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Dear Chump Lady, He says my insecurity made him cheat

cheater_suspiciousDear Chump Lady,

My ex-husband had a old flame from high school that he had a emotional relationship with. Having the old flame hovering in the background always made me uncomfortable.

My ex always told me I was being insecure. Fast foward ten years, my then husband starts a emotional affair with her, lies to me about needing to “find himself,” sleeps with her, we are now divorced and he is now living with her.

My ex’s story is now: “He would never have had feelings for the old flame if I had not been so insecure.”

So my fear that he still had feelings for her, made him want to fuck her and destroyed our marriage?

It’s my ex telling me that I made him want to bonk her, and before that they were “completely platonic.” (Even though he had been in love with her and slept with her before we met) — that really makes me crazy!

Can you please help me clear some of the mindfuckery and help me understand what the hell just happend to my life?

Thank you.

Lacking Nuts

Dear Nuts,

Well apparently you were insecure for good reason. She was a threat to your marriage and he’s a cheater.

You may be surprised to learn that this bit of mindfuckery (your insecurity drove me to it) is not original. See the cartoon I used above (from Stupid Shit Cheaters Say). This one comes up a lot. And it’s patently moronic, so no wonder it’s pissing you off.

Let’s substitute other kinds of misdeeds and see how ridiculous it sounds.

“I wasn’t even THINKING of shooting you, but your constant insecurity that I would shoot you is what made me shoot you.”

“Did I want to rob a bank? Well, of course I like money. But if you hadn’t been there constantly worried about me robbing a bank, wondering why I was wearing a ski mask in summer, and questioning my safe cracking hobby, I NEVER would have robbed that bank!”

“I never even considered eating cookies until you said ‘No cookies before dinner time!’ You planted that idea in my head! But once it was there, and you were being such a jerk about my feared cookie consumption, well then I had to go steal some cookies out of the cookie jar. I’d never known chocolate chips before! It’s all THANKS TO YOU! I see what I was missing now!”

Is the picture coming into clearer focus? He’s blameshifting his shittiness on to you, Nuts. That’s what they do. My guess is he’s been having an affair with this woman for a long time. It’s upsetting because he’s saying you brought this injury upon yourself. (Note how the responsibility shifts from him to you.) It’s insult upon injury. He’s saying you deserve it, your bad behavior made him do the very thing you feared he would do.

Bullshit. He cheated because he wanted to cheat. He kept this flame alive for years, because he wanted to keep you off balance and not commit to his marriage. This is not a love for the ages, Nuts. My guess is that this guy needs a triangle to feel powerful. He enjoys the mindfuckery — so stay no contact with him. If you let him, he’ll use you as his hypotenuse with the OW. And as enjoyable as you think it would be to fuck with her, you’d just be playing his game.

It could be your suspicions made cake harder. She’s a better sucker, so he left for her. It’s sparkly, it’s a new someone to manipulate. But I promise, a sick guy like that needs to keep the upper hand. He’ll goad her into the pick me dance too, and never appear like he’s totally on board with her. Let HER go insane for the next 10 years. She just took a manipulative bastard off your hands. You’re free.

This wasn’t your fault. He’s a cheater and you’re best rid of him. Now you get to gain a new life with a better caliber of people. Let him have his old flame from high school. I have a feeling he just Facebook friended a middle school sweetheart.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “TRUST THAT THEY SUCK” CL is right and you are so lucky he left you. Mine had an EA with an old flame told me he wanted to divorce me and marry her. Turns out she had separated from her H 12 yrs ago NEVER got a divorce and was looking for the next man to support her. Now that the whole sordid thing has been exposed I am stuck with his crying ass and wish I had listened to CL when she told me to dump him. Hope you have a good lawyer and go for blood.

    • Trust that he sucks. You can leave, no matter what your circumstances, if you get good advice, take your time and plan. Good luck, Janet. You deserve a faithful man.

  • Dear Nuts
    Dump that bad ass. He’s not treating you with the love and respect you deserve. These fools think they can play in anyones sand box when they want to. Kick him out of your for good. Lawyer up and get on with a more healthy life. Chump Lady always says ” they Suck”, and they do. They are parasites with a capital P. They can only survive if being fed shit. They are both of the same breed so let them feed off each other until there is nothing left of either of them. It will happen and in the mean time you will have your freedom to have a very honest stable life with lots of interesting adventures to explore. Go no contact, take time to heal, be kind to yourself and you will make it through this madness. Believe me that neither one of them are worth defining the rest of YOUR life.
    Stay Strong

  • What CL and Janet said…plus these thoughts…

    We are all adults here. Nobody can really MAKE anybody do anything. I meant, lookit, if you were to MAKE him bonk her against his will, you would have had to kidnap them both, inject tie her up or inject her with Rohypnol, pump his ass with Viagara, and insert his penis into her vagina for him.

    Check your purse–do you have the leftover receipts for Viagara and Rohypnol? Do you need to check your trunk for their DNA from when you kidnapped them? No? Sure? So I guess this wasn’t REALLY against HIS will, was it?

    And I am soooo sick of the “I need to find myself” bullshit. Let me tell you why these people are lost…they have no moral compass to guide them! They dropped it the instant they got into the entitlement mentality of cake eating. Let me TELL these “I need to find myself” people exactly where they will find themselves: divorced, hopping like Mexican jumping beans from one mediocre lay to the next, and end up alone in some retirement home grumbling about how no one bothers to visit them.

    • Indeed! My narcissistic cheating grandfather is doing just this. Not in a nursing home yet, but grumbling how no one will visit him, when he pushed everyone away, and married his last mistress 30 years ago. Apparently she isn’t enough anymore and he’s pissed his kids don’t like him.

      • Sick to the end……..Sometimes age does not bring insight or wisdom.

        Thank you CITS & JulieP30 for your comments.

        Do not feel sorry for these sorry sickos. Wisdom is NOT found in their gray hairs.

        Hopefully others reading here will remember that these types made their own (old-age) beds……Do not get ‘guilted’ into visiting them, just because they are old.

        Forge on, Wise Ones, ForgeOn!

      • Sounds like my XFIL. He has not talked to, written, or sent smoke signals to my kids in the 3 YEARS since the divorce. It’s like they don’t exist for him anymore – his own flesh and blood. Sad.

        • Ha XMIL did the same. I even rang her just after he left and told her she shouldn’t feel like she can’t have a relationship with her grandkids. After 12 months of bad mouthing my kids for their cruelty to theirpoor, sad father, she rang. Unluckily for her I answered. I told her I was even more disgusted with her than him and hung up. She immediately emailed one of the kids complaining I’d hung up on her and she hadn’t done anything!!!!!! Moron is hereditary apparently!

  • take comfort that most people, with the exception perhaps of Miss High School Memory, will buy the excuse. You’re good. He’s not.

    My XH the addicted, mentally disturbed therapist used to tell me the following to justify why he behaved the way he did:

    1) I didn’t know how to have fun.
    2) I was ’embeshed’ with him. Pyschobabble BS. I was trying to keep a family together while holding the only full time job in the household, and just wanted to know the truth. Guilty as charged for being focused on my marriage.
    3) The simple classic. “You are bitchy”

    • Here are my top three:

      1) You didn’t pay me enough attention.
      2) I need time/space (cake!).
      3) I need butterflies.

      Because he’s a man child this all made sense to him.

      • I like this game, here’re my three:

        1. YOU CHOSE THE CHILDREN OVER ME!!! (Honey, you really can’t call your kid a moron)
        2. Everyone thinks you’re so amazing! (This made him feel very, very small)
        3. I JUST NEED SOMETHING FOR MEEEEEE!!!! (The BMW, the personal trainer, the $252.00 ties…. just take the kids to Target!)

        • My top three: 1.you need to “step it up” 2. You are cheap because you coupon 3. Everyone put me on a pedestal and I was expected to be perfect! It was so hard and so awful! And another one thrown in for good measure was, you just treated me like a paycheck! What a load of shit!

  • Thanks CL this post is spot on. I should have never pointed out that cookie jar. Why can’t they hear all the good things that we’ve told them and become a decent human being at least. My ex used all three variations you wrote about. Poor Sausage…..he was just doing what he was told to do.

  • My Ex’s main excuse for leaving me and our two boys to move into his love shack with his little GF was that I pressured him too much to get a job (he was a “consultant” – basically unpaid but it looked good on his business cards) as we were about to lose our house to foreclosure and I was already working two jobs (one full time that provided all our benefits and insurance). I just “didn’t support his dreams.” What a piece of crap I was to not be comfortable with pulling all the financial weight in our marriage and being the only one with a grown-up job and attitude about responsibility and providing for our children. Bad, bad me!

    • I think “you don’t support me” must be a whole chapter in the narcissist’s handbook. I love how it transforms the speaker into an idealistic person with dreams, aspirations, and vision while denigrating the spouse who is going to work, paying the bills, changing the light bulbs, managing the daycare schedule, and doing all the laundry into a tedious drain on the speaker’s self-fulfillment.

      Yet, I must say that I am very pleased at how much better I am able to “support” myself now that I am no longer being lambasted for failing to “support” my ex.

      • *snort* “You don’t support me”–you want support? Get a better jock strap–one that’s tight enough to remind you that you DO have balls…

      • “You didn’t support me,” “You held me back from my destiny,” “I am pursuing my dreams,” and “I need someone who wholeheartedly believes in me” were the reasons my ex gave for all the emotional abuse at the end of our bogus reconciliation.

        The final straw for him was that I kept telling him he needed some sort of day job. He didn’t need to go back to his old corporate grind, he didn’t need to be Bill Gates. I didn’t care WHAT he did, he just needed to make enough to pay half the rent. Apparently, my unfair demands that he act his age (he’s in his late 40s) was horrible and negative of me. How could he have a day job when he would be so busy with auditions and acting? Hahahahahhahah, like that ever happened.

        Anyway, all these disordered types play the same game. It’s always someone else’s fault, they are always poor sausages who tried so hard, they are always the innocent, injured party. Fuck ’em all.

      • I got this, too. When I asked him what his hopes and dreams were, he pushed his palms together like he was squishing a bug and said, “You crushed all my hopes and dreams.” I felt terrible – until I realized this was just another blame shift.

        Then it occurred to me how powerful I must be. He didn’t crush MY dreams – I never gave him that much power. Crazy.

      • Yes!! That’s exactly how I felt. Denigrated and put on a lower level in our family – I was the “worker bee” and he was the freakin’ queen! I did all the laundry, housework, child care…you name it…all while working a demanding full time job (and doing tutoring on the side for extra $). He paid the bills (i.e. controlled the purse strings) and grudgingly mowed the yard a few times a month (and sulked and pouted about it for hours afterwards). He spent all day holed up in his office “consulting” and basically making almost no money after taxes and expenses. Could be be bothered to throw in a load of laundry and stick a roast in the oven during his “lunch break” from a long day of “consulting” before I dragged myself home after my 30+ minute commute? Nope. That was beneath him. He needed time to “build his dream.” It sickens me now that I put up with it for so long. That I did not value myself enough to say “hold up asshole…I am not your servant or your slave…I am your wife and we need to work together as a team. Part of that involves you getting a day job that helps us pay our bills until we set aside enough money for you to then pursue your dream in a responsible manner.” I was a patsy for sure! And I am still his patsy. I have full custody of our children. I pay 80% of all their expenses as his income was low enough that he is only required by NC law to pay child support that amounts to a few trips to the grocery store (I am feeding two very active teen boys…my grocery bill is as large as a mortgage on a small house!) He flits off with his little GF on romantic weekend getaways and lives in a tiny apartment with no expenses other than what he spends to keep her goodies coming his way. He won…or did he? What did he win? A woman who willingly dated a married man? A strained relationship with our oldest son that may never be repaired? Only seeing our younger son about 1x a week? The loss of the respect of most of our friends and my family? What exactly did he win in the end? I say not much. Not much at all.

        • Many of us got NOTHING from our disordered ex’s! Be4 sure to keep up with any changes so you can sock it to him if he starts to make money! When my daughter was about 21, I got $6800.00 for not dropping the child support petition. He finally got a “real” job thinking I would be done with collecting child support & I got it from his taxes. Far, far short of what he owed me, but still a nice surprise as I was paying for my daughter’s college at that time. I live in Florida, check laws in your state I think they are different state to state.
          By the way, the above relationship will probably die due to the lack of money and the lack of helpfulness once the newness wears off. Then he will have to find someone else who will help him with his “dream” of being a sponge, parasite, whatever you want to call it!

    • Yeah, Nicole…..You bad….very, very bad…..you ‘bad’ spouse, you!! 😉
      Another entry in the “You Might Be a ‘Bad’ Spouse if”….. contest!!

      Forge on, Nicole….

      • Yup! I was a bad wife “because I didn’t go to Drama School.”

        I shit you not.

        Only people who go to Drama School have any worth apparently (he didn’t, however.)

        Moral of the story: It really doesn’t matter what you do, or do not (to quote Yoda)–they’ll find a reason to denigrate you for it!

        • Why the fuck…?

          He clearly didn’t need Drama School–he sounds like he was enough of a drama queen on his own…

        • LOL! They are so stupid and pathetic. I was told that the fact that I didn’t go with him to his 5:30 AM exercise class was a reason why he had to walk out on our 20 year marriage. Of course, both of the OW he was fucking – one his “soul mate” the other a fuck buddy — were in that exercise class, so what he probably REALLY had wanted was the excitement of seeing us all together and me not knowing what was going on with him and the other two.

        • I was a bad wife because I didn’t go to medical school! I shit you not- my ex said that to me. My ex completely sucks. Said I didn’t support him… Uh… I worked full time, had a child, took care of all home chores and needs, cooked, cleaned, and made sure to leave notes and texts saying I was proud of him while he was in medical school. How much more support did he need? Apparently I crossed the line when I said I didn’t want to raise our child alone. Poor guy! In hind sight, it’s much better raising her without his lame ass anyway 🙂

  • It wasn’t you. It wasn’t.

    My cheater is absolutely convinced that I am ‘always angry’.

    And this is his truth. That his behaviour (complete self absorbtion disconnect and disrespect) reduces me despite all my best efforts, to hurt and anger – I am, yes, always angry. In his presence!

    You can’t really argue with this. Just get the hell away from it.

    • Ooooh mine said the same about me, “you were always so angry”. NO shit Sherlock! Of course I was angry since I was doing everything and all you cared about was yourself. Moron.

      • I was always so negative, but my outlook on the future was quite optimistic. Funny that really….at that time I still thought he had to be a part of my future.

      • Yep. I heard that one too. “You were always angry with me.” Actually, I think that I was very accepting and accommodating and kind to him. Yes, I was angry at the end and especially during the divorce process because he was so hateful and our children were hurting so much (momma bears do get a little pissed). At that point, I needed to be angry! I needed the courage that it gave me! His favorite line now to our boys almost two years after he left is “your mom is always so angry, so I can’t come by to pick you up for that ballgame…I can’t help you with packing for your move…I can’t…whatever.” It’s still all my fault. What he doesn’t see is how calm and peaceful our home is now that he is gone. How I actually have enough money to pay the bills even with almost no child support. How I (almost) don’t care anymore what he thinks about me!.

        • Exactly the same thing with the “you are always angry”/”you are always a bitch”…. but like you said, how much calmer and peaceful the household and my life is (even with 3 teenagers/pre teenagers!)… and what’s the one difference? He is not in it! No more passive aggressiveness, no more purposely working against me, etc. Everything is still my fault, too!

    • It’s like you were in my house! Mine accuses me of needing to get rid of my rage. He came by to get some more of his stuff, & I had put a pile of it in a closet – that was my rage. No, fucker, rage would be if instead of your stuff you got a pile of ashes…dick.

      • And BTW, when your spouse lies & CHEATS on you, you’re ALLOWED to be fucking PISSED!!! It’s called a normal human emotion. Rage, hatred? Nope, he’s not worth the effort. Can’t stand the sight of him? Yup, 100%. —-Little stream of consciousness there.

        • What’s interesting about the whole “anger” issue in my case..when I became suspicious and would question the H about having an affair..here’s what I got: “Why don’t you go fuck your boyfriend!” Click, hung up. Wouldn’t talk to me for a few days, completely ignored my calls and texts to him. Talk about anger! HE was the one cheating for 3 years on ME, but he had the balls to scream at me to go fuck my boyfriend! And I never had a boyfriend to begin with..never cheated on him with anyone.

          • You too? I had called OW to tell her he had stopped over again (we were on speaking terms as I just wanted out at that point). He overheard the convo and ripped the phone out of her hands to scream at me. “Why do you have to make this harder on me!?” “Harder on you?” I replied “I’m doing this so you get in trouble for stopping over here to bother me, because I thought it would make you STOP coming over.” “Why don’t you just go fuck your boyfriend then!” He yelled and hung up.

            It’s so easy for them to cheat, it makes them think it would be just as easy for us to cheat.

        • Mine tells me he feels, what he calls “your angry flair ups over my mistake” are what is causing him to rethink reconciling… Hmmm… the fact that I left 7 months ago and haven’t come back yet might be a pretty good indication that there is no reconciling and he can F-Off!!!

    • Yeah, I’m apparently angry, despite having seen ex very briefly one or two times in the last year. I WAS angry, no doubt about it, because finding out he’s been cheating for years kind of pissed me off.

      Now? Not angry at all. Mild irritation here and there when his stupidity is difficult to ignore but angry? Nope, I refuse to let myself think about him long enough to get angry. He’s a pathetic, weak little man who still lies regularly about anything and everything.

      • “He’s a pathetic, weak little man who still lies regularly about anything and everything.”

        Nord, what a great description of every last one of these losers. That they can try to turn it around on us as “insecure” or “angry” is the ultimate in their pathetic cowardice. Why don’t any of them just fucking grow a pair?

    • Another chapter out of the Cheater’s Handbook! My H says exactly that..I am always mad and in a bad mood. Excuse me? Hmmm. Maybe it’s because I: A) Work full time. B) Handle all of the responsibilities for everything because he is an OTR truck driver (which is how he met the whore OW, who lives severall states away), so I take care of the kids, house, finances, you name it..in addition to A) That full time job. C) All I do is bitch. Well, what I bitched about is finances. I had to figure out a way to pay the bills, while he gave me what was left of his paycheck (After paying the OW’s bills and buying her a gazillion gifts). And the OW doesn’t “bitch and nag him”..his exact words. Well, maybe that’s because you don’t have kids together, don’t have expenses together (other than the bills of hers HE pays of course), don’t have household responsibilities together (although that is changing as he’s moving in with her), and you take HER out on the town..but couldn’t take me, that dang wife of his, out for diddly squat. Am I angry? Uh..yes! But then again..I bitch and nag at him, she doesn’t. How absolutely RUDE and WRONG of me!

  • The first brush my ex and I had with cheating… before the real deal many years later… involved a woman that I told him I believed she had feelings for him. I did act jealous of her… I know he hung out with her as friends she made him mixed cd’s… and then the semi-Dday was that I did find an email between them arranging a secret lunch. Which I freaked out about and then he ended their “friendship”. You know what? Typing this out, this is the first time I really see that I bet he did cheat on me with her. I know he hung out at her apartment with her without me. I have/had no hard proof like with this last one, which maybe is why I didn’t believe it until just now. I’m actually surprised by how pissed this just made me.

    Anyway, tangent…. so, at the time, I believed the fact that I noticed she was into him and told him that actually made him more interested in her… to get the ego stroking. So, weirdly, I blameshifted to myself and thought that his reaction to my jealousy was NORMAL??? Ugh. Some girl being into you who is not your girlfriend should have made him want to distance himself from her, not the opposite! I should have dumped his ass then! But he told me I was crazy, they’re just friends, he just hid it because I was jealous and if it made me feel better he would stop hanging out with her.

    But with the real OW that ended our marriage, I was never, ever jealous. Until the affair started (I think… or at least the latest round of his possible on again off again affair). So, yeah, I got jealous and pretty immediately had my suspicions confirmed. The most hilarious part was when he insisted he could just flip off a switch and nothing would happen again and I should just “trust” him. HA! Trusted him completely before and look where that got me.

    So, he cheated on me when I was jealous and when I was not. You can’t win. And these guys will work every angle to justify what they did and try to make you feel responsible. I just feel bad that you had to deal with having this chick hanging over your head for so long in your marriage. My OW was there for a long time as well, but I was blissfully ignorant of the potential issue she was so it didn’t drive me crazy until the end. And it really does drive you crazy. Like my ex would volunteer to do these things for her and when I would point out that it was inappropriate, he would basically accuse me of just being mean/selfish. And I would believe him and thought I was a shitty person. It is fucked up how they can mess with your head.

    They say all kinds of shit that can drive you crazy… that’s why we just need to ignore them as best we can. When we get to “meh” we won’t even care what they think/say. Because we’ll know it’s all lies.

    • Another Erica,
      Wow! It was only after I discovered evidence of my formerly-fucking husband’s final affair did I realize that it hadn’t been the first. I had had other times when my antennas went up, and I felt jealous, but I was told that I was wrong. I trusted him. I wanted to believe him. He had it made. It was a pattern: he needed applause from other women. He probably had multiple affairs before the last one but I saw what I wanted to see and I saw what I was told to see.

      One good friend told me, “You, obviously, had a right to feel jealous. As far as you being ‘insecure’, your husband’s job was to make you feel secure. He didn’t do his job.” What an understatement. He didn’t do a lot of things. He gave his energy to others instead of to the people who mattered.

      I’m just glad to have my gut back instead of questioning it like I did for over 25 years.

      What’s funny is . . . he would have continued the latest affair and it would have run its course, just like all the other ones but I ruined it. I found out. He is still in shock that I changed the locks. He didn’t want to be with her long term; she was a play thing. I now have the possibility of being with someone who is kind, loving, and faithful.

      As far as the high school girlfriend, . . . . I laugh about that idea. Think about it, Lacking Nuts, he choose you and not her. She choose someone else and not your
      ex-husband. They didn’t choose each other for whatever reasons. They are getting someone else’s rejects. At the end of the day, once the newness dies down, they are going to look at each other and think, “What were we thinking?” When I think about my high school boyfriend, . . . . Really?!

      Whenever you have a thought that doesn’t help you heal, change it. I don’t waste time with the thought that his life is better in any way. I give my energy to me and to what matters. I am fortunate in so many ways. I don’t have a husband or a marriage but those losses have become gifts. I, too, had settled. I was more alone and lonely then than I am now. My life is now fuller and happier. I just need to work out the sex thing . . . .

        • Yes! Agreed. I love “I got my gut back” the best thing about finally living in truth is that I now use my gut to tell me what is what. No more fighting myself. If I am jealous in a next relationship I am getting out fast. I never made any of my boyfriends of my ex-ass jealous. I think it is cruel. Why would you want someone you care about to feel pain as less than someoe else. Jealousy is just that. It takes work to make someone like me jealous. It’s a red flag.

      • Yes. Great comment. Your experience is a lot of what I’m dealing with at the moment.

        Nuts, this ain’t about you and what you didn’t do for him.EVER. I’ve been reading a lot of ridiculous rationalizations here. My asshat has provided me with many as well. Since you are already free from this creep legally, do the NC thingy. And then post back about his whining – his desire to keep you tethered to him.

    • Jealousy is a complicated thing; I think cheaters use that term pejoratively to deflect suspicion. Being jealous of anyone a spouse has normal contact with (neighbor, co-worker, doctor) absent any evidence of unfaithfulness is a problem with insecurity or confidence. Being jealous of a person whom the spouse has a “special” relationship with, a person who has obvious interest in or a crush on the spouse, or whom a spouse spends attention, time, money, affection, and effort with that takes away from the marital relationship–well, jealousy is an absolutely appropriate emotional response. If the cheater is taking what he promised his spouse and handing it out in the gym, the office, or Starbucks, jealousy is early warning system of trouble.

  • Nuts, let it go, just more gaslighting and blaming you for fucking up his good time. I got this too, ex said he never met the OW in person until I ‘drove him to it’. There was a kernel of truth in that; he had been working out, buying clothes, getting his teeth fixed. Basically he was trying to get in shape so he would look more like the 15 year old picture he’d sent her. I upset his time table, for the in person meeting – in his mind I fucked up his fantasy. He also did NOT want a divorce, he wanted to be married to me and act single. So I fucked up that fantasy for him too. Could this be the kernel of truth in what your ex says?

  • “Having the old flame hovering in the background always made me uncomfortable.”
    This was my story too. It did mess with my head and then I became so used to it and thought well he’s sticking around, she was married too with one kid after the other coming and it just became familiar to be treated not special after while. I feel like I lived in that limbo so long with him (he’d have recurring dreams about high school-I really thought at some point that would die. I mean I knew what it was like to not “win” someone from my past and even pine away for quite awhile-it would die) but my joy in life was raising my daughter so I didn’t want to jeopardize things for her sake and also felt I had spent too much of my adulthood alone. In spite of it not being perfect I liked being married and thought I could at least trust him about anything real coming between us. Besides he had so many issues I never even dreamed anyone else would find those qualities attractive but I spackled a lot. I mean he was being honest about an old flame, not hiding it. That was at least good I thought, though weird.

    Yesterday I had a bit of a backslide because of contact at a school event. I had been feeling so strong and so clear on who he is and how lucky I am to be away. It surprised me and I found myself thinking about what I thought had been the good times again even though I had come to realize they hadn’t been all that good, so the thoughts were unexpected. I guess I’m still more vulnerable to hopium that he would realize things than I thought, not that I want to go back or anything. In a nutshell he had been messing with daughter’s head about her not seeing him and I got in there and told him what’s what by email, pretty much in a classy way told him he needed to man-up. Then it was weird at the event that he just barged right over and I felt like I had to let him sit with me or it would be a weird scene. I wish I could have kept my boundary because I would have enjoyed event better not next to him. It just stirred up a lot. I need to firm up the NC.

    • Hoodwinked

      I had a similar experience. I placed myself optimally to watch my son during a track meet and when the fuckhead showed up, he stood next to me and kept talking. I figured out why later. He wanted to keep up appearances. He wanted everyone to think, “Oh, they get along. Their splitting must be friendly.” He had a lot of nerve but he knew me. He knew I wouldn’t make a scene. I now wish, instead of ignoring him, that I would have looked at him and said very loudly, “Get away from me. We are not friends. Be with your fucking girlfriend.” In my fantasy, he would have actually done as he was told.

      Our formerly-fucking husbands wanted to keep up appearances. They want the status of “good family man”. It’s all about how it looks.

      We all need to take back our power. We are now in charge.

      • Great point Joy-filled chump! Thank you. I’m going to remember that. It’s all for the show of look how they get along, must have been an amicable divorce. He knows me too and how I am a mild person. It was so awkward. There was no room for him to sit. I shook my head but then the woman next to me got up and made room for him even though I was saying there was no room. I have to tell him that it is not okay to be around me at these things. The weird thing was that I actually thought he must have some sort of feelings for me the way he looked at me coming toward me and it took me back and confused me for the rest of the day. I should know better and always trust they suck. I mean while I’m sitting there I’m reminding myself of the skank he’s with (the old flame) and what am I doing sitting next to this person.

        • This is all good to hear. My d21’s graduation is coming up, and I do NOT want to sit next to Ex. Been scheming in my head how to avoid it! Arg, he’s still taking up too fucking much mental real estate. Why do I have to think about him instead of be glad that she’s overcome her depression and will graduate!

          • namedforvera, even though it takes up mental space sometimes I even kind of, dare I say it, enjoy being crafty and figuring out how to make things the best I can for my daughter in her dealings with him. It is at a much better place now whereas before it was pretty awful having to help her through the whole mess, just a very hard time for her. She is a teen now that is on to him and holds her own pretty good now but sometimes I find I have to finagle things for her. We keep on being creative working around these guys. Good luck on coming up with a way to enjoy your daughter’s graduation without he making it hard on either of you!

          • Ugh..my H is the exact opposite. When we are at any of my daughter’s events, he sits clear over on the other side of the gym. Between games, he sits at tables clear over on the other side of the commons. He refuses to sit with me and the other parents. However, during a ballgame a few weeks ago, H was sitting on the other side of the gym all morning. Suddenly he walks over to me, crying, because he got a phone call that a friend of his died. I was nice, I tried to comfort him. But my first thoughts were “Why don’t you go cry on your whore girlfriend’s shoulders?” Good old reliable me, I guess. Oh wait..only when SHE’S not around.

        • Me and my X had to work together! Ugh. Different departments but same campus. But we’d end up in the same meetings. He did everything he could to be nice to me so that other people would notice. I was classy and never talked smash mouth about him. He’s gone now. He moved across the country to be with his schmoopie. Texts and emails me all the time. Gives me money.
          I think he misses me terribly but of course he can’t change anything. I caught him fucking Skank Woman at the Econo Lodge. That’s how I learned my marriage was over. I deserve so much better and I plan to get it.

          • Gio, way back I had to work with someone from a relationship that did not work out and I swear there was no greater hell. There was no getting over it because there was no escape. You always knew the person would be there. You couldn’t move on and you couldn’t heal. That wasn’t even an infidelity. I am so glad he is gone from you and you can move forward freely now. You deserve better and you will get it!

        • Hoodwinked,
          He does have feelings for you, of course he does, but he no longer gets a vote.

          I remind myself when I feel weak that I deserve better. I remind myself of what he did, how he lied about it, and how my sons saw me utterly devastated.

          The good news is that my sons also saw me handle it. Such resiliency. It’s all about the gifts that come in such strange packages. If I ever feel really low, I remember the words my then 20-year-old wrote, “Momma, I believe in you.” I want to live up to what they see in me. They need at least one reliable parent.

          • That is so true. No more votes. It’s not like we forget what they do but we have to keep our guard up. I think this was the first weak moment I’ve had in about a year so it was completely unexpected. Thanks for the support. We all deserve better. My daughter is only fourteen but she is so wise. She reminds me when I am giving x too much credit for the flawed human being he is. I too felt going through this that it would be an example to her of how to handle it all. They make us rise to the occasion. It’s so weird the cheaters don’t seem to realize their children are watching and they look a fool.

    • I think it would be fine to politely and firmly inform these asshats (when they try to sit with you):

      “I do not want to sit with you. Please find somewhere else to sit.”

      They can’t claim you’re crazy, that it embarrassed your child, or that you’re out of control.

      • Yes, assertiveness is best. I think they crumble pretty easily when stood up too when we have clarity.

  • I always wondered why an old flame would be lurking after him? Old flame/business partner whatever she was she was a constant pain in my ass. I would ask questions about her and he’d laugh. I wasn’t jealous because I believed him. He’d say how he just tolerates her. He made me make my Facebook page private because she was looking at it and seeing what we did. She’d confront him I think. I guess he was getting off on me wondering. Why do people keep their ex’s around was my question? People break up for a reason so why do you want that person still in your life? I actually feel bad for the women. She seems pathetic. But so does he. Maybe they are the perfect match whatever- they can go fuck themselves!

  • My husband was like this too, Nuts. He stayed friends with everyone he ever had a crush on since elementary school and they are all up on his Facebook page. I’ve always been insecure and questioned why he would feel the need to chat with them and he would make me feel bad for my jealousy. Turns out, he cheated on me with a new woman, but he was chatting with an old gf from high school talking about hooking up with her the next time he saw her to, and I quote, “show her his new moves.” I guess she slept with him when he only had one pump in him and now he’s gained an other throughout the years that he felt she needed to experience. Anyway, intuition is normally right. This mofo was cheating on me and cheating on the ow who he told he loved and called her all of the disgusting, cutesy terms of endearment. Nope, the only person he loves is himself. When I think about not having to be the recipient of those two pumps ever again, I feel so relieved.

    Stay strong. It’s not anything you did, it’s him. The pig.

  • My ex said that he needed to find and fuck another woman because I made him feel inadequate. Poor sausage. Only problem is, of course, that he actually was highly inadequate, as a father and as a husband (and son, friend, employee etc), because of his negativity, selfishness and entitlement. And I was actually very gentle and nice when I asked him to do more, be more caring, etc.

    Amazing how much power we have to make people lie, cheat, betray and generally be assholes! Who knew!

    • Yes, we ARE powerful! Look at all the crazy stuff we made them do! hehehehehe

      (what is crazier is when a counselor buys into that crap) ;(

      Silly them……
      Hang tough, Nuts….It really does get better….

      Forge on, Powerful Ones, ForgeOn!

      • Wow, I never thought of it that way ForgeOn…Imagine what the world would look like if we chumps really DID have the power to control people that way…

        • Funny how I had the power to ‘make’ him do this stuff, but never used it to ‘make’ him into a better husband and father ….

          Must have slipped my mind or something. Shoulda written it on my ‘to do’ list!

  • Sweetie, it doesn’t matter what he says. Of course he’s going to blame you. Do you really think he’s going to say, “I am a lying, cheating POS.” That would take maturity and introspection – two traits these morons are lacking.

    I was told he fucked another woman because I was too tall and intellectually intimidating. Yet I was the same height when he married me and had the same IQ. He also told me the only thing we had in common were our kids. No, fuckwad, the only thing we had in common was I loved you and you loved you.

    You did NOT push him into an affair. He chose to do it. Virtually all couples have problems. But not every spouse finds solace in the crotch of another person.

    I know how much your soul is hurting right now and I know the toll it takes on your sense of self. Don’t accept one iota of responsibility for his affair and hurtful behaviour. Remember the three Cs from Al-Anon – you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, you can’t cure it. You can only take care of yourself.

    • Yeah, I got a couple of (absurd) reasons from my ex….and just like you, I was exactly the same before we got married. Suddenly though it mattered to him. At first I questioned myself, but his reasons were just so ludicrious that I could not ignore that they were not reasons one would end a marriage. I finally just accepted that he was grasping at any “reason” to justify doing what he wanted…

      • Oh, Yes, ladies!!!

        The very things they were attracted to in you become the very things they hate in you!!

        In the past, my take on it was that as long as I was his girlfriend, all those awesome traits were fine and dandy. You know, the life of the party, never met a stranger, cared about what others were dealing with, I loved people…..You know….all those beautiful traits us chumps seem to have in great quantity. HOWEVER….Once we were married, it all had to stop! Funny thing is….he never filled ME in on that ‘requirement’!!…..

        Later, however, I learned about Narcissism………’Nough said…..

        Forge on, all…..

        PS: Beautiful comments, all….

    • Love it!

      “No, fuckwad. The only thing we had in common is that I loved you … And you loved you!”

      Touché!

  • Dear Nuts,

    The Latin phrase of the day for you is: “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” (as in the fallacy).

    It means arguing that if one event (allegedly) happened after another, that the first even must have caused the second one when there is no evidence of causation other than the sequence of events. It’s silly. And that’s assuming he wasn’t trying to bed the ex the whole time … which is probably being overly generous.

    And yes, as CL has said, it’s also blame-shifting, and it’s not even terribly creative or clever blame-shifting insofar as gas-lighting types of manipulative behavior go.

    More importantly, you shouldn’t feel bad about not liking a partner’s overly-friendly relationship with an ex-flame. That’s normal. Not putting up with it would be called “enforcing healthy boundaries” (there’s a chance this comment will attract criticism from “more evolved” beings that do not require healthy boundaries, and if that meta happens, I apologize for raising those demons).

    I would say… this is a learning experience of the “hard kind” variety. I’ve had a lot of those myself (tuition can be steep at the school of hard knocks). I hope one of the things you take away from this experience is that the next time (and I hope there isn’t a next time for you sincerely) that somebody you are dating exclusively tries to tell you that your boundaries about not having a partner who is overly friendly with ex-girlfriends or ex-wives or ex-fuckbuddies … is wrong, you tell them to go straight to Hell. It’s not worth the hassle. Most people don’t ask you to do that, and most people who really value their primary relationships have no problem cutting loose dead-end relationships. You know what kind of people tend to have problems with this? Players and people with poor boundaries. In either case, move on.

    • I agree TimeHeals, I was uncomfortable with my ex’s friendliness with female co-workers, and he convinced me I was nuts for being so jealous. Only….wait for it…..turns out I was right and he had been cheating on me all along, over 15 years. Our intuition was right, and I will never fail to listen to myself again,

      • Kelly, my ex husband was infatuated with the work tramp. He mentioned her name non stop and he also abbreviated it as if it was his pet name for her. He was going to a work conference which she was also attending. Just before said conference I had my 50th birthday which I never received even a card for but he made sure that he brought home a coloured photo of the tramp to show me what she looked like. Suffice to say I went berserk and threw everything I could lay my hands on at him and guess what he said. It was all in my mind!!! He is lucky he is alive to now screw his 20 year old Asian prostitutes. I hope it drops off. Now that would be poetic justice.

          • Nat1 – He said he never had to pay them, he just has to buy them a meal and a drink. Apparently the hotel where he chooses to stay provides these girls in the bars, so I am assuming the hotel would pay the girls. I honestly thought he was better than this. He went to Vietnam and Cambodia specifically to have sex with young women and then to brag about it to his work colleagues because he felt “bad”. I feel sick in the stomach just typing this.

            • That’s sick. Good riddance to him!

              He sounds as if he’d be someone to watch for the kiddie porn/prostitution stuff. That would be some well-deserved karma.

              I can forgive teens screwing teens–that’s normal and they’re still figuring things out, but when you get your jollies fucking girls who need a meal and a drink? That’s just plain exploitive!

              • kb, I couldn’t agree more with your comments. I have called him a sicko and a paedophile to his face and he wasn’t happy. I also commented that if our daughter has children that she never leaves them in his care. He wasn’t happy but I don’t care. My daughter (35 years old) does not speak to me so I worry very much about any children she might have because her father is her chosen parent. My gay son is furious with his father but still chooses him over me. Life is strange but I feel my kids lack a moral compass like their father.

      • Yeah. I told my kids and my asshat and the MC that it is virtually impossible to remain “friends” with people that you’ve fucked.

        Obviously, I stated it a lot differently with my kids. Truth is, if you can’t let go of your past lovers and they are still hovering around you….well that’s like a pile of shit attracting flies ESPECIALLY if you are in a committed relationship.

        Ironically, that’s what asshat does and that’s why he has justified being in contact with his fuck buddy since telling me and the MC he’s been NC since October of last yr. He needed to touch base and make sure she was ok. WTF!

        Boundaries. If they can’t accept them, you really need to tell them to fuck off.

      • Same here. My ex was way, way too friendly with coworkers. He had a weekly coffee date with one woman, I was really uncomfortable about that. He would always laugh and say that they all knew he was a happily married man who would never cheat. LOL, yeah, right. I have no idea how many were emotional affairs and how many were physical, but there were a bunch of them going on all at the same time. And that isn’t counting all the anonymous men at the gay bath houses.

        • Mine was, too! All the time. It was horrible. Whenever I would attend any of his work outings, I was amazed at how his female coworkers interacted with him – as if he was a single male hound dog….because that’s exactly how he acted towards them. He didn’t treat his coworkers any differently than females he would meet at the bar – they were all prime opps for flirting and kibbles (at the very least).

          • YES! And the really sad thing is, my ex didn’t treat ME any differently than any of the various women he flirted with. I was no more special than a coworker or someone he chatted up at a party.

        • Mine started to take too much interest in the personal lives of his temp workers. They were all young–early 20s. OW was a single mother in her late 30s when she came on board. OW hung out with the 20-somethings. I remember telling STBX that he needed to set some boundaries with respect to discussing his temps’ personal lives. Many were single mothers, one was pregnant.

          I warned STBX that often women will talk about very personal things among themselves. He needed to distance himself from it, or tell them that they needed to tone things down in an office environment. Even too much discussion of boyfriends, who they’re doing it with, girlie problems, etc.–that could set up a lawsuit.

          I also remember telling him that OW would be bad news for any of the men in the company, since it was clear that OW needed money and resented the company for not giving her the raise she wanted. A sexual harassment suit would go a long way to giving her the settlement she wanted, as the company would settle out of court. I said the man who fucked her would be a fool, and would leave himself wide open.

          Of course, STBX didn’t pay attention to a single word…

    • ” You know what kind of people tend to have problems with this? Players and people with poor boundaries.” ~ My ex. Who told his ex girlfriends on Facebook that the reason why we were no longer together was because I was too jealous. Because you know, my jealousy caused his cheating and questionable boundaries with women, not the other way around.

      It’s like me standing outside and getting soaked in a storm and some asshole yelling “You getting wet is making it rain!!!!!”.

        • Oh My Word, Kat!!!!

          “You getting wet is making it rain!!!!!”

          That is one of the single best lines ever to sum up the stupid all chumps have endured.
          It is now in the form of a ‘poster’ on my computer! Many thanks!

          Tracy/CL, how about a cartoon of that line?! Priceless!!
          (Thank you, CL, for bringing all of these amazing people together!)

          Forge on, Wet Ones, ForgeOn!!!

    • “(there’s a chance this comment will attract criticism from “more evolved” beings that do not require healthy boundaries, and if that meta happens, I apologize for raising those demons).”

      Not at all. I think we’ve all learned the dangers of being the “cool” spouse who doesn’t enforce personal boundaries because we don’t want to appear Uncool. (Jealous? Me? Jealous?) Instead of turning it back on them and asking “Why don’t you have the maturity to commit to a primary relationship?”

      People who need a lot of kibbles need the attention of ex flame, ex high school sweethearts, almost sweethearts, tangential sweethearts, etc. I think this is one area I have evolved in as I’ve aged — I edit the “friends.” Sure there is FB, but the people who really matter? We hardly have time for them. I think people who want to stay close to “exes” are purposely not making room in their lives for a committed relationship (options open!) — they want to keep their current partner off balance, and goad others into the pick me dance.

      If that makes me Uncool, or meta… (?) then WTFever.

      • Pretty insulting to say that anyone who is friends with an ex does not have healthy boundaries. I’d say if you aren’t capable of that with someone you ‘fell out of love with” then maybe you need to work on your foo. Good people can find themselves outgrowing or growing apart from one another and still care about each other. I am still friends with an ex who was my first long term relationship (12 years). I care for him and his family even now, 25 years later, we are all still friends. We aren’t all up in each others business but we are there for each other and if I needed some help, I know 100% he’d do what he could for me and vice versa. Friendship can be possible with an ex if there is respect and you are both OK with the way the relationship ended. Obviously on this blog, most relationships didn’t end well. I’d never be friends with the asshole I just divorced, whole different chain of events.

        • Dat, I see a big difference in maintaining a relationship with someone we really cared about and still like, where the relationship ended ‘well’, and maintaining it to get more kibbles, like these narcs do.

          There’s a very different flavour to a real friendship with an ex, and these strange kibble-supplying ones, though. The second type feels ‘off’ to the partner, and makes them nervous. With good reason!

          • Definitely, there is a difference between a healthy relationship with an ex (or anyone of the opposite sex) vs one where there is enmeshment, emotional intimacy, sexual tension, and the feeling in the background that “yes, we’re unavailable to each other now, but if that changes, you’re the next person I’ll hook up with!”

        • pfft.

          It has nothing to do with FOO issues. It has a lot to do with life experiences, though, and not wanting to foist needless baggage on myself or others and really value commitment in primary relationships.

          I’m not about to ask somebody to eat a crap sandwich daily so that I can be BFFs with exes, and I am not about to get seriously committed to somebody who thinks that’s fine, and that I should eat those crap sandwiches either. It’s unneccessary risk and/or drama in my experience. Too many people don’t have this baggage. Easier to move on to somebody who has more distinct boundaries when it comes to these things.

          I’ll give you a celebrity example (celebrities because everybody knows them, but the scenario is pretty typical from what I’ve seen):

          Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Bruce Willis: they went on vacations together, acted all chummy, said they were all BFFs, and they had everybody fooled in that respect. Matthew Mcconaughey once remarked “this is what evolution looks like” about them. They were very evolved.

          After that all went South, folks let their masks slip. Willis admitted he never liked Kutcher and could barely stand being around the guy. Kutcher said he always felt threatened intimidated when Willis was around.

          Not so evolved after all. Bad boundaries, though. People eating crap sandwiches and stuffing down emotions all in an effort to “appear” to be something they were not.

          Not healthy. My advice, don’t do this crap or tolerate it in your life. Be real.

        • Dat, I’m sure you have boundaries with your ex. Are you dating someone? How would they feel about that relationship? How does your ex’s wife feel about it?

          I don’t have a scorched earth policy with all my ex’s (just the two I married). I had one who was a friend for many years (and lives an ocean away). I’m not in touch any more and I wouldn’t be — I wish him the best, but I wouldn’t put my husband in a position of having to be friendly with a guy I used to sleep with.

          Similarly, I rebuffed a college boyfriend who used to email me. (He’s now dead and I’m FB friends with his widow, at her request.) 15 years ago I visited one college boyfriend and totally unnerved his wife — and now I feel like a jerk about ever looking him up. Really WTF was the point? Unnerving his wife? Seeing if he still liked me? Never saw him again, it was all too weird.

          I used to think such relationships were “cool.” And my cheater ex was friends with all sorts of exs and I tried to not feel threatened about them. Heck, I was so trusting I wasn’t threatened by them. Yeah, didn’t turn out well, as we all know.

          I agree with TimeHeals on this one. It’s unnecessary. I have other people to fill my life with.

      • On that note…..I spent some time being the “cool” spouse (or trying to be). Never again. And I mean NEVER again. Now when I see “cool spouses” I see it for what it’s worth – desperation to keep their man/woman. Ughh.

        • Yeah, I’m not that cool anymore either. I used to be cool. I was too cool, really.

          Absolute Zero is as cool as you can get, BTW.

  • My ex’s comment to me when I found his sexting on his phone with OW (wife of his close friend) was. “I can’t believe a girlfriend of mine would be looking on my phone!” It had been an innocent look too….I was not suspicious at all and had been looking for a message I had sent him previously. This OW was in our circle of friends and I so regret not exposing her at the time. He said it was over – don’t make me laugh – and that he has never loved her and never will. I did write to her 2 years later, after we had parted, to tell her I knew about their long standing affair and that it was now not a secret. (She is married to a lovely man who is quite ill.) I told her I had no respect for either of them and that I was glad to be out of that web of lies and deceit.
    I suspect she is still his bit on the side with his cousin taking centre stage. What a fiasco!!

  • This,
    “I wasn’t even THINKING of shooting you, but your constant insecurity that I would shoot you is what made me shoot you.”

    There are a lot of Dr. Special Whatsits, Recover from Narcissists, buy my cd experts with websites out there. Chump Lady sums up blame in 22 words.

    and this,
    “He kept this flame alive for years, because he wanted to keep you off balance and not commit to his marriage. This is not a love for the ages, Nuts. My guess is that this guy needs a triangle to feel powerful.”

    And also debunks about three other columns of bullshit in this last bit.

  • Nomar’s Maxim of Cheater Blame-Shifting: “For every excuse there is an equal and opposite–and very stupid–excuse.”

    For example, I had to cheat because. . .

    “You’re too fat,” but also “You don’t have enough curves.”
    “You’re too distant,” but also “You smother me.”
    “You’re too stubborn,” but also “You’re too desperate to please.”
    “You’re too much like my mother,” but also “You’re not enough like my mother.”
    “You’re too needy,” but also (the one I got) “You’re too independent.”

    And you don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to figure out: If cheating exists in the presence of X, but also by the absence of X, we can be pretty safe in concluding that cheating has damn little to do with X. Q.E.D.

    • nomar, the 4th one like the mother caught my eye. My ex husband’s mother always said to me that he only married me because I reminded him so much of her. Yeah right … I am sane and not toxic. Interestingly, every time my ex husband came home from visiting his parents, he had to have sex. I tried not to read anything into it but after the things he has done, there could have been ‘mummy’ issues!! Just saying.

      • Wow. Very creeptacular. But I think many serial cheaters have an issue with being overly-enmeshed with parents. Which might have something to do with the need to flaunt their “you’re not the boss of me” credentials by cheating. That’s not an excuse. Just an observation and a speculation.

        Congratulations on escaping not only the ex but also “Mommy Dearest!”

        • Ex was and is extremely enmeshed with his parents, to the point that he is still unable to have opinions independent of them, to a large extent. His mother is up his ass regularly, while his father simply acts like ex is still a child in many ways. They do not treat him like the middle aged man he is. He never grew up. I did. And there the story begins and ends.

          • Nord,

            “He never grew up. I did. And there the story begins and ends.”

            APPLAUSE.

            Those words right there sum up everything anyone needs to know about what happened to most of the people here.

  • Cheaters look for any reason to excuse their irrational and callous behaviour – mine actually blamed his running away on me not getting over his affair (with the woman he jilted just before their planned wedding 40 years) before quickly enough. I guess I should have been happier for him.

    • Hey, that’s some Olympic-quality pretzel logic: I had to cheat because of how you reacted to my cheating. Hm. Beg the question much?

    • Amazingly enough, I also heard something similar when he took up with the current Minister of Whoredom – I didn’t get over his last affair quickly enough so I drove him to cheat again (one of many “justifications”). How convenient! He’s been an abusive, cheating skunk turd for almost the entirety of the marriage, but that didn’t drive me to cheat. Imagine that! and more the fool me, apparently for having morals, character and integrity and a modicum of respect for him and our marriage.

  • Before Dday, before I even suspected an affair, OW complained to me several times that she thought XH flirted too much. I laughed it off, because that was just part of his personality. I didn’t bother me. Obviously, it should have.

    But it bothered OW tremendously. She was always on him for it, always suspicious. It’s what ended their relationship – she didn’t trust him.

    What goes around comes around… 😉

    • Bingo! Always the lufe of the party for the “ladies”. OW ended her marriage to my ExH because he just wouldn’t stop talking to the other girls that would sniff around, then found out he cheated. And yes, what goes around comes around.

  • LN- Your decision to divorce was genius. Don’t second guess yourself in the presence of his illogic. You aren’t “lacking” anything!

    Among my cheater’s jaw-dropping excuses was that it was all my fault: *I* gave him the idea to Post ads on CraigsList for his whores and kink. He actually had been both Responding To, and Posting ads, well before I ever confronted him about it. Later when I found his posted CL ad requesting “spank my ass purple and use a strap-on” and the responses to follow from gay men, I decided it was a hilarity I could have lived without. Hey, I’m not a prude, but fidelity would have been nice.

  • After DDay2 (broke up, back together) Mr. Balls said the thing he felt worst about was making me doubt my own intuition. After final breakup he continued to deny certain undeniables (someone else got her pregnant, forgets why no-showed on Xmas, only met final OW the week before he posted ‘in a relationship’ with her on FB, etc).
    So if he really wanted to fix my broken intuition he could come clean and validate my suspicions, but No0o0oOo……as it is, even 2 years later I remember moments when I thought “Gee, that’s funny…” and I realize now, OMG of COURSE he was with (twat of the moment)!”

    • Still having those aha moments 2 years post D-Day, crushed. Since we were married to pathological, devious, POS’s who cheated on us for freaking ever, the memories and realizations surface sometimes when we least expect them (and certainly well after I’d prefer not to have to ponder it any longer). I’ve noticed some chumps report success redirecting their thoughts away from the asshole and What He’s Done. I think I’m going to give that a try.

  • Dear Lacking Nuts,

    What your Ex should have said, which would have been more truthful, is that he cheated on you because HE’s an INSECURE asshole who can only survive living in the past because the present is too fraught with difficulty and expectation and he doesn’t quite measure up. He obviously felt that he was destined for something special in the future and that apparently didn’t happen in the way he had envisioned. Nothing says I’m a failed human being like attempting to relive your past. If he needed to “find himself,” unless he was hoping for a “rebirth,” I don’t understand why he went looking for himself in someone’s vagina.

    My STBX’s most egregious affairs have both been with two women from his past. Whatever lame justifications and rationalizations he gives (most of which have been half truths or out and out lies), he’s suffering from disappointment in his own unrealized dreams of greatness and accomplishment. I’ve loved him for himself, but that wasn’t enough. He didn’t want love, acceptance and respect – he wanted admiration, adulation and adoration. What better way to get that than through someone who views you through the lens of your “potential” rather than through the lens of your actual existence, of which they have little to no knowledge – until they do. That’s probably the reason why most of these relationships don’t last. Once we Chumps are out of the way, the fantasy that they have imagined becomes the reality that they live.

    Get to happy Lacking Nuts. Ignore that self-serving bullshit your Ex has spewed and thank the Universe for the bounty it has bestowed upon you. It has removed an insecure POS from your life and given you the opportunity to find someone with whom you can find mature love, commitment and reciprocity.

  • That’s ok Nuts … my XH was found on Facebook by an old girlfriend. He told my lawyer during depositions that he would never have cheated on me with her if I hadn’t put him on Facebook, that he didn’t want to even be there to begin with. He’s with her now, not married, just living together, but he has his profile on every adult dating site known to man, but unknown to her. She told me that I couldn’t possibly understand how they felt about each other since they were first loves and have such an undying love, that although she felt bad about breaking up our marriage, she just HAD to have him. Guess she forgot to tell him.

    • mine reconnected with his high school flame on FB too.. she fell for him and his bullshit hook line and sinker… he left about ten months ago to another state with her and her two kids…she immediately divorced her husband of 18 years to be with him..I am waiting for the karma bus to hit them but it is slow to get there!!!

      • I, too, have been waiting for the Karma bus. Everyone keeps telling me that Karma will happen, but sometimes I wonder. They both seems to be enjoying the high life together, but, in the end, I won. She got his sorry ass and I got freedom. She never learned, once a cheater, always a cheater.

        • She’ll learn, she’ll learn … and in the meantime, she gets to put up w/all your ex’s OTHER selfish, entitled or deceptive behaviours! (‘Cause I bet there were plenty!) Lucky her!

  • Ultimately our exes made many decisions, by the minute, by the hour, by the day, in a week, in a month, year, after year. With every decision They chose who they were, and they chose who they are. Those choices destroyed our marriages but they define our exes. Looking forward to living a better life. One I could never have had if I were still married.

    • Well said Drew. Every decision took them further down the path, and at each branch they again chose wrong, until they could no longer thread their way back to decency, or understand how they had gotten so lost.

    • Proverbs 20:11 (NIV) says, “Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?” That’s what your comments, Drew, brought to mind. And obviously, we have experienced much that is NOT pure and upright.

      Clearly, there are far too many “adults” who never learned the lesson of taking responsibility for their own choices as small children. This posting is yet another example of that. And I am convinced I was once married to one of those! Character has a way of showing in the end.

    • Absolutely TRUE, Drew! My ex made thousands of choices, leading to where he is now, and unfortunately, also to where his children are (refusing to see him, except a dinner a month, at my insistence).

      But one of the most interesting, and damning things, to me, is that he has repeatedly claimed that he ‘didn’t make any choices’, and ‘didn’t think about this or that’ at the time he was making choices. And that’s apparently supposed to absolve him of all responsibility! So he turned his children’s lives upside down, and for over a YEAR, NEVER thought about what that meant to them or would do to them, never thought about his relationship to them and what his on-going neglectful and uncaring behaviours post-separation would do to that. All this by his own admission! But everybody’s supposed to understand and accept and still do what he wants, because he ‘didn’t make any choices’.

      Disgusting.

      • Oh KarenE this was exactly the asshole x that stole years of my life. When was always sulky, looking at other women and angry when I asked him what he was upset about. His favorite phrase was “I am not doing anything” It was maddening. Even though I got so little from this marriage I wanted to divorce amicably. I would tell him we should separate. Then he came back with the I love yous. All the while cheating. I never even thought of cheating because I was committed to working things out with dignity and respect. I was banging my head against the wall with Mr. “What am I doing?” “I find it insulting that you ask me if I am after other women…”

        After he was found out his new mantra was “I wasn’t thinking” A true piec of shit. Plots and gaslights lies and premeditativly misrepresents himself and then absolves himself from all responsibility. A huge jackass.

        • I heard that I wasn’t thinking thing too!! And also he did it because it was “easy!” I was like OK, we have (then had) 22 years together, but all it took was “not thinking” and a woman being “easy?” Are you kidding me? The immaturity is amazing & shocking! We had all our eggs in this basket? YIKES!!

    • Beautifully put, Drew. My ex is proud of his choices, and will never see his actions as being wrong in any way. He actually told me, right after he said he didn’t want to be married anymore and walked out, that he “loved the way he was and would never want to change.”

      • Hilarious quote considering it is coming from an NPD ex. They all love themselves more than anything in the world. But therein lies the rub.

      • I think a lot of our exes are rewriting history as we speak. If they say it enough (or think it) it becomes an excuse for making those decisions….I guess it helps them live with themselves. Sad thing is is that they HAVE betrayed everything good in their lives. They have hurt their families. They have betrayed their children. Once in a while, on difficult days, usually when I am commuting to or from work, I find myself hit with such a wave of remorse, my heart actually hurts. I always think, “WHO does that?!!” I will never comprehend what made my ex so completely delusional in our last two? four? ten? years together. WHO in their right mind leaves THAT for a legacy? I could never move through my life hurting people like that.

        • Drew, so true that question–“who DOES that?”– still comes to me when I least expect it, and it still blows me away, 2 years down the line. To think of what he has done, like you said, with so many deceitful, sickening and awful decisions for the moments, hours, days, weeks and years of our marriage. I still find myself wondering how he could have done it, how he could have wanted to do what he did, how he lives with himself (apparently quite well thank you). How he gave up a loving wife and 3 beautiful children without a backward glance (children do not wish to see him and he does not care).

          When you ask who in their right mind leaves THAT for a legacy, you know that they are not in their right mind. Abandonment of their families IS their sickening legacy, a legacy they are attempting to to dance away from, each in his own way, as quickly and furiously as he can.

        • This is the question I ask myself, Drew; WHO does that???? And in my ex’s case, it’s extra disgusting because his father had done EXACTLY the same things, and my ex spent his entire life seeing the devastation is caused, both in his own family (his mother and brother as well as himself) and then in his father’s 2nd family (wife and my ex’s half sister). The narc ex STILL speaks of his father as being this idiot asshole, who totally deserves to be in the situation he’s in (has driven away 2 wives and a couple of very nice girlfriends, and 2 of his 3 kids don’t speak to him).and doesn’t see at all that he did EXACTLY the same things.

          (OK, he cheated LESS, and was LESS violent than his father, but I think that has more to do with the times – much less socially acceptable these days to hit your wife and screw around constantly – and with who he was with – ME, not as much of a push-over as his mom and stepmom. And he was EXACTLY as uncaring and abandoning of his kids as his father had been.)

          WHO DOES THIS, especially to their kids??????? Some really sick assholes, I guess that’s who.

          • My STBX could be the poster boy for the “WHO DOES THAT?!” question. I don’t know that I have had an experience or conversation with him since this whole mess began that doesn’t end with me screeching to whoever or whatever will listen, “Who the Fuck DOES That?!” or “Who the Fuck SAYS That?!!”

      • Wow, Glad!

        ” he didn’t want to be married anymore [which justified his affair], that he “loved the way he was and would never want to change.””

        Word for word, action for action. He does not want to change and will never change. In his eyes? He is normal.

  • IMHO I believe it’s not that they love themselves, it’s that they are incapable of loving anyone. In all honesty I can’t say my ex ever truly loved me. I was more an item he took an interest in, perhaps a toy he got tired of playing with. Lol

    • Drew, you have such wonderful insightful comments! I now know that while my ex professed profound love and adoration, (until I caught him having affairs and group sex with “family friends”), our connection was relatively shallow and he did not love me. He too is incapable of love. I actually think his bringing his AP’s into the lives of me and our children was his way of demonstrating how much he despised me and our lives, how titillating it must have been for them.

      I just was too dumb to realize there was nothing beneath his veneer until I started dating my now-fiancé– the deep conversations, the authentic emotions, the true connections to me and his children and friends, was absolutely stunning. Somehow in 25 years of marriage I had never appreciated the superficiality that passed for my relationship with my ex.

      • Kelly: WOW.

        “our connection was relatively shallow and he did not love me. He too is incapable of love. I actually think his bringing his AP’s into the lives of me and our children was his way of demonstrating how much he despised me and our lives, how titillating it must have been for them. [did he fuck her in your house, bed, children’s bed; as well?]

        I just was too dumb to realize there was nothing beneath his veneer … Somehow in 25 years of marriage I had never appreciated the superficiality that passed for my relationship with my ex.”

        I AM NOT ALONE? THIS MIGHT NOT BE MY FAULT? And that there might be better out there?? That I can’t actually take, right now.

        • Patsy, first, yes, I am sure that there were stolen “moments” in our house, and at our vacation home where she visited with her husband and children as well– in our beds, in my daughter’s or sons’ beds (that enrages me even more for some reason), etc., that had to be part of the attraction, right? I have often said they were like animals urinating on the family’s territory and laughing all the way. Main OW used to give me and my daughter paintings she made for us WHICH I THEN HUNG ON OUR WALLS. She was married as well of course to a sweet, trusting and unsuspecting husband and had two sons, one of whom had to undergo DNA testing post D-Day (luckily the son was not my ex’s, but not for lack of trying). Ex and I had been a “power couple” in our community, and suddenly it was like a bad scene from Maury Povich, The betrayal and mind fuck was incredible, the gift that keeps on giving.

          But second, Patsy, you are NOT alone, it is NOT your fault. I never for one moment felt ashamed, except of my ex. I never said to myself, “if only…..” this or that. What, if I wanted more sex he wouldn’t have been a sociopathic freak? That shit is all on him and the pathetic cabal of animals he chose to take up with. Who really should say to themselves….hmmmm, I’ve been married for 25 years to a man who professes to love me and his beautiful children every damn day, but hey, maybe he’s a cheating, lying stone cold sociopath who really despises us and just does this for shits and giggles while he and his AP’s see how funny it would be to have sex under the noses of their respective spouses and children, all the while claiming that we are “crazy”, “weak,” and “pathetic”? All the while being secretly disgusted with us because we love and trust them? Who really should suspect that and hire the private investigator to follow them for a few months?

          And finally, Patsy, there is so much better out there. People who are really and truly loving, people who will love you for you and hold your hand for real, who truly see you and love you still. Who once you fall in love with them and they with you, make you realize this is real and what we had with our exes was just a mirage.

          Fuck these cheating lying freaks. Thoughts of my ex makes me shiver now, what evil. Makes me think of a line from one of the books CL recommends, “Satan laughing spreads his wings.”

          • Kelly and Patsy,

            I would sincerely like to put on combat boots and stomp on both your cheaters. What assholes!

            • Thanks Princess. I’d pay money to see you tell them off with your unique and utterly hilarious phraseology…while you stomp on them!

              🙂

              • Dear Warrior Queen, (aka Kelly)

                All the payment Chump Princess and I will need is the look on your face, the delight in your eyes and the screeching from the cheaters!!! ;0 I will gladly strap on some dangerous footwear & join in!

                (However, C.P. still rules in the phraseology department…..l lack in that area…….)

                BTW, my cheater pants & his pig totally fouled our entire house! That is the only reason I am glad it has been sold. So full of demonic vibes because of their filth!

                And precious Patsy, ’tis true that there is soooooo much better out there! And better can mean more than just a ‘romantic’ involvement.

                There are other ways to define yourself, so many other ways to leave your mark on the world. Thought: Jesus was never married, nor was he involved romantically. Look at HIS legacy……

                Forge on, Stompers….ForgeOn!

              • Thanks Forge, and I seriously love your new name for me! You are right as well that there are many ways lo leave our mark, whether with or without a romantic aspect to it. What this experience has taught me, contrary to what I would’ve thought, is that there are good and decent people out there, and we chumps can and will find them if we wish.

  • Wow! Thank you all! I am blown away by all the support!

    Chump Lady is so right about my Exs need for a triangle,
    He has already told the OW that she will never have his heart that he misses me, Ha
    but she is hoping he will change!?!? WTH? Lol

    She can enjoy the pick me dance now, then again for all I know my ex is telling her all the soulmate BS he told me, the karma icing my Ex is now dealing with OWs “just friends”

    Just brilliant.

  • If we have enough *power* over someone, you’d think that we’d use that power for our BENEFIT instead of to our DETRIMENT.

    “You MADE me cheat!”

    If we could MAKE them do anything, don’t you think we’d MAKE them come home to us and MAKE them stop texting their AP and MAKE them NOT CHEAT????

    Gypsy

  • Yes, to what everyone has said. Nuts, you were insecure because he had shit for boundaries. You were insecure because your gut was telling you that he *was* acting inappropriately with other women. You sensed that things were off, because they WERE. He’s just trying to turn it around on you in some sort of circular logic that makes no sense. Nothing like getting cheated on, and then they try to blame you for it. Class act, eh?

  • OMG, this could be my story. Just change the 10 years for 20.

    She was always a specter, he always used her to get me to up my pick me dance ( even when they weren’t talking, she had great hair, she gave better head….) and now they’ve bought property and are getting married. She takes vacations and cruises with my children.

    I’ve never seen it in print before. I’ve always felt unchump qualified because it was (according to him) just an EA. I’m 3 years out and in a better place, but still sometimes struggle. So thank you for this. Seriously.

    • An EA is betrayal and cheating, too! They are investing their time and emotional energy AWAY from you! And cheating is abuse … in your case, worse abuse because he used this to mess with your head. What an asshole.

  • Lacking Nuts,
    Your story, and others here, remind me of my own, regarding “old flames” from high school — my cheater juggled 3-4 married women at a time when we were together, including the “dear friend” from high school. The word “friend” is so abused by these cheaters. And, of course, my cheater claimed I “imagined” everything because I was “jealous” — and then did his best to convince everyone in our circle that he was the “victim” of my “crazy.” What a crock! Thank you and all the brilliant posters here today for your insights about cheaters needing triangles and needing to relive the past because they can’t deal with the reality of their present lives and failures. So true and so helpful.

  • I made him cheat because I was too controlling – well, yeah, one of us had to make decisions, settle down vacation plans, organize parties… the weird thing is, he named some examples during false reconciliation (when I tried so hard to become a better version of me, I really believed I was too strong in my opinions and organisational skills). And with every example I knew for a fact that I had tried to involve him, asked him for his opinion. But he was busy or didn’t know/care.

    Finally I knew I was not too controlling, but I picked up my grown up pants and dealt with stuff. Someone had to do it.

    When his long term affair started getting more serious, there were many red flags. He started getting involved in stuff last-minute, when I had already dotted all the i’s and his involvement was really too little, too late. And then he would whip out the credit card and spend a ridiculous amount on party stuff (posted pictures on his public Facebook account, for OW to see how involved he was… dressed as a Jack Sparrow-look-a-like on his son’s pirate birthday party, for god’s sake, how did I miss that burning red flag?!).

  • I guess my security caused mine to cheat. I challenged him to find a woman who enjoyed his new fetish. He blamed me then for him going through with the tail he already had lined up.

    If it is true that it’s my fault then I’m so glad I did that. Best thing I’ve ever done.

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