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The Fallacy of “Unmet Needs”

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If I could wave my magic Chump Lady wand and rid the world of one founding principle of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex, it’s that affairs happen because of “unmet needs.”

(I know, as long as I’m waving my magic wand, why not go all the way and rid the world of the RIC itself? POOF! )

The argument goes that cheaters cheat because they weren’t getting what they “needed” from the relationship, and so they sought out affairs to fill those “unmet needs.” Who wasn’t meeting those needs? Chumps, of course. You need to re-evaluate the relationship (with the help of the RIC) and figure out all the ways you were failing your partner, which caused them to cheat.

Cheaters are then chagrined to be less timid forest creatures and voice those unmet needs with you. Sure, cheating wasn’t  an ideal form of expression… But you know, toxic shame and your anger are a big buzzkill, so the cheaters might be less than forthcoming. It’s all a process…

Oddly, cheaters are rarely challenged about the legitimacy of their “needs” — hey, they’re UNMET and that’s the important thing!

But this unmet needs thing really hits chumps where it hurts. We reflect. We wonder about all the ways we failed to less than stellar. We have to admit that yes, we aren’t always ideal spouses. We blame ourselves and then we strive to do better to ensure that this Terrible Thing never imperils our marriage again. After all, we have to own our part.

Recently, several people have sent the Universal Bullshit Translator some of these blameshifting divorce articles to put through the bullshit thrasher. Unhappy Husband? 6 Ways to Save Yourself from an Unwanted Divorce! and 7 Reasons Your Husband Left You for His Emotional Affair Partner. (Subtext: YOU ARE NOTHING WITHOUT A HUSBAND! SUBMIT!) The latter actually goes so far as to write after each failing: “The missing link in the marriage.” And the former has helpful hints like “Take Pride in Your Appearance.”

Sadly, the UBT blew a transformer after reading these, and needs some alone time right now. Suffice it to say, this unmet needs business sends chumps down rabbit holes of self-recrimination. If you object to this “advice,” the argument goes something like this.

Chump: I’m not sure his hooker problem is on me.

Quack: What? So you object to taking pride in your appearance to please your partner? Look, it’s hard to admit that we’ve let ourselves go. You could stand to lose a few pounds.

Chump: Um, well yes, I could stand to lose some weight, but I just spent $300 on highlights!

Quack: You should appreciate him more. Be forgiving. Don’t nag. Don’t run him down. Be sexier.

Chump: I try to be all those things. Again, I’m not sure how that relates to his hooker habit.

Quack: So, you’re saying you have a PROBLEM with FORGIVENESS? You don’t agree with PLEASING YOUR PARTNER? You think you can just grow fat and sexless and expect that people will love you unconditionally?

Chump: I think you’re asking me to love my cheater unconditionally. He just spent $40K on sex workers.

Quack: Well, of course. He had unmet needs.

“Unmet needs” puts chumps on the defensive. Now you must go line by line down the “needs” column and defend how you did or did not meet those needs.

The game is rigged. First off, the cheater can always add more needs. Hey, you missed a spot. Second, by going on the offensive — your failings caused their failings — it diverts attention from the cheater’s actions and the harm they caused. Third, it creates a straw man argument about whether or not attractiveness, attention, and sex are important to relationships. (Of course they are.)

Every quack therapist and idiot life coach should be slapped upside the head with this 2×4 — We don’t MAKE people abuse us. We don’t compel them to hit us, and we don’t drive them to drink either. Cheating — which is emotionally abusive (gaslighting, blameshifting, minimizing) and physically abusive (endangering our health to STDs) — is a disproportionate offense to ANY of our very real failings.

Unhappy people who aren’t getting their needs met can SPEAK UP and they can GET THERAPY and they can LEAVE.

Here’s my imaginary conversation with a quack.

CL: Your advice sucks.

Quack: My advice does not suck.

CL: I’m going to steal your wallet and charge a lot of pinecone elves to your account.

Quack: You can’t do that!

CL: But hey, your advice REALLY SUCKED. Let’s examine the ways you contributed to my unhappiness, which made me steal your wallet and buy pinecone elves.

Quack: YOU SHOULDN’T STEAL MY WALLET! That’s WRONG!

CL: It’s hard to admit that your advice sucks, isn’t it? I think you should own your part.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • There is so much Fuckedupedness in Marriage Counselling following an affair.

      My asshole ex must have said “I cheated because my needs weren’t being met” about a dozen times after the therapist said it. She had never said it before…. but it was clearly a license to cheat in her mind, adding that our communication was terrible, so must also have contributed (ie bad communications makes someone abuse you and mistreat you).

      Of course, what they NEVER explain is why the chump (who almost certainly wasn’t having their needs met) also didn’t cheat. And it also invites the cheater to reinvent history (as mine did – eg saying it was sexless, despite me running through endless sexual encouters we had had).

      Brilliant commentary by CL, but has really made me angry again just thinking about it !!!!

      • Our MC said that marriages on a 6-7 our of 10 satisfaction scale don’t cheat, marriages on a 1-3 scale do. Suddenly that made is straying ok because our marriage must have been a 2. I told him that the marriage was a 2 for me also, but I didn’t cheat.

        And yeah, it was annoying hearing him talk as if we had no sex life. Ok, so was that your clone I was making love to all of those years, and couldn’t you have at least left me the clone when you discarded me for Schmoopie?

        • Hi Chumpinrecovery. I wonder how that MC could have held on to his 1-3 scale theory had he been counselling me and ‘The Great I Am’. He waxed lyrical, on a daily basis (and I’m not even exaggerating there) about how much he loved me, how lucky he was to have me, how great our marriage was, how he felt he’d won the lottery in having me (A particularly mindblowing mindfuck when D Day happened, believe me! I’m leery of getting involved with anyone ever again because of it). The one single credit I can give ‘The Great I Am’ is he never once tried to blame his cheating on me – nor did he ever try the ‘Unmet Needs’ bullshit. I adored him and he professed, to everyone – not just me, that he adored me. He made a huge speech at our wedding about how wonderful I was, how perfectly I met his needs, how understanding and tolerant I was of his idiosyncrasies – even alluded to our mindblowing sex life. Three months later he was chasing Schmoopie! Go figure – cos I certainly can’t!

          • I got the same Jayne, xh was still saying after dday that I was his “best friend, great wife and we have a wonderful relationship”. He never blamed me nor picked out any faults of mine to explain his cheating. He simply said he had NEVER been in love with me, and now he had found his soulmate after 20yrs married. So soon as he found his soulmate he realized he had been unhappy all those years. It is a total mindfuck when you’re trying to do the pickme dance in competition with a fantasy. OH, and the sex was great just about everyday(we didn’t have kids) and it just pisses me off that some people say “well if you had been taking care of him…”

            • Oh spiritwoman – what a particularly shit thing to do – to have denied all those years of his self-professed love for you. Just too cruel and evil. ‘The Great I Am’ insisted his cheating didn’t change his love for me – had nothing to do with it (some strange concept of love – as we know) but I still can’t believe I’ll ever have the faith to trust in love again. I’ll bet you must feel the same way.

              As for people saying ‘well if you had been taking care of him ….’ I’m fortunate in that no one has even dared suggest it, whether they’ve thought it and not dared to suffer the WRATH OF JAYNE … well, I wouldn’t know, but if they did/do think it – they’ve probably been very wise not to try it on with me! 😮 x

              • Jayne, the truth is it is cruel, and sometimes people don’t understand, hell I don’t pretend to either. What’s worse is trying to figure out how someone could say such things, even if it is in their head, which would hurt someone so deeply. I mean couldn’t he have had a bit of tact, a tiny trace of empathy for destroying me, as I was so happy and truly content before BD I would have spent my whole life with him. I read how so many cheaters throw the bomb at horrible times like on the betrayed’s birthday, or just after anniversary, maybe at a major holiday.

                Mine came on a morning just after we had made love, (or so I thought) as I was still laying with my head on his shoulder with his arms around me. What a piss ass way to tell your wife, in fact, I remember every detail the date, time, weather, his exact words. It taints your memories and makes you doubt everything about the marriage all the way back to the beginning.

                Perhaps I still think he was a great husband and I did think he was my best friend, up until that morning if anyone had told me, (except Jesus), I wouldn’t have believed them. It about kills me that he chose to leave me for a Thai woman he met online, never met in person, and had only been talking to for a few weeks. She couldn’t speak English, came from another culture and had a different religion. Shows that I never really meant much to him, that he couldn’t have been bonded to me very much, all our experiences together weren’t worthy of even trying.

              • I’ miss still getting the he “Loves” me so much, we just can’t be together!!! He tells our kids everyone. I’m like when you do what you’ve done to me that’s not love!!

                Hell I don’t want anything to do with that sort of Fucked up cersion of love. And now I’ve breached his trust because I’ve told people about what’s happened and that is “defamation” and now his reputation is ruined. Hello you told me that you didn’t care!!! That’s right he was all bring it on. Like he was untouchable, the great entitled one.
                Well now that sand castles come down with the high tide he’s all sadz Boo Hoo.

            • Oh! Oh! My story! 10 years, suddenly he didn’t love me and had NEVER loved me! That’s what I could never forgive – rewriting the narrative of our life together. The most exciting years of building our marriage and home, bringing each child into our family, all the traditions we started, and every day telling me he loved me. But, wait. No he didn’t! Every single day was a lie! Every single child we brought into this world was brought into this world based on a lie.

              The affair, which was deeply emotional, I could have forgiven. It’s the lies, secrets, gaslighting, blame shifting, etc. that ruined what could have been saved.

              You didn’t love me but told me you did to marry me? You ruined my chance at a living marriage because you lied to me? Oh! You didn’t KNOW you didn’t love me because you didn’t recognize love until you met Siren? Yet Siren has NOTHING to do with our marriage. What unmet needs? Be SPECIFIC. I mean BE SPECIFIC BEFORE chasing your Siren.

              Idiot,

              • I got that same line; “I’ve never loved you”. I told him “So you’ve lied for more than 20 years, or you’re lying now. Either way you’re a liar”. And he walked out.

  • ClusterFuck B Sociopath to me justifying his brutal revenge “you didn’t hang up pictures.”
    WTF.
    My bad???

    • I didn’t make his favourite dinner enough, which he didn’t actually tell me was his favourite dinner. But of course I was too busy doing all the other stuff. TF he’s gone, honestly!! I can see that now

      • And see, I made his favorite food TOO MUCH! I mean, how could I think that considering him in my every day life, above my own or my children’s need would be ENOUGH! I’m just so thoughtless! Or is it thoughtful.

        We never could win these arguments.

        • Same here. It’s a crazy crazy game they play. Reminds me of that “whack a mole” game. The minute one pops up and you try to hit it, it drops down and another one pops up in a different spot.

          • What is with these assholes and food? My cheater insisted that I made dinner too early… Then too late. He’d send me links to “quick and easy meals” in retaliation of dinner being ready by 7pm rather than our usual 6:30. It was either too salty, or too creamy or too gluten free, which he insisted made him fart himself out of the house. (no, it wasn’t the gluten free pasta. It was the beer, and we all suffered).
            Meals were a huge factor in the unmet needs department. That, and not being interested in sex at 3am. (Nevermind the fact I was an exhausted new mother). I was dancing away trying to meet his ever changing needs. Turns out, those revolving needs were just validation tools for cheating- because it isn’t us. It’s them. Any MC worth a shit should know this.

            • What is it with meals?????

              Mine would be rejected out of hand. He was too tired. It was too late. They were too rich.

              In the end, I just didn’t cook for him because it hurt that my efforts and time spent were rejected. Then I was an uncaring bad wife. He never told me what he wanted.

              Maybe I should have just made soup or something.

    • LOL – I only bought mature cheddar cheese and not mild!! Plus our furniture is antique pine and he hates pine??? Never once told me either of those things in 28 years, and he helped pick up most of the pine stuff.

      I didn’t like his many beloved plane prints much, didn’t say anything but didn’t use them as an excuse to bump uglies with A.N.Other either.

      they really are turd covered and filled individuals

    • Me too, Exorsist. Me too. I didn’t hang up enough family photos. (Note: we had three of those electronic frames in the great room that rotated unlimited family photos.) ?

      I also left my purse on the counter. (Note: he raged at me because I dared to point out that he left his work bag on the stairs every night.) ?

      The important thing new chumps need to know about unmet needs is that THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMETHING. As CL says, the game is rigged. You fix one ‘problem’ and the goal posts move again.

      I spent two weeks fixing all my problems after D Day. I put out more photos, I put away my purse, I quit using big words, I quit talking so much, and I virtually ignored my kids so I could sit quietly with him every night to watch what he wanted to watch on TV. So at one point I asked him, “How am I doing meeting your needs?” His cold response? “Well, I’ll never be able to trust that this is the real you!” WTF?!?

      If your partner cheated and YOU are being asked to make all the behavioural changes in order to satisfy his/her unmet needs…. you need to Get. Out. Now.

      • X just cut out all the annoying details, and called me Ball and Chain! Right in front of our friends, and anyone.
        So I relieved him of the burden of dragging me around! Last time I saw him he called me The Center of His Universe. Make up your mind!

        • Egads, yes, FreeWoman. I also would have very freely let my STBX-parasitic-asshat walk away had I had any inkling that he held such a ridiculous and infantile view of marriage.

          I was beyond livid when I discovered my he used the ol’ “poor me, I have a wife and kids … I’m so overworked and underappreciated” crap in order to GET LAID.

          Not only was he lazy (an almost fifty year old who proudly stated that a “gamer” is who he really is and wants to be), making his claim already laughable …

          But, more importantly to me, expressing appreciation is one of my core principles (as an individual — with or without the parasitic asshat). Early in life I decided that when we value someone, it’s important to let them know that. I’m conscious of it — and consistent with it.

          So, to be labeled by him as “unappreciative” made my blood boil. Heck, it still does. And to use the offensive label in order to cheat on me …. (come on karma bus)!

          Damn, his blatant hypocrisy and lack of integrity STILL shock me.

          • THIS…. my X told the OW that we didn’t have sex for the last two years of our marriage. What he FAILED TO TELL her was I couldn’t stand the touch of his hand after I found an email he had sent in response to a personal ad on Craigslist indicating that he was a BiMWM… and he used a picture of himself from our son’s baptism day… among about 15 other email responses to ads. I (and our MC) suggested he get a blood test to earn back my trust. He refused, so there went our sex life.

            But yeah, his needs were unmet by me.

            Fuckers – the lot of them.

          • X referred to me as his “ball and chain,” if television would announce a couple were getting married, he’d yell out, “Don’t do it”!
            He acted as if being married to me was an enormous burden, which is ironic since I did most if not all the work.
            I remember thinking no one else I know’s husband talks like this but I chalked it up to X’s sense of humor…, Looking back it was a clear act of disrespect and I shouldn’t have known better than to accept it as normal.
            X also said he would never live with another woman again after being with me he’d be single for the rest of his life. Funny, that never happened he left our house to live with AP. I must not have been all that bad after all.

            • Yes, constant disrespect for the marriage and if I called him on it, he was “kidding” but he said shit ALL THE TIME.

              “Looking back it was a clear act of disrespect and I shouldn’t have known better than to accept it as normal.” yes, this.

      • He didn’t like what I watched on TV. Let him watch what he wanted to watch instead. “All you do is watch TV.”

        Just. Can’t. Win.

        • I got… we need to spend more time together as a couple. You should get up at 5am with me and watch “The Walking Dead”.

          Yeah, I’ve heard that many marriages with sociopaths were saved that way.

          Palm smack to forehead.

        • We used to watch movies together on Friday nights. I usually let him pick the movie because he never liked the ones I picked out. He would only watch movies that got good ratings form his favorite movie reviewer. One time I made the mistake of letting him know that I had not particularly liked one of the movies he had picked out. I said this one time, about one movie. We stopped watching movies together shortly after that. I thought it was because the kids were getting older and going to bed too late themselves for us to stay up any later. During MC, however, he mentioned said “We used to watch movies together, but she complained about the ones I picked out”. Boy, anything you say or any opinion you express around him will be filed away to use against you later and always out of context.

          • Oh goodness. This reminds me of the non-incident of me telling mine he should really get to sleep since he had to be up very early the next morning, that became harped on for the next eternity, “I wanted to spend time with you, and you just waved me away and told me to go to bed!”

            • When we separated, I was told I hadn’t met his needs by playing golf with him. He is obsessed with golf and I don’t enjoy the game. I would go occasionally, but it isn’t my idea of a fun time. When we separated, he said he had found a golf “partner”. It didn’t matter that the wives of his fellow male golfers did not play golf and the men enjoyed it as a group. I had failed in the marriage because I didn’t play everyday with him. It is so true, that you can’t win once a person decides to find fault. If it hadn’t been golf, it would have been something else. So, am happy to not have that pressure any more.

              • Mine liked to go out at 2 in the morning to look at the stars. That wasn’t my thing. That is why he left. When I said my friend had the same issue, asshat said obviously it wasn’t as important to them.

              • He also said he wanted a simpler life, then the cheating fucktard left for his whore and traded up for a sports car and took her to New York and whistler for vacation in the first two months after he left. What a simple, Buddhist life he has. Ahhrrgg puke. Prickless asswipe bastard with a bent prick.

          • Oh this is perfect.
            I wasn’t meeting his needs …

            My sauce didn’t taste like his grandmother’s, I spent too much time in the kitchen, I didn’t dress sexy enough, I didn’t like to watch movies, I didn’t have sense of humor (gee I’m not sure what’s so funny about making fun of me all the time), I didn’t respond in the morning when he whacked his dick on my shoulder and said “Good Morning!”

            Yet I cleaned, cooked, everything from scratch, worked full time, took care of the pets, did laundry, made the lunches, took care of every holiday, shuttled the kids to and from sports, coached my daughter in cheerleading…. I could go on.

            Bunch of freakin crap.
            Go slap your mistress/now wife in the face with your dick.

            I never have to see it again.

      • “The game is rigged. First off, the cheater can always add more needs. Hey, you missed a spot.”

        Mine wanted me to dress a certain way BUT WOULDN’T DESCRIBE IT TO ME or give me examples of the clothes he liked. “I need to be surprised by your clothing. It won’t turn me on otherwise.”

        My personal opinion is that this was a result of years of porn use. A different woman every time, wearing a different outfit every time, filling a different hole every time. He couldn’t get turned on by anything else.

        SO HAPPY to be free of that a$$hole!!!

        • Mine complained that I didn’t dress up enough but he stopped taking me places where I would have a reason to dress up. I am not going to go wearing ball gowns around the house.

          He also didn’t like the clothes I picked out and complained that I didn’t go clothes shopping often enough (he never appreciated my low maintenance aspects). There was one dress that he had complimented a few times so I wore it often only to find out that he was disturbed by my wearing it to certain venues where it wasn’t the right fit for the venue.

          Today’s topic could keep me going for hours.

          • Oh yeah, and the final straw that drove him to choose Schmoopie over me (before I even knew about her) was when I had the nerve to wear a pair of pants with a stain on them to work one day. I had been up all night with our daughter helping her deal with her depression issues and was too tired the next morning to notice or care that my pants had a stain (and in my line of work, my office mates didn’t notice or care either). When he first told me we should get MC he said “we just don’t seem to have the same priorities”. He’s got that right.

          • Oh gawd.
            We could never be perfect enough for these narcissists.
            Mine (after he left us) once pointed to a tall young woman wearing a very short baby doll dress and asked me why I never wore stuff like that. First, I reminded him that I was five months pregnant, so nope. And secondly- I also reminded him that I did wear cute clothes- just for him- but he never seemed to notice. I’m​ not 5’9, so maybe THAT was the problem.
            At that point I was still under the impression that we were working on things. Little did I know he had already moved on and in with his ho-worker. For all I know that woman we saw at the park, wearing that dress was her, because I have no idea who he cheated on me with.

            • “I have no idea who he cheated on me with” *other than I know she works with him. But he works for the state so the list of female co-workers is lengthy.

          • It could keep us all going all day.

            My cheater complained that I didn’t dye my hair (I get many compliments). When he complained that I didn’t take care of my figure, my gut started nagging me. I’m in good shape for 65, don’t take ANY medicines, have a good job, but one of cheater’s unmet needs is that I’m no longer 25…it’s a serious character fault.

            Today’s post has pressed my hate button, I am so damn angry!

        • Today’s post could keep me going for hours too. There’s so many posts here that sound familiar. Apparently I didn’t dress to X’s standards, he complained that I didn’t dress like a pilot’s wife..?? I’m sorry, what does a pilot’s wife dress like? Is there a guide?

          This coming from the same person who until I met him wore short, shorts with striped tube socks up to his knees.
          Since X moved out, he wears bright fluorescent colored cycling ensembles, with every matching accessory made.

        • ^^This^^ OhHellNo!! Porn addiction and Narcopaths needing variety. Felix the Tinder Cat had to taste every shape, size and color. He wanted to experience them ALL. I once caught him watching midget porn. This became a joke between us and I would tease him about it. Well I found he had cheated on me with a very small woman (a year later she popped up on his Facebook as a “friend” and I learned the sordid details then). Nothing is random with them. The joke was on me ha ha!! Then I started to see the PATTERN. Monkey see monkey do!

        • Here was my catch 22!

          “You Never Initiate Sex”

          Except that when I did, I got rejected. Forward, whorish, controlling, who knows, but he didn’t like it.

          I learned to initiate so subtly, that if he didn’t respond, I could even lie to myself that I hadn’t initiated so I didn’t have to feel hurt. (OK, that denial worked sometimes)

    • Ahh they really are all the same I got the picture thing too! You bought the frames and never hung them up. My other favorite was – you didn’t vacuum enough. Then, you stopped getting me thoughtful gifts for my birthday. Then when I bought him a whole day of really cool adventure touring in Mexico on his birthday, it was you don’t understand me, you didn’t listen when I said I just wanted to hang out and do nothing on my birthday. Then it was, you were too independent/you were to dependent, you were emotionally abusive/you didn’t have mental health issues that you needed my help with. Make up your fucking mind about which needs are unmet, damnit!! Being free of the “unmet needs” mindfuck is one of the best things about leaving him in the dust. It is also the thing that took me the long enough to work through, and I still sometimes blame myself for being a partner who couldn’t meet needs and worry that in my future relationships something is so wrong with me that I will never be able to meet those needs in a way that will make sure he doesn’t cheat on me.

      • Spot on rockette. That is one of the biggest mind fucks of the unmet needs bs. It leaves us chumps with guilt and doubt. Not only regarding the marriage that is in ashes but you begin to wonder if you are the disordered one, and you begin to doubt that you’ll ever be able to have a normal, healthy relationship with anyone. CL and CN put it in proper perspective. We are not the disordered one, and we can and will have a great life after we fix our picker regardless if we couple up or remain single. I’m just realizing this 1 year post d-day.

        • Ahh I am almost precisely 1 year post D-Day as well! May 2nd, a date that shall live in infamy. Power to ya. What a crazy year, huh? I feel like recently I have been able to come to a lot of really healthy and helpful realizations. It’s that 1 year healing magic 🙂 To your comment, thank you, it is really nice to know that I am not the only one questioning whether I am the disordered one. That has been nagging at me all year… the maybe I am broken question. It is really refreshing to know that others also question this and have been able to leave that kind of self-doubt behind.

          • rockette,

            One year out is so much better than the early months of darkness, anger and depression. Yeah, to one year! Life does get better.

            In my case, my X had an exit strategy, and right off the bat I had to deal with her old HSBF. It was brutal. She threw that in my face constantly and still does. Her new shiny attitude caused me to really doubt. However, since then I have seen multiple examples of her shitty character and that has helped me move on.

            Good luck to you. We are not alone, and it is very comforting to know others have gone through this hell and not only survived but thrived.

      • I know it’s a bit of an aside, Rockette, but I bet the Mexico thing was that he was terrified you would post stuff on social media showing him having fun with you, when he’d told Schmoopie what a crazy, mean, joyless, not to mention sexless, harridan you were.

        • Ha!! I never thought about that until this instant but that makes total sense. He never suggested any pictures that day and in all of them is making this really uncomfortable face – by no means looking happy. He also took the opportunity that trip while I napped some days to “catch up on work”… aka talk to Schmoopie using the wifi in the lobby. The trip was before d-day and when I found out I asked him specifically if he had been talking to her while we were on a romantic vacation and he was all like “NOOO of course not that’s so fucked up why would I even need to talk to her while I was with you???”… aka YES OF COURSE.

          • WTF is it with Mexico?!? I posted a pic of me and my then husband on social media in Mexico. His mistress came upon the photo, which gave the date we went, and this is how she found out he was still married, And this is how I found out he’d been cheating on me for years. He told her he was going away with his mom, aunt and cousin. OK.

            He ‘wasn’t feeling well’ a few morning so I went down to the pool and ate breakfast alone. He was back in the room face timing his girlfriend.

            Damn it!! And I really really liked Mexico

          • Haha. ‘That’s so fucked up’ is cheater code for ‘I did it’. Mr Cheaterpants was very reluctant for us to post pics of our new baby on FB etc (not that I was wanting to spam the world or anything), but I like to think that the one or two that I posted, and especially the cute captions to the ones with him and the baby, pissed her off. I didn’t know about her at the time, but I know he was telling her how horrible I was, and here were cute, jokey little comments between he and I online. Suck on it, Miss Poor Me BPD…

        • Also yes, the foundation of his relationship with Schmoopie was talking about what ogres both her boyfriend (who she lived with) and I really were. According to her, she was shacked up with an abusive alcoholic who she couldn’t bear to leave until he found out about her relationship with my husband (after a year) and then HE DUMPED HER. According to my husband, I was probably also an emotionally abusive alcoholic (I was pregnant half the time he was cheating and 100% NOT DRINKING) who didn’t rely on him enough/cared too much about our baby and not enough about him/who didn’t text him enough/who definitely didn’t text him enough sexy pictures. Give me a fucking breakkkkkk

      • I got the unmet needs too. I am 2.5 months in to him leaving and I am still thinking about the needs I did not meet. It is the holy grail of mindfucks. I will search forever but never find/solve the quest for the answer to the unmet needs.
        FUCKHAT

    • Oh my gosh you got that to.
      Add to the list;
      You didn’t come camping to the cliffs with me.
      You didn’t listen.
      You didn’t create a space for me in the house.
      And the best one of all…
      You didn’t shave your pussy!!!

      And there is more I’m sure but I shut that conversation down big time.

      • Dragonlady,

        Didn’t shave your p*ssy ?! I’m sorry… what is appealing about one’s partner looking like a prepubescent between the legs ?! Wash (with soap and warm water), trim the bush and be done with it. Look what our pornified culture has done.

    • I didn’t paint my toenails enough.

      Meh!

      Life is so much better without the financial abuse, the gas-lighting, the blame shifting, and the pathological lies.

  • This is an issue we all wrestle with here. If you left your narcissist and told him why you were leaving, he explains that he did those things that made you leave because he was unhappy. If you just got dumped one day ( after TWO decades and TWO kids) for the affair partner ( poof….gone!) as in my case, he explains that the reason he left is because he was unhappy. Basically, it’s all about their unhappiness.
    I’ve come to realize that I could of been standing in the door way with my lipstick on with a cocktail in my hand and a hot meal waiting for him, telling him how amazing he is and how lucky I am to be with him, doing the dishes and offering him sex 10 times a day and this still would of happened. It’s not what I wasn’t, it’s what he is.
    The new squeeze thinks she’s enough to get him to the altar and keep him faithful only to her. I doubt it, but I honestly don’t care. She will learn as I did that it’s not the capture that thrills him, it’s the hunt.
    So. Happy. I’m . Divorced.

    • Exactly. I love the idea that it isn’t what we are, it’s what they are.

      It boils down to one thing, we can never be “new.” We can be everything else in the world but we can never be hot new pussy/penis. Just read People. Supermodels get cheated on regularly. It doesn’t matter how much of everything you are, if you’re not new.

      • You know that saying, “Show me the most beautiful woman in the world, and I’ll show you someone who’s tired of fucking her.” She can’t be “new” either, and probably has a lot of hot friends to choose from.

        • OMG! My ex used to say that ALL THE TIME! It infuriated me! Of course, now I know he was secretly talking about me.

          • Crazy Dog Lady. It’s cheater speak so it would infuriate you. It’s a glimpse into the mind of the deranged. But really it just illustrates that ANYONE can get cheated on. Rich, beautiful., thin, successful. It does not matter in the cheater’s mind. If they do get someone better looking than them, it makes them even more entitled feeling.

        • That’s it: New! All x wanted was New! and Strange!

          The part that really infuriates me is that he lied, deceived me, and spent all of our savings on New! and Strange!

          The cheating was just the disgusting icing on the disordered confectionary that was my marriage to x.

          It’s futile to try to address “needs” when the person with the un-meetable and un-mentionable “needs” is a lying douchebag.

          I had “needs” as well. I didn’t meet them by fucking whores.

          • I look back and realize my needs were far from being met, yet it was never his fault, never his responsibility. It was always not him, not in his control. What a fucking douchedog. Fuck you and the horse you rode out on. I hope your needs swallow you up and spit you out in pieces ( little angry tonight).

    • I had the similar variety of cheater. After D-Day he claimed I didn’t make him happy like OW did. (Let’s see how happy he is after 12 years with Ms Cheaterpants over there.)

      I actually apologized to him. Profusely. I was so sorry that I wasn’t a good wife to him. Eventually I wised up because one thing I realized is that it is NOT a partner’s job to “make you happy.” Now when I hear that phrase it’s like nails on a chalkboard. I am responsible for my own happiness and you are responsible for your own happiness. That doesn’t give you carte blanche to be a douche, but it does mean that I’m not going to dance around endlessly hoping to keep you happy at the detriment of my own sanity.

      And another thing, feeling sad, or angry, or whatever besides “happy” is fucking part of being a human. You need to learn how to feel “not happy” and your response should be anything besides “fuck my coworker.” When I am not happy I go for a walk, or eat some ice cream, or cry, or talk to a friend or make a craft. If your coping strategy for “I’m not happy” is “fuck co-worker and implode my kid’s life” then you are a truly shitty person.

      I realized just how much the problem was him and his endless unhappiness that would never be satiated when we were separated and I still found joy in things around me. Even though I was going through the hardest thing in my life I found humor and was for the most part pretty damn happy. I make myself happy no matter what my situation is. He’s always searching for it elsewhere and that will be something he will always struggle with.

      • So many good comments in this strand.

        It really is all about who they are and their inability to sustain happiness. They’re empty vessels and they need us to fill them up, except they have holes in their soul and the happiness just keeps emptying out. She now HATES to see me happy and for the happiness not to revolve around her. Her court filings are full of criticism, the sub-text of which is that the children can’t be happy without her and how dare I get on with my life and leave her behind. Doesn’t the court know it’s my job to serve her needs from now until eternity?

        I too apologised…. am so embarrassed that I did, but with NC and a good dose of therapy I can things more clearly.

      • I completely agree. I look back on the year and a half after d-day while I remained in Australia awaiting divorce and financial settlement, and I realize all the joy and happiness I experienced.

        It was the only time while living in that country that I was nearly forced into self-care to combat all the stress of divorce.

        For the first time, I hung out with friends that made ME happy, went to restaurants that I liked, did activities like waterskiing and nature walks, that I found enjoyable.

        It was no longer about his needs and eating the shit sandwich to try and keep him happy. It was about me and my wants and needs and what I enjoyed doing.

        I realized 2 years after leaving that those terrible divorce times were actually some of the most enjoyable days of my life, actually!

      • One morning as I was reading the paper and drinking coffee, X accused me of not being happy.
        I felt happy, this was news to me. He went on to say I would never be happy. I remember wondering what I had done to make X think I wasn’t happy. So I tried harder to look and sound happy and smile more often. I made an extra effort to prove I was happy. Sadly after all my effort to prove how happy I was, X gradually became miserable.
        X claimed “we weren’t getting along” which was a surprise to me, followed by he wanted something different.
        X forgot to mention he had already found his something different. Coincidently it was during the same time he decided I was never happy..

        • “you’re never happy” is often projecting. But it’s messed up that they are more concerned about how your unhappiness affects them, rather than how they can help you…

          My cheater X made some messed up comments about this and I have dated a couple of very insecure women since then and was sufficiently worried I spoke to a therapist about it.

          The weird thing was… I was happy. But I guess I wasn’t mirroring their sparkles enough, so they were unhappy and were then projecting on me their own unhappiness….

          Anyway, I dumped the X and didn’t keep going with the girls who needed me to be happy to make them happy… even though I was happy ….

          • Yes this is it! “But I guess I wasn’t mirroring their sparkles enough, so they were unhappy and were then projecting on me their own unhappiness….”

            Mirroring the sparkles. That is all they want. Really only a new person can mirror sparkles in a satisfactory way.

        • I got that too and was surprised by it. Then I started to think that maybe it was my unhappiness (that I wasn’t aware of until that moment) was what was making him so unhappy. Of course it was the opposite that was true. I was such a chump.

        • Yep. Only when he was about to leave for Imitation E did he suddenly tell me I wasn’t happy with him either. Need to me. We’d been in what I thought was a little rough patch, and he was depressed, seeing a counselor, taking meds, and would come out of it soon. Nope, none of that was true. He was depressed, but he was seeing a slut and taking a bottle of vodka daily.

        • Brit, I think you are giving X too much credit for good intentions, even now. It wasn’t that you didn’t seem happy, it was that X had found someone else and was starting to make excuses (ie your relationship ‘wasn’t working’ now and it was your fault) as to why it would be better if he exited stage left. When they get to the stage that the pressure is on (ie Schmoopie is ramping up the pressure in the background to actually come up with the goods, not just idle promises about the future together) they start scrabbling around in a panic for anything, and come up with the most limp excuses to you (and themselves) why they should get out.

          • That’s why your X became more miserable as you became ‘happier’. You were fixing the excuses he was giving that helped him justify his asshole excuses that he was putting the blame on you for, and forcing him to man up (if that is the right phrase for someone being a spineless twat) and actually be the asshole and implode your life because he wants to.

      • I love this. So true. I also got the “I’m not happy” line. For the first time. On D-Day. He also told me that as part of a “happy” couple, I was expected to read his mind and just “know” that he was unhappy….along with everything else he is feeling. Because I didn’t, he reasoned, he was free to move on to ho-worker. Without telling me anything of course until after I discovered it. Now I admit, I’m not always the most perceptive person in the world. But to “know” what he is thinking and feeling at all times? Seriously? Is that even possible?

        • I got the “I thought you would work it out” line as to why she didn’t tell me about all this unhappiness that made her cheat.

          It’s in chapter 1 of the cheater handbook, titled “Why it’s never enough”

        • My X (Rain Cloud) told me that I made her sick to her stomach that her husband (me) couldn’t determine what she was thinking. I thought effective communication was telling the other person what was on your mind.

      • Agreed mines a whining SOB. He truly is a malcontent. Unhappy with the world and has an ideal in his head of how the world should be and is never in the moment, always projecting.
        Yeah first world white man problems buddy. He could never see it would just drone on.
        Happiness really does come from within, no one else is going to make you happy. I felt him always reaching and searching to fill the void but not looking within.
        Irony is that in wanting it all he ended up with very little.

        • Lady B – ‘Irony is that in wanting it all he ended up with very little.’

          Exactly what happened to X.
          He kept striving and striving and worked like a monster, obsessed with earning money and buying and showing off and buy more and showing off…He exhausted me because I’m a hippie and I don’t care about spending $$ and climbing some societal-show-off tree.

          Like the guy in the boat. He and his wife start out with a canoe. Progresses to a sailboat, then a boat with a motor and climb the ladder up to a catamarin, and, before you knew it. He and his wife were the proud owners of their new luxurious yacht. Everybody oohed and awed and he was the king of the sea..

          Then, one crazy evening, he went down and pulled the plug from the bottom of the fancy yacht and it sank. awww…and there went his life. Like a sandcastle. Just as easy to build and even faster to knock it down with the tides, a dog, or your foot. And humpty dumpty came falling down.

      • “You need to feel ‘not happy’ and your response should be anything other than ‘fuck my coworker’.

        Not even the standard integrity responses suggested by CL, like “leave’ or ‘speak up’ or ‘ask for a divorce’ before fucking coworker are needed. The low bar for cheaters isn’t even good character; they simply need to… not cheat.

        Chump Lady’s service to us cannot be measured, but this comment right here wins everything. I’d put it on my phone lock screen, but AntiHero might wonder where I”m getting my ‘tude lately.

        • >>”AntiHero might wonder where I”m getting my ‘tude lately.”

          LOL! I understand the sentiment. 🙂

          My STBX-parasitic-asshat tried a few times to read over my shoulder as our marriage was grinding to an end.

          Between my irritation and attitude that manifested as I had light bulb moments AND my intermittent laughter (CL and CN are wonderfully hilarious – even during a full-blown shit storm) … he knew whatever I was reading was having a distinct impact on me.

      • Love your words. When long time cheater told me about the also married whore he had decided to run off for, he said that they would lay together and the talk was new and fresh. I sill can’t get over that he couldn’t see how over the top idiotic that sounds. How long does new and fresh last? The only thing we are guaranteed to make new and fresh every day is shit!

        He also said once a cheater always a cheater, wonder if he said that to whore?

      • We had arguments about the definition of happiness. I said it was being content with your life. He said it was much more. He had to be excited and thrilled and full of joy. Really?? Everyday?? I didn’t give him the thrill of his life everyday. He said he left because our definitions of happiness were different. Fucking exhausted, looking for peaceful and content.

    • “It’s not what I wasn’t, it’s what HE/SHE IS.”….chumps everywhere, repeat this to yourself every single day – over and over, until you believe it.

      What I’ve learned from Chump Lady, Chump Nation, and a super solid therapist over the years is mostly about this very truth. You’ll realize that this advice isn’t just cheater/marriage related – it’s for dealing with all kinds of issues and all kinds of people. Drug addicted sibling? Family disfunction surrounding an aging parent? Parenting teens? Pretty much the same advice applies. I’m just beginning to imagine a world where I’m not responsible for the pain of every person in my life; that their problems and feeling aren’t my responsbility or my fault. FOO issues for sure; and getting this is different than empathy (which has had me stuck for a long time). But for sure chumps, we could have been PERFECT every single moment of every single day, and the poor character and entitlement of cheaters and their ilk would have landed right in the very same place.

      “It’s not what I wasn’t, it’s what THEY ARE.”

      • What helped me was when I realized that not only was there nothing I could have done differently to prevent what had happened, I could have been a whole different person and it still would have happened.

    • If I ever break grey rock I will use this line and this line only..

      It’s not what I wasn’t, it’s what HE/SHE IS.

      Repeat this to your self again and again and again and again.

    • In the end, my wife settled on the “I wasn’t happy” excuse too. But like you say, just because you’re “unhappy” it doesn’t give you free license to:

      1) Sleep with other married men;
      2) Hide money;
      3) Con your spouse into buying a bunch of expensive things right before you plan on leaving them for your AP;
      4) Stick your spouse with your student loans;
      5) And basically spend several years lying to, deceiving, and making an ass out of your spouse in front of your friends, family, and co-workers on a daily/weekly basis.

      I wasn’t “happy” every day of my marriage either (who is?), but somehow I never considered doing any of these things.

      That’s why the “unhappy” bullshit is just bullshit. If you’re that unhappy, then just end the marriage honestly and fairly. Then go have your midlife crisis. Otherwise you’re just a coward.

      • After all this shit blew my life up my mom was talking to my aunt because I had gotten the “other people are 100% happy in their relationship and I wasn’t” story. (Imagine that people on Facebook might make it look like everything in heir life is perfect and it might not be ????) My mom asked her, “How many years of your marriage have you guys been 100% happy?” And my aunt said in 29+ years of marriage she has been 100% happy for exactly ZERO of them. My aunt and uncle love each other and neither has cheated on the other and in almost 30 years my aunt has not had ONE full year of being 100% happy. Guess why! Because no human being is ever 100% happy! It is the human condition. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s called life. But idiot cheater thought that everyone else was happier and went out to “find his happiness” with the whoremat and now he’s more miserable than ever.

      • Blindside, you say it exactly how it is.

        However, after I started divorce proceedings a year ago when he left (again) due to all the ways in which I didn’t meet his needs, it seems that I am still not meeting his needs. I stupidly didn’t realise that the only way I could meet all of his needs was to accept that I couldn’t/wasn’t meeting all of his needs and thus accept that he was entitled to go elsewhere to have his needs met, and not divorce him after all, as apparently in doing so I have given rise to more of his unmeet needs.

        I think here in the UK it’s called “having your cake whilst eating it.”

    • Yep!

      Despite doing the pick-me dance, as we chumps do so well, in response to the initial “I’m unhappy” news, I immediately called out my cheater on this. I pointed out all the amazing things in the life we built together. I said, “If you can’t find happiness in this, there may be something wrong with you. Maybe you don’t know how to be happy.”

      It took a few months to piece it all together with the details of the affair, but BOY OH BOY was there something wrong with him!

      Now, I’m moving forward mightily in that same life, just without him. And it’s EVEN HAPPIER than it was before. Imagine that!

      • “If you can’t find happiness in this, there may be something wrong with you. Maybe you don’t know how to be happy.”

        Wich I’d been quick on the draw with this one. OUTSTANDING.

        • I was so disgusted when Stbx said he had lost the last ten years of his life but I didn’t have any good response. Later I thought, their are millions of people who would have loved to lose their last ten years the way he did because we had a pretty good life with 5 wonderful children and I am not an evil bitch as he says- that is projection.

    • Paintwindow – yes! My stbx was “unhappy.” He lied, cheated, deceived, went to hotel every week with OW while telling me everything was fine and I was inecure, gave the cold dead eye stare, criticized and bullied, then abandonded his family, etc. Because he was “unhappy.”

      I said gee – when you were in rehab 15 years ago they told you if you were unhappy to go volunteer at shelter, kitchen, etc., and help those less fortunate than you. Not betray and screw over your family.

      I love that: It’s not what I wasn’t, it’s what they are…..

      Stbx left his journal from rehab. They had to write their history with girlfriends. He cheated on every one. He has never been faithful to anyone. It was all about sex. He is unable to love. People are objects.

      • Same here. Since my ex walked away, I accidentally found a document which told me he left his first wife for OW 3 days before Christmas when she was 8 months pregnant! I had no idea. So then I decided to go through all his papers. I too found he had cheated on every partner he’s had, overlaps with all the addresses!

        Serial cheaters like that will never change!

  • A related sort of idea is treating the affair as a “cry for help.” That puts the chump’s pain and needs further behind. And how many therapists have started out with that idea and then gone into the “unmet needs” track?!

  • Yup. And nobody ever addresses the chump’s unmet needs.

    Here are some of mine:

    1. A faithful partner.
    2. A partner with a higher sex drive and an ability to appreciate intimacy.
    3. A partner who did not binge drink, and did not finally rack up a DUI for that.
    4. A partner that did not have unprotected sex with a Vegas hooker, get an STI, and force me into the cold steel stirrups to protect myself.
    5. A partner with an ability to be a sane, involved, loving, and compassionate father to our children.
    6. A partner without a dismaying porn habit, and such a raging impulse to ogle and flirt at work that he was finally hit with harassment churches and invited to resign.
    7. A life free of the anxiety of constantly tiptoeing around on eggshells in a vain attempt to prevent his unpredictable rages, which could be touched off at any moment by any of a million unpredictable things utterly beyond my control.
    8. A partner with an ability to be content, flexible, and able to appreciate blessings and joys.
    9. A partner who did not lie compulsively.
    10. A partner who respected me, our marriage, and our children, and who observed reasonable and ethical behavioral boundaries to protect all of those.

    Could go on indefinitely, but there’s a top ten warm-up. None of these unmet needs caused me to fall into bed with others.

    • perfect list, fits all my unmet needs too…ignored by everyone except one therapist who finally asked me what I needed and I had no idea, it was always about the X

      • My counselor asked me that too, and it took me a while to come up with a reply. I think I finally said something like, “I want him to be nice to me, faithful, and not threaten to leave when he’s upset.” I guess those were pretty unreasonable needs…

    • Problem was always-his need to live in the infatuation stage. And for the love of cake I was always plan B.

      In the end I finally GOT IT thanks to my encounters with whore Nancy. I honored his request of ‘not ruining it’ and filed.

      He hedged with the divorce, asked to invite me to his 57th birthday at my daughters, and attempted to hug me at a funeral. He never showed up at court and was furious that I hired an attorney. Then he upped the anti and wanted me to take a hit, wanting my pension. I held my ground regardless. When the divorce was final a year later he told me he thinks about me ALL the time.

      It’s going on three years since Dday this May. For all I suffered, facing the pain was worth detaching from a disordered malignant narcissist. His needs are no longer my problem.

    • Exactly cashmere, the unmet need theory of adultery never worked with me, because thank goodness I had been very specific about cheating being a deal breaker pre-wedding.

      After DDay, I asked him what we discussed before we got married, and he produced his biggest world salad with pretzel logic croutons about his unmet needs. I replied: “as your needs were changing, why did you fail to inform me that you reneged on the promise to remain faithful that you made to me before I accepted your marriage proposal?”

      He had nothing to answer to that, and that is when I realized I was married to a cheating lying coward.

      So glad I divorced him after DDay #1

  • Cheaters excuses when I questioned why he didn’t tell me about his ‘unmet need’. I don’t think I could ever communicate with you and I never felt good enough for you. You really can’t win with this fuckwits. I’m trying my best not to rise to it but I’m still pretty angry with him so I’m failing miserably.

    • The “you are too good for me” deal is such a mindfuck. The STBX actually told our daughter, early on, that he did not want to “sully” me. Good Lord. So sick.

      • Why would we marry these people and have children with them if we thought we could get better or deserved someone better. I’m not sure if he was saying I never appreciated him and showed him that I ‘wanted him’. This was his main unmet need. I don’t know how planning a baby with someone doesn’t show them you want them. Sensational mindfuck right there.

        • Yes, I got the “You are too good for me” as well. (He was right, by the way.) But now it just convinces me that behind all of the delusions of grandeur, some small part of his fucked up brain really WAS aware that all of his borderline shit was a result of low self esteem.

          • Same here. It took me a while to figure out what on earth he was talking about — I certainly had never seen it that way (okay, to be perfectly honest, I was more like “I’m so lucky he chose me” … yuck, yuck, yuck … anyway …).

            Near the end — after I unmasked his two-decade charade — he kept making angry comments about how I care too much about integrity, honesty, character, etc. After listening to this in bewilderment for several months, it finally struck me like a bolt of lightning … Holy crap! He knows I strive to have good character — and he hates me for it.

            Since these jackasses all sing the same tune (though sometimes in a different key), I’m willing to bet that the ones who say “you’re too good for me” are talking about character — and it’s an admission of sorts on their end. They have shitty character and they know it.

            • Oh absolutely this. A couple of days after I asked mine to leave he said “I knew I was bad for you when we met, I knew what I’d do to you, but I got with you anyway because you were useful.”

              Proves they ARE capable of the truth when they feel like it.

              • ZHUCHI – I can so relate to how painful as hell as their sincerity is as a hopium detox, when someone tells you who they are, believe them!

                It took me a while to really understand that my X had a very different definition of love than I do. In his world, I love you is something between “you make me look so good” and “you’re so useful to me!”

                Good riddance!

              • ZHUCHI – I can so relate to how painful as hell as their sincerity is as a hopium detox, when someone tells you who they are, believe them!

                It took me a while to really understand that my X had a very different definition of love than I do. In his world, I love you is something between “you make me look so good” and “you’re so useful to me!”

                Good riddance!

            • Jesssmom
              Your comment about how he knew you strived to have good character and him hating you for it was spot on. To do what they have done shows contempt for us. I think being with someone of integrity reminds them of just how little they have. Either that or they get a sick thrill over being able to con us.

        • Pregnant Chump, I am so sorry and I do understand the bewilderment of how can a cheater do this to an innocent child to be, his child to be.
          I was in the first trimester of pregnancy and had a young child at Dday time. It is crushing, no words can adequately describe it. He eventually told me that ow felt bad about taking him away from his child. I am sure at the time he did not tell her about the expected child.
          A mother has this basic instinct to protect her child, (children). She will do all in her power to protect and nourish them, no matter the cost.
          His affair made me gather the innocent babies close to me and do anything in my power to remain the sane parent.
          My children are older now and I cherish a wonderful, close relationship with them every day of my life. The affair made me stronger.
          I am thinking of you in your struggle. Eat healthy, take the best of care of yourself as you can. I sincerely hope you have friends and family who you can reach out to in your time of need. ( I was estranged from my family and felt too embarrassed to reach out to my dear friends). No one knew, but me.
          Big hugs dear Momma to be!

    • Oh yeah….sounds so familiar…I also got the ole “I don’t deserve you….probably never did”….makes me so angry when I think of how weak these assclowns are and how easy it is for them to just go fuck Simeon else because they “can’t deal with life”. Boo Fucking Hoo!!!

    • I had a boyfriend say this to me AFTER we broke up and after I realized that it was him who gave me HPV while we dated. He’d been cheating the whole time and mostly likely before we actually started dating. He had a secret side dish that lasted from the previous girlfriend and then on to me. He said, “You always had goals and knew what you wanted to do even if you weren’t sure how you’d get there” yeah so. And….. I mean really…..THAT made you cheat on me the entire time we dated. I’m pretty sure that’s every 20-something who’s ever lived.

      • I think they envy qualities in us that they lack in themselves and cheating is a form of punishing us or getting one over us. Their low self esteem sees it as gaining some advantage.
        I got ‘your so smart and strong and I just wanted something for me’
        yes ok fuck off now!

        • Spot on. The asshat in my life even stated his envy about certain traits and talents I have.

          What makes me twitchy is wondering how or when his jealousy will surface with regards to my kids’ talents and accomplishments. I don’t think envy goes away. If they covet something someone has, they steal it and call it their own OR they batter that person who possesses the trait/talent that they envy.

          • OMG that is a scary thought….that these assholeswould feel threatened by their own kids.When kids are little, it’s awesome because they see the kids as an extension of them…but then they get older….watch out I guess. I’ll be on point.

            In addition, your comment makes me see that this goes hand-in-hand with “image control or perception”. They want the family AND cheat (cake and more cake). The family elevates them and the side piece is their…equal and just as lacking as they are.

          • ANC,
            My young adult daughter said this the other day about her cheating dad..I dont think dad thinks I”ll ever make more money than him. He always shuts me down and one ups me when I start talking about my job.

        • This is very well stated. It’s such a clusterfuck. On one hand, they feel superior and entitled — to take advantage of people, to manipulate people, to take whatever they wish and make it theirs – particularly if it is something they envy. Power and control!

          On the other hand, if they envy it, then they know that they lack that thing. It’s almost like by using force and control to get the thing they envy (or destroy the other person’s ability to have it), then they don’t have to acknowledge to themselves that they didn’t have it in the first place. Thus, they don’t have to acknowledge being “less than.” (They all seem to run on the zero-sum game rather than win-win interaction.)

          My STBX-parasitic-asshat humiliated me over my college degree (I had gone back to school once our kids were in school … graduated summa cum laude, etc. – and, at the time, I was proud of my effort). He shamed me so much over the fact that I wasn’t making as much money as I should be making (according to him) … so the degree was completely worthless. He had me so beaten down emotionally that I hid my diploma and awards in a tub in the basement.

          It took me a while, but I can see now why he did this. He had jackass parents who called him stupid (once telling him he was probably “slow”) as a child. Of course, this impacted his efforts at school as well as how he viewed himself. To this day, I hate his family for what they did to him. But the monster it created is not something my girls or I need to be around.

          Turns out that as much as he looks up to intelligence, he’s fiercely hateful toward and envious of anyone with a modicum of intelligence. And, of course, he knew I was a bookworm / nerd when he married me. Definitely a clusterfuck.

          • JesssMom, your X sounds like a covert malignant narcissist. Whatever the reasons or life history he had, fuck him, he did not have any rights to say any of these things to you.

            I hope your diploma now hangs in a prominent place for everyone to see, congratulations on earning your degree while parenting, that’s mighty!!

  • I needed this today. Few things make me more upset than that “if you’d only have …I wouldn’t have had to cheat” bullshit. It’s a big reason why I avoided therapy. I wasn’t really interested in exploring the ways in which I drove my husband to destroy our marriage, life, and my emotional world. I’m not perfect, but I cooked, cleaned, worked like a field hand, made 40% more money than him, went to the gym five or six times a week, begged for sex when we had it, did most of the yard work and oversaw what social life we had. If I had to sit and listen to anyone say I had a hand in this, I’d tell them to go fuck themselves.

    • I agree.
      The first marriage counselor tried the whole “and how are you responsible for the problems in the marriage?” angle. It’s insulting and infuriating to me now. At the time I was in this free fall trying anything to save my marriage and instead of saying what I would say now which is:
      “I’m responsible by not having more self respect and dumping this cheating asshole sooner.” At the time I would just sit and cry and think of the ways I made him cheat and how I could be better.
      Therapy with these people is a joke. When you are dealing with a narcissist they often fool the therapist as well, so you are already at a disadvantage because you are counting on the therapist to make it all better and they too are fighting way outside their weight class.
      I loved, I tried so hard, I gave my marriage my whole heart, and I didn’t cheat even when I was unhappy.
      How am I responsible for this?? I married a shithead. End of story.

      • But don’t all you Chumps realize that “it takes two to tango”?!?!

        GAG I got so sick of hearing this.

          • This Beans, preach it!

            I feel the EXACT same way. Years of being a housewife doing his share as well as mine. I was super mommy running church choirs, girl scout troops, mowing the lawn, taking care of the pool and still managing to look hot and be a minx in the bedroom at his beck and call.

            So…NO. No sir.

            No, I will not share the blame for his foolish actions and not appreciating a single damn thing I did and repaying my loyalty with gaslighting and sleeping with woman with the sad sausage routine that he was forced to because I was “so terrible”.

            Listen, I’m not perfect, but no one is.

            All I do know for DAMN sure I was a good wife who gave my all. He Just didn’t deserve me and isn’t mature enough to be a husband and father.

            Two to tango, my ass….

            How about ONE selfish person to fuck up a family?

        • My response to “it takes two to tango” is along the lines “that’s correct, I exited that dance floor and have been happily doing crossword puzzles instead.”

    • Feelings mutual me and the kids where the best thing that happened to his previously crappy life, ungrateful shit as my friend said.

    • Great response and I wish I’d had your self assurance at that time. I went the counselling route sadly and endured all the rubbish outlined by CL. I’m annoyed with myself for that.

      I DID end up emailing counsellor shortly after I told ex to leave and advised him his advice was shit, he couldn’t spot a Narcissist when one is sitting on his plush leather couch and in my opinion any future couple he “counselled” for infidelity would be far better served if he just gave the chump a link to CL site and Narcsite.com and then just politely told them they were both wasting their time and money spent on him would be far better used on good lawyers.

      He wrote back with “I hope sending this has brought you some peace.”

      • “I hope sending this has brought you some peace.”

        Hahahaha. So, in other words, the counselor has absolutely nothing to say in defense of his BS.

  • “Unmet needs” is a very short leap to the next logical stepping stone of cheater entitlement: “We just grew apart” (and it’s fraternal twin: “We just want different things.”)

    As CL so beautifully exposes, all of these are specifically designed to lay some degree of blame at the feet of the Chump.
    Which, in turn, makes it easier to become enraged (or turn sad sausage) when the Chump refuses to “let go of the past” and “just move forward.”

    • I actually used to use sort of a version of this. When people asked me early on why we were getting divorced, I would say “We want different things. I want an open-hearted, monogamous relationship based on honesty, and he wants a secretly polyamory relationship based on deception.” That generally caused nervous laughter and a change of subject.

    • Yep. History is being rewritten to: We just weren’t good together.

      Agreed! You’re an asshole and I’m a nice lady.

      • Word!

        History being rewritten to “we no longer have the same values”

        Agreed, you’re a faithless cheating lying coward, and I am a gritty lady with strong moral character.

      • My cheated told me ” it just didn’t work. I never say anything bad about you though.”
        Uhhh…..why should you.
        I told him he needs to add the words ” because I was fucking other people to the end of every sentimental sentence he shares about why we split.
        Ex: We grew apart…….because I was fucking other people.
        Ex: we just weren’t right for eachother….because I was fucking other people.
        Ex: I loved her, but wasn’t in love with her……and probably never was because I was fucking other people.
        See??? They just don’t finish the sentence.

        • Perfect ending paintwidow- so much better than that’s what she said!

          Mine said the same thing about not trashing me to others (he divorces better than everyone else- more narc proof) I finally asked him what could he say to trash me and he said “I could lie!”

    • UXworld,

      In your case, unfortunately, the “We wanted different things” is too true.

      You wanted a wife.
      She wanted an opposite sex wingman/non-exclusive fuckbuddy.

      Sorry, I don’t mean to hurt you, but maybe that puts it all in perspective.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

      • Indeed, Aeronaut — makes me wonder just WTF is going on with last week’s announcement that they’re planning to wed in 2 years. In their world of proven dishonesty and deceit, perhaps it’s possible to be both. Not a world I want to be a part of.

    • My husband told me after our 36 year relationship that the only thing we ever had in common was our kids. LOL

  • Right on, CL. I have read a lot of RIC over the years, and it’s so sad to see these poor chumps putting up with these loser cheaters and Blaming Themselves for it. And it just goes on and on an on as long as the Chumps let the cheaters convince they were the reason for the cheating. Hell, I even did it myself. If I weren’t so fat and lazy, with a side of crazy of course, this would not have happened. Yeah, it would. I have friends, family, acquintances, co workers who are MUCH fatter, lazier, and crazier who do not get cheated on. The end.

  • The unmet need canard is far more egregious imho. If unmet needs made your spouse cheat and you didn’t cheat, then you have no unmet needs. At least not the type that make people cheat, so, in truth, the chump was the worse spouse than the cheater, because the cheater met your needs not you didn’t meet theirs.
    That said, the self reflection and redirection that occurred because of this thinking really turned my life around. Additionally, it ultimately allowed me to see what a sick and evil year I was married to.

    • That’s twat. For some reason my spell check doesn’t like dirty words. Hers will automatically insert lowjob as soon as you type “b”.

    • Actually when I presented my cheater with the concept of MY unmet needs, you could hear a pin drop. I made sure to make state statement in front of a 3rd party because there was A LOT of blameshifting early early after DDay.

      Seriously, if ANYONE goes after a faithful spouse or partner claiming you never met their ‘unmet needs’, always retort with the factual evidence that you also had unmet needs. However, you did not proceed to meet those needs by fucking other people, stealing marital assets and discarding&disrepecting your partner, children and family. That usually shuts people up.

      • That’s right!! Very eloquent and concise. I say this to other people and yet, they don’t seem to get it. I was in an imperfect marriage as well and I didn’t cheat. And it’s like it was stated earlier, we, the Chumped, are doomed because THEY supposedly met our needs….but we failed to meet theirs. That is so fucked and it infuriates me.

    • Yes– one thing I said that actually surprised my cheater ex (not too long after DDay) is that I didn’t think we had a perfect marriage either and that I wasn’t always happy all the time, but I didn’t cheat. He looked genuinely shocked, as though he couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that he wasn’t always the greatest husband. This is certainly part of the cheaters’ narrative– I’ve given EVERYTHING to my spouse, and he/she gives me NOTHING! Now, I feel perfectly entitled to cheat! Based on my time here and in talking to other chumps, the narrative is usually more like the chump gave everything, and the cheater gave a whole lot of nothing and then ALSO cheated on top of that whole lot of nothing.

      I finally acknowledged that my cheater ex gave a whole lot of nothing when I realized that I was a single parent long before I got divorced; transitioning over to being a single parent on paper wasn’t that big a deal for me. That was my big “a-ha” moment– I finally acknowledged how little he helped me when it turned out that single parenting was actually easier than parenting with him.

      • I have often said this to friends – that I know life as a single parent looks hard from here, but that after you offload the immense burden of managing a jackass partner in your home, which is happening in ways you probably don’t even notice anymore, it’s likely that life will actually be easier in most ways. Most times that turns out to be true. Also, others become more willing to help when they no longer have to deal with a jackass in order to help you.

        • Yes, Amiisfree. I’ve told people that being married to him was actually good practice for being divorced, because I did everything alone anyways. It actually got EASIER because I no longer had to do his PR, put up with his irresponsibility, how poorly he managed the kids, his unreliability, etc.

            • Isn’t amazing how their no increase in the workload when a cheater leaves and sometimes it is even less- sort of defies logic- something they don’t get.

          • Yes! This!

            It’s been soooo much easier on my own.

            Now, because he insisted on 50/50 custody, he’s forced to do his share. When he lived in the house, he did about 10%. Expenses are down. I don’t have to pick up his messes anymore. (HIS, not the kids…. the kids are clean.) He actually (usually) pays his share of the kids’ school and medical expenses. AND he would play video games even more than the kids… and louder.. .and until all hours at night.

            Life feels so much more in order now. I know how many places to set for dinner. No more awkward, “Well… I don’t know what to tell you, kids. Daddy said he’d try to make it home in time for dinner tonight. I guess he got caught up at work… again.”

            Cheaters suck at being adults. Life is easy and enjoyable without them cheapening our lives.

            • Absolutely. I was doing it all anyway but when he left I didn’t have to sort out any more of his crap – you know like drink-driving, overspending etc. Life was SOOOOO much easier. I used to do all the ironing for 5 people (I didn’t mind) – oh and I worked full time and earned more than the lazy sod. One day he didn’t like the way I had ironed one of his shirts so snarled “I was US marine and I know how to iron shirts so I don’t need your crap ironing”. So I stopped doing it. Thereafter Mr. “I used to be a US marine” looked like a bag of shit because he was too damn lazy to iron anything.

        • When I got the court order splitting custody 50/50. my thought was ” I can do that standing on my head.” For years, I had been taking care of the kids by myself while working full time. Zero help on the home front as it interfered with my XW’s frequent nighttime excursions wih other men.
          On this whole needs deal, I have come to realize that most , if not all. cheaters fall somewhere on the Cluster B spectrum, many with full blown personality disorders. THESE FOLS ARE BOTTOMLESS PITS OF “NEED”, that no one can meet.
          They lack empathy, the ability to look within, or any semblance of a sense of fair play.
          I had the same experience others here have described when I told my XW that I had dissatisfaction in the marriage, as well ( who wouldn’t with a person such as this as a spouse?). I could see that the thought that she had been anything less than perfect and that I would have dissatisfaction was a shock to her.
          This is the narcissism of these folks. They can have decent intellectual ability but there is some sort of severe deficit in their ability to see themselves.

        • Lord yes. Life got a lot simpler. I had free time. That was scary as hell at first. but now, I love having time to sit, relax, clean and do what I want. I don’t have to cook if I don’t want to. I already did everything anyway. Not having to think about him was freeing…if not incredibly sad in the beginning. looking back now at how much i did, I don’t know if i’d get married again. I love my life. I love how my son and I have harmony between us. It would take something really special to make me consider marriage again. It would change my whole life. I don’t want to feel responsible for someone else’s happiness like i did before. And i don’t want to play Happy House Wife either. I want adventure mixed in with my routine. I want someone who SEES me…not just someone who expects me to see them. Naw. never again. I know my worth.

      • This is me also, he was never around and when he was he pissed, moaned and complained and did fuck all apart from stare at his phone and pick fights with me.
        He thinks he’s awesome however and did everything for our family, no you don’t get a medal for having a job especially when you spend most of the money you earn on yourself.

      • The first time I told my cheater that I would have liked a man who was younger, more handsome, and better in bed, but that I didn’t cheat to get that in my life, you could actually see his jaw drop.

        I guess his slut had him convinced those sunglasses he wore on his head and his shirt opened a couple of buttons too low was “sexy” (her favorite name for him).

        • >>”The first time I told my cheater that I would have liked a man who was younger, more handsome, and better in bed, but that I didn’t cheat to get that in my life, you could actually see his jaw drop.”

          You get a standing ovation for that one. Pure awesomeness! 🙂

  • Yes, this tiresome justification was trotted out by my XW as well–when she got caught. But over the course of our ten years together and during her affair? All I heard from her (and received cards, notes and letters as well) was what a wonderful husband I was, how I MET ALL HER NEEDS… So, uh, no. Unless she was lying for ten years and then only when I caught her did the truth come out. Not bloody likely. Oh, and then not only had I not met her needs, but I was abusive, a rapist, dangerous around children (oh, and prior to this I was “an amazing father” too according to her) and prone to rages.

    It boggles the mind and at the same time is so predictable and tedious. Cheater’s Handbook, verse/chapter: “The Marital Rewrite.”

    • I enjoyed burning all of those “You’re my best friend and true love” cards and letters that he had given me over the years.

      • I left a pile of those on the floor of my closet when I left so she could read them again. Only thing left there so she had to see them and do something with them. Kind of a you’re such a lying piece of shit move on my part. Gave me the opportunity to provide just a touch of shit I took.

      • He was still living at home when I took the stack of birthday and anniversary cards from him that I’d cherished for 28 years to the garbage. He saw me doing this.

        “You’re throwing them away? Why???”

        Dear lord, I realized I’d truly married a moron.

        • GonnaBeOK,

          I may have married a bigger moron. As we were cleaning out the house to sell, xhole saw me throw out a cross stitch hanging that someone gave us for our wedding…it had our names, marriage date, and some crap about “being married forever” beautifully handmade by someone from our church. Well evidently to xhole, forever only meant 30 years.

          He wanted to know why I threw it away and then proceeded to take it out of the trash and put it in a box labeled for his new home with howorker.

          You can’t make this shit up!!!

            • In what universe do they come from these pods???!!!! Asswipe insisted on having some of our wedding pictures to hang proudly in his house!! His fond memories of good times he said, yep that he destroyed! Hung them in his house. He called the wall his wall of fame i called it the wall of shame!! What an idiot!! Guess the new game is:

              Wanna make it up on that wall baby?

              He took a few i burned the rest. Adios motherfucker!

    • So true!

      After DDay #1 he tried different strategies, from guilting me to trying to say that the affair was for the best, that he was unhappy for so long etc… He tried that with me, as well as with our kiddo…

      I combed through our family pictures and showed his huge smile during our anniversary, our vacation, and our everyday life as a family… If that is what he looks like “having been unhappy for a long time,” he should move to LA because his acting skills are oscar worthy!!

  • Essentially, in those articles one must take the Blue Pill to stay happily (?) in the fabricated reality of your own personal Matrix.

    I think being on this site indicates most of us have chosen the Red Pill. The rabbit hole of deceit is deep and convoluted. Personally, I would rather live in a true reality and get through the shit vs. continually spackling a fabricated relationship with a fucktard.

  • Yes yes because I’m sure the Cheater was meeting all the Chump’s needs. /sarcasm

    And I had a need too. A need for my husband to be faithful and honest.

    Worse than the Cheater giving you this bullshit are the outside sources. “People cheat for a reason.” Yes. Because they are cheaters and liars. Look people get angry all the time and some people punch someone I anger. That’s abuse. And it’s not acceptable to say “oh well no one beats people without a reason.”

    • Yup, it’s the acceptable cultural excuse: we grew apart, we were too different, he/she was unhappy in the marriage, people who are happy don’t cheat, and on and on. Truth: we grew apart because he was unfaithful, our main difference is that I am faithful and he is not, cheating and lying introduced unhappiness into the marriage, his internal and eternal inability to be happy long preceded me and will continue in the wake of divorce. So it goes!

      • “His internal and external inability to be happy long preceded me and will continue in the wake of the divorce.”

        ^^^^^
        THIS!!!!

  • Also, one thing that bothers me on the RIC boards, if you get to the point of saying ” What this cheating turd did is 100% on him and 0% on me ” you get attacked by the other chumps and they start hurling RICisms at you. You’re not perfect. You need to own your part in this. You put your children first. You didn’t give enough and/or the right blowjobs. Blah, blah, blah. It’s even worse when that type of stuff comes from your own kind than when it comes from the “professionals”.

    • I like the blameshifting onto the kids. It’s a very common strategy.

      Factually, a cheating person is investing 0 to little of their time into their kids and primary relationship. So who is left to raise and nurture the minor dependents when you are faced with a Disney parent??? Oh, yeah. That is left to the sane parent. Typically, at least with the asshole I know, cheaters were emotionally neglected during crucial points of their development. The outcome of those people, if they do not seek therapy, is the wash.runse.repeat cycle of prop-parenting and creating the narc ‘echo-children’.

      Anyone who tells you that you spent too much time ‘raising the kids’, it’s time to give them factual evidence of the suck ass parent your cheater is/was. (Obviously being a helicopter parent and such is not the parenting model that I am referring.)

      • Amen! Mine has the emotional maturity of a child and thus saw them as competing for his attention from me. He says the kids come first- bahahaha! After him, his boat, his mother, his slut puppet, his work and then only for his needs not theirs.

        Homewrecking whore only has to please him as her daughters are all out of the house. I wonder when that shiny and new will wear off? She is working hard for his money right now.

      • If I hadn’t been there to take care of our kids they would have been on their own. He certainly wasn’t going to take responsibility for their daily needs!

      • Correct ANC, and there is research showing that having a parent who is an adulterer can lead to significant long-term challenge for grown up kids of divorce. I cited that evidence to my cheater when he told me to stay mum about my decision to divorce and the reason for my divorcing him, he went berserk! I kept on singing like a canary.

        The blessing of knowledge is the evidence that shows that a sane parent is key for kiddos of adulterers/cluster b disordered fuckwits. Almost 3 years post-DDay, our kiddo knows the truth about my reason for divorcing her father, she has had a best school hear, and I am as NC as shared custody allows with my X, life is getting better!

    • Agreed Anita. If you don’t agree with chumps on a RIC site, the pitchforks come out and the villagers chase you off the site. It’s like a virtual mob scene the way they all gang up and “hurl RICisms at you” (love that by the way). “You have to own 50% of the failing marriage that forced him/her to cheat!” WTFever. So glad I found CL because you’re right about this: it is even worse to have other chumps trying to feed you that load of crap than it is when it comes from a therapist.

      • It’s another false equivalency. People who don’t want to think critically lean on that technique. Expecting a deceiver to take full responsibility for his/her behavior is not equivalent to saying I couldn’t have made better choices. That would be like saying that it is unfair for me to hold an employee accountable to show up at work because I don’t know how to update the website. They aren’t even related. The fact that they coincide doesn’t create a relationship between the concepts.

      • I had the same thing happen. MC told me I had to share 50% of the blame too. This was our last exchange and my last visit to MC a few days after I found this amazing site and was reading non stop.

        MC: You have to take ownership of 50% of this.

        Khris: So, in other words, if i sneak over your house, steal your car, commit a crime and return the car to your garage without you knowing anything about this, you will share 50% of the blame for the crime I just committed, right?

        MC: What?

        Khris: Repeated the above scenario.

        MC: I will not be cross examined like this. You do not question me like that.

        Khris: But I am just trying to understand this whole 50% of the blame thing. Didn’t I get it right?

        MC: This is not being productive in figuring out the problems in your marriage.

        Khris: So you would share 50% of the blame for my crime then right?

        MC: You are talking about 2 different things here.

        Khris: No, I am talking about sharing responsibility for something I knew nothing about, just like the scenario I just laid out for you. But apparently, basic fundamentals are lost on you.

        Khris got up and walked out and retained the lawyer then next day.

        • That is so awesome. It is the kind of exchange I would have thought about later … not at the time of the actual session!!

        • Love this!

          On behalf of all of us who didn’t have our moment of enlightenment until after MC (thus, no chance to counter the stupidity) … thank you!

          • I seriously wanted to know what the difference was here. I honestly was not trying to be funny about it. It was just something that hit me while I was there about the whole 50% thing and I just wanted him to explain it to me. It just did not make sense to me how to hold someone accountable for something they knew nothing about. Yeah, never got an answer to that one and I seriously doubt anyone in the RIC will ever provide one.

    • The so-called professionals are the worst of the bunch. Our supposed marriage counselor told me point blank that she had no interest in discussing what the affair did to our marriage and how to repair that damage. No, what we were supposed to talk about was why X had the affair. Ugh, because he was a lying, arrogant, entitled asshole. Next question, please.

    • This topic may be a bit personal, but what is it with the BJs being such in important part of the sex life? Is it abnormal to not just love giving blow jobs? I was willing to accommodate that way to please him when other options were not practical or to get things going when he was hard to raise, but I never loved it and evidently he found that disappointing. But really, what is in it for me with that method other than pleasing him? Am I missing something? Am I just weird that way?

      This is a touchy subject for me because STBX seemed to be so focused on “we just weren’t sexually compatible”, but then will turn around a day later and say “I hope you don’t think this is all about sex”.

      • You are not weird. Sex is supposed to be mutually satisfying, not one person expecting the other to please. It’s also not a performance event.

      • Well you know that he is a selfish asshole, right? A BJ is pretty much all about you being on your knees, prostrate, worshipping his dick. It’s all about him. He’s not forced to perform or please or impress you, it’s alllll about his needs. Sound familiar?

        *disclaimer: I love licking the peen, before anyone calls me a frigid bitch, as long as it isn’t attached to a cheating piece of shit!

      • My opinion: Any person who thinks another person should perform a sax act s/he doesn’t want to perform for any reason is essentially a rapist.

      • You’re not weird. I’m a man who doesn’t get why BJs have somehow become the gold standard of male/female sex.

  • I unmet needs i didnt even know about. I was dealing with the change of life and some major surgery and all i heard was how long i would be home from work. Apparently the whore knew what he wanted before he wanted it. Why arent you like that km? They all suck. I gave that pod all the support and care i could and i get kicked in the teeth!!

  • Yup. I nearly spun on my head trying to connect with H1.0 when I could tell he was distancing…marriage workshops, I didnt argue with him when he did stupid stuff, I worked, cared for kids, blah blah and when he was caught involved with Susan of Seattle, he said “She didnt do anything wrong, she just picked up my heart that was laying alone in the middle of the street totally uncared for” .

    Odd, I had MASSIVE unmet needs and I didnt cheat. He moved away and forgot we existed and I didnt cheat.

    6 months after he died, I was ready to date and a gal on an RIC board I used to frequent gave me a huge ration of shit that I would be whoring if I had sex with anyone. Uh, husband dead, marriage over. That is what the RIC will give you, logic like that.

      • Right?!? I’m sure he tossed his arm dramatically across his forehead and got the Vapors, too. 😉

      • Don’t you kind of wish a dump truck would have run over his “heart in the street” first? I wonder if Susan had to dodge other traffic to claim that heart? Yuck! These guys turn into Harlequin romance novels over these whores! It is soooo the maturity of a 14 year old and ridiculous!
        Fact is: I got all the standard cheater reasons for the affair from Mr. Sparkle Dick. The only thing he ever did say that may have had any truth to it was, “you didn’t do anything wrong, it’s me.” When he counter filed he claimed we had grown apart and we did not have sex. Of course that was bullshit, but that’s his story and he was sticking to it. He also said his affair was not about sex. Really? Then why are you up
        her skirt 24/7 and all your texts are about sex?? Truth is that no matter where we travelled or what we did, Schmoopie was either already in the city we went to visit or she ramped up
        Her sexting and texting. It’s impossible to connect while you are trying to convince your lover that you are only with the old ball and chain to fulfill your obligation for Birthday, anniversary, etc. I am convinced that my stupid ex saw an opportunity for sex and felt entitled to accept the offer. It really tickled a pleasure point in him and he just kept hitting it and it spiraled. He was shocked when I divorced him. He was even more shocked when I wrangled most of the assets. His Schmoopie ended up with just him in the end and four months later his love affair was over! She was a gold digger and a low life whore with a bank account, but she still
        Emptied his accounts to zero! Ahhh, true love. Now his Facebook lover is trying to sue him for money she put out in the affair. The bitch is ridiculous, but it should be interesting to see if she can recoup her “losses”. She better get cracking cause I think death is going to get here first. I personally could never stand in court and show a judge receipts from hotel rooms, food, gasoline etc. and actually admit it was from selling my lady bits to a perfect stranger on Facebook! Takes balls I suppose and zero pride!

        • Your story never ceases to amaze me…the idea that he was so bamboozled to have done what he did, while you were sick, then she dumped him and he got sick…after he had burned his bridge with his former wife into crunchy cinders. Imagine the regret…it boggles my mind.

          And her to go to court telling them that she spent money on a married man (who is now divorced and dying) and wants her money back…unreal.

          I will forever wonder if maybe Susan broke up with him when she did the math…that she would never be a SAHM to their Chinese/Mexican/German babies of she bred with H1.0. I would have (by law) received half his military retirement and I had 3 kids under 18, so the child support would have been significant. She would have had to work full time to pay me off and I dont think she wanted to. So she married her original fiance, had 2 kids and they D.

          • Unicornnomore, it’s quite the story, but I also believe she wanted to lay claim to his military benefits and the SBP, but I had a lawyer who was well versed in military divorces and DFAS has a form you must sign even if you are the beneficiary that assures you and only the first wife named will get that benefit. While he was preparing for his surgery on his pancreatic cancer, she was hiring a lawyer to get him to take me back to court on our settlement. I guess she and her over priced idiot lawyer missed the line in the settlement that said neither of us could ever bring it to court again! It was “Schmoopie proof”! She asked him if he would please take me back to court and he told her No! I personally could not stand in front of a judge and explain I am suing my Ex lover for money spent on our extra special love affairs either, but that’s just me I guess! It is mind boggling to say the least, but it tells you volumes about her without uttering a word!

            • BTW, me, you know, the shitty Ex wife, I am not totally heartless. I did help set up hospice for him and made sure he is comfortable. You know, I put all my uncaring, unloving ways behind me just to do that! Gag! Of course now I hear how wonderful and great I am and how he REALLY always loved me! Yeah, right!

              • Roberta in case no one IRL has told you this, you are a complete superstar for doing this for your ex. No one could blame you for turning your back after the way he treated you when you were ill, I remember reading and being outraged when he told the kids your care was all on them. You are definitely a better person than him, and probably me as well!

                I applaude your kindness, but of course you owe him nothing at all.

  • My stbx’s constant line to the kids is: “there are two sides to this story and you are never gonna know mine”. Huh? I think we should put it on his tombstone.

    The other night at dinner with him, sons were confronting him about things (in other words banging their heads against the wall). This time he tells them he was miserable and planning to leave since before my youngest son was born- he is 12. My 17 year old comes back with (so why is youngest son even here?). And he says that is a good question. Then son tells me the reason we will never know dad’s side of the story is because it is always changing!

    Even knowing the kids see this, why then, do I constantly question myself? Where do you find healing from gas lighting? The anxiety sucks. I have talked to quacks- and didn’t think to steal their wallets so I don’t have any pine cone elves to comfort me. Thanks for the lol this morning. This is the only place where I feel like anyone gets “the mindfuck”

    • “Then son tells me the reason we will never know dad’s side of the story is because it is always changing!”

      Fucking brilliant. Your son has a good head on his shoulders, doesn’t take crap, even from dad, and is a credit to your parenting skills. Well done.

      Be sure to specifically thank him for that nugget of truth, and let youngest son know that you’re really glad he’s here.

      Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

    • FeelingIt, we heal from the gaslighting when we no longer have to experience the gaslighting. Recognizing it and calling it out are great steps forward, it can reduce further damage. But healing? That requires No Contact, and time.

      I’m sorry your kids have to deal w/this Fucktard, but it does seem to be making them wise beyond their years!

      • Thanks for your replies. I do see no contact helping- just wondering how you mighty ones handle the kid contact. 4 of my 5 don’t want to see him but he contacts them in text or e-mail and I hear about it. It works me up.

        The 5th one is his golden child. Funny, he started calling him golden boy in what we thought was jest but now realize is a narc reality. The 17 year old excels at athletics and he totally lives vicariously through him when he does well. It is sickening to me now to see him practically in tears of joy when son does well on the field. The pride is in himself not son. Son played on one very high level team where he was not the star and stbx stopped coming to the games! Stbx’s “best friend” (think it is more of competitor) has a son a year older headed to college to play a sport so now he tells son about him all the time implying he needs to get there but no help offered. My son, his coaches, teachers and I are trying to figure out his future. I wish he would go gray rock like the rest just because I hate hearing about him. I know I need to cope but I am struggling with it big time.

        • Feelingit, I lived this for years. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. Ex dumped our son when our son wouldn’t take the constant critism about what son should be doing to improve and son didn’t want to practice constantly. Now I know the ex wasn’t getting the kibble supply for having the best player on the team and son was discarded.

          Our daughter became ‘GC’ because she excelled at her sport and would practice 2 hours a day with her dad outside of regularly scheduled team practices. She brought lots of kibbles to the feeder. Everything revolved around her. Now I see she was fresh, constant kibble production for him. Even better she attracted a little 20-something assistant coach blondy that told him just how awesome he was! Lots of dinners for the 3 of them at expensive restaraunts then the overseas trip that was planned where daughter was the one staying in a different room!

          Daughter found out a few months later and ditched them both. Son is the only one speaking to Dr. CheaterPants. Funny, for the divorce agreement the ex told me how I should take care of our son and he welcomed my input on how to take care of our daughter. He proposed liberal visitation as he thought the kids were old enough to decide. He never in a million, entitled, self-centered years thought they wouldn’t pick him.

          Riding off into the sunset with his dumsel in distress didn’t quite turn out like he fantasized.

          • MJB, it NEVER does. Reality crashes through fast and furious. That’s when you (1. Reinforce your locks on your doors, I-phone, e-mail etc. because they WILL
            call begging to be forgiven (2) Get your favorite snack (popcorn, ice cream) and drink and sit back to watch the love affair drama turn in to a ridiculous comedy! Coming to a theater near you too soon! It’s great!

            • Love it Roberta! Yes he’s looking mighty miserable these days. Starting to burn up my texts ‘about the kids’. I will never be roped back in to the bottomless pit of need and the drama. As for little Miss Sunshine/Sunset, she either dumped him or he’s bored with her. It’s gutwrenching at DDay, but the further out with NC the better it gets. Trust that they suck!

    • Here is the best question to ask yourself. Why have dinner with him? Go no-contact even if you guys have to share a home with him. Dinner time, oh there’s not enough for you or I didn’t cook for you. Same with all other occasions. Cut him out and leave the BS behind. Then you will start to heal. Sorry for the 2×4 but you have to take action to heal. And if anyone else comments about you doing it, tell them to fuck off!

      • Only his golden child chooses to go to dinner at his house and every once in awhile my oldest son goes too. These dinners are at his house. I think they think they are helping by reporting back but it just upsets me. I also feel like I should listen to them and counsel them but again, I am still so angry over it, I tend not to be calm. It’s the whole he ran the car we were all riding in off the road. We were all hurt and he walked away and I am supposed to help the kids while I am broken and bleeding and I yell after him as he goes to meet schmoopie for drinks, what are you fucking crazy? And the answer is Yes!

        • You can and should shut off that flow of information about STBX. The kids shouldn’t be conduits and whether you know it or not, the info is likely to flow in both directions. You don’t have to make a big deal of it. Just stop the next person to “report” back and say, “You know, it doesn’t help me heal to hear about this and I don’t want you in the middle. I baked a pie! [or There’s ice cream in the freezer!] and ask about some other aspect of their day.

  • It’s time for the world to collectively go all Krav Maga on the unmet needs shtick. If I have a need I speak up and see if I can get it met. If not, I figure out a way to make my life work perfectly well without it.
    I watched for years while my husband played in the Internet sandbox of hundreds of people with “unmet needs” – they just reinforced each other’s little children notions about the world.
    Now they all get to live a wildly unsatifying existence where they only communicate with a screen and pretend that’s all they need.
    I live with real people, who know the world doesn’t owe them happiness, or success or true love.
    He can have the marginally or completely unemployed legions of internet friends (and his current Internet and sometimes flesh and blood affair partner) who cry about the fact that none of them ever became famous rock stars and boo hoo why does no one see the greatness of middle aged men and women doing horrifyingly bad cover songs on Facebook and you tube?
    So many unmet needs!

    • “I watched for years while my husband played in the Internet sandbox of hundreds of people with “unmet needs” – they just reinforced each other’s little children notions about the world.
      Now they all get to live a wildly unsatifying existence where they only communicate with a screen and pretend that’s all they need.
      I live with real people, who know the world doesn’t owe them happiness, or success or true love.
      He can have the marginally or completely unemployed legions of internet friends (and his current Internet and sometimes flesh and blood affair partner) who cry about the fact that none of them ever became famous rock stars and boo hoo why does no one see the greatness of middle aged men and women doing horrifyingly bad cover songs on Facebook and you tube?”

      So well said! That’s my ex!

      • Mine too! He had a slew of loser cheerleaders who didn’t even know him, Schmoopie or the spouses giving them divorce advice and acting as ho between s when the shit hit the fan! But he said they were all caring friends, really?? Where are they now? On to the next drama with no adverse repercussions for them!

  • OK, so your needs aren’t being met? Why then not just open your mouth and say that, instead of running off with somebody else?

    And what about the chump’s needs!? Or are we so chumpy we just sit there like No, this is fine, whatever, I’m good?

    My XH was so passive-aggressive he divorced me instead of having an open honest conversation. I hope the AP bears that in mind.

    • Exactly, CharityFrog. Exactly. Open the mouth and speak up about your needs. But you know, they can’t–because the real need is to feed the inner black hole that needs a constantly new (and unsuspecting) supply of kibbles. They can’t say, “I’m a kibble sucking predator and your supply doesn’t work for me anymore.” Now a normal person might speak up and say, “I need a date night” or “Please don’t buy appliances for my birthday.”

      • That ^^^^^ right there LovedAJackass !!!!

        Apparently I played Candy Crush, Pet Rescue, etc. too much and “neglected” him in the process…

        One thing he never understood no matter how many times I tried to explain this to him:

        My job requires me to talk, communicate all damn day. His job (s) was mostly him by himself all alone— re-po’ man, tow truck driver, truck driver; other jobs that required him to work alongside others, or work with others he didnt really last long at, ever….

        Anyway, add my job being “on it” all the time, plus raising my autistic DD (practicalky solo since her birth — he rarely did much of the “grunt work” associated with raising a child), housework, work-related tasks having to be done at home, on and on.

        So he would come home, expect dinner ready, chill in a clean, organized house, not be annoyed by our child, and spend hours telling me about the shit he took at work and how bad he stunk them out, the funny cat video he saw on facebook, random news items, etc. I was to be held with rapt attention to him ignoring everything else around me. Oh, and God forbid I dare get on the phine with a friend or co-worker around him!!!!

        Unmet needs my ass.

  • I think the vast majority of us were hit with the unmet needs bs. It is classic cheater speak. Rain Could told me that I should not be feeling the way I was because in reality we had been divorced for a very long time. (Cheaters get to tell you how you should feel, and determine when you were divorced). However, by her logic our divorce settlement should have been based on a four year marriage, not a 14 year marriage. Oh no. Rain Cloud reminded me several times that she “deserved” a significant financial settlement because of 14 years of marriage.
    Trying to see a disordered cheater through the eyes of logic doesn’t work. Many times over a many year period I would be told something by Rain Cloud and try to wrap my head around what she just said. Needs have nothing to do with deceit and betrayal. They just suck and we are nothing more to them than a leftover ham sandwich that gets thrown in the trash.

    • Oh, gosh, yes. The AP was apparently assured that the marriage had been over for years, and perhaps had never been a real marriage to begin with, but–oops–nobody thought to copy me on that memo.

  • Will never forget how happy I was to finally have him in front of a counselor, which he had always refused to do before. It was crushing when I realized he only wanted to discuss how hurt he was I confronted his AP and asked her (quite politely I might add!) to leave him alone, block him from her phone and Facebook, which she complied with. He went on and on to the counselor about how desperate he was to get a hold of her and make sure she was ok since she was delicate, a preacher’s daughter and such a “caring person.” I sat there with my jaw on the floor, my eyes pleading with the therapist to call him out on his bullshit. When my ex asked him if it was possible to love both his AP and me and the quack agreed it was complete possible I burst out in uncontrollable sobs. Should’ve gotten up and left but sat through a whole hour of that crap, including how his “needs weren’t being met” (which I’ve since learned was his need for narcissistic supply), and the asshole walked away from the session justified in his actions. I found an individual counselor after that who has given me the right support and encouraged me to leave the abuse (of course, I didn’t listen to her the first time, had a failed reconciliation and final just left last week).

    • I fully believe that a lot of these shit counselors favor the ones they identify with. For some of them, it’s less about the RIC and more about defending the ones who reflect their own inner beliefs because cheaters stick together and defend each other. It’s those beliefs that justify the cheating in the first place.

      But, you know how it goes. “No, I’m not saying that the cheating was okay. I’m just pointing out that *insert reasons for why it was okay*.”

      • Yup, it’s the crunchy granola mindset of chasing the butterflies of happiness wheresoever they might lead, and no thought at all to who gets bulldozed over along the way. “Oh, I deserve to be happy, too,” cries the cheater, and way too many counselors just smile, nod, and agree, quite as if the chump has been wholly and devilishly dedicated to being an obstacle to cheater’s sparkly happiness, when in truth the problem usually boils down to cheater wanting absolutely no restrictions on his or her behavior.

      • Totally agree with that. There are plenty of narc therapists out there who have similar belief systems to these cheaters.

    • Appalling. He cheats and then gets to vent about his sad sausage life. Never, ever go to marriage counseling with a cheater. They can go by themselves to get their therapy-flavored kibbles.

  • Funny how the laundry list of unmet needs always comes out AFTER the affairs. Surely these people could have tossed us a ransom note ahead of time. “Here’s what it’ll cost to keep me faithful.” I realize the vow at the altar was meaningless now, but a nice list ahead of time would have been nice. ???

    The real reason they don’t say anything about their stupid unmet needs is because most of the time, they don’t exist until the cheater needs them to justify everything. Another reason is that voicing concerns over their unmet needs might actually lead to them being met by their partner which means their excuses go out the window and so do their opportunities to screw around with justification.

    Cheaters would never, EVER give up their opportunities to cheat by looking back to their marriages for their unmet needs. That would mean passing up chances to screw around.

    Screwing around and feeding their egos.<— Those are the REAL unmet needs.

    • The unmet needs can’t come out because they don’t know they have unmet needs until they have their affairs and their unmet needs are just an accepted excuse for their character flaws- blameshifting. They are disordered!

    • I went as NC as I could immediately after final decree – email only (we have kids so NC isn’t an option yet). Last week the idiot sends me an email complaining that he resents how I portray him to the children because my 18 year old knew his dad wasn’t paying child support for him (but was for his brothers) and he felt really hurt about it and told his dad how he felt. I told the idiot that I always told our sons the truth about all of their dad’s choices- the facts with no commentary because they didn’t need it. They’re smart and I’ve raised them to focus on how people act and not what people say. His response “I should have known you’d say that. You’re perfect and nothing is ever your fault.” My reply, “damn! You’re right! Cheers to me!! ”

      BTY- I took Chump lady’s advice, didn’t play pick me, hired the most brilliant divorce lawyer in town that I could afford, did my due dilligence collecting documents (ass pain but worth it), crafted a masterful divorce strategy, slammed him with grounds (I live in a fault state), smashed him in a 15 hour brutal mediation after threatening him with an ugly trial, took my share plus alimony and walked away. He’s one looser idiot in a world filled with awesome people who have no problem owning their own flaws while at the same time acting with character. I know it hurts like hell to be told by anyone “you are not enough” but to change the world you start by believing that you are enough and you do that by kicking out every single asshole in your life that tries to make you feel otherwise. And my best practice advice to truly physically, mentally and spiritually own that you are enough is to start practicing yoga. Hold a yoga posture is the practice of standing up for yourself and holding your ground and standing up for yourself is the key element in accomplishing your dreams and goals. F**k the haters is what I say. Namaste fellow chumps.

      • Cleopatra, thank you for this post. My first DDay was over 18 years ago, pregnant with my second child. The “you are not enough” thoughts started then. I started reading this week about yoga for healing and am going to give it a try. Thanks.

  • My STBXH has been seeing hookers for 7 years, but “only” when he spirals down due to me.”
    Here is what I have heard:
    -you Unfriended me on Facebook (after repeated hooker behavior and filing for divorce)
    -I didn’t feel good enough for you
    -I didn’t feel enough love and affection from you
    -I didn’t think it would matter, you are always mad at me anyway
    – the condoms you found (huge box!!) are for after we divorce and I start dating in a few months, but I will not use them until the divorce is final (said in a noble and moral way, forgetting he has been with 25 plus hookers while married- but that is “different”! According ton him because he never “enjoyed it.”
    -if you leave me, I will never date again, it will be the end of me
    -I kept the secret email so I could use it for dating in a few months if you divorce me
    -I kept the track phone you found, the one I said I threw away, because it didn’t expire until May. I might have needed it for something and I was waiting to “tell yu everything.” Then if you still wanted to divorce me, i knew it wouldn’t matter if I saw another hooker.
    -if yubeyldnjuat give me a post nup and take this divorce off my back, I would never do it again
    -I wasn’t honest on my taxes because I wanted to give you and the kids a good life (aka he wanted to have secret money for his hookers- we would have had a good life if he had been honest too)
    -I had cluster b (dosagnosed BPD/NPD) but now I found God and will never do it (hookers)again. (A few hours later I discovered he did it again)
    – I saw the hookers because I was acting out and sabatouging myself- it was a cry for help but you still shut me out (boundaries, we were separated, he was supposed to be proving himself)
    -my therapist didnt tell me to go to a 12 step program and didn’t tell me about my cluster b early enough, so it’s his fault
    -it was just a slip up, the literature said to expect it to happen
    -it is the same problem (7 years of lying and hooker use). I would stop if you took me back for real and went “all in.”
    – I always used protection
    -I only had a few uncovered blowjobs
    -I only did oral on the hookera teoce, not every time
    -I wished I was with you while it was happening
    -we only talked in the hotel room
    -i didn’t have sex with “ALL” of them- if I don’t like how they look, I just get a blow job (said as if he deserved a medal)
    -I was lonely and isolated (after being kicked out for said hooker behavior that didn’t stop)

    I am sure there is more/ but here is what I remember odd the top of my head from his excuses/ ugh…

    • Sigh, the justifications. And the whole “blow jobs are not real sex” deal is so typical. Hello? It is called oral SEX. It is an actual sexual activity. It is not knitting, ya know? Sheesh.

    • Oh, what a dreamboat! A lot of these sound very familiar to me… but no longer part of my day, because I ‘got a life’!
      I love the blatant contradictions. He sounds like he needs some serious help, of course they don’t like to go that route, it’s more fun to surround yourself with phoneys, or drinking buddies, or damaged AP’s.

    • Hi Butterfly,

      Any man that would go down on a hooker is clinically insane. *No one* goes down on a hooker.

      Maybe in the $5000 an hour range, but not Craigs List, now defunct Back Pages, garden variety hookers. Out of respect for people who might be eating or have weak stomachs, I will not detail why, but believe me: It is simply not done.

      My sister did her Masters Thesis on one aspect of sex workers and she still does outreach for sex workers. (She is an odd duck). I know far too much about them.

      Throw a jubilant party today, hell- hire a caterer, that you escaped this filth.

      • Yes it doesn’t make sense- maybe it was an affair or a hookup site- I have no idea and never will.

        • Here’s the beautiful part- you don’t have to figure it out! He is a nauseating freak and you are free.

          Getting out of the fog of their filth helps us regain moral clarity. If someone we loved confessed to us they were victims of 1/10 of the behaviors these cheaters do, we would forcefully argue for them to high tail it out there. We would see and feel it in our gut.

          I was talking with a new friend yesterday and I started telling him the things Puke Bag did. I was embarrassed that I swallowed that treatment for one day. I realized how ridiculous it all sounded, that I had any hope that this person would ever behave with honor.

          That is what one solid year of no contact, and I mean not a drop of contact with gain you piercing moral clarity about the cheater.

      • I believe I would prefer that (NOT minimizing anyone’s pain!) to someone forging emotional bonds and gossiping about me with a moronic, low life whore.

        Sharing my secrets, preferences and life story with a dirty scheming c*nt is the kind of thing that makes a gal end up Snapped!
        🙁

        • ??? You lost me.

          No…it is hell. I am private person, and he spilled his guts to a felon lunatic about MY life: my job, my family history, my finances. It was a double betrayal. He shared with this beast matters I told him in strict confidence. A person who has a criminal history of theft.

          In my case, because of my job and my tendency to worry, I would have rather it had been big pools of anonymous sex workers than a vindictive, nothing to lose criminal who inexplicably hated me when she was the interloper.

          I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I hope it doesn’t.

    • I had a hooker cheater too. Can someone lease explain to me how sex with a hooker/stripper isn’t “really” cheating? Um cheating is any sex that happens with any person but your spouse. So, how isn’t this cheating? Is it not cheating because this sex (including blowjobs) isn’t sex? Is it not cheating because the hooker isn’t a “person?” Is it not cheating because you aren’t really their spouse (despite the fact that you had a wedding in front of 200 people and filed a license at the courthouse)? The fact that you fucked someone other than me does not hurt LESS because you spent thousands of my dollars that could have been used to pay off a mortgage, put into a college fund for children, or feed us. It hurts MORE.

      Idiots.

      • It is cheating. They will use any excuse to get away with it. Mine changes his reasons for using the hookers, first he was curious, then he was stressed, then he used it as a coping mechanism, then he did it because of his disorder, then he got an official diagnosis and did it again and did it because he “finally” learned what that disorder was (BPD/NPD), then he did it because I wouldn’t give him a chance (after all of those chances), then he did it because I didn’t sign a post up, then he did it because he was lonely and gave up. He calls it all (7 years and over 20 hookers) “one big mistake.” I have to detach, or it would surely make me crazy. Keeping my eye on the prize…being divorced and free of it!

        • Of course it is cheating. It is six one/half dozen the other. It is choosing between a kick in the head or stomach.

          I hate having a face and life story that rises up in my mind, who inexplicably hated me (?) and I worried about him giving her my SS# or other personal info where she could steal my identity or some other dastardly deed. (She has been convicted of theft).

          I have a tendency to ruminate or worry, so for my sanity, NOT knowing the names & faces, criminal history and proclivity to steal would have been a small blessing. I considered having a lawyer send him a letter to cease and desist revealing things about my life to her, but I knew it would just egg the freaks on.

  • Im reading a reconciler’s blog and she mentioned that she has to stop talking about the affair and how it makes her feel because her hub withdraws, counselor says its because he feels guilt and shame. My response: you just got told you need to stop talking because your needs matter less. Husband should feel shame. He’s the fuck up. So much hate. She’s happy in her cloud and I have said she needs a new counselor (and new husband) before so I didn’t push hard but wow. Talk about a mind fuck. Its gonna take a lot of therapy to undo the happy homemaker Kool-aid job she’s been drinking.

    We matter. Our lives matter. Our feelings matter. Our need to tell the fucking louse that they put us through the wringer matters. It should matter more because we are the ones who didn’t do this shit. Who didn’t rip everyone’s lives to pieces and then pretend the plan was a paper mache craft the whole time. I may have burned dinner or didn’t listen all the time or didn’t get into his clown fetish (what do you mean that’s not where the red nose goes?) or whatever. … But I was there.

    I remember one day when we had spent days of basically passing by. Sleeping in bed and barely talking and me being so fucking perfect- pack lunches make dinner set up coffee do laundry clean stuff… Feeling like we were on the edge of a fight but him continually saying he was fine. I said- ‘Im not. Im lonely. Its like you’re not even here. It would be better to be in a fight because at least you would care enough to emote at me. I am with you all the time but I am so lonely.’ and he said sorry. Maybe this is what we are.

    Now I know he was not getting his needs met by me- because he was getting them with every other woman who accepted payment for services. And add to that he was holding back from me because he felt so damn guilty. Funny how guilt makes him treat me like shit instead of actually making him adresss and change his behavior with the escorts. Again, somehow Im the one who gets the shaft.

    Amazing. Amazing. We are always left holding the bag. Its full of garbage or shit. Funny enough the one thing cheater did regularly was take out the trash. The irony

    • Creativerational,

      Maybe you could have met his needs better by charging him for sex. A schedule of fees and services might have done the trick, ….

      No offense intended. I’m not trying to imply that you actually are hooker. Just pointing out another irony.

      Respect. Hugs. Strength. Peace.
      aeronaut

      • Hahahaha oh yeh. Another rub. Our barely existent sexlife required that storyline if there was a chance of actual completion. I am very open and happy to get freaky, role play would be great. Im happy to play all ways. But now this storyline of the happy hooker is ruined. No more London callgirl adventures for this girl. because I just see it as he needed to be with people he was paying to actually enjoy himself. In order to enjoy me he had to pretend I was just another hooker. Really… I don’t meet his needs because I am me. (Now Im diving down the philosophy rabbithole).

        No offense taken its both brilliant funny and supportive. I love when people provide insight to my comments.

        • Clown fetish? This cheaters are so twisted by the porn they consume. It just gets weirder and weirder. Mine liked female bodybuilders. Sick,sick, fucks.

          • There isn’t a clown fetish that I know of i am just being cheeky. I honestly want people to get what they need if it harms no one. I mean, the floppy shoes, pants that everyone can fit into, weird wigs and face paint … Its not that different than the normal bar scene I hear about ….

    • Creativerational–have you not ditched that MFer already? Dress him in a trash bag and let him take himself out.

      • I am slow and steady. I am NC and 4 hours away by plane. That’s big.

        But I will make my decision based on me.

        I have a nice affordable spot for me and i am getting back to awesome at my job. This is winning. My current regimine to keep myself balanced is insane but it helps keep my anxiety at bay. My health is my priority. I am away from him and that’s enough.

        • I’m sure it’s better away from him, but I hate to hear there’s still anxiety to keep at bay. You deserve better. Drinks are on me when your ordeal is over.

          • I have pre-existing its just worse when you mix in the evil of betrayal. But yes. Drinks. All the drinks. On the upside- — Im here and Im commenting. Flicker of a flame will turn to a fire.

    • Oh yes I remember the loneliness,feeling so abandoned I couldn’t breathe, looking at the back f his head for hours while he played games. ” Can’t you look at me when we’re talking?” I would ask ( beg). ” No, it’s ok, I can do both” was always the answer. Once I asked him if he could just lie down with me for a bit before he went out at nights , just cuddle while I was still awake. I cannot believe how small i was, how little I asked for- but I still didn’t get it.I live alone 50% of the time now, when I don’t have the kids, and I am perfectly content with my own company ( plus a menagerie of pets).

  • Being in a relationship means shifting from “what can you do for me” to “what can I do for you”, from business to carrying.

  • My parents were happily married for 52 years, until my father’s death. Were there unmet needs? Sure. My father had little in common with my mother in many ways. My mother would’ve liked my father to associate with friends outside of his world, the music business. She would have liked him to be more physically demonstrative in public. But they made it work. My mother always had to be right. She could never apologize to my father even if she was in the wrong. But they loved and liked each other and enjoyed the things they did have in common: food and most importantly their children–The Sacred Family. The unmet needs weren’t so profound. They worked around them.

    After my father died, I asked my mother what was the key to their happiness and longevity and relatively few fights. She said incredulously–like, “What a silly question, isn’t obvious?”–“If one of us knew something would hurt the other, we didn’t do it!”

    Duh.

    • “If one of us knew something would hurt the other, we didn’t do it!”

      This. It’s the rule I lived by. Wish my STBX would have done the same. He knew going to strip clubs would hurt me. He did it anyway. There was more things he did to hurt me over the years and I always forgave him, spackled and ignored those red flag feelings, but when I found out about this, and the lies to cover it up, it was the deal breaker.

      • My IC nailed it:

        Patsy, can you see that his affair was the final unacceptably hurtful PART OF A PATTERN?

        He saw who he was instantly. Then the struggle came in getting this Chump to accept the truth of the matter.

        I eventually got it when IC lost his temper and yelled ‘HE IS A NARCISSIST! HE IS NEVER GOING TO CHANGE!’

        But that did take a very long time …

  • ABSOLUTELY spend any money you were going to sink into marital counseling with a cheater on Pinecone elves. This is a no-brainer. The elves are adorable and will give you hours and hours of satisfaction. A cheater? MC? not so much.

    And, hey, RIC–want the long list of MY needs that were unmet? We can start with living a life of drudgery and only getting 5 hours sleep per night for over a decade so that my X could have a fab career and social life boinking students. Then we can move on to my need for just a smidgen of kindness now and again to quell the loneliness. And yet my privates stayed private.

    • LOL! Thank you! Pinecone elves! I’m guessing I could have at least a room full of them. At least I would have something to look at for the money. Oh well, my bad but great advice for new chumps!

  • My fuckwit started with the ole “we grew apart” bullshit….and then later in MC I have to hear how he felt like I didn’t need him….how he felt like he was always “number 4” after the 2 kids and the dog….oh please….what a whiny, self-centered weak bastard I married 34 years ago….I had to “explain” to him all the times where I most definitely needed him during some different times in our marriage….I needed love, support, encouraging words…but I got either silence, some kind of anger because he always seemed to get scared when his wife was suffering in some way…his defense mech was anger. Or he would tell me “you should go talk to someone” or “you should go get some meds”. Sounds real loving and supportive. I have come to realize that he is incapable of real adult emotion and empathy. So through this process after D day 1 and again on D day 2….I was totally too hard on myself…like many of us here, I thought about what I could have done differently to have possibly prevented my fuckwit from making the choice to cheat on me….and I actually asked him, ” what can I do, say or be differently for you that can help us rebuild our marriage?” And he would look at me with puppy dog eyes and say “oh no, it’s not you it’s me….I can’t think of anything I would want you do differently!???? For real….once again can’t speak any truths at all as he would never want to deal with any kind of difficult discussions over our life together…I married a child and he remains a fucking child…..And after all that pick me dance bullshit, I find out about another affair that he carried on for 15 years…..almost half our married life together!!!! What a fucking idiot I was….well, no more. I am on the road to divorce now for sure and on my terms. Fuck that bastard for putting me in a position to be betrayed, humiliated and suffer so much emotional and physical pain…I wouldn’t wish this kind of suffering on my worst enemy…not even him.

    Thank you to CL and Chump Nation for the opportunity to vent, share and learn. Hugs to all of you!!

  • Unmet needs?

    One does not have a duty to be a perfect spouse. One has a duty to be the best spouse one can be for their partner. So if a chump doesn’t meet their spouse’s needs perfectly, it’s all right for the spouse to cheat? Sorry, not buying that argument.

    Cashmere summed it up with points 1, 9, and 10. (The rest are specifics that violate these three.)

    Almost all spouses expect:

    1) A faithful partner.
    9) A partner who does not lie compulsively.
    10) A partner who respects their spouse, their marriage, and their children, and who observes reasonable and ethical behavioral boundaries to protect all of those.

    Now, when a cheater doesn’t meet those needs, well, it’s only fair and natural that the chump look outside the marriage to have them met. You know, by dissolving the marriage and maybe marrying someone else.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.
    aeronaut

      • Agreed. But it’s probably safer to include those two specific points, so that slippery word salad master cheaters can’t wriggle their way out of #10. “I respect you greatly, it was just sex with her, and I hid it from you to protect your feelings.” Don’t want that BS to have any traction.

        Peace.
        aeronaut

  • I realised that telling the fucker what he put me through was the proverbial water off a duck’s back.I wasted sooooo much energy trying to get him to own what he did before I realised he was a stone cold sociopath ,so devoid of decency and conscience that he literally gave no fucks.Blameshifting is just another part of the sociopath’s MO.
    He has discarded my replacement and moved on to his next victim.
    The guy should have a warning tatooed on his forehead.

    • Very true. They cannot hear it, even if they pretend to for awhile, at first. The blameshift is just easier, and has the added bonus of being an acceptable story to tell family, friends, and colleagues: “Oh, he/she and I were just not a match–I tried for years, but just couldn’t make it work.” Covers so many sins, and generates sympathy, to boot. Poor unhappy cheater!

  • My stbx’s unmet needs list

    – I didn’t ride his motorcycle with him
    – I complained about his insatiable born habit and constant flirting with other women
    -I didn’t do enough to manufacture my kids lives with the popular kids
    – I didn’t make everyone in the house stick to his strict paleo diet, thus it was my fault he ate a gallon of ice cream in one sitting, and of course my fault he was fat, even though he spent 3 hours a day at the gym
    – I didn’t work out with him enough
    – I didn’t pay him enough attention
    – I didn’t spend enough time socializing (kind of hard when he never so much as picked up a toilet brush and refused to “babysit” our kids. Uh, watching your own kids is called parenting, not babysitting!
    – I didn’t make our kids read enough during the summer
    – Our son has a learning disability because I allow him to be lazy… and he couldn’t handle he has a child that’s not a genius
    – He needed me to need him, but I’m too needy (WTF!)
    – I wasn’t nice enough to his mother
    – I didn’t hang pictures and create an environment to make him appreciate his family
    – I let our kids watch TV
    – He planned on moving to San Diego after college, and didn’t because we met.
    – I didn’t have enough faith in god and we didn’t pray together enough

    Pretty much life is why he cheated – but of course life is my fault ?

    • Caring for your own kids is not “babysitting”

      Absolutely, my cheater unknown to me hated that he had look after his own kids. to drop his kids to school when I returned to full time work, though he worked 2 mins from their school, was what brought about D’day. He occasionally picked them up from after school care over the years also, things that most do as a part of co-parenting three kids. No not cheater. In our court docs he claimed having to do this was because I was a neglectful mother, I was lazy which forced him to have to do it. I was working earning more and than he did.

      Yet now he drops the step kids most days to the same school and picks them up because he hardly works to reduce child support (no longer works 2 mins away got walked from that job) also picks up other people’s kids and drives them home, kids of people who know he is a cheating narc but are so grateful of how nice he is to help them out.

      • Have met a couple of divorced dads who refer to parenting/having their kids for the weekend as “babysitting”.
        Next.

    • Of course it is your fault! Sarcasm. So many things on your list are on mine! My friend suggested we sell bumper stickers that read ” Got problems- just blame ‘my name’!” Maybe we could change it to “Got problems- just blame a chump!”

      • YES! I just laugh now when the kids tell me their dad was blaming me for something. Maybe I should give him one of those bumper stickers ?

    • I got the prayer and faith BS too! So, she resorted to praying on her knees with the former youth minister! Some people are just really screwed up. They break a couple of the ten commandments (Only words God himself ever wrote) because you didn’t pray with them???????

  • If only . . . Cheaters brother hadn’t died or had I cleaned better, cooked better, gave blow jobs, worked more, child minded better then ex would not have started up a relationship with needy Alcoholic Aunty whorey.

    It truly is amazing what us chumps do to ourselves and settle for when usually absolutely none of OUR needs were being met.

    **** and at no time did it ever cross my mind to cheat on his using lying selfish cheating ass.

  • I thought this level of thinking only existed in the realms of Jesus cheaters.

    No one cared about my needs in the marriage, not even after D’day while I cared for my kids one who was really ill. While I put our kids first dragging myself out of bed each day. Cheater just lived his free and easy life sponging off his mother, while the church played the shared blame card.

    When this didn’t work they moved on to the demonic possession claim. They also tried to claim I suffered from a spirit of rejection that was fueling desire for divorce and if left unresolved would lead to my rejecting them and eventually God. No understanding of my being angry, upset, fed up with all the lies and deceit. The years of being made feel worthless, because from the very beginning of our relationship he viewed me as plan B, which he actually told friends 12 months before D’day when asked how we met, we had been together 18 yrs and suddenly I learn I’m plan B.

    I wasn’t the only one who’s needs we’re not being met by cheater. A few months after D’day I asked my eldest how he felt about his dad no longer living with us. His response was that for him nothing had changed, there was just one less person in the house. Cheater will never understand that he had emotionally checked out on us, something I often brought up in an attempt to get him to engage. I repeatedly got the sad sausage routine which played me like a fiddle, I would find myself feeling sorry him and at times apologetic for even bringing it up. Because he would question my intentions, and I would be left feeling like some heartless bitch. This went on for years.

    Following D’day, The expectations was I would forgive his cheating even if it was a cold hearted decision, and then wait quietly fulfilling my role as mother to our children, till advised by the Church it was time to take him back. No one even asked me what I wanted, they just kept saying “we know you have every right to divorce but we would ask that you make no decisions because we have hope for your marriage”.

    Or my fav from some small minded person One morning in the kitchen at church who knew I was separated and had witnessed me explain to the church that morning that my 9 yr old had cancer her comment “your just like me, I ran away from my marriage once too” WTF?????

    • No, this level of thinking permeates the Switzerland friends, too. Amazes me how they want to remain friends with chumps who were so deficient that the chump’s spouse HAD to stray to Get Those Unmet Needs Met.

      I’m sorry the church elders considered the marriage so much more important than one of the individuals in it.

      • This level of thinking also permeates military cheaters. The all importance of the soldier, the service, and the country always outweighs the needs of the chump or the pain caused by the atrocious behavior. If you don’t like it then the failing is in you. You aren’t tough enough, loving enough, patriotic enough, devoted enough, forgiving enough. Come to think of it the Jesus cheaters and the churches that support them and the soldier cheaters and the service that protects them have a LOT in common. Mainly what they have in common is institutionalized mindfuck, gaslighting, and abuse.

  • My ex told me a year before DDay that we couldn’t have sex anymore because of his MS. Talk about MY unmet needs. I was looking at decades in a sexless marriage while he declined steadily from disease. Yet I didn’t cheat on him or even contemplate abandoning him. It turns out he was lying — he was banging the au pair.

  • Yum…the Unmet Needs Paradigm

    The other day I went to my local bakery that only had jelly doughnuts left by midday and my needs required their speciality pumpkin hash muffin. Shouldn’t the bakery be responsible for not acknowledging that stoners don’t get up until late afternoon and then be subjected to failure of stoner muffin availability.

    Due to my unmet need of a stoner muffin I was in distress and robbed an old lady on my way to my pot dealer by the name of Lars, who happens to live adjacent to the alley that prostitutes loiter, and after a quick $20 dollar sex act that only soothed me temporarily. I then stumbled down the alley and came a across a tattoo parlor, run by Zena the Tarot Card Reader who failed to warn me of my eminent arrest of robbing of random old lady.

    I was unfairly arrested due to my original unmet need of a pumpkin hash muffin and all events that transpired resulted due to my unmet needs.

    I’m presently suing the bakery, Lars my pot dealer, pimp of hooker and Zena the Tarot card reader who were responsible for me being charged with robbery all the while I am victim to unmet needs as a connoisseur of pumpkin hash muffins.

    I’m considering a go fund me page to help fund for legal fees and the unfairness that has been wrought upon me.

    Namaste Y’all and I pray no one suffers the ordeal I’m going through.

    • Love it!

      You have written a great adult parody of “if you give a mouse a cookie”. You could publish it and make money- nah, cause then you might have to take responsibility- stick with the lawsuits!

    • Nailed it! That shit makes my head spin! But, those with rational thoughts of right and wrong think in black and white right?

      …. Speaking of, add that to stbx’s list of complaints… “he cheated because I see everything in black and white”

  • Yes! Yes! Yes! You are so spot on with this today. I was in that rabit hole trying to figure out what I had done wrong and how to fix it. I know I am not perfect and actually felt bad for him because he had been “hurting” so much before he started to stray. The turning point for me was when he looked at me one evening during this phase and said “Have you done any self reflection at all?” That is when I realized two things. Nothing I said or did or tried to fix to please him would ever be enough and he hadn’t done any self reflection and really didn’t care about whether or not my needs were being met. Of course I still wanted to reconcile, I just wanted him to do his part. It took me a few more months to realize that he was never going to own his shit or do anything about it even if he did. Only his needs matter, mine, not so much. He is sort of trying to pay attention to the kids needs, but that is mostly just to make himself feel better so he can say that at least he didn’t abandon his kids (just the wife who wasn’t meeting his “needs”). Meanwhile he and Schmoopie will be running themselves ragged trying to meet each others needs. It will be fun for a while until it’s not anymore.

  • My cheater said I was condescending and didn’t like when I brushed my teeth while sitting on my side of the bed reading through my email. I got his cat, our daughter, house & the dog…#WINNER

    • I think “condescending” equals intelligent. The lengths the disordered go to, to live double lives and then when the gig is up to ditch them. What’s not to like about a few quirks? It’s human, right? I’d take “sitting on the side of the bed brushing my teeth and checking email” over a sneaky lying crappy cheating ugly racquetball player any day. And yes to our beautiful children, a dog, seven cats, twenty plus years of furniture, and household belongings, a boat, an old truck, a car, and a foreclosed dream home on twenty acres, all mine. #Winner ? (but that is what I call him! In a sarcastic belittling condescending kind of way). Eight years out and I have very little materially but those kids? Worth a million ???each!

  • Ahhhhhhh! My hair is on fire! These F’d up marriage counselors need to be slapped. What about the chump’s “unmet needs” for decent, honesty, ability to trust?

    My 60 year old pervert STBX……fancies himself a young lad….virile, hot, sexy……despite what the mirror says is true (fat ugly gut, balding head with age spots, rotting brownish-yellow teeth and a limpish pecker).

    No amount of weight loss, sexy lingerie, sweet talk, forgiveness will make cheaters see themselves realistically. The problem is in THEM- not the chumps they screw over. No one can force anyone to do anything!!! No one can drive anyone to do harmful things.

  • I think my favorite excuse for why my cheater didn’t leave me but rather stole money out of our bank accounts for whores and presents for girlfriends is, “But you were always so nice to me. I couldn’t just dump you.”

    Gee, thanks for doing me the favor, asshole! You’re such a prize, I guess you and your STDs and stealing were my reward for being nice to you. Lucky me.

  • I have one word for these ass hat marriage counselors:

    TIMSHEL – Hebrew word for “Thou Mayest”- meaning thou has a choice. Likewise- Thou also “Mayest not”- meaning Thou can choose to NOT harm others (John Steinbeck, East of Eden).

    No one drives these fuckwads to cheating- except themselves and their sense of “entitlement.”

  • What about the unmet needs of a wife/partner with NO sex life- because he’s whacking off to porn and webcam hoes? Porn and web cam hoes….give them ED with real partners/wives.

  • I can’t remember the last time someone “made me cheat” – or made me hold up a liquor store.

  • OOOh!, ooh! I got one! {You know, when reading something that upsets your inner being- you know you are hitting a sore spot, still.}
    — — — —
    XH complained that I was too critical and “called him names”, this is true.
    — At counseling I made a promise to myself to just quit – cold turkey. I did. I did not even call him pet names, (no “Dear”, “Baby” or “Honey”, either to see if he would even notice.) After ten months of this, I thought this was a great example of change — I was really patting myself on the back for kicking an obnoxious habit so completely – but I did not ballyhoo this, I was always told that by CHANGING the behavior will make it evident – you do not need to announce it.

    Except in counseling the next spring, while he was complaining (listing) again of all my faults of the past week, I pointed out the improvement I made. Most notably the name calling but also huge financial turn around..

    “Well”, the counselor turned and then addressed my then husband, “How do you see the name calling issue?”
    He sadly sniffed. “It’s been a little bit better…”. I almost fell out of my chair! I pointed out that I had quit calling him PET names too – but he simply denied that happened. I was stunned.
    In that moment the spackle mirror just shattered, along with my ideals. He did not realize it, but in that moment he threw a hammer into the relationship.

    THAT’S when I knew, folks, really knew that there was absolutely no point in returning to counseling with this man. I was never going to win, I was never going to improve enough, he was enjoying the “critiquing ” of my daily efforts, while putting ZERO in himself, except bestowing the honor of staying in the marriage with gumpy old me….

    It was never going to change, I was never going to be good enough, the tattle tale list of my misdeeds were continuously going to be paraded around – (most notably to his creepy, cheating brothers.. ewwwww.) We stayed married a little while longer, I thought he had really became more realistic about life — and whatever he was going through was past – then BOOM – BD.

  • My self centered POS STBX never “acted sexy” either. Sticking your dick out at your wife….does not mean she will drop what she’s doing and jump on it. Cooking, toddler on my ankle/newborn in my arms, cleaning the bathroom….getting ready for work somehow meant sexy time for the pervert.

    Wives are not prostitutes.

  • All the ways a chump is failing their partner, which caused them to cheat,
    hmmmm, pretty hard to do that when the cheater puts the cheating ahead of that important discussion.
    That is why we are all here!

  • Often many OW and OM ignore their own children during and after an affair.
    As sick and sad as this sounds, I’m finding it be very common.

    So I ask the RIC and cheaters;
    What needs were the kids not meeting?

    • We don’t bring kids into this world to meet our needs.
      We bring them into this world to meet theirs.

      So anyone who doesn’t help meet their kids needs, well, write them off and move on.

      Peace,
      aeronaut

  • Luckily for me, I knew none of it was my fault. My issue was being devastated and confused regarding the ‘why’. Why did he do this? Who is he? That lasted well over a year.

    While trying to figure things out, though I knew it wasn’t about me, that’s when I forgot my worth.

    Never again will I do something like this! It really has hardened me to the joys of a relationship. Haven’t had one since…..3 1/2 years and I’m good!

  • Oh my God, this resonates so deeply. After I discovered ex’s nearly 2 year affair with his howorker, I dove deep into the RIC, spent way too much money on “save my marriage” programs and twisted myself into knots trying looking back at how I could have done/been better over the last 15 years. Because raising two kids, keeping the house together, keeping myself together while he traveled for work more than 50% of the time was not enough. After he finally left me for howorker (they’re now engaged) and I discovered CL and CN, I started to clue in to how much all that was bullshit. If unmet needs caused people to cheat, I would have been jumping on every dick I could find.
    Now, 2 years after D-day, after he swore he had come clean about all of his dastardly deeds, divorce is final, and I’m well on my way to meh… He sends me an email saying that because he knows I appreciate honesty, and because he wants me to have “closure,” he decided it was time to be completely honest with me. He then proceeds to tell me that in addition to the howorker, he had 7 one night stands over the course of our marriage, starting when I was having fertility problems and continuing through the years I was pregnant and nursing our two sons.
    If there is any silver lining, it’s that it erased any last doubt that any of this was about me “not meeting his needs.” This is about him being a serial cheater and a selfish asshole. If howorker knows about everything and is still willing to hitch her wagon to that imploding star, she’s even dumber than I thought.

    • Closure? More like – Pay attention to meeeeee you Chump! Where do you think you’re going, on to a better life? Here’s a crumb for you- I cheated even worse than you thought! I want you to think about me again, waaahhh!

      • Or maybe it’s his fucked up twisted way of trying to convince himself that he’s still a “good” person, because look at him, he’s being honest! he’s coming clean. No. He’s a toxic waste dump of a human being. And now he gets to go home to his garbage bag while I get to reexamine the entirety of my marriage (instead of just the last 2 years) and have flashbacks and anxiety attacks like I had after d-day. Thanks for your honesty, asshat!

    • “If unmet needs caused people to cheat, I would have been jumping on every dick I could find.”

      Right?! In retrospect, I fooled myself into thinking he ever met any need I had as I was so desperate to keep that marriage intact. Turdd was my second husband. Another divorce was not an option. He turned out to be the the most disgusting and vile person I had the misfortune of knowing intimately. He makes my first husband look like a keeper.

      Your cheater is a special kind of asshole. I think he may be Turdd’s long lost twin. I am so glad you are free of Mr. Honesty.

    • He did that to twist the knife in deeper. Or perhaps he sensed you were reaching a state of apathy about him and wanted to make sure he was still on your radar. His motivation does not matter.

      But know that you need no more proof that you escaped with your life from a disordered, cruel, heartless monster.

      I am sorry he did that to you. He is despicable.

    • good lord, i think in all fairness you should reciprocate and give him some finally needed closure too. How about letting him know that every time you told him he was the best, you were trying to build up his ego. You were just being nice not to harm his feelings but now he should know, in all honesty of course, that a dildo is better in bed.

      • I know right?
        “I stopped wanting to french kiss you because you never brush your teeth and your breath smells like dog farts.”

    • “if unmet needs caused people to cheat, I would have been jumping on every dick I could find.” LOL! So true!

  • A lot of the books, even the ones that are generally considered “good,” ultimately end up in the morass of “unmet needs.” I binned “After the Affair” and “Just Friends” after I found CL/CN for that very reason. Both wandered into telling BSs that they needed to accept that it takes two to tango and they needed to see how their behavior contributed to the affair. Thank you CL for showing me what BS for BSs that was!

  • My husband complained that I cleaned the house to much. I divorced him and met a man who loves a clean house. Problem solved. Now my needs are met.

  • I’ve found personally, that “unmet needs” is a moving target. My STBX could never decide what he really wanted or needed in a partner. One day it’s that he needs more sex, the next is that we have sex too much. One day it’s that I don’t cook the food he wants, the next it’s that we have too many leftovers in the fridge. He changes the rules daily so as to keep me on my toes.

    My other problem with “unmet needs” is that at the end of the day, there is NO reward for having tried to meet his needs. Instead, I as the chump am met with yet more demands (as CL says). Additionally, there’s a lot of wasted time in my relationship with obfuscation and “defining” the needs and then later on down the road, the narrative changes and he rewrites history so meeting the needs are impossible. All of this keeps the cheater in the spotlight. The past 12 years have seen me worrying so much about his needs and trying to meet all of them that I’ve forgotten what my needs, wants and desires really are. The reward for trying to meet all the “unmet needs” for a cheater is cheating, entitlement and dry drunk behavior. With these disordered types who are incapable of meeting their own needs, the only thing one should gather about “unmet needs” is that it’s a non-starter.

    • “The past 12 years have seen me worrying so much about his needs and trying to meet all of them that I’ve forgotten what my needs, wants and desires really are. ”

      That’s what happened to me too! And when my husband left, even though it felt like our whole family did nothing but try to please him and make him happy, he said I hadn’t done enough. I remember thinking, “I throw in the towel, then, because I don’t know how I could do any more.” I remember hearing a tiny, weak voice in the pit of my soul say, “What about MY needs? What about MY life?” That was beginning of my long recovery.

  • I am a new chump here, and like so many, I did what I thought was the right thing and went to a counselor. My goal was to help me establish boundaries (which I said right away, as well as on the form i had to fill out).

    During the first few minutes of my time with her, I gave her a brief background (married 29 years, two kids in college, no drugs or alcohol abuse, etc.).

    The next thing up was why was I seeing her. Because my husband of 29 years is fucking a 31 year old unemployed heroin addict with multiple tattoos and piercings. At this point, I have been there maybe 15 minutes and she says: “OH – HE IS A SEX ADDICT AND YOU ARE HURTING AND SUFFERING FROM POST TRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROME!”

    Uh – no… he is just a plain old garden variety cheater and i am pissed off. So, i told her that (nicely and lady like, of course) and she then asked me if I would act out on my anger? Uh – no: i am not going to go postal or anything (although I did swish his toothbrush through the toilet).

    She then goes on to explain how counseling would work – i’d meet with her; my plain old garden variety cheater would meet with her counselor husband, and then we would meet together with the two of them. Just one round of that hopium would set us back $450! Something tells me that problem wouldn’t get resolved in just one round.

    She then recommends that I read a book call “mending the shattered heart”. I had to quit reading after 20 pages; apparently all cheaters are sex addicts and that they may “slip or relapse”. bullshit.

    I accept 50% of the blame for whatever marital problems we may have (although I wasn’t aware there were any significant ones). I accept 0% for HIS affair. The night I finally confronted him, I told him that his affair was not my fault. No matter how he tried to spin it, I didn’t unzip his pants, or open his wallet, to support this whore. All this was before I found this website.

    And off of this is to say “THANK YOU”. Right now, I am not sure where this journey will lead me, but I am confident that I will be okay.

  • This really hits home for me right now. My sister and I were discussing summer plans and I brought up that my ex PIL are allowing their relationship with their grandson (my son) to suffer. She told me that I could not blame them for their son’s actions. Huh? Yep and she intimated that it was partly my fault that the Ex cheated because I homeschooled. I’m 3 years out from DDay and I get this shit!?!?! Um, no sis. He cheated because he didn’t communicate with me. And he’s an asshole with shit coping skills. We agreed that homeschooling was right for us. IF he changed his mind, he should have told me. *I* was doing all the work. Yes, we made sacrifices of our time together but that’s on HIM if he wasn’t happy. She basically accused me of ruining my marriage by homeschooling my child. She said, “You homeschooled for James (my son”. well, yeah, duh. Of course I did it for him. I (we) thought it was best.

    Those who haven’t been through this and view a marriage from the outside, think they see everything. She insinuted that *I* was tired and I should have stopped…and I should have known he didn’t want to homeschool anymore. So I should have been a mindreader. BTW, my sister hates homeschooling as much as we hate a cheater.

    • Sorry you have such an unsupportive sister! I homeschool too- gotta be the reason-NOT! I think cheater supported the idea because it met his narc need to not have to abide by someone elses schedule. My reasons were many and evolved over the years. He certainly never helped with homeschooling.

      In my case and I am guessing yours, in laws need to take some blame. They have never said no to their son. They gave him a place to live when he first moved out and cut off the grandkids because they don’t want to be around their dad. Mil said to me “but your relationship was bad for years”. Funny,he didn’t tell me that. He just said “you have a problem and you need help”. I only recently figured out how he gaslighted me for years.

      My mother in law and husband are so intertwined, it would take a surgeon to get them apart and I don’t know if they could survive the operation. I wonder how his whore will be with it.

      • Yeah, only recently has my sister been rather unsupportive and hurtful. It’s the homeschool thing. And breastfeeding. I like to make life hard for myself you see. Heaven forbid I had very good, reasonable arguments for why I did both of those things. (she did not and seems to see it as a judgement on her. not. even. close). There were things that were an issue in our marriage before I homeschooled. like, he wanted to have rich friends as close friends. He looked up to them…and wanted to use them. Never mind that one of them was a retired pilot with a drinking problem and the other was a narc. I never liked either one of them.

        The ex’s parents are just lazy in their relationship with my son. We live in different states, they have a new grandson who lives 10 minutes away and I see the writing on the wall. They will ALLOW their relationship with my son to fade. I’d like to be proven wrong but…. MIL tried to blame me for pushing her son away because after I kicked him out, I changed my marital status on FB to Separated. Well, I was!! we were!!

  • This post made me laugh so hard. And i needed that today.

    My position on this is: Marriages are social contracts. They are not as important as people. When one person breaks the contract through infidelity of any kind, the other spouse’s first obligation is to secure and protect his or her own emotional, financial, spiritual and physical health. The second obligation is to re-establish integrity and honesty in the family through telling the truth. The third is to secure a physical place and resources to heal.

  • Thank YOU! This advice applies to more than just the cheater in my life.

    My experience was that I tried to fix all of my short comings. It was positive reinforcement for his crappy behavior. Instead of stopping his cheating it created an incentive.

    I am so thankful for your advice and support.

  • Before cheater and I married I went to 3 different priests, trying to get married in the church of the faith I was raised in. At that time this was impossible if both partners would not sign a paper declaring to raise their children in this religion. I had been having doubts and as I struggled at this time in my life I came to see that religion, as I had been taught, was not the teaching I wished for my children. I wanted them to know right from wrong. I wanted them to be good, moral people and in life to treat others as they wished to be treated.
    We were married in a church, but as it was not a church in my parent’s religion, my parents, my siblings ( still living with my parents), did not attend my wedding. I felt very sad, but I did not resent them. I held no anger against them. I had been raised strictly in this religion. I know what it preached and I did understand why they did not attend.
    A long story, but it has to do with the cheater’s big excuse of why he cheated. He felt he had to be husband, lover, friend, father, mother, sibling, everything, to me, because I lost all these people when I married him. He never forgave them, never.
    It was 100 percent bull crap that he was all of these people to me. He wasn’t even the one he signed on for, the husband! NO.HE.WAS.NOT.
    This man would tell me nothing of the affair, but he did manage to get this sob of an excuse words out of his mouth.
    Poor sausage.
    CL CN, you have allowed me to voice some of the happenings I squished into the bottom of my heart. There is much chumps can’t say, but some days little bits of it escapes and our heart feels a little better with each sharing.
    Dear chumps, I read of you dealing with cancer, struggling to get child support, losing your job, losing your home. So many struggles, yet you come here to CL, CN with your dignity, your strength, your wonderful sense of humour. You are intact, you are mighty!
    I feel privileged to take your hand and join you in this circle of friends, of CL,CN!?

    • So, he wouldn’t sign agreeing to let you raise the children in your faith? So, he caused you to not marry in your church? So, he precipitated you being estranged from your family religiously? So, he made himself the only person you could call on after isolating you from all of your former support system? Then he BLAMED you for being isolated? He is an an abusive ass.

  • Our MC deserves an award for dealing with our shit. Two years, we’ve been seeing him; a year before my cheater abandoned us to have his affair. (pretty sure an emotional affair was happening before we started seeing MC, hence the marriage counseling).
    I’m the lucky one in this thread. MC recognised cheater’s psychological abuse early on in our counseling and insisted he see someone specialized in evaluating the risk the abuser presents and teaching them valuable communication skills. Of course cheater refused and proceeded to leave me and carry on with an affair. (“I’ll show them!”)
    I continued to see mc while cheater was gone. He helped me with resources for safe houses, free legal counsel, he’s helping me get into a computer drafting program, and he has no problem telling cheater that the chances of reconciliation without him getting into hardcore therapy, stopping drinking, and seeing a psychiatrist to address his OCD and bipolar issues- are zero to none. He told cheater that he couldn’t in good conscience promote the sustainability of our marriage, otherwise. Cheater tried to say that I’m a “yeller” and I am out of control. The MC just looked at him and asked him what he did to get me to that place of reactive anger. He’s known us long enough to get what kind of person I am. Which isn’t an angry yeller as cheater would like to suggest.
    I’m the lucky one.

    • You are the very lucky one indeed. Do we have a list where we can add MCs and professional like yours? I read so many horror stories from MCs that are part of the RIC that it would be nice to have a list of recommendations from Chumps.

      • I agree. I live in the South Sound in WA. (TMI?) And it’s a really liberal area. There are so many resources here for chumps like me. If there’s a list somewhere, I’d like to add some names to it. Professional support is so validating. Especially when personal support isn’t available. (I’m isolated from friends and family).

        • I live in Seattle. You’re not alone. I think the Pacific NW is due for a spring get-together. Do you know how to find the forum? There’s a place there to plan get-togethers which are wonderful.

  • My first D-Day corresponded with Tracy being booted off the RIC websites/forums. I caught one of replies/posts and then she was gone. I recall her being mentioned as both a pariah and a savior. I remember someone being warned about mentioning her ideas.

    It was a solid two years that I participated in the torture known as RIC. I even had one foot in both RIC and Chump Nation but once you hear the truth it is hard to swallow the lie no matter how much you want it to go down.

    The RIC is so harmful that it should be considered criminal in my opinion. If a medical doctor or psychiatrist did what the RIC does they would lose their licenses. I would love to know how many people the RIC is responsible for harming. How many suicides? How many people needing serious mental help? How many children taken away from the parent that really should have kept them? The entire system is a monster and it is a damn shame they are allowed to get away with it.

    My story is a saga of Hell. I went to jail. I thought constantly about killing myself. I checked out from my kids. I went on anti-depressants. There are no words to describe how fucked up I became. No. Words. At. All. I am not a person that pushes responsibility off on someone else but I know that if the RIC had not gotten their hands on me my suffering would have been greatly diminished. The RIC harmed me and my kids.

    Tracy, my snarky personal Jesus, is as humble as they come but she started something that has put the truth on the table. She has put forth a defense against the RIC that is nothing short of Super Hero in my opinion. I don’t know where me and my kids would be without her.

    She is right that all of us are the energy that keeps the wave she created moving but we need to do more. Any time we hear of someone dealing with infidelity we need to share Chump Nation with them. You can’t do it on the RIC websites, they ban you, but those of us not banned can send messages with nothing but the website. I was lucky to find Chump Nation. There are more of us out there that are being torn apart by the RIC and we need to do everything we can to stop the shredding machine.

  • Their unmet “needs our failure. Yup that got me, too! All a part of their LACK and our fall.

    Mine had a listed longer than our years together. Funny thing is, he was lonely for last 10 years! Yup, that is why he cheated, stole, gas lighted, neglected, belittled and lied. That is why he went on hook up sites and the like.

    Boy, you know I was on the other side of all those “unmet” needs, what the FUCK did I not see that?

    I think that is what I have the hardest time with. Ya know, being chumped that is. LOL.

    I just did not know and it was not in my radar to look for such horrors. I did not think or feel like a disordered does to even know I was closest to one of the worst kind.

    It all sucks. But today. This moment. I am free of it, I am safe, I am okay. But it still sucks and always will.

  • One of many problems with the unmet needs argument is the fallacy that the chump was getting their needs met. When describing how many unmet needs I had over the course of our marriage I would name it the same as they do in the microbiology world “TNTC” which means “Too Numerous To Count.” If I followed the logic of the RIC or the disordered wingnut I used to be married to, I should have had plenty of affairs over the years. Except I didn’t.

    I even tried having a few adult conversations about this and was met with the same belligerence one might expect they’d receive from a petulant toddler. I told myself this was normal but towards the end-like right before I found out about his affair-when among the many needs he wasn’t meeting was treating me like a human being, I decided it wasn’t normal. I was getting ready to have the conversation: “if things don’t change, I think we should separate and eventually get divorced.”

    And with that comes the second huge fallacy with the unmet needs argument: when needs aren’t met, the only possible solution for the cheater was to have an affair! No, the most decent thing to do is have the conversation that I was getting ready to have with him. It’s called being an adult and NOT being a coward.

  • My faults were many. I wasn’t young enough, thin enough, or pretty enough for him anymore. And I was “too sweet.” Not “edgy” enough.

    It was all true. After 16 years with him, I was 16 years older and I’d put on a few pounds. I think “edgy” was code for okay with his cheating, so I definitely wasn’t edgy enough.

    The spare weight came right off during the divorce, and with NC I started looking and feeling better than I had in years. The last time I saw the Fucktard, he asked why I couldn’t have done all that “for him.” That is when it occurred to me that the disordered asshat only wanted what he did not have, and that shitty mindset would follow him the rest of his miserable life. His glass would always be half empty, but he’d have to find someone else to blame.

    • What’s even funnier than that is all the while they stake the claim to us of how we have not measured up, think about it, was he a peach?

      • Oh, Jackie, no. The Fucktard was brilliant and could be witty and fun, until he wasn’t. I was a servant who washed the skidmarks out of his pants and took care of everything. And I wasn’t 20 years old forever. My bad. He just found another, younger victim. And he used my house to hook her. Okay, she wanted my life, she got it. No refunds, no returns.

  • I know in my heart of hearts that I could have met all my X’s unmet needs if I had done the following:

    -not had a job so that I could tend to home and hearth and greet him at the door dressed in saran wrap and a bow

    -not had children so as to keep his home life happy and peaceful and NEAT (he loooovvved neat)

    -not had children to be able to get 8 hours sleep a night, + keep my schedule free so that I was sexually receptive at all hours of the day

    -suggested that we have threesomes and orgies (preferably with barely-legal women) to satisfy Hannibal’s need for novelty and titillation

    -been submissive each and every time he insulted me or criticized me, to satisfy his need for power and psychological domination

    -jumped to improve myself after each criticism, instead of just thinking to myself, “he’s an asshole”

    -stopped shopping for clothes; who needs more than Victoria’s Secret lingerie plus one outfit for dinner parties?

    -watched lots of porn so that I could emulate their every move, even the ones I found degrading.

    -sporadically had plastic surgery, dyed my hair different colors, and adopted various accents so he would think I was multiple women.

    Oops!