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UBT: “Don’t Define Me”

respectforwomenDear Chump Lady,

I ran off a list to my cheating fiancé about why I didn’t think he respected women and I included him cheating on me and leading the OW on and this is what he responded with. I shit you not. Now remember this is after I agreed to emotionally support him through his bullshit therapy.

i universally have no respect for women? i dont think theres any value in arguing with you on such faulty logic. if casting me as some kind of demon helps you cope better day to day then do what you have to do. i cannot stop you. i just hope that humanity doesnt define you universally for the mistakes you have made and will make in life, the way you are defining me. have a good night.

Tell me I’m not fucking crazy please. I gave this asshole a list of reasons that were all facts.


Dear AJ,

You’re not crazy. But you’re trying to win the wrong point. He doesn’t need to cop to not respecting all women — he didn’t respect YOU. Let the OW wage her own battle for self-respect. You’re about to be married, and he cheated on you. That’s either a deal breaker for you, or it is not.

I understand trying to get his thoughts on his shittiness (I am, after all, a chump), but you’re sticking your head in the mindfuck blender. He’s not responding with remorse or compassion. Instead he’s flipping through the manipulation channels of self-pity, rage, and charm. Nothing to work with here, AJ.

Well, the Universal Bullshit Translator can work with it. (It’s made of titanium alloys and the bullshit just slides right off). But I suggest you not devote your life to an endless supply of his self-serving excrement. You don’t need to “emotionally support” him through therapy. He needs to know how to be a decent human being out of the starting gate. He doesn’t have the basic skill set? Then he’s got no business marrying anyone, let alone demanding their hand-holding.

Now to the UBT.

i universally have no respect for women? i dont think theres any value in arguing with you on such faulty logic.

I could mansplain it for you, but your weak, baby girl brain couldn’t understand it.

if casting me as some kind of demon helps you cope better day to day then do what you have to do.

I answer to Beelzebub or Hank.

Pay no attention to my cheating on you, or my manipulations. I’ve been slandered as disrespectful! Next you’ll say I’m uncouth and don’t folder my pocket square just so. I can’t STAND this kind of trash talk!

I’m above such insults, but that’s how you roll — demonizing the man who betrayed you. During your engagement. Setting you up for tragic humiliation.

I fail to understand your hostility.

i cannot stop you.

But I’ll do my damnedest to confuse you first.

No, I cannot stop you from your crazy demonizing notions. Pity me for ever considering marrying such a delusional creature as yourself. The issue is not what I did (cheat and lie) — it’s your reaction to it.

i just hope that humanity doesnt define you universally for the mistakes you have made

(Hyperbole and false equivalency.)

Humanity will judge YOU! And how would you like that? Huh? HUH? You make mistakes too you know! Like that time you forgot the capital of South Dakota is PIERRE. And I was like, DUH, of course they speak French in South Dakota — didn’t you know that? Do you want humanity to judge you for your ignorance?

and will make in life, the way you are defining me.

I will not be defined! I will not have you define me by my actions and call them names like “cheater.” I AM SPLENDID.

You want a name? There it is — Maximillius Von Splendidpants!

have a good night.

(Flips to charm setting.) I can do pleasantries. Can demons do that?

AJ — please dump this condescending, sanctimonious asswipe. He’s showing you who he is — believe him.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • One of the biggest lessons for me here aT Chumplady was not to engage the disordered. They aren’t going to understand the logic. They don’t want to become better people they just want everyone to think they are wonderful, without the actual effort of being wonderful. You can’t win an argument with a disordered person. They are never going to see the light. They are not going to change for you. This is not the life you are meant to live.

    AJ, you have the chance to call it off, and not marry this person who does not respect you. Don’t build a life with someone who can’t love you. He isn’t capable. He doesn’t care about how much he has hurt you. His actions (ignore his words) show it. Forget about everyone else and what they will think. Save yourself. If you are embarrassed remember that there are 7 billion people in this world, you can make new friends and build a new life. Many of us here have done just that. Save yourself!

    • My STBX understands logic perfectly well. As a physician, he uses it every day. He CHOOSES not to apply it to himself or his behavior. During marriage counseling, I wasted a lot of time asking “is he capable/incapable of empathy, honesty, and love?”
      In the end, it didn’t matter the reasons that he is a lying, cheating scumbag. Only that he is.

      • Ditto, Louisvilleflower. Your situation is exactly the same as mine. My physician ex-husband greatly prides himself on his Mensa IQ. Apparently his ho-worker physician affair partner, now wife, also has a Mensa IQ. My ex once screamed at me: “Do you have Dr. in front of your name?”, in the middle of a fight about his cheating. WTF? What does that have to do with anything? The pair of them may be intellectual giants, but they are emotional and spiritual midgets.

        • My ex and his affair partner are both PhD’s (and coworkers!). But these so-smart people didn’t think it through when my ex moved in right after her ex moved out. The kids were actually kind of fond of their dad and didn’t take it well when my ex took up residence. Cue the tiny violins!

          • During one of our pointless arguments while I was hopelessly trying to reason with X, he screamed at me, “I’m a pilot, what are you? ” huh? “What are you?” “I’m a Pilot what are you?”
            He forgot to mention he’s also a lying, cheating, self absorbed, scumbag.
            None of which I am.

            • Nowdeadcheater and I met when were in our educations…he in a prestigious military academy and I was in Nursing School. He liked to joke that I went to “Janitor School”. I worked in Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care…yea, where they let the stupid people work.

              • Military academy? Really, fucktwat? And when they shoot hand off, yes the one you wank yourself with, who will you calling to SAVE your lame ass? A janitor?

            • Are these adults we are speaking about? I just got this mental image of 8 year old kids playing with costumes, “I’m a doctor, “I’m a pilot,” “I’m a fucking unicorn.” They might as well have been repeating the nursery rhyme, “Rub a dub dub.” And can I ask what the hell the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker were doing in the same bathtub? These supposed adults piss me off.

              • Wow – how petty and arrogant. My surgeon ex and I met in medical school but he still managed to put me down for my second class honours (not first like him) and choice of specialty (low on prestige and income). My fellow chump friend has a PhD but her ex put her down over her home country and accent. These narcs will find any reason, no matter how ridiculous. And people who advertise they belong to MENSA make my skin crawl!

              • I know what you mean. I failed my National Boards the first time (missed my test – ‘cuz dad died and I travelled to Florida to help my mom) but passed the next year.

                After D-day, x (high school dropout) told me that he cheated because I had told him I was going to get my boards and it took TWO years instead of one.

                Because I had lied to him. So we were ‘even.’


            • “What are you? I’m a Pilot, what are you.” I would have said “I AM sick of you’re sorry lame as living in MY house. I AM, tossing your skanky ass out along with yesterdays garbage…..That’s who the FUCK I AM!” Take that BITCH! (sweet smile, pointing to rented halo)

              • I wish I had said that and more nomoreskankboy, the young me would have, this happened when I was in Super Chump mode, improvisational dancing to the best of my ability and then some.
                If I hadn’t been in a Chump hopium induced fog, I would have reminded him that it was me who put his resume together (this was over 25 years ago) and nagged him to get off his ass and apply to the airlines otherwise he’d still be sitting in the same apartment unemployed and watching cartoon marathons.

              • nomoreskankboy, the young me would have, this happened when I was in Super Chump mode, improvisational dancing to the best of my ability and then some.
                If I hadn’t been in a Chump hopium induced fog, I would have reminded him that it was me who put his resume together (this was over 25 years ago) and nagged him to get off his ass and apply to the airlines otherwise he’d still be sitting in the same apartment unemployed and watching cartoon marathons.

        • CF, my Ex Fcukwhite said she wanted someone who was her equal. What’s that then, a complete and utter poor excuse for a human being?
          Fellow chump.

        • One huge red flag for me is the person who feels compelled to announce their summa cum laude status from (insert Ivy League name) and, of course, don’t forget Phi Beta Kappa and/or Blue Key. Frankly, I could give a damn about educational or financial status, because neither of those things has anything to do with one’s character. I value education, but I have never been under the misapprehension that intellect somehow equates with moral clarity. Whenever I am introduced to someone who feels compelled to share their educational or financial achievements, I find a way to excuse myself from the conversation. Sadly, narcissists are often very successful and have no inhibitions about sharing their greatness with others. My theory is their lack of conscience works to their advantage in the professional world.

          • “Snakes in suits” is exactly about that! All chumps should read that book!
            I had a 1 year work encounter with such a specimen that was my boss.
            The red flags … those common sense things? Because these sub-humans lack exactly that: common sense!
            Or the “squeezed in the corner feeling”?
            I overlooked those flags. I needed the job, and that’s how these people work!
            Don’t give up your power! Stay strong, forge on!

            Oh, besides seeing inside the demon’s pilot cabin, where he pushes the buttons to control people, another lesson I got was: my x is like that. And it ain’t sexy! That thought alone banished any desire to look back at the narcissist I once loved!

        • If his forte is teaching logic, he is a colossal hypocrite. He lost you?? He should be teaching “Dumb Fucks for Idiots 101”
          If that isn’t a mindfuck all on its own I don’t know what is.

          • Aww, thanks, EX-orcist; I feel the same way about your dumbfuck for losing you.

            Damn if chumps aren’t the warmest, wittiest, smartest people I have ever encountered. I con’t care how many letters cheaters have after their names, or if they were shortlisted for a Nobel Prize, they are fucking stoopid for jeopardizing their relationships with people of integrity & love.

            • Tempest, I think there’s a type of these cheaters who specialises in professions or disciplines which help them run rings around others. They become psychologists, social workers, philosophers, physicians, teachers, doolahs or nurses. Anything that will give them ammunition and cover. On top of that yours was surely terrified of your sharp intellect and sought superiority in banging students… Me, not that clever, I’ll just say he didn’t deserve you,plain and simple. You are a gem here at CN.

              • Thanks, Kiwichump–you are a gem, and I always look forward to your insightful posts.

                None of these fuckwits deserved any of us.

              • kiwichump – Totally agree with you on both counts:
                Hannibal never deserved Tempest…
                The most twisted kinds of cheaters might gravitate highly reputable professions where they learn all about the art of persuasion and argumentation… And then use these to mindfuck people around them more effectively. The best course of action in this case remains NC…

      • Ditto for the cheating physician STBXH! I believe the narcissistic personality with huge feelings of entitlement is rampant in doctors. They spend their days with staff, nurses and patients hopping to their orders, and come to expect that treatment from everyone in their life – spouse, kids, friends. My STBX justified his cheating because he didn’t feel “respected” at home because I had the audacity to treat him as an equal! He traded down big time for the OW because she “made him feel good about himself” and “is in awe of me.” Awesome. That’ll last exactly as long as it takes for you to marry her, and then the gold-digger will be looking for something better! Bring on my cheater-free, authentic life without having to endlessly stroke your ego!

        • Oh I got the “you not respecting me is the biggest detriment to our marriage” from Dr. C. For me it was the prostitues in our bedroom, to name one detriment.

              • I don’t think it’s really about sex. Dr. C insisted on keeping my wedding dress on display in the bedroom though I’d wanted to pack it away for months. I’m sure that heightened the experience he was buying.

            • Oh Tempest there’s no use talking to the disordered. I think that day I stomped on his cell phone til it started smoking and sizzling. Now that was satisfying. Heartbreaking yes, but also satisfying.

              • I love that cell phone story, Geode! Of course there’s no use talking to the disordered, but if you can impale them with a sharp comment and run, that works!

              • When I got sick of my ex-wife on her cellphone 24/7 with her AP (also my cousin), I took great joy in flinging her phone into the lake!

              • Why didn’t I think of that? My X lived on the thing. I even changed plans a few months before Dday and got her a new one. The plan was in my name and if I could go back in time I would ask her for it at time of admission and then proceed to stomp it into a billion pieces just to watch the pain it would cause her. Where is a time capsule???

              • You’re right Ian. It is about sex. I read my post and hear the words of the RIC therapists echoing in my chumpy brain. Doesn’t matter if there’s a deeper issue, the behavior is truly disgusting.

              • Always the cell phone! On that thing 24/7. Contract was in my name so it dawned on me one day that I could get a copy of itemised bill and then D-Day!

            • Eyes Open Now: My physician-ex was always annoyed when I asked him to take out the garbage. How disrespectful I was of his towering importance – he had patients to see, charts to write, students to teach. A very, very, busy man, No time to take garbage out, but apparently plenty of time to cheat on his wife and kids.

              • Same here! – mine always said to any request he help me out (e.g. stay home with the kids on my rare weekend on-calls) “tell them you’re married to a busy surgeon”, as though that amazing status released him from any domestic responsibilities. Mowing the lawn once a year or making some appalling sloppy tasteless spaghetti using all the pots and pans was regarded as an amazing domestic contribution that deserved fawning praise and immediate sexual gratification!

              • Yes, we mere mortals have to take out the garbage, do the dishes, get the kids to bed. In the entire time I was married to Mr. Success, he never, and I do mean never, engaged in any type of household chore. From mowing the lawn, to loading a dishwasher, it was beneath him. He literally did not know how to turn on a washing machine or dish washer. Forget any more substantial chores like painting or cleaning the gutters. And if I couldn’t do it myself, it was always my responsibility to find someone who could. He simply had too many far more important demands on his time to waste it on running a household. But boy, did he miss out on so much…and I think he now knows it. Not because he has gained any special insight, but because he sees the closeness between our mostly grown children and I, a closeness he does not enjoy.

              • Hi, Ohana –

                He said I was shaming him. That’s a frequent line for men in “recovery”. Pretty sure his behavior and lack of morals was causing the shame.

        • This all sounds familiar. (One of ) my ex’s OW had to tell him everyday how smart, handsome, etc. he is and how he’s “the Director” (of a department in a med school). I said, “really? you need to hear that everyday?” I didn’t know that his ego was so fragile that he needed that constant validation. But when she drank, her frustration came out about all his faults so it was not all that wonderful, or as he put it “she has problems”.

          • Agreed. x’s father was both a surgeon and a colonel in the Army. Huge narc and possible incest with x – his sister alluded to as much (I think – I really don’t understand the ’tissue of lies’ in that family) – married to second wife – twenty years younger, different nationality, different continent.

            HUGE influence on x – values, politics, secrets. Entitlement.

          • Stoking asswipes ego was exhausting! After the last kid moved out he took it upon himself to watch and criticize every thing i did saying i needed guidance… hahahaha but i had to spend every waking moment praising his ego. Exhausting! Glad i dont have to deal with that shit anymore!

        • Roaring – my Ex is a physician too ! And a narc to boot . The ow is barely literate , with 2 kids fathered by different men but ex funds that they are similar in thinking that she and her kids listen to him in everything ! Why wouldn’t they ? They arw poor and “pitiful”. Ow’s hubs , according to her, has been AWOL for afew years . Wonder why the men keep leaving the OW? I am an attorney and he says that I dun respect him and put the kids first above him. Well, if the oW can pander to his enormous need for validation and emotionsl void , good for them! The pick me dance was too exhausting , just after 2 days of it I gave up .

        • Oh yes! Not only was I not adoring enough, but I didn’t teach the kids to be adoring fans either.
          I had to laugh when I saw his dating profile (DDay 3), because it was ALL about him being a Doctor. Please. When we got married, he was a nursing assistant getting his requirements for med school. And then me and my low prestige job (running a group home for teens who had been abused/abandoned) put him through med school. He now tries to demean me as a SAHM, while claiming it to add to his own status “See what a great, hardworking guy I am? I allow my wife to stay home, and I barely complain about laundry/food/tidiness…”

        • It has taken me a l o n g time. I am an empath and a people person. A problem solver. Not a quitter. Willing to give the benefit of the doubt… A decent human.
          It finally came down to this: if I wanted to retain all of the above qualities, I had to get the hell out.

      • This ! X100. Lately I have stopped looking for the reasons why he cheated . Whether it was once or multiple times, the fact is that once is once too many! The act of cheating shows disrespect, disregard and abuse of the faithful partner. The reasons dun matter Becoz the damage has been done, the betrayal cannot be undone and things cannot go back to what they were before – before the trust was broken. It saves me a lot of heartache and endless ruminating just to remember this : he cheated, lied and betrayed . We R done .

    • AJ
      AllOutOfKibble and LouisvilleFlower have said it perfectly. You came to CL probably as you already knew it is over before it really began but there really is no hope- just spackle.
      There will be many more posts full of experience telling you what you already sense.
      It’s hard but you have a good opportunity to get out now. And having hindsight sucks.
      Back away slowly from the narc then run to your new life.

      CHEATERSSUCK. THIS MESSAGE IS FOR YOU. Yesterday you said that of course my STBXH told the OW that he loved me and would never leave, as a strategy to get them to do the ‘pick me dance’. I have to say a huge thank you for that insight. Somewhere in me I had been secretly pleased (even if it seemed odd) that he said this to them. Hadn’t seen the real meaning. Another little ember of hopium stamped out.
      It really does hurt this stuff doesn’t it.
      A lot of pain on the way to freedom and clarity. But thanks so much for posting. It helped in that horrible hurty way.

      Upwards and onwards.

      • Capricorn-Hopium is a hard habit to break. I only recognize the behavior because my ex pulled the same stuff with me. I wanted it to mean more than it did until chump nation showed me the light. Nothing helps reaching clarity better than strict no contact too!

        Jedi hugs to you.

      • I’m sorry, Capricorn. This whole business is immensely painful, and sometimes it is two steps forward, one step back. My advice is the 10-minutes-a-day to a new life. Just 10 minutes a day of self-care, or doing something new to inch your way forward. Before you know it, you’re across the finish line.

      • Wow, Capricorn and cheaterssuck- that gives me whole new level of meaning to the way my x never (according to him) talked me down to his many, too numerous to count, fuckbuddies. I do have evidence that shows he openly acknowledged he was married, made it clear he was “committed” to the marriage but had to find an outlet for his unmet sexual needs (infinite amounts of strange pussy) and kept it all secret because he didn’t want to “hurt” me. I knew it was all bullshit but kinda stopped there.

        I hadn’t thought quite so deeply into the cake opportunities this created. So thank you!

    • Do not engage the disordered. They aren’t going to understand the logic. They don’t want to become better people they just want everyone to think they are wonderful, without the actual effort of being wonderful. You can’t win an argument with a disordered person. They are never going to see the light. They are not going to change for you.

      ^^^ this is brilliant and succinct, I need to copy and paste this into my notepad so I can pull it out every time I feel like engaging my ex with regards to how his actions or non actions hurt the kids.

      Therapist after therapist encourages and promotes the need for dialogue between us for co parenting. My dd refuses because she recognizes the futility.

      Plain and simple, he doesn’t want to become a better person and will NEVER see the light.

      Thank you All out of Kibble.

      • Oh, and Capricorn said, wisely: “Back away slowly from the narc then run to your new life.” Along with Back away slowly, I would add, don’t tell him what you’re doing, just ghost as much as you can. Disappear. Fade away.

        If you tell him you’re quitting, he’ll take it as a challenge, and that a pain in the ass nobody needs.

    • Another gem, AOK. “They don’t want to become better people they just want everyone to think they are wonderful…”. I made the mistake (for 30 years) thinking that if I could just stop getting upset at his abuse and disrespect, and calmly, logically explain what it was about his behavior or actions that was so hurtful, he would “understand” how to stop the behavior, or at least gain some insight into what not to do or say. Yeah, right. That never worked. You really can’t help someone gain empathy, or reason with the disordered. There is a huge disconnect in their brain and and soul and you might as well go outside and talk to trees.

      AJ, please, please get out of this relationship and cancel the wedding. Don’t sign up for years of abuse and disrespect. There were warning bells and red flags just before my own wedding, and to my lasting regret, I went ahead with the wedding anyway, hoping it was just immaturity and lack of relationships with females that made him so “insensitive.” Please don’t waste your life. You deserve so much better.

      • FindingBliss, you are right. It’s very difficult to teach people empathy that aren’t wired to feel it. My ex once came home from where he worked as a professor and told me, “I figured out how to make people do anything I want them to.” I answered, “Really, how’s that?” He said, “I just make them think I care.” This was so foreign to me that I blurted out, “No, you REALLY need to care.” Anyway, they figure out how to mimic emotions they don’t feel to get what they want.

        • I have one that doesn’t even know what he feels. I can ask him if he cheated for sex- yes he says. I argue how that doesn’t make sense and he agrees with that too. I ask if it was loneliness and boredom and he says yes. I argue why this doesn’t seem plausible and he agrees. I ask if he cheated because he was (insert any reason including being an actual alien) yes he says. I argue against. He agrees.
          He has no clue. He expresses sorrow, regret and remorse but I never saw how emotionally absent he was. Our marriage must have been a great big echo chamber with me doing all the emoting and empathy stuff and assuming he was ‘there’ with me. Now I have stopped doing all the emotional heavy lifting it is almost painful to see how incapable he is.
          So no words for me just a whole lot of befuddlement.
          He can see what he has done. He knows it was wrong. He just has no clue. He just can’t join the dots.
          Just amazing.
          I hate what this says about me too. How the fuck didn’t I notice.

          • He is just mirroring you … he wants to give the answer he thinks you want to hear. I used to provide me ex convenient excuses … I generally suggested that perhaps he had lied (again) because he was trying to cover his alcoholism and drug use. He was always quick to agree that yes, yes, that was it with a sad sausage look on his face. There was no confusion in his mind … he knew EXACTLY the true reason why he was lying and that he definitely did not want me to know.

            • The most enlightening conversations I had with the traitor during the pick me dance were when I stopped talking and left very long pauses for him to fill. Gave him the space to fill the air with every possible explanation and its opposite within minutes of each other. Gave him the space to claim he is a serial monogamist – while cheating. Gave him the space to accuse me of trying to poison him, gave him the space to admit he was always in love with the whore and knew it before he convinced me to leave my job and move away from everything and everyone I knew to go farming. Gave him the space to reveal his madness. Sitting back listening and telling myself “let him hand himself with his tongue” was the second smartest thing I did after getting the VAR. If you are like me, you talk too much and supply them with their best lines and excuses. Silence is gold. They are so used to you trying to understand them and doing all the work. Go on strike!

              • Yes, yes, yes! I was always saying, “why did you do XYZ? Was it because of [insert excuse here]?” and he would usually agree with whatever I said. When I realized this, and quit doing it, I was amazed (and horrified) that he had no clue what he was feeling, or why he was doing bad things, other than “because I want to.” It made me see that he had the emotional landscape of a desert, and absolutely no capacity for empathy.

              • Kiwi

                In April of 2014 we went to visit my son at his university. He made me split the bills suddenly. I had to buy my Easter dinner and my drink. It was our anniversary week.

                I slept in a separate bed after he raged saying, you call THIS a vacation.

                I decided to say nothing and let him initiate on the 10 hour ride home. He said NOTHING.

                I stopped for a drink when we arrived home. The Limited had 5 drinks to my one.

                “But I suggest you not devote your life to an endless supply of his self-serving excrement.”

                Good God that was what living with an asshole cheater felt like for years. RUN.

              • DoingMe, yes, eventually the traitor stopped saying anything too. I think he realised he was only incriminating himself. Hours of silence, and ignoring me when I asked a question about day to day matters, his son noticed it too. But I just sat there thinking I ‘ll be damned if I carry on flogging that dying horse. I chose to take the power of ignoring me away from him. By then I was too fed up and too tired.
                We still work together on the farm, he works for me about 2 days a week for a wage, tries to make himself indispensable for this job or that then texts he can’t come at the last minute, blah, blah. Everyone else sees right through his little games, people immediately tell me he’s fucking with me when I have a little whinge about it. Just venting, in fact I just ignore him. Do not feed the beast. He just has to be at the centre so he can fuck people over. What a miserable pathetic life he leads. It took me until this year to understand it.

          • “Our marriage must have been a great big echo chamber with me doing all the emoting and empathy stuff and assuming he was ‘there’ with me. Now I have stopped doing all the emotional heavy lifting it is almost painful to see how incapable he is.” Amen.

    • AJ, don’t tie the knot, listen to them. Believe that that is him. The real him, a gaslighting fucktard. I made that mistake, I saw all those signs and I got married cos I was afraid of judgement, guess how long that marriage lasted AJ? 8 months in and I’ve decided I can’t live like this. So am I gonna get judged for leaving early? Most probably, the same judgement I was afraid of I’m still gonna get. Do yourself a favor.

    • Yes yes yes yes, Kibble! That is a painful lesson I have been unable to learn time and time again. I think I’m finally getting it. I keep expecting my ex to be decent, and there is no shred of decency in him. I think that I could pretend that he and his cheaterwife were my BFFs and tell ex-cheater that he no longer has to pay child support, and he’d still find ways to demonize me.

      I wish that I had seen beneath the mask before I married him. AJ, I hope you leave this fool. He’s not worth one more bit of your headspace, let alone your heart and bond in marriage (and believe me– you don’t want to have to go through a divorce with this narc… you think that life is painful and difficult now?).

      • MovingOn – I have the same problem. The mask is off and I am no longer spackling, but I am still shocked at the choices he continues to make. I still have a hard time grasping that someone could do these things. When my daughter was in the hospital for 3 days, he didn’t come once. I am working on NOT having expectations of any kind for him. Trust he sucks is my new motto.

    • Hi AJ!

      Welcome to the Hall of Mirrors in the Narcissist Funhouse!

      I wrote a long letter just like you did to my cheater with facts and detailed observations.

      Unfortunately (unlike you) I was already married to him!

      One sentence reply from him:

      “I did not have sex with that woman!!!”

      Damn it! The exact words of Bill Clinton!

      (UBT: “It was only a blow job! That’s not sex! If the 42nd POTUS says it’s not sex, that’s a high enough authority for me!”)

      At least I was quick enough to immediately bring up craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” (aka Volunteer Whores You Don’t Have To Pay) section and tell him I was thinking of “not cheating” too.

      Most Important Presidential Legacy To Cheaters? “Blow jobs are not cheating because they are not sex!”

      Arrgh! Ever since those words were uttered, cheaters have put them to good use. So have horny teenage boys conning girls into blow jobs.

      The biggest power couple in the USA and look at them. Unrepentant serial cheater and clinging chump! Both of them crappy role models in the cheater and chump arena.

      If one of the most intelligent, wealthy, and accomplished women in global politics cannot “lawyer up” and tolerates public humiliation from a disordered narc cheater, what hope is there for ordinary women? It is a discouraging example for chumps. “Well if a women as advantaged as Hillary Clinton stands by her man, what chance do I have in untangling this mess?”

      Aw shit. I digress. Well, cheating and chumping knows no bounds and spreads its feces across all populations and all time periods.

      If prostitution is called the oldest profession, then cheaters taking advantage of chumps is the oldest mindfuck.

      Hope to see you around, AJ. I know it doesn’t sound like much consolation, but finding out before you married him puts you ahead of the game.

      If you haven’t already, read Chump Lady’s book. When I found out about what was going on under my nose, I got it from Kindle and it helped me a lot.

    • Exactly. Really hard concept for some of us to get. But, you cannot convince the disordered that they have a problem. And, the sooner one accepts this and gets away from him or her, the easier life becomes.
      I know it is frustrating , but stop beating your head against a wall and just reconcile yourself to the fact that people like this are wired very, very differently.

  • AJ – try to use your words carefully (as he is a pro in doing) because it will help you in this journey. For one – stop calling him your fiance. Why would you want this pod in your life? If you were talking to your best friend and she was in this place what would you tell her? I would say “Run sweetie RUN!”.

    Ask yourself why YOU feel you must “fix” him (it won’t work – ask me how I know). I struggled (still do) with my mind movies and am finally trying to turn them off once and for all. 30 plus years takes a bit of re-wiring 🙁 but I know from reading here that it is possible. And if others can make it then we can too. Hugs to you and know we are cheering you on!

    • Thank you for bringing that to my attention. It’s been hard to call him ex fiancé but you’re right. I need to call him what he is . An ex. I’ve been talking to a therapist about the second part and it’s something that I’ve started to unpack but not completely. Conversations like this make me realize more and more the type of person he is. I know now that I can’t fix him. I’m officially out of the denial stage.

      • AJ,

        Your situation sounds a lot like mine–your cheating fiancé projects all his bad behavior onto you and complains about you mistreating HIM! (The best defense is a good offense in the abuser’s handbook.) Clearly, he cares only about what others can do for him. You can escape now with ‘minimal’ damage–or you can hang around for the horror fest (which seems eternal if you have to ‘co-parent’ with an abuser) that many of here have experienced.

      • AJ, please don’t stay with this man. Something similar happened to me when I was engaged but I made the mistake of not listening to my gut and going through with the wedding. I then lived with 30 years of pain from his behavior with coworkers. Then he left me because he “saw something different” right before retirement. Please don’t start out your married life with a known cheater.

        • Please listen to everyone here, I had a similar experience as Lyn, I was married 20 years and X left to be with someone different. As soon as we began to live comfortably after years of struggling financially.
          Over the years. I’m certain there were others.
          I ignored my intuition or my gut feeling instead I was convinced he was too much of a family man and blamed myself for being paranoid..
          I did however confront X, he would laugh and tell me he isn’t that kind of guy, that I had a wild imagination and low self esteem making me feel stupid.
          You don’t want to marry someone who has such little regard for your feelings. He’s abusive in his horses ass sophisticated way.
          It only gets worse once you’re married.

      • In the early phases, most of us just refer to our cheaters as ‘fuckwit.’ Saves having to say “former spouse” or “ex-fiance.”

        • Yes! AJ, you are hurting yourself using the words ex fiance, focusing on the dream you have lost. I am sorry for your loss, but at least you are free of him and can shut this down immediately, no ties. US law is on your side, he has no hold on you. Go no contact. Fucktard, fuckwit will do if you need to name him.

        • Then we shorten it to X. No “my” or even “the”. Not deserving of it. I even shortened my name and my signature and only spell the last name, never say it.

  • RUN ?? away as fast as you can.
    If you think breaking an engagement is unbelievably painful, embarrassing, expensive (lost $ for dress, invites, band) and that you just can’t cancel a wedding…it is nothing compared to infidelity and divorce!!!!
    I will bet any divorced chump here would have gladly taken leaving a cheating fiancée over a divorce.

  • Yeah, he is showing you who he is, AJ. Pay attention to that. Instead of responding to the pain he caused you by cheating and lying to you, he chooses to attack you. That does not bode well for a happy and healthy future together. Besides, it sounds like your values do not match. You clearly value fidelity and respect. He values whatever makes him happy (and protects him from owning the consequences when his happiness comes at others’ expense).

    • “You clearly value fidelity and respect. He values whatever makes him happy (and protects him from owning the consequences when his happiness comes at others’ expense).”

      This describes my STBX perfectly. This is why I love CN. Someone can always put into words what I am thinking or feeling. And the best part is it keeps me from spackling over the reality. It is so hard to accept that someone we loved is truly disordered, but that is what they are.


    Please, for the love of all that is holy, cut your losses and run. He won’t stop and you’ll be like the rest of us here on CN – regretting sticking around for so long.

    You can, and should, do better.

  • Yeah, they all say shit like that.

    “If you want to think *insert the truth while he denies it*, I can’t stop you.”

    “If that’s what helps you sleep at night/get through the day, go ahead, but it’s not true and here’s why…. *insert bull shit*”

    It’s all bull shit meant to reduce your credibility and prove you wrong.

    Remember, YOU are the problem and YOU are to blame for his cheating. Disrespectful of ALL women? Oh, no, just you. That way, he can cheat, plus make it your fault, plus make you sick inside thinking he’s giving to other women what he refused to give to you because you’re the only woman on Earth who’s not good enough for his loyalty.

    And that about wraps it up. They get you thinking that they are and can be faithful, just not to you because you don’t deserve it.

    • I get those “I can’t stop you, but you’re wrong” and “If you think those things, it’s your problem” things on a weekly basis. My favorite came last week: “Those are indeed two areas (honesty and empathy) in which our respective views concerning my values are not in accord.” A gem.

        • Pretentious indeed, Tempest. Each time I engage with him is like a Yasmina Reza play — starts out wondrously posh and civilized, slowly revealing a chaotic, animalistic inferno bubbling under the expensive carpet. It’s all about appearances, as long as he can keep them up.

          • “wondrously posh and civilized, slowly revealing a chaotic, animalistic inferno bubbling under the expensive carpet”
            Love it!

        • Roaring, he takes great pride in how “understated” he is with others. Which is just a way of saying he is better than he tries to appear for everyone’s sake. But, like clockwork, the cat gets out of the bag on a regular basis, and you see him interrupt and then run roughshod in meetings over others and vomiting status, education, a smattering of culture, whatever he thinks he has, over the audience.

            • Quite possibly, Kiwichump. He did travel a lot. Besides, it is the plight of the understated, covert narcissist to bear with regular folk like us whose lack of appreciation for his full fabulousness forces him to understatedly and covertly look for validation elsewhere.

      • Yes.
        What if he’s better for her and it proves I wasn’t good enough?
        What if he really is a great guy who just made one mistake and I’ll miss out on all that greatness if I leave?

        • Exactly, Lastinline, these thoughts have entered my mind, maybe he is the great guy he portrays himself to be to outsiders. I failed and wasn’t good enough.
          What if he’s right, he gets along with everyone but me. What if she is all that I wasn’t,
          despite how hard I tried, better personality better in bed and I’m the miserable failure he said I was. What if…, what if she does everything right where I failed miserably in his eyes, they’re the perfect couple and he’s never been happier as he claims?

          Maybe not, more like they’re still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, she’s new, shiny and young, they don’t have 20 years or more behind them a history with life’s ups and downs. He’s still the same cheating, manipulative liar who left his devoted wife who supported him and his career sacrificing mine so he could advance in his, after 20 years of marriage.
          He’s a scumbag.

    • CL pointed this out the other day. It’s a classic maneuver first identified with sex offenders and their ilk:
      DARVO. Deny. Attack. Reverse Victim and Offender.

    • After D-Day, my ex said that he doesn’t really lie, but that he only lies to women. And he’s not a misogynist because he hires women. But I know that is part of image-management at work. If he had a choice, he wouldn’t since I heard grumblings from him about what a hassle it is when women have babies. He lacks the insight to realize that I was one of those women who had HIS babies.

      • Mine does the “I probably could of done things better…”! So that he kind of admits enough fault to not look like a dick but whatever. Then tells us how he’s a changed man for the affair partner.
        Cue the pick me dance….dance monkeys dance.
        When people ask him what he does for a living there’s a pause ( so you can kind of brace for it) and then he says ” I’m a firefighter/ paramedic”…, take it all in people. I’m awesome. I can save a life with these hands.
        He’s changed nothing.

  • AJ, he is already disrespecting you, devaluing you and discarding your thoughts and feelings……AND you aren’t married to him yet. Please run and save yourself……it will only get worse. PLEASE respect, value and love yourself first. If he is doing this to you, he will do it to your future children, too. RUN!!!!

  • Thanks everyone,

    It’s been two months since I found out and I have been going through all kinds of emotions. I did cancel the wedding and as far as the relationship is concerned, This conversation was the nail in the coffin. I was trying to prove a point that I already knew and I’m exhausted of all of it so I’m looking for a new place to live now. I can’t move back home and I found out two weeks after we moved to a new city where I know no one and I transferred schools so I’m here until I finish my degree. It’s been really shitty but coming here definitely helps.

    • It IS shitty. I feel for you on that. I had a very similar experience. I don’t mean to sound Pollyanna, but here’s something that turned out to be true for me: getting through my relationship grief in a place I neither chose nor wanted to be turned out, for me, to be a source of empowerment. You are mighty, and that will shine through, and that will help you feel your I hereby strength.

      You can do it!

    • AJ, back away from the dragon. Reasoning does not work with the disordered, ever. And disordered he is. The good news is you did not marry that creature, because this is only the opening act. Be glad you weren’t having that conversation after years of marriage or while pregnant with his child and hearing things like “you knew what I was like before we married.” So give yourself some distance and please, please do not take the fuckwit back when he cycles back around as they often do. What you’ve experienced is a little discomfort compared to the pain he’s got in store for you. Good luck, and know that you are mighty!

    • AJ, don’t see yourself as locked in. You can finish the term (what? 4 more weeks) and transfer back. You might lose something in the transfer but you can be back where you are supported and comfortable. I’m in higher ed, so I know what happens with transferring. Even if it’s grad school, you make be able to go back if you call your department’s grad director. No doubt some first-year grad washed out already. And undergrad? Easy peasy to go back. ) One thing that happens with dutiful students (like Chumps) is that we feel we have to be efficient and finish ASAP. An extra semester is nothing if you are in a program and a school where you are happy. If you chose to stay in the new place, find study partners or interest groups to meet up with. Explore your new home. Get the most out of your situation. And congratulations on leaving a cheater.

    • Hi AJ, I wrote a letter the same as you did and also got a much shorter but equally mindfucking bullshit response! (See my comment upthread.)

      So now he has you isolated in a new place and you’re committed to a new school. Figures, right?

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you that you find somewhere safe and affordable to live!

  • Run, run then run some more to get as far away as you can. People like your financé are incapable and unwilling to admit wrongdoing. There will always be an excuse never a heartfelt apology.
    Do you want to commit to a man who has betrayed you, lied to you and won’t admit to his “mistakes”?

  • Read this recently elsewhere and this is a perfect opportunity to share a great little poem.

    Differences of Opinion, by Wendy Pope.

    I – He Tells Her

    He tells her that the earth is flat —
    He knows the facts, and that is that.
    In altercations fierce and long
    She tries her best to prove him wrong.
    But he has learned to argue well.
    He calls her arguments unsound
    And often asks her not to yell.
    She cannot win. He stands his ground.

    The planet goes on being round.

    • Ah! I love this. My ex argues for a living(lawyer) so this is a perfect definition of our relationship. If I don’t come up with an argument on par to his I’m automatically wrong. Gah he is the worst….

      • Hi AJ, here is another poem for you. This is by me and I hope it gives you the strength it gives me each time I look at it.

        When life mocks at you,
        Takes away what you like.
        When there is nothing u can do,
        Except hope that all ends right.

        You can scream, cry and agonize,
        Over something that is no more.
        Yearn for that winning prize,
        Bruising your heart…making it sore.

        Let it go, even if it takes all your might,
        Even if it is yours to keep.
        But don’t ever give up the fight,
        There is nothing for you to weep.

        Many a time one goes through,
        Lost hopes and gut wrenching pain.
        When there is nothing left to do,
        But try and hold onto something in vain…

        Through this darkness,
        Shall hope prevail.
        Despite the nasty mess,
        You shall find your trail.

        Letting go might almost kill,
        It’s like throwing a part of your life away…
        It requires an enormous amount of will,
        Only if you love something can you set it free, on its way.

        Believe in providence,
        Believe you will get back what u set free.
        Even when it doesn’t make any sense,
        You got to follow and accept fate’s decree…

        I make my own fate,
        You can now tell me.
        But many a man learnt it late,
        That there are some things men can’t see…

        What seems like the worst thing?
        Can become the disguised boon.
        Even though now your heart is wring,
        You will be smiling quite soon.

        Let go, my dear,
        Don’t hold it so close.
        There isn’t anything more to fear,
        What have you got to lose?

      • The only way to win with him is not to play, AJ.

        Since you have no kids with him, absolute no-contact as of yesterday. Stay with a friend. Take half the money in the shared account and get a place. Get away from him, now.

        Welcome to the club nobody wants to join. You got this.

      • You know it! You are more than half way there, AJ, go NC, and avoid those relapses. What a nightmare your life would have been married to this. I forgot to mention lawyers in my list of chosen professions earlier. This type is engaged in a forever war against other people. It’s all ammunition to them. Cut him out. You have your studies, your future career and you are free of this arrogant pain in the arse!

  • AJ, that response is designed to flip things around, a ploy to get you to defend him. Did you immediately tell him that of course he’s not a demon? That is what he’s looking for because once you do that he has you flipped around. Exasshole was good at that until I realized the ploy. Every time I tried to have a rational discussion about our wreckconciliation he would immediately jump to “I’m not a monster!” followed by some sad sack crap. I’d fall for it, telling him ‘of course you aren’t a monster, I never said you were’. Then somehow I’m feeling bad for HIM and so it goes. BTW, I supported exasshole of 17 years through his IC, he even moved into his own apartment to “work on himself”. I suppose that is what he did if you call porn surfing and continuing to cheat “working on yourself”. DTMFA the dude!

    Jedi hugs!

    • Tooooootally! I read an article once on a site, maybe, where the person was teaching men how to turn a conversation around to get women to convert from being mad at them to apologizing to them for acting crazy so they won’t ask any more questions. Not even kidding. A real eye-opener, these “how to seduce women” kinds of instruction guides.

    • Datdamwuf,

      I fell for “I need to be on my own to figure things out” too. Don’t you want me to be happy?


      I’ll keep you in the “family” house aka. Cake compartment #1 where I can still come over for comfort food, sex when I want it, change a couple burned out lightbulbs, see the family to keep up my nice family guy image. Don’t worry…I’ll pay all the living expenses (wink wink). Mmmmm…love this cake.

      Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy Cake compartment #2 where you aren’t the boss of me. I’ll enjoy unlimited porn, on-line sex, Backpage hookups, prostitutes and new married OW who I met in a massage parlor and “take care of marital finances” in a way I see fit. What do mean the bills aren’t getting paid? Hmmm…I’ll look into that. I swear I paid that. Don’t worry, there isn’t another woman. I’m living alone to work on myself. Why are you so distrustful? Mmmm…I love this cake soooo much. It’s addicting!

      The same week I kicked him out after discovering multiple affairs. I was diagnosed with cancer. He begged me to take him back. He would text or call me sometimes 14x/day. He swore he’d broken off affairs and would go to MC. He put on the sad sausage act for a few weeks because of how would it look to the world if he left his wife of near 35 years during cancer?

      Image, schmiage…he decided (since I wouldn’t take him back) that it was poor timing that I got cancer. It wasn’t his fault. He was planning to leave anyway. Na na na na boo boo. Toddler man that had his delicious cake taken away by mean old me with stupid cancer. He even said as he was leaving, “I suppose you think it’s my fault you got cancer too”.

      They are disordered, disease spreading, abusive poor excuses for human beings. Really, who does this and his family rallies around him as the nice guy that just fell out of love. He deserves to be happy. They are all disordered narcs!

      Well, thanks to an incredibly supportive sister, loving friends, counselor, CN and absolutely NC, he is in the rear view mirror and getting fainter all the time. The road ahead is exciting with being cheater free, hopefully cancer free and getting to know and love myself. I will never again allow another human to degrade me to the point of almost killing me. Life is too sweet, precious and short.

      AJ, congratulations for choosing a cheater free brighter future too!

      • Isn’t it amazing how, even in the worst of situations, life is better without the cheater? Normally, a husband of 35 years would be a great source of comfort during a grave illness. Not so with the cheater; part of the cure is removing them from your life. I am glad you are on the road to recovery with people who genuinely care about you.

  • Oh, the dramatics! I suppose he would wear a full body cast to treat a paper cut, too. 🙂

    It must feel very powerful to be the sole determiner of what is valuable to discuss without regard for your feelings and needs.

    If naming his behavior is “casting him as a demon” he probably thinks you’re accusing him of murder when he cooks a hamburger, too. I wonder how “all of humanity would define him” for such a heinous act? I know I personally interact with “all of humanity” while it defines me, too. Why, just last week I forgot to take the garbage out, and “all of humanity” wasted no time in defining me as forgetful. Excuse me, I need to go self-flagellate again for daring to think about that topic.

    Nice try, dude.

    Think of talking with him as the verbal equivalent of looking into a fun house mirror. Whatever comes back is distorted to the point of humorously ludicrous.

    • “Think of talking with him as the verbal equivalent of looking into a fun house mirror.”

      Love this, Amiisfree! While I am safely NC with the ex, this will be useful to remember with other narcs in the family.

    • The traitor is the only person I have ever met who would put a band aid on a paper cut. Seriously, 100kgs+ 6ft tall farmer who could bench press 200kgs needing a band aid on a paper cut!

  • AJ
    Walk away. And never look back.
    In this instance, does it really even matter if he disrespects women (in general)?
    All that matters here is that he disrepects YOU.
    End of story.
    Let the OW support him through his bullshit therapy. And for that matter she can also be the one to be there for him in his old age to wipe his ass when he is shitting his Depends.
    In the meantime you can build your life so that it doesn’t not include relationships with ANYONE (friends, romantic partner, etc) who does not show you and others respect. Along with any other criteria you define as your deal breakers.
    One last thing:
    What is it that your fiancé needs you for, anyway? Is it your job? Your savings? Your social status? Your house? Your housekeeping skills? Your citizenship? Your ability to drive him around since he lost his license due to DUI? He sounds like a user and I’ll bet if you step back and look at your relationship objectively you will see one or more areas where you are Of Use to Him.
    You need to realize that if you choose to go through with the wedding, the time will eventually come when you are no longer Of Use to Him. He will have used up your resource. Or something will change in your life where you can’t deliver like you used to. Or he will meet someone else with more of that resource. Or all of the above. And the where do you think you will you be?
    If he has such little impulse control before the marriage and is this needy (therapy and needing handholding through it) do you really think it is going to get better with marriage and age?
    Forget your obligation to support him through therapy. His words (above) tell you everything you need to know about his character.
    Save yourself. And don’t look back. Look inward, and fix your picker. Read here regularly to learn what NOT to look for. Get yourself into individual therapy if need be. Read all the books on Chumplady resource page, esp. dr George Simon’s Wolf in Sheeps Clothing.
    One day, you will look back fondly at your distant memory of this ex-fiance as the experience that changed your life: helped you become healthier, establish standards and enforce boundaries and above all Take No Shit.
    Have a blessed life! Good luck!

  • AJ, RUN! Been there and done that. Mine cheated before marriage and I forgave based on words and believed. Twenty years later I was told she had cheated again. I spent 20 years pouring into an empty well. Now i’m having to work through the forgiveness of myself. I woke up every day for 27 years deciding to love someone that truly did not deserve my love. I did make that decision every day. Face the pain and disappointment now then find someone who deserves your love. Your values and his do NOT match. Move on before you invest more into someone that will never reciprocate your love and respect.

    • Very well said, Lostntx. I read a book years ago titled “Love is a Choice,” and I took its words to heart. I too woke up every day and chose to love someone who did not deserve my love, but I had said my vows, and thought this was what was meant by “for better or worse.” Thing is, he didn’t share those values. While he had spoken the same vows, it didn’t come from the heart. He never meant a word of it. I had never heard the word reciprocity, except in regards to college tuition rates across states lines. I also grew up in a family that taught me my needs and wants were not worth considering. I am so glad to have learned otherwise. I think I’ve earned a Ph.D from the School of Hard Knocks in relationship studies at this point in time. Can’t turn back time, but I can go forward to a life where my needs and wants are important, and narcs and disordered people have no place in my world.

      Best wishes for a narc-free life overflowing with love and peace. Thanks for sharing.

  • AJ, imagine having children with this loser.? If you marry him he will see it as you giving him a “hall pass” to continue to treat you like shit (10 years from now you would have wasted your life a good chunk of your life and possibly have kids and he would have you exactly where he wants you – his assholery is only likely to increase.

    This was an omen – so glad you found out before marrying this prick.

    • Heissobroken – ‘This was an omen’.

      As the saying goes, the person you fall in love with is the one who has many traits that you can never change. Too many people make the mistake that they will suddenly change once married, or you think you can change them. Those annoying traits only get worse with time. I loved my fiancé but he had a huge ego and a big head. At the time, I was fascinated by the way he seemed to control everybody around him, including his siblings and particularly his parents who thought everything he said was brilliant. This got more horrible the longer we were married. He wasn’t a doctor of anything but a very successful bond trader during the 30 yr boon times for bonds. You bet he thought he was smarter and more entitled to admiration the fatter he got. He bored me to death with his broken record of how superior he was knowing ‘all the answers’ to wealth, when all he did was take advantage of a strong market. Pfffft.

      I skipped a step – sorry. When we were dating in college prior to getting married, he refused to have sex with me. A time when we both had raging hormones in our early 20s. He cited religion that he couldn’t have intercourse prior to marriage. Oh, but I could give him all the b/j’s and hand jobs almost every night. Yanno, safe sex.

      Well, guess what? He showed me who he was before marriage, having zero to do with premarital sex and the values he pretended to have, because I’m one of the clowns that persevered for 35 yrs still giving him sex and getting nothing in return. Now, that is a pathetic chump, hoping he’d change someday. He never changed. He just got more self centered and more selfish.


  • I learned that I was responsible for being a Chump. Non -Chumps don’t waste their time with a betrayer….that’s why cheaters end up with Chumps because non-chumps wouldn’t put up with their nonsense.

    Hmmm….. let’ say a burglar broke into your house and instead of calling 911 you took the time to figure out the letter the burglar left you. Burglar says you didn’t leave your porch light on, or that Burglar resented that your cable package didn’t include HBO, therefore as someone who neglected cable has no excuse to complain if I stole your tv.

    Burglars wouldn’t rob homes that have alarm systems or big dogs. If you’re robbed it’s because you are negligent in protecting your home.

    Burglar knows you’re a chump….

  • AJ,
    Your ex ( I hope) fiance is trying to manipulate you.He is in classic cheater mode, minimising and trivialising his actions.
    My ex was an obs/ gynae consultant who did a lot of medical/ legal work and was well used to fending off barristers in a courtroom setting.Arguing with him was like putting my head in a blender till my brain hurt.
    You need to cut your losses and run fast and far away from this guy and truly one day in the future,having processed the pain and betrayal,you will be thankful you were not married and parenting with him.Know your worth.He doesn’t deserve you nor does he seem the least bit sorry for what he’s done to you.He has all the hallmarks of an unrepentant cheater and if you take him back you are sowing the seeds of future pain IMO.
    Run for the hills.I wish I had when I saw the first red flag.

  • Don’t waste your time trying to convince him that he’s a jerk. He’ll never agree.

    You don’t need to convince him to *know* it’s true. You already have all the evidence you need.

  • This could have been written by my STBX. Word, for word. Heck, I just got one of those condescending and threatening emails via OurFamilyWizard today.Where basically I broke the status quo when I refused to deposit my tiny paycheck in to the joint account (I started the job in August, divorce proceedings started in May, so it wasn’t part of the status quo). He wants half of my $90/week paycheck DAMMIT! Why won’t I give it to him?!?!?

    So, now he’s on the rage channel, where he threatens to postpone the divorce if I don’t do as he tells me to. It’s his biggest card to play right now. Do as I say, or we won’t get divorced and I’ll keep living in your house!

    • CDL–Don’t respond to him (tough, I know, because he is in the house). Just keep repeating, “talk to my lawyer. Talk to my lawyer. Talk to my lawyer.” Do not engage, do not make eye contact, do not show emotion around him. He’s a real ass.

      • What’s worse than marrying a cheating turd? Having to live with them while divorce proceedings are underway… Just want it to be over. AJ save yourself….don’t marry him

  • (I know I’m going straight to hell…….no, problem, I’ll say “hi” to all of our cheaters while I’m there.)

  • AJ, I had a very similar experience where my fiancé called off our wedding out of the blue. He later admitted he “saw something different” in someone else. He then decided he wanted to get back together and begged me to take his ring again. It was humiliating to cancel the wedding plans, but I loved him and thought he just had cold feet. So I planned a whole new wedding a year later. We were really too young to get married, but it wasn’t unusual back then. Anyway, I’ve often wished I could get that moment back when my gut was screaming that I couldn’t trust him, but my heart still loved him. I wish I’d loved myself enough to trust my gut back then. 36 years later he pretty much pulls the same crap and disappears because “he saw something different.” He really never stopped looking.

    • You aren’t the only one that didn’t cut the cord before marriage. I’m guilty too. My gut was telling me to run but I was smoking the hopium (didn’t know it then). I learned from experience the hard way. Never again will I doubt my gut and listen to what society says I should do. I’ll make the decision and live with the consequences. Now I have two daughters that will forever be tied to the fuckwhit!

  • AJ,

    My ex showed me who he was multiple times before we married. And I never even confronted him the way you did … you are obviously way more emotionally mature than I was. Good for you! I was so young and so “in love” that I was very easy to manipulate. I went straight to pick me dancing and was so excited when I “won”! The only picture I have of myself and my dad is the wedding album live shot of him walking me down the aisle. He looks so proud and I look young and seriously happy. The picture creeps me out because it is a live shot of me being led to my doom. I want to reach into that picture and smack myself. I know it hurts to be betrayed at a moment in your life when you have every right to be deliriously happy. I know you will get that chance again, and this time with someone so much more worthy of you. You should feel unbelievably proud of yourself for figuring out what you needed to do and having the strength to stand up for yourself. Your future is nothing but bright!!

    • Thanks for your honesty. I am guilty of the same thing. It’s nice to know i’m not the only one to make this mistake!

  • AJ, read every post here you can find on the damage done to chumps and kids by disordered cheaters (who are also liars, gaslighting experts, and manipulators). It takes a year or more to get a divorce. You have to divide up joint property, and you always lose 1/2 or more, often things that you paid for or worked on or got from your parents. You have to give up custody time to a cheater and often to an AP who wants to play Mommy or Daddy to your kids. Your kids cry at night because they miss the other parent or are hurt when the cheater fails to show up for the play they are in or for their big moment in the championship game. You have to fight for child support, for the money to pay for braces, to get back the cash they took from the savings account. The AP might have slept in your bed, gone to breakfast with your kids, and “borrowed” your jewelry before you even knew about the affair. You are in for years of making do on one income and the time you can carve out after work instead of having a loving, committed partner to help you raise your family–helping with finances, lawn care, home maintenance, supervising the kids. You will be living with someone capable of exposing you to deadly disease.

    He lies. He sneaks. He gaslights. So your reality is always going to be shaken by sharing a life with someone committed to making you believe things that are not true and making you disbelieve things that are. Your body will know, even if your mind lies to it, that you are disrespected as a person and abused. As a result, you may gain weight, become depressed or anxious, feel hopeless.

    This is what you are signing up for if you marry this guy. If you are smart, you will break your engagement, tell your family and friends he cheated and that is a deal breaker for any confident woman, and get your life back.

    • LovedaJackass

      And there it is. In black and white. This was one of the best posts I have ever read and they are all awesome.

      I’m speechless and actually upset. This is the cold brutal reality we all know.

      I don’t know whether to say thank you or go and bury myself under a duvet for a couple of years.

      I should probably go do something ‘good’ but this truth was spoken so clearly and dispassionately it’s left me feeling a bit low.

      Plus my cheater comes home from abroad in 3 days, 6 hours and 26 minutes but whose counting. He is flying back for a week to sign divorce paperwork and settle financial stuff and see the boys. I have not seen him in 3 months and I feel sick just thinking about it.

      • Hang in there, Capricorn. You have made such a good start and are a quick learner. Your posts show much progress. Remember it is toughest just before the finish line. We have your back. Hugs.

        • Capricorn, a week isn’t too long, in the grand scheme of things.Enjoy the fact that he’s a long way away, most of the time!

          • FindingBliss and Oaktree
            Thanks for kind words. Just having a two steps back kinda day.
            Powerful posts the last couple of days. Sometimes its just a bit too much to process for a tired Chump brain.
            I can do a week. I can ‘live’ here and do a bit of cheater watching field work!

    • I think that an imagination is a powerful thing — and a great place to work out fantasy revenge. When someone hurts us, it seems natural to me that we would want to strike back, pain for pain, and maybe a bit more to keep them from hurting us in the future. It is a normal human reaction. Not acting on our baser impulses is a sign that we understand that we must control those impulses, and that sometimes our impulse needs to be examined to determine why we think that way and what we want to do about it. It is an indication that our better side needs to kick in and to determine what course of action we should take. We are capable of coming up with a better plan, usually, than the primitive revenge fantasy.

      In the incident this person described, she did not cause the awful thing that happened to her cheating ex and his AP. She just worried that she was enjoying the fact it happened too much. She was afraid she might be dwelling on it in an unhealthy way.

      My guess is she is fine, and she is worrying too much. She realizes she is engaging her dark side too much. Maybe she needs to talk about it, maybe time will allow her to work it out herself. One thing I would bet a lot of money on though — her ex-cheater and the AP didn’t spend one moment worrying about any of her misfortune, or any pain she suffered because of their actions. They may not have laughed if she was in a terrible accident, but they may not care about anyone other than their selfish selves enough to even notice she had suffered a misfortune.

      I have gone as low contact as is possible with my malignant narc father, and almost totally NC with my two ex-narc husbands. I had lots of revenge fantasies while I was under their influence. I can happily say that I didn’t have to act on any of my base impulses, because these Cluster B Boys are always working to their own detriment. As age and bad choices catch up with them, they become pitiful shadows of their former selves. My dad and one ex live by themselves, and the best part of their lives have clearly passed them by. No one provides them with a home, meals, fresh laundry, a kind word, or a caring ear to listen to their experiences. None of my siblings visit my father either, we all maintain ultra low contact. One ex still tries to run scams on online dating sites. One is married to an uneducated woman who married him to get a green card. She doesn’t keep a clean house, or know how to manage “things” for him. His son’s have limited contact with him, and are very aware of who he really is. He barely resembles the man I married — I could easily pass him in the street and not recognize him — because he has become ugly on the outside as well as the inside.

      We don’t have to seek revenge — they are their own worst enemies. They can never change, never become anyone besides who they are. That is as bad as it gets.

      • Portia, you give me hope my ex will have his life decisions catch up with him.

        Right now he’s enthralled with his new house (paid for mostly by the AP), his new dream shop building, and – I suppose – the AP. He’s doing home remodeling projects (I hear through the grapevine) that he refused to do to our house as one of his claims when he left was that he “was done with house repairs and yard work.” Well, he gave up a home that was pretty much perfect and traded a near completely landscaped acre for a house that looks like a bad 70s decorating job and 3 acres of bare desert.

        I don’t get it. But I hope he gets run over 8 ways to Sunday by the karma bus. A whole fleet of ’em.

        But he traded away his son – DS25 won’t have a thing to do with him. DD28 (I found out recently) has been groomed for years, which explains her “I’m not surprised he left” comment that got back to me. Shithead had been taking her to lunch, at least once a week, for an extended period 9-10 years ago, the time I have pinpointed his affair started. He complained about my treatment of him – what kind of parent takes his child aside and uses her in this manner – to devalue her mother? I complained about him too, but only in the most basic “your father!” kind of exasperated eye-rolling kind of way, nothing serious. I’d NEVER had used my children in this manner.

        I guess it’s just another narc tactic, but it really wounds deeply – planting the seeds of suspicion in your child’s mind against the innocent parent.

      • “Let the wicked slay themselves.” I used to keep this in my wallet. I am long past wishes for bad things to happen to X and OP, but just as Portia explains disordered people live disordered lives. They typically do not age well or happily.

    • Thanks for the link KB, I hadn’t realized the piece of shit woman who originally wrote “Dear Prudence” had left Slate, I stopped reading her lousy shit after way too much victim blaming and outstandingly bad advice. It’s been over a year since I saw a column. The NEW person writing “Dear Prudence” appears to have brains, empathy and understanding. I guess I’ll read her stuff for a while.

  • AJ, as badly as this sucks for you, consider yourself fortunate that you didn’t end up investing 10 years or more into building a life and having children with this asshole before finding out this side of him (or at least becoming aware of it as a ‘red flag’).

    As to CL’s insights today — once again, I can see clearly that Kunty Kibbler is not at all special, as she pulls the exact same type of crap on me to this day.

    Always someone with poor impulse control (a classic cheater trait), for a while she was taking to posting thinly veiled comments about or toward me on Facebook, then deleting them later when she realized (or someone told her) that is wasn’t a good idea. One day she posted:

    “Go ahead and judge me. Just remember to be perfect for the rest of your life.”

    And her latest “greatest hit,” thrown about verbally when she gets particularly frustrated with the Gray Rock treatment:

    “One mistake does not a person make!”

    AJ, yours is unfortunately not a special case. He’s telling you who he is. Believe him. And act accordingly.

    • And one mistake? Please. How about one act of cheating involving multiple “mistakes”–lying, sneaking, devaluing the partner, breaking a solemn vow, and gaslighting your partner to get away with the “mistake.” Never mind asking the AP to meet, finding a place to meet, spending marital funds on the cheating, kissing, touching, taking off your clothes and engaging in sexual acts and then cleaning up. I’m sure there’s more but this is a starter list for just one

  • AJ,

    I was so happy to see your response that you actually have broken off your engagement and done the hard work of undoing the wedding plans. One point that a lot of posters have touched on but I want to make sure that you and any other new chums visiting the site really understand is that when you have children with these people it takes the level of devastation to a new level. I love my children with all my heart but if I could have known during my engagement the harm the douche bag would willingly cause to out children, I would have run away. I wish to God I hadn’t had children with STBX. It has been horrifying to helplessly stand by and watch him blane, devalue, and abandon our children (the YOUNGEST two tween and teenaged “daddy’s” girls in favor of a whore who sent him messages they intercepted that he should leave our family bc divorce doesn’t hurt kids! WTF???!!!!
    The pain of seeing my middle daughter so devastated that she’s tried to kill herself twice in 20 months, dropped out of HS, given up all activities and friends and become addicted to coke and alcohol. The pain of seeing her in lock-down mental health/substance abuse facility for months. Watching my former college athlete and sunny, happy son drop out of college, sink into depression and self-medicate daily with pot. The pain of holding my youngest night after night when she had panic attacks that left her gasping for air. Their tears, their shame, their loss of everything they thought was good and stable and secure. And try as I do to keep things together, I cannot shield them from what their father has done and is doing.

    So, my message to AJ and anyone else who is with a cheater and has not yet had children with them, please for the love of them and their well-being, run away. Do not look back. Do not subject to your unborn children to this kind of mental torture . if I only knew then what I know now…

    • MotherChumper99, how awful for your kids and you. Thank you for telling your story and warning others. Mark of a person of great character that you take the time to share this to help strangers when you have so much to deal with. Strangers also think of you and your kids!

  • Oh, AJ, I was you. I’ve been there. My ex also trapped me. My first D-day (not that I knew anything about d-days back then) was in the middle of a cross-country trip. His company had been bought and we were in the final phase of moving to where he’d chosen to be transferred. Picture this: I-80, Utah, dead of winter, when he oh-so-casually mentioned he’d slept with his ex-girlfriend a couple months earlier. I might have asked a few basic questions, then fell silent. If he spoke, I didn’t hear him over the screaming in my head. For two hours, at least, hurtling down the highway, I wrestled with the wounded animal clawing desperately to get. out. of. the. car. There was no place to stop. Guardrails and mountains. My overriding desire, my instinct, was to go home. My home. Not the house we’d rented in our new location and where all my things were, but the house which was about to be sold.

    If only I had honored myself. Instead, the logistics of it all overwhelmed me. I had no money, and a job I was starting in a few days. I was broke, trapped, which he knew. Eventually, I remembered something. We had not actually discussed exclusivity; I’d assumed it. I turned to him, said something about this, he agreed to exclusivity, and that night he spent hours making love to me to chemically bond me to him. I know this because his comprehensive understanding of the mechanics of sexual/love bonding came out years later.

    AJ, the question I failed to ask myself, and didn’t know I even needed to contemplate, was WHY ME? You see, we had already decided to get married. Exclusivity should not have been needed to be raised. But I bet he decided to go through with the marriage that very day. It’s called grooming.

    So, imo, ask yourself why your (ex)-fiance wanted to marry YOU? What do you offer him that is worth giving you the apparency of marriage?

    There’s a list (which I can’t find but maybe someone else can) called Super Traits. Disordered men look for women with these traits, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if you look at this list and see yourself.

    In the end, I realized my ex married me because I made him look good. I was his shield, his protector, and made the things he wanted happen. It was through my actions, uber-responsibility, that created a wonderful home, and life, for him. It didn’t hurt that I loved and adored him beyond all reason. Don’t be me. Don’t let a bad man hijack your life to serve him.

      • Roaring.

        Ok. I’m in bits now. That hit hard. I have super traits. But I’m just beginning to see the dysfunctional side to my marriage which hurts like a motherfucker right now and not yet in a place to see what got me into it will also get me out of it.
        Sometimes it’s hard to read here. Too much truth!!!

        • Capricorn, It just takes time. The truth hurts and you need time to process it. This really resonated with me as well. I always knew I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I was used for that. I was the sucker (a chump).
          Be strong, and know that we all have your back. Don’t shy away from the truth, just take it in moderation for a while. 🙂 Truth is the best medicine (next to laughter). 🙂

          • Marked711
            That is so true. It’s only been four months after a long marriage. It’s a lot like turning a cruise ship.
            I just had no clue about any of this. reading here and seeing something almost every day that opens up a whole other world of disorder – it’s just doing my head in.
            He has sex with others, 3 others. It was over four years. He lied for four years. He didn’t use protection. He trawled dating sites. He sexts (!). Your 16 year old found early texts and was gaslighted and had to live with that for four years then felt extreme guilt for not telling. He took them to concerts, lunches, dinners, holidays. He showed no guilt. No shame. Now he’s turning out to be some weird unemotional dude who can’t give a straight answer to anything. You are a chump. You have super traits. You were fooled. Nothing that you thought you knew was what you thought it was.
            Sorry to vomit all this. My learning curve feels more like a cliff I just fell off.
            Sorry I’m all gnarly and fed up today.

        • Roaring, that’s it. And if you google Sandra L Brown + super traits just follow the breadcrumbs. She even has a video on the subject.

          Capricorn, it’s incredible difficult to face this, to accept the problems may be greater than you think. It embarrasses me to think I used to say if he’d just quit screwing around, I could cope with the rest (of his behaviors). Really, the best thing I ever did was to stop listening to my ex. I paid no attention to what he said (besides, I’d heard it all before ad nauseam) and paid very close, strict attention to what he did. Actions vs Words.

          Unlike many, I had the blessing? benefit? shocker? that my ex was diagnosed, (which is a story in itself) and I still took months to even begin to research character disorders, et al.

          I was such a fool that I took his diagnosis as a starting point for his recovery. As in, “Oh, now that we know what the problem is, we can fix it.” And, yeah, I said we. However, my ex knew the gig was up, and that sooner or later, I’d figure it all out. His hunt for my replacement began in earnest, and once he had her lined up, his treatment of me became utterly vile and vicious- to the point even he admitted he was being abusive.

          Line up whatever ducks you need to line up, and starting edging towards the door. If you haven’t seen an attorney, do so. I asked around to find mine. I asked the bank president, a couple mortgage brokers, and the like. I figured financial people would know who had done well in their divorces. They all said the same name, and that’s who I hired.

          Your husband, like mine, is who he is. Despite my ex’s diagnosis/behavior, I still loved him. Gah! Look, there’s no rule/law that states you must hate someone before you divorce them. I gave myself permission to go right ahead and love him all I wanted, but to love him from a nice safe distance. It took time, and no contact, and bizarre conversations, but my heart did catch up with my head. I cherish the peace and predictability in my life now.

          • Still thinking.

            Thanks for that. I said similar. Apart from the four years of affairs he’s great really.
            We are divorcing.
            An as someone here said. You don’t have to think of him as bad – he’s just not for you.
            Thanks for sharing. You made me feel less mad as in crazy. ?

        • Capricorn, you are not alone….I read this article and I felt like I was kicked in the gut, which tells me it struck a cord, a very large cord….(((Hugs)))

    • I believe it was Tempest who mentioned super traits to me in a response the other day. I haven’t read the book, but I googled Super Traits and included in my choices was one which said “of women who become involved with psychopaths”. I selected it and was able to read a review of the book which listed the traits. It was pretty interesting.

      With regard to the general topic today — really, these predators never change. I received a call from the ex who fathered my sons the other day. I haven’t talked to him in several years, because my sons are grown and I no longer have to, but he called me with an urgent message that he needed to meet me. He implied it had something to do with our sons. I called both my sons — and they did not have a clue what he was talking about. I was idiotic enough to agree to meet him at McDonald’s for coffee on my way home. I suppose I was curious, and we all know what happened to the cat with that particular trait, right? The end result was he NEEDED something from me. He didn’t call it that, he said he was giving me an opportunity. The opportunity to help him out. He dangled a benefit to our son’s as added incentive. He started out by bragging about what a success he was, and how he really didn’t need anything — but he wanted to give me a chance to get back something to make up for what I had lost in our divorce, because he felt bad about that. He acknowledged that he had been at fault, and was sorry about all that — I had been a good wife and a great mother, and blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, he needed my credit rating and my signature to guaranty a real estate deal of his.

      He was so successful he forgot to mention he was over-extended. He also didn’t mention that since our divorce, he had had his bank account and any property he owned in his name seized. He thinks I don’t know that all of his property and money are kept in accounts of his latest (supposed) wife — who has not changed her name, so that it is hard to trace things back to him. He chose her because she is not particularly bright, and she needed a green card — so she signs whatever he tells her to, and doesn’t question him, because he has told her his is very smart.

      He was right about one thing — it was a wonderful opportunity for me to say “NO”. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to go home remembering that I was free at last. It reminded me why I must continue to be careful and vigilant — why I must trust my gut and never, ever look to another person to make me happy. I was very happy to go home to my safe and sane apartment, and live my drama free life.

      It is an opportunity for me to learn that there is really nothing I need to talk about with him — ever! Count your lucky stars if you get away from one of these creeps, the sooner, the better. I wasted over 20 years with this one, but I did get my sons and a useful lesson in life. I also learned what is really important — and what is not. That may be the most valuable thing of all!!!

      • Well-played, Portia. It helps to go into ‘negotiations’ with a cheater knowing all the background that they are going to hide. And what a delightful opportunity to practice your boundaries. “No.” I will try to use that 3 times today.

      • Portia, in my neck of the woods we say “curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back”. and there is my favorite folk song where a cat is killed or other things and he just keeps going, with the refrain

        “but the cat came back, they thought he was a goner, but the cat came back, he just couldn’t stay away”

        It’s actually a funny song and you can make up your own stanzas 🙂

          • “Buuuuuuut the cat came back, he didn’t want to stray,- he was back on the porch, oh the very next day. Oh, the cat came back, he didn’t want to roam, the very next day it was home sweet home….”

    • I looked them up an you are dead on. I have literally all of these traits. He’s even said ” I asked you to to marry me because I know no one would love me as much as you do” . I get so angry at myself because I didn’t see it. I didn’t see how much time and emotion and energy he has been sucking out of me. You’re right. He picked me for a reason. I guess I just didn’t want to believe that someone could be this terrible.

      • Oh, honey, don’t be mad at yourself. You didn’t know. I don’t think anyone here on this site knew what they’d gotten into, so you’re in good company. Hey, I had a field of red flags, if I’d recognized them as such. I didn’t know, either. And the things I did see, I talked to my ex about, expressing my concerns, and you know what? They disappeared. Mirroring. He was fine-tuning it, just for me.

        Yeah, the whole I want to marry you because you love me so much isn’t a good sign. It’s better to marry someone who loves you as much as you love them. None of this one way street crap. And the tone of his letter is so very cold. Downright frigid. Does he make you feel small?

        I agree that you should leave immediately, and go no contact. Tell him you think it’s best to have a clean break, and somehow frame it so that it’s to his benefit. That used to work for me, when divorcing.

        I worry that once you’re out, he’ll switch on the charm and you’ll be the beneficiary of love-bombing. Maybe change your phone number?

      • Don’t feel bad AJ! So much better you learn about this stuff now, when you are young and will be able to learn about boundaries and healthy relationships. Down the track, you will have a chance to meet someone wonderful. I ignored my gut, married him (despite major alarm bells ringing) and now have to coparent with him. And am learning finally, but in my 40s not 20s.
        The emotional pain is normal and will get better with time, but you are saving yourself a world of pain and missed opportunities for healthy relationships by going through it now.

  • AJ – ooh, when I read your letter I cringed from memory.

    DO NOT try and engage with this person. He will NEVER validate you. All you, is set yourself up to be abused all over again. That whole ‘have a good night’ – you are beneath my notice! Don’t go there to be dismissed like this.

    No hand holding. No ‘trying to get him’ to acknowledge his flaws (he will destroy you rather than do that).
    Pack your bags, LEAVE and never ever speak to him again. Going cold turkey is the quickest way of getting his abusive selfish disrespectful hurt out of your life.

    Fix your picker, and see what warning signs you overlooked this time. There are lots of lovely men out there. Don’t make your life unhappy by settling with a disrespectful entitled one. Living on your own is preferable to that relentless ongoing hurt.

  • It’s just his tone, AJ. That is not the tone of true remorse and contrition. He is not humbled. He’s in defensive asswipe mode. What you are challenging is his entitled thinking regarding women, and HOW DARE YOU WOMAN. You hit a nerve, and that’s important to pay attention to. I agree with CL. I don’t think this is worth “winning.” Find a real winner, they ARE out there. In the meantime, hugs! We’ve all been where you’re at. And gotten past it.

  • Mistakes? To blunder in the choice of….. I guess one could say that one night at a bar and I got drunk and had sex might be a mistake. How does years of affairs, lies and attacks remain in the category of mistake? There is intent. Intent does not equate to a mistake.

    • I’m not into the liquid courage fuck as a mistake either. The first step is looking and all cheaters are opportunists.

      So drinking in excess may impair our judgement. Yet it still takes agency to cross that line. Once a cheater gets that thrill and gets away with it I’m sure it becomes a sweet secret until the next time.

  • I learned the lesson above during this last month… I was practicing it and didn’t realize my power until this week.

    I work (newly – the past 6 months, during which I’ve been promoted 3 times) in an industry almost entirely worked by men. The vast majority have been great but my new boss was treating me poorly – not because I’m a woman; he treats everyone poorly – and I’d been applying to other potential employers. I didn’t want to… the hours are ideal, the benefits are fastastic, and the pay is entirely up to me. I kill it in the last area especially. I make as much as Cheater now, even after staying home with our children for the previous 11 years.

    But this guy… this boss? GRUMBLE. I had boundaries from the get-go because I’ve been on edge for 2.5 years (dday), have been reading this site the whole time, and knew to SET them up and KEEP them, no matter how acconmodating I used to be. Still, it had been EXHAUSTING to hold my boundaries and reject his poor treatment out loud and without attitude (though I did briefly scold him like a child for being rude and making the “get on with it!” rolling hand motion as I was answering one of HIS questions about a client mtg earlier that day), EVERY TIME, for months. I’ve had to tell him that people like pleasantries like thanks, hello, I’m so sorry but I’ll take care of it, etc. and the void left without such things comes across as rude to clients. He said it was a waste of time. To THANK his employees when they accomplish tasks he’s assigned them with something as simple as, Hey thanks. To ASK with a quick Please.

    I’ve been telling my astonished co-workers for the last several weeks why it was important to have boundaries, since they marveled at how I was always pushing back against our boss… why he never sent me on fruitless goose chases,or changed my schedule at the last minute, or ask me to stay late for no reason. “He will treat you the way you LET him treat you.”

    In the past week, they’ve ALL pushed back. They made their boundaries and didn’t respond to rudeness. He stopped heckling and hovering over everyone else too, not just me. The atmosphere is completely changed. It’s amazing.

    He found out that the consequences of behaving poorly means that no one will respond to it. So he changed to accommodate our boundaries. HE is also in a better mood. We’re selling like madmen, our customers are happy, and everyone is a great mood.

    That’s some real fucking power.

  • AJ-I see you have already responded and I hope that you are still reading. You have been given a great insight into this disordered wing-nut’s brain BEFORE you utter the ultimate sentence that terminates in “I do.”

    Your financial entanglements are less, you don’t have children and I’m gathering since you’re still in school that you’re young. Focus on school-transfer to another school far away from him if you can and work on fixing your picker. You have your whole life ahead of you. If you haven’t graduated yet, you haven’t decided where your career is going to be. The whole world is wide open for you now. Don’t waste another moment on this loser. Especially trying to figure out why he does what he does, or acts like he acts. Let the OW have him because she is getting the prize she deserves!

    Go no contact, be prepared for him to come skulking back and be ready to defend your boundaries like you were defending Fort Knox! You are mighty! You got this!

  • ” If casting me as some kind of demon helps you cope better day to day then do what you have to do.”

    Uh, OK …… You’re a demon. The only way for me to cope better day to day was to divorce your lying, cheating ass out. Therapist, clergy, your f’d up family and a few friends helped you form that idea that it must be ME and ME and ME who kept casting you as a demon for cheating, lying, deceiving, betraying and being disordered.

    Life IS BETTER day to day now, but not bc I call you demonic names (true that) but bc Im free from you!

  • Wow, I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to have been directed to this blog from another fantastic site about psychopaths and narcs. It’s only been two days, and I’ve been glued to the archives going “THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE SAYS! THAT’S EXACTLY HOW HE ACTS!”

    This thread is one of those where I swear that the same guy is being talked about here. We literally had this “discussion” (if you want to call it that) the other day when this chump right here verified that he never quit with the cheating, he’s just fine tuned it so that what he does is harder to detect. He has been going to see his ex while I’m at school or when he says he’s going somewhere else and tries desperately to hoover her via text messages and thought he was so sneaky.

    What he doesn’t realize is that he has a terrible poker face.

    For the thousandth time, I confronted him-not because his changing is any kind of a hope at this point, but because it is downright insulting that he has no respect for the boundaries of others and severely insults the intelligence of both me and his ex-and he said it all:

    “I’m still mourning her and will always love her. You just have to live with that”
    “Don’t you dare define me! I’m a good person and if you think I’m so bad, you should leave me!”
    “Waa waa waa! I cheated because I’m in an emotionally compromised state!”
    “It was a mistake!”
    “Well you make mistakes too! (then he goes on to list a time that I went to stay at a women’s shelter to ‘get me in trouble’ after he had terrorized me with suicide threats and verbal abuse, and that was escape attempt #1. But to him I was “just being overdramatic”)
    “Don’t judge me by what I did, judge me by what I was going through”
    “Well it’s not like I was having sex with her, I was just going to see her”
    (Way to minimize, fuckwad).

    It has been extremely difficult to escape given that we have a child together, but the continuous torture from his continuous cheating, repeated abandonments, suicide threats, manipulation, etc makes it very clear that it is absolutely, undeniably necessary.

    I’ve already tried to leave before, but failed. Fortunately this site along with others has helped in ways that the therapist hasn’t. Thank you to all of you for taking the time to share your stories!

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