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Dear Chump Lady, Why is she sorry NOW?

cakeDear Chump Lady,

Much of your writing is considering that the cheater wants cake. But what of the cheater who just cheated and then abandoned, only making contact here and there under the guise of concern?

“I want to make sure you’re OK.” (Even though I dumped you.)

My ex-wife told me one night that she emailed an ex-boyfriend. The next day she told me she already cheated and promptly moved out. She said she was confused about what she wanted and needed time to sort things out. But I immediately understood that to mean that she had unilaterally decided on a separation so she can mess around without having to answer for it. And your book confirmed this. In the weeks to come, about once a week, she would ring my phone (I never answered her), texted mutual friends, and even called my dad to see how I’m doing. I thought she felt bad for what she was doing to me, but it didn’t stop her. Maybe my chumpiness is just projecting empathy now.

So she never made any real effort in to keep me engaged, except for a text here and there. She never even pretended to want to reconcile. After a couple of weeks I had enough and we filed for divorce and she was fully cooperative. (I live in a no-fault state and we did a Simple Dissolution of Marriage. No lawyers although I did consult with one who told me I didn’t need him.) Again, she didn’t try to stop it, which hurts in itself. But she continued to make contact in roundabout ways. She only called me directly twice, never leaving a message.

Skip to the divorce hearing — while we were in the waiting room after leaving the judge’s chamber, she asked me several odd questions to start a conversation but I fully ignored her. At this point we were officially divorced. She started to cry. The question that stuck out to me was, “Are you seeing anyone?” She had asked me that when we filed. I told her it wasn’t her business anymore.

Half hour after the divorce was finalized I did receive a voicemail from her. She said she was very sorry, talked about how she will never meet anyone like me or have what she had with me with anyone else. That she was sorry for hurting me, asked for forgiveness, and that she does love me. But she never made any real attempt to save our marriage. In fact, at the one counseling session we attended, she flat out expressed that she wasn’t done and that she was leaving with this man for the weekend. And she did. She was very aggressive. I’m not even sure why she agreed to attend.

A month after our divorce she was still ringing my phone, so I’ve changed my number since.

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this for several months now. Why was she contacting me after all that? Is this cake or some sort of weak excuse for remorse? There was certainly no real contrition.

Michael

Dear Michael,

She wants to see your pain, because chump pain is ego kibbles.

Is he devastated? Does he miss me? Will he pick me dance? 

The more distraught you are, the more centrality she feels. She cannot imagine that you want nothing to do with her because of her despicable behavior, no, she has to attribute your disinterest to another woman. You must be seeing someone, right? (Projection.)

How could you not miss the wonderfulness that is her? She assumed you’d stick around as Plan B, but you didn’t do that, so she’s checking in with everyone under the guise of “concern” to see if cake is still an option.

Dude, you filed for divorce. She cooperated, but you filed. At that point, she probably thought things were secure with Schmoopie. But, as is often the case, once OW are available 24/7 the bloom is off the rose. And anyway, a narcissist needs extra supply.

To your question — is it cake or weak remorse? It’s cake. No remorse.

She said she was very sorry, talked about how she will never meet anyone like me

Yeah, good chumps are hard to find. You were awesome kibbles and now her supply lines are cut by half.

or have what she had with me with anyone else.

Oh, she’ll have cake with someone else. It’s the preferred diet of cheaters. It’s just EFFORT and they hate that. She’s got to go find a new sucker to triangulate with. (Sigh) Can’t you make this easier on her and just pick up the phone? Sob a bit? Maybe come over for a pity fuck?

That she was sorry for hurting me,

She was so sorry that… she walked out on you, was defiant in one counseling session, and went on a vacation with the Other Man.

asked for forgiveness,

Impression management. Sorry is as sorry does.

and that she does love me.

Boy, she sure knows how to show it. She’s so “concerned” that she has to detonate your life and enjoy reports of the carnage. Lovely woman.

Michael, you’ve navigated this beautifully. Don’t untangle her skein of fuckupedness. What motivates her? Kibbles probably. Going no contact was best. What’s done is done. You’re not obliged to absolve her sins or assuage her guilty conscience. (Assuming she has one. I think her conscience is more like a Venus flytrap.)

How’s Michael doing? I’m so concerned.

He’s doing great! Carry on, Michael.

Ask Chump Lady

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.
  • I got an XBox friend request from my ex eight months after she walked out. To her is was no doubt a throw away, no effort attempt for attention, but for me it threw me off for quite a while.

    I suffer from major depression that always intensifies in the winter months. In December she sent me an email about a rented textbook and included a line about hoping that I was okay. Yeah, just great! Between the depression and her walking out, how could I be anything other than okay. I never thought of her as callous before that, but since I’ve wondered what kind of person does the things she’s done. It’s been almost 11 months and I still struggle to reconcile who I thought she was and what I thought we shared with reality.

    I suppose if there’s any remorse it’s the same as might be felt for running over a woodland critter with your car. Yeah, it sucks for the critter, but for the driver nothing in life changes very much. And in this case the driver sends the critters reminders of our insignificance!

    • well, I disagree. My wife cheated and we reconciled. I am happy. She is a better wife now than she has ever been. People do dumb things for various reasons at a various stages of life. Real love is giving a person a second chance.

      Now if she continues, out she goes. But now, she won’t even look at another man and she is a much nicer wife.

      • I know what you mean, JT. Heck fucking another guy behind your back was merely a dumb mistake and I am sure she will never do it again. BTW, when do you get to make a similar mistake? Seems only fair.

      • People do dumb things for various reasons at a various stages of life.”

        Absolutely true. Why, at one stage in my life, I was dumb enough to give my cheating ex another chance! Thank goodness I moved on out of that stage, however. I’m smarter now.

      • Jt, I hope your wife was one of the rare ones that recognizes her actions fully. I hope you two do indeed continue on having a monogamous relationship. You deserve that.

        However, I’m sure you can imagine the doubt in the minds of the members here for any cheater to make a full recovery.

        Best of luck to you. I hope you and your wife prove us all wrong.

      • How can you disagree with someone’s experience?

        It’s wonderful that you and your unicorn are doing well, but that doesn’t mean reconciliation is the best decision for others.

        Real love doesn’t stab you in the back.

      • Jt, for the simple fact that your wife ‘ won’t look at another man’ suggests there is more than one thing wrong with your reconcilliation. But it yours and if you are truely happy in that situation… Who are we to judge? So if true love gives second chances does it give 3rds? 4th? Cause your true love has some funny parameters and conditions. And she is now a much nicer wife. Well of course she is… You gave her the gold ticket. She went out and got her freak on and you decided to give her a second chance. Sounds like SHE got a win win. Of course she is nicer… She banged some strange and probably is still banging her boss… She knows what she can get away with. See thats the thing with cheaters…. They push parameters and cross lines…. They see exactly what they can get away with. And you bit. Second chances happen at horse shoes… And kindergarten…. cause your learning self control. Not marriage.
        Mistakes are not intentional. Mistakes happen. Affairs are intentional. The dont just happen… People make them happen.
        Wish u and the misses all the best… We will be here when she screws the soccer coach. See you in awhile.

      • Because its all about you and your situation, huh Jt? No. Its not. Its about Michael and how he successfully navigated the shitstorm which is an ex out for kibbles. You don’t get to ‘disagree’ with Michael’s situation at all. If you don’t like being called out – you know where the door is. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.
        PS: An affair isn’t a ‘dumb thing’ – its a LONG series of choices, one after the other, to stab you in the back while you’re tied up and blindfolded. And then steal your money, your sense of self, and sometimes even your life along with it. If you disagree, you can kindly fuck off. See, I can play that game you’re playing too.
        (Is it me, or is like the 4th person who is playing the ‘reconciliation concern troll’ scenario in the last week or so? Sure seems like it to me)

      • JT, I would have loved to reconcile.
        But he would have had to meet me half way: if I reached out, he would recognise that as a reach out, and reach out to me too. If I asked a question, he would have had to recognise that it was important to me and answered fully, honestly and with reassurance. If I said something worried, he would have had to recognise that at that moment I was in need of reassurance, and given it to me.

        Huh. He never did that during ordinary marriage, why now. Recognize that I exist and have needs??? That is asking too much!

        When I filed, he saw that as me abandoning me and has pursued it with great determination. Not even with his back and assets to the wall will he change.
        So if your wife saw the error of her ways, and did the hard word to change, you are a lucky lucky man and I wish you both all the best. The rest of us? Can do absolutely nothing except let go because we are trying to deal with truly disordered characters, whereas it sounds as though you have a functioning human being as a wife.

      • Jt, all the best in your reconciliation. However, I’m curious why in the world would you post here? I’m thinking you have some serious deep seated doubt that you are unable to look at and need us to provoke you into recognizing it (oh, like I don’t know, your unicorn belief that all is well with your formerly cheating wife). Lania said it well, “…it’s a LONG series of choices, one after the other, to stab you in the back while you’re tied up and blindfolded. And then steal your money, your sense of self, and sometimes even your life along with it.” Glad you are over all that.

    • WhichWay – just popping in to say I am a lifelong depression sufferer too – it is always worse in winter with the shorter daylight hours. Last winter I went to my doctor with severe dizziness and fainting spells – blood tests showed extremely low Vitamin D levels. I am now taking high dose Vitamin D and have found it is actually helping with depression as well as the other symptoms. Worth checking. ((((Hugs))))

      • Thanks, Blackbird. I already take a vitamin D supplement, use a daylight box, and take two different medications for depression. I’ve been in therapy for years as well, though I only started making real progress 2 years ago. Yet my ex never thought I did enough to fight back.

  • Then there are the people who acted like you were the love of their life until the moment you realize they are having an affair, and without any further ado, they walk out and you never hear from them again. My ex-husband of twenty years did that. Was kissing me one minute and telling me he loved me, then five minutes later, it was over and I literally never talked to him again. If I spent every remaining second of my life trying to figure out WTF happened there, I’d still not have a clue. It broke my heart into a million pieces and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to trust another person as long as I live.

    • I think that’s why I still blame myself so much. I can’t seem to give up on the “WTF happened there”. I got “So it goes” tattooed on my wrist to try to help me along the path of “well, that happened” though I haven’t made it very far down the road.

      The director of my agency made a reference to me “sitting there moping” yesterday. I had to laugh because of the sheer inappropriateness of the comment.

      • My Xs last words as he moved out, ” I’m sorry. I love you” WTF? Totally understand. He was remarried 6 months after the divorce was final. I’ll never understand and for the most part, 3 years later, I’ve stopped trying. Every now and then, he creeps back in. Maybe someday, he’ll be out of my head for good.

      • I am in the same boat. Together 30 years, (married 28) two beautiful girls, and she walks out two weeks after we drop our youngest at college. Was grooming and having an affair with an old high school boy friend. Haven’t heard from her since. As if we never shared anything together. Who can up and leave 30 years together without a thought? I got myself a Phoenix tattoo to remind me every day that I will always survive and make it back. I’m still dealing with a lot of hate towards her (nowhere near Meh) but I know someday I’ll make it. I’ve already got a better life than I ever could have imagined. And my girls love me which is the most important thing for me! Stay strong guys!

        • You too Mark and Jedi hugs! The hate will fade, I still harbor it but it’s muck less intense these days

        • Mark, I’ve been thinking of getting a Phoenix tattoo! And for the same reason as you.
          I just haven’t decided where I want it.
          My ex groomed/was having an affair with a co-worker and took off a few days after I was starting to figure things out. He tried to destroy me any way possible during the divorce. It was hell, but I survived- stronger, better and wiser.

          • I intend to get a phoenix tattoo on my right hip. I already have a couple of tats on my ankles, so it won’t be my first. My ex thought it was “embarrassing and low class” that I have two small, beautifully designed and colored tattoos. What an idiot!

            • Mine is on my left pectoral. It reminds me every day that I AM STRONG, and that no matter how I’m feeling I will make it back. It always gives me my morning boost in confidence. 🙂 It’s very meaningful to me.

            • Ummm… he thinks your tatoos are embarrassing and low class??? OK, but what does The dancing Yeti think? That’s what I would go by.

            • Ha! I don’t have any tat’s but doesn’t bother me if others do. But my XPOS supposedly disliked tattoos and thought of it as low class too GladItsOver…..
              but once his stripper came in the pic, she had ton’s of tattoos.
              Isn’t it grand what true lust can do?!!

      • // , I’m glad to meet a fellow Vonnegut reader. The tone of his work, especially Slaughterhouse 5, matches the despair and acceptance of the absurd that your situation seems to require.

        Good luck with work. That sounds like people don’t really care to understand you, much.

        • Your description of Vonnegut’s writing is exactly what I love about him. It’s certainly more enjoyable reading about absurd fictional situations than it is living in one.

          Most of the people at work are quite accepting and I’ve never made a secret out of what I’m going through. The director only strolls through once in a great while to say hi and his impact on my day-to-day is minimal to none. I would have expected more tact from someone in his position.

          So it goes.

    • “Then there are the people who acted like you were the love of their life until the moment you realize they are having an affair, and without any further ado, they walk out and you never hear from them again.”

      This was exactly how it was with me. But once I found out, there was no way he would ever be able to be Prince Charming again. In my case, I don’t think he could save face after that. I was finding out all kinds of things I never knew about . . . things from years ago. He just ran to the OW and inserted her where I used to be. (Although, he didn’t have much of a choice considering I had him 80% packed up on D-day.)

      It’s ok though, better her than me.

      • Yup,i was plucked right out of the game… Like a Wii person …The crane comes out and bloop! U vanish. Bloop!!! She appears. Seamless.

        • THANK YOU people for getting this! We are weeks away from decree absolute, and he was talking to me about HIS house, and HIS children, and mentioned several times about finding someone new. Which as he is very good-looking, he will.
          I have been neatly cut out of his life after 22 years.
          How does someone DO that? How do you have no connection in that way? Even though he has been awful, I still love and am attached to him – him? Not at all.
          WTF? It is what it is, but I don’t get the lack of connection, it isn’t quite human.

          • They have to disconnect… Because the weight of what they did and are doing would be too much to bare. They dont want to be attached to the responsibility of the action either. If they carry on like nothing was … They hope no one noticed. And truth is… after awhile no one does notice. You are just yesterdays news. But you are left with your guts hanging out and somebody steps over you to see the next disaster.

    • Mine did that too Carol. I had zero clue, zero suspicion that he was cheating, until DDay itself and when confronted and asked him, at first he laughed and lied. Then when I told him I wanted the truth, it all came out. Never loved me, never been happy for 16 years, just didn’t want to tell me, “left me a long time ago in his heart, just didn’t tell me,” etc. then POOF. Except for some bullying to get $$ from me, and hints about keeping me as an option “in case it didn’t work out,” he was gone. His entire family stopped speaking to me. Now, two years later, I just heard he might be breaking up with OW. Too bad, so sad. I sure hope I never see him or hear from him again.

      I’m convinced the fake remorse is image control. My ex obviously wasn’t sorry as he ran straight to OWs waiting arms and house. But he went around telling everyone, just like Michael’s ex, that he was “worried” about me, and wanted them to “watch over me,” and he sobbed in front of me when he said, “I told them all to please … take… care… (voice cracking)… of Muse for me and make sure she’s okay.” I UBT’d that for friends by explaining it’s all IMAGE MANAGEMENT so he looks like a nice guy who just fell in wuv and “had” to abandon me, my kids, our home, our entire 16 years of companionship.

      Michael, I love how you told your ex, ” it wasn’t her business anymore.” You are mighty!!

      • OMG MUSE, one thing of many i couldn’t untangle, was when he originally moved out “to get his head straight” he went to his family and our sons and asked them “to keep an eye on me” that “he was worried about me” and “didn’t think I was doing well with this”….. then the 1st few weeks they text message to see how I was doing….when now I now he had the heifer all lined up….. your so right, IMAGE CONTROL… Chump me thought maybe he did care??? WHAT A CHUMP I am!!!??? Thank you, one more thing in the **ucked up mess makes sense now…..so thankful for this site!!!

      • Muse, within a week or so of Dday, my ex had texted all of my close friends “Thank you so much for being there for Glad, and helping her through all of this.” What an asshole, everyone saw right through his little ploy to: 1. Make himself out to be a real good guy, and 2. Make it seem like I was a weak, frail and incapable person, likely to fall apart without his presence.

          • As of last week, he is officially moved back to his dad’s house in a tiny little farming town in the midwest. He literally has nothing beyond his clothes and a handful of personal belongings — he doesn’t even own a car anymore. This is the guy who, right after Dday, proclaimed that it was his destiny to be a famous actor and God had opened all the doors to his success.

        • And 3 – depersonalize the situation to deflect blame from him. After all, it isn’t about him taking any responsibility or showing any remorse for a pretty horrific act, it’s just…”all of this”. It’s as if you were unlucky enough to get hit by a bus, and everyone is rolling up their sleeves to help. Yea team, and yea, Coach Cheater.

    • Carol, I am constantly dealing with my inability to trust other people and, to me, that is what has been the most difficult part of it. Marriage is built on trust; it is the glue of a marriage. Trust is why we can share the most intimate details of ourselves with our spouse. Infidelity destroys that trust and, once it is destroyed, it is difficult to ever see people-or life-the same way. This is the issue I struggle with on a daily basis. I have accepted that my marriage is over and I am definitely over the mourning stage, but how in the hell I will ever trust again is something that continues to weigh me down. That is the legacy of adultery.

      • “The Speed of Trust” by Covey has helped me in many ways. It is a business book, but it’s insights are helping me manage a business-like relationship with my STBX around our daughter.

    • My situation is pretty similar to Carol’s. I had ABSOLUTELY no clue he was unhappy. Came home one day and he was just gone. Never took any of his belongings, not even his clothes. After 25 years of marriage I got nothing…no explanation, no word that he was even leaving. I remember asking my son “Did I miss something”. To this day I haven’t spoken to him, even though we have a son. Turns out he met a slunt on the internet and “ran off” to be with her after knowing her for 2 months. You gotta be pretty messed up to risk your whole life on a schmoopie like that.

      But I am better off. I have more money without him buying things we can’t afford. I was able to totally remodel my home and it looks fantastic. I actually get to travel now and I’m loving it. And I have a wonderful relationship with my son…something which XH will never have. Can’t wait for the Karma bus to run over them both.

      • Funny how the cash flow tends to improve for a lot of us after they hit the road. I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to manage, but since I’m not living with a person buying guns, sporting equipment, and crap for his shit boat all the time, all of a sudden I was seeing a positive balance in my savings. That hadn’t happened the entire time we were together.

        • Mine was the same…guns, boats, jacked up trucks. If I bought a vacuum cleaner he bought a fishing pole so were even. He must have had 50 high end rods and reels.

              • With my cheater, it’s all about displaying his sense of superiority and grandiosity to the world. These “toys” also fill in the voids of his personality and reveal his shallowness. Maybe they attract attention or act as a lure to some, but quality people see them for what they are within the first few minutes of speaking with him. Sad. I have to stop feeling sad for him.

        • Yes, I’ve been amazed at how much easier it is to be in control of my finances without him drinking away everything and blowing money on who knows what. He was so proud of himself one night when he bid and won these Ed Ruscha prints for $6000 at an auction without consulting me. Mr. Hotshot showing off the photos of them to everyone. I never saw them in person and he had to immediately sell them off since all the debt for them is on him now with the divorce pending. Jackass. Meanwhile I just paid of my credit card!

    • Carol

      Being erased, discarded like trash, was the way I described the way the narcissist exited. X was sending me messages professing his love and then he was gone. The only conversations were degrading and sadistic in nature. Not saying anything shows they are sociopaths in my opinion. Don’t waste your time trying to untangle that. It is all consuming. Yet he too was doing impression management asking in his whittle boy mask how I was doing to my adult children. I waste an hour a day on thinking about the character disordered and the rest on myself. This is what my therapist advised and it works. You HAVE a life to live! Do it!! You deserve that not the twisted remnants of an asshole. On the day of the divorce the prick says he thinks about me all the time. Disordered need to be with like kind. Suddenly X is trying to regain a relationship with his children as if nothing happened. The novelty subsides for the cheating and suddenly it’s supply and cake time. My boundaries are firm. I will never in my life acknowledge him with even a hello. Carol there are many trustworthy people out there. Subtle things will raise red flags and magnify our doubts in trusting. This takes time.

    • Carol, my husband did the same thing the day after Christmas almost 6 years. On Christmas Day he gave me a card that read, “Life gives you beautiful things, it gave me you.” In less than 36 hours he was spewing the most awful hateful things about me & our 24+ year old marriage. He was gone in 3 weeks & never looked back. He was my everything until I found out I was his nothing. My slogan is I’m not in denial (anymore) but still in disbelief.

    • I had the same Carol, and he abandoned not only me but our 3 beautiful, successful children once he knew the jig was up. We were married 25 years, and he lead an astonishing double life for most of them. But I am happily remarried now and my kids have moved on though they have absolutely no contact with him. He has not seen our youngest, now almost 16, in 4 years. I read a comment early on from a woman similarly abandoned who said she will probably go to her grave stunned by what her ex had done…that always stuck with me because I feel the same, and it helped me the most to just accept that and move on.

      • Kelly, your ex is the scum floating on stagnant pond water. But I understand what you are saying…. if I live to be 100, I will never really understand what my ex did, and I will probably always be a little bit stunned by it all. But that doesn’t mean I spend much time thinking about it or caring anymore…. it’s just one of those things that sometimes crosses my mind.

      • I am struggling with acceptance Glad and Kelly. I think acceptance has a note of “we accept their bad behavior” in it, which may be some of our stalling. What I am trying desperately hard to do is “accept” that he sucks, but of course, I can never accept that his behavior was okay and not the most abusive painful thing of my life. For me, it’s a hard mental trick, but there is a part of me that is just a tiny bit closer to “trusting that he sucks,” and leaving it at that.

  • This past weekend, ex text me – ‘Happy 4th!’. I deleted the text. He’s simply an asshole looking for kibbles. I also know from back when I had my spy hat on that he would send texts like this out to a number of women. It’s likely his way of appearing to be a thoughtful guy but I think he’s really seeing who responds so he can set something up with them. Funny things is, back then I wasn’t on his distribution list because I was his wife – that includes Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. I guess I’m on the list now! Perhaps I should respond with one word – unsubscribe!

    • Yes, I agree there’s also that element of looking like a great guy/gal. “Look what a bigger and better person I am because I can let it go and wanted to remain friends.”

      • Lina, yes, I’m sure he’ll spin it as me being bitter when the reality is that I just don’t want anything to do with him anymore.

        • Bitter, schmitter. Who cares what he thinks about you? And frankly, if anyone asks if I’m bitter I say yes. Why wouldn’t I be bitter about having married a pathological serial cheater who betrayed me and his children and wasted decades of my life and embarrassed me in front of all our friend with his conduct? Hasn’t stopped me from moving on with a *better* life, but bitter is justified under the circumstances (and I know you had a serial cheater, too, ByeBye).

    • My ex, and a lot of other people we knew, includung ow, apparently spent a major portion of their “work day” searching for and emailing each other “jokes” all day. What a waste if time. Ex and whore were also fond of “I’m fine!!! How are you?????” Messages. Good riddance to that loser. Who gives a fuck how he is, lol. Not me.

    • LOL @ “unsubscribe.” Every now and then I get a sort of nondescript text from Ex and I’m almost positive they aren’t even meant for me. If I write, “Was that for me?” He’ll lie and try to spin it. But eesponding with, “Please unsubscribe me from this list.” seems like a better option.

      • ML, I decided that if he asks why I didn’t respond, I will just say that I though the text was sent to me in error.

    • “This past weekend, ex text me – ‘Happy 4th!’. I deleted the text. He’s simply an asshole looking for kibbles.”

      For a few years after separation/divorce, I would get those sorts of texts from my ex every few months. For a long time I thought he was sending them to me alone, and I thought it meant he was thinking about me. Eventually, I learned they were mass text messages, and most likely he zeroed in on any woman (or man, knowing him) who responded as a potential target.

      He doesn’t send me those texts anymore, thank God.

  • “I hope you’re okay….” Mighty big of her.

    It’s all about them. It’s another way of asking “Are you suffering because I’m gone?” Like Tracy says, it’s kibbles.

    I never heard a word from EH unless he wanted something. He was too cheap to go through lawyers so I had to block him. He still knows where I live but now that there’s nothing in it for him it’s crickets. I guess that’s good, but it sucks beyond belief to be erased like a big shitty mistake.

  • Chump Lady said “I think her conscience is more like a Venus flytrap”. That’s a very useful mental image to hold on to when dealing with a cheater!

  • She said she loved you…and we all want to believe that but I’ve learned the proof is in the pudding. Has she shown love to anyone?

    • She hasn’t. In fact, she left this ex (her current) the same way she left me. In the beginning of our relationship she had moved out away from this guy and told me she had broken it off but he wouldn’t stop contacting her. But I recently realized that this was a lie. She told me that he would say that she’s cheating on him. But I thought he was the possessive type and wouldn’t let her go. In retrospect, it makes more sense that they were still together when we began dating, and that she was securing a relationship with me before cutting him off – which is what happened. Conversely, this is the same way she left me. Once she re-secured a relationship with him, she promptly discarded our marriage and moved out.

      So has she shown love to anyone? Definitely not. And even though my head knows it, it’s hard for my heart to swallow. But onward!

      • She is pretty much keeping in contact because in her mind you will be a back up. Who knows she may have more “back ups” on the line. They hate to be alone.

      • Michael, it is so hard to go back in memory and realize our spouses lied to us from the first day we met. It took me a while to accept it. Saddam told me his last GF had issues with abuse and he couldn’t treat her badly, Christ what a liar. After I got him out of the house I talked to previous GF, she had kicked him out because he lived off her for a year and refused to get a job. One of many many lies he told from day one. I’m done untangling the skein but yes I did need to do it to some degree to come to peace with myself.

        That sorry is nothing more than a reel that can’t spin you any more, Saddam was sorry too. He was sorry about how “things” happened, never got a single sorry for the pain he inflicted.

      • Michael that is the exact thing that my ex did when I caught him cheating and discarded me.
        I did the pick me dance gave him spicy extra angy kibbles with wailing begging phone calls. I did tell him that it dawned on me that he is doing to me what he did to his ex. Only difference is I busted him so OW knows we were very much together. I hate that mother fucker I can’t even see Meh yet.

        • Lorida, when I told my ex that I realized she was leaving me the same way she left her XBF, she gave me this dumb look that only a sociopath could. It was like all the feigned innocence she could muster at the moment. She also said some pretty stupid stuff to boot and I’m wondering if yours said anything like this:

          Me: Why she doesn’t stop cheating on me?

          Her: “I don’t know how.”

          Me: “Is there anything in you that wants to save this marriage?”

          Her: “I don’t know”.

          Me: “Do you know where the courthouse is?”

      • Michael, my counselor told me that she believes that cheater ex ever truly loved anyone else. I told her he loved our son. Beyond that, I could not think of anyone else. Cheater ex always told me how much he loved me after his two affairs. Good grief, if that was love, I shudder to think what he would have done had he not loved me. Cheaters have no clue what real love is. I honestly don’t think they’re capable. Like your ex, cheater ex was in contact with me after the divorce, and attempted one last reconciliation while living with the final OW. He told me it was all a mistake but then married the mistake a few months after I said no to the reconciliation offer. Boy, he must love her (insert sarcasm here).

        • I also believe that the ONLY person pig fucker actually loves is our son. I’ve come to understand that the only reason he is capable of genuine love for our son is because he sees him as an extension of himself.

  • ByeByeCheater, so you find yourself back on the list huh? Let the “cycle” begin again for the cheater. So typical of these cheats. CL called it. They just want to make sure you are miserable so they can derive some sort of warped happiness. After all, they are so convinced we can never be happy again without their sparkly personality around…..ummm, not so much! It sickens me that these idiots really believe we should give a shit about them after the destruction they have caused! You have to be pretty screwed up to think that everyone you fucked over in your pursuit of perfect happiness is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear from your dysfunctional universe! Please, spare me. That is what the delete button is for, use it then block them! Let them find somebody else to be “concerned” about instead of you. It certainly wasn’t a problem when they were married to us!

    • Mine wanted to punish me for “not appreciating him”. I’m sure he’s hoping that he’s shown me and that I’m suffering for it now.

      • Lina

        The punishment gig they have is so disordered.

        Hey I’m fucking a low life whore who assaulted an elderly man, broke into her last BJ’s house by climbing in through a screen and punched him and was caught by police with drugs.

        Haha. Living with that must have filled the need for appreciation and affection.

        Imagine, I had to seek therapy to stop loving THAT creep. I succeeded Lina. I can say with conviction I would never want X back in my life. That for me is progress.

              • HOW do you stop loving them, mourning them, stop being attached to them I am so sad about all of this. My SBXH is not malignant. He looks after me in terms of money and non-emotional things. It makes it harder.

              • Patsy–EnoughAlready had a good analogy a few weeks ago in the forums–they are 2 people, attached permanently. One appears to be good, fun, loving, but the other is duplicitous, mean, lacking in empathy and character. The problem is, to have the first, you have to buy the second, and that is too painful.

    • Roberta – agreed but I have to get through the division of assets. There’s only one more left – selling the marital home, which is under contract now. Once that’s done, I’ll block him again. We do have a daughter but she starts college this fall so she’s old enough that he and I don’t need to be in contact about her. I’m looking forward to the closing date because that’s when I feel my fresh start will really begin.

      • ByeByeCheater, Good luck! Get what you can and get away! My kids are also grown adults now, thank heavens! I feel for the folks who have to deal with these moronic monsters every other weekend! It has to be like placing your hand in a blender! Mine has tried to engage my adult children, but they let him know in no uncertain terms that they want nothing to do with him at all. They cannot condone his adultery with her, they cannot get over how he callously ignored me when I was diagnosed with cancer, they cannot get over how he used them to play happy family at his father’s funeral. They tell him that their mother raised them with morals! Lord he hates hearing that! He wanted Schmoopie and now that’s all he has! A cheating woman who has the brains of a tit mouse and the morals of an alley cat! Good bye and Good riddance! Again, good luck on your division of assets. Hope you get the lions share!

        • I have to deal with the ex twice each week. Yeah, it sucks. But I cope. You just deal with it in a way that you do, and you can never truly imagine how you do cope with a situation before you actually have to do it.

          I keep the verbal exchange to a minimum, usually regarding toys and toddler clothes I need back and any alterations to timing for pick up, etc. It’s like a wherehouse goods delivery in some ways. The kids are the valued cargo and anything else I bring into the conversation is purely about the handling of those goods. When the front door is shut and my kids are home with me again, we get on with living. And ex goes on with whatever he wants (being “happy”, I guess).

          And yes, CodependentChump, the ex loves our kids sooooo incredibly much, because he sees them as an extension of himself. And that’s about the size of it.

      • ByeByeCheater, it is probably in your best interest to ‘play nice’ right now, until the house closes, assets are divided, and all is signed, sealed, delivered to the court for final sign off.
        My xh dragged his feet interminably about the settlement, but when our family house was sold, he wanted to divide the proceeds THAT DAY, while continuing to drag out the rest of the settlement. I refused and that made him antsy. A month later he was still pestering me about it so I decided to soft sell him on ‘how DD and I would make it in the future’. He caved, and I got 100% proceeds from the sale, though in retrospect, I maybe ended up trading that for something else.
        Anyway, I shut the door tight in August after he agreed to give me the profit from the house. He was still dragging about in September when it was time to settle or go to court. Arrgghh.
        He did not want to go to trial, so I backed him into a corner and told him I’d need $20k JUST to prepare for trial. My attorney was a little worried, but I knew my husband, and he was loath to spend money (cheep! cheep!) and would do anything to avoid public humiliation about his cheating and porn.
        The gamble worked. He caved and I came out pretty good financially. Not all I asked for, but probably 80-85%.
        The settlement was signed in October and his attorney still hadn’t filed the paperwork so I told him to kick her fat into gear and give me the best Christmas present I could hope for – a divorce decree.
        It came through on December 22. And I’m not a gambling woman.

    • Perfectly said Roberta: “You have to be pretty screwed up to think that everyone you fucked over in your pursuit of perfect happiness is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear from your dysfunctional universe! Please, spare me.”

      ChestnutMare, you slayed that dragon! I was cheering reading your story!

  • Michael: You are mighty!! Awesome way to go NC right away and refuse to give your X any information.

    Disordered cheaters have two goals only: Power and Impression Management. Contacting you is a way to test the waters to see if she still has power over your heart strings; crying and moaning about how you were the best thing that ever happened to her is a way to regain her power over you. Texting your friends to “check on” you is impression management–“See!! I”m not so bad! I blew up my marriage for an affair and left before the dust was settled, but I CARE!!!”

    They do NOT have remorse for hurting you; everything they do can be explained by the two principles above. Any legitimate remorse is that the cheater him/herself is suffering consequences for their actions (e.g., other people think less of them–hurts the impression management goal; they can no longer get you to dance for them–hurts their power goal). Trust me, as soon as it counts, you’ll see that the “remorse” is faked and has nothing to do with concern for you. Keep NC for sanity.

    Well-done, Michael!

    • It’s all about letting her off the hook for fucking up. She wants to stay A Good Person. If you are doing okay then, see?, the affair was best for BOTH of you. You should thank her. I agree with Tempest: Impression Management.

      • To my shame I did thank my ex for leaving me. In the one week of dancing I did I would have said anything to get her to come back, so I thanked her for doing something to possibly jolt me out of my depression/trauma rut. D’oh!

        • I hear that. Even though he would not to admit to there being another woman. I thanked him for giving me the opportunity to realize how much I loved him and didn’t want to lose him. He LOVED those kibbles and gave me hope off and on for a few months while I did the pick me dance. He finally admitted there was another woman and that hurt even more knowing he was playing cat and mouse with me that whole time. These heartless monsters…

          • Mine didn’t do that, which I know is to my benefit, but my ego loudly protests that I should have been worth keeping around as at least a backup. Instead, she decided to use effective communication for the first time in our relationship. The first time she ever asked me, “what did you hear me say?” was after she told me she no longer loved me and we’d never be together again.

        • I thanked the OM. Seriously. He looked perplexed. The. within about a year, she was cheating on him, as well.

    • On a slightly different slant, I think that for many cheaters, when they express “concern” and a certain amount of hand-wringing (complete with sobs), they are simply trying to soothe their own anxiety. I believe that on occasion waves of terror come into their consciousness with the knowledge of what they’ve done and this terror must be abolished at all costs. They can see into the abyss they’ve made for themselves and they think that they can get some redemption by convincing others, as you said Tempest, *see I’m not so bad – look, I’m concerned! I care!* My point is that I think they not only have to do this for impression management but also to convince themselves. They’ve devastated another human being (and likely more than one, since infidelity fallout damages so many other people) and on some level or other, they know it. If they can show a little concern and shower the chump with some false compliments – “you’re the best person I know” etc, this balances out the awfulness in their minds.

      • I agree. And because the part of the impression management that you’re not hearing is that they have already told everyone something like you simply grew apart, or I had an affair because of …x,y, or z. The blameshifting has already occurred and the false concern is to back up the idea that they never meant to hurt you.

        I think they also want to keep the chump around as a safety net. They want you to believe there’s still something there so you’ll be available if things don’t work out with AP.

        • Absolutely, Carmella. That’s why I sing like a bird whenever someone allows me. X wants to claim “we grew apart,” or if people know about his main affair, “it was just a 3 week affair 8 years ago (LIE!!). So I calmly say, “You do know he has been serially cheating on me ever since that affair 8 years ago, and has been on adult websites to pick up women?” Stops the conversation dead, but then I control the narrative. Truth will out.

          • Oh yes! Idiot tried so hard to have the ‘ we grew apart story’ initially. It was easier for him to face people. He was horrified and I mean horrified when I actually told people the truth. I think he thought the shame of being left for the younger woman whould be enough to hush me. He was wrong. I told him’ its your story u tell it the way you want and I will tell mine like I want’ i have since kept in down to a dull roar as he is a lunatic… Dont wanna poke the bear. But i never ever default to a lie .

            • I also think after awhile its just foder for gossip… Nobody really fucking cares what happened. Its just another story and you become a broken record. I think the closer u come to ‘ Meh’ the less you talk about it. Its just not that much of an issue in your life anymore. But i will never minimize it nor default to some pleasantry to make someone else comfortable.

              • TheClip, I find that so true after a while of sharing it got old. Now I even hardly ever really want to straighten things out anymore when he pulls his stories about his whole affair ordeals. His version is so different from how I perceive it and I am tired of defending my position. He still believes he was entitled to it all, never changed his mind about that, no self reflection allowed here. I think if he did he would really need to take a gun and shoot himself
                What an effin …hole!

        • I think another reason of impresion managment why they show “concern” and want to be “friends” is to show the outside world, and them self that what they did was not so bad. We are all one big happy family. That’s what my STBX tought. He said he tought we could remain friend, but I was such a bitter person. I know, I am a bitter bunny. That’s why i love this site, you just recognise your situation, and can’t believe that these cheaters all over the world attend GCU ( Global Cheaters University).
          So Michael you keep up the no contact, and stay classy.

      • I have to agree Wren, I do think my XH “cared” and was “worried” about me being on my own as he left me emotionally broken and almost financially crippled. I do believe in his own F’d up way that he knew it was wrong and on some level felt guilty. Problem is what the hell good was that going to do me? XH concern for me was only surface scratching, he couldn’t actually feel the depths of my despair. For example, while he was living in other country with the mistress, he sent email showing his concern. The email was once sentence: How are the dogs doing?

        Do you see what I mean, no direct question about my being okay just enough contact for me to know he was thinking of the dogs!
        (and I believe his intent was to show that he was indirectly wondering about me?) EX wanted to stay “best friends” with me and I do know that he misses me in that manner only. I just told him I didn’t need friends who treated me like that and what could we possibly talk about now. I haven’t had any contact ZERO since the divorce one year ago.

        • Mine told me that she wanted to be friends like Jerry Seinfeld and Elaine, friends so good that future partners would be concerned about it. Um, wuh?

      • I would agree with that for the non-narcissistic, garden-variety cheaters. There’s impression management in trying to get people to see that you’re a nice guy that cares, and then there’s self-impression management where if you can convince the betrayed to be “friends”, then what you’ve done really isn’t all that bad. If it isn’t all that bad….well hey!, why stop? It’s disordered, but it soothes them and gives them permission to keep engaging in the behavior.

        • Exactly! And if they can get YOU to comfort THEM while they are sobbing and hand-wringing, or reassure them that they’re not that bad, it’s a kind of redemption. It takes them back from the edge of the I DID A TERRIBLE THING pit (where despicable people belong) to where the sun is shining on them again. Whew, danger averted. See, I didn’t really hurt my partner that bad. He/she doesn’t think it’s that bad because look, they care that I’m feeling sad! They’re soothing me! That must mean we can be friends – and if we’re friends, then I’m not a terrible person.

    • Tempest: “Any legitimate remorse is that the cheater him/herself is suffering consequences for their actions” … exactly. I realized early on that my cheater’s tears streaming down his face were about feeling bad about feeling bad about feeling bad about himself (yes I meant to say that 3x… it’s all about him). Nothing new as he used to do this during our relationship; after a narc rage, when he finally reduced me to tears, he’d switch from snarling accusations in my face to sobbing and crying, for HIMSELF. See, he’s the victim. Always. Even after cheating.

      • Mine did a lot of crying and complained that my grief was making him feel guilty. I truly believe he created an alternate reality in his mind where he convinced himself I was unhappy too. In fact, I read in his journal “she has to know I’m unhappy.” What? The only problem was he forgot to tell me, he never asked for us to work on any issues, and he was in love with someone else.

        Of course I was unhappy with someone who’d stopped interacting with me and seemed to be traveling almost nonstop for several years. But I attributed it to his very demanding job and had my own fantasy that once he got closer to retirement he could slow down and have time for family again.

        Another crazy thing he said as justification for leaving was that when he was with his coworker on “trips” that he felt great, but on his way home to me he felt really anxious and guilty. I remember thinking, DUH. Of course you feel anxious and guilty because you’re doing something wrong. However, he attributed his anxiety to me instead of his choice to live a life incongruent with the truth.

        • “I truly believe he created an alternate reality where he convinced himself I was unhappy too.”

          Oh yes! “We’ll both be better off.” Nice of him to make the decision for me. Thing is, he set me up to be “better off” by treating me like crap in the devaluation. So he’s still an asshole.

          I hated the way he acted like he knew what I was thinking.

          • The first few weeks after Dday, my ex repeatedly told both our then 13-year-old son and me that “this was for the best” and “we would all be better off.” Funny, as it turned out, it DID turn out to be the best for me and I AM better off now without him. Ex, however, flushed right down the toilet just like the glittering turd that he is. Life can be that way sometimes.

            • Glittering Turd – baahhhhaaaa there goes my coffee, this is funny GladIt’sOver.
              I can visualize that fantastically

          • Oh yeah, I know all about that mind reading bit. Cheater ex would not only decide he knew exactly what I was thinking, but then he would call me out on my supposed thoughts and punish me for them.

            In the south we have a saying that amply describes this phenomenon…. “Shot with slops, and arrested for stinking.”

            Doesn’t matter what we do or say, we can’t win when they decide to take off for their delusional greener pastures.

            Thank heaven that they take their craziness, selfishness, and need for never-ending narcissistic drama with them. The drama does peter out after a while, especially when we keep refusing them kibbles and they go away to look for a better supplier. Eventually we begin to recover from their special brand of insanity.

            Hugs, fellow chumps.

            • Tessie, that might be the reason that leads them to believe, we would be able to read their minds at any given moment as well and with that comes our obligation to cater to their needs on demand . My STBX lashed out at me yesterday when I was making my own dinner. He mumbled some stupid shit about us not having family dinners together anymore (yeah we have been really good about that in the past honey) and me not knowing when he needs to eat food. He certainly has not earned any gold stars for his communication skills and his social behavior towards me in the past. It’s comical, they just don’t get it.

              • Schmetterling – let me get this straight…. He needs to eat to? OMG he has big balls doesn’t he?

          • When I read these things that so many cheaters said after D-Day, I’m almost thrilled my ex ran like a chicken-shit coward and I never talked to him again. I mean, literally, once I told him that I knew he was having an affair, he shut down and didn’t say a word, and then the next day, he left for work and never came back. I never talked to him again. He made a few predictable bullshit remarks via email (“I never felt loved by you”) but nothing like some of the stuff I read here. I know every chump wants explanations but, honestly, I think less is better. The disturbing crap they spew seems to be a vat of crap we fall into and have to fight to get out of.

        • Mine still loves and cares about me, despite my emotional issues.

          Yep. Strange that my emotional issues coincided with finding his reviews of the prostitutes he’s been seeing through out our relationship.

          He’s also concerned that I am alienated the people who love and care about me through my need for revenge.

          Sigh.. but he’s a sociopathic narcissist “good guy”, so if he can portray me as this fucked up mental problem- then he will actually come to a settlement quicker than if I am the angry enemy. He’ll give me a settlement out of the “goodness of his heart because he cares for me”. Whatever gets me out of here and able to move on with my life. The people who live and care about me, know what’s going on and want me to take him to the cleaners. They don’t get that he would rather lose everything than have me ‘win’. I’ve seen him do it and I don’t want to spend any more years of my life wrapped up in his world of crazy.
          Forewarning to others, my stbx filed bankruptcy to avoid paying his property settlement from a prior marriage (which he could totally have afforded). Since he owns his own business, laundering the money is fairly easy.

          • That he portrayed me as an emotionally unbalanced psycho used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore. Anybody who buys into that crap is someone whose opinion means nothing to me, and I don’t care what he thinks – or more to the point, that he’s got himself absolutely convinced that I was the problem.

            I realized that dealing with him was like trying to reason with a goldfish. A complete waste of time.

    • Thanks Tempest! Funny what you said. One of the things she said to me in the waiting room was “I still care about you, you know”

      • “I still care about you, you know” is not just impression management (see, I’m still a Good Person!) but it’s also meant to throw you off your stride so that you are more generous in your settlement.

        My sister’s husband’s first wife just up and left him. I don’t think there were third party influences–I know his XW and she’s not been with anyone since the divorce over 20 years ago–but my BiL did agree to a more generous settlement than he needed to, and that’s bitten him in the butt since, as it means that his XW and the daughter from the first marriage are entitled to more than his current wife and the daughter from his current marriage.

        I think he hoped that if he were a nice guy in the settlement, she’d come back to him.

        Nope.

        • Cheater told my co-workers that he’s so upset I hate him. They wished they had a cast iron pan and whacked him.

      • Mine kept saying over and over, “I care about your wellbeing.” That was supposed to make me feel better. He also said “You must hate me, but I don’t hate you.”

    • For 29 years now, since I moved out and divorced my first cheating wife, she, periodically does this type of thing , too. Texts on father’s day. Asking me to greet my siblings for her. Crying and telling me she loves me( as if she could ever love anyone but herself). All types of intermittent overtures and inappropriate contacts.
      I have given up trying to figure out the thought process of the disordered. They do things and say things that make no sense.
      look, if you fuck other people behind your spouse’s back, you do not love them. In fact, you must hate your spouse to do this. A cheater damages the hell out a betrayed spouse.
      I wish these nutbags would just leave us alone and go on with their fucked up lives. They are assholes and are to be avoided.

      • That’s what I thought Arnold. True love is not a warm and fuzzy feeling. That’s childish. Love is something you choose to do despite of how you feel. So I totally agree that betrayal is a demonstration of hate rather than love.

  • This sounds like an “adult*” version of a little girl leaving a “I’m running away!” note for her parents. Much line a child, she expected you to panic and chase after her and beg her to stay and promise to do whatever she wanted to make up for the monumental hurt that drove her to run.

    I will apply the Emotionally Stunted But Chronologically Grown Child Bullshit Translator, which is a lesser version of the UBT.

    Your ex tells you she’s made contact with an ex.
    ESBCGCBT: Child leaves you a note that says, “I am RUNNING AWAY.” And waits for your response.

    And when you do not fall all over yourself to chase and beg and promise her a whole new life filled with wild romance and adventure and devotion she escalates to:

    Your ex confesses that she’s already cheated and is moving out.
    ESBCGCBT: Child packs her teddy bear and roller skates and her favorite book in her Little Pony suitcase and throws it in her little red wagon. She yells, “I’m REALLY RUNNING AWAY, you know!” And waits for your response.

    And when you do not fall all over yourself to chase and beg and promise her a whole new life filled with wild romance and adventure and devotion she escalates to:

    Your ex calls and contacts mutual friends and your dad to “check on you.
    ESBCGCBT: Child takes her packed wagon out to the driveway, looking mournfully over her shoulder, “I’m REALLY LEAVING! In case you want to stop me! Really, I’m GOING.” And waits for your response.

    And when you do not fall all over yourself to chase and beg and promise her a whole new life filled with wild romance and adventure and devotion – filing for divorce like a badass boss – she escalates to:

    Your ex cries in divorce court and asks if you are seeing anyone else.
    ESBCGCBT: Child makes all the way out to the street and throws her wagon handle down. “Aren’t you even going to miss me?” she yells. And waits for your response.

    And when you do not fall all over yourself to chase and beg and promise her a whole new life filled with wild romance and adventure and devotion she escalates to:

    Calling after the divorce and finalized and crying and apologizing.
    ESBCGCBT: Child runs back into the house. “I didn’t mean it! I don’t want to run away! I only wanted you to pay attention to me!”

    So bottom line, she’s “sorry” because you didn’t chase her. And she wants to keep giving you an opportunity to do so. Meanwhile, you’re doing exactly as you should, moving on with your life and changing your number and leaving her to soak in her immature, manipulative juices.

    We’re not freaking children and our actions have consequences. You did the right thing. You didn’t chase after someone who was running to manipulate and mess with your head. Because if you’d chased this time, who knows how many times she would have staged this little drama. She wanted to run, you didn’t stand in her way. Good job.

    You responded as my mother did, when my sister threatened to run away at age 7. Sis yelled, “I’m going to live with GRANDMA.” And mom said, “OK, let me pack your bag.” By the time Mom packed Sis’s snow boots and bathing suit, Sis was crying that she didn’t mean it and she would stay at home with us.

    *Sarcastic air quotes intended.

  • Michael,

    CL is bang-on with her analysis. My cheating ex-wife did some similar creepy things, like sending my sons back to me for my half of our custody arrangement with an elaborate birthday cake for me (Yes, CAKE!). WTF? Like I want *her* to play any part in celebrating my birthday? Like I could stomach anything that witch made with her skanky hands?

    In my case I think she did it partly for kibbles but more to: 1) try to get buy-in from me that she’s really a thoughtful and caring person, because if I accept such gestures than it’s a tacit admission that she’s good-hearted (and bonus: if I throw the cake in the trash I’m the crazy-mean guy who she was justified in cheating on); and 2) put a show for my kids to fool them into thinking she’s caring, thoughtful person, including toward me. Yep, very fucked up.

    Follow CL’s advice. Continue to ignore the crazy cheater in your rear-view mirror and focus on yourself.

    Congratulations, and good luck!

    • Mine offered to give me an old computer…like I would want that shit: the computer he used to jack off to porn to…the computer he used to meet other women online. I also realized that in order for me to receive the computer I’d have to meet with him in person. Fuck that noise.

      • Ah, nothing says “I care” like the gifting of an old porn computer. The inability of so many cheaters to have a fucking clue when it comes to gift giving of any kind has to result from their complete lack of empathy. Your ex likely *could not imagine* that the computer’s connection to his cheating would upset you, and thinks you’re crazy for caring about such a connection.

        Plus, yes, the idea of meeting with a cheater after de-toxing through no-contact is enough to make any chump want to retch.

      • Nothing says I respect you like giving the dumped chump the computer saying that he doesn’t need the family’s laptop anymore so you can keep it. Ass forgot to wipe all the porn and Ashley Madison trash off it first. My kids were using the laptop to submit high school homework. Thank God they never got to see his crap.
        It was humiliating to read his emails and realize the x was schtupping anybody willing during our entire marriage and bragging about it online.
        And then he expects me to believe he’s sorry for “hurting my feelings”. What is with the passive voice with these idiots.
        He gave me a Christmas gift right after leaving (was already involved with a future replacement chump who luckily for her kicked his ass to the curb within a year). The jewelry he gave was immediately given to a family member as I wanted nothing from him ever again. Even sent flowers on my birthday. Trying to look like the nice guy he always pretended to be.
        Cheaters do not give a flying bleep about their chumps. They only care about their image. The only thing he regrets is that he forgot to erase his garbage off his computer. Now he knows that my entire family including his sons have indelible proof he’s slime.

  • Michael you are a role model recovered chump! Don´t slip…you were awesome to not give in at any point. Your story resonated very much with me because my cheater went on a 15 day vacation with his OW the day after Dday, leaving me with two kids and the trauma of discovery after 17 years together. We had been in therapy (before I knew of cheating) but he was also very aggressive and ended blaming my ADD (adult attention deficit disorder) for his cheating (now I blame his cheating for my ADD!).

    But I am a lawyer so I figured out that I could write the dissolution of marriage and separation of property through a notary taking advantage that he was feeling guilty and was fully cooperative even though the agreement benefited me more than it did him (I live in a fault country – so I threatened him that if he did not agree we could go to through the court system and I had all the proof of infidelity – it would take us years, be very expensive and his infidelity would be judged!).

    Like your cheater, mine did not seem to feel remorse, or act in any way that might indicate that he wanted to get back together. And I must say it took me a lot of reading CL to trust that he sucks and to give up getting upset at him not wanting to go back to our beautiful children and home and everything we built. This was a process of a year and a half. Just two weeks ago, I received the official paper that says we are divorced and now that we are travelling in a different country with our daughters so that they can go to camp in English (we both stay in different places but I get the girls on weekends while I work to pay one of the camps) he suddenly seems concerned about my well being, and looks for excuses to contact me about work, or about going out with friends we have in common, or if I want to go with him to buy sheets and towels for our separate homes . I of course don´t accept any of this “now lets be friends” attitude because it would validate him and not allow me to reach or stay at meh. I think CL is right, once they have 24/7 access to the AP, a space opens up for a third party and they try to fill it first with the chump because they think we are an easy target. Cheater wants to convert you into the new AP (you get interesting again once you reject them…double kibble points for winning you back!). Be very careful of this twisted new dynamic…keep strong and don´t doubt yourself for an instant. You did great and your life will continue to improve if you keep the no contact…

  • Oh Tempest, THIS! You hit the nail on the head! These fools only care about themselves and it really shows once consequences are imposed! Like I said before, it makes me sick to my stomach. It takes a lot of balls ( something they surely lack) to do these sorts of things! They are, and always will be, totally dysfunctional!

  • OMG CL, this post came at the absolute perfect time! I just heard from my cheating ex…like days ago. A little bit of background: he cheated, I left, no pick me dance – thank god. We were never married nor any children so there was never any need for us to continue to communicate afterward. But for the past TWO YEARS he has reached out to me continuously all with expressions of the Mindfuck Channel: rage, pity and well…okay, his channel only has two settings. Usually it’s to attack me so I just ignore it. In fact during the whole of 2014 I ignored every single attempt at contact – and there were plenty. Anyway, last week I received an “I’m sorry” email. Yes, there were hints of blame shifting and false equivocating of the “you made me do it” kind and I could tell from the email that he’s a long way off from normal and healthy. But I too pondered over and over…why now?? So thanks for the answer.

    I’d also like to include that he included “you probably moved on a long time ago…” bit which I interpreted as fishing for information or ‘woah is me…pity me!’ so your comment “cannot imagine that you want nothing to do with her because of her despicable behavior, no, she has to attribute your disinterest to another woman.” completely reverberates with me.

    As always thanks to CL and CN for helping me through it! I am completely at MEH. (never thought I’d get here btw)

  • In a way I am sort of jealous of those of you whose X’s or STBX’s express remorse. Mine has never expressed remorse, never admitted to doing anything inappropriate at all, and isn’t really sorry about the 7 months of hell he’s put me though. He thinks I am over dramatizing it all. He has broken NC with Owhore multiple times, kept seeing her behind my back, lying to me about it, but it’s my fault that I am emotional about it and he can’t be bothered with my feelings. And he himself has never shed one tear during this whole thing. I mean VERY little to him.

    One thing I have learned about these folks, they do what they want to do. They prioritize what they care about.. and it hurts like hell, but we chumps simply aren’t even close to the top of their lists. They don’t give two shits about how we feel, UNLESS as CL puts it, it means more kibbles. Most of them really don’t even put their kids at the top of the list. They tell themselves they are “leaving the chump”, rationalizing the kids will be “fine”.. but that, too, is self serving kibble philosophy. They refuse to even realize what they are doing to their own flesh and blood. Never mind extended family….

    Michael, CL’s assumption is probably correct. When the OM and his kibbles were readily available, she took off and didn’t look back.. but they likely dried up, and that’s why she’s sniffing around you. If you would throw her some kibbles, she MIGHT just be ready to get back into a relationship. GAG. Of course, you won’t do this, but that is totally what she’s after. Narcs can’t be kibble free, and you were SUCH a good source.

    Does she feel guilty? Maybe… but she is more than likely 100% self serving.

    Don’t fall for it.

    • Newchumpatl–If I’m honest, it did help to hear, “I’m sorry.” But when I truly analyze it, it was simply so I would keep up his impression management campaign that he is still a “good person.” Barf. Anytime he could have shown real remorse, he punted or turned nasty. Sorry from a cheater is like a $50 bill from a counterfeiter. Looks like the real thing; is not the real thing.

      • “Sorry from a cheater is like a $50 bill from a counterfeiter. Looks like the real thing; is not the real thing.” BEST SUMMATION EVER!!!!!!

        • Tempest that is excellent clarification and to be kept in mind for those who never got “I’m sorry.” I didn’t get “I’m sorry,” but your comment makes me realize it’s not real.

  • Oh my gosh, Chump Lady you hit the nail on the head! My ex wanted to see my pain. I will never forget and it was the defining moment for me when I saw that there was pleasure in my husband’s eyes when he saw me in pain. I saw that it was feeding his ego. Anytime, that I ever begin to miss what was – I recall that image. Sick people derive pleasure from hurting someone intentionally.

    • Mine too. He’s loving me being all distraught over wonderful him. Whatever gets me through the settlement phase is my thought. I don’t care what he thinks of me because he is not reality based. If he sees me as pathetic, he won’t fight as hard.

      • I don’t care what he thinks of me because he is not reality based

        Gone
        Thank you for that statement, I am hanging it on my fridge. I have struggled with self image/self confidence my whole life–x knew it and used that and more for 30+ years to produce his desired kibbles. This simple statement resonates truth for me!

  • Its seems a lot easier to remain no contact when children are not involved. All I know is if i didnt have to share parenting time with him i would be living on another continent. I would change my phone, number email address and never look back. Wouldnt even pack… Just get the fuck outa Dodge.
    Every week it seems there is a new angle he takes to try and manipulate or be hostile. He even sends me ‘ oops texts’ to see if I will respond. He cross examines our child ‘ where did you go this week, who was she with, did she pick u up alone, …. ‘ And recently telling her that our marriage failure was due to her. It will be a year in a couple of weeks. I thought his anger would abate. But it seems the farther away i am the more he ramps it up. I want to travel in the fall and he has texted’ dont think u are taking her out of this fucking country. Its not going to happen’ though our agrrement states i can take her anywhere i need a letter from him stating he endorses our travel.
    Some days i feel like I am still in a hostage situation( forgive the comparision) He of course strolled outa our lives like nothing was, but he wont allow me any happiness. Its like he determine to make sure i am unhappy.
    There are days when i think I should pretend like I have a BF just to see if he will back off. But somehow I think he will then start to put the squeeze on our kid. Which he is already doing. The more i ignore him … The more he says and does to her. Its a sick game. And the mama instinct in me tells me to put up for her safety until I can get this sorted in court again. Our child doesnt want to stay with him anymore and he scares her into not saying anything. She is terrified that if she does he will take it out on me. So she sucks it up weekly and puts up with grilling and the put downs. I am referred to as ‘ It’
    I am trying to find the strength to fix this. i just want some peace.

    • My ex and I split 12 years ago. His anger has only grown. It will never end. To do so would me he would have to look at himself.

    • TheClip–yours is up for Biggest A**hole of all Time Award, Lifetime Achievement. He probably won’t win only because at least one other poster’s X has kept the kids from her (Little Lady/formerly Friend), but he might be a shoe-in for the runner-up or second-runner up. I’m sorry you are in this hostage situation for 7 more years because of your daughter. It must be so wearing to be in that position, despite your inner strength. Sending hopes a real bus hits him.

    • TheClip, I hope your daughter has a therapist, what he’s doing to her is abusive. And you need to do something about the threats regarding vacationing. You ar so strong, I don’t know if I could handle what you are dealing with. How in the hell does a father tell his own daughter she caused your divorce and live with himself, that is so fucked up.

      • Yes he is. He has so much resentment and hostility towards me that he is now trying to get to via her. She is in counseling. The comments and threats are well documented. She is with me 80 percent of the time. I do a lot of damage control. This is uncharted territory for me. I get a lot of advice. I have been told more than once to be careful how i proceed.

        • The Clip, I don’t know how old she is, but if your D has said that she does not want to stay with her father any more, could you explain that the judge can help and she must record him on her phone when he starts the grilling? (to demonstrate the emotional and verbal abuse).
          Or is that not permissible in court in USA? They seem to allow it on Judge Judy ….

          • It is permissible, around age 11 or 12 (depending on the state). Perhaps it’s time for daughter to have a little visit to the court psychologist….

    • Yikes, The Clip, why do I feel like this is where my situation is headed?
      We’re telling the kids tonight and I set up a therapist appointment for tomorrow morning.
      I know STBX will put the kids in a bad situation. At this point he doesn’t realize that he already has.
      As far as he is concerned I’m the one who filed for divorce so I’m the bad guy and I’m sure he will find ways to infer that even if he doesn’t come out and say those exact words.

      • I hope to god not for your sake. Keep yr witts about u and never get emotional. Its a balancing act and i have to tell u… Its really up to u to be the sane parent. Atleast the facade. I keep a a very strong front… Inside i am crumbling. Inknow he is just trying to beat me down. I tell myself… Its not forever. But for her i do what i need to to keep her safe and me alive. Be smarter.

        • TheClip: you are truly mighty. Just keep being the sane parent, and the safe place for your child to land. I am sending you mental hugs and wishes and strength.

    • It is really too bad that God is so stingy in fulfilling “Spontaneous Combustion” requests. Some people REALLY need it.

      • I know right? All I ask is for a bus to fall out of the sky and flatten him? Sponataeous combustion works too! Who doesn’t like fireworks?

    • The Clip, what a heartbreaking situation. To use a child that way is just evil, and I do not use that word lightly. I am truly thinking of you and hoping for a sane outcome. Let me say, though, that your daughter is very lucky to have such a great mom. I think survival mode doesn’t even explain it because even in survival mode there can be breaks now and again, but it sounds like you are getting no break from this evil monster. I am so very sorry.

      • He has been call evil more than once. I honestly thought after a year… He would burn himself out. Two of my closet friends ask the same question ” what is he so angry about? ” and i honestly dont know. I am a ghost.exchanges are done in a public place. I email him our daughters schedule. I havent said a word to him since last June. I dont get it. The only thing I can think of is its going really bad with Tweeny… I know he will find a way to blame me for that too.

        • TheClip, do you think he has been able to determine your identity on this website and that has fueled his anger?

  • A couple of weeks after I started going no contact with my STBXH, who had moved out to be with the OW (NC except on issues related to our son and financial issues), he texted me: “You have been quiet lately…everything OK?” Why yes, just fine – without your cheating asshat presence in my life! What a douchebag.

  • Husband #2 left because I was a “mother”. Made the word mother a pejorative. It poured out of his mouth in disgust along with spittle as he went on his merry way to a much younger self centered female. Perfect match. Of course, he had many more “Perfect Matches”.

    He used the children to get back at me any time opportunity arose to benefit him and devalued my role as a mother to them constantly.

    Fast forward 19 years. He left me a message on Mother’s Day thanking me for the two children I bore. WTF?

    I asked my son if he was dying.

    No, he is finally on meds for bi-polar, lost all his $$ (that attracted the younger females) on oil futures and his current younger wife is ready to throw his ass out of HER home.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    I wasn’t sure what that message meant from him until this post. Thanks, CL and CN, for coming through, yet again.

    • CalamityJane–yet another indication that Diablo really is devil spawn; imagine using “mother” in a pejorative way. Assh*le. In Chinese, the character for “good” is the symbol for woman + child.

      And his hot little low-class wifey has now rejected him. Awwww…..poor wittle cheater narc. His message–real or seeking kibbles (another Jeopardy question)?

      • Tempest and CalamityJane, You just made my week. LOL!!!! I LOVE the info about the Chinese character for ‘good’ being a woman & child. How poetic! I also love the story about fuckwad getting kicked out. Also poetic 😉 Cheers.

  • She’s NOT sorry now, that’s why. She says she is, but our actions–not our words–define us.

    Unfortunately, this playbook is all too common.

    Throughout my divorce, my wife:
    –said she loved me,
    –asked for another chance,
    –said she regretted her mistakes, and regretted hurting me,
    –said she actually truly did respect marriage “despite what my actions showed,”
    –said neither of us would ever find something so “pure” as what we had,
    –etc.

    A year after our divorce was finalized, she even wrote that she “misses the life we had together.” At that point, I deleted that e-mail account so she couldn’t contact me that way anymore.

    But, my wife said all of these things while she continued to date her AP…
    …while he had a girlfriend and son in another state…
    …and then while he was engaged…
    …and then while he was married…
    …and then while he went through his divorce…
    …and up to today.

    Frankly, I was still chump enough that if my wife did a 180 during our divorce, and showed true remorse, and stopped dating her AP, and got another job to get away from him…I might have given her another chance. Thankfully, her actions showed that she still sucked as a human being, so I wasn’t tempted into such a mistake.

    Michael, if your wife is anything like mine was (and is), you have to remember to judge her by her actions…and not her words. Cheaters are a persuasive bunch who can literally talk the pants off of chumps. But being a persuasive person is not the same thing has having good character. And in fact, many smooth talkers developed those skills specifically because they don’t have character. Stay away from her.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

    • “Cheaters are a persuasive bunch who can literally talk the pants off of chumps.” OMG YES!!!! I was about to get divorced THE FIRST TIME, and after 8 months of separation (with the agreement he requested and signed) he SUDDENLY has a total change of mind. Stupid me, I fell for the bullshit, and had 7 MORE years wasted on him. GOOD FOR YOU for not going back!!!!! The Devil does not change.

  • “…smooth talkers developed those skills specifically because they don’t have character.”

    That’s it in a nutshell.

  • Pretty sure this was covered in Lauri Anderson’s, “Language is a Virus”, or at least it reminds me of that song. Silly stuff deserves mocking :

    I had to write that letter to your mother.
    And I had to tell the judge that it was you.
    And I had to sell the car and go to Florida. Because that’s just my way of saying
    (It’s a charm.)
    That I love you.
    And I (It’s a job.)
    Had to call you at the crack of dawn (Why?)
    And list the times that I’ve been wrong.
    Cause that’s just my way of saying
    That I’m sorry. (It’s a job.)
    Language!
    It’s a virus!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvb0-Fm98qI

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvb0-Fm98qI&w=220&h=150%5D

  • My situation has not neatly fit in with other narc and cheater stories until today’s letter. It fits XH’s behavior perfectly. (This and covert narcissism profiles).

    During our “reconciliation” and the first year of divorce **pre Chump Lady** I believed him. He had such FOO issues and his father did the same thing to his family (abandon, cheat etc). I only say how wounded he was (depressed, anxious, covert narc stuff)…but i did not realize he was a wounded TIGER, not a wounded pup. i did not realize my danger. but that was then!

    Today I decided to do a Meh check. Have ignored his emails for over a month. Read one- and I am OK!!!! BTW, it would be a great one for the UBT. I do my own below 🙂

    H is still tossing in a one sentence “I am so sorry I hurt you, chumpette”…and the other 99% of his email (paraphrased) is how nothing will get better in “our family” until you and our daughters realize the affair (of 4 years, with his married patient he is about to move in with now, snort) is not the cause of the current state of destruction! he then complains that one of our daughters called him a selfish asshole recently and the college daughter only contacts him when his rent check is due…he goes on to lament….there is something MUCH WORSE that caused all this. left unstated but always inferred…it is because of you, chumpette! you and your flaws! i was so unhappy! and it is our daughter’s reactions that are the problem…not what caused there reactions.

    i am 2 years divorced, a grateful 1 year member of Chump Nations, and i have to say, it is so nice to read XH’s email and be ok. i am going about my lovely cheater free life. yoga tonight, and am finally feeling ready to date 🙂 life is good.

    • Language is a virus. That’s why I posted that song/poem/performance art piece.

      The meaning of that piece, I think, is that language doesn’t always make thing clearer, that it confuses matters often, and more often than not, it’s about “look at me, look at me, look at me” and impression management.

      When you realize that sometimes that’s all language is about for some people, things clear up a bit maybe?

    • Indeed, what is it with these assholes. Mine is fucking some one 30 years younger, some one he employed after they were fucking and states categorically that it is nothing to do with this young Chinese woman, it was me, our marriage. Poor timid forest creature was unhappy. Thus he lied cheated tortured his wife of 30 years for 3 years.

      On going completely no contact he said that our marriage break up was my fault now because I won’t see him

      • Polly, after she gets what she wants from him she is history. If she stays she will be like a friend of mine(not the ow, btw) who married an older man and is now “chained” to him because he is bedridden. She is young enough that she enjoys getting out and doing things but can’t.

  • Either your ex wants a Plan B, in case her boyfriend doesn’t work out or she’s just a narcissist who doesn’t like the idea of you and your loved ones thinking she’s cold-hearted (or some combination of both).

    Congratulations on cutting this woman out quickly and swiftly, and not succumbing to her mind games.

    • Exactly, Lulu. They like to keep their chumps on a slender thread so they can have another go at them when the kibbles at hand run out.

  • My XH didn’t seem to care if I was in pain. A few weeks after BD, he came over to do some work on the house (got sick after an hour – he had to leave as he was going to throw-up). He told me how well I was taking this and had thought I had found someone else – it had been 2 weeks from when he told me he wanted a divorce. I told him that I wasn’t that shallow.

    The one that really wanted to see me in pain was his whore (allegedly a former betrayed spouse). She had urged him to serve me with divorce papers the day before my 43rd birthday as I was leaving for a trip that he and I were supposed to go on. I had just given him the Waiver of Service 2 minutes before the server arrived. He knew I didn’t need to answer the door but didn’t clue me in. I went flipping nuts. At that point I knew the whore was calling the shots in my life. While I was on my trip, I received a Facebook request from a woman that worked with my XH. (I met her once in a restaurant a few weeks before BD. XH got nervous when she came over to say “hi” to him. I was having ACL surgery a few days after meeting her and she asked a bunch of questions about my leg brace and injury.) Turns out, that the woman was Schmoopie’s BFF. It didn’t stop there – Schmoopie ingratiated herself into his family – attending Thanksgiving 3 weeks after our 70 day divorce. When I told him that I told his parents about their affair, including the credit card charges just before they arrived, she filed an Injunction Against Harassment and 10 days later, had him do a PO against. me. That’s one messed up person.

    • Sorry for your trouble, Cindy, but those two whores deserve each other. He better hope he doesn’t try to leave Psycho Bitch, lol.

    • Wow, what a psycho. She sounds pretty insecure. Well of course she’s insecure.. her “man” is a cheater. Good luck schmoopes! LOL

    • Wow, he’s never getting out of that relationship!
      Can I dream that my cheater winds up in such a situation?

  • Just a couple weeks ago, my ex sent a Facebook message to my MOTHER, whom he has not seen nor spoken to for the past FIVE YEARS. He went on and on about how he “never meant to be hurtful” and that what happened in our marriage “was inevitable.” He wrote a ton of crap about how he just hoped I would be happy with a man who cherished me and treated me well, that I deserved to be loved and that he hoped the best for me.

    Bizarre, to say the least.

    • Sounds like it really was “inevitable”. He just didn’t bother to tell you. It would be interesting to know what triggers in their brains tell them things like “I think I should send a message to Glad’s mother”. Maybe there should be a scientific study of their brains.

      • I don’t get this shit – of course, I’m not a cheating POS. Revealing crap after BD to justify shitty choices, makes no sense to the non-disordered. If that’s the way he felt, wouldn’t have been easier to say so before all of the heartache? “Hey, I feel this, let’s work on this, ok?” Truth is, none of this crap has anything to do with the marriage. CL is right, it really comes down to bad character. Thank you Chumplady from a grateful legion of followers.

    • Gladitsover, he is fishing for information. Wants to know if you’re single/available for him. If not, he wants to know whether he compares favorably with your new partner. Best to leave the weasel in the dark.

  • It’s been almost a month since Handout Boy left. I’ve not heard from him at all and I’ve not contacted him. I can file for divorce on Oct 21 and because I’m a Catholic he will be shocked. I will NOT be reconciling. He probably doesn’t know this though. I really hope I never hear from him again.

  • I agree Newchumpatl – I also felt the jealousy – 2 years after finding out about 1 affair – (which he didn’t admit to, but I slowly pieced some of it together) I discovered he had been a serial cheater our entire 31 years together, 27 years married, 2 beautiful children. Yeah, great Dad, loving husband, pillar of the community.
    I left.
    The week-end after I moved out he met someone new. She slept in my house the same week-end and 2 months later they were getting married as soon as the divorce was final. (He is now on 4th/5th? live-in GF.) He filed for divorce within 3 months and I thought I was dying. The pain I felt was inconceivable. It was as if our years together never happened. I was wiped off the slate. It was as if I never existed. He didn’t even acknowledge me as the mother of his children. Still doesn’t years later.
    That kept me stuck for a long, long time. Even though I was mighty and I left. Even though I did it all by myself with no family (except my 2 teenage children) on the same continent never mind the same hemisphere. Even though my courage and sense of self I felt then still stuns me. I was mighty.
    But I stayed stuck – how could those years and that ” happy” family-life be wiped out of existence? I was jealous of others whose ex’s said sorry, looked sorry, wanted to get back together. I know now that he did me a favour – it was the best gift he could have ever given me, but it hurt more than I can say.
    I saw him in Vancouver a few months ago. When I stopped to talk to him to tell him the condition of our daughter, he pretended to be on his cell phone and turned his back on me. I called his name and he turned away some more. He couldn’t face me. Stupid me, I thought he didn’t hear me so I called his name again, he turned further away from me and brought the phone right up to his face. You see, our daughter was in hospital. I was going back to work on Vancouver Island for 2 days when her condition improved somewhat and as per arrangement via our son – I don’t exist, so my e-mail telling him about her situation went unacknowledged – their father would be with her until I could take more time off work to be with her.
    Wow. I even blocked that out for a few months while we worked on getting my daughter back to being able to function again. Several months later the enormity of his disengagement hit me. It’s not as if I was trying to strike up a conversation and pretend to be friends. I thought I was being considerate and that was the right thing to do if your (albeit adult) child is almost dead. Apparently not. Things were really serious with her and he couldn’t even acknowledge me as her parent trying to tell the other parent her condition.
    I am happy to say that my daughter has made great strides though she remains fragile. As for her father, he continues to tell me who/what he is, not who he led me to believe he was over all those years.
    It just took me a long time for my emotions and my new reality to catch up with that.

    Michael, I admire your attitude. Pure class!

    • Lynne- what a complete POS. I think I am also hung up on “the person he was” all those years. 2 decades, half my life.. my whole adult life, I’ve been with only him… loyal to only him. And that he could TURN on me, like a snake, all of a sudden, it’s beyond horrendous. We have YOUNG children at home. One just 4 years old! The harm this will cause them in the short and long run is something I would have done most anything to avoid. But you can’t deal with someone who can’t be straight. And you can’t deal with someone who isn’t remorseful.

      All those years I stood by him, all the years I was his wife, those years meant nothing to him.

      As evidenced by your XH’s dealings with women, these “relationships” with APs rarely work out and while these guys/gals don’t know it now, they can’t fill it up the gaping wounds of their souls with more stuff and different pieces of ass.

      I am glad you are better Lynne.

    • Lynne, I so relate to your feelings of being discarded, as if you never existed for all those years. For me it was 36 years together and married 31. The hardest thing I fight is being angry at myself for wasting all those years when I could have been fulfilling my own life’s dreams instead of supporting his. How different my life could have been! Anyway, you are mighty and awesome to survive the kind of flagrant disrespect and inhumane treatment your ex showed you when you tried to talk to him about your daughter. That’s the lowest of the low, in my opinion. Sometimes I do believe they turn into someone else and the person you knew is gone. I once mentioned that I felt that way to my oldest child, and he agreed that he felt the same way.

      • Thanks Newpatchumpl and Lyn – it’s funny how I blocked it out for a while – our psyche’s “protect” us until we can deal with it. Once my daughter started healing, it filtered through, and then it was with a sense of disbelief. It took me a while to realize that if it had been a stranger and not him, the stranger would have turned around and faced me.
        Thank you for the validation.

    • What a piece of shit. Not a small coil of dog – poo on a park lawn. I mean he is the spewing sewage that infects people with dysentery. Unbelievable. Abandons his own dying daughter? Hell does not have a place bad enough for that!!!!!

      I am glad your daughter is recovering. Poor you!!!! Poor HER!!!!

      I hope Shit-Stream pisses off a biker gang and dies after 80 hours of dissection with a rusty spoon.

  • I have a similar story, although she never said Sorry. I’m 17 months after D Day (multiple guys and Ashley Madison), and immediately after, we were trying to reconcile. We have 4 kids, tried nesting for 3 weeks, and I caught her again. I filed the week after, and we finalized in August 2014.

    I can honestly say the hardest part was the blatant lying, even in the face of proof. I remember thinking that anyone who could throw away 15 years of marriage and not give any explanation is not the person I married. It never made sense to me. For the months after, it completely rocked my core. I could not be alone in my house- my whole history and stability was in question. But looking back, the fact that there was no mental manipulation on her part to actually put in any effort and just check out…it made things easier for me in the longer term. Like a band aid coming off.

    But each day got better, and I am completely over that piece now, but as everyone here has stated, still struggle with letting go and trusting in new relationships.

    As for her, she definitely is not the person I knew, and believe there is genuinely something evil there. Within 1 week of D Day, she bought a new car. Within a month, she had a new puppy. Within 2 months of D Day (not yet divorced), she took an international vacation with a guy. The week after the divorce, she moved into her brand new house and introduced the kids to the guy. And finally, less than a year after D Day (8 months after the divorce), she re-married and they are building another, bigger home to be completed later this year. Oh yeah, they got another brand new car sometime this year too.

    Me? I’m just enjoying my time with the kids when I have them, trying to be the stable parent, and doing some much needed work around the house. Life is honestly good.

    • I also struggled with the flagrant lying. I mean why not just tell me the truth? If he wanted the Owhore, just be honest. But I don’t think they have it in them. They feel so much internal shame that they lie just to cover up those feelings.

      And they replace relationships quickly with other relationships to feel “normal” but those things rarely last. I “almost” feel for her new OM.. he’s got a train coming right at him. Notice I said “almost” because he deserves the Karma too if he was involved with her prior to the D, which he probably was.

      You’ll do better in the long haul D!

  • D, that is so tough, although I’m glad to know that you’re doing well. It also seems to me that my ex turned into someone I didn’t know. Perhaps it was someone who was there all along, but the mask came off.

    I keep trying to pinpoint exactly when things started to change and it seems clear to me it was when my ex’s coworker moved down the road from where we lived. My ex started doing things with her when I was busy driving the kids around to various sports practices, and that’s when his personality seemed to change. When she and her husband moved away, he sulked and acted resentful and nasty towards me. It was so incredibly painful, but I still believed it wasn’t a full blown affair because she was married and had young children. Turns out I was wrong.

    I finally decided that our brains just don’t work the same way. I could never have done to him what he did to me, I couldn’t have hurt my kids that way. But it also damages kids to stay in a situation where one parent is being abused and doesn’t put a end to it. Anyway, sounds like you’re doing great!

    • “It also seems to me that my ex turned into someone I didn’t know. Perhaps it was someone who was there all along, but the mask came off”.
      Lyn, that statement goes around and around in my head daily. I think in my ex husband’s case it was who he was all along. Nobody and I mean nobody can be so cruel and callous to their life partner like he has been to me. I could never hurt him and I still couldn’t, except with nasty words but certainly not with nasty actions. It simply isn’t how I do things. My ex has destroyed our marriage of 37 years and our lovely family unit and now he is off living in Cambodia with a 23 year old and her 2 little boys and he is doing everything for the 3 of them. I was heart sick when I found out about this but I now realise I must move on and get some therapy to understand what really happened and why and to live a life I am going to enjoy. I hope there is one out there for me!!

      • Marlee, your ex reminds me of Paul Gaugin. He abandoned his family to run off and live in Tahiti or some other tropical island. He became famous for his paintings of semi nude island girls. He ended up dying of VD a few years later!

          • Now that’s what I call Karma!

            Maree, I “wasted” so much time trying to work it out, WHY,WHY,How could this be possible?
            The long and short of it is that there are no answers. I say “wasted” as a loose term – but looking back at it now – how else does one wake up every day and put one foot in front of the other while your heart and emotions and life as you knew it is totally shattered. You’re trying to make sense of the senseless.
            Part of me does regret how long it took me to move forward – it was ‘wasted’ time, but necessary. Grieving betrayal and mourning loss takes time and it is a process.
            Staying stuck was such a hurdle to overcome.
            I now use the Serenity Prayer on a daily basis and am amazed at the calmness and serenity it gives me throughout my day. I am not really religious, more spiritual I suppose. So, God is not the God I used to pray to in my childhood and young adult life.
            Saying this prayer has given me a new perspective on what I can and can’t do and frees me up to live my day in a more healthy, less tormented way.
            It reminds me that I can’t change what happened and I am not responsible for his choices. It reminds me how much courage I have and that I can change what is relevant in my life for today. Can’t say I’m wise yet, but it doesn’t promise wisdom, just the wisdom to know the difference.
            It has filled me with a certain “serenity” or more likely, acceptance. So that frees me up to enjoy the little and the bigger things in life, like the smell of coffee, that perfect flower, the smell of the sea air, the beauty of this beautiful island I live on, the company of my beloved children when I see them, a good movie, a good book.

            The fact that it took me a good few years to get to this place – as I said – grieves me a little if I allow myself to dwell on it. While I was blindsided and reeling, he was into his new life without a backward glance except get extremely angry with me when I retained a lawyer in response to being served the divorce papers. It just seems such a waste, such a loss of time while I is grappling with the unthinkable, not a stride was broken in his new life. Trying to come to terms with this stranger in the same body one loved so much is just one big mind-fuck. Realizing I slept with a snake just creeps me out ……….. and now I stretch out in my comfortable bed and I am so glad it’s just me!

            Big Hugs.

            • Thanks Lynne. I can relate to the stretching out in my big bed and yes, I am glad that it is just me and that the snake I was married to has slithered elsewhere. As an aside, I took the time to listen to the link which Beth posted below. It gave me some wonderful insight into what I had been dealing with. Thank you Beth for the link.

    • I think Lyn and Maree are both right. It has been 15 months, and I am near ‘meh’ but I still have my head spin when I think that (like you) my X was evil underneath all along, and it took me SO LONG to figure out. I feel like I have woken up from a coma that was a long, bad dream, but it was also somehow real. Like in those movies where one spouse finds out the other spouse is some terrible, murdering spy, etc. It is still so unnerving to realize you can be SO WRONG about someone, for so long.

      Personally, I feel like I have outdone Apple-Biting, Serpent-Dating, Eve herself, in the ‘VERY bad judge of male character’ category.

      I am so grateful to hear I am not the only one. (That sounds terrible, but I don’t mean it to sound that way. I mean it like Misery / ‘Chumpery’ loves company kind of way.)

      P.S. Cambodia has LOTS of VD. 😉

  • When my ex realized I was really gone, he stepped up his sorrys. Sorry, however, doesn’t look like a text or a voice mail MONTHS after you’ve left the building. Other than it clearly not looking like a real sorry, there was the simple fact that I no longer believed anything he said to me. Years of false reconciliation taught me that the man will say ANYTHING he has to to get me back. Not because he loved me, his ego just couldn’t stand the rejection. The minute I was back, he was off to the next D-day.

    I’m glad you weren’t a putz like me, but it makes you unable to really get how little their words mean, and how diabolical their motives really are, and how little they care about the emotional toll their sick game is taking on you.

    Don’t buy it. As much as you would like to think she in the end had some regard for you, don’t buy it. She’s shown you who she is, believe her.

  • My daughter got married yesterday. I had not spoken to my ex in probably two years, divorced about 8 months now. I really did not want to have to speak to him at all but we do all what we have to do to make our children’s wedding day a happy one.

    I found out something about myself. I am tougher than I thought I was and I can actually be civil when I need to be.

    I also was afraid that I would feel sorry for him and that I may “succumb” to his “charms” lol.

    First thing he was asked to do, and sure enough he can’t get there in time to bring in the speakers for the start of the procession. I thought “your only daughter is getting married”. Of course, there is an excuse, isn’t there always an excuse with these people, he was feeling chilled and feverish so he took a nap. WTF, she’s only getting married once. Anyway the rest of our conversations during the course of the reception and dance consisted of telling me about his pitiful life events. Oh at one point in time he asked me how work was going and then continued to speak about himself and how he had suffered through stuff.

    I refer to him as the sad sausage, schmoopie left him 6 months after D-day. And he’s been “depressed” ever since. Of course, he lets people assume that he is pining away for our “lost” relationship, what a crock of sh*t. If anything he is sad because schmoopie went back with her husband and secondly, why would he be sad his gf practically lives with him, almost a 24/7 supply of kibbles.

    Anyway, what I am trying to get to is this, of course they are sorry, they lost out on a constant and reliable source of kibble. Are they sorry that they hurt your??? I personally have seen no evidence of that even though all and sundry assures me that he is sorry, unfortunately they don’t exactly know what he is sorry for, Kibble Loss…….. I am not a pez dispenser of kibble anymore. Go find some other poor sap that believes your sorry ass is what I think about the poor, sorry, sad sausage. I’m inches away from total Meh!!!!!!

  • Michael,
    This is why going 100% no contact with these crazy creatures so very important. It is not for them it is for you and to heal yourself and also for your mental state. She is NOT sorry at all. People who hurt other people in this matter at not sorry. They will never be sorry. The ex did that to me too me also the “sorry” call and I did not believe it at all. Actions speak louder than words. His actions were still they same cheating and mind games. They don’t love you and they cannot and will never ever love anyone. They cannot love. There is nothing in their soul. It’s a mind game that they play to keep you in their pocket for future reference. That is why going 100% no contact with her and anyone that is her life is so important to you. What your ex is doing is a typical relationship cycle all of these Personality Disorders do. Sooner or later they put on that mask again and try to be all sweet and whatever to get you back into their nasty web. Do not fall for it. It is just a game. It is always about them and nothing more or less. She is just using you like she has used other people and how she used you in the past. Believe that she is not a good person. Believe her when her mask came off and all of the pain she caused you.

    I’m going to give you a link that explains the relationship cycle that these Personality Disordered people follow. Don’t be miss lead by the title which is “After a Pathological Love Relationship: He’s Moved On and Is With Someone New”. The entire broadcast goes into detail how Cluster-B Personality Disordered relationship cycle is followed. This is the same for men and WOMEN. This really helped me in my healing process and answered so many questions I had about the ex and the people around him.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/relational-harm-reduction/2014/10/24/after-a-pathological-love-relationship-hes-moved-on-and-is-with-someone-new

    Move on with your life. Cut her out of out and don’t look back. Life is so much better without them in it. I been years out of the ex’s and it is so much better. Congrats for what you have done so far and you are mighty!!!!! I wish you the best of luck.

    • Thanks Beth! That was helpful. I especially like the line: “You became smarter than his pathology.” (or something like that). Any bit of insight into WTH happened is helpful. Very interesting link.

    • Beth, thank you SO much for posting that link. I found it to be incredibly enlightening. Today I have unstuck myself a little bit more, and passed this along to a dear friend of mine who I met on one of the RIC forums. (Don’t worry–she isn’t “standing” for abuse, either.) But while she and I and everyone here are mighty, we still deal with lingering heartbreak, especially when comparing ourselves and our lives to OW and the new life they’ve made with our ex’s.
      So, thank you again! This was really great. I feel lighter today!!

  • It’s possible that the XW broke up with Schmoopie (or they are heading that way), realizes she actually had a pretty good deal when she was with you, and is sending out feelers on whether you’ll take her back.

    I recently ended a 2.5-month relationship, my first since the divorce in October, and it was amazing just how fast XH tried to seduce me once I was unattached again. He says he spent several months on online dating sites sending out hundreds of messages to women, only got one in-person date that went very badly, and now realizes I was a gem. Of course, he isn’t offering to take any pragmatic steps towards fixing what destroyed our marriage; he’s even still “friends” with and in regular contact with both his work-wife and his ex-mistress. I wouldn’t say yes even if he offered to change, but I think it speaks volumes that he seems to want forgiveness and reconciliation without actually having to do any work.

    And this after he was the one who ultimately filed for and pushed through the divorce, and had told me I was “repulsive” and “disgusting” and he wasn’t very attracted to me anymore. Sometimes you just don’t know what you got until it’s gone.

    • Rarity, you are correct that there are probably just not enough Whores to go around, lol. I know from coming on CL it seems like everyone on earth is a Cheater but that’s really not so. I read a lot about Ashley Madison and most of the guys on there are desperate cause most of the profiles are fake or the women are either prostitutes or if they are real women, not that attractive. I set up a fake profile out of curiosity, said I was 45 I think, and “chunky”. (I’m actually ten years older than that). I immediately got hundreds of messages, it was seriously out of control. From out of state, even. One guy wrote that anyone who contacted him back wanted $$$$. What that tells me is pickings are slim. And, truthfully, none of the guys were appealing. One reviewer wrote “Ashley Madison: your chance to date an overweight fifty year old on a Tuesday afternoon.” The married dating cesspool is probably what draws cheaters back to High School True Love. It’s easier than spending money and effort meeting strangers, and they are really just looking to get laid anyway. Otherwise, they would divorce and begin legitimate dating.

      • He was on OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, LDS Singles and Match, with “strictly monogamous” listed in his profile (such a lie, but obviously, most women wouldn’t go for him if he told the truth). He’s a tall, good-looking guy, 34. His problem is that his profession is “ballroom dance instructor.” Women see that and that he already has 2 kids to support and run the other way.

        His job was a constant source of tension for us, even without the infidelity, and I tried to persuade him that if he would just do something more practical and build a real career, we would have enough money to keep dancing for recreation on the side. But he would have none of it.

        He’s finally starting to see that I knew what I was talking about the whole time.

    • Oh, I also still have an Ashley Madison profile out there because they charge you to delete it . Even though women set them up free, you have to pay to delete. $35, I think. I just removed all my limited information and made it inactive. That also inflates their membership numbers. I just couldn’t believe the emails these guys sent, how i sounded so great (45, fat, no personal info) , had a great personality, and wanted to start a relationship based on basically nothing. I believe they just think they are bypassing paying an actual prostitute. My advice to anyone who gets a date through AM is to make sure to bring along a roll of cash, lol.

  • I wrote this before. A friend was dumped after 20+ years. She never knew if he was cheating. She said she was a very good wife and if he wanted out then so long. It took him a few years but he realized what he had thrown away was a good life. He told her he needed to find himself. Well, he found himself married to a woman he didn’t love. He visited my friend several times hinting but she was past meh to ho hum. She said the only feelings she had left were resentments that he hurt his children. She told me she hadn’t been looking but she “found” her new self and was very content. I asked if she ever wanted to marry again and she just laughed. She is one of the funniest people I know and she said that is the best thing she found after he left…..her sense of humor.

  • I just love that BS line, “I still care about you.” Give me a break! Better yet, go “care” about Schmoopie as much as you “cared” about me! If that’s his MO then his “new & improved” love affair is surely doomed before it even gets started! And that’s assuming the AP has half a brain!

  • Ah, to be a fly on the wall at the AP/soulmate home, if/when he/she discovers the efforts the cheater still makes to engage/lure/seduce the former spouse.
    At meh, one should not care but who couldn’t appreciate the poetic justice for a moment?

  • Hey chumps, after 2 months of no contact at all, I went for my first facial and new hair cut. This is brilliant therapy, lifts the spirits and makes you feel much more lovely. I am 58 or so and have for the past three years felt small, unimportant, unlovable and no self esteem.

    So my advice is absolutely no contact and some hands on beauty therapy, I know the beauty therapy part sounds a bit silly and self centred but it worked for me.

    • If you don’t center on yourself, who will?

      It’s not like you’re asking for anyone to sacrifice for you. I’m sure the cosmeticians appreciate the business, as you appreciate the treatment and end result.

      How could that be bad?

      How is it “silly” to want to feel and look good?

      You go on with yourself, my dear. You earned it.

  • Polly, not self-centered at all! My ex was all about sparing no expense on himself. I always settled for cheaper, but nice, haircuts and no extras whatsoever in my attempt to keep our budget under control. What do I hear on D-day from him? “You need to step it up a notch.” Really asshole? Well, I am 59 and I have discovered the wonderful world of salon mani/pedis (used to do my own) , expensive hair salons and shopping at higher end stores! Great part? He has to pay for it! I love it! Screw him and his HO!

  • And by the way, his Schmoopies roots are showing and she’s looking a little “unpolished” lately! Money a bit tight? Boo fuckety Hoo!

  • I believe the disordered think they are so hot that those kibbles from whomever they soil are their entitled right. The insincere Sorry, emails out of the blue, drama with money, custody, celebrations, and children, are ongoing. Consider it pure toxic mindsuck. No contact is healthiest. As is get busy living your own life. Looking back I know my marriage sucked. It was like babysitting a high moviestar who was never satisfied. Great to be in the limelight at times but daily in and out no, those days sucked. And they shouldn’t have, It wasn’t living. I am so thankful to be away.

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