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Sorry Is as Sorry Does

One thing that surprises me about recently betrayed people (and frankly, surprised me about myself once) is how quick they are to accept a verbal apology.

The desperate-to-reconcile folks always point to the apologies they get as proof that this thing can be saved. There was sobbing. Snot and running mascara. Operatic arias of remorse. Rending of garments, gnashing of teeth, and assurances of postnups.

And yet when pressed, they’re always missing something.

The cheater gave them all the passwords…. but is secretive about his work phone.

She says she’s truly sorry for the long-term affair… but gets defensive when asked for reassurances.

He says it’s all over with the other woman… but won’t tell you her name.

And the chump is confused by this — But they said they were SORRY! And then it becomes this weird dance. The betrayed person presses for more Signs of Sorry (please do these things) and the cheater resists, or promises to do them (and doesn’t follow through), or does two of the three things, but is half-assed about it.

Just when the chump is sick to death of this — are you REALLY SORRY? And is about to find their balls and file — the cheater amps up the verbal onslaught of remorse again. And the chump buys it, because… you can’t make that up. Right? You can’t just blub about how sorry you are on demand if you didn’t mean it.

If you find yourself in this spot, remember — sorry is as sorry DOES.

It’s all about the actions. I’m not saying there are not cheaters who aren’t actually sorry. But the way you distinguish the sorry from the sorry ass, is how they behave. Someone who is truly intent to reconcile and make this right is sorry regardless of what you do. Their remorse is not contingent upon whether or not you divorce them, on whether or not there are painful consequences. They feel awful for hurting you despite how you proceed.

True remorse is about humility and cheaters often have a very bad case of You Are Not the Boss of Me. How dare you set the terms, how dare you demand recompense? Your messy feelings are very inconvenient right now. Please go away. I will not be dictated to!

When you get waterworks from a cheater, it’s usually because you busted them and they fear exposure. The tears are for themselves. They are tears of fear and manipulation, because shit, they need a backup plan.

New chumps are terribly vulnerable people. It’s so natural to want the person who hurt you make this right. You hunger for that remorse.

And chumps are usually empathic people. Even when someone has gutted you, it is hard to watch them suffer. (But trust me, you’ll get there.) You see them in distress, and you want to comfort, to salvage.

That’s why righteous anger is so useful. It keeps you honest with yourself. It turns the volume down so you can see the actions, without listening to the words.

Finally, if you want a sure fire way to tell if a cheater is sorry — ask for a credit report and a postnup. A credit report to find the money trail of secret credit cards, PO boxes, or debt you don’t know about. What’s a postnup? It’s a legal agreement, a property and/or custody settlement that only goes into effect should you divorce. If they balk? There is your answer. It’s a pointless document if they’re going to remain faithful, and only they control that. Sorry is as sorry does. Get it in writing. Notarized.

This column ran previously.

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  • I feel I am probably one of the lucky ones in CN world, mine left on DD1 after I caught him with OW at Gym. I never saw him again, no remorse, no apology, nothing. 6 weeks have gone by. Sometimes that feels worse though, like I never got to say anything to him as I went NC from that moment, ( we have no children) . I never heard from him, never even got to say goodbye to the man I loved for 4 years. No sorry to be nothing And today I found out ( from the divorce centre) that he signed the divorce acknowledgement letter. Yes i should be happy but i feel very sad, i feel he didnt even try to fight for me.And i know i couldnt have gone back anyway to no trust. Not a good day for my messedup head today. Hope I feel better tomorrow 🙁

    • I am not sure if I should tell you. But, he will be back around. It will be when he wants or needs something. Or his new dream life is not what he expected. I was ghosted as well. Discarded with ruthless apathy when I kicked him out for cheating.
      If this helps, I am as sad about the discard as the cheating. Just like you. I started crying in a vacuum cleaner repair shop yesterday. Why? Because I cannot believe that he does not miss me. Because I miss him. This is like me missing a bad case of the crabs.
      I even said to a confidant last night, I am going through a death. The whole focus of my life is gone, but I know he is alive. With someone else.
      Mine did not try to fight for me either. And this man can fight when he wants to. But it is a terrible circle, because as you said, I would never take him back anyway. Mine has made three stupid attempts and they were all directly about seeing me. I said no. We can’t put the toothpaste back in that tube.
      I hope you feel better tomorrow. Frame it in this way. Even though you (me) can’t see it, it is a gift that we were ghosted.
      Fighting a disordered person is hell, expensive and soul gutting. This pain, of being discarded, is preferable to being terrorized. Fun choices, right?

      • Thank you Clara. I hate how much I miss him and think about why he does not miss me. I wish there was a magic tablet you could take to stop thinking about them and whether they happy without you !I know you are right about being glad to be ghosted, its just i dont feel it right now. I just would have liked him to have at least fought a bit, a text or something when the papers landed at his Dads house. I just burst out crying when the lady at the divorce centre told me they were back and signed. I suppose it just means all this is really happening. I was strong to tell him it was over after my first DDay but today I feel weak. I can honestly say I have never felt so awful in my life over this, Our emotions are all over the place and cheaters honesty have no care about the damage they do. Everyone tells me that i will look back on this and feel sooo lucky to have escaped this in my early 40s….. i cant wait for that day. Hope you get that day too Clara, soon 🙂

        • Chumpalertearly: You are still in the most painful, haze-inducing stage. No one gets dropped from a 40-foot precipice and just gets up and walks away. Of course you’re befuddled; what your STBX did flies in the face of all we expect from people, it flies in the face of goodness & compassion and love (the principles by which you have lived your life). You will get to a stage of anger that will help you start disengaging emotionally, but until then (and even during the anger) there is a lot of muddy pain to wade through. Sending hugs.

          • Now that it’s been 10+ months of total no contact and high conflict litigation, I’ve uncovered just how NOT SORRY Dr. Crazy was during reconciliation.

            Demand action. From the start.

            • Yup Geode this ^^^, “NOT SORRY” not remotely sorry, just entitled!

              And still fighting me after 12 months of discard, total character assignation and SHIT.

        • You’ll have bad days but soon enough they will be few and far between. When you look back say a year or two from now, you will have the satisfaction of dumping his ass and having taken action immediately. Chumps that hung on trying to salvage the relationship can tell you firsthand that they wished they had cut ties upon the first discovery. They mourn and agonize over the wasted time and years not the ex. Also, Clara is correct that your defect will more than likely return at some point. Again, down the road you will have further satisfaction of never engaging him or listening to his “side” of the story. Oh and count on him coming up with some lame crap. From being depressed, you not paying enough attention to him, etc. Please do not give him the satisfaction of explanation. That’ll kill him when you shut him down or totally ignore him. One more thing, you are in your prime, go on and enjoy your life.

          • Holy crap mine blamed it on being depressed and said he did it to push me away…to save me. That was in the email weeks after the fact, straight after he said it was because he ‘felt unloved’…we had got back from Rome five days before. Where I took him. For Christmas.

        • It helped me to frame it up a bit differently – it wasn’t that I missed him, it’s that I missed what and who I thought he was, what I lost when I realized he wasn’t who he claimed to be. It was the dream I was grieving, not the human. Don’t know if that helps?

          • Amiisfree, I agree with you. I have been married 39 years and in my late 50s, and now feel like I don’t know the person in my husband’s body. He has no remorse for what he’s done. Claims he is not seeing “sweetie” anymore, but I believe he still is. He’s like a stranger. He doesn’t want a divorce and thinks our marriage is good (guess this is because he still does what he wants). I feel broken and don’t know what to do. Never thought I would be alone as I got older, but that is what will end up happening. Just wish I could wake up and everything be over with – divorced and living in a new place. I don’t have the energy to deal with anything now. I ‘m dealing with to much anger and grief to think about moving on.

            • Crazy lady

              After such a long marriage no wonder you feel devastated and not sure which way is up, especially as he continues to treat you appallingly and continues to lie. Of course he doesn’t want a divorce. He’s a cake eating cheater not crazy. He wants you and the life you provide plus slut on the side. I know it feels like you are broken but you will make it through to the other side and probably will find your life improves.
              It does unfortunately take some time to process the pain and get to ‘meh’.
              Lots of support here and in the forums.
              It isn’t you. It never was you. It’s all on him. The shame and blame belong to him. You loved and trusted. That’s who you are. Dig deep and remember who you were and want to be. Now is the time to dig out any long buried or half remembered dreams of yours. The process of getting there is a bit long and hard but that’s what chump nation is here for.
              Huge hugs and positive vibes to you.

            • Crazy lady, I too am trying to come out of a marriage that wasn’t what I thought it was. I didn’t expect to be getting divorced at 50 but here I am due to my STBXH appalling behaviour which only came to light in the past few weeks. Note – I had already filed for divorce mid November due to long term emotional abuse as my husband is a narcissist with anger issues and sociopathic tendencies ( with the odd bit of passive aggressive behaviour on the side too).
              Within 2 weeks of filing I accidentally uncovered his secret sex life. It is worse than anyone could have imagined. He has been regularly and frequently having sex with absolutely loads of people. I say people because I discovered it’s not just women. Yep, I just discovered my husband is bisexual and I never ever knew. I uncovered his secret stash of personal sex tapes – his narcissism is so serious he tapes himself pretty much every time he has been with these people. Initially I found over 30 mini discs. Last week I found another 200. The mind boggles. I don’t know how he has had time to go to work as he seems to spend most his time shagging others. Anyway, if you put the discs into the laptop the date comes up when they were made. Turns out the 30 odd discs I initially found are just the last 12 months! Have only had time to check a couple of the new stash of 200 I found and so far his misdemeanours date back 13 years to when we bought our current house. Discs show him with men, women and even holding swingers parties in local travelodge hotel!!!
              I don’t know who I married any more. I didn’t know he was bisexual as he never told me and I had no indications. I cannot believe he has been doing this for so long.
              At the moment I have kept quiet about what I have discovered. I really want my day of confrontation once the divorce is sorted and me and our daughter are out of here and set up on our own. I feel after 23 years of marriage I deserve some answers. I certainly didn’t deserve this.
              I am getting stronger daily. I am enjoying the little things he says that I can throw back in his face. He has often said ‘what goes around comes around’ and I can’t wait to throw that back at him. He has no idea I know about his secret sex life. He even made a reference to gay people when he himself is bisexual. It’s unbelievable. He prides himself on being a man who is well prepared for everything and he always goes on about how he has a contingency for all eventualities. Can’t wait to ask him what his contingency is for his family uncovering his secret double life.
              On learning of our divorce ( because he opened my post the bastard) he made absolutely no effort to save the marriage. In fact he took off his wedding ring within 24 hours. He spent 2 hours bitching that he didn’t want to lose the house but 2 days to ask what the arrangements would be regarding out teen daughter who’s still at home. So his priorities are totally screwed up and this brought to light how severe his narcissism is.
              To all of you out there thinking you can’t do this – yes you bloody can – get out of the relationship because you all deserve much better treatment. For me I realised he wasn’t going to change plus I had to have more respect for myself and consider what example I was setting for my kids by staying.
              I went through a period wondering if I could manage on my own. Here’s the way I look at it – my mum is 75 and manages perfectly well on her own! So does my father in law who is 90 and still independent and going strong. Also, the alternative was to stay in this sham of a marriage for the next 20/39 years with things only getting worse. Why would I put myself through that?
              I am looking forward to restarting my life this summer once the divorce is sorted.

              • Ditto. OMFG! Molly u are freaking awesome and mighty! Damn these narcs are unbelievable….praying for your strength.

              • Thanks you guys, my new motto is ‘don’t let the bastard beat me’ so I am operating with this in mind plus it suits me to keep things outwardly civil for the sake of our daughter.
                I dislike conflict and as I unfortunately have to stay in this house with STBX until divorce and finances sorted ? I would rather it not be in t.urmoil.
                When my solicitor suggested I be a detective ( trying to trace some missing money I can’t account for that STBX had) little did I know what I would uncover. I am finding out new stuff each week. I am learning not to be surprised anymore. I don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes or even if it has a base! I have been very sneaky and resourceful in uncovering his lies. I don’t any longer care about his infidelities so much as I want to find out as much as I can to throw in his face just to show him I can find out anything! He has obviously felt he’s 5 steps ahead of me but now he is 5 steps behind! I think it will cripple him to know that I know – especially the amount of depth of what I know – so I am looking forward to that day of confrontation. I am making a bloody power point with photos and everything!
                Also, because I wasn’t sure what evidence I would need for the divorce, I have been secretly recording every conversation we have had since last February! I have him on tape saying all sorts of narcissistic crap and plenty of his favourite sayings which I can throw back at him. In fact I need good tech support to see if I can isolate bits of the audio recordings to put on the power point so he can hear his own stupid voice saying his own stupid crap and I can flash up photos of his uncovered double sex life and really watch his face when he realises what I’ve discovered!

                Although I feel completely and utterly betrayed by the man I thought I married I clearly married someone who was so far from what he seems it’s untrue.

              • Holy, Mally! You are mighty!

                My sister has said to me, “Martha, you don’t know what God is protecting you from. There could be more that you don’t know about.”

                When I read other chumps stories, I sometimes think, my ex could have done this too! He went to work each day, but sure never ever seemed to be caught-up! At one point he was working seven days a week. Monday thru Friday at work. Saturday and Sunday at home. It’s like he was the fricken President of the United States! Now I can see how easy it was to lie to me. I thought he was going off to work. In reality he was meeting a former ho-worker for coffee before work. He could have easily taken the day off work, but pretended to go to work and I would never have known. If I were to call him at work, the voice mail would have picked up. He could have said, “I was at a meeting.” I never would have known!

                I have no doubt in mind that there’s a lot that I don’t know about. I can barely stomach knowing my husband had his hands (and probably more) all over naked strippers. And then he brought that filth back home and could have given me an STD (and I was pregnant at that time, so he could have hurt our baby!). Fuckwits don’t care about that. They only care about themselves.

                You story is horrendous, Mally. I don’t know how are surviving this. You are super mighty!

        • Wow I too have been ghosted. It’s been two months only communication via email about taxes. I gave up my life moved to new city, purchased the home he wanted etc. I kicked him out for cheating but must admit I expected he would fight for me, for us, our marriage. Nothing… he was recently injured in a car accident with the woman I suspected he was cheating with. I know because she gave my address at the scene! I received her medical bill! The nerve, like you I’m told I’ll be happy this ended in a year at 37 years old but it doesn’t feel that way. I’m broken hearted and disappointed beyond words but life goes on… feel better tomorrow it’s a new day

          • KnowYourWorth, there are no words for what you said. I’m just so appalled and so sorry what you went through and are going through. Trust that he sucks.

            • Thanks Martha. It feels like I’m viewing someone else’s life through my eyes. It’s unbelievable that the same person that took vows to love, honor and cherish me has disrespected me and crushed my heart, not to mention the OW now has my home address yet I have no idea where he’s staying or where she lives. All I can do is keep moving forward. Peace & Blessings to all

              • Yeah, I can totally relate to what I can only call an out body experience. It’s like you are in your body, but you are viewing your life and can’t believe it’s happening. I still have days like that. I look around and say, “How did I get here?” I’m so sorry you are going through this. It will get better. It really will. (((Hugs))) to you, KnowYourWorth

        • I got ghosted too. It WILL get better. My DDay was 31 August 2015. Since then, I am well and truely into my second year of freedom and life has gotten better and better. Honestly, I just remember CL’s words, “he’s no prize” whenever my mind places tricks on me. Better her than me, I say. That person you thought you knew and loved? That wasn’t who they REALLY ARE. It took months to have my new reality sink in, long after he was gone.

          Mine stuck around for 2 weeks before ghosting (thank god), only because he needed things from me. I was lucky; I was only in wreckonciliation for a fortnight. Everyone here is right. They only stick around when they need something.

          Honestly, it is good he is gone. Mine stated that “a life without me was no life at all.” All the while texting the OW. You don’t want that. It’s hard to accept that he doesn’t care. Because you do. That’s what makes you a nice person and he isn’t. Plus, mindfuckery is very bad for your mental health. Now you can heal without interference, and deal with what is going on in your own mind without his ongoing, mindfuckery interferring with that process.

          Take each day as it comes, take care of yourself, weed out the sycophants and Switzerlands. Get a good psychologist. See them regularly. Make new friends. Do stuff you like. You are doing an amazing job. Keep it up.

      • The “fighting” for you isn’t real. It’s image management so they can blame you for the end of the marriage when you don’t take them back.

        • Or it’s ‘fighting’ to get their cushy life back, to avoid consequences. It’s not about you and what they’ve done to you, it’s not about remorse for the pain they’ve caused or about valuing you and being horrified that they risked losing you. It’s about THEM, their regret at having miscalculated in leading their life in the way that best benefits them.

          So they can’t work authentically to repair the relationship, because their concern never was about the relationship. And they’ll become resentful of YOU for wanting that repair work.

          • Yep. STBX was genuinely shocked when I kicked him out of my room and stopped cooking/shopping/doing laundry for him. That was when I got my “apology.”

          • THIS “So they can’t work authentically to repair the relationship, because their concern never was about the relationship. And they’ll become resentful of YOU for wanting that repair work”

            After finding CL/CN I realized that stbx was just “Sorry-not sorry” and “you’re not the boss of me”
            He had the emotional depth of a gutter trickle and I finally told him that it was over because I knew that he would NEVER be able to do the hard work or put forth enough cough, any effort to repair the marriage. AKA actually feel sorry & have genuine remorse. Pod people can’t do that. Thanks to CL/CN I came to see that he was incapable of love (or any feeling) and just wanted a wife appliance or as we say “cake” or “smorgasboard of P”

        • For women chumps, the sorry is about consequences for their money and carefree lifestyle (loss of wife appliance). Impose these consequences ASAP.

          I was just discarded like a piece of shit that I am. Luckily, another lady thought that piece of shit is gold, and I have been married to her a very long time.

          Do not waste your time, your cheater will not start caring. They will jump from one drug induced high to another. They need new relationship high. Find a fellow chump to marry.

      • Same.
        I forgave my cheater 4 times before he finally left me for an affair partner.
        He’s sold it as not being the “affair” that ended us, it was us “growing apart” and the affair was just a product of that……that he wanted to be great to all of us post divorce but we just wouldn’t have any of that and refuse to accept his affair partner so that was that.
        I too have never had my cheater try to come around again. He lives with her, raises her kids. Our kids. ( adults) are no contact with him but he just accepts that as their choice to not see how awesome he is. I was so hostile and demanding in the divorce and discard that I am the reason we can’t be friends.
        Ummmm……no. I don’t know why hes never tried to get more cake from me and I don’t care. I suspect it’s because I’ve never missed an opportunity to let him know he will never deceive me again and that I know exactly who he is ( they hate that shit) or it’s the fact that I have a boyfriend and he knows rejection is certain.
        There is something insulting though about the fact that you give them such a huge portion of yourself…..your years, your heart, and they just drop you like it’s nothing.
        Rather than being hurt I choose to just treat it as a life lesson.

        • Aaarrrhhhgg! My STBX said exactly that this morning! We ‘grew apart’ and that’s why the affair happened! Cheater handbook page 29 paragraph 3…

          • I got the same. Interesting tho, that mine was a serial cheater from day 1. So I guess we were growing apart from the day we met. Bless his heart that he proposed, married & stayed for years despite his growing apart the entire time. So selfless on his part. :/ Nothing but bullshit coming from their mouths.

              • Ha Ha Ha! THIS-
                “Yes, his dick was always going somewhere else from day one”
                Same with my stbx!!!

              • Lol, yes, and my STBX was doing that too it seems. Mine wants an amicable and equitable divorce ( and it will be so until i am outta here and then throw all his lies back at him).
                I now know when he is lying…. it’s every time his lips move.
                He is now even making up lies to people that are totally unnecessary. I don’t think he can operate in truth mode any more, if ever.

          • Yes! Somehow we are to be blamed for the growing apart portion despite the dick-GPS moving in various out of home destinations from day 1. I guess we couldn’t fine tune that device due to our inability to be good enough for them.

        • Oh, Jackass made it clear he would never, ever speak to me again, because I dared to accuse him of having a secret relationship with his MOW, while denying he was “discarding” me. All that means is that I saw through the mask and got a good, clear look at his lying Jackass self.

      • They do come back around. My ex-husband sent a text at a time (several years ago) when he knew I was lonely: “U want to get together? Not wanting anything, just to have a lil fun.” I didn’t reply. I am not a stand-in fuckbuddy. With that dud, I am so grey rock I’m a walking Stonehenge. And just a couple days ago, a sociopath ex-boyfriend I dumped five years ago, sent an IM asking “How are you, old friend?” Then he sent a sticker. I didn’t reply. I’m happily married now. Plus, ex-boyfriend sucks. They come back, and it can even be years later. Treat them like trash washed up on a beach: when they are removed, the beach is so much better. And life is a beach, after all, the saying goes.

          • “…so grey rock I’m a walking Stonehenge.”

            Pure comedy gold-
            Thanks for the laugh today!

    • No one in CN is lucky for being here. We have all suffered. We are lucky to have CL and support and wisdom and expertise and love.
      I think you are minimizing your pain by comparing yourself to other chumps. Please don’t.

      • Sorry to offend you but the word “lucky” is a word many chumps have expressed to me for getting out early after first DDay. I have posted before and have been told that by a few people. Thats all I meant. I know no one is lucky to be on here, i am going through hell right now and I would hate to feel i offended someone else in pain. Really did not mean anything by my words, and your message has just made me feel even worse than i did a few hours ago, perhaps i wont post on here again…sorry again Louisvilleflower.

        • Oh, I am not offended! I am sorry!
          There are so many terrible stories here that I understand it is easy to think you dodged a bullet. I just want you to understand that everyone here knows that this is the worst thing that has happened to you. It is. You can’t compare yourself to anyone else because you are minimizing your own pain. I am sorry that I wasn’t clear.

        • I feel like such a bitch.
          I meant to welcome you, not minimize you or push you away!
          Someone else please tell her to stay!

          • Never a bitch LouisvilleFlower!
            I got what you meant. Some days though my head is not right and I write a post and then wonder if I said it right, then wonder why it got no comments or worry what the comments mean and if I am being too uptight or off base in some way. Or worry about being judgemental or misunderstood!
            We are chumps and I guess part of that for many of us is being people pleasers or not wanting to offend.
            But your comment was fine! You didn’t want her to minimise her pain.

        • Chumpalertearly
          LouisvilleFlower meant for you not to minimise your own pain by using the word lucky. She means we are all in the same boat, different aspects of the same god awful pain. She was more annoyed with the people who might have used lucky and you in the same sentence ! Please keep posting. I’m sure LouisvilleFlower will be back to say the same and she will feel bad that you feel bad. She doesn’t want you to minimise your own pain by using lucky.

          Sorry LouisvilleFlower for speaking as you but I could not leave that to stand. Hope it is ok.

          Sending huge hugs to you. Come back and let us know you are ok. Well as ok as a chump can be. I know you said you have a messed up head today- to be honest who here doesn’t? That’s why we come.
          Many hugs to you and be gentle with yourself. No one here would want you to go anywhere. This is the best place to heal.

            • Phew I hope so. You are a hero! You were one of the very first people on CL when I first posted to say something that soooo helped. I kept it. And it was the first comment that made me realise that people here ‘got’ it. It makes such a difference. You made such a difference.

          • Early, When I was at the vacuum cleaner repair shop, yes my life is that bland, the owner started telling me about his favorite Andy Griffith episode, where little Opie shoots the mama bird with his sling shot.
            Andy raises the window and tells Opie, do you hear those little birds crying for their momma?
            Well, I commence to bawling. I mean crying so hard I got choked. Awkward? You bet. Why am I telling you this? Because after what we have been through, borrowing Tempest’s metaphor of being dropped from a 40 foot wall, we are broken. We are raw.
            At the market, a check out girl asked me, How are you? I saw, Well, I sure have been better. She scans my groceries quickly to get rid of me.
            This situation of being ran through the meat grinder leaves us so wounded. You and me, ghosted. Others, find evidence of affairs after 20 year of marriage and children.
            One is a stabbing, the other a shooting. We are just the walking wounded.
            This is the safest place I have found, in the world and the web. Much is lost in just words on a screen, the tone and intent. You are validated and supported here. I would bet the farm that if LFlower could help you track down your man and beat the brakes off him, she would. There ain’t a mean one in the bunch.
            From one ghosted girl to another, pinkie promise.

            • Well said, Clara. CL and CN is the safest place to be. And CL is keeping us safe from trolls now too!

        • Chumpalertearly–Louisvilleflower is always supportive of other chumps, and I think just wanted you to recognize that we know you are still in tremendous pain (even if you got out early; getting out early instead of wasting years with the cheater is “lucky” which is how you meant it, I know. But there’s nothing lucky about any of us having chosen fucktards for mates).

          I’m sorry you feel worse, but I promise LF did not intend to attack you. Your pain brings back those early days when I would go into panic mode if someone didn’t call me back right away (“They don’t support me anymore?”), and I would tear up if someone showed me the slightest kindness. You are raw right now and any emotion will feel intensified–completely understandable; we’ve all been there.

          Stay; you’re among friends.

        • Chumpalertearly

          One of my professors once asked how we know we are real. My response was met with a puzzled look when I said , “We feel pain.”

          Each and every time I forgave him all that pain went away. I believed we were moving forward together.

          It never ended until I finally faced that pain. It took me 41 years of believing what I invested in was ‘real’ before I found a therapist who told me he was a narcissist and that the repeated cycles (infatuation, devaluing, discard) I participated in were about power and control.

          I never dodged the bullet, rather continued to stand as his object of abuse for years. I’m not proud knowing this yet now have clarity.

          What you are doing my friend is facing the pain. It is like nothing else you could have imagined.

          The paralysis, self doubt, and grieving are the necessary steps I avoided for years. In the end he coldly stated the whore wouldn’t like it if he spoke to me.

          There is nothing lacking in you. You didn’t deserve this at all. Keep taking those baby steps, take care of your needs and know the pain is indeed finite. You will survive and thrive one day. It’s a Tuesday and there will be pie for all to share.

          • Bravo ! This hit the nail on the head for me. I have been forgiving him to dodge the pain. It makes perfect sense. After forgiving him over the last few years, I guess he got bored and dropped me like a hot potato 2 weeks ago. He emails me daily because “he lost his phone”. Telling me he’s coming back, he just had to go out of state for work. Just like that. He tells me thru emails that he loves me, and wouldn’t give me up for “anything”. He’s a very skilled manipulator. Cries, says he misses me and the dogs. But he doesn’t want me to see him this way, meaning he’s used drugs. I stopped responding 2 days ago because it was like talking to a rock. His actions show me all I need to know. I’ve been in such pain. For me , I am totally alone. My parents are both deceased. Friends are nowhere to be found because they got fed up with me taking him back long ago. 1 year ago I went thru this with him, got over him and back he came. This time with an engagement ring vowing to never hurt me again. I was the love of his life. I was so apprehensive because I’d come so far in healing, was dating a awesome man. But nothing noone compares to the mind games this guy played. So I eased back in. It took me the year to accept the ring and say yes. That was 5 weeks ago. 2 weeks later he was gone. He swears he’s just working on himself. Getting better for us. Lol I know better. But my brain keeps saying , maybe he is? Or is that my heart. The best feeling I have right now is I know it’s over for good. I’d never take him back. Ever. But the sap in me feels totally empty of life. No reason to get up in the am . Probably because I know the end is here. I won’t date this time anytime soon, as I know all I’ll do is compare. I just dont know how to put 1 foot in front of the other. And move it. I’ve begun the process of trying to make amends to friends, that’s going to take a long time. I’m thinking I will take time and work on my codependent ways. Thanks for helping me see the light !

            • Claudia

              “I just dont know how to put 1 foot in front of the other. And move it. I’ve begun the process of trying to make amends to friends, that’s going to take a long time. I’m thinking I will take time and work on my codependent ways. Thanks for helping me see the light !”

              I have an addictive personality. Somehow chaos becomes a way of life and your normal. The times when you feel loved by him are those intermittent acts of kindness that keep you hooked. A ring (hook) to keep you bathing in shit. Excuses (hooks) to gain empathy. Block his phone, see a therapist who understands trauma, go no contact, sell the fucking ring, and find other things to fill the void. You are already alone as he has isolated you from friends.

              Join meet ups, take classes, get your hair done, go hiking, and you will put an end to the abuse. He is toxic.

      • louisvilleflower, i am sorry i misunderstood your kind words, my head is really jumbled up today and I am really overly emotional. Thank you for your advice and kindness, and i will be back on here when I feel like I need advice, help and inspiration. I dont know where i would be without you all x

        • Come back daily! Fridays are fun, in a twisted, chumpy way. The more you read, the more you know you are not alone. The more you post, the quicker you are able to start healing (in my opinion).
          Sending big love!

          • Louisvilleflower you really do a great job in here! You are right, the more you read the more you realize that you are not the crazy one! It helps so much to know you are not alone.

          • Chumpalertearly: You ARE lucky to have escaped in your 40s. My cheater-ex left shortly after my 40th birthday. I spent the next 5 years as a single mom with 3 young children. When I was 45, I re-married a fellow chump, who my kids adore. He remains the biggest blessing in my life 13 years later (outside of my children!). I count this last decade as one of the happiest in my life. I could not have said the same had I remained married to my cheating scumbag first husband, who left a beautiful family, without a backward glance.

        • ChumpalertEarly,
          Sending you big hugs today. Your story has touched me so much because your reality was so severely shaken. Like you woke up on Mars instead of Earth. And you didn’t even get to talk to him about it? (or yell or scream). It’s awful and so difficult to process when the person is just gone. Of course you still feel emotional. Six weeks? I was a walking zombie at 6 weeks. These are hard days. My DDay was 3 years ago. I promise you it gets better. And better. And better. ((((hugs))))

        • Chumpalertearly

          Thank goodness! Huge hugs to you. It’s so hard isn’t it to think straight at all after this happens to you. Shopping became a huge problem for me for a few months. I couldn’t put a coherent list together, then would just be confused in the grocery store. It was terrible. Made me feel even more of a failure. Meals were a nightmare with what I bought. Interesting doesn’t quite capture the weird combinations we ate for a while. My head was wrecked.
          It was Tempest who helped by saying as long as there was food on the table and we were reasonably clean and the house wasn’t going to attract the attention of child protective services it was ok.
          It would be more worrying if you were not over emotional. Hugs.

          • Wow… what you just wrote Capricorn really hit me. I’m still going through the fog and it’s been over a year. It’s not as foggy but still …. a fog. The panic attacks are the worst. I am a smart, professional woman… and that jerk scrambled my brain with his lies. Uggg… thanks Chumps. I don’t know how I would have gotten this far without you

            • AmoreNoMore

              Fog is a good word for it. Even still I don’t feel my head is right. Thinking about what he did or just letting those thoughts slide through my mind still take up so much space. There is so much to re-evaluate;

              STBXH is a cheat not a good guy
              Last four years (at least)of marriage a sham
              He didn’t have my back
              We meant less to him than his dick
              He is a liar
              Narcs are everywhere
              Some “friends”are really not
              Boys need therapy
              I am alone
              I will be divorced
              My future looks different
              I am a single parent
              My role and identity have changed
              WTF ????

              It’s no wonder that day to day tasks just don’t even register. After thinking all this it’s a miracle that we all function as well as we do IMO

              • Thank you for posting your list, I identify with pretty much all of it, relief to see they are normal thoughts.

              • Your list is spot on.
                Particularly the part about the family being less important than his dick.
                That’s my narcissistic STBX all over.

              • Capricorn, that’s my list too. We had a beautiful family. We have two fantastic kids. And his dick and his constant need for female adoration is and will always be more important than his kids. He’s a true narc and yes, there are narcs everywhere. Who knew they existed?

          • Oh..yes! Whatever happened to the chumpy cook who used to plan and prepare elaborate meals to impress the cheater. I am now happy with spaghetyi broken into three parts just like Tempest does and thinking of the CN when I do it.

        • Hugs! I know exactly how you are feeling. Please take care of yourself the best you can during this very horrible time. Try to eat, sleep, rest, exercise, be kind to yourself. We have your back!

    • You will feel somuch better in a year from now, hard to believe but you will. I got discarded coldly and stolen from all while pregnant, 5 months later he wanted me back, I said no, now he is a deadbeat father and I rarely hear from him at all. Sometimes I still feel upset about how I did not mean the same to him as he did to me. I still am puzzled about how he could just forget and not care about shared history and all that, but these thoughts used to take up 95% of my time, now maybe 2%… I am approaching two years since DDay. Hang in there!!

    • Chumpalertearly, I’m so sorry you are going through this. I wanted to reply back to you earlier today, but the company I work for blocks Chump Lady and it’s always so hard to reply back on my lunchtime.

      Men or women who can just leave and walk without any words truly suck. Your soon-to-be-ex is not worthy of your time. You deserve better and one day you’ll realize it!

      I came to CL and CN almost a year ago. I was so lost. I had no idea what happened to me. If I could group hug all of CN, I would!

      This time truly sucks. I heard from CN the words they are saying to you now, but I didn’t ever think the pain would go away. It does, loved one. And in a year or so you’ll be helping another chump. (((Hugs))) to you. I’m truly sorry you found your way here.

    • Chumpalertearly, I am so sorry you feel so bad right now. I know you have a hard time believing the people who tell you that you’ll feel better with time away from him. But you really will. I have been chumped before in my first marriage about 30 years ago now. And put through all of the crap of reconciliation and finding out they aren’t really sorry and all that heartache. I cried and hurt so bad as only the really young and idealistic first love in your 20’s can. Then they actually have the gall to come back around, you being naive and loving want to believe it’s because they missed you, and you don’t even question it. Then you find out the truth, they admit it, and you break up again. And if you let them, again and again. Mine came back around twice after the failed, miserable reconciliation. I didn’t fall for it the other times, my healthy intuition finally kicked in and saved me from that. You finally realize that it’s not that they love you. It’s that they just want to use you again. They’ll do it as many times as you’ll allow. They’ll even let slip truths to you, if you’ll listen and note it, that will help you not desire another go round. So remember I was put through all of this a long time ago in my first marriage. I am now dealing with the sadness of finding out I married a narc in my second marriage, it’s going on 6 months since he left me. I recently found out that ex # 1, died 3 years ago. I haven’t shed one tear or felt any sadness. Nothing, truly meh. I still have my divorce papers too and will treasure them always, as I will my new ones when I get them and file them next to my first ones. Because though he is dead, those papers symbolized a wonderful legal teflon coated wall between us. I never had to be hurt again. It was finally over.

      These people are missing something that allows them to be almost like hologram people. I didn’t come up with that, it’s how Vikki Stark described her husband when he broke up their decades long marriage in her book ” Runaway Husbands. ” Her first chapter is actually called, ” My Husband, the Hologram. “You can read some of it on Amazon for free, and it’s truly heartbreaking her story is. I haven’t read the whole book, but I’m sure it’s a lot like what we read on here everyday. It’s that they are pretending to be loving and whole, but theirs is an addiction to, as Chump Lady calls it ego kibble. They’re indiscriminate in how they get it, you are interchangeable with any other woman who will give it to them. Sad but true. That doesn’t mean you truly are, it’s just their needs making you that way in their minds and hearts. They don’t love like we do, they aren’t capable. They are mentally ill, no matter how they seem on the outside. Someone who can literally walk away and do that to someone they have spent 4 years with, or even decades with??? We couldn’t do that. Why? Because we really feel love and commitment, they don’t.

      So, no matter if he does come back around. It doesn’t mean he misses you or loves you, or loved you, or is ” fighting for you. ” It means literally NOTHING. They are hollow people who are trying to fill themselves up with our love and goodness and realness. They’re like emotional vampires. And yes, you have to invite them in, like the vampire. If he comes back around, I hope you stay no contact, and please realize you are lucky. I can’t wait till the day comes when all my legal crap is done and I can file those new divorce papers next to my old ones. I won’t ever be adding anymore to that file. No more marriage for me. That doesn’t mean no more love or happiness. Just no more marriage.

      Also, no more narcissists, I am learning everything I can about being a co-dependent personality, so I no longer attract the vampire. Desiring him back in any way is very unhealthy for you. It means you are still in the thrall of a narc and you need to break that spell by learning about them. I heartily recommend YouTube videos by Sam Vaknin, Darlene Lancer, Richard Grannon SpartanLifeCoach, Assc Direct. These have all helped me realize how lucky I am to finally be free of someone who was covertly abusing me for all those years, in my case, 17 of them. You are truly lucky to not have to see him. Because it HURTS to have to deal with them after your breakup. They are cold and weird and take no responsibility. And even if they do as mine did in a letter to me, it doesn’t change a thing. Worst of all, they try to ” eat cake.” It’s bewildering and really painful. I can’t wait till I can finally be free of mine and not have to see or hear from him again. I hope you educate yourself and build your own teflon coated wall to protect yourself. You are so worth it. We all are.

      • Thank you WishTuesCameSooner 🙂

        Very well said and completely the truth of the matter.

      • Thank you WishTuesCameSooner for taking time to messge me, I am so sorry that you are going through this again, it must be just as painful as before, Your words really hit home , all at CN are my saviours at the moment. I worry too about my future and scared of dating in the future incase I meet the wrong person again. I got it so wrong, I thought I found my knight in shining armour. How very wrong I was. I thought he adored me, thought I had my life figured out. I feel like such an idiot for not seeing who he was. Why did he want someone else, I did everything, we never argued, no lack of sex. Went out., brought him presents. Dinner on the table every night. He said he felt like the luckiest man alive. But I wasn’t enough. His marriage wasn’t enough Part of me is so angry that I never shouted or told him what I thought of him and never said a word to the Gym slut! Not to this day had anything been said . And today I sent of my decree nisi, it’s so so sad it had to end like this. Sending my hugs to you and hope you are okay.

      • So well said, WTCS. And I read that entire book, “Runaway Husbands.” I can’t remember if I read it before or after finding Chump Lady. I do recall her saying in the book that these types that can just up and leave like your entire marriage meant nothing were narcs or sociopaths. I heard it in counseling first about my ex probably being a narc. That was just a few months after D-Day. So I just kept hearing it more and more with books validating what the counselor said. And then Chump Lady. And then watching scores of YouTube videos. The YouTube videos made me realize I was suffering from Narc Abuse Syndrome. I had at one time or another most of the 50 symptoms from Mark Smiths video “50 symptoms of narc abuse syndrome.” After watching that, I no longer felt I was totally losing it. Your post is so helpful. Thank you. 🙂

  • I found CL well after my divorce, yet I was still struggling with trying to untangle the skein. I remember like yesterday how my ex broke down with his sobbing, heaving “I’m sorry” complete with snot bubbles and streaming tears. That scene really does affect you and cause pause. However, CL is right. It’s not true remorse. It’s all a result of cheater feeling sorry for him/herself and as soon as you, the betrayed, start seeking proof via actions, the tables turn once again. I was accused of being unreasonable and untrusting and how it was wrong and hurtful for me to invade his privacy…. Such a load of crap.

    • Yeeeeeeeeexactly. We are twins.

      Mine was sobbing all through signing the divorce papers at the notary. Hundreds of skanky affairs and he still wanted to paint himself the victim. And I still had to grieve him and it took years to untangle the mental mess, much of which didn’t start until I found CN.

      • ?
        Still in divorce process. I emailed STBX about finances and he replied adding that it was “all a bit sad…”
        He is the only sad thing here.

        • After moving from temporary digs to a more permanent apartment just before the divorce, on moving day, my X emailed, “I am filled with sadness.” It took all my self-control not to reply, “I am filled with relief.”

          • The day before my birthday, STBX posted on Facebook “please everyone wish Louisvilleflower a happy birthday. Divorce transition is hard.” (Image management, of course.) Not hard for me, douchebag. (My lawyer sent his a cease and desist letter immediately. There will be a clause in settlement about not posting about me on social media.)

          • Haha, the restraint we muster Tempest.

            After I threw him out it was all business with his texts. He saved the rage for in person encounters. Alway about image management.

            On his first birthday weeks later he asked my daughter if I should be invited to his annual birthday lobster dinner she had for him. She said NO. I sent along a present; a sweat shirt with the whores home town on the front. She said be had the sadz and would never do this again.

            The fight ended. I was done. Still wanting to keep me as plan B+, after the divorce was settled in court he looked at me with a puppy dog face and said he thinks about me all the time.

            Damn if that cake wasn’t delicious.

            • “I sent along a present; a sweat shirt with the whores home town on the front”

              • The part I left out was that I gave him until his birthday to reconsider. It was the first ultimatum I had ever given him.

                Now I laugh to think the aging narc indeed must think about this every time he BLOWS out his candles. Hahaha.

        • Arggh! How condescending. Minimizing imploding your life. Like stubbing your toe on the coffee table. It’s a wee bit tender.

      • Apology or not, the sheer level of emotional abuse that is dished out by these disordered cheaters is unfathomable by mere mortals… People who have never experienced it, just don’t get it — especially when cheater-pants cry and sob to others about how sorry they are. My ex gained a lot of support from people who couldn’t believe I wasn’t willing to give him another chance. He even threatened suicide. It was oh-so-very-pathetic and heart-wrenching to see him like that, BUT something deep down inside me screamed “Run! It’s a trap!”

      • Amiisfree

        Can I ask if you had seen him cry before?
        Mine cried but only once (although he said he teared up a lot) but thinking back I never saw him cry before ever.

        • Yes, he was quick to tears in general. Sensitive artist type persona. It was an act, of course, and it worked on me for a long time because I am legitimately very emotional.

  • I remember feeling so bad for my cheating ex. When he got busted, he was SO sad. He moped around and would say, I don’t know what”s wrong with me. I remember comforting him at times – the sad sausage was so confused. (Super Chump!). But, when pressed for more info, he would become tight-lipped and defensive. He wasn’t the least bit sorry. Like CL said, he didn’t want his back up plan to fall apart. He wasn’t sorry, he was afraid.

    • Yeah, I did the same things, too (Super Chump here too!). I comforted the “confused” baby too. A couple days after D-day, my girlfriend came over to our home to talk. She brought me flowers (my ex got me flowers twice in 20 years). The cheater comes home from work and sees the flowers and I told him who I got them from. He said and I quote, “I wish someone would get me flowers.” So what did Super Chump do? I ordered flowers the next day and had them sent to his work! I still cannot believe I did that, but I’m a chump! Or I WAS a chump!!! He cheated on me, but sent him flowers!!! Ugh.

      • Martha – I can one up you. I waited FOR THE FURNITURE delivery at STBX’s new apartment– within 2 weeks of kicking him out when I realized he was back with ho-worker 12 mos after d-day and faux reconciliation.
        I even bought him a throw pillow!!! Ack – who was that!

        It takes a while to transition from sacrificial (anything to keep family intact) to empowered (I DESERVE BETTER)
        Chump Nation has carried me across the line !!

        • Don’t feel bad. I told my then-husband that he could keep partners on the side while I stayed faithful because I wanted to keep my family together, I think that I was crowned into the Chump royalty that day.he then asked me to choose a dating service for him.

          • Oh, this is a good thread!
            The Chumpiest thing I ever did was…

            So many to choose from!
            Pre DDay:
            I was worried about ff driving home from work (1 1/2 hour drive) in bad weather, so I encouraged him to spend the night in a hotel. I packed his clothes for him. Made it so much easier to screw his AP.
            Post DDay:
            Taking the kittens he got (to lure the kids to his apartment) to the vet.
            Buying a new battery for the smoke detector at his apartment because the smoke alarm kept beeping.

          • RockStarWife, still wondering who the rock star is. lol.

            The things I read here. I believe it all, because I have down and put up with so much that is so crazy

        • TiredChump—I am SOOOOOO happy you’ve crossed the finish line (been following your story since the beginning; grew alarmed when we didn’t hear from you, and was relieved when you said you’d thrown cheater out). Howorker can have your demented X, who is an idiot to have lost you.

        • Yes, TiredChump. It does take awhile to realize you deserve better. I would have crammed myself into a 4×4 box to save our marriage and family. It’s only taken lotsa time and NC to realize what I truly deserve and want.

      • Martha, i got the flower scenario, too. Flowers once in 3 years, given to me at the spot where he professed his undying love – but the timestamp on an email sent to his “one, true love” said it was sent the night OF his professing it to me!
        2 instance of flowers is actually an “almost got you flowers” as in “i almost got you flowers on the way home but then i changed my mind after thinking i would look weird walking home with a bouquet”….this “almost got you something” scenario played out after he admitted to being obsessed with my sister (who he stalked through social media, saying that she was flirting with him) and having sexual fantasies and masturbating to her, after treating me like utter crap in private for 2 months and withholding affection,etc…we did have a good few weeks where i thought everything is fine and *maybe* i can trust him, but that was just him pulling the wool over my eyes…

      • Oy. I tried comforting InstantGratificationBoy too, during our wreckonciliation when he said he was sorry..found myself in the STRANGEST situation where he’s crying on the couch and I’m trying to bury all my prickly anger and hurt to comfort him now that he wanted to come home. I asked him to talk about it, turns out he’s crying because he missed the OW and felt so bad he’d broken it off with her so abruptly, maybe he hurt her feelings. I should have said SERIOUSLY??? You’re worried about HER feelings?? and booted him out. Instead I held his hand (I still cringe to think that I did that) and tried to be understanding, so desperate was I to save our marriage. All the while my head is spinning about how the heck any chump is supposed to behave in such a situation. And warning bells clanging in my head that I’m walking into some really fucked up territory. Yet I stayed…

      • Oy. I tried comforting my STBX too, when he was crying on my couch during wreckonciliation. I thought he was crying about how much he’d hurt me. Idiot I am…when I asked him to talk, it turns out he’s crying over the OW, missing her and wishing he hadn’t ended it so abruptly with her, maybe he hurt her feelings. I should have said “SERIOUSLY? You’re worried about HER feelings???” Instead I held his hand and listened (I still cringe that I did that, but I was so desperate to save our marriage and family). All the while my mind is reeling with confusion on how the heck to react, and also hearing alarm bells that I was headed into some seriously fucked up territory. Yuk.

        • Sorry for repeat post. It said the first one failed, but turns out it didn’t.

    • Chumperchip
      Yes exactly mine. Didn’t take too long…well maybe quite long… realise in between many many sorry’s and much looking sad, there was no offering of more stuff, no details, nothing remotely helpful. Every single detail had to be prised out like teeth. Painful all round.
      I’m sure now he is sorry but more for getting caught and having everyone know and think differently about him.

  • You are so right. I wish I had found this site back when he was caught the first time. He apologized many times he just didn’t mean it. Proposed again along with a (now) gag inducing wedding in Central Park. I was told I had to stop nagging(ie. getting upset about all of the evil behaviour) and never say no to sex. He was to be transparent and go to counselling(he went 3 x). All it did was make him feel entitled to ramp up the abuse and blow off half of our life savings…sorry not sorry. Ughhh it would be very different if I could turn back the clock

  • I recently re-read a ‘sorry’ letter ex wrote to me on the Christmas after D-Day. Instead of giving gifts, we (actually I) had decided to write letters to each other outlining changes we would make to show our love to each other more. At the time, I was smoking the hopium pipe, sure we could get through this. Ha! I now see his words for what they were – a carefully crafted attempt to convince me not to out him and the affair. Sooo self-serving. None of his proposed show-my-love-for-you actions ever followed the letter. Watch what they do, not what they say.

    • I have a few of those letters. When I reread them I check off all the cheater techniques. Gaslighting- check! Blame shift – check! Minimizing – check! False equivalency – check! Mind fuckery – check! check! check!

      • hahaha louisvilleflower! Don’t you feel like you have a PhD in cheater/narc speak? I’ve received a better education here on CL than at the university!! And I too check off the list of mind fuckery every time he emails. He is now always set to “charm” and does some subtle blame shifting with a soupçon of false equivalency. I now miss nothing after 20 years of missing EVERYTHING!!

        • Love it! Seeing through the bs in the present and in hindsight is awesome. I laid out my STBXs pattern of behavior for my lawyer a while ago so she would know what we are dealing with. He is so predictable now that it is laughable.

  • At D-day #3 it was a situation at first where I didn’t have any proof of infidelity but he kind of flinched and wouldn’t show me his phone. That trieggered an investigative rampage by me and I find an inappropriate text (but still no proof of anything). But, because of the past I said the only way I would go on was for him to do a full disclosure backed by polygraph. He balked, begged, pleaded not to have to do that but knew I meant business (I’m not giving myself props here — I should have thrown him out the instant he wouldn’t show me his phone — he later pulled a switcheroo on the phone btw and told me that the phone was not operable to make a call but he’d been using it for porn — this was a lie — the truth was that he’d had a 2nd phone for over 6 years that I’d known *nothing* about — hence why he could always say “you can look at my phone, phone bill, etc. etc.”).

    Then after the most egregious disclosure imaginable. Multiple women. Every year. For the entire time I’ve been with him (over thirty years). He starts in on the recommended “recovery program” prescribed by the sex addiction specialist. Yes, he was doing some things — morning teleconference group meetings (he wouldn’t go to in-person meetings because he’s kind of well known in the community. He was journaling some. Giving himself points for eating healthy and working out (hahahaha!). After watching him “work” for a couple months — no sponsor, no meaningful interaction with the support group members (in fact was probably just learning more ways to keep things stealthily on the down low from the sex addiction calls) I found Chumplady and said “I’m out”.

    My therapist had said look for openness, brokenness and humility . . . I didn’t observe much of that and finally got honest about that with myself. I still can’t figure out why he went and did the disclosure other than he knew I was gone without it. I wish I’d had the gumption to walk out before that because the 3-day intensive (with disclosure & polygraph) was pricey. But, having the unfathomable truth does make the last 34 years of my life make a bit more sense.

    Now I just have to focus on why I dealt with him for so long.

    • Nikki

      After the final DDay I called the last of many OW spanning my 36 year marriage. After I disclosed his multiple affairs she asked why I stayed. At the time I didn’t know the answer telling her we had three children together and that I loved him.

      After much therapy I know he could never love anyone. I had bonded with a sociopath who blatently and repeatedly disrespected me and I fought like hell to keep what I thought I had.

      In the end he smiled and stated it was always about the thrill of the chase. And had I stayed my therapist assured me it would kill me in the end.

      When I finally saw him without the mask I knew my role was to keep his mask firmly glued on to protect his image. Once I divorced him it came unglued.

      The way he spoke to me in the end was as if he had pulled off the heist of a lifetime, robbing me of my very soul. He was proud of that in itself.

      To be sure I would never move on, gloating about his actions throughout our marriage was not enough. He WENT for the kill saying the cruelest and most hateful things imaginable to push me off the cliff.

      Why did I stay? I didn’t see the monster. I had bonded with a sociopath. Peace to you Nikki.

      • You just told my story. Exactly. How can I ever trust again? How do I see the signs of a narc/sociopath? Or… do I now see them in everyone. Only time will tell.

        • The signs were always there Amour. It is about knowing what a healthy loving relationship looks like. It’s looking at how we got there, what we believed, and may have origins in FOO issues.

          I can spot a narc in minutes now.. I trust myself, gut included. I will never merge finances with anyone at this age/stage in my life. I will be vulnerable yet recognize my own needs and make sure they are met. It’s hard to fix a picker however, the strength comes in knowing/setting boundaries and having expectations. Now without a doubt I know I am strong enough to walk away with a simple statement, “This isn’t working for ME.”

          • Applauding you, DoingMe, on your growth and confidence that you now have to walk away with those 5 little words. Love them. And, I think I’m there too.

            And yes, I agree, “it’s about knowing what a healthy loving relationship looks like.”

  • Read this quote yesterday somewhere : Always apologizing; never sorry.

    I think that pretty much sums up alot of these dolts.

    • Yes. I still get “sorry” via text and email. (When he isn’t being verbally abusive, threatening, sad or otherwise manipulative.) I mentally change it to read “fuck you,” because that is what he is really saying based on his actions.

      • Yea Louisvilleflower, I know what you mean. I’m getting those text as well and find them insulting at the lameness. And, the best of all is the occasional “Good Morning.” I mean, WTF?!

  • When my ex admitted to me that he went to Canada over ten and got 100% naked lap dances (plus I’m sure bj’s and sex, because one days years ago I asked him, “If someone offered you sex, would you?” And his EXACT words were, “Hell, yes!!!!” with a big smile on his face when he said it.), he sobbed in a fetal position in bed and said, “I’m so ashamed!” And I felt bad for him, because he was so upset by what he did. And then days later he said, “I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to you.”

    He never did anything to make it up to me. Not one thing. He never cared how any of his actions hurt me deeply. Everything was all about him and his feelings.

    There was never any remorse for anything he did to me. If there was, he would have stopped doing it, but instead took his double life farther under ground.

    One of the lessons I’ve learned through this whole debacle, is walk away from a liar. Walk away from people with squirrely behavior. Walk away when things don’t feel right, even though you are not sure exactly what is wrong. Walk away from people who make you feel confused when you talk with them. Walk away from people who get defensive when you maturely try to talk with them over some of their bad behavior.

    • Mine said after our last blowup
      “If you can’t say you forgive me then I’ll try and do things to make it up to you. If you can forgive me then the past is done and we should just concentrate on the future.” WHAT. THE. FUCK?!
      Mine also used to go to Ca regularly for business…i never knew about the stripclubs there offering sex until i read your posts…he tavelled a lot and when we happened to travel together he would point out places he’s stopped. On a few occasions he’d say “and there’s a stripclub down that road. But i don’t go to sc’s, don’t like em” yeah, right!

      • LOL, Mg–I got the same “we now need to look toward the future instead of the past” as he was trying to convince me to “get over it” 2 months after D-day. What’s funny is I had filed that morning, and that was the letter designed to win me back? They are seriously fucking delusional.

        • Yeah, meanwhile the only thing the future holds is more lying and cheating. But only *they* know that. Chumpetychumps like us believe this, which i think is called future-faking. All is well now, we’re moving forward, etc…meanwhile it’s just us trying to trust and they’re up to dastardly deeds on the down low.

        • What is with the “get over it” statement they always use. That happened in the past get over it. Really my dad died 10 years ago, I need to get over that and forget about it. really?

      • mg, I had no idea about the Canadian clubs were about more than stripping until a chump here on CN who was from Canada who responded to my letter to CL. I totally knew the strippers were naked. When he said “no touching” I believed him. Why would I not? Canadian strip clubs are brothels.

        I live near Canada, but in NY. This is from my friend who lives near me in the states after I asked him about the strips clubs in Canada.

        “There is definitely touching and yes, you can get sex if you want to spend money….either in the club or in massage parlors near by. I’ve been in the back rooms – I honestly have not been to a club up there since before I was married – and I’ve been offered the chance for sex. I never did it. It grosses me out. But, I have buddies who have.”

        • Wow, that’s crazy, thank you! I’m in NY, too, though more to the south end.

          So much for the asshole and his lines of “i just had a beer and walked around”. Walked right into the back room, i bet! He used to say he hates strip clubs because it’s a waste of $$, just staring at tits and ass, getting excited and no release. He’s utilized massage parlors historically, before we met, he said so himself. What a fucking douchebag. If his travelbags could talk!

          • Hello fellow New Yorker. 🙂 I didn’t even know they had massage parlors. As one of my friends kindly said to me, “You are so sweet and naïve.” Something like that. She said it in a very kind way and that’s the way I took it. I’m naïve and too trusting. But not anymore! Anyway, I know I keep repeating about the strippers in my posts. I just keep thinking it’ll help another chump and now I know it has! That makes me feel good. 🙂 Knowledge is power! It’s good to know the truth about the strip clubs in Canada. I bet a lot of women don’t know what they are all about.

            Oh, mg. We are trying to get a meet-up with some NY chumps in our area. Check-out the forum for details.

  • When I asked for the password to my X’s secret accounts, he would just tell them to me. I asked him to write them down, never would do that. I asked him to move out. He refused after giving his word to me and the MC. When I caught him in more lies, he argued about what a lie really was.

    Then he started in on my, telling me multiple times I need to give him 100%, like I had failed, and of course he was setting me up to fail again. All he would have to say next time was “you didn’t give me 100%.” Like the last DDay he said “I told you to be nicer to me.”

    I did get the tears and two years after our divorce and over 5 years after DDay number 3 (that I know of) he still texts me now and then to tell me I need to forgive him, “it’s for you” he writes. No, I am okay and have moved on. He is the one that still has the problem.

    • What’s up with these cheaters with the 100%?! I got that too, but he said to me, “I want to be with someone who trusts me 100%.” He lied to me constantly for 25 years. Saw women behind my back, but still thought he deserved 100% trust! I now know it’s just words he said to me to justify his behavior! He was lying and seeing women behind my back because of my “trust issues.” lol. what a joke!

      • In their delusional minds, they think they are right and entitled. They have no idea of the destruction they cause. I was supposed to trust mine again too, after 20 years of lying and cheating.

        • I’m thankful I’ll never understand their delusional minds. After talking with him — the confusion in my mind!!! My ex never said I should trust him again. He only said he “wanted to be with someone who trusted him 100%” But I couldn’t give him what he wanted, “100% trust”. The only thing I trust is that he sucks.

          • Chumped, mine came at me with the 100% smokescreen multiple times. Last was over a year ago when for the zillionth time our situation broke up (caused by his prolonged obsession with someone he only met once but stalked through social media). After his silent treatment of a weeks time, he wanted to start up again and i literally begged him to just leave me alone, please, I’m dieing here from pain. He said nope, we’re now both all in! He’s on board 110%. Guess how long that lasted…as soon as i was broken down, que messages behind my back to object of affection, plus others, plus continued porn obsession, straight to the point of hooking up with his ex.
            Guess he’s just not good at calculating percentages…

  • Sorry not sorry. None of them are sorry just sorry excuses for human beings. Effin pods.

  • A cheat will always be a cheat . And that’s the hardest statement to swallow, for any cheat . Mine lost her shit every time, I reminded her to the fact. In the end I didn’t have to, bye bye cheater. Meh

  • I liked this post when I first read it. But this one isn’t applicable to me.

    My wife didn’t apologize for cheating until 6 months into divorce, which I initiated. And even that “apology” was for the “way she treated me,” not for specifically fucking another man and lying about it repeatedly…and (of course) she blamed all her shitty behavior on some yoga “awakening.”

    So, I’m still waiting on that apology…and by “waiting,” I mean it’s something I see happening someday, in the far off future, around the same time a woman walks on Neptune.

      • OMG! I got that too, in fact the MC told my X to tell me that idiotic response whenever I complained about his lying and cheating. Like it was supposed to make me feel better, but not put blame on him. UGH!

        • I got the “sorry you have been hurt” comment too. He was never sorry about cheating. He wanted to “stay friends” so he could tell people he’s a great guy and his wife doesn’t blame him for the marriage ending. Well, we aren’t friends and in the first year of separation, I told everyone that he was a serial cheater. I am amazed at how these cheaters are all so similar. I am glad he didn’t try to get back with me, but also was hurt that 33 years of marriage meant nothing. Now truly don’t care. But I cared deeply for a long time

          • My ex said ‘I’m sorry’ (during a hoovering attempt, of course). I asked what for? His answer;
            ‘I’m sorry things didn’t work out between us.’

            Once I started really listening to him, things became so much clearer.

      • Let me finish her apology to you: ” …..because I DON’T!!!” Nothing like a good, old NON apology to twist the knife in your back.

        Glad she’S no longer your partner and you are on your way to a much much happier life.

    • The yoga awakening BS remains one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard in my life. On the plus side, my ex is enough of a skeptic that he probably thinks she’s a wing nut for saying that, too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to say something and laugh out loud at him about that.

      • I had a yoga awakening. Oddly, it didn’t turn me into a sociopathic asshole. Hm. 😉

      • It’s even more ridiculous because it appears she kept on “awakening” right through our divorce and your marriage.

        That must be a very strong, focused “awakening”…given it requires banging one specific person who was someone else’s fiancé–>husband.

        Uh oh…I think I feel an “awakening” coming in right now…for lunch of a leftover meatball sandwich. The desire is overpowering! I’m helpless!

    • I never got an apology either. Never in 15 years of marriage did he ever apologize for anything. He’s a Narc. They don’t apologize. I was a cape wearing chump who apologized for everything my fault or not. The first year out he left me flowers and a card in my car on our anniversary telling me that our wedding day was the happiest day of his life. But no apology. The card and the flowers went right to the trash. Six years later the divorce is finally finished. I’m no longer the apologetic chump and I am very close to meh.

  • The “sorry’s” I got were still placing the blame on me. I’m sorry I didn’t realize women your age went through physical changes, I should have been patient. I wasn’t going through anything. I’m sorry I didn’t realize sooner you had stopped loving me causing me to cheat, I should have been patient with you. I didn’t stop loving him till Dday. A lot of BS along those lines.

    • Yep. Adding the word “sorry” doesn’t make it an apology.

      ‘OK, Cheater, I’m sorry you have to deal with the consequences of your shitty actions. Enjoy that “apology”, Son’.


    • Women our age go through changes. Men your bloody age go through changes too. Do they actually think they still look like they did when they were 25? Take off the beer goggles and take a looong hard look in the mirror, and see if you can still find your dick under your big belly, mate. Takes more bending over than they can manage at that stage. Only a young whore on her knees could still find it.

  • “When you get waterworks from a cheater, it’s usually because you busted them and they fear exposure. The tears are for themselves. They are tears of fear and manipulation, because shit, they need a backup plan.”

    This sums it up perfectly. My wife isn’t sorry for the affair, for me, for our kids, for destroying our family, or for making a mockery of our marriage in front of our friends and families. No, because for a long time, she was planning on divorcing me and running off with her AP. We were all just viewed as acceptable collateral damage to her.

    No, she’s sorry she got caught. She’s sorry her AP won’t leave his wife for her (turns out he didn’t care for her as much as she thought he did – surprise). She’s sorry the safety net (me) is leaving. And she’s sorry that I now know that she was lying to me on a near daily basis for several years (at some level, I think she still cares about what I think of her).

    I know this because there’s never been any sign of empathy or remorse, which should never be confused with regret. And again, I don’t think she regrets the A, so much as she regrets that I found out. That’s the only thing she’s sorry for.

    • Exactly how i feel blindside, asswipe not sorry for destruction sorry he got caught. I escaped his life, he didnt. Fucker.

        • Yes, we escaped, they didn’t.

          And what exactly lies ahead for a person who abandons a loving spouse and family? These aren’t confused individuals. Every action is deliberate. They want to extract sympathy from us by way of USING all those qualities we possessed.

    • Filed today. Btw, my Mistake emailed AP apologizing to HER because I’d advised him (or to use his words, “accused” him) that he’d destroyed not one but two families. Apologized to HER.

      Meanwhile all I can think is, how did I not clearly state the “plural” you – as in, you, Fuckwit, and Whorseface. Both of you.

      • Congrats on filing!
        You are a step closer to being free of that douchebag!

        • Thanks! I’m filled with dread anyways…we continue to live under same roof (he’s just not decent enough to move out and filing I’m sure won’t change that) but when he sees that I’ve listed our home as marital but the apartment building (that he bought in 1999 and has always prioritized over me and his marriage) as Separate/Wife, he is going to FLIP. I’m not scared he’ll be violent (he’s passive-manipulative, not violent in a physical sense) – but I’m fearful all the same. He will be outraged, maybe demand explanations, become uncooperative when we hopefully go to settle….list goes on as I try to prepare myself for his reaction which I can almost understand. That building is his baby and he put a lot of sweat equity into it. It rents four units and provides a nice little extra for us. Or him (since I think he’s been hiding some of the deposits…making it harder to track. He’s got to have been paying for Schmoopie SOMEHOW, no??! Although when pressed to acknowledge, I’ve gotten an irritable “Not that much!” And of course, cash basis only so no paper trail. And when I did pull emails showing hotel and airline stuff, he claimed she “paid him back”. I can’t think he really believes I’m buying his bullshit – and I guess I’m only now realizing thanks in large part to CL and CN (you guys are absolutely inspiring and amazing, and great sources of comfort and sanity check points), that he – and the rest of this sick club of assholes – they just don’t give a damn. At any rate, Mistake spends LOTS of time (all summer in fact – though he denies) at the building doing repairs etc (or boning Whorseface while my 11 year old daughter and I were told he was at the building – or playing on his Old Man Baseball team (but could never be bothered to teach our kid how to ride a fucking bicycle – a standard dad-kid rite of passage)…and if I can be permitted here to timeline us back 6 years to Florida where I met him at our workplace and we subsequently married 2 years later after living together for as long and co-owning a home – yeah, I don’t recall the building needing repairs EVERY weekend back then…); well, we fell on hard times, both lost jobs, I got pregnant (we were trying, so this was good news), building kept us afloat so it was a lifeline – but before our daughter was born we were to write up our Wills. Turns out he did his, never once consulting me – and left me COMPLETELY out! His mom, sisters, cousins – even friend….all in there. Me? Not in there. I was devastated. Oh, he “fixed” it and changed it though we never officially filed our Wills and oh yeah he didn’t know I’d be hurt and didn’t mean to hurt and bla bla bla words bla bla words bla….(this, after he refused to tell anyone including and most importantly his FAMILY, that we’d even gotten married! Yeah. He kept THAT a secret for about 10 months. I was 6 months preform by the time he told his mother…finally…42 fucking year old, never-been-married-man-baby); at any rate after hard times with job loss and a surgery here and there, things were getting tough. He told me he was trying to find work in Florida but turns out he’d gone behind my back and interviewed for a job in St. Louis ( his home town and place where his family and extendeds live. I have no connection to Missouri and in fact, disliked the little he’d ever bothered to show me on the 2 occasions in 10 years that he ever bothered himself to ask me to join him on one of his every 2-3 month visits back to the Mother Ship (and building). So St. Louis was OFF THE TABLE – yet the lying fucker landed a job here, no doubt part of the strategy – so up here we moved. But prior to and as a contingency point for my agreeing to move here, I said I wanted my name put on that building. I wanted to be co-owner on the deed. Long story a bit shorter, it took my nagging for nearly 10 more months POST move here, for him to fulfill his promise to put my name on that building. But, he’s a cheap mother fucker and didn’t want to go through the hassle and expense of re-doing all the paperwork, so we paid $75 and he Quitclaimed it to me. Which makes ME the owner of that building NOW (well, since 2012). And that’s EXACTLY how I have it listed. Which will flip him OUT.

          And admittedly, I’m scared. He is a mean stonewaller by nature but I’m sure he’ll go ballistic on this. He’d already said that if we end up divorcing, we should “do it ourselves, no attorneys…

          But, I have an attorney (unbeknownst to him) and that fucking building is rolling up under MY non-marital. I don’t know if it will hold up – but I’m hoping st least from a negotiating stand point, maybe I’ll have an advantage here. I could use the fucking break. He will have his kick ass stable and decent salaried job all with paid vacation and health – and new life with Whorseface – I get….anxiety over financial situation, loss of health coverage (I work a non profit job with no medical), and losing my kid 50% of the time or thereabouts. Plus I look like crap and will be 54 in March thus already “invisible” to men NOT that I’m even interested in that right now….just thinking ahead….to the unfair dichotomy that rewards him and punishes me.

          It better get better. I better get better.

          Thanks for indulging my compulsive need to vent, rant and repeat.

          Much love.

          • JadedMuse–the story of his behavior in your marriage is 50 shades of fucked-up. I’m glad you’re exiting, but be careful.

      • JM

        Hooray for you! Now that you have filed keep the contact through your lawyer. Do not correspond with either of them. The OW in his case harassed me for over a year.

        They love triangulation to make you look crazy. They called the police on me many times with false accusations. It came to an end even she ran me off the road and I filed a police report.

        There are others here who have been falsely accused. Let the consequences be in getting a settlement in your favor. You rock!

  • “I’m sorry you feel you wasted 20 years of your life. I’m sorry you got upset.” The only apology I ever heard from x. Douchebag only admitted to the infidelity when I offered to email him the divorce papers at [email protected] , his Ashley Madison contact email. Everything he was sorry about was as CL put it…not sorry for what cheater did only sorry the chump over reacted. These self absorbed idiots actually want people to pity them for having to go outside the marriage to get their needs met; authentic empathetic human beings end the “bad” marriage first. They don’t keep leeching from the “bad” but still faithful, income earning, facade bolstering spouse for literally decades.
    I let my children know about the crap he pulled because stopping the abuse means you have to expose it. How better to show my children that this behaviour is not acceptable than to actually let it see the light of day. The moment x knew that everybody knew about his secret AFF, AM, gambling and porn accounts he stopped the “we drifted apart drivel” and ceased any attempt to blame me for our marriage breaking up.

    • ” These self absorbed idiots actually want people to pity them for having to go outside the marriage to get their needs met;..”

      Very insightful, WJAC.

    • You are lucky in that.
      Usually they go to “she’s saying that because she’s vindictive and bitter….none of its true.”
      Truth being just the crazy ranting of a bitter ex is their go to excuse to save their image.

    • and please tell me that the “atlantlic” is a typo in his AM email, or I may die laughing that a cheater put “lic” in their profile.

  • I got “I’m sorry but I don’t know how to stop.” And, “I’m sorry for doing this to you,” right before going away for the weekend with the OM directly from counseling. She totally went right back to doing what she was “sorry” for. I also got, “do people who kill themselves go to hell?” At which point I should have called the cops on her. She would have gotten the help she needed or never pull that shit again.

    I use to think she was ignoring her conscience as she felt awful but went on with it anyway. Now I know she didn’t have a conscience, which in a way is better than the former.

    • It is better for you as well. Once we accept that this is really who they are and not just some mistakes they are making, we can finally break free.

  • One mistake I made when Biohazard apologized was telling him what I expected him to do to make things better. I should have ASKED him what he was going to do. I think it would have shown just how sorry he wasn’t. Regardless, he didn’t do any of the things he promised in any kind of sincere manner. He just made enough of a show to claim that he did.

    • hee hee Biohazard gave me a smile this morning! Good term, thanks. I feel the same way as you Quicksilver: “just enough of a show”.

    • Quicksilver, after DDay #1, that’s what I did too, and that’s what he did.

      But after DDay #2 and my kicking him out, when he asked to ‘talk about what would have to happen for us to get back together? I said ‘I don’t think you’d do what it would take for us to get back together’. Figured he might say ‘I’ll do ANYTHING!’ and I could then ASK what he would do.

      But no, his response was ‘you think this is all my fault!!’. Uh, yeah, actually, it is …. (Didn’t say that, though, despite being in a public place. He’s a scary guy.)

  • The part about judging the cheaters by their actions is great advice though, watch what they do not what they say.

    At a recent meeting with my Lawyer he read out a from YoYo Knickers, where she said she will not be paying any court fees or mediation due to her financial situation.

    She is currently on a beach near somewhere near the equator!

    • Mickey – love that “YoYo Knickers” – as in “up and down like a bride’s nightie”! Gave me a good laugh. Thanks.

    • Are you able to move forward with hearings? No show goes into default. Just a suggestion.

  • These cheaters are all the same , they have no soul, they never stop fucking shit up , and blaming other people for their actions. Mine still try’s to lay blame on me , I’m like sorry , I gave you the best years of my life and 3 wonderful kids , I would have flown to mars and back for you , and how did you thank me, by running of with the butcher. Well you can have that, you can fucking live with that shit now. You made your bed , so lay down , good night . Happy Australia Day 🙂

  • I think there are two other reasons we Chumps want to reconcile and until we let go it’s harder to reach Meh. We want our Cheater to come back and confirm their love for us. Because we loved our Cheater with all of our heart. We want to think this was just a horrible mistake. We can’t deal that we wasted all of our love on someone so heinous. I know I wanted him back so badly because I couldn’t mentally process how the person I loved and whom always declared his love for me and continued to professed his love during his affairs could throw me away in such a cruel way. It’s so heartbreaking to realize the depths of our Chump love was not reciprocal.

    The other reason we try to reconcile is that betrayal is so physically and mentally painful. It is the hardest thing I’ve had to endure and 7 months post D-day it still hurts every day. So reconciliation is an attempt to put a band aid on a gushing wound. And the process to leave the Cheater sucks too, there is no comfort or relief in it so we fall back to hoping we can reconcile and stop all the pain. Leaving a Cheater is like chemo, it’s horrid, it’s unjust, it tries to break you but you have no choice, you have to do it if you want a chance to live a healthy life one day.

    I think we Chumps need a sponsor like AA to talk us out of reconciling and going back to the abuse. So if your thinking of it, please don’t. Get yourself a chip or marker to at each milestone, 1 week NC, 1 month Clean of the Cheater, etc. Remind yourself how far you’ve gotten. Keep on the right path no matter how hard it is.

    • ChumptoChamp
      This is all so true.

      Also I think about how I would feel in his position. Ok, forget the part where none of us would have lied like this in the first place – I think about if I had done such a thing how would I be acting and behaving? For one thing the shame would be unbearable. I would want to hide away and not look anyone in the eye. I would not be able to face the person I had done this too I would just run away to be honest. With my kids I would be so ashamed. I would not know how to make it up to them. I probably would leave and get therapy for myself not to go back because how could you ever look someone in the eye again who you have watched implode because of what you chose to do? I feel like I would just give up on life.
      The fact that he feels nothing even close to this makes me realise that not only is his ability to cheat and lie impossible to fathom, so is how he manages to function, be cheerful and act like nothing has happened now.
      We truly are differently wired.
      I also wonder if there is some difference between those who ghost – is this shame on some level? and those who stay and just continue to lie to our faces – no shame whatsoever?
      I wonder if mine just has no ability to feel shame at all but really who cares. Damage done.
      I will never understand this.

      • My STBX husband’s constant smile drives me insane. Like you said Capricorn, I could never look a person in the eye after doing something like this, much less ask to still be friends or sleep through the night or describe myself as a ‘good person.’

        My therapist told me what my STBX felt was real for him and he probably still loves me like he claims, it’s just his love is a puddle. He can hop from puddle to puddle and it’s all real in the puddle. Our kind of Chump, or normal healthy, love is an ocean. That idea does help me cope, some days 😉

        • I love the puddle vs ocean thing. I maybe need to google “smaller than a puddle” for mine.

      • Yes, Capricorn! I could logically and emotionally get in Cheater X’s shoes and feel what it would feel like to have made such horrendous mistakes, to have become a total liar and neglected my family for years. I could imagine the shame and remorse and the depression that would come from that – the fatigue that would descend and make it so hard to function and make amends. And those thoughts are what kept me in wreconciliation for 2 years. Those thoughts I had regarding his feelings were so far out of line with reality. He experienced none of the thoughts and feelings that a normal functioning human would feel. He felt sorry for himself and he just wanted to turn the page and get back to enjoying life! He is an absolute shell of a human. It took a while for me to understand and accept the reality of him and my life, but once the acceptance came – wow. Peace. And being 3 years out from Dday now, I am reaping the rewards of my hard won insights. I judge people on ACTIONS not words. I have firmer boundaries (Yesterday I calmly fired someone whose actions did not match their words). I am becoming more Meh-like and mighty by the day.

        • “I could imagine the shame and remorse and the depression that would come from that – the fatigue that would descend and make it so hard to function and make amends.”
          Exactly Kathleen, it’s all in OUR heads…

          • I am/was totally the same way Kathleen. I still cannot comprehend that these cheaters do not have the ability to feel empathy, shame or remorse. They are just a ‘shell’

      • “Ghosting” might be just a narcissist’s “discard” by another name. True remorse means making amends. Even if cheaters are terrible ashamed, it’s a selfish act to just walk away from both the bad action and the family responsibilities and leave the people they hurt to put the pieces back alone or pick up their 1/2 of the work too and carry on.

        • Loved
          I know you are right. I just wondered if they felt a speck of shame and even if they did they certainly do not feel remorse nor will they make amends. Because again it’s a character thing. If you do feel shame as a normal person then you act to redress the act that caused you the same. These fuckwits never do.
          I was just wondering if some felt anything at all that was vaguely human but did not mean to imply that they would do anything normal with it.

          • If they feel ashamed they are angry at you for making them ashamed. And the shame is transient.

            • I wish I could ghost my STBX! Wouldn’t that be heaven?!

              I think they ghost us when they think we could shatter their shiney facade and ruin their latest con with reality

      • Sometimes Cap, I wonder if once someone had done something so terrible, they have crossed a boundary and they are changed. They become more and more capable of terrible behaviour, the normal inhibitions have been breached and it’s a downward spiral towards more and more degenerate behaviour and it becomes easier and easier, they no longer can feel shame.
        Like I have heard it happens with war time atrocities. If you cross that boundary, and you also become surrounded by others who have crossed it, you become capable of anything. If what if a chump did cross that boundary too. Would we change and become like them? Like being bitten by a zombie, you become a zombie too.
        The traitor said proudly in MC that he had crossed the Rubicon and there was no going back. Cold as ice.

        • Kiwi
          That’s just awful. To not just realise what you have done but to be proud of it too. Ewww.
          I do wonder the same about when they cross that boundary. I think once mine had his first taste of the first affair he just got better and better at it and there was a speeding up of the whole process. And he became better at choosing too. First two he didn’t much like after a while (too needy) he said (wtf) but with third he hit the jackpot as he really enjoyed her in that he felt she was his social equal. It would have run and run (he liked to have them all a bit on the go as he moved between countries) if I had not found out and cut it short. If he ever did feel shame it must have been no match for his ‘wants’.

          • Cap, I also think they populate their world with yes men and women. Then they edit the truth, their version of truth which their entourage takes as gospel and thus cheers cheater and schmoopie on to deeper depths of cruelty, entitlement and degradation. Using cheater ex as an example, I’m pretty sure they all live in their own little world which bears only a passing resemblance to reality. They wind up totally believing their own bullshit.

            Cheater ex’s bullshit meant that he never believed he should apologize for anything he did. He was just that entitled. As his narrative got more and more out there, he began to believe all the lies he spun, especially about me. Let me tell you, he told some whoppers. In his mind he had me painted as human garbage, and as far as he was concerned I was so far down the scale that I should be grateful for anything he decided to dish out. Sadly, lots of people believed him, and shunned me. For the longest time, I had no idea why. After he stood revealed as the evilness that he was, suddenly these people came out of the woodwork. Ahh, nope! Not interested, move along now! I’ve got your number! I was much more polite back then. Today I would have just told them to fuck off.

            Make no mistake about it, with these cheater creeps, the only thing that matters to them, is them, period. Everything else is just a nuisance, sort of like dog poo one has to scrape off their shoe.

            The cheater can be so convincing because they have bought their own lies, hook, line and sinker. In their decayed little minds, WE are the ones causing problems because we threaten THEIR twisted and sick version of reality. No wonder we wind up questioning our own reality! No wonder WE are painted as the crazy one!

            How do we recover from this? ………..Run like our hair is on fire!

        • Kiwi mine told me hours after I found out that he ‘made out’ with a co-worker on a business trip that he didn’t know if he could ‘keep the genie in the bottle.’ I was floored. He was SO proud of himself. He wanted me to beg for him to pick me, which I sadly did for awhile.
          I have moments where I want to think they are the victim of circumstance, the slippery slope etc., but they have a choice, to hurt or protect the person they claim to love and/or be married to, and they choose over and over again to hurt. It’s such crazy anti-social, destructive behavior but they know what they are doing is wrong otherwise they wouldn’t hid it. They know exactly what they are doing and they don’t care who they hurt, they hurt even their own children. They are subhuman.

  • “He wasn’t sorry. He was afraid.” Great insight above
    I repeatedly let my husband reel me back in with his words — e.g. – sorry. I want us to be together. I know this is a mistake blah blah blah
    All the while he was seeing AP – “to see where relationship went”
    His apologies just gave him time to settle into his new life and WEAN HIMSELF FROM ME after 30 years of marriage
    It hurt me more to give him that time – you can’t “nice them back”
    Go NC immediately to protect yourself!!

    • If cheaters want to “see where another relationship is going…” let them. File for divorce! Take your share of the assets. Require child support. Levy consequences. Then they can “see where things go.”

  • I got from serial cheater, ‘I’m NOT sorry.’ CL often mentions post-nups. Ironically, during weeckonciliation, after telling me that his (latest AP) gave him sex several times per week and never complained about his extremely loud snoring, he threw his ring down and threw at me and a draft of a post-nup stating that I would forfeit the right to contest the division of our assets (most would go to him) if I filed for divorce. Narcissistic monster.

    • RockStar – I didn’t get any remorse either but:

      “If you are gonna stay (12 months on, I’m still paying all the mortgage and outgoings) THINGS have gotta change – I’m Lusty McSparcles and I’m ENTITLED to do what I want”

      I resigned from that job – now just working out how to get my name off the bloody mortgage!

  • After finding my husband continued an affair for 2 years and 4 d-days. I finally left .
    The apologies I got included:
    “I can’t believe what I have to my life”
    ” I have destroyed my life”
    My favorite!!
    “How did I get to a point in my life that could put you in a situation that you felt required to move
    out, hire an attorney and and file for divorce from me.”
    My response:
    “I will make this easy for you. You got here because you couldn’t stay away from your girlfriend”

    • I have destroyed MY life.
      How did I get to the point…that you felt required….to file for divorce from ME.

      I. I. I.
      Me. Me. Me.
      Case closed.

      • LAJ–I’m smiling that it took the language expert among us to pick out the “I”s (or should that be the “Is” or “I-s”?) in that sentence.

      • On Dday I got the: “I am sorry that I’m going to lose you (me and our daughter).” from covert narc x. I,I,I…Why couldn’t I see it back than. Now after more than 3years, it is all crystal clear and meh.

        • Thats what my sorry ass Ex did – Me Me Me…it was all about him and his feelings and his pain and guild and hurt and loss….not realizing it was all done by HIS choice. Even when he begged for forgiveness and I gave it another try – more lies and going on Tinder and still lying. All because he said he was lonely because I left him. UGH the asshole, just getting angry as I write more.

  • I always said, “Listen, but watch where his feet take him.” And it was always back to the other woman! I suffered through several wreckonciliations (jokes) and the longest he lasted was 9 days, but she was still in his phone, on his Skype account and several of his e-mail accounts including his work e-mail. He did fire and re-hire his lawyer until she got sick of him and refused to take him as a client. Be aware that these cheaters always need a “back-up plan” and unfortunately we are #1 in their Rolodex. Yes, he will return even after the divorce (mine did and still does). They spew the same drivel and “act” soooo sad! They know us too well, but don’t fall for it! It means nothing more than it did when they promised it to you a million times before. Mine was looking for a nurse and a purse. His crappy OW kicked him to the curb when she realized he had pancreatic cancer and no money. He was unable to work and was not the super stud lover anymore. I had every dime old boy made, all the IRA’s, investments, house, cars and his life insurance policies. I even had his Will. His OW was trying to get him to change his beneficiary on what little he did have and he refused. Yep, you guessed it, I was the benefiary on those documents! Pissed her off to no end! Love affair fantasy OVER! He thought he would talk his way back into my life. He didn’t want me, he wanted his assets and a soft place to land! Sorry, no way MF! (Not sorry) you did this to yourself! Not my problem anymore! I know it probably sounds cold, but I was put through the wringer and I got no help or sympathy from him! I got lung cancer and I got crickets from Asshole and OW! Now the kicker, OW is trying to sue him for all the money she put out on every little thing during thier affair! Good luck with that! Anyways, if they come around AGAIN just close the door in their face or don’t answer the phone!

    • I personally don’t think you sound bitter or cold at all. Adults must accept the consequences of their actions. I tremble and shake when I think about my X sleeping in his car as the weather drops into the 20s. Yes, he deserves it, but I worry and I would rather be homeless sleeping in the car with him (assuming he was faithful) then enjoying my warmth and comfort without him.

      I think about him all of the time. I wonder if he’s eating properly or taking care of himself. I’m obviously still a bit sick in the head.

      • ChumpedForever – Initially I felt the same about my ex – he is just about to loose the house – But the hate and lies directed at me or about me over the last 12 months put paid to that.

        He’s choosing to keep his stupid classic sports car (thinks it’s a sure fire babe magnet) – can’t wait until he’s sleeping in it during the winter.

  • My STBX did do a lot of changing after Dday#1. About 80% of his actions were remorseful for close to a year and a half. It was those slip ups that always kept me feeling a little uneasy. After Dday#2 when he knew I was done and his chances of gaslighting me were over, how he really felt came out. A ton of half truths and outright lies about what happened with OW#1, most of the remorse had been fake, and his contempt for the boundaries I had set was intense.

    Anytime he says anything at this point I remind myself that those are just words which he uses to manipulate people. Only his actions tell the real story. The hard part is that the majority of people still believe his words and view me as being a bitch for not staying friendly for the sake of the kids. Even though I am stronger and not as vulnerable to his blameshifting and gaslighting, it still gets under my skin for 8-24 hours before I get clear again. Chumpy me does not want to be the bad person or do anything to hurt the kids. He knows this and constantly tries to use it against me. No contact (except for making arrangements to see kids) is the only way to survive and heal.

    • GetMe Free – this is spot on for me. My X put on his remorse mask and gave it all he had (because of money, lifestyle, image – not love for me). One time during a heartfelt talk I happened glance up in the mirror and see him roll his eyes behind my back. It was like a cold finger down my spine. Pure evil.
      That was the beginning of me waking up to who he really was.

      • KathleenK – that would be a red flag that is hard to miss. If you are like me though, it would take several more of those before it starts to sink in. I think that is one of the hardest parts of all this…having to accept that this person you loved and shared your life with is NOT a good person at the core.

  • As a footnote, my lung cancer was NOT smoking related. It was stress related! I was a very healthy woman until his affair. I had a number of other health issues crop up during the three years I spent wasted on trying to save my marriage. Stress will and can kill you! And I am in envy of anyone who finds out about the affair and just ends contact with the cheater immediately! You saved yourself untold heartache and saved your health. I sure wish I had!!! Look at it as Stess Relief!

    • Roberta–your story is so heartbreaking and undeserved. It’s bad enough to have health problems temporarily from living with a cheater, but to develop serious health problems is a cruel twist of the knife. May your X rot in hell.

    • So true about the stress related illness. We had neighbors, the husband was an extreme narcissist, a real jerk, but his wife went along with his vindictiveness and thought he hung the moon. At least that is the front she put on, but she would always back him up or even join in when he decided to target someone. She went through a bout of breast cancer and survived. You would have thought she would assess her life and not go along with her husband’s abuse of others. Well the cancer came back, gangbusters, and she died about a year or so ago. The husband, about a week after she passed was tooling around in a new sports car and new clothes for a new image I guess. Wasn’t exactly the grieving hubby.

    • Totally believe in stress related cancers and other serious illnesses. As I believe people do die of a broken heart. And it’s not depression. Big hugs Roberta, hope you keep getting better.

      • I’m sorry that stress can absolutely cause cancer. My cheating X got prostate cancer the day the divorce was final and had the whole shebang removed. Geez. I have total belief that all that double life and stress caused his cancer. I was really worried mine would show it’s ugly head again. #1 on a Chumps list should be to – REDUCE STRESS as much as possible. And, I’m not sure it’s possible.
        Meanwhile, I’m cancer-free 8 yrs.
        So, the divorce did him in, but not me – so to speak.

  • I got the tears and “I am sorry I never meant to hurt you. I promised your father on our wedding day that I would never hurt you.” My response was “If my father was alive he would punch you in the nose”.

    It got to a point where I became immune to the word ‘sorry’. I still am. I have explained to my sons that if they are truly sorry about something they have done, I want to hear “I apologize for….”.

    I think my parting words to my ex were “I will make you sorry you were ever born if you hurt either one of my sons again.”.

    • I agree. “Sorry” better be accompanied by actions that show remorse and change that is consistent–and sustained over time. That’s why I argue that most chumps are better off separating right away. See how hard cheapterpants works to save the marriage while he or she is living in a studio apartment and seeing the kids twice a week. See how he or she takes to child support. To communicating with respect. It won’t take long to figure out if you’ve got Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse.

    • lldodd60

      I really like that “I apologise for….” rather than sorry. That is a great idea !

  • I actually got a fairly decent “I’m sorry” letter from cheater after I kicked him out where he accepted the blame for everything – cheating, treating me poorly in our marriage, and him not communicating well during our marriage. But it turned out to be just words because his actions certainly didn’t back up what he wrote. I think the letter was his attempt to get me to take him back and let him off the hook. When that didn’t work, he blamed me for everything. One of the turning points for me was when he said in exasperated voice “I just want to come home and for all of this to go away.” My response was “well, that’s not going to happen.”

    In the end, the one thing I think he was truly sorry about was that he got caught.

    • When they say Actions speak louder than words – this is exactly what they meant

  • I didn’t even get tears. I got one sorry to my face which is more an act of embarrassment than remorse. Lots of text messages telling me that he’s sorry. But now it’s just the defensive “I said I was sorry!!!!” Gawwwwwd! Fuck me for not sweeping it under the rug with haste, I guess.
    I also get the “I’m just a piece of shit” or “I’m a bad person” when I bring up yet another supremely shitty thing he’s done. While yes, he is those things, he’s literally uses that as an excuse for his actions. As in: “yeah I left you when you were pregnant to take care of our toddler so I can have a fuck buddy but I’m a piece of shit, so….” Or when confronted about a fuck-cation planned for him and his shmoopie- “yeah? I’m a bad person. What of it?”.
    It’s pretty gross.

    • I got a sad face and “I guess my word is mud, here” when he tried to talk me into employing him and paying him under the table after he moved out. This is a farm, where there’s mud, there’s money and success, so no, mate your word is not mud. Don’t insult mud.

  • CL wrote about the power of laughter. Of taking power back. I hope this does not trigger anyone. It is meant to make you laugh. To point out the absurdity of people’s choice to leave good people and leave us in despair.
    It helps to see such smart, savvy wits like Fey and Poehler “getting it.” I think.

    Watch this, I hope it makes you laugh like it did me. I don’t know how to embed. (Or choose mates).

  • The explosion of tears, snot, and faux remorse worked for many years. Until the last time when I noticed that he never looked me in the eye while he was doing it. It required all of his concentration to put forward this great show … one look directly in my eyes and it would have all been clear. But I was usually crying too and so full of hurt and pain I couldn’t observe the obvious. The last time he tried it, I was already completely done. So I was able to coolly observe him and it was downright scary to watch. Pathology on full display. And when it didn’t have the usual effect? The look he did give me at that moment was almost murderous. He is a moron and a coward, yet I actually feared him at that moment.

    Outsiders think he looks genuinely remorseful. He left quickly when directed to do so. He signed a settlement that was most decidedly not in his favor without a peep of objection nor a lawyer. He meets his visitation requirements assiduously (but absolutely nothing more. Four days a month visitation but not a single call or email to child the remaining 26 days. Not one peep.) It is all image management. He is not sorry in the least. I had the joy of reading his emails before, during, and after he moved out. He and his boyfriend were euphoric at the change. Ex was too cowardly to leave on his own, but he was and is not remorseful. He is grateful. He’s also a complete asshole.

    • So sorry Dixie. Just as there is a spectrum of cheaters there’s a spectrum of AP’S.

      Erasing a life. Making children an afterthought. These are the ways of the disordered.

    • Dixie, my heart aches for your son. We can kind of take what they dish out to us, but the pain they inflict on our kids is the hardest.

  • I love how they think saying I’m sorry immediately fixes things. Like a two year old. On Dday I got the sorry, no tears but a very sad face. I went to my sons to see the proof. When I got home he was sound asleep. I woke him up and told him we needed to talk. His reply “about what?” Seriously??? For starters how about the text messages expressing your love for our best friends wife? Or the fact that it wasn’t a couple of times but 5+ years? He honestly thought his sorry made it all ok and we would go on never to discuss it again. Then his rage set in and the rest is history. I will NEVER forget him sleeping peacefully after tearing my world apart.

  • I never even got proper water works. Vague apology in MC about destroying my faith in humanity, although he still claimed that I agreed to the menage a trois. Always with the big words, not about fucking hurting me, betraying me, lying to his life partner. Fuck humanity! No dinner and flowers, and he pointed that out in MC too. A few crocodile tears while he watched me sob (one or two functioning mirror neurons in there…). He pretended everything was back to normal while I went on medication for my PMS because all of this was my fault for being difficult and irritable…Talk about a chump clutching at straws! 2 months into the pick me dance with minimal apology he refused to have sex with me and that was it. Discard. His justification for demanding a menage a trois was that I was asexual, he wasn’t getting enough, sexual mismatch. But now he wouldn’t touch me. More months of MC, wouldn’t stop talking to whore, pretended he wasn’t going to her house anymore when dropping their kid off, rang whore every day from our house to talk about her grandmother and his son. And rang her in secret within minutes of me stepping out to go to work or to drive 160 to pick up their son, to pick up his other sons, any opportunity.
    Still I spackled and served dinners, did laundry, begged for firewood. All based on what no one in their right mind would consider an apology. SMH at myself.
    NZ Chump Champion I was…

    • I have really grown to hate your X, kiwichump. Oh please please post when the Karma bus hits him..

      • I know! Me too! I feel bad and awful and terrible for myself but my story is nothing compared to so many other’s. There are some exes I HATE so much just from the posts! I wish I could get a bus with karma painted on the side and run these assholes over for all the chumps of the world!

          • There’s a collection of cheaters here much worse than the traitor, who at least is not physically violent to people or a criminal…He’s still the worst I have met (so I should count myself lucky…).
            The karma bus is taking it slow. But I made him take my car when he left, he had been using it as his whore visiting wagon so I didn’t want it anyway. Car always ran perfectly until he took it over. Breaks down about once a month now, has cost him heaps of money. I think it may be a case of subtle karma. Makes me smile. I always tell him sweetly “I don’t understand, it was always 100% reliable when I drove it”.
            Not quite the head on a spike, red hot poker up his arse I wish for, but it’s a start.
            Also, my little spies at the DHB tell me the whore is cheating on him (again). :))
            Not going to tell him, may his dick fall off from dick rot. Hope he is cheating on her too. She’s really worried, I can tell cos she made him shave his beard. I bet he doesn’t realise she did it because it makes him look fatter. She’s fattening him so well, he’s put on 25kgs since he left. She did that before. I know it’s to make him less attractive to other women because he’s a cheater and she knows it. Sweet dreams, bitch.

      • KathleenK
        I’m with you there.
        Farms have slurry pits don’t they? That would for sure be a match made in heaven.
        Shit in shit.

  • I never received an apology. I think i saw fake tears( took me some time to realize that he was squinting his eyes but they were dry) as he was saying he was so sad because his brother had died months earlier and what he had done to me. This was on the same day Camel Boy abandoned the kids and me 4 hours from home at a condo with nothing. We didn’t know if he was coming back. My stupid ass comforted him. He is a master manipulating crock of shit. Over 33 years, I never saw him cry and after his rages, for some creepy reason, he wanted to hug me, turn around, and leave as if nothing ever was said. Cluster B.

    • Traitor always wanted to hug me after a rage. I always shrank away from that. How can you want to hug someone who’s just blown up at you and scared you?

  • And what should those of us who aren’t married do, besides watch their actions? Please don’t say you’re screwed!

  • There will never be true remorse or accountability on their part. What I am sure of is his actions and knowing what HE feels sorrow for 2.5 years out.

    Sorry he has no pension or retirement at age 60.
    Sorry his children can no longer promote his good guy image.
    Sorry he has to climb two flights of stairs with groceries and laundry.
    Sorry he bedded a drug addicted borderline who rages each time he goes to the gym, goes to work, or gets stuck in traffic.
    He’s sorry he has to pay thousands of dollars in taxes every year.
    Sorry there is no way to finance a home as she makes very little and he’s self employed.
    Sorry he gave up unconditional love
    Sorry he can’t set up and play his drums.
    Sorry he no longer has supply to con another woman
    Sorry he has nothing to offer a woman financially or physically.
    Sorry he’s left out of family get togethers
    Sorry he’s aged, hunched over and drowning in debt.
    Sorry his mask fell off and no one believes his lies.
    Sorry he lost the image I provided living within a family.
    Sorry he’s lost his ability to service his customers because the travel adds two hours to his work day.
    Sorry we’ve all moved on and he’s in the rear view mirror.

  • This thread has tapped my anger. Stupid idiot said he was sorry……cried, ….boohoo, but never said why he was sorry. He is sorry that he screwed up and lost the most fabulous “wife appliance” he will every have. After dday, said he “missed some things”……never said “I miss YOU.” When we were together, the last few years, never asked me how I was, how was MY day,etc.,……nada, zip, zilch. Now, 19 months out he texts, “How are you….are you happy, blah, blah, blah.” “I think about you a lot.” Jerk! He must think since I haven’t said crap (meaning mean crap) that all is well to come sniffing around. In the same email, said “to be honest……(let’s get real, the cheater doesn’t know how to be honest, but I digress) some of the times I’m not that happy. I try to make the best of it….(puke). AND, I truly was the nurse with a purse……..rot in hell, loser!

  • I like what you did there, Doingme!

    I’ll play! He’s sorry that:

    He lost his chef
    he lost his housekeeper
    he lost the “mother and grandmother” to his children and grandchildren
    he lost 1/2 of monies I contributed to the household that gave him the extra cash to lavish the whores
    he lost his private nurse
    he lost his private counselor
    he lost a nanny to his skanky mother when she came down here for the winter

    Yep, he is sorry…..rrriiiiiiiiiiiight!

    • Hugs to you NMSB

      I’m taking the librrty to add a few to your list:
      Skank boy is sorry he lost:

      An amazing kind hearted loving woman
      A witty, funny, snarky real authentic partner.
      A hard working ethical woman who gives back to others with the ability to put yourself in others shoes.
      A mighty strong woman who put his needs before her own.

      You are a giver
      He is a taker
      You are selfless
      He is selfish.
      You love unconditionally
      He loves himself.
      You took care of his needs
      He never thought you had needs.
      You are an empath
      He has no moral compass.

      Thesee are the things my therapist brought to light to help me understand how I got into the relationship with a sociopath and why they come back.

      I would lie if I said I was happy all the time. Regardless of where we go or what our future holds we can hold our head high knowing we were enough, did enough, and it didn’t matter to them.

      A Hymn for him.

  • I got an apology Only after I talked to the other woman and she had no idea he was married. Then he realized Oh Shit, i’m in trouble. He begged for forgiveness. I moved out. He would call and text and we would fight and scream and cry. Couple of weeks later I decided to give it another try. After all I loved him with all my heart. Then I found out he lied to me about “going out with the guys”. I got so angry I went on Tinder for the first time – got a shock when I saw his profile. I took a snapshot and sent it to him. He said he Just created it and he was just goofing around. Yeah right. Over the next 6 months, so many tears from him – but it was always “I will never forgive myself”, “You have no idea what this has done to me”, “You have no idea what I’ve lost”….all about his pain, his loss and his guilt. This is the time it should’ve been about ME or US – Nope – a Narc is always about himself (or herself).

    The kicker was seeing him on the street coming out of his building (its near where my gym is so I pass by our old building all the time) – two weeks after he cried and told me he wanted to be a better man for me. They held hands and went to a restaurant. Where I followed and took pictures and confronted them. Then I started divorce proceedings. He cried and cried and said he didn’t want to divorce and would do whatever it took to make it right. I said Ok fine. I sent him a bullet point of things to do -knowing he wouldn’t. But what the hell. Simple things like Turn on your Find my iPhone, send me your latest credit card bills, give me access to your phone records. Two weeks went by and I got nothing. I told him he had to sign the papers…that was it. We met in court and have had NC ever since.

    I don’t hope for a day that we’ll be together anymore but still wonder How, more than Why, but HOW could someone you love and someone who said over and over that they loved you so much, do such a thing. Knowingly, deliberately, and continued to…I feel people like him are just bad to the core. On the surface their good people. Because thats what they want others to think. But deep down, they’re just not good people and are incapable of putting anyone or anything above their own needs and wants.

    But it still hurts like a bitch. Because our hearts were broken. We were truly in love with these people. We didn’t plan for this or ever thought this would happen. Until one day it does. And no one outside this community will understand.

    • “bad to the core”. Nope. There is no core. There is no heart in there. That’s my conclusion.
      We fell in love with a beautiful mask. And then we got to see them without the mask. At first, it doesn’t make sense.
      Well, it does, when you accept that they don’t have a soul or heart.

      • Bad to the core. Exact words son used to describe his dad after they met to discuss what cheater did to our family. Son saw zero remorse or empathy.

        • Our kids are smarter than us. My daughter pegged my X as a sociopath long before I did.

  • Actions!
    Once I figured that out, my x attempts to fool me fell through.
    That’s one POS that will NEVER EVER have my trust again. I may trust a complete stranger, but NEVER him!

  • In the early days, I think we’re all so fucked in the head that any kind word feels like a return to normalcy. There’s a super dysfunctional kind of intimacy that happens when the truth is out in the open, finally…though really it’s a trauma bond and not intimacy at all! But in that fucked up, underwater state of mind, which I remember so well, with no land in sight, their worthless words can feel like a life raft. This is why goddamn hopium is so deadly. Because what we want to believe, in those early days of shock and denial, can be so much more powerful than what we know. I *saw* photos and video of my babydaddy fucking other women and masturbating!! I saw nonconsenting photos he took of me and other women. I read the texts and the chats and there was irrefutable proof he’d done all these things. BUT he said sorry, he cried, sent me flowers, bought me a ticket to Hawaii, and I fell for it (temporarily, it took about 3-4 weeks after D-day for me to get my head out of my ass). Only later did I realize, when the actions and the words were just NOT aligning, not to believe a word out of the narc’s mouth. Once I made that connection, the healing really began.

    They are silver-tongued devils, I tell you. We have to be smarter, stop up our ears and open up our eyes.

    • WTF is wrong with some people. You wanna fuck around and sleep around. Go for it. Live your life. YOLO. But don’t get married then. Or leave your girlfriend or wife and Then live your life. People don’t always last together. Fine. But how can you consciously screw over someone you atleast at aome point loved and cared about. Enough to invest time, a home, kids, money, I mean there had to be something there.

      Someday soon I’ll stop wondering. But I’m human. We all are. We can’t just not feel. Even for that asswipe


      • There were plenty in there: a good image, someone always available, a cleaning lady for free… and only half the spendings. Sweet deal, wouldn’t you agree?
        You’re thinking as a human being. Some individuals are not human. They knowingly screw other people over, for their own gain. It’s that simple.

        • What does that say about us? We dell for someone who’s not human or has no heart. Just sick to my stomach.

          • as Chump Lady says: we spackle.
            We are desperate in some sense, that we ignore the red flags. We put up with s*, just to get some validation or approval. We have some vulnerability (usually inflicted by a narcissistic parent) and these types see it right away. They see it and they exploit us through these weak spots.
            As long as we learn from the experience, we can evolve. They don’t, they continue to play the same game over and over until their charm wears out, they grow old etc.

  • The Crying Game. On the day I kicked him out, I was overwhelmed with this choking grief. The rage was there, but I knew in my heart, it was over. I went and got a notebook. This is chump alert. I said, Babe, will you write down on this paper for me that you loved me, so I can at least pretend you did. And I can read it sometimes.
    For some reason, this broke through his narcissistic outrage. He sat on the tub’s edge, and for the first time, I saw tears. Sobbing. He clung to me and we hugged and cried. First time in many years I saw actual tears. But he was crying because of some alien thought I can’t identify. I don’t know what made him cry. Maybe he finally got that I wasn’t playing this game anymore.
    He wrote: Clara, I will always love you. He signed his name.
    It still makes me so very sad. I read all the hopeful road signs to Meh, but I do believe this is the greatest tragedy of my life.

    • (((((((Clara)))))))

      Oh my gosh honey…I’m sending you giant hugs and strength. It is so hard in the early days…you are so right…we are the walking wounded…zombies…open heart surgery patients walkin around lost and bleeding life onto hostile, relentless ground, blind…

      Clara, please know that it will get better. It takes time…as much time as it takes. There will come a day that you will be so happy to be free of him. I promise. It will happen. It will be like sunshine bursting through cloud cover. It will be like that time when you were a little girl and you saw or heard or learned something that plastered the biggest smile on your face that you just wore it all day and loved it so much you told everyone and didn’t care if they didn’t get it. Oh Honey! It will come and you will LOVE it. Heck you might even THANK HIM! Cause you will realize, YOU DESERVE TO BE LOVED AS MUCH AS YOU LOVE! You were likely the best thing that ever and WILL EVER happen to him. Too bad he was to disordered to realize it. Too late for him! NO CLARA FOR YOU ASSHOLE!

      Right now you are all up in your head…your head has to process it and then you will move on…but…soon you need to give your head some other stuff to think about. I know how hard it is. I remember people telling me to do what I like to do…??? wha? I didn’t know what that was. I remember people telling me to eat….???? wha? I couldn’t eat! Heck, I couldn’t sleep or do just about anything but cry, sigh and hurl…sit for hours just up in my head reliving my life with satan and tryin to figure out what I had done to make him do what he did to me… I won’t lie to you…it took a long, LONG time for me to realize that what he did, it had not a thing to do with me…it was just who he was. …and one day 🙂 my head finally got it and I started putting one foot in front of the other and bites of food in my mouth and smiling in the rain…and I pulled out the heavy denim quilt I’d made for that evil nasty man and put it on my bed and! WHAT! I slept for an actual hour that night! Yes! …I started researching and found out that that quilt was just what I needed to sleep cause the weight is a comfort! What! Then I FOUND CHUMP LADY! And OH MY GOODNESS! She made so much sense! I FINALLY understood what the hell! Best day ever!

      You made it! 🙂 You are here! You are surrounded by so much understanding and love and compassion and 🙂 You are gonna get better and better and you are gonna stand up and take charge and you are gonna heal!

      We got your back! And we are holding your hand 🙂

      • That is just about the most kindness anyone has shown me in long time, JeepTess. Your words gave me hope. I pray that I will be happy for him leaving me. Thank you from a person who has very few people in her life that get this. Thank you so deeply for taking the time to soothe me. It worked. Clara

        • Oh Clara 🙂 You are so welcome. And thank you!

          …now…go get that heavy quilt and snuggle up under it and smile…cause you got this! And KNOW you are FREE of what would have been a miserable life 🙂 You are FREE 🙂 Snuggle up under that heavy quilt and BREATHE e a s y. Aaaaaa! Yes! 🙂

          …it is so wonderful on the other side… Just breathe 🙂 and sleep…healing sleep…tomorrow is gonna be awesome!

          Sweet healing dreams Clara 🙂 Goodnight sweet girl.

  • Excellent article!!! Thanks, JeepTess! That describes my XH and everything he tried to do to me so perfectly. They really are soulless monsters.

  • NoMoreEvil they certainly are! And we are so much better off without that evil in our lives! Yes we are! 🙂 even my dog appreciates the peaceful, serene void satan’s absence has given us!

  • I fell for the sad sausage postnup. He paid $800 for it, so surely he really meant it this time, right? Dropped my restraining order and canceled the divorce. BIG MISTAKE.

    The postnup didn’t fly in court and dropping the restraining order was a terrible, terrible move. I now have 60/40 custody with a psychopath. Oh, and I later found out that HE wasn’t even the one who paid for the postnup- he got it by defrauding me once again. As much as he hates me, he sure has fun with my identity.

    He still goes around saying how much he loves me. Tells everyone (including the kids) that it was me who wanted the divorce.

    Cheaters are never sorry. Let the first D-day be the last.

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