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Reconsider Me? No, Please Don’t

Hello baby, yes it’s really me
After the wrong I’ve done
Guess you’re surprised to see me here at your door
Like a sparrow with a broken wing
Who’s come back to beg you reconsider me
Oh, reconsider me
I can’t make it without your love, you see
Just let me and I’ll love you eternally
Oh baby, reconsider me

Here is a dream you don’t ever want to come true — your cheater comes back to grovel and pines for what they have lost.

The other day, I answered a letter from Karishma who ended a dreadful relationship with a cheater. She’s no contact now, but still wishes for the day he’ll wake up and realize what he lost.

No Chumps! You do NOT want this! If the sparrow comes back with a broken wing, close the door. You’re not in the sparrow-fixing business. If the sparrow says “I can’t make it without your love” — threaten to break its other wing.

If Johnny Adams wanted me to reconsider him, okay, I admit I might hesitate. (His is the only version of this song “Reconsider Me” worth listening to — and I encourage every chump to download every Adams song ever recorded. He’s genius.) But on the whole, reconsidering someone who left you is a very bad idea.

Here’s the thing — they CAN make it without your love just fine. It’s the kibbles they can’t do without. It’s the back-up plan they’re missing.

It’s not uncommon for a cheater to get out into the world and realize, gee, life isn’t the same without cake. It’s also common for the relationship with the affair partner to tank, or not be so fabulous as they originally thought. In which case, upon consideration, hey you might do. Until something better comes along. There’s also a good chance your cheater leaves and gets slapped upside the head with the financial realities — and would like to sweet talk you back to a profitable limbo state.

Weigh that against “No, they’re really SORRY now!”

Chumps, if they don’t come back, if they never apologize — consider yourself BLESSED. You’ve been spared the mindfuckery and the second guessing.

They’re going to “love you eternally” NOW? Really? I believe they pledged that back on your wedding day in front of assembled family and friends. Define eternity. Because I thought eternity had a certain constancy.

If you fantasize about your cheater waking up one day and getting it — that means you’re not meh. It means you haven’t internalized that they suck. You still aren’t sure what your values are. But my values are forgiveness and second chances! Who doesn’t want to believe that they are so wonderful they can transform sinners into saints? That’s a heady dose of kibbles for the kibble-starved chump. Who doesn’t want to believe they matter — no really, deep down — to the person who devalued them? Who wouldn’t be tempted by that narrative and then dress that shit up as forgiveness? (No, tell me again how stupid you were, and how much you regret dumping me! Again! Again! I love to hear the story!)

How about your values are — self respect and self care. How about you set a very high bar for people who have betrayed you? Okay, a post-nup is not as romantic as slowly running across a cornfield at twilight  to embrace, but I’ll take it over gushy regret. How about you stop hanging out with broken sparrows? Why not spend some time around eagles and barn owls and other purposeful animals? Because I see you more as a falcon than I see you as partner to the gimpy sparrow. How about you see yourself that way, chumps?

Reconsider them? You’ve got better things to do.

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  • If the sparrow says “I can’t make it without your love” — threaten to break its other wing.~~


    I am one of those chumps who used to wish ex came back and at least pretended to regret SOMETHING, but he just walked, sociopath-style, when he knew he was exposed and beat. Only here did I realize his leaving and never looking back was a not-insignificant mercy. This site gave me the words, the tools, and the sheer strength to go on, to value myself, to look forward to life again. CL and my fellow chumps gave me the courage to know there are good people out there and to start a new romantic life. Thank you.

    • I’m so happy you moved forward and found a new romantic life — and you’re engaged no less!

      I don’t think you can understand sociopaths unless you’re a sociopath.

      • Thank you CL, I have never been happier in a relationship than I am now with my awesome non-sparkly fiance. I know it’s all so NORMAL, but I find normal quite stunning and wonderful right now. As you pointed out, our experiences with our exes have allowed us to truly and profoundly appreciate genuine and loving people, and insist that is all we will accept in our lives from now on.

        • My ex also walked away and didn’t look back. It was so hard to comprehend that someone could do that to a person they were married to for 31 years. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

          • Same here. 30yrs together and 28yrs married. Walked without a second thought. I think no one can just disconnect like that unless they were never connected in the first place. She never even wanted to try to work anything out. I’m still devastated.

        • Mine left without looking back too. I can’t understand how someone could do that. But I guess I don’t want to be able to.

          • Mine kept coming back. It’s so dysfunctional, it’s not even funny. I just want him to move to Mars.

  • This is a timely post for me. I KNOW that I don’t want all that f*ckery back but I have to admit there are days when I’d at least like an apology. I know I won’t get one but yeesh, a sorry would be helpful in my healing.

    He has Holiday parties, takes his new girlfriend to our former vacation home and doesn’t seem to be bothered in the least by what he’s done. I mean NOT IN THE LEAST. It’s horrifying to me. It’s also sad to think that his friends and his family support him. They go to his Holiday party and meet his new girlfriend as if I never was around. So very difficult.

    Sometimes I too think that I may have missed something. That SHE gets the best of him when he would rarely do anything for me. At least that’s what it appears to be. I’m sure he’s the same shit he was to me but boy that’s difficult to believe some days.

    Anyway, this post was good. And if anyone has further tips to reach “meh” that would be great. I need to remind myself again and again, he was NOT the man I thought he was.

    • He takes his new girlfriend to your former vacation home. He most certainly is not the man you thought he was. He’s not even a man. He’s probably not really human.

      BTW, the new GF ain’t no prize either. Who goes to the ex wife’s former vacation home? Creepy much?

      • Thanks Bev!! I thought that too. We aren’t divorced yet. It’s been 7 months.


        • My ex brought his final OW to his family’s holiday home two months after we separated and before we filed for divorce. His parents were there to welcome them with open arms. She slept in the bed I had slept in for several decades. these people are FUCKED.

          • My ex brought the meth head OW to court with him yesterday. It is six weeks since he left to ‘sort his head out’. His family have welcomed her into the family fold and his grandmother called me a “lying little bitch” on her way out of the courtroom. All I said btw was “yes please your honour” in response to the question would I like to keep the restraining order on. These people are FUCKED too. It is simultaneously shitty and nice to know that I’m not the only person trying to deal with this fucking craziness!

      • Thensome,

        Your STBX is a flaming turd from Satan’s ass. He IS sorry – a sorry piece of shit that you are well rid of. How do I know this? Because I have your feelings sometimes. I know I’m not to MEH, but I am a CL believer – trust that they suck and they have not had a personality transplant. When you were dating your STBX, did you know then he was the POS you know him to be now? That GF is not dating your STBX – she is dating his representative. The real him can still direct most or all of his poison to you right now because you are in the divorce process so she is not being exposed to the full monty.

        The mistress minister of my STBX? When she comes to town, she stays in my marital home, sleeps in my marital bed, sits at my table, eats off of my plates – yeah, she’s a class act. Will I EVER get anything that passes for an apology? That will happen when my STBX actually becomes a genuine, truthful, caring human being – as in NEVER.

        At some point, we just have to let it go. Accept it for what it was and what it wasn’t, what it is and what it isn’t. I work toward that every day. It will happen on a Tuesday and it is what CL calls “MEH.”

        • For 18 years he would fuck up, piss me off, cry, tell me he was sorry, tell me he lved me, fuck up, piss me off, cry….get the pcture? Yeah he was full of apologies, not any more though. I didn’t buy his apologies then and I don’t think there would be any truth in anything he offered as an apology now.

          I do however think that I might get just a little bit of satisfaction from smiling sweetly and shutting the door in is face.

          • Nat1,

            This is what I dream of. Not an apology but getting to just smile and shut the door. Man that would feel good to do to her.

            • My ex has apologized profusely each time (3x now). The last time? He came back after a year of the final OW. We’ve been divorced for months. I simply told him I didn’t believe he was sorry. He kept on apologizing over and over. I told him he can apologize a million times and I still would not believe him. I don’t because I know, after over 20 years of hell, he never meant it. He meant it when he knew saying it could get him back into my life.

              • I don’t think she’ll ever apologize. It’s not really a concern anymore. I Just worry about my kids now.

    • You want an apology? Sorry is as sorry does. He takes his new GF to your vacation home and you aren’t even divorced? He’s not sorry. He’s not EVER gonna be sorry. Not enough.

      And if he is some day? Oh goodie, a pathetic person wishes to apologize to you.

      • True CL. True. I know I just a need a whack of truth upside the head sometimes.

        Sometimes I stumble over what I think is a unicorn turd and think, “maybe there will be a bit of an apology someday…” And then I realize, thanks to this site, that I’ve tripped over my own magical thinking.

        He’s a jerk right? Right.

        • unicorn turd – this needs to go into the CL lexicon, if it isn’t there already. A little something that the NPD pulls out of his ass to keep you hoping.

          • Unicorn turd – that’s exactly it! I miss what I had, but I’m not pining for my future ex. But I still struggle with the need for an apology. Yes I know I know. I really do. But I can’t help that and I dont’ think there’s really anything wrong with that as long as i’m not letting that hold me back in any way. It’s human to want that apology but I’m full steam ahead and waiting on my final divorce docs for approval that are coming any day now and my divorce finalized possibly by Christmas but definitely by the end of the year. Ready to tell 2013 to fuck off!

            • I am waiting on divorce finalization docs any day too and am wanting it before Christmas because I think they might be closed after that until the new year. I’m also very ready to finish 2013 and start 2014. Really really ready.

        • Right thensome, a huge jerk, one that does not deserve you. Trust that. And trust that he sucks, cause he really really does.

      • I did get a bit of an apology. He said that him and the OW wish that they could actually go back in time and not do what they did because of the hurt that they caused to their respective families…… and to themselves (barf on that one). He explained that their affair was like an addiction and that even though they tried a couple of times, that they just couldn’t let each other go. So now families are split, couples are divorced and they are still together.

        What I’m trying to say is that you think you want an apology from them but at the end of the day, it changes nothing and it certainly doesn’t make you feel any better about the situation.

        • I have this goofy fantasy of him coming to apologize to me when I’m lying on my death bed. Hopefully, if that ever happens I’ll be past caring whether he comes or not, though.

          • Hmmm. I am a little bitter today, so I see myself reacting to an apology right now more like Samuel L. Jackson in A Time To Kill. To paraphrase, “I don’t give a damn that you’re sorry and I hope you burn in hell!”

            Perhaps CL and Samuel L. could team up and teach a post-Chump class in empowerment and overcoming Chumpdom.

        • You know, REALLY hate that bs line about their cheating relationship being an ‘addiction’. What a load of blame-shifting crap. “It’s not my fault A.P. and I were lying and cheating – we were addicted!”.

          Horseshit. Another example of absolute refusal to take direct personal responsibility for their actions and choices, of absolute refusal to put anyone besides themselves and their own desires first.

          Lying, cheating, getting thrills from the deceit, being the (only!) center of their own universe – is not addiction. It is Narcissism.

      • My Ex is at the holiday home right now with the GF and my son. He tells me if the kids are hurt by him running off with his OW it is my fault because I don’t tell them that this is the best situation for all of us. Maybe that is one for the ‘what cheaters say’.
        Don’t break the other wing of the sparrow – close the front door and let the cat out the back.

    • Thensome, I got sorries coming out the wazoo. I got the genuine tearful breakdown sorries, I got the passive aggressive sorries and let me tell you it makes it harder. It makes it mores confusing. Coming here has given me the strength to walk away. I had to, he would never take the initiative. It would’ve been so much easier if I could just hate him and be done with it. Or maybe it all looks easier over there because we sit in our own version of hell with these horrifying situations. But let me tell you this – I am sorry he did this to you. Truly from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry he stole your time and your trust and your heart. I am sorry you have to go through this.

    • I TOTALLY hear you. My ex is soon to marry the affair partners (who was also married when they may) and at times it is hard to feel any way but totally replaced. Especially when she sits with my ex MIL and ex H at school functions, while I am there by myself. Very hard to take.

      I just have to keep remembering…I don’t want him. I KNOW how he is.

    • Yes, yes, yes.

      Really struggling with his family accepting the 22 year old he cheated with as part of the fam now. He married her in secret and got her pregnant. (And is “father” to her two other kids after he walked out on me and my 3 month old after 9 years of marriage.)

      Still makes me angry, but life is SO SO much better without him as a husband.

    • ThenSome,
      I feel the exact same way. I accept that it’s over and I’m still working hard to get to “Meh”. Any tips would be greatly appreciated by me as well. I was so close with my in-laws and did anything or them. My family lives out of state (not close) so I wrapped myself into my husband and his family. Now that he has the newest GF…he brings her around and they all hug and embrace her….like I never existed….so easily replaced. After 19 years and four kids. It is hard and I your post speaks to me. I guess if there is any comfort to be had…it’s to know that we aren’t alone. Stay strong during the moments that you have those feelings…as you know, those moments do pass. HUGS!!!! 🙂

      • Thanks for all the responses and support.

        It’s really helped me through the Holidays.

  • CL, you’ve pretty much gotten inside my head, again. My cheater has come back and is showing me his poor, broken wing, and wanting to come back.

    He’s being so nice and thoughtful – kind of like the man I thought I married. Is it real? My logical mind knows it isn’t so.

    Having been there in the marriage for all his daily mindfuckery and then the wonderful conclusion of Dday, I don’t want to take the risk to find out. I can’t afford to have my world explode again, my heart put into a blender, my world fall to pieces. I can’t afford to do that, so I’m saying no to the sparrow. My Chumpy self still cries because loved our intact family. But I don’t feel sorry for him because he did this to HIMSELF. The only reason his wing is broken is because he was selfishly having a blast at his family’s expense.

        • LiningUpDucks, don’t you dare fall for that Martyr Man bullshit, stay strong! I’m right here, I’ve been there I fell for it, STRONG. Remember what he did to you. Remember the bad shit, the mostly bad shit!

    • No, no, no. Run, LiningUpDucks, run. Lock yourself up in a closet if you have to until you set aside your chumpy self and regain your CL self. Your CL self is there. She’s trying to reason to you. Please, please, listen to her. Where do you want to see yourself in a year? A seasoned marriage police deprived of her self-worth or a strong woman who loves herself so much she can’t imagine she reproduced with the cheater ex?

      • Thank you, all, for the encouraging words (and song!). I know he’s not really changed, I honestly don’t think he’s capable of it – he is borderline and npd, and as of a few weeks ago was still justifying his affair in the *same* *sentence* as his supposed apology.

        The pull is there, but I’m resisting. One big thing that keeps me safely away is knowing that whenever my STBX was nice, there was always The Payment that followed. Since he’s been so nice trying to win me back, I cringe at how horrible The Payment would be if I returned.

  • CL– you have ESP!
    I was just thinking this on my morning run. NOT that I would take cheating exH back, but that I just want him to one day realize what he threw away and have him ask for forgiveness (not saying sorry…. Asking for forgiveness is something different).

    Besides the betrayal, the next worst thing was his lack of personal responsibility and blame shifting, it is a tough thing to listen to.

    I keep saying I am at 95%… Closer to meh, but I guess not there yet.

    • Yes, I think this is it. I’d like him to ask for forgiveness. Just once.

      Trust me, I know that’s not going to happen. And because I still want this, it reminds me that I’m not at “meh” but these posts and responses really do help. Thank you.

    • Getting that last 5% of meh must be like losing weight. The first 10 are easy the last 5 not a much.

    • We need a “meh checklist” along with a calculator. I have no idea how close I am to meh. Wish I could keep track of my progress somehow and know whether I’m moving forward or backward.

      • Jbaby,

        You are always moving forward even if you take a step or two backward. As long as you don’t turn completely around and start walking back in the direction from whence you came, you are moving forward – and even if you do get turned around and begin walking back in the direction from whence you came, you can always turn around and continue your progress forward. This Meh thing isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s not important when you finish, as long as you cross the finish line.


  • The broken-wing-thing is just another version of the Cheater’s use of ***potential*** to hook good chumps (as in, “Imagine what a wonderful partner I’ll be once I am healed!”). I understand that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but there’s no need for good people to limit themselves to broken folks in picking a partner.

    Your wing is broken? Fine. Go to the veterinarian (i.e., therapy) and get healed up. My guess is you won’t. Because you don’t really think you’re broken, or you like the way you are just fine.

      • Tangential segue on cliche aphorisms (in poetic form):

        We’ve got twenty-dollar words,
        But talk is cheap!
        You have to reach out and grab success,
        But look before you leap

        Because the best things in life
        Have always been free
        Yet you get what you pay for
        Unless it comes naturally

        And idle hands are really bad
        But all work and no play
        Makes Jack a real drag
        Or so I’ve heard people say.

        Birds of a feather
        Are known to flock together
        And opposites are known to attract
        Maybe I’m a fool
        But it seems the exceptions are these rules
        And if you must believe something
        Then believe that.

          • yep–left out bunches of possible contradictions (yes, there are more) 🙂

            I ad lib this a bit. It’s like jazz or something.

            • I am suitably impressed and in awe. So many gifts you have! Keep rockin’ TH.

              • TimeHeals, that was excellent! 🙂 pretty soon you can publish a book of poetry and rhymes!

  • Chump lady, I love you.
    You are wise and fantastic.
    You are a lifesaver.
    You are a talented writer/communicator.

    But if a sparrow shows up with a broken wing, I am going to help it. I hope everyone does. If my ex shows up, I will kick him in the ass. I hope everyone does. Could you please refrain from the disparaging (and incorrect) animal metaphors? They didn’t hurt us, it was the cheater! My birds, my dog and my cat are nothing if not sweet, loving, loyal and faithful!


    • The cheaters are *acting* like sparrows with broken wings….they are really more like vultures or vampire bats… with broken wings.

    • You’ve heard of a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Serial cheaters are zombie vampire bats in broken-sparrow costumes.

      Or blobfish.

        • If this blobfish had a goatee, it would bear a striking resemblance to my ex-husband.

        • ROFLMAO!!!!!

          I have this EXACT same picture as my XWH’s profile on my phone – so this pic comes up every time he calls or texts hahahahaha!!!!

          Voted 2013’s ugliest animal…the shoe fits. AND his name starts with a B. So he’s “B for Blobfish” from hereon in my book 🙂

    • Madison, I promise no actual sparrows were hurt in writing this column. 🙂 I don’t advocate harming animals. I do say motherfucker, but I don’t actually think someone would (or do I want them to) fuck their mother. Broken sparrow comes from the song lyric excerpted above.

      I would say you should never call a cheater a dog. Dogs are loyal. And they smell better.

  • Hi everyone,
    I am new here but have been soaking this up since I found this blog. It really is amazing how much this is helping. Thanks, Chump Lady!

    I am 4.5 months from d-day. I asked my STBX wife for a divorce bc she was being such a crappy partner in the marriage. Long story, but I was furious for various reasons other than infidelity. Well, she was shocked and for the first few days asked to keep trying etc..,. That didn’t last long and she moved out within a month. It was a good move for me. I was doing a softer version of no contact even then since we have a 5 yr old daughter. I was moving along in the process when WHAM! I found out she was cheating a few years ago before the separation with the guy she is likely seeing now. I have some evidence. Motherfucker, I am PISSED OFF!

    I’m not sure and don’t want to know; but I think she is seeing the same guy now. She has expressed NO apology or regret. I must say this inability to apologize is one of the reasons I kicked her ass out to begin with. Along with blame shifting, gas lighting, lies, and lack of accountability. I have been stuck in anger since I discovered her betrayal. And, I must admit that I believe I deserve an apology and some explanation. But, do I want it? And, would I believe anything she says? The answer is a resounding NO. But, I find it totally fucked up that after 10 years she can’t even mumble something remorseful. I am no contact with child exceptions and have fallen off that wagon a couple of times bc she is acting as if nothing happened and is being completely fake. She wants to be enlightened co parents and have ice cream and talk about Elf on the Shelf ideas. Or Coffee. Or come in to the house and sit down to talk about report card or scheduling. I started to take it as “reconsider me” and told her in no uncertain terms to fuck off and that we are not friends asshole. Now, she point to this as reaffirmation of my abusive nature. I’m not sure if I’m being too harsh and my signals are crossed; she says she is “grateful to be away” and ” happy and at peace.” Great. Leave me the fuck out of it. I am back no contact and that’s good. It’s hard to focus on me though. I’m angry, depressed, and trying to keep it together to be a parent and run a business. I’m working out and getting into shape. I’m in counseling and I have a pretty good network of family and friends. But, it sucks when she acts if nothing went down and she’s off the hook bc she was already out of the house etc..,

    Anyway, sorry for the ramble. You guys rock! I am such a chump.

    • My STBXH’s inability to apologize was one of the major things I spackled over. In my family, apologies were very much part of learning to grow up in a large family. My parents rarely intervened in sibling spats. We had to be sequestered until we’d worked out it among ourselves and were able to apologize to each other in public. We also learned that apologies were about owning what we did, not shifting the blame. STBX never did that, and I just thought that, what with his parents living in different parts of the state, he’d never had a good model for apologizing. I tried to guide him in this area, and once he got to the point where he’d kinda/sorta apologized 24 hours later, I felt as if real progress had been made.

      Now I just chalk up the inability to apologize as part of the “trust that he sucks” package.

      I wonder in a couple of months if he’ll decide that really, he’s sorry for the infidelity. He may or may not be. I don’t really care. All I hope is that he doesn’t do anything stupid like contest parts of the settlement, and that he decides to slink off into the sunset with OW.

      • Hi kb,
        I find it perplexing. My STBXW is a therapist. LMHC. WHAT? I asked her in my you are not friend rant “Do you counsel your clients to leave a marriage this way?”

        So, I used to ask her to be more specific in her apologies (years ago, when there was still life). Man, it was like pulling teeth. I put it down to FOO differences and I just needed to teach her how I needed to be treated. Well, I did and she still was lame or unapologetic altogether. Spackle, spackle, spackle. Well, not anymore. That’s bullshit. It’s a simple thing really. And, it’s ancient. Go to the person you have harmed, identify your transgression, make amends. Amends meaning change the behavior out of love or respect or both. Or not and live with the consequences of your actions. It’s inexplicable.

        But CL taught to keep this shit simple. She’s a wing nut. And thus, expectations are lowered and anger level down. Next dopey scenario please. I’ll have a PhD in this crap before you know it.

        • Welcome ThirstyFish! so sorry to hear about your troubles…. welcome to the aquarium…. FWIW, and probably cold comfort, my therapist has told me a couple of times that the therapy field is full of narcissists (I’m beginning to think, what isn’t?) — but the job profile is a natural match for some of the NPD personality traits. Best wishes in your journey, I hope we hear from you.

          • Thanks Named for Vera. Chump Lady rocks. You’ll hear from me. And, it is worth something. Just posting here today has helped along toward “meh.” I’ve got some ground to cover to be sure; but I am not a loner chump anymore.

    • Welcome thirsty fish! Yeah, she’s not your friend. She is your business associate. Conduct all correspondence about your daughter to documentable email. Keep it brief. Communicate with her in a tone you reserve for county tax assessors. Only discuss logistics.

      She’s trying to suck you in for kibbles. Her “let’s be friends” crap is about impression management — for her. If you’re friends then what she did Isn’t So Bad. She wants you to eat that shit sandwich — refuse.

      Acknowledge the ONLY relationship you have with her — child care logistics. Nothing more.

      • Thanks, CL. I have refused. I had a visceral reaction and let her have it. I pointed out that it certainly is about how she looks.

        I also get the feeling I am being set up. We lived together for a month after d-day. Two weeks into that month she sat me down at the kitchen table and told me that she had (finally) got a real job, making more money than she ever has, a place of her own, etc..,. I said “Good for you” with no sarcasm. But the curious thing was she also said “We’re going to meet new people and we’re going to want to sit down with them and have coffee…just to get know them for our daughter’s sake.” I told her she was a little ahead of herself. Wrong…I was two years behind. Not entirely sure about this…but I think she’s playing nice bc she’s in love with this dope and and wants it all to be ok. Magical and amazing!

        I could be wrong. I just don’t think so. It’s all confusing and that’s why I need to focus on me for a while. No more wounded sparrows.

        Thanks, again.

        • Welcome thirstyfish! well, sorta… hate to see people join the group, but it is wonderful to be supported.

          My exH was clearly surprised this summer when I told him we were not friends. I will be friendly, but not friends.

          If you are like me, it is also a relief to know that your gut instincts were correct…. your STBX’s emotional retreat and lack of working in the marriage, turns out was for a reason, and you were right!
          I know the anger feeling, my exH finally admitted that the issue we had 13 yrs previously was him having an affair! He lied about it, exposed me to potential STDs, and still did not tell me when I got pregnant. And then, 13 years later, after much gaslighting and revisionist history… he leaves me for a much younger woman and starts a new family…. and I was never given the opportunity to do the same.

          It has take time (I am 20 months post DDay), but the anger feeling is gone. Now I just need to work through the resentment that I am now a single parent while he moved away with his new family… more abandonment issues for the kids.

          I hope you are in individual therapy, and keeping track of all interaction with the STBX. The system, unfortunately, is mother-centric.

          • Hi zyx321,

            I am in IC. I have a pretty good foundation and have done a lot of work on myself before this shit sandwhich came along. Part of my anger (alot actually) is directed at myself. I did some heavy spackling over deal breakers early on. I have a friend who says “they weren’t red flags, they were the ‘bombs bursting in air.’…” I ought to have known. And, at some level I did, as you point out. But, damn it, I had my chances to get out earlier and I did not.

            My job in therapy is to heal and maybe figure out why I am so chumpalicious. In every big relationship i’ve had I choose a cheater. Oh well, I am getting better.


            • yes, we all spackle. I did not mean to indicate that you should have known and failed to act…. I was commenting on how the exes make us feel stupid for our suspicions, etc. In my case, I accused exH of cheating, he denied it, we went into therapy. I thought I had caught things in time, so when I saw the signs later, again thought I was being proactive.

              But, I truly believe we Chumps are good people. That is why we are chumps. We would NEVER treat an enemy (much less a loved one) the way our partners have treated us… it is simply unfathomable. That’s why believed my exH. (especially knowing how hurt the MIL was hurt by the FIL’s cheating..) And I am not angry for staying. I have two wonderful children who would not exist if I had left. I did what was supposed to: dragged him to MC, arranged date nights, vacations, even time alone on the front porch for a few minutes in the evenings.

              My anger came from that fact that the exH, who did not put the effort into the marriage, is off into the sunset with a new wife and baby, acting as if all our years together meant nothing. But, they were BOTH cheaters, and had never lived together for more than 2 weeks at a stretch before the baby was born…. odds are long for that relationship.

              Good that you are in IC to work on your picker… we keep trying to get CL to start a Chump dating site. I wish it could be done, though there would be the fear of the fakers. If you join the CL forum you can also post questions in a more private setting.

              • Oh I didn’t take it that way. Thanks though. I didn’t know there was a forum? I’ll check it out.

              • zyx321,
                It is very nice to be supported. Thanks for the warm welcome btw.

                So where is this forum? I just looked around a little, can’t seem to find it. ?

              • I cannot recall how to access the forum to set up an account, as now that it is set up it is automatic. I would email CL and ask her.
                (CL, maybe time for a reposting re: the forum? We have some new Chumps since you set that up).

              • If you have a WordPress ID and you’re logged in, you can see the forum option in the sidebar to your right. To get a WordPress ID, go to

                Can any of you experienced forum using chumps help? Am I forgetting anything? (As the admin I can see everything, so no login issues for me.) Thanks!

        • Ah thirsty, it’s a terrible mindfuck. You think you split up and are divorcing for one reason, but then realize it was the cheating, the lying, and the betrayal all along. You never had a chance in that relationship, a spouse just can’t compete with all that cake. It’s hard as I am sure you are looking back and saying, “oh now that makes sense, and now I understand why she did THAT, and where she was that night she said she was visiting her sick aunt, etc.” Stay as NC as possible, it is the ONLY way to any sort of sanity. I know you need to lose it at first, but take a solemn vow to treat her like a tax assessor…or as Chump Princess once said (she has said a lot of memorable things): when you have to face her, look at her like there is a chicken taking a shit on her head and you are a friend of the chicken.

          You will feel the perpetual pull to connect, to find there was something real in your marriage and thus in her, to unravel the skein, to believe she still cares and the woman you thought she was is still somehow in there, etc. STEP AWAY. It’s hard to believe but she is a monster, a shell, an act. There is no there there as CL has often said. If she is in the throes of “twu wuv” with her AP, now is the time to get the paperwork done, the divorce complete, the child custody arrangements finalized (all in your favor). Be polite, no need to scream fuck no I will never sit down with you and schmoopie. Just tell her at this point you are not interested or able to have that kind of contact. She is trying to blackmail you by claiming this shows you were abusive or crazy or whatever these pathologicals claim when they finally get caught. Just keep calm and move on. It is a horrible shit sandwich, but you will come out the other side. Love and hugs to you.

          • Kelly,
            I am definitely having those moments. She was getting her Masters degree and had to travel not far from where we live (and actually our hometown). It was on the weekends and while she was gone I would stay with our daughter who was just a toddler. So she had ample opportunity to lie about class schedules (even if there was any!) and screw around. I never thought twice about it. This was a few years ago.

            On one of these weekends, the night before my birthday, I caught her talking with the guy who’s turned out to be the AP. I confronted her for an hour and she denied until finally caving. I mean it was right there on her phone who she was talking to. Turns out AP was an old High school boyfriend. She promised me it was nothing and she actually called him in front of me on speaker and said “hey we can’t do this and I have to end contact…” I let it go. I policed a little. I know now I’m an idiot and I’m sure it never ended. She denies it to this day except to say she did lie about “google chatting and texting.” which I never knew about until she revealed in a fight recently just to fuck with me.

            I paid for most of her education and facilitated her cake eating by being a good guy and supporting her by watching our daughter on the weekends. Now, she demands that I pay for half of what’s left of that education even though I’ve never benefited from her degree. And, that little scenario is legal here in FL. Nice work!

            There’s all kinds of other aha! moments and they basically suck for me. It’s like condiments for my Dagwood shit sandwich. But, it does reinforce that I made the right move. And, it was an epiphany when I realized she was cheating. All the emotional retreat stuff etc..,. I mean I couldn’t talk to her about anything in the end. The initial kicker was financial. She had this job that was just bullshit. Gone for long hours with no real pay (like a rich person’s volunteer job). I was struggling, but it was temporary. Nonetheless I had asked her to step it up even before we hit the bottom again. NO WAY! She was deeply offended that I asked her to help. Now, I believe she was having an affair there too. Oh well, more information for my recovery from this wack job.

            I have a lawyer and she is asking me to hurry it up. I have been slow. Thankfully, there is not a lot to fight about. We are splitting time now with my daughter and I can’t imagine her wanting it any other way. It may get in the way of time with “schmoopie” as you say lol. But, I need to get my ass in gear in and do it.

            • Yes, thirsty, we all have had those moments and look back and think… “how dumb I was.” But really we were just loyal and loving and trusting, what a spouse is supposed to be.

              I made more money than my ex so I understand the topping on that particular shit sandwich. After finding out my ex was lying and cheating for decades, using all “our” money on AP’s and hotels and porn, siphoning off our kids’ college funds, etc. (double life anyone?), I had to agree to take on most of the marital debt and pay him to get the hell out on top of it. But you know, it was worth it to be rid of him. These cheaters are not worth shit (excuse my french).

              But I vote for striking while the iron is hot and while your STBX is distracted and afraid for her reputation (why else does she want you to “be friends.”). A friend who is also a divorce attorney told me early on– “Get rid of him while he is still feeling guilty and concerned for his reputation.”

              The day I got my divorce decree I danced around the house, you will literally feel lighter almost instantly, thirsty.

              • “The day I got my divorce decree I danced around the house, you will literally feel lighter almost instantly, thirsty.”

                I hope so. I have been wondering how that will feel…

              • I’m going to finish he paperwork tonight! I want to dance and feel lighter. I think it will be a great weight lifted; even though we both know it’s over. It will be freedom. Thanks, Kelly. I will strike now.

              • You know the more I think of it, she really is concerned with her reputation. I thought (I’m a rookie chump) that it may be she’s trying to get close fro a “reconsider me” move. But, my business partner and his wife were and are our friends. My STBX is heavily involved with my partner’s wife in business and referrals. She’s a pretty well known sex therapist in the metro area here. I’m sure my dopey STBX is rewriting history for her. But, I let the narrative go bc I can’t control it. My partner and I rarely talk about it and he’s been pretty good since somedays I am working under half steam or just struggling. And, he did get to see my STBX flat out lie about hiring an attorney to try and get me to reveal financials out of the court process. Turns out she was using one of our friends, an attorney, for advice. And, of course, the same “friend” was often sniffing around her when we all worked together. Vomit.

                Well, it’s all about how she looks. People will know. Crazy is as crazy does.

              • I went to the court just so I could hear the judge grant my divorce. Karma, divorce was finalized the same day as we were married!

    • My ex acted the same way. Thought we could be instant good acquaintances after 36 years together. They are so disordered. What is so hard to understand is they detached years before we even had a clue.

      • I agree with that- they detached years before we even had a clue. Sometimes I wonder if he was ever attached or in love with me. Or did I do it all? I think I did. I replay those 34 years and I was always trying to get the emotional connection, and he was freezing me out.

          • I have experience with this. It’s only in looking back and being a chump, that I see how many mixed messages I received. It’s no wonder that I had no idea who he really was or how he truly felt. Just this February he called me his “soulmate.” Often he called me the love of his life.

            However his words didn’t match his behaviour. He was very good at lying. The late nights, the drinking, the fancy new clothes – that was with her and for her. It’s no mid-life crisis. He was not in “crisis” when he fucked her. Many times. Unprotected. In our home. Nope. Those are choices he made to deceive over and over.

            At the end of the day cheaters are such cowards. Detaching from a marriage or relationship while they go off and fuck someone else is disordered in my opinion.

        • This is what confuses me too Meg. I feel as though I have lost track of reality, as though I am responsible for everything and there is still a part of me that feels guity because I accept that I wasn’t easy to live with, I wonder if I am the narc, I was always so angry, maybe this is MY karma? But….I’m not angry and frustrated anymore. I’m not even sure anymore what I was always so angry about, but I’m not anymore, I am happy with my kids, I do sometimes feel frustrated when I can’t solve problems by myself, but geez life is usually pretty good these days and the only thing different… that he’s not here. I really he do believe he was freezing me out, he must have really hated me. So if I could have had a better life, the thong hat upsets me is why did he waste all those years by hanging around? It’s not really an apology I need, it’s some kind of explanation, understanding. And I know I won’t get that either!

            • CL drew a cartoon of a thong hat on a cheater’s head a few posts back. Thong hats are real.

              • Don’t ya hate it when you’re being all deep and meaningful and reflective and someone makes you laugh????????? I was being really serious, but now I’m hoping for reconcilation cos I’d love to buy him a thong hat for christmas. Damn! 😀

        • WOW. You just stated my situation. Never a connection. Always getting frozen out. JUST WOW!

    • WTF indeed! But there are lot of quacks out there. Someone here — the OW is a therapist. And I think Arnold (a regular here) his ex is now some sort of counselor.

      All to say, you’re not the only one, believe it or not.

      • Sometimes, those are the worst. Honestly, the crap I’ve heard from MH therapists has been astonishing. This is why, when CL is finished with her book, I want to buy copies and send them out to every marital therapist, social worker, psychologist that I know. If they can purchase “When Good People Cheat” and anything by Michelle Davis (whateverhernameis), then they ought to have CL’s book right beside it.

        • thensome,
          It is pretty bad. And, there are some really bad therapists out there. I have just lowered my expectation of STBXW. As soon as she left my home I felt better bc I did not have that expectation that she would participate in a meaningful way. Now, I just look at her as a therapist who needs therapy.

    • Well of course, probably the kind who asks the betrayed spouse what s/he did to cause the cheating, what his/her faults were to contribute to the mess, and whether the cheater can forgive the betrayed spouse!?!? Now I understand the basis for all of the astonishingly bad marriage counseling described on this site, which blames the chump and coddles the cheater.

  • Yes, yes, yes. Don’t fall for that poor wounded sparrow. My exboyfriend and I broke up and got back together so many times it was unreal. I got sucked back into getting back together with that fool at least five times before we split for good. Finally I was able to resist the long letters and E-mails and presents left on the front porch. We yo-yoed back and forth so much until it was a RELIEF to cut that string for good.

    One year after that, my youngest daughter and I ran into him in a mall. We exchanged mild pleasantries, and he (REALLY!!!) asked, “So can I call you sometime?” My reply was a firm, “No,” and a calm walking away. My daughter’s response: “ALL RIGHT, MOM!”

  • Yes, yes, yes CL! This is so true. My wingnut abusive cheater has found the light, inspired by me filing for a restraining order. He is all sorry and apologies, going to therapy, determined to put our family back together. I don’t believe it for a minute (much thanks to your bad ass self). He is sorry for losing his sweet cushy life with no responsibility. He tells me he is sorry every day. But I just think, where was that sorry when I was crying my eyes out, pouring out my anguish and heartache, wishing for one little sign that he cared? Nope, it wasn’t there then. It’s only his fear of losing what he has that makes him sorry. That sorry you want won’t include one ounce of sorry for hurting you, just sorry for what that poor cheater ass has lost. If you think you want apologies, think again, they would be hollow, and meaningless, and manipulative. Because if they were sorry, they wouldn’t have hurt you in the first place.

    Whew, I feel better now!

  • This is just in time. I like that you seem to have this sixth sense about how we are all feeling. I’m not meh but on the path for sure. I’ve been divorced for 2 months now, and I am glad that I can come here and read/re-read what you have written. I’ve also retained a lawyer because I’m tired of getting dicked around by my xwife.

    Tracy thank you for all you do for us.

  • Oh, how I prayed for my ex to come to his senses, apologize and return to our marriage to make things right! Prayed and prayed! And then it happened! He DID come back, DID want to make the marriage work, DID sort of apologize.

    What a con game that turned out to be. He was more emotionally abusive than he’d ever been, and the mind games and subtle threats started almost immediately. The pressure to move back into our house started right away. The crazy behavior started soon after.

    Turned out that the whole “remorse and reconciliation” routine was a complete and utter con game. The only reason he wanted back was to get out of paying support, get me to move back home, work full time and save the house from foreclosure and be the one working and supporting his useless ass while he pursued his acting “career.” I found out later he actually told people we had an agreement that I was going to work and support him, and that I was the one who reneged on that agreement and broke all my promises to him. Of course, we never had any such agreement, not even close.

    Plus, I believe he was still cheating during this bogus reconciliation, and I now realize he planned on using me for money, then dumping me eventually and going after ME for alimony.

    The point of this lengthy ramble is that when cheaters come back, it is NOT because they really feel sorry or remorse or guilt. If they are truly disordered (and most of the cheaters here seem to fall into that category), then they do not feel those things. When the disordered return, it is because they have something to gain, and they are simply using you to get that benefit. Very often, it is a financial gain. But it could be that they need somewhere to live, want the mask of a normal family life, want you to cook and take care of them, want a sex partner or just want you to dish up some tasty kibbles while they continue to do whatever the fuck they feel like.

    I understand wanting the cheater to grovel, beg and plead for forgiveness, and to express remorse. But if they do any of that, watch out! It is only an act to pull you back into their trap. Their real motivation is not in your best interests, you can bank on that.

  • Hi all!!! And a special hi to Chump Lady! Wow I wish too that I had found this site 6 years ago! I’m originally from South Africa….moved here 12 yrs ago with my then cheating ex husband and 18 month son…I dated my ex for 5 yrs before he finally married me…yes I did the “pick me dance” for way too long, even broke up with him and refused to see him for 2yrs…then his dad died and being a chump I felt sorry for him and took him back…and we got married…it was a nightmare right from the beginning! I found hotel receipts …confronted him and of course he lied himself out of it , soon after we left South Africa to give our son a better life…crime was crazy over there… I found myself in a foreign country, but at least I had my cousins living close by, btw I’m in Irvine California…beautiful place, with gorgeous weather and beaches …but I was alone with a toddler… He went from job to job and would love the jobs that enabled him to travel….hmmm wonder why?….but being a chump I ignored the signs….his best friend of almost 30yrs decided to open up a business over here to help my ex …he too was fooled! It was an aircraft business …things were going good for him…money was great….we bought a house, he was always traveling for work and my chump self was at home alone bringing up our toddler at the time but still my intuition told me something was wrong! He was visiting Kansas City a lot , again for businesss, one day he told me he met a lady over there that would be perfect to work in the company, apparently he needed someone to help with shipping …I still said to him ” you can’t find anyone to handle that over here in California”?…..his reply”no I’ve interview 100 people and nobody is as good as her” I still said who would leave their job( single lady in her 40s….. No kids, no family and move to California) he of course told me I’m paranoid!!! wow! Anyway she moved by herself , drove a u haul with all her pets lol! I still met her , she played with my kids but still I knew in my heart something was up… She was even living at Motel 6….eeeeeew! They were searching for an apt for her….but their plans were ruined on one March night when he forgot that he left his phone charging in the spare bedroom, I was up late that night taking care of my youngest son , while he was sleeping….( he never used to leave his phone lying around and never let me look at it…
    Yes my suspicions were confirmed….she was telling him she loves him and was sorry he could not see her that day! I. Woke him up showed him and he just said huh and went back to sleep!! I calked the number , she answered and hung up on me….next day I even asked him what he wanted….no opology but said he wanted his ” marriage” chump me made him take me to the hotel and I yelled at her while she was running away from me…I made her pack her bags and move back , which she did, soon after. He lost that job as he was lying to his friend abt all the fake business trips he was going on, found out he had also stolen a lot of money…his friend does not speak to him any more ….chump me at the time forced him to make it up to us…by taking family on cruise for 7 days….big mistake , he left me alone most of the time while I was taking care of the kids, basically I was just the nanny! Get home to find out they never stopped talking to each other Duh!!!! I’m lucky that I have a great family that intervened and kicked his ass out!! They helped me get an attorney and paid for everything… And have been a tremendous support system ever since! Fast forward 6 yrs….I pulled myself together, started dating, met a lot of jerks but was not prepared to settle and 2 yrs ago met a great guy on….dated for one year…got engaged and have now been married for 5 months….still no opology from ex but I am stronger and don’t care! Moral of the story… does get better and I have learned to communicate everything that’s on my mind even if people don’t like it…my boundaries are improved and gives me great joy to just ignore him whenever I have to see him which is usually at soccer games….oh btw he’s married to a lady that can barely speak English ,who knows whatever happened to Miss Kansas City…there were more after her and he finally married the last one…my eldest is now 14 and barely wants to see him…I still get no child support but gave up fighting, like I said I have a wonderful family that cares and has helped so much…when I last went to court, there was no proof of how much he earns…so judge ordered him to pay 166 a month Wtf? I have not seen any of that money either….I believe in Karma, btw, my father cheated on my mom for yrs….she passed away 5 yrs ago from MS…he was never there for her when she was ill …pls all u chumps that think its best for the kids to stay together….I’m living proof that it’s not!!! I saw my mom put up with shit for yrs…the fighting, drama, and landed up marrying someone just like him! My dad is now sick in a home in South Africa and wonders why none of his kids have come to visit him….I told him I’m busy taking care of my own kids!!! I feel sad for him but not Guilty! karma is real!!! Anyway I just wanted to share my story and let you all know life does get better!!! And I’m proud to say I’m a surviving chump!!! No more shirt sandwiches for me….hugs and light to you all!!!:)

  • This post is timely. I was having a tough couple days dealing with the loneliness and the hopium that I must have snorted this weekend. This morning I was brought out of that sad, sorrowful place with a song on Bob & Tom. Honestly, my frown turned upside-down immediately and hasn’t changed all day.

    Mental peace be with all of you!!!

    • Oh yes. Love that RH!!

      What is it about these freaks and sending photos of their genitals to each other?

      We had a politician in my state (Queensland, Australia) who sent a photo of his “hammer” in a wine glass, to the woman he was cheating with.

      For reasons unknown, she obviously had an issue with this, and took the story to the media. It was on all of the news. He had to get up in state parliament and explain himself. Now that’s karma. I hope his wife kicks his arse to the curb.

  • To use the forums — I’m not an IT geek – this from Iker, the guy who built the forum:

    How to get started:

    People can register and sign in using the standard wp-login page, the same one
    you use to log into your WordPress dashboard (
    admin). Even if they do use the same login page, as the registered users have
    no admin privileges, their ‘Dashboard’ looks completely different (way more

    In order to register they just need to click ‘Register’ on the login page, and
    enter a username and an email address. That’s how the already registered users
    have registered, and the registration is shared between WordPress and bbPress.
    The already registered users do have access to the forums right now, and the
    new ones will need to register (and login) using that page. I believe there
    are some WordPress widgets to add a link to the login/register page on the
    front page’s sidebar.

    When the users are not logged in, the url
    will show “No forums found”. When they *are* logged in, that same url shows
    the main “Chump Chat Forum”, and the “child” forums (General, Resources and
    Songs and Videos). From there you can click on
    the main Chump Chat or on any of the child forums. So, if people get directly
    into the forum area ( they won’t need to go
    to the main CL site to navigate through the forum, they can just navigate the
    forums from that page.

      • Is it a Canuck thing? I have even found a way to register to WP, through judicious Googling, but still can’t get see the forums.

      • Did you actually click on the link? I did and it was incomplete. If you look at the link she posted the “-admin” isn’t part of the link. What you typed in is the complete link.

        • I did clicking on the link, led to a CL ‘you are nowhere’ page, and copying the whole link, it just led to a log-in, not registration. Then I Googled my way to a registration page, got registered, still no access to the forums …

          • The forums appear under Cheating Decoded, Chumps Decoded, The Brain Trust as “Chump Chat” — the page doesn’t magically appear.

            Once you log in, supposedly you can SEE the Chump Chat part of the side bar, next click on those links.

            You might be missing a step. It’s awkward, I know.

    • I put a call in with the guy who set it up, hopefully I can answer your questions soon. I’m not terribly IT-ish.

      I hope to build a better forum later, but it’s on the priority list below “finish book (after computer crash ate 7 chapters).”

      Meanwhile, I’ll see what I can do about getting this one working.

      • You should be able to go here and login:

        After you login (or register, then loging), you should see at the top left of your page. Click “visit site”, then scroll down and on the left side of CL’s site the forums will magically be listed:

        Chump Chat

        Private: General
        Private: Resources
        Private: Songs and Videos

        click on one of the links and you are in the forums

        • It’s not working for me. I have a WordPress account, but when I go to the linked page, I do not get an option to register. I tried logging in using my regular wp information and it says that I’m not registered on this site.

  • Thanks to the support on this website, I don’t hope for my STBX to apologize. He tried once before but it was so pathetic I had to just laugh. He said “I was hoping you still cared, guess not.”

    Nope. Not at all. 🙂

  • “The worst thing about being lied to is knowing you weren’t worth the truth”. Glascow mummy blog

    • One of my saddest moments was when my daughter had to write a reflection paper, and used this quote to talk about how her father had lied to her (exH told her the girfriemd had nothing to do with the divorce…)

      My darling daughter is in such pain, so difficult for the daddy’s little girl to see what her father is truly like (and I say very little… Only one conversation, without details, about how her father had had at least two girlfriends while we were still married/before we had decided to divorce).

      • My 20 year old daughter asked me to order her two books on Amazon for Christmas: “The Unavailable Father” and “Where Were You When I Needed You Dad”. Says it all, doesn’t it?


        • My kids (now 12 and 14) are completely refusing to see their father. DD is SO disappointed in him, so hurt and angry and disgusted, while DS admitted he hadn’t felt connected to his father in years. So damned sad.

          • Karen, my older two children, 24 and 20, saw their father for the first time in almost 2 years over the Thanksgiving holiday, for dinner at a restaurant. The youngest, 14 year old son, still wholly refuses to see him. Ex is not trying too hard, and youngest had the most shallow relationship with him, as ex’s pathology seemed to worsen over time (though he cheated all along).

  • “You’re not in the sparrow-fixing business. If the sparrow says “I can’t make it without your love” — threaten to break its other wing.” You have a way with words that just cuts through the BS. And thanks for the link to the great Johnny Adams

  • Why on earth would I ever receive an apology from the man who believes with his whole being that he didn’t do ANYTHING wrong?!

    He wasn’t cheating; he had already “mentally divorced” me. Just forgot to tell me.

    He wasn’t stealing if he spent it on himself.

    She isn’t a “husband-stealing, white trash whore;” they were two co-workers who fell in twuuu wuv.

    She’s not his meal ticket or his beard, she’s a “good” Catholic woman.

    It’s not blasphemous if they live together while he was still married and expect his kids to roll with it; after all, they religiously go to Mass every Sunday morning.

    He’s not cheating his kids; his parents left [him] money so he could finally retire from his long string of temp jobs. Why pay child support when you can collect unemployment and live off your savings and bimbo?

    The only thing missing from their happy ending is my death certificate. And he’ll make out then, too. I have to carry a life insurance policy naming the asshole as a beneficiary AND keep him on my health and dental insurance. Our State — with its no fault divorce laws — sucks for chumps like me.

    I don’t want an apology or acknowledgement. I would like karma, but stopped believing in unicorns or anything like it. I really just want meh; to be able to live my life without feeling cheated by someone so unworthy of my time. It infuriates me how stupid I was to believe he was worth it.

    • Have faith- Karma is real and she’s a bitch… and she shows up when its least expected… as an old friend once told me.

  • As someone mentioned before on another thread, we need to put together a chump playlist.
    I just got another fabulous song to add. No wounded sparrows being tended here!
    Laura Bell Bundy, Giddy On Up

  • I too thought “if he could just apologize and show some genuine remorse then I could believe that he wasn’t the disappointment he turned out to be”. But he never will. He just doesn’t have it in him. A person either has character and integrity or they don’t. And even if he did apologize, at the end of the day it doesn’t change a thing. He can never take back anything that has happened. His apology would be worthless. Getting a little closer to Meh….

  • I would love an apology – a true apology. It will never happen. I received two through out the eight month ordeal, both in front of a therapist. Once in front of our MC and once in front of his IC. Both I’m pretty certain were very calculated moves to manage his image in hopes of continuing his manipulation of the situation. Directly after the apologies and ‘heartfelt’ emotion he exhibited at these moments, he went directly back to acting like the horse’s ass that he is (and he went back to staying at the OW’s apartment all the while pretending that we were working on our marriage). Even if he were to apologize in the future, I now look at everything he does as a way to manipulate me. I trust that he sucks…

  • I am a veteran Chump who has seen three OWs and three Reconsider Me scenarios over a span of two decades. Took him back the first two and sent him away the third time. Had I reconsidered him for the third time, this would be what my imaginary profile would look like:

    Only men who cheat, manipulate, lie, define “the right thing to do at that time” as I want what I want now no matter who gets hurt along the way, and like to have a reliable stand-by wife who provides a wonderful family cover-up through sickness and in health need apply.


    Buy a lottery ticket instead. You have better chances of winning.

    • ‘Only men who cheat, manipulate, lie, define “the right thing to do at that time” as I want what I want now no matter who gets hurt along the way, and like to have a reliable stand-by wife who provides a wonderful family cover-up through sickness and in health need apply.’

      Uniquely, THIS!! Were you married to my ex, too?

  • I got the apologies, and the very serious attempts to reconcile. So let me just tell you what I learned from those; they are ashes in your mouth.

    What I learned more specifically is that my ex is still exactly who he’s always been, and now that I don’t carry that giant bucket of spackle and my spackling trowel everywhere I go, this is SO obvious.

    First off, as someone mentioned above, if he loved me, if he were capable of love, if he even just respected me a bit, he would NEVER have done even half the things he did, over the whole relationship and especially around his two affairs and our split. And nothing made this more obvious than the fact that he did not care how much I was suffering, or even how much our kids were suffering (and if that’s not a knife to a chump’s heart, I don’t know what is).

    Both reconciliation attempts were 100% about HIS unhappiness and how things haven’t turned out as HE expected (not that he ever actually thought about how things might turn out – thinking about that might imply there could be responsibility for consequences). The apologies were extremely vague and took as little responsibility as he could possibly manage; things like, ‘I’m sorry things didn’t work out between us’ and, when pressed, ‘it was stupid of me to do things that led to losing you’. There was still tons of justifying his behaviour, projecting, and use of all the strategies he’s always used to deflect any responsibility from himself and to impede any real communication. And while he was trying to show me how changed he is, how much a better person now, he invited me on a date, admitted he hoped we’d end up in bed together – then, when asked, confirmed he was still in a relationship with the OW. Tried to cheat on her with me. Scum. (Not that she doesn’t deserve it, but that’s another issue entirely 😉 )

    The reconciliation attempts and apologies gave me a tiny bit of satisfaction, just by confirming that he really is who I thought he was, the failure of our relationship was 100% on him (because I tried, and tried and tried, and he really really didn’t), and I was 100% right to get him out of my life. But even seeing him miserable doesn’t warm my heart at all, just pisses me off even more. He coulda had it real good, threw that in the garbage, repeatedly, then spat on it, now whines about the results.

    And each contact with him stirred me up emotionally for days, pushed me back from ‘meh’. I rebounded pretty fast, though, and even got a little extra acceleration from the rebound

    I do feel sorry for the asshole these days; our kids are completely refusing to see him, and while he totally created that situation, it really is making him miserable. I guess kids are harder to replace than a woman. But I recognize that he is simply not a person who shares my values in any way. I can’t even imagine having him in my life again – he’s trying to look like a sparrow with a broken wing, but he’s an alien, really, and not a nice one. Some kind of reptile covered in poisonous spikes, who sucks blood from chumps. I can feel sorry for him, and direct him to the doctors that specialize in blood-sucking aliens, and go on with my real life.

    • KarenE, sounds like our lives happened in parallel. You are right – they’re sorry because the darn grass isn’t greener on the other side after all but they will keep trying. I say knock yourselves out, as long as I’m not part of that never-ending quest.

      • It’s scarey, creepy, and very comforting that there are so many similar stories here. There really are aliens out there, and we chumps are not alone.

        • I agree. And it’s like we somehow all got made to take the red pill and now we see the matrix….

  • Luckily, I somehow knew CL’s lesson even before I found this blog. I knew that my ex would be able to draw me back in, so I took deliberate steps to close that window. I stopped contact as much as possible and when I needed to talk to him or see him (bc of the kids) I was a complete bitch and dressed down so he wouldn’t think of me as attractive or dream that I enjoyed his presence or wanted his attention. I have no desire whatsoever to “show him what he’s missing”. I am safe when I’m off his radar and that is so much more important than getting the revenge of living well in his face.

    Part of what got me here was getting so many pretend apologies that I knew a sincere one would probably be unbelievable. Also, I got a glimpse into my future when we were married and he was obsessed with contacting an ex that he felt he had wronged. Even after he contacted her and “finally got closure”, he continued to try to matter to her. She didn’t even feign interest and he just couldn’t give it a rest.

    So far my bitch-in-dirty-sweats routine is doing the trick. When he decides that he has the balls to finally try to get to me again I hope to have a tall boyfriend, as he tends to be intimidated by tall people. Wish me luck 🙂

  • I told my therapist early on that I just wanted my STBXH to take personal responsibility and ownership of what he’s done. She looked at me and said, “well, he’s not going to do that, so now what?”

    I REALLY wanted him to come back and apologize so that I could shoot him down. Now, six months since he moved out, I know that I can’t trust a word that exits his mouth…so why would I want an apology? Or him to say he still loved me? Quite honestly, I don’t think he EVER loved me. I was handy and convenient, but I was not a love.

    He’s moved on and isn’t looking back and for that I’m grateful.

  • At first, I hoped mine would return and ask to come back.

    Only for the pleasure of telling him he could go fuck himself.

    • That’s an old country song! Something something something wishing somebody would come back, then ‘so I can tell you no!’.

      Doesn’t anybody know this one? Or am I hallucinating again? Those voices in my head, singing country songs …. 😉

  • I did get an apology… of sorts. He was “sorry” he ended our 30 year marriage so badly.

    The last time we saw each other he held out his hand to shake mine so we could remain ‘friends’. Finally, I had a choice.

    I declined, of course.

  • Timely post for me and I really need some good advice and guidance here. I haven’t seen my cheating ex in a year. I found out a year or longer ago that he cheated on me with a co worker. He was living in India (still does) and we had been living together in NY prior to him leaving. I found out 2 weeks after I was visiting him in India in the Summer he flew this girl out to visit him for 10 days. After I found out…there was nothing. He never called. And made feeble attempts to apologize. He also said it meant nothing and was only sex and he was no longer in touch with her. Now I found out in Summer he came back to NY and was with her again. In October they went to Spain and now he is again in NY with her. I have a chance to finally face him…We never met after all this went down…In fact he did nothing to make the situation better. Although when we were together he claimed to love me so much. He is willing to meet face to face but this is a meeting I initiated when I found out he is here. What do I do? See him? Will that give me any peace? I can’t understand why he wants to be with her knowing that fling led to the demise of our relationship. Please some advise. We are supposed to meet today and I don’t know if it will help or only harm me. There is no undoing what he did and he put the nail in the coffin by continuing to see her…

    • I doubt if you meet that you will get any peace or closure, but you may have to make that choice for yourself and find out the hard way as you probably need to go through the ‘process’ and eventually reach that moment when you realise he really is actually the ‘lying [email protected]’ that your gut was telling you he was along.

      I have done reconciliation thing, and still stupidly fell for his lines that he was sorry and would meet face to face to explain why he did what he did……zzzzzzzz

      I got an apology early on (after the 1st Day), but it was just a rambling letter telling me that he felt awful for what he did but that he was hurting, he was gonna see a Doctor/Counsellor ‘cos he felt out of sorts’ and basically it was all about him, HIM HIM HIM!-he denied (and said to my face) that he was not seeing anyone and had not been on porn-sites……….I found that letter recently, I had attached a credit card bill which detailed his transactions on certain porn-sites to the back of it. 🙁

      Despite that, I still listened to his ramblings, willing him to apologise and explain why he did what he did. After he pretended to do the ‘let’s still be friends’ and basically duped me into believing he was still a nice guy ‘cos I was doing the stupid ‘pick me dance’, he dumped me again via Skype! ( I went abroad- we spoke several times a day- he still loved me, could believe how badly he had treated me etc.)

      So after the 2nd DDay I got mad, he kept saying he was sorry, but there were no more letters, just a simple ” I just fucked up Digbert” I then realised this guy was nuts…………

      He offered to give me closure by answering any questions I had (because he ran out just before Xmas 2 years ago) and when I sent him the questions (like a fool) he claimed that the questions were too painful to read, let alone answer, that changed eventually to “there is no point in answering them because you will rip them apart Digbert”

      I finally woke up and smelt the coffee and that’s because GTGB, I found this site 6 mths ago and I have been more or less NC particularly since I got my divorce that he wanted and that I filed and paid for 5 mths ago.

      I don’t buy of his “I just fucked up” anymore but I would have done if I had continued to try and deal with it myself, because I thought I knew him better than anyone and of course we always talked, we were like the best of friends. I find any contact now, and I usually get a “hope you are ok” email when he sends a monthly statement through sets me back a teeny bit. I never respond anymore, last year I would have engaged in his mind games, not any more.

      Next year will be better:-)

      Sorry for the ramble, meet if you really want to, but you just have to see him for what he is and NC is the best way, takes time – I learnt the hard way.

      Good luck

  • Thanks, Chump Lady, I needed to read this post this week.

    I wish my cheating ex would STOP trying to connect!

    He’s never apologized for cheating, because he denied he ever was cheating (that pesky just kept putting his profile up, logging in and out of his account, changing his screen name, changing his location, blah, blah, I’m offended you think I’m that stupid, blah).

    He has, however continued to try testing the waters. First it was, “Will you do this marketing project for my new company?” No. Then it was the occasional, random email saying how much he missed me and loved me. The one where he told me that without me in his life, he had no reason to live in this city and he’d decided to move full-time to his vacation condo (the one I repainted last year). Delete. The text telling me his brother died. Delete. The note sent by snail mail this week telling me he hopes I have a good Christmas. Tossed.

    Is he sorry? Because I have him figured for the kind of cheater that likes to have a solid home-base of operations from where he can conduct his other life, and now that’s missing…yeah, he’s sorry he lost that. Sorry that he’s stalking me online and knows that I’m happily involved with someone else and his cake is gone? Yep. Sorry about what he put me through? Not bloody likely. Is he sorry? Yeah, he is a sorry excuse of a man who doesn’t deserve to know whether I read or don’t read anything he sends.

    Personally, I’d rather be OFF his radar, because like most of the chumps on here, I do have a good heart. I care more about others than I care about myself. I don’t like to be the cause of anyone’s pain. But whenever I start to feel sorry for him, I just tell myself that HE, not me, caused his current pain (and the pain I went through). I’m not giving up on wanting to be a good person, I am just going to reconsider who deserves that part of me, and anyone who cannot or will not reciprocate is not deserving.

  • Thanks Digbert…I get that too “I fucked up” But that doesn’t do anything. They fucked up…that’s it? Don’t they have anymore to say?? I want him to say more…I want him to explain why he threw everything we had away. Why he couldn’t be honest if he wanted to date other people. If he didn’t think things would work out with us. I miss the person he was – I want to see that person again. I think that’s why I want to see him. I am hoping that he will see me and realize what a mistake he made. Am I just being stupid?

    • Gotogetbetter,

      This is where, as ChumpLady says, you just have to trust that they suck. And trust that you CAN’T trust anything they say. It’s all self-serving, because someone who would do that to you isn’t capable of genuinely caring about anyone but themselves.

      You’re never going to get what you want to hear, because they aren’t capable of giving that to you. And even if they did/could… do you want to hear it because you want to know the awful, painful truth (don’t you know enough?), or because you think that if they give that to you it would indicate that they do care, they do love you, and you want to hope for something more?

      Life is full of crap, but it’s also full of good things. It’s just up to us to find and claim the good for ourselves, and what you, I, we all had…that is not good. You deserve so much more than empty apologies.

    • He will tell you want you want to hear… all the Chumps here on this website.
      I have sat through him spewing buckets of ‘fake’ crocodile tears, the fake ‘I am being honest now…… more bullshit”. In a few years (hopefully sooner) you will realise that he played you, it’s hard but if you really want to meet, do it, and then make a note of how much it will set you back, then reread everything here until the ‘penny drops’ and then vow not to be a schmuck the next time…………….

      We all need to find our own path through this…’s hard – especially with all the good meaningful and helpful advice.

  • It is happening to me right now ! , He is doing his reconsider me dance every single day……emails, messages , anything he knows I can’t block, and my no contact is on the verge of breakdown !

    The worst thing is these buggers study you and analyze you … They know just what to say to get to you…….

    His I can’t believe I hurt you messages get more musher by the day. And I am nowhere close to meh … So it sucks !

    I will keep reading this post until my stupid head becomes ok. Thanks CL ……

    Hoping the sorry and I love you onslaught stops soon.

    • “His I can’t believe I hurt you messages get more musher…”

      Let’s put this in the terms of “stupid shit cheaters say.”

      Okay, Chumps, time to fill in the blank:

      I can’t believe I hurt you when…
      * I “reconnected” with my old high school girlfriend.
      * I missed the mortgage payment after spending $1500 on prostitutes.
      * I had you explain to our son that the reason I missed his first chess match was because my flight was cancelled, when really I spent an extra day bonking my new assistant.
      * I told you that I couldn’t afford to take you with me on the Caribbean business trip when I reserved a seat for my AP.
      * I skipped our anniversary because I had a dinner date with my AP.

      Once you think about what they did, those mushy apologies start to sound like squishy shit, because that’s what they are.

      • I hear you kb ! He was boinking my roommate who in turn was telling everyone in office how complicated her life is , while I was busy planning our ‘fairy tale’ wedding with his mom !

        I hope they drown in their own squishy shit !

        • Newly, there’s a GREAT way to deal w/all this pestering, especially important if it makes you waver or upsets you.

          Either stop using the e-mail account he msgs you at for anything but him, or open another account only for his use (he doesn’t have to know that it’s only for him). Then hand the account info to a friend. NEVER look at it yourself – if you know you’ll be tempted, get your friend to change the password to something you don’t know. (A bit like having your crew tie you to the mast as you sail past the sirens!) Have your friend check it, once every few days if you don’t need to communicate about kids, once a day if you do. If there’s any actual info or questions in there that do need to be dealt with, on a practical level, they forward to you JUST that part of the msg, you answer and send to them, they copy paste and send to the cheater.

          And you ask him to stop texting you, only use the e-mail. He can text about the kids if it involves large amounts of bleeding or broken bones (both by the kids!), or a last-minute change of plans. ONLY!

          Then you TOTALLY ignore anything he texts (delete w/o reading if you possibly can), and anything he sends to old e-mail address, if you created a ‘special’ one for him. TOTALLY – any response is kibbles! If he complains about the ignoring (and the complaining can’t be in text or sent to the wrong e-mail address, because you’re ignoring that, right?), calmly remind him about the e-mail address he’s supposed to be using.

          This is a great way to get some of the serenity of no-contact back, without having to get an actual restraining order!

  • AMEN CL! I learned this lesson the hard way. When I was pregnant with our now 5 year old daughter, my boyfriend of 3 years turned into a complete monster and did everything possible to break me down and get an abortion. I also found out during my first prenatal appointment that he had been cheating on me and gavve me a lovely parting gift from the other woman (Chlamydia). Despite all of that, for the first two years of my daughter’s life, I did the pick me dance with him….finally, I started to move on and into another serious relationship. I actually remember even telling him I thought we were great friends now that the drama was in the past (yea, not so). Seeing that I was happy without him, he would always drop hints of being back together and flirt, but I was happy in my new relationship.

    Then the new guy and I broke up. My daughters father was ecstatic and kicked his efforts to reconcile into overdrive. I resisted at first, but started the internal narrative of “its best for my daughter to have her family intact” and “everyone deserves a second chance” and ” we are meant to be”…that he he looks really really good so I fell right back into it.

    Six months later I was pregnant again and the SAME thing happened all over again. Except this time he trumped himself in that he was cheating with a woman that has 2 kids of her own AND he had been taking my daughter to little outings and sleepovers with this woman and her kids (4 year olds like to talk).
    Now my son is nearly 3 months old and he only shows marginal interest in the kids in the form of sporadic phone calls. No actual attempts to raise them or provide financial support.

    Do not reconsider anything with these types of people. I’m still dealing wit my anger towards him but more importantly, addressing the items within myself that allowed me to repeat this lesson twice.

    I prided myself in what I had to offer on paper – there was no way possible he couldn’t be grateful to have a woman like me…turns out he was grateful to have me but not for reasons I thought but because I have low self-esteem and gave him an endless supply of ego kibbles.

    Listen to CL. Respect and love yourself and don’t look back…unless its to make sure that wing is in the door before you slam it in their face.

  • So I went against everyone’s advice and saw him… and you know what I feel like today? Utter shit!
    Yes he came in he had a look of love in his eyes – hugged me tightly – kissed my face. I got nothing but heartache – he’s still with the OW. He left me and is with her now. Things can never be the same – I can never allow this man into my life or vision again. He is here for another two weeks and said we can see each other one more time and have lunch. I was playing the pick me dance and humiliated myself by practically begging him to do dinner. I want him to remember how great things were with us…but I need to fucking remember all the shit he has put me through. This is not a man that cares for me. Why the he’ll am I begging for scraps of attention from him?

    • Oh no, GTGB, I hate these cheating MF’s. Whenever I violated NC, I was sooooooo sorry and felt like I lost all the ground I gained and let myself down. But then I would tell myself, “ok, I violated NC and I paid for it, but the pain will subside again in time and I will learn not to do this anymore.” And eventually I did learn.

      Here’s the thing—you know the answer. FORGIVE YOURSELF and learn from this bad experience. Tell yourself what you already know: that you must never see or speak to him again; that it will always backfire in ways you may or may not expect. You cannot correct this mistake by any further contact with him. All you can do is now put him in your rear view mirror, GTGB, he does not deserve you or your tears. And you don’t deserve this. And please please please for the love of g-d do not meet him for lunch or anything else, you are worth than that. Love and hugs.

      • GTGB, he wants CAKE, and he’s suckering you into providing it!!!!! He must LOVE it that he’s with the OW and you still miss him enough to meet him, to be sad about him. I know it can be terribly difficult to resist, but resist if you can! He KNOWS how great it was with you, he just doesn’t give a fuck how much pain it causes you that he wants some of that, while keeping his OW!

  • Thanks Kelly, I realize that now. I have been so devastated over this man for the last year. It has impacted my health, my friendships but most importantly my daughter. I just can’t see him anymore, I am sad – I loved him more than I think I have ever loved anyone. But I have to see him and the situation for what it is…not meant to be. He’s with someone else and I don’t want to keep feeding his ego making him feel like I can’t live without him. He was never my friend. I just never realized it till now.
    Thank you so much for your support.

    • I know, it’s very simple, he betrayed you and broke your heart, and it’s a huge unfathomable hurt. But there is no way to fix it through him, not even the littlest bit. I wish you strength and peace GTGB, it’s what I wish for us all (I’m trying to table my craving for vengeance against these a***holes during the Christmas season 🙂 )

  • ChumpLady,

    I am attempting R. We talked privately and though I know you are so right, “you cannot unfuck that whore.” Here I am trying to R. My husband is doing all of the signs of Real Remorse that you mentioned, including a post-nup and polygraph tests. In addition, I can no longer have children due to a hysterectomy I had several years ago, but I have requested that he get a vasectomy for two reason. I am trying and I do want to be that one lucky unicorn, but I know that it is a long shot and am going in with my eyes open. I see the vasectomy as a way to ensure that his time, energy and resources never go to another child but ours, ever, no matter what happens to us. And, there is a part of me that feels like this is a great way for him to show that he values his wife and children more than he values his formerly favorite “asset.” I think of it is a swearing on his penis, as another poster so rightly stated. I read this site to make sure I am fully aware of the games that could come up. So far, he has not played these games. His remorse is deep and completely focused on his bad decision making, without blaming anyone but himself. I believe it is real, the question in my mind is will it last. I just feel like I have to try. Thanks for all you do.

    Chumpy Unicorn

    • Unicorn,

      I don’t see how a polygraph and a vasectomy are going to ensure anything. Polygraphs are great but he isn’t going to be hooked up to one every waking moment. Texts, Email, and Phone calls can be deleted from a cell phone. A vasectomy will not stop him from fucking anyone else. In fact it could be considered a get out of jail free card. Also they can reverse themselves, he can go get it reversed for if he wants to make a family with some new woman. I’m sorry but be careful, my XW asked me to get a vasectomy because she had her tubes tide. Little did I know she was fucking someone else.

  • RC,

    I know you are right. These are only after the fact insurances, do nothing to prevent. As long as I see him doing all of the other things for prevention, I want to try. And, he knows if I request a polygraph and refuses to take it, that we both accept that as an admission of guilt. We have the written into the post-nup as well. The infidelity clause kicks in at that point. I know it is not insurance that he will not fuck it up. As far as the vasectomy, he never used protection unless the woman insisted, so I don’t see how this gives him any more of a free pass than he already took. Again, it doesn’t stop him, but it is an extra layer of protection if he does fuck it up again; reversals are expensive, not covered by insurance and not a sure thing. Like I said, I do feel I am seeing “True Remorse” and so want to give it a shot. If anyone out there has an example where their WS did ALL of the things listed in “True Remorse” and then fucked up again, that would be so helpful to see. Thanks all.

    • UC,
      I understand. You have to do what you have to do. Just guard your heart. Good luck to you.

  • Happy New Years Fellow Chumps!
    My ex actually stbx is finally getting it. Last night he sent me this long drawn out email linking to 18? Steps for a happy Christisn marriage. He is also witnessing a huge dose of reaping and sowing in his parents marriage as well as he finally picked me! You see, he is starting to realize his finances are much healthier with me than without, plus he gets a live in maid, nurse, and assured sex now that viagra is $35 plus a pop. Wow could I feel any more special.
    The truth is I am already in the process of forgiving him. I needed to just to move on. I accept him for what he has shown me to be he is, not what I though he was. I can’t change him, it’s not my place,but if I am to have peace in this life, health, and sanity, I got to move on. I do wish him well, but not with me.
    Looking forward in2014!

  • Mine stopped asking me to reconsider him after he moved into his parents house with the OW. But you have to hear the kicker! After marrying his mistress and 3 yrs of marriage didn’t work out for them, he CALLED ME(my ex sis-in-law gave him my #) and asked me to forgive him. Um lol. He then went on about how he had called me because he wanted advice from a”good friend” about his failed marriage with the OW… WTF. He cheated on me with her.. and then wants me to listen to him cry about the end of their love? All I could tell him was “You wanted her, you got her. “. Laughed till I had tears streaming down my face and I couldn’t breathe.

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