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Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

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so_sorryAn alert chump recently sent me this dollop of crazy: “My Husband Learned the Hard Way Why Women Cheat” by Marina Pearson on HuffPo.

Ostensibly, it’s a cheater saying that hey, she’s sorry and takes ownership of her affair. She was unhappy, she should’ve spoken up not acted out, the affair was immature. However, as it usually transpires with these sorts of articles (I’ve UBTed a bunch of them…), the “sorry” comes with a “but.”

But really it was All for the Best. But really it was Still Your Fault. But really I’m Still a Good Person Even Thought I Did a Dreadful Thing.

Which is to say — Marina flunks sorry.

Here’s a couple nuggets of genuine imitation Naugahyde remorse:

If you are reading this and judging me, I understand — that’s human nature. And believe me, no one has judged me more harshly than I have, even now. Although it all turned out for the best, I wouldn’t go down that road again — although, at the same time, I now completely understand why women cheat.

No need to levy your judgement, folks, because Marina has already judged herself! And if you think you’re judg-y and awful, well, Marina got there first. Slut? She said that to herself. As well as “Bad girl!”, “You naughty vixen!”, and “I’m a maverick”! She examined herself — harshly! — and determined after much painful self-reflection that she needs to do something about her split ends. A hot oil treatment, a different conditioner? Anyway, Marina has suffered, so no need to pile on.

Ultimately, I don’t regret what I did, though I do deeply regret the hurt I caused. As a result of the affair, and then later, our divorce, my ex gave me the best gift you can give anyone — the opportunity, finally, to find my happiness within myself.

Ultimately, I don’t regret stealing opiates from cancer patients, although I do deeply regret that someone woke up from surgery without painkillers. That must’ve been a bummer. Um… whatever. But hey, that patient gave me the best gift you can give anyone — the opportunity to get high! On hospital grade morphine. The really good shit.

Ultimately, I don’t regret robbing banks, though I do deeply regret duct-taping that bank teller to a chair, holding a gun to her head, and pistol whipping her. It was ill considered. Immature. Selfish. However, as a result of my bank robbery, that heist gave me the best gift you can give anyone — easy money!

Cheaters, if you don’t regret your actions, it’s NOT an apology! You don’t get all the spoils of your affair and get to disassociate yourself from the pain you caused. Because you’re just saying the spoils (your ephemeral “happiness”) were worth hurting someone.

Apology FAIL.

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Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • My cheater said “I’ve beat myself up enough over this”, really, how about if I beat you up a little?

    • Yes please! Indulge my ill considered but in the end necessary desire to inflict a little pain on you too!

    • My EA cheater is being a Unicorn. Recent post-nup (signed and notarized a few days ago, after me seeing this idea here) in the form of default alimony/child support/custody arranged plus 80/20 asset split in my favor, at any point the marriage ends… whether I decide to file anyway or he cheats eventually. The house is now deeded only to me. He would get his car, personal items, and $5000. He’s an open book. Takes my anger and lets it soak into him. Discussing hard things. Crying (this is amazing – as I’ve never seen the man cry before any of this. Not at the births of our children; not even during his father’s very agonizing, slow death, for which we were present.) He has begun real relationships with his family, whom his father/he’d cut himself off from 20 years ago (we’ve been together for 12 and I’ve/our children always had a relationship with them because his reasons were stupid/he was clearly manipulated as a child) because of his father’s affair. (FIL and New Whore Wife told him, as a child, that he was special and the men of the family needed to stick together. Iow – FIL and StepMother lied to him for most of his life, about the ugly truth of what happened.) He’s now present and gives a shit. He shares everything with me and lets me in… he has built walls against co-workers sharing their personal information with him and vice versa. His co-workers think he’s just very private and maybe a little snobby… doesn’t want to know about their personal problems. (I know this because I know a few of his colleagues outside of work.) He’s attentive to me, my thoughts… and is focused on our family and creating good memories for us for the first time ever. This has been going on for 8 months. I can end it at any time and remain fiscally whole. He would be fiscally fucked.

      He’s never said anything like that… that he’s beating himself up enough without me doing it too. I’ve thought it but he’s never said or implied it. But DAYUM – despite all this – I occasionally wake up, see his face resting on the pillow, and have to hold my self back from SLAPPING that pale, red-bearded cheek of his. I don’t know if it’s even possible to get over this. I’m careening toward “meh, good luck” while I think he’s actually falling in love with me for the first time. It might very well be too late already. And I told him this *before* the agreement. I’m so unaccustomed to him giving any fucks about us that being loved as I wanted to be, all along, is giving me a great, big love wedgy. lol – my walls are still mostly up from his was-apathy of the first 11 years. It’s hard to let him in, now.

      I would feel bad for him except that… well, if I decide that I can’t love and trust this new person (and he really seems to be – I’m surprised by him almost daily) and am done and he’s left with only the barest essentials to rebuild the rest of his life… HIS actions will be why that is, not mine.

      • You are doing the right thing.

        Don’t rush yourself into letting him in. It’s only been 8 months. You said he has been a shabby spouse for 11 years. Of course you don’t trust that he didn’t lease a “Great Husband” costume to lull you into forgiveness. Take your time and continue to observe, if he really did change you will know. Anything is possible, there are exceptions to every rule…but just give it more time. If he gets impatient, well, there’s your answer.

        • Just remember you will need real proof of the cheating should it happen again and you might check whether an 80/20 asset split passes the “unconscionable” test. Otherwise there’s a chance that a court will chuck it out.

          • It’s legal property division. Well, “division.” He owns his vehicle and $5000. That’s DONE. I own the house, our vehicle, and everything else. Also DONE. I had my lawyer draw it up and arrange it. I’ve been paying off debts with his income… mine first, then his. His is almost done… only $2300 left. Our state’s default for alimony-child support-visitation would occur, in the case of separation>divorce. This is an optional no-fault state. New York.

            EVEN IF the house was split 50/50 – or even with me getting only 20% myself – I’d still have enough to build a new house on land protected from marital division. That’s if he went 180 and tried to fuck me over. With housing covered (and my parents would help me build – we built the family home for cost), even if he just disappeared, we’d be fine.

            The struggle is thinking this way… that I have to think that if my husband is as much an asshole as I know he’s capable of, we’ll still be okay. And it’s no one’s fault but his – because of his own actions – that I think that way.

            • You’ve been smart to get your financial ducks in a row, but what about your emotional ones? What are you doing to heal? Is it possible while he is living in the house?

              I don’t think people change, even when they are confronted with massive financial loss. I think they adjust their behaviors. The larger question is whether he is capable of love and reciprocity. What you are telling us is that only after he was caught did he work on relationships with his family of origin and in “building memories” with you and the kids. How many years would it take for you to know that he can sustain this good behavior? And is a man this malleable (a cheating jackass one minute, St. Husband the next) what you want?

              He has a huge financial incentive to behave well. I hope you are reading Dr. Simon on true remorse, so you have a baseline to go by. Good luck.

              • I don’t know if it’s real or how short/long it will take to find out. That’s my path to discern. I’m doing the best I can to protect myself and our children in our practical future and working toward what I need otherwise.

            • I don’t know about the judge pitching out an 80/20 split and the house and cars are hers to keep cause that’s exactly what I got and my X just signed a crappy agreement at my kitchen table! Once I explained that he and I discussed it and agreed to it nearly one year ago and he signed voluntarily it was a done deal! Don’t kid yourself, if they agree and willingly sign it usually holds up! Mine did!

        • Absolutely. In my strongest moments of Meh, I tell him how great being divorced would be, for him. That I won’t go after increased earnings for child support, after we divorced. That the second he thinks he has feelings for someone else, I’ll pack up his shit and give him deposit/first month so he can just start right up with the visitation/support. It will be clean, between us, and the hard feelings have already been pulled out, blown up, and sorted. It makes him a sobbing mess. He apologizes and holds me close.

          Last week, he told a friend everything. What a shit he was during our entire relationship. All I did FOR him. How he treated me. How he thought of his life as a game and thought that I was always trying to get the upper hand, rather than the FACT that my “side” has always been OUR side. How he was too much an ass to see that my side WAS his side. The friend was stunned. The cheating played only a part… it was only the culmination of his taking me/our family/our life for granted. The betrayal is much deeper than cheating. We didn’t matter.

          Now, we seem to be everything. It will take me a long time to wrap my head around that… whether it IS or just seems.

          Even just in gaming – his THING forEVER – it’s all different. He played constantly – his days off were filled with it entirely – and now it might be an hour or two a week. He’s a different father, even. He WANTS them around. He told them that the reason Mommy seems so sad is because “Papa was a jerk to Mommy for a long time. I was selfish and didn’t think about making you or her happy. I didn’t love my family like a man is supposed to. I wasn’t good to you either – you didn’t KNOW I loved you – and I’m sorry.” Maybe that was the breaking-his-manufactured-ego moment? 6 months ago or so, on top of all my verbal assaults on him, he overheard our son asking me if Papa loved us or was just trying. (At that point in my own infidelity reading, I’d started saying that no one means anything – TRYING doesn’t matter – if they don’t DO it. I used that for myself as well as with them, to keep them on task for their chores/homeschooling and me on task for keeping “We’ll do x-thing for fun on x-day!” promises while I was feeling most broken.) Husband broke down completely and that’s when he really started changing.

          I just am unsure if it will STICK. This is a different man entirely. I don’t trust that the old one is DEAD. I’m not sure if I ever will. I don’t think he could give me anything more though… or the children, or his family, or his income. He’s balls to the wall, so to speak. This coming from a man who never applied himself without me starting him into a job and giving him clients.

          I’m confused and on edge. This is a different person. He’s a GREAT husband, father, and partner. He’s selfless. If I thank him, he cries and kisses me. This crying thing is nuts. We’ll be doing something so mundane – sorting laundry and watching a BBC show on Netflix – and I’ll catch him with his eyes full of tears.

          But maybe I’ve been hurt too much to come back and meet him at the place of love I held alone for so long… maybe he IS that great new man… but I can’t trust it. He’d be a great person for someone else… someone who doesn’t see his face and think of the pain he caused her, repeatedly?

          The SECOND I see a hint that the old Husband is still in there somewhere? The locks will be changed.

          • Insistonhonesty, it’s like I’m your twin sister but in an alternate universe. I’ve got a post nup to be signed–hopefully–within weeks if not days from today–no kids involved but had to do a 80-20 split in my favor, and that was tough for me to do because I earned and invested and he “played” with a 30-hr/week no-stress no-real-responsibilities job. If he screws up, he walks away with hundreds of thousands of MY money.

            He’s balls to the wall, has tears when he thinks of leaving–well too freaking bad– and if he lies or cheats, he is gone, and the locks will be changed immediately–and I know how to do that myself so no need to call a locksmith. He’s made some changes from the egocentric self-serving me me me childish man, but at this point in my life, is it enough? For now, I’m not making any big decisions, but I can alway decide it’s worth the $$$$$ to D him.

  • Ugh, these sorry BUT stories… I’ve been meaning to share this delight courtesy of yes, the DM. You can just tell this Ms Contrite is itching to blameshift as in ” Of course, I don’t blame you for how I reacted — it was entirely my doing — but occasionally, I wonder what might have happened if you’d only talked to me about quitting your job first. I would have supported you.” Nah, you’d have still cheated.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2969245/To-ex-betrayed-forgive-die-heart-wringing-open-letter-divorcee-affair-destroyed-marriage.html

    • Read this little ditty and wondered just how narcissistic she is. It was years ago. So hope he has moved on, found happiness and could give a shit whether she apologizes or not. Especially since she has made it public. And then I had an epiphany. She’s a writer. Her books are probably not selling very well. So, she writes an apology in a public forum and lo, and behold, people look up the books and possibly buy some. This looks like a win/win to her because either way she looks good. She is either a sorrowful woman or a successful author.. You just cannot make this shit up

      • Maybe she needs to “accidently” release a sex tape! Worked for Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, & Pamela Anderson!!
        Amazing what this society values these days.

    • She posted their wedding pictures!!! That wasn’t a letter of apology that was shameless self promotion. Shaking my head.

    • i seriously dont understand her feeling guilty. she was with the other man longer then her husband. who apologizes when they were with the affair partner longer then they were married? that just doesnt make sense. why is she wanting him to forgive her after 30 years later? she wasnt ashamed for the 15 years she was with the affair partner. do you still call him affair partner after the first year? apparently she never cheated on the affair partner, only the man she promised and vowed to be honest, faithful and loyal too. is that where her guilt comes from?

      i agree it is just a shameless promotion. she had incurable cancer but she is cured?

    • What a selfish, selfish twat. What she must have never learnt is that Ypu ReapWhat You Sow.

      May her First X enjoy a life bountiful with peace and joy and the love of a true partner.

  • Never had anything other than a couple of tepid apologies with a “but” attached to them, and which left me feeling worse than if the apology was never made.

    “I’m sorry this has hurt you. I know it is difficult. It was not done with the intent of hurting you. But this happened for a reason. Basically if you had been more this, less that, better, whatever, perhaps I would not have felt the need to do what I did.”

    Matter of fact, looking back, that apology format was basically true for the entire marriage.

    • Chumpguy,
      No real apologies over here either. I’ve never gotten an anything even resembling acknowledgment of, at the very least, inappropriate behavior. While I didn’t see my STBX having sex with his OW I did see hours per day being spent on the phone with her and hours twice a week receiving “physical therapy” from her. It makes no difference to me if it had gotten physical yet or not, it’s betrayal all the same.

      The only things I received were crap covered consolation prizes in the form of:
      “At least now that we are divorcing, you’re able to find someone to love you the way you want to be loved.”
      “You can go tell everyone that I cheated if it makes you feel better to make it look like I did that.”
      “She was just a friend and since she came from a broken family she was giving me advice about how to make all this an easier transition for our daughter.”

      Bahaha…..ooooh, the minimizing is SO THICK in here. The one and only way to apologize for infidelity is to address it, own it and make no excuses. But the cheater would have to actually feel badly for that to happen. Now THAT would be like finding a unicorn.

      • No apology for me either. Just a “I hate what this is doing to you. It’s tearing you apart.” Yes it was and still is but he only hated it because it made him uncomfortable. And he should have said “I hate what “I’m” doing to you. But of course it was all my fault so……

        • They ALWAYS use the responsibility-shifting syntax. “I am filled with sadness at what has happened,” was my X’s statement. What, that you banged a woman 34 years younger than you for months, took her on a trip and had her at your side as you asked for a divorce. That “what happened?”

          • Oh yes, the passive “mistakes were made” syntax. I got that. Sure, sure–your dick just wandered off your body and into someone who wasn’t me. RIIIGGGGHHHTTT, you’re absolved. NOT.

            • No real apologies over here either. I’ve never gotten an anything even resembling acknowledgment of, at the very least, inappropriate behavior.
              ***THIS***

              All I ever got was a singular text message-yes, a text message 2 or 3 months AFTER DDay telling me was sorry for anything he had ever done or said to hurt me. WTF?! After 17 years together, I don’t even warrant an actual conversation-just a text message………. Nice. When I confronted him about it he said he hadn’t had time to apologize to me……….ok, you couldn’t make time to personally apologize to your wife of 15 years but you can make all the time in the world to pay/screw skanks behind my back? Whatever loser.

              And the only reason he sent that text was because I was desperately trying to kick him out. In all honesty, I don’t believe that he even wrote the text message-I think he had someone else write it for him.

              As of the present day, I couldn’t care less. I know he’s just a sub-human husband imposter squatting inside my home. I’m very close to filing & getting rid of him for good.

              • He stayed living with me through two Ddays and was staying at our house. He was so excited the night he left to screw her for the first time. That wa four years ago. I now know that I allowed this piece of shit of a husband to torture me numerous times. In may he repeated the same behavior and I changed my behavior. On the Friday night he told me he would be staying with her Saturday night. I couldn’t sleep. At 6am I threw all his clothing and possessions on the porch, took his keys and said fuck you live with her. I filed 3 months later. It was the BEST thing I ever did. It was also the hardest. Like all chumps I loved way to much. I never wanted a divorce, I just couldn’t sacrifice myself for another minute. I am finally divorced and every day I remind myself that I am finally free. I deserve better.

        • Lina -I totally relate to the whole “it makes them uncomfortable thing.”

          The ex asshat told everyone upon my decision to divorce his cowardly ass “that he couldn’t even stand to be in the room when TV shows talked about infidelity.” Of course they were a big party for him but the real tragedy is him being un-comfy!

          Poor little uncomfortable sausages that they are. Just makes you want to grab a violin.

              • That article makes me embarrassed t be a woman quite frankly. It’s like she’s saying that women have superior motives for cheating that somehow makes them not at fault? What complete and utter BS!. I’m kind of surprised the UBT doesn’t blow up when chump lady puts some of this bullshit in it.

                You don’t need a whole article explaining why anyone (male or female) cheats. It’s because they’re selfish, entitled. Add a dollop of cowardice and viola, the perfect cheater recipe. The end. The cheat because they give themselves permission to do it. I don’t care what sex they are or what their sexuality is. None of that matters. Poor character matters.

      • Oh, yes. Affair partners have GREAT insight and offer profound parenting advice. I mean, look how THEY turned out.

        • STBX also had the nerve to tell me, upon hearing that I had begun dating again, that it stung and he felt like he got a punch to the stomach because I was his property. Lmao!!!! Wtf?

          To say I KNOW THE FEELING would be an understatement, considering that when I felt those same feelings it was while we were still together and before I knew he was living his secret double life. Talk about a punch to the stomach…how about me seeing his phone wallpaper as a picture of him, 2nd OW and our 2 year old days after he made this remark?

          Cute little family portrait to have there. Agggghhhhh

          • “STBX also had the nerve to tell me, upon hearing that I had begun dating again, that it stung and he felt like he got a punch to the stomach because I was his property.”

            His property? Wow. TheBetterJamie how did you not keep yourself from punching him in the nads?

            • Chumpy, I often ask myself how I’ve refrained from that during many a conversation with STBX. He’s full of Narc gems; he’s like a Narc gem mine…he’s always discovering new shiny turds to hand me that he believes are philosophical quotes.

              Me: “Wtf, STBX?! Now I’ve got smeared shit all over my hands!”
              Gollum: “Oh, damn…that’s too bad, I really thought that was a ruby…but no. No, that’s just a polished turd. But it’s ultimately your fault for letting me hand it to you.”

              End scene. Haha…I am in rare form today

              • BAHAHAHAHAH!! TBJamie, THAT ^^^^ is absolutely hysterical, you are in rare form today. I laughed so hard it brought me to tears… called to read that one to my Mother and I was laughing so hard trying to read it to her that she couldn’t understand me.

                Bravo chica!!! I’m with Chumpy… I bow down to you. Awesomeness.

              • Chumpy. & NC, I’m feeling quite snarky as of late. And not the bitter kind of snarky I’ve been since DDay….something more comical and light. I feel I may just be approaching meh? I don’t want to jinx it, but finding this site has put me into rapid healing. I just love it here!

            • My first wife, a serial cheater, informed our son that she was terribly hurt and upset that I was having kids with my second wife. She told him that she felt ” That was something special between your father and me.”
              Puhleeeze! She cheated serially, and described the body of one partner to me in detail. How the hell did she feel there was anything special between us?

          • We’re commodities to them, nothing more. Once I realized that, lots fell into place.

            Not suitably convenient to me? Then I’ll cheat on you. Not buying my BS when I attempt reconciliation? Then I’ll threaten to divorce you. WHAT? You filed for divorce?! I need my facade of family respectability!! Poor me!

        • Miss Sunshine, this one hit home! When the ex had finally managed to completely destroy his relationship with our teenagers, I asked him what he had been thinking would happen, given the things he was doing. He admitted he had NEVER thought about the impact of any of his behaviours and choices on the kids. Hadn’t (as I had) consulted any friends with this experience or any professionals, hadn’t read a book about parenting through divorce, hadn’t consulted a lawyer about his responsibilities and rights …. NOTHING. Hadn’t even had a THOUGHT.

          BUT, turns out that was all understandable. Because after all, the OW had told him once (without his asking); ‘the kids will be OK.’.

          • Oh, well… The Coward in my case DID consult with a “therapist” who told him the same thing. And I’m quite certain The Troll Hag said the same. Neither woman has children, so what would they know? But I blame my children’s Uncle “dad.” You’ll believe what you wanna believe–and dysfunctional, self-serving, conniving, manipulative, disordered affair partners or agenda-driven, disordered “therapists” will say what the cowards want to hear–or the coward will find someone else to endorse their destructive, irresponsible, immature behavior. When you’re a committed parent, you don’t go looking for permission to fuck your kids over–not from anyone. But it sure explains the Cheater Manual chapter entitled, “Children Are Resilient–So I’ll Take This Opportunity To Cut The Legs Out From Under Them.” Just despicable sub-humans–all of them. And yet they want the world to know how lovely and compassionate and spiritual they are–especially the disordered “therapists” and affair partners. If it weren’t a tragic epidemic, it’d be hysterical.

          • same here. boyman can not think for himself. so he has not thought of what he is doing to his children. he left his loving and support wife and children for a woman how legally belongs to another man, recently, he is still supporting another mans wife and anothers man children while he does nothing for his own. he lets her do all the thinking for him now. although how anyone would think that someone who abandoned her own kids and husband has good advise is beyond me.

            i know she told him “the kids would be ok” and “it only hurts the children more when you bounce back and forth, it is better for the children this way” because those are the words he told me. again. boyman can not think for himself and when he does these are not the words he would use. but whatever. if he is going to let her convince him of that then he is just as guilty for the loss relationship with his boys.

            i have heard that he is telling everyone that it is my fault he doesnt see his boys. i know he is blaming me for turning his boys against him. although i havent had to say anything bad about him, he still blames it on me. *shrugs* oh well i cant change his mind. he has alienated himself from the children, i didnt have to do anything.

      • “You can go tell everyone that I cheated if it makes you feel better to make it look like I did that.”–That is UBT-worthy in and of itself. So, let me get this straight, TBJ, your cheater told you that you could say he cheated since him appearing as a cheater (i.e. he isn’t really a cheater) would make you feel better? Wow! That’s delusional BS right there!

        You absolutely cannot make this shit up!

        • No kb, you really can’t.

          I really thank him for allowing me to spread “my version” of the truth in order to make myself “feel better”. As if I needed to make up some elaborate story to make the failing of my marriage appear legitimate to outsiders. Even without the cheating it was still total garbage at that point.

          You know what makes me “feel better”? A cheater free life filled with real people with real emotions and sharing real life experiences with them.

          • Let’s keep in mind, too that HE was the one who filed for divorce. Not that that matters to me, it actually made it a bit less chaotic because he felt in control. But he never addresses the abuse, the infidelity or him filing. He just claims the whole thing was my fault & in my control but he can’t seem to pinpoint any one thing I did or give proof to any divirce worthy behsvior on my part. “It’s hard to explain….you don’t live with her” was what he told our therapist.
            Lol.

        • Mine wanted me NOT to tell people, and kept reminding me, “I only say good things about you to people.” Great, but if I want to speak the truth, I will.

          • Uh, Tempest, did it ever occur to him that he only says good things about you because THERE ARE ONLY GOOD THINGS TO SAY????? And that the same cannot be said of him?

            • Of course not!! ‘Cuz my copious flaws caused him to cheat, dontcha know?

              In his words, 2 days after D-day, “Why don’t you stop obsessing about my affair and start obsessing about why I was so unhappy with you at the time?” Months later, when trying to woo my 13-year-old daughter out of her anger with him, he said, “This wasn’t all my fault.” She responded, “yes it is!” and is now fully NC.

              • AUUUGH. Mine had a favorite non-joke.
                Him: “What are you doing?”
                Me: “Work, school, laundry, kids, etc.”
                Him: “What? You should be thinking about how to make me happy.”
                Me: [stunned silence]
                Him: I was just being funny. You are so uptight, what is wrong with you?”

              • Little did you (or I) know how much truth was in that joke.

                But as my therapist says,there is not enough love or attention in the world to satisfy a narcissist, even if you give up doing laundry. Mine said, ‘You were always doing things for other people.” Um, our kids?

          • Oh yes, Tempest. We had a roller coaster ride of I what was and was not to do or say. At first I wasn’t to speak of him or our separation to anyone but my family & close friends, IF I needed support.
            I was not to speak to his family or them to me and same with mutual friebds and coworkers of his that knew us both. Lol.

            Who listens to this crap and who says it without thinking they sound like a lunatic?

            So upon “my version of the truth” getting out, he decided that he would allow me to spread my lies to help ease the burn I was feeling.

            What a douche.

            • TheBetterJamie–Control freaks who want to claim the narrative (yours and his, it seems).

              Mine keeps reminding me to get off ChumpLady, both because I might say something that could cause him to lose his job if someone identifies him, and because it is preventing me from “moving forward” and is keeping me mired in the past. Idiot–as if I’m going to take advice about how to heal from my emotional rapist himself.

              • What an ass. They can be so arrogant.

                Mine still tries to convince himself and anyone who will listen that I was the control freak holding him down and keeping him on a tight leash.

                Uuuhhh…..if that were the case how did you find yourself enough time for at least 2 affairs?

                This doucher pulled the strings. But I love and trust myself way too much to live that life forever. I would’ve eventually ended the marriage on that alone if it had continued. I’ll never be made into a wallflower or some subservient peasant wife, it’s not my character.

              • Tempest, it’s also stunning that your X is so self absorbed that really thinks people are trolling on the internet searching for stories about him. Never mind that you’re not using your real name or his…..but clearly there are people with nothing better to do than try to decode what you’ve written on CL and use it against him. Pardon my expression, but come-the-fuck-on! Get over yourself, dude. He’d be surprised with how many people just don’t freaking care, no matter how heinous the story.

                And how thoughtful of him to concern himself with your mental & emotional health and your healing process. I wonder if he has any helpful tips on speeding up the healing process….oh, yes, not actually FEEL anything in the first place. Then there’s no love lost.

              • I started seeing a therapist during the gaslighting phase. Things were so nuts with my XW and all the lying and abuse that I needed to talk to someone. At that point, I had not considered that she was cheating yet.
                When my XW found out I was talking to a therapist, she was enraged and told me ” don’t you dare talk about me” (yeah, right. you treat me like crap and I am supposed to keep it quiet).
                Anyway, interestingly, after I went to a few sessions, never even alluding to or suspecting an affair, the therapist told me she wanted me to read a book , ” After the Affair”. I had no idea why she would suggest that.
                But, no, I realize that the behaviors I was describing were classic signs of cheating and she spotted it way before me.

    • Chumpguy, same here. My ex was the king of the “I am sorry that you feel that way,” and “I am sorry, BUT” non-apology.

      • Yeah….I got the “I’m sorry that you think that way”. I didn’t think anything, I caught him in bed with some sleeze he met on the internet.

        • that is what i told him when he kept blaming stupid shit on me. telling me i didnt treat him good so i told him i was sorry he thought that way.

  • Why Women Cheat

    As if there are legions–WHOREds–of women, a vast majority who deliberately engage in chaos. As if it’s A Thing, legitimized by the fact that Everyone Does It.

    Well, I’m here to tell you that Women don’t cheat. Headcases cheat, cheaters cheat, scumbag narcissists cheat, the personality-disordered cheat, the entitled cheat. Of either sex. Women–I’m one of those–don’t cheat as a rule.

    So please don’t wipe your shit on me, oh nasty one.

    I really hope her ex his NC–she doesn’t deserve any serious dialogue. It doesn’t register with her. She’s marked herself for the world to see. She will be miserable for the rest of her miserable life. Best to stay away from freaks like that.

    • Tell it, Miss S.

      I’ve become convinced cheating is something you either will do or you won’t. If it’s in your makeup, sooner or later you will find an excuse. If there hadn’t been financial difficulties, well, then it would have been the boring life they were living, or something else.

      • Agreed, Chumpguy! I can say with 100% certainty that I will never cheat and not just because I now know how much it hurts. I had the ability to imagine the kind of destruction it would create BEFORE being cheated on. It’s just not in my makeup.

        • ^^^^ but that’s that whole foresight, empathy and conscience “thing” that cheaters don’t have. So…

          • Not in my makeup either. Over the years there are, I guess what I would call, “opportunities for opportunities”. But if you care about your marriage, you learn to cut it off before it gets anywhere close to a danger zone. And people know that about you.

            I also think there is a certain vibe people have that says, “I’m a friendly person, but don’t even go there, I’m not available”, or “I’m a playah”, or “I’m not really a playah, but you ARE very attractive…”

            I used to think about how lucky I was to have my family and how I never would do anything to hurt them. And I was also aware (although it never, ever came close to that) that actions have consequences. I read in a magazine someone saying if you don’t mind the idea of saying good night to your kids over the phone from your lonely apartment or room, go ahead and cheat. Hey, consequences? What consequences? I want my cake!

            Nope, it’s baked in the cake for these people.

            • I could and would never ever cheat either, not an emotional affair, nothing! I could not look myself in the mirror if I did something like that. And what would I say to my kids? Oh but that’s right, I have a conscience!

              • Yes to this. I was offered “favors” for helping ladies with computer problems. I always declined because I knew that even if no one ever found out, I would know what I did. One of my all time favorite quotes is: “character is doing the right thing even if no one will ever know about it”. And the fact that I would hate hurting anyone, I don’t have it in me. I guess that’s what makes me a happy Chump. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Also, she never apologized. Even our eldest daughter called her on it. She is just so pathetic, even though I always thought the world of her.

              • My cheater ex traveled out of town regularly for work often Monday-Friday. I could look up & see his plane overhead on its way to the airport 15 miles away. I remember joking with him saying if I ever got a boyfriend because I was so lonely with his travels, seeing the plane overhead would be the signal for the boyfriend to scam. He seemed to get a chuckle out of it knowing that I would never do such a thing.

            • i had plenty of oppertunities to cheat as well as plenty of reasons. but i never did because i valued my marriage more. in my opinion guys come and go. relationships are basically all the same. what makes a relationship have value is the things you do for the person you are with and for the family. my family and my kids are everything. i am not a career woman. i work to pay bills. my job is not my life, my kids are. i tried to tell boyman that. he will find a new chick and still be doing the same shit, paying rent, ulitilities, food and clothing but for that stuff to have meaning is to do it for your spouse and kids. otherwise it is just existing but not living. took me a long time to figure out he didnt think that way. i guess he is happy now. but i still have the best thing in life. all he has is a shallow relationship based on alcohol with a woman that legally belongs to Another man. how is that living life?

  • Sorry …. The panacea sauce that covers everything….and of course a side dish of ‘ but’
    Lets not forget the other word’ fair’ …. Everything was weighed in that big scale in their heads…
    Cheaters looooovvveeeee the word fair.
    I was thinking of creating one of those kids word games ” Mad Libs’ and instead of making choices of nouns, verbs, etc….. The option would be replacement words for sorry, but and fair. Lets see if Idiot could fill in the blanks any other way.

    • Yes, Clip!!! Thank you for this^^^^^
      I banged my head against the wall back in the beginning of my relationship trying to figure out why my STBX was endlessly trying to even the score….
      My gosh I couldn’t bring up any issue without him needing to counter balance it with an issue of his own. Red Flags were waving…damn…I missed so many and didn’t even realize.

      • My ex actually used the word “score” in a text post D-Day. I had pointed out how loyal I was to him. He replied: “Ah yes, loyalty. Yes you were loyal but not very attentive. On that score, I am better than you.” I still scratch my head at this word salad. How did he think fucking another woman was being attentive to me? And that somehow cheating made him “better than me.”

    • “It’s complicated”. My teenager won’t even speak to him anymore because, it’s not freaking complicated! Bad things didn’t just “happen.” There’s a reason “the holidays are hard on everyone this year.” Own your shit dad!

      • Trusting, I will never again be able to look at “It’s complicated” for a relationship status on FB without thinking of this, LOL!

    • I think we should have a game of ‘cheater bingo’, complete with cards and the first one to cross off all the clichés wins (guess we’d have a winner rush the moment the cards go online, no matter how exotic and bizarre the words would be)!

  • It was a Faux Cheating Remorse weekend over on HuffPo divorce. There’s another one, “I Had An Affair, But Here’s Why I’d Never Do It Again.” The author fancies her affair to be a painfully exquisite thing of beauty, and more than a few readers of her post seem to believe it was. She says she wants to be in a “relationship that values honesty.” It doesn’t seem to register to this particular cheater that relationships aren’t honest, people are. She blames her affair on her children. As in, it was the spit up and such that caused her to feel like, well, a mom, and feeling like a mom drove her to have sex with a friend. Someone commented that at least she didn’t blame her husband. (She did, but it was pretty slickly disguised, but when she blamed the kids, she REALLY blamed them.) And it was exquisite and painful and beautiful and she loved the OM, who doesn’t seem to be in the picture now, surprise, and now her kids and parents are pissed. You think? I commented and was called “angry.” Yeah, I am. I’m angry that a story like that, full of so much bullshit, can pass as “beautiful.”

    • You have more courage than me; I can’t bear to click & read that drivel. Blames the kids, eh? The ones SHE made a decision to bring into the world? I hope the XH got full custody.

  • I only received a couple of “sorries” from my ex. Given that that were mixed in over a couple of months with the comments on how I hated his family, etc., no remorse there.
    Kicker– he wrote a letter to our teenager attempting to explain himself (put everyone else before his own happiness, he was in love with the first affair partner, he knows it sounds like a lame excuse, but when you are in the moment drowning….). He also told her he could say things about me which would change her view of me, but he refuses to do that.

    Yup, no remorse. Still about him, no cares on what happened to the kids. That letter put my teenager over the edge emotionally, but again, I got the blame for that one.

    If one truly feels remorse, do not bring up what the spouse/significant other did or did not do. Your choice, your consequences.

    • Do they all do that, blame the faithful spouse for the kids reactions to their behavior? Teenagers are old enough to make their own judgments. Heck, it’s not like a parent has that much influence on their decisions anyway.

      • My ex totally blames me that our 18 year old son no longer wants to speak to him. Although in our case, it wasn’t so much the cheating or divorce that made son decide to cut off ex, it was the ex’s insanity and emotional abuse that was finally too much for son to bear. Of course, one of ex’s sisters recently told son that, “everyone cheats,” which only made son cut HER off as well.

        • GIO, such a familiar saga. Our children aren’t dumb. They may love their parents but they don’t have to accept/like their parent’s crap behavior. My son went NC last year as well and he has his own reasons. Son wants absolutely nothing to do with a father that disparages his life choices, while never looking at his own. ‘Let me see, Dad fucks his slut, runs out on us kids, our college expenses, and the mortgage (you know the one on the house we all worked hard for), but has the nerve to question how I am living my life?’ Uh, yeah. No great role model there. Our kids have every right to communicate how they feel. In words or actions. Fuck off, right!?

          • Within a few days of D-Day#2 I received a text from my oldest step-daughter “I just wanted you to know that I love you and I’m sorry my Dad is such an asshole”. He had contacted her and told her we “were having problems” and he didn’t “know what to do because of little brother”. When she called me later the same day… the first question she asked was “is he talking to someone else?” I answered her honestly, she is not a child and told her “yes”. She then proceeded to tell me that she knew he had cheated on her Mother (she had asked) and she remembered him moving the OW and her son into their home within 2 weeks after she, her Mother and 2 younger siblings moved out. She remembers the OW’s son choosing her room as his own… and her things were relocated to a different room. WHO DOES THAT?? WTF?? ^^^ Her feelings exactly…. “I love my Dad… he’s my Dad… but I hate that he is so selfish!! It’s ALWAYS about him!!”

      • Yep. Mine told me that because I didn’t get down on my knees and pray with him for his “”recovery” from his teen porn/masturbation /addiction to his dick, I ruined any possibility of recovery. He also told my four children that they needed to pray for mama to get over her anger and let daddy move back. That poor, poor mama is burning up inside from anger,and will go to hell if she doesn’t forgive daddy. All this while sobbing uncontrollably and holding all four children in a crushing bear hug. Hmmmm. Did not move me in the least. I had heard the sobbing and the “I hate myself for doing this to you! But I’m actually hurting myself! Really. Then why do I feel like my heart has been ripped from my chest and stomped on repeatedly? Why do I wake up at all hours of the night, just to make sure you aren’t surfing porn with your shorts around your ankles? “You can’t feel as bad as I do about what I’ve done! Do you have ANY idea how ASHAMED I am!!! Have you no sympathy!!” Nope. I don’t. The first two times, yeah. After the I don’t know how many frigging times, not so much. Oh they can cry bitterly when they are in in danger of you actually calling it quits. “Can’t you see my pain!” Uh huh, I see it, I’m just not buying it. “I am going CRAZY, I feel like killing MYSELF!!!” Mmmhmmm. Welcome to my crazy train. Fun ain’t it? “Mommy is very crazy right now, we need to say three hail Marys for her to come back to God and let daddy come home.”

        It’s all about him, and I am to blame for finally kicking this horror show out on his ass. His sobbing and sad, sad sausage face ended when he got served. Not to worry, he has an endless supply of lovelies to moon over and have no emotional attachment to except the thing between his legs.

        • Irish, if you’d just have been more patient and understanding, he could be a changed man… (eyeroll).

          • I guess I could have given it 15 more years….damn, I give up WAY to easily…….Hmmmm. poor sausage with his unreasonable wife. Stb X WIFE.

      • Yes Trusting, cheaters DO blame the faithful spouse for the children’s reactions to the cheater’s deceit. Getting ladled with that shit right now. Ironically, my cheater is the son and stepson of two cheating dads AND a rug sweeping mother. Who better to know and understand the pain and trauma of infidelity on a child’s life than a survivor of it. That didn’t stop his quest for random pussy.

        Anyhow, back to the point. He keeps trying to heap that shit on me, but I remind him factually that all of his serial cheating was his choice alone. That he is the adult and he will own his shit beginning NOW. The cycle of abuse stops with me and my kids. He’s SOL thinking I would be like his mom and spackle the crap out of the next 40-50yrs of my life.

        • ANC–they hate, hate, hate, when you point out that actions have consequences, or that they betrayed their children as well as their spouse. Which is why I point out those two things every chance I get ; ).

          • “But the therapists say……” The conventional theory is that you are not supposed to tell the kids. The kids will connect the dots. They will realize that a substantial part of their childhood, all of the interactions as a family and/or with the cheating spouse, is a lie. I know it’s soul crushing. The difference is that I am lining up support for the,. This shit is hard for me to deal with.

            The biggest issue for my cheater is his kids regarding him as a fucking joke. Like he regards his own fathers. Image control is very vital for him.

            • Not all therapists say that. And (as a developmental psychologist), I advocate telling each child in an age-appropriate way. They don’t need graphic details, but for them to be left with no framework as to how/why their parents split is NOT healthy. Do *not* leave them to connect the dots. Lack of certainty will screw up more children than the barebones truth.

              • Spot on Tempest! I had to tell my 13 yo son after his father gave him a phone with porn history on it. When my son found the history, I had to explain what “hot teen nympho” And” sexy sexy teens” meant. Well the cat was out off the bag then. To third day, excellent has not said one word to my kids about what he did that caused the destruction of our marriage. Not. One. Word.
                Telling the children in an age appropriate manner is best. They are aware and know a lot more than we think.

              • It was In reference to my cheater parroting what the MC was trying to drive down my throat. Since we are no longer in MC, and I called that crap out to that MC, I really need to find a counselor for me and my kids to deal with the impending fall out.

                Tempest, Can you provide some good pointers/ideas/characteristics I should look for in vetting someone I would trust? Thanks!

              • ANC–in general, I’d look for someone with a Ph.D. (more years of training), especially in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). “Mindfulness” is another key term for people who focus on mental health & self-awareness, though be careful as those who advertise mindfulness can also tend toward the wacky.

                Pick someone with many years in the business, with a subspecialty of family counseling. My own view is that no amount of training in the world is equal to an insightful person who has been married & had kids. However, if you don’t have a good insurance policy and funds are low, a nearby university may have training clinics that are cheaper because grad students are running the sessions (though they do get supervision).

    • “He also told her he could say things about me which would change her view of me, but he refuses to do that.”
      That is so pathological it’s downright scary.

      • My ex has said similar to our son. That he wants to “tell his side of the story” and son obviously cut him off because he doesn’t know “the truth.” What possible truth or side of the story could make ex look better? I was not a perfect human or wife, but was 100% faithful and did my best. Took great care of ex and our home, he even agreed with that. He, on the other hand, admits to balling hundreds of strange men in gay bath houses, had two affairs simultaneously with married women, engaged in orgies and threesomes, threw away his career and our home to make videos on Youtube. God only knows what he wants to tell our son that would somehow convince him that ex’s “side of the story” justifies such behavior.

  • If i sent cheater XH’s apology emails to the UBT it would self implode. The part of today’s post I want to focus on is the much deserved “happiness” that cheaters seek.

    After 26 years with XH i was of course concerned about his happiness. good partners are. so in the shock of DDay and my knee jerk desire to reconcile, i swallowed more shit sandwiches packaged in delusional lies….regarding his unhappiness in our marriage (news to me) and his new found happiness with adulteress 14 years his junior.

    Chump Nation catapulted my recovery forward. But i was slowly getting there myself before i discovered the prevalence of this cheating epidemic and the infidelity “playbook”. I had started no contact. I had started focusing on me again (trying to anyway, as i nursed my college daughter back to “life after this”. I liked remembering that today.

    It is about me and my happiness. Always was! (also happy to report college daughter is back on track again. thank God. and i do!)

    • Chumpette,

      I am so glad your daughter is back on track. They may be our husband/wife, but it’s their father/mother. We can disconnect easier than the child of these self centered thoughtless parents.

      This is great news.

  • #sorrynotsorry

    The faux-pology is most annoying. Some gems from my cheater.

    He told me *I* was “making things harder” by not trusting him anymore. lmao

    He never once said he was sorry, but he did very much want to know how I found out – no I didn’t tell him. lol

    The tired old “it was all your fault.” Oh really….lol

    He said he wouldn’t cheat again. I asked why I should trust that when he told me that before and cheated. His answer was “because I won’t cheat again.” ‘Round in circles we go…..lol

    My favorite was during my anxiety attacks – which I hadn’t had in years – during his faux-reconciliation non-attempt was to tell me to have a beer or a shot. Yep, because getting shit faced drunk will make everything better. lol

    The delusion these people demonstrate is frightening.

    • Sam –

      My ex always offered me alcohol every day after work at five, a lovely margarita. In the beginning I thought it was so thoughtful. He started to complain when I wouldn’t continue drinking with him well into the evening. I felt guilty NOT continuing to drink with him. It kept me looped just enough to anesthetize me from the reality of my situation with an complete user, covert narc asshole.

      The alcohol was keeping me comfortably “numb”.

      I stopped “Happy Hour” and became focused again. I started looking around and realized a lot of things were greatly amiss in our relationship.

      That is when I asked for his password to his “other” e-mail account, the shit hit the fan and his double life emerged.

      In his world, if I only kept drinking, everything would have been alright.

      WTF

      *Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good margarita–at dinner, with friends.

  • My cheater told me “I know I caused you pain, BUT i’m in pain too.” oh, poor baby, pain of getting caught, divorced, breaking hearts, broken kids, ruined reputation, lost respect from everyone (normal people), lost money, dreams, future as it should have been etc. Funny during 30 years of marriage, looking back, if I had a headache, backache, bad day, SO DID HE. I’m in great pain, BUT SO IS HE! He wasn’t in pain though getting lap dances, screwing other women, addiction to porn, double life, He enjoyed his double life that HE alone created! Intentional, premeditated, self centered “mistakes” that hurt all of us, can’t we all just move on now and forget it! OMG, Ive heard some real doozies. NOT NORMAL!

    • I said this once before, but during the whole painful “limbo” stage that came on after I discovered the affair, my wife was very depressed. She kept saying “we both hurt.” Her pain was due to the ill treatment she received from her affair partner apparently — and I guess also because she could no longer see him with impunity. I said “that’s like punching someone in the face and saying ‘we both hurt.’ My hand hurts from hitting you!”

      Apparently I didn’t “get it.” The thing I didn’t get was the specialness of their relationship. Ours had grown stale I guess. I didn’t know that, but there you go. I was at the top of chump hill — the King!

      • Until the divorce is final and I can move out, I’m still living with STBXH. I have to repress my urge to ask him if he and Schmoopie had an argument when he gets all pouty and angry. The answer, of course, is that yes, they had, but he won’t talk about her to me. Their special relationship seems to be about how much money he gives her, sex, and her berating him for treating her badly (i.e. he was out of town for 5 days and couldn’t take her to dinner, or in a business meeting all day and couldn’t text her non-stop).

      • “That’s like punching someone in the face…” That’s really good Charles! I’d like to use that one. Narcissists use 3 tactics- charm, rage and self pity. Wow the self pity can really get thick with these weirdos.

      • Charles,

        Same here. I eventually figured out her near-suicidal depression was due to the narcissist AP not meeting her needs, not providing the truest-love kibble she felt he should be providing her.

        Chump that I am, I comforted her and got her a therapist. I bet 100% she didn’t reveal to the therapist the true source of her depression.

        I’m pretty sure she too felt that her pain which originated in “true” love was far superior to my pain. All I did was sacrifice and work day after day after day for nine years trying to be the best husband I could – that is not match for “true love”

      • Same here too. As soon as I had forgiven what I thought was a one-night stand with a stranger in a foreign country, the real story began to unfold. He thought it was appropriate to let me know how heartbroken he was. Not because he had betrayed me for years, no, but because she was such a marvellous lover, who decided to dump him when she found someone more available (who had a better house, with a view on the sea).

      • I love what you said, Charles-my husband, whose EA’s I discovered last summer, is still whining to the therapist about his resentment of me for not “letting him say goodbye (to his one “in-person” EA partner , not one of his online sexting pals…) the way he wanted to”. So, yes, we both hurt…..but I am surely at fault for not being a better person. Someone he wouldn’t feel compelled to lie to all the time “I Have to-it avoids conflict!!!!”. Gratefully I can’t be hurt by him anymore, I mean, my expectation is, essentially, that shit stinks. But, back on point, I adore the “fist hurts from punching me” analogy. Assholes.

    • My now ex-husband told me that he cried every night for five months, after I told him I knew he was having an affair and he abandoned me the next day without so much as a “See you later.” Five months? Dude, I was fucking suicidal for five years. I can still be reduced to tears and the fetal position, at the slightest memory of him, fucking almost TEN YEARS later. This week, my attorney forwarded a check to me, money that my ex owed me. The douche bag blacked out his address, acting like I’m some sort of stalker! Even though, I HAVE his address and have had it for several years. It’s on taxes we filed jointly, one year, during our extended separation. And beyond that, gee, there’s this new thing called THE FUCKING INTERNET and it knows everything about you. If I was a danger to him, or even capable of being a nuisance, I’d already done something by now. And gee, what part of, I never once tried to contact you in person or on the phone, since the day you left, would make you think I might start now? What part of, as soon as we had no legitimate reason to communicate, such as shared property matters, I quit emailing with you and I filed for divorce and all communication from that point forward went through the attorney, makes you believe I want to show up on your door step? What part of, you and everyone else knows I refuse to be in the same place as you, makes you think I’d deliberately show up at your house? These people are a special kind of mean. He knows the last thing I want is to see his face. The only thing I wanted was my money. But he couldn’t resist the sly little dig at me. Even if the only my attorney saw that, and interpreted it to mean he was afraid of me, in my ex-husband’s twisted mind, that was good enough.

      • Carol, my heart goes out to you. I’m not quite two years out and can’t see how I’ll ever “really” get over this.

        Mine pulls the same BS of hiding his address even though, like you, I never went near him. Of course I found out from court documents where it was. They’re so childish. I think it feeds their ego to think we care where they live or want to see them. Mine walked out too then kept emailing me with questions, for all of which I referred him to my lawyer with a request he leave me alone. He wouldn’t stop so I blocked him and changed my phone number. But he still probably wants to think I pine for him. I wouldn’t even look at him in court. I requested direct deposit for my alimony so I would have to look at his writing on a check. They are pathetic and twisted.

        • Lina, same here, I had auto deposit on the alimony because I couldn’t stand to see his writing or to hold something he touched. I changed my name a few weeks after he left, in 2005, even though our divorce wasn’t final until 2012. Yes, he left in October 2005. I never once showed up where he was living or working, tried to telephone him, or even went someplace I thought he might be. But, this man thinks he needs to hide his address from me, a decade later? It boggles the mind. When I told my daughter, she said, “You are freaking kidding me Mom!” Nope. I’m not. You can’t make this stuff up. At least I got my money and hopefully, this was the last remaining issue between us. 2005-2015. My
          Personal Hell.

          • Carol, I changed my name too. He once sent me an email calling my Dad by his first name and I told him he meant “Mr” and last name. He’s no longer entitled to call my Dad that, especially after the disrespectful way he spoke of him on his way out. The stupid fool actually sent me checks before direct deposit was set up with no return address. I would hope never to deal with him again but I expect at some point that he will drag me back into court requesting his support be lowered. I wish I could tell him to shove it even though no amount of money can make up for what he’s put me through.

          • Carol, I am so sorry that your divorce/recovery has stretched out this long. I hope you are healing, I am only 1.5 yrs from my DDay and have been NC one year. Only have glimmers of feeling like the woman I was, my “old self” before the Narcissist. Your ex sounds like a raging narc supreme.

      • Carol–I know his blacking out the address on the check and the rest of his attempts to “hide” from you are painful. But they are also f-ing hysterical. What kind of dumb fuck thinks you don’t know his address after filing joint taxes? And for only $22.86 to Instant Checkmate, you can find addresses on anyone (ask how I know).

        • LOL Tempest! Thank you for that! I’ve been tears eyed all weekend about his slap in the face, and I needed your post to bring me back to the reality. It is hilarious. Outrageously so. Not only has the decade of my post-marital behavior shown I’m about as harmful to him as a fly, but there’s no way he can truly hide from me. Dumb Fuck. LMAO.

        • i am asking tempest. how do you know. unfortunately i cant afford the 22.86 to track down boyman address. i would love to find out his address and where he is working. the last time i did that online address check i was getting stiffed for 20. a month.

  • My unrepentant douche of an ex apparently had a brief moment of self awareness AND truth when he wrote “For what it’s worth…I’m sorry” on a $4 Christmas card the first holiday we were apart. As I look back on that cheap token which made me livid at the time, I think that it actually was about as honest as he’d ever been or would be. Because he knew just how little his sorry was worth. He then told me to “find peace and be happy and that all our good memories will linger.” That – if I may attempt the UBS – meant “I’m not going to do a thing to make this easier on you – but I figure at some point you’ll get over it and I’ll be the good person for wanting you to find happiness theoretically.” That and the fact that he now apparently shares the stories of our lives together incessantly with the new wife/OW (bet she loves that) – I guess the good memories are lingering! For him. He’d better enjoy them – it’s all that he has left of his old life.

  • X I guess said sorry, but sorry like how when you step on someone’s toe or something. Because after all, “It just happened.” It was an accident! And when he was trying to get me to reconcile, one of the things I asked was for him to do some deep thinking and figure out why the affair happened. He never did. I mean, I could tell you why at this point – he’s an immature Narcissist, extremely entitled, and refuses to take any kind of responsibility. I think if you would ask him today why it happened he would either: A. Act like it never happened at all, B. Blame me, or C. Say, “It just happened.” And I KNOW he would tack on the Cheater-patented, “But it was all for the best. I’m happier now, and Kira is happier now.” Kira would have been happier to have just never met X, and not have to go through all of that.

  • Does anyone have any advice… My friend told me this past weekend that she cheated on her husband… obviously with being a recent chump I am really battling with how to deal with this news. Husband found out and they are getting divorced, but I am really conflicted about this… by conflicted I mean that everything she says I put through the UBT and find it to be rubbish… hmmmm…. I want to go NC with her but am I being childish???

    • SharedMarriage, I don’t think you would be childish if you went NC particularly if you explain to her why it would be difficult for you to remain friends.

      I have a friend who is in a difficult marriage and was considering cheating with a co-worker. I told her upfront that I could not support her going outside of her marriage no matter how difficult it is, given my situation and the fact that going out side her marriage would only make things worse for them. Thankfully, her co-worker didn’t take things further with her. She and I are still friends but not a close as we were by my choice.

      • I have an old dear highschool friend who has an adorable, handsome amazing husband and two beautiful daughters, but she has always “flirted” on the side. I was tolerant with this until the cheating happened to me. I told her I could not continue to be her friend if she continued to have these “little” affairs. I made her realize that she could loose EVERYTHING including her daughters love if she continued. She could get caught if only one of her friends got jealous or felt like it. Everything my stupid STBX lost plus my losses and suffering made her review her life and decide not to continue but she knows I will dump her immediately if I found out about anything related to her flirting.

        She told me that she does it to continue feeling young and beautiful (she is 50 and likes going out with guys 40 or younger). She adores her husband and wouldn´t change him for anyone. Her husband is drop-dead gorgeous, a hard worker and a great father and spouse. He has never denied her anything..She makes hm very happy.

        I still don´t get it…..

        • “She told me that she does it to continue feeling young and beautiful (she is 50 and likes going out with guys 40 or younger). She adores her husband and wouldn´t change him for anyone. Her husband is drop-dead gorgeous, a hard worker and a great father and spouse. He has never denied her anything. She makes him very happy.”

          Susan, I hope you’re not offended – but – your friend is a spoiled fucking brat! To have all that going for you and you *still* need Kibbles from guys 10 years your junior?? Hands down, within another 5 to 10 years? She will be a full-blown (excuse the pun) cheater.

          • On the hill, not offended at all….you are right. I am torn between how upset it makes me for her doing this when she has everything, and that we have a friendship of three decades and I have seen her going through bad relationships where guys cheated on her. But I think it all started when her fiance and his family died in a car accident when she was 20 years old. After that she completely changed from being the nice trustworthy girl, to dating everyone she wanted, at the same time! I sort of admired her from a distance because I wanted to know what made her so attractive (she is very beautiful but also charming). Now I realize that she is a “nice” narc, but still a narc. Goes to show that cheaters come in all forms and sizes…

    • Shared, you not only can but SHOULD go NC with this person. I think people who cheat need to get a very strong message that it’s not OK, and that they will lose relationships because of it, including friendships.

      Too many cheaters prefer to believe there will be no consequences to cheating, and that it’s not a big deal. Our culture contributes to that by encouraging people to ‘be neutral’ when there’s cheating. That’s not OK.

      The other aspect is self-protection. How comfortable can you ever be with a ‘friend’ who was willing to do to her spouse that which you have experienced so painfully yourself??? YOU know how shitty this is, and YOU recognize the bull in what she’s saying.

      My ex was shocked, I think, to see that he lost not only myself and the kids, but also all our mutual friends, all of my family, and even some of his own family, due to his (repeated) cheating. Good, that needs to happen to more cheaters.

      • “Our culture contributes to that by encouraging people to ‘be neutral’ when there’s cheating”

        I agree. I think this attitude comes from the principle that we’re not supposed to ‘judge’ people. After all, the cheater MAY have a moment of insight when they’re, ohhhhh let’s say 92 years old, and realize that their cheating was wrong. They may very well express SINCERE remorse about their cheating to someone (like a priest–on their deathbed)

        Being a Christian, I believe that we ARE allowed to judge, as long as we have all the facts and as long as we don’t *condemn*. I think there’s a difference between the two.

        Gypsy

        • Count me in the “willing to condemn” group. You strangle a puppy–I condemn you. You beat up a homeless person–I condemn you. You steal millions from people in a stock scam–I condemn you. You betray your spouse and children–I condemn you. You participate in genocide in WWII Germany or third-world countries today–I condemn you.

          Actions have consequences; losing the respect of other people is a consequence.

    • No, you’re not being childish. Part of this process is realizing what our core values are. You’ve just discovered what your friend’s core values are — they’re shit. Many (most?) of us find that we can no longer tolerate being around people who are capable of this shit and we move away from people like that. NC seems like a good idea to me!

      • I agree. And part of it is taking a long look at all of the people around us and adjusting our picker. Because we don’t want to get used to having narcissists, abusers, cheaters, and other dishonest folk around.

    • Shortly after DDay, one of my 6 yer-old daughter’s school-friend’s mother came over “to let the girls play.” She told me all about her horrible husband…blahblahblah – she didn’t like him and that was clear from seeing them at events. She kicked him out, after attending a wedding with a co-worker while at that branch to work… she “learned what passion is” and her chump didn’t have it.

      All of a sudden, her manipulation of me and her nasty little-girl’s behavior of entitlement (“I’m your GUEST – you do what *I* want” followed with my blunt “Hell, no- we don’t – you are here to enjoy playing WITH our children; if you want to leave, you will leave immediately. I’ll call your mother now.”) made sense.

      I haven’t responded to a single message, text, or phone call since. When she says “We should get together!,” I say no. And let it linger in the air, almost daring her to ask why or flip out. She doesn’t.

      It is NOT rude to not allow anyone else to lie to or manipulate you or your children. THEY are rude, to say the least, for being deceitful, manipulative people… they’re just not used to – hell, they’re outright SHOCKED (haha!) at – being seen and treated as such. GOOD. Wallow in that shit. You made it; not sure why you’re surprised! 😛

    • I would probably read a kinder-gentler riot act to this friend. In fact, a similar thing happened to me. I looked my friend straight in the eye and said, “You know this is just what happened to me, right? What just wrecked my life? — Your STBX deserves better. You should break things off with this new guy and clean up your other shit first. Don’t want STBX anymore? OK, but you owe it to him after 8 years to not behave that way.” We work together now, but we aren’t “friends.”
      Just because she’s your friend does not make it OK, though it certainly does make it complicated. I don’t think I could ever be friends with a cheater again.

    • Staying friends with her would condone her behaviour, reinforce with her that it is acceptable. Why would you want to do that? We always say to believe a cheater’s actions, not their words. Well, with your words you might be telling her that cheating is wrong, but if you remain friends with her, your action is telling her that it’s okay.

      Not to mention, how good a friend could she be in the first place? If she’s willing to do this to the person she’s supposed to be closest to, the person she made a vow to, she probably doesn’t treat her friends very well either.

      Just tell her goodbye, that you cannot remain friends with someone who has no values or integrity.

      When I was going through my struggle with my cheating ex, I confided tearfully in my best friend, who then proceeded to tell me a previously unshared story about how she was the OW with her current partner, and had broken up that marriage! Haven’t spoken to her in years. It was doubly painful, losing the spouse I thought I had AND the best friend I thought I had, all at once.

      • Thank you all! It is so hard and also even though my D-Day is 7 days away from the first anniversary…. I am still so raw… also she saw what it did to me and we chatted many times about how wrong it is… and then whoops she goes and does it. And if ChumpLady has taught me one thing… even if he was the WORST EVER husband in the world, she could have left, she didn’t need to cheat.

        I am not a wilting flower and I am giving her a hard time…

        She told me that the most important thing is that she has forgiven herself… so I asked her if it was just her body that wondered off and had an affair… as if some part of herself had an affair and she has forgiven that part of herself.

        If they were truly sorry they would never have done it in the first place… it takes a certain character to cheat, and I don’t think that character is ever sorry for what they do.

  • I first came to this site because of a cheater. The cheater never once apologized. Never said he was sorry, probably because he wasn’t. That was just over 3 years ago.

    I met someone last summer, and we had an on-again-off-again ‘thing’ for about 6 months. Since October I had been struggling with some issues and trying to decide if this (relationship) was something I wanted to continue or not. Everything came to a head in December, and I put everything out on the table. He DID say he was sorry, but I realized that sometimes “I’m sorry” just isn’t enough.

    I’ve learned that there’s a HUGE difference between being “sorry” and APOLOGIZING. As part of a sincere apology, there needs to be a commitment to ‘turning away from’ the wrongdoing. A cheater would not only have to admit their wrong doing, but take obvious consistent visible self-imposed steps (counseling, quitting a job where the affair partner is, moving, etc). In order to do this, the cheater would have to be HUMBLE.

    And, we know that cheaters believe they are ENTITLED, they have little (if any) humility.

    No wonder why so many of them are so difficult to forgive.

    Gypsy57

    • Yes. An apology is where you own what you did, accept responsibility, let the person know you will do what you have to do to make sure you don’t do it again, and then live up to it.

      It isn’t “Sorry, but…(insert blameshift)” or “Sorry I stepped on your toe. Ouch!” or “Sorry. Oh well, you know me, it wasn’t my first screw up, probably won’t be my last, let’s move on.”

  • LOL, this post brings back so many memories of blame shifting and cheater speak. I only wish I had realized it then like I do now.

    Yes, I got the ‘I’m sorry but…’ and the ‘I made a mistake’ which I quickly corrected to ‘no, you made a choice’. I also received manipulative responses like ‘if you are willing to take down your defenses and let go of your anger, then we have a place to start working on this together.’ Right – if he had wanted to work on us, he would have done it before he cheated!

    And then there was a long, blame shifting email that included in the first paragraph ‘I AM THE BAD GUY HERE’ – just like that, in all caps. But in the very next paragraph, he said ‘I feel like every time you at me you see bad guy tattooed on my forehead’. My response? ‘see paragraph 1 where you said you are the bad guy’.

    Every time he opened his mouth, a load of horseshit spilled out to the point that I’m convinced he’s a pathological liar. Looking back now, I can trace the lies back to before we were married; in particular when he said that the one thing he would never tolerate was cheating! What a set-up to get me to trust him completely.

    • Now I can laugh, but my ex said stuff like ‘I know what I did was wrong’ (has never been able to bring himself to say the words of what he did), and then 5 minutes later IN THE SAME CONVERSATION was furious because I was blaming him!!! HELLO!!! You just said it was your fault!!!! How can you then be pissed I’m saying it’s your fault????

      He makes it very clear that his words are completely empty, he means none of it. What he wants is for me to tell him a) that it wasn’t really his fault, poor thing, and b) that he’s so much better a person now. Sure makes him mad when I don’t collaborate with those attempts. Even his apologies are just searches for more kibbles.

    • BBCheater……oh yes, me too!
      X throughout 10 year faux-lationship said cheating was no good etc. Even talked badly about a couple people he knew that cheated, etc. This includes talking about an older man he knew ‘that dates girls his son’s age’. Guess what, all? Ditto for him & at the same time as he talked of the man he knew! Again, to try to throw me off!
      That’s what the fucks do to get us to trust them!

      • 3rd husband, a cheater, had been a friend for many years. During his divorce he spent hours at my place boo-hooing because his marriage ended because, “his wife cheated on him”. I rarely mention him in my marital history because we married at the end of August, I moved out the first of October, and the divorce was final in January. I quit counting affair partners after I moved out. This was after 3 years of heavy courtship and pressure to marry. I like to pretend that time period did not happen. No faux apology. Nada.

      • I can check this off as well. He and his entire family despised his SIL. She was a cheating whore! That bitch! She was the topic of every conversation when they got together. They have a lot of crazy family issues that i wish i had paid attention while dating. After i had proof of his shit i told him not to ever mention her again because they were both in the same category. They divorced too. He could have sympathy for his brother and was so happy when she left and still not understand that i felt the same way from his actions. What a turd!!

      • Same here IHaveHate. Our biggest vow to each other was to never cheat and we were both clear that emotional cheating, making out, anything constituted cheating. He talked about his being cheated on and how much that hurt. We made fun of the dad who now had the younger, Russian mail-order bride and new little baby. He’s never copped to the OW, which is frustrating, but they are together to this day although still not completely out in the open. Now I look back and remember other emotionally distant, gas-lighting, fight-picking times and wonder if I was a chump from the start, and if he was the one who cheated on his ex. As for an apology … yeah right … not in his wheelhouse.

      • ALL of this ^^^^ the LIES about “not cheating” and the badmouthing “cheaters”…. “oh.. I just do not like hanging around them, they are cheating on their significant others” what a load of shit. Set up is right. It is all about control and manipulation.

        The lies, fake apologies… blaming… somewhere in the past couple of weeks another chump posted “once you realize that everything that comes out of their mouth is BULLSHIT… the rest… is all just NOISE!! That’s all it ever is. Everything they say is hollow.. no honor or sincerity in anything they say or do.

        Mine used to pick fights with me before he went out of town, actually he would DO something that he knew I would have to try to address so that HE could turn it into a fight and accuse me of picking one so he could be pissed at me on his way out. I think that was how he made himself feel better about cheating.

        Can’t wait for the whole fucking thing to blow back up in his stupid face!!

        • yes i remeber the picking fights so he could storm out and go drink. it was always my fault because i “made him mad”. boyman actually thinks that it is NOT cheating when we were separated because we were “broke up”. i told him we were not in high school and marriage was not like going steady. i honestly dont know if he was/is that stupid or that was just what he told himself so he could feel better about fucking the first hoodrat that made his dick hard after we had a fight.

  • Seriously epic fail. I just threw up all over myself reading that piece. Excuse me while I go take another shower.

  • What a nightmare to imagine myself in the position of the article writer’s former spouse….the thought of waking up, going online, and seeing the EX hijacking the truth and getting kudos for doing so is not pretty. Ugh.

    • Yes, what was she thinking?!!!!

      Her self reflection is so idiotic a posteriori, especially when she erases the whole thing in one line when she says “ultimately, I don´t regret what I did…” So WTF did she write this stupid apology to hurt her poor chumpy ex yet again? The nerve…

      • I know…..the WHOLE point of being sorry is realizing that the hurt you caused was so much deeper than the pleasure you derived from the betryal.

  • The Jackass isn’t sorry. He isn’t even sorry he got caught. He just lies and denies and blame shifts. So I have no experience with even genuine imitation naugahyde remorse. That was maddening in a different way but provided and still provides a firewall against wasting time in false reconciliation.

    This is the line in this article that put things most succinctly: “I realize that nothing in that moment would have given him the solace and comfort that he was looking for — or that I was looking for.” She’s just devastated her husband, she can kinda sorta see his pain until–her attention bounces back to herself and what SHE is looking for. I imagine every moment in her marriage like that. She sees her husband’s need for love, attention, support, comfort–and then shifts her attention to what she needs.

  • I’ve heard most of this same crap too… about “his pain”… where was I when “he needed me”…. “he’s sorry… for everything he’s ever done to me”…. why couldn’t I be “nice” again…. “you’ll never trust me again”. They share the same entitlement, disregard for consequences, and selfishness…. and they ARE all immature, they expect you to “fix” everything they screw up.

    Mine came to me a year ago with the “let’s get through the holiday’s and we will go to counseling”… WOW really?? I couldn’t believe it… but I bought it…. yeah… never happened. When I could see the same communication issues I pushed for counseling…. I wrote e-mails and texts so I wasn’t being “confrontational” or having a “mean tone” and he deliberately IGNORED those too. So… six months past D-Day #2, after much self reflection (another thing they lack) I know that it is just another facet of his placing blame ANY where but where it belongs. They can somehow justify anything by adding their own little twist and convincing themselves that it is factual, their delusional thinking seems to know no limits. The important thing is HE feels blameless…. thank goodness for that.. wouldn’t want him to lose any sleep.

  • I put this BS email on here a while back but this post looks like its worth the repeat! This is from my X after more than a year later of NC from him and a few mostly nice and a couple hate emails from me. Enjoy!

    I have thought about this for over a month now…I just wanted to say…From the bottom of my heart…I am sorry…I am human…And I have made a lot of mistakes…I truly never meant to hurt you in any way…If it is any consolation…I have seen or spoken to A*** since this past summer…I know it may be hard for you to believe, but I am very sorry I hurt you!!!

    Sincerely,

    His name, President (of his company)

      • Tempest……may as well have been! No, it was in an email that is automatically signed that way when he types emails, as Mr I Think I’m a Big Shot President! NOOOOOOO buddy, YOU SUCK!!

  • She’s writing for ego kibbles… and this is the safest bet to get them. If he doesn’t give them to her – and she knows she doesn’t deserve a single one and will surely not get any from him – she’ll get them for “apologising” – even though she is clearly not ACTUALLY remorseful, with the vast majority of her writing being faux justifications for acting like a narcissistic whore. Readers will definitely give her the kibbles… even the people who have “You have CANCER so you’re so in need of love, no matter if you’re a scag of a human being!” on mental autotune – the “good people” – will give her kibbles!

    She actually SAID that she didn’t regret it. It’s the non-apology: “I’m sorry that you’re so hurt because of my actions.” Not, “I’m sorry for hurting you. I acted like scum, deceived you in the most hurtful ways possible, and deeply wounded you. I’m sorry for being a Class A Bitch.”

    When people tell you who they are, believe them. Her ex-husband knows her; that’s why he doesn’t respond. He’s a smart guy.

  • My cheater told me anout his 4-year double life because the OW outed him on FB. At some point I said, ‘You haven’t even apologized.’ He replied, ‘Yes, I did. I told how difficult this was for me.’ I later heard that he told someone else that his real problem these four years was that he never got enough alone-time. Now life is easier for him, as he only has the OW. I’m sure that will change soon thoug. Poor guy.

    • SN, you got the backwards apology too, eh? When my ex ended our relationship (before I found out about the OW), he said, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done!” After I found out about the OW, he said, “I’m sorry I couldn’t find a more productive way to let you know I was unhappy.” Poor guy indeed.

      • “I’m sorry I couldn’t find a more productive way to let you know I was unhappy.”

        Uhh…what about opening your mouth and saying something like, “I’m unhappy”?

        Yeah. I can see how that would be a real struggle for him to do that. He would probably have to sit on a mountain top for YEARS contemplating HOW to say he was unhappy.

        Sheesh…

        He probably wasn’t THAT “unhappy” to begin with. He just found a way to be HAPPI-ER.

        Gypsy57

        • i never got an apology of any sort. but once after the divorce i told him “well i guess now you will happy” and “i guess she makes you happy” and i got “i am never happy. you cant give me what it takes to make me happy. nobody can make me happy”. i didnt believe him but maybe that was one of the few times he was honest.

          then again he is 39 years old and still has no clue what he wants from life. huh? as long as it has an endless supply of beer, he really doesnt care.

          • Mrsvain, mine says almost the exact same thing. He’s always miserable. He’s never been happy. Never, ever, neverever, he says. Then I ask him about the times that I’ve seen him happy, such as when he’s involved in his hunting or fishing, or playing with the kids, or fun that we’ve had together. Oh, those times he was happy. Then he’ll say he’s miserable and has never been happy and I’m like, we just confirmed times that you were happy so how do all these times not go into the overall happy times formula.

            The happy times exist, but their minds block them out in favor of more poor me space in the brain.

            • yes, the “poor me” ugh. i hate that he is always “poor me”

              borderlines do this very well…. everything is “always” or “never” they talk in the xterms because that is the way they think. there is no middle, no grey area. they can only think of the now time. what they are feeling or thinking right now at the moment. they are not forward thinking and delve to much in the past thinking.

              that is the way boyman is. the past is over, you cant change it. the future hasnt happened, you cant worry about it. lets just focus on RIGHT NOW….even thou on the other hand. he is the first to bring up MY past (you used to go out drinking on weekends with your BFF, how come it is bad when i am doing it now?….um that was 10 years ago, i always came home, i always answered the phone when you called and i wasnt fucking anyone else)

              but he was and is always the victim….i dont think that way.

    • SN and KE–your cheaters’ statements beg for UBTranslation:
      “I told you how difficult this was for me” = “As an entitled narcissist, impression management is very important to me, and being seen as a cheater means I look bad to other people and to you. Looking bad pains me.”

      “I’m sorry I couldn’t find a more productive way to let you know I was unhappy” = “I really wish you had been up to my relationship standards, or that I could have more effectively molded you to the standards I desired but never told you about in the near-decade that we were together as I sponged off your largesse.”

      Fucktards, the lot of them.

      • LOL, Tempest! Your UBT result is spot-on. At least my cheater didn’t use the passive voice, à la “mistakes were made.” He could have said, “Unproductive ways were found to let you know I was unhappy,” which would have been unfair and unclear.

        • My recent non-apology was exactly like this. “One day you’ll realise I am not to blame for everything.” Actually, yes you are! And saying this just makes you more of a jerk!

          If he hadn’t emailed that doozy, I may have socked him.

          • My ex made a VERY serious attempt to get me back, about six months after I kicked him out. He started by saying ‘I want us to talk about what would have to happen for us to consider getting back together’. I was kind of stunned for a minute, totally didn’t expect it, after he’d spent months post-separation telling me how much I sucked and how unhappy he’d been and how totally without value everything we had was, to him. Then I just said ‘I don’t think you’d do what it would take for us to think about getting back together’.

            This is the cue for him to say ‘I’ll do anything it takes! Just tell me what you need! I’ve read three books already about how to repair from an affair! Let me sign a post-nup right now! Anything, I’ll do anything!’

            But no, his reply was ‘You think this is all my fault!’ Said with GREAT indignation.

            I just looked at him.

            Hadn’t yet found ChumpLady at that point, but in that moment, I began to truly trust that he sucked.

  • Although flawed, at least this article has some honesty within. Still, I wonder just how narcissistic the author is, given that narcissists can be good writers and use self-awareness when it suits their purpose.

    In her favor, at least she admitted
    – it was all a fantasy to serve her selfishness
    – she had poor life skills
    – she was not attracted to her husband
    – her husband loved her and she did not feel worthy of that love

    Those admissions exceed what most cheaters reveal, BUT, as CL notes above, there are some serious flaws, making the reader question the intent of her “honest” admissions.

    This one caught my attention “I wanted my ex-husband to long for me, want me and care enough about me to woo me.” But she also mentioned “someone loving me as much as my ex husband did.” So which is it? I am sure my stbx would say the same thing (in fact she did while she was having the affair). It was true, she wasn’t attracted to me, so no matter how hard i tried to woo her, to romance her, to desire her, it was all neglected and rejected. So I think it likely that the author’s ex was engaged and trying, but she was rejecting him as not enough. She was entitled to more, more better.

    “We would argue, get upset and as a result, our communication would break down and, as a result, so did our intimacy.” – hmmmm. I wonder if this is really her getting upset at not getting her entitled way, withdrawing, and then seeking her fun elsewhere. She said herself she wasn’t attracted to her husband so why would she be motivated to true collaboration, compromise and resolution which would lead to make-up sex and intimate connection? She didn’t want these things. She wanted to cheat instead. Sort of a chicken-egg thing of communication vs. intent/entitlement.

    “I honestly believed that he didn’t love me. ” – puh-leeeeeze. Classic rationalization and re-writing history. She felt guilty about not be attracted to him (true) so she decided to blame him with a made up lie. How convenient. She might as well said “I honestly knew it was OK with him for me to cheat, and I honestly believed that my cheating was best for him too.”

    “My need wasn’t wrong, but my actions were.” But it was all about YOUR needs. Not once do you mention your husband’s needs and how to tried to meet those needs. Mine mine mine mine. If the relationship is all about your need, but not your partners’, then the righteousness of your need is moot.

    “By working on myself, I was able to finally overcome this pattern and now find myself in a new, truly loving relationship.”
    – Let’s check back in five years on this one.

    • I do not understand why anyone would marry someone they were not attracted to.

      When I was 19, I accepted an unexpected marriage proposal that I was thrown by. I was 19, and had no idea he wanted that. I said yes in the moment be cause I did not know how to let him down. A few months later, I returned the ring. A date was never set because I never wanted it, I just didn’t know how to tell him.

      Once again, why would you marry someone you are not attracted to? It’s so dishonest.

      • Good point Jen, hard to know since she doesn’t really discuss that in the article.

        but i love this

        “What I now realize is that our beliefs and how we see ourselves can lead us to do some very crazy things. Belief systems are a powerful catalysts for behavior. By working on myself, I was able to finally overcome this pattern and now find myself in a new, truly loving relationship.”

        ubt: i believe i deserve better than my husband. it is not my fault that this powerful belief caused me to cheat on my husband. but cheating allowed me to overcome cheating, so now i have a new, more loving husband

        In my case, I don’t know if my wife was never attracted to me, or if she lost attraction. I do admit to making mistakes in standing up to her, but it was sort of a don’t win situation with a narcissist: stand up to them and pay a horrendous price of contempt, anger and emotional abuse, or don’t stand up to them and they lose respect for you and feel entitled to have sex with true love APs.

        • “stand up to them and pay a horrendous price of contempt, anger and emotional abuse, or don’t stand up to them and they lose respect for you and feel entitled to have sex with true love APs.”

          sounds like you’ve lived my life, Buddy

        • Same here. Buddy. You have identified the classic Catch-22 in dealing with a NPD. I did the same thing, eventually just capitulating to things I knew were wrong. Initially, I would stand up, but I found the punishment imposed just too exhausting and the abuse to unrelenting. After a year or two, I just censored myself and went along. This is what I feel most guilty about, but, with kids in the mix, I was trying to keep the peace and survive.
          After D-day, I went therapy and described some of the weird behaviors my XW had exhibited; saying things and then denying having said them, overspending and bouncing checks, rages over an assortment of innocuous things, long term silent treatments, and, of course the cheating.
          I asked him if had I stood up earlier and just put my foot down and faced the consequences constantly, it would have made a difference in things ( like retaining my XW’s respect).
          In his opinion, it would not have but would have merely served to bring the marriage to an end sooner ( which, in retrospect, would have been a good thing).
          These types seem to have endless energy to devote to conflict and they thrive on it. They will wear even the strongest personality down , after a while, unless they are dealing with someone similar to themselves.

      • This is interesting because I found out my wife wasn’t physically attracted to me either. I don’t know if she ever was or the fact that we all physically change as we get older. Should you still be physically attracted to your spouse “forever”?. I mean physically not for who they are?. Afterall I thought its whats on the inside that counts & I was certainly nice on the inside???.

  • Never any type of an apology for me either, just lots of blame. One morning I was sobbing when he got up and told him “the only peace I have is the 15 seconds between when I wake up and remember what’s going on.” His response was “I don’t even have that!” He just felt so darn sorry for himself for breaking up our marriage. He wanted me to comfort him because he felt so bad. Totally mind-blowing!

  • I didn’t even get a faux apology. With regards to his reference to his cheating. “I didn’t say that.” 2 minutes later, “I don’t remember that”. Then came the blame shift. After six months of dealing with his medical issues and getting him healthy to the point folks who saw him were so amazed I was told that the past 6 months were me being, “controlling, up in his business, and yelling at him.” Yet at Christmas he sends my daughter a gift with a postcard letting her know he was doing okay. Had to get another dig in I guess.

      • WOW is right…. Donna… please tell me you slapped this colossal piece of shit in the face or kicked him in his jewels or something???

        They are despicable!!!!!

  • I am thinking of sending my STBX a “forgiveness” letter in the same way that cheaters make apologies. Either as “I forgive you but….” or “I forgive you for…” and then list every small detail of every way he hurt me since the first Dday 10 years ago: …I want him to get the irony of it…but then again, CL will say that I shouldn´t engage or waste my time doing stuff like that. I might just be feeding him more kibbles.

    • Susan…..I know what you’re saying. I have my final email that I am going to send to X. Why? I know most say NC is best BUT (I sound like a cheater with my BUT) I want him to know, now that I’m out of the fog, (that’s the last he knew of me……in the fog) exactly what I think of him NOW, with clarity!
      I’m sorry but I just can’t let him skip away happily without ‘hearing’ this. Yes, I know too that it won’t phase him, BUT, it’ll make me feel so much better! I really want him to know that my days of being full of sorrow and in the fog of things are over and here I am now, VERY CLEAR.
      I want him to know that I HATE him and him giving me a liftetime gift of an STD. This I will never let go of or forgive. NEVER!

      • I know, I know, I know NC is the best policy. However, a few days ago, I had the opportunity to tell my cheater exactly what I thought about him, and how I now feel about him. Very satisfying. Do what makes you feel better (just be prepared for a backlash and know how you will handle it–if your X fires back a nasty email, delete before reading more than a few words to know that it is nasty. Otherwise, you could end up feeling worse.)

      • Susan, during fake reconciliation, I sent my cheater a link to a very good article on how to apologize to someone. He responded with a ‘thank you for this information’ but never used any of it!!

        • Mine is begging for me to forgive him and he has said he is sorry, but hasn´t said he is sorry for anything in particular. His written sorry isn´t conditional but his spoken sorries have been full of “buts” and blaming. That is why I want to give him the same type of forgiveness.

  • Just more proof that the end does not always justify the means, which I have maintained as truth since Dday.

    • The end NEVER justifies the means. The means have to be justifiable in themselves, not matter how laudable the goal. But didn’t we all get taught that? Oooooh, I forgot! The cheaters were all out sick that day!!!!

  • I got the faux apologies. We went out a few times after D-Day (including to the place we’d gone on our first date), Once he’d reeled me in a little, it was on with the blame-shifting! On with the humiliation of chumpy old me!

    It’s scary how much alike these assholes are.

  • This is exactly what my ex said but then continued at how it was my reaction that caused all the ugliness and drama! Not his lies and deceit! He even mentioned in court how I was out of control because I had changed the locks on the house and put his clothes in garbage bags on the driveway. Lmao my comment back was were they on fire? When he said well no then I said think we are good.
    Sadly this was 4 years ago and he still believes all the buts.. Still justifying all of it to our semi adult children. I truly think he has convinced himself that this was not only for the best but what he did just effected him and me and not our kids that were still in school at the time. It was my anger that caused all the problems! It still just amazes me what they believe!!!

  • Marina…Marina….

    What a sad person you are to have titled your word salad article “my husband learned the hard way why women cheat”. In actuality, you should have titled your article, ” I learned I’m a passive aggressive bitch and my head is still stuck up my ass”.

  • My faithless husband said that he was sorry-maybe once or twice. But then he gave me a laundry list of my shortcomings. Half of them manufactured by his crazy mind. Weeks later he said that he could not remember what horrible things he had said to me and he could not bear me repeating them to him. But they are seared on my mind forever. Strange since he had always said we should be careful on what we say to each other because words can be very harmful. Interesting-only I had to follow society’s rules. Be a good mother, faithful and a better wife than he ever deserved, while having a fairly successful legal career. He broke my heart, but after 32 years, I am moving on.

    Why are they so dramatic? It is worse than a grade B movie.

  • Ah yes …the faux apology. Sigh.
    Cheater ex’s version of this was….. I Cheater) admitted I was in love with another woman, (I didn’t actually say I cheated on you.) but I love her and not you.
    You have to forgive me instantly or you don’t really love me.
    What!!!! you are pissed! Well how DARE you be pissed. I was HONEST with you!
    You’re treating me so badly despite my saintly honesty!
    You do not really love me because you got angry.
    You are abusing ME, by not forgiving me instantly!
    I was fully justified in falling in love with HER. She admires me! You don’t.
    You are just an ungrateful bitch who uses me and hates me, and makes my life miserable.
    NO wonder I had to go get a girlfriend!
    Who wouldn’t with a bitch like you for a wife!…..lather, rinse repeat ad nauseam!

    Funny thing is, I told him when we first started dating that cheating was a deal breaker for me. Told him that if he has any wild oats left to sow, he had better get on out there and sow them. If he decided to cheat after we were married we would be done. Obviously he did not believe me.

    • Tessie–they never believe us, because they don’t care. I told mine the same thing–cheating would end the relationship. But the rules don’t apply to them. And they think they are so wonderful, how could inferior-little-chumps actually give them up?

      It didn’t help that after D-day, a friend of my X’s told him to just “give it two weeks” and Tempest will get over her anger. Tempest will NEVER get over her anger; now enjoy your newly minted divorce.

      • Mine said he did it to end the relationship, quote: “I wanted to hurt you so badly you would leave me. because I couldn’t bring myself to do that.” endquote.

        Now it’s, “Oh! I suffer, how I suffer. I’ve lost the best thing, blah blah blabbity blah.”

        Um, no, asswipe, you made a decision to throw us away.

        • Namedforvera–What a coward! Wanted to hurt you so that you would leave. Does he sleep with a night light and teddy bear too?

          • Nah. He sleeps with the married mistress he acquired in the middle of our divorce…..and her 4 dogs.

            (when I wanted to get another, 2nd dog when one of mine died, he made a stink. Trust that they suck!….I certainly do.)

            • Mine did the same, treated me like garbage in the hopes I would be the one to bail on him. Coward couldn’t admit he had a new “love” and wanted out. When it didn’t work he just walked after making his secret plans.

  • Serial cheaters can’t do apologies because most of them are sociopaths and sociopaths can’t do empathy. And lacking empathy makes it hard to understand what an apology is, much less how to make one that’s genuine. That’s why cheaters can babble incoherent bullsh*t like, “I regret the hurt I caused, but I wouldn’t do anything differently.”

    Uh, then you don’t regret it, you walking colostomy bag. Wishing it could have been different is part of the idea of regret. If you like how things are, then you don’t regret it. Understand?

    Apology fail? How about language fail? Or logic fail. Or humanity fail.

    The undead walk among us. . . .

  • Mine says the words, but actions don’t lie. Otherwise known as, Genus: Cheater, Species, Oh! Poor me…..

  • “BUT I’M A GOOD PERSON!!!” …this one always puzzled me and I heard this over and over again.

    ‘huh, really? You are? But you lied, cheated, snuck around, fucked with a family, hurt children, screamed, yelled, cut me down…so how exactly do you define “good person” then?’

    The part about the opiates is killer 😀

  • “Sorry”, “It’s my fault,” “I was wrong,” “No I won’t sleep with you”- none of these seem to be in the cheater/narc vocabulary.

  • The line I heard from Cheater was, ‘The affair (which was one of many that I had not yet discovered) was probably not the best idea, but I don’t regret it. I learned some things about myself.’ I told him, ‘You could have learned some things about yourself by remaining faithful.’

  • Cheaters almost always have the tone of the article quoted here when they confess to wrong-doings, because of course they do not mean a word of their “apologies” to begin with, and because it makes them angry that society expects them to feel bad about immorality/selfish behavior, so they feel like they have to “apologize” to maintain their facade of normality. Because of their massive entitlement issues, however, their bogus apologies always come out twisted and mixed in with self-congratulatory bullshit. My ex spouted similar crap about how “sorry” he was to hurt everyone, but it was really “in all of our best interests. “

    • “Cheaters almost always have the tone of the article quoted here when they confess to wrong-doings.”

      Absolutely. I’d call this the tone of Noble and Enlightened Amorality. As in, “It’s regrettable that these unfortunate events happened (somehow, in the passive voice) but I’m a good person (and probably more sophisticated than you) because I view them from an altitude that’s far above that of truth and lies, right and wrong, care and cruelty.”

      You can often recognize this tone from the vocabulary used. Today’s HuffPo cheater’s column, for instance, uses many of this tone’s cliche’s (many repeatedly), including:

      gift
      yearning
      myself
      realize
      comfort
      excitement
      happiness
      emotional fulfillment
      connection
      refuge
      excitement
      understand
      embrace
      for the best
      ultimately
      don’t regret
      hurt

      Use the right jargon and this shit practically writes itself. I have no doubt you could create an app that took the top three dozen such Nobly Amoral verbal phlegm-wads and have it spit out an endless stream of HuffPo Cheater pseudo confessions and apologies.

      Blecch.

      • My ex’s post-Dday rants were filled with:
        passion
        destiny
        dreams
        best for everyone
        God
        Jesus
        Christian
        success

  • I seem to have gotten the text book “sorry but” as well. It is your falt too, its the kids, its your parents with a lot of other blaming bullshit thrown in. All of this was one long breath with and a hand on the door knob as he was walking out. Sadly he came back and i did the stupid pick me dance.
    Next came the tear filled ” im so sorry and hurting so bad” -meaning ” i am hurting so bad about getting caught”
    Finally was “I slept with other people (prostitutes) but it was not because you only have one breast”
    Asshole!

  • When he and I met in court, we were talking in the parking lot after the hearing and I broke down and was crying and told him that I was in so much pain that one day when I was driving home from work, that I felt like crashing into a tree. Then I said I didn’t because I was worried I may live disabled. He made fun of me and made a face of someone disabled. Then I told him that he never apologized for cheating on me for over a year before he left. I said you said “Sorry” to me as if you had stepped on my toe and that really isn’t an apology. What did he do? He stepped on my toe at that moment and laughed. Does anyone think this is how a psychopath might act? Is it just me who thinks that? Who does this to someone they were married to for 21 years? I must have been a horrible person for him to do this. I don’t know what to think about this incident. It was very scary to see him act like this. He can’t be human.

    • He just let his mask slip a bit. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. I saw this happen a few times myself, it’s like seeing the vicious person he really was all along peek out and give you the finger. Creepy as hell.

      • I take that back. It’s not “like” seeing the real person. It actually *is* seeing the real person. The frightened, hurt, angry, vicious, irrational, sub-human id that was masquerading as a real person for all those years. “Sharks in people suits” indeed

        • He made it seem as if he was kidding around when he said all these things, but if I am crying I don’t think he should joke around about anything. This is a man who for 21 years cooked, cleaned and wanted to be intimate with me as well. However, his other woman whore asked me in an e-mail how my husband could be seeing all these women without me knowing it. And then she proceeded to tell me that she wasn’t the first he slept with. She actually threw him under the bus as she was telling me that he had other women besides her. Her e-mail was a reply to me because I was ridiculing her for sleeping with my husband all this time. So her defense was basically to throw him under the bus by telling me she wasn’t the first and there were more. Can you believe that?

          • Maria, he was showing you the real him, which is a disordered, wicked person. They are good at keeping the mask on, so we often do not see the real them until after Dday.

          • There’s a rule, and we should all know it. It’s only a joke if ALL the people involved in the conversation find it funny. If someone feels hurt by it, and it continues or there’s no back-tracking and apology, then it’s AGGRESSION, pure and simple.

            Maria, it sounds like you were married to a full-blown sociopath. This is SO not about you, it’s who he is. And with time you’ll see that your life will be much better without him in it.

            • What’s so confusing is he fooled me all these years. He doted on me and was good to me. He loved to cook, clean do laundry and was not lazy. He hated to be bored. I have read that psychopaths do not like to be bored. He love bombed me for 21 years. I read that love bombing is usually in the beginning of a relationship so they can hook you, and then they become very abusive either verbally, physically or both. He was so sly. He always put me down in a joking way and was never physically abusive to me. After awhile I built up resentment for the way he treated me, even if it was joking. He would always make fun at my expense so he could get a laugh from his friends. After awhile, I didn’t want to have sex with him anymore. He told me that’s why he cheated.

  • Once our marriage blew apart, ex claimed that he would have become a big star back in the 90s, but I prevented him from pursuing his “destiny” back then. He gave this as a major reason why he wanted to leave me. I don’t even know what the fuck he is talking about, maybe he wanted to take an acting class or something back then. But we’ve been apart for FIVE YEARS now, he’s been freely pursuing this “destiny,” and yet not only is he NOT a star, he is now homeless and has nothing. Cheaters can twist anything into delusional justifications for their wickedness. Sometimes it’s actually kind of funny, except for the part about never getting the money he owes me for child support.

  • Ha, ha I had a letter like that from the OW. She called herself a homewrecker and a slut. I recall the classic line “I’ve beaten myself up a lot over what I did to you”. I just wrote back…you’re welcome to the little shit, please just don’t send him back!

  • Great post and love all the faux aplogies shared. My cheater didn’t apologize in the aftermath of D-Day. When I pointed this out repeatedly, these were his responses:

    (Mr. Business Jargon) “In retrospect, I could have navigated our situation better.”

    (Mr. Self-Pity) “Of course I’m sorry! I’m living in a shitty, furnished apartment all by myself.”

    (Mr. I’m So Over It) “What good would it do? I could apologize 100 times and it wouldn’t change anything!”

    (Mr. Politician) “I’m sorry these circumstances have caused you pain.”

    (Mr. Me) “I’m very sorry that people — including our children — may know what happened and think less of me.”

    (Mr. True Colors) “I’m very sorry I hurt you.” (Sent within moments of an email to the OW with the subject line “Ugh,” where he described how he was managing me and they made fun of how upset I was).

    • BestPathForward–you have a sociopath on your hands. That his only “genuine” apology was when he admitted to playing you is chilling.

      As to the other faux apologies, were we married to the same man? “I’m in this crappy apartment by myself. I”m hurting, too!” blah blah blah

      • Tempest, my therapist also said he is sociopathic. I rejected this at first (denial? too much on top of everything else?) but now think it’s possible… so who knows — maybe we were married to the same guy!

    • BethPathForward– loved the different voices! Mr. Businessman reminded me of my exH during false reconciliation. When talking to the MC, he said :I am content with the direction things are going.”
      WTF does that mean? Divorce? He had not said those words yet. Staying together? Ostensibly that is why we were at the MC’s office.
      This was also before he ‘fessed up to the affairs.

  • The comments are really spot on today — too bad the cheater who wrote the article won’t be reading them, and really wouldn’t understand them anyway.

    The personality disordered really cannot understand the apology. They just don’t have the capacity. We would like to have “closure” and wrap things up. If your relationship truly ended because you grew apart — you can understand that. If you find your partner misrepresented from the earliest moment you met him — and lived with you for a long time without you being able to figure out just what was wrong — closure is more difficult. I like CL’s description of “Genuine Naugahyde Remorse” — it is just like the cheater, neither genuine nor remorseful. It may look like leather from a distance — but it will never be leather.

    If you remember that they are great imitators, that they can study you and mirror your likes and dislikes, and pretend to be someone they have absolutely no intention of being, WHILE THEY ARE PLANNING TO USE YOU IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE, you will understand why there will be no true apology or true remorse, or true closure. Rules are for other people — those who have a conscious, moral, responsible outlook. Our forms of apology were made for that type of person. I truly am sorry that I spilled my Coke on your carpet, and I will immediately try to clean it up. The Disordered say — you shouldn’t have put that coffee table way over there if you wanted me to use it — I put my Coke down where it should have been placed. I am so sorry this happened (and that you know I was the one who spilled the Coke) and I hope you can get the stain out. I will do nothing at all but be sorry that I spilled my Coke and now I cannot drink it. Do you have another Coke?

    Another thing they can do is read social cues — so they can pretend to be apologetic or agreeable IN PUBLIC. Again, it is all an act. Watch closely when they pretend to agree/apologize, and pretend they will act better in the future. Soon you will see the exact same behavior. They cannot help themselves. They truly see nothing wrong with what they do. They convince themselves that they are doing what they do for “our” benefit, to help us because we are just too stupid to figure anything out by ourselves. They fanatically believe that they are truly superior and are entitled to take the best of everything, intrude upon the rights, conversations, and possessions of others. They are Better People than you or I will ever be, and they learn from their “mistakes.” They learn to hide their mistakes better the next time, or be more devious in some way the next time. They never truly intend to change for the better — because they believe they are already the Best. We are only more or less useful to them in some capacity. When they find someone who better serves their needs — they move on. They are so wonderful, that we will never get over them, and they can come back and use us some more if they want to. Because they are that good. Really.

    This is what I had to learn to accept about the disordered so that I could finally become indifferent. Watch what they do, analyze what they say. Don’t ever believe they have true emotions or feelings. You will be much better off if you can do this, and you can spot that insincere attitude a mile away.

    • If you look at the actual article on Huffington, many many commenters let her have it. Yeah! You’re right the comments will never get through but at least there aren’t many supporters.

  • I got a sorry for a bit, but it quickly turned into, “I can’t keep on self-loathing, it is not helping anyone”. Watever. It is hard that he equals our pain of his choices, he just does not get it!

  • Tempest and Jamie,
    The leash comment hit home…he often accused me of trying to control him and keep him on a leash…” You can’t control me” ‘Its all about you wanting to control me” “You can’t be happy unless you have control” “I ain’t gonna live my life on a leash.”
    …The last time he alluded to that I said ” Hang on, let me check my purse I think I have your balls in there. Oh Ya! here they are. You might want to ask your girlfriend if she will hold them for you now.”

  • There’s another cheater non-apology on HuffPo – seems to be new. I can’t with these idiotic articles. In the new one the woman says she knows she hurt people – her children and her parents – but forgets to mention her now ex-husband. And why did she cheat? Diapers, spit-up, routine, needed to ‘find the real her again’.

    I gag every time I read one of these. Must stop, really, because it can get me a bit irritated.

  • The convoluted justifications are just mind boggling!

    x texted me, “I am sorry, I abused you but I kept my promise. I protected you. You were abused your whole life but I have taught you never to accept that again.”

    “I abused you our entire marriage and I hate you for that! You were supposed to save me! I never had a chance because you were too forgiving!”

    It will never cease to amaze me how twisted his thought process is.

    Then there was the conversation during false reconciliation.

    “I know I am not doing everything I can to help you”

    “why, if you know this, do you choose not to?”

    “because if I do everything and fail then I am a failure. If I don’t really try and I fail then I can tell myself I did do everything I could so I didn’t really fail”

    “you can actually believe this???”

    “I can believe anything I tell myself”

    To me that is just insane. Lie to yourself knowingly and believe it? Cannot make sense out of nonsense.

    This post was perfect timing. I have x blocked on my phone, it only lasts for 90 days then I have to block it again. This time I marked the date on my calendar.

  • “Ultimately, I don’t regret what I did.”

    Fail.

    Yes, you should be sorry because you caused pain. But you should also be sorry because of what you did, regardless of the pain it causes.

    You’re saying you’re only sorry because of the pain indicates that you wouldn’t be sorry if no one had gotten hurt (aka, if no one had found out).

    So, once again, you’re a cheater who’s not sorry for what she did. She’s sorry she got caught.

    Rock on with your skanky, delusional self, Marina.

    • it’s typical to want it both ways, have cake and eat it too.. she regrets hurting people, but she doesn’t regret doing what she does that hurts people.

      It’s like saying after you punch someone in the face “I’m sorry your face hurts”.

      Good luck to her new husband.. he might want to put a voice recorder under her seat in her car and check her phone records.

  • “Ultimately, I don’t regret what I did, though I do deeply regret the hurt I caused. As a result of the affair, and then later, our divorce, my ex gave me the best gift you can give anyone — the opportunity, finally, to find my happiness within myself.”

    But you didn’t find happiness within yourself. You found a pretty weak form of it by sleeping with someone you weren’t married to. That’s actually outside of yourself.

    The way you feel now won’t always be the way you feel. Sooner or later you’ll start to feel uncomfortable again. You could take that as an opportunity to find happiness within yourself, or you could just cheat again.

    • Exactly.

      This is why the “once a cheater” mantra is true 90-plus percent of the time!

      We *all* go through self-doubt and unhappy periods in our lives. Some of us know these will happen regardless, and just wait them out. Others try new things in the hopes that these new things will lead to new way to be fulfilled.

      Nothing is wrong with either approach.

      But trying new things is NOT the same thing as trying new people, especially when you’re married.

      My family helped me to see this when I went through my divorce. My sister walked through the life I had with my ex-wife, and all the ways that my ex-wife never found contentment, even if on her face she was a relentlessly positive person.

      And I think that’s the key: it doesn’t matter how positive you are on the outside. My ex-wife proved that.

      Happiness is from *within*!

      • This was my STBX’s BIGGEST complaint about me… he always accused me of being “negative” and always seeing the “bad” in every situation. He said it to me so often during the duration of our existence that he actually had me believing it. Funny thing is, he was the one always verbalizing that his life “sucked” yet he couldn’t accept the reality that HE was the reason it sucked. His financial problems were all a direct result of his own self-destruction, he ruined his previous marriage (yes, due to cheating, found this out after DDay#1) and had to divide assets as well as pay child support for three children …and then there was the excessive drinking problem he had developed…. and numerous other financial issues that were all a direct result of BAD CHOICES…. seriously? You are a GROWN ass man, not a prepubescent teenager!! You can’t “avoid” paying bills and taxes and child support and think that the problem is going to fix itself. Stupid me…I ruined his good mood with my shitty reality and the subject of consequences. I’m SORRY that it puts a twist in your shorts when I tell you that it’s WRONG to spend money on supplements and gym equipment when you haven’t paid the rent…. or your child support… or countless other obligations… like an adult.

        The problem wasn’t that I was “negative”…. it was his perception… anything that HE deemed unpleasant he simply avoided. He complained that I never “helped” him, yet every BIT of advice i gave and every suggestion I made fell on deaf ears. He just wanted to complain and blame, he never wanted to do anything constructive or logical to repair his own destruction. Maybe the OW has her super special fairy dust and she can sprinkle it all over the pile of waste that is his financial being and make it all better…. obviously I failed…. and I suffered for failing him. Not my turn anymore. Whew!!

        • NCStevie, as I was scrolling through your story, I kept thinking, “I hope she’s glad to be rid of him,” and then bam–there it was. Whew indeed! Loved the image of his schmoopie and her “super special fairy dust.”

        • i think you just told another part of my story. always complaining but doing nothing to fix it. it was my job to fix the shit he messed up. he didnt want to pay insurance, gets pulled over and tons of tickets. and i have to go with him to court to “help” him understand what they are saying. of course i already ran and paid insurance so he could show them proof. so they drop the other tickets too. do i get a thank you. or good job i am glad you paid and had the card. nope, all he says is how lucky HE is and how stupid the cops are and ends up NOT paying the insuarance the next month.

          i finally just quit doing his shit. if he got a ticket, he went to court all by himself. really why the fuck should i take off work and sit the in waiting room for 3 hours!!!! and of course it was my fault he got fines because i didnt tell him what to say. and wasnt there to help him….not because the judge has seen him in court at least 20 times in 10 years. i was fucking embarrased to be seen in court standing by his side for another ticket or court date. he never learned and it was all my fault.

          take that scenerio and was rinse repeat with anything in life…bills, kids, job, his siter, his drinking, his vehicles,

          damn no wonder i was so mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.

        • I think this is a common trait of cheaters. They are blindly, idiotically positive people. They always believe everything will work out in the end in their favor because it always has…often because they charm/manipulate people to that outcome.

          So, when reality hits…the chump filing for divorce, child support to be paid, relatively cushy lifestyle of 2 incomes suddenly down the drain–they can’t handle it! There is no way to spin these experiences in a positive way, other than the usual, “It taught me to be ____ (fill in the blank here).”

          Look. If you’re over 21, I don’t expect you to need divorce to teach you that you need to save for retirement…or pay your bills…or spend less money than your earn…or not hop into bed with the newest, hottest coworker for no other reason than he’s willing to cross agreed-upon boundaries of decorum among married people.

          These are not “life lessons.” They are cheater’s purposeful ignorance of reality…followed by feigning “self-education” as a result of their terrible decisions.

          Adults make the right decision the FIRST time, at least 90 % of the time. Cheaters…they intentionally make the wrong decision, 90 % of the time, all the time.

  • My wife was a vampire. She was trying to drain all my blood. The only way to put a stop to the cheaters false Reconcilliation is divorce.

  • Serial cheater ex has apologized to me, his family, and whoever else cares to listen. Yeah, right. I still don’t believe him. It’s all about impression management.

    The author is doing the same thing. “See, I’m not so bad after all. I gained a valuable lesson.” Loser.

  • I THINK I got the “Sorry I stepped on your toe” apology when he was trying to manipulate me early in the divorce to settle quickly with him so he could screw me over. I must not have accepted it because I ignored him.

    Since then, if he has said anything (or has an opportunity to say anything, as I pretty much apply no contact), it has been to justify his behavior (“I’m just trying to find myself” whatever that catch-all, throw-away phrase even means) or to “thank me” – thank you for being my friend, thank you for having my children, yadda, yadda, yadda. And he was so appreciative of me being his friend, having his children, etc., that he cheated on and emotionally abused me (and those children for which he has such gratitude) for a larger part of the marriage, because nothing says appreciation like abuse and betrayal.

    Cheaters wouldn’t recognize an authentic apology or true remorse if each one were to walk up and slap cheaters in the face and spit in their eyes.

  • I have thought on this topic before.
    ‘Sorry’ is actually a phase of the abuse cycle. An abuser either apologizes or acts like nothing happened, and then the cycle repeats.
    I got the latter (He thought denial would alter reality)
    Ex from Hell truly lacked empathy to the point where “he will have to spend twenty years in a prison cell before cause and effect will sink in”… (this from our experienced, 67yo marriage therapist).
    So, alas, the 97 year old narc might be sorry eventually.
    And about all the comments of ‘his mask slipping’, Wow. Creepy. How deceptive these people are.
    Ex once commented, ” The reason to do right is to win. ”
    I had never considered that. I did right because it is right. Now I see why he went to church… ” to win”. Sick.

  • Today I had a nasty text message exchange with my STBXH. I found out about him cheating 3 month ago with a co-worker. Of course its all my fault because I was such a bad wife (but he can never be specific why I was so bad). Anyways, there is not remorse. I am working hard to get over him because I loved him deeply. But during the text message exchange today (he can only communicate via text), and after he told me that he wishes I would disappear or jump, he texted “Someone who can’t let go is pathetic”. I still try to wrap my head around how he can say something like that.

    • Hostchild–Your STBX is a toddler in a man’s body. You are getting in the way of his pleasure! You are trying to make him feel guilty, or take his money in the divorce, or making life inconvenient for him!! Damn you–you must go!! Because your life is not worth as much as his fun! Jeez, what about this are you not understanding?

      Fuck him. He’s a pod of a human with no moral substance inside. Swing a bat and someone on CL has heard that and worse. It’s how all these cheaters operate, and devalue us. Tell him it’s not that you can’t let go, it’s that his dung is still sticking to your hand. Who is pathetic? Oh, yeah, the person who can’t honor their adult commitments nor behave with empathy to other people.

      I’m sorry you’re being exposed to this. Just don’t take it personally–he’s an ass, and he will continue to behave like an ass until you can finally cut him out of your life entirely (He’ll behave like an ass after that, too, but you just won’t know about it.)

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