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Dear Chump Lady, He says he thought he’d never get caught

sorrycheatercaughtDear Chump Lady,

When asked my husband why he kept cheating, his reply was — he never thought he’d get caught.

What would have been a better response? This one isn’t comforting. Can you speak a little about what he could have done to show he’s sorry?



Dear Anne,

Wow. Such a short letter and so much wrong.

Can you speak a little about what he could have done to show he’s sorry?

Anne — it’s not your job to show him how to be sorry. Sure, I could write you a script, draw a 15-point diagram, create a multimedia presentation, complete with a rousing performance by the Solid Gold Sorry Dancers. Assemble a whole army of laser pointers and focus your cheater towards a Clue. Make empathy flash cards! Put him a room with a  rabbi, yogi, Methodist, 8th grade principle, and knuckle-rapping nun until he repents. Pantomime human expressions of remorse. (Cue Sad Puppy Eyes, NOW!) Force him to write “I’m sorry I cheated” 100,000 times on a mile of chalkboards. Lock him in the stockades and hurl rotten cabbages at his head. Make him watch a TED Talk. Make him watch an Esther Perel TED Talk until he begs for rotten cabbages…

It would be pointless, Anne — his sorry is not your responsibility.

First clue — if you have to show him how to be sorry? HE’S NOT SORRY.

Second clue — if he’s not leading the Amazon/Google/3 a.m. dark hour of the soul quest on How To Be Sorry? HE’S NOT SORRY.

Third clue — he’s sorry he got caught? HE’S NOT SORRY.

When asked my husband why he kept cheating, his reply was — he never thought he’d get caught.

So, he underestimated you. And now he’s stopped cheating? NOT because he sees the error of his ways, or feels one bit sorry for lying to you, exposing you to STDs, endangering your home life, your finances, or your children’s intact home life — no, he’s stopped because he got BUSTED?

That means, he’ll just find a workaround to get right back to cheating, because in his mind the problem isn’t HIM, the problem is the TRUTH.

Pesky, annoying, buzz kill truth. He had a double life full of delicious cake, and you had to go ruin it with discovery.

scoobyYou’re not comforted from this, because yeah, it’s not very comforting. It’s what Scooby Doo villains say. “And I would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!” Is the Scooby Doo villain ever sorry, Anne? Does Shaggy ever say, “Gee guys, maybe Mr. Grimly is really sorry and never meant to scare us! Maybe we should ask ourselves what we did to make Mr. Grimly to don that zombie costume and frighten investors so he alone could have the mining rights to Haunted Mountain. Perhaps Mr. Grimly feels toxic shame and could be rehabilitated with our unconditional love?”

No, Anne! Mr. Grimly is carted off in chains and justice is served. No one wonders why Mr. Grimly isn’t sufficiently sorry. It’s OBVIOUS. He wanted to get away with his crime! But was thwarted by meddlesome kids.

Your husband wanted to get away with his crime. He’s sorry that you thwarted him.

I’m sorry he didn’t give you the apology and the sincerity that you desire. I’m sorry that it does not hurt him to hurt you. But really, Anne, his unvarnished assholery is a gift. You don’t want to waste your time in false reconciliation. You need to deal with the reality you were dealt — a guy who is A-okay cheating on you. You haven’t much to work with here. Giving him pointers on how better to manipulate you into a false sense of security (Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse) is only going to hurt you further and keep you toking the hopium pipe.

Can you speak a little about what he could have done to show he’s sorry?

Yes. He can demonstrate his regrets with a credit report (to show any hidden monies, P.O. boxes, credit cards, or debts) and a generous post-nup settlement. Go ahead and suggest that. If you get any push back? There’s the depth of his “sorry.”

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • ME: “Why didn’t you just tell me that you were interested in seeing other women?”
    CHEATER: “Because I knew you’d leave me.”
    ME: Exit stage right

    • Ha. That’s exactly how things went down in the first instance with me. But the tune changes over time. “I didn’t say because I knew you’d leave me” turns into “You knew all along, so I did nothing wrong.” The new hypothesis that I “knew all along” is evidenced by the fact that “I never asked about it.” I also never asked if he was secretly killing puppies, trafficking nuclear weapons, or farming on Mars. Their failure of communication swiftly turns into the failure of our imagination.

      • Right? You only get the right answer if you ask the right question. So, dance, puppet, dance, spin around trying to find the right question while I split hairs to avoid answering, dance!

        • Oh, yes, forgot the intermediate stage between “I didn’t say because I thought you’d leave me” and “I didn’t say because I thought you knew all along”: “You never asked a direct question.” Apparently my question “Have you had an affair?” ten years ago wasn’t direct enough. The devil being in the details, I should have asked: “Have you been screwing prostitutes and bargirls around the globe for over two decades?” Serve me right.

        • I think you described it very well – STBX’s favorite tools are half truths and word salads. I don’t think I ever had a successful meaningful discussion with him throughout our 15-year relationship because of the way he evades responsibility for a problem. When he feels I am closing in on the truth, he changes tactics and like a squid, he shoots ink to confuse and cloud my thoughts. I always end up feeling stupid, and question my own thoughts and sanity. I always end up spackling (albeit also harbouring some resentment) just to get this sick relationship to work.

          • OMG! The squid! That was me last night! He’s tossing the word salad and shit and then BAM! I hit him direct with “Do you say ‘I love you’ to the whoremat?” torpedo! Had no way to dance around that one!

      • Yup, mine told me I should have known she was doing it, and the only reason I didn’t was because I was “so out of it.”

        • Yeah, and the straight out lying to your face played no part in it. They are so innocent! If you had just known you could have stopped it. I can’t even begin to understand how their brains function!

        • Oaktree, that’s some grade A blame shifting. I got it too — was told that I “live in a bubble.” Apparently you’re enlightened and aware and oh-so-not-out-of-it only if you telepathically know that your beloved is merrily fucking other people. Nobody’s perfect! How “out of it” of you to expect basic communication and honesty in a relationship! You really should no better, Oaktree! And next time, I’m sure you will 🙂

          • “live in a bubble”… Heh.

            Nowdeadserialcheaterwife’s phrasing of that to one boyfriend, in repsonse to the question “where’s your hubby?” was “He doesn’t care, he’s in his own little world.”

            Apparently these people find blind contemptuous.

          • We were so “out of it” because the cheater used sex, love, and lies to drug us into unwitting submission. MG in effect tortured me, and when she was exposed I felt guilty. Cheaters are the enemy.

        • “Out of it” otherwise known as blind trust. Trust in the person we’ve committed ourselves to thinking that person would never in a million years act like a selfish, reckless, lying POD who could willfully destroy his/her partner and family without batting an eye.

          Sure, I’ll accept that assessment. Gladly. Beats the alternative.

          • Yeap. I got blamed by my wife too – “How could you NOT know!!”. We’ll…

            A) because when I asked several months before D day you vehemently said no, and I trusted you;

            B) I was so busy with managing our household, including a wild teenager and a toddler, and my mentally – taxing job plus teaching part time and supervising grad student research at the local university, plus your constant drama and need for “me” time, to second guess your actions. Again, I trusted you; and

            C) mistakenly, I thought much of your actions were because you were slipping deeper into alcoholism which scared and disappointed the hell out of me and our kids. It also was a convenient rouse for why you stayed out “with friends” so often. But, I trusted you.

            So, given a choice, yeah, I’ll be the dolt because I trusted you until the end. Chalk it up along with my many other character flaws.

            • Got this as well, there was an underlying current of criticism for me “not noticing” or blaming how “disconnected we were” for me not having worked it out. Like you, I pointed out I did notice and asked straight up and got a lie. In fact I didn’t “notice” because of the extreme lengths of deceit and gaslighting she went to to make sure I didn’t notice.

              Total mindfuckery.

              • It’s amazing how similar these stories are. And what did they do when they began to feel this “disconnectedness?” Did they come to us and sit down and try to talk about it? Well, mine just got on FB and found an old college boyfriend. Voila, problem fixed!

              • Yes, they are disconnected from us, meaning they are no longer attracted to us. Simply because, well, they are attracted to someone else. And they don’t bother telling us. Instead, we need to figure out from the lies, deception, covert behavior, fraud they are perpetrating on us.

              • Yeah. I knew HE was disconnected and I’d tried to reconnect multiple times because he wanted more sex. So I’d give it a go. But he wasn’t connecting more just getting laid more and then eventually I’d burn out from sexy dancing him and he’d disconnect even more. Until apparently he just left and never told me and then found someone else. “I wasn’t looking for someone else.” Nope. That’s why you started texting her and hiding it and then eventually slept with her too. Because it just happened and nobody knows that you’re in dangerous waters when things start getting flirty?! Yeah. Right.

            • I never got ‘you knew’ because he worked overtime ensuring not a hair to be found, or a petrol gauge to be questioned. Like I would notice the level of petrol in his car??? But I did ask. Outright. Twice. And felt like an arsehole for doing so. He was lovely, held me and convinced me I was working too hard and just tired, there was nothing going on with him and my ‘friend’.

              Even when I found out he drove to her city to help her break up some concrete on her section where he was too ‘flat out’ to come on a fishing trip with myself and the kids when I finally got a couple of days off work. Chump! I can still see it, the story he told. And that I swallowed, hook, line and sinker (sorry for the fishing metaphor. Couldn’t help myself!) I never even thought to question again for another year. Fuckers were good. He had strict rules about texts. Nothing more than friends. Even if I did pick up his phone, never anything to worry about there. When I eventually asked the second time if he was making a fool of me, even I thought I must be ready for the funny farm. I had NEVER been a jealous person. It was exceptionally uncomfortable to ask as it wasn’t me. And I thought it wasn’t him. We had an open and honest 20+ years by then. Except for, oh, the last 15 months, that is! It never goes away this pain. This stain on your life.

              • HA, we need some new catch-phrases for cheating, like ‘Breakin up her concrete’!
                Mine was Fixing her faucet, and Taking her to the Junkyard. LOL

              • Mine said “She N-E-E-D-S me. You are TOO competent and don’t need me”.
                I didn’t realize that being competent was a detriment. Yes, I didn’t need a rescuer, but I thought we were supposed to be partners and co-parents. But looking back, I was delusional since he was disengaged from the get-go….just focused in his own interests and not his family. The family got in the way of HIM doing HIS things. The kids say that it isn’t any different now without him around since it was really always like that.

        • Instead of the “You should have known,” I got the “I was going to tell you when….” When he sent the wrong text to me and I told him exactly where he can shove his phone and where he can go, he came home. I was sitting on the back porch drinking a beer at 10a.m. and he said, “I was going to tell you when S25 came home for leave. You would have handled it better then.” It then turned in to, “I was going to tell you after we resided the house,” then, “before vacation” “after you came back from visiting your family” and the list goes on and on. They never fucking tell.

          I think the answer, “I fucked around because I didn’t think I’d get caught.” is about as honest as it will ever get. Believe that they would still be doing it and will do so again. Get out quickly.

          • Annie, I would say you nailed it. I would actually have preferred “I fucked around because I didn’t think I’d get caught.” Instead, upon MY discovery, not MoFaux’s disclosure, he then told me that he wanted to tell me four months earlier while we were on a holiday. Note the classy timing but cowardly non-effort.

            I think our 22 year history got ‘shat’ upon in that moment where he revealed the depth of his deceitfulness.

            • Yep. More and more keeps coming to my mind. I was invited to a poker game with a bunch of guys from work a few years ago. I brought Fucktard. He was accused of cheating. I defended the bastard because my husband would not cheat at cards. What an idiot I was. I was probably the only one on Earth that trusted him. One thing I learned, no one who is a liar is just a liar on one part of their life. They’re a liar in everything.

        • So you are out of it. She a fucking bitch pod. What an awful thing to say but if its walks like a pod…talks like…..

      • What’s up with the “you knew”? I got that one too. No, I didn’t know. I was so shocked seeing emails from hookers that 9 years later I’m still dealing with diagnosed PTSD from the trauma of it! Do they tell themselves that we know to make themselves feel better about what they’re doing?

        • I don’t know but I have a friend who has managed to convince herself that she’s stopped her husband from cheating because she keeps catching him before he “gets too far along in the process.” Each time he’s caught he has some lame excuse. You were too busy being a new mom, you don’t pay enough attention to me, blah, blah. She finds his emails and texts to women co-workers and hookers. Him setting up dates he says he never gets to. She’s convinced he hasn’t cheated. Yet. It’s just flirting. I wish I could get through to her but she’s just not ready to hear the truth. She knows my truth but thinks hers is a different reality.

            • Yes it is. They have a little girl and all I can think is her growing up with that fuckwit of a father and my friend thinking she’s somehow managing to keep that idiot from straying. They went to counseling and supposedly he’s so much better as a husband now. People don’t change which is exactly what she said about my fuckwit. But people can’t be forced to see their own reality until they are ready.

              • Think of how low her self value is…to have to cajole or police some one into being faithful to you. Your friend is truly lost.

                Think of how wonderful HE feels…that he is such a prize that she devotes large chunks of her life (she should use that time with her little girl or self improvement) to guarding and growling over this “grown” man like he is a valuable prize to guard…like the Crown Jewels.

                She is wasting her life on a piece of shit. See, we are not so dumb after all. We may be sad or mad….but she is dwelling in a type of living death. 🙁

              • Poor thing! That has to be so stressful and sad and lonely for her! And demeaning to have to “stop” him over and over again! Love makes you crazy! I still love my STBX and wish he’d fix himself! But that’s not going to happen! ☹️

              • I still love mine too ss. I always will, at least the guy i used to know. But i no longer wish to be around him or near him so i am not. Its no longer healthy for me so i bid that life adieu. It does get better with time.

          • Oh, the real fun with those friends is when they look down their nose at you and think that you are just bitter and that you just want everyone else’s marriage to end badly because yours did.

            It’s not that their spouse is cheating, so much as sour grapes on your part!

            Hah! Um, no. I can just see the forest for the trees. If it looks like a cheater and acts like a cheater, it is a cheater. Plain and simple.

            All the time with them going, “That was your life, not mine. My spouse would never do that, he’s the exception.” Yeah. OK. Guess you’ll figure it out eventually!

        • My.walls.will.sing, here is a random list of possible reasons for “you knew”:
          * They have been fucking around so much and for so long it’s impossible to imagine anyone presuming monogamy, anywhere, ever.
          * They have been telling fuck buddies that you know, that you have an arrangement, that you are really fifty shades of okay-with-all-this — so much and for so long that they themselves started believing it. If you say it often enough it becomes true. Works kinds like the Internet in that way.
          * They said something to themselves under their breath once in the bathroom while you happened to be cooking in the kitchen and that, in their book, counts as coming clean. No?
          * Their affair partners assured them that you must know, and they have no emotional intelligence of their own, so they take on the affair partners’ opinion as their own. This person’s so sparkly, they must be right!
          * They really think that you know because you are a terrible person who would just put up with terrible things like that and continue to live with terrible people who do terrible things.
          * They really low opinion of their own sneaking skills. Are they doing this right? Can you see them from over there? How about here?
          * They distinctly remember that part in your vows where you said “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, irrespective of how many people you fuck behind my back without telling me…”
          * You never asked the right precise question, so clearly you did not want to find out, which means you already knew. See how that works?
          * They are just trying to fuck with you head – psych!
          They know full well you did not know. They took great pains so you would not.

          • *This. I got many versions of this, but also that he thought the affair would be a secret he would have with himself until he died. Makes no sense.

            • It’s not supposed to be logical. Just a carousel of self-justification: Didn’t want to hurt you / Thought you’d never know / Thought you already knew / Thought you’d leave me / Thought you were doing the same / You never asked / I knew you’d get on your high horse and didn’t want to give you the satisfaction

              • My STBX told me, “you started wearing more makeup. So I knew that you knew because you were trying to make yourself more attractive to me. Or, you were having an affair.”
                In reality, they had some really good deals at Ulta.

          • Awesome summary, TOWMB! I especially like the muttering under one’s breath in the bathroom! When I got really close to the truth, after slogging my way through the gas lighting and blameshifting, I too usually heard, “I told you already!” Nope. Didn’t get that notification at all. Must have been muttered somewhere I wasn’t. Thanks for the great post for the day.

          • TheOther

            “They have been telling fuck buddies that you know, that you have an arrangement, that you are really fifty shades of okay-with-all-this — so much and for so long that they themselves started believing it. If you say it often enough it becomes true. Works kinds like the Internet in that way.”

            The fuck buddies he had while on “dating” sprees were told we were in the process of divorce and still living together. The lies he told about me were to gain empathy. He went for the vulnerable and abused women who felt sorry for him.

            The whore Nancy was not this type. She knew he was married and didn’t care. During the divorce he actually told me I emotionally abused HIM. This was a man who cheated through his entire marriage. In the end he landed in a mess he will never recover from.

            Not only do I get to trust he sucks, his life sucks.

            • I got told he was in an abusive relationship. I also got told I didn’t listen to him. The thread the other week where a whole heap of people said they got the same thing and it meant I didn’t act like a slave and do everything he asked of me was salve to a burn.

              • Ditto. The abuse accusations came at the end. At the end when I told him I was not putting up with more shit. The word ‘no’ is to them like water to a gremlin…or sunlight to a vampire…or moonlight to a werewolf. Well a merry fuck you cheaters!

            • “Not only do I get to trust he sucks, his life sucks.”

              That’s very comforting Doingme. Dr. Crazy has had 5 jobs in 14 months. Yes. His life sucks too. Comforting indeed.

          • I think at about year 12 of marriage, he shifted from sneaky cheating to a “we have an arrangement, she cheats too” mind set because he knew a guy at work was flirting wildly with me and one day I was late coming home from work. (In reality I was caring for a critically ill child while he thinks I was fucking a hot lab tech).

            In reality I never cheated. I think he expected a “well we HAVE had this arrangement” discussion at DDay with Susan of Seattle but what he got from me was “HELL NO, I NEVER EVER CHEATED” and I think he believed me so he found himself in deeper shit than he realized he was in.

          • The OW was apparently sure that I knew – the trouble is that he was lying to her too about his life at home. Why do we presume that proven liars come over all honest with their APs?
            My ex had a simple strategy that served him well – tell whoever is asking whatever version of events suits at that moment in order to avoid any difficult questions or unpleasant consequences. Tell them what they want to hear. Make it their fault to diffuse any blame.
            Tell some of the truth as leaving out large chunks of the story or changing the context to mislead does not count as lying.
            The main thing is to save your own sorry ass every time.

            • Exactly Mary!!! You precisely summed up Dr. Crazy’s approach to all aspects of life, not just his sex perversions. His own sons, friends and co-workers felt that way too. I haven’t figured out how they get so far in life living like this.

          • TheOtherWMB, what an amazing summary you provided of the cheater’s mindset! It’s brilliant!!! It’s all exactly what goes on in their minds, and they are so messed up.

          • Thanks for the input! Probably all of the above are true. He even lied in his “recovery” counseling, making up things like that I had walked in on him looking at porn on the computer. I hadn’t. They even lie to counselors and in their counseling groups. The funniest lie is that he tells people I passed away. I think he got this strategy from a Seinfeld episode, where George carries around a picture of a beautiful woman, saying it’s his ex that passed away. It gets women, plus sympathy. I’ve encountered a few people with mighty surprised looks on their faces that I’m still alive!! As has been said here before, you can’t make this shit up!

            • Spot on with the lying to counselors and leaving out major chunks of information to make them look good. Sociopath and manipulative traits for sure. Oddly, I found the counselor was easily fooled.

        • I think that cheaters invent their own reality. They decide how you feel without actually asking you. Then, they justify their decisions based on what they’ve convinced themselves you think or feel. At least that’s how it seemed to work in my situation.

          • Lightbulb moment! Lyn, you just put into words what I always felt was going on in my marriage. Thank you. Always imputing thoughts or intentions to me, then accusing ME of being the cause of whatever, thus justifying his actions, and preserving his view of himself as a nice guy.

          • Asswipe was mostly like that i figured he asked himself questions to me and then answered them according to his fucked up thinking. What a bunch of pod assholes.

          • Yes – they invent their own reality. I was told when dipshit was caught that I should have seen it coming – we were going to get a divorce anyway. We’ve been roommates for the past 10 years.
            News to me asswipe. And what ‘roommates’ still sleep together every night?
            And Louisville – same here. I got my nails done, so I must be cheating. I wore more make-up – therefore, I must be looking myself. What an asswipe.

            • Same here. My ex was telling me he loved me and I was his best friend right up until the end, when it suddenly changed to “we were always going to eventually divorce,” “we never should have gotten married in the first place,” “we were just roommates” and all the rest of the drivel these pods spout.

              • “My ex was telling me he loved me and I was his best friend right up until the end, when it suddenly changed to “we were always going to eventually divorce,” “we never should have gotten married in the first place,”

                For the life of me, I can’t believe a person can act this way, say one thing and then change it so drastically!!! I just can’t fathom. And it’s so cruel to say we never should have gotten married in the first place. It’s so mean and hurtful. I’m so sorry, he’s such an asshole.

              • His last Christmas card to me said, “Life gives you beautiful things…it gave me you.” Thirty-six hours later after discovering OWhore, I was nothing to him. Christmas will never be the same.

          • Lyn, the asshat I married actually said that! Nearly verbatim. What a fucking assault on the chump. I had no idea I was being punished by asshat because of asshat’s false assumptions which proved, in his mind, justification for being a serial cheating manwhore throughout my ‘marriage’.

          • My STBX says I stopped loving him way back when. When the sex slowed down because you cut me off emotionally? Because YOU stopped loving me? I still love you you asshat! ? He’s told me so many times how I feel. And then he gets mad when I assume how he’s feeling ? So dysfunctional!

      • Cheater: “you didn’t care enough about me to ask me if I was cheating”
        Me: “so if I had asked, would you have told me the truth?”
        Cheater: “probably not”

      • And if you’re foolish enough to reconcile, they turn that on you as well. After our bogus reconciliation ended, ex told people he had done nothing wrong because I “knew what he was.”

        • ME: If you do this again to me, I won’t take you back
          CHEATER: Don’t worry, I won’t come back. And if I do, you shouldn’t take me back. In fact, it was a mistake for you to have taken me back before.
          ME: *mouth agape*

          Context: he begged and begged and begged to be taken back but apparently it was *my bad* for taking him back.

          Update: when he did inevitably come back I told him to fuck off or I’d call the cops. Got it right that time.

          • HM, this is so similar to what happened with my STBXH. He actually told me the last time I took him back (also after he begged me to let him come home), that he “felt bad” because I’ve let him come back multiple times. Translation: I feel bad that you were stupid enough to take me back yet again, since I’m only getting worse and never planning to change. I actuallt did call the police the last time he tried to come by my house and he knew that this is the real deal. No chance in hell, EVER!!!!

            • Is this guy for real?? I can’t believe he said he felt bad that you took him back multiple times, insinuating you’re a moron to have taken him back. This makes me so mad! I’m glad you called the police, because now he knows you mean business. Good for you!!

              • Thanks, Kellia! Yep, so glad to be rid of him for good. Complete no contact and divorce just became final! The horrible cord has finally been cut!!! Freedom and time to truly gain a life, a good, peaceful, cheater/asshole-free life.

          • “And if I do, you shouldn’t take me back. In fact, it was a mistake for you to have taken me back before.”
            It’s always mind-boggling when they let the truth slip out by accident.

    • Me: “If you’re just friends, why did you lie about going out with her?”
      Cheese Fries: “Because I wanted to do it and you would have told me no.”

      Possibly that was when I realized he was an emotional adolescent. Unfortunately, I got stuck in the trap of trying to explain to him why he was wrong/hurtful/etc. Took me longer to realize he didn’t care.

      • Me: “If you’re just friends, why did you lie about going out with her?”
        Cheese Fries: “Because I wanted to do it and you would have told me no.”

        I had this exact exchange with my ex. Word for word. SMH

      • I got stuck in this trap for years. I was sure there were magic words that I had not yet found that would make it clear and then he would be sorry and we could move forward. I was so very stupid.

          • No one is stupid for being expertly lied to and deceived, and for trying to understand and communicate with the person they have committed to. If a stranger or a business defraud you out of even a small amount of money, the law is on your side and you can get them prosecuted. Yet these people lie and defraud their families for years and are never punished. You are not stupid, the law is.

            • The worst part is we aren’t the stupid ones! We use our brains and try to speak about this rationally and like real human beings! Not idiots trapped in fairyland! But then STBX gets all bitchy about how I’m living in a dream. Okay. Because I’m the one that wants a wife AND a girlfriend?! AND I’m the one acting like a love struck 12 year old in a 34 year old body?! AND I’m the one that is “in love” after texting for five months with someone?! REALLY?! I’m the crazy person here? I’m stupid?! Because I’m pretty sure if I told someone, anyone I was leaving a marriage of ten years, a condo and my best friend for someone that has a child that is the product of rape by her ex fiancé, has been bankrupted and had her 401k stolen by two different men and is in the process of divorcing a physically abusive alcoholic husband. I’d probably be told to run run run in the opposite direction. Back to sanity and safety in life. STBX can’t even afford to live on his own so he is MOVING IN with someone he has known for a few months. ??? And I’m the stupid one living in fairyland. The problem when you’re a good person is guy believe you chose a good person and that you’d know they weren’t good after living with them for decades. Clearly not! ?

    • I got lots of “sorry”, she even told me she was ashamed…. but then I asked for a post nup until we worked things out. My X told me that was “against my principals”. I told her that staying with a lying, cheating abusive spouse was against my principals so we kind of had stale mate, which I broke by filing. Since then she has asked for / demanded over 100% of our assets and a huge amount of alimony/maintenance (she works and is paid a tonne of money, so would get by with half our assets and her own salary), so I now see exactly how sorry she really is.

      Actions mean so much more than words when it comes to cheating.

      • Good heavens, FSTL! She is a flaming piece of work, isn’t she? Entitled much? They don’t do sorry. I for one am very sorry for any chump, male or female, who has to pay a single dime to the cheaters.

        • Indeed… and her fuckbuddy who she is so in love with and is apparently so in love with her and has made her lots of promises has a shit load of money as well. Entitled and power/control hungry…. how dare I mess with her cake laden life and leave her? I don’t leave her, she leaves me (she virtually said this after I filed). I guess she thinks I will (literally) pay for it!!

  • I wish I had recorded my STBX every time he said something crappy like this. I did tell my sisters and friends a lot of it, and they were able to spit it out verbatim those times that I was overcome with hopetimism. It took a while (who am I kidding? It took WAY to fucking long) for all of that stuff to accumulate into an undeniable pile of shit that represents EXACTLY WHO HE IS.
    Anne, you will be able to look at the CL archives every time you need to snap out of a hopetimistic haze. I hope it helps.

    • True story. I have a recording because I thought it would help if he could hear how abusive his argument was, so he knew we recorded argument in April, DD#2 was July. I asked point blank if he was having affair and he made fun of me for thinking of it. He was over a year into his current affair. On recording.

      • It doesn’t do me any good except to trigger the helpless feeling of arguing with somebody who will say horrible things and move the goal posts. It is so amazing it took actual proof of cheating for me to walk, the marriage was pretty bad for me without that added in.

        • I found recordings very useful. I am too prone to hopetimism. The recordings are proof of what I am still too likely to spackle over. He spent 9 years telling me I was negative and depressed when in fact I was ridiculously optimistic, forgiving, and trusting. After DD he even got me on anti depressants. I was high as a kite tolerating everything, allowed him to go to his high school reunion while I looked after his and the whore’s son, and of course I found out he had been to see her. So he had managed to drug the little common sense I had left out of me.
          Recordings are essential if you have chump tendencies.

  • Hi Anne,
    You sound so much like me when I first came here. My d-day was 11th January 2016. I was trying to stay friends, because I had yet to learn the extent of his lies and betrayal. I remember some tough love being doled out to me, I really wasn’t ready for it, but it stuck with me (thanks Kar-Marie). Everything that was written about the character of a cheater, how they don’t deserve us, the lack of remorse, the grandiose sense of entitlement, how you need to document everything you discover (and it is always worse than you think it will be), it was all true.

    I sent an email to my cheating husband asking why he lied, stole and cheated instead of just leaving, I received a text message back”I am very sorry for my poor behaviour”. No he wasn’t, no he isn’t, no he never will be.

    Don’t waste anymore of your awesomeness on someone a dung beetle would pass up as being too disgusting. You are a mighty warrior, go forge yourself the best, most wonderful life surrounded by people who deserve to have you near them. We are your brothers and sisters in arms. Take care and put yourself first.

  • I probably showed more in terms of being ‘Sorry’ in the initial period after D-Day, I was sorry for:-

    – Sorry for not paying you enough attention
    – Sorry for not earning more money for us to go on nice vacations
    – Sorry for working hard to be able to provide a house we couldn’t afford
    – Sorry for making you feel like you were ‘Invisible’ (Still don’t know what that one means)

    I suspect many other chumps feel this and blame themselves for the cheaters fuck-bucket of disordered shit. None of it is our chumpy fault, As time goes on you come to realise that the only thing to be sorry for was putting up with their bullshit, manipulation and shitty-ness for so long.

    • So true. One thing that is so confusing early on in the process is the fact that no person is perfect and the chump is no exception, so the cheater can use the chump’s issues as ammo to claim.the cheating was the chump’s fault. This is one of those situations where the base statement is basically accurate (like saying “”You treat me like I’m invisible” while the rest of the story, also true, is left out — .”while I am emotionally ostracizing you and it is breaking your heart for me to act like YOU are invisible, and that’s how I stay in control of you, but I will NEVER admit this.” This keep you busy trying to untangle the skeins while the cheater is (a) feeling smug and smart for getting away with it and (B) gaining more freedom to do it.

      • Or…they enter an affair, devalue us and treat us like crap. We consequently become less emotionally open to them, and then they accuse us of not loving them enough, which led them to have an affair/the demise of the relationship/etc. etc. etc.

        Lose-lose. It’s *always* lose-lose with a cheater.

        • Ding!
          WE HAVE A WINNER!
          I once thought about explaining this cycle to Narkles the Clown but if I’ve learned anything here it’s what a waste of air that would be.

          • True. We are convinced if we just put it in simple enough terms, they will see REASON; they will have EMPATHY. Nope–cheaters are constitutionally incapable of either. Better to go talk to a tree, which will at least benefit from the carbon dioxide.

              • Ha – empathy. Just brought back a memory.

                I asked him to please emphasize with me and be truthful about any other affairs (which I knew there were).

                And, his answer was, Have some empathy for ME! I’ve already told you there were no others.


            • Reason and empathy are replaced with intimidation, threats and bullying because, as stated, they are constitutionally unable to reason or empathize. Crazy making and tantrums are all you’re gonna get in response to sanity and reason. My narc threatened me with jail because his daughter doesn’t want to see him. She’s so angry at his lies. I told him that instead of threatening me he should show his daughter some qualities that would make her want to trust and be with him. But all he understands is demanding his way and bullying. I am so sorry my precious girl has a grandiose toddler for a father. I was reading texts where she confronted him on his lies – she sounds like the adult with reason and good spelling/grammar. He sounds like an illiterate whiny blameshifter. And she sees right through it. She’s not even in high school yet.

        • On the actual last day I saw the this Monster, he actually emailed me and said:

          “I love you so much but I think we are pushing each other apart.”

          It was just so……wrong, I was wild with rage. I wrote back something like, in all caps:

          What are you talking about, I did not cheat, etc etc

          But, he was reading from wicked script that had nothing to do with ACTUAL REALITY. I felt so wild, because the betrayal was like open heart surgery with no anesthesia, but on top of it…having a conversation with an insane person?

          • “The betrayal was like open heart surgery with no anesthesia….”

            Best description ever of how it feels to be betrayed!

          • I don’t know if you kind souls remember but I used to have chest pains…I thought I was having a heart attack. It was REAL pain. I would press my hands on my heart and think: Is this it? I am having a heart attack!!! I have low blood pressure!

            My GP told me the stress and shock of it weakened my heart wall. It is called “Broken Heart Syndrome. It can kill you if I had not got on medication to slow down all the adreneline and cortisol racing through my system

            Not for $10 million dollars cash in my hand would I suffer through that searing hurt again.

            • I had those pains too Sylvia during the months my brain was frantically reliving my life with Dr. Crazy, but with the full knowledge of who he truly is and always will be. They’re very real and very frightening.

              • I used trauma therapy techniques, meditation, prayer and journaling to get through that period. Now I’m strengthening my heart with running and yoga.

    • Oh yes, I accepted MORE than my fair share of the blame:

      Sorry you felt unappreciated
      Sorry I didn’t retain my 20s figure
      Sorry you were so lonely that you allowed a scary bunny boiler psycho to “fill your void”
      Sorry to infinity for never, ever being enough for you no matter how hard I tried.

      After more than fifteen years of his lies, deceit and brutal coldness, I’ve finally moved into the acceptance stage. I’m now sorry for a whole lot of other reasons:

      Sorry you’re so disordered and self-absorbed that you can’t see your finger twitching on the trigger of your own ticking time bomb
      Sorry you’re slowly losing touch with reality and eventually, with everyone close to you including your own child
      Sorry our marriage has been boiled down to a series of financial transactions
      Sorry that one day you may reach a point where you are old, confused and alone with no idea of how you ended up in that sorry state

      But I will NEVER be sorry for taking back control of my life.

      • +1

        Well said D4G… the “Sorry” list does look MUCH better after acceptance (and relief!).

        For the newcomers… hang in there… give it time… shitty, painful, unrelenting time.

      • Oh, yeh, THIS !!

        I was replaced by a guy with Narcissistic Personality Disorder who could mimic her “needs” and make her feel “special”…. so special he was embarrassed to have anyone know about her (even though both myself and his wife have filed for divorce, so there’s no need to keep it secret anymore), despite what he “told her” during the affair about how awesome she was.

        Little children believe all sorts of shit they are told and so do people having affairs. Fantasy is so much more awesome than working out the day to day or a marriage.

        Best to just leave them to their special sort of awesomeness and move on without them.

    • Mickeyblueeyes – I could have written exactly those same statements. I even wrote letters to her family apologizing for those same things. I wanted them to know I was so sorry for whatever it was that I did to drive her away. This was before I found out about the cheating. When I did, then I found CL/CN, woke up and shut that shit down. Your statements are soooo true. She’s with her cheater now and they’re getting married in June. I’ll be totally free then.

    • I was guilty of this too. Wrote her a letter apologizing for all my wrongs. I would really like to have that back! I wasn’t until a few months of NC that I realized I wasn’t 100% at fault for the failure of the marriage. I now know that the majority of fault lies with the X. I get to watch the screw ups and BS from a distance now. The new relationship is a fuckfest and very entertaining for me to watch. She’s just as screwed up as ever. I just have to forgive myself for having kids with X and subjecting them to the disordered one.

      • Did the same thing!! But then she threw it back in my face, so I managed to remove it from her desk drawer (woops…).

        • I never apologized to Match Girl. I told her from the get-go it was a one-and-done deal for me. I sis send one sappy email telling her the things I loved about her. But I never asked to her to wreckoncile.

          I have, as of late, contemplated penning a faux apology to manipulate her. But even that small! psychodrama I would only entertain engaging in if I had a clear goal in mind. Cheaters have spent their lives mjndfucking empaths. Problem for Match Girl is I know her weaknesses. It’s another example of why she just doesn’t engage me even on legal matters. She’s afraid she’ll take damage and face consequences. The longer she waits, the worse it gets for her dumb ass.

            • Nah, she’s quite the type-a bitch-on-wheels. You know, always dressed to the nines, perfect hair and makeup, best shoes and bags, and never late. I am too, but I like to rise early, and she is an up-all-night type. She just knows that the wheels of justice grind slowly. I am starting to wonder if she is hoping I’ll get a girlfriend and lose interest in fighting her. Ha. Little does she know I come to Chump Lady and get my righteous indignation stoked!

      • “She’s just as screwed up as ever. I just have to forgive myself for having kids with X and subjecting them to the disordered one.”

        Same with my wife. In fact, in her delusional, alcoholic blur she seems to be increasingly screwing up her relationship with our wonderful kids. It breaks my heart that she ignores them, lies to them, and takes them for granted. They are great kids and they don’t deserve the hand they have been dealt.

        • “It breaks my heart that she ignores them, lies to them, and takes them for granted. They are great kids and they don’t deserve the hand they have been dealt.”

          I know, isn’t it sad how they treat the kids the same way they treated us? These are innocent helpless children. Then again, these folks are mentally disordered and nothing in their behavior surprises me anymore. If they did it to us, they will do it to their own children. Why would it be any different. I hate them.

      • lostntx, I apologized all over the God damn place. Took 50% of the responsibility for the debacle.
        I wish someone had been beside me to smack me upside the head.

        Like delightful Ian, I am a one-and-done person. No idea how many there really were. The one I know about was the last chapter in my not-best seller!

    • I started with the im sorrys and then said fuck you asswipe im not sorry for things beyond my control.

      What he did get was sorry i met you sorry i believed in you sorry i ever handed over every penny i ever made sorry i took you back those kinds of sorrys i hurled at him. I got well calm down no reason to get all huffy! Aaarrrggghhh!

        • Ya – asswipe was more ‘sorry’ that I got half “his” pension & 401K. And also sorry that he screwed himself by cashing in his Roth behind my back – so he had to pay me half of that too. He got left with all the penalties and taxes on it though – so he lost money on that ‘deceptive’ maneuver. Dumbass.

    • It’s the Wheel of Fortune of cheating! Cheaters, use this handy wheel to figure out how to respond to any situation. Spouse doesn’t pay enough attention? [spin] CHEAT! Spouse pays too much attention…ugh, just leave me alone already! [spin] CHEAT! Spouse pays neither too much nor too little attention, leading to toxic shame of not being as perfect as they are? [spin] CHEAT! It works in reverse, too. Spouse wants to know why you cheated? Spin the wheel and pick a reason, any reason will do!

      My advice is to play the chump version: [spin] BUH-BYE.

  • Dear Anne,
    He cheated because he could. He cheated because he loves only himself. He cheated because for him it is boring not to – why not after all? He cheated because life is “too short”.
    He is only sorry you found out, because now it all takes more effort.
    He does not love or care for anything other than himself. If ever tempted to “let it go” think of all those times he has lied to you. Affairs take time, money and effort. All of which could have been directed at you.
    He does not love you.If he did, he would never have done it. You would have been too precious to lose.
    There is no sorry coming your way I’m afraid. Tough to get your head and heart working together, I know. Keep looking at what he did, not who you thought he was, or who you would like him to be.
    He is a cheater , a creep.

    • I got the “Life’s too short” mantra too. These folks are always thinking the grass is greener. They are the ones chasing unicorns.

      • Thats exactly what asswipe said i didnt replace you i made a lateral move. What am i, a fucking football! I thought i could have a better life the grass is greener over there. Really. What an ass. He found out the grass is worse. I told him like erma bombeck said the grass is greener over the septic tank. So go live in and with shit!

          • They confuse replacement with escape.

            The grass is greener because while they are in fantasy land with the AP they don’t have to deal with temper tantrums from toddlers or teenager, plowing snow, chopping wood, cooking dinner for the kids, engaging with the kids (which is awesome if your not the selfish type), taking care of the house and our mini – zoo of pets, the trials and tribulatuons of your spouses’ life, and so on and so on – ya know, real world stuff.

            My 40-something wife found that it is much easier (and probably more fun) to abandon real life as much as possible and create a new persona and live a double life acting like a drunken teenager.

            One day reality will catch up with them, I’m sure. The fantasy land they build will no longer sparkle and they’re off in search of new rainbows and unicorns, because…. Life is short, they are special, and they are entitled to be happy. They rely on others for that validation and their happiness.

            To them the grass is always greener somewhere else.

            Good luck with that.

            • Don’t bet on it, Forest.


              As I’ve said before, disordered people will count on you to hold their perfect life together. When they spin out of control, they will expect you to be waiting (as if nothing has changed) when they decide to come back. The correct answer is no.

              It’s like small children who can’t quite understand that time passes while they are out of a room and expect everything to be the same when they return. But grownups don’t get a pass on that or an explanation of why. It’s not their life anymore and they weren’t gone to take a nap.

              • Very well said Survivor. These assholes get ahead in life, because they have a chump holding their reality together, making them look normal, and cleaning up after their shit. They are incapable of adult life. And their mask can only be upheld for so long, until it comes crashing down and their true colors come out. Most of these cheaters lives become disasters after their loving spouse is done with them, it is then we see the level of dysfunction they operate at, and it’s not pretty.

            • The grass seems greener because they are looking at up to 20% of the grass. And when you imagine moving that little piece of sod into your own yard then you think you are happy. Until you realize you lost the house and the yard and the nice shady tree and the cute dog and the kids and someone to mow and weed and trim the rest of the yard and you end up with this rootless chunk of sod and nothing else. Then suddenly it’s not as great as you thought. If you’d just thrown a little Scott’s Turf Builder and a sprinkle of water on the patchy bits your yard would have been perfect! Instead of burning the house down, tearing out the tree and chasing the kids and dog away for a stupid patch of useless grass! GRRRRR!

    • This is almost word for word what I heard when I experienced D day May 15th, 2011. He was sorry I had found out and “sorry” that I was hurt. But he wasn’t sorry that he had cheated because 33 years of marriage was boring. He needed excitement. Over time he confessed that there had been women every year, even after 1 month of marriage. So, he got bored instantly I guess. Then he bragged, that women were so easy to come by and that the chase was the fun and conquering another person was a real turn on. Then he would drop them and move on to someone else. He said he was surprised I had never caught on. I guess we think other people are like us and so cheating isn’t something we even consider. My XH had a job where he was out in the evenings seeing clients and he worked at home during the day while I was at work. So, he had lots of opportunities and he took every one. He will never be sorry. He has had several “relationships” in the last 5 years and they have all ended (I am total NC, so I don’t know the situations, but I expect he continued to cheat and maybe they were savier and figured this out sooner). Character will always be what it is. We can only be glad we have finally escaped.

      • “Over time he confessed that there had been women every year, even after 1 month of marriage.”

        Oh my God, he is so disgusting. Why the heck did he get married, if he was porking women left right and center, and 1 month after your marriage??!! WHY???!! He’s a walking STD and disgusting as heck. Why would he bother with relationships when he’s a whore and can’t keep it in his pants. He’s nothing but a vile animal who walks around with no conscience and only wants to have sex.

  • I swear, these assholes are all the same because it seems like every post applies to my experiences in some way.

    I found a text conversation he forgot to delete when he passed out and the house of cards really started coming down. I asked him if he really thought all these secrets would never come out and he said yes. I asked if he was ever afraid that one of his whores would get mad and tell on him and he said he never really thought about. Okay, but what if THEY slipped up and left something on THEIR phones for their husbands and boyfriends to find? Don’t things like that ever cross your mind? He said no, which doesn’t surprise me. How far out they’ll think depends on the reward for it. He went to some pretty good lengths scoring ass and very little to protect his family. One track minds… But that’s what gets them caught.

    • There’s glee for them in getting caught, to some degree, too. Part of the reason they cheat instead of leaving is that the anticipation factor in forbidden fruit is extremely arousing and makes the cheating much more intense.

      Also, getting caught makes a narcissistic person feel powerful because what they view as their superiority is finally out for all to see. While you are hurting because you were duped for so long, the narcissist is feeling smart and, therefore, superior for duping such a smart person effectively for so long. Seeing you hurt is the sign that the narcissist has won the prize. Sick, huh?

      • Amiisfree

        You hit the nail on the head. It took years for me to see the satisfaction he felt once I found out.

        I also believe at some point he wanted to get caught. Not to get divorced but for the power and control he achieved when I forgave him.

        On the final DDay he was happy to tell me he no longer had to masterbate to porn.

        Anne, it took deliberation to have an affair. It’s a deal breaker. You never signed up to be the marriage police, to be exposed to STD’s, to be disrespected. Hit the eject button as he failed on so many leaves. Cheaters do not change.

        • ^^^THIS^^^ Mr. Sparkles would just add his used up “hand towels” to the laundry pile – used up from watching porn or IM’ing with freaks on AFF. Almost as if he was rubbing my face in it as I did the laundry.

          The sad thing is, I felt pity for him. He was like Gollum… jerking off in a basement to porn with/by strangers instead of engaging in the family that just one flight upstairs wanting him to be a better man and live a life that was fathoms deep in love. His loss.


          • What came first? Not his wife, not his children, not his granddaughter, or his comfortable life.

            Sex with strange
            Masterbatimg to porn
            Smoking weed
            Getting cheap hotels
            Paying his drums.

            Those were his priorities.

          • Yes! To all of the above. I will never forget his reaction on D-day. As I stood there shaking, barely able to breathe when I opened his tablet and all of those private messages to and from his hookers popped up and smacked me in the face… his reaction was to loudly snarl “YES I DID”! He may as well have added some fist pumps and pounding his chest for emphasis. To say I was taken aback by that reaction is an understatement.

            But then the next day when he just looked at me with a smirk and said, “You had no idea”. There was pride behind that, and as Amiisfree said, there was “glee” in those words. If I hadn’t have found this site and read the books that were recommended I doubt I would have ever come to realize that he truly is mentally disordered.

            He got pleasure from the deceit and the secrets, and at the same time it gave him pleasure by leaving evidence right in front of my face. Little things that I never gave a second thought to until afterwards… like all the tins of Altoids that were always in the car and practically every room, yet he hadn’t given me so much as a peck on the lips in years.

            And I’m sure cheaters get great joy in chatting/sexting/ making dates , etc, while the spouse is right in the next room, or perhaps only a few feet away. They are not human.

          • Am doing just like Gollum, his “precious” was pure evil, made him hideously ugly, and tortured everyone who touched it.

      • Believe me, I already know and I told him I knew. The funny part, though, is watching him panic when I threatened to expose him to the world. I’ve gone into depth about that in other posts here on CL. He said that it made him feel like “the man”. I asked him why I shouldn’t let the whole world know he’s a phony and let everyone know how he’s the man and see if everyone else is as impressed with him as he is with himself and suggested we make a poll and let everyone vote on his man score. The problem is that it would be put up for vote to people who aren’t whores. Poor baby begged and pleaded. He vomited at least twice, once over the railing of our back deck and in a parking lot he had to pull into while driving because his public perception is important for his job/career and he couldn’t stand the thought of everyone knowing that he’s not what he claims to be. I reduced him down to a pebble in my shoe and I dragged it out for months and still do it now. Like I said, I’ve gone into depths in past posts.

        By the way, co-cheaters feel the same way. They think that having a married man pork them proves their desirability. Otherwise, why would he stray to be with her? That’s okay, though, because I’ve destroyed his whores, too. I’ve been doing it slowly over time and I’m not done yet. Going tit-for-tat, I have MANY years worth of revenge left and I’m not stopping until I’m satisfied. I know the law and I stay within it by only telling the truth and I have plenty of proof to back it up. If any of them try to challenge me, I’ll bust out the evidence and trust me, they’d be better off conceding because the visual evidence I’d be forced to show in court if they pull the libel/slander thing would be tons more embarrassing. Whores love sending tit pics and scorned women like me love presenting them to said whores friends, parents, grandparents, siblings, coworkers, etc. How many problems do you think I’d have making it PUBLIC evidence?

        They played wrecking ball with my life and my health as well as my children. Now I’m returning the favor.

        • “….. let everyone know how he’s the man and see if everyone else is as impressed with him as he is with himself and suggested we make a poll and let everyone vote on his man score…”

          This made my morning. Such a witty comeback to him feeling like he was the man!

        • Good for you, LastInLine! Here’s my version of revenge- when I left, he had ‘nowhere to go’, and landed in her basement for the last three years ? She just evicted him, Oh where’s the love? He was cramping her style, I suppose. She’s a Pill-Junkie Party Girl, very cool when you’re 50.
          OMG, I’m so glad I’m not part of that, and living well (you know what they say!)

        • Mine was more worried about anyone finding out than being sorry as well. He has no clue that pretty much everyone knows. But down the “Fireball”, look around and see that you look more pathetic than you do studly. These guys truly think that all women want them. Please….

        • Actually, be careful! Revenge porn laws and sharing of images without consent are things you really should be mindful of. Don’t lose your divorce settlement paying legal fees to ward off civil action, or at the worst, defending yourself in court if charged by the state/county for breaking the law!

          It’s not worth destroying others if you destroy yourself in the process – perhaps think about getting revenge in a way that benefits you? Proving his infidelity in court, rather than destroying his career (especially if you need him to pay child support! And you want the maximum settlement, him losing his job would cut into that), providing those titty pics to the betrayed partners of the cheating women – let them face the consequences of their actions, wipe your hands, and move on knowing you got the best deal financially & managed to expose them and cause a personal reckoning that’ll hurt them way more than it could ever hurt you.

          Slander is intentionally destroying someone’s reputation, isn’t it? Whereas libel is telling lies? Please, just be careful, maybe talk over your options for revenge with a lawyer first 🙂

          • Slander is verbal; libel is written. And it’s neither if it’s the truth. It has to be lies to be slander or libel and nothing I say about them is a lie and I have all the proof I need.

            I know what I’m doing as far as the settlement goes. The last thing he wants is for me to go even more public with it, which is what will happen if he even tries to fight anything. I’m better at this game than he’ll ever be.

          • Slander and libel at both forms of defamation. Slander is spoken, and libel is written (in simple terms).

            And yes, spiting the nose right off of your own face ain’t none too bright.

            Retaliate with surgical precision chumps, and consult your lawyer first!

        • Lastinline, I like your style! Just make sure to get a decent settlement first as it could compromise the settlement. I so believe that cheaters and their cheater partners deserve to be exposed. The best disinfectant is sunlight!

        • Oh how I wish I had all the evidence, the sexts, the pics too. I would do exactly what you are doing. Applause to you!!

      • Amiisfree – this is so true > While you are hurting because you were duped for so long, the narcissist is feeling smart and, therefore, superior for duping such a smart person effectively for so long. Seeing you hurt is the sign that the narcissist has won the prize.

        Chumps are smart, capable and have loving hearts, something cheaters know nothing about. I believe cheater thought that fooling me for so long made him smarter and better than me. At times, when he revealed more affairs or information, he was indignant about it. He would say things like “she wanted me” which was hurtful to me but made him feel good. Needless to say, I let the sleazy sluts that wanted him so much have him.

      • “While you are hurting because you were duped for so long, the narcissist is feeling smart and, therefore, superior for duping such a smart person effectively for so long. ”

        It took me a long, long time to get past the shame at how easily he fooled me over and over. Realizing how much contempt he must have felt for me, how he must have been laughing in his head at the stupid excuses I bought every time, how good he felt that he was fooling a “smart” person like me…… that was one of the worst parts of the whole nightmare.

        • Ditto, Glad. Humiliating. MoFaux said he was always intimidated by professionals. I had a profession. So, he HAD to act out his self contempt by lying to me repeatedly and gleefully watching me fall for his deceptions. Then he could feel clever. Pathetic strategy. He is still intimidated by professionals and also liar. Not moving up the integrity scale.

        • “how he must have been laughing in his head at the stupid excuses I bought every time, how good he felt that he was fooling a “smart” person like me……”

          THIS^^^^ These cheaters think they are sooo much smarter than we are, and how we’re weak and dumb, that we worship the ground they walk on. They get more and more cocky as time goes by, because we don’t enforce consequences. The more we let them get away with shitty behavior, the cockier they get. My ex was like that, making more and more ridiculous demands on me, because he thought it was a done deal with me, that I WANTED HIM and would never dump him. So he though that gave him “carte blanche” to act like an asshole and I’d take it. But he was in for a surprise, when I lowered the boom and dumped him on his ass without warning. He called me with a quivering voice saying: “but but but, I don’t know what happened”. Dumping your ass is what happened. He was so sure he was going to carry out his cheating plans to full execution and I’d happily stand by him and get screwed over.

  • Anne, I also asked my cheater why he cheated. His reply was the same as your cheater’s reply. ” I didn’t think I would get caught”.
    They all say the same thing. It’s right out of the cheater’s handbook.
    Mine also said a lot of other things, too. None of it original and certainly no truth to be found in it.

  • My x also uttered these exact words which leads me to believe they all read from the devil’s bible. No creativity, the same lies and behavior so glad to no longer be attached escaping with my sanity. My x was involved with a looney tune which could have ended very bad for me. Oh and later I found he had others equally unhinged. Cheating is serious business, cervical cancer/financial ruin/stalking/child abuse get out while you can. It ford not get better.

  • “I never thought I’d get caught.”

    Anne, ask yourself what would have happened if you didn’t catch him.

    He would have been happy leading a double life, perhaps for years. Or engage in multiple affairs.

    You can’t believe anything he says. You will get tricke truth. We love, they lie.
    It never stops. It’s a cycle. Divorce him and don’t look back.

  • Mine said he was sorry, I think. I can’t remember now. It must not have been very genuine since his apology didn’t leave much of an impression.

    I do remember that after he got caught he said he felt relieved, like a weight was lifted off his shoulders. And if the OW never outed him then there would have been things that I never would have found out. Those statements stuck with me more than his “I’m sorry.”

  • Now that I am two years detoxed from Mr. Sparkles, I can see how “catching and confronting” was the worst strategy of all. From the moment I challenged him about the mystery phone numbers that tracked back to Craiglist Personal ads for DDD women who required 200 roses of donation to the personal ads he was running on some might freaky sites, it became his personal mission to devalue and discard me in the most horrible ways possible – in front of my stepchildren and my son. His SORRY was probably meant something more like “Sorry, I’m now going to have make your life a living hell until you doubt your ability to breathe every day and then I’m going to leave you for the first OW that is better and will believe my lies. Not sorry.” While I pray I will never have to go through this again in my life, you can rest-assured it will be “catch and release” if I do… sorry is as sorry does.

    Rock on Chump Nation.

  • I got the “I didn’t think I’d get caught” line too. I guess it gets easier for them to do the more they do it without us knowing — to the point they think they’re just that good.

    I have a vague recollection of cheater looking like he was about to cry and seeing shame all over his face. I believe this may have been the first time he had sex with someone else. Unfortunately, I can’t remember when this happened. I’m not dwelling on it these days but if I could remember, it may tell me when his cheating first started. I can pinpoint red flags that I ignored all the way back to before we were married and he’s admitted to at least 10 years of cheating. I know it doesn’t matter when it started but it would let me to know how much of my married life was a lie. At this point, I’m guessing all of it.

    And I got the meaningless “I’m sorry” too. It was never followed up with what he was sorry for or any action to support it. It was usually followed with a “but….” and some blame shifting excuse to make me responsible. Perhaps their lack of empathy = nothing to be sorry for??

  • In my case it was never ” because I never thought I would get caught”….although I’m sure that was one on his list.
    I heard:
    1. Because I didnt make him feel desired.
    2. I acted like sex was a chore.
    3. Because his relationship with me was “lacking”.
    4. Because we both knew that we should of divorced years earlier ( after d day #1) and because HE had checked out of the marriage and assumed that I had as well even though nothing about my behavior indicated that, he was entitled to seek happiness elsewhere ( actually 4 different “elsewheres”, but okay).
    5. Because I was so insecure and couldn’t let his infidelity go after the first d day. If I am going to always accuse him of cheating he might as well cheat.

    Blame shift much?? Cause I’m pretty sure none of these is remorse. Kinda glad I was blessed with an unrepentant cheater. I’m so afraid I would of caved or just put up with his crap forever if he hasn’t made such a shitty exit.

    • This was what I heard, too. I thought you didn’t love me anymore he said, but I’ve realized that was projection. He just wanted to go looking for cheap thrills and, eventually, my replacement. I totally loved him and valued our family, and he knew that. There was lots of evidence.

  • During false reconciliation ex hubs and I talked. My ex copped to “dating” married women he met online. He stated that he “only had sex twice” with one of the women that he dated for 4 years and lived with the current married ow when her husband was out of town. He stated he “thought I would never find out” because I trusted him. Ex hubs had been cheating for years when I found all of his private messages and nasty pics of his girlfriends. Yuck. There never was sorry or any remorse from him just a lot of blameshifting on how the cheating was my fault. These days he plays the sad sausage really well.

  • Nothing he says will show you he is sorry. It is his actions that matter. My cheater could have won an Oscar with his convincing display of remorse after D-Day. He said all the right things. But if I watched his actions, I could see the truth.
    He SAID he loved me and desired me, but he never initiated any romantic or sexual contact (he was hooking up with men on Craigslist)
    He kept losing jobs. He always had a great, convincing story about downsizing or a boss being “threatened” by his professional potential (He was using work resources to troll for hookups and taking long “lunches”)
    I could go on and on, but you get the idea. What he SAYS doesn’t matter, it’s what he DID that counts.
    Please don’t waste any more precious time on a liar. Get out quickly and start over with someone who deserves your trust. You will be SO MUCH HAPPIER. Ask me how I know. 🙂

    • “He said all the right things. But if I watched his actions, I could see the truth.”

      Exactly, the cheater’s actions scream the truth. That’s all we need to see. We mute the volume and amplify the actions, it tells us all we need to know.

    • Everything he said was a lie. That’s a game-changer. You cannot listen to anything they say. His actions demonstrated he had no real love for me and was not a decent person.

  • Chump Lady, instead of requesting a generous post-nup to gage a cheater’s remorse, I think it would be much more effective to demand generous terms in an upcoming divorce.

    If you get a cheater who doesn’t put up a fight, who puts in the work to fix their shit, and is willing to give you whatever you want (the house, the money, custody and the assets) even though they have no hope of ever winning you back, then may be you can say you’ve found a genuinely remorseful unicorn.

  • Dear Anne:

    Sorry to welcome you to the club no one wants to join.

    You’ve already had some great answers, but before I weigh in, let me first give you some very important advice.

    1. Lawyer up!–I truly understand that you are reeling from the discovery that you’re married to a cold-blooded cheater. This is when you need to find a very good family practice lawyer. If you have children, you owe it to both you and them to do this ASAP. Find out recommendations from your friends. Interview a few. The initial consulting fee is generally much lower than their standard rates. In these interviews, find out about the process in your state, if your state is no fault, and what factors into custody/child support (if applicable). Even if you decide to try smoking the hopium pipe, at least you’ll be informed about the divorce process in your state.

    2. Secure your financials.–Cheaters don’t just fuck other people, they fuck their family’s finances. Both of you contribute to the family finances. When he takes the Other Woman out to dinner, buys her gifts, treats her to weekends with breakfast in bed–he’s taking money out of the family. That’s money that could have been used for your kids, paying off the mortgage early, college tuition, or–gasp!–a nice dinner, gifts, and weekend getaways with you, his wife!

    If you have access to the online accounts, start downloading the statements right away. Talk with your attorney about what you can do legally to secure your financial best interest. It’s not that unusual for Cheaters to empty out the joint accounts, run up credit debt, etc. If you don’t have credit in your own name, then now is the time to establish credit. Open up a charge card, charge something on it, then once the statement comes, pay it off. This simple sequence proves you have good credit.

    Now for the answers to your questions. You ask two:
    1. What would have been a better response?
    2. Can you speak a little about what he could have done to show he’s sorry?

    Unfortunately, once you’ve been told that he cheated because he didn’t think you’d catch him, you know what you’re working with. In that sense, I don’t think you could get a better response short of him saying that he gets off on pulling the wool over your eyes. It’s double kibble time!!! He gets to fuck other women AND fool you. Yay him! He’s so smart!

    So his response tells you that he’s not sorry at all. Weirdly enough, this is honest. Now you have to figure out if being married to a cheater is a deal breaker.

    Right now, you are wondering if you can salvage your marriage (“what could have have done to show he’s sorry?”). This is true Chump talk. We Chumps think we can somehow save our marriages single-handedly. Nope, we can’t. We’re mighty, but not so mighty that we have the power to make our cheaters grow a conscience that propels them to better people.

    The only choices are to go (“leave a cheater, gain a life”) or to stay, knowing that the next time, he’ll just be better at hiding his tracks. He thought you were too stupid to notice the first time. Now he knows better, and since he’s convinced he’s smarter than you, he’ll just take a few more precautions.

    This is a tough place to be, but all of us here know what it’s like.

    If we can do it, you can too. Best of luck.

    • This is all excellent advise.

      Anne, kb’s advise is spot on.

      If you stay, he will cheat again. What will you do then?
      If you stay, you will need to play marriage police to police his communication devices and accounts. Eventually, if you are good enough, you will find evidence of a new account, a new hidden phone, or you’ll need to occasionally have someone follow him from the office to see where he really goes.

      It might be in one week, it might be in 1 year, it might be in 4 years.

      What will you do then?

      And I’m not even an absolute believer in the “once a cheater always a cheater” rule, but your cheater will cheat again.

  • This column rams home something that had been lurking in the deep hard drive of my brain. Because cheating is so destructive, we will grab at any thread in the wild hope that *this person cannot be as bad as he/she seems*.

    But the stone truth is- they are. As they got naked with another person, while we were home, hoping they would call or come home….we were no more a thought on their brain than my dogs care about politics. Or, if we did flicker across their Id like reptile consciousness, it was with a wicked glee…a spite….or a simple Fuck her. Fuck him…I want to get my freak on.

    We must think of someone that we absolutely hate. Someone we would torture with a smile. For me, it is Michael Vick. (You make millions of dollars and your “hobby”, what you consider a good time, is torture and kill dogs and cats?)

    And then, no matter how many faux tender moments you remember, or that time he drove your mother in the ice storm, or when you and him had a blast at Disney, or that she gave great head, smells great, does not have cellulite- FORGET IT!

    You have to hate their fucking guts without an ounce of pity. Like the person you hate without shame. Not ruin your life, become the bitter, homeless person that smells like body odor who missed their life because of a disappointment and never bounced back-

    But true, dead NO MERCY contempt… Ripley facing down the Mother Alien as she holds Newt….because there are no shades of gray, no sliding scale of wrong…they are dirty cheat assholes who blew it all up….to fuck someone new.

    They are that nasty. You don’t have to prod someone into woe if they are sad they hurt you. You don’t have to beg (or be extorted!) for truth when someone truly wants you to feel better as you search for answers.

    I, too, I am guilty of my mind scrambling back to those moment with *HIM…..usually when the panic rat of loneliness starts nibbling at my heart. Those memories do not matter. There is no hope for these People of the Lie.

    Most chumps, like me, are not inclined to be nasty and unforgiving. We need to learn…and well right fast.

        • Yes! That is EXACTLY what I mean.

          Do you know that Ted Bundy was so sociopathic, that the sentencing judge said something insane to him like: I wish you could have practiced law in front me, and I wish you good luck.

          I am not kidding. I think the Judge should have disbarred, but even he was taken in by his sociopathic shtick.

          The women’s families he butchered….they had to see this Judge sort of apologizing…you know….for sentencing him to death and all. Poor Ted had the sadz.

      • That’s it!!! I am infuriated, Ian. It must be one of my stages of grief. I love that clip.

        I only email with one person who has contact with him. (His aunt and uncle).

        His aunt told me (she knows not to say anything that would upset me) that the X said….”God, I want to drive to see her….but I believe she will kill me or get in some real good stabs.”

        *HE KNOWS. I was not kidding when I told him if he did not get away from me, one of us was going to leave my house in a body bag. I am serious. I guess I have an anger management problem when someone blows up my life.

        Who knew?

        • I am with you. I wish I could go medieval on the traitor and the whore, and afterwards put them in stocks in front of the town hall. Then maybe I would feel some relief.
          One consolation is that a lot of people are incensed at what they have done. Yesterday was the sixth person who said they would kill him. Men and women have said it.

  • When I confronted mine and he understood that I finally knew he had been fucking a man for 30 years, he looked horrified and defeated. He was very, very sorry for himself that the truth was now known and that I had already told my friends and family. About 6 hours after I let him know I finally knew, I sent him an email at work letting him know (on a Monday afternoon) that he needed to be completely moved out by Sunday afternoon. He slunk around taking care of business and getting that done … I kicked him out early on Saturday morning as I was just too angry to stomach another day and a half. He never apologized for any of it. Thirty years of lies and sneaking around and so many opportunities to come clean when I caught him in parts of it. No apology. It is probably for the best as he really is not sorry (other than for himself) and anything he would say would just be further mindfuck.

    There have been times over the years when he has strongly implied that I would be perfectly happy with him and our marriage if I wasn’t so nosy and observant. As if all the effort he put into lying and sneaking around was for MY benefit … helping me be happy by keeping me in the dark. And he too thought he would never get caught. What sickens me is that he almost did not. So as awful as it is, be thankful you finally know the truth and act on it. Set yourself free. You are the only one who can.

    • So true. Satan’s Spawn, cried and cried on Dday after I told him to GTFO NOW! He said I will do it this week, I again said “NOW!” As he was packing I walked into my office and saw him sobbing……poor baby, boohoo. I looked at him with disgust, closed the door and went to get my hair done!

      • Getting my hair done was after I had a locksmith come over and change the locks. He left when the locksmith was here, texted me to tell him when the locksmith left. Came back with the f***** attitude. I asked “what’s your problem?” He said, “Changed the locks?….you don’t trust me?” My head spun and I said, “did you just hear what you said? I trusted you with my heart and look what you did with that!” THEN I left and got my hair done! Idiot!

      • When I told cheater (on Saturday morning) that I had decided he could leave Saturday morning rather than Sunday afternoon, he said okay but would it be okay if he used the outside hose to wash his car first?! You can see how torn up inside he was at the prospect of leaving … not. Is cleaning your car one last time something that would be a top priority or even cross your mind? You are being asked to leave your wife of 30 years and your 14 year old son and your home and your pets and pretty soon more than half of your money. But wouldn’t want to drive away in a dirty car and will soon have to pay $10 to go to a car wash … OH THE HORROR!!!!

        That was the one time I completely lost my shit and yelled at him to his face “Get the FUCK OUT!!!” Not sure where he got that car washed, but within a couple weeks it was again parked in my garage as I decided to keep it. Heh heh.

        • Yes…I know this. It is a pathological self involvement. We wanted down on the ground, rolling, begging and crying for forgiveness…show something! But, it is ALL ABOUT THEM.

          This is the North Star that always leads me back to the truth. Even being so fantastic in bed was about my X, because it bonded me to him, and kept me hooked. It was not about being good to me.

          Dixie….I always wondered if your X did drugs. A lot of his behaviors sound like someone who is an addict or alcoholic. And not all, but many gay men are heavily involved in meth. They call it Tina. 15 years ago, only bikers and gay men in the U.SA. were involved with meth. Then someone realized you could stay high for 12-16 hours for a fraction of the cost of cocaine, and the lion was let out of the cage.

          • You are very perceptive. He has been a functional alcoholic for 40 years and addicted to marijuana for about 10 years … must use it every day. I do not think he has ever used meth. His addictions were a big part of why he so successfully cheated for so long. He tried to keep them hidden but I knew, so when I caught him lying so often, I falsely assumed the lies were related to those issues and he never corrected me, of course.

            • Takes a smarty to know a smarty! I love your posts. I track them.?

              I know this is cold comfort, but these idiots are out of their minds 90% of their waking hours. It absolves NOTHING….but it leads to such catastrophic life decisions. The strains of cannabis out there now are nothing like the hippie lettuce people smoked in the 60-70s.

              If someone is willing to pay more….certain strains of cannabis are more like an opiate. If he was mixing that with alcohol…have you ever had surgery? And remember coming out of it? That is how high you would feel, if you were drunk and smoking heavy weed- partying all night.

              I bet he has tried meth. Did he ever stay up all for long periods of time, become fixated on trivial or small things, have EXCEEDINGLY dry mouth, constipation or did his pupils dance back and forth rapidly? Talking rapidly with the words falling out his mouth, pressured speech?

              Meth is THE SEX DRUG. Men take it because it makes them sex manics to the 1000 power (it affects women the same). Men who are straight will sleep with men…any hole will do….when high on meth. It is a demonic drug.

              The X would have mainlined Drano if it got him high. I have seen it all. IN MY HOUSE. I would kick him out and he would go straight to the skanks that would do the drugs with him.

              You see, Dixie…we were doubled doomed.

              Addict+Narc/Cluster B/Sociopath= Tornado to all in their PATH. Life destroyers.

              There is no hope for them. True pods. An addict is the same as an alcoholic. He is in for a tragic future. Ever see any neat, dapper, well rested, nourished, wealthy, mentally functioning elderly alcoholic or addict?

              Me neither.
              They live with the Unicorns.

              • Are we all in agreement that smoking weed daily is awful?
                Can’t imagine how much more weight or nights of sleep I’d lose if I weren’t smoking it. It also helps with anxiety.
                I’m not offended, or trying to offend either of you, just curious for more opinions. I don’t think it reduces/impairs functioning as much as the general public is led to believe.

  • I had concrete proof of the cheating and still got the slitty-eyed lizard stare along with flat-out denials. It made me so creeped out to see pathological lying right in front of me that I just turned away and gave up any notion of proving him wrong. Leaving, going no contact was the best thong I ever did.

    Cop friends tell me that most people who perform criminal acts do so in the firm belief they will never get caught.

    Complete lack of true conscience. No impulse control. Sense of entitlement. = sociopath or worse. No cure.

  • So….mine never apologized for his cheating when I caught him from the nasty text messages he was receiving from the OW. It was always my fault that he was cheating in the first place. And…he said the same thing….thought he was never get caught and kept cheating because it became a fun “game” to him. That hurt like hell. As most of us have done, I tried doing reconciliation with him through many methods, but after about 3 months discovered he was still communicating with the OW and then one day just moved out while I was at work and moved in with her. They have since married because as he told me, “she is the love of his life”–yeah right!!
    My advice….don’t waste another minute on him….get out and start a new life now. Words can’t describe how much better my life is without him–yes, I went through a lot of pain for about a year and then realized I was wasting my time on someone who after 14 years didn’t give a damn about me or my son. He was only interested in himself and what he could get away with.
    As Tracy says….”Leave a cheater….get a life!” SO TRUE!!!

  • He never thought he would get caught because he was consciously and intentionally abusing your trust. Do you get that? They thought they would succeed in LYING and BETRAYING because these were intentional choices they knew they were purposefully putting their time and energy into and they very much did not want consequences so they were careful to keep secrets and hide their actions from their spouses.

  • None of them ever think they will get caught. It’s mainly a product of them thinking they’re somehow smarter than everyone else – especially us. They’re never as clever as they think they are, and eventually everyone finds out.

    You can sort of use this concept as the main reason to disregard just about any conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard of……..the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, 9/11. To expect for a group of people to pull off such elaborate schemes like these, and yet never have a single person come forward or never have a single person screw up and get caught is just too much to ask of human beings. It’s just not human nature.

    Heck, if 2 “in love” AP’s can’t disguise something as silly as an affair from their spouses, how can dozens of people pull the wool over the eyes of the entire planet and pull off something like faking a moon landing? Or blowing up two skyscrapers in broad daylight? Just not possible.

    • Blindside, you are going to be on my mind all day today. I’ll explain . . . MoFaux was absolutely obsessed with conspiracy theories. Incessantly. Obnoxiously. Read, watched, subscribed to anything that discussed them. Spoke of these ALL of the time.

      I would have to say (near the end of out time together), “Please, can we talk about anything else?” because he gave speeches (to me, family and friends) and if I tried to chime in, he would get furiously offended and say, “You always interrupt me.” No kidding. He never shut up about conspiracy.

      Today you have me wondering if this is because he believed that HE was clever enough to dupe everyone all of the time (incorrect assumption), therefore it is completely conceivable that deception is easy and everywhere. He was essentially researching deception. Honing his skills.

      OMG, Blindside. Just OMG. Thank you. (I think)

      • All people make mistakes, screw up, do something the wrong way, talk to the wrong person, etc. That’s why eventually the truth always ends up coming out when people try to hide stuff or do something deceptive. They may get away with it for a short while, but it always comes out in the end.

        Cheaters seem to always have a higher opinion of themselves, whether it be looks, evolved outlooks on life, etc. — but especially when it comes to intelligence. Like my wife. She used to talk about others at her work that were having affairs behind their spouses’ backs all the time like they were idiots for thinking that nobody else knew. Then – she tried it apparently thinking she’d do it much better and nobody would ever know. And guess how that turned out. She didn’t make it any longer than the others before her A was the talk of her office. And eventually that got out and back to me.

        They are sometimes clever, but never as clever as they think they are.

        • Hubris and entitlement. The risk is part of the reward and breaking rules is a thrill. They think they’re invincible and nothing can happen to them. Until, of course, it does.

      • MoFaux probably believed, in addition to his stellar lying prowess, that he was the smartest man in the room, at all times. Therefore, only he had the supernatural powers of deduction to know about all the “truth.” You peasants did not “get it.”

      • How interesting! The traitor is obsessed with conspiracies too. And he gave all these speeches about global warming, the GFC, etc. According to him the neighbours were always up to some mischief on the farm too. He blamed whatever went wrong on them. Nothing goes wrong when he is not here, but he still works here sometimes (I pay him), and usually something happens then. It’s all so clear now. The conspiracies were designed to make me trust him only and isolate me from other people. Everyone has been great since he’s gone.

    • “They’re never as clever as they think they are, and eventually everyone finds out” ***THIS***
      I told my cheater, (speaking about a friend of his, who I now realize he may have also been referring to himself) The fun won’t last forever for him… She will eventually find out! Why? That silly intuition that us chumps have. Something will be off and just not seem right and cause us to question. It could be the most minute detail and that’s enough to cause the earthquake followed by the avalanche of truth…

      Sad to say this, but I’ve been cheated on by every single guy I’ve dated, except one I dated for 6 months and had to dump him for being an addict… So… my point was, I always find out.. could be days, weeks, months, years, but I WILL FIND OUT. These assholes don’t care, however, because they cheat any damn way! It becomes a challenge for the disordered to see how long it will take Peaky to discover that they pulled the wool over all while staring me right in the face saying how much they loved me.

      Just like everyone else on here, I found out things that happened 2 years before, etc. After this last one, I really have had to learn to take a look at why I feel the need to fix people. Thank God for him because I no longer feel responsible for other people’s choices. That is the one thing our featured guest needs to really take in. YOU are not responsible for other people’s shitty choices!

      Even though it may pain you to let them go because you want the relationship to work for your own reasons, the fact of the matter is, if they did it once, they did it 100xs!!!!!!!!!! Don’t believe anything different. He got away with it just as long as he possibly could and didn’t give one shit about your feelings! There is no such thing as sorry for these asshats. Trust me, you will never get an apology… You will get stuff like, “I did a lot of dumb shit” “All my friends do it” “I didn’t think you would leave me” “I made my bed and now I have to lie in it” (with that stupid sad sausage face) and many other cheaterisms.

      Try to take care of yourself and your self esteem. Tell yourself how special and precious of a human being you are. You are smart and deserve the best. Anything less is you wasting the gift you’ve been given. Surround yourself with friends/family you trust and don’t ever be afraid or ashamed to tell people what an asshole he was. It’s not you that needs to be ashamed or embarrassed for what happened. Once you do that, it truly is freeing. When you feel like sliding back and taking him back, call these folks you rely on or come to Chump Nation! We’re here for you! **HUGS**

      • Peaky,
        I am sorry you have known such bad men. I have only dated 2 cheaters. I have been dating since I was 15 and I am 40 (I am exhausted!). Many nationalities, many personality types. The X is the absolute worst. A sociopath.

        I think one mantra I repeat that helps me, and you wrote it is: I deserve the best.

        Reading about people apologizing….I literally have NOTHING to apologize for the X, and I have thought about this hard.

        Not letting him snort cocaine in my kitchen? Finding drug paraphernalia in my guest bath and making him leave?

        Those are my “sins” to him! He said this to me. You see….hopeless. I treated this clown like a KING. I never did anything bad to him…not once.

        Therefore, I want someone to treat me with red carpet treatment I give out to someone I love.

        I will be alone if this not reciprocated. You should be, too. You do not deserve this garbage treatment.

        • Thanks Sylvia! As a young girl, I picked the good-looking guys, but as I got older, I tried to be more cautious, but what the better ones, or so I thought, just go way underground and act all innocent. As far as my XH, had he not cheated, we would have still been together. He treated me like a queen. Oh well, sometimes they say you can’t have it all….

          • Same here, last ex was my second cheater.
            The first was psychotic and basically made my life a living hell for the entirety of our 4 year long relationship. A lot of abuse, mainly sexual. Forced me into acts. Filmed a lot of it, despite my begging him not to. I was also a minor- you’d think this, coupled with him being well into adulthood at the time should have been an incentive to stop.
            You might be wondering why I never left him, but I did. Several times. A lot of the time he threatened me or stalked until I reconciled. It ended with him terrorizing and raping me for HOURS. He even told me he planned to kill me, took three days off of work to do so and had everything planned out aside from the disposal of my body. Real gem, that guy.

            Anyway, I can’t shake the feeling that my most recent ex’s only regret is that somebody came along first and hurt me more deeply than he ever could. He truly seemed to get off on all of the pain he inflicted. Maybe I’m just being negative and rewriting history, or still assuming the worst of everyone (I’m finally making progress in this area- yay!)

            Do most of us here have a history of dating mostly cheaters?

            • My answer for me is yes. Thats why i will remain songle til i die. Not going through that again. My second ex was the love of my life apparently i wasnt his. His loss.

              • I bet you’ve essentially become a skilled human bullshit detector and could easily decipher genuine interest/compatibility from the self serving motives of the disordered. In my experience, after the depression and anger dissipates we are an improved version of our former selves. We’re more self- sufficient, productive, appreciative, etc. We are also more intuitive. Surely, we’ve gone through these experiences and developed these skills for a reason.
                I hope you utilize them to build a better, happier life for you. No shame in being single. I’m only trying to point out that I bet you wouldn’t be easily duped this time around 🙂

    • “They’re never as clever as they think they are, and eventually everyone finds out.”
      YES. Back during the nightmare months I had to stay in house with the cheater, I managed to get his cell phone a couple of times and found so many texts back and forth between him and the OW, gushing over how “surprised” everyone would be when the affair went open and speculating about who knew already. Stupid fuckers, EVERYONE already knew about it.

  • I just got a text this morning from STBXH that read “If anything happens to me just know I’m sorry for what I put you through”.
    Anne, your husband can tell you sorry in a thousand ways. If his actions are not in line with his words you will never be comforted by anything he says. My STBXH gave me enough kibble to keep me engaged to stick around but nothing to make you feel comforted or safe. I know now that he actually incapable of being sorry because he is too selfish to think of anyone else’s feeling. Unfortunately, people cannot give us what they don’t have. So, we can’t look for sorrow, compassion, empathy and love from people who do not have those traits within them. I wish you the best in your situation. ((Hugs))

      • No…Dixiechump…I have been no contact for months except when absolutely necessary. No contact has truly been my saving grace.

        • I know and I applaud you for that … I was really just joking, as that is what I would have been thinking!!!

          • Lol..Dixiechump
            When I first read this I did not even see the “fingers crossed” part. I read it as “Did you text him back”. That’s what happens when you should be working but reading CL instead.
            I only wish I was brilliant enough to though to even text that back. I’m really slow when it comes to brilliant comebacks.

  • These dysfunctional folks are actors — every day of their lives. There is nothing real about them, except the driving selfishness which runs their lives. They don’t do delayed gratification, they don’t do remorse, they don’t do sorry. They may ACT like they do — if you still have something they want. They may pretend to be “a changed” person who has “learned from those awful mistakes” — but all they really are is the same cheater who has thought up a new tactic to try out on you. They often miss “things” they had — a comfortable home, additional income, home-cooked meals, laundry done, etc. . You are the way they get to those things. They don’t miss you — you are an interchangeable part.

    As for the evidence trail they leave behind — I cannot fathom why it is so important for them to have pictures/movies/written texts/letters — which prove their guilt and lack of moral character. I can only guess it is something akin to the trophies serial killers keep as a memento of the torture/killing of their victim. They see it as proof of their control and dominance over others — a testament to their super sex powers. I will never forget how devastated a woman I worked with was when her children saw her porno type pictures she had made for her SO. She said “Who would send these to my children?” I said “Why did you make them in the first place?” Different perspective.

    They never see the illicit use of joint marital assets as criminal. They are entitled to everything they have and everything you have. You are entitled to serve their needs without question. Quickly, too.

    Don’t try to understand them if you are an empathic person with character and morals. You do not live in their world, and they will never actually live in yours. They see all chumps as marks — they are the cons who will relieve us of any assets they can. They cannot take up true residence in our world — they cannot turn themselves into “chumps”. They are Forever Transient. When they start getting old and sick and can no longer sparkle — they become spiteful and mean and spend their time throwing big pity parties for themselves. They never needed to plan for tomorrow, they lived in the moment — and they were going to take everything from the chumps of the world, and there was a never ending line of chumps waiting to serve them — don’t you know?

    We can dream of a better world, and perhaps we can achieve things which will actually improve our lives and those of our children. But we cannot dream a dream so powerful that it will change and improve another person. The sooner we wake up from that type of dream, the better.

    • This really is a beautiful, accurate essay of most if not all cheaters.

      This is the article I’d like to see someone like Esther Perel write, and then offer us her solutions for healing or reconciliation.

    • OMG….so spot on!!! Satan’s Spawn said to me after I tossed his cheating ass out of the house….”I miss some things.” Not I miss YOU, but things! He misses my money, cooking, housekeeping, shopping, sex, taking care of his narc mother and being a wonderful mother and grandmother. He even said, “you are a wonderful woman.” F*** him and his narc mother, too!

      • Wow, I miss some “things”. I can’t believe he said that. Not I miss you. This is very telling. He misses how you served him, how you met his needs. Yet another example of how we’re appliances to these mental freaks.

    • You are absolutely right. Unfortunately it just takes us a long time to figure this out. If we knew this sooner, we’d all be gone within days. But instead we do the pick me dance, live in limbo, etc. just waiting for them to change back into the person we thought they were. But you’re right Portia, we’re waiting on something that just isn’t possible. They’re just not that person.

      When we finally do figure this out, that’s the time we finally let go and move forward with our lives. It took me a long time to figure it out, but I see my spouse’s behavior now. I can more clearly see how she looks at me, treats me, and speaks at me – all without any appreciation, remorse, or empathy. Even though she’s basically destroyed our lives, I’m still to blame for all of her life’s annoyances (apparently I’m not even divorcing her correctly).

      I know now that it’s time to leave and know that I’ll be way, way better for it. The sooner you understand Portia’s post, the sooner you can let go.

  • Anne, you will have to Google remorse, as I don’t think that your husband will be able to show that. I refer you to Chump Lady’s remarkable treatise on this:

    I will share with you that I got duped (over our 22 year relationship) right from the get-go. I learned (after the love bombing was well under way) that MoFaux had cheated on his wife. (yes folks, I know!!!) He said, “I could never do that with you, Virago. YOU would know.” And I would chuckle and self-confidently/arrogantly agree, as I needed and relied on my efficient Bull Shit meter at work. It was operating well there.

    However, I actually totally trusted him and loved him (wish I had ‘loved him to death’!!!!) and kept fresh batteries in the BS meter. HA! No idea how many times he lied and cheated. There is this one time I know about. The End.

      • Hey, Peakyblinders, we are Twin Chumps. Or Twin Dupers. Or Twin Chump Dupees. Or Stupor Dupers. Or Chumped/Dumped/NoLongerPumped Twins (well, on the latter, I must speak for myself. I could go on. Okay. I’ll spare you all).

        We’re sure some-thing, eh? But not stupid. We are not that. We were not suspicious and we trusted another to the level of our own trustworthiness. No shame re that. Keep chuckling. That and NC are the foundation of our sanity.

  • A fully developed healthy adult shouldn’t need to be taught how to be or feel sorry.
    Teaching someone to feel sorry is really just teaching them out to “act” sorry. These kind of people can’t really feel anything. They are void of empathy and many other things.

    • I could not agree more!! We shouldn’t be teaching normal behavior at the basic level to grown men. That is exactly why I dumped my Ex. He kept doing things that a normal person would know are hurtful, yet I had to explain to this bozo that his behavior was hurting me and how so. Then it dawned on me. I shouldn’t have to explain to a 41 year old grown ass male how his behavior hurts me?! This is NOT normal. Life is hard enough, that I will be damned if on top of all that, I will have to train a manchild how to act like a healthy mature man. F-That.

      • Exactly why I didn’t try to save my last relationship! I gave him the answers until I couldn’t give him the answers anymore. If you really mean sorry, then show me. I’m not telling you what that’s supposed to look like. Look it up if you’re that dumb/abnormal. But seriously, he just didn’t give a shit to try. He figured, she already knows… chances are she’ll dump me anyway, so no effort needed. Or maybe if I wait long enough, she’ll stop being angry. Too bad he has to wait an eternity……..

      • Kellia…so true. I already raised my children. I’m not about to figure out how to continue raising their father. He was always an additional child for me to take care of. It just took no contact for me to realize it.

  • My/Our daughter told me after I had caught my Ex in an affair with a howorker and learned of his prostitute use that her husband (my son in-law) went on a fishing trip with EX once, that EX asked him if he had screwed around with this one girl on OUR daughter, when SIL so NO, he said, come on, you can tell me, it won’t go any further, it’s a “GUY CODE”.
    He didn’t give a crap if our daughter ever got hurt had my SIL did do something. I was just sick to learn this and I’m sure you can imagine how that made my daughter feel! Bastard he is.

      • YES!!!! NoMoreLies, all respect was lost I’m sure in that moment, most Father’s would warn against ever hurting their daughter. He’s one sick puppy!

  • The very fact that he said that he didn’t think he’d get *caught* tells you that he KNEW he was doing something WRONG the whole time he was doing it.

    After all, we don’t *catch* people telling the truth, being kind to others, being faithful to our spouses and being decent human beings. It’s not like, “I CAUGHT you giving money to that homeless man. HA, HA, joke’s on YOU!”

    He knew he was doing something wrong. He’s just as bad as your garden-variety criminal who says the same damn thing…

    …on their way to jail.

    • “The very fact that he said that he didn’t think he’d get *caught* tells you that he KNEW he was doing something WRONG the whole time he was doing it.”

      So true!! The fact they have to hide it knows they are doing something wrong. Otherwise, they would do it openly and in our faces. They know exactly what they are doing. And the fact they cover it up makes them guilty.

    • Yet the cheater is conning his own family while leading a double life. This is why we need to protect ourselves. We feel the paralysis and pain so strongly.

      It took me a while to file and find my fight. That is as close to justice as we will ever get. Expect the worst and get a lawyer ehi understands abuse.

  • On the topic of things our cheaters did after we threw them out, I found that my ex was watching Comedy Central videos and standup on my computer I was letting her use while packing her stuff up after I threw her out. 3.5 year relationship in the trash because of your cheating and you’re watching comedy videos?

    Don’t think she was just trying to cheer herself up either, this was the same stuff she had been watching lately. No remorse, no emotions. Literally didn’t bother her a bit to get thrown out over this. Meanwhile I was completely crushed, couldn’t eat or sleep properly, kept having mind movies and couldn’t even enjoy activities that I’ve loved for years. The only good news is that I didn’t shed a single tear infront of her, not once. She will never get to see or understand the pain she caused me. Good riddance.

  • Gosh! My Ex said the exact thing after i discovered his two year affair.. “That he thought he had gotten away with it”. I was so hurt by this because how insensitive can one be, this is you screwing up our lives and you are more than happy to get away with it. That statement alone was enough to show me how much he sucks, i didnt have any desire to even try and make him his see his error. @Anne that is taking you a little too much for granted and very disrespectful. He sucks and is very far from sorry!

  • My sociopath ex told our relationship counselor he chose not to tell me he was going out with other women because he knew I would be upset. WTF?! Did he really think I, or any woman with a moral compass, would ever understand? I never went back to therapy again after that first visit because that one sentence was all I needed to hear and the only truth he ever told. Anne, as hurtful as it is, his entitled prick-ass response is indeed the best response you will ever need: a truthful one which reveals he is beyond flawed. Let this truth set you free.

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