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UBT: “I Wasn’t Trying to Manipulate You”

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serial_cheater_shark

Today’s Universal Bullshit Translator tidbit comes from Arlo, who sent it in after reading an article I shared on Facebook about gaslighting. (Which is a great article, btw, you can read it here.)

Having more than a few A-HA moments, Arlo shared the article too. No sooner had she shared it, then her soon-to-be-ex-husband texts her. Arlo writes:

“[This bullshit] stands on its own, entire, perfect, and complete. An apologia in the ancient tradition of Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse. Do you have any idea how many naugas were sacrificed to craft this shark’s people-suit?

At first I was just flabbergasted. But I’ve been flabbergasted for about 14 months now so that doesn’t slow me down too much anymore. Then I did a little dance because it was so fucking fun that he sent me such a perfect specimen from the cheater handbook, and I was so tickled I’d get to share it here. Tee hee.”

Okay Arlo, you’re on. Here’s the bullshit in question:

“I get it. You don’t talk to me anymore. Our relationship is not open for review. Maybe we don’t get to go back. But you know when you post articles like that it puts it out to family and friends that I was an abuser. That, I think is not fair. It displays only the tiniest picture of my commitment to you and our family for all these years. If I was gaslighting you it was not intentional. I was not trying to manipulate you. You may need to consider that I experienced a deep personal crisis. You don’t care about that. But I never meant to emotionally abuse you. And if you believe that I did, I apologize. But put that swath of time in the context of our entire relationship and give me some credit for being way better than that. I was good and loving to you. Peace”

And then 45 seconds later he sends another.

“I was struggling with and repressing demons that I could neither understand nor fully control.”

Let’s UBT it. (UBT snark is in regular text. Translations are in italics.)

I get it. You don’t talk to me anymore. Our relationship is not open for review.

Not open for review, but apparently open to fuckbuddies.

Maybe we don’t get to go back.

Why do you assume reconciliation is your right and due? Maybe? Are you only clueing in now to the fact Arlo is divorcing you? Can’t unring that bell (or un-fuck that whore).

But you know when you post articles like that it puts it out to family and friends that I was an abuser.

I’m not an abuser! I’m a guy with a girlfriend AND a marriage. Did I mindfuck you about that? Well, if you want to call that emotional abuse, you’re wrong! It was mindfuckery in the service of my dick. My dick is infallible. If you want to broadcast something, broadcast that, not these damnable self-help articles.

That, I think is not fair.

Poor sausage. Did someone share an article on Facebook that upset you? That’s so unkind. Unlike, say, discovering your spouse has been cheating on you for years, which is just something a chump should bear quietly and graciously.

It displays only the tiniest picture of my commitment to you and our family for all these years.

I was faithful for entire months!

If I was gaslighting you it was not intentional. I was not trying to manipulate you.

No, it’s completely effortless. Manipulation is as easy as breathing to me. 

You may need to consider that I experienced a deep personal crisis.

Pity me. I had a crisis, worse than the one I inflicted on you. It was deep, and personal… like my GF’s vagina. It was a pussy crisis. 

You don’t care about that.

You’ve never cared about my pussy crises.

But I never meant to emotionally abuse you.

You’re just a spot of collateral damage. I wasn’t thinking of you at all, abusively, or otherwise.

And if you believe that I did, I apologize.

I apologize for some fiction you believe in. So this is a fake apology for that thing I didn’t do.

But put that swath of time in the context of our entire relationship and give me some credit for being way better than that. I was good and loving to you. Peace.

You’ve let this whole “I have a girlfriend” thing get in the way of our commitment! 

I was struggling with and repressing demons that I could neither understand nor fully control.

See there are these idiot demons that speak Goblin (a dialect of Luciferinnish) and I couldn’t make out what they were saying. But through pantomime I understood their directives to say I must fuck women I’m not married to. (They’re very expressive, demons.) I struggled with them. We had arm wrestling matches. I had nothing next to their green, warty demon biceps. (Demons gloat when they win.)

I implored them: “I don’t want to fuck women I’m not married to!” But they were so persuasive. We fought again. I hit them with pillows, fluffy duvets and teddy bears. But I could not break through their bulwark of evil. Nothing would appease them except cheating on you. I’m telling you, these demons were uncontrollable! (and not terribly housebroken). 

You don’t know how I suffer. 

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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.
    • Wow. Ahem. CL you nailed it. I have to say that God has a hand in all that you write. Surely, you must know that the demons have to get all of their ideas approved by God first. Cause the whole world is in His hands and the earth too. (Isaiah) Who, btw… they called his wife a w-itch… and then they made fun of the name that he gave her son… It was something roughly translated to… “destruction is emminent” I have prayed that God will be merciful to us…. bc did u know that the end of the world is foretold in the last chapters of Daniel (the son of the king of the north will marry the daughter of the king of the south and regard NOT her wishes)…And the bride of God is explained in the book of Revelations… as a very strong temple… wtf? Paul dared call a woman a temple… she is much more than that. She lives.
      Regardless, I live in America. There are no kings here… so what ever is happening (out there) is of little relevance to me. Unless they freaking try to get me stop singing like a canary… aka exposing all those secret combinations.

      • Friend? Are you alright? I fully support praying and being mindful of the future. I’m not entirely sure of what to make of the last part. I think maybe you’re witnessing, but then you talk about how kings and things happening out there don’t matter to you because you’re American so I’m a little confused. What does that have to do with cheating. I don’t understand the connection you made.

  • My comment on this bullshit is officially “No Comment!” I’ll just let the cheater keep burying himself in his unwarranted self-pity! Yuck! What an asshole!

  • F that shit. Ex admitted to me he was purposely being abusive (although he didn’t call it that) to get me off his back and be the one to end it.

    I must be healing. I was able to laugh at “pussy crises”. That’s definitely what ex was having.

    • Wow Lina! I always said the same thing that he wanted me off his back and to end it.
      CL is decoding the cheater handbook!!
      I LOL’d too at the ‘pussy crises’. Great!

      • They really underestimate our commitment. I think because they have none.

        Actually mine could have had a d**k crisis because it never worked right.

        • Lina, my ex had that problem, too. It wasn’t due to his excessive drinking. Nooo…His malfunctioning man-part was solely due to my neglecting to blow him enough. Oh, yes, every woman’s dream to make mad passionate love to a slobbery reeking drunk man… because, just like the old SNL skit, “No one can resist Schweddy Balls!”

          • Mine didn’t even drink. Had ED. And lousy technique when it did work. Wouldn’t talk about it or see a doctor. Then after my hysterectomy he withheld and made me feel like damaged goods. Wouldn’t discuss that either. I guess it was my fault because I had cancer.

            • I’m so sorry 🙁 What kind of slime bucket uses someone else’s illness as an excuse? Oh wait, it sounds like many of them do. I can only imagine the decades of fun ahead of me if I were inclined to stay. I knew he had ED over a decade ago and I still married him yet he maintains it malfunctions bc I don’t want it badly enough (bc I have hormonal/mental/joint trouble – his theory, he got the joint part right). Oh, and I cause him so much stress bc I refuse to worship him (or the broken plumbing?) that he can’t get it to work right.

            • Mine took viagra, but if you drink too much it still doesn’t work. We were damned either way, Lina. My ex made me feel inadequate, too. I hated that flat-out refusal discuss things like adults. His response was that I had a problem, not him.

              • He actually threw it in my face that we “were living like roommates” as he was on his way out as if it was my fault.

  • For some reason, this made me think of Helen Lovejoy from The Simpsons, “Will somebody please think of the children!” Except her ex would be shouting, “Will somebody please think of my demons!” Cheaters are so selfishly over-dramatic.

    • I remember the day that I chose to be faithful. I was 16. Dating a boy (I will call him W.S.)… who was not at a badass party with me. However, the cutest school geek was there (who I happened to like more bc he was destined for his MD). W.S. was a bit of a shallow jock… and when Joel started to hit on me… I thought, “Ok. I have a choice here.”
      I shut him down.
      Fidelity must be in my blood… because I did not wrestle a demon. I just decided who “I am”

  • My STBXH is so pathetic he doesn’t even bother to call me. No. He manipulates via a 3rd party. He calls my sister’s husband and talks to him about how broke he is and how hard it is to pay child support, what I have done to make his life difficult, etc. I mean, THAT’S the reason he moved in with OW and her son. Money. Not love or even like. Where exactly did the love go?

    • conniered, unfortunately mine does the same thing except through our daughter. He preys on her kindness (like he did with me) and makes her feel sorry for the financial situation he’s in as a result of his cheating. Then she comes to me and says things like ‘hey you just sold that couch, are you going to give dad half the money for it’? To which I replied ‘as part of our legal agreement, your dad made a list of the things he wanted from the house and he has received everything he requested. The remaining items are mine so the money from what I have sold is mine too’. He’s a dick for using our daughter like that. Guess it’s harder for him to wine and dine the many women he fucks and pay his prostitutes these days.

  • LMFAO! This was a great way to get moving this morning. Because I am languishing in the Upstairs Convent, waiting to file, I forget specifically why I am angry and (eventually) kicking him out. Who needs to spout psychobabble from the latest counselor (Asshat’s got a new one who I assume is more supportive of his sad sausage theories and not focused on holding him accountable for his actions) when I can trot out UBT gems like this?! It would give him more ammo in the ‘you’re so sarcastic’ department but I gave it to him straight months ago and it just went in one ear and out the other. For him to absorb anything, it must be presented in some NPR approved format, possibly with a porn soundtrack in the background. Nearly all of this translation applies to his wimpy ass story but, in his case, his dick is *not* infallible ;O

    • A man came up to my drive-through today. I am supposed to talk, hospitably to my customers. I had little to say, but this one was so interesting… with lots of body piercings, etc. So, I asked, “How do you like the weather?” It was a breezy, cool September day. He said, “I cannot resist it.”
      Well said.

  • This made me almost want to re-open my Facebook just to post this. After yet another distressing and sleepless night, this summed up so much in such a short message, damn that all knowing penis GPS directing that moral compass that was influenced by those meanie demons that forced that pussy crisis. Wow, just wow…..

    • You should try pinterest. It is peer-reviewed. I am “Lester” about divorce grief. Oddly, I still have zero followers. You will gain many. It might have something to do with my ‘deliberate’ Old Maid strategy.

  • This cheater is laughable! He wants his “bitch cookie” for being such a wonderful husband ummm…. Past tense! He wants credit for that damn it! And how dare his betrayed spouse “out” him for the POS he truly is on everyone’s favorite hook-up site, FaceBook! Does his abused left behind spouse have ANY idea how difficult she has made it for him to take care of his “future pussy crisis” if the current whore catches on too soon?? Oh the agony for the poor sausage! Notice he doesn’t give a flying fuck about his faithful spouse at all! It’s all about his sparkling image! There has just GOT to be a warmer place in Hell for people like this! At least I hope so!

    • Mine did this too.. “I loved you for 20 years”.. as if there was an expiration date! I didn’t realize at 20 years boom..my times is up! I’m expired!!!

      • My expiration date was 20yrs also. Wish I had it stamped on me like a milk carton. I would have gotten away a lot sooner knowing it was coming

          • Just short of 30 years and I got. .. you seem to forget all the years I was a good husband. ..let her deal with the sneaky fuck. A psychologist and lawyer, I’d love to see documents on where she graduated from. UBT university. ..can’t wait to see how this plays out. just glad I moved away

            • Mine was 35 years according to him, but Schmoopie number ? (after connecting a lot of dots, I was a Chumped to the max) was seriously in place when we “celebrated” our 35th Anniversary on a long getaway weekend…In the honeymoon suite of a beach hotel that he booked. He avoided spending time together that suite like the plague, got too drunk for sex, then berated me for having a silk nighty on the next morning, like that was a deterrant for morning lovemaking. God, he was being faithful to Schmoopie! I call that Abuse!

    • Ah the wonders of bitch cookies… Mine wanted so many I could have become a millionaire had I opened a bitch cookie shop!

      So instead of giving in, I keep reminding him of RICHARD NIXON.

      No matter how many good policies he passed during his presidency or how many good deeds he clocked after his presidency, he is still going down in history as the President who had to resign because he thought he could get away with lying and manipulating the American People.

      So keep doing good things, but don’t hope for kibbles, oh poor you, bitch cookie hungry sad sausage…

  • Yuck. I don’t miss receiving texts like this. All he half assed apologies, blameshifting, and blatant lack of understanding as to why I’m “upset” with him. “Upset”? That’s an understatement…simply his way of trying to make his actions seem less awful than they were.
    I’ve blocked him from texting me and we only communicate by email regarding the kids. It’s easier to stay on topic that way and not get into the emotional bullshit & downfall of our marriage. It’s also more effective at keeping record of what is said, promised, etc just in case I need written proof of something for court somewhere down the line.
    I don’t have Facebook or other social media anymore, but if I did, his ass would be blocked. He gets no window into my personal life. Let him rack his brain with guessing what I’m up to. Give him a taste of his own “secretive” medicine.

    • Ha, FFC, I am going out of town this weekend and not telling him where I am going at all.
      I toss out the “Maybe I’m going to *insert city he went to with whore and lied about*” or I just say “You don’t need to know.” I didn’t get to know where he really was when we were married, why would I tell him where I go now that we are getting divorced?

  • OMG UBT, I didn’t even send you the text where he told me about waking up early the next morning SUFFERING.

    That is just spooooooky.
    You are good, UBT, spooky good.

    • Arlo, if he’s suffering and can’t sleep then he is suffering at his OWN hand! You didn’t tell him to go sniffing out strange p***y! He did that on his own! If he wants to blame someone then he needs to find a mirror! If he can’t handle the consequences of HIS OWN actions that’s too bad!

  • Struggling not to let peals of laughter ring out from my desk. This is wonderful. I love when you unpack things like this and show that when each statement’s actually looked at logically, it’s a giant pile of garbage.

    The big nugget of “EXACTLY!” here for me today is this:

    “Poor sausage. Did someone share an article on Facebook that upset you? That’s so unkind. Unlike, say, discovering your spouse has been cheating on you for years, which is just something a chump should bear quietly and graciously.”

    E X A C T L Y.

    But Arlo, you haven’t blocked your STBX on all social media channels yet? GIRL! Get on it. Be free.

      • Although…you could unblock him, post a bunch of ChumpLady columns, Sandra Brown columns on “Women who love Psychopaths,” and a few gems from the Infidelity help group, then block him. That would be funny. Imagine how many more texts for the UBT!

        • Truth bombs! LOL. Blow up his page with them and then disappear into the clouds.

          I may have been watching too many WW2 documentaries lately.

  • I love when they apologize, not for their actions, but for your perceptions. “I’m sorry if that’s the way you see things.” “I’m sorry you misinterpreted my actions.” “I’m sorry you didn’t comprehend my true feelings.” They get to apologize while still pointing out it’s your fault.

    • I used this on Asshat, actually. I was SO tired of him repeatedly trying to blame our marital problems as so many of his examples were completely fabricated. A few times, when I sick of arguing, I pointedly said that I apologized for what he perceived to be my issues and faults but that I couldn’t help that his crazy ass made them up and I certainly wasn’t going to therapy so that i could fix what was never wrong to begin with.

      • ChumpyElf–mine is still lamenting the “marital problems” that led him to bone a graduate student. I’m not talking to the jackass, but should I ever get the chance, I’d like to say, “If you really believed your affair/s were justified by marital problems, tell all our/your friends about your serial cheating with lots of women and say that it was because Tempest was such a terrible wife that you had to do that.” He can’t justify his multitude of betrayals on me because all of his friends like me. If he truly believes his BS, he should be able to convince other people, no?

          • Ha, a few of my soon X’s friends tried to hit on me through text since they found out I left him, seriously! They’re all cheaters too though, their wives left them. Sick bunch.

            • Classy dudes! Flirting via text, to boot…. I think a 20 year old lift operator was flirting with me today. Luckily, the wind was howling so that limited the small talk. I wonder if people would be able to better guess my age if I stop covering my grey, well really it’s white, hair?

      • Or how about this…..”I understand that you are so scorned”! To that I replied “Stop saying I’m scorned!!! I am the most loving and patient person you will EVER know! I am a product of a situation that I didn’t choose”.

        All this was via text of course because the pussy hunting coward couldn’t face me or even talk on the phone to me. And it was last year too……no contact for a while now.

        • Wow, IHave, that is gaslighting for sure … He’s sorry your scorned but he’s NOT sorry he scorned you!!?? Gah! They make me so sick! Keep your chin up and keep being your best self . It’s the only thing that gauls them, seeing us thrive and happy without -and in spite- of them 🙂

  • Just perfect CL.
    Arlo, seems like you were dating my ex too. This is exactly how he would react given the opportunity. But I just shut that mf-er down. Alro, keep on, keeping on: no contact. Post whatever the hell you like. Ex is trying to conduct “impression management” by dissuading you from posting such things. But one question…why are you still friends on fb??

  • Putting it into the context of “our entire relationship” makes so much sence. After all I was fighting off those nasty little demons.

    Cheaters RISK everything when they cheat. Yes, for once please put it into the context of the entire relationship. Be humble when getting a divorce. Make sure your children and loyal partner are taken care of. Don’t drag it out and financially ruin lives hiding money. Yes it’s always about actions.

  • In one breath, he is protesting that he didn’t emotionally abuse. Then in another he is “apologizing” or even granting on a limited basis that he did. Pathetic. Yeah, people might think you are an abuser. This is especially so when you admit it even if you claim it was done “unintentionally.” Impression management, indeed.

    • Exactly what I was thinking.
      Almost every disordered fuckwit the world over, pulls this exact shit when they are backed into a corner. Doesn’t need to be about cheating – just general deceit and lying garners the same shit.
      Its why whenever I see this crap now – its called out for the bullshit it is.

      • Yes, the gas lighting is as bad as the actual cheating. The ultimate cruelty, to cheat, then try to make you feel crazy for your intuition that he’s lying constantly, though you haven’t actually caught him yet. Mine fessed up, only because I caught him, and is now begging me to come back because he “loves me, made a huge mistake and is so sorry” while he’s Still. Seeing. Her. WTF!? Also, “Just say you’re coming back and I’ll stop seeing her.” Gaslighted to the point off asking my friends if that was fucked up or not.

  • When they say things like “….it puts it out to family and friends that I was an abuser. That, I think is not fair. It displays only the tiniest picture of my commitment to you and our family for all these years,” or “at least I didn’t beat you” or “I always helped with the laundry,” I’m reminded of a quote from Doctor Who, Boom Town. He’s talking to a woman named Margaret who points out that she’s not so bad because she let one person go. He replies:

    “You let one of them go but that’s nothing new. Every now and then a little victim’s spared because she smiled, ’cause he’s got freckles. ‘Cause they begged. And that’s how you live with yourself. That’s how you slaughter millions. Because once in awhile—on a whim, if the wind’s in the right direction—you happen to be kind.”

    That’s how they justify these things. We wonder how cheaters can think they’re good spouses, how terrorists can live with themselves, how racists can think they’re good people. It’s because they raked the yard, delivered medicine, gave money to the poor. So they can look at that one act and tell themselves they’re not so bad. The problem is that Stalin may have once spared a father of 5 kids who you spared from the prison camps so his wife and children wouldn’t starve, but that does not negate the number of people that did go to prison camps. They may have made dinner one night, but that does not undo the hidden money spend on smoopie.

    But that’s what these cheaters and the reconciliation complex want us to focus on. ISIS rapes captured women and sells children as young as nine as sex slaves, but look, they also encouraged vaccination. Obviously they can’t be that bad. He passed the salt, she did the dishes. Obviously they’re feeling remorse/were never that bad a spouse.

    • Excellent, GreenGirl!

      Mine pulled something similar. When I said that cheating on me was the second worst thing he could do to me, after harming my children, he said with chagrin, “I would NEVER do that!” Well, I guess that makes you a good person, eh? (eye roll)

    • Spot on GreenGirl –

      Exactly how my fucking asshole serial cheater sex addict justified using young women trafficked into the US for sex purposes. Top tier educated delighted in the uneducated female to abuse and feel power and control.

      Oh he is so, so, sorry….for being caught. Oh he is so, so, forgiven…so you can’t judge. Oh he is so, so, remorseful…..so you feel sorry for him. Oh he is so, so full of self loathing…so you can love him.

      But I see him simmering,….simmering……for the right time to strike. Just like that poor, poor, snake.

      God bless the tender hearted woman/man. Beware of sympathy for the devil.

        • I just lost my granola. No one who preys on underage girls who were kidnapped (in reality or because of poverty) is a “nice” guy. May his blood turn to vinegar.

          (CalamityJ–You inspired me yesterday; I’m now obsessed with finding Italian and other cultural hexes.)

          • Little Elf had the mother of all playdates yesterday (still recovering from 7 hours of madness and hilarity) so I barely read yesterday’s post. You mean like Evil Eyes and things? I’ve got a couple of extra ones from my Orthodox years.

          • Try Tobin’s Spirit Guide? No, actually, there is an ancient book: Grimorium Verum. It’s kind of like The Anarchists Cookbook for dark forces. Probably found at a chain bookstore near you. How do I know this stuff? (Cue in evil laugh.) Actually, I’m just a history nerd.

            • Oh, Boudica–a woman after my own heart! I’ll run past Half Price Books this week. Shall I pick up eye of newt or any other ingredients? The thought of chanting while stirring strange ingredients in a cauldron to bring about the downfall of cheaters (or have their internal organs liquify) is starting to appeal…..

              • Heh-heh Tempest! In my last therapy session with my new Counselor (who’s excellent by the way), she asked what I wanted to do regarding my ex. I replied, “I would go all Van Helsing on him and all Cluster B’s out there damaging people. You know, bag of wooden stakes and mallet, gallon of holy water, silver bullets…”

                Because I delivered that information in a deadpan fashion, she thought I may try something stupid that would put me in jail. I laughed and assured her I had no intent to actually do anything like that.

                However, I did state I was going to file a report of my X with the authorities as soon as I wasn’t all “triggery”.

                She agreed I should.

                Hugs and love to you – and please let me know if you come up with some concoction that would do the job. (Cue in evil laugh.)

                Question: Why wouldn’t Dracula, or any vampire, attack a Narcissist or Sociopath?
                Answer: Professional courtesy.

          • HAW haw haW. ha ha ..”professional courtesy” HA ha HAw Love it Boudica

            Tempest, blood to vinegar works for me!

        • CJ…….yea right, “he justifies his deviant behavior because he is “such a nice guy” most the time”.
          Mine too. He is so kind to his workers and those around him while inside he thinks he is far superior than everyone.
          He’s a shyster con man from the get go. I was the clueless idiot! (mad at me!)

          • IHaveHate–I was mad at myself, too, until a friend said (as if this was an obvious point), “If someone smart sets out to deceive you, of course they will.” That was all I needed to let myself off the hook.

            • Hmmm, if someone smart sets out to deceive you…. I married a rocket scientist by education. Shyster con man “salesman” charmer in reality. I’ve been so mad at myself. In reality, we need to forgive ourselves for not listeneng to our guts. For being disconnected to our true inner being. Maybe this is the lesson these disordered jerks were to teach us. Get back to self. Love and trust and take care of yourself first. I knew something wasn’t right but I didnt know what. I ignored years of a deep inner “offness”…

  • I LOVE the UBT! Here’s our short but oh so sweet exchange after I called him out on gaslighting me via text:
    Me: It’s called gaslighting – what you do. Most cheaters do it. Look it up.
    Him: It’s called learned helplessness what you are doing. Look it up or ask your parents.
    Me: Perfect Example.
    Him: Thank you.
    The narcissist strikes again.
    Thank you for reassuring me daily that I’m not crazy. That I did nothing wrong. And that I am not alone. “Peace.” 😉

    • Once you get to that place, you realize that you have been speaking in English for your entire marriage, and he has been speaking in a Vogon, without the use of a babblefish. Your next realization is that you are wasting your precious time and breath and your entire life could be better served if you just spend the time you talking to him picking your nose.

  • Arlo , thank you for sending this to CL to UBT – I needed a spot on good laugh today!

    There were several good take-aways but I will remember – you can’t un-fuck that whore. Classic CL!

  • The memory loss is real. Stbx would get to raging about something insignificant and I would remember the beginning and the end but the middle of the fight…gone.

    • Nodanicing, I had the memory loss for years, thought it was because I went into shock when the abuse began, I knew a fight happened and I knew it was horrible, but I could never remember the details. More horrifying was the day I realized any type of high emotional incident causes it to happen now, even happy things, like my new guy told me he loved me one night and i cant remember what he said, just know he said it. I am praying for healing.

      • I remember thinking I was going crazy as MyHero would bring things up that I had no memory of. I know that we would get into arguments (that never resolved anything) and even if he apologized at the time for whatever, I could be assured that I would have my ass handed to me in the near future making whatever into my fault and taking it up a notch so that I was apologizing and completely torn down. I remember one such incident I went up and sat in the bathtub and just sobbed that I was such a worthless POS. Now if I could just use the memory loss to forget him from my heart while he has walked away without a backward glance.

  • “I struggled with them. We had arm wrestling matches.”
    This is why I can not eat or drink while reading CL!

    Yeah, I never got an I’m sorry I had an affair. The closets I got was “I’m sorry you got hurt.”
    And judging by his actual actions even that was bullshit.
    Just so glad to be done, now if I could just get him to leave the house.

    • alloutofkibble-I got the sorry you got hurt BS too. They can’t say they are sorry for something they didn’t do or were “driven to do.” Saying you’re sorry admits culpability and that’s never going to happen.

      Best not to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent and similarly it’s best not to engage in a battle of empathy with an unarmed opponent. In the case of of these cheaters they are unarmed in both categories. The only winning move is to walk away.

  • The messed up ways cheaters try to control their narrative is like listening to high 15 year old rant about how much their parents suck.

    huh…what…huh…smh…huh…wtf…what ….huh….?

    Cheaters take themselves seriously, in their fragmented delusional frame speak they actually think they make sense. Nothing angers a delusional cheater if they face non delusional questions or response to their warped mind fuck cheater speak and claim to fictional reality. How dare a non-delusional question their delusional sense of order.

    A cheater is a narrative dictator, anyone who defies that cheater narrative is an enemy to the the fictional delusion said cheater is manufacturing.

    Might as well listen to a fart opera when a cheater sings Boombrrhhreeesprlggbrumptderttetetershhhheetthreupbumpadumpplopdidtrrtertreeeeeeblimttadoodaodlespleetdappopopohpoopdathrumotbtableeerptaboom.

    • Arlo

      He must be related to the inflatable dick I divorced. What struck me was he thought putting the article out there portrayed him as an abuser to family and friends. After all that’s not fair. How fast they glide into image control.

  • Great article on gaslighting! Do they all read the same playbook? I got something similar.

    The challenge is that they really believe their own rationale used to justify their actions. It is their truth. They will die on the sword for their truth.

    My EX also sold his versions of his truth to the various groups. I always had a sense he was lying or modifying the truth but it was the reactions from the various groups that caused me to doubt my ‘gut’. It takes some time to heal when you learn everyone in your life has been lying to you.

    For me, it boils down to emotional maturity. By this I mean – can you have a conversation with your partner and part ways nicely?

    They can’t do that. But they can buy a house and move in with the AP and still lie to you so you believe that you are working things out. However, they have no intention of telling you – not today – not ever.

    I will never understand my EX. However, I know he is all kinds of f**d up.

    • Moving forward my X did the same thing! I found out he was living with howorker when I had a credit check done and his address was howorkers!
      He is so disordered I had such a difficult time wrapping my mind around how truly sociopathic he is because he comes across as extremely stable, humble and very put together. The whole time this was happening, he would visit me and reassure me we were taking baby steps to repair our 28 y marriage. When I would ask if he was seeing someone else he would earnestly state “now why would I add something like that into an already complicated stressful situation” WOW just WOW!

      • Thank you for this! It is timely. My Unintended is making noises about “coming home”, but of course, as with everything he says, there can be 8 reasons for him saying such a thing, and the statement was not accompanied with remorse, nor any explanation as to why he has changed his mind about moving in together with She Who Must Be Laid. So thank you for reminding me that people can do one thing and say another, “buy a condo for two while living with you” … just like when he love-bombed me while he was a-wooing her.

        OMG! The last card he gave me before Discovery Day (one of many over the 14 years) is the most beautiful card I have seen in my entire life. I still can’t part with it. When I said, “WHAT ABOUT THIS??? WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS CARD MEAN NOW???”, he said, “But I doooooo love you!!!”

        I danced for him for 6 months solid, then on and off for another year. Now I just think about it CONSTANTLY but I don’t offer kibbles. I’m getting better, eh???

        Anyway, thank you for the reminder … sanity reigns again until my next slip-up, and then I’ll read more CL.

        • Mine tried to forbid me from going on a trip with one of my children, whilst actively planning a big romantic secret getaway with the OW….during our “reconciliation”.

          I went on my trip. As soon as I returned, he left for his planned trip with the OW under the guise of his counselor’s advice to “give me space” and claiming he hadn’t seen her for months and continuing to maintain that he would “NEVER see that woman again!”

          He convinced me to see his counselor with him, where I pulled out the email I had found where he was telling a pal about his fabulous recent romantic week with her and two planned trips in the near future. His counselor was very, very surprised….

          I was and wasn’t.

          It’s impossible to understand this level of disconnect. Where is authenticity? Nonexistent. Where is personal truth? It’s an alien concept.

          He still likes to insist that, other than all of that and other affairs I learned about after the fact, he is a very honest person.

          If you say so…

  • Arlo – I think It’s great that being flabbergasted doesn’t slow you down – That is an awesome place to be. -I am not feeling like a Dali melted time clock anymore – so I consider that major progress.

    Thank you for sharing the letter and to CL for deconstructing it so well. The UBTs are really great – break it all down and even though the mileage may vary there is something for everyone.

    Wow – and is it not about consequences? It’s a good article that you posted and while gas-lighting sounds so direct and violent it is actually quite subtle – I can really relate to the ‘can’t remember the conversation’ and feeling like I’m silently losing my mind. The withholding, the temper, back to the silent treatment, the wondering, all created huge self-doubt. That crazy making took a real toll on my mind, spirit, and body. I’m still an insomniac. When I have had a really great nights sleep, often I’ll wake up remembering some epic scary dream about my Ex, and all that I intuited while be screwed over by his 4 yr. affair, and great cover up skills. -So, I battle with fear of dreams and sleep and exhaustion from not enough sleep. I’m hoping this too shall pass. Bottom line is there is the deceiver and the deceived. All the manipulation protects the deceiver, alone. And there damn well should be consequences.

    Good for you for posting something that conveys your thoughts without directly accusing on FB. And, clearly, it made an impression, made the guilty party real upset. Who has the power now?

  • I interrupt this comments section to announce Kim Davis has been jailed for contempt of court until she agrees to issue marriage licenses, and in her absence, the Judge Executive can issue marriage licenses, so people in her county can once again get married.

    Despite her not liking gays getting married because she is so devoted to marriage that she had four and cheated on the first husband with the third husband.

    • I hate the argument “that gay couples wanting to get married ruins the sanctity of marriage”! Especially when a lot of those people are cheaters! Hypocrit much?

      Kim Davis just solidifies my point! What a total loser!

    • I read about Kim Davis. I don’t support same-sex marriage myself for religious reasons, but I took exception to her statement that ‘she never thought she would see the day’ that she would have to do this. She was only elected a clerk last year, and the same-sex marriage discussion/debate/argument has been going on in the US now for years.

      Kim Davis has had plenty of time to read the signs of the times about this (which Christians are supposed to do!), and to find another job, or transfer to work in another part of the public service that doesn’t require her to engage in behaviours that are clearly at odds with her conscience.

      God is always glad to have someone who is willing to witness for their faith, but it’s best to let Him choose them, rather than try to line up for the job. Are the people in her church pushing her into this confrontation? Not helpful.

      I would support the complete separation of church and state in marriage, so that you can choose to have a legal ceremony and/or a church ceremony. Church ceremonies should be completely separate, not legally binding, and restricted to people who belong to that church.

      • With respect to Kim Davis, she was hired to process paperwork. That’s her job. If people show up with the proper credentialling in order to receive that paperwork, it is her job to process that paperwork. Period. Her independent judgment is only relevant if there is something missing or incorrect and how to handle that oversight. She was not elected a judge nor is she a clergy person – her job does not consist of actually performing marriages. What she is practicing is discrimination, not religion. Would she deny the paperwork to an interracial couple? Would she deny the paperwork to a couple with disabilities? Suppose she had been denied the paperwork to marry her FOURTH husband because someone hired to process the paperwork decided that she had already had too many husbands and that she must be a morally repugnant ho-bag based on their religious beliefs?

        She, and everyone else, is free to have an opinion on gay people, gay marriage and whatever else they choose to have an opinion. I don’t like aspects of my job, including some of the people for whom I have to perform tasks – I still have to perform those tasks or be fired. If your religious beliefs preclude you from successfully completing the tasks associated with any employment you should either not apply for that job or if you are working in that job, quit and find another one in which your religious beliefs are not challenged or threatened. If I was a nurse who did not believe in abortion, I would not work at a clinic that performed abortions. My personal opinion and beliefs should not challenge the rights or humanity of people who don’t share my beliefs or opinions.

        Of course, like many situationally moral people, Kim Davis has an inability to practice the humility and critical thinking necessary to see how her life does not align with her stated beliefs.

  • “Manipulation is as easy as breathing to me.”

    Yup.

    Ex-wife never understood that the unending betrayal spoke volumes about her character, but the ease with which she manipulated everyone in her life spoke volumes more.

    Let’s pretend that the affair actually ended, she never cheated again, and I could somehow make peace with it. I’d still never make peace with the fact that she lied to and manipulated everyone in her life with such natural ease. That’s not “wife material” or “mother marerial.”

    Heck, it’s not even “daughter material,” “friend material,” or “employee material.” But, there’s so much trash in the world that the honest among us can never fully avoid it.

    • JC, I am SO with you on this one! My ex now proclaims that he’s changed, he never wants to hurt people again, that the kids (at least, maybe me too, hey, why not?) should give him another chance so they can see that he’s a much better person now.

      Well, I believe he might never cheat again (might ,,,,), but he continues to blame shift, gas light, feel entitled to not have consequences, and disrespect other people’s perceptions and experiences. He wants to control the narrative, by controlling the conversation! And he gets SO MAD when I don’t go along with that anymore.

      I just sure wish I had known about the conversational manipulation tactics YEARS ago. I remember having so many discussions and arguments where I wondered if I was completely misperceiving and misunderstanding everything, wondered how the heck the discussion got to where it did, considering where it started, and wished I had a video recording, so that afterwards I could figure out what had gone on.

      Now I can ‘feel’ the difference between a conversation or argument where both people are trying to resolve things, and one where one person at least is just trying to distract from the original problem, not trying to resolve anything. A conversation where there is an effort to communicate, from both sides, or one where one person is trying to block communication.

      • The issue is control. If I didn’t agree with some perception the cheater had concerning me, if I disagreed when he tried to put words in my mouth or thoughts/motivations in my mind and heart, it made him rage that I was “relentless” and oppositional. That’s how conversations with him go. That’s how he “communicates”.

        Damn right I’ll oppose his “truth” being imposed on me.

  • I don’t know who you’re replying to, but that’s something we all have to keep in mind. Unfortunately the male pronoun is the standard, “man is the edge of the universe though he believes himself to be its center.” Sometimes it’s faster to write, “he” rather than “he or she” but when not talking of our own experiences, we should try to make things gender-neutral as much as possible.

  • I think men are just more guarded about their feelings but character isn’t a gender thing, it’s specific to the person.. and their sense of entitlement.

    Think of it this way… all of our Xs cheated with some piece of trash woman. If not for that woman, the cheating wouldn’t happen. It took two people to make that shitty decision. On the other side, every male’s spouse also cheated with some POS man. So cheating is something that both genders do because they are selfish assholes.

    The POS MOW my STBX cheated with had (maybe still does for all I know) a H. She was married to him as long as STBX and I were married.. he was FRIENDS with my STBX. He’s every bit a victim as I am. He didn’t deserve this. I don’t care what kind of H he was.. he doesn’t deserve it. No one deserves to have their college sweetheart stomp on their heart and cheat on them.

    It’s our society at large.. we are becoming more narcissistic and less altruistic. And the media, and sites like Ashley Madison cheer the selfishness right along. It’s scary if you think about it.

  • omg omg hahahahahahahaha CL! The last two paragraphs have me hysterical in my office, luckily the door is closed. Holy shit you are funny Tracy.

    Wait, I have to leave so I can keep laughing in peace…………lolololol

  • You’ve never cared about my pussy crises.

    That right there is comedy gold!!!

    My ex doesn’t call it gas lighting he calls it lance armstronging.

    I wish I had told him more – conversation over – reality isn’t up for debate.

  • LMFAO! Another hysterical post! Good God, you two need to take it on the road. I cannot stop laughing! ncp, lance armstrongling? Reminded me of that old Chuck Berry song “my ding a ling.” So, maybe Lance Armstrongaling?

  • Absolutely awesome translation as always!!!

    However, I admit that the “…it was deep and personal…like my girlfriend’s vagina” triggered me right into the front car on an emotional rollercoaster. On one hand, I was laughing because….well simply because the line was brilliant and fucking hilarious.

    But, on the other, the mind movie that triggered to play forced me to watch PigFucker getting all deep and personal in the Skankpig’s cum dumpster. He was certainly balls deep in that scene, which made my heart hurt so bad it made me cry.

    So, yeah, laughing between crying sobs of pain, tears rolling down my face, wiping snot from my nose, mascara streaks running down my cheeks, and yet a smile on my face. I can’t even imagine how that may have looked to anyone witnessing such a sight!

    Guess Ive got lots of healing left to do yet! Still, it was an admirably witty and terifficly hilarious translation!!!!

  • Reading today’s post and the treads alone the way have really made me go Yep! This morning.

    It is almost as if cheaters think they are some secret society of Jedi constantly employing mind tricks to get what they think they are entitled to.
    My ex husband would often engage me in conversations during our marriage and make reference to a prior conversation on the same subject and when I would say “no this is the first time I have had this conversation” he would straight faced say “yes we have” it was all part of his constant need to have me questioning my own reality.
    Manipulating me to think or react in a particular way was also part of the control, so when I began to break free after d’day and enforced boundaries he began to triangulate others, those who are close to me now know not to engage me in it, others I have learnt to ignore. But it is all part of their need to control and if they can convince you that you lack control especially your ability to think clearly it is a win for them.
    Comments like “our marriage isn’t over she just thinks it is” or “I treat you with respect and courtesy, you just don’t realise it” are just part of the mindfuckery since d’day.
    Mine too had “demons” but stated that he was delivered of them, this statement was to have me think that is was not his fault, it was a spiritual attack. Therefore I had nothing to hold against him and he had nothing to be sorry for as it was beyond his control BUT my choosing to divorce was my choice and a deliberate act, making me a deliberate offender (sinner) which then feed his narrative of being the victim.

    I do believe he does not see what he is doing because his brain is not wired like a normal person he acts in this way because it is his twisted reality.
    But that doesn’t mean I have to be a part of it, engage it, or feed it.

    • My ex would also tell me we talked about something when we didn’t– like when he suddenly (and often) came up with a “business trip” or other event he just had to attend, even though it took him away from family events and holidays, and which were really fuck fests with his AP’s– and he would insist he told me long ago but I just didn’t remember.

      Also after D-Day, ex insisted he had told me months before that he had “used” our children’s college funds for his expenses– no, POS moron, I would have remembered if you told me you were stealing our children’s 529 Plan money (that I put into their accounts btw) that would ensure they could attend college.

      At first I thought maybe I was just too busy, but at some point before D-Day I suspected that something was off about this and it wasn’t me.

      Jeez they are freaks….

      • My ex husband would would do stuff or agree to do stuff that he knew I wouldn’t approve of and the say to me when I discovered it “but we discussed it” or “but I told you”. At first I accepted this from him but as d’day loomed and I worked on me my stock standard response became ” No you didn’t! Because the reaction I am having now would have been the same then. So do you want to try the truth now? Or do you think I’m stupid? This was met each and every time with stone cold silence.

        He would also invite people to our house or arrange to have a meal with others with out including me in the decision making, which meant having to prep a meal at short notice or sort the kids or change plans I may have had. A few times I spoke up about how I found his doing this disrespectful and asked if in future could he include me in on his plans in advance, his response ” I will keep this in mind in future” empty words as he never did, and considered me unreasonable when I showed any sense of frustration.

        Your right Kelly, Jeez they are freaks.

        • “That conversation never happened!” is what I heard often. It could be the next day or the same week. But it had never happened and I was supposedly manufacturing it out of thin air. You know, as if I was the lying disordered one, and he was virtuous and just trying to establish truth.

          When I first read about narcissists’ mind games of trying to put their victims on the defense for things which, in fact, the accuser was doing and the victim would never have considered doing – that was when the first bell rang for me. Too familiar.

  • I think letters like this are always written with a wider audience in mind. It’s almost like they think/know this letter will be shared with other people, and they soooo want to come off looking like the good guy.

    So there’s another reason to kick it to the kerb – he’s not even talking to you. He’s talking to an imaginary audience out there, and telling them a pack of horsesh*t.

  • My ex thought that as long as whatever he did was “unintentional,” it was also excusable. He therefore chose not to think through a single thing he did so as to render nothing in his life intentional, and everything a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants adventure in reckless assholery.

  • After learning that the guy I’d married was fucking his racquetball “partner” I had no desire to “repair” or work on our marriage. I realized then that our relationship, all those years together, meant little to that fake POS. Cheating is and was, for me, a major deal breaker. If I needed more evidence regarding his crap character, two things stand out: His scorched earth exit (and screwing us over financially was his best trick), and that forgotten HIV test he stuck in his desk drawer that was dated two years before Dday. Nothing says total LOSER more loudly than that. Fact is Cheaters are incapable of providing anything good in a relationship, they grow more disengaged and entitled every year. I still can’t wrap my head around his crap poor choices. “Not my circus, not my monkey.” But what a legacy to leave your family.

  • “I was not trying to manipulate you. I was trying to reach you.” Because it was clear that your closed-minded meanness made you otherwise unreachable except through manipulation. See? I’m a good guy here!

    Vomit.

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