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Nice Vs. Kind

haveanicedayThere was an interesting side discussion the other day on Chump Lady about the difference between niceness and kindness. Many people noted that their cheaters appeared to much of the world as “nice people,” but in point of fact, lacked kindness. (Sure, it’s an understatement to say that cheating is unkind.)

Now, I don’t want to diss niceness, after all I am from the Midwest and it’s our default setting, but a lot of being nice is simply impression management. See? I come in peace! You can trust me, I’m nice! Nice works if you’re in sales. That’s why (at least here in the U.S., any way) salespeople are always encouraged to compliment you or end each transaction with “Have a nice day!”

I enjoy the social lubrication of nice. I want a nice person to bag my groceries. But at the end of the day, I just want my groceries bagged, the attitude with which you do it is optional. If I just got nice and no bagged groceries, that would suck.

“That’s a beautiful sweater you’re wearing!”

“Um, thanks. Could you please bag my groceries?”

“Lovely weather we’re having!”

“Uh, sir? There’s a line forming. Is this one of those bag-it-yourself places? Did I choose the self-check line?”

“Have a nice day!”

This is the cognitive dissonance of cheater nice. It’s nice without the bagged groceries. It’s pleasantry without substance. It’s all cherry and no sundae. Frankly, it’s a mindfuck.

When someone is outwardly nice, but their actions are withholding, dismissive, oblivious — they’re disguising an agenda. Pay no attention to my failed obligations or implied hostilities. Press me about them and you’re a killjoy. But me? I’m nice. How can you be so unkind to the nice?

Done with enough manipulative panache, you can drive anyone crazy with “nice.” God, who is that jerk that nice person is married to? How can they be so pissed off all the time? Donald is so nice!

Contrast crazy “nice” with actual kindness. Kindness is the person who sees you and your broken bag of groceries and stops to help pick them up. They may not even be nice about it. They might grunt, or swear under their breath as they chase your rolling cans of tomatoes, but they go for it anyway. Kindness responds to distress. Kindness offers help without being asked. Kindness doesn’t even know you, but stopping and helping is the right thing to do, even if it’s inconvenient. Even if no one else is watching. Even if you’re a bastard about it. “Hey! You missed a can!”

Kindness isn’t impression management. It’s about empathy. You have to be somewhat selfless to be kind. Kindness responds to people in need. A kind word. An act of kindness. You have to be outwardly focused and connected to others to be kind. Any idiot can do nice. Sustaining it when things get hard is kindness.

I think chumps, like most people, are fooled by nice. We see it as a short-hand for kind — surely this nice person wouldn’t fuck me over? But nice is often just superficial and doesn’t translate to kindness. It’s not enough to act inoffensive — you have to actually not give offense to people and refrain from hurting them. And if you do offend? You have to care, not slather “nice” all over it.

You see this shit in reconciliation all the time. The cheater ups their game a bit. Sends flowers. Shares a few kibbles. But they can’t muster up much sorry. They don’t do remorse. They fail to read the books, or show up for the shrink appointment, or feel anything other beyond “Thank you for not divorcing me and taking my 401K.” It doesn’t deeply hurt them to have hurt their chump. But they can be nice. They can pick up the check. They can compliment your hair. And for some people, that’s enough. They’ll take the nice and find comfort in it.

Did you have a nice cheater? Would they still like to be your friend? Do a kindness to yourself and find some substantive people to hang with instead.

This column ran previously. Feel free to comment!

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  • From the male perspective, this looks like that “sweet, little” wife. How could you say such “mean” things about her?! If she cheated, you must have done SOMETHING to DRIVE her to it. Yes, I agree the “nice” train is all about image management when it comes to cheaters.

    • Yeah, I want to put a blinking lighted sign on this that says “this is why expensive presents don’t make anything better.” 🙂 “I don’t need flowers, Idiot, I need a healthy adult!”

        • Ha! My cheater pants was not so much a tight wad as he was completely and utterly complacent with ANYTHING which required forethought and planning (not cock-related, of course). Familiar story, I’m sure; naturally that sort of proper grown-up stuff was left entirely to me.

          He’s lifted his game now though somewhat, with the kids that is. It’s 18 mo after D-day and they’re enjoying that Santa has visited two houses, so they’re getting a double morning of presents today (from the dad that never planned for this stuff previously). Plus, I’ve got a couple of hours off before a big family lunch. So far, so good… but I digress…

          I never got sorry, nor a sorry, not sorry. I just put up with a whole lot of rug-sweeping. When it came to anything, such as bills, fines, home ownership (big among my fellow Aussies), employment on a scale anything greater than casual, running the household, etc etc. it was always on me to ensure that stuff was done on time, or at all. Things that only he could do (apply for full-time work), never happened.

          He did finally get a full time job, 12 months after he left me. First full time job in about 15 years. I’m glad, but it just goes to show what a dick wad I married.

          My picker was out of order, obviously. But also nowadays, it’s out of service. It’s not working at all. And honestly I’m fairly content with that! I realised a year or so back that I rather like being a single person raising my children. It’s hard yakka, but it’s better than attempting to raise them alongside Mr Nice. My community see through his charade with little effort.

          Thanks for listening. I’ll probably go another 12 months before posting anything but I do read here almost daily. Thanks to CL and CN for keeping things real and unfiltered.

          • shout out to ChocLemonGelato- from another Aussie Chump with a non functioning picker 🙂 Here’s to Aussie amazon heroic former chumps 😉

      • I always got expensive purses as his “I’m sorry” gifts. Often, I wouldn’t even know what was going on an why I was suddenly getting a $300 designer bag, which I couldn’t care less about. That was all he could muster.

        • And that’s what makes me suddenly SEE what was happening, back then… I get a $400 vacuum (we have a single 6×9 area rug I HATE at the time; all wood floors I enjoy throwing PineSol on and mopping.) Have him return it. $600 diamond studs (I was born with my right earlobe folded back – I don’t wear studs because you can’t see one of them and even the screw-back kind unscrew themselves and I LOSE that one earring.) When “I’ll” have to rob Peter to pay Paul, with his money, for them, at the time. Nothanks. Sorry but… no. He kept buying gifts like this, after ignoring me all the damn time, all year. And he never, ever GOT IT. Buying me things I cannot use and don’t want, that take up so much money that I will be stressed for months and HATE that item? That is NOT a gift.

          But nooooo – what those fucking whores would hear is how GENEROUS he was and how I’d have him take back these AMAZING gifts.

        • Not even I’m sorry at best the
          “get me off the hood already and shut up” kinds. Definitely not expensive presents (sociopaths are parasites and have no money or don’t share), and usually last second shoppers drug mart flowers or a tacky gift like a mug with a stuffed animal in it. once I got a set of acne removing creams for b day. Nothing else, not even a card. But at the beginning of courtship, dinners, mushy cards with lots of writing and poems etc, flowers…

      • I think mine was fully embroiled in DM’s identified “Image Management”. The gift wasn’t for me ever, really (in fact, I didn’t want him to spend our money on such things — we needed rent and food –) it was so he could appear generous, appear remorseful, appear like he was being nice. It was so he could feel less awkward about cheating, like he thought he could create some twisted form.of balance by using gifts to offset screwing.

      • This is so spot on, it’s truly frightening. How narcissists can be so convincingly nice while wilfully destroying the lives of others without a second thought still makes my mind reel. And it is just so pathetic that they can’t bring themselves to truly apologize for what they have done. Why can’t they just apologize and be done with it? The best I ever got was “I’m sorry things happened the way they did.” No personal accountability at all. Not to mention the whole thing about wanting to be mature and “remain friends.” Plus, everything they say and do is just so maddeningly predictable, as if it’s part of a script. From the “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” to the mindfuckery tactics during the discard, and the hoovering. If she wanted to fuck with my mind, the least my ex could have done was to do it in a less predictable way.

        • Just today I got “sorry about this whole year”. Not about any action of his. Who knew a year could be vicious? Anyway, he’s only sorry it didn’t work out with his bit of fluff. If she’d wanted him, he wouldn’t be giving me a second thought.

    • Yes, DM, it’s sad when the cheater (who, by definition, is a LIAR and, well, a cheater–they hide their true behavior…) gets the benefit of the doubt, and the suspicion is cast upon the faithful spouse. How backward is our culture regarding cheating when this is the case?

      Thank goodness for Chump Lady, who is swimming upstream with all of us little fishies–who knows? We may change the current.

      We female faithful partners probably weren’t “putting out” enough, oh–and we’d been looking a LITTLE dowdy these days, you know–that’s probably why he left. You know, if a man’s not happy…. And he DESERVES to be happy.

      Oh, my ex must be SO happy these days! He has a brand new life. Awesome!

      • I counted our sex life for several years… natural family planning. I had charts with my daily temps and all, to avoid pregnancy. 187 times a year, on average, we had sex.

        Yeah. I have a really high libido. And he cheated in every way but sexual intercourse, from the proof I have. He COMPLAINED to them that I wanted too much sex. So of course, he seemed WONDERFUL for not asking for “the whole cow” from them… “he’s not in it for sex. He really cares about me, obviously!”

        uhm-kay.

        • He wasn’t ABLE to get it up, ladies. That’s all. I was glad to have sex at least, because I didn’t get any other attention. I thought he was just incapable… but nope, he just threw it wherever it would get a quick and easy return.

          Did he spend a single dollar on you EVER? Uh, no.

          • I counted too, for other reasons. Our best year was 48. Averaged about 32 (in a year). How the hell did I put up with that? I loved who I thought she was. I would just stuff it and go on.

            • How did I KNOW something was going on, from the most recent affair? It was 10 days… he.shut.down EVERY advance I made for 10 days. And then? Pity sex. Thanks a lot, Cheater.

              The google searches from that time were so sad, as I was looking through our searches for clues.

              “Husband doesn’t want to have sex with me.”
              “Husband doesn’t love me anymore.”
              “How to seduce your husband.”

              et al

              I was a mess for days, when I looked back and found all those searches from me.

              • A year into the relationship, mine argued that once a week was normal. That’s what he’d say when I’d push for more (I loved him and was in my 20s).

                By years three, four and five, it got to be me begging for it, stomping down the stairs, tears in my eyes, demanding to know why he kept rejecting me in favour of the TV. At the time, I didn’t realize I was playing a starring role in his narc drama.

                By the bitter end, we maybe had sex three times a year. He slept on the couch. I still didn’t catch on that his withholding was designed to make me feel bad, question myself, to punish me, and make him feel important and central.

                Now I get it.

                I will NEVER beg another partner for love, affection or sex again as long as I live. That stuff matters to me.

                I shudder to think of the awful surprised awaiting his new target – his disorder certainly didn’t take long to rear its ugly head with me! Like me, though, she’ll probably spend a decade blaming herself and believing his manipulations.

              • This is why I will remain single and unattached. For me it will be better. I will never trust any guy again. I’m 60 too old for this bullshit. Date maybe when and if I feel ready. But no them living with me, no me living with them or marriage ever again. I spent way too many years being fully invested while asswipe maybe mustered half that. For me it’s just not worth my time anymore.

    • When I was trying to reconcile, I read a lot about how men would feel disrespected, which would make them act unloving to their wives. I’m wondering if that is how many males perceive their cheating wives–sure, she’s “nice,” but she’s constantly disrespecting me (in addition to the obvious disrespect of cheating). I felt both disrespected and unloved from my husband’s behavior, and still am not sure if this philosophy of women needing loving behavior, and men needing respect is true, or even true if your spouse is a cheater/sociopath/narcissist.

      • Cheating is like nuclear disrespect (and act of hate/contempt–i.e. not love). “Love and Respect” is the book I suspect you read or are referring to. My concern with such teachings is how they can over-extend the teaching (from helping tune up marriages) to the point where share-responsibility is suggested for infidelity (which is a flat out lie!).

        • Yes, Love and Respect does overextend quite a bit, and their site/FB page often tells “success stories” about couples who recover from infidelity (he realizes how unloving he was, which pushed her into infidelity, and wins her back with loving behavior, etc). The thing about this idea that troubled me was that you give unconditional respect, or love, without the expectation of receiving the love or respect you need in return. Otherwise, you aren’t authentic, and you need to just count on God rewarding your efforts…although this may not happen until you get to heaven. I just couldn’t understand how this was supposed to model appropriate relationship behaviors to my sons, and how the cycle would ever stop. It wasn’t that I wasn’t convicted over my own disrespect. I was, and realized that I had been unintentionally disrespectful to many people over the years. It just seems like one of those ideas that only works if the other person is not completely disordered. I would like to be able to have a healthy relationship in the future if I ever find someone I can trust, and wondered if any men here could weigh in on whether the love/respect idea has any merit. I sometimes feel that women are socialized not to accept very much respect, which is why they might focus on actions that are perceived as unloving, while men aren’t allowed to complain about unloving behavior, only disrespect, hence their focus. The RIC has left me confused, and Christianity sometimes leaves me feeling like I’m not praying enough or walking in love as I should or not patient enough. Yeah, and knowing “I hope he just dies,” shouldn’t be part of my thoughts. I’m definitely happier and nicer and kinder with no contact, but I only get a week at most of that since we have children together.

          • I also think thoughts of bad things happening to her. I know men are expected to “stuff it” (eat the shit sandwich silently). But I know men and women are not as different as society would have you believe. The RIC is worthless, and I go to church and regularly pray for my own peace. That is the greatest gift good will ever give me. It will come when I can finally forget 30 years of my life.

          • “The thing about this idea that troubled me was that you give unconditional respect, or love, without the expectation of receiving the love or respect you need in return. Otherwise, you aren’t authentic, …”

            TrustingGod–I’m glad you were troubled by this. My devout Catholic mother tried that “unconditional respect” nonsense with my narcissistic father, and it.didn’t.work. If anything, it just made him worse because he had no consequences. Total nonsense. EVERY single relationship we have, bar none, is conditional. And they should be.

            That said, at no point did I ever give “unconditional” respect to my H (now X), and he only improved on the surface, and took his deceit and control further underground. What kind of respect works with a narc? None, just get the hell out of Dodge.

            • I never gave my ex unwarranted adoration. In fact I set “boundaries” and called him on his shit. Needless to say it did not help…at all.

              In response, he seemed to become a koving husband and father. But in reality, he just took it all way underground and played a very cruel and sick passive-aggressive game, and on top of everything else he wanted to punish me for setting those boundaries and thinking I could control him. And this went on for decades of my life that I will never get back.

              The only way to win (with a narc-sociopath) is not to play.

      • Oh yes, this is a classic. “I wouldn’t have cheated if you’d have respected me like a man needs.” Oh sorry I wasn’t able to properly show you deference when you would only come home for a couple hours every two weeks to eat dinner and run back out to “work” (spoiler: he was not actually at work). My bad. I guess I didn’t have enough time to croak out a few respectful, worshipful sentences before you’d be out the door again to wallow in your greener pastures.

        I always love how CL puts statements like this down. “You didn’t say the right praise-y sentence when I dressed up extra nice the other night. So I trolled craigslist and hooked up with prostitutes for years. But you started it!” Longest eye roll.

  • Yes, my “nice” cheater wanted us to remain friends. I responded by getting a new phone number and to this day have never supplied him with it so he must email when some type of business about the divorce has to be dealt with.

    For me No Contact is the nicest thing, like, ever.

    🙂

  • I was told all the time my STBX was such a “nice” guy. We had fights about this all the time. He wouldn’t do anything but he told me he loved me all the time. Trying to get him to understand was like trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Well he’s not so nice now but that’s ok. He moved on his new chump and is so “nicer to her and her friends. I’ll take kind over nice any day.

  • My ex had a reputation as the nicest, most compassionate, kindest man anyone had known. Geez, he was even a vegetarian who wouldn’t hurt an animal, or even an insect. I believed that he was perfect also. Indeed, I only heard him speak ill of one person in the two decades we were together. Interestingly, that one person is the parent of one of my grandsons, and when our marriage ended, he jumped on her like white on rice, to maintain his connection to that grandchild (his step-grandson). In other words, he hated her one minute but loved her (and sucked up to her) the next. Kind of like he pretended to love me one minute and had never loved me the next, literally. The narrative that he was such a great man served him well and definitely did not do much for me. Because the parallel narrative about me was, I was so incredibly lucky to have him. I was flawed, he was perfect. It took me damn near a decade to unravel that mind fuck, because there’s no truth to it whatsoever, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be completely free of the damage its done to my self-esteem. I deeply internalized the narratives and his betrayal and subsequent abandonment only reinforced the notion that I was worthless and lucky to have him.

    • Carol, you are amazing. I liken leaving a narcissist to extracting feathers from glue. Not everyone can do it, and it’s hard to unravel glue. You did it and thank you for sharing x

    • Wow carol, sooooo similar to mine. Vegetarian animal lover (who occasionally kicked cats) spiritual bollocks mr nice guy. They must be loads of these fuckers around. Anyway, I like fiddly jobs like picking glue off feathers – bring it on!

  • For all you kind chumps out there Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! I am thankful that I have Chump Nation and the Chump Lady to aid in keeping my sanity.

  • Cheaters may be nice and the whores may be nice but kind people do not kick people who have fallen on the ground. They help them up. Huge difference for the disordered between nice and kind. For them nice is a mere image, kind is good character.

    • ^^^PERFECT kar Marie!^^^
      Nice = image. Kind = compassion, empathy and integrity. And the disordered use the first to disguise their lack of the second.

      To CL and all of Chump Nation, I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

        • The niceness I ever saw and experienced was all just part of his manipulation to get what he wanted from everyone. I started to call him on it and boy did that niceness vanish quickly into rage. It made me feel ill at times listening to him talk to people really nice and as soon as they were out of site (or he was off the phone with them), he’d run them right down. He seriously deserved an academy award for his performances at times. I’m not sure why on earth I was so shocked to not think I was also being treated the same way! Merry Christmas CL and CN! I’m alone this Christmas but it’s better then being with that disordered Narc. Here’s to a peaceful Christmas taking care of myself. 🙂

  • I see how painful it must be for chumps whose cheaters were nice; fraud is hard to take in, and outsiders are unlikely to ‘get it’.

    But my ex wasn’t even nice! Smart, good-looking… but pretty much universally recognized as crabby and not interested in people. He parasited on me for friendships and for sustaining relationships with his own family, as he had on his previous girlfriend, and I didn’t see it for a long time.

    And that makes me feel extra stupid! How could I have thought there was a good heart under that mean shell? Our son was only 8 when he said ‘I know papa loves me, but I don’t think he likes me’.

    The amount of spackle I had to use…

    • I’m with you, KarenE–one person even said to me post-divorce, “Didn’t you know he was an asshole? Everyone else knew he was an asshole.” But I saw (projected?) good into his gnarly, dark soul and helped him become a better man. Riiiiggghhhtt–all I did was teach him better impression management skills to better manipulate me and others. Beneath the surface, his sociopathy got worse because he was better able to avoid consequences with his improved-personality.

  • I’m the chump that is allowing my newly divorced ex to spend Christmas with me and the kids. He is in the guest cottage. But this morning he texted to say he was on the plane and called me “kitten.” I almost threw up. “But that’s so nice” someone might say. What wasn’t nice was the two dozen one night stands and alcohol abuse I put up with for too many years. The things we do for our kids. What I’m trying to do for them now is model a healthy adult with boundaries. Chump nation, wish me luck!

    • I hope Santa brings you boundaries for Xmas. Modeling healthy boundaries is not spending Xmas together “for the kids.” It’s just cake eating of another kind, IMO. The hey, you can fuck me over but we still do “family” for the kids Cake.

      No, divorce means you get your own life and he gets his.

      You’re still an “intact” family, just minus one fuckwit.

      I think your guest cottage is unavailable. Bed bugs. Poltergeists. Ebola…

      (Coming out of vacation lurk-dom to post this. Don’t DO THIS!)

    • Hey Lisa – you’ll know better for next Christmas. Have a great day today, and a great Christmas tomorrow with your kids! You are NO ONE’S Plan B! Remember this for future holidays and do your own thing with the kids.

      My Ex would do this, too (before he was officially the Ex). Plead that he wanted to spend time with the kids at my house for the holidays, and then when the AP would call, he’d be on a plane and I’d get a text saying, “in airport, call you tomorrow”. All it was was securing back-up plans while he was working to secure the AP.

      You’ll feel 1000% better when you cut him off at the knees!

      Cheers and Happy Holidays to everyone on CL!!!

    • I hope you will have a bit of joy in all this. Just because you would do anything for your kids doesn’t mean you don’t deserve some joy for yourself also. It’s not always what happens, but I can still cross my fingers for you.

    • I also invited X over to make things easier for the kids. He hesitantly accepted then called me later to say “hey, why don’t we do our gift exchange at (neutral) daughter’s house. I can come pick up all your gifts and take them over for you” Nice, but no. He’s trying to make things for comfortable for himself. Daughter feels sorry for dear old dad, who could never do enough to please me. Mmmmmm how about not fucking your secretary for 20 years, among many others. I won’t be spending my Christmas morning at a “neutral” location so X doesn’t feel like an outcast.

    • I wish you the best with that Christmas get together. It is sweet you are putting the kids first, but I agree with Chump Lady. You don’t have to do that next year if you don’t want to.

      Is anyone else tempted to hiss at the guy after he called her kitten. Seriously, if it was me, I would start making all kinds of cat sounds so he knows just how much of a crazy cat lady I am, lol.

    • The boundaries get hard when there are kids involved. Mine knows he is never to step foot inside my house, ever again, unless I is literally a life and death decision, and even then it is as he is dialing 911. Yet, he still wants to play “happy family” at the children’s activities and school events. I’m not going to diss my child and sit on the far side of the room to get away from Narkles but I sure as hell won’t talk to him unless I have to. No reason anyone should look at me and think “maybe it was for the best, look how happy” Boundaries, hard with kids, but do your best.

    • Lisa, work on boundaries with your therapist, also you might like reading Captain Awkward on this subject, she’s hella good. You know that thing about putting on the oxygen mask first, then putting it on your kids? It’s a real thing that matters in all of your life – not just when the plane is plummeting. Though you might consider what you are going through is similar only on a longer trajectory. You put your husband first, your kids first and you last. You are still doing it. Time to put you first. Jedi Hugs!

    • Lisa and ItsaJourney–Shut that down. By trying to “make things easier on the kids” you’re covering up for your Xs. yet again. They blew up the family, they suffer the opprobrium from their children.

      Dat is right–read Captain Awkward, or the Wikipedia entry for Operant Conditioning. Do not reinforce bad behavior.

  • One of my favorite Chump Lady articles! We do need reminders of this distinction between nice and kind during the holidays when many imposters might be parading around bearing “gifts,”…our cheaters among them. Thank you for the timely recycle, Chump Lady and wishing all of CN, the heartfelt fruits of this Joyous Season!

  • My ex nicely told the kids how much he was going to miss them over Christmas and how he wished they could be together. Then a few texts later mentioned that he and the OW were going to the beach for Christmas and send pictures. Just what kids want for Christmas. Pictures of daddy and the whore on vacation. Not so nice. Hell kind isn’t even on his radar screen.

    On another note, CN and CL, thank you all for being there. I don’t know what I would have done without this site and all of you. I hope that this holiday season brings you joy and happiness in the New Year!

  • I just heard from a mutual acquaintance what a “nice guy” my stbx is. He was standing with his whore when this man said it to me….I looked at them….looked at this dude…and I said “Nice guys don’t cheat on their wives and use their daughters college tuition to pay for his whore”
    He had no answer…..of course.
    His company put out their annual.holiday video….there he is smiling and having his arm around his colleagues…today is his company Christmas Breakfast..he took his Whore sons…didn’t invite his own daughters….yet….he is such a nice guy.

    I’m struggling….. I am suppose to close on our house on Monday. He bought me out. At the price I wanted. I should be happy. But it pains me to let that whore live in the house I built…I designed…I wired…I laid out the kitchen design… I scrimped and saved and sacrificed to buy things for it…. she just had to get on her knees. She is using my tree…my ornaments….as the contents have not been decided. I and my daughters have been completely replaced and erased.

    On a bright note….they were caught making out in the parking lot of the Dollar store last night. My daughters friends recognized them. Zero class….
    he’s 57 she’s 30…. reliving his youth I guess…

    can’t wait for the New Year. Holidays suck like he was sucking her face.

    • Making out in the parking lot of the Dollar store?

      I guess these days he’s turned on by cheap merchandise.

    • “Nice guys don’t cheat on their wives and use their daughters college tuition to pay for his whore”… well done Tracy, well done!

    • BTW, I understand about feeling the loss of your house and contents. I felt the same way…actually, still do. I spend so much time acquiring just the right things for our house, for our family, to make our lives good. And then it all went away. Still makes me sad.

    • She’s 30 and he’s 57….add 15 years when she’ll be 45 and he’ll be 72. She won’t stick around and he will be years out from losing his daughters’ respect. Cheaters think short term…karma usually plays out with time.

      • Lol my ex husband is turning 29 and his OW is 46. Totally barf. Unfortunately I’m a psych major and can clearly see he has mommy issues that he’s trying to work out. Oh did I mention she has a daughter his age who has a child. I guess if they get married he can be a step grandpa

      • NoMoreLies, karma does play out for sure, my Father walked out on my Mother and us 4 kids for a younger OW, today he is not well, has the beginning stages of dementia and the OW treats him like crap, makes comments right in front of people with my Dad there to hear, “Look what I have to put up with” while trying to help him into a vehicle these days. I was there myself to witness it. Yes Karma has hit him hard. Btw, my Mother feels really bad for him, said it breaks her heart today years later to hear about this treatment. And Btw, in my IC sessions, my therapist said I married a man like my Dad, I see it now. My Mother been my rock over the last year. Ugh

      • Doubtful it will last 15 years but if it does my money is on OW dumping cheater for a boy toy. I think there a just a few scripts to this scenario and none will turn out well

    • I too lost the house I’d spent 12 years of my life making into the perfect home. It hurts terribly at first, but in time you will make yourself a new and happier home, and you will never allow anyone to taint it ever again.

        • It’s good to close that chapter and leave the demons behind. I did like that the lovebirds got to admire my good taste every day. The place wasn’t much different when the Fucktard’s family sold if after he died, so I guess I did a pretty nice renovation job.

          • I like your attitude, Survivor. I put a lot of work into the design and décor of our last house, and I think it turned out beautifully. Alas, D-Day was but a few months of it being completed.

            He can have the house. I can buy something for a lot less than my half of its value and be perfectly happy, because I don’t need to fluff up my ego with the big house in the expensive snooty gated community, nor do I want the HOA bills. I have better things to spend my money on.

            • Exactly. You can do your own thing now. I too designed half the house and saw it built and lived through a nightmare because it was for our future. Last time I drove by I felt nothing at all. I wouldn’t live there if it was free. I have a better life now.

    • I bought him out. At the price I requested. Not cheap, because it has to be in the price range of the area. But I hate to see all these things now, that I arranged so carefully for our home to be a pleasant place. Turns out he did not care, was not happy, not moved by the charm of antiques, all he was interested in was conversations with whores, and he thinks living in a cheap grey flat with the cheapest white Ikea cupboards is just as good.
      Either I will redecorate, or I will move in a year or two and sell at a higher price.

      • ChumpFromF, having options is good. But you just might find a place that you like better. Something that suits you exactly right, without any compromise.

    • My friend(not an ow) married a man nearly 20 years older. She is active, attractive, middle aged and he is nearly bedridden. She is practically a prisoner to his many health issues and is on medication for anxiety. She says every day is hell. It all looks so romantic when the May-December crowd tell it but I witness daily the reality of marrying someone old enough to be your parent.

      • Let go, I’m sorry for your friend. That can be a rough go. Several years ago at Christmastime, I was in an expensive wine store looking for a special gift. A middle aged woman drove up to the curb in a brand new convertible Mercedes, hopped out and waltzed into the shop declaring, “I LOVE being a widow!” That struck me as really very odd at the time, but she may well have been one of those young trophy wives who ended up becoming a long term caregiver without ever considering that possibility. (Or, hey, maybe she was simply a golddigger from the get-go.)

        I do know one couple who have made a 25 year age gap work for over 30 years, and still adore one another. They knew going in that she would at some point have to take up the caregiver role, and would likely spend her later years alone, so they’ve treasured every moment and prepared for those eventualities. The rare exception that proves the rule.

  • Happy holidays to CL and CN 🙂

    I raise my glass to you all and wish, love, joy and peace to everyone. You are all amazing! xxxx

  • Eddie Haskell the first Narc? Eddie was classically nice … I am certain Eddie Haskell was a poster boy Narc in the making. The Sequel would have Eddie chasing every shirt in town while his chump wife sat at hime with her 3 children comparing herself to June Ward.
    My point is people learn how to be nice by positive and negative reinforcers. Being nice doesnt require emotion. Its pleasantries and superfical. As CL pointed out… They teach niceness in fast food chains. Its customer service oriented. Now kindness does involve emotion. And certainly anyone can fabricate an emotion … But not for long. Eventually there is a crack in the facade or dialogue and action dont meet up.

  • This is SO SO SO helpful. I even sent a link to my aunt who is divorcing her “nice” narcissistic husband.

    My exWH even created a website for himself trying to find contract work and described himself as “an all around nice guy.” BWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAAHA! He really loves that image of being nice. All of his emails to me are “nice” on the surface so he can stand there going “whaaaaat? What did I do wrong? See, I’m so NIIIIICCCCEEE” Well it’s not nice to say things and then do the opposite. To say you will handle a task and then never actually follow through. That’s not nice, it’s passive aggressive.

    • Yes, what they say and what they do are two different things. Asswipe appears nice to a degree and he is to a degree. But spend enough time with him and boy does the ugly surface a lot. But according to his way of thinking he has never changed one bit and he’s right he’s gotten worse! So glad he’s the whores problem now.

      • Ain’t that the truth. When people go around bragging endlessly about their wonderful character traits they tend to be made up. A genuinely nice person doesn’t need to talk about it because people can tell.

        • Yes, ex was forever telling me how nice the whore is gives homeless people money and food which he told her not to do but he never saw her do it once. People who brag and brag about how nice they usually don’t have much good character and lack good morals. See I give homeless people money but I fuck married men and break up families cause I am so nice. Friends with them really?

  • To the world, my cheater is the nicest person around. They are excellent at snowing the world! Reality is they have no soul!

    • I hate your wife. Luckily I have enough hate to cover her and my husband? Merry Christmas David, you’re a good person. You’ve helped me through some of my worst times when I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. You are a chump but there’s worse things you could be…..

  • For the male chump, another common use of the word nice is as in “nice guy syndrome.” In this case, the “nice guy” is kind since he acts on his niceness, but he takes niceness to the extreme to avoid confrontation and rejection, and he eventually finds himself doing the majority of the money earning, house keeping and parenting, while his narcissistic wife takes full advantage of his efforts, reciprocating none. Given that he has become a cardboard cut out doormat, she eventually loses attraction and has an affair. As the husband notices that lack of attraction, sex and respect, he doubles down on being even more giving, nicer, and kinder thinking maybe that will win her back. She takes full advantage of the marital resources provided by this niceness and continues her affair.

    As the guy realizes that confrontation, boundaries, and some sense of fairness is in order, he changes his approach and she reacts negatively using her arsenal of BPD/NPD refined techniques of abuse for she’d rather have the fruits of his labor and his niceness than have a husband she could respect. The guy is in a lose-lose situation. He knows then he must use divorce as the final leverage, but by then, too much damage is done.

    So the moral of the story is to communicate, confront, enforce boundaries and assert to ensure that both parties in the [next] relationship are in agreement on their shared vision and that each person has a meaningful life in accordance with their values and actions. Don’t sublimate. Don’t violate one’s boundaries. Do dance like no one is watching, and if your [new] partners is not supportive or is manipulative, note the red flags and move on.

    • My ex’s dad was a super nice guy. He kept getting taken advantage of. I have the same problem. I’m working on finding the happy medium, where I can be kind but not get too burned by people who are posers.

    • Buddy, you nailed it again. I wish I had communicated more effectively and asserted myself more, but there’s no way of knowing if that would have prevented her cheating. Facts about cheating are facts, and I know I can’t blame myself for her actions..Water over the damn now. You are so right about learning from this and picking better next time and working to maintain a healthy relationship. Merry Xmas, CN!

      • yeah oaktree, i started noticing (and ignoring) certain red flags from the beginning but thought our love and my compassion and [our?] desire for teamwork and collaboration was greater than the red flags.

        had I taken care of myself thoroughly and adhered to enforcing boundaries from the beginning, I’m not sure what would have transpired, but the resolution would have been prompt rather than taking 10 years for her to finally cross the final line of disrespect and try to upgrade her husband.

        Time is an important resource, and my advice to chumps is to act decisively and quickly and firmly to enforce their boundaries and imposes drastic consequences on cheaters, on BPD spouses, and NPD spouses. Find out if reconciliation is possible quickly. Find out of the relationship can work quickly. Don’t waste precious time. Impose consequences (preferably BEFORE they cheat if possible) without hesitation. With the disordered, you do need to win the battles to win the war, else the lost battles will add up until the relationship is so tilted in their favor as to not be acceptable.

        Resolve marital issues promptly and decisively if at all possible rather than waste years of your life. Be courageous. Don’t hold up the edge of that rug with broom in hand.

        Of course, for the eggshell walking, conflict avoiding chump, this is also like telling a drug addict to cure themselves by not doing drugs, or resolving teen age pregnancy by telling teenagers to not have sex, or curing poverty by telling the poor to get a better paying job. Easy to say, but challenging to do.

        And I’m not saying chumps should not follow their own advice. I write the above assuming that chumps have been pulling their weight in the marriage.

  • Oh YES! I got this crap from the OW when I requested information from my Ex husband about whether he had finally paid our taxes, which according to the IRS were still unpaid. I merely wanted proof that he had met the obligation! After an entire week of BS from his Schmoopie, she finally sent the information I needed with a message at the end that read, “we are sending you the information you requested because we are nice even if you aren’t!” Usually I ignored whorebag, but I was irritated beyond belief that my simple request took over a week to get done. I promptly let her know that neither one of them were “nice” people because nice people don’t screw other people’s husbands and wives! I hope to NEVER hear from her again! This bitch really believes she is sweet and nice! Delusional much????

    • I always love their whole idea of how “nice” they are. They ACT nice because it makes them look good. They are evil to the core. Nice people don’t smile in your face then lean in to hug you and shove a dagger in your back. Disordered assholes.

  • I was on a popular abuse forum for many years. Abusers always appeared “nice” at first. But we coined the following motto: It doesn’t matter how “nice” they are; what matters is how *R-E-S-P-E-C-T-F-U-L* they are!

  • Not on topic but it is already Christmas Day 2015 in Australia. I wish each and every chump and CL a great Christmas however you like to celebrate it. Enjoy the day and the remainder of 2015. Here is to a great 2016. Best wishes to all. xo

  • My STBX is the Jekyll and Hyde type. One minute he is nice, fun and great to be around and the next he is a cruel monster. Fortunately, he has shown most people in our lives the cruel monster (wow the stories came out after we separated) and pretty much everyone has encouraged me to leave him because they have seen that scary side of him. His mother is much more skilled at nice. I call her country club nice. She is great at all the social graces and manners but when her back is against the wall she will hurt and step on whomever she needs to so that she can get her way. The positive side to all this is that I now can pick out a kind person over a nice one in a heartbeat and keep a very safe distance from the nice ones.

  • My ex was SUPERFICIAL (aka…nice!). On the outside he wanted everyone to think he was kind, dishing out his superficial niceness for everyone to see. But really, inside, he was very selfish. He always had a private agenda. I never saw it that way until he dished me his nice……..all the while he was really fulfilling his desire for strange pussy. He doesn’t know how to be kind. He doesn’t have feelings and rarely puts anyone else first.

    My Christmas gift to myself three years ago was to rid myself of him and it’s a gift that keeps on giving!!!!!

  • X-hole always does “nice”. I always told him he was too nice, I mistook his avoidant behavior as “nice” when it was a DEEP issue with ANY conflict. He can’t DEAL period. He also does “kind” gestures, toys for needy kids at Christmas time yet he will go on a trip 2 weeks before Christmas and spend money he should be using for either child support or to buy gifts for his children (he has 5 total).

    Me? I’m nice but I don’t “avoid” calling people out on their shitty behavior when it affects me or mine (I reserved that masochistic behavior for only HIS transgressions). He never “got” that. He (and they) don’t get that a behavior doesn’t condemn a soul or eliminate the love. I have a 27 year old daughter and when she was being an asshole I called her out, and visa versa. An hour later after us yelling or whatever she would come kiss me on her way out the door and tell me she loved me. He thought that was f’d up. Could not make him understand that she KNOWS I love her, that I can be honest with her about her behavior or attitude and it didn’t destroy her or make her feel “unloved” or like a piece of shit.

    I am “nice” to everyone and anyone who is genuinely nice to me. I can’t fake “nice” to those people who give me a bad vibe (whores trying to be nice to my face and bang X-hole when my back is turned). I am not a “sweet” person but I am never “unkind” and I don’t hurt people deliberately with no remorse. What I am is a GOOD person, I am a devoted Mom to my kids, I am honest (yes I’ve lied a few times so I’m no saint), I am responsible, I am faithful and I have integrity.

    When I do something I do it because it’s the right thing to do, not for impression management or for the sole purpose of feeling better about my shitty self.

    • NCStevie … Thanks for this. It’s everything I have always felt. My ex just left for good, and I was googling what I might have done to push him away. Then I thought, if talking, telling him you love him, wishing he’d come back, feeling like he meant the world to you are actions that push someone away, then that person’s fucked and was only in it for the kibbles. He doesn’t do reality. He has found a better “fit” for his bucket list of dreams. She is someone I’ve known for over 10 years … I actually believe he’s done cheating. I was his second. It’s retirement time for him, he’s got investments and a pending inheritance. She’s got income, a house, and benefits. My bad for thinking love is all you need.

      • I stood in our bedroom one week after Dday (before I realized he was Cluster B) and said “I’m right here, son and I love you, I know you’re f’d up but I will walk through the fire with you if you can stop lying right here and right now and agree to therapy.” His response? “Everything you’re doing is just pushing me further away.” By everything, he meant policing the phone logs, calling OWhores hubby, calling OWhore and any other lies I proved he was telling.

        He stood in my face the night he packed up to leave “You don’t KNOW me!!!” He was right, I had no idea. I know him now better than I ever did the entire 8 years I slept next to him every night.

        I never thought of myself as naive, I didn’t know such vile people existed. Wow, I know now and it’s a lesson I will never forget.

        X-hole is a financial disaster, his troll has a home and a family ranch that she will inherit. My greatest hope is that she will dump him on his ass for a younger stud as I pray every night that his dick quits working 🙂

        Don’t be fooled Champ, they don’t love anyone. It only feels good during the honeymoon phase, they fake it after that.

        I know that X-holes fling is only still ongoing because they CAN’T live together yet, that’s when it will start to fall apart…when the fantasy is over and real life sets in and they have to deal with each other 24/7.

    • I’ve heard numerous times how am filled with hate for the other woman. She’s not bad she’s a really good person who happened to fuck a married man and destroy my family. Not bad at all. Good character she has. Im supposed to listen to how wonderful she is and their fun filled escapades and partial sex life info and be filled with joy and happiness for them! Oh happy happy joy joy! Kar why are you so hateful towards her she likes and wants to be good friends with you. I love telling you about me and her. We are so happy! She is not filled with hate like you are! If I had done this to him he would feel just like I do. Hate. She’s always happy and wants everyone to just love her most wonderful self. I cannot wait to get away from this totally demented, Idiott, stupid fuck. Talk about living in lala land! What an ass!

      • They just don’t get it. Seriously, I would say, listen you can call me when you need to talk about something that involves the kids (assuming you have some). Then I’d remind them of my boundary and hang up whenever they talked to me about anything else. If you don’t have kids, I would block them and refuse to talk to them period. It is beyond cruel for them to talk to you about their love life or sex life and you don’t have to put up with it.

  • My wonderfully sour-puss grandmother’s rejoinder to “have a nice day” when it first appeared in the 1970’s. “I have other plans”, she’d say to the sales person.

    When nice turns into some sort of directive and makes you uncomfortable fellow chumps, remember, you can always have other plans.

  • This is timely because I just now read through a note I wrote sometime in the last five years about how I saw my deranged husband. He was a ‘nice’ man everyone said. But he never talked to me – either when we were at home or perhaps even sitting side by side on a plane. He always had his nose in a book or he talked to the other people around them and sparkled! He would go to sleep at the dinner table – yes even when we had guests who were close friends and at their house. New friends – those he regarded as his – got the sparkle treatment. At home he would pour wine but forget to ask me – did I exist at all? He rarely said he loved me – usually in response to me. He never talked about our kids and their issues – talking didn’t solve anything he said. He was a hard worker but once he retired he lived entirely inside his head or with other new sparkly people. And yes he showed me exactly who he was – nice? I think not. Kind, I think not. I lived with him for 37 years and as everyone said I must have been too busy not to have noticed before but when he did run away it all became crystal clear. It was always about him. And still is. We are not friends.

    • oldchump – you described something here that really drove me crazy for years about my ex-wife, and in my chump induced sucker brain, thought it was just me. The thousands and thousands of small UN-kindnesses I suffered as being often invisible. Being ignored for other sparkle-deserving folks, not being thanked, not getting that extra drink/coffee for me, not asking “how are you?”, etc. Stuff that I did for her expecting magical reciprocity.

      Holy shit, fuck all of these cheaters and Merry Christmas!

      • Wow, Chumpion, this was powerful. I too experienced the “thousands and thousands of unkindnesses” due to being invisible. I always asked if he wanted food or a beverage if I was getting one. He never asked me the same. I do think I was the invisible wife appliance who merely managed the home and mundane things of life so he could appear wonderful to his coworkers. I’m glad you shared this so I can remember why this Christmas is so wonderful without him.

        Thank you Chumplady and CN. You helped get me safely to the bright side!

        Meh-ry Christmas to all!! May your days be Meh-ry and bright and cheater-free!!

  • YES! Thank you!

    I’m so happy to have read this. This is something I realized after my sociopathic ex discarded me and left me for another woman…

    He always complained that I wasn’t “nice” to him… But you know what? He didn’t deserve “nice” from me. He was wearing me and my patience and my dignity very thin. And I am a damn kind human being.He might have a “nice” cheery demeanor… But he’s ROTTEN on the inside.

  • Nice is meaningless nowadays to me. Kind. Kind is my children. Kind are my friends and family who went out of their way to heal my broken heart. CL hit it spot on again.

    Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Year’s to Chump Nation. We are Mighty, Kind and Real. Love to you all.

  • I remember when I first met my X almost 12 years ago now. He ran into a coffee shop while I waited in the car. He came out with two coffees and my first thought was, “Wow. What a nice guy. He remembered my coffee preference without even asking!” Truth is, the second coffee was for a female colleague (one he’d sleep with about 1.5 years later, btw). He was putting on a big, empty show of niceness.

    It rarely extended to me. He was always really ‘meh’ about being nice to me me – late or non-existent birthday gifts, generally excluding me from important things his life, and so on.

    After my grandmother died, he told my dad he’d ‘check his schedule’ to see whether he was available to be a pallbearer. That broke my dad’s heart. Asshole. But when a friend of a friend or pretty girl needed something, he’d be the first to show up.

  • I remember a trip to the grocery store with Asshat. There was a lady in the frozen food isle in a motorized cart looking in the freezer cases. I watched her for a minute or two and then asked if I could get something for her out of the case. She was appreciative, but what stands out is what Asshat said, “wow. That was really a nice thing you did for her. I didn’t even notice her and wouldn’t have ever asked”. I didn’t think much of my involvement, but his response was ever so telling in retrospect.

    And to think I thought he was kind, honest, had integrity and a good moral compass…..forehead slap.

  • Wow, since my deadhusband was neither nice nor kind, I dont have a lot of stories other than he did buy shit to try to placate me.

    His buddies thought he was a “great guy” though. One of then wrote a eulogy about him being a person who gave and gave and gave…I didnt know who the fuck he was talking about.

    From what I understand, he was nice to OW…but based on the fact that their relationship was so disordered, and nothing about leading people into disorder is kind, I will think that he wasnt.

    The nicest and kindest thing he ever did for me was to buy life insurance.

    • I hear you on the eulogies! The cheater in my life died before I knew a fraction of what he had been up to. I didn’t hold a funeral, but did attend one that his mother held across the country for immediate family. The sympathy cards from his coworkers were puke-inducing.

      At this family service, his mother coached the minister to speak mainly of the cheater’s public service. Yeah, the US Air Force taught him psychological control techniques, which he used on me. Oh, and his service as a boy scout group leader over 40 years ago (before he met me) makes me now wonder how many violated men there are right now coping with the aftermath of his dysfunction on their youth. What a record of public service. Since the mother had witnessed his abusive treatment of me, she had the minister give a nod to my reality by stating that sometimes we don’t know the demons that plague those around us. Yay, I get a shout out for knowing his demons! Considering my tenuous hold on reality at that time, I was grateful for even that.

      It’s good to read about the strong grip you have on reality, unicornnomore. I work on it every day.

      • Oh man…did I ever give that man a hero’s send off. Casket made by Trappist Monks made from wood they grow at the Monastery…full Catholic Funeral on the east coast then flown to the west where there was a full military funeral with 21 gun salute.

        I wore my JonesNY black crepe dress and covered his fresh grave with 10 dozen red roses.

        I allow him to keep his intact public persona and reputation but my experience was mine and I share it with my homeys (which includes you all here). I have a fantasy of returning to his grave with a hammer and chisel and carving this on the back of his stone”

        Wonderful Son
        Committed Brother
        Loyal Marine
        Unpredictable Father
        Terrible Husband

  • Timely article with Christmas tomorrow! This reminds me of all the “nice” gifts that my MIL would give me. Over the 15 years her son and I were together, she would give me money, many re-gifted presents from her co-workers (?), anything extra she had in her home such as half drunk bottles of liquor or her old clothes (???), and pay for all meals out together. All of this seemed “nice” yet often unnecessary especially as we are financially well-off and put me in the awkward situation of having to turn down her used raincoat and half bottle of decades old Amaretto. I just assumed she was trying in her own way to be kind and generous. However, when it was revealed that her precious son was sleeping with our secretary and was in fact a serial cheater, she stopped speaking with me (the mother and now sole parent to her 3 grandchildren) and started spreading false rumors about me to justify her son’s cheating. “Nice” definitely does not equal kind.

  • Amazing insights CL, what a wonderful Holiday Gift thank you!

    Thanks to this article, I understand the major mindfuck I have been dealing with throughout my relationship with X… So many “nice” things he did were devoid of true “kindness.” For example, he was buying me flowers for special occasions (nice), but every time he bought his favorite kind of flowers (unkind). Or he would treat the family to nice international trips (nice) but God forbid we wanted to go to destinations that he didn’t chose (unkind). Or he gave me a nice new set of wedding rings for our anniversary (nice) right after starting an affair with a grad whore half his age (plain fucked up). My addiction to potential led me to spackle, to want to “nice” him into doing the right thing.

    I am so glad I found this community soon after I separated! Thank you CL and CN, for supporting me with humor, insights, and tough love as I dragged my divorce to the finish line this year.

    I wish you all a Holiday Season filled with many Meh moments and laughter :)!

  • Mine is a little different.
    To acquaintances he is both nice and kind. He’s the guy who will come out in the rain to restart your car. He’ll help the old lady in the supermarket. He comes across and cute and cuddly and full of pride for his home and family.
    To closer friends he is the guy who’ll help rebuild and engine, or tile a roof. There is an accounting though and a bill to be paid. His family are less spoken about to them.
    To enabler friends he is the great guy who demands help for things and can be snippy although he’ll also help out with big jobs – as long as you reciprocate. To them he is the poor put apon guy who supports his family and cares deeply about them although they aren’t really there for him, poor poor man. Those are the ones he bad mouths me to.
    To his family, he is volatile, rages, sometimes sweet (less as the years go on). Always an accounting for every “favor” with a ledger in his head and oy va voy if you don’t meet the reciprocation agenda (he’ll never tell you what he expects though). Gifts are almost nonexistant.

    The closer he gets the more he “needs” those people – for show, for normalcy for support and for kibbles and the less nice he actually is. I think he actually hates people because he needs them.

    My mistake has been to confuse need with like/love. Deep in my heart I know he hates us but I looked to any sign that he needed me and was grateful. I’m not proud of that.

    • I relate to this comment most of all. My ex does a similar thing, but the system works according to what he believes the kindness-beneficiary can do for HIM. For people he considers “cool” who can introduce him to other “cool” people or get him in the door at their “cool” job or give him ego kibbles or whatever the heck it is they have that’s valuable to him, he bends over backwards. “Hello! I’m here to help you with your super low-priority household task for an entire, solid weekend! Nevermind that newborn baby at home. What baby, am I right? Heh heh.” But when someone he considers “uncool” begs for his help, such as an elderly woman at church one time with urgent health needs, he would say (and this is a direct quote) “Why would I help HER?” Of course, the people that “matter” to him — those super cool loud-mouths that gaslight right along with him — only see those big pompous ticker-tape parade moments of public service. They don’t see the people he isn’t helping.

      • Yes asswipe uses nice to his best advantage his customers, the whores friends and family, anyone who can better him. I recently figured out this scenario and why he put his business in possible jeopardy. Money, he loves how he doesn’t have to pay one damn thing for her needs. He can buy her stuff if he wants but she is supporting them. Damn to have this much hurt cause of money. Wow! He told one of our kids life is so much easier with the slut cause he doesn’t have to pay for anything for her. My kids tells me she was pissed because he basically said I didn’t make enough money and he had to support me I should go out and get things I wanted with my own money. She says to him then how come you demanded her paycheck every week and didn’t let her buy anything? His comment, my fault I didn’t make enough money. Wowsers! 30 years you think you know some one and bamn, slapped in the face again. I sure didn’t get the memo on that one. Fucking bastard. Stole 30 years from me and thrown away for money.

  • Yes! all this psychos are cut with the same scissors. My cheater is so nice & funny that people that just met him want to see him again. His family says he is crazy but @ work and with friends he is the best guy ever. As we speak he has now the ” I am the xmas jerkonator” he is in a bad mood!! I wonder why… because he is with plan B (official family) & he would like to be with “whore nation” as we speak he is arguing even with his shadow but when he gets a call from a co-worker for Holiday greeting he is having a blast! Note : if you are with cheater as we speak like me do not give them the pleasure to look upset! they love that. look happy and healthy . dress up and think like you are a diva. When I smile he ask me why I am laughing that I do I look happy?! psychos (like i said my psycho doesn’t know that I know) enjoy christmas block the jerk for one day! and do not even look @ him if you are at a party today!! PS thanks CL for all your help your advise is the only thing that keep me in track. All the things that you said become true or we feel it @ live it as you describe it.

  • Dear Tracy, I hope you and your family are having a fabulous vacation. Thanks for this re-post of Nice vs. Kind. This cleared up some of my confusion (how to deal with a mixed-bag person who is causing me grief). After much reflection on my past relationships with FAKE nice people and their glaring inconsistency, I am keener on how to really look at people now. I will see past their superficial veneer and not let them waste any more of my time, attention, resources, and emotional space. I will save all my goodness for honest, sane, respectful, giving and genuinely KIND people.

    I wish you and the CN folks a peaceful, joyful holiday – whether spent on your own or with people who love and respect you truly. I’m so glad I stumbled across this website. I found your stories very validating of my experience (this is huge). The advice and insights here have helped me as I try to gain trust again. Thanks very much again.

  • I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas with lots of fun and relaxation. This is a really good topic, and I never thought of it that way, but it totally makes sense! Hugs..

  • Niceness was just part of the giant mindfuck of the snake.

    I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said he was nice or a great guy or otherwise complimented his superficial façade. (Maybe I will by the time I get my full divorce settlement).

    He never had any real friends though. I heard it all from people he worked with. He made the right donations, picked up checks for the right people, etc. He especially played the chivalrous gentleman role to the hilt for his female peers.

    So much cognitive dissonance when I was faced with his contempt and sneers at home. Or better yet, days, weeks, months of the silent treatment.

    No wonder he made me a little crazy…

    Sure, sometimes I got the nice treatment. In our earlier days, he didn’t just send me flowers to the office, he delivered them personally. Mr. Romance.

    But in private, he’d rage and gaslight and generally be an asshole a great deal of the time. In private, I walked on eggshells. In private, I was constantly faced with no-win situations – no matter what I chose, it was wrong. So of course, I got the impatient “just make a decision” demands from him, as decision-making grew more difficult for me.

    I’d get nice gifts on the holidays (although he quit that a few years ago), but rarely were they anything that resonated with a feeling that he “gets” me. And gift giving was accompanied by a shitload of bitching about how much he hates shopping. The spirit of giving was strong with him…. NOT! He went through the motions, but did all he could to make me feel shitty about it.

    I got a couple of gifts from a relative today, and I almost wanted to cry, because the gifts actually showed some thought and originality and consideration of what is important to me. I forgot what that was like….

    So on that note, I hope all of chumpdom has at least one person in their life who “gets” them, and reminds them that what they love and value isn’t stupid or juvenile or silly or or or….

    Merry Christmas!

    • Snakebit, I hope you take this in the positive spirit it is intended: I have mixed feelings about your post because my STBX cheater wife complained that I didn’t give her the right gifts. She wanted me to show her she was special, even when she withheld affection and sex, and abused our finances and lied to me about it. We were always broke (even though I have decent paying job, unlike her), almost entirely because of financial decisions she made about my money. I should have been more assertive and had harder financial boundaries, but I trusted and shared everything. When it came to gift-buying time, I rarely felt much control. Since she had fucked our finances up, I didn’t feel guilty about not being able to buy her nice things. But she couldn’t forgive that, and found a new dude (actually her high-school boyfriend from 25 years earlier) who was willing to open the old pocketbook for her, and make her feel special. So she flew to Florida and fucked him.

      • I think Snakebit is actually talking about something you’d agree with wholeheartedly — that she’d get “nice” (meaning conventionally nice or valuable) gifts that were probably somewhat generic. “I bought you an expensive ___” etc. When all she wanted was something small that actually showed he knew her, even a little bit. For example, receiving a gift of perfectly decent gold earrings would be a slap in the face of someone who’s allergic to gold and would actually much prefer the safer (and cheaper) sterling silver option. It shows they just wanted to make a grand gesture and reap the praise for it, instead of actually listening and paying attention to what the person needs or wants. I feel this very poignantly because my ex would get a big pile of flashy gifts for me and pat himself on the back for them, when not one of them was remotely related to my interests or was even close to anything I had on my (very accessible, public) wishlists. It’s like buying me a forest in the Adirondacks when all I wanted was a book about how to make nice Christmas wreaths and I have no interest in visiting the Adirondacks. Regardless, bad gifting prowess alone (and I feel like Snakebit will agree) is no reason to cheat. Yet another gigantic excuse there when they’re clearly just trying to justify what they already made up their mind to do. It’s like “Aw you didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas so you went out and fucked the next thing that walked by? Sound logical.” Ugh, what a jerk. Anyway happy holidays! So glad I’m getting support and listening to good discourse and great points with CN right now instead of walking on the eggshells that were my previous holidays with the ex.

        • This is it. It’s not so much about the cost of the gift but the thought in choosing the gift. I never received gifts for my birthday or Mother’s Day , anniversary. I only received things at Christmas because my children would notice. (Nice vs kind). What I have received in the past was a knife sharpener, hand lotion, foot pillow from my spouse. I’m not a cook, masseuse or diva. I opened those in front of my kids, smiled and said thanks. It was part of the show.

          There was more planning on the part of my cheater in setting up his annual anniversary celebration in NYC with the MOW -which top tier hotel, Sardis or someplace else, which Broadway musical- than was given to simply understand who I am and the kids too, and find gifts to recognize that.

          This year, whew! That kind of sadness it not hanging in the air.

          • There were rarely gifts, except when he screwed someone and needed to ease his conscience. At least that’s how it appeared – random, frantic trips to the store to get a designer purse coinciding with some misdeed. The gifts didn’t cover every time he screwed around (countless) so I’m not sure what it meant at the time but I really don’t care to ruminate about that anymore.

            I rarely got birthday gifts and not once did we celebrate our wedding anniversary. The price would not have been important – s gift just would have been a gesture that I mattered somehow to him (I never did. I’m coming to terms with that).

  • Nice vs. kind totally resonates with me. STBX was always the nicest guy ever, but his actions never matched his words! All his friends and coworkers think he’s the nicest guy around. He always called to say how much he loved me, called me pet names, etc. Yet all the while he’s on multiple hookup websites and having an affair with a coworker.

    During our 2 weeks of false R, he told our then therapist that he couldn’t break up with OW because he “doesn’t know how to be mean–I’m too nice, it’s not my personality to just coldly break up with her.” I knew then that he was a total ass.

    I served him divorce papers last week and have been NC for 2 months, yet he still continues to send me “nice” emails (all ignored by me), and today gave me a “nice” Christmas present that, under other circumstances, I would actually like. (Kind of ironic because he’s always been a horrible gift giver. Once he gave me a pair of socks that said “this sucks.” He threw a fit when I wasn’t thrilled about them.) He tried to hug me today when picking up our daughter, and when I said no, he said (in his sad sausage voice), “I’m just trying to be nice and give you a merry Christmas hug!”

    It’s so frustrating that anytime I try to enforce boundaries, I come off as the bitchy one and he’s all self-righteous about how nice he is. Good thing I’m getting to the point where IDGAF what he thinks- all I care about is being free of his bullshit!

    • Mine did break up coldly with his AP 8 years ago (I didn’t know at the time he’d had an affair), but I recently found a receipt for an expensive watch he purchased for her 3 weeks after breaking up with her–consolation gift? How nice of him.

  • There was always a dark side. Nice to the outside world with horror stories about his suffering to his parents and siblings. None of this was ever shared with me. Then his lies were shared with his coworkers. I was doting on him. Bringing him lunch at work and living what I thought was a shared life. When I caught him he was never sorry, I got the blame. I did nothing wrong. I tried harder and he continued. He talked about me to our own children and made fun of my y friends. It never ended and the pattern continued. There were many times I wanted to leave him but I never did. He was always a sociopath and had me fooled. The mindfuckery kept me busy wondering why with all that I did as a wife and mother his famiky would reject me for no reason. He isolated me and controled me without an ounce ofbremorse. It was all so calculated on his part. It was more than cheating. It was destruction of my soul.

    • Lol no, vivo súper lejos, además necesito estar sola por un buen rato!! Ya no confío en nadieee, y todavía quiero matar a este huevon de mierda!!! Espero q algún día se me quite la rabia!

      • Entendido! Yo también creo que me va a ser difícil confiar en otra persona en el futuro, y a mí me pasa igual con la rabia y las ganas de cobrar venganza, pero veo que se me va a quitar y voy a querer estar con alguien, algún día. Mucha suerte con todo, y te deseo un 2016 mejor que el año anterior!

  • Much love to CN. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. And Have the Best New Year Ever!!

    I mean that. If you are wading through shit, find a way out and wipe your feet. In the words of Winston Churchill, “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” His idea was that there is another side, and so is mine. On the Other Side, the sun rises brighter and the birds sing happier, and everything starts to feel better. That is my New Year wish for every single chump in CN. Feel a brighter sun, hear a happier bird and feel mightier and better.

  • SarBear–it’s tough around this time of year, when we are finally cheater-free and feeling RELIEF!!!, plus the spirit of the holidays is merry, to spackle over their deceit & character flaws. Why *not* have Christmas morning with the jackass?! What a great idea! [facepalm] Good for you holding your ground. The jerk doesn’t get to boost his impression management because “X-wife is friends with me!!” and you don’t subject yourself to more mindfuckery-of-the-holiday-kind.

  • Worse then “nice” are the ones who like my STBX say “but I’m a GOOD person”. Really really!!!! Gob smacked totally, at the self delusion. He can’t even see through his own Spakle!!!

  • Read through the first few; haven’t read all yet but the XPOS was very generous (hush gifts; though I didn’t know till end). He was ‘nice’. Everyone thinks he’s so great (I think) or so they pretended to. Once I started figuring out that he was a no good, lying, scammer, cold hearted mother fucker was when he no longer had use for me. He knew I knew he was no good. He’s a snake in a mink coat (literally with the mink coat). Yes, he bought himself one after he bought one for me. Incredibly ridiculous for a man, sorry! He has more issues than Vogue (I saw this somewhere recently; yes I just stole it). 🙂
    BTW, yes, I gave every last thing back to him he ever gave me from socks to an SUV; mink coat included!
    My choice!

  • I once heard someone say, ‘Do not mistake my kindness for weakness’. Years later I understood what that meant. I will remain a kind person but I will never be weak.

  • I’m bookmarking this to forward as my standard reply to the storm of “but he’s such a nice guy” that will come when I announce I’m divorcing him.

  • My idiot husband asked me where I wanted to dine out for our anniversary. I said I dont know. I eat out a lot so its not that special to me. He said, “I’m just trying to be thoughtful.” No thoughtful is coming up with somewhere I have never been or surprising me. Then we did pick a new restaurant. Did he call for reservations? No Did he drive? No we ended up sitting in the bar. Food was so so and company wasnt great either. Suprise? No

  • An inconvenient truth for the naysayers regarding reconciliation is that a lot of morons who cheat ARE both nice and kind.

    I think there are different reasons why people cheat. Some cheat because they married someone they never loved and are always looking. Others cheat in a moment of weakness when attracted to some strange after being married for 20 odd years.

    The former will likely leave his or her spouse for the affair partner. The latter will likely drop the affair partner upon discovery, feel like crap for cheating and try to sincerely, albeit futilely, to make amends.

    Let’s face it, there is no way to make amends after a transgression like cheating, one can only make up and move forward with their new normal. The new normal being that the marriage will be and is forever change.

    But I digress. My point is a cheater can be both nice and kind. It depends on a lot of variables. There are no absolutes when it comes to humans. Anyone has the capacity to cheat. It’s what they do when caught that will likely make all the difference in saving their marriage.

  • My ex was obsessed with other people considering him to be a “nice guy.”

    He wasn’t nice at all underneath; but booy did he care a lot that he made sure other people saw him that way.

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