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UBT: Our Marriage Was Already Over

gibberishHere’s some one-size-fits-all cheater bullshit for you — “Our marriage was already over.” Cheaters say it to affair partners, “We’re all but divorced!” “We’re separated!” “Just roommates!” And cheaters say it to their spouses when they’re discovered cheating. Our marriage was already over.

Well, yes, yes it was when you fucked that other person. But did chumpy you get that memo?

Hey, they gave themselves a mental divorce! Had a few concentrated thoughts about it, and shazzam! Legal and ethical responsibility ended!

Why do cheaters say this?

a) To duck responsibility. It’s blameshifting — weren’t you aware the rules had changed? You’re not very observant, are you?

b) To goad you into the pick me dance. They didn’t tell you it was Over because they wanted to perpetuate cake. It’s too bad you know, but perhaps this crisis will provoke you to try harder to win them back. Kibbles, kibbles, kibbles.

c) Actual divorce is hard work. Hard work sucks. They’re going to boldly strike off after that new life. You can clean up the mess. You’re welcome!

Which brings us to the question of how do you properly END a relationship? Nobody likes to be dumped. And that’s the mindfuck — after you’ve been devalued (“our marriage was already over”), you’re insulted with the accusations that you’re just jealous and covetous of their newfound happiness. Tut, tut. You should take it better. Can’t you see you’re yesterday’s news? Okay, so maybe they went about it in the wrong way, but It’s All for the Best! Their happiness is what Really Matters!

This is how you properly end a relationship:

a) You communicate. “Hey, X, Y, and Z are deal breakers for me. I’m very sorry. We need to go our separate ways if we can’t resolve X, Y, and Z.”

b) You communicate and communicate some more. You get therapy to address X, Y, and Z. You work hard to see if there is some alternative to divorce. You pay attention to how invested your spouse is or is not in addressing X, Y, or Z. If the deal breakers persist, or you can’t reconcile yourself to X, Y, or Z — then you end it with “We need to go our separate ways.”

c) You don’t eat cake. With the statement that it is over, you ACT like it’s over. You don’t continue to fuck your spouse. You don’t send mixed messages to your family or your spouse. You publicly own your decision to end it. You quit extracting value from your married status and you go it alone.

d) You take LEGAL steps to end it. You see a lawyer. You draft a separation agreement. If you’re in one of those crazy states with a one-year waiting period, you start that clock ticking with physical separation. If you can’t get your ex out of the house, you do everything in your power to leave or compel them to leave.

e) You end things fairly. If leaving was your idea, you recognize there will be hard feelings and you put your Adult Pants on and divide things evenly, according to the law. Not based on your feelings of entitlement. If you can’t figure out what “fair” looks like, ask a mediator.

Ending a relationship ethically is what grown-ups do. Whoring about, stuffing your gob with cake, and getting caught is what cheaters do.

Response to “Our marriage was already over”?

It is now. Sayonara.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • After I had just bought into a $40k SUV for the family (my Ex, really), she ended it two weeks later, “we’re done!” Like high school. She continued to live a double life, while I took on the majority care of our then 1 and 3 year olds. I did a brief “pick me” over a month later, but when she wouldn’t stop texting and talking, I ended it. That wasn’t cheating in her mind. The therapist she sent us (me) to to get fixed said that these things typically took a while to die down. I had enough. 4 months later, she moved out. I let her live here expense-free so she could save up. Gave her a few thiusand $ “severence” and even helped her buy a new car (because I’m good at negotiating). A year later, she got engaged to him, while on honeymoon vacation having abandoned then S4 and D1 with me for a week and a half. We had and still have joint custody. They married 6 months later, and he moved in. 4 months later, she told me “if I knew then what I know now, I never would have left you.” I didn’t rise to the bait. Four months later, which is now, she called me sobbing, stating the same and more. At least unlike some chumps, I got more of an apology. They got in a huge fight and after asking, he walked out to decompress. Homewrecker notwthstanding, that was wise. I had the kids so I wasn’t worried. My T pointed out that her comments were narcissistic, all about her. I didn’t see that, but he’s right. I’m trying my best to stand by my boindaries, but it’s frustrating dealing with those who are children, emotionally.

    • You got fooled too ? I bought an SUV too.. not even 3 months later she moved out (with the car) which I’m still paying. And now she is dragging heels in the divorce so I can keep on paying.

      She will be able to pay off the car and have money left when we divorce, but she is just greedy!!

      • X “bought” me a BMW (which I didn’t want) for my 50th birthday, he told me he wold be insulted if I didn’t accept his gift. X left a year later, I had to pay for the entire cost of the BMW.
        Another confirmation that my attorney was worthless.

      • Yup, mine started his major affair 8 years ago after we’d just signed the papers for a large add-on to the house. While I was in Home Depot picking out new kitchen cabinets & appliances, he was schtupping his grad-whore appliance.

        • Yep. We were remodeling our kitchen. Tiling the walls, installing granite, crown molding, the whole bit. Actually a few days before my D-day, we were actively looking a boats. By this time, he must have been fucking around on me for at least 8 months. Fantastic!

      • My STBX “tricked” me into cosigning with him for a new truck, fully loaded. Then a week later I got the ILYBINILWY, “Can’t do this anymore” etc., etc., etc. Now he’s living with OW and still denies it to me. Separated 2 1/2 years, divorce pending while he goes thru Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Spent so much $$ on OW and now he can’t pay. But he still has the truck! Glad to be shed of him!!

        • My narc asked me to cosign new 350 Ford months after starting his affair. A week later on our desert vacation from hell he told me I was selfish for not liking him being out all night every Saturday night doing his hobby taking pictures. (He can’t take pictures during the day – it hurts his eyes – ;-)). I am taking away his only relaxation and sanity away from working so hard! How can I not support his hobby!! (Nevermind I supported boats, boat racing, rc boat, rc cars, drones, toy hauler, expensive cameras…). He’s tired of arguing with me – I’m so unreasonable – he wants a separation! Turns out his ‘hobby’ is a girl 20 years younger than him that he was meeting at the Hyatt every Saturday. Lol. And then 6 weeks later after being so tired of the lies and betrayal – esp. Towards our daughter he rarely saw for months…I told him to leave and he tells everyone how he was homeless with only the clothes on his back!!! But he’s staying in expensive hotels the whole time. Another crazy thing is he had been yelling at me that he’s moving out – for weeks he was saying this!!! Gaslighting, crazy making, threats, bullying, victim status, lies….His OW will be on the receiving end of this someday. I wonder if they’ve cheated on each other yet….

    • “No contact” was made for people like this. You’d be wise to stop taking her call unless they specifically involve an issue with your kids.

    • Victor, stay strong and be the sane parent for your kids. You absolutely do not have to stick around to hear enough details about the misery of her new marriage and the fights she has. She’s triangulating with you. Hoping that you’ll do a knight in shining armor kind of pick me dance.

      Don’t let her open her mouth on ANY personal detail about her life that doesn’t concern the kids. It’s just “bye! gotta go!” Do all your scheduling and communicating by email and text if you can.

      • My husband never actually said the words I want a divorce…Had the marriage counselor do it for him. Married 18 years, he groomed our 16 year old son to “have to leave with dad” because I was putting too much academic pressure on him to stay on track at school. That would be aka parenting! “You have a missing assignment in lit son, do you need some geometry tutoring that last test was an F” Dad would meanwhile say…”He’s fine, leave him alone.” Thus the 16 year old left with dad. The affair was the real reason he left, of which I had no clue until I drove over to his new $400k house he paid cash for and low and behold the door was open, he wasn’t answering the bell and he was in bed with his office manager. Lies lies lies. Oh it didn’t start until after I left…ummhmm. Not what she is saying around the office dear! He moved out in December after we had completed a million plus new home on 65 acres we’d worked on designing and building for over 2 years. I just cannot reconcile what he is giving up for a butt ugly office worker. I guess she make him feel like a king at least for the moment. 6 months down this road and still sick, sick, sick inside and to boot my son is always with him, or at least at his house where he can do whatever the hell he wants and his grades show it. He has refused to agree on any parenting schedule and my son says, no big deal mom, I don’t want to be in 2 places to much of a pain. I asked them both repeatedly for a schedule and Dad ignores me and son says it’s fine mom we still see each other, I love you too. I did everything for that boy and dad was always at work for 12 hr days, now he’s Mr. Available. I hope the court will give me a fair schedule, but my son is 16 so it gets dicey I guess. When will I stop feeling gutted??? The pain is unremitting, it’s all I think about is who is the man that just dropped a bomb on my life, and why is my son going along with this?

        • I had a story that played out very similar to yours. What I have discovered is that my 18 year old son desperately wanted a relationship w his father all his you years but was never the priority(from son’s own mouth). In the months that followed DDay the ex has continuously showed his true colors and at this time the “available” dad is “absent” more and more. The unfortunate part is my son sees it but is still trying to somehow make it seem that his dad is trying hard to be a good dad. I’ve had to give it time as the true colors always come shining through. Your son will realize you were the true parent to him all of those years.

    • Victor – same thing here with the texting. After I found out about his private fuck phone, I left then came back. Left again, then came back. Finally, I had had enough with the texting right in front of me! It was crazy – no remorse for what he had done and could give a shit about my feelings… Jerks

      • Ah yes the fuck phone! Found it by accident in wreckonciliation even though she’d apparently “thrown it away” and got a new phone and number. Then I got the she’d kept it cause of the music on it bullshit and a rant about the invasion of her privacy etc (which the therapist bought). Mine also used to text / email “friends” in front of me. So disrespectful.

        • Where did you find it? Where do they hide all this shit? I’m having trouble severing completely Bc there’s nothing that proves a PA. Nothing I have found I mean. I’m pretty sure, but it’s more difficult for me without that proof. I know it would make it far easier to cut and run if I knew with some certainty. I keep looking, but he hides any evidence of his affairs very well I guess.

          • Chumpedupchick, I couldn’t prove he fucked the whore either. Even when a person has proof they attempt to lie their way out of it. We were just watching TV, we just slept at that motel, ad nauseum. What worked for me was to shift the Burden of Proof. He couldn’t prove he didn’t screw the whore, and if they are at an apartment, motel, any “private” place, assume the absolute worst.

    • Victor- Please continue to stand your boundaries! No loving person would ever have to put there spouse and kids through what you went through to finally see the light.

      To be quite honest, I wish I would of been as proactive as you were on your decisive actions post DDay. Applause for you!

      Your therapist’s comment appears to be correct. I think that’s only part of the equation though. I feel the other half of why your ex-wife said “if I knew then what I know now, I never would have left you.” is that her “in love” or euphoria or limerence or whatever the fuck you want to label it as just finally wore off with her schmoopie. That is what cheaters just will never get – that what they chase, they become starved for. That is not what long-lasting true love is about.

    • Victor, we bought a house and adopted three rescue dogs. I was taking steps to retire at 62 and work part-time from home. At no time did he hint that the marriage was already over. He just kept barrelling along. Something in my gut did not want that house and I fought tooth and nail to find something that would end the deal and get us out of it. I didn’t understand why I felt so strongly. Now I do. We chumps were all fooled, big-time. I’m still trying to come to grips with what a fool I was. Good for you, knowing what she is and not to be sucked in to her pseudo-remorse.

      • Our guts are a fascinating thing, aren’t they? That’s one thing I’ve learned through all this crap – don’t try to quash that little voice that is screaming “This ain’t right, amiga.” I embrace that voice now.

        Victor, tune into *that* voice and not your ex’s.

        • movin_on, thanks and I love the way you put it “This ain’t right, amiga.” I am learning to embrace that voice, too. Better late than never…

      • I had a bad gut feeling when he took my family heirloom diamond to make it into an engagement ring. Now the damn stone is tainted. Funny how we get these gut feelings.

    • Can I just point something out though, and I really do sympathize with the pain this cheater put you thru (she sound slike a comlete selfish ass), however:

      ….A year later, she got engaged to him, while on honeymoon vacation having abandoned then S4 and D1 with me for a week and a half. We had and still have joint custody…

      Going on a 10 day vacation with your fiance/spouse/whoever does not amount in any shape or form to “abandoning” you children. Particularly since you both share 50/50 custody.

      But year, she sucks.

    • What is it with them chumping a new SUV out of us??
      I was also contracted to a new house and boat and was looking at holiday homes while she was off fucking the soccer coach. Fucking dodged that bullet, phew

      • Wowza! JUST put the pieces together. We were THIS close to closing on a condo on Mich.Ave. It would have become their Love Nest. Barf. Lots of pressure to buy from the asshat. It’s been my dream to retire to the City. But in consulting with my cousin, a practicing real estate atty downtown, he advised me to pass due to low occupancy of the new building and associated monthly fees. I listened to a wise person.

    • I guess I also got fooled, except with a large house. Two months after he ends it. But “not for the other girl.” He is also dragging his feel selling our house while I live with family and continue to pay the mortgage.

    • Jedi Hugs! FWIW, I bought Saddam a new car 3 months before I discovered his cheating. Unfortunately he refused to leave, he refused to divorce, he took a lot of money away, he nearly killed me before I got him out of my home. Just saying; it could have been worse, at least she left.

      • Getting him out of the home was easy he went to live with the whore after only 8 weeks. Getting him completely out of my life is proving to be way more difficult. No contact will be so wonderful!!!

  • Oh yes. This.

    I got:

    “I wasn’t happy”.
    “I got married because it’s what you wanted”.
    “I’ve come to accept that the fundamentals for us to have a successful relationship weren’t there”.

    And so on. So I don’t ask ‘why’ anymore.

    While all this may be true, what’s that got to do with adultery? As in, the adultery that was the actual bloody REASON we broke up.

    Oh, and he never once tried to talk to me about how he was feeling. So I call bullshit!

    Chump Lady, I would add another reason why cheaters say this kind of stuff, related to your first point. You can guarantee the Chump isn’t the only person this bullshit is being fed to.

    It gives them an excuse to feed to other people, so they can a) play the victim and win sympathy and/or b) not have people turn on them once they are revealed to be the scumbags they are.

    It’s all about being the good guy/ girl.

    • It’s all a bit convenient for this stuff to come out after their affair has been discovered.

      As a friend of mine said, a marriage is a partnership. As in, you’re supposed to deal with things together, ideally equally. So if one of you isn’t happy, you need to deal with that together. Even that one of you has unilaterally decided that the marriage is over, then fair enough- but tell your spouse! Don’t slink off into someone else’s arms.

      We’re all adults here. We should behave like adults. There’s no excuse for an affair.

      • It’s *too* convenient.

        Got the same trope from my STBXW. All of it after she started cheating, of course.

        I can also second (or third, of fifty-fifth) the other comments on this thread about the cheater ranting and raving about how they were abused, demanding a divorce, doing nothing whatsoever about it all, and then delaying the divorce in various ways after the betrayed spouse files in exasperation.

        BTDT. I don’t know how, after so many months, I still get surprised that there are so many “me, too!” responses, and that we can quote one another’s cheating exs word-for-word without ever having met them, since all of these idiots are the same. Yet, somehow, I continue to be surprised by it. I suppose those of us with character will never really figure out the synapse misfires of those without character.

        Chumps, you are NOT alone! Solidarity!

        • Sephage, everything you’ve written here is so true. It’s taken me four months to really “get” it.

          It is so crazy that there is this “cheater’s playbook” – I kept thinking my story was unique!

          In addition to never suspecting his double life, once D-day happened, I never expected that he would stall the divorce.

          He wanted to fuck around but now he won’t fuck off.

          The minimizing and blame shifting are just the cherry on the top of the shit sundae.

          With the support of this site, tho, I am so close to meh. Spring is in the air and there will come a day sometime in 2016 when I am F R E E.

          It could have been today – if STBX wasn’t such a butthead.

          • Amen Roaring! Love this!

            He wanted to fuck around but now he won’t fuck off.

            satan drug MY divorce – that HE wanted – out for 3 years and thousands of dollars!!!

            …can’t make up their minds what they really want…want us to wait and just keep eating the shit sandwiches and WAIT…just WAIT!

            …arrested development is an understatement…

        • Yes, Sephage. Yes.

          “I don’t know how, after so many months, I still get surprised that there are so many “me, too!” responses, and that we can quote one another’s cheating exs word-for-word without ever having met them.”

          ^ My thoughts exactly.

          Also, this particular article is so poignant for me because I’ve seen it on both ends of a relationship. When my ex was wooing me and said he was separated but didn’t need time to get over his breakup because the marriage had “already been over for years.” I was so young and dumb, and I cringe at believing it now. Of course, he was still with her at the time, I just had no effing idea. Then a house, car, baby, etc. later when I found his love letters to OW telling her all about how our “marriage was over.” Haha the “I’ve heard this before” moment was a killer. These entitled brats will use the same phrases over and over again as they cycle through their pattern a hundred times.

          • Oh chump-tastic… you and me both!!! When I met my stbxh, I was told he and his wife were already getting a divorce… I’m not sure I believe that now ;-). As the years went on and he bragged about his ability to always have one waiting in the wings it finally happened to me. After D-Day, I was told he had left the marriage years ago and was basically hanging around because he had nothing better to do until my former friend decided to spread her legs… I guess it didn’t dawn on him to take any of the above steps… I finally figured out I’m going to have to be the one to do the work to get the actual divorce because the mental one just isn’t working, hopefully I can get it started and finished this year!

        • I know right! The similarities are baffling! It brings so much clarity and ah-ha moments, and some peace knowing that there are other chumps dealing with EXACTELY the same BS.

          All you chumps seem nice, caring, witty… these cheater shits are really such idiots.

      • This.

        Marriage is a partnership. It takes place in an environment where both people are honest and transparent. Honesty means talking about the tough truths. Both saying and hearing these tough truths make the people saying and hearing vulnerable, and both have to respect each other’s vulnerability. This builds and reinforces trust. And partnership, as both will face these truths together.

        Cheaters don’t get this. It’s not that they’ve backed out of the partnership. It’s more that they never were there in the first place.

        • “Cheaters don’t get this. It’s not that they’ve backed out of the partnership. It’s more that they never were there in the first place.”

          How true that is !!

      • Amen and Amen bullettproof!!!!

        Absolutely 1000% true!!!!

        Bastard coward The Evil One couldn’t be bothered with being an equal partner in our marriage, he bitched out when it was time for him to step up and God forbid he be accountable for his bullshit.

    • The excuse I got was X wanted something different. A friend of ours was upset after he had just four out his wife was having an affair. I mentioned to X that I felt bad for our friend, his response as he shrugged his shoulders was, well, if they’re not getting along, as if it wasn’t a big deal. it was actually a red flag moment for me.
      His excuse to me was he wanted something different, his excuse to neighbors, friends and anyone who he ran into was, he had tried everything and he couldn’t put up with me any longer. X told people I refused his offer to see a MC and that was his reason for leaving.

      I begged X to go to MC, he refused. X described me to everyone as an alcoholic, and mentally ill that he was concerned about but he had no other choice, except to divorce me, said, while wiping a fake tear from his eye. X demonized me while portraying himself as the sad victim of abuse.

      • My lady friend is divorcing a 100% Narc. He did the same with her. Made her out to be drunk, doesn’t take care of the kids, doesnt’ feed them , having an affair. He bad mouthed her with friends, and his family for a whole year.

        Then she found out about the OW… and she left him. He went nuts, blaming her for having an affair (which she didn’t). He tried his best to pull the kids into the divorce fight (bad mouthing her to them), threating with kid being taken away…

        Like I said, 100% Narc the STBXH of her. She is the friendliest, loving person on earth… and he abused her emotionally.

        • O yes..

          “X demonized me while portraying himself as the sad victim of abuse.”

          He did the exact same. He was the sad victim in the scenario (sold it to everyone).. while she was the devil. Meantime, it was the other way round. If he opens his mouth he just lies…

          I’m amazed that you get people like that…

          • Same here. My ex’s trashing me so he could play the victim card stopped making sense and it is backfiring. Even his close friends are seeing it and how much of a narc he is. Good.

      • brit, I also heard “I just saw something different.” My ex also told my son, “this has been coming for a long time.” I had anxiety attacks for weeks after hearing that, because he’d never said a word to me about being unhappy, never asked to work on any issues, etc.

        In my mind, “I just saw something different,” is probably the closest he ever came to speaking the truth.

        • Lyn, we were definitely married to the same bloke. The only difference is that my ex told his boss of all people that “this has been coming for a long time.” The ex never once mentioned it to me to give me fair warning until he told his boss. When I confronted him about this, all he could say is “I can’t remember if that is how it happened”. If I didn’t constantly get the shrug of the shoulders and a snarl, I got “I don’t know” or I can’t remember’. This is a bloke who had a prestigious job and had to go to court often on behalf of his company and his memory never failed him then. Selective memory when it suits !

          • SO TRUE.

            Do you know, my X#3 (PreyingMantis) actually cried at our wedding? And I bought the whole performance. Hook, line, and sinker. I thought the whole thing *meant* something. How wrong, Wrong, WRONG I was. No, PreyingMantis *NEVER* intended to be faithful.

      • Mine has an interesting twist on the sad sausage. I divorced him on the basis of an affair from 8 years prior, only to find out he’s been a serial cheater for most of the marriage. Now, one year after the divorce, when I am still angry enough to have dreams of tying X in a bag with pit vipers for what he did to me & the family, he has moved on with his replacement family and million dollar mansion overlooking the water. His line for public consumption?

        “Tempest is still angry and spewing venom and can’t move on, even though I only had that one eensy, weensy affair years ago, and she can’t forgive me even though I came back to the marriage after my eensy, weensy affair. I made a mistake. And I *do* feel so badly that she has become the sad, lonely dog lady.” (accompanied by a sad, downward turn of the eyes)

        • Truly he is an asshole tempest. Love the pit viper comment. Sad for all of us here. Guys and girls alike. The best revenge is living well and i hope all of us do. People need to stop cheering the cheaters and blaming the chumps. Lord knows im not perfect but i didnt cheat. I hope hell has a special place for cheater and their aps. Especially those who walk away from their own kids. Bastards and bitches all of them. I recently met a woman who cheated on the love of her life her first husband who dumped her ass quick. She still pines for him 30 years later and divorced three other husbands for cheating on her. Karma! She was trying to convince me to forgive asswipe he knows not what he does. Spoken by a perfect cheater. I gave her the dead eyes told her she would say that being a cheater herself and fuck off! and walked straight away. Felt good!

          • Kar Marie: It’s true about living well being the best revenge. I am the crazy dog lady, but I’m the happy, not-at-all-lonely dog lady. (And I’m not lonely in large part to CN–when I joked with my daughter that I was going to get a t-shirt that said, “All my friends are on-line friends,” she was mortifiied. Lol).

            And has anyone else found that the cheater apologists they run into usually have some cheating in their background? When I relayed my X’s Ashley Madison account, and numerous other affairs he’s had since grad-whore, she said, “He could not have known what he was doing!”

            Whaaaatttt? Can you set up on-line adult dating site accounts in your SLEEP? Does my X have a dissociative disorder, and one of his other identities did those things? Turns out this woman’s marriage is itself the result of an affair.

            • You have the funniest, cutest dogs I have ever seen. I would thank him for the complement, Tempest. If I wasn’t in California, I would be having you and the canine over for margies on Fridays.

              Fucker is still smarting over your pronto toss of his sorry ass out the door. Asshole was thinking he would get the old soft shoe. Ha!

              • Calamity–and if it wasn’t a 1000+ mile trip, I’d bring the tequila and limes for a Friday happy hour!

            • Asswipes whore says her three husbands and all boyfriends cheated on her she forgave all of them and now they are all the best of friends. Forgive and forget she says. Yet one ex and 1 boyfriend still in love with her. I smell a big fat whore cheater. She tells asswipe what she thinks he wants to hear. Lying pos. He deserves her lying ass. Me maybe im too honest but as judge judy says if you tell the truth you dont have to remember the lie. Me id rather be honest.

            • Hi Tempest: you asked “if anyone has found that the cheater apologists they run into usually have some cheating in their background?”

              The answer for me is YES – Every single one of them, but they weren’t truly apologists. The 3 affairs that my ex-wife had were with 3 people that I was close to.These 3 people includes a friend or mine, a well known Professional Hockey legend here in Chicago and my brother-in-law (my sisters husband). 2 of the 3 were married with children and the “friend” had a long term girlfriend. Just utter vile!

            • “And has anyone else found that the cheater apologists they run into usually have some cheating in their background? ”

              One person I have problems with is Cheryl Strayed. A self-admitted cheater who regularly gives advice on dealing with infidelity as “Dear Sugar” – while she eventually had the guts to reveal that Dear Sugar was herself, for a few years, she gave marital advice without disclaiming that she’d been a serial cheater. Bad form.

              Not sure why people love her so much.

              • Asswipes whore forgot and forgave about 10 cheaters they are all best friends. Seriously i can tell shes a cheater why doesnt asswipe. She told him she never cheated on anyone uh huh. Lala land. Hes a realist he says no i live in the real world he.does.not.

              • Buddy- because the average person just LOVES an entitled Narc! I tried to read Strayed’s book, and ended up dumping it on the floor. Narc whining and cheating and writing about her fab journey. No thanks!
                Until someone has been used by a Narc, and realized how cold they are in their core, they think they are very entertaining. Yep, you’ll change your tune when they smile at you, as they’re setting you up. I know more than I used to about ‘Users’, but I now keep my eye on them, and play their game better than they do, so they can’t take advantage (I work with quite a few, yuck!)

              • A few months ago, all X did was watch “Wild” over and over. One narc recognizing a fellow “traveler” apparently.?

        • BTW–I see my X’s ploy for what it is–if he pretends to have a conscience about hurting me, people won’t suspect he’s a sociopath. Thus far, this has only really fooled one couple (a cheater union).

          • Ughhhh, that Cheryl Strayed article was disgusting. Couldn’t read much of it, that’s s saying a lot for me .

        • I’m sorry, Tempest. The Entitled One is also a charismatic spin doctor who’s convinced a lot of people that he had to leave me because I’m an anti-social homebody who never wanted to do anything with him. And no doubt to him I look like a pathetic dog-lady too. The ones who believe him are welcome to him. I’m figuring out who my real friends are, my life is more peaceful without him, and being single is a great thing.

          • You’re right, BetterDays–some of these cheaters are masters at the spin, and it’s an excellent way to figure out who our true friends are.

            To those who buy my X’s bullshite, whenever I see them, I am so radiant that nearby plants begin photosynthesis. That should dispel his “poor Tempest” message.

            • When I read this, I am so grateful that I can move through every day without contact with people who know Jackass. It must be so hard to be on the receiving end of their “impression management.”

              • Im lucky i guess. My kids still love me refused to jump on his side they just deal with him and his whore. My sister in law whos my friend and loves me and one couple everyone else jumped on his side and avoid me like the plague. People ive known for thirty years just gone poof like that. No hey sorry this happened stay in touch love you too. Nothing. My best girlfriend from childhood over 50 years wont return my calls guess i have divorce taint and shes on her 6th husband! Amazing how many people take the cheaters side. Fuck them all. I need to meet people just like me.

        • You can’t move on because of ‘1’ affair, right-o. Considering it was MORE than ‘1’ affair – it 100% nullifies his stupid response there. And I’m pretty fucking sure that NORMAL people get enraged when they are delibrately deceived and stolen from, but in his fucked up mind he obviously can’t see that.
          PS: An affair is not a mistake, its a fucking choice. And many of them!
          The delusion is strong in this one.

      • Mine told the light of his life that I was f***ing crazy. He forgot to tell her he was unemployed or that I supported him and I actually paid for the phone he was using…

    • Bulletproof – you bring up an excellent point and remind me of one of the most frustrating points I had to deal with. My soon to be ex would go around telling everyone his excuses for his suddenly leaving me and our three kids which were word for word what CL writes. I’d be talking to a family friend and they would quote him as to why it’s not so bad and I shouldn’t be surprised. He would also go out of his way to proactively say he was not having an affair and I was crazy/bitter if I suggested he was. Fortunately my lawyer hired a PI and confirmed it after I suspected he was using our children to meet up with his MAP. The PI was the best investment in restoring my sanity – the cure to waking up to reality and realizing I wasn’t crazy or overly suspicious all along. He was also forced to stop bringing our children around the MAP as a result.

      One earlier sign of trouble that infuriated me was he would tell his friends and family what bothered him about me but never me. I would have to hear secondhand from his sister or a friend who would slip something out. It was terrible. No matter how many times I told him I would appreciate if he was direct with me and I can handle it, he would only say negative things about me to others.

      Good riddance.

      • Yes, THIS! It was PreyingMantis’ modus operandi the whole time we were together. Only my closest friends and family members were targeted, and I lost the relationship with my oldest daughter and youngest sister as a result. It’s a slow, steady dose of poison. And I didn’t find out until it was much too late.

  • When I asked my ex why she cheated instead of asking for a divorce, she said that choosing to get divorced wasn’t so simple… because of the kids. Having sex with her co-worker was so much easier, and a lot more fun it seems. Especially when I was around to look after the kids, and bring home the money.

    You just can’t stop soulmates finding each other, and giving their cheater-universe meaning.
    The funny thing, is that 2 years post divorce (and 3 or so years into their relationship), she still hasn’t married her co-worker. Why delay, if this is your soulmate….

    • “Why delay, if this is your soulmate”

      That is my big question too. My soon to be ex wife, which was in “love” with my x best friend, is dragging out the divorce. Why not divorce and go to him? A year later and not divorced… so much for twu luv…

      • SDK,
        I also wondered why my exH dragged out the divorce (which I instigated) when he had found the “girl of his dreams”

        I guess it was all to do with cake & kibbles

            • Add me to the list! Mine also did not want the divorce, just a separation so that he could carry out his affair and perhaps have time to decide? He also stalled throughout the divorce, it was so frustrating! It’s like their last bit of control they have over you.

              • They want to try out their affair from the comfort of their marriage. My STBX is a Narc and thinks the rules don’t apply to him. Evading the consequences of his actions – such as divorce – is part of showing how special he is. I went No Contact with him. Yet, my lawyers keep asking me if I know where he lives.

          • Cake and Control – C2! Dragging out the legal proceedings if the chump filed is the ultimate “you’re not the boss of me”.

        • Jeanette
          Oh the one who wanted the divorce was enraged when I told him I saw a lawyer. He went for a consult but never filed. When he received the doccument he was furious. He never thought I would leave his serial cheating sociopath ass.

          • Same here, I had to initiate the divorce, he said he also wanted to divorce but dug his heels about every possible thing he could to slow the process down despite moving in with his mistress less than four months after we separated…

            He tried all he could, negotiating outside of our meetings with lawyers, blame me for his affair in front of several witnesses, play his best poor sausage routine to convince people I had been a horrible spouse. Fortunately, and thanks to CN and to my local friends and supporters, I learned to go Gray Rock, took the high road, and had my final divorce decree in hand as my gift to start 2016.

            The pain of divorcing a cheater is horrendous, but it will end, forge on chumps!

      • I think most cheaters are passive and lazy. I not only had to file for divorce, I found STBX a decent place to live since (at the time) he had the kids 50% of the time.
        Cheaters are lazy, lying, selfish, cowards

        • Passive-check! Lazy-check!

          To a great extent I enabled the asshat. I picked up the slack consistently in parenting, community involvement, household and the fucking “marriage”. I kept waiting and waiting for reciprocity. And chumpy me, stuffed my angry sad feelings away as I was groomed to do living with the colossal asshole.

          Once busted, he had the audacity to say “Well! That shows me…!” In response to me calling him out in a vicious attack on his “character”. Yea, dude, that shows you the fucking party is over. Get over yourself, jerk!

    • Me too, North London !

      My exH took FOUR years to marry his schnoopie, (five if you count the time they knew each other pre DD) and then it was because she conveniently got pregnant. Duuuhhhhh!

      I was also told ” I thought it was OK because we would have split up anyway”. (S’funny I never got that memo.)

      When I asked why he cheated I got so many different answers my head spun.

      • The hurtful, mind-bending bullcrap they come out with when you ask why…

        My advice to new Chumps would be, don’t ask why they cheated.

        There’s no point. Perhaps if they are genuinely remorseful, and are emotionally intelligent and have a good deal of self-awareness.

        Otherwise, they’ll come up with a minimising excuse, a blame shifting excuse, or the perpetually frustrating “I don’t know.”

        Don’t go there. What’s important now is picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and making the best of your future. Follow the sun, not the rain.

              • Well said – Bulletproof. Mine was nice enough to limit his ‘whys’ to:

                1) I don’t love you.
                2) I’ve never loved you. (this is 36yrs married – thanks a lot)
                3) I’ve never been romantically attracted to you. (this one was definitely true – sex was a one way street for him)

                So, I knew I’d never really know ‘why’ and I no longer care.
                He’s just majorly fucked up – not me.

      • Jeanette, the ex is marrying the mistress next week. She also got pregnant – accidentally on purpose of course. She knew that he wasn’t going to propose on his own, but she wanted the wedding badly enough. No other way to spin it. Very rarely are you fucking someone for 3 years and then “ooooppppppssssss, I’m pregnant”. Nope. She did it on purpose and now she gets to really see just how much he sucks. She just excuses all his bad behavior away because she is a doormat. Bringing a child into the world does not make a guy change and it certainly doesn’t make the relationship better. She thinks she is special, and he’s going to be the perfect husband, hahahahahaha!!!!!

        • My ex is further down the road with Schnoopie Slutpants and now they have 2 kids.

          She posts on FB ( yeah – I know I’m not supposed to look !) about how no-one appreciates her and all the work she does, like ironing and how fed up she is.

          Well ha! bl**dy ha! – You wanted him sweetie, now you got him, so suck it up !!

          • “If they did it with you, to somebody else, they’ll do it to you, with somebody else.” She’s probably cheating on him already.

          • Typical narc there though – “Look at me and my hard life” about things that are expected day-to-day in someone’s life, and wanting adoration for it. Poor fucking diddums to her.

          • She was tired of ironing? Oh, whoa is her. Who the fuck irons anymore???
            Still buying those cheap clothes are ya? (or maybe it’s me buying cheap clothes but I don’t think so; I buy great clothes that don’t need ironing – I was tired of ironing my dad’s awful hankerchiefs from childhood – and no way am I ironing somebody’s shorts or shirts. Let alone bedsheets.)

            Aww, the poor baby CHOOSING and then complaining about ironing?? groan
            Fiddle de dee.

              • lol Smarter – not original at all, but only thing that came to mind.
                I would have played a very small violin at that ironing comment but there’s no emoticom for that. 🙂

        • Oh yeah, mine also added with a big long sigh…our marriage has been in trouble a lonnnnngggg time.
          Well, that was sure news to me! I thought we were having the best years of our lives. In fact, just got over the ‘best year’ in my life, that’s for sure. I was that happy. Thought he was too.
          Talk about your knees crumbling from under you like a bomb on a building.
          All the layers above me came crashing down onto my head, stomach and loins.

  • My husband told me a few years back he was unhappy, so I suggested counselling. He refused. I said if I didn’t get what he was saying to me a neutral party could help with communication. He sneered and said “You would never change because someone else told you to”. I said, “I must be willing to, because I’m prepared to go to counselling, you’re not”.

    Even when I found his love letter to the Ukrainian scam artist earlier this year I was willing to do counselling, he still said no. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, cheaters are lazy, trying to maintain or repair a relationship takes work, leaving a relationship like an adult takes work, they don’t like work, at least not emotional work, including doing some on themselves.

    • Mine never said he was unhappy. He just decided it would be cool to disappear into the sunset with his Moscow woman, whose wealthy family owns a vineyard in Crimea !!! He would leave me, leave our home with its tiring chores and annoying bills, leave the very boring French Riviera, and take off for new magic adventures as an in-law of Russian vineyard owners !!!

      He did not question the fact that the Moscow woman’s dream was precisely to live in our area, that she doesn’t find boring at all, and leave her dull tiny appartment in the suburbs of Moscow.
      When she dumped him for another man of the French Riviera with a bigger house who did not have a girlfriend, he could have come to his senses, realized how good he had it, but hell no, he chose to contact more Russian women, text them all the time, watch porn videos, make me miserable, until I told him it was a better idea to walk out after all.

  • Mine said: “I left you a long time ago, Muse, I just never bothered to tell you.” I guess his idea of “leaving” didn’t include taking his shit out of my house and filing a change of address.

    He also said “I didn’t leave US, Muse I just left YOU.” Word salad for sure, but it actually makes sense to a narcissist. You see, his concept of “us” really only ever had him in it anyway, so once he discarded me for OW, his “us” was just the same as it was before.

    To me, he’ll forever be one thing: LOSER.

    • Funny that you say that! I guess it’s a common narcissist response. Finally after a whole year I got the response “I didn’t leave our family, I left You because of You”. That’s when I finally decided he is incapable of being a decent human being.

    • Yes! Yes! Yes! My Idiot still…. STILL … Has not forwarded his mail or changed his drivers lisence( i know this only because I had to get our daughter a passport) Like, seriously fucker? I didnt even say anything when I saw it because I know it just would give him a hard on.

      • Mine moved, but told everyone not to tell me (even though the decree specifies he must tell me any new address because we still have a minor child). House sales are public records so it only took me 10 minutes to find the new address. I’m going to forward a piece of mail to his new house, so he knows that I know his new address (just to fuck with his head).

        • Mine keeps moving for work, but declines to tell me, even when I point out that our updated custody agreement, which HIS attorney drafted, specifies we have to alert one another of new addresses within 48 hours of a move. He views it as none of my business.

          • Thats no problem. You can keep the kids full time then, because you have fuck-all idea where he lives.
            If he attempts to pull the “You’re keeping me from my kids!!!” line, you can just say “Didn’t know where you lived :)”

  • Yes exactly. Mine didn’t even say it was already over (I wish he had it may have woken me up!) He just exited our marriage when he cheated but still begged to stay and chumpy me believed his lies and crocodile tears and let him.
    He used the last 5 years to ramp up the abuse and make sure i neither have a retirement or spousal support(no income no support). It’s a regret that I have to work on forgiving myself for and to realize he is evil and never cared about me or loved me.

  • I was going through a difficult periop menopause and some serious surgery. I tried talking to him about it you know need help support understanding. He blew me off. Hes stoic bottles everything up. Threw himself into his business changed out dynanic put words in my mouth thoughts about my decisions made up in his own head. When he came up for air full blown affair. Different reasins on different days then when i got laid off word 10 later left to live with her. Never asked for a divorce not once. Two years later i filed and divorced him. Now still dragging ass buying the house cause his business is here but shoudnt be too much longer. Different answers different days. I stopped asking cause i no longer care. I just accept hes fucked up a relationship destroyer and hasnt a clue about love. Fuck him.

    • Kar marie, I relate to the issues in your marriage after your hysterectomy. I had a similar experience. Tried to explain that I needed emotional support, but I think my ex wasn’t capable of that. After he left and I discovered a document detailing his adoration and love for his married AP coworker one of the things he had on his list was “she’s healthy.”

      • Yes just coming out of menopause and then the full hystorectory and a major wall repair. Jump started menopause all over again. Did i get understanding and support. No. Did he ask what could make it better. No. I tried to explain. Not listening as far as he was concerned i was done with sex and now just a roommate. I never got that memo. After all was said and done my sex drive is the best its ever been. But he was deep into strange by then. He said he didnt know. He didnt listen. They never do. Just made up my mind for me. The excuse was he was never gonna leave me the whore decided otherwise. The main excuse he needed something different. Hes fairly happy with the whore i think but hes realizing what its cost him. Good he deserves to suffer! And he doesnt want to let go of me. Yesterday i was told i was being groomed for a permanant plan b. Best i heard for we will still be friends right? Not. gonna. happen.

        • The hysterectomy and then no emotional support whatsoever…
          Mine even went so far after I was hospitalized a second time for sepsis to demand I have sex with him or he would have sex somewhere else.
          I got no support and his treatment was abuse.
          The hard part now is reflecting on why I thought it was ok for him to abuse me and how and I going to forgive myself and never let this happen again.

          • Sorry that happened to you. I know how you feel. I forgive me too. I will never forgive asswipe.

          • I’m so sorry to hear he put you under that kind of pressure when you were already struggling with the effects of the hysterectomy. I used to tell people if my ex had prostate cancer I’d never have treated him that way, or abandoned him. For some people sex is the most important and only thing that matters. They can’t see it in the context of a mutually caring and reciprocal relationship. I’ve discovered since the divorce that there’s nothing wrong with me, a partner who approaches you with kindness and tenderness makes all the difference. In my marriage I felt so much shame for not being able to “please” him, on top of dealing with the ramifications of major surgery too. Within the span of a few years I went through surgery and treatment for cancer and then the complete hysterectomy too. What killed me was how my ex was so “understanding” to his female coworker who went through something similar after I did. Well, since she called him her “work husband,” I guess it was understandable that he’d be supportive, right?

            • Oh, and I forgot to mention this was a different female coworker than the one he said he adored because she was healthy.

            • Amazing how they are there for everyone elae except the spouse kids and family. Then he used to complain how all these people “talked” to him and fuck them. How about talking and listening to your own family dumb ass?!

          • Echo

            I often wondered why I let him abuse me. There were many things he did that made my heart sink. There is being sad and then there is another deep sadness we feel when we go along against our self preservation knowing they are selfishly taking part of us. This is when they tried to take our soul. Take it back Echo. It’s not theirs to keep. Forgive yourself.

            • Donna, I believe there are some common threads in our stories and your responses to me are so appreciated and welcomed and helpful.
              I am trying to forgive myself, and I do not think I can ever forgive him.
              The weirdest part of the whole experience of abuse (and I am living it in spades here in FOO land while making exodus plans) is that I am fully aware that I am being abused and want it to stop, but what stopped me from action with my x and my brother is that it is like I am feeling the shame they should feel…
              This may sound so weird and because the abuse I suffered, it took so long to even articulate what was going on in real time, my head and my heart. I am approaching 3 years since he walked. This is the first time trying to explain, so bear with me…
              When my x abused me, I was frightened and wanted to call the police for help. Then, I started to wonder why ANYONE would do this to me and thought of how I would feel if I had abused someone this horribly. Quite frankly if I had done unto anyone what had been done unto me, I would have felt such shame I know if it did not kill me, I would have to kill myself.
              It is becoming apparent that this fucked up thinking is a direct result of lessons learned early in life that my parents did not regard me as important enough to protect and love effectively. I believe it is a variation of I am not important and do not realize my own worth consistently.
              This is the direction being taken now in mental floss. Origin of worth and if not learned as a child, how to develop genuine self worth…

              • I understand completely about developing self worth. it’s taken me two years to let go of the abusive reins of my childhood. For fourteen years I maintained contact with father and brother while seeing my mom with Alzheimer’s under their care. I was given the responsibility of protecting her when I was very young. Her death was the beginning in letting go of the damaging roles I had to suffer. And my brother who was the most severely abused by my father turned on me, after she died. He believed u could save her. How fucked up is that. My father made uo lies about me like a true narc and my brother threatened to have me killed. I let go and have had no contact. Soon after the discard hit and I never saw the pattern.
                This is why I isolate myself, to have peace. Understanding each and every one of them and pulling myself out of the fixer role I adioed at a young age has become my shield. I recognize my brothers harm yet I know I can no longer save him. In order to get healthy I had to face my own limitations and know it wasn’t my job. I jumped out of the boiling pot. Understanding this helped me forgive myself. I understand them, yet will never forgive their actions unless they understand. And I do not believe they ever will gain that insight.
                Now the limited has brought a crazy woman into his life and she continues to stalk me. I can’t wait to see you at the next meet up. Peace and Love.

        • After I had my full hysterectomy X was annoyed that I called him the next morning at 8:30 am, X snapped at me saying he was trying to sleep. While I was recovering and needed help to walk to the bathroom he would make me wait, never offered to bring me something to drink or ask if I needed something. A friend came over to visit me while I was sleeping, she asked how I was doing, he said okay but I wish she wasn’t so needy.
          Afterwards when I would try and discuss something with him or during an argument he would ask if I had taken my hormones, if I’d say yes, he’s day maybe you should pop another one. Another popular remark from him was I thought after you had the hysterectomy you would change and be nicer.
          No empathy before, during or after surgery.

      • [mouth agape] “She’s healthy”?!@?! What a f***ing arsehole, Lyn. So glad you’re rid of him.

    • Same here, The Evil One was had been planning on leaving for months before I found out I needed a hysterectomy in January 2015; in March 2015 I found him and another woman FB Messaging (he left his lap-top On/Open, Facebook logged in to ALLOW me to read his chat with her telling her that he & I had been on the outs for months, that he would be getting his own place soon, etc.—it was ALL news to me!!! Sonofabitch, COWARD, LAZY bastard didn’t even have the balls to tell me face-to-face that he wanted out…coward, gut-less, soul-less, emotional-less evil bastard!!!

      He moved out in May 2015 — two weeks after my abdominal hysterectomy and on top of that I had a hernia repair surgery too. He didn’t give two shits about me and my needs.

      For months, even years, my hormones were raging, my moods all over the place, I was severely depressed…and all he did was go AWOL for 12+ hours after taking hundreds of dollars out of our joint account leaving us negative and then bitching the next day we didn’t have money for groceries and such for the week…he painted me as a lazy, fat slob of a wife and mother while he did nothing to help me be a parent to our daughter, clean up around here, etc. In June 2015, a woman messaged me on FB admitting that from January 2015 – April 2015 he and she had an “affair” (in our Chump_World, it was a long distance Emotional Affair, with a side of phone/cyber sex, depending on who you believe- he denies it). He promised on his grandmother’s grave that he was going to marry her and they were going to raise our daughter together that I didn’t want her and that I was a piss-poor mother, etc.

      He still tells lies about me to any one that will listen, the funny part is that the only ones that believe him are his OWife and all HER family and his family of course. Fuck them.

    • Oh girls! I hear you!

      I was admitted to emergency with profuse vaginal bleeding. It turned out to be a uterine pre-cancer. Thankfully it could be stopped and controlled with hormones, so hysterectomy was not necessary.

      However, proving the viability of the progesterone was a tough battle as they had to administer it in very high doses which make you a little unstable for awhile. Then they give you a very low dose IUD which just sorts everything out!

      But of course, while I was going through this process, apparently I was “melodramatic” and “paranoid”, to the point that he used that as yet another excuse to screw more young women behind my back.

      Let’s keep in mind here that he had two acute lower back episodes, and had major surgery to replace a vertebra in his neck… All the while I stood by him and was supportive.

      For the majority of my health problems, he was in another country screwing prostitutes, and I was “melodramatic”(?)

      Then there was the time he called me from overseas one morning because his back hurt so much he didn’t know what to do, and I had to help him! I clearly was in another country and couldn’t do anything for him from there, so suggested he contact the concierge to get help going to the hospital for treatment. Apparently I was evil and mean for not helping him more.

      I found out a couple years later that he had been screwing one of his regular whores in his hotel room the night before that episode. So I did actually ask him during the divorce why he didn’t get his little whore to help him out when he was in severe pain… Oh, right, because he’d probably have to pay her by the hour or buy her a designer handbag to get that kind of service. Right.

      Yet I was the “melodramatic” and “evil” one. Lol.

      Health problems are a bitch, but when push comes to shove, they are a great barometer for the state of a relationship.

      I am in a new relationship now and had a slight problem with said IUD, and needed to go see my doc. I told my fiancé, and without prompting, he said, “Well, let me know when your appointment is, I want to go with you and be there for you in case you need anything.”

      Once you have a good example of how reasonable adults act, you get over your 20 year narc relationship and understand the difference… Which is great. The new one is a keeper!

      • Yep sucks to give all the support to the cheater and get nothing but contempt in return like i asked for menopause or serious surgery. Only thing asswipe understands is his dick and his wallet. I know there are good understanding guys and gals out there ive yet to find one just for me.

  • “It was already over” is X-holes “go to” excuse for absolving himself of being a cheating piece of shit once he’s been undeniably CAUGHT and the ever dreaded “confrontation” has begun. He said these exact words to me and when I pointed out that he had cheated with a whore (seriously, discovered this far too late) on his last wife, his response…… “it was already over”.

    I love what Muse said, it’s the absolute truth! “You see, his concept of “us” really only ever had him in it anyway, so once he discarded me for OW his “us” was just the same as it was before.”

    The cold hard truth about these disordered assholes is that they have no concept of US because they can only ever think of themselves. It has taken me over a year to truly digest the depth of X-holes deceitful facade and how deeply fucked up he is.

    When I met him (so I thought) he was a divorced father with a beautiful 5 bedroom home in a fairly wealthy area. Two days after we got engaged and ONE day before I found out I was pregnant, he announced he was headed to court because they were foreclosing on his house. This is what cheating on and fucking over his first wife cost him. Last weekend he moved into a very small 2 bedroom condo in a very shitty area and he has 3 storage lockers that he is paying for to store the rest of his things. So, 10 years ago he was married with 3 beautiful children, a good wife (I truly like her) and a beautiful home. Now? He’s living in some shithole condo in a shithole town because his credit is so fucked that he has to live where they “accept BAD credit”. So glad to see him “living the DREAM!” Touche’ asshole.

    The only downside to all of this is my son, his pain and the fact that he is too young for me to explain ALL the reasons why we are better off. I can’t tell my 8 year old what a fucked up piece of a selfish shitbag his father is.

    Me? I can now honestly say I am glad to be FREE!! Sayonara is exactly right!

  • When I found out about the first affair I was a stay at home parent looking after 2 very young children. He said it was just “coffee” and that he needed someone to talk to. (What about me?) I now assume it was because he was not receiving the same amount of kibbles & cake now that we had children (self blaming).

    We went to counseling. Twice. No emotion, no remorse from him at all even after the affair was revealed. It was my fault because I wasn’t putting him on a pedestal. I thought we were partners raising our kids & building a life together. Ha!

    Due to vulnerable children and financial circumstances I stayed (and worked harder to please). The busier I got – he wouldn’t lift a finger around the home or with the children – the more “free time” he had.

    Fast forward 7 or 8 years. I worked harder, was the “perfect wife”. Kids were thriving. He spent that time cheating & planning an exit. Wracking up debt, letting the house fall down around us & downgrading his employment.

    He ended the marriage in a cowardly way. No conversation. Moved downstairs and led a life separate from the children and I. The kids were extremely upset & their marks were dropping. I finally got him out a few months later.

    I’m still fighting the fallout as he drags his feet during the separation. He wants to walk away a free man after 20 years like the 3 of us never existed.

    The exit speech? “Can you see us growing old together?” & “See, you’re happier now”. Wtf?

    • I heard something along those lines….”I told you we weren’t going to grow old together.” Oh – I guess I don’t remember that conversation.

    • Apparently we had been roommates for the past 14 years, although we still slept in the same bed until the day I left. He also stated to my son after he found his dad’s fuck phone “You can tell your mom about the phone. We were going to get a divorce anyways. You are just speeding up the process.” News to me….

    • The “we’re both happier now, so no harm, no foul, right?” drives me CRAZY (whether said or implied). Most of these cheaters need to be tied in a sack with pit vipers.

    • Kam,
      You speak for me. I’ve felt this way with my first boyfriend/fiance, my STBX, and the now ex-boyfriend, supposed friend of 30 years who I thought would be at my side on my deathbed. Time to start valuing ourselves more and stop trying harder to be perfect with as the disordered, selfish, and just chronically inconsiderate heap more and more trash on us. Use and abuse are strange things–after leaving a long-term very abusive relationship, it is easy to feel as though you are being treated well if someone throws you a few crumbs.

  • The last four years of my marriage started with wasband saying he had been unhappy for a very long time and he was making a long term plan to divorce me. I was so sick at the beginning of this, I ended up hospitalized for a week (physically exhausted from working 2 jobs to his 0, and mentally wrung out from his weird behavior).
    Oddly, the topic of divorce was not discussed again after I was discharged from the hospital. The weird behavior combined with many loving acts and plans for the future continued though…
    I knew he was unhappy or physically ill. I had suggested many things he could do or I could be involved in that would help him. He refused it all, therapy, medical help etc. So I actively invested in trying to regain my health and sanity while trying to be super supportive of him and increasingly manage down my needs in the marriage.
    In the end, after so much abuse (verbal, emotional, physical, etc.) he said he was done.
    We were not close any more (pretty hard to do when you come home so late and have a private internet life) and therefore not a couple, had not been for a long time.
    He said he had tried EVERYTHING he could to make our marriage work (wish I had the wherewithal to ask what exactly he had done, which was NOTHING).
    He also stated that his efforts in the marriage were rewarded with me constantly moving the goal posts every time he had gone out of the way to do something for me (again, I wish I had the capacity at the time to call him on this projection).
    After all the crazy making, he had his sick wife running around crazy in between surgeries, medical procedures, photochemotherapy, and caring for his parasitic abusive mom and uncle, yet nothing I did was good enough.
    He told me “I did not appreciate him” (yeah, that is why I was desperately running around trying to please him and meet his unrealistic demands because I did not love or appreciate him).
    He stated any of my effort was “Too little too late” or “absolute minimum effort”
    In hindsight, he had me running like a lunatic (I almost died from being so sick) while he was gaslighting me, making his new life without me, and emptying the bank accounts to fund his new life.
    He had manufactured a situation in which I felt crazy and needed to try harder and harder to please him when he had already made his move on plans and was just working to deplete me of any resource available before he left, up to and including trying to kill me.
    It was a rigged game I would never ever win. He set things up to move on and look like I was the one who drive him away with my craziness.
    I am so glad that I am coming up on three years away from the insanity and more able to see the truth of what he was doing.
    I did my best and was willing to die trying, he… he clearly did not care and wanted to make me look like the person in the wrong.
    It is a miracle I lived through his abuse.

    • Echo, I’m so sorry for what you went through. I agree that the game is rigged and no matter what , you’re going to lose. I was also very sick, sometimes deathly ill, during our marriage. Anyway, at least now that we’re out of the craziness we can take better care of ourselves. I’m so grateful that my health is better now.

      • Lyn, thank you.
        Hysterectomy and the complications were the death nail.
        I just no longer had the energy to keep up with the crazy demands and get nothing in return.
        My health is not great, but my head is not the mess it was… thinking I was destroying my marriage on purpose and not really being able to remember all of the demands yet anything I did was never the right thing, as if I was crazy and passive aggressively sabotaging the marriage that meant the world to me.
        Nope, it was crazy making to exhaust me and distract me from looking closely at the evil he was doing emptying my bank accounts and putting together his new life.
        Looking back, I was really sick for a really long time which eroded my self worth, this never would have gone so far if I had not been sick.

  • I mentioned this yesterday but I was the recipient of this tripe the day after I found out about the ex’s. I was gobsmacked. We were telling each other we loved one another every day, still having sex and still taking vacations together. He didn’t tell me he was unhappy and he didn’t tell me he wanted a divorce. Yet the first words out of his mouth were: “Our marriage has been over for a long time” which he apparently was telling anyone who would listen before that night. He just forgot to tell one fairly significant person about this development. His wife! Two people if you count a divorce lawyer.

    He didn’t do it legitimately for the three reasons chump lady mentioned and one more. You see, that’s the way he ended every relationship in his life. (His one serious relationship as a teenager). He started sleeping with someone else, waited for his girlfriend to find out and she dumped him. No hard work for him and hey, if it’s good enough for a 17 year old girlfriend, it’s certainly good enough for his wife of more than two decades who had two children with him. A fun bit of wisdom he delightfully shared with our youngest son!

    In the infamous words of Goldie Hawn in the movie Overboard: “This is my life, I didn’t marry very well did I?”

    Better late than never right?

    • “Two people if you count a divorce lawyer.”

      HA!!! Sooooo on point! Love it!

      Apparently, it’s really hard to dial the number of an attorney? It’s like George W. Bush in that episode of Family Guy: “Don’t make me do stuff!”

  • The irony is that the marriage was already over before it ever began, because these disordered SOB’s never meant anything they said. They only married because it brought them more cake — financially, and or better social image — the vows were only for us. The problem was it took us so long to figure out only one of us was an actual adult and honoring the vows and upholding the responsibilities of marriage. Why we put up with carrying so much for so long is another great mystery. It is always all about them and their needs and their desires. We are just useful, until they find someone more useful.

    One thing that those of us who had children learned — they can leave their children without a blink, too. All things done for the children are to enhance their image. What could the children have possibly done to “deserve” a parental abandonment? Nothing, of course. So when they tell us that all the work we did was not “enough” and that the marriage is over because of something we did or did not do, that is just more propaganda from the BS rationalization that substitutes for a brain in their disordered heads. No one can pick me dance long enough and vary the steps enough to hold their interest — poor bored and deprived sausages, they must be coddled and worshiped at all times. The marriage was already over? Great — you have been liberated from any obligations you tried to fulfill. It is actually like being freed from a prison of your own expectations. The truth is they were never there in the first place.

    • “Why we put up with carrying so much for so long is another great mystery. ”

      Portia, my counselor told me “Figuring out why he did what he did isn’t the issue. The real issue is figuring out why you stayed so long with someone who treated you that way.”

    • Portia, this is spot on regarding the children. I think it is with the kids that you first get a sense of the image management and enhancement. I didn’t see it for myself for years, but with the kids, I saw something different. I saw a guy who never wanted to be the ‘bad’ guy. He never wanted to discipline, he always took the easiest way out for any decision or need. Kids hungry? make something nutritious? Hell no, take them to McDonalds, no work and hero dad because mum would never take them there. He was complicit in the undermining chores. He didn’t want to do them. Kids as kids are didn’t want to do them, so he would manufacture some reason or help them evaporate when it was time to do chores. Hero fucking dad. When I asked him to do something for the kids, he would always ask ‘What’s in it for me?’ He is such a douche. Every day I pinch myself that I am not with him. And every day I send very grinchy little prayers of thanks to CFMily/Slunty for taking him off my hands. Other than my settlement, which is great, because 1 he is not interested in money and 2 was image management for the kids, I really can’t think of a way he contributed to the family or to me like a real human being. Good riddance to bad garbage.

    • “The irony is that the marriage was already over before it ever began, because these disordered SOB’s never meant anything they said. They only married because it brought them more cake — financially, and or better social image — the vows were only for us. The problem was it took us so long to figure out only one of us was an actual adult and honoring the vows and upholding the responsibilities of marriage. Why we put up with carrying so much for so long is another great mystery. It is always all about them and their needs and their desires. We are just useful, until they find someone more useful.”

      Oh wow! just wow! – That is SO true !!

  • I can’t tell you how on point this is. Thank you!

    This was my ex to a T. Told her affair partner that her marriage was on the rocks, presumably to make him feel better about fucking around with a married woman. Somehow, she neglected to inform me of this fact. Over a year after the divorce, she insisted that I must have seen it coming. Surely, I knew the writing was on the wall.

    Funny thing is she had actually acknowledged during the divorce that maybe she should have communicated with me sooner about her marital complaints. It was literally the only thing she ever apologized for. A year later, she apparently forgot all about this as her revisionist history of our relationship overwrote even HER previous version of events.

    So there you go. Guilt absolved. Everyone was clearly on the same page. No deception, no compromised morals, no shame to be felt about ripping your husband’s family away from him when mere days before he had been in a happy marriage for all he could tell.

    I think the only thing more startling than the kind of bullshit this people propagate, is the fact that they seem to really believe it.

    • Mike B., my ex also seemed to have decided that I thought and felt the same about our marriage as he did. It was like he made up his mind about what I felt without ever asking me. It was so weird. At the very end I was telling him how his constant traveling and absence from home was so difficult on our relationship. He cut me off and adamantly said, “No, it wasn’t.” It was like his version of reality was the only one that counted.

      • My ex pulled the very same garbage, using the royal “we”. “We” have been unhappy for a long time. He loved to define me and speak as if he and I were one and the same. Truly narcissistic thought processes. He also had the temerity to say “you killed our love in Arizona because you wee unhappy(a decade earlier) so I no longer felt married to you”. Raising his four children with no help or emotional support from him was supposed to make me cheerful all the time? Of course he didn’t let me in on that “unmarried thought”, he just serial cheated because after all in his mind he was single. So I was dealing with a checked out husband who wouldn’t communicate or go to counseling (he didn’t believe in them for himself, but I should go cause I was the one with the problem). He asked for a divorce based on “our” unhappiness with no mention of the 20 or so affair partners. 4 years later after several d-days, pick me dances, separation and reconciliation, I filed, giving him what he said he wanted. Then of course, he called mutual friends and family to tell them “I was in a dark place” and suing him for divorce seemingly out of the blue. He failed to mention the letter I had received the day before from his final affair partner outing their continuing contact.

    • (disclaimer: untangling the skein of fuckedupesness):

      Whether or not they believe their crap, whether or not they see how evil they are is an interesting question.

      I think they can compartmentalize and rationalize to avoid feeling bad or guilty, and thus they do believe their crap and they are incapable of seeing themselves as being lying cheaters.

      But then Dr. George Simon is well known for saying

      “For grandiose narcissists, it’s not so much that they don’t hear themselves, it’s that they don’t care much about hearing others. It’s all about them, what they want, and their image. While such an attitude is hard to fathom, the failure to accept this reality has been the doing-in of many a relationship. When it comes to the character-disturbed, as opposed to the more “neurotic” among us, it’s important to remember that it’s not that they don’t see, it’s that they disagree. It’s not that they’re not aware enough but that they don’t care enough. They hear themselves, alright. They just don’t value you enough to really hear you.”

  • My Ex pulled that “our marriage was over, we were just roommates” thing. It was such a mind-fuck and really the deepest shame for me. Our sex life wasn’t great, but we had a 2 year old and full time jobs, and I had gained weight and wasn’t feeling all that sexy, and despite me asking he wouldn’t do anything to make me feel appreciated. But maybe he was right?

    But if it was over why did he give me a Valentine’s day card a week before D-Day in which he wrote “to my one and only.” And why did we (2 months before D-day) book a 9-day trip to Disneyworld, non-refundable and paid in full, for later in the year? And why did we invite his parents along on our trip to Disneyworld and have them pay for their trip in full in advance? If he knew it was over, why did he not speak up when I went off birth control a few months earlier because we were hoping to have another baby, and why didn’t he speak up when we went to visit open houses to buy a larger home for the family I thought we were going to be expanding? And why didn’t he speak up when we met with realtors about putting our house on the market?

    It certainly wasn’t over in my mind. And if it was over in his mind he did a really shitty job of communicating that and not stringing me along. Things weren’t perfect in our marriage, but it was only over in his mind and he played along like everything was hunky dory until d-day.

    • SJ, I got the “We are just roommates” line, too. (Which I’m sure he told Schmoopie when he met her at the self-improvement retreat.) If roommates fuck, then I’d like to advertise a room for rent in my place right now. I also didn’t get the “We are done” memo. One day he came to me with ideas for our summer holidays; the very next day he ended the relationship, saying his “heart wasn’t in it anymore.” I found out about the OW when we went to counselling two weeks later and the counsellor point blank asked him if there was someone else.

  • They absolutely know what they are doing when they say ‘ it was over a long time ago’ Its one of the statements they use to see if they can plant doubt. Once they can plant doubt they now have ( seemingly) the upper hand. U lament and go over every scenario at 3 in the morning staring at your ceiling trying to figure that exact moment. U go through your memories like a forensic investigator…. Was it when we were at the lake and had that blow up in the car? Or was it at Aunt Marg’s birthday party and I danced with my second cousin? When ? Statements like that have power and the cheater knows it. Once busted…. They start to build their arsenal. You get statement after statement of ‘ their’ truths. Statements that you really cant disprove but are so off the reality of what you have been living. They want you to do the mental math… The algebra… Why did Y become X?
    Its a mind fuck.

    • Excellent point, TheClip! I have gone over and over in my mind trying to put my finger on the moment that our “marriage was over” in his mind. I used to look at some piece of jewelry he’d given me and wonder “did he love me when he gave me this? Or had he already ‘fallen out of love?’” It drove me crazy for awhile because I couldn’t figure out when our marriage ended for him, since he was still in it.

      • I sold all the jewelry. Looking back he only bought it so his “wife appliance” could wear it in front of his work buddies and he could flash his wealth. Now he has a new a new “wife appliance” 20 years younger with with even flashier jewelry. But he is still an asshole.

        • I kept all my jewelry from Hannibal, mostly because I like it and it is now devoid of any real emotional memories.

          An interesting (and metaphoric) thing happened a few months after D-day: the nicest piece of jewelry he bought me was an emerald ring, and he claimed that it made him happy to make me so happy. A month after I filed, the emerald got a significant chip in it and fell out of the setting. After a long search, I found it, but the ring will have to be re-configured. A symbol for my post-divorce life–chipped, but with a new setting.

          • Wait? He gave you gifts? Of jewelry? What a strange and interesting concept. H would always say, on the day of the event (birthday/anniversary/Mothers Day) “Oh, I’m going to get you a (fill in the blank).” What a hero! Then he promptly forgot about said future gift. The last three Mothers’ Days, he gave me the same card. THE SAME EXACT CARD. Didn’t even know it. I kept my mouth shut because my kids were watching. But they’re quite observant and called him out on it. He just laughed it off.

            • The.same.card? For 3 years? That goes in the Chump annals of Insensitive-Things-Cheaters-Do. amazing

            • Recognizing this tactic! Gifts?? He didn’t do gifts. Thirty years of either, “I forgot”, or “I was busy”, or “you’re impossible to shop for!” I did ask him how he knew this, since he’d never actually tried. He did buy gifts for the Russian whore, though. Well, I buy myself lovely gifts now with the alimony. Sayonara, loser

              • Ah! Gifts…

                The gifts my X got me went from thoughtful to image management jewelry tokens to “you know I love you, no need to participate in all this commercial stuff”…

                Then, for Mother’s Day and other celebrations, he started getting me exotic plants… His favorite types of exotic plants, given to me who he knew hates gardening/taking care of plants…

                Chumpy me, I smiled, thanked him for each gift, tried to stir him towards more desirable options for future gifts, and all along took care of these plants while he was touring the world for his job (and other extra-marital activities)…

                I divorced that sucker, and left the plants behind… Now my favorite greenery are the beautiful views of a nearby forest I see through my windows :)!

            • mightily – I hear you on the same card 2 years in a row. Cheater gave me the same ugly necklace two years in a row. The first time, I told him I preferred something daintier so I was going to exchange it. When I took it back to the store, the sales lady took one look and said ‘this is for a woman who is way more mature in age than you are’. Yes, it was a very large, matronly pendent. I actually told him what the lady said. When I opened the present the next year and saw it was the exact same pendent, I couldn’t hold my tongue but I wasn’t mean about it. Thank goodness that store went out of business!

        • I gave all the jewelry he gave me to his coworkers (who happen to be my friends), so he would have to repeatedly face it. I sold the wedding ring.

        • I still have some of the jewelry, am saving it in case I need to sell it for a rainy day. Other pieces I’ve given away.

  • And you got to “love” the cheaters that claim this yet attend multiple marriage counseling sessions as if they are actually giving the marriage a shot…when they are not (they are cheating the whole time).

  • Yeah, I got this line as well, after the fact….(no memo during the fact). It was bs, especially since he was still having sex with me on occasion during his affair. Twu wuv….not so much.

  • Yes! I was told every single one of these, never mind the fact that he was living his double life for 9 months up until I confronted him with phone records and told him to leave. The next day the mask was off. 23 years together and 2 children and it’s like our life never existed! Cheaters suck!!!!

  • I wonder if every member of Chump Nation has heard this?
    Even my lame cheater said this to me, and to our 12 yr old daughter. This is the one thing that really irritated me. Post decision to separate I heard this.

    No, the marriage was not long over, at least not to me! If it had been, believe me, I would not have stayed home alone for a year, single parenting the kids, so ex could work at his dream job clear across the country (and yes, that is where OWife came from, the final OW as it turns out). He came home every 4-5 weeks.

    The real kicker…. ex never would have taken the job because he was so passive and lame; I encouraged it as he was so unhappy, claiming the entire time that it was due to WORK, and insisting it was not US.

    That’s ok, he married the OWife, they have two children under 3, he left the “Dream” job and is apparently miserable.

    The bus is pulling up…..

  • Cheaters – which includes my ex-wife – will NEVER understand what Chump Lady just mentioned as the common truth. The little hamster in their head is taking a fuck-break.

    What cheaters don’t understand is that the betrayed spouse married them, they took care of them, they bonded to them, they also helped make and raise their kids – and for that – they are owed a certain level of respect – instead of getting that respect the cheaters just took the world out from under them. That is cruel!

    I think I am going to sign up on Ashley fucking Madison today and copy and paste this post under my new profile just so the cheaters get the “memo”.

  • A year before our 36 year union blew up satan came home from work one night in February (2011 I think) and barked all kinds of crap at me about how things were gonna change or he wanted a divorce.

    1. I hate his family – WHA???
    2. I wouldn’t let him see his family – WHA???
    3. I was and ALWAYS HAD had affairs – WHAT!!!!
    4. I treated him so bad that even our kids were telling him to leave me – the kids were baffled by this one.

    …the list went on and on and none of it made sense. I became increasingly upset and suffered extreme anxiety constantly…started dropping weight at an alarming rate and couldn’t eat or sleep…constantly throwing up…ugh I am so glad to be out of the unending drama and chaos of the disordered asshole.

    Once the truth of the matter was on the table – super secret cell phone and multiple affairs exposed – I filed for divorce. I asked satan to list what he wanted in the divorce and handed him a pad and pen…he proceeded to make an itemized list – reading them off as he wrote them down:

    1. I don’t want you
    2. I don’t want that stupid dog
    3. I don’t want this stupid house
    4. I don’t want anything in this stupid house
    5. I want everything that makes me money

    …I took the list to my attorney and we wrote up a fair settlement.

    satan was cleaning the chimney when he was served the papers…it shook him up to say the least. He scared the process server so bad he ran away, leaving me with the raging narc.

    satan, sobbing, got in his truck and left. He came back that evening and announced that he was ‘comfortable’ living with me and wasn’t leaving…

    The all around abuse ramped up…I lost more weight…got sicker and sicker…and then…he was removed by the police.

    Fast forward THREE YEARS (and thousands of dollars later) here comes satan blubbering crocodile tears and begging me to drop the divorce and help him come home. WHAT! I listen patiently and then calmly ask him why he doesn’t just go live with his kroger ho…tears STOP replaced with RAGE (ahhh, there you are real monster) and he screams at me that she is ‘JUST LIKE ALL THE REST! A WHORE.

    Wow huh…yep. There ya go…there ya go. Like my friend Barbie says – what a whackadoodle!

    • Jeep, I know that wasn’t funny at the time but the stuff he said and the way he acted actually made me laugh out loud. What an abusive a-*#$%.

      • You’re right Lyn, at the time it was soul shattering…notsamuch now…now it makes me laugh too 🙂 and dance 😀 and the ‘stupid dog’ dances with me 🙂 We are free of him.

        Oh…and all that ‘stuff that makes him money’…I’m told, is falling down around his feet…buildings full of bed bugs and non-paying, destructive tenants…hummm…how bout that satan?

        …dating / sleeping with children 20 – 30 years younger than him…his grandchildren’s ages…huh…look at him go…he is quite a man huh… …oh…and most of them have 1 or more children…wow…uncle daddy satan. …cracks me up.

        Me and the stupid dog just do boring things like gardening and canning and quilting and reading and dancing and cooking great meals and hangin out with my kids and my new friends…we are quite boring. 😀 Oh and we are painting everything white too 😀 Turns out my style is shabby chic. Who knew amongst all the dark and heavy past life? My future he forced me into kicking and screaming has turned into such a Blessing! I wake up smiling and full of joy everyday now…so does the stupid dog 🙂

        Oh…and I’m told his ‘mantra’ these days is, ‘…I miss my wife, I miss my life, I even miss that stupid dog.’ huh…amazing how that stuff works out huh 🙂

        So glad to be free of him…

          • Thank you Tessie 🙂

            (…my dad used to call me Tessie when I was little 😀 )

            God Bless you Tessie. I hope you are doing well.

            I am still scared and such about my future but I am scared and such without the added burden of living with an abusive person – that in itself makes everyday happier 😀

            • Thanks for that jeep. Woke up crying. I told him yesterday I want a divorce as soon as possible-no reaction. It was like I didn’t even say it. That really hurt…. your post made me smile. Karma is a bitch…

  • Sounds familiar. When we decided to divorce – after 15 to 18 months of my STBX being very distant, not very nice … – I first got: “I love you but am not in love with you anymore.” Then I got, “I’ve just been so unhappy for so long.” When I asked the STBX why he didn’t say anything he said he just couldn’t talk to me anymore. When I asked he swore there was no “other woman” that he just wasn’t in love with me anymore. Then I got suspicious. And, I discovered the “emotional” affair.

    When I confronted him I got the famous “but our marriage has been over for a long time.” I told him that I wasn’t aware it was over and that it was unfortunate that he strung me along for the past few years rather than being honest and telling me it was over. To which he replied: “But it was so hard. I just wasn’t sure it was over. I couldn’t admit it to myself.”

    I wonder if he realized the inconsistency of saying one minute – it’s been over for years and the next saying but I wasn’t sure it was over. So it’s over when you screw her but not over when you realize all you have to lose by divorcing ?? Thank goodness I’d already told him to take a hike and didn’t do the pick me dance. That really didn’t fit into his plan – so now he’s putting pressure on the OW to commit, tell her kids, leave her spouse … That should be fun.

    • Wow! My story to a T! I heard that exact same crap in the same order. Funny how she was so miserable but wants to remain friends. I guess i’m of use since new boyfriend is unemployed and she’s making minimum wage. Cheaters really are a sad bunch!

      • Yep my STBXH really wants to be friends, too. But if I really was as awful as he says and he feels like he can’t talk to me, I can’t see why he’d want to stay friends. Generally you like your friends and you can talk to them, right?
        I think it’s image management – if I accept his friendship then he wont look so bad for leaving his wife and daughter.
        But I don’t want to be friends with someone who lied and cheated. That’s not my definition of a friend.

        • I, too, heard, upon break up, ‘Let’s be friends again (after things cool down)’ from the guy I thought was my friend for 30 years, my boyfriend (who told me that he loved me), the man with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I told him, ‘Cool down? You’ve already checked out. Actually, you never checked in.’ People I consider friends don’t lie to me and mislead me. They don’t use my body as a receptacle and warm, fuzzy security blanket until they tire of me (especially knowing that I was completely devoted to them. So no thanks, I don’t want to have you, person who is afraid to tell me the truth about our arrangement for nearly a year and thinks that withholding that information is ok because telling the truth is uncomfortable, as a fake friend to maintain your shiny ‘Nice Guy’ image.

    • It’s truly scary that my now xh also gave me the same exact reasoning, (from a warped mind only could come up with) and the mixed messages kept me stuck smoking hopium for too long. I finally put away the hopium pipe and started smoking the peace pipe, my life still sucks sometimes. Yet I live a real and truthfully authentic life now of which I don’t know where I’m going but at least I know I’m the one steering at the helm of the ship.

    • “When I confronted him I got the famous “but our marriage has been over for a long time.” I told him that I wasn’t aware it was over and that it was unfortunate that he strung me along for the past few years rather than being honest and telling me it was over. To which he replied: “But it was so hard. I just wasn’t sure it was over. I couldn’t admit it to myself.”

      I wonder if he realized the inconsistency of saying one minute – it’s been over for years and the next saying but I wasn’t sure it was over. So it’s over when you screw her but not over when you realize all you have to lose by divorcing ??”

      The ex did the very same thing, he strung me along for 2 years according to him, because he just “wasn’t sure that it was over” and he “needed” to be in our relationship, because poor, sad sausage had the sadz and he needed his family to be able to leave me. Who the f*ck does that knowingly to someone that they claim to “love”. At some point, and I don’t care to figure out when, I became a wife appliance, with no feelings of my own,or expectations, or needs or wants. That was one of the most surreal moments after discard for me, when x was all “truthful”, he basically told me that he hadn’t really “seen” me or thought about my feelings for years. These same damn years that he found ways to make my life a living hell, walking on egg shells and just plain distant, until he threw me a kibble or two for being “good to him” and then the abuse would start all over again. And all through this him telling me that he loved me daily, that he wanted to grow old together, etc. The cognitive dissonance of that whole thing was hard to get over, but I am coming out the other side and life is good, sometimes hard but good and I don’t have to deal with that f*er ever again. That’s the best thing to come out of this whole nasty business.

  • I don’t think there was EVER a time when Mr. Sparkles was faithful. (True Example: I’m picking crabs out of his butt hairs upon our return from a vacation to Mexico while we were dating and he’s saying they must’ve come from the blanket on our bed from when he took a nap on it while I visited a museum. Naive me believed him.)

    But, I digress.

    My final D-day began during our annual family vacation to the Jersey shore. We had our usual activities: going to the beach, deep sea fishing excursion, lobster dinner on the deck, boardwalk amusements. But, Mr. Sparkles apparently had some extra-curriculars that included calling MULTIPLE WOMEN that he had met at the gyms he belonged to (thank you CrossFit and Spinning classes).

    He even went so far as to claim he was driving home for the night to conduct job interviews the next day at work… but he only got as far as 3 beach towns away when he had to pullover from exhaustion and sleep for 3 hours before returning back to our beach house (so, basically, he drove 3 towns up – had a date with the woman who would become his AP and whom he is still “in love” with now – at least until SHE discovers his Adult Friend Finder activities… but again, I digress!)…

    When he told me 3 weeks later that he was moving out, he confessed to calling women while we were on vacation because as he said, “I knew I was done.”… Yup. He had mentally decided he was done. Game over for Mr. Sparkles. Forget about me and our 10 year marriage, his 9yo son, my 16 yo stepdaughter heading into her senior year of high school, and my 18 yo stepson beginning college that both lived with us. Mr. Sparkles was done with marriage #2 and ready to fall in love with a new woman (and her two kids)… because “he didn’t think he could feel this way again.”

    Upside… I’m on my way to divorce-freedom (YES, I had to file!).

    Upside… SHE can pick the crabs out of his ass from his next AFF fling… because just like with me, he’s been cheating on her since Day 1.

    Rock on Chump Nation… Rock on.

    • THAT is a hilarious visual!! Oh, the things Chumps do for love…
      His timing of exploding your marriage is classic. His son and daughter are entering adulthood, so the Narc is thinking- WAAAHHH what about me? I want to be a teenager too! So, don’t wonder why they bail at that time, they SHOULD be happy for their kids, and guiding them to success in life, right?
      Nah, in their sick little mind, it goes like this- I want what I want, and I’m a teenager, too!

  • On my d day , my husband of 18 years came in from work hours late as usual. He picked at his dinner and then went to the living room and sat there in silence.(something that I had grown accustomed to) Our son had been in Afghanistan for months and I had been under so much stress and I had thought that this was his stress too which explained his silence and late days at the office. When I asked him if he was ok, he said that he was not happy, he hadn’t been in 2 years. He said I had obsessed too much and that I had let myself go.
    He told plenty of others that I was verbally abusive and spent all of his money. He said I had cut him off sexually. All of this as I had been bleeding for a whole month prior (thinking it was either menopause or the stress of my son Brandon being in danger in Afghanistan) After that 12 minute conversation, he left . Days later I went to my doctors appointment only to discover I had gov 16 and the early stages of cervical cancer. I filed that same day.

  • I didn’t stick around for an explanation myself, but I know snake was discussing me in a negative light to others, I’d already gotten a couple versions of ILYBINILWY. I’m quite sure I would have gotten some version of “the marriage was already over”.

    Maybe he thinks it was. And that makes him pushing for a move to a state with divorce laws that would favor him financially all the more devious.

    But D-Day hit in time for me to file for divorce in a state where the laws are better for me. Joke’s on you, motherfucker.

    • Part of my nowdeadwife’s chat archive that I discovered after she died, the diarrhea icing on the shit cake, so to speak, were the comments she made to the boyfriends and potential boyfriends about me, how she loved me but wasn’t in love with me, and especially how utterly inadequate I apparently was in the sack. One of them even said “you should go cuddle with your husband”. She responded “I want to cuddle, just not with him.”

      None of this ever came out to my face, but you’ll share that stuff with random strangers you’re hoping to f*ck online. Really???

      • HeatDeath–how horrible for you to find that nonsense, and after her death so that your rage had nowhere to go. We all know our serial cheater Xs said wretched things about us and our marriages, but it’s a different ballgame to see it in print.

        • HeatDeath

          There were two times I had insight into the horrible things the Limited said about me. Once was from a woman he tried to date while married and the other time I overheard him tslking about me to a man I told him to hire because his wife had health issues.
          The person he described was NOT me. He was describing himself. People with these issues are very disturbed. What they say or write has little to do with us. They are pathological liars.

  • I got this line too.

    When researching affairs afterwards, and trying to figure my life out (untangle the skein), I read about how “therapists” have different classifications for affairs. The one I thought I was in (thanks to the “our marriage has been over” line) was an “Exit Affair” where basically the WS is relieved of any responsibility because the marriage was going to end from his/her perspective anyway.

    What’s always missing in this explanation though is that the BS is never forewarned or given the opportunity to agree to suddenly be in an open marriage. No, that decision is just made for him/her by the WS, and that’s somehow ok. I hate the RIC.

  • Closely related to “Our marriage was already over,” is “We never should have gotten married to begin with,” or “I never really loved you anyway,” or “We have nothing in common,” or “I never felt the passion for you that a husband should,” or “We were never each others soulmates,” or “We never really looked into each other’s eyes like we were the best thing that ever happened to each other.”

    Those are all the things I was told by ex. Funny, for all 20 years of our marriage, he was telling me that I was his best friend, that he was happy, that he would never want a divorce. Then bam! Dday arrived and his tune changed 160.

    • And of course, there was the fact that I don’t enjoy listening to Christmas music nonstop from Nov 1 until into January. According to him, it was child abuse for our son to grow up in a home where the mother felt that way. I shit you not, he actually said that.

      • GIO – Wow, what a fucktard!

        I also got “would we even date if we met each other now?”

        My answer: “Would I date someone who secretly racks up $100K in debt and then sleeps with other dudes? Uhm, you’re right, NO, I would NOT date that person now!”

        I left out the part about wanting to correct her grammar… 😉

        • I snicker whenever Ex uses poor grammar, too, especially when he’s puffing out his chest (literally or figuratively) to communicate something *very important.* Idiot.

    • Amazing how meeting some whore named schooompi or schoomper joe ( no disrespect to any joes) changes every frabric of their being. How about you were a great wife friend and mother karmarie but im a fucked up entitled bastard and im leaving so i dont hurt you anymore im so very sorry and the divorce settlement will be hugely in your favor. How about that? Nope just soulless bastards and biches!!!

    • Heard all those to and also that we were never really married, oh but can we get the marriage annulled? Uhm no we can’t! Do you deny we have been married legally and religiously and consummating for 20 years. Such dumbass inconsistent non- logic all in one thought. I swear he had a short somewhere in his brain wiring.

  • CL you have described my ex and me to a Tee. When I figured out he was not invested, i went to end it.

    I guess that is why he got so angry. Oh well.

    I am loving life these days. I finally quit waking up angry from the way I was treated and am getting fully invested in my life. praise God!!!!!

  • I was told that, at bomb drop, he had been unhappy for six weeks, then a few minutes later, it was 3 months, then a few minutes after that it was that he’d been unhappy for 6 months. He was a sneaky bastard, so I’m guessing that his relationship with his whore probably started physically within at least one of those dates. He’d lusted for her for approximately 7 years and she had just moved back to our city 8 months before he bailed.

    I asked him why he didn’t tell me he was unhappy. He told me that he was “afraid” to tell me, because of my “anger”. Hmmm…one would think that someone would be angrier to be dumped than to have an honest conversation. He made me feel like a monster. I don’t even think I ever yelled at the shithead. (I guess when you’re conflict avoid, any criticism is perceived as anger.)Then I got the “This is something I have to do for me.” And this lovely classic: “I’m doing this with your best interest at heart.” And finally, “If I can’t love you, then it isn’t fair to you…or to ME.”

    When I finally unearthed the affair – even with proof – he continued to deny it, but told me: “It’s not you, it’s me…I’m the asshole.” BINGO!!! Finally, the truth.

  • One thing I hate about this whole situation is the emphasis on freaky sex.

    I love sex and I have never been a prude BUT I am a grown up. I have a full time job. I have hobbies and interests. Sex is not the main activity of my life. Ideally, it would be just one aspect of a full rich life.

    But that’s just me.

    Nonetheless, as a result of D-day, I am now aware of a whole world of disgusting exploitation of vulnerable girls. STBX’s preference is for the most extreme things you can imagine. And it’s his only interest. Well, sex and drinking.

    I didn’t know and I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

    And after a few months of obsessing on HIS choices, I’m happy to report that “meh” is showing up, sometimes for whole hours at a time.

  • On point as usual, CL. The Entitled One hit me with “we were just roommates anyway” after the last D-Day, to which I responded, “Roommates who have sex? Who tell each other they love each other? Who call each other soul mates? THOSE kind of roommates?”

    He dropped that line and moved to how the marriage was over already and I knew we were having problems because he’d told me many times I wasn’t meeting his needs. True, he’d lose his temper and tell (or yell at) me about how I wasn’t meeting his needs and I probably wasn’t capable of it. When things were calmer, I’d approach him about these arguments but he’d tell me that he was just mad, things weren’t that bad, he believed we could work things out. Nine months past the final D-Day, I see this for what it was: an enormous mind-fuck. I’d begun to think of him as two people. The Asshole who said things he didn’t mean and maybe needed his meds adjusted, and The Good One who was the loving, fun, supportive partner. Turns out the Asshole is who he really is and the Good One was him gaslighting me.

    • Reminds me of when after the BD “ILYBNILY” he said I was his best friend, a great wife and we have a wonderful relationship, and he loves me like a sister. Somehow I just couldn’t hold back anymore and responded “You’d FUCK your sister?” The look on his face… well I’m sure you have all seen it.

      • I wore this ‘love you like a sister’ line from one of my ex’s when we broke up (after he pulled some gaslighting shit and blameshift that I was the one at fault for ‘everything’). I always thought it was a pathetic excuse, really – but then again, his ‘cousin’ (who I actually suspect was an OW instead) came to visit and they went on holiday together without me, shortly before said breakup. So I guess it makes sense.
        Really though, what is a proper healthy relationship at its brass bolts – if its not best friends who have sex with each other?

        • Mine said he “Loved me like a family member”. I’m glad to not be in his “family” anymore. He’s married his whore, so I guess he will love her “like a family member too”. Couldn’t happen to a nicer slut.

          • Almost two years ago, I asked my STBX why he didn’t divorce me before he started paying prostitutes and having affairs, he told me, ‘because divorce is difficult.’ To these highly unethical cheaters, the ends justify the means.

            • From my now ex-boyfriend, when I asked him why he was dumping me after he said that he loved me (and said he missed me the day before), he said, ‘I love your whole family because you are open and kind.’ I couldn’t help but think, ‘You don’t have sex with my dad.’ He later told me that he meant in the last part of the relationship. On the day he unofficially broke up with me (on which he told me that he didn’t want to ever marry me and didn’t want to ever live with me after the topic of having roommates in his mostly empty house came up as he was discussing financial planning and preceded the official break up date by one week), he told me that he had been trying to avoid me by working even more than usual for the previous two weeks because he wasn’t comfortable in our relationship but didn’t want to say anything because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. The following week, he told me that he didn’t know until the unofficial break up day that he was going to tell me that he never wanted to marry me, never want to live with me, and wanted to run away from me. He also thought that it was funny when we were having sex on my birthday and I told him I loved him to say, ‘Happy birthday’ instead of ‘I love you, too’ or ‘That’s sweet’ or at last, ‘Thank you.’ I know realize that he wanted a Friends with Benefits arrangement the whole time, but he keeps denying that he viewed our arrangement as such. (Perhaps admitting so would tarnish his shiny image.) So sick of people who constantly change their tune and try to justify their lies and deceptions.

              Sometimes I get so depressed, even with exercise, medication, and counseling by a licensed clinical social worker (who I think is not very sophisticated but all I can afford), that I just want to permanently check out of life (perhaps through a mixed drink, a prescription medication cocktail). I think that the main thing that stops me is the thought that my abusive STBX would become primary custodian of our young children, and I love our children enough to not want to subject them to a life in which they are raised by criminally insane parent (dad). I have barely slept in the last two weeks (even though I have been very sleep deprived for several years) and lost eight pounds in two weeks, which I have never done and probably shouldn’t do as I am not overweight, and don’t feel like ever eating again. I am sick of hearing time heals all wounds. In my case, time, psychotherapy, medication, etc. have not. In fact, I went to bed last night feeling unusually peaceful, although it was the first full weekend ex-boyfriend was not around, but I ended up dreaming that my first fiance/boyfriend from decades ago who devastated me was happily emotionally supporting me as his partner. I woke up feeling awful. Does anyone else ever feel the way I do–out of despair, not want to live any more?

              • RockStar Wife, none of these losers is worth a minute of your time. Much less your life. Do you have a real life friend you can talk to?

              • RockStarWife–I doubt there isn’t a single one of us who has not, at least once a week for some specified time after D-day, wished we could just curl up in a ball and exit this life without further ado. On top of the trauma of infidelity, dealing with your psychopathic X, and all the financial challenges, you’ve taken yet another hit from your boyfriend of the past year. You feel helpless, and rightfully so–everything you’ve tried to do right has been thrown back in your face, except for your parenting. It is enough to make a person despair.

                But…in two weeks you won’t feel like that, and will be glad that you hung in. The trick is what can you do to “hang in” for two weeks, when the pain is palpable. No easy answers–you simply put one foot in front of the other despite the near-constant pain, and make sure that you have at least 5 minutes of self-care every day to remind yourself of the promise of better things to come. The near-constant pain will ease so that you have 15 minutes respite per day, then 30, then a whole hour. The sides of the hole you’ve been cast into, through no fault of your own, are steep but not insurmountable. One foothold at a time.

                I know you don’t often post in the forums, but it is worth a visit to the Private: General forum, the thread “Been prescribed anti-depressants” to see that (a) you are not alone in your despair, and (b) the advice on that thread may be useful.

                Big hugs your way; I know this hurts.

              • Rock StarWive’s situation is another example of the fact that you can never REALLY know another person. No matter how long you have known a person and in what capacity, there are always areas of them that are “off limits” to others. Unfortunately, romantic relationships usually test those things people want to keep hidden, and you finally see the real person after all those years. That makes it even more shocking.

                I think it’s especially heinous when someone knows your fragile, due to your history, and treats you bad. It’s the last thing any of us needs. Just be glad his true nature exposed itself when it did rather than years on down the line. Time does give you perspective, fortunately. I dated/loved some real losers and looking back all I can do is shake my head and say “What the HELL was I thinking?” It’s baffling.

  • Great UBT.

    The common denominator is lack of personal responsibility, entitlement, zero capacity for empathy, and an unnatural need for unconditional love. Also, triangulation is a hugely important element for a lot of these disordered folks. They need to have drama and also that third person – so they can look good.

    After DD#1 I knew our marriage was over. I stuck it out because of loyalty, low self-esteem and financial reasons. Fast forward 7 years to DD#2 – and I was the one to take control and start the divorce process, etc.

    I do not believe that my EX would have ever done it. Even after the legal separation when at that point he was living with a new gf (not OW#2) and had a baby on the way — he wouldn’t file for divorce (where I live once the separation agreement is completed, you wait a year and then your lawyer files, you pay a fee and the court stamps it). I had to do it. How is that for the ultimate mind-fuck?

    Everyday I thank Chumplady and the CN. I so wish that you had been around during DD#1.

    • This is exactly my story. Second Dday I didn’t hesitate, and threw his ass out the door. Filed a separation agreement within a week, and after having to wait the year’s separation period, filed and was divorced. As with everything in our marriage, I had to take care of everything. It broke my heart, but made me feel so MIGHTY to leave his sorry ass. I’ve been divorced for 4 months now, and every day I’m thankful to be moving forward, as excruciatingly painful it was to let him go.

      I got “It’s been over for me for a long time now.” Same story as the rest of us…

  • I got an interesting variant on this from nowdeadwife. She gave me an “I’m tired of living like roommates” speech. Little did I know this was /after/ the supply of new prospects for “twu wuv” had dried up, during a period when the substance abuse wasn’t quite so bad. So I cranked up the physical affection on my end (which had only been placed on hold because of continuous pleas of “I’m exhausted”, “My migraines are flaring up” and “I have a yeast infection” from her. Interestingly, the health issues started precisely the day after we got married.). Absolutely nothing changed. And you wouldn’t expect it to. How could she rebuild a physical attraction for me she never really had [she married me for the paychecks and for the sperm], especially after she had spent years devaluing me so she could justify continuing to audition guys for the position of soulmate [in bed] after marrying me?

    Sigh. Being “Plan B” would have been nice. I was more like “Plan M” or “N”.

    • Your story is very similar to mine. Class BPD/NPD – once they have you, they discard you, but they don’t let you know you’ve been discarded, they keep playing enough of the game to keep you hooked and you are none the wiser. They no longer want you intimately, but they want you to keep paying the bills, raising the kids, and telling them how wonderful they are.

      And they use sex sparingly to control you and to make you thing that they still love you, but they are just controlling you. Sex once every 2 to 4 weeks is just enough to keep a chumpy male attached.

      They are basically lying to you to keep you in line. Then once finally they find their twuwuv (e.g. get caught in an affair) then you learn that the passion had died long ago and you weren’t meeting their emotional needs and you’ve become just friends, and they deserve more.

      But wait, you were trying with all your heart and soul to meet their needs for years. This is the mindfuck. Suddenly it was them who was yearning for their emotional needs to be met, and you failed them.

      The thing missing in every aspect of the this marital story is one iota of concern for you from them. None. It is all your fault and your needs basically don’t exist. Their needs are paramount and you meet them and give and give, and it isn’t enough, and you really weren’t meeting their needs, so they had to fuck other people.

      • Every 2-4 weeks? Wow. In my “marriage” every 2-4 weeks would have been a f*ckfest of Hefnerian proportions! Try every 2-4 quarters.

        Other than that, every word you’ve said is true.

        • More accurately;
          Year 0-1: every 2 weeks
          Year 2-3 every 3 weeks
          Year 5-6 once a month
          Year 7+ every 2-3 months

          but the point being it was just enough to keep me in check – sort of messes with that inner psyche of root emotional and sexual bonding where subconsciously I think if I am a good husband there is a chance for intimate connection.

          Similarly, there was this

          Weeks 0-16: 4-5 times per week
          Weeks 16-36: suddenly down to 1-2 times per week

          then once engaged: down to once/week
          then once married: once every two weeks

          with each additional commitment, the sex went down significantly.

          boy, i guess i was a sucker.

      • Buddy – your ex lady sounds just like my ex lady! The periodic use of just enough sex and just enough affection to keep you around but the rest of the time the discard. Glad you’re free too.

  • At DDay mine told me our marriage had been over for 10 years. In this 10 years he never said a peep about his unhappiness. Not to his mother, brother or any or any other family member. Not to any of his golf buddies. Not to any of his his lifelong friends. And of course not to me. Wow, 10 whole years of suffering in silence. He’s not a cheating liar, he’s a martyr.

    • Yeah, these poor martyr/cheaters. You know what they say, the only thing harder than being a saint is being married to one.

      • Mine said we were married 10 years too long. I know never to react to anything he says but I think to my self 1) 32 years too long for me fucker and 2) How odd is that. 10 years is how long I had been back in the work force. Responsible high stress job, and then coming home for the 2nd shift while you sat on your ass and read. Everytime I think of his entitlement, of the way he moves through the world, my brains want to squirt out my ears. Oh God I need a bath. Very occasionally, I think a little nostalgically but I am cured right quick by looking at an fb post. He looks 110 years old and like a homeless mental guy and CFMily is putting on such a brave face. Not one person in the photo looks happy. It is my Karma.

    • I got that too. He had been unhappy for SO long. But for some reason, he never breathed a word of that to me or anyone else! Just checked out and started an affair…

  • Don’t stay long enough to have your wife nurse you through shoulder surgery, have sex with her numerous times, and then leave one week before you start raking in large monthly bonus checks.

  • And some things NOT to do:

    Take off wedding ring while on work trips
    Move all money out of joint account so you can easily leave wife destitute
    Stop talking to wife and reply only in monosyllables
    Repeat endlessly ‘I just don’t know what I want’
    Refuse to sign papers for house you’ve just bought whilst simultaneously refusing to cancel house purchase
    Lie that you have cancelled house purchase when you actually haven’t (errr like no-one would notice)
    Take OW on holiday while simultaneously buying nice christmas presents for wife
    Fail to pick up phone when wife calls during her first two weeks of chemo and you are pretending to be on ‘work trip’
    Lie to sick wife’s face that there is no-one else then disappear on yet another ‘work trip’ when she is very ill
    Comment on how you preferred sick wife ‘with hair’
    Suggest to sick wife that if she takes off all clothes and walks around for you you ‘might not leave her’

    My cheater also did the ‘ but the marriage already over’ crap. I was never clear on why he had gone ahead with house-viewings, negotiation of sale price and mortgage if that was the case. Errr……what a twat.

    In fact of course the above did achieve the objective of his marriage ending but at the cost to him of basically having to flee the country and there being probably in the region of at least 100 people who would happily queue around the block to smack him in the face if they got the opportunity. I repeat, what a twat.

      • Thank you LovedAJackass. I don’t know why, but I feel it helps me to write it out and post it. I seem to relive it at least once a day and just having a place where I can say what happened helps. This blog helps me to stay sane!

  • I wish that I had been able to use this post years ago. I would have printed it out and given it to my ex. It wouldn’t have changed the outcome– I absolutely would have ended things anyway– but it articulates perfectly how I felt back then but was too emotionally overwhelmed to say coherently and calmly. My ex said all of that bullshit to both me AND my kids. In fact, when my kids are older, I may very well have them read this. I don’t ever want them to think that what their father did is okay and then end up emulating him.

    I don’t think this post will change a cheater and make him/her remorseful, but it might at least function as a nice “script” for the chump to use when those pathetic excuses mentioned above are spewed by the cheater. At the very least, maybe it will shut some of these pathetic losers up! (Nah, probably not. Their love with their AP “was meant to be,” of course…)

  • Cheater never said this line to me. After I caught him, he said everything about our life together was great except for sex so he went outside our marriage to get the sex he needed. He also said that he told his local regulars upfront that it was sex only and he had no intention of leaving me. I believe this is true because he thought 1. he was that good, and 2. I would never find out so why give up the marriage facade with someone who makes him look like a much better person that he is. He’s simply a lying, serial cheating, covert narcissist asshole – and I’m so glad to be rid of him!

  • And there’s this insightful quote from Esther Perel “Desire runs deep. Betrayal runs deep. But it can be healed. And some affairs are death knells for relationships that were already dying on the vine. But others will jolt us into new possibilities.”

    Many of these relationships where not already dying on the vine, but Esther too buys into the “our marriage was already over” BS.

  • Victor – don’t be plan B. It’s overated! It took me a while to realise I was my ex’s plan B till her married AP dumped her to date freely after dumping his wife because apparently she was cheating on him. It was about then that I discovered the affair (18 odd mths). And throughout wreckonciliation all I heard from her was horrible he was, he’d used her etc. But of course she spent this time trying to get back together with the AP or get revenge on him. I was just the convenient back up appliance I always was.

    I got the similar line about I thought it was over from my ex when I busted her (though she told me she’d thought we’d broken up). She’d told me near the start of the affair she was unhappy (but with life in general not me – I’d asked), wasn’t sure what she wanted, maybe she’d move out (but she didn’t) etc. Looking back it was all the que to pick me dance harder and a very clear ducking of responsibility / blame shift. I’d already been dancing hard without even knowing it or knowing why.

    When she rolled that crap out on D-Day I couldn’t believe she thought we had broken up (allegedly 18mths earlier when I deployed to Afghanistan). But she had constructed this elaborative narrative in her mind that she held onto no matter what. Chumpy me thought she was confused, in a fog etc (though that dead eyed stare was present). I had to get her out of it! What a chump! I sat there and rattled things off to her – but we kept sleeping in the same bed, I came home and spent mid deployment leave with you, I bought you christmas, b’day and valentine’s day gifts. We kept talking on the phone, skype email etc. Though the communication (according to her) was – well you didn’t stop contacting me so I kept talking to you (UBT – it’s your fault we kept talking and if you got the wrong end of the stick that’s your fault too!). Though apparently she interpreted my return from deployment (6mths later) as us giving things another go – again a conversation that didn’t happen (and not like the affair stopped either). It was the ultimate mindfuck that kept me in wreckonciliation far longer than I ever should have stayed.

    She kept this up through therapy and even sucked the couples therapist in (I fired him) to her bullshit. One therapist did call her on her shit though and said regardless of whatever she or I believed to be the case – she’d betrayed me. That went down like a lead balloon! Dead eyed stare followed by her saying she hated me in therapy as a result. Well that was the end of that! I realised then she was never going to give up her lies and finally kicked her out only to have her move next door and start stalking me (talked about that before).

    Ok rant over. Bottom line Victor – don’t concern yourself with her issues or become a plan B! No Contact and move forward with your life. My life really turned around after I got rid of my ex!

  • What a timely post. Because it addresses a point of contention between my STBXW and I. 45 year old male here. My STBXW is 35. Married 9 years. No kids. We physically separated on December 30, 2015 after we filed for legal separation in August 2015. In early December, before she moved out of the apartment I pay for, and while she still slept in our bed, she was out phucking her co-worker. I was suspicious in early December because she was texting somebody like crazy, would leave the room to do so, and would guard her phone like she had never done before, and she was cold and distant. I confronted her about the situation. Her response? Denials, lies, jiggery-pokery. Then I quoted the text messages verbatim. That nailed her right to the wall. I had her like a deer frozen in headlights. So, she switched strategy. We’ve already filed for legal separation, she says. The marriage is already over in spirit, she says. I told you I would date if I was asked, she says. So, it’s not cheating (and, how dare I snoop in her phone?).

    So why do I feel like I got cheated on? Is she right? Or did she pull some awesome Jedi-level mindphuckery on me? I say it is cheating. If you’re living with me rent-free, and you’re sleeping in our bed, and you phuck a guy that you’ve been surreptitiously sexting, that is cheating. In my mind, even at the end of my marriage, I’m owed some dignity and respect. Like ChumpLady says, there is a right way to end a relationship. To me, it goes like this: (1) tell me you’ve met someone else, (2) move out and pay your own damn rent, and (3) then get yer phuck on. The wrong way goes like this: (1) enjoy rent-free living with your STBXH, (2) start sexting surreptitiously but not really so that STBXH realizes you’re texting someone and is hurt by it every time your iPhone pings, (3) dress up really nice, fix your makeup and hair, and leave for the night without saying where you’re going, (4) phuck co-worker while husband is in hospital recovering from surgery, and (5) tell STBXH that it’s not cheating because there is already a legal separation filing.

    Oh well, I don’t need a cheater to admit that she did me wrong. I’ve convinced myself, and that’s enough.

    • Prodigal – I should have you write to my stbx about what you feel is cheating. Because I agree with you 100% that your wife is a cheat. My stbx was doing THE EXACT SAME SHIT. BUT – he says he never cheated on me! WTF? My stbx was doing the exact same shit with the phone. Would walk with it on his leg so that I couldn’t see it? It was fucked up! Sleeping with it under his pillow, locking it, had it on vibrate, turning it upside down…and was told it was none of my business who he was texting. This was his ‘normal’ phone. The one he was legitimately using after he was busted with the other fuck phone he got behind my back.

      • LadyStrange – oh I feel for you, I really do. When your partner’s phone pings or vibrates, and you just know a sexy-sexy conversation is going on, it may as well be a chorus of bat shrieks, it sounds so horrible. And, even if you’re a high self-esteem person, at that very moment you just feel like a worthless piece of sh*t.

        I think I have you beat, though. My STBXW’s phuck-phone is a brand-new iPhone 6s that yours truly bought for her back in September (I was dancing the pick me dance back then). Apparently it’s a wonderful device for carrying on vivid, high-definition cheating.

        • I don’t know what kind of phone Judas got himself for sexting other women. It was my son who found the phone and dipshit got rid of it soon after our son found it. Then, because I was paying for our cell phone service (5 phone lines – me, asswipe, and 3 kids), then found out Judas could obviously afford to pay for his own fucking phone – I took him off the contract. Now I don’t know what he has for his ‘normal’ phone and I could give a flying fuck.

    • Oh yeah, she’s a cheater.

      The Evil One lived here rent-free, no utility bills, towards the end the only things he had to take care of out of his own pocket was his Shit-er-ado truck payment that he couldn’t manage part of the time he was here.

      Now that he’s gone, he has to handle all of his bills + his OWife and her two young kids, AND pay me child support.

      He just whined and bitched to me that he has to work 60+ hours a week to make sure our daughter has what she needs (his child support) to which I said,
      “Good!” It’s about damn time he worked a steady job and paid me back for all the years I carried the full burden on my shoulders.

      • Molly – I wonder if our spouses, now that they have to labor and sweat, have a new appreciation for everything we did? My STBXW made a comment that she can’t spend $200 on a haircut or dress anymore. I should have told her to call up workplace phuck-friend to chip in (update: it turns out he already discarded her like a used condom). On another note, Shit-er-ado! ?

  • My thing was like most of you. I worked like a dog to get the ex ahead and covered all the home issues while he built his career, while I was in college and grad school and then building my own career. And searching for and then building out our home while he was too busy. And landscaping while he was too busy. And he promised me a child but then the time wasn’t right, and the time wasn’t right, and then I was too old and I never was competent to have a child and he didn’t want to have to put a child through college in retirement. Ouch. By then, I was in discard phase. He told me he wouldn’t take me to his high school reunion because I looked fat. He wouldn’t take me with him to his meeting in D.C. because his friends wouldn’t like me. The reality was that he wanted to pick up women at the reunion and hump my best friend from college in D.C. I’m a private investigator’s daughter. And I picked it up quickly enough even before the internet was anything much and cell phones were readily available.

    Telling him what I knew bought me a beating, and got him escorted out of the house until the divorce was settled. Over time, I heard that we had agreed to an open marriage, that we’d been separated for years, that I was a lunatic he tried so hard to cure, and endless other bullshit, none of which was true.

    The bottom line is that disordered people will say whatever serves them best. Be prepared. Had I every heard a word of disenchantment from him before I questioned the sudden reservations on having a child after waiting 15 years? No.

  • I’ve spent 2 years wondering WTH was up with the dead-eyed stares on the night of 1,000 horrors. But it wasn’t just the vacant doll’s eyes that baffled and traumatized me that night, it was the weird smirks and smiles in the midst of my agony that made no sense on this or any other planet. My nervous system was so fried from what had just gone down that when I took his phone (right in front of him) to find evidence of who this woman was, he got this twisted look on his face as though he was…AMUSED by my shaking hands and inability to operate even simple buttons. There was a sick cruelty there I had NEVER imagined existed.

    Just like many of you, our lives were in the throws of normalcy right up until the end. I had just moved to Colorado, away from my family and friends, to help him find steady work. We were planning soccer for our toddler, and talking about saving up to buy a motorhome. We lied in bed talking about where we should go for our wedding anniversary. All the while, he’d been embroiled in an affair with a stripper for 5 months and had had his bags packed and sitting in the corner for just the right moment where he could grab them and bail. Silly me, I laundered all of his clothes inside week before and even packed them neatly back up, convinced they were packed and sitting there in case he got another call for out of town work. Un-effing-believable.

    In the morning, right before he took those bags and left me with our 2 babies and never looked back, I told him I was going over to visit his parents. I told him I doubted that they, married for 45 years, would be too happy to hear he was going to bail on his wife and 2 babies for a stripper thousands of miles away. And instead of shame or remorse or any of the things one should normally feel when they do something disgraceful, he SMILED. It was there and gone quickly, but it happened. Then he walked away without comment. The smile, I am now convinced, is because there isn’t a person alive that could make him feel guilty. This is, of course, because he is incapable of the emotion.

    • There’s no excuse for anyone to laugh, smirk, or smile while watching someone suffering, worse when they’re who caused the pain and are enjoying seeing someone who cares about them in agony.
      X did the same to me when I cried the day he moved out, begging him to reconsider, to please stay, telling him I couldn’t imagine living my life without him. X looked at me and laughed, then said you’re pathetic, look at yourself.. this is how I was treated after spending over 20 years of my life supporting him, his career and sacrificing my own.

      There is nothing to figure out, they are disordered, self centered narcissists. Once they are finished with us, they’re done, no regrets for leaving, no remorse, our lives and memories aren’t valued or even thought of, we mean nothing to them.
      I would have never imagine anyone could be so heatless and cruel. They’re mentally disturbed, their cold behavior can’t be normal.

      • Asswipe just stoic very very stoic if i would cry roll his eyes and say oh here we go. He told me to stop playing the victim. Well i was, of him his lies betrayal and cruelty. He just bit his lip and stared at his feet. In relationships this man is a monster give of himself from inside? Never gonna happen. He was a decent guy even while the affair was In full swing till i found out and boy did he turn on me. I hope him and his whore marry and when the sparkles wear off they see each other for what they are. I know she doesnt trust him she no longer goes off and leaves him for a couple of days and no longer works weekends to keep an eye on him. He told her he needs a short chain but hes the boss and his word is law and absolute. He was never that way with me ever. He liked my free spirit. Little did i know he would tame and try to crush the spirit over thirty years. How blind i was. I know hes cheating on that bitch. women have called my house and cell looking for him but he doesnt know i know. And about all his bondage site hookups and all the unsafe sex. After i move safely away and go totally totally no contact a special delivery package will show up to her no return address. After all she did many things to me to insure she got him all to herself. I at least deserve to have one. She did childish teenybopper things to me and ive never laid eyes on her. I deserve this one time. There ya go bitch did you know about all these other ones? And i will be safely hours and hours away.

        • ^^This, KarMarie. Mine, too, was attracted by my free spirit and then spent 24 years trying to crush or control it. Now he has someone with the personality of a limp noodle (according to most friends who have met her), and he’s already complaining about her. You can’t reform these cheaters. They will never be happy with anyone, nor will they ever make anyone happy.

          • The whore is a pretend happy pod who laughs over everything including the break up of his marriage. Fake i think so. She will get tired of putting on the act cause of him then wham!!!!

      • Brit…sooo sorry to hear we both belong to the same effed up club. Except in our club, there’s less coffee and snacks and more crying on the laundry room floor. Not a club I’d join voluntarily, I’m sure you’d agree. But let me tell you, knowing there are other members makes this particular shitty club SO much more bearable. And who knows? Maybe one day we WILL have snacks. I make excellent eight layer dip. What’s the eighth layer, you ask? Wouldn’t you like to know.
        And yes. They are empathically-challenged (to quote another chump) disordered, disgraceful human beings who disguise themselves among us, and we end up spending years wondering how we missed it. I’d argue the answer to that is actually kind of simple. Sociopaths don’t ‘feel’, so much as they emulate. They watch how others act, see if it gets a desired reaction, and then act that way. It must be exhausting. When they can’t put on the ‘show’ anymore, they must feel such relief to be their normal, crappy selves again. And since by then their tank is often empty of the usual trickery, we get the joy of seeing all of that particularly heinous stuff right there at the end. Best to you, Brit, I wish you only sunny days and Meh.

  • Mine tried to hide AP – but left our home and moved straight into hers. Yes, I heard everyone of the above: We had a sexless marriage (?), he was abused (?), I was not healthy, (?) he TRIED for years to get me help (?), he was miserable for 30, 20 then 10 years. (ok). I spent all the money, did not contribute to the household, (I work full time, always had). Yup. for these reasons, he HAD to cheat. Everyone of them my fault.

    Because the marriage was really “over”… I just did not get the memo.

  • The best comment I’ve ever heard is from Greg Berhendt. “By the time someone leaves a relationship, it’s very likely that they had already checked out a long time ago.”

  • Victor two months before I found undeniable proof of the affair(s) we were looking at buying a large beautiful expensive farm. It was everything we had dreamed of he could run the organic farm and I could host weddings, and we could raise our son in this idyllic place. However he kept pressing me made it clear I would be the sole investor and when I said I was interested in having a say in how the business would be run he was angry. It would have taken all my current and future earnings to buy that place and it never sat right. That was when I started trusting my gut. and two months later I found out he had been cheating on me the entire 8 years we were together, while I was pregnant no less. During this time I had sunk money and countless hours into his business, worked full time, raised our son full time (he was always so busy) and was Narc’d out of my head. But when I started trusting my gut. When the veneer lost enough sparkle for me to see into the abyss of his soul, I realized I couldn’t stay with this person a second longer and let his values imprint on our child. The narcissist will sing to you until you crash on their shores. Don’t listen. Shove cotton into your ears and lash yourself to the mast. Be calm and polite and distant and go live your life and continue to be a strong example to your kids.

  • Yes, I was told the same thing. The thing is just a week before he gave me a card telling me how happy his was I was his wife and a month before he said how we should renew our vows when his parents when come to visit.

    I have also been told that he isn’t good enough for me. After 14 years. I did ask him well if you aren’t good enough for me then how are you good enough for someone else. The answer I got was why do you care.

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