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The Hail Mary Play for Kibbles

narcissistegokibblesYesterday’s post we were encouraging JJ to leave her husband (who really left her… anyway go back and read). She’s got a one-way ticket back home for May, but here’s my fear for her, for anyone in JJ’s situation. When you finally get up your gumption to go — the wing nut comes back a love bombing. It’s the Hail Mary play for kibbles.

Very few cheaters, IMO, like to see cake escape. Why didn’t they come courting earlier? They didn’t think they had to. They felt secure in their kibble supply. You’ve been so reliable before, they could leave you on the back burner. But Holy Shit! Now that you appear to actually mean to LEAVE? They need to control this outcome. That generally expresses itself in one of three narcissist ways — charm, self pity, or rage. Or really, any combo plate of the three.

If you’re one of the lucky chumps whose cheater just left with out so much as a goodbye, consider yourself fortunate. Yeah, fortunate. Missing the Hail Mary play for kibbles is like wishing you had a football field of quicksand to wade through on the way to the goal post.

What does the Hail Mary play for kibbles look like? It takes many forms. Calling you up to discuss the some triviality (foot in door…), texts (that substantive form of communication!) to express their love and missing you, self pitying discourses on your selfishness — this agency you are displaying is All Very Inconvenient!, and of course, rage — I AM CENTRAL! HEAR ME ROAR! Threats, bullying, throwing obstacles in your path.

Which is why I recommend that when you’re ready to go — keep your mouth shut. Just make your plans and get out of there. We are NOT trying to achieve consensus with the cheater. That’s impossible. Their agenda is kibbles. Your agenda is a life. These things are in conflict with one another. The cheater sees your infinite potential — as a kibble source. Chumps have a tendency to see a cheater’s infinite potential too — as a Person Who Could Really Improve If They Just Tried.

Stuff those thoughts. Get out. Don’t look back. Let the Hail Mary footballs whizz past your head. Don’t step in the quicksand. Keep GOING! The goal posts are in sight — and a much better life awaits you.

*** ETA. For our non-U.S. readers who might not know what a Hail Mary play is — the Wiki definition:

Hail Mary pass or Hail Mary route is a very long forward pass in American football, made in desperation with only a small chance of success, especially at or near the end of a half.

The expression goes back at least to the 1930s, being used publicly in that decade by two former members of Notre Dame’s Four Horsemen, Elmer Laydenand Jim Crowley. Originally meaning any sort of desperation play, a “Hail Mary” gradually came to denote a long, low-probability pass attempted at the end of a half when a team is too far from the end zone to execute a more conventional play. For more than forty years use of the term was largely confined to Notre Dame and other Catholic universities.

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  • So very true! Since discovering this site, one glaring truth I’ve discovered is that these cheaters are not unique – they follow the Cheater Pattern Playbook – so please learn from those of us who are further in the journey.

    I was one who got left – he told us he was going to see family for a week, and then didn’t come back. I did get phone calls daily for the first few weeks – he loved us, he missed us, he would make it right and “be the man I always knew he could be”. Then without any type of transitionary call, told me he needed a divorce “immediately” so he could marry the girlfriend I didn’t know he had. At that point, due to some additional creepy threats, I went no contact for over six months. HE FREAKED OUT – tons of missed calls, and then (when I assume OW dumped him), he tried to convince me that “We Had Something Special” Fortunately, by then the “no contact clarity” had kicked in, and I’d had the blessing of a great counselor. The old normal had become pathetic and twisted and completely unappetizing, so I was able to resist and move on.

    Give yourself the chance to experience normal. The longer you live a free and authentic life, the duller and uglier the sparkles become.

    • “The longer you live a free and authentic life, the duller and uglier the sparkles become.”

      Thank you! This is exactly the nugget I needed today 🙂

    • Exactly what happened to me. I’m so glad I found CL, did all the work on me before the ex wanted to reconcile. At that point, all I could think of was to barf.

  • You hit the nail right on the head! After dday, I stayed for a 1.5 years for a false R. During that time, there were threats of suicide- he is a cop and has several guns, and so much self pity it was ridiculous. He finally decided after I filed to move into the basement with his pity party while I tried to move on with my life. It was very hard to do while the troll was under the stairs. But, I persisted and continued to take care of the children while he put on his pity party show. He would not move out of the house, not until two days after we were divorced under court orders. If that isn’t abuse, I am not sure what is….
    It is amazing once you get away from all the mindfuckery how much better your vision is. The one thing that keeps coming back up in my life now, 6 months out from divorce, is that I have so much to look forward to. We as chumps have settled for far less than we deserve because we thought we were part of a team when in reality it was us that held everything together. Embrace life, hug those kids, and start living again. Hugs to all!

    • “We as chumps have settled for far less than we deserve because we thought we were part of a team when in reality it was us that held everything together.” Truth.

    • So. Very. True. Casey.

      This site and everyone on here have really helped me to internalize all the things I knew to be true.

      He’ll never admit a thing.

      I am worth more than he says.

      HE SUCKS!!!!!!

      And the time i waste unraveling the skein of fuckupidness is time I am not spending on myself and our kids.

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • So true, when my ex knew I was serious when I told him to leave me alone, he started contacting me with trivial stuff. VERY trivial. When that didn’t work, he moved on to bigger stuff: “miss you, love you, made a mistake” etc. When that didn’t work he moved on to yelling and telling me how I ruined his happiness with the OW.

    So yes, don’t get sucked in by the triviality, by the emails with a random link to some news you might remotely find interesting, asking if you remember something. This is the small bait – take it and he’s won. Leave it and he’ll try the bigger bait, until you bite.

    • were we married to the same guy?

      My XH kept up the “I know I made mistakes blah, blah…. We can make it work this time blah, blah..” for years. Literally years. The last time it happened he fund out I was engaged (6 years after divorce AND XH was remarried) and I get this dissertation of an email of this crap.

      I hit reply with the messagel, “I am not your friend. I am not your priest. And I am not your wife. Find a therapist. I am marrying someone I love that loves me. IF YOU EVER EVER EVER send me another message like this, without hesitation I will his SEND to YOUR WIFE. I’m sure she’d be interested to see it.”

  • “We as chumps have settled for far less than we deserve because we thought we were part of a team when in reality it was us that held everything together. ”

    Truer words have never been spoken.

    My ex had me doing the Pick Me dance for 3 months and it was like torture — it reminded me of dying from a thousand cuts. It was almost a relief when he finally pulled the trigger. After that I refused to see him, which made him angry because he’d planned that we’d be friends, so then we pretty much stopped communicating.

    For a long time the aching need for resolution was almost overwhelming and I wanted so much to call him and talk things over, but that day never came. It was like going through withdrawal to cut contact with someone who’d been central to my life for 36 years, absolutely brutal. But I guess I’m lucky compared to the people who’s ex’s love bomb and play fake reconciliation for years.

    • “But I guess I’m lucky compared to the people who’s ex’s love bomb and play fake reconciliation for years.”

      Yes you are lucky. During my fake reconciliation, something was off couldn’t quite put my finger on it. He even adopted this syrupy sweet voice and disposition. Right now he is avoiding being served but due to finances etc., I’m still in limbo. Now he say’s he messed up his marriage, he needs me, let’s travel, I luuuv you, it’s all very sickening.

      This man is wasting my time as I need to get on with it and plan my future. He lied to my face, schemed, and manipulated me for years. We were highschool sweethearts, he was and is my only sexual partner, and we were together 37 plus years. I wasn’t perfect but I didn’t deserve what I got.

      His actions were cruel but you can’t keep a good woman down. I look forward to all GOD has for my future. Feeling better and more powerful day by day.

      • Hi Jinx,
        Hugs to you. My exH was also my high school sweetheart, one and only in all respects.
        Only 23 years together for me, but still very tough to realize your partner was not really your partner.
        I was in limbo, but only 3.5 months, and ex did not “love bomb” me, it was just me doing the “pick me” dance before I knew the deck was stacked (with the much younger woman).
        My mantra all along was that I did the best I could with the information I was provide.
        Chin up and stay strong!

      • Jinx, my ex was also my high school sweetheart, my only partner too. It still mystifies me that the last words he said to me were, “When I look in my future, YOU’RE not in it.” My counselor told me that any time I felt like I wanted him back I should remember those words.

        • The funny thing is that I think they end up actually wanting us in their future, but only on their terms, hence the need to be friends. Then when we won’t be friends they act all wounded and lash out. My ex still makes attempts at friendship, but I think it’s more about him being bored with final OW, who isn’t the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.

          I know even now he misses things about our life but he can’t talk to me because I refuse to engage. That’s the punishment he gets: he doesn’t have me to talk to every again. And I’m an awesome person to talk to, so his loss.

          • Yes, the “we’re still friends” attempt. My ex was upset last summer when I told him we were NOT friends and to stop giving me details of his life (health issues, OWife leaking amniotic fluid, etc. .. I do not care! )
            It’s part of the overall narrative that the marriage was long over, cheating was not a betrayal, the cheaters are still good people, etc.

            • Last time ex made the big ‘let’s be friends’ push I laughed at him and said my friends don’t fuck me over emotionally, physically or financially – or any combination of the three. So good luck and carry on.

              So what he does now? Takes one of the kids to have long talks. About me. Knowing the kid will tell me what he says. He’s pathetic.

        • I also got the “I don’t see myself spending the rest of my life with you” speech. We also grew up together and had known each other since grade school. I think they all ready from the same script…..

    • Hi Lyn,
      I think our situations our very similar… that 3.5 month limbo period was torture (esp in my case hiding things from the kids). In hindsight, ex never did love bombing during/after the two possible affairs that I knew about, it was all me doing the “pick me.”

      Wish I had had some perspective at that point, would have wised up sooner.

      • zyx321, I know what you mean. I had to get through Christmas with the kids and act like nothing was happening. I’ll never forget how I started crying while sitting on the couch and my ex noticed that I went to bed early. He came up later and asked why I was crying and I told him it was breaking my heart to think it would be the last Christmas in our house as a family. He crawled into bed and held me all night, but the next morning he was back to pushing me away and acting distant again. It was so confusing, like a crazy alien had taken over the person that I loved. Now I understand what it must be like to deal with family members that have Alzheimer’s. Their bodies look the same but they aren’t the same person.

    • Amen Lyn! I had the overwhelming ache for resolution also. It’s starting to go away finally.

      Mine would have talked with me, but I said if he was going to try and justify why she was at his apt. there was no need. He said there was no need then.

    • ““We as chumps have settled for far less than we deserve because we thought we were part of a team when in reality it was us that held everything together. ””

      Exactly this. And Lyn, this is exactly what happened to me as well:

      “My ex had me doing the Pick Me dance for 3 months and it was like torture — it reminded me of dying from a thousand cuts. It was almost a relief when he finally pulled the trigger. After that I refused to see him, which made him angry because he’d planned that we’d be friends, so then we pretty much stopped communicating. ”

      I just went no contact after he broke things off (for the 4th time in a year). This time, though, I told myself that it would be the last time he’d be doing that. Overnight, I disappeared into thin air. He texted me a few times, emailed me a few times (how substantial lol), then got all annoyed at me, and then said it was obvious that I was angry (DUH! angry doesn’t even cut it!) so he will stop contacting. So far so good. It’s been almost 7 months since then. I hope he won’t contact me on my birthday, which is coming up. But then I remember that he didn’t remember my birthday even when we were together. Such a relief.

  • Ah, yes – the “self pitying discourses on your selfishness”. A recent text from the STBX exclaimed, “I’m never selfish where the baby is concerned.” Of course he was trying to imply that I am selfish where the baby is concerned.

    Funny, I wasn’t cheating on him when the baby was conceived. I wasn’t cheating on him after the baby was born. I wasn’t cheating on him for the first year of the baby’s life. If that isn’t selfish, I need a new dictionary.

    Truly – if you’re still debating, your spouse is still raking in the kibbles. Get out. Don’t look back. Go as no contact as you can. You’ll be glad you did.

    • I got so many texts claiming that I was a selfish, horrible monster and that karma was going to get me. Talk about projection!

      • Every time over the last few months that I’ve been business like and polite in e-mail or text contact w/the ex, he’s ended up w/that same kind of attack, Glad. I’m a ‘monster of self-righteousness’ apparently! I guess that’s narc-speak for ‘when I tell her why I’m not to blame for the mess I’ve made, she won’t let me get away with it’. Plus of course, I have no compassion (like he had any at all for me OR his kids while fucking around and turning our lives upside down), etc etc.

        What I particularly laugh at are the reactions when I tell him to stop being aggressive, and point out that it’s in his best interest to treat me politely, since I’m the last connection between him and his kids. I get ‘I regretted it as soon as I sent it’ and THEN ‘I wasn’t aggressive’ (make up your mind, narc!), followed by ‘I’m so unhappy and under so much pressure’, and then often ‘I just want to keep working on being a better person’. OooooooK!

        Nice to see they’re all still playing from the same handbook.

      • I got them too. I was a “selfish fucking bitch” who he hoped would rot in hell and my kids were spoiled brats who were being mean to him and hurting him by not talking to him after he left without saying goodbye. I kind of think its funny he hopes I rot in hell, he must really want me there by his side;) but…. I also still have it on my mind (I can’t shake it) he left me so maybe what he says is true. I only wonder why he hung around so long if it was that bad? Nothing makes sense still.

    • Sheesh, that man needs to be slapped. Classic PD behavior, accuse others of what you are most guilty of. Reason number 1 to be no contact: To break away from their totally crazy lack of reality and the abuse and justification that goes with trying to maintain that. Interacting with my ex was like entering the twilight zone. The longer I’m no contact the better I’m able to stay in this dimension as it relates to him.

  • THIS.

    The only one I haven’t experienced so far is the rage, but I won’t exclude that as a possibility. I’m almost 9 months out from DDay, and though I have been adamantly NC, the email, snail mail, texts just won’t quit.

    Not that it would matter, but not once has he ever admitted he cheated. He glossed right over that part as if by doing so it wasn’t true. I’ve gotten every flavor of “Feel sorry for me” you could imagine, and a LOT that you couldn’t in a million years. He loves me soooooo much. Can’t liiiiiiive without me. I would block him from my phone and email, but since I am a little afraid of the rage stage hitting, I feel like knowing where his mind is at on any given day is probably safer for me.

    Chumps further along who have been through this…how long did it last for you?

    • It depends. It lasted for me until he signed the divorce counter petition. That’s where he saw I really wasn’t going to roll over and play dead and give him everything he wanted. He has gone NC now except for discussing the kids, but that too is one of his games. In the past, if he kept me in the dark, I would come grovelling and begging him to talk to me. What he doesn’t know, is I’m smarter and stronger now and don’t give a shit because my lawyer will make sure he’s flying straight. He has even gone to the extreme of telling our 17 year old daughter to delete all texts between the two of them because he thought I was spying on him.

      I sat down with her and explained that keeping secrets from people you love is wrong, and why should her dad care if I read the texts if he had nothing to hide. I told her it is up to her to decide if she wants to continue deleting the texts since her dad asked her too, but my take was it is deceitful.

    • It lasted until I moved in with someone I was dating, years after the separation/divorce.

      Until then it was a cycle – “you are a horrible bitch > you are the love of my life I am nothing without you > I’ll see you in court because you are you money grubbing whore”.

      Over time, once you see the pattern, it’s almost funny. Almost.

  • I wish I had found your site sooner. I am in the process of leaving, but I could have saved myself soooo much anguish by taking your advice. My POS wanted to handle our divorce through a paralegal. We have many assets and two children. Luckily, I have a brother and friend who are lawyers as well as friends who have been where I am and they all said “NO! you HAVE TO USE A LAWYER” I would give this advice to anyone. The cheater already knows how to manipulate you and he/she will continue to do so throughout the divorce proceedings unless you have someone there to protect you. I was a stay at home mom, I don’t have the money to pay a lawyer, but I maxed out my credit card and he’s going to try and make the cheater pay. Unfortunately, we live in a no fault state, so as for the settlement the cheating doesn’t really matter.

    Some games my husband played though because I didn’t hire a lawyer right away and considered the paralegal route.

    *He would text that if I didn’t go with the paralegal “things were going to have to change” (meaning I’m paying your bills now, but I’ll stop) – He can’t stop, it’s a scare tactic. Your lawyer can request temporary assistance which requires him to continue paying the bills throughout the proceedings

    *He wants 50% custody. This from a man who spent maybe 1 day a week with his children because he was “working” so much. I agreed when we were talking, but I realized this was asinine and a ploy to lower what he will have to pay for child support. Not to mention I homeschool the children and it’s very disruptive. I will tell you what our 8 year old said upon learning of the impending divorce: “it won’t hurt me if I get more time with daddy” Just a little nugget to give you an idea of how little time he spent with the kids.

    *He tried to tell me I was hurting the kids because I chose to use a lawyer. That all the money going towards lawyer fees was money not available to them. He knows the kids are my biggest weak point. How about HE is the one hurting the kids. All the money and time he spent on his OW was money and time HE was not available for them.

    My point is, divorce can be scary especially if you were previously a stay at home person or made a lesser income than the cheater. It doesn’t matter. You can do it and it will be better.

    • My ex played these cards too — I was a stay at home, homeschooling mom also. Ex had lawyered up behind my back and knew all the tricks. Knowing I didn’t like conflict, he nearly screwed me over totally with his settlement proposal, but got too greedy and wouldn’t negotiate from his starting position. I wouldn’t sign something so obviously against my interests and he ended up having to file to get his divorce.

      I tell you this: the ploy is to avoid the court order of divorce. A negotiated settlement might make you “divorced” but it’s like any other contract. If he doesn’t live up to the terms, THEN you go to court. Might as well just do it right in the first place. When I first visited my lawyer with the screw-you-settlement papers I had received, he said, “If you want to pay me $200 an hour for the rest of your life trying to hold him to this, by all means, settle”

      The court order means he can be held in contempt of court if he violates it. That’s a powerful threat and one that many men really need in order to do the honorable thing and abide by their agreements. They are so into their oppositional/defiant narcissistic power head trips, plus or minus a greedy OW waiting for her reward, that it takes a Big Cop on the Block to deal with them. Threat of loss of professional license finally got through to the ex.

      The two lines in the Sermon on the Mount right before the two lines on adultery have to do with settling on your way to court lest you be turned over to the judge who can put you in jail where you will stay until every penny is paid. My Bible Thumper ex went white when I pointed that out to him. They don’t really fear the wrath of God in this world, they fear other men in positions of power over them.

      • It’s so hard when they’ve already seen a lawyer and and you have no idea. My ex was pushing me to come back with a proposal while I was still reeling from the shock of it all. What an ass. Even his lawyer told him to back off and give me time.

      • Thank you Chumpalicious. I didn’t realize there was a difference between a divorce settlement and a court order. I’m glad I had such good advice and the strength to avoid his traps.

        I’d love to hear if you were able to continue homeschooling and how you supported yourself and your children if so. That’s my biggest concern at the moment.

        • My kids were older once the divorce really got underway (it took a year and a half) so I put them in public school. Freshman and Junior High School. I really could not have done both things as I was trying to minimize my legal expenses by doing a lot of the forensic accounting sleuthing myself. The kids did great though. High School is a breeze for home schooled kids and they took right to it, especially the extracurricular activities. Son is a pretty good baseball pitcher.

          I you have any heterodox views about anything State Sponsored (like public education), it will help you to put it on the back burner when dealing with other State Sponsored institutions — like the courts. Because the STBX will use it against you, no matter how supportive they seemed to be when you started. Yes, by the end, with paranoiac input from the OW and his family, I was going to ruin those kids for life doncha know. Much better to fold on that issue and keep custody.

          A couple of years before that, the STBX (before I knew he was the STBX) forcibly enrolled the kids in Christian private schools. No consultation, he just did it. Even this was a ploy to free me up to get my professional license back and get to work earning money so that he wouldn’t have to pay support when he made his move. But the school was 45 minutes away so I just adopted the soccer mom/chauffeur role while the kids were getting old enough to say to a court just who they would rather live with when it came to that. But it was tough, no doubt about it.

          Money was tight deliberately (he was skimming) but a bunch of things happened that saw me through until the settlement, not the least of which was a large balloon payment on a piece of commercial property we had sold, and I made my share last until temporary support payments were ordered.

          I came out fine on the settlement, since our farm was forced to sell right at the top of the market and my share allowed me to stay being full time mom to my kids, which for them is “the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed” but, we moved into a teeny tiny cabin on the old family homestead instead of using that money to buy into another residence at inflated prices. (sorry for that run-on sentence)

          It sounds to me like you need to file fast and ask for enough temporary support to keep you in the home with your kids. Try not to go back to work unless you really, really, really, have to — it will hurt you in court.

          • Clarification: When I use the word ‘settlement’ above, I’m not talking about a negotiated settlement, I’m talking about the financial settlement following the court ordered (judge signed) decree of divorce.

          • Thank you sooo much for the job advice Chumpalicious. I have been looking at call center jobs that you can do from home and work around my own schedule. My lawyer has already put in a request for temporary support and the cheating jerk is paying the bills here for now. (An attempt to spackle himself quite honestly).

            I don’t have anything against public schools except they’re not great here in FL. Our oldest is going to college in the Fall and it’s really only our youngest I’m worried about. He’ll be a fourth grader next year.

            We have a lot of assets that will get me through once they are liquidated. So after the settlement (court ordered of course), I should be ok.

            Thanks again for the advice

          • Chumpalicious,

            How did you figure out your stbx was skimming. I’m seeing (now that I’m looking) lots of cash withdrawals from his private savings account that I cannot account for as well as less and less of his check being deposited into the joint checking. Problem is, I have no idea where the money went.

            This whole mess drives me crazy! I’m an honest person and damn it, I expect people to be honest with me! I know that’s foolish, but it’s true. I wish we could round up all the fake dishonest people in the world, put them on their own island and let them destroy each other’s lives. Then we honest people could go on with our honest lives and the world would be sooooo much better.

    • It is nice to know I am not the only doing through a nightmare divorce. Initially, I was still acting like a Chump and just wanted him to leave me alone so I agreed to take less than 40%. His answer back to me is “I need to see the final number before I am willing to agree.” Then he started to annoy me by asking me how we going to split kitchen items and vases. I finally had enough and lawyered up.

      Now, he is claiming my dad’s gift to me is really for us. How i was cruel to him during the marriage. How I hide his poster print paintings that I do not even want. oLatest is he ask the court to grant him access to the house so he can get tax documents that is in my name only. Oh, I forgot about the kidnapping of his passport as well. LOL

      Thank god I lawyered up as there is no way I could have gone through this without one.

      • Hey Gigi, I acted like a chump at first too. I would agree to meet with him to try and work out the details. Actually agreed to the 50% custody with him at first. I finally decided to lawyer up when we met once and after 5 minutes were fighting for really no reason at all.

        That was when I realized that the ball of anger that swelled up in the pit of my stomach as well as how good he was at manipulation were a bad combination. I knew I needed someone to protect me and intervene for me with him.

        It was the best decision I ever made. It’s ok if you act like a chump at first as long as you don’t sign a thing and go to the lawyer in the end.

        • Well, if he would have signed initially, he would have walked away like a winner. Instead, he refuse to sign it as he did not want to agree until he saw how much he will get so there was no agreement due to him.

          I hired a laywer because I just could not deal with his constant pittiness over little things like how to split a $20 vase. I was thinking that the lawyer can deal with those little stuff so I can start healing. I was not angry (still being a Chump) until I got his bank statements during discovery. This is when I found out he been cheating me finanically for 7 years. Every check we got went into his personal bank account and he will spend it all. He also hide his spending from me by paying a few hundred dollars per month and getting interest charges even though we had plenty of money to pay off the whole credit card bill. He did this so I will never find out the amount he want spending.

          I am glad I lawyered up because I have someone protecting me as I am known to be too nice and this process help me see the REAL him so I can stop being a Chump. Just openning my eyes is worth every penny I am spending on the laywer fee.

          • Every lawyer I’ve seen in this town tells me the that the court absolutely does not want to get involved in splitting up furnishings. Assets? Oh yeah, they’re all about helping you split assets, which is one reason that if you can do it yourselves without drama (lol), it can work out better, since the court will just think 50/50 without looking at how the lines are drawn. This is why I’m hoping that telling STBX that I won’t stand in the way of twu wuv will help me get the equity from the house rather than the house itself.

            If we have a signed settlement, the divorce can go very quickly. I am tired and want out.

  • I made my first visit to the lawyer yesterday. He said that I’d know if my husband was seeing a lawyer, too. All of a sudden he will start trying to get involved with the kids to lower child support. I had to giggle. The man probably doesn’t even know the name of the kids’ preschool.

    • Cas, that is very common. Mine tried but in my eyes failed miserably. Troll lived in the basement and when it was time for the kids to leave for school each day, he would not even come upstairs to say goodbye. I was the one who got them ready, fed, and out the door for school daily. So unless the kids went to visit troll in the basement, he did not say goodbye to them. And as mean as it sounds, I sure as hell was not going to make my boys say goodbye to him. He can work on his own relationship with the kids, because I have stopped managing it.
      I laughed too…. after the divorce, my boys were with their father for the weekend and youngest was going to a friends house. So oldest son, called me wanting said friends address and phone number becasue dumbfuck daddy had no fucking clue where the friend lived. How can you not laugh about stuff like that?

      • My ex has no idea where even a single one of the kids’ friends live. Or have their phone numbers. Or know most of their names. It’s been this way for their entire lives. After all these years he showed up, last year, at exactly two sporting events. Late. At that is the sum total of his engagement. He’s an idiot and lost so much and has so few memories to cherish.

    • My ex actually sent me an email shortly after I filed for divorce, and he wrote that if I asked for more child support than he wanted to pay, then he would fight for 50% custody so he didn’t have to pay anything. So stupid of him to have put that in writing. My lawyer was thrilled.

    • Yes Cas, but he will learn it. He will suddenly have time to care for them and interest in spending time with them.

      I’ll never forget when my husband, almost weeping, asked if he could have the kids every other week. My mind almost exploded. I responded “Are you kidding, you could have been spending every week with your kids their whole lives! How are you suddenly going to have the time to care for them on your own every other week?” And remember, we homeschool. There is no place to drop them off until dinner, unless it’s my house of course and that’s fine with me!

      So what I’m saying is be careful. Document all that he says and does contrary to what he’s asking for in the divorce papers.

  • “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone”

    Turns out after cheating you don’t get continued access to sex, a free housemaid/bookkeeper/babysitter/everything else the chump was doing. All of a sudden they or the AP have to do the hard work and that’s just not as fun as playing around.

    Does anyone remember the story of the three little pigs? Two of them were interested in having what looked like a strong house, but not working for it. When hard times came down came the facade too. It takes hard work to build a strong house, but its worth it.

    • “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone”

      “Turns out after cheating you don’t get continued access to sex, a free housemaid/bookkeeper/babysitter/everything else the chump was doing. All of a sudden they or the AP have to do the hard work and that’s just not as fun as playing around.”

      Sooo true. During my fake reconciliation My stbx described normal things as you’ve just described as boring. He described marriage to me as boring . Sorry I don’t do drugs, strip, and sleep around. STBX never appreciated the times I went to the doc went him, sat through various medical procedures, waited in the hospital, raised his kids, worked and all the things spouses do. Now it seems that AP aren’t interested in doing wifey things and he’s afraid he might meet someone like himself.

      We were married during his healthiest years so now he’s looking for that potential nurse….the problem is he has only exposed himself to disreputable women. Buyer be ware.

      • Final OW is very keen to replace me and be the wife and all of that. What she doesn’t realise that while he is now doing a bit of cooking and helping around the house that will fade over time, little by little, until one day she’ll wake up and realise that she’s doing everything and he’s no where to be found. I’ve lived it and I don’t think he has made this massive change.

      • Haha! So true.

        STBX has been impressing OW about how handy he is around the house, and of course he tells her that her cooking is wonderful, and he sneaks breakfast and dinner dates with her. Little does she know that all of this is major love-bombing. STBX hates the smells coming from the kitchen, and he’ll obsess about minor details around the house but overlook major infrastructure maintenance.

        Once the shiny is off the relationship, it’ll be hell. STBX is a compulsive neatnik. OW has a 30 gallon garbage can in her kitchen, and has let paper plates stack up on her counters.

        Twu wuv at its finest! 😀

  • This is a very good description of how cheaters operate, and it extends to any dealings with them — even beyond attempts to get you back for kibble supply. It is creepy, but now that I’m a year and a half out from separation and then divorce with my cheater exH, I recognize that what Chump Lady says here applies to ALL interactions I have with him (I’m NC, but occasionally have to deal with him on visitation, child support, etc). “They need to control this outcome. That generally expresses itself in one of three narcissist ways — charm, self pity, or rage.”

    So true! My cheater exH is only happy if he gets things exactly his way, all the time. And when he doesn’t, he cycles through charm, self pity, and rage like they are toilet paper. Seriously, it is crazy and almost funny/ sad how predictable he is. First text is something like “I care about you so much, I really do, can I have the kids for Spring Break this year?” When I say no, papers say I get them and we have plans, his 2nd text is “But I never get to see them since I moved in with OW cause she lives so far away and my life is miserable, so can’t I just have them for Spring Break?” When I say no again, his 3rd text is “you fucking b if you don’t let me have them for spring break I’ll make your life miserable, etc, etc.” And This is how he works on Everything.

    When we were together, I was constantly trying to make our life exactly the way he wanted it, while he sat back and complained but did nothing for our family. Now, I’ve finally come to realize that he is a person who just demands, demands, demands, and is not happy no matter how much I compromise or give him. And not only is he not willing to do any of the hard work, but he’s also literally never satisfied with anything. So I’ve finally stopped trying to negotiate with him reasonably, since he’s going to be pissed off no matter what. Instead, I act completely unilaterally. I compromise where I can, but I don’t go over and above the way I used to. And then I don’t worry about whatever his reaction is, because he’s not important in my life, he doesn’t appreciate my efforts, and he certainly doesn’t reciprocate. But at least I know I’ve behaved in a considerate, yet assertive way. As Chump Lady says, “We are NOT trying to achieve consensus with the cheater. That’s impossible. Their agenda is kibbles,” whatever form those kibbles take.

    • Hahaha…ex tries to do the charm thing. Just tried the other day, in fact. I ignored him, of course, but he still tries. The rage comes as well, the begging, the everything. He still has the audacity to suggest I help him sort out his fucked up relationships with the kids. Erm, no.

      • The ex keeps on asking me to help fix his relationship with my kids too. My kids are grown ups already.

    • “When we were together, I was constantly trying to make our life exactly the way he wanted it, while he sat back and complained but did nothing for our family. Now, I’ve finally come to realize that he is a person who just demands, demands, demands, and is not happy no matter how much I compromise or give him. And not only is he not willing to do any of the hard work, but he’s also literally never satisfied with anything.”

      This gave me the shivers. This describes my ex to the t. I don’t even want to remember those days. He was like a parasite feeding off of me. A year into the relationship, I had zero personality. It was gone. I was just a puppet that was there to satisfy his needs. And not once was he even remotely satisfied. Always complaining, always negative.

  • Yeh. We’ve been going for self pity since day 1, interspersed with rage. Sadly no text of undying love “not to confuse the situation”. We actually had an email exchange today where I shit you not, he claimed that he was at a disadvantage because I am more informed about custody and visitation concerns. Sigh. I didn’t reply, well I did, but didn’t send.

    • JJ keep him totally in the dark about custody and visitation. You have a court order. Get the hell out of there before the year is up. Play along for now. Let him think kibbles are unending. Then deliver the sucker punch and be GONE. You do NOT owe him ANY explanation for your behavior, your plans, anything. Remain noncommittal and keep total NC except for kids and money.

      • JJ, if you can jettison belongings before you move, do so in small increments. Also, in small increments start mailing home those things you want to keep. When you leave you should have managed to clear your belongings so that all you need is a backpack of baby’s needs to carry on the plane. If there are things you don’t mind leaving behind do so so he won’t get suspicious. You need to become very sneaky. Don’t do any of this in front of your oldest child. On the other side of this craziness is a real life.

      • Yay for CL having your back! We all have your back! Everyone here is very supportive. When you are feeling weak. Just remember you are not alone, and you need to take care you and those kids first and not include him in any of your decisions. He messed up, not you! This can be the toughest part to realize. We are trained to believe it takes two. In this and all of our cases. This is not true. The burden of that lies solely on the Narc. Moving forward will be tough. I have been NC for 5 months now. Recently he has made small attempts to lure me back into his fold. I have stayed strong, it’s tough, but necessary. I also found out his motives for making contact, evidently his living situation had severely deteriorated and others have started to see what he is really all about. My daughter talked to him and apparently he thinks that I will forgive him and if not take him back, thinks that we can be friends. Considering what he has done, that will never happen. so he can continue to live with his Prostitute/gang member friends and taste that side of life. It is true what they say…..you reap what you sow. Hang tough…..hang here, and count yourself lucky! Yes, lucky!

    • JJ, a siren just went off in the distance. You make good and sure that there is no way he’s not got you under surveillance (cell phone, computer). My ex acted like he just didn’t care and was gone LOTS — why be at home when you can know everything that’s going on there remotely? Like a creepy sort of home-made Stanford Prison Experiment. It fucked with EVERYBODY’s heads.

      If his one comment to you is about the kids and custody after all this, there’s a problem brewing.

      • That is exactly what I just went through…..computer surveillance. He has a server in our house for business. I called the company that has our internet service and had them come out and give me a new modem that shut him out of the circle. He is not at all happy, but there is nothing he can do. He knows that if he comes anywhere near the house I will call the police. Make sure he is not monitoring you. Get a new phone if you can. New E-mail address etc……

    • Yeah, my ex doesn’t know much about custody and visitation, or about financial support … because he’s never bothered to try to find out. As during our marriage, I checked out the websites, got an appointment w/a lawyer, spoke to her, booked a mediator …. I knew before kicking him out what my rights and responsibilities were.

      Only difference from when we were married? I didn’t fill him on what I’d found out. I’m such a mean person!

      • I would like to profess that they are lazy but I think they simply have different priorities (like having sex with their mistresses). Why do the work if we will? As one friend said to me with a look of shock on his face “he expects you to wipe his butt for him”. Yes, because I did throughout our marriage. (A hard lesson in the importance of healthy reciprocity.)

        My ex-husband expected post-divorce life to be a continuation of married life with the “annoying bits” (fidelity, loyalty, trust, commitment) cut out. Didn’t want the wife but still wanted the mommy. Boy, has he been surprised by the turn of events, heh, heh, heh. I hope all cheaters get a similar surprise.

        • You’ve got it, Jamberry!! The entitlement is HUGE, they just don’t think they should have to do all that boring stuff …. So much more fun to dedicate oneself to making money, screwing around and seeking ego kibbles every where!

          I kicked the narc out almost 2 years ago. Last year he was SHOCKED to find out I didn’t intend to do and file his taxes as well as mine. Actually managed to convince me to do them all, as it was the last time we were filing together. I’m betting there’s another big reaction this year when I tell him I won’t be doing his at all. He’s also been regularly screwing up his bill payments since he had to move into his own place – he registered most of them w/our ‘mutual’ e-mail address, the one we use to communicate about the kids, so I see the final notices and the payment arrangements he finally makes. The idiot probably hasn’t even thought about what that is doing to his credit rating!

          I say idiot, but the man has two Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. It’s the entitlement!

          • Shortly after our divorce became final, ex texted me regarding income tax. Turns out he was going to owe the IRS $9K because he had emptied out his 401K. I had already done my taxes for the year, but he wanted me to re-file, listing myself as married (because technically we HAD still been married that tax year) and pay half of what he owed. He actually wrote this “would be in all of our best interests” and that if I didn’t do this, he “didn’t see how he could afford to pay child support.” LOL!

            Well, of course I didn’t re-file, and I certainly didn’t pay half of his tax burden, which he STILL owes the IRS. He never bothers with paying the child support he owes anyway, so it’s hardly like it made any difference.

        • I had a friend tell me, very early on, that I ended up being ex’s mother because that’s what he needs, a mother, and he will force every woman in his life into that role, because he thinks his mother is a saint but knows, deep down, she’s nuts (and she is, believe me).

          • Mine would yell and tell me to stop being his mother when I would question him on the things he was doing. He also blew off his mother’s dinner invites as often as possible.

            Until after he left and had the kids part time. I’ll never forget the day they all had lunch AND dinner together.

            He needs to lovebomb his mother now because I told her about the cheating.

            • Well I never looked at it that way before. But it really makes sense. X wouldn’t ring his mum, I told him to keep in touch. He called her names and implied she was never much of a mum and yet he has now moved 600km away from his kids too go live closer to grandma and help out with pop!!!! Grandma told the kids it was great having him clise cos now she gets to see him more often. Nobody seems to wonder that he moved so far from hos kids….but he has gone to love bomb her hasn’t he? Very interesting point!

            • Hahaha…reading your post made me realise that he used me as a buffer between him and his parents but after I threw him out he did love bomb his bonkers mother! And now he’s pulling back again and she is not a happy lady as a result. It’s all kinds of gross, the whole dynamic.

    • JJ, be damn careful. You said “We’ve been going for self pity since day 1, interspersed with rage”. When my ex realized he lost control over me he nearly killed me. Think about his rages, pay attention to your inner voice.

  • My STBX did one Hail Mary Pass, 2 months after he left me, and it was the most pathetic display I have ever seen. I think even the chumpiest of all the chumps in chumpland wouldn’t fall for this garbage. He emailed me this. I still laugh at this from time to time, it’s pretty priceless.

    Without further ado…

    “I tried. The counselor said. ‘Tell her everything and she will be willing to try.’ Boy were they wrong. [OW] says. ‘Tell her everything and she will say she wants to talk. You are obviously broken and depressed. She will remember the time you were there when she was depressed and diagnosed with diabetes. You are her husband. She will give you another chance.’

    Fuck that. Guess not.

    I love you. I will love you till I die. Yes I can say it. I didn’t put in the divorce papers cause I didn’t really want it to end. I am messed up. So much so that I just can’t handle it. I thought you would talk to me. I thought you would be there so we could try it again. This was everything I expected and I don’t know why other people say you would give me a chance. It’s not just that you were hurt. I was hurt too for months and months and I tried to talk. Whatever. You don’t care.

    I get it. Goodbye. I won’t email or call you ever again. Hopefully you got what you want. There is your consistency and control you wanted.

    [Nickname for STBX]

    Yep. Cause I still wanted to try. My counselor is full of shit. You may want to double check yours.”

    If these were his version of sparkles, he’s gonna have a tough time. 😉

    Let that football go…

    • OMG that is delusional. I don’t know what’s richer — the OW encouraging him to save his marriage (let the triangle remain unbroken!) or all those mean people who let him down, telling him you’d give him a chance. “I was hurt too…” THEY ALL DO THIS. If wanting pity for the fucked up situation THEY created isn’t flaming narcissism, I don’t know what is.

      • So true CL, flaming narcissism to the nth degree. This was his super lame attempt at getting me back, and he mentions the OW’s name! As if she’s helping me out! LOL! This was sent last June, at my lowest, and even right then I laughed my ass off! The delusion!

        Of course this email followed with him threatening suicide, threatening to sell the house, texts asking me “you honestly think I don’t care?”, and other such rage.

        Don’t fall for it chumps! Keep walking/running!

        • My husband said, as I was leaving him at the airport, “we’re going to work this out.” I told him I hope he’s happy with the OW and started to walk away and he said, “she told me to work things out with you.”

          I just shook my head and walked through security with my two kids. Didn’t look back at him once, my kids were crying, so I looked at them instead.

          I haven’t heard from him since and it’s been a week today. It’s hard, especially at night, but I come here and read about no contact whenever I get the urge.

          • It is tough RNE, no doubt. Nights and weekends were toughest for me during those first few months, and I relied on my family pretty heavily then. Visited my parents every weekend that summer, just to be around people who love me.

            Other than discussing filing taxes, it’s been NC since last June, haven’t seen him since last May.

            Like my STBX did for me, yours did you a favor RNE. Hang in there!

          • RNE & Lunachick- During false R, I too got a lot of the canonization of the non-deceased multiple OW(s) by my cheater. What Saints they all were. “She is such a wonderful person… she really didn’t want to have sex with me initially until I got a legal separation… she has an interest in psychology and she was “counseling” me… she (BDSM partner mistress) is wonderful at relieving me of my stresses at work… she (tantric sex goddess mistress) was helping to improve our sex life… .”

            Such doublespeak! He couldn’t live without me BUT I better make room for the rest of his kibble suppliers.

            • OMG! The scary thing is, these people are for real. Yeah the whole “OW is helping us out!” SERIOUSLY?! The nerve of these assholes!!

              Even OW’s husband said “she is trained in marriage therapy and she has morals.” Uhhh really dude? Keep swimming up that River of Denial!

      • oh! Boy! THIS…. mine…oy! we each had to fill out some paperwork regarding D21, and he (sobbing) said to me later, “I probably shouldn’t say this, but–“. I cut him RIGHT OFF and said, “So don’t”.

        He continued anyway (of course) “I… (sob, sniffle) don’t really know her.”

        No shit, Sherlock. I mean, really? Too busy texting the old Dr.Hoe about HER kids to spend any time with your own. Idiot.

      • Notice how they never apologize….only blame. Common thread…Or if they do offer up an apology….it is quickly concluded with blame. They will never admit fault. Even the, I need to find out who I really am is covert blame. Or at the very least, copping out. Disgusting bunch.

      • Yep. My ex told me several times during bogus reconciliation, that our separation had been very hard on him, and he had cried a lot during his affairs because he knew he was an adulterer. Said he felt so guilty. LOL! He never stopped cheating, guess that guilt (which of course he has never felt in his entire life) didn’t count for much!

        It’s astounding how much self pity the disordered feel.

        • My exH told me he cried over the end of the marriage… Excuse me? He never TRIED to work on the marriage (lied in MC, never ‘fessed up to the cheating, admitted he saw me upping PDA and stuff like that), no emotion when it counted.

          Boggles the mind.

    • That sounds just like an email my cheater would send! Verbatim minus the OW part because he still won’t fess up about that.

  • This post is so true! Unfortunately, I thought I was dealing with a friend, and I went round and round on his merry go round of torture for sixteen years! I get so angry when I think of all those years wasted. I should have had the “three strikes you’re out” rule in play. When his final Hail Mary didn’t work, he tried playing on my fears to get me to stay. He told me that no one would be there to help the kids with the homework, and they would faaaail! They went from mediocre/above average students to HONORS without the stress and fighting, thank you very much! All you posters who are still with your narcissistic partners, please save yourself, and your kids NOW. Hugs to all!!

  • Lots of truth in this, I believe. The one woman I know who did end up reconciling just moved out of her house–clothes, furnishings, dogs–and let her husband come home to find just his stuff and an otherwise empty house. She went NC for months. He had to show her remorse, and she was prepared to leave him forever. They’ve since rebuilt their marriage, but it wasn’t an easy road.

    The more I think about it, the better a clean break sounds to me. I would like to explore this option more. This week’s goals are to start packing some of my stuff up and rent a storage locker.

  • Mine never did the Hail Mary. If I had been a nice girl, I suspect he would have tried to sleep with me like his other exes who always hung around, but I always made sure I had a cock block in the few instances we had to interact. Nothing says you aren’t getting laid like a poker face and your best friend who is former prosecutor sitting at the kitchen table.

    Sometimes I wondered if he ever wanted me at all, but then glad he never tried. Otherwise, the “hell hath no fury” I kept contained would have been unleashed and I am certain I would have breathed fire. I found silence more delicious. Knowledge is power.

  • Hail Mary play from classic literature (The Wings of the Dove, by Henry James):

    When her father at last appeared she became, as usual, instantly aware of the futility of any effort to hold him to anything. He had written her that he was ill, too ill to leave his room, and that he must see her without delay; and if this had been as was probable, the sketch of a design he was indifferent even to the moderate finish required for deception. He had clearly wanted, for the perversities he called his reasons, to see her, just as she herself had sharpened for a talk; but she now again felt, in the inevitablility of the freedom he used with her, all the old ache, her poor mother’s very own, that he couldn’t touch you ever so lightly without setting up. No relation with him could be so short or so superficial as not to be somehow to your hurt; and this, in the strangest way in the world, not becasue he desired it to be – feeling often, as he surely must, the profit for him of its not being – but because there was never a mistake for you that he could leave unmade, nor a conviction of his impossibility in you that he could approach you without strengthening. He might have awaited her on the sofa in his sitting-room, or might have stayed in bed and received her in that situation. She was glad to be spared the sight of such penetralia, but it would have reminded her a little less that ther was no truth in him. This was the weariness of every fresh meeting; he dealt out lies as he might the cards from the greasy old pack for the game of diplomacy to which you were to sit down with him.

  • I did the “pick me” dance for five years!!!! I think I win the prize here. When there was finally nothing left of me (zero self confidence left) I asked him to go. I didn’t even care if I had a life left. He wore me down to absolutely nothing. I had nothing to lose when I asked him to leave except my financial security. And I didn’t even care about the money anymore. I knew he would make it hard on me and I was okay with it!!! Here is what happened next………

    He begged…..he pleaded……he threatened to kill himself…….he offered me a house out west…….he sent me emails containing love songs to woo me back……..he showed up at my job……..he love bombed my phone with text messages……..he called my daughters and told them he loved me soooooo much but I wouldn’t take him back……..he said he would have a lawyer draw up a document that if he cheated again I would get everything……. REALLY IT WAS EXHAUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I had to scream at him over the phone and tell him to leave me alone and let me GO! I told him I didn’t love him any more. I told him I was unhappy. I told him I needed to save myself as there was nothing left that I could recognize! And he told me he would NOT stop until he won me back! We would get remarried one day. He said he would not stop loving me!

    Two weeks later…………..you guessed it……….he began calling the OW who he had been involved with for those five years. Ten months later they moved in together and they now have a joint checking account!!!! CRAZY!!!!!!!!!

    I wish I had told him to leave five years ago. I would have saved myself some time. But, I know that I tried everything to make it work. His actions told me who he was…..I just didn’t want to believe it.

    Recently, while speaking to him regarding our divorce, he told me I have changed and he doesn’t even recognize me anymore! I told him I am ME again and I am no longer the doormat he was used to. He didn’t like that very much!!!!

  • Gosh this is so true for me CL.

    My STBX raged when I told him I wanted out. I had no idea he could be such an ass. And he hasn’t stopped being a raging ass.

    Once you decide to get out, call in your support system and get a safety plan in place. Get a lawyer and then go NC. Cheaters are a different kind of cat to say the least. They HATE being wrong and being called on their shit. It’s absolutely draining.

    In my case, my cheater seems to believe that any questions I have over finances or our child are “drama” on my part. Um, no. I only text the jerk and that’s enough. Trust me, have a lawyer on standby to deal with the mess they want to keep tossing at you. And if you think for one second they love anyone but themselves first, you’d be wrong. Trust they suck and protect yourself.

    • I was so happy to learn that in Florida, while the divorce is in process there is a temporary restraining order against both parties concerning harassment. No love bombing, rage, or self pity allowed. It’s fantastic!

            • Well to be fair, it’s rare that the disordered pay attention to anti harassment measures. When divorcing someone for having a hard time following the rules it’s unlikely they’ll follow the rules. And no court ordered anything does any good unless there’s enforcement or sanctions.

              • They do if you report violations AND they are afraid of going to jail. Thankfully my ex is afraid of jail, and I reported every single violatin, no matter how small, if you give an inch you are fucked with some ppl

              • They will also follow the rules if “image” is all important to them. That’s the way it is w/my stbxh. How he appears to OTHERS is super important to him. He continues to pay the bills at our home even though he moved out. He does this b/c I’m a stay at home, homeschooling mom and that was a mutual decision in our life (I wanted to be there and give our kids the best education, he wanted me to be happy so I’d let him fuck around all he wanted). So while all of these people are narcs, they do have some variations as to what part of themselves is all important.

                He has laid off harassing me, but now he’s playing games with our daughter, like telling her to delete all texts between the two of them b/c he thinks I might be snooping. That is something I will share with my lawyer, but not sure if anything can be done about it.

              • It just makes me think of how my ex altered bank statements for a child support hearing with his ex. The weird thing is that he didn’t do it to alter the amount he was paying. In fact the lie wasn’t even really necessary. It’s illegal of course but when I asked my lawyer about it she put out that it was unlikely to be any consequences. It’s perjury. His ex was bound in the parenting plan not to speak badly about anyone in our household, not to take the kids to a romantic partner’s household during holidays, and not to introduce the kids to any new romantic partners within a certain time period. Yep, violated all of those.

                I think if someone’s never had consequences they’re not going to care when someone tells them they can’t do something. But yeah, if they’re afraid of jail or image they’ll comply. I was just saying that the truly crazy rarely bother with boundaries, court ordered or not.

  • Right after dday, my ex went directly into self pity alternating with rage. There was never any love bombing at all. Even when he decided he wanted to reconcile, six months later, there was no declarations of how he’d made a mistake, that he really loved me, that he wanted me back, nothing like that at all. He just said that God didn’t approve of adultery and so he needed to make his marriage work. Ugh, cannot BELIEVE I agreed to that bogus reconciliation. The whole thing turned out to be a con game, his only concern was getting me to move back into the family home, work full time and support him. The abuse really escalated during that reconciliation, and by the end, the rage and self pity were back full force. I never got any of the love bombing at any point. In looking back, it’s easy for me to see how much he hated me.

    • The bible actually says the adultery is the only viable reason for divorce. So if you are staying with a cheater b/c of religious reasons, God doesn’t want you to.

      • That is what has always puzzled me.. most of the propaganda is from the Reconiliation Industrial complex are often “faith based”.
        Chumps need to give it to God to heal their broken cheater .Just pray about it.
        WTH ???????

        • Yeah I actually went to a Christian counselor the day after DDay and he told me I have trust issues. I laid out everything I knew at that point and said because my brain was so scrambled “Could I be wrong?” He actually said “sure you could be. You see there is his truth and your truth.” I never went back!

          His truth and my truth my ass! The truth is the truth, the only thing is how much of it do I know?

          • “Chumps need to give it to God to heal their broken cheater .Just pray about it.”

            That’s almost true smart ass texan. Chumps need to give it to God to show them the path he wants them on. It may not include the broken cheater at all. I prayed for 16 years that our marriage would get better, that I would be a better wife or he would be a better husband. Finally out of frustration I prayed “God, I don’t know what else to do. Please just help me to walk the path of your will”. The truth started coming out and hasn’t stopped.

            God works in wondrous ways if we can just let go of what we think we are supposed to be doing.

            • Boo Trying to move on. That’s crap. I’m not a huge fan of religion but there are truths that are black and white and values that should still be espoused, um especially when we’re espoused. I’ve been very impressed with a few chumps stories about going to their pastor or minister etc and being told that their S.O. has a serious issue and you can’t fix that. Some of them have straight out told the chump to leave.

              What is that whole thing, Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin? We’ve become a nation of Love the Sinner more than the victim

              • Uh, for the record I meant Boo about the counselor you saw, not boo about your opinion. 😉

              • Interestingly in most of the major religions adultery is grounds for divorce (or stoning the adulterer).

                Most of the pastors I know who preach forgiving your straying spouse either say:

                “Divorce him/her but don’t hold on to the bitterness and let it ruin you”

                or

                “Divorce him/her but don’t get wrapped up in how bad they are that you don’t see your own flaws”. To clarify the second point, that doesn’t mean “take some blame for the marriage failing” but “don’t become an alcoholic/kick puppies/smash Tiffany windows and justify it by saying ‘at least I’m not a cheater’ or ‘I’m only doing this because I was cheated on'”

                Those who preach the “there are many truths” thing have not read the Bible where there is very clearly black and white, wrong and right, forgiveness, but also a whole lot of sin. And in my Bible, they call a sin a sin. Not an accident, not a mistake.

                I think that many people today don’t want the harsher Christianity, preferring the softer, baby-food version where they go to church and try to be nice and everything is forgiven. And pastors who want to keep people in their churches water down the message.

                Revelation 3:15-17, ” know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

            • In praying for our marriage and seeking counseling we tend to forget that GOD will not go against a person’s freewill. We are called to live in peace. Let that cheater go!
              The problem for me was believing his lies. I asked GOD to show me what I was missing, and he exposed my stbx lies. There was no avoiding or rewriting when all was there for everyone to see. It’s painful to realize how easy it was for him to feel entitled to waste my time or manipulate me because I was his wife. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT to waste my time here on earth!

              So I make each day that I have left and try and live it to the fullest! I’m not waiting for his reaping, I’m moving forward. Do I get pissed, hell yeah, real pissy, and weepy but it mkes me spin a little faster, punch a little harder, focus a little sharper. One day this divorce drama will be just a memory and the actions of his penis…not my problem! But until them im moving forward!

              • Well said jinxxy!

                God has exposed lie after lie for me too. A thought that occurred to me as I was reading your message: God gave us free will because he wants us to CHOOSE to love Him. Forced love or attachment means nothing. We chumps should take a page from God’s book. If our cheaters are CHOOSING not to love us, why should we fight for it? If they stay cause we force them it means nothing.

                Onward and upward to a better life for all of us!

          • DAMN RIGHT!! There is THE truth. He knows it, you know it, he KNOWS you know it, and that sucks for him. The only truth that matters is that he abusively cheated. A is A.

            • Kat, Yes that counselor was way off base. I was so glad that I could see through his shit. I absolutely agree that we need to focus more on the victims in these circumstances. So many people have said stupid things to me like “are you sure this is what you want?” His own mother told me ” I have suspected he had another woman too, but I don’t think so anymore b/c he’s so broken up”. I had to bite my tongue on that one. She also said she’s sure he’s not cheating b/c he was staying at her house. (She was out of town the whole time he was supposedly there) I was still in my unraveling the skein phase at that time and drove by many times at very late hours. He was NEVER there.

              It’s amazing that these cheating asses have the ability to be soooo charming. Of course, he charmed me at one point too. Thank God that my eyes have been opened to the truth. And quite honestly a lot of the acceptance has come since I found this site.

    • Glad! I think your ex and mine are twins!! In his pathetic attempts to reconcile after I finally kicked his ass out, my ex was also entirely focussed on HIS unhappiness and HIS self-pity, and how messed up HE was. He said very little about me or even our relationship (besides blame-shifting of course!), on his third attempt gave a couple of very vague apologies and a couple of lame compliments when nothing else was working. No love-bombing at all. At first I wondered if he did hate me, and both the cheating and the lack of ANY expression of affection for me when trying to reconcile were signs of that.

      Then I realized that it wasn’t that he hated me (except in his moments of rage). He DOES NOT care about me, NEVER has. Doesn’t actually know me. I am, and probably always have been, just a source of kibbles, and a conduit for other kinds of kibbles (the kids, nice house, family friends, travel, organizing his life …).

      I’m not sure it felt better to be entirely, completely and utterly unimportant to my ex, as a person, than to be hated. But it sure clarified things in my mind!

      • I have to go to workshops for some of my assistance and today ironically I had one about codependency. By the instructor’s definition it was “the need to be needed” and for those who perpetually try to get their sick partner well. I have to say I am pretty proud of myself cause once I found out what he was I left my ex immediately. Of course she was also talking about it in the context of an addict relationship. My ex is a sex addict (although I don’t buy that definition fully or that it makes excuses for what they do). But this woman, who was an ex addict herself, was talking about how they simply don’t care. And how they will lie about everything. And that if you get in their way they will also abuse. I don’t think cheating is an addiction, but it was interesting to see how similarly they treat others and how pointless it really is to hope a cheater will change that behavior.

        Uh gee, what’s my point. Oh, like Karen said, I’m not sure that it made me feel better. Maybe a little bit more detached. But just really happy that I walked away right away.

  • Impeccable timing, CL. This morning I woke up with the strongest urge to make contact after going 2 weeks totally NC. I haven’t heard from my cheater (other than his “liking” my FB posts) and my ego was perversely bruised. Like if he really was hurt by my absence he would be trying to get me back.

    After the 2nd D-Day (8 months ago) it took him 5 days to call me, and there were tearful apologies and much begging, all of which worked beautifully to manipulate me back into the relationship. Classic Chumpdom! This time….crickets. He told me when i was leaving that he wouldn’t fight for this relationship again, and I thought it was just a threat. My ego wants him to beg, so I can reject him and give him a taste of how awful this all feels. But it will never be like that, I know. There is no justice.

    So no Hail Mary this time. Am trying to internalize that this is actually a gift.

    • Please block him on FB. Do not allow him to keep tabs on you. Do not be tempted to post something that you know he will read. Live your life for YOU from now on. Go FULLLLLLLL NC.

  • ‘I AM CENTRAL! HEAR ME ROAR!’

    That’s my ex in a nutshell. The second I washed my hands of him and started doing what was right for me instead of going along with his bullshit he went NUTS. And has been on a steady stream of rage ever since. Going on more than 18 months of his rage and it’s become beyond comical. Anything happens in his life and you can set your clock by how long it will take for him to lash out at me in some way, usually via email.

    These people are all the same and in the end they’re hilariously pathetic with their foot stamping and throwing of toys out of the pram. And the best part? They project all their bullshit on us – and flip out when we refuse to buy into it.

  • They really aren’t an original bunch, are they?

    My ex also knows nothing about the kids – never did know things like their favorite colors, or foods, or stories. He would tell them HIS favorite story, or watch HIS favorite movie with them or take them to HIS favorite restaurant, but never cared what THEY liked.

    Now with six years of no contact, I doubt he will ever know. But he does tell his family and co-workers that he and I “have a great relationship”and that “he talks to his kids all the time”. Since we talk about once a year, I can only imagine what his BAD relationships look like…I purposefully guard the kids’ photos (don’t put them on FB or allow them to be published) because he hasn’t seen a picture of them since they were 2 and 5 – and they are now 8 and 11. They’ve changed a little bit. 🙂 I think it must be funny when he’s babbling about what a great dad he is, and someone asks him for a photo, and he shows them one that’s 6 years old…or maybe he doesn’t have one at all, since he left EVERYTHING but some of his clothes when he left. He didn’t take any pictures, momentos – nothing. Creepy carbon copy little drones these cheaters…

  • Wow, theses stories of towering rage and love-bombing make me almost glad my ex was a sociopath who lacked any capacity for strong emotions of any kind. Though that was a mindf*ck of a different variety.

      • Hard to believe now, but there was a time I viewed that quality as admirable. “She just very well adjusted,” I told myself. “So nice to be with someone who doesn’t do drama.”

        HA! She was a total Freak Show. I was just too handy with the spackle to know it. When I encounter strong emotions in those around me now, I am grateful.

        • LOL Well adjusted….that’s my guy! Or at least how he came across. Underneath he had to have been a seething mess. Covert passive aggressive is all I see now. I want someone who will evoke that passion in me, rather than soothe me with placation…..

          • My ex was extremely passive as well. Next relationship, I want that person to be passionate about something!

        • I think people who refuse to argue (when it’s warranted) or make you feel like needing to discuss a disagreement is somehow wrong are using their refusal to have what might be an uncomfortable conversation as a way of controlling things. If you aren’t allowed to air your grievances then you’re being told you don’t matter, essentially.

          • Yeah, they turn a healthy impulse (say, wanting to talk through a problem, or empathy) into a weakness or a flaw. It’s like an kind of anti-spackle.

    • Mine was cold as well. No love bombing, no pick me dance, no self pity, no rage. Just cold. He does get bent out if shape when he doesn’t get his way with our young child. Then I get some manipulation and projection. No contact is the best. Divorce should be final any day now.

      • NC here, as well. My youngest was 14 at BD, and maybe 9 months after, I figured out that NC was the way to go. I don’t mean limited contact, I mean NO contact. NONE. I hate it if I even have to glance at him at a school function, but it’s more often than not that he doesn’t show up, like CL’s proverbial turd in the punch bowl. I have full custody (the creep just signed off on pretty much all custody, partly because I think he just wanted to ride off into the sunset with his alcoholic cling-on, and partly because I really do think he was ashamed of himself.
        I am SO thankful that he didn’t hang on. He did have it all figured out that we were all going to be friends–no doubt I would take care of the taxes and the bills (from MY paycheck, of course) and he would come and go as he pleased, and everyone would congratulate him for being such a stud. (bahahahaha!) When I relieved him of that stupid fantasy, he pretty much scurried off. It was extremely painful and lonely. It would have been a million times more painful and lonely if he’d maintained contact and pretended to love me just enough, and ended each meeting by leaving for OW. Prior to NC, every time he turned away to go “home” or hung up the phone to be with OW, it was like someone punching me in the gut. So I ripped the Band-Aid off and let the healing process begin. It is the ONLY WAY. And I resolved to do NOTHING for him, to NEVER consider his needs or wants–only what I wanted. This was really not my usual character, but I knew it was good for me for once.

        Thanks to CL and to all of you for all the support. You all have gotten me through some tough times.

        • “And I resolved to do NOTHING for him, to NEVER consider his needs or wants–only what I wanted. This was really not my usual character, but I knew it was good for me for once.”

          I’m still pissed I have to do this. I am doing it. Had to spend three years putting up hard boundaries with drama from ex’s past. Now I have to spend another good chunk of time putting up boundaries on him. Boy I need for these psycho people to get out of my life. I’m exhausted from boundaries. And I am currently staying with my parents. More boundaries. I would just appreciate the courtesy of a knock on the door before entering. Sorry….totally went on a rant.

          Keep up with the amazing strength Miss Sunshine. It sounds like you are doing awesome.

          • Thanks, sister!

            Are you saying the ex doesn’t knock before invading your space??? Or, is it your parents who don’t knock? I’d say that boundaries are definitely a thing you would be good to exercise, friend! (You know how to change a doorknob? They’re not expensive–you could swap out a locking one! Not hard to do….)

            • Lol. For some reason my mom doesn’t think she needs to knock before entering my room. Even if I lock the door then she goes outside and looks in my window. I don’t know what her reasoning is for that. Granted I’m staying in their place temporarily, but boy she is getting worse the older she gets. We had a big fight because she thinks her opinion should be as important if not more so than my own in my own life. My dad isn’t perfect but I can have an adult conversation with him and he knocks. Sigh….Repeat Mantra “Never again never again never again”. <———–being in the place of needing my parents help that is.

              My ex I haven't seen since Aug and except for one question about taxes I've been no contact since Oct. So at least that's going well.

  • I had the sadz because he didn’t a Hail Mary play for Kibbles. Well initially he made some half-assed attempts, but it was all so pathetic. He pretty much blew up my life and ran away.

    But honestly, I sit here and look around my nice calm quiet house and I am so fucking grateful I don’t have to deal with what’s described here. I know eventually I’ll get the phone call or I’ll see him standing on my porch wanting to “talk” because I know his M.O., but I’ll ignore when it happens. I never thought I’d say this but my divorce is a few weeks away and I’m looking forward to closing that chapter and writing a new one.

    This site makes me so happy and I’m grateful I have a place to go to gain a different perspective on things. Thank you Chumplings!

  • For those who are sad their cheaters didn’t do a Hail Mary and for those that are struggling, here’s a story to help you look at your situation differently:

    “Once upon a time, there was a guy. He deeply loved a girl. He dreamed of her all the time. He would send her flowers, give her gifts, say nice things, and express his love. She accepted his gifts, flowers, chocolates and all, but wouldn’t give or say anything in return other than a thank you. The boy still didn’t lose hope and thought one day his love would win over her, that, one day she would melt and she would reciprocate. He thought the girl did love him, only that she wasn’t expressing it yet. It went on a for a while. Nothing changed.

    One day, the girl informed him that she was moving out of town. He pleaded with her to not go. The girl, however, said that she had more important things to do.
    “Why, what about love? Is it not important? Don’t you love me?” the guy said.
    “Love? What about it? I never loved you,” she said.

    The guy got up and left the place. Everyone in the friends and family got concerned about him. They were certain he was broken beyond repair, but there was not a sign of hurt on his face or in his actions. Some thought he was really depressed and was acting cocky to hide his real feelings. A few days passed and he kept on living normally. One day his friends confronted him.

    “You must be really sad and heartbroken. We know you are hurt,” they said.
    “Hurt? Not really. I’m happier than before.”
    “How can this be? You loved her to bits, whereas she dumped you callously saying she never loved you.”
    “You see,” he said, “I lost someone who never loved me, but she lost someone who loved her deeply. So, tell me, who has actually lost?”

    • This is an excellent story and I love the new perspective. A much better way to approach being cheated on. I lost a whole lot less than he did. I lost a cheater who made me feel like shit. He lost someone who genuinely loved him and may never experience that again where as I will one day find someone who is sincere and loves me back.

      Thank you for such an excellent post!

    • What a lovely little tale of truth. A knowing shift of perspective to offer healing and insight. Thank you.

    • This really is brilliant, and probably describes so many of us here. Take this to heart, chumps. We aren’t the losers by any stretch of the imagination.

  • I sooo needed this article today…just yesterday I got sucked back into the drama (it’s been over a year since Dday) with EXWP along with his mother who he now has buying his bullshit left right and centre….And of course this coincides with OW kicking him out for **surprise surprise** cheating on her too!

    So he’s unemployed, no fuck buddy, now living with his parents, in massive debt AND IT’S ALL MY FAULT. And of course, the reasons are plentiful and varied.

    The complete inability to take ownership for their own shitty choices (and by default, blame others) continues to blow my mind. My two year old has a better grasp on the concept than his father!!

  • I know I could win a contest. My ex was great. His whole life is a LIE. Decisions by these fuckwits are made like that ping pong ball on the ocean of life (us chumps however are sharks, a little blind when it comes to seeing the disordered). Like so many here I discovered his cheating the very day he asked me for a divorce. Not that life had been progressing very smoothly. My family and I were recovering from life challenges. If I hadn’t been the rock I’ve always been…Lol. I realized then that all these odd behaviors of his over the last few years actually made quite a bit of sense. My narc actually got a part time job (raise your hand if you recognize he was a peace officer!) working as a bailiff for the family court in the next county over from ours TWO years before telling me “Everything about MY LIFE is perfect except for YOU.” And then all those big purchases. The financial dissipation of assets. I thought I knew this man. He did everything in his power to intimidate and destroy me personally and financially. JJ your letter had one sentence that jumped out at me. And it was I don’t even know this man. You don’t. Please quickly get out. Get that settlement done now. My ex continues to mess with our kids and they are adults now. What they don’t know is all the other sordid stuff he did. I am so glad he is out of my life. Truth is that somewhere along the way the only thing of importance to him was his icky fantasy.

  • The problem with the “Hail Mary Pass” is that I turned around and tried to catch it many many times in the 7 years after the first DD. I tried so hard to make it work, with all the false hope heavy on my chest, year after year of more betrayals and pain. The real point of the Hail Mary pass is that it has so little chance of success that we need to ignore it, to turn our back and run for our lives. We need to stop playing the damned game and get off the f-ing field. If that pass hits us in the back of the head, it is still an incomplete pass and the game ends. It is the repeated trying to win him back, doing the pick-me dance over and over again, while he continues seeing the OW that wears you out. I admire the chumps who only allowed false reconciliation to last 6 months or less. I wish! I recall the few marriage counseling sessions we went to and his self-satisfied smirk, using that time to devalue me while his affairs kept going. I am glad the game is over. I won the game by stepping off the field.

    • ‘I won the game by stepping off the field.’ Meg, you have it, right there! But how sad is it that we truly loved these disordered freaks, truly tried to make things work, and then had to open our eyes to the reality of who they are, and walk away. Very very sad.

      • I bought into the fairy tales about love conquering all. It took me too long to figure out that he was NEVER who I though he was. He was a Narcissist: greedy, unloving, selfish, mean, me-me-me all the time. But I really loved him, and hoped that my love could fix his/our problems. Then that Hail Mary pass, and the football smacked me upside the head, and I saw stars but kept moving off the field and out of range!

  • OMG I’m so getting the Hail Mary Play. This week he tried to cut me off financially to get my attention and regain control, and now, after 6 months of running a 100 miles an hour away from me, and the kids, he wants to open lines of communication regarding the children’s lives. He doesn’t want to be simply a money donor. He wants a say in their lives.

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