Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

“I Haven’t Been Happy for a Long Time”

The other week someone asked me to decode, “I haven’t been happy for a long time.” (Also sometimes expressed as “WE haven’t been happy for a long time.”)

It’s trotted out when the chump is looking for an explanation as to why their family life just blew up.

Well DUH. “I haven’t been happy for a long time!”

This statement presupposes a number of things:

A) That the cheater’s happiness is the most important thing (and is a valid answer to the Why Did You Commit This Horrible Betrayal?)

B) That they’ve silently suffered for a long time and gee whiz, isn’t it time AT LAST! that they experience some true happiness?


C) How could you be so dumb that you never noticed how unhappy they were? Heck, how could you not notice how unhappy YOU were until they pointed it out? (WE haven’t been happy for a long time.)

This sends the chump into apoplexies of self reflection. Well, yes, I am sometimes unhappy, but it passes. Or… hang on, how could I have missed my spouse’s cosmic misery? Apparently it was long and went on for EONS. Am I just that insensitive?

Of course you have no way of challenging this “I haven’t been happy for a long time” statement because you are not in their heads. You have no idea what they feel. So if you say, “BUT YOU LOOKED HAPPY. You had kids with me! We went snorkeling in Barbados! You drank the coffee I brought to you every morning! You said you LOVED your birthday slippers!” The cheater can just say, “Nope. I wasn’t happy.”

But you looked happy. Happy enough anyway.

“No, I was full of sorrow. Every minute. My life was a burden of grief and misery. At night I used to gnaw at the invisible chains that kept me tethered to you.”


So chumps, how are you supposed to interpret this “I haven’t been happy for a long time” crap? Here’s a few ways to look at it:

1.) Take them at their word. Okay, you’ve been a miserable sod for decades. You, cheater, are responsible for addressing the things that make you unhappy and adjusting your life accordingly. While as a loving spouse I want to support you, if your needs are not communicated to me, there is jack shit I can do to help you.

2) Don’t accept responsibility. If the cheater was so unhappy in the marriage, they had ethical ways to go about ending their marriage — beginning with trying to save it first. Or getting out honestly before they told all their “troubles” to a sympathetic fuckbuddy.

3) They’re bullshitting you. Cake is delicious. They were probably perfectly happy with you and the services you provided — paycheck, child-rearing, air of respectability. It wasn’t until they were busted at D-Day that their Great Unhappiness was revealed. Blameshifting their “unhappiness” on to you is an invitation to do the pick me dance. Oh, you’re unhappy? How can I make you happy? I can control that! I can WIN your happiness! Let me TRY HARDER!

And guess what, they’re probably pulling the same shit on the affair partner. Oh, my marriage makes me so unhappy, but I must stay for the children! I am a noble slave to convention! Woe! And the affair partner goes, I will PROVE to you that I can make you happy! I can control your destiny! I can WIN!

Cake, cake, wonderful cake.

This column ran previously. 

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Mine didn’t say he was unhappy it was because I never seemed happy and he felt bad about not being able to make me happy. I thought I was perfect happy at the time.

    I have given up trying to work that one out.

    • I heard that one too. Just puts more burden on us and even less responsibility on them.

    • I think this one is in the latter chapters of the Cheater’s Handbook (i.e. not all cheaters read this far, so they just complain about their own unhappiness).

      My EX said he thought I was unhappy and that I wanted to be with someone else, probably another woman. I was mystified by this and angry that he was implying I had been lying about my sexual orientation for years and years.

      It took me a while to figure out the real translation of these claims was, “I am having a wonderful time with someone else and if you’d start having a new relationship too, I could claim your new relationship predated mine and place all the blame on you. Oh, by the way, you need to make sure your new partner is gay so that I can claim you’ve been lying to me throughout our marriage as well as cheating on me. This would be a great way for you to make me happy!”

      Yep, all this under the guise of his concern that he thought I was unhappy. Uh-huh.

      • This is interesting because my X would make little jabs at me, consistently, about my sexual orientation. It wasn’t enough that he mindfucked me in the bedroom by berating and belittling my inexperience. No, he also had to insert little jabs about doing this or that with girls and how I MUST be into girls. I have NO IDEA where he came up with that. As if he was this great casanova and if there was a woman who didn’t just automatically know how to love him perfectly, then they must have a different sexual orientation and just not know it yet. I called him out on it many times and he would never stop, but say that he was just teasing. Sigh. That’s such a great out. “Since I’m just teasing, the offense is on you! You can’t take teasing?” The disrespect with these types is astounding.

        • I’m sorry you were married to such a colossal abuser and liar, Marriagedetective. I think the line, “”I was just teasing” must be one of the most overused lines in the cheaters’ handbook. You finally dare to start calling out the abuse—I was just teasing! Or Kidding! And presto-chango, YOU are the one with a problem. You’re so sensitive. You have no sense of humor. You expect perfection. Blablabla. No, we expect respect. We expect caring. We expect the truth. We will never get this from a cheater. Their disorder makes all this crap a package deal. So glad to be free of the lies and gaslighting and blameshifting.

          • Funny, there is a whole CN who lacks a sense of humour.
            We have been told by cheater “You have no sense of humour” time and time again.

            I have noticed quite a few Chumps in CN have a wonderful sense of humour.
            In fact, I often think that is what saves us, our sense of humour.
            I know I possess one and I treasure it! It saves me many a time.

            Often if we didn’t laugh we would cry. There is that about it too!

            WTF do cheaters know?!

            • I’m another Chump who’s X claimed doesn’t have a sense of humor.
              X’s humor was in the form of ridicule, making fun of people. Continually making jokes and smart ass remarks at other people’s expense, or shortcomings isn’t funny. It’s a form of bullying disguised as humor. Ridicule, making fun and bringing attention to how funny he is and how foolish and less than perfect the person is who he is ridiculing, this gave him the feeling power and superiority.

        • Argh! The whole too sensitive, just kidding thing, such a trigger. My mother used to excuse everything done to me with that whole mess of turning it back on me, the whole it’s not what they did to you its that you reacted to it. Thanks to good therapy I know that is the conditioning that made me totally accepting of how Narkles the Clown treated me. I sure hope mom doesn’t complain about her nursing home. I might just remember that she’s being too sensitive.

      • It’s because they don’t actually want you to fuck around, but in the interest of “fairness” and “openness” they will tolerate you fucking someone that they are not threatened by, AND someone they can fuck too, ie a woman. For some reason lots of men don’t seem to mind the idea of their female partners sleeping with other women, they aren’t threatened by it. I have no clue as to why exactly, but I’ve seen the trend.

    • Me too! He told me that before DDay. I thought I was happy until he told me I wasn’t. then, like a good little chump, I feared that my unhappiness (that I was’t aware of) was causing his unhappiness. Then I felt under pressure to try harder to be happy which made me less happy. What a mess.

      • Oh yes, and according to him I hated having sex with him and was at least daydreaming about being with other men if I wasn’t already. Not true, although I will admit to having daydreams about future happier times with him that I kept hoping would materialize once he got through his “sadz”.

        • A whole truckload of projection going on in these couple posts above from the old cheaters.

        • Yep yep. Mine would tell me how much I didn’t like sex, constantly turning him down. This was news to me. I started keeping track because I was tired of him complaining. This made him mad because it’s harder to gaslight with paper. He was trying to change history to justify his poor behavior. The last 2 years I would try everything to make him interested and he was “too tired”. He is in his 30s!

        • Chumpinrecovery

          seems to me your husband meant to say “You don’t seem totally satisfied by my mediocre skills as a lover, which means YOU are weird…”

          My husband was once very good in bed but in the past few years he had some physical issues and so did I. I was post menopausal and needed more foreplay – not less.

          He blamed a medication I was on, instead of having less and less foreplay AND seeing him leave the bed after he got his…

          Looking back, I am amazed I as so willing. Jesus what a nightmare I did not see.

          AND Yes he told my brother in law (NEVER ME) that “This has been coming for a long time.”

          WISH HE HAD TOLD ME.

          A month before he pulled this crap, I out and out asked him if he wanted a divorce. He denied it. I then asked him if he’d tell me if he wanted a divorce and he said “yes, I’d tell you.”

          Liar. (And not so great in bed anymore, btw.)

          • My ex also told my children “this has been coming for a long time.” I had panic attacks for weeks whenever I’d recall that line. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how I was so stupid I didn’t know it had been coming for so long! Interesting to hear someone else heard the same ridiculous words.

    • I was accused of not being happy months before D-day. I thought that was odd because I felt happy.
      Then one day he announces that he could never make me happy because of I’m never happy. I was confused, again, this was news to me. I began to wonder what vibe I was sending to make him feel that I wasn’t happy. During this time, one of our neighbors discovered his wife had been cheating.
      Being a Chump husband he was distraught came to our house sobbing, I hugged him as he sobbed and said he didn’t want anyone to dislike her that he loved her.. I felt so badly for him. After the Chump husband left I turned to my X and said, I feel so bad for our neighbor. X turned to me and said well, maybe they wren’t getting along. As if that were a valid excuse for cheating. This wasn’t the response I’d normally get from X when hearing about someone cheating and in retrospect it was a defining moment. One of those red flags, somethings up.
      A few weeks later he came up with, he wasn’t happy and wanted something different, Something he failed to mention, he had already found his something different. My guess he had his something different or some different for many months prior. During the time he decided to tell me I wasn’t happy.

      • I forgot to add, in the months prior to X leaving, he said he doesn’t get butterflies when he’s with me. The first time he said it, I thought to myself, that was weird and forgot about it.
        The second time was when we were at the mall and he held my hand, which wasn’t normal, he was being affectionate, after a few minutes of holding my hand, he says, holding your hand doesn’t give me butterflies. I thought to myself, we aren’t teenagers, been married 20 years.
        Clearly he was comparing his feelings between how he felt with AP to how he felt with me.
        New romance would make you feel butterflies especially if you have the maturity level of a teenager.

        • Funny you should mention that rick89, something I hadn’t thought of in some time.
          I believe he was, it started out as him rescuing her dog that got out.
          Neighborhood get togethers I’d notice X and her would be missing from the group and both coming back from the bathroom or another part of the house.
          Neighbors told me they had caught her grabbing X’s crouch or butt.
          Foolishly I thought it was nothing. I’m feeling flushed thinking about when I walked into a room they both were in and how uncomfortable I felt but like a chump brushed it off.
          Good observation Rick

      • I got a lot of the misery is you, ANC, too. Which as the chump would make you wonder if indeed you are the buzz killer in the relationship. I didn’t feel that way, but hey if your SO keeps telling you that you are negative an you know you are not habitually negative=gaslighting!

        What a,wonderful narrative for the cheater to craft! Makes the cheating the ‘miserable’ chump’s fault!

        Truthfully, I was happy and super spackling, unknowingly doing the pickmedance because asshole was treating me like shit (devalue discard) and I was working my ass off to have happiness for the cheater and my kids…and minimizing my needs. Gads

      • Ugh, I heard that one too. “I just wanted something different.” Then he also told me “you are unhappy too.”

        Yeah, I was unhappy that he was working and traveling constantly and never wanted to do anything with me because he was secretly spending all his overtime with schmoopie coworker.

    • I had both. Mine said, “I don’t think I have ever loved you the way a man should love the woman he’s married, and so I don’t think we’re worth trying to save.” (Worth. Ouch. That word still hurts.) — When I burst into hysterical shrieks of sobbing, he just blinked at me and said, “Oh. I thought you felt the same way.”

      This was his way, though. His arrogance (“What can a marriage counselor tell us that we don’t already know about ourselves?” — Loads, buddy. For you, especially? LOADS!) allowed him to unilaterally and singlehandedly (Me: “Who did you talk to about this? Friends? Family?” Him: “No one.”) assessed the whole situation and decided he knew not only what HE felt but what everyone ELSE (me) felt, as well. Without asking. This from a man who’s never spent a moment on introspection in his entire life.

      I was just thinking yesterday how glad I am to be rid of his toxic mindfuck.

      • “he assessed the whole situation and decided he knew not only what HE felt but what everyone ELSE (me) felt, as well. Without asking. This from a man who’s never spent a moment on introspection in his entire life.”

        Exactly the same with my ex!

    • ‘I tried so hard to make you happy’ [said with great woe and self pity]

      Listening to me, enjoying my company away from the kids, asking me about my day, meeting me half way on the whole in disagreements, not ignoring me, not treating me solely like a mother figure/house keeper/administrator/property manager –

      not so much.

    • This Australian politician and fellow chump has won my undying respect. She continues to be abused by her husband, but I have no doubt she will kick further ass.

      Her POS ex had her thinking he had a mental illness. He does; it’s called being a POS. No doubt there were lots of sadz that could only be helped by perving at little girls.

      • Good on her for taking immediate action and speaking about it so openly, including the power and control issues with financial settlement. No doubt will see this on the ABC news tonight….(another Aussie chump here)

        • My ex admitted to child pornography whilst in rehab. He threw out a computer one night and I secretly rescued the hard drive: I haven’t been game to retrieve the data.

          His AP is ober 20 years his junior and dresses schoolgirl style :/

          I pick me danced for that thing.

    • Late to the party here – but just want to say that “I wasn’t really happy” is the most galling and manipulative statement a cheater can make to their loyal/betrayed spouse
      Why? Because essentially – it both blames the chump and shuts down further discussion, because we all know that “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are fundamental rights.” In otherwords, the chump can’t really say – well it’s okay if you’re not happy… because I chump am happy.

      Maddening statement…..and utter BS.

  • x was supposedly unhappy for 10 years. Of course nothing was ever mentioned and he put on an Oscar winning performance of appearing to be happy. When he pushed for reconciliation I asked him why he wanted to come back to a relationship that made him so miserable. Caught by his own lie he had nothing to say. No contact is the best way to avoid this self serving bullshit.

    • “I have nothing to say”

      It’s what many a cheater says (or acts) when they have been confronted with their lie/act.

    • This must be chapter 1 in the cheater playbook. I experienced through exact same thing. Until CL I thought i was going crazy.

      • Fuck no shit. I read this after work and was just gobsmacked. My ex whore’s playbook to the “tee”..
        After 24 years “it never felt right”…I mean WHAT?
        “Neither one of us are happy”…HUH???
        “I’ve been thinking about leaving for a couple years”…WHAT? Really??!!
        My responses just as predictable..What are you talking about? If you were so unhappy why did you have children with me?? Etc etc..looking back now I had no idea she was already way into her AP and her recent “weekends with the girls” were anything but.
        Took a long time to work this shitshow out in my head but thankfully I learned NO CONTACT is the best way to detach from these cretins and get on with life.

    • Mine was also unhappy for over a decade! WOW, what a master actor, is all I have to say! I just found a note he wrote to be about 9 years ago, and it was all gushy and lovey and talked about how excited he was for our future, and to travel and have a baby and a house, and spend our lives together. I can’t believe I had such a talented husband, to lie to easily and put on a show for so long! ::GAG::

    • Mine was unhappy for two years then four years and then five years. UGH! Major blame shifting and projection also.

      Am lonely but it is a peaceful lonely if that makes any sense.

      • I will never forget that we were scheduled to be gone for a weekend. (Me trying to take a weekend away for us). He decided that due to work that he just should go and we cancelled (no, how could he take a weekend away when he was likely telling Ankles and the BDSM broad how horrible his life was with me). He was moping around and then angry and I asked if he would like to go to the movies. He barked at me no. Ok…wasn’t sure what the hell was up and then after a bit outside with his cell phone glued to him (figured he was texting the BDSM broad out of state – stupid me thought it was harmless as they had never met), came in an told me that he wasn’t happy and stomped his left foot.

        So, I looked at him and asked him what he needed to be happy and he said that he didn’t know. This is when he informed me that the walls were closing in on him and he didn’t like being home anymore. That he needed to get a place of his own and work on himself. Then told me that someday someone would come along and love me. WTF? I asked him if we were splitting up and he said no, just taking a break. I asked if we were going to be seeing other people and he said no, that he loved me and just needed to work on all the grudges he was holding against me…..again, WTF? That he needed to come home “happy”. What that really meant was I was the back up plan. That if it didn’t work out with the whore, then he’d magically find out what I needed to do to make him happy and he could come back to our life. No, fucktard. I am not plan B.

        The words that he said that I keep coming back to: “I’m not sure that I am making the right decision”. No dumbass, you aren’t. Ankles was a loser before you met me and she is still a low life whore. I guess he was looking for someone his own level.

        • Wow! That was some load of entitlement he was carrying around. How very heroic of him.

        • “he assessed the whole situation and decided he knew not only what HE felt but what everyone ELSE (me) felt, as well. Without asking. This from a man who’s never spent a moment on introspection in his entire life.”

          Exactly the same with my ex!

    • Mine will always take full responsibility during a hoover. It’s really wild because he seems to know exactly what he is, makes no excuses and just really pushes his desire to change.

      Me: “but you were SOOO miserable with me, why would you want to come back? You said I was __, __, and ___. Said you’d been suffering for years and that you always walked on eggshells, I was impossible to make happy.”

      Him: “I don’t mean any of that. I’m just angry because I keep making stupid decisions that make me unhappy and try to blame you. I’m a selfish child. I’m weak and lazy and it’s easier for me to blame you than to work on fixing myself. Now you know the man behind the mask. I don’t like who I am Towanda.”

      Me: “but you cheated on me and then left me after all of our years together for some other girl you barely knew.”

      Him: “I’m weak Towanda. I just wanted to start fresh with someone who wasn’t tired of my shit yet.”

      Me: “So why are you wanting back in?”

      Him: “because it was empty. I was so depressed after I thought about what I had done to you and I realized I can never do better than you. You’ve always been the one I’ve wanted to have kids with and build a life with.”

      Me: “Works for me! Come on back in. Can I give you a blowjob and hold your hand through this crippling depression you’re experiencing from cheating on me?”

      Ok, the last line is more of a paraphrase than a direct quote but that’s essentially how it went down. It always messed with me because he seemed to have amazing introspection and really called himself out on everything we at CN talk about. Now I’ve realized it’s complete bullshit. He can only ever be judged by his actions. EVER. No words will ever work on me again.

      • “He can only ever be judged by his actions. EVER. No words will ever work on me again.”


      • THIS. This is what I got too. “I’m so weak. You deserve better. Please take me back. I know I messed up.” Then two weeks later….he was cranky, he was picking fights, he was mysteriously gone for too long when heading to the store….

        I went through four rounds of this insanity of watching him leave, listening to his words of self-deprecation, taking him back, watching him distance himself again….and then leave again.

        On the positive side, after that fourth time, I learned to stop believing what he was saying. When he came along for the 5th round I told him no and felt a great peace with that.

      • That sounds like a narcissist of the covert variety….the victim. They can be empathetic and introspective, that’s what is confusing about it. But when conflict arises, they automatically revert to their self centered, defensive place where they can only see their own perspective and can’t even acknowledge your perspective. And when the attention/high they NEED wears off of the initial reconciliation, they are back into depression and wallowing in how their problems are WAY bigger and profound than everyone else’s, and this ordinary life is not enough for them.

  • After red flags for 2 years he finally said “Our marriage has ran its course .I have feelings for other people”. Didn’t have the balls to say “I have feelings for SOMEONE else”.

    Piece of crap Coward… he seemed happy enough having sex with me almost every day. To the very end
    Cruel selfish narc sociopath. Let him live with the down graded affair partner.

    That’s his punishment.

    • Yes, the old “Our marriage has run its course” nugget…like the marriage is some ethereal entity that they have no control over…more like consequences are not as yummy as kibbles. I got (in an email AFTER I found out about his cheating and AFTER he attempted to lie about it and claim she was his therapist) that “sadly, for us, our marriage has not worked out.” Same shit you got after you experienced all the red flags… My guess is when they realize the jig is up they cut their losses and let the new host dance.
      In that same ridiculous email he claimed “I know that you probably won’t believe it, but I know that I am a good person.” Hahahahahahahahahahaha
      Poor sausages. All they require is someone to tell them and show them how wonderful they are every second of every day. BUT when they still “feel” like crap it is all the hosts fault.
      This is why even though I struggle to “get over” the 10 years of living with a fraud, I always know in the back of my mind, that I dodged a bullet. I can and will have wonderfully authentic life now that cluster b is in the periphery. My hope is that all of CN has that!

      • You are spot on Nejla. When still unhappy blame the new host. Mine was unhappy for 5 years. Didn’t have the balls to leave so started an affair instead. Five days after he left I found out about the affair. Soon after he broke up with her. He just cannot fathom that happiness comes from within. Noone can make us happy. Oh well, not my problem anymore. I will be happy again. He won’t.

      • THAT’S what mine said, he said “you were an unhappy, empty shell”…. Oh ok….
        Nejla what you said made SO much sense to me. I still feel bad for him because he is damaged and it’s not really his fault. If you knew his background and had met his parents you would feel bad for him also. But the fact that I’ve suffered this entire year after being discarded by him is starting to make me angry.

        • Yes, Karin, I’m sure I would feel badly for him because I have empathy. Something he probably has a very limited capacity for feeling towards anyone else. If he is anything like my ex husband, who has his own sad childhood story as well, he only has empathy for himself…otherwise known as “the sadz” in Chump Nation;)
          Think of Mother Jones from Mondays post…if anyone has the green light to be a fuckup after bad experience, she does! But we all know what she did instead. The ultimate mighty!
          Feeling empathy for yourself and your kids (if you have them) after your year should be number one, and some constructive anger will help propel you into that authentic new life that you deserve! Let go of that kibble stealing albatross that you were or are married to and embrace it! You don’t deserve shit treatment just because the person who made an oath to cherish you had a bad childhood. You are mighty!

        • Karin – ‘THAT’S what mine said, he said “you were an unhappy, empty shell”…. ”

          Wow – that is on a very passive scale, one of the cruelest things I’ve heard on this site. It’s like he just said, a) you have no personality, b) you’re boring, c) you are dull and empty, d) and a SHELL! Where does HE come off saying shit like that??
          Freaking insulting as all hell and, you must be feeling very good that you’re not putting up with that shear abuse anymore. He’s a dick.

          I think it makes the entire horrible divorce twice as bad that they blame YOU…than if you had an X who actually admitted they were wrong, like I did (You never should have married me) . And disappeared forever.

          • Oh, and his Dday comments over a week were:

            1) I don’t love you.
            2) I’ve never loved you.
            3) I’ve never been romantically attracted to you.

            …this is at 34 years married.
            Those words will always echo.

            • SheChump,
              I too got, “I am not attracted to you and haven’t been for 20 years. I’m sorry if this hurts you, but I just thought it was time to be honest.” [As if he has any idea what “honest” even means].

              Also, “I am mad at you for making me marry you when you knew I was conflicted.” [What? We’ve been married for 20 years, and this is the first I’m hearing of your supposed conflict. And I certainly did not make you marry me. How is that even possible?]

              He said the above statements to me 6 years ago, and they still hurt.

              • Mine told me that he didn’t think I was sexually attractive because I myself didn’t think I was sexually attractive. So…. you never compliment me or appreciate me & you get to blame me for not feeling good about myself? And then I’m just too defensive? The mind-fucks wear me out. NC works for me.

              • Wow . You must have tremendous power if you can make someone marry you. I am impressed. Your X is lucky you chose to use it on him and not someone gorgeous, wealthy and powerful who owns a private island. Your X was dense not to have felt special.

              • Its BS sodone. On top of that phrase (the exact same) . ….he added sex was just a biological release. Nice. Didnt complain while we were at it several times a wedk till the last couple of weeks till he left (after 25 years ) all our family and friends(and kids) thought we were solid as. So just accept they are good / convincing actors and change the script when their internal dialogue shifts. Mine actually articulated : i am starting the second chapter of my life ….like i was going to wish him well on his next adventure. Just WOW.

  • Thank you! I got the “I haven’t been happy for 3-4 years…” Huh? He was literally sitting next to a pile of vow renewal (10 year) gifts we had received (a renewal he planned every detail) that I had barely finished writing the Thank You notes.
    #2 is key: don’t accept responsibility. Thank God I was on board for that because I quickly figured out how much his emotional affair partners were in on his “unhappiness” over telling his presumed unhappiness to me! These Happiness Chasers are pathetic.
    When he dared accuse me of “still” being angry a few months after the divorce (in a rare contact fight about the kids) I threw back in his face: well, if you were unhappy for 3-4 years without my knowledge then I can be angry for 3-4 years and it’s not your problem!

  • I have discovered that “happy” is a whole new issue for the narcisstic and disordered.

    If you don’t appear happy, it reflects on them and they feel bad that you don’t happily reflect in their glow. If you’re with a loving partner and you’re unhappy, they will want to know how they can help….. Not go off and fuck someone else to make THEM feel better.

    Total mindfuck because it’s all about their narcissism or PD and there’s nothing you can do about it (and another issue would show up to replace it to keep you on the back foot). But when you first hear about it, it can make you wonder what YOU can do to make yourself appear happy.

    • Interesting point. I hadn’t thought about that. I certainly did a lot of spackling in my marriage, and in many ways it was to protect myself and justify my dumb decision to marry him, but you are right that I was also assuaging his ego. This makes me feel a tad better about my public performances of “happy.”

  • Brilliant CL!

    And newdaydawning, you must have met my X…

    “x was supposedly unhappy for 10 years. Of course nothing was ever mentioned and he put on an Oscar winning performance of appearing to be happy.” My X tried that like with our kiddo. When she said this to me, I showed her our family pictures from our vacations together, a number of them… And told her that if that were the case, her dad really missed out, he should have chosen a career in Hollywood!

    “When he pushed for reconciliation I asked him why he wanted to come back to a relationship that made him so miserable. Caught by his own lie he had nothing to say.” I’m keeping this on ready in case he’s disordered enough to come back hoovering…

    Cheaters’ warped logic is staggering, NC/grey rock is really the best course of action to help a chump’s road to meh…

  • “I was VERY unhappy for a long time.” – post-relationship justification for his behavior.

    But my personal favorite which gets to point #1 above “YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT MY HAPPINESS” … was said in response to me balking at him fucking other women. Um, yeah, not when it comes to that, you’re right, I don’t.

    But really, he could have said “I am not happy” or “I want to fuck other women” and when asked why he didn’t just say this to me…”because I knew you would leave me”

    Which I did.

    He was right.

    Good luck finding that happiness.

    • >>”when asked why he didn’t just say this to me…”because I knew you would leave me”

      I heard the same words out of my STBX’s mouth when I asked the same question.

      I also got the “I was never going to leave you for any of them” line … intended as a suck-up, don’t-want-to-lose-kibbles kind of compliment (after already sticking the knife in my back for two decades).

      Utter insanity.

  • No more hopium! YOU pulled away from ME in 2014 (so precise lol) so I had no choice but to find comfort with another person! Emotional Affair partner is all too willing to remind him if he’s lost all hope she can help renew it. Vomit. She looks like a pre pubescent boy with hair to match. Never married never had kids but she knows how to make MY husband happy??? Bullshit. Someone tell that ho that your soul mate isn’t another person’s spouse. She seems to have her share of other people’s husbands to pick and choose from. Why mine?

  • Mine used this one statement and several versions of it with me after I filed. Before I filed (and during my evidence gathering) it was him saying, “I am unhappy with myself, I don’t feel emotionally healthy, and I am trying to find a way to love myself.”

    Then, after I filed his story changed to these blameshifting excuses.”I wasn’t happy….I was miserable…I put everyone’s happiness ahead of mine for years… and the best one is “What about me, don’t I deserve to be happy?”

    You nailed it CL. I also think it’s a version of the moving shell game. Focus not on what my actions say (that you can see and prove my lack of character) but rather on my words (which are unprovable feelings and will get sympathy at best, and a bullet proof excuse especially when combined with tears).

    He had thirty years of misery and unhappiness (but claims of happiness and love and gratitude for his wife and life to me of course). Dumbass sure looked and acted as if he was happy. He claimed he was happy! Oh, that was him faking it. Academy Award winner acting work- taking it on the chin for the good of the family and eating cake to live through the death sentence that was his real life. He wanted praise and admiration for this and not divorce papers and loss of kibbles and status with the kids.

    Before I went to NC completely he would write emails telling me he was SO HAPPY to be away from me…can’t tell you how many of those BS emails I got. I would laugh at him and think how many HAPPY people have to go around writing that they are so F-ing happy that they write in shouty caps and add 27 exclamation points. What a joke. He was miserable – no wife, no kids, no job but like all liars he presented an entirely different story. Some days he would write in case you forgot I hate you. Then I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!!

    No contact saved me. I doubt he is happy, and I don’t care anyway. It’s mind over matter. I no longer care because he no longer matters 🙂

    • What a complete douche! He had to make sure to rub it in your face that you made him unhappy and he was so glorious now that he’d run away from home. How’s that fuckbuddy doing with the happiness thing for you asswipe?

      I’m not sure how you took that crap. So glad you shut that down.

      • An extraordinarily selfish, sick dude, Twiceachum! He tried so hard to take me down and defame me. Followed me to the town I moved to and told everyone how I took all of his money and he is finally so happy- that I was Satan incarnate and pretended to be a good Christian. Truly sick and disordered. People who knew me and our family over 10 years here just shook their heads. I don’t think he has one of those “friends” in his life- but he is SO HAPPY with his new life.

        He literally copies me still. He got a puppy that is my breed (not common) and took my son to the same exact restaurant that he heard I did because son raved about it. It’s like he is still trying to piss on my territory.

        I know it frosts him that I refuse to be with him. He uses the kids to ask me if I will “let it go” and have dinner with them (ugh) and take family pics at graduation etc. I say NO- I refuse to be in another inauthentic picture and I eat with people I like, and he is not welcome in the home. You are all welcome to any relationship you want with him. I have mine. Dad displayed vile contempt and hatred and I will not pretend that I am “good” with him. I said good bye a long time ago. Farewell!

        Turns out he had over 5 simultaneous fuckbuddies!! Cake 2.0 I guess. He went to FL 2 years and 50+ whores later (Ashley Madison during the marriage and after LOL) found someone 20 years younger than us both. Moved her across the country and kids caught him cheating on her 3 months later. They are still together- SHE understands his problems and is more FORGIVING than I am. Never met her- don’t care one bit what they have “together”. She has a cheater- that I know!

        • Wow, free2bme. They really are all the same. The only way I have found to “let it go” at all is to keep repeating that he is mentally not right and there are no boundaries of what he will do. I can’t wait to get the divorced finalized.

          And in terms of copying…mine bought Christmas stockings for him and his girlfriend that look eerily like the ones I bought almost 20 years earlier when we moved into our house. Just sick…

      • Within 6 weeks of the discard, Mr. Sparkles tried to legitimize the OW by saying he had started to date someone and after spending the past weekend away, they had decided to exclusively date each other… and I swear, I almost saw a tear running down his cheek as he soulfully looked me in the eyes and said, “I didn’t think I could ever be this happy again.”

        When she finally dumped him, about 2 years later after discovering he was cheating on her, he immediately found a new soulmate at the gym. I mean, why go farther or look harder than you have too when any appliance will do.

        Happiness is an every moving target for these fuckwits. They wouldn’t know true love if it bit them in their aging hairy white asses.

    • Anytime I call STBX on his bullshit, he sends me a text letting me know that he is happier than he has been in a long time. It is like his go to response done purely for the purpose of trying to hurt me and get me to crumble. The part he doesn’t seem to get is that I no longer care whether he is happy or not because how he defines happiness disgusts me.

      • GetMeFree- start blocking that texting BS. You don’t have to look at it. It used to hurt me, then I got mad- finally, I found it a bit funny. I went no contact for a reason- my health and well being. He sounds like my ex. Rub it in and hurt you. They can’t stand their lives now. What happy people have to tell people they are so happy? Narcissistic unhappy people tell people how wonderful and happy they are. Just don’t look at the trail of terror, trauma, and pain they inflicted on their loved ones for this great happiness they deserve. Whatever!
        Tell him to text someone who gives a crap- your cup of care is empty! Better yet- grey rock!!!! Mine hated it. His texts eventually went to “crickets?” Yes- no response IS the best response.

        • I just do not respond when he pulls that crap. We are usually only texting about making arrangements for the kids or are dealing with some remaining financial stuff. He can’t do either without whining or getting pissy.

          It boils down to a loss of control. He can’t control me anymore and it pisses him off to no end.

          • Good for you, GetMeFree He lost you and control- the one-two punch. Mine would sandwich kid related matters into vitriol, whining that I was being unreasonable (by hiring an attorney and mediating with qualified humans instead of his way- in a bar corner with his promises scribbled on a cocktail napkin. I would never hurt you…lol)
            Stay strong and ignore what you can. Good luck and (((hugs)))

  • OMG yes this… was news to me!!!! It was also news to me that during the 8 month wreckonciliation where he begged me back, broke up with his AP before I knew about her to come back (she called me to out their affair after they broke up/I already took him back), told me he loved me and I was his soul mate that he would just end up going back to her! She called me to out their affair again!!!! Oh and even though he claimed to be so happy during this time “something was missing.” Yes the empty soul that he has and empty cavern where feelings are! And this will never change – he will always be empty!!!!!

    Honestly at 11 weeks out I do not have any feelings for him! I do not want him! I finally see him for the destructive cluster B that he is!!! This is not meh yet but I definitely do not want him in any way! The divorce can’t be finalized soon enough!!!!!

  • On Dday it was “We’re not the same. We haven’t been for a long time now. We’re just not happy.”
    I was unaware I was riding on the “Cheater” bus that I eventually was thrown under.
    She never expressed her feelings of unhappiness until I called her out…..well she certainly isn’t going to be happy once she is served.

  • When I caught him pursuing our 14 y.o. daughter’s young assistant soccer coach and put on my mighty and lawyered up, he told our kiddos on the way out the door ‘he was miserable and needed to leave’. He left out to pursue a young ho to find his happiness. I was still stunned and paralyzed. I hate it he got his narrative out there first. He couldn’t get divorced from me fast enough so he could make this relationship look legit and could suddenly find his happiness. Keep that good guy image he wanted so bad.

    They both got fired as coaches. This still brings a smile to my face. The kids found out about schmoopie 2.0. Our son still remembers when he left the first time many years ago for schmoopie 1.0. I guess he didn’t find the happiness he sought then so he came back.

    This door is permanently closed and young schmoopie appears to be back in the picture. I wonder how long this pursuit of happiness will last? I need to go to google the Soul Mate Schmoopie videos again for a laugh.

    Thanks to all for letting me ramble!! I don’t think I’m pining for that sparkly turd that twists himself into the appearance of a unicorn when it suits him. I just miss what I thought I had, the future I thought I would have with my family. It will never be the same.

    **Formerly MJB

    • Twice, you are right it “will never be the same,” it will be WONDEFUL! Just believe in yourself and move on with your life and your kids! It takes time but you will see the turd for what he is and look back and laugh at his stupid childish behaviour and wonder how you could ever loved such a jerk. (Hugs)

    • Keep rambling all you want. Mine left for the 21yr old babysitter who I had let stay in our house (what an idiot i was to think my ex was above doing what he did). She ended up becoming the asst VB coach at my daughters club. Luckily hey didn’t hire her back for a 2nd year. They’ve been shacking up together (with my oldest daughter) for the last 2.5 years) Reading your posts remind me that I wasn’t the only one who though too much of their exes to be as scummy as they are

  • I’m not happy is a close relative to “Our marriage was over anyway” which is what I got by way of an explanation on dday. Now you might think that he filed for a divorce first and then started f’cking the OW but you would be wrong. Nope. “Our marriage was over anyway” was just one big blame-shift fest about all the reasons his affair was my fault. He never uttered the words “our marriage is over” prior to that night.

    Still he agree to reconciliation for three years which defies belief since ya know, “our marriage was over anyway.” Any who, at the end of three years after I bought a clue and put an end to that nonsense, I filed for divorce and showed him how to “make our marriage over” for reals this time.

    • Cheaterssuck,

      You pulled the plug after three years of wreckonciliation? Was he cheating again? I’m still going through the process of mediation toward divorce and I too decided that I was done after three years of “trying.”

      He’s not fucking around – hasn’t since I caught him, but like CL says, that’s just not good enough for me. Sorry – for something like- this doesn’t seem to do it for me. And I’m not accepting or forgiving like that.

      Weird that doesn’t bother me.

      Good for you! You are mighty!!!

      • Hi Golfgrrl- Yes I did pull the plug after 3 years. As far as I know he didn’t cheat during wreckconciliation but it wasn’t working for me. I didn’t trust him at all and I lost all respect for him when he blameshifted the whole affair on me.

        It never felt like he was all in anyway so I saw my way out. As a footnote they were living together less than 5 months after I moved out and married a little while after that. It statins credulity that they had no contact during that time period so I’m glad I stopped wasting my time and energy on the pick me polka!

        You are mighty for getting out too!

    • Yep, I got the “I’ve been increasingly unhappy in THE MARRIAGE.” That’s always the way I heard it, with “THE MARRIAGE” in all caps like it was an entity separate from me. I was fine, but THE MARRIAGE was making him unhappy. Okay… When he said it on DDay #1, I pick-me danced like my life depended on it (I thought it did). When he started to say it again 4 years later on DDay #2, he got as far as “I was increasingly unhappy” and I stuck my hand up in the stop position and told him I didn’t want to hear it. 4 fucking YEARS of pick-me dancing. 6 weeks away from a spectacular trip, planned for months to celebrate my 50th birthday. He was still unhappy? Bite me.

      • For whatever reason, it’s the “bite me” above that made my morning, Beth. Thanks. — HeChump

      • I always get “the marriage” speeches too. “I’m sorry that ‘our marriage’ has come to this.” Or, “Our marriage has deteriorated.” As if “our marriage” is something separate from him and me. I think referencing “our marriage” helps him avoid accepting responsibility for his conduct.

        Yes, our marriage has deteriorated — because he cheated.

      • I think that is why I didn’t pick me dance harder after DDay myself. I realized that I had already been pick me dancing since the EA years earlier so he wouldn’t have a reason to cheat on me and yet he cheated in the end anyway.

        I think that is the point at which we realize that the game is rigged, we can’t win and there is no point in playing anymore.

        I didn’t think to say “bite me” though. Wish I had.

  • New Chumps – these are words of true wisdom. Heed and take comfort! You are not alone.
    Old Chumps – Lest we forget – Lest we forget.

    • Exactly. “I haven’t been happy for a long time…” is devastating to hear. Hang in there, new Chumps. They will never (ever) be happy. But you can!

  • This message was relayed to me through my children, because I went no contact and refused to listen to his mind fucking monologues anymore.

    “I hadn’t been happy for years, I just didn’t know it” Translation, I was not responsible for sleeping with hookers, it was my unknown unhappiness that made me do it! I couldn’t get a divorce because I didn’t know I was unhappy. See… not responsible for the heartache I caused everyone, it was just an effect of my unknown unhappiness ????????‍♂️.

    When I was listening to the mind fuck monologues I received a million double messages…
    “I need you to need me, but you’re too needy”
    “I love you, but I’m not in love with you”
    “You’re a good mother, but I can’t stand how you raise our kids”

    Fuckwits narrative is now irrelevant. The only narrative that counts is mine. Sure he makes me out to be the bad guy to anyone who will listen, but if they believe that, well fuck them too!

    • THIS^^^! “Schizophrenic is exactly the right word for what they do to gaslight us about their bad behavior. We are somehow “Always gone” and “never there for them” at the exact same time we “aren’t ambitious enough” for them. We manage to “always be smothering them” even though we “never spend time together” anymore. You can never defend yourself because apparently you are pre-judged guilty of every possible sin and are in possession of the entire spectrum of personality faults and behaviors. Assholes.

      • Yes. Schizophrenic (the words coming out of his mouth — AND how it all ended up making me feel by the end).

        – You don’t make enough money; you work too much
        – You don’t spend enough time with me; the house isn’t clean enough
        – I’m so happy you are the mother of my children; you spend too much time taking care of the kids
        – You are the love of my life and best friend; you’re a bitch and slut like every other woman

        These aren’t mixed messages. These are “whatever works for the moment” tools in the narc arsenal. Otherwise — positive or negative — they meant nothing coming from him. Finally realizing this has helped my emotional recovery quite a bit. It’s horrible how much those negatives statements hurt at the time.

        • It is so scary how these people are all alike. I was always dealing with these types of contradicting statements. Sometimes even within the same conversation. There is no dance you can do to make them happy. Better to focus on what makes you happy. We are each responsible for that ourselves anyways.

        • Try this one on for size:

          A financial advisor told us, after a thorough review of our situation: “KK, you need to get a job.” She subsequently went on and on about how she felt resentment against me for being told that she had to get a job.

          Then, after she got a job, she told me she resented me for keeping her from getting a job for those years previous.

          AS someone says above: “Whatever works at the time.”

        • Omg! Yes! I’m pretty sure his excuses covered just about every possible scenario of human behavior. The goal post is always moving in their direction.

    • Yes this. Especially in the first few weeks after DDay he was all over the map. I was wishing I had recorded our conversations because he would always forget what he said the day before and deny that he was contradicting himself. I can hardly be blamed for hoping it was temporary insanity and that he would snap out of it, because he really truly seemed to be going mad.

      One day he was sobbing “I felt so unneeded and unwanted”. The next day he was telling me I was too needy and he had to do everything for me. Finally I asked him “so when do you want to be needed and when do you not want to be needed?” He said he wasn’t sure and would have to think about it. A day later he denied that he ever said he had felt “unneeded”.

      • Lol. This!!!! At least after while, you start to get a clue that they are not right in the head.

      • Yes whst an observation! ! Youre smothering me / /we never spend time together. …wtf …you work too much / you need to earn more…. its NOT about you its their drama triangle imploding as they get to the point they have nothing to pick on us about. !!!

    • Yup, I got almost the exact same thing from cheater ex. “I thought I was perfectly happy and married you after more than 7 years together. I didn’t realize I was unhappy until four months after the wedding when I met Schmoopie.”

  • Excellent post CL!

    I often wondered about this unhappiness thing because I had an exit affair. There was never a play for cake. He just abandoned and then married the AP four years later. They seem very happy.

    The part about taking them at their word helps a lot. I can’t help you if you never tell me you were unhappy. He. Never. Said. A. Word. In fact I would check in with him a lot. Are you happy? He always answered the same way: “I love you. I can’t see myself anywhere else.” Whatever.

    • Same.
      I would always check in…. ESPECIALLY after the first d day.
      I don’t feel one bit bad anymore….just free and pissed that I invested in an asshole.

      • I read the book Runaway Husbands where they talk a lot about exit affairs and straight abandonment. There’s parts in the book suggesting that many women who were left in this way, never asked if anything was wrong? But like you and I who ask, and are told things are fine…

        Nothing to do with us and everything to do with them. I’m with ya, I don’t feel bad anymore. Just relieved! I love CL’s book when it talks about the cheater marrying the affair partner: they’re focused on their next love triangle, we’re free to make our escape. Because of course when the cheater marries the other woman, it creates a vacancy.

        • I bet anyone looking at your marriage would’ve said “they seem happy” too… he and his AP are puddle deep… but you have the ocean to explore!

  • Disgusting things he said-
    It’s me, not you.
    It’s you, not me.
    I am getting better, you are not.
    I am a cad.
    Oh come on, you knew!
    We fight all the time(we did not fight).
    I never did anything for myself. I did everything for you. HA!
    I still love you, but I am bored.
    You got fat (from Mr. Fatso!)
    You are too good for me(while treating me like I am beneath him).
    From now on, I will always tell you the truth. HA!
    The piece de resistance- I met my soulmate! G_d, I hate that word.

    • I agree that the word “soulmate” is pretty horrible. It implies a kind of religiousity and transcendence. And it is without gender and denies physicality, so it suggests a relationship that is not about sexuality but something bigger, and grander. It’s the lipstick on the pig.

      • Yes, “soulmate” is just the euphemism–and a euphemism is just a piece of perfumed silk used to wrap the corpse of a stinking moral truth.

      • Now that I am dating again, I run from guys who are looking for soul mates and that “last first kiss”. I don’t want to have to be perfect, or trancendant, or have to be so good that I am worthy of all the other first kisses he has so ostentatiously given up for me.

    • It never ceases to amaze me that they all say the same things. I’m sorry to everyone that’s had to endure this garbage. It’s really horrible.

      Bostonirisher I also got the “oh come on you had to know” but in the next breath “I didn’t cheat on you there was nothing to know.”
      I got “I’ve been dissatisfied for a long time”… a long time? We were married for a year.
      “We fight all the time” which I can only understand as me speaking being interpreted as fighting.
      “You let yourself go”… And that’s just a lie. It was some kind of mind fuck that he did to ruin my self esteem. He canceled my fitness club membership without my consent and then would call me from the treadmill to harass me for not being there working out. ????
      “You don’t enjoy me. You just lay there.” Again a lie I’ve never done that.
      And then I started to get really scared. How can he see everything as the opposite of reality? Either he’s insane and/or he just makes up any lie to support his case.
      “I was bored. You dont pay attention to me. So what was I supposed to do? I found women to amuse me” I said but you were on vacation with your friends how can you be bored? And the phone records show that you texted me every night at the same time as Tinder whore and nightclub whore. How many women do you need to amuse you at the same time while on vacation!!?? He said “i only texted you so you didn’t get suspicious if you saw the phone bill. I tried to throw you off track.” What in the actual f@ckkkkk.
      And I got the soulmate line in a different form “we share the same birthday same day time and year. That’s special. She amuses me and we have the same sense of humor”.

      • Wait…from your description of him, it sounds like either you were married to a twelve year old rapper, probably called “Little D” by his ho’s, or a disembodied penis walking around in a tank top with a baseball cap on backwards. Can you describe what he looked like? Was he bald?

        Just kidding. Not making light of the BS you faced, just the idiot quality of his BS. “What was I supposed to do…?” oh man, what a total punk. You almost want the guy to be less of a moron just so there’s something to punch back at (verbally). Of course he cancelled your gym membership, you were cramping his hookup style there. So why come up with a plan…just cancel her membership! This guy has no subtlety. He was just ham-handedly doing whatever the hell he wanted and was too stupid and or lazy to even bother to put forth a plausible mask. You’re lucky he’s a moron or he’d have taken more of your life. (I say all this having seen plenty of red flags not only in my wife but also her family, which I found ways of spackling. So I’m not suggesting you should have known beforehand. We never expect others to be this foul inside.)

        • The fact that you literally made me laugh out loud just now is amazing. Thank you for that TKO you just made my day.
          Yeah he’s basically a scrotum in his late 30s wearing sneakers walking around pretending to be a man. You pretty much nailed it… he still has hair so he can be a disembodied scrotum ???? . My family said the same thing… he’s just such an f-ing moron he basically shoots up a flare every time he does me wrong. Youre probably right about the gym. There turned out to be a whore associated with everything i got excluded from over the years. Little D had me convinced (omg I am still laughing ????) that I was a worthless disgusting fuck up and i belonged 6 feet under the ground where he promised to put me. It took a team of people over a 3 year period to extract me from my marriage. I can only imagine if he was smarter what he would have done to me. Oh! on the bright side, his stupidity and not remembering his own lies is serving me very well in my divorce so far????.

          • So glad you took it that way. I have to say, your description of him gave me several laughs. “We share the same birthday same day time and year. That’s special.” This guy just cracks me up. You should get in his head (such as it is) and float the suggestion that “given all their similarities, in addition to identical birth timing, he might just be screwing his long lost twin sister. Maybe she was secretly placed for adoption at birth” because his idiot parents didn’t want a girl. Tell him “I don’t know, all kinds of strange things can happen.” I guarantee you this will become a torment for his simple mind. It will pop in there every time and he’ll have to squint his eyes and push it out. Then send them a twins birthday card when the day comes! “To my Twin on our Birthday…There is no way of explaining the ‘special’ bond that is known to exist between twins…” Ha ha ha. Good times.

            • Hahaha identical birth timing… twins! TKO you are a riot! Laughter is the best medicine in my opinion. My best friend does this for me all the time. Sends me hysterical video clips of her making fun of his horror show. I should plant that seed lol I’m sure it would take the “special” right out of his married with kids sister-soulmate.

    • I HATE IT TOO! and then he told me that they had a “spiritual connection” that he had never had with me, thus the I love you, but I’ve NEVER been in love with you. (Not enough to rewrite history so lets just obliterate the whole marriage, sick fucker)

      He also said he had an “sudden enlightenment” when I asked him why it took him over 20 years to figure out he had never loved me. So when did this insight occur to him? he says the day he met his SoulMate. (Convenient timing don’t you think, yeah right dickhead)

      Oh sure God “forgives” him and “approves his new found love and it was so meant to be God’s plan”. (Pardon me while I go puke, damn hypocritical Jesus Cheater)

      Sorry sometimes I can see Meh but most times I remember the pain and confusion and cognitive dissonance.

      • Whether it’s a “soul mate”, “special connection”, “twu wuv” or (as in my case) “she means the world to me” it hurts like hell. We make so many sacrifices for them, do so much to improve their lives, we love them, and in the end we mean nothing to them. Meanwhile some tramp comes along and sucks his dick a few times (or the equivalent for the female cheaters) and suddenly it’s some wonderful magical connection that “means the world” to them. How is this possible? It’s so pathetic and shallow and stupid and then we have to wrap our brains around how the person we loved and admired could turn out to be so pathetic and shallow and stupid.

        Often we respond by thinking that somehow we must not have been good enough spouses, that we must have been too neglectful or naggy or stupid or undesirable or whatever. The lucky ones eventually get over that but are then faced with why we would have put up with someone so pathetic for so long and how did we miss it and was he/she always this way or did he/she become this way. Eventually (and I hope to get there someday) we get to meh and just don’t care anymore because it isn’t our problem anymore.

        • This soulmate word annoys me, too. The only time my XH used was when he was trying to reconcile with me after D-day and suddenly I was his soulmate because he wanted me to take him back, but he had never called me that before. It was narc bullshit terminology to try to hoover me back. Even though I don’t like the word, a soulmate would never do the horrible things he did to me, if I was truly his soulmate.

      • Adultery isn’t part of God’s plan… there’s a commandment specifically addressing that one 🙂

        Sadly, until you are truly connected to your own soul, you certainly can’t find a “mate”.

          • I have goosebumps and chills. I cannot believe I have been living the past 2 years thinking I was alone. Had a happy, lovely marriage with totally devoted X for ten years and then he cheats with a friend of mine. Also married with young kids. He said “everyone who sees us together knows we belong together.” That’s hilarious because everyone who sees you together knows YOU ARE BOTH MARRIED. And yes, both Jesus cheaters. Chills. Seriously.

    • My STBX told me on several occasions over the past few years that “from now on, I am always going to tell you the truth.” I don’t think he ever did, though.

      We have now been separated for 2 weeks because I made him leave. Last night, he told me that the reason we are separated is because he doesn’t want to lie to me any more. What? First, this is not true; we are separated because I made him leave. Second, what does that statement even mean? Is he saying that it is impossible for him to live with me AND not lie to me?

      The nonsense and double talk that emerge from his mouth make my head spin.

  • My XH told my sister that we basically “cancel each other out”
    After he moved out he was neither “happier or sadder than when we were still married” Afterwards I got the occasional wail “I just want to be loved” Big sadz boo frickin hoo……….

    Well I cancelled him out permanently.

    • Mine also said he “just wanted to be loved”. I tried to point out that if he wanted to be loved he should stick with me because I am the one who loved him, not her. I guess he didn’t believe me because he chose the fake. I got lucky.

  • It’s fucking amazing how these cheaters play from the same handbook. Mine told me he wasn’t happy for 7 years no wait 10 years….really we’ve been married for 13 years, together for 19- when were you going to tell me you were so unhappy? He also told me that if it wasn’t for our daughter, he would have left me years ago? Oh, the daughter you barely pay any attention to? The daughter you so willingly gave me sole custody of? The daughter you asked me to babysit on your day with her so could go on a date with your mistress- while we were still married. Oh…but this cheater also told me not to sell the wedding ring because he saw himself coming back to me. This cheater had the nerve to be pissed at me for not saying “goodbye” to him when I was leaving the state. This cheater who physically sat down with his mistress and devised a “plan” as to exactly when he would leave me and his child. Looking back, I was the one who was unhappy, who was stifled….I say good riddance…I am lucky to have sole custody of my daughter and to be living 937 miles away from him. I don’t need to deal with his mindfuck….here’s hoping I never have to see him again.

    • Good for you, we have to see these assholes for what they really are ASSHOLES! You have his number and that’s great enjoy your daughter and the rest of your life without this turd!

    • Pret
      I love the 937 miles away. So very precise.
      I used to say mine was 6000 miles away but now I can say he is actually 6777 miles away.
      I feel even better now. ????

      And as to the things they say well to me it soon became obvious that there was an air of ‘just say stuff and see how it sounds and works’. If something seemed to hit his target he would stick with that until I started to unpack it. If I looked at him like he was mad he would back track. I just understood that he had no idea, apart from wanting to and being able to, why he did what he did. His excuses/explanations/rationalisations/ minimisations were as unfamiliar to him as they were to me. He came up with things he thought he might feel or think but there was no emotional link between the words and anything he might be feeling. It was all very post hoc.

      • You described it perfectly. And it is weird and so NOT normal. The ability to detach and not feel real emotion isn’t sick.

      • Yes, perfectly. I love your term “unpacked”. How many hours upon hours I spent unpacking contradictions. I even had a sleep mode where my unconscious would reveal what I had only sensed and I’d wake up knowing something that I’d later prove. They actually don’t consider anything. No qualms, no conscience, no reflection. Your questions and challenges to them are stunningly new territory for them. In my case though, I only sometimes got the “throw a dart at the wall and see if it sticks” kind of answers. Mostly, as she later admitted, she’d think and rethink her answers when alone and try to predict the next questions. So I mostly got abusive games, gaslighting and other torture. But it was the exact same thoughtless non-reflection when each deceit and cheat was executed. Or rather, all her thought consisted of grand visions of her fabulousness – so it wasn’t thoughtless per se. They aren’t baffled why they do it, they’re baffled how to produce an explanation / deception in our language.

    • Pret – I got shivers down my spine that someone could be so evil and calculating to devise a plan to leave and abandon his wife and own child- I mean his own flesh and blood!! This is so not normal. And he found an accomplice to help him out. To this day, I read posts and am still shocked at how evil to the core some people can be. Big hugs to you.

      • Thank you! It got worse…he was never close with his one and only child. Pretty much ignored her but right after he and his mistress “devised their plan” for him to leave us…this asshole decided he was going to suddenly “wake up” and love this kid. For the first time in her life, he started paying attention to her, buying her presents, taking her out to eat just the two of them, helping her with her homework, walking her to school etc. He never did any of these things before but he knew he was going to be “leaving her” and he still chose to pay all this attention to her….just so he could dump her. I warned him not to do that to her and he yelled at me “Don’t tell me what to do” …well…he only did those things to assuage his own guilt for what he had done and was continuing to do. I’ve learned that everything he does is only to benefit him- it has nothing to do with me or his child. In the end I’m the winner because I have my beautiful child- and that’s all that matters.

  • My cheater seems to have two states that go along with black and white thinking: not angry and angry. I guess not angry is a range of happiness.

    It is once again a maturity issue to think that you are going to be happy all the time. As my priest told me “anyone who says he has a perfectly happy marriage is either lying or delusional.” Take your pick with a narc.

    I got the I haven’t been happy for 10 years and I lost 10 years of my life. So black and white- really? It is all about the cheater’s happiness because they can’t empathize and care about anyone’s feelings but their own. They do blame you for their unhappiness and you are not allowed to be unhappy.

    Lately, I keep recalling an incident from 30 years ago when cheater and I were dating. We were doing something outdoors (can’t remember what) maybe at the beach or on a hike) and it started to rain forcing us to pack up quickly and head back to the car. He was so angry. I tried to make light of it. He was raging because he was wet. I said ” are you going to melt? Trying to put things in perspective. He said in a child like tantrum way “I don’t like to be wet!” He never put it into the oh well, stuff happens frame of mind. He stayed angry and even later when I was fishing for an apology, he just kept saying I hate being wet and I was hungry.

    Now I see it as I had discomfort but and was not happy and if I am not happy, I must be angry so I have the right to rage and no one else’s feelings matter. Missed red flag number …,,

    • It is uncanny, I too remember all kinds of silly childish behaviors over small inconveniences. I did see the red flags but spackled over them. afterall, I was the adult and I had a commitment, they were just silly things, his way you know! Ugh!

  • I got the, “We were not happy.” He has a habit of telling me how I felt and what I thought. Even if I told him otherwise he would respond, “No you don’t!” Man that drove me crazy!!!!! And he did that from almost ge beginning of our relationship. Why didn’t I pay attention to that red flag!! And, yep, his claim of we weren’t happy he has used to justify cheating with a friend of mine. He feels like he did us both a favor. Prick!

  • The “not happy” thing in this context is 2-3 year old thinking.

    A mindful adult with adult reasoning skills and emotional health would, upon making the sort of life assessment that indicates that s/he can’t possibly live a life that provides any real joy, change his/her life using healthy adult decision making and action steps.

    A person who would pretend super intensely that s/he is happy to stay in a relationship in which s/he never feels any real joy while seeking instant gratification in secret on the side is not using adult reasoning skills and decision making. That person is trying to have it all no matter how much everyone gets hurt. That’s toddler thinking. You can’t boss other kids around and still have them want to play with you. You can’t pull the cat’s tail and not get scratched. You can’t take everyone else’s toys just because they are pretty and you want them. You don’t control the whole world. These are things we are supposed to start adding to our belts by the time we reach school age.

    A person who whines “I’m not happy” after some supposed months/years of hidden misery is really saying “Waaaaaaah! I want all the toys! I hate you because you won’t let me have all the toys! You’re mean because you won’t let me control you and the entire world! Waaaaaaaaah!”

    I don’t know about you, but I am not interested in being partnered with a toddler.

    • Amiisfree, so true. And like FSTL says above, the whole concept of happy is a “thing” with cluster Bs. They center their “thinking” on it like the adult toddlers they are. It lies at the core of their entitlement. It really is just like a child. It’s part of why they act so impulsively…they never actually developmentally progressed to having the skill of delaying ego gratification, which is foundational for all other adult endeavours, especially relationships. And “happy” for them, just like a child, is episodic and situational. It’s largely “right now”. For adults (chumps) ego satisfaction or happiness exists on some permanent level even when current situations are difficult or distressing. It exists as a wellspring of underlying assurance or fulfillment beneath out current difficulties. We may not be outwardly happy, we may even be distressed, but we always maintain a certainty of what we are about which imperceptibly “lifts” is no matter what the struggle. Disordereds, like children, don’t have that. They were never led to develop those skills and mental processes which supercede childish ways. Without them, their identities did not form completely – that is, they were not rooted to enduring truths / beliefs but rather situational mood states. This is why being chameleons doesn’t sicken them. They have the moment alone (or at best, their replayed imagined successes to tide them over. Thin gruel). This is why they are so strangely devoid of meaning, to our surprise. Feeling is their only meaning. As their toddler brains developed into adult form the parts which would have aided in higher conceptual reasoning and awareness were simply co-opted into the service of the existing closed loop me-cycle, making it both more permanent and more effective at hiding and selling itself and using essentially dressed up childish manipulation techniques to meet its needs. Happy is a thing to these toddlers.

      • Yes, yes, this. And it’s also why being back in relationship with a bad idea. They can’t do relationship is a way that’s healthy. They won’t. Ever. It can’t be solved in any reasonable timeframe. The development that can resolve the issue takes 20 years whether you start at 2 or 40.

      • Your post really resonates with me, TKO; I’m bookmarking it. A marriage therapist confided to me that my cheater had an avoidant attachment style and had never developed a sense of self. Yeah, that explains a lot.

    • Amiisfree, Love this post!!! I have to face my cheater at a court hearing today. I am so nervous. Instead of imagining cheater naked to calm to my nerves, I can now picture him sitting in a diaper screaming I want all of the toys, they are all mine. It is truly who he is!

  • I found it unbelieveable how Cheaterss we thought had normal intelligence really believe that there need to be happy is a valid excuse to cheat and how their family agrees with them. X told our sixteen year old that he had not been happy for 15 years and deserved happiness. Son asked me if that meant all his memories of happy holidays and vacations were not real. I told him they were real for us. X told 14 year old son that the other woman made him happy and he deserved to be happy. Yet I got the blame for “oversharing” because I told the kids dad had a girlfriend so we were divorcing as if they would not have noticed. Delusional.

    • Chumped but Good, we must be living doppelgänger lives, as your version is my version, nearly verbatim! He didn’t agree with me telling the kids, and I said I didn’t agree with him having a mistress, so I guess we’re even. And the skank just happened to be our mutual friend, a Christian life coach, no less. I will never understand how it was MY telling the kids what his decisions/behavior were (and NOT his actual decisions and behavior themselves) that actual destroyed our family. Whiskey Charlie Foxtrot?!!!! Gotta take that shit, wrap it up snug and throw it in the WTF box of nothing’s-gonna-keep-me-from-meh, and go raise my kids as Delusional-Dick free as possible 😉

      • Exactly. My STBX was the same way with his drinking. It was my fault that kids thought he drank too much because I would question how much he had or when he grabbed another (especially when he was driving). It apparrantly had nothing to do with him drinking or getting drunk in front of them.

    • Omg, me too! X told all 4 kids he “hated every minute of our family life for 10 years!!!!” That was our yougest’s entire life! They came unraveled and suicidal.

      This was THE.WORST.PART.

      I will NEVER forget or forgive X for this.

      • Hey motherchumper99 if you would like to get my email for a place to vent tempest has it. I am over a year out from dday and 7 months from divorce after 22 years of marriage with 2 kids and definitely not at meh but ok and happy to listen and support.

        • Thanks! I’m almost at 3 years from DDay and divorced 6 months now. Almost 25 years married. Definitely at meh most of the time. Need life is very good, peaceful, and full of love. I’ve been no contact for more than a year. It is key.

  • This hits on the head exactly what my wife said to me, She never told me what was wrong so there was jack shit I could do!! Instead she confided to a man she knew 25 years ago and then moved 1200 miles away with him. Abandoning me and our Son.

    • Dave, it’s hard to accept especially when there are children involved but believe me you and your son are going to be better off without this stupid women in your life. They don’t care what they do to the ones that love them they are selfish narcs that justify their behaviour with nonsense about their unfulfilled happiness. They don’t try to fix things they just bail because they are immature and it’s easier for them to walk away. You are the stable parent, and will be your sons hero! Take good care of yourself and keep reading here it’s the best therapy.
      Lots of hugs!

      • thank you lyndaloo, Its has been almost 3 months, I am slowly getting better. It helps to read chump lady and to get support from people like you. Still hard for me to believe what she has done at times.

        • Keep reading, and remember CN is here for you. It’s helped me greatly. We all need support.
          ???????????? I think these are hugs I hope!

          • WAC

            He too was a grudge holder. Ok I’m not into discussing something that happened years ago. THE strangest things evidently rocked his world. He was always passive aggressive. His mother was the same way. She’d act as if she were having a good time and unleashed a shit pile of slights once she arrived home. It was odd, I wouldn’t have known anything bothered her.

            He didn’t make me happy. I felt as if he was goikg through the motions. Of course he was as he was always dating.

            I doubt anyone can make him happy. Don’t care as long as he’s far away from me.

    • Just watch out for when the shine wears off the “Twu Wuv”; she’ll be back, sniffing around and begging to reconcile.

  • I think these fools just never grew up. They are stuck somewhere in adolescence, looking for the perfect lover, the perfect life. My Cheater said the same , ‘ he wasn’t happy for years and told me I wasn’t either.’ He retired at 53, had 16 years of traveling, playing golf, playing bridge no money worries, successful step kids and grandkids that loved him and a wife that loved and cared deeply for him. So what’s not to be happy about? What more could anyone want?
    It sickens me to hear these words. These idiots have had everything life could offer and still they want more. He never did anything for anyone unless he got some kibbles for himself. Never thought about volunteering or giving back to the world, just me,me,me! They truly have flawed characters, like spoiled children, always wanting more, no sense of gratitude or respect for what they already have.
    My cousin has been battling cancer for the past five years and finally in remission, only to hear, her husband has also been diagnosed with cancer. These Cheater morons look at these folks and never think wow that could be me! How lucky am I? I want MORE is their mantra!
    I count my blessings every day, life is good without a Cheater.

    • lyndaloo – What you write is sooo true! These cheaters have so many blessings, more than other people, yet still cry and whine how they are so unhappy. They never appreciate anything in their lives, and take all their blessings for granted, things that other people may never have. They are stuck at the adolescence stage, where it’s all about me, me, me, not giving back, ever! So well said.

    • I firmly agree — the lack of maturity is really shocking, particularly because they can FAKE maturity to some extent (which means they know what maturity is supposed to be …).

      Not long after the last D-Day, during a ridiculous bout of stonewalling … so bad it reminded me of a kid putting his fingers in his ears so he wouldn’t hear what he didn’t want to hear … I had an epiphany moment. Time stood still. I realized my STBX is emotionally stunted. No boundaries; refuses self-control; throws tantrums; and is utterly self-centered.

      Even our six year old has more emotional maturity than STBX. And, she proves the point that kids are far more perceptive than we often give them credit for … Recently, she asked if she could have her dad watch her “manners” DVD … it teaches about respect, honesty, how to calm down when angry, etc.

    • One of the things that disgusts me about them is their lack of originality. I find it repugnant.

    • STBX was exactly as you described but I am reminded of how he tried to use the whole “count your blessings” argument against me too. Shorty after DDay we heard about the death of the child of the woman who runs the little league concessions stand. This wasn’t somebody we knew, but still, it makes you sad to think of anybody losing a child. STBX said “we may have our problems, but at least we are not dealing with the death of a child”, as if I shouldn’t be hurt by his betraying me and leaving me for another woman because at least I didn’t lose a child. Yes, ok, if one of our children dies before I do that will be many times worse than losing STBX, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t still a traumatic experience to have the husband I loved and trusted blow up my marriage in such a selfish, cruel and unexpected way. It probably would have hurt me less if he had died (not that I wish that as it would have been worse for the kids).

  • The p value for option number 3 of Chump Lady’s list of cheater reasons for unhappiness being the truth versus options 1 and 2 is… zero.

    “I’ve been unhappy”: same category of bull shit as “We grew apart”…

    • It’s time to be done with that. If you are still with him, it’s time to get away and be happy. If he left you, it’s time to go be happy without him getting in the way of it. It’s going to take a long time, but we’ll get there.

  • Mine claimed unhappy for years crap, all bs. He wouldn’t know what to do with himself if he felt happiness as he’s an ungrateful entitled ass. Unfortunately those who greedily seek out more wind up with less.

  • I must be the only one who was told he was happy. He actually got all sad sausage when I told him I didn’t believe that. I’m trying to accept that everything were lies and of course, all the pieces I have don’t fit together because everything was fake. But it is so difficult.

  • It’s taken me 4 years to accept that my Cheating Ex was indeed, never happy. He’s a gaping black hole of narcissism, and no one can every truly make him happy because he isn’t capable.

    • But really, the bottom line is that were it true he was never happy, then I sure wish he had just LEFT, so I too, could have pursued “happiness” with him gone, and maybe with another man instead of him. Utter selfishness of these cheaters. They stay, while somehow “tolerating” you and their unhappiness, but simultaneously pursuing happiness in affairs, while you chumpily sit there believing they are faithful to you.

  • How about the biggest mindfuck of “get happy or get out”. Niiiice!!

    He got out. Thanks so much wackjob! I got happy then, though it took a while..

  • Sometimes I think STBX read the manual and then slightly altered his words so I couldn’t say he is just like everybody else. The things he says have the same meaning, he just adds his own twist by saying it in his own unique way.

    “I love you but I am not in love with you” became “I love you but I am just not passionate about you”

    “I haven’t been happy for years” became “I haven’t felt like your husband in years”.

    I guess he had to put the latter this way because truthfully, he has always been unhappy and he knows that I know that. Where I evidently dropped the ball was in not realizing how much of his unhappiness he was attributing to our marriage. He always had plenty of things to blame. First it was his parents divorce, then it was because they wouldn’t pay for him to go away to college so he had to stay local at a substandard college. Later it was his job that made him so unhappy, then it was where we lived. For years I thought I was the one thing in his life that was going right. Evidently not. When he ran out of other things to blame, guess who became the new scape goat?

    I am going to have to go with responses # 1 and 2 on this one. He really was unhappy and I knew he was unhappy. I did my best to accommodate his happiness. I let him buy the airplane, I let him quit his high paying job and I got a job half way across the country so he could live where he wanted. I knew he wasn’t always nice to me, especially after that last move, it just got worse and worse, but I thought it was his general unhappiness making him view everything, including me and the kids, negatively. In his mind, however, it was me who was making him so miserable and I was the cause of all of his problems. I kept trying to figure out what his needs were but he wasn’t communicating them and I can’t read minds. I kept trying to fix the wrong things or do the wrong things to facilitate his happiness. Now from the sound of it, what he really wanted from me was more sex. He didn’t communicate that very well either, however. When you go around telling your wife that she does everything wrong, dresses wrong, has messy hair and you refuse to kiss her goodbye when she leaves to bike to work in subzero weather because “you look like a man dressed that way” then this doesn’t exactly inspire her to feel sexy and like you want to be seduced by her you when your words and actions are conveying that you really don’t find her very attractive.

    Actually, I really do think it was his innate unhappiness and depression, which he refuses to acknowledge, that was making him view me (and for a while there the kids) so negatively. He will never admit to being depressed, however, because that would be admitting that there is something wrong with him and he can’t face the prospect of being anything other than perfect.

    • “I love you but I am not in love with you” became “I love you but I am just not passionate about you”

      “I haven’t been happy for years” became “I haven’t felt like your husband in years”.

      My ex cheater used your ex cheater’s EXACT phrases to me on multiple occasions after Dday.

    • “Actually, I really do think it was his innate unhappiness and depression, which he refuses to acknowledge, that was making him view me (and for a while there the kids) so negatively.”

      CIR, I have to tell you that reading your post what I see isn’t a man who is unhappy and depressed, I see a man who is a flaming asshole. That’s what made him view you and his children negatively. He couldn’t get a clear look at you through the scrim of his flaming assholeness.

      And I really want to punch his face for that “you look like a man” comment. Fucker.

      • Well said Beth. Depression has nothing to do with this. The man’s a fucking disordered fuck and attributing disorder to depression is just spackle.

      • I did not mean to imply that being depressed causes assholiness, but assholes can still get depressed. The evidence of the asshoiliness is in how STBX manages his depression. Instead of going to a therapist to find out why he is depressed (which would require some level of humility), he blames the chump and has an affair to self medicate. Depressed or not, I agree he is an asshole and other depressed people are not.

      • I was told that by my abandoner-hider-liar-POS STBX. He said, “You really are a guy instead of a woman, aren’t you!” This was said as I pointed out the countless times I was stuck with fixing some broken shit at our home, he NEVER could fix anything himself and when I couldn’t fix things I was the one to make every goddam contractor fix appointment, countless hours I spent getting things fixed or remodeled or whatnot. I am an engineer and fairly handy but he is a fucking engineer TOO and simply doesn’t give a shit.

        He is a complete wimp. I was the one who had to put the very elderly cat (HIS CAT) to sleep when the poor tender heart wouldn’t step up and do the right thing for the sickly pet. I was the by his father’s bedside when he died–none of the POS’s family was there, and the only one I can forgive for that is the poor MIL who had spent 10 years in the decline of her H–where the fuck was his family? Just NOT AROUND, it was left to me, the DIL, because all of his family hide from harsh realities. He always left me high and dry, left every crisis to me, and then had the nerve to try to criticize me as he was crushing me under his slimy boot heel by impugning my femininity.

        He abandoned me while I was on a work trip and sent me an e-mail, a huge fucking coward, and then had the nerve to insult me. I am soooooo looking forward to my UPGRADE one day when I meet a real man who deserves all the loving care I poured all over the ungrateful fuckwit– which of course he will have the nerve to be jealous about! Such a wimp and coward. Counting down the days till I am free.

        • He clearly isn’t much of a man himself if he can’t appreciate an amazing woman.

      • Beth,

        I’m picturing a scrim of flaming assholeness hanging above the stage at the Narcissist Theater.

        Thanks for the laugh !

        • The Narcissist Theater… Hahahaha Thanks for taking it a step further, SPbaS! That’s hilarious!!

    • My ex complained about everyone else too. Went through 3 different bosses at work over the years and the same thing each time: befriend them and they are awesome, then on to they don’t appreciate me, then next would be how they really are out to get him. We cycled through friends this way. We cycled through family this way. We cycled through kids sports families and coaches this way. Hell, he even did this with our son when our son didn’t do as he was told.

      Now I know Mr. Always Unhappy was likely a vulnerable narcissist and this chronic unhappiness was the cycle of putting on a pedastal/love bombing, to devalue, to discard.

      I knew he wasn’t happy in other areas of his life but I didn’t realize it meant me too. Now I know. I saw his texts to schmoopie about how miserable he was and to remind him to tell her how it all started 5 years ago when they got together next. Yep, it took a second schmoopie for me to throw in the towel.

      He’s a narc. It’s all about him and his happiness. It’s not really depression as he’s always been this way! And schmoopie 2.0 will suffer the same fate now that I am gray rock to no contact. Can’t blame me for his miserableness anymore. Who can he blame now? Sure it won’t be himself!!

    • you really captured it well, chumpinrecovery. my ex was the same miserable unhappy wretch who hated everything and everyone, but kept me dancing to try to “make” him happy. It’s all abuse.

  • Like most excuses to cheat on your spouse, “I’m not happy” is vague, so it works as a convenient catch-all excuse, with a bit of blame shifting sprinkled in for good measure. I got the “I’m not happy” and “I just want to be happy” and “Don’t you want to be happy?” lines too.

    My question is, why does being “unhappy” mean that you have to sleep with other people’s husbands, lie to your spouse about loving them and being in a committed relationship, bringing your boyfriend around to hang out with your husband and kids, manipulating your spouse into buying you a bunch of expensive stuff for your future house while at the same time hiding money from them, and all the other unknown bullshit and deception that goes along with it?

    After all I was in that same marriage, and life wasn’t always peaches for me either. Yet it never occurred to me to go sleep with somebody else’s wife, parade my new lady around in front of my kids, stash cash away from my wife, etc.

    That’s why “I’m not happy” as an excuse for their behavior is bullshit. If you’re really and truly not happy and that really is the reason you want to end the marriage……fine…….then divorce your spouse honestly and without all of the lies and deception. Be mature about it. Be an adult. Why is that so much to ask?

    • I’m reminded of the very weird conversation, ie I was bawling and he tried to explain to me that he wanted to be happy and he wanted me to be happy too. Problem was that before BD, I was already happy and now his happiness depended on my becoming unhappy. Has anyone else heard from their cheater “if you Really loved me you’d want me to be happy”.

      To me it’s a slap in the face because here you are crying over the loss of the love from whom you consider your best friend, lover and life partner and they insult you by suggesting that you martyr yourself for their happiness. The truth is boiled down to the essence that cheating is selfish. A cheater only thinks or cares about himself and damned anyone that gets in the way of their happiness.

  • My X confessed to being “in a relationship” with his old high school girlfriend (“Just a Very Close Friendship” that he kept secret from me for our entire 29 year marriage- They married others, but always felt a special bond and sexual attraction that they discussed but didn’t “act” on… right). A month before this revelation, he had told me he had’t felt a connection to me “for decades, really” and that our marriage was dead. Imagine my surprise and bewilderment that I had missed the feeling of no connection all these years! How could I be so blind?!? I did a great job at the pick me dance and we lasted another 6 months after that. After his confession, he promised to break it off with his “special friend”, but never did. It has been 9 months since D-day now. It certainly sucks to have spent a lifetime with someone who let me live under the false assumption that we were happy and bonded life partners.
    This pathetic excuse for the deep unhappiness always seems to work so well on us chumps. I loved him and felt terrible, and responsible, for his years of hidden pain. I just worked harder to give him what he needed to find his happiness. It finally clicked with me that he was a bottomless pit of need and dissatisfaction. Nothing I could do was gonna fix that. It took some therapy for me to figure out that I was not actually responsible for others thoughts and actions. I ended up being the one to file for divorce, since though he was miserable, had no intention of filing himself.
    It is crazy to see how little regard I had grown to have for my own happiness and fulfillment over the years. 9 months free of that creep has daily brought me increased awareness and sense of who I am. I am happy to be looking at my new, and increasingly mighty self now!

    • Why didn’t he marry his his school gf then?? Rather than courting you, proposing to you, making vows, all the while carrying a flame for his ex gf for 30 years!! Is this guy mentally off or what.

  • You know what makes cheaters/narcs/cluster B’s happy?

    – constant attention
    – constant assurance of their awesome personality
    – constant treatment as a sexual trophy by “suitable” partners
    – constant unquestioned deference to their wants and needs
    – constant acceptance of the statement: “If I’m happy, then everyone else should be happy”
    – minimum effort exerted toward a favorable outcome
    – apologies, tokens of esteem and acts of penance if any of the above are not delivered

    I now have no doubt at all that I was not able, nor would I ever have been able, to make the Kunty Kibbler happy.

    • OMG, you have scanned my ex’s brain! Having all this would delight him!

      You only forgot one thing; the right to constantly criticize others, both those present and those absent, about things big and small, in order to make himself feel even better.

  • My X did the entire unhappy thing and then claimed we argued all the time etc… We only started arguing non stop the last year of our marriage because she had checked out due to her affair.

    Prior to that we rarely argued.

    I remember at the therapy session (yes to try and save the marriage) the therapist asked her for a happy memory in our marriage and he response is I have none.

    The therapist took a step back and asked her, how about the weding? No!
    When you first met him? No!
    After the wedding? No!
    When your kid was born? My child yes my husban No!
    Do you have any happy memories of the two of you? No!
    Then why did you marry him if he has always made you un-happy? Because I felt sorry for him!

    In my mind I said WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Session after that one I had checked out and decided it was over. She had a massive fit as she realized I no longer cared and checked out. Was a horrible ride back listening to her curse at me in Spanish and English while I just sat there and really said nothing back.

    • Lothos, count your blessings you are rid of this “crackpot”. You can never figure these people out so don’t even waste another minute thinking about this. Good luck with your future hope you have custody of your child, she sounds really fucked up.

      • I keep getting temporary full custody so that her mother and our daughter can go to therapy to try and fix their relationship. Court keeps ordering this despite 4 years of this crap and I keep paying the majority of the expenses.

        I have had my daughter fulltime over 6 months and she made honor role 4th semester last year (which she has not done in a very long time).

        In that entire time I keep having to pay the majority of these expenses but she is not even required to pay child support unless the order becomes permanent. Honestly think at this point this is draging out so she can prevent paying child support. I honestly don’t care about child support and even asked the court to make it $0 just to make this crap end but the judge refused.

        So in short, courts are reluctant to take kids away from their moms despite two therapist telling the court she is trying to alienate my daughter from me and she is really a selfish person all the way around. I am 100% convince had I been a women and my X the husband this would have been settled by the court a long time ago!

        • You are most likely right, there is this myth that children are better off with their mothers. This is not always the case especially if the mother is unstable. It sounds like your daughter is coping especially doing well in school. You should be very proud of yourself I’m sure it’s your good parenting that has brought this about. I hope things get settled soon for you it is hard when things drag on. My best wishes to you and you daughter.

  • “I am not happy” for Cheaters is code for my dick isn’t happy. So when they find someone new, they are happy with that person and no longer happy with us. It’s all about that body part that is calling the shots and supposedly creating the happiness for them. It means their penis isn’t happy anymore with us, which goes to show how they really think. Not much depth, not much thought. Acting like an animal, going where urges take them…

  • I got the “I was so unhappy” BS along with the 17 years of living hell from her. CL is so right, you think I was happy? You think I loved the changes that had happened to my wife since she started cheating? The marriage was far from perfect, no doubt and things were not good. Nothing justifies the choice that was made, plain and simple.

  • I was happy that I was able to obtain a child from him, considering he had a limp dick the entire marriage, so getting her was a true miracle. I was extremely unhappy with his lack of employment (7 jobs in 10 years), utility services frequently turned off, 3 evictions, repo cars and constant struggles just to keep afloat. Yeah I was very unhappy, but ironicly I DIDN’T cheat… Mr. Limp Dick did. How he was able to score 5 chicks at once I’ll never know. It must of been strictly on looks and
    Superior Snake Charming skills. How he kept them. . . Yeah, that never happened. All of them are gone, even the one he supposedly was in a seriously relationship with dumped his ass (fb is so handy for info) all because he still has serious money problems. Karma, baby karma. He was so unhappy while I was giving him tons of GOOD cake, that he blew up his family all for different ‘shades of Gray’ and now he’s got nothing but true unhappiness that he alone created. Here’s your sign.

  • I love this post, because it was one of the first that I found here on CL. How did I find it? I started to google search exact phrases from my cheating ex-wife. EXACT PHRASES that came out of her lying mouth were reproduced by other cheaters WORD FOR WORD.

    I love that this cheating bullshit word salad gets destructed here for what it is!

    • Completely agree! “Cheating bullshit word salad” getting nuked here at Chump Nation is a salve to my bleeding heart, and reading the amazing responses of so many fellow chumps empowers me to dig deep and find a way to unleash my own mightiness. DDay 2.5 yrs ago, finally getting to acceptance, divorce being finalized soon will definitely help…I hope 😉

  • When my EX started with the I was unhappy for our whole marriage, I was never attracted to you, I just am a habitual liar because of FOO issues (after I found the affair with the co worker). I was shocked! what shocked me further is that he was acting happy to my face but everyone else in our life knew he was not happy because he started image managing every time he was having an affair ( I found 2 others during the divorce)

    He had my sons convinced that he was going to leave me any second for 7 years and I never got the memo (they were 8 and 9 when they first remember him saying it). What a horrible burden to put on your children. They could not understand why I was so nice to him all the time when he hated me so much. Every time I disciplined them he would take them to the garage and explain to them I was harsh and that is why he could not live with me. can you imagine the disrespect they felt for me until they were old enough to realize more of what was happening. Then would walk back into the house and kiss me and tell me he loves me. My sons and I went thru some tough times while all the notes were being compared and we worked out the discrepancies.

    He confessed that the would get on the phone with me at work while in his glass office that co worker could see him, start yelling into the phone when he would call me and tell me it was because the machines were loud in the background, Telling her I was nagging again and that we were in another fight. His co workers think we were miserable for the last 10 years of a 20 year marriage. The first ten years he was seeing his EX wife on and off so he did not need image management. It started when he was soiling where he worked and seeing women at work, he had to be ready to be caught always.

    It was crazy, I am still sorting out that none of my memories were true. My kids are so sure he has hated me for years and I felt loved and happy. It is funny when I really examine my life I realize that I felt happy despite him not because of him.

    When my sons stopped talking to him his only response was “oh well I underestimated your relationship with them and overestimated my relationship with them, if you were nicer they would still talk to me.”

    See it is my fault they do not respect or like him.

    • The Best of Me, this is where I struggle. I’m to blame for 1 son being completely no contact with cheater and his entire immediate family turned against me because of it. At least that’s their spin. I encouraged all 3 sons to continue a relationship with their father- even though their relationship consisted of Ex always lecturing them on what a ” man should be/do, how to act.” They were never allowed to express anger or frustration (none of us were) and the oldest couldn’t/ wouldn’t put up with it anymore after DDay.

      The family is always lecturing my sons that they need to respect their father because he is a ” good man” and that I am a bitter, unstable bunny and wasn’t “perfect” in the marriage either. So, therefore, am just as much to blame for the marriage ending because I didn’t make him happy.

      Now, here is where I struggle, I encourage them to have a relationship with these family members but really can’t stand it when they do see them. CN- how do I reconcile myself to allowing them the freedom to pursue the relationship with people I see as toxic?

      • I can relate to your last paragraph. I have put a lot of effort into convincing my daughter she wants to have a relationship with her dad and that she may at least have to learn to tolerate Schmoopie some day because logically I believe it is in her best interest to have a good relationship to both parents. That being said, even with me pushing it, I still feel a small sense of hurt when it seems to be working and she seems to softening up to him and might even consider being face to face with Schmoopie someday.

      • Hmmmm. If they are old enough (late adolescence-young adult), they don’t need encouragement they can handle communications on their own. If they are younger, I don’t think its a problem either. It is not your job to foster relationships between your children and your ex-in- laws. You aren’t your ex’s social secretary and therapist! If he wants to he can make sure the kids see his relatives etc. on his time. The EX fired you as primary relationship coordinator with his extended family the day he abandoned you. As far as the kids and their relationship with their father–maintaining a relationship with his kids is solely his responsibility. As long as you abide by the court ordered custody agreement and don’t actively discourage the relationship you are doing your job. One of my daughters went no contact immediately. One who was still a teenager came to me and asked me if I would be hurt if she saw her father. I said, “I won’t be hurt by you having a relationship with your father; but, you might.” She hung on for a few years until his raging drove her away. HE is responsible for the relationships he has with his kids.

    • Tell him to ” Fuck Off” and have no further contact. If the kids want to see him it’s their choice but you don’t want to hear about him ever again. Thus guy is toxic to everyone in your family. Get him out of your life. Hugs

      • Lyndaloo, I agree 100% with this!!! I have not been in any contact with EX for over a year and my sons have not talked to him for over two years. (I had to deal with him thru the divorce)

        I do not believe we should encourage our children to have contact with these Toxic people or their family if they do not want to. If “touching the hot stove” with a toxic person hurts, why make our kids do it. Does anyone really believe that these cheaters did not leave the WHOLE family not just the faithful loyal spouse.

        I do have to say that if the children want contact, than please do not discourage, just detach. When the cheater harms the child over and over again, at least you will be their safe place.

        Chump lady should do an article on the Cheater walking out the door Yelling “I am leaving you not my children” Why does everyone pretend this is true. How many cheaters only engage when the courts are making their mind up about child support???? Than joint custody looks good….

        • Sorry, I misunderstood thought you were still in contact. When I read the things he said to your kids my blood pressure went up. I am just so sickened by these self absorbed assholes. They have children and play the dutiful father to the world only to be the biggest assholes on the face of the earth. How they can look in the mirror is beyond me.
          Certainly, if the children want to see XDad and he’s responsible with them fine but, you are right, most of these co-parenting relationships are about avoiding child support payments. Let’s face it, if the cared about their kids they’d be spending time with them, not screwing around with Schmoopie. I’m glad to hear you have moved on sounds like you’ve reached ‘Meh’. Good on you.

          • Not quite meh…. which is a word I hate… his twuluv uses that word ALL THE TIME. But it does still hurt that the family I supported, helped and loved for over 25 years have turned on my oldest and me. Not that it’s any great loss, I’m finding the longer I’m away from them. But they turned on us because we don’t “respect” the lying, cheating, theiving bastard. And they are poisoning the youngest with all the talk of how I am not being a good parent because I won’t speak to him or them. That if I was a better adult I’d see that MY BEHAVIOR IS THE PROBLEM. Not theirs.

            Keep in mind this is the same family that attached a bag of dog poop to the middle son’s truck on Christmas Eve, cause that was funny and then got upset with me when I went ballistic on their sorry not so funny asses. Or that I could not wrap my brain around my MIL telling me that him seeing prostitutes was okay cause that’s what men do. And that this was between him and I… that none of this affected the kids. Huh?!?! Wtf.

            It’s a classic case of it’s not our behavior but your reaction to it. They can’t understand why I’m not rolling over and letting them walk all over me. And I struggle so very very much not to take the 15 year old and run like hell away from these freaks. Cause suddenly, you guessed it, ex is father of the year giving him the attention he denied DS until the twuluv showed up and our lives destroyed. And I get the fallout every damn day with the youngest wanting me to be “friends” with his dad and his family. Why can’t we get along? What’s wrong with you, mom, that you can’t do that for me? You know Grandma has cancer, why can’t you be nice and help take care of her? Urgh! Cool, bummer, wow is a real struggle some days.

            But, I’m trying so hard to remember that the oldest 2 have learned how to put up boundaries and the youngest will too one day.

  • Ha! My stbxh said that “WE were so stupid to not nourish the relationship.” and “How could I not know there were problems and he was unhappy!?” And my favorite explanation for why he cheated — “I thought you didn’t love me anymore.” All the while he had just proposed and I spent a year planning and funding our wedding and he walked down the aisle and said his vows in church in front of all to see.

    • I also got “I thought you didn’t love me anymore”. I turned that around on him, however, and at one point asked “How could you have not known that I loved you?”. He had no answer to that one.

  • I was told “marriage is not supposed to be a life sentence”. I replied, “it’s kinda almost the very definition of marriage. Like it’s in the marriage vows and shit.”

    • “Like its in the marriage vows and shit.” I was laughing so hard, my kids insisted I share with them what was so funny. They cracked up, too!!

      • 🙂 it was d day 156,892 for me. I laughed too.
        Here’s another of her insights. When I found out she’d been coachpa with the help of the other mommies from the team (to provide excuses, secrecy) she screamed, “it wasn’t a conspiracy.” I suggested she only use words she knows the meaning of from now on. Honestly, knowing these little pearls of wisdom were probably spoken with her “man” first and thought to be so brilliant, filled me with glee. Fucking idiots.

  • Mine had been fishing for an affair partner amongst our friends by telling everyone how “unhappy” he was. Funny, he got that affair partner, and I was the last to know how unhappy he was. I had to hear it YEARS later from the affair partner’s twin sister ( who I suspect was with him in an emotional affair at least, yuk).

    His happiness was the most important thing of all, that is why he dragged me through a 3 year divorce proceedings and tried to get out of even paying for his kids….I pray that the OW can handle it when he’s not happy anymore……

  • I got this drivel from wasband in trickled letters. He hid them in more and more obscure locations. The letters got less and less subtle. The last one I found 8 years after the bomb.

    He went to great lengths to explain how it was my fault that I didn’t see that he had been unhappy for half a decade.

    Thank goodness, by that time I had abandoned the RIC industry and was in line with the Chump Lady way of thinking.

    It still momentarily choked me up. They don’t call it bomb drop for nothing

  • One more thing, what we all have to accept is happiness comes form you—-no one can create it for you, no one can really make you happy long term. That is why so many of us got bad treatment while our spouses/partners were cheating and we didn’t go telling the world how unhappy we were. We chalked it up to a rough patch and kept it moving…Real people do something to fix things when we are unhappy, not make things worse….

    • Happiness may come from us alone, but unhappiness can certainly be caused by others. And I have heard narcs (who demand constant sacrifice from others to maintain their own personal happiness) say that they are not responsible for the happiness of others, even as they actively sabotage those others. It’s like an excuse by the disordered not to lift a finger to improve a relationship.

  • “I found my soulmate (PUKE-after 2 effing weeks, she’s your soulmate?)
    “Our soul contract is over” (Repeating the sluntwhore’s exact words, I’m sure)
    “You should have known 25 years ago that you’d become collateral damage” (WTF)
    “I can talk to her about things I can’t talk to you about” (All he ever did was talk and I listened like a good little stepford wife)
    “I love you too but I haven’t been happy for a long time.”
    “I should have never gotten married” (No one held a gun to his head)
    “My love for you is separate from my love for her”
    “I want both of you”
    “Have you heard of polyamory and/or monogamish?” (CAKE)
    “I need to go off on a solo journey and find my own identity” (Goodbye, and don’t let that restraining order hit you on the butt on the way out)
    Divorce has stalled because he keeps delaying it. He doesn’t want to reconcile but he doesn’t want to resume being faithful either.

    • More…
      “The spark is gone” (maybe if you spent less time with your PORN, there could be sparks for a living, breathing wife)
      “She opened my world to painful, dangerous sex” (OK then, thanks for that email, it went right to my attny)
      “She’s praying for us to rekindle our love” (WTF)
      “You’d like her if you met her.” (UH, no I don’t think I’d want a homewrecking whore for a friend)

      • I am dying…. dying laughing…. omg.

        I got “From the first week we were dating I didn’t want to be with you, but God called me to be with you and I accepted the call”

        Also got that she and I would be best friends, he suggested two people we knew for me to marry (our ONE divorced male friend and a guy we all suspect is gay) and said we could all spend holidays together, go on family trips together.


  • They are not happy people. Not happy with themselves! Nothing to do with us! Alway searching for that someone who will make them happy. Which is an impossible search. Mine thought her ex from high school was her soulmate happy guy. Till he used her and dumped her. So then she found a 26 year old at 40. He just used her for sex when he had no other options. Then she was talking to every guy who expressed interest. Even stray bar guys. How many of them she banged I have no idea. During this five year span she became more and more bitter and angry. Health issues appeared. Anyone who looks outward for peace and joy are bitter empty people who will always be searching for what doesn’t exist!

  • You know who’s happy all the time? People not grounded in reality. Yes, there’s joy in the world, but there’s also pain & suffering. But facing up to that takes real courage. Wisdom. Self-awareness. “I can be unhappy for a period of time, because that will change, and then I will have good things happen again.” Same is true in reverse, “I appreciate these good times, because eventually something will happen and then I will be sad.” It’s just life.

    Children don’t want to hear this, of course. Everyone must be happy all the time! XH bought into this and never questioned its validity. Hedonic treadmill. The next thing and the next thing and the next thing, never looking inside himself.

    A couple years before Dday, he was Sad Sausage sitting by himself in the living room, not watching TV, not doing anything. “I just don’t think I’m happy.” That’s it. Didn’t even bother to look at me. — Years prior, maybe even weeks prior, I might have been baited into a sort of Julie McCoy Love Boat Cruise Director sort of role, “Well, let’s see here, Mr XH — this afternoon, we have salsa dancing on the lido deck, or there’s a karaoke competition at 3pm?” but that day I was just tired, so I said, “How so?” — Nothing, then “I don’t know.” I said, “If you want to talk about it, then I am here to listen, but I cannot dissect your unhappiness for you. You must do that for yourself.” — The following day at breakfast, I asked, “So how are you today, feeling any better?” His reply, a brusque brush-off, “Oh, that was nothing. I was just tired from work.”

    How are we supposed to know if they don’t tell us, can’t work on it, together. — That’s not what they want though. They want fast-food happiness. No muss, no fuss. Just 25 year old waitress brand of happiness.

    • A-1 fucking correct. I was married to the female version of this description.

      “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know…” followed by “I’m just tired/I’m not feeling well/you know me, I was just having one of my moments, I’m fine now”

      For 15 fucking years. And yet, I apparently wasn’t emotionally intelligent enough to tune into how unhappy she obviously was.

      Makes you want to put your head through a wall.

  • These were my XW’s words verbatim. They were uttered of course after I discovered her double life. In my shock I attempted to convince her otherwise–that she WAS happy–by producing documentation: letters, notes, cards, all expressing the literal opposite. She declared in writing how happy she was, what a wonderful husband and father I was, she was so lucky to have me… I also reminded her that even during her double life she verbally told me (as she frequently did throughout our marriage) how happy she was…. Her reaction at having been called on her bullshit? She looked at me contemptuously and said something about “seeing the best in people.” It made zero sense. Recently, as she has been hovering, she finally admitted that she had not told the truth–that indeed she had been happy. Much too little, much too late. Sad and tragic.

  • I got this line, too. “I now realize I’ve been unhappy for a very long time.” (Presumably, it was the same amount of time “our love ceased to be real, and we became just friends,” but I digress). It’s just moral blameshifting. “See, you can’t blame me, I was really miserable. *I’M* the victim here, because I’ve put it up with it for so long.”

    • yes I heard something slightly different but similar, he never told me how unhappy he was because he didn’t want to hurt me. Aw, isn’t that sweet he was only protecting me.

  • Not only did my ex cheater trot out the tired, “I’ve been unhappy for a long time, ” (according to him, he’d been basically miserable every minute of our 20-year marriage, despite the fact that up until that day, he always said he loved me, he was happy, he would never want a divorce) but he also started saying, “You’re the only one who controls your emotions, no one else can do that to you” in reply any time I tried to tell him how devastated I was by his sudden abandonment of our marriage.

    I don’t read here daily any longer, and I don’t often post, but good Lord, when I do, I am so reminded of how FUCKING GLAD I AM TO BE OUT OF THAT MARRIAGE AND AWAY FROM THAT POS.

    • What a ridiculous statement. “You’re the only one who controls your emotions.” That’s the worst, and such a good reason to go no contact. My ex said I should “fire my therapist” because I’m still “stuck” after “all this time” (one year) when I’m actually calling to discuss to things he is doing right now, for example, trying to install the OW as a teacher in the kids’ school.

    • Yes! There should be a separate CL post on just that statement alone if there isn’t one – “You’re the only one who controls your emotions” or “You’re (cheater, addict, etc) not responsible for anyone else’s emotions”. This is so often misused to re-assault the victims of the disordered’s abuse. To deny them the right to feel hurt when they’ve been hurt. To help the abuser slither out from under accountability. As though they’ve done whatever they’ve done, but YOU the victim are the author of all this emotional fallout. As if it was just as likely that you’d be catatonic about things if you had different emotional skills. It’s a coin flip. This often comes from the RIC and therapists or counsellors who themselves were addicts or abusers. It’s big with them and no mystery as to why. It’s their preferred way of looking at themselves and it sounds plausibly therapeutic. But it denies human nature. Not only psychological but physiological. In their hands it isn’t empowering for the victim, it’s blameshifting for the perpetrator. It doesn’t encourage progress, it demands repression. At CL, the point is to see reality, take rational action and your emotions will eventually follow (meh). Not to simply jump to subverting valid emotion. This is correct and healthy approach to the emotions of abuse.

  • I heard this many times along with “we should have never gotten married”. Ugh!!! I’m not the one who converted religions or got down on one knee to propose. When I told him that I am the same person he married he responded with “that’s the problem, after all these years you should be evolving and you haven’t evolved at all”. I should have tweeted his responses each morning, maybe exposing his “good guy” BS would have kept him from making up his own narrative to family and friends (and our kid)

  • My STBX was a talker. He’d call me as soon as he’d punch out after work and tell me all about his day during his 30 minute drive home. Then after eating supper he’d talk more about himself.

    Thanksgiving weekend 2016 he tells me he’s been unhappy & had fallen out of love with these past few years, and wants a divorce.

    WHAT?! He’d blab on and on about himself daily, but never brought being unhappy or falling out of love.
    He’d been hiding schmoopie. I hope she enjoys listening to him ramble on about himself on a daily basis!!!

  • I heard this one too!

    I will say that I listened to him, gutted of course, but my response to him was “If you were unhappy for 12 years, and never wanted to move, buy this house, have a baby, and you never ONCE spoke up to me about any of this then you are even more spineless than I could have ever dreamed.” Really. Unhappy for more than a decade and never once spoke up? What a sorry excuse for a man.

    OW even tried to tell me years later that I should have known he was unhappy. Because apparently I’m a mindreader.

    Guess what, I’m not responsible for your happiness. Lots of people are unhappy and you know what they do? Get a hobby, go on vacation, find something that makes you happy that doesn’t involved imploding the lives of everybody in two families.

  • During and after my ex-husbands five year affair I heard all kinds of excuses, reasons and justifications for his actions. Unhappiness was one of them for sure. None of them made sense. None of them were the truth. None of them matter. He was and is a selfish man who did not have the brain power or guts to do the right thing and end our marriage before he choose a new partner. I and his two daughters were simply collateral damage. He told our daughters that WE just didn’t get along any more. Simple. Clean. Easy to understand.

    He told ME what HE needed to hear so he could feel okay with his poor decisions and with the subsequent fallout with our daughters. PERIOD! It was all about HIM. Always WAS……Always WILL BE!

  • I have thought and read a lot about this because it is the theme The Stranger keep coming back to. He was unhappy. My unhappiness (news to me!) made him unhappy. He couldn’t make me happy.

    I’ve come to think it presupposes a fourth thing:

    D. A partner is responsible for their partner’s happiness. This is actually where unhealthy co-dependence lies. A partner is not responsible for your happiness and you are not responsible for theirs. Be happy in yourself. Your relationship can augment your happiness, sure. But it shouldn’t be the sole source of it and if you’re unhappy you should work to figure out why and deal with it maturely.

    Read a quote recently on a blog that sums it up for me and how I’ll approach future relationships:

    :The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, ‘If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.’ Now I say, ‘I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.’”

    It’s point four relating to emotions but replace emotions with happiness and I think it holds up!

    • Oneonefourone,

      One of the reasons I fired my therapist was a core disagreement about something she said regarding happiness. She claimed that real men live to make women happy.

      Organizing one’s life around trying to become happier,making happiness the primary objective of life, gets in the way of actually becoming happy. Rather, what is the most meaningful thing I can do with my life ? What’s my contribution to the my community or the world ? Do I live according to my principles ? What will my legacy be ? What does my life mean ?

  • I got I didn’t think you wanted me for 2 years from STBX. I don’t know what you have to do to prove you want him. I thought being married, having children, spending time together, planning activities and family outing as well as many other things showed him that I loved him but clearly those things were not good enough.

    He wanted all the attention all of the time. If only I had neglected my child he wouldn’t have been forced to lie and cheat. I have no clue why he encouraged me to have a 2nd child, surely that was always going to take more attention away from him. Maybe he never intended to stick around for long after I had fulfilled my use as a baby making appliance.

    His mother said on the one and only time I have spoken to her since D-day, that he was unhappy and had been in floods of tears when he went to visit 2 days after d-day. What she failed to mention was that he had taken schmoopie on the trip to visit her, which of course he lied to me about.

  • This is my STBX’s refrain as well. 25 years of misery. Cured by the old college crush, who incidentally was also in an “unhappy marriage”. Perfect. She recently blogged about “all the changes that have been going on over the last two years” – not mentioning the secret emails and texts with my STBX which led to the destruction of my marriage as well as hers. Only my love for my children keeps me from outing her. Of course, my STBX’s take is that she had nothing to to wit it and that our marriage was over years ago – everyone knew it. Oh, really? Only you.

    Not many people are buying it.

    Unfortunately, he told my youngest (14yo) that he was unhappy long before said child was born. Talk about gutting an already unsettled child. Three of my 4 kids are NC and STBX doesn’t understand why. He “never lied to them” and he only “kept things from me”.

    The things he thinks we believe, just because he says them.

    His mom believes him though, and “doesn’t he deserve to be happy?” And this, “wasn’t here something you could have done to be a better wife?”

    Oh the craziness. No longer my circus.

    • I got the same message from my ex mom-in-law. But when I dissect this drivel what I get is her need for justification of his shit persona and how that reflects upon her. I really hate to say it, but she DID have something to do with his selfishness. I stopped talking to her about a year ago because it was becoming increasingly difficult to hold my tongue.

    • Ahh yes the “marriage was over for years” memo. So FooledMeTwice, did your memo get lost in the mail? I know mine sure did because the first time I heard those words was on my dday. It was then I learned about our marriage being over for years, and all the reasons it was my fault and that’s why he had an affair. Plus he didn’t think I’d care??!!

      Three years later I sent him that memo….I call it a divorce decree!

      • “Our marriage was already over”. Um, no it wasn’t. You forgot the divorce part.

  • It is amazing how unoriginal the cheaters are. My ex’s version of “We haven’t been happy in a long time” had a special twist though. I’m a romance writer, and towards the end he would say, “I read your books. I see how the heroines feel about the heroes how much passion there is, and I know you don’t feel that way about me. You don’t make me feel like one of your heroes.”
    So if after 15 years of marriage, the dynamic between us is not the same as that between two FICTIONAL CHARACTERS in the first weeks or months of a passionate relationship, that excuses your decision to go chase that high with your howorker?!
    And of course being married to someone who always, always put work first and traveled over half the time when our boys were infants until the oldest was 10, really made me feel like a romance heroine…

    • It’s not your fault he didn’t do a good job of playing the hero. I guess he decided he would rather be the villain.

  • So, I’m putting myself in Mr. Sparkles shoes… cuz this was his “reason”… and I’m thinking… here is why I (Mr. Sparkles) might be unhappy

    – I’m fucking around on my wife (so maybe I’m not the great guy I think I am)
    – I’m telling so many lies my brain is bleeding trying to keep them straight
    – I’m about to blow up my kids lives/childhoods
    – I’m going broke paying for online ads, online porn, hotel rooms, burner phones
    – I’m a selfish fuck

    SO – when I think like him, I can quickly see why I CAN NOT MAKE HIM HAPPY… I cannot fix what I didn’t break.

    Newbies… and all of us here… remember to run your own race. You do you (and probably the kids).

    Trust that THEY suck.

  • Neil’s

    You are so right! Leaving me for low class whore after 34 years married just destroyed me emotionally & physically. But the same will happen to her when the newness wears off. “If they cheat with you.. they will cheat on you”.

    Hopefully I’ll see it happen. Both deserve each other.

    Hugs to you ????

  • CL – thank you for this post. All three ways fit my POSH.
    1. I argue with my friends and parents all the time that he is living the life he wanted. He did not want a wife, a house, or baby. He is a master at throwing people away. If you do not fit into his plans at that exact moment he can just walk away. He is no longer tied down. Has a girlfriend (no legality needed to throw her away), living in an apartment (leases end each year typically not like a 30 year mortgage), no baby (no innocent life that would totally rely on him for food or shelter), no bills bc lives in girlfriends apartment (no need to share money), no possessions (took two suitcases, nothing else). He can totally walk away.
    2. It is not my fault he wasnt happy. The bastard use to tell me “you can get happy in the same panties you got mad in” when I was upset. Well guess what. Not my fault you were too chicken shit to stay with me instead of breaking up with me 7 years ago before moving 4 hours north to where I was working and living. How sad of a man are you.
    3. Bullshit: all he did was tell me “i’m here becuase of you” “i’m only doing this to make you happy”. I can just hear him telling the 10 year younger slutbrains that works for him “i left my wife, kid and house for you” “i could lose my job for you”. He manipulated me and he will manipulate her.

    He will never be happy because he can’t take control of his own happiness. He relies on others to MAKE him happy.

  • This is my story, too.

    My seemingly happy husband at the time blindsided me with news that he had been “unhappy for a long time”. I was already stretched so thin with my business and in creating a home for him and my kids, so this news was devastating. I felt like a failure, both as a wife and a mom. How could I have made my husband so unhappy for so long??

    By the end of the week, I worked out from him just how long he’d been unhappy. He told me it had been about 10 years.

    10 years?? Wow.

    Wait…. 10 years?

    What happened 10 years ago… Our kids are just over that age, so it sounds like he’s not coping with being a dad. Clearly. He can’t compete with them in terms of my attention.

    Kibbles. Ugly as it is, he hates that he gets fewer kibbles from me because I devote so much time and attention to the kids.

    What else happened 10 years ago?

    Oh yes, he started a new job, where he met that one co-worker I’d always been a little suspicious about.

    A few weeks after this, after we started MC, “that one co-worker”‘s then-husband called me out of the blue to let me know that he suspected our spouses of having an affair. He, too, had gotten an “I’ve been unhappy” talk. We started comparing notes. Our spouses had gone missing at the same times and told us almost exactly the same stories.

    ….and the rest is history.

    “I’ve been unhappy” definitely does NOT mean that a person has been unhappy. It is not a reflection on us chumps It is just a way for cheaters to cover their tracks because they know they’ve wronged you, don’t care, and know you can’t disprove the “unhappy” thing without sounding crazy.

    They really do suck.

    • Yes mine’s “unhappiness” coincided with both the birth of our children and his meeting the OW. It was terribly difficult to see the unhappiness since he covered it all over with so many outwardly happy behaviors.

      • I’m sorry he did that, nodancing. It’s gross how they can be two-faced with their own family.

        During those final months together, when I was still trying to make sense of everything, I remember mentioning things we did together and showing him pictures where we were all clearly happy. I’d ask if he was faking his happiness in those pictures. He’d say things like, “I wasn’t faking. I was happy when we did things as a family. You just don’t understand.”

        So it was MY fault. More of the mindfuckery. It really messed me up at the time, but I see it now for the emotional abuse it is.

        • Me too. Showed him the photos. And the cards he gave me that professed eternal love, the trips we took, the laughs, the shared experiences. CRICKETS. Or “those are sacred memories” WTF If they were so sacred, why did you destroy it all? I was DONE playing the pick me game cos there was never a way to win.

        • Raising my hand here. I showed him pictures too. He just gave me a blank stare. His mind was elsewhere making up future fantasy memories with someone else.

        • It sounds like we all did the same thing: confronted the claim of unhappiness with evidence to the contrary.

          But, in all our cases, it didn’t take long to realize — whether through pictures, MC, or talking — that he wasn’t interested in the truth. His mind was made up.

          After D-Day, when I had clear evidence of his affair, all the “unhappy” talk made perfect sense, and I realized that “I’ve been unhappy” is just cheater-speak for “I’m a cheating asshole”.

    • This opened my eyes. DDay was when I was 7 months pregnant. The OW started working for him around the time I got pregnant. He was awful during my pregnancy because it wasn’t about him anymore. He yelled at me one night for peeing too much and not shutting the bathroom door all the way because the light woke him up. Deep down I think I have known that he didn’t want to compete with the baby let alone ME needing help while pregnant. I did everything for that man. And in “my” (which should have been ours since I was carrying his baby” time of need he couldn’t handle the universe not revolving around him. So he honed in on the 24 year old who had just broken up with her fiance to give him all the attention he needed.

      I guess I should be thankful he left now rather than later. Hopefully in the end it will be better for my daughter.

      • Ouch, that’s a tough time to find out. I mean, no time is great, but….

        You know, I kind of had a holy shit moment reading your comment. Nowhere near as bad as your situation, but you just threw a bunch of stuff into perspective for me.

        I was my partner’s “rock” for 6 years before she cheated on me. Whenever she needed support, there I was. When she began an affair, I was coming off the back of a really rough 3 or 4 months. I didn’t have space in my life to give her kibbles as usual, and she didn’t come after me to lift me up. In other words, as soon as it wasn’t about her, she found someone else. But there was another holy shit moment reading your comment, too; my STBX wife was always afraid that if we got a cat, she’d lose out to it in my affections. I always thought she was joking around, like “I am never going to get any attention if we get a cat, are we?” but in retrospect, perhaps it was more serious than I realized. She was also worried that if we had children that she would get supplanted in my affections.

        These should have been huge red flags, but I didn’t know what I was looking for, I guess.

  • It’s especially annoying when the extended family buys the cheater’s BS. “Well, it’s better if you’re not arguing all the time, especially with the kids.” “Arguing all the time? When?” I sputter. I wish we’d been arguing or that he’d told me anything of his supposed woes. Or the other one: “they seemed so happy, but you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.” Closed doors? You mean his and the cheating nanny’s.

  • Mine was unhappy first 30, then 20 then 10 years. THEN he believed himself to be a self claimed “relationship hero” because “SOMETHING! had to be done about all this unhappiness!” He was just the victim to be the stand up man and take the bullet…. to save “us all from unhappiness.”

    The right verbal punch was “he was not happy”. HOW can you argue his personal happiness?
    The second verbal punch, the left uppercut, was; “You, Chump, never forgave/could never forgive/will never forgive the cheater, no matter WHAT they do!” >Sob. Victim speak.<

    How can anyone withstand this one, two punch? There is no arguing with either statement because it is based on opinion and alleged past experiences. It is cheater fodder from heaven.

    • More absolutely impossible to counter accusations from Sad Sack Sam;

      “You simply don’t want what I have to offer.”
      “I do not feel appreciated.” (No details given)
      “I am not respected.” (No details given)
      “Yes, I SAID I was happy and things were better… but sometimes you just say things.”

      How does a chump even respond???

    • Hmm. In MC STBX said he was afraid that if he tried to reconcile I would have the upper hand because I would have the upper hand by claiming the moral high ground. I told him I thought he had the upper hand because if he didn’t like the way things were going he had other options so why bother trying to be a better husband. He proved me right. I refused to accept the blame for his bad actions and he split.

  • Cheaters need an excuse. “I’m not happy” is a way to blame shift the affair onto other people, who are responsible for their happiness. Because Cheaters are responsible for jack shit.

    And for chumps who are “not happy” because CheatingCoyote got some dynamite from the Acme Demolition Co., home of the Schmoopie Special, and blew up the family: That’s why it’s “leave a cheater, gain a life.” We’re responsible for our own happiness, too. And in the middle of the D-Day debris, it’s hard to imagine getting back to happiness again. All we can do is walk away from the chaos and build a life we can feel happy about. Show that cheater how it’s done. Because a year or two down the road, they still won’t be “happy,” because that black hole of suckitude inside them destroys whatever it touches.

    • “All we can do is walk away from the chaos and build a life we can feel happy about” Wow just think about that statement and it’s exactly what us Chumps do. Start over rebuild our lives, our kids lives and move on while the ‘self absorbed shifting cheats” wallow in their unhappiness. God they are useless assholes.

  • I not only got “I’m not happy” it was followed up with “You should have known I wasn’t happy. We weren’t meant to be together because you didn’t know.” So not only was he “not happy,” but I wasn’t a mind reader and should have (1) deduced that he wasn’t happy, (2) known exactly why and (3) figured out how to make him happy.

    I really don’t understand his theory that for us to be soul mates, we were supposed to just read each other’s minds. Is that a thing? I knew he was unhappy but he always blamed it on work and his unhappiness there. Apparently I was supposed to just “know” that he was really unhappy at home and he was screwing his secretary.

    • Blondebarrister – He’s the one who proposed to you, he’s the one who made vows to you. If you weren’t meant to be together, then he shouldn’t have done any of those things!! After all, you certainly didn’t put a gun to his head to get him to marry you. He did it out of his own volition and choice. He can’t then blame you for his choices.

    • You really should have known!! That way, they can blameshift it ALL on you. So typical. In addition to everything else, I got this gem, “marriages aren’t meant to last forever. Our time is up. I need to follow my bliss” I told him that MY marriage vows didn’t contain an expiration date or a “get out of jail free card” Apparently my wit was too much for his sensitive soul. Disappeared. Still causing financial damage, though. And lots of narcissistic rage, like a 2 year old.

    • I got the exact thing with my XH. “How couldn’t you have known how unhappy I was??” “We lacked the chemistry, that’s why you had no idea about my depression and unhappiness”. I blamed myself, and still do honestly, but just think it’s on them, not on us. They are responsible for their own happiness. If they needed something from us, communicate instead of validating for you feel with someone else.

  • Mine also played the “I haven’t been happy for 4 years” card. I one upped him by saying “Well I haven’t been happy for 7 and I didn’t cheat.” You should have seen his face after that one!

    While working on a “Love Map rebuilding” exercise during wreckonciliation, I asked the question (from the sheet) “What are you most concerned about for the future?”
    I answered: I am concerned about my health and how my cancer will affect our daughter.
    He answered: Of course I am concerned for our daughter, but I’m aso concerned about my happiness! I can’t feel this way forever.

    He also said that too many bad things have happened in our marraige to overcome. Except we had already overcome them! He recalled when his parents defaulted on credit cards they had taken out in his name 7 years earlier, when his dad died right after that, when I didn’t party enough at his cousins wedding because I was taking care of our 3 year old, I didn’t go to his brother’s wedding because I was at my cousin’s wedding on the same day (and his brother never talked to me) …mind you, he never talked to me about these things EVER, but now suddenly, they were insurmountable.

  • #1!!! And, as CL states, unhappiness has nothing to do with cheating. Being unhappy is not an excuse to treat people like shit, to betray them, to lie and endanger them.

    That’s the behavior of toddlers. Not adults. Not functioning members of society.

  • My reflexive reaction on D-Day was to assume my wife cheated because she was unhappy. But when I said, “I had no idea you were unhappy,” she’d say, “I wasn’t unhappy. We have a good marriage, and I love you. I’ve just learned that I want something more for myself.” Lately, I’m getting, “Well, I must have been unhappy, because why else would I have cheated?” At the same time, she’s trying to convince me that her leaving our marriage ultimately has nothing to do with her affair. She insists I’m overstating the (continuing) affair’s importance. He was merely a “catalyst,” not the actual reason she’s leaving, and she was probably bound to leave anyway. Yet she also says, “If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have realized something was missing for me.” Apparently, I’m to understand that the affair meant nothing and also meant everything. She was content until his magic penis knocked the scales from her eyes. But that’s ultimately irrelevant, because she was truly, secretly, unbeknownst even to herself, unhappy anyway. Except she wasn’t. Trying to make sense of it makes my brain swell.

    • But you see, if it’s a constantly moving target then no one can ever hit it. And that’s the point.

    • I got the exact word”catalyst” as well. The AP also wasn’t the reason he was leaving, she was just the “catalyst” …he hadn’t been happy in a long time blah blah. Interestingly, X moved out and straight up to the same apartment complex where the “catalyst” had moved to a month before, when she had left her husband. Within a few months, X and the “catalyst” were living together. At this point, I am fairly close to meh. Anyone who knows the situation thinks X has made a total jackass of himself with his 16 year younger “catalyst” . He is almost 60. “Catalyst” can enjoy what is sure to be his unpleasant slide towards old age.

  • My ex used the shotgun approach to blameshifting and gaslighting by revising history in every possible category. All of this was done with an Imperial, condescending, rage fueled, hate for everything I am and we were. All the while gleefully fucking my cousin and destroying her husband and kids. But wait, it was ALL MY FAULT that she was unhappy forever and apparently, according to her, I was too.

    She shared with me that her sadness began when her older brother didn’t deliver on a hobby horse she wanted as a kid, and also that I didn’t make her coffee in the morning (the fact that she didn’t ask, and I didn’t pick up on that with my psychic powers, and that I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life didn’t seem to matter).

    I guess 20+ years of love letters from her and all other signs of love were fake all along. Sigh….I’m guess I was just clueless. She couldn’t have possibly been a major douchebag all along right? lol

    • Oh, yeah, I remember suddenly getting the 100 things I hate about you speech coming up with ever little thing that I ever did that supposedly upset him so much during the marriage. But of course this was just a pre-discard set-up and excuse to blame me for all the bullshit he created. These people are unbelievable…smh

  • Hi from a long term lurker.

    ILYBINILWY speech – check
    It’s not you it’s me – check
    We used to be on the same page – check
    I’ve been unhappy for years – check
    You do nothing with our son – check
    And my personal favourite. What happened to you? Nothing happened to me. You just decided to fcuk your co worker.

    Yawn. Bored with her sh!t NYC is the way to go.

    However CN one thing I’ve not read here that I’d like to mention. I’m willing to bet each and every one of us chumps had our own opportunities to have our own A. Every one. I know I did but you know what? I didn’t. Not because of vows or of promises or anything else. I didn’t have an A because I loved my ex wife. She did. Ergo she doesn’t love me.

    Fine. Flicking my middle finger up her her nonsense. Don’t care anymore.


      • Again, just imagine her planning these talks with you with her fuckbuddy first. He’s there saying, “say this, say that”, she rehearses and both of them agree it sounds brilliant! Then think about these two geniuses trying to have functional lives. Laugh your ass off.
        They’re scumbags. Scumbags deserve scumbags. I’m at meh about them. Seriously, would go nc tomorrow and not think twice. I’d blot her out memory immediately. They can’t have that though. They need to fuck with you over kids, money, property. That’s the real suck for me. I did right and twatty gets to be a whore and I have to be her fucking indentured servant.

  • When i asked him if he ever felt unhappy during our life together, He said no, but he thinks he was unhapy but that he burried those feelings for years!!wtf

  • These people are truly tiring. I don’t know how they can stand themselves. Mine was unhappy for five years. During that time we had our second child got a mortgage and I heard… Wait for it… How happy he was!
    Later he backdated the five years to the beginning of our marriage. According to him we should have never gotten married and on that he is true!

  • In addition to telling me that he hasn’t been happy for years, my STBX also told me that he had given our relationship “the old college try,” and that “no one is sadder about this than” him. And that he hasn’t been happy for years, but he nevertheless “soldiered on” for our kids’ sake.

    I get a kick out of his drama, with the “college try” and the “soldiering on” nonsense.

  • If you discover that the price to gain your own happiness is taking it from others, then go shopping elsewhere. They claim they deserve happiness but don’t feel the same in reverse. Everyone else’s happiness is irrelevant.

  • Yep, I got that one too. After 31 years together, 28 years married, unicorn reconciliation after one “EA only I swear” 9 years ago. He waited until I left town for a work trip and moved 100% out of the house, sending me an e-mail to inform me that my life was over as I had known it. Just six weeks earlier he had declared “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” while we were on a vacation trip. And then he fled like the coward he is.

    He declared to our adult daughters, “I wasn’t happy, what did you want me to fucking do?” but he failed to mention that once again an OW is in the picture, just like 9 years ago when he denied for almost 2 years that there was an EA OW#1. (I busted that up, she ran for the hills and dumped him when I told her to fuck off). I thought things were OK after that episode and kept checking in with him to make sure we were good, learning the lessons from our false reconciliation and false MC from 9 years ago, pick me dancing like a maniac for all this time. But he just flat-out lied.

    He is massively passive aggressive and can look me square in the eye and say one thing and then go off and have a little petulant man-child tantrum in his head and withhold sex, harbor resentment, and start to cast about for strange pussy and some emotional connection with someone else. I don’t even think he has had sex with OW2, I think he is casting his line on hope alone. (He was a lot more attractive 9 years ago but he has gone downhill big time and looks like a sickly Barney Fife. His big wallet is the only bait now but holy shit there is so much else to overlook for any potential Schmoopie. Good luck with that, kids.)

    And so it is. I can’t fix this stupid. I realize that 3 decades of putting up with his shit is just about enough, thank you very much, and I can do better. Like CL says, I could swing a dead cat and hit someone that didn’t abandon me. My adult daughters are disgusted with their father as he has acted incredibly inappropriately with their college-age friends, offering prescription drugs to one right in front of one daughter and everything but asking one of their roommates out on a date. Disordered fuck. Doesn’t he realize he is nearing 50, is bald, has a scrawny build and bad teeth, snores sewage breath on his bed mate and has a hairy back? I do, and I loved the fuckwit anyway. Since he was 17 I committed to love that asshole for my whole life and for my efforts I got thrown away like garbage.

    That is OK. I expect that one day he will get an e-mail from his daughters, you know– just dropping Daddy a note that they got married the other day or that he is now a grandfather, just thought he should know. That is the connection with him he deserves and is now setting up.

    Yep, he deserves a goddam e-mail.

  • Wish someone would send this to Manchild and his ho-worker -it fits them both to a T. Of course, they are too self absorbed to know and I am trying very hard not to care 🙂

  • “Gnaw at the invisible chains that kept me tethered to you”. Priceless. CL just needs to write for a tv sitcom so I can laugh and laugh. All. Day. She’s just hysterical!

  • NIC,
    This is rxacyly my story. asshole had an emotional affair 20 years ago no sex but left for Schmoopie #1 when she turned him down, I took him back. Another 20 years passes and I have my suspicions but think we’ll h’s learned his lesson. Retired, traveling, good life, kids grand kids, nice home enough money etc etc. seemed happy he’s changed it was just a mistake, mid life crisis.
    Well, out of the blue, he’s unhappy and wants a divorce, I immediately asked what’s her name he confessed in love again, no sex, they just have special bond. This fool is 68 years old gave up half his wealth, his relationship with kids, grandkids, friends and his family. The kids want nothing to do with him, he hurt them deeply. Before he left I said do you know what your giving up, his reply: “I’m well aware of what I’m giving up” and walked out the door. If he wasn’t “well aware” he soon will be. Supposedly he has a brain tumor, of course he let me know, so I could feel sorry for him and he can weasel his way back into the family’s good graces if things go sour. I hope Schmoopie is a good nurse! I have no interest in him or his health issues. I’ve not told anyone he might be ill, as he’ll just use this to guilt them into his fucked up drama. When he walked out I was 72 and completely devastatede, he didn’t give one thought to what would happen to me after 40 fucking years of loving this jerk. I found CN and have made a new good life for myself and he’s not getting the chance to destroy it. He’s taking all he is going to take from me. Sometimes they get more then an ” Email” the Karma bus is patrolling!

    • It is a sad sisterhood, isn’t it. I feel thrown away.

      I wish my STBX had brain rot, some tumor that would explain his behavior. I have wished him dead many times (as I have said, there are little kids with cancer in this world, why must these assholes run free). I find I am jealous of unicornnomore whose X dropped dead. But, perhaps my X will get to squirm when I show up at joint-parenting/granparenting events in the future looking healthy, happy, (and possibly on the arm of a great man) and he will have to live with his choices in a new way as his daughters choose me to be with them and their babies over him and some skank. I do hope my revenge will be a glorious life and love that I never would have experienced with him in the picture.

  • Oh yesTHIS! Apparently hubs decided to blame the children and I for his unhappiness which had plagued him for the last ten years of our 30 year marriage. Hmmm how is that possible when everything revolved around what he wanted 24/7. Gee I thought he was happy! Oops what I didn’t know it’s hard to be a happy hubby when you’re living a secret life betraying yourself and everyone in your family. Awww and despite skipping off into the sunset with crazy OW he’s complaining he’s still not happy! So funny! No surprise cause wherever you go you have yourself to deal with. Life is tough!

  • I noticed we were unhappy: mostly because he wouldn’t look me in the face, or have a dedicated conversation w me for over a year.

    I got genuine silent treatment despite many attempts to connect with him, schedule some together time (I kid you not). I was being stonewalled.

  • Yep, after a year of back and forth to me, he finally tells me he wants a divorce! Tells me that Schmoopie makes him happy! I told him that was flawed thinking. No body makes you happy, that comes from within. But I gave him the divorce and guess what? Schmoopie didn’t make him happy anymore! What it really came down to was he got very sick and Schmoopie couldn’t deal with that and the fact that he was broke. The fantasy bubble burst real quick. I read Lyndaloo’s posts and my hair stands up on my neck. Beware! He will return so you can be a nurse and a purse. They have nothing left to “sell” to a Schmoopie. Those whores just want “good times” and when that runs dry they want rid of our Ex’s!

  • Hit the mark CL. It’s another classic cheater mantra. They are so text book.

    Divorce is painful enough without throwing in infidelity to set it all ablaze.l And she wonders why I’m NC.

  • Thank you for this. I dont recall seeing this article before. I am several years out and mostly Meh but ex declaring “he wanted to be happy JUST ONCE before he died” was such a direct hit to the gut that it haunted me for a very long time. We had a nice house, good jobs, two awesome kids, he had sent me lots of flowers over the years…yet he was NEVER HAPPY ONCE? Not even ONCE. Not when are kids were born? Not when i let him get every car he had to have? Not when he brought home dog after dog after dog?
    The fact that you state above that it is a statement you cannot argue with make so much sense – now. But back them i just felt like pond scum.

  • My cheater’s narrative to me and to our adult children was ‘i have been unhappy for a long time’ and ‘this has been coming for a long time’. Yeah, strange how for years leading up to August he would often tell me and send me the most lovey dovey texts talking about how wonderful i was, how much he loved me blah blah, we had been making long term plans for home renos and travel and then from what i have pieced together about 8 weeks later around October he apparently has started to pursue his co worker before i found out what was actually going on 4 months later. Initially, i was so devastated and blaming myself – how did i not see it, it must have been my fault because i wasnt meeting his needs for sex and intimacy and supporting him like he continued to tell me post dday. Now, almost 7 months out, it just pisses me off. Not happy ? DIdnt think to put the effort into our relationship? No, too busy going on secret dates with slunt. How about more sex with me? No, pretending to be tired, have ED issues etc so he didnt have to ‘cheat’ on slunt. Counselling to work on issues with the support of a therapist ?No, 32 years isnt too much to throw away for a 5 month relationship is it ?. How about leaving honestly because you are sooo sad and before you fuck a slunt. Nah, wheres the fun in that !!! Yeah, say that shit to me again dickhead and you WILL be unhappy!!!

  • There is zero point in staying in touch with most of the in laws.
    My ex MIL (Now dead, god rest her bossy controlling soul) told all and sundry that no wonder our marriage imploded due to POS infidelities. He just never got enough puddings.

    Yep, serial cheating and pathological lying allowed if no puddings.

  • OK. This resonates. So, my Soon-To-Be-Ex-Wife, after being caught out, quickly went into the “I wasn’t happy” charade.

    The thing is, I have this gigantic stack of cards and love notes, even a little “book of awesome” etc that she wrote to me, saying how lucky she was to have me, how much she loved living with me, how she wanted to spend the rest of her life with me, I was her soul mate, when she was with me she felt home, etc. The last one was from February this year. The cheating began in April, this year. 8 weeks. 8 weeks to apparently go from loving, caring wife who was declaring to me that I was her ideal soulmate and life partner, to an “unhappy” cheat who would go around telling her family and friends that “we were having problems, then I met someone else”.

    I can’t even….

    We’d been together for 6 years, married for 1 – almost exactly (aside: her first cheat date was the day before our wedding anniversary – stay classy. Oh, but it gets better. She planned it for when I was away for a job interview in her home country, for a job that would move us back closer to her family & ill father, a move she had wanted to make for years. So yup, my “loving” wife premeditated cheating on me, the day before our wedding anniversary, for while I was away doing something really constructive for us both). She had never expressed anything but happiness in our relationship. Suddenly (upon being caught), she didn’t find me attractive, she wasn’t sure I was the one she was meant to be with, she didn’t like our life together, etc. The first week of our ‘separation’ she seemed to delight in telling me about her newfound freedom “Oh, it’s so nice to just be able to go out to a cafe and sit and read a book”, like I had ever stopped her doing anything like that – she must have forgotten all the ‘nights out with friends’ that I had been utterly fine with that she had used as cover to have an affair.

    I came up with quite an effective system of dealing with her & figuring out what she was trying to do – writing about what I did is on my list of ‘must blog about this some time’ and maybe i’ll get into on here at some point, but suffice to say for now that what I did helped me to figure out what she was trying to achieve in her interactions with me & gave me a framework to respond in a way that took the emotion aspect out of it. I came to the conclusion that this sudden unhappiness was just her trying to manufacture justification. I am certain that she never actually was unhappy, never stopped from doing anything she wanted to do, but it takes good character for someone to be able to go to family and friends and say “well, yeah, he was a great husband, a great partner, I wasn’t unhappy and I loved him. I had no justification to do what I did. I just was greedy and stupid”. And as we know, our cheaters do not have good character, or they wouldn’t be cheaters to begin with. So instead, they tell their family and friends that they were unhappy, didn’t have freedom, etc. It’s like they have opened a sachet of Instant Justification Power and just added water (crocodile tears work very well). They get to keep a good (if slightly reduced) imagine in the eyes of the people they tell, who will forgive them along the lines of “Oh, but they couldn’t stay in a relationship they were unhappy in”, or “It’s not right how she went about it, but she was unhappy”.

    In my stbx’s particular case, her mum had left her 2nd hubsand for her current partner. Her 2nd husband was apparently very controlling and abusive, and one can sit back and go “yeah, I get why she had an affair”. I feel my stbx is basically buying into that sympathy by trying to compare her situation to her mothers. And even as I write this, I realise that I am fully brought into the narrative that on some level, her mother was justified in her own affair. See how this works?

    It’s immensely unfair. I personally feel like I have been trashed in the eyes of particular friends, and in the eyes of her family. I am certain she has framed our relationship as something it was not. I expect others in a similar situation feel much the same. I feel like I am being forced to share a portion of the blame that I simply do not deserve. I feel like shouting, “You know what, maybe I did nothing wrong, maybe she is just a warped individual?”, but I know that it won’t get me anywhere. I feel like taking photos of all the cards and notes and sending them to her family. But again, I know that if i’m divorcing her, I am not going to maintain contact with them, so what’s the point? It certainly wouldn’t do my own sanity any good to go down that path.

    At the end of the day, I think she took a calculation, and I get it – even though I disapprove; if she took full responsibility, held up her hand and admitted how much she messed up, she’d be permanently tarnished in the eyes of her family, with still a good chance that I would be gone. On the other hand, if she claimed that we were having problems, she’d appear to be justified but she’d lose me for certain (because there is no way i’d let that stand). And I guess she felt like being justified in her families eyes was more important than going after a slim chance of keeping me. Well, so much for all the rhetoric about following me to the ends of the earth.

    So, I think that’s another read on all of this…. sometimes, it’s not about cake, or the truth, or not being able to tell you they were unhappy. It’s about preserving their precious public image (incidentally, my stbx didn’t want us to tell anyone – she could sod off if she thought I was going to trudge around keeping that bottled up on her behalf).

    • I have a very similar story to yours ChumpChris. I was with my XH for 6 yrs and married for 1yr. He did the same exact things; wrote me a song, poems, random gifts almost once a week and always exclaimed how lucky he was. He put me on a pedestal. But once he met his soul-mate, he realized how unhappy he truly was. He took that pedestal, knocked me on my ass and put her as priority. I’m not sure what he tells his friends and his family about me but I know it’s wrong. We aren’t the people they created in their heads.

      Honestly, it wouldn’t benefit your image if you went to her family and friends explaining how much she screwed up. It’ll just make you look resentful and bitter. Take it from me who’s been there, haha.

    • Holy shit, dude, our scenarios are just about identical. I was with my STBX for 7 years, and she left me for the OM one week before our 1 year wedding anniversary (October). She moved right in with him, unbeknownst to me until I was served the papers. Played all the same bullshit cards, “I’m not romantically attracted to you, never was, there was never any connection, blah blah blah.”

      I’m sure she painted me as the bad guy to her family and both of her friends, but everyone else sees her for what she really is: a lying, manipulative, cheating piece of human garbage. The amount of people that have come forward to take my side is amazing. She said I was always angry all the time, much to everyone’s surprise. “You’re never angry, wtf is she on about?” is what I hear most frequently, from friends and family alike.

      So whatever her family thinks about it, who cares? I’m sure they see it as well. And they may take her side to her face, but when she leaves, they undoubtedly will look at each other and say “what the fuck is she on about?”

      The divorce judgement can’t come quick enough.

      You are not alone my friend, and I hope you’re doing well. Especially now, during the holidays. It’s rough stuff, but I’ve been told the first year is the hardest. May as well get it over with now.

      Not sure if you’re a fan of Star Trek, but Captain Picard has a quote that I’ve held onto quite dearly in light of all this:

      “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.”

  • I’ve been wondering for quite some time if there’s some cheater’s handbook that they’re all following. There must be, because nearly everything my husband has said to me over the last 10 mo this of living hell is somewhere on this site, and in all those chumpy books I’ve read. This one really got me good. ‘I’ve been unhappy for sooooo long.’ ‘I can’t stand the thought of spending another 25 years not feeling about you the way I should feel about my wife.’ ‘I feel like sex with you is wrong because I don’t love you anymore.’ Really? Get the fuck out of my house. He refused to leave for months, finally agreeing 2 weeks ago to spend half the week at his mother’s and half the week here. Who knows where he’s really staying? I don’t trust this man. At all. Sometimes I’m actually speechless at what he comes up with. I feel such anger and rage that it’s hard to restrain myself from screaming at him every time I see him.

    We’ve been married for almost 26 years. We have 1 son who just went off to college la month ago. How’s that for timing? Here, let me break your heart, trample all over it, stomp on it, and destroy your world just as our only son heads off to college! He hasn’t been happy for some time, you see. Everything is soooooo hard. I had cancer in 2001. I have severe, chronic pain that’s bad enough that I have a fucking morphine pump in my abdomen. Seriously.

  • I had this told me. I was told that she had not been happy from 5 years into the relationship when I discovered her cheating after 15 years together. I was then told that if I loved her I would knew what she wanted. Neither I or either of our families picked up that she was unhappy and if she had told me I would have tried to work together to fix it.

    She always saw other women as a threat and hence had few female friends but a number of male friends who I accepted, as I trusted her, but it turned out a number of them were stalking horses undermining me. She left for a co-worker, a married man with two kids and he told his wife that she would like the OW as she was a lot like her but without the kids! Now I am wary of any prospective partner that does not have a good group of female friends. Experience left me doubting out whole 15 years together as I thought we were happy despite ups and downs, yes I made mistakes but don’t believe that were that heinous.
    I don’t want her back but at times the guilt at what I may or may not have done still haunts me.