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A ‘Trust That They Suck’ Refresher Course

valentine“Trust that they suck” is a mantra that bears repeating. It’s so easy to fall for the propaganda, especially at the holiday season. You see your ex, tagged in some mutual friend’s Facebook page laughing uproariously at a party. The children come back with tales of Shiny New Things. People who were your family for decades now exclude you. It sucks. It’s hard to remember the suck belongs to them and there’s not something wrong with you.

From Pearl:

“I get the nagging feeling that he and the OW have a fulfilling fairy tale relationship.  So please, please beat me over the head with a refresher on ‘trust that they suck.'”

Trust your senses, chumps — they suck! Some pointers:

1. All that shitty stuff they did? The affairs, the gaslighting, the character assassination after the fact, the denial, the neglect? THEY DID IT. Yes, pinch yourself, it really and truly happened.

2. Connect the dots. If all that truly happened… you don’t want this person in your life, right? It doesn’t matter how wide screen their television is, or how fabulous their vacation pictures on Facebook, how sparkly they seem — YOU DON’T WANT THAT, remember?

For the affair partner to get the goodies, they have to endure — or will soon — the cheater’s true nature. That’s not going away. Your cheater didn’t get a character transplant. All that entitlement, all those crappy life skills — they’re still there. It’s a package deal.

If there’s been a binge of shiny new thing shopping it’s generally to salt the mines. You know, make a commodity appear more valuable than it really is. Crappy people need hooks. Cheaters are to sparkles what Bernie Madoff is to promised dividends. Any “reward” of their company comes with a very steep price tag, eventually.

3. Let’s say for the sake of argument, that they did have a character transplant, they are magically no longer their crappy selves, the affair partner brings out their very best self. They are now 100% sparkle, no filler.

They still cheated, abused, and gaslighted you. They still destroyed your trust. They still destroyed that relationship. This isn’t a person you can feel safe with. Maybe someone who never knew the old them will be able to do that, but you will remember. Those things happened, which caused the relationship to END because of their infidelity. Their new life is no longer your concern. YOUR new life is your concern. Treat their success as you would a stranger’s. This person has no connection to you.

4. You don’t share the same values. If you feel like the break up was forced on you, that you didn’t want it, that there is something to miss — change your focus. You can’t be with your cheater because you aren’t a good match. You don’t share the same ideas about love, family, and relationships. To be with them would be squelching a fundamental part of yourself — the person who demands reciprocity, honesty, and fidelity in marriage. In a way, it’s nothing personal. You are just two people who have nothing in common except shared history.

Let ’em go, chumps. Trust that they suck.

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  • Once again, thanks for the timely dose of awesome, CL!

    About a month to go, before me and DD fly 8000 miles away from Mr Fabulous and the Downgrade. Many a mile to freedom, but thanks for the salient reminder that being an asshole is for life, not just for Christmas.

    Got a flaming email turd today. Responded in five sentences. Just the facts.

    And said……Meh. Well it is Tuesday!

    Happy Chumpas everyone.


  • This is the best thing I have woken up to in 23 years. I’m going to print out Number 4 in multiple copies and put it everywhere I might need a boost: the bathroom mirror, the dashboard of my car, my new bookmark … Thanks so much!

  • Wow, did I need this refresher. The Meh tank was running a little low lately. Thanks for the fill-up!
    Ohhhhhhhhh how they suck. SUCK SUCK SUCK

  • Yes, great timing CL. Good call pearl!

    I’m at 6 months since separation and my separation/eventual divorce process has ground to a stop. Not that I’m reconsidering her or anything. I just couldn’t stand her anger with the property settlement. I thought I’d give it a rest until the new year. No change of plans otherwise.

    But what worries me is the quiet. She’s been calm and rational. It’s been a pleasant break, especially for the kids. I sense another Hoover attempt on the horizon. Time will tell.

    That festive family feeling at this time of year might be enough for to try it. I can see her using guilt about the children’s happiness already. And then her rage when I don’t accept.

    I’ve seen it all before. Just need to be ready. I’m sure some of you with the highly PD’s STBX’s can relate.

    Good luck to you all and stay strong.

    Great and timely blog CL!

    • Kraft, I’m in the same boat….STBX is hoovering big time, being so nice, auditioning for the ex-husband of the year award. I’m nervous about the rage he will likely exhibit once he realizes I’m still going through with the divorce. Not sure what to do. Not sure how to be ready.

      • Hi LUD. Sorry to hear you’re in the same boat. I’m certain we’ll get there. I ‘ve struggled with the whole ordeal lately. I don’t want to hijack, so I’ll post on the private forum sometime soon. Great to hear from you.

        • Hi Lud and Kraft: as usual, a timely posting by CL. I hv been separated from NPD stbxh for 7 months. Mostly no contact but am planning to file for divorce after the holidays (and even though holidays with him were anxiety ridden, i still find myself grieving). I know his true self will show when I file: vile, mean, stingy and selfish. How do I emotionally prepare for the fallout? Thanks, nmc

          • NMC, sorry you’re in this place. It’s like we’re stuck.

            To be honest, it just wore me out, and when I stopped communication with my lawyer for a while, my STBXW backed down her aggression. I really needed the rest.

            But it’s not a place anyone can stay. It has to be settled. The property settlement is the final nail in my case. But everything’s in place, so in theory, I just need to make it happen.

            I guess we need to tell ourselves, that plenty have been down this road before and got through to be at a happier place.

          • I have already filed from an NPD stbxh. He raised all kinds of hell, called me names, his girlfriend sent me pics of them together, assassinated MY character ( that’s a laugh)! …….. Trust that they suck!! And trust that you don’t!! You can do it…. Good luck!!

  • This blog is one of the pillars that I’ve found to keep me heading in the healthy direction. I am in D process after only one year of marriage. Thank you, CL, for the reminder that she sucks and that there is something more out there. I need to hear it, be slapped over the face with it, read it over and over and over again because SHE SUCKS

  • Thank you for this. I have been struggling with my decision to leave my cheater. His “remorse” has been nothing more than bullshit and I need to trust more that he sucks- the only thing I can trust about him.

  • Very timely post. “It doesn’t matter how wide screen their television is, or how fabulous their vacation pictures on Facebook, how sparkly they seem — YOU DON’T WANT THAT, remember?”

    Yes, I do remember….after dday I remember thinking about how our big, beautiful house became so ugly to me because I had to share with a narc-cheater. How I hated when I saw his expensive car in the driveway because it meant He was home and I had to walk on eggshells. How it all was so empty and scary because he was so mean and cheating on me, too. I would have given anything to have my own little apartment without the shiny things as long as I didn’t have to deal with him. Now I don’t have to live with him and it’s better. I can sleep. The only eggshells are the ones I put into my own cake when I bake it in the kitchen.

    • Well, I put the eggs in, anyhow. The eggshells go down the garbage disposal, which is the only place they belong…..not hovering in the air like they were when I lived with STBX.

  • I still have to ask this and someone please help me understand. Is it possible that a person cheats on a spouse because the cheating spouse felt that their wife wasn’t giving them enough sex. I was never in the mood. I had a lot of stress and I took my bad moods out on him a lot near the end because of our finances. There were a lot things that were my fault and I can’t get over it. I was a real bitch the last 3 years before he left. We were married 21 years. Don’t I have to take some responsibility? Yes, I know he should have left without cheating, but I think that is easier said than done. I just think he felt he couldn’t connect with me anymore. He has been gone for over a year now and I still grieve every single day. Some days are worse than other days. Ugh

    • Yes, you can accept responsibility for being a bitch and not wanting sex, but no, you can’t and shouldn’t accept responsibility for his cheating. He did that, not you.

      Own your mistakes. Not his.

      • I’d look at it this way. You did something wrong, say, buy a car your family couldn’t afford. But then your husband took that car and used it to go rob a bank. That’s much worse, and it’s something he did, something in which you had no say, in which you would have opposed had you only known. That bigger, more horrible wrong is completely on him.

    • Maria, a good partner won’t mess you over financially. Part of being married is making plans for purchases, discussions about which job to take, and saving habits. All that dull stuff matters. Things like that build a sense of security for both of you. I’m guessing your husband wasn’t interested in things that made you feel safe, so don’t torment yourself because money worries took the fun out of your sex life!
      I’m way too familiar with this financial mindfuck, in fact I can barely stand to think about the horrible deeds my X forced on me. I’ll give you one example, and you can just multiply it by 100 times- for 9 years he rented a large garage, to keep a couple of old cars and other assorted junk in. I begged, cried and pleaded for us to get out of it the last 7 years. Finally, last year, the kids and I did it mostly ourselves, as he was so reluctant. It ended up costing over 70,000.00 when it was done. (We are NOT rich). Do you suppose I felt amorous towards him after all that? We’re whole human beings, no one can put sex, and everything else that goes on between you, in total separation. If your husband wanted some hot love from you, he should have worked on helping you feel really secure. Please forgive yourself for having emotions!

    • Did it ever cross your mind Marie, that u lost a connection with him? That maybe that was why you were bitchy, or didn’t want to have sex with him, ect? The sad thing is cheaters look for an easy way out when marriage gets difficult. It’s an escape, rather than trying to do the hard work of keeping the love in the marriage alive. I know for me, when my H started flirting with other woman in front of me, my self asteem plummeted and I didn’t look at him with respect any more. That’s where my anger and loss of interest came from. I had sex with him, but without emotion after he started hurting me by his flirting . I was never bitchy, but I didn’t listen to his woes with intent as I used too, because I lost respect for him. Cheaters want all the attention by shallow flirting, and “fun”, without the work of keeping real love alive. It’s all fairy tales and fantasy until the bills, kids and stresses of life start into the relationship, then they look for their next “fake fix.”

      • You are right. I think I did lose respect for him. Who am I kidding, to be honest he cheated on me years ago and did everything in his power to make it up to me. However, I still rejected him. I think I felt resentment deep down. The rejection of him built up over time, and he started feeling resentment toward me. He used to joke and belittle me in front of his friends. They would look at me waiting for me to have a comeback. When I did, they laughed. They actually laughed about what he said to me and my response. Regardless, I never liked it and I used to tell him I didn’t. I should have know that he had a girlfriend while we were together when he finally said that I should accept him the way he is with his jokes. Later when I found out about her, I took that as she accepts him when he jokes and puts her down in a fun way.
        But, anyway, I should have seen the warning signs that he was a bully. Not long after we were married I found out that a person I worked with who used to go to highschool with him. She was overweight and he used to make fun of her on the bus. He didn’t come out and say stuff like “You are fat” or anything, but instead would sit next to her and rub her leg and tell her how sexy she looked in those shorts or skirt she would wear. It wasn’t a compliment, but was a ploy to make fun so his friends would laugh. So, I shouldn’t be surprised that he continued it with me throughout a marriage before we had mutual resentment and during the times we had resentment.
        The other day I looked at his Facebook account under comments on other people’s pictures, and he made a comment to a lady who was showing off her hair color. He said “You look old.” Another comment on another picture of hers said..”What do you use to hide your bald spot?” I take it that she knows him because he wouldn’t say that to a stranger. He assumes that people that know him know he is joking when he says things like that. The only problem is he is not taking in account that others who see it don’t know that. He sometimes gets negative feed back because of this too.

        • Wow. Just from these few instances you describe I know why you didn’t want to have sex with him.

          Being crude, rude and mean spirited is not sexy. Not at all. Then add a healthy dollop of old affairs and then you have a bonafide dry spell.

          From your description and how these types seem to generally be pretty much the same, I bet he has been cheating/having inappropriate behaviors all along. That, is the root of your resentment and why you didn’t want to jump his bones.

          So in short, no, not having sex with him didn’t make him leave. Not accepting his shitty behavior with a smile is why he left – and why on earth should you do that?

        • Wow, Maria, the dude is not funny he’s just a total asshole. Seriously. Those things he did/ does are horrible. Sorry you had to be with such a jerk and hope you get to meh soon. He definitely doesn’t deserve your tears and heartache. Big hugs to you.

          • That Girl and Stephanie,
            I know deep down that he is an Asshole. But the strange part of all this is…he was soooo good to me through the years (not counting when he cheated). That’s what is what I call a big time mindfuck. He was the cook and he was/is very motivated person who made all my birthdays and Christmas’s special. Even though he made poor jokes at times around his friends, he did pay me compliments, but only when we were a lone. So, you can imagine when I see the OW posting a profile pic of them two together and then he compliments her for everyone to see in the comment section. It hurts me deep in my core. He never did that to me in public. He always would make a joke in front of others (family included) and then say he was kidding and hug me. Ugh. I am so screwed up because of him now. I don’t even know this man. I thought I did. I have big time mental problems now and I don’t know when I will get over this. Let me give you an example:

            Back in May 2012 while he was screwing the OW, he sent me a lovely e-mail telling me how everything will be alright in the end and that he knows I worry about our financial problems and that he is sorry that it bothers me so much, but that we will get through this difficult time in our lives. He even said at the end of the letter…Love you baby. Hang in there. And then he proceeded to put about 10 quotes underneath to cheer me up. I wrote back and told him how I appreciated that nice letter with the quotes. I get sick thinking about it now. He probably just got done screwing her before he sent it. Maybe that was his guilt speaking. I don’t know. All I know is that I will never be the same ever again.

            • Maria, there are many instances where my ex would write me the most loving things and I found out after I threw him out that he was cheating on me during those times. I’m talking two weeks before dday, when I was getting suspicious something was going on and he was sending me emails telling me how much he loved me. Later I found emails that he had written within minutes to not just final OW but others he was screwing and/or chasing at that time. It made me realise just how fucked up he really is and killed a lot of leftover love for him.

              • Maria, my H sent a picture of MY HOUSE to OW, and then as an afterthought, to me. I could see it in the ‘sent’ times.

                I don’t know how they can do it, I don’t know how you can be that split, but for me that is a ‘trust that they suck’ moment.

            • Maria,
              When I helped him purchase the business of his dreams, a boat to commercial fish which he named after me – the first email he sent from the marine communications radio said “I Love you and miss you and I am NOT sailing off into the sunset, I will ALWAYS come home to you, Love, your future husband” It was so out of character I thought he was playing a cruel trick on me, or that someone else sent it…now I know he probably had other “women” on the boat. That still stings really bad. I am so glad he is out of my life… Things like that and what your husband did is so sick that it’s scary. I didn’t know him at all.

              • CL,
                Putting this here because because I don’t know how to reply to your “boat sinks” ( he lost the boat a few years ago) turns out the fuel/bait/grocery $ was really drug/whore $. And a LOT of it came from me… Cash at that. I was trying to be “supportive” for him…Bwahahahahahahaha

            • Maria it sounds like you have been through hell. Can you not block him on social media so you don’t see profile shots and comments that will hurt you – go no contact as CL suggests?

          • Thank you Sunshine. I hope you read some of my other post here. I think my STBX is really screwed up. And now, I might be because of him. I went from having high self esteem to none at all. I have severe depression now.

        • Maria, the kind of ‘jokes’ you describe are SUPER aggressive, big put-downs! And ‘outsiders’ get that, it’s only people who hang with him too long who follow his lead in thinking of them as jokes.

          The rule around our house is that for something to be fun or funny, BOTH people have to enjoy it. So there are ways to tease, or tickle, or make silly comments that make people feel closer and connected. Tease someone about how cute their new hair cut is, and all the attention it will get them, not about how it makes them look old! Any time only one person is having fun, that’s AGGRESSION, and is not acceptable.

          Assholes make it easy to figure this out, too. Anyone who needs to say “can’t you take a joke?” or “You’re too sensitive” or “Just kidding” is by definition being aggressive, and should be treated as such.

          A very calm ‘wow, that’s mean’ is a good response, or ‘is there a particular reason you’re being so aggressive’. But then you can’t get into the argument about whether it’s a joke or not! Just give your opinion and WALK AWAY.

          I blame our ‘put-down culture’, where it’s considered smart and funny to make others look stupid. But there’s only a particular kind of person who picks that up and runs with it – the assholes.

          • Thanks for this: “Any time only one person is having fun, that’s AGGRESSION, and is not acceptable.”

            My stbxh used to do or say stuff to/about me that he thought was funny, but I repeated asked him not to say/do those things because they upset me, and he still did. He did it in a “fun/funny” way, like he was joking but I still didn’t like it because it all somehow made me feel squished down. Like he was trying to somehow make me less powerful through these “jokes.” Maybe he was? Subconsciously probably. It made me feel like he didn’t respect me very much….which I guess is true, given dday and all. The quote helps make it extra clear though, so thanks.

            • His stock statements to me re: his “jokes” were “You can’t take a joke” and “God you are SO easy” everytime he hurt my feelings to get a rise out of me…:/

              • Mine used to do this, too….he also did the line “You can’t take a joke” and also, his favorite, “You’re too sensitive”. I wasn’t too sensitive, he was just being a jerk. Took me awhile to realize this. Actually, it took some really over-the-top rude comments in public for me to realize how out of line his “jokes” were.

    • Maria,

      I’m right there with you, I was / am suffering from depression. His reaction was to shutdown and pout and finally cheat. I needed the strength he always boasted about but he showed me a coward. We both have responsibility for the problems in our marriage but we both had to step up to the plate to fix in. He decided to switch teams and beat me over the head with a bat. Cheating is never justified IMO, no matter what.


      • “We both have responsibility for the problems in our marriage but we both had to step up to the plate to fix in. He decided to switch teams and beat me over the head with a bat.

        This brought me to tears. I’ve been punishing myself, wondering if some of the venom she had spewed about how horrible I was happened to be true. I’ve pretended I was on the outside looking in or putting myself in her shoes to figure out just how much I was responsible for the demise of our fifteen year marriage.
        I forget that she was throwing her worst self at me, and I would not waiver. There was no divorce in my mind, just fixing it, because, by-God we had committed ourselves to and each other and giving our kids and intact home. Divorce simply was not an option.-Before she left and during our three month “separation while we were living together” she begged me to stop being nice to her (I would fix her breakfast after her night shift at the hospital..the one which I later found she had been cheating with co-worker). I told her I was going to be a good husband to the end, that I wouldn’t let a single day go by in which she didn’t know that I loved her. I guess guilt was getting to her.
        Several months before, I’m guessing it was at the beginning of their “courtship”, we had some terrible tornados here in MS. She had finished her night shift and was at home asleep. I watched the big purple blob on the tv headed straight for our home. Couldn’t reach her by phone, she had turned it off. I raced home and was forced at one point to pull over to let a tornado go over me. Scary. I made it home to find her ok.
        She moved out Jan ‘13, her reasons were that “she just wanted to be on her own” and “we weren’t compatible and couldn’t communicate.”, etc. and she wanted a divorce. Soon after that, his wife called to let me know they had been having an affair for months. When I confronted her, her reasoning was “I didn’t leave because of him, but he gave me the COURAGE to leave” then when I asked “Why him?”, she said “he was kind, and thoughtful…all the things you weren’t.”

        Nope. Kind and thoughtful will drive through a tornado for you even when you are a super bitch to him.

        • Whenever I hear that people like you exist, I believe in mankind a little bit more. I’m married to a man who has tried to cheat in the past, has emotional affairs, and has been physically abusive. I may never leave him because I love him and made a commitment. I know it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense, but there it is. Some days I feel like all men are like my husband. Don’t let this idiot woman (and I use the term loosely) poison you against women in general.

    • You know Maria, I have a theory on that and one I think applies to me and my ex as well– you may well have been having financial problems in part BECAUSE of his cheating and resulting spending habits, and/or you may have not wanted to have sex with him BECAUSE you consciously or subconsciously knew he was cheating or not really devoted to you emotionally. I am amazed at what my subconscious mind knew and was trying to tell me over and over, but I was too afraid to listen.

      • Me too Kelly,

        It was like I knew all along and became 2 people also. Besides I was going through menopause, my dad was dying and his idea of foreplay was to clumsily roughly grab my breast….. Shudder. After (nicely) turning him away a couple of times he never tried again. Guess he took rejection as permission…..

        • Toni,
          My STBX used to grab at me all the time. He said that I treated him like an animal because he found me attractive and wanted to show me. He said I was his wife and he couldn’t understand why I couldn’t be spontaneous (sp?). In other words, I would get out of bed, get dressed and not after he wanted to jump back in bed (after I was busy doing things). I didn’t like that. I felt like I needed to walk around with a mattress on my back or something. He said when I turned him down, he felt rejected. He kind of reminded me of a sex maniac or something. Maybe he was oversexed or something. I don’t know.

          • It’s about entitlement. You were *his* wife, and he felt entitled to have sex whenever he wanted. Regardless of whether it was a good time for you.

            Mine was the same way

          • He was groping me like a kid after we’d been together for years and don’t get me wrong I do (did?) love sex! I just can’t consider that foreplay. I felt like I was worth no effort.

            • My X did something that still makes me shudder- he used to
              bite! Now, this could be fun, and some people love this, I’m sure, but there was something wrong, it was too aggressive. I was very clear about my feelings on this, and if anything, he did it more. I felt it was a good example of his disregard for me, and I also think he hates women. Weirdo.

              • PattyToo,
                Same here — at first he was sweet, thoughtful, playful, and fun but near the end of our relationship, he became brutal and cruel. He would bite, pinch, slap, and use degrading language during sex (it seemed more like rape to me). That was not for me. I tried expressing my feelings, but it just got worse. I just blanked out, I guess, and lived through it — I was terrified of his temper. Ever the hopium addict, I thought that things might improve and go back to the way they were (hahaha). But after sticking with him through one affair, and trying to be the ever faithful, loyal soldier holding the family together, he just discarded me and moved out — the textbook narcissist. I’m just now coming to grips with how much he hates women in general and me in particular — that was the “real” him all along. I really bought into the initial masked persona. I still grieve for that loss but am getting clearer and clearer every day about what I was really married to for almost twenty years. Therapy and this site has helped me so, so much.

            • Oh Toni, same here. Thing is I wanted it and he was apathetic about it. I felt like there was no intimacy at all….yet he got that kiddy of his pregnant before he left home….maybe she doesn’t know any better.

          • I got the “You’re never spontaneous enough” badgering too. He also seemed to want to get freaky like when I was doing dishes (I unfortunately don’t have a dishwasher) or just everyday stuff around my house. He thought that just because he would get an erection (which he blamed on me because he said he was very attracted to me), I was supposed to drop everything and become instantly aroused to accommodate him for less than satisfying sex – ED issues and premature ejaculations (very disappointing to say the least). From what I gather, the ex-wife troll twat liked to be fucked over a table and such. And his piggy bar cow liked to blow him after filling him up with many free beers. I guess they must look especially lovely when he’s sporting his beer goggles. Well, at least I’m not providing him with the cake that he claims to really have enjoyed. Too bad I can’t say the same for him as far as the intimacy that we shared. Piggy woman and his haggy old troll can enjoy his lack of fulfillment in the bedroom (or, in their case, car or kitchen table). How pathetic his little circus is. Still dates his codependent ex-wife & the gross bar buddy that was cheating with him when he was still married. They’re both aware of each other and try to compete for his time. What a charmer and what bottom feeders he is left stuck with. Karma – it’s a beautiful thing.

          • I got the complaints about not being enough in the moment/spontaneous too. And he tended to get amorous at inconvenient times for me. When I wasn’t in the middle of something like making dinner (or almost ready and about to go out the door to go an event with a fixed start time), it wasn’t nearly as interesting…

            • I had forgotten this but true for me, too. Also wanted to have sex at the most inappropriate times — when our child could have easily walked in the living room or kitchen, when his mother was visiting and up and awake about the house during the day (this is really icky!), when I was about to leave for work, when the blinds were open in a room, when I was sick or sound asleep — the situation had to be taboo, somehow, for him to “get the urge.” When I refused these kinds of situations, then I became in his words “cold” or “distant” or “frigid.” And heaven forbid that I make the first move. It was perfectly okay for him to reject me — but I couldn’t reject him without lots of drama. Good grief, I don’t know why I lived with that for so long.

            • This is TOTALLY about the entitlement! We have to be constantly sexually available to the narc, and what better way to prove it than to demand sex when we’re otherwise occupied or not interested?? I actually am the ‘drop everything to have sex’ kind of person, so that wasn’t a problem between us, although I eventually saw it for what it was. But the way my ex kept the control and the entitlement around sex was by wanting me to be constantly available, but if I approached him at a moment he wasn’t interested or was annoyed w/me for some new imaginary slight, he would lie there like a dead fish! Not even a polite refusal …. I eventually stopped approaching him, then of course got blamed for that!

              Can’t win w/these people, ’cause they truly and really do suck.

            • NorthernLight, I think they do that crap on purpose, to see how willing we are to drop everything and put the Majesty’s needs first. Seems like the erections mostly came about when he knew I probably wouldn’t be interested enough or too stressed out because I wanted to get something else done. What a freak. Again, I think it goes back to his ex-wife troll that liked to get bent over tables and what not. I’m getting too old to do acrobatic type of shit and I don’t enjoy bruises from hard wood furniture. The normal bed or couch just wasn’t as interesting for him. Maybe he should’ve been a porn star in his prime. Then he could’ve had spontaneous sex in any positions or in the weirdest locations that he desired. I’m not a prude by any means, however, some of his behavior was just so juvenile. Like someone else blogged on here before – they are emotionally stunted midgets.

    • I have a couple of comments.

      Your first question needs to be rephrased. Instead of “Is it possible that a person cheats on a spouse because the cheating spouse felt their wife wasn’t giving them enough sex,” word your question as follows: “Is lack of sex a good excuse for cheating?”

      The answer is no. The lack of sex is a good excuse for a divorce, not cheating. Similarly, vastly different expectations about sex can factor into divorce. If you want sex 3 times per week, but your spouse is really only up for once, then that’s a big difference. Maybe the two of you can find some kind of compromise deal–and if so, that’s great–but maybe not. Regardless, even if you deliberately withheld sex, your spouse doesn’t get a free pass for cheating.

      However, dollars to doughnuts your spouse blamed the cheating on your sex drive. Nope. The cheating’s on his nickle.

      2) Your spouse sounds like an emotionally abusive person. It’s hard to feel amorous with someone who puts you down, especially around friends. I think that you will likely need some professional help to learn to value yourself and your feelings while still being honest about both to yourself. Reconnecting with what makes you you will also have an impact on how you feel about sex. Certainly reconnecting with what makes you you will have a profound impact on how you feel about your life, your ability to control it, and your future.

      Don’t buy into the idea that both parties are equally at fault when it comes to infidelity. More and more, infidelity is seen as a form of abuse. You don’t go to the abuse victim and ask what they did that justified the abuse. The same goes for infidelity.

      Normal marital issues? That’s another thing. Sexual expectations could be addressed via counseling. Anger issues could be addressed via counseling. Both of you can own your parts in those areas. If you can’t resolve the issues, then divorce may be the best option.

      Cheating, though, is in a whole different league, and since it’s a unilateral decision, it’s the cheater’s sole responsibility for cheating, regardless of what you did or did not do.

    • If he felt he wasn’t getting enough sex, he had plenty of options:
      1. talk to you about his unhappiness
      2. marriage counseling
      3. divorce

      Notice how cheating is not on the list? That is HIS fault, not yours.

      • Glad, I love that! I had similar issues in my marriage. We always disagreed about sex. He wanted it all the time, and even when we had sex he would immediately complain it wasn’t enough. I tried over and over to explain to him that I loved him, we just had different drives. Still, that’s the reason he gave for falling out of love with me. In fact, I believed I was such a sexless person in the end that I accepted that part of my life was over. I’d had a hysterectomy 10 years ago for endometriosis and nothing seemed the same after that. Part of me thought I might as well join a convent.

        Well, low and behold I discovered after dating someone who is kind, who cuddles with me and makes me feel safe, that I DO have a sex drive! It almost flabbergasted me to discover that. All that time in my marriage I felt like I was so inadequate. I remember describing to a friend how my ex traveled all the time, was constantly palling around with his female coworkers, and the majority of child rearing was on me my friend said “You weren’t getting what you needed to respond to him.” So I guess that’s the deal. It was an emotional disconnection. I sure would have tried to fix it if I’d known how, but he was never one to talk to me about his feelings. Any attempt to get him to talk resulted in him becoming even more closed and defensive.

        Still, on bad days I feel like it was my fault. Like I was such a terrible wife that he threw away 31 years, damaged our kids and sold our home. But I know I need to remember that he sucks. He lied to me about his relationship with his married coworker. He fell in love with her but strung me along for YEARS. In the end I was nothing more than a floor rug to him, something to be discarded. He even wrote in his journal I discovered “she’s old, she’s been around forever and I’m bored with her.”

        • Lyn–What a horrible jerk!

          What gets me is that he says that he was “bored” with you. Okay, but apparently he really liked all those benefits: someone to raise the kids, take care of the household, take care of the details in his life so that he didn’t have to. Yep. Guess that’s boring compared to the sneaking getaways with the married AP.

          You are way better off without him.

        • My story is similar. He strung me along for 10 years, while he slept with many other women, trying to beat his own narcissistic depression over not being the grandiose self he thought he would be. I have been divorced for 6 weeks now and can’t wait for some great sex, within a reciprocal, loving relationship. The next serious relationship will have to get a personality test first!!

        • Oh my goodness, Lyn, your ex sounds like such a massive jerk! I’m so sorry you had to read that. It is the essence of entitlement. As if he’s so amazing that he can expect something shiny and new just because he feels like it! What an ass.

          Please let go of his words. What he wrote is a totally artificial construct designed to justify his selfish, destructive behavior. Please don’t take his self-serving statements to heart! You deserve so much better.

    • As it turns out, mine is a sex addict.

      But he’s also a cerebral narcissist with a Madonna/whore complex.

      When we were first married, he wanted sex all the time… But with no foreplay or emotion…. Basically, masturbation with a live body.

      I began to pull away because of it. I was quite young at the time, and I didn’t realize that this was a real problem with him, so I didn’t address it. I take responsibility for that, because if I had addressed it, it is likely that we would have been over a lot sooner.

      When I pulled away, he solved the problem by spending the next 15 years of our marriage screwing anything and everything else he could get his hands on, and hiding it very well.

      On the occasions when I tried to get him to have sex with me, he pulled away and didn’t feel like it. I lived in hope for many years that he would get his sex drive back… What I didn’t realise is he was already getting everything he needed elsewhere and quite frequently.

      My point is, his saying you don’t want sex often enough may have much more to do with him than it does with you, and it is probably just a convenient excuse for cheating. If he had a problem with it, big enough to make him seek it out elsewhere, why didn’t he talk to you about it BEFORE seeking it out elsewhere?

      Also, you show genuine remorse for contributing to his cheating. Does he show any remorse? Is he able to express any empathy for how you feel in all this? Or does he just blame shift and put it all back on you? Believe me, we chumps are very good at taking responsibility for others’ actions, and it can be very hard to see the forest for the trees.

      Please don’t be so hard on yourself.

    • I agree with nomar and Red.

      Lack of emotional connection and never wanting to have sex and taking out your bad moods on your spouse are legitimate reasons for him being unhappy in the marriage.

      They are NOT however, legitimate reasons to cheat. There are no such reasons.

      There are an infinite number of ways to deal with marital issues. Talking, explaining their feelings, communicate. Things like this are what marriage counseling is for.

      You can take responsibility for the things you did, not the things he did. You know what is your load to bear. If you’re not already in individual therapy already, I would start going to help deal with the guilt for those things, and to be able to handle yourself better in future relationships. But don’t add the weight of his shitty decision-making. You may have been emotionally distant, but that’s something that you can fix. He can’t un-fuck his affair partner.

  • Thanks for this, CL. My ex just informed me last night that now, about a year after our split, he is no longer an alcoholic or recreational drug user. When I expressed skepticism, he said that those were just coping mechanisms to deal with what a horrible person I am. I know in my head that this can’t be true. He was an alcoholic and drug user long before he ever met me. He also used to tell people that he loved me more than anything and that our marriage was better than anyone’s we knew. And I know that alcoholics and drug users of 25 years don’t just up and quit, espècially when they are sociopathic liars and cheaters and blame everyone else for all their problems. But part of me wonders what if it is true? What if he is changing? He also threatened to take our kids. This encounter has really shaken me up…

    • You’re right, Sunshine – long time alcoholics and drug users DON’T change overnight. Blaming you is a habit, just like drinking and drugging. Because if he has to admit that he’s just a weak person who can’t make it through the day without using, then it makes him look pathetic. Which he is.

      Don’t accept the blame. PERIOD. If he was really unhappy with you, if he honestly couldn’t cope with being married to you, he could have ended the marriage at any time in the past 25 years. He didn’t. Instead, he told you how much he loved you and bragged about how wonderful your marriage was to everyone he knew. Conflicting messages, much? Either he was blissfully happy or utterly miserable.

      But as you said yourself, “…sociopathic liars and cheaters blame everyone else for all their problems.” That’s all he’s doing, blaming you. Protect yourself and stop listening to his nonsense. He hasn’t changed.

      • Sunshine, don’t forget that many alcoholics and addicts CAN stop their substance use. What they can’t do is stay stopped. They either go right back to it, or start ‘dabbling’ or doing it ‘socially’, then slide back into the high use and all the problems that come with it.

        And the fact that he’s blaming you is a very very good sign that NOTHING has changed internally, so you can be sure that soon his ‘externals’ like behaviour and substance abuse will be right back to his horrible ‘normal’ again.

        So not only is the substance abuse NOT because of you (it NEVER is), but he’s NOT clean and sober, either, or if he is, it won’t be for long!

        Trust that he sucks, because he really really does!

        • I read this somewhere: “Once they can forgive themselves they won’t have to blame you anymore.” For some reason that gave me comfort.

          • Thanks, KarenE and Lyn, these are very, very good reminders. And you’re absolutely right about the blaming others part. My kids and I have a running joke because exH constantly blames others for Everything. Even if he trips and he’s the only one in the room he’ll yell at someone. The guy has serious issues. Not even sure how he still gets away with blaming me for his stuff anymore, when I’ve been out of his life for over a year. Wish the OW would start taking some of that heat. At least it’s only about kid-related stuff now, but still…

            • Sunshine…I’ll bet you she does take the heat. If not now, she surely will. They don’t change.

    • Oh Sunshine,

      I am almost at the one year mark. My X was an alcoholic and drug user too. We had many happy (sober) years together, he got his drivers license back, re-established contact with his family, got his captain’s licence and electrical license. Then we began to have $ problems too, he slid back into his old ways because “I was the bitch”! He actually told me after I threw him (after him riding around with whore #1 in my face, anonymous letter, etc) out that he was using drugs again BECAUSE OF ME!

      You see Sunshine, it’s ALWAY’S OUR fault.

      I am happy to report (on a Tuesday) that I am getting happier and stronger every year…I am actually looking forward to Christmas for the first time in years, MY way!

      • My ex is an alcoholic and yes he blamed me for his drinking, he blamed me for everything that happened as a direct result of HIS actions. Don’t let your ex pull a ‘martyr man’ on you. That is manipulation, pure and simple.

      • Toni, So glad you’re getting happier and stronger. And I can’t tell you how much I appreciate hearing your experience of getting blamed, cause it makes me realize that this is a pattern and not about me. Just like with the cheating. Having rats on the almost-one-year, and hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

        • Haha “having rats on the almost-one year” is a lot funnier than “congrats on the almost-one-year,” though I have to give autocorrect the credit for that one 😉

    • Let me give you another example. Earlier this year, I ended up having to leave one place before my new place was ready, so I went to stay with a relative. I hadn’t seen her in 18 months and was SHOCKED by her appearance – overweight, bloated, with a gray pallor. It was late and she was drunk.

      Within a few days of staying with her, it became apparent that she was drunk all the time. I had never been around an alcoholic before, so it took me a minute to understand the extent of the problem. She told me initially that her kids were never around because her husband was such a jerk. By the end of the week, she was telling me that they were never around and she was drinking all the time because I was the problem. So I packed my bags and left.

      Fast forward six months and she’s still an alcoholic, her kids are still never around, and she’s still blaming everyone ELSE for her troubles. ANY excuse will do – except the obvious: that SHE’S an alcoholic.

      Sunshine, you didn’t hold your husband down and force feed him alcohol any more than you held him down and forced him to have sex with OW. HE made those decisions. He needs to own them…

    • Sunshine, I’d tell him that divorcing him was your “coping mechanisms to deal with what a horrible person he is.”

      What a blame shifting asshole.

      • Thanks, CL, Red, and Datdamwuf. Your guys’ comments really help, and you are right. Am just finding it really tough to be strong right now, I think because of the holidays and all the continued crap my ex keeps throwing at me. And am also horrified, over a year after our split, to find myself occasionally still on the verge of pick-me dancing. Feels like I may be a recovering hopium addict forever, God forbid… ;/

    • If he was an addict before he even knew you, then obviously he cannot blame his drug issues on your marriage. But disordered people love to do this. They cannot accept the shame of their own imperfections, and so must constantly rewrite history, gaslight and blame shift to claim someone ELSE is at fault.

      Sunshine, I think you can be assured that he’s still using. The fact that he said he used as a way of coping with YOU tells you right there that he takes no responsibility for his own addiction, and has serious character flaws. Such a person is NOT going to go clean. No way.

      My ex claimed his endless gay sex was because he didn’t feel enough “passion” for me. But he started having gay sex years before he even knew me, and he continues to do so to this day, years after our divorce. Yet he pretends he no longer has sex with men, and he does apparently sometimes date women. It’s all personality disorder. Your ex’s drug habit, my ex’s closet homosexuality……. they have issues, they cannot admit or face their issues, they blame others while secretly continuing the same behavior they claim to have left behind.

      I would actually feel a little bit of respect for my ex if he finally came out as gay, because it’s not his being gay that’s the problem, it’s the lying, cheating, abuse and manipulation that are the problems. But I doubt he ever will. He’ll eventually find some poor woman gullible enough to swallow his sparkly bullshit, and continue the charade. And your ex will continue to use drugs while blaming you, or the next poor woman who falls for his bs.

      • GIO,
        Yep. When mine told me on the phone he was using again he said and I quote “Oh, and this is for you – I’m smoking crack again” then hung up. Nice huh?

      • You are so very right, Glad. And yes, my exH was a widely known, self-acknowledged alcoholic/ drug user before we even met. But as you say, facts and logic do not seem to penetrate these disordered people’s brains. Anyway, as far as the next poor lady who falls for his bs, well that is a former work-friend of mine (officially known as the OW troll whore). She is definitely old enough to know better but too desperate not to act better, so she absolutely deserves everything she has coming.

      • Thanks, Glad.

        Mine is a sex addict, and I forget sometimes that this is not different from any other sort of substance abuse.

        It is, and has always been my fault, from the beginning of our marriage, apparently, and I’ve eaten up that guilt and blame hook, line sand sinker…. Oh, but wait… It wan’t ME who was having sex with all these random women (and maybe men, for all I know), was it?

        Once when we were trying to reconcile, he said, “Well, I can try.” Um… If you have to TRY, then you have a problem… I wish I’d been insightful enough to know that at the time! He either fell off the wagon and started “using” sex again about 6 months down the road… Or never stopped at all. I’ll never know for sure.

        Now that I’ve ended the marriage, he sits there and claims he ended it, because he could never trust ME again…. What…???? Blame shift much?

    • Don’t let him snow you with his BS. IF he actually has changed (which I really have trouble believing) he can’t take your children just because he’s mister responsible all of a sudden. MAYBE he could convince a judge to give him more time with them if he never sees them, but it’s unlikely he will get full custody if you’re already the custodial parent. Most states only assign one parent primary custody. I doubt they’d switch that around on you after all this time. Just give him the cold fish routine even if you’re boiling over inside. You know, the “Aw, bless your heart. You actually think I care and/or believe you’re capable of taking the kids. Good luck with that.” It will drive him insane.
      Let’s say he did change. Rational people realize that major problems like addiction come from within THEM. It’s a learned response just like blaming you. He never learned to cope with life and thankfully you don’t have to help him figure it out. That’s a blessing.

  • Great post for the pre-holiday season, when many of us might be feeling the pull of the old, sucky life.

    • I know. I was so depressed on Thanksgiving. I didn’t get out of bed the whole day. I live in a place where I have no family. Sucks.

      • Maria–I’m so sorry that you spent your Thanksgiving so thoroughly depressed!

        Before I married STBX, I had moved around quite a bit. Moving always means uprooting from friends, and the new place can be very lonely–especially around big holidays. My family is large and close. Being away has always been hard. I did a lot of moving in the pre-Internet days, so there was no Skype, no cheap phone calls, etc.

        I started to get involved in community organizations whose missions aligned with my values. These places always need help, and they absolutely need help around holidays. Additionally, you meet people who tend to feel helpful, so if you let them know you’re going to be by yourself, they’ll generally invite you over.

        At any rate, being purposefully busy at this time of year can really help combat the normal kind of loneliness you get from being separated from your family. It should also help with the added loss that comes with separation/divorce.


  • Thank you for this post CL. I’m struggling with the fact that his sparkly life is ticking on and he will be spending his first married Christmas with the OW (married just over a week ago). But you’re right…at the end of the day he SUCKS!!! Whether he’s married or not he SUCKS!! There’s no changing that. I don’t know why I worry so much about his life when he SUCKS!!

    • I know it’s tough. My exH remarried in August, 4.5 months post divorce finalization, and 1 month before new baby was born. The kids went to visit new sister and their father’s new wife for Thanksgiving.

      I hate the thought of my kids spending time with TWO cheaters, as they were both still married when they got involved.

      But it does help me move on… He clearly does not have the same values as me.
      It’s just tough that I spent so much time with the loser, trying to make the marriage work, and I did not get the opportunity to find someone who truly cares about me; too late for me to start another family.

      It gets better.
      Just remember the mantra… They suck, they have different values, we deserve much better.

  • NEEDED THAT!!! Timing was perfect.

    I had no trouble convincing myself he suckED, but real trouble convincing myself he suckS. He had been saying all the right things, going to IC, being transparent with me and I was starting to put my rose colored glasses back on. I left and filed a couple of months ago but the pain of missing the man he portrayed himself to be all those years was getting real. Real shitty.

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! Thanks CL.

    • I know what you mean Breathing Deeply. That’s what I miss. The man I thought he was. Not the scumbag he is or turned out to be. People tell me that I should move on, but it’s easier said than done. I can’t seem too. They say he was a scumbag and I deserve better and it shouldn’t be easier since I know what an Asshole he is, but it’s not at all!! Not one bit easier. I am dealing with 3 things. Extremely missing the man I thought he was, dealing with his double life of cheating and realizing the scumbag asshole he really is and dealing with learning to live by myself.

      • I think this is exactly what this article is trying to remind us – the person we ‘thought’ we were with was not who we were actually with. I’ve come back to read the comments again because my Hoper doesn’t want to be along, does want to believe in my ‘reborn Christian’ wife and doesn’t understand how she was able to do what she did. Was it because I did something wrong, was it because she lost part of herself, was it because she is a effin idiot for cheating, lying and blaming me? I think the latter is the reason, she is an idiot, she sucks and I need to let the unicorn go. I know it but accepting being alone and not giving her more of me than she deserves is hard. Damn, hard. That is why I continue to read the CL!

      • Maria, just wanted to pass on something that really helped me when I was missing the ex – or rather the person I had thought he was. I learned to stop and ask myself, not WHO I was missing, but WHAT. It helped so much to recognize I was missing cuddling, or adult conversation after the kids were in bed, or good sex, or looking forward to some event together. Then I could shift to thinking about how I could fill those very legitimate needs, without reference to him; cuddle a kid or a cat, call or text a friend or family member, get on a dating site to meet someone new, plan something fun w/the kids or friends ….

        The ex used to sort of kind of fulfill those needs, and all my longing to have them fulfilled better was directed at him. The needs are real! It’s the belief that HE would ever fulfill them (whether we were together or not!) that was a TOTAL illusion!

  • If it’s any consequence, none of the middle class cheaters I’ve ever known could maintain the sparkly lifestyle indefinitely. You can only live beyond your means for so long – especially when you throw alimony and child support into the mix – before it comes back to haunt you.

    I’ve seen it dozens of times over the years, and see it with now XH. His paycheck was decent when he was married with five dependents. When he left, he took that paycheck and spent it like a drunk sailor on leave. Until the child support and tax bill came due, that is. Now, he has LESS spending money than he did when we were married, and he complains about it all the time.

    His father did the same thing. XFIL liquidated his retirement fund at age 52, burned through it in less than two years impressing OW (who was 35), and got mad when the IRS came after him. Now he’s 79, in poor health, and living off Social Security and his military retirement – and sorely wishing he hadn’t blown his retirement money all those years ago.

    So don’t get too upset. If they couldn’t afford that kind of lifestyle when you were married, they probably can’t afford it now. It WILL come back to haunt them…

    • I have to keep reminding myself of this Red, cause you are so right. My exH also cashed out his retirement last year but somehow still can’t seem to pay child support for our 3 kids. He and OW are taking the kids for a fancy, cross-country Christmas vacation, yet the check he just wrote me for $50 bounced. He tells me, though, that soon he’ll be opening his own business and making lots of money. I am doubtful, but part of me still believes all the sparkle. Of course, you’re right about it, though I guess hopium is a hard habit to break…

      • It IS hard to watch someone else get nice things, especially when you don’t feel they deserve it. But it’s temporary.

        Yes, my XH has new suits, a 72-inch screen TV, leather furniture, and an iPad. But he doesn’t have the love and respect of his children. So when he’s old, gray, and sick, he’ll have the memory of his clothes, TV, and furniture, but no family to care for him, while I’ll be surrounded by children and grandchildren,

        Take your eyes of today’s sparkle and think about tomorrow’s consequences, Sunshine. They’ll be here soon enough…

      • My ex cashed out his retirement a couple years ago to pay for his crazy dancing bigfoot videos, and to live off. He filed bankruptcy and let the house foreclose. He has spent the past 3.5 years living first off unemployment, and now off odd jobs done under the table. He lives wherever a friend offers a couch for free. Son told me last night that ex is now reduced to pulling weeds and such to make a few bucks from a friend who took pity on him. And he still believes dancing bigfoot is going to become a huge success and make a lot of money. I have no doubt he still considers himself an inspiration and a success story.

        Despite that, he always seems to have enough money to go to the movies or eat out. Well, he mooches a lot of money from his family, and probably does illegal/immoral stuff I don’t know about, but what I DO know is he owes me over $25K in child support that I’ll never get, and his bankruptcy and foreclosure are on MY credit record as well. This is a guy who had a great career, was quite successful and made over $100K per year right up until he dumped me to pursue his “destiny.”

        Sorry, went off tangent into a rambling rant. I think my point was, they might seem to sparkle for awhile, but the glitter wears off eventually, and then you see and smell the turd underneath.

            • He has big plans for dancing bigfoot. Told our son he can sense the time has finally come for it to go huge. LOL!

              • Oh his time has come all right, Glad, but it’s not going to be what he thinks in that delusional mind of his.

        • Hey, Stephanie — it was for the cause of Art. The world needed a singing Sasquatch.

      • Agh! Another time when you guys are living my life!!! My ex cashed out two retirement savings accounts over the past year, to be able to afford both to keep the kids and I in the house, and fly to see the OW/girlfriend, take her to fancy restaurants when she’s here …

        I’m not sure what he’s going to do when all he has is his salary. Never mind what he’s going to do when he’s 65 and hardly has any retirement money! He’s got 20 years, but still, w/kid expenses for the next 10 …

    • This.

      STBX is definitely spending more money than he has, but trying to hide that fact. Unfortunately, when his Mastercard calls or the bank that holds his car loan calls, he has to confess that bills got away from him because it’s been a “tight” month.

      If I hadn’t known about his cheating, I’d have bought into all of this. His company is managed by imbeciles who managed to take a manufacturing company that was actually turning a very tidy profit in the depths of the 2009 recession and have it lose over $70M per year! As a result, in order to bolster their 4th quarter, they’ve furloughed all employees in a claw-back maneuver that cuts 12% out of their employees’ pay for the last 3 months of pay. In that scenario, of course things would be tight!

      But STBX spent over $200 at a massage place without telling me. The next week, he had a critical cash flow shortage. Surprise?

      He needs the money to keep OW stringing along. She’s no prize, and she’s very needy. The money helps him be the Knight in Shining Armor to her Waif-like Princess in Distress. He can’t keep this up, and even now he’s having problems. Good thing I’m not going to be in his future in the near future!

      With respect to reminding myself that he sucks, one of the first things I did was to get copies of his correspondence, his texts with OW. When I find myself thinking that I can see why we got married, I pull those out to remind myself that this is who he really is.

  • Thanks for refilling the “MEH” tank; it’s Tuesday but not that Tuesday yet.

  • Thanks CL, you do have perfect chump-timing. Just as many of us start to flounder on the approach to the Holidays, you nail it again. For some reason, #4 particularly speaks to me today, perhaps the Meh-ness of it is especially comforting right now.

  • I agree with everyone else here, PERFECT TIMING. Nostalgia has been kicking my ass the last few days. I’m moving out of our former home so he can move back in, with her when she can be here. I know I see very little of his life now but the stuff I see seems better than the life I seem to be living right now. I keep wondering how all of this is alright with either of them, how can they have happiness while causing so much pain. I don’t understand how she is okay with staying here. I wonder what lies they tell themselves and each other because they can’t have trust in that relationship. After what they watched and helped each other do? To be able to hurt anyone that way has to be saying to them both “could he/she do that to me?” or “I remember how much he/she loved their spouse, could what happen to them happen to us?” I don’t get it. This has to be weighing on them, keeping of the fantasy. In my case they talked a lot (we, the respective spouses trusted our spouses and friends), told each other the problems in their marriages, they were both given the playbook or script. They can’t keep that up forever. I guess it’s easy right now because it’s a long distance relationship, a few days here and there maybe a week or so at a time occasionally, texts, phone calls and emails. Anyone can play a part for that long, Anyway for the last few days, while packing up all my stuff (stuff of us he doesn’t want) memories of what was keep coming up. My heart breaks all over again.

    Thankfully CL and all of you bring me back to reality and I force myself to think of all the selfish crap I don’t have to put up with anymore. Yes there are things I miss and will always remember fondly but that is where I have to leave it.

    I can still hope for the day when he figures out how horrible he treated me, tries to come to me to apologize or maybe even reconcile and I can look at him with indifference and turn my back to him. Or maybe not indifference and I can laugh in his face because his apology doesn’t matter and the thought of reconciling with him is hysterically funny because it is so inconceivable.

    Still putting together the ticket money for the train to Meh… But today, reading this blog topic, I can hop on the Meh bus for a few days.

    • HopiumAddict, what you said about the way the ex and the OW must be worrying struck a chord w/me, I used to think that. But after some conversations that occured the TWO times the ex tried to convince me to reconcile, I realized that neither of them thinks that way – that’s normal thinking! Chumpy thinking!

      Narcs refuse to think that their behaviour might have consequences. Your AP might cheat on you in future, because they cheated with you? That would be a consequence of their choice to cheat – not thinking about that. And they totally absolutely believe they are incredibly special. Special people don’t have to worry their AP will fall out of love w/them, like they did w/their previous partner, their speciallness will protect them from that! Special people don’t have to worry that their new partner can’t be trusted – how could anybody NOT want their specialness, and work hard to keep it?

      Thse idiots expect everyone ELSE to be trustworthy. It’s only them, in their specialness, who don’t need to be. It’s really an entire fucked-up system of thinking, and leads to their never worrying about ANY consequences.

      As I said, my ex did try to reconcile. First time it was clear that he had zero insight into how badly he’d treated me – he was just miserable and wanted to come back. The second time he was at least sounding like he had some understanding of what he did wrong – but when you scratch the surface, all his sick entitlement and irresponsibility is still there. Just as an example, he tried to date me, during the second reconciliation attempt, while the OW thinks they’re in a committed relationship! And when I pointed out that this was still cheating and dishonesty, he thought I was being ridiculous.

      Sometimes it’s not hard to recognize that they suck. What’s hard to keep in mind is that they DON’T think like we do! When you don’t see them much, it can be easy to forget that.

      • Thanks for this post, Karen! I’ve never thought of my husband as an narc before, but now I’m wondering…

  • Sometimes I wonder maybe if the crotch jockey really does have the holy grail between her legs. That he has a thing for ugly. That perhaps she is urbane, accomplished, and a biting sense of humor. That she is “the one.”

    Then I remember his propensity for acting like an asshole is as programmed as dogs pissing on hydrants and get over it.

    • Well, I know a little about the OW, and she is *not* urbane, accomplished, or witty in the slightest. And that’s no holy grail between her legs, it’s a gutter that needs constant cleaning!

  • Thanks.. I needed that. Thanksgiving was the anniversary of my suicide attempt..STBX was very emotional..Glad I went to my moms…

    • Sorry to hear about your suicide attempt, Ian. Hope this year is much better and you’re getting good care. No cheater is worth your life. You’re worth sooOoo much more than the crap they dished out. Never forget it. ((Hugs))

    • Jedi hugs Ian, there is a good life, please believe it. I recommend reading the very highly. She and the tribe are helpful with depression.

  • Reinforcment – soooo timely. Just when I think things might be ok, I get a reminder that they are most definitely not. Funny how he refused to work on the marriage yet still has no problem pointing out how i’ve always done this or i’ve always been that. And then when I turn it around and say why is it always about me and what I say or do, that then i’m either being too extreme or changing the subject. They do suck. Even if there wasn’t a shred of suckiness before the affair, he most certainly does now and continues to.

    • I get the same, Chrissybob! When my ex is justifying his stupid and selfish behaviour by whining about how unhappy he was and how our relationship wasn’t what it should have been (prior to affair #2), I focus back to the facts that he chose not to make ANY effort to maintain and sustain our relationship, actually refused my attempts to do so, and that he chose to end it by lies and betrayal. His default now is to come back w/ how ‘harsh and judgemental’ I’m being.

      Uh huh. Keep thinking like that, that’ll really help you on your new ‘path to being a better person’.

  • I might send this link to a friend of mine. She was with a guy for 8 years and when they got engaged, he cheated on her and left her for the AP. Luckily, she had just gotten a new, REALLY good job, so she ended up being in a much better place than him.

    Yesterday though, she found the AP’s “Rate my hotness” page and it was only 4.4/10. She said it kind of made her day, even if the page was from a couple years ago. I can tell she’s still struggling a little bit to get to her meh. I told her that it doesn’t matter if it was from 2 years ago, the AP still needs something that shallow to validate herself and she’s still the type of person who dates engaged men. And her ex is probably going to do the same thing to the AP that he did to her.

    They both suck.

    • Um…? “Rate my hotness” page. Wow. So, is she that bored, vain, boring, in need of constant attention, vapid, empty, all of the above?

      Downgrade, indeed.

      Sometimes it takes the affair to wake us the hell up, or, in my case, to confirm what I dreaded for a very long time, and that is, knowing that he really does suck.

    • Cheaters. 🙂

      If you have Alzheimer’s you might forget. Best to tattoo it on your forearm then.

      • Don’t think I have Old Timer’s disease … yet 🙂

        I have “Forget I said that–>Forget you said what?” disease, I think.

        In “Life, the Universe and Everything”, Douglas Adams describes a field that makes things invisible; they never succeeded in making things optically invisible, but they were able to affect people’s emotions with a field called the “Somebody Else’s Problem Field”, and that effectively made whatever was surrounded by that field invisible:

        “The Somebody Else’s Problem field is much simpler and more effective, and what’s more can be run for over a hundred years on a single torch battery. This is because it relies on people’s natural disposition not to see anything they don’t want to, weren’t expecting, or can’t explain.” – Douglas Adams

        This is how Ford Prefect (I believe) was able to land a space ship in Central Park without anybody noticing.

      • Here is something I found sermon a few days ago from Pastor TD Jakes that struck a chord with me and I keep reading over and over. Even if you aren’t religious (and I am not pushing any religion here so I apologize in advance if the mention of it offends anyone), I think many of us here can appreciate the advice and wise words. I wish i had read this during the my false reconciliation.

        There are people who can walk away from you. And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you: let them walk.

        I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone. When people can walk away from you let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

        The Bible said that, they came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not for us. For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us. [1 John 2:19]

        People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.

        Let them go.

        And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person it just means that their part in the story is over. And you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead.

        You’ve got to know when it’s dead.

        You’ve got to know when it’s over. Let me tell you something. I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in good-bye. It’s not that I’m hateful, it’s that I’m faithful, and I know whatever God means for me to have He’ll give it to me. And if it takes too much sweat I don’t need it. Stop begging people to stay.

        Let them go!!

        If you are holding on to something that doesn’t belong to you and was never intended for your life, then you need to . . . . . . . .

        LET IT GO!!!

        • I like this post, Pearl. Thank you.

          I heard this one recently: “go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.” All of us chumps have many lovely characteristics worth celebrating. (And I’m looking at you as I say it, Ian.)

          BTW – just saw the ex at my son’s school. Texting away (as always, I’m sure with a side piece), while his GF is at work. Stealing glances at me (I was dressed up to go out with friends afterwards). They really never, ever change. Blech – good riddance, creeper.

        • Love it, Pearl! The “gift of goodbye” is awesome. It makes me wonder what the other nine spiritual gifts are.

          That sermon made me think of the wonderful Madea speech on relationships — same theme — Let them GO. Some people are only for a season, not a life time.

          • yep, some people are leaves, some are twigs or branches, then there are the roots. I’m looking for a root, laughing here

  • “4. You don’t share the same values…You are just two people who have nothing in common except shared history.”

    This statement took my breath away.

    Bring on meh!

  • Oh did I need that refresher. Feeling sad and depressed as he is in his seemingly happy world. I hate this time of year now. Two years ago he dropped the life altering vomit of words about how he had been having an affair..for years and was in a new one. Yes, it was 10 days before Christmas. Niiice

    One year anniversary of our divorce is a few weeks away. Contact has been minimal and though we live in the same town, we have not seen each other (except when I passed them driving in the car. Car that I helped pay for and went on many family trips.

    Just the other day he wrote me an email…”Would you like to talk or meet up?” What the hell? Of course my reply was “no. not a good idea”. I guess he is missing the stable, solid mature woman he threw away for a “twit” 38 years his junior. The hardest thing for me is trying to get my head in the right place. Some days I just scream all the way to work. Of course he is retired and traveling the state with his gal. 33 years I gave him. I read all this stuff about how I need to forgive to move forward but how in the hell can I do that? I know I do not ever want him in my life…he is poison. Does anyone have any ideas for getting beyond the betrayal? I am tired of crying, screaming, talking, writing. I am a good person so why is this shit still weighing me down?

    • jusduckie:
      I understand very well how you are feeling just like so many of us Chumps here do. We all have struggled with getting beyond the betrayal. I am dealing with that myself every day. I believe that part of what we Chumps have to do is to stop focusing on how we have been victimized by the Cheaters. There is no questions that they are all lousy people. They lied to us for years, betrayed us, used us to suit their needs, and stole years of our lives away from us. For me, that is the part that is the most difficult for me to get past. And, that is what causes me the most pain when I think about it. But, a friend of mine that has also been through a divorce from a cheating husband told me – “You need to look at it differently. Be thankful that he gave you the ticket you needed to get out of the relationship. His cheating and lies were your ticket out. That was your deal breaker that gave you the push to end the relationship. Now, you aren’t stuck with that lying cheating bastard anymore. Knowing who he really is, you wouldn’t want him now anyway. You have a clear path to make the life you want for yourself and your kids now. You don’t have to suffer the mental torture of wondering whether he is cheating anymore. You know all you need to know now. Look at is as though he did you a favor.” (I know that word is hard for me to use.)
      What my friend was trying to say to me is that we need to focus on what we want and deserve to have in our lives rather than focus on being the victims of our cheaters. We need to get to a place where we can say “Good riddance!” to the cheaters and be glad that they are out of our lives. After all – we all deserve better than what we got from our cheaters. We need to take the focus off of the cheater and put the focus on ourselves and our lives. That is really the only way any of us are going to be happy again.
      That is what I tell myself every day. Some days, I do well with that – and some days are tough.

      • I like that Rebecca. I do need to refocus my thoughts and energies. As a matter of fact…I think I will actually do a sketch in my journal “my ticket out”…Thanks!

        • well said Rebecca, it gets better jusduckie. I’m two years out and I promise, it does get better, in my case I say the OW did me a favor cos now she has to deal with him. I have no ill will toward the OW any more because I am free.

        • jusduckie
          “Sketch in my journal ‘my ticket out'” WOW. I don’t keep a journal (no privacy) but when I read that all I could see in my mind was a beautiful waving Willie Wonka’s Golden Ticket. That Golden Ticket is for me–not in the form of money because there is none–but in the form of peace of mind, free from the mental/emotional abuse, and his PTSD rages. I just got served the day before Thanksgiving. I knew that I was thankful for the papers but the day was dotted with relief, anxiety, elation, and fear. Willie Wonka is my new hero. I think I will go buy some chocolate. Thanks Duckie

          • That’s exactly what I tell myself when I am feeling crappy! He gave me the golden ticket to get out of a shitty marriage with his lying cheating ass! Hooray for us that we are getting out with our golden tickets!

    • Don’t feel you have to forgive. I don’t feel any need to forgive my ex, who was a serial cheater. The things I have found out since I threw him out make it very clear that he is ten kinds of fucked up and did some things that were so disrespectful that I swear I couldn’t even believe some of them. I don’t forgive him for wasting all those years of my life when he could have easily divorced me and I am completely fine with that. It doesn’t hold on to me, but no, no forgiveness for destroying someone else’s life, along with his treatment of the kids.

      As far as letting go? I would suggest therapy and throwing yourself into some activities. I know it sounds trite but they both do work. And make new friends. I’ve found that really helpful – new friends who have never met ex and therefore are all ‘mine’ so to speak. Be warned, though, one or two of my new friends turned out to be not quite my cup of tea and it was a bit weird to see and admit that–but it also helped me stop being a chump in all areas of my life. Two people I sort of got to know I figured out I didn’t really like all that much so that’s that. I don’t dislike them but they’re just a bit too hardcore and overbearing for my taste so I’m happy to put my attention elsewhere.

  • I have built a new, stable life.
    Made lots of friends; kept the old ones.
    Finished the divorce.
    I have a great job with great people.
    I do so much more and experience so many wonderful things in life.
    My kids love and adore me. They choose not to communicate with x and we are a very close unit of 3.
    I don’t want him back, she can have him (she is no happier than I was) and I know all the lies that went on for years.

    So, why do I have this deep need to make him suffer? He is unhappy that his kids don’t speak to him and I caused him some public humiliation.
    I mean really, really make him physically and emotionally hurt for life. he is damaged but he doesn’t see that. It has to be something that would make him feel the pain that he caused…a missing visible body part perhaps?
    Does that go away?

    • I don’t know for anyone else if it goes away Rebecca. For me, I realize my ex is mentally ill and I have no desire to see him suffer any longer. At first I did and believe it’s because we are hardwired with the JUSTICE desire. Now I realize that he already is suffering, he can’t ever really have what I have, he can’t feel it. He’s broken and he tried to make me responsible for his issues because he is broken. I know I am not to blame, I am not broken, I know I have all the JUSTICE I will ever get by simply living a good life without him. And by that I mean peace, a butterfly, a fire crackling, I don’t need grand things.

      I do want him to die but only because he represents a danger to my life, that’s a separate issue that is specific to only some chumps (like me) who’s spouse is capable of maiming or killing us. The only space he gets in my head now is that I have to be aware of the danger from him. I mitigated it as best I can with an alarm system, I will never allow the protective order to expire, etc. I keep up with my meditation and see my therapist once a month so I don’t fall back into the major PTSD shit.

  • Reading through everyone’s posts, I just want to say how awesome I think you all are! Your stories are my story and I feel better for just being here with you. If there really was a sparkly unicorn, it wouldn’t go near the twisted people who have broken our hearts and fucked with our minds. It’s still hard for me to trust that things won’t sneak up on me and suck. I think it’s the shock of the betrayal that does that – But I’m willing to get over it. Thank you, CL, you are one of the good ones. (archaic reference to Ren and Stimpy)

  • Pearl, I have often had the same thoughts in my head. Thank you CL for the timely reminder.

    2 weeks (I think, I don’t track the date) until the divorce is official for me.

    • It’s too bad that once the divorce is final there isn’t some sort of huge drain that could appear right under the cheater and suck them down into it forever. Like a giant toilet that could flush the cheater down! For me the big challenge is going to be dealing with the fact that I have to share my kids with their Cheater Father. The fact that I am still going to have to suffer the curse of dealing with him indefinitely just makes me sick. It would be so much better and so much easier if he would just go away forever. I know that is unrealistic – but it would be great!

      • Don’t be too sure about the ‘the curse of dealing with him indefinitely’, Rebecca. Most teenagers start to see a narcissistic parent more clearly, and now that will be easier because you won’t be there with your giant bucket of spackle any more. The narc cheater will continue to be a narc, continue to do selfish things, continue to be entitled. And teenagers, with their HUGE sense of justice and fairness, start to see right through them.

        My kids are now refusing to see their father, somebody above mentioned the same, a colleague whose husband cheated, leading to divorce, reported the same; her kids are now adults, she’s a grandma, and her ex has never met his grandchildren.

        It’s harder for me now, the kids used to spend two evenings a week and Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening every second weekend with their dad. That was my time to catch up on everything for work and the house, see my friends, and even date!! Now they’re with me full time, and I see I need to make more effort to get out to see friends, maybe meet people (men people, I mean! 😉 ), and I’m really tired a lot of the time. But I do WHATEVER it takes for my kids, and they are totally worth it.

        Pity he wouldn’t do the same. Man, he sucks.

      • I liked the scene in the movie “Ghost” where the evildoers get sucked down to hell. I picture my EX getting sucked down, all on his own, with no help from me.

  • CL, you rock on woman!

    Many chumps are posting about how they feel like *maybe* the ex fixed his shit and everything’s roses for the new spouse he’s with. Don’t you believe it, CL is right and I post once again the rant that helped me see it. Some of it might not apply to you but read the whole thing and I bet in total it will help you realize that the asshole is not going to change for his or her new toy: and after that you might want to read the Martyr Man rant. The site sometimes doesn’t load and needs a refresh.

    I am lucky in some ways, I got the full abuse monty when I told my ex I wanted a divorce. I don’t have to trust that my ex sucks, when I gathered evidence to renew my protective order (PO) I found that his OW/new GF filed a PO on him 7 months after the divorce was final. I read the report, it was so similar to what happened to me that I have confirmation that he sucks. I was amazed when I saw that his GF cited MY PO as a reason she believed he would hurt her, and I cried after I saw the last document where he convinced her to rescind the order a few months later. She is in for a world of hurt, probably much worse than anything I experienced.

    Last, like a lot of the comments I don’t feel like I need to forgive my ex or the OW and I get pretty pissed if I hear that shit. I don’t forgive either of them, I accept that what happened was what it was, that it couldn’t be any different, there is no re-do. Forgiveness requires apology and atonement. That is never going to happen and I don’t need it to.

    I accept that what happened was my life, and what is happening now is my life, and what will happen in the future will be too, one day I’ll look back at this year and realize that it couldn’t have been any different because it wasn’t. What’s that quote? Life is what happens when…

    • Thanks for the reminder, Dat, about acceptance. With the holidays arriving, it’s easy to slide back to memories of some good times (’causes there were good times – we’re chumps, but we’re not entirely stupid!).

      I have to keep pulling back up my mantra; ‘it is what it is’.

  • Mine is ‘It was what it was’. And what it was was abuse, and that part is over.

  • I haven’t spoken to my ex in over a year but what’s been reported back to me (as CL documented in a post over the summer), my ex isn’t even trying to sparkle anymore. He’s instead flickering like a lightbulb in a grungy-ass gas station men’s room.

    The truest definition of “meh” is when you realize that by completely and utterly fucking you over, what your ex really did was print you a free, one-way ticket the fuck OUT of the hallucinatory mindfuck they made of your life and onto something calmer, better, and HAPPIER.

    I once read a new-age adage that went something like: “There’s two types of people in the world: People who breathe clean air and people who don’t.”

    Even if you had to downgrade from a four-bedroom house to a studio apartment in a brick building with a cat and potted plants (while your ex vacations in Aspen with the OW who was born the same year you got married), guess who’s breathing the clean air and who isn’t? It sure as fuck ain’t the Happy Lovebirds soaking up the Colorado weather, that’s for sure. As CL aptly points out above, it’s only a matter of time before the cracks start to show in the foundation and the sparkle starts to wear off.

    I went through an absolute nightmare of a break-up but goddamn if I’m not breathing clean every single day of my life. To even attempt reconciliation at this point would be a soul-crushing, mind-numbing, emotionally-draining clusterfuck of posturing, feigned affection and marriage policing built on a “foundation” that’s really just a big black hole.

    Forget the shit sandwich. Take a knife to your chest, carve out your soul, hand it off to the Devil, and tell The Lord of Darkness you’d like absolutely NOTHING in return. Fuck, Robert Johnson went off and became the most influential blues musician of all time after he sold his soul. You’d be trading your soul and getting a domestic life as a doormat all over again while your cheater pouts and sulks all over the house.

    Is that REALLY something to be nostalgic for three weeks before Christmas??!

    One last note, I found a great piece called “The Six Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal.” Google it and go through the list and see how many of those apply to your former relationships/marriages.

    Then scroll down to #6 and tell me this doesn’t apply to your cheating ex/AP and their not-so-sparkly Tru Wuv to a T:

    “6. Buying the Solutions to Relationship Problems

    What It Is: Any time a major conflict or issue comes up in the relationship, instead of solving it, one covers it up with the excitement and good feelings that come with buying something nice or going on a trip somewhere.”

    All these comments about the cheating ex’s going on cross-country and transatlantic trips, taking their paramours out to expensive dinners and all this talk of cashed-out retirement accounts. You really think it’s a coincidence that your ex’s spending habits suddenly seem more profligate than ever? And yet for some reason they can’t come up with an otherwise affordable child support payment?

    To you nostalgic chumps, is THAT the Tru Wuv you think you’re missing out on? Is THAT the kind of relationship you wish you still had? Your aging ex’s pissing away the VERY money they’re going to have to live off of sooner rather than later? `

    Relationships built on cheating, deception and heartbreak are doomed from the start and need hyper-doses of Sparkletonin to keep them afloat. And nothing sparkles like “things” and the currency that pays for them (or buys them on credit).

    To the chumps I say: Keep breathing the clean air and let the children have their toys. If they want to run around the house naked, raid the cookie jar, draw on the walls with magic marker and put makeup on the dog, let them. Just be happy you’re not the adult who has to clean up after their sorry asses.

    • Wow Chris, that is incredible insight you got there. Saving this one to re-read, probably over and over! 🙂

    • Terrific post Chris. I can relate to #6. Other than affair partners, it was my cheater ex’s favorite way to self soothe — buy shiny shit. Motorcycles, sporting equipment, crap on eBay. I’ll look up the article, thanks!

      Keep breathing the clean air!

    • This is a great post, Chris, thank you! Yes, I wake up every day knowing the air I breathe is CLEAN, despite any worries about finances, strain over raising my son without a normal co-parent or concerns about the future. My ex, on the other hand, is absolutely convinced his shit is the same as the driven snow, he is a divine inspiration and in his own words, “he has the innate ability to make others feel good just by being in his presence.” Total delusion. He is really nothing but the flickering bulb in the filthiest mens bus station bathroom, not the shining light he imagines. And he’s no stranger to nasty mens bathrooms, so it’s even more fitting.

      • BWAHAHAHAHA! That quote from your ex is hilarious. What’s it from – a dating profile? a consultant’s “about me” page?

        Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up…

  • I know the holidays are tough. Everyone needs to stay strong. Remember…the one thing that you can count on in life is change. What is horrible/terrible today may be OK tomorrow. Just keep looking forward! xo

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