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Paltering — Another Kind of Mindfuckery

A guest post today by UXworld on those lovely little lies of omission… Enjoy! — Tracy

A lie by any other name is still a lie (as Chump Lady so frequently reminds us), but a new variant of the dishonest bullshit we’ve all been subjected to has been given some new attention recently.

According to the dictionary, to palter is “to talk or act insincerely or deceitfully; lie or use trickery.” In the world of business and negotiation, paltering is a means of using ‘technically true’ information to get a better deal. In the world of infidelity, paltering is psychological weapon for getting, or keeping, the upper hand on a chump.

According a recent Forbes article, paltering differs from two other deceptive practices:

  • Lying by commission — the active use of false statements (i.e., flat out denying that any cheating is taking place)
  • Lying by omission — the holding back of relevant information (i.e., never mentioning that cheating is taking place)

In contrast, examples of paltering would include any statements that allow the cheater to rationalize that (s)he is telling a truthful statement, while maintaining the deception so critical to cheating — for example: “I am not seeing Schmoopie at this time.”

What’s left unsaid is: “Right now. As I stand here talking to you, my lovely chump. See? You can’t say I’m lying.”

Kunty Kibbler was an enthusiast of this particular bit of mindfuckery. One of the more harmless examples was spoken in the throes of my attempts to get her to realize what she was throwing away. She said: “I want us to be able to look back on life and be able to say, ‘what a crazy, wild ride it’s been’.”

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? And technically true. Left unsaid was that she obviously had no intention of looking back on life together with her husband. She wants that heartwarming bit of reflection solely for herself – and if I’m somehow able to say the same someday, that’s a minor kibble that she, in her awesomeness, is willing to toss my way. (In a far more insidious instance, she used several statements of paltering to lead the Carrot Singer to believe I was physically abusing her.)

Another article from the Harvard Business Review points to image management as the key motivator for paltering:

“Here is an interesting fact that explains why people prefer paltering over telling outright lies: It allows them to maintain an image of themselves as honest and trustworthy individuals (after all, their paltering was truthful). We all care about being good people and being seen by others as such. In fact, when it comes to honesty, we generally believe we are better than others.”

Yet another article from the Boston Globe notes:

One occasional advantage of paltering over lying is plausible deniability: You can blame any misunderstanding on the listener. Without knowing the speaker’s intentions, it’s difficult to diagnose paltering with certainty says Todd Rogers, a behavioral scientist at the Kennedy School and the paper’s lead author.

So, how best to guard against paltering? Again, from the Globe article:

“If you ask a specific question, that specific question should be answered, not a variant of it,” Rogers says, even though insistence on clarification “often makes you look like a jerk.” Paltering relies on our tendency to trust others and not cause a scene. “It’s pretty amazing how much you can get away with because of people’s truth bias,” says David Clementson, a researcher at Ohio State University’s School of Communication, who was not involved in the study. “Paltering totally takes advantage of that, diabolically and deceptively.”

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  • I wonder how many of us still have any “truth bias” or the tendency to “not cause a scene.”

    • Not me. I’ve replaced “truth bias” with “instinct bias.” Nowadays when my instincts tell me that something is off, I take it seriously rather than assuming something is wrong with me for being suspicious.

      • That’s what I’m also trying to cultivate but I find that it’s hard. 45 years of “be nice”conditioning to undo!

        • It is really sad when you get to the point where you have to question the motivation of the merry Christmas and happy Easter texts!

      • Same here, Free Vix. Though, my 180 is not making me any friends. Even otherwise kind and honest people seem to get irritated when I call a duck a duck. (I haven’t sussed it out fully, but I’m guessing I’ve lost a bit of tact along the way … )

        • JessMom….me too! Ms Nice Guy no more! Sad really.

          I call it as I see it now and others think that I’m….. you guessed it!……..bitter!

        • Well, I think it’s OK to get annoyed when otherwise kind and honest people refuse to call the quacking fowl in front of them a duck. So keep on calling out the quacker!

    • I was taught that anything said with the intent to deceive IS A LIE. Omission, commission, deliberate, whatever you want to call it… if it’s said with the intent to deceive, it’s a lie.

  • Ah yes, my cheater did paltering quite well. I got to the point where whenever I engage with him even now, I make him define all terms and communicate in writing. It is absolutely draining having interactions. I feel like part lawyer/part private detective.

    • Same exact situation and same exact way I handled ot now that we are divorced. It IS exhausting, but a necessary evil. Best wishes.

    • I was thinking you sound like you’re working as a litigator– cross examining everything is exhausting!

    • Exhausting but a necessary evil. Exactly.
      The STBX and I are still in the process of getting divorced, and he routinely accuses me of not writing my own emails (he thinks my emails to him are written by my lawyer). I write everything so specifically it’s difficult for him to equivocate (though he still manages occasionally).
      I don’t correct him, I don’t mind that he’s afraid my lawyer is involved in every decision. Instead, I just take the backhanded compliment 😉

      • Funny! On a similar note,my son told me my stbx is so paranoid that whenever he talks to him and son strays off what stbx thinks are acceptable topics: fishing, hockey or school, stbx always asks did your mother tell you to say that? Son responds everything is not about mom!

        • This is classic ExH. It’s easy to see now, and it’s not as hurtful as it once was when I hear even MORE about his bullshit–but I am glad it has a name. Paltering. That’s fucking AWFUL that we have to have an actual word for something like this.

          He called it “salting the earth”. He’d make one contact–i.e. historically, he was known to belong to a shooting club, where he was certified to teach safe handling and would participate on weekends with fun shoots, etc. That was in our small town of 1m. He immediately set about reaching out to all of the local gunshops. The story to me was that each weekend, he was at the gunshop (and my mind immediately filled in the blank spaces with what I used to KNOW that he did when he hung out with these clubs).

          Well, he WAS at the gunshop. For five minutes. It was on his way to his APs house. Every day. Every weekend. He’d disappear and say, “I’m at Danny’s”.

          When we lived in our small town, he was an avid hunter (so I thought). A very convenient hobby, as you can excuse your lack of “evidence” with a very real lack of prey available.

          He’d painstakingly pack his guns and clothes and with a big hug and kiss….set off for a week “hog hunting” or “deer hunting” in some neighboring state (when we moved, he literally got on a plane to go hunting for a week…..every couple of months).

          Turns out–his fuckbuddies, several of them, each in a different state–would host him. He’d go “hunting” for a day, take some pictures, maybe actually bag a hog or deer—and then spend the rest of the week fucking his girlfriend du jour.

          He was telling the truth. I just wasn’t listening right. It’s a politician’s tactic as well. They are telling you the truth. They really are—we just aren’t listening right. When they say, “We won’t change our way of life”….they are talking to their wealthy friends, not the little people.

          What’s horrible is the lengths that we have to go to in order to set the record straight. It makes you look crazy. The boys at the gunshops are shaking their heads with sadness….”Yeah, sorry ExAsshole, you are right. Your wife is batshit crazy and controlling. I’ll help you by covering for you. So sorry you have to put up with such a controlling bitch.”

          Disengage. Disengage. Disengage. I tried for a long time to “trust but verify”. But at the end of the day….WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THAT. I don’t bring that shit to the table, and I shouldn’t have to put up with anybody who does.

          I tried to get gunshop guy to tell me the truth as to whether or not ExAsshole worked for him, but people don’t want to get involved with this messy domestic crap. It makes them uncomfortable. And some are as morally bankrupt as the Cheaters are, so there’s that.

          As soon as you find out that this guy/gal is lying by omission, or giving “technicalities” (I’m only technically married. if i don’t like representing myself as married, then i don’t. it’s just a piece of paper. marriage is a human construct, it has absolutely no real meaning.)—you’ve lost the war.

          Personally, I have found that most people do this to some degree. If it’s in their best interest to obfuscate, they will. There may not be “intent to harm” and it might be a white lie—but most people do it. Cheaters/sociopaths simply take it to the next level.

          And like George Kastanza said, “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”

          • OMG, @glasshalffull — “marriage is a human construct . . .” Where did you find or hear this? KK said that to me vertbatim. Perhaps she and your fuckwit hung out at the same cheater justification site(s).

            • Yup, it’s a human construct, which you can choose to participate in or not. But if you do, the expectations are clear.
              Cheaters want all the advantages of that construct, and will happily lie, palmer, omit, do what ever it take to also have the advantages of being single.

              • Yes! A human construct that the cheaters chose to participate in, and want to keep getting the benefits of, while not keeping up with what they promised as part of that construct.

                STBX will tell anyone who will listen that our marriage “was dead” before he starting his affair with the OW, but of course, he didn’t think to mention that to me and he didn’t want to actually end the marriage because then he’d lose some of his access to the kids. he’d have to go out and get a job (no more getting to be the stay-at-home parent to school aged kids and sneaking around with the OW all day) and there would be unpleasant consequences.

                And to this day, STBX will claim he didn’t “lie” to me because he never actually told me he wasn’t fucking the OW – he just told me things like “there’s nothing to worry about” when I noticed that they were spending a lot of time together.

              • Yes. I never understood why someone who wanted to try polyamory wouldn’t just stay unmarried. It would give them a lot more flexibility. But, apparently, you don’t get the same place in society or the benefits of the social construct if you choose to try open relationships when single. I forget that some people could care less about others’ feelings, needs and health.

            • UX, my ExH said it numerous times. It was his favorite fallback position. Marriage is a human construct. As are laws.

              This is true. And if you want to live like an animal, then it’s your right to do that as well. KarenE is correct–when a person chooses to participate in this human construct, then they agree to abide by the rules of said construct.

              This is applicable to everything that is unique to homo-sapiens. Rules. Laws. Religion. Ethics. Morality. They are ALL human constructs, unique to our species. Notice I did not include “altruism”, because animals are known to exhibit this emotion/behavior.

              What’s crazy? Some humans, such as KK and many others that fall under the term “sociopath”–DO NOT exhibit the basest emotion/behavior of which some animals are capable. My ExH certainly cannot do “altriusm”.

              So yeah, he loved this. It is kind of that same argument of “monogamish”. That humans are not programmed to be monogamous. It’s bullshit.

              KarenE said it very succinctly, and I did too (continue to do so as well and he hates my guts because of it)—that you signed on the dotted line. You can read. You are an adult. You are capable of making choices and dealing with the consequences of those choices, whether good or bad.

              They love the feel good consequences of a choice. Money. Security. Image. Material belongings. Respect.

              They hate doing the hard work to acquire and maintain those good consequences. They hate following rules, because the rules don’t apply to them.

              This is the quintessential definition of cake. All of the benefits, without any of the risks. I’d love to take a pill and be a size 2 without any exercise involved. But I can’t. I follow the rules and I benefit from those rules.

              These fuckwits are the ones who would sit back with a bowl of popcorn and watch civilization fall with glee, because it would mean that they can be themselves without fear of repercussion. Fortunately, civil society doesn’t exactly like it when people do what they want when they want. We have prisons for those people.

              Just once, I would like some test case to come up where a Cheater endangered someone’s life by promiscuity and it became law that if you are found to have had unprotected sexual intercourse with someone without telling all partners involved, you serve time. Extreme? I don’t think so. It’s harsh that the ONLY language that these fuckwits understand is severe and irreversible consequences.

              I’m not going to get into how I feel about the Boomers and their “free love” bullshit, along with their financial irresponsibility—but I do believe that part of the problem with the creation of sociopaths has been a direct result of that generation’s “anything goes and nothing matters” point of view.

              So yeah. If you hear anybody say this type of thing, this hedonistic POV that they stand outside of the “little people” following the rules, or you notice things like I did…not registering weapons with localities because they are “afraid of the man” (which is another bullshit excuse to break the law)….run. Better yet, take a good inventory of the lawlessness and turn them in to the proper authorities.

              The only way we’re going to go back to a civil society is to start holding uncivil people accountable. And cheating is uncivilized.

  • This used to make me crazy, feeling like it was up to me to ask the “right” question. “Are you still talking to the OW?” “No.”
    Technically true because texting isn’t actually talking. So glad to put that craziness behind me.

    • Yep, I got the same problem. For the last year of our marriage, I kept asking questions that were not “the right question,” and therefore allowed him to keep on the deception. It was like a bad law school mock trial: for instance, “I am not having an affair” turned out to be cover for “I am screwing prostitutes all over the world.” Or “she was not a prostitute” turned out to be cover for “she was a freelance sex worker not working in a brothel, because I choose to define ‘prostitute’ as narrowly as I please.” Or, the best of all, a logical consequence of the above: “I never lied to you.” I have made peace with that, but when he uses it in relation to the kids, it still gets me.

    • This. I now realize that having to figure out the right question to get the answer I seek, even about simple things, is its own great big red flag.

    • My cheater used his ailing father as a cover…when he was supposedly visiting him (across the ocean) and I would ask him daily how his dad was doing, he would answer “better today” or whatever. My mistake was not asking him if he was actually WITH his dad. No…he was vacationing with the OW. When I later asked him about it, his response was “well, I didn’t lie because my answers were technically true”.He heard about his father’s condition regularly so he answered honestly in his mind.

        • And then four months later when his father was gravely ill, he was “traveling for work”. I kept telling him he should leave immediately but he said he thought it would be okay. Well his father died that week. Later found out he was vacationing with the OW that week too. I don’t know if she talked him out of being with his dad, but I see it as his choice. His father. A few months later when it was time to move our son to college, he said he wanted to be by himself because he was sad about his father. I felt sorry for him. But what was he doing? Vacationing with the OW including a soccer game at Wembley (we live in the U.S.)

          • I doubt she talked him out of being with his dad although I am sure he would be happy to use that as another lie. In my experience, cheaters are all about me and can’t be talked into anything!

          • Ugghhh! Mine had a father that went from “fine” to needing quadruple bypass surgery over the course of 3 days or so. Once it became clear that his father was going to need surgery I kept asking him “do you want to buy a plane ticket to go be there for your father’s surgery?” “I keep money specifically for this purpose, if you want to buy a ticket… just go.” But nope – it was fine, he didn’t want to miss work during the holidays, etc. etc.

            What’s crazy is that in middle of the blame shifting, he accused me of not caring about his dad and supporting him. It was one of the things that in hind sight made me realize how fucking insane he was. I had sat by his side while he called his dad. I checked in through the day, I offered any support or discussion, I offered to book a plane ticket for him… but somehow is his crazy mind, I didn’t do any of this. It was really like he lived in an alternative reality. It was fucking scary.

            In addition after the fog cleared I realized:
            1) He did go because he didn’t want to be away from his whore for 4 days or whatever.
            2) He’s a sociopath and was able to say the words that were words that a person who cared might say, but he actually didn’t care anything about it. He had a complete lack of caring about anything except what he wanted, and pretending that he cared his dad was dying above and beyond lip service to the topic was simply not something he would do.

            Also pretty fucking scary.

            • durtbag had similar complete breaks from reality. It is frightening to experience, that sinking feeling that you are married to a crazy sociopath. He would have these over reactions when someone he knew died. It was like he didn’t know how to scale his madeup emotion. He would strongly react whether it was his uncle or someone he met a couple of times. Of course, rarely if ever did he go to the services unless it was immediate family and it was clear it was expected of him. Otherwise, he used people’s deaths as a way to get attention. Very creepy. This was one of the reasons I feared for my life as I was divorcing him and he wasn’t getting what he thought he should get ($150k for a one year “mirage”). I knew he didn’t care about human life, and especially not mine.

              • Yeah – I get that. I had been in a car accident that thankful was nothing, but could have been horrible. We were in MC at the time and I remember him raging that he felt like he was being judged on his reaction to this accident and that it some sort of test and he better not fuck it up. I remember thinking it was so weird how worked up he was getting about the fact that he was expected to respond to this accident.

                Again – a few years later a thought crystalized in my head that he was angry that he had to pretend to care. Like he didn’t know how to react, because again, he didn’t fucking care. He didn’t know the right combination of word to put together in that case to act like a person who gave a fuck. So the only real emotion he had about it was anger that in front of the MC he had to pretend that he cared. Wife almost died… why would I care about that. I’ll get her life insurance money and sue Cal Trans. That would be great. I’ll never work again.

              • “It was like he didn’t know how to scale his madeup emotion. ”
                interesting insight!

            • It’s really cruel how they lie about our efforts to build a good relationship.
              Dear CaGal, you offered emotional and financial support, it was real and provable. Yet, as my cheater did, they always paint it negative, making our painful efforts useless.
              I think it’s very unfair when cheaters make all our good intentions and achievements disappear in their alternative reality. They manufacture a false universe where all our caring acts are destroyed, never real, never existed for them. They waste our love.
              Heaven knows how much it cost me emotionally to try to maintain a smile while he planted seeds of doubt in my mind about his sincerity and when he raged every day for banalities in front of our children.

            • CaGal – I have felt the same way about my STBX. There is no other explanation except that they truly are mentally disordered. Mine pulls this crap on his kids, too. I can’t tell you the number of times I say to myself, “He can’t honestly think that.” But he does and he believes that they are completely true and real.

              Going no contact became so much easier once I realized that having a rational conversation with him was not possible.

            • CAGal, if you still read here, we must talk! This is my exact story! Blamed me for not caring about his dads death as the reason for his affair! These cheaters really are all the same. I would love to compare notes.

    • Me: Are you seeing someone else?
      Her: No!

      (Because sexting over Skype isn’t “seeing” anyone)

      Me: So, there’s nothing on your phone or computer that I can’t see?
      Her: No!

      (Because it’s none of your business anyway)

  • Paltering is like steven colberts truthiness. Another name for asswipe the great palterer. Figures some one somewhere would come up with a name for more accepted bad behavior. A lie is a lie is a lie no matter how it is told or not. This is the cake eating asswipe to a tee. Fuckers. Great post ux. Much love and big hugs!!

  • Me: “Is there somebody else???”
    NarcX: “No, there isn’t somebody else.”
    The truth: It actually was nobody in particular. Just random women.

    • Reading this makes me think I experienced projection of paltering back in January.

      Stbx: tell me about your conversation with AP’s husband.
      Me: I have never met him!
      Stbx: you called him?
      Me: no, do not know him.
      Styx: I know, you emailed him.
      Me: No, I have never had any contact with him..,

      I never lied to him in 26 years.

      • I went through that strange questioning from mine. This, like the scratches on his back, is another aha! He was questioning me as if I lied by omission. If I’m honest, I did a lot of that where r he state of my marriage was and is concerned,

    • It’s pretty hard to get the truth out of a cheater. I have a feeling if we asked direct questions that they couldn’t palter, they would just outright lie.

  • Very interesting topic. Kind of like another term I recently read about, “cushioning,” when you string people along on the side in case your current relationship doesn’t work out…like cushioning your bank accounts for emergencies, I guess.
    I knew what my STBX was doing was mindfucking, I just didn’t know there was a term for that particular type, which I had called tactical lying. I think this may count as paltering:
    “I never slept with her” = We literally never fell asleep while we were at the hotel or at her house or in the park bathroom, not at the same time for sure, so not “with her,” and actually, I don’t think we ever slept at all.
    “I did not have a 7-year affair with her” = I was not with her every day, or even every week, or even every month, AND it wasn’t an “affair” because it wasn’t a “relationship” — it was just sex.
    “I never called her from the house” = I only texted her and sent her pictures of my dick from inside the house, and I went outside to call her.
    “I never told her I loved her” = When she texted “I ❤️ U,” I replied, “Me 2” or texted a ? or just a ❤️.
    “I told you the truth” = I told you the truth when I said I was at the mall…that time last month, when I took the kids shopping for shoes…like you asked me to.

    • Ah, yes … I got the “it wasn’t an affair” either. Initially, this was because he had no feelings other than lust for the one particular affair partner I was inquiring about (the only one I suspected at the time).

      But, the same BS came up later as I discovered multitudes of women … there wasn’t a “single” infidelity — there were many, thus he had not lied with the initial “it wasn’t an affair.”


  • Me: “Have you been with someone else?”

    Satan: “Do you think I’m that kind of guy?”

    Truth: Not as far as you know, I’m not “that” kind of guy. You have no idea of what kind of guy I am,.

    • Answering a spouse’s direct question with a question instead of an answer is another favorite cheater tactic.

      • Oh yeah, the answering w/another question, one of my ex’s favourites. ‘Are you involved with another woman again?’ ‘Do you think I have time for an affair?’ ‘What about your relationship w/Patty?’ ‘Have you met her? She’s not even very attractive!’

        Fortunately, by that point, my questions were primarily to give him a chance to be honest. Which he turned down, of course.

  • “To get her to realize what she is throwing away”

    Looking back, I wish I had realized how tragic and demeanino it is to plead your worth to your mate.

    A huge chunk of my healing has come early from grasping that he never viewed me as precious, or the bond worth protecting.

    • This is so true, Esther. I think I spent maybe the first six months or so waiting cheater boy to grasp the enormity of the damage, but it was never going to happen. Until I landed here, I really did not understand that the devalue and discard had long since been accomplished. I guess I’m lucky that this did not go according to his plan, which would likely have entailed two more years of lying, last kid graduated from HS and off to college, and then the divorce. Wouldn’t that have been lovely? Alternatively, he would have just kept things the way they were, which also sucked. In any case, he had long since decided that I was the source of all unhappiness, so no real sorrow was ever going to happen. And you are right–it is unbelievably humiliating to try to persuade the person who should value you most that you are inherently worthy. Losing proposition, and not the spot a spouse should ever be in for any reason.

      • OH YEAH!
        You just explained the last two years of my life, although the devalue began decades ago. My sons begged me to stay through younger son’s HS graduation. We were under the impression this was a mid-life crisis that would pass. You know, society accepts/expects mid-life crisis for men…and hot flashes for women!

        AND they palter to the OW, too!
        STBXH told Owhore he was taking older son to a hockey game for his birthday. He did’t tell her younger son went too…as did I. Drove separately, Sat at the opposite end of the family, with boys between us. He posted on FB “Last hockey game of the season with (oldest kids name.) No mention of me, or younger son. He’s trying to “get to him” by discarding him too…but it seems DS2 is already in his own discard mode.

        Paltering. So that’s what it’s called.

      • Absolutely 100% agree. This is definitely what happened to me. The worst part is he still tries to tell me “I still care about you a lot”. Bullshit. If he cared about me at all he would not have started having affairs in the first place let alone chose Schmoopie over me when he was given the gift of a chance to reconcile. I wish he would just admit he is a selfish prick and likes being that way and stop trying to pretend like he is still a decent person who is still doing right by his family.

        • I hate that whole I love you and care about you bullshit.

          If you loved me, you would fix this.

          If you cared about me, you would fix this.

          If you loved and cared about me, this would never have happened.

          What assholes.

          • If you loved and cared about me YOU would have never done this to me.

            Yep, assholes they are, SBW! ?

            • +1. This post resonates so much with me – I got the “I love you and care about you” BS from STBX too, and he wants to “always stay friends”. And I just thought quietly to myself that we haven’t been “friends” since he starting fucking the OW because friends don’t emotionally abuse each other like that, and friends don’t lie to each other.

              STBX also got upset because most of our mutual friends who talked to me came down firmly on my side (side note – he’s welcome to keep the switzerland friends and those who can “see both sides”) – he said that the reason for that is because those friends have only heard my “version of the facts”.

              I was struck silent by that statement — here I was thinking that there were actual facts, like the fact that he’s the one who is cheating, the fact that he didn’t want me to know because he didn’t like what the consequences would be, and the fact that he is still involved with the OW and has no intention of stopping but would like for me to stay married to him because that would be more convenient for him. But apparently there’s some alternate version of the facts that I’m not explaining properly when I tell people I’m leaving him because he’s cheating on me and has no intention of stopping…

              • Beginning-to-Hope – ‘he said that the reason for that is because those friends have only heard my “version of the facts”.

                This is what shocked me about the Swiss friends! I’m not taking sides. WHAT SIDES!? The fucker cheated, simple. He admits it! He isn’t leaving her! There ARE no sides! Fuck em all, I say.

                I must say I’m grateful that the X never blamed me for his activities so he wasn’t even looking for a ‘his side’. Too bad most of these people were relatives…that I’ll never see again, anyway. pffft

              • My ex told me I was no fun, every word out of my mouth was annoying and he left the house just to get away from me. Then, he wanted to be friends. Why would you want to be friends with someone you find so horrible that you need to say such cruel things? He makes no sense.

    • Not sure if this was paltering, I asked him “why didn’t you leave for the schmoopie whore last year? Instead of putting me through all of this?” His reply ” I had patience”. What the fuck does that mean??

      • Me too – 3 years of this. Then he left, came back and swore he wouldn’t leave again, and then I found the text messages.

        I asked why and how he could put me and our daughters through this again. He replied that it was too hard for HIM to be away from the kids, and it was HIS house too, and I was just going to have to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. And of course – he was still confused about what he wanted because he was scared of making a mistake.

        I say – Fuck you asshole.

        We have lived in limbo for so long, and I am just barely seeing just how awful the last few years have been. The cruelty, the degradation, the fear, the sadness. My poor kids suffered. He was never around, never wanted to do anything as a family. I was good enough to have sex with, but not good enough for anything else. Amazing.

        • I could have written what you just wrote, SBW. To realize that there are so many people willing to treat loved ones this way makes me scared to EVER be willing to trust anyone else with my heart again. I know there are good people out there. I am friends or have family that are, but to know that my STBX was not an isolated instance is scary.

        • I wasn’t even good enough to have sex with. He actually told me that sex with the mistress is so much better than it was with me.

      • Okay, now I get what paltering is. I got it from asshole
        ex-husband all the time, apparently. But what’s the
        word for what Kathleen describes for answers that
        make no fucking sense? I agree, Kathleen ~ What
        the fuck does “I had patience” mean?

        There has to be a secret word for answers that make
        no fucking sense. LOL

        I actually propositioned my asshole ex-husband when
        I found him on a dating site looking for what he had
        thrown away ~ a perfect description of me. I asked
        why can’t we spend a night together if you are looking
        for passion and romance (what his dating profile said)?

        His answer? I’m not ready.

        What the fuck does that mean? He’s looking for that in strangers,
        but someone he knows who can guarantee passion and
        romance, He’s not ready?


        • My best guess for what he meant by “passion and romance” was “I already ‘got’ you, so that’s not exciting anymore. I want to feel the excitement of getting a new one to prove to myself that I’m awesome.” And “I’m not ready” means “I first want to see if I can’t hook someone new and shiny, but I’d really like it if you would just sit here and wait around pining for me in case the dating profile doesn’t get me any action this week.”

          • Exchange “prove” with “reassure”. I think that fits the mindset better.

            There has to be a word that describes this…Pattern of communication?

        • Jodi, you have to hand it to your cheater: “not ready” is about the only honest thing he uttered. Jackasses are never ready for liveing decently.

        • YES .. Jodi Lynch I tried that similar invitation to get him to realize I was the “best” thing for him after being married for so long. We had a full sex life…never refused him ever in 33 years. But I was not “new” anymore. He’s now living with whore.. I’d like to think he’s unhappy but I doubt it.
          It’s so unfair to us honest, decent women/men. Love ❤️ U all fellow chumps!

        • Yeah, I tried to seduce STBX once after D-Day too and got “That’s just not where we are right now”.

      • I had “patience” means:

        It was more convenient for me to stay put. I was getting more out of staying than I would get out of leaving. Cake in the form of financial, sexual, emotional or some other form of benefit. Sometimes it means I really love trotting around having sex with other people, but I am no more committed to them than I am to you so why bother the big upheaval of trading one anchor for another? I can’t be bothered. They decide it’s time to move along when that balance shifts for THEM or when you kick them out. They suck.

        • That just hit me as so true for my X. I think all his one night stands and his longer affairs were never committed. Just like he was never committed to me – it was just who he is.

          On the vein of things said. I once wondered about whether he was involved with someone he worked with. It sure looked like there was something going on. So, I asked him “Are you having an affair”. He answered “I think she’s attractive and I guess it is flattering that she seems to like me since I’m 10 years older than she is. So, I’m enjoying the attention.” So, by acknowledging that there was something in the air, and not outright denying, made me believe him and I didn’t ask anything further. He was a master at telling partial truth and I was the perfect chump, believing him.

        • Yes, Dixie, they USE people. We’re not really people to them. And, they are so annoyed when we need something, too.
          To bring in a positive note, we are looking out for our partner’s needs, and actually caring if their needs are being met! We go the extra mile to please them, and feel that they would do the same for us. We are the beautiful and sensitive Chumps.

        • Dixie Chump- Exactly!!! 69 year old narc with ED… living on Viagra … schmoopie whore can push him around in a wheelchair in few years LOL ?

      • That is sinister. So what he is basically saying is, “It didn’t suit me at that stage to blow things up, I waited until it was a convenient time for me to shit on you, when I had my ducks in a row, so that the separation and divorce gave me the best possible advantage over you”. They go on about the Other Whoever being twoo love or whatever, but they are cold-blooded enough not to get swept up in the moment when it comes to their financial well-being. Pure narc/socio behaviour.

        • Textbook ex. These “pods” are scary and are often the ones we see in the headlines. Once they have made the decision to leave they have acted in all sorts of sketchy ways and built up their stories…. Ex-still!–sends me long emails pretending to be concerned about our children. The same ones he ripped off. I often wonder if he’s setting down untruths but hope that’s me being paranoid. At the same time he has never complied with our MSA. When he left I was afraid he’d harm me because he so clearly didn’t care. I think if more money had been at stake he would have. As it was he realized he made enough to start over; he destroyed me financially though. Dissipated assets. One thing even in spite of those crap years. I am too strong a person to believe I was never worth something, even when his actions clearly communicated that. I knew I was a better person. Next time I will be paying attention to all those little truths. Evasiveness is not a great character trait. And neither are unexplained, too frequent absences. Best advice ever: pay attention to your gut.

    • Post DDay/devalue/pick-me dance/discard/Divorce my new code of life is this: if I EVER feel I have to convince someone in any personal relationship that I am worthwhile then the relationship is dead and over and I’m out. I refuse to beg to be treated decently ever again.

      • I used to be strong like that MotherChumper99, but I lost it after 15 years of marriage, and what I now realize, was the slow chipping away of my humanity, strength, self-esteem, and self-respect. I never put up with anyone’s shit, and I have no clue what happened to the old me. I guess I allowed being told I suck for so long to change me.

        • It was a slow chipping away- I am right there with you! But while healing takes time, I don’t think it will take as long as the chipping away if you surround yourself with supporters and cut off the fuckwits. Every step you take, remind yourself you are doormat no more and that you are doing this on your own not holding the hand of another fuckwit schmoopie! The world will see it! Truth wins!

          • It is so helpful to have supporters. He says and does things that on the surface seem reasonable and sometimes I question whether or not I am just being bitter when I get upset over the things he does. It is validating when I tell other people about those things and they immediately recognize what he is doing wrong without me having to explain why I am hurt. Even his own mother says I have a right to be upset and my emotions are valid.

            • Yes Chuminrecovery! Sometimes I wonder if my reaction is WRONG because I am so hurt and angry, but when I speak to other people, the validation helps a bit.

        • One thing i learned through all the shit is im stronger than i thought i was. I too felt destroyed and not of value by him. But once i got angry and became indifferent to the asswipe once i had a wall in place he could not get through my healing began its a long hard road and it hurts alot some days i still struggle but my life is now my own. I decide i WILL NOT EAT ANY MORE SHIT SANDWICHES FROM ANYONE!!!!! be kind to yourself, be mighty, rome wasnt built in a day and we wont heal in a day. Push forward, adjust your sails, head into that wind, its cleansing! Come here come often we are here for you and each other. This site saved me and my sanity. We get you! You got this!! Big hugs to you!!

  • XH is the king of paltering!!!! (And lying and lying by omission!)
    About 9 months ago I discovered this wonderful technology called the universal bullshit translator.
    That and NC have liberated me from continually trying to make sense of the puzzle that was his behavior. I spent so much time trying to see him as a good person because he was my husband. The bad behavior was there albeit underneath a lot of paltering, lying and lying through omission. When the two major lies were revealed (cheating and drug use over a ten year period) it was the “plug” that unleashed a dam of lies that still, occasionally, (after 9 months) still trickle into my brain.
    It is less and less as the months go on but I am hoping for that magical Tuesday when I won’t care.

    • Nejla,
      Your words “continually trying to make sense of the puzzle that was his behavior.” “I spent so much time trying to see him as a good person because he was my husband.” apply, word for word, to me and my STBXH.

      • Yep, ClearWaters, that’s what we do as “neural typical” people. We see everyone through the lens of how we behave and our own values. Call it naive but that’s who I was-“just a nice naive girl from the Midwest” as one of the Switzerland folks told me. Not any more. It’s ok though-some incredibly painful growing pains, right?!
        But, the cool thing is that we get to keep our own values and the disordered most likely will continue faking it forever. I am so glad not to be around that circus anymore!

        • @nejla and @clearwaters This is EXACTLY my life too!! I was “continually trying to make sense of the puzzle that was his behavior.” and “I spent so much time trying to see him as a good person because he was my husband.” It is so freaking crazy how my mind could not see what was right in front of me as it was clouded/gaslighted/damaged into submission. I would always say to him that I felt like if I did not ask the right questions in the exact right way, I was not going to get the answers and indeed that turned out to be reality. Specific instances of his bullshit keep trickling back into my consciousness – lots of “OHHH so that’s what THAT was” kinds of memories and I get pissed off to my core all over again.
          Great topic. Thanks UX

          • @ BlueWillow – Exactly! I’m pretty much at meh until one of those “aha” moments about a memory slips in. Then I’m pissed for awhile.

          • Yes, yes, and yes…to all of what you wrote. It is hard to realize that the core of who they are is not good and not only did they not make choices with the good of your marriage and family in mind, but that they also lied (or told partial truths) to purposely deceive you.

            It makes everything that you shared not a reality anymore. Nothing was real. Only plus is that it is easier to let the emotions tied to memories go.

            • I may sound like a drama queen but I have been happy to explain to people that I was conned. No he wasn’t just married to a good friend that got him a green card. No he never was a professional soccer player. No, he wasn’t a recovering addict, he was an active addict. All things I was told from the first few dates that I completely believed (he is that good of a liar!)
              And then once he was fully “dug in” to my life, slowly allowing himself to stray from being that good person he mirrored until in the end he was half a step away from a full time conman. It just must have been so tiring for him that when a new shiny equally naive chump came along he jumped at having a new caretaker/appliance so he could start over. Everyone has a capacity for change but I don’t see it with this guy.

              I just was explaining to my little one the difference between a cell phone and a home phone. I said, “you know, sweetie, a home phone is like the phone we have on the coffee table. Your dad and his girlfriend just have cell phones not home phones.”
              Her response, “no mommy. They have one! It’s next to the tv…. …you know daddy is like that mommy. He tells lies sometimes.” (She just turned 7 by the way!)
              “Yes, sweetie. I only asked for it in case of emergency but your dad obviously doesn’t want me to have the number so he lied to me.”
              When I heard this lie number 5862, I thought, of course he lied! But, I am surprised every freaking time!!

    • I have a King Palterer as an X, too. Emphasis on the “X,” thank GOD!!! The man couldn’t answer a straight question if his life depended on it. He got off on watching me trip on my “exact” words.

      Still unemployed. Still can’t get his kids to visit him. Still has his kids call him out on his bullshit. All because he is and will always be a lying fucker.

  • So THAT’S the word for what Cheater was doing to me. In my language the slang word for paltering evokes mists, dodging and winding round and round.

    So far today it seems like we could have a paltering festival.

    The last words I heard cheater pronounce, as he stormed out of what was still our home after an unsuccessful session of mindfucking, were: “I’m not a philanderer”. Meaning: “I only have “serious” affairs, one at a time.” Bitch cookie?

    • Love bitch cookies. Lol. STBX, King of bitch cookies as well. Sigh. No point in discussing it. Just whatever. Mine paltered as well. But he just straight lied too lol. I think his view was I deserved to be cheated on bc I have been so horrible. He was doing me a favor by not divorcing me already , so his lying didn’t count. Just twisted crazy logic. And it boils down, no one is the boss of me, I’m going to do what I’m going to do, so suck it.

      • X was the same: I deserved to be treated worse than dirt (and so apparently did the 4 kids) because (insert any delusional reason) (e.g. He had to “work,” kids had to go to school in suburbs, I never (in 25 years) accepted him, one kid went to college back east, house was too big, he had no comfortable chair at home (yup, he really said that), I like Antique Roadshow ?….blah blah blah

        • Lol. Called blameshifting…another tactics they use. Mine was king of paltering and lies of omission. On occasion, he outright lied, but somehow I think the other two made him feel better about himself.

          All of them are forms of manipulation. It is about control. And “your not the boss of me” and I do no wrong, so it must be your fault. So obvious once you go NC but so hard to see it for what it is while it is going on. Especially when you are told all marriages have rough spots, all spouses have things you need to overlook or forgive, work on yourself, etc.

        • Mother99,
          Now what a flawed character to like Antique Roadshow. How lowly!

          A friend told me that one day her cheater asked for a special meal for him and the kids and she made it with loving care. He keeps getting calls on his cell phone while she is toiling away at the stove. She sets the table and calls the family and he complains that the filling for the meat pie wasn’t what he had in mind, how inconsiderate she was, got his car keys, stomped out of the house and only came back the next day. That’s what she gets for being inconsiderate. BTW, this cheater is living in a brothel now, no kidding, he has nowhere to go.

          • A Japanese friend spent all day preparing a multi-course meal for her new boyfriend. His only comment ? “I really prefer low sodium soy sauce.” She calmly turned to him and replied, “I worked very hard to make all this food. If you don’t like it, I won’t cook for you anymore.”
            She broke off all contact after that incident. “Not gracious” she said.
            Inspiring !

  • Palter = to make unreliable statements of fact or insincere promises….

    Top ten from my STBX

    I didn’t mean to hurt you
    The kids will be all right
    I gave you everything you wanted
    I tried to tell you I was unhappy
    We were fundamentally incompatible
    Tired Chump is strong and will be okay
    The kids –18-24 — are adults and don’t need me anymore
    The HO-worker has abandonment issues and needs me
    I was unhappy for years
    I don’t owe the kids anything because I paid for college and our house had a pool
    I worked on the marriage (went to 8 counseling sessions all while seeing AP)
    The $ is mine because I made it
    I deserve to be happy
    I have so much life to live
    I stopped seeing an IC (after one visit) because People can figure life out on their own ( counselor said stop AP as she is “damaged goods”)

    The only truth since D-day “it just feels good”

    • Tired i got at least 6 of those…The best one i got from Yo Yo knickers was:-

      “It’s almost as if you don’t want me to be happy”

      • Recent one from my STBX to my kids…”I want your mom to be happy. I want you kids to be happy. I couldn’t be happy with your mom. I hope you forgive me and want me to be happy, too.”

        This was a group text he sent to them after they (teenagers) refused to go stay at his new apartment he is sharing with his young (very young) girlfriend. The girlfriend they have not even met that started screwing their dad while their mom was pregnant with their sister and while he is still married.

        In other words, let me try to gaslight you by telling you I want all of you to be happy, but really I want you to suck it up, accept my choices, and come stay with me in a situation that makes you extremely uncomfortable because that is what will make me happy.

        • Holy shit – mine says this too. He wants everyone to be happy with the decision he made in order to make himself happy.

          They share the same fucking brashin.

          • Mine slipped a nice little break up letter (not that it was necessary by that time as he had already made it clear he didn’t want me anymore) into the book he so thoughtfully gave me for Christmas. In it he said “I hope we both find happiness in 2017” and “I have fond memories of the times we have spent as a family that I will always carry with me”, He probably thought it was such a thoughtful and sentimental letter. I wanted to puke. When I showed it to a previously mutual friend she thought it was pretty awful too so I know it isn’t just “negative interpretation” on my part.

            • I get the “We will be fine” and the “I can’t see us not being together again one day” – seriously?

              It just rips my guts out.

          • Ooh, the “I want us all to be happy and your mom and I weren’t happy together and sometimes marriages don’t last and that’s hard but I never meant to hurt your mom and I hope she’ll be happy too and now we can all go be happy separately” speech – they really must all have the same handbook. That particular speech sounds lovely except for the paltering bit about how the cheater was out finding their other “happiness” while still married and covering that up.

            And then you’re left to try to help the kids unravel that particular bit of mindfuckery so they can sort out which was the cause and which was the effect. “Yes, mom is going to be happier without STBX but that is because he chose to treat MOW like his wife while he was married to mom and STBX is still doing that and doesn’t intend to stop. But if STBX and MOW had made different choices, there’s a good chance STBX and mom and you could have been happy as an intact family and MOW and her family could have been happy as an intact family too.”

            • I told them that daddy broke a promise to mommy (took that right from CL’s book). Explained how he broke the promise. They said that daddy always breaks promises.

              I also told them that the OW said not nice things to mommy, and that is unacceptable, as are the names daddy calls mommy. I explained that they are not to ever tolerate what mommy tolerated.

              Great convo for a 9 and 10 year old. I hate that his shittiness has taken their innocence away.

        • That’s right – they are to orbit around him – he undoubtably disregarded the kids when he made those choices (not mistakes…they were choices). This is all cheaterspeak…no one is the boss of him. What a narcissist….as long as HE is (supposedly) happy, then everyone should be too.

          • Complety disregarded the kids – did nothing but kiss them goodnight, and occassionaly had dinner with them. Blames me for his shitty relationship with them, that he is currently trying to rebuild through being super dad. I wonder how long this will last.

    • This is my STBX.
      What pieces of shit they all are.
      Mine actually said to me…”I should be unhappy so the 3 of you can be happy?” No fucktard, go find your happiness.

      He is a disgrace. At this point, I’m only worried about how much child support and alimony I will be getting. My lawyer said their strategy is going to be to try to screw me as much as possible to get me to lose the house – the house he swore he wanted the girls and I to be able to stay in.

      He came to pick the girls up looking like an unmade bed in the expensive clothes that I bought for him. He came from the direction that he would had he come from the girlfriend’s house. Oh wait, he swears that she is NOT his girlfriend. BULLSHIT. I guess that’s why he never texted his daughters the night before to say goodnight. He was too busy fucking his whore, I mean talking to his FRIEND. My buddy said to me that when he is with his girlfriend, we are all dead to him. He doesn’t even think of us. I guess she was right. He simply doesn’t care. This is all a bullshit facade.

      I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that he is such a liar, and that he is the man I married. I have no idea how he became such poison. Looking back, he lied so many times, and I just diminished it.

      Waiting for MEH, but it’s still hard. He is still taking up a lot of real estate in my heart and head, and I am so concerned for my finances.

      • SBW (can I rename you “precious wife”?) Hang in there. The roller coaster from hell ride you are on will end soon. Fight like your life depends on it. I did and 3 months ago I went through a week-long trial and got full custody, 70% of all assets (I was seeking 53%) , all cash on hand, maintenance and maximum child support. X has to pay 82% of all extra ordinary child expenses including college. I spent a ton on lawyers and experts but it was less than 7% of what I received in return. Plus having the judge say that I had proved every single issue and that he did not believe one word from X waa priceless. Keep fighting. I was scared shitless but X was so awful that there was no way I could accept his last pre-trial settlement offer of $300 per month (total!).
        In the months since I have refinanced, paid off every single debt I have, my new mortgage is affordable, I have a really nice income tax deduction now, and out of the blue I got an amazing new job with a huge promotion. My boyfriend is very good to me and treats me like a Queen. Says he is lucky that X was such a fool.

        I’m as NC as I can be.

        Karma bus is hitting X hard: he’s physically aged 10 years in 2, he is super sick with drug addiction and alcoholism, he lost any respect he had in the family and our community, the OW is sucking him for every dime she can get ($70K a year grad school and all expenses) but screams at him 24/7 and he’s already cheated on her (my dd3 who lives with them let these jewels slip)! Baahaaahaaa

        Meh is pretty nice so far!

        • I’m in NJ, and have always worked. Our state is a no fault state, so no one really cares that he has been awful. I would like to avoid a trial, as it will be costly for all. We are headed for mediation with our lawyers some time in May. Hopefully, my lawyer will prove his reputation suits him, however, there is only so much that can be done as far as the law is concerned. Sucks.

          I am Shit bag wife because I was, at one time, impossible to deal with, and made some shitty choices. My name reminds me that while I have come a long way, I still have to take responsibility for what I’ve done in the past as well. If my actions hurt someone, whether intended or not, then they hurt someone, and that is wrong. I feel terrible about some of the things I did and said, I understand now why I was the way I was, and I did a shit ton of work to fix myself. I wasn’t a monster all of the time, but I certainly didn’t walk on water.

          I am beginning to feel that his behavior now is far worse than mine was, first and foremost because no matter how bitchy I was, I never neglected my children or my husband or my home. Unlike him, I stayed and realized I had to work on myself. He says…”Too little, too late.”

          It hurts like hell, but I continue to soldier on the best I can.

          Thanks for the replies. After being ignored for so long, it feels good to be heard and understood.

          • Precious wife you may find as you learn more about narcissistic abuse that your conduct was actually the direct result of the abuse that you were suffering. You may want to do more research about this before you condemn yourself.

            • Thanks for that wisdom. I felt exactly like shit bag wife when my Stbx revealed his cheating. I wrote an apology letter apologizing for all my crazy behavior over the years. I am not saying my behavior was all good but I have since learned that gas lighting and all his other narc behaviors were triggering these unhealthy responses.

            • I have been, and am also in therapy. My therapist says that if I were that bad, he should have left. He claims that I changed him. I blame myself, but, looking back, there were many selfish behaviors he exhibited. He just hadn’t turned into this monster yet.

              I made a list of everything that would need to be done / transpire in order for me to take him back. Not only do I know he won’t do any of them, he just doesn’t want me anymore so it’s an irrelevant list.

              Oddly, people keep saying he will be back, knocking on my door. I don’t see it – he treats me with such anger, disgust, and disdain.

              • I agree with MC69. You are being too hard on yourself. When the shit hit the fan in my relationship, and Mr Stig said he had to leave because he just couldn’t live with what I had done to him, I felt wracked with guilt, because I do have a nasty tongue when provoked, and had been liberal with it at times. Looking back though, a lot of it had been because I was being driven to the end of my tether by his bullshit and undermining, while trying to cope with a newborn baby, and lashed out at the unbelievable stuff that he was coming out with, partially so he could go back and have his ego rubbed by OW, telling her what a meanie I was being to him, and justifying in his mind what he had been up to. I have always been someone whose default is usually anger rather than sadness (I hate the vulnerability, FOO issues, but that is a story for another time) but looking back, a lot of what I said was actually on the money too, and that’s why he was acting all butt-hurt, because he knew somewhere in there that what I was saying about his shortcomings was true. Trust your instincts, and yourself, and yes, it is good that you try to be a grown up and take reponsibility for your part in it, I would say that a lot if not most of your behavior was triggered by gaslighting and bullshit behavior on your X’s part, and then he cashed in the hidden bonus of being able to make you feel responsible for his behavior too. Own your stuff, but not his.

        • MotherChumper99: That is awesome!! I am working on getting the best deal financially I can as well. I am just hoping that all the money I am spending on attorney and accounting fees will come back to me by order of the court because of how deceptive he is being with his business and the shit he has put not just me but the kids through as well. I look forward to the day I can stop investigating and documenting everything and simply focus on building a future for my kids and I that does not include him.


          • GMF— keep fighting!

            I’m also in a no-fault state but all of the dirty laundry came in because he disputed the date of separation and he disputed having abandoned and when you are an abandoned spouse the separation date is the date upon which the abandoned spouse gives up hope that the marriage can be repaired. Haha! Here hopeium actually helped me! And the fact that he kept lying and Hoover ring for cake and I had a clear record of him having done so help to me establish of the date of separation was a lot later than what he was trying to shut down my throat. I wanted a later date because he had received huge bonuses That I argued were CP.

            That’s in my state – it may not be the same everywhere.

            • In my state, the date of separation is usually the last day he stayed in the house. However, all our finances continued to be joint for another year.

              He has a salary from his job and then additional income from a business. He feels he should only pay support on the salary, not the extra income. When I filed I used both as his income. I simply took the last 5 years of tax returns and calculated the average of his business income. He claims there is no business income. He spent that year we were separated hiring his girlfriend and running up business expenses to get the income to nothing. His business expenses are more than quadruple any other year he has owned the business. And in 17 years, he has always made money.

              I am hoping the judge will get pissed at what he is trying to pull and order him to pay all my fees as well as give me a good settlement. I know what I need at a minimum to continue to provide for my kids and give them the education I planned. Anything else I get on top of that will just mean we may get to go on a vacation or replace the old couch. But if I don’t get the extra, I can live with it if it means I am free of the bastard.

              • If you know what you want and it is fair and reasonable push for that. Getting close to trial date is okay as it will put pressure on the disordered (and at this point your lawyer should be negotiating hard) but be sure the lawyers aren’t working against you. There are formulas for spousal and child support. Show the court photos of your lifestyle. House. Vacations. Lifestyle. Your lawyer should be working for you. And address unusual expenses for children (ie extracurricular activities, college, etc.) because they should not do without.

      • Precious wife. You have obviously done a lot of soul searching, but he hasn’t and he never will. It takes too to make a good marriage and he is the one who fell down on the job and isn’t willing to change in order to make it work.

        I did my soul searching in the first few weeks after D-Day trying desperately to nail down what I had been doing wrong so that I could fix it and not lose him. I was pick me dancing like mad. At one point he looked at me and said “have you done any self reflection at all?” That is when I realized that I was alone in the dance and I really wasn’t the problem after all. It was him and he had no desire to even try to change. Your STBX is the same. They are too cowardly to do any kind of self reflection of there own.

        It is time our self reflection revolved around what will make us happy in life and it sure isn’t pick me dancing for cheating assholes.

    • Omg!!! So many of those were said to me also!
      It’s like they all went to the same narcissist/ sociopaths anonymous meeting.
      “Hi, I’m _______. I’m an asshole”

      • You made me laugh out loud with that one! Thanks! Oh, how I wish I could have my stbx at that meeting saying that– I think it might lead to that elusive forgiveness!

    • There is truth in “we are fundamentally incompatible”. Just not in the way he thinks. 😉 You being a faithful spouse, and him being an adulterer.

      I used that line alot when explaining why I left my JAMF.

  • And the two PALTERS/lies that fry me most–

    When sex life headed south – he told me he had ED problems associated with aging and was too embarrassed to talk to DR!! I FELT SORRY FOR HIM ( vs I’m having trouble keeping up with you and my 26-year-younger assistant a few times a week)

    When I noticed him texting that assistant on a family vacation – and asked if anything was going on – he told me they were just friends and quote ” you know I don’t have a lot of friends”. I FELT SORRY FOR HIM (so nothing’s going on because we are away ! But yeah I’m fucking someone else and spending time and money with her)

    • I heard the same thing: ED. And I reacted the same way. He was embarrassed and just couldn’t deal with it so I just went with it. Ultimately no intimacy at all.

      During one of my moments of despair a few months ago, I said something to the effect that I had believed him about the ED but he has affairs with two women??? He said he wasn’t lying. And then said pathetically “it didn’t always work well with her”.

      Aw, poor, sad, flaccid sausage. I think he wanted me to be sorry for him. I know he felt sad. I laughed.

    • or the false equivalencies. When I thought that Hannibal had given out his phone number to too many students (which I deemed unprofessional), he pointed out that I routinely texted a student. Uh, duh, (a) the student was my lab manager for 3 years, thus requiring some contact, (b) he is gay, (c) I showed Hannibal humorous texts to & from him. His student texts were always cloaked in secrecy, even when I would ask what was so funny as he read them.

      • I told mine the same thing – it is unprofessional to text (on your work phone) females that work in positions that are not on the same level. I told him he was looking for a sexual harassment suit, and that he would lose.

        There were 2 women – I actually forgot the first one. What a dumbass I am. The first started commenting all of his facebooks posts and messaging him, so he closed his account. When I looked in his phone, he had her house address and phone number. He had no idea how. Google updates are really mysterious.

        The second woman is the one who he is still with. She left the company (and her husband). The company has a policy that employees can’t date each other. She is just so fucking noble to quit her job so they can be together. The lengths she will go for true love. When I asked him where she was working, he had no clue. Amazing that one can be such great friends with someone and not know where they work. Fucktard protects her to no end.

        I also forgot about the porn that I found on his phone some time back. Looking back on that now, it seems it was / is symptomatic of this narcissistic sociopathic personality disorder he has. I also wonder if he lost some of his ability to discern right from wrong because of all of the steroids he has taken over the years.

        My mom swears there are more women I don’t know about.

        Why can’t my heart catch up to this stupidity?

        • How do so many of you manage to get ahold of your spouses phones/passwords to find information? Mine was always too careful for that. I probably don’t really want to know what is in those texts, but I would like to know what lies they are telling each other and if they are truly happy with each other or not. He implies that their relationship is not super wonderful either, but then why is he still with her? Is she being the manipulative one or is he? These are some of the questions I would love to have answered, but won’t get valid answers from him. I suppose it really doesn’t matter at this point. Sigh.

            • You can be pretty much assured that any account they give you access to isn’t the one they are using to contact the whore. Unless they are exceptionally stupid. It’s just so easy to get new accounts and there are all kinds of apps to hide texts, emails, etc. I even downloaded some myself to see if they work. They do.

              • No they aren’t. They think that they can get out of everything and are smarter that everyone. Then they go and use the same password for everything.

          • In my case, it was just being attentive. I was waiting for the last little detail to get sorted out, and then I was going to file. I was talking to a good friend, who asked me if I had seen his phone, and I said that I hadn’t. She just posed the question that what if the narrative I had created was wrong and all my suspicions about he and his whore were way off base and I saw that by reading his phone. I explained that there were still issues and it didn’t matter. She said fine, good point and that was the end of it.

            Literally the next day I was standing at the back of a room in our house, I don’t think he realized that I was there, and I saw the swipe password for his phone (which was stupid easy btw). So stupid easy that I could remember it. A few days later while he was in the shower, I helped myself. It was as bad as I expected.

            You would be surprised how easy it is to dig stuff up if you just quietly pay attention. They are often very lazy. Once I was in the phone, I thought that I wouldn’t even know where to look. He was so lazy he was just talking to her on like gchat and didn’t even bother to change her name to like “Dave” or something. Some of them really get off on the secrecy, so it may not be as easy, but it is worth just sort of paying attention to the opportunity presenting itself.

            • Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately my STBX is not stupid (well, not when it comes to protecting his privacy). He never let his phone out of his site and only used his pass code when I was not watching. Now I don’t see him much, which is good actually, but no opportunities to snoop.

  • When my STBX was leaving the house for the last time, I asked him “Are you maintaining a relationship with either of the whores?” and he asked me to “Define relationship.”

    I had to laugh in his face.

  • I have a good one… my cheater went to an event where he had a speaking engagement and invited his girlfriend as a VIP. He made sure she ha a front row seat. ( This was after the first d-day.) When I found out and confronted him his response was, ” I don’t remember telling you she would not be there, You never asked.” So it was my fault for not asking. So my new reality was that I needed to ask if she would be attending each and every event he went attended. But in his defense he didn’t lie to me about her attendance…:)

    • This cracked me up (and I love your screenname, haha. great minds, right?). I had kind of the opposite situation: on D-Day #2, after I finally said “That’s it. We’re separated,” my cheater vowed that he would “show me” how trustworthy he could be and make me change my mind. ? He also refused to move out or even go stay somewhere else. So of course a couple of nights later he stayed out super late and came home wasted. In a Facebook search that lasted about five minutes, I was easily able to look up his and ho-worker’s favorite watering hole and see photos just posted of the events of the evening. Howorker’s, uh, “band” was playing and my cheater was standing in the front row, leering drunkenly at her Super Exciting, Sparkly, Loud, Crass Musician’s body. The fact that he even deigned to come back into my house makes my stomach turn to this day. Talk about a quick way to lose any and all attraction you ever had for your husband. Woof.

      When I sat him down on the couch and said “Hey, even though we’re separated now, it’s just as important as ever for us to be honest with each other, because we won’t be in each other’s lives much and it will be really scary to not be able to trust the word of the other person who’s spending time with our toddler. So I really feel like we just need to set everything aside and just plain and simple communicate honestly whenever we talk, whether it be specifically about kid stuff or unrelated statements. Can we agree on that?”

      “Yes!” he declared.

      “Okay,” I said. “I noticed you came in super late tonight and it appears you’ve been drinking. Did you see Howorker tonight?”


      “I’ll try asking again. Was Howorker present when you were out tonight?”

      “No, I dunno where she was.”

      “Cheater, there are pictures of you all over the Watering Hole Facebook page, leering at her while she plays her um…music. You’re sitting here bald-faced lying to me.”

      “Well I didn’t *know* she was going to be there ahead of time, so I didn’t *intend* to see her…”

      “Oh really? So you went to your favorite bar where you always know exactly what’s going on with just aaaaabsolutely no knowledge that your favorite woman’s band was playing that night? And even just going there in general, probably the #1 place *not* to go if you were actually trying to avoid her. But you’re not. Clearly. Welp now I know exactly what your word is worth, and exactly how trustworthy you are.”

      The sputtering and “but but but” garbage that came out of his mouth after that, trying to salvage the situation, isn’t even worth printing here. But you get it. These people will deny and deny and deny up to and even AFTER you confront them with the proof. Contriteness isn’t a thing in their world. This situation is almost identical to the one that happened on D-Day #1, and D-Day #2, and probably would have kept happening forever if I had allowed it.

      I have never, and will never trust him, so long as I live. I don’t care what would make everybody else more comfortable, and I don’t care how many days or weeks he’s sometimes able to go between Big Obvious Lies. That’s my child he’s driving around drunkenly, and I will doubt him and doubt him (and document and document) until there’s no more breath in my body.

    • I went through the exact same thing with my ex. It’s crazy. Got a lot of, “Well, you didn’t ask me that (whatever ‘that’) was at the time. I had to be very specific with my questions. I used to tell him he would make a great lawyer or politician. He thought it was a compliment. Idiot!

      • They all sound like guilty teenagers trying to lie their way out of stuff to their parents. These so-called husbands (or wives) need to grow the fuck up and stop “acting out” like a rebellious teen in an adult marriage.

        • Totally its like ‘if i lieand get away with it i win and you are stupid for believing ‘ ..what a fucktard its an immature approach to dealing with others that …cos u went along with it its on you ..

  • Lived it first hand. Still living it when it comes to my kids.

    Pattering fuckwad has years of training to do this with clients. I never imagined or even considered this mirrroring douchebag could do this to his partners (check-steady serial cheater in ALL LT relationships including his MOW), children (check), employer (check), friends (check- mainly mine since he has none), extended family (check-mainly mine since he comes from a large nest of covert sociopaths).

    Thanks for the article. Another affirmation of the toxicity of these assholes.

  • Cheater x said work was stressful (didn’t mention it was caused by screwing ho-workers), and I felt sorry for him. Also, he said he had late meetings (left out they were the illicit, infidelity sort), and I was proud he was working so hard.

    How do they justify so much lying (in all it’s various forms)?!

    • A person with conscience doesn’t feel compelled to explain or justify anything unless they have a tactical reason for doing so (to get what they want).

      • This reminds me of my XW…. even after the affair fizzled she maintains her lie. I don’t tell her I have the phone records that show something was going on. If your spouse all of sudden starts needing or losing lots of money. Better get ready for great abandonment.

    • Same here! But instead of about work (he worked from home) it was all about the band. So stressful, they don’t know how to do this or that or that new girl seems like she’s insecure, ect.

      Complaining so much, I felt sorry too, gave suggestions, tried to be supportive. All while he was fucking that new girl in the band. Like he made a big scene about how annoyed he was with the band to throw me off the scent, so I wouldn’t be suspicious!

  • Well, I certainly recognize this kind of behavior, but in the interest of truthfulness, I’m going to continue to call it lying.

    This reminds me of my EX’s view of intent. If he didn’t “intend” to do something, then he still claims he didn’t do it, because action requires intent. So, if he has a relationship with another woman, he says it is not an affair as he only “intended” to help her out and never “intended” to get involved with her. He didn’t steal money from our lives because he “intended” to tell me about the second account he was diverting part of his pay check to. He didn’t “intend” to break windows in a fit of rage; he just threw some stuff because he was mad and the windows broke. Of course, no one can ever see inside his head to know his “intent,” so he will deny with a straight face anything that in retrospect has consequences he doesn’t like. Consequently, he refers to me as the “liar” for referring to his actions as adultery, theft, or destructive.

    Ah, word salad, one of the finer courses served up by lying jackasses. Is “paltering” the croutons or the dressing for this course?

    • OMG, yes. The biggest of these was, “I never meant to hurt you.” Said with an absolutely straight face, too.

    • ugh so familiar “I never intentionally lied to you” takes on a new ring after reading your experience. Ok cuckoo bird well take your lack of intention elsewhere because you also clearly do not intend to maintain an honest relationship

  • OMG, tiredchump. Your list mirrors mine. Why can’t they just look us in the eye and say, “I am selfish, I suck, and I have no remorse.” I might accept that. I keep trying to assign humanity, where there is none.

  • Surprise, surprise, the OW/OM gets the same in my opinion. “In contrast, examples of paltering would include any statements that allow the cheater to rationalize that (s)he is telling a truthful statement, while maintaining the deception so critical to cheating — for example: “I am not seeing Schmoopie at this time.”

    The Limited: We have a sexless marriage.
    Nanthony: He won’t cheat on ME

    Lies are lies but for some reason these assholes have it down. I wasn’t cheating, we had a sexless marriage. Oh, poor baby, you are abused. I’d love to send her the phone records but no, they deserve each other.

  • They’re like 5 year olds.

    Stop hitting your sister.
    I’m not hitting her, I’m kicking her.

    Difference is 5 year olds eventually mature, these fuckwits are as self aware as they will ever be.

  • I think when they successfully lie — and buy themselves more time to eat cake undisturbed — they feel they have proven (to themselves) once again how much smarter they are than we are. The concept of trust is not in their character — they use our trust to con us into believing something that is not true — based on our believing (in) them. We think we have something to rely on — their word — when actually we have accepted the defective building materials for a crumbling foundation. We build a house of delusion with defective materials, and then we are shocked when it tumbles to the ground. In the meantime, they can enjoy the luxury of deluding us, and the affair partner(s) and not doing any work at all. They think they are so smart that they can go on doing this forever, that we will never figure it out, nor will the AP. If we do — they will just replace us with another trusting domestic unit. Evidently the market is flooded with available models, just setting on the shelf, waiting to be used. Sad, but true.

    I have added a modifier to my outlook now — trust but verify. I just don’t believe anything I am told until I have a chance to find out if it is true. I have no tolerance for lies — I cannot think of a single reason that would be acceptable for telling me a lie, understandable, perhaps, but not acceptable. At this point, why bother with a liar?

  • Him: I didn’t go see GF while I was visiting family in Germany.
    Me: But you saw her in a town near you at a festival.
    Him: I was telling her it was over.
    Me: You promised you wouldn’t see her.
    Him: I promised I wouldn’t go to Cologne to see her.
    Me: So, driving to the next village to see her is the same thing.

    Then he went into a 15 minute rant trying to explain what truth is to me, while at the same time bringing up things I did 15 years ago as he tried to switch the focus to me, not his cheating and lying.

    • This is wing nut to a t, crazy making bullshit, dragging lame answers out of him and then look ‘there’s a squirrel’ Made me so pissed or he would kick off on a rant about how much he hates my Dad.

    • Forgot to add, the next day I sent him an email explaining how I cannot trust him unless he is open and honest, I then included the definition of honest just in case he really didn’t know:

      1. the quality or fact of being honest, uprightness and fairness
      2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness
      3. freedom from deceit or fraud

      he failed on all accounts

  • My X had a Ph.D. in paltering. Favorite example, after I found his hand-written notes suggesting an affair with an undergraduate: “I never so much as held hands with her.”

    True, they never held hands, merely had an extended bout of oral sex. Then she told him he’d have to leave his wife (me) for her to go any further.

  • “Spouses aren’t invited.” My ho-worker and I have made the decision to not invite *our* spouses. Passive-voiced bullshit. He didn’t say WHO decided that spouses weren’t invited… just *that* they weren’t.

    Me: Do you want to be married and be a participatory parent or not?
    Cheater: I’m HERE and DOING things, aren’t I? If I really wanted to go, wouldn’t I just leave?

    Me, after coming home from errands to him gaming when I’d asked him to take our three children to the park: Did you go to the park?
    Cheater: Of course I did! You don’t trust me to do ANYTHING right!
    (Met up with his whore and the children she was nannying and spent some QT together while the kids played, then took them for ice cream.)

  • RE: “What a crazy, wild ride it’s been.”

    Back when I was married, we were at my wife’s cousin’s, “Ann’s,” for dinner.

    Ann had a coffee table book that was a glorified checklist that scored how well the reader had “lived.”

    Some questions were good:

    Have you been to Europe? Asia? Montana? Toledo? Here’s your respective points for each.

    Had children. 100 points.
    Successfully raised them: 2000 points.
    Sky-dived? 20 points.
    Had sex in an inappropriate place? 10 points.
    Threesome? 5 points.

    All good, harmless fun…even if the point value assigned to each could be debated.

    But there were also questions like:

    Have you ever stolen something? Points are equal to the dollar value of the item stolen.

    Have you ever cheated on a boyfriend/girlfriend? A spouse? Had an affair? Here’s your respective number of points.

    Are you still with your spouse? The AP? Here’s your respective points for that.

    I was uncomfortable with those types of questions–not because I’d never done anything (I stole a few packs of candy as a kid, etc.) or because I didn’t like reading about these topics.

    I didn’t like that the book equated harmful decisions with “living.”

    Being reckless and harming others is not “wild and crazy.” It doesn’t mean you’ve lived a full, rich life. It just means you’re an asshole.

    • I like Asshole. It’s just a fitting word for these kind of people. It’s not so vulgar but still gets to the point One of many I suppose.

      CL – maybe we can do a topic on best Names to call cheaters. Or maybe that’s been done. ?

    • What a poor excuse for a book. It should be titled “How to Live a Life of Tittilation and Regret.” I’d prefer a version that awards points for rescuing shelter animals, volunteering, smiling at strangers, being kind, passing he parking spot so the person behind you can have it. I would rather live a life of meaning than a shallow life of fun-then-run.

  • Ah, a new term in the arsenal for us to feebly try and get a grasp on the slippery turds that they are…
    My fave expression he threw my way this past weekend: “I’m not hurting you ”
    Yes. As in that very second. In that particular instance he was sitting on the couch while i was sat at the dining table. Our newest blowup was because i snooped his phone and discovered an article he thumbed through (probably with his penis) about ” sexy underbutt tattoos you won’t be able to resist enjoying “. After a week of again shitting on the wife. After only calling to bitch and moan how sucky his life is and how much be hates going to work. After saying he got rid of the porn and erotica obsession, so he doesn’t fill me with hatred about his brain being a jumble of ass and vaginas and tits while we have sex. Again, the intimacy in me is fucking ruined. I again found myself in tears, trying to explain to a grown man how hurt i am. His replies? “I was admiring womens beauty” “i didn’t have time to text you” “do you know how slow my data signal is? It took me 15 minutes to load the pictures because of all the ads!”
    No, i can’t go NC. No,i can’t run away, as much as I’d like to. No, i can’t divorce him. We are legally bound for another few years, otherwise i will never be able to see my son again (from a previous marriage), at least not for 15 years.
    Two things you all need to take from my experience
    1) unicorns don’t exist, leopards don’t change their spots, never dance with the devil…
    2) they are all turds. All of them. That is their worth. Perfume can mask the stench only for so long before you start smelling the shit for what it is.

    • Why are you so stuck, Mg? I am sorry if you told it elsewhere, but I don’t know your story. Is there any way to escape?

      • Thank you. But I’d rather not talk about it anymore. I’ve never shared more than a few snippets of what I’m living. I’m so flippin depressed and feel like my life is wasting away. I’ve loved a turd for years. I come here a few days to read articles and keep my head sort of clear about the turdish behaviors and remind myself that it’s all lies and smoke and mirrors to keep my cake well frosted for the taking. I found CL after ddays, of course. When it hurt so much i thought i was going to die.
        He never hurt me physically, he’s smart like that. He just loves the sadistic psychological torture. I feel dead inside, honestly.

        • I understand not wanting to talk about it right now. Very sorry for what you are living. If you ever do get to the place of wanting to examine it in the company of others–or even just tell it all for your own sanity–this is the space for that. Sending you warmest thoughts of healing and support.

        • I am sorry you are in so much pain, Mg. I will pray you get strength reading the stories here. There are quite a few of us who felt this very same way and are now thriving. Anything is possible.

        • Mg, talk as little as you can to him. Give short answers. Take up walking, go to the library, paint your walls, refinish furniture outside. You get the picture. Do things to get you away from him and the chaos. Stash away cash as often as you can. Get a safety deposit box.

    • Mg: I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how divorcing this fuckwit will prevent you from seeing your son from a previous marriage?? Please at least go see a lawyer; there are almost always options (e.g., could you stay married but live apart?). If you share some of your story here or in the forums, you’ll be amazed at the breadth of legal and tactical knowledge that members of chump nation hold as a result of our own struggles.

      No one can live like you are living. Years of depression and anxiety will cause health problems, almost guaranteed. I do hope that you’ll let us help you explore some options. Huge hugs your way.

      • All i can say is – he’s my sponsor spouse. If i lose my case here in the US i will have to go to EU and my son stays with his dad. That’s it. All avenues will close for years. He knows this, too.

        • Mg:

          I was stuck for three years (for a variety of reasons) – and that emotional crash you’re experiencing is something I felt in my bones for too long. Some things that helped me: reading here at Chump Lady; reading books (a great distraction for the overwrought brain); listening to motivational lectures online (through headphones) while working out, cleaning, etc; and making plans to better my life (dreaming about classes I’d like to take, “window shopping” for pretty home decor online; etc.).

          Basically, I tried to inundate my brain with some kind of positive messaging to stave off the horrifying depression and the constant wave of new bullshit coming from my disordered fuckwit. Being stuck in the negative thought cycles is not conducive to functioning. But, I needed to function — even if not for myself, then for my kids. This was my saving grace that forced me forward, it forced me to listen to positive messages (even when I didn’t want to hear them).

          In my experience, the hardest part of being stuck is getting sucked back in when he’s on “charm channel” — then the rug gets pulled out from under us again … then charm channel … then he pulls the rug … and round-and-round we go. Every time he pulled the rug, he made the wounds even deeper than they had been — and, seriously, who thought they could get deeper than they already were?!

          Do your best to put your shield up to prevent yourself from falling for the charm channel (“I’m so sorry; I love you; I will never look at porn again; you are right — I need to fix myself so I can be a better partner” … it’s ALL bullshit. You may need to actively talk to yourself in your own head when he’s pulling this crap — in order to remind yourself that he has already shown you WHO he is … repeatedly.)

          Like you (and, well every Chump here) – I loved my disordered fuckwit with all of my being for a very long time. So, I caved a LOT — and I got the rug pulled out from under me every single time.

          But, slowly, over the three years, I started seeing him more and more clearly and the “caving” got further and further apart. And now we are finally separated. The relief is beautiful — it’s liberating.

          Keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. I promise you — it is there. And you will get there too. Sending a virtual (((HUG))) your way.

          Take Care,
          Jess’s Mom

    • Mg – your story is sad and concerning. It sounds like you are physically stuck with him for a while, but I wonder if you could use the time to slowly change your thought patterns and try to disengage from him as much as possible? For example, really truly believe that he is a liar with NO empathy and so perhaps you won’t share your thoughts and feelings with him. He won’t give you what you need (empathy and caring) so it might be best to go else for understanding – here at CL or a friend? Also, time spent stuck with him will make it easier to make a move when you are able to. You will truly trust that he sucks and won’t waste time in wreconciliation. There are many of us who have stuck it out with a lying cheating piece of shit for a long time (2 1/2 years for me!) before we were ready to go. If you can get therapy do it! Use the time to educate, protect, and make yourself stronger. It sounds like you are in a tough position. I’m so sorry. ((((Hugs)))

  • My ex was great at this, though he was perfectly happy to lie outright as well. My favorite example was when he told me shortly before our wedding that there was a rumor going around his workplace that he was having an affair with a particular coworker. He scoffed and got worked up about the indignity of such an accusation. I asked if there was any truth to the rumor, and he vehemently denied it. In truth he was having an affair with a *different* coworker, so his statement was technically true. I then mentioned that I was surprised the rumor didn’t involve the coworker he was actually sleeping with (unbeknownst to me at the time) because of the frequency at which he spoke of her. His response: “She’s married.” Also technically true, but that didn’t stop either of them.

    It’s like the concept of the letter of the law vs the spirit of the law. The same applies to honesty. If you’re not meeting the spirit of honesty, you’re deceiving. (Not that most cheaters and abusers have a problem with that. They shrug their shoulders and move on.)

    • I think of this as equivovocation. So, if friends come and carry you out of the house and into a car in which you cruise and drink beer all night, and the carry you back in at some point, then you could sure tell your mom that you never “stepped out of the house.” Factually correct. No steps taken. Totally lie, though.

      Dealing with a narc is like being a linguist in a frigid land where there are ten thousand words for snow. Suddenly, we need a whole vocabulary just to distinguish between the various species of lies, but even though that’s kind of fun intellectually for a lover of language, in practice they have all amounted to the same thing, and led to the same devastating land of betrayal, heartache, and family destruction.

      At some point, I don’t really want to dwell on exactly what types of weaponry and ammunition caused these wounds. I just need to get off the battlefield in one piece, focus on life beyond war, and let the gradual–all too gradual, but real–healing unfold.

      • OMG yes to this – lingual gymnastics is exhausting. So happy to be (mostly) NC as even the very infrequent communication is still mindfucking.

        • Loved that, too. And Whorf was apparently right–cheaterspeak engages concepts of deception that we cannot relate to because they are lost in translation.

      • Talking to mine is such a head fuck that when I’m having a normal conversation with someone say at work I feel refreshed and think wow this is what normal is, wow they ask about me and are interested in things outside of themselves wow.

    • Yes, it was technically true that “she’s married.”

      But her divorce was progressing, *specifically because* I’d left her cheating ass for screwing him!

      Eight months earlier, with me, she just couldn’t keep her stories straight about you. Either you were his ex, or you weren’t his ex, and/or you and he were having a hard time because he lived so far away…and he was so lonesome and needed a “friend.”

      They put all information on a “need-to-know” basis, with “need” defined only by their own selfish want.

      • OMG! “They put all information on a “need-to-know” basis, with “need” defined only by their own selfish want”. You just quoted my ex. From the moment we met 30 some years ago, he’d tell me how this and that person were on a “need to know” basis, and he’s the one that determines whether they “need to know”. At that time so many years ago, he was referring to his parents – at least that’s what I thought. Little did I know that he put me on a need to know basis as well.

        • Initially I thought his “need to know” attitude and how he is often not forthcoming with sharing things about himself to other people was a sign of shyness and humility. He also shares info in vague terms like “same as always, just doing this, you know”.

          In hindsight, I realized that his vague-ness/evasiveness = shadiness and was just another image-management tool in his kit.

          STBX I believe is a covert N.

  • A lie is a lie, no matter what you call it. An attempt to deceive , for your own gain. There is the truth, there are lies, and there are opinions. The only acceptable “lies” are keeping your opinions to yourself to not hurt other people’s feelings. Yes, that dress is pretty, your new hairstyle looks nice, I don’t want that last piece of pie.

    Whatever vehicle you use to deliver your lie is irrelevant. Outright lies, lies of omission, pandering, whatever. Who cares, you’re still a fucking liar.

  • I had started to record our conversations for a while just so he couldn’t go back and claim he didn’t say this but that or try to get off on technicalities, aka Lies. Pathetic

    • I did the same thing.

      He swore that he never called me certain names. Not only do I have him recorded calling me those names, but I have him recorded saying that he never said them.

      Ridiculous that we have had to live like this. Even more ridiculous that I’m still heart broken.

      • Yeah it still fucking hurts…but knowing what we know, we could never be with someone like that. Our minds know this…our hearts are just slow to catch up. Hang in there

    • I never did record him, but I had the notion that I should during the first few weeks after D-Day when he was contradicting himself daily and when I would call him out on it he would say “I never said that”. I was starting to think I was the one going mad.

    • In the beginning of our relationship, when I was still sane, I absolutely thought about doing the same thing.! I wasn’t used to such a sophisticated level of gaslighting and complete and utter bullshit, so I started to think that I was losing my mind and that I should tape our conversations so I could properly remember! “Did I/he really say that?!?” and “I don’t remember the conversation going like that…” were constant refrains until the company line of our marriage became “PutAForkInMe doesn’t have the best memory, we all know that…” though my relatives laud my memory all the time, but what he said, went, so nobody dared correct him….sigh!

      • For years I told myself “I wish I had recorded that conversation, I should record this, blah, blah…” didn’t do it because I was loyal. When I eventually did it, months after DDay 2, best $100 I ever spent. Also caught him phoning the whore as soon as I stepped out of the house, everytime, and lying to the whore too. His best lying tactic? Apologise for telling a pifling little lie about something unimportant, lather on the “I’m telling you this because I really want to be honest with you” before dropping a massive whopper. Works every time.

    • This! When you find yourself recording conversations or printing out email/text conversation strings and squirreling them away (bc cheater will go in and erase them all) so you can PROVE they lied? At some point I came to a big “WTF am I doing?” moment and realized the burden of proof was on the lying liarhole and not me. Why was I then only one looking for the truth? Bc he KNEW what he was saying after the fact was not true…..HE didn’t need to double check bc he knew and was just gaslighting me. Palm meet forehead. I told that lying liarhole that I’d wasted enough of my time trying to believe him and my going back and looking to check that I wasn’t remembering wrong, only proved what a massive lying liarhole he was. All. The. Damn. Time.

      It’s full on crazy making and this is the kind of shit that will suck out your soul. I’m sorry bc I know the disorientation, confusion and feeling like you just need to SHOW him and then somehow he’ll get it? Ugh. He gets it already. I did the same record-keeping in most all forms of communication. Another good reason to try to go as NC or as grey rock as possible and force them to keep things in writing via email. It’s easier to save and deal with it if it’s in an email. Texts are hard to print and read…..but I digress, I finally refused all voice calls from him and refused to talk to him in person no matter that he’s still in the house. Grey rocking it and white knuckling it most of the time. Ugh!

      I’m sad for you bc I know how this kind of desperate shit to stay sane ends…..I think we all do and we just have to go through it anyway. 🙁 Maybe we can go through it a little better/faster bc of what we learn here from the others who’ve already suffered this maddening mayhem. I hope so ? Big hugs

  • The one that I remember best:

    me; Are you still seeing Sue?
    him; I haven’t seen her in a month

    Two days later after seeing his car parked outside her house

    me; you said you weren’t seeing Sue
    him; I said I hadn’t seen her, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to see her

    And then he was outraged I was ‘stalking’ him. LOL, That was the only time I went to his OWs house, it was to confirm the marriage was over.

  • My XW wasn’t bright enough to engage in such nuanced lies. Like a child, she defaulted straight to denial in the face of evidence:
    “You withdrew our money to pay for that hotel.”
    “No. I didn’t.”
    “But here is the bank statement which identifies the hotel and dates.”

    “there is semen in your underwear.”
    “No there isn’t.”
    “Look. Here it is.”
    “What do you mean, no?”
    “That’s vaginal discharge.”
    “No, look, it’s semen.”

    These are disordered children. Reason is futile. Got the evidence? That’s enough. Don’t even bother trying to argue with crazy/evil. Just leave.

    • OMG! The straight faced denial was and still is maddening! I found receipts for gifts, his phone has him in the wrong locations via google, he HAS TEXT MESSAGES THAT SAY I LOVE YOU AND I MISS YOU AND I MISS MEETING YOU, and my favorite…the OW whore said…”don’t tell your lawyer about me. Stick to your story. You’re not happy.” But of course, they are just friends.

      He still can’t think for himself.

      I’m getting more and more pissed as I sit here and read this. UGH

      • Exasshole went the extra mile. After reading a long email and confronting him with it he ‘fixed’ it and showed it to me the next day. He tried to convince me I had imagined the original email. I should have run away right then.

        • I just can’t believe they are all the same. I just can’t believe that this is what he turned into. What a sin.

        • This. Lying liarhole either deleted the whole thing or edited what had been written. Drove me mad, and even when I’d yank out the original copies to prove he changed it or deleted it, he just flat lied. Wide eyed and innocent doncha know? “No idea what coulda happened Chik – like maybe we been hacked?!” WTFH? Who would want to hack us to change the wording in our email exchanges? Just, omg, makes me want to scream and bang my head on the wall just discussing it. Just fucking liars. I hate all of the round and round so much and still stupidly get sucked in sometimes if I let my guard down. Fucking insanity.

          And it makes me so angry – I’m not even hurt about it no matter what it is or what it says – I’m just immediately royally pissed when he starts with any of the “tactics.” Of course then he says I have an anger problem and that’s why we keep having these dreadful miscommunications….. “No, my problem is that you are one giant abyss of a lying liarhole and let me be clear, so others hear and it can never be said there was any miscommunication on MY part…… are one fucking giant abyss of a dirty cheating lying liarhole. I’m out.” I haven’t spoken to him unless about the kids. It’s MY turn to pretend HE doesn’t exist. Fuckwad.

  • “Closure means different things to different people.”

    By which he meant, “to me it means opensure.”

    Redefining terms do he isn’t a “liar.”

  • I remember using that technique as a child with my parents to avoid consequences. But, oh surprise, I outgrew as an adult. Evidently, they lying, sneaky cheaters don’t!

  • Paltering…hmmmmm

    I’m reminded of a scene in an Elvis old movie, two kids must share a chocolate bar and one kid breaks the bar in an obviously 3/4 to 1/4 ratio. To make it supposedly fair the kid who broke it unevenly takes a big bite of it and then compares the rest of the bar as evenly split and the chump kid falls for the trick.

    Paltering, is a trait that lying cheating people use. Cheaters are very concerned with their image, very concerned with appearing the nice one. It’s for external show, but on the inside they are cunning and self interested in getting the most for the least effort. These are traits that has worked for them throughout life, and why stop what works for them. Plenty of chumps out there to keep on keeping on in the game of cheating opportunists.

    Paltering is everywhere, like the new and improved “it tastes like butter margarine”.

    • Him: “I told you some of the truth; just not all of it.” Or…”I didn’t tell you the truth because I knew it would hurt you.”

      Silly me…I should have shown him gratitude for being lied to and him not hurting me (face palm)They really are this stupid and soulless?

      I don’t miss the lies, arguing about “truth” or him. The walls of my house are singing again and my heart, body and soul is being nurtured by me. I now use the time I wasted “debating” trickle truth, half truths and untruths, taking care of myself. 15 months since DD and 3 months since divorce finalized. No contact has been my life line!

      Here are just a few benefits from kicking out a lying, cheating, stealing, manipulative and cruel asshole:

      -Low-to-no drama lifestyle
      -Money stays in my accounts unless I move it
      -No STD testing
      -Physically I feel the best I have in years (still have cancer but am on my way)
      -Spiritually and mentally I feel the best I have in years
      -Self respect
      -Clearer thinking
      -No marriage policing, no sick-to-my stomach intuition suppression, no family and marriage image protecting or spackling

      So much more time to spend with family and friends that “get it”.


  • I am trying to settle an issue with my MSA with my ex….tax stuff. He’s refusing to pay his half of what we owe, I told him to talk to my atty.
    He says ” let’s just figure something out because the attys will bankrupt us”. ( reasonable right?) to which I reply ” you’ve lied to our kids since you left about who you are, you lied to me our entire marriage, you tried to get me to trade your pension for our house WITH the mortgage. You lied about every affair even with undeniable proof. You are a pathological liar and unfortunately I can’t trust you to settle anything honestly without an atty.”
    His response? ” that was two years ago, I don’t lie anymore.”…….also a lie, I’m certain of it.

    • ” let’s just figure something out because the attys will bankrupt us”

      This is called ‘teaming’, a very effective strategy that doesn’t work on us anymore. Read “Gift of Fear” for a full explanation of how subtle it can be, not that his response was subtle in this case…

    • Don’t buy his bullshit paintwidow. Mine said the exact same thing. Really pushed me for us to do easy uncontested divorce. Meanwhile he was draining our retirement account and pulling every dirty financial trick in the books – – and probably some that are not yet documented in the narc books. If he wants to do it without a lawyer, let him! As for you, make sure you have a lawyer representing you and pay very careful attention to everything related to finances. 6 months since divorce is final and I am SO HAPPY I get child support through wage garnishment – otherwise I’d be getting nothing! tax laws and such differ from state to state, but I pushed for Maximum child support – which is not taxable to me (and got it) and walked away from requesting any spousal support (its treated as taxable income to me). I went for the bigger expected overall support/compensation long term. Child support for our 13 year old will last for another 6 years or so, but if I had compromised and taken some or all in spousal support, it would only have lasted 2-4 years (our Judge was not an advocate of spousal support). I work professionally and make a good income, although he makes more. With support our incomes are about level. That was the goal of the court (not me…I’d have left him with nothing if I had my way).

  • I’m just going to say truthfully that I don’t understand this “concept” of paltering, and don’t really see it as any different from regular lying.

    • To normal people, it is absolutely lying. To toddlers and the disordered, it is not lying because ‘technically’ they are telling the truth. However, they are only ‘technically’ telling the truth if they use a non-standard definition for truth.

      Chump: Did you talk to the OM/OW?
      Cheater: No, I did not talk to them.

      Reality: Cheater texted the other person. In cheater reality, texting and talking are completely different activities. Of course, this is only cheater reality. They would only be lying if you asked, “Did you text OM/OW?” and they said no. Of course, they never actually tell you what words mean to them, and they KNOW what words mean to you. But they are allowed, in their mind, to answer from their definition of words when they absolutely know what you meant by your question.

      Paltering is often used in conjunction with gas lighting. It is an effort to make you think you are crazy. It is actually worse than straight lying in my opinion because they are going to use it to argue with you up and down that they did in fact tell you the truth.They can even present the story to other people in a way that makes it seem like they really are telling the truth. They also make it draining to have any conversation with them or get any important information because one question has to turn into twenty questions as you try to ask things in just the ‘right’ way to get an answer.

      Depending on how disordered, they can do this in a way that is absolutely dangerous. Example: “When you got your test results, did is show you had an STD?” Cheater: “Absolutely not, I told you I didn’t have an STD!” Reality: “They had what is classified as an STI, not an STD. The Chump, being faithfully married and honorable has no idea there is a different term being used (because when they got married 25 years ago, things were classified as STDs and they don’t keep up on those things), so – they don’t know how to answer the question.
      Also, asking the Cheater, “Did you pay what we owed in taxes?” Cheater: “Yes, I paid what we owed!”. Reality” Cheater didn’t pay the tax bill because they don’t agree with the tax laws and therefore don’t believe they should ‘owe’, so now Chump is in debt to the government and they have no idea.

      Thankfully those aren’t my stories, but mine aren’t any better. My Cheater said he didn’t have ‘sex with a prostitute’. The reality was – he got a blow job from a prostitute. In his mind, that wasn’t ‘sex’, even though she was straddled on top of him while he was lying on a massage table and he was grabbing her bare butt at the time. But nope, he never had ‘sex’ with a prostitute.

      • “Didn’t have sex” ? Got a b.j. instead ? Who is he-Bill Clinton ?
        Denial,obfuscation,evasiveness,prevarication…Blah,blah,blah…it’s all mindf*ckery.
        Good riddance

  • Here’s another one. On the momentous day I found his secret burner phone (not well hidden, I didn’t expect to find it, yet another passive aggressive maneuver) of course I looked at the call log. As hub was walking by me in the hallway, I asked him when was the last time he had spoken with sluntwhore (he had said it was “over”) He looked like a 3yr old, eyes darting all about, all defensive, and said, “I don’t know, a few weeks ago. Why do you ask?” I put on my best Perry Mason hat and persevered, “Like, exactly WHEN a couple weeks ago?” him…”I don’t know. Stop interrogating me. This is hard for me too, you know.” I said as I brought the phone out of my pocket, “well, I found your secret phone and there’s a time stamp from today.” Him turning red and looking like he just swallowed a 1960 Buick, “I NEVER TALKED TO HER.” Me: “Then how do you explain it?” him “I don’t know, I never talked to her, I’m telling the truth.” So after a few more minutes of this evasive back and forth, the TRUTH came out. He had left a “voicemessage” for her as some kind of SIGNAL, but he never ACTUALLY spoke directly TO HER. This kind of mind fuck drove me insane. I had no idea there was a definition for it, now I do. My narcissist hub was the master of this crazy crap along with word salad, verbal vomit, lying by omission, gaslighting, projection, and blame shifting. Now he’s the most angry man in the world because I filed for divorce and he has to support me forever since we were married for 25 years. Don’t know if he’s still with the slunt cos he only knew her for a couple of weeks before he declared her his soulmate and their “love” was worth breaking up a fairly happy marriage for. Any time I mentioned midlife crisis, he went nuts. Said it was LOVE and he wasn’t a cliche. Never wanted to go to therapy, either. Chumplady saved my life, when I couldn’t sleep and cried 24/7, I was still able to gain some inner strength from reading her and all of your comments. So thank you. I’m halfway to meh. He’s trying to harm me financially as some sort of revenge retaliation because I wouldn’t go along with his polyamory “solution” to our “problem”.

    • BeowulfSabrina,

      So sorry for the craziness and pain your STBX caused. You are strong, courageous and will get through the divorce. CN is behind you.

      It is hard to comprehend that they cause the drama and damage and then are angry when served consequences isn’t it?

      The lie-free, cheater-free land of meh awaits…
      See you there!

  • What I don’t think they realize is if it is not true…it’s a lie. If you lie by omission or by commission, it’s a lie either way. I got the “Im not having sex with her” line. Of course he meant not that moment as he was talking to me. I threw it back in his face on Dday and he had no response. Unfaithful is unfaithful, no matter the time frame, fool! It had been going on at least 3 years at that point…I’m glad to be free if his everyday lies, but what bothers me is the ines he tells the kids. They are getting older (10 and 12) and now question their father when they realize that something he is telling them is off. What’s funnier is when they ask me as the tie-breaker. Boy, do I have fun with that as 5 years of separation has shown me that my ex is a pathological liar of the worst kind.

      • Won’t top it but mine thinks now that I know about the cheating, it’s not a lie any more.

        He even said he is “a habitual truth teller”- lie number ….

      • My disordered fuckwit once asked me a very telling question that is pretty close to this …

        Cue sad-sausage mode: “Whyyyyyy do you care so much about honesty?”

        Turns out I had a pathological liar on my hands. He lied about big stuff, little stuff, pointless stuff … all stuff. Zero conscience about it.

  • I love this post UX! I like the specific question idea but unfortunately with a cheater asking specific questions just means you have to know exactly what questions to ask.

    My ex was absolutely fabulous at the whole paltering/mindfuckery exercise. He absolutely swore that he never lied to me and if I had come out and asked him outright if he was cheating with OW, he would have told me the truth. This of course meant that I had to ask him if he was having sex with that precise woman. For example if I asked him if he were sleeping with someone else he would have told me no and he wouldn’t have been lying. At that moment he wasn’t sleeping and the act of sex is not sleeping; plus I wouldn’t have mentioned her name. See how that works?

    I thought that put the onus quite unfairly on me but he didn’t see it that way. One other note: Cheaters don’t like when you pull the same paltering on them. As a parting shot on my way out the door, I accepted a friend request on FB from a nemesis of his youth who I dated at one point. Out of respect for our marriage I blocked this person when I joined FB but since we were divorcing and since he had no respect for our marriage, I figured what the hell.

    I dropped it into a conversation at dinner that we were Facebook friends for about a month and he was upset that I never told him. I replied that “I’m friends with your mother, siblings, nieces and nephews on FB and they can all see who I’m friends with; it’s not like I tried to hide it.” (Exact same line he used on me when I found out about his affair). He didn’t see it that way and surprise, surprise, learned nothing from the experience.

    Yet one more sign I was doing the right thing. I tell ya, in the game of engaging with a cheater, “the only winning move is not to play.” (War Games)

  • Well, UX, you just described my entire marriage of 30 years. And I had no idea that I needed to be asking careful, specific questions so I didn’t. I love learning new words, so thanks for adding “palter” to my vocabulary. And communication based largely on paltering would be … palterfication?! Or just palter-fiction?! 🙂 Some of the best paltering I heard included …

    “Dixie, there is NO other woman in my life but you.” (Because the other person was/is a man.)

    “Dixie, I will be home from my weekend visit to my mom’s house in a few hours. I stopped off to visit my good buddy on the way home.” (I did that a day and a half ago.)

    I could go on but the point is that you really nailed it, UX. I would have benefited from this awareness a long time ago, but better late than never. I sincerely hope that none of us ever need to use careful cross examination with our future partners.

  • I questioned him after finding some packaging from Victoria’s Secret in the truck of his car “That isn’t mine. I can’t remember the last time I was in a Victoria’s Secret”.

    Took me awhile- on-line purchase. Duh, I am the Chump. We believe what we want to believe. Glad I am not monitoring that crap anymore.

  • I looked this up, and a definition I found is “using truthful facts to deceive”. Also, ” using truth to lead to a faulty conclusion. ”

    So I’m guessing the difference between this and regular lying is that it contains some truth. Whatev’s . it’s still lying.

  • Ah yes…paltering. STBX is great at this, always has been. We had a conversation about trying to make the relationship work. It was before the last DDAY, so I didn’t *know* what was wrong exactly, just *knew* something was not right. So, after I found out what he was doing, this was the conversation:

    Me: How did you think you were giving your all and trying to make us work when everyday you were going out, stalking women and videotaping body parts and up their skirts?

    STBX: When we talked you asked me to sleep in bed with you (because it had been over 4 years since he bothered to come upstairs), be more affectionate, and stop treating you like a whore. You never asked me to stop taking pictures (because he won’t ever say the words “videotape”) of women. You never once asked me to stop that.

    Well yeah, I didn’t know you were doing it asshole, and never in a million years did I think I’d have to explicitly say to my HUSBAND “don’t be a pervy Peeping Tom”! But apparently I fell short because I am not a mind reader and didn’t ask him to stop doing something I had no idea he was doing! They suck so bad…

    • Some of these disordered fuckwits hit the scare end of the spectrum (my disordered fuckwit is one of them as well). It’s truly horrendous to discover that the person you loved is a monster. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that.

  • Thanks for the great post UXworld! I have always known that the X lied through lies of omission rather than lies of commission, but now that my eyes are open to the definition of “paltering”, I can see that it perfectly describes my X’s lies. It’s the plausible deniability part that he excelled at – really PhD level paltering. He could always claim misunderstanding on the listeners part. ALWAYS. Your post helps me feel that with my truth bias and his paltering, I didn’t stand a chance of figuring it out for a long long time. And that’s on him, not me. So glad to be rid of that daily mind fuckery.
    So so happy.

  • Excellent topic UXworld.
    Every Chump has to deal with one form of lying, or in some cases, ALL forms of lying, to some degree.
    The one I dealt with and struggle with, to this day, is lying by omission.
    I believe that, admitting, saying, nothing nothing NOTHING about the affair when discovered would have to be labelled LYING BY OMISSION.
    No matter what kind of lies, paltering, whatever form a cheater practises, THEY ALL =PAIN!
    (I could not get to sleep last night after reading all of yesterday’s topic post, filled with so much hurt brought on to innocent children by the cheaters. The postings did show the prevailing strength of CL, CN. You all are mighty and I wish I could hug each one of you and each precious child).

    I will always remember, as Nejla, wisely said in a post today, “We get to keep our own values.”

  • Paltering relies on our tendency to trust others and not cause a scene.” Ahhh… Lying by omission with a side order of FOG – Fear, Obligation, & Guilt. My cheater-wife is a ninja-master when it comes to this.

    There’s always just enough of the truth to lead me to the conclusion she wants. If I happen to question her validity she immediately employs FOG to give her cover so she can quickly figure out how she can refocus blame back to me.

    These days I just assume whatever comes out of her mouth is a lie. It drives her nuts that all I ever answer anymore is, “Uh -huh. Sure. Whatever you say.” Sometimes she presses the issue with, “What?! Don’t you trust me?!

    Sweetie… You showed me that you’re a lying cheating piece of shit asshole. You’ll say whatever it takes to maintain your suburban-soccer-mommy public image while you troll fakebook for BDSM fuckbuddies. You taught me how to read between your lies; of course I don’t trust you.

    • BNM, that’s exactly the antidote, just assume EVERYTHING they say is a lie. Works for me. If it matters (kids, divorce, etc.) I ask more specific questions. Everything else gets *crickets*. Gives him less chances to lie to me in his myriad of ways…Which I swear he gets off on. Creepy.

  • UXWorld,

    Great guest post. Always nice to hear from you. One other thought.

    “I want us to be able to look back on life and be able to say, ‘what a crazy, wild ride it’s been’.”

    Wow, combining this with your past posts, it’s sounds like she feels the whole ‘get married, have kids and raise them as a family’ is a bucket list item on a par with ‘see Paris in the springtime’ or ‘get high at a Pink Floyd concert’. Glad you’re mostly rid of her.


  • How did my XH react when I started asking questions which required definitive answers? He went to a whole new level of tactical deflection. Here’s part of a recorded phone conversation, minus an additional 34 swear words the narc used. (XH’s job required him to travel so we communicated via phone quite often… turned out great for documenting)

    ME: It’s a simple yes or no answer.
    XH: Here you go again, playing attorney.
    ME: Just answer the question.
    XH: (immediate rage). You wonder why I get so frustrated all the time?
    ME: Actually I don’t. Answer the question please.
    XH: I get frustrated because YOOOUU don’t trust me. You think you’re so much smarter than everyone. You’re constantly questioning everything and when your not satisfied with what I tell you, you keep poking and poking at me by phrasing words to use as bait. I constantly feel like I’m on the witness stand being cross examined by you. You have to know every damn little detail.
    ME: Please answer the question. You don’t like it when I jump subjects and that’s what you just did. Lets finish what we were discussing before.
    XH: Stop interrupting me! You want me to answer your question but I don’t get a chance to talk.
    ME: (silence)
    XH: Hello?
    ME: I’m here, go ahead.
    XH: Go ahead what?
    ME: You said I never give you the chance to answer my questions. You have the entire floor and I will not interrupt you. Go ahead and answer, I’m all ears.
    XH: Why do you always have to act like a six year old? “answer the question, answer the question”. Why can’t you have a conversation like a normal adult and not be such a fucking bitch and pain in my ass all the time?
    ME: (being quietly sobbing)
    XH: (switched voice to calm/caring) I mean seriously honey, don’t you get tired of this back and forth? You make it impossible for us to finish a discussion because you have to make everything so difficult. We can’t finish a conversation because you can’t stay on the topic and you keep bringing up shit that isn’t important.
    ME: I agree that we need to stay focused on one issue at a time and resolve………
    XH: (back to rage) Let me fucking finish! You get pissed off when I interject my thoughts into a conversation but you don’t seem to notice or maybe you don’t care that you interrupt me all the time!
    ME: Wait, what? If I say something before you finish speaking, I’m interrupting but when you say something before I finish, you’re interjecting? Wow!
    XH: (click)

    Question never answered.
    Accountability to a narc is like kryptonite to Superman. They fly away from it as fast as they can because it will annihilate their
    superpowers of manipulation, betrayal, and destruction.

    • Holy fucking shit.
      Come on heart, catch up to your head!!!
      How can they all be the same? This is insane!

    • Omg your recorded conversation transcription… just wow… thanks for posting.
      No wonder I felt like X and I got nowhere with our conversations.
      The complete and total mindfuckery. All those words and zero communication.
      So happy to be divorced….

    • Wow. In the cheater manual, that has to be akin to showing Chess Master moves in a how to play chess book.

    • Reading this phone dialog made me sick to my stomach because I dealt with the same awful abuse as you. His could’ve easily been one of our “conversations.” I wish I had recorded some of the insanity, but I don’t think I would be able to listen to it.
      Sorry you were married to an abusive ass also.

      • All too familiar. They all spew out the same boring bullshit. Reading CN always reminds me of this quote: “Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.” Simone Weil.

    • I know their playbooks are essentially the same, but your post took me a bit my surprise. I had eerily similar conversations with my disordered fuckwit (especially near the end as I gathered more and more evidence).

    • Jesus. I thought I was reading one of my posts. These guys are so similar. I get the same BS. They suck.

    • What is even more sick is how they blame how we ask a question, how we need to repeat ourselves, the tone we use,… Instead of focusing on the bigger issue which is their absolute flat out refusal to answer the question.

      I have to say reading this was a little upsetting for me. I go through this almost every single day. Papers are getting filed 3 week, looking forward to being free

  • “One occasional advantage of paltering over lying is plausible deniability: You can blame any misunderstanding on the listener. Without knowing the speaker’s intentions, it’s difficult to diagnose paltering with certainty”

    And ^^^^THIS^^^^ is why I went into mediation saying nothing should be left open ended! I identified this pattern years ago, but I didn’t know there was a specific name for it! Open ended = manipulation with my ex. I specifically told the mediator do not use words with vague meanings!

    This is such a natural ability for my STBX, and when someone calls him out, there’s quite often an, “oh, you misunderstood what I was saying.” Most often the misunderstanding was to his benefit. His mother also has this skill (that is, if we are considering this a skill… I consider it a byproduct of the disordered). It often leaves you scratching your head!

  • Oh, my cheater was a pro at this paltering thing. Now I know there’s a term for it!
    Samples of her explanations for “technically true but deceitful:”
    “I never told you that day I was having an affair with him.”
    Truthful parts: on one particular day, she didn’t tell me she was cheating with him.
    Deceit: that didn’t mean I wasn’t cheating, I just didn’t TELL you that…on that day.

    When I asked her “Where were you last night? You said you were at the office late, but no one answered the phone when I called.”
    “I told you, I was at the office! Why do you have to be so suspicious?”
    Truthful part: I was at the office…earlier in the day.
    Deceit: I wasn’t actually at the office when you called.

    She was also a pro at deflecting the question back at me:
    “What is this, the INQUISITION? Why do you have to ask me so many questions?”
    “A jealous man is so unattractive.”
    “You always act like you’re perfect, but you’re not!”
    “I guess everyone always expects me to be perfect, but I’m human, too!”

    Actually, the standard was a lot lower than “perfect,” and I had no trouble passing it.

    • Variation on your cheater’s perfection theme — early on after the hammer came down, KK posted on Facebook (and deleted within 12 hours): “Go ahead and judge me — just remember to be perfect for the rest of your life.”

      So apparently there are only two states in life: perfection (which nobody can achieve) and non-perfection (in which everything is equal and there are no false equivalencies: infidelity is equal to forgetting to pick up the cleaning)

    • OMFG….. Yes I get this!!
      Well YOU werent easy to live with…. YOU werent always honest – ok so one time he said how much was the swimming lessons this term and I said I think about $65…. They were $70….
      YOU get all judgy – even Jesus forgave sinners
      Well Im not middle eastern, or Jewish, or a boy, or the freaking Messiah so excuse me for being all judgy on you poking your pudding where it shouldnt go….

  • I’m assuming paltering stems out of work in pragmatics (the branch of linguistics dealing with social conventions of language). Grice formulated some conversational maxims that we (almost) all live under, such the ‘cooperative principle’-that people in a conversation will attempt to be clear, truthful, and informative by providing the other person with the information that they need (and that they will do the same for us).

    Needless to say, not even Pragmatic or Gricean rules apply to cheaters; they have no intention of being ‘cooperative,’ nor of providing relevant or truthful information. Even in conversation, their main goal is to show “you’re not the boss of me.”

  • Me: Hey I’ve noticed you’ve been a little distant lately, is everything OK between you and me?
    Albatross: (Looking me straight in the eyes) Yes, everything is OK between you and me?

    Two weeks later after DDay and I call him on it: Everything IS OK between you and me, I’m just in love with her.

    “Like all valuable commodities, truth is often counterfeited.” James Cardinal Gibbons

  • The thing that depresses me the most about being cheated on for decades (hindsight is really something) is not losing, in my case, 42 years of references and memories, not the financial damage and abuse, not spending the next 30, maybe +, years without a partner.

    What depresses me the most is having been so blind to paltering, so stupid and such a spackler.

    Chump Lady’s analytic method should be required curriculum for young people. I would have been a top student. I went to boarding school and we had to learn to make an examination of conscience. But we never learned how to tune our pickers.

  • I received many forms of paltering, but one that sticks out is when I asked if she used our family’s resources for her 18 month affair. She vehemently denied it. I later showed her bank evidence and pictures that his wife me sent of gifts and gift cards that Voldemort had sent her AP. I discovered she had spent hundreds into thousands on her AP while we drown financially (the specific was summer of 2014 when I had to miss my 20th HS reunion and my grandmothers funeral, both in another state, because there was not enough money in the bank for airfare) and her response was “It wasn’t like I didn’t have my own money. I only used my money for the affair.”

    There’s a long list of other examples. I can only imagine what paltering has been spread about me…

  • Me: your capacity to lie is terrifying.

    Him [without even looking up from his iPad or changing any noticeable demeanour]: I know.

  • I am fixing the hundreds of things that need repaired at my house, that literally started breaking 3 months after he moved out and I recalled something he said often as he was taking shortcuts when we were building. “I’ll be long gone before things break”. I foolishly thought he thought he would be dead. Unfortunately I was wrong.

  • Just last week my granddaughter and I were talking about how she no longer sees the asshole. After DDay he continued to pick her up after school and drop her off at my daughter’s work. I would pick her up fifteen minutes later when I finished work. One day I received a call from the police as the Limited said I broke into his house. He also gave a list of things I supposedly did over the past two years. When I asked the officer why he was calling from X town rather than the place he lived, the officer stated the address he gave was my daughter’s home. The officer and I had a laugh together as I have a key to her home to let her dog out on the weekends. He uses her mailing address rather than the whore’s house.

    As a result he called me raging that he would no longer drop her off because he had been doing me a favor. He stated he would drop her off at her house instead. After cancelling three times, her dad grew tired because he wasn’t reliable.

    My granddaughter told me that he said, “Grandma doesn’t want me to drop you off at her work anymore.” I was visibly shocked. She said it had hurt her at the time. I know this isn’t an example. I just needed to vent.

  • Oh, how much I needed this paltering story today. My cheater has a PhD in it.

    A few weeks before DDay my gut was screaming loudly. I kept asking questions, wanting explanations to his ever evasive ways, demanding timelines to end our long distance marriage in the last 6 years, asking him repeatedely if he was committed to us (he said yes) and wanting him to move in with me and son as he had promised. He asked me how I envisaged our future 5 years down the road. Wow! Kibble thrown. He talks about the future! I said something along the lines of living together, raising our son, travelling, having fun, etc. He said “Nice. Interesting that you think so. That’s a great excercise, Longtime. Do it again.” I asked him how he evisaged the future. He said he did not know yet but he would consider my offer. My offer???? 12 years married??? Huh. Yet, in the following few days leading to DDay and during the next year or so of wreckonciliation attempts I clung to that “future” conversation thinking he was willing to consider it.

    I could never make sense of it. He never lied. Or so I thought. He even volunteered extra information post DDay. But this paltering always, ALWAYS!

    After a few months of CL wisdom, a week ago in a heated conversation over our divorce settlement (he agrees we should not be together but does not want me to proceed with the divorce) he blamed me for being inattentive to his needs – this was the reason of his 12 -year long distance love affair and other sex flings. I asked him “Can you be monogamous?” His answer was “I can be myself. Noone can tell me what to do (read: your are not the boss of me.) I am a freedom loving and people loving explorer.”
    I pressed:
    “So, can you be monogamous? Yes or no.”
    “I am what I am. I can be what and when I decide to be. You tried to change me! You wanted to domesticate me!”
    I insisted:
    “It’s a yes or no answer. Can you or can’t you be monogamous?”
    “I can be. Technically. I was. But I can have side interests sometimes.”
    “Thank you. You have answered my question.”

    My insistence paid off. It felt great.

    • Long Time Chump, this arsehole takes the cake every time! He truly is a master at this game, I’ll grant him that. I hate him more and more each time and always think some of his shit will come up when I read about truly outrageous mind fuckery on CN. I think he’s the CN champion mind fucker.
      I hope he uses his extraordinary abilities to earn loads of money to pay you huge child support.
      Hope you don’t need to have more conversations with this demon and get your divorce sorted soon. Hugs.

      • I usually reply to LTC’ s posts with what a pompous prick this guy is, Lady B. We’re on the same page. I think he also wins the biscuit for most annoying cheater.
        Mine was like that too, rambled on and lectured for hours using long words he couldn’t pronounce. He also made up words and assured me they existed (usually a mash up of 2 pompous words). Then he would demand that I get the dictionary out, find the word or usually the 2 words he had mashed up, then have a debate about all the meanings. But at the same time he buttered me up about how I was so good with words and I had spotted the mash up. Great diversion tactic, word salad of epic proportions!

        • Mine would try and sound smart by talking about some German philosophy he knew next to nothing about. He could never accept he was a normal guy and wanted to understand things more I guess but often came across as either a crackpot, tin foil hat member or new age loser.
          His favourite thing to say to me whilst break up was that ‘I was unevolved’ think that is because I had morals and standards that he considered part of the establishment and a product of my brainwashing oh I mean upbringing of my parents, head fuck foe sure.

  • I knew there was a word for this.

    I got one of these: When I saw his car “hidden” outside of her place again. And I said “move out”… again. He said to me “You will never see my car at her place again.”

    … I was so fucking shell shocked that I just left it. I wish now I had said “of course not, you will park it down the street somewhere, or hide it in her garage or uber from the office.” Such a fucking asshole

    • And Jackass, when I told him (on my birthday) that I thought he didn’t love me anymore:

      “We’ll have to do something about that.” Followed by the classic Jackass smirk.

  • Traitor didn’t lie about not being divorced from his first wife, because he was “divorced in his head”, it’s over, he’s as good as divorced. So he didn’t lie. Simple really.
    Traitor didn’t lie about going to CHCH to see his kids, because he did, for one evening, spent the rest of the time with the whore. But he didn’t lie. Simple.
    Whenever I tried to pin him down, sad sausage felt he was ” ALWAYS under interrogation”.
    Traitor didn’t lie to his family about having a PhD, he simply never told them he dropped out 6 months before being finished and they all assumed he had a PhD. Always dropped in conversations “when I was doing my PhD studies”, then everyone would assume he had a PhD, and he wouldn’t correct them. Simple.
    Would have been simpler to stick it out for the last 6 months and get the bloody PhD, wouldn’t it?

  • I really doubt most of these shithooks are not the superb con artist liars that they think they are. Ex thought he was Mr. Super Slick but he really was able to fool me mostly because every time I questioned a lie, he took the opportunity to turn it around as a chance to discuss my flaws. Or scream at me for “spying” on him. He knew that I wouldn’t fight back cause I had an abusive ex before him and had learned to keep my mouth shut. So he really was a crappy liar.

  • A ex-friend was so good at this –

    Me: so what are you doing on the weekend?
    HM: ah, just going to the Carribean
    Me: oh wow! How come?
    HM: because that’s where the boat is going

    It all fell into place when we got the surprise ! email that there was a wedding, here are the photos and the family holiday we took our extended family on… on a cruise… to the Carribean islands. A wedding that both sides of immediate family members were invited on, so 10 guests, and NOT ONE couple knew of the other couples attending – even the bride only believed her parents were coming. He literally lied and deceived every person, at every level about every detail. And yet, they all trust him and worse, appreciate his surprises. Guy always did creep me out.

  • I honestly thought my STB EX did this b/c he’s in politics. No, he’s just a dick. This thread has been amazingly refreshing and I feel 10% less crazy. He would give me the “Sorry, you just didn’t ask the right question” look or response to things like if he were to deploy for the military. I didn’t know I SHOULD ask if he can control his deployment. I didn’t know I SHOULD ask if he was taking OW to a fancy political dinner b/c the year before he completely ignored me and this year I was home with our sick child. He only told me “Well, you said you didn’t want to go.”

    But this, the hiding of dinners, the texts, emails, lunches….he was not cheating (emotionally only I think) at all. It was just a huge coincidence that this woman finally moved to town and our marriage ended w/in two months (they would meet up when she came to town in the years prior).

    F this guy.

  • Am I the only one who still has feelings for this asshole? I still love him. I am angry and hurt, but I still love him.

    I hate this roller coaster.

    • Oh my dear, the mixed feelings are normal. How long are you out, if at all? It takes a long time, and you still have strong feelings for the man you thought he was. I’m getting better but I still have my days…Having to see the bastard every week actually helps in my case, because he demonstrates every week in subtle ways what a shit he really is. When I don’t see him, my imagination and longing for what I believed were genuine good times in the relationship lead me astray.
      Maybe you can make a list of all the things he’s done to hurt you, make it detailed, think about all the little steps he had to take to cheat? Cheating is an elaborate process and he could have stopped at any step along the way. Same with all the other hurtful things he’s done. What they do is very complex, not accidental, be it the daily psychological manipulation and devalue, or the cheating itself. So list it all and turn to your list when these feelings come. Hugs.

      • I guess all in all, almost 2 1/2-3 years of chaos. The I love you but not in love with you bullshit. I have worked my ass off to make it work. Books, therapists, etc. He said he “didn’t have it in” him to try to work things out, but was afraid leaving would be a mistake. Fast forward to Sept. of 2016. I told him he had to make a choice and he needed to stop talking to his “friend”. He said he couldn’t so I kicked him out. He left that day and lived with family. From Sept. to Dec. I did everything I shouldn’t have done – crying, begging, etc. The kids wanted to part of him (I got blamed for that too). When December rolled around and he wanted to wake up in the house on Christmas morning, I told him no because he didn’t live in the house anymore. We fought…he said he knew I would do anything to get him back home. At that moment, something clicked and I told him to only come home to work on the marriage. Well, he came home, but not to work on shit. 3 weeks later, the girlfriend called him on his cell. I handed him the phone and heard her ask why he was being weird. He told her he would call her back from his truck. I was dumbfounded. Then he told me he was fucking her. I didn’t even respond. 5 minutes later he said he wasn’t fucking her, he was just trying to get me to admit that I was fucking someone too. Mind you, I have been eating shit sandwiches at this point for 2+ years and have no fight or self esteem anymore. A few weeks later, I found the text messages from her (I love you. I miss you. I miss seeing you.) He refused to leave. I made him sleep on the couch and move out of the bedroom. 1 week later I filed for divorce. Right now he is out of the house because he spit on me and in exchange for dropping the RO, he had to leave the house. We go for mediation in a few weeks with our lawyers. He treats me with nothing but anger and disdain. I am fairly NC, except that when he picked the girls up for Easter, I lost my shit because he came from the direction of the girlfriend’s house, not the house where he is living now with his family. He is being a nasty asshole and trying to make it look like I’m nuts.

          • Sending giant hugs to you Shit bag wife! You’re not the only one who still has feelings — I think it takes a long time before those disappear because it’s someone you trusted and loved and built a life with and emotions are not just a switch you can turn off instantly.

            I’ve found the CL/CN advice about separating out feelings from what you’re willing to accept to be really useful – you can still love or care for or have feelings for the cheater, but refuse to accept being treated badly. With the eventual goal of having the feelings fade to “meh” as your heart catches up to your head and you realize that the person you “love” is not the person the cheater actually is and probably is not the person that the cheater ever was. Some days I’m at “meh” and other days, I still grieve the relationship I thought I had and miss the person I thought I was married to even though STBX is clearly not really that person.

            I also have a lot of sympathy for your struggles to deal with your own sense of failure in the marriage — I had that same feeling, and tried to “fix” the flaws in myself that STBX was only too happy to point out to me after D-day before I realized that I was the only one trying. I’m keeping some of the “fixes” I made because I want to be a better person, but now I’m doing it just for my own sake. I also remind myself regularly that although I was not perfect, and didn’t always do a good job of being married, that doesn’t mean that I deserved to be cheated on. No one deserves to be cheated on. Even if someone is truly horrible to be married to, they don’t deserve to be cheated on — if the marriage is that bad, the cheater could still choose to leave rather than cheat.

            If your marriage was anything like mine, I’m guessing that a lot of the things you did “wrong” stemmed from things the cheater was doing or not doing — looking back, a lot of the things my STBX claimed after D-day had made him miserable in our marriage were things stemming from my not-always-productive reactions to things he was doing or not doing. It felt like I carried all of the weight of the household on my shoulders as the working parent and the one who did 95% of the housework and 50% of the taking care of kids, but then I was blamed because I didn’t remember to praise STBX when he loaded the dishwasher without a reminder (never mind that 99 times out of a 100, I loaded it myself rather than bothering to ask him and then get treated with like a nag). STBX refused to prioritize things that were important to me, blew off my attempts to schedule regular date nights or times to work together on stuff around the house, let me do the lion’s share of the work, looked at me like I didn’t exist, and treated me like a nag when I asked for help, but then blamed me for not instigating sex enough or making him feel desired. I tried to maintain a positive outlook while we were navigating challenges with a special needs child, but STBX felt that I was not supportive enough of his struggles because I didn’t want to listen to his endless and unproductive complaints about how unfair it is that said child is not as “easy” as other people’s kids. And I muttered unkind things about STBX under my breath to blow off steam – typically when he was in a different room, but sometimes he overheard.

            At this point, the thing I really blame myself for, and am trying to forgive myself for, is allowing things to get to that point – allowing my own needs to be made so small and disregarded so much, allowing STBX to treat me the way he did even before he started cheating, and not confronting the fact that the marriage was not based on respect and true partnership and caring. Knowing what I do now, I wish I’d dealt with those issues head on rather than avoiding them and responding in the unproductive ways that I did. But I did not deserve to be cheated on, and neither did you.

            • It’s important to remind yourself that what you loved and miss is not the ratbastard, but the life you thought you had and the future you thought you were working to build. It takes time to grieve that loss. Don’t buy into that whole “I behaved badly” hogwash. You reacted to an assault on your heart and soul. Lasso that protective anger and use it to cleanse your spirit and propel you forward. You WILL recover from your abuse, and you WILL be stronger. Everything looks better once you get outside the orbit of a disordered person. I swear.

            • beginningtohope,
              Thank you.
              I really needed that.
              Sounds like we were both drowning in the same boat – especially the part where he wanted praise for doing 1 menial task, even though I had done it several thousand times. So true. But it also sounds like we are on the same journey to sanity as well.

              Thank you Thank you Thank you

  • UX, that’s a great post.

    And here’s Macbeth, a pretty good palterer himself, on the dangers of dealing with paltering females, as he squares off to meet his death:

    “Accursèd be that tongue that tells me so,
    For it hath cowed my better part of man!
    And be these juggling fiends no more believed,
    That palter with us in a double sense,
    That keep the word of promise to our ear,
    And break it to our hope.”

  • The mainstream media, organize religions, corporations, lawyers, advertising and politicians are all experts at paltering

  • First of all SBW change your name. None of us are here to feel worse about ourselves, and I´m POSITIVE you don´t deserve that name NO MATTER WHAT you may have done.
    As for the feelings you have for this douchebag, they will go away once you force yourself to see the truth of the monster within.
    I was with my narcopath for 35 years and unfortunately have a PHD in spackling myself. I was devalued and discarded along with my 5 children for a ho-worker.
    When I asked him what his plan was, he said, “I have no plan, you know that.”
    Me: “So, you left your family, cheated and created a living hell for all of us and you have no plan…?”
    NP: “No, no plan. I just landed here, I don´t know how things got like this”.
    Now, Ill tell you, any “love” I might have felt is long gone now that I am a single mother, I had to move out of the marital home (since it was on inherited land), because he would´t leave us alone. I have seen the monster within, and if you let yourself, you will too. It´s like CL says, the pain of it is excruciating, but it is also FINITE.
    Now that I´m in my own place, he STILL won´t leave us alone.
    I have been NC for two months, and he has no contact with his kids.
    I had to call the police and get a restraining order.
    I have to look over my shoulder all the time because he wants “to see his kids”.
    He cannot see his kids because he is a disordered freak that has no respect for any of us.
    I got smart a year ago and involved child social services to document his shitty “father” behaviors.
    I am taking him to court to divvy up the financials, and in the country I live in its 50/50. Period. FROM THE LEGAL SEPARATION DATE, which was a YEAR AGO.
    So, he will be forking over a hefty sum plus child support to the maximum since he cannot have his kids.
    Plus, the police are filing charges against him for his disruptive behavior that makes the kids feel unsafe.
    And for what? “Because HE didn´t have a PLAN…..”
    Guess what? I DO!!!!!!!
    Best advice I could give now that I´m two years out?
    LAWYER UP, get a divorce and secure your future, and cry later!

  • I posted this on another site a few minutes before finding out what it appears to be the paltering technique that my ex gf used on me. Take a gander and let me know if this is paltering…
    “I was wondering what it’s called when someone lies such as my ex personality disordered gf… when we first met she said I was only the third man she’d ever been with. She was 41 at the time and had “recently” ended a 25 year marriage to a man she claimed cheated on her throughout their marriage. After two years to the day of our meeting she breaks up with me. I was perplexed and tried not to break up but she wanted to let go. A few weeks later she calls me crying apologizing that she had cheated on me (she’d later claim it wasn’t cheating since it “happened” after we broke up). She met him while we were still together… of course, right? Anyway this guy would have been her number “4” now. Here’s where I’m wondering where the truth lies… she tells me she spoke to her ex about providing child support (two upper teen boys). He says, “why don’t you have one of your seven boyfriends” take care of you. She told him “it’s not seven boyfriends but 14”! I found that answer strange so I asked her why she gave that answer to him… she said, “I was just trying to make him mad”. So what is the truth? She said I was number three, the guy she cheated on would be four so is there truth to the seven number her ex exclaimed or is it in fact closer to 14? I believe this conversation took place during texting while we were back together after one of the many break ups. This lie was directed at him but was it telling me the truth in an indirect way? Am I splitting hairs? One additional example that took place during our texting. We had text one night and then the next day she asked me if I remembered calling her a liar the night before? Gosh! I had not called her a liar so I figured that someone else she was concurrently involved with in was calling her a liar. I told her it wasn’t me because I directed her to our text from the night before. Here is another question regarding this instance… was that an intentional lie to tell me that she was seeing someone else? I mean it seemed like she’d communicate this way with me rather than be direct. She always directed me to the point where I’d be the one to break up instead of her by the shit she was doing. Hope I described what someone else possibly experienced in addition to what this technique would be called.”

  • Hi Joe – you may want to re-post this in the Forum section, under ‘General’. You may have a better response there since this is an older post.

    But, it sounds to me like she has no intention of exclusively dating and this is her weird way of letting you know. I guess, probably best not to assume something, but come right out and ask her. It’s always good to clear the air. And, no – surely you wouldn’t find the count of boyfriends important, but it sounds like she just flat out lied to you about numbers. Maybe ashamed it was so many at 14. Obviously, a flat-out lie. So, lying by commission. I don’t think there is anymore to this technique than she’s a liar and obviously, does it without thinking. RUN!

    • Thank you for response. I’ve been NC for over a year! I was just wondering but it’s true… she told many a lie. Enough that while in a relationship with her I’d always say her actions spoke louder than her words… it’s been a strange ride discovering what went on by listening to other people’s stories.

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