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UBT: “I can’t remember”

Probably no other statement gets sent to the Universal Bullshit Translator more than “I can’t remember.” What is it about cheating that fogs the mind? (Did all that boinking lead to traumatic brain injury?)

Here are some possible UBTs and manipulations around “I can’t remember.”

I can’t remember.

I totally remember, but I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to tell you.

I can’t remember.

I can see this conversation is going to be short on kibbles. Let’s quit.

I can’t remember.

I don’t like the tone of your voice. Why don’t you stop and ask me that question again prettier next time? No. I still detect a note of judgement. No… that’s not it. No. There was an edge of snappishness that time. No…

I’m sorry, what was the question?

I can’t remember.

I’m absolutely certain I didn’t sleep with him. I can’t remember anything else salient about our encounter, but I am absolutely certain of that fact…. about the Situation I Cannot Remember. The not betraying you part I know. The rest is a blur.

I can’t remember.

Why don’t you tell me what you know, and I’ll fill in what I remember!

Oh yeah, none of that rings a bell. Thanks.

I can’t remember.

The suggestion that I participated in an affair in order to hurt my marriage, (which I have have been dedicated to for 15 years!), or that I have undermined the integrity of our family is an appalling and detestable lie! How can you say I did not answer your questions honestly?

I do not answer INSULTING questions. It it beneath me to remember events that did not happen. You should be ashamed of yourself for questioning me!

I can’t remember.

Can YOU remember?

I can’t remember.

I find it really disturbing your insistence on asking me questions to which I have no answer. I tried VERY HARD to answer your questions, but do you appreciate my willingness to subject myself to this humiliating exercise? No. You. Do. Not.

I think the problem here is you. Perhaps you have a mental disorder in which asking people questions who have ANSWERED YOU TRUTHFULLY with “I don’t remember” is a symptom. You should look into that.

I can’t remember.

Evidence? That… um… evidence? It was planted. You have a tape? The OW is a ventriloquist with a vendetta. Photos? My enemies have formidable Photoshop skills. Video? I have an evil twin. Yes, my evil twin drives the same kind of car as me. And wears the same shoes. In fact, I suspect my evil twin STOLE my car and my shoes just to set me up and plant doubt in your mind, because my evil twin is always undermining me and is jealous of my success. Why have you never met my evil twin? Well, would YOU invite someone to your wedding who stole your car?

I can’t remember.

Fuck. How did you find that out?

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I was told sternly and arrogantly, with gravitas- that someone had created FB profile with his name and his interests, but it was not him! A FB account where he told another woman “LOVE THIS GAL”. Someone I had no idea existed. Where on a certain Christmas he told me he was with his mother, and I found a photo and caption: Doing Shots With Laura on Christmas! This is a 50 year old man, still using “drinking” as a verb.

    I said: You are telling me that an imposter is “friends” with your mom, and two sisters- and that they somehow knew your best friend died of a sudden heart attack (wait) and then POSTED a photo of YOU and him at a bar and wrote: I would give anything to do this again?- because you moon over your best friend’s death like Romeo over Juliet.

    Someone stole your identity and then managed to recreate your life exactly- your love the of the Steelers, anything related to Texas and wrestling- complete with clear photos of you. That is not you?

    Answer: ” I did not create a FB account. That is not me. You are bi polar.”

    Once you see their dark fuckery bold and in your face- the hatred levels amp up to Death Con.

    • Oh yes I got that I was bipolar too–both times that I caught him cheating… apparently us catching them in their lies means that WE are bipolar…a$$holes..

      • Yeah, me too. I was deemed ‘bipolar’ whenever he got caught…..and considering the size of his harem, that was frequently.

        • I’m apparently bi-polar as well, I mean, if you choose to believe a raging ClusterFuck sociopath ?

          • I actually AM bi-polar. I’ve managed it really well for almost 20 years (yay for medication!) but if I ever got angry or upset at his behavior it was because ‘your meds aren’t working’. He refused to believe that I could be legitimately angry at anything he did or said. You can’t win….

    • Yep….Bi-polar seems to be the ‘go-to’ claim for these whack-job cheater-freaks to explain why we chumps are sooooo wrong……Cheaterpants told me repeatedly that was my problem (even though I had been to see a counselor & nothing wrong at all, except distress over dealing with cheaterpants!)

      Cheaterpants also claimed I was bi-polar when he first met with an attorney, saying that this was the reason why I was saying ‘stuff about him that isn’t true’, that was why he had to ‘get away from the crazy’ and so on. Nothing about his cheating driving me ‘over the edge’. No siree!

      Then, the attorney explained that if I was indeed bi-polar, or any other mental health issue, the courts would consider it to be a situation where I would need extra spousal support, since it can cause employment difficulties for some. Suddenly, I experienced a miracle cure, as he quickly changed his ‘tune’: ‘No, she’s fine!’

      ForgeOn, all y’all

      • “Then, the attorney explained that if I was indeed bi-polar, or any other mental health issue, the courts would consider it to be a situation where I would need extra spousal support, since it can cause employment difficulties for some. Suddenly, I experienced a miracle cure, as he quickly changed his ‘tune’: ‘No, she’s fine!’”

        Lol!

      • My Twat of an ex actually was diagnosed bipolar and invalided out because of it. While the symptoms are horrible he could remember everything he did (except for when he was drunk – which is pretty much always). But I got the “I can’t remember” so many times – but always when it suited him. It was just such a crock!

    • Yours, too? A former student hell-bent on revenge created my cheater’s Ashley Madison profile! Yes, with his university email. Because apparently said-revengeful-student was Nostradamus and knew that AM would be hacked in a few years, and X’s shame made public. And the vengeful-student created the AM account from OUR zip code!!! Probably stole our wifi password to do it. Amazing!

      • You can see why he was so attracted to her … she was one smart cookie. Except he wasn’t attracted to her … no wait … I’m confused!! Ha Ha

      • Cheaters ALL have Nostradamus qualities. Omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. In others words, omni-entitled.

    • Well, according to the asswipe No 3 was bipolar. She took a baseball bat and smashed his windshield. Well done I’d say. I was No 4 – yeah I know, what possessed me??? – he probably tells No 5 to be that I am bipolar.
      I didn’t say that, you always bring up the past ….. blahblahblah, what a loser.

      • The man I dated for several months last year referred to his ex-wives as Ax #1 and Ax #2 (instead of his exes-get the stupid pun ?) and claimed that they are borderline and bi-polar. Trickle truth seeped out during dating and I ghosted him one day.

        Gee, I wonder if his schtupping hookers during his first wife’s first pregnancy and after the arrival of their son had anything to do with her being “borderline” ? She was never diagnosed by a licensed health care professional. She found out when he was arrested during a sting operation, they flew across the country for Christian counseling and she stayed another “too many years” and had another child with this winner. “Did you ever apologize and make amends to wife #1 for your behavior ?” “I don’t have to because Jesus has already forgiven me.” Okey dokey ! Thanks Tracy ! I never knew what a Jesus cheater was until I found your website.

        Wife #2 helped him “escape” from wife #1 and that marriage fell apart as well because of course there was something wrong with her as well.

        Buh bye !

  • The only possible justification for “I can’t remember” that I can think of is being blackout drunk or high or even just asleep – and that raises a whole other set of issues about level of consent.

    • My wife actually said she got blackout drunk one night after I left her the first time.

      I didn’t understand why she was telling me that–what good would come from it? How could she manipulate me with that info?

      But now, thanks to you, Vulcan, I see. She was setting the table in case I followed up and pressed for more details on that night. She doesn’t even remember drinking so much that she fucked her OM!!

      Fortunately, I didn’t follow up. I was actually pretty grossed out by it, and my concern forbher well-being was already losing out to my amazement at her stupidity.

      Blacking out from drinking is never acceptable. But people do it. Not adults, of course. Teenagers, who are new to alcohol, dumb, and unaware of their limits (me included).

      But the 35-year-old purported mother of my future children? No. Gross. Grow the fuck up.

      • It’s not even that I think people should get blitzed either, JC – I just figure that if you’ve ingested enough of a substance that your memory is going, if someone fucks with you then, it goes beyond adulterous and might be criminal.

    • Also *borderline* justifiable with age 65 Asshole Cheater Jerkwad who thought a hooker was really his GF in his LTA, is this:

      When he says he can’t remember, I counter with “Well, if you can’t remember, then you must have some early dementia or Alzheimer’s issues, don’t you? If that’s the case, we need to start looking at facilities for you. So which one is it? You either are able to remember or you have Alzheimers/dementia looming on the horizon and will need care.” (because I’m not going to care for him!)

      This is especially effective since both his mother and maternal aunt died of Alzheimers and he is in denial that these things can happen to him, because he just knows he’s a special snowflake.

  • I can’t remember.

    I don’t know.

    Why are you bringing up ancient history (that I can’t remember and the reasons for which I don’t know.)

    Honest communication died long before the marriage did.

    • Amen, Dixie. Or rather, the marriage was dead for a while before I was clued in, a la Weekend at Bernie’s. Except way less funny. Looking back, it’s hard to see when exactly the communication was honest during that time…if ever.

  • Cheaters primarily control chumps by controlling information. For that reason, cheaters will NEVER tell chumps more than half the truth, reserving the other half for future manipulation. Constantly getting half-of half-of half-of the truth, the Chump may approach the truth but NEVER gets the whole truth. And of course new event are being lied about the whole time. Meaning the life of a Chump is ALWAYS a life lived in darkness and confusion, alone.

    The good news being that leaving a cheater often brings with it a tremendous sense of clarity and a coming into the light.

    • Unfortunately, Chumps will very often take the “I don’t know” bait and reply with, “Let let me tell you what I DO know …”, assuming that when confronted with evidence, the cheater will come to his/her senses and fess up. As Nomar points out, that just gives the cheater a better view into how much they need to find other (often ludicrous) explanations for, and how much they can still keep hidden.

      • Yes, there’s nothing like letting the enemy know your sources of information. And when I realized just how strategic he was being, that hurt almost more than the content of the lies. Almost.

      • Yeah. The first time around I spilled my guts and vomited forth every little thing I knew, which was a huge mistake. It was like a blueprint for him – now he knew where his deceit ship had leaks and he went about patching them up and hiding everything in a formidable airtight bubble.
        I felt like I hobbled my Nancy Drew infidelity fact finding mission.
        When I gathered enough evidence quietly the next time he went haywire because I would reveal nothing. Not knowing the extent of my holdings actually made him squirm, and later I realized even though I only knew about half the sordid story, he imagined that I knew absolutely everything-and come negotiation time it really helped. Plus, it was delightful to see the tables turned for once. I had the cards close to my chest and he was nearly dying to get a look at them.

        • Exactly — the only reason you need to know the details is to convince yourself of the extent of the dishonesty. You already know they are a liar and a cheater. You may be gathering evidence of misappropriation of funds, or marital misconduct — for the court case. At any rate confrontation is pointless — no one else means anything to a dysfunctional twit, even you and your children and your marriage. NOTHING but kibbles and cake. So never reveal your sources of information — they may assume you hired a detective, if so, let them be even more paranoid than they are. They like to think they are smart and we are dumb — but really they are lazy and looking for easy and convenient. Let them think whatever they need to think, so that you can continue to gather whatever evidence you need. The only question that matters is Do YOU Want To Continue To Live This Way? They are not going to change, more evidence may help a court case, but it may also hurt you more. It is hard to accept that you fell in love with someone who has no regard or respect for you at all. Listen to CL — trust that they suck. They don’t believe they suck — but you have to trust they do. Trust it, you don’t have to prove it to them. They will say they don’t remember, but really they have convenient memory and convenient eyesight — they only see and remember what they want to.

          • Amen +1.

            I stayed with my cheater for 3 years after DDay and when I reached the point of divorce, I had come to the point where I could say nothing anyway about why I wanted a divorce because he had rationalized the hell out of everything. We were supposed to be “over” the affair by that point. I have no idea if he was having another affair, but by the look of everything, something weird was going on and quite frankly, I was sick and tired of feeling like the crazy person that having only half of the story was doing to me. Nomar hits that nail on the head.

            The thing with these cheater types is that even when confronted with clear evidence of anything bad about them, they not only deny with that “I don’t know” clause that they have, but after time they make up reasons or read a million books on why it’s OK for them to be like that and why you should be OK with it too. Hello! A Book Has Been Written! For example, X seemed to be incapable of empathy. I talked to him about it. What did he do? He turned right around and purchased “Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion” by Paul Bloom and read it in no time flat. Then he talked to me about that. “We should be wary of empathy. That causes us to feel for others and that makes us do things that enable others to keep doing bad things or reinforces bad behavior.” It only ended up disgusting me, like everything else he did. But what does that matter, when the man would somehow be able to rationalize himself out of a flipping Murder, She Wrote, Jessica Fletcher inquisition?

            Once you let all this shit of theirs go, life gets so much better, so much more rational, and dare I say the world begins to actually makes sense again. Seriously. You GAIN life, when you leave. Restorative, beautiful LIFE. Better than any pill I’ve ever taken.

        • Ugh no,
          Thank you for this. I did the same thing. Told everything I know and it sent him further underground. Fast-forward 4years later to now and I have 2 Voice recorders full from my bathroom when I sleep. Trying to leave this whole time with an obstacle of some kind always keeping me in this suck fest. He admitted through sarcasm last week that it is happening in the room next to me right under my nose and I don’t even know it. Wanna bet? Oh, and don’t forget I’m crazy and need meds. Left the back door open this am. Are we forgetting to cover our tracks? Tick tock……

        • Mine always wanted to know the sources of my information. And I never divulged. I got pretty good and watching him chase his tail when I dropped a crumb of information. He never managed to call my bluff but I could call his…Cause they are so fecking predictable! Anyhow one day he became very flustered and saidx I’m telling you what I am doing but you are not telling me what you are doing!” ( Me: how you like me now fucker) . Later he said…You’ve always been two steps ahead of me. Little did he know that my steps are ordered so I’d always be ahead.

      • Lots of “I don’t know”s served as answers when asking X what was wrong when he was in these deep funks of his. That turned into “you don’t want to know”, which turned into the truth. And by truth, I mean as close to the truth as he will ever share.

        • If I had known any of this over the five years of six that he was undermining the marriage, I probably would have left. Would it have been different if he had come clean after the first “oops”? Not sure, but it would have felt a lot different trying to comprehend than the deliberate hiding/masking of information over five years. Five years. That is a cold, calculated course of action. And certainly the only way he could have his cake with me. I saw the other day the phrase “trying on normalcy”, which is exactly what was happening. It seems that they conveniently forget even who they truly are when leading this life. It’s sick.

    • My ex-cockroach just stood there like a wall and didn’t say a word when confronted. He answered minimally but 99% of the questions I had he just stared at me a took deep breaths.
      When I pointed out that he had not even apologized, he said “I was thinking about saying sorry”.
      Cheated on me and his children 3x/12years of marriage, including while I was pregnant.

    • Thanks for a lightbulb moment nomar! “Cheaters primarily control by controlling information”. I don’t get the I don’t remember as much as I get I thought I told you. I would always tell him I don’t have ESP. He would then turn it into a joke and say oh I am just bad at communicating. There comes a point when an adult would realize he needs to work on that but for him it is about control. He punishes for not giving him what he wants yet he won’t tell you what that is.

      About to head to my first court event with cheater- I think it is just housekeeping stuff but talk about dread! Glad I know chump nation is out there and some of you have reached meh!

      • Hang in there, Feelingit. We are rooting for you. Yes, there are many here who have made it to Meh. Being free of the lying, blaming, and gaslighting is wonderful. You can do this! I hope you are getting clarity and can see that you will be so much better off without a lying cheater in your life. Hugs.

      • Best wishes to you at your first court event! You will reach meh!

        I was married to this same type of guy. When we would get into an argument over specific details of the affair, he would say “I’ve already told you a thousand times. Why won’t you listen to me?” It would make me go into a fit of rage! It was the most insane speak I have ever heard in my life. I would rack my brains for days, months and years trying to remember what he had said and if truly he had repeatedly told me these things. Needless to say, he hadn’t.

        When I insisted on divorce and we went through the household items, furniture, etc., he seemed to recall so many instances that actually didn’t happen. His mother had given him that, when actually I had, or he had brought this or that to the marriage when actually we had purchased it together. Almost made me wonder if he had amnesia. Or early onset dementia. Or maybe our whole marriage had really just been a lie or form of memory loss. It was really kind of crazy how he didn’t remember things. Eventually, I just ended up thinking, ain’t my monkey, ain’t my circus. Go not remember that crap on your own, cheater. I have a better life to lead, without you.

        • Dealing with the same. History just keeps changing to suit whatever he wants at the moment. There is nothing else to do except trust they suck and that everything is either a lie or half truth (which is pretty much a lie). I am so tired of it all.

          Just yesterday, he sent a text after he left without even seeing our youngest that it was too hard to be here where he isn’t wanted. How many times did he tell me that he didn’t want to be here and wanted out of the married and family life when he left? Now he wants us to feel sorry for him as if he is the victim.

          The scariest part is that it seems like this has actually become his reality. Just like your ex claimed he was given household items when he wasn’t. How did that become their reality or are they really just trying to screw you over so more? Or are they simply pathological liars? I need to stop trying to untangle…curse of being a logical person!

          • I was just talking to my mom about how cheater seems to really believe the lies and false memories. To him, it’s real.
            Until it’s not.
            Then the story changes but “has remained the same” in their minds. It’s enough to drive someone completely bat shit crazy…

        • A few years ago my oldest brother found a photo of my mom at about the age of 14 (so 1934-ish). I framed it and the Twat went to take it with him when he left because “it was a photo of his mom and he remembered her giving it to him!!!!” I almost had him by the throat until he put it down. Just asked him how come all my brothers and sisters had an identical photo of HIS mom in their homes!

          • What a tool. I just don’t get what the POINT of it is. Do they genuinely believe themselves in instances like this or is it tactics to get huge negative reaction from us which is also a great source of “fuel” for narcissists. I really don’t get it.
            Waking from the nightmare….

            • Do they really believe what they say? I would love to know the answer to that question.

              Made it through my first court hearing today and it went as well as I could hope!

              Stbx’s lawyer is Obnoxious, arrogant, loud and narcissistic- a perfect match for him. They deserve each other.

              The next hearing is to hear my request for more temporary support so I do not have to deplete my savings. My lawyer prepared me ahead of time that stbx might request custody and visation be heard at that hearing. We don’t have any agreement in place and the two youngest do not want to see him. He did not request custody and visitation (showing his true colors). He is going to ask for court ordered counseling for all the kids. I really think he thinks a counselor will tell them daddy was hurting and your mean mother was the cause so he had to leave. He is happy now so you need to understand and be happy for him. He may have abbandoned you but it was for the sake of his happiness so be nice to him and don’t question him or say anything that might make him sad or uncomfortable.

              Meanwhile 13 year old had his birthday and his dad mails him a $15 gift card for fast food. Grandmother mails him a birthday card- nothing inside- maybe she didn’t remember? (These people are not hurting financially.)

              • Stbx’s lawyer is just like him, too. Looking mean and stupid.
                His lawyer came up to me and my lawyer to say something and she gave me this evil look. My lawyer said don’t worry, she’s just posturing. I’m not worried – I almost started laughing because he tried too hard to be intimidating – just like my ex.
                They can’t be normal, rational or open negotiation. It’s all demands and threats and stupidity. It’s disgusting.

    • satan had a ‘come to Jesus’ look on his nasty face when I quit asking the questions and simply said, ‘Who is (kroger-ho’s name) and what is she to you?’

      lying cheating coward ran from the house and didn’t come back for 4 hours…minus his supposed super power of ‘I know something you don’t know.’

      The clarity of knowing I was dealing with a lying cheating coward and not a dying from a brain tumor or demon possessed person gave me the courage to stand up for myself and call 911 when the beatings commenced. …ugh…good riddance to my former disordered life!

        • Amen Dixie Chump 🙂

          Oh boy HOWDY! Me too! 🙂

          Now I get the random hoovering texts ‘Try dealing with wanting you in my life :(‘

          …took it for a while…Beau and I just shaking our heads at the sadz…

          One day I just couldn’t take the insanity anymore and went all ‘Gorgon’ on him (new super power learned from Tempest 🙂 ) and return texted: YOU HAD ME IN YOUR LIFE FOR 36 YEARS YOU BASTARD, shit on me with anyone and everyone. GO FUCK YOURSELF.

          … 🙂 … oooopppsssiiieeee 😉

      • No more monsters at your house JeepTess.
        Or at Tempest’s house.
        Both of you ladies rock big time.
        You are my heros.
        I cannot believe all you have been through and you both have come through as powerhouses!
        (Keep breathing on me!) ?
        I know it wasn’t easy and I respect your courage.

        • (((((((Peacekeeper)))))))

          🙂 Nothing worthwhile is hardly ever easy 🙂

          …took me a long, long time to realize I was worthwhile! I think that is the key to standing up and walkin away. YOU ARE WORTHWHILE! Do NOT let these disordered lunatics win!

          I am so grateful for you and all of CN 🙂 You guys have helped me be strong even when I couldn’t do it for myself. Thank you 🙂

    • Yes, I learned to not divulge my sources of information or any details, to see what bs Durt spewed. It made it harder for him to come up with a convincing excuse when he didn’t know what I knew. Usually just “that guy is a crack head” if he thought I found out from one of the side sluts’ husband/boyfriend/fiancé, or “she is a crazy drunk” if he thought I found out from one of the women. Dumb ass didn’t know I usually found out from his own correspondence (read Dick Pics) with these women. If he was busted, he either didn’t know why he did it or, most often, it was my fault.

      • Traitor found my VAR so it didn’t work for a few weeks, then I found another place to hide it and he and Whore thought I’d stopped so I got more priceless convos to play to his family so they know exactly who the prize is.
        I think it helped to get a sudden settlement.
        Whore: “Maybe Kiwichump will gift the whole farm to (Whore’s son)”.
        Nope Whore, you’re stuck in suburbia with your prize Traitor, bitch.

        • Nice. If I was forced to do it all over again, I would invest in a VAR and a hidden camera at the first sign of absolute bullshit. If I had those, our relationship would’ve been over in a month and I never would have married him.

  • My favorite was the use of “I can’t remember” as a delaying tactic until she could gather her thoughts. Kind of like responding with, “That’s a good question,” in a business meeting, and then rolling with your response that you’ve had an extra 3 seconds to consider. Except, you know, with lies.

    Me: “What did you do while I was out of town on Saturday?”

    Her: “Saturday? I can’t remember… . You mean yesterday, right? … Oh, yeah, I went by myself to the beach for a few hours to take a walk and think about our marriage.”

    See what she did there? She gave herself a few extra seconds to come up with a semi-plausible lie–a lie that a chump like myself would WANT to believe.

    “I can’t remember…sucka….!”

  • “It/That doesn’t reasonate with me.” Cheater speak for shut the fuck up with your truth interrogation. This was accompanied by accusing my ‘clap-trap memory’. Meaning, ‘Damn! My chump is no longer in the throes of MindFuck Central and is calling out all of my bullshit!’

    Chumps, they remember down to every last deceitful detail. They sure as hell do NOT want you connecting the dots at any time, ever because…consequences.

  • The “I can’t remember” defense is really somewhat brilliant for Cheater Speak. Chumps eventually get tired of beating their heads against the brick wall of cheater amnesia, so the questioning stops.

    In my desperation to save my marriage, I know I chose to interpret “I can’t remember” as something along the lines of “she meant nothing.” Wow, OW must really suck if you don’t remember all that sneaking around and screwing…

    • I remember getting a report from my PI that clearly was different than what he had told me he had done one evening.. he knew I was on to him immediately and inserted the “I don’t remember” line several times in our conversation. When I busted him and told him I was sure he was with “her” he looked me in the eye and said, “well, now you are spying on me? You are really something” and proceeded to call me a bitch…attempting to make me feel crazy and also deflecting the whole reason for the conversation.

      • Assholio said he was “so disappointed” in me because I had saved pics of his sexting with his slut for evidence. Bwahaha! YOU’RE disappointed?? Just think how I feel! Oh wait, you can’t, you’re a soulless Narc…

        • I got a version of this … with my STBX acting in the role of savior. According to him, I should get rid of all of the evidence for MY sake. It’s just not good for my emotional well-being to keep that stuff.

          (My response … I have it in triplicate, not in this house, and it is my guarantee that you will not fuck with me or our kids during the divorce.)

          Fucker.

          • I received the exact same response from my special idiot.
            The fucker is worried about my emotional well being.

          • My little sunshine hated to hear the “I don’t know” come out of anyone’s mouth…it was his pet peav for real…until I finally caught up to his lieing cheating cowardly ass..now it is his catch phrase..along with “I don’t remember” and my all time favorite ” I was drunk” How do you not remember screwing my friend on a dirty basement floor while I was upstairs with my family in our home? She was just one of many I have come to learn. I told his stupid ass one more ” I don’t know” and I am making a doc appt. for him to see if he has early onset Dementia..really don’t think he should have a security clearance if he cant remember shit…or a drivers liscence…or a concealed weapons permit..and probably should no longer have sole control of our finances….yep..I don’t even have the right to a debit card because after all it’s his money…

    • Kaa couldn’t remember when he had first met OW in the flesh. (met on one of the many dating sites he was frequenting.) told her he was separated. But it was OK because she was only being his friend. Then he said it wouldnt bring closure for me to know. Then he remembered the date and I was able to work out who she was and where she lived and prove the lies he had been telling me and the family. I’m sure she was meant to magically appear after our “mutual ” separation and divorce. I’m having to take him to court because I wouldn’t just accept what he had done and stay friends like other people do.

  • My Cheater could not even remember he was a cheater: at divorce hearing for splitting assets he says, his impression management Button on maximum speed, “you can trust me”. I asked how could I trust a cheater. Cheater answers, very upset: “But I am NOT a cheater”. I had to boost his memory. Sniggers in the courtroom.

    Maybe cheater’s memory is bad because he specializes in foresight studies. Maybe that is why he bellowed at me one day that he was a failure and that it was MY fault. My ear drum still rings with that one.

    Maybe that is why cheater lied to THE JUDGE about the origin of his debts … But in case it’s dyscalculia and not a memory issue, I have packed a cute Disney calculator in his Boxes of shit.

    Cheaters are dishonest down to the last drop of blood.

    • Oh! And I also got, at least once a week, “Here she comes with her super-selective memory” when I reminded him of his amnesia.

      • HA Clear Waters – mine used to say I had a little black book I wrote everything down in!!! Didn’t need to, I wasn’t drunk most of the time like him so I could actually remember things.

  • ‘Cheaters primarily control chumps by controlling information.’ Nomar you put it so well.
    Mine has told me nothing I have not found out myself and when asked avoids. I have enough info to make my descision, asking for more information is pain shopping and will ultimately be fruitless.
    Trickle truth, tell you the bare minimum to keep you on the hook and second guessing is the name of the game. Fuckers all the way. A big game to them. Honesty, truth, transparency is foreign to them they don’t live by conscience.

  • After I “got-a-brain” I labeled this “playing dumb”.

    It’s funny how a guy that can run a multi-million dollar account, and never forgot a name or a face was suddenly confused about how his profile got on those hook-up sites, why it took him 4 hours to go to the store, or the perplexing nature of why I would be angry at a $10,000 Charge on the credit card for one visit to a strip club – it turns out it wasn’t my “low self-esteem” like he suggested. Of course it makes perfect sense that someone with high self esteem would eat that shit sandwich with a smile, right? Nope, turns out someone with high self-esteem would retain a lawyer and divorce his ass!

    Another note on this subject… I was watching a documentary on OJ Simpson shortly after he moved out and this “I don’t know what you are talking about” phenomenon is right there on film. They asked him about a shirt he owned, which he vehemently denied, when they produced a picture of him previously wearing said shirt, he didn’t know what they were talking about… that must not be him in the picture.

    It gave me chills to know I lived with someone that used the same tactics. That shit is scary, and a tactic of the disordered.

  • Mine claimed not to remember ever having said things he had literally said or texted the day before. As awful as this limbo of settlement negotiations is–and it is hellish–at least I am no longer dealing directly with the daily web of lies.

    • Mine never put foul things into writing, he was committed to not having a paper trail of his nastiness…he liked words whose reverberations dissipated into air with no record.

      He said all sorts of mean nasty shit that he later claimed to have no memory of…he really appeared to have a missing connection between his mouth and brain when he spoke to me…he would insult me and when I called him on it, it was as if he really had no workable knowledge of calling me “obnoxious” 15 seconds prior.

    • Yes! Me too. Part of his problem was not only being a liar but being intoxicated or high most of the time. Looser

    • I’ve gotten that one too. Or “you are twisting my words around” then I send him a screen shot and suddenly there are crickets

    • Yes I got that too. Especially in the few weeks post D-Day. I had forgotten about that because it didn’t deal with the affair so much as the why were you so unhappy with me stuff. He would say one thing one day and the opposite the next. When I would point out the contradiction he would say “I didn’t say that”. Huh? I started wishing I was more organized and had recorded some of those conversations.

      One day he said “I felt so unneeded” The next day he complained that I needed him too much and he had to do everything for me. This prompted me to ask “So when do you want to be needed and when do you not want to be needed?” He said he didn’t know and would have to think about it. When I asked him again a few days later he denied he had ever said he felt unneeded. It was my neediness that drove him to cheat. Of course now he keeps coming around trying to do me favors (because I just can’t get along without him) even though he has made it clear that he doesn’t want to reconcile because I am too needy. I have to be careful to make sure I leave no household chore undone or he will try to do it for me to prove how “needy” I am.

      Yesterday I made sure he saw me on the ladder cleaning out the gutters when he came to get the kids so he could see that no he was right the first time. I don’t need him.

      • Chump in Recovery,

        So……good! They are so disordered.

        You don’t need his bullshit anymore. Good for you.

      • “Yesterday I made sure he saw me on the ladder cleaning out the gutters when he came to get the kids so he could see that no he was right the first time. I don’t need him.”

        This is awesome — you are awesome! 🙂

    • Mine would do this as well it got worse about 6 months before D-day. I would say to him that I needed to start recording our conversations, because it was getting so regular that he would deny saying all sorts of things.

      • I said that too for the same reasons and then DID. I hit record on my device, informed him I was going to tape with his giving permission, and began the taping all conversations. He would lie, get busted on mentioned lie, toss the word salad and begin manipulation and gaslighting.

        You are NOT losing your memory or going crazy. These fuckers have skills.

  • My EX used “I don’t remember” as part of his facade of scrupulous honesty. (To this day he frequently refers to himself as an absolutely truthful person who values nothing as much as honesty. The way this mindfucks with my kids is heartbreaking).

    In any event, if he cannot bring photographic recall to a situation, he defaults to “I can’t remember” on the grounds that he would never, never, never want to tell a lie. Oddly, he can remember all kinds of situations and events that reflect well on him, whether they happened yesterday or in 1978. I’ve also noticed a pattern between the number of witnesses and his ability to remember things. The time he helped a guy on the road with a flat tire making him miss a family event, well, that one is crystal clear. The time he got tossed out of a child’s sports event in front of a couple hundred people–no, he cannot “remember” that one.

    As nomar said, it is all about information and controlling the narrative.

  • I didn’t get too many ” I don’t remember” when I was blindsided but when I think about it, he (XH), would quote that line fairly often throughout our time together. I once refused to back down in an argument ( jovial conversation initially ) about the airline we used to fly on a great holiday one year, despite presenting him with a printed copy of the actual fucking booking which clearly showed the airline we used to fly to the destination – he refused to acknowledge I was, indeed, correct – I don’t remember !!!!!!!yeah right!!!

    As I was blindsided I never got much info. I once sent him (yes, I know, embarrassing now when I think of it) a list of 30+ questions that I asked for some explanation on-questions ranging from Who/When/ How often ? to why would you treat me so cruelly etc. etc. etc. Loads more far reaching questions …….. I never got a response ……….. because it (the list), was just too traumatic to read! Boo fricking Hoo!!!

    • Yes that is another trait these jerks have I common. They can never be wrong. At least in my case I know STBX will never hoover because it would require him to admit that he might have been wrong to leave in the first place and admitting that he was wrong is something he will never ever do.

  • “I can’t remember” = “I plead the 5th.”

    (To all of our international chumps, the 5th amendment is a law in the USA that says people are not required to disclose something that would incriminate themselves. To “plead the 5th” usually means “I’m guilty as hell but if I say so I’m in deep doo-doo.”)

    • OMG!!! “I plead the Fifth” was a VERY ANNOYING thing POP would say….with a VERY ANNOYING dismissive waggle of his finger and VERY ANNOYING smart alecky voice.

      UGH!! My blood has begun to boil at that remembrance.
      (deep breaths…..and placating myself with the knowledge he’s LONG GONE and karma is currently all over his ass like stink on a skunk).

    • My ex used “I plead the fifth” in depositions when my lawyer questioned him about his sex worker usage. He pleaded the fifth 5 times, refusing to admit to paying for sex. Interestingly, later in the deposition, my lawyer got him to admit to everything he had pleaded the fifth on earlier by phrasing it a bit differently. Typical narcissist, playing for drama like he was in a crime show. They really think they are all that and a bag of chips!

  • Cheater: “I don’t remember a thing.”

    ” It was so long ago.”

    DAH, not even Miss Perfect Lollipop’s real name?!

    Liar Liar pants on fire!

    ( I did say, Hmm, I wonder what SHE would think of that, not remembering a single thing! )
    ?

  • After forgiving a drunken hookup while I was engaged….and pregnant, and then finding out about a 4 year affair that when I confronted the “woman” she told me about the 3 month affair my ex had with her “friend”, I knew I was dealing with a shady fucker.
    Because I have kids and because I loved him I still tried to make it work and always bragged that he would never get anything past me again.
    Isn’t that crazy??? To have your marriage come down to me being a better detective or him being a better cheater?
    Turns out he was a better cheater, probably because he always knew what I was looking for because I always told him. He left me for the friend “3 month” mistress 15 years later. So, one can only conclude that she was a 15yr and 3 month mistress.
    Don’t tell them a damn thing….ever, all it does is make them more creative to cover their tracks.

  • I think the main reason they say “I don’t remember” is very simple. THEY ARE LIARS. This is the easiest, most effortless lie they can tell.

    Before they are caught, they lie so they won’t get caught. Once they are caught, there is no advantage of telling elaborate lies that they have to remember. If they don’t remember, how can it be a lie, right?

    Ialso think they do this to show the chump “you aren’t the boss of me”, like a ten year old would.

    Also, on a practical note, I think they say this to avoid giving up any secrets that will allow them to cheat more easily in the future. They are creatures of habit and they don’t want to give up the ease they have felt in cheating before you knew

    • Here’s an example of what I mean. Ex confessed to being a cheater. Not sure the motivation behind that. But as a result, I had no evidence on him. His phone was locked up tight, as was his computer. The only thing I had to go on was what he told me. He lied about who the whore was, totally made up a story from the beginning. Said it was a rando from the Internet when actually it was someone I knew. I finally confirmed whi the whore was about a year later, while we were reconciled. He took the lock code off his phone, i guess he felt comfortable doing that because contrary to what he looked to accuse me if, I had NEVER prior to his cheating looked at his phone once.

      • This is how stupid I was. When I unlocked the phone, I would casually look at his phone log to see who he had called. A name I didn’t know showed up a lot. I found out later it was the whores last name (which I never knew, just her first name) with a man’s first name. I kept an eye on this, and he changed the last name to something different, but very similar. I’d had enough of thus by then so I did one of those $2.99 reverse phone look ups. Within a couple of minutes i had her name, address, etc. Also did a background check and knew where she worked, etc. Word of warning, cheaters, you are not as smart as you think you are.

        • Ah, yes…..the shifty name in the phone contacts ruse. POP was a dedicated deleter–it was VERY rare that he left a text visible. He was one to really do things on the down low–he had plenty of experience attempting to foil the marriage/relationship police in his past.

          The only way I could check up on him was the rare occasion I got my hands on his unlocked phone and go thru his contacts—if there was a new name, I could be sure it was a woman—under a man’s name that somehow related to her’s. Ie: Ken if her last name of was Kent ….I figured that one out when he accidently left a business card laying on the counter and months later I recalled the woman’s name on it was S…. Kent, which I written down and hidden. Putting two and two together and my self respect on hold, I called her.
          She was one of those types that gets all “I had NO idea….I want NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM!! That’s terrible he’s cheating on you!!!” and then continued to contact/encourage him to do so every chance she got.

          • luckily I had his email password and he had some work related emails from her, and I completely caught him off guard when I asked who is that woman with whom you exchange work e-mails? He was in the military, I thought he works only with men, or that is what he had me believe. So I found out who she was and when his story was filled with too many blank spaces and I found out they still see each other even though he was begging me to reconcile, I sent her all the texts, e-mails and conversations we had since dday. I thought at least someone should know the truth and maybe I hoped she will drop him like a hot potato but I was so wrong. She contacted me when he started acting out with her and I think she wanted to punish him because she also told me the truth about them. However painful, I was grateful for that, it was more than my cheater offered me, we were like 2 best friends gossiping. Lame, I know but that was the final straw. I finally initiated no contact, I thought she will be doing the same thing, based on our conversation, but it turns out they are still together. Good luck with that, girlfriend!

    • Sometimes I think they also don’t remember because they just don’t want to face their shame.

      • Idiot cheater has actually said that one himself. He’s so disgusted by what he did and how he reacted after D-day he doesn’t like to think about it. So he doesn’t. So a lot of it he just doesn’t remember now because who wants to think about themselves like that? Too bad the chump doesn’t have that option. Because instead during all the trauma of D-day you remember every fucking awful thing that happened and then spend the rest of your life being triggered by everything.

        • Yes, Sad Shelby, even with the absent mindED cheaters, the Chump knows enough soul crushing details to weigh down our heart forever.
          Maybe the fact that they, ( pretend), forget is a defence mechanism created by a higher power so that a Chump does not self destruct on the spot.
          Every post speaks of lies lies and more lies.
          What big noses and ears they all must have!

      • This kind of compartmentalization is common, I’ve heard. Especially when they can get a counselor to diagnose them with dissociative disorder. That was they can be that great guy they tried to portray themselves as AND the asshole you know them to be. I believe this to be a real thing (with a grain of salt regarding who it actually applies to), but my what convenience!

          • The dissociative disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder by TV audiences. And I’ll bet the personality that cheats knows all about Mr/Ms Wonderful, but they know nothing about the dirty rotten cheater. A variation on “The Devil made me do it.” Argh!

      • They want you to think they don’t want to face their shame. The reality is, most have NO SHAME! What they have is an image, and they don’t want that sullied with, you know … reality!

        • I agree with this, KarenE.

          It’s too traumatic to talk/think about is supposed to equal:
          -cheater feels horrible remorse
          -cheater never wants to feel this way so they will never make this ‘mistake’ again
          -the reason cheater feels awful is because of what they did to you/family
          -maybe one day the searing pain will lessen and a full conversation will occur

          Nope on all these translations.

          My x used this ploy to avoid telling his family basically anything about the reason for the divorce. He even got them to enforce the boundary themselves so they didn’t want to hear it from me when I signaled I was willing to give a condensed version. X knows how to mindfuck real well.

          • My douchbag husband actually had the nerve to tell me to quit posting quotes about cheating and liars on FB …I was shaming him and embarrassing his family…are you fuxxing serious!? How about you and your family figure out why you are a low down jekel and Hyde self centered delusional cowardly porn addicted piece of shit?! I have been married to Mr. Perfect for 23 years..He is truly 2 different people..the dependable upstanding family man outside the house and the angry belittling lord and master that lives in this dump I tried to make a home out of…they never change and I wish I could hang a sign on him that says ” RUN GIRLS RUN!” He hates being alone more than anything so I am sure a poor unsuspecting replacement will be found soon..

        • I 100% agree with you KarenE. I don’t think they have an ounce of shame. Allegedly “not remembering” has nothing to do with feeling bad for hurting you. They just don’t want to hear you “nagging” about it.

        • This is true in my case. For a while, I got the “I feel so terrible — so much shame” crap. But, things felt off and I wanted more information (I had very little at the time). I would get “but I told you everything.” A month later, I would find more and then he would say, “now you know everything.” A month later, I would find more and he would again say, “really, that’s everything.” Ad nauseam.

          At the end — with much more self-obtained evidence in my hands — I watched him morph into a hateful, spiteful, and dead-eye stare cheater who still refused to give any details or explain anything.

          I never knew someone could lie so much, so thoroughly, and for so long. And, yes, he was completely conscious of it.

  • She couldn’t remember doing a thing with him…..didn’t know when it started, didn’t know where, how many times……but you better damn well believe that she knew exactly why. And she had no problem telling me about it. It’s because I sucked and she had no choice.

    And so she was able to rattle off every single slight, whether real or perceived, that I had ever been responsible for. D-day was in 2014, but she was citing misgivings from 2001 when I got my list of excuses (i.e., her ridiculous attempt at blame shifting). I offered that she could have just divorced me (and then started dating other people) instead of carrying on an affair and hiding money for years.

    Alas when you pull out logic, you’re back to the thousand yard stare and the “I don’t know/remember” mode.

    • Same thing here. It was my fault, I should have talked more, she wanted her own bank account (I said it was her mom’s idea to put as joint, she said yeah, “when I was pregnant, mom wanted to make sure she (cheater) had money”, I never let her go on trips that she never asked to go on, I never let her do anything (because all the time I trusted her with our friend that she was fucking didn’t count), I never supported her when she went back to school (yet I remember our bank account be lower, and helping her study), she paid back all of the money for school in 9 months, she forced me to have kids (yep, I never did anything with the girls, trip to Calgary, going to art museums at home, reading stories at night, helping with homework). The only way I can see it being my fault is not being the religious one, therefore I never learned the 10 commandments, but she did…. skein of fuckupedness….

  • This post really triggered me today, because this was one of the things that kept me in LIMBO for a whole year. I was in complete denial, I didn’t want to believe that my husband of 22 years would be this type of man.

    Every time I would ask him anything, his answer was always “I don’t remember” and the weird thing about that as I would point out to him was that before this he would always say “my mind is like an elephant, I don’t forget anything”.

    He told me he was “In love” with OW – but yet never had sex with her. He couldn’t remember when was the first time they kissed, couldn’t remember now-suspicious dates and times that I pointed out to him? And I was so scared and wanted to believe him so much, that I would let it go for a day or 2, then the cycle of asking questions again – would start all over again.

    It really was crazymaking. How I wish I had found ChumpLady then.

    • Same here, I had CONVINCED myself that he could /would never do such a thing. I was also totally in the dark about what real “Cheater signs” were. He also said that he was “in love with” OW but never had sex with her. We had what was supposed to be the “coming clean” conversation but I found documents in his papers after he died that contradicted everything he said, so there must have been something to hide. I didnt have CL then either.

  • Yup. Can’t remember if he slept with a married part of our social group…then when it came out can’t remember how many times…can’t remember how many years with the mistress,can’t remember her address despite him having suggested he move to her place and can’t remember the details of her pregnancies. Far out. Seriously the guy totally made me think I was going mad with things he said then denied,or that I found out then he denied. He even denied having sex with the woman I found him naked asleep with,couldn’t remember,was drunk,didn’t happen. Was all a fog apparently.

    • “OMG – you’re so vicious! When I said “Yes- I slept with her!,’ I meant that I SLEPT with her… not that we’d had SEX! I can’t believe you’d think I’d do that… I was craving AFFECTION, not sex, and I wasn’t feeling any love from you.”

      We’re such harsh, gutter-minded shrews.

  • On the final night when I was Done.Done.Done, X texted me, “that you can be this upset about an affair I can’t even remember [from 8 years ago] defies credulity.” And yet weeks before he had admitted he remembered the manner in which gradwhore had shaved her pubic hair. Priceless.

  • My cheater had selective memory problems. He remembered everything that made him look good and conveniently forgot everything that made him look bad. He remembered absolutely everything about one time I yelled at him with (as he claims) a hateful, cruel expression. He conveniently fails to remember that it was because he was cheating and stealing from me. He just remembers that it was very unloving and made him sad.

  • Mr. Sparkles still denies to this day that he was responding to 30-40 personal ads from Craigslist as well as other sites I won’t name (lest I trigger someone)… in one reply, he was a BiMWM looking for a couple for regular get togethers a even sent a pic of himself (which was taken on my son’s baptism day and he had cropped us out of it).

    When I had originally confronted him, he said that he had no idea what I was talking about… “You can’t prove that.”

    He now tries to get ahead of the narrative by telling the OW and now the GF that he knew I was watching his online activities, so he was doing it on purpose to punish me.

    Funny thing is… I have the receipt from the spyware company that shows I didn’t purchase the software until AFTER the dates on the emails. AND… I found everything in his TRASH FOLDER.

    The mindfuck still continues now. He just had my 11yo son sleepover at the new GF’s house without first informing me. I asked him to please provide me with her address… and… wait for it… what’s that you hear… oh yes… that is the silent treatment. No response.

    Yeah, he’s changed. Not.

    • ICan, mine continues with the mindfuck too. Our teenage son let it leak (no doubt in violation of X’s instructions to keep it a secret) that he’s been left alone overnight at his Dad’s house, which is in violation of our parenting agreement. When I texted X about it he called me (big tell right there, nothing in writing) and furiously denied he would ever do such a thing (X always maintained strict rules about it with our older children because he’s never trusted them not to take advantage of being home alone–projection much?)

      When I asked if our son was lying or if he has actually stayed at X’s house alone overnight, he said . . . wait for it, “I can’t remember.” Now our son also says he can’t remember, either, but he “thinks so.” I sent X an email recapping our conversation for the purposes of documentation, saying that he was not to engage in such violations in the future, treating it as a fact, not as a Dateline mystery. Crickets in return . . .

      The funniest part of it all is that X issued his non-denial before I’d even pointed out to him that he’d violated the terms of our parenting agreement by not notifying me and giving me the right of first refusal. Hiding his extracurricular life from me is still a source of kibbles for him, even though we’ve been divorced for over a year, separated for nearly three. He still thinks I care. I am here to tell any newbies who might be reading this that Meh is real and that there will come a day when old triggers no longer hit their mark.

      • Nomar is right; hiding things from us gives them power, even post-divorce. My X got around the legal requirement that he tell me any change in address because minor DD is NC with him. However, he also told friends and oldest daughter not to tell me where he had moved because “I don’t want to upset Tempest” since he had moved into a posh house.

        Now, I don’t give a damn if he moves into the Taj Mahal, but his secrecy was too tempting. Spent 7 minutes on line, found his new house purchase, and I now deliberately forward email to his address instead of putting it in campus mail. Just so he knows I know ; ).

    • Mine tried to say he did the online thing because he knew I was checking. When I confronted him about a phone call to the Dog Walker OW after swore he wasn’t talking to her, he said he called but they both just put the phone down and walked away for a hour. He said he knew I was looking at the phone bill and this proved I didn’t trust him!

  • Mine, sat down in the chair in our bedroom, after he had already asked for a divorce and moved out of our bedroom, very seriously said…I am worried about you. I think you have early Alzheimer’s. You know you have a family history of it. ME – “who in my family has Alzheimer’s?”. HIM – “Your grandfather”. ME – “you mean my 93 year old grandfather with dementia?” I laughed and said “I am 48, my memory is great and by my calculation I have a good 45 years until my memory goes. Given your family history you will be long dead by then, go F your self AH” and walked out of the room.

    • Yep. This one must be in the cheater’s playbook too. It is in the section for cheaters who think they are too sophisticated to simply label their spouse “crazy.” They believe that pretending concern for a developing case of Alzheimer’s makes them look sympathetic and smart rather than asinine. And, I suspect, they also hope to make us fearful that they might be right. We know perfectly well we aren’t crazy, but we might be anxious about developing a disease, especially if another family member has it.

      I think if we pop it in the UBT we will find that “I’m really worried about you. The things you are saying make me concerned that you are developing Alzheimer’s” really means “Holy Shit. You are on to me. Since the good old days when a man could just sign his wife into an insane asylum on nothing more than his own say so are past, I’m going to have to have to get you on board by making you wary of and scared about your own health. God, the drama and kibbles I can milk this for are amazing.”

      I am sure your stubborn refusal to cower in fear and plead for his help in the face of his self-serving diagnosis was a terrible disappointment to him.

  • It was truly amazing that Arseface could do a job which required very high cognitive functioning but couldn’t remember details when questioned about his squalid double life.
    He told me I wasn’t going to use ‘interrogatory tactics’on him when I was trying to get to the sordid truth.
    He also had trouble keeping his stories straight ,so that if I asked the same question twice,on separate occasions,I often got a totally different answer.
    In hindsight,I wish I hadn’t ploughed so much energy into trying to untangle the skein by subjecting myself to his disordered mindfuckery.Lesson in there for the newbies.

    • Agreed! When my attorney sent interrogatories that basically spelled out we where on to him regarding his secret affair, my life suddenly changed. I was able to prove he was a coward in the fact that he didn’t answer the questions. If we had taken the case to divorce court and I had counterclaimed Adultery, he would have been ruined career-wise. Living in a state where Fault divorces are possible really helped me in my settlement. Just mentioning court caused him to tremble. Was the scariest but most liberating day for me when he texted saying, “I get it now”, as if to say he was busted. Love the fact that the legal jargon used must have shook him to the core- at least something got to him.

  • Hmm. Mine uses “I can’t remember” in a slightly different way. He says he doesn’t remember much since he was 12. He says he generally remembers events and that things happened, but he doesn’t remember details or the day to day. He doesn’t remember the good things about our marriage or all of the things I did to improve his life although he seems to remember the things he resents just fine. Of course all of this general not remembering just sets the stage for making it plausible that he doesn’t remember details of his affairs either (timing etc). At least he admits that he remembers that they happened.

    • Not remembering the good parts of the marriage is part of the “it’s all your fault” mantra and blame shift for why they “had to cheat”. If he conveniently only remembers that time you told him “you can leave my clothes out. I can do my own laundry” (this is a real example of my cruelty) and then he did it anyway because the sarcastic way I said it really meant “fuck you! You’re my laundry bitch now wash my clothes!” Then that means he’s the victim of an evil abuser that he had NO CHOICE but to cheat. Because when you ask them with all of the AWFUL, terrible, crue,l flat out EVIL things you did, why they didn’t just ask for or demand a divorce you get “because I never wanted a divorce. I couldn’t imagined my life without you.”

      • I have a laundry story too. I said I was going to do a load of laundry because there was a particular shirt I really wanted for the next day. I specifically mentioned the shirt as the reason I was goin to do the laundry as it was usually his job (because I didn’t do it right). He fell all over himself to convince me that I shouldn’t do said load of laundry because he was going to do the laundry in the morning, so I did not do the laundry. The next day he did every load of laundry in the house except the one load I needed which had said shirt. When I complained about that I got “Well my mother would have been thrilled if my Dad had been willing to help with the laundry. You just don’t appreciate all I do for you.” At the time I fell for it hook line and sinker. I felt ashamed for having complained. Now I see that whole incident much differently. Don’t ever criticize Mr. Perfect Good Guy.

        • My cheater doesn’t “let” me do laundry because I can’t do it right, also. I suspect there are more nefarious reasons…
          Funny, though. I am perfectly able to FOLD the clothes. I do that just fine.
          But the same story- he complains about everything thing I do then complains when I don’t do things… Or accuses me of doing them wrong just to spite him. Um, no. I don’t “gouge out the eyes of the potatoes wrong” just to piss you off. (seriously. He makes me find and gouge out all the potato eyes no matter how small)

  • It’s astonishing how similar these abusive cheaters are: I also got the mindfuck of “I don’t remember,” after DDay anytime X was asked any question he didn’t want to answer. It was ridiculous. Because I’m a long-time litigator and accustomed to dealing with liars under oath I started cross examining X when he would respond with this evasive shit. It was horrible. 2.5 years out and 3 months post divorce and fully NC I now realize the following (regardless of sunk costs of 25 years together, houses, businesses, and 4 kids) :
    1) if my husband/partner refuses to answer a concern I have and gives evasive responses then there’s nothing to work with, the relationship is over; and
    2) if my husband/partner betrays me sexually, emotionally, or financially then there’s nothing to work with, the relationship is over.

    NC allowed me to clear the fog in my head, see painful reality, and realize my worth. Anyone I partner with must have integrity, loyalty, devotion, honesty, take personal responsibility for his feelings, life, and actions. If not, that person will not get one second of partnership with me. Life is short, and there are millions of wonderful men who meet those standards of character in the world. Most importantly, I have the power to choose who is in my life. And I choose goodness and reality today. Meh is good.

    • Amen, Mother Chumper. But, have go through that NC and letting the mindfuck toxicity seep out of the brain before getting that clarity. (I did, anyway.)

  • After Affair #1, I still had some illusions about my ex’s honesty. He had told me he wanted to fuck OW#1, afterall, even before he did it. (I think he was hoping I’d give him permission, as his previous long-term Chump had. But neither my clearly not agreeing to that, nor my devastation, stopped him.) So after he walked out of couple’s therapy, I told him I just needed to know that he would never cheat again. That was the only thing that would allow me to continue our relationship.

    He promised most sincerely. I asked him why he wouldn’t cheat again. He said it was because he loved me. I said that wasn’t good enough. I needed to know that even if he stopped loving me, even if he was super unhappy in our relationship (’cause, ya know, that’s why he’d cheated), he would leave first before getting involved w/anyone else. Again, super sincere-looking promise.

    After Affair #2, after I kicked him out, after he realized the grass wasn’t actually greener, he was hoovering. I asked about that promise.

    ‘I forgot about that.’

    Sure you did, asshole.

  • Oh yes – he couldn’t remember much. Couldn’t remember that he’d made another email account. Couldn’t remember the password. Couldn’t remember what kind of messages he’d been exchanging with Chinese co-worker whore. Couldn’t remember the last time he’d used the email to chat, it had been so long.

    Except that I found it open on the ipad, when I went to check that we’d received e-confirmations for bill pays in his normal email account, but it was open to the secret email account instead… an email account that had no contacts saved, no messages in the inbox, no spam, and no trash.

    That sneaky, SNEAKY Sent folder though… ooooohhhh DAYUM. Those don’t highlight with the number inside, on the taskbar, like the other folders do.

    It’s too bad he didn’t die from shock, when he watched me click on it to reveal the Sent messages, including hers he’d responded to… it would have saved me an awful lot of trouble. He tried to argue that he’d erased it all MONTHS ago… but seemed surprised when I challenged the being signed in when I’ve ALWAYS checked the email that way and he is NOT signed into that secret account… and that he absolutely could NOT say he’d deleted it all long ago and just HAPPENED to check it then (the can’t remember the password lie and defense being thoroughly forgotten also, despite being moments before) because if that was the case, there’d be an.awful.lot of SPAM. To this, he said that he’d deleted the spam. “Okay- but why would you empty the Trash? It deletes itself and you’ve NEVER deleted the spam or the trash in any of your other email accounts before… why this one?” Umm… “I just did,” he says. LOL!

    Another favorite thing he couldn’t remember was where he was, when… as in, how on earth did he make the time to cheat when all he did was work his scheduled hours, go to work meetings, and then come home? Google Timeline’s Raw Data feature was superb at triggering his memory. “No sir, there were NOT that many pre-start meetings. So, where did you go all those times?” Oh- he must have been wrong and sat in the lot. “Nope- you were at Panera for 47 minutes./Behind the industrial laundry factory for 1 hour, 13 minutes./That night you said you had to work until 6 and then had a mandatory Christmas work dinner – spouses NOT welcome, he said – and couldn’t come with us, as a family, to see the Nutcracker at 6pm? (A plan I’d made to distract myself from not being allowed to the work party that, btw, EVERYONE else’s spouse attended.) You went shopping with Chinese Whore at Pier 1 from 4:43-5:12, then to the art supply store from 5:22-6:18, then to a restaurant from 6:33 to 6:56 (was there too long a wait so you just had drinks at the bar instead?, poor babies), and then went home… where we came home at 9pm and found you sullen and pissy that you’d gotten out late at 8pm, the food was bad so you didn’t eat, and passive aggressively told me that a man should be able to come home from work and find at least SOMETHING prepared in the fridge that he could warm up.” Because a man who lives in a bustling, upscale village has ZERO options for feeding himself. Obviously.

    Thank goodness that Google and I can remember things or he’d not remember living at all!

  • Free Vix, on pleading the 5th! My Ex used that in deposition! It was beyond ridiculous! His own lawyer was getting a giggle out of it. When you plead the 5th you are just admitting to the fact that you are guilty of whatever you are being accused of. Not to mention the fact that you look like a huge asshole! Doesn’t seem to bother the Narc though, they believe they are so smart!

    • My stbx is pleading the fifth on the adultery he so blatantly rubs in my face. Lawyer says he is probably doing it so the serial part doesn’t come out because that looks even worse. He is such a coward.

  • My POS went to a massage parlor and paid for a handjob and when he told me about it 2 years later he claimed he forgot it happened and that he had repressed the memory because it was so bad. He claimed he was not in his right mind because he drank too much Diet Coke on his business trip.

  • Therapist ran interference by explaining to me in e-mail that STBX might not be able to recall details, dates, blah, blah in our disclosure meeting. He also said that I already knew enough and that more would only add more pain.. that the extent and duration of 20 years of prostitute use was likely more that any wife could forgive.. This from therapist when I was ,at that time, thinking there was hope. He wouldn’t recommend polygraph for the same reason. Turning 61 this month and I don’t want to spend any more time trying to unravel the skein. Thank you CL and CN for all the insight. Attorney promised me I would be D before the end of the year..

    • Here’s wishing you a speedy escape! I hope you are leaving the therapist even faster than the spouse.

  • I usually heard, “I don’t know.” Which translated really means, “I don’t want YOU to know.”

    That’s fine, asshole. Because now, I don’t care!

  • Hahahahaha ohhh they are so predictable.

    My cheater’s “I can’t remember”‘s are frequently coupled with “it was all a blur”‘s and “I wasn’t myself”‘s.

    Idiots.

  • Wow! This post is perfect timing for me!
    Dday was 3 weeks ago for me, despite the gut feeling I’d had since about 6 weeks in that this guy was so much like my cheating ex and he was gonna break my heart.
    I was lovebombed big time in the beginning, even tho I didn’t want to get into relationship at the time, this guy won me over.
    6 months ago we started long distance, so only had weekends together, after a month or 2 his interest in sex dried up – nothing…zilch…nada. I had to practically force it out of him!
    Red flags at full mast!
    Even after me breaking down n telling him how I felt several times, nothing changed, that is until 2 weeks ago after I confronted him with what I found on his phone! Cue lovebombing strike 2! I’m desirable to you again?! Gee, thanks!!
    I wasn’t fooled for a second.
    He’d been hooking up with randoms the whole time he’d been working away – if not long before that!
    Every piece of evidence that I found coincided with nights he “passed out n fell asleep.” (Going back through our texts)
    He couldn’t remember any of it.
    After initial confrontation and denial, I contacted one the hookups (screenshot of chat on Grindr of him saying, what’s your number, I’ll be there in 20 mins) the guy confirmed he (or someone very like him!) was there – “no it wasn’t me.”
    But how do you know if you can’t remember- “I think I’d remember that!” Obviously not!
    He even called a taxi 15 mins after the screenshot, he said he was drinking in a bar on the other side of town that night – well remembered huh?! Only, a little further digging proved he wasn’t, he was in his local, around the corner from his place. Taxi not required! Guzzump! Still denied it.

    Everything I asked him about, he said he was drunk n couldn’t remember – a problem in itself of course. He drank every single night, while I sat at home alone, worrying and anxious.
    He even claimed to be drunk when he clearly wasn’t too! One evening at 8.15pm when he took a screenshot of google maps to a random house. He immediately told me he was at the bar from 5 that day so he was drunk when he took the screenshot – no sweetie – you arrived at the bar at 7.30 that evening, you were not drunk 45 mins later. Still couldn’t remember.
    And so it went on. Denial, don’t remember, I was drunk, can’t remember.
    Only thing he admits to is being on Grindr. Which he denied at first of course til I presented him with irrefutable evidence that he was. He still denied it even then, but caved eventually!
    Trickle Truth!
    So i ended it with him yesterday and I’m so glad I took photos on my phone of everything I saw cuz when I get a doubt that maybe I’m wrong, maybe he didn’t really hook up with these people, maybe he was “just chatting” like he purported to be – I can scroll through n recap on what I know – despite his memory loss.
    It’s such a cruel and callous way to treat someone you supposedly loved.
    Don’t think I’ll ever get my head around it!
    Thanks CL for helping me through this past few weeks, giving me strength to do what needed to be done and for this great site for chumps like us!

    • Ugh, ChumpNoMore, very painful to be chumped a second time. The only good news is that you spotted the signs early before you could get further enmeshed. You were mighty to get away quickly. Hugs.

  • “I can’t remember I can’t recall why are you going on, I don’t need this right now”
    Must be chapter 1 in that cheater playbook

    Another chapter that CLs words were a helpful epiphany on was false equivalency. Actually looking at his messages, due to creeping doubt, is not equivalent to infidelity. ‘We’ did not both make mistakes so much as there being a problem that one of us cheated and it was not me.

  • Yep. I got the “I don’t know,” “I can’t remember,” on DD#2 when I found out about the strip clubs and lap dances. When I kept pressing him for details, I then got from him “I think it’s kind of sick that you want to know the details.” To which I responded, “I think it’s kind of sick that you have naked women on your lap who are younger than your daughter and not much older than your granddaughter.” Can hardly wait for my Tuesday.

  • I can’t remeber.
    I don’t remember.
    I don’t know why I sent my ho-worker my room reservation for the day AFTER the business convention was over.

    But I was there all alone. Thinking about our marriage. Even though she was co-located at the same exact coordinate in the space-time continuum that I was. But I felt I was alone, so I was alone because you’re saying I was with her.
    Snap, crackle, POP, went my logic and reasoning circuits on that one.

  • My STBX would always say,even to this day when I’d call him out on bullshit. ” God,you remember things WRONG” . Married almost 14 years ,I would always tell him (before I realized he is actually a narcissist ) he is a master manipulator and can make you believe the grass is pink..With him,I never get the same answer,one minute the answer is “blue” and couple minutes later answer to the SAME QUESTION is “green”

  • When I set the boundary that in order for me to entertain the idea that I would stay, he would have go do a full disclosure with polygraph. Boy he was bucking at that idea!!! ” Nooooooooo! Nikki Lynn we can’t do that! I will do a polygraph going forward!!!” My response “Awww. Naw. It’s that or divorce.” Then he was like “There’s no way I can remember everything from the all the years we’ve been together.” My response, “You don’t fail a polygraph for not telling something that you can’t remember, FOOL! Do your best!”

    That which he was able to recall was unfathomable. Horrific. Despicable. He passed. Looking back it was a big waist of time, effort and money. But, I guess it took that and then me briefly watching a half-assed attempt at “recovery” as prescribed by the RIC for me to REMEMBER that I have some value and needed to get the FUCK out asap.

  • I actually recorded a conversation we had at the end and I swear I can’t understand any of the questions he kept asking me after I would ask him, it made my head spin but also made me realize he really was crazy!

  • I went thru my marriage with constant lying he was a pathological liar dress up as a prank/joker/stand up comedian wanna be. I drank the “Kool-AID” of his unique magnet personality that everybody used to love. Every time he could not do something with friends/family or did not have $$ he always made up a lie/excuse. Examples: ” I am going to have my wisdom teeth taken out. I have back pain & I can hardly move. I going to a business trip that Sunday and I will not able to make it. To top the lies with cherrie he used FB
    as free Public Relation by posting his lies. (those were excuses to friend & family)!
    MY A-HA‼️ MOMENT WAY BEFORE D-DAY: One day I was listening one of his phone conversation about not being able to attend a meeting with friend because of the wisdom “tooth” (lie). I told him kind of laughing in the living room. “Mr.Cheater Pants, you are crazy always making excuses and lies to everybody except me ??” I recall that moment as yesterday my legs started to shake, I got the chills. It was like a “THE MATRIX MOVIEMOMENT” ? Everything was spinning except me. That was my wake up call/slap in the face. I have so many more lies mix up with truth before, during and after the divorce but this post will look like a Will. As we speak Mr. Cheaters Pants is lying about not being able to move
    because he does not have $$ however he just came from his whore’s state from a mini-whorecation. Just waiting for the 401k money to kick his royal butt.

      • …hat no one knew the “real” x except me.

        Except I was an idiot.

        he lied about everything to everybody. after all, he complained to the MC that he craved “intimacy” but his cheating was with whores, Craigslist hookups, webcam whores, strangers met and fucked once and never seen again…no one with whom he actually knew their names.

        I wish I had realized that his own acknowledgement of his incessant lying (“i’m a people-pleaser”) was indicative of his character. I’m mad at myself.

        • Roaring, I can relate, thought those little lies were for others not the person you loved and trusted and committed to in front of God, family and friends. It is maddening but trust that he sucks and forgive yourself for being a victim.

    • I witnessed STBX being a fake to others and yet just couldn’t believe that he could possibly be a fake to me too

    • I remember telling Kaa that it was scary how easily he lied to a work colleague on the phone. When he told me he wanted out of our marriage I asked him if he had ever been unfaithful answer No. I also asked him to not get involved with anyone else until we were separated. He said OK . He had been on dating sites for months and meeting people for sex in hotels. There are so many times in our 24 year relationship that I had my doubts but apart from one flirty fb conversation I didn’t have the proof. I truely believed That I was just paranoid by the end. I found out he had ended up in a relationship with the wife of his best friend which he claimed everyone was ok about. I realised that I had met his best friend at a party and he was far from OK about his best friend running off with his wife . But hey he was friends with all of his ex’s . No doubt he is telling OW that I am mentally Ill because I won’t be his friend and I’m taking him to court.

  • As part of my cheater’s incessant paltering (which he mentally categorized as “not lying” and therefore virtuous) I got a whole lot of “I don’t know what to tell you”s.

    Meaning, of course, “the answer to this question would only upset you, so I refuse to tell you.”

  • Isn’t it just crazy to read about all the lives that were forever impacted over an orgasm (or ten or a hundred)? It’s the part that really defies any sort of logic. I’ll never be able to understand why a lap dance is more important than your children. He said I was crazy and maybe I am but I’ll never grasp the mental leap that one must make to decide “I’ll screw a stripper and forget about my kids..”. No wonder their answer is “I don’t remember”.

    • I’ve said that many times since D-day. I’ve always had low self esteem because I’m just a big emotional wimp and I’ve taken to heart all the cruel things I’ve heard about myself over my entire lifetime, but I still thought I was worth more than a cheap couple of orgasms with a slunt from Hell and it’s completely destroyed me that apparently I wasn’t worth more than her used up old whore hole ☹️ (I’m having a hard time the last few days)

      Anyway, everyone here is worth more to me than those disgusting people cheaters hook up with and I’m genuinely sorry that this happened to everyone.

      • I hear you Bev and Shelby. I just can’t understand what is so special about her or so terrible about me that it was worth breaking up our family over it. I just don’t understand it and I guess I never will.

    • I don’t think it was about the sex, actually, for my cheater narc ex. It was about the ego kibbles. Both affairs. To find a woman who hits on him, who looks at him with those googly eyes? A woman who, because she doesn’t actually know him, thinks he is the greatest? A woman who has no realistic expectations of him, and who doesn’t yet know that he doesn’t do reciprocity? A woman he’s known for a few weeks? Worth EVERYTHING to him, worth leaving his loving partner, who was loyal despite knowing who he was (with whom he had lots of great sex, btw), his two beautiful kids who adored him despite how difficult he was, the house we loved and worked so hard to pay for, all the family friends and his long relationships with my family, the financial security we were just starting to have …. ALL WORTH IT!

      Until it wasn’t, of course.

  • Someone on Ambien does not remember!! My husband at the time said ” I have to go back to the office since a client is worried about losing $90,000″. I said No way, you took an Ambien an hour ago and you have been drinking, he can wait until tomorrow. Of course he ignored me and drove with drugs and alcohol in his system. Dumb idea! He stumbles in the house, gets a call which is on speaker phone. A female, ” No problem HONEY, ok SWEETHEART, LOVE YOU. Never remembered it the next day. I certainly did, it was his secretary of 30 years. I am divorced from him now, moving into a new home(paid in full) in 2 weeks, got a great monthly check( no help from my attorney), half of retirement, health care for life, and another house(figured he paid for secretary’s house) and half of all other accounts. Been a tough road but at least I know the truth, not from his mouth, but from a sleeping pill.

    • I’m so sorry you went through that Hell. But, you are very MIGHTY! Sending good vibes your way for a much brighter future.

  • My Ex husband way before D’day to avoid my questioning his suspicious behaviour that resulted in his being bashed and robbed in a secluded public toilet, claimed short term memory lost. Due to the trauma and proceeded to take 5 months to return to full employment status reducing our family income and eventually loosing him his job. All to keep his secret. And if I questioned him I was labeled a heartless bitch. That I just didn’t get it. When he eventually can clean and I leant it was a hook up gone wrong. I was accused of being over reactionary to his lies and deceit.

  • I had the preverbal Jesus cheater. Which is ironic, because Christ himself swinging a Louisville Slugger couldn’t beat the truth out of him.

    Seriously what’s more ironic is that I fond his counseling notes he left in his wake of moving in with the “woman of caliber” he left me for. In his list of attributes (self assessment?) he listed; “I hate liars and being lied to.”
    I had to read it twice.

    It also referenced an affair he then claimed was only emotional when asked.

    Funny, when I wrote about this find to my RIC friends, they totally blamed me for reading his notes and instructed me to go back to waistband, apologize for reading his notes, and ask him to trust me again.

    — Yes, it did happen, no you can’t make this stuff up.

  • My STBX “couldn’t remember” any of his 15 month long affair with his old supply. He actually told the MC that, although he MUST have had sex with her (years before, as a teen) he didn’t remember it. Said he’d only been around her when her when he was drunk and ONLY remembers “waking up next to her the next morning”. The MC thought that was interesting. How could he remember everything else in his life (even things drunk), but nothing of this particular cow (past/present)? Hmmmm…MC said it must be some sort of blocking mechanism. Must be true because I uncovered 38 years of them having had affairs on various partners. Found out they frequently took other men and women to hotels for group sex. Oh, but he remembers NOTHING of her or anything they did. I stuck it out for 4 years after Dday waiting for his memory to improve. Never happened.

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