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I Demand an Apology

so_sorryFollowing up from yesterday’s post on “Reconsider Me,” I think we should revisit the whole chump phenomenon of needing an apology from your cheater.

It’s so galling. They broke this relationship, this family, and they’re not one bit sorry. Well, they SHOULD be! I demand an apology! And I refuse to heal until I get one! I’ll just turn blue while I wait for closure.

Yeah. Totally self defeating. Let’s examine the whole apology thing.

1) Don’t you have better things to do? Waiting for an apology from your cheater, not feeling like you’re going to put this nightmare to rest until you get one, is giving your cheater an awful lot of power over you. And it’s exactly what they want — centrality. To know that they influence your mental state so much, that they can make you dance if only you get that “apology.” Desperately needing an apology is currency to a disordered person. Hmm. I wonder what you’ll do if I give you this apology. How badly do you need it? Can I come home? Will you lend me some money?

2) What is an apology from a liar? It’s words. It’s bad stock. You need some tangible assets. Cash on the barrelhead, son. We don’t take credit.

Sorry is as sorry does. Only look at their actions. Demand renumeration (a postnup, an uncontested divorce settlement). They balk at that? They aren’t sorry.

3) It’s unjust. So just eat the shit sandwich already. You’re angry that you got chumped. I get it. Part of getting to meh is accepting the injustice. It wasn’t fair. It was wrong. Your trust was sorely abused. You don’t need the apology to know it was unjust. You can accept the injustice and trust your senses without them acknowledging it. Sucks, of course. But the reality doesn’t change.

4) It’s broken. You can’t unring that bell or unfuck that whore. An apology isn’t going to glue together what’s broken. It’s acknowledging responsibility for breakage, that’s it. Figure out what you want. Are you guilty of magical thinking? Do you want things that cannot be put right put right again? (The whore to be unfucked) or do you want a reality check from your cheater acknowledging that they did this. Okay, they admitted it. They feel bad. Not half as bad as you feel. Now what?

5) Stop looking to your cheater to validate you. That’s what the need for an apology is — validation that you mattered. You’re asking the person who hurt you to make this better. This is the  LAST person likely to make it better. If they were invested in making things better they would not have cheated on you, lied about it, gaslighting you, blameshifted, and taken all the power tools and crystal decanters when they left.

Find your comfort elsewhere. Of course you matter. Surround yourself with the people who don’t need a remedial course on that.

6) What are you going to do with a sincere apology? No — REALLY. Assuming you ever get one, what are you going to do with it? Reconcile with them? Second guess yourself? Do the you-are-so-wrong-I’m-glad-you-finally-admitted-it happy dance? Revel in the validation that they Get It? Oh hurrah, the dim person Has Seen the Light!

Newsflash — it was obvious to everyone that running off and abandoning your spouse and three children for some nitwit they connected with on FaceBook was a ruinous, painful decision. It’s only clear to them NOW? What are you supposed to do with that? Are they going to refund you the last 15 years of your life?

Do you want the satisfaction of closing the door in their face? Oh HA! See how it FEELS, sucker! You want to be the powerful person for once?

Then you’re still enmeshed with them. You care what they feel. You still want to “win.”

The name of the game is meh. Don’t care.  They are yesterday’s news.

I’m not being bitter, chumps. A heartfelt apology is a beautiful thing — but notice how the really gruesome things in life don’t get apologized for until ages after the harm was done. The Catholic Church just said sorry to Galileo 500 years after the fact. I’m sure Galileo’s moldering corpse really appreciates it.

Betraying your spouse, inflicting that kind of harm on someone, requires more than an apology. Or buckets of them. It’s a long, slow, humbling grind toward self improvement. Waiting for that character transplant requires a huge investment from the chump — a risk with terrifically bad odds, that I would implore you not to make.

On the off chance that they grow that much character, and spend the required years in therapy — by the time you get an apology, you will be so moved on that it won’t matter. It will be a big shrug. Oh. It’s you. What do you want?

Because they want something. At best, apologizing will be for them, to salve their conscience. At worst, it’s another onslaught of manipulation. This theater you humans call “remorse” has worked in the past. Do a little play-acting and the gates open to the kingdom of cake!

Keep the gates shut. Let them keep their apology. Or accept it in the spirit you received that ugly sweater from Aunt Mildred when you were 13. “Oh, um, thank you.” A well intended, useless item from someone who doesn’t really get you at all. Stuff it in the back of your closet.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • An apology will never fix a failed relationship. Most of us understand our wedding vows. And they are pretty clear about cheating. No apology will make walking out on your family okay. No apology will change the fact that not only did my ex walk out on me but that he took the time to destoy us financially. Walked from a mortgage he could afford. Stole money from our children(their college money) and then said to me “he’s your son you figure it out” when our second child in the midst of his father’s fu@%ed up life choices left for his first year of college. My ex was never the man we neede him to be. A cheater never is. It is them, and your life never quite feels real. Because it isn’t. My ex never meant anything. His truest words were said the day he left. “Everything about my life is perfect except for you.” Which is hilarious. I know I was the best thing that ever happened to him. At the same time I realize that my best memories of our marriage were spending time with our three children. Who love me purely. Actions are what mattered and in twenty eight years together one thing stood out. He was never “there” for any of us. Why would an apology matter now? CL and fellow chumps, lots of magical wishes to you and yours this holiday season.

  • This is something I really struggle with. He supposedly went through the repentance process required for our church to be back in full fellowship, but he never apologized to me or the kids. In fact quite opposite, he blamed his 20 years of double life, serial infidelity on depression. Even people who are truly depressed know right from wrong, but that is for another post. I don’t know what story he told the bishop, but there was no restitution of any kind. Now he and his former affair partner/wife are both active at church like nothing happened and no one seems to be the wiser. I know it is all an act an for show, but it still galls me. Even after being divorced for 2 years I am not to meh. Hope to get there someday.

    • He “went through the…process” because there was something in it for him. What a joke. There is an empty spot where his soul is supposed to go. It’s just blank–nothing there.

      • I would have to agree Stephanie, anyone who could do all the horrible things he did and be able to hide it, and sleep like a baby has no soul. I just hate that he has used our church as a manipulation. When I had the nerve to question him about his “repentance” and ask him where was the resitution and remorse, he gave me a reptilian stare and said, “my priesthood leaders have signed off on me so you can’t say a word”. He knew he had pulled a fast one and wanted me to know how clever he was. Such a sociopath.

        • This would actually make me wonder about the priesthood leaders. He’s repentant, but without ANY recognition or reparation for the people he’s hurt the most, and they think that’s enough? Sounds pretty handy to me, lots of cheaters would like that church!

  • My ex is doing the “pick me dance” himself these days and a small part of me enjoys it. I know we are never going to work out and get back together. I really don’t want to, but a small part of me sometimes needs to be smacked in the face by the larger parts of me when he does the groveling. It’s the holidays right now so I feel that’s why on both our parts and I haven’t crossed that line and refuse to. He moved out August 3rd and he said something to me the other day about missing me and not knowing what to do. I told him “you made that decision back in August. You knew exactly what to do then.” I speak fluent sarcasm and I enjoyed saying it only because I knew he realized his words didn’t work on me. I’ve been down the road of apologies before because this wasn’t his first time of betrayal. They are insincere and covered in his manipulation. If it weren’t for our 6 year old son and finances I wouldn’t have any words with him at all. I’m so close to meh I can taste it, but I guess because I get some sort of enjoyment out of him looking like a sad puppy dog I’m not there yet. But I’m determined to get there!!

  • I so agree with this.

    I wanted him to admit what he did wrong and an apology for each injustice. He had cheated from day 1 and damnit I wanted him to acknowledge that he was a fraud and he was sorry for hurting me.

    I go a long (for him) email admission of guilt. I should have been happy right? To have such a thing in writing no less!

    But no, it only pissed me off more. Because in between him admitting to the factual lying, cheating and siphoning of marital funds there were a bunch of “buts” and excuses on why he did such horrible things. Mostly these excuses were how he “felt” that I didn’t this or that.

    After stopped the flames shooting out of my eye sockets. I noticed how what he accused me of were how he “felt” about things. Never actually outright saying that I didn’t love him or wasn’t nice enough to his family. Because his feelings weren’t facts and I couldn’t dispute them. In essence he cheated me out of an apology.

    Crazy cheating nutbags don’t apologize..they blameshift and use faux “feelings” to cheat you again, out of a genuine “I’m sorry”. I agree so much, don’t waste your time.

  • I don’t think my desire for an apology is because I want to win. For me it’s just a fantasy that maybe some day he might comprehend the depth of pain he caused. However, I haven’t let my fantasy hold me back from moving forward with my life. For awhile after my ex left I ACHED for some type of resolution, for some explanation of the bizarre behavior of the man I thought I knew. But the longer I’m out of the situation the better it feels to be living my own authentic life and not pretending to be in an emotionally intimate relationship with a person who’s actually a robot. My counselor said my ex is missing the emotion chip. Our brains are just wired different. When I think of it that way, there’s not much to forgive. I’m just grateful to be free.

    • Well said, Lyn. It isn’t just nice words or one-up-manship we want. The fantasy is that they would actually MEAN what they say, understand the pain they caused, and own their actions. But that is just not possible. It is another unicorn to chase after.

      I got a smattering of weak apologies over the course of a year from him as he tried to get me to consider reconciling, including “you have my apologies”, “you deserved better”, and the final post-divorce text “truly sorry.” Sorry for WHAT? He never would elaborate on that. Sorry for the final affair? Sorry for making me fear for my physical safety in my own home? Sorry for 20+ years of emotional abuse and neglect? Sorry for lying to me about your alcoholism for 20+ years? Sorry for hiding relationships with other women for 20+ years?

      Even if he had the emotional capacity to understand what he has done, he is a very weak and sick man who could never shoulder the weight of facing what he did. It is just not possible.

      An apology can do nothing for me now. I am just so grateful to be free!

      • My ex sent me an email just before the divorce was final with the following: “I am sorry for what you have become and my part in it”. Isn’t that a great apology?

    • My Cheating wife actually said “I didn’t deserve what she did” But at the same time she was most likely still in contact with the turd she screwed. I did tell her “those are just words” Don’t know if she’ll ever understand. Probably not.

      • I never heard mine utter “I’m sorry,” although I said it to him many times as he listed all the reasons I caused him to fall out of love with me. I remember saying “I have a long list of things you’ve done to hurt me over the years too, but it didn’t cause me to fall out of love with you, or or fall in love with someone else.” I kept thinking he was going to wake up and turn back into the person I thought I knew. After awhile whenever the kids or I would try to express the deep emotional pain we were feeling he would say in the most robotic voice “I understand.” It was obvious he didn’t understand, he just wanted us to go away.

  • I needed to read this post. I wanted an apology. I wanted it not to get back together but for him to acknowledge the damage. And I know it won’t ever happen. But knowing that and actually internalizing that is difficult. I guess it’s because I would never do that to someone else. I could never inflict that much pain and just walk away.

    I think the other thing that bothers me is that other people just seem to think he’s great. His family, (of course) and work people. Do they REALLY think he’s not the loser that he really is? That he is a fraud? Do they just have to pretend because “geez, he’s family, etc.” But like CL says, I have to trust that he sucks and trust that everyone else pretty much knows he sucks too.

    I know that I’m better off without him but yes, I’m still giving him that control over me. And that has to stop. I’m working on ‘meh’ and trust me, I see him very clearly. It’s just that thirst for some kind of justice. I suppose “justice” is living a good life without a lying, cheating fool that keeps you down.

    • Boy did I neeed this as I am sitting in court while me stbx is trying to take spousal support away. I am unemployed and he has to pay $1000 a month for 1 year. He makes well over 6 figures and he acts like he can’t afford it!!

      I too have dreamed of an apology but know that I will never see it!

      Trying desperately to reach MEH!! Right now the hate and rage are winning!

      Thank You CL as usual your posts are dead on!!

        • Karen,

          Thank You! Our hearing got delayed again because court was over booked!

          The hypocrisy that was coming out of his mouth was just stunning!!! He is the one that needs MEH!! If he could achieve that then it would help me too. Stop and leave me alone so that I could move on.

          I too struggle a lot of the injustice of this. I don’t want to hear just move on. He walks around like what he did was right and people don’t stand up about it. Society knows this is an issue and it wrong but they seem to just want to sweep in under the rug. The court system is step up so that they can walk away and ruin us financially. They are the ones that are welcomed back into society because they have a partner and are so happy. While we are the struggling group trying to raise the kids that they left with limited funds.
          I use to want an apology as an acknowledgment that what he did was wrong. It is never going to happen because he doesn’t see it as wrong.

          Today he told me that he just wants this done. I told him then stop bringing me back to court. He looked at me stunned. Again his hypocrisy. I don’t think he will ever see it as it is how he protects himself. But why don’t others see it? How can his family and coworkers support him?
          He walked out of a 26 year marriage and never looked back like I was not worth his time to even talk to. All he wanted was “stuff” lots and lots of “stuff”. I am trying to see this as a gift like CL says but it is difficult because he acts like I was not worth the time to bother with.

          CL I read your posts over and over and it helps so much. Still searching for MEH I will get there just think I need more time. Keep writing!!!!

          • Forget an apology — he can pay his crummy support!

            He just want this done? OMG, there is a blog post just in that statement. Yeah, that’s a wing nut talking. These nuts sue you, break orders, want zero responsibility, legally harass you for shits and giggles and then complain that they’re in court again.

            Meh is out there. But it’s very hard to find when you’re in a court room. Just stay strong!

            • Jenn and CL,

              OMFG!!!!! Blog Post? Novella!!!!

              My STBX just told his attorney to “hurry up and get this done.” He JUST answered discovery right before Thanksgiving. He received it in early September. Really Shit-Covered Hell Beast? He thinks, “Okay, I answered the questions, now we can get divorced, right?” I get everything, she can have a little something, plus we’ll split the debt, even though I created most of it and she helped me pay off practically everything before I decided that we were never supposed to be together – after 28 years, 26 of them married.

              Jenn and CL, you are both so spot on with this. Please CL, write a blog post, make it a chapter in your book! Hell, make it 2 chapters! The level of entitlement thinking these clowns possess is just mind-boggling to a rational person.

              Jenn, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I know how frustrating it is and it keeps you cycling through their abusive shit. (((HUGS))) to you.

              • This seems to be SOP. It got back to me through several avenues that *I* was the one dragging things out. I even got a snotty Jr. High girl letter from the OW saying that if I was dragging things out thinking she’d get tired and leave, then I should think again because she will NEVER leave.

                Yeah, thanks for that girlie, and best of luck, since I really don’t want him back.

                I sometimes try to imagine just how their deluded and disordered thinking actually works, but it makes my brain hurt so I quit.

            • Ok there really must be a “Stupid Cheater Behaviour for Dummies” book out there somewhere that all these people have read. Blog post, please, CL!

              Toddler Boi kept saying that he wanted to negotiate an amicable divorce, and I stupidly bought it. Why waste our money on lawyers, he said, sounding reasonable, when we can settle this ourselves? We aren’t rich, and it is pretty clear how things need to be divided…..

              But all he did was stall and argue and slowly show himself for the asshole he truly is. I was consulting with a lawyer, so I was smart enough to have everything documented, but I wasted a year and a half of effort on this idiot when I should have just filed.

              Now of course the divorce is all my fault (nothing to do with his cheating, lying, and disrespecting me and the kids) and for my benefit. And of course every little thing has to have numerous e-mails and communications with his lawyer even though it has been clearly spelled out in law and in our interim agreement. For a guy who didn’t want to “waste money” he is sure doing a good job.

              He thinks if he draws this out I will finally throw my hands up and admit he really does deserve everything and walk away. The one good thing about narcs is that along with having no empathy they also have no appreciation of our strengths and skills and endurance (in spite of having benefited hugely from them). It will be a frosty Friday in Hell before I give up on what the law allows me and my boys after 36 years. NC, friends and family, and CL and all you lovely Chumps will get me through – I just keep visualizing getting those divorce papers finally in my hands, and being free of this fool finally.

              My two youngest sons turned 19 today and are adults – another milestone. Toddler Boi has no say over them now, for which I am so, so grateful. My sister says that this is all happening like it is for a reason, and I hope that she is right.

      • Why does he only have to pay you for one year? Given the difference in your income, it should be more/longer, Were you only married for a year? Sorry to be so intrusive, but if you aren’t making any money, this seems absurd!

    • Thensome, I feel the exact same way. I don’t understand how people think he’s great either. As he’s remarrying (the OW), all I could think was “how can people actually be supporting this”??? He’s a lowlife, lying, cheating ass who abandoned his family (2 little girls) and people think it’s ok. I’m trying to trust that he sucks. Sometimes it’s hard though. Why does he move on (with brand new house, car, vacations, wedding) while I struggle. Something doesn’t seem right here.

      • Why don’t others see this as bad has me scratching my head too. Cheaters are fakes. Why are people so afraid to stand up for what is wrong. Adultery is wrong, Infidelity is wrong, lying is wrong, deciet is wrong. IT”S ALL SO WRONG!

        Are others that concerned that they will be viewed as judgmental or what? This country was founded by judgmental people who stood up for what they believed in. I just don’t understand.

        • Lyn, this is exactly me. I am quite comfortable that my future ex wasn’t a serial cheater. Instead he’s terribly passive agressive and after dropping that he no longer wanted to be married, having a 9 month affair instead of taking the right steps to leave was a) done to get me on the same page because he knew I wouldn’t leave and b)avoidance of dealing with the hard stuff which was totally in keeping with his character. We’d been together for over 20 years, since teenagers, grew up together. So my need for an apology isn’t to win, maybe for comfort but really it’s like CL says, to know our history mattered. I have gotten a dance around apology of sorts but not the real thing. And I know I never will. I haven’t let this prevent me from moving forward and i’m not waiting for one. My final divorce docs should be ready by the end of this week. As to #6, what am I going to do with the apology? I just don’t know now. Before sure it was to feel better. But now that’s a really good point to reflect on. Why do I still want this, even though i’ve taken all the steps to move forward.

  • Yes, this…

    The first time I was cheated on by someone I loved, I did ALL the typical chump stuff. In spades and then some more for good measure. I let the relationship go on (and off and on and off…) for another 6 months while he manipulated me royally, lied, twisted, blame-shifted and more. I thought I had to have the last word. Oh, there were lots of apologies at first, tears even! Then the nastiness kicked in, because he couldn’t stand it that I had the moral high ground (because he’s just so damned awesome, you see). I guess I owe him a thank you he’ll never get, because with my recent cheater, there was no way I wanted to repeat that BS. I slammed the door shut as soon as I told him I knew, and I’ve kept it that way.

    Need him to acknowledge that what he did was wrong? Please! It’s enough that I know it! What I think matters! It’s enough that I know I deserve better. I know there is nothing I could say to bring him to true remorse, and it’s not my job to absolve or fix him, not for himself and sure as hell not for anyone else.

  • What a great post, CL.

    Genuine apology is hard. Back in my Amazon days, I read an insightful book called On Apology, by Aaron Lazare.

    He writes that real apology involves seeing and articulating the damage done from the perspective of the injured party. It requires an attitude of shame or guilt for the violation of responsibilities.

    It requires compensation for the damage. Real compensation if possible, symbolic if not.

    It requires a profound commitment to avoid the attitude that created the injury in the first place.

    It is given with no expectation that it will be accepted.

    humble, shamed narcissist without interest in cake = unicorn

    Unicorns have no practical purpose. The care and feeding would be ruinous.

    • Good definition of apology Bonkti.
      I have slowly accepted that my disordered exwife is completely incapable of fulfilling this criteria, even if she WANTED to apolgize!
      Frankly, that realization also pisses me off…because, once again she is “allowed” to get away with destructive behaviour due to her emotional bankruptcy.
      Years of me cleaning up her mistakes and messes finally ended woth her exit affair…and the final insult is – if I want an apology – I will have to learn to live without it!

      • “I have slowly accepted that my disordered exwife is completely incapable of fulfilling this criteria, even if she WANTED to apologize!”

        This. I think the same emotional deficits that allow these people to cheat (especially when we’re talking about serial cheaters leading double lives) prevent them to making bona fide apologies. And the older I get, the more I think it’s just impossible for people to empathy to be happy with people who lack that quality.

  • I’ve gotten an apology (sort of), and I agree with CL – it doesn’t really change anything.

    My STBX is also backing this up with actions….but I have this gut feeling that he hasn’t really changed, he’s just putting on a good show to win back his family. Bottling up all his rage and fuckedupness for awhile, but I’m betting it will come out sometime.

    An apology? Consider the source.

    • I am in the same spot Ducks. I am getting apologies, and he is even doing all the things that project an image of true remorse. I know he just wants to win back his family. And I know that if he did win us back, we would be right back in danger of his abuse. I can’t take him back, or I would be giving him permission to go back to our old relationship and start abusing us again, and giving him the message that he can get away with it. No matter what he does now, I will never trust that it will last once he gets what he wants.

      I hope you stay strong. And I hope I stay strong, because it is really hard when I finally get all those changes that I was begging for a year ago. It’s just too late.

      • This is just what I thought when my ex wanted to come back, last year, too, quicksilver; the good stuff from him would never last, because his underlying entitlement was still so strong. And I’d have to keep setting clear boundaries, making clear what was acceptable or not, explaining how he was supposed to behave and requiring that of him, and giving tons of ego strokes whenever he did do something right or caring, because he has NO clue how to be in a good relationship, and no interest in learning about that on his own.

        That made me realize that what I want is to be in a relationship where there’s nothing big to forgive, because the person would never do that kind of thing to me. A relationship where I would just have to give my opinions, and negotiate around mine and his, not set boundaries to protect myself and my kids from further emotional abuse. A relationship where I don’t have to explain, require or give ego strokes (different from real appreciation!), because the person actually CARES about me and the kids, and WANTS to do the right thing, WANTS to help make us happy.

        That’s what I want – a relationship w/someone like me!!! And while it may never happen, I’d far rather be alone and in peace and surrounded by friends and family who do care about me, than in a relationship w/someone like him.

  • Apologies AND Forgiveness are highly over rated and not at all necessary. I did want one when I was riding the reconciliation crazy train. Now? meh. Once you come to peace with the decision to separate and it’s over why in the world would an apology matter?

    I do understand wanting justice, it sucks to have to give money to someone who fucked you over, it sucks to have a dangerous person out there who might show up and hurt you. I’m even at peace with the last bit, I took the advice in Gift of Fear; do what you can to reduce risk and then do not worry about that which is out of your control. I’m getting good at it!

    CL and all the chumps on this site have helped me get over wanting justice. Just reading your stories and getting the validation that I wasn’t crazy made a difference. I’ve finally forgiven myself, that’s the only person I needed to forgive. Lastly, I listen to my grandmother’s wisdom, she had a saying when someone did her wrong, “the wheel turns”, only she said it in Italian so it sounded like a curse :). She was a smart, strong woman who bore a grudge better than anyone. She got angry, she cut the toxic person out of her life, then she let it go and let the wheel turn on it’s own.

  • I think I desperately wanted an apology in order to prove to myself that it wasn’t all a charade and that we did have a connection all those years. I think that goes to the deeper issue of questioning your ability to determine who you can trust. It’s self preservation; am I astute enough to perceive when I’m in danger? By showing they care at least enough to apologize it would be some evidence that you’re not totally, completely unable to make those judgments.

    Regardless, I’ve given up thinking about getting an apology because clearly it’s not coming. Plus I really don’t like dealing with him, even for that. Whether or not he ever felt a connection with me is something I’m still mildly curious about, but not enough so that I would want to pick the scab by interacting with him. No contact is absolutely awesome as far as I am concerned.

    • Roslyn , If you were being emotional abused it can really mess up your intuition and beat down all your boundaries over time. I stayed with my ex too long because my inner voice was silenced to the point I dreamed what my intuition was desperately trying to tell me. Trusting yourself again is very important. I read Gift of Fear twice and still re-read some sections when I feel the need. That book helped me regain my confidence and ability to hear my inner voice so I can trust myself to know when someone sucks (among other things). I recommend it highly.

    • Roslyn, I finally recognized that the only real connection between the ex and me was mine; that was a full, caring, reciprocal bond. The ex was very attached to what I could provide to him; the sex, the activities and fun, the friendships, the organizing of everything in our lives, the adorable kids and 80% of their care, and especially the ego kibbles. But there was ZERO, NO, NONE, NOT A SPEC of reciprocity there. He was entitled to all of this, and if any of it dropped or required any effort on his part to maintain, he was resentful and felt entitled to cheat.

      So yes, there was a connection, especially in the early years, and again after his first affair when I danced the pick-me dance so very very well. But it was a one-sided connection, dependent on my ability to give and give and give and receive the absolute minimum he could get away with. Never enough to build a life on.

  • When ex was dropping his ‘bomb’ on me and telling me that “It Just Happened…” yadda, yadda, I realized that something was missing from his speech. It took me a few days to figure it out, but I came to realize what it was: He never apologized.

    I thought back on a conversation that I had with his SIL when he was going through one of his drinking binges (…that usually lasted for several MONTHS). She told me that the reason she was angry with him was because he never apologized for his behavior, nor did he THANK anyone who took care of him or his house of his child while he was inebriated.

    I suddenly realized that he never apologized to ME (or expressed any gratitude) once he finally sobered up.

    The comfort I got was the knowledge that he didn’t ONLY do this to ME. That knowledge brings me a little bit closer to ‘meh’ every day.

    • It is comforting to see them do the same to others; it means it isn’t personal, it isn’t about who we are or something we did. It could be anybody, they’d do the same – and have done, and are doing, and will do.

      They are who they are, and who they are sucks.

  • Apology you say?

    If my STBX told me that he was a burn victim, I wouldn’t believe him if I was the one who had set him on fire. Each time I became of aware of him cheating he said it was an aberration and that he would never do it again, that he didn’t know what had gotten into him. He would whine about being flawed and overtaken by his “shadow” side and sometimes simply not being able to control himself. He doesn’t apologize – unless he says a simple “sorry” to distract your attention away from the metaphorical knife he is then currently sticking into your back.

    I have had to accept the reality that I have lived with and reproduced with a sincere, benevolent APPEARING human being who in reality is a seriously personality/character-disordered, conscienceless, predatory, selfish, self-absorbed, shit-covered beast from the deepest recesses of hell. His lying and deceitful behavior is not accidental, it is a pathology.

    An apology coming from someone like that is completely meaningless. It has all the value of Monopoly money. Him not being who he represented himself to be, who I believed him to be, has been a harder pill to swallow than a lack of apology. Maybe because during all of our years together, he has never apologized for ANYTHING that he has done – only ever offered justifications and rationalizations and blamed some errant part of my personlity (or lack thereof) as the reason he behaved as he did. He never considered me worth even a pretend apology – it took me years to become aware of that fact.

    Well, I’m out and eventually the longing for what I thought I had will subside (I hope) and there will be new and better days and maybe, one day, even a relationship with a healthy person who understands the meaning and value of the notions of honesty and reciprocity – something the Shit-Covered Beast can’t even pronounce.

    So an apology from a lying, deceitful, flaming turd from Satan’s ass? Thanks, but I’m good on that one.

  • This was brilliant CL! It is at the core of what I struggle with daily. I want JUSTICE! Thanks for helping me to see that I don’t need some liar apologizing to me for validation that their cheating was WRONG. Bring on the “Meh”!

  • Yeah I got the apology after dday 2 or 3, eh…. I can’t remember. I got the “on his knees and grovelling” literally, and I’ll admit, it felt good. But even then, I knew it was an act, just as anything is with these people. He went right back to cheating the next day. Apologies are nice, but you first have to give a crap to care enough to apologize and mean it, and these twisted fucks just don’t.

  • Need another reason not to seek an apology? Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. Pressured my cheater for an apology-just absolutely had to have it during our ‘reconciliation’.
    Me-are you sorry?
    Him- Yes
    Me-No, really, really sorry??
    Him-YES
    Me-Why are you sorry?
    Him-Everyone is upset and I hurt you and the kids know and they are upset.
    Me- Aside from all that, are you sorry you cheated on me, slept with another woman? Him-No, not really.
    It was like a punch in the gut, which I probably needed to wake me up to the reality of how messed up he is.

    • That wasn’t an apology. Those were just words. A string of words that lack any empathy.

      As you mentioned although you felt like it was a punch in the gut. It was the slap in the face of reality you(we) need to realize your cheat is gone and you don’t really need him in your life anymore.

      Just let him go.

  • Mine offered to swear on a bible… LOL. Yeah, because the first time he made a promise in church, he didn’t feel like keeping it? WTF??

      • Nomar, did not want a post nup. I was done. He had lied to me about other stuff throught the years, secret credit cards, family issues, who knows what else. In the past I had always forgiven and moved foward while asking/telling him not to lie to me anymore. I always believed in second chances…… He even lied to the pastor at our church when he went there for counciling after d day. His relationship with his co worker lasted almost a year that I know about. Yeah, divorce is final – just waiting on the final documents from the courts.
        What an asshole though. He is a cop. Nice example he sets for his sons, huh?

        • I understand. I reached that “I was done’ point myself fairly early on when the 2nd D-day hit. I just meant that the idea of losing their soul doesn’t phase these folks at all (guess you can’t fear losing something you never had). Losing half their stuff? Sometimes that scares them.

          • “Losing half their stuff? Sometimes that scares them.”

            For some reason, that triggered a memory. Back when I was preparing to move out of our house, ex repeatedly told me to take anything I wanted, no problem. I had absolutely no intention of taking more than I wanted or needed for myself and my son in our new apartment, and told him so. A couple weeks before moving, I went through the house with ex, and told him exactly what I planned on taking, which was in no way unreasonable, believe me. When I told him I was going to take the bed (he had been sleeping on the pull-out couch in the guest bedroom since dday), well, all of a sudden he went insane. He started screaming at me, “You aren’t going to rape me! You aren’t going to rape me in this divorce!” It was really creepy. Anyway, I took the bed.

            • Glad it is over,

              Part of my stbx’s anger was I fought for the “stuff” and won! We had to take it in front of a judge. Most of the antiques that we had purchased were done with my from my father’s estate. It was suppose to be an investment as we wanted to open a shop upon retirement. I couldn’t prove how we had spent my inheritance but I could prove the timing that we purchased them. It showed how we could not afforded them without this money.

              He also lots the household things because kids lived with me. He tried to show how replacement value was so high but I showed how much these used items value was not any where in the same ball park as his.

              He also wanted me to pay half the debt when I never made near half of the income. The judge saw it my way.

              Just have to fight for what is right.

              • I had to fight too! I received an inheritance from my father’s estate and some money when my mother passed. Dickwad’s father had the nerve to say that his lying cheating son is entitled to half. Really??? Then again he is a cheater too. Yes, it is a no fault divorce however, just like you Jenn, I fought for it, because I was the one who put the large down payment on the house, bought the cars, paid for his cop school and so on. The judge was the one who agreed that I deserved it. I count that as one of my many blessing. I did have to give him a small amount of money but realistically it cannot even purchase a decent used car now a days… Plus he has already spent it. LMAO!!
                Jenn, I agree – fight for what is right and stand up for yourself. Don’t let anyone push you around and even stand up to your lawyer if you feel that he is not pulling his weight. I will never regret that.

              • This is the part I’m not looking forward to. STBX and I don’t have children, nor do we have a lot of assets. We’ve kept our accounts separate. We do both have debts, but I’d argue that we should each keep our individual debts. If he fights me on this, I’ll tell him my student loan debt is much higher than his, and I’d make out like a bandit. 😉 The only real assets are tied into his retirement, which he will not be happy about splitting, but it’s the one thing I shall insist upon. That retirement will make a significant difference in my future, and I figure that if he were truly unhappy about losing 50% of his retirement (decent) and investment (small) assets, then he’d not have cheated in the first place!

            • I still cannot believe the amount of useless, trite stuff that all of a sudden became important that I *NOT* get. A ceramic pair of cowboy boots that propped open the bedroom door because he was too lazy to tighten up how it was hanging? I can’t imagine he was actually sentimental over all that crap.

  • CL is right as usual, what would words from a known liar mean? If the cheater is disordered — as most here are — they are simply incapable of feeling remorse, guilt, shame or anything remotely negative about themselves. They are incapable of any form of true apology, because they DO NOT EVER ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS. Those with NPD are unable to accept their own flaws, and will in fact bend and twist reality to stick those flaws on someone else, usually you.

    My ex sent me a text a couple years ago that said: “Sorry for blaming you for things.” That’s the closest I’ve ever had to an apology for the 20 years of cheating, lying, abuse, financial devastation, gaslighting, humiliation and contempt. On top of that, I know perfectly well he is NOT sorry for blaming me “for things,” and continues to do so.

    I think it would be great if one day the Lord ripped the blinds of delusion from my ex’s eyes so he could truly see how horrible a person he is, and then tore open his heart so he could truly feel the pain of what he did to me and to our son. But if that day ever comes, I don’t want to know about it. I don’t want any sort of fake “apology” from my ex, because as CL pointed out, what am I supposed to do with that? I certainly don’t want the dancing freak back. I don’t want him in my life. I don’t want to try and figure out what con game he is playing.

    No, the best “apology” is when they walk away and leave you alone. Then you can get on with healing and creating a good new life. To the disordered, an apology is simply a useful tool to suck you back into their web.

    • I totally agree. They never accept responsibility and even if they did manage to swim to the bottom of the swamp where their soul should be and find a sincere apology, what the hell are we supposed to do with that?

      I used to want an apology, but then I realized that was never going to happen. I got a couple bullshit attempts at apologies, followed up by him going to a bunch of my friends, and then co-workers who didn’t even know who he was, and telling them I’m a liar with serious issues that can’t let go of him. Bullshit apologies followed by bullshit behavior.

      I stopped hoping for an apology a long time ago. I’ll never get one. And at this point, I don’t even want one. Really, I don’t. Why would I even care? Even if he’s actually gone to all that therapy he always said he was going to go to, even if he’s done with porn addiction and cheating and all that shit, even if he’s a completely new and better human being, I don’t care. What good does that do me now? I don’t want another relationship with him. I got married to someone else. I don’t want to be friends with him, all my REAL friends would look at that sideways and no one would want him around (plus my husband would be mightily pissed and my marriage doesn’t need that kind of poison.) And even if he apologized, it won’t unfuck the 5 women and one guy he fucked, it won’t take back the 7 months of therapy I went through, and it won’t refund the two years of my life wasted on him. An apology five years after the breakup is worthless. Even a sincere one.

      So what the hell would I even do with it? Nothing that I’m not already doing. Even better than an apology is living in a different state and never seeing or speaking to him again.

  • I never had any interest in an apology, and I knew I would never, ever get one(why would I get one now, when my XW had never apologized for anything she had ever done in our marriage).
    I did tell my XW that i would have no further contact with her until I got a recitation of all the facts of her cheating. Again, I do not expect I will ever recieve this information, but , the utlimatum has served its purpose. Eventually, when I would reply to her texts with short little blurbs like “affair partner details” in response to something like a birthday greeting or “polygraph” when she would text me something about one of the kids, she gave up and stopped contacting me.
    As others here have pointed out, it is , pretty much universal that these disordered types do not apologize, at least not sincerely.
    You can bet that if you are getting some form of an apolgy, he or she is after something.
    I hate these cheating disordered types with a passion. Thye go through life wreaking havoc on others.
    Both my XWs had been involved with married men and helpd destroy other women’s marriages and kids’ families. Thye could give a shit about others and what they did to them.
    It is all about them. All about getting what they want and everyone else can be damned.
    They are crazy ass fucks, and I wish we could put them on a spaceship and send them to UrANUS, where they belong, the fuckshits.

    • “the fuckshits” – LOL. thought I had heard all the possible combinations of cuss words, but this is new to me. Love it.

    • “They are crazy ass fucks, and I wish we could put them on a spaceship and send them to UrANUS, where they belong, the fuckshits.”

      Arnold, this literally made me LOL. I think your sentence basically sums up the entire experience of getting over a cheater.

  • “sorry for blaming your for things” Wow. It probably cost him his right arm to say that. And it might have even been sincere in that moment. probably was. The problem with that is that type of sincerity and ability to be vulnerable and genuine are gone about a nanosecond later with these people. But I’m glad, since he’s your ex, that you caught it during the transient and fleeting seconds that it was available.

  • I received written apologies from both STBX and the OW. (These were sent several months apart – one in a Valentine’s Day card and the other an e-mail.) Of course neither were/is sorry enough to discontinue their relationship. Not that I even care.

    These apologies were mainly, in my opinion, attempts to acquire a “get out of guilt jail free” card, and hope for exoneration.

    Below is how I responded in both cases:

    ….. crickets ….

    • “These apologies were mainly, in my opinion, attempts to acquire a “get out of guilt jail free” card, and hope for exoneration.”

      This, exactly what happened in my case. Though it was just from my ex. He is great at saying all the right things, being charming and just such a sparkly guy. He just had trouble actually doing the right thing. Which is why I stayed for so long – I listened to the words instead of looking at his actions. Once I figured that one out, I was done. He’s been sorry lots of times, in many ways. But the only person he ever feels sorry for is himself. So he blames me, shifts the guilt and responsibility as far from himself as he can because – gosh – it was making him feel bad. Can’t have that.

      I know where he can stuff his “apology”, but I dont think he’s gonna like it.

  • “Demand renumeration (a postnup, an uncontested divorce settlement).”

    When XWH and I were going through the process of legal separation, this exact situation showed me how little he cared about me. He considered 50/50 physical custody of our children because of HOW MUCH HE’D OWE IN CHILD SUPPORT… not because he actually loved his kids and wanted to spend more time with them. His own mother told me to help myself to any of the family antique furniture I wanted; XWH made it VERY clear that not so much as a candlestick was going with me.

    When all was said and done, he made out with 70% of the assets to my 30. He didn’t care about me or the kids at all– just his bottom line. He probably thinks of himself as some kind of a benevolent protector just because the kids and I aren’t homeless and on welfare. He showed me EXACTLY who he was and what he thought of our relationship by consistently covering his arse throughout the legal proceedings.

    Did I let him get away with it? Yep. I wanted freedom more than I wanted his grandmother’s dresser or more of his inherited stocks. Getting away from him was worth the financial sacrifice.

  • CL,

    As always, your public service messages are really important.

    This is another case of the Chump projecting her/his values onto the NPD spouse (or NPD family member/business partner/parent, et al).

    As a certified Chump, I apologize when I feel I’ve done wrong. I go out of my way to apologize. In some ways, this has made me vulnerable, but I don’t feel “right” inside until I do it. In other ways, it has helped me tremendously to win friends. I may have rubbed someone the wrong way, I had time to think about it, and I went back to that person and made some amends, offering an apology, if required. This often surprises people and can be appreciated. I’ve done alchemy with relationships that could have gone bad by doing this. Now, it doesn’t always work, but it usually does, and it makes me feel better.

    But the NPDers, they don’t have these feelings. They broke up the family, messed up the kids, ruined the holiday meal? Doesn’t matter to them. They may be acutely sensitive themselves, but this sensitivity is a one-way street. They are entitled, important and you and the kids just didn’t “meet my [their] needs.” End of story. They must move on. Their obligation to their own greatness/self-discovery/self-actualization is both prime and primoridial. Life’s too short (to be loyal!) I (as the NPD or “the narc,” as I have sometiems called them) am entitled to get what EYE want. ME!

    So, even if you wring some words out of them — (“Uh, yeah, I guess I slipped up….” “What do you mean!!! I’m APOLOGIZING!!! Why can’t YOU forgive ME!”) — the words won’t mean anything. Some narcs/NPDs can even fake a good apology with tears, if they think that will work you. But if you watch them carefully, they’ll give you glimpses of what they have inside. And its either anger or emptiness. There’s nothing there. So, there’s nothing to get an apology from, and there’s nothing for you to forgive. I believe forgiveness with a narc/NPD should only go so far as to have the Chump say to her/himself: “Gosh, I’m sorry that some people have so little inside and that I didn’t see it sooner.” And then, as you say CL, MOVE ON!

    Might as well ask a Great White Shark not to bite you.

    In any case, great advice. The best closure a Chump is going to get is when they close the door, both figuratively and literally. NPDs don’t have an apology in them, and there’s no sense waiting for it from them.

    A hard lesson that it took Chump Son probably 30 years to learn, I’m embarrassed to say. But a good lesson.

    CS

    • David,

      I always love your posts. There are times when I read them that I feel that I am looking through a window at my STBX/our relationship. You always so perfectly articulate feelings for which I cannot always find the words.

      Thank you so much for all of your insight.

  • Very, very early in our relationship and way, way back in time, there was a John Denver song called “I’m Sorry” that my soon-to-be-future-ex HATED with a passion solely for the line “But more than anything else, I’m sorry for myself”. He thought people who were sorry for themselves were contemptible. Yeah, projecting even way back then. That was sure a pretty sounding red flag.

    • That’s a great song for describing a cheater/abuser style of apology. He says he’s sorry for lying the same way he’s “sorry for the way things are in China”, because he doesn’t take any responsibility for either one. And all it really means is that they are sorry for themselves.

    • Ha! My XH loved that song! We used to sing it together. “I’m sorry for all the lies I told you. I’m sorry for all the things I didn’t say…” I guess he recognized himself in there. I don’t care, I’ll always be a sucker for a John Denver song!

  • I told the ex that unless he had the know-how to build me a time machine so that I could travel back in time and completely ignore him, sorry just wasn’t going to cut it. What good is one lousy word when they have intentionally torn your life to shreds? Pfft.

  • Three OWs, three apologies. All sincere … but only at that point in time. Remorseful for a few years, and then the character issues resurface all over again. You can’t make this up. I know his recent apology is sincere, but I also know that it will soon be forgotten when he is once again not happy (of course I’m to blame) with the marriage. I’ve lived that life (lie) for over two decades. I’m out of that drama. Let different players enter that game. I won’t miss my role.

    Some of the cheaters may truly be sincere when they apologize. I will give them that. But the problem is permanence. How long will they be sorry? Of course they are sorry because it turned out the cow ate what they thought was greener grass on the other side. They want to get to a better place as fast as possible. Enter the chump. The fall back position. When you know your worth, it will be very clear to the cheater that you are no longer an option.

    I know why my ex attempted to get back together. His relationship with OW is tanking, he’s lost his financial security because he is supporting a very expensive lifestyle with a non-working OW and suddenly I am looking as the much better option. “Hey, she’s taken me back twice before, why would it be different now,” was his narrative. Except I’ve changed. I am exercising extreme self-care. I’ve gotten stronger and I now see him for who he really is – a character disturbed serial cheater. So I changed the narrative and ended our conversation with, “Please don’t ever come to my house again.” Going forward, my story will be better because I am making better choices for me. As Winston Churchill said, “History will be kind to me because I intend to write it.”

    • Good for you, Uniquely! The sincerity in the moment can throw us off, it takes a long time to figure out that their flashes of insight are only that, brief as lightening, and just as illuminating, long-term.

      You sound so strong and confident now, amazing! Your ex must be in shock that he can’t twist you around his little finger anymore. How dare reality not submit to his desires!!!

      • Thank you, Karen and CP – took a lot of work but I got there! I got lots of Christmas cards from friends telling me that they hope 2014 will be better and I though,t, “2013 was great! I got out of hell!”

  • It’s been almost 6 months since he said it was over, 5 months since he told me he was “seeing someone”, and had been for months.

    I still sometimes (alright, a lot of times) wish he would see the light and apologize and want to get back together again. But, I have been thinking along the same lines as ChumpLady’s points. He can’t unsay the hurtful things he said, he can’t undo the cheating (although that, to me, is more forgivable than the deliberate hurt he caused). And what would my reaction be if he did see the light?

    I’ve been thinking there is no way he can prove to me that he didn’t mean it when he said that he 1) wouldn’t care if I died”, 2) feels like he settled (after 28 years he came to that realization), 3) that he felt like I dictated everything he did, 4) and that I acted like he didn’t know anything. I also am coming to the conclusion that even if he found out that none of that was true, why would I believe that he won’t come to those same conclusions AGAIN, in another 10 or 20 years or so?

    I know that 6 months is a short time compared to the 33 years we were together, so try not to beat myself up too much about still wishing and hoping – but I have been questioning whether there is any way I could trust what he says again. AND, even if there was some way that could happen, HE would have to come up with the solutions and propose them to make them meaningful.

    I just don’t see that happening – so I keep reminding myself of all the reasons that I DON’T want him to see the light.

  • I got the apology. Several as a matter of fact and I am here to tell you that they were worth a whole lot of nothing! Saying I’m sorry doesn’t erase the lies or the fact that she disregarded us. Her apology did nothing to make me feel better about her sleeping with other men. Her remorse does not repair the damage that she did to all involved. Her apology was worth nothing and getting one didn’t make me feel better about anything.

    Focus on mending your self and your life and don’t waste a minute wanting that apology. It doesn’t do anyone any good except for the cheater. Mine said she was sorry because she was depressed and was missing me and the kids. She did not apologize because she was sorry for the damage done. The apology was all about her and so it was completely hollow.

    • That’s right!

      “Sorry,” means, “I have this hurt feeling for myself, and I just wanted you to know that I feel bad, so if there is any way you could say or do something to erase this pain I caused myself, that’d be great.”

      Fuck, no.

      • This is spot on!

        Every single apology my STBX ever gave me was of this flavor: “I feel bad, so now I’m going to vent for an hour about how miserable I am, which will include sob stories about my hard life, and a brief reference to being “sorry” about verbally abusing you BUT you need to work harder at not provoking me.” And then… “I feel all better now, so let’s have makeup sex!”

        NO, THANK YOU!

        I am not willing to listen to any more apologies.

  • I don’t expect an apology because he is never wrong. I would like an honest talk with him about what is going on.. Some clarity This whole thing has changed him so much. How he can lie straight to my face is astonishing..He asked for the divorce but did nothing. Now when I bring up the subject its “You always planned to do this ” WTF?? I hate the thought of just upping and leaving without oh I don’t know what. I wish he would leave or take some action anything would be better than what is going on now.

    • That is the same thing mine said to me: “You always planned to do this!”

      As if I planned to be a 35-year-old childless divorcee to squeeze some pennies from an ex and, “milk the system,” as he insists.

  • Oh and I agree Janet … I wish mine would save me the trouble of leaving by leaving first since I don’t have the nerve yet to do it.

    • They’re too passive-aggressive to leave/file for divorce, and also don’t want to look like the ‘bad guy’ – even though they ARE the bad guy, anybody can see that!

      As usual, it’s about them, and what’s convenient for them. At least this should be the last thing they manage to push you into doing for them, by just being lazy-assed, or making it so unpleasant if you don’t do it.

  • Apologies are just words. They don’t mean too much if they aren’t backed up by actions, and making amends. Narcissists are incapable of remorse, because it would be admitting that they were wrong. And they are never wrong!! They are sorry you found out, sorry you aren’t good enough for them, sorry they are special and you are not. They are not sorry that their actions hurt you and your children.

    • Oh hey, Meg, my ex is sorry for things on that list you made, but for lots more too! He’s sorry he’s pretty much alone now (OW won’t move here, he for some reason hasn’t moved there, probably related to work opportunities), sorry all of our friends, all my family and most of his aren’t speaking to him. He’s really, really sorry his kids won’t spend any time with him anymore (I guess because kids are harder to replace than women). He’s sorry he’s bored, now that he dumped the person who brought interesting people and activities into his life, and he’s sorry his life isn’t the endless parade of sparkles and delight it was supposed to be. He’s really, really sorry for himself – full stop.

      • But of course, as sorry as he is, he is NOT sorry for his own actions! He gets to be the victim, “Poor Me.” They do not know the meaning of apology.

  • Hey All,
    I received an apology after he lied to my face and I was the one who left and it makes absolutely no difference on either count! Neither fact removes the reality that I was chumped many times I know this without proof but with instinct when looking back. I had proof one time and that was the final straw.

    So really, an apology makes no difference as it’s not sincere and even if it was it doesn’t change the facts of what happened to each of us. So it doesn’t matter at all if you get one or not.

    Being the first to walk away doesn’t make a difference either as the facts remain the same. We were all still chumped.

    Being left to deal with the chumped part is what it comes down to and what you do with that fact.

    For me the anger was the hardest part to recover from and lasted the longest of all of the emotional fall out afterwards and I did reach meh but the anger still flares up from time to time briefly. It’s my motivating force to not let it happen again and to keep it behind me to clear the path for my present and future.

    I have moved on with my life but this holiday time is hard as that is when last year I saw him completely unravel and tomorrow is my birthday and it all ended mid January which is around the corner, so recently I have been thinking about the relationship all over again and it get’s me really pissed when I remember the crap that happened and kick myself for not taking the first red flag when it happened and shoving it up his ass!

    It’s ok, I am allowing myself to get angry and go through it knowing that I will soon return to meh again.

    But as far as an apology, I could care less. I don’t want anything from that asshole and only I can right that wrong with myself by never allowing anything like that to happen again.

    I am going to go now and punch the crap out of my pillow! Good night all.

    • I hope your birthday went okay and that this is the start of a much better year for you… May it be the year of complete and 110% meh….

  • Thank you for reiterating this. I think the challenge I am feeling is that I have managed to deal with the anger, made peace with the betrayal and maybe I am taking a dig at feeding my own ‘peace-projecting self’ some kibbles when I accepted the friendship of the cheater. By friendship I mean, just responding in a civil manner to his pleasantries.
    But he has been artfully trying to make me feel guilty about the “vicious”, “hurtful” letter I sent him. I am aware that there is manipulation at play here, but I do sense the “guilty-monster” rear its head and the feeling my crime is bigger than his!!

    • Karishma,

      Mine too blames me because of the emails that I wrote him. DO NOT feel guilty. He is trying to deflect what he did by blaming you! I told mine stop blaming me for my reaction to your bad behavior!!! You are entitled to grieve and be angry. It is a natural reaction. They just are justifying that what they did was right.

    • This topic is quite timely for me. I know that closure is an inside job but I recently got pissed by his complete lack of acknowledgement of his atrocious behavior all over again. I had been NC on my end for about 15 months but Ex Narc intermittently sent texts, emails, called as if everything was honky dory between us. I have no idea why I replied to some of his nonsense (via text only) over the last few months after my NC for that long I think I wanted to engage just enough as I formulated some as yet undetermined revenge end game. Definitely not meh…

      He doesn’t know that I know he married the woman with whom he overlapped me. She didn’t know about me then or that he stills pursues me to go out with him and randomly contacts me for kibbles. When I learned he had gotten engaged and married while still hoovering me, I thought about upsetting his sparkly new fake life by sending her all of his correspondence. I know for a fact that one of the most important things for him about this woman is that she has no clue about his past. He is a life-long pathological liar and cheater with mad skills in both! He is also exceptional at the love bombing so she wouldn’t necessarily leave him but would at least become suspicious which would be an inconvenience to him. I have nothing against his NW and don’t want more drama but I would like to upset his happy clappy apple cart. 😉

      Anyway, I have come to my senses again. Related to this post, I responded to his most recent communication last week by telling him that there was no point in his texting, etc., until he can feel and express genuine remorse. Since I know he is incapable and wouldn’t even know how to fake it, I think this was my way to shut him/me/this down again. (Not to mention, I wouldn’t believe anything he said anyway.) It was also an expression of my truth that what he did to me can’t be swept under the rug and I can resist him and his attempts to hit the imaginary re-set button without apology which had worked before. Remaining NC would have been best, I know, but I’m pretty sure making remorse a nonnegotiable for access will shut down his kibble seeking from me for the foreseeable future.

  • I used to want an apology. When people would say, “Boy! One day he’s going to be REALLY SORRY!” I would sniff, “Yeah! Yeah, he is!” And I would dream of that day when he would come crawling back and be a man and say he was sorry and make it all better.

    Then I went on with my life and realized that none of that would ever happen–if he’d been the type, he’d have never done what he did in the first place.

    Plus, the idea of there being some sort of expectation that I would have to accept his apology and offer some sort of forgiveness? I mean, what IF he wanted to come home, wanted me to soothe HIS pain?

    Fuck that. I just want him to stay the fuck away from me. I hope he and the nasty OW keep each other company (miserable company) for the rest of their miserable lives.

    Sorry?? Too fuckin’ bad. Yeah, I’m sure you are sorry. That sucks for you. I’ll be over here doing my thing, and you just stay away, m’kay?

    Jesus, I mean…SORRY sounds like desperation to me. Keep it to yourself. You fucked up–not just your life, but mine and my kids’ lives for a while, too. SORRY doesn’t do shit for me. Keep it to yourself. I’m fine now. Way better off without you, thanks.

  • I have a friend who worked with neglected and abused children. She said so few of the parents are ever jailed for the damage they do that when they are they make the news. I took a message from one supervisor to another and was publicly humiliated in front of about 15 people. I was nauseated for weeks and HATED that person for years. You have been lied to and abandoned. I read a book years ago that finally allowed me “meh”. I wish I could remember the title, or the author, but the message remains clear. All these people got away with it and there is nothing we can do to change any of it.

    • You’re right, Thewatcher, in the end it is what it is. We know it’s unfair and we didn’t deserve to be treated like that, some people who know and care about us know that too. But we can’t tie ourselves in knots waiting for the universe to enact justice. We accept that things are sometimes very unfair, and we move on.

  • OMG, CL! Thank you SO much.

    I have been doing just that… feeling it was unjust and he owes me something. Some sort of acknowledgement that he is BAD, so I can MOVE ON.

    We all know we’re not going to get “closure” and somehow wanting that acknowledgement from him… I didn’t even realize that was still closure I was waiting for…

    And why do I want it? What then? Thank you for numbers 4, 5, and 6 above. They put things right in my head. If Galileo had to wait 500 years for that, well, it’s not likely I’ll have to wait any less… and it’s also not likely that when that apology does come in 500 years, it will matter one iota. Meh.

    I woke up this morning in that state of needing validation from the one person who will never give it to me. Thanks for setting my head straight.

    What am I waiting for? There’s nothing to wait for. Move on. Nothing to see here. Bye bye.

  • Let me just sum this up in a recent quote I heard from Buddha.

    I think it says it nice and concisely, and I use it as my mantra everyday:

    “Let go or be dragged.”

    That’s all we really have to remember, isn’t it?

  • True, Chump no More.

    I got a ‘sorry for my part in all this.’

    and DD got this a week or so ago (Mr Fab screwed the Downgrade behind her and my backs, they shacked up with Downgrade’s DD for six months, obliging DD to keep silent, she asks to move away with me-he blames me, the batshit crazy Mumma, for brainwashing her).

    “What have I done?”

    Hmmmmmmm.

  • The apology I received was “once again, I am sorry and I forgive you.” How’s that for a mindfuck?! Forgive me,? For what? Being a good wife while he was deployed, playing the pick me dance until my feet bled? Oh I know…it is because I called he stupid one time five years ago when I was drunk and that made him an abused husband….right! Grrr

  • The closest I got to an apology was: “Sorry to do this to you and your family so close to when your mother died…”. Bomb drop was on the way home from the airport – we were in Maui to scatter my Mom’s ashes 10 months after she passed away unexpectedly.

    Shithead still hasn’t admitted affair. His whore had me served with a restraining order and stated that I am “her boyfriend’s ex wife – now that we are divorced that’s true – 3 weeks earlier I would have been her boyfriend’s wife!

  • I’ve always shared all of CL’s views, that’s why I’ve been reading for 4 months (luck I’ve found her the day of my DD!) and consider her the ultimate voice of reason. But, this is the hardest part I’ve been struggling with- is it possible that I can continue share my life with a man who sort of did everything by the book in terms of his behavior after DD: the countless apologies, crying, shaming the AP, written pledges, therapy, etc. I almost feel like a bitch for not forgiving him, and I know it sounds ridiculous.

  • I was lucky to even get a year! I use to work but have unemployed for almost 1 year. I am 51 years old and in the medical equipment industry so there are two things that are making it extra difficult to find work.
    My ex tried to say in court that I was staying unemployed just to make him pay! What I joke who would want to live this way? I could prove how many jobs I had been applying for so he looked ugly. The kids are also living with me but since they are over 18 I don’t get any money for their support. He of course didn’t offer me or them any help. He believes that this is all my fault how the kids were angry because of his behavior. He doesn’t understand they see it all.
    He is still taking me to court in order to stop paying me. He pays me the amount he wants when he wants so that I can’t count on the money. He told me how I am just trash holding my hand out for support.
    Makes me sick as I stopped 3 career jobs in order support him and our children and we were married for 26 years but they think they are entitled to walk away and leave us hanging while they pick out a new model.

  • I know this post is old and probably no one will read my reply but YES!!! That is the fuck of it, there is not one thing to be done by them now, too late, too little and just who gives a fuck! It is meaningless. I crave this and then realize, it just doesn’t matter anymore. There is not one thing that is going to ease my pain, soothe my heart, at least from him. There is nothing to be done but to create a new life with good people far away from that fucktard.

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