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Dear Chump Lady, He’d have never met her — if I’d only been better?

idiotsDear Chump Lady:

I know he has talked himself into this belief. Originally, he said he didn’t know why he started talking to OW, having an EA first which then became physical. He said I was a good wife and a great mom. He even supposedly told OW that. After D-day #2 or was it #3, he said he thought he had fallen out of love with me and he was so attracted to her. We (I should say I) really tried for five years to reconcile. After D-day #5, hearing his voice on the voice-activated recorder telling her MANY times during that call how much he loved her, I had to end it. I filed for divorce and am finally single again and free of the bullshit! I can breathe again. He is living with OW and may actually be getting married to her once her divorce is final. Good for them!

However, last night I get word through a mutual friend that these two idiots submit to the idea that if their spouses were better spouses they would not have found each other and cheated!!!!! This just sends me over the edge!!! I thought about it all night. I talked to myself about it all night. Now….I know this isn’t one bit true and I can stand before him, her, friends, and family and hold fast to the fact that I was a damn good wife! I know nothing I did or didn’t do was going to change what he did, but I can’t tell you how much this bothers me. How long is this going to get under my skin? And why on earth do I let it??? And do you think they really believe this crap?

His logic must imply that he was perfect in the marriage, otherwise I would have cheated on him as well! Right??

Please help me understand this crazy thinking and help me find a way to get to meh with it!!!!

Thank you.

Kimmy

Dear Kimmy,

Oh yeah. That’s it exactly. He was perfect, which is why you didn’t cheat on him. You just enjoyed all that perfection, D-days one through five especially, while he suffered. You on the other hand were NOT perfect, which necessitated him cheating on you. Only the perfect people deserve fidelity — don’t you know that?

Were you infallible up the point he cheated? Nary a fault? Just came out of the starting gate all perfect and shiny, halo intact? Then what happened? Did you get a run in your stockings? Burn the pork chops? Get a very inconvenient head cold?

Well, whatever it was I’m sure that was the tipping point toward compelling him to fuck someone else. You and your flaws. You suck so bad that’s why he ate cake for five whole years and never divorced you — that’s exactly how intolerable you are — so intolerable you cannot be divorced.

You had to divorce HIM.

Of course your head hurts trying to understand this shit. It doesn’t make sense the way schizophrenics on street corners muttering to the voices in their head don’t make sense. It’s crazy talk.

Does he believe it? Oh, who knows. He believes it as much as he believes anything. A person like this is not tethered to reality (just like the schizophrenic), so why would you care what he believes?

He had a good wife. He fucked it up. Now he’d like to the point the finger at you and say YOU’RE not perfect. But apparently five D-days and five years of false reconciliation are an indication of what… his outstanding character? In his moral universe, what do you get to do because of his suckitude? Burn down orphanages?

Oh… that’s right. You’re the only one who sucks. Whatever. This is just the stupid shit cheaters say. One of their favorite cheater myths is — It’s all for the best.

Did I cheat on you? Decimate your finances? Leave you with a twitch? Do you require years of therapy? Got trust issues? Are you a single parent on a fixed income?

Hey! It’s all for the BEST! I mean, we’re all just in better places. You’ve really got your act together now — and hey, I noticed you’ve lost some weight. (Was that just for me? See, you can thank me for all the times I poked at your belly fat. What would you do without me?) Did you meet someone else? I don’t know who could put up with you, but hey, good for you. Cheating on you was really the best thing I could’ve done for… well, EVERYONE!

So yes, Kimmy. This is probably what they tell themselves. Did we lie and cheat and deceive our spouses? Did they divorce our sorry asses? Well gosh, they deserved to be the agent of our happiness for being so mean to divorce us. It’s All For The Best. We’re so good together! This joyous union could never have happened without their suckitude and our cake eating. And look at the kids — being so RESILIENT! Some people send their kids to Outward Bound to toughen ’em up, but not us. No, we fuck people we aren’t married to. That’ll stiffen their spines.

You want to get to Meh, Kimmy? Don’t try to understand crazy. Don’t spend one second of one minute of one day feeling like you were less than. HE cheated. He lied. He’s the loser. You’re bothered because after injuring you, he wants to insult you. But the two go together. Assholes who injure you are the same assholes who will insult you too. If you don’t believe me, read the crime pages of any newspaper.

“Well I had to rape and kill that hitch hiker. She was wearing short shorts.”

It’s what disordered people do — not just serial killers. (Although I must point out that Ariel Castro wanted the judge to believe that the women he locked and chained in his basement were in a “consensual” relationship with him.) These freaks all have the pathological inability to accept responsibility. Period.

Accept that — he’s a guy who insults and injures. Trust that he sucks. And laugh — he’s OW’s problem now.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Most people when ending a relationship say, “it’s not you, it’s me.” This entitled narc takes the opposite road. It’s you because he’s so incredibly special.

    That’s bullshit. You know, I know it…. He doesn’t have the mental capacity or character to realize that. 5 years of false reconciliation. That’s cake right there. That’s multiple layer cake. What narc cheater doesn’t like a 5 layer kibble cake? He didn’t divorce you. Nothing says character disorder than 5 years of betrayal.

    Kimmy, it sucks, but it’s time to be mighty. It will take time, but know that being alone for a while is far better than being in a one way relationship with somebody who devalues you and treats you like this. Meh will happen eventually. It takes time.

  • This is part of their general slander. I learned that during my entire marriage anything I told my ex was spun into a negative depiction for his family and girlfriends. While I trusted him with my struggles and feelings he acted all understanding to me and then got on the phone to his sister and used what I told him to spin me into whatever he needed to feel good about himself.

    Cheaters are slander artists. It goes along with their general fucker gestalt. They will do whatever feels most terrible to you, take all your sensitive areas and drill a hole right there. It’s like the Marathon Man dentist scene that CL once referred to.

    My new mantra is: Let them talk themselves into the grave. Every action and word has an opposite equal reaction—Don’t be that reaction—let it come from somewhere else. They will get hit by their own shit in a way that they will never expect.

    Get away and get a life. Let them talk and talk. They will shit on their own heads.

    • “I learned that during my entire marriage anything I told my ex was spun into a negative depiction for his family and girlfriends. ”
      Holy Cow..you nailed that on the head, Scoops! I’m pretty sure that everybody he’s ever talked to about me sees me as a psychotic crazy bitch who made his life a living hell, and wasn’t he such a good guy staying with me for long, before true love rescued him!

    • “Every action and word has an opposite equal reaction—Don’t be that reaction—let it come from somewhere else. They will get hit by their own shit in a way that they will never expect.

      Get away and get a life. Let them talk and talk. They will shit on their own heads.”

      My mantra is a simple variation of this . . . “Be Still”. I don’t do a thing against him or her, no words, not even a subtlety placed bait-y Facebook post. I am invisible and silent. I just keep out of the way and allow the Universe to have at it. It’s the only way to be. I really enjoy the peace. 😉

      • Amen, Rumblekitty! My friends ask why do you let him “get away” with (insert whatever shitty decision he’s made)? I told them 2 reasons. 1) He’s going to dig that hole so deep that no judge could ever believe any kind of lying spin he could put on it. 2) You can’t argue w crazy. Oh, I suppose you can, I just learned that nothing productive comes from it. 3) He can show nothing that I have done that would be considered “wrong”, or not in the best interest of the children, or in any way derogatory towards him. Just gassing up that karma bus!

        • I’ve had friends do the same thing . . . but like I tell them, he’s already gotten away with it. I’m not going to be that crazy bitch that chases him around demanding an apology or that all the wrongs be righted. He couldn’t/wouldn’t do that for me anyway so way bother wasting my breath? Besides any attention from me would be kibbles to him, and I’m not feeding him. He can let the new one kiss his ass cause I’m done. 🙂

          • Oh Rumblekitty, I just got this experience, the “I’m Done” you speak of really for the first time today!

            I went to a showing for my son’s film camp. Ex was there. My son tried to get us to hold hands as he always does. My heart breaks for my little guy. He is the fallout and he did nothing to deserve having one parent violate the other and the other feel constant revulsion for the psycho. Now that is his atmosphere.

            Afterward on my way home (my son went to ex) I did my usual explaining in my head, telling him why what he did was so damaging and violent. Then I stopped and thought:

            Would I really want to explain this to him yet again? What would it do? Then I realized I AM DONE. No more teaching right from wrong. NO more explaining my feelings to someone who cannot receive and respect. I felt lighter. Yes rumble, me too. I’m done. I hope this lasts forever.

            • Yep; I find that if I have and imaginary conversation with him like that, where I try to get him to see how badly he messed up, it would go nowhere. There just is no point. Save that energy for yourself. I’ve gotten quite good at diverting myself away from thinking about the cluster F that is him and instead focusing on me. It took a lot of practice, but now I just shut him off.

              I’m lucky I don’t have a kid with him so, I understand it’s easier for me since I have NO contact with this guy. But you’ll see you will start to default to “done” more and more as time goes on.

      • When will I be able to do this? I want to do this, “be still,” and achieving some good duration between the angry texting about how hurtful he is, but I am only a month and a half from DDay. I want to let life take care of this but struggling with what he is telling my 19-year-old especially and desperate to protect her with the truth. This is the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life: losing weight, can’t concentrate, intrusive thoughts, obsessive thoughts, sadness, anger. I am a wreck.

        • I don’t have any answers, but I just wanted to say hang in there. Please do your best to take care of yourself. It is so very hard in the early months. I found taking walks and just sitting outside for a few minutes at lunchtime really helped me a lot during the hardest time. It gets better….time really does help.

          • Hi movingon,

            I struggle with intrusive thoughts, anger and sadness too. I am 14 months since D-day. But when I look back at how I am doing now to those early months, it is a world of difference.

            I used to compose letters in my head to the attorney general (referring to cheater’s efforts to completely dehumanize me using an organization I trusted as allies in his cheater shit) whenever I was alone. I used to feel shaken, running from Effexor to Prozac and now I do not need those drugs and feel alive much of the time.

            I used to not be able to spend the nights without my child without raging uncontrollably. Feeling ripped from my child. Now I can see that life goes on. It’s not how I want things to be but I am able to sit with myself and draw some comfort.

            I take comfort in reading the experiences of chumps here. None of us did anything to deserve being fucked over and violated. Feel free to take me and everyone here along with you—talk to us.

            As NothernLight says: hang in there.

            I work as a home PT and did a lot of walking all over NYC from home to home. I rode every train in my commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan to get from place to place. Think of Forrest Gump–running for three years—I needed to walk, run and talk off all this rage and injustice—I felt crazy–out of control, out of my body–the ebbs and flows and then I would get some peace and cherish those moments.

            I still struggle, but in the last month can really see change. I expect it to take about three years to feel myself–to be distant from cheater, enough so that I do not feel the anger take over.

            We will all get there. You are going through the hardest time. Be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself. Tell yourself that you will be okay, that of course you are obsessing and raging—someone you trusted with your life used that trust to try to destroy you—and they are roaming around free without accountability—–Of course you are raging and you still have to deal with the piece of shit. Give yourself a break by understanding—try different things—it will loosen its grip in time.

            These are things I have done that have helped me that I offer respectfully.

            Remember: The wheels of justice turn slowly but they grind exceedingly fine.

            • I hope the letter to attorney general was completed and sent 😉
              Think of it as karma in your hands.
              Seriously, it’s one thing to be a cheater, another to behave unethically in the business world. Send it, if you haven’t.

              • Hi Monika,

                Thank you so much for your support. A friend of mine who is a civil rights lawyer at ACLU edited the letter. I put it aside because I needed to get all of those monsters out of my head. Once I get my life back I am going to edit the letter and also write about my experience with a group of bully birthers who know nothing but deception. These BABS nutters are mean girls on steroids. They live on gossip and love to dominate women outside of their inner circle by using what they learn about them in their intimate spaces. They really are nasty. Hard to believe I had anything to do with them—-I will take your words and when the time is right I will act.

              • Hit them where it hurts (pockets, if they lose their jobs or get demoted.)
                Narcissists and nasty people don’t care if they hurt your feelings so you’ll never get vindication if you hope that one day they’ll wake up one day and feel remorseful. But in business, they’ll likely to experience some form of humiliation, and that’s all you could really hope for. Fundamentally fucked up people don’t change. Sorry, maybe I’m too cynical.

        • Movingon – you are at the early days yet. But it will get better. At this stage you need to make sure you eat some high quality protein every day, exercise if you can (I walked for hours, as Chumpectomy says, like Forrest Gump) – ruthless and extreme self-care for you and your daughter.

          It is good you are getting some space between contacting him – stick with it – even though it seems impossible, the less you contact him the easier it will get for you. Contact at this stage is a bit like junk food – you want it, you crave it, it feels good while you’re eating it, but afterwards you feel unsatisfied, unwell and regret it.

          Read CLs back issues – they will help – and vent here if you need to. You will get through this.

        • Movingon,
          Like everyone says, you’re in the beginning of a walk through the dark forest. That’s what it’s like. It sucks, and you think you won’t come out of it, but you will.

          I lost 40 lbs in two months. I slept on my sofa the first 4 months with the TV on because I couldn’t stand silence or being in what was our bedroom. Since you’re brand new to this, here’s what I did in the beginning to prop myself up:
          1) Prozac and Xanax if I couldn’t sleep.
          2) Got a great therapist I saw weekly.
          3) Absolutely no contact with the cheating hyena. You need this.
          4) Ensure or Boost shakes; or I’d eat those little Stouffer’s entree’s because I had no appetite at all and they are small portions. You have to eat. At least a little bit.

          This stuff was essential because I was just gutted. The only thing I could do was make it to work and crawl back to my couch after I got home. And that’s fine – Sleep is great.

          I’m 8 months past D-day now and divorced, and every day I wake up grateful for making it through and amazed that I am so happy. If you told me that I would be OK, I would have never believed it. You’ll get there too, promise.

    • “. I learned that during my entire marriage anything I told my ex was spun into a negative depiction for his family and girlfriends. While I trusted him with my struggles and feelings he acted all understanding to me and then got on the phone to his sister and used what I told him to spin me into whatever he needed to feel good about himself.”

      This is EXACTLY what happened to me. EXACTLY.

      • Happened to me too. Exactly like that. And that’s what eats at me the most. That I exposed my vulnerabilities (stupidly it was mainly whilst doing the pathetic ‘pick me’ dance because he’d accused me if being cold and distant.) So you guessed it, I spilled my guts only to have it all used against me later to prove I was ‘insecure’ ‘unstable’ etc. etc. I’m still so angry about it I could scream!

    • “Let them talk themselves into the grave. Every action and word has an opposite equal reaction—Don’t be that reaction—let it come from somewhere else. They will get hit by their own shit in a way that they will never expect….Get away and get a life. Let them talk and talk. They will shit on their own heads.”

      Oh so true, Chumpectomy!

    • “Cheaters are slander artists”

      Amen. I don’t know what my wife has said about me or what she will say during the divorce process and after, but here’s a little story about a friend of mine:

      He met “the perfect woman,” sparkly as hell, a talented musician (like him), beautiful, charming, etc. They got engaged, she became pregnant, they married. Shortly after the baby was born it came to light that she had been cheating on him with a variety of men and women ever since they had been together, and that most of the people he knew in the small local music community had known that. He decided not to get a paternity test, divorced his cheater and is now the primary parent raising their daughter.

      Anyhow, a while back I was cowriting a song with another musician from the same small island, a younger guy who knew both of them by reputation and slightly socially. We got to talking about my friend. The young guy had the impression that the marriage had ended due to my friend drinking too much. Because, yeah, no huge surprise, when this all came out he started drinking a lot. But what sort of person would let people believe that story after having almost destroyed a man through betrayal? Makes me sick.

    • Chumpectomy, all I can say is thank you. Thank you for understanding and describing exactly what went on in my relationship. Everything was spun in a negative way. I could be speaking at normal volume and accused of yelling. I would try building him up and told “I don’t want a cheerleader.” I like the term “fucker gestalt,” (CL should add that to the other apt words that help me to understand my cheater, e.g., fucktard, cake eater, etc.). I am still reeling from the impact of my negative and dysfunctional relationship and DDay was only a month and a half ago. (I found out after we divorced that he had been cheating on me for several years). I need wise words such as yours and really want to thank you. You said, “Cheaters are slander artists. It goes along with their general fucker gestalt. They will do whatever feels most terrible to you, take all your sensitive areas and drill a hole right there.” This is so very very true, I can’t emphasize it enough.

      Unfortunately, my 19-year-old, home from college for the summer, is living with dad and experiencing his severe slander of me. I feel like I am slowly unwinding from learning about who I truly am, e.g., I am not bad, evil, an idiot (names I was called almost daily). And honestly, I truly feel blessed for this blog and feel glimpses of healing but what’s happening with ex and daughter stabs me in the heart and is the main source of my pain right now. I am really grasping that ex sucks. I am given gifts almost daily about how much he sucks like his literally running out of a therapy session planned to discuss our kids, ripping up a check made out to both of us for over $600 from homeowner’s insurance because he doesn’t trust that I will give him half, telling the mediator he is certain I paid her a kickback and that she is inept (done in a text), reneging on a promise to give me some furniture he stored, using power and control to cause conflicts over my child support, and worst, poisoning the mind of my oldest daughter. Thankfully, my youngest is so disgusted by him she refuses to have anything to do with him and lives with me full-time.

      As you can see I am new to all this still and have a need to vent. I did not mean to go on and on but I just feel that everyone here gets it so much, which is helping me move on. I am still in some pretty escalated emotions and find each day a struggle. Thank you again for listening.

      • b.f., I’m so sorry you’re going through all this, but I’m very glad you’re here. There are so many smart, funny and supportive people here who understand exactly where you’re coming from, and some days just knowing there are others out there who ‘get it’ can make the difference between powering through and staying in bed all day with the covers pulled over you. 🙂 I don’t know what I’d do without this board! As for what’s going on with your 19 year-old, one thing I’ve found out through this whole hideous process is that kids are no dummies. They see and hear and understand so much more than we think they do, and if your youngest already figured it out, your 19 year-old will, too. Big hug to you, and stay strong.

        • Welcome b.f. to the community no one chose to be in but grateful to at least be together to learn in our shared cheater disasters. It sounds like your asshole was extremely abusive. Mine was extremely passive aggressive and did not call me names but looked irritated and disgusted by me, I received the same message for over five years. What helped me is to go No Contact. He does not get to weigh in his “opinion” of you any longer. Whatever comes out of him is pure shit made to hurt.

          Mine also gets on a campaign to get my son to think I am crazy. Extremely hurtful especially when wanted your child to learn respect and empathy and honesty. To have to share custody with a liar is horrible.

          Try as much as you can to distance yourself from him and make a new life without anything to do with him. Read CL’s book. It really helped me to not give the fool anymore kibbles. Anything you have–all feelings and thoughts that you give this piece of shit is kibbles for him–he will use it to feed and make you miserable. If you withdraw completely (or as much as possible given your 19 year old) you will one day be free of all of his slander and chaos and you will show your daughter what is true by living the truth.

          Keep writing and taking us with you. You will get through this, even if it takes a while. After 14 months I am beginning to get myself back. It is a gift. I love your list of what to be grateful for–absolutely true. Thank you for writing it.

  • Wow…just had a good cry over this post. I could have written it myself and this issue is exactly where I struggle. Trust me when I say that I had no idea that my stbxh was so profoundly unhappy in our marriage. I hadn’t a clue until I found out about the affair…and then it seemed like he and I had lived two completely different realities. It is a daily struggle to think that I am somehow “less than” the AP…a woman who has been married and divorced twice, engaged in affair #3 with my stbxh and left her current husband and children to be with him. I know in my head that I have done absolutely nothing wrong…but my heart keeps whispering that it’s somehow my fault. So, thank you for this post CL. I’m going to bookmark it and read it every time that fear starts creeping in and the doubts about myself begin to blossom.

    • LHC,
      Wow, the AP sounds like a real prize! 2 Divorces and leaves children and second husband for your cheating husband, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN! This makes YOU feel bad?

      This should make you feel great that you are no longer with this kind of Creep who is so selfish and chooses someone who disposes of their children and husband to be with a guy who clearly came from a trash can. This automatically elevates you way above the Trash that is your stbxh and AP. You are golden!!!

      Don’t feel bad about that, be thrilled!

      • Deborah, you are right. It’s been a bit of a process to accept who and what my stbxh has become. He is a man I no longer recognize : (

        • No, he is just really is the person you see now. He didn’t become that he is that! You are just really seeing that in all it’s glory for the first time. I know how hard that is to process and wrap your head around. Go easy on yourself and not on him.

          Do straight people turn gay overnight? No as Lady Gaga says, you are born this way, with a little help from your environment and experiences. I think your core personality is formed when you are born. Otherwise how do you explain the vastly different personalities of children who all grow up in the same house?

          • Thanks for this, Deborah. I think lots of us feel like our X is someone we no longer recognize (I know I sure do), and it’s tough to wrap the brain around the fact that the change is less in the other person than in our own ability to see straight.

            • This could not be more true. I don’t recognize my ex at all and I feel like I am in a constant state of disbelief.

      • The MOW my STBX left me for kicked her H out and 8 days later moved mine in to be her meal ticket. She kept the kids but otherwise exact same scenario. We know in our heads these are disordered people but it still hurts like a motherfucker.

        • Yes, I have been realizing exactly what you said. I know ex is very mentally ill and diagnosable (Narcissistic Personality Disorder with features of borderline and antisocial, cluster B) but thank you for saying it so perfectly chumpittychump (great name by the way and makes me smile, which I need) “it still hurts like a motherfucker.”

    • I am right there with you! Divorce is over (3 months now) and I am still beating myself up about what I should’ve /could’ve/ would’ve done differently in the marriage. And then also after finally getting courage to kick his arse to the curb, I continue to question: did I do it too soon? would he have eventually wanted to stay with me?

      Then I have to remind myself about his AP and that had NOTHING to do with me!

    • LHC-Wow, let’s just say your STBX really likes his gum, er women, in the ABC, found in a pile of dog shit mode. That’s class and high cuisine right there I tell ya, what a lucky guy he is to have that kind of AP. You are definitely waaaaay above him AND the AP. I highly, highly doubt someone is going to go looking in a pile of shit to find you. You’re the type that’s got the premium spot on the shelf, high price, b/c you’re of value. YOU are worth so much more.

    • Not that it matters but just wanted to clarify…it was affair #3 for the AP. To the best of my knowledge my stbxh had never engaged in cheating behavior prior to hooking up with her : (

      • Whether there was more prior or not, it’s still massive betrayal and he’s still soooooooo not worth it. YOU are.

    • lovehonorcherish–

      My STBX is having an affair with a woman who’s twice married, twice divorced, and who has a history of affairs with older, married men. She’s overweight, drinks too much (primary cause of her weight gain), spends beyond her means, and complains about how her previous husbands were abusive. STBX, at least in his mind, is the White Knight riding to her rescue.

      Once I got past looking at OW as the source of the problem, I started to think about what she finds attractive in men. Older–check, STBX is over 10 years older, and she’s made him grow a goatee that makes him look even older! Higher income–check; STBX is not wealthy, but makes a very good salary for our area. Married–check; STBX and I had been married for about 15 years before she showed up. Abusive–wait! What’s this?

      Here is where I had to stop and think. OW’s picker has been terrible–and it sounds like the OW in your case has a terrible picker, too. I had to confront just how much I’ve spackled over the years, and how much I’ve apologized on his behalf.

      So the upshot is this. STBX has a terrible picker if he’s attracted to someone like OW. I’m glad he’s no longer attracted to me, since that means I’m definitely the better choice! 🙂 And that OW is attracted to STBX is a huge red flag.

      I bet if you look at your cheater and his AP in a similar light, you’ll see that you are definitely the better person, and those two deserve each other.

      • kb,

        Reverend Imaho’s divorce from her third husband was final in October of 2012, she and the STBX were having an emotional affair in November of 2012 and he was talking about us separating and divorcing in January 2013. She has a pattern of jumping from man to man as if they’re oxygen and she can’t breathe unless she’s hooked up to one. The STBX wants to be adored and doted on and the center of someone’s universe – as long as it is completely on his terms. No normal person can sustain that – although God knows I tried. Just writing about it is making me tired.

        I think Rumblekitty’s description of them as hyenas is perfect. I’ve often described both of them as predators who just don’t want to work that hard for their prey so they will feed off of what is easily available.

  • Cheaters love to rewrite history as they go along, and whoever they’re sleeping with is usually happy to jump on board with the new version. Until it’s about them later, which it will be. He has to convince OW that you did something wrong so she’ll trust that he won’t cheat on her as long as she’s “perfect”. Perfect is part of infatuation and will be gone in the blink of an eye. The good news is that she’ll be exactly where you are at some point. The bad is that you have these thoughts in the meantime. “Trust that he sucks”, and trust that she will find it out too! Now go do some fabulous things with all the time you’re getting back not being in fake reconciliation!!!

      • Sandy R, because they are in an imaginary honeymoon phase. They think it will last forever. It won’t 🙂 my ex goes through these phases with one woman after another – he’s starting to run out of stories why it “just wasn’t going to work out” when he dumps them…meanwhile, at least half of the women (some I didn’t even know about) have approached me online to tell me what a prick he is and that they “should have known” by how he treated me and our son. Funny how opinions change when the honeymoon phase/infatuation is over. And it always ends!

        • lale..my STBX has been having an affair with the same OW for 3 years. He left me on Dday for her. My thought is..there’s really no longer that “honeymoon effect” for them. After seeing each other for so long, I imagine they’ve settled in to their serious relationship after all this time. I think that’s why I have trouble with this. Knowing that they’ve been together long-term already, and are still together..makes me think that yes..it IS true love for them. And as many other posters have said here on CL..the OW is fat, with bleach-blonde hair, leathery tanning-booth skin, and spends 99% of her time getting drunk in the bar. That’s their entertainment. They get plastered at the bar most nights, get into fights with other people, and get thrown in jail. What a classy life they lead. As for me? I’m not a Barbie doll, but I’ve always been called “cute”, I’ve worked the same job for over 22 years, I’ve handled all of the responsibilities financially and raising the kids for 25 years, while he’s done nothing. He’s been employed, I am not saying he doesn’t work. But that’s it. Never lifted a finger to do anything for 26 years. And he got rid of me for HER?

          • You said it all: They want to drink most nights, get into fights and end up in jail. You are an adult. They are pseudo adults that prefer a life built around alcohol, easy sex and fighting. He “got rid of you for her” because you are an adult and by being an adult, you put restrictions on his behavior. He prefers his cake with alcohol, with a side order of bar fighting and finding bail money.

            It’s a tremendous compliment that you were too good for him to think you would live that way.

            • Thanks, LovedaJackass. It just makes me feel terrible that I did so much over the years to keep our marriage intact, and to give our kids as good a home as I could. I took on the responsibilities, so he could do the job he wanted to do, long-haul trucker, which meant he wasn’t home much to begin with. But I truly worked so hard over the years, only to be thrown over for someone like her. It just hurts me to no end! Would I have felt better if he dumped me for a wealthy Barbie doll? Probably not. But good grief I can’t believe who he chose. One thing he has thrown in my face is that my family never included him in anything. My Dad and 2 brothers-in-law golfed and fished quite a bit, and STBX never went. Well number one..he wasn’t ever home! So Dad couldn’t just plan things when STBX decided to swing by and see his family every few weeks. I just feel really, really bad about myself; and bothered by the lifestyle he has chosen to live. This drunken bar-fighting jerk isn’t the man I thought I knew for the last 26 years. I just don’t understand how you can go from one lifestyle to the extreme opposite!

            • “He prefers his cake with alcohol, with a side order of bar fighting and finding bail money”

              That is hilarious, by the way LovedaJackass! Thank you for making me have a laugh for once!

              • I know how you’re feeling. The MOW in my situation isn’t the drinking, fighting, hoochie you are dealing with, but she is very self-absorbed and immature. What helped me was understanding that he didn’t “choose” her OR me for our characters or even looks. He went for kibbles–the attention he could get, how both of us helped him live in a past time in which he felt powerful and superior. They have no frame of reference for what we think of as love. As I ponder the mystery of how someone can “love me” for years (so he said) and push me aside to have an instant romance with a married woman who was a 12 year-old when he knew her, it seems to me the things that we assume should matter in picking a partner don’t matter to many of them. Their pickers aren’t necessarily set to look for “attractive,” “smart,” “wealthy,” or “kind.” They aren’t set for “good housekeeper” or “professionally accomplished,” although any of those qualities might be a bonus. What I am coming to think is that the AP are either just available or they offer ego kibbles in a form that is meaningful to the cheater. And it might be that they spend a number of years wearing their masks and just can’t do it any more.

              • My therapist says this about what Jackass saw in his MOW: “She worshipped him” He didn’t care what she looked like, that she isn’t smart, that she was willing to dishonor her brother by starting up their affair at his memorial, that she isn’t all that attractive. She makes him feel like he’s 18 and bulletproof again. She worships him. And 6 weeks after my D-Day, he kicked HER to the curb. Who knows why, but I speculate that getting caught tarnished his lovely little secret affair. And while she still worshipped him, my guess is that she wanted to be worshipped too and it was of course HER FAULT that they got caught, or something like that. As P.F. says so well in the post below, in the APs eyes, the cheater is perfect. A superior being. People grounded in the real world know that neither they nor their partners are perfect and they would find worshipping a partner or being worshipped to be weird and creepy.

      • I asked my cheater in marriage counselling what on earth she saw in the OM, because I just couldn’t hold in my mind that she found us both attractive. The marriage counsellor twisted my question into “What do you find attractive about ANR” but that’s not what I wanted to know. My wife didn’t really answer either question, but after the session she was pissed and asked “Are you asking me to justify the attraction to you?” as if that were the worst thing in the world. It’s hard to be objective, of course, but here’s a brief comparison:

        Me: 48, 6’1, 175 lbs, pretty good shape, fairly good looking, bright, respectful, gentle, kind, non-drinker, good provider

        Him: 60ish, 5’10, probably 230 lbs a lot of which is belly fat — looks like a formerly athletic guy gone to seed, which he is, not unhandsome, bright, disrespectful, devious, cheats on his wife, manipulative, much higher income than me but hugely in debt, really heavy drinker

        Whatever. I would guess the big attraction was a) fresh kibbles, b) no responsibilities associated with him, whereas she and I have a family and home, c) she gets to be a saviour! d) money

        • ANR, let me see if I have this right. You’re a tall, attractive, non-cheating, non-drinking, respectful musician who lives on an island? Rock on! It’s definitely not you, it’s her.

          • Haha! Mostly right — I’m an awful musician, but a pretty good songwriter (who is sane enough to do it as a sideline). I’m wary of calling myself attractive, but compared to most men my age I’m doing OK. I don’t, unfortunately, live on an island — that’d be my friend.

        • I think if someone wants to cheat, they may have to accept a partner who isn’t so great. A guy your age who is as good-looking and smart and nice as you could get a woman who wasn’t married.

      • Sandy R – they think OW is perfect because OW think’s his is perfect. It’s that simple. They make each other feel all Sparkly! And Special!

        No doubt it wears off once they have to start washing each other’s undies and arguing over who’s turn it is to get groceries. At they stage one or both of them will start cheating again, or if no other opportunities arise, they may find themselves stuck with each other in order to justify their betrayal of you. It’s poetic justice that they end up together. And you are free.

    • True. It’s an emotional immaturity that allows them to view passing fancies as absolute truths, and to state them as such, without regard to context, historical accuracy and consistency with prior-statements (or beliefs, intentions, promises, goals, etc.). I think that most of them believe everything he or she is saying at the moment they are uttering this stuff, but their beliefs and intentions have a short shelf life, making anything that comes out of their mouths wholly unreliable in the long term.

      • Wastedheart,

        This is because there is seldom, if ever, any thought given to the long-term impact or consequence of their decisions. It’s like dealing with children, because children don’t have enough lived experience to have a frame of reference from which to evaluate their behavior and possible consequences. This is the perfect description of my STBX’s life. He lives in his own head, creates his own reality and the only consequence of his choices that he ever considers as actually possible is the outcome that he envisions and has mapped out. One of my children has compared him to a spoiled child who has to have his way and instant gratification and if he can’t, metaphorically pouts and stomps his foot.

        Any time I tried to point out that the consequence he believed would happen was the LEAST likely possible outcome, he would become angry and petulant at which point he would either (a) find some way to mete out an emotional punishment (compulsive porn-viewing, silent treatement, withholding sex, an emotional and/or physical affair, etc., or some combination of all of these) or (b) do what he wanted and when things went foul and negative consequences began to ensue, he would call upon me to extricate him from those consequences, because suddenly “we” had a problem.

        As I type this I realize how totally exhausting, mind-boggling and soul destroying it has been dealing with an adult who behaves this way.

        • So well stated, Chump Princess. I TOTALLY get what you mean. “Soul destroying” is such a good description of these jerks.

        • We married the same guy!! OMG – It’s like you were sitting in my living room describing our interactions! Oh yes! It’s “his” money & “our” bills. Funny how that works.
          I finally realized that it was a waste of breath & energy to try to explain or reason with these fucktards. So I just keep looking for the karma bus – which I swear I can hear revving it’s engine in the distance.

          • whodathunk,

            I usually heard HE “had money” but “WE” were broke. I never understood how he could have money to spend, but when it ran out, “we” would be broke and “I” had to make sacrifices until there was more money – for him. Although he was the major earner, aside from time I took off to stay home with new babies (a cumulative total of about 2 1/2 years of the entire 25 year marriage) I worked outside the home and contributed much to our finances.

            These assholes must attend classes in “Disordered Cheating Fucktard Money Mismanagement 101.”

    • OMG!! So true. My XH came up with so many reasons for him leaving me, that I started calling them “reason of the week.” When all was said and done, I think he left me because he decided that I was a “an overweight gossipy drunken undermining shrew that was making him old before his time.” Now he didn’t say that in so many words, but he left me because:

      1. I drank too much…. So I enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine in the evening. Who wouldn’t want to escape from him?
      2. I had gained weight, but I gave him 2 kids and so I wasn’t a size 4 like when we married
      3. I enjoyed a good “dish” like anyone and he was all about what the neighbors were doing too
      4. So, I didn’t let him beat the kids or yell at our autistic son when he was pissed at them. Wow, I guess I really did undermine his authority.
      5. He saw his dad before he left me and decided that he looked old because he was married to a woman that didn’t make him happy. His dad looked old…not because he was unhappy in his marriage, but because he was 75, smoked a pack a day and drank alot.

      But, whatever helps the XH sleep at night. 🙂

    • lale, you are awesome, “…has to convince OW that you did something wrong so she’ll trust that he won’t cheat on her…” Wow, so well said. Everyone here is so smart and I really appreciate it.

  • Cheaters crave illusion, and those who cheat with them contribute to the delusion. A cheater, in the eyes of their affair partner are perfection. It’s this illusion, that convinces them that the spouse is less than, not worthy. The affair partner see’s the “real” and exceptional non-farting, romantic, sexy, interesting persona. The affair partner laughs at the old jokes and the old recycled stories of their past are new again to the ear of the affair partner.

    What a cheated on spouse’s greatest flaw is not appreciating the wonderfulness of their cheater. To be a cheater, is to be above the average human, in an affair, the cheater is elevated to a mystical being. This mystical being is usually resurrected in a hotel room…a back seat of a car, an business trip or while sexting in the bathroom where they compelled to take selfies of their magnificent groin and post haste send it to their adoring affair partner.

    Cheaters are in love with being in love. The kind of Tom Cruise jumping on a couch kind of love. Cheaters, are more about bells and whistles, cake buffets and the persona they imagine themselves to be. How can this compete with reality. A cheated on spouse is mirror of the reality they are escaping from.

      • The “Tom Cruise” analogy is brilliant. Their “love” is a performance, a show. People could intuit that something was off about that performance. And if we remember that when chumps fall in love, that’s something different, an emotional stage that is intended as a gateway to a deeper, more profound and intimate experience. So when we wonder “what happened?” and “did my partner ever love me?” the answer is that the cheater is in love with being in love. Think about it: “being in love” is about our own feelings, about the rush, the excitement, the feeling of oneness, the sense of being bulletproof in a harsh world. It’s a high. When PF says that cheaters are in love with being in love, PF is saying that cheater are in love with themselves and how that initial experience gets them high. Just as an active alcoholic or addict is not available for intimate relationships because the drug of choice is the love object, the cheater is not available for intimate relationship because the other person serves merely to create a transient feeling in the cheater.

        • Very true, Jackass. When I was kicking ex out he was babbling on about how HE felt, how the situation made HIM feel. It wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about myriad OW, it was all about him and the high he was feeling.

          These days he’s a bit deflated and seems to be running around trying to keep up the image but from the few times I’ve seen him that is one broken down man. No confidence, empty, just a sad shell. The look in his eyes is bizarre and I’d almost feel sorry for him if I didn’t know what a fuck head he is.

          • Yup…My XH. Being in love with being in love. Mr. Sparkles jumping on couches all right! I caught him burning cd’s of his favorite music for Shcmoopie. (he lied and said he was making the cd’s to take to work to listen to) I found out after dday that he had numerous affairs over the years before we were married…while he was married to other wives. He went from woman to woman to woman. Constantly falling in ‘love.’ It seems we all had a shelf life of approximately 5 years before he fell madly in love with someone else and all the crazy making bullshit started all over. I didn’t know about his past when I met him. Schmoopie DID but she honestly thought she was the Special One. The Anointed One with the platinum pussy that could keep him from fucking around. Right.

            • So does my XH’s Schmoopie. She is his “first” love and don’t you know how special that is (this is what she actually told me.) In a text between them, she said, “On some level I feel sad that we have done this to her, but I just had to be with you.” If she only knew that he and I had been sleeping together and that he has his profile out there on adult dating websites. Yup. She is the Special One!

              • What you and Nord say above is why it makes no sense to blame ourselves for their choices. Some of these guys have a longer shelf life for relationships, some shorter. And some can wallow in their miserable limbo in between things–or maybe in between they have lesser text or FB affairs that never make their major narrative. (Jackass has a blank space of 4 or 5 years where he says nothing was going on with him, not that I believe a word out of his con artist mouth.) But they are all working on lining up and taking in kibbles. That is hard work; I’m not being a bit sarcastic here. What if we all had to run out, find 2 or 3 people that attract us enough to “fall in love,” and juggle all that for years and years? But whatever their individual patterns, once a relationship ceases to satisfy enough of the kibble need, they are off on the hunt. Once upon a time, they fell in love with the now-scorned spouse, but that “love” has a built-in shelf life. If any of you have ever lived with someone addicted to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or gambling, you will know what “anxiety about the supply” is about. Spouses and APs provide supply, and it looks to me like “falling in love” kibbles are highly desirable, and spouses don’t have those in the kibble dispenser.

            • Yep, final OW thinks she’s special and their love is the bestest love of all, despite knowing he was banging other OW while seeing her and married to me. Fun times! I will snicker when it all falls apart and indications are that he’s sliding back into his old tricks.

            • “The Anointed One with the platinum pussy that could keep him from fucking around. Right.”

              Brilliant!

          • Oh Nord, I must admit it warms my heart to hear about your ex. What happened to the joys of “two wuv”?? Must be sickening to one day wake up to a niggling suspicion that they are stuck with someone much like themselves, and that they have lost what they should have valued like so much dust in the wind.

            But their hubris does not allow them to believe anything other than that they are the real victims of their own mess.

            As we say here, poor sausages.

            • Don’t get me wrong, ex still, to this day, tells the kids why he ‘had’ to cheat on me and why we are equally responsible for the divorce and blah blah blah. A few months away from 3 years since dday and he still can’t stop talking about it. As one of my kids said to me recently, ‘You were a mess when this happened but you’ve moved on. Dad can’t move on. He acts like it jsut happened’. He’s obsessed with the whole mess but that’s his problem. I have my thoughts on why that is but at the end of the day I don’t really care enough to verbalise any of it.

    • Yes PF, I witness my husband jumping on the couch in couples counseling yesterday . He was jumping with joy because he just realized that cheating for over 14 years in our 22 year old marriage made him a better husband. The psychologist had to stop himself from reacting. It was hilarious. He truly believes his delusions.

      • It’s ironically predictable that cheaters act like fifteen year olds. It’s as though their idea idea of love is relegated to that pimply, pubescent, over dramatized feeling. These folks have not progressed beyond their teens.

        My ex-wife preferred teenage love. For her, adult love came with too many restrictions, those restrictions were basically a reluctance of maturity.

        These cheaters, with their talk of music, burning the cd’s, the selfies, the bubble gum philosophy, the teenaged rebellion against their adult spouse, as if it were Mommy or Daddy who was giving them a curfew.

        These cheaters, jump on couches, burn CD’s and write substandard love letters. these folks are divers that think a puddle is an ocean.

        • Yup – a love forged in betrayal, fertilized by secrecy, lies and the pain of others, and memorialized by furtive texts and groin-selfies; fifty year old teenagers is right.

        • Yeah–and the F***ing adolescent smirking. The “you aren’t the boss of me,” the sneaking around, and the delight in fooling the “grown up.” I’d known Jackass for 30+ year as a friend and had never seen him smirk or behave like an awkward adolescent until we were in a supposed committed relationship and he started to cheat.

          • Wow, this is a brilliant description…exactly like my STBX! Wrote ridiculously bad poems to his OW and texted millions of stupid emoticons that our 7 year old taught him how to use…

            • OMG. The emoticons. STBX emoticon filled texts coincide with the start of his affair. He was so proud of himself because he was now so cool and on the know.

              • My STBX is so cool and awesome and proud of himself because he Snapchats the final OWhore.

              • Oh yes. He also began Snapchatting recently. Just like my tween. I really do need to trust that he sucks.

  • Hi Kimmy,
    It’s a pattern they all repeat. Remove yourself completely from the equation. It’s all on him. The way I see that it works is that once the honeymoon phase is over, your relationship with them is over. It has to be light and fun all the time for them. When it becomes something they are not into any more they move on. No attachment from them. They are all toxic and totally unstable and therefore not good for any kind of relationship. Their “sensitivity chip is missing”, they are a one note musician. After my experience I see that all people are interchangeable with them.

    Then when it’s over they have to protect themselves so they say to themselves and others what keeps them looking good or keeps them looking like the victim. Reality has no place with these weirdos. I wouldn’t let it bother you one bit, look how crazy it is what he is doing. There is no reality basis or truth to it so who cares. It suits his purposes so he says it. It has no weight or meaning.

    You know the truth and that is all you need to know. Let him go get married and do the same thing all over again to someone else. Feel relieved and very happy that it isn’t happening to you any more.

    I have no idea what my former crazy said to people once I was totally gone nor do I even care. Some already saw how crazy and weird he was after we were done. He would run up to people I know and ask how our friend was, referring to me, then he would say to them I felt the relationship could have been saved, meaning he felt that. Now these people all knew what happened so how crazy does he look? He has an air of weirdness and creepiness that I saw at first and then spackled so clearly others see it.

    Do you think it’s normal to be married and just continue cheating and stay married? Then get a divorce and hop right into another marriage without mourning the loss of the first one at all? That screams a lot of not dealing with reality problems to me.

    My therapist who I went to for 3 months after my toxic relationship ended, said to me, “you have to be in a relationship with a level playing field.”

    That is really what it all comes down to isn’t it?

    Let him be crazy, don’t slide down to the lower end of the very tilted playing field that he is on to join him. Let him stand there at the bottom by himself and be crazy all by himself.

    Good luck and I hope you can really take in what I said because it is without one doubt true.

    You should be so grateful that this part of your life is over and revel in that fact and have fun and start enjoying a life without that kind of toxic, mean, non reality based crazy. Stop him from hurting you in any way any more. He is not worth it, or as CL says, “TRUST THAT HE SUCKS”! He Does.

    • “Their sensitivity chip is missing”!!! Absolutely spot on with this one!

      I often felt as tho he would have cried for days if our dog died but would have walked right over my body if I lay motionless on the floor in front of him!

    • “Do you think it’s normal to be married and just continue cheating and stay married? Then get a divorce and hop right into another marriage without mourning the loss of the first one at all? That screams a lot of not dealing with reality problems to me.”
      That is exactly what’s happening to me, Deborah. That’s why I asked a few posts ago..why is the OW so special? Why continue to cheat on me with her for 3 years, then dump me when I find out and go directly with her permanently?

      • Because you saw the man behind the mask and he knows it will never be the same with you. The Jackass literally told me that he couldn’t “tolerate” my saying that he had a FB affair with his MOW. He couldn’t TOLERATE that the way some people can’t “tolerate” milk or shellfish. Or like Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” couldn’t tolerate anything from the elven world. “It burrrrns.” They go to the AP because they can’t be alone. It’s really pretty simple. Why move into an apartment and pay for everything and clean the toilet and go without daily kibbles?

        These types of cheaters prefer cake, in secrecy, which allows them to feel superior and in control: You aren’t the boss of me; I’ve got a secret; I know things you don’t know. When you find out, that little world is ruined for them. Some cheaters thrive on continuing to gaslight and manipulate you after D-Day. That’s a new high. Others can’t tolerate that you know what they are and they just move on to the next victim. That relationship will work fine until the APs get to D-Day. Once I understood that everything a guy likes Jackass does is about managing the ferocious black hole of narcissistic need inside of him, it was easier to see that it was nothing that I did or failed to do.

        • Jackass, again, you are so right. Ex said something along the lines of ‘I can’t spend the rest of my life with you sitting on your high horse after finding this out.’ Which tells me that he really hated me knowing who he really was and it freaked him right the fuck out. To this day, more than two and a half years later, he cannot look me in the eye. If he does he looks scared and stressed and weak as fuck. Just a total saddo. What a loser I married.

        • “Once I understood that everything a guy likes Jackass does is about managing the ferocious black hole of narcissistic need inside of him, it was easier to see that it was nothing that I did or failed to do.”

          Hmmm…this is something to really think about.

          One of many great comments.

        • You are very wise “lovedajackass,” and I especially loved, “Why move into an apartment and pay for everything and clean the toilet and go without daily kibbles?” OMG, so true!!!

        • LovedaJackass, wow. I particularly appreciate, “…you saw the man behind the mask and he knows it will never be the same with you.” But the best line is, “Why move into an apartment and pay for everything and clean the toilet and go without daily kibbles?” I am smiling with this image, it is so true and so brilliant.

          And you are right. Cheaters prefer secrecy as it adds to the dopamine spike in their brains and they just feel “so good.” “…the ferocious black hole of narcissistic need…” could not be said better. Thank you so much.

      • Sandy, that jumped out at me as well. My ex was cheating for YEARS, yet stayed with me, told me he loved me every day, blah blah blah. He was fucking other people and grooming even more FOR YEARS. Then, when I kicked him out he jumped right into a ‘serious’ relationship with final OW, literally one day to the next, after knowing her for a few months of furtive fucking. He did say to someone that he can’t be alone and wasn’t going to sit around waiting to see the kids a few times a week and be alone the rest of the time so he HAD to make it work with final OW. Which is just sad as hell but no longer my problem so what the fuck ever.

        • *shivers* There’s nothing creepier than watching them actually groom someone. Looking back I can tell you exactly when ex did this to me. Coming to terms with my ex being an evil asshole is fine. Realizing he’s a gross creep that has some behaviors in common with molesters and other sex offenders gives me the heebeejeebies.

        • Oh, dear, that is sad indeed. They can’t be alone, they can’t commit to an adult relationship, and they can’t deal with their own mess. Old age will be horrific for these folks.

        • Yes, I always knew my cheater couldn´t be alone…and you are right about the grooming, I hadn´t realized it until you made it conscious, but my cheater has an entire entourage of students and colleagues (he is a professor) from which he has chosen three OWs (two of them married) and in the chats I discovered after DDay, I realized his most recent OW was always nervous about him cheating on her with me (!) and about other women in the said group who he seems to be grooming for the future…She knows what a cheater is like because she was cheated on by her husband when she was pregnant (and with someone with my same name). I think in some weird way she is looking for revenge on her husband through an affair with mine… Professionally she is a downgrade of me (like I was 10 years ago, except I don´t owe my Phd, publications or anything to my cheater, she does…) and I think that makes my STBX feel powerful…

  • “It seemed like he and I had lived two completely different realities.”
    THIS
    I can’t align what I know with what they’re all saying!!

    Most days I try not to think about it, but it creeps in when I have to have contact.

    And a policeman told me yesterday that the OW now has a restraining order against my ex, and then chuckled and told me that OW’s last 2 boyfriends have restraining orders against her.
    This is what he left me and the kids for?! I am ‘less than’ this person? gah!

    • “I am ‘less than’ this person? gah!”
      You are less DRAMA than this person. Less WRECKLESS, SELFISH, IMMATURE, LOW SELF-ESTEEM. Let her and the next OW (and the next, and the next) battle it out with Restraining Orders and bar fights, you’re way above that garbage.

    • You aren’t “less than,” although he would like you to think so, I am sure. Marriage and kids, however, is less stimulating for such a guy than sneaking around, illicit sex, getting over on other people and sometimes even the intensity of a high-conflict relationship with another disordered person. Jackass’s longest relationship was with his XW, and they were locked into a battle of wills that lasted a decade and included cheating on both sides and ended in a scorched earth divorce. They are divorced but the fires of rage still burn hot. (I of course spackled all that as her fault….but now I see they are both mega screwed up.) You are a normal person. He clearly prefers crazy, until he thinks crazy will kill him. That is no reflection on you.

  • I also struggle with knowing my stbx is telling people all kinds of lies about me in order to justify his affair…and that people who know me better are choosing to believe the lies. I didn’t do anything to deserve this and yet it’s happening. I didn’t do anything to deserve being cheated on, and yet it’s happening. Hard to live with sometimes. And yet live with it I will. I know things will eventually be better for me and that the sleazy (also married) hyena will have to deal with all his shit once he can’t keep up the appearance anymore that he’s perfect and wonderful and not a broken, helpless, disordered piece of crap who will suck the life out of her. Let people think what they will; if they can’t see the reality that’s staring them in the face, then their willingness to believe lies is really about them and not me at all.

  • ” He said I was a good wife and a great mom. He even supposedly told OW that”

    “last night I get word through a mutual friend that these two idiots submit to the idea that if their spouses were better spouses they would not have found each other and cheated!!!!!”

    On “Sesame Street” (I think), they used to have this segment called “One of these things is not like the other”.

    It’s pretty evident from the latter narrative that neither he nor his fuckbuddy were singing the sweet praises of their spouses. Does that surprise you? You have gone through 5 Ddays! 5! This can’t be the first lie you’ve come across.

    In addition to “trusting that he sucks”, I would like to recommend really, really going no contact on the dirty bugger. It’s time to write-off that bad debt and realize the loss and start moving on, and I don’t think that’s possible without trusting that he sucks, and then filing him away permanently.

  • Kimmy, they can’t tell the truth.
    If he went around saying, ‘ look my ex wife was great, I just cant help myself & screwing others is a massive ego stroke’.
    His dick drives him & always will!
    The OW thinks together they win but, he’s a mysoginist because,if he respected you, he would not belittle you. Any woman that swallows down that BS deserves him!
    He has no respect period & no matter how ‘happy’ they appear, they are just two sickos in sicko delusion land. Let her have him & thank her for setting you free!
    I did this & believe me, karma has come around & the OW now tells me, he’s a loser,Ya think!!! Move on with your life & don’t worry as the rot always sets in, always!

    • Awareb4, you have no idea how much your post helped me today. “…the rot always sets in…” My ex was an undercover misogynist and I love what you said, “if he respected you, he would not belittle you.” He belittled me daily, not to mention eating cake for two years and someone on this blog said it causes a nebulous feeling of disconnection that cannot be pinpointed so I blamed myself…is it me?…I’ll try harder…. It is truly a relief to move on from this mind fuck. It’s horrific!!!

  • CL,
    I think you should do a post naming all the reasons to throw a party celebrating the removal of a Cheater from your life. The fact that we all suffered so much and so long from what these losers did is so ridiculous. when you look at it with clear vision and away from all of the emotions that were once tied to what we all thought was a relationship that wasn’t.

    The fact that we all hurt so much from the stupidity of what they do and say is something that shouldn’t even be a passing thought to us. Why is it that we don’t just automatically feel total Joy and Relief when they are gone as we should? Why do we get in our own way of our Happiness and struggle with what we thought we had when their actions clearly show that isn’t what we had. We keep hanging on to the Gah?, Wha? How? Why? of what happened and not the YAY, it’s over thank goodness part!

    Perhaps this should be addressed in a fun way so that Chumps who are just starting out or are still struggling can refer to it and just laugh when they are feeling like shit.

    What do you think?

    • Hear hear. ‘Getting from ‘Gah!’ to ‘Meh’.

      It is not easy, but I take comfort from the senior Chumps who have managed it.

      love to all,
      x-Meh.

    • Yes, yes. Let’s start that list for throwing a party. Off the top of my head, I would say, 1) no more tension without knowing why (when he was cheating and I was in the dark); 2) no more self-blame; 3) no more being called names; 4) no more anger and self-doubt; 5) no more feeling like I was bad; 6) no more abuse; 7) no more humiliation; 8) no more disloyalty; 9) no more mind fuck; 10) no more hopium resulting in more pain; 11) no more being ignored; 12) no more lack of validation; 13) no more disrespect; 14) no more lies; 15) no more betrayal….and these are just a few. This is an important list. As CL says, stop pining over a flaming dog turn. LOL.

      Deborah, I love love love what you said, “The fact that we all hurt so much from the stupidity of what they do and say is something that shouldn’t even be a passing thought to us.” This is making me sing with inspiration. One of my problems though in getting to this place that you just said is the bashing down I have endured for so long; shrinking myself; doubting…I need to unwind, heal, and remember who I am.

      I am going to just start saying YAY, it’s over every day until the neurochemicals in my brain actual believe it. That is called healing.

  • Mutual friend? NO! No friend would tell you something like that, even if they did say it! What is the point of passing that tidbit on to you? It isn’t to make you feel better. A friend would know that there is no point in repeating anything like this to you. Sorry to say, that any friend of his is no friend of yours.

    • “Gossip is the most deadly microbe. It has neither legs nor wings. It is composed entirely of tales, and most of them have stings.”

      When people do this type of thing, tell you hurtful information (and not even stopping to analyze whether it could be true or not. which is irrelevant, by the way) that will serve no other purpose to YOU—it’s to harm you. That person is not a friend and should be cut away immediately!

    • I have a friend who just HAD to share with me information she saw on his Facebook page. (I have him blocked on mine.)

      The first thing I said is, “Why in the fuck do you think I really want to know any of this?” She was blank. She knows to not do it again. It bothered me though that she looked him up with the sole purpose of telling me stuff. She never considered that this might sting. Sometimes, people are idiots.

      • “I have a friend who just HAD to share with me information she saw on his Facebook page. (I have him blocked on mine.)”
        I get that too, rumble. I just can’t handle knowing the crap he and the OW are posting about their true love, and how great their life is, blah blah blah. Yet people insist on saying “OMG did you see what he posted on FB about the two of them?” Ummm…no. I didn’t. I don’t want to. But hey, thanks for making me feel bad all the same!

      • RK, I just got this a couple weekends ago where a mutual “friend” called to tell me that X was in a particular place. It was a special place for the X and me. My “friend” calls with this information, along with who he was with—a whole rundown—before I stopped her. First off, if you knew me and cared about me, you would know that I am attempting to be NC, and that means no stories about what he’s doing and with whom.

        All this does is stir the pot. She said, “I thought you’d want to know.” I asked…”Why? What good does it do ME to know he’s spoiling the few good memories I have of my time with him, confirming for me that he really never loved me by stomping all over these things?” She didn’t have an answer.

        When I took a step back and sent it through my logic machine, she did it because she likes the drama. Stir the pot and stand back! Well, I don’t need “friends” like that in my life. I need people who respect what I say and need.

        If I were you, if she does it again, I’d block her as well, from everything. Be cordial, but no information goes to her about anything. If she’s telling you tales about him, what makes you sure she’s not playing both sides. I am suspecting that my “friend” is doing just that—and I have cut her off.

        • I don’t know if she has a clue really, but I do think it’s a little bit of encouraging the drama. Kinda like . . . “Girrrrl you’ll never guess what I found out!” kind of shit. You’d think she’d be smart enough to figure out I don’t really care since I never talk about him with her and I keep our conversations about other things that matter.

          But yeah, if she does it again, I’m not going to answer her calls and will just let her slip away. I ain’t got time for dat!!

          • It’s possible that she was trying to be “loyal” and thinking that you might want to know. In early days, some of my friends kept an eye on the MOW on social media and it felt like solidarity. Once I got my feet under me, we all lost interest in their silly doings.

      • One of my friends started to tell me something she saw on my ex’s Facebook page and I held my hand up to stop before she said another word. I told her that no one tells me anything about what he’s doing, not even my kids. I don’t want to know what he’s doing. His life no longer has anything to do with mine except for the maintenance checks that arrive monthly.

  • It seems too that I went from shiny perfection to dull imperfection and of course what else is a guy to do only to seek out a new model to match his eternal shiny perfection. He told me he really started to ‘discover himself’ after he left (read cheated and me kicking his ass out), as if it were me hindering that freedom and discovery of self. And here’s the stupid thing – I believed him, that it was my fault somehow!

    If only having babies had not changed me, or the suicide of a loved one, or all of the other things that happen as time lesses. If only I had preserved myself and stayed in an attic somewhere he would so not have cheated all those times. But stupid me, I lost my lustre and my ex had every right to trade me in.

    • Yes, well, you became a grown up and he didn’t. My therapist told me this once and it struck a chord in me because I realised that ex could not deal with me not being perfect, me changing, me having my own ups and downs and me actually having needs and getting grumpy when my sub-conscious was trying to tell me and my needs were not getting a look in in any way for a very long time.

      Fuck these chuckleheads. They’re dull.

      • It’s like dating an adolescent with a short attention span, but the adolescent is supposed to hold down a job, contribute to a marriage, keep up a house and raise kids. What they want is the 9th grade girl with big boobs or the good-looking, entitled high school prom king and all the attendant drama, intensity and obsession.

        • Actually, final OW is universally said to be rather plain and dull. I assume this gives ex more room to sparkle.

    • Oh, Jackass used that old “I have a new life” thing BEFORE I caught him, to explain his disengagement and distancing. Turned out his new life was texting and do whatever with his MOW, being “friendly” to the clerks at the Wendy’s drive through, and reveling in MOW kibbles about how wonderful he was at 18 (as she says,”for me you will always be 18 and dancing away with my heart”}. He “new life” is just regressing to his life at 18, when he was the kid most likely to succeed, complete with moving back to the old family home. I think they are mindfucking themselves with this notion, as well as trying to sound plausible to people who see their douchbaggery and are repelled.

      My new life was somewhat more rigorous, as I had to actually change my life to recover financially and emotionally.

      • Re: the ‘new life’ of regressing to a (fictive) 18…

        This post captures the crazy waste of cheater stories. To discard a sustaining and substantial 30 year relationship with a person of value and discernment for the shallow and delusional feelings engendered by that straight-to-dvd drek dialog from a married ‘woman’ (who herself still sounds 12). How sad is that.

        • It’s horribly sad. On every metric used by normal people, his life would have been better with me than if he lived alone or if his MOW separated and they lived together, as I suspect the case is for most of the cheaters whose partners use this board. But people like this are driven by that black hole of narcissistic need, not love or logic or gratitude for the blessings in life.

      • “LovedaJackass” you are so much further along in your recovery and awareness and it is very helpful to me. We have such a similar situation with EH adult adolescents. So true, the regression, while I am left with PTSD, expensive therapy, hurt children, lower socioeconomic status, and all the other myriad of feelings.

  • Holy cow – the post and comments are like a commentary on my marriage and its demise. My stbx is a serial cheater and has cheated on numerous women before me. Yet in his mind, he’s the sensitive victim, manipulated by cunning shrews, who just never seem to appreciate his goodness and drive him to other women for attention and validation ( he wants only to help them, but he’s pressured into fucking them). After DDay – I was “perfect”, “awesome”, loved and admired by my friends, the only woman he’s ever wanted to marry, honest, loyal, exceptionally fair, etc. Once, when I expressed my fear that this experience would embitter me and forever change me for the worse, he wrote: “your worst is far better than most others’ best.”
    Now, I am a greedy, manipulative, unforgiving harpy, being unfavorably compared to one of the OW, and deemed wholly unappreciative because I was not effusive enough for flowers sent to my office 10 years ago or a surprise trip to Disney planned one month after the launch of my new firm (in which I am the principal) 6 years ago. Since initiating a divorce that he still does not want, and his claims that his life is now ruined, his recently-formed narrative is that I am “inherently-unlikeable” and likely to struggle with future friendships and romantic relationships. Ummm, okay. I’ll ruminate on that while I am cavorting in London next week with my bffs of 30 years!

      • Tx RK! Stbx always loved this crowd and on one weekend with them he stated “this is one of the best days of my life”, which means of course, “I will someday describe this day as insufferably restrictive, in that these were my ex’s friends and I was a marginalized captive.”

        • They all do the exact same shit don’t they?

          Mine used to tell me that he loved how social I was, and that I was always optimistic and he liked that we had so much fun together. Later it was, “Well . . . this probably would have never happened if you weren’t so self-centered, non-social, and negative.”

          • Self-centered translates to: possessive of needs, interests and relationships that take away from your focus on and service of him.

              • Yeah RK – what a bitch you were on one of the best memories of his life.
                I’m grateful I didn’t get any of that shit about laying the blame on me (he just left). Nor have I heard him say a bad word about me. I’m the one with the potty mouth about him so I need to try and hold my dignity in better – ONCE I’m over my anger. So, I do feel better reading your stories – thanks.
                However, he did tell me I was looking old. And, the omission of things he wouldn’t say about my figure – which, I kept in shape for 58 yrs…but whatever. I’m sure he and the OW will have talked about many things I’m so incapable of.

    • My hubby got an email last month from his EW claiming that she’s moving away from where they used to live and needs closure, he’d be such a dear to help. She wanted to have an “open and honest” conversation. This is 2 years AFTER she left him, initiated the divorce and he confronted her on her affairs (she never owned up to how many and never came to terms that she committed adultery). I called it for what it was from the get-go, total BS. After many drafts, we finally came up with a more grace-filled yet direct response (as he is a Minister he wanted to keep the snark minimal. I would have been all snark on the other hand-ha). He called it as it was. The marriage ended b/c she said “yes” to affairs, lies, divorce and “no” to him, their marriage and God. He was not going to meet with her, as it would be disrespectful to his new marriage (me!) and encouraged her to look in a mirror. Oh boy that made her mad that he wouldn’t play into her narrative. She responded back that he was still playing the victim, is living under deception and if he ever wants to have an “open and honest” conversation her offer still stands. HA! Wow…. her house of cards is going to fall and fall down HARD!

      • She’s like a fly buzzing around his head. Tell her, “Look honey, you’re not even in my orbit anymore. Go have a fabulous life somewhere else.” ha ha

    • Not undermining you much, eh? –> “a surprise trip to Disney planned one month after the launch of my new firm (in which I am the principal) 6 years ago.”

  • It took me some time to realize it, but I can’t accept the good things my ex said or says about me any more than the bad. Because none of it is based in reality or mutuality. It’s a big head trip, one that has been hard to deal with. But I think I’m finally getting it. Mine used to have “episodes” about every six to eight months, where he would tell me out of the blue how unhappy he was, and everything that was wrong with me, and sulk and be depressed for a few day. Then it was back to “normal.” I was the only woman for him, and he was happy, because he’d gotten my attention, my pleas, my crying my eyes out. At first it killed me. In retrospect, I think it may have been part of a cycle of cheating that I was completely unaware of. Then I just came to expect it. I stopped crying and told him if he was that unhappy he could do something about it-counseling, making changes, whatever he thought would work, or he could leave. And you know what? He never left. None of it was real. He could have changed the course of our relationship or decided to leave so many times, but he never did. Because none of his complaints were real-they were manipulations meant to get what he wanted from me. I spun my wheels for over 20 years trying to make someone happy who was probably perfectly happy (his kind of happy) the whole time.

    • Some people “use” alcohol, food, drugs, or gambling to alter their emotional state. Others “use” people. Good for you for figuring it out. It was never about you.

    • DoneNow – This is spot on! Cheaters are perfectly happy with the cycle they create and are even happier when they manipulate you into playing along. I, for one, as most glad to be done with that mess.

  • “Did I cheat on you? Decimate your finances? Leave you with a twitch? Do you require years of therapy? Got trust issues? Are you a single parent on a fixed income? Hey! It’s all for the BEST!”

    Lines like this are why I keep coming back to CL. Truth through humor is therapeutic. They really are supremely f*cked up human beings.

    …and OP, trust that he sucks because he does.

    Focus on living of life of kindness and dignity and integrity. Don’t waste another thought trying to figure out the disordered.

    • Alyosha (from The Brother’s Karamazov? just curious). Well said: “Did I cheat on you? Decimate your finances? Leave you with a twitch? Do you require years of therapy? Got trust issues? Are you a single parent on a fixed income? Hey! It’s all for the BEST!”

      My ex’s MOW said in an e-mail to him: “All I know through everything with you is the simple truth of how I feel, and the simple truth and goodness of falling in love with you, and that is not a crime. Nobody can handle these things well, or “right” at all times. I truly believe we are doing the best we can, and that the trueness of our great friendship speaks for itself.”

      It just reeks of narcissism. Did she consider her husband at the time? Me? My children? The fact that my ex kept it secret because he knew I would fight for alimony, child support, and the house of which I got nothing??? She doesn’t know that I have PTSD, expensive therapy, that my teenage daughter is suffering because ex has abandoned her as well? I am baffled and still have trouble believing that people can do these hurtful things and then justify their behaviors in this sick way. It really seriously blows my mind that these relationships are based on a foundation of devastation and destruction but they don’t see any of it. No remorse, no guilt, no apology, just off into the sunset.

      It’s a miracle that any of us get to “meh”.

      • I know this won’t change much and it may not even make you feel better better, but know that there’s no doubt in sane person’s mind that those OWs, OMs, cheaters, cheaters’ support system, and their ilk are a sick bunch. I agree wholeheartedly that narcissism is always present in infidelity, and I think Tracy is being kind and perhaps careful when she states that it is a “narcissistc act” at the least, but in my opinion, and my therapist’s opinion those sickos always exhibit traces of sociopathy. Traces at the least, could qualify as full blown sociopaths in some cases. We hate to think of the people we trusted, made kids with, shared a life for decades to be known as complete beyond repair damaged souls, but the quicker we accept this, the quicker we can move on.
        During therapy I’ve learned that a person who exhibits sociopathic traits isn’t necessarily one who is always “bad.” We tend to think of a sociopath as a anti-social bully who kicks puppies. Not at all. It is often Joe Smith who works at the cashier register at Lowes who has a wife and three kids and a few friends. He can make small talk and appear totally normal and even fake his empathy. Oh, how much I’ve learned in therapy. There’s a good book on the subject titles “the sociopath next door” that explains the basics. A real eye opener:

        • Monika, it does help to know this. It helps me to move on; to leave it behind me. Thank you for the information and your insight. And it’s so true what you said that we hate to think of people we trusted as so damaged, but it is the truth. I know exactly what you are talking about too as the double image these narcs and/or socios project. My ex presents sensitivity, emotion, and understanding. But it was always a veil hiding misogyny, passive aggression, and a mean spirited judgmental abusive assaholic. I feel very fortunate to be with an understanding group that gets this as it was so crazy making.

  • “A person like this is not tethered to reality, so why do you care what he thinks?”

    Tattoo that somewhere. That word picture says it all.

    Standing ovation CL.

  • Kimmy,
    I’m going to echo everyone here—marriage to you was so completely miserable that he HAD to cheat, yet, he couldn’t leave.

    Why not? I mean, did you hog tie him in the basement before leaving for work every day, take his cellphone, hide his car keys, put bars on the windows….etc? Did you threaten to kill him if he left?

    No. He’s a COWARD and a cake eater. He’s justifying his shitty choices by blaming you–typical for these pathetic pieces of shit.

    You have to remember that everyone in this situation has an agenda, except for you. You want the truth so that you can truly move on. Unfortunately, you won’t get it, you’re going to have to let that go. The words that HE spouts mean nothing—remember all of the wonderful things he promised when he married you? How about after D-Day #1, #2, #3……so were you lying then, or are you lying now?

    Because YOU know, nothing (other than you finally having enough of his shit and kicking him out and him being the one humiliated in front of family and friends) has changed about YOU.

    The thing is, they never get this—it’s not you, it’s not the OW, it’s not their job or their house or their family or their kids or the neighbors—it’s THEM. They hide, but they cannot run.

    Did he ever have kind things to say about people…or did that slowly change over time—where he’d be all gung-ho about someone and slowly but surely that person turned to shit in his opinion? Mine did this—nothing kind to say about ANYBODY. It was always “Me and You Against Them”. Isolation techniques. Don’t talk to so-and-so—well…yeah….because so-and-so might tell me a reality based version of what XH was telling me!

    Kimmy, don’t worry about this. The ones who love you will believe none of his bullshit. The ones who aren’t worth your time, will not….and you can cut them loose. OW clearly is in that camp—do you really give a shit what she thinks? Image management is HIS biggest worry, not yours. You live your life with integrity and those who matter will get it.

    • Wow BC!

      Mine made up a horrible story about a friend saying something to his EW about me. I was baffled and hurt for the longest time till I finally got rid of him – When I figured out what he’d done I asked her, and she doesn’t even know his EW! And the wife before her was a horrible person too, she “tricked” him into getting her pregnant and on and on and on. She and I are friends on FB now – we never discuss him but I paid attention to their daughter, something he never did. So many crazy F-d up lies for no reason except to cover up his life long using of people. He is nothing but a body with nothing but needs – which have to be met – no matter how many people he hurts….

    • “The thing is, they never get this—it’s not you, it’s not the OW, it’s not their job or their house or their family or their kids or the neighbors—it’s THEM. They hide, but they cannot run.”

      YES!!!!

  • And my XH wouldn’t have cheated if I hadn’t “made” him get on Facebook. His old girlfriend would never have found him and he wouldn’t have strayed. He actually said this when we were giving our depositions before the divorce. Of course, this doesn’t explain cheating with old girlfriend #1 from since BEFORE we were married. But, hey, things just happen, right?

    CL is right. He is now the OW’s problem.

  • You can’t fix stupid, and you can’t fix crazy. (Not that I didn’t try; it’s called spackling.)

    When the ex told me in an email that my inherited farm had been acquired solely with his income, I knew he had been spinning himself a totally different reality. A check of the property records would have told OW what the truth was, but it’s just easier to go along with the lie because then they have their precious justification for screwing another person over.

    Kimmy, they have to keep telling lies about you because that’s what their relationship is based on! Whenever I hear about another lie I realize that I win! They don’t really love each other, they’re just using each other. He wants a ready source of dopamine hits so that he doesn’t feel like an old haz-been, and she was willing to trade sex for a man who could buy her a big house so she could feel important and better than her crass upbringing. It’s all about image management, and the lies are part of it. But it’s not about love.

    When they’re thinking with the little head, don’t expect big head attributes such as honesty, integrity, empathy or intelligence.

    • Mine advised one of the other women that before he was married, he “never” had a mortgage, then woefully recounted his taxes, the unmanageable size of our house, my alleged plans for a kitchen renovation, etc. The truth was that his pre-marital home had a bigger mortgage than our marital home, and that the mortgage on his investment property at that point was higher than its equity. He could never take responsibility for even patent falsities, always minimizing the obvious intent of his lies with “what I meant is” or “I didn’t mean to suggest” or “if I left her with the impression that..” or she already knew to the contrary”. He could not say “I lied. I chose to tell a blatant lie to give my MOW the impression that you were greedy and materialistic, to make me seem generous and unappreciated, and to soothe any concerns about fiscal irresponsibility she may have given that my wife was a successful professional while I barely worked at what I had disclosed to her was a failing business.”

    • I agree. They get tied to the lie right off the bat, because “my wife is a frigid psycho” sounds better than “she’s a wonderful woman that I don’t have a problem fucking around on”. He has no choice now but to stick the story, with her and all the other people he told the story to.

      Give people credit….they know a load of crap when they hear it, and the fact that they both cheated on their spouses to be together….well, people can put 2 and 2 together. When the wheels start to fall off for them – and they will, they are both proven cheaters – they’re going to create an aura of ugliness around them that can’t be covered up with excuses.

      Don’t worry about what they say. Less people believe it than you assume, and those that do won’t believe it for long. They are consistently the agents of their own destruction. It will come.

  • I really do envy the chumps here who are not bothered by what their cheater says or thinks about them, I wish I were like you. I fear running into any of our old friends because I am certain he told them I am crazy. I am certain he made himself look like a long suffering partner. I am also certain that he’s told almost everyone (including his daughters) that he only found the other woman after we separated. These lies hurt. A lot.

    But on my better days I pull myself up tall, take a deep breath, and try to behave with dignity. I tell myself if someone thinks I’m crazy due to what my husband said about me, then they are not very discerning people. I try to remind myself that these people know my husband, and might suspect that he is full of B.S.

    So, Kimmy, for us this feeling of caring about what they say about us (how they lie about us) is something that will slowly fade away. Until then we just need to hold on and trust that they suck.

    • I, too, hate the thought of what he has told others, only because I know what he told me about his first two marriages. He isn’t here and my friends all know the truth, but he has moved to a whole new community and has quickly become the “savior” of the town, buying the local hardware store, hiring new people, saving the fireworks display for this year through his “generosity”. I know that he and the OW never told anyone there how they met and I am sure they are also saying they got together after he and I separated (nothing could be further from the truth). I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to send mail to her whole family (and there are many) to let them know just exactly how their sister/mother/cousin/aunt got together with the wonderful man she finds herself with. He has also told everyone that he is an engineer when, in fact, he never took a single college course. And, no one questions it and even his own daughters don’t set the record straight. Even the OW believes that he is!

      I think about it all and then I think to myself, they will all find out on their own one day because lies have a way of coming back around to bite you in the ass when you least expect it. I wait for that day of Karma.

        • That’s exactly the way it happens, because they can’t live the lie enough to sell it. Sooner or later, what they are shines through. You are vindicated. Not only that, you are respected for what you went through, what you came through, and how you handled it. And…everybody feels pretty bad for ever believing them in the first place.

          Just stay true to yourself, and your values. It may not be ‘ok’ right now, but it will be in the end.

      • Well, he’s already had to run to another town to escape who he is and who they are together. Once the sparkles wear off that relationship, where does he go next?

    • Same thing here ML, my X just lies about our marriage and even lies about when he met the OP. The thing is, I let him say what he wants. It doesn’t bother me, because Hey, he’s a fucking liar and a cheat. He can say whatever he wants. We don’t have a lot of shared friends now after I did a Facebook sweep so it just doesn’t matter. Say whatever the fuck you want. It doesn’t change the fact that I know the truth, and he does too. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t feel the need to lie.

      You can’t put stock into any words that fall out of his face. And frankly, if people really do believe him and take his side, they can fuck off too. That’s the good thing about divorce; I don’t have to associate with a multitude of people I didn’t really like anyway. (I.E. the hyena in-laws, the cheating friends, the low-rent buddies from his old neighborhood.) If they choose to believe him, who cares? I know the truth of what killed our marriage and other people don’t get it, fuck ’em.

      Oh and as an aside, here’s a guy that is now engaged to his schmoopie-poo, a mere 3 months after our divorce. Now if people see this, and don’t think that’s hinky, I don’t want to be friends with them anyway. lol Clearly, not my sort of folks.

      • My mama always said, “If you feel the need to lie, perhaps you shouldn’t be doing whatever it is that you are lying about.”

        My XH had no friends and we lived 4 miles away from his hometown. Never met one. He just took up with all of mine and I didn’t grow up here.

        Now he has moved south to live in her hometown and has picked up with all of her friends.

        The trouble with lying is that eventually the truth catches up, because, I don’t know if you noticed, but liars tend to change the lie. They add to or subtract from and when you catch them in it, they tell another lie to cover that one until, eventually, they don’t even remember the first lie that started it all. Someone will be listening one day and figure it all out just as I did. Well, unless they are all stupid. Which is a distinct possibility.

      • RK, I’m grateful that we have no mutual friends, but I still may run into his pals when I’m out. The only good news is my appearance has changed a lot and they probably won’t know it’s me! So I don’t know why I care what those people think of me except it’s just hard to know you’ve been lied about. I still subscribe to the old adage, “Living well is the best revenge” and that is what I plan to do.

      • Here’s what we know about these kind of cheaters: they lie, cheat, live double lives, and have no compunction treating people they are supposed to love like trash they toss out of their pickup trucks. Anyone who looks at their life trajectory and the debris they leave behind them can see it: “Here’s a guy that is now engaged to his schmoopie-poo, a mere 3 months after our divorce. Now if people see this, and don’t think that’s hinky, I don’t want to be friends with them anyway. lol Clearly, not my sort of folks.” Exactly.

    • Moving Liquid – that sucks. But, I assume the people who’ve known me for over 35 yrs we’ve been friends/relatives with KNOW what I am made up of by now. I don’t think my asshat would try and put me at any low level with these people who know me. I do think he’s too smart for that. He says he thinks divorce is private and refuses to answer details. His image is really smarting and he sure doesn’t want to add to it by making me out like I’m crazy. Nobody would believe him!

  • I needed to read this post today!!! And all of the comments…..I am spending waaaayyyy too much time trying to figure out what I did wrong and feeling guilty about kicking him out and divorcing him. From his family I am getting the line “well you are the one who filed.” In my head I know I was done being lied to and I refuse to be a doormat. In my heart, I am beating myself up for divorcing my kids father. However, he still lies to me, he still lies to his family and he is still seeing OW. I just need to TRUST THAT HE SUCKS.

    • You are a terrible wife, how could you divorce that dream of a son of theirs. If you were a good wife to him in the first place this would not have happened, and look at what you did! Instead of fixing yourself you filed, and it is in the papers and all official and everything. You divorced “our little baby, all he did was try to be happy, how could you”

      So glad you are out of that, and wow you filed, am jealous, I am glad you did!!!!!!

  • Holy mackerel, I experienced something very similar to this. It has been two years since I uncovered the well-hidden affair, and both my ex-wife and her OM are still together and will be moving in together soon.

    Both of their story lines are somewhat respectful of their past spouses, but horribly condescending. What else could they do? Their marriages were horrible… if I only had been told this. Recently, the OM once shrugged to me and said “it is what it is”.

    In the two years since the disaster I have done everything CL outlined, glued my life together, gotten very fit and have a great girlfriend. My ex-wife passively takes credit for this.

    The only thing we can do is let it go. You have no control over their bullshit, and they are doing damage and disservice to themselves for warping history like that. They have learned nothing, and in their new relationship is starting off with a lie. Good luck to them!

    • “It is what it is”

      Lol Chumpion – my STBX said that a lot. It is meant to sound deep, I think, but it’s just meaningless shit.

      • HA! So glad to hear someone else has gotten the “it is what it is” thing. The comment reeks of not taking any responsibility, not recognizing what I went through, and …as my ex said… they couldn’t help it after all.

        I guess I could break their windshields and poop on their front seats shrug and say “I couldn’t help it”. It is what it is!

        • That phrase is only useful when someone is looking at the true nature of something, e.g., your spouse is cheating with your now former “best friend,” “It is what it is,” meaning that “it” is two dishonest, duplicitous, cruel and selfish people betraying someone they have said they cared about.” It isn’t “true love” or fate or soul mates colliding in space. It’s just cheating, lying, betrayal, and running out on a myriad of commitments. It is what it is, and not the sparkly spackle version.

  • Mine told me to stop torturing myself, not to make it any harder than it had to be, he had no idea why this happened, it just happened, I was a good wife, but she doesn’t talk, she shops, but likes how our credit is good.

    There is nothing like feeling your body is on a car lot and all the options you have are on a sticker on your face, or window.

    Twisting this in my head daily, as he is the warped ass not me.

    I am sure my idea of why this happened does not compare to his, come on you don’t just wake up next to someone buck naked and not know how you did that. There are steps to this, the first step is how you think.

    Actually it is all in how you think, all the steps, how does one look at a spouse as they contemplate some ho worker and …. I just don’t get it, thank god.

    Tracy, you said it all, everything I was thinking but am so deep in the mind bogging shit seaweed junk, this quicksand that I forgot how safe I felt before in my life. This little shit crown of married to my hohusband doesn’t feel too good on my head, the manual isn’t making sense, he needs to be returned to Walmart.

    • “Mine told me to stop torturing myself, not to make it any harder than it had to be, he had no idea why this happened, it just happened, ”
      I get that, too. And it makes me want to smack the living shit out of him, because it didn’t “just happen”. He CHOSE to let it happen. I also get the “I didn’t go looking for this” crap, too.

  • I want to return my shit crown this life of queen of shit is not looking like a good fit for me. It is really hard to daily warp my mind around he is still thinking he luvs this person and in line for cake, and the cake is now this very paranoid cake who looks very worn and just isn’t looking too well anymore.

    To actually wake and realize oh yes here it is again, goodie. And somehow try to muster remembering how you use to feel and somehow feel lets save this marriage, somehow that is what a good wife does. And sit and wait for him to decide oh yes sex with anyone I want as I have tweaked my prowls powers, or that old wife?

    Here I am honey, true to you, please come home, I will try to stop twitching and I will try to get over the fact you fucking walked out.

    Is there a pill that can be given out when you marry with instructions to take it when they cheat? So you get amnesia and can’t remember them at all?

  • OMG, and all the stand for your marriage talk, it is no wonder they never come back, here I am “standing” for my marriage, but he has found so many who will lay down with him….I swear they must have had so many laughs about me, the fool wife.

    🙁

    • Oh, beachi, while my story is a little different than yours (my wife isn’t a serial cheater — that I know of), I feel the same way. That the two of us them must have had a great laugh at me in between their sordid sex. But you know what? The mockery of people doesn’t like that doesn’t diminish you. You stood for love, for loyalty, for what you thought was right. so they can just go take a flying fuck at the moon.

  • My family actually told me the reason I have hung on is I love him. I told them, I am not sure, I think it is some sort of addiction to him. I got some odd looks.

    It is hard to think I love him now, I almost laugh when I think it. To say it, with a straight face?

    He is a clown, a pompus ass, to think he is so special to do this, and to be wanted?

    I really hope I am strong soon to file, I am so warped now, and ruined, I need a vacation, they should have cheated on cruizes for us chumps.

    • Beachi you were really honest when you talked of addiction.

      Go to Al Anon or another 12 steps group; it really helps.

    • beachi –

      I totally relate to what you’re feeling right now: the beaten-down feelings, the lingering attachment to a person who is not worthy of your love. It all hurts like a mofo.

      The toughest part is that you’re not *wrong.* Your reaction is a totally normal reaction to a situation that is as batshit crazy as they come. You are a sane person trying to navigate your way out.

      It probably doesn’t seem like it now, but it will get better once you start to get your footing, and you will. You are not ruined — living with a crazy, hateful spouse takes a toll on your body, mind, and self-image.

      • So what Lily says. The trouble is the ‘traumatic bonding’ (reaction to being abused) is we SO want it to be different, to get a normal reaction like we would from a normal person, you know: respect and accountability – that we keep being hooked in.

        And that is the addiction. We have GOT to let go. It is just the hardest thing, to be mistreated and then abandoned.

        We get it, Beachi.

      • Lily, I’m pretty sick of those “beaten-down feelings, the lingering attachment to a person who is not worthy of [my] love.” I’m hoping that’s a sign that I’m getting ready to move on or at the very least have some more “meh” time.

        I’m going to start focussing on the addiction part of being with an abuser to kick start this phase of my recovery. He’s not worthy of my time — I want to move on.

      • living with a crazy, hateful spouse takes a toll on your body, mind, and self-image.” So true. I could never have imagined how hard this is.

    • It helped me to read a lot about recovering from a relationship to a narcissist. I couldn’t figure out why the feelings were so overwhelming and crazy-making. Turns out that is common.

      • Yes, there is a good article I found online called “The Making of a Cheater,” (during my trying to figure them out phase) which points directly to narcissism due to family of origin pathology. My EH meets all of the DSM-IV-TR criteria for Narcissistic Personality with features of Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as Anti-Social Personality Disorder (Cluster B). Interestingly, these personality disorders are not paid by insurance because they are chronic and irremediable. In other words, people do not get better and these are considered legitimate mental health illnesses. So it helps me to be reminded by you and others on the site that you can’t make sense out of the crazy. And you said it well, my feelings still are so overwhelming and crazy-making due to severe mind fuck.

    • beachi, sweetie, I can’t remember if you’re NC? If not, you need to be. It’s like getting over an addiction – you need to go cold turkey. And it feels dreadful at first and you think you will never get through it. And then slowly you find that you are…

      You will get there.

  • You know, Kimmy, one of the most difficult things I dealt with after leaving both my cheaters was getting my true sense of myself back.

    I think we have been very much like the frog sitting in the pot of water over a steadily increasing flame, slowly boiling to death. Over the years we get a combination of “This is who and what you are!” and ” This is who I want you to be!” Neither is true, or achievable. The cheater, in their narc disordered arrogance assume not only do they have the right to tell us who we are, but who we should be. They truly do not see us at all, only their sick fantasy woman/man. Sadly enough the harder we try the higher they raise the bar. We can never be good enough for them because no living woman/man could possibly be. Those beings do not and cannot exist. Because we love the narc jerkoffs, we become human pretzels, trying to be what they want us to be at the moment. In the process we lose sight of the person we truly are. We forget our own value. They set themselves up as our judge, jury, and prison warden. And we buy into it because we care about them, and care about the relationship.

    Because we are good loving people ourselves, we believe they are too.

    Its all bullshit. A big flaming pile of bullshit. They are not anything of the sort. At best they are selfish, immature people who believe they have the right to rule the world. At worst they are truly evil. In neither case are they qualified to decide what another human being should be.

    Once we are free of them it takes a while to kick them out of our head. We are so used to being judged and found wanting that it takes time to change how we operate and how we feel about ourselves. We have been habituated to their emotional abuse, and we have fallen onto the habit of believing everything the told us about ourselves. They set themselves up as tin gods and oozed like slime onto our psyche. They lurk like snakes in the underbrush. We don’t even know they are there.

    Time to throw the narc fucktards out.

    It takes time to rediscover the person we actually are. It takes time to reclaim ourselves. It takes time to become the only person in our heads who gets the right to decide what is right and best for us, to redefine our boundaries, likes and dislikes.

    I had to kick the ex out of my head long after I had kicked his sorry ass to the curb. For a long time I did not even know he was in there. Once I did I was ruthless. I took back my own life. I claimed my own personhood. I suspect there are quite a few now who consider me to be eccentric. I live by myself on three acres, out in the country with 7 cats and a dog. They are all strays I rescued. I live in mobile home I got for free and rehabbed. I work as a senior companion to support myself. I am 5 months away from retiring. I ride a recumbent tricycle for exercise and am planning to ride to coast to coast next year. I am designing a tiny house to build and move into when I can no longer maintain my place by myself. I do not give a shit what the public at large thinks of me at this point because I finally own myself and I own my own life. I am now myself and finally, finally I am enough ……just as I am.

    Kimmy Honey, throw that asshole out of your head and reclaim the wonderful,unique, warm, loving, caring being that is you. You GO girl!

          • Tessie,

            How FREE you sound! How delicious it must feel. If I thought it were possible to do without slowing you down in your new journey, I would want to come and apprentice myself to you.

            I need to reclaim myself, too. I have adapted ridiculously to my disordered narc, and it’s been the most unhealthy period of my life. My old friends hardly recognize me and are shocked at some of the changes I have made at this late point in my life, as a result of his hypercritical spirit.

            I used to be the free spirited eccentric with the great attitude. Somehow I bought his twist on things, and just look where it got me. Broken and emotionally destroyed, with barely enough confidence to go out and do my freaking errands.

            I never considered myself to be a weak person. But putting my trust in the wrong place has certainly put me in jeopardy. The ironic thing is that his big complaint and justification for cheating was that I didn’t do enough for him. One of the examples which evidently still incenses him was that years ago I insisted on going to see my adult son march in a parade instead of going to see my cheater. It meant a lot to me to see him march and it meant a lot to my son that I was there. I’m still glad I made the right choice.

            What normal person is going to take that as a personal slight and use it to fuel the reason to launch into a total double life for two years? I ask you.

            And believe me, I am a very giving person. But I guess a child man can never get filled up.

            Thanks for being so inspiring. I hope to heck I can reach that point. Some days I believe I will.

            • Tessie, please keep posting. We need you. What an incredible story. I want to be you too some day. Thank you from my healing heart.

    • Tessie, you sound wonderful and you have got me thinking about the kind of woman I was before I met my ex. I was adventurous and spirited and carefree and though I sometimes had crap days I always pulled through somehow. After fuckhead was done with me I felt wrung out and pathetic and scared, a shadow of who I once was, like he had stolen my power.

      I will go to bed tonight thinking of how I can restore myself and become strong again. You paint a lovely picture of your life and that gives me hope.

      • Tonya, this reminds me of that really great post here a couple of months ago about what we lost when we took up with our cheater. Really profound stuff. (I just went to find it in the archives and couldn’t locate it, anyone remember it?)

        • Sounds good ML, would be interested if you find. When my kids have grown and flown the nest I want to be a whole person with a life, not just some has been wife and mother. It is so important to reclaim ourselves and I know this may take some work.

    • “I live by myself on three acres, out in the country with 7 cats and a dog. They are all strays I rescued. I live in mobile home I got for free and rehabbed. I work as a senior companion to support myself. I am 5 months away from retiring. I ride a recumbent tricycle for exercise and am planning to ride to coast to coast next year.”

      Tessie, YOU ROCK!

      • I dunno – I’m super glad I filed first and, so far, no repercussions that I was the bad guy. If anybody bothers to look at the court documents (in this 50/50 state) that are public, they will see it clearly says he was having a 2 yr affair in my home and my mothorhome and he signed the paper, proving his guilt. Don’t think there’s much more to have to say after that, if anybody bothers to look it up.

    • “I do not give a shit what the public at large thinks of me at this point because I finally own myself and I own my own life. I am now myself and finally, finally I am enough ……just as I am.”

      We’re walking the same road; I’m just a ways behind you. Thanks for this wonderful post. In a two-day span of great ones, this stands out.

    • Tessie – I love to thin of you building your tiny house and then living all cosy in it. Thank you for a truly inspirational post on how to reclaim your mind and your life.

    • Tessie, your post gave me so much. I can feel your freedom from the boiling pot of cheater judgment. I am going to work toward what you did—kicking cheater out of my head for good. Thank you and everyone here.

    • I love your post! I’m so glad you are doing so great! BTW – the tiny house thing, I am so on-board with that idea. I’ve told my daughter don’t be surprised if I build one one day and park it her backyard after I retire. LOL

  • Kimmy,

    You are not going to reach “Meh” by having an understanding of what goes on in their minds. You will move faster toward “Meh” when you understand what is happening in your own mind that stalls your progress.

    It is going to get under your skin as long as you allow it. One significant part of what enables it to get under your skin is not shutting off the flow of information that keeps you sucked into their drama cycle. Whether or not they believe their crap is not remotely relevant to your recovery process.

    Lose the WHY and focus on the HOW. Is figuring them out going to stop what they are doing or alter the degree of trauma you experience as a result of their abuse of you?

    Since you are not in the process of an active and honestly reciprocal reconciliation effort, you need to nullify any curiosity or need to know about your X spouse’s life now …..because you are never going to get any straight answers anyway.

    Enlist your friends in the nullification process by asking them to stop providing information or details [unless it would pertain to those two engaging in a active process of trying to exploit you financially].

    Lurid or inflammatory details only feed the fires of personal obsession. Becoming so concerned that the cheaters’ narrative will be believed by others to your detriment is a pointless exercise in self-inflicted pain.

    You already know the truth, and so do the people in your life who truly matter.

    I fully understand and have experienced the human craving for “justice” in this life; but justice is often a long time coming (if ever), and the quality of our lives in the interim should be our focus. Otherwise we remain miserable over things we cannot and shouldn’t attempt to control.

    As individuals we don’t really need to know the motives for deviant behavior in order to take precautions or protect ourselves from further abuse.

    Think of it this analogy. Whether a bus or Volkswagen hits you as pedestrian dead on at high speed, are you less likely to experience hideous injury in either instance? Further if you see that bus or Volkswagen bearing down upon you, are you going to stop and calculate E=MC2? No! You are going to jump the hell out of the way.

    This is both my professional and personal opinion: There is no need for you to understand anymore than you already know about these two in order to take protective and healing measures. They are a runaway crazy train. Get off the tracks (emotionally as well as physically), and find yourself a different route.

    As Tracy puts it: Trust that they suck. [And let it go at that.]

    • Thank you! You are so right! While I don’t seek out information, when I hear things (through my children or friends) I give weight to the info as if it matters or that it is even true. It’s when this happens that I realize that I’m not as far along in the healing process as I thought I was. I don’t long for him or the life we had (when it was good) like I use to. I’m no longer in love with him or love him in any way. I don’t want to be his friend or socialize with him. So, in that light, I think I have come a long way in my healing. What he does with OW or with his life is of no concern of mine. I think CL hit it right when she said that he injured me with his affair and now he is insulting me with blame for his poor choices. It’s that feeling of getting punched in the gut and wanting to swing back to protect yourself. You know what I mean??

      • Kimmy, I have just been reading Tessie’s comment above and found it helpful. Try to remember what your spirit was like before you met cheater. Restore yourself, be brilliant!

        • I watched the trailer for “Hope Floats” a few hours ago, and I was taken by these lines spoken by Justin Matisse to the main character, Birdie, after she had her D-Day on national TV and took her daughter to Texas to live with her mother: “‘You used to be so audacious. Bold. People would stop in the street and watch you walk. You think you’ve lost it, but I can still see it.” Who were we before we started to give away pieces of ourselves? And who could we be if we got our Selves back again? Like Tessie, I want to get the “true sense of myself back.” And what a gift to have people who still see who we are, even as we take blow after blow and allow ourselves to give away our power, our essence.

          • OMG-Iove that movie Hope Floats. There is another quote at the end about giving hope a chance because hope always rises to to the top/ floats. Trust that they suck & there are bigger and better things ahead. Let that hope float!!!!!!!

      • Kimmy,

        I know exactly what you mean about the ‘gut punch’ and the automatic defensive response. It’s human nature. But allowing it to engage your mind for more than just a short while until you identify it as bullshit and toss it into your mental “Bullshit Bin” is like shadow boxing–you never can land a good solid blow on something that “shape shifts”.

        I won’t lie to you. It takes practice and more practice to use your mental “Bullshit Bin.” You have to pre-arrange other pleasant and highly absorbing mental activities at ready reference in order to occupy your mind and divert your attention. But it can be done. And you will get better at it with time.

        Explain to your friends what you are doing and get them to help you. Your children may be a bit trickier (and you certainly would want them to confide any unsavory or abusive experiences while with him and OW), BUT they can be subtly trained over time by positively reinforcing them with your enthusiastic attention when they talk about all the fun or constructive things in their lives that are not triggers for you, and giving off a “ho-hum” attitude (or even cleverly diverting the discussion) when they are discussing things said or done in the other home that (while not a threat to them) have potential to emotionally trigger you.

        I know you find this impossible to believe, but there will come a day when the activities and pretensions of these two (IF they last) will become downright comical to you despite the irony. It just takes time and detachment. You will get there.

    • “Since you are not in the process of an active and honestly reciprocal reconciliation effort, you need to nullify any curiosity or need to know about your X spouse’s life now …..because you are never going to get any straight answers anyway.”

      Yup. What NotYou said.

  • My wife has never, to my face, blamed me for her affair. But when I think that she chose someone who was 15 years older than me — an overweight, drunken con man of a paramour — it’s hard not to feel that that there must be something seriously wrong with me.

    • Yes, there is something wrong with you. You’re not an overweight drunken con man and obviously she’s attracted to losers.

      Don’t compare yourself to a hyena. If that’s what she wants to associate with, she deserves what she gets.

      • Agreed. And if she needs a “falling in love” fix, that is harder and harder to come by as women get older. They choose cheaters and liars! Con men! People who enjoy “getting over” on other people. People who will believe their narrative for a few months or years. I know exactly what you are going through (I literally couldn’t understand how J could just stop talking to me for someone he just met who was unattractive and married, but it wasn’t about her as a person; it was about the high-value kibbles she could dispense. I think, I hypothesize, that “old flames” or people who knew them at whatever the peak was in their lives (HS, college, early 20s) have very high-value kibbles because THEY KNEW THEM WHEN THEY WERE AT THEIR SPARKLY BEST. Or if they value their high-status job, the best kibbles might be someone who admires their career or know first-hand their achievements (boss or subordinate). So sorry you are at this “is it my fault?” stage of the suckitude.

        • Lord LAJ!

          This rocked me on my heels! You just perfectly described my STBX and Reverend Imaho!

        • Yeah, for my wife it was the high status job thing. Her OM was her boss. She was SO pleased to be his “right hand”. I just didn’t know that she was his right hand in more than one way.

    • ANR…if it’s any consolation I’m a fit attractive woman who’s XH ran off with OMG….the ugliest woman ever. No makeup, fat, bad bad hairdoo, Even my daughter said, “Mom, don’t you feel worse that your husband left you for such an UGLY woman? I would.” I said, “I don’t think it matters. He would have left me no matter what. That’s what he does. She wanted to fuck him and my shelf life ran out at the same time.” End of story.

      • The OW in mine sitch is pretty frumpy too. To be honest, months before I found out about the affair, I’d see her “liking” a bunch of pics of his on Facebook. I never even THOUGHT to wonder about her because she looks like his mom, short and dumpy and crunchy 80’s hair. I just didn’t see a threat there. lol

        Once I found out and we were still talking, he says, “She looks 10 years older than you and has bad skin.” But this is the same dude who divorced me and put a ring on her hairy knuckle.

        There’s not figuring it out . . . it’s all crazy.

        • Same here! My husband found a dumpy younger woman, but told me she looks older than you! She is fat, and I am thin. I don’t get it! He was always ragging about me staying thin cause he “hated fat pigs” in his words, then he “falls in love” with one! WTF??

          • Um, speaking as a “fat pig” who is also a chump, can I just say that being overweight is not the worst crime? Having shitty character, and cheating is way worse. When other chumps use “fat pig” as a pejorative accusation, it makes me feel like shit.

            That’s what my ex said about me as an excuse. It wasn’t true–it was made up shite. As he later admitted–he said the meanest thing he could think of to hurt me.

            I’d like to come here, and not be hurt too. So, maybe there’s some way to get the message across without reinforcing the strong cultural message that all large women are stupid cows who don’t deserve real love? Believe me, we already know we’re at the bottom of the pile….

            • Hey NFV

              Thank you for speaking up. I feel bad, as my post about my wife’s OM being, amongst other things, overweight, kind of got the ball rolling here. I apologize — you’re absolutely right, you should be able to come here and not feel demeaned AND chumps should focus on the characters of the people involved, instead of getting the easy satisfaction of comparing ourselves to others through the prism of an unrealistic and unkind social expectation.

            • Named for Vera, please accept my deepest apology! It was not my intention to hurt anyone. Please understand I was quoting what my STBXH used to say and I did it poorly! Believe me when I tell you that I meant no harm or insult! I have had my own issues with weight all my life and I have always believed that judging anyone on their weight and appearance takes a superficial person and I know my STBXH is a shallow cruel person! I am sorry if I offended you or anyone. Please accept my apology.

            • namedforvera..I myself am a fat chump, lol! I mention the word “fat” when speaking of the skanky ass trailer park trash ho because it makes me feel better that she IS fat, and not skinny! And no offense to any skanky trailer park trash ho’s that might me here today, lol! It makes me feel a whole lot better saying bad things about her..yeah, junior high all over again.

        • Thanks, all. Appreciate the kindness.

          It’s all difficult, isn’t it? End of the day, that it what sucks, for me. I was outside working on the (falling down) porch and thinking how what that jerkwad (apologies to all jerkwads 😉 ) did made me feel like an outsider everywhere, and just how hard it is to climb out of the pit, generally.

          I think it different from self pity–at least, I hope so! More like, once you’ve been taken for the Chump-amusement ride (aka the Vomit-Comet) everything changes hue. It’s hard to find the real real. Yuck.

    • ANR,

      I told my STBX that not only was I offended by his choice of AP, I was highly insulted – and I am. It ain’t you, Dude, it’s her.

    • I got thrown over for a skank that looked like she crawled out from under a bottle of black hair dye.

      There’s no accounting for taste with these people. Ultimately, what they want is somebody like them. I was out of his league, and at the end of the day he knew it.

  • CL….
    Thank you!!! Thank you for posting my letter and thank you to all who have posted a response.

    I KNOW HE SUCKS! I knew it from dday #1. What can I say? I held on to the dream too long. Long enough for it to become a nightmare! I woke up and got smart. I knew my life sucked as it was with all of the lies and the cheating. He showed me way too many times who he really was.

    I know I have to stop trying to figure him out. What goes on inside that tiny mind of his isn’t really that important. I have a new life and I am far happier with my life now than I was during all of that drama!! Maybe it is my personality, but when I heard this crazy shit talk I just wanted to call him to correct his narrative!!!! I wanted to set the record straight. You know, say………”wait! you can’t really believe what you are saying! can you?” I spent that night going over my entire marriage in my head. Recalling everything I did to be a supportive wife and helping to make his life as easy as possible for him so he would love me more. And yes, never cheat!!!! How many of us do this?? What a HUGE waste of time!!! But still (knowing this) I did it anyway!

    Thank you for snapping me out of it! Sometimes I feel like this shit will be with me forever!!!

    • You can’t reason with crazy, so there is really no point in trying. I often counted the ways I am imperfect but still came up short for a logical explanation of what would be so awful my husband just walked out without an explanation and shacked up with the crotch jockey. My worst offense is I have a heart.

      As for correcting narratives, nothing says go to hell better than silence.

      • Radio silence is my preferred weapon also. Kimmy, it will go away with time. I spent a decade dealing with my ex and his cycles (some people on here were with theirs muuuuch longer), and when I finally got away I STILL couldn’t get him out of my head (what is he doing now, is he being nice to this gf, did that commercial make him think of the time we went skiing, etc.). Now the only time I think of him is when something comes up for our son. It’s hard to believe at first but it definitely will go away!!!

      • “nothing says go to hell better than silence”

        Yup, these guys (who believe they are the center of the universe) don’t know what to do when it appears no one is paying attention and the only sound coming back to them is the crickets chirping

    • It drives me crazy that the Jackass thinks he is superior to other, decent men in my life. But he also thinks he is smarter than I am, which is clearly not true on any level.

  • These cheaters are delusional. Their thinking is distorted. Arguing with them about our history, or defending ourselves from their nasty spin, is like arguing with a schizophrenic about whether the voices they hear are male or female! What a waste of time! The best advice from everyone is to go No Contact. And then don’t let any contact or info or gossip in. I have had to tell people that I no longer wish to know or conjecture or anything. Even my own kids know better than to share anything now.

    I also read a book about Emotional Unavailability, and the section on toxic narcissists stated that narcissists are always saying to their partners, “If you were perfect I might love you.” And of course, no one is ever perfect, but even if we were, then “might” love you isn’t enough. We deserve someone who is capable of loving us back. Perfect or not.

    I did read something funny about the narcissist’s self-delusions: “When a narcissist looks in a mirror and sees something he doesn’t like….he gets a new mirror!” We are the old mirror! And that is why they move on. They can tell someone else who they are or who they want to be, and the person will believe them, for a while. That person has never seen the real them, or seen them fail, as I have.

    • Meg, I totally get that “we are the old mirror.” I have a gut feeling that my husband still loves me and he hints at being attracted to me, but he knows he’s gone too far for me or anyone to believe his lies any more. My entire family would shun him — there’s no going back. So even though he’s a world class narcissist, there seems to be some shame there (although he’d never admit it). This mirror knows too much. He’d better find a new mirror — someone he can fool like he fooled me.

      • Meg, I truly had the same feeling from my ex. I no longer believe it was love as you or I understand it, but I was valuable to him and was of good use. But once I caught him and everyone found out the very very shocking and disgusting details he had no choice, he could never face me, his children, my family or our community again. He literally moved away and discarded all of us. It was in the end an unexpected mercy, as difficult as it has been at times to try to understand (and to realize there will never be a way to understand it). We have to just accept that and still move on.

    • “When a narcissist looks in a mirror and sees something he doesn’t like….he gets a new mirror!”

      That makes so much sense, Meg.

  • Philosophy of Narcissism 101: sit for a spell and listen to my list of why all my faults are all your fault.

    • A.K.A. If I can make you feel guilty, that’s the same as you being responsible. My work is done here.

  • Kimmy, as everyone has said, you cannot trust anything a cheater says.
    I also wonder what my exH said to the 2 (known) women with whom he had a PA, especially the last one, since he left his two kids for her.

    But I simply trust that he is a lying, lazy, selfish , coward.

  • Disordered cheaters all blame the spouse. Nobody LIKES to admit they fucked up, or that they are a bad person, but normal people are capable of looking at the evidence, realizing they need to change and taking steps to better themselves. The disordered cannot ever do this, because it is absolutely intolerable to them to admit to any fault or blame in themselves. They cannot accept being less than perfect (in their own head). So they have to blame someone else for whatever THEY have done wrong. In the case of cheaters, 99.99% of the time they will blame the spouse for their infidelity, no matter how much they have to twist reality and defy logic to do so.

    And yes, Kimmy, your husband really does believe his own bullshit. How do you get to meh with this infuriating knowledge? Well, it’s hard, and I still have days where it bothers me that my ex blames ME for his endless cheating. But then I remind myself that he is disordered, that he will never, ever change, that what a lying, character disordered, horrible person thinks really doesn’t make any difference. Anyone stupid enough to believe him will eventually be used by him, and anyone who actually knows me knows he is a liar.

    Just keep on keepin’ on. The further out you get, the easier it is to get to mehville.

  • After careful thought and consideration, I understand completely why my ex left and divorced me. He told me that he is a grown ass man and no one tells him what to do! I get that! I told him for 25 years to respect and honor our relationship/marriage and please do not cheat! He did the exact opposite for at least 21 of the years we were together. Who the hell am I to tell him what to do? He said “you’re not my mother!” Right again JA! Darn, I really miss his lying, cheating, conniving, manipulative ways. And hopefully I’ll lose a few pounds in his honor because after all, is new child/fiancee’ is model material and he’s all that!!!

  • Kimmy-

    I don’t know if you have kids with your ex or how old they are but if NC is possible, I highly recommend it! My kids are grown so there is absolutely no reason to have any contact with my ex and I have taken full advantage of it. My kids know better than to offer any info too. I’m not asking so they’re not telling.

    As for friends that feel the need to enlighten you about anything your ex is up to, or the crappy things he’s saying; I have to concur with all the other posters that say that person is not really your friend. Tell he/she that you’re not interested in any information about your ex and if they don’t comply then cut them loose.

    Once you let go of trying to decipher their moronic actions or words life is a much happier place and I have to say that is much easier to achieve when your world is completely devoid of them. I am so close to Meh I can almost taste it! Here’s hoping you will get there soon too!

    • I have two teenage daughters with exH. I am NC with him. We do not speak on the telephone or in person. Only one daughter goes to see him, the other wants nothing to do with him. I send emails to him regarding the children when it’s important. Mostly, he does not respond. When he cannot take our daughter for scheduled visits he does not let me know. He sends word through our daughter. This just shows me that he continues to have zero respect for me. I have asked him numerous times to just let me know so I can plan around him not taking her and well……you know how that goes!

      I am in a happier place and I am thriving with my new life and our new home. Hearing that I was the cause for his affair (which wasn’t the first time hearing it BTW) just sets me back and then I realize I am not “there” yet! And I get angry again. Mostly at myself!

      • I know folks always say this, but seriously, we married behavioral clones.

        I think I am much further out on the time horizon, and I can say that, except for my ex’s hurtful, disrespectful treatment of my daughter (very parallel to your examples), I don’t feel even a twinge of present loss or hurt or even anger with regard to him. And I don’t recall the past expecting a different outcome from him any more.

        If anything, like you, it’s *me* I can feel fussed with – I still have shame twinges where I really think I was the village’s prize idiot for persisting so long in supporting a marriage that was so unhealthy and destructive to me, and I still occasionally get sucked, through my daughter’s concerns, down the rabbit hole of my ex’s covert aggression.

        But every day brings us closer to the blessed place where, as in Borges’s fabulous Chinese encyclopedia, the Ex and the OW are best classified as two animals that from a long way off look like flies.

  • I thought we where happy to, never ever did he tell me that he was not happy with our marriage or me. It hurts really bad some days remembering the things he told me the reason are he gave to the councelor about his unhappiness I. Tbe marriage:
    1. I don’t cook enough
    2. I am not a good homemaker
    3. My job is not good I don’t have retirement.
    And what hurts the most is those are all not true!!! He is the one who is cheating still with a married whore!!
    While I was doing the pick me dance for 8 months, I put a voice recorder I his car. I still had this feeling that he still sees her.i heard him talking to his mom ( only child and talking to mom every day) . That day after he got off work he called me and asked me if I wanted him to stop at costco and bring something home for dinner! I was thinking wow this is really nice of him.
    Well come to find out at the recording he is telling mommy how if he did not call to bring something home for dinner I would not have made anything!!!!
    Anothe time we where eating dinner as a family and I finished sooner than the rest , went to the basement to do laundry and it took me a while. He was telling mom that he is doing everything in this house. Meaning he had to clear the table and out dishes away!! My heart was so broken:-( how is he saying these things to his mom and them I front if me be all nice!!!
    But now that my eyes are opened he was always talking smack about me to his mom! Just of some of the stuff she would comment about , I was like why would she say this !! Now I know!!

    I am Glad will be divorced soon! My divorce pre trial is tomorrow!! Scared of what the future will he for me financially

  • Wasted heart, the weather is amazing in London at the moment. I am currently basking in sunshine in my Garden in afore mentioned city. So hot that I had to put my I Pad in the fridge as it passed out. Pack for hot but also the occasional thunderstorm, but at the moment it is hot! Hot! Hot! 30 Celsius which is about 90 or so in old money which you colonials use.
    Before anyone bites, I am clearly joking! Xxxx

  • It’s what disordered people do — not just serial killers. (Although I must point out that Ariel Castro wanted the judge to believe that the women he locked and chained in his basement were in a “consensual” relationship with him.) These freaks all have the pathological inability to accept responsibility. Period.

    Thank you for this slap up side the head Tracy!
    It’s been a few days of what if’s and could be’s for me again.
    It always happens after i have to have some contact with him.
    Although this time it was because him and his family pulled something on our daughters this past weekend so I had to hear the story and be reminded just what a deluded souls he and his family are. It’s not just him…..gee I wonder where he got his skills from?
    It’s always for your own good….don’t ya know?

  • Oh and visit Greenwich. It is fabulous, I have a vested interest as I live there. But it truly is fabulous, it will knock you out. So many films made here, Pirates of the Caribbean, Les Mis, just a couple to mention. I would meet you and show you around but have no idea how to get in contact confidentially on this site, more than happy but understand if you don’t want to as I am a complete stranger.
    Regardless enjoy as I am very proud of my home town or city. Xxx

    • Theatre. Go to the theatre! An hour or two before curtain go to the half price place with a list of four or five shows you want to see. Check and see which has the best seats. I usually get within the first 8 rows and always see something great. God, I love the West End!

      • Wastedheart,

        There are a lot of us who are cheering you on as you cavort all over London! Happy for you! Yes, yes.

        I love that city, lived there when I was young, another life time ago. What fun to go with old friends. It gives me a lift whenever I hear about one of us chumps getting on with it and enjoying life to the full again. Well done.

        • olesammie, Nord and Finally Realized,

          Thank you. No time for Greenwich diversions, I’m afraid. My college roomie, who lives in Fulham, has our short four days planned to the minute with cocktail and dinner parties, theatre (fear not, Nord), shopping and catch-up gossip sessions! Hooray! I have the daily challenges as everyone else, and will continue to do so as my divorce makes its way through the system.
          But, I see light at the end of the tunnel now that I’ve stopped internalizing shame that didn’t belong to me. I am just now able to appreciate, empathize, love, enjoy, labor, excel and initiate — all of those essential constructs of happiness that were paralyzed by the piss-poor self-worth one bears when choosing to remain with someone who has betrayed, humiliated and covertly deprived her of the most fundamental respect in a relationship.

  • I am really starting to like the word fucktards, wish there was a I am in a no fucktard zone coffee cup, now that I would really enjoy using

  • Good heavens, what an powerful post and insightful response.

    Due to specific and I hope terminal legal processes currently under way, I am spending this summer revisiting the conditions of the last years of my marriage, which correspond to the last three years of ex’s final affair (culminating in marrage to OWifestress, God bless her!).

    I so remember asking all of Kimmy’s crucial questions, over and over and over again, of him and myself, as I tried relentlessly, almost manically, to untangle the fabled skein. How did I let him down? what happened to our fundamental primary commitment to one another? I thought, no matter what, that he was my best friend, and I certainly thought that I had always treated him that way, as the person to whom my loyalty and transparent care were due first. How had I failed in that covenant?

    The national religion is self-help through self-correction, of course, but even within the Venn diagram of folks who attempt to fix external things by improving themselves, I occupied the far out-of-control edge of the Stepford doormat protocol of wifely self-abasement and self-criticism.

    I only wish there had been a CL then to ask her good questions about where I went so wrong, how I fell so far from perfection, how I brought it on myself, and how I compelled my ex to replicate his mother’s pattern in conducting a terminal affair with a close family friend from church.

    It took me *years* and a lot of evidence of his utter callousness with regard to my daughter’s needs and feelings before I was able to grasp the core truth: it was perfect appropriate to trust that he sucked. Because he did then, and continues to do so now, and absent the intervening grace of a divinely merciful deity, there’s a whole lot more suckitude in his future.

    Delightfully, OWifestress bought that ticket and now gets to ride that ride.

    Luckily, there is a CL now to frame the questions that really need to be asked. Thank you, Kimmy and CL. This was a great post to read today.

    • “The national religion is self-help through self-correction, of course, but even within the Venn diagram of folks who attempt to fix external things by improving themselves, I occupied the far out-of-control edge of the Stepford doormat protocol of wifely self-abasement and self-criticism.”

      LOLOLOLOL!!!! Best description EVER!!! You could place a picture of me next to this!!! I love it, even though it describes a sorry state of living!

      Thank you andstillirise. I needed to see that perfect description in print.

      • CP —
        In the darkest months, I could have run my own little auto-generated struggle sessions with self-accusation rituals and self-criticism placards around my neck:

        andstillirise is a bad comrade who realizes she is not fun any more and who should have gotten into Coldplay and spent much more time at Church Coffee Hours and suburban children’s soccer games and mall shopping! But if only she is given the chance to correct her crimes she will rehabilitate herself and be ever more loyal to the Dear Leader and perhaps take up making him Cold Play mix tapes like his new ‘friend’ does.

        I am glad neither one of us lives in those dark places now!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struggle_session

        • lol lol lol – Maybe you should have went the self flagellation route, you know to really prove you admit the error of your ways . . .

  • Kimmy,

    I have heard my STBX “just wasn’t happy,” from him and anyone who he told that believes that drivel. He has told people he was on the verge of suicide. He has blamed me repeatedly for his unhappiness and his affair(s), while saying, at the same time, in the next breath, saying he’s not blaming me. I am just getting to the point where I am not internalizing those things because I have spent almost 30 years trying to be the person he wanted me to be in order for him to treat me well. Ain’t Gonna Happen. As CL has so eloquently and succinctly put it, you can’t speak truth to stupid – and my STBX is one stupid and crazy-assed motherfucker.

    In spite of his continued horrible treatment of me (which he denies – “I’m not doing anything to you!”), it has been very difficult for me to process the fact that he is really not a good person, as that is what his PR rep (that other face of his) professes. But then I look at the people with whom he has surrounded himself from childhood to now (his best friend growing up was always suggesting ways to rob or scam people and eventually ended up breaking into houses and supposedly was killed), the co-worker “friends” who are comfortable lying, cheating and backstabbing, and I realize those relationships define him. That’s who he is. Water is constantly seeking its own level.

    It is horrifying for me to realize that I’ve pretty much wasted my life on a man who has shallow cognitive abilities, shallow or no emotions and who not only never really cared about me, but probably never had the capacity to truly care about me the way I deserved.

    I am just beginning to move on (and it is a struggle because it is such an ingrained way of thinking) from caring about what he says and to whom he says it. People who know me know he’s a pathological liar, cheat and Flaming Turd from Satan’s Ass covered in prairie dog shit. His bedazzled, disordered, lying, cheating and scamming “friends” who want to believe his bullshit? Fuck those assholes. They were not people who were ever going to mean anything to me in this life or the next.

    Anyone who listens to your ex-husband’s (and particularly the OW’s) reasons for the divorce are knaves or fools – or both. Tell them to carry their tales to the National Enquirer or TMZ – you are not interested. Why should you concern yourself with what a lying, cheating, backstabbing POS says about you anyhow? You are so much better than this. Live your best life without this POS (and his lies) weighing you down. You’ve earned it.

    • What I have heard from SEVERAL people? For years now, he’s been telling everybody the only reason he stayed with me is for the kids.

    • CP…..
      Shortly after I told him I would be filing for divorce and asked him to leave our marital home, he told my best friend’s husband (a couple we hung out with a lot) that he had been “so unhappy for the past five years!”. This after begging me not to divorce him and calling my best friend herself to ask for her help in getting me to change my mind. He told her how much he had screwed up and how he would do ANYTHING to win me back and how much he loved me. Wouldn’t she please help him and talk me out of it!!!!!?
      His claim of being so unhappy came after he realized that there was no way I was taking him back.

      I laugh at this because really those five years should have been the happiest for him! No? He had two women satisfying his every need and doing the pick me dance for his attention. Or was his guilt killing him and making him miserable? Somehow, I doubt it.

      And I feel that same way as you…..not really sure if he ever loved me or cared about me the way I deserved. Obviously, I have done a lot of thinking about this over the years and looking back, there were signs that perhaps he never really did!

    • “It is horrifying for me to realize that I’ve pretty much wasted my life on a man who has shallow cognitive abilities, shallow or no emotions and who not only never really cared about me, but probably never had the capacity to truly care about me the way I deserved.”

      Yes Princess, that’s the hard part.

  • Why does it bother you so bad? Because his version of reality is moronic and he’s pulling in others to make it consensus reality. It’s infuriating and it revictimizing and it feels like he’s getting a justfiable pass for his crimes because a jury of his peers say so.

  • Today’s greatest visual was the picture of Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch, talking about his new love etc. Fast forward: replace Tom’s face and body with your cheater’s. Have him or her jumping up and down on the bed in the delirium of love for the AP. Silly, crazy, stupid fucktard/ wingnut/asshole! Why do we listen for even one more second to what they have to say? I’m sorry! I can’t understand you! I don’t speak cheater!

  • Kimmy….there’s really no answer. They’re assholes. That’s the only answer I can come up with. ALL I want is to meet someone else and live happily ever after and never think about the POS of shit again. I’ve been single going on 8 years and it’s time.

  • CL has taken on a boatload of newbies, and it’s time to post this hilarious article again. [I’ve seen it all over the internet, and had it saved for years in my documents; but I’m almost sure it originated on the Midlife Club some years ago. It could easily be titled, “The Handbook for Blameshifting Cheaters”]

    MIDLIFE For Dummies

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Mid Life Crisis!! You are about to embark on one of the most perilous journeys you have ever taken. A journey fraught with intrigue and guaranteed to turn you inside out! This book is designed to help you make sure you get the most emotional bang for your buck.

    In these pages are the “how to” answers to the questions you have been asking yourself about damaging as many people as you can along the way. Come on and dig in, it’s time to get this roller coaster rolling on down the tracks!!

    Chapter 1 – Choosing the Correct Speech
    There are 4 basic speeches for you to choose from. They are:

    a) I love you but I don’t know if I’m in love with you.

    b) I’ve never loved you, and we should never have gotten married.

    c) We got married to young. I never knew anything besides you.

    d) You tricked me into marrying you, I would never have done it otherwise.

    Once you have decided on which speech to give, you need to cause as much anxiety in your spouse as you can before you actually give it. Continue to the next chapter for Lessons in building anxiety.

    Chapter 2 – Lessons in Building Anxiety
    You will find these lessons to be helpful in causing anxiety in your spouse and others (depending on the level of pain and damage you want to cause), not just prior to giving the speech, but throughout your MLC.

    Lesson 1 – Monstrification of Your Spouse
    This is easy to accomplish. Simply think of only the “bad” things that your spouse has done throughout your entire relationship. Have one of those “angel” spouses? No problem, just remember how bad she always makes you feel. DO NOT under any circumstances remember fondly your spouse, or anything they have done for you. Remember, they are going to be the cause of all of your problems, so it is imperative that you convince your self of this first.

    Lesson 2 – Emotional Detachment
    This will be very easy to do after accomplishing lesson 1. All you have to do is start reminding yourself that you don’t care about them, what they feel, what they want, or if they hurt. Simple! Every time you remind yourself of this, you will get further and further away from your relationship emotionally. Now, that wasn’t too hard was it? On to lesson 3

    Lesson 3 – Mass Confusion and Indecision
    This lesson requires a little more thought and attention. You must constantly practice saying “I don’t know” to ANY and ALL questions. That is imperative!! Your spouse (and others) must never know precisely what is going on in-side your head. Also, never let them know where you are going, where you have been, who you were with (this will go hand in hand with the lesson on the Other Person, or OP), or whether or not they can expect you to return home.

    Lesson 4 – Lies and Deceit
    To get the most damage, and cause the most pain, you must lie and decieve at every opportunity. And to really achieve hall of fame status, you should be very inept at it, so that everyone knows that you are lying, or suspects, but can’t prove it initially. This works very well for the following chapters, OP and Cake Eating.

    Chapter 3 – The Other Person (or OP)
    Now it is time for you to succumb to temptation. You KNOW all of those other women/men want you! They have been coming on to you for years!! It is time for you to give them their chance at having some of you. Make sure that you leave a very confusing trail for your spouse to follow. One that lets them suspect, but have to dig and sneak (to make them feel worse about themselves) to find the information they need to prove it. Hold out admitting the affair as long as you can, and don’t admit it ever, if you can get away with it.

    Chapter 4 – Cake Eating
    This chapter is designed to string your spouse along in uncertainty as long as possible, because as long as they have hope, they won’t be able to go out and find their own lives and be fulfilled. Why should they get to do that, while you are so miserable? They shouldn’t!! So, make sure that you are affectionate occasionally (not too often, as this will raise anxiety levels), that you drag your feet about making a decision on the marriage, and that you leave and come back several times (as many as you can get away with).

    Chapter 5 – History Revision
    It is very important that you revise the life you have lead with your spouse. You must use words like: Always, Ever, Never and All of the Time. Always precede the statement with the terms: you, I, and we. As in “you always nag me” “I never ever (double bonus here) get to do what I want” and “We have to do what you want all of the time”. This will help to make your spouse feel like the way you are behaving is all their fault, and can cause them to feel even worse about themselves than they already did!!

    Chapter 6 – It’s All About You!!
    Remember this is all about you! What you want and need, RIGHT NOW! You shouldn’t have to wait until you can afford something, just go on out and get it! You deserve a new haircut, new clothes, and some new toys. You’ve worked for it. You would probably look great in that new Convertible, or on that new Harley!! So don’t hesitate! You live in the here and now! So why wait until tomorrow!!

    Remember, the word is CRISIS and if you are in one, EVERYONE else should have to ride the Roller coaster with you! It’s no fun taking a ride alone, and you know what they say about misery loving company! Go on out there and get started, so much pain and damage, and so little time!

    Chapter 7 – Avoid, Ignore, and Run Away
    This chapter is to help you deal with the problems that your spouse will try to cause. We don’t want you to have to “deal” with anything, now do we? You shouldn’t have to “think” about any “issues” right now, except those that concern you “feeling good”. The best way to handle this, is to Avoid, Ignore, and Run Away. Any time someone tries to make you see a more “reasonable” stance on a subject, simply Avoid making a reply… stare out into space, as if you are thinking about something important, and they will become uncomfortable and leave you alone.

    If there are responsibilities that need your attention, simply ignore them. You don’t have to do anything you don’t feel like doing. And the best for last is Run Away! This can be accomplished in many different ways. OP’s can help you Run Away from all of these “problems” as well as Alcohol, Drugs, New Sports Cars… etc the list is endless. Of course, you can always just leave… but remember not to let them know where you are going, and if you’ll be back!!

    Chapter 8 – MC and Therapists
    Your spouse may ask you to go to counseling with her/him. This is only useful to make them feel better. It cannot possibly have anything to you so there is no reason for you to follow-up with anything suggested–it doesn’t matter to you. The only thing you should look for is more reasons (excuses) for avoiding, running and ignoring (see previous chapter).

    Chapter 9 – I Don’t Have To if I Don’t Want To and You Can’t Make Me!
    Remember that this is about YOU, and what YOU want and how YOU feel!! No one else is important, so don’t let them make you feel as if you have to listen to anything they say. Your spouse will try to help you of course, because they love you. Don’t let them get away with giving you unwanted advice. Let them know in the teenage vernacular, that they can’t make you do anything.

    This is important, you must be as childish as possible!! Any truly adult behavior on your part will only convince them that you are listening to what they are saying, and you will have to start back at the beginning. Of course, this technique can be used knowingly to cause more confusion and chaos, just beware of the danger, you don’t actually want to start acting like an adult!!

    Chapter 10 – How To Threaten and/or How To Move Out
    You threaten to move out for weeks or months but you don’t. (*)You tell your spouse that you got too much on your plate right now to look for a flat but that you will do so in 2 weeks time. After 2 weeks, repeat from (*).

    If your wife wants to come too close to you, like entering your bedroom to talk to you, tell her to stay away or you will move out. When she replies that you will move out anyway tell her that you will move out faster if she comes any closer

    Chapter 11 – Art of Clinging
    The Art of Clinging to the End of the Mattress without falling off the matrimonial bed while still sharing it with your spouse.

    Chapter 12 – Advanced Lessons
    This is usually reserved for those in more difficult situations, where the LBS has responded not by tossing you out, threatening to leave, or filing for divorce, but instead persists in not only OFFERING to cooperate, but actually MAKING THE CHANGES you said you needed.

    “I am tired of living like this/I don’t want to live like this anymore/I am not going to live my life like this?” often is coupled with another advanced tactic, “It’s not you, it’s me”.

    This line is most effective AFTER the LBS has jumped through hoops and bent over backwards. It basically confirms that no matter what changes the LBS is willing to make, the incompatibility lies within the MLCer, who has no intention of, or implied desire or ability to, compromise.

    Appendix
    HOW TO MAKE YOUR SPOUSE THINK SHE IS CRAZY
    1. When confronted by the evidence of an EA or PA, become very indignant. Stress that the LBS is obviously just a jealous sob/bi*ch, and you are entitled to “buddies” of the opposite sex.

    2. Never, ever answer the question, “Are you okay? Is there something wrong?” with a direct answer that might actually lead to a discussion that might help the marriage. Continue to never talk to spouse, never give her/him a personal compliment or touch of affection and by all means work on the “cling to the edge of the mattress to avoid touching” manoeuvre that is so successful in making your spouse crazy.

    3. Always bear in mind that your spouse will expect you to want to at least give them the chance to “fix” the marriage. Since you have already checked out emotionally (of course NEVER tell them that!), you are under no obligation to actually listen to anything they say or acknowledge anything they do. This tactic is also extremely beneficial when they employ the MLC diet. When they lose a massive amount of weight and you are in ear shot of someone who mentions to spouse about the weight loss, say “Are you losing weight? Why don’t you ever tell me things?”

    4. Of course one of the most successful ways to drive them crazy may only be used when you have earned the MLC Black Belt. Go to marriage counselling for months, let them pour out their soul to you and the counsellor and let them believe they are actually accomplishing something. Then arrange things so the spouse finds you in your own home with OP. This will accomplish two things: a. She will finally have to understand how lucky you are to have found your “soul mate” and b. She will be doubly betrayed because she thought you were actually working on the marriage.

    DON’T LET YOUR SPOUSE GET TOO INDEPENDENT – STATEGIES FOR SUCKING YOUR SPOUSE BACK IN
    1. Make negative comments about OP or the chances that the relationship with OP will succeed. HOWEVER, under no circumstances, make any commitment to end the relationship with OP.

    2. Make veiled hints about suicide or excessive drinking or drug use. Be erratic and hard to contact.

    3. Do random acts of kindness such as yard work or something. That will keep your spouse confused and hopeful.

    4. Make vague comments hinting that things might work out between you and your spouse IN THE FUTURE. HOWEVER, under no circumstances take any actions to work anything out.

    CUSTODY – Using the Kids To Your Advantage
    If you have children, they can be extremely useful for inducing fear and panic in your spouse. Recommended phrases include, “You’re poisoning my kids against me”, “You put that idea into their heads”, and “You need to do [insert pertinent action here] for the sake of the kids’.” Remember, your spouse, being a responsible and loving person, is not only trying to cope with his/her own feelings, but trying to protect the children, and you can use that to your advantage.

    Don’t forget to use the fact that if you spend any time with your kids, you should get Extra Credit Bonus Good Parent points from your spouse. It doesn’t matter if you feed them ice cream for breakfast and have them watch “Hellboy” when they asked for “Veggie Tales”, you Just Wanted To Make Them Happy, and since YOU are the best judge of Happiness, that makes you Super Parent.

    You can use this opportunity to trash talk your spouse (“Isn’t this more fun than what Mommy/Daddy would let you do?” “Mom/Dad doesn’t know how to relax.”) which of course, will be repeated back to your spouse so you get the benefit of destroying their self-esteem second hand.

    Highly advanced MLCers may want to start casually using the word Custody, but be very, very careful. While useful for sending your spouse into a state of panic, you certainly do not want to be responsible for a bunch of kids who will seriously cut into your personal fun time. The word Custody should only be used in a casual tone of voice for the most devastating effect.

    BUTTON PUSHING
    You (the mlcer) know a lot about your spouse. You know what pushes their buttons to get them both upset and/or happy. You have the power, you can do it! So using the kids to upset them is fair game (see section on how to use “custody” to upset them but not take on the “custody”). And if that ever stops working, find something else. Suggestions might include pets, valuables in the home, their appearance, family, career. Nothing is out of your reach since you have put in so many years getting to know your spouse–use what you know.

    THE BLAME GAME
    By now, you should be aware that all of this MUST be your spouse’s fault, however, your spouse may not understand this completely yet, so you need to start planting the seeds.

    There are several ingenious ways to put the blame on your spouse, and we will be exploring them all.

    Method 1: The Non-Blame Statement

    I’m trying not to blame YOU

    This statement implies that you are “not putting the blame on them” but on closer look (which your spouse is guaranteed to be doing) The words actually put all of the blame on the spouse (where of course we know it belongs).

    Method 2: The Passive Blame Statement

    I don’t think that I can live with you.
    My opinion never mattered to you.
    I can’t live like this.
    We rarely have fun anymore.
    I don’t want to live this way anymore.

    These are passive statements that don’t actually assign blame to your spouse, but your spouse will definitely get the idea if you use them. They can’t help but see that it MUST be them that makes you feel this way.

    Method 3: The Direct Blame Statement

    You never listen to me.
    You never put creases in my pants.
    You use bagged salad.
    You never keep the house clean.
    You are going to do it your way.

    All of these are direct statements of blame. You should mix actual faults with things that don’t really matter to make it more confusing, and make your spouse feel as bad as possible about themselves.

    Your spouse has probably already started doing the hard work to look inside his/herself (Yuck, what an awful thought!) and will take on all of the faults you list to try and correct them. This will keep them occupied for awhile, and you can avoid any serious relationship talks while they apologize for and try to fix all of their own faults.

    Make sure that you don’t actually accept the apology, that way you can continue to bring the fault up which will slow down their self improvement process. Remember, they are working on becoming better human beings, and you wouldn’t want that to happen to fast, as that would interfere with your ability to string them along.

    Note: NEVER ACTUALLY ADMIT TO ANY FAULTS OF YOUR OWN!!!! REMEMBER, YOU DON’T HAVE ANY! YOU ARE THE GOOD ONE, AND HAD THE RIGHT TO HAVE AN AFFAIR, LIE, SPEND MONEY, OR ANY OTHER THING, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES THAT ARE BAD!!!

    Let’s not forget “We’re just incompatible – we always were.”

    Also, when the LBS starts to make changes, make SURE you find fault with these changes, or point out how it’s “too little, too late”, or wasn’t what you meant AT ALL. If all else fails, put the LBS down for being so willing to change herself for your needs. Also, when the LBS starts to make changes, make SURE you find fault with these changes, or point out how it’s “too little, too late”, or wasn’t what you meant AT ALL.”

    How to keep you spouse guessing…be mean one minute threatening divorce, etc then next day be kind and sweet almost the way your spouse remembers you..rinse repeat….

    HOW TO CONTINUE THE CRAZINESS ONCE SEPARATION/DIVORCE IS AGREED UPON
    1. Even though by now you, dear MLCer, have done everything human possibly to convince your spouse that you do not love him/her and want out, when the time comes to actually file, DON”T DO IT! This is the coup de gras of MLC. Absolutely DO NOT TAKE THE INITIATIVE. This is a most vital and awesome crazy-maker. Holding out will force your by now totally devastated spouse to finally throw up his/her hands and seek legal counsel.

    2. Once the LBS has had enough and decides that divorce is in their best interest, you have won HUGE points here. Refusing to be the one to file now puts YOU in the role of victim, bringing you all the attention and pity necessary to allow you to again regain your image of the abused one in all this. Now you can, with absolutely NO guilt, tell everyone the divorce was your LBS’s idea (which of COURSE it was!) and they will assume that:

    a. the LBS lost all that weight and obviously has been involved in an affair, and

    b. the marriage ended because your LBS spouse is going through a – YES! THE PINNACLE OF CRAZINESS! – Midlife Crisis!!

    • Genius. Genius, genius, genius. Especially the explanation about not filing. Thanks for the laugh!

    • Ummm what do you do if the XH told you every single one of the Chapter one reasons? I feel sooooo much like a cliché spouse. Who the f*@? was married to then???? Is this why I feel like I haven’t moved on yet??? How much damn counseling do I need to get past this kinda shit???? On the one hand I find this hilarious but then I am truly sad that I was put through this by my “best friend”…

      • DeeL,

        My X hit on almost all of them, too. This is how adultery causes people to act.

        Never forget that the cheater is the one who is cliche’–and NOT YOU [actually this is the origin of my screen name]

        For me the “History Revision” was the most frustrating and nauseating. It literally enraged me! As I consistently deconstructed all his delusional bullshit, he would change his “excuses” (the old ‘shape shifting’ manoeuvre) until finally he had nothing left except the pathetic……… “We grew apart.”

        At that point I told him point blank, “No, WE didn’t grow apart. YOU pried us apart when YOU made a decision to cheat-and-run instead of to Man-Up, act married and not regress to infantile diddling and babbling. I’m donating you some suspenders to hold up those “Man Pants” inside which you are steadily shrinking to the diminutive size of a toddler.” I think I also used Judge Judy’s famous axiom, “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

        You just can’t let them beat you down with the Bullshit. I didn’t and you won’t either if you never lose sight of the truth and do not allow their big poor-me-extravaganza to brainwash you.

        • Notyou, it’s hard to get past the brainwashing. It’s a lot easier to go along with the narrative cause they break you down over such a long time. I’m tired of being wishy-washy about what I know to be true and what damn ex says. I’m just tired of this situation period.

          • I know, Dee. I know. It’s so freaking hard, but you can get through this and recover……because now you know better.

            My life is good now and has been for several years but here’s a thumb nail
            for “teaching purposes.” Don’t see it as a sad story but as a success story because with intentionality you can and will get past all this pain and get a new life.

            My X cheated after 33 years of a good and normal marriage. With respect to how they try to manipulate you and make you feel responsible for their bad behavior? Well don’t beat yourself up for getting confused sometimes!! I am a psychologist and should have known better from the get-go, but I was sucked in for a little awhile by my X’s pitifully conveyed monstrification of me. One would have thought I skinned kittens alive and ate babies’ brains for breakfast.

            Mind you, his entire litany of woes and complaints abruptly emerged as he gave me the, “love you but not IN LOVE with you” speech. Everything I had ever done was wrong, wrong, wrong, and bad, bad, bad. He’d been neglected and exploited for the entire 33 year relationship. 32 years in which I got direct and prolific feedback from him indicating that I was a pretty damned good wife!

            Soooo…if I and our marriage had been so damned bad, why the hell did he stay so long? Because neither me nor the marriage was bad. Or as Dr. Frank Pittman so succinctly put it, “Bad marriages do NOT cause infidelity; infidelity causes bad marriages.”

            [Hint: Want to fix your picker? If a needy man with the “lost puppy dog” demeanor and who plays victim at Oscar quality performance sets out after you? Run like hell!! You are about to be sucked into playing Mommy-Tit to a huge baby….or worse a Narc.]

            At the very beginning I did apologize for whatever I had done that seemed to have hurt X so badly, and offered to attend counseling with him. Nope. He was done with my bad ass and had to be “out”–yesterday.

            Something about all this abrupt shit smelled incredibly bad, and his radical change in behavior set off little alarm bells. Small changes in his behavior that had seemed inconsequential over the 6 months or so prior to D Day now took on a whole new and glaring light. Gut-check told me, “Possibly cheating? Hard to believe of this particular man, but anything is possible. Better do some due diligence.”

            It took less than a week to get my own personal “goods,” all of which solidified for me that he was talking out his ass (Rectal Cranial Inversion). And, further, that the monologue had nearly nothing to do with my performance as a wife or as a human being and everything to do with the fact that he had contracted a case of “lust-crazed dementia.”

            I did a “180” alright but not the kind recommended to get your “wayward” back! Had a PI get objective goods and then told X point blank that IF, in the parting of the ways, he tried to screw me financially there would be WWIII and NO leaflets would be dropped for the MOW warning of air strikes and carpet bombing…just scorched earth all around. (I call that doing the “360”).

            I did make HIM file for no-fault divorce though…just to be contrary, drag it out, frustrate them, and keep him in suspense that I might at any time counter file on grounds of adultery naming married Twinkle Twat as correspondent. [BTW, the two of them didn’t make it. She chumped him after a couple of years. Must have been painful for him. A little violin comprised of my right thumb and forefinger played, “My Heart Bleeds For You” .]

            It wasn’t the actual adultery that turned me into warrior woman. I could have forgiven that if he had given it up, shown genuine remorse and honestly tried to make amends for damage done.

            What detoured me up ‘Don’t Get Mad, Get Even Avenue’ was the fact that I knew from my professional training that deliberate and prolonged manipulations to cause another person to question his or her reality testing (aka. Gaslighting) is one the cruelest and most damaging forms of emotional abuse. It is literally crazy-making. Can cause PTSD, and if done to children long enough can cause them to become psychotic. There is no other word for it except: Evil. [When somebody screws up that bad? Whether he tries to stay or feels compelled to go, dammit OWN your shit and be real. Don’t patronize, gaslight, or blame shift to me.]

            Dee, you must be conscious at all times that you have been emotionally abused by his manipulations. He can’t face who he really is (or worse he doesn’t care what he really is), so he must project his internal sewer off onto you.

            There is a wealth of study about self-justification and how in the process atrocities (on both mass and individual scales) are committed. What the emotional victimizer is after with the campaign of guilt and shame mongering is the “Sanction of the Victim”

            I repeat: What lying, cheating, gas lighting, irrationally self-justifying people are out to secure is: THE SANCTION OF THEIR VICTIM. They want you to give them the green light to go ahead and destroy you. Somehow in their delusional state that makes what they are doing right. NOT!

            Were you a royal bitch? I doubt it. You most likely were and still are normally imperfect (and now traumatized) person, who makes mistakes…but mostly a pretty good woman. Don’t allow this man to sell you a delusion… to distort the past and make you feel ashamed for not having been *perfect*.

            Don’t take him personally. This is ALL about him. Every rotten moment of it. Hold fast to your knowledge that he is a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal right now, and protect yourself emotionally and financially where at all possible.

            This man is NOT your friend anymore. Take care of YOU.

            Some suggestions….

            http://www.ignitepoint.com/?gaslighting_psychological_abuse&articleid=762695

            • Thanks for this post, notyou. The loss of reality and manipulation were the worst thing for me, and it infuriates me that he continues to lie. I agree – just own your shit, for gods sake.

              Hmmmm. Still some way off meh.

            • Not you, what suggested responses do you have for my STBX who is still trying to tell me that I’ve “abused” him psychologically for 15 years (the total duration of our marriage.) The examples he gives me are that each time he lost a job due to his own fault (the man keeps getting fires due to his aggressive personality and being very confrontational with people), I wasn’t supportive enough of him and told him it was his fault. Well, geez, it was his fault, there was a pattern of termination every couple of years on avg. something’s smelly to me and I told him. I told him he should see a psychologist to work on his social skills. He calls not being supportive and cites it as one of the reasons he started affairs which lasted for years. Apparently he felt destroyed by my attitude? What? Anyway, during brief pick me dance I was agreeing with him, admitting that it was a shitty thing to do to blame his for loss of his jobs, especially the last one which was the highest paying position and apparently he was depressed afterward, unknown to me. Being a depressive person myself, I immediately felt guilty for not recognizing that he was depressed but a few months since DD I’m starting to question how was it possible that be was depressed and picking up 20 year olds at various bars in town? Is that still depression?
              So now that this still about me being a cruella deville comes up, I’m more angry than ever, want to defend myself but not sure what to say to let him know that I no longer feel guilty about any of it. By the way, I believe OW dumped him so he maybe using this guilt tactic to try to reconcile because he has a place to live to gain, if I took him back.
              Is it horrible to say to him that just because a company states that he was laid off (his argument for why it’s never his fault), doesn’t mean that he wasn’t an asshole to work with (my belief.) I mean, in 15 years he held 6 jobs and got fired from each of them, 3 out of 6 called it a lay off but he seems to always be in conflict with one of his co-workers or bosses, so my opinion is that it’s him. And this opinion, ladies and gentleman, is what he calls systematic abuse of him. Advice?

              • Lizzie, like notyou said above He has to own his shit and man the F up. You were depressed, right, did you go out and have affairs to help you with your depression. Depression does not make you lose your integrity. My ex used that as one of many excuses that caused him to “have to go out and look for someone who was going to make him feel good about him self”. Cheap excuses, straight up blame shifting on the cheaters part, but they wear you down and that is what they want to do, because they are miserable in their own selves that they sure as hell are going to try and take you down with them. Go No Contact with him as much as possible, if you don’t have underage kids, then cut him off completely. This is your time to heal, not have to take care of that damn huge ass baby anymore.

              • What does it mean when his blame shifting still has effect on me, meaning I do wonder if I was such a horrible spouse like he wants me to believe. I think what confuses me the most is that he actually believes it so much I then start to feel guilty and I end up with more questions than answers. Yes we do also have little ones who adore this sob and overall I’m stuck with being dependent on him financially. I was never a materialistic person but my fantasy now is to either win the lottery or meet a wealthy man and only then I’ll be able to cut ex off.

              • Based on your comments from another post-if he believes it, then he’s mentally unstable and you shouldn’t be listening to his opinion. If he doesn’t, and he’s just OK with manipulating you that way, then he’s mentally unstable and you shouldn’t be listening to his opinion. Either way, you need to untangle yourself from this person, and have as little contact as possible. It’s his reality or yours-pick one! Good luck and lots hugs. I know it sucks.

              • Only saying it because I’ve been there! Sorry if I’m being a little black and white. My Ex said in counseling that he decided it was OK to cheat based on the following: He was stressed about changing jobs. One day instead of comforting him, I said (nicely, by the way) I couldn’t deal with it right then and needed a break hearing stories about work. I also suggested he may need to look at both sides and see if he was communicating effectively with his boss. He says that he decided then and there I was a cold-hearted bitch who didn’t love him or care about his needs.

                That is truly messed up. I was home with two very young children in a new city, while he travelled extensively for work. The idea that I could have stress too never crossed his mind. And it never mattered when I tried to discuss it with him. Six jobs in eight years was stressful for all of us, not just him. Not a reason to cheat. Not a reason to pull out of a marriage emotionally. I repeat, it’s messed up. And, in my opinion, an attempt at an excuse. He was probably already cheating by then and just looking for a “good reason” to justify it.

              • Lizzie ,”What does it mean when his blame shifting still has effect on me, meaning I do wonder if I was such a horrible spouse like he wants me to believe.” This means that he has successfully brainwashed you into taking on his shit. Poor little old me I only want to work(not), but these horrible people just won’t let me, waa waa waa! And when your sick with worry over the debt and make a comment then you become the bad guy. It’s a mindfuck of the worst kind. Like notyou said in a reply to me”You most likely were and still are normally imperfect (and now traumatized) person, who makes mistakes…but mostly a pretty good woman. Don’t allow this man to sell you a delusion…”!!!

              • Advice? Hell, yes I do. Sounds like we were married to the same man. Brags about his ability to intimidate and manipulate people at work and in life to get what he wants. Says people hire him to be a “pit bull.” He’s on job #6 in 8 years because his superiors are “unintelligent assholes who are threatened by him.” And during that 8 years (married for 22) at least, he was manipulating and cheating on me. Truly cruel stuff he did, by anyones standards. For example, he read a letter from a “friend” who was actually an affair partner or prostitute (still not sure) to me and the kids at the breakfast table and put her picture on the fridge. Our MC was stunned by some of it. I was always smoothing things over, helping him deal with stress, depression, etc. I am usually quiet, very even-tempered and understanding (things I checked out with everyone I know, to be sure I wasn’t the delusional one.)

                After his first serious affair, he started to tell everyone I was controlling, and that I was always angry and loosing my temper. Was always yelling at me that I undermined him with the children. Told me he was going to divorce me for “mental cruelty” so I wouldn’t get any support, and said I was abusive. The first time he threw the mental cruelty line at me I got so mad! That was the line in the sand for me. It was so far-off from reality that I had to see it for what it was. He was attempting to break me down, distort reality, play the victim, and manipulate me and everyone else so he wouldn’t look like the bad guy. It was sick.

                My advice is, don’t listen to him! Don’t buy it for even one second. It should really piss you off. Speak up if anyone else seems to believe it because that stuff can get out of hand if left unchecked. No arguing, just stating that you disagree with his statements and are confused by his behavior. No contact, and write down everything you can that will help remind you that you were a loving and supporting spouse, so you an refer to it yourself in moments of self-doubt. That my Ex could suddenly forget the 22 years of effort, love, faithfulness, and kindness that I put into our relationship and suddenly claim I was some kind of deranged, angry, control-freak was just awful. I couldn’t believe he had sunk so low.

                Of course it’s him, of course you should have said something, and no, that does not sound like “systematic abuse” to me.

              • 6 jobs in 8 years? Similar to my STBX! I think some of his gaslighting must have worked on me because I never questioned if losing jobs this often was NORMAL, until one day I woke up and simply thought that there must be something wrong with him to be unable to maintain work relationships for more than a year. And this type of questioning is considered abusive to him. I’m a bitch because I dared to ask “what the hell is the matter with you.” By the way, I almost envy some of you for having these successful cheater exes. At least they were providing financially, at least you weren’t embarrassed to say that your spouses were perpetually unemployed. I’m starting to wonder if there’s sowmthing really wrong with me because I chose an unattractive unsuccessful man to be with. I believed in the power of love and here I am. With nothing to show for: no beach houses, no fancy cars or any other material goods, just debt more debt and a cheater.

            • Notyou, I want to thank you for this post, in addition to all the other insightful posts you contribute… it really does help to know I am far from the only chump who struggles with wanting the world to know that the outrageous revisionist position the SCTBXH (So Close to Being Ex Husband) has taken, and is broadcasting to the world, of being the 33 year victim of a greedy, manipulative, freeloading, uncaring wife is so incredible against the truth of his own choices, and our material success, throughout the entire marriage. Not one bit of actual documentation I produced during the proceedings made any difference in his viewpoint. I’m not sure any reasonable person could ever mesh his whole idea of victimhood with the successful, ball breaking, union busting executive he also likes the world to know him as. I, like many other chumps, struggle with that inevitable fallout of divorce, the second guessing about everything: him, me, the marriage… a good therapist, especially one who has known you (and the history) years before the final implosion like mine has, is invaluable for perspective. I personally have to remember: For him, it’s all about him, and what he thinks I did, or didn’t do, or provide, or sacrifice, or cheerlead, or support, or adore, or overlook, or idolize… One of the last things I remember saying to him in person is that I never felt I was enough for him, and I didn’t think there is a woman in the WORLD who IS enough for him. I absolutely believe that. We met at 19, married at 22 right after college, and it’s really hard to change an entire adult lifetime of thinking and conditioned reflex, but anytime I doubt myself, I just pull out any one of the journals I’ve kept during the whole 34 years , one of his many non-apology reconciliation letters, or one of several letters his own family members have written, or even think his own “documentation” of his behavior, and remind myself that for my part, I lived this marriage faithfully, supportively and authentically. I need to go forward as bravely as I can at 56 years old, resurrect my creativity and curiosity for life, enjoy my health and fitness, and be happy I have the capacity to start again and see what I can find in this world. A daunting task at times, but as others have said from further down the road, time and a deliberate focus on the future will be my biggest ally.

            • “Mind you, his entire litany of woes and complaints abruptly emerged as he gave me the, “love you but not IN LOVE with you” speech”
              Fuck that shit. I got it too. I think we should haul off and punch the asshats when they say that to us.

        • feisty,
          Much as I’d love to, unfortunately I can’t take credit for that masterpiece! [Check out my disclaimer at the top of the post.]

      • Nord, every once in a while I would like to send some of these things to the ex, but I know that it would do no good. It’s best to be NC for me completely. If he gets annoyed it would be awesome but I’m sure he can’t stop “sparkling” long enough to read them. 🙂

    • I would say that 95 percent of the manual happened to me!! Wow. I loved that, thank you so much for the satirical way of describing it.

  • Projection, it’s what my ex did. I found his lies to others helpful in sorting the friends from the not friends. I reminded myself that ex was able to fool me and manipulate me and I lived with him, so I cut the friends some slack on being sucked in. I explained to my friends that his narrative was bullshit, if they chose to believe him? If they maintained they were neutral and could be friends with both of us? I cut them loose. In my case there was abuse beyond the cheating, but honestly my friendships are based on trust and respect, every bit as important as that between spouses. If my friend does not believe me, that is not a friend, that person does not trust me. If my friend thinks it’s ok to be neutral and engage with someone who hurt me? That is not a friend. If someone believes the bullhit my ex spouts about me, that is not a friend, I have no respect for that person and therefore their opinion does not matter to me at all. I only give a shit about the opinions of people I respect. This makes the whole, how can they say that thing irrelevant.

  • Damaged people damage other people. Just when I get to a better place my ex has to knock me down and tell me how I poisoned the kids against him. And because of me they have to suffer finically .

    • He can’t knock you down if you don’t give him the power Magicrain. Do you respect your ex? Do you trust your ex? NO? Then his opinion is of no consequence, about as capable of hurting you as a fly, it buzzes around and annoys the crap out of you until you swat it. You know that it is because of him that the kids are suffering financially, you know you are not poisoning the kids against him. You don’t need an untrustworthy person to validate your reality. No contact except for custody issues helps remind you of that. Jedi Hugs!

  • Yes, to all of this! I had virtually everything in the pathetic midlife crisis play book thrown at me. We are now 48 hours out from our mediation day, which began with my NSEXH (not soon enough ex husband) submitting a full 14 pages of the most outlandish, hurtful, accusatory revisionist history of his victim hood that made my blood boil! He’s so missed his calling in life because he has apparently just been acting happy– ok, in between episodes of cheating, gambling, sticking himself with needles of steroids/testosterone, and flat out saying “this just isn’t working for me ” and abandoning wife and daughter to roar away in his latest Porsche, oh, until he wants it all back and sends yet another lengthy reconciliation letter– for out entire 34 year marriage! The first actual proposed point then demanded that I return the tape he made of himself on his noontime fuck (he was too high on the new do-it-yourself-porn-star experience to remember to take the tape out of the damn camera!) but he resents all the references to infidelity! That revisionist history was the most obnoxious thing in this whole 13 month process since I took the bull(shit) by the horns and filed myself, beating him to the courthouse by one business day, and putting my team in the driver’s seat. He has been furious ever since, and the email nastygrams have been epic. I hate how we chumps can read this crap, and even knowing what it’s all about, start questioning if we really are the people they accuse us of being.
    Can’t wait for meh to arrive permanently, but at least I see signs. Meanwhile I am doing just fine with my settlement, and can’t wait for the lawyers to wrap it all up, slide that baby in front of the judge, and let the gavel fall on the almost complete waste of my adult life, with the exception of an amazing daughter. Like Sandra says in Hope Floats, I do have the best of him sitting right here! I have told my friends that every time they have to pay their outrageous “monthly television entertainment bill” they just need to think of it as contributing a little bit to my maintenance.

    • Wow, Chumpness In Seattle, that made my chin drop to the floor. You’ve been through hell, you’re not quite out of it yet, but you seem strong, determined, and still have a sense of humor. You’re succeeding! I can so imagine that all those lies hurt you to your core. We can’t look at the time we “wasted” with our cheaters (I’m guilty of this too), we just have to look forward.

    • You’re kicking ass CIS! You’ll get to Meh . . . by the sound of your post, you are more than halfway there.

    • (he was too high on the new do-it-yourself-porn-star experience to remember to take the tape out of the damn camera!)

      Buahaha!

      Can he spell…. m-e-t-a-m-o-r-p-h-i-c m-o-r-o-n…?

  • Honestly, you WILL get to the point where it matters none whatsoever what two LOSERS think or speak of you. This takes a lot of work on yourself. You have to get away from the sickos, go NO CONTACT, and set some short term and long term goals for yourself, then work on achieving those, and learning a lot about the world and yourself and new friends and new skills along the way. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll recover, you’ll have a lot of small and large victories. And NONE of it will have anything to do with the LOSERS. You’ll eventually see that you were done a big karmic favor, by being cut free from losers. You won’t have much time to even think about them.
    You know, your self esteem is boundless, but you have to earn it from yourself. It doesn’t come from anyone else. When you can respect and like yourself, you’ll stop caring what losers think of you.
    True, there will always be good people who are duped into thinking poorly of you by the losers, but the truth is that they don’t know you very well, then, do they?

    Make it your goal to do what you want to do with the rest of your life. Life is short–who are you going to be? What are you going to accomplish?

  • So much wisdom throughout all these replies! I think it really helps to not only TRUST that they suck but KNOW they suck. I actually feel sorry for my ex. He had the best life. I know he constantly needed validation and that was exhausting. And truly there was something MISSING all along. The signs were there. I just wanted that damn fairy tale (and being a witty, strong, intelligent, beautiful fluffy Chump by God I was going to make it work!) here’s the thing though in twenty years I could never MAKE IT WORK. He was always going to do what HE wanted. I really had nothing to do with the choices he made. It’s sort of like making cookies and using SALT instead of SUGAR. Chumps, we had SALT. So five years out I know I did the best I could. I also know I am lucky to be free. That relationship was toxic. For me and my(our) children. Not that life isn’t hard but you have got to get moving. For those in the early stages, I found that exercising was the best thing. It helped me turn off those negative thoughts. Bullies want you to believe the lies they tell. Embrace all those people in life who are authentic. Embrace the hobbies you love and never had time for. Travel. Play tourist at home. Build a house. Go to London. The world needs us out in it. Isn’t that the best lesson…?

    • and being a witty, strong, intelligent, beautiful fluffy Chump by God I was going to make it work!

      It’s a humbling experience, right?

      “A man’s [or woman’s] GOT to know his limitations”, Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry), Magnum Force.

      • I’m with you…I really reacted to that line as well.

        Also, exercise really does help. These days if I don’t get at least a decent bike ride in each day I get all kinds of stressed and anxiety and this is even with me not giving much of a shit about ex or what he’s up to. It also helps with sleep early on.

    • “Embrace all those people in life who are authentic. Embrace the hobbies you love and never had time for. Travel. Play tourist at home. Build a house. Go to London. The world needs us out in it. Isn’t that the best lesson…?”

      Exactly. Right now I’m in the midst of the legal issues, but at the same time building a new me.. Exercising is good and picking up old hobbies as well as enjoying new ones really channels all of my creative energies. I do feel sorry for stbx but we each have our own walk/journey. Me with him has ended.

    • “Embrace all those people in life who are authentic. Embrace the hobbies you love and never had time for. Travel. Play tourist at home. Build a house. Go to London. The world needs us out in it. Isn’t that the best lesson…?” You’re so right Drew. 🙂

  • Hi y’all,

    I just discovered this blog this week and it’s been incredible to hear all of your stories and realize that I’m not alone. The Midlife Crisis for Dummies fits my ex to a T, except he’s been using it since we were first married in our 20’s.

    My ex likewise loves to revise history. We’ve been divorced for 6 months after being married for 16.5 years. Occasionally, he’ll send me an abusive email accusing me of various things like I’m a bad mother, it’s my fault we got divorced (he filed), etc. His emails are usually very long. He probably spends a whole day writing them, which he can do because he’s been unemployed for over a year.

    I wish I didn’t have to deal with him at all, but because we have 3 children I have to see him weekly. I have no regrets about our divorce, but I wish I could fast forward to “meh.” I still have nightmares about him ruining my life.

    I would venture to say that many of us chumps suffer from some form of PTSD. Of course, I don’t wish to compare it with the chronic PTSD suffered by those who have been in combat or suffered through very traumatic events. I just know that whenever I see a car that looks like my ex’s or I think about seeing him at our kids’ baseball games, I’m filled with overwhelming anxiety. Do any of you have suggestions for overcoming these feelings of anxiety? What’s worked for you?

    • Welcome Dr Chump Change, Jedi hugs! My ex escalated emotional abuse to threatening to kill himself and me with a gun, I didn’t want to believe it but yes I was suffering from PTSD. I was in therapy a good long time. Nothing helped until I found EMDR, it made a huge difference for me, check it out. There is also a thread in the forums about what it is and people it’s helped here at Chumplady. You will find the login for the forums on the right of the blog post. Your comment resonated with me because i used to be so bad off when I’d see a car like my ex’s, you have no idea how common that car and color is until it becomes a trigger. Glad to say I no longer freak over that damn car model.

    • Welcome, Dr. Chump Change, glad you found us! 😉 You are absolutely right, many of us have PTSD for a variety of reasons, some far worse than others. PAChump and Datdamwuf hit the nail on the head: time and the right kind of therapy are our friends, along with the men and women here at CL.

      Meh awaits us all on some future Tuesday.

    • I pre-medicated with a beta blocker (metoprolol 25 mg) when I knew I was going to run into the ex at an event for the kids. Benzos (lorazepam, alprazolam) will not work for me because I have to drive and be alert, but beta blockers can help with shaking and heart racing–and no risk of developing a habit. And the metoprolol helped! I also would use it occasionally for racy-thought insomnia–I do not believe in daily sleep medication.

      I made it a practice to avoid him at these events, without drama. If he is on one side of the auditorium or the pool, I’m on the other. If he enters a room, I leave it. I do not speak to him nor make eye contact with him. I smile and visit with friends and pretend he’s not there. (Have to be careful not to overdo the laughing, though, lest you come off as frantically trying to hard.) Just fake the calmness.

      Worst night was when a woman I know came up to me with her husband (she’s seriously empty-headed) and nicely said, all glowy, “Oh, we just chatted with your husband! It was SO nice to see him!” And I stammered, “Oh, uh, we’re not married any more….” Obviously I was shaken, but she persisted, “Well, it was really nice to see him!” And she shrugged. How was she supposed to know, anyway? So I just changed the subject and excused myself politely. What I wanted to do was scream, “HOW COULD IT BE NICE TO SEE A LYING, CHEATING PIECE OF SHIT???!!??” But I didn’t. And I think the ex, who’s a bit of a loner, was more uncomfortable than I was, and he always bolts as soon as he can, whereas I like to socialize. It’s always such a relief when he leaves.

      Mercifully, he never brought the OW around. It’s possible that he didn’t want to upset the kids, but, frankly, I think he’s mo