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Stupid Shit Said in Therapy

shrinkBoy, I really touched a nerve this week when I asked you guys about “Stupid Shit Other People Say.” So many Switzerland friends out there. So many dunderheaded in-laws. So much lousy advice.

Today’s Stupid Shit challenge is about therapy and all the stupid therein. Tell me the most absurd thing your cheater said in marriage counseling. Tell me the most asinine therapy nugget you got and how much you paid for it.

No disrespect meant to the mental health profession — a good therapist is worth their weight in gold. But God knows there are a lot of quacks out there as well. Good therapy shouldn’t give us a pass on our faults, but it recognizes what we control and what we don’t control. Good therapy identifies abusive dynamics and personality disorders. Good therapy helps you recognize your agency and power at enforcing boundaries.

Bad therapy has an agenda. It might be Keep The Marriage Together At All Costs. Or it might be the I’m Okay, You’re Okay School of False Equivalencies. You will know bad therapy by the stupid.

Here’s my Bad Therapy Nugget contribution — After the first D-Day, like a good chump, I dragged my cheater to marriage counseling. The cartoon above is a homage to that guy — a bearded, sweater-vested man, possessing all the gravitas of over-cooked pasta.

I described the discovery of cheating, the death threats, the outburst that cheater would like to “piss on the grave” of his ex-wife’s dead baby for speaking to me. Cheater said he considered STD testing “punishment.” And the shrink says NOTHING. A whole litany of horrors and he just nods sagely. At the end of 45 minutes, we get up and he utters one sentence, “You guys need to learn to dialogue.”

Wow. I paid $125/hour for that? Really, it was a lack of dialogue that made my husband cheat on me? Had I just said, “Please don’t have a double life” we could’ve averted this disaster? Clearly a man who is concealing staggering debt, mistress(es), and a love child just needs unconditional love and understanding. Perhaps a hug too. He just didn’t know how to speak to me. Well roll me in flour and call me a biscuit! I didn’t know.

Anyway, dumped that guy after one visit and got Janet the Good Shrink. (There’s a chapter on her in my book.) Cheater Therapy Nugget — “I like being a narcissist.”


Yep. It was. A guy who likes being a narcissist. And at that, I was set on the path of Trust That They Suck.

Your turn!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Great topic…

    I think CL’s initial experience of therapy is just the template, which seems to run:

    – don’t be critical of the cheater,
    – pander to the cheater’s fragile little ego (if you hurt them, they might leave or become defensive), and
    – tell them to communicate more.

    I think the last point is critical in ANY relationship and would fix a lot of relationships that DON’T INVOLVE CHEATING.

    All I wanted from MC was to explain to my X (ie communicate – the irony is delicious) that she needs to stop lying. The MC wouldn’t touch that with a barge pole and it was never dealt with and YEP, she kept on lying.

    There’s so much fucked up shit my MC did in the brief time I had with her, but her telling me to have my needs met some other way (I think she suggested mountain climbing !!) whilst at the same time excusing the cheater’s shit behaviour because her needs weren’t met (WTF?) was probably right up there.

    MC’s have the hardest job (they have to convince an innocent party to stay with a total shit bag), so I think it’s easy to understand why they come up with so much stupid shit to engage in the verbal gymnastics to do so.

    • Next time I meet someone who is a marriage counselor I may have a difficult time not saying “so your job is to keep an innocent person married to a total shit bag so you can make money?”

      I may have respect issues with the whole profession.

      • In defense of therapists (as I am one), I used to think I did a pretty good job of managing both sides of the couple after infidelity. Then my separation happened. There is no book, lesson, teacher that can prepare you for the actual “crazy-making” of the experience. So I apologize for all the therapists who tried (albeit there are some bad therapists), but didn’t truly “Get it”!. So in reality the end of my 35 year marriage is what made me a better therapist. Moral of the story….when i went for my own counselling I had to find one who had been through the experience. You truly have to have walked in those shoes.

        • I think you are spot on. There is no profession where every person is the best at every aspect of it. Therapists are people. One thing I have learned about seeking therapy is to avoid those who list every issue in the book as a specialty. Nobody in the world has thirty focus areas. 🙂

          • I think it is important to have a good individual therapist while you are in MC. I would talk to mine about what happened and she helped me see how STBX was trying to manipulate both me and the MC.

            • I agree, I had a great individual therapist who had been working as a therapist for over 30 years who tried endlessly to explain to me the dynamics of a relationship.
              I didn’t want to believe X was abusive and didn’t understand boundaries in a relationship.
              My therapist suggested books for me to read on verbal abuse and codependency but I was so stubborn at the time I couldn’t make the connection that it applied to me. My only explanation is I was brainwashed..
              I had been programmed by X to accept the blame for everything wrong in our marriage and the world.
              My therapist was so relived when the marriage ended and I was distanced from the abuse I so readily accepted as normal.

              • Exactly. Mine was very patient and supportive, and when I had finally had enough she said “thank god! Now we can do our work!”

        • My therapist has been thru a divorce with a cheater and has experienced the crazy making and lying. Her advice is to keep my anger and my mouth to a minimum (which I have a problem with) to reduce the crazy making. That whether I stay or leave is my choice (hubby doesn’t want a divorce???). But be prepared for whatever I decide is best for me. I don’t know where mentally and physically I would be without her during all this.

        • Advice when you are married to the therapist that refused couples counseling to find out that the OW was a client? His entire practice was built on lies. Still practicing…
          My individual therapist was amazing! It took three sessions with different therapists to find the one who was empathetic and walked in my shoes.

      • Yup! AlloutofKibbles, I agree with you. I think your question sums up the problem with marriage counselors. Gutless, ignorant, greedy, probably divorced or cheating. Just sayin’. Their values are crap, based on what? Facebook? Social Media? What they read on Twitter?

        Every profession has research and development, discovery and a code of excellence its practitioners are required to follow. It looks to me like marriage counseling needs to step up, acquire some values, and learn. It needs a more scientific approach to data gathering.

        Our licensing procedure needs to require more from these quacks, who got their license from what, a website? These people need to have happy and successful marriages themselves. They need to be quality, moral people, with standards.

    • And let’s not forget the stupid shit I did… still can’t believe I paid for the MC (instead of my cheater) 🙁

    • My MC suggested the ex and I learn to say I love you without sex! Wtf?? He was having sex with his Craig’s Lust hook ups not me!!!!

    • Yeah, mountain climbing. Leave your home and everyone/everything in the hands of a cheating lying narc for days at a time. That makes sense, eh? That therapist sounds like an AP!

      • “Mountain Climbing” was precisely what my ex said he was doing with his high school buddy. It sounded like good wholesome outdoor fun … and if you drop the wholesome, I suppose it was! Here are some sandwiches and snacks I packed for you dear! Don’t forget to hydrate! (facepalm)

  • My cheaters’s first therapist told him that he needed more self esteem and that he deserved to be happy. Even advised him to go out and “meet people”. Yeah, a porn addict needs permission to go online to try to find people that will help him to be ‘happy’. He even told him that because I refused to get over things, my husband might need to dump me to find his true happiness. It appeared that I was the problem since I was so distraught over the fact that my husband had spent a few thousand dollars on porn, purchased porn whores birthday presents and other trinkets for private cam sessions, and I was unhappy that my husband had visited a ‘massage parlor’ for a blow job. Yup, it was me – the old nag hag, that was the problem because I wouldn’t let my husband have friends – maybe he should look in some local online meet-up groups so he could find some real life people to hang out with if watching porn wasn’t doing it for him.

    If my husband had started out with the good therapist he has now, our marriage might have had more of a chance to survive. He is actually getting some excellent counsel now and I can actually see change, but I think the damage is done from his months with the jerk who told him that the only thing wrong with him was self esteem and he should cut himself more slack and stop feeling guilty for all the stuff he did to me – it was getting in the way of his eternal happiness.

    • What is it with this ‘happiness’ thing? My STBX told me he was unhappy (after the fact – now when I confronted him – he said everything was fine and I was insecure) He also told our 13 y.o. daughter he left us because he was ‘unhappy.’

      So now she thinks people will lie, cheat, leave you if they are unhappy. Really, that gives an unhappy person the right to treat others like shit – because they are ‘unhappy.’ So shallow and stupid. How do you tell your daughter that?

      My husband as was in rehab 15 years ago. I reminded him that they taught him to go volunteer or help others if you are ‘unhappy’ – not ruin other people’s lives and see prostitutes.

      It’s been very hard for me to realize I chose a soulless predator for my child’s father.

      I took her to counseling. Counselor told us everyone makes mistakes.

      Mistake? No. He did not make a mistake. He made conscious decisions every day for years to cheat and eventually walk out on his family. That is not a ‘mistake.’

      • oops – NOT when I confronted him. He did not tell me he was unhappy when I confronted him while he was still living here. After all, he had to get me to cosign his $80,000 truck first so we could be safe towing our camper. Then he bailed shortly after than and took his 22 y.o. coworker camping in our camper.

        • With you on that one. Mine threatened to get police if I didn’t let him take our camper so off he went to fuck AP in the only bed of mine he hadn’t done so in(my bed at home at the cottage and our house in Florida had already been similarly marked by the dog and his slut). Nice!

        • Mine did the same thing; stated in the legal agreement that he needed to buy me out of our camper (the one he wanted soooo badly to sell, the one I scrimped and saved for, the one I kept up with the payments on and paid off on my own) because he had to live in it. (I think he told DD he had to live in the camper too, in addition to lying to his attorney.) Poor, poor Shithead.

          Funny, the date of that particular legal request is within a week of the deed recording on the new house he and Senior Slut bought together. Lying fucker.

          Only consolation I have is that he originally demanded that the camper be sold outright and I was to ready it for sale. I’d removed everything – pots, pans, dishes, towels, EVERYTHING, except for our double sleeping bag and a whole lot of mouse shit.

      • I heard the same “unhappy” lines. During wreackonciliation, the story was that he was happier than he had ever been in his life. Then he went back to unhappy. He gave me the line of I’m unhappy but want to be happy with you and the kids. So, the kids and I walked on eggshells and tried to do things we thought he would like to do. Didn’t matter, still treated us like a nuisance and low on his priority list. Little did I know he was carrying on with a 23 year old girl who worked for him. After I let him know he had to find somewhere else to live, he is suddenly happier than he has been in 25 years (with this young girl).

        Just words…used to get us to dance. As CN calls it, part of the mindfuck. Trying to make us feel responsible for their happiness.

        They have no clue what it means to be happy. How can they when they are empty shells of humans?

        • Getmefree
          Always love your comments. Love this “Trying to make us feel responsible for their happiness.”
          Yes so true and something I still feel responsible for, less than I used to but it’s still there. I feel responsible for keeping him happy. I guess that was two of us then.

          But he is very sure that my own happiness is my own business.

          • I still struggle with this, too. Part of the reason that I am a chump is that I take on making everyone in my life happy. Hell, I even take it on with strangers. Even when I am in a horrible mood, I still smile at the cashier and tell her to have a good day.

            I have inner battles every week when I start to question whether I am being too hard on STBX. I constantly have to remind myself that yes, the things he did and continues to do are really THAT bad.

            • I don’t think it is chumpy to want to make someone else happy. I think that is what life is all about. Making someone else happy makes me feel happy myself. We just need to learn to expect the same treatment in return. Reciprocity!! Not bottomless pits!!

              • I agree. I like to make people happy. It feels good to do something special for loved ones of choosing just the right present. But for me now I am also learning that I need to make ME happy too. It’s not always about what I can do for others but what I can do for myself too. I deserve to be happy! I deserve nice things too. I deserve tasty snacks and nice (enough) clothes and to watch TV that I like. I need to do me just as much as I do for anyone else. For me right now that’s my real takeaway from all of this.

            • This is something I struggle with every day. My stbxh is awful to me but only when it’s one on one. Then when I behave in a perfectly reasonable way to someone who is disrespectful I look like a psycho to other people. Visiting this website regularly & rereading the book help me keep perspective. Yes my stbxh has done awful things, continues to treat me badly & I don’t have to be nice to him.

              • So doea mine. He ‘s Mr. Wonderful in public but treats me like a piece of shit in private. I know you aren’t suppose to base how you see yourself through someone elses words and eyes. It hurts really bad when you’ve been married longer than you’ve been single- 39 years. I now think all was lies and more lies.

            • Get me free
              We must be the nice twins. Good job we are not actual twins we would blind people with our dazzling smiles (especially bright the worse our mood) and befuddle them with our stunning pleasantness.
              Pity the poor passerby who looked like they might be having a bad day, as we would have to whisk them away to be cheered up.

              It’s exhausting isn’t it.

              At root a fear of not being liked, loved or good enough. Worth working on.

              With my STBXH I have the same trouble. Am I being too hard, was three affairs in four years bad? It’s ridiculous. Chump Lady is the only cure.

              and what Dixie says….

              • I don’t question whether what he did to me was bad. I know it was. My trouble comes in when dealing with the kids. He is sooooo very good at saying just the right thing to sound sincere. Does it to the kids, too.

                “I love my kids.”
                “I want to spend more time with them.”
                “I am hurting, too.”

                Problem is that his actions don’t line up. He barely sees them a couple hours a week. He doesn’t ask them to do anything on his days off. He doesn’t talk to them about anything deeper than sports news. He plans his time with other people and then sees where he might squeeze in an hour or two with them.

                I went no contact except to make arrangements with the kids. So that is where I still struggle. So wish I could go permanently no contact with him…

              • If I am honest though, a part of the struggle has to do with how others will perceive me. I guess I fear that other people will view my hard boundaries as not being what is best for the kids. I constantly hear (from acquaintances, friends, and family), that kids need their father in their lives. I agree with this if he was normal, but his behavior and thinking is not. Still, I do not want to be seen as the one harming the kids. And truthfully, I do not want to hurt them further. So, I constantly question. But I can’t help feeling that they might be better off without him playing mind games with them too. This sucks.

              • Capricorn, I am rolling on the floor!:) you know why? This is what crossed my mind today: maybe 11 years of affairs in a 12 year marriage is not that bad? We lived the first year without any, right?

                Arrghh..this is what the cheater keeps repeating. He was faithful the WHOLE FIRST YEAR! Wow! Then after “I screwed up” in our first major fight, he decided to take care of his needs since I was so insensitive.

                And the insensitive me, on the new year’s eve today, is thinking…maybe it’s not THAT BAD…maybe we still have a chance…he looks so sad…he is lost…he definitely does not want the divorce but does not know how to say it since he’s been cornered…maybe another chance? As the new year’s present?

                I think at this point we do our own mindfucking…just stop. STOP. STOP!

                Happy New Year! I decided to pass on the party on the beach tonight. Cheater with the kiddo will go. My son has been trying to convince me and I said I was not in the mood. Then he told me he had a feeling I was going to divorce his dad. Mom, is this true? I said “Look, when we decide, you’ll be the first one to know. But ALWAYS trust your feelings, my son.”

                This is my resolution for the next year: trust my feelings. Inner gut. And I wish the same to you. Happy new year. It’s in 5 hours for me here and I will be sleeping in piece.

          • Capricorn, I always love your comments. I too got the “you didn’t make me happy” (enough) –NEWS TO ME!!!! He never said a word about being unhappy and sure didn’t at unhappy with frequent great sex with me, loving cards, trips, having a lot of fun together for 25 years.

            It makes no sense that a slut he met in an elevator at his office (minimum wage worker, 15 years his junior, living at home with her father) would possible “make” him happy. Especially since his 8 month devalue and discard resulted in losing the relationships he had with three of our four kids. Our one and only son despises him when they were formerly best friends. How can he possibly be happier? I don’t buy it!

            The crowning crazy was when in an extreme pick-me dance, I signed a “behavior” contract (he’s a business lawyer) he drafted where I agreed to “always make him happy.” I signed it even though I knew it was absurd. It made no difference. He moved the goalpost and continued seeing the slut and left to be with her “openly”. 2 years later and I can finally say “good riddance.”

        • Yes, this is my story EXACTLY. He is free and clear and building a sparkly new life. Screw all our plans, all those memories, and the kids. I cannot believe this makes him happy.

          • neverwouldhaveimagined
            Does it really matter if he is actually happy or not? Bottom line is that you will never truly know. Cheaters are masters at impression management. They will try to make people see what they want them to see whether that is reality or not. And you can bet that if he isn’t happy, he will not want you to know that. And if he does let you know that, it becomes a tool he uses to get something from you.

            Instead of constantly trying to figure it out, just decide that it does not matter. (Note: I am still trying to get there myself).

            • This exactly!!! I see how he lies to others vs what he is actually like at home!! He creates the illusion that he is great and doing well to others. I only wonder if he believe his own lies?

            • So true GetMeFree. It took me a while to know the loss was his and not mine. He lost the respect of his children, spending authentic moments together,and knowing the day to day ups and downs of their lives. Without all the props I put in place he’s pretty fucked up with personality changes, depression, and rage.

              I now see the discard and erasing a lifetime as the moment of change and growth for me and as the moment he lost the amazing life he chose to leave behind. I liken it to spending his life searching for buried treasure, believing he found it, only to see it was a fools gold. All that sparkle with no substance has to be maddening once they figure it out. Oh, well.

              • I have thought that they’re on a constant search for the elusive perfect partner who will bring them lasting happiness. There’s no such thing as the perfect human being, inevitably they discover the new partner has faults and didn’t meet their expectations of perfection. They’re unforgiving, grudge holders who are never going to know true happiness because they’re not capable.
                They’re willing to shatter the lives of their children in pursuit of their selfish desires. It takes a heatless soul to throw away a lifetime of memories. Memories shared as a family are sweeter when shared as a family. It’s impossible for them to be genuinely happy or content. How exhausting it must be to live your life thinking of your next manipulative act, being suspicious, critical, and defensive, and how to spite your next victim, proving you’re superior than everyone. There’s no time to relax while living the life of an imposter.

              • Your comment describes what i couldnt put into words damn near perfect. Asswipe is hugging while looking in the distance for maybe something better. I told him he should try looking in the mirror.

              • SO TRUE! In one of our most memorable post d-day conversations I had to explain to STBX that he will never BE HAPPY because he isn’t happy with himself. I have TERRIBLE self esteem but I generally LIKE me. I’m a cool, kick ass human being! I’m fun and funny and (before all this dramarama) happy and loving and loyal and giving and kind. I know myself I do love myself. I have issues about my looks/body but I’m teaching myself to accept me, to push the cruel things bullying kids told me about not being good enough out of my head (as dumb as it is that shit pops up whenever I’m feeling insecure about myself). But he said if he had to look in HIMSELF for happiness he would NEVER be happy. For some reason he thinks that people are 100% happy in relationships. I told him it’s all an illusion! NOBODY is 100% happy in a relationship! And if they are it’s because they are lying or they are so early in they are in the infatuation part of the relationship and reality hasn’t set in yet. My aunt and uncle have been married for almost 30 years and my mom asked her how many of those years she was 100% happy and my aunt said ZERO! ZERO years she has been 100% happy! It’s not a bad thing! It’s LIFE! It’s not perfect! And searching endlessly around for the next great thing doesn’t MAKE you happy! I find that concept very sad. I have a small life but a decent one before this we were okay money wise, not desperate for anything with a little bit of savings. A condo and a cat. We can’t afford to have kids because where we live childcare costs $1000 a month. But life was basically good. I made do with what we had and it was happy. It’s scary that someone you love with for so many years can have hidden thoughts and feelings about you and your life and you never even know.

          • He’s not happy. My STBX left and he has done nothing but BITCH non-stop about how NOT happy he is now. But wait! I thought she was your real twu wuv! WTF happened?! She’s NOT your amazing soulmate?! You DIDN’T find the next great thing by texting with the disordered whoremat for a few months?! You guys DON’T have THAT much in common?! ? I’m shocked! Just shocked that this WASN’T a good idea! ?????????

            • See shelby some do realize they are fucked up. Asswipe is living his life, working, dating, getting dumped, hes enjoying living single to a degree but hes not happy, not at all cause he has to live with himself now. He has the right to live the rest of his remaining years how he pleases. And now he knows what fucking women over does to him. He is now reaping the rewards of his lies and deceit. Hes attempting to reconnect with his family and when the women find out hes not serious about future marriage or living together they dump him and move to the next bar stool. The original ow is still hoovering trying to get back with him for the fifth time. I learned she didnt. I have to have a little contact with him pertaining to some leftover financial stuff but its minimal. From my end. Hes calling and or texting me every day as in wheres that we are gonna be friends stuff only he wants and grows pissy when i dont answer him. He will get the message eventually and learn to leave me alone. He brought this shit down not me and hes jealous i escaped his life and he didnt. I hear from others karma bus hitting him over and over again! Good! Couldnt happen to a better guy! Shelby you are young still. You got this! We got you!

              • It’s so sad and pathetic! He wanted to “feel that spark again” how could he live the rest of his life and never feel that again?! Um, because you are an adult fucking human and NOT a 14 yo girl?! Because you have traded in that spark for a real life you worked to build for a decade?! I have NEVER since I got married thought to myself “what if I NEVER feel infatuation ever again in life?! Is this all there is?!” Because the only people that need that shit are teenage girls! All shit gets old! ALL OF IT! I just can’t imagine the feeling of needing that infatuation so much that you throw an entire life away for it! Real long term adult love has nothing to do with that feeling! And the worst part was the whoremat is a train wreck! I know it’s stupid but it feels like if you are going to be betrayed and abandoned it better be for a movie star or a hot rocket scientist or a rich philanthropist or something! Not a disordered mess that isn’t even as good as you are! Makes me so mad when I hear about everyone’s stories that are all the same and that there are SO MANY really good and inspiring and strong, kind people here that just got screwed by an a-hole. So wrong!

              • Sad Shelby – well put. Trade in what you worked for for 10 years for a “spark.” I also never looked for a ‘spark’ because we had bills to pay and a teenage daughter to see through school in this tough work environment, a house to maintain, jobs to go to. Yes – how do you throw everything away for that infatuation feeling – the feeling that will fade… but my first husband – that’s what he chased, too.

                I married two narcissistic husbands. (I marry my mom who was very abusive – I have deep-seated issues I thought I had resolved, but repeated anyways with husband #2) They cannot love anyone. People are objects to manipulate for their perceived ‘happiness.’ Perceived because it is unattainable to them. I read my first husband’s journal from his time in rehab – He wrote that he was in love with love.

                So he chases the feeling, the infatuation and leaves a wake of destruction behind him – because they are so superficial. Interestingly, he self-destructed with his good paying job with movie studios gone and his house gone ….

                They have radar that seeks us out. When I met my 2nd husband who seemed to have been through hell and changed…. My body shook – it was the weirdest thing – buy my body was warning me. I was in the same situation.

                I have to say, though, that I was thankful I had husband #1 put me through hell, because now with STBX #2 and all of his insanity – Been there done that. I truly believe I am not the basket case I could have been this time around. I know what he’s about. That’s one consolation in this whole mess – because this time I have a child that’s affected by all this mess.

                Yes, it’s the good people who get screwed by the assholes. So wrong – but they will pay the price. They are not ‘happy.’ My 2nd husband left for his 22 y.o. coworker, but he also had started drinking. And he kept on trying to make me drinks. He wanted me to drink, too.

                If he was so legitimately ‘happy’ he wouldn’t have started drinking. They are certainly disordered. Hang in there. Everyone on CN is smart. You can see it in the concise, articulate posts. My STBX – when he sends texts there are so many spelling errors – our daughter sounds so much more articulate and wise in texts than he does. It’s crazy.

        • X says he’s happier than he’s ever been in his life too. Leaving me was the best decision he’s ever made.
          We’ll see how long it lasts.
          I accidentally came across a photo of him and his GF while looking at a health food store fb page. They apparently attended a going away party for an elderly associate of the health food store.
          In the photo people are looking at the camera with casual smiles, there’s X with this huge smile as if he’s never had a better time in his life. He looked out of place. There was a set of 6 photos of different sections of the dinner party, could he really have been having that great of a time?? I think not, X is trying to prove something to himself and show off his recent teeth whitening. He looks deranged. He’s sporting the whitest of white teeth. It made me laugh then feel nauseous at the same time. His picture should be an example of a Mid-life crisis look that all men should strive to avoid.

          • I forgot to mention, X took it upon himself to call my Mother while she was bedridden, sick with cancer to inform her that leaving me was the best decision he ever made.
            Now that I’m distanced from X, I think back and replay the things he’s said and done
            I’m ashamed and disgusted that I was reduced to thinking his behavior was normal.
            Silence of the lambs comes to mind.
            SadShelly, about a year before X made his exit, he said I don’t feel butterflies with you, I looked at him and he says, when I hold your hand I don’t feel butterflies. I said well, we aren’t teenagers in love, he then says I see other couples together and they look like they feel butterflies.., thinking this was strange for hm to talk like this I let the conversation die.
            My guess is he had been longing for AP and felt “butterflies” when they were reunited.
            Adolescent, young love we feel butterflies not as a 20 year married person.
            If you’re looking for butterflies or sparks then spark it up.

            • We’re supposed to grow up and behave like adults not long to have feelings like a 14 year old teenage girl. You’re right we don’t get married have children, build a lifetime of memories the one day stop, feel regret because I will never feel butterflies or sparks or giddy because the guy I like in biology class smiled at me when the bell rang.
              Which reminds me of an afternoon with X while waiting in the parking lot for our 14year old son to get out of school. A group of attractive girls my sons age walked up to our son and excitedly started chatting with him. As we were waiting X had a sour look on his face and says, girls that looked like that never talked to me in high school. It was one of those moments similar to a red flag moment that makes you stop and think there’s something off. I think X was jealous and that was the moment when he felt cheated. Cheated of what I’m not sure, teenage romance maybe.

              • It’s seriously PATHETIC. What ADULT thinks “what if I NEVER feel that way again?!” Who cares?! That’s what you trade for a real life PARTNER for. Life isn’t about LOOKING for excitement in other people. I’m angry he’s destroyed the life we had for NOTHING with a disordered whore. And now I’m supposed to be either alone for the rest of my life or date around?! That was the whole point. I had the person I wanted. I didn’t WANT to search for that feeling. It is NOT a real feeling. It fades away. So stability, a life, comfort, my best friend, the person that GOT me, all of that is worth butterflies because YOU think that other people are “100% HAPPY in their relationship”?!

              • Sad Shelby and Brit – That’s all their pathetic lives go towards – feeling that feeling. Because they are so shallow – they cannot go any deeper. They cannot really love anyone. My current STBX noted in his journal I found that he cannot really love anyone. He doesn’t know how. He just knows how to manipulate and make people do what he wants for his own gratification. And if people don’t comply – he resorts to threats, bullying and intimidation to get his way. And, oh my goodness, the crazy-making he has thrown my way to bully me to accept a measly support payment so he can get out of his marriage with as little consequence as possible – he doesn’t even care if he hurts his daughter. He can’t even see that his threats and insanity hurt his daughter – he can’t even see it. He told me that he saw his mom screw another man and he had to get over it – so his daughter can get over his leaving us.

                Heartless? Yep. What about wanting better for your kids? Nope – it’s all about them. He will make a 13 y.o. girl suffer because he had to suffer. It’s sickening.

                He was telling our daughter that since I wouldn’t accept his offer of support – he will sell the house and we will have to move. So, because I am such a greedy heartless bitch, by daughter will lose her home.
                That’s the narrative he puts on her. (My lawyer wrote letter for him to stop – he did not understand – they have no empathy – it’s all about them winning – about their self-interests – no one else’s) No mention of his greediness of chasing his barely legal coworker and not seeing our daughter for months – because he was MIA with this little girl he was chasing. Our daughter isn’t mature enough to see that. But he will spin it to her that I am the ‘bad person.’
                Hang in there.

              • It’s funny, about a year before my ex walked out, I went through maybe a week of reflection where I thought, “wow, I’m not going to feel that falling-in-love feeling again”. After thinking on it that week, I came to the conclusion that I loved him and he was more valuable than butterflies (I was pregnant with second child at the time, a trailing spouse, and feeling rather trapped in my decisions). Sadly, he came to a different conclusion after presumably feeling similar things, and opted to run away to new and shiny, completely destroying everything.

      • that is exactly the reason my ex fucktard gave our kids – life is too short to be unhappy….QED go and make 4 other people massively unhappy in the process of finding your happy place…. with NO attempt at even trying to fix anything. I dread to think of how ‘daddy has to go and find his happiness’ has been internalised by his 3 nearly adult kids. Please don’t let it be the measure by which they live their lives!!! Of course being happy also means you leave your family penniless and struggling to function while ‘happiness seeker’ has to spend all the money on the OW.

    • People often debate about whether porn is cheating. I think anything a person has to sneak around to do that harms me is infidelity. If you sneak around to eat peanut butter alone and you’re breaking your diet? Not cheating. Hiding a box of illegal drugs in my house? Unfaithful. Binge watching Mr. Rogers while I sleep because his innocence and messages are soothing to you and help you get back to sleep? Binge watching porn (or Mr. Rogers, for that matter…) while I sleep because you would rather have sex with your hand while living in fantasyland, then treating me like crap and refusing me sexual intimacy, and spending our food budget on diddling yourself while watching a screen? Unfaithful.

      Infidelity that involves sex with other people is particularly damaging because it’s the one sacred thing you share 100% with your partner if you’re monogamous. Still, all of the harmful sneaking and lies count as cheating.

      If I know and I stay, that’s my responsibility. If I only stay because I don’t know, that’s on the damned liar.

      • I wish this engine let me edit my own posts on the smartphone. 🙂 Hopefully you all get that I am AOK with Mr. Rogers for good reasons in my post above. 🙂

      • My husband’s porn use led to cam-to-cam where he had three “live sessions” with a woman who was pleasuring herself while he pleasured himself. He ended up thinking he was really in love with her. Of course, she was an actress that was doing it just to get paid in ‘coins’ and had other sessions waiting after his.

        Porn addiction is definitely infidelity because for almost half of porn addicts – it leads to erectile dysfunction that doesn’t clear up until they have gone at least ninety days without viewing porn. The addiction acts the same in them as drug addiction does in others – withdrawals and all!

        The craziest thing I have ever experienced is living with someone who loss the ability to have an erection or climax because they jacked off to porn too much – so embarrassing! It took three months of no porn for him to recover from that.

        I wouldn’t wish this type of infidelity on anyone!

        • My ex had a wicked porn addiction (would spend all day with it while I worked and when I would go to bed at night). We went to one very smart addiction therapist who told him if he didn’t get it under control it would escalate. Boy was that guy right (my ex stopped going because the guy was out to get him, sigh). Soon porn wasn’t enough, then became web cam hooks ups, then became real life hook ups, then became more violent and disturbing “pleasures” to satisfy him. All of this goi g on while I had no idea , and when I would ask about the lack of sex in our marriage I got screamed at for daring to question him, he was “tired” “distracted” blah blah blah “why did I have to be such a demanding nag”. Porn when hidden in this way is cheating and is dangerous. Run Forest, run!

          • Yes, equivalent to a “gateway” drug. You need more to get your fix, and you decide you need something stronger (real life experiences). X viewed tons of porn before getting with other women and then looking for my replacement.

          • Beachgirl, what you describe is real, and it is very serious and destructive. We chumps should be very alarmed and raise a cry about porns destructive quality.

            I am a teacher. My high school students are addicted to that shit. During lesson, a student will play for the class, on his device, the sound of a woman climaxing.

            Students have computers, laptops, cell phones. One student got behind my desk and projected onto the screen a porn video for the whole class to see. He pulled the cords from behind my computer so that I could not quickly discontinue it.

            Boys get into a sex coma over the porn. Girls aspire to be call girls, pole dancers. If you are alarmed, you are having an appropriate response to the harm of porn, prostitution and immorality.

            • Remember when we went to scool and the biggest infraction was being cacaught chewing gum? Kids are on their “devices” all the time, and it’s nearly impossible to make it stop.

            • For a scary understanding of porn, watch the TedX talk by Gail Dines, “Growing Up in a Pornified Culture.”

    • How I hate that “happiness” and “self-esteem” talk! It is empty crap that does nothing except feed the selfish entitlement and tendency to blame others, that the narc cheaters already have in spades. Mine had the “unhappy for years” story too. Sure, he probably had untreated depression, which is strong in his family, but his choices to be a workaholic with no hobbies who neglected his family & screwed over his few friends was the main cause. And a bimbo gold digger OW wife won’t cure that.

      • Vastra, were we married to the same man? Depressed, strong family history of depression, BPD, narcissism, early onset dementia, osteoarthritis, obesity, general pain, malingering, blaming others. . . .

        Gold digger who is 32 is giving up everything for this?

        I got his best (first 25 years of his adulthood) years.

  • A week after D Day #2 and gaining agreement to finally goto counseling. PS: it was “stupid” 8 days prior. I share the discovery and all the historical info of a year long (+?) affair, exchanging emails with the AP the week before our first son was born, the extreme gas lighting to the point I was seeing a shrink and on ADs because he had me convinced I was paranoid/imagining this whole thing and my personal favorite – the fact that STBXH kept saying “it happened when we were engaged, not married. That’s different. I’ve learned”

    Professor Stupid’s closing remarks: Your homework is to work on forgiving him and his homework is to work on forgiving himself.

    I shit you not, I about fell out of my chair. All that for $150. The good news – that was the day I decided reconciliation and counseling was not going to be possible.

    Fun fact: the settlement was signed yesterday and everything goes official on the 20th of this month. So looking back, I somewhat appreciate that day as it was very motivating to stop watering the weeds in my life and plant some new flowers.

    Thanks for everything chump nation. This site has maintained my mighty in times I was sure I would crumble. Big hugs!

    • Congratulations on that signed settlement! Better days ahead. 🙂

      I hope your ex has many productive years ahead of forgiving himself.

    • Congratulations on your settlement! You deserve this and more and here’s to a whole new garden of flowers for you!

    • I love that image: stop watering the weeds and plant some flowers! I’m a huge flower and garden fan. Pluck those weeds and let the colorful blooms take over. What a mighty statement.

    • Congratulations! May your garden flourish! May his turn into that inner-city vacant lot littered with liquor bottles, used condoms and needles, and a pissed on cardboard box over by the fence for him to sleep in. And as an aside, may no children be forced to live anywhere near that scene.

      • Dixie Chump, this was a great wish for a collective cheater! Used condoms! Yessss!

  • But it’s not a problem for me so it’s her issue, not mine. Only the insurance company knows the true cost but it was soooo not worth it. 🙁

  • I don’t have a RIC or MC story but I do have a gripe about the machine that surrounds teen mental illness. My daughter is currently running through this system and it is nightmarish. Each counselor, psychiatrist and social worker has a different speciality, and each seems quite happy to suggest to said daughter that she sounds like she is suffering from that exact speciality on the basis of a ten minute chat. No conversation with her (great) regular therapist, parents or school counselor for corroboration, just telling a confused 15 year led they have the answers to her problems. I’m seriously considering reporting a bunch of them to their respective boards. It’s a complete clusterfuck.

    • The mental health system in general sucks, and the mental health system for children sucks the most.
      I have a great team for my kids – 3 therapists (one for each kid) in one practice who collaborate with each other, an amazing pediatric psychiatrist, 2 pediatricians, and school counselors who are on board. If I didn’t have such a great support system with them, or if I thought I could easily replicate it elsewhere, I would move. These people are more co-parents than STBX will ever be and I just can’t do it without them now.
      I hope you are able to find a good team and the help you need for your daughter.

    • You should report them, teenage years are such a critical time, even though they would look it, teens are most vulnerable to mindfucks by “figures of authority…”

      I think few child therapists truly have developed useful knowledge and effectiveness with kids of manipulative disordered people like many of the cheaters we discuss here.

      Finding therapists and a support group that know how to help trauma and abuse victims is unfortunately as critical as it is rare.

    • FinallyAwake

      What helped my family member was entering a treatment program specifically designed for children where all the professionals collaborated. It was a day program and included the psychiatrist, therapist, and family therapy. It was an amazing experience and they recommended individual therapy when she was discharged.

    • FA, I went through this hell a number of years ago with my middle son–if you haven’t already, please do a little research on the “troubled teen industry,” which preys on desperate parents whose teens have not been helped via traditional routes. I only mention it because at one point I nearly agreed to pressure from X to ship our son off to one of these so-called wilderness camps, whose marketing campaigns make them look like the answer for kids who haven’t responded to traditional therapeutic approaches.

      I admire how mighty you are in advocating for your daughter and recognizing bad therapists when you see them–it took me a long time to wade through those weeds and get a clear perspective. There is so much conflicting information out there it can be challenging and only adds more stress on top of the worry about your child. I didn’t find this too reassuring at the time, but I was surprised by how many people shared stories about their own struggles with now-adult children who came through to the other side just fine, assuring me that if they have a loving foundation, they will eventually find their way. It turned out to be the case with my son and underlines CL’s reminder that raising a happy, healthy child takes just one sane parent–your daughter clearly has both a sane and a loving parent in you. Best of luck to you and big hugs.

    • I am so sorry you are going through this. I went through a similar nightmare with my stepdaughter from the ages of 13-18. Multiple therapists, psychiatrists, hospitalizations. Most of her therapists were awful. I called it “pat on the back therapy”. EVERYTHING she did was just AOK, her father and I were the bad guys. How dare we expect her to take her meds, go to school, not drink and do drugs and have sex with strangers! Oh, and even cutting herself was an appropriate coping method according to one of these nut jobs, oh I mean therapists. The same one who told her the voices she was hearing (telling her to kill us and our pets ) were just her “subconscious “. Finally, she was admitted to a state psych hospital and from there a residential school. Thank God, she received the help that she so desperately needed. Please keep on fighting for your child. It can get better. Today my stepdaughter is a responsible adult and a wonderful mother to her son.

  • The religious station I listened to addressed this subject the other day. The conclusion was that if you are dealing with adultery and narcissistic people, the tools you usually use for marriage counseling are useless.

  • Here’s the scene-

    The therapist’s office.

    Cheating ex sitting with his arms crossed defiantly across his chest scowling at me with mixed disgust and contempt.

    Me huddled in an uncomfortable chair, desperately feeling like this is my last shot to reclaim this marriage – this marriage that defines every aspect of my life.

    Ex launches into the countless ways I compelled him to have a five year affair with a coworker. Therapist nods knowingly and earnestly as the list of my shortcomings goes on and on. Ex also, for good measure, throws in how the affair has given his life meaning.

    Therapist turns to me and says “so paula – tell me how this SO CALLED affair has made you feel “. I felt slapped. Had the therapist just called my ex-husband’s duplicitous and malicious infidelity a “so called affair”????

    This was long before CL but even in my newly discovered agony I knew that that comment was bullshit. That was the last attempt at marriage counseling.

    • Your x sounds like a piece of work, too. The affair gave his life meaning? Puh-lease.

    • Well. I think I would have enjoyed paying for that therapy session because I can promise you I would have stood up and given that therapist and shithead a righteous ear full. Seriously. I might have been a completely anxious emotional mess that evening, but in the heat of the moment OH WHAT WORDS OF TRUTH THEY WOULD HAVE HEARD!!! My behavior would thus “prove” their own belief that I was the problem, I’m sure. But boy would it have felt good. I never paid anyone for the opportunity … I just let ex have it outside on our deck. Yeah, felt good. Fuckers.

      • It is heartbreakingly unfortunate that we are so innocent and naïve on D-day. We are tossed into chaos and sorrow and are frantic to fix the unfixable.

        Even six months out I would have been better able to respond to the mounds of crap dished out on that fateful marriage counseling day. It is one of those events that is seared in my memory and to this day, I wish I’d have known enough to tell both my husband of 26 years and that therapist to bite me!

        • Oh I agree. My comment reflects my views following at least 4 ddays. After my first dday, I barely understood that I’d been chumped. I stuffed that knowledge safely away after one hideous weekend and didn’t deal with it until dday #2 10 years later. Another 10 years until dday #3. Sloooow learner or overly optimistic or something. I didn’t need a MC to feed me bullshit … I was doing it fine all by myself and might still be at it but for those well aimed 2 x 4s from CL and CN. Eternally grateful.

          • Exactly. We are feeding that shit to ourselves. Thank you for putting it into words, DixieChump.

        • But Paula, how would we avoid the heartbreaking and naive scene of a D-day? When a girl gets married, would all of us gather around her (give her a shower?) and tell her to prepare now, for infidelity? To make her plan?

          • Oh great point QM. You’re correct – I look back fondly on that hopeful and utterly devoted bride I was all those years ago.

            Although – I have been known to tell brides in my current circle to ALWAYS sock some money away…

  • Marriage counselling I did not pay for but could not avoid receiving from the unqualified pastor of my then church.

    -though you have every right to divorce, it would be preferred, if you do not make any decisions as we (?) have hope for your marriage,
    – others have been through far worse than you and have stayed married and are now blessed for sticking it out.
    – you need to accept responsibility for your part in this, I can’t say if it is 70/30, 60/40 or even 80/20 but it takes two to make a marriage work.
    -he must be inflicted by some form of religious spirit, you only need to look at his father to realise that.
    – others have it far worse than you. He is at least redeemable.
    – you need to forgive him, even if it is a cold-hearted decision.
    – his actions were only physical, not intimate.
    – I would counsel you not to say your marriage is over because once he is restored how are you going to save face and take him back if you have already told people it is over.
    I asked at what point could I say my marriage was over the pastor responded,
    – When I tell you!

    I chose to end my marriage and leave the church, finding proper positive therapy.

    • My church was unsupportive as well. Didn’t want me to divorce and they ignore me now that I am divorced. My goal is to look for a new church this year. My ex wouldn’t go to therapy ever but agreed to meet the pastor once to tell him it was over and to get him to explain that to me. The pastor only told him to find Jesus. Pastor never met with me after but had told me you have a rental food and a job. Others have it worse thpugh so we need to focus on helping them. That was a slap. I was in spiritual need.

      All the best to you my friend!

      • I’m so fortunate that my pastor was the son of a cheating narc. He was so compassionate and understood the dynamics I was going through more than I did. However, he told me up front that he was not a counselor, but a pastor. He focused more on God’s love for me, that type of thing. He was an important part of my healing, but definitely didn’t do what the counselor did for me. I’m still glad I met with him for a year, though. He was an encourager.

    • Major Cheaterpants had (unknown to me) told our Deacon details (in a confidential therapeutic setting) that I didnt learn for years. Deacon told me to worry about myself, not him and pretty much to get out. I didnt listen and stayed.

    • Drives me nuts to hear of pastors–I am one–who think THEY get to decide what happens in the marriage. THEY aren’t the ones risking their health, 401K, sanity, etc by staying married to these crazy cheaters.

      • I meant I am a pastor, but not like these. It is the faithful spouses’ place to decide when the marriage is over or not. They are the ones who have to deal with the decision’s consequences the most, after all.

        • Well I guess, most have good intentions. I do believe that God hates divorce. But we also know he hates adultery! And that is one of the few outs. But I agree, the decision is not for anyone to make but the chump. They can suggest all they want as long as it is not in the wrong way. My pastor told my cheater straight up….. its his decision from this point on.

    • The leadership of the church cheater and I attended, not only felt they had authority over my marriage they also tried to impose authority over me as an individual. Insisting that I not tell anyone about my husbands same sex infidelity, even requesting I put in writing what I was gong to tell my girls in relation to their father and I separating, for approval. When they called cheater back into fellowship after I had not been in church for two Sundays because I was caring for our critically ill child, I knew I had to leave. When I did and began attending another church the pastor took it upon himself to confront the minister that was helping me and demanded he send me back claiming ‘I had issues that only they could help me work through’ which was code for if she is not under our control we can’t force her to stay married. Thankfully I was not sent back and before a year had even passed the same leadership was helping cheater groom another victim.

  • He refused MC(THANK GOD!). Went to his counselor 3x. Didn’t want to fix anythimg really. My good counselor took 4 months to get me to where I could say I was abused and another 3 to get me to believe that him leaving was the best thing he did for me. Love her!

    • Same with me NewLady15. Mine refused to go to MC, so I went by myself believing I could fix the marriage. What an eye opener. After reading the Verbally Abusive Relationship after the first session, I was well on my way to discovering that I was being verbally, emotionally and mentally abused. So not only was I dealing with those issues, I was also dealing with a narcissist and all the other things that brings to the table – including an affair. I filed for divorce 6 years ago this month. Its been six years of complete and utter bullshit co parenting with him. Next week, in fact a week from today, we will face each other in court. I’m hoping at that point it will be done. I’ve been extremely lucky that my counselor was such a godsend. I’m hoping the meh is around the corner lurking on a Tuesday in the near future. 🙂

  • “You need help with your anger, that’s an issue, it’s not productive.”

    It was like I wasn’t supposed to be angry, I was just supposed to magically stop being angry and listen to why Narkles the Clown was so upset with me. Yeah, I never saw that therapist again.
    My options were giving up my anger at the years long, who knows how many acts of betrayal or deciding it wasn’t worth the fight.
    Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation for helping me see clearly that my anger was justified and that he wasn’t worth the fight.
    You rock!

    • Wow. I should become a therapist. I would say pay attention to your anger. It’s warning you that you are in a bad situation.

    • My therapist told me my anger was normal and also one of the stages of grief. He said I was too kind to x and my new fury was completely understandable. He gave me some suggestions on how to express it positively. Of course, I highly recommend the FUCK thread here! Lol

      • For the record, my personal therapist, whom I found after I filed and realized I wanted a different life, told me I needed to get the anger out, to process it and feel it. She also specializes in PTSD and other trauma situations. She fought for me to recover from the time I met her.

        MC was chosen by and paid by Narkles the Clown, at least I didn’t spend money for that kind of abuse.

        • “She fought for me to recover from the time I met her.”


          My only experience with IC, any counseling for that matter, and I found a gem. Two and a half years past Dday and I am better than ok, MEH mostly, thanks to her, CL, and CN.

  • I got the tired line in MC after D-day 1: “We need to discover what was missing from your marriage that Dumb Girl had to go outside the marriage to find. Then you will know how to fix the marriage.” And–shame on me–I bought it! At least for a few days, until another, ongoing affair came to light. Whatever she was searching for, I couldn’t provide.

    Stupid line from cheating ex-wife in counseling: MC told her, “You need to turn to Nomar and tell him the affair is definitely over so he has a safe place to stand while he works on the marriage.” Cheater wife: “I’m here, so you know I’m committed to working on the marriage. But I can’t say for sure the other relationship is over forever because I don’t know how reconciliation will work out and AP is such a wonderful person.” Even the counselor was left speechless by that nugget of inadvertent half-honesty. Counselor told her she needed individual counseling to figure out what she wanted. Cheater never booked IC, despite my repeated urging (“nagging”).

    I went through 3 counselors who were harmful nincompoops before I found a keeper. I’d guess those numbers are pretty representative.

    • I think we went to a dozen nitwits (nincompoops) and only one saw his bullshit and also earned his trust, and my trust. But James Bond blew up our “marriage” with a rage.

      I have cleaned everything pertaining to our marriage out of the house: my wedding dress, trousseau, jewelry, lingerie, wedding ring, wedding photo, all gone. And I feel much happier.

      • Yes! Going NC includes going NC with the stuff of the bad marriage as much as possible. All but one counselor did less for me than I did for myself when I changed the locks and put brand new sheets on the bed.

    • Same from KK, Nomar.

      After the driveway confrontation incident, she sat in MC’s office crying about how she badly fucked up, how she was going to remove all profiles from OKCupid, Tinder, etc. but wanted to retain friendship with BDSM guy because “he’s the only one who listens to me in a non-judgemental way.” MC was skeptical but sat back and allowed me to give her that bit of leeway — in hindsight, a good thing because it demonstrated perfectly the lengths I would go to to pick-me dance.

      Two days later, KK said she just wanted to talk with BDSM guy for a bit, “just to clear my head about the whole thing, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or so” and she ended up coming home close to midnight. That was my first true sledgehammer-to-the-face-moment — and the first steps toward ending it for good.

    • My cheater did the same – texted his OW as we sat waiting for the therapist (that I had to drag him to, and he agreed only for show). Then he kept refusing to break it off with her or stop contacting all the others before. So glad I got off that Mindfuck merry-go-round.

  • Well after the 2nd dday, (only 1 more dday to go!) we did see a therapist.

    This was the conversation amongst us 3:

    Me to therapist: “I don’t want to divorce, but she has done so much wrong. I think there is something clinically wrong with her.”

    Therapist now glances over to whorrie….

    Whorrie to therapist: “I don’t understand why things have to be so permanent?”

    Therapist to me: “Rob, maybe you should answer this to whorrie.”

    Me to whorrie: “I just caught you cheating with my friend – you also admitted to fucking my sis’s husband – you opened credit cards under my Moms name – you have been caught by JC Penny security for stealing while my little daughter was with you – you go and pick up your weekly cocaine while kids are in the min-van with you. You have a serious personality disorder!!”

    Therapist to me: “Rob are you always this critical of whorrie?”

    Me to therapist: “Huh” – long pause……… “This is not going to fucking work!”

    So I marched out and threw $50.00 on the lap of whorrie.

    Costed me $200.00 total. ($150 for the session and $50.00 for cab fare for whorrie).

    I then marched the fuck out.

    • LOL !!!

      Well done Rob !!

      Nice not being bamboozled by the “therapy” !!

      Critical?! He’s not being critical, idiot. He is simply telling you what happened. Probably each of us chumps would be better counselors / therapists for cheating marriages than what is out there.

      The first thing these marriage counselors need to do is refuse to tolerate lying. The second is to tell the cheater that the chump is not the reason why he cheats.

      • Therapists have to abide by a code of ethics. In my professions I have to follow guidelines for treatment which include not providing services unless I have expertise in this area. If in fact I am unable to provide services, I have to make a referral for treatment.

        If in fact a therapist, counselor or mental health professional does not have this expertise they have no business making statements like, “Rob are you always this critical of whorrie?” That defies following a code of ethics in my opinion and the therapist should not accept compensation from a client.

        When I met my individual therapist I was clear on my goal from the get go, Within the first session a MC should be able to evaluate whether or not the cheater’s ‘dialogue’ matches this goal.

      • Hehehehe, 🙂 Holy shit Tempest, that’s me!!!!! But I do have a lot more hair. 🙂

    • Oh Sure, you’re so critical. Why couldn’t you just accept her whoring and look the other way when it came to her illegal activity? I mean, really, you’re so judgmental. What’s the big deal? It’s just cocaine and a brother in law. Geez. (sarcastic eye roll and tsk)

      • That’s right. She kept it in the family, SurrChumped. You should have been considerate of that. What is with chumps and nagging!

    • Surechumpedalot, are you kidding me? WTF?

      All these stories today are mind boggling.

      I had three sessions with a Gottman-trained MC. He was the husband of our minister (who I now believe x was blowing). I was distraught at the time but even so, I recognized how out-of-touch MC was. He chastised me for expressing “contempt for x” while praising x for finding love with (and trying to purchase) a fifteen-year-old sex-trafficked Filipina webcam whore.

      He also refused to address the fact that x spent all of our savings on prostitutes and porn, stole $10k from my mother, and was advertising himself on Craigslist.

      Those details weren’t “relevant” because I wasn’t “owning up to my part.”

      MC and his minister husband pride themselves on being fully open about their promiscuity and the Religious Science church (which I no longer value AT ALL) views “judgement” as the worst evil of all.

      PS The Gottman method seems to emphasize that both partners are responsible for the demise of the marriage. I can’t understand how they think infidelity (and its secrecy) is equivalent to other stressors on a relationship.

      False equivalency hurts Chumps because we are all too ready to accept responsibility anyway.

      • To be fair, I don’t think Gottman himself would have agreed with that therapist’s approach. He does think infidelity is a major problem in a marriage, and Gottman criticized Esther Perel for re-victimizing a chump when Perel told her “can you delight in your husband’s thrill at his sexual prowess?”

        Where Gottman goes wrong, IMHO, is emphasizing that there are over 20 warning signs in a marriage that may “lead” a person to cheat. He assumes that (a) those same things, like decreased communication, happen in most marriages but only those with entitlement issues then cheat, and (b) he takes a cheater’s word for when an affair started; as we all know, those 20+ warning signs may actually be due to a cheater already having started an affair for which they haven’t been caught.

        More later–I’m researching Gottman to find out exactly what he does think, to make sure I only criticize him accurately.

        • Thanks, Tempest.

          MC, in my case, is a milquetoast doing a pick-me-dance for his narc husband, the minister who gave his seal of approval (and blowjob of approval) to x.

          The whole situation was not good for me.

          I found a Gottman-trained IC, though, who is amazing. Her approach and style are so different as to make me believe original MC is just not very good.

          • One of the therapists we saw told us to review Gottman’s 20 signs. At the time I knew I had to divorce X but was looking for a way to ease him into it (clearly not having found CN yet). I thought, ok, here’s my ticket, we have all 20 signs and then some!

            When I pointed this out X said, “Well perhaps one could say that our marriage exhibits these signs now, but once we start working on the marriage, things will change.” This after years of MC with multiple therapists . . . at least this one had the good sense to say, “That’s not how it works. By the time a marriage reaches this stage it’s over.”

            Of course X still couldn’t hear what she said and I ended up having to rip off the bandaid and endure the three channels of mindfuckery–I only wish I’d known sooner that I was going to have to deal with them one way or the other.

    • I know it is not at all funny … but your delivery of that story is priceless! It also sounds like money well spent for what it revealed about her and the wisdom of counseling. I think I like it when you’re “critical” honey!!

      • Hehehe Dixie – actually it is funny – now of course. I can now laugh at all the stupid-shit whorrie said and did at or around all the multiple ddays. She is without doubt the biggest twat in the universe. Gosh I feel a poem coming. 🙂

        Have I ever told you the story about when she wanted to carry her brothers baby about 3 months after the final dday? No Joke.

        This twat’s common sense is equivalent to a shoe box.

  • XH used my work health care benefits ( I arranged) to go to counselling after DDay#1 he was apparently ‘cured’ after 3 sessions ??although he mentioned that the therapist told him that ” the affair wasn’t frivolous (or as XH stated ‘meant nothing’) ………it must have meant “something” to him, that comment has always irked me and I can still see my XH smirking at me when he announced it.

    He walked out for good 3 mths later……

    I then engaged a counsellor via my free work scheme so I could function ( like getting up out of bed and going to work etc.) I stopped going once she started asking about my mother (albeit a narc) never really asked about my XH….and what he had done!!!!!

    • The Employee Assistance Program counselors generally have to finish with you in just a few sessions, so they use a formula that will get you through the very worst of a rough patch. Sometimes this means avoiding direct addressing of issues that will take much longer to resolve and going, instead, for how you got in that situation in the first place. They are OK for general issues, like whether something at your job is worth quitting over, but not so much for big questions, in my experience.

      • My ex went to two sessions with employer’s EAP to address his drug addiction and alcoholism. He told me that the counselor told him it was okay to continue having beers after tennis because it was socially important to him. Either he was lying (ya think? a liar who lies?) or she was pretty useless in her understanding of alcoholism. Clearly two half hour chats with a counselor cannot possibly address a 40 year addiction. But it allowed him to say he did all he needed to do and now it was my turn to improve myself too! Snort.

  • This is a great topic, my sessions were like being pulled up in front of the principal. She said “hi”, he started his non stop list of complaints for the past week while I sat there like a chump with detention. I defended myself all session. When I pointed out over and again that “This seems like a “tattle tale” I remember saying on numerous occasions”, she never stopped him. The sessions became “Let’s fix Magneto”, all my internal work was ignored.

    One time I remember sitting there like a stooge, very proud of my pick me dance chumptitude. XH newest complaint was name calling. Sometimes in frustration, most times with affection. I remember at that moment I decided to never call him a name, even a petname anymore – to see if he noticed.
    Skip 10 months in the future, I proudly mentioned my achievement. I almost bit my tongue off those 10 months but I did it. Counselor addresses husband; “How do you feel about the name calling situation?” Mind you, my big mouth, 10 MONTHS..
    his response …..”It’s a little better”.

    After same situation talking to 3 counselors it struck me: there WAS no way to get better. That was the day something inside clicked and something else broke.

    Seriously, this counselor fell asleep “resting her dry eyes”. Quite a few times during tirades.
    She yelled.
    I lived through six YEARS of rollercoaster hell with a up/down MLC cheater. Many years of family/IC/MC.

    Xh found a yoga instructor who, with a social work degree became his IC.

    She green lighted the “Hold onto your balls” type books. Seriously. Hippie chick OK’ed this –

    Cliff notes: Give a victim narc a “He man woman haters club” book, tank him up with cuss words and false bravado – point your finger at the “abuser” at wife – who is probably the alpha and holds his shit together – and let him go! WHAT could happen, right?

    You know what I know now? A passive narc is usually more than willing to go to counseling, to help get strategies on how to handle YOU. They are the perpetual victim, they are never in the wrong, they deserve pity. We quit MC, both doing IC.
    He was not like this always. In the divorce he threw away tens of thousands of dollars. He’d burn 2 bales of his to burn one of mine.

    It was amazing that the last few years were really peaceful, we both trudged through that sh@t and still wanted each other.
    Then BOOM. At least that time, he moved out and I pick me danced for only a few weeks….

    • Terrible punctuation! ^^^ the social worker/yoga gal “cured” xh of his anger outbursts..
      (Since when can they cure anybody?)

  • So a desperate woman and her lying cheating stbx walk into a therapist office for the third session. Therapist asks what is the problem in your marriage. He says, ” she buys whole wheat bread. I hate whole wheat bread.” So she says, “ok no more whole wheat bread.”
    Therapist responds, ” my work here is done.”
    That was the last session! Even cheater chuckled at that one.

    • This could be its own thread. Terrible Food Mistakes That Make Them Cheat. I was told in therapy that I don’t make pasta right. I have the sauce to noodle ratio wrong.

      • I served tacos once without purchasing cilantro to top them with. This was, apparently, virtually unforgivable.

        I think it is just entitlement. How do you justify stiffing the waitperson or walking out on a restaurant bill, why you complain about the food! And how do you justify abusing your spouse or walking out on your responsibilities, why you complain about the food!

        After all, weren’t we just there to serve?

      • I was told that OW was superior to me because she eats vegetables for breakfast.

        Just so you know, pumpkin pie is my fav vegetable and I just ate toast and sugar for breakfast this morning. That whore can choke on her morning veggies for all I care. (and not that it really matters, but she is no fitter than me)

        • The false equivalencies are like wandering into an alternative, hellish universe:

          Chump: You lost our 401K getting blow jobs from trannies under the turnpike!

          Cheater: Well, your fettuccine sauce is runny, bitch!!!

          • Completely agree, Carmela–the false equivalencies are straight out of alternative universe.

            What this “food” thread illustrates is that cheaters desire POWER. They will go to any lengths to maintain POWER. Criticism is a way of maintaining power; it says “You are inadequate in ways x, y, and z,” and conscientious people like chumps will try and fix x, y, and z. Then the cheater will find you are also inadequate in ways a, b, and c. This is nothing more than a subtle form of the Pick-Me dance–let’s see what you are willing to change about yourself to keep Fabulous, Wonderful, Cheater-Me.

            My X admitted to me that he would critique his former wife’s makeup before they went out, and would make her jump on the scale regularly to see if she had gained weight. He never tried that with me because he knows I would have bludgeoned him with the metal scale. He just found different ways to criticize/control me (like breaking pasta in thirds, or writing too many comments on student papers). Don’t miss that in the slightest.

            • Yes, this is like moving the goal posts – all about power. Cheaters are trying to put you in your place.

              • The Food Thing was amazing. Fucktard was a sworn vegetarian. I am a carnivore but cooked only vegetarian for 16 years, while Fucktard bought leather shoes and belts and car seats. I wasn’t allowed so much as a packet of sandwich meat in the fridge. That was all about power.

                But when push came to more than shove, I called an old family friend, who was his therapist to get his hours for his Ph.D. I’d seen her too, because I wasn’t buying all that he was selling, and he thought she’d help me see the light he was shining. She told me to get out and come over to be safe. She saw the damage he’d done and told me she’d underestimated him. I needed someone better trained to deal with him. I did that, and still loved that woman for doing the right thing. We stayed in touch. I was at her 90th birthday party, which was only for family and best friends. We lost her since, but I’ll love her forever. For anyone who cares, she wrote some books. The best one is “You’re in Charge.” Translated to many languages, it is a helpful book.

                I went and got a better IC for my situation. I cannot stress this enough. Even the best trained person can’t always spot a Cluster B. It is SO important not to waste precious dollars on anyone who wants to believe faulting you will help. You need someone acquainted with entitled jerks who are likely NPD assholes.

            • Tempest, this: “What this “food” thread illustrates is that cheaters desire POWER. They will go to any lengths to maintain POWER. Criticism is a way of maintaining power; it says “You are inadequate in ways x, y, and z,” and conscientious people like chumps will try and fix x, y, and z”

              Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! The cheater religiously insisted on having THREE types of fruits for breakfast, with yoghurt and honey. His work lunch (fresh salad and sandwich) had to be prepared by me in the morning and not the night before. Home shopping and chores were on me. I recall I was 8 months pregnant, just came home carrying about 10 kg of stuff from the market to the 5th floor with no elevator, discovered I had bought only TWO types of fruit (the rest was veggies, how could I forget!), and went back down and to the open market to get the third fruit type for the next morning. He even asked me why I was going out again and did not stop me when I said I had forgotten the third type of fruit (aaaaaaaa!!! How ridiculous can we pick me dance!!!) That was the day he made a huge fight with me insisting that I had to go back to my home country for my baby delivery and stay there for another 6 months and come back when the baby was easier to handle. I recall crying for hours and telling him how I tried to do everything right and as he wanted, to ensure his three fucking fruits for breakfast with double strolls to the market, carrying all that weight on me with no elevator to the 5th floor, doing all the cooking, cleaning and chores so he would not be bothered. And I also worked till my delivery date!

              How can you satisfy a bottomless pit soul?

          • Cheater: ” You don’t try new recipes on company “.
            Said in front of the company. So I never tried a new recipe again. Turdhead!

      • What is with cheaters and carbs?

        I was criticized heartily for breaking spaghetti into thirds instead of halves when I put it in the pot. Yet another of my “Are you fucking kidding me?” moments.

      • I was told by Cheater that I mess up the kitchen too much when I cook.

        Therapist leans forward, looks at him and says slowly “Sooo, you want her to cook neater?”

        But he was my psychiatrist 1st. When BRD finally spit out, several sessions later (since I wasn’t allowed to reveal) that he was bi, MC was shaken. He commented that other wives in the same situition would be raging at their partners, “What do you mean you don’t know what you want?” He then said he couldn’t help us, and recommended we attend an LGBT support circle. I feared it would just provide my cheater with more dates, and I didn’t go. Neither did he. I continued with IC, until after pouring my heart out one session, because I felt like the world was crashing down on me, my MD said “Well, it sounds like you’re doing great. See you in three months.”

        I haven’t been able to bring myself to seek therapy, and I haven’t been able to cry, since.

      • My cardinal sin was cooking with onions occasionally. Even onion powder was taboo; he has a pathological loathing of the smell.

        Funny – his terrific new place is three acres SURROUNDED by onion fields – smack dab in the middle of the biggest onion-growing area in the country!!

        • I think that I know where he lives. Lol! BTW, onions gave mine nightmares. But , if we were out to eat, he could have onions. Apparently, it was the onions I touched caused him nightmares? Too funny!

            • Mine would always suggest if we ate out that I get his second choice so we could share. No. Then he would suggest another alternative that cost a dollar less. Controlling?

  • Drumroll:

    On discovering his pathological lying, affairs, stealing, double life, outfitting a rented home with my furniture, STD(s) transmissions:

    —We all have a good heart deep down inside, but it might take several layers to see that.—-

    I paid nothing, because I got up and walked out. She is lucky I did not go Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk in her office and tear it down.

  • The best counseling for a chump is individual therapy with a specialist in abuse. They will help you understand that the disordered do not think like you do. The disordered think what they did was fine, do not feel bad about it. They think you caused it. Lying is okay to cover up their bad behavior because other people just don’t understand.

    Counsellors who specialize in abuse know that the disordered have a whole modus operandi, just like chump lady explains, to confuse you, make you crazy.

    These counselors will help a chump set goals for crawling up out of that hell. A chump can see progress on a weekly basis.

    James Bond would lie to the marriage counselor(s), making me so angry, one said I showed my teeth. James Bond would take control of the session. These types manipulate and seduce the counselors, just like they seduce and manipulate the chump, and cheaters like the challenge of pulling the wool over a professional’s eyes.

    One of his best tactics was pulling out his credit card at the end of a session and saying, “I want to pay you now.” Counselor would say, I’ll bill you. “No, I’ll pay you now.” A bribe.

    My reading on marriage counseling for cheaters is that an ethical counselor will first call for a sex addiction screening for the cheater.

    • Queen Mother, this is correct. As a trauma therapist I screen for abuse, addiction, or infidelity in both partners. If any of these are present, they both get referred to individual therapists before any whiff of MC is considered. Any ethical therapist with appropriate training recognizes that these conditions **Do.Not.Allow** for safe and productive therapy.

      The dearth of ethical counselors is a giant, glaring, spackly issue…clearly my profession needs to practice better birth control and grow more of us who understand what’s really happening and are willing to whack people with the truth.

      Shop carefully.

      • Exactly this! Lundy is totally correct, no MC with an abuser. And, if you place an abuser in therapy with someone who doesn’t understand the dynamic the abuser will just be a happier, better adjusted abuser. “Why Does He Do That” really helped me. And I had one brilliant therapist at the women’s shelter, unfortunately she moved after 10 sessions. Took a long time to find any one decent after her.

  • Therapist suggested that we have separate visits, third visit we go as couple. My visit with the therapist didn’t quite fill the entire session. I explained that since I confronted X after finding a receipt for porn X rented in X’s hotel room on a recent trip to Reno X had been distant and quick to anger.
    I didn’t understand why X had been disinterested in being intimate recently.
    When confronted X chuckled, denied everything, (receipt had his signature) I phoned the hotel to confirm his purchase. His denial turned to anger that I had been snooping (I was cleaning his jacket pockets before taking it to the cleaners). X became even more distant. and I didn’t understand why.
    X was reluctant but went to his therapy appt., X’s visit went far beyond the hour which I thought was a good sign that he was taking therapy seriously.
    Our third appt. together I looked forward to our appt. and working on our marriage.
    We walk into his office and sit down, X starts rubbing my back which he has never done before.. weird.
    The therapist asked how we were doing, small talk. X keeps rubbing my back and now keeps looking at me (again weird) X says, she’s beautiful, she’s beautiful, isn’t she beautiful.., therapist says yes, she is.
    I’m thinking WTF? feeling uncomfortable I smile, and am waiting to change the subject, I glance over and X has tears running down his face, and tells me how much he loves me and how beautiful I am again.
    Finally after handing tissues to X, the therapist looks at me and says X loves you Brit, and you’re very lucky to have such a loving and caring husband. huh? I tried explaining that this isn’t him or X’s normal behavior but the therapist ignored me and again told me how fortunate I am.. then about three minutes before our session ended the therapist looks at me and says I need to watch my drinking.
    No questions, never asked me if I drank, never considered X was lying, or if I was drinking ask me why.
    As we were walking out X and the therapist start talking baseball and then flying (X is a pilot),
    X and I get inside the car and X bursts out laughing, then says we have no reason to go back.
    He was still laughing when we got home, he thought it was hysterical. He says, I told you that being a therapist is a bullshit job.

    • This is chilling. Almost like check-the-basement-for-missing-children chilling. I am very happy to hear this person is your ex!

      • Yikes. Agree with Ami that I’m thankful for YOU he is your ex now.

        Mine did the same thing about the drinking. He tried to make me out to be an alcoholic during a deposition, but I was successful in quickly and effectively shutting that shit down with just a few irrefutable facts from receipts, bank statements, job stability and unsolicited, written testimony from friends and colleagues.

        He tried to make me out to be an irresponsible woman, but only succeeded in pissing off his attorney for lying during a deposition, which my attorney pointed out was illegal.

        Still, to realize he was willing to stoop so low as to accuse me of being an alcoholic was chilling. It was at that moment I realized I was not dealing with a sane man.

        • My ex deposed my employers asking such nice questions as “How many of the partners has Survivor been sleeping with?” The answer was none, but none of them could speak for all of them, so I lost my job because I was too much trouble anymore. That Fucktard was relentless.

          • Survivor, they will go to any length to humiliate and devalue. I don’t understand why the family court allows their BS to be addressed. Their intentions are obvious,

            X’s attorney accused me of choosing a questionable lifestyle because isn’t it true I had different cars parked in my driveway overnight? My Switzerland neighbors apparently were giving X updates on cars parked in my driveway.
            My brother spent some time visiting me during the summer, he lives four hours from here and would stay a few days and “nights” when he came to visit and parked in my driveway. My brother’s girlfriend and her daughter came to visit and stayed overnight. Jackass is also relentless and cunning.
            I’m sure they lay in bed at night thinking of ways to torment and make our lives more difficult.

        • Alcoholic exasshole was fond of accusing me of being an alcoholic. Of course he also set me up for a DV charge. He too was very good at fooling therapists. They suck.

    • Wow, brit. What an actor your ex was!

      I can remember once my ex telling me he’d discovered how to get the people who worked for him to do anything he wanted. When I asked, “What’s that?” he said, “I just have to act like I care.” That’s their MO.

      • True, he was an actor, looking back (of course) I realize just how much of an actor he was.
        Scary knowing I’ve been married to an imposter for 20 years.
        I believe he was acting during our entire relationship.
        The last time we went to counseling he was especially reluctant, he said lets take separate cars and that he’d follow me. He knew where the office was but I agreed. While I was driving I’d look back in my rear view mirror and notice he was driving slow then turned off. I made it to the appt and he arrived about 25 minutes late. The counselor mentioned our marriage, X got up and said what?
        marriage counseling?? she lied to me, she told me this was in regards to our son!
        Then he looked over at me and said our marriage is over. When I think of these moments and retell these stories I’m repulsed by him. Disgusting, pure evil.

        • omg this is so close to what happened to me….out of the blue my NPD by way of a PHONE call said we should go to marriage counselling…. fully out of the blue and in the 3 weeks it took to get the appointment he had managed to freak me out so much he engineered an argument where he declared the marriage was over and the next day when the appointment was due I sat there in shock while he calmly said to the MC we are here to talk about how best to tell the children… WTF?? to his credit the guy asked straight out if he was having an affair – ex fucktard lied of course and claimed ‘it was the furtherest thing from his mind’ – read the opposite. In fact with cheaters it is pretty much the script to reverse the meaning of everything they say.
          In regards to spending 2 decades ‘acting’ being a normal spouse the creepiest thing my ex said to me one random time years before d day when we were sitting watching TV he turned and said ‘I’m not who you think I am”… my blood runs cold remembering that now, but at the time I just thought ‘what – thats a weird thing to say’. As someone keeps repeating here – when someone shows you who they are believe them the first time.
          I do not believe most psych services are geared up to relate to someone who is as manipulative as NPD’s the image takes care of 99% of the judgement and the chump makes sure she appears completely deranged due to the years of mental abuse. Plays into their hands. 2017 here i come!

    • Brit – Your story made me feel sick to my stomach. I am so glad you are not with this sociopath anymore.

    • Lord, what is it with narcs and drinking? We were in the middle of a session when X interrupted me and said that he could no longer be quiet about it and that we couldn’t move forward until we addressed my drinking problem. When the therapist asked me about it and I said I didn’t know what he was talking about, X said, “When we were on vacation this summer, you polished off an entire bottle of tequila in under 24 hours. You couldn’t even be around your own family without having alcohol in your system 24/7.”

      Try defending yourself against that, especially with an incompetent therapist who bought his “I’m a saint, she’s crazy” schtick hook, line, and sinker. I’ve read so many similar stories here and have a friend IRL whose X convinced their adult children that she had a drinking problem and then tried to have her hospitalized for it. I suppose as with most tools in their toolkit, it’s easy enough to pull off because unless you’ve been a lifelong teetotaler (and even then), how could you prove you’re not a secret drunk?

      • It’s like asking someone: When did you stop beating your wife? A rigged question to make you the loser. When you defend yourself, you sound hysterical. If you don’t, you are letting that accusation stand. Even if you respond calmly, they can say: See? She has these lies down pat.

        That is the lowest of blows, it is repulsive and cunning, and it is a wonderful validation that you got away from a complete and utter piece of human feces.

      • Marriage counseling in their mind isn’t to solve issues, they’re on the defensive and they will stoop to any level to divert attention from themselves and make themselves out to be the winner. When I first suggested going to counseling with X he refused. He would say, he was saving me because if we went to counseling the counselor would ask him why he married me, that I was crazy and have me put in an institution.
        Another therapist we went to did the same separate then together sessions. We were sitting in his office and the therapist began asking me about my drinking, one of his questions was did I drink more around the holidays, I answered with no, I don’t drink much if at all during the holidays especially since I’m so busy during that time. There were a few other drinking questions directed at me. I’m so naive at the time I didn’t realize X had said I had a drinking problem. During the questioning X sat there with a sad face making himself appear to be the victim.
        You’re defenseless when faced with false accusations of being an alcoholic. No matter what you say they have something to counter no matter who you respond.

        A couple months after X left I had a fender bender in the high school parking lot. I backed into a chain link fence. I didn’t find out until a few months afterwards that X had told everyone I was driving drunk at three in the afternoon. (Fortunately I have the police report). This is a small community so I imagine that most people have heard that’s I was driving drunk on school property as their kids were getting out of school.

        • I apologize for the typos and repeat sentence. No, I’m not drinking.. ha! crazy.
          One of the things I like to say is if I were an alcoholic I’d definitely be one now after all the shit I’ve been through.

      • OtherKat, X had the Saint act down, he’s the (victim) Saint married to me, the unstable wife.
        You can sense that the therapists are enamored with the “Saint” and patronize us.

  • My ex has been in therapy since the day I met him, he was incorrectly diagnosed with depression in college and struggled mightily for years with what turned out to be bi polar depression. Some therapists were really good, some not. After the first D-day, he convinced me to go to a session together at his individual therapist’s office. I found out that therapist had known of his affair the whole time, had actually counseled him during his affair that it was good for him and that “Sometimes, these things need to happen.” I was ripped open and gutted. Later on in our wreconciliation, my ex told me that his therapist had been an other woman in a long term affair and he appreciated her perspective through out his planning and maneuvering throughout his affair with one of his high school students. It sickens me to think that I stayed for 3 more years after that.

    • I just remembered that during the session, the therapist said my ex needed to focus on letting his other woman down gently, because she would be in a fragile state of mind. Nothing was said about taking care of his wife or marriage that I can recall.

    • That bitch needs to be brought before a board, for malpractice and unethical conduct. His therapist is a real piece of shit.

  • Well I posted up above a horrible therapist story but the optimist that I am, here is something a good therapist said to me:

    Therapist: “Rob, she is an unhappy person.”

    Me: “But why? She has everything. She has all my love and all the kids love.”

    Therapist: “It doesn’t matter why she is unhappy, she’s just an unhappy person. She looks for happiness in others when she should be looking for happiness within herself.”

    Me: “I know! I have told her this! But why does she do this?”

    Therapist: “Because that is who she is.”


    This was a pivotal point for me in recovery to start accepting that my marriage was over. I could never change her.

    • This realization was my turning point too. He wanted to put the whole responsibility for his happiness on me and the kids while he was sabotaging it with drinking, gambling, sports, and other woman. It was all our fault he was unhappy and didn’t feel part of the family. Yet, he barely spent any time with us.

      It was a no win situation. As long as he prioritized those things ahead of us, he would never be happy with us.

      Where and who you spend your time with is what becomes important to you. We weren’t it.

      • I just want to send this entire message to my cheater. Thank you for putting this into the right words. I won’t do it of course.

  • I remember the therapist, on the topic of my soon to be ex’s bdsm sex addiction, saying, “why don’t you try to think of this as a behavioral compulsion — like gambling.” WTF?? Is that supposed to make it easier to bear????

    • Another false equivalency — perfect gaslighting. It IS a behavioral compulsion. That fact doesn’t negate how harmful the behavior (and the lies surrounding it) is to you. It doesn’t mean it isn’t a deal breaker. Punching people in the face is to crappy anger management is also a behavioral compulsion. I suppose we are supposed to let people do that to us, too? Yarg.

    • By all means think of it as gambling (frankly, they are gambling with their/our health, their children, their family, often their jobs if fuckbuddy is a co-worker), but no one should stay with a gambler either. Run.

  • By the way, a much better therapist told me to get out of the relationship — and she told me to read a book called “The Sociopath Next Door.”

    • My cheater’s therapist suggested reading Ester Perel’s book Mating in Captivity. Seriously?! F*ck that therapist was useless. Mine said, “He’s not ready to do the work to repair your marriage”. Both fired.

      • But your therapist was telling you the truth Thensome?
        Reading between the lines, I am hearing ‘your marriage is over because he is a *****’

        You can hear the hints. For instance, I was told ‘never ever diss your children’s father to them, this damages them etc etc’.
        The next line was ‘they will eventually see for themselves’.

        Reading between the lines, they were telling me he was the problem. But I wasn’t to add to it.

  • Keep The Marriage Together At All Costs MC is the worst. Never go to one of those.

    After discovering the STD she told me many couples recover from that.
    After discovering he really does not get empathy she told me many of the people who come to her have trouble with that at first. (I have no doubt they learn to fake it)
    After discovering that he really had not stopped seeing the OW. He said he was only emailing…she told me I should allow this and tried to broker a deal where he would slowly stop doing that over the next few months. Of course he was seeing her.
    At one point in a session Exasshole said “Do you know how amazing it is to be wanted by 2 women?” and she said; “that must make you feel really great but it’s not fair to either of them”.
    One nugget, she told him he should be tested for BPD and he told her that was a serious diagnosis she wasn’t qualified to make. When we got to the car he went into a huge rage, scared the crap outta me. When I told her about it she said many couples are able to cope with this…

    At the one day MC retreat there was a private workbook for each of us. I read his later. In the section on what made exasshole most angry with me he wrote “when she calls OW a whore”. When I repeated this to him he said I wasn’t respecting his privacy, que rage.

    I paid for these sessions…after I got the protective order (I informed her). She sent me an email asking for payment of $275 for a day long retreat thing. I reminded her that her direction to me almost got me killed and gave her exassholes email address, never heard from her again.

    • Upon receiving that bill, maybe you should’ve replied — “Unpaid bills — many therapists are able to cope with this.”

    • One of our many “marriage therapists” gave stupid “advice” (he has previously assured us that he had the ability to reconcile us), saying that he “didn’t know who was telling the truth, he wasn’t there”. I reduced his pay by 25%. He wrote to me later and asked what he should do about the reduced pay, I told him accept that you did wrong and that is all the pay you will get.

      Later, when the divorce is final and I have some head space, I am contacting whatever authority oversees these clown marriage counsellors. Idiots.

      • Your therapist said: he “didn’t know who was telling the truth, he wasn’t there”

        My bad marriage counselor said the same thing….so he asked the 5 children to come in and talk to him. After that, he knew that ex was an abusive liar so he asked ex to come in alone for a few sessions. Ex went once and was suddenly too busy for counseling. Even so, the bad counselor never suggested to me that I was living with abuse. I went to him alone for a long time after that.

    • This. Save the marriage at all costs MC. Almost lost myself. The rages. The anger. The venom. The it just happens he didn’t mean for it to turn into an affair crap. Really? All the repair work will be on you. Still seeing her. Not making it a requirement that they not work together. Yea I called her a C and a W. he hated that lol. MC had ZERO clue he was a narc. Hey the lack of empathy? Lack or remorse? Nope that’s normal. And I needed to get in line. GAG

  • Moose:”There will be someone else. The kids and I will move on and there will be someone else.”

    Asshole: “Of course there will be. You’re a pretty girl.”

    Seriously. The counselor mouth dropped open and he said, “Did you really just say that?”

    • My therapist is a former chump, and admitted to me he could never do MC because he would be tempted to shout, “You did WHAT??!!!???”

      • His experience and his attitude would make him an excellent therapist for marriages involving abuse / infidelity.

      • But he would be great! He would call people out on their bullshit. But they would probably only have one session with him. He could advertise: “$1000 for a Marital Workshop with Me. It’s all you need!”

    • Okay Moose. I had pretty much the exact same conversation with my cheater but I didn’t have anyone there to be shocked or appalled by his behavior.
      I’m about 6 months out (separated and trying to go NC) and just now figuring out more and more things that were just unacceptable in the way he behaved.
      Can someone clarify this conversation for me as to why it’s so bad? It made me feel like shit when he said it but I’m still not seeing things completely clearly yet.

      • In the counselors opinion, it was here I am telling him that I will move on. There will be someone else for me to grow old with, to sleep with, to raise HIS children, to experience HIS grandchildren..that someone else was going to fill those roles. And he was okay with it.

        For me it was 23 years of marriage and friendship, a family, everything that we had worked hard for…all the things I saw in myself: a good wife, devoted mother, a hard worker, friend to others, a Christian. All these things that I worked hard at doing because they mattered to me, because I loved others and I wanted to do right by them. And the one thing he focused on was the one thing I had nothing to do with, the one thing I didn’t work at…being pretty. I was STUNNED. That was all I was to him…pretty.

        Made me realize just how ugly he was on the inside. Still to this day, that’s what I got last week. You’re pretty. Asshole.

        • It’s disturbing that he would use those words “you’ll find someone else, you’re pretty,”
          no regard or appreciation for all your other attributes, your hard work, sacrifices and devotion to your family. In my opinion the meaning behind those words are I don’t care about you, please, find someone so I can go on with my life.

          • Brit…exactly. And that’s exactly what he has done, right down the the discard of my children.

  • Full disclosure I’m a therapist but not for couples. Hmmm I thought I will check out the website of the largest U.K. Couples counselling organisation Relate. Maybe my fears that they are useless are unfounded. Nope, their website could have been written by the RIC, looked like a big copy and paste job. So no help for chumps there. It makes me burn to think of how many chumps are being gaslighted by the very system that purports to help them. And counselling is not as accepted or as widespread as in the US so any criticism will be muted. I still believe infidelity is emotional abuse. Maybe I’m better placed than most to change the system. Anyway…..

    My own cheat is planning to go to therapy (I think he is waiting for the invention of nuclear fusion) and it makes me angry in advance that I know whoever he finds he will be a great success. He will be sad, open, earnest, remorseful, regretful, will just sit there oozing sincerity. He will make the therapist feel needed, respected, useful and good at their job. He will make promises, vow to be better, have new habits all of it. And neither of them will have been dealing with anything in reality. I would image the damage done to me and the boys will be slightly brushed over initially while they both make sympathetic noises before the go back to feeling all comfy cozy with their lovely selves. In the real world where we actually live he will feel better about himself, the divorce will be a regret but not a huge one, the loss of his wife and children will be a bit odd but he will just slide back into the arms of another poor shmuck with a ‘I can help him, fix, him, make him happy’ mentality and the whole thing will roll on. I’m not going to ask or listen to any of it is he ever does go.

    And I and the boys will be living in the real world as usual not floating up in cloud cuckoo land.

    The only answer is to go for individual counselling. Preferably with an abuse specialist.

    Chumps get such a raw deal. First they trusted their spouse, then they trusted their therapist to see what it may have taken them years to see themselves. And these ‘experts’ re-victimise them.

    From what I have read so far, the only silver lining seems to be that having decided to go to therapy and detail what they have been through, when they hear the excuses, rationalisations and pure bullshit coming out of the mouths of the therapist they snap. They know what is going on despite maybe having not fully admitted it to themselves. When the therapist completely misses the mark it can sometimes help the chump find a confidence in their own feelings. As in fuck them both. I’m right and I’m leaving. First hard lesson in mighty.

    Therapists are people with all the usual baggage and cheating histories too.

    • Cap, spot on. Thank you.

      I like how you said that the narcs are good at the “vulnerable act” and snow even well-intentioned therapists. This happened to me and I was painted as the absent, workaholic, angry bitch who didn’t give my sweet innocent STBX narc (who is a soul-sucking food, drug, computer, adrenaline, and porn/sex addict and I’m certain none of this was ever disclosed in his so-called therapy) “enough love and attention.”

      Make no mistake, there is not enough of any substance in the world to fill the emptiness in these people. I tell clients this flat out and I do sometimes disclose that I had to learn this myself – the hard way.

      • Therapist looked directly into my eyes and made sure she had my attention. Then said, “You will never be enough for him or ever make him happy. It is not you. It is who he is.”

        Thank you.

        • I was truly lucky in that my IC was a chump. MC, not so much….the counsellor had a degree in child psychiatry, and at that point Kiddo (and I) were in pretty bad shape, PTSD wise, so I figured even if the marriage was goosed, we MIGHT work together to help Kiddo. Dr. Useless just sat there collecting checks.

          Per Tempest’s justified rant on the other thread, it is about ETHICS, people!!! But until the actual effects of emotional and environmental abuse are seen as exactly that-abuse, it is not gonna change.

          Best thing my chumpy IC ever told me-“You have seriously understimated Kiddo, and seriously overestimated Mr Fab.”

          Worst thing MC ever told me, “You aren’t going to get anywhere until you accord the OW the respect she deserves. She had a role in Kiddo’s life as her aunt, now you must let her be her stepmother. Be reasonable.” Like leaving your distraught kid in the care of an alkie porn addict (and that’s just her).

          Not sure what the results were, but I DID write a letter, with IC’s help, to the governing body MC is a member of. That sort of shit cannot stand.

          • Mehphista–you should have told the idiot MC, “Oh, I *do* afford OW exactly the amount of respect she deserves.”

    • Cap, I appreciate your insight. I’m so glad there are at least some counselors who have experienced betrayal first hand. I do believe that unless you’ve gone through it, you really can’t relate. Vikki Start (who wrote Runaway Husbands) was a marriage counselor and it happened to her. She has written about how inadequate she realized counseling was for people who’d experienced betrayal abandonment.

      • Lyn

        I’ve been chewing on these thoughts all day. I think that the root of the problem is that infidelity has been seen historically as, shall we say, not that important. So many movies, books and shows about it but they are usually from the viewpoint of the cheat and their ‘exuberant defiance’ or for titillation and dramatic plot devices to sketch in hen pecked husbands or nagging wives or some such guff. Not too many from the betrayed stance unless it’s used to justify an act of revenge. Women’s relative powerlessness historically socially and financially has not helped (with all due respect to male chumps who are overdue some recognition themselves. So the ground has been set to see infidelity almost as a common local difficulty between spouses.
        It’s not as sexy when you start talking about it as abuse. STD’s and broken children tend not to be so titillating.

        The whole counselling profession still sees it as a fairly major difficulty but something ameanable to regular big standard counselling.

        If infidelity were to be seen as abuse then I believe that specialist counsellors would emerge. I had a great deal of extra training to deal with survivors of historical child sexual abuse because there was a recognition of the complex issues involved, not least on going legal issues, and the vulnerability of the client population and the depth and breadth of the damage done. Most counselling here has a basic limit of six sessions (free) private counsellors have more leeway, but my clients often run for up to and over one year.

        The more infidelity is seen as abuse, the whole counselling paradigm may shift. Fingers crossed.


        • Agree, Cap!

          Infidelity can involve exposure of a trusting spouse to humiliation, possible STD’s, financial abuse, emotional abuse, child abuse (nobody will ever convince me otherwise that making kids “be nice” to an AP isn’t a form of psychological child abuse), psychological abuse, court abuse, downgraded lifestyle changes and countless other degrading consequences.

          The reality of infidelity isn’t a feel-good, rom-com, romp in the hay. If one more person tells me Love Actually is a treasured Christmas movie, I’m going to scream. But that could be a whole other blog.

        • Yay!! I agree with your comments below, and they offer direction for change:

          “If infidelity were to be seen as abuse then I believe that specialist counsellors would emerge.”

          “The more infidelity is seen as abuse, the whole counselling paradigm may shift.”

          My friend in recovery said something very profound to me the other day, when I told her that my step-bastard is a cheater/liar/gaslighter to my mother. She knows that I am divorcing for the very same reasons (while my mom has stayed for now almost 50 years). She said, “Well good for you, you are ending a cycle that can go on for generation after generation after generation.”

        • True Cap, infidelity is portrayed as exciting and the people involved adventurous who took a chance and discovered their true love. Exhilarating true love.

          Bystanders of real life divorce excitedly listen to the next episode in the divorce process.
          Who said what, is she/ he dating?
          Rarely do you find anyone concerned for the left spouse, the children, or the devastation or aftermath.

    • After reading these stories I will not go to a therapist. While still fragile, I think I am now in a much stronger place being surrounded by CL and CN. I absolutely don’t have the time or desire to screen through therapists while exposing myself to a potential danger of continuing being gaslighted, now by another person.

      I have a few close friends that have labled all the emotional abuse correctly from the very beginning of my marriage but I stopped sharing stuff with them because I felt they were pushing my save-the-marriage-at-all-costs train off the track. I have gone through many RIC websites,youtubes, articles, books, talked to “new age spiritual” people, did the wreckonciliation…until I found the CL. Boom! I think clearly now and most importantly my gut feels well. I don’t have that feeling of “something is wrong” anymore. Does this hurt – the clear thinking and clear gut? Yes, it does. But I will not exchange this painful clarity for one painless happy but delusional moment.

      You are my therapists, Chump Lady and Chump Nation. Happy 2017 to all!

  • In the beginning…..i wanted to, at least try but i didnt go to counseling because a every time i wasnt home whore juice was in my bed and didnt go to marriage counseling because of this conversation and in the third person which i never heard him use before.

    Asswipe: asswipe knows he needs counseling, asswipe knows he fucked up in the head, asswipe doesnt want to reveal whats really in his head it will scare and embarress everyone. Asswipe doesnt want to pay for stupid bullshit counseling (but pay for on line dating sites, lots of money on whore juice no problem) asswipe is fucked and screwed up, asswipe will not talk to some fucking asshole stranger to help anyone (unless its some low life eye batting whore who will spread her legs) and asswipe knows asswipe and kar marie should go to marriahge counseling but fuck that noise waste of time and money thats what asswipe says!

    Conversation with himself about himself and cant be bothered to even try.

    Final comment asswipe is irresistable to all woman and i need to accomodate them because thats my purpose in life.

    Well i will tell you guys that was as big of a mouthful of bullshit as i ever heard and i was open mouthed stunned. Mean and angry he was while saying it. Im not at meh yet but getting there a bit more every day.

    Hes still angry and hes jealous of me because i escaped his life and he didnt.

    Happy new year to everyone here and i wish a fantastic 2017 for us all! Love you guys!

    • I bet you’re right that he’s mad and jealous of you because you escaped his life and he didn’t. Very nice insight there. I’m thinking about it and applying it to my “marriage” with James Bond.

      What I’ve read about the best therapy for the disordered is someone who will confront them in their bullsit, in a benign way. Therapists think that all people are neurotics. They’re not. Some are disordered.

      The disordered know that we think what they are doing is wrong, but they don’t care. That is what entitlement looks like.

      Confronting the disordered can be as simple as saying: “what you said is not true.” That simple statement can be the start of “healing” for someone who is charming and seductive and knows how to get his way. Therapy with a counselor who only uses an approach for neurotics ends up coaching the disordered character in how to better manipulate.

      • “The disordered know that we think what they are doing is wrong, but they don’t care. That is what entitlement looks like.”

        ^^^ This

        Maybe an equation could be:
        entitlement = doing/ having what one wants + apathy

  • I was fortunate in that both times I sought counseling, the professionals I worked with were excellent. I am telling this story to encourage people wary of counseling not to dismiss it out of hand just because there are a lot of idiots in the profession.

    We started with marriage counseling through a center where the fees were covered by my workplace insurance. During the second session the counselor asked me to put one issue on the table I’d like us to work on. I did–it took about 3 minutes. Then she asked the same of him. He raged and ranted at me for about 30 minutes running up an increasingly long list of my failures and character flaws until the therapist told him that what he was doing was not having a conversation but engaging in “verbal abuse.” He screamed at her, “She got to talk for as long as she wanted, so I get to have my say too.” And he was incensed, absolutely furious, that she had used the term, “verbal abuse.” (I wondered if there was a panic button she could push for help–he was so out of control in his fury.) He ranted and screamed about her credentials, knowledge, professionalism, etc. before stomping out. I started to sob and finally said, “I don’t know what I can do except leave him.” And she replied, “I think you should.” It was immensely freeing to have a professional confirm my hopelessness about the marriage. It was also the first time someone labeled his behavior as “verbal abuse,” and that was also an important eye-opener for me.

    Later, after we separated, I began taking the kids to a counselor for family therapy. The EX would only engage in the therapy by occasionally calling the therapist to report all the things he thought I was doing wrong. For a year, he would routinely tell me at custody exchanges all the “evidence” he had of my “poor parenting” that he’d be reporting to the therapist. He rarely actually called (at least as far as I know), but he tried to use counseling as a new way to berate and control me. He also actively discouraged the kids from participating and lied to them about the purpose and legality of the counseling.

    Despite the fact that I had requested therapy to help the kids, the very fine therapist spent only about 25% of each session with the kids and the rest was with me individually. He understood well before I did that the one who needed the most help coping with the disordered EX was me. “We” saw him for just over a year, and he helped me understand the boundaries I needed to establish with the EX, helped me strategize ways to support the kids as they learned to set boundaries, and helped restore my confidence in my own parenting. And, he regularly forgot to bill me. I’d remind him, and still, he must have charged me for only 50% of my twice montly sessions. I have no idea how that man makes a living, but I think of him as an unexpected grace.

    • Can you expand on the boundaries you established for yourself and how you supported your kids with their boundaries? Sounds like you were pleased with both therapists!

      • For my kids, I need to encourage them to articulate what they want from their father and to communicate that to him. Similarly, when they don’t want to accommodate him, they need to say that–clearly. This might mean making a phone call to say, “Hi Dad, I want you to come to my soccer game this weekend. It starts at 3:00 at the Green Hills Park.I hope to see you then.” And given their father’s constant stream of excuses–texting is better than calling (i.e. put it in writing). He’ll still say he wasn’t there because of a communication error, but he won’t be able to gaslight the kids into thinking they made the error. As they’ve grown older (and the EX has grown more dysfunctional), it means telling a child, “No, you can’t buy your dad’s car and pay him a $1000 down payment on it right now. You don’t have a $1000 dollars (or the rest of the ridiculous asking price) and you don’t have a driver’s license yet. You need to tell him these things. You can blame it on me and say, ‘Mom won’t let me,’, but it isn’t true. Tell your dad what is true.” In this case, I am trying to let the kid experience that dad gets mad, when his expectations are not met–even when they are wildly inappropriate or impossible expectations. And that dodging this truth serves no purpose. Be factual with Dad–not angry or apologetic.

        At least as important for me is the idea that I need to mostly stay out of this. I can encourage them to send the text and be direct but I shouldn’t tell them what to invite him to or when to tell them they won’t meet his demands. They can complain to me about it, but I have to stop running interference for them and trying to prop up their relationship. When their Dad tries to blame me, I work on being direct to the kids. “You are right that I didn’t invite Dad to the school carnival. I told you that you were in charge of inviting Dad to school functions. Did you? If so, he knew about it and didn’t come. If you didn’t, then you know why he didn’t have the date down. Don’t put me in the middle of it. Now, do you want to talk about ways to manage all this? I’m hear if you want me to, but if you don’t want to, that’s fine too.”

        For me the boundary work early on was pretty much a version of “don’t waste time trying to untangle the skein of fuck-uped-ness. My first instinct in therapy was to try and explain and explore why things had happened. The therapist kept pushing me to make plans for how to proceed and stay away from the post mortems. So, if the EX had cornered me in a parking lot as we left a soccer game last week, my therapist didn’t want to hear what the EX accused me of, he wanted to know how I would keep it from happening next week. (Park as near the field as possible; ask another parent to walk to the car with me on whatever pretense I was comfortable with; explore carpooling to the game, etc.) Going NC wasn’t possible then, but he helped me stop getting dragged into arguments. He helped me understand that the EX wanted to fight. It didn’t matter if the EX started with something nice or neutral, it was just bait. I had to learn to communicate what he was due–new school or pediatric info, for example. I did not need to respond to an accusation that I’d stolen his mother’s Chinese vase, that he wanted to give me a book he thought I’d like, or that he wanted to tell me about a mutual friend he’d bumped into. Nope. No dice. Keep moving. My instinct to be polite was not my friend. This was particularly hard when he’d yell after me, “See kids. See, I’m trying to be nice, but your mom just walks away. It has always been like that. I try and try, and she just ruins it. She’s a destroyer. She’s out to hurt me. She’s hurting you too. Tell her to stop right now. I’m going to call the therapist and report this. You are breaking our custody agreement.” And I learned to keep trudging toward the car saying to the kids, “I told your dad I wouldn’t have time to talk after the soccer game today. I guess he didn’t believe me. And they would cry. And it was miserable. But eventually the EX stopped because I stopped taking the bait.

        I learned that one of the first steps in managing boundaries is not to move them about. Once you know what you want, do what it takes to maintain them no matter how painful it is. Expect the EX to push every button and try every technique to break down the boundaries. If the EX was the sort of person who respected rules, we’d never be in this spot in the first place.

        • Eilonwy, thank you!!! I am not there yet, haven”t even filed yet, but I expect this kid related abuse will be coming my way. This was so helpful! Need to start reading on boundaries and their enforcement, for myself and my kiddo.

    • Wow, Ellonwy, I am impressed to learn of such a humble and wise therapist. So such a therapist exists!!

      One of the things we can do as chump nation is advocate for such wise therapy, and get rid of those stupid, inept therapists who have the morals of an alley cat and who who knows where they received their credentials.

      • I agree, QueenMother. The individual counselor I saw during our separation and divorce was wonderful. I don’t know what I’d have done without her. There are good ones out there. I often think about what might have happened if we’d seen her when we first started having trouble instead of the man we did see. I don’t think many counselors think of cheating in a relationship as being abuse. Even my really good counselor asked me, “Why did you stay so long in this relationship?” I remember telling her, “I wasn’t the only one he fooled. Our kids, our family, everyone thought he was a hard-working, intelligent, honest man. She never mentioned the word “narcissist” to me. I didn’t figure out the narcissist/codependent angle until I found Chumplady. Then it all made perfect sense. Our problems started back when we were children by the way we were parented.

  • The thing with talking is that it’s only productive if both parties are telling the truth.

    You can’t take a liar to therapy. They’ll lie there too, if they go at all, especially with a possible new source of admiration dangling in front of them.

    • There is a line from Sam to Frodo in the LOTR trilogy:

      “There’s nothing for it.”

      That is what I have started saying when the panic rat in my mind starts to scramble to cobble together some solution, justification or remedy: it is a non starter with a pathological liar. There’s nothing for it. He would lie about what he had for breakfast. I think it is to make other people diminished in his mind.

  • I saw a therapist when I lost 10 kgs for no reason except maybe grief and I was really struggling at that time and I didn’t have 10 kgs to lose. I only went for 6 sessions on my own as the ex husband thought he was way too good and intelligent for that type of rubbish. I was into session 3 and I knew that I would be fine working through the crap on my own but here are a few of her responses to me –
    Me – The ex is 64 years old and the prostitute is 24 years old and our daughter is 37 years old and our son is 35 years old.
    Therapist – So what, a lot of men are doing what he is doing and there isn’t anything wrong with it.
    Me – When telling her about my upbringing and background I thought it was necessary to tell her that an uncle tried to rape me when I was 14 years old but he never succeeded.
    Therapist – I do not want to know about that and I certainly do not want to know what he did.
    Me – I have only ever been with one man and that is my ex and I had to be tested for STD’s at 60 years of age because he had been with a 3rd world prostitute and he never told me his wife of 37 years.
    Therapist – There isn’t anything wrong with what your ex husband did because many, many people lie all the time to get sex. (With that response alone from the therapist I knew she was on the ex’s side no matter what I said).
    Actually there were quite a few of these asinine exchanges but the more we spoke, the more I just knew I would be just fine and I am.
    It is New Years Eve in Melbourne CN and CL. Happy New Year to everyone of you and here is to a wonderful and prosperous 2017 and beyond for all of us. xoxo

    • Maree, I do think that therapist should have a complaint lodged against their license, (if you feel like it).
      I consider that abuse. Borderline criminal.

    • How did I know that you were In Australia, dear Maree??!!

      James Bond is Australian!!! With all that nasty legal prostitution. Yuck. A husband can go “have” a prostitute over the lunch hour. It’s advertised widely. Oh! And the Australian Prime Minister, Julia?! How many married men has she busted up marriages of?

      The Australians cluck their tongues at the pilgrim virtues of the Americans, so prudish. Australian press doesn’t even bother to print the misconduct of Julia the Prime Minister, because they’re so sophisticated that they don’t raise their voices at infidelity. Sick. Sick.

      “Many, many people lie all the time to get sex”??!! Wow. That therapist deserves to have her license pulled. Our best therapist was in Australia, but our worst was too. Stupid therapist. I am very proud of myself for how I kicked her ass.

      I think infidelity is an equality issue, but here I am focused on male entitlement.

      Oh! Not everything regarding cheating and prostitution in Australia is muffed-up. Here is another good thing (besides our best therapist) that I found in Australia: that lady Kim Cooper, who writes on Narcissism.

      • QM, your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs are spot on. With regard to that ex PM, she was a protected species. I worked with people who were part of the reason she became PM and I can tell you that I was out of there in a heart beat. With regard to the nasty legal prostitution, the number of Aussie blokes who go to these 3rd world countries would turn your stomach. My ex now lives with his prostit-tot (she is so young) in her country and he is so in love with her it bewilders me but it no longer bothers me or causes me pain. She will screw him to the wall like all the blokes before him which is what he deserves. He is convinced she adores him. Let us wait and see.

    • Maree, isn’t it amazing how some people think you have the problem for being so “judgmental” and not understanding of your husband’s behavior? That was always so infuriating to me. It made me want to scream, “So if a burglar breaks in and steals all my possessions I should just blame myself for not double-checking the window?” The burglar is not to blame?

      • That burglar break-in wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been so codependent. You need to look at yourself and ask yourself what you did to contribute to this burglary.

        • I’ve actually read in some places that codependency develops in response to dealing with narcissistic abuse. That a codependent isn’t a personality type, but a response to a situation.

          Other articles I’ve read contribute codependence and narcissism to develop from childhood experiences, and that the two kinds of people are attracted to one another in adulthood. It’s a dynamic they’re familiar with, so it feels comfortable. They keep working on trying to get the other person to meet the needs they didn’t get in childhood.

      • Lyn, I also got from the therapist, “are you too judgemental” and when I told her that my ex said that my standards were too high, she then asked “were you hard to live with”. Now she already knew that the ex had misappropriated funds from a job and had been sacked 6 weeks out from the birth of our 2nd child. She also knew that he had, had many emotional affairs over the years, one when I was pregnant with our 2nd child, our son and that he never did a thing to help me in the home or raise our 2 kids. Yeah, I was a bloody demon to live with NOT. I am the most placid person I know until I am not. That side of me very rarely surfaced but when it did ! 🙂
        The thing that I am saddest about today is that at 9.30 am this morning Melbourne time, it is my son’s birthday and not having contact with him or my daughter is still very painful but life must go on.

  • First d day.
    My MC wanted to see us separately second visit. After seeing him seperately third visit she saw us both. She blasted me for his infidelity. I was broken while he took pride in that shit. We made an appointment for next visit he didn’t go but I did. She was upset that he didn’t show. I told her he lied to her and got everything he needed when she accused me, made his cheating my fault. She was visibly shaken but it was too late.

    I found another therapist who was wonderful.

  • Major Cheater was a rager…terrible, scary emotionally violent rages normally caused as a result of him making a mistake and he couldnt face his imperfection. He went to an appt to discuss it and he claims the guy told him “She must be doing something wrong to get you that mad”.

    We had one visit with out Priest before I knew he was even cheating and his main complaint was that I forced him to marry me against his will. When we married, we lived in different cities, my only threat was that I was ready to move on if he wasnt ready to commit…no coercion involved.

    Our one MC appt with the military therapist was still while OW was hidden so I didnt know of cheating. He told the therapist that I was simply not a good wife…to support his point, he mentioned that there was “at this very moment” a bag of cleaning that I had not taken to the cleaners. He told me very specifically to not dare touch that bag of clothes.

    So there you go, I sucked SOOOOOO much…we following his precise directions drove him to fuck coworkers, let that be a lesson for you.

    • It never before occurred to me that his horrible rages at me might be caused because he couldn’t bear that himself made a mistake. He was nearly always actually raging about other people and how foolish they were about him, mostly work related.

      • Spot on UMN about the raging when they make a mistake. I had that all the time with traitor. The other rages were when I made a mistake, and I didn’t make as many as he did.

        • I always thought he raged at me because he assumed my goodness had to be an act, any goodness he displayed was an act or a ploy or a con, surely no one is good with no ulterior motive. I think they rage at our goodness, it frustrates them and they must attack it, punish us for it. It is beyond their grasp.

        • I became quite a student of his rage…trying to untangle his skein and fix him. He could be a nasty asshole when I made a mistake but more than anything else, when I goofed up , he liked 1) forcing me to be very very apologetic and virtually yelling from the rooftops that I made a mistake 2) he seemed almost gleeful at having some new ammunition to throw at me….

          but his real white hot, blinding, dissociative rages happened after he made mistakes…and one might guess that it was a result of me riding his ass after he made a mistake (playing tit for tat what he did to me) oh hell no…I knew how bad he could get after a mistake, I sure as hell wouldnt make it worse. I calmly reassured him it wasnt a big deal and everything would be fine, but he would start ruminating and rage would ensue…the worst are when he was driving, I was trapped with him and he would drive like his goal were to kill us (sometimes the kids too) it was really wrong for me to stay with him knowing he would endanger us all, but I was an abused Chump

          • The only good thing about the rages in my case was that I could see how they were endangering my kids and felt compelled to leave. I thought it was my responsibility as a wife to work with him on his “anger.” But as a mother, I felt my responsibility lay elsewhere.

            I remain frustrated by people who think it is “no big deal” or that I must be exaggerating about his rage. I know to just walk away from such people, but I want to ask them, “Do you have any evidence that I routinely exaggerate things? If not, why is this particular issue special? Why don’t you grant me credence on this issue when I’m truthful about everything else in your opinion?

  • The counselor we saw at the end of the marriage was great. She confronted topics without escalating the confrontations. She was savvy to his charm cycle and untangled it. In session three, he got mad and left because she told him he was the only person responsible for his behavior, no matter what his reasons might be. When he left, she asked me “are you here to save the marriage or to leave it gracefully.” I said “the latter.” She said, “OK, let’s switch over and get moving in that direction.”

    She was great during my divorce. However, then I had no money, so I had to stop. She offered me a very low rate. I told her that since she was close personal friends with the person who referred me and that person was my manager, I didn’t think it would be right for me to continue. She assured me she could make the separation. I told her I didn’t think I could make the separation. She accepted this and wished me luck.

    About five years later, I learned through friends (people also in that manager’s social circle) that she lost her license because she was discovered in a secret sexual relationship with a client.

    We all have our good and bad tendencies, and she did a good job for me when I needed her, but I sure am glad I didn’t try to go on with her.

  • First couples counseling was just 2 weeks out of DD#1, when I found out about at several AP’s, visits to sex clubs and worse. Remark from therapist: ‘he is a troubled child because his father didn’t love him the way he needed, you need to understand that’. My reply: ‘with my past I should have been a serial killer’. Never went back.

    Second couples counseler between DD#2 and DD#3 was more receptive to my needs but the man was practically begging us to ‘please make up because you are such a nice couple’.

    Third one was highly recommended and very expensive (180 euros per hour, conversations always at least 2 hours). XH sat there sobbing in deep regrets, while the therapist explained to me that my ‘moral superiority about the situation’ made it very hard for him to forgive himself. Her reply in the fifth session on my ‘ok, he did it again (DD#4), I want out’ was ‘but you have beautiful children who deserve their parents working it out’. Then I finally realized I want my boys to learn that they should walk away if things are that bad, and that they know they should not do these things themselves. Therapist disagreed, ‘sticking together is allways better for them’. Even my 13 year old stepson is proud I divorced his dad, he lives with me and his brother because he recognizes a sane ‘parent’. Couldn’t have done that last one without CN.

    PS: after handling the divorce totally alone, because ‘you wanted it’, him sobbing and begging for another chance, the actual day the papers were delivered, he told me about his new girlfriend he already knew while being in therapy. ‘But I would have chosen you if you would have played it differently!’ He still tells me sometimes that we should try again. I just smile and say ‘no thank you dear’ and send him walking back to his new life.

    • Ahhh…yes. They would have made different choices if only we would have played it differently. That is called blameshifting and trying to make us feel as if we were responsible for their behavior. Are they 5?

  • Grrrrr! That’s infuriating. My experience was similar; terrible therapist (she later showed up to court to testify on the XN’s behalf and she was *wasted*. Even the judge was like, “Uh…wow…your witness is…intoxicated.”) who made sure that the burden of not being abused was mine. When I gave up on wreckonciliation, she told me that she was “disappointed ” in me for hiring an attorney. She would have preferred that I acquiesce to his custody demands. Complete psycho.

    BUT the experience drove me straight back to grad school. I start my mental health counseling internship next week and there will be one more therapist in the world who understands personality disorder amd will never gaslight, blame-shift, insist that “it takes two to tango”, guilt-trip, peddle hopium, demand false forgiveness, or blather on about transcendence. Yay!!!!

    • Yay, Ms. Machete!! That’s what I’m talking’ bout!!! Therapists with true grit. Who can do some good in this world.

      It takes courage. It takes mightiness. Be a badass therapist. See? Out of our trauma is coming some good. There is no gain without sacrifice. And we have sacrificed. You will be a source of help and healing.

      “You shall seek the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

      “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”

  • When we were married I decided to go to individual counseling for me “jealousy issues.” For several months I talked to this man and felt like I was making progress. He never mentioned the word “codependent” to me, but I wish he had. He did seem to get me to focus on myself and my life more instead of what my husband was doing.

    Eventually I talked my husband into going to this counselor too. I remember him sitting in the chair all sprawled out and acting like he was there just to humor me. On the other hand, my body was drawn up and I was a lot more nervous. My counselor commented on the differences in our body posture. He said I seemed a lot more confident and self-assured when I was talking to him one-on-one. This seemed to embolden my husband to become even more confident and nonchalant. Then my counselor proceeded to become buddy buddy with my husband. It felt to me like the session had become two against one, like I was the “overly-emotional female” in the room with these two calm and rational guys.

    Anyway, the counselor asked us to dialogue with each other. I immediately brought up my discomfort and pain over my husband’s relationship with his married coworker. As usual, my husband acted like she had nothing to do with “my problems.” The counselor then said, “I think you all need to work on communication.” Duh.

    During the marriage counseling we took some tests. The only thing I found out from them was that my husband couldn’t stand being around my family. This was news to me. Another nugget I got was he was upset that I didn’t ask if he wanted his shoulders rubbed more. So I started offering to rub his shoulders all the time.

    Not surprisingly, my husband didn’t go back after 2-3 sessions with the counselor. After all, I was the messed up one. There was nothing wrong with him.

    I wanted to laugh out loud on D-day when my husband said, “Well, we went to counseling and it didn’t work,” because his statement was so ludicrous. Since I was the only one putting any effort into our marriage counseling, of course it didn’t do any good.

    I don’t really fault the counselor we were seeing because he didn’t get to spend that much time working with my husband. I do wish he’d have confronted him about his relationship with the married coworker when I brought it up, though, instead of acting like it wasn’t important. Maybe he didn’t want my husband to feel like we were ganging up on him. My gut instinct was that he was trying to get on my husband’s “good side” to gain his trust.

    The whole time I saw this counselor he kept refocusing me on what I wanted to do with my life. I admit I was pretty obsessed about my husband and the OW at the time, and talked about it constantly. I credit that counselor with revealing to me how family relationships become unbalanced, and how we are affected by the previous generation. There were a lot of good things I learned from him in individual counseling. But as a marriage counselor, he didn’t ever call my ex out on his shitty behavior with the coworker. In my opinion, our marriage was in crisis, but the counselor didn’t seem to pick up on this. It’s like we had arrived at the ER on the verge of a heart attack, and instead of sending us to surgery for stents, he just told us to eat more vegetables. The treatment was too little, too late.

  • I should reconcile because cheaters make the best spouses…. Because once they are caught they become aware of how much they have to lose and value it more.
    Guessing he was referring to his assets not our 35 year marriage as he was slandering me horribly, but said he would tell people the truth if I took him back. Yeah, I felt valued

  • I just wish that therapists had some balls and would tell the truth to the cheater.

    They have no courage, and don’t seem to care or notice the harm that comes from their buddying up to the cheater, and refusing to call him out.

  • After my first D-day (which was just the tip of the iceberg) I got the name of a therapist from a friend. The therapist had a month long wait to get in so I settled for someone else; first mistake or blessing.
    At our first session after I explained the events that got us here, my adulterous STBXH told me the problem was me not sticking up for him and showing him respect around my parents 17 years ago. I sat there dumbfounded and asked our therapist how to respond to this. I didn’t even remember what he was referring to, furthermore it was 17 years in the past, and he was just now telling me it was a problem, in relation to him F-ing other people. The therapist suggested we work on communicating better. I suggested we forcus on him stopping the affair and repairing the damage. The MC said, maybe he’s not ready for that. WTF. Our homework was to define marriage to each other, really I know what marriage is and apparently so did my STBXH which is why he kept a secret double life.
    After two more sessions and my spouse continuing to lie and be an adulterer while claiming to do everything to reconcile, I ended couples therapy and saw an attorney. At my last session the MC gave me a book recommendation about getting through divorce for ‘older women with saggy bodies’ the MC said she never read the book and it seemed snarky but it got good reviews online. I am in my late thirties nowhere near old and still pretty damn hot, ten times cuter than the adulterous OW. Ok add injury to insult at $150/hr.

    • Wow, ChumptoChamp. What an ass that MC was to give you a book like that. I also was made to feel that my body aging was part of “my problem.” No one ever mentioned that my ex had lost all his hair and had many more wrinkles than I did. Even my own son said, “Dad is still an active guy, and you’re slowing down faster than he is.” Ouch. Like you said, those types of comments add insult to injury.

      • Sometimes people suck! I really don’t get the motivation behind that *helpful* suggestion. Plus my therapist would routinely compliment me on my appearance, she even said I was stunning. Maybe it’s a way to bilk me for more sessions ha! Of course at the time I wasn’t laughing, I was horrified. Luckily when I went on Amazon to order the book it recommended Leave a Cheater Gain a Life, and I bought that instead. I still get a giggle out of my STBX ordering Just For Men in bulk on Amazon the same day. Sure I may have gotten chumped but he’s forever stuck with his wrinkled, grey, defected self.

  • The first “christian based” IC my EH went to said to him “everyone will heal – what do YOU really want?” Well of course he really wanted to stay married and have his slut puppy on the side. So that’s what he suggested to me – that we stay married for two years or so while he “worked out his feelings for his AP” He really didn’t want to “rush into a divorce!” First “christian based” IC I ever heard of who encouraged adultery over monogamy!

  • After dday#1, the priest, the attorney, and the people in the marriage program all told us how infidelity is common and how many spouses stay with the cheater after years of marriage and when kids are involved. I understand that people say this to help couples know that they are not alone going through this, but doesn’t it also let the cheater off the hook somewhat? Seems like it just diminishes the wrong.

    After STBX cheated and walked out again, he told me that the marriage program was a waste of time. He didn’t get anything out of it. Funny, during the time, he was constantly singing a different tune. Counseling does not work with these people. They don’t just con us, but they con everyone (including therapists, priests, attorneys, friends, and family). They will say and do anything to get what they want at that moment.

    • Yes, they lie to everyone. They suck.

      Also, my aunt reconciled with cheater uncle like many couples do, but at what price do the chumps commit the rest of their life to someone who betrayed them? I think CN uses the phrase – you can’t unfuck the whore.

      Recently she asked why x was no longer in any fakebook posts, I pm’ed her that I had to divorce him because of adultery. She responded that even now, she thinks about how uncle was unfaithful. Even though it is 25 years later, she says it still haunts her and causes her pain. What a huge personal cost.

      • I have a friend that reconciled and 15 years later it still haunts her too, like PTSD. She still can’t believe her husband, someone she faithfully loved so much, could hurt her so cruelly. At first I thought she was lucky because she reconciled and I couldn’t make it work with my spouse, he kept lying and cheating, but now I realize I’m probably luckier to be free to live a dignified life.

  • On session two or three with lay counselors: “Can’t you see you’ve divorced her in your heart?” I was so dumbfounded by this coming out of a Christian counselor’s mouth during a time I wanted to “save” my marriage with my cheater. Looking back, I probably would respond: “Yeah, I am so divorced in the heart that I practically dragged her here so that we could work on saving our marriage together. Only an idiot would read those actions as belonging to someone who was done in his heart with his wife.”

  • I have two stories that are quite memorable. When I first started seeing red flags of an affair with texts back and forth to his ho-worker and a big disconnect from him, I questioned him about having an affair. He adamantly denied it said he could never do that (found out later he did exactly that on his ex-wife and former gf’s). The texts were friendly but not over the top and he would say, “Oh, Betsy’s new to the industry and needs help.” or “you know shes’s from the South and women from the South are friendly.” I never realized that Indy is the deep South y’all! Hmmm….
    He suggested we repair our marriage and start counseling. Yippee for me! He wanted to heal our marriage and disconnect too! I’m was a lucky little lady that he initiated therapy filled with honestly and willing to dig in his heels! Our first session, I turned to him and the therapist and voiced my concerns why I thought he was having an affair with Beastie and that he just should come clean and be honest. He denied and said there’s no way he was having an affair and I needed to focus on what I wasn’t doing and why he was so unhappy. Besides all that, he wasn’t even attracted to Beastie and she was short and overweight and why would he cheat when he has a beautiful wife with someone like that? The therapist asks him if he’s in sales and he says yes. The brilliant therapist says you feel like you’re a Yes Man at work always having to sit there and listen to your customers complain and blame you and you feel that at home, don’t you? My awesome partner says that’s exactly how I feel at work and home! The $150 dollar therapist looks at me and says, I’ve been doing this for 26 years and I know he’s not having an affair and can see he’s being honest. I backed off because I must be wrong if this therapist has a crystal ball and has way more experience than I do.
    Two weeks into therapy and on my anniversary, my Wasband comes home after his business trip and I discover concrete evidence he has been having a longtime affair with Betsy Trampoun, I filed for divorce the next day and called Mr. Brilliant therapist and said we’ll be discontinuing our sessions with you and BTW…I filed due to his affair he denied to your face and to mine. He sat there on the phone stunned at his lack of psychic skills and I knew that I’d be Chump no more.

    • Part Deux to my therapy experience is priceless yet memorable. After filing for divorce due to Ho-worker affair with my Wasband, our two small children needed help from a reputable counselor and I found a wonderful woman.
      She talked to our children and then set an appointment with us. As I was sitting next to my STBX, the therapist says to him, your children are truly hurting from this and if you’re still seeing the woman who helped in breaking up your marriage, I highly suggest you stop for your kids. They will resent you and never accept her in their lives.
      It was said in such a non-judgmental and wonderful manner that a 5 year old could understand what she was trying to emphasize to him. He looks up and says words I’ll never forget. “Oh, it’s not like I love her or anything, besides it’ll fizzle out in time.” Whaaaat? God, how I wished Betsy the Ho-worker was in that room but she was probably too busy high fiving herself thinking she won the prize. The therapist and I gave each other this side eye thinking exactly the same thing….someone broke up a family for something that’ll fizzle in time. He was right though. It did fizzle in time between Betsy the ho-worker and him. I actually felt sorry for her because of what he said 2 years earlier but they both made their beds.

  • Part Deux to my therapy experience is priceless yet memorable. After filing for divorce due to Ho-worker affair with my Wasband, our two small children needed help from a reputable counselor and I found a wonderful woman.
    She talked to our children and then set an appointment with us. As I was sitting next to my STBX, the therapist says to him, your children are truly hurting from this and if you’re still seeing the woman who helped in breaking up your marriage, I highly suggest you stop for your kids. They will resent you and never accept her in their lives.
    It was said in such a non-judgmental and wonderful manner that a 5 year old could understand what she was trying to emphasize to him. He looks up and says words I’ll never forget. “Oh, it’s not like I love her or anything, besides it’ll fizzle out in time.” Whaaaat? God, how I wished Betsy the Ho-worker was in that room but she was probably too busy high fiving herself thinking she won the prize. The therapist and I gave each other this side eye thinking exactly the same thing….someone broke up a family for something that’ll fizzle in time. He was right though. It did fizzle in time between Betsy the ho-worker and him. I actually felt sorry for her because of what he said 2 years earlier but they both made their beds.

  • My ex-mil is a marriage therapist, felt vest and croc shoes, chimes and dollar store waterfall fountain in the reception entrance of her office. Oh…yeah chimes and mood music ala flutes and hum musac when you enter.

    Ex-mill cheated and ex-fil both cheated, new age divorce and they hate each other, sugar coated divorce and alcohol issues.

    The thing was my ex-wife early on in our relationship vowed she’d never cheat and would never be lije her flakey parents. Turned out she surpassed their dysfunction.

    Stay away from marriage and family counsellors. You’d get a better bang for your buck from your barber or the waitress at you favourite breakfast restaurant for marriage and divorce advice.

    My Ex-mil’s mantra….”look at divorce as enlightenment”…too funny…since she’s a royal bitch and the the only enlightenment she’s ever experienced is the set of matches she uses for her “therapeutic”hash pipe.

  • This is a letter I sent to the couples therapist when all hope was lost after three months of torture after the affair:

    Dear [sadist counselor],

    I’m not happy about writing this, but I feel obligated.

    First, I realize that the end result of working with you is not an issue. [Wife’s] words need to be taken at face value: She sees no hope in taking things any further. I have no more false hope. But I must point out that during the whole process you seemed to take an almost sadistic pleasure in tormenting me. To wit:

    You insisted that I basically keep my mouth shut with any talk about the pain I was in. “Do you want your wife back or not?” you cautioned. What baffles me is why in the world you would then turn around and say at my moment of deepest sorrow: “You are the one who should have left.” [He meant before the affair]

    In what conceivable reality was I expected to stand in the fire of a a virtually hopeless situation in hopes of some miracle of reconciliation, and at the same time somehow I’m expected to have already left my wife?
    In what conceivable reality was the one who stops loving her husband expected to wait around until he leaves her?

    I was also baffled by your theory that I chose to stay poor in order to test whether [wife] really loved me. I can’t even begin to explain how ridiculous that idea was and yet you seemed rather pleased and satisfied with your insight. “Of course this would have been on a completely unconscious level.” Of course. How else to explain a theory that has no basis in any kind of evidence? Have you ever wondered why you don’t wear bright green pants? Look into your subconscious.

    Or you might wonder why I don’t care about what “the current thinking” is. [He explained that the current thinking is that there is NO judgement; “I mean really, do you want to go back to the old testament?”] The only certainty about the current thinking is that it will soon be outdated. I have learned from this experience that the only thinking I can trust is based on my own experience, not by identifying myself with some authority.

    My view is that you have abused your power and that you are corrupt.

    • Good for you. I bet writing and sending that letter was the only beneficial aspect of the whole counseling ordeal.

  • Hold onto your hat..

    The first counselor we went to in Oct. My husband wouldn’t even talk about why we were there. I had to get to the point. We had been to him years before at a church we had attended, with my husbands mother. She is a mess. He was a licensed counselor. We have known him and his wife for years. We got nowhere. Our counselor along with his wife just listened. My husband was all over the place. He denied any kind of affair. Said he had just lied about some things..

    A couple of months later we were back because……I decided to scroll back on the woman’s Facebook page. It was the second week of December. I found a post from her in September that she and her family – yes she’s married with young adult kids – were going to a cabin in the mountains. To the same town that my husband and I have been looking at for the last couple of years. She had put up pictures. Well, two weeks before I walked in on my husband looking at a cabin. Lo and Behold!!….it’s the same cabin!!

    I hold it together that night. The next day when he’s on the computer I ask him to find that cabin. Of course he can’t because it’s not on our “favorites”. I know because I spent four hours searching for it on all our stuff the day I saw it on her page. I pull a chair into the room to talk to him because I didn’t want our kids to go through anymore crap with him. I tell him what I find. He stares at me for five minutes. I ask him if he heard me. He says yes, and he has no idea how that can happen.

    I don’t nag him or go on about it only because I am MIGHTY after going through so much crap for months and almost believing him!!

    We make it through the holidays with kids who come home for them. A couple of weeks after kids leave, still have kids at home too – I ask him to meet me somewhere one day. He does. He doesn’t want me to leave. He wants me to believe him because I told him that if I ever found out it’s true, that I will take his Ass for everything. There is plenty to take!! So he meets me. I tell him that I need an explanation for the cabin thing. First time I’ve asked because I’m Mighty and knew the ball would drop!

    He starts screaming, says my name – and proceeds to tell me that Yes, they looked at cabins together and talked about going there. I was stunned and drove away from him. How nice and wonderful after 33 years of marriage and a bunch of kids who are grown now. I told him when he followed me home that he better call the counselor. He called and canceled off and on for three days and finally made the appointment. We didn’t speak for those three days.

    Three days later we get to the counselor’s. His wife is not there. She was the first time and I knew something was terribly wrong. We get into his office and I see the television frozen with a scene from the movie ” War Room” that I had not seen in his office. I knew it was going to all be useless. He did actually call my husband out on some things. Mostly for him throwing me under the bus in front of grown kids. He never seriously addressed the cabin issue. He turned on the movie and played a clip and asked my husband if I respected him. I was honestly about to start throwing furniture….lol…and stayed calm though. I was waiting because I knew this wasn’t about that. My husband said yes, he knew I respected him.. (Honestly, I had up until this).. and we moved on with the session or whatever you could call it.

    The final statement from the counselor was that my husband needed to give me time to forgive him and that I needed to forgive him.

    Seriously…..I left there completely calm because I knew something big was about to happen. It took the wife a week to call me after I sent her a private message. She left him after almost 30 years of marriage. He was physically abusing her and had scared the crap out of her at Christmas. There adult daughter (who just so happens to be friends with some of my kids, witnessed it). They are going through a very nasty divorce.

    Second Counselor we found – He found this one: After listening, just looks at us and tells us we don’t want to break up our Beautiful family and calls his wife out at the end of our counseling and she serves us cake and ice-cream. She wasn’t in the room for the counseling.

    We went back to him one more time because……One week I decided to check to see if her number was really blocked from his. It was supposed to be as she and I had only ever had one nice little text exchange and she had written him and asked him to do some work for her. She told me she would be blocking his number. I hadn’t even cussed or anything …lol. So I called from his cell phone one day. Had never done that before. Her work message went on and I hung up. Twenty seconds later she texts…” The block has run out. I’m re-blocking. Stop Harassing Me!” I tried to write back but she blocked the phone quickly. So, I did what any mature woman would do. I went on her business facebook page and sent a private message….” Same here BITCH”…..I then went out in the garage and told my husband exactly what happened and what she said and I said! My youngest daughter who was home from work comes out and wants to know what’s going on so I tell her. She say’s Oh boy…and hightails it to her room.

    It wasn’t pretty. He of course grovels big time and gives excuses. I didn’t leave him yet! I already had my youngest run away and didn’t want to deal with that again…The following week, he comes home from work and tells me to put my shoes on because we’re going somewhere. Things are calm. I go.

    We’re driving down the road. She only lives six miles from our main road.(yes, I know where she lives. I’ve never met her but know everything about her)..He pulls out his phone and plays a message from this woman’s husband. He proceeds to tell my husband on the message that I’ve been harassing his wife for over three months and it needs to stop. My husband needs to deal with me. He was nice and polite. I’ve never been so shocked in my life. My life was normal before all this shit!!

    My husband proceeds to tell me that we’re going to their house to clear all this up.

    I had a Full Blown Panic Attack!! I start screaming and clawing at the windows. My husband is Calm…Finally I tell him to turn the car around and head to the counselor. The second one…He does. We get there and I tell Mr. Counselor…..EVERYTHING…Stuff I didn’t tell him the first time because I was stupid and thought….What If I’m Wrong?…..I honestly thought the man was going to have a heart attack!! I told him I wanted my husband OUT OF MY HOUSE….He reminded me it wasn’t just my house…I told him …..I wanted my husband OUT OF OUR HOUSE….My husband told me I couldn’t make that happen because he had never physically hurt me. He hasn’t…NOT ONE BIT……Mr. Counselor tells me that if I make him leave, that I could be sending him right back into the arms of this woman. The one he has denied having an affair with..That all I have is circumstantial evidence. We don’t have cake and ice cream this time and leave. I tell my husband he can go to there house now and tell them what he didn’t tell them before. I insist three times. I am calm…He tells me he’s not going to do that because these people are weird…So life goes on.

    I leave him a few months later because I discover he’s hiding thousands of dollars from me and has been lying about some major things. He shows me all the money and confesses everything but an affair. Promises we will get proper marriage counseling. Didn’t happen…I come back only for youngest son who is now 18 and is about to fall apart because he can’t fathom that his father could do any of this. (He doesn’t even know the majority of it)….

    My final thoughts and what I’m asking from all of you….I think the affair is over and he chose me. I think she’s majorly pissed (from the stuff she puts up on fb – very subtle and I honestly have wondered if she’s been taunting me. She’s nine years younger and a major work out queen. I’m no frump but I’m not a work out queen with abs and all. She loves herself and puts it all up. It’s almost comical…Finally, I’m convinced she’s taunting me from one of her posts….It was right before Christmas. She said she was looking for Christmas music but found this old nostalgic song…I have to tell you that I passed her on the road one day as she was pulling out of her neighborhood. I know what she drives and I was driving my husband’s vehicle which is very nice and I’m sure she recognized. I’m pretty sure I had a smirk on my face as I passed her slowly in that school zone but I didn’t look at her. I checked her page a couple of days later and saw that she had put the post and song up that night. I had seen her in the morning. (must have taken her a few hours to figure out what to put up)…It’s a doozy and I knew…Taunting…..She started out with…” Haha…looking for Christmas music and found this fun nostalgic song. She shares it from the youtube page. I went on youtube and listened. Well, how nice! It’s about Sex in the Summer. (they worked together in summer – over a year ago) It even talked about positions….I honestly about died! She’s a piece of work…nice Christian woman who she claims to be.

    It feels good to let it out. He has no idea what I’m planning. To take it all along with my youngest kid and blow what they did right out of the water!!There are two houses and thousands of dollars at stake here. It’s the timing…So pray for me…Thanks!

    • Two houses means each of you can take one. Whether he’s left her or not, why would you want to stay with someone who could betray you?

    • KM…he might be over part of this and he may have chosen you but what many of us who deeply hope for Wreckonciliation dont face is that if the cheater, in fact, picks you..what you end up with is a person who you now know was perfectly capable of doing all of those horrible things to you. And there was no fog, no aliens taking over his brain…no, he made cold calculated decisions to intentionally mislead you so that he could betray you and most of them end up swinging back around to us with various sorts of abuse as they move along with their nastiness and later get caught.

      You dont “get back” a devoted spouse…you just keep a selfish, entitled person who likely never tells you the whole truth.

  • Mr. Sparkles wasted 6 weeks at $175/hour DENYING that what I found him doing online was actually done by him. (Apparently, there was a fairy living with us at the time.) He finally admitted to responding to Craigslists personals and scheduling massages and going to a hotel room… BUT he refused to admit that he committed adultery… “he never kept the appointment”… “he left the hotel room before she got there”… and it was always the “first time” he was ever doing it. I wish I could’ve been that lucky with the lottery.

    The second counselor we went to, $180/hour, gave us “homework”. Being the diligent empath, I did mine right away (think of a Cosmo – get to know your spouse again questionnaire). He never did his. Instead, he used the information I gave him about my hopes, fears and dreams to further gaslight and abuse me. Good times. This counselor even told me NOT to get individual counseling unless I wanted the marriage to end. Marriages don’t survive when one person gets mentally well and the other one doesn’t.

    It was only when I sought individual counseling, after he left me for the OW, that I discovered words like sociopath, narcissism, gaslighting, love bombing, trauma bonding. I hit the motherload with my counselor and she’s been my mighty advocate through everything.

    To the newbies… fuck marriage counseling… get individual counseling… fix you. You only control you.

    Rock on Chump Nation.

    • This! I too am an Empath but didn’t find this out until I started seeing an IC after a disaster of going to a MC. I also learned that I was co-dependent and my husband was a covert narcissist. All of these major things I would have never known if I hadn’t sought out individual counseling. Googling “narcissist” is what brought me to Chump Nation and I this site has been the best learning tool for me.

  • I had the bad “Christian” therapist whose sole agenda was to “save” the marriage. I went to that man off and on for a couple of years. The ex wouldn’t go because he thought I was the problem. The ex didn’t need to change anything. I went to the therapist one last time after I decided to file for divorce to tell him that I’d realized what my stbxh was doing was abuse. I wanted to ask him why he didn’t point out that I was being ABUSED. Therapist’s famous line, “I think he has a personality disorder, but I can’t help liking him.”

    • That is unbelieveable. At your last session the therapist tells you that??? THat is so sick. But I am happy you got out. holy cow….. some things do not need saving.

  • I had a great session with a marriage counselor without my second husband. I was devastated my second marriage seemed out of control and I went through hell trying to keep it. The session lasted less than 5 minutes:

    Counselor: Where is your husband for this marriage counseling session?
    Me: He didn’t want to come.
    Counselor: Why are you here?
    Me: To work on my marriage.
    Counselor: A marriage is two people. You seem to be the only one in it.
    Me: (Long silence) thank you.

    I got up and left.

    • Oh CJ! We had a ‘really, truly amazing’ relationship for more than 20 years when I noticed something wasn’t quite right. I asked him what was up? “Oh snooks, you are silly, we’re fine.” Hmm. Didn’t feel fine. I must be losing it. Right? Oh well, I’ll ask him to come to MC anyway, to put my mind at ease. Umm. “Don’t be silly, there really is nothing wrong.” I made the appointment anyway, full of hope, ‘knowing’ he would come because he really loved me. And went to TWO sessions… alone (slow learner.) And had no answer to “why are you here?” other than that I felt a shift and couldn’t put my finger on it. That was because he was using his fingers – and every other available body part – inside my lifelong ‘friend’. After D-day he admits he was scared the truth would be discovered if we went to therapy. (Proving to me he was not wanting it to end then. Despite him saying he was so confused and didn’t like what he was doing.) I literally had no clue he was having an affair. None. I just felt we had weathered a tough two years and that some neutral advice wouldn’t go astray. Yeah, right. Too fucking late.

      • Horses, you had a clue! You were totally tuned in to your husband, you sensed a change and a distance, an unease, and you tried to address it. You were right, and you are very perceptive. But you trusted him so you weren’t suspicious. There is nothing more you could have done, or done better. He has no clue, he didn’t know how to address any dissatisfaction he felt, instead he fucked your friend. He’s an idiot and a coward, and you are awesome.

      • “After D-day he admits he was scared the truth would be discovered if we went to therapy. ” Mine adamantly refused to go to MC when we wreckonciled citing all the stupid shit they say. I learned after he died that he was a serial cheater and Im certain that he was scared if we went to MC, the bigger truth would eventually come out.

    • I’ve been thinking about your post for 24 hours, CJ. In one minute, your therapist assessed your situation accurately. It took most of us until D-day, sometimes after decades of marriage, to realize that we were “the only one in it [the marriage].”

  • I was so so lucky to already have a relationship with a good therapist. XH and I had been in MC together off and on for 15 years – long long before Dday. She always knew he was self-centered, entitled, and so so charming but had no idea that he was a full blown narcissist. She apologized to me for not seeing it sooner saying he is the MASTER of deception. I started seeing our original therapist alone and she helped me start watching him – never trusting his words, only his actions. XH found his own therapist, Eric. I met Eric who was up front about saying he would be trying to save the marriage – it was pre CL so it didn’t raise a red flag for me. XH brings the full force of his charm to Eric, the new therapist. The few times I went in, Eric would talk about how hard XH was working, how he often CRIED in therapy and how much he was growing and changing. Basically Eric gave XH the tools to keep the “good guy” mask firmly in place. XH would take Eric wine as gifts and Eric commented to me how thoughtful and caring XH was. Unbelievable! Soon after XH narrative became set in stone. It takes two people to destroy a marriage, I am unforgiving and I have anger issues, and the kicker, I broke up our family because he was still willing to try. Bingo! He’s the victim AND the hero of his bullshit story.

    Even now that my 20 yo daughter has gone NC and my 17 yo son only talks to him once a week, XH complains what mixed messages he gets. He says that Eric tells him he is doing great but the kids are always upset. XH chalks up their upset to me poisoning their minds They had front row seats to the whole marriage implosion and always had better insights than he did. My daughter once asked, “Mom, I understand why you are mad at him, but why is he so mad at you? Why does he hate you?” This was during wreckonciliation – I just stared at her because she could see the truth so clearly where I could not. Eric had told him that of course he gets angry with me for reminding him of his double life – he’s only human!

    I have to say, I think my 17 yo son would make a better therapist than Eric. I’ve heard my son say in response to the XH complaining that I said horrible things about him “Yeah but dad doesn’t she only tell the truth?’ When my X replied that he deserved to keep his reputation, my son said “No you don’t! Mom deserves to keep her reputation because she didn’t do anything wrong”. Bottom line? My kids therapists are great!

  • Me to my ex-therapist: “I know this might sound a bit passive-aggressive, but part of me doesn’t want to point out to my ex all the things he did wrong, his flaws and how badly he treated me. Part of me doesn’t want him to learn from it and then be better for the next person. Maybe I should just go no-contact and not tell him what he did to me.”

    My therapist’s response: [scoffs] “I don’t know about passive-aggressive, but that sounds pretty aggressive to me!”

    I’m super-confused by this. What did I say that was so bad??

    • Nothing of what you said was bad, and in fact NC is recommended by virtually every therapist and blogger who advocates for victims of narcissistic abuse.

      You’ll have more success talking reason into tree bark than a cheater.

    • I think you were saying that you didn’t want to talk about him anymore. Therapy was going to be about him and you didn’t want to put your energy there. And you spoke that honest to God truth out loud!! Some people freak out when they hear an ugly truth I swear. I’m like, give it to me straight, rip that damn band-aid off.

  • I had good therapists; story is more about X:

    I’d already thrown him out of the house and asked for a divorce several times. He would plead and beg, so I’d say, “I’m not dealing with you on my own anymore; you want to reconcile, make a marital therapy appointment.” He’d agree, then send me a list of flaws I had to fix for him to consider therapy. I’d go all Gorgon on him, tell him apparently he hadn’t gotten the memo that he had NO bargaining power, and ask for a divorce again.

    This went on for several times (I guess X didn’t learn after the first time), until the 7th time I said I wanted a divorce and he finally made the appointment. In front of the MC, I ask him if he wants to tell her why we are there? “No.” So I say (still under the illusion he had a single, very brief affair), “He met a graduate student in the coffee shop for 3 weeks, then fucked her for 3 weeks.”

    X: “I object to that language.” (said in a pompous Oxbridge accent)

    Yet another WTF moment; I actually laughed. Yeah, well I “object” to the fact that you fucked her.

    MC later told me “he’s not relationship material.”

    • X: “I object to that language.” (said in a pompous Oxbridge accent)

      Yet another WTF moment; I actually laughed. Yeah, well I “object” to the fact that you fucked her.

      LOL. I had a similar moment with my professor ex when he said he was very angry I snooped into his private journal. Without a missing a beat I answered, “Oh yeah? Well I’m pretty damn angry you’re in love with another woman.”

      Here’s the logic:

      Snooping to discover the truth when someone is lying to you = BAD
      Having an affair with your employee / former grad student / married coworker = NOT THAT BAD

      • Seriously, a few years out, after our angst has died down, this stuff is comic gold. (dark comic gold, I admit, but golden nonetheless)

  • “So, how did that make you feel?” Three guesses lady! Had some good therapy as well as thus drivel. But later on, years in, this was what I got, delivered in anew earnest way, complete with sideways head tilt. From an EFT approach.

    And so much textbook drivel, from a registered sex therapist when, after around 5 years wreckonciliation my libido disappeared completely. Basically assuming the previous 25 years together I must have been an uptight, frigid mess, when I was the sexually more adventurous partner, if anything! How long do you have??? I never added how much $$$ I spent on therapy. Too scary! It would have had to be over $10 000. And this from someone who was always pretty self aware. I learned nothing new in any of it. He did. I had a bit of a unicorn. Still deeply remorseful and embarrassed. Identified some of his shit. So what? Damage done buddy.

  • OMFG – what a nightmare of stories on this thread.

    Thank God for Chump Lady – with so much terrible “help” from the “helping profession” out there, without this site, we would be sunk.

    Who are these people? Honestly, who are they? How is it possible they make a living doing this “work”?

    • I have an idea who some of these people are. Fuckbuddies!
      The first narc I met moved cities to be with his new “girlfriend”. She was married.
      After I finished studies and moved abroad, she changed careers. She studied psychology, now she’s a phd, gives therapy sessions AND she teaches at the University.
      He married many years ago and they always lived in the same state, 1 h driving distance. A fuckfest of over a decade!

    • I know, Roaring! And we’re the ones who got out alive. Think of all those poor chumps still in therapy being told they need to work on themselves to keep their Cluster B spouse happy. A living hell.

  • Thanks to CL, whom I luckily discovered early after the last and fatal increment of my incremental D-Day (through a good critique on her book at Amazon), I never spent money on MC because I learned the concept of spakling, boundaries, why cheaters cheat, unicorns, etc. Besides being useless with a bad character, old CHUMP here would end up paying MC since money was part of cheater’s manipulations to control me.

    But, when recently going through my mutual (!!!), but hitherto unknown to me (!!!) debts incurred by cheater, among bills and bank balances, I find a shrink’s certificate recommending a 60 day leave of absence for poor sausage due to acute depression and, get this, “severe hypopragmatism”… From income tax return I see he paid the equivalent of 6 % of my monthly income for this shit. From credit card balances and reservations I see he travelled abroad with flatterfuck during potential leave of absence.

    I also look up cheater’s emails sent to me soon after shrink’s certificate and I find one where he accuses me of mistreating him, the reason why he has not been coming home for weekends (we work in different cities; I’ve been complaining about our disorganized finances), and says that he is “confused and doesn’t have a clear picture of things, the only thing that is clear is that (he is) seriously depressed” (this can be filed under stupit shit cheaters say).

    I forwarded it to him afirming “my compassionate understanding that making a clear picture of the difference between a zebra and a flatterfuck’s blindingly flashy cunt is indeed impossible”, ibid “the difference between a promise and commitments and a bad character” (my swearing was limited to shit before I became a chump).

  • When Dr. Dunderhead, the “Christian” left home and discarded #. 3 Chump wife along with his between and during new supply times, I was told by the church Christian counseling pastor that I needed to change. I was totally floored since I had been faithful our entire relationship and marriage. The 2nd person said things like, “You know what a cheater he was “. Actually, I wasn’t from this small town and I didn’t know his history. I was just shocked someone would sweep me off my feet and put me on the temporary pedestal until my purpose was served. I no longer wear horse blinders.

  • Thank god I did not go through that! I mean, when I found out he’s living with the babysitter, although it took me a while to figure out how long that has been going on behind my back – I didn’t want to see his face. I could not scream divorce loud enough.
    But, prior to our separation, I had a few therapy sessions for a personal issue from my past. Guess who wanted to talk to my therapist? They didn’t speak the same language, so we left it at that. I’m really curious what you witty ladies and guys think he wanted to talk with my therapist.
    I have a few ideas, I’m just scared to take them too far – the fact that I stayed in the flat while he moved and payed rent and the rates for the loan. Perhaps he hoped to make me legally crazy and put me in a hospice? I shudder!

  • I know this is long, but it is so relevant, and I have a name bias. Do any of you think he was too harsh?
    From the Sopranos, Carmela sees Dr. Krakower for therapy about her marriage:

    Carmela: Everybody’s marriage has problems.
    Dr. Krakower: Is he seeing another woman?

    Carmela: Make that plural. He sees other women. I sort of look the other way. I want to help him.
    Dr. Krakower: Do you? Moments ago you used the word “divorce.”
    Carmela: I said I was considering divorce.

    Carmela makes a reference to the sanctity of marriage being of central importance to Catholics, and since she assumes Dr. Krakower is Jewish, she speculates that he might not be able to relate. Krakower replies that he’s been married for 31 years.

    Carmela: He’s a good man, a good father.
    Dr. Krakower: You tell me he’s a depressed criminal. Prone to anger. Serially unfaithful. Is that your definition of a good man?

    Carmela: I thought psychiatrists weren’t supposed to be judgmental.
    Dr. Krakower: Many patients want to be excused for their current predicament because of events that occurred in their childhood. That’s what psychiatry has become in America. Visit any shopping mall or ethnic pride parade and witness the results.

    Carmela: His crimes … they are … organized crime.
    Dr. Krakower: The mafia.
    Carmela: (Gasps) Oh Jesus. Oh, so what. So what. He betrays me, every week with these whores.
    Dr. Krakower: Probably the least of his misdeeds.

    (Carmela gets up to leave.)
    Dr. Krakower: You can leave now or you can hear what I have to say.
    Carmela: Well. you’re going to charge the same anyway.
    Dr. Krakower: I won’t take your money.
    Carmela: That’s a new one.

    Dr. Krakower: You must trust your initial impulse and consider leaving him. You’ll never be able to feel good about yourself. Never be able to quell the feelings of guilt and shame that you talked about. As long as you’re his accomplice.
    Carmela: You’re wrong about the accomplice part though.
    Dr. Krakower: Are you sure?
    Carmela: All I do is make sure he’s got clean clothes in his closet and dinner on his table.

    Dr. Krakower: So enabler would be a more accurate job description than an accomplice. My apologies.

    Carmela: So. You think I need to, ah, define my boundaries more clearly and keep a certain distance. Not internalize my …

    Dr. Krakower: What did I just say?
    Carmela: Leave him.
    Dr. Krakower: Take only the children—what’s left of them—and go.

    Carmela: My priest said I should try and work with him. Help him to be a better man.
    Dr. Krakower: How’s that going?
    Carmela: I …
    Dr. Krakower: Have you ever read “Crime and Punishment”? Dostoyevski. (Carmela shakes her head “no.”) It’s not an easy read. It’s about guilt and redemption. And I think while your husband to (sic—sorry, not exactly sure of the dialogue here) turn himself in and read this book and reflect on his crimes every day for seven years in his cell—then he might be redeemed.
    Carmela: I would have to … get a lawyer, find an apartment. Arrange for child support.

    Dr. Krakower: You’re not listening. I’m not charging you because I won’t take blood money. And you can’t either. One thing you can never say. That you haven’t been told.
    Carmela: I see. You’re right, I see.

  • My cheater had the marriage counselor back him up that he not tell me the details of how the affair got started and conducted. Because ex had every intention of continuing. Which he did. So I filed.

  • Man I have been reading this thread over and over all day. It’s just unbelievable. It’s actually triggering me a bit at the moment as I am remembering what it feels like in the beginning to discover you are not in the world you thought you were, that’s there is this whole other side to the person you are married to – well actually fuck that different side thing – you discover that your spouse is not the person you thought they were. While you have been focused on home and family they have been out fucking strangers and lying to your face about it for years. Like going down the rabbit hole.

    This feels the same. I’m so sad and angry and speechless. Fellow chumps. Group hug. A huge one. ❤

    It’s one thing to be abused by a narc or borderline or Cluster B. To receive the same level of devaluing and disrespect and downright unethical behaviour is something else from those in the ‘helping’ professions.

    All I can suggest is that complaints are made. Formal and often to all oversight organisations.

    In the U.K. beware of therapists not registered with BACP. No registration means no official complaints procedure. Also in U.K. Therapists do not have to have formal or recognised qualifications to set up. Mandatory registration and statutory regulation has never been established. Please be careful. Website of BACP will help (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy).

    This feels the same. I’m so sad and angry and speechless. Fellow chumps. Group hug. A huge one. ❤

    • Thank you. Lots of tears today. Mediation coming up and I wrote seven pages of awful crap he pulled.Actually most of the crap MC said part of marriage recovery. Still can’t process I was married to him for 30 plus years.

      • Livefortoday
        Love the name. Another hug just for you. Sounds like you are going through hell. Good luck in your mediation. Hope is goes well. Try to stay strong. Post here. Or the forum. 30+ years is horrible. I was only 20.
        Be mighty and be kind to yourself. You will get through this.

  • I come from a family of mental health professionals and worked in the field as a researcher for awhile, so I know a lot of mental health professionals. Here’s a brief description of four that are relevant to the topic today (psychotherapists with whom I spoke during wreckonciliation):

    Therapist #1: My STBX’s AP (STBX’s co-worker who no longer officially provided psychotherapy, probably because she got too many DUIs) who was the main AP I learned about on D-Day #1. She was a train wreck of a person.

    Therapist #2: After I told Therapist #2 that my STBX had cheated on me and taken me to court on false allegations of crimes against him and our children, Therapist #2 said to me, ‘But you need to FORGIVE!’ I quit going to her.

    Therapist #3: He talked to my STBX a few times before he ever met me. STBX told therapist that I was psychologically disordered. (I am many things but not this.) When I sat down to talk to Therapist #3, I told him the same thing I told Therapist #2. The first thing out of Therapist #3’s mouth was, ‘You have issues with your mother.’ The only thing I had said to him was STBX had cheated on me and made false allegations against me in court, and my mother has taken great care of her children and grandchildren for decades. I quit going to this therapist. (How did he manage to get a PhD? Someone, take his license!)

    Therapist #4: She let STBX talk and asked him a few questions. As she said that she would not do couples counseling with us, I met her alone the following week. She told me that there was no hope of a healthy relationship with my STBX. I still respect this therapist.

    • Sometimes, it seems like therapists don’t want to acknowledge that true evil exists. True evil is messy, complicated, exhausting and can’t be wrapped up with a workbook or some Zoloft.

      When we present these therapists with real life horror stories, that someone has to roll up their sleeves to help us wrestle to the ground, they don’t want to do that dirty work with us.

      This can result in blame shifting, gas lighting us again or ridiculous appeals to forgive. The end result is the same:
      Just yesterday when Tempest acknowledged that I was the victim of true evil, I had a better day.

      Acknowledgement goes a long way, even if these therapists aren’t equipped to handled such BIG issues.

  • We didn’t go to MC together. I was never asked to go and I didn’t feel like going that route. I trusted that he sucked and he showed me just how much he didn’t want to reconcile. He wanted to go find his “happiness” with his “just friends” friend.

    Anyway, a good thing happened, I confided in a professional that my company hires. He knows our work and he is also a trained psychologist. (I am a sign language interpreter and we can experience vicarious trauma when working in the video relay environment). I told him about myself and his response was that I was doing great even though it was hard. See, he had been cheated on by his wife. He was further along than me but still not at Meh. I told him I was seeking a child psychologist for my son (who was 7 at the time) and he told me, “don’t do it”. He said that my son might end up being exposed to issues that he doesn’t have. He doesn’t need to talk about anything….yet. If/when he is older and you see issues, take him then. But for now, just wait. So I did. And I feel great about it. No regrets.

    I think I was one of the luckier ones…..

    • conniered

      I just realised I never considered couples counselling at all (and me a therapist) I just suggested he should have some but also realise I don’t think it will change anything st all.

      Ok then.

      • Cap, I understand from you posts that you specialise in counselling sexual abuse victims? I am going to leave a question for you on the forum. I’d appreciate your opinion.

  • We didn’t go to MC…I went shopping instead, alone. I bought all, ALL the stuff I’d been wanting/needing the whole 36 years – 30 years married – with that evil disordered narc and never got. …despite ALWAYS buying him top of the line whatever that asshole wanted…the boys and I NEVER received the same from him EVER. …screw him.

    One of the items is a top of the line Nikon 35 mm digital camera :O) satan walked out on the deck where I was happily unboxing and setting up said camera and he said, ‘WHAT THE FUCK DID THAT COST!’ Without taking my eyes off my new camera, I calmly replied, ‘Probably no where near all the presents, dinners, flowers and hotel rooms you’ve bought for your hos satan.’

    …he ran in the house and slammed the french doors so hard I was surprised they didn’t open outwards 😀

    Fuck that noise baby man.

  • We did a few months of MC, mostly because xh couldn’t find the time to attend MC more than every 3 weeks or so, he was soooo important, somewhere I guess. The MC and xh agreed right away to have the MC see broken little old me individually. The MC coached me to figure out what I needed or wanted, and then practice how to ask for it; I was terrified, took 3 sessions to coach me through that. xh agreed with the first thing (clear off 3′ of kitchen counter so I could cook), no argument! Wow.

    The next week I asked for something else (clear off one end of dining table so we could sit together to eat). Well, I guess you might call it mansplaining, that while xh agreed to one thing, it was unreasonable for me to ask for something else, and then he spent about 40 minutes going through so many “reasons” why I wasn’t the boss of him ever. Sigh. With the MC help, I had practiced listening to xh without freaking out, so after that rant I realized that I would never be able to discuss or negotiate anything with xh. MC had mentioned in a session that xh was probably harder to live with than any roommate ever could be. Was that a whiff of validation?

    xh insisted on one more MC session after I decided on the divorce, and the MC asked me if there was anything xh could do to make me change my mind about divorce, and I smiled at MC with the light of 10,000 suns in my heart and just said “no”.

  • I had one of those counselors who believed there had to be something wrong with me for my ex to cheat. I will never forget the MC asking my ex during counseling “Is Andrea unworthy of you?” To which my ex replied “Well, something must of been wrong or I wouldn’t have cheated”. When asked what was wrong my ex would continually say “I’m not ready to un-pack that”. It has taken me years to realize there really wasn’t anything terribly wrong with me or our marriage. He just liked the younger ho-worker more and went for it. So very painful though to be subjected to that type of counseling. I was led to believe I was lacking rather than my ex having character issues and porn problems.

    • Andrea, that is terrible. I understand how the counselor and your ex discussing it like that made you feel something was wrong with you. One of the biggest gifts to me was finding Chumplady and realizing that so many Chumps were made to feel ashamed for our spouse’s behavior.