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Don’t Judge Me

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dear-god-if-i-learn-to-stop-passing-judgment-against-other-people-will-you-agree-to-make-them-seem-less-like-morons-91316In yesterday’s comments the subject of “judgement” came up and a chump asked if I would write a column on, you know, the phenomenon of calling people cheating fuckwits when they would prefer to be considered splendid.

God forbid you might be thought “judgmental.”

Now, it’s pretty easy to hate on judgmental people. I should know, I come from a family of them. My late grandmother could walk into a room and instantly tell you where your wallpaper seams weren’t aligned. And did you gain some weight? She liked your hair better short. She doesn’t know why you grew it out, it looks like a bush.

And my favorite utterance of this grandmother: “That maternity outfit is not very slimming.”

Oh Judgment! I’m not a thin pregnant person! My hair’s a mess! I wallpaper WRONG!

Sniffy, condescending, critical. No one likes these people. (My grandmother, while an impressive woman in many respects — beautiful, intelligent, wealthy — was not particularly liked. Feared? Respected? Dreaded? Yes. Warm fuzzies? No.)

Chumps, so eager to please, hate to be thought judgmental. Aren’t we the perpetual dispensers of kibbles? Don’t we do our darndest to love unconditionally? That’s why the accusation of judgement is such a potent manipulation — we want to be thought magnanimous. We want to be open-minded, sensitive, and understanding. Hell, chumps believe in shit like the affair fog, trickle truth, and unicorns. We’re invested in loving all the hurt away. So… judgmental?

I think “Don’t judge me” is cheater code for “Don’t get uppity and impose consequences on me!” Whether that is divorce, social shunning, or sidling away from them at cocktail parties. Do NOT hold them responsible for their actions!

Now let’s parse judgment. Judging people and situations is natural. We make judgments every day. Is that street safe to walk down? Should I invest my savings with that guy? Is my employee telling me the truth about why he didn’t turn in his progress reports?

We have to make judgements, otherwise we’d be a bunch of spineless ninnies and anyone could roll us for our lunch money.

So there is judgment and then there is prejudice. Prejudice is “I hate gay people” or “Women shouldn’t vote,” or “I don’t trust anyone with hair extensions.”

Prejudice is making your mind up about someone or something without critically examining the evidence. Are people with hair extensions intrinsically untrustworthy or are you just hating? Were you scared by a hair extension as a child? Did your parents or church teach you to despise people with hair extensions?

And then there is just verbal abuse. “Your trousers are ugly.” “You have less sense than God gave badgers.” “I hate your cooking.”

Verbal abuse is about power and control. It’s not judgement, it’s denigration designed to keep you off-balance and feeling small. How exactly are my trousers hurting you? Why do you feel the need to attack my trousers?

Chumps who judge cheaters have been actively harmed by cheaters. Of course we get to judge them! The same way we would judge an unsafe street, a dodgy investment, or a letter bomb that just blew up in our faces.

But cheaters like to claim victim status. It’s the classic “It’s not what I did, it’s your reaction to it.” Okay, I cheated on you, now you’re going to JUDGE me? How could you?! You’re going to TELL people?! I didn’t do anything wrong, (or anything you didn’t drive me to do), so why would you TELL? People might judge me and cease kibble production!

You should judge cheaters as a matter of self protection. You don’t have to be verbally abusive to cheaters to judge them. (i.e., You bilious whore! Don’t touch me!) You judge them by going no contact with them and refusing to hand over your 401Ks.

When cheater accuse you of being judgmental, IMO it’s just projection. You know who’s judgmental? Cheaters!

They created a thousand rationalizations of why they had to cheat on you. Each one weighing your faults and vulnerabilities and deciding that their sexual jollies trumped your well-being. Because you were a chump, and less deserving.

I find that incredibly judgmental.

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  • Right on CL! My cheater told me and one of his OW in the midst of his cheating that I had my priorities all screwed up. Seriously?

    He did try the whole, “It’s your reaction to what I did that is the problem”. I asked him why he felt the need to always lie, his response ” Because I don’t like the negative reaction I get when I tell the truth” ~ truer words never spoken.

    • I am belly laughing out loud, choking on my food on this comment, “Because I don’t like the negative reaction I get when I tell the truth”

      This made my day. Ha ha ha ha. You cannot make this shit up. Ha ha ha ha…

      Thanks Free.

      • I got this exact line and that was his way of justifying his lying. Funny how much clarity I’ve gained since I left that tsunami of a marriage.

        • Me too! X told me he lied to me because he knew I’d be upset if he told me the truth. Ummmm, then maybe you shouldn’t be doing it!?!?!?

          • yep, count me in on that club. I was told he didnt tell me the truth because i would get mad!! WTF. Of course i am going to get mad!!!

            i just dont understand WHY it was so hard for him to make me mad. i would much rather have the truth, get mad, then process it, and deal with it. then be lied too, sneaked around on, have things hidden from me only to have the truth blow up in my face and i am blindsided. Gee…thank you so much from making sure i didnt get mad in the first place.

            fucking idiots.

      • Anytime Calamity. i should write a book of all the crazy things he has said to me. They are so out there, that it’s hilarious.

    • My lier (not long before d-day) responded when I asked why he lied so much, even about stuff that wasn’t important, said with a charming smirk, “Guess lying is my fatal flaw”. Ya think?

      • Chump Change–it’s part of the narc’s arsenal–they have a piece of information you want, but they either withhold it or lie about it as a way to maintain power over you and the narrative.

          • Laughably, my cheater considers himself to be a feminist. He decided to bed his (female) jiujitsu training partner while I was home and screaming quietly for some support from him whilst raising his 4yr, 2yr and 11mo old children (still breastfeeding the youngest). All because I wasn’t initiating daily kinky BDSM sex with him. And the childless, recently single jiujitsu champion training partner evidently could… as it turns out. Oh, and he blind-sided me, by the way. But I’m guessing that’s not an unusual experience with you readers…!

            In the last years and months of us being together, he used to increasingly pass judgement on everyone around and then on me, for pleading with him to help me out at home on weekends with house, children and family time when all he wanted to do was go and train and recreate with his training partner. I of course understood the need for some alone time from time to time, so I was certainly not being unreasonable in my resquests from him. My friends could see it too, from a distance. He used to say that wrangling the kids into eating dinner, bathing and then into bed was easy. Night after night with no support. Idiot.

            More recently (six months after D-day), after my kids spent the weekend with him at he and his girlfriend’s place (yes, her), he text me to inform that he was on his way over with them for handover, and a bonus nugget of information (for me to pity him over, I can only presume), was that he was at his wits end and that the dropoff would occur pretty quickly. I replied to him in text, with absolute sarcasm and a good chuckle a dose of his own medicine and then welcomed my three lovelys home to me with loving arms and not a care in the world for him.

            He also wonders why the kinder families do not invite him to join in on social time with them, when I’m being welcomed along with all of my children with open arms. Nine months after D-day, and he is still acting puzzled at their rejection of him and what’s more, he’s still looking to me for some kind of answer or some kind of suitable explanation.

            I used to consider him fairly intellectual (however, lacking somewhat socially) and clever. Now, day by day, I am thinking of him as a bigger idiot than I took him for at the time he justified his split from me (because sex just means THAT much to him!). I wore that for about four weeks, dancing the ‘pick me’ dance, continuing the drive the kids around to kindergarten, creche, go to work, pay the bills and simply cope with each passing moment with my kids in tow. Oh, and I forgot to mention here that I was being woken three times a night on average by my three children under 5 years of age, including a teething baby.

            By the way, next week I’ll be taking him to the cleaners and leaving him barely 10 percent of the pooled money from the sale of the house. Come April, I will be serving him divorce proceedings, willingly and gladly. Sadly, I can’t write him off. I have three little ones I’m going to need to be the grown up for, for the next decade and a half of my life. And I will do so. Morally, nobly and gracefully.

            Thanks for listening to my piece. I’ve said it. For now!

      • My favorite interaction with my ExW regarding lying on DDay #3 (3rd affair partner):

        Cletus: “I know you went home with him from the bar last night”
        ExW: “Who told you? Was it Sarah, Daniel, or Grace?”
        Cletus: “No one, you just did”
        ExW: ” Nice Cletus, just trick me into telling the truth”
        Cletus: “It was the only way I could get the truth from you….” as she exits stage left

        You got it…I was in trouble because I tricked her into telling the TRUTH!!! Always remember folks this was the universal cheater logic we are forced to deal with and cover up throughout our marriages!…Forge on we are much better off!

    • Just like talking to a child who don’t understand the consequences of their actions. There’s no respect, morals, values…nothing!

      Karma.

  • Every word we speak is a judgment. Every story we tell is ‘drama’. No one can avoid it. The loving thing to do is always the honest thing.
    If a person says, ‘Something went terribly wrong in my marriage, but I’m not going to judge what…’ Then he or she is in denial, doomed to repete it, or a cheat.
    Good is about as obvious as daylight.

  • Oh…..my ex usually gave me compliments and encouraged me. He rarely said a bad thing or criticized me. THEN he began cheating and I had LOADS of faults! Who knew?? Crazy how that happens. He would tell me I was a great wife prior to the cheating. Cheating started and well……..I didn’t clean the windows right! I mean, lets not even TALK about the bedroom. Heavens!!! He suffered terribly! (insert sarcasm here!)

      • Me too. Everything pretty much fine for 21 years, then he met the ho-worker and all of a sudden I couldn’t do a thing right. He withdrew his support of me as I cared for my elderly father, accused me of being lazy, selfish, and was making him fat by cooking a nice dinner every night. The annual trip for my birthday was “put off” and the last Valentines Day together I got nothing and he was cold enough to sit and eat the candy I had bought for him without batting an eye.

        • Same here. I had 18 years of my husband describing me as a “truly kind and good person” and warned me that I was probably too nice and people would take advantage of that. Once his EA started, I was worst person on the planet….and he was the person who was the taking advantage of my kindness, more cruelly than anyone else ever.

          • “Once his EA started, I was worst person on the planet….and he was the person who was the taking advantage of my kindness, more cruelly than anyone else ever”

            Yup. We must be twins.

            When my X had an EA 10 years ago (I saw an email, part of which said, “I miss you”). – I literally could do *NOTHING* right. I started keeping a journal because I didn’t understand his behavior. He always had issues, but, it started getting out of control. One time, he said to me, “In 6 weeks I’m going to come down on you for everything you do that bothers me”.

            Looking back, I don’t really know if he ever wound up having a physical affair with her, or anyone else, but, he accused me of doing it several times. If I even looked at someone, or a guy would strike up a nice conversation with me, it was always brought down to the sex level. Such an asshole.

            • One time, he said to me, “In 6 weeks I’m going to come down on you for everything you do that bothers me”.

              What??? He was making an appointment? What did you say to that?

              • WTF?? These cheaters are nuts! I know its hopeless, but I read this stuff (and live this stuff), and try to figure out what is going on in their messed up, pea brained heads. It’s ALL so nonsensical!

              • Hi Nicole- yes this a good article and I entirely agree. I ‘overlooked’ much of the poor character issues because- he was ‘in recovery’. I figured at least he’s sober and trying to keep sober. But then he wasn’t and all the character traits were amplified until his entitlement etc led to the exit affair. I think the article is good for chumps fixing their picker too- so we don’t end up in a similar situation.

              • Yes Mikky. I overlooked my husband’s issues because he professed to be a devout Christian and was very involved in our church. I now realize that was all about impression management. What’s better impression management than marrying a “good Christian girl” and pretending to be just liker her? Problem is, their true character always catches up to them. I think my picker is greatly improved. I’d much rather be “alone” than in another relationship with a narcissist. At 43 I’m not sure I’ll find someone else because I will be extremely picky and I think that’s OK.

              • I agree on the alone bit, but Nicole I’m 58 (and not entirely given up hope on the possibility of a good ‘final’ relationship)- but you’re young at 43 so yes fix the picker but you could have another 30/40 years in which to have a new relationship. We don’t let the cheater ‘episode’ define who we are for the rest of our lives!

              • Yes, I agree that it is not going to define my life and I’d love to grow old with a wonderful man. I really hope it happens for me but if not that is OK too. I can be happy with my faith, my kids and my friends and family. I won’t settle this time. I hope you find exactly what you are looking for. I have no doubt you deserve it.

              • Nicole and Kira – I don’t even remember my reply (I remember what he said because it was in my journal). The problem with him was that if you *ever* tried to challenge him, look out. It was a very abusive situation, and he just got in MAJOR trouble with respect to my son.

                Definitely, definitely abusive.

                It started out innocuously enough and got worse over time. To put it in a nutshell, he was unpredictable. We could go weeks or months and he’d be great. For decades I waited for the good to extinguish the bad and It never happened. It just got worse.

        • @ Lina – your comment about cooking dinner, making him fat! That makes me laugh so hard! When I found out my ex was seeing a ‘bi’ woman on the side, I found the most fattening premade dinners in the freezer section, put them in baking pans and he thought I had spent hours in the kitchen. He couldn’t help but have seconds. I think he put on 20 lbs in 1 month.

          • Lina, now that’s revenge served hot (the dinners) … hilarious though. I look back on my Cheater helping himself to home cooked dinners after having his little after work visits with Schmoopie. Wish I’d known at the time. Would have pied him with a hot one.

            • I’m not at the point where I can laugh about it yet but I can see the absurdity of it. I’m sure he wanted to look good for “her”. He was working out like mad. Funny thing is, when I saw him in court he had put back on all the weight he’d lost. I wonder who he blames now.

          • I love, love the idea of making him fat as revenge! In my case, I unknowingly did the opposite: gave him an expensive exercise bike for his birthday and made him green smoothies every day. Of course, I never received the benefits of his new body. He was obsessively slimming down for the ugly OW while I was criticized for everything I ate or did. Such abusers these asshole cheaters are…!

    • Yep, add me to the list. Twenty year marriage and nothing was wrong, it was all great and he was happy. Dday comes, and suddenly, he was miserable every minute of the marriage, everything was wrong with me, he never should have married me.

      • Glad, I also got “I never even wanted to marry you in the first place”. Okay loser, apparently I forced him to propose and marry me. Oh the rewritten history is so laughable.

        • Yep, me, too — I asked why he asked me to marry him, if he “never felt that way” about me? He said, “I have trouble disappointing people.”
          Funny thing, when he proposed, we’d been together for 10 years already, I’d accepted we weren’t going to get married, so I asked him, point blank, “Are you sure you want to do this? Why do you want to do this?” He said some flowery stuff about growing old together, blah blah blah. — What a dick.

      • I got that too. “I felt forced to marry you”. What?!? HE proposed, HE setup the wedding since I was working full time, and HE insisted on going through with it, even when some people tried to convince him not to. But yeah……he was forced.

        • In an interview with a local paper, ex said that his father was verbally abusive, and this caused ex to “settle” for getting married and working a regular job. I laughed when I read that.

      • Wow…they all seem to be the same. My cheater also started to rewrite the narrative (in his head) that I somehow trapped him. He looked dumfounded when I reminded him clearly that it was HE who wanted to get married so desperately (he remembered then). Little did I know that idealization is part of the narcissist cycle – idealize (love-bombing), devalue, discard. It’s just that the idealization phase didn’t last long since he cheated as a newlywed. The devaluation became intense when my first child was born since he was no longer the center of attention.

      • I looked up “midlife crisis men” and the characteristics are scary because they are following a script. One of the sadder aspects is that there is no getting them to see reality. And it can last for years!

    • It helps so much to see this in writing. i was also ms. wonderful until he started cheating at year 23. which set me up to believe affair was my fault..because i believed RIC and every other myth about infidelity…until i found Reality here.

  • Well tied up with the Cheater ‘Don’t Judge Me’ is the accusatory blameshifting ie it’s all your fault Chump. My XH said the exit affair was down to me as I had ‘left the door open’ for the OW to walk right in. That was how he interpreted my firming of the boundaries around abuse.

    Coincidentally I was just reading an article (yeah, Daily Mail, but they do love the cheating stories) about husbands cheating on pregnant wives. The DM has quotes from the XHs. Some are unsurprisingly unremorseful of their own behaviour but judgmental of their wives.

    Take this XH quote which we at Chump Nation have seen in many forms before: ‘It happened because she was a control freak,’ … ‘She wanted to control everything I did. ‘I’m not sorry I cheated because by then we were clutching at straws pretending our marriage would work.

    In fact, once you’ve been here at CL, you can interpret and translate the Cheater judgements of their spouses (and evasion of their own responsibility) with perfect ease- ‘It’s not my fault, YOU made me do it.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2920526/We-meet-mothers-whove-suffered-ultimate-betrayal-husbands-cheat-wives-PREGNANT.html#ixzz3PYtlcF4X

    • I read that Daily Mail article too and I must admit, that very same quoted comment has been stuck in my head ever since.

    • Mikky, thanks for the DM article link. It is so helpful to see the blameshifting and lack of remorse in print and in other real life infidelity. TV, movies, novels usually leave out that torturous part.

      This post and that article are very helpful today.

      • I agree- I think it helps to re-enforce that these situations are unfortunately common and that we are not the only ones dealing with the fallout.

    • My ex told me “eventually you’re going to be sad that I’m not paying attention to you”. He was already deep into his affair and justifying it already. Gag.

    • I just read that article. Holy crap. What kind of man would say that his wife “let herself go” during pregnancy? That’s unbelievably cruel. Not to mention, she was clearly the more attractive partner going in and obviously didn’t have a problem with *his* appearance. smh

  • “Each one weighing your faults and vulnerabilities and deciding that their sexual jollies trumped your well-being.” – I’m not sure my cheater even considered my faults or vulnerabilities. That is giving her too much credit. I don’t think my cheater had any concept of my well-being.

  • Badgers are actually pretty savvy creatures, good problem solvers and very keen and adaptive. God gave more sense to badgers than cheaters…lol!

  • Suddenly remember his exasperation when he showed me his plans with OW in case that scenario would pan out (don’t ask, MC wanted him to weigh pros and cons, probably not knowing or caring what fantasy drivel she unleashed)…

    “I knew you’d react all judgemental like that, nitpicking and seeing only negatives” (he had actually one whole paragraph not about him and his glorious schmoopie – that was that the children would be all right after the initial shock)! Suddenly it was no longer about his cheating, setting up a parallel fantasy life, it was about me, overreacting.

    Actually I underreacted… Should have kicked him out there and then. Took me some more months: almost two years cheater free now (except for sharing children, that requires some minimal contact).

    People that try not to judge, sit on the fence, try to keep out of the drama… they are no longer among my closest friends.

    PS: there was also a short piece on what if he stayed married. “Pro: Easier for the children. Con: Don’t know if ‘Dutch-chump can change”. Guess what? I could!

    • ‘Don’t know if ‘Dutch-chump can change”.’

      Ah, yes, the old “you must change if I am to stay faithful, and if I am to stay with you.” My cheater sent me a list of demands I had to change before he would agree to marital therapy after D-day. My reaction was to go gorgon on him & throw him out of the house.

      Then, he thought he wanted a divorce after one marital therapy session because it was evident I was still angry and might always be angry with him for cheating. I filed 9 a.m. the following business day.

      He was so panicked that he booked a MC session on his own (I refused to go since I’d filed) and talked about how to “get Tempest back to the old Tempest.” At this point, he had hit most of the points of Imitation Naugahyde Remorse, so I put us on the path to inevitability–divorce should be final within weeks.

      • Tempest, well done. Stay strong. Being treated like that is crazy shit. Your life will be sooo much better when it’s over.

            • Thanks, Dat. I’m in a dark place right now. Best to keep sharp objects out of my hands if STBX is anywhere in the vicinity! Ah, any cheater will do. For some reason, I keep dreaming of machetes…..

              • Tempest, whenever I was in a tough spot, I always told myself that this is good because that means a huge step towards Meh is on the way. I was allowing myself to feel the pain to get to the other side.

              • Thanks, Uniquelyme. I do feel I have turned a corner toward meh (but can’t see it yet). The seething rage I used to feel is now more of a cold hard anger/contempt. Progress, I guess?

              • I think it’s progress Tempest. Believe it or not I actually bought a machete after I got my protective order – I got it to wack tree branches with of course. 🙂

              • Of course, what else would one use a machete for? ; )

                My new favorite ecard, “I don’t like making plans for the day, because then the word “premeditated” gets thrown around in the courtroom.”

              • Any cheater will do…
                We should randomly swap them, they’ll never find out how or why I whacked your cheater and you machete chopped mine…

    • “PS: there was also a short piece on what if he stayed married. “Pro: Easier for the children. Con: Don’t know if ‘Dutch-chump can change”. Guess what? I could! ”

      The morning after Dday, right before leaving the house to send his infamous mass text message to everyone we knew telling them we had separated, my ex told me that he did not think I could ever change, and that he “Would never want to change, because I love myself just the way I am.”

      Well, Dutch, like you, I DID change, for the better. And the funny thing is, ex did end up changing as well. He got increasingly batshit crazy, until he ended up the homeless freak he is today. I love when life works out that way!

      • Glad, I love your post.

        It is like your X had no filter between his brain and his mouth and all his narc thoughts just tumbled out.

      • Why would you need to change yourself if you’re being an honest upstanding person?
        What a fucktard. These twits just stack the deck against you, irrespective of what you’re doing or saying.

    • Dutch, theres a song by the rock band rush with the lyrics, if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice. Indecision, lack of judgment is a decision. Any friend who wasnt with me in my judgment of my ex isnt my friend, period. I dont have the energy to argue that none of this shit was my fault because someone wants to seem fair. More than likely theyre a go between for my ex anyhow so, its more no contact for me.

  • We have heard it all!
    Judge not…
    Forgiveness is divine…
    Cheaters love to put the faithful back in line with these empty words!
    Was the cheater judging the Chump when they rewrote marital history, did they forgive the chump for their alledged shortcomings that the cheater says made them cheat?
    They just don’t understand the concept!

    • Well said !
      My XH rewrote our 30+ year history beyond recognition. And was full of judgement and criticism towards me and our kids.
      He had lists upon lists of every tiny little thing that I (we) had done to deserve to be betrayed and cheated on. His cruelty and hatred towards us the last years still makes me ill and my heart and head hurt if the memories start to creep back.
      And now that he has spent close to a million dollars on his decades younger AP in the last 1 1/2 years, turned over the running of his bar/restaurant to her, etc. …. he is now rewriting how it all ended for us, conveniently developing a case of amnesia on the cruelty and abuse.
      He judged everyone constantly, had nasty nicknames for so many….and after he walked out I learned that he would tell everyone that it was ME saying those things. What kind of man tears his family down behind their back? Goes out of his way to lie about who his wife and kids are and how they feel to paint them in a bad light ? The gaslighting and mindfuckery that he did to us, and his judgment. He is a bully of the worst kind. And if I want to judge him and his AP and deem them as a danger to me and my kids ? As cruel ? That sounds like a normal, sane thing to do.

      • Yup, bullies. Mine claimed that after our separation, he never said a bad word to anyone about me. But of course, he complained heartily about my poor marriage skills to his APs to convince them to drop their drawers and ask him to leave his wife.

        Selective memory, these cheaters.

        • My ex said he told everyone I was a wonderful wife and mother. Until I found out about the affair. Then I’m.not sure what he said. I think he wanted me to tell everyon he was wonderful. I couldn’t quite say that since he had been cheating in me for along time.

    • On forgiveness…..

      My very judgmental Christian MIL takes me into our kitchen for a private chat on Christmas day. She fills me in that she loves me, in spite of “everything” (gee, thanks) and says that I need to start forgiving her son. I don’t want to be that person she says.

      Here’s an idea. How about your son quits trying to fuck other women behind my back and I’ll let go of some of my anger at him. He was emailing Craiglist hookers and had many dating profiles in 2009. I forgave him as best as I could. It was just a porn addiction gone awry, he says. He meant no harm. We had two more children. Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2014. He’s in love with his co-worker. Spends the night at her house. He tells everyone else she is just a friend and this has been blown out of proportion.

      I can’t really fault her fondness of denial though. It’s much easier to blame our marital situation on my inadequacies as a wife and mother and not on your son’s shitty, lying, cheating, narcissistic, piss-poor character.

      • I was just having a discussion with my kids last night, 13 and 10. The 10 yr old has a booklet from school that needs to be signed by a parent daily and has a space to write notes to the child. So, I use it to write positive things, such as treat others as you would want to be treated, be a good leader, live life with integrity, be a good friend and so on. These notes are to my son. Well, the kids were telling me that this upset their father and he commented about writing his own passages from the bible such as thou shall forgive. (to get back at me I guess). Now mind you, some of these are posters that hang at the elementary school, integrity, respect, responsibility, etc.
        Are you kidding me?
        Those notes are to my son and not to him as I am trying to raise great kids, not dirtballs like their father.
        He seems to think I owe him forgiveness, which I do not. He has done nothing to earn it. I tried explaining some of this to the children but they are children and don’t grasp the depth yet.
        I also find it sad on his part that he tosses the blame on the chump again…..that I am a bad person because I have not forgiven him. Well, I have nothing to work with.
        And to use my son’s booklet as a means to get back at me?? Really???? Great example (eyes rolling…)
        The only person I feel that I need to forgive is myself, for trusting an untrustworthy person and I am fine judging him for the piece of shit that he is. If he didn’t want to be judged for his shitty behavior, maybe he shouldn’t have done it. It is really that simple.

        • Casey: This “forgiveness” thing is SO overrated. Even if they do apologize (mine did), having an affair that involves weeks, months, years of active decisions every day to seduce, spend time with, fuck another person, and then active decisions to HIDE those actions from the spouse with whom you have taken vows–does NOT deserve forgiveness, IMO. They put physical pleasure ahead of promises, their spouse, their children, their integrity. Apologize? That’s nice, you still did something ATROCIOUS and do not deserve forgiveness.

          I liken this to Boko Haram–they kidnapped over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls and basically sold them into slavery, rape, helplessness. I don’t care if they release those girls, apologize a year later, and start rescuing baby kittens. What they did is so atrocious, no forgiveness is possible. None.

          Does that mean we have to let the cheater’s actions eat us up inside with hatred and anger forever? No, we move on for ourselves. We may even be civil to the fucktards. But forgiveness, NO. Never. Just my thoughts.

          • I agree. I am not to Meh yet, but on my way- just a little over a year since the divorce. I feel I have moved on and am happy being alone. Hell, I handled the bulk of the family/household responsibilities anyway, so what is the difference – just one less person who did jack shit anyway.
            My forgivness is just moving forward without him and that is what works for me. 🙂

          • I have no idea how anyone ever came up with the idea that forgiving someone like this is healthy. It seems like the most deleterious thing one can do to oneself.
            It seems unnatural to me and against our nature.

        • Casey, typical narc behaviour, since they are the centre of the universe then everything is about them, a mother writes notes to her son in his school diary, well it has to be about the narc. Ridiculous psychos all of them. Don’t stop doing these loving things for your little boy because his father is a self centred lunatic.

          • Yes, I need to forgive me, not him. That is between him and God. I am a mere mortal who has feelings and I don’t owe him anything. I owe myself forgivness though, for being so tolerant of his shitty behavior because I thought we were a team and I needed to pick up his slack.

            I will continue to be the loving Mom to my boys after all I am trying to teach them positive life lessons on how to survive in this world and treat others fairly. I don’t badmouth their father – try not to talk about him at all. That same night the youngest told me that he doesn’t talk to his dad because he has all the video game time he wants over at dear old dads and he utilizes that. LOL. My kids communicate with me and I hope that never changes.

            Plan and simple, ex is an idiot. He even left youngest in a car for 6 hours at a shooting range in the summer. Um, yeah… guess the shooting was much more important than the well being of his youngest and what a great example of what not to do for the oldest to see. Yes, he is an arrogant son of a bitch and because he is law enforcement, nothing applies to him. Can’t you see that he is better than everyone and needs to be in the spotlight…smh

            In the end though, I sleep well knowing I did the right thing by divorcing him. The kids will see that as they grow up as well. 🙂

            The best is yet to come.:-)

  • I went NC with my cheater pretty quickly so there wasn’t a lot of time for him to pull this crap on me. But I certainly have heard enough of it from “friends” who insisted on everybody just trying to get along. IOW, they’re fine, he’s fine, and I’m the only one who’s not fine, so it must be MY problem.

    I’m comfortable with my judginess. I judge him and I judge our friends who decided what he did is OK. I’m OK with that. I’ve lost a couple of friends along the way but I’m OK with that, too (well, sad, but I’m more sad that’s the way the world works than sad for loss of their “friendship” — felt a little like that old trust game where you fall back into someone’s arms, knowing they’ll catch you… then they don’t catch you).

    • NWBiblio,
      Your NC was the best thing you did. It no doubt helped you avoid having to hear a lot of the reconciliation crap that comes from former firends who are trying to decide which of you it’s more advantageous for them to stick with.

      My first cheater’s extended family at first were sympathetic to me, but when they realised I was serious about going NC with him, they started beefing on me for being judgmental of him (what, for “mentoring” the colleagues he slept with?).

      They sure disappeared from the reconciliation team when I dished up some home truths about him. Then I imposed NC on all the outlaws. That was when I felt a true sense of peace, finally. I hope they all enjoy tearing me a new one behind my back!

      • “imposed NC on all the outlaws” — LOVE it!

        Yep, early on, I lamented how easy it would be for them to replace me and at Christmas dinner and he would be sitting at the table with Schmoopie instead of me and that would just be hunky-dory with everyone. They all said, “No no no, we WOULDN’T!! You’ll never be replaced!!” Guess whose picture I saw around the holidays, and guess who’s sitting in my chair? Fuckers, all those outlaws!

  • In joint counselling with ex to try to work out relationship property, ex was getting hysterical about things. He screeched, “Yes I did some terrible things but SHE TOLD people about them!!” That, to him, was the crime – not that he’d done these awful things, but that I’d obviously put him in a situation where people were judging him and I hadn’t just shut up and covered for him. It totally wiped his own slate clean for him and I was the evil one.
    Weird.

      • Oooooh yes, this one takes me back. After Dday and separation, kids in tow with married OW on daily basis, affair conducted on my sons new school grounds, I get called untrustworthy in a scathing text msg. That’s when my no contact really kicked in.

    • “Yes I did some terrible things but SHE TOLD people about them!!”–is priceless. Jackass evidently lived in fear that I was going to speak up, as well, although his outrage was reserved for “You accused me!” What he did wasn’t an issue for him; that I called him out on it was unforgivable. The one little bit of mischief I allowed myself was to tell him via FB message that his Schmoopie wasn’t discreet and if she could hold forth on their affair, he couldn’t expect me to keep his secrets. That was the beginning of the end for the MOW because had his extended family, her extended family, and the whole neighborhood had found out, he would have been out of kibbles for a very long time. It always comes down to kibbles and cake.

    • Yeah, when I confronted my EW with the thousands of text message records to her OM on our phone bill. It was “I can’t believe you looked up those phone records, How could you do that to me? I would never do that to you.” I was playing the pick-me-dance still at the time so I didn’t reply “I can’t believe you fucked some other guy while you were married to me. I would never do that to you”. Guess I thought I would have been too judgey(probably not a word).

    • I too have had the ‘Stop telling people what I did’. In STBX’s mind my telling what he did is considered worse than the infidelity its self.
      And yes also the assumption that my telling is a sign of unforgiveness, anger oh and let’s not forget sin, on my behalf which is evadence in his mind that justifies all ongoing deception.

      My STBX is so desperate to control the narrative he is now actively chasing a woman with two kids in plain sight and no one is calling him on his behaviour as they think his actions are a sign he is healed of homosexual tendencies. And if I speak up I am just seen as malicious.

      Cheaters suck and is do their support crew.

      • Mine also thinks my telling people about what he did was way worse…he keeps chastising me about it if we get into a marriage conversation.

    • Yep. The Telling. Earliler this year, I filed for an extension of our protective order. We rarely hear from exH anymore, but that letter from the courts got him super pissed (and provided some great ammo for the extension of the order, thank God). But the reason he was angry and threatened to kill me again wasn’t that he won’t be able to see his kids for another two years (not that he’s tried) but because HAVING A PROTECTION ORDER IN PLACE MAKES HIM LOOK BAD. Seriously. So I say to him, “what does it matter if the order gets extended? We’ve had it for 5 years, and you don’t seem to be suffering.” And he says, “But you are making me look bad to the kids I work with. And that hurts those kids. And I can’t believe you’d want to hurt children.”

      Yeah, walking away from a 2 and 5 year old and never seeing them again doesn’t hurt kids. Beating up your wife while she’s driving with a 4 year old in the car isn’t hurting kids. Telling people your daughter isn’t yours and you never wanted your son/he’s not yours either doesn’t hurt kids. Not paying child support for 7 years and leaving your wife when she’s been an at home mom doesn’t hurt kids, but that AWFUL protection order in a different part of the state that nobody will even know about? How COULD you RDF? What a bitch you are. Indeed.

  • Right on!

    What I found fascinating and frustrating was that my EW and her support network said that I shouldn’t judge her because her cheating, though “technically wrong,” was her way of “being true to herself.” Apparently, this is superior to “being true” to her husband.

    I heard a lot of talk about how I should not judge someone who’s following the path that is her true self. Although I was a wobbly chump then, still believing that I could save my marriage single-handedly, I knew enough to reply, “My true self doesn’t want to stay married to a cheater, regardless of whether that’s her ‘true self.'”

    Now, I’d rephrase that to say, “My true self won’t stay married to a cheater, specifically BECAUSE that’s her ‘true self.'”

    This “don’t judge me” BS is more of the same from cheaters: they need to spin their behavior as something cool, pure, and deep. (I heard the word “real” used several times to describe my EW’s “connection” with her homewrecking boytoy.) Our traditional worldview that manipulating someone into making life decisions without the facts doesn’t fit into that story line.

    • I love your come-backs!

      There is or was this enabling culture for a while–was it the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon? I remember an Oprah episode and other magazine articles devoted to encouraging women in some sort of Mid-life Transition to (say this in a super sincere whispery voice) break free of the traditional binds and finally find your true self. Like it should be celebrated as some fantastic spiritual awakening–an exercise of righteous independence and freedom. And, isn’t it just great that women can Be Who They Are and Discover Their True Selves and run off to screw someone else or move to a different country to write poetry, away from their husband and kids?

      Never mind the destruction caused to the left-behind family nor even to the woman herself–there is something WRONG with a woman who abandons her family.

      Aye. Thank God we have the option to shut the door. It’s so hard at first, but with time it becomes so obvious that it was the right thing to do.

      • Ugh- hate that book- was given to me by XH to read. No doubt given to him by OW who, as I recounted yesterday, had reading repertoire that included- The Ethical Slut. All of which seemed to lead her to pursue and be pursued by a married man. It’s based on a false premise that personal ‘happiness’ is to be found elsewhere-some other place or person. And if it’s forbidden fruit so much the better. Thing is, all fruit rots sooner or later…..

            • I keep hearing this crap about “being true to yourself first” from several people I know who have a history of cheating on their partners. It’s bascially saying “it’s OK to be utterly selfish with no regard for anyone else” … Or at least this is how stupid people interpret it. I’m going to be judgmental: most cheaters I know are pretty lame at philosophy. They prefer famtasy.

              • I now tell people I’ve realized my True Self involves punching random people in the face. How’s that? — Sorta puts a different spin on the righteousness about pursuing your MFing bliss, doesn’t it?

      • Good points, Miss Sunshine.

        I agree that our culture has a lately with female mid-life crises–from Bridges of Madison County forward (and maybe before?). And as you say, these crises appear to have been celebrated as some sort of awakening, and justification for appallingly selfish behavior.

        I’ve only seen a few of these movies, but there’s usually a catch: some sort of excuse why she had to cheat: he was physically abusive, he cheated first, he was going to force her to be a boring housewife, she never loved him in the first place but had to do it for the kids/Dad/Mom/family, etc.

        Some movies apparently do get it sort-of right. I never saw it, but while my ex was cheating on me, she watched a movie called “Take This Waltz,” which showed a cheating wife who left her husband for not-so-great reasons, and then regretted it. I think one message of the movie is that monogamy does involve some monotony–and that’s part of “the deal,” for lack of a better term. To get a life partner, you have to make some sacrifices, one of which is the freedom to hop into bed with whomever you want.

        I’d be curious if anyone here has any other recommendations of media that actually gets affairs “right,” or at least close to right. CL has pointed out what’s wrong with many portrayals. But are there any that actually do a realistic portrayal of an affair, it’s *lack of defined* causes, and the destruction it leaves in its wake?

        • The Horse Whisperer, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Robert Redford, and Sam Neill, portrayed the temptation to engage in an affair but did not glorify infidelity.

          • I watched Horse Whisperer the other day with a guy I’ve been dating. I got pretty pissed off whe it looked like the wife was going to choose to have the affair, after the husband and kids drove away. I was so glad when she chose to leave and go back to her family before Robert Redford could get his paws on her.

            The sad part is, when I expressed my relief to my guy friend, he came out with a spew of Cheater Logic about why it’s OK to submit to temptation even when married. Guess who just got dumped by his girlfriend.

          • My cheater took me to see Up in the Air, which is nothing like the book and I really liked the book, I think he was taking tons of notes. The cheater in the movie is Vera Farmiga and the chump is Clooney.

            The book has zero cheating, zero hookups, etc. of the main character.

          • The Descendants, The Kids Are All Right, It’s Complicated, Terms of Endearment, all movies that deal with infidelity.

        • Fatal Attraction? LOL – but seriously – one of the OW contacted my daughter via FB and tried to talk to her, started liking and commenting on all of her pictures. We blocked her but it was scary for awhile.

        • “Unfaithful”, I think, is very realistic (despite starring the very glamorous Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Oliver Martinez). It shows how a series of seemingly minor poor decisions and boundary-pushing can lead headlong into an affair and how affairs can destroy lives (both literally and in all ways that matter).

          • Interesting. My husband refused to see that movie because there was no way he “was going to watch a wife cheat on her husband.” Yet, he’ll cheat on his own wife in real life. Funny how it wasn’t OK in fiction but in real life, that’s fine. Ick!

          • Lulu–I agree “Unfaithful” is perhaps the most accurate depiction of the damage wreaked by an affair.

            SPOILER ALERT: It also has the satisfying subplot of the chump–Gere–killing the AP and hiding the body. (I warned you guys I was in a dark place today!)

    • “I heard a lot of talk about how I should not judge someone who’s following the path that is her true self.”

      OMG, few things get me as riled up as our culture of narcissism and the new agey bullshit about “follow your bliss,” “be true to yourself,” “follow your dreams,” “never let anyone tell you no,” “create your own reality,” and all the rest of the “Law of Attraction” narcissistic crap that is so popular these days.

      I think it’s great to follow your dreams, but not off a cliff, and not at the expense of others. Here’s a few sayings you won’t hear in today’s culture:
      Honor your obligations and commitments.
      Listen to advice from others.
      Think before you act.
      Put on your grownup panties and act like an adult.
      Happiness is temporary, it’s contentment that you should be looking for.
      You are not the center of the universe.
      Sometimes life is boring, but that’s okay. You will survive.
      Just because you feel an urge doesn’t mean you have to act on it.

      • I hear you, GladIt’sOver, regarding “sometimes life is boring.”

        My ex refused to accept that. As soon as she started cheating, she insisted that we were “boring,” and excitement is something we should have all the time. As a dual-income, no-kids households in a major metropolitan area, with plenty of disposable income, trips to foreign countries, etc…I found this a rather flaccid argument.

        Oh, and never mind that the very definition of excitement is that it’s a deviation from the norm. “Exciting all the time” is, *literally*, not possible.

        My ex-wife was not-so-vaguely making the case for the “affair bubble,” which is promoted on pro-infidelity websites. Yes, sleeping with brand-new people and sneaking around on your spouse, friends, and family IS exciting…provided you have no empathy or integrity. If you have either of those character traits, it’s not “exciting,” but “impossible.”

        • My ex (we were also a dual-income, no-kids couple, and he travelled internationally often) told me, on dday while explaining he was leaving me for OW, “I don’t want to settle for a boring life.” Yeah….well. Thanks a lot.

        • the XH said those words too “you got boring mrsvain” and i thought “well i am sooOOOoo sorry that my struggling to get over my first born dying got boring for you”

        • Well said JC !!

          Another common denominator in cheater speak ” boring”

          I was boring because I wasn’t into cocaine, etc. and at 50+ Was no longer interested in drinking till I passed out on a biweekly basis.

      • And, for the cheater fuckwads they need to learn just one phrase, two words in total (because it seems they can’t focus for anything more than a split second):
        GROW UP.
        The world doesn’t owe you a fuckin’ favour for existing. You’re ‘less than’ the far majority of people for your inane shit. Piss off.
        This narcissist entitlement ‘its all about meeeeeeeeee!’ crap thats rampant in society these days, mortally pisses me off.
        Eat Pray Love, 50 Shades of Fuckwittery, and other vapid shit like this, I stay the fuck away from, and anyone who peddles the lessons from those pieces of crap is culled from my life.

  • Cheaters: they can dish it, but they sure as heck can’t take it!

    It’s crazy how you don’t recognize all the abuse you put up with from these people until you get away and go NC. Then, when you see them again and they try to pick up talking smack about you where they left off, it becomes blatantly obvious.

    XH has lost control bullying the girls and me, so apparently, S12 became his target (we shared joint custody). I began to suspect there was a problem whenever S12 would come back from XH’s and apologize for everything and call himself “a wimp” and “an idiot.”

    Fortunately, XH remarried a few months ago to a woman (not OW) who keeps him on a VERY tight leash, so S12 opted to live with me and we’ve seen little of XH since.

    But he did come over the other night to give S12 something. When the boy looked confused over XH’s instructions, XH called him an idiot and feigned punching him in the face. I think he would have hit him had I not been there, but the shocked look I gave him stopped him. After he left, S12 hugged me and said, “I really like living with you. I don’t have to be perfect all the time.”

    It kills me that the poor kid was ever in XH’s line of fire, but without me to kick around like an old dog, it makes sense that XH would go looking for another scapegoat. But a CHILD? REALLY?

    Needless to say, I’m going to keep S12 a little closer from now on. He met the stepmother once and didn’t like her; the girls haven’t met her at all. Clearly, the children aren’t a priority for the woman or XH – which is fine by me. The less my kids are exposed to all that self-centeredness, the better!

    • “I really like living with you. I don’t have to be perfect all the time.” Poor S12! Bastard X!

      Actually, the other day, my teen said something similar. “I don’t like going to Dad’s because I can’t be myself.” It made me sick to my stomach.

      • It IS frustrating, and I can’t begin to understand how these people think. I text my kids when they spend the night at a friend’s because I miss them. XH will go weeks without saying “boo” to any of his kids, and then criticize them the instant he sees them. Then he’s baffled why no one wants to be around him. Crazy.

        • I replied to your wonderful post Red, but it showed up below. I am right there with you with my frustration. I miss my kids when they’re not here or I haven’t talked to them when they’re away at school.
          My XH ? It’s been over 2 YEARS since he has seen or spoken to his kids !! And forget birthdays or Christmas, not a word or card. Yup, it’s all about his AP and her kid.
          I even ran into a clerk at a store that still had me listed under my married name in their system. And she talked about how she’s known my XH and his family for years ( we were married 30 years ), that it probably was a good thing that I NEVER had kids with him?! And the family she was talking about ? Was the AP and her kid.

          How could a man treat his kids this way?

          • Not once did my ex call my daughter when she was in college on the opposite coast. When I mentioned he may want to do this, he defensively replied “if she has a problem, she can call me”. So I guess he only thought it worthwhile to talk to her if there was a problem…not to check in, hear about friends,classes, fun things, etc. He hasn’t talked to my son since he’s been in college either (2nd year). It always boggled my mind that he seemed uninterested, but now realize that he really doesn’t care about them very much. He chose to vacation with OW (unbeknownst to me) when my son moved into his dorm his first year…couldn’t be bothered to go to any parent sessions, walk the campus… always saying he was too busy at work.

          • i am struggling with this right now. the boys had not seen dear old dad since fathers day. he did sneak around my back to send balloons and a card for their birthdays (both in oct) but i think it was more for the sneak then the boys. i expected the same bs on christmas but i guess since he didnt get a response on birthdays he wasnt interested.

            XH before he was XH would always tell me that i was going to keep the kids away from him or that i would take the kids away from him. this used to mindfuck the hell out of me because 1. we werent divorced or talking divorce and 2. i never ever said in any sort of way that could be misconstrued that i would keep him away from the boys and 3. i was married to him when my previous children father wanted to visit them so he saw me work it out so he could see the child but now i am so super mean i was just going to keep HIM away from his children.

            after i kicked him and and filed for divorce. i told him over and over and over and over. that if he wanted to see the children all he had to do was call. i used to have #4 and #5 call dad whenever they wanted, or had done something cool or scored at soccer or built a toolbox..(you get the picture) and XH would STILL blame me for not talking to kids enough (well sorry that fun things dont happen every day and the kids are little kids and forgot to call you) he would say that i wasnt “letting” the boys call him. i said they are little kids they forgot what they did yesterday. you are the adult so YOU call them. it is not their job to call you so that YOU feel better. but it was like talking to a brick wall.

            after the divorce which stated that i had sole custody and zero visitation. he came over to yell at me. i told him that i would allow him to see the boys whenever he wanted as long as i felt they were safe. Damn did THAT piss him off. but to prove it i started the every other weekend visitations. of course i had to text him every other weekend that it was his weekend. and oh my giddy aunt….the drama i had to put up with from his married slut was unreal. she would text me all sorts of bullshit. the very last time, i said he could come over to see the kids (because the boys did not want to see married slut, did not like the married slut and hated the fact that they could not talk to dear old dad, couldnt play with dear old dad because married slut always interrupted or threw herself on dear old dad) she got really pissed off. well she got pissed because she texted back saying thank you we will be right there and i texted back umm just him, not you. you were not invited and are not welcomed in my house……….. K>>>A>>>BOOM!!!!!
            so the last thing that i was eventually told was “stop bugging inless the boys call me” and “quit making him feel like shit already thats wat.ur good at” and the last one was “have the boys call” i told him that i would never text him to come visit his sons ever again. and that it was not my fault if he refuses visitations and from now on it will be HIS responsibility to call ME if he wanted to see the boys. i also told him that the boys were little children and they will NOT be calling him. but if he wanted to talk to them then HE will have to call them. for him NOT to expect the 12 and 9 year old to have the responsiblity to call.

            so we havent heard a single word or seen him since. i KNOW he is telling everyone that it is MY FAULT and that I WONT LET him see his boys. but he really doesnt get it (and really he doesnt, he is that stupid) it is his married slut that caused this, she is the reason he is not seeing his kids. of course he doesnt see it AND of course she told him that she loves his boys and has his bak or whatever it is that ghetto bitches say. but truth of it is, that hood rat DOESNT EVEN HAVE HER OWN kids because she would rather party, use drugs and drink all night, sleep all day then take care of her own kids. she wanted him ALL TO HERSELF and she got what she wanted.

            you cant fight hood rat logic. you cant make someone who WANTS to misunderstand you understand you. you can fix stupid.

            but it is NOT his fault….

      • So sad we’re in this club together…going on 7 years with no contact between exH and our two children. I never changed phone numbers (at my attorney’s advice) in case he would try to contact them, and no surprise, he never did. In the early days, before I “knew everything”, he would only call me at work. No birthdays or Christmas either – just like they never existed. In many ways though it’s a blessing – exH is not a healthy person, and he would destroy them. Thank God I have sole custody. These types are heartless, soul-less beings.

    • I hope he understands that his father is projecting all of his failures and insecurities onto his son, who he sees not as an individual, but as an extension of himself. He doesn’t see your son as a child who, with some guidance and support and love, will grow into a resilient and capable adult. No, he sees only himself in your son, and is trying to usurp his son’s very identity. It is possible, too, that he is very worried that his son will one day be better than him, and exacerbate his insecurities and failures, and so he attempts to stay one notch above by tearing his own son down. This is a hallmark of these disordered types.

      Your son is SUPPOSED to make mistakes–that’s how he learns how to do things better, or makes accidentally brilliant discoveries. It’s how he learns that he can weather the consequences of a mistake. He learns integrity, how to laugh at himself, how to support others when they make mistakes, or how to teach others to not make the mistakes he has made.

      Oh, your story just breaks my heart. Please teach your son that his father’s words are meaningless because they are not about your son at all. They are the babble of a very broken male who never learned to be a man.

      • Sunshine – a woman I once worked was married to a narcissistic serial cheater who had to be the center of attention at all times. He owned his own company, and every year in late August he had all his employees over to his house for an annual end-of-summer barbecue.

        One summer, his 14 year old aspiring artist son spent the entire summer painting a mural on the breakfast room wall. It was elaborate and painstakingly detailed, and garnered rave reviews from everyone who attended the party. The son was the star of the show that night.

        The next day when the kids went back to school, the cheater had a painting crew come in and paint over the mural. It was never spoken of again, but the message was clear: if you take the thunder away from Dad, he’ll grind you into the dust.

        I remember being shocked by that tale, but I see a lot of that same behavior in XH. He has a PhD, he HAS to be the smartest one in the room at all times, and if you DARE question him, he’ll chew you up and spit you out. I’ve seen it too many times to count.

        The thing is, all three of our kids test higher than either XH or I did at their ages. Both girls received academic scholarships to private high schools, and D17 has Ivy League schools inviting her to come take a look.

        Have I told XH any of this? HELL NO. Because he can’t handle his kids doing better than him. Neither could his father. XH received a baseball scholarship to a college in Colorado, and XFIL turned it down without bothering to tell XH. Why? Because XFIL never got a scholarship, so XH shouldn’t have gotten one, either.

        “It takes a man to raise a man.”

        Since neither XFIL or XH had that, I guess it’s up to ME to “man up” and raise S12 the way my father raised me. Whew! As if being a mother isn’t hard enough… 😉

        • You have incredible insight and compassion. You will do a great job raising those lovely children of yours.

          I wouldn’t waste my breath telling xH anything. None of it matters, none of it registers.

          Save your wisdom for your kids.

    • Great post Red!
      I grappled with trying to understand how I didn’t see the abuse, perhaps its because when you’re in the middle of it and they’ve worked for years to wear slowly down your confidence and self-esteem, throwing in sparkles to keep you from seeing clearly, it’s almost impossible to see the reality. Now that we are no longer spackilng we see them for who they really are.
      My heart will ache for what my kids went through, his hatred for me is so intense that it has spilled over to my kids S24 and D21. I used to wonder how someone I thought loved me the way a man should love his wife turned to such deep contempt and hatred. He cheated, walked out, the two of them plotted and planned every inch of the divorce and settlement and because of this he got everything his way. So the hate makes no sense. The only thing I came up with before realizing that I would never understand because I don’t share the same values, emotions and way of treating people…. is that I was not supposed to survive my battle with cancer ( he told me that they were hoping that I would die so he wouldn’t have to pay a dime to me), and I’m still here. After coming to this site, with the help of Tracy’s wisdom and everyone here I know I will never untangle that skein and its wasted time and energy.
      The way he belittled my kids behind my back, chased after any girls my son was interested in (my son worked for his Dad in the summer at his bar) and said whatever he could to turn them off from even talking to my son….are just a few of the things he has done to his own kids.
      he will never know or comprehend that he destroyed their image of him. Kids should look up to their Dads, be proud, have respect, look to them for their moral compass and that will never be how they see him again. He instead brought adultery to their lives, betrayal, lies, abuse, the knowledge that you can lie under oath in a court of law and it doesn’t matter.That’s his legacy.

      I, like you and so many others here will never understand how a parent could DO this to their own kids, hurt them they way that they have, it breaks my heart.

      I use to apologize for choosing such a crappy Dad for my kids. But my kids have told me that we have each other and we are stronger and happier knowing that whatever else life throws our way we will make it through together, and he will never hurt us again.

      • Kathy,

        No, you DON’T see the abuse when you’re in the thick of it. As the saying goes, if you put a lobster in a pot of boiling water, he’ll try to climb out. But if you put him in a pot of cold water and slowly raise the temperature, he won’t realize he’s being boiled alive until it’s too late.

        That’s kind of how I felt with XH: lots of charm in cool water in the beginning until, 25 years later, I was boiled alive. He blamed me for everything, and I accepted the blame like I was one huge f*ck-up. Mission accomplished.

        You can’t apologize for “choosing such a crappy Dad for your kids.” I tell my kids all the time that XH was interesting and lots of fun to be around – once upon a time. They don’t believe me. But, if he’d been crappy from the start, I would have bailed long ago, like a lobster in boiling water.

        So would you. You can’t change the past. You can only try to do better in the future.

        • Kathy thanks for that analogy. I will use that forever to explain how we are/were treated, and how we didn’t see it.

          • Me too. The years of being conditioned to have zero expectations. It is heart breaking watching the kids wanting to be accepted and loved by the straw man.

      • Kids should look up to their Dads, be proud, have respect, look to them for their moral compass and that will never be how they see him again. He instead brought adultery to their lives, betrayal, lies, abuse, ….That’s his legacy.

        That, too, is my biggest regret. I can’t celebrate the fact that the Twat Troll took The Coward out of my life, for it is because of their relationship that my kids will be forever wounded by the man who promised to be their Dad. They’ve learned to make the best of it, but I know they’re going to feel the pain of what he did for the rest of their lives. I hate xH for it. I judge him for it.

        Such a shame.

        • O my giddy aunt!!! i love this. YES YES YES…

          i dont know if it is my biggest regrets but it is one of the top 5. My children loved this man, believed in this man, respected this man just because he was dad (and a lot of spackle and direction on my part) but all he had to do was come home. and they loved him UNCONDITIONALLY….*shrugs* of course they didnt see all the fucked up shit daddy did. but even when he fucked up with them…they still forgave and forgot.

          now, after he broke up the family, both of my little boys see dad for what he really is. both have connected the dots between married slut and dad not coming around any more. they will never see him the same way again.

    • My child endured that kind of treatment – and a lot worse – for quite a while. Nicely put, the state government went after him.

  • It pissed off my ex to no ends that I pointed out that she committed adultery. Her angry response to this truth was to accuse me of playing the victim. Playing? How dare I get uppity and thwart her narrative blaming me?! Thing is that her adultery had victims whether she wants to face reality or not. Adultery is really BAD. Oops, I guess I am getting rather judgmental there 😉

    • I was also told that I was “playing the victim” because I was upset when our marriage crashed down. This was because I didn’t immediately agree with ex that his cheating and walking out on the marriage was “best for everyone.”

  • My ex would ask me why the kids had said they didn’t want to see him any more. He didn’t understand!!! I would diplomatically and carefully explain how difficult it had been for them, growing up with this negative and crabby father, who often acted like he didn’t actually like any of us, and who made it clear that his priorities were first his work, then himself. Then how hard to feel physically afraid of his anger, since he was so big and strong and loud and in our faces when angry (and had grabbed me by the throat one time). Then how hard to see their family quite suddenly broken up when things had actually been going a bit better. Then how hard for them to know that, although they didn’t want to spend 50% of their time with him after the separation (default custody here is 50-50 each parent), he didn’t ask for that, either. And almost a year post-separation, how hard for them to have him leave the city for work for a YEAR, which would have meant seeing him only for about 3 days a month. Then to figure out that the break-up had occurred because he’d cheated, for a SECOND time, and had been lying to them about having a girlfriend post-separation.

    He’d listen to all this, then minimize, blame and play ‘poor sausage’.

    Then in whatever communication we had in the following days or weeks, he’d say I was ‘self-righteous and harsh’, and that I’d said he deserved the kids not talking to him. And that he couldn’t believe I had no compassion.

    He knows a chumps soft spots! I actually tried to explain yet again to him how he was misinterpreting what I’d said.

    But the reality is, I was telling him that what was happening with the kids WAS a consequence of his behavior. And he SOOOOOO didn’t want to hear that! SOOOOOO wanted to make it clear that this was me being self-righteous and the kids seeing things all out of proportion (and that was probably my fault too).

    What an idiot. What a relief to have him truly finally out of my life! He kept trying to get me to try to take him back, and kept provoking me into providing reverso-kibbles via the kids (you know, the ones they get when we’re angry at them or sucked into their drama; better than no kibbles at all!). I got better about blocking that, but he ramped up his game even more so, once Schmoopie dumped him last summer, about 2 years after DDay. Then around mid-November, I start getting radio silence and reasonable contacts about practical stuff. I think there’s a new soulmate on the scene! YAYAYAYAYAY! Poor her, but may she live long and keep him out of my hair!

  • Oh how I love the condemning righteous pointing finger of, “You are judging me!”.

    I would simply say, “Yes, I am. I have decided to throw your ass out, cheater”.

    The definition:

    Judgement: The evaluation of evidence to make a decision or to form an opinion.

    or

    Judgement: To form an opinion or estimation of after careful consideration.

  • This may be your best column yet, Chump Lady! I’m half tempted to send it to my ex, who during the annual “Christmas” hour where he tried to ram his new life and wife down my adult children’s throats, said that my college aged youngest needs to get out of the “judgmental, poisonous environment” of living with me and going to a school that is Christian. They both rained judgment down on him and assured him that they were not finding anything poisonous about going no contact with him throughout the year and refusing to acknowledge the OW who gets to be lucky number 3 on his marriage hit parade.

    Yes – judgment is a tool to be used to survive – and it is wielded by cheaters much more than by chumps. Cheaters use it as an excuse – and fear it being pointed at them.

    When I had my D-day – my ex was furious that within one week I had reached out to every family member and friend we had in common. He “judged” me that I had “gotten my side of the story out before he even had a chance.” Considering my side was the unvarnished truth, he was smart to judge that as a big problem to him in these relationships…most of which have ceased to exist.

    • Don’t send it to him! NC is best. Your dumb ex is incapable of understanding how the truth has anything to do with him. He and any contact with him are a waste of your time. He can’t learn anything new.

      • I agree Miss Sunshine Char, NC is best.

        Cheaters are incapable of understanding, if this was sent to him, he would twist it around and point it back at you. I had to learn the hard way, that they will NEVER see their behavior for what it really is. That would mean that when they look in the mirror, they see a narc, abusive cheater who treats people that love them…..their own kids…. Horribly.

        My XH goes off on anyone who doesn’t talk about his Mom like she was a saint/Mother Theresa (she was a nice woman, but she was human), or when she was alive, if anyone hurt her feelings or made her sad. But he can’t see that his treatment of me, how we found out he talks about me to everyone is not ok with our kids, and they don’t like it anymore than if someone did all of this to his Mom. He is incapable of making the connection.

        If he did, he would have to face what kind of man, husband and Dad he truly is.

  • 1″Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2″For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3″Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?…(This is a warning to avoid hypocrisy).

    When Christ opens the Book of Life, He’ll see that I marked the pages of all cheaters with a highlighter, so he can toss their cheating asses in the Lake of Fire before doing anything else.

    • Mine was gone too, but I still got called judgmental when I happened to say in an email that I thought (among other things) that what the OW did was inethical since she knew he was married to me. He said I would feel differently and woudl understand when I found myself in the same situation later in life…

  • Right after Dday, my ex said that I was living in the past. Mind you I wasn’t buying clothing designed for 25 year olds, going out to clubs at 10pm on a weeknight or even looking up my high school graduating class of on ClassMates.com.

  • Let’s play a little game of reductio absurdum.

    For society & individuals to avoid judgment, we’d have to forego laws–Anything goes! Get rid of contracts–do whatever you want! Take no vows–follow your fancy! No management hierarchies–everyone has equal skills! No punishment of unruly children–you’re judging their behavior! No school grades–everyone is living up to their potential, so give them all degrees!!

    Patently ridiculous, of course, just like cheater logic (an oxymoron, to be sure).

  • I make the distinction between judging and the truth…It is hard to deny the truth. You violated our marriage vow, you are mean and angry and not a very nice spouse or parent. That is on you. I also think that we have to judge in order to grow and ensure that we don’t make the same mistake next time. I judge that your words and actions have to be in sync. I judge that our relationship has to be a reciprocal one. I judge you on the kindness you display to your kids and the people in your world. Yup I judge, I have to…I am never, ever going through this again… Perhaps it is this kind of judgement and discernment that comes under that wonderful heading ‘Wisedom’.

  • This makes me laugh. After who-knows-how-many affairs he was actually in the process of moving out. I decided I was going to take care of MYSELF this time and told close friends, our church deacons (who were also close friends) and our pastor (who used to be very close with my ex). I needed the help and support.
    One day, now-ex came home from work angry with me (common occurrence) because I “didn’t leave any friends” for him to go to.
    The delusions they live under!

    • Oh, that’s right! He lost those friends because of what you TOLD them, not because of what he actually DID! Silly us, we just don’t understand how their magnificent minds work, I guess!

    • LMAO, I would have just said ‘Maybe you shouldn’t have fucked around then? This is war and there are no safe places unless you make them yourself’ with a smile on your face.
      Gah, so cynical today!

  • I am still trying to go no contact after he left me for ow while I was 36 weeks pregnant with our second. During a discussion last night he said two amazing things. Firstly that he cheated and left because I once called him and asked him to pick up light bulbs on his way home. Seriously? Closely followed by “I don’t understand why you have such a problem with me”. Everything is all my fault and he is just being true to himself of course.

    • LJ, do go not contact – your spouse is gaslighting you with the most absurd shit. You didn’t have a discussion, you had a blame shift monologue. Get it through your head that you cannot reason with him. It’s not that he doesn’t understand, it’s that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. That’s all on you. Jedi Hugs LJ!

  • I think the good kind of judgement that Chump Lady describes here is actually discernment. Wikipedia defines it this way: “Discernment is the ability to obtain sharp perceptions or to judge well (or the activity of so doing). In the case of judgement, discernment can be psychological or moral in nature. In the sphere of judgement, discernment involves going past the mere perception of something and making nuanced judgments about its properties or qualities. Considered as a virtue, a discerning individual is considered to possess wisdom, and be of good judgement; especially so with regard to subject matter often overlooked by others.” Yes! Us chumps get to a place where we use our wisdom to decide a cheater is toxic and not a good person and we don’t deserve that garbage in our lives. Cheaters are not good people who make bad choices. That is complete BS and I am tired of hearing that. We do have to discern what is good and what is bad for our well being and emotional growth. I use the wisdom of bible for my base of my discernment for my life, others just use very solid morals. The kind of judgement God warns us against in the bible is exactly what Chump Lady describes as prejudice and verbal abuse or just being an uppity busy body. I think mature people know the real difference and that’s what I see in CN.

  • I think I love what Scott said yesterday–it’s fantastic!

    I’m all for judgment, I think it keeps us sane, enforces our understanding of how civilized and responsible people act, and helps control the worst of those who our society must live with. If we all didn’t judge, then the molestors, murderers, rapists, and cheaters would run the streets wild. We judge out of prudence, it’s a natural defense mechanism against what we inherently know is wrong. And yet, I rarely hear those who have lived pretty ethical, decent, wholesome lives, walking around telling others not to judge. It’s usually the people who have overstepped every possible boundary that have an anti-judging bias.

    PERFECT.

  • My ex likes to judge other people — for example, telling our son that he feels sorry for him because he is Jewish, that son is obviously troubled, angry and on drugs because he doesn’t want to talk to ex, that I am a horrible influence, that all Jewish people are on antidepressants. However, if son should express a “judgement” — for example, being angry because ex said something horrible about Jews — then ex piously proclaims, “I never judge. We should accept everyone without judgement.” It’s a total mindfuck. Ex uses this technique to make himself look like a better person than others — in this example, his own son — while subtly letting the other person know how they are a lesser being.

    I am so fucking glad to be away from that. I just wish son had stuck to the NC.

    • GladIt’sOver–every time I hear about your X, I am reminded of the Catherine Aird line, “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” (Mind you, that applies to many? most? of our cheaters.)

      Your X is the poster for child for many DSM diagnoses. I am always impressed with your insight & compassion after surviving him.

    • Glad, this makes my heart ache. Your poor son. So your ex feels sorry for him because he’s Jewish? All Jewish people are on antidepressants? And he actually says these words to your son? Good Lord.That is abuse, plain and simple. I can think of a few other ugly words to call it, too. How lucky your son is to have you!!!

  • This issue with judgement can become biblical. The book of Wisdom in the old testament states that judgement is wisdom. The protestant bible removed the book of Wisdom.

    By doing this is the real beginning of the theory of the idea that we are predestined. My take on this is that judgement is right but, condemnation is for a higher authority.

    Sorry to be so righteous.

  • My cheater, like all textbook cheater narcissists, wants to control what other people think of him at all times.

    On the only incident where I got to face him and tell him what I thought of him, “You fucking asshole, use up my money and the month it’s gone, find some young whore to cheat with and kick me out of our house.” His response was, “See? See this is why I’m leaving you! You overreact!”

    By then I was in the car and he was outside of it. I rolled down the window just a little and said, “This? This is EXACTLY how I SHOULD be behaving under the circumstances, you stupid fuck.”

    He got so mad he stood in front of my car and had his hands on the hood. I showed him my phone and said I’d call the police if he didn’t move. It took him a full minute of him telling me to turn the car off and talk to him and me telling him to fuck off before he stepped away and I drove off.

    I’m certain he wanted to lie to me and say that he didn’t cheat on me while we were still living together. He really, really needs to believe his own lies, and it drives him nuts that I don’t.

    More than anything else these days I have a bitter anger towards him. I’m keeping it in check because he’s promised me some money. As soon as I get my share, or figure it’s never going to come, I’m probably going to tell him he needs to leave town now, or I will tell ALL his so-called friends details of his life that he would not want them to know.

    I’m amazed at how these cheaters do such despicable things and then have the gall to demand we don’t tell anyone about them. They honestly think their reputation should remain untarnished. Fuck that shit.

    • I probably should have thought of the money but I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time so I blew his good guy image sky high. He has a few people who still buy it (final OW, his family, erm…no one else) but it probably screwed me over as far as what I got in the settlement. Where I live it’s beyond ridiculous how things are split but whatever, at the end of the day I probably was horrible to everyone with my tales of the asswipe but I’m still glad I told all. He can never, ever pretend that what happened was for any other reason than his wandering dick. And he can never, ever convince anyone who knew him that final OW was so bloody special because we all know he was screwing other women whilst screwing her. 🙂

      I kind of love that I did that and it was worth the financial fallout, in many ways.

    • Moving Liquid, I am so sorry your ex devastated you financially as well as emotionally. But it seems to me that someone who has already shown they will break their promises to you in the most flagrant and cruel way is not a good bet to follow through on new vague promises to share any future financial windfalls with you (unless it is court ordered?). But this is certainly an effective way to keep you focused on him, and to further destabilise/blindside you down the track. The less you have to do with this fucktard, the more you can move on with your own life, free of that toxic (co)dependency. Wishing you all the best.

      • Griz, thanks. I agree that I can’t trust him as far as I can throw him. We do have a signed legal agreement that I will submit to the judge, but if he wanted to screw me over, he probably still can. I’m not counting on anything and will only be glad if some does come my way. I won’t let this go on forever because I absolutely need to move on with my life.

    • ML, I know that experience in the driveway had to have been lousy, but you were a total badass! These days you really seem to be getting your mojo back, and it’s really great to see. Go go go, ML!

      • I agree; Moving Liquid–you are sounding stronger every day!! When I first started on this forum, I was so touched by your sensitive nature and insightful advice. Lately, you are pretty kick-ass!!

    • That was total badarseitude – though snarky me would have been like ‘You have five seconds to move out of the way or I will run you over. Get the fuck out of the way.’ and start counting down from 5. I’m amazed you had that sort of self control! 😀
      When you get your money, don’t threaten ‘or else’, just do it anyway and don’t even tell him. You don’t need to peddle his shitty narrative, and if you threaten he might get in first and paint you as a psycho, or something. 🙁 Stupid fuck needs the sword of Damocles constantly hovering above him, making him feel like he’s constantly watching his back. Karma bus and all, right there, and you don’t even really need to lift a finger to let it go into action – it goes to work all by itself.
      (Jesus, I’m nigh-homicidal today. What a fucking turdburger)

  • I can’t even understand why people say the word “judgmental” in the same tone as “racist”. If someone blatantly shows you they are a low-rent lying, sneaky, selfish douche without an iota of character, then has the nerve to say “don’t judge me”, they are trying to put the onus of their truths on the observer. As if all of these traits are not reprehensible UNTIL you judge them to be so.

    There are very few things in this world that have no justification. Hell, even murder can be deemed justifiable if it is in self-defense. Infidelity is never justifiable. It is a choice to do the wrong thing, plain and simple. When people try to justify their shitty actions, they are judging themselves – just in a very different light. I’m certain there is not one instance of a cheater thinking that they had absolutely no idea that what they were doing was wrong (unless, of course, they are an amnesiac and can’t remember what the phrase “forsaking all others” means), because when the jig is up, they whip out their long lists of the reasons they were forced to cheat. And like CL says, that is judgement of their partner. It’s just another “do as I say, not as I do” ploy of the character-disturbed.

    I am proudly judgmental about certain things. If someone has cheated on or with someone, I will judge them to be a selfish, untrustworthy liar. I don’t want people like that in my life and I will keep my distance. And you know what’s ironic? THEY will judge ME for that!

  • When cheater accuse you of being judgmental, IMO it’s just projection. You know who’s judgmental? Cheaters!

    THIS!

    While I was (stupidly) willing to forgive and accept his cheating in my attempt to save our family (what with a newborn baby and all) my husband was judging me for: (1) being too short (OW was almost 6 ft tall). (2) being too organized (I utilized a planning calendar to keep up with my executive level job, my work with my husband’s two businesses, our social calendar – we entertained husband’s clients frequently, our household, schedules for two children, volunteer work with our church. OW, on the other hand, just “wakes up and thinks of the 3 things she has to do, and then just does them.” and (3) being too bitchy (because I got confused and asked for more information when his stories didn’t add up). The best part was when, after Discovery, he told me we couldn’t reconcile because marriage is All About Trust, and When Trust is Gone, the Marriage is Gone. Turns out, he was upset at ME because he hadfound out that I had hired a private investigator. So HE couldn’t trust ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Couldn’t trust me to buy his Bullshit any longer, that is.). In retrospect, it is hilarious. Although at the time I was bewildered. Moving forward, I learned how to set and enforce boundaries and I model that for my children every day. I’m teaching my kids to trust their own judgment and to establish boundaries, and refuse to accept the unacceptable from ANYONE, even me. I refuse to pass Chumpdom down to the next generation.

    • Bewildered- that is the exact word for how I felt when ex listed all the reasons as to why he ‘had’ to cheat. My bewilderment turned to rage when I realised he had been cheating for years but at first I was just stunned. It made no sense that overnight he was saying such utter crap. Then I realised that no matter what I did or what I had done it didn’t matter. He wanted cake and when I exposed the bakery he would do anything to make me the bad guy.
      Not on my watch. 🙂

  • We talk about what we know and have experienced, which unfortunately deals with narcissistic and/or abusive cheaters. When caught red-handed, when confronted with the horrible behavior we’ve been subjected to, of course they’ll lash out, attacking our credibility. These people don’t mind accusing and judging us for refusing to deal with such cruel behavior, while refusing to take any responsibility for their own actions. Bravo to you Ms. Delta Girl for being able to move forward with a new life. Hugs…

    • I hit submit too soon. My Ex projected all of his BS on to me, claiming I couldn’t let go. His OW (now his wife) accused me of being bitter.

      Cheaters love to project. It’s their MO.

  • Even though I am in the reconciliation process, I still read and appreciate the information that I get here. It helps me ensure that his words align with his actions. Reading Chump Lady’s book and blog and Divorce Minister’s blog gave me so much clarity.

  • This is such a tricky issue. In some ways it gets to the heart of what I see as critical differences between people who will and won’t cheat on their mates. I would never cheat on someone that I love. But I also don’t see myself as being “judged” about much — if anything — each day. Judgment implies contrariety — by which I mean that people who feel judged all the time see the world as somehow hostile to them. They need reinforcement to feel validated, and if they don’t get that in whatever fashion they sense that they’re not measuring up to some imaginary standard. That’s how my wife is. She prepares a self to meet the world in such elaborate ways each day that I wonder what she’s expecting (hours in the bathroom just to pick up our daughter from dance class!). And I think what she is actually expecting is to be judged — by whom I have no idea. So why have an affair? Why step out? I think it is because I wasn’t giving her enough positive reinforcement for whatever self she was trying to present! In other words, she is an unstable person who looked to me for stability, and when she sensed that was lacking she went to a sexy professional dancer to validate what felt most powerful about — which is her looks. So if I “judge” her somehow I make things even worse — she’s not only not pretty enough, but morally suspect as well. Maybe I’m a nut. I have no idea.

    In any case, to be “judged” for a marital affair is, I suspect, a bad feeling. It gets right to the core of the unfaithful spouse’s insecurities. Maybe. I’m rambling I know. I have no idea what I’m talking about . . ..

    • Charles, what you are describing — a person who has no inner self so must look to the outside for confirmation that she exists — is the heart of personality disorder. As Moving Liquid said, you can NEVER give your wife enough affirmation, because the disordered are black holes of endless need. And when they feel “judged,” they react with rage, because they are nothing but a fragile shell of normality over a seething inner cauldron of jealousy, anger and entitlement.

    • Narcs need validation from OUTSIDE sources (work, people, etc..) Emotionally healthy people do not need to have external validation. They already have a strong sense of self and are confident in who they are and what they stand for.

      You are in no way responsible for stroking your wife’s ego. She has a gaping black hole where a a soul should be.

      • X threatened to sue my 16 year old when she told him she thought he’d behaved like a pedophile (pursuing and running off with a 22 year old and all). “That’s litigious” he said- character assasination defamation, potato patato. Doesn’t change the fact that that’s what he did!

        On an aside, just after he left, after doing some research, I told him I didn’t think the same little 22 year old would be a good influence for our three teenage daughters. Her having already broken up a couple of other marriages, being bi, not having worked or finished school, being involved with a much older polyamorist….everything quite publically announced all over the internet. He yelled at me for judging someone for her past. She was 22….. Her past was that morning surely…..and I was judging her for fucking my 50 year old husband of 18 years anyway.

        Now she has a blog and facebook page dedicated to getting people to confirm that she’s beautiful despite being fat. Selfies in her underwear, rap songs about being fat and curvy, comments about how a couple of guys who used to be attracted to her have recently told her she’s perfect or could even afford to put on weight to be perfect…..um, where does your husband fit into this? I’m working real hard to be no contact and not share my “judgements” of her (well she is asking for comments and feedback!)

  • Right Muse. But you would only call it “character assassination” if you felt like your character was vulnerable, right? Maybe I’m way off, but why would someone want to assassinate your character if they loved you? You would only think that if you had a twisted view of love, like it was a competitive game or something about who has the power, the moral high ground, the right to moral probity — right? In any case, I really believe that most of us chumps are in the dark about this way of thinking about the world.

    • Thanks Muse and Charles, “character assassination “…..now I have a term for what I found out that he’s done to me for most of our 30+ years.
      And you’re right Charles, I dont understand how anyone can do that to someone they love. Unless of course, I have to accept that he never loved me.
      He’s always had the desire to come out on top, an “I don’t get even, I get ahead” attitude. Everyone is a loser but him, unless they are of use to him.

      • Kathy, I also found out 6 mos after D-Day that Ex had cheated before, pretty much our entire 16 years together. At the time he made the “character assassination” comment, I only knew about final OW which he had of course spun as something the “just happened”, his “midlife crisis,” and “a procedural error,” and “all he did was accept an Offer Someone Made,” but then he “realized if he could end up in bed with someone else so easily, Something Was Really Wrong With Our Relationship.”

        And my “assassination” of his character was confiding in a few close friends and family members that I’d caught him cheating with final OW, for whom he had declared his desire to “pursue the biggest opportunity” in his Entire Life. Assassination, indeed. Your husband sounds like a similar Narcissist and sad to say, they do not love, and they did not really love us. 18 mos out I have accepted what happened as a blessing that revealed his true character to me, that I had spackled over for 16 long, abusive, demeaning years. Your Ex sounds like a similar douchebag.

    • Charles, your question is right – why would anyone who loves you want to character assasinate you? You ask this as a way to make sense of her craziness … Why would someone view the world as “out to get them”?

      They would if they truly believed they are God’s left ball and that everyone is jealous, lazy, evil and “JUDGING” just to get at them. These people cannot love. They know fear, weakness n strength ( again not the stable normal variety). Constant state of fear that they will be weak. Again none of it is normal n not any sane person will comprehend.

      I should know.. My mom is narcissistic and she is exactly like this. It’s always the world is out to get her, I’m being persecuted, people will steal my stuff, I’m so magnanimous n they take advantage of my good nature kind…. Reality is she has no friends n people run away from her when they realize they have hit the devalue of narc cycle.

      She is a bottomless pit n as a early teen and well into twenties I tried to pour as much reinforcements in as I could and at the cost of my self esteem. But nothing can make a dent.

      To your question – if these narc’s could comprehend love then they won’t feel this persecution complex n complain everyone is judging them when they are doing exactly that – being judgemental – making a decision about something / someone without knowing enough facts or ignoring said facts.

      Leave the cray cray Charles. Don’t try to untangle that skein

    • This is a very interesting view, Charles. Seems they don’t connect the dots between what they did and how that speaks to their character (or lack hereof). My disorder H said he would move states away if/when we divorced because he didn’t want to deal with the fallout of my inevitable “smear campaign”. I asked how he could abandon our child just to save face. He said he’d see him once in a while.

      The narcisist is the sun and we are simply inconsequential matter that orbit around them. We are not real to them – and when there is a chance we could pull off their mask, we need to not exist. Laci Peterson, Colette McDonald, Carol Neulander, Lori Hacking – all married to narcissist, all don’t exist any longer.

  • I posted last week that I had a Meh response to recent provocative XH email. My boundary upped his ante. So it turned into Meh Meh Meh ZING! Migraine! So far i have not outwardly reacted or responded. I wanted to learn what the real trigger was. Turns out it is related to judgement.

    It is cognitively taxing for me to hold the tension of: he deeply sucks (in the way we chumps know this means), he was my best friend for 27 years (in the way we chumps thought this) and is still the father of my two amazing children with my strong ethic and world view of judging people’s behaviors and not the people themselves. I get stuck in this cognitive maze.

    I expressed my stuckness – and increasing anxiety – to a friend. She said, “stand up and say the following out loud: “Jack is a not a good man, he is a bad man. He is a bad man who hurt me.”

    Seemingly silly exercise. But my anxiety immediately went down. I am now better able to hold the tension of the seeming opposites of my world view and the reality of who “jack” is.

    Judgement. My new best friend.

    • I’m sorry, Chumpette! I get that too, any boundary set seems to up the ante. It’s hard, but anytime I go stone-faced no-reaction, so bored now, in response, I know I’m not giving him the reaction he wants and am pissing him off big-time. And sometimes the things they do are so outrageous, you cannot help but react.

    • Chumpette, it super helped me, too, to recognize that my ex is just a bad person. I spent so many chumpy years having compassion for his stress and hard work, understanding how it was hard for him to be a good dad or a good husband with that unbelievably messed-up FOO, gradually recognizing how immature and super-negative he was ….

      After I kicked him out for cheating a SECOND time, first I looked at his selfishness head on, then his entitlement. Then I let myself recognize that NO, he did not love the kids or I, in any way I could recognize as love. Then I could finally say to myself ‘he’s not a good person. He’s a bad person, and that’s just what he is.’

      Very liberating, even if very sad.

  • Yeah, I got the ‘it was your reaction that ruined things, not my cheating’ bullshit, along with the ‘how dare you tell people!’. And I did get quite verbally abusive, if you would consider calling him lying, cheating, man-ho asshole verbally abusive. Me, I consider it speaking my truth but whatever. I’m a judgy bitch. 🙂

    • Nord, I got the same thing. I had anger issues because I was so upset when I found out about the first affair. My anger broke the marriage, not his serial cheating, according to him. It’s ironic that we had the best year of our marriage when he had the final affair. So it didn’t matter whatever I did, he had to follow wherever his penis GPS told him to do. Especially when it was “recalculating” when it wasn’t leading to our bedroom.

  • It’s such a transparent attempt to control others its laughable. “Dont judge me” is translatable to “you arent allowed to think.” The right answer is “or what??” Whats the consequence of judging? Nothing!!!! Another answer is simply, “you have no say in my thoughts or actions”

  • My stbx had a cross with the words “Only God can judge me” tattooed to his upper arm. I later found out that was in the beginning of affair number 1. So you are so dead on with the judgement thing.

  • Oh, how I want to stick a “Only God Can Judge Me ” bumper sticker on his car. Yes…because IF God thought his act was indeed sinful he would be struck down with God’s wrath ( a limp dick?) and since that has not happen he assumes all is good in the world. Lets hide behind that bumper sticker and walk around pissing on the world and others cause only God can judge you. Pretty ballsy. And the truth is,that is the truth,their balls are bigger than their brains.They believe that they are above the judgement of others ,God included.But they don’t hesitate to spin around and let you know what a deficient individual you are and your deficiencies lead them to cheat and lie..its is your fault after all and if its your fault then how can they be judged?And no blantant sign from God or otherwise would tell them different.Me, I judge. I have a brain and the intelligence/morals to know right from wrong…and what is blant/intentional and really what is adaptive/maladaptive. I think God would appreciate that and recognizes judgement after the facts/evidence. Righteous judgement.You lied,cheated,stole,assaulted,gas lighted, and worst of worst, minimized/denied it all. Judgement rendered: You suck fucktard. Thats my bumper sticker.

  • “Jack is a dog fucker”….. Say that a hundred times…it aint judgey…its the truth….and I guaruntee you will feel way better.
    G-rated “Jack screws the pooch” I feel better already just saying that!

  • It’s funny how there is this double standard– the cheater shouldn’t be judged. He or she was likely in a terrible relationship, and although the poor sausage used a poor coping mechanism (cheating) to “deal” with the relationship, it’s because the marriage was so bad that we shouldn’t judge that action. Poor thing. He was driven into the arms of another. She had to escape from her horrid spouse.

    And yet, when you’re the chump, it’s all your fault, and people are allowed to judge you (“What did you do to drive him away?” “Why couldn’t you keep her happy?”). You’re not an object of pity– you’re an object of scorn. Even though we know that we can’t control other people– we can only control ourselves– somehow, chumps have this magic ability to drive their spouses into cheating. What malevolent power we wield!

    My ex is all about this skewed version of judgment. He won’t be happy until I tell our kids, “I’m sorry– everything you asked me about dad and your stepmother… well, my answers were all lies. Your dad and I did divorce over a failure of communication [his words– yeah, he failed to communicate that he was boinking a stranger he met on Ashley Madison]. I was just jealous and angry that your dad found someone new, so I wanted to say mean things to make you hate them.” Then, I would call him up, apologize to him and the Owife for being such a judgmental bitch, and then invite them over to dinner every Sunday and be an extended part of their joyous Brady Bunch setup. He seriously expects me to lie to the kids and be his best buddy after everything he’s done. Since I won’t, he is bitchy to me in any of the interactions I’m forced to have with him over the kids, and he treats me like I’m the cheater.

    I don’t want my kids to grow up too soon, but honestly, when they are all adults, I will breathe a sigh of relief.

    • MovingOn, that’s a great description of how a cheater thinks — that you are the problem because you’re bitter and can’t accept the OW with open arms. Sometimes I think it would be funny for an ex wife to go up and give OW a great big kiss and hug, and tell her “I’m so glad he’s yours now. Thank you, thank you.”

    • Moving on-

      I have to say that all of the chumps here with minor children make me fall to my knees each night to thank whatever deity might be listening that my kids are adults. It has been almost a full year since I had a phone conversation with fuckwit and more than 6 months since the last email exchange. I actually decided after a “Happy Birthday text Wish” in September to block him on my phone, from texts and face time. He ‘accidentally’ facetimed me a couple of times too so I decided I had enough of that shit.

      No one wants to wish their kids to get older (especially since they take us with them when they do!) but I will say that complete no contact is freaking awesome! I know you’ll enjoy it when you get to that point too.

      • ch, that has been, by far, the worst part of this whole thing– unlike my username, I can’t completely “move on” because I still have to interact with that idiot and deal with how he treats our kids. While I am total NC with him except for kids and finances, I still have to hear about the garbage he spews to our kids in order to protect his image, and he still attempts to throw roadblocks in my way whenever he gets the chance. When our contact is truly minimal, and the kids don’t have much to say about him, I feel so much happier. Right now, though, I’m in a downswing because of his latest attempts at manipulating the kids, and it really pisses me off. I want so much to be done with him completely. He gets to trash my life? The least I should be able to do is move on and leave him in my past, but I don’t even get to do that. 🙁 Sorry– having a bad month!

        • Same here. When the contact is truly minimal I feel so much better. But then we have to divide up holidays or discuss some other practicality and he is using every minute, every move to throw up roadblocks… Why?! And more importantly, how do I ignore and get it to stop? Time and not letting him know anything about me will probably help.

  • I think that following on naturally when a chump is labelled “judgmental ” is when they are then also labelled “bitter” and unable to move on. That one truly pisses me off as I don’t think anyone else has a right to tell you at what point you need to forgive and be friends with a cheating ex. I have made every attempt to be friendly to my cheating ex because I knew I had at least 17 years worth of co parenting to do with him and if thwarted on anything, he goes ballistic and I worry for my daughter’s safety. But I know exactly who and what he is and by the time my daughter is an adult, I’ll drop his narc arse like a hot brick. I just hate to see chumps labelled bitter because they go nc or won’t cooperate with cheater’s ideas of how things should be. Chumps do move on – we get new and improved lives. But in no way does that mean we should forget what has happened or minimise it so the cheater feels more comfortable. If moving on with my life but never forgetting what he did means I’m bitter then yep, I’m bitter.

    • Justine–that “bitter” comment to chumps pisses me off to no end. No one better ever say that to me or I will stab them with a dull butter knife.

      For any of the more abstracted versions of it, e.g., why we chumps won’t reconcile, my line is “Infidelity is emotional rape. Would you expect a rape victum to fraternize and co-habitate with her/his rapist?” There is nothing these cheater apologists can say after that.

  • CL,
    Did we have the same grandma!?! Seriously, your grandma sounds like mine. Intelligent, driven, fearsome. In unpacking all of my baggage and figuring out what drove me to a cheater, grandma plays a huge role. Nothing could ever be right for her. Water her plants for 6 months and only have one fatality? Lecture on responsibility and failure as a plant keeper. Get a cute new outfit? I look fat. I could go on, but I’d bore the rest of chump nation to death. I’ve identified one of my issues, am working to overcome it and be a better person. Bottom line: when the time is right, I’m going to be the best damn grandma ever! And cheater free!!!!

    • Leia, you’re onto something here. This was my mother who did this to me. No wonder I, too, was conditioned to submit to a narc. Never again!! even at the tender age of 59, having finally learned this lesson I just applied it to another family member who overstepped my boundaries in the name of helping me recover from being chumped. I know I’m not the same kind of mother to my kids, but it left its mark on me in this other way (being chump-bait). Kudos to you too for overcoming it and you will def be the best grandma out there!

  • This is definately a tricky topic. But I think CL made some good points. It’s true cheater rationalize their cheating behavior ( million reasons why its okay to cheat on a loving partner, mainly love, poor them, they just FELL in love with someone else and they can’t help it. ) of course us chumps are left in the blind and we immediately make our own judgments of what happened/is happening. The truth is that we have to pretect ourselves and making a judgment call is a survival mechanism. If we don’t judge their behavior as wrong, we are accepting that is OKAY to be cheated on, and its is not. But I do prefer to think that God is the ultimate judge and nobody can escape that.

  • That’s funny. We’re cousins! A childhood friend I haven’t seen in years (but we’re FB friends, and she knows about this blog) wrote to me today and said she read this column and my grandmother was EXACTLY as she remembered her.

    Apparently, she had the ability to make an impression… that has been held on to 30 years later.

    • Dear Ex,
      It is not that I judge you at all. I just have a better understanding of your toxic behavior. When I finally saw you as a disturbed serial cheating narcissist everything fell into place. There were many pick me dances and Ddays followed by forgiving a fucktard. Now that I finally SEE you for what you are I can finally move on with my life. Instead of checking phone records, talking to the OW, and searching for evidence of your lies I can finally spend my time on myself. I see a therapist, work out at the gym, and plan a future free of a selfish asshole. And by the way, you were wrong when you said no one would ever want me because I am getting my soul back one day at a time. I have myself back. I made you look good for years and the kibbles box is in the garbage.
      Your on your own with your mask off.

      Free

  • After our divorce, my ex told people that because I had reconciled with him halfway through our marriage when he admitted he was sleeping with men, that I “knew what he was” and so had no right to judge him or complain about his actions for the next half of the marriage.

  • Thanks for this article. It explains alot. My soon to be ex the same says to not judge him.. He even reference he who is free from sin cast the first stone and that sin is sin no matter the size. Really !! Not buying that for one bit adultery is a big sin so big that it was listed in the 10 commandments. So whatever with that. What I don’t understand is why he tells his 7 year old soon don’t judge daddy… My son asked me what does daddy mean by that.. I had no clue what to respond to him. Needless to say I’m still going thru divirce process since 6/27, mediation coming soon in February in addition to a hearing he filed against me for enforcement of child visitation. False claims and accusations and I have to go to court to prove his lies cus he won’t drop the motion,grr. I’m not worried about it he is gonna look like a fool but I rather not spend those lawyer monies on that … I just want to be done with the divorce.

    Wish be the best fellow chumps, and hope this ends soon.

    • Bloody hell, any time anyone drags god and jebus into it I know it’s all done but the shouting. Fuck him. Get the best exit you can get and then move on. And judge away. When you treat people like shit you should expect to be judged.

    • You tell your son, in an age-appropriate way, that his father had a girlfriend and he is not allowed to have a girlfriend while married, so hence the divorce.
      Don’t cover for his shit.

  • I needed to see this article today. I heard so much everyone who has commented–“it’s not what he did, it’s my reaction to it”, I’m being judgmental, self righteous…Projection is a wonderful thing, is it not? It’s good to hear that I am not along in all of the crap that get’s thrown my way after discovery. They are all reading the same book, and feeding us the same lines. Recently he picked a fight with me, and when I responded, he called me bitter. Really? Even if I was ( which I wasn’t at the time, it was him picking the fight) , hasn’t he given me the right to be bitter?

    Justine, you said it right, so many of us do move on to have great lives. I’m moving on with mine–it pisses ex off so much. He thinks bleeding money from me will make him happy. I hope he realizes that money cannot buy love and once it runs out, he’ll be miserable again. actually, I think he’ll be miserable with the money, but who am I to judge…

  • Here’s what trips me up: “Judge not that ye shall be judged.”

    I know I wasn’t perfect, I had issues with codependency (apparently groomed for it from a young age). But as much as I tried not to be judgmental and to forgive, for the life of me I couldn’t believe I did anything bad enough to deserve being treated so cruelly. It made no sense until I found CL and read that every cheater on the planet has the same MO. Anyway, I just keep telling myself you can’t work things out with a person who won’t talk to you, who won’t accept your emotions and who denies your reality. Here’s how a typical conversation would go:

    ME: I’m really upset that you spend so much time with your coworker instead of us.
    HIM: *Tired sigh* You’re too sensitive.

    ME: I’m so lonely I cry myself to sleep at night.
    HIM: *Cold stare, leave the room.*

    ME: Sometimes I feel like you have a giant wall I just can’t get through.
    HIM: *Silence*

    How do you work out issues with someone who won’t talk to you?

    Here’s my part, though. I kept thinking that one day I’d be able to break through, that he would one day he would finally stop pursuing accolades and realize his true treasure was a wife and two kids who loved him. I wanted that goldfish to climb a tree and I was going to stay there until the end of my days waiting for him to do it.

    So I truly want to leave the judgement to God, that’s his area of expertise. But I still have a hard time not believing what he did was wrong and I didn’t deserve it. The way I accept it all is to believe I was removed from a situation that was truly killing me. God looked down and said “that’s enough,” and got me out. He surrounded me with friends and family who walked with me and assured me repeatedly that I was loved.

    • Hi Lyn- I identify with what you say -however as CL has pointed out before this issue is of equivalence. However codependent we were ( or any other ‘flaws’ we had) it was not equivalent to the abuse of cheating. I’ve found Melanie Tonia Evans very good at explaining how codependents frequently ‘match’ narcissists and would recommend her articles which you can find here http://blog.melanietoniaevans.com/.

      I also had the same feeling that I had been plucked from a damaging situation (I like the analogy of chess and being a piece that was moved across the board!).

      Liked the ‘goldfish climbing a tree’ image too!

  • The underlying lying threat of “Don’t YOU judge ME” is “If you were awesome enough to keep my interest, we wouldn’t have this problem. And since we both know you’re NOT that awesome, you need to keep your mouth shut or I will unload the backlog of flaws and faults I’ve been listing in my head since the day we met. You don’t want me to do that, do you? I didn’t think so.”

    • I have a good friend, a very smart well-educated friend who has completely abdicated any judging or discerning in her life. When asked to comment on someone’s (usually appalling) behavior she just shrugs and says “Well, everyone’s reality is different.” This, my friends, is becoming the new normal everywhere.

  • Whenever we begin to get to the nitty gritty in counseling my husband likes to throw out “I could never live up to the man that your father was. I can never be good enough for you.” It doesn’t seem fair to me that he should get away with cheating because he didn’t feel he could compete with my father. For the record, my father was a wonderful, hardworking family man, but I never drew comparisons. My father earned the respect of his friends and family. He was a pillar of strength. I DID however, always had the feeling my husband was jealous, but I always figured it would inspire him cultivate those qualities in himself. He just didn’t want to do the work. He wanted the admiration without the work. I never felt supported by my husband, but couldn’t put my finger on why. Recently I found out that he’s been cheating on me for more that half of our marriage (that I know of).

    I know he’s going to use this defense, because he already has. Over lunch recently, I briefed my sister-in-law on my marriage situation, and pending divorce. I told her that he had not been faithful, and that I refused to accept responsibility for our divorce. She kindly let me know that each partner plays a role. She told me that she always got the feeling that I didn’t really respect him, and that my husband had told her himself that he could never live up to the standards set by my father.

    This is the first time I’ve told anybody that wasn’t staunchly supportive of me. I expected her to be neutral, but instead I got the feeling that she felt bad for him; that he had been driven to cheating because he didn’t have my unconditional love and respect. I felt judged! How could she possibly come to such a conclusion without all the facts?

    What troubled me more is that I felt compelled to give her more details until I felt that she understood my side of the situation. She had assumed he “only” had a single affair, but when I told her he had been cheating on me for years she seemed (at last) very disappointed in him. This is just the beginning for me. I have not filed for divorce, and our marriage troubles are pretty much under wraps… but not for long. I’ve been making lots of preparations for the big day, but I had not considered how much I would be affected by the judgement of others. How far should I go in divulging information about our divorce? I don’t want to be spiteful.

    By the way, my husband did confess to fucking his secretary saying, “it was only once” and get this, “it was right after your father died”… the idiot. Was this supposed to convince me that this was a stress fuck, and therefore forgivable???
    Pretty much sums it up… entitled crybaby is too self centered to support his grieving wife. But how do I deal with judgement from others without airing all my dirty laundry???

    • Be spiteful!!!!!!! Why not???? Does he deserve your respect and protection? Did he respect and protect you?

      But even if it’s not in you to be spiteful, be HONEST. You deserve to have the people around you know what has happened to you, and what your almost-ex has done. You deserve to know who will understand and stand by you, and yes, judge him for his selfish, deceitful behaviour. You deserve to live authentically, as you always have – he was the one who was not.

      And every time he pulls out the ‘I can’t live up to your father’ bullshit, remind yourself what it is. It’s an EXCUSE to make NO EFFORT AT ALL! Would you let your kids get away with that? ‘I’m not going to go to school or to work hard, because I’ll never be Bill Gates.’ ‘I’m going to eat junk all day and lie around, ’cause I’ll never be a pro football star.” I doubt very much you were demanding he be exactly as great as your father, and treating him horribly for not quite making it. I bet you were expecting and hoping that he would be a caring, loving and respectful person in his own way – which anybody can manage, if they CARE to make an effort.

      It’s just manipulation – and probably not the only one he throws at you!

    • Each partner has a role in solving the problems/issues in the marriage. You did not cause your husband to cheat, he did it based on what is inside him. He broke the marriage covenant and he needs to own that and be repentant.

    • More cheater apologist shit from his sister, except being manipulative and trying to dress it up as ‘more evolved’ nonsense. Fuck that. She just needs to be told “Well, I know where your priorities and mindset in life lie” and kick that bitch to the kerb. And for the matter the twit you’re married to, also. Its especially heinous to be cheating on you when you’re in the first stages of grief. What a fucking slimeball.

    • ItsA, if you have read all of CL then you know Tracy and the CN believe in honesty. Just tell the truth. “He cheated for half our marriage and I left.” You don’t have to say another word. If people judge you then you are hanging withe the wrong bunch. Even if they are family.

  • Haven’t read all the comments yet. Just a word on how my psychologist defined judgement when I argued it with her, very similar to what CL says. We judge all the time, being judgmental is when we do so without adequate information and without empathy, because we take a thing personally we should not, or because we misunderstand. My therapist said in therapy speak, she didn’t mean what I meant. She had to act it out for me before I really got the difference – it was pretty interesting what she did. She said, I’m going to do something and I want you to describe what you think I’m feeling. The result was hilarious. She took a stance, shook and made a face. It illustrated it for me perfectly. Here were my (judgmental) guesses & her responses:

    You need to take a shit really badly (OK, I’m a smartass and it did make her laugh)
    no
    You are really pissed off
    no
    Your head is hurting you
    no
    You have massive painful hemorrhoids
    no
    I give up

    She says; that is what it looks like when I’m really frustrated
    I say: Well, I AM your patient so that makes sense…

    The point is, we judge every day or we couldn’t function, just as CL says, being judgmental is when we do so without enough information. Here’s an example I bet everyone can relate to: How about when someone runs to a checkout at the grocery store, beating you to the head of the line? How often do you immediately think the person is an asshole? How often do you think the person must have something terrible going on and really needs to get through the store fast? How often do you think the person may have a good reason or may just be an asshole? The last thought is probably the one you want, and it also recognizes that what that person is doing is not personal to you. They aren’t really doing the thing AT you. It also recognizes that we all do things for reasons, sometimes the reasons are reasonable and sometimes they aren’t.

  • I too was accused of being judgmental many times during my faux reconciliation but then that seems to be par for the course with cheaters. This of course would be followed closely by him shaking his head and saying “I don’t know if you’re going to be able to get over this”

    I guess I wasn’t able to get over it since I divorced his slimy ass three years later. When we were getting ready to finally split, he told me how uncomfortable TV shows about infidelity made him feel when I was in the room? (Because they were like a big party for me!!) Silly me though, because after all he was just the sad sausage who was being judged all the time. Cue the violins and excuse me while I throw up in my mouth a little.

  • I’ve never had a situation where I threw in the “do not judge me card”. I see those who deal in this straw man tactic use it as a deflection without substance. It’s a knee jerk reaction and shows little depth in those who know what they’ve done is wrong but refuse to own it.

    CL hit a home run in explaining the difference between prejudice and judgement. Cheaters know they are doing wrong, they just don’t care enough to judge themselves or be judged because that would entail a conscious.

    I recently watched the God Father movie, it’s a perfect example of how those who are corrupt cling to their own brand of judgement. Honor amongst thieves and how they deal with betrayal.

  • itsAJourney wrote: “it was right after your father died”… the idiot. Was this supposed to convince me that this was a stress fuck, and therefore forgivable???
    Pretty much sums it up… entitled crybaby is too self centered to support his grieving wife.

    This reminds me about the times I talked to my ex (while he was at a conference) about my sister who was dying from cancer – harrowing final weeks…he pretended to care but I found out later he had sex with two women at that conference. And then our 10 year anniversary was a month after she died. He wrote me a letter complaining (though softened with hope, hope, hope words) about how he had been ignored. I couldn’t respond – I was exhausted from my sister’s last months and taking care of our 3 and 5 year old. Narcissist…I realize that throughout our marriage it was fake caring – words with no action behind it. Secrets, hiding, passive-aggressive glee, entitlement, blaming.

  • This article is quite timely as I have recently had to break my NC with the XH to resolve the financial side of the approval of the consent order ( long story- money from sale of house still being held by conveyancers pending the court approved document- :-()

    Anyway, last weekend I was subjected to the following comments which just reaffirm how ‘judgemental’ I am, I have to be honest, somewhat unsettled by his comments this week, when I should be at ‘meh’, but, by next week I shall have recovered again, it’s my own fault for breaking the NC but sometimes I have to otherwise nothing legal or financial would ever get done, I have had 3 years of his procrastination……..

    So in case I forgot the reason that my XH blew up my marriage after 16 loving non-eventful years prior here is confirmation that I am entitled to be judgemental because my XH has once again confirmed that his asshole status is indeed quite accurate.

    In response to me pointing out some glaring contradictions (yes I know CL, I gave him kibbles……..back to NC :-()

    XH:”You know what Digbert? I’m tired of trying to reason and tell you what I meant, felt and how sorry I am for how I treated you. But if you want to keep writing all the shit and hate that you do then keep on doing it, I’m not going to keep on apologising or trying to make amends for my actions”

    Yup, true Narc- I don’t recall him making any amends over 3 years – just a begrudging ” I said I am sorry..FFS…..what more do you want?”

    XH: “And so fcking what so I looked at some porn on the web a couple of times Jesus Christ!
    If you really want to know why then ask yourself why would I feel the need to?”

    XH: ” I would love to sit and talk to XXXX and XXXXX and put my side across rather than shit you have been saying and making out I was this total evil NARC c***. Was I perfect? Far from it but neither were you!

    And another flaming turd from the XH

    XH: “No dates? You have a very select memory! And as for the bedroom, really? I lost count of the amount of times I talked to you about it and you just going to sleep and snoring!
    You had issues with yourself Digbert, poor body image I didn’t give a fck about that and told you countless times that I loved you and thought you looked great. You were always tired and as for me making an effort! Really? I don’t recall that often you did! So FUCK YOU right back at you.
    Sign it or don’t sign it I don’t fucking care anymore after 3 years of taking your hate filled messages and constant character assassinations”

    Note – I have hardly been in contact and have always refused to accept his “I am sorry can we just be friends ffs requests” after DDay 1 & 2 and a 4 mth false reconciliation.

    There were no dates in the wind down years, well only trips and concerts that I actually paid for. I lost 3 stone for my 40th birthday spurred on by his/our so called friends who gave me the Dawn French book ” Dear Fatty” for Xmas, I was mortified (he told me I was making a big deal over nothing ) and he never blinked twice when I revealed the new ‘slimmed down me’ when we went to a wedding or complimented me until the neighbour did, I was certainly never paid any compliments in his version of events above.

    Add – “I had no friends”, “didn’t drive”, “was a useless lump in bed” and I had “big toes” to the mix and there is his rationale to run from the marriage and fuck whores off the internet

    I think he sounds incredibly judgemental

    • So. This prick feels that its perfectly fine that he can belittle you, beg to be your friend, then spew bullshit about the exact behaviour HE is portraying, but twist it around so its something you’re apparently doing, hm? And then use all of this, no doubt, to fuck skanks from online.
      Guess he must be looking in a mirror whilst spewing this nonsense, because none of the reasons in your last little bit justify cheating. I guess the king of the satin sheet throne has to have everyone live for him, huh? What a moron.
      Funny though: you don’t seem to remember him making amends but he claims he did, right? What delusion.
      Just all passive aggressive bullshit.

      • Lania, I think he is referring to the bar of Dairy Milk chocolate and a Breaking Bad DVD Series 1 (previewed of course) that he sent me back in early 2012 lol 🙂

        And the Skank he met online used to walk in the sunset with him holding hands- that’s all he wanted – to be loved….twuhhhh luv……..uuurrrrghhhh, funny that, cos I could never get him to go out for evening walks in the autumnal sun – he was always on his phone or his f@cking Xbox………………..

        • My absolute favourite is when they say “I am sick of apologising and making amends because it’s never enough for you” and you are thinking: “wait, when have you ever once apologised or tried to make amends????”

          • 100% this! In fact, a lot of that sort of non-event events are spoken about, when it comes to cheaters. Gotta love their stupid logic, huh? Not.

  • “Your reality isn’t what happened”

    OMG what….. The first time I heard it my jaw actually dropped. Then I started to worry maybe I was going nuts and was delusional maybe? Now I know its just a version of “Don’t Judge Me”

    It is *SOSOSO* good to read this today – thank you all

  • I know I’m super late on this one, but I couldn’t resist. My ex-husband emailed me the other day declaring that he hopes we can be cordial…at least for our daughter’s sake.

    This from the man who aggressively gave me the silent treatment or would verbally abuse me, depending on the winds of the day, I suppose. He wasn’t too worried about “being cordial” while he did that, or while he didn’t work and spent all my money, or while he cheated on me while I was pregnant, or while he was moving out when our daughter was five months old.

    But now, because I’ve judged him to not be worthy of my words, I’m not being cordial. Hmmmpppft!

    • the asshat i just divorced, told me at one point (before i knew of the married slut he was with) that he “just didnt want me to get mad” i told him “how the hell was i not going to get mad, i gave 14 years.”

      • Yes, they are scared of anger, aren’t they? I just tricked mine into admitting a second affair last night, and asked him why he wasn’t honest earlier, like during MC when the therapist told him to be? “I’m scared of your temper!” Sure, ‘cuz I should take serial cheating lying down (kind of like the ho-s themselves).

    • Dawn, it was probably the auto-correct. I think what he meant to type was, “I’m hoping I can get away with everything with no consequences.”

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