First, thank you so much for your blog. It has helped me see through so much and CN has been the best resource I’ve found in dealing with my bi-polar (officially diagnosed) alcoholic, drug addled, pathological liar, cheating STBX. He finally went to rehab, so he is currently sober, but because he’s “changed”, he expected that we would reunite our family. I, with help from my therapist, informed him that that will never happen. I wished him well in his sobriety, as our children deserve a sober father, but that I was moving forward with the divorce.
Cue love bombing stage, then when I didn’t respond per his expectations, rage. I remain mostly NC, but made the mistake of trying to reason with him concerning his seeing the children. I treat it as a business transaction and then am accused of being so cold and callous. I think the following text I received this week (keep in mind, I filed April of 2014!) is worthy of UBT, as I’m sure many of your readers have received similar missions. I have my own interpretation, but would be curious as to your thoughts.
I love you so much. The only reason I can figure out why I lash out is because I’m trying to turn my heart into stone. The pain of loving you and you not loving me back is more than I can bear.
I am so sorry. I know I can never say it enough.”
Ah yes, the classic It’s Not What I Did, It’s Your Reaction to It.
The problem is that you don’t want a relationship with him. The problem couldn’t possibly be that he did something worthy of ending a relationship. Hey, he said he was sorry!
I am so sorry. I know I can never say it enough.
Translation: saying sorry should be enough.
What hasn’t occurred to him is that the real way to convey sorry is to accept consequences.
Every time he tries to love bomb or rage at you, he’s trying to control those consequences. Remorse would look like respectfully getting along with you.
I love you so much. The only reason I can figure out why I lash out is because I’m trying to turn my heart into stone.
Yeah, the problem is he Just Loves Too Much. The only way he can “turn his heart to stone” is to “lash out.” If he didn’t have such a big heart, he wouldn’t have to hurt you! See, you brought this on yourself by not reciprocating his love.
What? You can’t feel the sorry in that?
The pain of loving you and you not loving me back is more than I can bear.
I shall now flip the channel to the self-pity setting.
Hey, he’s in pain. So what if he cheated on you? You can’t begin to understand what it’s like to love someone who doesn’t love you back.
The UBT is chortling at the irony.
Great answer again Traci. One word to say about that guy. “Sheesh”!
Whodathunk–you are on the right path to detaching, and on your way to a better life.
This column would be a major trigger for me, if…I still gave a damn. I think there really is a Turbo Narcletter site where these dumbasses buy packaged sentiments:
Received this gem from cheater months ago, “Unlike you, I can forgive anything in someone I love. So, no matter how mean you are to me, how despicable your remarks in emails, whether you have had a year long affair behind my back, I really don’t care. In that way, my love is unconditional.” [UBT: ‘My love is unconditional, but not exclusive.’]
And in a recent letter trying to convince my youngest daughter to reconcile with him, he blamed his major affair on “sadness that your mother no longer loved me at that time.”
Yes I was just so full of love I have to share it with others because mummy just wasn’t willing to take any more.
I think I need a bucket.
Yeah, I WANT to stay angry, mad and unforgiving. I WANT to… yep. I just agree now when I hear that crap and say, “thats right, this is exactly what i wanted for my life, this LITTLE test in your constant cheating with random whores and porn addiction for 31 years.” ALL myyyyy fault, boo hoo.
Im not giving up, Ive simply just had enough of being “unforgiving and angry”. Leaving my cheater and soon i will have a REAL life.
“Giving up” used to be how the cheater spun my wanting out of what I knew wasn’t a healthy relationship. It’s crazy how good they are at twisting things. If they all honed these conniving skills into something at least somewhat productive, like sales, they could really gather some success.
Yeah, this is the kind of crap my X used to pull on me too.
And it always amazed me how he drove our business into the ground. With his skills he could have been the best company in his category, probably in our state.
Yeah, nothing like banging a piece of strange to get over the “sadness” of your spouse not loving you. It couldn’t be that your spouse was sad BECAUSE you were banging the strange, oh no, that would mean taking responsibility for your actions, something cheaters never do.
Just a week or so ago, my ex told our son that the reason the marriage failed was that I had written, “I hope things are better next year” on a Christmas card, and ex knew that I was just never going to be happy. Never mind that ex wrote basically those same words for YEARS on every holiday card, and what we were both referring to was better financially. Notice that my ex completely erased his nonstop cheating from the equation, a specialty of his.
“Yeah, nothing like banging a piece of strange to get over the “sadness” of your spouse not loving you.”
This! OMG do they all do this??
Every time I feel myself succumbing to the mind fuck I know I can find clarity here.
Glad: “that I was just never going to be happy.” = “Even though I keep putting arsenic on your food, you’re never going to be symptom-free, are you?”
LOL, Tempest, you nailed it. Living with that man was the ultimate mind fuck. I’m so glad to be free, but unfortunately he is now playing the mind fuck on our son.
How about that “Unconditional Love” huh? I was so mindfucked with this phrase by my ex. It was such a relief to read Tracy’s writing about unconditional love here on CL. This is the kind of love we feel for our children, not our narcissistic, deceitful, cowardly, cheating spouses.
Yeah, and how about that “unconditional love” they showed for us when they used supposed flaws in us to justify “loving” someone else. SMH.
Terrifying to think what it would have looked like if they detested us, if that was “unconditional love.”
Cheater…. “I have lots….., but you lack unconditional love….Blah, Blah, Blah…….
GIO ” I had a tremendous amount of unconditional love for you , right through the time you were cheating, using me and abusing me. You used your share up. No more for you here! That well is dry as far as you are concerned.”
Cheater……”Whaaaa, Your’e SOOOO Mean!”
“Unconditional love” can be such a powerful trigger for chumps. “I hope you find someone who shares your faithless version of unconditional love” has been a retort that put that one to rest for a while.
Totally agree, TD. That’s one of CL’S most resonant pieces for me. I’ve read it so often I practically memorized it: “Adult love is always conditional. The conditions are, you don’t lie to me, cheat on me, disrespect me or put me in harm’s way. You do those things? Game over.”
I’d have these words tattooed on my forehead if I could. ☺
I just had the word “truth” tattooed on my wrist.
Which for me sums it all up.
“Unlike you, I can forgive anything in someone I love. So, no matter how mean you are to me, how despicable your remarks in emails, whether you have had a year long affair behind my back, I really don’t care. In that way, my love is unconditional.”
I urped up my mouthful of lunch with this one, Tempest.
I hear a dirt bike!
What’s not to love about a bipolar alcoholic drug addled lying cheater. You may be denying yourself real happiness here. Please excuse the sarcasm.
I have a terrible example of trying to reconcile with a disordered person. My husband and I used to own a farm. As usual there were piles of manure that were put aside to be determined to fix later. Unbeknownst to us the adult son of the farm manager, who was one bubble off plumb, decided to ride his dirt bike up and over the pile of my manure. He revved up the machine and plowed right into it up to his neck. The sad thing is he continued to try over and over. I thought my son was going to split open laughing. It is a terrible analogy but please don’t get on the dirt bike. Your bubble is right on plumb.
Let go–This was priceless! Love both the “one bubble off plumb” and the metaphor of repeatedly driving into a manure pile.
Tempest, that is a part of our family lore. All my husband or son have to do is make a noise like a dirt bike revving up and everyone knows exactly what that means. When we sold the farm and bought another we missed all the nutty things people who worked there did. It made us look normal, which is a stretch.
That guy was just the best example of crazy. Doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result.
“Please don’t get on the dirt bike.” I have been laughing at that line for half an hour. It should go into CN warnings, along with Irish’s “Step away from the assclown.”
I just ask my husband how many times that guy drove into the manure pile. He said 3 or 4. He said his best memory is our son laughing so hard he was rolling around on the ground. it is a really funny memory. And it is all about shit
Yeah, so, I disagree with you. It’s not a terrible analogy–it’s perfectly apropos and hilarious to boot!
Can we just leave it at lying, cheating, selfish, miserable pieces of shit (they are) and leave bipolar out of it. Being bipolar doesn’t mean you are any of the above, and being all of the above doesn’t mean you’re bipolar.
Asshat may be bipolar, but he acts the way he does because he’s a shitty person. The shitty person part is most likely a personality disorder.
For whatever reason they cheat it’s all on them. Suffering from a mental illness, drug addiction, or alcoholism is heartbreaking. I would be the first in line to offer assistance, compassion, and empathy to such individuals. I agree it’s easy to attach blame when we are suffering from abuse. Alcoholism and drug abuse did not cause the asshole to cheat. These are treatable. And many with mental illnesses do seek treatment and battle daily to survive in a world that lacks understanding. I was upset when comments were made about Aspbergers also. No X didn’t lead a double life because of porn, drug abuse, alcoholism, or character disorder. X prefers whores. And many if them.
Einstein, sorry about that. I just started at the beginning of the list. I know someone who suffers from being bipolar and it is a true mental disease that can be treated. You can’t treat stupid though so the rest of the list stands.
The bi-polar was significant because he spent about 6 months in an almost constant state of mania. I repeatedly asked him to get help to stabilize his central nervous system & he refused. The symptoms of mania include narcissism & financial irresponsibility – he felt rules didn’t apply to him & those rules included staying faithful in his marriage. Add alcohol to that fire & voila! Torpedoing of our marriage & my & our sons’ lives. Infidelity is fairly common amongst those with untreated bi-polar disorder.
Agreed. It was certainly a precipitating factor in my husband’s case as well…
I have to agree bipolar can be significant in some cases. My STBX is bipolar and I can be compassionate and care as long as he sticks to his treatment plan. But the minute he decided he didn’t need all of those drugs or therapy and started back up with the OW, I was done. It took me 2 years to help get him stabilized after his manic episode that ruined us financially as well as contributing to his decision to have an affair with a colleague. He blew all chances when he told me that I “don’t make him happy.” I filed in April and it will be final next week. Now I’m trying to get him out of the house. He’s running around all depressed because “what is he going to do?” The fact that he isn’t taking his antidepressants affects all of us, not just him. He’s acting like a moonstruck teenager – stays up late at night talking to the OW and watching tv “with her” (she lives 3 hours away). Got all pissy when I reminded him he has to pay half of the household expenses – I just don’t understand, “that is his money to do what he likes with.” So yes, bipolar is a different issue but it certainly contributes to the less than desirable behavior.
I think the key difference is that some people with bipolar do seek – and stick to – their treatment. They do so because they are quality people and their behavior while in a manic/psychotic state is abhorrent to them.
Shitty people are going to lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, .et .al, until the cows come home because they are shitty, and would be shitty with or without a mental illness.
Einstein, I can’t argue with that!
Oh I LOVE when they try to rationalize their irrational behavior! Just wait until he blames YOU for destroying the family because you refuse to forgive! Or…..when he fights you for “things” during the divorce that would only make his children more comfortable because his anger gets in the way of his remorse!! All of these things happened to me and likely more than half of everyone here at CN.
Tune it out! Remain no contact unless it is about the kids or money. You are right in treating it like a business deal. That is all that is left. Close the deal and move on. Not just for your sanity but for the kids.
My ex blames me for destroying our family because I went ahead and filed for divorce when he refused to get a job and kept on cheating. He told our son that he “had made a vow to be with me forever,” and I threw it away by divorcing him. And I know that’s not at all unusual for these disordered types, as Kimmy says, it’s a frequent tactic.
Uhb…buhhhh…. Wasn’t there something in that vow about “forsaking all other?” Something like that??
Yes, unemployed cheaters are every woman’s Dream Man! Where can I get one? Wait, that’s what I already had.
HAHAHAHAAAAA!!!! THIS ^^^ Mine has jumped from job-to-job, has been unemployed so often!!! Now that he has a good-paying job, he packed up and left and hasn’t given me a dime. “Forsaking all others?!” What’s that???
Yeah, that does not look very sorry to me either. As CL says, someone who is truly sorry recognizes consequences follow from hurtful actions. Also, he’s trying to excuse his “lashing” out. That isn’t loving or even repentant. It isn’t even taking charge of his choices as if circumstances outside of his control dictate whether or not he lashes out. That isn’t a recipe for success for him or you. In fact, it is disturbing to me. Like an abuser saying, “I hit you because I love you.” Yikes! Getting far away from this character is a GOOD idea!
Like an abuser saying, “I hit you because I love you.”
Great point DM.
“I, I, I” – its all about him. And always will be.
Snarky me would be like “Say that again, without a single use of the word “I” and I might consider your proposal. Until then, go away.”
And ‘turning my heart to stone’ – what melodramatic crap. Is he 5 years old? Grow up, I say.
Theres a whole pile of dealbreakers with that guy – its great to see that you weren’t sucked into the bullshit again, though!
I love your superpower!!! You can turn hearts into stone!!! Attributing these cause and effects to superpowers is usually good for more laughs.
It is fascinating to me that most of these cheaters seem to write as if they were taught English in the 19th century. They seem to choose the most dramatic and formal phrasing for feelings. I feel like even Shakespeare cringes a bit at it.
I’ve mentioned my depression problems on here ad nauseum, so of course it should come as no shock that I’m hit a little hard by this post. What I’m going to say should in no way be taken as me suggesting that whodathunk, or anyone else for that matter, is responsible for someone else’s behavior, or that they’re obligated to accept anything approaching poor treatment.
After coming out of depressive periods I often feel like I was someone else, or like I was a robot being controlled by something I didn’t understand. It’s hard for me to reconcile the person I am when not depressed with the person I am when I am depressed. If it’s difficult for me, I can only imagine how difficult it is for the people around me. It sometimes is a real struggle to fight through the fog of depression to remember how I feel when not depressed. When not depressed, I’ve had to learn to come to terms with things I’ve said and done while sick. I’ve lost people because of my behavior and had at least two choices: continue on with my destructive behavior or take responsibility for myself, try to learn what makes me tick, and do better. I chose the latter, and it’s hard. Very hard. My ass still gets kicked by regrets on a regular basis.
But no one could have done the work for me. And I’m not trying to shift blame when I say that I would have been pushed to my recovery much sooner if the people in my life had had better boundaries. Not only would their boundaries have protected them, they would have protected me as well. I had to learn limits the hard way. And even though I was sick, it was still me who did those things. I like to compare it to Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk: Oh, you were the Hulk when you destroyed that city, but you’re Bruce now, so we’re cool? Not so much. Bruce still has to answer for himself when he comes out of beast mode. It ultimately doesn’t matter whether it was Bruce or the Hulk to those affected, as their lives are disrupted either way. That sucks, but reality often does.
Thank you for posting this, WWDSG. I recently dealt with someone who claimed to have been suffering from depression. I can see a lot of signs, but what you wrote clears up a few things. He has said that he sometimes feels like “Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde”. After reading what you wrote, I can see NOW that those feelings may be a result of his depression…and NOT some personality disorder, such as NPD.
Definitely gave me some food for thought that perhaps I should learn a little more about depression before rendering a judgment!
Wwdsg – I had anxiety issues that made me a lousy husband for a time. That gave my wife some choices: stay with me and open up about it when it was bothering her, throw in the towel and seek divorce, lay down the law and tell me to separate, etc. But she decided it needed to be all about her and to have an affair, then throw it back in my face and blame me for her destructive choices. The problem there is that my stbxw didn’t recognize that she was being abusive. The bottom line is that your spouse was so selfish as to cheat and abandon you. You might have sucked, but you’re not alone, and people with proper boundaries would’ve found immensely better ways to deal with the situation than your ex did. Screw her, she’s not a prize worth pursuing!
Sephage, in what ways do anxiety issues make someone lousy ?
I had serious anxiety issues 5 years ago, caused 40% by my work and 60% by my ex-, and he used this as an excuse to justify the cheating that followed. He caused the thing and he used it as a cause ! I am left wondering how a state of depression can justify not caring for someone, or wanting to leave that person. I don’t remember that I sucked. I was just very, very worried for minor things that do not make sense. For example, terror about days getting shorter, not being able to walk the dog in the evening. And I was in pain, with shaking hands, and I slept all day while he was at work. But I was neither mean, nor sad, and support was very much needed. After three months, I was functional again, more indifferent because of medication, but fine. I still don’t get it.
I’m not at all saying that depression or anxiety justify cheating, etc. In my case, anxiety disorder caused me to be a burden on the family, with panic attacks, mood swings, etc. That’s what I many about sucking – no doubt it was very hard to live with me at those points. The weeks of medication, and I was back to normal. The issue is that if a spouse handles the stress of that behavior by cheating, then s/he isn’t a very good person. Of course, cheaters use that as a convenient way to justify their terrible choices, but the justification is false. It is incumbent on the betrayed spouse, I think, to recognize when conditions like anxiety or depression are negatively impacting their families and seek treatment, etc.
At least with major depression, the depression is a black hole that sucks all enthusiasm, ambition, motivation, energy, affection, etc out of the sufferer. I had to learn to look inward for relief rather than blaming my job, my partner, my parents, whatever it may be. I also had to learn to remember that I had at one point felt love, and likely would again, even if I couldn’t currently experience it.
I have a very close friend who is a recovering alcoholic and we’ve both been amazed at how similar the recovery paths can seem. I still struggle with it a bit, as I’m biased towards seeing mental illness as natural and seeing alcoholism as a sign of poor character (on a logical level I know this is wrong, but on an emotional level it’s a hurdle I’m still working on).
The mental illness doesn’t justify poor behavior, though I do think it helps explain it. And armed with that explanation, the choice can be made (perhaps not until healthy), to improve one’s behavior and to better prepare for relapses. Other people have to decide for themselves what level of dysfunction they’re prepared to accept while that process plays out. And as I alluded to before, if someone puts up with poor treatment in an attempt to give the sick person the benefit of the doubt, they’re likely making a grave error. If faced with no consequences, what are the chances that the poor behavior will change?
i was the one with depression (or grief) over my daughters death in 2012. HE is the one with alcoholism (but not trying to recover from it being as it is his excuse for ever bad decision he makes)……needless to say it did not work out for us. i USED to worry that maybe our divorce was one big HUGE misunderstanding on both our parts, but more often now i realize what an asshole the man i loved and married really was. a few times i have actually been relieved not to have to deal with that man’s craziness anymore.
i am not sure if he is sick or just weak. i continued to give him the benefit of the doubt all throughout our marriage and even after our divorce (regarding the boys and believing he had the best interest for them and he actually really missed and wanted them….he does not). he will never own up to his bad choices or poor behavior. he always has an excuse that it is someone elses fault (usually mine)
but all my fight went out of me when my daughter past. i cant and couldnt fight for a man who couldnt or wouldnt fight for me. i couldnt continue to fight for a marriage when i was the only one fighting. i got so tired, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually that i just gave up on him and “let” his girlfriend “win”. and as a reward for all the years of work, effort, forgiveness, support and just plain carried his ass thru all the “bad” issues that came up, HE turns around, forgets me easily, replaces me and never even missed me (or the boys)
i am S. L. O. W. L.Y coming out the fog. getting over the death of my eldest child and getting of the death of my marriage to a spineless, weak crapweasel. i dont know what he is doing, probably the same thing. drinking and still blaming me for the divorce, for him not seeing his kids, for whatever bad thing he can pin on me. *shrugs*.
i can see the sunshine behind the clouds now. i wish he would have been by my side but he thought i wasnt worth waiting on to get my head together, our marriage wasnt worth saving and our children werent worth making it work. the boys and i are moving forward while he is stuck in the past.
Mrsvain, I’m sending you hugs. Losing a child does take all the oomph out of a person. It took me a long time to bounce back….sort of ….from my son’s death. (there are some things that have been changed forever)
It is a journey and a process, a pretty dang tough one at that. Grieving takes a lot of energy and the timetable is a very individual thing. Of all losses, grieving the loss of a child take the longest.
Just after I lost my son I participated in a study on the length of grieving process for different people in our lives. Parents who lost a child have the longest journey, sometimes in excess of 20 years. Folks who haven’t walked in our shoes just don’t understand how devastating it is.
What I’m basically saying is that you will recover when you recover. Be gentle with yourself, Sweetie. A cheater imploding a marriage is tough enough. Dealing with losing a child on top of that, is beyond a double whammy. I’m glad that crapweasel is no longer front and center daily, and I’m glad you are moving forward.
I’ve got you and your boys in my prayers Sweetie. Hang in there and like I said, be gentle with yourself.
Thank you Tessie and back at you!!!
Wow, that was really powerful. I needed to hear this today as I struggle with the guilt of maintaining clear boundaries. Thank you
As the mother of a son with bipolar, thank you so much for such a beautiful, well written post. Very descriptive of the shit sandwich that is mental illness.
Usually, by the age of 10, most people realize that “I’m Sorry” doesn’t fix everything.
So true Lulu. My ex cheater was a big one for sorry. Everything she did she assumed sorry would just fix it. It doesn’t and she’s lost a lot of friends, her family is distant to her, and a lot of people are wary.
With my ex N/P, I usually didn’t push the issue when he said sorry. The few times I said anything further about the matter, he’d raise his voice and say: “I SAID I’m SORRY! ALRIGHT?!!” Yeah, that really patched things up. Good as new. Took it straight to the bank. Not.
Wow, My Cheater is not unique in any way. I have stood toe to toe with my XH earlier this year and expressed that he expects me to treat him with respect, concern, dignity yet shows non in return. His response ” I show you those things, you just don’t realise it.” And then set about trying to guilt trip me for telling people what he had done, I also got the rep remand of ” you have dragged my name through the mud, how dare you” Yet he feels justified in treating me like crap, sighting every shortfall on my behalf during our marriage as just cause. I marvel at the low standards they have for themselves and the exceptionally high ones they hold us to.
No wonder he cheated I was too stupid to realise how good I had it being the wife of a dysfunctional Jesus cheater pants.
Oh God don’t tell anyone, that’s the cardinal sin in the eyes of the cheater! If you go out and tell people who they really are they just get furious. My ex was out telling family, friends and everyone else, but when I started going to my friends to get away and told them what was going on, she was furious. How dare I? I was smearing her! Whatever. A cheater is a cheater. Period. Tell who you want to tell. People have the right to know someone is poison. I’d much rather someone be honest and tell me up front what someone is or is not, than have to wade through years of relationship attachment to find out the truth. And controlling the narrative is just another way of cheater control. Such stupidity.
Yup–mine recently asked him family to have no contact with me (why? he’s tried the “amicable divorce” line and doesn’t want them to contact me since I”ll tell them the real reason for the divorce. You’d think his telling them not to contact me obviates the “amicable divorce” claim, but who said cheaters were logical?).
Many of our friends got the don’t call her she is not coping too well at the moment. My XH even implied to a lovely friend of ours that he should not call me because he is gay, and because my XH cheated with men and I was angry and upset with his lies, XH implied the friend may cop a serve if he reached out. Cheaters suck. Mine lied to all of his family and friends claiming I had put him out and was choosing to end our marriage over his looking at porn.
The smart ones reached out and learned the truth, those who didn’t I won’t loose sleep over.
“accused of being so cold and callous”
So I went through this with my ex as well. I don’t know how many times she said, ‘I keep saying I’m sorry but it doesn’t have any effect so I guess I’ll stop saying it. You’re like a robot.’ Or, ‘It’s all about you.’
Here’s my advice. Agree. He’ll hate it. “You’re so cold and callous”, and you reply, “Yes I am. I tend to get that way when people cheat on me.” Or ‘I’m in pain too!!!’ and you answer, “I don’t care. You chose your pain. I didn’t.” Or, a simple “Yes.” to every question is even better.
“You’re MEAN! You’re like a robot!”
And let the silence speak for you.
You owe him nothing. You can be cold, callous, non-communicative, or plain absent at this point. Do what you have to do to get away from him and to move forward. I just know when I would get accused of being exactly what I thought was the right thing, I’d embrace it. Used to piss my ex off to no end. I was fine with that. It’s her choice to get mad. It was my choice to act in a way that protected myself.
“Here’s my advice. Agree.”
YES!!! I was given this advice by a therapist many moons ago. It takes the wind right out of their sails!
Even when they catch on and say something like, “You’re just agreeing with me!”, agree once again!
The trick is to agree with them CALMLY, and not sarcastically. Agree, but with NO EMOTION.
Works like a charm!
I hightailed it to Al Anon (for friends, family members of alcohol/substance abusers) within a week of finding out I was headed for divorce. My priest (the same one who defended X by saying “that Boy is hurting”) directed me there, and it was one of two lifesaving things he did for me that redeemed him for other clueless aspects of his counsel. Priest had identified some of my tendencies to try to control the uncontrollable, and X had filled him in that my parents, grandparents were ALL alcoholics as well as half of my siblings. So even though X wasn’t an alcoholic, his narcissistic ways match up very closely with an untreated alcoholic, wet or dry. Al Anon was a lifesaver for me in many aspects of dealing with my X in the pre-ChumpNation days. Also, I learned how patterns in my upbringing had set me up to “accept the unacceptable,” minimize issues, and try to control the environment/relationship/etc. to protect myself. Al Anon is where I first learned about boundaries. One of my favorite sayings that I use from my Al Anon training is the neutral response: “You may be right.” I use this with great success. I don’t have to live the lie of “agreeing” with the other person. I can say, calmly, politely, neutrally, “You may be right.” Over and over and over and over a-fucking-gain. Sometimes I’ll interchange it with an “ohhh,” or an “ummmm.” This approach, with an intended goal of Neutrality, is taken up a notch to Devastating when implemented in tandem with the ancient Asian advice, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” Helps me keep my family from attacking me like a pack of wolves as they do if they think I might dare to go against their opinion about anything. And, for my enjoyment, it keeps my X feeling safe to share all kinds of information that — shockingly — is later used against him in child support collections (by other people besides me of course wink wink wink), courts of law, etc etc etc.
My go-to reply when dealing with ex and his insanity back in the day was, “That’s really something.” Normal people realize this reply actually doesn’t mean anything, but disordered folk like my ex take it as an agreement or even as praise.
“That’s certainly something to consider” is a good one too. Really drives them batty!
MissDelta-I went to Al-Anon too. 3 sessions. That was enough. I needed a support group like this – not that. Unfortunately I felt it was a waste of time because although he is an alcoholic, he cheated on me and I needed to talk to people more about the abuse I was receiving because of the cheating rather than the alcoholism. I pretty much cried the entire time I was at those groups. It sucked. Not only that but I needed people who were there for spousal abuse and many were there for their kids….I couldn’t relate. The only woman I related to was a woman whose husband came down with pancreatic cancer because of his drinking. I prayed – but asshole still does not have cancer.
Keep in mind I was at AlAnon not specifically due to my then-STBX but due to my experience with my family of origin and how that set me up for being an enabler. Much of what I learned in Al Anon helped me in ALL aspects of my life to learn how to deal (or rather not to) with the uncontrollable and to keep the focus on controlling myself.
“I said I was sorry!!But nothing is ever good enough for you!!!”
These assholes are so damn entitled.
And we should all respond to the cheater, “Correct, YOU’re not good enough for me. Buh-bye.”
Yes. The morning after dday, my ex told me, “You deserve better.” I said, “Yes.” And I managed to hold in the rest of my thought which was “but I want you.” Thankfully my head knew more than my emotions in that moment, and eventually my emotions finally caught up.
Wow, could I have used this smart advice a couple of years ago. Accusations of being “robotic” and “cold” used to make me miserable. I am somewhat introverted, so I fear being mistaken as unfriendly or cold, and he, obviously, knew this was a great button to push with me. Even though I now know intellectually that when he called me “robotic,” he meant, “you are not doing what I want, and my demonstrations of rage or histronics are having no more effect on you than they are on the toaster, so something must be wrong with you,” those sort of slurs still make me get a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach.”
Eilonwy – me too – it is sad, but good in a way, to hear that others got this totally upside down mind-fuck. I am also introverted, plus a very calm and rational person. STBX spent years (nearly decades!) talking about me as if I was emotionally defective because I don’t splatter my feelings around like he does. It wasn’t until the awful days after d-day when the light bulb went on for me – he asked me a question, I was so much in shock that I hadn’t eaten or slept in days, couldn’t stop shaking physically and was having trouble stringing my thoughts together, let alone sentences. Obviously I took too long to answer, because he smacked himself in the forehead, Homer Simpson style, and yelled at me ‘what’s wrong? Does not compute?!’
I spent years feeling as if I was emotionally defective, cold, unfeeling, robotic – you name it, I felt like a human freak. Of course, since getting away from him, I have realised I am kind, warm, generous and empathetic towards my family, friends and colleagues. But for some reason, against all the evidence in my life to the contrary, I took on his view of myself as emotionally lacking. I realise now it was because I could never, ever, give him enough love or affection or admiration to keep him satisfied. He is a bottomless pit of emotional neediness. I am so glad to be free of him and finally untangling myself.
after i tried for 3 months to get him to talk to me, after i put up with him saying hateful and cruel things to me when i tried to talk to him about saying our marriage for 3 months, after everything i said was twisted and purposely misunderstood for those first 3 months in 2014, (plus after i found out he had a girlfriend AND SHE called to tell me off) …..i finally gave up talking about saving our marriage or trying to explain my actions or my words or whatever. a month of that and he tells me “All you ever want to talk about is the child support. All you care about is the money”….and my answer was “Well ya, there is nothing else for us to talk about now” in my head thinking DUHHHHH.
now he is just being a dick. he quit his job, does not pay child support (which i knew he wouldnt) and whenever i schedule visitations both him and his oompa loompa hood rat have to complain just because i was the one who set it up. and after the last trainwreck with that, i have gave up on that also. sad for my little boys but it is not my job to schedule play dates with their daddy especially if his bitch is going to cause problems every time.
Can’t remember your son’s ages, MrsV. but YES. Why should you moderate or mediate your kids’ relationship with Mr Vain? He didn’t give a fuck about their innocence, did he? Or your humanity.
I felt awful every time I have had to tell the truth to DD, but she deserves it. I save my virtiol for you guys.
It is not your job to schedule playdates with daddy any more than it is to be his PR agent in your son’s eyes. DD is shortly off for the summer, so I get all my single mom weekends at once. It’s a pretty fucked up way to live, but it is what it is…from next summer, she decides. She has already bagged next Christmas as it isn’t worth it for her to only have two weeks back in the old ‘hood. My long way of saying, they will grow through it, and better off for having the space held for them to draw their own conclusions. Good on you for drawing that line in the sand. Never mind all the emotional shit, why does these cheating asshats expect admin support as well?!
You never weren’t single as a parent. It sucks, but there it is. I just reread “This is What you missed, idiot” on this blog….some good stuff there. It is hard to let it all go, and realize it is not your circus, not your momkeys (or in your case, OompahLoompah Hood Rat-what a picture!). I am grateful to not have to do that any more, and by refusing to be the scheduler of play dates, I got a lot more time and energy back for me and the Offspring.
I am so glad I have been spared this drivel. My STBXH simply abandoned us. However, in the beginning when I was enraged and wanted so desperately to know that he cared, I got this crappy “apology”: “I’m sorry you got hurt.” That is the equivalent of “Sorry, not sorry” and quite obviously so.
Same here. Mine left as soon as the youngest turned 18 with a “this isn’t working out for me”. Basically went away expecting me to forward his mail and sell the house while he started his new life on the other side of the country. I had no idea about the infidelity until I opened some files on my laptop. And then for the whole twenty years of our marriage I could piece together the reason for a lot of odd behaviours and incidents that I had chalked up to his issues with alcohol and problems with work.
He emailed me after I told him in a phone call he was a lying sack of slime for cheating on me.
He says “Sorry I never meant to hurt you, never did anything with anybody when I quit drinking.”
Me “so all the dating sites, porn sites and Pokerstars.com on your credit card statements after you found AA were for the kids’ expenditures”
Once a cheater, always a liar.
Even more straightforward apologies mean nothing from cheaters. Mine apologized and is still claiming “marital problems” drove him to screwing students. Since there are 2 in a marriage, I had the same “marital problems” and took care of children & the household instead of screwing strange as a palliative.
What a tail-chaser. (Pun intended.) Marutal problems were caused by his fucking other people. So he resorted to fucking other people. Brilliant! Heads, he wins, tails, you lose.
Perfect, Miss Sunshine!
I spent my entire married life apologising to my XH, I apologised for everything from not cooking dinner how he liked it, not making his cup of tea how he liked it, for having to wake him to drive me to the station so I could commute by train an hour and half each way to work everyday When we first married. For not being a good enough wife, mother, friend, human being. The more depressed I became the more I apologised for. Shamefully I even apologised during our marriage for having sex with others before even meeting my XH, him being a virgin when we married so upright and faithful and all that. I think that is why I have been so gutted by his lack of remorse and his stating he does not need my forgivness for cheating on me, he got it from God and the church so that is all that really counts.
Wow this has hit a nerve.
Wow. Sorry Thankful. He really did a number on you. I’m glad you’re out of the fog, and can see him for the ass that he is. I don’t remember your backstory, but I certainly hope you’re moving on without him. You don’t need that kind of drain in your life.
Thankful–it takes a long time to recover from that chronic abuse; I’m sorry. (and the arrogance of X thinking God will forgive him)
Your problem Whodathunk is that “you lack empathy”
(tongue in cheek…but direct quote from my own experiences)
Yuck, Whodathunk! “Sorry you feel that way” is a standard non-apology. It’s backhanded, politician speak. It (again!) lays the blame on other people. Even non-cheaters use this phrase.
An apology constitutes the following logic:
I’m sorry that I did XYZ to you.
If the speakers swaps or substitutes the nouns in that sentence, then it’s not an apology. For example, the following are not apologies:
(1) I’m sorry that you did XYZ to me.
(2) I’m sorry that you did XYZ to you.
(3) I’m sorry that I did XYZ to me (or the fuzzy “us.”).
(4) You must be sorry that you did XYZ to me.
(5) You must be sorry that you did XYZ to you.
(6) You must be sorry that I did XYZ to you.
(7) You must be sorry that I did XYZ to me (or the fuzzy “us”).
My ex was partial to #s 3 (self-pity), 6 (rage), and 7 (rage). She never, to my face, directly blamed me for her cheating, but she regularly tried to manipulate me into “moving on” and apologizing for being so harsh…or getting upset at her.
Note…all of these are in the past tense. My cheater’s use of the past tense was a lie, in and of itself. “Sorry that I cheated on ‘us’ ” is surely better than “Sorry I’m cheating on ‘us,’ ” but neither is an apology.
i use that on my exhole now. (well not NOW as i am not talking to him but around the time when i was so desperately trying to save my marriage and make sense of all the crazy he was telling me). he would tell me that i made him feel like he wasnt loved or i made him feel like everything he did wasnt good enough, or that he didnt think i treated him right……………………and after month (well years really) of trying to tell him i loved him so much, and everything he did WAS good enough (with examples) and the things i did to show him that i was treating him right (over and over)…..i finally just started telling him “I am sorry you feel like that” and “I am sorry you feel that way” because i just couldnt fight that shit anymore. he was taking everything i said and did and twisting it into some backwards excuse as to why he was staying out all night drinking or why he was fucking some hood rat and NOTHING i said really mattered anyways because it was ALL ABOUT HOW HE FELT..but it was no where NEAR the truth. so how can you fight that?
instead i just said “I am sorry you feel that way” and he had nothing to go on. he couldnt argue with that but that is what he was telling me anyway. every once in a while i would switch it with “if that is the way you felt then you should have told me” or “i cant control your misinterpretations or how you twist shit in your mind especially if you never talked to me about it.” or something along that way, but those were always lost on him, beyond his understanding.
Well done Whodathunk by not getting sucked in by the diatribe. I love that he expects you to be concerned about his pain cause hey cheaters hurt too – can’t you be a bigger person and see that (very tongue in cheek)? I got sucked into that with my Ex. She felt as bad about what she’d done to me as to the fact that the other man had used her. I should have felt the same way apparently. Same that I shouldn’t keep talking about my pain or the affair cause all it did was remind her of how she’d trusted the wrong person and been used…
“the real way to convey sorry is to accept consequences.”
This is cartoon-worthy, Chump Lady!
“the real way to convey sorry is to accept consequences.” Thank you so much for this, CL!!! I have been struggling a bit recently with my ex’s claims of being deserving of more time and acceptance from his kids, but the way he frames this is ALWAYS as that he doesn’t deserve to be treated to coldly! He doesn’t deserve it because what he did was bad, but not monstrous, he doesn’t deserve it because there are people who did way worse whose children don’t reject them, he doesn’t deserve it because he’s realized he was wrong and is now a changed man …..
At NO POINT has he accepted that the kids turning their backs on him was 100% a result of his behaviour and his choices, of his showing them very clearly that they weren’t even Plan B in his life, maybe C or D if they were lucky. It’s because I am so cold and harsh and judgmental and without compassion, and it makes the kids feel like they have to reject him to be loyal to me ….
Zero acceptance that what he did led directly to the situation he is in. And that attitude really gets in the way of anybody seeing him as a changed man and a person deserving of YET ANOTHER chance.
Oh, and just had to add to the UBT topic for today;
My ex zoomed back and forth between ‘I cheated because you didn’t love me enough’ and ‘I cheated because I didn’t love you enough, but I did still love you, and therefore you should accept yet another reconciliation attempt’.
First, it made me feel like telling him to get his story straight and stick to it, ’cause he sounded like a fool.
Second, it made me realize; he’s still thinking it’s about some abstract magical ‘love’ that, if there had been sufficient on both sides, would have magically kept him from cheating. Hmmmmm. Last time I checked, marriage counselling and divorce are solutions to low levels of love. Cheating is about dishonesty, selfishness and eating cake.
I’ve been going back and deleting e-mails, part of the process of moving on in my new life. I’d forgotten the only time he ever said he was sorry –
“I am truly sorry you feel I am so threatening.”
I am so much better off without that level of crazy in my life.
Whodathunk – I am very sorry for what you are dealing with. My stbx is an alcoholic too. The difference between mine and yours is mine would never admit he has a problem. And since his family and friends think he’s so funny when he is drunk – what stories would they have to tell if he sobered up?
After I found about all the EA’s he was involved with – I filed. BUT – I did tell him “You go get yourself treatment and I will back you 100%, otherwise I do not wish to have any contact with you.” His response of course was “Treatment for what?”
I have been told that even when these assholes sober up – they don’t change. The drugs/alcohol have fucked up their brains too much for them to ever be ‘normal’ again. Therefore – he is an asshole – he will forever be an asshole.
I’m very sorry for your pain – my heart goes out to you….
“I have been told that even when these assholes sober up – they don’t change.”
There are of course exceptions to every rule – my good friend is an example. He left a wake of destruction behind him before starting AA and in the 25 years since has turned into a tremendous person. In no way does that fix the damage he did to those he left behind, nor does he think it should. Several people on here have said it: maybe the person can change, but can they change for you?
And I suppose it depends on why they’re an asshole. Is it a congenital condition or were they a once decent person who lost their way? (okay, yes, my love of Star Wars is coming through. I always tear up when Luke tries to persuade daddy Darth that there’s still a good person underneath all the murderous rage.)
WhichWayDidSheGo, I tend to agree with Captain Awkward about Darth Vader, read this: http://captainawkward.com/2011/01/17/reader-question-4-my-friend-is-dating-someone-terrible-or-secrets-of-the-darth-vader-boyfriend/
“Your friend is dating Darth Vader. Let me explain:
“Luke, your dad is totally evil.”
“There’s good in him. I’ve felt it.”
“Luke, he blew up a planet just to make a point.”
“There’s good in him! I’ve felt it!”
“Luke, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but he severed your hand. From your arm. He cut it off.”
“Dueling to the death is just how we relate. You wouldn’t understand it. Now that we both have prosthetic robot limbs, it’s only brought us closer together.”
“Luke, he lured your friends into a trap so that he could murder them in front of you. We had to be rescued by Ewoks. It was embarrassing.”
“Yeah, that was pretty bad, I admit! But there’s good in him! I’ve felt it!”
And then Luke is risking his own life to carry Darth Vader out of the Death Star before it explodes so he can look up on that swollen purple face and experience one shining moment of real connection that would justify everything he’s invested in this completely dysfunctional relationship and he’s like “See? IT WAS ALL TOTALLY WORTH IT!” and even R2D2 is like “Whatever, the Ewoks are having a dance party, and I just can’t talk about this with you even one more time.”
PS: Captain Awkward is one of the best people to read if you want to learn boundaries, I highly recommend her advice on pretty much everything
Dat, gotta agree – Captain Awkward is awesome. I have learnt so much about boundaries, and the fact that I am allowed to decide what I will, and will not accept in my life from her advice. M
Datdamweirdcoincidence! I was perusing something that led me to the cap-awkard link last night, never heard of him before and didn’t see this until this morning. Thanks for posting and apologies– I would have linked it to your post. Complements everything CL says!
i also gave the man i married that choice, i told him that if he would get help for his alcoholism that i would stay by his side and support him. i already told him in sept of the previous year that he was an alcoholic and it would destroy our family, he agreed. so when i told him in the end of january (before i knew of the hood rat he was fucking that drank with him) to get into AA, he told me “all my friends drink…MrsVain. What would that make me if i went to AA and all my friend drink and i couldnt drink?”…………..and i thought “WoW!! it would make you a man who loved his family MORE then his friends and drinking!!! but i could tell by his saying that he would never get help and even if he did he would only blame me afterwards for “forcing” him to go……plus if he couldnt see that for himself then he really didnt love his family more then his friends and drinking.
i had also heard how the first time the alcoholic makes the attempt at quitting and going to AA, that it usually fails and they relapse a few times before it starts working. i honestly DO NOT think that i could have handled the relapse, the guilt he would feel (along with the guilt he already felt), the dry drunk and just plain pain and misery he would cause while he was trying to get sober. i also believe that a lot of his behavior is a personality disorder (borderline)….so his drinking is NOT the cause but only a symptom. In his case, getting sober will not “fix” anything because his issue is with his fucked up childhood, his abandonment issues, and his inability to emotionally connect with anyone. in other words, he would have STILL been an asshole, even if he was sober.
I agree MsVain. All his ‘friends’ drink too. In fact, he seems to have found a new set of ‘friends.’ I suppose after the MASS text he sent out to everyone he knew about what a horrible person I was (this was after he was shunned at a local pool tournament gathering and everyone thought he was a POS for cheating on his wife) he didn’t have a whole lotta ‘friends’ anymore. So for those people who didn’t receive the original “I’m a dumbass text” and are drunks, like him, are his new found friends. Yep. He is 45 years old hanging out with 30-year-olds apparently because they must think he is ‘cool.’ Nope – just a dumbass who can’t grow up.
And yes – if you would meet his mother…..then yes, he had a fucked up childhood as well.
Maybe I can’t blame him for being such an idiot. Nevermind – yes I will.
Tomorrow I am hanging out with my stbx’s ex sister-in-law. We haven’t talked in about 12 years. This should be a great family bashing session. CAN’T WAIT!
how much in common we have LadyStrange. exhole has a whole new set of friends also, funny how his “friends” never seem to last more then a few years or so. he surrounds himself with people who agree with him, who tell him he is a wonderfully good man, and who are impressed with the little acts of kindness he throws out for attention. But once they get to really know him, i think they get tired of him. (it is VERY tiring to have to boost up his ego and make him feel “good” all the time, constantly having to tell him how much you appreciate him and love him). i also think they get tired of him period, having him go to their house every weekend, every night and stay there until ALL the beer is gone, and not being able to get him to leave and quit drinking (he will go out for more if it is gone) without having a fight.
exhole is not 45 yet but i can see him doing this easily. he is 39 years old and hanging out with people in their early 20 because you know how those kids are when they just turn legal and can go to bars or buy alcohol. i always thought he looked like an idiot partying with the young kids, acting like them, trying to be cool and fun like they do when he looks like an old man (prematurely gray and balding). i was always embarrassed if i ended up having to pick him up. he never was embarrassed, he was usually too drunk to tell that everyone was making fun of him. i used to believe that he would grow out of it but he proved me wrong. now all his new friends AND his new girlfriend all drink just as much as he does.
personally i want more out of life then just the next beer can. i want to actually REMEMBER the places i go and the things we do, instead of just remembering that we were there but being too drunk to remember anything else. i want to enjoy life as it really is and not from what it looks like from the bottom of a beer can. i mean how much fun it is to be at a lake house, but not doing anything while you are there because you constantly have to run back to the truck to get a beer from the cooler?
i wonder if they all get into blows when there is only one beer left. hahaha
yes mrsvain – we do unfortunately have a lot in common. And I am sorry for you and your family…..It is hell.
I’ve had people comment to me about the stbx hanging out with the ‘younger’ kids. It is just odd and pathetic.
Life really started revolving around alcohol and when I didn’t care to be a part of that anymore – I was no longer ‘fun’ I guess. That must be why he had to get himself another sexting phone line. Oh wait – he needed to sext other women to ‘talk to them about MY affair that never happened.’ Whatever you lying piece of shit. But then the Yahoo account was because I was a prude. Well dumbass when you get home from the bar at midnight on a Tuesday and stink like beer and cigarettes while I’ve already been sleeping for two hours…..you think I want to have sex with that?
Stupid Stupid people…
I love you so much. The only reason I can figure out why I lash out is because I’m trying to turn my heart into stone.
I tried and tried to think up a plausible excuse for being an ass and came up empty because I kept thinking an old Foreigner song described the situation I find myself in now.
So melodramatic. They love drama. Mine said, “I don’t even know if I HAVE a heart anymore!” when I asked him if he loved OW.
I literally LOLed at this. So ridiculous and dramatic, like a junior high girl.
i feel like exhole and his oompa loompa are BOTH stuck in high school. the childish shit both of them say and how they think is like a bunch of immature little bitches who didnt get their way. ironically i also heard the “i dont have a heart anymore” line….
Hey Who, hang in there and keep your responses and conversations about the kids void of emotion or anything even hinting at anything other than the kids, and don’t take the bait he throws out there. Eventually your witholding of kibbles will bring you great joy. I love keeping my text and email only communications (at my request) with my ex strictly business. She tries to joke sometimes, to which I don’t respond, she generally begins and ends all initial emails with “hello” and “thank you”, I do not. She throws personal insults into the coversation, to which I don’t respond. One of the few times I’ve answered a call from her, she began cursing at me and I simply hung up. It almost makes me giggle when she acts an ass. No, it DOES make me giggle 🙂
it gave me much joy to tell the exhole “That doesnt matter now” the last time i actually spoke to him face to face (in may) when he kept trying to drag me into the “you didnt treat me right” and “it wasnt cheating because we were separated” arguments. What he was really mad about was that i wouldnt let him pick up the children after he hasnt seen them in almost a year. HE was not the one who called to see how the boys were doing, or if they needed something or even to ask if he could see them. it was MY stupidity thinking that how sad it was that he hasnt seen the boys, and thinking i could be the better person (WRONG). so i contacted his sister to contact him (since he was still playing the high school game of hiding his phone number from me). AND THEN his hood rat got all mad that i said for him to come to MY house to see the boys. “He doesnt have to go to YOUR house to see HIS boys!!” and “He wants to see his boys and NOT YOU!!”
whatever. since he couldnt even be bothered with calling to make a visitation, i do not understand why all the drama and bullshit. and being as i do not speak “ghetto” fluently i just refuse to play along. and yes, it was VERY pleasureable to tell him/her/them that “it doesnt matter now” and “either you see them here or you dont see them” end. of. story. but i also will NEVER make THAT mistake again.
p.s. it also give me a lot of joy to ignore his texts and calls now. **sole custody, zero visitation
Right now mine is on the love bombing, charm channel. A few days ago it was rage. That’s the pattern.. rage, which I guess translates to guilt, which then switches to charm, when that doesn’t work, self pity. It’s mind blowing.
Or perhaps it is just rage that you aren’t doing what he/she wants? I think some people just don’t feel guilt…
I am going to say the obvious…they are not sorry. Its image control. They need you to accept it because if they can potray to everone that you are ok with it…then it wasn’t really so bad..he/she is still the goos guy..and you just grew apart..it was one of those things…hey we are all adults here…and its all good. No drama here folks. Carry on.
Oh! but if you dont accept the sorry…u are bitter!!!… u can’t get over it!!! Then they have to explain…it raises eyebrows…its just uncomfortable for everyone! They say sorry so u will be willing to play yr part in the big lie…the fabrication. ‘we grew apart” Why arent you playing along?…don’t cha want Grandma to think we parted as friends? They will guilt u into accepting that sorry…like what is wrong with u? Normal people know how to acccept and apology..and move on. They will convince you that you have the problem…after all they threw out the panacea’s of all apologies.This is why I cheated …cause u hold grudges
Doesn’t matter how a cheater serves up “sorry” …its always about them. Saying “sorry” is cheater spackle.
Mine is now telling me it’s “clear I wanted the divorce all along”. Okay, so it was me that stated I was no longer in love, me that went out and fostered a relationship with the whore, me that continues to lie about it. yes, it’s all MY fault.
Whatever helps you sleep at night.
The Coward tried that rationalization, too–“You’ll dance on my grave!” I was finally getting what I’d clearly wanted, that was, for him to pull the world out from under my kids and me. Poor sausage!
Miss Sunshine–tell me when he dies and I’ll bring my Donna Summer CD.
I’ll wear my red dress–you too! We’ll match!
Sunshine, mine essentially said the same. “I bet you’re happy now cuz you can tell everyone I cheated.” Yes, asshole, exactly what I wanted. These losers are all cut from the same damn cloth.
That was mine too. After the court date where the divorce was granted, he sent me a blustering e-mail contratulating me on my “shiny new divorce certificate”. Because clearly my subconscious mind-shaping ability had forced him to set up a Match.com account and find a mistress while he was still living with me, and had caused him to announce that he “didn’t like the way things were going” and move out to live with her while lying through his teeth to me. In his eyes apparently it was a bit much for me to actually want a divorce, much less pay in time, money and stress to get one. I mean, why would I give up a prize like him? Huh? Obviously something really wrong with me!
they absolutely hate it when they lose control, don’t they? these cheaters want to hold ALL the cards, keep all the secrets, leave you in the dark, and keep all their options open. Sucks for them when they lose.
Spot on. Living this right now. AND I predicted this outcome with my covert narc asshat.
Blows my mind how predictable these freaks are when they communicate with us. This dude hit all three narcissistic responses: blame shifting, rage and self pity.
If X had the balls to accept any blame for our divorce, I suspect it would be as follows…
“I’m sorry you continue to fail to see how important and clever I am. So I’m going to continue to mess with our children and their financial support. Because I can. Oh, and you still suck.”
They cheat, they destroy family security, trust etc. and when you stop playing the kibble game they think they are intitled to continue to screw with you by holding up settlement and insisting on greater parenting all while they live their happy live with their new true love. Seriously who does that shit other than the deranged.
Sometime during the grieving stage I picked up a sparkly stone on the beach. It was beautiful an soon lost its luster. I carried it with me every day to remind me of just his cold the X was throughout our marriage with multiple Ddays and Ow. The discard was sadistic. As I was packing to move out of the cottage for the summer I found it and decided I no longer needed a reminder. As I leave today I will throw it back into the ocean. Cheaters have hearts if stone. It’s what allows them to lead a double life. I no longer need a reminder.
Over the years X quit drinking for me. I told him to do it for himself. He never went for treatment and the cheating and drinking started again and again. There is no fixing the disordered it just more oh the same.
X like most serial cheaters was never diagnosed as a sociopath or narcissist. Regardless, of this my treatment focused on detaching from narcissistic abuse. That I know is real given the power and control he maintained for years. X was toxic. I no longer obsess about what he thinks as it no longer matters. This comes with time.
Bravo, Donna. Our X’s could be twins. See you at meh.
So getting there. Xo
The exhole told me in the end, he cheated because I didn’t ‘chase’ him in the beginning of the relationship and hence I didn’t love him enough so that made him feel sad so he knew the relationship was over so it was okay to cheat.
The skanktress chased him, while he was married no less, so that meant she really loved him. It also meant that she was devoid of any morals but hey, who needs those??!!
oh my giddy aunt…..the exhole i was married to wanted me to “chase” him too….. but after the second time, i didnt have it in me anymore. i loved that man more then anything, i gave so much to him and worked so hard to save my marriage and for what? the first time (yep the very first time) i needed him to carry me for a little while and he runs off, finds the first hood rat that will open her legs and tell him things to “make him feel better” and he thinks that I have to CHASE HIM!!!!
no thank you. i already played that game once, this time she can have you. my morals, values and standards FINALLY kicked in and i let her ‘win’ him. besides there is always another one waiting on the side lines to pick up where this one left off, i cant compete with the whole ghetto to keep my man.
Mrs vain you deserve better. It’s never about the OW. They lack character and can’t love anyone. I found it helpful to engage in activities and interests I wanted to share with limp dick. When I evaluated the time I spent with him it was always laced with sadness as he was never really there when we were together. Let them have the double life. Single life is much more spontaneous and fun when the only one you have to please is yourself.
They run when we have needs. Now your load is lighter mrs vain. Carrying X was a full time job. I always said I had three children an twins. I doubt anyone will carry their shit for long once the mask is off. Ha.
i completely agree. at first i was so super hurt i couldnt think straight. but now i am seeing just how much energy i had to put into him. it really was a full time job trying to lmake him feel betterl about himself. he has such low self esteem. and it was always me having to plan outing for the family and yep he was ALWAYS the downer. ALWAYs complaining about something not going right. i would practically have to beg for him to tell me i looked pretty. and lets not even go into detail about going out to the bar and the bullshit i had to deal with because his ass always drank to much or all the dwi’s and probation violations. he was just so much fun to live with, not to mention his damn moodiness and poor me attitude.
but i really loved him very much. all his bad with the very little good. i still loved and forgAve and supported him. and how do i get repaid? replaced and unloved at the drop of the hat. i have no doubt this hood rat will put up with his shit for long. she thinks she won a prize. but once he starts his shit, she is NOT the type who will stay. hell she left her own husband and bailed on her own kids. what kind of woman doesthat? once she gets tired of picking his drunk ass off the floor and cleaning up his puke over and over. once her bar nights and parties are cut short because he passes out or tries to fight everyone around him. once he starts blaming her for the littlest stupidest things….she will bail on him
i am actually surprised they are still together. but she is a drinker too. and her morals and standards are WAY lower then mine are plus iit took a good 2 years before he started his shit so it is only a matter of time.
i do think it is super sad that he tossed away a good woman and his flesh and blood children for a woman that legally belongs to another man. i just hope i am strong enough to turn him away when he comes crying. i am working on that. hopefully i have another year or two becore it happens. and i can work it all out. i am getting there.just have to keep reminding myself that he didnt choice me. he doesnt want me.
i miss the marriage but more and more i do not miss him. i hate being single but i am WAY better off not having him and his shit to deal with. i would have stay forever as long as he was faithful. it actually was a blessing that he cheated and let his hood rat talk shit to me. cuz i would have never gave up without her telling me those things and him letting her.
now i focus on my boys and getting stronger. it sucks that i was (am) so attracted to him. i love his face, his eyes, his smile, the sound of his voice makes me weak in the knees, his walk is sexy as hell….but now i picture him on her, kissing her private parts. makes me so sick to my stomach i dont think i could let him put his lips on me again. i look at her pictures, look at his face looking into hers and his arms around her and i am getting to the point that it disgusts me instead of makiing my heart pound.
i am almost there. hugs to you and everyone going thru this pain. i couldnt have made it without this site and you wonderful people to drag me out of the black hole of denial.
I felt everything you described. I have an addictive personity, raised by a narcissist. I never knew I was abused or addicted to X. It might help to read about being addicted to a narcissist. This was am eye opener for me. It hurts to love a narcissist and with addiction it is very painful. I had developed many coping strategies to tolerate his abuse. None of them were positive. Therapy was a must. I like you loved too much. He’s not sexy or attractive. He’s an asshole. You need to stop torturing yourself by looking at his new victim. He is worthless and every time you think of him your not focusing on yourself. Make a list of every time he caused you pain and I’m sure his outward appearance and small acts of kindness pale in comparison to his actions. You are strong. You tolerated an illusion. Rewrite your history and know you were the one who made him look good. You did what mattered and that took a massive amount of strength. Use your energy on yourself. It is so much to cope with now but happiness comes after the pain. I feared the day he would want me back because I was told he would destroy me completely. Now I see how he took my soul. Finally I have it back. He repulses me now and there are no fantasies of Reconcilliation. No contact!!!’ It works. Thinking of them as toxic works.
yep, i read it. connected with it and used what i could from it. i am still reading stuff that helps me identify how i got so addicted to him. i never really thought of it that way until we divorced. i was giving him my all because that is how i was raised, you do what you can for the people you love. i never even saw how much energy and strength i gave him. for me, it was just what you do when you love someone. it took me a long long time to actually see that it wasnt reciprocated because i am not the type of person to hold a grudge and forgive to quickly. i can see all it now thou.
i HAVE to torture myself with looking at his pictures. i am also one of those people that seeing is believing. so looking at him all in love with this oompa loompa demon person really drives it home just how little he actually cared or loved me. he is not trying to keep in touch with me or the boys, he just erased us from his memory and so seeing him out doing things with her and other people, really makes it sink in my thick headed skull that he is NOT thinking of us, he is NOT missing us and he DOES NOT want us in his life. i need to see it. even if it is just in pictures since i am not talking to him or seeing him in real life. yes, it used to be really painful, but without that pain, without the hurt that we meant so little to him, i would have been stuck in hopium. i also would have been easily manipulated by his words when he comes back wanting us back in his life. if that makes sense. by seeing him out there living life, i will be stronger to turn him away when he comes with his lies.
i know that is not for everyone. for some people it is too painful, too tempting and they hold on to the past. but i am not that way. i am not holding on to the past, i am not looking at their pictures because i am jealous or because i want him back. i look at her pictures to enforce that knowledge that he never loved me the way he should have, the way he said he did. i could have easily forgave him for cheating on me, as long as i never SAW her and damn sure if i never TALKED to her. it would have been too easily to forgive and forget. i am just that way. so by repeatedly driving it into my mind that he is with this ugly, hateful, cruel evil person, it makes me not want him back all the more. AND makes me realize just how worthless he really is.
i am getting stronger every day. i dont look at her fb as much anymore. i dont fantasize about their breaking up anymore. i still let him in my head space too much but now the thoughts are what will i do if he calls or what will i say when he tries to worm his way back. i know it is only a matter of time. if anything else, it is because i have his boys. he can not have any more kids, he was snipped, no reversal. sooner or later he is going to want to reconnect with the kids and he will have to go thru me to do it. it is not beneath him to try to trick me, manipulate me or snowball me to get what he wants. i tolerated that way to often and i am forcing myself to see him for what he is and not for what i THOUGHT he was. my children are much too important to walk into it with blinders on. although i try to be fair, i try to be understanding, i try to find the best situation for everyone, i cant do that if i am blind to his lies and manipulations.
all my energy goes to my kids, and to making myself stronger. that when when i see the tears in his eyes, i will be able to tell him this is what he wanted and turn away. he does not deserve my sympathy or my loving attitude. he is going to have to do more then just cry that he misses his boys and blame it on the drugs/alcohol/hood rat to get them back in his life.
i appreciate your words of encouragement. thank you
Scott my ex did the exact same thing. When I initially confronted her about her cheating, she said “I don’t care who you tell!”….So I told my whole family. I advised her I was telling our pastor, and she made an appt. before I could for us to do it as a couple. I didn’t go. That night she gave me a robotic “I’m sorry I hurt you”. I rolled my eyes and picked my nose. She told our pastor she’d broke it off….I went to him showing phone records where she was still communicating with OM….her sister then accused me of a “smear campaign”. I continue to tell anyone who asks, why we divorced. LOL.
I am all for the smears!
Cheater ex said our son is a jerk because he has chosen to go no contact. I responded, “Oh, he’s a jerk to the person who destroyed his family?” Cheater shut up. Loser.
Stbx has started signing off everything with a happy face. I received a support cheque yesterday and 2 emails, all with happy faces. His emails are accusing, harassing and basically telling me how to spend my money. The best one is, what do I think child support is for? He thinks it is to pay for everything with regards to our boys, at all times, even when they are in his care. I raised our boys and looked after everything that comes with a family life. He worked away more then half a year at a time. I have not experienced the 3 channels of NP, Stbx seems to be stuck on rage. CN what do you think the happy faces are for?
happy faces are for adolescent immature little girls who live in a fairyland of good feelings and giggles and want everyone to be happy, understanding and forgiving for their terrible teen rages and bad behaviors.
what is he? a 10 year old little girl?
you cant fight that kind of crazy!!!
hugs to you
Haha I thought it was the asshole smirk. Kibbles he wants kibbles. Cheater logic is impossible for normals. Don’t argue. Ignore. You don’t have to give the mirin dancing lessons. Let him figure it out. Talk through an attorney if need be. Fuck him.
Lori, he’s doing that to get a reaction from you. As usual, cheaters are all about centrality. All about them. Ignoring them is your best retaliation. Ignoring the cheater and his BS was and continues to be my best weapon of destruction. Works like a charm and I don’t even have to expend any energy in the process. Plus protect myself in the process.
Love the rage it means his mask is off. Affairs are fun but then they lose supply and want it so bad.
I hope the rage is a good sign but we still share our home together and I don’t know who he is anymore and I’m feeling scared to go back in there
If you filed you can have an immediate order to maintain residence or TRO if he threatens you.
In this case, the happy face emoticons are him “happy to be fucking you over” and “happy to cause you misery.” He’s getting off on his supposed power.
Delete them or set it up to block them.
Kind of OT, but hilarious nonetheless.
“She was soon asked to create 1,000 “fake female profiles” meant to lure men to the new Brazilian Ashley Madison site — and given only three weeks to complete the work, the document alleges.
“The purpose of these profiles is to entice paying heterosexual male members to join and spend money on the website,” it reads.
“They do not belong to any genuine members of Ashley Madison — or any real human beings at all.”
The woman isn’t suing AM for having her defraud these men….nooooo….she’s suing because the workload of developing 1,000 fake female profiles in 3 weeks gave her….wait for it….CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME.
Gosh. You just can’t hire prostitutes without them complaining about SOMETHING.
That cracked me up so much, immediately after moving in with his girlfriend Saddam signed up for Ashley Madison. I think interacting with fake women is really more his speed anyway, hahahahaha.
I got a lot of “I’m sorry, I love you” over the years. Finally I thought “I’m sorry I love you” when hearing that. Gave him enough rope at the end that he hog tied himself pretty well!
Question: what have you done with any jewelry gifted from your X? (My better pieces coincide with affairs so I’ve named them after the OW.) I’m thinking about pawning it, but didn’t know if better options? I’m not considering holding for my preschooler, would rather get rid of bad juju.
I can’t wear the jewlrey, clothes, expensive accessories or anything. I don’t want to sell them but I cringe at the thought of wearing them too. I bagged them till “meh” then I’ll make a decision
I sold my wedding ring, gold earrings ex gave me for our wedding and a few other pieces he had given me over the years. Took them to one of those cash for gold places. it’s likely I could have gotten more money elsewhere, but I just wanted to get it over with quickly, and I needed the money.
All the jewelry he gave me is out of the house until divorce decree is signed to keep it from disappearing, as he is still here. (Ugh!) after that I’m not sure what to do with it either. I don’t have any daughters and I won’t wear it again.
I’d really like to know where to sell jewelry and get the best price without a lot of hassle. If anyone has ideas, let me know. I have very little jewelry from Saddam but I would like to sell it, the wedding ring especially.
I suspect the resale value of a lot of pieces will be below what people paid for it (though professional jewelers would be best at appraising pieces).
Another idea–chumps could do a jewelry swap–go the post-chump life forum, post pictures of your jewelry & approximate worth and then swap–one person gets the emerald anniversary ring from X in exchange for the diamond earrings from Y.
That’s brilliant! Have to get actual appraisals though since we can’t trust that the diamonds are diamonds…
True, the gemstones could be sparkly fakes, like our cheaters.
Oh, I’m keeping it all – he was very much into spending ridiculous amounts of money on jewelry, so I have some really nice pieces. I don’t associate him with them & my way of getting to “meh” is wearing the pieces & feeling beautiful!
I’m keeping all my jewelry from Dr. Lecher, too; the rings will simply get worn on the right hand now.
Ironically, about a month after I filed for divorce, the emerald from the best ring he had given me fell out. It took me all day to find it, and when I did, it had two significant chips in it (which is why it hadn’t stayed in the setting). Metaphoric, eh?
I started wearing my wedding rings on the right hand and my finger went red and swelled up – once it healed I tried again – same thing, it must be a sign lol
My stbxh didn’t like giving gifts. As a result, I have a 10 year anniversary band I begged for (he got me the cheapest of 2 the jeweler had). He also bought me some very nice diamond earrings after I told him, “you can buy them as a gift for me, or I’ll buy them myself”. He eventually bought the earrings, but now I wonder if they are “tainted.” It wasn’t until Dday that I realized that he liked to keep things equal between me and his whores. For every gift I received they would receive the very same gift, or the monetary equivalent. One of my red flags as we got closer to Dday is that he was buying me gifts, and giving me money (I know, weird). He had to ramp up the gift giving because he was juggling multiple relationships at the time. Sorry to digress.
He was in a long-term relationship with his secretary when he bought me the (very expensive) earrings, so now I’m wondering what he did for HER.
I gave the ex NUMEROUS opportunities to stop the whoring and he chose not to take them. Looking back, I see he should have been given not even one opportunity. Fuck that cheater.
One of my regrets is staging an intervention, I wish I’d learned to despise him sooner. Saddam decided to give up his apartment and move back in after I asked for a divorce. He lost his job drinking, he refused to move out he drank morning to night and was scary as hell. Chumpy me got his mother and brother to come over and convince him to go to rehab. What a mistake. AA has a 5% success rate for a reason, alcoholics who have to be convinced to get sober will never stay sober. An alcoholic that goes to rehab under those circumstances will not stay sober. Hats off to anyone struggling with addiction and staying the course! But I will never date a recovered alcoholic again, no trust in that for me any longer.
Not Juliet, THIS! I look back now and I gave my deceitful, cheating ex far too many chances to dump the POS married whore he picked up on Fakebook! Hindsight is always 20/20, but I wish I had kicked his dumb ass out immediately! What a waste of almost 2 years of back and forth! And I could have been so much further down the road to meh! But I think it’s just human nature to want to save your marriage. Hell, I had almost 41 years of my life invested in “us”! I do, however, have the satisfaction of knowing that I gave him every chance. He just didn’t give two shits!
Beautiful stones can be reset into jewelry of your choice. Resale value on jewelry is horrible so repurposing or trading is a better strategy.
One of the reasons to never betray your sources of information is that when you have to have contact with the EX because of children or business, and you get accosted with the faux remorse and sad sausage apology, and the request for wreckonciliation ( to avoid losing his faux status and his money) you can make a quick check of those secret sources, and you will find — SURPRISE — He is still telling big ole whopper lies and he is still fishing in the sea of eternally available gullible women. (Or men Arnold, or men!).
By keeping in touch with the lie detector of unaltered information, you remind yourself that this character defect will never change and never be cured, and you know you made the right choices to leave and start a new life. Then it is not so much “I’m sorry you don’t love me” but more of “It’s too bad I can never believe you.”
I like this.
Thanks, Sara! And yes to this quote from that post, “Please do not sink all of your time and energy into figuring out mean (but sexy) people. Your kindness cannot fill them up, but their unkindness can drain you dry.”
Right? I like the visuals. And simplicity about mean but sexy people. Wish I’d learned this in college.
Sorry datdam–that was a mistake-coincidence post. Thanks for the captain awkward link above. Jedi hugs, now I get it 😉
I am finally leaving and divorcing my bipolar ex wife. I have been getting the: “I did not cheat on you, bipolar cheated on you”; “you are horrible”; “you are the monster destroying our family”; “you are incapable of loving me unconditionally”; garbage for some time now.
Any advice when the you are the monster because I won’t accept that “bipolar” did it BS? I know it is crap, but i would love some additional responses, beyond, “It was a deal-breaker i cannot live with…”. An added note, she led , gas-lighted me the entire 11 month affair. Talk about Chump! So it is not like she was insane and had no idea that wheat she was doing was wrong.