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Dear Chump Lady, How do I say goodbye?

goodbyeDear Chump Lady,

How do I say goodbye? My soon-to-be-ex and I broke up about 8 months ago, which was the best decision of my life. We were married for less than a year — so my first marriage was a fiasco. He was a narcissist, with a special blend of emotional abuse, cheating and undeserved conceit.

I knew it was only a matter of time until he contacts me again. When he finally did a month ago and asked to meet up, I burst out laughing (MWAHAHAHA IN YOUR FUCKING DREAMS) and just ignored the email. I’m very happily single now and pursuing my dreams (thanks to the CL community for the wisdom and the inspiration!).

There’s no way I’m getting back together with him or even meeting up with him, except in court. While I ignored his email, sometimes I feeling like sending a response… Here’s a few:

1. Ew
2. LOL
3. Fuck off
4. “Go, and never darken my towels again.” — Groucho Marx
5. So long, and thanks for all the fish
6. A really angry and bitter email

But sometimes, I get this urge to send him a heartfelt goodbye email, where I thank him for all the memories and wish him well even if it didn’t work out.

CL, what’s the best way to say goodbye to a wretched excuse for a human being?

— Star

Dear Star,

Divorce court? Waving from the dry comfort of a lifeboat while his cruise ship sinks? A singing telegram sent from your suite at the Ritz?

Saying goodbye is overrated. Acting goodbye is what matters. The goal is finality.

Let your behavior say your goodbyes for you. You’ve filed for divorce. That’s all the sayonara this guy needs. You don’t owe him a warm, fuzzy Hallmark card. Perhaps you think your goodbye requires an explanation? A justification for leaving his cheating ass? If he can’t connect those dots — I cheated on my newly-wed wife, ergo she left me — he needs more help than a letter. He needs a corporate retreat for fuckwits, on a quiet ranch where a thousand licensed therapists will listen to his bleating mindfuckery and sagely nod.

Star, don’t you have better things to do than draft letters to fuckwits?

Please let go of “closure.” I know it’s all the rage in self-help, but there’s really only the acceptance that comes with time. Fuckwits don’t have epiphanies and your epiphany has already happened — you decided you deserved much better.

I know the vogue narrative is you’re supposed to be the Bigger Person who has learned a Great and Poignant Lesson from this clusterfuck. A lesson that only your emotionally abusive, cheating, conceited fuckwit could teach you. And you should thank him and the Universe for this growth opportunity! Have you been reading too much Elizabeth Gilbert?

We don’t need to thank our abusers for the good times. Were there good times? Sure. Of course there were. Do you think innocents would get into strange vans unless there were candy promises? Every relationship has its hooks. No one is so masochistic as to sign up for unadulterated abuse. In fact, the sparkle-to-abuse ratio is usually pretty good until the narcissist is unmasked. And then, quite understandably, you miss the sparkles. You try to weigh the sparkles against the abuse. Well, he wasn’t such a bad guy. He was a really good dancer! I liked his cologne and his mother. We really enjoyed livestock shows together.

Stop it. Sometimes bad things blot out the good things.

I really enjoyed that shrimp taco!…. until they pumped my stomach.

He’s a bad shrimp taco. Let him GO. Buh-BYE.

 

Ask Chump Lady

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    • After nearly 32 years, I applaud all of you who have had the strength to tell these fuckin assholes where to shove it.
      Since it seems this is a place where honesty can be spoken… I’d like to be able to do that here.
      I’m not as strong as many of you sound… As a matter of fact, I’m turning to you vs a crisis line.

      My husband was a liar, cheat etc etc.
      the number of “other women” is well into double digits. Yet I stayed, for my kids, and truthfully, I simply loved him. But most of all, I wanted a family for my children and myself.
      i became disabled about 9 years ago, and slowly parted myself from my usual “duties” around the house as it was beyond my control.
      Finally, my physical disabilities gave my husband the out he needed, so he could go play with women young enough to be my daughter.

      So that’s it in a tiny itty bitty nut shell…

      The Jackass moved out about five weeks ago…
      And holy crap! Only now, am I able to fully understand the emotional damage that has been done to me.
      Am I insane now?
      Can ANYBODY please, tell me, at 55 years old, disabled have a good life?
      I’m home bound most of the time, and fairly new to where I’m living, so of course I know nearly no one. Those few I do know, aren’t aware of the depth of my dispair.

      • Vanessa (I amended your screen name for anonymity):
        Yes, you can have a good life at 55 with a disability. Is it easy to start over after a long marriage, with the baggage of infidelity (and probably emotional abuse aside from the cheating)? No. It happens one step at a time, sometimes one baby step a week.

        First, you have to stop holding this burden yourself. No one gets through this without social support. This site is a godsend, in so many ways, but you do need a friend to call up to talk to on those rough days. Even if you don’t know people in your new area, start to feel out a few for help or support, and tell them exactly what happened. You will lose some friends or acquaintances, but it’s really only necessary to have a few people who can grow into confidantes. You can get to be as strong as many posters sound, but you’re fresh out of the gate & still in the throes of the most horrible several months.

        You don’t mention the nature of your disability, but there may be support groups in your area, or adult day events that you can attend (sometimes transportation can be arranged). In addition–one aspect of self-care every day, as small as a bubble bath, a cup of tea while listening to the birds, youtube videos of the world’s cutest animals–anything to let your brain relax and be distracted from what happened to you. Believe me, it will occupy most of your waking moments for 2 years (though the amount of time does decrease each month).

        Do you have a very good lawyer? A snapshot of your STBX’s finances? Especially if you’re unable to work full time yourself, you need financial support and someone in your legal corner.

        Are your children nearby? Not all adult children are of help or able to give emotional support immediately, but if you can call on at least one child in emergencies, it will help.

        Create an account (without your full name) so that you can sign up to get into the forums (top right link on this page) and ask for more specific help as issues arise, or when you’re up at 4 a.m. crying (someone else from Chump Nation is usually on-line, too). But don’t be scared to call a crisis hotline–I did several times in the early days rather than suffer alone at 2 a.m. (and one night even called two hotlines when the first person turned out to be more harmful than helpful). Ask for help when you need it; this is the worst emotional pain you’ll likely ever experience. Big hugs to you!

  • Absolutely hilarious CL! And spot on as usual. Thank you for starting out my Monday with a hearty laugh.

    “He needs a corporate retreat for fuckwits, on a quiet ranch where a thousand licensed therapists will listen to his bleating mindfuckery and sagely nod.”

    You are the Queen of Snark. Long live the Queen!

  • Letting go of closure is best when we think of the elated cheater winning a great prize in the price is right. Then he gets to trade it all to pick a door. He goes for it expecting a new red Corvette. Instead he gets a donkey, a sombrero, and a bale of hay behind door number three.

    There’s no going back he made the choice. But I really meant to pick door number one. It’s all a game. They are the losers who are never satisfied.

    • Ha! That’s funny as heck! I had to control my glee when X finally admitted – OW is fucking crazy. Oh, ya don’t say? You mean 47 year old women who screw the neighbor could be a little unbalanced? Enjoy that bale of hay, and sombrero door YOU picked, I bet now you think ‘edgey’ is over-rated!
      I’ll take the donkey, they’re too cute for you!

  • I’m with CL on this one, nothing says goodbye better than silence. Although it sure is appealing, the idea of unloading on him via email all his faults and reasons why you left his sorry ass. But again, she’s right. If they don’t already get it then nothing you say will get through to them it’ll just be an opportunity for them to engage with you (what they really want anyway). They might “get it” some day, years later on their own terms….or they might not either way it won’t impact you.

  • Closure is a joke. The only apology you need is the one you give yourself for staying as long as you did. The only person you need too see again, and the only conversation you need to have is with the person in the mirror. Look at yourself and say – You know what? I fucked up. My worth is more than this.

    That’s your closure. Don’t keep dancing with the devil and wonder why you’re still in hell.

    I found this on Pintrest a few months back, and it really hit home with me.

    • Gepster, loved your comment. After I suffered burns in a boat explosion (fully recovered & no scars) and 11 days after while I was recovering, finding out he had been screwing an obese bitch and prostitutes behind my back in a room full of people one night someone said to me “You poor thing! You’ve been to hell and back!” I totally lost it and in front of everyone and the evil prick I shouted “What do you mean I have been to hell and back? Can’t you see I haven’t come back and I’m still in hell?” Of course the room went quiet. A day later I threw him out. With that statement I said exactly what I felt in front of his own friends and his family. It helped me to realize that I was in hell and I no longer wished to remain in hell with him. That’s all it took and hence I liked your comment very much.

    • Doingme
      You are 1000% correct. I am almost 3 months out, and almost the same amount of time no contact. It’s been so difficult at times, and I still have revenge fantasies of hearing back from my cheater and laying into him verbally. But you really do have to give closure to yourself-No contact is the quickest way.

  • When i leave after closing. I will look him dead in the eyes stone faced and say im leaving now i hope you have the life you deserve. Get in my car and go. Asswipe doesnt deserve anymore than that. Is he isnt here at the time he wont even get a note. Then its adios muthfucker! I struggled with how to say goodbye for months than gave up thinking just what traci said here. They dont deserve a kind warm goodbye. My leaving and no contact will gnaw at his brain and whore juice will suffer for it. Heehee!

    • My last face-to-face contact with Hannibal was 4 months after D-day when I gave him some winter clothes since he was in an apartment by then. I told him what he did to me was emotional rape, and I refused to take him up on an offer for drinks to end the marriage on a pleasant note. Want pleasant? Shouldn’t have done what you did.

      My last phone conversation with him was the day of the divorce, after I had just found out his infidelity was much, much deeper than I’d realized. That day, I told him I hated him and wished he would just die. Now I no longer care, just stay out of my orbit.

      • I agree temp im still civil now but indifferent at least til the house closes them nc to the max but my standard answers are

        Uh huh
        Thats nice
        Kool dude
        There ya go
        Thumbs up

        And or a shug

        He hates it wants to chit chat with me i tell him why now? You never wanted to before and your so closed up and stoic you wont talk about much anyway and you dont listen so whats the point. He did mention recently how freaked out he got the four times i really lost my temper in the beginning of this madness. Twice i was really drunk but i have a temper beyond tempers. I learned how to control it over 35 years ago. He never saw that side of me till he really really pissed me off. Toaster oven at his head. I missed damn it. When i lose my temper i lose my shit. Dont see red just black. He got scared i would do some real damage. He was right in that frame of mind i can and have in the real old days. Me and a baseball bat will clear a house of drunks and losers in a second. But i learned to control it and i lost it four times in six months and i swore to myself i would never allow myself to get that angry at him again. And in two years times i have refused to let it come to the surface. But it scared him to death. Heehee! He was afraid id burn his business the house and everything on the property down. If i was 25 i would have im much better now. My daughter witnessed this only once. I was 58 she 33. I have very dark brown eyes she said my eyes went black and she was paralysed to see me this way. Realizing it was over quick and fast. She smugly looked at her sperm donor and said you did that you asshole! You should leave now. So no goodbyes from me i just will be gone. Suffer the consequences of your actions you bastard!

      • “…refused to take him up on an offer for drinks to end the marriage on a pleasant note.”

        What a mind fucker son of a bitch asshole. You are one strong woman, Tempest, getting past this relationship intact. Unbelievable in his twisting of emotions to benefit himself.

          • My ex asked if I would date her after we got divorced. That’s called Kibbles. I laughed in her face. Um, hell no I’m not dating a psychopath. I agree with so much that’s been stated. I have virtually no contact, only because of kids, and that’s it. I live my life, choose my life, choose my attitude, and I am much stronger than I was two years ago and every day it’s further in my past. Thank God.

        • Because they just. don’t. get. it. They don’t get that this is not a ‘normal’ divorce where people ‘grew apart’ or have irreconcilable differences. They don’t get that they committed a crime against their spouse and children and tore lives apart. It’s like shooting you in the face and then asking if you want to get a coffee afterward. They will never understand betrayal TRAUMA until it happens to them.

        • After 3 months of no contact, he reappears and sends me a txt “I hope that after this time we have both moved on positively and can meet and be civil with each other. If you don’t wish to come face to face with me, I am thinking of resigning from our golf club. The decision is yours” WTF??? This is what I read between the lines; 1. Obviously hasn’t moved on positive and is trying to crawl his way back. 2. He is trying to convince me that unless I can be ‘civil’ to him, I am the one who obviously has not moved on positively. 3. He want me to make the decision to resign from the golf club my fault so he can blame me and he once again will come out smelling of roses. He though I would be afraid of looking like the bitch who cannot forgive mistresses, prostitutes, pathological lying and back stabbing. 4. The decision is ‘mine’? The last decision I made that involved him was 5 months ago when I told him to get the hell out of my life. Now that he is finally out, he can now make his own decisions and take full responsibility for it not like in the past when he would decide and if he fucked up he would backstab me and tell people behind my back it was me who had made the decision. No wonder people would look at me weirdly and I always wondered why they resented me! And finally 5. Wants me to be ‘civil’ to him? He had 7 years to behave like a civilized human being and he failed miserably what has changed now? All of a sudden has learnt the concept of being ‘civil’ to others. When did this happen while he was travelling and playing around the last 5 months or just because I threw his sorry arse out? I don’t think so, after what he did the last 7 years if he had all of a sudden changed into a civil human being he would never have sent me that txt nor have tried to return into my life only to hurt me all over again. A civil man would have moved on and wished me luck for my future and wished me all the happiness I deserved. A civil man would not have tried to make me shoulder the responsibility of his decisions that had nothing more to do with me since I made the decision to throw him out of my life.
          FYI – In the end I chose not to reply was my best option and as predicted, three days later he bypassed me and sent my (mine only) children an incredibly nasty txt, calling me a coward and everything under the sun because I was a rude bitch for not replying to his “nice, thoughtful txt” he had sent me. God! the language. My children both liked him up to that point and thought I was wrong to have rid myself of him and the lifestyle he gave me and them. They changed their opinion of him after that txt though and have backed me up 100% from that point on. It didn’t end there though, the hovering began, and again he failed miserably, no reply and no contact at all from me or them. Two weeks later he was gone, off into the sunset with his ’emergency’/ex-mistress, new lover (who knows?). I don’t bother to inform myself about him, and anyone who is still in my life knows that I have no wish to know if he is dead or alive and if they break that trust, they are no longer welcome in my life. I still don’t know how I manage to be so damn cold but I can only assume that I had a good teacher and in the end his coldness, lack of empathy and love for me (or anyone else) rubbed off on me. Don’t get me wrong, I am still able to be nice to nice people he has not managed to damage the person I was before I realized he was evil and deserved everything he got back. I year later I have moved on, I am civil and much much happier and have redirected my future in a positive direction. Something that with him to fuck everything he touched would never have been a possibility.

  • Do you want to send him a signal that you still value the marriage? That’s what that thank you letter would do. It would tell him the things you valued in the marriage. Plus, it might cloud your ability to leave…getting sucked back into the madness and sparkles….

  • People who are loving, optimistic and sane often apply WAY too much “love an optimism” in situations where the disordered have REPEATEDLY demonstrated their incapacity to react in sane manners. I am very guilty of this.

    I am probably here looking for closure and hearing for the 127th time that Im never going to get it is what I need, so thanks for that. I am realistic enough that I know that nowdeadcheater would have never said anything truly enlightened, I sunk to the place where I only wished that I could have seen his face the second that he knew that “I KNEW”. Im sure in reality, that moment wouldn’t have been anywhere as satisfying as I imagine it to be. Disassociation was one of the tools in his “disordered coping” tool box and he could whip it out in a millisecond.

    Dang, Star is really fortunate that she realized that she was in a mess so quickly…so many of is here required decades to put all the pieces together. We were unwilling to see the abuse for what it was.

    • CL really helped me a lot to see what was wrong with him and the relationship, so thank you all for this… I’ve been lurking here even before the wedding happened–I had some strong doubts but went through with it anyway; I was still dancing hard. I can’t imagine spending decades with a disordered fuckwit. 4 years was enough to destroy me. You’re all so much stronger than you think!

  • Write him a goodbye, honey. Put whatever you want in that letter. Pour your heart out or cuss like a sailor…or both. But don’t send it. Keep it for yourself. Sometimes that is the best therapy. You don’t really care that he hears your goodbye. You only care that you get it out. So, get it out, then keep on keeping on. You’re going to be just fine and these moments become fewer and farther between.

    Love to you.

    • I wrote that goodbye letter long ago kept it till the day of my divorce. Then i burned it and threw my wedding ring in the pond on the property. Leave it all here. That i knew was the start of my healing and road to meh. It felt really good. As many many here especially those who had long term marriages pretty good marriages till the asswipes strayed and turned on us. And the cheaters were before the destruction our best friends and greatest loves my heart bleeds buckets. Ive been there. Emotional destruction for us who have big hearts and trusted the hims or hers above all the pain and scars will always be there. Im sad i will never fully trust another male again. Never enough for marriage or cohibitation im so independent now. Im sure there are wonderful guys out there to be completely trusted i just wont believe them them. And thats on me. My life experiences gave me trust issues and the only person i ever truly trusted betrayed me and hurt me to my very core. My soul. And thats on him. Fuck him he blew up our lives at an older age and its hard enough to start over at any age our older years can be down right terrifying. Asswipe cant have it all which is part of what he wants. He still doesnt know. Let him suffer let him feel the pain with his stoic fucked up self. Let him suffer the consequences of being so closed up nobody knows what he wants including him. I can see asswipe is still attached to me in many many ways his plan b i am not. So at almost 61 soon off i will go to start over again. And let him live the cheaters failed life he will not change for her shes thrown him out twice because im still around. Haha! The best revenge is living well i intend to! Someone should write a book called for cheaters only subtitle look at the damage you did.

      To the whore juice you get what you PAID for bitch!

      How you like me now!
      Kool moe dee

      • Totally agree. You summed up nicely why I will never ever repartner. Too painful and not worth the risk. The red head whore did not win a prize. She will learn soon enough. Character very seldom changes.

        • Yes indeed confused oh the damage they do may it come back to them a thousand times over. Asswipe wants me to hook up again haha and trust one? No offense guys but its not gonna happen. Date maybe? Sex hope so but permanent. Uh no. Asswipe says great now he will have that on his conscious. Too bad so sad. My choice not his. Dumb fuck still all about him i have to find someone anyone settle so he will feel better less guilty fuck him. Unlike him if whore juice and he get back together for a fourth time his life is over. Under the microscope he will go. I told him that where i will have noone to answer to really be able to do what i want when i want like he thinks he can with her. Shes got money big difference. To him. She has his dick in her purse and a ball in each back pocket of her fat ass. To go from a woman with a live and let live attitude to a jealous controlling bitch? Have at it dude!

          • I am 52 and I was so mad at my idiot ex on DDay a few months before my 50th birthday, that I screamed ” We had everything to be the happiest couple on the planet (two beautiful children, an amazing home, the best education, fabulous jobs, always enough money …) and it was never enough for you! Most people in the world will never have what we had and you screwed it up so you could get some excitement by turning our lives into caos and hurting us !!! WTF?’!!”””

            Star: I wrote those letters, some of them I sent, some of them I didn´t, but it was all before I discoverd CL. With the closure letters and conversations, the reaction was always the same: he would say a stupid “I am sorry” then try to prove how it was my fault because of X reasons (he would change the reasons every time: from my deficient cooking or my lack of sex drive (!!!-) or because I was too strong of a woman or I didn´t communicate well…). I always said that I would accept 50% responsibility for any problems during the marriage, but 0% responsibility for him cheating, lying, and hurting his family. In any case, the point is Star, that these “closures” were never satisfactory: if he ever said something I wanted to hear, he would immediately erase it with his mindfuckery and blaming. Some how he always ended up being a victim, and tried to show me how much he suffered after DDay, how he wanted to commit suicide, but not once did he ask me how I was doing!

            I ALWAYS feel much better when I don´t talk to him, and only communicate through email for administrative issues and our daughters. I ALWAYS feel terrible after I have a conversation with him. So try to avoid him at all costs and whatevere you do DON¨T SEND HIM A CLOSURE LETTER! It will only give him ammunition to show how he was a good guy but “made a mistake”!! Don´t send it!!!

            P.S. Cheater X is on his second girlfriend after DDay , but this one moved in with him a month after they met at a party. She´s unemployed, cheated on three previous husbands (and she is only 38), smokes two packets of cigarrettes a day, and has completely taken over his rental apartment. She wants to buy a new home with him only three months after they started living together!! I think the Karma bus has arrived!! Yipee!!!

            • Chumpita – I hear you when you say: “We had everything to be the happiest couple on the planet (two beautiful children, an amazing home, the best education, fabulous jobs, always enough money …” These things bring happiness to you and other normal people. But those thing do not bring these cheaters any happiness at all. In fact, these things are a massive burden on them they need to unload. They’d rather be having meaningless sex, and engaging in twisted behavior. In their minds, now that brings them true happiness.

            • We should revise the nursery tune, “The wheels on the bus,” to something a bit more poetic for us chumps. Hehe,

              • Anne, I am leaning into:
                “The bumpers on the bus, should mow them down; mow them down; mow them down”

        • Yes I do I love old original rap I have a lot of it in my collection. Kool moe dee and I tea personal favorites.

  • Why give him another chance to torture you? A normal person would get closure. The disordered? Nah. Not at all. It would only be more opportunities for kibbles….. “See how fabulous I am? I can abuse Star all I want and she will come back to awesome me for more…yep, I’m just that good and entitled to it!”

    Pull the plug on that B. S. My friend.

    Don’t feed the narc.

    • So true. Any attention (good or bad) to a narc keeps them central in your life and continues the kibble supply. Your words would have no meaning to him anyway. No contact is the only way to go.

      • Tessie – I agree! Who says the guy is asking to meet up because he has good intentions. Maybe he wants to meet up with Star because he needs something from her or wants to use her for a purpose. In no way, would I attribute any good intentions to this guy, and indeed, torture is the proper term because that is what the interaction will be like if she responds in any way to this idiot.

  • I definitely understand were the writer is coming from. I still find myself at times getting caught up in my x-s crap. She is so un-reasonable and uses our daughter to play games with me. Just had an incident last week and it wasn’t till Saturday till I finally got my head cleared and just went in a different direction were she had no control over the situation. I realized by participating in her stupidity I was giving her power over me that she did not deserve so I removed the power.

    Will this be the last time, probably not. I am human and love my daughter very much. However, I hope that I catch myself (like I did this past time) before it gets out of hand.

    On a side note, my daughter is starting to realize how crazy her mother is and is seriously thinking of wanting to live with me full time. I asked her to talk to her therapist about it (she sees one twice a month) and then we can go from there.

    Eminem lyrics that’s appropriate for the situation

    When I just a little baby boy
    My momma used to tell me these crazy things
    She used to tell me my daddy was an evil man,
    She used to tell me he hated me
    But then I got a little bit older
    And I realized, she was the crazy one
    But there was nothin’ I could do or say to try to change it
    ‘Cause that’s just the way she was

    • Lothos,

      I hope it works out for you. My dad got custody of my sister and I and without it I can guarantee that she and I would not be the women that we are today; good moral character, honest, loyal, and smart. Those are values from him that cannot be traded, bought, or purchased and are priceless. Good dads are every bit as valuable as good moms. Believe it.

  • No kids=no contact=goodbye. He reached out because he misses kibbles and you replying to him feeds the beast. No matter how you reply, whether it’s mean or heartfelt. The best way to shut him up for good is not to reply.

    The “strength” of a cheater is that they never want to do anything that requires work. There must be instant gratification on the other end or it’s not worth the effort for them. It’s time to use that to your advantage for a change. If he doesn’t get instant gratification he will get bored and move on to the next shiny object.

    That’s the best goodbye you could hope for!

  • I felt SO MUCH PRESSURE for a long time to take the high road/be the bigger person/let love and compassion rule my actions/insert other euphemism for trying to keep being friendly with your ex here. I believed that if I couldn’t maintain a friendship at even a basic level with someone I had known and loved for so long there was something bad about my character.

    However, his games never changed. He’s what he is, through and through. His word salad sounds so pretty – he’s masterful at that. But his reality is that he lies effortlessly to get what he wants, and what he wants is everything he likes, all at once.

    In case it’s trickling around in your mind, let me give you carte blanche permission for avoiding contact. There is nothing about staying in contact with a person who would do something this horrible to you that makes you a better person. Any friend who would ask you to do that so they can feel more comfortable riding the fence is selfish and juvenile. Good people can and do push abusive people out of their lives all the time.

    Abusive people are everywhere, so one is bound to get in under the radar now and then before we catch it. You recognized and removed the poison dart before it could destroy you. Well done! Now it’s a simple matter of safety to get away from the dart shooter and stay out of range from now on.

    You have nothing but support here.

    • That’s the essential mismatch of Chump/Cheater. We want to be honest. We want to honor the past and our feelings and the “good times.” We can’t (literally) imagine we can’t “maintain a friendship at even a basic level with someone I had known and loved for so long.” But this person, of course, is not “someone [we] had known and loved for so long.” It’s a Cheater. It’s a person who has no loyalty, who hold nothing sacred–not the marriage, the kids, the home, the memories, the sacrifices. The bottom line is that you can’t have a friendship with someone who lies to you repeatedly; breaks the most sacred promises; risks your health, your happiness, your finances and your future; and then expects you to do all the work of repairing the friendship (forgive! stop talking about it! don’t ask questions! don’t be angry! don’t be suspicious! don’t judge!).

    • Amiisfree – I struggle with this too. I ask myself the same questions. Shouldn’t I take the high road? Shouldn’t I maintain some kind of relationship? A friendship? She’s not some stranger after all, she was my wife of 9 years (together a total of 16 years), and she only cheated once. And, she seems remorseful; she seems like she wants peace now. Does it mean that I lack character for not wanting to maintain any kind of relationship after the break-up/separation/divorce?

      But another part of me says, “F*ck off. You hurt me. A lot. Even if it was your only time cheating.” Part of me never wants to see her again.

      Being this angry gnaws at me. It feels like I need to let it go and forgive and forget.

      • I for one will never forgive or forget! Atlthough I have forgiven myself. Friends real ones dont fuck their friends over for sometimes years. Spouses shouldnt either or at least be honest about it but no hurting and playing the injured spouse is so much more fun. If asswipe had a least the common decency as my husband to respect me enough to tell me the truth instead of lying still lies after almost thirty years then maybe I could have been civil. That much lying and betrayal is beyond the pale! Ffffuuuuucccckkkkk him that douchebag after house sale he is dead to me and noone repeat noone will change my mind. Forgive him. Never! three years three fucking years and he cant wont say sorry kar marie I asswipe have hurt you! So fuck him and fuck his whore and her entire fucking family. Hes fucked he fucked his own family now whore juice can revel in him fucking her family. Hahahahaha! She thought she can mold and change him calm him down! My sides are hurting laughing.! Boy I need that laugh today!

      • ProdigalMe-

        I think being chumps we all struggle with this one. The truth of the matter is that people lose touch with friends and sometimes relatives over time. Not many of us retain all the friendships we had from high school or college. No one gives us any crap for not holding onto every single friendship we’ve ever had so I’m not sure why the majority of the world (outside of chump nation) believes we should retain a friendship with someone who shat all over our lives.

        Things change, geography changes, relationships that were important to us at one time no longer are. To me, divorce is only a slight variation of the same concept. My relationship with my ex served a purpose when we were together (e.g. to raise children) but it no longer serves any purpose to me. We don’t even have to co-parent because our children are adults. He wasn’t very trustworthy, he put my life in jeopardy and he disrespected me in the worst way possible. What value would he bring to a friendship at this point? That would be a big fat nothing!

        I just tell people (and I told him this at one point too) “We’ve spent enough time in life together. I’m done now!”

        It pretty much says it all.

        • Cheaterssuck, this is a terrific way to frame this situation. Being married to a pod person was just ONE of Life’s myriad experiences. It doesn’t have to define us forever, just like the other terrible choices don’t (altho, to be fair, in my life the discovery of STBX’s secret, double life on D-day was the WORST and lowest moment I’ve ever had).

          And the people (I’m looking at you weird sisters-in-law and mother-in-law from Hell) are not part of my tribe and their influence is just fading away.

          Thank you for this perspective!

        • Thanks Cheaterssuck my feelings exactly. I don’t have the time nor extra energy to devote to ex. Keep it moving.

      • ProdigalMe–it’s a huge violation, cheating. I do think it’s possible to let go of the anger (eventually) but not forgive. The more of a life I build for myself, the less cheater occupies my thoughts, and the less the anger gnaws at me. Will I always be angry at some level? Yes, cheating is fraud, and I was cheated out of many years of my life that I would not have stuck with him had I known what he was doing. Infidelity is the worst betrayal, worse than what Madoff did, worse than insider trading, worse than shoplifting. I will never forgive him for that; I just want to get to the point of hardly ever thinking about him.

      • I agree. My comment should have said that we never really knew them (not “need”). That’s the mindf***. It really seemed like we knew them, but we didn’t, and now we do. Others still see the mask and we see the monster.

  • The only good thing about the “pick me polka” is that I did, during those weeks, get out everything I needed to. OH! the apologizing, the promises! the contortions of the pretzel! The emails, the begging!

    The entitled way he lapped it all up like it was his due… >barf< GREAT LESSON – but I exiled anything I had to be guilty of.

    Once he was gone I had a feeling I had not one other thing to apologize for. That was the silver lining for me.
    It was done and over in the initial weeks – and I did it, ultimately for me.

    He is a compulsive liar. It does not matter what he thinks.

    • Though I do have a great photo of an actual fez wearing monkey photo shopped with bird wings on it’s back, holding a martini.
      Sometimes I just reply with the image… let him figure it out. 🙂

    • My “Pick Me Dance” was world class…I threw every molecule of my being into it as if my very breath depended on it. After about 2 weeks of it, he looked at me and said “Your efforts to save our marriage, they are pathetic” oddly enough, he was probably right.

      • unicorn, I did the pick me dance without even knowing about the affair. I look back at myself and see how pathetic I was, but I”m even angrier that asswipe let me dance my tush off. FUCK them!!!

      • Mine said “I can see through your fake nice act.” It made me so mad at the time, but he was probably right. It was fake. I wanted to rip his head off, not make him excellent dinners and have fun with him.

  • “Sometimes bad things blot out the good things.” Thank you for that. A good friend of mine (I thought) for many years who knew Cheater and I as a couple, said to me not long ago, “You know, Muse, it wasn’t ALL bad with Cheater!” Her intention I suppose was to help me “focus on the positive”. Just totally unable to see that HIS cheating and narcissism pretty much destroyed what WAS good, as well as my happy memories, of the almost 20 years with someone I knew was an abusive jerk but never could have imagined was a Cheater.

    So fuck your closure and happy memories. But please understand that HE is the one who destroyed the good, sure as fuck wasn’t ME.

        • Nah we can’t say that, ‘just the part you ate,” because we or at least me, always thought that if I was just nice enough I could fix this shit… the disordered freaks are disordered through and through, there is not just the part I ate because that implies I could have figured out how not to eat that part and save my marriage. But it is the whole fucking enchilada. They are disordered from their skuzzy toenails to their gingivitis and greasy hairs and all the way through. People who say that there were some good parts, haven’t lived this or are accustom to this. Because when you live this, even the good parts you are on tenderhooks, wondering when they will turn on you. Holding your breath, watching him carefully, is he having fun? Did I just see his mood switch as he went on that ski lift. Oh shit, I did, (heart starts to race) oh man, I better think about tap dancing for when he gets down that slope. Because there is going to be hell to pay for the rest of this vacation, if I don’t find a way to jolly him up. Bastard. I trust the whole frick’n shrimp taco is green and mouldy and someone dipped the shrimp in a nice pink dye.

          • Yes – the eggshells, the jollying up. His mood/my responsibility.

            What in the Hell? Baby Huey in a tantrum. This is the selfish/childish thinking that made it possible for him to feel entitled to the affair, because I didn’t adore him hard enough. What’s to adore about a big pouting,seething brat?

            Yet I did adore the part of him that didn’t act that way, or, rather, the flip side of him. If only I had understood that he was living a complete double life while whining about my imperfections,

    • Tempest asswipe told me the first thing i will remember about him is what a great lover he is the best in fact and then listed all the other wonderful things i will remember and pine for. Ugh, puke. I looked him dead in the face and said no you are wrong the ONLY thing ONLY thing i will remember is how much you hurt me and nothing else and if i do think of you and im gonna try hard not to it will be the betrayal and lying im thinking of and look to the heavens and say thank god i got out of that and put you back in the deep hole i buried you in. He got up said not a word left got rip roaring drunk got “lost” for the night didnt even go to whore juice where he was living at the time. He cant handle the truth. Let him suffer his own fate. Let them all suffer for the damage theyve down. And to all lose cheaters who cheat with known married pod people, let them also get exactly what they deserve. See whore juice can get me out of his life but not his heart or head. Enjoy your ill gotten booty bitch enjoy!

      • They are always so focused on bedroom prowess, aren’t they? As if a person’s ability to brainlessly fuck for a marathon number of hours matters is at all interesting to me. Yawn.

        Hyperfocus on the least important aspect(s) of sex is its own red flag. Wish I had learned that much earlier in life.

        • You hit the nail on the head. The bedroom prowess excitation is all they live for and they project THAT on to the women they get as well. Sex to them is simply “popular mechanics” rather than part of creating a deep emotional lasting bond.

            • I remember when we first married, I wanted him to say, “I love you when we had sex.” He didn’t want to do that, thought I was fishing for compliments. He said, “I don’t want to do that, sometimes I just want to fuck.” So many chances to run that I missed. I hope my daughters are way more empowered than that.

              • Yeah, and when saying “I love you” to the other person is interpreted as an annoying distraction, that’s another big clue that something is rotten in cheatertown!

        • Amiisfree, love your thoughts here:

          “They are always so focused on bedroom prowess, aren’t they? As if a person’s ability to brainlessly fuck for a marathon number of hours matters is at all interesting to me. Yawn.

          Hyperfocus on the least important aspect(s) of sex is its own red flag. Wish I had learned that much earlier in life.”

          SEX. SEX. SEX. That’s all STBX cares about. He’s really addicted. It’s actually just sad when I have a few moments of clarity. He’s a fat, middle-aged, alcoholic who just wants to fuck an Asian teenager. And that’s it. Just fuck and drink.

          At this point I regret ever thinking he was someone special.

          He wasn’t. And he wasn’t good in the sack, either, poor loser. He’s not really good at anything.

          Wish I didn’t pick people who were a “project” – it ends in tears for everyone involved.

            • Haha! Awesome, Tempest!

              And Roaring, I know what you mean. I love sex a great deal, when it’s positive and joyful in my life, but it isn’t an all-consuming topic for me. Even if it was more consistent/frequently part of my thinking, if I was thinking about healthy, mutually respectful and appreciative sex (like how I feel about friend time, noshin’ on pizza, walking outside in nice weather, funny movies, and other things that bring healthy pleasure to my life and others’ lives), it wouldn’t be dysfunctional or harmful.

              I guess this is why it is so hard to untangle the skeins. Something that SHOULD be good gets made into something bad.

        • Wait! What! It’s supposed to last for hours! Holy Shit, and here I thought that’s what commercials were for. Done before he got back to his regular programming. Trust me, everything is better solo!

    • The concept of “remembering the good”…

      “You know, Muse, it wasn’t ALL bad with Cheater!” Her intention I suppose was to help me “focus on the positive”. Just totally unable to see that HIS cheating and narcissism pretty much destroyed what WAS good, as well as my happy memories, of the almost 20 years with someone I knew was an abusive jerk but never could have imagined was a Cheater. So fuck your closure and happy memories. But please understand that HE is the one who destroyed the good”

      Yes Muse yes yes yes…..I was already hurting under the weight is his mistreatment, but I thought I knew the worst of it, I had no idea that “Serial Cheater” was piled on and I hadn’t realized it yet. If there was any good, he fucked it over a thousand times, so no, I don’t want to consider that good…it only make it worse.

      For me, I see that he was a good son, a loyal brother, decent friend….unpredictable and self absorbed father who could (occasionally) not be a total ass, but as a husband, he was HORRIBLE, awful, abysmal and extraordinarily sucky. All those other folks can think happy thoughts about him and I wont get in their way, me? no.

      • unicornnomore: “If there was any good, he fucked it over a thousand times, so no, I don’t want to consider that good…it only make it worse.” EXACTLY… THIS!!!!

        • Nope the treachery more than out weighs the good. Spouse cheats no big deal. Dumb ass bastards and bitches the lot of them. May their male and female parts rot and fall off or out.

          • Exactly Unicornomore. Cheater ex’s behavior totally erased any urge I’ve ever had to even remotely see him as anything other than pure evil in my life.

            Now he is my idea of the personification of a dark triad monster.

            Honestly, I can’t think of one positive thing he left as his legacy…..Anywhere.

  • Dear Star – This guy has some nerve to contact you after what he did. Being a narcissit, emotional abuse, deceipt. Why don’t you be different than the other women he’s probably in contact with and not respond to his lame attempt to contact you. The best way to say goodbye is NO CONTACT.

  • I think sometimes we believe that if we SAY a heartfelt goodbye that we’ll FEEL a heartfelt goodbye. But the heart-brain connection doesn’t work that way. Chump Lady is right that time and distance are the things that actually help you feel disconnected in the way that your brain wants you to.

  • I sent that “goodbye letter” over ten years ago when I broke up with the Ex BEFORE we got married. Next thing I knew he was on my door step after six weeks of total silence…immediately after he received it. He wormed his way back into my life and we did get married…I thought that the red flags I saw must have been my mistake, giving him the benefit of his being “repentant”. The day after our wedding, he went to work…would not even take the day off to go do something…as in, no honeymoon…not even a nice lunch or dinner out. He could have taken ANY amount of time off being self employed. This devaluing stage began right after the wedding was over, and continued until we parted ways.

    THIS TIME (ten years of a rocky marriage and finally a divorce), I took that previous lesson to heart. No goodbyes, no letter, no poem, no song, no text, no email, no shipping him a desperately needed self help book, no shit in a paper bag, nothing. You cannot ever start to get to MEH if you keep him tethered to you by ANY means near or far.

    The slightest bit of communication will result in you giving him “permission” to blast his way back into your life as mine did and begin the Hoovering. Is THAT what you want??! He will see ANY type of outreach (good or bad) as you “yearning” for him…as YOUR showing weakness for him, and as YOUR primal scream for him to save you from YOUR mistake of dumping him.

    I did not yearn for Ex…we are TAUGHT that we need Closure in these painful situations. We don’t. Closure from a cheater means that we shut that door and bolt it from within. Leave it that way. He will simply see you as an optional “bit on the side” whenever he gets bored with whomever he is already shagging.

    Closure is only for giving to repentant people who are in their death throes lying on their death beds.

    • Sweets, that is perfect. In my job I have dealt with some seriously disordered people. One, a woman, was so horrible that she enraged anyone who worked with her. One day driving home my stomach was in knots from her. I realized I had to find a way to deal with her unemotionally. Here it is…..I am going to have good days and bad days but she is going to be a miserable piece of shit every day, all day, for the rest of her life. It worked. I could work with her without any stress and when she moved it was no more important to me than taking out the garbage. Sometimes people really are not salvageable.

  • I wouldn’t reply to it, except maybe with a faked bounce-back as if the email isn’t valid anymore.

  • No “bitter bunny” letter because it will only confirm, to him, his centrality in your mind.

    And no “thanks for the good times” letter because… well, sending someone you’ve just fired for theft what is essentially a letter of recommendation just.isn’t.done. 😉

    He’ll surely keep it laying around, too, so that the next victim will think he’s a good guy after all, no matter what stories she’s heard or doubts she’s had. Sure, he fucks up sometimes… but he couldn’t have been THAT bad, with his ex sending him such a nice letter.

    • @insistonhonesty—your comments are excellent and spot on. As a matter of fact, I came across a multipage Hallmark card such as you describe– he had kept as a ‘memento’ from one of his OW.

      I did him a ‘favor’ and ran it through my shredder…hehehehe

    • That’s exactly right, insistonhonesty–if we stay ‘friends’ with them, they can claim they weren’t so bad. Asshole Impression Management 101.

      Well, cheaters, you are that bad.

      • I think this is one reason why my Ex has stayed “friends” and/or stayed in touch with every woman in his life prior to me.. that and endless kibbles of thinking they are all pining for him endlessly. Not this bitch! I take pride in being the first one (maybe?) to tell him to go fuck himself when he had the audicity to say to me, “I can totally see us getting back together if it doesn’t work out with OW!” me: “You don’t understand. If you are Leaving Me for Another Woman, YOU are never getting back together with ME!” (deer in the headlights stare from him). Proudly NC for two years now.

        • Cheater’s ex wives, ex side pieces and ex harem members all hate him with a passion. They want nothing to do with him. He has lied to and hurt so many women, it is truly crazy. I mean 100s of women. After the past year, and especially this past weekend, I see why.

          How does he do it? He is a musician and comes on to everything and anything that has a vagina. If they have daddy issues, addiction issues, are married or in a committed relationship, all the better! He then lies and gaslights them while sucking the life out of them. It is truly terrifying. Unfortunately for him, after 30 years of doing this, people in the area know what he is. His current slut’s mom is appalled that her daughter has been sucked into his vortex. She doesn’t know half of the shit that is coming down on her precious child.

          Example: we have a mutual friend, a woman in our circle. She isn’t attractive, but she is super nice. We’ve known her for years and know her bf. She was helping out the band selling CDs one night. I just learned he came up to her and said “wanna fuck?” She was appalled and refuses to see the band or him again.

  • Love the cl reply today! I was actually just thinking that I should tell my stbx ” thank you” for helping me get the paperwork in order for my house –but our money is half mine so why would I thank him? He’s a cheater and a narc -so now he’ll be able to hook up with his whores without me bothering him with my marriage police tactics. I just don’t care anymore -im so over him. It’s just the mistrust and knowing that he didn’t love me (after 19 years of marriage) that hurts. He’s going to miss his wife appliance. He asked me if I could wash some of his clothes before I go. What an unemotional asshole.

    So… I have my house closing this morning!! I can finally get out of this grey rock house. Moving out this week and then I’m going no contact. Can’t wait. My stbx said “good luck at your closing” as he left for work today. I said “thanks” but what I wanted to say was “fuck off”. He so wants to look like the good guy. He doesn’t want to give me half of the tvs in our house so he’s buying me all new ones and installing them on Thursday. He’s such a control freak. As soon as he puts the tvs in –I’ll only have to see him at christmas and birthdays. Yeah me!

    • I’d have those TV’s checked for spyware. You’d be surprised what new smart TV’s are capable of.
      Not trying to be paranoid, but want you to be safe.

    • Congrats on your closing!! I am in the process of cleaning things out, getting maintenance and repairs scheduled before listing. Throwing out cheater’s shit whenever I can get away with it (he still lives here) … It is a long process but really looking forward to finally being able to move forward to no contact! You’re almost there!!

  • Somebody was talking about how sad our cheaters lives are. And they are sad. But what’s sadder is that they don’t have to live that way, they want to. This is the hardest thing in the world for me to get through my big fat skull. It’s not my fault, their crap. I care about my ex. I hope he gets free of his crap. But it has to be him and him alone and that does it has nothing to do with me. He has to decide that he no longer wants that life, not based on anything else anybody does. There is a movie with robin Williams called What Dreams May Come. It’s about a lady who commits suicide and goes to hell. Robin is allowed to go and get her, but guess what, she won’t leave. That pretty much sums it up. They’ve made their own hell and they won’t leave it. It’s sad but if I choose to move to hell to be with my x, that’s just as bad. And if I did move to hell to be with him, he’d destroy me just like he’s doing to himself. It hurts.

  • Fuck heartfelt goodbyes. These assholes expect that, because they think they are so fantastic. Don’t feed the beast. You want to show nonchalance. Give him a big fucking Yawn.

  • 2 things, well 3….
    1 – This goodbye note would just be confirmation of how wonderful he is and how you’re crazy for leaving, “see? she had a great relationship and love me, I don’t’ understand why she is leaving….”
    2 – All contact is kibbles and centrality (what he really wants)
    3 – No Contact, No Contact, No Contact, No Contact!
    No Contact is the path to the truth and the light.
    Go into the light Star! There is peace in the light!

  • Star, he’s not worth attempting ANY communication with whatsoever (whether that’s an “Ew”, a “LOL”, or a “FU”). If you feel that you need to say “goodbye”, write yourself that email, text, or letter. There is no closure with someone who has hurt, betrayed, and abused you the way your X has. You need to create that for yourself– by yourself, with a therapist, your support system, and/ or CN. Someone like him is unable to understand the gravity of the pain that he caused and you can’t get closure from an abnormal person or narc like him. You either think you are taking the high road and acting the way a normal person would (i.e., saying something like sorry things didn’t work out, reminiscing about the good times, etc.), you are hoping for some peace of mind by telling him off and letting him know how much he hurt you, or you are hoping for him to respond with an apology or even to receive well wishes and maybe even some words of regret in exchange. He’s not capable of responding to or reciprocating your feelings appropriately (and isn’t that what people are typically looking for with closure? Some sort of validation?). The damage has been done and cannot be undone. He will take whatever words you give him and spin them to fit his narrative. Any reaction is kibbles to these losers. I caught my X of the past 8 years with someone else in *our* home a little over 2 months ago when I came home sick (and early) from work. Before he left that day (with only a few personal items), he informed me that that had been his 4th “affair”. He just came by (finally!!!) this weekend to get the rest of his belongings. I wrote a script in my head of all of the things I was going to say to him and my script ranged from how much I couldn’t stand him to how much he hurt me and that I didn’t deserve any of it. I felt like I was going to finally get a chance to express myself and then I would feel SOOO much better as I would get “closure”. But I said nothing. Not even “hello”. I felt so mighty for not saying a word while he was here and then I felt utterly horrible after he left because I didn’t say anything. But if I had said something, what good would it have done? My words (your words) mean nothing to these types. They aren’t capable of truly understanding what they’ve done, so it’s not worth wasting any more time and energy on them or wishing for “closure”. Put that energy towards yourself and working your way to meh. Listen to CL: avoid the shrimp tacos, Star.

    • You get it! It’s so hard not to treat this like “normal” relationship where two people can bid each other farewell in good terms. I struggled to think that it ended that way–an emotional explosion where I had to physically throw out his things and curse him out. Why couldn’t we have ended things in a way that dignified the relationship at least? But, like you said, it’s just not possible with these sorts.

      • Star,

        You’re thinking like a healthy adult that you can end a relationship and show it “dignity.” He can’t show it dignity because he dishonored it by cheating. I used to project what I thought he felt because that’s how I would feel in similar circumstances. If I dishonored my husband I would have been so ashamed that I would never be able to look him in the eye again. I wouldn’t blame him for hating me. I would do anything to try and repair any piece of trust he could have in me. But that’s not what they feel. I have no idea what they feel because I could never hurt someone so intentionally and so deeply that they physically felt as if someone stabbed them.

        Show yourself dignity by becoming mute. It’s hard not to shout at them and beat them in the head with a shovel (I say shovel because it’s also useful for digging deep holes), but it’s worth it in the end.

  • *One* of the worst things about a marriage ending because of adultery is that it takes away any chance of natural closure. I believe that divorced people can be civil, be friends, co parent, even spend some time together, if they like. Adultery takes that all off the table.

    People in a marriage that isn’t redoing well, for whatever reason, can talk, go to counseling, make improvements, etc. If they still don’t work it out, they can divorce. They ended it honorably, and did all they could to make it work. They can have pleasant memories of the marriage and former spouse. Adultery takes all that off the table.

    Adultery ruins the past, the present, and the future of any marriage where it occurs. And contrary to what the whore blogs say, most couples were in love when they got married and many had a good life together for a very long time.

    • ^^^THIS^^^ I have been amazed throughout my divorce process with Mr. Sparkles how many times he asked me for a “discussion”… of course, because I had a pre-nup, he wanted to try to talk me into a settlement through emotional manipulation.

      The time for discussions and conversations was BEFORE the adultery, as grown-ups. But, they can’t handle that. So, NO, there is nothing to say after the adultery.

      OH – and the pre-nup was upheld. Mr. Sparkles walks away with nothing… except my silence.

    • Closure I see as , sort of like an exit interview, implies there is something to be gained. That you can talk about your differences in a way that would help you and help the other person be a better partner next time. There is none of that with these disordered fucks. Adultery is the tip of the iceberg, they are disordered through and through. There is nothing that can be said, because they are completely incapable of learning from their mistakes. You and I will will agonize over what we did wrong or could have done better and we have done that thoughout the marriage. For them, we just became a ratty old couch. Something to be tossed aside. My douche wanted to be friends, but only because he suddenly realized he was not invited to family gatherings any more. He was shocked that I would not continue to make him look like a good day. Fuck him.

    • “I believe that divorced people can be civil, be friends, co parent, even spend some time together, if they like. Adultery takes that all off the table.”

      ABSOLUTELY spot-on.

      My lawyer helped to talk me out of mediation (which I was leaning away from anyway) with my STBXW; if you can prove in court that your ex is a liar (which I can), you CANNOT mediate with them. It’s just totally insanity to think that a person who lied to you and manipulated you for probably many years can be trusted in *any* capacity.

  • I’ll just say that my ex reached out twice and the first time, I didn’t answer. However, the second time I did send him a goodbye email, but there was no heart in it. I was cold to the point of being frigid, telling him I didn’t even want a response to the email, but that he needed to understand I’d let him go. So, if you’re going to email, which is your choice, and not up to any of us – I would recommend being cold and logical.

  • I will also say the Whore Blogs are th e only place I’ve ever seen where people think it is normal to marry someone who you never loved, who never made you happy, and then stay married to them for 20, 30, 40 years, lol.

    Ex pulled that shit. He never loved me, was never happy, etc. even though we dated three years and were married five before he began fucking the whore. Why waste eight years of your life, and mine. Yet after all that I still had to literally throw him out and divorce him because he didn’t want to leave. Only a moron would believe he NEVER wanted to be with me. Enter Moron, i mean OW. These guys pick these broads for a reason, believe me.

    • Your timeline Anita is so similar to mine. I also heard the same things. I have come to the knowledge that cheaters are like water, they ALWAYS choose the path of the least resistance. Self serving cowards.

    • Anita – Nothing enrages me more than people who marry without loving the other person. Why get married at all??? People like this don’t consider the other person’s feelings in all this, because it’s all about them, and how they don’t want to be lonely, or some other bullshit reason they tell themselves.

      Don’t they see they are rather ruining the other person’s life? What about leading the other person on? What about the other person’s feelings? I get so angry when I read this. It’s a very selfish decision, which impacts the other person, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

      • Narcs marry and “commit” for one reason and one reason only…. you are “of use” to them. Same reason they hook up with strange. Too bad we had to learn this shit the hard way.

        • Mine insisted on getting married. After D-day, he told me it was because he didn’t think he could do any better, and he believed I could, so he wanted me ‘locked-in.’ Nothing like knowing you were never loved at all, but just less work than continuing to date.

  • A goodbye letter is somewhat equivalent to going to marriage counseling with the cheater. All that will do is open up a forum for the cheater to discuss your supposed inadequacies. No need to say Sayonara – Adios – Arrivederci. Just “Pull a Houdini” – that is goodbye enough.

  • Don’t waste your time writing the goodbye letter/email. Or if you do, don’t bother sending it. In my case, my well crafted final goodbye was stonewalled…. crickets. That was his final Fuck You to me for me daring to question his highness’s deceit, lying, cheating, blameshifting, and then refusing to go along with “maybe we can get back together if it doesn’t work out with OW” shit sandwich.

  • Nothing says “Fuck Off” quite like silence. Total indifference. Since he’s a narcissist, the absence of of any reaction from you will be like a spear through his head for him. They HATE to be ignored. Instead of Groucho Marx, think Harpo Marx!

  • Nothing says closure better than taking away their centrality by absolutely ignoring them. Any contact you make puts focus on them. What happens when you feed a stray? They keep coming back. Nothing says “I don’t care” louder than silence.

    It sounds like you’re still reminiscing because you haven’t fully grasped the magnitude of him and what has happened. Once you get there, you’ll realize all those memories are tainted and what you thought was good memories was just you being duped. You’ll get there sooner if you stay with NO Contact.

    • And the other women go insane when they find out you dont want to know a damn thing about them! Or meet them or be their best friend? Or listen to their dribble about what happened. Asswipes whore cant stand i never asked one thing about her nor did i ask my kids. It drives her nuts. Asswipe is stupid but the kids realized very early on how she went on and on about me. Wanted to know all about me how i think how i feel and why oh why am i not curious about her? She just wants to be my friend! Cant stand when people dont like her and shes not the center of attention. My boy just shrugs closed up alot like dad and finally told her not talking about my mom with you. Mind your own business. Apparently she told the boy she me is my business since dad still cares so much for her! Oh fucking brother how pathetic. My daughter grew tired of her fishing for info about me right off and told her to fuck off and she will not discuss mom and what mom should do with her! Im only here to see my dad so dont piss me off! She bitched and bitched to asswipe about this and in true fashion he closed up whore made the huge mistake of calling me a name once and he slapped her across the face. Wow just wow! Told her say one thing against kar marie and i will beat you! Told her that in front of my daughter. Whore was on her knees apologizing and begging forgiveness. Again p a t h e t i c! Think i will ever be out of his head bitch i think not. Assholes both of them!

  • My ex took advantage a couple of times that we were talking about kid issues, to try to talk about ‘us’. I got the ‘I’m sorry’. The second time he said that, I finally had the brains to ask what he was sorry about. That’s when he said ‘I’m sorry things didn’t work out between us’. REALLY? REALLY? THAT is what you’re sorry about? Not that you fucked around, promised to never do it again, got me to re-invest in our relationship for years, then did it again. Not that you threatened me very convincingly several times, so I was physically afraid of you. Not that you blew up your kids’ family and all our lives? Not even that you were such a negative and crabby person for so many years, so unpleasant to be around? You’re sorry that it didn’t work out? Right.

    And with time he made it abundantly and repeatedly clear that he was only apologizing in order to try to open up yet another conversation about ‘trying again’. And that he wasn’t actually sorry, because he didn’t believe that he had done anything that should be considered a big deal; the cheating, the threats, these are pretty normal things to have happen in a relationship. I’m the bitter and self-righteous one.

    So nah, no closure. And once I saw how neglectfully and uncaringly he treated the kids, my civil sadness changed into cold disdain. He’s not just a fuckup who makes himself miserable. He’s a COMPLETE asshole. And assholes don’t do closure, they just take it as another opportunity to make you feel like crap.

    • Karen, yes, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Cheaters apologize in the general sense — sorry “things” didn’t work out. I say that sorry is as sorry does, and words don’t mean much coming from cheaters.

      I also pined for closure. It was beyond me how someone could devalue and discard me so callously after being part of my life for 36 years. I kept thinking “it ends like THIS?” I sent an email right after we separated thanking him for all the good times. I specifically recounted things I was grateful for in our marriage. The answer I got back was so weird — he said “we’re not leaving each others’ lives, we’ll still have plenty of good times with our grown kids.” It was very unsatisfying response, almost like communicating with a clueless robot.

      • I felt the same Lyn, I sent a similar letter, carefully worded, filled with dignified acceptance and good wishes for both our futures.

        He didn’t even bother to read it.

        • super Narc. WTF. You see now, though, how there just isn’t EVER another person in the room with these cheater-narcs. Not worth the paper the email is printed on, not worth the bits and bytes in the email.

  • I have come to believe that closure is a gift you give to yourself when you have gone through the stages of finding the truth, researching to make sure it is really true, and then accepting it, and deciding how you will live the rest of your life. You realize that you cannot change someone else — you stop trying to do something that is impossible.

    I am not sure I even believe deathbed conversions — I have become so cynical that I think the “confessor/apologist” is only saying the words because he/she hopes it may save them from their duly deserved time in hell. There does not seem to be any sincerity in any apology made at that time, for me. If they were really sorry, they would have said so before and at least attempted to make some amends.

    I am unfortunate enough to have a parent who is a Malignant Narcissist. My siblings and I have wondered if he will try some dramatic deathbed scene to make himself feel better before he goes. We have mixed opinions, and a wait and see attitude, but I feel I will only have a closure of sorts when he is safely gone and in the ground, where he can never say another hateful word to any of us again. He may use his last will and testament to spew forth a bit more venom, but he will be gone, and there will be some peace in that. I learned long ago that no words were ever going to “fix” what was wrong with him, or between us, and I was only hurting myself by trying to do what I thought was the “right” thing.

    If the Narcissist is a family member, or a spouse where children are involved, it is very hard to have complete no contact. I learned how to detach emotionally from conversations, how to excuse myself from the room/conversation when I felt a tremor of feeling start to enter my thoughts. It was difficult, but extremely effective for me to be able to escape the malignancy. Whenever the malignant one starts to hover about, trying to obtain additional kibbles from you — remember what you have achieved by walking away from the lies and the cheating. Tell yourself whatever you have to, keep a talisman if necessary to make you strong — but resist the urge for conversation — overcome the desire for so called “closure.” It is a trick — you are the only one who can provide peace and comfort to you.

    Meh is closure.

    • Don’t be so sure your father cannot wreak havoc from the grave. I know a retired cop whose mother was a narc/sociopath. Lived to be 101. She had the inheritance so convoluted that she pitted him (only child) and his cousins against one another after her death. He needs permission from the Trust to obtain $$ for maintaining the house she left him. The house can never go to his wife or son or be sold outright. It must be turned over to the cousins. The cousins want it because she basically stole it from their parents (her siblings) and they all agree that she more than likely hastened the death of not only her parents but her husband well. She was a nurse. She also stole his inheritance from his paternal grandmother. Had him sign over the property as he was heading off to Vietnam, but she led him to believe SHE was the one leaving him the property and he thought it was smart to sign “back over” (or so he believed) in case he did not come back. When he did come back and found out the property was left to him by his grandmother, not his mother, she informed him that he would have squandered any monies made from the sale of the property, so she decided to keep it for herself. Many other stories with this woman but you get my drift.

    • Portia: I agree about the deathbed apologies; if they were sincere, the apologies would have occurred years ago.

      I thought about what I would do if my X was on his deathbed (wishful thinking, I know), and called for me. I wouldn’t go. Any apologies he offered for the pain he caused me were taken back in his last calm, but nasty email to me, in which he minimized what he had done & blamed me for causing him to be so unhappy that he cheated. Hmm…rampant serial cheater in two marriages, but it’s never his fault.

      Calling me to his deathbed would simply be his insurance policy that, if there is a hell, he might not go to it. My response would be “Burn baby burn…disco inferno.”

      • Right there with you Tempest… If mine were to ask me to come to his death bed, I would not go, and would remain NC. I would be extremely tempted to break my NC though, by having the first tome of Dante’s Divine Comedy delivered to him, you know, as a bed time reading suggestion for his final days.

        • Brilliant, Chumptitude–we could pay someone to read them Dante, and in between reading sessions, have Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal playing on endless loop, to remind the cheaters of their ultimate end.

          • Tempest, Hahahaha. That hospital bed watching ‘The Seventh Seal’? I would love that. STBX is a very lowbrow man. His confusion would be as satisfying as the symbolic resonance. Dummy.

        • Now this really cracks me up. Shortly after the PO was in place Saddam’s mother called me saying he was in hospital with heart problems and was afraid he wasn’t going to make it, he really wanted to see me. I told her to let me know if he died, I’d go to the funeral. Turned out they released him the same day, no heart issue after all.

          Then there was a lot of nasty shit from him trying to settle the divorce. but…

          He pulled this shit again when he actually did have a heart problem in hospital, only he called himself and in his most pitiful voice told me he was afraid this time he would die and wanted to see me again, love you, yadayada. I said no, told him he was violating the protective order and hung up. Of course I couldn’t report his violation and he knew it. He played that card really well more than once, if you report a violation when the dude who wants to kill you says they love you or miss you? Stupid fucking judges ask why you are concerned. Oh I dunno judge, cos he almost shot me last time he said that?

          Bottom line is; no matter what, no matter when, assholes will play you, even when they just had a heart attack.

    • Portia, what you said in this post really resonates for me, especially your first paragraph. It bears repeating: “I have come to believe that closure is a gift you give to yourself when you have gone through the stages of finding the truth, researching to make sure it is really true, and then accepting it, and deciding how you will live the rest of your life. You realize that you cannot change someone else — you stop trying to do something that is impossible.”

      I was going to do a post something like this, but you say it so well I will just respond to yours. I don’t think we ever get “closure” in relationships. Maybe we watch too many 1/2 hour sitcoms, 1-hour dramas, or formulaic movies, in which things are wrapped up neatly at the end. Whether relationships drift apart, end suddenly due to conflict, break apart one court filing at a time, or end with death, there are always things that went unsaid, undone, unacknowledged. Where we can get “closure” is in our own thinking about the past, the present and the future.

      It’s our job to go through the process of what a friend called the relationship autopsy–to find out what happened, not just about the infidelity but about the whole relationship, without resorting to self-medication and avoidance. I think, sometimes, that the urge to contact the cheater is a kind of self-medication. Everything is painful–the past, the present, the future without the partner and family we loved. The idea we have of “closure” is to recover some of what’s lost, maybe mitigate the pain–either by giving the Cheater a verbal beating or focusing on the “good times,” which is a form of denial. I wrote and re-wrote and had a million conversations with Jackass in my head as I went through stage after stage of confront the “what happened.” But looking back, I can see the goal of that work was really not connected with Jackass–it was about accepting what happened “and deciding how [to] live the rest of [my] life.”

      None of this is readily apparent when we’re going through this stuff, which is why it’s so important to go “no contact,” or to do so as much as possible. It takes time to process this stuff and it’s so hard to do while the cheater is in our head and hearts and house.

  • Ironically, I know I have nothing left to say to Mr. Sparkles. Truly.

    My issue is what I want to say to #4 – the AP. If I can’t put his latest and greatest AdultFriendFinder.com ad in front of her via the adultery process in court, SOMEHOW I feel compelled to SHOW HER the man she has won with our divorce… and tell her to get a blood test, a good therapist, and CL’s new book.

    I’m praying on that one every day.

  • Have you been reading too much Elizabeth Gilbert?

    I thought I was the only one who couldn’t stomach Elizabeth Gilbert. Every page of “Eat Pray Love” whispered (and sometimes screamed) “I’m a narcissist! Aren’t I incorrigibly adorable?!”. Well, I wouldn’t actually know about every page, TBH, because the book got tossed in the trash halfway through “Pray”. Totally intolerable. What’s scary is that it was such a beloved and celebrated book by practically everyone. Ugh.

    • I second that, deedee! That book was drivel from start to finish (yeah okay, I finished it, and then I had to shower with Lysol).

      • Eat Pray Love is actually a rip-off of “Tales of a Female Nomad” by Rita Goldman Gelman. Rita is a friend of mine, and the book starts with a separation from her husband – where he specifies they can see other people. In her pain, she goes to Mexico and learns how to be alone – and happy. The rest of the book is her travels to other countries, and how she grows as a person. She doesn’t look for love, she looks for joy. It’s a great book, and MUCH better, and wholesome, than Eat Prey Love

          • Whoa, fucking rip-off. I actually did enjoy EPL before I knew Elizabeth Gilbert was a cheating scum. And for this, I apologize.

        • Susannah, at least Rita’s book sounds like an authentic journey. Liz starts off by describing a perfectly good life with a perfectly decent husband, and then expecting us to buy her ridiculous meltdown on the bathroom floor as anything other than a narcissistic tantrum. Boo-hoo, poor, poor Liz can’t take one! more! second! of a normal life with a good guy who adores her. The horror!

          But what pissed me off the most was when she decided to get a book advance from her publisher for her “journey of self-discovery”. Really, lady? A book advance? Hey, here’s a novel idea: go have an authentic experience, and THEN decide if it’s worth writing about.

          Her year of self-absorption in exotic lands had all the genuineness of a “The Bachelor” season. And don’t get me started on her desperate need to tell us how irresistible she was to each and every man who wandered into her orbit. Gaaahh, I actually get angry thinking of that book, haha.

    • Gilbert’s book should now serve the same function as the Sears Roebuck catalog served for families in the late 1800s.

  • “I am unfortunate enough to have a parent who is a Malignant Narcissist”. Portia if it makes you feel any better I am sure most of us did or still do have a Malignant Narcissist parent and in my case I had both parents. I pulled away when I started my own family because I never wanted my 2 children to know or hear what I had been raised in and the rage was in full swing more so when the grand kids came along. I can honestly say that I am the complete opposite to both of my parents and yet there appears to be something very wrong with me because my kids silence tells me so and no words are ever going to “fix” what is wrong and broken with our relationship. They are showing tremendous loyalty to a 3rd world prostitute and their father and not the person who loved and raised them. Maybe I am to blame and cannot see the forest for the trees. I don’t know any more.

      • Maree — I hate to say this, but I think when you have a parent (or 2, or additional family members) that influenced you when you were in your formative years, that there is a type of damage done to you that is almost irreparable. Others may feel differently, but all of my brothers and sisters have met and discussed the effects on our lives with regard to marriage, relationships, and whether or not to have children. I am the only one who decided to have children. I hope I shielded my children from my father, effectively, but their father had some of the same traits my father did. I did not see it when I married, of course, but later on when I started putting the details together about Narcissist behaviors, it became very clear to me. Same disorder, different presentations. One of my greatest fears was how my children would be effected by seeing the relationship between me and their dad, and how his attention/lack of attention would damage them.

        My son’s are 26 and 29 now, they have not married. They have had relationships with girls when they were in school, but they are not big “daters” now. I think most of their energy at this time is focused on finding their spot in the world — a good job, a place to make a home. Both express an interest in marriage, and possibly children. Both are wary of what they call “the princess syndrome” in girls. They feel that many of the girls they meet have unrealistic expectations of what should be provided for them materially. I am sure some of this is a result of watching their father pretending to be more important than he is and richer than the is to lure “babes” into a relationship with him. My son’s were disgusted by the majority of women their father introduced them to — and contrary to what their father believed, my sons would come home and TELL ME how inappropriate most of the women were. My eldest son was particularly grossed out when his father “dated” a girl 2 years older than him!

        Several years ago their dad married an Asian woman, about 20 years younger than him. She needed a green card, and was under the impression he was already a wealthy man, who would be wealthier when he inherited money from his parents. My son’s did not like her, or want their father to marry her, but after he did they decided to “make peace” with the situation. They do not want to talk about what will happen when their father dies. Intellectually, I think they know they will have nothing, that she will have either spent it all, or will inherit it all. Emotionally, they do not want to believe their dad would do that TO THEM. I believe they want to write off their father’s actions to his being a “horn dog” without considering all the additional factors and damages he has done. If they never have children themselves, they may never know the anguish I have experienced worrying over what would happen to them. They may write off anything material, because living in Denial of any of the bad consequences, they can still love “fantasy” dad. In my opinion, this would be the best case scenario for them, if they can pull it off. It is not that I want my children to deny reality, but if they can avoid some of the pain I have felt in finding and dealing with my reality, and can achieve a Meh like state — well, whatever works.

        I could not do that. Once I started accepting that my growing up was not “normal” and once I started learning about dysfunctional people, I could not rest until I fit together the pieces of the puzzle in a way that made sense to me. I cannot choose or control the way my children feel about their dad. I am grateful that they are supportive of me and loving toward me. If I had tried to push them to see their dad as I see him, I may have lost that. I do not know for sure of course. Maybe I chose peace over accuracy? However, I had to stop worrying about their future to find a future of my own. I got my children raised to adulthood, they graduated from college, they have little debt, and they are two healthy and smart young men. I am extremely grateful for that. But I feel now that my “job” as a mother is basically done, and I try to enjoy my sons as much as I can now.

        I do not know if this would work in your situation. But if you think it might, try to close the door on any conversation about your previous life with their father, or anything about his current life, with your children. Let them come to their own conclusions. They are the ones who will have to live with the consequences of any interaction with him. It has been my experience that if your children need you for some reason, or become nostalgic for some reason, they will contact you. Make any contact with them as pleasant for all parties as you can.

        If this does not work for you, please try to find some peace in your own life. Take good care of yourself, and try to find things that bring you joy. I wish you all the best.

        • That’s good advice, Portia. My children are about the same age yours are. They are just now talking a little about some of the issues they see in their dad, they’re starting to experience some of the same behaviors in their own relationships with him. But in the beginning I was too upset and said too much, and dealing with my grief drove the kids away for awhile.

          A good friend told me the best gift I could give my children was to be happy, so I started focusing very hard on finding things that bring me joy and doing them. I tried to let the kids know how much I enjoyed hearing from them, or being around them, and let them sort out their own relationship with their father. Now my kids are saying that I’ve come so far, that I’m in a much better place than their dad, etc.

        • Portia, like you I was raised by a malignant narcissistic parent (and another parent on the narcissist spectrum who abuses alcohol.) Indeed, “there is a type of damage done to you that is almost irreparable.” I’ve spent 30 years, off and on, in therapy peeling away layer after layer. It never ends. You’ve clearly done a great job both negotiating your own life and raising your sons. The upside for me, after a lot of work, has been finding a real peace with living in the present moment and focusing on living my own life.

          • My MN father was also the child of an alcoholic and I later found he was what they called a “dry drunk” for many years. He started actually sneak drinking after I had left home. My son’s father was a “functional” alcoholic — he could work and go for long periods of time without getting “drunk” — but had low tolerance for hard alcohol and incredible tolerance for beer. I learned so many things that I really would rather not know about alcoholism and addiction, and behaviors. The alcohol issue kept me off track for the Narcissism issue for a long time. When I learned about that — it was like all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. I never knew there were so many varieties.

            I thought there could be a recovery for the alcohol — and that kept me hooked on hopium for years. I also believe I probably thought I was somehow responsible for some of the behaviors — one of the side effects of being raised in dysfunction. One of the many secret scars that are internalized and processed by your sense of self. Scars that no one sees, scars that don’t provide evidence as the physical abuse scars do.

            I sought therapy for myself, early on. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew there was too much pain for me to be “ok” on the inside, regardless of what was evident on the outside. In the meantime, I was achieving external success — good grades in school, promotions at work, advanced degrees, decent housekeeper and cook, in my opinion an excellent mother. I made sure my children knew I loved them, and I always told them their dad loved them, spackled like crazy to cover his not being there as “work”. I think one of the possible traits of an adult child of an alcoholic is over-achiever — it fits right in with always seeking approval, but never really finding it.

            These are the kinds of things that I find “almost irreparable”. You understand there is something called Normal, but you don’t know what that is, and you can only approximate it at best. And no matter how “good” you try to be, you are never good enough. And these dysfunctional monsters sense this weakness, and prey on it, and thrive on it. Outsiders do not understand — because to them you appear to be strong and stable and fine. You are strong and you try harder than anyone you know to be responsible and to be stable, but you are not fine. You may have learned how to survive against incredible odds, but you have paid a steep emotional price for your survival.

            From what I have read on this site, I believe I have many Siblings in Dysfunction — I think many of the “chumps” grew up this way. That’s why preying on chumps is like shooting fish in a barrel — much of the work has already been done for the future predator by the past predator. It’s not that we are “wrong” — it is just that we are very vulnerable.

            • …I am weeping…wow… Thank you Portia! HUGS to you! I guess I need to stop researching satan and research my childhood. I, too, was raised by a raging, drunken narc. I see me in what you wrote. Thank you so much! What a revelation. …shooting fish in a barrel is correct…I was an easy target for satan…and I was completely compliant for 36 long, abusive years…

              Thank you Portia <3

              • Yes, that was very insightful Portia. My family on BOTH sides its a minefield of Narcs, drinking, and parental abuse. I, too, tried with every fiber of my body to give my sons the acceptance and adoration I wished I had as a kid. They truly are my crowning achievement, because they’re all loving, great guys. I feel like I did my best to stop the pain.

              • FreeWoman, it appears that many of us are from the same mould with the families we were born into, so to speak. Narcs, drinking, violent physical attacks, mental illness etc etc. I too tried with every fibre of my being to give my daughter and son the acceptance and adoration I wished I had as a child and I never, ever played favourites because I love them equally and I always will. Sadly, my kids don’t love me or want me in their lives which does break my heart. I know I did my very best to stop the pain and the rot but it seems the pain and rot continues. What saddens me most is that my ex husband who is the father of our 2 children was adopted at 6 weeks of age. In me, he knows he had a very loyal, loving and supportive wife and I thought he would have tried harder to be a good husband and father, but no he wasn’t and yet he is the winner if I can put it so bluntly. I don’t believe in winners because I went into our marriage believing it was an equal partnership. Fool that I am, so therefore I am the loser.

            • Portia, I’m a Sibling in Dysfunction. You have summed up my life, including therapy at a young age, because I knew there was something wrong with my “normal”. I was, unfortunately, the fish at the top of the barrel looking to get shot. I just didn’t realize it.

              I have decided to not speak to my parents, mom is a narc and father is her enabler, ever again. It was a very difficult decision and even writing this feels wrong, but I cannot do it. My brother died last June, he was 45 and he was an alcoholic. My brother was the golden child and I am the scapegoat. It was so heartbreaking to see how they treated my brother in the end. I was the one, even though my mother made sure that my brother and I were never close, that stayed with him until the end. I was the one that was there when he died, I was the only one there with him when he died. My mother made an appearance at the hospital, and I was the one that would have to get her to come to the hospital. And I was the one that had to see it all play out like it usually does with these “people”. The poor grieving mother, that never shed a tear, and me the daughter that by this time had not one ounce of sympathy for her mother. I did what I could for my brother, I stayed after everyone else left with him as he was in the ICU, I was the one that saw the heart monitor tell us that his heart was slowing down and I was the one that was there when he passed, without his “loving” parents there.

              My daughter got married about three weeks later, x was there, she agonized for a long time about inviting him. He never once and has not to this day offered condolences to me. That for me was the point where I realized that these “people” are truly Sharks in Human Costumes. There is nothing in there.

              • Piling on here…BPD Queen Alcoholic mom and Narc King Dad. My bro was Golden Child and I was scapegoat. I escaped as early as I could leaving for Nursing School at 17. Overachieved by caring for critically ill and dying children and babies (yet even that didnt impress mom).

                Mom is demented from alcoholism and now she waxes nostalgic about her amazing virtues (none of which she had). Now fully in Eriksons Integrity VS Despair Stage, Dad is trying to make amends and its kind of sad to watch.

                I swore that I married a man SO different from my parents yet as time progressed he turned out to be so like them in ways I never imagined.

                My children are young adults and have really suffered from their parentage…I have tried mightily to make up for Hs failings but I expect my efforts to fail.

            • Portia, you hit the nail on the head. As the only child of a violent, alcoholic, raging M N father, and a covert narc mother, I completely understand what you have written.

              There are many parallels in our lives and I wonder if that is not true for many adult children of narcs.

              Always trying to figure out what is “normal” and “healthy” when we haven’t a clue is exhausting. And that feeling of never being good enough no matter what we do or say, is heartbreaking. It’s like a never-ending pick me dance to the whole world.

              I finally had to make a conscious decision to say to that world that I am enough, just as I am. I’m a kind, loving, decent person who does her very best most of time, and I deserve to be accepted for who I am. No more pick me dancing. I am going to be authentically me. If someone has a problem with that they can just keep on walking.

              Funny, but some longtime former friends have done exactly that. Seems that I am much harder to manipulate.

              Oh well….bye….don’t let the screen door hit you in the ass on the way out.

              • I’m another dysfunctional sibling reporting in for the family reunion here. Some really amazing posts, and Tessie, just yesterday I was explaining the “pick me dance” to a friend. And, I said, the phrase is used in relationship to a cheater, but I feel like this one dynamic has defined almost all my relationships, starting with my bipolar, BPD, alcoholic, and *seriously* scary mom. No wonder I was such an easy target for my ex!

                It’s funny, though. My ex looked like and seemed to be totally different from my mom. So noble, so honourable, so *good.* Yet in the end the relationship was eerily similar. Of the 2, I think the one with my mom weighs less heavy on my heart, at least these days. That’s what 17 years of NC will do for you. I love her (from a safe distance) and I do forgive her, more for myself than for her, but I don’t believe I will ever forgive my shithead ex who actually *wept* when he heard my stories about growing up. How I wish I had never shared them with him! It feels like an even worse violation than his cheating and abuse.

                The one thing I am taking away from this is taking the narc target off my chest. I know better what signs to look for and FEEL for, and I won’t ever let some slick-talking snake make me doubt my own judgment.

              • FMT, what was your ex’s foo like? My family is pretty great. My ex’s, incredibly deranged. My husband too is a “good” guy.

              • I believe that the responses here validate the instinctive reaction I had when I first started reading CL. I felt I had found my tribe. Maybe we are all Siblings in Dysfunction, trying to figure out what Normal is. At least we can help each other along the way, and pass along survival tips. It is nice to have a safe place to bare your soul. Keep up the good work by continuing to help the rest of the tribe, by finding what brings you joy, and by keeping the contact with the malignant people in your life to a minimum. Rock on Survivors!

              • “My ex looked like and seemed to be totally different from my mom. So noble, so honourable, so *good.* Yet in the end the relationship was eerily similar.”

                Yes, oddly enough as bad as my parents were, so much of their failure was from pure default – they were too busy chasing something else to parent whereas my Cheaternarc husband’s cruelty (for the purpose of manipulation) was so much more devious and calculated.

                I really did think I saw “good” in him. A lower middle class kid from the heartland who took a leap to try to make it in a much bigger world…went to a military academy (in part) to save whatever funds his parents had for his younger siblings to get an education…that was so noble to me. He loved his parents and siblings and was committed to his faith. In the end his marriage was the place where he stored and hid his darkness …lots of it.

              • Me too Tessie 🙂 (My narc father calls me Tessie 🙂 ) I applaud you. I have done the same, let em go, I don’t need that crap in my life anymore either, most of em only called or came around when then needed something I had or could do for them anyway. I have been grievously used most of my life by these types.

  • Star, no contact is the best advice in our situations. These disordered alien beings will only use you and abuse you further when you contact them. Leave your abuser completely and go have a great life. I was constantly triggered and hurt until I blocked satan from ever contacting me again. he would use my contact to beat me over the head and rip my soul to shreds…I realized I was allowing it, practically begging for it everytime I would answer him. Save yourself the heartache and pain and just ignore him. You will heal much quicker and live much more peacefully. Learn from CN’s experiences, we have all been where you are and all these abusers are so much alike it is frightening. No contact is the only way out.

      • Lyn, tis true 🙂 less emotional damage with no contact. I couldn’t have peace in my life with satan continually ripping the scab off. Once I realized it was my own fault I shut him down and started to feel better right away. They will never change and they will never care. It is just awful the abuse they dole out and walk away laughing. Don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you cry. Don’t give them the ability to hurt you anymore. I’m lonely but I’m at peace and I am learning who I really am without him. And I wake up smiling every morning now 🙂 And my days and nights are filled with contentment and joy. Beau is much more peaceful and centered now too. No more narc drama and chaos. We have been truly Blessed. 🙂

        • Jeep, what I wonder about is that I’m expecting my first grandchild in October. My son has already told me that he hopes the baby will allow our family to be able to celebrate holidays together again. He keeps asking if I ever talk to my ex. I told him, “At some point I have to stop walking into the knife.” I’m not sure how to handle all this with the grandchild. I know one thing, though, I’m not going to let my fear of seeing/interacting with my ex stop me from having a part in my grandchild’s life. It’s been 4 years since I’ve seen my ex, or had much to do with him except a couple graduations. Those two times I actually took Xanax to get through it, but hoping enough time has passed that the wounds are healed, and there’s no way that they get reopened.

          • I’m sorry you’re under that pressure, Lyn. It is very unfair of your son, especially if he knows what X did to you. Plenty of people survive taking turns visiting grandchildren. Xanax should not be necessary to enjoy your grandchild. If there are odd occasions where you and X need to be together (e.g., a baptism), I can’t see how it’s necessary to be anything other than civil, Parents (in this case I mean you) get to have their needs respected, too.

          • All my children know that i will not repeat not interact with the sperm donor under any circumstance unless its an emergency. If one of them has a function that requires both sperm donor and myself present i will be there and make the day great for my kid however they all know i will totally ignor asswipe and whatever creature he drags with him. All the kids have asked me wont you and dad be friendly again one day? I told them no they havent suffered this heartbreak and i hope they never do. It was his choice to betray lie and steal. It is my choice to not ever have to deal with him again and i dont give two fucks what makes dad happy. Pretending to get along to make him and them happy is bullshit. They are grown and they will respect my wishes. They are good kids. My last wishes are if im dying hes not allowed to see me and barred from my funeral. I will not forgive him from my deathbed or his. I told my kids being friends with sperm donor is acting like what he did was ok behavior and its not. He must be punished by the person he harmed. Be glad children i didnt shoot your father i just let him drift out to whore juice and he can live happily ever after with that skank. None of them think i mean no contact is no contact theyve got a great surprize coming.

          • Even grown children have hope that the family will somehow return to its original shape. It’s certainly reasonable for you to expect to see your X at the christening or birthday parties for the grandchild. But other holidays? It’s not in anyone’s best interest to pretend to be an intact family for this grandchild.

            • LovedAJacksss

              I have made it clear to my adult children I will never have contact with their father. They saw everything he did and know the truth. He is excluded from all our celebrations including birthdays and holidays. I choose not to be anywhere he goes.

          • I’m right there with you Lyn. I don’t want to see, hear or hear about satan…it doesn’t hurt like it used to but it still…who knows? I don’t want to risk it. …I think that is the part I really hate the most…he took my family from me…none of us are comfortable dancing around his behavior and actions. My grandchildren have been exposed to more than ten women over the last year and a half. They have no idea how to deal with it. The drunken bonfires and ugh…who knows…I only care about the kids. But I am right there with you. I’m sure at some point I am going to have to deal with it too…I am not looking forward to it. I hope I can be strong and confident and ignore him like I did during the almost 3 year divorce…ugh… We really are stronger than we know. Plus, we have truth on our side. I have no idea how they live and breathe…I would die from shame were I any one of these disordered idiots.

    • Completely agree.Nothing better than silence.It speaks volumes.Every time you engage is like putting your hand in a snake pit.Silence says I’m done,no more kibbles to be had here and I’m much too busy getting on with my life to give you any air time.Star,save your energy and your time for someone who deserves it.

      • Yes ma’am Deedee 🙂 like Lyn said, ‘…quit walking in on the knife.’ Save yourself.

        satan keeps driving around my new house…??? No Contact 🙂 Waste of time satan 🙂

        Stay sane Chumps 🙂

      • Yikes! There are two deedees here.

        Agree about silence, Deedee. I’m NC with my ex-hole for 3 months now. I know he doesn’t give a crap one way or the other, but for me it’s life-giving. Engaging with him was a soul-sucking exercise in chronic frustration. There was never any there there – y’know? Even if my silence doesn’t impact him one tiny bit, and even if he’s incapable of noticing my absence due to his pathological self-absorption … I’m doing it for me.

        NC is very healing and restorative. It puts life with him in perspective and reminds me that I did just fine before he came into my life, and I can do just fine without him. He was so toxic to me, I actually grew to hate myself and what I’d become in his presence. NC has allowed me to become more me again. Let his desperate-for-money whore be his Wife Appliance now. I’m done.

  • “Fuckwits don’t have epiphanies,” ain’t that the truth? I hung on for over a year, sure he would come to his senses and realize what horrible damage he had caused, and throw himself into the hard work of saving our marriage…

  • No contact/complete silence is so the way to go. I know most of us want to land a pithy verbal blow before departing but complete silence is so much more powerful. Unfortunately those with kids rarely have the opportunity for complete silence but not engaging in any conversation other than the children’s needs or issues (and only when necessary, like court mandated necessary) is almost as good.

  • Star,
    My situation is very similar to yours, except you have been mightier than I am. I still struggle with wanting the life and the husband I THOUGHT I had, back. I agree with everyone that nothing good comes from a reply, and I have learned the hard way, over and over.

    Cheater started devaluing me 2 months into our marriage and we seperated after 6 months (turns out he has cheated on me with various women ever since we got together). I come to find out he was living with his 25 year old female music partner right away. Cheater’s mom lives with us, now me. So even though we don’t have kids, I have her in my home and she has nowhere to go.
    Unfortunately, although I told him I didn’t want to see him, he came over on Saturday and raged at me for an hour because he is realizing he will not get what he wants in the divorce ( he wants his new car and a house for him, his mom, and schmoopie). He is legally entitled to none of that. He finally started to realize on Saturday that he no longer controls me. He then cycled from rage to charm to pity in the space of 2 hours.
    Thank you for your letter today. It was very timely as I deal with the emotions from the weekend interaction. Thank you chump lady for helping remind me that he sucks. I again internalized all the horrible things he says to me and his blame. This is why no contact is so important. We do not need lying cheaters in our life.

    • Oh, honey. You have to get his mother out of there–she doesn’t live with “us” anymore–she lives with you. And as long as she does, he will be showing up at the door. That’s doesn’t mean being unkind to his mother. The fact that she has “nowhere to go” is his problem, not yours. If he moved in with Schmoopie, his mother can go there too, until the three of them–all adults–figure out where they want to live.

      You’ve got him out of the house. You can be mighty and finish the job.

      • Thank you LAJ. Unfortunately for him, the house they were living in was owned by me and he was just living in it temporarily so he could have some “time to figure things out” and I put the rental house on the market because he asked me to. Only later did I find out she was living there with him. How is that for chumpy-I agreed not to “monitor” him during this separation.
        After “borrowing” $5k from me, He and schmoopie went on “tour” supposedly for three weeks, and then I found out it was for 3 months. I use the term “tour” very loosely. The house sold and in cleaning it out, I discovered the evidence.
        So after his 3 month tour, and his playing me like a chump fiddle, they come back. He doesn’t move back in (thank god) and I announce I am filing for divorce. He doesn’t want that! I filed anyway.

        I think he is living in a room in her friends house. No room for mom. He believes he will get enough from me to buy a house. Not going to happen.
        I told him he needs to rent a house for the three of them, but he continues to live in fantasy land.
        The problem for him is his credit is terrible, he is in debt to his eyeballs from before we got married and has nothing, except for schmoopie and their twu wuv (he still denies he is with her). Not my problem, but I am waiting for our first court hearing in a couple of weeks. Mr. Big time may have to get a job and his schmoopie will have to go back to waiting tables. Too bad.

        So yes, I am working on an exit strategy for his mom since he doesn’t live in the real world. It’s hard when an 80 year old woman is crying and saying her heart is broken.

        • stand your ground, hopiumrecovery. My Ex also hoped I would finance his transition out of our home of 16 years. I’m convinced he didn’t really want to move in with OW but he had no choice as his income is in the toilet after living parasitically off me for 16 years. I stood my ground and had a tough attorney and managed to get rid of him for a pittance, 5% of the amount of money he demanded from me as his “equity” in our house. We weren’t married and the house was our only joint asset, and paid for 95% by me over the years. I say let them live with the consequences of their cheating! It’s unfortunate that your cheater would throw his own mother under the bus.. unconscionable really!

          • So true, muse. He is using her as a weapon to try to get his way, after basically abandoning her for 8 months. It is pathetic and sad. He is spinning out of control, all for the sake of his compulsions and his 26 year old. It is sad, but I refuse to be used any further. Thanks for your understanding.

    • Hopium, it’s a gift, when you decide it’s over they go through the cycle of abuse very quickly, then you realize they’ve been doing it very slowly for a long time and it strengthens your resolve. Jedi hugs!

      • Thanks datdam. You are so right. The more he spins out of control, the stronger my resolve. When he tried the charm this weekend, I knew what it was. Nonetheless, it is incredibly painful to finally see the man I loved never existed and the man he is never loved me. Thanks to you and everyone on this board as I go gray rock/no contact.

  • CL’s reply today is wonderful. It’s important to destroy the rose-tinted myth that, at the end of the day-ish, when it was all said and done ad nausem, when the sobbing echoes had long faded out, when all the tears had dried up, and when it was all water-under-the-bridgey, and the orange sun was setting over the haze-covered landfill site… the Chump reached over and gave the Cheater’s hand a little squeeze.

    Because that’s the kind of shit that Cheaters just love.

    • But, but, HopeAndGloria, wouldn’t be worth it to look at each other in the eyes, for the last time, and reminisce about days gone by traipsing around garbage and the occasional rotten shrimp taco? “when it was all water-under-the-bridgey, and the orange sun was setting over the haze-covered landfill site” LOL. Reality check. Totally saving this post for the moments when I get a #feelz attack.

  • Ahhhhhh, CL. You got me ~~ I sent the warm, fuzzy Hallmark card AFTER a Skype call to tell how sorry I was that I could not find a way to make it work!! Double Chump, with sprinkles! I confess. Total lunacy.

    I apologized that no, I could not still be his Executor and POA, and that he could not serve that role for me. Also sorry that no, he could not stay with me while he went to a wedding nearby (three weeks after DDay!). And that I had yelled. And that I had hurt his feelings. And. And. And.

    Okay, Star. You are getting the pathetic picture. Yes, I admit I did these things. And though I’d rather sweep these truths under a carpet, I haul them out as proof positive that they are ridiculous. I was a screaming-in-the-car, sleepless, shell shocked moving carcass (emphasis on the ‘ass’) who did not realize the proper game plan with disordered persons.

    You, smart gal, caught on quickly and sealed the deal with panache. Think plumes. Style. You have a lot to be proud of. I am delightfully humbled by your youthful wisdom and flare. As all the wise ones in CN say, the ONLY way is NC. NC FOREVER. May your life be as miraculous as your choices!

    • Thank you, Virago! Let’s pop a champagne and celebrate this cheater-free life. Suddenly, life is full of possibilities again. I finally got here after so many months practically living in my bedroom and just going out for work. Meh feels good.

  • In the early days of separation when I was still in somewhat frequent contact with ex (he texted me often, I never initiated but would respond) I actually did start replying nothing but, “LOL” to his manipulative mind fucking text messages. That freaked him out and made him angry, which was somewhat amusing but still did not allow me to get over him.

    There is simply no substitute for NC, or LC if you are unfortunate enough to have to co-parent with a disordered person. As the OP here has no kids with the ex, she owes him absolutely nothing beyond whatever the divorce agreement required. No need to say goodbye, no need to explain, no need for “closure,” which as CL said, will never come.

    Cheaters don’t understand goodbye or explanations. They simply use such things to “prove” that you are really the bad guy, or to manipulate you further. If you really want revenge, just cut them off cold. That drives ’em nuts and you are spared the bother of hearing about it. A win-win situation.

  • After D-day, I went no contact and never spoke to ex again. Even in our divorce hearing I didn’t even look at him. He sent me a few text messages begging, “Please just tell me to F*$% off or something!!!!”. I ignored it and did nothing. Telling him to F-off would just make him feel better (kibbles). So after he did that I just blocked him on my phone, Facebook, etc. My daughter is grown so there is no reason on earth for me to have to ever speak to him again. Silence is golden…

  • All I could think about reading this post is how so totally jealous I am that you got out with such conviction so early on. Wish I had done that.

    You don’t need to say Good Bye, you have already. The biggest Good Bye there is. You left. I went on and on and on for 22 more years than you! But, I never got to say Good Bye… the back of my head said it all.

  • The best Closure you can get is when these mofo’s walk out your door for the very last time!! By the time I finally got rid of the ex, I could not stand one single thing about him. I remember when he was cheating on me, I would be sad when he left the house cause he would be seeing, texting, calling the whore. Then one day: No more for me, sir. Fuck you.

    We went thru the Wreckconciliaton, and the “hysterical bonding “, and me thinking I loved the piece of shit, and him continuing to lie and see the whore, etc. until I was just totally completely done with his nasty ass. I could not stand anything about him. There’s your closure, right there. Getting away from the fake ass son of a bitches.

    • Right? That moment when you’ve had enough is so empowering. On our last fight I actually screamed “fuck this shit!!! there has to be more to life than this!!” Enough is enough. They’ve had their fun, now they can get GTFO and die!

  • I go to the mailbox every day, waiting for and dreading the divorce decree because then I will be finally divorced. After HE stopped talking to me, after 35 years married and a 40 year relationship, all I wanted/want was closure. I wanted to write him and his pos girlfriend. But I know that I really will not get closure. What little I got was that he was not sorry for cheating on me for almost ten years, but he was sorry HOW he did it. So what did I learn? There is no closure from a person who thinks they did nothing wrong. No closure from a person who used me so poorly, lied to me continuously, wasted years of my life, and then left without a thought. All this pain my son and I went through. I walked through fire and i still do but I am mighty now. If he could really give me closure, then he would have to SEE what he did and how he treated us, and he will NEVER OPEN HIS EYES and see it. He couldn’t continue to lie to himself as he has for years. In order to treat me as he did, he needed to see me as the bad guy. We both know the truth. Only I am strong enough to see it and speak it. I never thought I could go no contact, but his cutting me off was a gift. After begging, crying, texting with no response, I was finally able to stop. I don’t know what the future will bring but no one is lying to me anymore, criticizing me anymore. I no longer sit on the driveway crying, afraid to go into the house. The house is mine now, and if I cry, those walls are safe because he is not there. So maybe the closure I got was saving myself. Nora Ephron said: Be the hero of your own life. And that is what I am trying to do.

    • Let the walls sing again. Stay mighty, lostandfound! You were the good one and you did your best, while he was pure shit–you don’t need his validation of your truth. Please take care of yourself. I hope you have a good support group with you. I was lucky to have a supportive mom who talked me through it all, and was just a phone call away any time of the day. What he did to you was just cruel; I would like to punch him in the face, with your permission.

      • Permission granted, Star. I do have great support. My parents and some wonderful friends, but they are getting tired of hearing about it and I don’t blame them. I did finally hear from him about two months ago, when he drunk dialed me and proceeded to complain about how tough his life is. But thank goodness, Schmoopie understands and she is nice to him. He said he went no contact so I could get over him, but what he doesn’t get it that, finally, it wasn’t about him. It was about me and WHAT he did to me, the gaslighting, the desperate dance to keep him, the blaming myself.

        • Oh, the joys of the drunk dials and drunk texts. Considering the XBF was a rampant alcoholic, EVERY contact pre-NC was a drunken attempt to hoover and suck me back in.

          One of the most memorable was after my tolerating far too much needless glorified false info about his current existence but NO apologies/remorse (you know how that goes) he said “I miss the car”. “What did you just say? The phone broke up”. He repeated. “You just said you miss MY CAR?” He repeated.

          Click.

          He had never said a word about missing ME.

          He had used my sleek black Mercedes 2 seat convertible as a chick magnet and I’d put him out of business.

          Pathetic fucker

    • Oh please just change your phone number and just give it out to the people that care about you!!!! It saves you from so much misery.

  • Oh, the zings I could zing if it would change a thing!
    I’m sure I’m not alone in running all the things I’d like to say to the ex thru my head. But I discovered fairly early on that it’s far more satisfying (& sanity preserving) to starve the monster rather than feed it.
    My own llittle mantra was/still is DNE -Do Not Engage! Takes a lot of restraint at first but the results are worth it!
    Words fade. There’s no shot you can take, no flowery speech that will bolster your resolve & self esteem for the long term like refusing to indulge the one who destroyed your relationship in any further conversation about it.

    • Thanks CD, I needed this today! Starve the monster. No, you are not alone in running all the things you would like to say. The next question I ask myself? To what end? It will change nothing except to be told the same old hurtful rhetoric.

  • Say nothing. Ignoring these narcs is the very best.

    Just ghost him. no response. you can block his emails and texts. Do so.

  • I am almost 3 years out from Dday. Had to ask him for an insurance card this weekend. I did it via text. Got the well, how are you, how about this rain. WTF? Do you think he could simply just a take a picture of the damn thing and send it back? No. Wanted to suck me into the blame game. The whole thing went south in about 10 minutes. I said never mind, all I asked for was copy of the damn card, not a dissertation of what a crappy wife I was! I got a new phone and I can actually block him now. So I did. Then I sent him a very long text. Got some things off my chest which I wish I could have said to his ugly, pathetic face. Did he respond? Don’t know and don’t care. I am so sick of him blaming me for going on a dating website and getting scammed. NC is hard. Very hard. Sometimes the urge to pick up the phone and rip him a new one is very strong. Then I ask myself, to what end? It will be more of the same. I should have known how unhappy he was for 7 years, 10 years, whatever. The time frame always changes. He has written a narrative in his head, rewritten reality into something he can live with. I just wonder who the fuck was I sleeping next to for 23 years? I just work hard one day at a time, on me. I am getting a little Meh each day. Getting out what I wanted to say, felt so good. I realize I should have just written it down for myself. He will NEVER take responsibility for anything. When I was playing the pick me dance 3 years ago, he was playing the gas lighting game. He is the one who came home one day after work and said, I might as well tell you now, I am done. My response was done with what? He said, you this all of it. The marriage is over, I am not paying the rent Friday (this was a Monday). I am using the money for the mortgage to get an apartment. He did. He moved out in a week, started sending money to a Ghana romance scam. This was 06/24/13. We put the house up for sale on 07/3 and I filed for divorce on 07/11. Divorce was final 6 months later. Poof, 23 years together up in smoke for what? A 25 year old girl who did not exist. My beautiful house of 17 years, gone. What did I get after that? I was the one who filed for divorce, I was the one who told him to get out. These guys are totally dimwitted fuckwits. He admitted later, he had decided the marriage was over 6 months before he told me, so that made it okay to set up a dating profile saying he was divorced and troll for women. So while I was working from home, cleaning, cooking etc, he was in the home office, texting and checking his dating profile? He still has the dating profile up claiming that he is an intuitive soul, with a romantic personality. Fucking gag me. He claims he never cheated because a dating website is not cheating, “he never actually did anything”, as in had sex. The absolute hilarity of that statement! This is the crazy making shit I went through. I am so much better off when I am NC. While our house was for sale, he cried and begged me to pay his phone bill, buy him groceries because he was so broke. I found out from his bank statements during the discovery phase of divorce, that he sent about 10k to Ghana. The girl he met “Francesca” was supposedly in London and yet he was sending Western Unions to Ghana? I also found out he was borrowing money from his brothers, coworkers and took out about 8 payday loans. How fucking stupid. I now just LMAO about this. Talk about instant karma. Yes, he needed to have his phone so he could still text “Francesca”, who I am sure was actually Bubba in West Africa! Hilarious. I found out in about 5 minutes online that the pictures of “Francesca” were actually stolen pictures of a porn star Raven Riley. My ex is in IT. You think he would have looked up the pics to find out he was being scammed. When I told him he was being scammed, he said he had to double down and keep sending money. WTF? It was then that I started questioning his sanity, not mine. The blame shifting became so intense that I was believing what he was saying. That I ignored him, that I rejected him. I have come to realize that he is just a little child who has no skills to be in a relationship. I was not blowing enough smoke up his ass and telling him how special he was 24/7. Oh the horror, that we were raising 3 kids (all his step kids). He told me I ignored him and put the kids first. How dare I. I mean really, when I start down the oath of trying to untangle the skein, I just stop myself. I live in reality, not on fantasy island. I know what happened for the last 26 years. No amount of him trying to rewrite history will change that. These asshats are really good and making you think you are the crazy one. Of course, I got the lack of sex as one of the reasons. Well fucktard, maybe if he had bothered to take a shower more than once a week, brush his teeth more that 3 times a year (visiting the dentist, I know cause the toothbrush was still in the package!), cut his troll toenails or any basic hygiene, maybe then I would have been inclined to be intimate. Someone coming at me with full on with his tongue in my mouth while having cigarette and coffee breath and not having brushed their teeth. um NO! I would say, why don’t you go shower. His response, “why are you always criticising me”? There is no having a relationship or conversation with a narcissistic fuckwit.

    • Velvet69, I hear you, I ended up in a similar scene (32 yrs married). I’ll tell you something- this is clearly mental illness. So sorry, because this really complicates things! We are Chumps, we give love, and just want the same in return. These ill people can’t fulfill our needs, and what’s worse, they won’t go get any help! I struggled mightily with this, I was devastated, and X wouldn’t stay away from his ‘Francesca’ – the equally insane neighbor. I had to finally get out, because my health and sanity had to be protected, and I don’t regret leaving him, he really asked for it.
      That thing you described, forcing themselves on the Chump when they never even bathe, etc – been there, had that done to me. Again, it’s one sign of mental illness. As CL told me- let that burden go. That simple idea really helped me start my healing. You cannot fix another (unwilling and unrepentant) person. It’s OK that you just fix yourself. I wish you health and happiness, and love. Love yourself, and know that I understand what you went through.

      • Thanks FreeWoman. I am working every day on letting that shit go. Trying to make sense out of nonsense, is a no win.

        • Velvet69 – Your ex husband sounds mentally ill. And that is a condition which gets worse with time. Based on his behavior you describe, he’s crazy all right.

    • Yep. Ain’t that the truth. You can’t talk to someone who makes no sense. Lol to the fact that he’s spending time texting Bubba in Africa. I’m sure that is a great big scam.

  • “He needs a corporate retreat for fuckwits, on a quiet ranch where a thousand licensed therapists will listen to his bleating mindfuckery and sagely nod.”

    Hahaha. The problem with this is that the fuckwits are manipulative enough to con the therapists into thinking they’re nice people. It’s hard to help a conmen and conwomen.

  • Star-One more thing. Since you don’t have any children with him going no contact means you can block him from contacting you on any and all venues. I have adult children with the ex so I don’t block him completely. I keep the email avenue open but that’s it!

    I blocked him from my phone after he sent me a “Happy Birthday” text a couple of years ago. I learned from some of these so called innocuous type texts that he was just fishing for centrality. Trying to bait me into some sort of interaction. If we had an amicable divorce and if we had been friendly at all in the months leading up to that happy birthday wish, I might have bought what he was selling. Instead I ignored it and then blocked him from ever being able to do that again.

    Trust me. Only once they are completely out of your life will you be able to start healing. Also the longer you go no contact, the more you realize what a complete waste of space and oxygen they actually are. Soon you’ll start to wonder what you ever saw in them!

    • I had the ex emailing me bitching about how much work him and his parents did on the house, so therefore, he should get more money than the court would give him. I got sick of his bitching, so I got a new email address, put the old one on vacation notice and set a message saying that all emails should be sent to my father’s email address. He sent an email saying he would NOT contact my dad’s email. I refused to respond. Before I knew it, he was using my dad’s email address, lol. Having a trusted friend or family members vet out the emails for a while may be an option. You know cheaters like to protect their image to other people.

      • Cheater sbxh is claiming the exact same thing…I should give him more money then the courts will because of all the work he did on the house before we were married. During his screaming blame shifting this weekend, I asked him how much work he did to pay for the house (none) and informed him that I have cancelled checks showing I gave him 10’s of thousands of dollars before our marriage, and spent 10s of thousands on the workers who actually did most of the work. Now I am going to go back and look through credit card statements showing the purchase of materials. It is crazy how they change reality to fit their skewed/entitled perception of life. Not only did he (and his mom) live bill free during that time, I paid him for his work! Too bad for him he is a failing, aging musician and So is his 25 year old musical “partner”/whore. Reality sucks. I told him his choices led him to where he is, not my actions. Unfortunately we had this discussion because he came over to the house when I wouldn’t answer the phone. It was another hour of verbal and emotional abuse.
        What really sucks is I am still jonesing for affirmation and an apology from him, but I am staying strong because I know I will never get that.

  • @Velvet69–he was the real combo plate. A DUMB scammable cheater with a DISGUSTING lack of personal hygiene.

    A true pupu platter of stomach turning shrimp tacos 😉

    • Thanks Hesatthecurb! “Stomach turning shrimp tacos” Hahahaha. Thanks for the graphic. Yes, very disgusting and I told him so.

  • Let me see if I can help with some “closure” here… There is “closure” for masochist chumps:

    Dearest Star,
    Thank you for your kind words / bat-to-the-side-of-my-head. You are absolutely right, I am a despicable human being. I am truly sorry for wrecking our marriage. It was wrong of me to abuse you, to lie to you, to hurt you. I alone am responsible for destroying your faith and trust in other people. You deserve so much better. I see now that I am an awful person. I wish you well and hope you find the happiness you deserve.

    Then there is “closure” for sadistic cheaters:
    Dearest Star,
    Thank you for your kind words / bat-to-the-side-of-my-head. After careful consideration, let me help set the record straight. You aren’t a shining example of a human being yourself. It takes two to tango in a marriage. You are just as responsible for wrecking our ‘marriage’ – if not moreso. If you feel as though I ‘abused’ you, you should take a hard look in the mirror because I had to suffer through all your issues. You should be thanking me for showing how you put far too much faith and trust in other people. I only have one life on earth and I deserve to be happy. You’ve always said you only want me to be happy, right? You should be happy that I am now happy.

    P.S., I would like us to put all this behind us and start over fresh again. Wanna grab some dinner and drinks with me next Tuesday while my new girlfriend to working overtime? Uh, could you pay though please? I’m a little short on cash right now.

    • Betrayed No More–did you hack my email?! The sadistic cheater letter is similar to one Hannibal Lecher sent me two months ago! (just not the PS–he likes to flaunt his wealth).

      • It’s all image management – If you go for a drink with him, he has the perfect story to tell everyone that what he did was not that bad, see it was all about giving you time to get over your bitterness and anger, and have.

        Contact with a manipulative fuckwit post-DDay, and definitely post-Divorce is giving cheaters the amo to spin the story so they can continue to blame their chump and keep posing as the poor victim of their own lives.

          • When I was left with an 8 and 5 year old, without warning, I told my stbx how much this was hurting me, he said “you are so selfish. All you ever think about is you. I guess we are going to talk about you some more”. When I said how hurt the kids were he was like blah blah, more drama. I kept my mouth shut (mostly lol?) after that. (I can be pretty spunky and I think I’d make a great lawyer?) but I did realize he’d use whatever I said to hurt me. This freaking sux. i swear he could cut off my arm and then bitch about the blood making a mess. “Look at what I’ve had to go through. I’ve gotta clean up this mess!” I really thought he loved me, that we’d be together forever and that he’d be great to my kids. Sounds pretty kitschy and stupid on my part right? I really trusted him so much. Praying for death blah blah blah. Normal chump pain. I swear I’ve felt meh some lately, but tonight sux something ferocious. Sorry to vent and be so freaking vulnerable but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I made the mistake of talking to a real person about my problems tonight (I’ve been keeping to myself lately) and now I’m paying for it. talking to real people is horrible most of the time. I do think he’s sucking, but why can’t there be a rule that if they suck, it doesn’t hurt us. That seems fair. Bc it does hurt. It hurts like an m effer. Rant over. Thanks for listening.

            • Kay–what happened when you talked to a real person tonight that bothered you so much? Was it the usual “let go of your anger” bullshit? or “what did you do to cause the marriage to derail?” Or some other variant on fucktardness?

              I’m sorry it wrong-footed you; I have only found 1 person who is not a chump that “gets it” (my sister is high-empath), and one other who was willing to learn how badly it feels. Everyone else is risky, except for people here. You may find support in odd places, but you’ll also find no-support in places that you thought you could count on. Don’t get discouraged–move on to greener fields of sympathy; they are out there even if few & far between.

              • Thanks Tempest. I will heal, by gosh. I’m bound and determined. My life will not be devoted to being consumed by this crap. I’ve also been trying to reestablish myself professionally (I was a speech path) but it’s been a bitch. I’ve been a SAHM (soo so stupid and stressful on my part) so it’s made it that much harder. But my stbx has actually been very good providing financially for us at least. I will survive. Chump power lol. Really stories here are overall uplifting (gut wrenching too) so it’s been an encouragement. Thanks again Tempest.

    • Exactly. They’re always the goddamned victim. When I finally dumped the stbx and told my mom all the things that he did (I kept it all a secret, because I was so ashamed), my mom texted him and said “all we wanted was for you to be good to our daughter.” The fuckwit actually told her that he knows my mom will believe everything that I say because I’m her daughter, but that she doesn’t know the things that I did. WTF?

      • Me too. My mom wrote “we loved you. I guess you are not the man we thought you were.” Or something to that effect. His response was the same. They spin a story in their head to justify their horrible behavior and choices. Their reality is nowhere near the real world.

        • So true….the asswipe told his mother he didn’t love me. I said to her “I caught him cheating and threw him out and btw he gave me an STD!” She said, “I don’t blame you, he deserved it!” I shut that sick narrative down! Note: he had texted me less than 24 hours before DDay, “love you, Baby.”

  • What I learned about closure is funny (ironic, not ha-ha). When I got that drunk call in January, I decided I could say what I wanted to, and I did. The thing is, it made absolutely no impact. He ignored it, didn’t respond, and continued to complain about all his troubles, chief of all the guilt I caused him by not going away quietly. I ended up getting off the phone feeling sorry for him!! So there really is no closure other than what you can get all by yourself.

  • Star, my ex did a similar thing a few months after our breakup. And I went, partly because he owed me money and promised to pay me some of it (he did, a piddly amount not even worth the two hours I spent talking to him), and partly because I wanted “closure.” He cried and apologized, while also inexplicably blame shifting and playing the pity card. And like a chump, I ate it up.

    Flash forward several months. I have not heard a peep from him about all the money he owes me (money that he literally stole from me toward the end of our relationship) and he is happily fuck-festing all over town. Now I understand that the meet-up was just another way for HIM TO FEEL LIKE A GOOD GUY! It was also to feel me out–to see if I was open to reconciliation (I wasn’t). But in his mind, he “made things right” with his piddly gesture and now he’s off to greener pastures.

    In hindsight, I should have completely ignored him, but being a chump, I thought that he really was going to try to make things right. Please don’t give him the satisfaction of a “feel good meet-up”! I wish I hadn’t!

  • I wrote a good-bye letter to my ex-boyfriend, who unlike my STBX, I think refrained from cheating on me but didn’t treat me well and left me for someone else when he was ‘done’ with me. I am glad that I didn’t send the letter although I think that it was quite reasonable, as he really doesn’t care about me (seems as though he considered me Friends with Benefits although I thought of him as a life-long partner). When he broke up with me, he said that we could be friends. Six weeks later, I told him that I was interested as we had been friends for nearly 30 years. He reiterated that he wanted to stay friends. When I asked him in a text to clarify what that meant he merely said, ‘we would stay in touch the way friends usually do,’ Surprise, surprise–I haven’t heard from him since. Sadly, I think that, in spite of his Nice Guy reputation, he is an opportunistic, invalidating liar. I am starting to doubt whether he was ever a true friend.

    • “I am starting to doubt whether he was ever a true friend.”

      YES! THIS! ^^^^^^^

      I think that he probably was a true friend according to his own definition of ‘true friend’, but that was a very limited one, and importantly, is not the same as your definition of a ‘true friend’.

      “seems as though he considered me Friends with Benefits although I thought of him as a life-long partner”

      YES! THIS! ^^^^^^^

      Which means that both of you weren’t on the same page, which means that it wasn’t a good relationship, and it wasn’t ever going to get better. At his age, he’s not going to undergo a personality transplant for you.

      “Sadly, I think that, in spite of his Nice Guy reputation, he is an opportunistic, invalidating liar.”

      YES! THIS! ^^^^^^^

      In time, you might refine this proposition, but for now, it’s good that you can see that Mr Nice Guy was actually a flawed human being with shortcomings that not only pissed you off, but actually did you harm.

      Well done, RockStarWife. Can you see what a bullet you dodged?

      • Thanks for your wise feedback, Lola Granola. I hope that someday I willll not feel terrible about this experience. Even after 50 years, I am awful at distinguishing suitable from unsuitable partners. Guess I missed Relationships 101.

      • Lola Granola,
        Not sure how I dodged a bullet–I thought that my heart got hit with one when my boyfriend left me. I thought that dodging a bullet would have been avoiding getting INTO the relationship, not being dumped for someone else.

  • Star, this is the way you say goodbye. You surround yourself with friends and family at a cook out in your back yard. You extend your arm out in front of you, you put up your hand like you are going to wave, you turn your hand so that your palm is facing you, you bend two fingers on each side of your middle finger, which will be standing strong, and you say “Goodbye Motherf*er. Have a “good” life with whatever astro turf (grass is always greener on the other side) bitch that will have you.” And you pretend that the bastard is on the other side of the fence looking in on the good life that you are having, Margarita in hand!!!!!!

    Don’t waste your time or your care on someone that could betray and hurt you in this way. They are never, ever worth it. Hugs!!!

    • THANK YOU LOLA GRANOLA!

      I just got a disappointing settlement offer via my lackluster attorney and I’m feeling like blowing something up.

      This video is just the ticket to dealing with my raging emotions. I may have to try playing it on a loop all evening.

      • Attorneys are required to communicate any settlement offer. They are not, however, required to encourage you to take it.

        • I should add. If your attorney is lackluster, get a new one. For me, I think my case should be the most important. But, as an attorney, I remind myself that there are priorities, and mine is not burning right now. Fortunately, my attorney does respond to me in a day or two and sets expectations as to when and what she will do in the near future. As an attorney, I kinda force the issue, but I don’t pester. That would just cost me more money! They bill in 6 minute increments, so one email and its response would be at least 1/10 of their hourly fee, even if it take 10 seconds to respond (this is worst case scenario of course). Trust but verify that your attorney will give the matter due respect when needed. I also try to make it very easy on my attorney, by organizing and summarizing financial documents. The easier you make it for them, the less money it costs. I do suggest that you get referrals for Someone who specializes in divorce. If there is any chance it could get difficult, make sure your attorney is a litigato. (No, the majority of attorneys are not litigators). Remember not to use your attorney as a therapist, and try to remember that winning the war is more important than winning a skirmish.
          Soldier on, chumps!!!

          • Thank you very much. I think I’m probably overreacting to my attorney’s style – I really think she’s doing her job well. I’m just so overwhelmed and feel so tired of pretending everything is okay. Just whining a little tonight. It helps to “talk” this through here.

            • I understand completely. I get irritated when I don’t hear back in 24 hours. I would prefer 30 minutes. But then I remember that my hearing is weeks away, and if I were my own client, I probably wouldn’t be able to respond right away, unless it was an emergency (I.e. Someone’s safety is at risk).

  • Right now I really feel that x has shown his true colours to his children. Easter weekend my brother’s son was killed in a car accident. x lives in the same city as my nephew. I do not expect POS to extend condolences to me or my brother’s family. But not a single word to his sons about their cousin’s death. What an ass I procreated with.

    • Im sorry for your loss…and yes, your X is showing people who he is. While I was married to cheaternarc, my mom was in a terrible car crash and took a helicopter flight to a neurotrauma ICU where she was in a coma on a ventilator. I went to the hospital to be with family like normal people do…H stayed home and “worked” ( emailed and chatted with OW). Trust that they suck.

    • JAC, Holy crap, what a shitstain. So sorry that you lost your nephew. If it’s appropriate, please forward the CL family’s condolences to your brother?

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