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Nice versus Kind

haveanicedayThere was an interesting side discussion the other day on Chump Lady about the difference between niceness and kindness. Many people noted that their cheaters appeared to much of the world as “nice people,” but in point of fact, lacked kindness. (Sure, it’s an understatement to say that cheating is unkind.)

Now, I don’t want to diss niceness, after all I am from the Midwest and it’s our default setting, but a lot of being nice is simply impression management. See? I come in peace! You can trust me, I’m nice! Nice works if you’re in sales. That’s why (at least here in the U.S., any way) salespeople are always encouraged to compliment you or end each transaction with “Have a nice day!”

I enjoy the social lubrication of nice. I want a nice person to bag my groceries. But at the end of the day, I just want my groceries bagged, the attitude with which you do it is optional. If I just got nice and no bagged groceries, that would suck.

“That’s a beautiful sweater you’re wearing!”

“Um, thanks. Could you please bag my groceries?”

“Lovely weather we’re having!”

“Uh, sir? There’s a line forming. Is this one of those bag-it-yourself places? Did I choose the self-check line?”

“Have a nice day!”

This is the cognitive dissonance of cheater nice. It’s nice without the bagged groceries. It’s pleasantry without substance. It’s all cherry and no sundae. Frankly, it’s a mindfuck.

When someone is outwardly nice, but their actions are withholding, dismissive, oblivious — they’re disguising an agenda. Pay no attention to my failed obligations or implied hostilities. Press me about them and you’re a killjoy. But me? I’m nice. How can you be so unkind to the nice?

Done with enough manipulative panache, you can drive anyone crazy with “nice.” God, who is that jerk that nice person is married to? How can they be so pissed off all the time? Donald is so nice!

Contrast crazy “nice” with actual kindness. Kindness is the person who sees you and your broken bag of groceries and stops to help pick them up. They may not even be nice about it. They might grunt, or swear under their breath as they chase your rolling cans of tomatoes, but they go for it anyway. Kindness responds to distress. Kindness offers help without being asked. Kindness doesn’t even know you, but stopping and helping is the right thing to do, even if it’s inconvenient. Even if no one else is watching. Even if you’re a bastard about it. “Hey! You missed a can!”

Kindness isn’t impression management. It’s about empathy. You have to be somewhat selfless to be kind. Kindness responds to people in need. A kind word. An act of kindness. You have to be outwardly focused and connected to others to be kind. Any idiot can do nice. Sustaining it when things get hard is kindness.

I think chumps, like most people, are fooled by nice. We see it as a short-hand for kind — surely this nice person wouldn’t fuck me over? But nice is often just superficial and doesn’t translate to kindness. It’s not enough to act inoffensive — you have to actually not give offense to people and refrain from hurting them. And if you do offend? You have to care, not slather “nice” all over it.

You see this shit in reconciliation all the time. The cheater ups their game a bit. Sends flowers. Shares a few kibbles. But they can’t muster up much sorry. They don’t do remorse. They fail to read the books, or show up for the shrink appointment, or feel anything other beyond “Thank you for not divorcing me and taking my 401K.” It doesn’t deeply hurt them to have hurt their chump. But they can be nice. They can pick up the check. They can compliment your hair. And for some people, that’s enough. They’ll take the nice and find comfort in it.

Did you have a nice cheater? Would they still like to be your friend? Do a kindness to yourself and find some substantive people to hang with instead.

This column ran previously. Please add your own nice vs. kind observations. And have a nice day!

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  • I think chumps, like most people, are fooled by nice. We see it as a short-hand for kind — surely this nice person wouldn’t fuck me over?

    This!!!! He’s Mr. Nice Guy all the time. Tells everyone to make sure they know too. But in reality – not at all nice. Why I accepted that shit sandwich will bother me for the rest of my life.

    Oh well…at least I’m out and headed in an opposite direction!

    • Chumps are loyal and have integrity. We tend to project our character onto others. A nice person is surely an honest, moral, and generous one, right? Not always. Some are just shallow and selfish and work their image. Some are pathological sociopaths who will gut you. Both feel the end justifies the means and are focused on getting what they want despite the harm to others.

        • Nice = Sparkly.

          I find that authentic people don’t try to sell themselves. They are who they are and if you dig a little deeper you find that they can be fantastic friends, lovers, neighbours etc.

          People who need that kind of validation ( see – look how fantastic I am – everyone – look at ME!!!! ) tend to be the puddle people. You know – shallow.

          • Dig a little deeper is right. Con artists are quite capable of appearing kind for quite some time. The importance of a sufficient investment of time, of slow and steady relationship development, can’t be underestimated.

            • I knew my butthole for10 years before I married him. We’ve been married for 11 years. I never, never thought he’d cheat on me. It sucks! What the hell happens to people that they change into something I would have never dated or married? I just don’t believe he was always a character flawed jerk!

              • NTK, perhaps he tried to be the good person he wanted to be and projected. At some point he gave up, does that help? If you review you’ll likely find there were signs of that dynamc early on. Jedi hugs.

          • This is just a perfect way to explain nice vs. kind to my teenagers. Their dad is the ‘look at me’ type.

        • My ex told me to “have a nice day” after spending four days sending me an endless string of abusive text messages telling me how disgustingly pathetic and slutty I was, and wishing me a terrible life, in which, I end up getting fucked in a trailer. Bear in mind, he’s the one that cheated! I told him, I’ll try despite my flaws. He launched into get another long a*s tirade and said at the end…”None of this would have happened if you just said have a nice day back”….PRICK!!

          • LOL !!!

            EMS, why didn’t you just say, “Have a nice day” back? (remember the fu*ker is silent). None of that would have happened!!!

      • You just described what I’ve been living! Married to what I thought was a Really Nice Christian guy for over 30 years! Yes… kids too! So he has spent over a year trying to convince me that all the shit me through was because of his pride. Apologized for the way he treated me and thru me under the bus in front of kids and did some serious grove long! Or so it seemed. Only for me to discover at the end of the summer that he was hiding our savings! I busted him and left. I came back. My bad- I know. Won’t go back to counseling but is very nice..I’m driving down the road before Christmas and I see the bitch pulling out of her neighborhood not far from mine. She and I have had two text exchanges. I was nice but let’s say She knew where I was coming from… lol.. It will be a year in April since last one. She is a Nice Married Christian Woman. She even preaches at her. Hitch sometimes. (I couldn’t make this shit up)! Okay… back to passing her. It was slow in a school zone. I didn’t look directly at her. I was driving my husbands very nice truck. The one he used when working with her. I know she saw me and my smirk. I check her facebook page. She has me blocked (one of my nice messages was sent that way) but I check her stuff off a friends page. I check her page a few days later. This was a couple weeks before Christmas mind you. She writes….. Haha! Looking for Christmas music today and ran across this fun Nostalgic song! How fun… The Memories!!

        I didn’t click from her page. Went on YouTube and listened. It was a song by Robert Palmer . Bad case of loving you! I read the lyrics because I really thought I was hearing it wrong…. Because let’s be honest…Every Nice married Christian woman while looking for Christmas music puts up a song about sex in the summer ( this would have taken place in summer of 2015) and song even goes into positions. Really???????? I had honestly suspected that she knew I may have checked at times because some of her stuff seemed taunting but when I saw that….. I was sure it was no coincidence! Am I fricking Crazy? He has always denied an affair with her. He has been busting his chops to show me how nice he is now. I am nice and kind. He is only nice. I am sure it’s been over. Thanks for letting me vent!!

        • Km, You aren’t fricking crazy, you just need proof to really get that fire under your butt going. Consider hiring someone or find out for yourself. You deserve to know! Sounds like he isn’t who you thought he was and I’m so sorry for that… You will always feel like you are in limbo until you do…

          • Lol you dont need to know. You already know. Like chumplady said do a kindness to yourself! Leave his sorry ass for good

      • Yes!!! I can relate, KM. My ex-cheaterpants likes to call the kids on Skype after moving 2,000+ miles away from them for his affair partner (a stripper), and read to them from the bible. Yep. You can’t make this crap up.

        Of the hundreds of CL posts I’ve read in the last year, this one was my very favorite. It perfectly encapsulates my ex and the reason I was fooled for so long. He was so NICE, and when that was absent, he was the strong silent type. In that silence, for lack of evidence to the contrary, I ascribed all manner of good and lovely traits to him. Things that were not remotely deserved. For the longest time, I was mourning the wrong guy. Chump Lady helped me see that he was nothing but a Mr. Rogers-esque mask-wearing figment of my imagination. Sucked to learn it, but I’d much rather mourn because of the crappy truth than be stuck believing that sickening lie for the rest of my life. He’s all cherry and no sundae!!

        • I have struggled big time because I thought I knew this man!! They turn into aliens when you begin to ask questions! You have a blog also? Mine hasn’t left! I can’t get him too! Personally, I think one of them ended it although he denies an affair ever!! Well, Dude…. Why hide Foyt thousand dollars? I have it. His thing…. He didn’t leave though…. Ugggg… I am so sorry BTW..

          • KM, when he is hiding funds you can be sure he is doing more than “just” this, he is currently lining up his ducks. My ex was up to all sorts of shenanigans for two years before I discovered OW/affair. The financial decisions alone should have clued me in. You NEED to protect your assets and this can be done at your first court appearance. Let the judge/your lawyer know you suspect your spouse of dissipating assets. Big purchases (cars, property, sports equipment, guns), savings accounts, credit cards, and perks such as bonuses, retirement accounts, stock, 401k, medical insurance can be manipulated by your spouse so you will be left penniless. Make sure you know who’s paying the bills. These pods ditch their long term spouses in favor of the first person willing to commit to a future with them, especially as life with you has become hard. His current one-married!?-is satisfied with her behavior and rubbing it in your face, because she gets high off the deceit. Your husband is not what you’ve “won” because, believe me, he is not worth another minute of your life or your love. Do a little more digging. He’s been at his cheating for awhile. BIG red flag: hiding money. Good Luck.

            • That’s interesting that you mentioned the “Won” thing. I feel as if I won but I don’t feel that I’ve won anything! I am observing everything now because when I make that decision it’s going to be very messy because he doesn’t want our kids to know he was capable of this!

    • In my experience people like this slip – often. It’s unfortunate that I made excuses for all the slippage I use to see. Chumps are a cheaters best friend because we tend to do the work for them. We do impression management for them! I try not to make excuses for people anymore. I try to take them as they come and call it as I see it (not always out loud). You’ll find that most people who are genuinely nice and kind will not be cool with this because lets face it, it can be unpleasant to say “so and so is a _______.” But I’ve learned to judge people by their fruit and not their speak. If the people I’m around isn’t down with this, well, they probably will be later. Pleasantry seem to be of high ethic. Seems like niceness at first but is the very thing that enables a sociopath. I’m not saying be as nasty as you can be but there is a time to be upfront.

    • Cheater tells people that I was always angry during the marriage. He’s the nice guy incarnate but not a shred of kindness in his actions. Image control.

      • Anger stemming from being abused emotionally and psychologically. Frustration for trying to understand and figure out the gaslighting. Exhaustion from doing the pick me dance. They suck.

      • Yes my cheater is a nice guy too. Everyone is shocked at how out of character his cheating was. Me too. But he always wanted to be liked rathef than helping for the sake of being a decent person.

  • Yes, I definitely saw the nice part in my x-wife. She was nice when she wanted something but kindness was not one of her traits. Virtually everyone involved in her life are people she can manipulate easily with kindness.

    I just sort of dated (yea WTF) a women for 10 months and I almost fell for it again (the nice part). I started waking up to what she was when I saw her reaction to the birthday present I gave her.

    First, I am in my 40s and I have never dated a women for 10 months and all they ever wanted to do was go out and never have alone time for the two of us. We never had sex and the few times we made out it lasted about 2 minutes and she then put the breaks on it. Because of this up and down hot/cold responses I could not make heads or tails of the relationship. She would say some really weird things (reminded me of my x-wife).

    With that said, for Christmas I gave her some inspirational plaques to hang on the wall because she was having some major issues (legal ones) with a former boyfriend to which they had a child together. The rest of that date ended up going down hill and several days later she made sure I knew how upset she was about the present. She said it was not appropriate and that she google what kind of presents would be appropriate and that was not on the list (yes she googled it).

    So this mickey mouse (txting) went on for another two months. I started realizing that she never takes any responsibility for her own actions and I also realized during the last 10 months she never said anything about being into me etc.

    Our last conversation was identical to a few discussion I had with my x where everything I said to her about whats going on she would then repeat it back to me and say I was doing it to her. Was like WOW major gaslighting here! This major txting kicked off because I gave her nothing for Valentines Day (I felt she did not deserve it because of the games she was playing).

    So going back to this article, yes she was nice but I really saw no kindness and there were lots of hints on how selfish she was.

    Reminds me of the Hot vs Cold matrix on Youtube LOL!

    • I made some errors
      – First paragraph, last word should be niceness
      – Not birthday present, it was a Christmas Present

      • Good Lord Lothos – you had a narrow escape there! Thank God your senses have been honed a bit by your ex. I think that’s why I feel I don’t want to date (although I have and do) because I don’t intend to take that shit from anyone ever again. I’m quite happy on my own – don’t need that crap. And anyone who can google the Christmas present that you should buy them just blows my mind. You dodged one.

      • So do tell us what she thought would be an “appropriate” gift? Expensive jewelry maybe?! Glad you figured her out relatively quickly. Next!

      • I would love inspirational plaques, that was a very thoughtful gift! She seems shallow for sure!

        • Considering our relationship I thought it was. She said (and I quote) “It was the type of gift a neighbor would give her and not someone she is dating”.

          Of-course I responded that I could not make heads or tails of our relationship and since I did not want to go overboard I chose something more neutral.

          • Lothos, your gut gave her a non romantic gift because you knew deep inside that something wasn’t right with her. Pat yourself on the shoulder son as your spidy-senses are fully operational.

    • Also Lothos, the moment that one feels that another doesn’t deserve a gift because of the games she was playing”, is the moment the relationship should end. We mustn’t repeat history.

    • Times when “I googled that and it’s a very inappropriate gift”is warranted between two people who are dating:

      1. The product is being recalled because it poisons people.

      2. The “cool swirly pattern” written on it is actually some really bad cuss words written in a foreign language, or a white supremacy symbol.

      3. Turns out it’s a surprise gift certificate for plastic surgery.

      4. The video from ‘The Ring.’

      Otherwise, it’s a red flag, and you should run.

    • Okay, Lothos, listen to me, your sister. I would like to give you some dating advice.

      Ten months is a good sign for you in your ability to interest a lady. Do this: date three ladies at a time. This is not cheating. Do not commit (meaning become exclusive) until the relationship passes a few markers. It seems like the lady above passed one or two markers, but was not material to move onto the next marker, so you let her go. Good for you!

  • This is so interesting. I was very ill during my marriage. My spouse worked until 9-11 PM, and I would hear him walk in and start up the stairs. He’d walk into the bedroom, tilt his head and ask, Very Nicely, “how was your day, do you need anything?” It always set me on edge because it was so fake. I knew if I said “terrible and yes I need some dinner” he would have scowled, made an excuse and walked away.

    In contrast, my sister stayed with me and every night she’d come into my room and ask me, with Kindness “do you need anything”. Never once did I doubt her sincerity and I never felt awkward asking her for something.

    This is a great observation. Especially when dealing with narcissists, who are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

    • Murphy I am in your boat too……I had surgery recently and it was so fake and robotic, when I was forced to ask him to do something, he just conveniently “forgot” I just stopped asking and did it myself….fake nice will always be on my radar now…..

    • During the last few years of my marriage I was often ill, dealing with an chronic health issue. It was hell-ish, I was fatigued and in bed sometimes for a good part of the weekend to catch up after the work week. Undoubtedly it is tough to have an ill spouse for, but she essentially abandoned me and (I believe) started her long time affair during this time. She did step up to do more parenting, but rarely checked on me.

      Oh yeah, she is nice and charming as hell, but a few quarts low in the kindness department. These years really damaged me. In my stupid chump haze, I just felt like a terribly damaged spouse who did not live up to her expectations. She is incredibly athletic.

      Thinking back on this just gets me so angry… still. Many people think she is amazingly cool, charming and energetic. Kind is NOT on that list.

      Fun fact, after kicking her out and losing my chumpdom, I have been so much healthier.

      • Champion
        God. They are the same.
        My STBX works abroad a lot. 2015 I got really ill was admitted to hospital. He came flying home to save the day. When I was discharged finally he stayed home for a week. I begged him to stay longer. I was just still so ill. But no that was not possible. Compassionate leave was ridiculous. But he did order taxis to take the boys to school because I couldn’t drive. I had to get up, pack lunches, look after them when I was just on my knees.
        Soon after I became depressed and he changed nothing oh wait he started another affair….
        The funny thing is that I have flashbacks sometimes, not from the affairs but from the time when I was doing a part time course, working a full client list and looking after the house and boys singlehandedly for months on end. It was so stressful and damaging. That’s why I got ill. It still terrifies me.

        I have often said on chump lady that mine is nice. A covert narc or whatever. May I just officially state for the chump lady record that I no longer believe he is nice. Reading what I have written over the last few days I have finally got it. He is not nice. At all. Not kind. Especially not that.

          • 21 years so far. It’s a race now to see if the divorce will be final before 22 years. It’s going to be close. Six weeks and counting.
            I asked for the decree absolute on my anniversary. I love symmetry.

            • It’s Capricorn and I’m messing up ?
              Posted this twice. Yes I did have maybe a glass of wine ?

        • Capricorn — (from a fellow Capricorn)

          I read CL’s post and CN’s responses almost every day but very rarely ever post. I follow everyone’s comments closely looking for tips and hints to help me reach the Land of Meh.

          Please know that I do NOT think your STBX is a nice or kind person. (I realize that YOU are a nice and kind person, which is why you are struggling and making excuses for his deplorable behavior.)

          My Life exploded in 2012.

          I still have to remind myself almost every day that he is NOT my friend. (It is still difficult to comprehend after a lifetime together.)

          Hang in there. A new and better Life is waiting for you and your children. 🙂

        • I had surgery. STBX was there, talking to the doctor, chatting up the nurses, texting my family to keep them informed, acting like a nice guy/caring husband. The next day – nothing. Didn’t come to the hospital. I had to have my kids’ babysitter come pick me up from the hospital. A later examination of texts and emails showed that of course, he was too busy with the bimbo that day to do anything for me. It was eye opening, to say the least.

          • After having surgery for a hysterectomy X would be annoyed making huge sighs as he helped me walk to the bathroom while complaining that I was too needy.
            If we were in a restaurant, and X noticed an elderly person or someone struggling opening the door X would sprint across the restaurant to help. He’d walk away looking to see who noticed how “nice” he is..,
            He absolutely loved attention, he was a body builder who insisted on wearing muscle shirts, shirts without sleeves, tank tops, to show off his biceps. If anyone commented on his muscles that would be the all he could talk about for the rest of the day is what they said.
            He’s an airline pilot and if he were asked what he did for a living he’d put his shoulders back then answer in a deep voice “pilot for ***airlines” waiting for questions as if he was a celebrity.

            • That description of him telling people what he did for a living made me laugh out loud. WHAT a loser. Glad you finally saw through the bullshit!

    • Douchebag came in asked nicely if I needed anything when I was sick, as he was going to the shops. I asked if he could get me some soup. He did and rushed back and heated it served me up and asked again as he was going to take our two teenage girls and their friend and drop them at a One Direction concert. He seemed really rushed and wanting to get going (he wasn’t going to the concert but told me he would catch a movie at a cinema not far from the concert). I was all grateful for his “kindness” of getting me soup making sure I was ok and taking our girls to see their favourite band.
      Found out he was rushing to drop them off and meet up with Whoreface so they could have a romantic steak and ribs dinner and snog in the cinema, run through fountains “like 17 year olds” cause that’s how they made each other feel and drink straight vodka from a water bottle in the cinema.
      I KID U NOT!!!
      Moronic seriously Moronic.
      Yes they are all “Niceness” when they need to hurry off and meet up with their HOLES!!!
      Drove home drunk with our two girls and their friend.
      Then left the 2/3’s drunk water bottle on the counter for my 8 year old to possibly drink.
      Kindness is a derivative of Love.
      Niceness doesn’t give a Fuck about anyone else.

  • My ex is a “nice guy.” Almost everyone loves him and thinks he’s the cats meow. Yes, he’s very nice, but he’s not kind.

    I will give one example to prove my point (not that any of you need convincing!)

    Quite a few years back, we were at Niagara Falls with my sister and her husband (her husband is a narc too). I think it was just the four of us. This old lady was crossing a walkway and she fell down. My now ex-husband and my brother-in-law all saw it including myself. They kept on walking and I was the one to turn around and help her up. And I’m not trying to toot my horn. I’ve never told this story to anyone. But both these guys are Christians and everyone thinks they are such “nice guys.” My brother-in-law was actually a firefighter at the time. Nice, but definitely not kind.

    This is a great post, CL! I’m going to reread it again and I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments today.

    • Martha – Niagara Falls!!!!

      Sorry to hijack your story ( God Bless you for stopping to help that poor women ), but I swear Niagara Falls is such a trigger for me.

      We had to go there. Always. Never anywhere else. And of course we went with MOW AND HER HUSBAND on more than one occasion. And for Anniversaries. And they went together for various ( now obvious ) reasons.

      I have Niagara Falls ( not the falls themselves – they are beautiful ). All plastic-y and sparkly and fake. Just does not appeal to me on any level. But I was never given a choice. So, we marched up and down that stupid hill through out my marriage.

      To me it is a RED FLAG now !!!!

      • Wow, Lucky. I know which one you are talking about — Clifton Hill. And I agree with you that it is fake and plastic-y. The Falls themselves are amazingly beautiful. I can see why NF would be a trigger for you. That’s crazy that was the only place you went! Hopefully you are being kind to yourself and seeing new places now. 🙂

        • Seems to be a running theme with Narcissists: every year we had to do the same things, go to the same places, the places HE wanted us to go. Places he now drags Smoochie to. I think it helps him balance his alternate realities: you do the same things, just substitute in a different woman and it’s like nothing ever changed. Order for the disordered.
          The putz.. I am SO glad to be out of that Twilight Zone.

      • OMG Lucky, Narkles the Clown also could never plan a vacation to anywhere but his hometown. Every year, the same place with the same stories. The last time we went an old neighbor of his let it slip that Narkles the Clown’s father had an affair with his (the neighbor’s) daughter and it was OK because Narkles the Clown’s mother was running around on her husband. I never got to thank him for the insight. My DDay was just months away and as I discovered more, that conversation really put things into place. Let’s just say I will never go back to that town.

        • Sounds familiar ^*^*^
          X could never plan a vacation or anything else.
          We spent many of our vacations with his miserable family in the small town where X grew up. X’s Dad had each day planned out doing the same things as the previous year.
          Once I suggested we spend the day in Atlantic City which was only a few miles away. His Dad stood up and said no, we’re staying at our house, my wife has a meal planned she has a frozen pre-cooked rotisserie chicken in the freezer, are you insulting my wife ‘s cooking???
          I said no, that it’s my vacation and that’s what I’d like to do.
          His Mom started making noises as if she was screaming and hyper ventilating at the same time, then screeched No one talks to Dom that way!! then she ran and locked herself into the bathroom.. X and his brother just looked and never said anything.
          I couldn’t believe they were serious, sadly they were..
          I was at my wits end with the
          same place, same stories, they talked about people they knew in high school and what they did while they were in high school as if it were yesterday.
          I felt like I was living the movie Ground Hog Day, or a Twilight Zone story.

          • Your story is weirdly familiar to me! Stuck in the past, people? What’s wrong, the future is nothing but fear, no use in trying anything different than what you’ve done for decades? These families are living on a hamster wheel, and don’t even care! Every time we visited the X’s fam, it got stranger and stranger. They get afraid of life, and then the cardboard goes up on the windows, and the hoarding starts. The only normal one was his Mom, and of course, the rest of them treated her like she was worthless. I loved her, though.
            I kind of feel sorry for them, untreated mental illness, but all of them caused me and the boys pain and aggravation. I wish they had tried to get some help, but no, they think they’re better than everyone, so why do that?
            Sorry, bad memory triggers!

        • I want to say so much….but can’t…all out of energy…but how interesting and in a perverse way, affirming, to know I’m not the only one who struggles with this whole “living in the past” bullshit. We eventually moved to Mistake’s hometown (which happened under duress and duplicitously…we’d been unemployed for over a year, were starting to look outside of where we were living which at that time was Florida, and, I threw out some location names thinking we’d start a fun family adventure in a spot neither of us had lived, and….bam. Mistake wasn’t having any of that. However, I also had always made known my aversion to living in Mistake’s home state so that was off the table. Until it wasn’t….by means of his securing a job interview in hometown, not telling me – and then GETTING a job offer – and, waiting to tell me until the day before I was going in to get major surgery so my head was all in that.)

          At any rate yeah – part of my aversion to Mistake’s home state is because I could not stand the continuous loop of same old fucking stories of when he and kin were growing up and bla bla bla….literally the same stories. I was always an outsider, never “invited” into such stories though by Round 10 of same, I could narrate them myself should I have chosen. Just absolutely same shit every time, and doing same things with same people every time. Boring and stuck in the past with no curiosity or desire to grow or experience anything new – just same old, same old, familiar stuff and very insular.

          I won’t be missing his kin by a long shot, when this is all said and done. And I know I won’t be missed, either. And at first that kind of hurt me – BECAUSE I want them to know their “nice” guy is a fucking liar and a cheater – but I know I have to work on letting that go. I’m not liked by his mother anyways and she is sociopathic narcissist as was her own mother. So this nut has not fallen far from the tree. I fear for our only dd who is 11 years old as their DNA seems pretty dominant. Ugh.

          Thanks for letting me vent.

      • You know, the bright side to your ex being such a boring putz that you only ever vacationed in one place is that you now can just cross that place off your list ant go everywhere else without any bad memories.

    • Wow, I don’t write much on CL, but just had to chime in on this one.

      About 15 years ago, my best friend and I, with our husbands were hiking up a mountain. There was an old man using a cane climbing the same mountain with his granddaughter. He was too feeble to attempt this hike, but later said his granddaughter really wanted to see the top of the mountain because she had heard so many of his stories about it.

      All four of us passed the feeble old man, but after we were out of sight, I said to my husband, “That old man really needs help…I think we should help him.” Then-husband said, “He’s too old to be up here. Well, OK, I’ll ask if he wants help.”

      Turns out, he DID want help and had prayed for it. He did get help from our husbands (both eagle scouts who should have offered immediately, IMHO.) The old man turned out to be a Baptist minister who had authored a book on his war days, and how it lead to his ministry. Every year, he wrote my ex a nice Christmas letter thanking him for his kindness that day on the mountain. Sigh….of course my ex believed his own press…how he was so wonderful for stopping to help.

      Only I know that he didn’t even think to help, and that he needed prodding to do so.

  • Mine works with disabled people so gosh he must be soo nice, puts on the gentle considerate act when necessary and reels those disability empathic women in young and old who think he’s tops and so caring because he works with disabled people. Wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have seen him manipulate his clients and would go as far to say he likes the power dynamic in the relationship, sounds fucked up and maybe Im wrong but I have seen it and he has said things that more than suggest it. I have heard him try and convince a client to move away from his sick grandma and only support to the town we live in because it will be better for him ie he wont have to drive an hour each way to see said client, twisted IMO

    • Mine is a firefighter/ paramedic. Yep, the great guys that pull cats out of trees and toddlers out of swimming pools. How can they do that job and have anything but a heart of pure gold??
      He may be able to save a life, but he ruined mine. That amazing pillar of the community had most of the side sex at the station when he was on shift….and all his “brothers” covered for him.
      His AP schmoopie better bring her A game.

      • Lots of people in the “helper” community are narcs. Cops, fire fighters, doctors, therapists-their jobs give them access to a very vulnerable population. It gives them he opportunity to be heroes. I know a lawyer in town who us always “helping” people and he makes damn sure all his good works make it into the local media. What those poor folks don’t know is that he is like the Godfather. No favor good unreturned. And he has been cheating on his wife their entire marriage. He tried to hit me up after my divorce and when I shut him down, he told mutual acquaintances what a cold bitch I was. Damn straight! Oh, and of course, he is a bigwig in his church. Jesus cheater narcs are the worst.

  • My STBXH was nice to the louse-infested pigeons that kept making nests and pooping on our window and deck. He would feed the damn things and talk to them with the tenderest voice and words. He knew it bothered me no end.
    But when my elderly father came to spend three months with us, he suddenly had business trips every weekend… (when the help was not around).

    • Mine did it with his dog. I know that here on CL, I don’t have to explain that I clearly have no reason to be jealous of a dog. But like your STBXH, he would tauntingly say nice things to her and not to me. It was so unbelievably childish, I couldn’t even believe it! So yes, nice to the dog, an a-hole to me.

      • Mine did this too, it is very cruel. It also made me feel crazy! How could I be jealous of our own dog? I loved him, too (and took care of him 100% of course).
        X would put his arms around our Lab, and kiss him and whisper in his ear, then look over at me. He knew I wished he was more affectionate towards me, see what was going on there? So evil and mean.

        • Peakyblinders and FreeWoman, my STBXH also cries and sniffles about how much he misses the dogs (that I feed, walk and take to the vet). But we all remember that Hitler loved dogs and died in his bunker with his Blondi at his side.

          • My STBX left behind 2 dogs. He also was overly affectionate with the dogs. He would sit in the recliner with the lab on his lap. He would immediate lay on the floor with the dogs when he came home. If I asked him to rub a kink out of my neck, he would give me a look of disgust. But he could sit for hours rubbing those dogs.

            When he left, he said he no longer wanted the married and family life. He was shacked up with the 23 year old within 2 months and then yesterday he got a new puppy for his birthday. A $3,300 new puppy. Don’t mind the $3,000+ he currently owes me in support. I am seeing red today.

            Never once asked if he could take one of the dogs…he left them with me along with all of the expense (there is no dog support). Don’t get me wrong, I love them and would have been sad to see either of them go with him. And all those things he didn’t want, he is now rebuilding with all new. Next up would be the kid replacement…

            • I feel sorry for the puppy. Yeah narcs can be affectionate and nice to animals, just like they can be “fun” parent, but they really don’t want to deal with the everyday duties of walking, grooming, feeding, etc.
              As for the kid replacement, I have known a couple of narc men, in the process of discarding their second wives, all of a sudden became father of the year to the kid’s from their first marriage. So I guess part of the discard phase for some narcs is to show all their attention to the kids (or pets) and how could you possibly take issue with them being devoted to kids/pet? That would be off the wall jealousy and totally unreasonable. When he discards the OW (and they always do) he’ll portray himself (to OW and outsiders) as all of a sudden being a devoted Dad to his kids and she will be cast aside. How could she possibly take issue with him trying to be a good Dad and spend time with his kids? Never mind the silly fact that he is spending NO TIME with her and more than likely has a replacement waiting in the wings. This is the story he’ll use to family, friends and associates of why he had to dump, umm leave, the relationship. The idiots will look to him as a hero. His kids came first and all that other horseshit. Ugh, these narcs are so predictable.

              • Man, that is a good one, KB22… They really do become predictable when there is no substance, only selfishness… Sometimes being in their brains hurts my brain…

              • I actually meant that I think the next thing he will do will be to have a kid with OW. Never mind that he is 46 and she is 24. He is recreating the life he left. The missing piece now is children.

            • Getmefree, just makes you feel so appreciated and wanted… They are just so good at that, aren’t they?

            • GetMeFree sigh, these sick people. They pretend very well as they rob you of your life as they take their sorry ass and leave. Love your dogs — that’s your gift in life. I used to take my ability to love for granted but I don’t any more. I hope you don’t either.

            • This is nearly word for word….sat with the dog all night….loudly proclaim love for dog…..fawn over it like a teenager and yes i took care of all the washing grooming poop picking etc . So when he left… ‘i cant take the dog where im going ‘ (sad face) – aka love nest – so you’ll have to take care of it . Never mind we had 3 kids he left behind – i swear he was more cut up about the dog …..i think its got something to do with them being able to give 100% unconditional love and narcs just love that ….no talking back to ruin their perfectness.

          • We have a vagrant in my area. When we first moved he ignored him but as stbx sought to look like less of a creep he started giving the neighborhood vagrant water no matter what time he came. meanwhile the children and I were hit or miss. Once I joked and said to him that it seems I need to be the vagrant to get him to respond. Though when he did give the water he spoke to the vagrant like shit.

      • Oh my goodness, THE DOGS! I can’t remember how many times I’d ask my ex, “What did you say?” His disdainful reply? “I. Was. Speaking. To. Muffy!”

        So, so glad he’s gone! Such a relief!

        • They stop at nothing to hurt us. And of course, you talk with someone that doesn’t understand or has never experienced this behavior and they just look at you like you are a nut. Soooooo glad I can say things here and we get it! The level of crazy from these a-holes just amazes me.

        • Oh my goodness….
          I was at work, then came back to see what you all said. They wanted us to pick-me dance, with the DOG!
          Holy crap they’re crazy!

      • Cheaters are terribly immature, if I didn’t hate X so much I’d be embarrassed for him.

        One day he told me that he loved our dog more than he did me.

        Peakyblinders, you’re right, telling people who have never experienced this behavior think you’re making it up. Cheater will stop at nothing to hurt and humiliate me. Normal people don’t do the things they do. One of the reasons I love CN is I know people here can relate and aren’t questioning the validity of my stories or sympathizing with X. I’ve had to drop friends and family who have said things like, well, what did you do to provoke X, or it takes two.., we weren’t there…

        • Once we had a fire in the kitchen. He noticed it first. I was in the other room. He calls me to come quickly. He had the dog leashed up in her harness and was standing there with the front door open. He said, “Call 911, there’s a fire in the kitchen!” He then walked out of the house with the dog.

  • I’m tired of being nice, but being kind is doable – sometimes. I do struggle with it because I simply don’t want to talk to him at all, and by the end of this year I hope not to have to at all. But during our marriage, his version of kindness was “I didn’t want to hurt you,” and that was his reasoning for the lying, cheating, etc. But I see now that it was just his profound weakness of character. The longer I’m away from him, the more the spackle peels away, the more I see how bad it really was and just how much I excused. Maybe I felt I was being kind. Now, twenty years later, I know who I am and what I want. And he doesn’t even make the list. I remember last year, railing at him over his sex club/fetish whore antics and he countered with, “It should have been you,” and I was floored. No, I refuse to be manipulated into what you want me to be, and I also refuse to manipulate you. Can’t make a great mate out of a F*ckboi, anyway. Okay, rant over.

    • The longer I’m away from him, the more the spackle peels away

      Congrats on reaping the benefits of No Contact, the path to the truth and the light.

      • No contact has been a major blessing. Honestly, when he messages now (poke,poke,poke – you still there?) I mostly have a “Who are you?” moment, followed by dismay. Then incredulity that I let this person eviscerate me last year. Pro tip: when your own daughter tells you how much better off you are, and thinks her dad is a jerk (her own conclusion, I let dumba$$ hang himself with plenty of lead) then you know you were blind and crazy all along. The Peeling Spackle is a perfect metaphor describing the home and property where we lived – broken, in disrepair, unfixable. As the younger generation would say, Idk Wtf I was thinking…..But it’s over now.

  • One night, it snowed a heavy, wet snow. Then it got cold and windy. Durt, is 6’2″ and occasionally worked as a musician at night. I am 5’2″ and worked a full time job complete with a long commute. I got home and the snow hadn’t been shoveled (his only real job at the house). I asked him to come and help me get it done (we have a very large drive and sidewalk). 20 minutes in, he finally came outside, worked for maybe 10 minutes, and went back inside. The sidewalk was nowhere near done. So I was left to finish clearing the heavy snow. I went back inside in tears and he couldn’t figure out why I was so upset. It was because he was unkind and left his soon to be wife to do all the work.
    He did say how cute I looked all red from being outside. How nice.

    • Sounds like mine, had no problems with me being on the roof cleaning out gutters while he was inside texting shagabag, when asked to wheel the green waste bin over while I’m on the roof he would piss and moan, metrosexual manchild!
      More balls in my vag than in his sack, yes im pissed 14 days out grey rock fuck you, delete.

  • “Nice” can be a cover for manipulation and ridicule/amusement. For example, my sister is always trying to lose weight. (My ex and his mother are obsessed with other people’s weight.) Often, my ex would go to make himself a snack in the kitchen and would offer to make one for my sister, who said “No, thank you.” He would bring her a snack anyway with a big smile on his face. I think my sister actually thought he just couldn’t help himself but be “nice,” and she would accept it and say thanks. But I always knew he was laughing to himself over this. I’ve seen it before. Giving her extra large t-shirts that were too large for him because he thought she might like them. Those things aren’t nice–they are mean spirited.

    • Mine bought me yoga pants clearly too small thinking it would inspire me to lose weight, not that I’m big anyways and certainly not now having dropped 7 kgs in 7 weeks, tosser

    • Betcha he was saying sly little things to you when she wasn’t around. x used to do that to his own sister who struggled since her teens with obesity. He’d offer the pop, chips, nachos etc to her when visiting us and make snide remarks after she left. The weird thing is we never stocked up on pop, chips, ice cream etc unless his sister and her family were coming over. My children grew up eating fruits, veg, yogurt and other hippy dippy stuff as snacks and desert. Baked goods like cookies and cake and snacks like chips and ice cream were reserved for special occasions or weekly splurges. And the junk food never appeared when his skinny brothers and family were over.
      Makes me think that somebody who can feed the habit and despise the person has no empathy or affection for anybody. Feeding the chump little tidbits of affection while lying about late meetings, postponed returns from a business trip is just another sly deceit that warms the little cockles of their shriveled hearts.
      Well in hindsight we can see the disrespect and underhanded behaviour. Hopefully after surviving a life with these assholes we chumps will move forward and see this manipulation beforehand (as red flags) and avoid people like this.

        • This is also the same sister who says that I deserved to be cheated on. Nice that she defends a POS who has no respect for her.

    • Mine didn’t care enough about people to be unkind. Not actively, anyway. If people can’t do something that benefits him, they might as well not exist.

  • Arseface is the personification of nice.He has the glib,superficial charm thing down to perfection.We were on a flight once and someone in distress needed a doctor.I couldn’t believe that he ,as an experienced physician,did not respond to the call for help.It might hold him up,delay his exit when the flight landed.I thought all his instincts as a doctor should kick in and his response would almost be automatic.Nope.
    How stupid was I to ignore the glaring red flags.
    Dr.Jekyll masked Mr.Hyde very effectively most of the time.

      • I almost spit out my coffee when I saw that earlier.
        I don’t know what a tosser is but I think I need to change my ex’s contact to it.
        Sounds awful and humiliating…..that’s enough for me.

        • Are you familiar with the term wanker ? Tosser is the English term for any male who truly sucks and is full of him self ‘what a tosser’
          Quite an insult.

    • Wow, that is so wrong on several levels. STBX is a physician too. I have never been with him in a situation when he needed to render aid. I am pretty sure he would respond and assist, but he would do it anticipating the accolades he would receive. I think that respect and money were the main reasons he became a physician.

    • My stbx is a physician. I think he prays for situations to occur where he can be the super hero. Someone could be dying on the side of the road, he’d swoop in to help, but then immediately make sure it’s all about him. He’d give a nut for an emergency to occur on a plane full of people.
      I guess I didn’t treat him like super man, so he found some slut coworkers who think he’s just the most amazing guy ever.

  • My “nice” guy would help anyone who asked – as long as he got to help them by doing what HE offered/wanted to do, no necessarily what they actually needed. And then it was almost like he strutted around saying “look at me, aren’t I nice???” – he’d come right up and say “YOU’RE WELCOME” before you had a chance to thank him, or if you didn’t actually ASK for help, but to force you to praise him. I used to give him back/shoulder/hand/arm/foot rubs all the time, especially when he had a physically challenging job and would be stiff and sore but one day I had a really bad headache because my back and neck muscles were tense and I asked him to give them a little squeeze and stopped playing his video game, looked me in the eye and said “No.” when I reacted with disbelief, and practically begged for a little neck rub his response was “you know I don’t do that…”. nice.

    • Omg! The Worm says “you’re welcome” too! Plus when he calls me he’ll say, “This is The Worm”… I’m some kind of moron. What is it with lunatic cheaters and repetitive catch phrases?
      Also his nice always come with strings attached, in other words, as long as he is paying the bills or buying me gifts he is entitled to do whatever he wants….
      I knew there was something rotten in Denmark when I started getting gift cards instead of actual gifts….At Christmas, he was at the mall for hours shopping for gifts. Didn’t even wrap them. Just handed them to our sons and me in a brown paper bag….hours of effort. Crazy me, I stop by CVS and pick them up in ten minutes….
      I’m bitter, does it show?

  • My ex was very nice, big tipper, said “God bless” a lot, called strangers “Bro”. People loved him, handsome wholesome “nice” guy! But he was awful, if there was a news story on about a child dying and they were showing the crying relatives etc, he would shrug his shoulders and say stuff like “what’s the big fucking deal, it’s just a kid”; I would have to bite my lip every time because if I challenged his ugliness he would attack me as caring more about some kid I didn’t know than him. Yes they are masters at impression management with the outside world but don’t have a single emphatic bone in their body. Now that cheater is dead as an homage to him I often think “what’s the big fuckng deal, it’s just another dead cheater”. Sick maybe? But makes me feel better about what a callous asshole he was.

    • Ugh, mine does the “God bless” routine, too, but only around people that this might impress. Actually, he’s an atheist. In fact, his niceness is always for public consumption, always aimed at those in a position to benefit him somehow. So of course, the cruelties were saved mostly for when we were alone and their were no witnesses, though the kids always knew way more than he thought, as kids always do.

      • Or, “there.” Bite me, autocorrect. We do not have a nice relationship at all. Heh.

        • All of the things that I now understand are pretty typical, Cap. After all, they are in a relationship with a narcissist, too. During the last few years of the marriage, certainly the last two, both asked me to initiate divorce. So, let’s see:

          –For the boy, a lifetime of biting criticism, alternating with complete absence, and often followed by lavish gifts. He is a thoughtful one, and tries to work within his dad’s limitations (dad never accepts blame, dad never apologizes, dad gives stuff because that’s all he knows how to do, dad is one thing in public but another in private, dad doesn’t do truth much), but hard on him. Plus, fear that he will be the same, as though it is all genetic. Dad is successful, so also some attraction there, and awareness of benefit, but leads to inner turmoil. Smart, wary, vulnerable kid.

          –For the girl, just the long absences and the lavish gifts. Weeks and weeks of zip, then shopping, a trip, clothes, jewelry, and these rare but shiny moments all posted to FB. More flat out contempt, for her (she saw texts and pics, pretty flipping crushing), but she’ll milk him for stuff without guilt. Much talk with her about being careful with that, and deciding what kind of relationship is healthiest for her in the long run. Deep one. She holds things in. Counseling underway.

          –For both, zero tolerance for cheating and lying, depression struggles, school impact, health impact, “this is not what I was looking for in a dad” resentment, compassion for but frustration with me (they would mostly deny the latter, but truth, and wholly understandable) respect for my ethics, and a much more genuine and close relationship with me than him, at least for now. He gets the money calls; I get the life calls. Both also love him–that’s dad!–but it is a tumultuous and costly love. A burden. A wound.

          I bothered to know and love these kiddos for who they are. Dad’s approach has been much more of a “they are a reflection of me, and I prefer perfect reflections” type deal. Nothing ever quite good enough. But the girl is a) a girl, and b) gloriously, effortlessly beautiful externally (inside even better and way more lasting, but not his wheelhouse), so the worst less directed at her, and she knows why. She saw what happened. They both did.

          It’s a heartache. The gift that keeps on giving.

          • 21 years so far. It’s a race now to see if the divorce will be final before 22 years. It’s going to be close. Six weeks and counting.
            I asked for the decree absolute on my anniversary. I love symmetry.

          • Thanks for the long thoughtful answer (ignore previous comment!).
            I’m worried about my three in ways I just can’t get clear. So many things seem wrong in hindsight it going to take a while to figure it all out.
            You sound like such a smart, thoughtful mom.

            • Totally get the vague disquiet. Truth is, we won’t know the exact extent of the damage for a long time, if ever. I feel very guilty about that, but cannot rewrite history, so trying to do my best with them as things unfold. Generally, dozens of mistakes before breakfast, but on we go.

    • “Just a kid”? WOW, that is callous! The depth of horribleness buried in some peoples’ souls continues to shock me, even when I know better. Glad you got away from that creep.

      • I believe now he was a sociopath of the highest order. the pain and suffering he inflicted upon me makes no sense otherwise. Disordered doesn’t begin to describe him.

    • Beachgirl, not sick, not sick at all!

      The world is better without another cheater. All the problems that we have in the world are caused by people with crappy morals.

      His death is better than his life. May he rest in peace.

  • I will say my soon to be ex – he was kind. He did kind things for strangers. To look good? I don’t know. I remember one time he pulled over to the side of the road to help an elderly gentleman who had fallen. Crap. That’s kind! Impression management? Don’t know. I do know after affair revealed, he really did become an awful person. Not kind. Not nice. All for him . Such a mind fuck.

    • LFT, my ex was kind too. In the winter he always carried a tow strap in his truck so he could help people whose cars slide off the road. He was the guy who would stop and help if someone’s groceries were all over the parking lot. I wondered about this for a long time. How could he be so kind to others but not to me or our kids? And what I finally came up with was that it was a kind of mental “score keeping” on his part. Doing kind things for strangers evened the score in his head for all the harmful things he was doing to his family. It allowed him to look in the mirror and see a good guy even though he was stealing money from our family to support his porn and stripper habit. It allowed him to feel good about himself despite the risks he was taking with our finances and my health. He needed that “validation” from other people thinking he was a kind person so he could live with the fact that he was not treating his family the way he should. Because he always knew what he was doing was wrong. Every minute. And he did it anyway but justified it by being a kind person in the eyes of the world. And it also ensured that I was blinded to who he really was for a very long time too. Who would suspect evil of such a wonderful, kind man? I must be crazy to think he’s not all that.

      • My STBX was the same nice and kind and caring. He took care of me multiple times when I had gallbladder attacks in the last two years of our marriage and was generally nice and kind. Until d-day. Then he turned into an utter fucking douche. It was like a switch had flipped. I don’t know if the nice/kind ones suddenly break or what happens but he turned hard and cruel and utterly emotionless afterwards. He said one time when we were talking “What kind of person could do this? How could I do this to you?” Yeah. How could you do this to me? I’d still like to know. I guess he could have just been pretending but he should get an Oscar for his acting abilities if so.

      • Sounds familiar to me, Beth and I like how you put words to why they act this way. You are absolutely right! To make themselves feel “not so bad after all”.

          • Sad Shelby, Peaky and LFT: The good supposedly balancing out the bad is known as the ‘metaphor of the ledger’. It’s one of many tools that narcissists, cheaters, and criminals use to justify their bad behavior. I wrote a post about it called ‘Crime Theory Meets Cheaterspeak’. See if any of the other justifications I list there ring any bells!

            • My cheater has been having a mini freak out since a few weeks after d-day because he told himself that I didn’t love him anymore so it would be okay to cheat (he claims he never thought it was okay but how do you cheat if you didn’t tell yourself it was okay to do?). Once it all came out i had started furiously untangling the skein and MANY truths have come out about his perception of my feelings and his self perception and he has found out He Was Wrong. And now his brain is broken. He told himself “she doesn’t love me” but the constant crying and loss of 20 pounds in a few weeks and the screaming and going crazy at him has made that line impossible to cling to. “She is asexual and doesn’t like sex” has also been blown wide open and there’s nothing to cling to there either. “I LOVE the OW” has also been talked into dust. “But I’m a nice guy” seems to also have been disproved. So STBX is having a cognitive dissonance crisis because he has basically learned that through lying and unethical behavior he has ruined his life, my life, my emotional wellness and his own. And suddenly maybe he ISN’T such a nice guy. And all his justifications cannot justify what he did to us. Too bad he can’t figure out the whoremat’s part in all this but I have to say it makes me extremely and un-nicely/kindly happy that he is suffering. He brought this on both of us and I want him to remember it everyday until he dies. The situation is BEYOND fucked up and of course I would do almost anything if someone told me it could be undone but until time can rewind I will settle for STBX feeling “broken and numb and like an empty shell of a person” (his words) because that is what he has done to me and I don’t think I will ever recover.

      • I had the same kind as yours Beth…

        After I started singing as a canary about his adultery, his “kind” act ceased for all people in our community.

        That showed that his kindness was all an elaborate image management strategy. Now that the gig is up, there is no need to pretend to be kind as everyone knows he is far from a kind or nice person… Trust that they suck!

        • Yes exactly! Mine was the same way. Once the gig was up with me and the kids, it all stopped. Oh, I’m sure he still puts on the “kind” act at work where he still has an image to maintain but outside of that? Nada.

        • Wow. That was incredibly powerful. I’m sitting here stunned. I don’t think it’s off topic at all. It’s every “on topic”. “He was also a fully participating member of the human condition, so that along with his violence were streaks of kindness and generosity (even broke, he would bring home desserts and little treats for the kids), in a mix of the sort that leaves children perpetually confused, even into adulthood, about the true nature of the person at whose hands they suffered.”

    • Cheater once explained to me, before I even knew about the cheating, that he did nice things because he felt nice afterward and hoped that maybe it would “even out [his] karma.”

      We all wish we were a little better… you could have helped but were in a rush and it stuck in your head so you make time later to help, on purpose. I thought that’s what he meant.

      HAHAAAA – NO. He meant all the times he did things like not pay for the dog food or beer under the cart, cheated on his wife, tucked a pair of gloves into the pocket of something else he was buying, picked a fight with me so he could storm off for a “walk” in the middle of the night [to meet his whore at the park and fuck her in the dugout/pond benches where I spent a lot of time with our 3 children, all born within 2 years so we could get the hard work of the baby/toddler stage over with], etc.

      Helping old ladies, shoveling the muck at the end of the neighbor’s driveway when you have time, etc. do NOT, in fact, erase the horror of fucking your mistress on your son’s home dugout bench. Idiots. You can ladle out soup in a homeless shelter for every goddamn meal, for the rest of your life, and it will NEVER make up for murdering someone, for example. That’s not how it works.

      • The worst is doing evil and then trying to make up for it. If you know it’s wrong then don’t do it! It’s just that simple. Or own it! I hate hypocrisy more than anything. If you want to be a see you next Tuesday then own it and be one. If you want to be a good person then own it and be one. Make your choice and be that! If you are a terrible person and want to change then MAKE THAT CHANGE! I was a big big big fatty for my height. And through discipline I lost 50 pounds. If you want the change you can make the change. But don’t run around stabbing people in the back for the enjoyment of it and then try to help grandmas across the street to make up for it!

        • So agree SadShelby! I think it’s another example of false equivalency. Performing random acts of kindness for strangers requires no emotional investment and the payoff is you get to feel good about yourself for having done something nice. But being kind to your partner requires real work and effort and depth and there’s no payoff in “glory”. You don’t get any “atta boys” for keeping your dick in your pants, it’s just what you do when you love your partner. Same with taking care of your partner when they’re sick or grieving or whatever. There’s no pubic acclaim for the every day acts of kindness normal people do for the the people they love. In their sick minds, if there’s no pay off for them, why bother?

    • See? Livefortoday, infidelity is so harmful to a person’s spiritual life, they become exponentially worse. It is possible that before he started cheating he was not so horrible, but with every act of cheating they become worse and worse, until they are demonic in the end.

      • He is demonic. He scares the crap out of me. When I discovered his affair – he started raging and screaming like Satan. It was a freak show. He of course says I caused his behavior. Cause as we all know – cheaters take no responsibility. He even screamed like that at my dad when dad tried to defend me.

  • This Nice versus Kind theme is one reason I love the soundtrack from Into the Woods. All of the “nice” characters have character flaws that pretty well hidden but slowly grow throughout the story. Eventually they’re battling a witch and she totally calls them out.

    You’re so nice.
    You’re not good, you’re not bad,
    You’re just nice.
    I’m not good, I’m not nice,
    I’m just right.
    I’m the witch.
    You’re the world.
    I’m the hitch, I’m what no one believes.
    I’m the witch.
    You’re all liars and thieves,

    It always pissed me off that the ex was nice but not kind, and when I responded to his abuse with the truth (that he was treating me like shit), then all of the focus shifted to me for not being “nice.” I got blamed for being angry, for cursing, for overreacting, on and on and on. Never did get back around to what started the whole thing in the first place — his abuse. What a convenient diversion from the issue.

    I’m a kind person as well as a nice person. I am also MIGHTY AS FUCK and more than willing to call an asshole an asshole….

    ….thanks in large part to CL and CN! I’m so thankful for all of you, who allow me to vent and scream and curse and howl without saying, “My God, why aren’t you being nice?!”

    🙂 MGM

    • The Witch is one of my all-time favorite characters in theater, and that song is one of them. By God, she’s a creep, but at least she’s honest!

  • Kindness is definitely tied to reliability. I would never have thought to call Rhys or Mac if I’d been seriously hurt while I was dating either of them, but Ben has been my rock through three different accidents, even driving me to and from the ER on two of those occasions.

    (All names are code-names)

  • Asshat was the definition of “nice”. As a matter of fact, it was such a finely-honed a skill of his that if you opened Webster’s dictionary and looked up the word “nice”, his picture was there! CL is right on target: “nice” is nothing but impression management.

  • It is totally about impression management. My ex was a businessman in our community. I helped him run the family business. Granted, it’s good business practice to be nice to your customers/clients, however, what many of them didn’t know was the personal disdain he actually had for many of them. He didn’t have nice things to say about them behind their backs. Had they known what he really thought of them, they would take their business elsewhere…

    People with personality disorders are great actors. Being “nice” is an easy way to get the adoration/approval they so desire and it keeps their lives running on an even keel. They know that cranky, grouchy people don’t attract a lot of friends. However, being cranky to your wife might get her to jump through some hoops for you.

    Being kind is simply out of their realm because, as CL pointed out, it requires having empathy and a desire to do something solely for someone else’s benefit. Kindness has no strings attached. It was a pattern of strings with my ex. If he didn’t get something out of it, he wasn’t doing it.

    When we divorced, most people were shocked to hear how my ex behaved in private vs his public persona. Some did not believe he would behave badly without good reason and assumed I had done something to cause it because he was “such a nice guy”! IMO, people who lack critical thinking skills are the ones who automatically blame the victims. It didn’t make sense to me… I was just as nice to those people as my ex was, yet they deduced that I must have been a shrew of a wife and therefore he was justified in being unkind to me and even cheat on me?! No conceptualization that he might have been the one who had a problem because if it was so bad, they questioned, why didn’t I leave him sooner… All along I was doing my damnedest to save our marriage and keep the family together while Mr Nice Guy kept moving the goal posts and feeding me lies.

    • Yes, it’s a bitter pill, how readily people accept the cheater’s carefully spin version of events. Still bugs me. But I know there is not one darned thing I can do about, and besides, I don’t actually need or want the people who are willing to believe that in my life at all. I do think part of this is cultural and psychological, too. Nobody wants to believe that innocent people can be victimized. The world makes more sense and feels like a safer place if we believe that people deserve what they get. Still happens all the time with rape, for instance. Instead of going first to, “What a monster–lock him up and throw away the key,” people ask where she was, what she was wearing, whether she was drinking, whether she ever voluntarily had and enjoyed sex at any point in her existence, whether she was being provocative in any fashion whatsoever. It’s madness, it’s deeply lacking in compassion, it’s unkind in the most damaging ways, but it’s also common as dust. I guess one of the ways I am and hopefully will continue to grow from all of this is to be even more deeply compassionate, and even less concerned with public image. Being held in well warranted high regard by good and worthy people matters. Being unfairly judged by shallow people? Just need to let that go. Rankles something fierce at times, because we are human, but not actually consequential in any way that truly matters.

      • My motto atm is ‘fuck it’ hands flung in the air, don’t give a shit who knows as long as the truths out there and the light is on it, all these creeps and pervs rely on the victims keeping their mouths shut and the secrets staying in the family closet..

        • I say turn on the lights and leave em on and let those cockroaches scramble! I no longer stay quiet. Motto now is if you are behaving, then there is nothing to tell.

      • I feel like a pariah and a failure. Like anyone that sees me must know. Like I’m a leper or something. I know it wasn’t me. I KNOW IT WASN’T ME. But it’s so hard to accept the OW is just a stupid whore. She doesn’t have anything on me. I KNOW I’m 1,000% better than she is but it’s just so GD hard. Because logically if someone is going to throw an entire LIFE AWAY there MUST be a REALLY good reason. No one decides to just throw EVERYTHING away without a REALLY good reason. It’s just so illogical! I KNOW I’m filet mignon and I KNOW the whoremat is a cold, soggy, Quarter Pounder with cheese with a bite out of it, that missed the dumpster and is covered in roaches (literally her apt is full of bugs. Imagine that shit attracts bugs!) but it’s so hard to accept that ANYONE would leave to be with that. That THAT is preferable to me. I know. Not my circus. But it’s so hard. I know bad shit happens to good people but you expect that bad shit to be a car accident or an unexpected illness or the company you work for folds suddenly. When something comes to ruin your life you don’t expect it to be the person that built that life with you.

        • Sad Shelby,
          You are applying normal human attributes to a character disordered person. Of course it makes no sense! Accept that his character is disordered and he lacks a moral compass (don’t try to help him find one, he really likes not having one) and it was never about you. I’ve been where you are at and it’s the valley of despair and self depreciation. Get up! Crawl till you can climb. Keep moving.
          Take care

        • Sad Shelby, I really feel for you!!

          Yes, your head knows the truth. There is nothing wrong with you, and everything wrong with the co-cheater.

          Here is what I am thinking for you to do: think of 2-3 people who you really trust. Tell them the above and ask for their advice. Follow their advice, and then see where you are and how you feel.

          May God bless you, Sad Shelby!!

    • This exactly….impression management 101 . It needs to be ‘ 100 points to me for being all round good guy gives money to charity’ cancels out leaving my wife and kids with $200 and resents paying child support .

  • I had an ex who was The Perfect Gentleman. Door opening, seat pushing in, meal paying, Perfect Gentleman.

    He was also a closet woman hater. The Perfect Manners masked emotional unavailability and a series of emotional affairs.

    Not bad for a guy with so few emotions.

  • My husband is “nice” as in he stopped by after last weeks snow to offer the snow-blow the driveway for me. Makes him seem like a good guy to kids/neighbors/friends. Nice is all about social convention.
    If he were “kind” – a person acting from empathy, love and integrity – he would have honorably worked-on or exited our marriage a few years back, instead of cheating and lying and dropping a grenade into our lives.

    • And by the way, I called “niceness” and told him to “fuck-off” when he stopped by to clear the driveway – most likely on his way home from overnight at the girlfriends.

      • Yes, I would have done the same thing. F-ck off now and GTFO here with your nasty c-ck!

    • And by the way, I called his fake “niceness” and told him to “fuck-off” when he stopped by to clear the driveway – most likely on his way home from overnight at the girlfriends.

  • My cheater was a complete people pleaser. EVERYONE thinks she is just the sweetest, nicest, most caring person in the world. She completely molds herself to her surroundings to have others like her and goes out of her way to help out or give a gift. Behind the scene however, she’s had long term affairs on me and lied thousands of times. And used fake alias’s to check into hotels with her married boyfriend. Yet everyone just thinks she’s wonderful.

    I tend to think a good majority of cheaters are disordered. At least the long term affair/serial cheaters are.

    Sociopathy anyone?

    • I married the male version. Ironicly his LT AP was just like your wife, with the added bonus of being a Jesus Cheater. I’m not minimizing your pain. These people suck.

      I do remember very clearly after DDAY he sent her a Dear John letter breaking up from his tru luv, promising me No Contact. Busted him on that too. It was so very much more important to be nice to her heartbreak than kind to his own wife and family after a lifetime of cheating on his legal wife. Barf.

      • Yes mine too, a real People Pleaser. Always helping out, big tipper, very friendly (flirting), volunteered to do things – but always wanted a pat on the back for it. Attention needy like you would not believe – but only with me. And maybe he does have a good heart and is nice, but its more important for him to be recognized for his niceness. Selfish, narcassist, self-involved, etc…

  • “Nice” makes it really hard to figure out that you’ve been chumped. As my counselor said, if he were a total asshole, you would have no trouble moving on – but he’s a “nice” guy who reels you in with his decency – but in reality he is toxic to you and will never have your back.

  • My ex is nice. He invites my children’s friends on vacation so they are not lonely. He buys turkeys for his employees and hosts employee events that are lavish. His employees think he is nice and fair.

    My ex is not kind. He disses his employees behind their backs. He disses his friends behind their backs. When I gave birth, twice, had a life threatening injury, a miscarriage, death in my family he walked out. I was left alone with a newborn, twice. I was dropped off at home after surgery because he had to go to work. I was told to “get over it” when my relatives died. He is not kind. Never was. It’s an important distinction.

    Like many here on CL I struggle with dating and red flags. And my BS radar is set to high. Kindness matters.

  • A few days ago there was an article in a national newspaper about Arseface.He is eminent in his field.He had obviously charmed the journalist and the portayal of him was very favourable.To be honest ,reading it set me back for a couple of days as the journalist referred to some of his superficially attractive qualities,some of which drew me to him in the first place.I had to give myself a good talking to and remember that the man behind the urbane exterior is in fact a stone cold sociopath.Recovery is not linear and sometimes a trigger can send you back to a dark place temporarily,even after years have passed.
    Little did the reporter or the readers know the squalid,sordid reality that lies behind the mask.Lesson learned however.NC means reading nothing about him ever again.

  • Hello. I’m writing this from beneath a blanket of nice ! I have recent observations and thoughts fro before and after I knew. When I found out about his double life really. Three women over four years the shortest one five months as I found out. One of the first things that I couldn’t understand was that it was him ‘but it’s you, it’s us, you are not like that’. I told people and I would get the double or triple take as they tried to process what this ‘totally lovely guy’ had done. It was good to see people struggle with it as I did.
    So. Six months later with time to think and then recent time to observe (not for nothing did I watch all the David Attenborough stuff, sometimes I can hear him in my head narrating my cheater actions!).
    He is superficially nice. He appears to be listening when you talk. Seems attentive. But nothing sticks. It’s not going in at all. He forgets what I or the boys have said just minutes before. He often touches people on the arm and smiles a lot in conversation. He nods and looks at you.
    He will do stuff in the house IF I ASK. If I don’t ask, nothing gets done. He forgets who likes what food so just buys random stuff. He spends money like water but then bills are not paid. Keeps trying to buy me stuff but I have to keep pointing out we don’t have any money. He asks me why I don’t take the boys out more often. See previous reason.
    He takes. He lets me do everything. Cards for family stuff, parties, cooking, cleaning. If I ask him to clean it’s ‘why don’t we hire people?’
    He is quiet and smiley so people ASSUME nice and they have no reason to suspect otherwise.
    As for the cheating he says that he just didn’t think about me when he was with them and he didn’t think about them when with me. He didn’t think he would be caught so is just as shocked by the fallout. He said he tried not to text them while with me. When I asked why he stopped as he could see where that would go ‘because it was wrong/sleezy/unfair which is exactly what it all was. That’s it in a nutshell. He wanted to. He did. Didn’t think about any of it any more.
    Now he wishes he hadn’t but because it affects him. Nothing to do with us.
    He can only do nice and inoffensive. I think he thinks that if he just keeps doing it and adds some sad then we will forgive and forget. No clue about the depths of pain.
    He thinks because he didn’t MEAN to hurt us then it’s sort of forgivable.
    He doesn’t see that being nice while talking to me but telling me I just never was an issue is so painful.
    I really don’t matter as a person in my own right apart from how much I can reflect back to him that HE IS NICE.
    The other women were for the same purpose. I hated them but was shocked to hear him speak of them in such derogatory ways. How annoying they were, how little he thought of them. I didn’t realise that he could have year long physical and emotional relationships with them but have it mean diddly squat. That’s who he is. He is neither nice nor kind. I am both of those things and a bit less of the first lately.
    I am glad I know the difference now and more importantly so do the boys. They can see horrendous acts of selfishness and then see the nice that tries hard to cover it.
    I am fucking choking on nice.

    • I’m so sorry you’re choking on the ‘nice’, Cap. It’s SO hard when we realize that we were never whole people to them, and neither were our kids. Just objects to be used as worked best for them.

      But I have to say, I am LOVING getting David Attenborough to narrate the observations of cheater behaviour!

      • Hahaha. He has such a lovely voice (Attenborough) and calm demeanour. I just imagine him behind the sofa watching cheaterpants avoid accountability, try to kill us with the nice, knowing what he has done.
        “And we can see here cheaterpants has not done what he agreed but has ‘forgotten’ again and is now smiling with an aw shucks expression as if he is a loveable rogue. The deceit which is very common in this species to have ‘forgotten’ is very close to the ‘I don’t remember’ phrase that we saw in the kitchen yesterday. They really do, never, change. “

    • Capricorn

      I question whether it truly was “3 women in 4 years.” I think these 3 affairs are only the ones you know about…

      You were married to him for 21 years. Why would his behavior suddenly change in year 17?

      (I woke up one morning with the sudden and shocking realization that the affair I learned about in 2012 was probably not the first one.)

      • Star
        I agree! I just get fed up of writing ‘the three I know about’ or ‘probably three but possibly more’. I use these as the fuel to fire my anger to get out but yes there most likely are many more. But I don’t want/need to know anymore. This is plenty!

        • Cap – been reading your story and we don’t know each other and you’re across the globe – but I feel for you. I cannot even imagine having kids with that asswipe ex of mine. To go through what you and so many of you are going through with that dynamic, I hope strength and time to help you through this. I think some of these men do care about us but they just weren’t thinking of us or anything beyond their own wants and needs. And maybe to them that doesn’t make them evil, but these guys don’t understand marriage, commitment, family, and basic human decency. And i dont know if we’re chumps. But rather just normal people who DO have basic human decency and our hearts hurt when our loved ones hurt us – knowingly, even if not intentionally. But they know what they’re doing is wrong. Else they would it openly. So they can be nice and kind, and thats great. But we dont need nice and kind. We need a man (or woman) to honor their commitments and respect their loved ones and have basic human decency.

          Cap and all others, i have so much admiration for everyone here who is just trying to make it through to the other side which is called “Meh” and hopefully a lot more.

          • IAmAPhool that is really what I feel about my STBX. He doesn’t have the traits of a straight out disorder and certain things he’s said and behaviors don’t say narc either. And it’s true after d-day when there was still talk of reconciliation I had to make the call for him to go to therapy BUT he’s been going on his own since the first appointment and he’s definitely NOT parading around proud of himself and laughing it up. That’s what makes it so much worse I think. At least if he was the Tin Man it would be one thing but that hint of humanity mixed in with the fucked upness just messes with you.

            • Yeah. And that’s the mindfuck and making us be stuck. I was there for about 6 months. Then realized it was a lot of talk and very little action. If you guys are still trying then I wish you luck. just hope you’re not stuck for long and figure out next step. With or without him.

    • Attenborough narrating the Cheater in action! That is brilliant and wins the internet for me today.
      Thanks for giving me a giggle today Capricorn ?

  • t changed my life when I began to make this distinction. I am now suspicious of “nice.” And deeply attracted to “kind.”

  • It’s an issue of surface vs. substance. With cheaters, it’s always about impression management–they want to rescue the baby kittens trapped in a drainpipe when the cameras are rolling, but as soon as the camera crew has packed up, they drop kick the kittens.

  • This is very simple. You tell a narc by their actions, not there words. Niceness is about what you say. Kindness is about what you do.

  • Nice =
    Perfect pictures with kids outside on Fakebook, perfect pictures on Fakebook of woman out jogging on autumn morning, cutesy comments on Fakebook about how proud she is of daughter, angst-filled comments on Fakebook about how hard it is to be a single mom these days…

    Not-so-kind Reality =
    Serial cheater who has to be “friends”/hit on with every man she knows because she’s so insecure
    Cold-hearted woman who refused to drive husband to hospital because it was interrupting a visit with her sister (I had to drive myself)
    As soon as pictures are taken with kids, she goes to her room, locks the door, and ignores them for hours or even days in order to spend time on Facebook and social media

  • Lucifer was always ‘nice’ to others and me……until he wasn’t ‘nice’ to me anymore.
    He used my ‘kindness’ and he was all through with his front man; time to kick me to the curb!
    Soooo glad he did! Otherwise, I would not have known the level of sicko that he really is. I had to be away from his crazy to realize he is a truly sick and vile monster.

  • At one point about two years into limbo chumping, I just melted down and expressed my misery to my ex. While the true drain was his cheating, drinking, and drugs, I told him that I was exhausted from endless tutoring of my special needs child, endless yard work from our large wooded lot, and I was lonely and isolated after having moved far away from my friends and family for the sake of his job. All I really wanted was a hug or some form of acknowledgment that some days are hard. Instead, he suggested I hire a tutor and a yard service and buy an airline ticket to go visit my sister. So all my problems could be easily solved (nice) without any gesture from him (kindness). And no, there was no hug.

    • Ah Dixie that’s it!
      All his ‘help and support’ was by way of getting another widget to fill that gap as long as he personally didn’t have to exert himself.
      You put it exactly right (again). ❤

    • I complained for years that my life was one of drudgery–constant work parenting, full-time job, trying to keep the house clean enough for his exacting standards, play Academic wife at dinner parties. Hannibal’s response? I wasn’t fun or perky anymore so he found some 22-year old who was (+ another 22 year old, + some conference fucks, + some women from AFF, + a 40-something AP…..).

    • Dixie, they just can’t. I remember wondering why it was so hard for him to even give a hug or acknowledge me and it’s truly like beating your head against that brick wall. SMH

    • A few years back my dear, sweet, awesome Dad was diagnosed with an incurable lung disease. I came in with stbx sitting on the couch pecking on his iPad and said (in total distress), “Welp, it’s official. Dad has pulmonary fibrosis.” . . . Waiting . . . Waiting . . . Nothing. Oh wait, he might have said “Oh yea.” *** I went OFF***. . .

  • My cheater wife is ‘nice’ too. Very charming and people love her. But it’s all on the surface, there is no real kindness or empathy. Still no remorse for what she has done and what she continues to do, just blank stares and ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t remember’ or (my favorite) “Can’t we just move forward’. Her nice kept me stuck for a long time. Villans who wear capes and twirl their moustache are easy to spot but many cloak themselves in good deeds.

    • I get the ‘I’m solution focused’ speech. Lets just bury the uncomfortable truth part and the open suffering part and let’s move forward together.
      Literally unbelievable.

  • I married the nicest woman I’d ever met. Then eight years later watched as she walked past (en route to the OM) our sobbing eight-year-old as he begged, “Please Mommy, don’t go. I just want our family together.” I was so horrified. I followed her to her car and said, astounded, “Did you just hear what our child said?” She looked at me with those dead, contemptuous eyes and said “I’ve been unhappy for a long time.” (A lie, or at least news to me.) She was not kind. But she still maintains her reputation (to those who are still fooled) as the nicest woman in the world.

    • David.
      That’s one of the worst things I have ever heard. I’ve no idea how you process something like that. Thank goodness your son has you.

    • David, hurting or discarding us is one thing. Not giving a fuck about their own kids shows how incredibly disordered they are.

      After we told our kids we were separating, our 11 year old daughter was crying and crying. Cheater narc told her we’d do everything we could to avoid divorce, and this helped her calm down. Later I asked him what he meant by that (as he was FINE w/my kicking him out so he could be w/AP #2), and I got that cold-eyed, sociopathic stare.

      They are not fully human.

      • My ex told our 15 year old daughter that he was unhappy and wanted a divorce. She put him directly on the spot…wanted to to know specifically if there was another woman because people don’t just wake up one day & decided they want to get a divorce. He got defensive & told her that it was none of her business…it was between me & him. Her reply, “Bullshit, Dad. This IS my business. This is my family you’re tearing apart & from stuff you’ve done in the past, I think you’re guilty again.” I wish I was a strong as my daughter…

          • Yes, she did…in a mighty way. She would ask me questions, and I would tell her the truth as I knew it. He accused me of turning her against him, but he would never answer the questions she asked him. Now their relationship is strained at best. He comes and takes her to supper on Thursdays and they might be gone for an hour, maybe two. She goes out of obligation as she realizes this is the only time she will see him, and to quote her, “He’s a shitty person, Mom, but he’s still my dad”.

        • That is so impressive. My cheater tried the old ‘i was unhappy for so long’ and my kids basically went huh??’ Cos it was just reverse engineering to fit the plan of moving on with gf. Swore on their lives there was no one else. The cold eyes came when cheater was fake tearfully telling the kids he was so sad to be leaving…when i filled in with -dad doesnt want to live with us anymore and is moving out. He looked st me like he wanted to kill me….turns out his script was going to go more like…mum and i cant live together anymore and she wants me to leave …. i saw complete evil in that face in that moment and knew he was performing to the audience he had no real feelings in there at all.

    • I have my cold hearted moments, but I even feel guilty leaving the house when the cat cries! I can’t imagine how heartless that bitch is!

  • My ex is the epitome of nice. People love(d) him until he came and went so many times, abandoned me and his son so many times, it was hard to hide the sociopathic borderline narcissist. He was charming and now I can see how it oozed out of him like oil. Even now, when he says how sorry he is that he hurt me over and over again, but takes no responsibility for his actions, no attempts to repay me (financially) for ripping me off in the divorce. He cries crocodile tears. He feels sorry for himself but is mad at his son for being upset and disappointed with him as a father. For seeing through the mask. So yes, nice is very very different from kind. He is very nice to strangers. To his own family, he is far from kind. He is cruel and uncaring.

  • I’ve been trying to pinpoint what’s been bothering me. This post did it! Nice is Not Kind!! I could say so much more but I’m still reeling from all of this..

    • Km.
      This distinction hit me hard too when I first read it in the archives. It’s so obvious as soon as someone points it out. Makes a lot of stuff make sense for the first time.

  • I’ve recently moved to Oregon which is a state somewhat renowned (at least within the state, they’re very proud of it) for their niceness. There are even bumperstickers: Be Nice! You’re in Oregon!!

    But, as a person whose “core values inventory” test lists “authenticity” at the very top, it’s no surprise I find this attitude fake and annoying. Every time I go into a shop, some employee comments on my scarf, my jacket, my hair — It should be noted, I am NOT a snappy dresser nor am I particularly lovely. IOW, it’s my feeling they’ve been INSTRUCTED to do this, which makes it all the more meaningless. I much prefer shopping in France where the shopworkers could give two shits about what kind of day you’re having. They are there to get you a different size or ring up your purchase, but beyond that, they leave you alone. Bliss.

    Also, thanks to CL for granting me a pardon for grumbling under my breath as I stop to help some random stranger with a door problem or a busted bag of groceries — always seems to happen at the most inconvenient times! I do do it, I do help, but sometimes I’m quietly harrumphing under my breath. — I’ve been pardoned!!

    • I suppose I should also mention and confirm that XH was also “nice but not kind” for all of the reasons everyone listed above. I could provide numerous examples, but really it would just be a different subtlety on the same shit sandwich. So I’ll just say: Me, too.

  • My stbx is the “nicest” guy you’ll ever meet. He’s an emergency physician who opened an urgent care clinic about two years ago. I am constantly bombarded with people telling me how amazing he is.
    Word is finally seeping out about his triple life (1. Wife [me] and three awesome kids. 2. New love of his life. 3. Slut he uses as sexting partner.)
    He is finding that life was much more enjoyable when he was able to keep his extra lives secret.
    Over 20 years ago, I fell for the overwhelmingly nice guy. I couldn’t believe that I was so lucky that this man actually loved me. Everyone fell at his feet. He could charm anyone, anytime, anywhere. He was always extremely nice, and based on the definition of kind in this thread, extremely kind. It didn’t take long to see that the “kindness” was always an act. He found a way to make every kind act about himself.
    I guess I got used to that part of his personality, and I thought things were great as a family. Then one day I found the texts with his slut coworker. Their affair had been going on for months. I, of course, stayed because he broke it off with her and was going to spend the rest of his life making it up to me. Six years into the rest of his life, I find text messsges to/from a new coworker who has become the love of his life. He just needs to find a way out of his marriage. Then I find new sexts to/from the original slut.
    I was devastated the first time around, this time the rage has overwhelmed me. As friends are hearing the news, they are shocked that such an amazing guy could do this. Shocked! Most then become angry because he fooled them, too. They are having a hard time understanding how he can be so deceiving.
    Some people, mainly acquaintances, haven’t heard the news, and I’m still being approached by them telling me how wonderful he is, so caring, so helpful, blah blah. He is really spreading the bullshit on thick these days.
    Word is getting out, though. He’s an actor. He’s not nice. He’s definitely not kind. He’s a liar. He’s a cheater. He’s a deceiving motherfucker.
    Thanks. I feel better announcing it every chance I get.

    • Overwhelmed, I hope that when people come to tell you how great he is, you tell them about his triple life!!! If he didn’t want it known, he shouldn’t have done it.

      • It didn’t happen often, but I did have a couple of chances to correct the narrative when approached by peripheral friends who said, “Yeah, I heard you guys are breaking up,” and I could say, “Well, that’s not EXACTLY what happened” and then tell them. Some (but not all) of them were appropriately shocked.

        • Yes, I always correct the record when people say they heard we were separating. He leaves out a few details, so I make sure I finish the story and shock the shit out of people. I usually walk away smiling, leaving the person with his/her chin on the floor.

    • Although you’re in a tough spot, you’re lucky to have people responding with appropriate anger and disbelief. So many of “our” friends were HIS friends, so when he left me (16 years together) for his 25yo waitress, “our” friends just couldn’t believe he would DO something like that. He’s so NICE! So they’re all his friends now and I have my people from my job, my sister …. I’m grateful but it still hurts that I lost so many peripheral people because they thought I was overexagerrating or making things up about him.

      • I am lucky that most of our friends started off as “our” friends, not just his. When most have heard the news, they have been shocked, but then they became angry and immediately turned on him.
        If he has friends that want to be there to comfort him, fuck ’em. There’s a reason they’re not my friends.

      • NW – I think this is one of the most hurtful things in our situations. The friends who stay with cheater! I find it painful and I’m sorry you had to experience it too. It just sucks.

      • This happens and it is gut wrenching to find out before the shock ‘seperation’ narctastic was blackening my character to all our peripheral friends and work buddies that i was a spender….a nag…he was henpecked and under the thumb…so when he orchestrated his exit he had a legion of followers that were just relieved he’d finally felt the bitch to find some happiness at last. This is where ‘disorder’ comes into the personality as there is no thing else to consider in their life but their ego and image . After 18 months of no or strained relationships with various ‘friends’ and aquaintences the truth was he had been waging a passive aggressive campaign behind my back for at least 8 years to paint me as the witch and him as the victim. I think if i had found out all this on d day i would have killed myself . The truth hurts but maybe you cant hear it in one hit cos it would literally kill you.

    • “Some people, mainly acquaintances, haven’t heard the news, and I’m still being approached by them telling me how wonderful he is, so caring, so helpful, blah blah.”

      I feel like the answer to “he’s so wonderful,” should always be, “yeah, funny coincidence, all the girlfriends he had when we were married thought he was wonderful too!”

  • Just when I thought I’d found nice AND kind, found out within the last few weeks that my now former fiance has been cheating all along just like my exhole had, just way way undercover. A few days before my birthday, I had a horrible fall down the steps, breaking ribs and puncturing a lung and was in ICU. I share a birthday with my late Father, who at the time was in assisted living. I found it so odd that ex fiance drove 5 hours down and back to visit my Dad on our shared birthday rather than sitting with me in ICU. Now in retrospect I’ve no idea where the neither nice nor kind man really was, but I am sure it was not with my Dad.
    Dodged a bullet this time, at least we didn’t get married. And he wants the ring back. As if.

    • Bullet dodged! SO, SO, sorry for you. At least you don’t have to deal with the future fall out! ☹️

  • This is so interesting! My cheater is also a “nice guy”. You might even call him “charming”. He jokes around with strangers (especially if they’re younger and female) and acts like a grown-up kid. In fact, at large events, he’d often hang out with the kids because they are easier to charm.

    He was often nice around the house, but only when asked, so it felt more like a burden. Add to that, he wouldn’t hear me the first time I would mention needing help, but eventually he would kick in. Usually.

    Still, I can’t remember a single time that he did a FULL grocery shopping trip. He’d run off to the store to get things he needed to grill burgers or buy snacks to bring to work, but he’d never take along the grocery list.

    He doesn’t believe in giving to charity. “That’s what taxes are for.” *eyeroll*

    A biggie for him is also making promises that he never intends to keep. It drives me CRAZY when he does this to the kids. But man, he sure comes across as nice when he makes those empty promises!

    I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be with someone who goes out of his way for me, plans dates, plans vacations, finds ways to make things easier for me and the kids, simply pulls his own weight.

    In just about all of our cases, it seems to boil down to getting positive feedback (“kibbles”) as quickly as possible. If kibbles will be instantaneous, flash the nice! If it’ll take too long to see the kibbles, not worth it.

  • Wow. I’ve relied upon, and learned from, this site and the decoding that I’ve missed prior to joining Chump Nation.

    This article affirms me so much, and I really needed to see/read it today. I’ve been worried, kicking myself, and just plan mindfucking MYSELF, over the fact that I KNOW my husband/STBX is a “nice” guy (and yes – from the Midwest!). And I’ve regarded myself (especially recently or well, no….I guess the past 10 years pretty much) as “not nice”, based on my anger and resentment and hostility (sometimes simmering, sometimes oppressed, often displayed as a response to husband’s dismissive indifference and passive manipulation that I see, but is invisible to others). And yet I found my “not nice” hard to reconcile with my heart and myself, a person I’ve always regarded as “kind” and whom I believe others regard as such. I’ve been told by people (including my husband) that I’m a “good” person. I am my own worst critic as most of us are – so I don’t necessarily place stock in what husband says to me, especially since he’s a liar. But I didn’t/don’t need him to tell me I’m a “good” person – I know I’m a flawed person.

    This distinction between “nice” and “kind” is so timely – because I would say “nice” describes my husband, while “kind” describes me.

    In fact, it’s like Tracy wrote this blog entry ABOUT me and my husband.

    Sad to know it’s so apropos across the Cheater/Chump Playbook.

  • I’ll take sincere and authentic over “nice” any day. When I outed my cheater, I could see the disbelief on people’s faces because he was “such a nice guy.” Hell, even I had trouble believing it and I SAW it firsthand. Fuck fake nice. And of course, I was the crazy bitch for seething and being visibly upset about his betrayals. Kind tells the truth. Kind isn’t always nice-nice.

    Thanks for another spot-on column CL!!

  • Mine would go out his way to help/save strangers and other people. But not his own family. Us, he treated like dirt.

  • Nice: “I don’t want my wife to find out I’m cheating because I don’t want her to find out and get pissed.” So, cheater goes underground to “protect” the spouse.

    Kind: Doesn’t even occur to a kind person to cheat.

  • The Fucktard ex was the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet, until he wasn’t. He would listen to everyone’s problems. He was always the one people turned to for help. Sadly, his definition of help, was telling folks what I could do for them. And guess who got the thanks?

  • My STBX will do anything for anybody and then resent it later. He is “kinder” to people he hardly knows than to the people he should love. It is like everybody gets a few freebie acts of kindness and then after that you need to fall all over yourself with gratitude for everything he does for you whether you asked for it or not or you obviously take him for granted, don’t appreciate him and don’t deserve his kindness. Returning kindness with kindness doesn’t count. Of course he has been doing more random acts of kindness lately without complaint, but that is just paying off his guilt debt (i.e. he does it to make himself feel better).

  • I married a total charmer. Everyone liked him, though some of my friends told me after we separated and then divorced, that they were always wary that he was so smooth. They could sense his inauthenticity. They never said anything to me (I guess that would be hard to do about anyone’s spouse). But his “niceness” has made me still at times pine for my old life. What has recently helped me – I am a very visual person and just saying “he sucks” hasn’t been enough- has been to visualize my XH as a robotic monster whose face peels off and there is an ugly oozing skull underneath. When I picture this, I am thankful to not be with him and any residual sadness drops away. This has been a new thing for me to try so that I can stop any “if onlys”. So, if it helps, I suggest creating a visual in your head to see the real person you were married to.

    • You could be describing my marriage as well. I have had some trouble getting over pining for my old life as well. I hope you don’t mind if I use your oozing skull too! That imagery is fantastic, and so spot on.

  • My STBX walked out on me when I was 6 months pregnant after 20 years of marriage and 2 other kids. That is so far on the opposite end of kind that I don’t need to analyze what was nice or kind through the years. He showed me his character. And I now simply trust he sucks.

    • getme free,

      I think I remember your story. You have the sick baby he never visited right.

      Clearly he is neither kind nor nice. I hope your divorce is going as well as possible — and goes really poorly for him. What an asshole

      • Notsurewhat2do,

        Thank you. I can’t say divorce is going well but it is moving forward…very slowly. He is busy trying to devalue his business and claim his income is lower than what it has been for last 14 years. But I am watching everything he is doing and building mounds of documentation.

        He is pretty smooth though and lots of people think he is wonderful. I know what he looks like on the inside. And as far as I am concerned, God can deal out His punishment. An eternity in hell is worse than anything I could accomplish.

  • I’ve become deeply suspicious of nice people since my divorce. The nicer they are the less I trust them.

  • Back in the fog, when I still thought I was married, he accused me of having no compassion. We had an employee who was behaving like a toddler given Pepsi max, and I wanted to fire her. But he defended her- she had a horrible marriage! She was so stressed! I obviously had no compassion!I blinked and said, No i don’t. But I’m kind.
    The troll employee turned out ( of course!) to be having an affair with my husband, her other boss.
    I made a diary entry when I had been going out with him for about 4 months, noting that he wasn’t kind- why why, oh why did I ignore that bit of clarity?
    14 year old daughter ranting about her dad in the car 2 weeks ago- ” It’s like he has no empathy!”the only reply possible was ” Yes, sweetie, you are correct. He has no empathy.”
    Currently XH is being SO nice I suspect something dreadful is in the works.Does he thinks that buying me a book makes up for the vast rolling ridiculous soap opera of the last 9 years?Even me being as boring as possible doesn’t seem to phase him- ” I saw it and thought of you’?
    So he thinks of me in bookstores. Pity he didn’t think of me in strange bedrooms.

  • My x is a very charismatic man. He’s attractive for his age, tall, and successful. He makes an effort to be “nice.” It took me about 30 years to figure out that it was all narcissistic image management.

    A few weeks ago, I ran into him when I was with a friend who has been a longtime neighbor. The x had a brief deer-in-the-headlights moment and grumbled a hostile “Hi” to me, then turned to my friend and abruptly cranked the charm up to 11. He asked her more questions about her life than he’d asked me during the last five years of marriage. It was so obvious that he was frantically image-managing that both she and I felt highly uncomfortable. I finally pulled us away saying I had to get going.

    When we were together he was nice to me too, but I realize now that’s because the kids and I were just extensions of him, like an arm or a leg. Our interests were aligned. Any time I acted like my own person and expressed an opinion or a desire that conflicted with his, I’d get a tantrum and the silent treatment. In the three years we’ve been separated he has been uniformly NOT nice to me. I am no longer equivalent to a compliant body appendage. I’m the one person he can’t pretend doesn’t know what he is, so he doesn’t bother with the nice.

    Kind, however, he has never been. I don’t think I would classify ANY cheater as kind, no matter how many old ladies they might help across the street.

    • Boy, can I ever relate to the pain of the years wasted. 28 married? 34 in total? (Yup, a long courtship. Did not even rush into this thing! Big giant sigh.) Seems like an out-of-body experience. That I am just now FINALLY getting a clue about who and what he is? That’s truly embarrassing. Makes me feel like a complete and total dunce, at times. But, dammit, we were occupying a wholly different reality, ChampChump. And we made excuses for them: their stress, their drive, their competitiveness, whatever. I did exceedingly chumpy boatloads of that. The good news is that we are out. Yay. Now, I can live without walking on eggshells. I remember well, especially in the last few years, but always to a degree, how my anxiety spiked when I knew was coming home. Oh, how I flew about to try to correct the multitudes of things that might set him off: car parked a millimeter out of perfect alignment in the garage, anything anywhere that might resemble a mess, anything of his that the kids might have borrowed or moved (hairbrush, nail clipper, charging cord), and on and on, ad nauseum. In retrospect, pathetic. But also one example of why his “I was never happy” excuse for affairs makes me shake my head. I mean, yeah, true enough. Nothing ever makes him happy. Nothing. Ever. But I had and have nothing at all to do with that. For him, contentment is simply an impossibility. Only ever sees lack, flaw, fault, blemish, need for improvement. I’m glad not only not to have to deal with that anymore, but also not to be that way, myself. The angle of light through tree branches makes me pretty happy. Thank heavens.

      • Did we EVER make excuses for them, SAHM! I grew to think it was normal to always be thinking about someone who as it turned out never thought about me (he was busy working! making money for US!), thinking he would appreciate my ensuring he never had to miss a business trip (or a day snowboarding or a Grateful Dead concert or WHATEVER he wanted to do, thinking he appreciated the thousand things I did for him, from making sure there was toilet paper to wipe his butt to raising our kids virtually singlehandedly.

        But you’re right, they will NEVER BE HAPPY. My x said as much to me in one of his rare moments of honesty. He admitted to me, “I can’t love anyone” (he tried–believe me, he tried) and “Nothing makes me happy.”

        We might have labored under a false reality for decades, but we are the lucky ones!

      • Oh my goodness I had forgotten that “wanting to be sick” feeling when he was on his way home, or more likely when I heard his key in the door, and having to make everything perfect in case HE/THE MAN/THE CHOSEN ONE flew into a rage. It’s only a small incident but when we first rented a home in PA we didn’t have much space in the bathroom. We had a small cupboard for toiletries so I put all my and the baby’s toiletries at the back so he wouldn’t have to reach in and get anything of his and probably knock something nearer the front over. One time he laughed and said “am I that bad?” so I just said “no actually, you’re worse”. He didn’t like that either.

        • Yup, it’s how the abused learn to function. I look back, now, and am stunned by how much I withstood. But he would say, and has said, that he was never abusive. In fact, he complained that when I speak that truth, I “minimize the experience of people who were truly abused.” This even though I survived a nightmarishly abusive childhood with body and spirit mostly intact. Truth is, cheater boy did abuse me. That he will never admit it or feel sorrow or shame about it changes nothing. This is why I occasionally (not often, because not quite that highly evolved, just yet) feel for the slut. (Whorey Slut, as the daughter has dubbed her.) I know what day-to-day with him post the glittery infatuation phase looks like, and it is pretty flipping chilling.

  • This could not have come at a better time. My cheater, in response to my repeated demands for even the most basic details like why the cheating? When did it start and for how long, and with whom? Are completely shut down with dismissal, blame shifting and, the bones. Oh the bones. Just today he responded with my anger of STILL being in the dark, 4 months after D day, by depositing $$ in my account so I can “buy those boots you’ve wanted”. I hate bones. I hate him.

  • This post and all of these stories resonate so much, having been married to a covert “nice” narcissist for over 25 years. He’s the boss at work and loves to make a show of being generous to employees experiencing personal crises. My favorite example came when two of his young employees found themselves in the midst of ugly divorces from actual malignant narcissists, men who harassed, stalked, and threatened them. They both had to go into hiding in order to leave.

    Man, was that his opportunity to become the Knight in Shining Armor and to reinforce his own self-image as the nicest guy, even as he was subjecting me to torrents of verbal abuse as I made my own plans to leave him. It only reinforced his own righteousness, in his disordered mind, when he lent them a sympathetic ear, offered them time off, and hired a security firm for their protection–how could I say anything bad about him when he was the very opposite of these two terrible, dangerous men?

    Of course everyone in our community couldn’t stop going on and on about what a great guy he was because he made sure his support was well-known–and to his credit, he did what anyone should have done under the circumstances, but he had to make sure he actually got the credit for it (meanwhile, I would bet that the only people who know that I made my home available to these young women as another safe house are the women themselves).

    Meanwhile, he wouldn’t give the time of day to the janitorial staff who works for him, all male. Instead, he forces them to engage in “joking” banter whenever they have to deal with him, all of which is of course at their expense, not his. Pure dominance crap, but it’s all a big joke so he’s still a nice guy, right? My hope is that they secretly hate him. All of his other employees, though, seem to love him.

    He also has a long history of befriending little old ladies and inserting himself into their lives to bizarre degrees, taking care of personal or financial issues, accompanying them to the hospital (he even had himself made a temporary POA for one, the mother of a friend of his, who was out of the country for a period of time–like his own siblings couldn’t take over? As I said, bizarre).

    As usual, he makes sure multiple people know all about these acts of “kindness,” all done while he was neglecting to make time for his own wife and children and treating every personal crisis I had as a major imposition (famous quote when I became deathly ill with the flu: “What do you expect me to do, take you to the hospital?”)

  • My cheater could not understand my pain and devastation nor my unwillingness to forgive his years of deceit. The night our daughter was diagnosed with cancer a month after d’day I said to him in front of witnesses that he and I were done as I could not fight him and help our daughter fight cancer. He did not show any understanding of what I was going through. As I left the room the only response I got from him was “I like your new glasses”. Wow was he fucking kidding, he commented on liking my new glasses. I was later told that once I had left the room one of those remaining confronted him and stated that I was not kidding our marriage was over, his response to them was to state “our marriage isn’t over she just thinks it is”. Cheater had spent years cultivating his nice guy act. And following D’day it was in direct contrast to the highly emotional and distraught person that I was. I can now see that it was all just part of the game for him. It was a game he had utilised and perfected over the 17 years of our marriage. The nice quite guy and the loud crazy sometimes aggressive wife. Cheater is only nice when in front of others because as Chumplady pointed out “nice” is interpreted as being kind and this often leads to a false understanding of the situation by those who are looking on. The nice guy routine is especially useful to Jesus cheaters because if they are seen as nice by the outside world (those who really are irrelevant to his lifestyle) they are more likely to get away with the nasty behind the scenes. And the offended party is more likely to been seen as the wrongdoer, as they are emotional, reactive, and often as in my case, the one who calls it quits on the marriage as it is there only means of saving themselves.
    In the three years since D’day cheater has gone out of his way to get in my face, especially after he hooked his new victim and be super nice to me in public, this is especially hard as we chumps know it is all an act and when we do not reciprocate the nice routine we are seen as being mean or in my case abusive. I have found this to be a particularly difficult position to be in and it was compounded by others who had no idea it was/is all an act and therefore wanted to judge my reaction. I have lost many friends because of this. Cheater likes to be seen as the nice guy but since d’day his mask with me has fallen so low he has tripped on it many times, but sadly only I can see it.

  • Ok fellow chumps, I just got back from the doctor and I have shingles. He asked me if I have been stressed recently. All I could say is, “uh, yeah, a little bit.” I’m sharing this to remind everyone to take as good care of yourselves as you can. I know it’s hard when you are busy but this stress can really take a toll on the body. I have to admit I sort of enjoyed the stress related weight loss (yay – finally made my goal weight!), but enough is enough. It’s time for me to realize the stress of the past 3 years since DDay is catching up with me. I’m going to take a bath and lay on the couch more. I am going to meditate and I am going to make sure I get enough sleep. As God is my witness! Chump Nation please take good care of yourselves – I love you guys.

    • Oh, no! So sorry. That is a painful thing. Hope you heal rapidly, and yay to your plans for self-care. Peace to you. ❤️

    • Hey K
      I got shingles on my head 5 years ago from my ex being a jerk with his on off binge drinking, it is terrible and can make you depressed and tired for months. Also makes clear thinking difficult. They make or bodies and spirits sick they are vampires. Take care. Have a look at some herbs like asgwagandha it is really amazing for adrenal burnout conditions

    • KathleenK
      That’s awful. I’ve never had them but stories about then are enough. I’m so glad you are focused on looking after yourself.
      I’m going to do the same! Reading all theses posts today has laid me low emotionally. I know what he is but there are levels of feeling it I suppose. I don’t have any hope now but its just like turning a tanker ship it takes a while to walk away from 21 years and that person you thought you knew.

      • Capricorn,
        Thanks for your thoughts – I’m feeling pretty lucky. So far it’s not horrific. Maybe I lucked out with mild case. We’ll see.
        But yes, it is much like turning a tanker ship. You cannot turn it on a dime and I know you wish you could! Emotional healing takes time and it just can’t be rushed even if you do every single thing right. You are doing every thing right and I wish I could wave a magic wand and have you out on the other side right now. The time will pass – kinda like with a newborn when the days feel like a month but the months fly by like days. I’ve been thinking of you having your STBX there in your house and and I feel for you. I have been pushing myself so hard to be upbeat, out and about, fit, house clean etc etc. Today with the shingles I gave myself permission to lay on the couch all day and I feel so much more peaceful. I feel cared for. I guess that’s why they call it self care! I hope you can feel the peace soon – take good care of yourself. <3

          • No problem – thanks so much for thinking of me JeepTess!!! I’m feeling pretty good and it’s another day where it hasn’t gone into my eye which is awesome! Another couple of days without a problem, and the danger to my eye will be passed. So fingers crossed – appreciate the herb advice so much!!?

            • Thank goodness it isn’t in your eye…that is so scary. Dagone!

              Herbs are amazing 🙂 Thank goodness we have the knowledge. Forty years ago all the kids were getting tubes in their ears…I took my boys to my herbologist and he said they had dairy and gluten allergies and gave me some herbs to clean it out of their systems and instructions on feeding them non dairy and non gluten diet and 🙂 my boys didn’t have to have them. All the ear infections cleared up and they never had another one 🙂

              Sending you healing vibes 🙂

  • XH was nice to me when he wanted something. He once gave a homeless person some change. He would get my Christmas present wrapped by the Red Cross at the mall and donate a couple dollars. The community considers him to be a nice person.

    Three years ago on this date, we were married and I was working to support him. We went to the dentist and I went in debt to have 5 of his teeth filled. When we left the dentist, he asked me to buy him something. I said I would but after we had a talk about our marriage. I had been feeling like I was being used by someone who didn’t love me. I thought that he would be willing to have the talk and would respond by saying that he wasn’t aware that I felt that way, but he would make an effort to show me how much he loved me. When we got home, I asked if we could have the talk. Without a word, he launched a physical attack on me that resulted in bruises. During the attack, I did not fight back but I asked him to stop several times. He did not stop until he was good and ready. When the attack was over, I asked him how he could do that if he was supposed to love me. His response was that he did not love me, actually he hated me and was using me for my money. He hated me because I did not make enough money. I asked him, how will you be able to come on to me for sex after this? His response was that he did not want to have sex with me. Kind? No. Merciless, sadistic, savage? Yes. His “nice” false self had left the building. If not a physical discard, this was an emotional one and any time you are being discarded you are being cheated on. I did not make that connection in my mind at that time; I didn’t even know about narcissism. My heart was broken and I thought about divorce then but because I did not suspect cheating I just tried harder to make him love me.

    Two years ago, in February of 2015, I got the physical evidence of cheating or “D-Day”. First I noticed the sex stain on the new car seat. Later I noticed the lipstick stain on his shirt sleeve. It was during the infidelity confontation that I noticed that the “nice” guy was nowhere to be found. The man I confronted was loud, angry, aggressive, haughty, arrogant, completely devoid of compassion, completely devoid of empathy, alternately raging and whining with self-pity, vicious and hardhearted. Kind? No.

    In the interim, between Feb. 2014 and Feb. 2015, he made a big deal of grooming his nails as I was getting ready to go back to work after being off for 2 days. I remember him looking at me with a smug look on his face and a smirk, like the cat that ate the canary. I remember feeling a little queasy and thinking that he should have groomed his nails before my 2 days off from work and not after, because nails should be groomed in case a foreplay situation arises. But now that my time to be off was over and I was going back to work, a foreplay situation would not be arising between us. I felt uncomfortable but did not make the leap in my mind at the time that he was having an affair. It took undeniable physical evidence. Nice or kind? No. Sadistic and cruel? Yes.

    • Wow, he sounds like a pure psychopath. The smirk, the grooming, the violence. I hope you are well and truly out of there.

  • So, for me it’s been almost two years since I received the letter from OW’s husband.

    Never thought a bad thing about the love of my life. He was my reward for a life previously filled with childhood abandonment and a really cruel first marriage. Bad picker alert.

    This nice vs kind theme totally resonates. Always thought of by others as just such a wonderful guy. To me? Cold. Nine year affair with a married woman who was discovered by her two oldest daughters (it will happen when the cheaters have sex in her marital bed).

    Still with him. Separated after I told him to leave after finding out he had been secretly meeting with another woman while working sooooooo hard on our marriage. But he’s “trying!”, I guess, to talk himself into monogamy.

    But here’s the thing: we went to a Valentine party at the club where he’s vice-president. A dinner dance. He left me at the table to do some “Club business”. Never returned. Abandoned me for the rest of the evening. Drinking with his buddies at the bar. Totally forgot me.

    When I got up from the table, the band’s singer grabbed my hand and danced with me and it was fun! Except he twirled me too much, I became very dizzy and lost my balance. Fell. He heard about it, never came to see if I was alright.

    Not nice. Not kind. And I realized that if that had been a date? I would never accept a phone call from him again.

    Together for 34 years, married for 28. No kids, thank you, God! And it was freeing because others noticed, had come up to me and invited me to join them since I had been left alone. It wasn’t my imagination. Others saw behind the mask. They identified the schmuckdom I have lived in.

    Scary how identical these people are. No wonder he likes to watch Ancient Aliens. Probably like doing his genealogy.

    • God love you for that genealogy line! ? Our stories eerily similar, but two kids here.

  • Parallel parenting nightmare has started.
    I sent a carefully worded email saying when I would drop and pick up kids and asked his address.
    Also stated that no one else spends time with them tomorrow.
    Reply A tirade of !!!! You don’t dictate to me bullshit, I’m not giving you my address blah blah, emotional reaction immature narc vomit, anyways, my reply.
    Supply address so I can drop them at the gate at 10 and re read previous email and action.
    I asked he propose what type of time he wants to spend with the boys, you know like a plan for the future.
    That would mean acting like a grown up.
    Total Fuckwit, kids aren’t overly fussed so if this shit continues, tomorrow’s not happening. I have 100 percent custody and don’t bend to him anymore. Tuff love buddy

  • Lady B
    Save yourself a lot of mind strain. Forget co parenting with him.
    Does not happen.
    That response never gets better.
    They treat you as a nothing, and see the kids exactly when 100% convenient for them.
    No planning ever.
    Mine are now old enough to do same back to him. Total dysfunction.

  • Also forget asking him to do any “right ” thing.
    They go out of their way to do the opposite.
    Other women forced down kids throats at once – tick
    Lying – tick
    Abusive rants – tick
    No money for kids – tick

    Truly awful people. Sooner you lower your expectations the better. You are on your own.

    • Seriously? This is key. Lower the expectations and trust they suck. We need to stop projecting our values onto them.

  • Thanks seriously.
    Just got a series of mindfuck emails. I think he thinks I want to stalk him but is confused as I have been as he said ‘ignoring’ him, yeah that’s because we are fucking done idiot.
    Anyways did not reply to said emails, so unless address is forthcoming he is not seeing them tomorrow and my kids know this also and don’t seem to phased.
    Gets weirder I went to the beach with the boys and am laying in the sand and look up and guess who’s in the water with the boys, him. Wtf, he would have seen my car in the carpark.
    I rounded them up and left, since got an email ‘ you look good and it was sort of good to see you’ wtf, is this an attempt at hoovering while mindfucking me.
    Over this shit already think, expect nothing and won’t be disappointed.
    Thanks for you bluntness and honesty.

  • My cheater had nice moments, even kind moments. But most of the time it was just him being nice and kind to his own dick.

  • Do I resign myself to raising them alone and with the crumbs he may cast our way when he feels he has time. Fuck me over and disappoint our kids but guess when they are older they won’t give a toss about him in return. This fucking blows.
    More pointers please

    • I don’t know how old your kids are. I have two, my son is 19 & out of the house, but my daughter is 16 and lives with me. I should have left my cheater when they were 12 & 9, but I was scared of raising them by myself. Of course, I had family who would have stepped in and helped me in any way that I needed, but I was too proud to ask for help.

      Even though my ex stayed drunk & never came home during the last affair that he had and completely ignored our kids, my son is now buddy buddy with him because dad and his family are providing him alcohol. He’s conveniently forgotten all the events that led to me filing for the divorce and that he encouraged me to do it. He also seems to have forgotten that it was me who helped him apply for all of his college scholarships & that he wouldn’t be able to attend college right now without all of the scholarship money he received. I had blocked my ex from FB and he kept getting information about me & things I would post…nothing bad other than a couple of articles about narcissism (I honestly never called my ex a narcissist, implied maybe :)). He called me pissed off that I called him a narcissist. I went through an unfriending frenzy on all of his close friends & family. Turns out, the informant was my son. My son also found out that a man had started calling me and that we were going to go on a date. My ex called with accusations of how it didn’t take me long to move on. WTF REALLY??!! At least I waited until the ink was dry on the divorce papers before I even romanced the idea of getting back into the dating world. Needless to say, my son & I had a “comin’ to Jesus meeting”. He knew about his dad’s current girlfriend way before I even filed for the divorce because he friended her on FB before I filed. I told him that if this was how he was going to treat me after everything I had done for him & after everything his dad had neglected to do, then I was done with him. Let his dad & his family & his new girlfriend pay for his phone & living expenses and help him figure out his college shit. I didn’t appreciate him being tight-lipped with what his dad was doing yet he was running & telling his dad every move I made. I’m very cautious with what I tell my son these days and it sucks because we used to be close. I’m just sitting back biding my time because Dad will disappoint him again & it’ll be me he comes to & that’s ok. I’m done being treated like shit by my ex…my son is not going to pick up where his dad left off, I promise.

      As far as my daughter is concerned, her dad is a shitty person. She knows who does & does not care about her and she’ll tell you it’s not him. She’s done with his crumbs.

      Yes, this fucking blows, and I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I take each day at a time because each day I feel different. One day I feel like bawling my eyes out & retreating to my room hiding under my covers. The next day I’m so fucking mad that I feel like I got this & no one, especially him is ever going to hurt me again. You are stronger than you think & will get through this. Best thing I heard all week was on Valentine’s Day. I cried all day long because my stupid ass stalked my ex’s girlfriend on FB & saw that he sent her flowers. My daughter was pissed off over it too, but she told me, “Mom, those flowers are gonna die just like this fling he has with her. We are away from him & we don’t have to worry about him ever cheating on you again. Just so you know, you’re the strongest person I know.”

      Hang in there…

  • I think a lot of people collude in this niceness as well. My exH always wanted to convince me that women in his social circle liked me because they always “asked after me.” They also didn’t return my phone calls or make plans with me either.

    People who are constantly in your face saying “call me so we can get together…..” especially when it’s in front of other people are just making a show. I think people understand these ploys they just enjoy the circus that it causes…being able to call someone unfriendly, unforthcoming because they don’t take “nice” people’s words at face value…….. And when they do, like actually calling person and not getting a response, well, there couldn’t possibly be a problem with “nice” person who invited you to call them. You must be the one with the problem.

  • Thanks brandib for telling your story.
    I want him to see kids today and obviously need his address. Here is the email and my reply.
    True mindfuckery brace yourself.

    No big secret
    If u remember the other night, I peacefully came around to
    U threatened the police, , like
    U want it all on your way
    Your not knowing my address!
    U have been mean nasty and abusive , and damn right in co operative !!
    I don’t want that here, or u knowing my business
    Like u clearly showed the other night, when arrived there!!we have 40,000 in equity in that house u have about 30-40 thousand dollars of furniture and stuff….. trampolines kayaks all sorts lawn mower, TV stereo ect …I have nothing and a huge debt!!!ive just managed by working 24/7 to get in here,
    U need to give me my bed!!, or u will be paying in other ways!!!, u know this!!, and if I pursue things I’ll get more than my bed!!
    And that’s the thing, I don’t want it
    I’m not like you !!!
    I’m not malicious , I just want what’s mine!!!
    I’ll pay the 227 on Monday week !!
    I really would like to come pick the kids up from there!!!, I’m not comming in and I’m obviously not able to communicate with u !!!??

    My reply
    The kids will not be staying somewhere I don’t have the address of.
    I don’t want to know your business because I know it and it’s shady, deceitful and has bought shame on our family. I want no part of it or you.
    You have demonstrated yourself to be untrustworthy and if you cannot follow simple guidelines regarding time with our boys like who you introduce them to you will not see them and will have to go through the courts to do so.
    It is up to you.

    Living in love and light

  • Good Luck Lady b.
    However it seems to me you are still trying to change him ie turn him into a decent human. Good Luck with that.
    In my experience it is a mistake,
    The sooner you stop trying the sooner you “get it”.
    Took me forever so just passing on years of this hideous experience and hoping to help a newbie get there faster
    Just put in place what YOU want. All the extra “education ” points are just a waste of time and more importantly make them feel like you are still bothered. Look, you are still trying to help them. Stop.
    Let them take you to court, let them experience the problems. It is the only way.
    They do not respect you at all. If they did, they would not have risked you getting rid of them.
    You are sadly preaching down a deserted tunnel.

  • Seriously yes you are right.
    Even my reply to above email is a million miles from what I would have written three months ago, it would have been long and addressed his every point.
    He won’t take me to court as he can’t organise his way out of a wet paper bag. It’s all hot air.
    All this crap and he comes and sits 10 metres from me at the beach yesterday.
    What I want today is his address so I know where my kids are for 5 hours.
    No more email today if no address he is not seeing them and I just leave it at that, has been good this far with limited communication but as always trying to arrange anything with him is near impossible and I will drive myself into the ground with his running in circles tactics.
    Thanks for your blunt honesty. All this crap only adds to the picture I have of him as a disordered self absorbed dickhead.
    Going to water my garden and do ‘me’ kids know if I don’t have his address they are not going today, they are fine with it.
    Also all the stupid things he wants answered in the email have been answered over and over again.
    My basic summary is what I say means fuck all. I have no rights and am not allowed to have boundaries and he will do as he pleases cause I’m so horrible and unreasonable.

  • This was a follow up from his last email which he got no reply to.
    Yes when I threw him out two weeks ago I slapped his head and punched him in the ribs after seeing 900 photos of him and slut.
    Make of this what you will.

    You are not living in the light when u can’t communicate properly!!
    There’s no other women
    I just don’t trust your behaviour
    Punching , hitting me!!
    I need clear communication on all of these.
    Today could have been a really good day!
    U spoil things a lot not being able to communicate!!
    Stubborn will not be beneficial for each of us or the boys
    I have to go to court, for access,
    U will also be questioned on what, I was given when I left the home…. nothing!!!
    It’s pathetic…
    Give me an answer on the bed and Telstra !!
    Your not having my adress
    Don’t like aggressive violent drama people in my life

    If u think u are not!!
    Not rhyme or reason to call cops the other night
    And when u were kicking me out, getting Kim and Brett
    Do u like public humiliation!!!??
    What business was it of there’s !!?
    Apart from the fact they stopped u hitting me
    Look at u
    Bet u can’t
    Just like your dad

    He is obsessed with the communication crap, he could communicate with whore. His obsessive repetition is like a mental illness.

  • Lady B
    If there is any validity wrt the belongings just package them up and give him a time to collect. That;’s what I did.
    Otherwise think of these rants as a toddler does when not getting their own way.
    It is very very difficult. I know.
    Getting any information from my ex can take 15 e mails. He refuses, then he answers only 1 bit of it etc etc.
    What I have realised (slow on the uptake) is this :
    1/ its a game to them
    2/ the less contact the better – really stick to essentials
    3/it keeps you connected to them- which is what they want (in a sick way). You are their pawn on their chess board.
    4/the nastiness is their projection onto you about their own behaviour. What you will NEVER get is their admission of ANY fault. It must all be you.
    5/ the quicker you have very little do with them , the better.
    6/ Yes they are weird. Plus un-fixable. Do not make excuses, do not waste your life figuring them out, do not think they will be better / different with the next woman. Just kick into touch and run. Seriously!!
    Oh yes, and they will start a slander campaign of lies about you and the divorce to anyone who will listen. Just throw out Mud and some sticks.
    Get tough quickly, and try and ignore him.

    • Yes seriously, no reply today from me about any stupid shit he asked about and he did not see kids.
      Going to mediator during the week and we will do his child access visits that way, since it took 12 emails for him to not give me his address I’m 90 percent sure I know it anyways.
      He has bad mouthed me to everyone and probably his new neighbours so doesn’t want me near the place in case I blow his narrative.
      I have told everyone what happened including his family, it’s not my shame and I’m not carrying his dirty secrets. He will eventually get the stink eye from a lot of school people who know I’m decent. I have been reading about the disordered and it said everything they say is just like vomit and has no substance it’s just mindfuckery.
      I told him many times he can have rest of belonging when he pays me $ s for bills, must be this way otherwise I will never see the money guaranteed. Will be left in garage of course when I’m not home.
      The projection thing is true.
      Tried be decent about child visit but fuck if I’m not allowed to know the whereabouts of my kids and you think that OK your more of a fuckwit than I thought up to now.
      Courts can sort it I’m done with these pathetic power struggles.
      Thanks for the guidance I have learnt a lot this weekend.

    • Yes point 3 narc supply and triangulating me with the whores in his dumb online haram in the sky. Blood sucking freaks.

      • Lady B, you should google “B.I.F.F.” It stands for brief, information, factual, friendly or something like that, and it’s designed for people who have to deal with these high conflict Cluster Bs because they had kids with them. I’ve found it pretty helpful and it at least gives you a framework. One thing the expert who created it shows too is how to make the default require no reply. Mine was the same – responded only to one small part of an email or text, left the most important stuff hanging, couldn’t be pinned down. The best thing to do is try to create a scenario where inaction means X and X is your preferred scenario. It’s ridiculous, but they don’t respond like normal humans. So, instead of emailing, “when would it work for you to have the kids, 1-5 or 3-6?” you email, “the kids are available from 2 to 5 tomorrow. I and they need to know by 8 p.m. tonight so if I haven’t heard back from you by then, tomorrow is no longer available.” (I’m doing this on the fly so this isn’t a very good example, but you get the drift – and you’re already instinctively doing it yourself anyway). The point is to make the default whatever you most want it to be, and the default happens if they don’t respond definitively by a certain time/day.

        Then, you stick to it. Just remember, “if I don’t hear by X time to the contrary, Y is what will happen.”

        By the way, “friendly” doesn’t mean super friendly or anything. It just means to try to avoid inflammatory language. Keep it brief – don’t respond to all the crazy BS. Factual – no emotion, don’t respond to any emotional stuff at all. Make it like an email you’d write your accountant you’ve known a long time. Polite, factual. Or think of it like dealing with a toddler/preschooler. Not even kidding. “You have a choice! You can see the kids here from 1-3 Sunday or from 3-5 Monday.” That kind of thing.

        I feel for you – they suck SO badly. Oh and another thing – stop texting and having phone calls/seeing him in person as much as possible. Moving communication to email helped a lot. It’s less immediate and often they get a dim sense they should watch what they write a bit more and force themselves to be a bit less crazy. You should only be available on text with him if he has the kids. Move that communication off text – I promise you’ll be glad! You can always says your lawyer/solicitor (or therapist) told you to – tends to be a great overall excuse for most things. If he does start seeing them, you may want to use the scheduling software route as it requires no direct communication between the parents, and it forces them to commit to specific times, etc.

  • They will also do a never ending ” sad sausage holiday dad” act with the kids, while doing almost zero of use.
    Just warning you.
    You will face ” she poisons the children against me “, How lucky, because that means you have had them for a total of 7 weeks in 3 years while you go on endless holidays yourself ……
    Blah de blah
    In my experience courts are pretty useless about getting these twats to do what they do not want to. Don’t expect there to be some higher power that will make them behave.

    • Have already heard ‘don’t poison the kids against me’
      He is more than flat broke and likes to tell me how many hours he has to work to get out of debt, credit card not in my name than God, knew when he got it it would spiral out of control.
      Kids know he fucked me over and he kind of shot himself in the foot as for over the last year he as only slept at the house 7 nights out of forteen because of his job and was mentally checked out anyways when he was her, that affair just occupied his entire being I think and his phone was glued to his head., so they love him but I don’t think are deeply attached. Still painful.

    • I have about 5 years till the kids will be doing their own things so I won’t be pushing time with them if it’s all a big song and dance drama game. I will raise them with the network I have and I know more social opportunities will come up for me and the kids because of this, he never wanted anything to do with any ‘normal’ people the kids go to school with, he even turned down waterskiing for gods sake because he was to tired, lame.
      When I look back all his friends have been weirdos with issues, Alcos, anxiety issues, schizophrenic loser who married Philippino bride, bet she doesn’t know he is nuts. I didn’t want to know any of them as none bought any value to the table except their tales of sorrow.

  • a very late post … reading all the horrid things chumps had to endure, mine seems so small..

    My XH is a doc, he specialises in Mental Health…His female patients adore him, send him gifts, some fall in love- ask him out for coffee, thinks the world of him etc..
    nearly 5 yrs ago ,I had to have a laser-surgery on my eyes. He was in the same house, but refused to accompany me- wanted to go shopping for music albums with his brother.My parents were appalled and took me to the hospital.
    After the surgery with both eyes bandaged, as I was leaving the hospital, he called up on my mobile , threw a panic- tantrum, had to see me immediately-wanted me to join him at the shopping centre”urgently”.
    I sat there in the lobby of a shopping complex , with both eyes bandaged and tears streaming from pain for 1 hour until I gave up and my parents drove me home. He was busy trying on clothes in an another corner of the complex.

    I didn’t think much of it then. I guess the pain in my eyes was too much that i forgot how the A-hole behaved. Looking back now, I shudder.

  • The song ‘ somebody I used to know’ is on the radio, ‘why did you have to cut me off’
    Cause I’m going NC on your ass idiot !lols

    • Lady B, your ex’s messages sound very much like my lunatic’s. Most of the time they are not even coherent and I suspect he is usually drunk when he sends them. I have tried on occasion to figure out what he was trying to say but they make no sense. I have been divorced 5 years and the other week he sent me an email about “how about we adopt a little girl together (we have 2 sons), weeeeeee, yipeeeeee, a little girl!” Total nutcase and he’s living with someone. I am no contact with him but this latest was a doozy. Just curious to know if yours drinks.

      • I wish I could say he did drink but that is written sober.
        Emails to love prospects are well thought out a even poetic, with me he doesn’t even spell check and I get lots of !!!.
        He had a bad binge drinking issue for probably 20 years. Bouts of drinking and soberity and healthy freakery. He has been sober and on a health and fitness kick for about 5 years now, he did dabble in hard drugs in his mid twenties he is 45 now. I put up with a lot of crap with his binge drinking when my kids were little, him disappearing with his band mates for days, coming home broke with Dts and looking like shit begging me not to ditch his ass.
        Had police come to house twice for him being an asshole, he got locked up for being an asshole. I got a call to get him from the lock up 45 minutes away I had kids 1 and 2 years old I said no and he spent the night with the other freaks, never lived that down , it was mean of me to leave him there. Yeah whatever its consequences.
        He said to me last year that he thinks I was jealous he got sober and I was easier to control when he had a drinking problem. I would consider him a dry drunk and when his confidence improved and he started running and obsessing about his health and physical appearance he gained the confidence to flirt and eventually cheat. Councillor said this is common with addictive types as the sneaking around and forbidden activity hits the same pleasure centres in the brain as the drink and drugs.
        It was such a thrill putting toddlers into daycare going to work full time and not telling anyone that you don’t know where their dad is as he has been gone for days.not.
        Fucking heartbreaking and he would spend what little money we had. I would call my parents in another state to borrow money for toilet paper food and nappies. I look back and think wtf. Don’t think there was women back then just loser band mates that would get really messed up with the drink.
        I contacted an old friend who I knew back in his drinking days when the kids were little, she said he was an ungrateful cockhead and she always knew I was too good for him.
        Sorry to rant he had a few good points.
        Just depressing to list all the shit and then this final fuck over and discard.
        It’s 4am here I woke up to what I thought was him making noise next to me then had that sinking feeling and oh yeah thats my nine year old son.
        Anyways read an article yesterday talking about turning our focus on ourselves like sports teams they focus on their game not the opposition. This needs to be my direction and leave him in the dust.

  • wow Attie, that is really really bonkers.
    Why not? You share 2 sons, why not add a few more??
    I agree drunk or on drugs.
    Also highlights how you are a childcare appliance.

  • Mine would occasionally spin crap about living off the grid, he couldn’t keep a pot plant alive, but yeah he could learn, whateva chronic dreamer.
    Attie they have an alternate reality in their minds that’s what is is a parallel universe.
    That’s what my dad said and it’s true, ex was always projecting into the future fantasy and ‘ I wish this and if only that’ and ‘ today would have been good if you hadn’t ruined it’ that was a common one.
    Think the fog is lifting and the thought of the time wasted is dawning on me and is quite depressing. We had good time when we worked as a team and his focus was me, but it was hit and miss and went in 3 to 6 months cycles. I conclude he has a destructive personality and these cycles held us back. My mum and councillor noticed he would get his shit together for a bit then self sabotage.
    Better not be blowing up my phone when he fucks up, he’s out in the cold I am not available to him again, doors closed and locked.

  • Hi Fellow Chumps,

    Longtime lurker here, for a few years at least.

    (I guess I’m supposed to introduce myself or something, but these days telling “The Story” takes too much out of me. Perhaps when I feel like I want to go down that awful road again, I will take care of that detail. Suffice it to say, I was well-chumped over almost 30 years and am now firmly living in the Land of Meh with a wonderful new partner. I never thought I’d find love at my age, but along came this drummer… well, I digress! It’s lovely, wonderful, and SO MUCH BETTER to really be loved than to have had the “NICE” kind of “love” that my Ex served up all those years.)

    I really feel like you all have got things so well covered, there is no need for me to chime in! But this one, “Nice vs. Kind” does resonate with me.
    Ex was “Nice”. Everybody thought he was a great guy. My family adored him. My friends constantly told me how “lucky” I was. He’d give the shirt off his back to anybody. I thought he had this sterling character.

    That’s even how I used to refer to him: “He has a sterling character”! I was PROUD of this quality in him.

    Wasn’t I shocked when I discovered that all those NICE, “loving” things he did for me were not who he really was at all. Underneath all that was a very shallow, disconnected person who was/is essentially incapable of real intimacy. He has now said this about himself.

    And for me, yes, I did spackle a LOT. I saw his “remoteness” as a sign of his childhood physical/sexual abuse. Figured he couldn’t help it. I was nurturing, loving, I could “live with” his lack of affection, time, attention, his massive sexual issues…. Because he was so NICE!!!! He was SWEET. He did NICE THINGS for me ALL THE TIME.

    But when the shit hit the fan, and the mask came off, it was like he was an Alien. I’m not kidding. He didn’t even look human. He saw me sobbing in a heap on the floor and, with a contemptuous look, said, “Stop playing the victim. YOU’RE not the “victim” here.” I’ll never forget it. Cold, dead, shark eyes. Just like you read about.

    Anyhow, divorce is still not final (my timeline, not his) and he is still hovering about, doesn’t seem to grasp that nobody in my camp likes or gives a rat’s ass about him these days, least of all ME. It’s funny, but even now he’s still trying to “NICE” me. Of course, it doesn’t work.

    Fool me once… well, NICE won’t fool me again.

    Best to all!

  • Oh yeah. My STBX was a Nice Guy™. But kind? Nope. I started to notice it the last few years. He would never help a woman with a stroller through a door or let someone get in front of him in traffic. Just these smalls things that I think kind people do everyday, he didn’t. Of course now that I see him for his true self, I can look back and see how blind I was by his niceness that I didn’t see the lack of compassion and kindness.

  • Every time my cheater is nice, I know he wants something from me. It’s never kind, it’s always manipulative. Point in case: Sunday night I requested we talk (after 7 months of separation in the same house (GTFO already!)) about our stalled separation agreement. Monday night finds him in the kitchen making dinner for DS (!!) and batch cooking DS’s breakfasts for the week (!?!). He wants to chat about mutual friends and such… tell me about all the things he got at the store for DS… I ate my dinner and went to my room so I didn’t have to keep listening to him prattle on. Then I hear the dishwasher start up. REALLY? In the last 7 months he has not touched the dishwasher. Not to load, not to unload. Tuesday (today) is our scheduled talk, and I’m already bracing myself for some unreasonable request to stay in the house even longer. No doubt accompanied by a sob story about how the bank, the realtor, the sellers are all responsible for him not being able to move out.

  • I always used to plan family trips with friends because I new he would be nice to us if others were around. If it was just us he’d be mean, rude and impatient. It got to the point that no vacation was planned because it was too stressful wondering what would happen. I had chronic stomach problems because of his behavior. Anxiety?!yep!

  • It’s been days but this post is still on my mind. Nice versus Kind. My head keeps going back to the videos he was taking and how he would hold the door for the unsuspecting women as he was videotaping their tits and ass…sigh, such a nice fucking guy. He’ll definitely adhere to courtesies like holding the door, coaching a basketball game, laughing it up with parents in social situations – but inside he’s a sociopath and kindness, true kindness, has never entered his mind.

  • What if you are kind because you know people will repay you with kindness? My former husband was very kind to everyone but me, because he knows that if he invests with kindness, he will be repaid ten fold. He’s a highly advanced narcissist who has fooled so many people but loan him money and that person will never see him or their money again. Not so kind. Didn’t pay a dime of child support for 20 years. Not so kind. Had other children before our marriage he didn’t tell me about. Not so kind. I think the key is consistency and that can only be seen over a number of years in which even the most masterful narcissist cannot keep their character completely hidden. Definitely doing my homework and extra credit from here on out.

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