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Cheater Word Salad

Chump Lady used to be a think tank editor in her younger days. Think tanks are those marble buildings on K St. in Washington, D.C. where “policymakers” work — usually people with impressive credentials and colossal egos.

Think tank publishing is mostly vanity publishing and not every book was stellar. But I learned an important lesson as a young editor. There was a direct correlation between good writing and clear messages — and bad writing and WTF-is-the-point-here?! word salad.

Word salad is when you string a bunch of five-dollar words together that appear to have meaning, but actually signify nothing. Writers who didn’t have anything of substance to say, but still wanted to appear Very Important were the worst word salad offenders. The kind of people who say “paradigm” a lot.

One of my favorite actual word salad sentences during my tenure was: “It aspires to a position of synthesis.”

“This makes no sense whatsoever,” I wrote to the author — so he recast the sentence to read: “It aspires to a position of synthesis with respect to other values.”

Oh gee thanks. Much clearer…

The point of word salad, near as I can tell, is to intimidate. It’s a crazy offensive play to dazzle you with bullshit, and if you resist, they will just jibber jabber at you more insistantly…. with respect to other values, you MORON! If you persist in failing to understand the word salad, they will look at you pityingly. Clearly this discourse is too sophisticated for one such as you.

Cheaters love word salad. It’s condescension, opacity, and aggression all tossed together in a light balsamic vinaigrette.

“I am not defined by my relationships” is cheater word salad. At first it sounds vaguely reasonable. Then you think about it. Huh… then what ARE you defined by? Wife, mother, neighbor — these things play no part in your identity? What is the point of such a statement? “I am not DEFINED…” (condescension) “By my relationships.” (If you have a problem with my cheating, well such fuckbuddy “relationships” do not define me.)

Flutter and vagueness are large ingredients of word salad. The cheater doesn’t want to be pinned down, or directly understood. “I didn’t say that. Did you say that?”

Chumps then apply their own Rorschach test to word salad. They look at it and interpret what they want to read into it. Oh, maybe that means remorse. Or maybe it means I am the person really at fault here. I think they’re saying they didn’t do anything wrong…. or maybe they’re saying they did… shit, I can’t tell.


This column ran previously. I’m recycling occasionally while I’m updating my site. Feel free to comment!

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  • Now I know what it’s called! I got a whole letter full of it from my ex and I’m surprised it didn’t drip real olive oil. I never did figure out what he meant but it seemed sincere! It was so mixed up I couldn’t just pick up the lettuce and discuss it sensibly with him, followed by arugula and then sliced spring onions. There was nothing I could do but stare at it, going WTF? I got to be known as an unforgiving vengeful you know what for not taking it as an obvious sincere admission and apology for whatever it was he couldn’t quite name and wasn’t guilty of anyway because he meant well. Ha ha ha.

  • I think I have bought into the word salad I was being fed for years because I didn’t want to face the truth. It was much easier to keep my head down and keep trying harder so he would love me. He wrote me a long letter after I tried to leave him in 1999 that asked over and over “why?” Why don’t I talk with him? Why aren’t i more open? I wanted to believe that he really did want to be my friend as he said so I double down and let him back in. Ten years later he had another affair, this after years of heaping abuse upon me and my kids. We had attended marriage seminars, read the books, saw multiple counselers, but still he was justified, because I wasn’t open enough, I was a frigid pole ( but I am sure our sex life was better than most couples), I didn’t fold his clothes right, or he needed to see if he still had feelings for his old gf. It all sounded so silly this time. My head knew his words were bull, but my heart still wanted to be with him, or it was the fear taking over again. This time my head won out. He was spinning words and excuses so quickly even he couldn’t keep up. I think you have to really be in tune with your intuition when they start the blaming and trying to confuse facts, if deep inside you know it isn’t right or feels off, it probably is.

    • You know, it’s a crime that our culture values the idea of “marriage” more than the people in the marriage. Had you felt–really felt–that “heaping abuse” on you and the kids was a deal breaker, had someone told you in pre-marital counseling that here are the things you must never tolerate, you might have left a lot sooner. Glad, though, that you got yourself out.

      • Sadly, I know the church knew about the abuse, but they believed the marriage was more important than the health of me and my kids. One if the counselers did tell me to leave. He sent ny STBX out of the room and told me I was married to an abuser and to get my boys and leave. Problem is, I was very depressed at the time and felt like I was heading for a nervous breakdown. The church sent us to another counselor that promised he could help me, but I had to start counseling with mt STBX again. I really had hope again, but the counselor ignored the extant of the abuse. When I told him about my husband balking me out on Easter, threatening to leave if I didn’t change in 60 days, leaving his wedding ring in my Easter basket, screaming at my son and I while driving erratic from a church event, the counselor told me I needed to make sure I didn’t do anything to set him off. I should have thought ahead when I saw the situation beginning, I should have read the signs and stopped it. Then things got better again, but less than a year later my STBX went on a cruise with an old girlfriend telling me it was my fault, I had let him fall. The counselor was still trying to save our marriage, he told me my husband needed a lot of attention. I stopped seeing that guy and went back to the guy that told me to leave my husband. I wasted six years and recieved a lot more pain, but divorce proceedings have begun. I am a bit resentful. I don’t understand why the church would not make sure my family was safe, that they only cared about the marriage. The counselor that blamed the problem on me is an elder in our church. When I told him I wanted to divorce my husband he sternly warned me how hard divorce is. Harder than living with an abusive cheater, I think not!

        • I think “the church,” as in institutionalized religion, is part of the problem. What your story really illustrates is how little some “counselors” know about marriage, abuse, therapy, and disorders of the mind and character. It also illustrates how hard people will fight to maintain the status quo in their lives, out of fear or duty or honor (as in “I made a vow”). I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: people should be told by parents, aunts and uncles and other healthy adults that marriage is not a life sentence of abuse. They should be told that horrific outbursts, verbal attacks, threats, intimidation and manipulation are forms of abuse. And that psychological and emotional abuse are deal breakers. They should be told that cheating is dangerous to the chump’s health, that it threatens the economic foundation of the family, and that cheating is therefore a deal breaker. AS CL says over and over, if the cheater is sorry, let the cheater show that by moving out, paying support, being kind and thoughtful and faithful over a period of time (not 2 weeks or 30 days. Let the cheater court the chump again (regardless of gender). And for anyone to make staying in an abusive relationship a condition of someone getting help for depression, and in particular in a case where the spouse is abusive and unfaithful, well–how stupid and incompetent.

          Divorce is hard, but done well and for the right reasons (not for the skank of the week), divorce can help people get out of relationships that will destroy them. And again, how stupid is a counselor that “counsels” someone to do the easy thing that is self-destructive rather than the “hard” thing that can lead to healing? My therapist always wants me to do the think that’s “hard,” because that usually is moving me away from fear, or reactivity or inertia. Sorry you ran into a total idiot masqueraiding as a “counselor.”

          • And I meant to say that young people should hear these things before marriage. No way I would shell out thousands for weddings and not tell my kids that if their partner turns out to not be abusive, they need to get out and not wait.

            • I came from an abusive family, I really didn’t know how a normal marriage was supposed to work, my marriage pretty much mirrored my parents except I don’t think my dad cheated on my mom, physical, verbal abuse is normal with my parents. I wish I had known that abuse was enough to leave, but the one counselor that told me I should leave also explained that by being abusive my husband had already broken our vows. Right before I found out about his last affair, I had been speaking with my STBX on the phone, and he was being mean like he hated me. When I hung up I realized that once my youngest moved out, no one in my home would love me except my dog. At that moment I thought “if he ever cheats again, I am leaving” I think God heard me, not long after I found out about his affair, but he said it was only a EA, that he hadn’t slept with her, I still didn’t think that was enough to divorce, months later I found out about the cruise. I was praying that God would show me what to do and then I got up and immediately found his secret face book page with a picture of him smiling on a beach with her. What a big chump I am, but I think god was sending up flares by that time trying to help me see the light. I thank God every day that he has set me free, I am free from my own fear and blindness, but this is incredibly hard. I have to remind myself often that the nice charming guy with tears in his eyes while he says he is so sorry is the same guy that ripped my heart out and fed it back to me.

        • Writer 65, do you mind telling me if it was the Catholic church that gave you such bad advice?? I hear this often about the ”church”. I ask, because the same thing happened to me.. I dragged the masturbating teen porn addict down to see the priest ( I know, I know, it was during my I CAN FIX THIS crazy phase). The priest told me that” viewing porn was not, strictly speaking, infidelity.” Funny, it sure as shit FELT that way!!!! Then, after finding 16,000, yes 16,000 photos and videos in a dummy account on our home computer, and taking my babies and leaving for a week, the priest chastised me and said I should not have left, but come to him instead, that all men do it and, no it’s not right , but ”strictly speaking”………
          So, at 8 1/2 months pregnant with child # 5, I caught him yet again, dragged him to the priest, and yep. Same ol’ same ol’. When I finally kicked this asshole out, only ONE person called me to see what was wrong. I had stopped going to Mass altogether. He took the children and kept up his image as an upstanding, Catholic and very pious man. I withered at home. Sick, scared after giving up my career 14 years before to to stay home, raise and homeschool kids. Wondering what the hell was I gonna do??? So, I was just wondering if all faiths put the marriage before the sanity of the person being asked to eat shit sandwiches and pretend that it is filet mignon or just the Catholic church? Argggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Oh and here’s a great word salad gem. ” Teen porn??? Oh I know it SAYS ”hot sexy teen nymphos”, but all of those sites have a disclaimer the ALL of the girls photographed are over 18”.

            Another one, when I told him that all those women are made up and airbrushed to look so perfect he exclaimed ”oh no! You don’t understand! I was on a site where men photograph their wives, and this was RAW footage! And these women were absolutely FUCKING BEAUTIFUL!!!! ” . OK I FEEL BETTER NOW ASSHOLE. I had to walk away from him when he told me that shit, saying he was being ”transparent” with me, because I wanted to slap his stupid ass into next week.

          • No, I am not catholic, I think saving marriage even with infidelity is in right now. Our preacher is a child if divorce and preaches often about saving marriages, even after an affair. Yes, I believe in marriage and yes, I want to do what is best for my kids, but the divorce is not what is breaking my son’s heart, finding out his dad cheated on his mom did that. I think people just don’t understand as they do not live in my home. They see this charming guy that is always ready to help those in need at church. They believe his lies, they thought it was my sons fault when my STBX attacked him. And my STBX has set me up as the crazy nagging wife for years. They bought his lies of victim hood while me and my kids really haven’t had a voice.

            To be fair, there are people at church that have been kind and supportive, I guess having the elders not support me is what hurt.

            • I am so sorry that happened to you and your son. It is a travesty that the very people that should help, make things worse. And for me, being shunned by people I had attended church with for 9 years really hurt. You did the right thing. But, divorcing is NOT what I wanted, but after 14 tears of lying, secrets and financial ruin, and realizing change was never gonna happen, I had to pull the trigger.

              • It was 22 years for me, this is not what I wanted either, but at some time we have love and respect ourselves and the only way to do that is to set ourselves free from the lies and abuse. I think I may be changing churches soon just to start new where people don’t know the old me, because I am not that quiet, scared person anymore. I am happy and outgoing now that I don’t have someone telling me everyday what a loser I am.

  • “Maybe we need to burn this thing to the ground to see if there’s anything we could rebuild on.”

    “We need to go our separate ways to see if one day we could find our way back to each other.”

    “This thing” was our 19-year marriage and intact family, and what I didn’t know at the time was that he was embroiled in an affair when he said tossed out these leafy greens.

    Turned out there was a sinkhole. And I finally threw the map into the recycling bin.

    • Rally,

      Did you tell him that you had no intention of walking that damn crooked road he had chosen so the chances of you finding your “way back to each other,” were pretty non-existent? Sweet Jayzus in a Jumpsuit! I’m surprised you didn’t throw up on his shoe when he said that.

      Your X certainly etched the “ASS” in Jackass.

      • No, unfortunately, back then I fell for the romanticized turn of phrase because it made what was happening seem more noble or even hopeful, or some crap like that. You notice how his word salad always ended with the possibility that we might one day get back together? Yeah. By that time, I was so starved for anything hopeful coming from him that I would gratefully pounce on words like that.

        Now I know that he was trying to pretty up the large shit sandwich he was about to feed me by wrapping it in paisley butcher paper. Whereas I was desperately trying anything not to have to destroy our daughter’s intact family.

        The “find our way back to each other” line immediately preceded our removing our weddings bands from each others’ fingers. I was sobbing at the time — he wasn’t. That should have told me something. I didn’t yet know that he was heavy into his affair with the Whore of Babyl…er, Tampa.

  • “I need to leave you to see if I miss you”

    “My dating others benefits US”

    “she’s country like me” (wtf? he doesnt even like to camp nor has he ever lived outside of city limits, ever)

    • You sure you are spelling “country” right? Sorry. CL. Patriarchy, ya know,

    • “My dating others benefits US”

      How generous and selfless of him to have an orgasm with other women behind your back. He manipulated you because he CARES. LOL! The stories cheaters tell themselves are truly baffling.

  • Oh boy, that’s a reminder I could have lived without 🙂 Not the whole “language that is misused to mislead rather than clearly communicate” part of the message, but that within the context of cheating.

    For a split second there a memory flashed by of me being so frustrated I felt like I was about to blow a gasket 😉 Back Demon Memory #14! OK, all better now 🙂

    I always though Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language” should be required reading for everybody, and it scales up and into other areas aside from politics quite easily, and it’s even more apt now than it was in 1946, IMO.

    Here’s one link to it:

    • i just love that “Back Demon Memory #14!” i have a lot of those that my silly little heart keeps trying to bring up. now i will be chanting that saying!!! lol

  • Back when I was in the secondary classroom, we would have to attend professional development days and then divide into small groups and come up with something to turn in, to show we “learned” something and were participants. Often, because of my and others specialty areas, we would find ourselves in the same small group.

    Time to get online and tap into the bullshit generator site! It was awesome in all of its specific and global paradigm shifts as we synthesized multi-level accessibility levels for the variants of intelligences across multidimensional and cross-cultural influences.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • Well, just said this on another thread but:

    “I’ve told you I can love many people in many different ways”

    “You never should have married me. I have so many issues I could commit suicide”

    “You look old” – not much dressing on that one.

    and, the last…

    “I feel like a little wild animal trapped, trapped I tell you, in a cage!” boohoo

    • “I feel like a little wild animal trapped, trapped I tell you, in a cage!”
      Have you been hunting Timid Forest Creatures out of season again LOL

    • I think he meant ” many different positions”. That is my take, anyway. Probably a pretty acrobatic person.

    • Time to throw that cage in the nearest river and drown his sniveling, cheating ass.

  • From an email a few months ago. I’m giving you the abbreviated version:

    “Poor me, poor me, poor me, very dramatic statements you usually only hear in soap operas, poor me.” Followed by salad.

    “I know this all sounds pretty pitiful, but I don’t really feel sorry for myself. I just wish my life had taken a different course. This is not where I was meant to be.”

    It makes my head hurt to try to understand those three sentences. They’re not complicated, but they make no sense! I think he does feel pretty sorry for himself, especially given that he can’t even take responsibility for where he is in his life. Where was he “meant to be,” I wonder? Off the word-salad topic, this email didn’t once acknowledge the pain he inflicted on our children.

    • whoa – those 3 sentences make no sense. At.all. Is he happy…now? Is he remorseful that he lost you…now? Or did he mean…he never should have taken his path with you to begin with?
      I see what a mindfuck that is. Not even worth trying to figure it out.
      HE doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      • well he knows he doesnt feel sorry for himself. and yet the next sentence expresses sorrow for the way his life turned out? i agree HE doesnt even know what he is talking about. more then likely trying to be the victim so she will feel sorry for him and fix it for him. fucktard. cant even get that right. haha

    • Yeah, I wish your life took a different course too, like the umbilical cord wrapped around your neck 3 times at birth! If only we weren’t so hurt and dumbfounded when they said this kind of CRAP!!

    • Some of these are just about using passive voice to avoid responsibility.

      I wish my life had taken a different course vs. I wish I had taken a different course.

      This is not where I was meant to be vs. This is not where I meant to end up or even this is not where God meant me to be.

  • “I just want to be happy.”

    “You weren’t happy when I met you. You appear not to be a happy person, unless everything goes your way and you have unlimited money. What I am doing that has caused you to be unhappy? You told me years ago that you were not responsible for my happiness – that each person is responsible for their own happiness.”

    “The relationship isn’t making me unhappy.”

    “What about the relationship isn’t making you unhappy?”

    “[Marriage counselor] told you what I needed. I just don’t think we’re compatible and this is going to work.”

    “We’ve been married over 25 years. When did you decide we weren’t compatible?”

    “We’ve never been compatible. We don’t like the same things. You like the windows open when you sleep and I don’t. You get up really early.”

    “I get up really early to go to work.”

    “Right. And you don’t like to have sex in the morning.”

    “I never said that. You don’t want to get up early enough to have sex without me being late for work.”

    “We’re just not compatible, okay? [Marriage Counselor] told you I was different!”

    This is representative and/or a variation of most of our arguments during the marriage. Remembering it makes my head want to explode.

        • Love it. I got a similar version of the incompatible argument. AFTER 23 YEARS and 2 KIDS. Did you just decide this??? Later he tried to say I was the only woman who could make him happy. I just said, “It appears you’ve not been very happy with me the past, you are seeing someone else, so I don’t think you’re happy with me now. I predict that you won’t be very happy with me in the future, so no thanks.” He didn’t have an answer that time.

          • I also got the “we’ve been incompatible since the day we married” speech after 20 years of a marriage where he not only told me all the time that I was his best friend, he even had a little sign on his bathroom wall: “Happiness is Being Married to Your Best Friend.”

            • I am so sorry that happened to you and your son. It is a travesty that the very people that should help, make things worse. And for me, being shunned by people I had attended church with for 9 years really hurt. You did the right thing. But, divorcing is NOT what I wanted, but after 14 tears of lying, secrets and financial ruin, and realizing change was never gonna happen, I had to pull the trigger.

      • Yep. I got ” I know you are hurt and all, but I did not get married to be celibate and you need to get over your issues so we can resume a sex life.” And ”It feels like my head is going to explode over this….I am going crazy! (In sotto voce) ”I feel like killing myself. I wouldn’t do it, I just feel like it.” (Yelling) ” I NEED HELP. HELP HELP HELP!!!!”
        He only acted this way when I caught him, Dick in hand and lesbians on the screen. Yuck.

        • Irish, I’m Catholic and the first priest I spoke to basically told me to try to be a better wife and have a better sex life with the idiot. I finally ended up speaking with a really conservative older priest (he’s 80 and is more of a “fire and brimstone priest”, guess what he told me… Leave, don’t talk to him until he “fixes” himself. To say the least I was completely floored. After I told him how D-Day went he just kept on saying “what is he thinking”. I had been crying the whole weekend before cause I thought that this particular priest would tell me that I had to go back and give him another chance. This was D-Day 2, more like 22 but I was a chump to the core back then.

          • DeeL. All 3 priests I spoke to are ”traditional” priests. I expected them to really come down on him. Especially since it was the 3rd time I had dragged Stbx to talk to them. What a disappointment. I was basically told the same thing. Be a better wife. I think those words are so damaging. It is hard enough go through Dday after Dday, deception upon deception, gaslighting, lying and all the rest. Then to be told WE needed to try harder. Hell to the no! I had tried. Everything I know how to do and nothing, absolutely nothing stopped him.

      • “I deSERVE to be happy.”

        Well, this, this is just iceberg with bottled thousand island, but he said, “You can leave your wife without leaving your kids. I didn’t leave the kids, I left you.” And then he left and only saw them a few hours a month from then on….

    • The more trite the reasons, the deeper the involvement with the AP.

      I got criticized going all the way back to the beginning of the marriage, too.

      • Thank you for this Chumpalicious. I believe you are right and I certainly never thought of that correlation.

  • We can’t forget the classic – ‘I just want to be FREE’.
    At almost 60?
    Never knew you not to be free – you always did everything you wanted and got everything you wanted.
    Go be free..old man.

    • yeah, it goes along with the ‘I never got to (or get to) do anything I want’

      As this is said I flash on him fucking other women, right, never get to or got to do anything your poor little boy mind the little aged man who found himself destroying his family never got to do anything you never wanted?

      So the affair, you didn’t want that, you were forced you were blackmailed into it.

      If they could just go and not explain the stupidness.

      • I got that too beachi. Never mind the fact that I NEVER went anywhere or did anything without the kids in tow, and he hung out with “friends” at least twice a week without me or the kids for most of the marriage. Oh, even better, he “never got to make his own decisions.” Somehow the affair was MY decision? Must have been the OW’s decision.

        His cheater word salad that messed with me the most was that I was “controlling and deserved to be cheated on.” It took a lot of therapy for me to realize who was the controlling one in the relationship, and spoiler alert, it wasn’t me.

  • My ex, in one of his more pronounced sad sack moments declared “I was punished for telling the truth”.

    Yep, how dare I divorce him because he admitted not only to a 5+ yr affair with a co-worker but that he was in love with her?

    And that he was never willing to give up this married girlfriend… “I am complex and capable of loving more than one person. I don’t operate in absolutes”.

    Well, I do, you fucker. You’re absolutely an asshole.

    • hear hear Paula – Coming back from a nice resort vacation I asked him out of the blue (yeah, a little late from me) if he ‘made the phone call’ to his ex g/f. He said, ‘yeah, I’ve talked to her a few times’. My blood boiled and asked him what the 2nd call was about if the 1st ended it. His I can’t remember answer was enough for me. I was heartbroken because I thought he made a terrible mistake and would immediately cut it off with her now that I found out. Nope – turns out he had her fully engaged the whole time I thought he was trying to save our marriage. Can we be made bigger fools of?

      • Oh and Tracy, you are so influential in my life that I’ve not allowed myself to use the word “paradigm” since I read this blog first go-round!!!!

    • That’s right, stay in that corner and keep repeating I was punished for telling the truth. And then remember, you weren’t telling the truth when your wife didn’t know.

      Such a wrapped up in himself asshole

  • I noticed that Fiona Price person who critiqued your book on Amazon tossed a mean word salad. Or, should I say her paradigm resonated with the illusion of sophistry brought about, primarily, by pedantry and ascending condescension, blah, blah fucking blah.

  • One of my XW’s best, when denying a physical element to her myriad dalliances; ” Yes there were inappropriate relationships where the chemistry became sexualized”.
    What a fucktard (apologies , Fiona).
    I’d just pointed out that I had read her journal entries where she expressed her desire to ” stop having sex with strangers”.
    These folks will look you right in the eye and deny, even when they are busted dead to rights.

    • Arnold…I caught my ex in the bed with the skank, and he denied to the day I went NC that anything happened. They were merely in the bed naked together, and I had a dirty, untrusting mind to assume there was sex involved.

      The denial part still floors me….I mean, really????

      • “They were merely in the bed naked together, and I had a dirty, untrusting mind.”

        THEY were naked, yet YOU’RE untrusting?

        Like getting naked and in bed with other people is innocent… Sheesh!

        • Their clothes had somehow become infested with lice or ticks and they had to shed them and flee to the bed.

    • So having sex with strangers=inappropriate relationships where the chemistry became sexualized.

      Two great speech tricks there – 1) the passive voice. The chemistry mysteriously became sexualized.
      2. Calling something by another, longer name that makes it sound vaguely neutral, but is really trying to hide something wrong.

      • These things, apparently happen. One day I was walking down the street and some chemistry sprang up and a bunch of raccoons attacked me and began humping my legs.

  • My ex said, “I need a woman who wants to ride the roller coaster of my life with me, and is willing to crash and burn.” He also said he wanted a woman who is an extension of him.

    Of course, this is the same guy who when I asked him if he loved me, replied, “I need a lot of zest and excitement in my life, and if only you could give me that, I could give you your heart’s desire.” I guess that was a “no.”

    • I hope you told him you had your own ride to ride and his extensions weren’t very appealing, particularly the crashy burny parts. I could offer a few suggestions as to what he could do with a zester as well. He doesn’t have a clue about any “heart’s desire” but his own.

      Were they this idiotic to begin with? I kept thinking “he must think I’m stupid” until I realized he couldn’t detect his own bullshit. Maybe he’d just been swimming in it too long. His integrity got all pruney.

    • Sounds like he needs a woman who doesn’t have needs of her own but is of service to him.

  • I think he mean that he needed a penis extension for the woman to ride, or she would fall off and crash and burn. That is my take, anyway.

  • Usually he’d talk shit and then follow it up with “my therapist says so.” As if I wouldn’t notice the shit part.

    • These fuckers gain a whole new vocabulary from their “therapists”. I would love to hear all the fucking lies they tell their “therapists” and ” spiritual counselors”.

      • During our bogus reconciliation, one of my conditions was my ex had to go to therapy. He went for two appointments, although he canceled several times in between, then when the therapist said he seemed to have some issues and was very manic, ex refused to ever go back, saying the therapist, “wasn’t on his spiritual wavelength.”

        These days I just shake my head in wonder that I ever put up with so much craziness for so long. Sheesh.

        • Maybe he should line his walls with tinfoil so aliens won’t compromise his “spiritual wavelength”.
          Did your husband have a graying ponytail, wear a beret, use petoulie oil and carry a man purse, by any chance?

      • Agreed. Asshat doesn’t like the way I describe my feelings. It makes him feel bad about himself. He says it’s “unproductive”. I said UNPRODUCTIVE for whom?


        Anyhow, he likes to dissect my statements and then tell me HOW I should be stating them to the fucking MC. Nope.

  • “I don’t do jealousy” – his standard brick walling when the topic of inappropriate contact with female colleagues came up. He was just mentoring them, you see.

    “People change” when asked to explain why he just went off and started fucking someone else.

    “We just arent suited” — I never forget this one because he wrote it without the apostrophe and that in a nutshell reminded me of his carelessness in everything he did. We were married 29 years.

    Sometimes word salad doesn’t have to be complicated. Just meaningless will do.

    • Yeah, my ex didn’t use obscure words, complicated language, and page-long sentences.

      She just invoked ridiculous mysticism to explain her worst behavior as if it were something noble. Meaningless pretty much sums that stuff up.

    • Yeah, the careless bit is a BIG red flag. Carelessness is part of the “I don’t have to follow the rules” package, along with laziness and arrogance. My ex had this lazy walk that I used to think was so sexy. He sauntered through life not giving a shit and his attitude was evident in his body language. It was right there from the beginning. If only I had known then how to ‘read’ it!

      • Holy crap, Marci and NeverAgain — that kind of carelessness is TOTALLY about “I don’t have to follow the rulz!” It’s pure arrogance. Didn’t think of it that way before now. Ex couldn’t be bothered to learn the difference between to/too and then/than, either. Or what “literally” means.

        Soon after I met him in college, and he found out I was a journalism major, he showed me an article he had written, a write-up on John McEnroe, one of his idols, that he said he was going to send to Sports Illustrated. The piece was laughably awful, from A to Zinc. Not just the sentence structure, the flow, the grammar and the spelling, but the point of view and the quality of ideas. It was a bunch of cliches strung together by a rank amateur.

        How many red flags do you think were flying in that one exchange with me? Gawd, when I think about it now, it literally makes my head explode.

        • DING!DING!DING!

          A light bulb moment for me, too. Laziness, cutting corners, contempt for how things are done (sometimes he was right, I’ll admit…). There was the bit about not carrying adequate insurance. He had the attitude of, “Who cares?” and, “It’s FINE!” Then, “Nothing I do is good enough!”
          He wanted fruit trees, but knew better than to prune them, because, obviously, the branches are reaching toward the sun! (So that meant that I had to prune the trees.) When we house-sat for friends as a young, unmarried couple, and he did not lift a finger, in spite of receiving careful instructions about watering the garden, “It’s FINE,” that left me with an uneasy feeling. I should have known….

          Ah, well. He’s her problem now. What a disaster.

          • Miss Sunshine,

            I love you, I love your spirit and I love your clarity. The way you articulated this . . . OMG! I lived this as well. I remember being the STBX wanting to do certain things and me arguing against it, not because I didn’t want to do it, but because I knew I would be the one doing any REAL work that was involved. There were so many opportunities that may have been missed simply because I did not have the time or the energy to invest in anything else and still be able to maintain my family. So many times I felt as if he was setting me up in a no-win situation because I KNEW his contribution to whatever he was suggesting would be limited or non-existent.

            It is so good to know that I am not the only one who endured this.

            • Mine was extra good at delegating…so I would end up doing everything…even after Dday, I was the one who got him the apartment, who wrote the divorce, who found a place he could buy (with my money), etc..what a chump I am!

          • i forgot the “Nothing i do is ever good enough for you”

            i was so sick of hearing that. i never put him down. i would always go over and beyond, just short of getting on my knee and worshiping his godliness. and that was just for putting the dishes in the dishwasher!! (even thou half the dishes and silverware was still in the sink, that man HATED to touch the silverware)

            seriously, i made it a point to THANK him repeatedly for every single little thing he did. and yet he always said that. i am thinking now, it was for MORE kibbles, my signal to tell him, oh no you are so great, i am so stupid, your right.

    • “I don’t do jealousy” – oh yeah…..I heard that one too.

      A statement that made the problem my jealousy, not his inappropriate behavior with other women, to include screwing them.

  • My ex emailed to me, the day after I found out about his affair, “I don’t think you have any idea about how hard it will be for me to see you with another man one day” (after I told him our marriage was over.)
    About as hard as it was for me to know he’d been cheating, having unprotected sex with some slag and then with me at home whilst I was still breastfeeding our baby?
    And although it isn’t word salad technically, this is the kind of stupid shit he’d say (this one was during counselling to try to work out relationship property division) – “Yes I know I’ve done a lot of things I shouldn’t have, BUT SHE TOLD PEOPLE ABOUT IT!”. Yep, that was the major crime, not that he’d done all this stuff, but that I hadn’t hidden it for him.

    • This reminded me of when I discovered the cheating. X left his computer unlocked, and when I went by it to get to the laundry room, a message from his bimbo “dinged.” I read it and then read all the other declarations of love and forever. When I confronted him of cheating, he accused me of being a “computer hack.”

      I guess to him, my reading his emails was far more egregious thank fucking another woman.

      • This screwed up thinking just exhausts me.

        My STBX has conditioned my children to think that it is never about his behavior but about the response to his behavior. He had me conditioned, too, until he didn’t. When there are consequences, he is usually the victim being set upon or put upon by some nefarious outside force who doesn’t understand him and/or is out to get him. No one should respond to him negatively no matter what he says or does. If he says he’s sorry, or even if he doesn’t (and even if he really isn’t, because you know, he isn’t), you should recognize he’s a good guy and keep treating him well.

        The problem is not his cheating, it is my response. The problem is not all the money he spent (because it was my spending that caused our debt – NOT) but my frustration with having to find a way to fill in the financial holes caused by his spending. The problem is not that he betrayed me but that I was totally devastated by his betrayal. If I loved him, I would want him to be happy even if it wasn’t with me (he actually said that).

        Writing this is making my ass hurt, so even though there is soooo much more, I will stop now. What a donkey’s asswipe.

        • Chump Princess, This is exactly what my X thinks. It’s not what he did that HE finds truly horrendous, it’s my reaction to it, that must be scrutinized. Sadly, I’ve realized that this was always his pattern, even with small stuff, I just didn’t realize it.

        • If I loved him, I would want him to be happy even if it wasn’t with me (he actually said that).

          And then you realized that this sort of verbal vomit caused the first part of the sentence to be null, which voided the second part of the sentence.

          Love is about valuing someone. I do not value a cowardly prick who does the shittiest thing to his family. I do not value a spineless loser who “loves” the sort of woman who smiles smugly as my children are doubled over in pain, crying, as their hearts and trust are irreparably wounded (SHE WINS!!) I do not love my ex, and I never will, and I’m not sure I ever did. I didn’t even know the scumbag, it turns out. So how could I love HIM?

          I do not want anything for my ex, much less for him to be happy. I don’t have that power. I don’t think he, nor any of these jack-offs we all write about here, are “happy” people. I think they are vacuums. Best to steer clear.

          We know better now.

          • And what about flipping that statement around, “If you loved me, you narcissistic asshole, you would have wanted me to be happy.” And since he didn’t “want” you to be happy, demonstrated by the affair(s), therefore, the first clause of the sentence can’t be true.

        • Yes! whiney serial narcissistic cheaters are all alike. I got the “I didn’t tell you about contacting escort x, slut y and activity z because I know how you would over-react, nothing happened… I was just bored, killing time…” “You’re over-sensitive… nothing “really” happened” “You always make me wrong.” ” I won’t be spied on!” “I’m still here, aren’t I?”

    • Justine, I got this too – how DARE I tell others about their affair! It could ruin OW’s career!

      To which I replied, “I hope it does. Then maybe she’ll think twice about screwing some other woman’s husband to get ahead.”

      • Now yau’ll don’t forget about our anger issues. You know, our anger is just TOTALLY out of line with offense!

      • Personally, I quite enjoy the prospect of ruining an OW’s career. After all, she ruined mine.

      • Because ruining someone’s marriage doesn’t matter?

        Wouldn’t it be nice if he had told OW not to cheat with him because it might ruin her career?

      • I must admit, I still fantasise about contacting his AP’s boyfriend and letting him know what his beloved girlfriend was up to wih my XH whilst she worked out which man she wanted (she ended up dumping my XH who did know about the other man, but this innocent guy didn’t ever know he was being two timed with my Ex). Instead of ruining her career, I’d probably ruin her rleationship. Tempting…..

        • I don’t think it’s good to do it for revenge, but ChumpLady advocates telling someone for their own sake. Her boyfriend may be okay with her having had another guy and then choose him, depending on what their commitment was at that time. On the other hand, if he doesn’t know about this and he’s moving forward to marry her, he is being put in the position of making a life-changing decision without really knowing where he stands.

  • When I read stuff like this it reminds me of one of my biggest sources of shame: I married a fucking idiot. How could I have done that?

    • ” i just want to be happy” i never knew he was unhappy

      “i am tired of all the fighting” WHAT fighting!?!?! i quit trying to explain shit to him 8 months prior and was pretty much silent on all the out all nights, drinking and no answering calls and texts.

      after i found out about MOW: “i do still love you, but i love you enough to leave you so i can stop hurting you.” WTF does that mean. like leaving me is not hurting me? like not fighting for our marriage, our family, and our kids is not hurting me?

      after the divorce was final: “i left you, i did not leave the children.” i STILL have no clue wtf that means. is there another way to leave the house where your children live and not see them every day, AND NOT leave the children? is there another way to hook up with a hood rat and listen to everything she tells regarding your own flesh and blood and follow her demands on how, when and where he gets to see his children, and still say you didnt leave the children. what does no calling the children, not seeing the children and not paying child support mean to him then?

    • Don’t feel bad Arnold, everyone here made the same mistake. I’m sure your ex’s were good at pretending to be decent, loyal, loving women in the beginning. A lot of the disordered types are Academy-award-level-actors when it comes to pretending in the beginning of the relationship. By the time it all goes to hell and we find out what we’re really dealing with, we’re in deep. I know what you mean though — sometimes I’m embarrassed I stayed married to such a freak for 20 years. What the hell was I thinking?

      • Yep same here. I definitely feel at like I wear the cone of shame. I was young, naive, and thought he was maturing with me. Not lying and skeezing around behind my back. I am using it as a huge lesson and def fixing my picker.

    • My thought precisely. Why I even got involved in the first place, who knows. It was a good trigger for some serious introspection starting three years ago. I think it’s helped me choose more carefully, and also to accept that it might actually be best to not try to recreate the “happily married” fantasy. Next time, if there is a next time, I will be looking for a very different relationship.

      • With my first wife, I really cut myself some slack on having become involved. No obvious signs, but , in retrospect and having researched PD , I can see it.
        I was young and inexperienced .

    • 🙁 We all married idiots. All completely moronic. Their ability to dazzle us and groom us into tools is/was nauseating.

    • That is so interesting, Arnold, because in reality, that is probably my biggest source of shame.
      I know that I am not responsible for xH’s behavior. I did not cause him to cheat, lie, abuse, abandon. That’s on him. I am not ashamed of what he did.
      Still, I feel shame. I am single and alone in a sea of happily married couples (I actually am comforted and reassured by happy marriages, and adore my super-supportive marrieds). But I wear these ugly shoes because I chose wrong. I picked a loser to marry and make children with. I had a lot of warnings, including from friends, but I chose to override my discomfort with his social awkwardness, and this is where I stand now. I made a mistake that is public. And, worse, my children are suffering the consequences of my mistake. Their family, though not destroyed, is obviously broken, and isn’t that a shame? Yes, it’s true, many look at us and wonder what sort of idiot would leave this, but the fact remains, that our husband/father did leave. And I feel ashamed of it. I work around it, I make up for it to the best of my ability, and I realize nobody has a perfect family–they all have their issues. But I still feel shame for marrying a jerk. I could have and should have done better.
      In the game of musical chairs, I am left standing alone.

      Oh, well.

      • Cut yourself some slack, MS. They mask themselves well during courtship, as someone points out above.

      • I found Brene Brown’s book about vulnerability helpful; she talks a lot about how to get past shame. You went into your marriage with an open heart, and clearly you lived up to your end of the bargain. And when you picked that man to marry, you did the best you could at the time. And from that decision, you have kids that you love. No shame in any of that.

        • LovedaJackass: thank you for this…I am also in awe about how I disregarded the red flags even though I am considered to be emotionally intelligent and have a PhD. Most everyone who writes here seems to have above average intellect and nonetheless we were chumped by people who can´t speak or write in coherent sentences or don´t have the basic common sense to see to see the consequences of their actions. It is embarrassing to say the least, but also true that we got into this with open hearts..

    • Arnold, as a person who has never suffered depression until I got mixed up with this fuckwad I get what you are saying. This is my shame. How in the hell could I have married this guy?? I have suffered depression since he left and that has been several years now. Even taking medicine doesn’t help that much. I beat myself up every day for getting involved with him. My self talk goes ‘ LEAVE it to you to find someone like HIM…blah blah blah.” Ugh it must go away some day. Gawd the damage these fucks do.

  • My favorite was when my ex sent me a love-bomb text meant for his schmoopie. When I replied with a “?”, he responded, “I just hate that we ended this way”. Another classic line regarding his ability to remain faithful: “I’m not Nostradamus, nobody is”. I am so much happier without the cheater diet of bitter and wilted greens.

    • If you want a really confusing word salad…try receiving a hate-bomb text from your current BF that was really meant for his cheater-ex….now THAT’S almost a red flag. When queried, the response was, oh sorry, hit the wrong button. No, buddy, you need to get to meh before you date anyone else.

    • You really don’t need to have the second sight to predict that cheating will end your relationship in a bad way.

  • There can be only one response to listening to any of this: an immediate banana cream pie to the face .

  • Oh, and one must chant “Namaste, fuck you” when smashing the pie into the cheater’s face. Forgot that part.

  • ” i just want to be happy” i never knew he was unhappy

    “i am tired of all the fighting” WHAT fighting!?!?! i quit trying to explain shit to him 8 months prior and was pretty much silent on all the out all nights, drinking and no answering calls and texts.

    after i found out about MOW: “i do still love you, but i love you enough to leave you so i can stop hurting you.” WTF does that mean. like leaving me is not hurting me? like not fighting for our marriage, our family, and our kids is not hurting me?

    after the divorce was final: “i left you, i did not leave the children.” i STILL have no clue wtf that means. is there another way to leave the house where your children live and not see them every day, AND NOT leave the children? is there another way to hook up with a hood rat and listen to everything she tells regarding your own flesh and blood and follow her demands on how, when and where he gets to see his children, and still say you didnt leave the children. what does no calling the children, not seeing the children and not paying child support mean to him then?

    • I got exactly this. I’m leaving you ,not the children. They’re so fucked up. They have no idea of their selfishness
      In almost a year the boys have stayed less than 60 nights. There’s 365 nights in a year!!!
      What sort of mother does that to her sons. I don’t get it.
      How can they sleep at night. The boys just get on with it and achieve. Their mother is just a spectator
      Surely she will wake up one day

      • My stepson had a mother like this. He’s grown with kids of his own now and wants nothing to do with her.

    • Oh my goodness MsVain, I got exactly the same: ultimately our marriage ended because I finally understood that talking truth to stupid really WAS banging my head against a brick wall. He took the new silence as me not loving him any more and went to find OW to fill up the hole.

      I was married to someone that shallow. That is my ultimate grief.

      I also got: ‘I am leaving you, not the children’. Yes, explain that to the new eating disorder, and to the failed exams.
      Infidelity is SO DAMAGING. In any other context it would be criminalised.

      • I got: “fucking other people made me a better father”. Well how the hell does that happen when you were never even home. He didn’t say fucking, ok. He said having affairs, hooking up with randoms, fucking coworkers . A better dad who brings diseases home to his wife before, during and after she nursed her children as infants.


        “I would never leave my kids.” No, shithead. You would just model the crappiest behavior to your kids on how to treat your spouse. And then see above. How is never being home NOT leaving your kids? Huge huge disapponting waste of flesh.

      • apparently i was also married to someone that shallow, never thought of it like that before so thank you for pointing that out.

        my silence also had a lot to do with my dealing with the death of my 25 year old daughter (natural causes) and therefore i was emotionally unavailable to him.

        fucking asshole is right arnold. you have no idea. and i appreciate that.

        funny how these people never see other peoples pain, not their wives, nor their children. all they can focus on is how THEY feel.

        i am finally realizing just how lucky i am that he left.

  • I remember learning about word salad as part of the mental health unit in nursing school. It’s defined in my text as a group of words that are put together randomly without any logical connection. The example in the book goes like this, “Most forward action grows life double plays circle uniform”. Sounds about right that cheating folk would speak in the same way that they act, without logic…

  • “I find myself in a new life.”
    “Our relationship has been upside down.”
    “You accused me of stepping out on you. I won’t tolerate that.” (Note the ambiguity–he won’t tolerate me saying he “stepped out” on me, although he refused to discuss his relationship with his MOW and although I had made it clear that it didn’t matter if the affair was emotional or physical.
    “I don’t put any restrictions on you, and I won’t tolerate restrictions on me.” (Then I’m confused, because when you commit to a monogamous relationship, you are agreeing to restrictions on your behavior.)
    After he logged 8 full hours at his high school friend’s memorial and wake, regarding his friend’s sister, the MOW: “I wondered where her husband was. He didn’t seem to be around.” (Duh. The two of them had been corresponding and she was in hot pursuit of Jackass.)
    On the day I had my 4-year old cat euthanized for lymphoma: “Sorry to hear about the cat. She was special in her own way.”
    “You can text me but don’t be upset if I don’t text you back.”

    When I read this thread, I thought I wouldn’t have much to contribute, but the more I think about things he said, the more I see word salad.

    • ???

      It’s just not worth wasting breath on these idiots. This is why NC is the only way to go. Just take all your “restrictions” with you (as if being married to someone you love is “restrictive,” jerk!) and leave him standing there, free to do as he pleases for the rest of his miserable life.

      Just, EW!! What a complete scumbag!! Let the stupid women who throw themselves at him have him. He’s disgusting.

      • Thank you, Miss Sunshine. You made my day.

        And I thought of another one. In describing his new life, he said: “I am working on being nice to the kids in the drive-through at Wendy’s.” This while he was making up excuses for why he couldn’t drive 8 miles to see me or meet me for dinner, all the while spending the money I put in the business account. I guess if a man’s over 50 and has to change his whole life to muster up courtesy at the drive-through, that is one hellacious red flag

    • oh my giddy aunt!! just reminded me of when he told my 20 year old son, (when the boy was asking him what he thought i was going to do if he kept staying out all night)

      “well if she is going to accuse me of it, i might as well do it”

      i cant even remember what month that was, sometime in the end of 2013, maybe december but could have been november. i didnt even catch on to it when the son told me. ugh!!!

  • Oh I have enough word salad to fill a book. I was cheated both by my ex husband and my friend of thirty years whom my child was named after. Here are a few pearls from her from the only time I ever spoke to her.
    When asked whether she loved him or was it a fling in fact what the hell was it : the language of my heart does not speak like that. We (her and my ex) have been connected since the beginning of time. I have no script and no plan and I mean no harm. You should look upon this as a gift to get to a better place.
    She was right on the last one.
    And later when I emailed her to talk in a moment of weakness: (we never actually talked)
    Closure comes from a place of deep surrender in the heart. You don’t seem to be in that place and perhaps when you are in that space we can talk or it may not even be necessary
    And finally a pearl from him
    You kept chipping away at my heart. I left it unguarded and it just happened.
    Oh one last one
    You even said there was always a spark between us. Aren’t you glad it’s not a 25 year old ?

    • LBS
      Those are two sick puppies who deserve each other. You are blessed to be rid of them and be free to live an authentic life. Hope you don’t engage them any more.

    • OMG what horrible, arrogant condescending nit wits. “You should look upon this as a gift to get to a better place.” VOMIT. Apparently, she’s more spiritually evolved than you. (God word salad).

      How could your life not be better without these two? Ugh.

      • My Ex actually said that a couple of times on one occasion: “I am more spiritual than you are”.

        Of course, in that same conversation she claimed to be an empath, rambled on and on about “synchronicities” as if it somehow explained her erratic behavior, and then talked about ghosts and other stuff, and I thought–at the time–that she must be having some sort of breakdown. I didn’t know she was chatting somebody up on Facebook and making plans at the time, so I was really feeling kind of sorry for her.

        I’ll give you an example of how weird it was: “I’ve been seeing cherries everywhere. At first I was thinking about how much I liked Cherry Coke, and then there was this bus with an ad for cherry confections, and then [woman at work] started talking about cherries, and …”.

        Similar thing with dragon flies, butterflies (along with claiming to be “like a butterfly”), and so on.

        Anyway, the gist of it was magical thinking: “I think something, and then it starts to manifest itself” and “I am evolving spiritually”. Now an outsider would–and many did when she started up with this stuff–point out somethings called “confirmation bias and selection bias” in terms of the purported “signs” and “synchronicities”.

        The empath thing got out of hand often too (and more than once) She got downright paranoid of people at work (and at least in one case it didn’t seem justified) and quit her jobs because “she couldn’t be around people like that”.

        Later it became more evident that she dreamed up an affair partner, then started trolling facebook, then grooming somebody, and so that was the root of the ‘by thinking it, I can make it real” and searching for “signs” and “synchronicities” stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if the guy she was grooming hadn’t posted a picture of cherries or cherry trees or something.

        So in sum, she was an “empath” requiring special treatment as she was hyper-sensitive. Her empath abilities extended to ruminating over the meaning of dreams and seeing synchronicities everywhere confirming her specialness and believing that she was more evolved than others and like a pre-butterfly chrysalis about to emerge as something totally new (about to have an affair in reality ).

        What her empath abilities were not terribly helpful with was empathy.

        • Hmmm, TH.

          I think your X and my STBX may have been twins, separated at birth. From the beginning, he kept telling me that he operated on a higher spiritual plain than others. He was not religious, but he was in touch with the spiritual powers inherent in the universe and that is what guided him through his use of meditation. He always told me that if he meditated on something, he always did the right thing and always made the correct decision. He was in this world but he was not of this world.

          So, if how he treated me during our time together is indicative of that, then I don’t know what “not of this world” group of which he was a part, but apparently the group with which he aligned himself is a bunch of assholes.

          • Yes, but they are highly evolved assholes, not to be mistaken for peasant assholes.

          • Anyone who’s really on a higher spiritual plain than the rest of us doesn’t talk about it. They’re humble and compassionate.

            Anyone who is absolutely sure they always make the right decision is too arrogant to be in touch with God or the spiritual powers of the universe.

        • Wasn’t that Buffalo Bill character in “Silence of the Lambs” into the chrysalis deal ?

    • Yeah a better place without the most disgusting crap thinking ass that had the nerve to even say that to you

      And your friend, OMG

      Can’t go there

    • OK–I would like to slap this bitch upside the head as a gift to get her to a better place.

    • “We have been connected since the beginning of time”????

      That is the exact kind of drivel I used to write. When I was 12.

      When, exactly, is the beginning of time, anyway? So, does she mean that she and your ex have been connected since before the Big Bang, or right at the Big Bang, or what? I tell ya, though, that’s some serious primordial ooze the dense bitch is lodged in.

  • “I am not going to make any excuses – I made a lot of bad choices that hurt other people regardless of whatever motivated those decisions or what I was going through.”

    Um…isn’t that an excuse?
    Apparently if I only knew the noble intentions behind his relentless pursuit of hot fresh pussy, I would no doubt be far less crushed and heartbroken than I am.

      • That’s what Rielle Hunter said about herself and John Edwards…that it was LOVE that caused them to make some ‘bad choices’.

        • I’m really getting into the passive voice thing today.

          But look, saying love made you do something is ultimately using the passive voice to pass blame. Love does not walk around with a gun or even a check for a million dollars. Love is a feeling inside you; it does not make anyone do anything ever.

          (Not to mention all the philosophical mumbo jumbo about whether real love makes people do bad things or encourages empathy to everyone.)

    • Me no understand the dribble that you got served to you on a platter, I hope the pig had an apple in it’s mouth

    • I think I made a lot of bad choices has become a new way for people to avoid taking responsibilities. First, you don’t say what you did, it was just some mysterious bad choice.

      Then you sidestep what hurt people – it was the bad choices, not you that hurt people.

      And you don’t quite admit who you hurt- it’s just a mysterious group of other people. That isn’t necessary here – you’re standing in front of them.

      Then the whole bit about I’m not making excuses and whatever the reasons were – well, if you really weren’t making excuses, you wouldn’t have to say it. There must be some name for the kind of speech were you say you aren’t claiming this just as a way to suggest that it might be so. I mean, apparently there was some reason motivating the mysterious choices and maybe it wasn’t just I felt like it or I wanted to.

      It’s funny how much shorter the sentence is if someone says, I cheated and I hurt you and I’m sorry.

      • My ex at first used the “I made some bad choices” line, but later switched to telling people that he “went through a sordid phase.” I guess he thinks that sounds better than admitting he is gay. Of course, his “phase” has lasted his entire life, but craziness doesn’t bother with logic.

  • Recently, when my STBXH and I were discussing the division of marital assets for the divorce over the phone, he got all huffy and said “this is not fair!” To that, I replied, “no, what’s not fair is you going around fucking other women!” And then he was silent, and quietly mumbled, “I didn’t fuck other women.” Perplexed I asked, “what do you mean?” Then it hit me…and I replied again, “oh, excuse me, you went around ‘making love’ to other women.” Because in his word salad dictionary, “fucking around” is bad…but “making love” is supposed to somehow be better????

    • My ex referred to it as “shagging” (sorry) her.
      Sort of gave me an idea of the depth of their ‘love’ 🙂

    • I understand. My ex was horribly offended when I called what he did “fucking around”. He, like your honorable fellow, was making love to the skanks he hooked up with on the internet.

      • Mine too. He also didn’t like it when I called his other women whores. He said ” why do you think they are whores?” I said ” what do you think a woman is called , who sleeps with a married man !?”
        Apparently instead of whores I should have gone with ” mystical and enchanting creatures that have descended upon us from the heavens” , perhaps then he would have understood me.

        • My ex described his OW as “a saint, she is so giving, she is so much better than you or I will ever be” srsly, my response was pretty standard, I really don’t think anyone who fucks a married person can be described as saintly and better than me.

          • They hate it when you point shit like that out, dat.
            Typically they either completely ignore the point or they attempt to make it look like you are petty for focusing on such a minor/ trivial thing. BTDT.

        • I got that too! He would become incensed when I referred to either of the last 2 OW as “whores,” particularly REVEREND Imaho. I once said to him, “What do YOU call a woman who thinks it is all okie dokie to fuck another woman’s husband? Where I’m from, that’s called a Ho or a Whore or a Skank. What would you call me if I was sleeping with another woman’s husband, besides your ex-wife?” This is the same man who had referred to his own daughter as a “tramp” or a “slut” when he didn’t like an outfit she was wearing (and she was a virgin!).

          I’m still waiting for an answer.

    • OMG that is word salad, all right Mschump.

      I was told that when he said ‘there is nobody else’, that was true. Because, whenever I came home he broke up with her. Therefore, there was nobody else.

      Character disordered people… and I fell for him. For years. When (towards the end, when I was starting to understand that my chumpery meant I was actively participating in my own abuse) I said to him ‘Your ability to lie is terrifying’ he answered, ‘I know’.

      • “towards the end, when I was starting to understand that my chumpery meant I was actively participating in my own abuse”

        Well said, and marks the point in time when we start getting unstuck.

  • My ex did not have words… ever.
    So when he started spouting “You can have me as a friend but not in your bed” while still denying the affair.
    I knew those weren’t his words…

    • i agree. alot of what i have heard him say were not his words. or his thoughts.

      it is interesting how involved they get with that OW.

  • My ex wife’s word salad changed through out our marriage. It was always word salad, but came with different ingredients. She served up liberal tree hugging salad, the finding herself salad. Truth was, she was screwing around with a new age environmentalist who installed solar panels on his roof. He actually hugged trees, and screwed married women.

    Every word salad she came up with was tossed with her “ME…ME TONGS”

    When tree hugging and solar panel dude was replaced with with yoga dude, she became a spiritual cheater, namaste and breast implanted neon colored yoga pant wearing vegan enthusiast.

    She’s now married to a Texan, meat and potato, gun slinging republican. This is latest her word salad, bullets and olive oil tossed with her ME TONGS.

    The salad ingredients may change over time, it’s the salad tongs that never change.

    • My XW is a chameleon as well. She is a complete bigot, shockingly racist. But , she just married a black guy who was married when they began seeing each other.

      • Arnold,

        You have been making me laugh and snort! I would be surprised by this, but I’ve seen this quite a bit.

        My STBX criticized and mocked overweight people, women particularly, practically all the time I knew him (almost 30 years) and probably before. At one time he actually threatened to divorce me if I gained too much weight, which I did after giving birth to three children in 4 years. His final 2 APs? Both overweight women who were both “so special,” the last one being someone who could finally really make him happy. He thought religion was all bunk and hokum designed to control the masses. He ridiculed me because I wanted the family to go to church, until I finally stopped doing it. Last AP? A minister. (Let us not get into how she justifies herself to herself.)

        He has no values, no principles, no beliefs which are not situational or alterable depending on his perceived wants or needs. In short, he’s an unperson, a shape-shifter.

        • The thing these folks seem to hate most is to be mocked. I love to mock them , although most are too dense to even get it.
          My dad , before he died, told me ” Arnold, your wife is the most insincere person I have ever met”.

          • Your dad ought to be doing marriage counseling. He’s be better than most of the nitwits we read about here.

      • Arnold, that was a thing that freaked me the fuck out, my ex was so good at his facade I lived with him for 15 years before suddenly discovering he was a horrible racist. He pretended to be a feminist and to hate racists and homophobic shit for YEARS! Then suddenly he is spewing the most vile shit and justifying it too. How does someone hide their true selves for so many years?

    • P.F., despite the unchanging “ME TONGS,” it sounds like your ex is a complete non-entity. Who she is is simply a function of whoever she happens to be fucking at the moment. Talk about identity theft! Glad you don’t have to deal with that anymore.

      • That’s the thing with cheater word salad. Cheaters eat their own word salad. It makes perfect sense to them. If they eat it they expect you to eat it too.

        Word salad is how they operate. it’s like impressionist paintings done by a chimpanzee and being sold as art.

  • It would be interesting to see a study comparing the emotional IQ’s of chumps vs. cheaters.

    • I have noticed , when reading other sites , that there seems to be a fairly dramatic drop off in the quality of writing between the betrayed forums and the cheaters forums. I bet there is a correlation between cheating and intelligence.

      • An IQ, a degree, a position of authority, political power, has no correlation to emotional intelligence. Cheaters are Machiavellian, it’s no that they really care but that they appear to care.

        Cheaters also come from every social and financial bracket.

        Einstein left his wife and married his first cousin…wtf
        Bill Clinton ” did not have sex with that woman”
        Fred the car wash guy cheated on Gladys.
        Combover guy at my gym is on his fifth affair.

        The above cheaters my ex -wife included are wing nuts.

        • I realize some folks like Clinton and , obviously, Einstein have measured IQs that are pretty high. But , at least in the case of Clinton, there seems to be part of his brain/intelligence that is really undeveloped.
          I think it is the part responsible for perceiving how he comes off to others.
          He is greasy and smarmy. He did not seem to realize that , for example, admitting to smoking dope but claiming not to have inhaled made him look like an idiot.
          First, for expecting people to believe it and second, if it were true, what moron would take a hit and not inhale it? I mean aren’ t you trying to get a buzz?’

          • This made me laugh out loud. Clinton didn’t inhale, just like he did not “have sex with that woman”. Word Salad with extra bacon bits.

            Einstein, cheated on his wife with his first cousin. He married his first cousin but also cheated on her thorough out that marriage. I guess is how he got his theory of Relativity….hahahaha.

            • Good one on the relativity.
              Ever hear Warren Zevon’s song “Genius”?
              It’s all about cheating and Einstein is mentioned.

      • The Jackass has a very high IQ as defined by Stanford-Binet, but has blown up 2 marriages (one before the car pulled out for the honeymoon, one that took 10 years of constant fighting), three businesses, and 7 jobs in the past decade. He makes good money and lived with his parents for years but still never managed to save a dime or buy decent furniture or get the cable hooked up in his room. He lives like an adolescent, from moment to moment, filled with fantasies of his brilliance and talent. So I would guess that while they may have intelligence capacity that some of them can direct toward goals that matter to them, it never adds up to anything. Writing requires introspection. They can’t do that.

    • My EX always prided himself on having such high IQ, and I believed him, too, as he thought I was too naive and trusting of people (just book-smart). He had a knack for quickly reading people–what their cultural and economic and social background was, what made them tick, what their motivations and desires were. He said it was a skill he learned from his mom. He was good at navigating the “politics” of his work environment. Looking back, I think he was really focused on how to read people so he could maximize his manipulation of them.

      I used to think he doesn’t come off as sleazy, but now I think he does. He’s a good and fast talker and can automatically draw people in to his way of thinking. I think people generally think he is a “good” guy, willing to go out of his way to help people.

    • I think many of these cheaters confuse being intelligent with being cunning. They think being cunning and duplicitous and being in the one up position makes them”smarter” than other people. They don’t have the discernment to understand that having the instinctual ability to be a consummate asshole is not the same thing as being intelligent – emotionally or otherwise.

  • When we were in MC (AKA me doing The Pick Me Dance), I endured excruciating adoring comments about my XW’s AP. Among the many, this one made me swallow bile:

    “I feel like I’m in an adult relationship with him.” (He was a bachelor, never married, no kids, lived in a yacht club; we were married ten years, two young children in the burbs. Um, which is the adult world?)

    But here is the real gem: “He said we are two swimmers in the ocean of our lives. We swim side-by-side, independent, but if I sink, he will help me and we will continue swimming together, but independent. I don’t feel like this with husband…”

    This was the promise he made to her if she divorced me. Ultimately she loved cake so much she just could not make up her sausage mind. So I made up her mind for her and divorced her. She now lives with him. By all reports he does not particularly like swimming with my kids in tow; they keep dragging him under. Funny how pretty metaphors don’t quite work out in reality.

    • We’re swimming together and I will help you if you sink doesn’t sound like much of a relationship to me.

      I don’t think he sounds like a guy who can handle an actual relationship. Your wife has some rough water ahead.

    • David, I don’t think you’ll have to wait long to see the karma bus mow your ex down. She’s in for a big surprise, because I doubt her swimming partner is going to actually stick around once she starts floundering.

    • See , if a normal person heard such crap, that swimming drivel , she would be thinking ” oh, boy. What a fruitcake. ”
      But, of course , these are the super evolved and we cannot approach their level of understanding.

    • Yeah, that whole swimming independently thing strikes me clearly as a declaration of independence. He’s saying to her pretty obviously that he’s not going to support her unless she’s drowning (he won’t), and that he wants his freedom. She’s welcome to paddle in his direction, if she can keep up.
      And he’s a loser, and she’s not going to change that about him.

      Yikes. I think she fucked up, David!

    • That’s some fucked up shit, David.

      Sounds like she’s found herself an aqua-narcissist. Once the excitement of the affair is over, he’ll devalue and dump her and move on to the next one. Get ready for that, because I wouldn’t be surprised if she comes knocking on your door with a whole suitcase of bullshit for you to unpack.

      My ex also took off with her training partner (another narc.). Once the affair got out, he dumped her in favour of his ex-wife. What a douche.

      • Thanks, everyone. I can look back at this now and laugh (at least bitterly), but at the time–as I’m sure you can all understand–it was sheer hell, as I desperately demeaned myself trying to win her back. Everybody I knew was horrified at the abuse I was absorbing. I’m less than five months out of a predictably narc-hell divorce and still far from healed–and post-divorce narc-hell continues. “Meh” is elusive, but I can see it glittering in the distance.

  • David,
    I’m sorry such a jerk came along and gave your wife an excuse to cheat, but at least now you have the chance to meet a sane, normal woman. Good for you for throwing her back [in the proverbial fish tank].

    I’m sure your kids are now better off without being in a household where there is disharmony. No doubt they will ‘read’ the ‘sailor’ for what he is.

  • I get the tossed salad word salad A LOT. It is to the point where I have been tempted to record conversations because repeating the word vomit verbatim back to asshat had him saying all.the.time : I didn’t say that!

    Yup. He said it. I write shit down because the salad he tosses is shear mindfuckery. I make sure when I repeat his comments back to him, he agrees that he indeed just said those things. It is crazy making. He has a love of verbosity and big words to make him sound erudite. But he uses the wrong big words all the time or in the wrong context. I never corrected him before. I do now because he IS that kind of a fool.

  • You know, all this is so sad and at the time I’m sure all the comments hurt like hell, but isn’t it just great that we can see them for what they are now, and just laugh?
    I have been laughing out loud at some of this shit that was said in absolute seriousness.
    Thanks everyone for making me smile today. You couldn’t make it up!

    • Yes , this stuff is priceless. The really sad/weird part is that someone capable of saying stuff like this with no embarrassment, would not see the absurdity if he or she read this crap.
      I bet my XW would feign understanding some of this drivel and ” bond” with the speaker.
      I noticed that my XW could join some group and , in almost no time, become fluent with the particular jargon of that group. She’d be bowing and saying namaste etc as if she was an old hand.
      Now she is a ” certified spiritual counselor” whereas I have always known her to be a materialistic, social climbing phony.

  • Had flashbacks while reading O.O

    Is there an ultimate word salad combo? Or is the ‘I don’t know what I am doing” like a salad with no dressing?

    Denneys used to have this huge menu with pictures of everything almost, BobsBigBoy has one like that I believe still. You know, the meals with a zillion calories and you are sorry as you order the meal. It could be compared to cheating, only since many don’t have dressing, does it make it all like it never happened? Like the Dallas year where it was a dream?

    So many salads, have to manage to eat them all, get fat on salads, so many you have had can’t remember what to say of what you had for lunch, with the wowo workers

    • Need more coffee this morning, hoho workers, the co slut workers and they all cover each others backs, or is it asses

    • “I don’t know” was retards response to the questions about why he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants. He wasn’t smart enough, or communicative enough to come up with anything fancier tan that.

      • Einstein…..that’s all I ever got too…was ‘I dunno…I dunno…I dunno’
        He just didn’t fucking KNOW why he did the things he did.

        Loving the comments here. So funny. I can’t believe the ‘stupid shit cheaters say.’

  • I let my anger show the other day and wow he didn’t like it. He spewed something at me saying he didn’t like hearing my anger and I don’t remember what else. And I came right back with, ‘well I don’t like you fucking other women’

    No idea what he said I hung up

    It is all very draining, and a huge waste of my time

  • I have a salad question.

    I am sure many have heard or the carrot stick thing, dangle that carrot.

    Is the carrot what his dick would be with you?
    Is the ow the tomato?
    Is the wife the wilted lettuce because the dressing sat on it too long over the years?

    Who is represented in the carrot?

  • The think the carrot is the marriage and their delusional thinking of what a marriage is.

  • “The affair was necessary for me to find myself”

    It was. He found his evil twin.

  • I think I am going to bypass the word salad and go straight to the bitch cookies…..

  • Word salad…..It is a big SH%T sandwich.
    We both did not get out of the marriage what we wanted…
    You knew….
    YOu knew that I did not want to get married….
    You minimize my medical problems……
    It is OK to be selfish..(what he has learned from therapy)
    His country means alot to him…I asked why he just doesn’t stay in France with girlfriend who looks like a nazi sorry wrong country.
    All this after 30 years of marriage..
    What a banquet of BS.

    • I love this –

      Shit sandwich + word salad + large glass of takingthepiss = meal deal

  • My ex told me that he found someone else so that I could finally be happy. I guess he truly believed that “he deserved to be happy” no matter the cost and that I was supposed to be happy for him too. At the time he said this it was devastating but the jokes on him. I am happy without all the double talk and cheating.

    • So typical of how they operate. Not taking responsibility, making out like he was doing you a favour.
      Of course, as it turned out, he was!

      • Yep, mine tried to convince me that betraying and abandoning me was actually a gift he was giving me so I could finally pursue my career. After demanding I put his career first for 32 years? What a gift.

        • Oh yeah, that’s pretty common judging by my own personal experience and the experiences of others.

          I call it the “I am really doing you a favor” cheater speech.

          In my particular case, my ex who claimed to believe she might have mystical “empath” [sic] abilities claimed to have had a dream in which I was happy with a nice Asian woman in the future, so it was all good, and she was doing me a favor to run off to another state to pursue some guy who dumped her immediately on arrival (and I only know the last bit because she called me to cry about that as if I should feel sorry for her).

          Sad, sad people. Shaking my head.

  • I’m realising now that I’ve had this word salad for years, about everything.

    Here’s one from a few months back, when we were still together and I was questioning how we were going to survive as he made no money from his ‘share trading’ (since found out he lost thousands), and he suggested we could cash in an ISA to keep going while he waited for things to turn around. His phrase?

    ‘Let’s cash in the ISA and we can KICK THE CAN UP THE ROAD for a while with that.’

    My translation?

    ‘We’re running out of cash, I can’t be arsed to get a job and won’t admit that I’m a failure as a share trader. So lets grab the last bit of cash we have and that will shut you up, stupid moronic chump wife, until I decide to tell you I am cheating and leave you and our son and go and live with mummy.’

    Yeah. ‘Kick the can up the road.’ Whatever,

  • “In trying to keep you and the children safe, I destroyed our marriage.”

    “It’s true love, not anything sleazy. People understand truelove. Everyone will understand, like they did with Mark Sanford.”

    Before I filed for divorce: “I’m so miserable with you.”
    After I filed for divorce: “I’m so miserable without you.”

    “What a mistake we are making in destroying our marriage.”

    “How can you say that the only reason I want to reconcile is because OW must have dumped me? Aren’t you just insulting yourself?”

    “The only reason I don’t want this divorce is because I love you.”

    “If you think you are happier without me, I understand. If you feel like you need this divorce to be happy, I will walk this last step of our journey together with you.”

    “I have always been so giving and supportive of you. I never put myself first. You neglected me. The children and I do not deserve what this divorce is doing to our family. We all deserve to have good and happy lives.”

    “How can two people work on a relationship when they don’t speak to each other? Once you filed for divorce things got even more hostile between us.”

    “OW is an honorable person. We never did anything sexual. When I tried to her hand, she refused. I never even held hands with another woman during our marriage until you told everyone about the affair.””

    • young, I hope people read to the end. This guy is truly a gifted bullshit artist. And a fucktard.

    • Wow – young – that completely takes the Cake! I’m amazed how entitled that is. Just wow.

      • Really? Why do you think this takes the cake? Honestly, it’s sometimes hard for me to struggle with the image I had of my XH before and what he seems to be now, so I need someone to hit me over the head and explain things to me like I’m totally clueless. Most of the stuff above he actually emailed me.

    • “It’s true love, not anything sleazy. People understand truelove. Everyone will understand, like they did with Mark Sanford.”

      What? Mark Sanford was the GOVERNOR of SC…does anyone really “understand” that true love trumps responsibility to his state? Delusional.

  • Hmm, ex wasn’t good at word salads apparently because he just … lied. 🙂

  • Don’t know if this counts as word salad but it was surreal… My friend and I were having drinks when ex walks in. After a while my friend left to the bathroom cause we were going to leave, ex comes to talk to me. He said hi, I said hi, he said you look nice I said thank you, he said your hair looks nice, I say thank you, he says I like your new glasses, I say thank you. He asks to sit down I say no. he says what? I say no. He reaches out to hold hands (this one got me because he used to tell me that we couldn’t hold hands in public because people would think “everything was ok” I’m such a chump) I just look at his hand, don’t take it and then look at him. He then “graciously” says you don’t have to leave because he was leaving. I say ok. He leaves to sit and have a drink. Still lying I see. Afterwards he texts me and says “So it’s over then?” WTF After he goes NC on me (best thing that has ever happened to me) for 6 months (not good for any marriage I think). He’s seriously asking that… What the heck do these asswipes think, that we will be there waiting for them forever.

    • I hope you didn’t reply. If you did, then next time don’t reply!

      These asswipes have NO ability to empathize, no ability to think beyond their own genitals. They are scary, when it comes right down to it. Highly dysfunctional.

      • No I didn’t reply. What does one say to that? It was one of the weirdest things ever, after not speaking for 6 months and all the while he is out with his schmoopie or by that time schmoopie had dumped him, I don’t really remember cause its not important.

  • One of the weirdest things my cheater said was “I love you but not like a person who wants to live with you any more” (after 32 years). Translated that means: I’m in true lurve with someone else so please leave.

  • Probably the most exasperating of these discussions I used to have with my ex was around the issue of being “available”. She would spend nearly all of her time either away from home, with the affair partner, overseas on work trips, overseas on personal trips or training with her friends, or locked in her room with facebook. When she ended the marriage she accused me of being “unavailable” or “emotionally unsupportive”. That last one is a particular favourite of mine as it is a forever-moving goalpost.

    • My ex also traveled overseas on work trips too, sometimes for a month at a time telling me his work was SO important. He said I was selfish for asking him not to travel so much since after all, it was for the family (even though I repeatedly told him we could live without the extra income). I actually second-guessed myself thinking that perhaps I shouldn’t complain. What I didn’t know is that he was flying his OW around Europe and Asia while he was “working” and then vacationing her full-time after his work was done. He said he felt like James Bond (esp. in Asia), staying at 5 star hotels, personal tours, limo rides – all this fed his vanity and sense of self-importance. He missed out on his kids’ lives doing this (when he would return he asked them “did you miss me?” – never telling them that he missed them….because he didn’t!) Narcissist.

        • I know what you mean. I doubt that I know even half of what my ex was up to overseas. The part about missing out on the kids’ lives is heartbreaking, though. They really are innocent victims in all of this.

          My ex overcompensates (in her way) for this part by alternately ignoring/fobbing off our daughter and going completely crazy and over-the-top with activities (always things that my ex wants to do) and gifts. I am really glad that I have 50% custody. I hope the poor kid feels like she gets a break from the insanity at my place.

  • Upon discovering my ex’s serial cheating history (including cheating on his previous girlfriends before I knew him), I told him he must be a misogynist since women don’t seem to be worthy of respect. He replied “I don’t hate women, don’t say that. If I were gay, I would have cheated on a man. It just happened to be women in this case”. He actually thinks he’s clever with this explanation, outsmarting me with his superior skills of logic.

    • Because a complete lack of honesty and integrity is clearly not as bad as misogyny?

      This seems common with cheaters and part of their word salad strategy: comparing two horrible traits or scenarios, declaring one clearly preferable, and making you feel dumb for thinking otherwise (as in they are BOTH horrible traits or scenarios). For example, “It’s not like cheating is as bad as bad as incest,” or “Since you found out I went to Vegas with AP instead of to Omaha to care for my sick aunt you treat me like I killed your dog.”

      Might me their moral framework is so screwed up they can actually rank such horrors but I think it more likely this is all mindfuckery by undermining your sense of moral clarity.

      • Nomar, you are so right. I can think of so many examples now of him comparing two horrible scenarios and declaring one preferable. Once after hearing about a terrible rape story in the news, he said “rape is sex, it’s not like being murdered”, and “you’re just feeling sorry for yourself [after difficulty with a Caesarean], women in Africa give birth in the field and go right back to working”. These comments were from a supposedly educated person (in medicine!), although I know they were really meant to dismiss me.

  • good grief – well put, Nomar.
    Glad I haven’t heard this one…hmmm..or maybe I have.

    Maybe it would be close that when I asked him why he didn’t want sex with me he said – well, I could be MY CUZZIN (who had an affair when his wife was preggo). At least I’m not a cheater. Yeah- right, as it turned out. Just like his good ole’ cuzzin.
    Thanks for the sex – NOT, asshole.

  • How does someone hide their true selves for so many years?

    There is SOMETHING (kibbles) they want from you or they are getting from you that they are not willing to give up, and they KNOW if they show you their true colors, you will not tolerate them and/or you would not have engaged with them to begin with and you will withdraw the kibbles (cut the supply). It’s important to remember that most of them have been practicing this level of deception their whole lives and are very, very good at it. This is why we are suckered in, and they know who will be a good target. Even if you are a smarter cookie and question a lot or call them out a lot, they see it as a challenge to how good they can be at manipulation. It’s a game to them, not your real life they are playing with.

    PS – Arnold – you’re killin’ me. 😉

    • I’m still struggling with this, though I have been NC for more than a year. I always thought my XH was a really good, honest, responsible guy–that’s one of the reasons why I married him! My friends all thought he was this great husband, and he doesn’t give off the impression of being sleazy or slick, but he’s actually a little geeky-looking, not particularly good-looking, though very talkative and ambitious.

      He is also a doctor, and, by all accounts, his patients absolutely love him. He goes out of his way for them. When he was in medical school, his goal was to serve under-privileged communities (though now all he cares about is making money). He is the kind of guy who would help an old lady with her bags or help a neighbor changing his tire. When people meet him, they instantly like him. People have even told me, things like, “You’re really lucky. Your husband is a really good guy.”

      It’s still hard for me to reconcile my past image of him, and other people’s image of him, with what I know he has done and said to me. And I thought I chose well for a husband, but apparently I didn’t. Even before the affair that I discovered, while he was cheerful and good-natured to the outside world, at home he was frequently angry, snappy, grumpy and blamed me for everything, even things that happened at work because I had no control over them (because, in his mind, we were only living in a certain city because of my career, therefore anything bad that happened to him in this city was therefore my fault). But if something good happened at work, he would be in a good mood. It was all very unpredictable. He thought himself that he was bipolar.

      Now that I’m NC with him, and supposedly his relations with his OW has ended, I’m wondering who is blaming now for all his problems? He is living with his parents, he says, though I think he has another apartment for his own personal use.

      • “…he was frequently angry, snappy, grumpy and blamed me for everything….”

        My ex was like this too…fake, caring facade for everyone else except for his family. These disordered types are so concerned with their public images that they feel uncomfortable around their families who can see through their fakery and call them on it. So we are a constant reminder to them of their inadequacies. He blamed me for silly things like if he broke a glass in the sink…that was my fault for leaving the glass there (it was simply an accident, but he had to find blame elsewhere since he couldn’t take responsibility for even a broken glass).

      • Young,
        That could describe my father. Successful, popular, charismatic medical practitioner. But a hellish violent arrogant bastard at home. My mother never dared turn him in, she said, because ruining his reputation would mean no more referrals, and his business would go down the drain.

        His selfishness knew no bounds. He vacationed in the Caribbean twice a year and never took my mother or his kids with him, “needed the break”. My older sister hated him and once told me she thought he fucked around when on holiday. I always thought he had more integrity than that…until my mother was dying of cancer and he embarked on a very pivlic affair with some woman he had befriended on a trip.

        My mother discovered evidence of the affair, poor thing, only about six months before she died. She implored my sister and I to do “something about it”. My sister is pretty ballsy and she travelled 1500 miles to the OW’s hime and stood on her doorstep, screamed at her and shamed her into apologizing for screwing a dying woman’s husband. She also made nough threats that the OW never contacted my father again.

        However, he went on to marry my mother’s “best friend” six months after she died. That broad was a gold digger supreme, and managed to spend most of his money before he died. Soap opera!

    • Thanks. I agree. These folks have been honing these lying skills for a lifetime. It is second nature to them. Very hard to detect at first.

  • Nobody’s Chump….I had this same conversation with my good friend yesterday. She knew my XH well as she had worked with him too. She reminded me that I was a victim of his and that he had a long history of cheating on wives and girlfriends before me. He was cunning and clever and very, very manipulative. He lied by omission and I never knew half the shit he did until well into the marriage. Some of it I didn’t find out about until the shoe dropped on me. He cheated on every woman he was ever with and had no problem screwing married women with small children and breaking up their marriages.
    I graduated from college Cum Laude. Ha! So much for being smart.

  • I almost forgot these gems:

    Ex told me he was going to live his life with “no regrets.” Which just think about that for a moment, other than being a stupid phrase you usually see misspelled on tattoos, what kind of person regrets nothing that they did in their life? First off, you’re not going to feel bad about blowing up a decade-long marriage and your kids’ family? That’s twisted. But there’s not a single thing you did in your life you’re not going to feel bad about? That’s beyond twisted.

    The other one I remember was he “needed to be free, and maybe in a year, we could work it out.” I asked him what made him think that after a year of his “freedom,” I would still be there waiting?

    • Kira, I got the ‘no regrets’ and give him a year talk too…honestly do they take a course in cheating?

      • They must, Valentine. I have since made friends with several other “chumps” and its amazing how much our exes have said/done the Exact.Same.Thing.

        • Maybe someone somewhere is spreading the psychobabble to cheaters. Although I think it is more likely that the OWs are the ones reading some weird mistresses are us website.

  • Well I missed this the first time around…Anyhow, I DO agree that cheaters LOVE word salads. I was lucky to have to be married to a cheater with an extensive vocabulary (much like Chumplady except he was a cheating, lying sack of shit and Chumplady is, of course, NOT). I distinctly remember how he would wax poetic at any given moment on the situation (e.g. his whoring around).

    One priceless nugget was that he was an ‘existentialist’ and how he
    had to live his life with passion. REALLY????? And he couldn’t be existentialist enough to take be passionate about getting divorced, thus living his ‘passion’ far, far away from me????

    I was so confused by what he was saying that I actually LOOKED IT UP even though I had studied it in college. So, here is Merriam Websters definition:

    Existentialism: a chiefly 20th century philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad.

    Ahhhhhhh. I finally GOT IT. He was gonna use the “yes, I fucked around, have been having a prolonged affair but in my defense I don’t have knowledge that what I have doing is WRONG.’

    Talk about cheater word salad! Once he said that I knew it was gonna be an uphill battle. Clearly, he was delusional–living in his own world. Blah, blah, blah.

    Don’t fall for their bullshit. Seriously, if you wait 5 minutes the cheater will completely contradict themselves anyhow. Don’t wasted your time on it. Get a lawyer, if you don’t already have one and get the hell outta dodge.

    • I think existentialism puts the responsibility to create a moral life onto the individual. So your husband failed at creating meaning.

  • Chumplady, I am appreciating your talent for creating catchy substitutions for some of the more clinical-sounding terms typically used when discussing these things. So far we have:

    – sparkly people (Cluster B’s)
    – ego kibbles (narcissistic supply)
    – spackle (rationalizing bad behavior)

    And now we have word salad.

    Which really hits home, by the way. My ex wasn’t a cheater (as far as I know), but she had this convoluted, doublespeak-y way of rationalizing her emotional abuse for which I had neither a term nor an effective response.

    “Stop with the word salad already, and get back to me when you’re ready to have a mutually respectful discussion” would have been a useful and rewarding response to such behavior back in the day. Not that it would have made a difference in that relationship’s ultimate outcome.

    Thanks, Chumplady!

  • CL, I think you could do a whole post on passive voice and moral responsibility.

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