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Flip the Script, Chumps

cubsfanI believe in miracles! The Chicago Cubs won the World Series!

For those of you in foreign lands who might’ve missed the significance of this — the Chicago Cubs have been the butt of every baseball joke for over a century. They are the lovable losers, who never win. Their legion of fans are essentially CHUMPS, hopeless dreamers who never get a break. George Will once said that Cubs fans are “90 percent scar tissue.”


After 108 years of ignominious suffering and the curse of Murphy the Goat, the Chicago Cubs are CHAMPIONS!

How crazy was the game?

After the Indians tied the game in the eighth, the Cubs pitched a scoreless ninth to send the game into extra innings. And then it rained. Honest.

Our takeaway from this, Chump Nation? Anything is possible. Miracles are possible.

Today’s column is suggested by my husband, who comes from a long line of Chicago Cubs fans living and dead — your assignment today is to flip the script. The Cubs went from being painted as the lovable losers for 108 years, to winners. How were you perceived? Annoying drudge? Shrill nag? Overbearing killjoy?  And how are you going to flip that script from chump to champ?

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Treated as a deadbeat loser with no job prospects of any significance and unfit to be a dad, I am now at the top of my profession–ptl–and a father (step) to a five year old girl whom I adore. They judged me at low tide. Boy, they were wrong!

    • “They judged me at low tide…boy were they wrong” you gotta love that!!! Dedication…naive and true that’s for sure.

  • I was considered the silly housewife and mom who couldn’t really wrap her head around bills, taxes, anything with a dollar sign. He felt money was too much for me to understand so I was kept in the dark the entire marriage. Now I realize I was kept in the dark cuz he didn’t know what the hell he was doing. Now, bills are paid, savings account padded, mortgage decreasing and he is drowning in debt. Not so silly after all!

    • Same boat.
      Our “financial situation” and my inability to find a job, any job (mind you I’d have to find one where I could still look after our youngest child because his job meant he was not there in the mornings and not home until late – so maybe I should do the weighbridge shift from midnight till six am at his site, though I have no car or licence and public transportation isn’t available then {I actually agreed to this but he didn’t follow it up ?}) is apparently the reason that I must take part of the blame for everything. But he actually admitted today that he’s “shit with money”. If he’d been able to give up “total control” of his income (I don’t have any income) and let me help to budget instead of just supplying whatever I needed to food shop there would have been far less frivolous spending and far less debt. But now I see it was always “HIS” income and though he both brags and asserts that he has supported us (me, kids) that’s just a prop in his “what a good guy I am/have been” narrative.

  • Had to share this, for the line “doormat of the National League.” (See video above!)

    Lyrics to A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request by Steve Goodman

    By the shore’s of old Lake Michigan
    Where the “hawk wind” blows so cold
    An old Cub fan lay dying
    In his midnight hour that tolled
    Round his bed, his friends had all gathered
    They knew his time was short
    And on his head they put this bright blue cap
    From his all-time favorite sport
    He told them, “Its late and its getting dark in here”
    And I know its time to go
    But before I leave the line-up
    Boys, there’s just one thing I’d like to know

    Do they still play the blues in Chicago
    When baseball season rolls around
    When the snow melts away,
    Do the Cubbies still play
    In their ivy-covered burial ground
    When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
    But now they only bring fatigue
    To the home of the brave
    The land of the free
    And the doormat of the National League

    Told his friends “You know the law of averages says:
    Anything will happen that can”
    That’s what it says
    “But the last time the Cubs won a National League pennant
    Was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan”
    The Cubs made me a criminal
    Sent me down a wayward path
    They stole my youth from me
    (that’s the truth)
    I’d forsake my teachers
    To go sit in the bleachers
    In flagrant truancy

    and then one thing led to another
    and soon I’d discovered alcohol, gambling, dope
    football, hockey, lacrosse, tennis
    But what do you expect,
    When you raise up a young boy’s hopes
    And then just crush ’em like so many paper beer cups.

    Year after year after year
    after year, after year, after year, after year, after year
    ‘Til those hopes are just so much popcorn
    for the pigeons beneath the ‘L’ tracks to eat
    He said, “You know I’ll never see Wrigley Field, anymore before my eternal rest
    So if you have your pencils and your score cards ready,
    and I’ll read you my last request
    He said, “Give me a double header funeral in Wrigley Field
    On some sunny weekend day (no lights)
    Have the organ play the “National Anthem”
    and then a little ‘na, na, na, na, hey hey, hey, Goodbye’
    Make six bullpen pitchers, carry my coffin
    and six ground keepers clear my path
    Have the umpires bark me out at every base
    In all their holy wrath
    Its a beautiful day for a funeral, Hey Ernie lets play two!
    Somebody go get Jack Brickhouse to come back,
    and conduct just one more interview
    Have the Cubbies run right out into the middle of the field,
    Have Keith Moreland drop a routine fly
    Give everybody two bags of peanuts and a frosty malt
    And I’ll be ready to die

    Build a big fire on home plate out of your Louisville Sluggers baseball bats,
    And toss my coffin in
    Let my ashes blow in a beautiful snow
    From the prevailing 30 mile an hour southwest wind
    When my last remains go flying over the left-field wall
    Will bid the bleacher bums ad?eu
    And I will come to my final resting place, out on Waveland Avenue

    The dying man’s friends told him to cut it out
    They said stop it that’s an awful shame
    He whispered, “Don’t Cry, we’ll meet by and by near the Heavenly Hall of Fame
    He said, “I’ve got season’s tickets to watch the Angels now,
    So its just what I’m going to do
    He said, “but you the living, you’re stuck here with the Cubs,
    So its me that feels sorry for you!”

    And he said, “Ahh Play, play that lonesome losers tune,
    That’s the one I like the best”
    And he closed his eyes, and slipped away
    What we got is the Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request
    And here it is

    Do they still play the blues in Chicago
    When baseball season rolls around
    When the snow melts away,
    Do the Cubbies still play
    In their ivy-covered burial ground
    When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
    But now they only bring fatigue
    To the home of the brave
    The land of the free
    And the doormat of the National League

    • Congrats and I’m happy for Chicago. They were certainly the better team and it was a great series to watch. I can’t wait to get some sleep finally.

      My script however is more along the lines of being a Cleveland sports fan – which I’ve been my whole life. The ways in which Cleveland sports teams lose are legend (The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, moving the Browns to Baltimore, Jose Mesa, having LeBron leave, and after last night….The Rain Delay? (who knows if that’s what they’ll call it, but Cleveland fans will undoubtedly have a name for it soon)). It’s like an unending string of D-Days – and I’ve been around long enough to have seen them all.

      But, the teams always make it so close….so tantalizingly close…….and so they pull you back in. You want to walk away, but you can’t. You can never quit watching, because you don’t want to be the one to miss it when they finally succeed. You’re constantly waiting for your feelings and effort as a fan to be redeemed. You’ve invested so much of your time – how can you walk away now? It’s just like dealing with a cheating spouse. You want so badly to believe in them, and they feed you lines, and so you get sucked back in, only to be let down again and again. My spouse will finally be faithful….the Tribe will finally be the team that comes back to win…….my spouse will realize that they were wrong and will come back….Art Modell will realize that moving the Browns to Baltimore was all a big mistake…….my spouse couldn’t possibly start back up the affair that almost cost us our marriage…….Terry Francona couldn’t possibly go back to the same pitcher after a rain delay…..alas. It’s so damn similar, it’s ridiculous.

      And the fans all commiserate together, year round, from football, to basketball, to baseball, and back to football. Wash, rinse, repeat. But they’re always supportive of one another, always looking towards next year with optimism. Reminding me very much of a certain group of individuals (chumps) that I’ve run into on this site. Constantly let down, but always optimistic.

      Anyway, my flipped script walks in lockstep with Cleveland (of course) – I finally had had enough after wasting several years on my spouse and filed in early June. Lo and behold, the Cavs had their own big comeback and won the city’s first championship in 52 years a couple of weeks later. The Tribe might have sucked me back in last night only to lose again, but that’s fine, there’s always next year….

        • Our “Chicago version” – “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.” Pacino

      • Blindside,

        I felt and still feel tons and tons of empathy for you and every single Indian fans. God do I know pain you’re are going through both with the Indians and the Ex. “There is always next year…..” Did you guys steal this saying from Chicago or did we steal it from Cleveland? LOL

        Did you notice the camera work depicting both Cleveland and Chicago fans last night? The angst, the anticipation, the joy, then stunned! Both set of fans have so much in common. Never seen anything like it. It seemed as every single fan was wearing their heart on their sleeve. This is probably why this game will go down as one of the best MLB games in history, the fans showed heart and the players showed heart. It was a heartfelt game.

        “The rain delay”….possibly….but maybe….“the inevitable delay” Sorry to gloat. 🙂

      • Another Cleveland-born-and-bred fan, here! And, yes, I agree with all of the above. Hard town to be a fan in!

        For me, there’s also an analogy in the way Cleveland athletes (Indians, especially, it seems) tend to just … give up. I remember watching the playoffs while I was in college, maybe October 1986? and it was the seventh inning and the Indians were down two runs. The camera panned along the dugout, and you could see it in the players’ faces: “Oh, well, we lost. Too bad…” Meanwhile, Chipper Jones and the Yankees were still out there diving after grounders and making energized plays. — That was XH: “Oh, well, our marriage is over because I fell in love with someone else. What’s a guy to do?” — Fight!, goddamn it!! Fight like hell for that thing that you want! Don’t just give up when there’s still a chance!!!

        Anyway, I mostly wanted to commiserate with your long-suffering Cleveland fandom.

      • Ohioan here, born and bred. I was disappointed that the Tribe didn’t pull off the win but man it was great to see the excitement among the fans. I live in Reds territory (Dayton) but even the die hard Reds fans I know were rooting hard for Cleveland. They played well. Both teams did. It was a great series and both teams and their fans should be proud.

      • Blindside – A fine analogy, to be sure, but keep this in mind. Your team may have lost, but they got to Game 7 of the World Series because they worked hard, cared about each other, and pulled in the same direction. That bunch got beat in a game they fought for like hell. I wish for you that it had ended differently, but “that’s the way baseball go.” It’s much different pulling year after year for a team of “lovable losers” that are really trying, than it is to discover you’ve been pulling for a team that has been deliberately betraying you as a fan by throwing the games (eg. the 1919 White Sox, and your spouse). Give me the former any day. I’ll always sit proudly in the stands for them. Good luck “next year.” JK

      • Right there with you Blindside. Here’s another Ohio native, lifetime Cleveland sports fan. I’m proud of what the Indians did but still deeply disappointed at the loss. Damn pissed is more like it. Maybe even a little depressed. It was nice the Cavs broke the jinx, but Lebron’s arrogance devalued it in my opinion. The Indians on the other hand look like true blue hardworking team players, and I think embody the traditions and culture of our area more so than the Cavs.

        Yah maybe next year.

    • Pandemonium here in Chicago!! I finally made it to bed after 3am. My first thought as I was pouring myself out of bed this morning was, were the sounds of celebration last night fireworks or gunfire?!?! Did it matter? Nope. Time to make breakfast for my 3 little cubbies and off, off to school we go.

      Watching the game last night had me feeling a range of emotions that paralleled this cheater experience. Not as much at stake of course. A medley of feelings all within any given short period!! There is a sense of betrayal when the Cubs would continually lose in their most horrific fashion. Yes, I am a diehard fan. I also met my future ex-wife at a Cubs game. I was just a fearless 20 something year old that dove for a foul ball and took out 2 rows doing so. Caught the ball. Barehanded. Barely spilled my beer doing so. Gave the ball to this cute 5 year old boy and the crowd went crazy. That was my beginning to an end.

      For starters, what I felt during both experiences was anticipation changes very quickly to angst. Lets now feel inconceivable right back to hope. Sitting in a fetal position (no joke) to jumping for joy. We cried and then we accept. Then we celebrate. We went from disappointed to unadulterated joy. We yell then we dance (pun intended).

      Cubs and betrayal are synonymous with each other. Now they are not. Win!
      My marriage and betrayal are synonymous with each other. Now they are not. Win!

    • Thanks for printing the song! My husband isn’t a baseball fan, but he loves Steve Goodman and we had the game on for the sake of that very song. I’m afraid I can’t watch baseball. All the spitting makes me positively queasy.

    • Yup Tracy, Goodman is the man…..“But the last time the Cubs won a National League pennant
      Was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan”.

      Ironically, I do have the newspaper of this occurrence on my cocktail table. I will now place my Chicago Tribune’s edition of the Cubs winning right next to it. The Trib’s front cover says is all…..”At last!”

      On a funnier note, my dingy Cubs cap is over 25 years old. It went from crisp contours with a shiny deep blue and vibrant red colors to a frayed Lake Erie lighter shade of blue/gray and a heavily faded crimson red. Ironically that cap is synonymous of what also happened in my marriage – the difference is that I love that cap and will never part with it. I am not attracted to shiny.

      My boy asked me this morning, “Dad, are you finally going to get a brand new (shiny) Cubs cap,” I told him, “Nope I love the one I have.”

      • Congrats to you and your Cubs, Sir. I thought of you and you flipping the script on your evil X last night. Way to reclaim joy!

        • Yes Ian, joy was reclaimed but a lot of brain cells died along the way. 🙂

            • hahahaha from both Tempest!!!! I mean lets say you go to Wrigley and you shout out to the beer vender, “Yo, 4 Buds here” then the beer vendor shouts back, “Yo dat el be $38 bucks”. Huh? Take credit bro? Lol

  • There was a moment where I put aside Mrs. Nice. Told him a few things, I have been a bit mean. He almost cried, said “I didn’t know with whom I was living”
    THEN I found out WHO HE REALLY WAS.
    Those mean things I said? He must have thought I’m wearing a mask, just like him. No, sir! I had a moment of loosing my shit when I didn’t give a fuck! Don’t compare that with living a double life, pretending to be Mr Family guy, while screwing a prostitute in front of our son!

    He tried to convince me that is healthy for a baby to have 2 homes, to be split between his mother and his father. He even said he talked with a psychologist!
    I let him mumble his crazy and hired a lawyer. The mediator we got? She divorced when she was pregnant! Both lawyers women! His line with parenting didn’t stand up a whole sentence! Hi did not have the guts to finish his “brilliant” idea!
    When and how did I flip the script? When I realised he was a fraud, I stopped listening to his crazy!

    • ^^^^^ – yep!!! Very important to stop listening to the crazy. No contact is awesome and required ?

  • “Just Don’t Suck.”- Madden

    That’s is what has been different for this team. And I kinda embrace that sentiment. Because if you are trying NOT to suck, it means you are trying, learning, improving.

    Chumps don’t suck because we are try-ers and do-ers. That’s why we beat the dead GOAT for years with hopes we could change things. One part not sucking is to make changes. Dump the cheater and roast the goat. Goat is a delicacy and tastes great.

    Woot!! Go Cubbies and Go Chumps!

  • I’m looking at this from a slightly different perspective. Dodo and MOW bonded over their love of the Cubs. So although I’m happy for my family and friends, I feel like those two assholes are way too happy right now. DS said maybe they’re so happy one of them cheated last night. Feeling pretty triggered this morning, but I’m going to work and just live in my own little world for a few days. Dodo decided I wasn’t a good wife because I didn’t enjoy baseball, I wasn’t a good mother because I didn’t make DS make his bed properly, and I wasn’t varied enough in my meals. Whatever…

    • Sorry about the trigger.

      For me it’s walking down Broadway with full understadning asshat spent tons o’cash on a swinging married fucktard from Corona CA (righteous anger for these assholes probably forever). All of that time & $ could have been spent on his kids. The childless ANCIENT MOW even proclaimed she was too selfish to have kids….fucking thieves.

  • I wasn’t shallow enough for my X.

    I was supposed to get my nails done at the spa (never happened); more time trying new hair styles, wear high heels most of the time. He was irritated when I’d get immersed in a book. I spent too much time on “other people” [read: our children, the students I was supposed to be supervising].

    If only I’d recognized my role as a fashion accessory, I might still be married. Sigh.

      • I was too much of a fashion diva. Granted, I’m more of a goth fashion diva. I’ve lived most of my adult life wanted to be Morticia Addams. No heels though. I don’t wear shoes outside of my home that I can’t run from ISIS in.

        His new ho-worker is a plain dresser. I guess that’s what I should have done?

        • I adore Morticia Addams!

          I dressed well, but in a quirky way (no such things as too-big earrings in my book). But I was supposed to devote my LIFE to spa treatments, and looking like a society debutante. I am as far from Ann Taylor and J. Crew as the Cubs were from a championship 100 years ago.

          The irony is that his former wife was classically beautiful, and he cheated on her. Yet one more sign that you can’t win with these fuckers.

          • That reminds me of a story–even though his former wife was very beautiful, Hannibal admitted he used to come critique her makeup just before they would go out to dinner or a party. Control freak much? (He knew better than to try that with me or I’d have stabbed him in the eye with a mascara wand.)

            • Wow, what a jerk. My xboy didn’t dare say anything about what I wore because he knew I’d tell him to go f himself. I’m the lady that wears blue lipstick outside of my home without any reservations lol.

              I can’t stand people who feel the need to bring others down.

              • Mine was famous for dropping this line on me right before we left the house, “Are you really going to wear THAT?” It always made me feel so unattractive that I would go and change and he would still shrug his shoulders and say, “well whatever makes you feel comfortable.”

                I realize now that there were very few times that he actually made me feel good about myself.

              • Done4Good–it does make you wonder if cheaters have an app for subtle comments that deflate other people. Often, the putdowns are subversive, or not overt, or may have just enough of a ring of truth about them to make us question ourselves. In any case, the desired effect is always achieved–to undermine the chump.

            • Yup Tempest, our ex’s are again on the same page! The goal posts kept moving, but the way I dressed was NEVER good enough. Never mind that he knew how I dressed when he met me!

              I wasn’t supposed to look at fashion or the ‘style’ section in our newspaper, but was supposed to look great. I wasn’t supposed to enjoy shopping or spend much time or money on it, but was supposed to have style. I was supposed to dress up and be sexy, but he COMPLETELY ignored it when I did. And apparently I was supposed to wear mini-skirts and high heels every day, while taking care of small children, working two jobs, and taking public transit to do all that.

              • Picking on physical things is easy cause it goes straight to how we think others perceive us.

                Mine liked to try put downs. I told him that he could not feel good unless he was trying to make me feel bad. Suffice it to say he seldom felt good cause I was not about that shit.

          • Same here — I was always told to dress more alluring and take more time to get ready to go out or to go to work, etc. I was *NEVER* good enough, never got compliments or praise about my appearance, was never told I was beautiful, or attractive to him…but God help me if I didn’t catch hell anytime he wanted compliments and praise for his appearance. UGh, thank God I’m free of him and he’s Mrs. Dumb-Ass’s problem. ..

        • I too cared about my appearance (and still do) and was replaced with someone who has been described as “haggard looking” even though she is ten years younger than me… My ex’s appearance has also declined, going from healthy and handsome to too thin and older than his age. Yep, that cheater lifestyle is the way to live!!!!

        • My JAMF (jive ass mo fo) decided that I was going to be much less fashiony & much more frumpy. Better to keep other men away from (hot) wifey, dontcha know?!?

          Upon leaving the fool, spent a fortune on leather. Jeans, pants, tops, leggings, halters. Apparently, my spirit animal is Rob Halford … take that xhole. 😉

    • Oh my gosh! I got the lines about the nails, hair, heels (although I wear them for work) and childcare too! It’s all really just small variations on the same script isn’t it?

    • You’ve really got to stop missing all the important memos on Expectations for Tempest!!

      • I missed another memo?!?

        My aunt sent me these tips from a 1950s home economics textbook when I got married, but 10 things were just too many to keep in mind.

        The Good Wife’s Guide

        1. Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal — on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

        2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

        3. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.

        4. Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

        5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.

        6. Some Don’ts: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.

        7. Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

        8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

        9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

        10. The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.

        • Oh Lord. I was a marine corps wife (ooo rah!) and they sent each of us a letter that had a very similar tone. Make sure you give your marine lots of water because he worked hard out in the field all day. Be sure to let him tell you all about his day but dont burden him about yours. And this was 1986, not the 50s. Snort. Love that list, Tempest, thanks for taking the time to type it!!

          • Well of course you did! I am just from a different century!! Now where did I put that flip phone …

          • Well that explains a lot…your stbx was a closeted gay and a Marine? No wonder he married as a cover story. Major Cheaterpants was in the Corps…they are horrible misogynists … I told deadhusband it was a shame he wasnt gay, if he were they could all just hang out together and not have anything to do with women.

            • Indeed, unicornomore. He also espoused some pretty homophobic views to enhance his cover. Got really upset when our son’s favorite color was pink. I had to continually come along behind him and teach our son love, compassion, and how not to be a bigot. Oh the irony since that training will help son accept his dad some day.

        • Reading #2… turns out Mr. Sparkles was already a “little gay” before coming home… as a self-proclaimed Bi MWM in a personal ad he responded to informed me (thank you spyware!)

        • Tempest

          Great (if chilling) list. I don’t think any of my relatives ever saw that.

          I’m wondering what The Good Husband Guide says. Oh yes, there isn’t one is there? They just had to exist in order for us wives to have a meaning to our lives.

        • LOL, I have seen this list before, i remember Kay Hutchinson reading this aloud at a women’s voting rally years ago, still makes me laugh, to think if only i had followed this list, maybe the evil one wouldn’t have led, cheated, and style from me, but i digress.

        • We were all damned whatever we did. Jabba (not known for his grooming or dress sense, not that I minded) used to say he liked my low maintenance style… but left for a woman who dressed like a toddler who had got into the Halloween box, with 80s side ponytails and gruesome theatrical makeup. His patronising tip when he left was that if I wanted to find myself a man I should make a bit more effort with my appearance!

    • After our wedding, Assholio looked at my dress and said, “I kinda thought you’d wear something sexier.” My mouth fell open, I had no idea what to say to that. I had tried on hundreds of dresses and the one I chose was the one that truly felt like “me.” Something sexier to a church wedding and reception populated by everyone from infants to people in their 80’s?? And the dress I wore wasn’t super-conservative. I should have taken the warning and become a runaway bride. He always salivated over women who dressed like street whores, and that SO wasn’t me. I guess I should have known he’d eventually hook up with one or five hundred…

      • I never could dress sexy enough to please my ex either. He was always looking at those Victoria Secret catalogs and wanting me to dress like they did. It was like he didn’t see me for who I was, which was definitely not a VS model as I got older. I felt somewhat humiliated to be expected to dress like that. If I came out wearing something that made me feel pretty, he would turn his nose up, or complain about the color. I was never sexy enough.

        Funny thing is he was bald, but I never asked him to wear a toupe so I could pretend he was someone else.

        • My ex was that way too… Wanted me to dress like a sexpot. It wasn’t my style to flaunt my goods in public. He has no fashion sense and wouldn’t know class if it came up and slapped him the face! He’s 53 years old with a paunch and thinks he looks good in ripped jeans, bandana, and 30 year old concert t-shirts! Think Brett Michaels of the 80s!! LOL

    • I realized one of “my” problems after I heard XH & OW had been spotted at a farmer’s market about a week after DDay. She was wearing skinny jeans, black high-heeled boots, and a transparent black gauzy top over a black bra — full hair & make-up, according to my friend. — I immediately thought, “Oh, well then. I was NEVER gonna be THAT woman! … to a FARMER’S MARKET, for fuck’s sake???”

        • Welllll, now it’s in my head, so here are the new lyrics:

          “If I could turn back time
          If I could find a way
          I’d’ve left you long ago, and you’d be far away!
          If I could reach the stars
          And pull them down for you
          I’d never do it because you’re a giant piece of Doo-Doooooooooo….”


      • I agree, who in the hell would dress like that at a farmer’s market!

        What pisses me off is that my STBXH always hounded me to take better care of myself, make time to work out, etc…. while he leaves me at home with an infant! And he does not help! He is quick to give solutions without offering support to help execute.

        These guys are married to their jobs (mine is), cheat on us, spend without thinking of the household (mine financial infidelity), are cold, blameshift, yadda yadda and they STILL expect us to tart up a bit and stay in shape?

        Fuck them. They want a mother at home doing their responsibilites so they can go chase pussy young enough to be their daughter.

        Seriously. If mine even leaned in 10%, I would have been able to take better care of myself.

    • You hit the nail in the head, Tempest. I wasn’t shallow enough.

      After I found out about the cheating, I did get really shallow. Worrying about my looks and sex with cheater all the time.

      That’s not me, but it sure was the whore. She was an Attention Whore for sure. She wanted to be a middle schooler again, cause that’s what she tried to portray and how she sounded. Not too attractive when you are almost 50 years old!!

      Luckily, I came out of that after a while. Now I spend my time on things that matter to me, like my child, reading, hobbies, friends, church. You know, making a positive contribution to the world. Much more satisfying than poring over women’s magazines and worrying about my shoes.

  • I was perceived as the person who would always understand, no matter what. He was right about that, we just defined the implications of “understand” differently. He assumed it meant no behavior would be so outrageous that I would leave the marriage. I grew to understand that I had no other safe choice, so leaving the marriage was my only viable option if I didn’t want to be destroyed.

    In the end, after HUNDREDS of APs, HE felt abandoned. And I understood… That he’s a textbook narcissist and I needed to get him as far away from me as possible.

    • HUNDREDS. How horrifying Amiisfree. That’s heartbreaking. I’m so glad you escaped destruction.

      • Thank you. It was pretty bad at the time. 15 years later, I am doing MUCH better and not taking BS anymore. 🙂 Yet I still find it so helpful to share with you all, and hope my help is also good for y’all. Wonderful wishes for you, too, Peakyblinders!

        • I am really glad you are kind enough to come post Amiisfree. Your comments are definitely ones I look for … very wise and well expressed.

        • Thanks amiss. I like to hear from people years out. It gives hope. I too was very understanding by nature. Could always put myself in the others’ shoes. Anyways I too said enough for my own self preservation.

    • ” it meant no behavior would be so outrageous that I would leave the marriage”

      Agree; mine knew I would do anything for our kids, and (wrongly) thought that meant I would tolerate ANYthing from him. Oh, and of course he was *that* fabulous that cost-benefit analysis would always tip toward staying.

      • Well, of course, their fabulousness is of the utmost importance at all times. 😉 NOT! 😉 I think YOU are fabulous and your ex is as they say in The Princess Bride, a “miserable vomitous mass”. 😉

    • Looks like I don’t even need to post today as @Amiisfree pretty much nailed my situation!

      As for Princess Bride, PTSD Guy uses “as you wish” in our conversations. It always makes me smile.

  • I’m not really sure what his perception of me was, but I do know that he spent the entirety of our marriage making sure that he brought me down. If I ever felt good about myself he was right there to make sure that didn’t last long. And of course when I did the pick me dance after dday I became the ultimate kibble dispenser. I was “chasing” him and fighting for our marriage as if I was the one who detonated the bomb over it. I flipped it when I finally found the courage to leave the coward; despite his put downs and scary predictions that I’d never find anyone who didn’t cheat because of course everyone cheats. I guess when you cheat that’s what you believe.

    As an aside and a lifelong Red Sox fans, I am very happy for the Cub’s fans. The Sox went 86 years between World Series Championships and had some of the most gut punching, epic losses in my life time. I even found myself thinking that my dad, 68 the night they went down 3-0 in the 2004 ALCS, might not live to see them win. It’s a great feeling when you follow a team for so long! Happy day Cubs Fans!

    • “I’m not really sure what his perception of me was, but I do know that he spent the entirety of our marriage making sure that he brought me down.”

      YES!!! This exactly.

        • Add me to that list as well…the put downs and lack of joy or support. Reflecting back, he was miserable most of the time.

          Congratulations Cub fans!!

      • This is the biggest of red flags, I wish I realized when I was a young woman. Anyone who loves you, will build you up, because of the love they feel. X always made sure to mock me, saying “oh, do I look pretty now?” When I was getting ready to go out. I wish I had called him on that shit, and demanded counselling! I realized in our last years together, how much his own insecurity problems colored everything he did. So glad to be away from that!

        • Freewoman, I used to think I should have ‘called’ my ex on more of his un-loving and critical behaviours. Then I realized that one of the main reasons he chose me was because I didn’t do that, and that when I had called him on stuff, he would only change if he thought it was a deal-breaker for me (ie would lead to my leaving him), and would resent the changes he made under that kind of pressure. And we did counseling; didn’t make any difference.

          As Dr. Simon says, it’s not that they don’t understand, it’s that they don’t CARE.

          • Yes, I never looked at it like that. LOL, I guess I’m still trying to figure out what I could have done to make things end up better! I know I was a wonderful wife and partner, and he just wanted to use and scam me, all while telling me how much he loved me. I have a ton of FOO problems, and that’s probably why I invested in him for too long.
            Thanks for a new perspective!

          • Yes KarenE, they made sure to bring it up. That became increasingly tiresome for me. We could never move past anything… All my words were used to follow up another argument or smart comment… All I ever want in life is peace and a nice sanctuary to come home to, not hell on earth. That’s what it turned into… I asked him one time, “I need to understand what it is that I did to contribute to this relationship being hell”. (I knew it wasn’t me, but for a moment there, I wondered how we had ever got to that point.) He never answered, as I think he knew the answer lied within himself.

            • I asked him one time, “I need to understand what it is that I did to contribute to this relationship being hell”.

              I dared asked once, “why do you hate me so much. I just don’t understand all this hate and venom toward me.”

              He said, “I don’t know. I wish I knew.”

              I really thought he’d tell me that he didn’t hate me. Another one of those red flags I flat out ignored.

              • They never know anything Done4Good! It boggles my mind how you claim to be so intelligent, yet when someone asks you a life question about your thoughts, you don’t freakin know? That always amazed me and I realized that the point was to never go farther than where we were because he wasn’t capable, period. It just took so much of my precious, innocent, trustworthy energy on such a mindf*ck of a person. Wish I didn’t ignore the red flags either.

              • I asked why he hated me about a year before DDay, I had been feeling the hatred more and more. I was sobbing, I told him my dreams were shattered I felt he was avoiding me, I felt his aggression towards my dogs was in fact meant for me. No answer. A year before that it had seemed he was starting to accept that I could have some farm smarts, some stock sense, and would sometimes genuinely ask for my opinion and listen. I was glowing. It lasted about 6 months before the hatred returned, the put downs when I said something reasonably smart, or suddenly worked out some techie-science stuff by myself, because whenever I asked Mr Scientist a question, I’d get word salad. “Not much gets past you, Kiwichump” he would sneer. So I would crawl back into my little hole where I was supposed to plug into the wall outlet to recharge my batteries for my next household chore…That’s how it felt.
                How to flip it? I am doing everything he thought I couldn’t do, and he had convinced me I couldn’t do. I am running the farm on my own. It used to terrify me, now I love it.

              • Done4Good, I asked my STBXH the same question, since it really did feel like he hated me towards the end, and he said he didn’t hate me, not convincingly at all. I could FEEL that he hated me and it is the strangest feeling to be hated by your own husband, the one who is supposed to love you the most, and for absolutely no good reason. I shudder when I recall that feeling, so glad I’m out of that horrible, insane misery!

        • I’ve been with my hubby 4 years. Some 3 years dating and just under a year married. He is still cheating with the same person he cheated with before we got married. No evidence of cheating but he’s still in contact with her and then lied about it. I’m 28 and we got 2 kids. I’ve just decided to walk away… Cheating never stops. Too young to be dealing with this BS

  • There is no script for me to flip. I think this could be a good thing long term. He always ‘loved’ me. He was always full of praise for my ability to run house and home and raise our three boys while he mostly worked away. We were a team. He was always full of praise for when I chose to retrain for something after being a SAHM for 18 years. He didn’t cheat until he went abroad to work after the financial crash. But when he did he cheated quite a lot with three women over the four years. Since DDay he has been remorseful and has been (or plans to be) generous in the divorce settlement. He understands why I want the divorce. He never speaks badly of me to anyone. Even the OW’s wrote emails telling me how much I meant to him even in their conversations. He of course kept them as friends after they were no longer intimate. Maybe not so much when each found out about the others.
    I think this is harder in lots of ways. I can’t hate him easily. He is still so ‘nice’ apart from the affair thing.
    He is going to therapy. Has accepted my reduced contact (we still talk about boys). It doesn’t feel like a scam to get me back. I have been quite clear that the marriage is broken totally and things he has said since make me realise he is not good at the empathy thing (like wanting to date after the marriage).
    But I never felt disrespected or used or devalued for the 18 good years. Just the four affair years which broke something inside me. I was completely blindsided but I guess he just was not home so much, easier to hide stuff.
    I feel guilt at being the harsh one insisting on the divorce, insisting on a good settlement, rejecting one excuse after the other.
    Even before this I was perceived by others as maybe a bit controlling a bit hard on him as he is very passive and quiet. I had to be organised to keep our lives straight. He was always bad with money. He was seen as weak I guess. But now I think people will feel sorry for him and not wonder why he did it – it must be because I always wore the trousers as it were.
    But the relationship was so lopsided. I did everything but bring in money but he himself will say that. Not that he ever tried to change that himself.
    So now he has done this and I am still not able to understand but I am just going forward with the divorce and I will see what happens.
    So. No script for me to flip. Just the same one. I do it all.
    I don’t wish that I had suffered with a sparkly Narc like so many here but it’s hard to see the bad guy in him. I just have to trust it’s there.

    • Capricorn, what more evidence do you need that he’s not a good guy? Sorry but to cheat with 3 women over 4 years requires an awful lot of deceit, manipulation and entitlement that he justified doing these things to you? I’m not trying to be hurtful but sometimes we have to pull the curtain back and really look at their actions. To do those things requires a huge amount of disrespect for you and what you brought to the marriage. He is still s “nice” except for the affairs? Isn’t that a bit like asking Mrs. Lincoln “other than THAT how was the play?” You can’t be nice in all ways but a lying cheater??

      • Beachgirl
        You are so right. I know this somewhere in my head hence the divorce (thanks mainly to this site) but my heart is somewhere still responding to the ‘nice’ like one of Pavlovs dogs. Even now I send texts that are angry and pointing out how this is wrong and how this has hurt me but then feel guilty! It’s like kicking a puppy who just rolls over and takes it. So far I don’t apologise for them as much as I did in the early days (and it’s still all early days).
        Mostly I got strong early on as I saw the reaction and the horror on the faces of people I told. Idiot me was like ‘yes it really is terrible no wonder I seem to have gone to pieces!’
        I have obviously got a lot of work to do fixing myself but sometimes fall into that trap of blaming myself again for letting the relationship become so lopsided.
        Why do I keep looking for excuses to blame myself for everything- it’s ridiculous.
        One other interesting thing is that now he doesn’t have me I even suggested that he contact the girlfriend he dated for 8 years before we met so he can lean on her!!
        WTF. I can’t be there for him now but I feel like he is such a child he will go off the rails without someone. I need him to function for years to pay for stuff as I get back up to speed.
        I’m embarrassed to be this messed up. So much for Miss Organised Always Has Her Shit Together.

        • Capricorn – Please don’t be so hard on yourself! Sounds like you are reflecting on your own behavior during your marriage which is what grown ups do. We learn and grow. Just don’t go over that line and start feeling guilty and at fault for his cheating. My ex is one of those covert narcissists who is so nice and wears his mask so well that most people don’t even believe me when I tell them the story (10 year secret life – porn, Skype and craigslist hookups) He is so humble and charming that even his therapist has fallen for it! My ex technically doesn’t speak badly of me (that would hurt his image as the nice guy) but he makes it clear with his bullshit partial truths who is at fault by telling people in a mournful voice, “she is just so angry….” “I have begged forgiveness and done everything to make amends but it’s just not good enough for her..” I think you can assume that he speaks badly of you very subtly. Divorce was final 3 months ago and I went No Contact – amazing how the healing speeds up when you do that! You have to trust that he sucks. He does. He’s a liar and he betrayed your trust. End of story.

          • Kathleen K – my XH was just like yours. Covert Narcissist – reserved, humble (to the outside world, really very concieted in private) and charming. 10 years (possibly more) of online infidelity – Skype sex, online porn, Craigslist hookup ad lurker. My XH also doesn’t speak badly of me and he’s very proud of himself (he’s like a little kid….”look at me…I don’t speak badly about my ex” who incidentally was a fabulous partner for over 30 years)!!. He wants his family, friends and the world in general to think we divorced because we “grew apart”. Ha! My XH never really put me down, not even in an underhanded way. However, he NEVER complimented me either, particularly on my personal appearance. Even on our wedding day when I was HOT without question, he didn’t compliment my appearance! I brought this up many times during our marriage because to me it was so strange…and he gaslighted me and said “yes I did”, etc. Since our separation in January, he’s told me on several occasions that he’s “proud” of me in how I’ve proceeded in life without him. WTF…that’s something my Dad would say (and I’d very much appreciate from my Dad), but from him it just sounds so phony and awkward.

            To remain on topic to this thread…I haven’t flipped the script…yet. It’s coming, to be sure. I’ve been too busy doing everything I’ve always done (raise the kids, take care of ALL of the household upkeep except lawn mowing and snow removal), working full time (and getting a recent raise and promotion, despite the trauma going on in my personal life…oh, and he doesn’t know about the raise ;)). I had to divorce his sorry ass, because even though it’s what he wanted, he wouldn’t actually do anything to move forward. Honest to God, like being married and now divorced from a child. An immature child. In a year, 6-months, a decade, whenever….he will look over at me and see that I endured and even thrived after his departure from my life. He is already seeing his own life go down the toilet without my dependable ass bailing him out of the shitstorm he creates out of his life.

            • Msquags and Capricorn, I had one of these guys, too! Deadfool rarely got upset, usually just sat there with his head down while I explained how cheating IS disrespecting me even if he didn’t see that, and would try to fix things by saying how much he appreciated everything I did for him and the house. Which just made me feel more like an idiot, because he wasn’t doing anything himself especially after losing his job.

              It’s not your fault. People in our positions usually did about 300% more to try and repair the relationship than we should have … these exholes took advantage of our generous nature, and the script to flip is that of being a needy doormat who will accept any kind of covert abuse to be with someone. I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m better than that.

              • OMG…the job loss(es), and how I took on OT to float the household bills while he was at home having Skype sex with strange women across the US!

                And him sitting there quietly while I had to explain all sorts of grown up things!

                For so many years I felt so alone, and couldn’t imagine anyone else in my shoes! To the outside world I have confidence and ability, but inside I guess I just wasn’t brave enough to go it alone. Truthfully, I didn’t want to go it alone. I wanted to be married. I wanted what I thought we had. I wanted to give my wonderful boys a sound family life and upbringing like I had. ugh…

                He still takes advantage of my generous nature. He already owes me a substantial amount of support from our temporary support order….and he makes more money than I do! oh the injustice

            • I’m afraid to flip the script other than continuing to maintain TOTAL No Contact through all the crises he creates and watching him self-destruct in his own dysfunction.

        • Don’t be too hard on yourself. I would win the messed up prize for all the emotional abuse I took. I was the breadwinner and held the house together while my ex barely worked, slept all day and spent money AND cheated on me! I put the “fun” in disfunctional by tolerating his underhanded barbs, disrespect and abuse all in the name of peace. I remember towards the end my therapist asked why I tolerated his abuse and I had gotten so low the only answer I had was “peace at any cost”. I was so worn down I just wanted some semblance of a peace, until I discovered the final d day that involved his coworker and had gone for almost a year right under my nose. Don’t be fooled by their niceness, what they did to their loving faithful spouses is nothing short of criminal. Hang in there- we got your back!!!!

      • Spot on BeachGirl… “Other than THAT Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

        WE must vigilant and never undervalue or underplay the damage caused by covert narcissists. It’s just more gaslighting.

    • I gotta reply to this:

      “Even before this I was perceived by others as maybe a bit controlling a bit hard on him as he is very passive and quiet. I had to be organised to keep our lives straight. He was always bad with money. He was seen as weak I guess. But now I think people will feel sorry for him and not wonder why he did it – it must be because I always wore the trousers as it were.”

      It is not your place to worry about how people see you, you should worry about how you see other people. Don’t worry about things you can’t control.

      As for the passivity, he’s not weak, he’s irresponsible. I dealt with the same thing. He would much rather have you do everything than be a functional adult. That’s not nice, that’s a user.

      • True!
        They act like they can’t handle things like responsibilies, but they ALWAYS have plenty of enthusiasm for their selfish wants and hobbies! Capricorn, you were just doing what a good person does, taking up the slack, there’s no shame in having standards, and working hard to achieve them. See, he knew you would. They love being lazy.

      • Making you feel guilty for doing the right things and being responsible is manipulation. Don’t fall for it. You should be proud of the fact that you are a capable and smart woman. If he wasn’t happy about you doing so much, the grown up thing would have been to sit down with you and tell you how he felt and work toward a better balance. Instead he cheated and lied to you for 4 years.

        Reflecting on your part is the mature response. And you will be a better person for it. But do NOT blame yourself for his cheating. There are no excuses for that, EVER.

      • “As for the passivity, he’s not weak, he’s irresponsible. I dealt with the same thing. He would much rather have you do everything than be a functional adult. That’s not nice, that’s a user.”

        *lightbulb moment* for me

    • Cappy,
      Someone is feeding you bullshit. Just because you are assertive, tenacious and smart doesn’t make you ‘controlling’ to the IMAGE you asshat is presenting to the world. He would LOVE to have others believe you emasculated him by BEING AN ADULT.

      Truth is he is a loser who used you for years and years and years. And has been cheating on you longer than you may ever know. His AP’s writing to you is BS. If your guy EVEN respected you, VALUED you as a human being, he would never, ever, ever had fucked around – even emotionally.

      I married a covert narc cheater who lied and cheated throughout most of our 20+ marriage. I was completely blindsided. He was always talking me up to people. When I discovered the 10yr fuckfest with the MOW, his message to me was I “emasculated” him. What that meant to him was I was responsible, raised the kids, managed finances and began meaningful Board work. I would counter that your asshat “de-feminized” you by seeking strange pussy, devaluing your efforts to make a great team and generally dismissing your presence.

      Change your narrative because your are worthy of much more than having an asshole try to bring you down.

      • This could be my story also, just change it to 40 years and you have the complete picture. But I am crazy.

      • I can so relate to everything. I was responsible one. Married for 25 years, but I did it all here cos for the last 8 years he was out to sea for longer and longer assignments, so of course I had to do stuff like pay bills, take care of all financial stuff, run the house, I didn’t work outside the home cos we had always had businesses together, and all he wanted to do when he was home was surf; and at the end, was told I was controlling, that he had no power, that I emasculated him, and I kept apologizing for nothing, all mariner wives have to do the finances-i mean I need to stop defending myself. But the whore used this against me to bolster her hold on him that he needed to break free-he said “I need to learn how to pay my own bills again” he wants to be free to explore life as a single man on his solo journey. But he’ll “always love me” which is a way to keep me hanging on hoping. So now divorce is almost final. I don’t know if he was wearing a mask all those years, but one day he wasn’t the man I married. He became a cold hard monster who didn’t give a shit about anyone but himself. And he discarded us all and ran away. We need to change our narrative and stop taking the blame for their screw ups. If they are sick, they need to get healthy. We can’t fix them but we can’t let them continue to control us with misplaced guilt.

        • I can so relate to your story BeowulfSabrina!

          I did the heavy lifting…majority of household duties, while working at a full time plus job outside the home, throughout 35 years together. I did all grocery shopping, meal preparation, life celebration planning, presents, flowers, thoughtful cards & notes, hostess with the mostess, kept beautiful home and yard, awesome wife, Mom, Grandma, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, citizen, neighbor, friend. I always tried to stay “sparkly” and “do it all” so as not to lose such a handsome, nice guy. “Wasn’t I lucky”?

          If I worked too much he wasn’t happy. If I didn’t work enough he wasn’t happy. If the floor wasn’t swept, dishwasher unloaded or laundry undone, you guessed it, he wasn’t happy. If I wasn’t working out or going for promotions he’d comment on how I was letting myself go. None of my changing to his liking was ever good enough. He would just find something new for me to change; move the goal post.

          I was like a circus monkey! My fear of abandonment and early childhood trauma bonding from FOO made me the perfect partner for a nice guy narcissist. It was also unsustainable. Thank you cancer for helping me stop the narcissistic cycle, pick me dance and discover my cheater free life.

          Everyone was/is shocked that Mr. Perfect led double life of porn, on line sex, bar skanks and back page hookups, prostitutes and ho worker sex. He was always sorry, went to intensive therapy for two years (sex addiction and narcissistic behaviors). I stood by him and supported him as I thought we could conquer his inner demons. I exemplified a “fixer” and was a hopelessly hopefilled hopium smoking chump. No more!

          Now looking back I allowed myself to be a puppet in his life play.

          10 months out since DD. I am managing cancer diagnosis (found out in the same week I kicked him out), surgeries and chemo/immunotherapy treatments, absolutely no contact and divorce end on horizon. Severing the puppet strings has given me inner strength and foundation for my new cheater and crazymaking fucktoid free life. Ridding myself of all cancers, including unhealthy people from my life.

          Mama don’t dance for anyone but herself now (well maybe my adorable grandchildren). I’m fixing my picker. I also sweep my floor, unload my dishwasher and do laundry whenever I damn well please.

          My sister, who I admire and respect for kicking her cheating husband to the curb a year ago, told me about Chumplady and has been my rock the past 10 months. Great counseling, Neuro feedback, surrounding myself with my tribe (healthy family and friends) excellent medical care, being grateful and many of your voices here on CN have anchored me to weather the storms of mind fuckery and toddler man behaviors. Papa doesn’t like his mask lifted and cake supply taken away.

          He really doesn’t like that I lawyered up and am doing everything to get a healthy and well deserved (“earned”) settlement.

          While I don’t know how my story ends, I know I like my present and look forward to my future chapters being cheater free! Changing/flipping the script, narrative, screenplay and bought the damn movie rights! Feeling mighty.

          While I haven’t written many comments over the past 10 months I want to thank all of you for your examples of courage, bravery and willingness to share. It’s how we all move forward and flip the script; together.

          • FreeNow. Msquags

            “My fear of abandonment and early childhood trauma bonding from FOO made me the perfect partner for a nice guy narcissist. It was also unsustainable.”

            Yes yes yes to this. So much that you have both said has helped me so much today. I have been struggling with the nice guy thing since the ddays. Mine wasn’t a sparkly narc so it is helpful to hear these ‘other’ experiences.
            Thanks much.

            • My X is also a covert narc who parades around as Mr. Nice Guy. As others have mentioned about their covert Xs, mine also talked me up to other people, which I understand now was because he wanted me to reflect well on him in their eyes. In private, while he refrained from overt put-downs, he never praised anything I did and only offered “constructive criticism,” which in his mind kept him a nice guy because he was only telling me the “truth.”

              It wasn’t until after I started questioning him that the mask came off completely–only with me, not with the rest of the world. He still has a lot of people fooled, but I have noticed that as he gets older it gets harder and harder for him to maintain his faux-humble-aw-gee-shucks front and that he’s increasingly letting his entitled arrogant disordered freak-flag fly. I suspect the same will happen with your STBX, Capricorn–either way, though, I totally agree with others here. He is not a nice person. He is an entitled serial cheater and an emotionally abusive, manipulative narcissist.

              As for flipping the script, the original starred me as someone who bought X’s learned-helplessness narrative, in which I was an inept person who had to rely on him to do everything because I could not manage basic household tasks, such as–among many others–using the grill, cooking fish or steak (what if I undercooked them and killed us all?), climbing on a ladder to change a light bulb, resetting the garage door opener, changing the filter on the furnace, cleaning the gutters, mowing, leaf/snow-blowing, trimming tree branches, changing the oil in the car, putting air in the tires, hiring contractors, managing finances, painting, using a drill, and . . . filing for divorce.

              I’ve done all and more since I moved out and flipped the script from learned helplessness to I’m not a fucking child, I can manage basic adult tasks, thank you very much. Though the opportunities have become very few and far between thanks to NC and gray rock, X still tries to interfere on occasion (unfortunately I live on the main road in town so he drives by each day and sees me outside competently adulting on a regular basis). But now the ending of the script has flipped from go along to get along and just let him do it to no, you can leave now.

        • “We can’t fix them but we can’t let them continue to control us with misplaced guilt.”

          ^^^^^YAAAAASSSS THIS!

          This is my big learning…which is only just dawning in the last couple of weeks (I’m 3 mos. post-DDay). This realization is helping me flip my script!

      • Ahh, the old emasculated bullshit always comes up! If you’re competent and you make up for all their deficiencies you emasculate them. And we’re still looking for a word for what they do to our femininity with their cheating, irresponsible, selfish behaviour. They suck all our energy then complain we’re not hot, sexy and feminine enough. They sucked it out of us.

      • THIS ^^^^^^^ ! Thank you.
        The asshat fucktard once told me I had a co-dependent relationship with my children because I spent time trying to raise them properly.

    • I understand what you are saying. I did not have an ogre either, but when he publicly imploded our marriage (I have written before about the media frenzy surrounding X’s very public outing), a piece of me died. I have spent the last 5 plus years healing, but I still do not date and definitely am not looking for any type of romantic relationship. It sucks to know I deserved so much more, but I am at peace with myself. I just try to be the best person I know how to be. I am sure some folks see me as more aloof and guarded, but it doesn’t bother me. Perhaps the switch I flipped was recognizing I am no longer obligated to please others at my own expense.

      • Same here. I am way too nice and patient to a fault, but learning that I need to speak up sooner. And I too refuse to please others and play nice while others keep trying to run me over with a bulldozer every chance they get. All set with that. Does it make me not as nice, sure! But I realized that you get what you give… Therefore, not my problem if I tell you where to go

    • My husband’s personality sounds similar, but that usually just means they are covert narcissists. Some believe this is the most dangerous kind of narcissist. You really have to look at their actions rather than their words, because this type is amazingly successful at wearing a mask. Now that I’m away from it, it’s terrifying to me that monsters can look so normal.

      • You are spot on. It is so hard to get the message that his actions send.
        It’s not just hard for me but for the boys too. They are struggling with the dad they idolised and wanted to emulate turning out to be someone who blew up their family for, well I still don’t know for what. Kibbles? Power? Just Because?
        But I have to say that they are coping much better. Two (21and 17) have gone NC. The little one (11) is all over the place but NC until he can feel comfortable. Lucky that he has gone back abroad.
        I did what has been suggested here. I am very honest with them. (I kind of imploded upon discovery and everyone heard so much more than they should have) and say I don’t know why he did this but I am here.
        My eldest often felt I was too hard on his dad when bills didn’t get paid or he forgot to do stuff or when he missed deadlines at work but since dday he could see the pattern more clearly than me and saw it sooner.
        Thank goodness for well adjusted kids.
        And we all now know Actions Not Words. I have schooled us all in this whenever we have contact with their dad. Work in progress

        • I give you a lot of credit, Capricorn. In my experience, it takes courage to come to this site and post a version of the story that isn’t all horror. XH sounds similar to your ex, in that I really don’t think he’s a bad guy. I don’t think he’s a GOOD guy, either, and I deserve better than the way he treated me. I, too, think most of his behavior can be explained by lazy neglect — it’s easier to have someone else do all the heavy lifting while traipsing merrily along without a care in the world. And easy enough to blame that other person when Life is suddenly not as shiny as it used to be… Oh, hey, look, a shiny new AP!!

          Narcissism, cake, kibbles, … all the CL jargon. I guess it applies, but ultimately (for me, anyway, because my own story is the only one I can tell), it doesn’t matter if he is or is not a narcissist. He treated me disrespectfully and felt very justified in having done so, so that’s the end of us. Excruciating? You bet. But after two years now, I think he just did the best he could, which unfortunately wasn’t good enough for me. I deserve better. You do, too. He doesn’t have to be a “bad guy” for that to be true.

          • NW.
            I think so much of what you wrote is true. I don’t think my STBX is a narcissist. I think he is certainly lacking empathy, did feel entitled, was very lazy and neglectful and devastated his family all for thrills or company or boredom or whatever it was. (Look CL not trying to untangle!). Even now he admits it wasn’t justified or excusable. He’s taking the lumps. Time will tell on how he fares without us. Back to being the decent bloke I thought he was or back to this guy who hooks up with other women because he finds he can.
            But as you say that doesn’t change WHAT he did and the fact that he had a de facto double life. Whatever flavour of fucked up it is, it is fucked up.
            I owe it to myself to find out who I am now. I think it’s just harder to see the benefits for me as my life wasn’t scarred by a Narc. I would have been happy even with the lopsided nature of our relationship as I felt loved and safe and supported. The fact that he cheated so much and for so long and his OW thought he was a great family man even while he was cheating with them speaks to his ability to appear one way whilst being something else entirely.

        • It is hard for my kids too, though interestingly, they did see him as weak, cowardly and dishonest before all this even came out (kids are more perceptive than us I think). When I try to reconcile the weak, meek, nice guy persona with someone who was serial cheating for decades, it is mind boggling, and I just have to keep reminding myself that he REALLY is the monster who lived a double life with no regard for anyone but himself (I actually have videos from one of his affairs, so that helps greatly). And I would bet from what you’ve described that you felt a huge burden lifted off you when it was finally over. I can’t believe I lugged around all that dead weight for 23 years. It is so freeing to no longer be responsible for him. He is no longer my problem, and your covert narc is no longer your problem! So during these difficult days of trying to recover from the bomb exploding, we can at least rejoice in that!

        • I had the same XH as you Capricorn. The supposed nice guy. He treated me like a queen. Except for one major flaw… he cheated. He was just like his mother. A covert Narc. It took me years to realize that he was capable of doing that to me and after 7 years, I realized that there was no talking him out of his crappy behavior. He begged me back numerous times because I never lashed out at him, so he thought that I must have been ok with everything, but in all honesty, I was not. Long story short, loyalty above all else. If you don’t have that in a relationship, you have NOTHING. I know it’s hard because he was “so good”, but deep down he really wasn’t. Good for you to be getting away. (I have many other cheater stories, he was unfortunately one of many in a long line for me because I always found out. Intuition sure is something… Let’s just say that story was the best one. The rest were much worse) Yay me! LOL

      • THIS – “Now that I’m away from it, it’s terrifying to me that monsters can look so normal.”

        I can remember – about two months before he walked out on his family for the OW – we were at a pool party hosted by our friends and our son’s classmate… an annual event. And we hadn’t been intimate in over 2 year… 2 years of a sexless marriage because I caught him (again) having a personal ad online. And as I watched him walk around the pool and talk to people, I couldn’t help but sit there in awe… how could I have married Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

        It was frightening and lonely.

    • I’m glad you had a lot of good years. Most of mine weren’t and it is a great regret that I allowed the gradual slide and put up with so much – I could have had a much better life in many regards.
      Of course it doesn’t mitigate the pain for you – we all have our own burden to bear.

    • He doesn’t have to be a bad guy. He’s just not the guy for you! See how the guilt just vanished there?

      • Perfect, Dixie Chump! She needed to hear that. We always want to know what we did wrong, but when it comes to cheating, we did nothing to deserve it. These cheaters are big boys and girls that make tons of adult decisions. They choose to cheat instead of working on the relationship (if there is something that really makes them unhappy, unless it’s just their genitals not getting touched by more than one person other than their SO. I seem to think it’s the genitals talking) They are a-holes and you have nothing to be sorry for. Carry on with the moving on to a better life. 🙂

      • That’s clever! Do you know what – I think that will work! I felt a ‘flip’ as I read that.
        I am always talking about trying to square the circle ‘how could such a good guy do such awful things?’ I can’t say he’s bad as you noticed as I feel guilt.

        Now I can just say hey – he is who he is. He’s just not my kind of guy.

        OMG. Dixie Chump. Amazing.

        I am now grinning ear to ear. ??

        • Capricorn, I have to say that you are about the fastest learner I have ever encountered. You are going to be at Meh in record time. Good for you!

          • DixieChump.

            Thanks. How can I not learn here?! The advice is so focused, perceptive, genuinely earned and generous – liberally sprinkled with humour and cussing.
            You changed a life today. ?

    • I can relate. 2 months after the latest affair was discovered, STBX’a channel flipped to RAGE — before then he was always complimenting me– my looks, how sexy he thought I was, all the effort I gave to him, the kids, our life. I thought we had the best marriage and that he was my best friend. He only criticized me 2x in 24 years that I can recall. Once his secret life and betrayal was discovered, though, the hatred of me and our 4 kids was chilling.

      The “flip” I’m trying to achieve is all internal: the person I thought he was has died. The one in his bloated, soul-less-eyed body is a monsterous stranger. I must fight this stranger’s attempt to take everything I’ve ever worked for.
      It’s exhausting but almost over–

  • My story was typical: entitled man from a family of entitled men. I was devalued for years and years. It’s been three years since my world blew apart and I am now two months from launching my own business as in divorce mentoring. My business partner is a divorce lawyer and I am a therapist. I’m doing what I was always told I could not.

    in a similar vein, I have a very good friend from Mexico. Her stbx of a douche husband has been having an affair for the past 8 years. The AP has mailed my friend all sorts of evidence etc. They have one child. The kicker is that when I was married, I was instrumental in helping her stbx get a very high powered job with my x. The issue is that her stbx is dropping her and her son from the visa process. They have an L Visa and he has told immigration that they are getting a divorce and she is forced to leave with their son. This is a 15 year good faith marriage. I’m not a lawyer and everywhere we turn it’s more bad news. She has consulted with a lawyer from Mexico and one from here and is being told there is nothing she can do….I’m so incensed. There has been verbal and possible other abuse in the marriage that is documented by her therapist but no police involvement. Does anyone in chump land know anyway around this? She is working. Like so many of us, she has no access to finances, tax records, etc. If there is a chump with knowledge I’d appreciate any insight.

    So mine is a bittersweet post, I’ve risen from the ashes and am about to fly and in cheater land,threatening others and not playing by the rules is wreaking havoc and ruin on others.

    • L visa, that’s the work visa, correct? I don’t see how a divorce could affect that as she has a job. She should be able to apply for a green card of her own based on her having that job. Also, she should have a right to copies of tax returns as a spouse. Is her lawyer an immigration lawyer?

  • I forgot to say, they are both Mexican Nationals and he is here working for my x on an L visa and is being represented by lawyers from my x’s company.

  • I was a girlfriend who fell into his lap when he wasnt looking for one. A wife who was so devotes she would do anything to keep the marriage an home running. I worked night shifts, learned to do handyman tasks, handles finances, landscaped yards…I could do it all. I was present like air though, not much to be appreciated.

    I was so trusting he could go where ever and do whatever. As his betrayal grew, so did his disrespect and contempt for me. I saw our marriage was flailing so I read books that told ME to be the BEST partner I could be, so double down on the competence !!!

    He screwed around for fun and it worked for him until he thought he was in Lurve and his desire to leave trumped everything and everyone and the monstering ensued. I was told that I was nothing but an obligation. Years of misery…years.

    I kept my family and my shit together and when he died, in addition to helping my kids through grief, I put on my business hat and made really good decisions for our long term benefit. I didnt tell anyone how much money we had but rather I paid off every bill or debt any of us ever had.

    I rediscovered Col Greatguy and started a wonderful reciprocal relationship with a person who was not a danger to me, emotionally or financially.

    Maybe it is a Chump story for the ages…me & Col Greatguy were dating when we were asked by some friends if we wanted in on their adventure of chartering a 100 ft yacht in the Aegean Sea. Sure…lets go !! We took a side trip to Ephesus to see the ruins and in the top of a hill in Ephesus, he proposed. We returned to Bodrum (seaside village from where our yacht sailed) had a fabulous dinner with friends, got on the yacht (that had a gourmet cook…tablecloths and china at each meal served on deck) and sailed into the Aegean. We stopped in Istanbul before we left Turkey and I had to decide which silk scarves I liked best in the Grand Bazaar. Our wedding was in the mountains of Colorado and we honeymooned in Europe.

    I cant write much more, I have to vacate the house before the cleaning lady gets here.

    I went from abject abuse to a really wonderful life and even though cheaters abuse left scars, I refuse to let those old pains ruin now. When I tell my story I give the disclaimer that “results will vary” Im not promising the Aegean to everyone and I DO NOT advocate expediting anyones demise (cheaters death was a shock of Biblical proportions that I actually wouldn’t have chosen and didnt control).

    Whatever your circumstances are though, be mighty, be yourself, quit tolerating abuse and make the best life you can…you might be surprised how good it will be – Flip that fucking script!!!

  • The immigration lawyer has told her he can withdraw her because he is primary L visa holder. He’s saying he will keep their son in US.

    • Can she drag out the divorce as long as possible and try to get a visa herself in the meantime? Also, hit the newspapers with publicity about this case; separating children from their mother is never popular.

  • I was the overweight, bossy workhorse. Always a little on the grouchy side from working 10-11 hours a day, trying to keep the household running and not getting enough sleep. Now he’s gone and I finally realize how little he actually did. I started running to manage stress and in 2 years have lost 80 lb. Then I joined a gym with a friend and have really toned up. Look better than I did at my wedding. One child has graduated from college and is on her own, the other just started college. No longer bossy when there is no one around who needs bossin’! And this workhorse was promoted into a job that actually requires more like 8-9 hours per day. (Giving me some free time for fitness!) ALL of my labels have been reversed and it feels good!

    • Congratulations, NewHere, you have super turned it around. It’s it sick how they turn our strengths, and the things we do because they force us into it, into things to criticize? Glad to see you take great care of yourself, now that you aren’t having to take care of a man-child.

    • “No longer bossy when there is no one around who needs bossin’!” — Funny that, huh? Me, too.

      XH & I used to have these little conversations: “You seem busy, like there’s a lot of stuff you want to get done around the house today. Can I help?” — Me: “Sure.” — Him: “Well, like what do you want to get done?” — Me: (long pause) “Well, I don’t know, look around — what do YOU think needs to get done?” (as I look at dirty unswept floors, piles of laundry, piles of dishes and an empty fridge) — Him: “Why are you so mean to me?”

      And even at this very late date, I feel a little guilty about the tone of that conversation, but this was after years of me doing all of everything precisely BECAUSE he said he enjoyed a tidy uncluttered home. So it started out that I did it for HIM. And then I finally got tired of leading him by the hand to every task, as if he were a child. So, yes, I did get “bossy” but only because he needed bossin’….

      • ^^^THIS!! Totally!

        And then he’d get mad, stalk off to the garage, and help with nothing. Or I’d get, “You didn’t like what I did last time, so I won’t do that (whatever “that” had been).” Didn’t matter that “last time” was 23 years ago.

        Couple weeks before he left, he tried to make coffee for me and didn’t put a filter in. Grounds, hot water everywhere, total mess. I said “oh, no!” and that was all. Instead of getting his ass off the sofa to clean up his mess, he sat and moaned about losing all his “husband points.”

        • seems like there were bigger things he should have worried about losing his ‘husband points’ for.

      • I got, “I would help but you get mad when I ask what to do!” It wasn’t asking what to do, it was the step by step directions plus the location of every supply that might be required. Me: no, the toilet cleaner is not in the laundry basket. Here, let me stop what I’m doing to get that for you and provide a list with step by step instructions.

        • I asked him to make me scones once from our favorite recipe. I was home at the time, so he asked me before reading each and every written instruction, to the point that I finally got up and wrote in the recipe book, as the first instruction, “Ask NWB about each and every step.” It’s still written in there and it gives me a little giggle every time I see it.

          From another perspective, though, how sad for them that they’re so wrapped up in “doing it perfectly.” XH carried our engagement ring around for nine months before he finally proposed because he wanted the PROPOSAL to be perfectly staged. He said he even changed rings at one point because he didn’t like the first one he’d bought after he carried it around for a while. — So wrapped up in image. I’m grateful I’m not like that.

  • Just 32 years ago (seems like yesterday) there was a cute, smart, sassy, wisecracking girl who loved freely and laughed pretty much all the time. She was known to walk down the street laughing out loud to no one but herself because something funny crossed her mind. Then she married an asshole. Ever so gradually her light became dimmer and dimmer … the laughter trailed off … and the wisecracks were still there but became bitter and negative. It was so slow that she didn’t even notice “she” was gone. Six months after kicking said asshole to the curb and standing up to face the warm sun again … she is back. I mean seriously back. People watch her walk her dog and wonder what funny thing that dog just said to make her laugh so. She’s often blushing too. #yaycubs! #whythefuckisthisinthe3rdperson?!

    • Dixie…..hahahahahaha, you kill me! And, yes, your quick-wit and personality are shining through!

    • “there was a cute, smart, sassy, wisecracking girl who loved freely and laughed pretty much all the time….”

      She’s baaaaaaccccckkkkk!

    • Actually Dixie, you just inspired me to start laughing as I float down the street.

      I was imaging going to my exw’s Dad’s house and cover his car with my many Cubs bumper stickers…..He’s a Chicago White Sox fan ya know….. even though he has probably been to only 3 sox games in his entire life. Rat

  • I don’t know how I was viewed, to be honest. He didn’t share his thoughts. It was a surprise when he told me he wanted a divorce. He had been unhappy for 6 weeks, no, actually, 3 months, and then no again, 6 months. Only after did he say it was because I was “controlling”. Of course, this was brought to my attention after the fact with insight provided by his whore.

    Who I actually am? Someone who gets stuff done, simply because I’m responsible. I’m generous and loyal. I’m someone who had 3 stellar performance reviews after he walked. Someone that purchased a house as a single woman. Someone that despite having horrible knees, ran a half marathon. It hasn’t been easy, but I am stronger than him and always will be. He has had no adversity in his shallow life. My life has been full of it and I’M STILL STANDING!

    • NoKibble4U – This is my story as well.

      When he left, all he would tell me was that he’d been “miserable.” His time-line of misery also changed – from weeks, to months, to suddenly he’d been miserable for our entire marriage.

      He is an ex-combat Marine diagnosed with severe PTSD, and he told me that I had been different since the day he got back from war. Right – I was the problem! He also didn’t realize how “abusive” I was until he complained about me to his mistress and she helped him to see how bad our marriage was.
      I am a responsible, loyal, accomplished National Board Certified English teacher in line for Department Head of 20+ department, a great mom of two assertive girls (he doesn’t like that – I should be raising them to be doormats, you know), and the worst to him I think is that I am someone who is almost always happy / positive. I don’t want to be miserable with him, and wouldn’t let his misery bring me down.

      You keep standing, No Kibble2U, and I will too 🙂

      • I’m sorry JoleneM. I was also called abusive. In fact he filed a protective order against me. I guess standing up for myself and marriage was abuse. Schmoopie thought so too, she filed about 10 days before he did.

        I’m glad you’re teaching your girls to be assertive. You sound like a terrific mother and a wonderful lady. I wish you and your girls much happiness and peace.

  • When I could not afford to have my car fixed to pass inspection earlier this year? I did it myself. Well, YouTube as well, however, the ClusterFuck B Sociopath was laughing at me the entire time-his exact words:
    1) “oh now you’re an auto mechanic too?”
    2) “how to fuck up a perfectly good car 101”

    Well, chumps, I’m a pretty smart gal (even tho I stayed way too long with that fuckng puke). This 50 year old did complete brake jobs (rotors, etc) on my GMC Envoy and my Lincoln Town Car. I also changed a leaking rear axle on the Lincoln which was no small feat.

    So I flipped the script on the Cluster Fuck B Sociopath. Yep, now I’m an auto mechanic too you filthy waste of space.???. Nothing new anyway, he can’t compete with me. He belongs with the Cock Slobber idiots of the world cuz I’m pretty sure she can’t fix a car with a cock in her mouth, or otherwise, but I digress….

      • Electricity scares me unfortunately ? Cluster Fuck B Sociopath sabotaged my overhead exterior lights so they won’t work anymore. The fucker knows I won’t touch electric so that was well played on his behalf. ?

        • You kick ass! Those aren’t easy jobs and you did it. Your fear of electricity is justified. It all depends on the voltage as to how dangerous it is. Most stuff in a house is only 110 volts. From experience, it bites but doesn’t kill. Now 220 volts, don’t mess with it. What is your hourly rate on car repairs?

        • Unless you are attempting to put in new wiring (DONT!!!), electrical shit is a doddle. Ive installed wired in appliances, a chandelier, dimmer switches, out door lights, new oulets … easy peasy. Just gotta know how to turn off the breaker switch and also know how to test that you got the right one off! And the folks here who actually know something about REAL electrical jobs are laughing … 🙂

          • Thanks Dixie. I will start researching this stuff. I’m ordinarily not afraid to at least try to do something.
            Note: trying to fix stuff on your car isn’t as difficult as one may think. If you have some tools available don’t be afraid to try. Brakes are easy peasy too.

          • I’ve said this before, but if guys who can’t keep their jeans over their butt crack when they lean over can do it, then damn it, so can we!!!

    • Hilarious, “fucking puke” and “cock slobber” in the same paragraph…still laughing

  • Until this site I didn’t know what a covert narcissist was. Overt narcissist never fit my ex so I was confused. But covert, he fits the bill to a T!!!! A common thread here, as with my own marriage, is this: my cheater ex had the perfect system, do as little as possible to contribute, ensure I take care of most things and then bitch that I didn’t do it right or good enough! What a perfect destruction machine. Example, I had to schedule all doctor visits (he didn’t like having to make calls and talk to actual people and pick actual appointment times). So if I scheduled the appointment for morning, he would birtch while there that I made him get up early. So, me being the eager to please wife, would schedule the next one in the afternoon, then I would get “this fucking really cuts right into the middle of my day Beachgirl!”. So I couldn’t win and he got to label me “controlling”. No I wasn’t controlling I was taking care of the business of life. I guess I too would have a different view point if all my day consisted of was sleeping, watching porn, smoking weed, watching Southpark and, oh yea, planning secret hooks ups with my mistress. What a great life not to be bothered with work or responsibility. They resent our competence and goodness.

    They set us up in a suckers game we can’t win! As the old movie “War Games” said “the only way to win is not to play the game!” Brilliant!!!

    • “Until this site I didn’t know what a covert narcissist was. Overt narcissist never fit my ex so I was confused.”

      Me too. I was so relieved yet incredibly sad and angry at all of those years that I felt like the one that was crazy and disordered. No one else saw his dark side but me and so many times I questioned things he did and said because they were so off-the-wall with mind fuckery my rational brain couldn’t process them.

      Even now things will pop into my brain and I’ll think, oh yeah, now that makes much more sense.

  • my sister ( well intentioned) says I emasculated him. I don’t think so, he did that all by himself, I just reacted to it. 4 years of wreckonciliation while he worked as little as possible while I turned into a human pretzel and wonder woman trying to cover costs for 4 properties as well as his nasty drinking and smoking habits and his need to always be the big man on campus with expensive dinners and wines when out and about. If me trying to keep us together financially means I emasulated him then toodoloo mfu*cker!! I also was too negative and nagging.

    How do I flip the script? I live my cheater free life, and know that I am in much better financial shape even though he has not contributed a penny to our jointly owned property since January. His new mommy/supply/appliance can have his deadbeat ass. Booyah!

  • I was looked down upon by X, because of being a hands-on doer. So, I wasn’t much into gold chains and push-up bras, like his secretary, I was into making art, remodeling, design, and of course, having fun with my boys. I don’t want to be only someone’s arm candy. I think I’m attractive enough, and I approve. I guess he didn’t, his choice.
    I flipped the script now, because I get to do whatever I want! Thanks to my father’s generosity, pretty soon I’m going to semi-retire, and I looking at land to buy in the country! If it has a house on it, that is beat up, I can remodel it to my hearts content. And design everything in it, and paint. Freedom to do my own thing- priceless!

    • FreeWoman, You have so much to look forward to! That sounds so absolutely blissful!

    • Freewoman, that sounds wonderful. I also dream about one day retiring to a little house somewhere peaceful… a house where I can once again garden and decorate any way I want.

  • Get ready folks… because I was a truly awful, unlovable, unsupportable, selfish PLANNER.

    Yup, “I could never be spontaneous because you always had something planned for us.”

    Gee Mr. Sparkles, being a grown-up DOES require some planning you know. Maybe that is why I own my home, get kids what they need before they need (e.g. school supplies and health check-ups), have a growing 401K, can take nice annual vacations, have friendships that have lasted decades. LIFE TAKES PLANNING.

    So, sue me… sue me… what can you do me? Now if only my PLAN for the DIVORCE would be finished.


    Rock on Chump Nation (and Cub Fans!)… there is always HOPE – just not with cheater fuckwits.

    • Funny – I was a PLANNER too! He would get annoyed and actually complain that I planned dinner and had it ready every day when he got home from work.
      I also planned every date we ever went on during our entire 18-year relationship (including high school dating, yep he’s the only guy I’ve ever been with). I can’t tell you how many fun dates I suggested and he “wasn’t interested.” Then he’d later complain that I never tried and we didn’t do anything fun together.
      When he was packing his stuff to leave our home, I showed him several cards & letters showing him how hard I had tried. He said he wasn’t interested in reading any.
      Of course not; he was already out the door.
      Now he has fun with somebody else.
      The weird thing is that his mistress has a child with a disability, and it sounds like all they do is hang out at her house with her kids. But she doesn’t every expect anything from him – he can do whatever he wants, and that’s the way he likes it.
      Mr. Spontaneous is actually Mr. Selfish & Irresponsible.

  • I’m flipping the script big time. My ex thought I’d stay a depressed, boring lump of nothing who would never find another man for the rest of my life, because that’s how he saw me.
    And yet here I am six years later, and I’m getting married to Nice Man the day after tomorrow.
    Back at Dday, I believed my ex. I truly thought I would be alone the rest of my life, would barely leave my house, would never find work or achieve anything. Boy did life prove me (and him) wrong.

    • Congratulations GladItsOver!!! I wish you every happiness – and please keep posting here. It’s inspirational to know there is always a possibility of a future relationship even though I’m not dating yet. I worry about my picker because I do so love sparkly things. Have a great life on the other side!!
      I know CL did it, but I always love to hear more happy stories!

    • Congrats to Mr. Nice Guy and best of luck to you, Glad. (I believe that is the proper, traditional way one congrats the newlyweds)

      That is the best revenge on cheater exes: leaving them behind for something far, far, far better. 🙂

    • Congrats to you! A life well lived is the best revenge. I hope your wedding is awesome!

    • Now that is happy news. Have I mentioned how much I love a happy ending?! Congratulations!!

    • The most awesome news, after all you’ve been through! Bless you both, and your son, too, he must be so happy! Yay for love, and Nice Guy!

    • Congratulations!! Much happiness to you and Mr. Nice Man!! Now go forth and don’t look back!!

  • I’m really happy for all you Cubs fans. Dreams do come true. And also big cheers for all of you who turned your former narrative on its head.

    My dog is having cancer surgery as I type this, so I’m not capable of much rational thought at the moment. Just wanted to say “good on you!” to my fellow chumps.

    • Positive thoughts and healing vibes heading to your pooch and you. I love my dog so much; I know how awful it feels when they hurt or are sick.

      • Thanks, GladIt’sOver! All good vibes welcome. Willieman has been my pal through the shit storm of the last two years. I’m hoping we can muddle on together for a few more years at least. Fingers crossed.

    • Fifi, I hope all goes well with your pup. I don’t know how I’d have survived without my Aussie the last few years. Pets are such healing companions!

    • Thanks, everybody! He did well in surgery and I get to pick him up in a few hours. Next hurdle is to see what the lab has to say about the tissue that was removed. Hopefully the wound will heal quickly, but he won’t be going to doggy daycare for a few weeks at least. Thanks again for all your good wishes. It really helped!

  • Ball and chain.

    And now I am the most fun, most coveted bachelorette in town.

    Who’s the ball and chain pal?

  • I did a couple of flips.

    The first one was when I found out I was married to a lying cheater. I became someone I didn’t recognize, letting this guy treat me like shit, while simultaneously trying to please him. What a waste of time. He even let the nasty whore treat me like shit, calling me names and threatening me. I’m sorry, what the fuck is up with that.??

    Anyway, luckily, and with the wisdom of CL and DM, I snapped one day and found the person I really am again. I am who I am, and I’m not apologizing for that and compromising my values for any person, much less a couple of whores. If they think I’m fat, or lazy, or insecure, or anything else negative may I just say Fuck Off. And they really don’t want to know what I think of THEM.

  • Oh, bleh, will I never learn?

    For some reason I was bored or something, and decided to Google Anthony Weiner crotch pictures, and now I can’t unsee then! Help!

    I’m sorry, what kind of sicko wants to send or receive this kind of garbage???? And seeing the little boy right there was just completely horrible. And the person he sent it to had to see the child right there. Sick as well.

    • The only good new is that despite his multitude of crotch pictures, Anthony’s weiner appears to have been like the Maytag repairman–lonely. Is there any evidence he actually scored with any of the sickos encouraging him to send dick pix?

      • From what I have heard, he didn’t. At least not on American soil. Who knows what he did elsewhere. Guess it will all come out. I think he really is mentally ill. And still disgusting.

  • Right now he is “flipping the script” or flipping reality on me. After 13 years of being a supportive and too-loyal wife, he “went fishing” one night and never returned home – moved in with his mistress he’d known since our 6 year old was born. He just turned 33; she’s almost 47. She actually helped him leave him, helped him research how to tell our kids about separation, set up a bedroom for our kids to stay in, and is helping him with the legal process of a divorce.

    The part I have a hard time with is that at first he acted guilty and didn’t really want anyone to know he was living with a mistress. Then as soon as some interim documents were signed, he switched to rage, hatred, and blame. Apparently I was “abusive” – even though he is the ex-combat Marine with guns, silencers, anger issues, and 70 pounds on me. He has even gotten his mistress to call the police for a civil standby when I pick up my kids from her house. I am the one who needs protection from his anger & refusal to follow the rules not to approach or contact me with harassment.

    He also parades his mistress in front of me as often as possible. I know she’s just a fake-boobed botoxed superficial tramp. I know I have more substance, more brains, more self-respect, more accomplishments & contributions to the world. But how do you keep the comparisons out of your head?

    I am trying to be the bigger person, focus on my own life and my kids, and just move forward somehow.
    Does it matter how he portrays me? No – only his mistress believes him. Some Switzerland friends stick with “guy code” and say it’s none of their business. Everyone in my life builds me up for my strength in this situation. Yet for some reason it feels like it does matter. Does he really believe his own lies?
    Does anyone have advice for how to focus on what I know about me instead of he wants me to believe about myself?

    I can flip the script in my life – and I am. But how do I get myself to believe my own truth?
    (It has only been 3 months since he left. Maybe the answer is time – I would love to skip ahead 3 years or so in life . . . .)

    • Ohhh, Jolene….Hugs. Three months is so early in the process. Easier said than done but don’t buy any of their BS. Stay true to yourself. Extreme self care. Write a list of all the crappy things about him. Keep it with you, read it, read it, read it over and over again. Get CL’s new book, read the archives and keep posting here….we have your back!

    • I’m sorry, JoleneM. You have substance, and were made to compete with shallow. Contemporary society (or at least vocal subsegments of it) value shallow over substance, and it can be hard not to judge one’s self accordingly. But consider this as applied to other people (rather than yourself)–would you rather has a friend the botoxed babe conniving to steal someone else’s spouse & children, or someone with smarts and accomplishments and integrity? Easy answer, right? Your shit-for-character X has found his own level.

      I can’t tell you the Switzerland friends, and X’s barbs won’t sting, but they do sting less over time, and eventually you will have utter contempt for him and Botox Babe. Hugs!

    • Jolene, your ex is a ball of spewed rabbit turd, and the OW is going to make his life a living hell, I guarantee you that 100%. Doubt they will even last much beyond the divorce. But I hear you about the sting of knowing the person you loved most, the person you vowed to be with for life, the person who knew you better than anyone, now hates and blames you for things you didn’t even do……. HE did them. My answers to your questions:
      Yes, he does believe his own lies and twisted version of reality.
      Yes, time is the best medicine.
      The best way forward is just what you said…. focus on yourself. I know it sounds trite, but try to treat yourself as kindly as possible. Buy yourself flowers. Take a class in something that interests you. Splurge on something you really want. Do fun things with your kids. Find some interesting new shows to binge watch.

      This too shall pass…… I am years out ahead of you, and as I wrote above, I am getting married day after tomorrow. There are good things ahead for you as well, and everyone here in Chump Nation. But I will be honest with you…… although I have no contact at all with my ex (our son is 20), and have not spoken with him directly in a couple of years, it still does pain me inside to know that he blames me for everything and considers me to be an awful person. I suspect it always will, but it’s not something I think about very much, and the pain is sort of muted by now, like a bad memory.

      Hang in there. It takes time and you are barely started on the painful journey.

      • Bloody big hugs for a great outcome. Congratulations, GladIt’sOver.
        You are a flipping star.

        You know, when I hear stories like yours and unicornomore, I feel total joy. It is THEE best feeling. No matter what shit hole I am in, I feel absofuckinglutely delighted by your success.

        Some flame ignites in me and I can’t stop smiling. All the very, very best on a memorable day, later to be known in your life as Saturday, November 5th, 2016. xxxx, V

    • Jolene M
      I’m not that much further out from ddays than you. I’m luckier in that my STBX has not moved in with any of his OW. I can’t imagine how hard that is. All I know is what I have discovered helps me. I make sure to focus on my basics. I try to eat right, I try to sleep well, I try to exercise every day even if for a short time. I try to let my grief happen – if I feel heartbroken one day I try to take care of myself like a best friend would. I try to focus on the little good things in life. I have a recovery notebook where everything that makes me feel good goes in. I have a ‘bad’ notebook where I basically vent and rage and vomit out all the poison.
      Most of all when thoughts of him come to mind I immediately think ‘oh no not you – this is my time’ then write down or mentally run through a list of things I want for me big or small. Today I wanted a small lamp for my hallway, a piano to learn to play, a new bike to ride around on and get fit, to learn how to garden, to not eat any more carbs than my own body weight every day. I think about myself until all thoughts of him have gone. I just keep doing this. Now it’s awkward when he FaceTimes me – as soon as I see him I start running through things I want! Awkward.
      Just know you will get to where you want to be.
      Good luck

    • Hey Jolene,

      I’m right there with you in the early days. DDay was July 27 (this year) and I moved out August 19. I’m still prone to getting on the mental merry-go-round sometimes, and I had a couple of “burst into tears in public” moments this week already. But I find that it REALLY helps to make sure that I keep on asking myself “What do YOU want for the next 5 minutes/half hour/day, Happy Monkey?” That allows me to focus on self-care and healing.

      I keep coming here to read the postings and the forums. I exercise, meditate, do a lot of walking, and I’m looking into getting an overseas contract for work.

      Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and we’ll get through this! I know it! <>

    • Jolene,

      Get one of those marble composition books. Every night before you go to bed, leave about 20 minutes and write. Don’t type on a keyboard … write. Describe yourself in all your glory … this is just for you and no one else will ever read it. Don’t spare any flattery. Remind yourself of all the things you have accomplished, all the kind things you have done, all the things you have overcome, and all the things you have learned along the way. NO NEGATIVITY. You won’t cover all those topics in one night of course. At first, I bet it is hard and you feel self conscious and you run out of things to say. Just do this. Commit to try this for one month. Any one can do anything for one month. Commit. I promise you that by the end of the month, you will be amazed. You are filling your subconscious with positive thoughts right before you sleep, when you will continue to mull these thoughts. And there is something about writing that stimulates the necessary parts of your brain. Good luck, honey.

    • Jolene, no wonder it’s hard with the shit he is pulling. With time you will be able to ignore their infantile stunts and focus only on how well you are doing by yourself for you and your son. He can rot with the old whore. They can barely tolerate each other now, that’s why they need to keep their focus on pretending you’re a monster.

    • Jolene, I’m about four months out, and whenever I catch myself caring about what he’s thinking, I make it a point to remind myself that he is (apparently) not the kind of person whose opinion I value, so why should I give a crap? He also thought it was OK to cheat on me for…probably for our entire relationship. Who really knows? The one affair I discovered would’ve been plenty. He still thinks its ok to blame me for it all (mind boggling, as he accidentally admitted he’s always been cheating, so I guess I was so awful from the start that he…married me? Yeah, doesn’t make any sense to me either…). He thought it was OK to never get STD tested, even though he was screwing prostitutes in several foreign countries, or when he was screwing his ho-worker while I was still breastfeeding our infant son. Lovely. He thought it was OK to buy his AP a $2K vacation for her birthday while at home we had decided we couldn’t afford to put our older son into the swim class he so wanted. All the while he was pretending to be Husband and Father of the Year, and yup, everyone (me especially) bought it. And that’s exactly how he wanted it.

      Whenever I hear something (subtly) shitty (he’s the covert type), I think through these things and come to the same conclusion every time: I obviously never really knew him, he’s a stranger to me, because the person I (thought I) knew and loved could NEVER have done this to the people he said he loved. And, based on his ACTIONS, this stranger is a POS. What can POS’s give you? More shit. So, whenever I hear his “opinion” on something, I remind myself to put as much stock in it as his “Don’t be ridiculous, I’d never cheat on you!”, or later his “I never brought her to our home, where our children live!” (Not just one, but two of our neighbors in our apartment building saw her going into our apartment…so, riiiiiiight.)

      I keep a couple of mantras on hand for my moments of self-doubt. I would recommend finding sayings that resonate with you, that you can use as a touchstone. A couple of mine are: You can’t get blood from a stone (when I get frustrated that he can’t act like a decent human being, it = You can’t get decency from a POS, so just work around it like dog shit on the sidewalk), or when he says something absurdly ridiculous I go zen with “We can agree to disagree, and I will file the appropriate paperwork.” (Zen follows a string of curses that clear me out some elbow room on the subway platform, lol, so many benefits to leaving a cheater!) The mantras really do help knock me back into a better frame of mind.

      I’ve also found it incredibly helpful to re-establish old friendships and to make new ones, and see reflected in them that I am worthwhile and fun and all those things he had me convinced I wasn’t. He’s just WRONG Jolene. These types are just wrong about everything: about what to value in life, about how to be a good person, about how to treat others. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s wrong about you too.

      Stay strong (but feel free to cry into your beer once in awhile if you feel the need, sometimes you just gotta). Wishing for lots and lots of mental peace to come your way.

  • I’m not sure what script he had me written into? Overly …loyal, committed, dependent, trusting, caring, motherly, educated,cowardly, forgiving, naive, gutless? Under…. Sexual, attention driven focused on him?
    I guess I flipped the narrative myself when I left. I’m still “overly” with some traits but I hope his sorry ass knows being overly cowardly, forgiving, naive, or gutless is a thing of the past if they ever existed anyway, since I did not know what a Cluster B is. The “under” part was a product of living with someone that could not be trusted or contributed a single thing toward the marriage, parenting, and little toward helping at home.

  • Well, the interesting thing that comes to mind is that my ex always bragged (after years of telling me what an amazing SAHM I was after choosing to stay home when #3 and #4 children were born) that he was so good at his job and respected and successful. Once the demonizing of me began (post affairs, of course) he changed his tune. Once during the divorce he was highlighting my “controling” ways to our son- to compare against Mr. Fun Dad- no homework, no rules, skip school, etc….When I needed him to step up as a parent and support a teacher’s concern with our son he went nuts in an email.

    Here is an excerpt from the email that once haunted me:
    “Yes, Son needs to pay attention and do his work for the most part.”
    (let’s get back to ME!!!)…Pivot
    “I know I certainly didn’t pay attention all the time in class and I think I did just fine in the business world. I make more than 99% of Americans and my grades in HS weren’t good. You were a 3.8 student and did a great job studying and are now happy making 35K as a teacher….. different strokes for different folks…..”

    “He is a kid, Free2bme, Son and I have very good discussions about his missteps and he understands consequences if he gets outside his boundaries.”
    (That’s rich- YOU will be a boundary line keeper for our son? You, who can’t keep your dick in your pants during work hours and has unportotected sex wtih skanks?)

    “We have good discussions about life in general. Life that is meant to be lived and enjoyed.”

    Post Script-less than a year later- he emails often that he is homeless, and has no job, and I have to support everyone and he gave, gave, gave, and it is so HARD to get a good job at age 50….

    It was hard to get a job at 50 with a thin resume and a 3.8GPA and a Masters degree, but I did it and now he is still unemployed. My good grades, and work ethic and healthy boundaries and kids and I are doing just fine. No kids will now even see him because he has been so bad to them all. Son is no longer manipulated and triangulated and his dad, is with me 365 days a year by choice, and his grades are great now that he is just being parented (not controlled) by me alone- loving him and showing him some boundaries have done just fine. Manipulation is over because he figured out his dad in his own time and way too.

    His commentary is now a source of humor, no longer painful to read like it once was. Thanks for the chance to prove you wrong, you Dummy…again and again and again!!!

  • I finally flipped the script when instead of the pickme dance I filed and divorced his ass.

    He said the whore wouldn’t like it if he talked to me. Wish granted. I maintain no contact and spend holidays, birthdays, and weekends with my adult children and granddaughter.

    He couldn’t get anywhere with me.
    I live in my comfortable home with my adult child and granddaughter.

    I cried for over a year while being harassed by the crazy whore. Now he supposedly cries because he can’t maintain relationships.

    I was broken and healed. He will always be a loser.

    My income increased and I’m saving to buy a home. His income potential has dwindled considerably.

  • My STBX said I was an ice queen bitch. Direct quote. When nothing could be further from the truth. I am a loving, caring woman. However, for years, I’ve been left to raise the kids mostly on my own. He never cuddled with me. Hugs were rare and stiff. Kisses had become “routine” for him. Also, saying I love you. It had become a “habit”. I stretched every dollar, worried about money. Tried getting him involved in our finances. He had no interest. I swallowed a lot of anger, because he didn’t want a “drama queen”. I didn’t nag. I tried to gently push. And if he didn’t respond, I’d do it myself.

    When he’s finally gone from my house, our finances FINALLY separated, I will be in charge of my own finances. I will get myself, finally, out of debt. I will get a great paying job, that I enjoy. I will continue to be a great mom.

    And, maybe, I’ll meet another man. But my standards will be MUCH higher. If I am upset, I will let him know right away. If I need a hug and a cuddle, I’ll demand it. Maybe some guys will think I’m a “drama queen”. However, I am human, and I have needs. And I’m tired of pushing my needs aside for someone else’s comfort.

    • Yes, I too can already see that life will be so much better with him out of my house and life! Weirdly, all the responsibility at home should have felt more difficult on my own (young kids, cooking, laundry, cleaning, errands, the list goes on) bit it actually felt easier immediately. I never realized the extent of how much he was checked out and not invested in our marriage or life together. Once he was gone and I no longer had expectations of a partner to help me, I realized he never was a PARTNER.

      • Wait until you go on your first family vacation without him. What a revelation!! One less baby whose needs must be met or he’ll make everyone miserable. No conflict between wanting to do things the kids will enjoy and the manly sports hobbies that cannot be put aside for even a few days. I could go on! 🙂

        • Good point, makes me want to start planning a vacation to look forward to. Our last family vacation, my then-husband was so sulky and negative, didn’t want to go on dates in the evening with me even though my mother was with is and offered to stay with our kids, and he went to sleep with our young kids early every night. Now I realize he was probably cheating then, and was always sulky to spend time with me for years of our marriage.
          The betrayal is awful, but enjoying life on my own with my kids is much better than a non-marriage.

        • Yes, your true family is all still there. Still in tact. And you sound young, so you need not worry about being alone forever. So just enjoy these years when the kids are young … they go so fast, as you know. Thank God for our kids … otherwise the years spent would seem much more wasted.

  • I flipped the script last week when I found out my boyfriend had been carrying on sexting relationship with an old girlfriend who lives in Chicago, a cubbies fan.

    Old Script-
    M EXH cheated 7 years ago I did the pick me dance, I spackled, we reconciled (ugh what a joke) only for it to happen again 2 years later then we divorced-Lesson learned.

    New Script-
    With the cheater boyfriend I said ” I don’t play 2nd fiddle to anybody and I said I don’t think I can move past this. He cried, he begged, he finally said ok if you won’t be able to trust me I’ll leave. He left. Literally, 2 days later.
    He packed up everything he owned, quit his job and drove from Minneapolis to Chicago to be with Mary baby the cubbies fan. I couldn’t even watch the games, knowing he was there. I’ll try again next year.

    • Beth, sorry he’s such a loser but congratulations on standing up for yourself and not wasting any time with him. You have learned and grown. You are mighty!

    • Beth,
      Glad you flipped the script, but I am so sorry that you were hurt once again… I’m sure you shared some of your horror stories from the previous cheater and still…. he didn’t respect your feelings enough to be honest. For that I feel for you. I meant to ask… Did you get to finish the “Gift of Fear” book?! I did and it was so worth it! I’ve already loaned it out. 🙂

      • I might be a different Beth, but I have read that book and I loved it!

        I forgot to add in my original story I said “what do you think I am, some kind of a chump?” LOL…that felt pretty good saying it at the time. Still hurt like a MoFo….especially when he tried to turn the tables on me by saying that he did this because I wouldn’t commit to a more serious relationship with him (he had some financial issues that he needed to figure out, I don’t fix men anymore either!) and that he moved away.

        • No better way to secure a commitment from a lady than by cheating on her. :/ What a jitbag. Be glad to be rid of him.

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