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UBT: “I Didn’t Mean To”

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serendipityDear Chump Lady,

I was married to a very lovely man for 15 years. He was “nice,” yet he needed parenting. That’s where I came in.

There were days when I felt as though I were married to a teenager. He was self sufficient, held a job, appeared responsible with money, but he CONSTANTLY made bad decisions. Very simple common-sense matters were a challenge and I was always there to clean up the mess left behind by his poor choices.

When I would ask him why he would make that decision (such as ignoring the check engine light until our pickup blew up), his standard answer was always “I didn’t mean to.”

I am 6 months post D-day. He had two affairs while I was working out of town for a few months and while I was recovering from cancer treatments as well. When I asked him why and how he could do this to us (his family) — his response was, yep you guessed it, “I didn’t mean to.”

So, I have divorced him. He is moving the OW into what was once our family home and he has not once asked about or seen our granddaughter. He voluntarily has cut himself from everyone’s lives, but I get a text from him regarding some belongings I missed in storage and at the end he says, “You know, I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

What the hell did he or does he mean by that shit? What did he think would happen? How can he say that stupid shit? Translation please?

Debbie

Dear Debbie

There are a variety of Universal Bullshit Translations of “I didn’t mean for this to happen.” What they all boil down to is “I don’t accept any responsibility for what happened.”

He didn’t mean for this to happen? He didn’t mean to get caught. He didn’t mean to give up cake. He didn’t mean for you to lose your impression of him as a swell guy.

He didn’t mean to blow up the pickup truck? He didn’t care enough not to.

Look, everyone makes mistakes. sometimes we forget to put the scissors back where we found them. Or we don’t return that overdue library book. We get “overcome by events,” as they say.

But there is a difference between absentmindedness and being asleep at the wheel. It sounds like your ex isn’t an airhead so much as he is just outright negligent.

If you blow up the family truck? You should at the very least apologize, not stare at the engine fire slack jawed and shrug “I didn’t mean to.”

Implied in “I didn’t mean to” is QUIT BEING SUCH A HARDASS. Quit ascribing INTENT to me. Now, blowing up the truck might actually be a stupid mistake, based in the parent/child dynamic one has with cheaters. (“Oh the check engine light is on… I’m sure Debbie will take care of that…”) Blowing up a marriage? That takes planning and aforethought. Affairs are deliberate choices. He absolutely intended to fuck someone else while you had cancer. What he didn’t intend were consequences.

What did he think would happen? He thought you’d take him back. After all, you’ve cleaned up every other mess.

How can he say that stupid shit? Because it works for him. If you believe he didn’t intend for any of this to happen, (and he’s not responsible!) then you won’t stay mad, and you’ll take him back and cake will be preserved! More kibbles! Fewer consequences! Tastes great!

“You know, I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

What? What’s that? I’m sorry I can’t hear you.

“You know, I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

Debbie, you’ve blocked his number, lost his address, and his email goes to spam. He protests? Just shrug.

“You know, I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

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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.
  • Yep, healthy adults are accountable without anyone asking them to step up to the plate. People who give a crap act like they give a crap.

    It would be more obvious if they punched us and said “Oops, I didn’t mean to.” We wouldn’t even question whether a sock in the nose could possibly be an accident. You clearly have to do a lot of work to hurl a fist at a person’s face. Tripping over a rock won’t make it happen. Screwing is the same.

    As CL often points out, people don’t slip and fall into each other’s naked genitals.

    • So last year I dated this guy Michael samol, at first he seems nice and we got on well….. Cheerio mate…well was I wrong, what a sleazy lying creep, don’t be fooled by charms of little lying leprechauns! Lessons learned and off to Bali to tan and have turned lesbian:)

  • UBT is right on the money, as usual. Didn’t mean to? Whether it was the truck or his marriage he didn’t mean to blow up, he knew the warning signs & didnt *care* about losing either until it inconvenienced him. OW will see this soon enough. Guys like him never change.

    • I’m 7 months post D-day and he keeps saying “I don’t know why”…hookers, erotic massages and dating sites. Can anyone explain this please?!?

      • No explanation is possible, much less satisfactory.
        The absolute best, completely possible, and ultimately very satisfying course at this point is No Contact.
        He doesn’t deserve the privilege of explaining shit to you. Shut that shit down right now. It’s a gift to yourself.

      • As someone who went thru the same thing, ie a host of nameless skanks the ‘why’ is right there in front of you . Pure, self indulgent ego.
        Not some magical friend or coworker or other ‘soul mate’ dropped from the heavens, no relationship, nothing but get in/get off/get out & put another notch in the old dick – stick.

        Over time you’ll see that going to him for the ‘why’ is futile. His why is self serving, always. From neutral ‘I don’t knows’ or ‘didn’t mean tos’,graduating to the increasingly indignant finger pointed squarely at YOU for not satisfying him, driving him to it. DON’T GO THERE! Don’t give him the chance.

        What we’ve been thru is disgusting, but as I picked myself up I realized that at least I didn’t have an OW & ‘feelings’ to muck thru. Just a narcissistic middle-aged man with a limp dick who wanted to pay to be stroked & fucked. And having caught on before confronting him, I watched that smug asshole come home with his puffed-up chest & the ‘cat who swallowed the canary’ look as he thought he’d pulled yet another one over on me. THAT was the guy who knew exactly what he was doing and why. Not the post DDay guy trying to save his ass from exposure & embarrassment .

        • Ooh, I saw that smug look too, Chumpty Dumpty. He was going out to work one night, i was staying with our child at home. I saw him come out of the bathroom and literally prance down the hall. Guess the thought seeing a middle age road whore has that effect on some people.

          • Yep, so happy to be going on a ‘Date’.
            Helloooo, you’re married.
            Can I go on a date, too? (not that I would, I live my principles)
            I’m glad I live in the world of ethics, and caring for those I love. Not the crazy world they inhabit, where marriage has fuzzy borders.

      • Bel, you are 7 months post D-Day. Might I recommend going No Contact?
        It won’t get you answer from the horse’s mouth (of which none are truly satisfactory) but it won’t get you bullshit either.

      • Cause he wanted to. Cause he could. Cause he does not care about you (sorry to say). Cause lying to keep peace was best for him (paraphrasing something someone once said on here).

        It’s as simple and hollow as that.

      • Bel, I agree with what everyone else has stated but wanted to add that he says he doesnt know because if he told you the truth “because I wanted to” then you might stop the cake train.

      • @Bel
        I’m going to offer an explanation for you that may not be the popular one around here. Namely, he answers you that he doesn’t know why because it is the truth. He doesn’t know why. He will never know why. He isn’t even capable of BEGINNING to understand “why.” I have come to believe that when a cheater says “I don’t know why!” or “It just happened!” it is the closest thing to truth we will ever hear them say. THEIR truth, not THE truth….that is an important distinction. But for him, his truth is he doesn’t know why and couldn’t explain it if you held a gun to his head.

        We want to know why, and that is perfectly understandable. In fact, I would argue that we deserve to know why our lives were blown up. But the cheater does not know why, and expecting him to tell us why is akin to beating one’s head against a brick wall.

        He doesn’t know why for some pretty simple reasons: He is a very, very shallow pool. Not a lot going on upstairs. Cheaters are pretty universally incapable of the kind of introspective, objective, self-aware, soul-searching thinking which would lead them to “why.” If they were capable of higher-level, level-headed thinking, or making rational decisions, or getting down to the heart of a matter and assigning proper reason and accountability, the cheating probably wouldn’t have happened in the first place. The act of cheating alone points tells us this person is not capable of being a whole, functioning, well-adjusted human being. This certainly doesn’t change because they got caught. And without being whole/functioning/well-adjusted…they will never really know “why” they did it. Instead, when pressed for an answer, they cast about a bunch of bullshit (I’m broken! I was bored! You were mean to me! My mama didn’t hug me enough! My self-esteem was shattered after I gained that 40 pounds! FOO issues! You got fat!) and hope for something to stick. That way, they can deflect away from the real issue, which is they need to take a long, hard look inside and hold themselves and themselves alone completely accountable. Accountability is hard. Adulting is hard. Facing their entitlement issues is hard. Facing their selfishness and self-destructiveness is hard. Doing real, deep, introspective work in which we face the shitty parts of ourselves and hold them up to the light of day to flush them out is hard. Yucky.

        So, you have to supply your own “why.” The real truth is very simple. He wanted to, so he did. Now ask yourself, why isn’t that answer good enough for you? Is it that you are actually seeking the answer for why he is capable of such selfishness, why he is the kind of person who could do this to you, why he is built in such a way that THIS kind of thing is in his arsenal of life choices? Because you won’t get that answer from him. HE ISN’T CAPABLE of understanding it. It is like trying to get a fish to drive a car.

        You can try and untangle HIS skein of fuckedupedness all you want, but it is an exercise in futility, and even if a miracle occurred and you figured it all out, you can’t actually change him. That’s on him. It’s on you to move your own life forward and stop giving his character problems real estate in your head. Move on out, move on up, and leave him to figure his shit out himself. You have better things to do.

        • I agree with you. I actually stumbled across CL when looking at the Dr. we all quote (I can’t recall the name) and his discussion of disordered personalities. It’s not that they don’t know, they just don’t care. They are sort of socially aware enough to know that when you sobbing wife asks you “why… just why would you do this”, you don’t say “Well because I wanted to fuck her… so I did. Because I didn’t think I would get caught when I did. And now that I did get caught, I mean I care that you are yelling at me, but I don’t really care that I hurt you and betrayed you.” I mean in some ways – it would make life easier if they would just say that, but they know that kind of honesty will generate consequences and they don’t want actual consequences. They go with “I don’t know” or “I didn’t mean for that to happen” as a way to say something without actually saying anything meaningful.

        • Little Mighty Me-thank you for the eye opener. The addictions therapist I seen last week pretty much said the same things you did. It’s very hard to believe that some people don’t think the way we do and I think that’s why it still hurts so much.
          Unfortunately I doubt he will get help for his addictions and personality disorder. I pray it doesn’t someday rub off on our child 🙁
          Thanks again everyone for responding. You are lifesavers. ❤️

          • Asswipes disorders are definately rubbed off on my son the youngest one, he is a man whoring pos liar and entitled fool like his dad. But dad is bringing said son to live with him and whore they are gonna fix him. The kid is in his thirties. Two piece of shit lying cheater pod people are gonna fix the kid! Bwahahahahah! I dont think so although the boy is smart enough to have dads number. The kid will play them both. Too bad the emotionally absent father didnt try to teach him better when he was uh…. 12. Asshole!

        • I totally agree! I figured out pretty quickly that asking “why” was a useless question, as the ‘reasons’ he gave me seemed shallow & transient anyway. Like a child who makes up something in order to to have at least some answer for an adult questioning them, he would come up with shallow reasons ‘why’. The truth was he really didn’t know himself! And he didn’t know because he was shallow and completely lacked self awareness, which is a very crucial quality to have. All of these types lack self awareness.

          This observation made me turf him out pretty quick, with only a few days in there where I thought we could reconcile. In the end, self awareness take years of consistent effort, and if he lacked so much of it now, he’d surely do it again.

          Zero self awareness – all of them!!

      • For someone to be that devoid of self-knowledge of things he does, to utter ‘I don’t know why’ for something so large, is a deal breaker in itself, let alone the sheer deceit and deliberate choices one makes when they are cheating.
        Its their go-to excuse, when they don’t have an excuse. Try this for an analogy: someone who deliberately goes around planting explosives and then triggers the detonator himself. Then, when caught, he gets asked why – “I don’t know why”. It looks pretty mentally ill, doesn’t it? Same goes for cheaters.

      • Bel, saying, “I don’t know why…” is a reason in itself because it implies that there is something bigger than him that drives him to cheat, something that he doesn’t understand and cannot control and therefore the fault is not all his. It’s pure cheater speak, and an attempt to string you along, pull you down with the sinking ship and confuse you. It’s a purely evil tactic, played against someone who he’s sworn to love. He knows exactly why… it’s gratifying, satisfying, and he can careless who goes down with the ship so long as he gets his fix.

      • Bel-
        My stbx is one of those sleazy gutter snipes too-porn, massage parlors, hookers, etc. You need to accept that you will never know why and that it doesn’t matter. You will never know every detail of his cheating escapades and your stbx thinks that he is superior to you because of that. Focus on you and your child and keep contact to a minimum. You need to accept the fact that your stbx is broken-his issues were there before you and they will be there after you. His issues have nothing to do with you; You cannot fix him and you never really knew him. These types of scum harbor an immense amount of shame for what they do & would rather die than have to admit the truth. These people do not feel love. They are incapable of any real emotional connection to anything or anyone which is why porn, strangers, and dating are so enticing. They live in a nameless, faceless, fantasy world of interchangeable body parts.

        There are a few of us chumps on here that have this exact type of ex & their support has been incredible. I have a small child too so I know that complete NC is hard BUT if you minimize it as much as possible and get some distance-I promise that you will gain some great perspective. You will be able to see your cheater as they really are……and it’s not pretty once the mask is off. You will wonder why you didn’t see it sooner. The remorse or any tears is not sincere. You were in the picture because you were “of use” to him; for image management, a wife appliance, and a respectable front for him while he carried out his sleazy exploits on the down low.

        You may have set backs from time to time at the start of NC and that’s ok. Don’t be too hard on yourself. As time goes on it will be easier. For myself-if I find some nostalgic feeling coming on, I just remind myself that my ex loved barely legal “pay for pay” girls and hiding out to watch porn incessantly on his iPhone instead of being a loving husband & father……and you know what-it works!!!! I love myself & my son too much to ever go back to that.

        Stay strong Mama Bel!!!

        • Current Chump, I think WE are/were married to the same guy. I think there’s a lot of truth to the fact that they are hollow inside.

          I do also think that in some ways it’s easier to deal with – STBX is vile;he only wants strange – than thinking that he met his “soul mate” (altho, technically he did – she’s a 16-year-old sex worker in Manila who performs her “chicken dance” for him with the webcam and then he performs his “chicken dance” for her – and then he sends her all the money).

          On the other hand, “vile” is pretty hard to digest for its own reasons.

          But anyway, it helps a lot to remember it has nothing to do with us.

          It was true during the sham marriage and it’s true now, in the middle of divorce settlement drama.

          • Sorry to hear that you got one of those depraved effers too. The whole situation just sucks. I hope that someday I will be able to help some other chump not make all the mistakes I did and take the fast track to meh. I felt really bad for Bel with a small baby sounding like she was getting stuck in untangling the skein because I remember being stuck there. Thankfully, I had an awesome therapist and everyone here at CL to help me get real about the situation with stbx and my life. I don’t think I’m completely at meh yet but I feel close.

            Now at least when stbx acts like he wants something-I stand up to him, ignore him, or tell him off, because i know deep in my soul that he is a complete fuckwit loser who would rather pay for sex or secretly jack off by himself to porn or web cam whores than be a husband or a father to an incredible boy……..it’s pathetic.
            Actually, he is pathetic & I am mighty!

            • Current Chump, this is so true: ” I hope that someday I will be able to help some other chump not make all the mistakes I did and take the fast track to meh.”

              I really want to help victims of sexual slavery.
              .
              When I discovered (and consequently researched) the type and extent of STBX’s betrayal, it left me utterly disgusted by STBX’s embodiment of the cliche of entitlement and objectification and stupidity of a 54-year-old white man toward teenage Asian girls. It’s colonial, misogynistic, self-serving, racist.

              I kinda think I’m supposed to do something about this terrible situation now that my life has been touched by it.

              • That’s a noble cause roaring……I wouldn’t even know where to start. I have a friend who is pretty high up in law enforcement and I asked why they are not out busting all of these massage places when they know it is prostitution/possible human trafficking. I was told that there are so many of these places around-not to mention escorts ads online-that there are not enough police officers on the force to handle all of it. Unfortunately, the demand for this type of crap is so high that these places are popping up everywhere-And they move around And it isn’t always the massage places either-it’s skin care places, chiropractor places, etc. Sleazy men network and know how to find these places. I hate stbx for exposing me to his secret sleazy underworld but now I should be able to spot his kind from a mile away

                I just hope I can keep my sweet young son away from all of this crap when he gets older

              • Roaring, I actually gasped when I read this out loud. My ex of 14 years left me with 2 small babies and moved 2,000+ miles away to live with a stripper I didn’t know he’d been seeing for 5 months and her kids. Less than 24 hours after discovery, he left me sobbing in a heap on the floor with our baby crawling around me and our toddler trying to follow him out. Zero warning, just gone.

                I’m on my own now, and the babies and I found a place. In the research I did after ‘the night of 1,000 horrors’ as I call it, I found out about so much of the heinous crap he had been doing, and it was VILE.
                I began taking classes online for my bachelor’s in criminal justice – with a concentration in cybercrimes – so that I could help to stop human trafficking. I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone in your reaction to that which is demoralizing and objectifying to the most vulnerable of this world.

  • So true…7 months post D day and I still hear the echos of “I don’t know”, “I didn’t mean to”, and “You know I’d never DELIBERATELY hurt you right?”. I have a long way to go and struggle so much with no contact. I count a success if I go 2 days without reaching out. Why? Habit? Training? 24 years of having been isolated from friends and family – I got trained to go to him, and I’m a good pet – training sticks with me. I work on it every day but as you all know from my prior posts, I waffle between “trust that he sucks”, and “he’s a good guy who just did a bad thing – you should forgive him”. Not that he’s asking for forgiveness. Bottom line is that I rely heavily on the wisdom, advice, and action oriented strategy from this group – you all are my angels.

    • Chumptastic, if he is not asking for forgiveness, why would you waste your time waffling on whether to forgive him? Forgiveness is earned in response to genuine remorse, and even then, it cannot always be commanded. My H and I are 4.5 years post DDay, and he has put in, and continues to put in, the hard work of earning forgiveness. To both of our surprise, some days I do and some days I don’t. I’m beginning to really understand the depth of this psychic wound that is infidelity. We are OK for now, but there is a fragility to our relationship that was never there before. At the core of it is the fact that both he and I know that I will walk immediately at the next sign of trouble. Probably not a healthy place for a life-long relationship, but we have kids to raise for now.

    • “I count a success if I go 2 days without reaching out. Why? Habit? Training?”

      Stop reaching out to him, period. It takes a hell of a lot longer to heal and untangle yourself when you continually reach out. No contact . . . I’m telling you it helps so, so much.

    • Chumptastic – Be strong…I’m in almost an identical situation…well…maybe even worse…so I hope by me sharing a little about my story, it helps you to stay NC and know you’re on the right course to MEH. March 1st for me will be 7 months from a Nuclear D-DAY…I say that because the confessions (5) got worse and worse with each bomb being dropped right on target…my heart. Married 33 years…I had to find out that my wife was having a 7 year double life affair/relationship. Meaning coming home to me, professing her love each day, weddings of our kids, death of our parents, birth of our Grand Kids. All the while lying and serving up deception that was so good…the NSA would be proud to learn from her. The last two years of the love affair was carried out during mid day meetings at our 2nd home. A place only 10 minutes from my wife’s job, so as to help her (I’m a Chump) with her 2 hour per day commute from our main home place. The levels that these cheaters will go in order to get their Cake…is beyond the comprehension of us Chumps…I like to say Cheaters can go where No Chump Has Gone Before. The reason…they are all pieces of shit. They all are Narcs as well as most if not all are sociopaths. This was the hardest thing for me to come to grips with and I also give tons of credit each day – that I found this website and was able to plug into the Chump Nation. It not only saved me…It saved a lot of others lives as well. Because with out getting the information, real deal, been there done that information…Chumps, like all people faced with extreme trauma…go into a fight or flight mode. By sitting back…believing in NC…reading the daily advise of Chump Lady and the responses of the Nation…We as Chumps now have a protected reserve if you will…where the Cheater does not dictate our emotions or our actions. We learn how and then execute our control over our lives and protect our families from our delusional, sick and pathetic former spouses. Time is our Ally. NC is our first line of defense. Our Special Forces should be our Lawyers. The Cheater – Chumptastic – is not our friend, nor our spouse anymore – they are a Cancer and with time I have already begun to see…how their negative energy generated by their lies and deception…are nothing but a drain…on a Chumps Life. Be strong…move forward,,,I look forward to hearing about your journey to MEH as I will keep the nation posted on my journey as well. Best of Luck – Ironwarrior a.k.a. The World’s Strongest Chump.

      • Ironwarrior how I wish you were my neighbor so you could come over and hit me with a 2×4 every time I even THOUGHT about breaking NC. Our stories are more similar than you know – I was married a few less years, but the rest…right on target. Sometimes I think it’s a “girl thing” that I hang on too long, but I know better. It’s a “chump thing” and a lack of strength thing for me. I’ll read your post every time I feel the need to reach out or respond. You have helped, and I will keep you posted.

        • Thank you…it means a lot to me, that by simply telling the truth about my trauma…it was able to help you deal with your trauma. Please also remind yourself…that what you’re going through is just that it’s TRAUMATIC. Thus I don’t use that word lightly or because is sounds impactful. It’s real and helps me to deal with my situation with the appropriate energy and sense of urgency. The Cheater…tries with strategic expertise to use verbiage that dilutes both their actions and the aftermath that they have caused. What they did was not a Mistake. We as Chumps have been Traumatized by what they have done to not only us but our family. Their actions are cruel, deliberate and totally based on a feeling of self entitlement. That’s why using words like Cancer and Trauma…are not for dramatic sympathy – but rather a call to action for Chumps everywhere to get to taking action to heal and eliminate the cause of our insane, pain and draining of our precious time here on earth. You said you wished I was a neighbor? I am…your neighbor here at ChumpLady.com and we share a bond and a goal. A Bond as fellow Chumps and a Goal to someday arrive at MEH. We can all get there…but we need to lift up and encourage one another as best we each can. Thanks CL for creating this refuge for the wounded Chumps to heal and grow strong.

      • Ironwarrior, amazing post!

        I too have been saved by Chumplady and the mighty Chump Nation! I continue to learn and grow everyday thanks to this nation!

        Once my divorce was actually final people started comin outta the woodwork telling me about the numerous affairs satan has had over the years – 36 years – too bad they didn’t come to me years ago! I like to think I would have listened and acted…but?

        When all the insanity started with satan, he would come to my work and rage at me that he was never comin back and it was over – he did that 4 times. I worked then in a 2 person office and he apparently didn’t care who heard / saw him. …I guess it served to keep me in his control? I suffered extreme PTSD from this treatment, and the raging and meowing. Anyway, after work he would come strolling in like it never happened! Completely insane! My employer at that time introduced me to his wife, she trains peace officers in the law, she asked me if I knew what a sociopath was and then proceeded to teach me. Wow! How could I not have SEEN him for what he really is???

        For a long, long time I didn’t feel safe in the world…just plain agony that I thought would never end…then I found Chumplady and my healing began. These disordered cluster b’s aren’t special, thankfully they are also not our problem anymore, they are just entitled, manipulating cowards that do not deserve anymore of our time or attention!

        • AMEN. We always wish that we could of figured things out sooner…however God is always on time…maybe not yours or my time…but HE is always on time. I am so glad you’re now healing and on your way to MEH.

      • Ironwarrior,

        Ouch, owie, ow. That’s gotta hurt. A separate bed to fuck him in? So vile. Your tender response shows you are closer to Meh. Thanks for your bravery and your service to Chump Nation.

    • Chumptastic,

      At first, NC is hard. It’s difficult and almost impossible to not talk to the person you think you’ve been the closest to for so many years. Each day gets easier, and nothing, no matter how good or how bad, lasts forever. I only have contact when absolutely necessary for finalizing my divorce. I did three things that helped me take it day-by-day, like an addict going through withdraws.
      1. I wrote in a journal every feeling I was having. Sometimes they were filled with hate, sometimes self-pity, and sometimes illusions of grandeur. It didn’t matter. They were my feelings and it was okay to have them.
      2. I changed his name on my cell phone to something more appropriate, “fucktard” and pasted a cartoon face from CL. Every time he texts me or calls, it’s from fucktard and he looks bald and stupid (an accurate depiction). It helps me remember who he is.
      3. When neither of the above work and I’m tempted, I reach for my lifeline and call my sisters. Their simple and loving conversations remind me what it feels like to be valued.

      I was married for 27 years, two kids, and images of growing old together. Now I roll my eyes when he texts me and if it’s necessary I get back to him, after making him wait until I’m ready to respond.

    • I got all of the same bullshit…

      “I didn’t mean to hurt you.” “It just happened.” “I am afraid of the consequences of divorce.”

      Trust me: the sooner you go complete NC, the better. I am only 7 months post d-day, but I went NC after one month-immediately after our extremely quick divorce. It has done WONDERS for my healing. I feel like I am finally to meh. You will get there eventually too, but you will get there A LOT sooner if you go NC. It can be tough, but you got this! *hugs*

    • Chumptastic,

      IIRC, you kicked him out immediately right? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even though it’s been three month post D-Day for me. It’s only been a week (this time) of no-contact. (Excluding my new lawyer’s missives.) You’re hurting. You are in shock. In my case, I take heart in knowing that even when I break NC, she doesn’t know the subsequent anguish I go through. I feel better knowing that I am mad at myself for breaking contact, not because I am trying to reconcile.

      You’re one of the reasons CN is mighty Chumptastic.

    • Oh, you need to trust that he sucks, cause he sucks BIG time. He betrays and devastates, and instead of an honest response to “why” he gives you “I don’t know”. His coldness and complete lack of concern for your emotional welfare are unforgivable. Whatever comfort they get out of bullshit answers like that come at our enormous expense. They’re okay with that. When in doubt if he sucks, that’s what you need to remember. You need to get how monstrous that is.

  • This just seems to me to be standard cheater speak. I think that nearly all cheaters are emotionally stunted at around 6 years old. I know Fat Bastard used several variations in this theme- she’s a friend and we were joking with each other and it went too far, I didn’t mean to do it- personally I’ve never joked with someone by texting them pictures of my crotch.

    Cheaters don’t want to accept any responsibility because (sniffle, crocodile tear) responsibility is HARD ( pouty face).

    • Yeah, and the “it just happened” mentality also makes it easier to hang on to the destiny fantasy, that fate just dropped my also-married soul mate in front of me while I happened to be married!

      (I mean what was I supposed to do, not fuck her?!?!?!)

      • My Ex said, “it just happened! she was all over me like a train wreck!” and I replied, so she raped you? Just laughable. Really.

        • My wife after a 7 year love affair/relationship was sitting next to me 1 month after D-Day in a marriage counseling session (Wreckonciliation) I know – I am a Chump…anyway…7 years mind you…and I can now share with you her entire description of her (Mistake). lol. Quote: ” I met a young man 7 years ago. He said nice things to me. We became friends and then our relationship grew into something much more. “. Factoid: We were married for 33 years. 26 years if you count when she went off the reservation. My reaction to her most sincere recap of her…as she put it…(Mistake) caused me to stand up, look at her and say “Really”…then look at the counselor and say “You believe that shit?” when he nodded his head and said to me…”You seem upset”. I said to him “She screwed a guy for 7 years – 2 years in my bed while we were married! Yes I’m upset and you are an idiot.” Then walked out and began NC. Again…The Cheater is a special breed of Shit. But what ever Breed we as Chumps become unfortunately married to…we can simply all agree…they are in their simplest form…A Piece of Shit!. Be Strong my fellow Chumps – I am on my way to MEH.

          • “I met a young man…our relationship developed into something more.” As if it were a legitimate relationship (instead of a cheap 7 year fuckfest). I could just barf.And the mc “You seem upset”. He seems like a dope! Maybe hes a cheater too.

          • The study of syntax and semantics in linguistics explains why “the relationship grew” is just weasel language–which chumps know intuitively but can’t explain as readily as we do passive voice (e.g., “mistakes were made”). Thematic relations is a way of explaining how nouns relate to verbs in sentences. In “mistakes were made,” the word “mistakes” sits in the subject position, where in baseline English syntax we expect an agent, as in, HE made mistakes. The word “mistakes” is called a “theme,” which undergoes the action or is the object of action.

            The word “relationship” is not an agent; it can’t deliberately perform an action of growing. We can talk about plants growing, because plants too are not agents; they are called “patients,” because they undergo action which changes their state. Plant can grow because there is logically no agent involved (other than God, perhaps,) The problem here is that in “the relationship grew,” “relationship” can’t change state on its own without an agent. A relationship in which they are no living beings dies. So even if the words aren’t there, when we use the word “relationship” in this way, we imply that someone is relating. Someone makes the relationship grow. And that’s omitted in this construction. Now, cheaters treat “relationship” like what linguists call a “force,” which mindlessly performs an action (e.g., an avalanche or tornado). But that is Cheaterspeak for you. Apologizing in advance for the academic lecture–I’m currently teaching linguistics and we just did thematic relations so that language jumped off the screen (metaphorically, of course.) I think, though, that looking closely at the BS and weasel speak of the sort that CL runs through the great UBT can help us see that all too often the cheater has no remorse, is not remotely sorry, takes no responsibility.

            • LAJ–I knew you were at a U, but didn’t know you taught linguistics! (I teach Psych of Language–my favorite course). I love Fillmore.

              • Words carry what are called “semantic features.” That’s what separates “man” from “boy”–man has a feature of “adulthood” where boy does not. Words hurt us because their meanings carry forward lots of old, cultural stuff at the semiconscious level. We just did this discussion last week–figuring out why “pussy” is an insult when addressed to a male, for example. And of course these meanings tap also into our earliest experiences. And they can stick to us like labels; think of a child called “stupid” by a teacher. That can stick for years. I’d say the power of words is one reason “no contact” helps our healing. We need to get some distance from hurtful words and manipulative statements in order to see the intention behind them and peel off the painful stuff that sticks.

  • I am similar – I mean, my ex- King of poor choices and yet that’s what I was attracted to. Anyway “I didn’t mean to”…I’ve heard it a million times from I didn’t mean to cheat on you, I didn’t mean to spend all the money, I didn’t mean to jump in the lake with my $600 phone and I didn’t mean to keep driving with the car telling me it’s out of gas hoping that it would still get him where he was going. Anyway “I didn’t mean to” to him (I believe) is the same for everything – it’s not about you, it’s about him, it’s alllllllll about him, I didn’t mean to not care that I neglect everything I come in contact with – and that means you too.

    And then I think – WOW – I made a pretty freaking poor choice too didn’t I. Ouch, lesson learned.

    • Learning the lesson is the A#1 Big Important Difference between us and them. We learn, we grow, we do better. They don’t.

  • OMG-sounds so like my brother. He is a very easy going, pleasant guy on the surface but his whole life he has gone out of his way to annoy people to the point of blowing up. Breaks things, says & does things just to drive everyone crazy. Always followed with a “oh sorry, sorry about that” “didn’t mean to”, etc. Acts like a total goofball but has an extremely high IQ, very smart guy. Just a few years back I finally figured out that he deliberately sets out to drive people insane to get attention. I believe he is a passive aggressive sociopath.

  • Right. It just happened:

    That you couldnt talk to me
    You went lookin for strange
    You lied, cheated and stole
    You didnt use protection
    You had sex the night you met
    And the list goes on

    Never meant to happen. He let it happen, wanted it to happen. He just didnt care.

    His life is not great, 60 thousand in the hole and whore juice is up his head. Whatever “happens” to him now. I dont care.

  • I always compared my cheater’s “It was a mistake” to him breaking a teacup. “I didn’t mean to break your favorite cup.” It was not a mistake to look up an old friend, carry on an online affair, buy a plane ticket, fly to Miami, go on a cruise with her. That was pure, planned out selfisness. A mistake is an accident, this was now accident.

  • Yes, cheater-speak. I got a lot of this, too. “I never meant to hurt you” . . .blahblahblah. To me, that doesn’t even make sense. His actions were deliberate and on-going. He just never “meant” to get caught.

  • Yet another common cheater line…

    It is precisely a responsibility dodge as CL says. Plus, it is pathetic. Grow up. Own your actions. Stop playing the victim here when you deliberately created this mess! (And I would add victimized people–i.e. your spouse and family–in the process).

  • Ah yes, the sheepish I-didn’t-mean-to defense. It implies they are not really in the wrong since FATE stepped in and introduced them to their Schmoopie. My response would be fine, you’re sentenced for 2nd degree murder of a marriage rather than 1st degree. Take him away, Bailiff!!!!

  • Remember that movie with Tom Hanks. At a carnival he put in a ticket and wished to be an adult. Just like your husband he had to shave, had a deep voice and biceps. BUT he was still a kid inside. I could go along with the movie until he had sex with a woman. I think that might be your life. The other woman is going to fall right into place. His little boyish ways will be charming until they aren’t. You are an adult, he isn’t. Never will be without a brain transplant. I will bet he wore you out having to go behind him and clean up his mess.
    The first thing my brother did after he got past being abandoned was clean up his house. For the first time in years you could see furniture and floors.

  • Maybe I am twisted but I got secret pleasure out of throwing the same line back at my Idiot. During the divorce and after I used many of his lines to reply. When he raged about the custody I said ‘ its for the best. It was gonna happen anyway’ When he raged about the division of assests I said ‘ We never had anything special.’ When he raged about me telling friends and family about his infildelity I said ‘ i didnt mean to do it. It just happened’
    I used every fucking one liner he fed me. This probably has fueled the rage… But It helped me regain some power.

    • Gah! My stbx also said “It was gonna happen anyway” to one of our friends! I find that one in particular to be such a mindfuck. Because I can never know if it’s solely his self-justification, or if he really married me always assuming he’d eventually leave me.

    • Love it… I’m doing the same thing:

      Mr. Sparkles: “Are you ready to sit down and have a discussion now or do you want to continue with lawyers and court?”

      Me: “Nope. I’m happier now. THANKS.”

      And this one,

      Mr. Sparkles: “At some point we need to sit down and talk.” (I always begged him to talk to me.)

      Me: BLANK STARE (His standard response.)

      And this one,

      Mr. Sparkles: “As a courtesy, I will not be coming to the basketball game alone tonight.”

      Me: “As a courtesy, does #4 know that everyone at the game knows you are having an affair and you left your family to be with her and her two kids?”

      • How about this–the first 3 months he kept walking in our house (after moving in with his AP), and presenting his cheek for a kiss and when I wouldn’t oblige holding out his arms for a hug–ughhh! I just said “inappropriate” and “do you tell your girlfriend that you ask for hugs and kisses from your wife?” How twisted is that?

        • Sounds like my dog…she’ll eat kibble a all day until her stomach explodes if I let her… Narcs are the same! There’s only one “cheek” you should offer your ex now :). Be mighty!

    • TheClip, brilliant once again!! Thank you.

      Everything ‘twisted’ appeals to me. Otherwise, I would not be a Chump and I’d miss out on all of the fun in CN!

  • He sounds very passive aggressive – they hurt you, punish you, put you in your place by non-action, neglect vs. outright comtempt. It’s all the same, however, it takes much longer to figure out. To me, fixing the car was beneath him- an unpleasant chore for some lower level pleeb (ie. You) to handle.

    My x was the master at this. It’s not fun, crazy making and, in hindsight, very disrespectful. I would end up cleaning up messes or doing projects that he said he would do regularly. But i never felt justified wanting a divorce just because, for example, he said if we got a dog for the kids, we would jointly care for it (but then never do anything – poop smells too bad for him to clean up. But apparently i can handle the smell of poop better than him and his sensitive nose). What a crock…it was a blessing he had an affair – i could finally leave for a legitimate reason.

    • Wow, Unencumbered, I could have written this post. It’s a sad state of things when the cheating comes (partially) as a relief. It’s still an excruciating mind fuck but at least freedom is the result. It’s good to be free.

    • I hadn’t looked at it like that before. Maybe that’s why I never considered staying, it was a great reason to leave.

    • Great post, Unencumbered. I had this, too. It’s the reason I refused to get any pets, with 2 little kids to raise, I knew Sir Laziness wouldn’t lift a finger to help out with dog chores – taking it to bathroom, vet, etc. Even though my kids pled and begged, along with The Freak. I would tell them, “I only have the capacity to keep 4 living creatures alive. Introducing a pet means five. So some living being is going to die. And it’s not going to be Mom.”

      • Looking back I am amazed I kept up with all the work in and out of the home for 36 years. So I completely understand why you took a stand!

      • LOL, Chris W. So funny and true. We just started getting back to some sense of normalcy after the move 4 months ago. I promised each kid a pet, maybe I can use your rationale to convince them of no more living beings.

  • As Gepster said, There are many different variations of “I didn’t mean to,” for example the version I heard, “AP and I have more in common,” How was X to know he’d meet someone he had more in common with than his wife of 20 years??
    Logic, he still maintains his integrity. What’s other choice does a sentient being have?

    Interesting how many people were understanding and accepted his reasoning.
    Sometimes destroying lives can’t be helped.
    Did I miss something when we said our marriage vows? the line after death do us part, or find someone you have more in common with.

    Intellectual reasoning, he’s excused, It’s all about them. Most of us would feel ridiculous using these lame excuses. It never ceases to amaze me how Cheaters can say these things while maintaining a straight face.

    • The same people who are so understanding and find his reasoning acceptable, will be the some people he victimizes in the near future.

    • Accepting their intellectual reasoning is a learned chump behavior.

      I grew up under a raging narcissist’s thumb. If I EVER attempted to use some lame-assed excuse I would get a new orifice chewed into me for opening my mouth and spewing stupidity. Likewise, I would also get a new orifice chewed into me if I EVER called out other family members who spewed their own stupid lame-assed excuses. I learned to just accept lose/lose as a way of life.

      Fast-forward 25 years later and I can pinpoint exactly when I stopped accepting the stupidity. On my D-day#2, I had just learned my cheating wife was indeed fucking specific guy. In her embarrassment in getting caught, she attempted to combine cheater excuse: #3: “I didn’t intend to cheat!” with #6: “I wouldn’t have cheated if you were nicer to me!” But she got cocky and overshot the landing by adding cheater excuse #12: “I didn’t think you loved me anymore!

      BAM! That’s when something just snapped; instant clarity. No more excuses. No more lies. No more blameshifing. No more gaslighting. No more lose/lose. It was like that moment in Lord of the Rings when the King finally wakes up after being under Wormtongue’s spell for years.
      Wormtongue & King Theoden

      • Making excuses for them is like doing the blame-shifting work for them. You can’t get chumpier than that. It’s the epitome, the pinnacle of chumpdom. I take people for what they are now, because the way they seem is the way they are. It’s not that they’re ignorant, have foo issues, scared, confused or whatever Freudian BS you can throw at it. They just don’t care.

        Glad you woke up. It took a lot for me to arrive at such simplicity.

  • I had a parent/child relationship with my ex-cheater as well. It’s so obvious now that the blinders are off. I wanted to see it as her struggling to be a good person. Wrestling with demons and temptations from her past. But what I realize now is she never truly parted ways with those demons. I felt like I always had to work to keep her from that past. She was just pretending because I think even sociopaths see the value in a genuinely loving and caring relationship. It’s just that they don’t have the humanity to carry through with it. They get bored. The experience is no longer novel. Like a child they’re constantly craving that new toy.

    So my cheater said something along the lines of “I didn’t mean to.” She said she didn’t intend to have sex with the OM. She just emailed him. And that lead to phone calls. And that lead to lunch. And lunch led to sex, because we all know how arousing a good lunch can be. But she never planned it. She was looking for closure because this was an ex-boyfriend and she felt like she just ran away from him. Well, if you’re driving down the road towards disaster, all you have to do to get there is just keep going.

    And in the end she did the same thing to me. She has a pattern. I just hope she doesn’t come back in a few years looking for “closure”.

  • My cheater had good looks and was very intelligent but was awkward and negligent. When we started living together, he would gradually expect me to solve all problems. I suppose I was good at this and got some pride out of it, because I remained in charge, in addition to house and garden maintenance. And I got used to doing everything on my own (except the ironing). Our relationship looked like a mother/teenager thing. It’s only after D-Day that I realized he was perfectly able to organize and solve things, but had let me do it all this time because of selfishness and lazyness and some weird unexpressed internal rage. Indeed he was able to decide a whole trip with hotels for other women, he was able to pick them up at the airport and drive them around.
    I also noticed that he was using my lines. He would speak to the dogs or to me with my exact words. That’s creepy. It made me feel at home, and I never knew who he really was.
    The only act of typing this paragraph makes my heart beat fast. Will I ever get over this trauma ? I am a strong person who has been through a lot, I wish God would stop placing the bar higher.

    • I think i will get past this but never over it. I just want to stop hurting. No contact at all cant come soon enough for me. He thinks we are all gonna be great friends! NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.

    • ChumpFromF, Wow, my heart is beating after reading your post. I got chills, I think we were married to the same person. X was incapable of making reservations, organizing household chores, talking to anyone regarding home repairs or improvements, signing our son up for sports, or inquiring about anything. Incapable of speaking to anyone regarding banking, service, or make a complaint, he couldn’t write checks to pay bills, never remembered when our cars needed maintenance. Never thought of it, I would have to remember when service was do and bring the vehicles to the shop and wait. If there was a problem I would be the one to talk to the mechanic.
      However, he could iron and fold clothes while watching television.
      I discovered when he left it was all laziness, he was perfectly capable of doing all these things. I was stunned.
      He carefully planned his exit, he took care of every detail and more
      X had no trouble making plans for him and AP, renting an apartment, getting utilities, taking my name off of our credit cards, cleaning out our bank acct. and more. While we were married I thought there could be some disorder with organizational thinking. He’s intelligent, a pilot who flies huge jets all over the world but couldn’t remember if our vehicles needed an oil change? Couldn’t make a dinner reservation?
      At the last minute he claimed to have forgotten my high school reunion that we had made plans to attend and had talked about almost weekly for the previous six months. Repeatedly forget simple things I’d ask him to do, like empty the garbage, If I’d ask again, his reply would be, I told you I’d do it, just not right now…,

      Possible a control issue? he would also say, you just want to see me jump through hoops don’t you??
      No, not really, I just want you to take out the trash, while I’m cooking dinner.
      Another thought, maybe they secretly hate women and want to torture and see us suffer.
      X had no problem doing that.

      • brit,

        You said: “Another thought, maybe they secretly hate women and want to torture and see us suffer.
        X had no problem doing that.”

        I’m sorry you had to endure that crap. You deserve better.

        He overtly hates women and wants to torture and see you all suffer.

      • You ladies just gave me the chills-
        I had to handle everything too: business dealings, reservations, party planning, kids sports, vacations AND EVEN ORDERING OFF MENUS at restaurants! GAH-I was such a chump!!!
        He also did that weird thing about using my words/language patterns to speak to other people/my cats/our kid and it is freaky. I kept thinking it was so weird to have someone imitate you right in front of you. WTF!
        It’s sad to realize that stbx was just a “pod” person-he had nothing original to think or say.

  • satan never used any of those excuses – he just raged and broke things, including my bones. Meowing at me and dancing around like a ballerina sometimes and raging and breaking things the next. I truly thought he had a brain tumor. …till I saw the secret cell phone. The whole thing unraveled at that point. Thank goodness! When I stopped walking on eggshells and crying all the time and confronted him with names he ran away like a scared animal.

    UGH! Thank goodness that is all over and done with!

    We are all so lucky we aren’t the one for them!

      • 🙂 Much love to you too Kar marie I hope that day comes!!!!

        We are so lucky to be free of the dis-ease that is them! YA for US!

    • Was he ever checked for brain parasites? A grown man meowing–every time I hear that I am baffled. Jeep, you deserve sainthood for putting up with him as long as you did (and he is a definite candidate for my top-5 Tony Soprano treatment).

      • 🙂 GET ‘EM TONY!!!!

        You will love this Tempest 😀

        After the police escorted him out of my life 😀 YA GUYS! he showed up on my back deck (restraining order in effect! Coward was scared someone would see him I guess) accusing me of stealing his cell phone!!! WHA?!!! I stayed in the house and just looked at him…I couldn’t believe my eyes! Tempest! He had 2 black eyes, dried blood below his nose and left ear, and his right hand was swollen huge!

        Me: Wow what happened to you?
        satan: I fell down! WHERE THE FUCK IS MY CELL PHONE! (RAGING)
        Me: …wow…was your fall choreographed? I don’t know where your cell phone is. (truly I wanted to meow instead of use my words but I was fearing for my life)
        satan: Just give me MY FUCKING PHONE JEEP! (shaking and still raging)

        …wow…someone BEAT HIS ASS GOOD!!!!! JUST WOW!!!!

        • Oh! And of course I didn’t have his cell phone! How would I have it? He’d had it implanted into his body like 3 years before!!!!

        • Oh, I wish I could see Narkles the Clown after “falling down” I can only imagine how it feels to remember that image.

          • AllOutofKibble my first instinct was to help him…ugh! Slapped that impulse down and replaced it with the replay of the brutality he had dealt me! Seeing that monster hurt and bleeding was conformation that what you dish out comes back to you! Do unto others and all that!

            Wow! Someone’s husband must of wore him out! However it happened he very likely deserved it. He is a very cruel man with zero compassion. …wait…he’s not a man he’s a monster!

        • “(truly I wanted to meow instead of use my words but I was fearing for my life)”

          Oh, I am laughing at my desk Jeep, picturing you meowing at him through the glass!!

          • Kelly, now that I am stronger and feel safe, if he ever approaches me or attempts to contact me I am gonna meow at him! TheClip is onto something there! Just give it right back to em!!!

            Thank you for the giggle! I’m gigglin imagining you gigglin!!!!

            Thank goodness I can laugh at that mess now!!!! HUGS!!!!!

            • …remembering the time line now Tempest…I think he had been out of jail about a week…so…yeah it was probably some cheater’s husband that wore him out. satan has always been a drinker but started drinking 7 days a week when the insanity started, the little bit of sense he had went right out the window then. He was likely very drunk and stepped over someone’s boundaries that refused to put up with his crap. When he is drunk he rages at the drop of a hat and he thinks he is the only real man on the planet drunk or sober so, yeah, I imagine he ‘fell down’ with someone’s wife and got caught.

              • Jeep,

                Thanks for letting us all hitch a ride on your karma-bus. Sorry you had to endure all his shit. You inspire me. My STBXW hit me too. I outweigh her by 100 pounds and am a foot taller than she is. It’s hard as a man to admit I was abused. But I was. She did. Yours did too. They suck. And yes, I hope her new twu lurve is emotionally abusing her. Not at Meh yet.

                How much longer until we get to the karma-bus stop in Mehville?

              • Welcome Ian 😀

                Funny, I didn’t even think about it as karma as he stood there unable to breathe through his broken nose…but yeah, he got back what he put out pretty quick!

                …as far as your stbxw’s ap…they are probably abusing each other pretty good by now – could be the reason you are getting nothing but crickets from her – she wouldn’t want you to know her plans fell through. She likely will never have a man as awesome as you in her life ever again due to the fact that this nation is shinning a light on these behaviors and others are becoming aware and want nothing to do with such monsters. It is unacceptable to have to live that way.

                satan’s ap dropped him as soon as I filed, huh, imagine that. …probably same thing happened with your stbxw…

                You’ll get there Ian 😀 We all will. I feel better and better every day out and away from all that toxic nonsense. You will too. I hope you are able to get your divorce over and done with soon, it makes all the difference. I took back my maiden name too 😀 I never have to sign Mrs. satan again for the rest of my happy life!!!!

              • Ian: Thank you for confiding in us; that men can be abused (not only psychologically, but physically). Some of us are going to spend awhile waiting for that karma bus; my X’s trajectory has ascended rather than descended. And Jeep is right; your STBX will never meet a man as collectively impressive as you. That may be the only karma to be had. But it’s a silent karma, and thus not as satisfying.

              • Thank you. Such kind people here at Chump Nation.

                We really are perfect narc bait huh?

                Gotta go journal about that one.

              • Ian – Like Jeep and Tempest, I also believe that your STBX is the complete selfish loser who will never have another man as impressive as you. She will have to live with that reality every day, in addition to look at herself in the mirror daily, knowing what a piece of shit she is.

                Silent karma on both counts, but a cheater free life gained for you as you forge on to Meh.

  • He didn’t mean for it to happen. He just slipped and fell into her va-jay jay and now has hooked up with her in your old house. It just happened. I’m sure he threw his hands up in the air and exclaimed, “oops, look what I did!”

    All of which is code for “here’s how I played you for 15+ years, and it worked, so why not stick to the script?”

    Don’t for one minute think he’s not the most manipulative, scheming, nasty human being in the world. I have an ex that’s the same way. I bailed her out for 16 years of all kinds of horrid decisions until I found her shacked up with a kid my daughter’s age. Her excuse? “It just happened.” So of course every time I can throw her words back at her, I do.

    • Scott, my ex also stated that “it just happened” after he screwed a prostitute he picked up in a bar in Cambodia and that he felt awful afterwards. So awful in fact, he went back there 6 times in about 18 months and he now lives there on a semi-permanent basis with said prostitute and her kids. Yeah, “it just happened” my backside.

    • Scott, I’m in the same situation but have a total of 28 years in the relationship. I got the version of “we’re just friends”. Same shit different words. I was always the responsible one taking care of day to day crap. She was too delicate to handle those. Now she wants the old marital home that I busted my ass for and i’m sure new boyfriend will move in once she gets it. They totally suck!

  • People who cheat almost never – NEVER – accept adult-levels of responsibility.

    My cheating STBXW never finished a home project, never thought that her employees’ issues had anything to do with her, and racked up about $100K in secret debt that “just happened” (just like her affair “just happened”). In settlement, she is trying to pin some of the debt on me, under the argument that the debt is partially my fault, even though I knew nothing about it, since I “kept her on a short financial leash” and “didn’t give her a high enough allowance” when I was working full-time. Never mind that she never traced her own spending, never asked for more money, etc., etc., etc.

    You cannot make this shit up, right?

    They will NEVER get it that adults have to accept the consequences of their own actions.

      • CL – I know, right? As I wrote, you really cannot make this stuff up if you tried. My lawyer now has copies of the emails that STBXW sent me when I discovered the secret debt, saying it was all her fault and promising to fix it (she didn’t), not to do it again (she did), and that her lies/secrets were over (they weren’t). So, hopefully we’ve got some ammunition for deflecting the debt burden.

        The moral, adult, responsible thing to do would be for her to take the debt burden that she herself created, but I am sure that she has crafted umpteen justifications in her head for how my sins of marriage are equivalent to her falsehoods, so of course I deserve all of this, right? 😉

    • Hah, sephage–too true!

      I have to laugh every time XH boasts of his financial acumen. One of his credit card companies was calling him all the time. I let him know, and he said, in a very puzzled sort of voice, “I don’t know why they’re calling. It’s not that big of an amount.”

      By the way, he’s not refinanced the house. This, too, is Not His Fault.

  • Extended adolescent judgment permeates our entire “adult by age” world. Why take responsibility for something when you can say it was an accident? Although it is true that accidents do happen, it is not likely that ignoring the check engine light, or having an affair can be classified as an accident. If one is warned in advance and chooses to ignore the warning — it is not an accident. If one hides his actions and diverts funds intended for the benefit of the family/household, it is not an accident. It is selfish behavior. It says “I am entitled to spend my time in pleasurable activities, and someone else can clean up the unpleasant messes of the world.”

    Every day I hear the lament “but no one told me I had to” followed by an action that might seem obvious to any adult. No one wakes me up in the morning and tells me I have to go to work. No one tells me I am expected to do the job my employer hired me to do. No one tells me I am not supposed to have wild monkey sex in my cubicle. No one tells me not to shoplift. No one tells me to pay my bills on time so that I am not evicted, so that I do not find myself without electricity or water, so that I might have a decent credit rating when I want to buy a car or a home. No one tells me not to drink excessively, or put myself into situations where I might end up naked and having sex with someone who is not the person I have acknowledged is my significant other. I don’t need someone to tell me these things — I am an adult. I know that I need to do the things I do because I make a decision to act like an adult. My parent’s job was over long ago, and I do not want to be my SO’s parent, either.

    Every day when I watch the news, I generally shudder at the adolescent behavior that so many “adults by age” display. When I see the antics and insults and “gotcha’s” on the news describing the behavior and language of the “adults” who want to be the next President of the United States, I shudder. Do you want any of these folks to be the next leader of the free world, with the ability to push the button that can cause world oblivion to become our reality? I certainly wonder whether any of them are capable of being adult enough to do the job required, or if we will have to worry every day about living with the consequences they didn’t “intend” to cause?

    Some things might be considered “entertainment” or “reality television”, but they do not reflect the reality I live every day. Why is acting like a hormone and drug/alcohol crazed lunatic adolescent entertaining, but acting like a responsible adult, not? Personally, if someone doesn’t intend to act like a responsible adult, I don’t intend to keep them in my life. They can accidentally get lost, and I can purposefully get on with living an authentic life.

    • I had only read your first paragraph Portia before I cut and pasted your whole comment to my ‘important-things-to-remember’ file!

  • This situation mimics my experience exactly. Until D-Day, I was frustrated and perplexed by the numerous examples of my husband’s bad judgment both big and small by a seemingly intelligent Harvard graduate. I felt like banging my head on the wall as he kept making the same mistakes over and over and saying the same thing “oh I didn’t meant to”(for the 100th time). After D-Day #1 after sleeping with the secretary for 4 months and of course, blaming her for the affair as she hit on him (meanwhile, he is the President of the company) and then asking for forgiveness from me, I said to our marriage counselor “how can i trust him when he makes so many bad decisions in so many parts of our lives?”. The counselor was also perplexed by the absurd stupidity of his actions especially coming from such an eloquent and accomplished man. After suffering through gut wrenching pain to recover from the first betrayal which I endured in the misguided effort to save our family and protect our three children, he goes on to D-Day #2 – sleeping with the wife of his friend and mother of our son’s close friend, thereby blowing up all of our lives in the school community. We are not together now but still to this day, if I have to speak with him, he will say “I didn’t mean to” or his new favorite “You will see that what I did will work out best for all of us” – I hate this one most of all as it seems he is trying to take credit for any happiness the children and I hopefully will attain when we recover from his destruction.

  • Sounds like my XH. Anytime I asked him to do anything “adult,” all I would get is “I wasn’t feeling very well” or “Oh, I forgot.”

    Me: Could you PLEASE take those old computer parts that you loaded into the trunk to Best Buy and recycle them? I need the car trunk cleared for groceries and I’ve been asking you for six weeks.
    Him: Oh. I forgot.

    Me: Here’s my half of the car insurance, make sure Progressive is drafting it from your account. (Six weeks later, I get a letter from Progressive informing us that we haven’t had insurance for over a month.)
    Him: Oh. I forgot.

    Me: We have company coming over tonight, I’ve got to go to class. You have six hours to make this place presentable for coming. (I go to class, come back six hours later and literally nothing has been done.)
    Him: I wasn’t feeling very well. (I spend an hour cleaning up and the place looks amazing. Suddenly he feels fine and is more than able to entertain company.)

    Me: Could you please take the trash out before you go to work today? I’m almost 9 months pregnant and we live on the second floor. (I come home and the bag of trash is sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. It’s 90 degrees outside and the kitchen reeks of trash, so I have to take it out myself.)
    Him: Oh. I forgot.

    Me: We don’t have any money in the bank account for rent! I just wrote the rent check yesterday and it’s going to be cashed any day! What did you do with our rent money???
    Him: I HAD to spend it on (*work expense that his boss should have paid for*). I just forgot to tell you about it. But I HAD to.

    When he was working his job, he magically developed the power to remember important things and do the things his boss asked him to do. When he became obsessed with the ho-worker, he never “forgot” to run errands for her. When he began a physical affair with someone else, he always felt well enough to keep his car clean.

    It took me 10 years to figure out that when he was saying, “Oh, I forgot” and “I don’t feel very well,” what he really meant was, “I didn’t give a shit.” Once I figured that out, leaving him was that much easier.

    • Ha! This hit home. “I don’t feel well,” or “I’m really sick,” is something I heard (and still hear) a LOT. It means “I don’t want to do it but you can’t blame me for it because…” I had a good laugh when I gave all of his emails to my lawyer. Without prompting she asked me if there was something wrong with him, because he seemed to be sick all the time!

      But back to “I didn’t mean to.” I got that one thrown at me during and after the divorce. Along with “This isn’t what I wanted, ” and “This isn’t where my life is supposed to be.” The last time he tried that stuff I just threw up my hands and said “I have no idea what you’re trying to say to me. What does that mean?” He didn’t say anything in response, just changed the subject. Must have been really damned important to him if he couldn’t even bother to explain! No, he just knew I wasn’t buying it anymore, and I haven’t heard it repeated since then.

    • My cheater father was expert of the “I’ll do it later” phrase. It got to the point where my 12yr old self knew that if this was being uttered, there was a 99% chance it was never getting done, unless I (or mum) did it ourselves. Unless of course it benefitted him. Yet, when his subcontinential whore co-worker wanted something, he was immediately there.

    • or Eject buttons that catapulted them into outer space, like George Clooney in that movie, floating endlessly…alone….

  • By text… “I’m sorry for the pain I have caused you and the kids.” (Editors Note: Kids = Twin boys from 1st relationship; stepdaughter and a son and daughter from 1st marriage; and a son with me – 2nd marriage).

    He just lumps us all together… one easy “send” and all is mended in his mind. Pay no attention to the chump line of 9 standing behind him.

    The OW has two young kids of her own. I can see a Conga line forming (now there’s a cartoon CL!)

    Delete text. Move on.

    Meh.

  • Yes, there are a lot of similar lines. “It was an accident” is another favorite.

    It doesn’t matter what the exact phrase is, the point is to shift responsibility away from their choices.

    If you admit that you saw the check engine light and did nothing, then you’re admitting that you’re negligent–and probably quite lazy! If you admit that you chose to have an affair, then you’re saying that you’re a liar and a cheat. That’s why it’s so much better to push off the responsibility for choices onto Fate. “I didn’t mean to bang her!” plays into the narrative of the Fated Lovers, kept apart by society’s narrow strictures.

    Yeah, right. Like divorce isn’t easy to get in a Western democracy.

    Additionally, CL is dead on about the implications that “I didn’t mean it” also carries the underlying comment, “And you’re being such a hardass for bringing it up.”

    In other words, not only does this phrase and its variations shift responsibility from the Cheater to Fate, but also blames the Chump for being so unreasonable.

    In my marriage, the phrases were “I did the best I could” and “Are we getting graded on this?”

    The context ranged from DIY to pretty much anything. XH likes to see himself as a master of all building trades. When I did a lot of volunteering at my church, he followed me, only to notice that there was a crack in the ceiling plaster from an old water leak. Now, the ceiling was also a textured one. XH wanted to make the grand gesture of fixing the ceiling crack, so he showed up with some plaster and a trowel, and slapped the plaster into the crack.

    Remember I said that the ceiling was textured? A normal person would look at the texture and say, “this is textured. How am I going to match the texture?” Disordered XH created a really ugly patch that looked worse than the original crack. When I asked him how he was going to match up the texture, he just looked at me and said, “I did the best I could. Are we getting graded?”

    The subtext was, “You are a bitch for asking this. Here I have done the entire congregation a HUGE favor by putting an ugly patch on a crack. I repaired this! You should appreciate my efforts! Tell me how wonderful I am. Give me more kibble!”

    I heard that subtext, and wanted to reply, “Yes, as a matter of fact, you are getting graded by every single person who comes in this room and notices that that there’s a patch that looks worse than an old crack. By failing to pay attention to the details, you’ve made the room look worse than it did, and people will notice that and will know that you didn’t ask to do this; you just did it, and it looks bad. Your best isn’t good enough.” But Chump that I was, I wanted to be nice. After all, he’d tried.

    He didn’t use either excuse when I told him I knew of the affair. I’m sure he tells his few buddies, “I did the best I could. It just happened.”

    • Mine just sent me a “goodbye for good” email [happy dance!!] that said, “Affairs happen….,” get over it. And he wonders why I want to tie him in a sack with pit vipers.

      • But you know it isn’t really goodbye for good. He’ll be back in contact sometime. They just can’t seem to handle our silence towards them. How could we ignore their greatness. You know this is all our fault don’t you!!!! As soon as the divorce is done, i’m sending one last text to my stbx. It’s going to say as far as i’m concerned, you are dead. No need to try to reach me. You have been blocked from my phone and emails. They are truly crazy. Had lunch with a friend the other day and caught up with what was going on. Last comment about her was “she is crazy”. Yeah, even her parents think so now.

  • Wow, this is a major trigger, my blood pressure just soared. I took care of EVERYTHING in my marriage and also worked full time shift work. When I had the audacity to ask for some help it was met with excuses and pouting. The only chores he would ever do were cutting grass or shoveling snow. I now realize this was because the whole neighborhood could see him doing it, he actually believed these jobs were beneath him. He was always reminding me not to scratch/dent/break any of his precious possessions while I was working my ass off around the house, but any of my things were not worth being careful with. When I got mad about something being forgotten or neglected it was turned around to be somehow my fault. And on DDay “he never meant to hurt me”. The asshole never really gave a shit about me.
    As I type this and see the words I am so ashamed that I put up with this behavior for 20 years, NEVER AGAIN!

    • Wow Jenny…:-/ I never really thought about it but…your post opened my eyes! satan would only ever help around the house if it were something others would see him doing. …wow…just wow.

      I am ashamed I put up with it for 36 years :/

    • Mine too! Exactly that, mowing the yard and edging and blowing leaves into the street. My first single gal expense was a very nice self propelled lawn mower. Takes me no time at all to do that oh so difficult job he used to do and would not let me forget that he did if I asked him to help on anything inside the house. You’re right everyone could see him. That was the difference.

      • Alloutof kibble, I’m laughing hysterically, X loved going out front and doing yard work in his muscle shirts.
        If you were to see our yard, it’s as big as a postage stamp. He wold be out there mowing an trimming all afternoon. I’d see other husbands in the neighborhood with much bigger front yards, come home from work
        and finish their yards within a half hour.
        X also became Mr. Domesticated if we had friends over for dinner. Loading the dishwasher, cleaning off the table, wiping countertops, hand washing and drying dishes, smiling as he doing these things, as if it’s a typical event in our home. Same if we were staying at someones home, he’d jump to help with the dishes, bring our luggage in and back out promptly with a smile.
        Once back home and without an audience, I’m on my own, luggage is left to be brought inside, I’d have to unpack everyone and do laundry, X would be sprawled out on the floor watching a movie, complaining about how tired he was, and asking me whats for dinner, knowing I still had to make a trip to the grocery store so I cold make supper.., Crazy, how could I have been so blind??

    • JennyK, just when I think I have figured out the various aspects of my 22 years of lunacy, along comes a brilliant Chump like you with yet another gem. I completely did not ‘get’ the image component of mowing and shovelling. He even did the yards and driveways of neighbours. For hours. The latter in very dreadful winter weather. In fact, the worse the weather, the more likely he would be out there. Now, I get it.

      It also explains never lifting a finger in the house unless company was present. He would be washing and drying dishes. What? Who is that? And when he was a guest ~~ same thing. Quietly and so persistently that everyone noticed and commented. Reputation building!

      Blessings on you, JennyK, all Chumps and CL. Total treasure.

  • Here is a direct quote from shitbag “Please stop thinking that I am out to hurt you or the children.”

    He probably didn’t mean to hurt me with the first online dating account – or the second one, for that matter (despite my obviously hurt reactions – both times), or with the email exchanges with the ex-girlfriend, or with the paid encounters with a gal half my age. And then to wrap it all up by walking out on me and our two young children – nope, he probably didn’t mean to hurt anyone at all.

    Where do they come up with this garbage?

    • Cheater Handbook, 2nd edition. They’re earning points toward cheater badges for Mindfuckery, Sad Sausagehood, Evasion of Responsibility, Gaslighting, …. (Arlo, help me out here with the badges).

        • I’m assuming it was Ambien abuse, but I am chuckling imagining someone being sort of a vague ambient menace, making soft but irritating noises and fiddling with the dimmer switch!

          • stbxisgross, I laughed my makeup off, as opposed to my ass, this time!

            Sometimes spellcheck just knows better ~~ I like ambient abuse as a descriptor of the total experience.
            The close, constant, all-encompassing, pervasive, subliminal entrapment of our minds and Souls.

            Crapweasels.

          • Or playing Enya quietly, LOL. Sadly, Mr Fab was ambient with it, slamming drawers, dors, stomping…wore me out with it. Now all is peaceful in this Chump’s tower.

      • Oh hmm let’s see, there’s the Spend the College Fund badge, the Skiddy Undies badge, the AM badge, the Marry Up Affair Down badge. Don’t forget the honor cords for Sexual Deviance. Oh, the It’s Your Fault I Never Finished Anything certificate of attendance

        • The Porn Addiction badge, the Manscaping/Brazilian badge, the ILUBINILWY badge, the Marital-Problems-Drove-Me-To-It badge, the Prone-to-(sexual)Accidents badge, the Student-Fucker badge, the Ho-worker badge (for both sexes), the Fuck Up the Corporate Ladder badge, the Unsafe Sex badge, the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from Texting badge…

    • Oops. Hit post prematurely. Those are the exact words I keep getting: “Please stop thinking I’m out to hurt you (voice raised). You are assigning intent where there is none. It’s just so frustrating to me (exasperated sigh).”

      Well, when you keep doing things I have told you explicitly in writing to stop doing because they hurt me, what the hell other conclusion am I supposed to draw? The illogic and the actions not matching the words make me CRAZY.

      And this from an attorney who has studied, been tested on, and constantly reads about the concept of INTENT. It’s one of THE MOST IMPORTANT legal concepts, and you can’t apply it to something as simple as extramarital sex and dating?

      Frustrating to YOU?

      • Chumpadilly,

        It is SO frustrating.

        Hours after I confronted my STBXW she said, “it was a mistake.” Soon after, she asked me, “what do you want me to say?” I said, “How about ‘I’m sorry?'” She relented and wheezed, “I’m sorry.” She wasn’t sorry. She is sorry. She sucks.

        “Intent” has been on my mind recently. What I have on my hands is a Tortfeasor. My wife had a duty under our marital contract to NOT FUCK OTHER PEOPLE (in my fault state adultery is a crime). Not to mention a moral duty she had to me when she told me she wouldn’t fuck other people while we were married. She abdicated her duty. She broke the contract.

        What’s more, similar to the highest-degree of duty that a property owner has to an invitee, she had a duty to warn me of danger. She rejected that duty too. Sane people exercise reasonable care with their spouse’s feelings. She KNEW it would break my heart for her to fuck someone before she gave me a chance to leave. She did it anyway. She’s a lawyer. She gets it. She just doesn’t give a fuck.

        I have really struggled with the fault, no-fault decision as I proceed through the divorce quagmire. As many here have suggested, I want future comers (yuck) to know about her character, so a fault divorce would put all on notice. Then again, the dude she’s with knew she was married and fucked her anyway. They’ll undoubtedly ride off into the sunset toward happiness. Nevertheless, I feel torn as to whether it is worth MY while to pursue the fault divorce. Financially, yes. But a part of me feels like it’s slut-shaming to drag her through that.

        More importantly however, I have given her notice multiple times via email that I might be amenable to a no-fault divorce if she would simply do her part, e.g., separation agreement, financial statements, &c. Her response? Silence. So now I’m facing agonizing discovery, and a subpoena for a deposition by her adultery partner. Let anyone out there reading this know. There is no end to the depths a narcissist will go to make it all about them. In short, if she would communicate, this could all end this month. Instead, I’m on the downhill-trainwreck of divorce.

        • Ian–I had the same dilemma as you; same state. First, sluts don’t shame. Two, hardly anyone looks at those divorce decrees, and she’ll spin her tale to people who know her whether you file no-fault or not.

          I filed no-fault, and wish I had filed with-fault now. It’s not slut-shaming; it’s accountability. Good luck.

          • Fault state here too, and I struggled with the same question.

            I have proof of his adultery, and he knows full well that I won’t hesitate to share this information with anyone who tries to bullshit me about shared responsibility.

            But I filed for no-fault, because I reasoned that if I filed for adultery, I would put myself in a situation where my X still played a central role in the divorce proceedings, and therefore in my life and in the childhood of our kid.

            And what would that do? Give him centrality, and yep, he would have loved every second of it. He would have been telling everyone what a poor sausage he is, so vilified by his cruel wife. He would have had the perfect excuse to keep his live-in OW unable to put pressure on him because, you know, he is still married. And he would have lapped up all these attention kibbles, dragging on that divorce circus for years, robbing my munchkin from her childhood and preventing me from moving on for as long as he could.

            I am glad I got a final no-fault divorce decree and can now put the energy, dignity and money I saved towards my next chapter.

            • In my case, I found out tons and tons about my X’s affairs after the fact, and “with fault” would have been much more appropriate ethically.

              In addition, had I filed with-fault, I could have avoided a last minute decision about custody, made by an activist judge, which made my future beholden to a sociopath. While Ian does not have to contend with the custody issue, decisions are made about settlement which differ if the divorce is fault or no-fault. Having a public record of infidelity can be very beneficial in some circumstances. It behooves anyone to have a discussion with their lawyer before choosing fault- or no-fault.

              • I agree Tempest, my decision to go no-fault was made over several months and with the advice of one of the best lawyers in my state.

                It was one of the most difficult decisions I have made. I am only a few weeks post-final divorce, still basking in the relief of having crossed the finish line. The future will tell if no-fault was indeed the least sucky option I had regarding custody and financial settlements.

        • Ian – I am so sorry you have to go through this. My X’s silence was a killer and used it as a very effective way to keep me frustrated and married to him for as long as possible.

          Then I found out about Bill Eddy’s BIFF request format for High Conflict people, and it’s been super helpful.

          Putting image management at the center of my correspondence with my X, I try and always use his silence as agreeing with my proposal. For example:

          “If I don’t hear from you by [date], I will consider that you agree to the terms outlined in this email.”
          “Unless you email me with an alternative plan, I will pick up Kiddo from place A at 5pm and keep her overnight.”

          When I need something from him, I have to go for image management “sticks” things like:

          “If you don’t provide this information by [date], I will email your boss, your HR manager, and your executive assistant with this request so they can provide the information needed to move forward.”
          “If you don’t provide deliver the signed and notorized travel forms by [date], I will notify your parents that you failed to provide travel documents on time, and as a result, Kiddo will unfortunately not be able to attend their anniversary.”

          He whines, insults, and berates me when I use this approach, but it gets me what I need so I can go back to NC.

          Jedi Hugs Ian, slugging through a divorce with an uncooperative ex really sucks, but keep forging on, a week of NC is a great start, Meh is on the horizon!

          • Chumptitude,

            How; how; how did have I never seen the BIFF information before? Bill Eddy is an LCSW and attorney. http://www.highconflictinstitute.com/biff-responses/78-hci-articles/published-articles/87-responding-to-hostile-email

            I wish I had read this just a couple of days ago when I engaged in a scorched-earth exchange here on Chump Lady. Obviously, I too have some high-conflict leanings. FOO problems most likely.

            I was actually employing some of these tactics unknowingly in the first month of post-D-Day emails. E.g., “If you don’t respond, I will assume you agree. Or, you have one hour to respond or I will contact your…” They worked for a while. Now she just doesn’t seem to care anymore whom I tell what. No matter; Chump Nation to the rescue.

            BIFF: Brief, Informative; Friendly; Firm

            So good.

            • This is one of the many reasons I love CN, helping chumps as well as learning about new ways to deal with the disordered!

              I would see her silence as a blessing you can use to get her tacit agreement on things as you work with your lawyer. I seem to remember you mentioning she is a lawyer too, so she knows about tacit agreements…

              Keep going, Ian, and yeah, BIFFs rule :)!

              • DirtyWater, LovedAJackass, and Chumptitude,

                Thank you for your kind words. I’d like to respond individually, but it’s one of those humiliating-kick-in-the-crotch kinda days.

                Schlumping to Meh.

        • I filed for and got my divorce on the grounds of adultery. I have never regretted my decision. My narcX (his therapist testified in court that he is a narcissist) lives with the knowledge that the court’s judgment and findings of facts are on public record for anyone to read for generations to come.

        • Ian, stick with what benefits you financially. You are still in the middle of the trauma, trying to extricate yourself, and giving her opportunities to be reasonable. A better strategy is file, let your lawyer handle it, and go no contact. In the end, if you come out OK in the division of assets, it will be an easier position to start or continue your new life. Take care of you. Don’t think about her, about her choices, about her needs, about her sickness.

  • I didn’t mean to fall in love with my 27 year old assistant. I didn’t mean to start having sex with her. I didn’t mean to get her pregnant and encourage her to have an abortion. I didn’t mean to lie to you about it for two years. I didn’t mean to make you feel crazy when you legitimately asked questions about my whereabouts. I didn’t mean to ignore our young adult children who needed job and career and school advice while I was “mentoring” my assistant. I didn’t mean to gaslight you after you found some incriminating evidence and confronted me. I didn’t mean to buy her expensive jewelry with cash so you didn’t know. I didn’t mean to expose you to STDs and worse. I didn’t mean to lose the respect of my co-workers and friends who knew about what was going on, while you were clueless. I didn’t mean to become addicted to her “love of sex.” I didn’t mean to wonder over and over which of you I should be with. I didn’t mean to keep participating in the affair with my now 30 year old ho-worker FOR THE PAST YEAR – even though you knew about the affair and were checking up on me and she moved to another company! I didn’t mean to hurt you. I didn’t mean to ruin our family. i I didn’t mean to throw away a 33 year relationship and our upcoming 30 year wedding anniversary in May of 2016. I didn’t mean to make you crazy…….

    BUT YOU DID ALL OF THOSE THINGS! HOW COULD YOU? AND HOW COULD I STILL BE WITH YOU?

      • Yes. I acknowledged that I am part of the problem. And I put everything in one long string/timeline and saw how horrible and unforgivable it is. But my counselor is teaching me about boundaries and over functioning/under functioning and I have a signed postnup. I am trying to find me again

    • Today I was working with one student, when another came up and gave an excuse for not being finished with assigned work. I said, “Post it or you won’t get points.” Two other students kept looking for a loophole in the research component (preferring to just riff on the topic). I told them they were trying to avoid the work. Another asked if it was “too late” to do the bonus question on a midterm exam due last week. Yes, indeedy. It’s a test, pickle.

      The student I was sitting with when these questions came up said, “You just don’t give an f, do you?” He didn’t mean that as a criticism; he meant that I am a professional and I stick to my standards. That’s what infidelity did for me. It taught me not to compromise when standards and values are involved. It’s hard to let go of people we love. It’s hard to put our own best interests first. And it can be frightening to think of being alone (because secretly we think “maybe forever,” and we fail to count the other people in our lives who aren’t intimate partners). I spent 3 months after D-Day secretly hoping Jackass would see the light and my awesomeness, and maybe another month or two hoping to end as “friends.” But reading here shifted my thinking on a lot of things, most specifically on how often I caved to other peoples’ selfish or destructive requests, how often I looked right at a red flag and denied it, and how often I compromised my integrity. It wasn’t just about Jackass. It was about how I lived my life. I’m still working on that part of it. I try to be humane and reasonable (as students often do have complications in their lives that make hard deadlines tough). But I won’t be played anymore by anybody. And while I like my current companion a great deal, the red flag of poor housekeeping sets a hard boundary. I will never pick up after another adult again. Ever. Period. I would hate to run an otherwise great relationship by adding the inevitable stress of conflict over the sink being full of dishes. Thanks to CL, the CN, and my therapist for helping me build and maintain those boundaries.

  • His one affair was a year. When he said he never meant to I would say back.. Day one … Didn’t mean it. Day two… I didn’t mean to.. Slowly never got to finish but when he would say it again I would pick up at the day I left off at last. I never finished the count of just the one girl he didn’t mean to do. He gave up and I have my no contact.

    • Jackie, this is awesome! Asshat didn’t give me any concrete details so all I know is vaguely that it lasted over a year and he fell in wuv. I made sure that I filed before a year was up post D-Day so if he whined about me wasting his time and dragging it out, I could say, “Hey, fucker, it was shorter than your fuckfest with that lunatic!” It hasn’t come up yet and probably won’t. Oh well. I’ll keep it in my back pocket. Back to you – great trick to gain NC 🙂

  • How about: “for what it’s worth, I am sorry”. For what it’s worth??? Anything that falls out of the lie-hole in your face is worthless and not true. Oh I am sorry…..the word you like to use when I caught you in a lie….”the fabrication”. This is what I will say, I have never seen Satan and my narcissistic, cheating, lying POS ex in the same room together, come to your your own conclusion……

    • Ew, yeah I’ve gotten some similar lines to that. For what it’s worth? Well, so nothing, really…he’s proven to me pretty categorically that his words aren’t worth anything at all.

  • I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. My ex always used the line “It wasn’t intentional!” He’s in law enforcement, and I wonder how many people he let out of DUIs or other crimes when they used they excuse that they didn’t mean to. “I didn’t intend to drive after that 6th drink, it just happened!” Officer Exhole: “Well that explains it! No harm intended means no harm done. Swerve your way home, and if you hit anyone on the way I’m sure they’ll understand that it was unintentional and just happened.”

    • He was ex law enforcement too…go figure. I heard the same thing “it wasn’t intentional, didn’t set out to do it, didn’t mean to” blah blah blah!

  • ‘he didn’t care enough not to’.- very profound.
    Mine cheater pants preferred the *Shrug* “I don’t know” response.

    • I got a lot of the Blank Stare, too. How could you do this? Blank stare. What were you thinking? Blank stare. Why didn’t ask for a divorce? Blank stare. I often reacted to the blank stare by filling in the blank myself and asking her if that wasn’t the reason, to which she might nod. Typical chump reaction, spackle of the worse kind.

      • I too, Nomar, got that blank stare and often played fill in the blank while gauging ex’s reaction to see if I got it right. Sometimes I would speak as if I knew the answer and he would go along with it so I knew I got it right.

        I begged over and over for some measure of closure, for an explanation why he had cheated for so long, why he did not simply get a divorce from me especially since for years I suspected affairs which he vehemently and wholeheartedly denied. His only response besides the blank stare: “there is no reason that would make sense now.” To which I replied: “was there a reason that EVER made sense?”…. Crickets…..And more blank stares…….

        The hard part is having to create our own closure when we have so little truth and so few answers from the person who held all the cards, lied as easily and regularly as breathing, and suddenly could not care any less about us if we were a piece of lint on their sleeve.

  • “I didn’t mean to” is when they’re trying to turn criticism (ie talking about the shit they did) into praise. It obviously worked with Mommy when they were six years old and in big trouble after being caught doing something particularly heinous to the neighbour’s cat, and they fully expect it to work now.

    Think about that a moment. They fully expect it to work now. Seriously. They think these magic words are going to make you suddenly turn into a dispenser of kindness and love and soothing sympathy. Then they can put their head in your lap, and you can stroke their hair and tell them that you understand, and reassure them what a good boy/girl they really are.

    Because they ARE that disturbed.

    • HopeAndGloria that is really scary…I felt a chill go down my spine. When I think about satan’s behavior in that light…it just fits. Chilling.

    • HopeAndGloria – That’s not that far removed, I think, from what my cheating STBXW’s mother did for her most of her life (including blaming her daughter’s affair on me).

  • What really got me is the night the ex told me, he broke down in huge, gigantic, unpressidented sobs and said he’d made the biggest mistake of his life. When I tried to console, reassure and build him up by saying we could fix it no matter what it was since we’d been through so much (miscarriages, severely premature babies, bankruptcy, deaths of beloved relatives, estrangement from family etc.), he just kept shaking his head. So he was aware he’d done something completely fucked up, horrible and probably the worst thing he could do to the kids and I, but rather than try anything to repair the damage, he decided to go from stupid to flat out imbecilic and go with the stupid. “Okay. I set the old rickety garage on fire and you’re handing me buckets of water to put it out. No thanks. How about I grab this handy can of gasoline instead?” *shakes head*

    But yes, he never meant for this to happen and he and the walking sperm bank didn’t mean to hurt us. Uh-huh.

  • Oh Debbie. As a manchild-survivor, I can sympathise deeply. And yes, “I was always there to clean up the mess left behind by his poor choices.”

    [Lola holds up horrible clotted lump of hair and soap found inside the s-bend of the relationship’s drain]

    There’s your problem right there, Debbie. Choosing to be there to clean up the mess left behind by his poor choices is also a poor choice. It’s worth getting to the bottom of this one with some counselling, so that you never go down this path again.

    I’m a recovering Florence Nightingale as well; it sucks. Nothing made me happier than being June Cleaver, Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie, Samantha from Bewitched, and a crazily idealised and airbrushed version of my own mother, all rolled into one. Any old bossy bantam useless good-for-nothing could come along and huff and puff, and I’d be there with the home-made apple pies and rueful smiles at his boyish japes and ‘mere male’ incompetencies.

    Life is so much better now that I’m NOT that woman, and am actually myself instead, which is far less tiring, and which is also someone who likes to eat home-made apple pie in peace and quiet, in bed, with the cat.

    The bantams can fuck off.

  • FIRST TIME COMMENTOR >>> Tracey needs to be made president. She puts these men on blast and makes sense. Sad thing is we will never take this advice until we are ready but for me personally, The seed was planted. I laughed through the misery. I booked marked a post of a fellow chumpladys road mad because I knew in my heart that my time will come when I can say I was conned. I can reconcile the 10 years I spent with my husband and his amazing breakfast every morning, and running my bath and then doing things that rip my heart out…. I CAN RUN MY OWN BATH. I recently decided that I have 60 days to go through that road map. and go ZERO contact because I cant handle the mind-fuckery and the constant wailing and begging and manipulation and keeping me in an emotional vortex when he CHOSE to cheat. 7 months is no MISTAKE.

    Bye FELICIA!!!! I am done!

  • OMG, my list of man child fixes is SOOOO long. Looking back I realize how often he so ‘macho like’ made me feel like a mean Mom. I hate that feeling and I don’t want to ever feel it again!!

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