck a fork in our very long marriage. But then, he just couldn’t stay away from her, and claimed she was now his friend. This part just killed me, and continued his double life since I won’t be anywhere near her. Deal-killer!
      So, truly remorseful, but not willing to give her up? Makes no sense. Well, the only sense it makes is a deep foundational problem with us from the get-go, that he runs a dictatorship and I had fewer and fewer rights the longer we lived together.
      And today at 3:00 I’m flying to my new life, new place to live, to try and get over all this!

        • PattyToo, good luck in the new start & don’t worry about that “we’re just friends now” bullshit. My ex said the same thing and it was just a lie, like all the other lies. Go GIRL, leave his sorry ass behind.

      • Good luck PattyToo!

        Mine never said he messed up, in fact, he has denied the relationship to this day (although I got confirmation from the OW). So no apology either. But I don’t know what’s worse–not admitting to anything or claiming he messed up and then continuing to be a “friend” to the OW. They’re all despicable!!

        I’m 4 months into a new apartment, new job (new city for about a year). It’s a lot to take in, and I’ve had a devastating year otherwise (dad and brother died, mom very ill), even beyond DDay in May. But I’m making it and I know you can too. I feel like I am healing more every day (okay, I have my setbacks, like this weekend –it’s my birthday and it’s depressing!). I think all the “firsts” will be tough (first birthday without the asshole, first Thanksgiving without dickly, first Christmas without the fuckhead) but after that, we have a NEW YEAR to look forward to.

        Hugs to you on your journey into a new life and sanity! I just know 2014 will be better for all of us!

        • Today is your birthday? My wish for you is that this year turns into a happy year of new beginnings and that you heal from all the many losses you have faced this past year. I am sorry you are going through all this, but I wish you all the very best in this new year with a new chance at life.

          • Thank you so much for the healing wishes, NL. The bday is tomorrow, and I’m grateful I’ll spend part of it with my son and his girlfriend.

            • Thank you all my Chump friends! You really mean the world to me!
              Yesterday was my birthday, and it was the day I said so long to him. I won’t lie, it’s emotional, but I deserve happy and peaceful, and I’m gonna get it!
              I’ll blow you all a kiss the first time I go to the beach!

              • Dear PattyToo,
                Many X’s and 0’s to you for your birthday….and although it may seem impossible, words like Birth Day have taken on a whole new meaning. It’s very cool in some ways…now just to get through the end of the year, thanks to CL and you all….I actually am starting to look forward to “Chumpmas” something I haven’t felt over Christmas for many many years…

              • Happy Birthday PattyToo- by this time next year I hope you have fully moved on to a happier life.

              • Thank you! The next year has got to be better than this one, so let’s call that fantastic! I am so grateful for this site CL. It has helped me immensely.

        • Dear David,
          You are so right. It wasn’t till after about 2 years I found out he had 2 kids he never saw and owed over $60,000. child support for, plus he hadn’t seen/talked to his Mom in 20 years. Of course it was the horrible, horrible 3 women (Kids Mom’s and his Mom) that brought all this about. And of course by that time I was head over heels in love and had been living with him for those 2 years. And of course I lovingly convinced him to try and repair all the damage by reconnecting him to his Mom and helping him pay back child support and for him to have contact with the kids.
          Betrayal and abandonment indeed. That about sums it up – Wise words!

    • 4 months after d day, mine keeps sending apologetic love filled texts every second day….. That just makes NC that much tougher to keep up.

      He says all the right things…. But doesn’t Change the creepy double life he lived !

      I don’t know if they even know the meaning of the words true, remorse and heartfelt !

    • Cindy, what’s that saying? If their lips are moving, they’re lying. If they’re being nice, they want something. That’s my motto.

    • Mine has given the real apology. That this is the worst thing he’s ever done. If he could take it all back he would. He fucked everything up. It’s all ruined because of him. Eventually when we argue or whatever he wants to blame me for not enough sex making him feel rejected which made him feel I wasn’t in love with him. Which made him fall “out of love” and then he HAD to find OW. But I reject that and talk him back to “but I never stopped loving you so how can that be true?” And eventually he circles back to it wasn’t actually MY fault. But it is an endless circle of blame. And once he’s not around arguing with me I’m sure he blames me again and again.

  • These NPD characters have their own form of doublespeak. Everything is qualified and everything they do/say is dedicated to covering up their weaknesses. I posted in the previous comment about how NPD abandoners have this need to destroy the evidence of their previous family involvement. Having their betrayals and failures become obvious is abhorrent/deeply threatening to their fragile sense of self. This “I still love you, but I’m not in love with you” doublespeak is another con, designed to camouflage actions that are really better described as betrayal and abandonment.

    • D, my STBX is a NPD abandoner. Gave up his adult kids along with me because they were angry at him, and he refused to apologize/own up to any of it. Will be interesting going forward to see what kind of a life he puts together. Obviously he will live a lie, because who would choose to befriend/be in a relationship with someone who is a serial cheater. His whole new life will be a lie.

  • Mine told me he married me because it was the “right thing to do.” Moving in was his idea. Getting married was his idea. Going into Tiffany’s to try on rings was his idea. Proposing was his idea. By the way, I wasn’t knocked up, so there was certainly no rush. I did want to get married. But I never pushed. I never asked. I never gave ultimatums. So it is a little unclear to me how it was the “right thing to do.” I let him dish the nugget, take his ball, and go crawl back to his parents house.

      • My ex re-wrote our entire history. It’s all the same shit, it’s amazing. I didn’t want a relationship when I met my ex, I was very happily single, dating, enjoying my life without a partner. He pursued me and was extremely good at it. but after the cheating, the first thing he said to the MC was “I never loved her, she pursued me relentlessly so I gave in.” He said RELENTLESSLY over and over. I was stunned, the truth is I met him, fucked him and didn’t expect to ever see him again. And for a year (when he wouldn’t give up) I treated him as a booty call, let him know in no uncertain terms that is all it was. But over time I came to care for him, eventually love him. I now realize it’s because he listened to every word I said and used it to treat me better than anyone ever had before. That changed over time of course, to be exactly the opposite, he started using everything he knew about me to hurt me.

        Oh, and my other favorite bullshit he spouted was how the OW was so nice and how I’d like her myself – how the OW was only trying to help him with the problems in our marriage. WOW, thank you so much! “She’s a friend, she is just helping me deal with you and our problems”.

        • Wow DDW,
          That was all I was looking for too….but I was in a really bad place in my life and he snuck in till I really trusted him then coiled himself around me in the (false) shape of everything any girl could ever want.
          The “strong – silent” type he could continue his snake in the grass behavior because he never did PDA’s and I just accepted that was him, and respected him for it. Just found out recently he was living with a prostitute (actually a crack whore…sorry I hate saying that) and just moved out one day to move in with me.

          I spent many happy years single, weren’t they great? But this one drew me like a magnet, and after 13 years I didn’t give a fuck anymore and he kept pushing and pushing and I was broke, exhausted, bewildered and in a severe depression and then started fighting back just to survive he paraded new models in my face and wouldn’t move out while saying to all… was Toni WHO?

          Sorry for the vent, but I SO get you. Thank You….XO

          • Toni, it’s OK to vent here (jedi hugs). It true as hell they treat you very well, then over time they use the same tactics to beat you down. Slowly, ever so slowly – then boom, out goes the lights.

        • Amazing how all those OW are certified marriage fixer upperers! But somehow talking shit about your spouses doesn’t actually fix your problems. Is it because you didn’t take her amazing advice? Or because it’s all my fault and I’m just bad at marriage? Because I kinda feel like if OW is having issues in HER marriage she’s probably NOT the best person to get advice about marriage from. And then when the advice she gave you didn’t fix the “problems” you never stopped talking to her. You just kept on going! STBX had an EA with one of our friends early in our marriage based entirely on this shit. But he didn’t learn from the first time?! He even told me “when nothing got better from talking to HER about OUR problems I started to lose hope anything could change” well NO you stupid dumb fuck! When you spend all day bitching about your problems to someone else and expect me to just know then I can’t fix shit! Sorry! ??

  • The most confusing, terrifying and mind screwing moment(s) is the “new reality” of waking up in an alternative universe face to face with someone you have known for decades that is a complete stranger!! How could anyone be prepared for that? Thank goodness for a site that exposes this mind fuckery for what it is! A selfish, soul-less immature loser who can love no-one but themselves.

    • Thanks for articulating it this way, which I’ve never seen stated quite the same anywhere.

      Yes, it is amazing how, in a flash, one moment you know your own spouse, perhaps the parent of your children, and all the memories of a past life together, as well as dreams for your future. Next split-second, that person IS a COMPLETE STRANGER! And those dead shark eyes give nothing–the person you once knew is NO LONGER THERE. Your once-wife or husband is not your partner any longer. In fact, he or she is now your opponent, just when, ironically, you most need support.

      NOTHING could prepare you for that. In fact, the moment you’re hit with it, you cannot believe it. I did the “pick-me dance” in desperate hopes that the husband I once knew would reappear and snap back to reality. It completely blew my mind that no matter what I said, no matter how may different ways I appealed to his heart, his head, and even his flesh, I could not make him return. He was standing in front of me, and yet he was gone–seemingly abducted by OW. Still completely floors me, and I experienced it first-hand. It’s why I lost the 20 pounds in a month.

      It’s absolutely why we need this support here–try explaining the shark eyes to someone who’s happily married. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone–with a once-OP being the exception.

      • Perfect description. The confusion of suddenly becoming an opponent of a person you loved for 30 yrs and built a family with is so disorienting!

      • Totally agree. That person that you felt so connected to and loved and loving a TOTAL STRANGER. It’s the most bazaar feeling. Zombie like.
        When you refuse to be their friend ( because that’s what they desperately want to justify their new fantasy life) they turn on you.
        I still can’t get over the sacrifice and cost of all this to Groceries. She watched Eat Prey Love too many times.

        • Hah, lotta men hate that book. I refuse to read it, in solidarity with my male LBS’s. Also because Julia Roberts is a cruel and horrible woman for what she did to her husband’s ex-wife.

          • The book is all fantasy about escapism.

            I like the thing on FB where two old people are walking hand in hand. It says ” when we were younger if it was broken we would fix it. Nowadays they just throw it away” ( referring to relationships).

      • This describes what has happened over this year.
        He is a man that I do not know. OR the mask has slipped to show the true person.
        He completely rewrote our marriage history of 31 years to justify himself.

  • Just wanted to add that recently my STBX sprinkled me with this line: “I don’t love you enough.” 3 months later, I’m still trying to figure out if that’s been the case for the past 14 years of our relationship.

  • “I love you…” [I’m not THAT fucked up in the head. Everyone can see you’re a decent person, quite lovely, articulate, giving, dedicated, intelligent, attractive, pleasant, loyal, hard-working–the lot of it, and more. I’d be CRAZY if I didn’t LOVE you. I have feelings, and there is a feeling about you somewhere in my head, if I think about it long enough.]”…but…” [But, this isn’t about you. I don’t care about you. I’m going to fuck you over right…NOW] …”I’m not IN LOVE with you.” [SEE!? My urges and whims are much more important to me than true love. I need stimulation. I have a short attention span. I have cravings, you know. You should be happy for me. I mean, if you could feel what I’m feeling right now, you’d be HAPPY for me. OP is my SOUL mate. I just know it. We’ve been together for, like, many months. And you and I gave it the old college try, but, I just can’t eat the same thing every night for dinner, you know? So this is good-bye. But don’t worry. I still love you, if that’s any consolation. Take it for what it’s worth, hon. Don’t be mad at me. Judge me kindly.]

    • hahahaha. Good translation. (Except my situation would have been translated as: “We’ve been together for, like, a week and a half.”)

    • I think the “I love you” is more of an obligatory statement. I think the cheater thinks it makes him or her look less vulgar and soulless. But they’re just words. Because people who love do not abuse others. People who love will show in their actions that they love. Cheaters do not love.

      • Spot on. Action actions actions. You are too funny sometimes Stephanie. If it wasn’t so sad though because its so true.

  • AAAAnnnndd .. another major newspaper article on rampant infidelity. Although this one does do the “let’s look at two sides” (i.e., the “cheaters suck” side, and the “cheaters must have a reason–skein etc. side”, it covers some decent ground as well as things that will make chumps grind their teeth.


  • They have a new “soul mate,” but don’t feel bad because we are “sole mates” too-the kind that is scraped off the bottom of their shoe like an inconvenient & nasty turd they accidently stepped in!!

  • Since I’ve had to deal with three OWs, here’s how mine went:

    First OW – confessed but he didn’t want a divorce and had already stopped seeing the OW months before he confessed.
    Second OW – The classic ILYBNILWY.
    Third OW – I can’t see myself living with you in this house but I don’t want a divorce. He got his wish (threw him out immediately) and my wish (divorce).

    I find it amazing that cheaters think alike and are very predictable.

  • So, does this statement always mean infidelity or plans for it? My wife has just uttered these words to me 4 hours ago and she has convinced me that it’s for other reasons. I asked straight up if there was someone else and the answer was a clear cut “No”. More along the same lines as other commenters, of course, like the “freedom to do my own thing” or “going somewhere without someone wondering where I am” type answer. I never did think of infidelity though. I think it’s a bit selfish and although she did mention some sort of counseling but after reading 2 or 3 blog posts on this statement and it’s accompanying comments, I don’t really want to ride the roller coaster of futility. I obviously want to save the marriage but all these stories are frightening.

    • Hi m, welcome. I can’t say if you’re wife is cheating, but I love you but I’m not in love with you is textbook cheater speak. At the very least, it’s a self serving plea for kibbles. I love you, but… try the pick me dance… I don’t love you THAT much.

      I’m sorry m. Either way, it sucks. If I were you, I’d start snooping. Check the cell phone bills, credit card statements, etc. Cheaters usually deny unless confronted with evidence.

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