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Dear Chump Lady, Now that I’m done, he’s “ill”

Dear Chump Lady,

I am a chump. My husband has cheated several times and I have let him have the cake. No boundaries. I don’t know what I thought. I think I had paralysis by analysis. I thought I was being the forgiving one, a good person. I have been over thinking everything. Worried that it wasn’t a good time to file because of one excuse or another.

I’ve just been SCARED!!!! I have been going to therapy which has given me balls!!! Best thing ever. Every time I had caught him he showed some remorse, but never begged and became transparent. It was always my fault.

Anyway, I asked him to leave in September (after I planted a recorder in his truck) and he stayed gone for all of three days. Then we settled back into this song and dance of avoidance. I continued to go to therapy and contacted a lawyer. Anyway! I am about to file. It has taken me the through the holidays because of my children. Here I am and he is feeling the shift. Major! He still isn’t professing his undying love for me or begging for my forgiveness, but he is acting moody and irritated about the change in my behavior. Now he is acting “sick”! Why do they do this? Do you have something already written about this poor pitiful me behavior? He thinks it’s his heart. Which is hilarious!



Dear Diane,

Has he seen a doctor for his acute kibble deficiency? Symptoms include sullenness, mawkish displays of mortality, and an inability to do jack shit for oneself. Most health providers recommend a strong dose of Vitamin N, aka Vitamin NO. As in, no fucking way am I engaging with you. Stay the course and deny kibbles. The illness will pass through several stages:

1. The Extreme Self Pitying Stage. The sniveling you see today is nothing compared to the total onslaught of self pity that occurs after Vitamin N is administered. How could you?! Don’t you know they’re broken/grieving too/have deadlines at work/inflamed sinuses/toxic shame/tennis elbow/student loan debt/pneumonia? Your refusal of kibbles could not come at a WORSE TIME! If they die/become inconvenienced/have to change the laundry around — this is all on your HEAD! That’s just the way you are, so selfish/uncaring/staggeringly unkind.

Stay the course, Diane. With any luck, he’ll hold his breathe, turn blue, and pass out. Shuts him up temporarily anyway.

2. The Okay, I’m Really Sorry, You Made Me Say It, THERE! Stage. He’s sorry now. You wanted an apology? He’s SORRY. There. He said it. Are you happy now? Mistakes were made. He can say it (in the passive voice). Now will you drop it? Can’t he just go back to cake-y deliciousness of the way things used to be?

Why do you have to be such a bitch?! (Buckle yourself in for the next part of the ride. We are now phasing into…)

3. The Rage Stage. The cessation of kibbles is realized. It gets very, very ugly. He will pull out every stop. How can you DESTROY OUR CHILDREN’S HOME, Diane? I guess you’re just SELFISH that way! No one will ever love you! You’re ruined! He will see to your personal destruction!

Blah blah fuckity blah.

Pay no attention. Give it all to your lawyer. It’s what the kibble-deprived do. They’re not right in the head.

The self pity, the “remorse,” and the anger are all designed to get a reaction from you — more cake and kibbles. Do NOT do it. Vitamin N his ass.

And if he’s truly ill? Then you tell him “When you cheated on me, you fired me from the job of giving a shit. You and your health issues are not my problem any longer.”

Get yourself free, Diane. Straight ahead and don’t look back.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Oh my, this is too funny! My stbx talks about how divorce will ruin him financially. No sweetheart it’s the outside sex that’s ruining your finances. He tried the poor health needing a nurse, maid, chef routine, not interested in that job AT ALL!

    Ow are ok as long as the money, viagra, money, oh did I mention money is still there. GOD willing I plan on getting my fair share. Not responsible for your future or second wife. These guys kill me!

  • Okay, I’m showing my age, but does anyone remember the TV show Sanford & Son? Every time Fred Sanford didn’t get his way, he feigned a heart attack. “Oh Elizabeth! I’m coming to join you!”

    • Too funny. My stbx says, my mom is sick, my dad is on his death bed! Theo old folks are dying, come and gather our kids!

    • Classic! And right on target with the histrionics we all face when we retract the kibble supply. Recently, when I found out that my ex-H had somehow gotten his hands on $300 of MY money to bail himself out of jail and I called him on it, he quickly fell into the, “I’m sorry, I was desperate, and I’m not doing very well these days.” (poor sausage) My response, without missing a beat… “Not my problem, put it back!” – Click. And he did. I then quickly marched down to the bank to ensure he will never have access to anything of mine again. (Damn those oversights).

    • My STBX recently told me that I was making him insane (seriously, like he was about to take to his bed with the vapors) because I suggested a 50/50 split of any tax liability or refund, since we are still currently married and which is what the court would order us to do anyhow. He wouldn’t agree because he wants ALL the refund if there is one. Then, when I turned the entire matter over to my attorney, he texted me accusing me of dragging out the divorce by using an attorney, has started telling the children he doesn’t have any money because I insist on using an attorney when he just wants to split everything 50/50 (except any tax refund, I guess) even though he was the one who initially retained an attorney and filed for divorce.

      He alternates between being angry and accusatory and reasoned and apologetic. I’ll say it again – Golum from Lord of the Rings.

  • Diane – He knows you very well, that you’re a kind person. He’s playing that to his advantage. He knows that you’re a sucker/chump for this. He’s using your own kindness against you. Don’t let him do it!

  • Funny; I was just feeling sorry for myself because I didn’t even get invited to do the pick-me dance, he bailed on me to be with his true lurve. But I still get variations of the three points mentioned here.

    1) Self pity = “I’m having a hard time dealing with what I did to you.” “I took the bullets out of my gun and locked it in the trunk to keep it away from myself.” (Poor baby!)

    2) I’m sorry = “I’m sorry but I’ve moved on. This is all so hard.” “It just happened.” “I’m sorry I broke everything.” (Awe gee!)

    3) Rage = “Why are you making this so difficult!” “I don’t have any money!” “I want another TV!” “It’s not fair!” “Whatever you’ve been a total bitch to me since this happened!”

    Seems all poor sausages are exactly the same.

    • He’s having a hard time dealing with what he did to you… but *you’re* making this so difficult?

      Did you have to take the bullets out of your gun to live with yourself, Rumblekitty?

      • Nope. I can sleep at night, although I’m still on the couch because I don’t like being in “our” room. I’m going to have to change it up in there and make it mine eventually.

        The other day he said I was dragging my feet in regards to the divorce, but all I’m doing is getting things finalized that we initially agreed to. When I didn’t see a particular financial item mentioned in the docs, I emailed him about it and he equated that to “dragging my feet”, even though the process is right on schedule. I think he’s mad that I’m not fighting the divorce and begging him to come home. I’d rather put a gun to my head . . .

        • Rumblekitty- I ended up with “our” bed when I left my ex. I swear the stupid thing had bad juju and gave me nightmares so I also spent a lot of nights on the couch too. I finally got pissed and saged the crap out of the thing, looked up negative energy clearing music on youtube and left that blasting in the room and sprinkled salt everywhere and then vacuumed. I wish that I could just trade the bed in but it’s brand new and I’m broke. But hey…all that juju clearing seemed to have worked because I can sleep on it now.

          • It’s not the bed so much because I actually had that swapped out the night I found out with a bed that was in a spare room. It’s the quietness in there that gets to me; my brain flips into overdrive. At least on the couch, the TV is going and it’s cozy.

            After the divorce, I’m going to get rid of some of the furniture in there and paint. I’m going to pick a bright new color, new curtains, new dresser . . . I guess I’m waiting for the divorce papers in my hands before I can wipe the bad juju away. I don’t have too much longer to wait. 🙂

            • After I got rid of the ex, I redid my bedroom in lemon yellow with bisque lights that have cutouts of birds and waves. And I moved my bed in front of the fireplace (my bedroom is supposed to be the rec room) which is where I’d wanted it for years. I have a fire pretty much every night in winter and it is so peaceful with the crackling and dancing light. I think I’m addicted to the fire now. Funny, my ex used to tell me I didn’t know how to build one, hell I can have that fire going in five minutes – he just knew I liked fire and was an asshole about it.

    • Rumblekitty..I am in the same boat as you..feeling very sorry for myself because I didn’t get to do the pick-me dance. As soon as I found out about his 3 year affair, le walked out on me for the OW, and they are soooo happy in love, don’t you know. I did the wrong thing..I stalked him on Facebook today..and saw a few posts that caught my attention. One was along the lines of “love who you love, who cares what anyone else thinks, follow your heart, blah blah blah”. And of course the OW responds right away because it’s soooo nice. Another post was a list of things a woman should do to please a man, and what a man should do to please a woman, and her response was “hmmmm…” and he responds to that “I couldn’t resist, darlin”. So yep..I feel your pain..I didn’t get the chance to do much of anything, because like I said, he was out the door and straight to her. I hope they both burn in hell!

        • Sandy,
          Rumblekitty is right. Block him from everything! I blocked my POS ex, all his family, friends, even his ex-wife lol. I don’t care what the loser do or his family, as far as I am concerned they could all rot in hell and the irony is they are the ones stalking my facebook with fake accounts lol! How do I know, they are big mouths and talk and it always comes back to me, even though I don’t care to hear it. So its killing them all, not knowing what I am doing, who I am talking to, what kind of improvement I am doing to my house now etc so they just sit there talk and wonder. It really burns their asses that I am doing great financially and every other aspects in my life, better than all of them and boy that sure stings 🙂

    • When my ex ran off with the blonde, Iwhen I got the courage to start the separation stuff, he comes into my work one day and stands there shaking the financial papers in my face yelling at me ‘I never thought you’d be like this’ , like what’s for the first time in my life standing up to him, making choices for myself…. yes I got 75% of the total assets 🙂

    • This is the MOST important part! And my ex just doesn’t get it! He’s all heart-broken because our young teens have got his number and won’t see him (which he’d probably be fine with, except that his girlfriend/OW lives in another city so he’s alone way too much for his taste).

      But he keeps coming to me with his ‘suffering’ and demanding, DEMANDING my ‘compassion’. He gets furious at my ‘self-righteousness (when he wonders why oh why he’s being rejected like this, I tell him! Pretty gently, even!), And fully expects that I will continue not only to help him with the kids, but also to be a shoulder for him to cry on.

      I’ve had to keep setting clear, but polite boundaries. Fortunately the family therapist he’s been seeing with the kids has backed me up on those, so he doesn’t retaliate too badly. But he so doesn’t get it. Every couple of weeks he tries again ….

      They truly have no clue – it’s ALL entitlement. When our kids were suffering from his negativity, crabbiness and distance, he didn’t give a flying fuck. When our kids’ hearts were breaking, because of the separation and his neglect of them afterwards, he didn’t give a flying fuck. When I was suffering from his selfishness and negativity and then his betrayal, he didn’t give a flying fuck. But now that HE’s in pain, he actually expects me to still care for him and take care of him!

      Sometimes these narcs make it really easy to trust that they suck.

      • I am just sitting here shaking my head in wonder– that they expect sympathy, comfort and help from us, that they want us to fill the empty spaces and carry them…..oh wait, that’s because that’s what we chumps did before and these idiots think the kibble train will never stop!

    • Hee hee hee! I did have fleeting thoughts during the period when the ex was neglecting the kids the most, that it would just be easier if he keeled over from a heart attack. But I’m such a chump that then I felt guilty for thinking that! A promotion over-seas, THAT would be great, with a big salary w/a side order of guilt, so lots of cash would come the kids’ way.

      • I also used to wish that my husband would just go down, clutching his plaque-riddled chest, and then walk toward those golden arches in the sky. It would have been so much easier, and MUCH more lucrative for me. However, now that the divorce papers are signed and filed, I hope he lives for at least another decade so that I’ll get my full due of alimony. I’m also banking on his neglecting to change the name of his beneficiary, since I’m certainly not going to remind him of THAT too. Not my job anymore!

  • He’s ill? Showing my age as well, but that puts me in mind of:

    “Ill Communication”:

    Some good advice in there for Chumps dealing with cake eaters:

    “I’ve got a hole in my head and there’s no one to fix it
    Got to straighten my thoughts, I’m thinking too much sick sh*t
    Everyone just takes and takes, takes, takes, takes
    I’ve got to step back, I’ve got to contemplate”

  • Mine tried some variation of this on the final court day: “I was wishing I was here…”.

    Yeah, whatever. Nothing I could do about that. Broke is broke, and I didn’t do that ham-fisted, near-sighted, self-severing breaking.

    In the end…, I just didn’t want to live my life that way anymore. Life has enough curve balls without adding in the chronic-bound-to-repeat-profound-disruption nutball factor.

    It just wasn’t something I had to decide on because there was the boundary, the divorce was enforcing the boundary (pretty much the way a speeding ticket enforces the speed limit), and it was out of my hands because I wasn’t the one doing the speeding.

    • I should add there was some health stuff too (real health stuff). Again, it wasn’t my decision, though, that lead to that consequence. Not something I could control, so?

      • A Psychologist walked around a room while teaching Stress Management to an audience.

        As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “Half empty or Half full” question.

        Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired:
        “How heavy is this glass of water?”

        Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

        She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter.
        It depends on how long I hold it.

        If I hold it for a minute,
        it’s not a problem.

        If I hold it for an hour,
        I’ll have an ache in my arm.

        If I hold it for a day,
        my arm will feel numb and paralyzed.

        In each case,
        the weight of the glass doesn’t change,


        The longer I hold it,
        the heavier it becomes.

        She continued,
        “The Stresses and Worries in Life , are like that Glass of Water…

        Think about them for a while and nothing happens.

        Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt.


        If you think about them all day long,
        you will feel paralyzed –
        incapable of doing anything….!!!”

        Remember to put the Glass Down
        Like · · Share · 5 hours ago ·

        • Reminds me of this one:

          “My therapist gave me 1/2 glass of water and asked if I was an optimist or pessimist. So I drank the water and said I’m a problem solver.”

        • Reminds me of the engineer who is shown a glass of water that’s filled up half way and asked whether it’s half-empty or half-full. His response: “It’s a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.” Which is guidance for chumps, I think. You family isn’t half empty without your cheater. You’re household with half as many parents (minus the cheater) is *just the right size.*

  • I mentioned this before on this blog, but this post is very fitting to when my STBX texted me a month after D-Day that he had a lump in his nut. When I didn’t respond (NC!) and he tried to reconcile a month after that, he said “When I texted you about my testicles you were the ONLY ONE I contacted!”

    I tried so hard not to laugh. Wow, lucky me! As CL once said, the spotlight in the audience zoomed in on me! “Congratulations! You have to care about your ex’s balls!”

    These stories crack me up. You would think we were making this shit up!

    • Love this Lunachick!! Cheater got pissy when he gave up drinking for 2 weeks while on antibiotics, and I had wine with dinner. I reminded him that I gave up drinking for 9 months. Twice. And he didn’t stop drinking then. He said it was harder for him and I didn’t ASK him to stop drinking while I was pregnant. Yup. All about you. And really, I’m drinking wine with dinner to dull the pain of seeing you. Cheers.

  • Right on target as usual, ChumpLady!

    Diane, please be careful of the rage stage. Even people who have never been violent before will get pretty crazy then. And remember, what ChumpLady said, ““When you cheated on me, you fired me from the job of giving a shit!!” HE’S the one who fired you. When you quit caring, you’re are accepting the reality of the situation.

    • Oh my gosh I wish I had of thought of that when the ex called me a selfish bitch for contacting about our children when little gf was in threat of losing theirs ( which didn’t happen btw and which I never commented on even). “When you cheated on me you fired me from the job of having to give a shit”. Got it!

  • Great response, CL! And it’s so true- you can’t pull any punches even in the face of all this acting out- just think of him as a toddler having a tantrum because you won’t let him bite people. I had to deal with the self pitying whining from my stbxh as well. Kicked him out December 22. During the move out, while I was in therapy and my mom is watching my son, he goes into my car to take a very expensive camera that I owned outright from my car. He only returns it the next day when I called him and then texted his family threatening to cancel our informal holiday visitation agreement if he didn’t return the camera immediately. Some time in January he started calling me crying and blathering on and on about how he broke his own heart, ruined his life and that he’s sorry for everything (everything including his living a double life since we first started dating, paying for his girlfriend’s ivf treatment in paris while I was pregnant with our first son while asking me to borrow money no less, missing X-mas to take a trip to Amsterdam with her….I could go on but you get the picture, he no doubt got off on playing me for a chump). The first time he did it, I actually offered HIM some comfort against my better judgment. Sure, I’m the one who’s been betrayed and was eight months pregnant at the time but really, poor sausage. Just because he was the only person hurt that had any agency of his actions doesn’t mean that he doesn’t feel the pain of getting caught. After I comforted him, I reflected on how ridiculous his self pitying was in light of all his many fuck up actions, I felt like an idiot. I mean, it just tells you how narcissistic he is that he doesn’t pity me, or his sons, or my family or his family …pretty much everyone who now has to live with the shitty results of his destructive behavior who didn’t even get any sexy times abroad and ego kibbles he decided to prioritize??!!! The next time he tried to just call me up I pointed out the fact that if he was so sorry for his actions, perhaps he shouldn’t have stole my camera on the move out. Sure enough, the pity party crying and blathering soon gave way to the “you’re just so angry” “why are you such a bitch stage.” Reading this blog puts so much of his behavior into perspective. Now I’m no contact and it’s been such a relief not to engage in that idiocy.
    Stay strong, cut his ass off (except for necessary email communications re kids and finances) and it will go away

    • Oh my!! if it was the only thing he stole, consider yourself very lucky! and at least you got your camera back. My asshole ex stole whatever he could get his hands on, even after all the crap that I gave him that he needed for a house, because like a chump I thought he was broke and couldn’t afford things at the time (he wasn’t, he even bought himself a new toy for $1400.00 cash, while crying poverty to me as usual, that I found out by accident)and even after all the shit he put me through, I still felt bad (he was pretty good at making you feel sorry for him) . I gave him pots, pans, silverware, dinnerware, table, toaster, tv’s, dvd, vhs player, towels, sheets I can go on and on, yet asshole still stole from me and if that wasn’t enough, he had the nerve to ask for my house keys after I changed the locks! SMH. and when I said, “are you fucking high, why would I give you my house keys? you don’t live here, this is my house.” he said “what, you think I am going to steal something?” he was a really special case if you haven’t noticed…

      Like they say, if they cheat on you, they will lie to you, if they lie to you, they will also steal from you…

      NC is the only way to go and life is less stressful without the disordered.

      • Reminded me, my ex stole EVERY SINGLE DVD and CD, he left the cases so I didn’t know until after the divorce was final. I should have wondered why he didn’t ask about dividing them. What bugged me is that he stole music he did not even like.

        • oh wow, what a loser!! So the asswipe just sat there, took his time and took the dvd’s, cd’s out and put the empty cases back, that’s pretty low! You see he was mad at you for not letting him have his cake, so just to have another one over you, he stole the music he didn’t even like, just to get back at you! That’s just pitiful!! Aren’t you glad you got rid of the asshole?!?!

          • Yes, I am glad he’s gone, it still pisses me off that when I finally got a stereo set up and opened the CDs to find every single one empty.

            • I don’t think he did it to get back at me, he did it because he thought he was entitled to everything “we” had. Fucker even tried to get my crappy wedding ring. I mean this asshole tried to get alimony from me. You know because he lost his job over his drinking and the poor thing had a heart condition and god knows what else.

              • sounds like my ex. My ex didn’t spent a penny towards anything that I have and own, yet just like yours, somehow in his sick entitled mind he thought he was entitled to whatever that was mine and take whatever to his house when he was moving, without me seeing it of course!! This asswipe even took the laundry hamper, yes you read it correctly, a fucking laundry hamper that was in the bedroom he was sleeping in( I even gave him laundry baskets grrr). So he got up early to sneak that out while I was sleeping and some cd’s as well lol. That’s just a tip of the iceberg. So I understand where you are coming from about still being pissed off!
                Yeah poor poor baby, I guess you were supposed to feel sorry for this asshole. Now he can keep drinking, find a job, pay for his own bills and his heart?? well he can just take an aspirin and call one of his OW..they are not our problem anymore 😉

        • Unbelievable. The depths to which these losers will sink never ceases to amaze me. Imagine that POS sitting there taking those disks out of the cases. What a fucktard. Dat, I know you know how much better you are without him, but I just have to say it, thank God you are away from that monster.

            • I forgot, the loser even took a bottle of weed killer I just bought and paid for, for my house the night before he moved out. The weed killer I can replace, but asshole took my childhood pictures that I cant replace. yep talk about bizarre!!

  • This post was gold!

    All hail the Pity Train. Next stop: Desolation & Despair. Cry me a river.

    My cheater used my compassion to keep me in a relationship (long before I discovered his cheating); I felt guilty about breaking things off because he had a brother with stage 4 lung cancer.

    After I discovered his cheating and immediately broke things off last summer, staying completely NC, he began sending Pity Me emails, texts, even stuff in the mail. He was having surgery, wanted to clear the air (’cause you know how many people die on the operating table having partial knee replacement). Then is was his brother’s death announcement and how devastated he was to have to go through it all by his lonesome. Then it was emails about how he was going to come propose because I was the love of his life (gee, if this is how you treat the love of your life, I’d hate to see how you treat your enemies).

    The latest (and disturbing) attempts at communication included sending me a stack of photos from people who live near him, begging me to take him back because he was so miserable, and another note saying he was coming with a ring. I stayed NC, even though he did show up at my door one day, and even though it totally freaked me out. He texted, while standing on my front porch, “Please let me in, it’s really cold out here!” Not as cold as you’d find it inside, dude…

    “When you cheated on me, you fired me from the job of giving a shit. You and your health issues are not my problem any longer.” Damn straight! Keep crying that river, just don’t expect me to so much as dangle my toes in the cesspool of your narcissistic disorder.

    • “He texted, while standing on my front porch, ‘Please let me in, it’s really cold out here!’ Not as cold as you’d find it inside, dude…”

      Ha! ROTFL!

      • I don’t think he realized how close he came to me calling the police and reporting him for harassment and stalking, which I will definitely do if he’s stupid enough to show up at my door again.

        He’s stuck at the Pity stage. He never got to the “I’m so sorry” stage. He completely denied cheating (and yes, I have proof, I just didn’t feel the need to share it and make him better at it with the next chump). After denial didn’t work, he just brushed it all under the rug; “if I don’t talk about it, it didn’t happen.”

  • The I’m-Sorry-There-You-Made-Me-Say-It stage is really just a teetering between the end of Poor-Me and the beginning of Rage. The dangerous phase you left out is Love Bombing, where they suddenly realize how glorious we are and how stupid they’ve been for not seeing it all along. It comes with gifts, promises, good deeds–all those things we’ve missed and dreamed of…

    • I guess I’m at the Pity Me & Love Bombing stages. It’s scary, because I worry that it could turn to rage when he doesn’t get acknowledgment, thanks or his ultimate goal, which is me taking him back.

    • Yup. I’m at the Pity Me& Love Bombing phase. He did give me a scary glimpse of the “man behind the curtain” last month. How DARE I tell my brothers what a shit head he is!!
      Document it, tell your MC, therapist, atty. This shit is scary especially for Chumps who thought their cheaters would never be violent. Be careful.

      • Thanks, ANC. Trust me, I am being very vigilant. I haven’t contacted police, but if he shows up again, that will change in a heartbeat. He’s never been violent, never even raised his voice, but I am aware that desperation can turn ugly.

        It sucks to find myself checking outside the front and back of my house before I leave, even to walk to the curb and get the mail, locking my car before I even open the garage door to leave. I even do a daily check out the windows on the side of my house to make sure no one’s tried to look in the windows (we have a generous supply of snow).

        The one thing that gives me comfort is that he (now) lives 600 miles away, so it’s an 11 hour drive or he has to shell out money on a plane ticket to get here, which is what he did a couple weeks ago. I figure the next biggest chance that he could try to pull some grandstand love-bomb is Valentine’s, and I’ve already arranged to not be home for the entire weekend.

        I am staying steadfastly NC, as I figure that anything at all I might email or text is giving him an opening or something else to fixate on.

        • You are correct, Gift of Fear had good advice. If someone emails you 100 times and you answer the 100th email, even if it is to say they should stop? they just learned how much it takes to get you to respond and they will do it again.

  • “When you cheated on me, you fired me from the job of giving a shit. You and your health issues are not my problem any longer.”

    Best line ever!

  • On dday, ex told me how sorry he was that he ever married me, that he had been miserable practically since our wedding day, that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore, that there was someone else. The very next morning, he sent a mass text message to everyone we knew, informing them that he had left me and they should wish us both well on “this new road in our lives.”

    I filed for divorce. Ex immediately went to the HR at his work (I know it’s hard to believe if you’ve seen his crazy videos, but my ex actually had a very successful career for YEARS with a huge bank) and informed them that he needed to be approved immediately for stress leave and disability, because the stress of me filing for divorce had left him so depressed and overwhelmed, he was unable to work. He then sent my attorney a letter saying he was quitting his job because of the stress I had caused him, and following his dream of becoming an actor.

    Well, he DID quit his job before the stress disability was approved, and it turned out the bank DIDN’T approve it, so he was screwed there.

    Anyway, this lengthy story is just to show how they use self pity, blame and “illness” to their advantage. In my case, this was one of the first glimpses I had of what an extreme con artist my ex is, and how very manipulative and cunning he can be when it comes to mooching (or attempting to mooch) money out of others.

    The self pity, blame and rage went on for a long, long time. I am sure he STILL feels all of those things in regards to me, but thankfully, he no longer bothers to contact me about anything.

    • “…informed them that he needed to be approved immediately for stress leave and disability, because the stress of me filing for divorce had left him so depressed and overwhelmed, he was unable to work. ”

      WTF??! He left you, but then was stressed when you filed? That’s a head-scratcher.

      I swear, with some of these narcs its like they’re living in a fantasy world….they really, really hate consequences.

      • Yep, it was MY fault he was stressed. Of course, the entire thing was bullshit, he simply saw an opportunity to get disability and not have to work.

        During the early days after dday and separation, I was barraged with texts and emails from him filled with staggering self-pity, blame and rage. He endlessly blamed ME for “tearing our family apart,” said that my moving to an apt was stupid and wasting our money (he said I should have sucked it up and stayed in the family home while he continued to carry on his affair), he found numerous ways to say it was MY fault that he had to deal with all this and what a horrible person I was. When I look back now, it’s hard to believe what a mindfuck it all was, and how very abused I was by that monster. Back then, I couldn’t see it.

    • “how they use self pity, blame and “illness” to their advantage. In my case, this was one of the first glimpses I had of what an extreme con artist my ex is, and how very manipulative and cunning he can be when it comes to mooching (or attempting to mooch) money out of others.”
      I hear you on that, mine was the same way, but now he can mooch off of others. What killed me was finding out the fucktard was making twice the money I was making at the time, but always was crying poverty to me so he wouldn’t have to contribute and continue freeloading like a bottomless pit. He begged, cried, said he will never fuck up again, I guess that would have to include not screw some married howorker for years, trying to hit on and fuck my friends, having accounts on, indiscreet, facebookdating etc etc (he claimed he was looking on those sites for his brother but with his info lol) too many to list and the numbers he has been calling, but he never had any idea who they belong to, especially the one that he has been calling for 2 years, or had a number on his phone and claimed it was his male coworker’s number, but when he saw me checking the number, he says but I think that’s his girls number and she doesn’t have any minutes left. WOW talk about a bold faced liar lol! .
      My fav he said “let me love you without second guessing my motives, I need your trust in me and no one will ever love you as much as me. (puke)
      Anyways I am much better off financially while he lives in a dump now HA!! LIFE IS GOOD!! 🙂

  • My ex did the poor-me-i’m-sick! cry about a couple of months after he moved out. Claimed he couldn’t take our daughter for the weekend b/c he was soooooo sick and they (implying the doctor) didn’t want him to give her anything. Reality – he has a low red blood cell count. He’s anemic. HE’S ALWAYS BEEN ANEMIC. This is nothing new. But he really tried to manipulate me into caring. And he dumped his daughter for the weekend. What do you want to bet he still had the OW over??

  • Is there a psychological term for someone saying something as if it were literally true when in fact what they are saying is figuratively true? Like, a kind of symbolic projection? In this case, your husband saying he is “ill” might not be true in a physical sense, but his behavior shows it was certainly true in an emotional since. As in, mentally “ill” to abuse and manipulate people like that.

    My cheating ex came down with a real illness–cancer–less than a year after our divorce. A cancer that is fatal only rarely, but one that requires extremely invasive surgery and requires medication and can compromise your health for the rest of your life. I was surprised that when I found out from our sons that she was sick, I felt . . . nothing. No sadness, no schadenfreude. Just a big blank inside.

    There have been times when I felt bad about this, felt that it said something unflattering about my character or ability to love that I could feel so little connection to someone who was so close to me for so long and the mother of my children. But the passage of time has convinced me instead this what I felt–or didn’t feel–was simply a result of what had come before, the repeated betrayals, the gas lighting, the false reconciliation, the drawn-out divorce. The way she behaved simply killed the emotional connection I once felt. When her illness struck, there wasn’t anything living left between us.

    All to say, CL is right that the cheating removes you from a position in which it is your job to care about their health.

  • They play the sick card because (don’t you remember?) we promised to stay married “in sickness and in health.” They are reminding us of the marital contract THEY broke but we should still abide by! This is also why many admit having a Sexual Addiction. Oh! Poor Me!! It’s an addiction! That’s a SICKness!

    Mine stalled the divorce over and over again with false reconciling and games. And then he really did get sick with Parkinson’s. Then he did not want to divorce because he was on MY great health insurance. Luckily for him I had also paid for a disability policy for a long long time for him, so I think I have made sure he is well taken care of without me becoming a caretaker for a man who has been abusing me for many years. And he gets COBRA health coverage indefinitely now that we are divorced. All through the divorce process I kept hearing how the divorce was making his Parkinson’s worse. This was a man with multiple, simultaneous, long-term AP’s. Sadly, one symptom of Parkinson’s is sexual dysfunction. Enough to cry about. I can hear all those women wailing.

  • I see a post on here that I didn’t write. Is there another ChumpedTwice on here? I’m a little worried……

  • Seems to be going around. Is CVS offering vaccinations?

    In all seriousness, this is another symptom of the “me, me me” that most people outgrow. Not getting the attention you “deserve”? Other people being “mean”? Pretend to be sick, receive attention, pity, and by the end of it that mean person who wasn’t giving you the attention you deserve? They’ll be saying sorry. (Be sure to forgive them magnanimously, they are just under-evolved.)

    Are we sure there’s not a master play book somewhere?

  • My exH, when I finally had enough of his sick serial cheating over 28 years, and wanted him out of my life for good, said to me: “Why are you so cruel to me? Can’s see I’m not a normal person? No normal person would want to destroy life as I did. Can’t you see that?!” Total suckitude!

    • “Why are you so cruel to me? Can’t see I’m not a normal person? No normal person would want to destroy life as I did. Can’t you see that?!”

      Wow. Classic Gordian knot of Cheater-speak. Somehow you are messed up because you are unable to see and properly accommodate how messed up he is. Pffffft!

      I wonder if ever in history a chump has had the presence of mind to respond, “No, Dude, you’re messed up because you cheat, and you’re even more messed up for thinking that your being messed up somehow makes me messed up.”

      • I know what you mean, nomar. I certainly didn’t have the presence of mind to say that back then. It was just days after D day. I was actually making him admit that he didn’t love me at all, which he did. What a farce! So glad those days are no more!

  • My STBX plays sick as an attention-getting device. He’s done so as long as I’ve known him, and I spackled over it by seeing him as “sensitive.” Lots of people process emotional stuff physically, but I used to go nuts when he’d go to bed “sick” because dinner wasn’t finished on his timetable. I like cooking, and meals are never instant, so to be told half-way through the meal prep–or minutes before the meal is served–that he’s too sick to eat used to make me both mad and guilty.

    Now I’m neither. Well, a bit irritated, as I see this as a childish behavior meant to punish me, but I’m more amused. I primarily see it as still childish, like the toddler who’s screaming because he wants attention. I used to feel guilty because I was hungry, and didn’t want to eat without him. Nowadays, I just smile, tell him “of course you’re sick. I’m so sorry to hear that. Well, if you get hungry, you can forage in the fridge.” Then I enjoy my meal and screw him. I like leftovers, and he’ll get it the next day.

    I used to spackle that he played sick out of hypochondria. He’d get a strain, or feel ill–and you know, some people just feel things more deeply! Now, I just see it as another ploy for attention. It’s a way to get cake/kibbles. Oh, poor sausage! His back itches. That must mean he’s getting shingles again.

    His foot hurts. Well, he has plantar fasciitis. I’ve had this. It hurts like hell, but if you follow the treatment you can find all over the internet, you can get over it. Buy new shoes, wear them indoors (alleviates symptoms), stretch calves actively, and wear a boot at night for passive stretching. It takes time–and can take months–but you’ll get better. Since he doesn’t want to do any of this, poor sausage!

    I do expect rages once he understands that no, I don’t think that I can get “over” an affair, or that for me, an affair is not something that “we” can move on from. I’ve been mentally rehearsing how to keep the conversation focused on him, and how this will be so much better for him, that he can be with his Twu Wub. Hopefully, that will help.

  • During the divorce, my XH tried to bait me with “I am having some health issues. We need to speed this along or it is about to get really complicated.” (oh no darling, please tell me what is wrong!! – not) Thing was, at that time, all we were waiting for was HIS financial disclosure info. Later in the process, he sent me a text asking if he could list me as the sole beneficiary on his life insurance policy, again, because he was about to die. My reply? “Okay.” In reality, he is an alcoholic and I don’t see him living to see 50, but he still played the health card in the most manipulative way, trying to gain sympathy during the divorce.

    7 months post divorce and I believe he is still alive.

    • ‘Later in the process, he sent me a text asking if he could list me as the sole beneficiary on his life insurance policy, again, because he was about to die. My reply? “Okay.”’
      So very funny!
      Unfortunately, this reminds me of things my X would also say and do. This hits the ‘feel sorry for me’ and ‘see how altruistic I am?’ targets they’re trying for. They must be amazed that it doesn’t work! Then the rage probably starts, because it’s all about loss of control. I’ve come to see that this is the reason I divorced him, in a nutshell- he wanted a Dictatorship, and I wanted a Democracy.

      • On Christmas Eve 2 years ago, we got a notice in the mail that ex changed the beneficiary on one of his life insurance policies to one of his AP’s. Since oldest son opened it by accident, whole house was in hysterics. I reamed ex via text and he replied that since children did not speak to him and he had no other family, he wanted to make sure if something happened to him that he’d be properly buried.

        I responded that he should’ve left it for me, I would’ve done it, after all why not leave it to someone who would enjoy putting him into the ground.

  • My xh had no clue whatsoever what his leaving and subsequent marrying of OW would do to our grown dtrs. Truly….NO CLUE. He kept saying ‘don’t I deserve to be happy’? And my grown dtr. (34 at the time, pregnant w/#3) said, ‘yes, and I hope she knows she will be wiping your a** bc neither of your dtrs. will be’. He was, wait for it, shocked at her response.

    • Sad? Hurt? Poor ducky. Oh those selfish, spoiled girls!!! We got that too and my girls were 16,14&10 at that time. At no point, even now has he or his mum even taken the time to ask how they are/were, this terrible thing has only impacted upon them and my gorls are so horrible to be so unkind to him in his suffering. FUCK ME!!!!!! Oh, and fuck him!

  • My classic narc exH complained about his health problems too, in addition to begging me to accept his self-proclaimed “abnormality” with compassion, and lying to me that his father was dying. When I ignored him for a couple of months, he declared that he was going to get married, and he wanted the divorce paper as soon as possible to make that happen. He also posted his selfie in his Gmail profile, dressed up in suit and tie, in front of a computer, so that I could see how “successful” he was. Fucking SOB! He thinks i don’t know what a loser he is, having lived a parasitic life for so many years, and I had been the main provider! He also posted a photo of a young woman, the one he was going to marry, to make me jealous, I guess. Even our son was surprised at how immature and juvenile he was! And this is a man in his 50s! Truth is, anyone can have him, but not me!

  • Now I’m confused….
    “When you cheated on me, you fired me from the job of giving a shit. You and your health issues are not my problem any longer.”
    … I naturally thought this would apply both ways. My ex was indignant when he heard I’d been hospitalised for 2 weeks. He asked me why I hadn’t told him. I explained that I wasn’t his responsibility anymore and it just hadn’t occurred to me to let him know as I didn’t consider him to be my next of kin.
    That was the point that he learned I absolutely didn’t need him anymore.
    That went down like a lead balloon!

  • Dianne,

    When I was growing up there would be times during a discussion when someone might, in the heat of an argument and in exasperation, state “You make me sick!” After which, the recipient of this remark would sometimes languidly respond, “Die and prove it.” It would effectively neutralize the emotionality of the “you make me sick” statement. As children, we didn’t realize that’s what we were doing; we just knew it altered the conversational tone.

    Perhaps the next time your husband says he thinks “it’s his heart,” you could hand him an aspirin and suggest he put it under his tongue and see his regular physician within 24 hours – working with heart patients is above your pay grade. These cretins feed off of our emotions – positive or negative. Your husband is trying to keep you emotionally engaged with him, even if the engagement is negative. Negative kibbles are still kibbles. I can’t do consequences, but I can do sick! I can’t do accountability, but I can pretend to be sorry! Responsibility you say? I can’t manage responsibility, but I can manage rage that you believe I should assume responsibility!

    There has to be a training video or a manual somewhere because these cheaters are just all too similar. Even the unpredictability is predictable. When CL advises you to give it all to your lawyer, that is the best advice ever. I took it to heart the first time I read it here. It is the perfect manifestation of, “I’m not dealing with your crazy shit anymore, Asshole,” without ever having to say it. It is peace.

    Dianne, the next time he tells you he’s “sick,” hand him his cell phone and tell him to call someone who cares.

  • I’m reminded of a fight I had with STBX around the time that I began to clue in to his craziness. He took off in his car after a day of fighting over his continuing lies. I wouldn’t back down, so he “couldn’t take it” and had to leave. I texted him to ask him where he was going. His response: “Somewhere where I’m not a bother to anyone…”
    Oh, boo hoo.

    My response: “OK.” I just went about my day and went to bed without thinking too hard about it.

    The next morning, I opened the garage door to get the trash and found him laying on the cold cement floor wrapped from head to toe in a sleeping bag like the swaddled infant that he was. He wasn’t expecting me to find him, just wanted me to worry. I’m pretty sure he also enjoyed feeling so very sorry for himself.

    Note that I did not kick him out. I did not tell him to sleep in the garage. I did not harass him when he left. He just loved the self-created melodrama.

  • Keeping a sense of humor helps so much. I like this one…

    BREAKING NEWS!! The Pity Train derailed at the intersection of “We All Have Problems” and crashed into, “The Whole World Does Not Revolve Around You,” before coming to a complete stop at, “Suck It Up & Deal.” Any complaints about how we operate, can be forwarded to 1-800-Wah-Wah, with Dr. Sniffle reporting LIVE from, “Quitchur Bitchin”.

  • Mine has a debilitating neurological illness. He really is sick. But that’s not what made him a sick fuck. What made him a sick fuck was cheating on, lying to, and abandoning his wife. I am nearly certain that his “illness” was the “poor sausage” card he used on the crotch jockey. It did not have win me over in settlement negotiations, but apparently, sick, divorced, unemployed men are simply irresistible to women who have no dignity.

  • Gosh this is so true for me.

    I wish it wasn’t.

    Mine wants to “do what is right” for our child. That might include not breaking your vows to me and being an honest person. However, I get accused of being unreasonable, manipulative. The rules seem to change when my cheater gets inconvenienced by life.

    It’s not easy on ANYONE to get a divorce let alone one with a cheater type. Mine says, “lets work together for the sake of the kids”, but gosh don’t talk about why you aren’t sending sunshine up my ass anymore. My experience is that when you start to “push back”, these folks get even more angry and mean. It’s a no-win situation. I speak from experience.

    It really is best to let the lawyers do the talking and I really don’t like to say that. I’m a chump. I believe that if you try to show your humanity, surely there can be no harm in that. Sadly there is; to you. There’s no reasoning, no trying to get them to understand. It does no good. Unfortunately with a cheater, there is no “closure.”

  • My ex played the sick card by insisting that the “stress” of dealing with the revelation of his multiple, simultaneous affairs was jacking up his blood pressure and he was sure he was going to have a heart attack or stroke. (he’s still alive) It always amazes me that these fucktards can juggle a three ring circus of sex for decades, usually with someone who has a husband or wife, and not break a sweat. I came to recognize that I was my ex’s ticket to the big top, his performance drug of choice. Fucking me over is what made it daring, a death-defying thrill. Without it he’s just a sad clown trying to use the sick card to buy admission to a real life. Sorry, Bozo, that train has left town. I love my life now, I love it more every day.

    • Yes lindadanette, it’s the fucking us over that was their real true love. Having lost the joy of fooling me and trying to make a fool out of me, my ex is out there foundering around now, being pressured by one of his long-term APs to marry her and move 5 hours away as he promised, trying to act like he has it all under control. So funny to watch the bit we see from afar. Meanwhile our kids don’t speak to him but are doing well, I am kicking butt in my job, and I am getting remarried in June to my joy and the joy of my children. Ex has become just this strange little footnote in our lives. F**k them!

      • Kelly, yes, the pressuring AP.
        OW is also a cheater, got pregnant via my ex 2x before our divorce was final, planned to move in when exH temporarily had our kids full time (contra divorce agreement), agreed to marry him before even meeting the kids, and now they live overseas, 3,000 miles from our kids.
        Sounds to me like they deserve one another.
        (Still boggles my mind that exH wanted me to meet her… Really? She obviously have no interest in our children; she made no effort to take the time to meet them, and the kids were not involved in the wedding..)

  • Ah, the illness card. I struggled with this post DDay.
    Ex was frequently ill, allergies, thrown back, etc…. nightmares for months, then insomnia for years.

    During false reconciliation I heard all about my lack of concern for the insomnia meant I did not care for him, etc. I did not “hold him and say we would get through this…”
    Hmmm, and when I was crying about choosing between my preferred job out of state and a less than desirable job with a 100 mile one way commute, but was better for him….. No hug for me. (And, being chumpy, you know which job I took!)

    In the end I realized:
    I cannot be held responsible if he did not tell me what he needed… I do not read minds
    The nightmares: during affair #1 (subconscious couldn’t take the deception, I guess )
    Insomnia: again, affair related. He was unhappy in the marriage (after all, he apparently loved the AP, but stayed with me [I suspected the affair, only got confirmation 12 yrs later]
    So, 5 yrs of insomnia, at least one year of which he later said he KNEW he was unhappy with the marriage. Uh, huh, and what did you do about it? An EA and a PA.

    As for some folks other wishes… When I was on the throws of not knowing what was going on with the marriage (before affair confessions), then H traveled A LOT; there were brief thoughts of plane crashes. It would have made everything so much easier….

    Per the divorce agreement, we remain life insurance beneficiaries for the kids. I need to create a trust for the kids so they can own the house…. If something happens to me, I want to make sure the kids get the money, and it does not go to the new family.

  • Oh how this triggers. My ex did have his first heart attack 10 years before shit hit the fan, and he definitely used his heart condition as an excuse not to do anything. He couldn’t be bothered to eat well, exercise, quit smoking or quit drinking. But he could quit doing any housework or yard work.

    Anyhow, shortly after the protective order was in place my ex left a voice mail croaking out pitifully that he was in hospital with a heart attack and might not make it. He said, it would be better for me and everyone if he died. (Ya think?) I ignored the call. His mother called the next day saying ex was begging to see me, I told her that out of the goodness of my heart I would not report his calling me as a PO violation, but there was no way in hell I would ever be in the same room with him again.

    Dying? I wish, nothing will kill that bastard. He spent 2 days in hospital for tests, they could find no problems.

    Shortly before the divorce was final he actually did suffer another heart attack, of course he wasn’t going to chance dying! He had himself transferred from his local hospital to the best hospital via helicopter. You know, because he really wanted to die but first he wanted a helicopter ride.

  • My husband and I have lived apart for 16 months. During this time, he advised me that he had Parkinsons. Really? He finally went to the rockstar “Parkinsons”doctor in Boston. That doctor said that he did not have Parkinsons and the previous doctor who had diagnosed him was so wrong. My husband goes from Md to Md until he finds a sympathetic ear.
    During this time, he said that I was not sympathetic. You bet your a__, I am not after 32 years of your antics and other women. Please tell me that there are men out there who are real and decent…Because I am an attorney and work with male attorneys who exhibit the same disgusting self centered behavior and skirt/pant suit chasing.
    These guys are so self centered-they take the air of the room if you are in it with them!

  • Thank you everyone for all of these great comments! I have laughed and cried while reading them again and again! I know I need to run and not look back but I am good at being a chump!!! I have moments of paralysis. Every thought and situation running through my head while I just feel frozen. I keep hearing from friends and my therapist that I will “know” when I have had enough. When the pain of staying outweighs the pain of leaving. Some days I am ready and moments later- there I am again frozen. I am getting really tired of this. I know I am miserable. I know he doesn’t love me. I know that I will feel better but I also know that it is going to be a leap into some icy and rough water and it scares me to death! So I wait for a two by four to hit me!!!!

      • I too wish I had listened to CL when she said “dump his ass now” I hung around for reasons of my own and now that the OW has dumped him I am in this awful mess where he is denying the affair (HUH!) he is so sad and in the worse place of his whole life… I am so glad I have this place to come to it is keeping me focused and seeing through the BS

  • My STBX is now in the “rage” stage of things. Oh he did “apologize” but I told him that there was no way he was sorry. I knew him now. I would not get fooled again. So what does he do? He sends me an email saying how much he wants to be courteous as we negotiate around our child. Then he sends me a text telling me never to phone him again. (I did once to see if we could resolve a visitation issue. BIG mistake.)

    The mixed messages and general mindf*cking these people can do is unimaginable. I’m going to rehire my attorney and use them as a go between because it’s just not worth sorting it out on my own. One week it’s emails, the next texts, blahblahblah…and it’s NEVER the correct way on my part. So lawyers, please, work your magic….

    I’m back to NO and NC. He hates it when I say No and always has a cutting remark. As though I’m MEANT to make his life easier now. Poor guy. But like CL says, “I got fired from giving a shit.”

  • Fellow Chumps I’m so happy to tell you that “Sir Lancelot” is real in my ex. He didn’t have an “affair” until after me and my kids moved out of the house. Yes chumps he did not have an “affair” with the OW cause it wasn’t physical just a lot of kibbles through texts and phone calls. He could not help that cause she “made him feel good about himself” and “he deserves to be happy”. Oh and now he’s not doing well and needs his kids and me to pray for him cause ” he’s depressed and is messed up”. My daughter tells him you “were cheating before all that dad” he tells her no, no, no it wasn’t until after d day. He won’t admit to any wrong doing and just tries to justify himself in half truths and bs. Oh and lo and behold, now he “realizes that I love him” cause before he was certain that I didn’t and that was one of the many stories that he’s told others.

    • Ooooh, he got his hands on the Narcissist’s Playbook, and he’s trying every step he can from there, he’s memorized all the best lines!

      What an idiot. I hope you trust that he sucks, ’cause he really, really does!

  • Thanks for all the stories. I wish I had found this website 3 years ago when the self-pity, false apology (though I’m not sure I ever got that), and the rage-stage (this one I saw lots of!) were eating me alive. I spent so much time thinking that at least some of it had to be my fault, at least a little bit, that I should have known better, that I could have prevented it if only , that giving up or getting out would be a failure, etc.

    Now that I have some distance on it all, it is much easier to see that a person who steals, cheats, is always blaming others, acts violently, and lies is the sole problem. I can feel myself relaxing somewhere deep inside as I read about other people experiencing the craziness and coming out of it with a sense of humor. I can’t count the number of times my X has talked about himself as “truthful,” as “always being honest about everything,” etc. That, of course, was the lie on which everything was based.

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