Dear Chump Lady,
I Google’ed “I have been cheated on, now what?” and I came across your blog.
We have been dating for roughly 6 months. He started seeing me first, around the end of March 2014. He went to Vegas for business and met the “other” woman about a month into our relationship. While he was in Vegas, he told me that he loved me for the first time, I thought it was too soon, but I felt this unique connection with him. While he was there. he met her. She is from Scotland and is in the same line of work as him, marketing.
I just found out about this on August 28. He had been staying with me in the middle of a move to a new place, and he had gone to work and left his laptop open and on… and right there at the bottom of his email feed was an email from this woman… The other woman, from about a month previous. The subject line said something along the lines of “I love you little lady.” I had to open it to find out if this was a relative, I have never heard of her before… But, it wasn’t. She was indeed the other woman.
Apparently he had ended it and by ended it I mean he just stopped talking to her. He said that he knows it is weak, but he is glad that I found out, he realized that he had everything he needed in me and that he had been selfish, a liar, and completely manipulated the situation. He said that the connection with her was strong, they shared similar backgrounds… (it was as if he had found the female version of himself…he said). But, he still kept me around, still told me he loved me, I was with him constantly, the thought that he was involved with another woman did not enter my mind. But, when I thought about it, she lived in Scotland, he did go to Scotland for business…And met up with her. And that was the only time they were physical.
Every question I ask, every hurt that I express, ever amount of anger that I confess to him, he takes it.
This is so very difficult for me. I have never felt unconditional love for someone before him. There was always an condition. With him (the cheater), I could be myself completely and he accepted me. If I shared a complaint it was listened to. I just felt at peace. Everything you described in the “Real Remorse” article he is doing. I am just so hurt. I want to believe he is remorseful and it genuinely appears to be remorse.
I remember a little over a month ago, I had come over to his house after his son was asleep ( I have not met his son or his family yet….probably a good thing). He was sitting on the sofa and he was obviously stressed with work. He had a business and it was failing, so this was a common occurrence, him stressing. This time he was crying, and sitting there looking at me, telling me how beautiful I was, and how much he loved me, and how I was his rock. And from that night on, he has been so loving, it seemed like this invisible switch had changed in him. So, about a month after this is when I found out that he had been communicating with this other woman.
I am not sure how to move forward. I have not completely separated from him, we are trying to work it out, but I go through moments of complete pain and moments of numbness, and I can actually smile. But, he tells me all the time that the sadness in my eyes kills him and that he would do anything to fix this. And I need to tell him what it is. But, I have no clue. His remorse and actions after I found out have felt completely legit, but I thought that everything before this was completely legit. Part of me thinks that he was just really lost, and trying to figure things out, in the most selfish, jacked up way possible. And, then I have this feeling that I am a trophy, something he wants to have, not love. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see this in his behavior currently. But, that is definitely what I was before.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
SIX MONTHS? This much drama in SIX MONTHS?
Are you freaking kidding me?
He says he loves you a month into dating. Way too soon. A red flag of abusers, called “love bombing.” You spackle.
He cheats on you in Vegas.
He cheats on you in Scotland.
You discover he’s still communicating with the OW. You also say “Apparently, he ended it.” Apparently, he did not, Lori.
Oh, and he’s in marketing! Enjoy this Bill Hicks routine about people in marketing. (Apologies to any chumps in marketing. This is for the consumerists, the sleazy salesmen, the horn dog conventioneers. Not chumps in honest professions doing good in the world…. cheaters come in all shapes and sizes. But I cannot resist sharing Bill Hicks.)
Then we have the sociopath freak flags — instant connection, he loves you “unconditionally” (I’ll bitchslap you on that one in a moment), he tells you WHO HE IS — “selfish, a liar, completely manipulated the situation.” He sees people as extensions of himself. You feel like a “trophy” and the OW is “as if he had found the female version of himself.”
You know what kind of people see people as objects and manipulate with the ease of breathing? Cluster B fuckers, that’s who.
Cluster B fuckers and marketing salesmen. (There’s a Venn diagram!) They can sell the sell. They’re real good at making you think they have what you need. The customer is always right (I will love you unconditionally!) But this guy is just in it for the kibbles — what you can do for him. A sofa to sleep on when he’s moving. A pretty trophy. A shoulder to cry on when his business is failing. (Too many trips to Scotland, asshole?)
He wants a chump.
Will you believe he’s really just “lost”? Will you spackle? Will you accept this high drama shit during the honeymoon phase of the relationship? Will you be a nice front of normalcy for his double life? Will you let a guy you’ve only known a month move in while he’s between living arrangements?
I want to believe he is remorseful and it genuinely appears to be remorse.
I want to believe I’m a Celtic warrior princess. Oh hang on, I’m a middle-aged woman living in bum fuck Texas.
Put down the pretty lie, Lori. What on earth are you taking as “remorse”? The fact that he lets you get upset with him? That he tells you he sees the hurt in your eyes?
He GETS OFF on that. Your pain and upset are KIBBLES. Disordered freaks feed on our pain. It gives them kibbles of centrality. It shows them that no matter how much shit they dish out to you, you’ll take it. Good reliable chump! You’ll be there for them, you’ll try working it out for them, you’ll do the heavy lifting. All they need to do is pretend like they give a shit. But pretty soon, he’ll stop doing that. Aren’t you over this? Are you going to keep bringing that up?
Lori — take a big step BACK.
It’s been SIX MONTHS. This guy isn’t even a polished abuser (give him some time, he’ll perfect his act). He dropped the mask one month in. He showed you he’s a freak with a double life who “loves” another woman (women, probably if you look some more. Go talk to the mother of his son). He couldn’t even maintain a mask of sanity for a MONTH.
Is this relationship acceptable to you? Do you want this kind of shit and drama in your life? Do you realize that the early months of dating are supposed to be easy breezy? Dining out and sex! Do you realize what you’re signing up for by setting your standards so very low? It doesn’t get better, Lori. You don’t get big rewards for your investment in his fuckupedness — you get more mindfuckery and abuse.
Oh, he listens to you. He loves you unconditionally.
Bullshit. He loves himself unconditionally. Everyone else is kibbles.
Grown up love is CONDITIONAL love. Get that through your noggin. The conditions are — you don’t treat me like shit. You don’t disrespect me. You don’t expose me to harm. You do those things? GAME OVER. I’m done with you.
Grown ups set boundaries with love. We don’t accept any pile of shit unconditionally. We only love small children unconditionally, and that (if you do it right) is years of setting limits and imposing discipline so your kids don’t grow up to be entitled assholes. If your children grow up to treat you like shit, then you can still love them — not unconditionally! — but you “detach with love.” You DETACH. Healthy love does not mean accepting people’s abusive shit.
Nobody just loves, loves, loves you regardless of what you do or who you are. I think chumps know this and take it too far. We try so hard to earn love and be more worthy — it makes us vulnerable to disordered freaks, who either promise to love old unworthy us, or dazzle us with sparkles.
Know your worth. When you know your worth, you’ll know you’re a good partner to a good person who is worthy of you. You’ll set boundaries and you won’t be afraid to walk away when you’re mistreated. When you love, you’ll take the risk, because you know yourself. You won’t get lost, your core values will still be there.
Lori, you’ve lost yourself in this relationship. You’re hung up on him and what he did, might be doing, and his issues. He cheated on you WEEKS after knowing you. FUCK him. Kick this guy to the curb and go no contact. Work on yourself and fix that picker before you get out there again. You love a figment. Good men don’t cheat on you. Especially not in the earliest stages of a relationship. Sociopathic players do that. Watching you cry isn’t remorse — it means he’s got a soul of naugahyde.
Dump him. Go no contact and stay no contact. Every comment you get here will be from someone who learned these lessons the hard way.