Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Dear Chump Lady, I can’t seem to block him

insaneDear Chump Lady,

I am 20 years old and never thought I would be in this situation, but hey. I am writing to get some kind of insight or input, because I don’t feel like I’m handling this situation properly.

A year and a half into my first relationship with my 28-year-old boyfriend, he cheated on me by making out with 4 guys at an LGBT party. In the beginning, he was not sorry for his actions as “it was with guys, not with girls, so it’s not cheating.” As I cut contact and went back to my hometown, his tone changed and he was really, really desperately trying to get us back together.

I was (and unfortunately still am) attached to this ex boyfriend, and our relationship felt really natural and comfortable. I was so in love. I would wake up next to him every day and we were extremely affectionate, and communicated well. I really have no fucking clue why he had to do that.

When the LGBT party incident happened, my heart was broken. I swore off him and went back to my hometown, broke up with him via email, fooled around with another guy, and then came back to our city.

Chump Lady, since then, he has been PINING, and I mean pining, for my love and affection. He brings me bouquets of flowers everytime, brings me sushi, (this happens around once every one or two weeks). He caresses my face, tells me I’m the most beautiful woman in the world and how he wants my babies. He cries in front of me. I feel bad because he has been at it for two months since I’ve been back, and nothing dissuades him. (I even told him about the other guy.)

It’s so difficult for me to block him and delete him out of my life because I can really see he is trying his hardest… but I don’t love him like I did before. I’ve told him this countless times. That we can’t get back together. But the thing that keeps me from cutting him off from my life is all the love and affection. Sleeping alone is so difficult. I cry a lot these days even though I’m now making more friends and seeing other guys.

I feel bad for entertaining his gestures, because I really don’t think we should get back together. On the other hand, I’ve tried cutting him out of my life by blocking him on all social media, but it proves to be really traumatic to me.

Chump Lady, please tell me what to do. If he really loved me, why would he do that in the first place? Secondly, how do I differentiate between honest remorse and just a phase where he suddenly realises how fucking awesome I am and how much he’s lost?


Dear Fishbone,

So blocking him out of your life is “traumatic”? So what are his cheating and gay hook-ups? Edifying? Improving?

The cure here is No Contact. DO IT. No excuses.

Sure, it’s nice to be brought flowers and sushi and be told you’re the most beautiful woman on earth. But consider the price of admission — being this wackadoodle’s chump. You’re being love bombed. I know you’re only 20, but important life lesson here — love bombed is not the same thing as being loved. Love bombing, this over-the-top, grandiose, passion of the ages shit is what disordered people do when they’re trying to hoover you back into their crazy. That’s not love — it’s bait. If you follow the creepy man into the van, you’re not going to find candy and puppies, okay?

How do I know? Because people who love you don’t cheat on you or gaslight you with lame lies like “it was with guys, not with girls, so it’s not cheating.” 

Right…. and I’m Rue Paul.

It’s cheating, Fishbone. He’s a cheater. He’s not sorry or confused. He just wants a chumpy beard. You’ll do nicely.

He cries in front of me. I feel bad because he has been at it for two months since I’ve been back, and nothing dissuades him. 

No. YOU don’t dissuade him. You’re still toking on the hopium pipe. PUT IT DOWN.

It’s so difficult for me to block him and delete him out of my life because I can really see he is trying his hardest…

Don’t see him. Problem solved.

P.S. He’s not “trying.” He is who he is. You’re either okay with a boyfriend who cheats and is attracted to men or you’re not. Apparently you’re okay with it, because you’re still accepting those sushi dinners.

but I don’t love him like I did before.

So why are you wasting time on him and wasting other men’s time who might be sincerely interested in you while you moon over this loser?

I’ve told him this countless times.

There’s your problem. Don’t tell him anything. You know what communicates “I don’t love you” and “I don’t want to see you”? NO CONTACT. Silence speaks volumes so you don’t have to.

That we can’t get back together.

But you ARE back together. You allow him in your life. You’re being every bit the mindfuck he is. Your words and actions aren’t in alignment. You’re actually gambling your heart, but to him it’s a game. Stop playing.

But the thing that keeps me from cutting him off from my life is all the love and affection.

There’s no “love and affection” without respect. People who cheat on you and lie to you don’t respect you. What if he slammed your head on to the pavement? And then you said “but I need his love and affection!” You’d see the idiocy, right? He’s RISKING YOUR HEALTH. He is FUCKING AROUND ON YOU. He is DISRESPECTING YOU. Ergo, CUT HIM OUT OF YOUR LIFE.

Sleeping alone is so difficult.

Get a dog. Get a teddy bear. Buy a vibrator. A human-size pillow. Sleep like a starfish. Take Ambien. Drink warm Ovaltine. SLEEP ALONE! It’s not forever. Meanwhile, enjoy total pillow hegemony.

I cry a lot these days even though I’m now making more friends and seeing other guys.

Don’t self-medicate with other people. It’s not nice. Get over this creep, get your head screwed on straight, know your worth and THEN see other guys when you’ve developed some boundaries. You don’t have any with the ex-boyfriend. And no healthy, sane young man is going to put up with a woman who is hung-up on her shitty, gay, on-again-off-again boyfriend.

Fishbone, healthy love is sane love. It’s not full of dramatic break-ups and soppy, romantic win-you-back gestures (despite what an entire RomCom industry says to the contrary). Healthy love is reciprocal. It feels safe and secure. It’s like a long conversation with your best friend. There are no stomach dropping betrayals. There is no pick-me dancing. No mindfuckery, no chaos.

If you’re hooked on the drama, maybe you find healthy boring. Get over that. If you choose guys like your “ex” boyfriend, you’re going to meet with a very bad end. Ask a hundred people at Chump Nation how they know.

how do I differentiate between honest remorse and just a phase where he suddenly realises how fucking awesome I am and how much he’s lost?

The person who needs to recognize how “fucking awesome” they are is YOU. Fucking awesome people don’t tolerate being cheated on. Fucking awesome people surround themselves with other fucking awesome people and leave the losers to the losers.

Dump this guy now. He’s not sorry. You were of use to him and he’s sorry he lost a chump. If he persists in making unwanted contact? File harassment charges and call the cops. I’m not kidding. BOUNDARIES. Get them today.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Hi Fishbone . Here’s a thought. Five years down the track you’re back in the same situation and he cheats on your again (because narcissists don’t change and your mistook his love bombing for love).
    You have no ties to this loser, you can go no contact and get better. Seriously listen to Chump Lady and get out before you’re married with babies and he’s still sleeping with men.

  • P.S. — A 28 year old man is not merely “making out” with four guys. He sleeps with guys.

    • While I am speculating so I could be wrong, odds are good it was not a single “incident”. Odds are good it happened many times. Odds are good that moments or hours after crying love bombs, he is on his way to the next incident.

  • Fishbone you are about the same age as my daughter and the advice CL is giving is exactly what I would want my daughter to listen to and absorb.
    This guy is a very high risk candidate not only because he’s a cheater but also because he’s ambivalent about his sexuality.Straight men of 28 do not make out with other men at parties.
    Despite what you say,you are still ,on some level,having a relationship with this guy by allowing him to lovebomb you and to have access to your life.No contact will be essential in order for you to heal and get your head straight.
    It will also be much less ‘traumatic’ than having to pick up the pieces of your broken life when he messes you around again.Which he inevitably will.
    I would tell my daughter to run and never look back.

    • Fishbones,

      I’m 62, listen to CL even thou it is tough to hear her words.
      You are only 20, find yourself and drop the loser, cuz you have a whole lifetime ahead yet to live! And believe me, it will fly ! You are probably gonna live several different “lives” before you find the one that is right for you… That’s what the 2O’s are all about.

      I am living the exact life you are living, except mine hubby cheated w a woman. It brought down a 30 yr marriage, and a 33 yr life together. Hubby has been doing everything and more to return even 5 yrs later… Flower, presents, apt’s in NYC, supporting, the difference, u assumed he would never cheat, we never really talked about it. I found out it was a real deal breaker for me. But I am too filled w the guilt of seeing him do so much to win us back, that I feel as if I’m the bad guy!
      I never worked, was a sahm, hearing impaired, left now w no parents, no sibs, living in a gilded cage cuz of all his trapping that I’m trying to unravel.

      Use this experience to teach you for your future! I didn’t even know what “boundaries” were until I joined these cheating sites! I did so much wrong now in my marriage, as it was a happy marriage, very very easy marriage, we flowed, on the same page, same interests, but I let him live my life, cuz I seemed to be aok w where ever it took us .

      Now I’m alone being fed shit sandwiches, lots of guilt, & rattling my cage…

      • Nice post

        Learning to truly respect yourself and take care of yourself prior to marriage or having children is the best gift you can give yourself. Breaking up with a boyfriend you love is incredibly painful, but not respecting yourself will bring more pain than you can imagine.

      • I did the same mistake Susan. Mine lasted a decade and not 33 years. Still I find myself at 40, single and chumped. I stayed with my ex cause I thought I was in love with him and cause I felt obliged to love him. I was unhappy cause at a certain point he was like a stranger to me. We were going out and he was ignoring me all the time. He cheated on me the first time with his brother’s girlfriend. He told me after a couple of years that happened. I forgave him. And it was the biggest mistake of my life. Cause he did it again. And I discovered it three month before my weddding. Now I am alone. Sometimes even lonely. And I know that my odds to have a family are, well, very little. But at least I am safe. I trust myself. I am starting to know myself. And my boundaries. I know: nothing will give us back the time we wasted. But maybe, just maybe, that experience helped us to become those we are meant to be. No matter if this happens at 60 or at 40, The most important thing is… that it’s here. It IS happeing. I don’t know if I will trust again a man (sorry for all the guys there… it is not personal). But I know that I trust myself, and this is something! Fishbone… You are soo young! Travel! What the heck are you doing there? You have all the world in front of you! Study! Go for your dreams! Europe… Asia… There are so many things and people out there that areaiting for you! Make a plan and act! The right one will come. Built the life you want to live.Trust me, the right persons (friends or lover, whatever) will arrive:) I am doing the same and I am twice your age… lol! Filakia (in greek means many hugs).

        • Fishbone everyone here is offering you wonderful words of wisdom, all speaking from experience.
          Focus on yourself and make yourself a priority, chose a career you’re interested in go to school study and work towards that goal. Enroll in school and make friends with people who have similar goals and enjoy yourself. School and your career should be your primary focus.
          As Emma said there’s an entire world out there to explore, make plans to travel the world.
          Don’t cheat yourself of a promising future or sacrifice wonderful self fulfilling life for a slimy, self centered, dishonest, dullard, loser.

  • Fishbone,
    I hope you take heed and learn this lesson young. I can empathize, it is a terrible thing to deal with this situation. I can also tell you that it is much, much worse when you have 3 kids and have been married 20 years.
    Fix your picker. Read CL’s archives. Every one of those letters is about a narcissist who started off just like your boyfriend.
    You are young. You can’t fix him. You can work on you.

  • No Contact is the path to the truth and the light.
    It allows you to stop being mindfucked. When that happens your brain takes time to reset and you begin to see things clearly.
    Of course his tone changed when you went back home. You were about to have the opportunity to let the toxic mess seep out of your brain, the chance to see the truth. He couldn’t have that so he totally made the play for centrality in your life.
    Seriously, do it, try it for three months. See what happens. No Contact, whatsoever, not even spying on him via social media.

    Oh, yeah, you know what’s worse than waking up alone? Waking up with a sexually transmitted infection. HIV, yes there are pills, very expensive ones, but sometimes they don’t work. Cervical cancer, yes it can be treated but sometimes it can’t. Herpes, might not kill you but will stay with you forever. So will another big long list of stuff. In short is this lovebombng liar worth your life. In case you are unclear, let me give you the 2×4 of chump love and answer for you. NO.

    PS: the above is not meant to shame anyone who has contracted an STI.

    • “Of course his tone changed when you went back home. You were about to have the opportunity to let the TOXIC mess seep out of your brain, the chance to see the TRUTH. He couldn’t have that so he totally made the play for centrality in your life.”

      Spot-on! You sound uncertain about a lot (which is one reason people who’ve been devastated by situations JUST LIKE YOURS are urging you to run). But “at first not sorry” and then what I’ve quoted are not confusing at all.

      Stay with these details. When your mind and heart go to murky or nostalgic or hopeful or love, literally force yourself to go back to these facts. These are things you know for sure. And they are not love. They are selfish and dangerous. Your first instincts were dead on. Trust yourself! Trust these people, further along than you, who suffered almost unbearable agony. I learn so much. And I often think to myself when I feel the crazies: “Tens of thousands of posts, YEARS of CL and CN are wrong? Or MY inexperienced crazy?” That’s not a hard call. Go back to what you know. Hugs.

      • Fishbone, ClaireS is 100% correct. I really wanted to think that my situation was different, we were unique and he really loved me. He wasn’t a serial cheater (that I know of). He is so sorry. Surely he has seen the pain he inflicted and would NEVER consider doing it again. He’s been so attentive and super LOVING since getting caught.
        I recently found out he told OW he never regrets being with her but he needs to work on things with me… FOR NOW!!! See?!? Everyone said he was dicking me around!!! I had already filed for divorce but there was still a trace of hopium. I didn’t want to believe it.
        Finding CN was the best thing that ever happened to me. These strong wonderful people KNOW what they’re talking about. We are inexperienced but they know the true ending of the tale because they’ve lived through “trying make it work” and “giving it another shot”. I wish I would have found out about my STBX’s cheating when I was much younger and had no children. Please, he did you a favor by taking his mask off now. You’re too young to have to try and work things out. Now is when the relationship should be its best bc it doesn’t get better after you’re married. Trust me. Go NC. Heed the warnings.

    • Fishbone- My X gave me an STD. This is after looking me dead in the eye and saying he “absolutely was clean”.
      If you want to hate someone, imagine someone giving you a disease because they wanted to explore others privates, while you were the chump at home.

      It happens. They can look 100% clean and hot. Doesnt matter. Men dont show as many symptons. Not to scare you but get tested.

  • Fish,
    He is gay and using you as a beard. Not acceptable. That should be enough. Drop his old ass and do yourself a favor.

    • I know! The second I find out a man has made out with another man, I wouldn’t touch that guy with a ten foot pole. There was a guy who was pursuing me, and he confessed to me that he had thought of making out with other men, I never saw him again.

    • He is something. Gay, bisexual, multisexual, polyamorous, sociopathic, narcissistic, or some combination of some or all… In any case, he is a liar and an abuser who put you in harm’s way by keeping sexual secrets. Exactly what his penis or finger or tongue did or did not enter is anyone’s guess, educated though it might be. The two things you know he is NOT are honest and monogamous. Turns out, that’s all that matters.

  • Dear Chumplady can I suggest you do another blog on hysterical binding. It seems as though this current page is right in the middle is it, with a dose of lemonade. If I see one more celebrity shaking her assets or publicly sanding through her pain as entertainment, I will throw up!

  • Fish bone, my dad married my mom years ago and he was a closet gay.. They raised 3 kids, went to church, had the “normal” surburbon life, but it was anything but normal! He wanted to have both worlds, but it affected not just my mom, but especially we 3 kids. We always seemed to have men in our lives that were his “close ” friends. He was always leading a double life, and he was also miserable doing it. He always seemed angry and yelled at us constantly. Then smiled in public with his “loving ” family. Your ex probably is confused about what he really wants, because he is young, and in the gay party seen that just had fun without commitment. He wants a stable companionship, which is you, but he is a gay man. Don’t let yourself be sucked back in to being his “normal” straight life. He will only suck the life you have away from you and give you misery that is covered in mirrors.

  • The thing that Fishbone would be really smart to think about is — if this guy is having anal sex with other men, then the infection risk is high.

    It genuinely sounds to me that this 28 yr old guy swings both ways, or maybe does prefer men, but in any case, it is his sexual identity he is struggling with. The fact he’s teying to keep Fishbone on a string is that he desperately wants to have a “normal” cover GF.

    I have no issues with gay people who are reluctant to come out, due to family or societal pressures. I do however think they are dead wrong though to use innocent people to conduct pretend relationships. I have friends whose husbands created kids with them, and finally after 20 years came out of the closet.

    What Fishbone needs to see is that she is being used. In the 70’s we used to call it being a fag hag, when a girl stayed hung up on an attractive male who was clearly gay. That may no longer be politically sensitive but the concept is the same.

    Tell Love Bomber to fark off, you have better things to do than eat his sushi bribes. You are lucky you found out his game so early on. Start hating the guy a little then rejecting him won’t be so hard. He does not have YOUR best interest at heart. He is only thinking of himself.

    • At 20 she is so young and has a world of things to conquer and enjoy. Sex clouds the issue and makes everything more complicated. I’m old fashion but I truly believe if I had waited, I’d be in a different position today.
      I can’t imagine navigating today’s dating scene. I know of twenty year old that have had 20 partners and experimenting with gender fluidity. Looking back I would encourage more to just say no.

    • I am with Marci here…if he is 28 and making out with guys, they are having sex and I dont care who he has sex with as long as he wasnt lying to an unsuspecting partner who wasnt given all the info needed to make “informed consent” about sex with a partner who also engaged in high risk sex with men.

      If he had told you what he wanted up front, you could have decided if you were ok with that or not. (When I started dating again, I had a guy tell me flat out he had no intention of being monogamous and it was decent of him to be clear…I got to decide if I was ok with that and I wasnt so I found a monogamous partner.)

      Please learn a valued lesson from the love bombing going on…it may feel good in the moment, but CL is right, it never ends well…you are being groomed to play a role for a purpose, not be a valued, equal partner.

      and please dont get hooked on the drama…there are times when normal relationships might look a little dull (my new H was a “Special Agent” and he is no more fascinating doing laundry than anyone else) but dull is good sometimes, it lets you recharge your batteries in safety.

  • CL is giving you GREAT ADVICE HERE!! Three verbs to enact and repeat whenever you feel a moment of weakness. SEVER. CUT. PURGE.
    Sever all ties.
    Cut every line of communication.
    Purge all thoughts, emotions and delusions from your mind.

    It works!

  • You are 20 you have your whole lofe ahead of you. Leave the guy behind dont waste any more time here. Go no contact and walk away. Its not worth it. If he is making out with guys hes gay or bi and nothing wrong with that if thats who he is. He cheated and thats wrong move on young one just move on.

  • Fishbone,
    Love bombing feels intense, but the love and affection you are experiencing is fake. Real love is safe and respectful and honest. Real love lifts you up and gives you strength and confidence. This man is using and abusing you. If you get back together with him you will wake up in 20 years and discover that your life has been a lie. He will mindfuck you with lies until you are an empty shell of your current beautiful and awesome self. And the trauma you experience then will shatter you.

    • Your last sentence. The trauma will shatter you. I feel like “we” live in a world that is parallel to people who have not been chumped.
      I dont have TV but a friend told me to watch Glee, streaming. She said it is light and frothy….no triggers. Aside from teenager angst being a bore to me….the minute those two teachers, one married started exchanging meaningful longing looks….I was done. It shakes you done to your guts. Who knew that one person could take you down so low that you almost lose your mind? I never knew….monsters DO exist.

  • This is why I love this site. I’m putting it on my bathroom mirror.

    “The person who needs to recognize how “fucking awesome” they are is YOU. Fucking awesome people don’t tolerate being cheated on. Fucking awesome people surround themselves with other fucking awesome people and leave the losers to the losers.”

    • This is the part that caught my attention most, too. It brought up some of the things I struggled most to learn yet were the critical pieces that made it possible to move forward.

      As long as I felt desire for the flattery of having my ego fed by lovebombing, it was easy for another person to essentially own me. What if nobody ever loves me this way again? (Because I thought that was a meaningful way to express love.) How can I give up all the good things and good times? (Because I thought it might be possible that feeling safe at a surface level 70% of the time might be sustainable if I could just get better at ignoring my nagging intuition.) And look how much he wants me! (Because it made me feel viable as a person.) And I don’t want to break his heart. (Because I truly believed that I still owed him the promises I made after he broke the promises he made.)

      Here are a few critical points to consider that will be hard to hear but are worth a ponder:

      * He may be working extra hard to keep you partly because you’re younger and it’s tougher to get his BS past the BS meters of older, more experienced women. If he can convince you to come back, he will know for sure he can get away with more with you than he can with others, and that makes it easier to live dishonestly with himself and others.

      * You need some support to help you work on self-value. Right now his statements of value about you are deeply compelling. However, it’s not a compliment for someone with terrible integrity to value you. His evaluations are, at best, highly suspect. And, you are struggling to value yourself enough to move on with confidence. A skilled counselor is a great support system to help with this work. Friends aren’t usually that great at it. Someone neutral is better.

      * Any experiences you have in life are yours. You are capable of them and they belong to you. Here’s what I mean by that.

      If the sex with a person is really good, that is because YOU are capable of deep pleasure and enjoyment, not because that person is some kind of magical sex guru.

      If a hobby that person brought to your life brings you great joy, that joy and that hobby have become yours. While that might cause you to take a break from it for a while while you grieve, it is yours and you get to bring it back into your life, and find great joy in it, whenever you are ready. Or, not, because life is full of options, and YOU own your life.

      If you feel really beautiful when you are with the person, it’s because YOU are beautiful, not because the person’s admiration makes you beautiful. (Besides, the things that truly make you beautiful — like your beautiful heart, your joyful laugh, your miraculous body that gets you through your life every day and feels pleasure in simple things like breezes and sunshine and petting puppies and dancing, and your clearly intelligent mind and intuition — they are not things you can paint and style to look like falsified magazine images, which don’t represent anything realistic about actual people.)

      * While I am at it, someone else looking beautiful is pretty useless. If he’s a great looking guy, his appearance doesn’t increase your intrinsic value, either, even if the people around you reinforce that kind of thinking. Landing a hottie isn’t any kind of special prize. (It usually means time spent on vanity rather than on meaningful connection, actually.)

      So, self-value — consider taking some time to be alone for a while and reinforce that. You need to be a solid woman. That is what you can offer to yourself and others in the future. You don’t ever have to accept less than what you would offer someone you love. It’s worth it to do this work, I swear 100%.

      Take care of you.

      • This helped me today…wow!!!
        That something was beautiful-I own it. So insightful and empowering. Magnificent.

      • Thanks amiisfree.. Own your experiences – this has helped me today as well. Having recently been chumped like fishbones, I really value the different insights people here are sharing on their journey towards healing. Hope you don’t mind me adding this to my journal.

  • Notice how little empathy is there when pressed about the FOUR guys. It doesn’t sound like he cares how it made you feel. He is telling you that you are over-reacting. That is not loving or kind. No contact is the best course of action.

  • He has shown you who is is through his actions at the party. If you fall and accept his gestures now, he will have you where he wants you which is under his control. He will take it as acceptance and continue to do things to harm you. You will be getting a lot of flowers and sushi until that becomes too much trouble and he will still expect you to comply. Why? Because you have shown him you will. Stop. Have fun because that’s what you should be doing instead og wasting time on his problems.

  • Fishbone, the feelings can be intense. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wavered in indecision over ending a toxic relationship. You make up your mind, you start taking the right steps… and then you think, “Maybe if I just give it one more chance…”

    The thing I always force myself to remember now is that the pain doesn’t last forever. When you truly go No Contact, it hurts like hell. But little by little as time goes by, it hurts less. Finally you get to the point of wondering what took so long to finally break off that relationship. You end up remembering all kinds of things that you glossed over at the time, and you think, “I can’t believe I wasted my time on that loser.”

    This goes for romantic relationships and friendships too. Chumps tend to be chumps in all walks of life.

    Pull the trigger on this one, Fishbone. It will hurt like hell, but in three months you won’t feel it so much, and in six months you’ll wonder why you wasted so much time on a loser.

  • Fishbonefemale11

    You have been given the gift of clarity early on in your life. I wish I had known about any such clarifying incident early on in my relationship with my STBXH. Do not let this guy use you. Delete his love bomb emails and photos. Get a box and gather up any gifts and mementos -anything that reminds you of him. This includes expensive gifts of jewelry. You don’t need these reminders. Make room for new memories, waiting to be created by yourself, for yourself. Print out CL’s advice and re-read it any time you are tempted to have contact. Have no regrets. This man wants to use you. Shove him off with the same effort you would use to repel anyone else who wants to cause you harm.

  • If I had been asked a year and a half ago I would of told you I could never suevive cutting my toxic cheating ex out of my life. Then I found chumplady….
    I finally one day just had enough. I didn’t feel strong…..but strong enough to say I needed to go no contact to get the space I needed to get my head on straight. I failed at it at first…..ALOT! But then I slowly started to see what came with being in contact with him. The dread I used to feel at the thought of not having him in my life was replaced by dread of anything that brought him back in it in any way.
    I now have a great new healthy relationship, my kids are okay and I am happy. I wish I hadn’t waited so long and had been strong enough sooner to cut him out.
    The path to peace and harmony begins with NO CONTACT!! It’s the only way to re boot after dealing with one of these nut jobs.

  • Fishbone,

    I was you twenty years ago. My STBXH slept with men before we were in a relationship and told me he was bisexual. I was so blinded by love and was a total chump I still went ahead and married him hoping that marriage would naturally lead to monogamy and happy ever after. NO! We went on to have four kids. He had affairs and numerous casual hook-ups on Craigslist down the road. I would discover each one, we would fight, and we would make up and I still continued to stay hoping that he would miraculously change and be faithful to me. Hopium addict much. Last year I finally found the courage to break free and file for divorce, I have been very minimal contact for three months. Minimal because we have to communicate about the kids.

    Please, please, please save yourself from all the pain later on. Run like your hair is on fire. He will not be able to keep a lid on his sexuality. I am just lucky I did not contract a STD from him. He might be able to control it for a while but his gay flag will come waving later on. I spackled and denied until finally I could not stand the emotional abuse any longer. And the thought of contracting HIV from him really scared me. If I got sick, who will take care of my kids?

    Please, do it for other chumps like myself who stayed tethered to their gay husbands and became mired in agony and heartbreak. Don’t join our ranks. Find a straight honest guy who will love you totally. We don’t have the right body parts and they will always literally suck LOL. I’m able to laugh about it now but I was in hell last year. Too blinded by love and fear of being alone so I stuck it out. I should have gotten out years ago. I am still not at MEH but I am happier everyday 🙂

    • Lemonade, your story is so close to mine it’s scary. Was in the same place last year but finally free now. God bless you and stay strong.

        • Same here! Fishbone, there are a LOT of us here. I was you 25 years ago, only X neglected to tell me the part about his “same sex attractions” and activities and convinced me he was straight, despite some major red flags. Love bombing–the very same tactics you describe with the gifts, meals, and the barrage of over-the-top compliments and declarations of love–lured me into his closet. Only I didn’t know that’s where I was until many years and three children later, when I discovered his life on the down-low.

          You are also dealing with a narcissist, and narcissists do not abide by the rules and will continue to cheat. Narcissists who are closeted or trying to be straight often cheat with both sexes, making your job as relationship police even harder because every person they work with, become friends with, flirt with, or text with becomes a potential affair partner. Cut him out of your life now while you are young and have so much life left to gain!

    • Trust that He Sucks … Literally! A new tag line for CL! 🙂

      I too am in this same boat and am 4 months out from the biggest D-Day there is.

      • Yes, there are quite a few of us here. Fishbone, you have been given a gift, and it is not the sushi. Run.

        He will never be able to deny his desire for men, it just doesn’t work that way.

  • Please keep in mind that a lot of sociopaths will hook up with both male and female partners, whoever or whatever is convenient at the time. Their not gay, not straight, just self absorbed predators.

  • Fishbone, I was about your age when I met my ex-cheater. Although I am not aware of any cheating that he may have engaged in until DDay about five years ago, there were other red flags that I should have paid attention to. One of them was lovebombing. My ex was Captain Romantic when we first got together; there were flowers, romantic dinners, letters that he wrote to me every day for a month when we were apart over winter break (yes, every day– my 40-something self would see that as over the top and obsessive, but my 20-year-old self thought it was SO romantic). I ended up marrying him and having three children with him… and 17 years later, he cheated on me with a fellow low life he met on Ashley Madison.

    Now, I’m stuck dealing with him for at least another ten years until our daughter turns 18. I don’t want the same thing happening to you; my ex seeks to make our every interaction difficult, and I don’t think he’s a good role model for our kids. Please listen to CL and the members of CN. We made the same mistakes that you’re making, and now many of us are leaving very long-term relationships and dealing with remorseless monsters who continue to behave deceptively and to fight us on everything (custody, child support, assets, you name it). Take a break from dating, completely block your ex-cheater from your life, get to know yourself again outside of a relationship, and only then should you entertain the idea of a new relationship.

    Good luck– please take the fresh start that is being offered to you. Don’t become your ex’s beard.

  • Fishbone,

    You’ve gotten some great insights from CL/CN! Your ex is showing all the hallmark signs of the what CL’s aptly named the 3-station mindfuck channel: charm, rage, poor sausage routine –

    Now that he sees that rage only succeeded in driving you away, he is upping it up in the charm and poor sausage stations. The more you listen to these channels, the more you will doubt yourself and be willing to give your cheater another chance. Listen to your gut, do not let him back in, as many chumps have said and lived through, a second chance is, to many lying cheaters, the equivalent of a golden opportunity to lie better and escalade their hiding as they build their double life.

    We all know the pain of betrayal, that thought that our cheater turned the “metaphorical” gun against us. Please do not put yourself in a position to give your ex another bullet after what he put you through.

    • I just read the mind fuck channel article….uncanny. Anyone who is struggling, read it immediately. These cheaters are all cut from the same piece of moldy mildew rotten cloth.

    • Yes! This is also instrumental to my development on a daily basis, a huge game-changer. Chump Lady brilliance.

    • Yep CL’s brilliant insights are a picker-fixing gift that keeps on giving, I’m so so very grateful for her presence and this community, forge on fellow chumps :)!

  • Fishbone, my daughter isn’t old enough to date yet. She will be in a few years though. My advice to her will be “One, and Done.”

    This means you get one chance, and blow it, DONE. Obviously, cheating of any nature fits this, but also lying , stealing, abuse, name calling, excessive drinking, drugs, etc.

    My motto is “Once an ex, always an ex.” If you break up once, you need to stay broken up. The exception is like if is due to circumstances beyond your control, like having to move with parents. But just this break up, Make up cycle. No.

  • Fishbone – So, let me be straight (no pun intended) with you.

    If he’s kissing boys today, he’ll be kissing them and more) 20 years from now after your married and have a few kids. And, he still won’t think of it as cheating. Is that the life you want for yourself?

    My STBX trolls personal ad sites (and posts his own ads with pictures of himself from our wedding day) for women/couples/groups but when I called him bisexual, he lit up. He’s in denial about his own sexuality. He’s almost 50. Your boyfriend is 28… he’s old enough to understand his sexuality – but maybe he hasn’t come to terms with it yet. You in for that ride?

    Given today’s technology, blocking is easy. I know it is harder on the heart and mind, but still – it can be done. Put down your phone – get involved in being with genuine people. Don’t know any? Volunteer… take classes. One small change today, will absolutely change your future.

    Be strong – you can do this.

  • I had a similarly hard time endin a relationship when I was your age, though it was with a decent guy who wasn’t a cheater. I gave him mixed signals, dragged it out, occasionally relented for a night when I was lonely, and dragged the poor guy through hell. I made a very bad choice, and I regret the way I behaved when I was young. I have learned is that decisions aren’t just something you THINK, they are something you DO. You have decided with your words to end the relationship but not with your actions, which means that you haven’t actually decided. You need to actually decide and follow through by cutting him off. You don’t accept the flowers, you don’t eat the sushi, you block him on social media and on your phone. Hard? Yes. The right thing often is.

    • Yeah, me, too — I remember being twenty. All that affection and attention and flattery, it’s intoxicating and addictive. Having a bad hair day? Just ask the boy and he’ll rush right in with “I think you look beautiful!” Who doesn’t love that?

      But it doesn’t do to mess with people. It’s not nice. It sounds like Fishbones has already decided not to keep going with this relationship but, as you say, FV, is not communicating that with her actions. Break-ups suck. After all, you spent a lot of time and intimate moments with that person, and now you’re giving it all up. All the social awkwardness, waking up alone, losing mutual friends… It’s tough. We know it. But it’s not going to get better. If he’s a cheater, he’s going to continue to be a cheater, and you don’t want to spend decades of your life with this guy only to realize it way down the road when (I’m sorry to say) it can be much much harder to extricate yourself and rebuild your life.

      Oh, and all this:


      If nothing else, take it from all the examples here: The destruction of a relationship is hard enough without dragging kids into it, for their sake and yours. It’s easier for men to walk away, and many do, leaving all the childcare to the mom. So all your dreams of college and travel and freedom will be severely hampered by diapers and school lunches and PTA meetings.

      Like a bandaid, rip it off in one swift yank — much easier than teasing it off over days and weeks. It’s over, get out of there.

  • Every. Single.Time. She hits it out of the park.
    CL- your insights and writing are matched by no one.
    Your talent is a beautiful thing.

    Oh Fishbone. I hope you read this. Truly, I do.

    Do you know what is on the bottom shelf in my garage? About 50 rose vases. Not the cheap, skinny kind, but the big chunky heavy kind.
    Where did they come from? They came from a man (another X) who used to send me roses at my work like mad. Big, 2 dozen pink roses, wildly expensive.
    Do you know what else he would do? Shake me, push me, threaten to kill me and destroy property in my home. Throw heavy suitcases at my head.

    When people at work would fawn over the
    roses, I would smile a weak acknowledgement, knowing that it was all a lie. My life was a lie. With some time and years, I see now it was love bombing deluxe.
    In those moments…I fell for it just like you, hook, line and sinker. How could someone NOT love me bought me so much?
    Sushi? I got two Hermes Birkin bags, trips abroad and “get anything you want’ trips to the make up and skin care counter in a department store (my weakness).

    What else did I get? Years of my life wasted. Living in fear. Bruises. My mother worried sick. Missing out on “nice” guys. Missing out on friendships with girls because he was “jealous.”

    So, when I left this abusive, scary man (who also did cheat), I self medicated and went straight, head first into the arms of a REAL doozy. The man who gas lighted me, and has me so
    wound up that I seriously considered having myself committed to a mental care ward. The man that stole my joy. Why I am on the this site.

    You do not grasp the seriousness of what you are tangling with right now. That is because you are 20. But, what you need to understand, and read this site and you will understand- who you pair up with, THEIR CHARACTER, can make your life a living hell. Who you yoke up with, will DETERMINE YOUR FATE.

    Fix your picker NOW. You are in a generation of where anything goes. Anything does not go. Men who are not gay do not make out with four guys. They don’t do it. It would be like someone telling me to go make out with a woodchuck. I have no interest in it, and no party, or “exploring” vibe could make me do it.

    You may have on your hands a hedonist. I think that is what my X is who I allowed to slowly drive me to madness. He prefers women, but I truly don’t know what he gets up to. He is a Good Time Charlie and he is going to party, and no one is going to stop him. If it makes his dick throb or gets his rocks off, he is there. And if you don’t want to ride the party train with him, fuck you. These people are Mr. No Boundaries and there is a guaranteed outcome of that for you….a broken heart. Out of my sight….I could not trust him for a hot minute. How does that sound to you?

    I am not saying this to be mean, but out of experience. I imagine Mr. Gay/Bi’s dick is not even dry before he brings you those gifts. He has not stopped his behavior. They never do. He just wants to have his cake, and eat it too. Do you understand? He has shown…..BOLDLY….who he is. Breaking up with him does not change his base desires to play with penises or whatever else gets him off.

    You are a baby, essentially and you are soiling up your life with a male slut who sounds hysterical, disordered and IS A CHEATER. This is not the path you want your life to take. If you can’t see it for yourself, just trust what CL wrote and follow it to the tee. Substitute her judgment for your own. Do not question it, because you cannot see.

    The flip side of loving bombing is abuse. So, what would your future be like? Tangling with a gay, cheater who will probably get just as nasty as he is loving right now, when he can’t get what he needs?

    Renewed is right. You are simply too young to be worried about sleeping alone. Get over it. STOP HAVING SEX. You are not even old enough to drink in the States. Sex is there waiting, and it gets better as you get older, and it is done in a loving, trusting SAFE & MONOGAMOUS relationship. It worries me you are so concerned about sleeping alone at 20. You sound nuts.

    *SLOW THE FUCK DOWN* You are 20!!!

    Here’s an idea….focus on your LIFE. Education, girl friends, exploring the world, learn new languages. (I speak three and it has saved me financially more times than I can count), visit seniors in care homes, become wildly fit, read all the classics. The hounds of time are not nipping at your heels. You are just shaking off being a teenager.

    Put on a chastity belt and block this predator like you would a serial killer. Not joking.

      • If I had this whole thread of advice 15 years ago….whole different BETTER life.?

      • If I could….I wish I could meet you all and we could go to a remote but clean cabin somewhere, and usher in the dawn…with champagne, treats and a masseuse to pamper us. Truly….never has the internet felt like a place of warmth and kindness…until now. Sticky sweet but I mean it. Tell me where and I am there. I can sell the Birkins to help with the costs!❤

        • Would love to hang with you too sylvia! Your words are sweet. Big hugs!!!!!

        • Have you ever thought about writing a blog of your own, Sylvia? Every word of your comment there lit my heart on fire. You ‘get it’. Everyone here does. And it feels INCREDIBLE! ❤

    • Sylvia is absolutely right. But I also remember how it felt to be alone at 18… the age I got sucked in by a cheater. I think the root of that fear of being alone is the idea that it says something about you–that you are unlovable, that you aren’t worth anything. You won’t ever feel okay about being alone as long as you believe that. And in fact, it is counterproductive. Narcissists can smell desperation for miles, and they flock to the site like vultures to pick at the emotionally vulnerable. And NO ONE is as likely to leave you as a narcissist. You give in to their attention, and you pretty much guarantee that sometime down the line, you will be sleeping alone again, except now while trying to care for four kids and work full time to pay the bills. Narcissists love-bomb and then they devalue and discard.

      I remember people saying to me, “Stop worrying about finding someone. Just have fun being young!” and I wondered, “But how do I just stop feeling this way?” I think the answer (as I have gotten older) is realizing that there is only as much drama in my life as I allow. If you know intellectually that this guy is bad for you, then all you are doing is dragging out the inevitable by letting him hang around. You let him stir up your emotions, keep the fire burning, call you beautiful, etc… and then the anguish of nights of wondering where he is and whether he really is sorry…

      Say to yourself, “I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT!” Say it as often as you need to. Focus on things that actually have a point instead of spending hours mooning over losers and dangerous characters.

      I say this as someone who has done it too many times. I wish I could get back all the days I spent crying over losers. There’s always a feeling that if you are in enough pain about it, the universe will fix it for you. Oh, something will happen to make you happy again! He will come back as a whole new person! He will realize his mistake!

      Only you can make you happy again, and the first step is cutting toxic people out of your life and finding more positive things to focus on than relationships with losers.

        • Yes, a predator got to her too young. But….maybe she can turn it all around. Maybe collectively we intervened as a group.
          I found a journal of mine when I was about 15. What a sad little girl I was. If I had not been so isolated from the world (where we lived) I would have been “ripe pickings”. I did not have a lick of sense.
          At that age, I was buck toothed, had freckles, stick thin with an odd pot belly (baby fat?) and I wrote desperately of being a “model.” 😉
          I wanted to be loved and admired.

          FOR PARENTS:
          I read this great book that talked about how with girls, if they receive lots of parental affection, especially from their father, they will not be so desperate and longing for connection and affection from perhaps the wrong sources, when they start dating. They will have boundaries and limitations because that “need”…which is very real….to be touched and loved appropriately is met.
          Random sex encounters plummet drastically when they are cuddled and kissed by family, even if they pull away, they secretly like it.

  • Fishbone–OH HOW I WISH I had the advice above when I was twenty. PLEASE take it. I’m in my fifties now and wasted 30 years with a man like the one you describe above.

    You really have been given a gift to hear all this great, spot-on advice before you go any further with this mess. My best advice to you is to focus on your self right now. Fina a GOOD therapist and figure out why you have put up with this as long as you have, what healthy boundaries are, and then promise yourself you won’t settle for less.

    In my case, a great therapist helped me to go all the way back and look at things in my childhood that created a deep sense of insecurity/worthlessless and defined how I saw myself. With new clarity I was finally able to let those beliefs go and let go of a man who was a dishonest USER. Once you get strong, you will understand that being alone is so much better than having someone like that in your life just so you are not alone. And, once you are okay with being alone, you are healthy enough to be a good partner for someone else who is worthy of you. This is what finally happened with me and I have a fantastic (and undoubtedly straight -wink, wink) man in my life now. But there is not a day that goes by where I do not wish I had figured all this out at YOUR age.

    Your letter really touched me. I have been there. Chump Lady’s advice is exactly right. I hope for your sake you will take it.

    Good luck and hugs– UC

  • Fishbone – Sweetie, I don’t know how to say this, but you are lacking discernment and aren’t exercising good judgment. Your boyfriend is gay and in denial. How on earth does this make him a likely candidate for a long term future? Where are you parents in all this? Why isn’t your father chiming in to tell you that a guy who makes out with several other men should not be dating his daughter. You are really missing the point, that he’s into men, and you are signing up for a lifetime of misery. Your sex life will suffer, he won’t give you attention. You are focusing on the wrong things, such as if he has remorse or if he loves you. If he really loved you, he’d step back and tell you he was into men, and let you find a man who was into you, who will adore you and cherish you. You have all the signs in front you, please don’t do what other immature 20 years do, and that is to dismiss them, because they can’t be without a man. After this point, if you choose continue with him, please understand that you are DECIDING to be with a gay man. Why anyone would voluntarily choose this kind of existence, when they live in a free country is beyond me…

    • “You have all the signs in front you….” Amen. Your first reaction to the signs was the right one. Be THAT woman.

  • I have relatives who are gay. They knew they were gay when they were young, I mean before puberty. In my work I have run across sociopaths. One that I met had sex with anybody,his relatives, children his, perfect strangers, males and females. He was a sociopath with a sexual hard on all the time. Guys I apologize because I would certainly never compare him to anyone on this blog. He was unique and scary.

    You need to ask yourself why he was at that convention in the first place. He was trolling. He was trolling for men. I guarantee you he had sex not once but many times with men. Why he cannot come to terms with being gay is tragic for him as well as for you. You need to except that this person over whelming you is not straight. He is gay. If you want to go into a marriage with a gay person, and there are people who do this, then you need to know ahead of time once he gets you his real sexual interest will turn where it has always been. Please at your young age don’t fall for all the romance. That fades in any relationship. Look after yourself

  • Yep, been there, done that.
    I was your age when I met the ex. I knew he had “made out” with a few guys in a group. I convinced myself that it was just a phase that he wanted to try and that it was behind him. If only I had the insight.
    Fast forward to a few years into the marriage and he found he couldn’t put a lid on his sexuality. He maintained that he wasn’t being unfaithful because it wasn’t with another woman. I struggled with this in silence, desperately wanting to “keep his secret”. I did however tell my doctor when I was struggling with depression (gee, I wonder why) who advised me to have a serious conversation with him regarding his sexuality (and to have regular STD tests). He just stonewalled me and went underground. I naively thought he had put it behind him.
    He played me for a fool and quite honestly – I WAS A FOOL. But, but he loved me! we were affectionate! we had a great marriage! And I kept his secret and stuffed what my gut was telling me down – which resulted in insomnia and low-grade depression over the years.
    He was never faithful to me – with both men and women, swinging hook-ups included. Only I found out 30 years later, 2 kids later – I would have sworn that we were happy and had a great marriage. We had love for one another, were affectionate, had great sex, 2 great kids. Yeah right.

    Run. Seriously. Run like your hair is on fire.

  • Fishbone, I wish I could go back and tell my 19 year old self to listen to my gut and refuse to take my fiancee’s ring back. See, he had called our wedding off out of the blue, and later it came out in a counseling session with our minister that he “thought he’d seen something different, someone he might be interested in.” Before this moment I’d trusted him completely.

    I was devastated, and flew home to my parent’s and cancelled our wedding plans. A few days later I flew back to college and was surprised that he called and asked to see me. I thought he just wanted to finalize our breakup, but instead he told me how sorry he was and how he’d never meant to hurt me. When he asked me to take his ring back he said, “please, don’t make me beg.” I was confused, still in shock, I loved him. But here’s the thing I was too young to understand, I would never feel the same about someone who could do that to me. Even though I wanted to trust him, I couldn’t.

    Fast forward 36 years and multiple instances of “something doesn’t feel quite right” about his relationships with female coworkers, although I can’t prove anything. He abruptly announces that he’s leaving our marriage right as our kids are getting married and moving away. His reason? “I just saw something different.” Yeah, it was the same reason he gave me for abruptly breaking off our wedding 36 years ago.

    Cut this guy loose. I know you love him, but you can’t trust him. Without trust, you will constantly be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Deep love can’t grow in that environment. Things will never be the same, and you can’t make them go back to what they were before he unilaterally decided to cheat on you. Chalk this up to a lesson learned. Go no contact and save yourself a lifetime of heartache.

  • Hi Justine, as everyone says, take the great advice from CL! Spare yourself from the hurt this guy is bringing to your door.
    Do you know the reason he’s lovebombing you? You are that very desirable creature- an available Chump! He is twitching with longing for you because he can SEE that you’ll love him in spite of crap behavior! Oooooh can’t let this one escape!
    Look at his gifts and compliments through that lens, and you might feel different. I think one thing that might help you, is to do what I like to do- romance yourself! Treat yourself to loving kindness, look in the mirror and compliment your beauty and wisdom. Get yourself a treat or gift, and really feel grateful for being a cool person. We don’t need another person to appreciate us, we can always love ourselves. Sounds new-agey, I know, but I do it because I didn’t get that as a child, so I need it now!
    I hope you can put him in your past, and the learned-a-life-lesson category.

  • Fishbone, I pray that through your broken heart and bruised ego you will choose to listen to the million-dollar advice that CL and CN have given you. Do you think a million dollars is a lot of money at age twenty? Here’s some math for you: counseling for you for depression/self-esteem/emotional abuse issues over thirty years-$100,000. Counseling for your children for depression/emotional abuse issues-$200,000. Self-improvement books, diets, makeup, hairstyling over 30 years–you know, to try and get the spark back, put the romance “back,” get him to even notice you again when his interests are elsewhere-$180,000. New clothes shopping because he’s convinced you you’re fat/let yourself go/not exciting anymore-$100,000. Attorney fees, forensic accountant fees to get a lying, cheating, life-sucking spouse out of your life-$100,000. Money they stole, hid, or spent on their “secret lifestyle” and lovers-$300,000. Money for moves across the country because they need to get a new job because they either were inappropriate with a boss or insubordinate, or someone’s spouse found out about the work “friendship” and things got uncomfortable-$40,000. These numbers don’t include STD tests, and medications for diseases or depression or what else they gave you. These numbers are actually on the low side.

    Fishbone, look to your future!! You want a million dollars more in your life to spend on your awesomeness and your happiness? Dump the disordered cheater NOW!!! Love yourself more than the illusion he created. I know it’s hard. He was your first major relationship. Sex makes you feel bonded to him. But he is using you as his beard and no good can come from a relationship based on using and deceit. Please listen to the advice given here. You will save yourself at least a million dollars and years of heartache and regret. There is no price that can be paid for the lost years of your life.

    • This is a brilliant perspective and truth…being with a disordered cheater is a financial catastrophe. I lost my job and my health insurance when I discovered my X’s double….correction….six times secret lives because I was in shock. Real world consequences go beyond a broken heart. You could end up living under a bridge.

  • The boyfriend I had when I was 19 cheated on me, with at least two other women. Idiotically I took him back and ended up marrying him when I was 23. Turned down a job offer in NYC and moved to exotic Cincinnati to be with him. Had a child with him at 27, put my career on hold while I helped him with his career and raising our daughter. Lord knows how many women there were thorough the years, but at age 30 he left me for his married coworker and now I share my daughter with him and the other woman. I look back and if only I held my ground when I was younger, if only I had known better, cut my losses when I was younger. He’s not sorry, he’s sorry he got caught. And if you take him back he’ll just get better at hiding it. Don’t waste your youth on this guy.

    I gave up so much: my entire 20s, getting to move to big cities, put my career on hold that I am trying to rebuild as a single mother. Please listen to the collective wisdom.

    I felt like my life was over, I cried so much in my 20s when we broke up and I felt like we just HAD to get back together or I would die. No contact. It is hard, but it works.

  • Fishbone –

    Gently, congrats on getting your first taste of Chump-dom while you’re young and easily bounce-back-able. Use it as a great learning experience. If this lesson helps you avoid the kind of person that will explode your life after 20,30,40 years of marriage, I think we can all say you dodged not a bullet, but a full on nuclear attack.

    A bit of a thread jack here, but last week, I was contacted by my ex husband whore fucker out of the blue. It had been a few days shy of a TOTAL YEAR of no contact, when he mailed me a package of old photographs of my beloved long deceased dog, with a note that just said, “I thought you might like to have these.” Of course it fucked up my brain to hear ANYTHING from him, but a quick Google search brought a new narcissist term into my vocabulary, one that Chump Lady touched on in your reply, Fishbone. “Hoovering”

    Google says “Hoovering is a technique that’s used by narcissists (and other manipulative types) to suck their victims back into a relationship with them. It’s named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner and it makes a lot of sense, because the hooverer is basically treating you like dirt.”

    Yup. That’s why my whore fucker is doing, and it sounds like you’re experiencing the same, Fishbone. Pretty much every one of the 21,500 (not even exaggerating) hits I got when I googled “hoovering narcissist” came to the same conclusion: RUN.

    (TOTAL THREAD JACK: I’d LOVE to hear more of Chump Lady’s thoughts on Hoovering”

    • Most of them will circle back, either to rope us as Plan B or to at least manage impressions–if the person they cheated on still loves them, they must be pretty fab, no?

      If you maintain NC after their attempts at hoovering, be prepared for the ultimate devalue. When I refused to engage with my X after several attempts on his part, he went from “never says anything bad about Tempest” to claiming that HE should have divorced me years ago & implying I have a mental illness. My mental illness was staying with a fucktard for way too long, IMHO.

      • Thanks for the word of warning, Tempest. I have no intention of responding in any fashion to whore fucker’s attempt to test the waters. One of my mantras, that I took directly from CL and had taped to my refrigerator in the early days of NC was “Nothing says “Fuck Off” to a narcissist louder than silence”

        Of course, I’m morbidly curious to see if the crickets whore fucker is hearing causes him to step up his hoovering game, which is a clear indication that I’m not quite yet at “Meh”

        BTW Tempest, I do believe you’ve accurately diagnosed your own mental illness.

        • Me too GTT,

          Morbidly curious to see if the hoovering game is stepped up. I wish I weren’t obsessed, but as long as I don’t respond it’s my own personal obsession.

          In my estimation, the ramped-up hoovering (or lack thereof) could be useful to diagnose if she is NPD vs. BPD. (A meaningless distinction given the fact that I’ll never see her again.) But I think a BPD needs that drama and an NPD is fine with a scorched earth you’re-dead-to-me mentality. Anyway, stay strong GTT.

  • I read this this morning and I see so much of your story in mine.

    The biggest red flag isn’t that he made out with some guys (though making out with anyone while you are in a committed relationship is still a bit flag) — it is that he totally minimized what he did, and tehn when he found out you were taking it seriously became very remorseful. I knew my husband was bisexual when I married him but expected him to be monogamous. Over the years, I found evidence that he had been chatting online with other people and then having other forms of online and phone relationships with them. Mostly men. He would be sorry but quickly dismiss it — and accuse me of “over reacting” — because it was just blowing off steam or work stress or I hadn’t told him he was pretty enough times that week. Until the times I got serious and told him it was over. Then he was remorse full-time and romantic gestures and so very, very sad that he had effed up so badly and how could he even bear to live with himself? As you have, I ended up worrying more about him and his sads than about me and my sense of self. And of course like you I was worried about sleeping alone and wanted him to really realize how awesome I truly was. And by the end — 25 years later — I was worried about being a single mom to two young kids and what all this would do to them.

    I finally forced myself to make one of our breaks for good by not only telling him to leave but then picking up the phone and calling every friend I had and telling them about the cheating and other abuse and not keeping his secrets anymore. They believed me and backed me and got me through what came.

    And guess what? All those online flirtations and late night phone calls? They were really him physically cheating on me with the most promiscuous of men. And then coming home and having unprotected sex with me. And I truly believed him every time he looked into my eyes and swore it never went further.

    Please don’t let it get to 25 years with you. Don’t feel badly for him — just let him go.

    And once again thanks to all here who so generously share there stories. If I ever start to feel sorry for myself that I am the only woman on earth whose husband was so low to take photos of some romantic getaway, crop her out of it and use it to prowl for men online, Chump Nation sets me right every time. And for some reason it helps to know others have gone through this. . and that there may be still others that won’t go through this because we are here.

    • “He would be sorry but quickly dismiss it — and accuse me of “over reacting”

      – this is such a common tactic by the cheater to make the chump doubt their reality.

  • Your ex is gay or possibly bi-sexual. (Heterosexual adult men don’t make out with guys for fun. Period.) He showed his true colors and now is trying to back-peddle… He tried to weasel out of it all with a BS claim that it wasn’t “cheating”…. Do yourself a favor and don’t fall for it!!! He’s NOT going to change. He is not able to admit to you that he likes guys, too.

    What he sees in you is that you can play an integral role in the image of himself that he wants to present to the world — that of a heterosexual male. He’s filling your head with all kinds of visions of a future that he knows you want in order to lure you back. He’s trying to throw you off the scent by distracting you.

    If you really want to move on like you say, then you have to do whatever it takes to cut the ties. Stop talking to him. Stop accepting his gifts. Tell him to buzz off. Shut down the pipeline. Sometimes with people who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, you have to be very blunt. “It’s over. There’s no chance that we’ll ever get back together. I do not want to see you ever again. If you don’t stop contacting me, I will get the police involved.” End of discussion. If it hurts his feelings, that’s his problem. You gotta look out for yourself. Don’t waste your time on this guy.

  • Dear Fishbone, please make an appointment today to get tested for STDs if you haven’t already. My sense is that this creep has been way more active than he’s let on.

    Then when you hang up the phone from scheduling a visit to your lab, read each and every one of these coments. It may be easy to dismiss some of them because they are long, and you are way smarter and savier than this chumpy bunch of old farts. But there is truth and relevance in each one.

    It would be so much easier to just believe the lies and go back to your normal?

    Please don’t. This pain is worth bearing.

    • I agree! How do we know it stopped at just making out with these men, and he didn’t have sex with them.

  • Take it from someone who wasted twenty years of her life married to a guy who liked screwing other guys on the down low (BTW, your boyfriend is not making out; he’s fucking other guys, potentially putting you at risk for HIV along with many other diseases)……. your “boyfriend” is gay and wants to use you as a beard. You are so young….. please don’t waste your life on a man who is guaranteed going to be cheating on you with other men the entire time you are together. I wish I could have those two decades of my life back; please don’t be me twenty years from now.

      • Oh, and I wonder if someone sent her the Chumplady book? Maybe that’s what prompted her to leave the scumbag, lol.

    • When I heard that on the radio my first thought was “I can’t wait to hear what CL has to say about this development!” So glad she finally got rid of that loser.

  • He wants your babies and thinks you’re beautiful and cries and stuff… But not a word about who you actually are…

  • Also- consider that he is 28 and is pining for someone who was 8 when he was legally an adult. He’s hoovering for you because he needs a young inexperienced gal who doesn’t realize her own worth to other people. You… You matter! He picked you because you’re too inexperienced to call him out. You have fewer boundaries and learned less than a gal who is 28. You have so much ahead of you. You don’t need him you need a snuggie. Those things are 16 bucks at Walmart.

  • Fishbone, (love your name)

    He’s a lying ass piece of slut trashcan scumass dirtbag, BITCH.

    You are 20. This is the most painful and confusing thing you’ve ever had to live through. There are terrible people, and they will use you for lulz. This guy is using his sexuality to cloud the issue. Don’t let him. Cheating is cheating. You get to decide what your boundaries are. All you have to do today is no contact. There is nothing to save in this relationship except you.

  • Fishbone,

    Common wisdom in CN is to sing like a bird about the cheating asshole. So, go ahead. Out him to all of his friends, your friends, his family, and anyone you feel like. Take away all his power over you.

  • Just a quick response here because others have already stated the obvious but . . . If I ram my tongue down someone else’s throat, and I’m spoken for, it’s not kosher. There see?

    You’re 20. The world is your oyster. Tell this turd to go fuck himself. Go get ’em Tiger!

  • Fishbone, I get it. It’s hard to lose the companionship and closeness and familiarity, I think all of us here understand that intimately. But without the loss of something, we can’t gain anything. You have to endure the pain to get anywhere, and you deserve far better than a dishonest guy having a sexual identity crisis and wanting you to fix that for him (I agree with CL that he wants a beard). That you’re contemplating all this at 20 is more than I was doing, trust me you don’t want to get to 40 and be in the same boat because fuckwits have wasted your time and it was hard to believe that you deserved more. And even harder to believe that there is better out there, but there IS. No Contact changed my life, and you do truly have to go through WITHDRAWAL, which is what feels traumatic. But it’s just detoxing from the crazy. In time you’ll develop a taste for healthy. But first you have to put the gay-curious donut down. Sorry kiddo, it’s the only way. Put the “break” in breakup. Hugs!

  • Dear Fishbone,

    I am 32 years old and I spent 8 years of my life being ‘so in love’ with a man who treated me like I was possession or an accessory and not an equal and important partner. He love bombed me with more flowers, clothes and gifts than I can even explain and he told me all the right things… but the actions are the really important things to pay attention to… and you shouldn’t waste your time with someone who treats you this way.

    Your BF went to that party and whether or not he is ready to admit it he is likely bi-sexual, gay, or some other personal sexual identity… but none of that is even the important element of this story. He went to a party and forgot that you even existed… or maybe he remembered and he just didn’t care while he was making out with 4 other people. Someone who really loves you, appreciates you and cares about your feelings would never do that to you.

    I know that at 20-something years old this feels like the best thing you have ever known and it is scary to imagine never having that feeling again… but I promise you will find something better than you can even imagine. Focus on loving yourself, building up your own self-worth and self-confidence… and someone will come along who loves those things about you. Hang in there, and one day you will look back on this event and laugh at yourself for even thinking this could be a good idea. <3

  • Dear Fishbone,

    I am going to respectfully skip reading through the other comments so please forgive me if I repeat others. But this is a topic that I sadly know quite a bit about … my husband of 30 years enjoyed LGBT “incidents” regularly throughout our 30 year marriage. Sadly, I was unaware of it and have just lost 30 years of my life. You are fortunate, truly, to know this information now. Act on it.

    Yes, he adores you and wants you back. Why? Because it allows him to frame what he is doing with other men as merely “incidents” rather than admit to himself and others that he is bi or gay. But he clearly is and his interest in seeking sex with males will only increase over time … he won’t outgrow his sexual attraction to men. You provide him cover in a society that discriminates against and judges gay people harshly. This is a sad situation for sure, but hiding behind you (a chumpy beard) and cheating on you whenever he feels like it is NOT the solution and is completely unfair to you. So is hanging on to you so that he can have children. In other words, he desperately wishes to hang on to you because you can provide all kinds of important, meaningful services to him. And what will you get in return? As many years of lies and cheating as you choose to inflict upon yourself and just maybe a life threatening disease as a bonus. Let me tell you from sad experience, that is a life of hell. You do not want this man in your future. You are young and you have a full happy life ahead of you. RUN from this man. Don’t look back.

    • “But he clearly is and his interest in seeking sex with males will only increase over time … he won’t outgrow his sexual attraction to men”.

      That’s the thing! He is gay and will never stop being gay. It’s not a phase, it’s not a trial period. And people need to accept it. And this day and age, when homosexuality is accepted more than ever, I don’t understand why this guy just doesn’t leave Fishbone alone and pursue men openly. The US Supreme Court even accepted gay marriage, why can’t this guy? I wish Fishbone were mature enough to tell this guy, it’s OK to be gay and to encourage him to seek other men and leave her alone. Rather than hoping he’ll change camps, wondering if he’s remorseful and still loves her. I guess that type of maturity comes with age, and as you get older, you really do see people for who they are, not as you hope they would be.

      • Well, sample of one, but my cheater purposely did not come out honestly as you suggest because he knew that by keeping his bisexuality a secret, he was guaranteeing himself an easy path to cheating. And he was right. It never occurred to me that all those overnight “buddy” trips were actually vacations with a sexual partner. See how nicely that works? Some keep it a secret because they are confused, ashamed, and/or scared. Others keep the secret for strategic reasons … because they are not only gay/bi but also sociopaths and/or narcissists.

  • Fishbone,
    I have never written about this before, but if it can help you, then maybe it’s worth it.

    When I was 20 and in university residence, I met a guy who was 27, a work colleague of my room mate. He was from France, and was charming, well-off, and generous. He was good looking and said he was bi-sexual. I had never met such a person before, being from a small town in the 1970’s. He drove a fabulous sports car, and was the most exciting man I had ever met.

    He invited me to go disco-ing at a local gay club, which was really exciting at the time because 1. it was cool to hang with gay guys who had to keep their lives secret, and 2. he was loaded and treated me like a princess. He had a luxury apartment about two blocks from where I lived and I was able to sleep over there after clubbing. For many months, we went out each Friday and Saturday night. Sometimes it was to work functions where he introduced me as the GF (as cover, he was in the closet) and then to gay bars where he would tell me to meet him at home but not come into his bedroom. He would pick up random guys each time. I remember time after time, getting up in the morning, and finding strange, hung over gay guys slumped over the breakfast bar in the apartment. I used to give them coffee then see them out. I wasn’t interested in sex with him since I was convinced that eventually he would ‘get over being gay’ and settle down with me. What a complete idiot I must have been!

    So the following summer I went off to France to do a study term. Mr. Gay turned up in Paris and invited me to his ‘parents home’ for the weekend, in a city north of Paris. I went up on the train, and was met at the station by a chauffeured Bentley and taken to their home / castle which was astonishingly extravagant. I thought, wow bingo, my friend is loaded! The entire family greeted me on the doorstep and I was treated like a princess for the entire weekend. They held a large dinner party, all the cousins came over, everyone really seemed to be enthusiastic about me. In my 20 year old naivete, I didnt twig to what really was up. My french really was that bad….he had told them I was his fiance!….to cover up the fact that their eldest son and heir was gay (he was still in the US at that time).

    When I left to go back to Paris, his mother gave me a gift which turned out to be a fabulous necklace, priceless in fact. When I unwrapped it back in my dorm room, I suddenly realised that they must have been misled. Gay friend came around later with another picked-up casual boyfriend on his arm…and I just lit into him. How dare you do this! He just laughed and said, hey you were the perfect actress, thanks! Then he left with the guy. I avoided contacting him again for quite a while, and we never again had any intimate contact.

    It took me ages to figure out his parents’ address, but I eventually returned the necklace with an apology. That family must have been devastated by their son’s treachery. Several years later, I found out who his father really was and they were billionaires.

    Gay friend contacted me toward the end of the 1980’s. I was married by then with kids, and he asked if he could come by and see my kids. I agreed, since he didn’t live in the same city, and I did want to see him again out of curiosity. He brought me a belated wedding present, a huge Baccarat vase which I have to this day. He apologised for the trick he played. He said his family had basically disowned him after our weekend, but that he was happy in his gay lifestyle.

    He left and said he would call again in a few months. He never did call. I found out several years later that he had died of AIDS about a year after I last saw him.

    Don’t let your gay man break your heart, Fishbone. He won’t be able to be the faithful partner you will need if you want a family.

    • Marci, what an amazing story. Just goes to show how smart you were at 20; once you figured it out, you did exactly the right things.

    • You would have been the billionaire’s beard. My mother would have forced me at gun point to stay with him!
      Hence…the broken picker….?

  • Fishbone, the issue at the bottom of this is that you are looking for love to validate you and fix your feelings instead of doing the work of becoming an adult. CL says all you need to know, but let me unpack it with a different emphasis.

    CL points out your tendency to “self-medicate” using other people. That means instead of going through a situation and feeling what you feel (“It’s hard to sleep alone”) and moving through those feelings to a higher level of functioning, you connect with a person to fix that feeling. You response to getting betrayed was to sleep with another guy and start seeing other people right away instead of working through the pain of it. People also self-medicate with food (have that handful of m and m candies when you are on a big deadline) and alcohol (I need a drink to wind down) and other things that shift our moods from a more negative state to a more positive one. But intimacy with another person is not very “intimate” when one person uses the connection to get back at an old boyfriend or another one is cheating on his girlfriend.

    It’s hard to sleep alone because you haven’t learned that being in a relationship with another person isn’t just about FEELING safe and love-bombed. You’re only 20! You’ve slept alone all your life unless you are from some place where the kids share not only rooms but beds! What you are really saying is that your self-value is dependent on sleeping in a bed with some other person, even if he’s a lying cheater pants.

    This isn’t love, on either side. He’s 28 and using your youth and neediness to keep his sexuality kinda sorta in the closet. He’s 28 and using his 8-year head start to gaslight and manipulate you. You’re 20 and haven’t figured out that love bombing isn’t love and it isn’t nice to use people to get over other people. You, though, have a fair shot at growing up in the next 4 or 5 years and becoming a young woman with self-confidence and the capacity to tell the difference between love (which is what Brene Brown calls a “practice,” a set of actions that include trust, respect, boundary-setting, honest communication, revealing our inner selves) and love-bombing (fancy words, sushi, tears, drama, and meaningless compliments).

    You are in a very unhealthy dynamic. Just end this. And consider ways outside of sex and romantic relationship where you can cultivate love for yourself and others. There are many people and things in the world to love. Take a break from romance for a while and learn about that bigger picture. Learn about yourself as part of the world. This is a time of your life that, if you waste it in chasing boys, you can never get back. Work on figuring out the kind of woman you want to be. And then work on becoming that woman. Then you will meet someone worth sleeping with.

  • I want to add one thing: people (men and women) with character disorders have a radar for people who grow up not getting enough love from their parents. Part of “fixing our picker” is to pay attention to the unmet needs we have for love and affection and learn how to love others and be loved back in healthy ways. That need is very real and very human. But there are ways to meet that need other than through sexual relationships and romance.

  • Hey guys 🙂 Wanted to say that I truly appreciate every comment, I’ve read through them all. This thread has really given me the strength I need to go NC. I will read this thread the times I feel weak and want to hold him again. I really feel like I have such a huge support network on here so I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I really, really loved this man so much but thank you all for showing me that intense pain now will pass, and that a balanced, lovely person is out there somewhere 🙂

    • Thanks for responding. It’s always great to hear that our stories are helping others.

      Yes, you love The person you thought he was. That’s ok, but that’s not the real him. I loved who I thought she was (for 30 yrs) but the truth is she was never that person. NC is the only way.

      Thanks again for letting us know you hear us. Now go have a real great life.

    • Fishbonefemale11, one last thing:


      Don’t go to him with all our good advice, or tell him to read this blog, so that he will realise how wonderful you are and stop being gay/bi/curious.

      Your guy is showing all the red flags of being an abuser. You can’t fix abusers. If you give them advice, they ‘accept’ it and say all the right things, and then use it as weapons against you.

      Just get away.

  • Just rip off the band aid and go total no contact with him.

    That’s what I did. I sent one email titled “no contact notice” that said due to your infidelity and habitual lying I have no choice but to immediately end our relationship and enter into a state of complete and permanent no contact with you. You will not contact me, my family, or any other associates, and you will not acknowledge or approach me my family, or other associates if you encounter us in public. If you do not comply, legal steps will be taken to force you to comply.

    And then once I saw the email was read, I blocked all means of his communicating with me and never said or heard another word from him.

    Silence is power, and no contact is empowering. You have to just rip off the band aid and get it over with before you can start to move on.

  • 20 years old with a whole life to live. No contact. Forget about this guy and go live it.

  • These are great comments today, so inspiring. The only thing I would add is: Sex is not an indicator of love!!! Just because you like sex with someone, or are sexually compatible with someone does not mean they are your Soulmate, your true love, the one, etc.

    I have noticed the RIC always encourages sex as a path to “recovery”, ie, more sex means they are Committed to you. Wrong!!

    I am not a prude, and enjoy sex as much as most people. But, it can mislead you to think you are in love when you are not. So, in your next relationship, try waiting for sex and see how you feel about the entire PERSON. And one last thing, sometimes good sex is a result of a dysfunctional relationship. This unfortunately is something I learned from experience. But, you are half the equation in a sexual relationship, so if it’s good with one person there are high odds of it being good with someone else :-).

  • I have also noticed that people who are cheated on seem to have a hard time with recovery when they have had a good sexual relationship with the cheater. The better the sex, the harder it is to reconcile the cheating in their mind. Sex and love are really hard to separate for lots of people, myself included. It has kept me in many relationships where I should have gotten the fuck (pun intended) out long before I did.

    • Sing it again Sam. That is the damn truth. Those chemicals make us bond. Even with a no good creep.

  • •••


    There is an important point I want to emphasize to you because you are so young.
    I want to get it right for you. Others will help me.

    Realize this first : I adored….worshipped my X. You reference “when you want to hold him again”.
    Be careful….that is a huge pull. When I would see my X….my mouth would water. Lust mixed with love….like a drug addiction.

    When you first choke down a shit sandwich, it tastes awful. But after you have eaten them for a while,
    you don’t realize you are eating shit sandwiches anymore. You lose your way so completely.

    When I was younger, and a man treated me poorly, I was livid. I broke up with him and *NEVER* questioned my actions.
    Looking back, my instincts were right.

    And then, when you meet a toxic disordered person, you get thrown off balance. You may not have wise counsel (I did NOT)
    who will warn you to run like the wind from a dangerous person. My own mother was blinded by the money my first abusive
    boyfriend was throwing at me.

    As women, our mothers, as sick as they can be, when they speak, it is like GOD is speaking. I remember, distinctly one day, holding my cat, so confused: Well, if my mom
    thinks it okay for him to throw me down hard on a mattress and call me a fucking whore cunt, because he lets me drive his fancy car….I guess it is?

    And the more shit you eat, the sicker you get. Literally. And it leaves you with a picker that is so fucking off….you actually lose the ability to see the good guys. You even lose the ability to see when you are being treated like garbage….

    Normal people…people with empathy and compassion, we don’t have a chance against these predator types. It is like a little boy trying to wrestle The Rock.
    We will always lose. The more time you spend with them, the abnormal becomes normal, and you are a hand wringing, relationship police, wreck of a chump who has been used, abused and discarded. Years of your precious life can slip through your fingers like water.

    I would give everything I own to turn back the clock and change who I chose to spend my life with- does that impart how serious this is?

  • It’s called cognitive dissonance. When your head tells you one thing, and your heart something else.
    You KNOW he is bad news. Yet you have all these feelings that are keeping you in the mist.

    Of course you like the love bombing. Who wouldn’t! But that is not love. When you love someone, do you pocket the thoughts and feelings about them and go out and “make out” with other people?
    A good exercise would be “When YOU love”, would YOU do any of the things he did?
    To me, his ulterior behaviour shows possessiveness, entitlement: how dare you move away, how dare you keep him at bay? Can you read it’s all about him?
    Now he hoovers you back. Great efforts. Can you imagine how it’s gonna be when he will discard you?
    Normal people don’t love you one moment, then not love you the next, then love you again when it suits them etc. This is fucked up! Run!

    You are still in people pleasing mode, otherwise you would have found the balls to cut him out. Yes, actually TELL him to his face to F off. Do you see yourself how much mental energy and TIME you are expending on how to avoid him, how not to hurt him etc? He is sucking the life out of you. What are you gonna do?
    Chump Lady’s advice: lose a cheater, gain a life.

  • Fishbone, Honey. One thing I have learned, the hard way, is to never ever tolerate disrespect in any relationship. And I watch the actions because that is where the truth lies. In your case, him making out with anyone (and in public when he’s supposed to be with you), reeks of a huge amount of disrespect towards you. That won’t change. He has told you loud and clear how little he values you as a person. I’m glad you have decided to kick him to the curb. If you fell for his hoovers, it would be teaching him that is the price of keeping you around so he could use you and treat you like shit. Flowers and sushi. You deserve so much more!

    Good for you for walking away!

  • Fishbone,

    Your boyfriend is a cheater. The issue of his sexual orientation is a red herring. Regardless of the gender of the people he is making out with, he is cheating on you. Change the gender of the people to women, and you would find his exploration of “making out” with 4 women reprehensible and a total lie. He had sex with at least 2 of the 4 individuals, if not all of them.

    The main question you need to ask is, “why is this behavior acceptable to me?” You have already determined that it is not acceptable to you. However, many of the responses here are rather unempathetic to your needs for touch and human intimacy that drive you back to this manipulative cheater. My advice is as follows, take it for what it is. He is able to get in and manipulate you through these unmet needs. Take out a piece of paper, and start to make a list of why you want to go back to him. If it is because you like his touch, get a massage (healthier choice). If you don’t want to sleep alone, do you have a kind female friend (platonic) that can sleep next to you (healthier choice).

    You have power and agency to make choices, and as an adult, you must deal with the consequences of your choices. Every choice you make, talk, don’t talk, etc. Observe how it affects you. Does the anxiety increase or decrease with contact? Make it a point every day to treat yourself with the same respect and kindness that you would treat a friend. I have also made some poor choices in relationships and dating, often out of unmet needs, and a lack of good candidates that are a good fit for my needs in relationships. I have good discernment, but we all falter. It is part of learning and growing.

    You made a poor choice by going back to this man who is emotionally and sexually manipulative. The only person you control is you. You have made a decision to write to this board which is pretty pragmatic, and honest. Only you control going no contact with him. You will receive support here, and the greatest thing as an adult is to accept your mistakes and learn from them. I think for a 20 year old, you are displaying good instincts, and acting in some proactive and thoughtful ways to respond to this challenging situation of being cheated on by an older lover who is emotionally manipulative. This gambit of your lover’s is all about power, control, and disrespect, and he is counting on the naivete of the 8 year age difference to pull it off. You caught on and in all honesty, I am sure he has multiple lovers on the string right now.

    Continuing to unravel the skein of this man’s sexual identity problems is really not your problem. Yes, he is love bombing you with totally empty gestures. At some point, you are going to have to face that he is a liar, cheater, and deeply emotionally unavailable for the type of emotionally and sexually monogamous relationship you both agreed to have.

    You did not agree to the risks of multiple partners, especially those of a man who sleeps with men. He is exposing you to tremendous risk for STIs, particularly if he is a bottom engaging in anal intercourse with men, the HIV risk increases. If nothing in this situation rings red flags, this should be the one. Health issues are lifelong, and you are a very young woman. Please stop sleeping with him and get tested immediately.

    There is such a thing as self medicating with other people. You are vulnerable for this behavior right now. If you are in college, there are counseling services for students. If that type of support would be helpful, make an appointment.

    Best wishes Fishbone.

    • Dear ChefBella, (and all the other amazing, kind ladies who wrote!)

      Thank you for your reply!I am now two days into no contact and I re-read this thread a lot. I just feel angry and so, so stupid for getting involved with someone who is clearly using me, and it frankly scares me that till recently I’ve not been able to wrap my damn head around everything he’s done. I’m just happy and relieved that I’ve gotten away from this mess.

      • Wishbone do not feel stupid. Please, if an IQ could have saved us from this con the majority of ppl here would be elsewhere. Kindness to yourself is needed here.

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: