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The Dead-Eyed Stare

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kimSo what about those dead-eyed stares, huh?

The other day a thread broke out on the blank look cheaters give you when you confront them with their lies.

What is that look? Condescension? Vacancy? Amusement? Are the manipulation wheels spinning so fast, the facial expressions are set in neutral? What’s going on in there?

I remember unearthing some ghastly nugget of truth and confronting my ex with “So, are you a pathological liar, or what?” and he just smirked. Didn’t deny it. Didn’t affirm it. It was just sort of “Yeah, and so?”

Now, in his case, that wasn’t an ordinary response. The mindfuck channels usually flipped between the rage-charm-self-pity stations. He didn’t pause long before going on the offensive with the mindfuckery. And yet, every now and then Mr. Dead Eyes would appear.

If eyes are the windows to the soul, I have to conclude that sociopaths are just empty elevator shafts. Not much there except a steep drop into Hell.

(Shudder) These people exist.

So, what’s your theory?

This column ran previously. Feel free to comment! (I’m on a deadline for another book proposal…)

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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.
  • When the mask slips, the empathy-free actor forgets the lines from the douchebag script for a moment.

    • I agree, it’s like a pause to re-load while they assess which bullshit to spew at you next based on what they think will work (what you will swallow, what will achieve their goal). Their goal might just be to buy time. I saw the dead eyed stare on D-Day and I swear I could also HEAR the little gears turning in his head while he made those assessments). Then the smirk when the truth came out, then immediate switch to gaslighting, blameshifting and defiance like a child. I didn’t realize all of this till much, much later. There was almost two years of cognitive dissonance while I tried to reconcile who I believed he was with who he really was.

      • Oh. The Smirk and that little flash on inconvenience. My narc never liked to be inconvenienced. The only time I saw real pride was when I said he was the best liar I ever saw. It was a millisecond, but it was there.

        • Wow! I can so relate. My ex actually smiled and beamed with pride when he announced to me his affair, you know, because of the shear genius way he was able to show me what I had “caused” him to do. I was a horrible, bitchy, sexless nag, who had the audacity to be faithful, devoted and raise our kids without hardly an ounce of help from him. How dare I tell him he was emotionally, verbally and spiritually abusive!! How dare I tell him that I would never want our boys to grow up to say the things that he says to me to their wives!! He really thought that would stick it to me by fucking a nasty skank who he meet at a bar at 7:00am. Yeah, he showed me, lol!! He showed me that I couldn’t live another second with his bitch ass

        • Oh, gosh, that Smirk. That was when he knew he was in a new relationship that he kept secret from his own children for three years. They love it when they know stuff we don’t know. Get off on secrets and lies. Like, really get off on it, whereas, we would be uncomfortable about that. Just not human.

          • Yes, they love being able to keep us in the dark, even after the fact. It’s about control and I think for my ex-narc, it was another way to disrespect me because I didn’t “deserve” to know.

          • Narcissists’ whole being in the world revolves around power and obtaining narc supply/adoration. Information is power; withholding it gives them power because you run your life based on the idea that they are telling the truth. But they are not. Thus, they have controlled your decisions and your life = Power boner.

            • This really resonates with me. I was making important life decisions based on his script… what he choose to tell me. I often felt like a puppet in his world.

              • Puppet. I still feel that way sometimes. My main problem is im still in love with who i thought he was not who he really is. I need to get over that! Hope it goes away soon. Moving will be the best thing for me. Come on house sale!!!!!

              • That’s a great way to describe what happened to me. I was making life decisions based on the script he gave me. I was such a chump.

            • Amen Tempest-
              You speak the truth!
              My stbx in true Narky fashion once told me “you will never know everything!”
              ‘Cuz dontcha know he’s in control and I’m not the boss of him.

              Yea ok-whatever loser….now go take your power boner and find another ho to pay and drill.
              My son & I have a cheater free life to live

            • Ah deception and power kibbles, so delicious to cheaters… It was really unsettling to witness his rapid 3-channel mood changes and the assorted blank cold stares when he realized I was divorcing him.

              Thanks to CL’s insights and CN’s support, I have been NC for over a year, and yep, there are ongoing shit sandwiches to be gobbled down for the sake of my kiddo, but overall, I can attest that life does get a whole lot better post-divorce from a cheater… Keep forging on new chumps :)!

            • This was so the truth in my marriage. Still happening post separation but the further away from him I am getting, the more this dynamic all comes into focus (like being farsighted) Seeing it more clearly is immensely helpful. Shudder….but power boner – lol

            • I feel like I may have been manipulated to move to a state where the divorce laws wouldn’t work in my favor. I’m sure that gave the snake a huge power boner. When I changed venue on him though, that was a knee to the nads.

              • That happened to me, too. Judges hate that manipulative “forum shopping” crap. I’m kicking the hell out of him with my jurisdictional argument.

          • Kar marie, that was one of the problems I had also some time back.

            What I did when I was in midst of those feelings was to look at all the wrongs the whore did OBJECTIVELY. There were so so so so so so many wrongs.

            I just said fuck it – I am turning my feelings off while I process this. Everything is so clear when you look at it objectively, just like a business decision. I opened myself to the truth and what I found out was I CAN handle the truth.

            Those feelings will come back – but when they do – It’s less and less each time. Eventually the “trust that he/she sucks” is your default setting when those feelings come up. You will eventually dismiss those feelings in a blink of an eye.

          • The Smirk shocked me the first time I saw it, because I didn’t yet know about the MOW. Then the smirk and its implied condescension made perfect sense.

          • So true! They SMIRK…universal! Yes, you nailed it! They do get off on telling you all about their secret life. My narc wanted to know if I ever suspected. WTF? My Narc dropped two bombshells on D-Day, that he fucks men and that he’s having an affair with a woman and he’s not going to stop. Hmmm. Wonder if she knows his bi-sexual secret? He tells me this crap in the middle of a quiet bar while we are on vacation.

            • I’m waiting for my XH to admit that he’s into men. His AP was a (true sociopath) woman, but on D Day when he said there “seems to be someone else” and I asked, “Who is this person?” rather than, “Who is she?”, he got mighty angry that I might have been implying it could be someone other than a woman (I didn’t choose those words intentionally, but I have often wondered about his sexuality for various concrete reasons, like discovering his sex fantasy emails to the dick-sucking ghoul in which he, oh you know–fucks a man.) I don’t know what that potential revelation might mean for my healing process. It might explain why he’s been so cruel and hateful towards me for the past 4+ years: It’s gotta be tough when you’re into men and the person you’re married to doesn’t have a dick! Poor thing.

      • Thanks for writing this, Muse: “There was almost two years of cognitive dissonance while I tried to reconcile who I believed he was with who he really was.”

        It’s been 9.5 months from the final D-Day and I’m only now beginning to accept who he is instead of who I believed him to be. “Cognitive dissonance” describes it perfectly. Even as I was recounting his behavior to my therapist, support group, friends, there was always a small part of me thinking, “No way, this is crazy, you couldn’t have been in love with someone for twenty years who pulled this crap.” Yep, I was.

        • My thoughts exactly BetterDays…friends and family look at me and say, ‘How could you have stayed with that monster for 36 years?’ …yeah…how did I? If I had known who and what he was when I met him…the meeting would have been very, very brief.

          • This Jeep. When my ex husband and I separated my own sister had the cheek to ask me “Maree, why did you stay so long because he worked so hard”. As you stated “If I had known who and what he was when I met him…the meeting would have been very, very brief”. Oh and that blank look. My ex husband perfected it and should have taken out a patent on it. He owns it absolutely.

            • Maree, satan is still tryin to hoover me back in!!! MY divorce was final over a year ago! Wha???

              satan raged, stared at me with absolute hate in his eyes and meowed at me. Chills…gives me chills to remember being in that hole. I know he was trying to kill me. I am so glad to be free of him and his hellish treatment.

      • Same here. It is like the blank stare is a pause mode while the brain calculates the next move. My daughter and I have been reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It feels like we are Mr. Utterson trying to unravel the mystery. There was a line when he confronted Mr. Hyde and was asked by Hyde, how he knew him. Mr. Utterson replied with “common friends.” Mr. Hyde said he “never told you” and in a flash of anger said “I did not think you would have lied.” Something about that part struck us. One, the way in which the good side choose Mr. Utterson and then how angry Mr. Hyde becomes when he believes he lied to him. “O my poor old Harry Jekyll, if ever I read Satan’s signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend.”

        • You all have hit it right on the nose! There should be a red light on their foreheads with the words “please wait”. My cheater must have read somewhere that liars can’t look you in the eye, so he made sure to stare right into mine as he denied everything. What he didn’t know is what I saw were blank, flat, gray discs. Very much like shark eyes. There was nothing there. When he finally had no other choice but to admit his crap and thought maybe an apology might help, I got the same cold, dead eyes with the words, “I’m sorry. And I do feel bad”. His eyes were saying “this does not compute”. It was chilling.

          • Exactly, uneffingbelievable! I’ve said the same thing — he must have read that liars don’t look you in the eye because every time he lied, I got a dead-on stare.

            • I think anyone with a conscience can’t look you in the eye, they clearly do not so the dead stare while they spew their bullshit is no problem at all…..second nature to them.

            • You know…..I just had a bit of Ah-ha moment……it’s a bit off topic but indulge me.
              I read all of the comments here, every single day. It keeps me no contact and strong, love me some Chump Lady.
              Like all of you, I’m finding meh, getting happy, loving my cheater free life but still in the secret part of my soul wanting the karma bus to hit my ex And his mistress HARD!! I wait patiently for what always thought I wanted which is the inevitable break up and for him to come sniffing around here so I could tell him to fuck off….I thought that was the moment I needed. Then i started paying attention to all the “I can’t believe I gave this guy 30 years and didn’t know…” Comments and wondered what was to stop her from doing the same thing?
              There will probably be no break up, and now I’m good with that. If I really want her to hurt I should hope she keeps his ass for many, many years and then when she’s 55 ( if she invests the 20 like I did) wonder how she could waste her life on this douchebag. The ultimate hurt is to let her be me….in the sequel.
              No quick easy execution for her, life sentence!!
              I’m moving on, she can be the recipient of the blank stares, lies and empty promises from now on.
              Point is, we wait for the affair partner to be the latest discard, that could take years……it took us years.

              • Good point. I had a so called 46 year friendship with my ex and a 37 year marriage. The ex is now 63 years old and the trade down is 23 years old. I can’t see her being tortured like I was. All she has to do is wait and she will get everything she is wanting which is my kids inheritance. Time is on her side not his. That in itself is karma.

              • I too wait for the bus some has already happened. His kids anf family alienated from him his fault. Already 80000 i debt all on him and growing. Whore makes good money spends every penny bad with business will never save a dime shes over 150000 in debt and being sued. He doesnt know that. She doesnt know hes cheating on her with others unprotected sex and multiple bondage bitch hookups. She pays for everything for them and he pays for me. Haha! She hooked herself a known cheater with anger issues and emtionally closed up tighter than a frogs ass and he got a clingy whore who sleeps with married men and doesnt care. Both of them dont care who they hurt as long as they get what they want. This includes each other. Good! They deserve one another.

              • The one thing i want the most is to be able to sleep normal again. I want that more than anything. Fingers crossed financing on house soon and then up up and away!!! Adios motherfucker……forever!

              • Oh Kar Marie-
                I feel you on the sleeping & house financing issues. I have to take sleep aids to sleep through the night right now and I am waiting on my mom’s estate to settle so that my son & I can escape from hell to our own new place!!
                I’m so over stbx and his BS that I am about ready to walk away from our home & let him have it. Let him keep the narc palace he refuses to leave. I will be able to start over when I receive my inheritance & he can’t touch it.

              • Ive tried every pill on the market nothing works nothing! I used to drink myself into a coma to fall asleep and would wake up two hours later wide awake. Gave that up. Its being here in this house and not being able to move on quicker. Its stress. Cant wait to get the fuck away from here and soon into my new cheater free life!

              • PW, I am 17 months post dday and one year divorced from XH 53. Married 24 years together 26. Pig decided to start screwing howorker, 21 at that time just turned 23 and O whore now gf.
                Ww have 2 children and two grandchildren. Assclowns Ow, at that rime, moved in with 21 yr old, cause he was planning on it. Although caught before the grand escape was kicked out.
                My son, 22 went after him, however nothing happened, but my som changed the locks on doors immediately when loverboy was kicked out. Fast forward ow dumps him, he sniffs on us wants to reconcile, bullshit. Fucks, yet once again with us all only to run and beg the love of his life to move back with him, and of course absence made them grow so much closer. I was not letting him back here he could fucking rot, so can his insecure, unloved, lowlife little concubine. I mean now best bright girlfriends.
                So fast forward for these two bizarre fucks, mr I had a heart attack at 50.
                Anyway his car transmission blew up, then my share of stuff 401k resolved, but wait that was the Karma bus rolled in twice, oh but girlfriend 23 is pregnant. Yeppers, dad, grandpa gonna be a daddy lmao. Karma train showed up!
                Discards one family to start another.
                Endless hole(s) of need.
                I am nc, however fface had to call ne snd say how deprssed he was about this and he just wants to come home.
                Sorry sap.
                We shall overcome. Truly no my circus or my monkeys!
                As someone in this fine community of people pointed out, after owhore finishes changing baby diapers it will be time to change his.
                Thank you all for reading, encouraging, sharing and caring. Thats what REAL people do!
                And i feel confidante that that bizarre antics wont end well!

              • This is all so creepy… and true! I also experienced the “dead eyed stare” but didn’t know what to call it at the time. My stbxh also likes to take ridiculously long pauses during conversation; I think it must be a control tactic.

          • Mine admitted to me once that he stared people in the eye when lying (well before DDay of course). So when he insisted that he’d never touched another woman (outside of this affair of course) and gave me a cold hard stare while doing it, I knew.

          • Mine would look me right in the eye too when I challenged him on his behaviour/ dishonesty ( comeing home at 6am , not telling me he was an ex bankrupt before I bought a house for him ) I think he was trying to work out my weak spots or to determine my discomfort about confronting him. Some months ago I looked back at photos of us together – his eyes aren’t smiling – they’re as black as coal

      • Cognitive Dissonance is the perfect phrase for it. So is mind fuck. It took a good long time, almost three years for me, to completely wrap my head around the fact that my entire adult life – 35 + years moving from friend to best friend to boyfriend to husband was built on a massive lie. People who haven’t experienced that sort of earth shattering revelation – that the person you thought you knew better than anyone in the world didn’t really exist at all – can never really understand the far reaching effects it has on your psyche.

        • I’m there with you now. I cannot believe I spent 16 years with this person and had no idea who he actually is. He even described himself for years as Jeckyl and Hyde. How could I have been so blind. Absolutely amazing. After 2 years of separation, I’m finally starting to put it together. Getting my ducks in a row now and then dropping the bomb. No more.

        • It’s checking out, disengaging. Disrespect and contempt. With my cheater STBX there was an overall pattern of avoidance, and I think the blank stare for me was the same mental running away when he couldn’t even leave the room.

          He did that too, and I pointed out the articles on emotional abuse that showed stonewalling included leaving the conversation/room in order to control the vicim in that the abuser will not even show respect and dignity for the abused and engage in a conversation! He refused to acknowledge leaving the room was stonewalling or that stonewalling was emotional abuse. And that was a marital issues I actually KNEW about vs him online sex with any woman who caught his eye on the sex sites he spent all his time on.

          This is different from a time out in a difficult conversation. A time out requires that you respect your partner and you are showing vulnerability in being overwhelmed and needing a break. You are promising to return and address the topic.

          I would ask and ask and ask that he please respect me. Then he would say he was sorry (not about what…) and we would hug and I would cry and go to bed. Then he would probably fuck someone on a sex site to feel in control again or re-read his saved transcripts, or look at the stills from the video sessions and get off on how powerful he was .. cheating on his wife.

          • ‘The Great I Am’ was a master at stone-walling (his father taught him, perhaps his father’s father did it to). A shite (she practically purred at him) marriage guidance counsellor pointed out to him (in a very wishy, washy – ‘do you see how stone-walling can be controlling? – if you walk out or refuse to engage in conversation you should tell Jayne you are coming back to discuss the difficult topic’) ffs, she hadn’t a clue – he KNEW exactly what he was doing and there was NO WAY IN HELL he was going to give up that power-play. She didn’t hear a fucking word I was saying. He didn’t hear a fucking word I was saying. In those sessions I was being fucked over by the pair of them.

            It’s not hard to work out the damage stone-walling does – you don’t need a degree in psychology to figure it out. It was probably the most overtly abusive ‘The Great I Am’ allowed me to see (oh, plenty of covert abuse – the actual cheating being the least of it). Somehow, the need for him to see and acknowledge his stonewalling was abusive consumed me for years – what’s with that? Somehow, when he said ‘no it’s not – don’t talk wet’ (which was his typical response when I tried to talk to him about this) his denial of the fact kept me caught, made me doubt myself. What was that? Anyone else get stuck because the cheater wouldn’t acknowledge their abuse was abuse?

        • My very favorite analogy for my ex is from the movie Men in Black. He’s an Edgar Suit. He’s a giant space cockroach walking around in human skin pretending to be a man.

          • OMG Beth! Perfect Perfect Perfect! My ex’s name *is* Edgar! He fancies himself so much the officer & gentleman & that whole mirage of upstandsmanship that he was so obviously trying to hold onto that reputation moreso than his marriage & family. He actually tried to get me to sign a statement saying I’d only keep the polygraph results (yeah that was a condition of my trying wreckconcilliation) for one year then destroy any record. It was ALL about his image.

            I did not agree, of course. I still hold all the evidence of what lives beneath that Edgar suit. Bahaha!

            • Oh man, how perfect is that?! I wish my ex was named Edgar for real. I would snicker every time I said his name which isn’t often. 🙂 As it is, his name is Bill so my brother calls him “The Billgar Suit”. Close enough.

        • Same for me, 100 percent. I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around it, 8 years after D-Day #1 and 5 years post-separation. I don’t know if I will ever completely reconcile myself to how much of my life was built on a lie, and how much love and time I wasted on a man who was nothing like I believed and truly was, and is, a horrible human being.

        • Beth your quote “People who haven’t experienced that sort of earth shattering revelation – that the person you thought you knew better than anyone in the world didn’t really exist at all – can never really understand the far reaching effects it has on your psyche.” IS RIGHT ON!
          1st d-day Sept 1998 and now Post d-day #2 Nov 2013 I realize that I was experiencing Cognitive dissonance from 1998.
          I am relieved and am not D yet…all day Mediation scheduled for end of March…do not expect that anything will be agreed upon…as Meghan Trainor’s song goes..’his lips are movin’ then there lies, lies, lies.”
          Married 28 + years, together 31 + years…and realize now I was married to a sociopath.
          NC is my saving grace along with a Barracuda lawyer who has been with me since d-day #1.
          Peace to all Chumps!

      • Oh yeah, the blank state on D Day 1 when I called him into the computer room and showed him the crotch shots I’d found in his Facebook messages. The blank state on D Day 2 when I asked him (ok, screamed at him) about the emalls graphically describing what he wanted to do sexually to another woman, both of those accompanied with the sounds of the lying gears shifting into overdrive.

        With Fat Bastard the look on his face reminded me of the look my kids got as preschoolers when I’d catch them doing something wrong. Since FB behaved like a 6 year old most of the time I think his immediate reaction was blind panic followed by how do I lie my way out of this.

      • TheMuse, you nailed it. There’s a mix of oh-shit-I’m-busted fear & yeah-bitch!-so-what! defiance dying to boil over behind those dead eyes. Truth be told, those cold dead eyes were there long before I caught on to his secret life, maybe before it even started. Back then I’d surmised it as vacancy – uh-oh-he’s-lost-that-lovin’-feelin indifference. And I should’ve acted on it, but instead I thought ‘what can I do to warm those eyes from a cold stare to a warm look?’. Ah, Hindsight.

        Knowing what I know now, I’d say their eyes are their biggest tell. If they don’t convey warmth & love in the smallest every day moments, you can bet defiance is brewing on some level. If it weren’t, there would be words. An attempt to address changing feelings with warmth & concern. Turn the ship around or at least have the heart to exit kindly.
        But when those eyes go cold, they’re already gone.

      • The only other time I saw the death stare was in the Terminator movie when the guy assesses his target and then kills them.

    • Exactly. They have been caught, and caught off guard, and so do not have a blame-shift or gaslight strategy at hand.

    • The Smirk. As our young daughter collapsed into grief filled tears the moment after we told her we were getting a divorce, I looked up at his face and through my own tear filled eyes I saw him……SMIRKING.

      I will never Forget. I will never Forgive.

      Monsters are real.

  • Yes they do exist!! After so much questioning nothing seems to matter anymore! In the beginning its defensiveness and denial. Then as time goes on the blank stare as if to say yea so!!!!

  • What I got at that moment of truth was the stinkiest eye ever thrown my way. I was challenging him, asking questions. He doesn’t like that. He hated me at that moment. And severely disliked me for a while before. Could we have had an adult conversation about his feelings years before, when things were taking a turn for him? Nope. Not at all. It was so much better to let the contempt toward me grow and end it by giving me the deadliest stare ever. That’s exactly how you treat the woman by your side for 25 years and the mother of your children. I deserved better, and I will always make sure he knows it.

    • 2kids2love- I had the same feelings you mentioned, I asked myself why couldn’t the ex have come to me years before to discuss her feelings? Well the answer is simple, she is just NOT capable of investing in a deeper love.

      My ex also severely disliked me for a while which I found out only after DDay, (she is an academy award winner for playing the town whore). Her dislike of me festered into resentment. But interesting enough all the resentment she had was based on an illusion created in her head simply to justify her own actions. There was absolutely nothing I did or didn’t do to warrant that kind of resentment.

      Live life mighty and live for yourself –you deserve it!

      • This: “But interesting enough all the resentment she had was based on an illusion created in her head simply to justify her own actions. There was absolutely nothing I did or didn’t do to warrant that kind of resentment.”

        I’m always amazed how these cheaters all work from the same playbook. I used to get the eeriest feeling that who he was mad at and who he was resenting wasn’t me. Back then I thought he was projecting his mommy issues onto me. Now I realize he had to create this story in his head that I was a lousy wife and an emotionally unsupportive partner and didn’t share his interests and on and on and on because that’s how he justified screwing around with other women. In the first months of our separation, I started untangling his image of me — that I internalized — from the truth.

        • Yes BetterDays the cheaters all got the same handbook when they graduated from their acting classes. They all went to the College of Fuck.

          Lots of stories cheaters create (covert & overt) simply start from a bad thought of their spouse. What I found was those bad thoughts they get usually are based on assumptions – judgments – or some type of exaggeration. Once they compile all these negative thoughts – whallah – now they get the negative feelings hence resentment. They actually believe their own lunacy. Add a little of re-writing history and wham -now they have just fully justified their actions. Of course they are doing all this conveniently as they are under the influence of cheating.

          Oh, I remember her dead-eye stare, I just gave it right back to her.

            • BetterDays, you totally described this perfectly. I saw glimpses during the last couple years of our marriage when the affair was in full and unrelenting swing (we’d have an argument and rather than soothe one another’s hurts with hugs and talking it out he’d just retreat and throw sarcastic barbs at me whenever I’d express how I was feeling), but the blame shifting and justifications buffeted with the cold shoulder the night he confessed were absolutely mind-boggling. He refused to take full responsibility and kept repeating “It takes two for a marriage to break down. I may be somewhat responsible, but so are you.” to which I replied, “No. Apparently in this situation it takes three, and I am not responsible because I know how to keep it in my pants.” and he’d justify and blame all over again.

              It was the hardest thing to stop asking, try to stop wondering and just accept I will never know why and to remind myself that it wasn’t my fault despite what he says and thinks, or what my ex MIL said.

              • “No. Apparently in this situation it takes three, and I am not responsible because I know how to keep it in my pants.”

                Brilliant Cakeless in Kalamazoo, thank you!

          • “Bad thoughts based on assumptions.” Isn’t that the truth! The first memory I had of when shit started hitting the fan was when I got a weather alert at 3:00 am because we were getting a snow storm. I did not hear the text, but Judas did. He got up to look at my text messages, but couldn’t find a text – therefore I must have a secret contact list! (OMG – WTF??? Of course he didn’t find a text – it was a weather alert!) Or I got my nails done because I was whoring around. Or how about trying to lose a little weight….I must be whoring around. And my favorite was when a friend and I took a trip to Dallas to visit my cousin and was accused of….. you guessed it – whoring myself out. And yes, my friend and cousin were in on it too. For fuck sake! Fucked up and obviously insecure….Since I could do all this whoring around, I guess he felt he had the right to do it too. Idiot.

        • Because ‘The Great I Am’ was a master stone-waller, I would have to communicate with him by letter or email if we had any issues in the relationship. I came across a bunch of my letters to him when I was packing. Over a ten year period the number of letters I’d written to him where I was basically saying ‘I don’t recognise the person you are saying I am’. He would accuse me of mad stuff and, like a true chump, I’d go off and really think about what he had accused me of, and how on earth he’d got to thinking that particular thing about me. A lot of stuff would be so alien to who I knew I was, who I knew I’d shown him I was – it was honestly crazy-making. I realise now, having done the post-cheater masters degree course on personality disorders that we all seem to have had to sit to make sense of that madness, that it was pure projection, but at the time I had no clue and it wrecked it my head, not least because I just couldn’t figure what he was basing his accusations on, and how come he’d learned so little about me!

          He became (after D Day and the grand unmasking) very adept at making accusations like ‘you expect too much from people’ and then, when I asked him to give me an example of what he was talking about, refuse to give even one example. An utter mindfuck, and meant to be.

          • “Post cheater masters degree on personality disorders” — Love this! I’m auditing the course still.

          • Hey Jayne you mentioned that you have done the post-cheater masters degree course on personality disorders – Hilarious! Even more hilarious is so did I. It was a prerequisite for my sanity.

            I am not in the medical field by any means but what I gathered was my ex wife displayed a covert style of cluster b behaviors. She was this way from basic communication to sex. I honestly almost lost my mind.

            Covert = Ultimate mindfuck.

        • My ex made up the exact same stories. And it took me 17 months from D-day to realize they were just that – stories. Not truth. Not my fault. Damn, so mortifying that I was so snowed…

      • SureChumpedAlot, “But interesting enough all the resentment she had was based on an illusion created in her head simply to justify her own actions.” This is exactly what I went through, after x left, he wanted to talk and he kept saying things like, “the things you did” were part of why “we broke up”. Of course, he never said that the things you did were the reason that I cheated, because that was not the narrative that he wanted out there. I kept on asking for examples of what it is I did. All he could say was that I didn’t care enough about him or love him at all. I stuck it out for 22 years with this idiot out of a misplaced love for him and that is all he could say. I asked for examples of not caring enough and all he could say was that our house was messy. I lost my intact family over a “messy” house and the schmoopie he chose to cheat with was a slob of the first order. Go figure. The game was rigged and I never had a chance with that kind of thought process.And I thank God daily that I never had a chance and that I was “let go” so he could go on to greener pastures (that lasted all of 6 months, haha).

        • Hia DeeL- If you got the justification illusion I would bet my ass you probably also got “ILYBINILWY”.

          The way I see it is marriage is all black and white. What makes it B&W is there are 2 types of people that enter marriage…the ones that are loving, honest, committed, loyal, trustworthy and self-less, then there are ones that are not. Thats it. No GRAY. The cheaters always bring the GRAY.

          Definition of gray: dark, dismal, or gloomy. -Shit of you ask me that describes the AP perfectly.

          Congrats on your “greener pastures” karma.

    • 2kids–they are not capable of that conversation. If they are willing to listen to your complaints, it’s only so they don’t suffer consequences by having you leave or cut off their narc supply. When I complained heartily about then-H’s treatment of me and his need for constant drama, the reason he gave for getting it under wraps (temporarily) was that he didn’t want me to leave him. There was no concern for how much suffering he was causing, he just didn’t want consequences.

      Likewise, when then-H had a complaint about me, it wasn’t up for discussion. He clearly indicated I should change to suit what he wanted, with no concern for whether I wanted to change in those ways. His complaints were ultimatums, I now see (though not phrased that way)–Tempest needed to jump when Hannibal wanted something or Hannibal would seek out nubile students less than half his age and/or Ashley Madison floozies. And he thought himself justified in this.

      They are not capable of reciprocal relations, nor reciprocal discussions.

  • I don’t know but I will never forget that look. I looked into his eyes at the moment of confronting him with his lies and saw…..nothing.

  • Now it’s MY turn to give him the dead eye stare. When he’s trying to be all nicey-nice in front of our grown kids or if we run into each other at some event. He’s running circles trying to make sure everyone can see that he is so good and wonderful when trying to talk to me like an old friend. And there I am responding to his forced gaiety with that dead eye stare. I’m not falling into his narc trap ever again!

    • This is going to be me from NOW on, giving him that dead look when he tries to play nice with me.

      I met him yesterday to pick up our son’s coat (that he failed to send home) and he had OWhore in the vehicle. First time EVER he’s had the bullocks. He shouldn’t have done that. Usually I just drop by the jobsite and pick up whatever it is he’s forgotten; he comes out and hands it to me and I leave. Yesterday he offers to “leave the job and meet me” so he could rub shit in my face, like he hasn’t done enough. She’s truly evil, just like him. She is 42 years old and sat there in the truck with this “ha ha” smirk on her face like a middle school adolescent. Really?

      I was proud of myself. I didn’t react and I am sure he thought I would. While he was yapping at me trying to act like we’re friends, I took the coat and tossed it on the seat and drove off. Miserable dickhead.

      I can’t wish enough misery on those two fuckers.

      • I’m so sorry NCStevie. I remember the first time the ex brought the whore when he dropped off our daughter. It’s so hard to see them interact with your kid…nothing worse.

        • Thanks WBW, it was just her with the X-hole. I haven’t had to eat that shit sandwich yet as far as her around my son. He doesn’t have legal visitation yet and we weren’t married so he doesn’t toy with me on that one, she is not allowed around my son.

          Seeing her didn’t bother me, it was that hateful smirk of satisfaction that pissed me off. Wish I could smack that look off her face, wouldn’t make me look good in court. They deserve each other. She’s as evil and no good as he is.

  • I think you need a decision tree because I don’t think this list is right format:

    1. How much does he/she know? -> do not accidentally reveal more information
    2. Begin to formulate a “plausible” story/narrative. See #1.
    3. Consider counter-measures. See #1 and #2.

      • Isn’t it amazing how we seem to Annoy them! They wreak havoc on our lives emotionally. Physically, financially with insurmountable pain!!! But we are ANNOYING them!

    • Yep, I think you’ve nailed it. I started referring that look as his “Shit-I’m-caught” look as he tried to hide any reaction to buy himself time. There was no way he was going to tell the truth so he had to assess what I might know and what he could get away with and how he could spin everything to his advantage while blaming me.

      • That’s it! Locked screen. Locked screen with the little whirly beachball graphic spinning and spinning as the programming gets stuck in a loop and needs time to find its way out.

  • Never got the dead eye stare he bbit his lip and looked at his feet every single time. Discussing or lying didnt matter. Five year olds do that. Little boy man whore couldnt even look me in the eyes. Fucker.

    • Yep, My ex slunt looked at her feet the whole time she was lying to the other spouse, who showed up at my home… I thought she might kill her, but slunt got all quiet, meekly muttering no, noh, noh nothing happened, staring at her feet. I got the polar opposite; she would GLARE at me telling lies and snort, you know, super fake intense eye contact with audible cues. Fucking liar either way, and I knew it.

      Also got the super smirk after the mask slipped, violent rage (hitting me), driving in a completely crazy, rage filled manner if I was in the car, and good Lord the lies… I simply can not believe how many, to what a crazy degree (anything dealing with the court), gaslighting to try and completely have me seem a crazy liar to my daughter, outright pathological emotional/psychological abuse and leverage toward my daughter to try and have her “toe the line”. Fuck her, and fuck all of the people who criticize us as bitter, “can’t let it go”, “what’s the big deal”, “you musta had some hand in it” mother fuckers. Most especially, fuck cheaters, every fucking one of them. Yep, that’s a lotta fucks written; but none given when it concerns cheaters.

      • Fuck them is right 5jump! At least i can hold my head up i never lied or cheated. I kept that promise and vows to him and me. I can walk away knowing i have a clear consience. Now i tell him nothing about the kids if he wants to know about them he should call them but of course he wont because whore juice and her family are so much more important than his own kids. Lied to them too. Fuckers are fuckers.

      • Yep, that’s a lot of fucks written; but none given…

        My STBXW saved her most savage physical beating of me until after her dead-eyed stare drove me into a fifteen-minute paroxysm of sobbing.

        • You mean she physically hit you? My husband used to do that too in response to me freaking out (crying hysterically) over his blank affect (dead eyed stare). I read somewhere that narcissists view crying/expressing emotion as weakness and have nothing but disgust for it. Normal people see someone reacting like that and feel empathy/guilt for hurting them.

          I’m sorry you went through that.

          • KT,

            My STBXW pummeled me on numerous occasions with her fists in my face and my torso. I have never raised a hand to a woman, and I never will. It’s wrong to do so. She knows this about me. I’ve spoken to her numerous times about my convictions regarding battery of women.

            So when she finally confessed to riding her Fuckstick, I broke down in tears. She calmly waited until I was done. She then launched into the worst vocal and physical (hitting me) attack of our 10-year relationship. I shut-down completely.

            In the days after I fled, I was giving her hell about her actions via text. She actually threatened to get a restraining order against ME. I was 1500 miles away at that moment (which she knew), and again, I had even told her, “you are safe; this is now a court battle.” No matter, in her mind I had become a threat. She had to twist the narrative to ensure Fuckstick saw her as the damsel in distress.

            In hindsight I can look at the year before her physical betrayal. (The adultery of which I know.) I was diagnosed with a disabling illness, and I would cry on occasion. She would say, “Oh be a man, and quit crying.”

            Regarding some of the comments in this thread: I have begun to focus exclusively on her actions post-filing for divorce. A truly remorseful abusive spouse would likely make it as easy as possible to divorce. Not her, after I told her that her adultery-partner will be subpoenaed and disposed, she really turned up the evil.

            Sure, memories of the time we spent together come up. I made the list of all her bad actions during the marriage. But, I really get the most relief by looking at her actions since the divorce was filed. I know now that I can look forward to the silent treatment and protracted litigation. She just doesn’t care.

            She’s shown me what she is, and there’s no going back in her mind or mine

            • OMG, they really are all the same. My ex’s trigger to get crazy violent was my crying. He would totally lose it. The two worst were when I was pregnant and found out he was out in a bar trying to pick up girls, and when I was sick and holding our sick baby. Typically not cases where a loving husband would be angry and violent, but I of course blamed myself. I remember once asking a guest speaker at our mom’s group if a husband getting “really angry” at his crying wife was normal…you know, if he was stressed and tired and all. And she looked sadly in my eyes and said, “Do you have a daughter?” When I told her I did, she asked, “What will happen someday when she isn’t a little girl, and she cries?” Terrifying.

            • So sorry to hear all you have been through Ian!

              Sorry also to share with you that my X up his abuse throughout the divorce proceedings, stalling and retracting his word as often as he could. Be prepared…

              Given your X’s behavior and what you have been through, a fault divorce with public records of her depositions and her AP’s sounds really useful to prevent her from harassing you during and post-divorce.

              Hang in there Ian!

              • Yeah. Don’t dish out violence if you don’t want to get smacked twice as hard, I say.
                Regardless of gender.

          • If i or the kids or anyone close to asswipe ever cried it would send him into a rage even with the breakup hed roll his eyes and say here we go and get mad. He cant stand crying because hes evil and blacked hearted has no feelings and cant cry.
            Father died no emotion mother died no emotion. The only time i ever saw him blubber was when the dog died and he yelled at everyone else for crying. No sympathy for his sister when he husband died aww thats too bad there there. Absolutely no help to anyone else to him emotionally acted like a dead person. But whores family aquaintances customers. He is all in hugs kisses shoulder to cry on support hes there for them his own family and close friends a super cold fish and we are just to get over it! Whore didnt cause it he was always that way. Hes sympathic to injured animals big time but he own human family fuck us! What kind of character disorder might this be. Anyone? Ive made arrangements for people to be there for my kids should something happen to me cause he will be no comfort at all. Unless ahit happens to him directly then everybody needs to step up and give him the attention he demands.

            • The only time I ever saw Cold Slab O’Meat shed tears was after D Day when he was bitterly crying about the things he ‘lost’ when we had combined households years earlier. Which he had NEVER expressed resistance to at the time. Coin collections? Priceless antiques? Nope. A filthy 20.00deep fryer and a 35.00 Walmart microwave crusted with umpteen layers of grease. He did not mourn our marriage, barely acknowledged the loss of a stepdaughter, but by golly his precious filthy fat man appliances!

              Yeezus wept.

          • Same 15 minutes of uncontrollable sobbing for me, and eventually was told “Stop it – you’re scaring me!” If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about a selfish person…

            • So sorry to hear you were chastised and devalued for crying. Crying is a normal human reaction to the person closest to you betraying you.

            • When X came by on Mother’s day to take things from out house and I was crying, he looks at me with his shark, reptile eyes and said, you’re pathetic. I couldn’t stop crying as he walked past me he said look at you, you need help. I would have a hard time not comforting a stranger if I were to see someone crying and feel sad for them. I didn’t know X had AP at the time although all the signs were there, he denied having an AP and I foolishly believed him. At that time I thought I was married to John Boy from the Waltons.

        • Oh Ian my heart breaks for you. satan did the same to me in response to my crying and begging him to please just talk to me.

          He tells everyone that he never physically abused me…wonder if he ever thinks how lucky he is he didn’t kill me…I’m 5′ 3″, 110 pounds…he is 5′ 11″, 220 pounds. …yeah…life could be so much different for him if I’d have hit my head just so when he threw me across the room, pounded me on the floor and dropped his full body on me while he raged and roared in my face…

          I will never understand.

          • Jeep i can only hope that mfer is in jail. Asswipe choked unconsieice the work and beat the shit out of her twice in three months. He never even raised a hand to me. She woke up and apoligized to him for making him mad enough to choke her.

            • What!!! Crazy! Woman is crazy Kar marie! They deserve each other!!!!

              I was so out of my head the first 3 times satan decided beating on me was a good idea that I didn’t call 911…stupid of me…he’d be in prison right now if I had…he broke my bones. I told him if he ever touched me again in anger I would call them to protect myself…the 4th time I called…he spend the night in jail and that is all. They never would have picked him up but he waited 20 minutes and WALKED back to the house – he drives a noisy diesel so I am certain he didn’t want to alert me he was about to kick the door in and continue his hateful beating – they nailed him then. Thank God.

  • Yep ^^^ me too. Fucktards. My lawyer was asking him point blank questions & he kept answering her with that condescending look and a few “what’s that” & “I don’t knows”. Later she asked me “What the hell was that?” I felt better knowing that she spotted his sociopathic personality asap.

    • My divorce lawyer spotted my ex’s crazy too! At the hearing for our divorce he was MANIC. Shaking her hand heartily, handing her his business card (this isn’t a networking event, asshole). He interuppted the judge (which was good, she saw him for who he was a tightened the provisions for the monthly maintenance). When he left as I was filling out the final paperwork, he said “Okay, Chumpasaurus, hey best of luck to you! I’ll be in touch.” My lawyer turned to me and said “Are you f-ing kidding me? I’ll be in touch? What-are you going to have champagne for your anniversary next month?” I just shook my head and said “Yep, that’s him.” She also said “You know, I have seen this a million times. He was taken care of by his parents, then you took care of him, now he is “free”. He isn’t going to settle down for a long time.” Most divorce attorneys have seen it all. I take her assessment to heart.

      • Divorce lawyers must be able to peg these types ASAP in order to represent the betrayed spouse to the best of their ability. I know my lawyer told me about contacting my Ex’s SECOND lawyer that she knew very well. She told his lawyer, “You know he is a little bit Squirelly”,to which his lawyer replied, “yeah, I know, but he’s paying!” His own lawyer practically slept through his two and a half hour deposition because he knew my Ex was basically screwed and he was lying his ass off! It was expensive, but worth it for the complete entertainment value! It was absolutely golden when it came to my turn to be deposed and his lawyer basically asked two questions, my full name and address! No other questions! What a damn joke!

  • After d-day, I got the dead eyed stare repeatedly. I didn’t sleep at all for 3 days and then maybe 2 to 3 hours at most for many months that followed. He would slip into bed and fall fast asleep while I laid awake in complete misery. It baffled me how he had zero empathy for my inability to sleep, refusing to stay up to listen to what was on my mind as I was trying to process this betrayal. Eventually, I turned to reading my bible every night and found a little comfort in the Psalms and Proverbs. One night I stumbled across this verse in Proverbs 4:16 “For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble”.
    A light bulb went off. I was dealing with someone truly evil.

    • Yep, KK, l love that verse as well! Awesome how the scriptures contain those little (BIG!) nuggets! So clear, so concise, so true! The answers are always there…..Keep reading the Scriptures!

      Forge on, KK…..ForgeOn, all…..

    • My favorite is also from Proverbs (7), the last time I attended our church that we attended as a family I had to go outside. We were both there, not sitting together but he could see me and I couldn’t stop crying for some reason and couldn’t stand him seeing me cry. So, I went out front and sat on a bench to pray and read, I opened my Bible on my Kindle on my phone and this is the page it opened up to…..

      14 Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. 15 He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. 16 His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends.

      …..all I could think was WOW. He has been flying under the radar for YEARS avoiding the law and consequences. I’m thinking his luck may run out soon. He has definitely dug himself a very large and deep pit and has this terrible habit of pretending to be a “good” Christian man. I’m thinking this is a big no-no with God, pretending to be this way?

      Karma can’t come soon enough. My Mother says he is pure evil.

    • Something else for you KK — that’s the way psychopaths sleep. They literally just flick and switch and they’re gone until the switch flips back on. And they don’t dream. Ever. They can’t. It’s the creepiest thing. My ex actually used to brag about his ‘ability’ to do that his whole life — he felt it was an efficient talent — no time wasted on dreaming, no time wasted on waiting to sleep or drifting around thinking or floating before dropping off. Just awake, then bang, darkness, then bang, awake. Just like that. **shudder**

      • Creepy stbx is the same way-asleep as soon as he hit the pillow and awake in an instant and angry.
        Who the eff does that?!

        Oh, I forgot-psychopaths!

      • I once asked my ex how he fell asleep so easily. He smiled and said it was because he had a clear conscience. No; it’s because he had NO conscience. I believe these people are evil and cowards. To me the blank stare was him mustering up the nerve to look me in the eye and convince himself that the lies he was telling himself about me were true and so he was justified in his actions. I liken it to O.J. convincing himself that he did not kill his wife. Pure evil. That night of the stare, I felt the evil and could not even sleep in the same bed with him. I just wanted to be away from him. Thank god it’s three years past d-day. I’ve been officially divorced for a year and I feel such peace.

  • There were a few moments when I asked Cheater a question or mentioned something where I was the recipient of the dead eyed stare. My interpretation of the blank, cold eyed stare stare, that paused moment in time is Cheater’s wheels are turning, they’re thinking, okay, what to do or say next, how much does Chump know? Is this just a coincidence? stay calm and asses Chumps demeanor, what one of my many BS lines will work..
    Should I smirk, laugh, say Chump you’re crazy, Chump you’re being insecure, how about something funny to throw Chump off? Gaslight? get angry? deny?
    I think it’s a way to buy time.

  • I could not agree more.
    I have always believed that, if you need to judge someone, you should do it by what they do, rather than by what they say. Simply turn the volume down look at your specimen and the bullshit will be crystal clear – so why couldn’t I do that with my Husband – was I brain dead, brainwashed, dazzled or simply weary ?
    On another subject entirely, should anyone wish to know. I am now divorced (I love that word), I am living in the marital home,(the home I loved so much and was so afraid of losing), with a modest pension.
    My Ex-husband (love that word too) is living in a two bedroomed bungalow three doors from his lady ‘friend’. It was a very tough journey, I’d have never have managed it without support and love of friends. Can’t tell you now much you guys helped. All those years and I thought I was the only person to feel the way I did. When, all the time, he was dazzling me with bullshit and I was blaming myself for being unreasonable. Love and thanks to everyone.
    Alongwaytogo.xxx

    • “When, all the time, he was dazzling me with bullshit and I was blaming myself for being unreasonable.”

      ^^^^^THIS!!!^^^^^ This IS EXACTLY how I feel. Well said and thank you. Words to remember!

      Every step farther away from toxic people is a step in the right direction.

      At least we are all moving together 😉

      • Now here’s a lesson that may help someone:
        There was a day, maybe 2 years ago, when I asked my now ex-husband why his lady ‘friend’ was still married and living in her marital home – but no husband around. He gazed out of the window and uttered the words: ‘it’s complicated’. So, I begin imagining that her husband is physically ill, mentally ill, in prison, gay, drying out in a clinic, working abroad, in the armed forces, an astronaut, working for a charity somewhere, or caring for a relative and unable to come home …. you name it, I thought of it. Eventually, after a good deal of detective work, I discovered where the lady friend’s husband was. I thought about contacting him, and to test the situation, I ask my then husband again and he said that his lady friend spoke to her husband on the phone nearly every day and that they were on really good terms – so that put me off contacting him for another 6 months or so. Then, of course, eventually, I did contact him. He was lovely and so understanding. He explained that he left his wife one day about 7 years ago, when it all became too much – he just walked out … and why ? Because she had a close personal relationship with another man and he couldn’t live with it. I did ask if the other man had been my then husband and he replied that he ‘didn’t want to go into that’ – so I will never know for certain.
        The moral of the story is that the dead-eyed stare and deceptive information was intended to reduce me to non-activity … and it very nearly worked …. but not quite.
        Looking back, it’s just pathetic … but, at the time, just that one look and a few deceptive and puzzling words occupied all my available thought processes for months. That’s the true definition of a chump. Now, I’m a graduate of chump uni – just maybe I can lend a hand to someone whose brain is on the deception merri-go-round. I’ve been there and survived it. Married 47 years and now thriving on my own and it’s absolutely great.
        Alongwaytogo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Congratulations on your newfound freedom and self love, Lyn. You sound like you are doing very well and on your way to meh, if not already there. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • The dead-eyed stare comes from sorting through all the chump-mollifying tactics he knows and also screens out the chump’s view of how deep his contempt is because, if the chump sees it, it is game over and cake is gone.

  • After D-day I never looked in fucktard’s eyes again. I was afraid I would fly into a rage. It was also a way for me to let him know that he didn’t exist for me anymore, that I didn’t want to engage him, that he was nothing to me. It was a way to throw back disrespect in his face.

    • Yep, I did this too, his disgusts me to such a degree that I can’t even look anywhere near his presence when I’ve had to be near it.

    • I never look in her eyes anymore. My reason is because of no contact – even with kids. Last time I looked her in the eyes, I swear I saw the back of her head.

  • That look came when he was CAUGHT and knew he couldn’t lie his way out of it. Once he assumed the position of indifference and the “dead-eyed stare” came…he was done with me. And any and all response from him ceased. I was dead to him.

    ….until, that is, he was free and then we were supposed to be friends….like none of the horrible shit he did ever happened. Stupid dick.

    HE “tries to get along for the sake of our precious child, but you (meaning me) will have no part of it.” Ummm yeah fucker I won’t, we are not friends and I regret that I bred with an evil disordered fuckwit that I am forced to maintain contact with. “Your just a pissed off person Stevie!” Nope, I’m not, I’m disgusted and barely civil is about all I can muster. Not playing nice with the asshole.

    Good riddance!

    • “Yes, I am pissed off. I’m pissed off at the fact you are a lying cheating fuckwit and think the world orbits around your precious ego – and that you are too stupid to see it. Thats why.”

  • For me, the dead eye stare came when he could no longer even muster the energy to pretend. He was done… checked out of the game… it’s no fun to play when someone truly KNOWS what a monster you are underneath your mask.

    It was and is the definitive equivalent of a teenager’s “Yea, so… what are YOU going to do about it?”

    My answer: Get my ducks in a row. Hire a lawyer. Protect my son as best I can. And, God willing, receive my legal freedom in 45 more days.

  • My cheater’s stare was like a dead cold contemptuous defiance . Pure evil! I find it interesting now , on the very few and far between times we’ve had to be in the same room ( daughter hospitalized) he would avoid eye contact at all costs. Looks very sheepish indeed. He knows I’ve got his number. A wolf in Sheeps clothing or a sheep in wolves clothing ? I think a bit of both.

  • The dead eyed stare means, I DON’T CARE! Sorry if you don’t think it’s fair, BUT I DON’T CARE!

    • YES! Omg! That’s my husband right there. He literally doesn’t give a crap about the pain he’s caused me. I hardly slept or ate for 2 1/2 weeks, until I went to the doctor to get some medication. (Valium, I might look in to that Basil thing someone mentioned) I still only sleep 4-5 hours a night, but it’s at least something. I still remember the look of cold, hard, contempt when he had spent the evening accusing me of lying to him. Which I had not. Until now, that thought would send me in to tears, but he doesn’t deserve any more tears. The papers were filed today, 1 month after he told me he hated my guts and had done so since our daughter was born 4 years ago. And until this divorce is over, he will be living in this house. And I won’t speak to him any more. I am DONE.

      • Springy, I’m so sorry and I think most of us have seen those eyes with pure hatred in them.
        The X used to have the most beautiful blue Paul Newman eyes, and they turned black as the devil the day I told him I filed for divorce.
        I suddenly became afraid of him – it was SUCH a fucking scary look…because I had totally caught him off guard that I had a Forensic Accountant on his ass.

        When he finally came back home, his eyes were still a black color but he confessed to a whole bunch of secret accounts for ‘His Mother as beneficiary’, and she knew nothing about them. What a scam.

        He was a ‘money man’ and the day the switch went to ‘off’ with his affair, he started up those secret accounts. And, when I put his head in a guillotine, he came in the house and stole MY gun, all of our gold coins and all the dvd’s and other things. I was so appalled he would reach that low.

        He sure got in trouble for that and I won in the end.
        Got him completely locked out of the house and he was lucky I didn’t have him arrested for theft of marital assets.
        But, that would have killed his career and I was too smart to have him arrested.

        It does not pay to cheat and I am happily at meh, since my house sold and I’m finding new people to fill in the vacuum.
        Seems automatic. I like people!

        Wishing Meh on everybody. And, really, once you get through all that crap and experience and reading everything possible on C/L, you have a much better view of the world, once you’ve survived the Tornado.
        Suddenly, at 59 yrs old, I’ve talked to so many women with similar RICH backgrounds, that we all share together.
        By Rich, I mean, getting through the worst shit in the world and surviving and coming out stronger.

        I love women my age!

        Peace to all

  • Ex has hazel eyes. One night when I was reading him the riot act for shoving me I saw small, black, dead eyes. I didn’t understand why they were that way but they communicated pure hatred toward me.

    • When this originally posted, a lot of people said they saw the eyes of their ex turn black. Total shark eyes. I haven’t seen it and never want to. I always think of the shark in ‘Finding Nemo’ when it smelled blood. It’s more or less friendly eyes turned black and empty like a real shark. If this is a real thing, I would assume it’s the pupils expanding. Why? Who knows?

  • I got the dead eye stare instead of empathy. When I need compassion and understanding because of the things she did, all she could muster was the blank soulless slate into space.

    • Rob, that was the look of guilt but more so her wheels were spinning so fast the eyes and the brain are disconnected.

  • “The mindfuck channels usually flipped between the rage-charm-self-pity stations.”

    From my ex-cheater:

    Rage – “You keep pushing me!” Referring to me telling her she needs to make a between her AP and I. (chumpy old me)

    Charm – “I still care about you, you know” This at the divorce hearing.

    Self Pity: “I’m a whore.” Yes you are. Actually, you’re a slut. Whores make money.

    And the Deadeye – all resources are being rerouted to the mindfuck module. One moment please…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    • Case and point about cheating being a character thing… Substitute the gender in your comment Michael., and you’ll have an incredibly close version of my X…

  • Yes, also referred to as the Shark Eyes. I got it soon after Dday. When no one was around to witness, she let her mask slip, and I knew she had no soul. The last, and most telling one was when I directly asked her is she ever really loved me. She never answered, she just stared at me with the shark eyes for about a minute (an eternity for me). I had to leave with the worst depression I’ve ever felt. 30 years of a lie.
    I now know, as stated above, I deserved so much better. She is a pathetic loser.

  • I went cage diving in Cape Town in South Africa. Sharks (although beautiful animals) have a completely dead expressionless stare. I remember the shark eyes, the dead stare. I think is shows the depth of the discard, how you mean as NOTHING to them, as the baby seal means to the shark.

    Later, I said to him ‘your ability to lie is terrifying’. Him [not even looking up from his iPad] ‘yes, I know’.

  • Very true! mR. cheater pants way before the discovery I used to ask myself.. when I look at him I can not see the “deep” or “hook” on his eyes. In addition if you look at him normal way not “stare” he always asked: “Why are you looking at? “. I guess I was trying to look for the true… Now when I talk to him I am so ashame of him that I do not look at him. Crazy “beewax” ❗️

  • I really think most of the time it’s just a stalling mechanism for the cheaters. They don’t deal with reality well, so they retreat into their own brain for a mini vacation. I think sometimes they get credit they really aren’t due, like they and their cheating is “complicated.” No, no really it’s not.

  • I got the dead eye stare so much. It hurts to think about it. In June last year, even when tears were rolling from my eyes, he was ironing the stuff he was packing, with a totally blank stare. Void. No emotions. Not even a hint of sadness.
    Thanks to you all, I know that I have done the right thing when I let him go. But now I could really use someone in my life that would really love me. I am mentally, emotionally exhausted.

    • I hear you ChumFromF. The hardest part is that the one person you used to go to for comfort is now your enemy. It’s the most lonely feeling ever. Just keep living in the moment — one second to the next — and eventually a little bit of hope will come your way. It doesn’t happen all at once. Say to yourself, “what will my life be like one year from now?” That’s what helps me in my darkest times.

    • Love yourself first CFF. Surround yourself with family and friends that love you unconditionally and that you trust. Everything else will start to fall in place.

  • Yes, I too was the unfortunate recipient of shark eyes. I saw them when he was telling me that he wanted to get a divorce, denying his affair, of course. He stood up straight, like the Devil shoved a pole up his ass and looked through me with his chin held up. It was like he was possessed. I kept crying telling him that I just lost my mom 10 months ago – how could he do this?! Response from the Devil: “There is no good time for a divorce.” Almost 3 years out, I am so relieved to have him gone from my life. 18 years of being with someone that acted a part the entire time. He’s off in Neverland now, married to the evil whore. I think he has finally found his “soulmate”.

    • Ummm….Cindy, to find a “soulmate” kind of infers that you actually HAVE a soul, doesn’t it?? Or is it just my way of thinking? I absolutely hate that term too! Soulmate my ass!!!!

      • Haha! Roberta you are SO right! “Soul-less Mates” make more sense. My friends refer to the XH as “Soul-less Bastard”, so it works! 🙂

    • Mine unloaded on me less than 2 weeks after the traumatic and unexpected death of my 13 year old nephew that I helped my sister raise. I was sobbing openly at the funeral – naturally everyone thought it was because of my grief for my nephew. No one knew I was crying for my husband and my marriage, as well. I kept it a secret from all but 2 friends for a year. I’ll never stop being angry at him for that. For making me beg him to come to the funeral and not leave me to explain why my husband wasn’t at his nephews funeral. For being so selfish that he didn’t give me the time I needed to get over one tragedy before creating a new one for me to deal with simultaneously.

      • Chump Bear, I really understand that feeling of going from trauma to trauma. I remember a time when I would cry and have to actually think for a moment – which was I grieving – the loss of my mom or my husband. It was horrendous. I think when you go through this, the loss of the spouse hits hard, but the other loss resurfaces, fresh and painful. I’m so sorry about the loss of your nephew – it must have been so tragic.

  • PIN PRICK PUPILS. It used to totally freak me and the kids out. The ex’s pupils used to get so small, you could barely see them. And he wasn’t on drugs. I’ve researched this and the only “scientific” explanation I can find suggests maybe contempt. Yes, I can see that, but I always thought it was a whole lotta fear, as well.

    I would remark about it over the years — yes, years of cheating — and at least once, I got a mirror out to show it to him. He said nothing. Nothing. DOES NOT COMPUTE… HATE, ROOTED IN FEAR AND SELF-LOATHING. I’M TRAPPED. MAYBE IF I SAY NOTHING, IT WILL ALL GO AWAY. DOES NOT COMPUTE…

    So… tiny, cold, dead eyes.

    • Terminatress, MINE DID THAT TOO! Looked like a panicked deer in the headlights or high as a kite! Lord it was surreal! Then he’d run back and forth gathering up clothes or anything else he could to run out the door to whore bag! It was if he were possessed!

  • Yeah, the blank stare and the evil stare. I got the blank stare so many times. The pause while his mind was working on the next lie or gaslighting me by telling me what I was thinking or seeing wasn’t true. The evil stare when the gig was up and I was on to him. The day my stbxh asked for a divorce — in the morning, he grabbed me, kissed me passionately and told me he loved me. Seven hours later, he called me at work and said he’d meet me at home as he had something important to tell me. What kind of person kisses a person passionately and tells them they love them and then seven hours later asks for a divorce?! AN EVIL PERSON!. After I came out of the fog and said that exact thing to him, I think he was surprised I actually called him evil. What he did to me WAS evil! Evil exists in the world and their are evil people. Only God can judge my stbx’s heart, but a lot of his actions have been evil. This is a great article from a respected counselor. http://leslievernick.com/five-indicators-of-a-evil-heart/

  • Omg! So that look is a thing?! I thought the unformed human (aka fetus) look was unique to my X2B. Looks like he has no unique features at all. Just a common or garden narcissist.

    • I was RFLOing when I read this. ITS A THING!!!! HAHAHA. I had no idea. At least I can laugh about it now. Amazing how these assholes are so alike. Amazing how we women were going through the same shit and had no clue. Thank god for this site!

      The first time I got the dead eyes was a year into the marriage when his mother told lies about me and he threw me under the bus. I HAD TO APOLOGIZE TO HER! I implored and pleaded for him to see my side (which was the truth) but I just got these dead cold eyes. It was CHILLING. It was EVIL. I knew then that my marriage was never going to be what it should be. I knew I had compromised but I spackled for 16 more years. He was wealthy and shiny and successful and I took his calmness (i.e. coldness) for psychological stability. Sigh.

      One thing I want to add… I am with a man now that is 180 degrees opposite and a beautiful moral sexy healthy person (had to learn to love someone for them and not the shiny… another journey) and it is oh so different. A normal conversation, love in his eyes. In fact…. now that I think about it I saw it in his eyes the first night we met! It was just so different and so beautiful. I thought to myself… this man actually likes me. We are still together. I often wonder if I had had that type of relationship prior to the Narc if I would have ever gotten involved with the Asshat in the first place. I guess at the time I just wasn’t ready to appreciate a man for his real qualities and because of a lack in myself was drawn to the sparkly shiny love bombing jerk.

      Frickin cold stare… I still want to slap that mother fucker in the face though.

      • I still want to punch asswipe in the nose til it breaks and give a a good strong smack on the peesh. But im not violent just dream.

  • I sometimes wonder if they go “dead eye” when they are confronted with a game changer — something they did not prepare for, cannot believe. Remember that they are incapable of changing — they may know who or what they are supposed to be, but Cluster B’s are basically incurable. They see no reason to change, because they believe they are just fine the way they are, even if all their lies and deceptions end up costing them everything. They never intend to actually work for anything, so they think they will get it all back, by hook or crook. When we confront them with the truth, or they have to face the consequences of their actions, we are just a temporary inconvenience. The world is full of chumpy replacements.

    However, since they have had cake for such a long time, they are very surprised when cake is removed and they can no longer count on any of their playbook moves to restore cake. What? You checked up on me? You don’t believe I lied to keep from hurting you? You don’t believe it was all someone else’s fault? You aren’t going to spackle this over with some bullshit you can believe in? NO MORE CAKE??? How inconvenient!

    The only two things I have not seen them able to overcome are illness and age. When they lose their Sparkle, for whatever reason, and they cannot find a replacement chump, they begin to look like the empty shells they have always been. A sad old ailing Narc is a very pitiful sight, indeed.

    It is very disorienting to find out that you have had a relationship with someone who lied from the first moment you met. That the performance and lies could last and be so effective for years. Your inability to recognize that you have been dealing with a total con, and you have not had a clue, is very frightening. No wonder it takes us so long to recover. All of us probably have some self doubt in our character, we realize we have made mistakes and are not perfect. We realize we have to take responsibility for our words and actions. We have to recover both from the betrayal, and from our own acceptance/spackling behavior. That is a lot to process, and is painful.

    • Love the last paragraph…. people who haven’t lived with these assholes don’t get it. There is that added step in recovering before you can move on akin to having to deprogram yourself. The mindfuckery and subsequent cognitive dissonance really does a number in your head. And you are right we have self doubt which is probably what got us into this type of relationship in the first place and why we stayed and speckled for so long. AND then there is the betrayal and of course you are to blame because you are such a loser he HAD to cheat. Yes it does a number on you. But this site has helped that process. i will take responsibility for staying and speckling but no way in hell will I ever feel like I didn’t live up to something.. like my marriage failed because of me. Now that at least helps me sleep at night.

      • I like this –“ but no way in hell will I ever feel like I didn’t live up to something.. like my marriage failed because of me.” – Right on chumplisa!! Cheaters have tried but they can never KEEP our integrity.

  • I found out about the infidelity only after a devastating devaluation (I’d call it a 9.0 on the wreck-tor scale). In that awful moment, while I was crying my eyes out over the sudden realization that 6.5 years of my life was a complete lie, he took a step back from my face and I got the Smirk: “Well, that sure shut you up.”

    Edgar Suit, indeed.

    • Porca – I’m so sorry. What an utter, utter bastard. I hope you know he was an evil aberration you had the misfortune to encounter, his opinion (that man who would have wreck-tor scale 9 in his interpretation of what love is) is beneath contempt.

    • What a vile pathetic piece of shit he is – he’s the kind of person I’d probably see red and punch them in the face – got no tolerance for this sort of bullshit anymore.

  • You know what, I don’t recall ever really getting the dead eye stare thing from my cheating STBXW.

    I remember seeing hate, overly-dramatic-self-pity, and general dumbfounded-ness on her face, but never shark eyes.

    Not that I feel as though I was missing out, mind you! 🙂

  • First, this says it spot-on about the normal response I got: “The mindfuck channels usually flipped between the rage-charm-self-pity stations.” But every now and then — usually when he was in a situation where he knew he couldn’t completely pull off one of those — he went blank and vacant. It mostly happened in couples therapy where he knew some of this crap would not fly even when I let him sling it at home. At those times our therapist would kindly say “It looks like you are dissociating right now” to him. As she explained it to me, he couldn’t face real reality and his mind simply shut down to protect him. He went to another place.

    • You had a smart, observant therapist. And it must have been a huge help to you to know that someone else saw that dead-eyed stare as well.

    • That’s a very interesting observation your therapist made. I’d never thought about it like that before, but perhaps it explains the “dead stare” and robot-like voice my ex used with me towards the end of our marriage.

  • It’s a reflection of the fact that they just. don’t. care. As others have already said, they momentarily forgot the “right” thing to say to shut you up or they couldn’t contain their amusement at your emotional outburst.

  • Judas had a twisted answer/reasoning for everything. From the reason I was the one who ‘got fixed’ after our last child (which according to him the reason I got my tubes tied was so that HE could never cheat on me. WTF? My youngest is 18 and that discussion never took place. I was double covered when I had that baby. That is why I thought we chose to have my tubes tied. Not to mention he had hissy fits about a Dr. touching his sacred area), to his excuses to other people as to why he got the fuck phone. Because he was married to this awful person for sooo long who abused him and HE NEVER TALKED TO ANYONE about HIS problems. And according to him – they all see him as the victim now because HE NEVER TALKED TO ANYONE ABOUT HIS PROBLEMS. What the fuck ever. If they are that stupid to believe that line of bullshit, they are just as stupid as him.

    BUT – Judas was unaware of me knowing he had decided to cash in his ROTH 3 days after he was served divorce papers. I didn’t say anything right away and when it finally came up – Deer in headlights! He had no comeback. He was startled that I even knew about it. BUSTED. I would have known anyway when it came to tax time, but he is such an idiot, he probably just figured he had to pay the penalty to the distributor and not to the tax man as well.
    The next time him cashing in that Roth came up in conversation – he had a reason. In fact, the lawyer he interviewed told him to cash it in (ya right). Funny how he ultimately didn’t hire THAT lawyer…. nobody believes that line of BS becase no lawyer is going to tell someone to cash in a retirement account.

  • The dead-eye stare is what’s under the mask. You’ve seen it. Lovely, isn’t it? Like staring into the sockets of a skull and looking for signs of life.

    My story’s a little different. Do stop reading this if you trigger easily. It’s gross.

    About a year or so into our relationshit, he gave me a photocopy of his passport for something or other. A couple days later when I was on my own, I pulled it out to do whatever I had to do with it and unfolded it. And, fuck me, I’m looking at a photograph of a corpse. As in, a dead man. I’ll never forget the chill that zipped down my spine — I swear my hair was actually standing up on the back of my neck. I was so shocked I threw the paper on the floor and stared at it like it just bit a chunk out of me. I thought ‘wait a minute don’t be silly’, and turned on the big light in the room so I could see better before picking up the paper and looking again at the passport photo. Christ almighty, it was a corpse alright. The flat eyes, raised halfway so you could see the white sclera underneath the bottom rim of the iris, lids partially dropped, jaw slack, downturned lips slightly apart, chin tucked. It looked like him, dead. I was transfixed by this and can still see it so clearly in my mind. My immediate thoughts were ‘Something’s wrong with him! Something’s wrong! Who IS that?! WHAT is that?!’ My mind was screaming and I actually felt sick. I had to put it down and furtively check it several more times over the next few hours to see if it still had the same effect, and oh yes it did. His passport photo was a rare and unguarded, neutral moment when he wasn’t wearing one of his masks — it’s when psychopaths look like the dead people they actually are inside. If only I knew then what I know now, I would have shut him out of my life forever from that moment on.

    • When the masks falls-quite fascinating. I had to take a younger colleague to task last fall with the CFO and another higher up present.The story is too long for this post but she was creating chaos and drama in the workplace, definitely abusing her position. Also cheating on her husband and had only been married 2 years. She had a fantastic position for someone not yet 30 as well a great compensation package. I had always considered her quite attractive but that day when taken to task, I swear she became ugly right before my eyes. The twisted mouth, angry face and her demeanor made her downright homely. She gave me her 1 hour notice the next day and left. The gig was up, the mask had slipped and she could no longer manipulate or scare her staff.

    • Hope and Gloria -your story was a trigger for me about something I completely forgot about. We got married almost 19 years ago. There was something wrong with the film for our photos for the wedding album and large print of us at the church. My husband’s eyes did not appear in the photos! It was very weird. The photographer had to have my stbx’s eyes drawn into every print. We had to give him a photo to copy for the drawings. It took months. When we finally got the album and the large print -it didn’t look like him! Or at least how I knew him. It was very freaky. His mother told us not to pay the photographer but it really wasn’t the photographers fault. He was soul less back then, I just didn’t make the connection. Btw-I threw the large print of us in the fire pit this past summer. He hasn’t even asked where it went too. Or maybe he just can’t care about anything but himself……

      • SW that’s slightly terrifying. I really believe there’s something in it.

        The other thing he used to do with his eyes when telling a story (real, fake, or a combination of both, I have no idea — this is when he had his mask on and was ‘being’ whoever he was supposed to be to me), is swivel them back and forth — left and right — over and over again. As if he was searching for the language and expression. I read somewhere that, due to their non-functioning amygdala, swiveling their eyes back and forth helps to stimulate neural pathways to try to compensate for that — to bring about mixes of logical memory with ‘imaginative extensions of logic’ (they don’t have real creative imaginations, so logical extensions are all they can try to do to sound normal). He was a seriously damaged individual who spent all his time and energy masquerading as a normal human. Sadly I fed his knowledge. He used to delve deeply into my emotional experiences and ask me to describe them and what they felt like. Example, one time I had a fairly upsetting response from my father about something, and he spent an hour cross-examining me in granular detail on how I felt about each facet of that incident. I like a good intellectual conversation, so I went along with it. I had no idea he was storing that knowledge for use later in his psychopathic ‘dressing-up box’ that he used to appear to be a normal human.

  • That moment is the moment when they realize that their mask fell off. At least with you. It is at that moment have much they hate you now for calling their bluff and exposing them. Their charm, their tactics need revamping and at that moment of the stare it is the devil himself exposed and weakened. They need to pull back evaluate. But if you saw too much, a new chump search is on.

  • What was so weird was how I was utterly unconsolable, crying and speaking some of the most deeply felt things I’d ever said, and he just sat there looking at me with dead eyes. Personally, I believe my ex had suppressed emotions due to his childhood, or maybe it was just the way his brain was made.

    Even in the very beginning of our marriage there were odd moments where I began to realize he didn’t seem to have a capacity for empathy. For instance, he asked why his grandmother was so upset at her husband’s funeral. I thought that was really weird. On the other hand, I was crying really hard during his service and had only met him once or twice.

    Another time my ex came home from work and said “I’ve figured out how to get people to do anything.” I said, “Really, what’s that?” His answer was, “Act like I care.” I remember telling him, “No, you need to REALLY care.” His statement seemed so strange to me, completely foreign to the way I think.

    Another time he said “I don’t understand why you can’t control your mind” when he thought I was being too emotional.

    I endured 30 years of this lack of empathy, but when he decided to end our marriage he cried and blubbered for WEEKS. I mean curling up on the couch in fetal position kind of sobbing. I seriously thought he had a brain tumor and kept trying to get him to see a doctor. Then, once I discovered his affair, he looked at me with dead eyes and said it was all my fault.

    Even as I write this it sounds so crazy to me, like the problem was completely him. But often my mind goes back to things I feel like I did wrong, or could have done better…my perceived faults loom larger in my mind than his. Does anyone else struggle with this? Sometimes it drives me crazy. I was always one to take the blame to keep the peace in my family growing up.

    • Lyn- i got the control your mind lecture at least once a month! these people are not firing on all cylinders! plus a lecture once on how to lie! because of course I am unable to tell a lie without turning beet red or slipping up. so according to him there has to be an element of truth to it and you have to believe it yourself! Who does that???!

      • Lyn and willowchump…satan told me that he was proud of the fact that he could smile in anyone’s face even if he hated them and they would never know.

        They are all the same…soulless and terminally disordered.

        • I saw the “smirk” and it scared me to death. I’d never seen someone switch off so quickly. He actually enjoyed scaring me and making me question my sanity. It was evil.

          It’s hard to imagine these things unless you’ve experienced it. How someone could lie that effortlessly and well is beyond me. I think to do that you have to be wired differently. It’s just not normal behaviour to simply walk away as though it’s nothing. These types of people are scary.

          • He and I were a bit fascinated at first by the Indie-move, Paranormal.
            It really freaked us both out.
            Then, after he left, I kept having nightmares of him standing over my bed, watching me sleep.
            I wonder if he actually did that……

            BOO!

            No, it was not a fun time at all.

            • Mine did watch me sleep. One early morning, I woke up, opened my eyes slightly, and saw him looking at me. He was probably weighing whether he could never see that person again.

    • Falling back to my own perceived faults and failures happens on the regular. For me I think it comes down to a few factors, one of which is the refusal or inability to accept that she really is who she is and not who I thought she was. And I’ve always had self-esteem issues, so it’s easy for me to see her abandoning me as a confirmation of my lack of worth. It took me 35 years of life to get into this mind frame; while I wish a year and half was sufficient to reform, I think I’m just getting started.

      I like the way you put it – I can’t accept that it wasn’t my fault because everything else always has been.

    • “often my mind goes back to things I feel like I did wrong”

      BTDT. It’s part of the mindfuck.

      Even if you sucked epically as a person (and I’m NOT saying that you did!!!), there is no excuse that can ever be laid back onto you for your ex deciding to cheat; that was a decision that he made, and a gawd-awful one at that. Sucking epically gives your partner justification for only ONE thing, and that is leaving you. The whole cheating thing? That’s just fucked up life skills. And blaming you? That’s fucked up lack of adult responsibility.

    • Lyn it sounds like yours was a pretty full-blown Cluster B. They actually believe that their disorder makes them superior to people without the disorder (that is, of course, the very disorder ‘doing the talking’). In their view, their lack of feelings means they are above that kind of horrible ‘feels’ nonsense. They believe they are specially evolved, exceptional people with superpowers of mind control, body control, destiny control, and control over other people. Control, control, control — nothing else matters in life, nothing else rewards them so much, and no one is better at control than they are (so they think). Because they’ve learned in childhood that ‘crying’ (their version of it) or ‘affection’ (their version of it, ie lovebombing) gets them the things that they want, they revert to that behaviour when they either want something or they lose control over someone or something. They are only capable of a few rudimentary reptilian-brain kinds of ’emotions’ like rage, jealousy, sexual lust and self-pity — you see these ’emotions’ displayed in their purest forms without being coloured, tempered, shaped, shaded, or layered in any way with any of the higher evolved complex emotions that empaths have. Which is ironic — the reptile-brained people who think they are the higher and more evolved beings.

  • Befor I “discovered” the affair/s I did get the worst stare of “defiance, vitriol and I dare you to say something” of all the years of my marriage. it was after who I thought was a friend and neighbor – gave my husband a squishy loving embrace. Him looking over her shoulder at me. I remember being so uncomfortable. But that look… it was so venomous it did shut me up. (and her being the “I’m married to jesus” type could not possibly have meant anything by it) two years later and here I am. shoulda woulda coulda… and finally finally finally getting more angry by the day. BTW any time we saw her she always telling him “you look good” (stick a fork in your eye you sanctimonious bitch!)

    • I prefer apple corers the old fashioned metal ones so i could take the whores eyes out from the back of her head. But forks would be good.

  • Ah yes, the dead eye stare…..I am very familiar with it. If it was an Olympic event, my stbx would get the gold!
    If the eyes are a window to the soul then I shouldn’t have been surprised that stbx’s are black and hollow-just like his soul! The only emotion he is capable of is anger.

    The time when his mask truly fell off was terrifying and I will never forget it. I confronted him about the reality of his “exploits” with the porn, hookers, Craigslist etc. That it is all just fantasy-not reality & he freaked out on me like a madman screaming till he was almost out of breath that I was wrong & that it is real to him! He looked possessed! He was so angry that he was red and spitting while he was screaming. There it was-the real him….a monster. He is and forever will be that monster. I saw who he really was and nothing will ever change that. There was no going back to the mask for him after that. He rarely looks me in the eye now when we have to deal with each other and I don’t care.

    • Oh current chump – that you spoke truth to him about his fantasy life had him losing his shit – that’s chilling. Without a doubt, he’s one fucked up dickhead.

      • It is freaky Jayne. For 16 years I had no idea the kind of monster he truly was-He’s repulsive!
        I want to throw up when I look at him because I know what he is about. Good riddance!
        My fear is for now for my little boy. I need to raise him to not be like his dad.
        Hopefully, the karma bus will come for my stbx in the form of a prostitution bust or maybe how to catch a predator……..

        We did go to MC one time. I remember the MC therapist telling me that stbx was very “disconnected” to his feelings and that she had never seen anyone that “disconnected” She also pointed out that he was not able to accept blame for anything and kept trying to shove everything off on me. Of course, he never went again because he is just fine and I’m the one with problems.

        Spoken like a true Narc

  • Nope no dead eye stare. Mine went to sobbing and tears. Denying she had sex. Hard to deny when the text I found were very explicit and her last words to him were “I want to be friends and not just your fuck buddy” Took about 3 days for her to admit a bit of trickle truth!

    • DavidB – my money is down on ‘sobbing and tears’ having been her ‘go to’ strategy for getting out of every uncomfortable situation in her entire life, since childhood. I’m guessing ‘cold dead stare’ wouldn’t have worked on her parents and as a child she knew it. Bet you it wasn’t the first time she’d used ‘sobbing and tears’ on you too. Trickle truth is particularly insidious, I know, I got that too. Crazy-making. Sorry you went through that x

      • Years before I knew my Ex was a cheater, I always thought it was amazing (and a master manipulation) that he could turn on the tears with the flick of a switch. Our cycle of abuse which repeated about every 2 months or so was things would seem normal then he’d start withdrawing. I’d wait a couple days to see if he would come out of it. During that time I’d get the silent treatment, back to me in bed, reading a book during dinner, etc. then finally I’d innocently ask what was wrong… BOOM! the explosion, the long list of indictments of slights and offensives, everything always coupled with absolutes like “Always” and “Never” and this turned to rage as I tried to explain myself, and the rage lasted for hours. I was not allowed to talk. No response was permitted. Any utterance from me like “but what I intended was…” was met with an outburst of “It’s not about YOU MUSE!!!” screamed at the top of his lungs. So much for rational discourse. I gave up and used to just sit there and wait for it to be over. It could last for hours.

        Typically 3-4 hours till I couldn’t take it anymore and then sometimes I would cry, but try to hide the crying as that simply made him angrier so I’d bite my lip, try to stop the tears coming, but couldn’t and I would start crying. then BOOM, instantly, he stopped screaming at me and burst into tears himself… tears so HUGE, tears way bigger than mine, oh my god the poor baby, you see how upsetting it all was for him??? my gut at the time told me the tears were FAKE.

        Post Dday after the dead eye stare, the smirk and the defiance, the above scene happened a few more times. There was screaming and rage at me for not just writing him a huge check to enable his exit from our home of 16 years. There was screaming and rage for calling him a cheater and thereby impugning his sterling reputation. ETC. ad nauseum.

        By now I knew it was all fake, designed purposely to switch the dynamic and prove that HE was the TRUE victim. My gut was spot on, back then, as I now realize all the manipulation techniques including the fake moral umbrage (by a now proven liar) and the tears (by a Narcissist lacking empathy but good at imitating normal human emotional displays). I got used to this abuse gradually and incrementally and it has taken all of the last two and a half years to rid my heart and soul and even my body of the debilitating effects of being worn down by this sick fucker. I have no use for him and am so glad this crazy is out of my life. I hope OW is enjoying it now. People have told me “their relationship is volatile” and Ex had to leave a couple times and go 800 miles away to stay with his family of origin. I told those people, the “volatility” is him. He is a sick, angry man who walks through life with a black cloud over his head. But it’s never his fault.

      • You are probably spot on! It’s always good to have women on us guy chumps side! In a lot of ways we lack understanding of the female and can be easily fooled by tears. That being said, that day no I was not! I hate partial truths! Most of what I know came from her boy toy….. He being caught and scared was very open hoping I would leave him alone!

  • The dead eye stare….

    You guys may recall that I scheduled with a therapist that I randomly picked from my insurance list and told him if he wanted to come fine but I was going either way. He came and she pegged him (and me) in that initial session. Then she met with him individually and later a joint session with both of us where she had him reveal a few more women to me. She and I then met individually – that’s when she told me that in her background, she had worked with sex offenders. O.M.G. how did I get lucky enough to randomly pick her! She proceeded to tell me that when she looked into his eyes, she only saw the back of his head, not emotion or empathy about what he had done or it’s impact to me. She said he creeped her out so much that she wouldn’t work with him anymore so she referred him to a male counselor.

    So the dead eye stare to me certainly explains a lot.

    • OMG ByeByeCheater – that’s really shocking, but in another way very validating for you too. I don’t know whether to commiserate or congratulate you. Both, I suppose. Commiserations for having fallen for a psychopathic user and congratulations for finding someone who recognized him for what he was. xx

      • Jayne, these days it’s congratulate more than commiserate. I’m still working through the PTSD and am mostly cheater free/no contact, except for events for daughter whose in college now so less contact is needed.

    • Wow. It’s tempting to say that you got lucky, but I think at times a higher power looks after us if we give up trying to control the madness.

      • Yes, still being the super-chump at the time, I just explained it away as she really doesn’t know him, this can’t be true, etc. But she was right – it just took me time to realize it.

        I agree LAJ, she came into my life at that time for a reason. I’m a believer in that these days because I’ve had it happen on several occasions since DDay.

  • I got the cold dead stare to my tears / emotional distress. Within minutes the cold dead stare turned to contemptuous sneer and stone walling. I got the smirk to my indignation / anger. Within minutes the smirk turned to rage or contemptuous sneer and stonewalling.

    Yep, this was the man who declared daily how I was the love of his life.

    Yep, this was the man who stepped over my sobbing body to get to the fridge. (He really did).

    • I’m so sorry you got treated that way, Jayne.

      The Entitled One was another who told me daily I was the love of his life, his soulmate. He said those words even after the final D-Day, after he changed his mind about working on the marriage and dumped me, after he admitted to sleeping with other women during the separation. Told me the same thing during our brief wreckonciliation, told me it when he was dumping me for the second time, he even told me it when I handed him the divorce papers. I have no idea what his I-love-yous and his you’re-the-love-of-my-lifes actually mean. Certainly not what I meant. Maybe it’s really, “Goodbye, and thanks for all the cake.”

      I don’t know how I’ll ever love so openly and trustingly again…or how I’ll believe any other guy who tells me how much he loves me.

      • Hiya Better Days, He probably told you that he loves you before and after Dday because thats his passive way of hoping that you won’t impose harsh consequences for his actions. You are less likely to impose harsh consequences to someone that loves you -at least in his fucked up mind.

        As for how you would ever openly trust another guy if he says I love you… don’t trust him on what he says, trust him on what he does.

        • Thank you for this insightful comment. It’s nice to be reminded to look at their actions and not merely their words. Appreciate your post.

      • Forgot to add that all the i love yous also means it makes himself not feel as bad for being a dickhead.

  • Reading all the comments is so therapeutic. Guys, there is nothing wrong with us, we are kind. I got the dead eye stare when I fronted him about the love letter, when he refused counselling, and I then asked him if he had ever loved me – dead eyed stare & crickets.
    My STBX got off on making me cry. I recognised this a while back & called him on it.
    I take comfort from the fact that many people have said we would be the last couple they would have thought would split (everyone was blindsided).
    I take strength from the two close friends (and one psychic) who told me they thought he was jealous of my happiness. He was never happy and I was always happy. What is funny is that dynamic is still playing out. He is miserable that I am handling the break-up better than he is!

  • I got that dead, cold stare only once, but it was the worst moment. I had found out about Affair #2, kicked him out (getting him to actually leave was another 2 month task!), and we had told the kids we were separating. That evening our daughter, 11 ys old at the time, was crying and crying at bedtime, saying she didn’t want us to divorce, she didn’t want to have two houses, it would be too hard …. He stroked her head and told her that we would do everything we could to avoid divorcing. Later I asked him what he meant by that; blank face. Did he say that just to make her feel better (which would confirm him as a manipulative asshole) or did he really intend to still try to make our relationship work? (I think it was my last final flash of hopium.) Dead fish stare.

    OooooooK. One more brick in the wall of my finally understanding who I was dealing with.

  • I’m not sure I’d call my wife’s stare a dead eye stare or a shark stare. It was more of a 1000 yard stare — not evil, just her mind scrambling to figure out how I figured things out, what the excuse would be, and how it could be turned around onto me. That along with the look on her face that can only be described as some combination of her sucking on a lemon and/or having just swallowed a fly.

  • No dead eye stare for me. Crying or raging, manic or bleary, yes. Rage filled hateful eyes, calculating if he could get away with killing me, that was the last time I looked in his eyes. I hope never to see him again.

    • Dat – I’m so sorry you went through that. I can’t even articulate the horror I can only imagine you went through – that love results in this? That all that you are and all that you gave and all the tenderness and vulnerability and mightiness and kindness -none of it, meant anything to him. I think we all struggle with that truth, but to also have to struggle with that truth and to be faced with his desire to obliterate you? Oh Dat – truly, how does Love become this, and how to survive facing it? You are wonderful to have survived it and more wonderful to have used that pain to want to give your support here for so many of us who have suffered this nightmare.

      You’re great 🙂 xx

      • Thanks Jayne, I’m none so great but I appreciate the support. And I try to be supportive back though I haven’t been posting much anymore. If it weren’t for the trauma of it I’d say it was a good thing, at least I knew in that moment exactly what I was dealing with. I got away and went insane making sure it stayed that way. Before that day I was still somewhat blinded to who he really was/had become. Jedi Hugs!

        • Your ex, Dat, based on how you have described him here, over the years, is truly disordered. You would have died prematurely had you remained with him. This infidelity and all the abuse attendant to a relatioship with a NPD does change a person forever. I hope that you can still derive joy from your remaining years.
          It has been 22 years since I first discovered my first wife’s cheating. i have managed to have some pretty good times since, despite a piece of my soul dying. I never,ever imagined she would betray me.

  • I have had my share of the dead eye stare of my cheater. Rage stare, I’ve been caught stare, what do I do now stare, I hate you stare, you’ll never get my money stare, I am going to scare the hell out of you stare. I am almost two years from DDay. However, the other day as I was standing next to the car as he was dropping off our autistic son with his pregnant girlfriend, waving with her evil smirk ( he is 55 and she is 49–not a “planned” pregnancy on his part), I saw that distance dead eye look in his eye and his “dis-association”. For me, all I could see was the shell of man that he used to be and the result of the choices he has made over the last several years. All I could feel was sadness, disgust and the thought of what a waste of space both of them were bringing a child into this world under these circumstances. The dead eye stare was the fear, pain and hate he had sold his soul to all rolled up into that moment in time. So grateful I am almost to the other side.

  • Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how many people talk about the smirk. I thought I was going crazy when asswipe would smirk and kind of laugh when i tried to talk to him after D-day during the month and a half before we separated. I will never forget that. And then, when he was living in his little apartment, and it was a couple weeks after we moved out of our house, I went to his apartment one day when he had our kids. I was losing my mind, dying inside, crying my eyes out because I was so lonely and still didn’t know the truth of why he left. He was slurping his coffee and eating cinnamon rolls with his stupid goddamn smirk. Ugh, what a friggin waste of space he is. Thank god I know that now, three and a half years later.

  • Asswipe was great until about five years ago when he started his own business worked two jobs about the same time i was in menopause and some serious female surgery. The menopause knocked me pretty good loss of desire, big lack of sleep, depression big time and the hot flashes. Omg! Then the surgery extended the symptoms. Instead of trying to help me get through this difficult time and giving me the help and support i needed and trying to explain to him what was going on with my body. He ignored me at every turn and buried himself in his work and ignored everything and every body. Where was the love support and understanding i always gave him no where to be found. He put words in my mouth made my decisions for me in his own head and decided i was gonna be just a roommate for the rest of his life. Asked me nothing. Even when i asked for help! Nothing. Three years ago he comes up for air searches new strange and 8 weeks later left me deeply in love. Not hes cheated on her the whole time from what i understand he gives her the dead eyes i get the bit lip and looking at the feet. They are all assholes men and woman alike and deserve all the bad shit coming to them in spades!! And jeep i put extra on for you! And all the others here. Thank you traci for our safe haven.

    • God Bless and thank you Kar marie 😀 They will get what they deserve and we will get freedom from them forever!

      They are no longer our problem to deal with 😀

  • The dead eye stare was used to keep his mask on. And there’s no blinking. His first language was Lying. And lying by omission was because I didn’t ask that question directly.
    On previous Ddays I wanted to know everything. THEY ENJOY this. On the final DDay I didn’t ask. He started to tell me in an excited tone and I shut him down and said I didn’t care. It was about tourturing myself. I stopped the game. He never expected that I wound have enough.

    • “And lying by omission was because I didn’t ask that question directly.”

      Donna, I understand this statement completely. I asked so many questions that he answered but not fully. Once I asked ‘have you ever paid someone for sex’ and he responded that he gave one of his ho-workers a few bucks after sex because she was strapped for cash. 3 months later I find out that he’d been seeing prostitutes throughout our marriage. So he answered my question but only with the partial truth – no hesitation when he answered me and this was asked in the presence of the therapist. Later the therapist told me that cheater was a ‘masterful liar’.

  • Wow, so many ugly-eye stories to count. I have one that stands out, especially.
    I was swimming in our pool one day, like I did every morning and I noticed this ball of something, that kept floating by me, and my arm movement would sweep it away. Finally, I stopped in the middle of a lap, in my very clean pool, and saw it was a long dark red hair that had quit floating on top the pool with the moisture bringing it down, so it curled into a ball. Feather light, and I couldn’t catch the thing. So I get out. Call the asshole over, who had pretty blank and black eyes right then and say – That’s not MY red hair, I have short brown hair…it’s Kim’s hair – can you please retrieve it out. This required some skill with a long handled net that he couldn’t catch. As he’s trying, I’m standing there buck-nakkid and he has a smirk on his face when he finally caught it.

    In fact, I think he actually chuckled a little.

    That keeps me at meh..

  • K, I’ve never ever been able to figure this one out, unless it’s simply clearly the obvious, an attempt to insult my intelligence? after D-Day # 3 or was it 4, I lost count– when I was trying trying trying to go along with things as they had been for the sake of our preteen daughter, but just felt I couldn’t go through with it, my narc ex so many many times looked at me with the same blank expression.
    What was unique about the blank/black look in his greenish/brown eyes that looked very black in those moments was the fact that he would literally look at me as though his tongue was enlarged.

    No, I’m not kidding. It was as if he were born with a mental impairment of some sort, and (and I apologize to those who are raising children with Down’s disorder, or on the autism spectrum, or whatever—I work with these disabled children) but in those moments he really appeared to me to have the facies of a school aged child with a serious congenital illness. I’m educated to identify children with the look of fetal alcohol exposure and ex’s face could literally morph into this.

    I’ll never forget the bizarre look of this supposedly highly educated man with his tongue suddenly grossly enlarged and protruding as if he were unable to control it, his eyes changing in color and suddenly even more lifeless than usual. This happened on occasions like our final family beach vacation when I announced two days in that I was taking the kids and we were leaving, it was just too bizarre being there with him completely disconnected and the school friend I’d allowed my daughter to bring as a guest was starting to really freak out at all the weird vibes.

    Sadly, our daughter was already accustomed to the Jekyl/Hyde of her father, but I couldn’t keep exposing the daughter of good friends to this weirdness, much as I’d promised her parents I’d keep their sweet girl from the fray

    • Hi second lady- eyes usually go black when the pupils are dilated hence more black. This can happen for numerous reasons that range from alcohol consumption to brain damage to even psychological pleasure. I know my cheater ex took pleasure in torturing me psychologically.

  • OMG! Mine had the most cold, empty, sickening stare so many times. Usually when I was devastated with more lies or ridiculous accusations about our altered past from him. EWWWW, just thinking of it. I can’t wait till I’m done with him forever.

    • Tamie – would you happen to have a visual?
      I have seen a lot of wild Mountain Goats licking salt fields in Montana.
      I know the eyes….gee – now you’re making me realize that – no, goats don’t have really scary eyes (just because of no eyelashes) but they have a soul. Like looking into a Horse’s eyes. Also wide like that.
      You SEE their souls in there.

      What I saw was Satan. It lasted 1/2 a second, but it was there.
      They were dead black. Lifeless. Like he wanted to kill me right then, and they scared the shit out of me.
      I got the locks changed after he left, right then and there, because, yes – he did have some kind of weird intention in his mind. Whatever he was thinking, I didn’t want a part of it and I slept scared for a long time.
      He had too many guns, but I had my dogs. He also had a concealed weapon permit and, until then, keys to the house. This is a dangerous time domestically and everybody needs to know it. This man was never dangerous before the affair and what he was about to lose. He never that of all that.

      Nope, those eyes were pure evil and I’ve really only seen them in him, twice.
      A human with no soul.
      Who has already hit hell.

  • I get the forlorn stare like he is trying to make me feel sorry for him that things just “got to this.” Then he hangs his head, still silence, sideways staring at me. Because my questions are putting him in a downward spiral and not his actions. Things just happen you see, no accountability. We just “got to this” in our relationship and he is “so upset he can’t be the man I deserve.” I guess he means I deserve someone who is honest and keeps it in their pants. None of it was within his control and he has such “anxiety” from it all. Sure.

    I am two months past D-Day. I wasn’t married to the idiot, just common law, engaged and together six years. Never even made it to the vows. And sadly the “proud owner” of a brand new house we spent two years customizing and building together. Trying to get out of that mess. Lesson learned there.

    I have no concrete proof or many details, because he says that doesn’t matter and refuses, He was bragging about her to friends. Mutual friends. I suspected it but of course they squealed to confirm my speculations. But that’s ok because he says it only started recently. Right. He is 40, I am 31, she is 25. Allegedly he has been just “friends” with her for two years until recently. They “talked” weekly for years and she allegdly knew about me. Right. I never heard of her once, “friends” my ass. Like CL says adults fuck. And he is a narc who tries to guilt trip me and makes himself out to be the victim. Poor idiot is just so confused. Sure. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck….He must think I am stupid.

    • The forlorn stare, head tilted to the side, trying to make you feel sorry for him, that things got to this, tragic ,(as if he really feels bad). I had to laugh, I’m familiar with that stupid look too…

      • Yeah. I think he feels sorry for how much this will cost him. He is trying to keep me on his good side until we sell the house so he can try and screw me there.

  • I had a pet goat that was a sweetie! What I saw was a 1/2 second of Satan also! I told my husband as it happened…it scared me so bad he didn’t bat an eyelash!!!

  • While in marriage counselling (during wreckinciliation), our therapist told my stbx that he had a “blank look” while he was talking. He replied “really? My own therapist said the same thing”. Stbx never told me that his therapist said that and now i have two doctors that saw it. I was like “yes” finally someone else sees what I see! I used to tell him he looked “soul less”. Needless to say, he didn’t continue with his individual therapy and I gave up on marriage counselling. He was still lying and still soulless and I wanted out.

    When I talk to him now — I can’t make eye contact…..I just look at the wall or floor or anywhere but his eyes—now his eyes just scare me. I don’t want to be sucked back in to the blackhole.

  • I never got the “dead-eye stare”. What I did get was the smirk which was a dead giveaway.
    It usually appeared after he’d said something nasty and was the clue that it was a deliberate attempt to upset me.

    And what’s this downer on goats? They have unusual eyes, but can be very loving!

    Meg Ryan’s eyes creep me out, but that’s a side issue….

  • Ah, the eyes. I got the dead, empty eyes a few times when I called Fucktard on his lies. Very, very creepy.

    But I got something else that was at least as troubling. There were a few times over the years when I was genuinely distraught. Like when my grandfather was murdered. And instead of making any effort to comfort me, he would just stare at me with his head tilted a bit, as if he was examining a science experiment. And I think he was. Trying to figure out emotions he did not possess, or maybe trying to figure out how to replicate them. That should have been the smack in the face that I needed to understand that no one real was at home inside that empty shell, but I was in no condition to be objective at the time.

    The Smirk did come out at the end. I started to notice that he would turn up the stereo before going upstairs. So one day I went upstairs a moment later and heard Fucktard on the phone in MY office, begging someone “Please! Don’t give up on US!” I rounded the corner and said “Fuck you, Fucktard.” He dropped the phone and turned to me looking like a cat with a mouthful of canary feathers. Flashed The Smirk. Then he told me I hadn’t heard what I’d heard and I was crazy paranoid and blah, blah, blah.

    They say the eyes are the window to the soul, but they can also be the window to the soulless. I just didn’t know that at the time.

  • I got the dead-eyed stare alternating with a smirk. I believe that was the wheels spinning too fast to figure out the next lie while face idles in neutral, followed by inability to suppress his glee at my destruction, respectively.

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