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Dear Chump Lady, He’s doesn’t feel sorry, he just feels bad

SNSDear Chump Lady,

I just had a conversation with my cheating husband. He now admits to at least a part of what he did, although he still maintains that there was no EA. They just had a secret “friendship” for 20 plus years. The name Sexy Beast was just a joke, yada, yada…

He says he doesn’t feel sorry for any of it. He just feels bad. What could he possibly mean aside from feeling the loss of his kibbles? I can’t wrap my head around his response!

We are still living together and it is very tense. I am ready to check in with my attorney to see if the ducks are in the row. Younger me would have been gone by now. Older smarter me listens to my lawyer. But I do wonder what kind of “bad” cheaters feel.

Yours,

Linda2

Oh Linda2, I can’t pretend to be inside the head of every cheater to know what they feel. (Nothing? Peckish? Mildly annoyed?) But you do point to a very common phenomena among cheaters — this whole I Don’t Regret the Affair, I Regret People Were Hurt bullshit.

HuffPo runs one of these narcissistic fluff pieces every week. The affair? It was magical. They explored undiscovered corners of their soul! They laughed! They cried! They loved! But lest they look completely inhuman, the cheater throws out a few little kibbles of “remorse.” Yes, the little people were hurt. That was regrettable. But the chump now understands the cheater’s paramount need for happiness and they’ve forged a friendship. So don’t judge them! When the goal is happiness (who can fault happiness?), you’ve got to break a few eggs to make a happy omelet.

Try this logic on something else and see how it fares.

I don’t regret defrauding investors. (You should see my yacht!) I regret that they feel hurt.

I’m not sorry I molested choir boys. I just feel bad (that I’m under indictment).

I love money, so I mugged that old lady. (I bought these awesome shoes!) I regret she feels pistol-whipped.

So let’s put your husband’s “EA” through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

He says he doesn’t feel sorry for any of it.

Apparently you are unaware of everything he’s been up to. So he did NOTHING! And if he did nothing? Why there is nothing to be sorry about! You’re just making a big deal out of nothing! Demanding apologies when apologies are not warranted.

He has a friend who calls him “Sexy Beast.” So what? Don’t you have friends who call you funny names like Twinkle Toes and Apple Cheeks? Same thing.

Just because he kept his friendship hidden for 20 years is nothing to get upset about. You wouldn’t understand, so he didn’t tell you. Your dim-wittedness and lack of understanding is nothing HE should apologize to YOU about. I’m sorry you’re not more sophisticated.

He just feels bad. 

He feels bad he has to explain his friendship to you. It’s exhausting. He feels bad that you might levy some sort of undeserved consequences on his innocent friendship.

You should feel bad for making him feel bad!

Poor sausage. He feels BAD.

But not sorry, because only people who Do Bad Things apologize. But he’s blameless!

Linda2 — are you connecting the dots here? He’s mindfucking you. Manipulation doesn’t spring out of feelings, it comes from Machiavellian self interest. So stop asking yourself what he’s feeling and start paying attention to what he is doing — not taking responsibility for his actions. Not apologizing.

So long as he’s continuing to snow you about his 20-year secret relationship, you’ve got nothing to work with. Please line those ducks up with the lawyer soonest.

This column ran previously, but the cluelessness of cheater apologies lives on. 

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “You don’t care about my happiness!!” Was what my cheater said to me in response to me finding out about his affair.

    Smdh ?‍♂️

    • HM, I am right there with you. After 20 years of what seemed a very happy marriage he tells me he wants a divorce because I am not “his friend.” When I found texts with other women he had met in a bar and confronted him he said: “If you really were my friend you would be happy for me since I am rebuilding my life.” Whaaaaat? Really, we can’t make this stuff fup.
      Eventually I discovered a long going affair. And then more filth of years of infidelity and a doctorate in living a double life with high honors for machiavelism and narcissism.

      He never said he was sorry or that he felt bad. He just sent an email after Dday that said “I know you are angry. My situation made me behave in an immature way.”

      I have incredible emails that I have been meaning to send to the UBT. I just hope they won’t melt it.

      • “My situation made me behave in an immature way.”

        Well, there’s a nifty little piece of blame-shifting. Wow!

      • “My situation”–that is what cheaters (and other no-gooders) want us to believe. The *environment* made them do it, circumstances beyond their control made them behave in socially unacceptable ways! If YOU, chump, had just been different, none of this would have happened. If the air conditioning hadn’t failed the previous week, making for uncomfortable physiological symptoms, they wouldn’t have posted their Craigslist profile while sitting under the ceiling fan.

        The alternative view? The cheater is flawed, has a character disturbance, and poor impulse control. It’s THEM. But that’s an uncomfortable admission, and one that they will avoid at any costs. My X told my daughter, “[The affair happened] because I thought your mother didn’t love me anymore.” (insert sad face). Not even a 13 year old bought that bullshit.

        • Omg Tempest – this exactly. It’s SO mind bending for me that no matter how many times I read what these fuckwits “think” (and then do), it’s always something idiotic. Your example of a cheater claiming they can’t be held responsible for that craigslist ad they posted while sitting under the ceiling fan, bc the AC went out…..hits a big nerve w/me. It made me almost laugh yet cringe at the same time.

          I always laugh and am awed by the quick wit of CN for sure. Rarely am I shaken by something I would typically laugh about- maybe if we hadn’t actually HAD a broken A/C unit right before Dday1…..not that he tried to use that as an excuse for his shit, just – I guess I’m still surprised by the seemingly random things that trigger me. I know y’all get it, that there are bizarre (and sometimes very innocuous seeming) things that trigger me in ways or for reasons I still don’t fully understand and Cheater McFuckwit won’t even try. Ugh. I guess it also means I have a long way to go to get to Meh…

          Does anyone else have this experience? Where something random you hear or read or see just hits you like a brick in the head/heart/soul? I often don’t see it coming and Cheater McFuckwit has zero tolerance policy for trigger reactions simply bc he is a big fat cheater and an even bigger lyingass fuckwit. He thinks TX is hot in the summer, so I doubt he’ll like the ringside seat he’s vying for in that 7th circle of hell?

          • I have memories surface every day. Some are so painful, they literally stop me in my tracks. Most of the time, I have no idea what triggers them. I thought we were happily married for 23 years until he informed me that we weren’t happy. The bar fly from a dump bar was truly the one for him. Now, it’s as if I never existed, like he erased 23 years from his life.

            • I have you beat by one year! 24 years and when I discovered her affair I was told she had NEVER been happy.

              So I guess the overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary is all fake then?

              Whatever.

              I successfully moved on.

              • 24 years here! And it was the chick he met on an elevator for 30 second that eracsed me and our four kids forever… poof
                ?????

              • 40 years together, making me brakfast on a tray seemed quite happy 2 days later he wanted a divorce, Hasn’t been happy for years??? Only told me the week before he would always be there for me. He’d been fantasizing about some tramp for 2 years and when she told him she was in love with him that’s all he needed to chuck 40 years! I’m moving on but I can relate to the memories, hard to believe these assholes are the same people we invested do many years in.

          • Yes — random triggers. Sometimes simply a random thought and my emotions and brain take an immediate right turn. It happened a lot at first, but is thankfully slowing down a bit.

            Before the separation, STBX would also become irritated (if not completely pissed) when I would trigger. This helped me to see he just didn’t care — not at all.

            Ironically, he also apologized when confronted directly — and he often included crocodile tears. The apologies were truly Oscar worthy.

            The charade was revealed only when I discovered the behaviors in question had continued without pause (lying about totally random and pointless stuff, obsessive porn watching, flirting, stealing household bill money to buy himself lunch or CDs, etc.).

            And, of course, I was devastated all over again because I had made the mistake of believing that he actually felt bad for hurting me and our family.

            • SAME. I got the apology and the crocodile tears. Then he proceeded to hoover me back in, saying he wasn’t dating anyone, etc., and then I found out he was still dating the whore. These cheaters have ZERO shame.

          • I know it sounds stupid and sad but I get triggers from watching cartoons and reading books with my 3 year old. I find myself struggling to hold back tears when I’m reading to him at night.

            • Pregnant chump — it’s not stupid or sad, not at all. You are a loving individual and a loving parent. This shit is traumatic. It’s bound to wreak havoc on our emotions. It’s absolutely normal.

              Please know you aren’t alone (I’ve had to try to hide tears streaming down my face while rubbing my little one’s back at night — something I have always done to help her drift off to sleep; and when a show would come on that her and her dad used to watch together … etc.).

              It does get better. Slowly, but definitively. Hang in there. You WILL make it through this.

            • Thanks for that on PTSD!
              I can difinately relate.
              I think that is why Divorce Minister calls it Soul Rape!

        • Not to mention that the issues in their social and relationship environments are almost always the fault of the cheater in the first place…

        • Tempest, I recall him saying, “you never thanked me for taking out the trash, I didn’t feel appreciated”. True. WTF?

          • Misdeeds in search of a rationalization. That’s the best he’s got on you? You didn’t thank him for taking out the trash? He’s a double dipshit; good riddance.

              • Yes. Rationalization, justification and blame shifting!
                I personally do not think X believes his lies. I think it’s part of the game. That’s what he wants people who are on to him to think! He knows exactly what he’s doing and wanting others to believe. If we think he believes his own lies than he is not quite as guilty – or responsible for his misdeeds

        • I got this last night. (Oh, and it was my birthday, so extra kudos for timing.) “I don’t feel guilty anymore.” Wish I knew how to turn that internal switch off – because even though I have nothing to feel guilty about, I feel fucking guilty! But no, time’s up, feelings-of-guilt are deleted from the emotional range. Cheater vanquishment. Hoorah!

          Awesome, good to know. Fucker.

          • Happy Bday, Horses! His message was timed appropriately in the workings of an asshole, wouldn’t you say?! They always know how to cut you open or at least trip you up on your best days – birthdays, job interview days, successful days or celebratory occasions. They always have to have their hand in there to rock your emotions and for them to try to stay central.

            Anyway.. your screenname has always reminded me of the Johnny Cash version of “When The Man Comes Around” so here’s another by JC. Perfect for letting the feeling of guilt they leave behind to fade away. Yes, you can let his guilt go now. Their twisted behavior causes us to feel all sorts of emotions that don’t belong to us, really, guilt included.
            Well, Happy Birthday & wishes for you to have a year full of joy, growth, and freedom. You deserve that!

            • Yup. I know this script well. It just made me smirk. Must be edging closer to meh! The name came from an early Florence and the Machine song, Dog Days Are Over. I was making a new email address and wanted dogdaze or some version of, but all taken. So I went to the next line on the lyrics, the horses are coming – and it made me laugh writing it this way because I work at an equine repro facility ?.

              Love a bit of JC. (Despite him being a(nother) cheating arsehole.)

            • It was never on that well, kiwi. I saw him for what he was at the moment of disclosure. Never thought I would try again if someone cheated on me. Not quite sure why I did? Shock? Probably. Thanks though x.

        • Mine used to say to me “I know you love me, but I don’t think you like me anymore.”

          I couldn’t understand at the time. Now I realize he was projecting on me while he was doing whomever he was doing at the time.

          This was ten years ago. How I wish I had that decade back.

        • Yes ^. I was told “I’m sorry you’re upset”. Even that apology made it my fault for not accepting his decision to abandon a 16 yr marriage (with kids) on a whim.

        • OMG! Mine, too! He’d say things like, “Ugh, it’s so hard to talk to you because you just guilt-trip me. Why can’t we talk about what was wrong with our relationship? Why do you always have to bring up Schmoopie?”

          And I’d respond with, “Because I didn’t realize that there even WAS anything wrong with our relationship until I found out about her.”

          “There you go again! Always trying to make me feel guilty!”

          Eesh. Yeah, it was all apparently MY fault. hahaha

          • Yup, ditto for me, every time I expressed anything about DDay or if I got emotional he would throw his hands up in the air and said “there you go making me feel guilty”. One time he said “ok, I’m crying uncle on the guilt feelings tonight, I’ve had enough”. One of the last conversations we had before I moved out he told me he was just over the guilty part. I wish I could just “get over” the sadness, anger and loneliness just as easy.

      • And “Don’t think I do not feel your pain” and how about “What if I don’t love her?” Geez where do they come up with their bullshit.

    • Yes, the universal fallback excuse. “I just want to be happy” or “I was unhappy with you” or “Don’t you want to be happy too?” My wife wasn’t “happy” and she just wanted to be “happy.” Living with me and her kids just didn’t make her happy. And how could you or I be mad at them for deceiving us if it was just so that they could be “happy”?

      “I’m not happy” is universal and on par in terms of frequency of use with “ILYBINILWY.”

      I just found out about this guy I sort of know that left his wife and kids a few weeks ago (and everyone has known for years that he’s cheated on her with various women), and you know what his excuse was — he wasn’t “happy.” Of course, he moved out of the house and into a different school district for some reason (wink, wink, I’d bet my house for another woman). And he moved out on Mother’s Day no less.

      Another guy I know just had his wife move out because “she wasn’t happy.” He had no idea. Apparently she just got a new job about six months ago and has been spending extra time there after work. She’s in administration (i.e., a secretary), so he doesn’t know why she needed to put in so much extra time. I don’t have the heart to tell this guy – but the writing’s on the wall. Maybe I’m just a cynic after I’ve read, seen, and gone through – but I know what my conclusion would be.

      Damn, these people are all the same.

      • And all of these people who aren’t “happy”, do they really think they are going to be any happier after they leave their faithful spouses, kids and stable homes? That’s fantasy. These people don’t have any concept of what happiness really is. You can’t build happiness on other people’s pain.

        • I actually think the cheaters ARE happy. I don’t think they necessarily want to move on because they lose CAKE and MONEY. I think the affair partner puts pressure on them and they fear being outed. If they’re outed, they lose CONTROL of the narrative and they’re no longer viewed as “nice guys”. Hence we get the “I’m not happy” or “ILYBINILWY” speech. The speeches come after or before thoughtfully planned vacations, after love making, during times when it appears they are happy. As the recipient of this drivel, I can tell you, the chump is left standing there thinking they’re living in the Twilight Zone. The speech doesn’t match the life you’ve been living with them. All the sudden, we have shark eyes, anger, animosity directed at us…like we’ve betrayed THEM.

          • This! So very true. My ex gave both sorry over used lines to me when I knew something was up because I’d seen texting. We had only been back 3 weeks from a Disney Cruise. I knew on vacation he was acting odd. Turns out it was because he wasn’t able to sext his affair partner. All my fault of course because I wanted to be with my husband while vacationing. He must have been tired because that trip is when the mask started slipping.

      • So true. Everything you wrote.

        My precious special one said he just found OW fun. Sure she was fun. Who the hell wouldn’t be fun when they were being taken to the finest restaurants and cocktail bars and being taken on shopping trips. No cooking or waiting in his sorry arse. No cleaning up after him or doing his laundry. Just fun fun fun.

        Morons the lot of them.

        • Yeah, they don’t notice that someone has to be doing all that “unfun” stuff so that they can be comfortably “unhappy”.

        • Same. OW is more fun and positive and he wasn’t happy with me.

          I read a piece recently about concepts of happiness in buddhism, where they believe that chasing what many of us would consider happiness to be fleeting. Ie. those moments that look ‘happy’ where you’re exuberant and joyful and laughing. Those are actually generally fleeting emotions based on the situation and chasing those highs is believed to be a source of misery because they always end. True happiness is seen as being content with yourself. It doesn’t mean you don’t experience the highs and lows of life, but it means you can experience them more fully for what they are and know that you have a solid foundation under it of being accepting of yourself, knowing your worth and being happy in who you are.

          I’m making some liberal interpretations with what I took away from the piece, but a lot of what I’m reflecting on, nearly two months from Dday, is the idea of being good and happy, with or without a partner. One of my favourite songs that I think epitomises self love this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMZReI2QrlQ

          Veering a bit off-topic there maybe, but basically, fuck their ideas of ‘happiness’ and their blame on us for not having it and using it as an excuse for their poor life skills and choices.

          • Love it, your writing about happiness. Exactly what I was searching for to express my unhappiness with the whole “unhappy” excuse.

        • seenthelight,
          Fun, yes to the ow being fun fun fun, fancy restaurants, sipping wine, quiet cuddly times. Rat’s ass.
          Meanwhile, good ol Chump, me, is home, house is sparkling, best possible, little one loved and cared for. Chump me starts early each AM running to the BR, 1st trimester pregnancy, I always woke to nausea and vomiting, every single morning. When cheater was home I ran quickly to the other BR so as not to disturb him.
          Yes, I agree ow was definately more fun!
          Rat’s ass, the lot of them.

      • Yeah..,it’s tough to see people about to become chumps.

        You want the tell them but they won’t hear you. They can’t even conceive of what you’re telling them

      • My cheater spent a lot of time telling ME that **I** wasn’t happy and that he tried SO HARD to make me happy and he just couldn’t do it and so he gave up. Told me that I valued my “Internet relationships” too much. (I liked Facebook) and several of those “relationships” were with HIS family…. not one of whom has reached out since he left me.

        A few years ago, He even stood in the living room, looked me square in the eye and told me if I didn’t start putting out more, he was going to go looking for it somewhere else. Like staying faithful was some kind of a favor he was doing for me.

        I should have left his ass right there and then. Instead, I took the responsibility for the dysfunction in our relationship… and realized later that I should have never done that.

        The mindfuck is so crazy.

        • He reminds me of mine who said had I been fucking him every night he would not have had time to think about cheating. He also mentioned that all his single friends talked about the sex they had and he felt we weren’t having enough… We were 3-5times a week and if he weren’t such a dick I would have liked to have done it everyday.

          Frankly I can’t lie I lost all respect for him as a man when I realized what a colossal ass he was.

          Add now knows that in fact he was getting far more sex than his lying single pals and he sure as hell isn’t getting it every day.
          I love sex but if I encounter a man who pushes it at every turn I’m taking as a sign that as it is foremost in his mind that he will seek it out at all costs.
          They are never satisfied. Nothing is ever enough and their greed and selfishness makes all around miserable.

    • Yes, when I was wasting my time trying to convince him that his relationship with Susan of Seattle was a bad idea, he said “You just want me here, she wants me to be happy, so she is the person who REALLY loves me because she wants me happy”. fuckity fuck.

      • Fuckwit came over one night in the early days of my pick me dance and when he went to leave, dd snubbed him. He looked at me tears in his eyes and said “I can stay here and be unhappy, or I can go and have my kids hate me.” He chose the latter and drove off in a rage.

        • When DD was in like second grade, one evening on a school night, nowdead cheater apparently (according to the story he told me later) decided to test us to see if we wanted him as husband /father. He went to each kids room at about 830 and knocked on the door. One kid was doing homework, one kid was reading on the internet and when he knocked on DDs door, I said I was changing her into PJs and we would be out in a second.

          He surmised from that poll that none of us wanted or needed him in our lives and decided that leaving us was a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

          Yea, they most certainly couldnt stay put and he unhappy!!!

          • Ah yes, if life isn’t a constant glut of sparkles then something must be wrong! Off to the next sparkle faucet until it, too, is drained.

          • Using completely irrational thoughts to justify hurtful decisions via blameshifting … my STBX did this a lot. When I thanked him for working so hard, he told himself I wasn’t really grateful — I was just saying it because I felt obligated. And, since I was thanking him out of obligation, I wasn’t really thankful. THUS, I was taking him for granted … which was one of his (many) excuses for cheating.

            Egads — this crap makes my head hurt. 😉

            • Yep. Positive reinforcement does nothing. What matters most is that they can justify their horrible actions.

            • JessMom – I’m sorry about that. I’ve had that twisted bit of “I can’t win” logic thrown in my face and it is so frustrating. I found it confusing as I would try to make actual sense out of it as no rational human would actually say something so ridiculous so I must be missing something.

              Years later, thanks to CL and CN, I realize ridiculous is a lot more common than I could have imagined and my special snowflake with his special happiness challenges was not all that special.

            • One of his many complaints (and I have heard that others say this too) is that he didn’t think the greeting he received upon return from work in the evening was adequate.

              Actually I really tried to give him a nice greeting each evening.

              But once when he was monstering and I wanted to see if he practiced anything of what he preached (we all know how well THAT goes) I paid attention to the greeting I got when I have worked a very long day and the last task I did was a 2 hour support group for parents of dead children. Yea, no stress there, no need for love and understanding after that.

              I came in the house and…..nothing…. no acknowledgement that I existed or breathed. So much for “greeting” …ok, yea, stupid to even try, but it helped me to understand that what he said was crap.

      • My trying to reconcile was as much for his sake as for mine as I didn’t think Schmoopie would be the key to long term happiness for him. These people live in a fantasy world, however, where relationships are supposed to be easy all of the time. They are supposed to be fun and exciting all of the time in spite of kids, mortgages and responsibilities. You are supposed to always agree with your spouse and never be grumpy to each other or ever disagree or say a discouraging word or ever be negative in any way no matter how stressful your day. Really, we got along pretty well most of the time, we didn’t have a high conflict marriage at all, but it wasn’t passionate 24/7, I gave my job and my kids some of my attention too, and I did get stressed sometimes (as did he) so I wasn’t smiling all of the time. I wasn’t even allowed to stand with my arms crossed when I was cold or that was the most comfortable position because that proved I was tense and angry even if I didn’t realize it.

        In reality, true love is when you love someone in spite of their humanness. Real love is when you see someone at their absolute worst, and yet still recognize their good qualities and love them anyway. Love is also trusting the other person enough to let your guard down and not always be perfect around them (that doesn’t mean fucking other people).

        He may think he is living his fantasy with Schmoopie now, but real life hasn’t touched their relationship yet. They aren’t living together or trying to run a household/raise a family. It’s just a façade, but that’s the way he lives his whole life, it’s all just a façade.

        • This is all so true. I am not perfect. I gained weight. I was tired and grouchy alot (now I know because I was doing most of the adulting). I work full time. All of the grocery shopping, cooking, housework, yard work, etc… He would flop his sorry arse on the couch in the evenings while I did all the chores and usually listened to him bitch about how the house wasn’t spotless. If he had to let the dog out or clean up a pee spot he was frustrated and looking for kibbles of how he pitched in. I really for the life of me now don’t know how this was acceptable to me.

          Oh he volunteered at the kids school and helped coach our daughters soccer team. I listened endlessly how some of the girls weren’t dedicated to the team or how the head coach didn’t listen to his input or how our daughter should be the star of the show and we should consider taking her to another school that appreciated them both.

          Ugh. Now I think he’s a covert narc. He only did things that produced kibbles for himself. Even our kids were kibble producers. He has pushed them both to excel in academics and sports. 100% is not enough. I always thought it was because he loved them and wanted the best in life for them. Now I know it was so he looked good and he would get attention. Our son stopped taking his advice and ex would be angry about it and pushed him away. Now I know that was the devalue and discard.

          Run Linda2, run. He doesn’t care about you or her. He’s looking for a kibble dispenser. There’s not enough kibbles in the world to fill him up. He will continue to use anyone and jump from kibble source to kibble source. He’s not sorry.

          • I could have written your first paragraph, except that he wouldn’t even clean up the pee spots, just point them out to me and then complain that the house smelled bad and that I alone was ruining it. I did most of the adulting in the house: budgeting, all shopping, cleaning…and when he would pitch in it would be something pointless (like cleaning the unfinished basement). I don’t know how that life was acceptable to me as well.

            Everything he wants our daughter to participate in is just a redo of his childhood. Kibbles. She comes home singing his favorite songs. Kibbles. He doesn’t even push her to do well in academics. ONLY the things he though he did well in. H etells her stories about how great his deceased was–a man who stole his identity and defaulted on $20,000 of bills, but he’s a matyr because he died so the entire mess was cleaned up. It all makes me sick.

            He left during my cancer fight to work on his happiness. Telling me I made him feel bad and that I didn’t believe in him. I was no longer buying the lies and the attention was all on me. He couldn’t handle that, so he left.

            • The ones that leave at horrible times just make my skin crawl. Cancer, pregnancy, death of a parent/child. I think they are escapists and can’t cope (and apparently I still try to untangle that skein!).

              I think you are mighty having gone through cancer and enduring this shit!
              I had an abnormal mamogram and had a bit of a scare a couple of months after Dday #2. A good friend actually told me she thought my ex would be there for me if it had turned out to be cancerous. I really think she’s wrong. In fact I think he would have run further and faster than he already had.

              It’s who they are and it’s what they do.

              • I had cancer 18 years ago. He was useless and sulking. I wasn’t available to wait one him hand and foot due to being doped up on morphine. I remember just wishing someone would hold me and cuddle me. I should have seen then was a selfish git he was.

              • Seenthelight – that’s exactly how they act! Before he left, mine was usesless and sulking too. I had arguments over him not being able to take me to a treatment because it lined up with his work holiday party. He was VP and needed to go!

                Forget about the holding and cuddling…I just wanted someone to ask me how I felt or if there was anything he could do for me! As it was, all he did do is unload the dishwasher a couple of times and I had to specifically ask him to do that. On the whole, I still did everything myself during treatment. Drove myself to 90% of my chemo appointments, took care of a child, cleaned the house…he never once asked me how I felt during the process. Not once! The only time he commented on how I was feeling was on a low day, when I was fatigued and laying on the couch for the day. He looked at me and said “Are you going to be like this tomorrow too?”. Then he took a case of beer and his computer and headed into the basement to “work” for the day. Leaving me to handle our 7 year old. I will never forget that moment. EVER.

                I always knew how selfish he was but the way he has treated me during cancer is truly horrific. It particularly hurt when he could take off a day of work to help a “friend” move but taking off for a dr appointment was always a challenge.

              • I thought this a million times over the years … “Man, I hope I never get really sick.”

                I had an episiotomy with our 2nd child and he demanded sex after two weeks. I caved, the stitches ripped. (Later, I discovered he was having an affair during all of this.)

                When I had our third child via C-Section, he literally ignored me and our child when we got home. Evidently, our medical needs were an annoyance. So, I ate crackers for two weeks while caring for a preemie who had GERD. (Yes, I later found out he was cheating during this as well …. *facepalm.)

                I wouldn’t act this way toward a stranger. The inhumanity of our spouses is truly mind-bending.

              • Mine left me when my rheumatoid arthritis was so bad I was looking into getting disability as I was having a horrible time working. I remember feeling incredible pain that he would do this to me.

                Now? I am actually HEALTHIER now that he’s gone! Good riddance to trash.

            • Leukemia here. My ex took off too. Toodles asshole.

              Funny part is when I had my 6 month checkup after the divorce was final, my dr. said my levels were the best he’s seen since the diagnosis. Coincidence? Less stress possibly?

              • I think it was definitely less stress and not a coincidence at all. I’ve felt MUCH better in the past six months since he’s been gone than I have for two years.

          • I got told in an email that it was nice that I did the “lion’s share of the housework” (ie. worked full time, and majority of the groceries, cleaning, gardening, finances, laundry etc), but that it wasn’t what he *needed*.

            And the flip side, with me having little time to pursue my actual interests after the above work/housework and of course putting his sexual needs before my spare time, was that he felt my interests (citing cooking, cleaning and gardening) were “parochial” and he missed the “brilliant” woman he knew me to be. Cleaning is not an interest. Cooking I enjoy as a social activity – I love trying new recipes and feeding people. What’s wrong with that? Gardening I only just took up as with our house purchase we had a garden for the first time ever and I loved it – it was working wonders for my mental health. He took no time to understand any of this because that’s not the point. The point is he’s a dickhead. I’m never doing another man’s laundry in my life.

            • JessMom, Pregnant Chump, All Chump Moms,
              ❤️ And many hugs.
              I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.
              All Chumps who held babies close, cared for them and nursed them, there just aern’t words to express the sorrow I feel at a cheater’s selfishness.
              How they could ever reach an orgasm in another woman’s arms is beyond me.
              They make me sick, beyond words.
              And the OW, beats me how they can carry on with a married man, let alone a father to a precious new life, a tiny helpless baby who needs 2 parents to raise them.
              What a pathetic pile of turd dirt they are, each one of them.

              Mother’s, hold your head high, as the years pass by your child, ( children), they will see who is the sane, present, loving parent. If they don’t today, there will be a tomorrow in your future when they will embrace you for your fortitude and strength! I promise.

              Xxxxxxx to all Chump MOMS,
              You are MIGHTY and don’t you forget it!

              • You are extraordinarily kind and your words are heart-warming, Peacekeeper. Thank you. (((Hugs)))

              • Love you Peacekeeper, your words always take a bit of the ache away. I feel “seen”, as I am sure so many of us do, when you say the heartfelt things you do. They didn’t see it, but you do. Thank you. Kisses doll.

              • Thank you peacekeeper that made me cry. I am reading this while I nurse my 6 week old DD. I’m so glad I found CL/CN, it’s such a loving community. It does sadden me though that a bunch of strangers care more about each other than our spouses/SO do/did.

            • Oh yes oneonefourone! Mine told me he needed to be more social and we just had different priorities.
              Um, did he ever think I would like to be more social too? Did he think I actually liked doing all the housework, gardening, etc?
              Of course when I asked what his priorities were, he couldn’t name a single one. Always moving the goalpost.

              • I told him I wanted to be more social too! But then if we did anything, I had to arrange it and do all the planning and emotional labour, he just wanted to show up…

              • I used to set up our dates back when he would do anything as long as it was with me. Then when I lost my sparkle he started getting picky and never liked any of my ideas for going out so I gave up and started letting him plan our dates which go fewer and farther between. Then one of his big complaints after DDay was that he always had to set up our dates. Totally clueless.

            • Oneonefourone,
              “Never doing another man’s laundry”
              I love your post!
              You rock Girl!

              He’ll need clean clothes, good luck to him.
              No one will take care of him like you did.
              No one!
              His loss!

              • Haha, because he has only taken a few things in his flight to the OW, there’s a pile of his laundry in the spare room that’s has now been sat there since he left because I separated it out from our laundry basket and dumped it there for him. He came at one point to collect a few more things but left the laundry pile, so it’s just sat there. I closed the door to the room so it’s not a bother. I’ve started piling gifts from him over the years beside it – he can be the one to get rid of them.

                Funny thing I noticed only recently, in going over old emails and things together over the years, that when there were moments in our relationship where we reflected on it, he always wrote things like: in you, I have found someone who is dedicated to me. And things like: no one has ever put in more effort to making me happy. It’s only with hindsight I realise his reflections were always about what I brought to the table, not how he felt about me or what he wanted to give to me. Sigh… need to re-calibrate my picker for sure.

            • I got more or less the same: you have the interests of an old woman. You never DO anything anymore. I really starting to feel it. To hate myself for being old and boring before my time. A dullard because I wasn’t out night clubbing.

              I’m not sorry I’m not with him anymore, but I feel bad for how diminished I allowed myself to become.

              On a side note I got more joy from my hippeastrums, irises and roses than I ever got from that soulless prick.

              I’m with you on the laundry thing. And shopping, and banking and bill paying and parenting children that aren’t mine and holiday planning and house keeping…

              Good riddance.

              • “I feel bad for how diminished I allowed myself to become.”

                I know the feeling. I’m grateful for some friends who have put me in check when I’ve taken things he’s said about how I’m no fun etc to heat. But I do think I lost some significant pieces of myself and gave too much away in this relationship. It’s going to be hard work to get it back. But when we do, it’ll be so worth it.

                “On a side note I got more joy from my hippeastrums, irises and roses than I ever got from that soulless prick.”

                Same! My garden was only just planted, but I’ve had a spring of daffodils, tulips and crocuses and I’ve put in a strip of wildflowers that have taken better than I expected! Best part of my day for months was coming home and doing a little round of the garden to see what was budding.

        • Chumpinrecovery, exactly, X had the same unrealistic expectations of a relationship. We also got along and weren’t high conflict. X also complained that we weren’t always passionate 24/7, I had responsibilities, our son, volunteering, bills, chores, shopping cooking, while he sat around doing nothing. He’d go to the gym then come home looking for things to complain about. If I walked into the room without a smile on my face X would accuse me of never being happy.
          They’re living in a fantasy world with their new love, no children, everything’s new, fresh., both putting in that extra effort, well mannered, smiles on their faces and never grumpy.
          Eventually manners will slip, she isn’t going to have a smile plastered on her face.
          He’s going to do things that will annoy her as she will with him.
          Now they have the added responsibility of image control, proving to themselves and the world (us) how happy they are now that they’ve found “true love.”

          Cheaters aren’t capable of loving anyone other than themselves and will never know true happiness or be content.

        • What I hate is that we chumps have to defend ourselves because we are not PERFECT. I don’t know for sure but I believe that people who are in reciprocal loving relationships don’t have to do this.

        • >>”In reality, true love is when you love someone in spite of their humanness. Real love is when you see someone at their absolute worst, and yet still recognize their good qualities and love them anyway. Love is also trusting the other person enough to let your guard down and not always be perfect around them.”

          This is what I always believed. This is what I — a guy who wanted nothing to do with marriage well into his 30s — improbably achieved. I loved my wife completely, with full (uh, well, almost) understanding of who she was, good and not-so-good. I “admired her for her strengths and loved her for her weaknesses,” as the saying goes. So it’s been a shockeroo to discover that, in fact, if you find something imperfect, unsatisfying, or otherwise annoying about your partner of 20 years, it’s completely reasonable and even advisable to simply trade up.

          • You mean trade down. That’s what these cheaters always do. Only lesser people would sleep with somebody else’s spouse.

        • Boy do I hear you. You are describing my life. My husband is getting back from his monthly ? moon of 6 Days. Y attorney filed today and though it pains me its been 17 years I’ve come to understand that he’s not going to change and any change will be temporary at best. Time for me to stop being a chump and move on with my life. Let’s see how long the fantasy he is lasts.

        • ” I wasn’t even allowed to stand with my arms crossed when I was cold or that was the most comfortable position because that proved I was tense and angry even if I didn’t realize it.”

          Me too! I got the same shit about crossing my arms simply because my hands were cold and I was tucking them in to warm up. Or if I stood with my hands on my hips, which I like doing because I’ve got a sore lower back, I would be called intimidating. From a man who towered over me and weighs more than twice as much as I do. If I stood near his lazyboy when he was sitting in it, I was intimidating him. I stopped leaning over to give him a kiss when he was in his chair because he would always push me away or question my motivation. I just felt like giving him a kiss.
          Yep, but I wasn’t loving enough. Just could never do anything right.

    • Yup I got that one too, Yo Yo knickers said to me…”It’s almost as if you don’t want me to be happy!”

        • I got “why can’t you even let me have a friend?” when I produced clear, direct evidence of his steamy emails to his colleague!

          I think people who are in affairs are like shoplifters and other common criminals…they 1. don’t think they’ll ever get caught, and 2. always find a reason, no matter how childish or wonky, to justify their actions. They never learned as small children to delay gratification.

          • Marci,
            Good point about learning to delay gratification. I worry about this with my oldest daughter. She is the only one of my kids still seeing her dad. They go to dinner every other Saturday. He is constantly buying her things. He is teaching her that she can have anything she wants when she wants it. How much is genetics and how much is learned? I worry about her…

    • Linda2: I have a real problem with the term “secret friendship”. That’s a clue. This is a marriage. There are no secrets.

    • My x too! He shouted “Well I guess you just want me to be alone then!!” After I answered his phone while he was showering. I had my own little 3-way convo with him trapped in the shower, his desperate office whore on the phone, and me standing in the bathroom. It would have probably made me giddy to know that he and she were about to have a very miserable day after that call – but of course I was so gutted that I was numb or throwing up the rest of the day. It’s all kind of a blur of past pain now.

      They all have SO many similarities. Kind of scary.

    • I had a few months of him describing how unhappy he was before I found out he had been cheating. He claimed he didn’t know why he was unhappy since he had so many wonderful things in his life including me. I encouraged him to see a doctor and psychologist about possible depression. At the same time, I told him it was not okay to be treating me and the kids the way he was to which he responding, “but don’t you want me to be happy?” Completely dismissed that my or kids happiness was important but still made me feel guilty as if I was denying him his happiness by getting made at the drinking, gambling, and staying out.

      Liar, manipulator, selfish asshole for all he did to mindfuck me, especially given that I was in my last trimester of pregnancy at the time it got bad.

      • GetMeFree, mine did the EXACT SAME THING. I really thought he was going through a midlife crisis, or his PTSD (he’s a US Army vet) was going into overdrive. I was desperately trying to help him figure out, to go talk to our pastor, etc. And I look back on that and realize he was having an affair THE ENTIRE TIME. It just enrages me to think about it. Such a LIAR.

        • Exactly. The way they lied and minupulated our reality is almost worse than the cheating. At least now I am no longer under an illusion that he is even remotely who I thought he was. Who he is behind the mask makes my skin crawl now.

          • And life is better now that I don’t have to spend every day trying to figure out what he is really feeling or what is the truth behind his partial answers or out right bullshit. I didn’t realize how awful it had gotten until I went grey rock on him. Life is still hard but at least it is authentic.

            • No kidding! I certainly DO NOT miss those lies and purposeful omissions either.
              me: Doesn’t thai food sound good?
              x: Sounds ok but I’m not craving it or anything.
              A few hours later I find out he’d eaten thai for lunch that same day!

              Grr. Crazymaking crap. Just say “oh I had that for lunch”, FFS! Weaving their cherry-picked truths all day long. No, don’t miss that energy-suck one bit!

            • Isn’t it nice not to have to worry about that? My therapist asked me, “How much energy do you think you spent on him?” On a pie chart, probably 3/4. That left 1/4 for ME.

              NO MORE. I got all that energy back and I feel SO much better!

              • That’s interesting to think about how much of an energy suck they are. I always said my ex was high maintenance! He really took most of my energy even though we have 2 kids. I would tell myself the right thing to do is to put your spouse first in a relationship and this would benefit the kids too. He would get jealous of the time I spent with our son in the evenings (he was invited to watch shows with us in the basement but of course if he couldn’t control the remote he wasn’t going to bend). He’s a black hole of need. Of course he had to spend his evenings upstairs texting schmoopie. Now I’m looking at the pie chart and thinking ‘I hope she likes asshole pie’.

  • “I won’t apologize for falling in love”

    and I didn’t pack his bags. My denial, spackling and hopium were legend.

  • Do they seriously expect us to just be there to “make them happy”?
    I really have no idea how I was supposed to show him how much I “wanted” him more than I did.

    • I believe in making a partner happy where possible, but I shouldn’t have to be a mind reader to do that, nor should I have to compromise on my sense of ethics.

      • I totally agree I thought I was making him happy, that’s what he had me believe anyway. I meant that we are there to make them happy but our happiness is 2nd to that and not really as important as there’s.

    • They really do have this idea that people are there for them and not the other way around.

      My x, after a horrendous trip with friends, was expecting a big apology from me because I did not support the way he lost it at the rental car return over gas charges. He was also upset that I wouldn’t talk about the next year’s vacation plans, something he correctly guessed was because I didn’t see a future for the relationship. This all happened shortly after DDay2. That trip was horrible because our friends didn’t know anything about the infidelity and I decided to put on my game face rather than ruin their holiday.

      Things were tense every night after work. After a few nights of this, he said ‘What’s the point of being married if I can’t come home and be happy?’

      It was like he felt he’d been conned or something.

      Yeah, Jackass, you don’t get to have a happy wife appliance who agrees with you no matter what after you slut around with a whore at a convention, complete with riding crop and viagara, and then wonder why we can’t all be friends!

      I came soooooo close to divorcing him that time but I let a friend convince me he was sincerely remorseful. She turned out to be a huge Switzerland friend later. I trusted the wrong people back then!

  • Here’s my chump lesson for the day: “He’s mindfucking you. Manipulation doesn’t spring out of feelings, it comes from Machiavellian self interest. So stop asking yourself what he’s feeling and start paying attention to what he is doing — not taking responsibility for his actions. Not apologizing.”

    I have to copy and paste, make notes, think about these things, over and over, to let it sink in.

    Note to self: Pay attention to what he’s doing. (And not doing.) Not taking responsibility. Not apologizing.

    I’m realizing it was never a relationship. There was never love. It was a mirage from the beginning. Soon it will be over.

    I don’t have the emotional, social and family capital to start another relationship. So I am crafting a life with what I have as an individual. I have made a space for painting. I am taking an inventory of the many good things in my life and building on what I have.

    • QM… you got it right! Put it on a post it note on your bathroom mirror… watch their actions… once is a “mistake”… more than once is a PATTERN… and ask any scientist, patterns don’t lie (people do).

    • The advise of “dont listen to what he says, watch what he is doing”…leave it up to the Queen of Unicorns to do this wrong and screw myself in the process.

      When he was being a monster, he SPOKE endless litanies of nasty things…the “I never loved you, Schmoopie loves me, Im divorcing you, she really loves me, I refuse to take you/kids into consideration when I make my life decisions….” but he was (more or less) living with us at home when he said much of this. To me, I saw in this that he TALKED about leaving but he STAYED HOME….I thought he was voting with his feet.

      What I refused to admit was how horrid of a spouse he was being and how woefully inadequate his contribution to the marriage and family was. I accepted these horrid offerings with a side of hopium that he would later decide to do better. What he decided (after convincing me that he had “stayed” and hadnt left for Susan) was that he took a job near where Susan worked but 3000 miles from us. He swore it had nothing to do with her and he was doing it for the job. He knew how committed I was to marriage/family and used it as a way to have a massive Slab O’cake.

      So he lived in SF while I raised kids alone on the east coast and he flew home to pretend to be dad/husband when it suited him. and I let him.

      • UNM–Two things: (a) most of us would do anything we thought was in the best interest of our children. A strong case can be made that being raised in an intact family with two parents, one of whom is abusive, or dysfunctional, is NOT better than being raised by one sane parent. However, the current psychological literature promotes the Two Parent Family, and who are we to argue with Experts?

        (b) the abuse cycle is real; those of us with normal oxytocin & vasopressin levels & receptors BOND. That’s what we do. And much energy goes into maintaining those bonds. Until one is standing on the outside of an abusive relationship, it’s tough to see how the dynamics of intermittent reinforcement are keeping you stuck there. Or how much damage it is doing to our psyches. We were in the eye of the storm, and the view is rather limited to flying cows and debris.

        We all need to let ourselves off the hook for staying under adverse circumstances (to put it mildly) because our intentions were good. With normal partners, our bonding behaviors would have been adaptive.

        • Tempest – as usual… thank you for your clarity!

          THIS CHUMPS: “We all need to let ourselves off the hook for staying under adverse (to put it mildly) because our intentions were good. With normal partners, our bonding behaviors would have been adaptive.”

          For the love of all that is holy – stop this very minute… repeat after me: YOU ARE OK. YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU CAN DO THIS. THEY ARE FUCKWITS. Now straighten up your crown (men and women) and walk on, head held high.

        • Thank you so much for this, Tempest. I spend so much time wondering how I could have spent two decades building a life and a family with spouse, always making excuses for our difficulties. How is it that the thing I am most proud of, my lovely family, came at such a high cost to my integrity and dignity? I’ve spent so much time beating myself up for my choice in life partner. And trapped in this cycle of devotion and despair, mostly for the sake of my children.

          • Same. The wise words on here hav been a breath of fresh air .it gets better on the outside even only half a year out.

        • Well said. It is hard to believe in the middle of “flying cows and debris” (love that) that the man I trusted and raised a family with for 30 yrs would lie and cheat on us. His most important message to our grown men was respect women and have your mothers back. He also told our men that he was unhappy and needed to live alone in our beach house to find himself. When we all learned that meant for him to find his dick regularly, he was then truly alone and did not like that. He complained about being hurt too. My men have followed his advice and have my back. I told him he should be proud of them for that. This sucks so much and the process feels like I lose something every day. Looking forward to starting to feel better when our tainted beach house is sold and other possessions split.

          • THRIVE – Fear not, your fuckwit will die alone and broke. Schmoopies aren’t much for taking care of incontinent old men with no money. (Hope that made you smile! You’ve got this and your sons have your back.)

        • >>”We were in the eye of the storm, and the view is rather limited to flying cows and debris.”

          This is one of the best lines I’ve read on ChumpLady.com. Thanks, Tempest for the laugh and the truth.

        • Tempest, “the view is of flying cows and trees”…wow, nothing more needs be said. Momma (and Papa) bears we are when it comes to the kids. Flying cows indeed!

        • Brilliant, Tempest…thank you.

          Cows and debris indeed.

          It has been shocking to see this from the outside

      • Holy bejeezus unicornnomore, I’ve been reading your posts for so long, but never knew THIS!…

        “3000 miles from us. He swore it had nothing to do with her and he was doing it for the job. He knew how committed I was to marriage/family and used it as a way to have a massive Slab O’cake.
        So he lived in SF while I raised kids alone on the east coast and he flew home to pretend to be dad/husband when it suited him. and I let him.

        This was exactly my situation, except switch coasts. I lived in SF area for 35 years. He worked in NYC. ..and flew home to pretend to be dad/husband when it suited him. and I let him. AND I practically threw a fucking party for him every damn time! How was this OK? It wasn’t. I became very resentful of doing ALL the heavy lifting, while he partied in the Hampton’s with ‘friends’, female friends, just friends, and ‘painted’ in his spare time. He just wanted to be ‘happy’.
        smh
        The similarity ends there in that my styx is still alive. Too bad there, just endless divorce.
        xoxo
        Thanks for sharing your stories, it really helps!

        • This didn’t last for all that long…it was 18 months immediately after the worst of his affair disaster. He was such a lunatic then, he changed life plans every few days. He intentionally went there without us then blamed us that we all didn’t live together. About a year before he died, he told me that he was very proud that he never “left me”. Uh, dude, SF, 18 months ??

      • Such an important point on the dynamics of abusive relationships with selfish turds…

        He was hard working was my go-to spackle… But when I found evidence of his affair, I stopped spackling, and started watching what he would do to regain my trust… It was like the “Primal Fear” movie, and I had to digest the fact that there was nothing but deceit, and lying, and blame shifting where I thought there was trust, respect, and kindness.

        The spiral of devaluation took years, a slow boil of progressive barely perceivable offenses that got worse and worse with time. I believe he conditioned himself to devalue my worth as a spouse and human being to avoid taking responsibility for his increasingly shameful and unjustifiable behaviors while maintaining a great happy respectable family front with a chump willing to take on most life and child responsibilities so he could focus on his career success.

        He is truly sicker than I am smart. I feel guilty and sad that I’ve chosen such a poor excuse of a human being as father of our kiddo, but I am so grateful I no longer live with him nor have to call him anything but X.

  • Mine said “the kids should be happy that I am happy with schmoopie” – this after a 32 year marriage. Apparently that was the advice he received from twice divorced schmoopie – and she has now lost custody of all her kids – they are so messed up from her messes. Sad. My kids – really don’t talk to their dad.

    Sad that I bred with such a fuckwit and had no idea he had this level of awful in him.

    Onward!

    • Ditto! When I tried (and failed) to get my ex to see that it was devastating for my then-10 year old son that his dad was leaving the family for his school cello teacher of 2 years, his response was “but they should be happy for me!” I was stunned at the zero empathy.

      • Exactly!!! And you just have to accept that. I think everyone here can relate and wish we had the power to fix it for yo!

      • Wow Vastra, what a turd he is.

        He expects his 10-year-old son to be the parent, and wish happiness on him (the actual parent), no matter what the personal sacrifice in his (the actual son) own happiness is.

        Instead, the dad, as both parent and adumt (supposedly), should be thinking of the son’s happiness and well-being, and sacrificing his “happiness” for the son’s.

        These cheaters got so messed up in the head with all of this infidelity mess that the lose all moral compasses, they become delusional, and they become obsessed with self.

        • My ex has pretty much lost his daughter to this whole mess. She’s 17 so she KNOWS that he’s putting his whore above her. And he simply doesn’t care. It just floors me that he can abandon his daughter like this.

          It’s all about him right now. And some day, when the relationship with the whore goes south or when he’s been married to her for awhile and he’s absolutely miserable, he will realize what he gave up. And it will be too late.

          Screw these cheaters. Seriously.

  • I’ll take themes for $100. Yet another example that they are incapable of empathy and take no responsibility.

  • Me too, Never got an apology or I’m sorry…
    After 34 years married.

    Just left for owhore without looking back. All the history, family & spending most of our lives together- didn’t even a mean a thing.

    Their “love” was the most important thing! (haha)
    Any human being would feel sorry & try to understand
    how bad we feel after being gutted. He didn’t even feel
    bad or sorry!

    • No apology either here Kathleen. Just moved on and in with schmoops. I feel so bad for my adult kids. The mad they thought as a father – ugh – just nothing there.

    • Kathleen… I hope you can see that what “she” got was a man who could walk away from 34 years of history, family and love. THAT is his CHARACTER. Sounds to me like you’ve got a bright future while she is looking down the barrel of a gun with your fuckwit.

    • Yes this Kathleen. Mine too, 34 years married. I got “we both deserve to be happy” completely ignoring the fact he was making his longtime loyal wife the unhappiest she had ever been. He also said ” I just wanna have fun”. With a younger schmoopie with a kid less than half the age of his youngest child? Oh yes but of course–she has a house, good income, pension, generous family. She’s a sugar momma to him what fun!!

    • I’ve come to the conclusion that they see our pain as a confirmation of how awesome and desirable they are. They think we’re devasted because we’ve lost the coveted possession of them … the (traveling) trophy!

      • Nyra, I so agree with you on this. Finally, when I stopped showing pain and started showing anger, XH couldn’t believe when I told him: “You’re not worth it!” His head snapped back, it’s like he got punched in the face by an invisible fist. He couldn’t believe the words that came from my mouth that didn’t affirm his greatness.

        • You’re so right. When I stopped looking shell-shocked in his presence, I think it totally threw him for a loop. He was over here last weekend to get all his crap out and I didn’t cry, didn’t rage – I went TOTAL grey rock. I could see him looking at me a few times, wondering what the hell was going on. And do you know what he did? “Forgot” the garage door opener. “Couldn’t fit” the Rubbermaid storage shed (despite being one of the best movers I know with an ability to fit EVERYTHING in one load). Didn’t clean out the garage, so said I could text him any time to come and sweep it out.

          In short? He still wants the hooks in place, still wants to be able to come over here. I think he still wants me as a back-up supply even though he’s engaged to his whore! Well, I’m NOT going to play his game anymore. I refuse to email him and ask, “When are you going to come and get this?” or “When are you going to return the garage remote?” because that’s exactly what he wants. He’ll stretch this out for months now. And me? I will happily be NOT waiting on him, but doing my own thing.

          • KeepinCalm, go to the hardware store and get a replacement remote and reprogram it with a new code. Put all his crap on the curb on garbage day. Your grey rock reply when he rages about how you supposedly threw away stuff he wanted: “You had your chance to get your things and the stuff you left I figured you didn’t want any longer.” Then you’ve eliminated any chance for him to hoover.

            Oh, and the satisfaction when the neighborhood rag picker comes and sorts through the crap then the garbage truck takes it alllllll away! Don’t ask me how I know how great that feels.

          • Keeping Calm, set up a donation pick up. Email Mr. Fabulous that the items he left behind are scheduled to be picked up on such and such a date. Put them on the curb and carry on with your day. One way or another, his crap will be gone from your world when you return.

  • Yuk – Sexy Beast was OW’s name for my ex. Sleazy Beast might have been more accurate. Funnily, their relationship was apparently just an innocent friendship too!

  • No apology for the affair(s) and blowjobs from transsexuals. Nada. None.

    He once TEXTED me: “I’m sorry for the pain I caused you and the kids.” Undoubtedly a moment of boredom on his part. I ignored it. It’s all you can do. There is no answer to insanity except silence/no contact.

    He has abandoned THREE families and 5 kids total. He shows up for visitation with our son (the others are adults, mostly) BUT he makes no effort to contact our son when it isn’t “his time”. Compartmentalize much?!? Afterall, he’s gotta scrape up a tile floor at the new schmoopie’s house before he
    moves in – sweat equity cause he knows he won’t be paying her much $$.

    But I digress.

    Two things about today’s reading strike me… some poor woman was a side piece for TWENTY YEARS and now the Sexy beast is all hers… that’ll be fun to watch. Grab some popcorn Linda2… you won… you got your family and your freedom.

    • Thank you so much, you just help me have a lightbulb goes on over the head moment. PreyingMantis did that when we first started to date, would come over to the house and do all kinds of work around it. As soon as things got serious, that stuff stopped and I wondered why. Of course I never got hardly any monetary compensation over the course of the years the way a normal spouse would be expected to contribute to the family finances. Thank you so much for shining the flashlight of TRUTH!

  • Sexy Beast, what a wonderful term of endearment. Drop them off with the beast an get the popcorn ready. It’s quite the shitshow.

    Wisdom comes with age and I’m hoping Linda got the settlement she deserved.
    For as broken as I was three years ago all he has to show for himself is a beast.
    #hewonthebeast

    • Sadly, no. He wanted half of my income,etc. I want my kids to finish college. They would have to drop out if I lost income. So, he is sitting here next to me. I am writing this thinking of all the times he sat next to me while texting “the light of his life”.

  • Something I am pondering this morning. Yesterday I had to meet with a therapist concerning counseling I agreed to for the children. While he seemed ok, certainly can’t really tell in one hour after 30 years of a sham.

    The session stirred up all those unpleasant emotions toward shitbox(that suits him). That is why I dislike therapy.

    When I got home, son brought up some things about stbx and it just added to my anger. I wanted to illustrate how I was feeling to son and started to say think of someone in your life that you really hate, it was an eye opening moment, as I looked at him I stopped myself and said no, there is no one like that for you, there shouldn’t be, you can’t understand betrayal like this. I can’t expect him to get it.

    So here we are in that catch 22. No contact is the only thing that helps but children make complete no contact impossible. Even parallel parenting requires communication and as today’s post illustrates, fuckwits are incapable of normal/healthy communication.

    • When your children are adults no contact is possible. I haven’t seen or spoken to my ex in more than 3 years and I have two adult sons. We never talk about their dad. They navigate their relationship with him and I stay out of it. There is a light at the end of your tunnel.

      • Yes this chraterssuck. I’m doing the sane. My kids know they are not to tell him anything about my life. Daughter says he doesn’t know where we live which suits me just fine. She moves to her own place in 2 weeks. If there is something important about the kids he can contact me but i won’t answer I’ll just talk to my kids.. they are my family now not him. He is just the sperm donor..it’s how he wanted it and now it’s how I want it..

    • I “co-parent” with a fuckwit. Our son is 11yo. Mr. Sparkles walked out when he was just turning 9.

      He’s been introduced to the OW (and the two kids she had in tow)… and now, to the lastest flavor “Girl with Dogs”. He knows his Dad isn’t like other Dads… my commentary isn’t even needed. In fact, the less I point out the obvious the better because it shows me my kid is thinking it through on his own.

      I did take him for counseling and after two sessions, he felt he had what he needed… so I don’t have much to offer on that one.

      HOWEVER, I will say, with regard to communication… I’m strictly email for the big things (so I have records for the court)… it doesn’t matter if he responds or not because I have proof he was INFORMED… his choosing to take no action (passive aggressive non-response) is not my responsibility. And, I find, when I have to resend an email to REMIND HIM, and I copy my attorney, that gets a response. (NOTE: I misspell a few letters in my attorney’s email address so it isn’t actually going to him, but I know Mr. Sparkles doesn’t realize that!)

      And, I’m working on limiting how much we talk about Mr. Sparkles at home now. I’ll ask my son if he had a good weekend (visitation) and leave it at that. If he asks me questions about his Dad, I give honest objective answers (typically comparing apples to oranges so my kid can see the answer for himself)… it ain’t easy… but I find the drama is dying down the more I practice grey rock.

      Good luck

  • Two comments that should have kept me running away like the house was on fire:

    “Other guys sleep with hookers – you know I have to have feelings for someone to sleep with then (thus their affair and he are “noble)

    Then after telling me he wanted to reconcile but then changing his mind and stopping therapy after 1 session where counselor said 26-year younger ho-worker was “damaged goods.”
    He said “it doesn’t make sense to anyone else but I just need to see where this relationship (affair) can go…it just feels good.”

    Both said to my face after the devastating gutting

    • Mine proudly stated “at least I never paid for sex”. I guess that makes him so vastly superior to other fuckwits in his mind. It’s all about image with him. He didn’t pay with money, he’s paying with his soul.

    • “Other men drown puppies. I didn’t do that–I just kicked the dog a few times. But did you see, I took her for a walk afterwards, so I’m a good guy.”

      Do these people listen to themselves? Honestly, how did so many wise, witty, compassionate people in CN marry such idiots? Boggles the mind. Mercy marriages; we took em ‘cuz no one else would tolerate them.

      • For me, I thought he deserved to be loved, and oh, how noble of me (sarcasm) to be the one to give him love! He is so damaged, so emotionally bankrupt, that I wanted to swoop in and rescue him. Instead, all I got was 18 years of mostly pain and misery. Oh, we had some good times, I won’t deny that. But overall? The bad most certainly outweighed the good.

        He saw in me an easy target and he took full advantage of it. And now he sees the OW as an easy target, thus why he’s locking her in by getting engaged to her. If she wasn’t a homewrecking whore, I might feel sorry for her, but I don’t. She’s going to get exactly what she deserves.

  • After 20 years together, 18 years married, 2 teenagers together and 10+ years between Ddays and discovering yet another relationship with a different schmoopie (20 years younger than middle aged old geezer and was our 14 y.o. daughter’s assistant soccer coach): “She said she only wants to be friends” “I’m sorry you got hurt” “The more we agree on the separation agreement, the better for our kids” “She’s innocent in all this” “Are you mad at her?” “Don’t take my kids away from me”

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, without CL & CN I wouldn’t be able to see this clearly for what it is and would be reading more into it. It really is all about him and his centrality. He really does not and probably never did feel love for me. Initially that hurts like a mother, but it is the 2 x 4 needed to help me get through this and move on. I took him back the first time for the kids and tried to choke down that shit sandwich. I know now there is a shit sandwich buffet waiting for me and the kids for the rest of our lives if I tried to ever salvage that shit show of a marriage.

  • Ah, he “feels bad.” Not enough to be faithful. Or genuinely apologize. Just enough to say it.

    This half-hearted nothingness is so common that it’s accepted by cheaters, chumps, and society at large.

    Just last week, I found out that a young woman I know was cheated on by her husband. She discovered his affair, and his response was to claim he’d been unhappy…as if A has anything to do with B.

    She’s chosen to get divorced, but she said that she “understands why he cheated,” and she said that she forgives him.

    I guarantee you, she’s not “understanding” that his lack of character caused his cheating. She’s “understanding” that his alleged unhappiness caused it. In other words, she doesn’t actually understand anything at all.

    This is the story that society has told itself about cheating, and this is why society accepts meaningless statements about how the cheater “feels bad.”

    Chumps have to point out what utter bullshit the story is, and how meaningless “feeling bad” is. Words don’t change things. Feelings don’t change things. ACTIONS change things.

      • Of course cheaters unhappiness means more, TO THEM!

        I was just as “unhappy” and miserable as he was and I didn’t cheat. This concept doesn’t register with him because he views himself as the victim in the relationship. He’s the victim because he married a chronically ill and chronically in pain wife whose illnesses and pain went through the roof ten-fold after having children…..yet he not once ever stopped to ask if I needed help or if he could do anything for me to make anything easier on me. He just ignored me instead and complained about babies and kids acting like typical babies and kids. This was not what he signed up for so of course blame-shifting his irresponsibility and immaturity onto me via him feeling unhappy. Therefore the “logical” reasonable conclusion to him was to have an affair so he could feel happy again. Of course, I asked him, since it helped him enormously, if I could go out and have an affair to be happy too? He didn’t answer because he knows he has a broken moral compass and there is zero justification for his BS. He still tries though. My eyes are finally open.

    • I was that wife 10+ years ago and made excuses for him ditching me and 2 young kids for twice divorced schmoopie at work. Surely he was stressed out–he even cried as he was leaving and telling me he didn’t know how this happened. They had been in love for a year. I googled what was available at the time and settled on midlife crisis even though he was 34 years old.

      Then I took him back (when the grass wasn’t greener apparently). I had a 4 year old son balling his eyes out nightly asking why his daddy didn’t love him anymore. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time for my family.

      The strip clubs, nudy magazines, and porn on our tv at our home continued but secretly. I didn’t trust that he sucked. I gained some weight and blamed myself.

      This young wife doesn’t trust that he sucks and will likely take him back when he circles around for kibble.

  • No apology here either. The closest I got, which I’m sure many posters will have heard, is “I never meant to hurt you”. This has to be the most over-used phrase for cheaters, as it suggests that they do care – but actually, when put through the universal bullshit translator the phrase becomes “I never meant to be found out”.

    Linda2, get that appointment with your legal advisor asap.

    • I got the “I’m sorry you got hurt” line. I was collateral damage in his pursuit of happiness. He didn’t set out to purposely hurt me yet he didn’t care if he did.

    • I got “I wish you didn’t care so much for me”. What an awful thing to say. He was basically telling me that my loving him was an obstacle standing in the way of his “happiness” because then he has do deal with that nasty guilt thing (because he is such a sensitive caring person). Poor baby.

    • I got ” I don’t see why sex outside marriage is a problem ” and ” I think you should have an affair ”
      What sort of man says that to you after 34 years of marriage. I had no idea those were his beliefs and it made me feel even more rejected to know that he didn’t give a damn if I slept with someone else.

      I also got ” I’m truly sorry I hurt you ” but I also got ” no, I didn’t feel guilty ”

      Are these the words of someone who feels entitled ? A narcissist ? We are still living together because I have no assets and little income but I know that I will never heal unless I separate so I’m lining up my ducks and working on a business plan.

      • Mine tried to get me to join a dating website. This was just after he decided to scrap reconciliation and move out. Apparently Schmoopie was on a dating website and going on dates with other men while dating him and still living with her then husband who had also gone out and found himself a new girlfriend. I said “no thanks, somebody in all of this has to maintain some sense of dignity”.

        Keep lining up those ducks and get away from the fuckwit.

        • I got “sometimes I feel guilty for it (the affair) and sometimes I don’t. When you’re angry at me, I don’t feel guilty.”

          UH…YEAH. So I have no right to be angry at you for destroying our 18-yr marriage and sleeping with a tramp? Go suck it, you disordered douchebag.

      • Haha i got….its been a month already you all have to accept it and move on ( after shock walk out after 20+ years and 3 older children shellshocked) translated… im much happier with this arrangement . . (Ie fucking some random he just met ) and your emotion devastation is irritating me

      • BeTrue, don’t their conflicting statements give you whiplash trying to keep up with them? That was the most crazy making time for me. I had to get away from him before my head exploded from trying to make sense of the things he was saying.

    • Oh my gosh, Nigella, me too! But instead of – I never meant to hurt “you”, I got – I never meant to hurt “anybody.”
      Anybody? ANYBODY? After 24 years and 9 months, I’m ANYBODY?

      F
      U
      C
      K

      Y
      O
      U
      !

    • Oh that makes sense because of course he didn’t want to be found out and if I hadn’t found out, I wouldn’t be hurt. What a dirtbag. Thiscwhynhe keeps insisting truth is relative to a situation. No it’s not! Opinion is relative to the situation. Truth is fact and cannot be changed.

      • “Truth is fact” my 30 year old son grabbed me by the shoulders and said “mom, this family will no longer lie or cover up for dad” . I had just discovered my pushing 70 year old husband had fathered a 6 year old with a crack whore half his age who died in a car accident. He went to court to get child despite younger family who were willing to have an open adoption model. CN gave me courage in the middle of the night to want to be just a gramma ,I’m pushing 60 and know my limitations.you got this pregnant chump,you are mighty , the pain is a bitch but you got this .

  • Happiness came once I booted his ass. I used to wonder how anyone could be happy with a woman who didn’t give a damn about anything, had an arrest record, significant mental illness and couldn’t hold a job.

    Turns out happiness was allowing him to do everything he desired. Now at 60 he’s celebrating his mightiness with poor health, massive debt, a woman who embarrasses him in public, and zero retirement funds. I’ve never seen such a pity party.

    So glad I dumped the loser.

  • In the early stages after DDay my XH once said to me after he gave me another ILYBINILWY speech – just imagine the scenario

    XH looking away sheepish and rolling his eyes whilst I gasped and cried at his cutting words.

    XH ” This can’t (slight smirk) be wrong when it feels SO RIGHT “…( wistful look into the distance)

    It’s not wrong to them (obviously) but what a way to justify their shitty behaviour.

    • ‘XH ” This can’t (slight smirk) be wrong when it feels SO RIGHT “…( wistful look into the distance)’

      So your X’s life philosophy is based on a 70s pop tune. Smh.

        • Thanks guys lol,

          Awesome musician but I doubt my XH ever heard of that song, in fact, I was gonna suggest to CL how about a fun Friday list of all the shitty swan songs these cheats play unknowingly to us? I got lots in the last year (only realised when I was clearing out my iTunes library and Spotify list recently).

          My XH kept playing ‘my immortal’ by evanescence ( yes !!!all whilst I scrubbed his back and nether regions in the bath) and don’t start me on Chester (god rest his tortured soul) from Linkin Park cos I was dragged to one of their concerts and had to endure all those lyrics about ” what have I done/ become/ uncomfortably numb blah blah blah in the last 18 mths of our time together – weirdest night ever and we used to love going to see bands. I was only thinking of this the other night- then I woke up at 2am and your man from Linkin Park had committed suicide – it was very spooky!

          • Oh, digbert, the music… ok so I have to be a bit kind on myself for the following (it hasn’t even been two months), but I know it’s not healthy for me. While I’ve blocked him on every social media service, I’m still a glutton for punishment and realised a week ago that I could see the history of our amazon music plays (we have an echo)

            I’ve been thinking about how modern infidelity is affected by technology and this specifically relates to music. i now know, for example, that he started listening to of monsters and men (little talks) when he met OW. The night I was away and they slept together in our house, they listened to NOFX followed by Dancing in the dark (ruined for me now) and then paradise city, after which the music stops so I assume the last tow songs were the prelude… ugh!!!

            But the one that bothers me most is that OW shared Diamond and Rust (Joan Baez) with STBX and before I knew anything of what was going on, he shared the song with me, saying it was such a beautiful song that he loves. I feel like my intimacy with my partner was being corrupted by a third party I had no idea was in this moment with me. Such a mindfuck.

            • Definitely a mindfuck, oneonefourone. I have mostly quit listening to any music STBX and I used to listen together. He loved music … played it all the time. Like you, hindsight has shown me that there were many songs we listened to that were, for him, significant to the OWs.

              Instead, I listen to Chopin. STBX hates classical music! 🙂

              • I couldn’t listen to music or watch films for ages after day, maybe 1-2 years. Thankfully back to normal with all new music in my life now. Interestingly x/fwit reverted to listening to Gorillaz when his brain snapped. That’s what he listened to as a young 20 something and in his mind he was back there. Total headfuck.

  • Ugh. Mine said the same, “I don’t expect you to understand why I did what I did. I don’t think what I did was wrong. I’m sorry for hurting your feelings.”

    My feelings are MY responsibility. Your actions are YOURS.

    • “I’m not responsible for your feelings” A little nugget he learned in therapy.

      Guess what asshole ? You are responsible for your behavior !

  • Saying “I feel bad” is cheaterspeak for “I’m a bad boy/girl and I’m proud of it!” They like that smug feeling of “I’m bad, I’m bad! Yay me!” Plus, narcissists don’t have feelings like the rest of us. They fake love, remorse, etc but they don’t FEEL it. Sadly.

  • In a completely laughable moment x said he was with married ow because she was the only one who understood what he was going through trying to hide the affair. The only answer to that is to serve them with divorce papers. They can both bond over that.

    • The idiocy in some of what they say and do is really stunning, isn’t it?

      Divorce papers were the perfect response!

  • STBX felt bad because he hurt Schmoopie’s feelings by attempting to reconcile with his me which wasn’t fair to her because “she cares about me (i.e. she gives me blow jobs)”.

  • I never got a real apology either. He said if I really loved him, I’d let him have this relationship because he “fell in love with his soulmate” (wanted me to be polyamory so he could have both of us) and they didn’t have sex, yet I found a bill from a lab for HIV testing. Stupid me for having believed him at the time. I lawyered up instead of opening my home to his whore and that made him SO VERY angry! Then I discovered I had Hepatitis B. When his attny told him, I never heard from him again. Not one word. Not even to ask about my health or any sort of apology for putting my life in danger. Who does that? I am distraught. Who could be so heartless after 26 years of devotion? This is who he is or who he always was. Not only that, he’s still trying to harm me financially. What did I ever do to deserve such a monster?

    • You did nothing to deserve that beowulfsabrina. He’s a monster and that’s what they do. He’ll do the same to her eventually. The monster released you. I’m
      so sorry he made you ill. You take care of you now, you deserve your own tender love. (((Hugs)))

      • *tears flowing* cos now even kindness from a fellow chump-in-recovery does that to me. Thank you, newlady15. I don’t even know if they are still together as it was probably an exit affair, cos all the time what he really wanted was to explore his sexuality (men too I think) and I became his MOMMY, oh so many deeply rooted mental issues here. I truly believe he wanted to kill me because he hated/resented the fact that I was a good mom and he had such a HORRIBLE toxic mother (another red flag I ignored) and he couldn’t hurt HER so he took it out on me. She abandoned him when he was 6 – he told me he did the same to me as some weirdly sick way to explain the discarding. That’s why he didn’t care if he exposed me to disease. I mean, what if I had somehow given my newborn grandson Hep B when it was active??? OMG, the level of criminality is over the top. In my state, you can sue someone for STDs, so I am thinking about it.

        • BeowulfSabrina I am so sorry for everything you have been through. You did absolutely nothing to deserve this. I personally think the better the sane spouse is, the worse the delusional one is. It’s like a scale of fucked up justice that has to balance. That makes you close to a saint in my book for how disordered your fuckwit is.

          If you haven’t gone back and read older posts, please do so. There are some that discuss not buying into WHY a cheater is fucked up, and just learning they are fucked up and moving on. FOO is one of the reasons (and I think a likely scenario for my ex too). But ultimately it is not an excuse and it’s not something I can fix.

          I continued to take the betrayal (schmoopie #1 when my kids were little, porn, strip clubs, belittling me, his entitlement) but when I found out he was pursuing schmoopie #2 (a young 20 something involved in my kids school) was when I realized I had to cut bait. It wasn’t until I realized he didn’t even care how it affected his kids that I opened my eyes and left.

        • Do it! Sue him! What he did was criminal and he isn’t going to make restitution on his own out of the goodness of his heart.

        • Sue him, BeowulfSabrina. We don’t get many chances for restitution or for consequences to be applied to cheaters, and should use every opportunity that we get.

        • Mommy issues are real. That is part of the skein but worth noting. Mine hates his mother. Took it out on me. Do I give a fuck? No.
          My father’s parents abandoned and rejected him but he stayed the course with my mother and us. So no… Shit excuses.

    • You pulled off his mask. That’s what you did, that’s why the hatred.
      Be sure he is not contacting you because in his mind, you are source of the disease.
      Lawyer up, toughen up and protect yourself from all sides.
      I wish you lots of health.

  • When “sorry” = sorry for himself. “I couldn’t take it anymore” (regarding secret prostitute patronage for 5 years) was supposed to be the apology. Tried to point out the structure of that statement, but it was fruitless, of course. The most they can muster, probably in truth, is that they feel bad. As in, they feel bad they got caught or they feel bad because there are bad feelings in their vicinity. Not only does X not have his own personality, he doesn’t have his own feelings. But he can at least sense the “bad”! Less than impressive, since after all of this shit came to light, there was a lot of bad everywhere.

    • “there are bad feelings in their vicinity”

      omg THIS!
      The amorphous, external, unexplainable things (which may be feelings) which must be gotten away from somehow, anyhow, now.

  • Best advice: stop listening to what they say and watch what they do. And how they treat you while they’re doing it.

    Hope this woman got out and gained a life.

  • I got alot of the same excuses to make her affair my fault. “I was unhappy”, “I didn’t mean to hurt you” and from the looks of it crocodile tears and nothing else. No remorse, no real apology, just that it was all about her and she changed. Yes, you did. You AP groomed you and you were stupid enough to fall for someone that was already divorced and has a fucked up another almost marriage. After 17 years, those two can go slumming and enjoy their company, I do not want not need her in my life.

  • Cheaters feel bad for themselves because they got caught. Any sign of remorse is purely an act.

    Chumps need to understand their emotions and thought process is totally different than the narc/cheaters. Each possess a completely opposite perception than the other. We can’t comprehend their callousness and they can’t comprehend our compassion.

    When I finally understood and accepted the fact there was an absence of emotional equality, things really started to make sense. My head was no longer cluttered with unanswered questions. Instead it felt like little “aha’s!” were floating around.

    • Yes, my ex’s apology was an act. 100%. She wrote that she was sorry for “the was I treated you” (a good euphimism for “fucking another man behind your back”).

      And she wrote, “I respect marriage, despite my actions last year.” She wrote this email during our divorce, while she continued to bang her OM, while he got married. So…no…she actually DIDNT respect marriage–either marriage–as indicated by her actions.

      Their apologies are fictitious, like their integrity.

    • Ye! Same. Very sorry for himself (that I blew his cover), and sorry the cake eating gig was up. Never, ever gave me a sincere apology, along the lines of “I can’t believe I hurt you, it hurts me to have hurt you,” and I waited and I waited…until I realized that particular apology was never coming and he wasn’t capable of it. Again, fleeting regret but no real remorse.

  • It’s so hard to understand that they don’t feel the depth of remorse that us chumps feel over the destruction of our family and home. Our efforts and devotion to making it work over the years are not appreciated or respected . I tried wreckonciluation for a year, figuring I owed it to 32 years, adult children and grandchildren . He told me while he was no longer physical with long term AP, he wouldn’t give up contact because “she’s my friend “. Oh and he wanted to stay married and not “lose his family”. The words “she’s my friend” haunt me .

    • >>”It’s so hard to understand that they don’t feel the depth of remorse that us chumps feel over the destruction of our family and home. Our efforts and devotion to making it work over the years are not appreciated or respected.”

      Yes. It’s maddening. And chilling.

    • chumpsrushin, my ex was also super close “friends” with his married coworker schmoopie. It hurt so much that he spent so much time with her the last few years of our marriage, and there was nothing I could do about it since they worked together. In the meantime, I’m rushing around trying to take care of the kids, and take care of the huge house where he wants to live in the middle of nowhere…and he’s out Christmas shopping with his “friend,” or they’re riding horses together, or jogging together…nothing he told me about but things I found out later. That hurt so much to know I was sitting alone day after day waiting for him to come home when he was out enjoying himself with her. Argh. Then at the end he blames my “unhappiness” for his decision to leave and break up our family (in an attempt to woo her away from her husband I later learn). So glad to be free of that pain.

      • I know how much his actions hurt you. I too was taking care of the children, the house, working, all while battling chronic pain and illnesses while he was enjoying escapades with her despite her being married. “I never meant for this to happen” actually meant that I was never meant to find out about their innapropiate interpersonal relationship over the past four years. The lies and deceitful behavior toward someone they say they love is nothing short of repugnant. I’m sorry this type of uncaring behavior was bestowed upon you too. It’s not fair and absolutely rips one’s own life apart as well as their heart.

  • I guess I was on the other end of this. I got so. many. apologies.

    He tearfully apologized over and over again while he took the affair further underground.

    Tearfully apologized when I finally caught him and told him he had six months to prove that he was remorseful and could become a “safe partner”. (Gee, thanks, RIC!)

    Tearfully apologized every time during the six months when I called him on acting like an entitled fuckwit.

    And now that I’m done and talking to attorneys, he’s really, REALLY sorry. With tears! For real this time!

    I honestly wish he’d never apologized at all. I would’ve kicked his ads to the curb a year ago and saved myself so much anguish.

    • I believe my X was a very good actor, but I could see that when he cried, he cried for himself. I got the “apologies” too…but never the action that needed to accompany them to demonstrate that he was sincerely sorry. When they apologize, they do what they think someone in their situation is supposed to do. Sometimes this means going over the top. They know it will bide them time. “Watch what they do, not what they say” has been so helpful for me in processing all that happened following his confession.

      • Exactly, ChumpOnIt. KK apologized several times, always followed by: “…but that’s in the past. What’s important is that we move forward and do what’s best for the girls” (which in her mind meant 60/40 custody in her favor plus me moving out of the family home).

        She was doing what in her fucked up mind was supposed to happen: I’d accept her apology and defer to what she wanted — because that’s what I’d done for more than 15 years. No. Fucking. Way.

        • Oh yes. “That’s in the past.” I’ve heard this line in a variety of ways. “I did what I did. I can’t change it now.” Again: action speak louder than words! What I want to say to him: “Well, you *could* cut off your engagement/relationship with the whore so that you could actually be a father to your own daughter who REFUSES to reconcile with you as long as you and your whore are together.”

          But he won’t listen anyway. It’s whatever HE wants right now and screw everyone else – including his daughter.

    • My STBX did this as well. Apologies and loads of tears. Until he decided he had done that long enough and I should be over it already — then I was the lucky recipient of the dead-eye stare, stonewalling, smirks, blameshifting, and rage.

      Life is so much more peaceful away from that insanity.

  • No apology here either.
    He lived like nothing was wrong I was blindsided he Just said “I went there I liked it” got caught.
    He’s since tried using the he was not happy line but later backtracked.
    Rat. That’s all he is, still scurrying around with the whore rat!

    • Yeah i didnt even get a fake apology. His exit line was he had been unhappy for 20 years so i should have read his mind apparently. He actually said that by way of me being shell shocked at this information . Despite me regularly checking in on the ‘state’ of our marriage i always got the reassurances. Somewhere along the line he must have convinced himself and whether i was actually in possession of the facts was immaterial.

  • So very timely!

    As people here know, CheaterX contacted me earlier in the year and left a voicemail about how Schmoopie was filing for divorce. Since he called in February and they’d been married in June, that didn’t last long. B-) In that voicemail, he said that Schmoopie had treated me terribly, and oh, he’d do anything to have me and my dogs back.

    I didn’t respond because NC is godly. But I remember thinking that Schmoopie, though she fucked my (then) husband, hadn’t treated me terribly at all. Last time I knew, I wasn’t married to her. HE was the one who totally disrespected me, potentially exposed me to STDs, spent marital assets supporting an AP, etc. Did he say he was sorry? Nope!

    A couple of months later, he sent me a long voice memo via my work email. It was long! I finally finished listening to it in order to see if he uttered the magic words, “I’m sorry.” Nope. Instead, he explains how he has a neurological condition that he believes has led him to develop Disassociative Identity Disorder, and that the “real” him was not the one having the affair; it was “Richard,” not “Dick.” He’s explained this to a psychologist, and has informed the therapist that he has the will to overcome this since he can tell when Richard is taking over. Oh, and he wants my forgiveness!

    Again, nothing about how sorry he is, only a long and elaborate attempt to escape responsibility for his actions. He’s not sorry he had an affair; he’s sorry that his image is tarnished (now he’s telling everyone he’s been mentally ill as a way to manage people’s perceptions of his cheating. It wasn’t his fault!). He’s not sorry he had an affair; he’s sorry that he’s now stuck with a lot of debt.

    I’ve not responded to that sad sausage message either. I realize that he blames everything on Richard, but as far as I could tell, it was the same old Dick.

    • If you wanted to have a bit of fun, suggest a 3-way conference call where Dick and Richard could each call in so the three of you could discuss it.

      Nah. It would just (in his mind) validate his pitiful excuse.

    • Wow! Disassociative Identity Disorder? They will say the strangest things to get out of actually apologizing.
      Mine has said, “I’ve had a lot of head injuries I think I have brain damage.” and my favorite a couple weeks ago was: “I don’t know what my mom did before I was born, maybe I’m a crack baby.”
      I kept a straight face and said, “yeah maybe”. He is NOT a crack baby, his mother is a terrible woman but not a drug user.

      • It really shits me that mental illness – the “insanity” clause is used as a get out of jail free card and to abdicate responsibility. Mental Ilness, you fuckers, is NOT synonymous with bad behaviour and defective character.

        • Mine diagnosed himself as bipolar. Then recanted, telling me he only said so because it was what I wanted to hear. I told him he was definitely something.

      • My ex had many concussions in high school and college from playing football. It definitely occurred to me that his bizarre behavior at the end of our marriage could have been caused by CTE.

  • After 20+ years, I knew accountability and apologizing were not really the go-tos in my wife’s toolkit. Still, it made me gasp, then let loose a hearty laugh of recognition, when, one afternoon in couples therapy, my wife said of her affair, “I wish I could offer more remorse, but remorse isn’t really my strong suit.” I couldn’t be offended by that, because I knew she was telling the truth. She was simply being herself. (And I believe Ted Bundy may have said something similar when they finally caught up with him.) Since then, my wife has also said, multiple times, “My mistake was that I was too transparent. I should have just kept all this to myself.” That’s what she regrets — my knowing. Not the actions, not the choice, not the implicit devaluing of our marriage and family. It’s incomprehensible to me and could make me crazy if I keep thinking about it. So I have to keep going back to a smart thing my therapist said, which I’ve posted here before: “You’re waiting for her to be a certain way [and apologize] before you feel OK.” I’ve stopped making my OKness and forward motion contingent on Madame CrayCray.

    • Your therapist is wise.
      We should not source our happiness and life from other people. Fixing other people is not our job.
      We need to be true to ourselves and recognise what wounds within us make us want to cling to other people. Because if we don’t, we’ll repeat history with other people.

  • If you want inside the head of a psycho:
    Remember the gang rape and murder in India, where one of the arrested men hanged himself in his cell.
    Not because of remorse for what he did. Because he was caught!
    That’s what my husband told me. My cheating husband knew the mind of a killer…

  • Healthy adults with integrity who have agreed to something are mature enough to openly communicate the desire to exit the agreement when they don’t want to agree to it anymore. Healthy adults with integrity who have agreed to monogamy with a partner are mature enough to choose to leave that monogamous relationship when they no longer want to be monogamous to that person.

    When you are dealing with a person who sneaks around trying to get away with breaking agreements without getting caught, you are dealing with an immature coward with no integrity to whom agreements have no meaning. You can’t use adult, integrity-based reasoning with that person any more than you can bounce a basketball on a soccer field. It doesn’t matter whether or not the coward feels bad or any other feeling. All that matters is that the coward is incapable of healthy, mature relating.

    • “You can’t use adult, integrity-based reasoning with that person any more than you can bounce a basketball on a soccer field.”

      This is brilliantly stated.

    • Well said Amiisfree! They aren’t capable of mature adult relating. The only thing they are capable of is to react abnormally. Of course, they do have dysfunctional thinking and that never changes.

  • My x turned on the self-pity channel when I busted him on his affair. Of course he read from the cheater script: “I haven’t been happy for 10 years. No, 20!” Then he said, “She’s the only person I can talk to.” He apparently couldn’t talk to me, the person who’d already been listening to his bullshit for 30 years.

    • Ha ha! Aren’t they funny? They don’t even make sense with their own bs. It’s magical thinking.
      If he twists a bit here, a bit more there, it will match his “feelings”. It doesn’t mean it makes sense!
      The only shame they would feel is when more people act disgusted at their actions. But nowadays we are so afraid to call BS out, not to be judgy. That’s my No 1 reason for liking Chump Lady. She calls it as it is.

  • It boggles my mind how delusional these cheaters are, Definitely from another planet. SMH as to how I stayed living in his fog for 31 years. My normal brain kept trying to understand his and in the end it just wasn’t going to be. Apologies by their definition are very different than what is “normal”. My X never really apologized and to this day doesn’t feel he has anything to apologize for. He’s never made it right with Me, his 3 grown kids, family, friends etc. In his mind everything was somehow my fault and in the end he said the divorce was bc I locked him out!!! He’s nuts and everyone knows it. He moved out, bought a RV to travel around in, changed his address to a P.O. box in another state, and flits in and out of everyones life as though this is how its always been and in his perception the way it should be,

    So glad Im on this side now, don’t sit around waiting for apologies, he isn’t normal and it will always have that Crazy Twist to whatever he wants to call it. Pitiful excuse and a life wasted for sure ……. listen to your own heart, don’t wait for that SORRY, its not coming …..

  • Cheaters aren’t sorry, nor do they actually feel bad. If they did, they wouldn’t cheat in the first place, because they would feel bad BEFORE cheating and wouldn’t do it. They cheat because they don’t care in the first place and want what they want.

  • My X and his “just a friend” came out as a couple days after I kicked him out. Now 2 years later, they are still together, but he has been hanging out with a NEW “just a friend”. I laugh! Karma is a Bitch! I’m glad he’s not my problem anymore! ?

    • He told me that she is one of his best friends. But since he hasn’t had a friend he hasn’t tried to screw I understood the lingo.

  • Cheater said in one text that he was sorry he was such a horrible person to me. In another he said he knows what he did was low and hurtful to me. He didn’t specify what of the many many things he did was low and hurtful to me. The last time I tried (and failed) to get him to understand the pain he was causing. He said in person this time that he was sorry he didn’t give me a chance. This was after I said why didn’t he talk to me about not feeling “wanted” by me. Even when he was apologising he was still blaming me. I knew then to give up and I filed very shortly after that.

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