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Dear Chump Lady, How can I hurt him to the core?

Hi Chump Lady,

Do you have any tips on how I can hurt him to the core? We were together 10 years. No kids. He cheated. I left straight away. We didn’t even talk about the details of the affair. I mostly felt anger and disgust. I moved to a different city. Cut off all mutual friends. I read a lot of books (including yours) trying to get over that loser.

Now, almost 18 months later he’s back. With ‘true remorse’. Apparently he’s been in therapy this whole time to become a better person. He dumped the OW immediately after I found out. So basically he spent 18 months healing, and working on himself, becoming a better person to win me back. (I know: puke).

There is no way I want him back. I’m finally realising that I wasn’t that happy with him. Single life is kinda great. Maybe he has changed, maybe he hasn’t, but I have certainly changed and I don’t want a cheater (non-negotiable). I don’t love him anymore. But it keeps me awake at night. I want to hurt him the way he has hurt me. I’m thinking of faking reconciliation and then dumping him in a cruel way. I want to rip his heart out. Any other tips???

NoChump

Dear NoChump,

Cruelty and heart-ripping are not what meh look like, NoChump. That’s what I’m Still Hung Up On My Ex looks like. We aren’t about revenge here at Chump Lady — we’re about gaining a life (free of indictments and jail time). 

Sounds like you got a pretty good start with your “kinda great” single life. So why turn back for a loser?

Revenge is a very common chump fantasy, that somehow you can inflict as much hurt on the cheater as they inflicted on you. Chump revenge is predicated on a very flawed assumption — THEN the cheater will GET IT. Then they’ll realize HOW MUCH THEY HURT ME!

Yes, the heavens will part and sunlight will refract through the cheater’s bitter tears to bounce rainbows of repentance everywhere. With a heavy heart,  he’ll lament, “I am broken! Just the way I broke NoChump! How could I’ve been so SO so very CRUEL? This is my fate! Rejection is all I deserve! sob, sob, sob…”

What’s our flawed assumption here, chumps? Trick question — there are a couple.

a.) That this is an insight problem. Only by feeling this pain, (by being treated the way HE treated you) will he understand the gravity of betrayal.

The cheater doesn’t have an insight problem, he has an I don’t-give-a-shit problem. He KNEW cheating on you would hurt you and he did it anyway. You want him to have a revelation that cheating hurts. (HA! YOU CHOKE ON THE HUMILIATION FOR ONCE, MOTHERFUCKER!) His pain will only register as HIS pain.

He’s not going to connect the dots that he hurt you first. He’s going to see this as one more way in which you suck, and he was right to abuse you, because you deserve it.

b.) That there is a heart in there to break. Similar to the first point, you assume he’s sorry and it keeps you up at night. So what if he’s sorry? If in fact, cheating is your deal breaker, then you should know your mind. Nothing more to engage with. It’s done. Kaput. Fini.

You want to circle back, why? Either cheating is a deal breaker for you, or it’s not.

It’s just as likely that he’s not one bit sorry, he just needs something. (No consequences? Where are you on that divorce?)  There is no heart there, the mindfuck channel just got flipped to charm and self-pity.

You assume you could break this heart. (It’s had therapy!) I doubt it. It’s more likely he’s got several mindfuck channels going at once. He’s the Nielson box in every home in America. You’re plan B, or Q, or Z. Stay tuned.

Taking him back for the purpose of dumping him, NoChump, is a really dumb idea. Let me count the dumb.

1.) You’re bullshitting us. It’s really the hopium talking. I’m going to eat this ONE cookie just to PROVE that cookies have no power over me! WATCH ME EAT THIS SNICKERDOODLE! Nom, nom, nom! I rebuke you, cookie! Do you doubt my powers? I will eat another! HAH!

Hopium says “He’s changed! I won the pick me dance!” Spackle says, “We gotta dress this shit up.”

2.) You’re risking your health. Reconciliation, fake or otherwise, comes with sex. Don’t trust where that thing has been. Get tested.

3.) You’re risking your mental health. Sanity is a precious thing. Don’t throw it overboard for a chance with a cheater. It took a lot to get you to leave, why put yourself through that meat grinder again? Oh right, because you’re so strong that you… stay up all night plotting revenge scenarios. #winning

The best revenge is meh.

Deny the fucker kibbles and get on with your life. If you want to hurt him, I promise your silence hurts him, and consequences will make him lose his ever-living mind. Exact your revenge at once. Go no contact.

 

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Chump Lady nailed it.

    “It took a lot to get you to leave, why put yourself through that meat grinder again?”

    This is what ran through my head as I read the OP’s letter. Why, oh why, open yourself up to that hell again? I get the desire for revenge, but when there are so many variables in the game … including a known variable that has a penchant for hurting you, it is simply too risky.

    This is partly why the absolute BEST revenge is doing what CL advises … gaining a life. Living well. Being happy. Nothing pisses off an ex-cheater asshat like seeing you happy without him or her. Now THAT is a beautiful revenge and it can only benefit you — there is no risk.

    • JessMom you are so right! The best revenge is moving forward with your life and truly finding happy! It can and will happen and when he realizes you are healing and happier, it will drive him crazy! The good news is, you will be happier and healthier in your new life as long as he is not a part of it! It’s so amazing when “meh” hits and the new life begins! Work on making you happy and keep him out of that new life!

      • FNM, The truth: “You will be happier and healthier in your new life as long as he is not a part of it.” Underline that last bit, ‘As long as he is NO part of it.” This times1000000000000000000…. Truly. You can not change Stupid.

    • VulcanChump,

      You are so right … as much as I’d like to really hurt my cheating, cruel ex ( 34 years married) .. He never really loved me. So trying to ” hurt” him will not happen.

      Hopefully him & whore will pay down the road..,
      Maybe by then I won’t care.

      • Don’t get me wrong, you can still enrage someone who doesn’t love you though. Part of “Meh” is making sure you’re out of range if that fury.

    • Yup. I think no contact is the only way to get over someone and heal but I sincerely doubt he gives a shit. It is painful but there is no revenge. We just have to live our best lives because what else is there? But being happy is not revenge and he most likely doesnt care.

      • I agree with this KK. I don’t know that my cheater would even care. But in my opinion, being happy is my gift for dealing with his lunacy for so long. Woot! Been there, done that, have the t-shirt so I don’t really have to do that again.

  • No Chump, you were pretty awesome in cutting it off 18 months ago, stay strong and stay away from him! Do you really believe he dumped OW and has been in therapy all this time and now appreciates you? It sounds highly unlikely to me, I suspect he is saying whatever he thinks will lure you back.

    • Vastra, I agree….HIGHLY unlikely. And if either/both of those things are false, then he’s not truly repentant, and reconciling (even falsely) wouldn’t be wise. NoChump, it’d open you up to more pain, and wouldn’t hurt him because he doesn’t care.

      NoChump, if he actually is truly repentant and has spent the past 18 months alone and in therapy, then simply blowing him off and showing him that you’ve moved on and are doing fine without him is the best revenge anyway.

      Either way, your best move is to stay away from him.

    • NoChump, I think he is truely and profoundly sorry about … consequences for … HIM. “If only I hadn’t got caught my life would be so much easier. If only I had navigated my entitlement a bit more carefully, Chump would still be dancing the PickMe tango.” Revenge is useless.

      I sent cheater’s shit as per legal agreement together with some trash and wish I hadn’t, it just turned on his pity Chanel. And I had to hear “He’s already suffering enough!”.

  • Nice idea about the revenge…let me save you the time, effort and lack of satisfaction..it doesn’t work that way.

    Many of us here wish the same thing but you will be the only one hurt.

    Read and re-read CL’s response. It’s the truth.

    The best (and healthiest) revenge is a life (YOURS) well lived. Go live it!

    • “Before you embark on the journey of revenge, dig two graves.”-Confucius. While the idea of revenge sounds great, the reality is that it never, ever works out as planned. You have removed this cancer from your life. Why would you ever invite it back in?

      • Great quote, and good cancer analogy. Inviting people (or cancer) in reminded me of the concept of inviting a vampire in. And we know what happens when you do that.

        • Yes they are vampires sucking the life out of us. We often make the mistake of assuming that they think and react like we do, but THEY DO NOT! Only we have a conscience, they do not so what hurts us does NOT hurt them. When humans assume that animals have the same feelings as people it’s called anthropomorphic. We really have NO idea what animals are thinking. Narcs are animals. Let it go

      • I was just thinking of that quote,jotted down in my “Chump Lady Nuggets” journal

  • For me, the rocky road to me looked like a bedraggled cat escaping a massive car accident complete with explosive mushroom clouds. I was flattened on the pavement licking my wounds. 100 yards out I had vivid dreams of his demise. The revenge fantasies of a long drawn out death. 200 hundred yards out I was able to send my kids to his house without crying and throwing up. I figure I’m about to the finish line: I no longer wish him dead because I realize the pain that would inflict on my children, I no longer have much to say except ‘we had different moral compasses’. I don’t date men who no matter how awful their x is, whine about having to pay them alimony or other support. Yes there are awful people, I didn’t know going in. I’m good where I’m at. I do hear my x looks terrible.

    • “I don’t date men who no matter how awful their x is, whine about having to pay them alimony or other support.”

      This is a good tip. I am a victim of a married man who pretended to be a divorced, single dad. One of the red flags I overlooked and just wrote off to “he’s just venting from a bad marriage that ended” was all of the trash talking he did about his “ex”-W, right down to the color of her skin (she was black/he was white) and how he’d “never be with a black woman again” and how “black moms don’t make cupcakes” and how his kids “wanted a white mom next”. Aside from the blatant racism (he was a homophobe fake Christian too – a real winner!), he said things like “she thinks she’s tough, but she’s not” and told this elaborate story about how the kids hated her and when the marriage finally ended he told her where the doors were and to get out.

      Ugh, I cringe now at all of the glaring red flags overlooked, but I think this is a good tip that the way they talk about the exes should sound alarm bells (at the very least) or be deal-breakers.

      Narcissistic sociopaths are such complex cretins.

      • was the racism not enough of a deal-breaker? He’d have sex with and marry a black girl apparently, produce children with her… but…

        • It should’ve been, but rose-colored glasses and all. I also, as I stated, didn’t really see it at the time as the blatant racism that it was (although I did start to feel uncomfortable when other things like the homophobia started coming out and I challenged him on it, which led to fighting) and instead just wrote it off as him “venting” about a bad marriage to someone that treated him so horribly that ended. Hindsight is 20/20 – of course, with all the information (aka, the truth), it all makes sense.

          I also did not know what a narcissist was before this, aside from the ones that are obvious (and he was more covert) – I operated under the assumption that he was working from the same moral compass as me, etc. He also hid behind the “good Christian man” facade. It has been a huge and very painful learning experience in the disordered.

          • WhataLoser,

            I also dated a covert narcissist Jesus cheater last year. I asked him “If your two exes (he called them his axes-stupid pun) were so terrible to be with,why are you still in contact with them ? Your kids are grown and you didn’t have any with the second one ?”

            I now understand-narcissistic supply ! The recent post about the jerk who continues to abuse his ex around his kids by laughing at her behavior during the discard was very disturbing. This man claims his first wife is borderline and I witnessed him encouraging his son and daughter to see her in that light. I’m very tempted to steer her to this web site but that wouldn’t be very “meh” of me. I ended the relationship about eight months ago and he recently contacted me for “closure”. Pretty certain he got my credit card number and charged stuff so I ghosted him…

            • His first wife lives a couple thousand miles away and he lives in the same neighborhood as his adult kids. The son was cheated on and dumped by his fiancee a couple of years ago and was involved with a cheating attorney when I was dating the father. The daughter seemed like she has taken after her father-a manipulator.

              I feel sorry for his first wife and was disturbed to see how “Jesus Cheater” loved to point out to his kids how “crazy” their mother is,she’s an alcoholic,etc.

              Any advice ? If I send her info regarding Tracy’s site, she may mention it to JC,providing him with centrality and I don’t want any more contact from him.

              • Hi SPBAS,

                I am sorry you got tangled up with a covert “Jesus Cheater” as well. And yeah on “supply” – it was all so eye-opening when I started to do the research and realized what I had just got tangled up with. It was actually quite scary.

                I don’t know what the right advice is for you because I assume you don’t really know the first wife and where she stands on things. And also, you were dealing w a covert and they LIE – A LOT – so, who knows how much of what you know is truth or lies. I don’t know. I would probably, as tempting as it is to save someone and give them the information and lifeline that is CL, just let it go for your own self-preservation and to avoid him popping up again or hoovering. Unless you have a mutual friend or something that can lead her to it without bringing you into it.

                Sorry, again, for your experience.

  • He did not spend 18 months in therapy healing and taking responsibility for what he’s done. Has he even apologized to you?

    Nope, he’s figured out that duping the next woman takes work, and he probably doesn’t want to work that hard.

    Don’t entertain thoughts of revenge. In the words of the great Gertrude Stein “there’s no there there.” Cheaters have no moral center.

  • If he has changed, which I sincerely doubt, losing you will be the best revenge/punishment he can get. You don’t have to get back with him to do this, just stay gone, ie, no contact.

    Like Chump Lady says, please don’t have anything physical to do with this guy.

    Also, you are assuming cheater dumped the ow. I bet the real truth is that she dumped him.

    • Yes, I think so, too.

      Honey, go NC with that loser. You don’t deserve to be hurt by him again.

      Let him go on with his bad self; you are too good for him.

  • I can guarantee you that meh is the best revenge. Why? Because sociopaths and narcs thrive on Centrality. I’m guilty. Cold Slab O’Meat got a full quota of two weeks crazy desperate sleep deprived devastated hot mess from me. HE LOVED EVERY MINUTE. I’m sure he relayed every juicy detail to the Sluterus as lightweight drinker me slammed a water glass of bourbon to try to sleep, sobbed myself to exhaustion and drove myself to the hospital with blood sugar over 400 despite being unable to eat. Wrote begging letters for MC to correct the sudden mystery of my complete failure as a wife despite exhaustion from 3 years of capitulation to his every whim.

    When I wised up that I deserved better, that all ended. The few times I spoke with him on the phone he sounded positively gleeful over my pain. But was still unable to articulate anything but minor relationship challenges as to why destroying his family was necesssary.

    When I forced gave him an ultimatum to either file dissolution or have me file for Adultery and depose the Sluterus, he wanted to sit on the phone question by question for the paperwork, them have me sign. I refused, just had him send me the papers, had an officer of the bank where they work notarize them (ha!) and sent them back the same fucking day.

    It’s funny. With No Contact and No One to Blame, Sluterus and Cold Slab floundered. A Third woman was brought into the cesspool. Gotta have Options!

    Three years later, not seeking revenge was the best decision I ever made. They really do continue to make each other all miserable and penniless on their own.

    I’ve focused my efforts on my children, finances and health instead. It hasn’t been perfect, but I don’t need bourbon to sleep and I don’t have to be a tent pole in the Free Love Bonobo Monkey Circus.

    • “They really do continue to make each other all miserable and penniless on their own.”

      Yes, they really do. Truer words were never spoken. They take their dysfunction and discontent wherever they go and end up paying a lot for it, but never learning from it.

    • “They really do continue to make each other all miserable and penniless on their own.”

      I know this will be the case. I know for a fact. I don’t care what he is doing right now. It’s getting through this process, getting through finding ways (money, job, etc) to get to that point that is killing me right now.

      I’m glad you made it through. I really am.

      “I’ve focused my efforts on my children, finances and health instead.”

      I want to be there (the above) so bad, it hurts.

    • well said.. .. i was the same way. i loved my ex so much. i was convinced it was just a big misunderstanding.. .. if only i could talk to him.. .. UGH!! the misunderstanding was on my part.. .. thinking he was a decent human being.. ..

      Like you, i realized that everything i told him was being laught at by him and his hood rat troll. and they both were enjoying my pain.. . so even thou it was killing me i made sure not to show it to him and his hood rat.. .. i spent over a year after my divorce blaming myself.. . .. finally i accepted that it was not me and focused on my healing and my children.. .. . still thought of him way to often, wondering if he was thinking about me (he wasnt) .. .. he attempted suicide last oct 2016. i foolishly thought it was because he was miserable losing his wonderful loving wife (me) and his amazing sons.. .. so i reached out to him.. .. and discovered that not once in the past 2.10 years had he thought about me or his boys.. .. we never entered his mind while he was busy loving his new hood rat and jumping from house to house and job to job.. .. never cared to ask how his sons were doing and adjusting to losing their dad, and my feelings never crossed him mind.. .. but oh, he spent hours telling me how his new hood rat troll abused him, threw bottles at his face, slashed his tires and broke his windshield, stole his car and left him stranded. belittles him and makes fun of him… and all sorts of monstrosities she did to him. (which i knew she was evil, hateful and cruel) he was telling me he would never go back to her only he did. 3 weeks after he got out of the hospital and then the crazy started again. he had been visiting every other weekend, but a month after he hooked back up with her… .. he(she) started accusing me of watching his every move (i was never home during these visits).. .. after that it was he(she) thinks i was trying to control and manipulate him…. .but he had been continuing to visit the boys every other weekend.. . so she convinced him to leave town and the visits stopped.. . come to find out he moved in with her husband (she is still legally married but separated 10 years) and her 4 kids.. .. in feb her and her kids beat the shit out of him and hospitalized him.. .. he went back to her as soon as he got out of the hospital and i was done.. ..

      like you said, they continue to make each other miserable all on their own.. .. it was killing me to watch him destroy his life with poor choices and bad decisions, it was killing me to deal with his hood rat troll’s disrespect every time my son wanted to talk or see his father, it was killing me that he allowed this chick he has known for 4 months to come between our 15 years and let HER tell ME off and put ME down.. .. so i stopped watching…

      3.5 years after my divorce, i found my peace. i do not care what or who he is doing or how sad he is or what bad thing happened to him again. i do not wonder if he is homeless again or jobless again.. i do not wonder or think of him at all unless i am commenting on this site or another site.

      i have peace. i have my children and grandson. i have my truck, house and job.. .. he has nothing. lost all his vehicles but one (only a matter of time) .. . cant keep an apartment. barely has the clothes on his back and whatever else he can carry.. . his boys are tired of chasing him down to get a few crumbs of attention. his hood rat makes his life miserable.. .. he will never have peace.

      what do i have to be jealous of? he has nothing.. .. nothing but a troll

      • MrsVain, some people like your x and the hood rat troll thrive on dysfunction. If they are not fighting and carrying on they can’t stand it.

        • Mrs Vain – so nice to hear from you again!
          It sounds like you are doing very well, thank you.
          I bow to your mighty.
          Keep up the great work. I’m struggling at the end here but every single of these posts sure help. Todays subject is just what I needed.

  • Meh feels really good.
    ‘The best revenge is to live well’ also feels pretty good.
    Want to hurt him?
    Move on without a care.

  • Revenge isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It can become all consuming, and once again, puts the cheater in control of you. Like others will tell you, the best revenge is getting a new life. It’s something they cannot control and as I saw with my ex, this just infuriated her. Yup, she was infuriated because not only did I survive, but am building the kind of life that I want. Since we have kids together she still tries to inject her control into things and I just don’t let it happen. It’s my world now.

    Best thing to do is just walk away and live your life.

    • best advice ever!!!!

      living the life you want. not letting them control your thoughts, hopes, dreams or life anymore.. ..

      i dont care if it makes him mad, sad, upset, or feel bad.. .. i am enjoying my life one day at a time.

  • I’m in a similar boat NoChump. Been about 18 months and I’m Moving on and single life has its perks. No kids here either. I too still fantasize about revenge. I have things on him that would make him lose his job and even send his ass to jail for some things and believe me I still consider it. I wanna hurt him where he feels pain. Cause his heart won’t feel pain for me. It’ll only be for him. But will that change anything for me? Will that make him disappear from my mind? Will I then suddenly be free of him forever? Prob not. Also time helps. As each day passes I think about him less and more about me.

    I can’t imagine if he wanted to come back into my life now. But for you, take the advice. No contact is the way to go. It’ll hurt him and piss him off. But You keep moving forward, without him. Don’t let him suck you back and lose your mind all over again. Seems he still has that power. I get it. We all get it. But get that power back. And stay strong.

  • You are already giving your cheater revenge by not giving two fucks about him! He lost his centrality in your life and is now seeking validation cake.

    Keep up with NC. Do not respond to any of his pleadings. Set your boundaries – you already left him in the dust! The best revenge is a life well lived. Sounds like you are doing that 🙂

    • Spot on. It definitely isn’t hate or revenge. They become nothing to you & you chalk up the relationship as an experience never to be repeated. When you don’t have kids, you are free to cut them out completely – cauterise the wound and put them totally in your past. You can’t live in the past, so the future is all yours & can be completely free of them.

  • Three plus years out, I have settled into thinking that I will treat him in my new life as he treated me in the marriage…
    Non-existent! I have peace with that.

    • Well said.
      I’m doing just that!
      The only place I mention Narkles the Clown is here, and if anyone asks why I am single. Even that gets the two sentence explanation and I move on. I have my son, my job, my life and an awesome man who makes me stare in amazement sometimes as I think “this is what a real man is!”

    • Yes treat him as nothing, cause they are nothing. And they can’t stand it.

      This is the only way the dysfunctional can feel pain – they want the attention so badly and would employ just about any manipulation tactic to get it.

      NC is like a mirror that reflects what he gave you back to him.

  • I would echo what everyone said that the best revenge is living an amazing life without him. Denying him access to your life when he wants to “win you back” will hurt him plenty without opening up the door for him to hurt you again in the future. So live your pretty great life and leave him by the roadside where he belongs!

  • Do you really want to know how to get revenge on him? Go complete and total no contact. That’s it. No conversations, no texts, no nothing. Block his number. If he shows up at your house or work, tell him you have NOTHING to talk about it and if he does it again you’ll get a restraining order/order of protection, then close the door or walk away. Be a complete ice queen about it, don’t rage, don’t be nice…when you tell him, look him dead in the eye with no emotion. This is the ONLY way to get revenge. If you yell and scream, it’s kibbles, if you listen to his bullshit, it’s kibbles. The only way you can win is to walk the fuck away.

    • THIS!!!

      The utter disregarding of them by us drives them batty, more than anything else.

      No…they don’t get jealous, they don’t feel hurt, they don’t feel regret–except for what they themselves have “suffered”. (Usually *our* fault.)

      I agree with Noelle, just take your playground ball, get a good grip on it, and refuse to throw it to him anymore. He’s out of the game. Standing there with your ball, on your terms, and not letting him play is the only way you can “win”.

  • Revenge fantasies are fun as long as they stay where they belong….in a fantasy.

    The bottom line is if he was one capable of understanding the pain he caused you, he wouldn’t have cheated to begin with.

    “No contact is the path to truth and light” (AOOK). Seeking revenge is contact so do yourself a favor and don’t go there. It is the place of lies and darkness where nothing good exists!

  • I had a guy friend who ditched his girlfriend (Plan B) to go out with another one (Plan B). This was early college years, so we’re talking about kids here. Of course, when the plan A didn’t work out, he tried to go back to Plan B. She gleefully jumped at the chance to spend time with him and they went on a date. At the end of the date, they were in bed and having a heavy make out session and just when he was good and ready – she got up, put all of her clothes on and walked out and said some zingy one-liner about how he shouldn’t have done what he did and never spoke to him again. I heard the story from my guy friend who I think realized in some capacity that he got what he deserved for being a two-timing jerk, but it was in more of a joking way that he told the story (perhaps to save face?), so he certainly wasn’t sitting home balling his eyes out with regret for how much pain he’d caused this girl. I do give her props for her cold-hearted execution but, in the end, she just wasted some of her life faking a whole date with him, making out with him, getting naked with him and all of that just to pull the whole thing off. I can see the temptation to do something like this, but if he really cared for her or loved her to begin with, he wouldn’t have ditched her for Plan A in the first place, so she didn’t have a huge capacity to hurt him in the way she wanted to because he really only cared about himself.

    Anyhow, I 100% understand the hot burning rage and urge for revenge. Been there, got the T shirt. Remember: narcissists enjoy your rage (it is fuel for them too).

    • So true. There are only 24 hours in a day and we must think of opportunity costs too. This revenge person could have used that time to:

      a. Go out on a date with possibly better mate
      B. Go out with some friends who lift her up
      C. Read a book or stay in and watch a movie. Replenish the body and mind.

      Instead she spent that time in the company of a confirmed loser. Time is finite and the laws of physics dictate if you’re doing Plan B, then you cannot be doing Plan A.

      Have a good one CN!

      • She could have

        1. scrubbed her floor
        2. washed her car
        3. painted the living room
        4. dyed her hair
        5. sorted out her clothes
        6. cooked an elaborate dinner for friends
        7. watched the stars

  • I fantasized about revenge, but I refused to let him take my integrity along with everything else he took. I wanted reasons to feel good about myself, not more reasons to beat myself up. Choosing to be the responsible adult makes me feel pride. Taking revenge would have compromised my own morals, and my morals aren’t situationally flexible like some people we know.

    What exactly do you have to gain in this revenge scenario? Chump Lady is right that he would just spin it as justification for what he did in the first place. You would be handing him a get-out-of-guilt free card. He could point at you and say “See? She’s no better than I am.”

    Give yourself the gift of maintaining the moral high ground.

    • Yep. Once I crawled out (a tiny bit) from the pain puddle, I started repeating to myself (and posting on every wall in my environment) “God loves me. I did nothing wrong. I am not an asshole.” …emphasis on I am not an asshole.

      Despite the vivid imaginings of the karma bus running over him and the OW, I refused to let the pain make me into someone or something I am not.

      Pain does inspire a lot of anger and (for me) morbidly humorous scenarios…which actually helped me laugh at the ideas and keep moving forward, but at my core and per my deep held values, I simply couldn’t even imagine actually DOING anything so horrible to hurt another human being.

      I just experienced heart-stopping, gut-churning pain inflicted by people who didn’t care how much pain their actions caused others. I still don’t, and hopefully never will, understand how anyone could DO that to another human being.

      Think about it? Yes. Laugh at the ideas? Absolutely. DO anything so horrible? Nope. I couldn’t do it. It’s just not who I am. I am not an asshole.

      • SPOT ON! I thought about revenge too but after that I just said to myself that getting revenge would mean downgrading to his level. It’s like you said, I am not an asshole.

        • Exactly!

          I think about revenge, then I laugh about it.

          I will never downgrade to his level ~ Why? Because I am not an asshole either.

          LOL

          • Yes to all the above. Let them live with regret, if they experience any. We can hold our heads up and act with integrity, no matter what they throw at us.

            That’s another great form of revenge; getting to look back on your life and say “I was treated like crap, but I managed to stay true to who I wanted to be.”

            That’s worth a lot.

  • CL wise words today!
    Taking him back – absolutely not. Trust me it will happen again, just ask some of the chumps. I did take the cheater back, only to have it happen again 10 years later. They don’t change.
    Revenge – the best revenge is no contact, nothing, nothing at all. Don’t take his texts/calls/emails block him block him everywhere. After a while no contact becomes second nature, and in time he will become just an unpleasant memory. Hard work .
    It is difficult to concentrate on yourself after years of focusing to make somebody else happy. You will find out that there is happiness within you, whether you remain single or not.
    Good luck and chin up, you are worth it to live a good life, you did not deserve being cheated on.

    • Ditto – ten years did it again. Get rid of the dilemma, the anger and him.

  • I echo everyone above, just ignore him. That’s where these people want to be – at the center of your universe. Denying them that attention hurts them more than trying to “get revenge.”

    Also, bear in mind that he didn’t care about you nearly as much as you cared about him, thus he won’t be nearly as hurt as you were if you were to “get revenge” on him. Be careful not to project your feelings about what would hurt you onto him – he’s not like you, isn’t as emotionally invested as you, and wouldn’t be as hurt as you would be about the same kinds of things.

    Just deny him what he craves – your attention.

  • Wanting to hurt someone is still being emotionally invested. It is still having a stake in the game.

    This is a bad investment.

  • NoChump, you rock!!! You certainly are not a chump. Wow! But now he’s come crawling back? And you’d like to kick him in the teeth. Hahahahaha!!! I get it. Sounds delicious. You’ve thought of one way. Are there other options? On balance, getting back with disordered carries too many risks.

    He’s far too willing to be more and more evil. He’ll do what you won’t do, or what we here in Chump Nation will do all we can with posts, to protect you from doing.

    Are you married to Cheater?

    If so, there are a few ways to test his sincerity:

    pay your moving bills, your legal fees, health recovery expenses (mental and physical)

    full disclosure

    willing to talk to anyone / everyone who has been collateral damage

    post-nup

    Your mental health / emotional health is everything you own. If you lost everything right now, but have good mental / emotional health? You can rebuild. Protect your heart! protect your head! No one else will.

  • NoChump…you want revenge? Well, here is your revenge:

    He gets to live with himself the rest of his life. No matter where he goes, he can’t escape his pathetic self. You were able to escape from a ruthless asshole…he can’t escape from a ruthless asshole. He gets to live with a ruthless asshole forever.

    It took me a while to discover this…

    • I try to remember this every day, SDC. It’s probably one of the most sanity-saving thoughts that passes across the massive space that this is taking up in my brain right now.

      • My college football coach once said “You can lose everything, but the one thing no one can every take from you is your integrity. If you ever lose your integrity, it’s because YOU gave it away.”

        This has guided me in life many, many times…including my letter that CL posted last week.

        • Also a great quote to keep in mind, particularly on these more tiring/trying days. Thank you for sharing.

  • This column is certainly appropriate for me and a good reminder.

    Last night, my son was recounting a story of stbx cussing him out last weekend in front of a family friend. He was admonishing him for not agreeing with him on issues between me and him and for providing me with information that was mentioned in a letter between our lawyers.

    The next morning other son who was also present called stbx out on cussing son out in front of friend. His respoonse: “Friend wasn’t part of the conversation.”

    As he is telling the story, I find myself happy, taking sick pleasure in stbx’s actions revealing himself as a narc, showing his rage and letting his mask slip.

    I love the external validation of him screwing up. What does that say about me?

    • Feeling it. It says you are a normal human who has been abused, and still are being abused by an asswipe.

    • You should feel FANFUCKINGTASTIC that your sons have each other’s back. Their good character comes from somewhere. One of two places. Try the mirror first.

      • Thanks for pointing that out this is not a thing! Because the one who stood up to him is his golden child that I often worry will turn out a narc like him- you are right: he didn’t have to stand up for his brother and that took courage something asswipe doesn’t have!

    • Such a double edged sword! Feeling validated in knowing others see they are disordered and sad that your kids have a piece of shit for a father. Yes, I’ve felt this too! I think it makes you normal.

      My ex is so high maintenance. Always about him. Always has to have things his way. I had to tell my kiddos they were going to have to learn to navigate their dad and set boundaries. One of the hardest things for me is not being there as their intermediary in his crazy making, never good enough, hound the hell out of you until you just give in ways.

      • OMG MJB,

        I believe our cheaters are brothers,
        It is all about them,
        NOTHING is ever good enough,
        Demanding, always right, assertive, never, never pleased with how anyone does anything,
        There is always something wrong,
        “Listen to me!”

        Tempest once posted to me Lucy in a blue dress, saying, “ME ME ME
        BLAH BLAH BLAH ”

        Never are they there thru a difficult time, especially for our children when they need a loving, present, sane parent.
        I am so thankful that I know your children have you MJB and my children have me, but sometimes we just want to lie our sword down, stop the battle. It is exhausting, whether we stay with them or not they and their shitty character are always there at the frnt of things, always right, always a royal pain n the ass.

        MJB, I know that your’s is out of your house and that has to be a blessing.

        Chump Sister Hugs to you, always.

        Still not sleeping well, so much to deal with daughter and children’s sad loss of a good husband, father.
        I am trying so hard to help, sometimes being too close makes it harder for them to accept my advice, like counselling, etc.
        Feel in a fog, watching all this, not really part of my life, how do I snap out of t, make going through all the stages easier.
        Damned if I know.
        Absoulutely mo cheater help. His only advise to all is buckle up.
        Expected, his loss, AH!

        What would I do without you MJB, without your and CN’s understanding?

        Xxxx

  • How do you know he dumped the OW and wasn’t in contact with her or other women for 18 months? how do you know he worked on himself and is a changed person? If he had done so, he would have apologized for how much he hurt you. And what actions has he done to win you back exactly?

    The best revenge is to reject him now that he’s back. Go no contact and never talk to him again with no warning. After all, he cheated on you with no warning or notice to you. That will be your sweet revenge each and every day you aren’t in contact with him.

  • Hmm… I’ve only had half a cup of coffee yet so I reserve the right to post again later once I’m fully awake.

    I think that empowerment and revenge fantasies are probably part of the same continuum. Empowerment is healthy, revenge fantasies are somewhere past neutral, with actual acting out of revenge fantasies in the red zone.

    What does the line between empowerment and fantasy look like? (That’s an honest question, CL). Personally, I’ve enjoyed a bottle of wine with friends and discussing various outcomes for Porky Pig which end in belly laughs!

    I think I am reacting to the term “false assumption.” My therapist was applying her own UBT to something Porky Pig had recently done and she said, “With narcissists, there is always a false assumption.” She then went on to state what the false assumption was in that particular scenario (in this case, PP assumed he had the right answer about an issue – upon examination it was not even true).

    A lightbulb went off and I nearly wrote CL a letter about it. If I think about all the crazy stuff PP does and says I can always find a false assumption behind it. For me, this is key in learning to not react to PP anymore. This is how I stand back and look at him and think, “Wow, are you deluded.” I question *his* thinking, not mine. This, of course, begs the question of where is the line between understanding PP’s behavior and untangling the skein?

    Clearly, I’m working on boundaries this morning. I need more coffee.

    🙂

    • So much about untangling the skein is projecting our own thinking onto the disordered. I think now I know why that isn’t advised and is just a complete waste of time. As your therapist mentioned, there is always a false assumption going on. It’s like trying to solve a mathematical equation with too many unknown values…

  • In the book, “The Art of War”, the biggest and most important piece of advice – is always have the moral high ground. You never, ever win any battle – whether is be physical war or emotional turmoil, if you willingly and intentionally give up the moral high ground.

    Taking him back for the sole purpose of dumping him and hurting him absolutely relinquishes your moral high ground. It would require you to lie, deceive, betray, even have sex – when you had other motives the entire time.

    One of the things that scared me the most about stbx was his ability to lie. It was his ability to pretend he loved me, pretend he cared, pretend this was a real marriage, when he was not at all emotionally or otherwise invested in the relationship. I still can’t get my head around how one human can do that to another.

    Don’t give up your moral high ground, you a guaranteed to lose ‘the war’, even if you get victory.

    • “One of the things that scared me the most about stbx was his ability to lie. It was his ability to pretend he loved me, pretend he cared, pretend this was a real marriage, when he was not at all emotionally or otherwise invested in the relationship. I still can’t get my head around how one human can do that to another.”

      THIS! For the life of me, I don’t understand how people can go through a relationship, engagement, marriage, children, and never be invested in the relationship. I will never understand this either. Those are a lot of decisions made along the way. The only way I can explain it is that the person just goes through the motions without ever thinking or feeling about things, anything actually. So they’re like robots going through life, and then another shiny object crosses their path and they deviate towards that. They’re not that deep and hence the reason they can leave so quickly. They were never really invested in anything for that matter at any time.

      • This could very well be describing my X, and I wonder that constantly. What’s the point? I think he’s just a troubled person with issues stemming from childhood. Take that child into adulthood and he could try to live an authentic life — the life he wants (the “fake it til you make it” method), or he could follow the same path he had as an adolescent — lying, acting out, (thinking he still is) not able to voice his opinion or be his own person, remaining unattached to people to protect himself, soothing himself sexually, etc. BUT he still has to look like a “normal” person, so what does he do? He gets married. Buys a house. Has a kid. We’re the collateral damage of their delusions.

        • Brilliant, ChumpOnIt! And Yup, Fucktard to a tee. Poor little…fake. Nothing authentic there at all, and it isn’t going to change with someone else.

    • Keeping the moral high ground is hard too when dealing with a cheater. I found out about my X’s cheating via his journal. I never felt good about reading his journal but after about a year of me repeatedly asking what was going on he would never, ever say. It started getting really strange when he wanted to start sleeping on the couch permanently. I never relegated him to the couch, that was something that he started doing on his own. So I got desperate. I read his journals and there it all was. Then I poked around in his email. There was enough to know that I should file for divorce, but I didn’t end it there. I opted to stay in the marriage and continue to read the journals for 3 more years.

      By then end, I had no self respect. He didn’t either. At the 1 1/2 year mark from DDay (yes I was still with him…), my X told me that the ONLY reason he stayed with me was for his own survival. He didn’t have a job and was completely dependent on me for everything. He told me that I should pity him because he was now my prisoner, not my lover or husband. That sealed the fate of our relationship right there. All respect was gone.

      Let me just say, being free from him, his cruelty and abuse and his disgusting journals is like being let out of prison. I ain’t going back. Ever.

      • I hate the backwards power roles thing — when they put upon you some kind of dictator label, and they’re the oppressed. My X treated me like he was acting out against his narc father — that I was the authority and he was the child rebelling. Why was I cast as that role — Because I had my own thoughts and opinions and feelings, which I expressed freely? Because I was a take-no-shit kind of person? I never understood that he just relinquished his power (if he ever had any — I doubt he was and even still is in the driver’s seat of his own life) in order to give into his impulses and/or assign the blame for his actions onto me. It’s a pretty sad and sick way to make the story play out the way he wanted it to, with him as the oppressed hero.

        • Same here Chumponit. the Traitor who bullied and raged, and injured animals cast me as his oppressor for being responsible and organised when he wasn’t.
          I have my revenge fantasies, I wish I could hurt him like he hurt me. That’s the problem, he is not like me. So I can’t hurt him like I was hurt.
          But eventually, being himself, disorganised, blame shifting, resentful will hurt him where it hurts: he’ll be poor again after he’s squandered his settlement, he’ll still be a massive underachiever, he may still be stuck with his homewrecking whore and maybe, just maybe, one day he’ll take a real look in the mirror at who is responsible for the mess he is in.
          But I still have my fantasies about the Karma bus…

          • The incongruity (they’re not like us, we’re not like them) will always be the problem , and why revenge will never work (even if I cared to make the effort). I think about the karma bus everyday. Trying not to be the skeleton in Chump Lady’s cartoon just waiting around for it though.

  • I think recovery from this is a process and everyone is in different stages of that.
    I love my life, it’s not without his challenges but whatever gets thrown at me, I know I can just work the problem without getting mindfucked, gaslit…..conversing with them truly is like sticking your head in a blender. No thanks, I’ll pass.
    I’m not sad for what I lost. He was an awful person, and he’s her problem now. She can enjoy that.
    I’m moving on with my life,and if the karma bus happens to run him over and I happen to hear about it……I can’t lie, it wouldn’t make me sad.

    • Same here Paintwindow. 1 year separated and not a single thought of “I miss him” crossed my mind.

      Not an emotional punching bag anymore. Nope.

  • Right after DDay in 2011, I ordered Chinese and my fortune cookie read ” The best revenge is massive success”. I kept it and taped it to the inside cover of my IPad so I see it every day. And so that is what I am now working on.

    There were very few consequences for him, his kids still talk to him, his parents still love him, in fact they allowed him to move the OW in with them. He kept most of the marital friends as I found out that he had been demonizing me to them most of the marriage anyway. I got stuck with all of the bills and financial messes in the divorce as I was the breadwinner.

    So I now as I dig myself out, I aim for massive success. And frankly I don’t care if he gets mad that I succeed…..I earned it. I didn’t roll over anyone to get it.

    • Kuleegirl, they’re living the dream for sure, moving in with parents, as full grown adults, lol.

      I’d definitely consider that a consequence. No thank you.

  • I have a girlfriend who’s doing a variation of this, and it’s nauseating.

    She’s still fucking the X, even though he has a girlfriend now. Mind you, she left him because she was miserable with him, not because he was cheating, that she could prove anyway. Now he’s moved on to someone else, and suddenly she’s super interested in him. When I ask her what the fuck she’s doing, her response is she wants the new girlfriend to know he’s cheating on her. Not only is she allowing herself to be involved in the triangle, it’s as if she’s FIGHTING to stay in it! She says she doesn’t care about him and only wants to get revenge, but come on . . . I know that’s bullshit. In the meantime, this dude has two women fucking him. Ugh.

    If your only shot at happiness is revenge, you’re still too invested in what he thinks and feels. Also, it’s embarrassingly pathetic behavior. Do you know what revenge is? Not giving a fuck. Not caring if that person who ripped you apart is even at the same party, in the same room. You want apathy about the whole thing. If you want more than that, you haven’t really moved on.

    Also, if this is keeping you up at night, you need a new hobby. It can’t possibly keep you up at night if you have no feelings for him. That just doesn’t compute.

  • NoChump,

    By hating your X, by wanting revenge, you’re still giving him space in your head, in your thoughts. The best revenge is to kick him out of there.

    I’m happily remarried. I think about my current wife a lot. I love her, and thinking about her makes me happy. I try not to think about my ex wife. She still comes up in my thoughts, but not often. And when she does, I’m usually not happy.

    Further, I’m sure that your ex wants you to think about him. If you won’t love him, he’ll take hatred. At least you’re thinking about him. His narrative is something like ‘Sure, she’s pissed, but she can’t stop thinking about me. Best thing that ever happened to her.’ Do you want to feed that narrative?

    The more you forget he existed, the happier you’ll be. The more angry you are at him, well, the more angry you’ll be. Do you want to be a happy person or an angry person?

    Grieving a relationship is like any other grieving process. Sounds like you’re mired in anger right now, and while that is justifiable, it’s also not healthy to linger there too long. Try to let go of the anger (without forgetting that he did you wrong), accept that he is who he is and that’s why he did what he did, forgive yourself the error of having a relationship with him, and move on.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.
    aeronaut

    • Aeronaut, I have not posted much in quite a while, for several reasons. But I still have been reading everyday…I just wanted to let you know you have become one of my personal favorites (along with Cashmere, LAJ an Dixie)…the way you express your thoughts, and with such insight and wisdom and compassion-you have helped me with my perspective quite a bit . I save so many of your posts in my folder. And you signing off with “peace” is perfect, because quite frankly, peacefulness comes across in your demeanor. As someone only divorced for a year and a half, and slightly passed 2 years of DDay after a decade with my “best friend”, I’m still in the process of a lot of back and forth, up and down, progress and setbacks. So basically, just wanted to say thank you for what you contribute…I think you’re great….

  • NoChump,

    i’m actually all up for SOME KINDS of revenge, even though it’s not very meh! 🙂

    BUT. . . to fake a reconciliation with your ex and then dump him in a cruel way. . . even if you HONESTLY believed that was your ultimate intention (and like others here, i doubt that very much). . . then you BECOME the strategising, lying, manipulative, scheming sociopath that is your ex.

    why would you want to do that?

    • It reminds me of a quote (forgot where it originated) that goes along these lines:

      “Beware. If you stare long enough in the Abyss, it stares back at you.”

      To me, it means obsession can slowly turn us into the thing we are fighting against. We need to learn to let it go.

  • “I’m thinking of faking reconciliation and then dumping him in a cruel way.”

    This is where I’m at too. XW is hoovering now that fantasyland with AP has predictably disintegrated. She is still living with him and I implied to her that I will not even broach reconciliation until and unless she is living alone and AP is out of the picture. She infers by this that I am still available and interested.

    I have no intention of “wreckoncialing.” But I want AP gone. Not just because he aided in the destruction of our family but because he truly is a destructive force in my children’s lives. They dislike him and he dislikes them. The only way she will leave him is if I lead her on.

    But at the same time I know I’m deluding myself, taking puffs of a different sort of hopium: not the sort that leads me to believe she’s changed (she’s still with him, for one thing: duh), but the kind that deludes me into centralizing her in my life in any way. For that matter, if I do hatch this Machiavellian scheme, I wouldn’t be surprised if when I tell her I don’t want her back after all, boom: she will go right back to him, he will take her back (chump that he is) and the torture will start all over again.

    • It is very, very difficult to sit by and seemingly do nothing when a destructive presence is in your children’s lives. One thing you might want to consider is counseling for all of you. The children can learn constructive ways to deal with the situation, you are affirmatively showing them that their feelings matter, and a professional can evaluate whether this situation warrants a reexamination of how much time they should be forced to be in their mom’s presence so long as this jerk is in the picture.

      As tempting as it is to lead your X on about reunification, it could also lead your kids to think it is possible. Kids wants to think their parents are going to reunite, anyway, so that is a very troublesome road to walk done. Far better that you give them the appropriate techniques to interact with this asshole than to give them another reason to distrust adults (including you). Be the bigger person. Your kids will know and love you for that.

      My children are older and, as much as I do not trust X, they love him, and I accept that. They are very, very aware of X’s flaws, but he is the only dad they have. I respect that relationship, not because I trust him, but because I love them. It is a fine line, but I try to allow them to come to their conclusions about X. It is harder to be quite so accepting when the kids are young, but even young children can be given the appropriate tools to deal with a jackass. If he crosses a line, get social services involved.

  • NoChump, I know the two of us could get your revenge. We could certainly think of something that brings him to his knees. We will be creative and not count on his words being truths. We will strike him in an area that he is vulnerable. If he also bleeds out over your betrayal, it will only be a bonus. We all know he has it coming.

    We can then be just like him. Tit for tat, no? Doing something we know will hurt another and not give a fuck. No. Fucks. Whatsoever.

    You will go dark, just like him. You will never check on him or even see if he needs a hand with any of the chaos we created. You can treat him exactly like he treated you. Turdd and I have children so I can’t satisfy my fantasy for revenge but I am happy to live this through you.

    If any of it comes to light and someone wants you to account for our actions, you can reflect on all the lies he told you during his affair, and lie through your teeth. Haven’t we learned that the best way to really unsettle someone is to deny reality and the truth? This could be the icing on the revenge cake you serve him! I have never been a frosting girl, I am all about the icing! We can learn much, even in hindsight, when examining the past behavior of a lying cheating narc. I will have so much insight from my Hell with Turdd to help coach you along. How very delicious you will use his own behavior to mirror for this last bit of revenge!

    We got this. Revenge will be yours. That one moment may be the sweetest of your life though we may need to bring a bag in case it makes you vomit, really! Who cares that we become worse than him? Who cares that it may eat us alive for the rest of our lives (a moral compass, character and integrity are such pains in the arse)? We can find one of the shitty therapists out there that will support our wrong doing and blame it all on him!

    We could also just keep doing the best we can, shift our fantasies in healthy directions and keep working on true “meh”. I hear there is a Tuesday coming up next week. Either way, I am here for you. We all are. *hugs*

  • I don’t want to hurt my husband. Actually, I don’t care what happens to him. I just want my money. And right now I need resolve. Resolve to know that we will end up going to trial in September. Because he took 2 months to respond to a divorce agreement and he cut everything now to practically nothing. I am not going to settle for nothing. I need strength. When me and the children are gone he can do whatever he wants with his lies and triangulations. I need resolve.

  • In the early days of the discard, all I wanted was for Jackass to see how much he was hurting me because I had this idea that if he could see the pain, he would stop. That’s based on the notion that down there somewhere, he loved me. He wouldn’t want to hurt me. And I did what lots of us do in that attempt–I told him how I felt, I cried, I argued, I pleaded. Then I was sympathetic and waited for him to come around. Then D-Day happened and the cruelty rolled off of him in waves and he refused to talk to me. So I wrote him a letter. Sent a FB message, sort of looking to poison his channel to MOW. He knew he left me in a terrible position because I had made decisions based on his promises. I had given him money for a business (which he turned into a new phone and a down payment on a vehicle or maybe child support–who know?) He could use that money and not even return a call on the phone he bought with it.

    And Jackass is just a garden-variety, low-level cheater. It took a long time for me to accept that he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care. I had fantasies not about luring him back to hurt him, but about getting him back but not the whole way. Just keeping him on a string. But the truth is, anything that would tie me to him would tie a person with deep feelings about many people and things (me) to a person with very shallow and mutable attachment (Jackass). How would that work out for me? How would that lead me to a better place? This idea is a major reason why “no contact” is the path to the truth and the light. I needed distance to see the truth of my situation, the truth of what he is. I needed to detox. This scheme of revenge is just getting down into the mud with a pig, and as they say, if you do, you get dirty and the pig likes it.

    • Couldn’t agree more Loved. I tried using the same tactic. I thought surely, if he knew how much this really hurts me, he would stop instantly and try to pay restitution in all forms. Wow, have I learned a lot since then.

      “This scheme of revenge is just getting down into the mud with a pig, and as they say, if you do, you get dirty and the pig likes it.”

      Best thing I’ve read in a long time! +1

  • Engaging with the dysfunction (ie your cheater) allows dysfunction back into your life. Something I’ve now realized is that dysfunctional cheaters do not behave normally ever. In fact, they react very abnormally to normal situations. You go cheat on him the way he cheated on you? Now he’s going to think that you might be considering that open marriage proposal. He’s likely not going to see it as revenge or even hurtful. Dysfunctional cheaters do not see these things the way you or normal people do.

    My cheater never reacted normally to anything. He would do something offensive to me and I would tell him that I refuse to be treated that way. He would question that to death. Then at the end of it he would say, “Well, you are the one who is choosing to be offended by what I did. I’m not intending to offend. This is on you and it sounds like a personal problem.”

    The thing is now that I absolutely do not even want to be with someone ever again who doesn’t react normally to normal situations. If they can see that someone might be hurt or offended by that one thing that they say or do, that’s key. If they don’t care and think that everyone else should accommodate them, forget it.

  • Last week,on CL’s recommendation I read Jen Waite’s book. She too wanted to hurt the man who ripped her heart to pieces but her father gave her wise advice.It is impossible to hurt someone who has no feelings ,no matter what you do to try to hurt him.He will come back and hurt you worse.
    Like many others here,I seriously doubt this cheater has spent 18 months doing penance for his sin.Sounds like BS.My guess is things didn’t go as planned with Schmoopie and he’s checking out the fallback option.The best revenge is no response.Crickets.In fact,why is he still able to contact you?
    My advice would be to vanish off the face of his earth.

    • I would also add, it is impossible to explain to someone who has no emotions the depth of your pain, so don’t even try.

      • They see us in pain right in front of them and feel nothing. My XH the substance abuser once stepped over me while I was scrubbing the tile floor in the kitchen to get the grout clean for a home appraisal. I had a nasty case of poison ivy but was still on hands and knees, trying to get it all done. And he stepped right over me without saying a word. Try to imagine doing the things they do to someone you love. You couldn’t even imagine it.

  • I’m with you on this, NoChump, single life IS great! And kinda sexy. In fact, I feel sexier now, and seem to convey it more than I have for the past 25 years. Eat your heart out, exhole. Or don’t. I don’t care because I’m too busy over here being awesome and single and sexy. Oh, you’re still on this planet? Frankly, I didn’t notice.

    One time ChumpLady told us to stop giving the cheater anymore of your mental real estate. That was an eye opening moment for me. He is not worth anymore of my mental real estate. AT. ALL.

  • We all have dreams of revenge, Nochump. Its part of the healing process. We don’t act on it, because of all the good reasons chump nation and CL gave. What also helped was something Tony Roberts said about moving on. He said that we have a blue print in our mind of what our life looks like. But once the relationship is over that blue print is not valid anymore, so we need to draw up a new blue print of how we want our life to be. My blue print then was living life happy with cheater and 2 wonderful kids. My blue print now is living life happy, cheater free, as a single parent raising 2 wonderfull kids. It’s working so far.

  • When you think you heard the best from Tracy, she ups the ante and delivers even better goods! Our counsellor is right on. Narcs gonna narc, period. If he ( or she) is back, that is because something didn’t pan out as expected. The pain then experienced is self-referencial and has nothing to see with you or anyone else who was hurt in the first place ( children for example). A good example to understand how this process takes place in a narcissist’s mind is perhaps to imagine that your car can communicate with you ( bear with me here). So say, this is a good van which carried the kids around, did a great job, kept you moving. But wait, here comes a (perceived ) better vehicle, be a sporty little number or better equipped SUV. You get to drive that new vehicle, you want it and it’s willing to be purchased. You will get that new vehicle, no matter what. What would you tell the old family van? Something in the likes of ” We don’t drive together so well anymore, it is best for both of us, you’ll be happier with a new driver, we have been having mechanical problems for ( 5, 10, 15 years -usually multiples of 5 for some reason…), I’ll take care of you ( meaning paying for the tow truck to take you away, NOT paying for the chop-ward maintenance fees, nooo money must be redirected toward the new sporty vehicle, you see..) So that’s what you say, to get rid of that vehicle. Now if things remain great with the new vehicle, the old van is forever forgotten same as your past Iphone 3 or Moto Rzar flip phone. Whatever happened to these things, you don’t want to know nor do you care. BUT if something doesn’t pan out with the new vehicle as per great expectations, ( once the smell of the new car evaporated ) then perhaps, the good old van wasn’t so bad after all, and perhaps it might have been overlooked that the kids were still in there. And perhaps as you get old and not so physically strong or socially popular, you get to remember that you just looooove your children, the apples of your eyes.

    This is how narcissists think. Tracy is correct. I remember also studying in one of my religion classes in University ( unfortunately I don’t recall which very specific faith this came from except that it was asian in origin. Perhaps buddhist, not sure ) that selfish souls who had caused much misery BECAUSE of their self-obsession during their life were condemned to what they feared the most in their afterlife, ie oblivion and absence of interactions with anyone or anything. That they would be utterly alone and forgotten thus becoming non-entities as the result. No fires of hell, no other torture but the complete nothingness of having been forgotten. This was the worst punishment for self-absorbed souls as opposed to what the rest of the population could imagine hell to be.

    Whether you have a religious bent or not, we can extrapolate from this philosophy that for a self-wrapped narcissist being, the cessation of existence via no-contact is what hurts the most in the long run. To wit, what seemed to hurt my ex-spouse who cheated, abandoned and seriously financially defrauded his family ( both spouse and adult children) in order to purchase a big new house with girlie was to hear that we never spoke of him in our everyday life. I definitely heard the dismay during a phone conversation in his voice and believe me, after two years of necessary communications due to divorce process, this is the only time any sadness was expressed. And this from someone who also had also said ” I enjoyed spending time with the children when they were little, but I have my new life now and expect they will have their”.
    Do you see how extremely shallow these people are? ” I abandoned and defrauded you, my own spouse and kids, but say what? you guys never talk about victim-here me????”. Also declared during same phone call ” Of anyone in this family I am the one who suffered the most”. Their self-love truly fucks them up.

    So when our Chump Lady says ” no contact”, believe her. Keep in mind that you must also wean yourself off the brain endorphins releases ( no matter how puny and pitiful they are) you are getting during conversations with a previously bonded with perceived life mate. This happens to unfortunately

    • apologies for the long post. After the necessary no contact, things get so much clearer and easy to grasp. But not necessarily simpler hence the long description…sorry guys

      • Meh is true karma – I totally get what you’re saying. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I think NC is the greatest one-two finishing punch for narcs. One, it tells them they are a Nobody (the greatest punishment for self-absorbed souls as you’ve mentioned). Two, we Chumps gain a life – a more meaningful and authentic life.

  • Chump: Move on. Therapy is just another way for your Cheater to manipulate you. My cheater got therapy when I dumped him for lying about seeing his ex-girlfreind. Cheater proposed to me in therapy having his therapist tell me he was “cured”. I married the Cheater (like a true Chump I know). He WAS NOT CURED! They don’t get cured from therapy, they use use it to get Chumps to do what they want them to do.

  • NoChump–we’ve all been where you are now. Jackass’s re-entry into your life has sparked the rage monkey (as I refer to it). It is a little entity with a life of its own, that sits on your shoulder hissing & throwing peanuts at passersby. Once the rage monkey makes an appearance, he stays for awhile. And he will never disappear if you continue to have contact with jackass.

    The rage can be empowering–it emotionally detaches you from fuckwit the way nothing else can–but it does not feel good and can be a detriment to moving on with positive aspects of your life. Embrace the rage as you now feel it, but take steps so that rage monkey is only a temporary house guest.

    • How to cage the rage monkey. I have to deal with the asshat due to young adult and minor children. His very presence sucks the life out of me and I’m low contact. It kills my productivity. It’s as if I need an additional arsenal of coping tactics when I have to engage with him in any way. I appreciate any ideas. Gracias!!

      • Tough to cage the rage monkey when NC is impossible, and the jackass is still affecting your children (as you well know!).

        Two tips–you and I have been on this site about the same amount of time, so you know all the typical tricks of Cluster B cheaters. As much as you can, view X’s behavior clinically, “Oh, that’s an interesting twist on the Sad Sausage ploy.” “Hmm, I see the subtle manipulation he is trying to pull here.” Pretend you’re a sociologist documenting his disordered behavior as if you are an observer (rather than a victim of it).

        I’m not religious, but the Serenity prayer (‘Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”) has helped me. Anger is most motivating when it’s connected to things we can change, but it does require becoming very aware of what one can have agency over. Can you force X to feed the kids vegetables during his visitation/custody? No. Can you make sure he doesn’t take them out of the country without your permission? Yes.

        And for those inevitable times when jackass makes you angry about a thing you cannot control? I found hard exercise helpful, and revenge fantasies never hurt anyone if you don’t act them out ; ). [I had very vivid images involving wood chippers for months. But no cheaters were actually harmed in the filming of those images.]

  • Since he is contacting you collect all his text/emails and do an UBT translations I am getting good at it thanks to CL ?) Then take a nice picture of you at a restaurant, pool or beach either or with a bunch of nice people with a tropical drink in one hand ? and with your other hand show this finger ??. Then forward all his messages to friends so they can see he is still looking for you and then block his number.. ? POS

  • I know how this scenario plays out:
    You take him back with the intention of “breaking him”, like he broke you.
    You take him back (see snicker doodle analogy) but the ten years before the infidelity creeps back and you’re flooded with memories of the good times. Before you realize it, you’re hooked. One month, then one year, then maybe another five years go by. You have a kid. Things seem great, and just when you’ve settled with the idea that things are going to be okay, he starts coming home late, then not at all. You recognize the pattern from before and you become racked with suspicion. You maniacally go through his emails, check his bank statements, phone records, etc. You won’t find anything because he’s learned from before to cover his tracks. You KNOW there’s something amiss but he’s not talking. You’re plague with feelings of imbalance and craziness. You lose focus on motherhood and become obsessed with his whereabouts.
    Eventually, there’s the smoking gun: The STD screen you had came up positive for gonorrhea, and you’ve acquired a deadly strain of HPV. He lies and gives you a trickle down of bullshit mixed with half-truths. You want to leave, you want to escape from the insanity but you have kids now, and you quit your job to be a stay at home mom. You’re stuck.
    That’s when you realize that the snicker doodle you ate five years ago was poison, and the antidote is nowhere in sight.
    Don’t go there. Don’t take him back under any circumstances. He’s poison and your Independence IS the antidote.
    You broke free. You already won.

  • I wasn’t married to POP–thank goodness. He had sought me out to use me for everything I had—- social status, money, car, home…..you name it. After finally getting him evicted, the hurt that came his way was phenomenal.

    He lost living in a 7 figure home, no more luxury vehicles, ALL his pricey possessions had been put in storage by his brother and subsequently sold at action for POP’s failure to pay the rent.

    He instantly went from the ultimate luxury to living in the homeless shelter.

    He had to finally get a job after lord knows how many years of living off of women.

    Everything he valued was taken from him.

    None of this was intentional on my part—it just happened in the normal course of business.

    It’s very gratifying 😉

    ** POP–Predatory Opportunist Parasite

  • NoChump, pretty sure we’ve all been there with the revenge fantasies, and some of us (me!) have even acted on one or two of those. Watch the movie “Bitter Moon” to see how revenge fantasies end up–you and your life get utterly consumed in the process, and you become someone you never meant to be. Keep working on your anger about this injustice, but stay far away from this boob of a human being. He is poison and any further interaction with him will poison you. You can’t wrestle with a pig without getting dirty, and the pig don’t care. That’s the thing that took me so very long to understand: my attempts to hurt him, didn’t even land. He just swatted them away. These people are nuclear cockroaches, but they are also miserable, so let them alone and make yourself happier, which you can actually accomplish. I get it, sister. But he will continue to make a million bad decisions and his life will suck; yours doesn’t have to. These people may not get hurt like we do, but they also don’t experience love and joy like we do, they are forever miserable bastards, forever malcontent.

  • Finalization from our December 2016 divorce happens tomorrow…we are closing on our house, thank God. I have had to stay in limited contact with my XH for this reason & this reason only. As soon as the papers are signed & I get my check for my half of the house, I am blocking his number from my phone.

    Our children are 19 & 16. The oldest is on his own & our daughter lives with me. They can communicate with their dad on their own. There is no reason that I can’t go complete NC with the dick who imploded our lives. Tomorrow can’t get here soon enough. I do not love this person anymore, nor do I hate him. Hating him would require effort on my part & I’m not having it. I do not wish to seek revenge on him because he’s chosen a life with an embezzling piece of trash, whom I hope & pray takes him to the cleaners & leaves him penniless. THAT would be sweet revenge. But, I’m not going to sit around & wait for it to happen. Me being happy despite him is going to hurt him more than anything.

    • That is what I did Brandi – needed to stay minimal contact to finalize dividing finances and close on house.

      Then total NC for me.

      He hates it. Still trying to cycle me back in.

      Nope.

      • Mine hates the minimal contact that he’s getting & is using our daughter to “mindfuck” me because he knows she & I are close & anything he says to her she will tell me.

        Just last week he told her that he did bad things, stupid things and that he loves me & always will. Then he tried to rope her into a conversation about the man I’m seeing & that he doesn’t believe for one second that he wasn’t in the picture before our divorce was final. She told him he could believe what he wanted, but this man came along after we were divorced. When she told me all of this, I wanted to call & ream his ass out, but that’s exactly what he wanted me to do & I chose to ignore it & him.

        I then told my daughter that in the future, it wasn’t her job to defend me or my actions. If he tries that shit again, she is to tell him that talking about me is off-limits and to then change the subject. I do not ask about what they talk about & I requested that she not disclose their conversations to me any further, unless she is especially bothered by what he has to say.

        It’s funny because she knows my intentions of going total NC with him once the house is sold. In their conversation last week he told her what good friends he & I were & that we were getting along so well. In her words, “Mom, he really lives in a fantasy world & has no clue, does he?” Thank God she is her mother’s daughter 🙂

  • No chump listen to these CN voices of experience. NC and meh are the best revenge. Then you get to go on with your life well lived. What cheater says cannot be trusted. It may be untrue. NC is the biggest finger to the disordered. More importantly and even better NC helps you as you gain a life. Block cheater. You have moved on. Use that awake time at night planning ahead the next goals, hobbies, fun things to make your heart sing that you’d like to do in your wonderful new life.

  • I am at the tail end of going to court for the final hearing. He is not fighting anything so I should be grateful. NC since he walked out, his choice. However he is going through great pains to remain hidden and to move and hide assets. Nothing is making sense. I feel like he may be sitting on a large lump sum of money somewhere and a part of me wants to dig deeper, the other part just wants to give up and leave things alone. It really hurts when they just disappear . I don’t know what to do!

    • Heartbroken trust your gut if you feel he may be hiding assets. It would be yet another injustice from someone who has already been untrustworthy. Can your attorney help? Seek support maybe therapy or post on the forum here to help work it out as you “make sense”. My experience is that lies and gas lighting can cause that feeling. Trust that it will get better. Hugs

    • Many – maybe most – people would disagree with me on this, but here goes…

      I think freedom from bullshit is worth a lot of money. In other words, if by deciding you can do your own life on your own gets you free from a horrible person, I am all for cutting losses and moving on. Even though my ex absolutely owed me money, and lots of it, it was better to struggle financially without having to struggle with his crap. As long as I wanted help, he still owned me. When I didn’t “need” anything from him, then I owned myself.

      Do what’s best for you. I just wanted to give a shout out to the concept of trusting your own resilience and letting that hook go.

  • Karma is all I have to say to you NoChump, Karma. Believe me its not worth the price to seek revenge. The sweetest revenge is to live life fully and happily in your CHEATER FREE life.

    Blessed Be

    • I indulged in lots of revenge fantasies, but kept them in my head. For me, my “revenge” has been:

      1. Re-establishing friendships I let slide.
      2. Maintaining my dignity and being the “adult”.
      3. Living my life exactly the way I want.
      4. Going completely NC & going back to my maiden name asap.
      5. Kicking his pathetic butt out of house (no tears from me that day, but lots from him) and straight into the arms of his “loving & generous” (puke!) OW.

      Revenge = freedom, a peaceful home and a great life for me with lots of good friends, and the 2 of them stuck with each other in a grotty rented flat with everyone thinking they suck. And that’s more than good enough for me! ?

      • Dear Budgie, I know I’m reviving an old thread here, but I had to thank you for this comment. My Dday was seven weeks ago now and I was doing so well with NC until a couple of days ago (we still have to settle the house etc so there’s more joy to come). I’ve been on a complete downer since his emails came through, confused, angry and upset.

        Then I read your post. I too have discovered old friends (and new), hobbies, decorated my newly built home and found a renewed joy in my career since I kicked him out on DDay. I’ve realised I would not give up this new me for anything, not to go back to my old naive days in love. Thank you for your words, they have been such a comfort.

  • When an addict picks up, whether it has been after 1 day sober or 20 years sober… they are back to DAY 1 of their sobriety.

    I am almost 3 years out now and I wouldn’t give up ANYTHING for the fuckwit, let alone my NPD-free home.

    I have to co-parent with him so I’m not completely No Contact, but I only communicate by text and by email. I stay a good distance from him at joint school events. I’m maintaining my sobriety one day at a time.

    And, for what it is worth, he has huge “bitching moments” to Girl with Dogs about how I must’ve fooled him out of money/had money hidden/etc because my life hasn’t dimmed with his leaving (and, in fact, has only become better – karma?!?).

    He is toxic. He is heroin. THEY DON’T CHANGE.

    Stop looking backward – you’re not going that way.

    • This is a GREAT argument for no contact: “When an addict picks up, whether it has been after 1 day sober or 20 years sober… they are back to DAY 1 of their sobriety.”

      So true.

  • If he had truly done his work and changed at a core level, he would never have the audacity to approach the writer to ask to be let back in.

    This is the dichotomy. If he understood how much harm he had inflicted and felt truly remorseful, he would refuse to risk causing any further harm. Even if good came of it, so much additional harm would be necessary to get there that he has to be willing to harm her for his own gain to even request the chance, and THAT is what shows he has not really changed.

    If he could find the courage to approach her at all simply to do Steps 8 and 9 or whatever, he still would not ask her to give him another chance because he would realize that to do so would hold her back from healing and growth.

  • Well, my covert, malignant narcissist is out of MY life after 30 years, but not my young adult daughters. He treated them poorly for years… his affair/abandonment was just the pickle on the shit sandwich he served us all the last 3 years.
    My girls don’t even know how bad it was. They know how hard it was on me, but not details.

    Even though they roll their eyes, I know they think I walk above water, well, puddles at least. NOW XH is trying to normalize the affair and divorce and wants “adult” relationships with them. After taking college money and car away. I still have a doctor with one year to go and a future engineer as my brood…

    What he does not get is that now, after all this is over – the three of us gals are a unit. Screw over one… well – you just opened a can you don’t want the contents of. Even though we bicker or disagree, thy know M.O.M is “Who you gonna call?” when things go rough.

    I have not abused this against him – that I am consciously aware of. In fact, I have held my tongue most of the time. They have not talked to their dad in 3years. He brings it 100% on himself. He smugly told me “he didn’t need the likes of me!” to “interfere” with his relationship with his kids. I told him then and I mean it now, he will never get it.

    He has not figured out they respect me.

    Revenge? White Boy, If I wanted revenge, I could have had it with a sentence. I let that go years ago.

    BUT
    I’m not protecting his stupid ass from his choices anymore – he does fine all by himself wrecking any relationship with gals — but I’m not providing anything either. No help nor sway.

    Good luck using your own social skills with them.

  • How do you know that this isn’t a long con and he dorsnt want to get revenge ON YOU!

    He could be desperate to win you back, only so he can dump you and break your heart again.

    Trust that he sucks.

  • You’re not over him.
    Clue Number 1: you want to hurt him back.
    Clue number 2: “He keeps you awake at night”
    We get it: 10 years together is a lifetime. I should know, since I’ve been exactly 10 years with my cheater. And we have a baby. But he ain’t keeping me awake at night in any shape or form: physical or energetic.

    The only person who needs to “get” it is you… get a life, as in go build an awesome life for yourself.
    Soaking up in pain and revenge thoughts are not taking you further. Exchanging pheromones with him is keeping you in a relationship with him.
    Your intentions don’t align with your actions.

  • My story is similar to the OP. And I absolutely get what she is saying, 100%.

    If there’s one thing that triggers me, it’s injustice. And of course, infidelity is complete injustice. You will never get closure, you will never see remorse, you’re just left with the ashes of your marriage smoldering around you as you pick yourself up and gain that life.

    It’s been 4 1/2 years for me and I’ve been no contact all the way through, and I also love the single life, and I have gained a great life, without question. But do I still hate his guts? You bet. Cheating has been a dealbreaker for me since day 1, and thanks to CL and CN, I followed through on that pretty damn gracefully.

    I would say with confidence that I am not hung up on my ex still, but obviously I am not over the trauma of it all yet. I won’t do anything to him because overall I don’t care what he’s doing (so I’m kinda meh?), but I think there will always be a part of me that will be angry at the injustice of it all. That garbage people like this get away with acting cruelly without hardly any consequences. It’s total bullshit. And for me, that saying “the best revenge is living well” sometimes just doesn’t cut the mustard for me. But obviously it will have to do.

    • Lunachick, this conversation brought that idea up for me too. Why do chumps imagine great suffering upon the cheater? Why such deep and longlasting rage? Because we have been put through emotional and physical torment, our reality had been stolen with years of our life snared in a web of lies. Cheaters take pleasure from our humiliation, stupidity, and degradation. They have our kids to mess with. And who cares? Cheater gets to live free, their accomplices don’t give it a second thought, courts do not consider their plots and violence fraud, they are considered fit to care for our kids despite their gaslighting. No wonder chumps imagine themselves vigilantees.

      While learning from the experience is most valuable and leads to infinitely better years, the mindfulness and self control involved is more for a super hero than mere mortal. Meditation and rest are vital in interacting with the rage and revenge fantasies. Because while helpful and necessary, they also suck life out of me if I get stuck there. It is a continual practice. I hope one day to be on the other side…may all of us get there very soon.

      • Couldn’t have said this any better. Exactly. It’s a complete innhilation, yet we have to clean up the mess and get on with it and be the better person. It will be better than being with a garbage person, but it’s the principal of it all that will forever grind my gears.

        But you’re also right, it’s futile to be stuck in rage mode. As always, it’s a balance.

  • Proof about 10 minutes ago. Spoke to Cowboy McDouchebag 10 mins ago for work. I was very professional. He sounded ‘sighy’ (the venerable precursor to sad sausage. A year ago, I would have fallen for the sigh, “Oh Cowboy McDouchebag how are you? everything ok?” ) and I was just crisp and clear and my usual bubbly self. He asked how I was, I said, “fannnntastic.” which I am, as happy as I have ever been. I could hear the ‘Sigh’ in his, “That is good.” So she is happy and I can’t drag her into the centrality of my misery. Foiled again… Nope MOFO you cannot.

    • “So she is happy and I can’t drag her into the centrality of misery again.” (I read this imagining Eeyore’s voice, ROFL :P) Aww. Poor, poor thing…

  • Oh, and I did get revenge… I didn’t tell the new OW about him. I told her family. Mostly because she is a very nice and kind person who has a very nice and loving family and he is a douche. So at some point, things are going to get bad and she is going to need someplace to fall. The fam will be ready for her.

  • Another fly in the pie is that we bond. You might go in with a game face, but you will start to actually have human emotions for this man (not being a robot and all). At one time you loved him. It would be a mere moment before that love came roaring back.

    Your plan would backfire horribly, because almost as sure as water is wet- cheaters do not change.

    You could be mooning over his laundry or lovingly stirring a risotto while he is sexting a slut in the bathroom.

    The relationship is dead. He is rotten. You took the trash to the curb. The dump truck came. Don’t run back into the landfill to cuddle garage.

    I understand the impulse, but the only way to win the game with a disordered is to never sit down at the chess table with them. Push your chair back, as you did, and walk away quickly. Be Lot’s wife- never look back. You win.

  • I want him to hurt but I don’t want revenge. I want him to hurt, but not because of anything I do. I have daydreams about Schmoopie dumping him for another man. Then he’ll realize she’s no good and miss me. Yeah right, he’ll just feel sorry for himself with no comprehension of how he did the same to me. He won’t see the parallels at all. I want him to hurt because he realizes he made a mistake in leaving me and regrets it (insight). Never going to happen. When I stop wishing for it to happen, that is when I will know I have reached meh.

    • Well said, Chumpinrecovery. I, too want him to hurt. But at the same time, I don’t want him to hurt. I know what that pain feels like. I can’t wish that on anybody. Let alone the father of my children. I just want my Tuesday.

  • i so understand how you feel. i tried a littler revenge when i found her shit in my beach house including sex toys i had never seen. dumped out his “boner” pills in toilet and poured all his and her (her name was on bottle-who does that?) booze. the result has not been good. i also took my stuff out. he accuses me of taking stuff long after. i definitely lost much of my power. now he had something to bitch about. until then he was the bad guy who just needed time to find himself and so sorry even though i knew he continued to see her. the good news is he is no longer hiding the relationship since i clearly know. before he lied about it being over etc. as much fun as i had dumping the viagra, i wouldnt do it again. i got more traction with the settlement when he was acting sorry and remorseful. he doesnt even express sorrow now. i guess he is more honest..if that is a real thing with cheaters. stay away from him nochamp. it will not go well for you! hugs!

  • 70’s serial killer Ted Bundy did this. His college sweetheart dumped him for being unsophisticated, immature, and unambitious, so he spent the next couple of years building himself into her “ideal” man. Bundy then tracked her down, regained her love, and jilted her. To his surprise, HE STILL FELT ANGRY AND HURT. He then began killing women who resembled his sweetheart, apparently as an attempt to punish his sweetheart over and over. Obviously, he had some serious issues, but there’s a lesson here for us non-psychopaths as well.

  • I just heard this today and it really fit. Don’t chase after a snake that just bit you, it will quicken the poison and kill you faster. Let the snake go and get work on getting rid of the poison.

  • This is really good advise! Chump Lady nailed it again!

    I just started my divorce process and believe me, I always have thoughts of revenge on him. Instead of acting on it, I talk about it to my ever reliable voice of reason bestfriend (even if she lives in the west coast she makes time for me in these trying times) about the revenge I want to do and we end up laughing about it and her saying “You are more than that girl!”

    Just stay no contact. My STBX has been texting me more when I started no contact – ironic as he barely had time for me while he was cheating.

    Stay strong!

  • Of course he dumped ow. Of course he has changed? Would you consider him otherwise? He’s got to market himself.
    I’m surprised you even believe him.
    That and the fact that you want revenge and even engage with him tell me you are still hooked.
    Not sure why you want to give him a second chance to betray you. Clearly you’re not glad enough that he is gone!
    Don’t let your own self importance get in the way. You matter… But not to him.

  • My SMH, moved out and “working on himself,” is also interested in “wreckonciling” – love that term! It just wants what it can’t have. That challenge (I don’t want him) is the allure. Once I went back, there would be the need to triangulate with someone else…that’s his thing. No risk, no interest. I love the strength that is building within me the longer I stay away.
    I do not want to become him. Or OW. My power is mine and I refuse to sacrifice it for another illusion (revenge). It isn’t sweet, in my experience.

  • What Tracy said!!!!!

    He doesn’t care, he won’t care, therapy won’t make him any better if he’s short on empathy and long on selfishness.

    Been there, done that. Mine went through lots of therapy, soul-searching, big discussions about “us” and “what it meant” and how he “understood how it devastated” me after he cheated the first time.
    He “learned about himself”, worked on “his intimacy issues”, PROPOSED MARRIAGE because he was “healed” and “realized” that I was “a wonderful woman who he didn’t want to live without…”
    I fell for all this, being young and believing that people can change and learn from their experience (I can, he can’t apparently), and then he did it to me AGAIN two decades later, but only after I was so heavily invested it was so much harder to extricate myself. (Of course, that was only the tip of the iceberg and I discovered a lot more later.)

    Yet, he still “doesn’t want a divorce”. (Because, well, consequences are a bitch!)

    Tracy is right, if you make him pay at all, it will only be more proof for him about how much you are unworthy. The best “revenge” is meh. Really and truly not giving a rat’s tushy about him all all. Going on and having a wonderful life WITHOUT HIM IN IT.

    Her advice, and from most here, is RUN, DON’T WALK. He has shown you who he is. He is someone who puts his desire for excitement or whatever ahead of your well-being. That’s what he’s told you.

    I wish I had not married mine after I discovered his first episode of cheating. THEY DO NOT CHANGE, not really.

    Best of luck with your new life!

  • You know when the narc is smirking at you and telling you he’s moved on to a better supply. Choosing just the worst time to blow up your life after they have wasted decades of love bombing you. When their MOW has projected all the disordered crap she did, on to you calling you the drug addicted slut when you don’t even drink? Well here’s how to get even. Pick yourself off the floor, look in the mirror and tell yourself the narc was a con man his MOW is an abusive narc too. They have finally found each other. Their behavior is on them. You are sane, smart parent and it’s going to be so much better shortly. You are going to be calm cool and collected and happy when they see you cause this whole crappy circumstance is their doing. You are so above this drama. I was shocked and dismayed and numb at first but my narc was a sick person. The MOW is a sick person. I concentrated on being the sane parent. Six years later my narc ex says he despises me cause I’m always happy and smiling! It’s genuine too! See that’s getting him where it’s hurting him. He’s more miserable than ever! No surprise! He told me his young children and I didn’t make him happy. Well don’t let your children and your wife of 27 years stand in the way of your happiness with your narc MOW! We stepped aside and he walked away! Ahhh sweet freedom!

  • “Don’t get mad. Don’t get even. Do better. Much better. Rise above. Become so engulfed in your own success that you forget it ever happened.”

  • NoChump, you are actually hurting him pretty badly now that you are NC. Stay the course and let him bleed. Revenge opens up a whole lot of risk including your cheater using that act of revenge as ammunition against you. Don’t risk your health, heart and reputation for this loser.

    Stay NC because this drains out their suppy and hurts them like no other.

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