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UBT: There Is No Right or Wrong in the World

Dear Chump Lady,

I am well on my way to meh after divorcing and dealing with texbook cheater speak for the last 5 years. The other day though, cheater spoke to our teens telling them out front that there is no right or wrong in the world. It’s just their perceptions.

Now, most of what he has said in the past lines up 100% with the stupid stuff cheaters say, but this one really got under the kids’s skin and even I am a little dumbfounded how to deal with this kind of bullshit.

Maybe the UBT can help.



P.S. I have a schnauzer and I scrapbook.

Dear Heartchump,

Way to gain a life there with the schnauzer and scrapbooking. 🙂 As for your cheater, “There is no right and wrong in the world — there is only your perception” is classic Stupid Shit Cheaters Say. In fact, now that you mention it, I should devote a whole chapter in another book to it. We call this phenomenon “situational truth.”

If you’re disordered, and life is a big con game, there is no truth except the “truth” you are presently in. New surroundings? Different people? Different truth. Should your worlds collide and you need cover? Don’t blame yourself — blame reality! This is the nexus of the famous Richard Pryor joke: “Who you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

“There is no right and wrong in the world, there is only your perception” is also a form of projection. That’s how sociopaths see things. There’s this stuff you “moral” people deem right and wrong, but really what you do in any given situation comes down to unbridled self-interest (i.e., your perception).

Here’s an example. It baffled me how my cheater could gaze into my eyes, tell me he loved me, seem utterly sincere, walk out the door, and then call his OW. (I saw the cell phone records. It was truly shocking the constant contact. Marriage counseling appointment? Two seconds later — OW call. Date night and sex with the wife? Two seconds later — OW call. You guys know the drill.)

How could someone do this? Sociopathy and situational truth. In that moment, because he’s a millimeter deep, he “loves”  me, but then SQUIRREL! his attention redirects and he “loves” the OW. It’s all kibbles and one kibble is as good as the next kibble. The point is more kibbles. And the power trip high of deceit.

His love isn’t fixed. His commitment is an illusion. Ergo, so is his “truth.”

“There is no right and wrong in the world, there is only your perception” is also a nice bit of gaslighting. Pay no attention to “truth.” There is just your truth and my truth and (my cheater loved to say this) “the truth is somewhere in the middle.” False equivalency! Minimization!

No, motherfucker — there is the TRUTH, and there are untruths, otherwise known as falsehoods. Aka, LIES. Whoppers. Bullshit.

Speaking of bullshit, the Universal Bullshit Translator has a suggestion.

Someone needs to mug your ex. Steal his wallet. Pistol whip him. Leave him for dead. And kick him in the kidneys for good measure.

As he’s lying there suffering, and the Good Samaritan walks by, and cheater wants to call the cops? Samaritan says, “You weren’t mugged. That’s just your perception of events.” And leave him.

See how quickly he becomes a reality convert.


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Response: Just because you lack a moral compass doesn’t mean North and South are nonexistent. That is just a lie you say to make yourself feel better for being completely morally off corse and lost.

    • Love this! Visualizing the accompanying cartoon of cheater consulting his “map of life” while unmarked compass needle spins wildly

      • I believe the compass needle always points to the cheater’s nether regions… That seems to be the driving factor in their life decisions.

    • Mine always says and told our son, everyone has their stuff to deal with.
      He says them same to me, as it’s suppose to make it ok, better?

  • Adjecent to this idea of “situational truth” is where KK’s favorite justification tool — compartmentalization — comes in.

    “I’m able to compartmentalize my life — what I do over here has nothing to do with, and has no impact on, what I do over there.” The perfect setup for practicing and justifying situational truth.

    That explains the blank stares on stupid faces that we Chumps get when the walls are shattered and they’re forced to deal with the consequences of the ACTUAL truth of their words and actions.

    • Exactly what i heard from mine: “I’m able to compartmentalize my life — what I do over here has nothing to do with, and has no impact on, what I do over there.”

      • I got the compartmentalisation explanation too. And CL, mine did exactly the same as yours – told me he loved me, and then contacted his many OW (there was a revolving selection from Ashley Madison, Illicit Encounters and AFF) minutes later. His Whatsapp records showed that he was sometimes texting me and them virtually simultaneously – and the loving messages he sent me seemed completely heartfelt. I still struggle to understand it. I never will. But your explanation today has saved my brain from short circuiting while trying. Thank you!!

        • I clearly remember sitting with X on the deck planning to visit our grandchildren. He was texting during the conversation. After dday when I checked his phone it turns out he was sexting ow during our conversation. Seriously fucked up. No guilt or sense of how wrong that was.

          • Newday, it’s convenient for them to disrespect us, that way all the slimy things they do, with us sitting right there, are no cause for concern! Showing me disrespect was a constant in our house during the last couple of years we lived together. If he established that I was lame, and uncool, not evolved like his cool swingin AP, he could walk all over me and laugh about it. I don’t accept any of that shit now, but at the time it really hurt!

          • NewDayDawning,

            It’s because they are sick! That’s the only explanation I can stomach. Like yours, my serial cheater could “multi compartmentalize.”

            On New Year’s Eve we had King Crab Leg dinner at home with adult son, wife and 3 grandchildren (youngest a new precious baby 2 weeks old). I of course planned, invited, shopped for, set beautiful table, cooked, served and had party hats, noise makers and decorations to complete a lovely evening with our family. I was an Executive Chef so he never had to cook a meal. He said he was lucky to have such a great wife.

            After dinner while relaxing in living room (not that he needed to relax…the only thing he did all day was go to the club for 4 hours to work out and clean up “wink wink”).

            Our daughter-in-law was breast feeding baby on couch. Cheater, while participating in family conversation, was responding to back page escort/massage ads on phone at exactly the same time.

            On DD (13 months ago now…divorce just finalized), I asked him how he could compartmentalize like that. He said, while looking me in the eye after 35 years together, “it’s just something I’ve always been good at.”He then asked me, “what are you, the moral police?” It’s as if they are proud of their deceit and compartment abilities.

            They are sick individuals with no moral compasses. There have empty shafts where souls should be.

            I compartmentalized him into my garbage bin of life with no contact (almost 1 year now).

            He is now living with one of his “happy ending” massage parlor whores, younger than our son, in a small rental ordering crappy take out food and paying me half his income. Not the sugar daddy grandpa man she thought he was. How’s that special compartment talent and your charm working out now?

            So great to be cheater free!!!!

            • Good for you Free Now! Mine also is now living in a studio apartment and the OW sperm jacked him and told him she was pregnant two weeks after they broke up. His biggest fear/worst nightmare was having kids. Right before I found out about the affair, he wouldn’t even have sex with me without a condom because he didn’t want me to get pregnant. So thankful he did that and that we never had children together. His dreams of freedom and bachelorhood have completely vanished and I am sitting back laughing hysterically. Plus the OW is bat shit crazy. Welcome to the reality of your consequences asshole. It’s amazing how these guys can compartmentalize, but I think it eventually catches up to them. So thankful for chump lady, who speaks the truth and helps us understand how cheaters could appear so loving and kind to their spouse, yet be completely duplicitous and heartless sociopaths. At first, it is completely confusing, but I’m glad we both are free now!! Cheers to making delicious food for your family and friends who truly love and appreciate you.

        • Yup. I’m sure we’ve all had it. I got my first off-farm job in 17 years, and every single morning, I ensured I gave him a truly passionate kiss goodbye as I left for the office – we had worked side by side for all of those years on farm, true partners, and we both loved it, worked brilliantly and happily together. He kissed back, and always said it was his favourite part of the day. After D-day, when I finally thought to look at the phone records (hey, I was blindsided, never had any reason to play marriage police, or so I thought, we were still so in love more than two decades later) and I saw that within five minutes of me leaving the house, EVERY morning, he would be texting her, my lips still stinging, his still tasting of me. I felt like the fluffer, the warm up act. Ewwwwww!!! Worse was when the OW was texting ME, too, all at the same time – my “friend” – and I later realised that I was part of her game – an exciting game of triangulation, whereby she got to play with her prey until the game ends, hopefully where the stupid little woman gets fucked over, and she gets to keep all the “winnings” (assets, top class cheater – awesome prize! – only one previous owner, yaddah, yaddah) bugger, she got none of the above, and we both lost as well. Fun game, huh?

        • I made plans for an amazing valentines night and when fuckwit picked me up he was on the phone. That am he left for work hug, kiss, I love you then squirrel. Was a complete prick to me that night. Abusive prick. Forward 2 weeks and seen on cell records he was talking to the ow to the very second he picked me up. 23 years of squirrel. Not any more.

        • Same here regarding my cheater professing his love for me and simultaneously pursuing other women. My STBX is already on, but he keeps texting me saying that he loves me, that he will change, and that wants to work it out.
          His match profile shows a “Divorced” status, although we haven’t officially even filed. Then, there is a mandatory waiting period before we are divorced. So….
          1. He is lying to me saying he wants to work it out and not get divorced.
          2. He is lying to the women he is meeting on by telling them he is divorced when he won’t be divorced until some time in the spring.
          I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that someone is capable of being such a liar. Thank heaven for CL and CN!

          • Uggg. Mine too. He was working out of state in West Virginia to earn enough money to pay off a big medical bill we’d gotten as a result of my hospital stay during my high risk pregnancy with our son. I’d text him that he was such a good provider and husband, and that I couldn’t wait for him to come home. He’d tell me ‘you’re the best wife and mommy ever! Thank you for taking care of the babies until I can come home to you!’ Love notes and inside jokes all day, every day he was gone. He was simultaneously telling the stripper giving him a lap dance that he and his wife were separated.

            He came back to town only long enough to sleep with me (no parting gifts from that, thank God), plop his baby on his knee to text the skank love letters the entire time he was home, and then 2 weeks later walked out on me and our new babies to move there and marry said skank (who later accidentally on purpose got pregnant). It’s been 3 years, and I still marvel at the balls that it takes to carry on a double life like that, not only while away, but also so brazenly when he came home. When he left us with no warning whatsoever, his father had the balls to say to me ‘I don’t feel sorry for either of you. You two had communication problems in your marriage.’ Yep. That sort of happens when you’re married to a pathological liar who can’t utter a single word of truth day or night for YEARS.

            Apparently, sociopathic family-abandoning asshats are MADE by victim-blaming sociopathic douche-canoes.

            • Regardless of the marriage issues nobody deserves to be lied to and cheated on. Except the cheater! Hopefully the karma bus will come mow him down! You know your a-hole ex told some wild ridiculous victim blaming story to his family to justify what he did.

    • On DDay, he was at a loss for words as to WHY he was cheating.

      Later he told me he researched it on the internet and he discovered it was compartmentalization.

      So the cheating was in one compartment of his life and our marriage was not affected as it was in another!

      • Then there is the overlap when he leaves you a message, “Love you (insert nickname)” with sincerity. Then the whore uses it to taunt you in person. Mask off, mask on.

      • I have no problem with their compartmentalizing. My objection is to their lying. But once I know someone is capable of that kind of compartmentalizing, I choose not to have anything to do with them.

        • Karen, I get this.
          How great that you can put people in their tidy little boxes, but certainly moving from one box to the next cause memory loss?
          “Hi, I’m Dory…”

    • It makes my head hurt, and I regret the few months I thought I could rationally reason with my ex wife. It was like driving in a snow storm with bald tires.

      Why is compartmentalizing an excuse? That is creepy-assed sociopathic shit to pull to literally be different people in parallel situations. My ex had to do that to keep a 5 year on again off again affair going on, and the fact that she could pull it off is just proof that she has no soul.

      I discovered her affair by hacking her email, so I read affair emails composed while our kids and I were sitting in the same room with her. Some kind of reptilian level stuff.

      Here is the real logical disconnect to me: she is still together with her AP, in fact he had been cheating too. I’d call that a committed, monogamous relationship, do they trust each other? There is some interesting mental and moral gymnastics and amnesia going on… and yes, cheaters are all the same.

      • I went thru the same shit you did, CotW, with my ex. He sat across from me on his laptop in a chatroom with his AP having entire conversations about what they were “going to do to one another” when they’d get together. [Shudder…] I’d go to bed, tired of being ignored again for another entire evening, and he’d spend the rest of the night into the wee hours of the morning online exposing himself to other lonely men! I discovered this by loading a keystroke/screen shot capture program on his laptop since I was the administrator of all our computers. Especially after the pile of BS he shoveled on me about why he was filing for divorce…it just didn’t add up!

        I was completely disgusted and appalled by his behavior, just as I thought any normal, decent person would be?! Apparently “The Downgrade” OW thought it was cute & funny?!? WTF? I guess now I know who inspired him to start looking at these porn websites! Yeah, she’s a real scuzzy catch! STD CENTRAL!

        They’re still together 7 years later and she’s more than welcome to him! I should really thank her. I’m grateful she’s taken him off my hands, as he’s truly a broken, sick and morally bankrupt individual and I want nothing more to do with him at all. As much as he wants to deny it, he has turned out to be EXACTLY like his father…the 85+ YO man who chases after and fucks anything in a skirt from 10 YO all the way up through dead!!! EWWWW!!!

        I’m so much happier living by myself and enjoying life with my loving friends and family, than to even think about dealing with his corrupt behavior and lack of moral compass. Frankly I don’t miss him, the blame he tosses my way, or all the drama he generates! BUH-BYE, ASSFACE!

        CotW, I know you will find your happiness once you dump that morally bankrupt bitch and can move past the hurt and pain, and make your way into the wonderful land of MEH! I hope we see you there soon!!! ?

    • This column hit a nerve with me today. Compartmentalization – check. Haggar the Whoreable would say that he didn’t get emotional as he was able to compartmentalize. Gag!

      Situational Truth aka Situational Ethics – check! Didn’t know really what that meant until after Dday and realizing that Ankles had been a part of our lives for our entire relationship.

      Moral Gymnastics – I have come to realize that this moral compass headed due south (pun intended) and he considered his “magnificent tool” (yes, these really were his words) the ultimate divining rod. I want to throw up.

      As for being able to say one thing and in the next say something to the OW – Yep, got that. Valentines Day will never be the same as he was yelling at me that it was unfair that I bought him a Valentines Day gift and he stopped at the local grocery store for a stuffed elephant. Immediately hung up and went back to talking to the BDSM Broad and texting her (yep, have the proof) and the winner went to texting Ankles about where the nearest sex toy store was and 2 minutes later texting me that he missed me and loved me.

      Moral compass, these fucktards don’t have one. The truth is whatever they want it to be at the moment. Even changing events to fit their version. Example, years later telling me he was holding a grudge about something that was said years before. Part of that “I’m not happy” speech. Really, its that familiar isn’t nervy enough…..its the thrill of the kibbles, cake and strange. I will never understand them and I am glad as if I could it means that my mind could do the gymnastics and I don’t want to ever be that flexible. NEVER.

      Meh is a much better place.

  • I was just thinking about this last night! The first time I heard my ex use the word “perception” was way over ten years ago. Long story short. My ex was talking on the phone with my brother. The subject matter had to do with stuff that happened between my brother and I when we were really young. My brother pretty much says most of what I remembered “didn’t happen” as much as I was saying. And my ex said to my brother, “That’s Martha’s perception on what happened.” No, it wasn’t my perception. It was the truth! I’m not a liar. But once again what was done to me was minimalized.

    There’s something to do with this no right or wrong in The Divorce Letter. My ex said I had “black and white” thinking. He likes to look at things more gray. Some day I’m going to submit The Divorce letter to the UBT. That thing is so fricken long and so full of mindfxcks! I’m afraid it will kill the UBT!

    • I got the “hopium is too black and white” bs from Durt also. SMH. There are truths and there are lies. I guess because there may have been a kernel of truth in his outrageous lies it landed them in the gray area.

      • Ha! In yesterday’s comments I wrote:

        1. That it really is black and white. All or nothing. One way or the other. And that isn’t a bad thing.

        STBX tried to say I was too judgmental and didn’t allow for shades of gray.
        No, I have a strong moral compass that doesn’t allow you to weasel out of this.

        • Son has told me he is pondering a compass tattoo to remind him never to become like cheater boy. Sigh.

          • The fact that he is even thinking about not being like cheater is great! How do you feel about the tattoo idea, mom?

            • Not a tat fan, but would live with it. Worse is that he now has this fear that it is somehow all genetic and he might do the same. No, son. That compass is in you.

              • ChumpionSAHM,

                Here is your exes moral compass:

                N – Nutsack
                S – Skank
                E – Erection
                W – Whore

                Here is your Son’s moral compass:

                N – Nice
                S – Soulful
                E – Empathetic
                W – Worthy

          • My daughter is debating the tattoo(s?) she’ll get once she turns 19, and ‘Acta non Verba’ is definitely near the top of the list right now!

            • Karen, I remember years back when I had to get one of my tats covered. My now exwife’s name was on my arm. Yucchhh!!!

              It read, “My love, Whorenocchio”.

              I had it filled in before I divorced. This was a pivotal point in my recovery. I knew at that moment I never wanted to have anything to do with that whore ever again.

              • Thank you SCAL, ‘Whorenocchio’ just made me choke on an ice cube with laughter!! ???

        • Yeah, everything was gray when it came to his behavior. An example of a grain of truth in the ocean of lies: truth “I didn’t come home right away” lie “because I got pulled over by the cops and they said I couldn’t drive because of > and so I waited until the police left and had to wait a little longer to make sure they wouldn’t stop me again.”
          The gray area was Bambi’s twat that time as I later pieced together.

    • I threw the bullshit explanation she gave me (in the guise of an apology) into the trash almost immediately after I read it. It was such self-justifying, blame-shifting garbage, it wasn’t ever going to do me any good. I knew that was one artifact from our relationship that I had no interest in hanging on to.

      • So many artifacts to toss. The day the 16 x 20 wedding day portrait went to the trash was a good one … it was too big for the bin and was just sort of shoved in diagonal … all the neighbors out walking their dogs “got the memo” on our household!! They knew before HE did! ha ha

        • Am I warped that I find that funny?! Because it really does make me laugh! Sorry-assed fucker!

          • Oh shit, Dixie, I think that’s the funniest thing ever!I love it! More power to you, and thank you for continuing to grace our pages and brighten our days!

            • When it came time to part with wedding shit, I threw my dress and everything that went along with it in the trash. Ex got emotional and fake teary that it was part of our history for our kids. Told him he should have thought of that and that our grandchildren would learn he was a fucking liar and cheater. Wedding photo album making you weepy, take the fucking thing. I don;t want any reminder of you.
              Wish I would have burned it while sitting with a glass of wine.

              • I tossed all that wedding stuff in the garbage and even burned some of it on the back lawn. I tore the beautiful 8×10 photo of us that was in our living room for 20 years in half in front of my now ex and said to him, “This is what I think of our sham of a marriage.” He looked stunned. He said, “Martha, stop destroying stuff.” Hey, Cheater. Your days of controlling my life are over. If I want to destroy stuff, I will! I regret not torching the wedding album. I gave it to the Cheater. There is not one thing in my new home that reminds me of our wedding or our marriage. Even though he was the sperm donor, not even my kids remind me of him as I was pretty much a single parent their entire life even though I was married.

          • I burned our wedding portrait in the fire pit on D-day along with my wedding dress. I wasn’t waiting for his lame excuses and blameshifting to talk me out of it. I was crying and smiling at the same time -while I was watching it burn!

            • Oh! Totally planning the wedding dress burn this spring. Wonder if there will be screams and demonically dancing flames. OooOooOoo ??

              • ooh ooh–alternate wedding dress idea: Drip theatrical blood on it and go as Bride of Frankenstein for halloween. Fitting, dontcha think?

              • That sounds fun, but I like to sew, so I’m thinking of ripping mine up and making it into something cool that I can wear with the necklace I’m going to make from the stones in my wedding and engagement rings 🙂

        • Love that image of the diagonal wedding picture in the trash bin, Dixie! And I mentally picture you dusting your hands as you walk away, then smiling at the on-lookers.

            • I scratched our wedding name off the Bible. He got rid of it when I wasn’t around and replaced it with a new one with our names on it. I just moved it from the coffee table down to the lower shelf. Not a word was said by him. Having a wedding pictures burning party with my friends soon.

        • This reminds me of the Waiting to Exhale movie where wife epically loses it and takes all cheaters shit and puts it in the vehicle in their driveway and lights it on fire. Knock on the door – fireman you can only burn trash in your yard. Her reply: it is trash and then she closes the door. I can visualize your wedding portrait and “memo” to the whole neighborhood sitting in the trash outside for everyone to see. Love when people in the neighborhood take out the trash ? Well done!!

    • Martha,
      Reading your post and the many other comments I’m stunned. Shortly after D-day my X told me that she “didn’t intend on this happening”, and (wait) that she was “grey”. I couldn’t believe it. Who wants to be grey. Shorthand for I have no morals except those that I want to apply to my benefit at the moment of my choosing. As always a moving target. CN has been so helpful as I go through this nightmare. It really is like they have a script that they pass around. They don’t, they are just cut from the same cloth. WOW!

      • ICan’tBelieve–my X said the same thing, I told him I would never have moved halfway across the country, and given up a tenured job if I had known he was going to have an affair years after we moved. He said, “I didn’t intend for it to happen,” My response, “yes, but it was under your control.”

        • You know, Tempest, I think “I didn’t intend for it to happen” is actually just a lie. We don’t “intend” for a tornado to tear up our town or to catch the flu even though we got a flu shot. We don’t intend for an unexpected car repair to chew up our vacation fund or for a decision to change jobs for a move upward to end up in a layoff when the company has money problems. Those are things largely out of our control.

          By definition, everyone who begins an affair “intends” it. For example, a few weeks ago, I noticed that a man I see at school events was paying attention to me in a new way. At that point, I had a decision to either keep my professional distance or match his new interest, in spite of the fact that I’m “seeing” someone. For me, that decision is a no-brainer. I’m not committed to this dating relationship in a permanent way, but if I want to be interested in other people, he’s going to be the first to know so he can make his own decisions. Even the first step toward a relationship that will betray a dating or marital partner is a decision and requires “intent.” I’d UBT “I didn’t intend for it to happen” as “I didn’t intend [for you to find out] or [for you to find out before I looted our finances]. Or maybe “I didn’t intend for me to feel any consequences.” The “it” is undefined. They expect the chump to think they mean the affair, but the affair couldn’t happen without intention.

          • You are right, as usual, LAJ. It was cheaterspeak (and I’m pretty sure he “intended” to bed the student as he continued to try and seduce students, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, for most of the marriage).

      • Yeah, I Can’t Believe. I didn’t understand at first his comment about me being “black and white” and him being “grey.” He made it sound like me black and white was a bad thing. He made him being grey sound superior and right. I now realize my black and white thinking is a good thing! It’s my morals and values! He even went so far in the Divorce Letter saying “we have different values.” I was like WHAT?!! I thought our entire marriage we had the same values. We go to church together. We read the same Bible. But he has different values than me. Wow! Who would have known?

  • Yep.

    I mean, yeah, each person does have his or her own perceptions which affect his or her definitions of what is real. If you have morals, if you value integrity and ethics, then you will also have a sense of right and wrong that grows from that reality. And, existentially speaking, those can differ among us without one having to be supremely right for everyone.

    The thing about gaslighting is that it works because it contains enough truth to be convincing and the receiver has a conscience that the gaslighter can use to elicit belief that the message is entirely true because it seems plausible.

    They don’t have to get you to believe it, they just have to get you to believe it’s plausible, then repeat it frequently so you encounter their revised reality often enough that it begins to feel normal compared to your other inputs.

    That’s why NC is so effective — it rebalances your inputs so a reasonable number of each kind of input becomes the norm. The frequency of each kind of message normalizes based on a more common variety of viewpoints. Then you can more easily sort out the BS as BS.

    Remove the faulty logic for the kids. The issue isn’t who is right and who is wrong. The issue is whose behavior is harmful, self-serving, irresponsible, dishonest, immature, imbalanced with other coinciding realities, etc.

    It doesn’t matter that ethics are in the eye of the beholder. What matters is the the preponderance of the facts are not working in the gaslighter’s favor.

    • I have struggled to try and explain gaslighting to my family and this summed it up better than anything I have been able to find. Thank you, Amiisfree!

    • They’re cruel, manipulative, conniving, convincing liars. They carefully chose the right words to gain the result they want. Everything with them is done with an hidden agenda. They’re not capable of true human emotions. They take what they need and move on blaming us. Gas lighting is an insidious form of abuse.
      Everything is fake with them

    • <3 you all! I just pass on what the therapists teach me. Thank the Lord for the good therapists! (Though you're not my personal therapist, this means you, too, Tempest!)

    • That’s why NC is so effective — it rebalances your inputs so a reasonable number of each kind of input becomes the norm. The frequency of each kind of message normalizes based on a more common variety of viewpoints. Then you can more easily sort out the BS as BS.

      This!!!! That’s why I knew he wasn’t getting my new number, we only email

    • Ami, “They don’t have to get you to believe it, they just have to get you to believe it’s plausible,”

      This is the basic rock of gaslighting and blameshifting. Simple, but diabolical.

    • On top of that, they enjoy seeing you struggle pinning them down for the truth.

      Diabolical, for sure.

      Really appreciate you putting this into words Amii — saving this to my notebook.

  • Someone once commented, A hard dick has no conscience. That was ex in a nutshell. That and the fact that he got off on “the power trip high of deceit.” That was my marriage for who knows how long…. There he was, making decisions big and small that would negatively impact us, his family, yet he still showed up to fuck me. Good times. How the disordered justify living and their crap choices is beyond belief.

    • Hahaha! I remember my little old country mama telling me “A stiff prick has no conscience” when I was about 11 years old! She was right, too!

      More women ought to teach this to their daughters!

      • Except that for a lot of men, their conscience isn’t overcome by their hard-on (and for some women, their genitals also rule their morals). In my mind, it’s much more a question of finding out which type of partner you are with, and making your choices based on that info.

  • I do not miss playing that game at all – and it IS a game to him. He’ll never admit to anything I don’t have concrete proof of, and after a year, I cannot wait to finally be divorced and rid of him. I pray that his OW sticks with him until then, at least, so I don’t have to deal with the fallout. I can completely block him from my life then. So please, Smoochie, don’t leave him again anytime soon. Help a sister out. Thanks! ??

            • In the beginning, I used to spew my story a lot. But what got people in the end was when I said that I hoped that x and schmoopie would stay together forever and ever, that way there were at least 2 f*ed up people tied together that wouldn’t be out there f*ing up two other people.

              • I keep hoping and saying the same thing, Flutterby…and after 7 years and divorce ~almost~ final…they’re still together! Yay! So that totals 4 very fucked-up individuals making each other miserable every day. I’m sure there are others we may add to this list as well…

                Maybe if we all prayed really hard all together:

                Dear Almighty, we pray that you seal the Schmoopie-to-Assface attraction by permanently bonding their fates, lives and genitals together. Forever!!! Please grant us, the emotionally-raped chumps, this prayer so we may move forward into the land of MEH and live the normal, unfucked-up lives we were meant to have in peace, harmony, profound happiness, unbridled joy and grace in your awesome and loving presence. AMEN!! ?

      • Reminds me of when I called my stbx – SIL and begged her to give my stbx some money, so she could afford to move out and get the hell away from me. Didn’t work, but it was worth it just the same.

  • No right or wrong = no accountability. Thus cheaters can absolve themselves of any connection to fallout from their betrayal
    Conversely – normal people use “perception” to discern right from wrong and utilize said discernment to live with integrity

  • Ah this is SO familiar! Take our 12th anniversary:

    One hand: He is between contracts, so he can’t afford to give me the usual gift card, but he’ll make it up to me. (Not!)

    Other hand: He CAN afford to buy a $90 Adult Fuck Finder membership for himself on the exact date of our 12th anniversary, as I found out a few days later while paying bills out of that account.

    • Ugh, what a tool! I hardly ever got gifts either, because he was “so busy that I just didn’t have time”. Glad to be free of that selfish asshole.

  • Right and wrong never change, as far as I’m concerned. Normal people will get that creepy, disgusted feeling with themselves when they do wrong, even if they don’t consciously admit it in a conscious way.

    About the “constant contact”, it’s abnormal I think. Maybe a byproduct of the brainwashing they gave themselves when they tried to act like fucking around on your marriage isn’t wrong.

    I monitored ex husband for a while during our Wreckconciliaton. One of the most hurtful things was one day he was working on his car. I had been hanging with him outside, talking, bringing stuff, commiserating on his horrible luck having to work on his car. He had to leave to go to work that afternoon, and per phone records, he was on the phone with the whore when he left, probably before he reached the end of our street. Jerk. We had gotten along so well that day, and it was a slap in the face what he did.

    • Anita.
      Yes this. I had a conversation with mine yesterday and I said how I just can’t believe you did this and yet you are still saying you loved me the whole time, loved our family, was working abroad for us. From the garbage that came out I gather that it should not be a ‘big deal’ what he has done as the women he slept with ‘meant nothing’.
      My mind almost seized up at this point but I said ‘what about OW#3 you really had fun with her taking her on holiday etc’. He said that sometimes she didn’t get what he was saying and he had to ignore things she said that were stupid so they had to ‘work’ at getting along. Not like us apparently who are soulmates.
      I don’t know what I thought then as my brain did seize up.

          • It’s now on my calendar!!! Looks like there’s a mardis gras parade scheduled to celebrate the occasion!

            • I can’t wait. What an idiot I am but thank goodness it will be over soon and I can breathe again. And I have been able to see dysfunction up close. And ask it questions. Anybody want me to ask him anything in particular about cheating??
              I have my own list I’m working through but happy to add others!
              Crazy times.

              Thanks all for not judging me too much for being an idiot letting him stay and hanging in there while I repented at leisure.

              Never has four weeks felt more like four years. ?

              • You are not an idiot. You are doing your best to deal with a difficult situation. Some people can make a clean break of it, some can’t. That is just reality.
                What are you going to do to celebrate when he is gone? How are you taking care of yourself in the meantime? A friend just got me some essential oils, and I think they are lovely.

      • My brain seizes up just READING this, Cap! — They’re just never happy or satisfied. Life is so DIFFICULT for them. “I like THIS woman because of A, B & C, and this OTHER one because of L, M, and N, but I just can’t seem to find a PERFECT woman who has ALL the thing I need!” Poor sad sausages. (gag)

        • They want to find the PERFECT partner who has and GIVES all the things they need or want, AND who requires and asks for absolutely nothing from them.

          Good luck there. I’m sure soon you’ll be able to buy an android that fits the bill.

          • I told mine he better invest in a blowup doll, that’s the only perfect woman he will ever meet…………………..

            • I offered mine my son’s parrot as a wife. Sits all day in the cage and would not mind his fucking around. And more importantly, would not tire him with constant frustrated talks.

        • The devaluation is so key to them, because then they feel superior, like some kind of ‘ruler’ picking out their harem, GAG!

          • Oh, FreeWoman, you’re right! They need the ‘perfect’ android with no needs, and one that correctly imitates looking humiliated and hurt! So they can enjoy the devalue and their feeling of superiority. But then the android goes back to treating them like royalty, and fulfilling all the cheater’s needs.

            Anybody see a market for this? Because it would get some cheaters out of the dating/marriage market, which would be a good thing!

            • And if there was a market for this and some enterprising chump or chump group made said android, we could finance a lot of divorces and make lots of chumps happy, since there are so many of us in CN, there has to be a ton of $ to be made off of smug cheaters.

      • My brain just did, too. I so much feel for you, Cap. His presence around you incinuates conversations because you still want answers, you want to understand. But their grey truth is just as is: these women don’t mean anything and they can compartmentalise. Until some of these women become soulmates and start meaning and the cheaters leave. There is no way to win. Just exit the game. Started counting down for you.

    • “Right and wrong never change, as far as I’m concerned. Normal people will get that creepy, disgusted feeling with themselves when they do wrong, even if they don’t consciously admit it in a conscious way.”

      I’ve often said this to coworkers who seem to be struggling, that sometimes I *KNOW* what is the right thing to do (call a client with bad news, admit to a mistake I made about something, apologize for an oversight, etc.) because it is the thing I least WANT to do, the thing I wish someone else would do for me or (in a petulant way) wish would just go away! But I’m an adult so I have to admit to my mistakes and take whatever punishment comes with that.

      Right & wrong. You can just feel it.

      • “Right & wrong. You can just feel it.” But only if you have a moral compass. If you care about others, and have an intact set of ethics.

        Some people can’t. Some people feel it a little, but let what they want override it.


      • NWB,
        Unfortunately, my co-workers do not struggle, they just don’t think like that. I think I work in a den of narcs.
        “But I’m an adult so I have to admit to my mistakes and take whatever punishment comes with that.” Nah you can just ignore that punishment by not saying anything and letting things “work” themselves out. Silence is golden for a narc.

  • Cheater’s famous line when he tried to come back (once again) after cheating and asked why he cheated, “I thought it was the right thing to do at that time.” See, it’s all relative? The truth to cheaters is a moving target, always a-changing. As long as it suits their needs? It’s the “truth”. What the heck can one expect from liars?

    • He thought he was doing the “right thing” not the wrong thing at the time. Do they ever do anything wrong?
      I like the way they word things, he was just a good guy doing what he thought was right at the time.
      A man of integrity.

  • “Clubbing baby seals–nothing wrong with that! It’s how you look at it!”

    “Boko Haram kidnapping 14 year olds to be sold into marriage–no problem; those girls would have been married within years anyway!”

    “Rescuing toddlers from burning buildings–that’s not really a “good” thing; it’s that you perceive it as good.”

    “Shutting down abusive puppy mills–it’s what some people do. Neither good nor bad.”

    Refuting that stupid argument that there is no good nor bad, just perceptions, is like shooting fish in a barrel. (Which, by the way, is bad. Don’t do that.)

  • Thank you Tracey. May all of chump nation laugh through this day as we imagine our freshly mugged cheaters inert, ignored and uncomprehending as passersby ignore them.

  • If you’re a parent, you absolutely need to correct and step in front of these lies and shit they spout – if you don’t, it will absolutely impact their adult lives. I work in a heavily regulated industry and one of my responsibilities is hiring Interns from college. I just had to take away one of their summer job offers because he had misdemeanors for shoplifting and a fake ID. Our kids are growing up in a WAY tougher world than we did. It’s the age of the Internet – everything is tracked and recorded. They need to learn quickly that most of the country doesn’t traffic in “alternative facts” and that there absolutely IS right vs wrong and they’ll be judged and held accountable accordingly.

    • Believe me, I am doing just that. I am telling them out right that HE IS DISORDERED AND THEY SHOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT BELIEVE the words he say. But the good news is they sees through his BS.

    • Absolutely. And our opportunities to teach this are limited if they spend time with the cheater. I use every chance I get to point out things to my kids. Damage control all the time.

      • OMG, yes. And this is one of the things I resent the most. Somehow, I am supposed to walk them through this disaster with both morals and ability to love cheater boy intact. Flipping close to impossible. Dreading, already, coping with the wedding to slut. Can’t and won’t even attempt to normalize it, but openly criticizing has its own set of issues. Glad the kids are too old to be pressed into service as flower girl and ring bearer, but they will no doubt be expected to attend and participate in some fashion. No clue, really, how to manage that. Guess I’ll just have to let it play out and do my best to make the right calls in the moment. Being a person who at least strives to do the right thing often stinks.

        • I am right there with you, ChumpionSAHM. How to balance helping them navigate the immoral choices, lies, and manipulative behaviour with spending time with their dad sucks! If it was anyone else, as a responsible parent, I wouldn’t let my kid spend time with someone like this.

          • Exactly! On the deepest level, I think what would be best for them is never, ever to be exposed to him again. But, no can do. Incredibly frustrating.

          • Get Me Free – As a responsible parent I wouldn’t let my kid spend time with someone like this.
            But I have to. And it sucks. My daughter’s friend’s parents don’t subject their kids or my daughter to the garbage her dad subjects her to. I hate it. I try to reason with him about what you put in your child’s mind….he thinks I’m a prude while he sends naked pictures of his gf to his buddies – because he is so awesome. (She’s after your money, stupid). He shows our daughter that women are objects to be used like a trophy while I stress homework and planning for the future…Stbx ridicules me for that. It sucks. They suck. And, yes, I know full well reasoning with the disordered is futile and can make you feel insane ‘cuz they are incapable. I hate this whole thing.

    • In a world where children are not allowed to lose a baseball game when they are growing up, because it might make them feel bad, I really don’t know how they can be expected to learn about accountability and consequences. This is the problem. We are no longer teaching them these lessons because “it might hurt their feelings.”

      • Yes, but usually the “trophy for everyone” is for LITTLE kids. My oldest is 10 and that stuff stopped a LONG time ago where everyone got a trophy. My older son truly sees now there are “winners and losers” in everything – no trophies for 2nd or 3rd place.

        Little, little kids (like 5 and under), can’t yet grasp accountability, anyway. Only a bit. I am not necessarily bothered if every 4 year old in a gymnastics class gets a trophy. They’re 4, not much older than a toddler. I’m talking about tweens and teens, where their brains are starting to really mature as they move into adulthood, you can’t let Cheaters spout “alternative truths” and let the kids think, “oh, there’s two truths”, because most colleges and employers will see through that and won’t buy it.

        If you live in a utopic area where every kid all the way up to 18 gets trophies for all sports and all classes, no matter how well you do or don’t do, then I’m jealous that you live in such a utopic area. If you’re on this site, then your kids have lived through the horror show that is a Cheater and The Disordered. They’ve learned plenty of tough life lessons that most kids never learn. I don’t begrudge them a trophy in baseball for 3rd place at the age of 15, if that’s the case.

    • My proudest moment was when my youngest, 18 year old son, said:
      ……Mom, I know that with Dad off in an apartment with no real responsibilities, and all three of his adult children still talking to him – you must feel he hasn’t been punished enough. But we know and we appreciate what you’ve done for us by not saying bad things him. He sucks but he’s the only Dad we have.

      • TiredChump – you should be so proud of your son! He sounds wise and lovely. You deserve that!!

    • One of my worst fears, I can only hope at that what I’ve instilled in hm when he was younger will eventually over ride his father’s negative influence.

  • Aaaargh!!!! I hate the term “telling your truth”. Whatever happened to feeling THE truth?

  • I realise mine has no values and he never responded with empathy or real feeling to anything unless it was dramatic or negative, positive stuff didn’t hit his buttons, happy for someone no, could barely crack a smile.
    To him everything was relative and people should do what makes them happy, he put on pseudo intellectual pretenses but was as deep as a puddle in reality, covert somatic narc out for himself always.
    Pointing out facts and truths illicited mindfuckery and obfuscation, then anger and rage.
    Day 12 grey rock, haven’t seen his face, was a good day my heart only ached when I woke up and I had little anxiety, felt pretty good for the most part.
    Getting some energy back, going to sort my house and garden on the weekend and give my boys lots of love, my work sitch, well I am doing alright I think but have accepted what will be will be, if it ends I will find a way and new doors will open. I am like a cat and always land on my feet.
    He moves into empty apartment tomorrow hope it feel nice and lonely for him.

    • Lady B–you will feel a sense of relief when he is out of the house, and decreased anxiety, but the grief of mourning your marriage will hit sporadically for 2-3 years. Just make sure that you take teeny steps every day for self-care, and doing something you like. When those weak moments hit, you’ll recover more quickly if you’ve crafted a new life (even if it’s a small hobby–macrame, paint-by-numbers). And build a community–not just this fabulous on-line community, but scope out new people to establish friendships with. They will be a breath of fresh air, and will be the “something new” you need to claw your way out of the betrayal abyss. Hugs!

    • Lady B, Cap and anyone, another book suggestion I have along with CL’s that helped me is “From Charm to Harm, and Everything in Between With a Narcissist.” by Gregory Zaffuto. He has a fb page, After narcissist abuse there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It was so hard for me to come acceptance of who he really is. I wanted to hold on to the fairy tale of the life I thought I had but never existed.
      There’s days I felt like I could take on the world and I’d feel so strong and over X then suddenly there would be a trigger out of the blue that brought tears. More anger now than tears..

  • “There is no right or wrong, there’s only-”
    Me: [Punches him in the face]
    “OW! What the hell?!”
    Me: [shrugs]

    Moral relativity only goes one way with these turd lumps.

  • Great post! The SQUIRREL had me in belly laughing mode. Still wiping my eyes. Exactly how my puppies are! But they cant help it as they are how the universe made them. They are loyal, loving, and a constant source of entertainment. And a squirrel appearance is great fun. Maybe for the squirrel not so much. Canines in this lady chumps opinion truly are a girls best friend. Fuck those man and woman whores we get free and we gain lives.

      • My new home is great! Winding my way through. A decent job is next and im on my way to meh slowly but surely and without that fucker anywhere near me!

        • Missed your comment KM, screen was not updated. Good to hear you are away and on the road to Meh.

        • Yes, moved just after thankgiving 2015. My house is great small like me. When i can find a decent job i will be well onto meh. I have good and bad days but im trying to fly high! And succeeding! Thank you for asking!

    • Hah, I have 4 dogs who chase squirrels. They never catch them. In fact, the squirrels taunt the dogs; they will leap from a tree to the top of the garage roof and then sit there chittering at the dogs in a “na na na, you can’t catch me!” way. I suspect cheaters are re-incarnated as squirrels.

  • The Worm often accused me of being “morally superior”. He would say it with extreme contempt, as if it was the worst thing in the world to behold. Yet with my morally superiority came extraordinary super powers which caused him to buy expensive gifts for another woman and dump a bucket of water over my head….

    • Got this, too. Drives them nuts, and they put a lot of energy into creating the “perception” that we are actually at fault.

      • For shame! How dare you treat me in a moral and ethical manner! When I want to shit all over you and not have to hear about it afterwards! ??

    • Mine accuses me both of thinking I’m morally superior, and also of thinking I’m perfect and never wrong. Wellllllllll, maybe not perfect or NEVER wrong! But SO much closer to that than he is!

      (Besides, I know it’s projection and DARVO at work. Thank heavens I finally understand that!)

      • I got this bs after DDay. I was trying to wreckoncile so I was all “no, I’m not perfect…” and listed some of my flaws. Big mistake. He took those insecurities and used them against me, especially in MC. Now, I own my flaws. But I never speak to him about them and I never allow even a hint of criticism to go unchecked.

  • Once again I finish reading a Chump Lady post with that odd feeling of wanting to laugh and cry at the same time. I want to laugh because she nails it completely and with humour so I feel in my gut she absolutely gets it. And then I want to cry because it happened to me and it makes you hurt and it makes you crazy.
    It does blow your mind to realise they can seem utterly sincere about loving you to your face and then be texting the other woman/man the next minute. Not normal is an understatement.
    It blows your mind when they can do so much damage, damage that goes on for years and just shrug it off, just walk away.
    Can I still be in shock six months later? It still feels like it is surreal at times. I am doing all the things I should be doing but it’s still shocking. I imagine that shock never quite goes away. It’s like being in buildings after the last one you were in collapsed after an earthquake, you never feel quite safe as something beyond your control happened. And could happen again. I know the buildings can be reinforced and strengthened but still. I suppose the key is to know that even if it did happen again you know you could survive it and as time passes you might relax more.
    I guess I’m saying that once your trust has been comprehensively crushed by ‘your person’ who is so able to ‘fake’ themselves to you, you will never have the full measure of trust again to give to anyone else.
    And after they have done all this THEY STILL DON’T GET IT. I suppose why would they. They didn’t care enough or were not wired right not to do it so having done it why would that change anything.
    Not only do they steal the life you felt you had, the life you were looking forward to, the safety and security of your kids they steal your ability to trust completely again. The likelihood of betrayal seems higher to me now whereas before it seemed low. So I now have to rebuild a new life for myself whilst mourning the loss of the old one and help my kids do the same. I also need to fix my picker, develop new boundaries and find my joy. I need to get financial independence and learn how to trust wisely. While on my lunch break I can fix the Middle East and develop nuclear fusion. ?

    • They really just don’t get it at all Capricorn! And what’s more they don’t want to get it. If they had to sit and think about what they did, their whole world would come crashing down……and we can’t have that…..

    • I recently read that if you keep asking yourself “how could this happen?” or “why did they do this?” (all part of untangling the skein and totally useless per CL) – that you are still in DENIAL.

      I found out about the ho-worker 2 years ago, attempted reconciliation for 12 mos (while he kept breaking up and getting back together with AP during alleged marriage counseling), kicked him out last February (2016) when I realized realized he was still seeing the AP, , and just filed for divorce in January 2017. My kids and everyone who knows us are shocked beyond belief. A 56 year old leaving his family for a 29 year old the therapist called “damaged goods” who only wants his money. I have newfound empathy for families who watch addicts destroy their lives. it is insane!

      Net – two years out — I’m still somewhat in denial on some days after a 30 year marriage, 3 kids, multiple cross-country moves, achieving financial stability and finally getting our youngest off to college.


      So for those of you in the early days, follow the advice of CN and focus on yourself, not the disordered.

      It is hard, and I am weak, but I am crawling toward meh

      • Hang in there, TiredChump. It will get better. Now that you’ve filed, you are on a finite journey heading away from the lying and cheating. One day soon, you will be feeling more peaceful than sad. The pain does not last forever, and your body and mind will thank you for getting rid of the toxic cheater.

        Sending virtual hugs.

    • Capricorn, you have listed everything I’ve felt. It’s unbelievable how casually they can move on and throw away all the years we treasured and worked hard to make special. I’ll never understand how anyone can justify shattering their children’s lives. They’ve robbed their children of having an intact family, sharing mile stones with both parents, both parents who sincerely love them, sharing family stories, the day they were born, holidays, just the simple day to day living without the tension of divorce.
      Everything from now on will be more difficult if not awkward, milestones, visitations, holidays, birthdays, future relationships. As if life isn’t difficult enough without additional trauma and stress that divorce entails.
      In the first year after D day I had didn’t want to believe the obvious truth which is cheaters only care about themselves otherwise they wouldn’t be cheating. They don’t have a conscious they only have a motive.

      • And how ANGRY they get, later, when they realize they still wanted some of the stuff they threw away. How could Chump not just give it back immediately, as soon as they said a little ‘I’m sorry’? So bitter and self-righteous! So evil!

        • It’s because the focus is all on them and what they wanted. They don’t realize all the good stuff came from the chump. And then when they throw it away because they blamed the chump all along they realize EVERYTHING was the chump and that they are just an empty shell. STBX is realizing that a little bit at a time and it’s not a pleasant feeling for him. Family? Yeah, the family you had here is ALL MINE! (He’s from a foreign country) Traditions? Yep I made those for us! They aren’t the same with the whoremat? Because it was ALL ME. Because when you were happy that made me happy too. That’s what a relationship is! Loving someone and showing them you care. An open set of legs can never fill an entire life together! Too bad they don’t realize it before they destroy the lives of people that love them.

          • Amiisfree posted something before that tremendously helped me and that was to learn to own the things you had in the relationship. For example, if you enjoyed the sex, that was because *you* are capable of feeling the sensuality and joy, not necessarily because cheaterpants is great at it. Your happiness, your love, the things you made for the relationship to grow and blossom are all on you.

    • I was sitting in my therapist’s office having a moment of clarity and said I finally truly get that he will never ever understand, never have empathy for the pain he caused and never take responsibility. (Mind you I was 3 years post DDay so it took a long long time to wrap my head around that reality.) My therapist smiled and said, “I wish I could stencil that in 2 foot high letters around the perimeter of my office – they will NEVER get it.” And I had a vision of her talking calmly and kindly to patient after patient. No, your mother will never get it. No, your dad will never get it. No, they will NEVER understand. And how all she wanted was to give her patients the tools to put it down and walk away. It’s the hardest thing to do. Just walk away from all that pain. It just haunts us like a demon. That’s why she smiled at me because she saw I had a glimmer of accepting the truth and I could just put it down when I wanted to. The glimmers of the truth come to me more often, but I do still struggle. I am so optimistic that I will be at meh soon. I can feel it!!

      • Once again, I have to step in here and recommend the book (and website, maybe, for the book?) “Fuck [F***] Feelings” which is, essentially, this concept in a nutshell rehashed over & over: the alcoholic father, the lazy coworker, the inconsiderate neighbor — At some point in each of these scenarios (and, yes, cheating spouses are in there, as well), you just have to give up trying to reason with them, with yourself, and just draw your line in the sand, ask for what you want, then walk away. It’s surreal, but it’s a tool to help deal with people who just will NEVER understand.

        • NW

          I got this on your recommendation and read it SO MANY TIMES and keep dipping in to it.
          I gave a copies to my eldest sons.
          I use it for client work.
          It is saving me from years of wasted effort.
          It is genius. ❤

          • thanks, Cap — It’s become something of a reference book for me, like some of my buddhism books, or a dictionary — something I can go back to when I drift off course: “Oh, right, they don’t care, and this is what I can do to help myself here.”

            • Both books “Runaway Husband’s” and “F*** Feelings,” I’ve been meaning to order. Think I’ll order them today.. Thanks for the reminder*

      • Exactly . Just when you dream up another angle of how they must “get it” it must be a chump understanding that if you just try harder to see the injustice that he will see the light and you be be vindicated .

    • 1) Give it a year before you quit feeling quite so much like a deer in headlights. For awhile you can’t help looking back and going, WTF just happened?

      2) After about a year, you turn around, face forward, and start to deal with the fallout. Then suddenly 3 years pass, and it seems like it was all a bad dream.

      3) Keep coming back to CL for reality checks. I am no longer afraid at all to cut people loose from my life at the slightest inkling of their words and actions not seeming to match. No time for that bullshit anymore. Their shit to sort out, not mine. Moving right along…

      • Good list Dances, I just had an ex friend, an especially slick, very good at her game covert narc, put out feelers to try to reel me back in after a good three years of total NC. She ghosted after I gave her an honest opinion she didn’t like on something she asked me about. After trying to reach her for a couple of weeks, it started to dawn on me that the friendship was very lopsided….me doing all the giving. I had just found Chumplady and had started to connect the dots.

        Guess she figured she could still extract something of value from me. She got …. crickets. As you said, no time for that bullshit anymore!

    • Yes. To know that at times–including holidays, dinners out–he sat right next to me and/or kids and texted her is mind-blowing. But that is the truth. Terrible truth, but freeing.

      • This is what has bothered me the most. The time and dedication they put into the OW and their family was shoved to the back of the bus. The OW and cheater stole from my family. I can never forgive the cheater for this. The other thing that pisses me off is the aloofness I saw in his face whenever he was around. I realize now the aloofness was caused to him thinking of someone else. Screw Him!

    • Cap, I love your humor! Choking
      on my coffee with your last comment?

      . . . Please, while you’re on lunch break, complete the global meteor-shield development as well! ???

    • Capricorn: It is true, you will never be the same after this. You go into surveillance about people’s characters in a way you never felt that you had to before. you will get GOOD at it; the FBI and MI5 should hire chumps for spy missions because we would rock them. You will be less tolerant of bullshit than ever before, and possibly quite vocal about it.

      But you will also be more compassionate, more sensitive to nuance, more likely to say the right thing to someone who is anxious or sad or grieving.

      Yes, it is still normal, I think, to be incredulous 6 months out. It requires 6 months of minimal, grey rock contact before you can fully accept that nothing you say will cause your STBX to have insight into what he has done to the family, how and why it is wrong, nor why you no longer think he is a good person. Once you accept that fact, deep in your bones, true healing begins. I have no expectation that I could make Hannibal Lecher understand the horror of his betrayal any more than wishing my Honda Element was a time machine will make it so.

      • All of these posts starting with Capricorn sums up the inner turmoil. There are consecutive days where I “get it”. He sucks and no amount of explanation will achieve any empathy from him or understanding for me. Then I have a couple days where I can’t help getting caught up in untangling. It sucks to lose your sense of trust and belief in the goodness of people.

        Just know that the balance between the two feelings will continue to shift in your favor.

        3 steps forward and 1 step back. It is not a straight line. Just do a check every few months and hopefully you will see that you are making forward progress.

        • GetMeFree
          That’s exactly it! Some days I absolutely stay away from the skein and know in my heart I will never understand it I just have to accept it but a few days later I can find myself mindlessly scrambling to untangle the skein with a fury.
          It sooooo reassuring to know I am not the only one.

          • Capricorn, I am very sure you and I are not the only ones. I am:

            3 years and 3 months from Dday#1 (followed by wreckonciliation)
            1 year and 2 months from him walking out (only to return 3 weeks later)
            1 year from when I made him leave the house
            11 months from Dday#2
            8 months from going grey rock
            2 months from filing

            And I still struggle with it. Thankfully, those times are getting shorter and less frequent.

    • Also, Capricorn, you’re in the situation of having to live with STBX and bear witness to his nonchalance and other disordered behaviors on a daily basis. It’s like staring too long at an Escher painting — it (he) just doesn’t make sense. He walks around LOOKING like your husband, and TALKING like your husband, but underneath that skin — in that skull — is just a writhing ball of worms (or something).

      It will be better when he is at least out of the house. But I have to agree with Tempest that I, at least, will never be the same. The mask has slipped off the world and I have come to realize in a new and horrifying way, that living with someone cheek-by-jowl for decades does not insure against deception. — I think that’s one of the most shocking things to me: that I didn’t realize. After all that time, I never saw it until the end.

      I digress (again). Also, you said this: “Not only do they steal the life you felt you had, the life you were looking forward to, the safety and security of your kids they steal your ability to trust completely again.” These are the things we will never have again, and I have come to regard them as an accident victim who loses a limb must come to accept that they may never run another marathon or play the violin again. Bad dumb luck.

      The flip side is courage. I know I have it, so I hope that I can apply it — eventually — emotionally, and allow the next person (if there is one) the benefit of the doubt. I will be wary, of course, but I will also try to be like the lion tamer, keeping that beast of fear and avoidance at bay, lest it devour any hope I have of having a fulfilling life in the future. I am brave and have courage, and I am doing those push-ups and sit-ups even as we speak, so that I may stronger still when needed.

      • For me the hardest part is the loss of all that faith in humanity, trust, safety, security, etc. BUT I can’t accept it as an accident victim has to. I wish it was all a terrible tragedy. A car accident, a shark attack, a lightning strike, those would all be better than this. This was a targeted attack by the person I trusted above all others. I just feel so dead and empty and hurt and just fucking devastated after this. Tragedy is random and sad. Terrible shit happens to good people all the time, cancer, tornados, terrorism, war and people just happen to be unlucky. This was me living my life and then my person fucked me over. He made the choice and stole my life and future, safety, security, sense of worth and just DGAF. It was all him. Who cares about anything because my dick. My entire existence was worth less to the person I loved above all others, the person I chose as my life partner, than a cheap, dirty fuck with a cheap, dirty, scheming whore. The only slight vindication I have is that STBX is in therapy and says he thinks he’s fucked himself up so badly he’s not sure he can come back from it. He feels like an empty shell of a person, he can’t feel anymore. That makes me happy, but rather than both of us being ruined (or even just me, he brought this on himself) I would have preferred him to be a man and get his shit fixed. Working through marriage difficulties would have been bad enough, getting divorced would have been bad enough but this is just beyond! I’m so scared I can never trust again or that I will and then be broken down again or that I will never find someone I want to be with again, or no one will ever want to be with me again. I knew bad shit happened to decent people and life wasn’t fair but nobody warns you about how bad it can actually be.

        • Sad Shelby. There are times when I think about these things too – but the future is still unwritten. Who knew we would be fucked over like this?

          But here’s the truth. We are still standing. Breathing. Alive. And we will heal through all of this. The scars and painful memory has forever changed us. I’d like to focus though on the positives – we have learned so much through this journey – probably not many people had been through what we’ve been and now we are armed with knowledge, experience and wisdom to stear clear from devil incarnates who walk among us. Hopefully we become pillars of strength to those who find themselves suffering as we have suffered.

          To have lived, coped, and ultimately survived a narcissist is testament to the inner strength we have within us.

          Hugs to you. We are all mighty!

    • Cap, I like this because it sums up what the cheater did, what someone that hasn’t gone through this agony, sometimes doesn’t understand.

      “Not only do they steal the life you felt you had, the life you were looking forward to, the safety and security of your kids they steal your ability to trust completely again. The likelihood of betrayal seems higher to me now whereas before it seemed low. So I now have to rebuild a new life for myself whilst mourning the loss of the old one and help my kids do the same. I also need to fix my picker, develop new boundaries and find my joy. I need to get financial independence and learn how to trust wisely. While on my lunch break I can fix the Middle East and develop nuclear fusion.”

      By the time you go through the devalue or abandonment or years of trying to fix everything wrong, you actually feel that fixing the Middle East and developing nuclear fusion is a piece of cake…….

  • My poor kids are going through this too. Been divorced for just over a year from the cheater and with no contact he can’t justify his actions to me anymore with his favourite explanation of “we see the world differently.”

    It’s so hard to watch my kids being gaslighted and manipulated. They are seeing their dad for who he is and they are calling him on it. He’s trying so hard to convince them that it’s just their perceptions that are wrong, not how he’s behaving. They’re struggling with it, but see right through him and are drawing boundaries. I’m so proud of them but furious with him for trying to fuck them over too.

    • And this kind does this shit with everyone…even their kids. Trust they suck. And keep talking with your kids!!!!

  • Whenever I asked questions or tried to figure out what was going on ( I mean at this point our marriage was coming to a quick ugly death ), I got ” I don’t know”….

    If anyone says that line to me in a relationship ever again, watch out – I won’t be responsible for my actions!!!

    I don’t know = I DO know. I don’t want you to know and I cannot come up with some sort of word salad fast enough to shock and awe you enough at this moment.

    My nuggets of truth are about about as appealing as the road apples dotting the horse pasture right now ( picture flies on a hot sunny day ) and I would chop off my left foot before sharing them with you!!!!

    The truth is the truth. And the sky is blue. And my dog does think she is a people. I need coffee!!!

    • I got ‘ I don’t know’ followed by a shug and pouty look, pathetic.
      Translation you not worth me telling. I don’t have to explain my action to you, you don’t own me.

      • ‘I don’t know’ meaning mostly ‘if I tell you the truth, you will despise me and never speak to me again, whereas if I say I don’t know, you could interpret in my favour again, spackle again, project your values onto me as you have always done, so things might work out for me!’

        • “I don’t know. So no, you can’t corner me or force me to tell you anything because.. I-don’t-know… And that’s that.”

          KarenE you’re right, it’s just another way of saying “you can’t make me.”

      • Same response with the pouty look.., what’s with that?? are we supposed to read their minds??
        Once I came out and asked X if he was seeing someone else…, he answered with a phony, you know I’m not that kind of guy.., Brit, you have a vivid imagination.., you’re insecure.

        As a Chump I thought maybe it was me being insecure, although I had a nagging feeling in my gut that didn’t feel like insecurity more like he’s full of shit.

        • I asked one of my many cheaters, have you ever paid for services? His response, No, have you? Way to quickly pass the hot potato!

          • I got that same answer one night when I asked X if he ‘d been screwing around,
            His response was the same, No, have you??

          • Oh yeah, that was one of Assholio’s favorite techniques. Anything I asked him, he turned back onto me. Then I would scramble to defend myself instead of focusing on his avoidance of the original question. Super frustrating, and just another standard tool from the Cheater’s Toolkit (MSRP $19.99).

      • Lady B, were we married to the same man? He’s tall, fat, bald, has bad teeth and shifty eyes?


        • Mine short athletic, hair, shifty beady eyes with no feeling. My mum even mentioned his eyes.
          Next man good knows when, tall and broad with sparkly soulful eyes and an honest straight talking nature.

    • I heard, “How do you expect me to remember details about an affair that happened 8 years ago?” And yet he remembered whether she was fully shaved or just trimmed. And I’m pretty sure he remembered haven taken her to Mexico.

  • Have I told you lately how much I love you, Chump Lady?

    To any new chumps here today – it gets better. Just don’t die for a year, and the world will spring alive anew. Wait for it; it’s worth it.

    • Yep. One year of wondering WTF just happened. Then some Tuesday comes along!…

      • So I only have three more months until Tuesday? God, I hope that’s true! One wrinkle: our wedding anniversary and dday coincide. Nice, right? Icing on the cheater cake.

        • not quite, though one year does make a huge difference. Standard thinking is 2 years to the absence of (most) anger and ‘meh,’ 3 years until you don’t think about the fucktard very often.

          • Your timeline seems spot on. I’m not yet at 2 years and the anger is really starting to subside. I really want to get to the 3 years and no thoughts. It’s much better now, but I just get so tired of her getting into my thoughts so much. I even had a dream this week with the X. I was of course telling her what a POS she was, so it was a dream and not a nightmare!

            • ha, LostnTX, I think we’re on a similar time line. I’m two years from divorce this month (2 yrs, 5 mos from D-day), and I still have conversations with X in my head. Like you, they are always my telling him what a POS he is (the inner conversations tend to involve all of George Carlin’s words that you can’t say on TV, plus a few).

        • ChumpionSAHM: the former wedding anniv can be repurposed into your “freedom from narc abuse” day.

          • Yup; I keep a supply of bubbly on hand for all those major celebrations: D-dayaversary; Divorcaversary (coming up 2/28), he-moved-out-of-the-houseaversary, AshleyMadisonhackaversary…..

            • Tempest.

              Love that thinking!! This I am going to do! Six months counts as an anniversary right?? Or I could just decide today I should celebrate ‘something minus fuckwit day’.

              Better get those bottles in ???

              • Heck, celebrate monthly–D-day was on the 11th? Bubbly every 11th of the month. A local store has huge discounts if you buy 6 bottles at a time (so I do!).

  • Justification, there’s nothing wrong with cheating since “we weren’t getting along.”
    I wasn’t aware of that rule, if you and the spouse are having a spat.., it’s okay to cheat. I don’t remember reciting those words when I said my vows. Maybe they’re unspoken, I didn’t read between the lines of forsaking all others unless you’re not getting along then it’s a free for all.
    Do you think you’re interest in some one other than your wife might influence your view of your marriage and relationship?
    The unprovoked outbursts and fits of anger? Constant criticism, comparing your spouse to your special someone who you assume you have more in common with?
    Must be true love if AP gives you butterflies in your tummy like a teenager. Another justification, AP gives me butterflies.., you don’t.., your fault Brit.., oh and did I mention I’m seriously concerned for your mental health Brit, which is another justification for cheating..,

    • Oh, and I still harbor resentment from 1998, when you didn’t want to spend our entire two week vacation in my parents in their trailer and sleep in the same bedroom with our son and my perverted Uncle.
      Bunk beds and trundle bed, plenty of room for three adults and a child. You Brit insisted we stay in a hotel. Brit you were being difficult, my whole family said so, and I couldn’t let it go after all these years..,

      Yes, X actually said this

      • Amazing the crap they drag out to justify. They remember every little thing that supposedly made them unhappy. Wedding vows, wife, kids? Not so much.

      • Brit, Satan’s ugly brother said he HAD to cheat, I MADE him cheat (only once, in 2014….yeah, right!) because: in 2005 “I” allowed our daughter to attend an expensive college (on scholarship, but he left that part out of the diatribe)……

        You can’t make this kind of crazy up!

      • Also, what is the deal with these people wanting to have big gigantic slumber parties all the time? XH was FAMOUS for this! — Let’s all go sleep in a big one room cabin out in the woods! Let’s share an RV and go traipsing across the country with our friends!!

        I’m a bad sleeper and also, y’know, an ADULT. And so I preferred to sleep in a bedroom with my husband, behind a closed door, instead of a big “everybody throw their sleeping bags down somewhere on the floor!” kinda life. — He never didn’t resent me for that, but again I guess that goes back to the whole creepy mother-child relationship. Ick.

    • What is this snap day. I got this not getting along shit along with the winner ‘ we would have broken up eventually anyway’ ball less wonders with no shame. Excuses always on hand then blame then change subject, then rage, rinse repeat.

  • Is there not a secret jail we can put these genetic mutations in to rot somewhere ?
    A place where all day long they are subjected to 24 hrs of their own bullshit blared over and over again from loudspeakers …. A place where every great event of our lives without them is played on big screens and their eyes are wedged open so they have to watch…..a place where the true thoughts of all the people that despise them or really didn”t believe their lies is surrounding them as voices all day long…. Is there a place like that?
    I should build one

    • I just want to send them all to their own country or planet, one-way trips only. That way they can screw each other and screw each other over, and all the chumpy people and kids will be safe!

    • I think that’s called “a conscience.” A place these douche canoes have never visited and wouldn’t recognize, and whose bothersome traits they learned to ignore long ago.

  • Think this grey rock is driving him mad, he claims in an email he is going to talk to child services next week, delete,,
    Yeah whateva no case what so ever.
    I have three police call outs on his ass, two for being a drunk asshole and intimidating me 6 years ago and one from 4 years ago for hounding the crap out of me during an argument late evening.
    no response so he escalates the drama.
    Of cause me calling them was an over reaction in his mind, rationalisation always.
    Anyway it’s bed time in the land of Aus, bye

    • You are mighty. He’s a douchebag. Glad that your reaction to his bs is, “What was that noise? Did I hear something? Oh, no. Must just be the wind. La la la!”

      Good work.

      It’s like Glenda the good witch saying, “Go away! You have no power here!”

    • I called the police on mine, I asked him after he arrived home from visiting his mother, how his mother was feeling.
      He went into an unprovoked rage, screaming that I was a stupid, ugly f**king bitch and he’d like to beat the shit out of me but I’m not worth it as he grabbed my neck.
      Needless to say I was taken by surprise, at his over reaction and the drama (I’m laughing now that time has passed, so dramatic and like a lunatic, just ridiculous, ).
      He ran out of the house to hide in the bushes after I called. He claimed it was an overreaction on my part and denied everything.

      Being a Chump and not wanting to upset him. I apologized at the time, now I’m glad I did call the police and my only regret is that I didn’t press charges.

    • When XH would throw shit at me, I would just listen and then say, “Was there a question in there somewhere?”

  • 336 thoughtful posts yesterday from chumps who all have used their perceptions of right and wrong to “grow” and absorb/learn from the “lessons I learned from cheating”

    If you asked cheaters what they learned – it would be a big fat zero

    • They just learned how to hide their cheating better. How to gaslight better. Got their masters degree in mindfuckery.

    • Actually cheaters liars and thieves learn how to improve their deceptive behavior to snag the next mark. Those ‘marks’ could be your own kids , close friends and families in addition to their new relationship puppet/s.

    • If you asked a cheater what they learned, they would say they didn’t cheat and that it was just your imagination and why are you being so difficult?

      They cheat on their long-term partners because they do not have the capacity to love them. At one time, they may have felt idealization/infatuation for their partner, but after that feeling runs its course (if it was ever there to begin with), they become bored and abusive, and the devaluation begins.

      The cheater, bored with their current partner, looks for someone new to become infatuated with and the idealization process begins with a new partner. The cheater is love bombing their new partner and enjoys seeing their new partner reflect back to them how great they are.

      The cheater keeps the old partner on the hook to serve various purposes. One is that the cheater, to the community, looks like a stable, loyal partner in a long-term relationship while they are actually treacherously betraying their partner. The cheater is all about what they can get away with in a day and this is right up their alley; the old partner and community are none the wiser. The cheater does not want to give up assets shared with the old partner. While the cheater’s idealized false self is being reflected back to them by the affair partner, the cheater uses the old partner as a scapegoat. The cheater’s repressed guilt as they “get away with” their affair is projected onto the old partner, the one who is criticized and can do no right. The cheater’s subconcious self-loathing is projected onto the old partner as well, taking the form of contempt. The cheater will say “I love you” to the old partner because the old partner is of use, and this keeps the old partner in the game and it also throws a suspicious partner “off course.” After all the old partner is “back-up” when the affair partners are busy and a good excuse for not having to commit to an affair partner. Deception is part of what makes the affair an affair, and without someone to dupe, it just wouldn’t be an affair.

      • Wow, Chumptacular. This couldn’t be more true. Excellently said.

        Hope you don’t mind me saving this to my notes. This is worth reading over and over during moments of weakness.

  • What everyone is saying x 100! One of my most painful moments was when I found the love emails with the OW was seeing he would email/text her literally one minute and within another minute text me that I was “the perfect wife, I love you baby” and then literally go right back to making plans with her to meet while I was at work! Blew my mind! I still can’t wrap my brain around it years later. The way he could shift gears with no conscience was unbelievable. Evil fuck!

  • There is no right and wrong. That’s why they have to hide the affair. If it wasn’t wrong they would have just said I have a girlfriend on the side. And everyone would have been a-okay with the situation. And they wouldn’t be mad at the chump for being upset. And they wouldn’t freak out that people would find out they weren’t who they claimed to be. Because it’s ALL OKAY?? There is no right or wrong! Which is why they rage when confronted right? They have nothing to defend because it’s all OKAY! And they’d be cool with you having a little fun on the side too because it’s ALL OKAY! God I hate them all!

    • You made me laugh SadShelby, you’re right, they would just come home and said, I met someone and we fucked all afternoon, best sex I’ve ever had.. so how was your day??

      • It was awesome I ALSO banged someone’s face off while our kids were at school! ?????? So what do you want for dinner?

        Yeah. Can you even imagine if cheater found out they were chumped? Suddenly that moral compass would pop out if they found out they weren’t the only one!

  • The problem with “perceptions” thing is that they have a double standard.

    Anything bad that happens to you? Just your perception. Anything bad that happens to them? Actual, true, and horrible event worthy of their wrath.

    • ‘Actual, true, and horrible event worthy of their wrath’ AND caused by someone else. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Nothing is ever their responsibility, and it’s usually all the chump’s fault.

  • Perceptions and compartmentalization. Yep … heard that from supposedly supportive family members. My ex was too big a moron to use such big words. But I have never believed that he was using such advanced methods of thought. In the first place, I believe I have established beyond any shadow of doubt that he is a moron and therefore incapable of thought. But more to the point, he spent considerable time and effort lying his pants off (literally.) He knew what he was up to was wrong and he did everything he could think of to hide his true actions. He didn’t do that out of respect for my differing perceptions of right and wrong. He did it because he agreed that what he was doing was wrong. He handed over a large quantity of assets and income in an effort to keep those same wrongs on the down low. He cannot look me in the eye. Lucky for him, I am in full agreement on that last point.

    • Dixie, did he ever apologize? Mine is acting terribly ashamed and guilty — not fighting the divorce or any terms, can’t look me in the eye, either. Was just curious if yours apologized and tried to fix things at all, or was so overwhelmed by his shame that his only possible action is to hide. 🙂

      • Nope, no apology. When I pressed for one, he said that of course he was sorry … that now no one had his back, that he had to figure out how to manage on his own, etc. He was sorry about his consequences … not his actions.

  • The day I found myself trying to explain to my ex (at that time 46 years old, Ph.D. and MBA, not a child, not dumb) why lying is a problem in relationships, I finally realized I was totally and completely wasting my breath. Oh, and he was reacting with scorn, of course; ‘I feel like I’m being lectured in church’.

    We do not share the same values. And I don’t have to prove I’m right and he’s wrong, I have the right to remove him from my life based on my preferences for the type of person I associate with, and what I want my life to be like.

    • This!!!!!!

      Satan’s ugly brother is a highly (conventionally) intelligent “thing” (I don’t believe he’s human any longer) but I found myself making legal, moral, religious, cultural, economic, medical, psychological arguments in favor of fidelity, not abandoning our 25 year marriage, our 4 children, our community, everything we ever worked for and dreamed of in favor of a conniving homewrecking slut he met weeks earlier in an elevator. After 15 months of those absurd arguments I finally had the exact same Eureka! Moment and STFU. He doesn’t share my values. I can’t ever trust him again. Game over. No contact is the ONLY path to my truth and justice and peace.

    • After years of trying to explain that lies of omission are the same as lying and just as damaging, I finally concluded that he is wired to lie. And yes, not the same values.

  • Ha! I love the situational truth and blame game! I love that I was made out to be the horrible person even though he was the one cheating while I was at home entertaining, and taking care of our toddler. The funny thing is that I don’t play games and I am honest and extremely blunt. So while he was blaming me for this and that after I found out about the affair, acting like a complete and still being a shady piece of shit, I was planning. I contacted a real estate agent and put the house on the market (of course he had to sign the documents). The real estate agent was waiting at the house when he arrived home one night. I contacted a lawyer and had the cheating bastard served at work. I love the blankness in his face because he thought I was going to roll over on my back and beg. Not this girl. I have become so unpredictable it scares the coward. He is worried because he has no where to live after the house sells. Oh well buddy, you made your bed now go lay in it. I simply stopped caring when I realized my feelings did not matter to him. Good riddons asswhipe!

  • “Loyalty, respect, dignity are empty words, just rethorical tricks.”
    But they change their minds when they have to protect Their own Dignity.

  • I got “I’m not happy” for months. Small nugget of truth with me trying to either make him happy or trying to get him to find help. Left out the secrets about all the extra time drinking, the extent of the money he lost gambling, and the 23 year old he was screwing. With all that shit going on, who would be happy? Impossible to have a good perception of the situation when you are in the dark.

  • I sent my X’s computer to a forensic specialist and got a big fat dossier back. The information was shocking but I knew what it was going to contain – I just wanted more details and timelines. I found out that 6 months earlier on our anniversary I had been driving back quickly from a family visit so we could be together – at the exact time I was hauling ass back, he was online Skype masturbating. I was explaining until I was hoarse how that upset me – trying to make him understand. He just didn’t get it and kept saying that if I didn’t know it was happening at the time, how could it hurt me? How could something I didn’t know about hurt me? He did acknowledge that finding it out in the present was very hurtful, but the compartmentalization was so shocking to me. And just like KarenE heard, I had to hear how I was lecturing him and how that made him feel bad. Oh my god, what a colossal waste of time, energy and breath!!! I wish I had all those wasted hours back of our bullshit conversations as we tried to wreconcile.
    I should have been napping and gathering my strength.

    • Kathleen, the things you find when your start digging into the timelines! Almost the same discoveries for me…

    • Hang in there, TiredChump. It will get better. Now that you’ve filed, you are on a finite journey heading away from the lying and cheating. One day soon, you will be feeling more peaceful than sad. The pain does not last forever, and your body and mind will thank you for getting rid of the toxic cheater.

      Sending virtual hugs.

    • I’m not sure why my post to TiredChump came up twice, but oh well

      KathleenK, I would like to know the name of a forensic computer specialist. Would you mind sharing the name of who you used and if you were completely satisfied.

      Thank you.

      • Finding Bliss – the name of the company is Forensic Pursuit and if you google it, it will come up. I sent his computer to the one in Denver. (Closest to me). My X had most of his double life online – his Craigslist hookups were not his main thing – so anything they could get off the computer was going to be helpful to me. It was expensive ($1,500?) and they couldn’t get anything that he did under Private Browsing or Private Window. So 95% of what he was doing was not accessible. But the other 5% was extremely helpful to me. Just odd catches so I got written comments when he was trying to set up camera but before the audio was on, got some photos and videos and screenshot of Skype partners (gross mostly men), and I got dates to go with it. It really fleshed out the story of his double life and made it more real to me so it was worth the money for me. I also found a lot of stuff before I sent it by just going deep in his Finder and just clicking deeper and deeper -photos, downloads etc.
        He never knew I had it in me because I’m not the best with the computer. Haha I am mighty when I need to be. Good Luck! Let me know how it goes.

        • Just before the traitor left our work laptop which I know he had used for porn mysteriously failed and I had to send it back to Acer for a factory reset. Lost everything on it. I think he did something to it so I could never find out what he had really been up to.

          • Damn Kiwichump – I wish you could have gotten the information. Knowledge is power and it can connect the dots for you. However, I think all these guys are basically the same (total loser assholes) and so your X was probably doing much the same as my X. And to be honest, part of me wishes I could unsee some of the things I saw when I delved into that world. My eyeballs about popped out of my head and I started shaking which lasted about 3 months. There were too many photos and videos of him. Jesus. So maybe it was a blessing in disguise? When I told my therapist that I just wished I knew the WHOLE truth, she said, “Don’t you know enough?” And I have to say I do. I don’t ever need to know more. I think we all know enough…

            • What worries me is not the porn, but all the evidence of WHEN he was doing things, while pretending to be at work, developing the farm, since he is making ridiculous claims about his input. Also, the farm fuel bill dropped 60% after he left, and there is no way that’s only because I am farming a little differently. In other words, I think he had been using the farm fuel card to buy fuel for the whore. So that’s fraud. He had stuff to hide and it was on that computer.

  • I would also add that it’s society’s rejection, as a whole, of right and wrong that was most confounding of me. I felt like I had witnessed someone (XH) stabbing someone to death (me) along with all my friends, and THEY were the ones who were like, “Wellll…..” — What the serious fuck???

    I could sort of accept that there was one crazy disordered slippery narcopath that I had managed to marry, but all these OTHER people validating XH’s lack of right/wrong distinction? That was the thing that put me squarely over the edge.

    • This^^^^^

      How people can’t turn a blind eye and just welcome the replacement into open arms. Simply mind boggling.

    • One of two things motivates the ‘shrug’ after infidelity: (a) someone has cheating in their own past; (b) moral cowardice due to wanting an easygoing life.

      I hate cheaters, and I hate cowards. Problem solved.

    • NWB, I don’t understand this either. I decided to just not associate with people that can’t call wrong actions wrong. They generally have something that they need leniency for. Even “Christians” and their we have to forgive everyone for their wrongs because we are all bad. I call BS on that crap these days too. I just shoot out a reply such as “if I raped your XX then you would just invite me over to dinner tomorrow night”. That gets them to STFU!

  • It’s a great belief system for people who have inflicted tremendous harm on others, as it completely relieves them from having to face the guilt and shame over what they did. It gives them a free pass, and the ability to live in denial. It’s just their victim’s inability to embrace this enlightened perspective that is causing their victim’s pain – “it’s THEIR FAULT – not mine.” Yes, I heard this one. I work with people who have have adopted this view. Not surprisingly, they’ve committed egregious relationship crimes against their spouse (cheating) and their friends.

    I get the idea of moral relativism, but at the end of the day, some things are just fucking wrong. One of those, in my meaning-making mind, is that it’s morally wrong to use someone’s love for you against them to steal the years of their lives, their money, their support, emotional investment in you, and any other of their resources. I agree with Rich Grannon on this one – that to do that is about as close to evil as it gets.

  • Rich is a legend and hot to watch also, learning so much from you tube and CL. Angie Atkins / on ? rocks also ‘you feel me’

    • Yep, he’s great. I bought two of his programs, and they helped me a lot. I too have learned so much from utube videos, so thank you for recommending Angie Atkins. I’ll look her up. Have a great day, Lady B.

  • Yes, they learn zero but what we learn is a hard lesson. Hard to find humor in it some days. My now ex of 8 months circled back around after two years of not talking to me to say he make a terrible mistake, I was the love of his life and he missed me terribly. Leave it at that and at least give me some closure? Of course not. So it’s followed up with a phone call a month later. Saying sorry he misled me. He meant it when he said it but he doesn’t feel that way now. Translation: He was trying to get me back on the hook when things weren’t going great with Schmoopie. Now that things are back on track with her, I am garbage again. What do they learn? Nothing. What do we learn? Stay away from fire. Even though you expect to get burnt and you wear fireproof gloves, it still stings.

    • I’m sorry you had to experience the hoovering-back, Lostandfound. But that should be a lesson to every chump here–a large proportion of cheaters will hoover back in some way, even if it’s just to ‘be friends.’ They want to know if they still have power over the chump, “Can I lure the chump back in?” The only way to not hurt is to shut that down immediately, and be prepared to keep doing so until they move on to their next target, and their next, and their next.

      • I had the friends line which probably meant with benefits, response ‘im not friends with people who fuck me over’
        Now its be ‘reasonable and mature so we can mature so we can all move on’ , this is two weeks out, translation ‘its frustrating Im not getting what I want and you are making my life hard by not complying and letting me manipulate you at a distance’
        My rules from now on,

    • Yes they circle back they need someone to feed off. Mine was always banging on about the self work he did to help with his alco probs and would see councillors, in reality it was minimal effort, if the councillor saw through his bs he dropped them like a hot cake, the last one he saw who I also saw was lied to about his affair, told it was just on line. She was pretty gutted being a chump herself. She ended her session with me and said I deserve much better and gave me a hug, she was a lovely kind women.
      Anyways a new day dawns in Aus TGIF
      Im just falling through the days atm.
      My Mum thinks he will be riding the sorry bus back to me in a year. Think by then my life will be fableous as my kids say and the answer will be hell no or maybe he would have found his new narc supply to suck dry.

  • I think the big revelation for me has been to look back at the cheater’s father. Once my ex-s mother died, his father hooked up with a rich lady who paid for everything and took him around the world. Only my ex didn’t wait for me to die. He found a schmoopie with money, he loaded all the business and marital bills on me, he walked out on our family and retired to Florida with Schmoopie. Lazy and cowardly. Exactly. A User. Just like his father.

    • I think you might be judging cheater’s father a little harshly. It’s possible that he was a devoted and loving spouse until his wife died, and then he wanted to get into another relationship, and she happened to be well heeled. (It’s also possible that this isn’t the case, you have more evidence than we do about this).

      I have personally known a number of people in good relationships that had their spouse die tragically, and they often are remarried in a short period of time. They still miss their departed spouse, but they also know that they (survivor) are still alive, and crave the joys of a committed relationship, so they find one. The notion of being an asexual widow/widower are mostly over, except in certain religious communities.

      The issue for you is that your cheater learned the wrong lesson from his dad’s life trajectory, specifically that you should move on from the wife and marry money.

    • Umm the apple doesn’t fall far, mines father just got divorced at 70 and by looking at his 234 g plus friends many women in different countries he is an online user, jesus creeper, the worse kind and a covert narc like his son totally wrapped up in his own crap. I know now why he never has time to see his grandchildren, he saw them probably 4 months ago when ex took them there. Zero effort at being a grandfather. Three years ago he stayed with us and minded the kids while we went out to dinner, came home 11 pm kids fallen asleep in front of a movie were we left them and he’s on hs ipad, couldn’t even put them to bed, useless now it makes sense and I see why his wife couldn’t stand him. My feeling are the same toward him he a cadger.

  • We all know if there is an actual FB generated meme with a picture of a beach AND a cleaver saying on it – it must be true.

  • Here’s my reply to situational reality. Let’s play Russian Roulette. Put the revolver to your head and pull the trigger. There’s a bullet in there, or there isn’t. And the results of the ‘game’ will let us know which it was.

    There is one reality. There are many interpretations of it. I choose to live with someone whose interpretation correlates well with mine.

    Consider CL’s example at the header. Date night and sex with the wife, professing love. Afterwords, step out and call the OW. In cheater’s brain, it’s perfectly possible to love two different women. The issue is that at least one of them (wife) expects to be the only love in his life. He doesn’t like that reality, so makes one where he can have both wife and OW. As long as he can maintain the illusion for the wife that she has the reality she wants, everything is fine. Sure, it’s not ‘honest’, but that’s on her because she has unreasonable expectations of reality. (I don’t approve this kind of thinking, I’m just trying to illustrate it.)


    • OMFG! That is STBX to a tee. His favorite thing to say is because you can only have one feeling for a person at a time. Like it’s okay to “be in love” with whoremat and “not in love” with your WIFE. And expect that what? It’s all okay? I want to fucking stab him in the face every time he says that shit. Of course you can have feelings for someone that are contradictory. I still love him. I’m still in love with him. Also I hate him and want to kill him. And I’m so sad and disappointed in him too. It’s possible to have multiple feelings! BUT it is not possible to LOVE your wife and treat her like a flaming bag of dog shit. Sorry. But no. Because if you love someone like they claim to they CANNOT treat that person they love the way that they do regardless of how they feel for the OW. Love for one person doesn’t take away from love for another person. You don’t have a finite amount of love to give. You don’t have 100 love units and when they are all used up then you are done loving. You add a new person to love and you have to take love units away from someone else. ? So every time someone has another kid the love units from one of their older children or their wife or their BFF or their grandma has to be taken away? Nope. Sorry.

    • Schrodinger’s Cat.

      I have a meme that says “Shrodinger’s cat is alive and wants revenge.” I posted it and put a comment….”Maybe.”

      This is my Cheater Asshole to a tee. Keep your options open. Situational truth. As long as nobody knows about it, it can’t hurt.

      Until it does. Maybe.

      I’m not an absolutes person, but I absolutely KNOW that lying is wrong. If I had wanted to be in a relationship with someone who debates virtue ethics, then that’s who I would have chosen. I chose someone who professed to hate cheaters and liars and was a faithful man. THERE is the crux of the problem for me. When you present yourself as having a moral compass, and that it points to “faithful” and “honest”—and you do not deliver on that presentation, you are a fucking liar and I deserve to be free of you.

      I’m not letting some asshole who can’t tell the truth to save his soul near my kids. Period. I can protect my damn self. But you fuck with my kids, you teach them that reality is “fluid” and that there is no morality–you are history. You are creating a nasty, unsafe and mentally disturbing place for my kids to be and I won’t have it.

  • For the traitor, there is right and wrong in the world. Whatever he believes or wants to be right (or wrong) at anytime is absolute truth, he denies or forgets (? I really will never know ??) any view he held before (usually completely opposite). It simply didn’t happen, everyone else’s recollection is wrong or a lie. I’ve known that for many years, in fact I noticed it within a couple of years. I just didn’t pin it as a personality disorder (never heard of that back then), just mental health problems and childhood trauma. I accepted it as one of his flaws and since he claimed to be absolutely loyal person unable to lie…I believed that. I just stopped trying to argue and defend facts on many subjects. The very few points I stuck to as unquestionable reality became unforgivable offenses against the Poor Emasculated Male. He may be unable to lie because it appears he believes whatever bullshit he embraces at any time. It is impossible to know what is really going on in that brain. I wish I had documented absolutely everything he said and did over the years, kept a daily journal, recorded conversations. I would have 10 years of contradictions and rages when questioned as PROOF. Somehow I think it would give me some relief. It would have when we were in MC and I felt like I was hitting my head against a wall 1000 times per session. Whenever I questioned and managed to prove anything, I was the baddie because he felt he was under interrogation. Arguing with the traitor was like arguing with a 2 year old crossed with a teenager… Even just working together, which goes ok most of the time, there is at least one instance each day when I hit that wall of crap. And it’s on time I’m bloody paying for. His arrogance and disdain of reality are merely subdued now as an employee, but there are still here and I feel it every time. Usually I end the working day after he’s gone with a good 15 minutes of solid cursing.

    • Kiwichump – I think you’ve explained this before, but do you have to have him working there with you?
      Ugh just seems so hard….

      • I do for now, but less than before and after a break over Christmas I’m more aware of how relaxed I was for the two weeks he was away. He’s taking a day off for his birthday, out of the one or two days he works per week…because it’s not every year you turn five!

  • Thank you for your comments, all really helpful. As for my former father in law, he was always a user. We always paid for him- always. If my in laws were in NY visiting us, we paid for their hotel, we paid for their food, we paid for everything for them. If we visited them in FL, we paid for all the dinners out, everything. When the ex went on ‘golf’ vacations with his father, brother and sister (our son and I were not invited), the ex and his brother paid for the father and sister for the resort, for the golf, for the food. One time, my ex gave his father $500 so he had the appearance of paying for his own share, but he pocketed the money and never contributed to the vacation. Another time, my brother in law and my ex bought their father tires for his car. He had money- he just never spent it. So, a rich woman seemed to fit the bill. That’s why I say like father, like son. As for the hoovering back, Tempest. I WANTED to get the satisfaction of hearing that he regretted the mistake, that he was sorry that he blew up the family. The excuse was that he ‘fell in love’ with the OW so I was thrilled to hear about what a POS I already knew she was. But of course, he never changed, never wanted to change, was never sorry for hurting my son and me so badly, he had not a conscious thought or pang about trying to hurt me (us) again so long as I was of use to him.

  • One of the reasons he said he wouldn’t consider coming home was because I wanted him to be “an upstanding citizen”. Damn right. I’m not going to apologize for wanting my person to be a good person, a person of substance, a person of good character. And isn’t that bizarre that he felt that made a good accusation?

  • NEVER let anyone talk you out of believing the objective truth. Never let anyone convince you to suspend rational thought, to reject reality. These people are dangerous, and their motive is to use and abuse you.

    Teach THAT to your children.

    It isn’t romantic to embrace nonsense, to accept suffering. That’s missing the whole point of life. Be strong, question authority, believe what you witness, seek the truth. There IS truth. There are many truths–true, but there is also judgement on the basis of rational values. Without a strong set of rational values, one has no moral compass, and one is doomed to failure. Teach your children to judge everything by action, not by words (potential lies) and not by labels.

    I know I overlooked many truths, many signs that The Coward would behave as he did. I reject his actions, even if I must accept that he thinks and feels differently than I do, and even if he has a different set of values (does he, though?) than I do. That he lied is the TRUTH, because he said he was one place when in FACT he was somewhere else. That he was not around to raise the kids in their last years at home is the TRUTH because he was not in the home with us–no matter what he says about loving the kids, no matter what he says about trying.

    Anyone who says there is no such thing as the truth is an incompetent fraud.

  • Moral relativism is such a puerile argument. I won’t even engage with that bullshit anymore. Society functions because there are generally acceptable mores and contracts. When you make agreements, you’re generally expected to keep them. I think cheaters just love to get into the quagmire of philosophical arguments to confuse and minimize. Right and wrong, whatever (though I do believe in both). You broke your agreement, you have me an STD, you’re a dick, you have to go.

  • It’s funny how they make it seem so complex. Poor me, can’t decide between the wife or the girlfriend. Poor me, I wanted to be a good husband but I fell in love! Poor me, I fell out of love with you because you did those icky things of taking care of me and the children, working and taking care of the house. That wasn’t sexy and hot! Poor me, it’s not even my fault that I screwed you out of all the money in the divorce. It’s the OW’s fault. She made me do it. Everything is grey. Everything is someone else’s fault. For god’s sake, stand up and be and man. There is a right. There is a wrong. Take responsibility. Don’t disappear like Peter Pan. Stand up and take responsibility. When someone shows you who they are, believe them, regardless of what crap is coming out of their mouths.

  • “There is no right or wrong” only applies to what they do to others; when something causes them a narcissistic injury, they call for the death penalty.

    • LAJ, “when something causes them a narcissistic injury, they call for the death penalty.”

      This still makes me shudder. Had I kept up my super chumpiness, I would not have been dealt the “death penalty”, which for me was abandonment. In the beginning, I would have told you that my fear was being abandoned. It took me a long time to get over that, but now I shudder at thinking that if x had not abandoned me, I would still be stuck in a relationship that had nowhere to go, with a “man” that thought stabbing me in the back for any little reason was the way to live. It scares me to think that the rest of my life may have been wasted on a “person” that was as deep as a puddle and didn’t ever, in 22 years, love me.

  • Aside from this being a load of bullshit in general, isn’t it one of the stupidest things a parent could say to their kids? So…it’s okay for the kids to punch him in the face? Steal his car? Burn down his house? If he hadn’t already undermined (or annihilated) his authority by being a cheater, wouldn’t saying that do the trick?

    According to him, they could do whatever the hell they want, and if he had anything to say about it, they could just say, “Well, remember when you said…”

    Huh. Guess I’ve been going about the parenting gig all wrong. Wait. There is no right or wrong, so I’ve been going about it…neutrally?

    Got it. Anything goes. So I’ll be off to go drive a hundred and twenty down the freeway, stop off at a few banks so they can give me all the money in the vault…but will I even need money? If I want a car that goes faster than 120, I can just go take it from the car dealer. And I can take anything else I’d spend the money on from whatever store, help myself to a fancy new house…if people are already living in it, sucks to be them. They’ll just have to understand the new rules.

    How ridiculous is this, honestly? If we actually lived according to that, we’d be living in a real life version of The Purge.

    • Cheater excuses really are pathetic. It would be so much better if they’d just fess up. We already know. Just say the truth. I did it because I wanted to. It sounded fun, that skank was hot. You weren’t there, I’m a vapid empty dick head and I want weird sex. So sue me!

      I know that’s harsh but since there’s no right or wrong and everything is all grey anyway who cares about the chump’s feelings?! The cheater didn’t when they cheated! At least you wouldn’t get the mind fuck. And they’ve already devalued you anyway! It drives me crazy they KNOW it’s wrong then try to come up with a reason why it isn’t wrong. Why? There is NO RIGHT ANSWER in the WORLD to justify cheating. There just isn’t! Divorce. Speak up. Suffer in silence. Take your pick!

      • This is one way to know we’ll never understand the way their messed up mindsets work. They’re like a walking contradiction. “There was nothing wrong with it.” Then why hide it? Why lie about it? “It didn’t mean anything.” Then why do it at all? Especially when it cost you everything it cost you? “It was a mistake.” But I thought there was nothing wrong with it…it just circles around and around and leads to nothing but craziness.

  • I’m visiting grandson that narc hub is too self centered to care about, so haven’t read all the comments, but it seems as if this is HIM to a T. In another reality, “ALT FACTS” rule. As a way to justify his betrayals, his affair, his desire to make me POLYAMORY so he could have both of us. This was so important for me to read cos sometimes I actually wonder if he’s RIGHT and I”m too morally rigid and wrong. Thank you CL.

    • No! You are as moral as you are! Don’t do something that makes you feel bad about you because he wants to be a man slut! You do you! There is nothing wrong with having high moral standards for yourself and the people you associate with. There’s too much crap in the world with accepting everyone and everything all the time. Boo! Too bad! He’s a jerk that wants cake! ?? Not cool!

      • I’m just so sad to have wasted 26 years with someone who obviously never really knew the meaning of love OR the depth of the vows we took under a chuppah with a rabbi. It was a sit com for him, and he’s devoid of honor and integrity. That’s the only reason I can think of that he could replace me after a 2 week affair with his new soulmate. He wrote poems to her which I found. “Is this real love? Did I ever really love before? I am the bee to your flower” “when our lips touch”
        Thank you to the slunt who pursued him for money, which she never got. She can have the broken sobbing stubborn Peter Pan who still wants his cake and eat it too. Now he whines that he’s “living in purgatory” whatever the eff that means.

        • Of course he’s living in purgatory. He had it made before. He had a partner for 26 years. You faithfully built a life with him and he got all the benefits of that life with you. Even if you were the suckiest wife ever you were 1,000x better than that skank! And then some bug got up his butt that the slut had something SO AMAZING he had to have it. He went for it, got sucked into the sex and thought “This is love! Fuck what I had for 26 years! That’s not LOVE because it doesn’t feel like this! That’s not fun like this is!” And it isn’t! But a real human understands that love after 26 years isn’t that heart pounding excitement of a new attraction. If you asked any real person “Can you REALLY be IN LOVE with someone after 2 weeks? Would you completely give up the life you live now for a person you’ve known for 2 weeks?” They’d laugh in your face because it is RIDICULOUS! But because the risk of literally losing EVERYTHING is so great it HAS to be love otherwise it’s just too stupid and crazy. They have no other choice. It HAD to be love because if it wasn’t love then why? It was SOULMATES! It was FATE! GOD/DESTINY/THE UNIVERSE WANTS us to be together! I couldn’t stop! I HAD to do it! It’s just a pathetic excuse because if they had to admit “I threw away 26 years of my life on the open legs of some cheap slut, I was played for my money like the sad fool I am” they would probably explode and die.
          He’s in purgatory because he is realizing what an utter ASS he is and he thought he was so smart and wouldn’t get caught and he thought even if he DID somehow get caught it was all okay because his “soulmate” would have his back and somehow they never consider that when the divorce inevitably comes they aren’t just going to be able to toss the chump out of the life they BOTH built and just stick the OW in her place, so now he has to contend with losing half of everything too. It sounds like a fucking nightmare to me. “I ruined my own life for nothing.” Only himself to blame. ? No wonder he’s sobbing and halfway to Hell!

    • Your answer is in the phrase ‘make me polyamory’. Don’t let him make you anything, be you and that is enough. If being you is not enough, he doesn’t love YOU.

      • I mean, he tried for months to CONVINCE me that this was the best solution for him, for ME, for US, if I would only allow him the opportunity to see if what he felt for her was REAL or just an infatuation, and I would like her too, as we are very similar. I don’t effing think so. I am not a 4times married, broke up 3 marriages, take $ from lonely old middle aged men, violent chaotic alcoholic histrionic sociopathic WHORE who took advantage of a man who was clearly having mental issues. She was his HEALER, according to his little poem he wrote for her, well he said the same thing to me, so he’s not too original. No one could convince me to become polyamory, but he sure tried to guilt me into it. Now the divorce is almost over and he sees the financial losses of a 26 year marriage, he still won’t get mental health help and is spinning. I think his whore departed when she realized the money train got held up at the station.

        • I went through something similar with the traitor except he didn’t even have the courtesy of suggesting polyamory or an open-marriage for BOTH of us! He tried to browbeat me into agreeing to let him have sex with his ex, basically my role was scullery maid and childminder of their kid, and she had all the fun, the free time for leisure and to develop her career. When I wouldn’t give in he turned abusive, lied and did it anyway, although I suspected he hadn’t waited to ask my permission, that was just a smoke screen to get me to accept something that had been going on all along. I suspect she wanted more time or something.
          It’s all bullshit, they just make up any story they can think of. As for the whores, they are all healers or special people who are sooo compassionate and understanding. Blech! I am glad for you he is getting some karma through financial losses and that he has also lost the whore. May he suffer for a very long time!
          I wish all this would hit my traitor too!

  • Compartments, and perceptions, and truths, oh my!

    In the months following dday, actually dated cheater boy for awhile, and we texted and spoke on the phone quite extensively. Suddenly, I was the bestie that he simply could not do without, and even though it was killing me, I pathetically lapped that hopium up for a little while.

    At first, he was shocked into some truths: he did not know what love is or how to do it at all, he had deep chasms of need that no amount of success, money, sex, pornography, alcohol, or admiration could ever fill. He described the darned compartments. He revealed a long history of childhood sexual abuse that may or may not be real, that I had never heard one whisper about before, and that even in his lowest moments was as much excuse as revelation.

    But gradually, he started piecing together the story that would relieve him of all responsibility for his actions, place the bulk of the blame on me, and position him and his slut-tastic gf of the moment to burst into the world as soul mates clearly destined to be together forever in endless romantic bliss of the sort that would make every onlooker sigh wistfully, press hands to heart, and say “awwwwwwwwwww” quite as if regarding not evil incarnate but something roughly akin to a sweet but rambunctious pair of puppies.

    Gag me.

    The transition to blaming the wife included a distressing amount of this “two sides to every story,” “we will have to agree to disagree,” and “of course, your perception is different than mine” bullshit, but there was also ultimately aggressive insistence that if I were truly an ethical person, I would “confess” to the children that I “had a role”–in fact, 50% of the responsibility, at a minimum–in “creating the unhappiness” that somehow forced him to indulge in endless affairs. Um, no. Not doing that. Besides, they witnessed an awful lot, and know what’s what, so they would never buy that anyway, and might actually be tempted to whack me upside the head with a 2×4 if I ever turned into the pathetic creature who would obediently parrot those words.

    Among the many emotional reactions that dday delivered, one of the strongest and most immediate was relief. This is still horrid. I still cry, panic, pick at my food, live on coffee and air, get scared, get mad, stay up too late, and get up too early. But relief remains the overwhelming response, and the spar I’m clinging to in these rough seas. I had actually prayed for a long time for the truth to be revealed, because I knew that was the only way to achieve full freedom. Of course, had chumpy fantasies that the truth might actually be voluntarily revealed and lead to sorrow, transformation, and redemption, but no such luck.

    Still, truth is a gift, and that immediate relief is the truth that matters most. Living in crazy cheater world was killing me by excruciatingly slow degrees. This finite awfulness is way better. Could never go back to the world spun entirely of ever shifting lies, but this remains incredibly hard. Glad for this blessed place of understanding, and hope everyone here is hanging on to that freeing truth, and never lets it go.

    • My ex said some truths on D-day because he thought he had nothing to lose. Figured his next kibble supply was all lined up, no need to bother with me anymore. Even though “I don’t love you, I haven’t loved you in years” is one of the standard bullshit justification attempts, it was still true. And as much as it hurt, how brutal and cruel he was not just in that, but how he acted on D-day in general, it’s something I need to remember. It wasn’t just the truth of what he said, but showing the truth of who he is. Even though the chance of reconciliation is zero, remembering that is still useful in regard to maintaining boundaries and reinforcing that I’m better off without him.

      It’s kind of unbelievable that relief could coexist with the hell of D-day, but it did for me, too. Mixed in with all the rest, I thought, “It’s over. I don’t have to do this anymore. I don’t have to worry about what messed up thing he’ll do next because this is the last messed up thing he can do.” (In the context of a relationship with me, anyway.)

      I’m hanging onto the truth with both hands. As brutal as it is, at least I know I’m dealing with genuine reality rather than sorting through some disordered mess trying to figure out what’s real and what isn’t.

      • Im with you today ex moves into his rental today after us splitting in Nov then wreckonciling for 3 weeks in Jan, which was good but he blew it massively and out the door again two weeks ago. Closure is some ways.
        You got what you wanted enjoy the silence of the evenings without me or your boys. Im sad but know it is for the best Im to broken and have put up with 13 years of bullshit from him, go find another sucker and dont be asking me for favours, advise or support, I checked out your EA was very much a PA web of lies for at a year.

    • on taking responsibility for the affair. I will willingly and openly admit to my part in the marital issues. I wear that shit proudly like a badge. I am a flawed human! I could have done MANY things differently and better. I am NOT perfect! And if he didn’t cheat I’d be ALL OVER fixing my flaws! I know them and I own them! BUT he met her. He took her number. He started texting. He bitched about how UNHAPPY he was. He kept going and going and going. And he never said one GD word to me. If you can show me my part in the affair I will GLADLY take my responsibility for that too. Did I introduce them? Or put her number in his phone? Force him to talk shit about me? Devalue me? Ignore and abandon me? Nopity nope nope nope. The affair was 100% him. Nothing I could do could could unfuck that whore and give us another chance

      • But they do not give one crap about the normal human flaws that every person brings to marriage, or that every single person on earth brings to life in general. These are of precisely zero interest until they become useful for justifying the affair(s), and then for spinning the affair into the sadly (sniffle) inevitable result of chump’s myriad faults.

        The part of love where infatuation shifts into something deeper that is meant for the long haul–the part where you look at that flawed partner and decide that this person is such a loyal, faithful, and loving person in the most foundational ways that their human failings, though annoying at times, are something you will choose not only to overlook as often as possible, but also to find rather charming most of the time–yeah, they don’t do that part.

        They raise our “flaws” and our “role in the failure of the marriage” only when it is strategic to do so as PR, only when this is an insult that can be added to the injury, only when the poor chump can do nothing but sputter, “I would have made myself more perfect if only I had known!”

        Blah. No. Nah. It’s a last little bit of abuse to throw, “You are deeply flawed and I haven’t loved you in ages, if ever” in our faces on the way out the door. Well, it’s a last BIG bit of abuse, blame shifting, and reality revision, designed to leave us writhing with fruitless pain and self-recrimination. Designed to keep us dancing in ways that amuse them.

        Know what? Cheater boy was flawed, too, and affairs were far from his only flaw. But did I familiarize myself with the genitalia of countless others on account of that? No, I did not.

        People are flawed. Welcome to life. This has zero to do with what happened, here.

    • I doubt now that their stories of abuse are real. If I add up all the lies, why would that be the only true part of what they say. I think at best they are exaggerations of small incidents.

  • Well, I mean, it’s hard to believe someone when they’re in a foxhole and trying to get out desperately. I don’t think the cheater here is trying to make a legitimate point and, instead, is simply trying to get rid of any sense of responsibility. But if I WERE to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe that he genuinely thinks reality is based on individual perception (i.e. “there is no empirical truth”), I’d say … kinda. In the sense that I think he means, truth is created by a collective belief in something. Kind of like God/Allah/Vishnu/whoever, that deity is real to the believers of that religion. If OP is under the belief that monogamy is a foundation of her marriage, and the cheater is non-monogamous, then that indubitably breaks the reality/truth that OP had about the relationship. Ergo, despite there being no “truth” that, perhaps, monogamy is necessary for a marriage, OP was MADE TO BELIEVE that monogamy existed, and she clearly cares very much about open communication and being respected enough to not have pre-existing agreements broken without her consent. So in sum, f*ck this cheater guy because he broke the falsely-created “truth” of monogamy between them based on HIS promises, etc.

  • ‘There is your truth and there is my truth and the truth is somewhere in between’ – I think he got that straight from his therapist. (He also used stuff he had learned in therapy against me).

    I will hold my hands up to all my character defects and less than admirable traits that I brought into the marriage. It would have been nice to discuss that, its impact on him and where it came from. I will own those difficult truths.

    But the lies, manipulation and outright cruelty he did to me? ‘There is nobody else’ which was the truth at that moment (because he had told her the day before his family was coming and so he couldn’t see her for a while – cue passionate drama of being soo desirable!!!) … and thinking that was a fine way to treat another human being? Using me as housekeeper nanny personal assistant and property manager whilst not caring whether I was breathing let alone hurting?

    That is not on me at all.

  • First time I got chumped was 20 years ago…I was 6 months pregnant with our firstborn 2 years into our marriage. I’d gone to see my mother overnight, he supposedly went out with the boys. I got home early that morning, he was still in bed. I went to wash a load of laundry & found the shirt he’d been wearing the night before in the washer, still damp from having been washed (he NEVER did laundry). He got up , left the house & didn’t come home ’til that night. I asked him about the shirt…he spilled beer on it & didn’t want it to stain it. Um ok…then I got the whole, “I love you but I’m not in love with you” speech, and he wants a divorce. Fessed up that he had “run into” his ex-girlfriend and they’d been talking for a while trying to make amends with each other from when they broke up. Before he met & married me, he’d knocked her up when she was 16, she had it aborted, he never forgave her…blah, blah, blah. I confronted her, told her to stay away. I ended up delivering our son prematurely, so affair #1 got put on the back burner.

    Fast forward 12 years. We’ve added a daughter to the family, both of us got fat, but lost the weight, he is now working for a major transportation company and traveling out of town for work. I start getting suspicious again from how similar he’s acting from affair #1. This time I was able to obtain cell phone records and found out he was calling/texting not one, but two women that I had worked with. I confronted him, he fell to his knees & swore to me & the kids he would stop. But he didn’t. He took it to the next level and got a secret phone, which I found in his travel suitcase on Valentine’s Day 2010. He swore that all they were doing was calling & texting…no sex, but at the same time he’s giving the same “I love you , but I’m not in love with you” speech and he wants a divorce again. For the next 7 years, I tried forgiving this man & keeping our family together thinking that because I took vows with him, that I was supposed to be the forgiving wife & move on. At least that’s the bullshit he kept feeding me.

    October 2015, I noticed suspicious activity, yet again. He’s also now friends on Facebook with the ex-girlfriend from affair #1. I confront him, he’s unhappy & wants a divorce. The next day she blocks me on Facebook. We spend the next couple of months back & forth and in March I finally give up & tell him that I am done. I would be looking for a new place to live and that I would at least wait until after our son graduated high school in May before I filed for the divorce. Once I started boxing things up here & there preparing for my move, he all of a sudden wants to work on us and doesn’t want to lose his family, so maybe we just need a separation rather than a divorce. Both kids moved out of the house with me, by their own choice, a week after our son’s graduation. He calls me crying that night…the first night he’s at the house all by himself. He wants his family back, none of this is right & he’s sorry. I’m thinking that maybe this is the turning point and that maybe he means it. That summer we actually did things together as a family. That August, during a random, freak conversation with a friend, I was told that back in March, he had been seen with an old high school friend (turns out it was his ex-girlfriend). Upon further investigation (at this point I’m better than the freakin’ FBI), it turns out that she was bragging that they were both going through divorces and were going to pick back up where they left off in high school. When confronted with this, his reply was that he never lied, he just didn’t tell me.

    I filed for divorce. It was final December 14, 2016. I called his ex-girlfriend’s husband the next day. I had never met this man before. He didn’t know me, but he was familiar with my ex. He apologized for not telling me even though he had known about them since the beginning. I at least extended this man the courtesy of telling him that his wife’s AP was now a free man.

    My ex is and has been sleeping with someone he works with. He’s been with her since BEFORE I filed for the divorce…actually during WRECKONCILLIATION. Acquaintances of mine that know her have actually informed me that she is the town whore of their little community & she has a reputation for being an embezzler. Oh & she’s possibly sleeping with another married man in their little community. I hope karma kicks my ex in his wiener.

    I feel so stupid right now. Funny, yet sad thing is, people knew about shit that I suspected, but he kept denying. I am absolutely amazed at the shit that’s coming out from underneath the woodpile now that everyone knows we’re divorced. Why didn’t people tell me what they knew while it was happening?? Why wait until now?? I should have left in 2010. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, I guess. Ha, upon hearing my story, my therapist told me that I probably didn’t want to know the true number of affairs that he’d had just based off of the ones that I knew about. Still tying up a couple of loose ends from the divorce, selling the house mainly, and then I hope to have NC whatsoever with this sorry POS.

    The only RIGHT thing I know is that I was a good wife and mother and he can NEVER take that away from me. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Glad you found this place to vent and recover. He messed you around for too long and is just a coward who doesn’t know what he wants or his arse from his elbow. You are not stupid, you loved and tried and tried.

      • Thank you, kiwichump. I don’t normally post on these things, but after reading everyone’s stories, I just felt the need to unload all of this crap. I feel better now LOL

        • brandib, thanks for sharing your story. I hope you can start enforcing NC soon. It truly is the best shield and armor that you can establish to protect yourself against FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) that cheaters are very good at inflicting.

          Hugs to you and welcome to Chump Nation!

  • Wow brand he is a piece of work. You put up with so much and now it is time for you and your babies free from the worry, like me.
    You can’t change these people they don’t have values.
    Tell whoever wants to listen and forge on, head held high into your single life.
    Strength to you and NC or grey rock really is the future and the light.
    Mine moved into his own empty flat yesterday. Contact from him emails etc, v mails, deleted before listening, they always always want to suck you in and the talk is just mindfucking bs.
    He sounds like a narcissist get on you tube in your free time and learn about them and their tactics and how to do NC and when you feel low think about all the crappy shit which in your case is extensive that he did.
    Strength to you, your future self will thank you for cutting contact with this POS.
    I did poor NC first time I kicked his ass out, this time I have learnt more about how his disorder works.
    Ignoring these turds really hurts them.
    Also take whatever you can financially, he will not play fair and will try and screw you. The focus needs to be your mental and emotional survival to be strong for your kids.

    • I am adamant about ignoring his sorry POS ass. I do not call, text or email him unless it’s about finalizing the settlement from our divorce & the selling of our marital home. He did call me last week after dropping our daughter off from their weekly dinner date to discuss some financial things. I really hate answering the phone to him, but until all of this shit is settled, I kinda have no choice. The thing that pissed me off was that he kept calling me “Hon” like he always used to do. I finally said, “Ya know, old habits die hard, but I really wish you’d quit referring to me as your ‘Hon’, because I’m not”. It’s funny that he really doesn’t know how to take it when I stand up to him.

      I had never really researched the term “narcissist” until articles about it kept popping up on my FB newsfeed. I finally broke down & read a couple of them & had an “A-HA” moment. Funny thing is, that very same day, I had a girlfriend, who’d just gone through a divorce from her POS husband, text a different article on narcissism to me. I think God was trying to tell me something in a big way. My problem was that I kept remembering the person he was when I met & fell in love with him, the person I “thought” he was. I don’t think that person ever existed.

      I just had a conversation with my 16 year old daughter about having NC with her dad. She knows that in the very near future that there will be NC with him on my part whatsoever and she thinks it’s a great idea. She admits that they are not close anymore & that she really doesn’t want to be close to him again because she’s afraid he will hurt her even more. Sad, sad.