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Dear Chump Lady, Why is he suddenly nice?

Dear Chump Lady,

I am so confused. I am going through a divorce. Eight years of marriage and the discard was sudden and brutal.

I am just getting over the crazy shit that has happened. I have been smeared as the person who is having the affair, so no one will speak to me. I have evidence, but I have to wait till after court to clear my name. He has been awful to me, gaslighted me into almost committing myself to hospital so he can have the house to himself, and people believe it’s me. So I let go of it.

Then, as we have to share a house till the finances are finalised, he has suddenly put on the overly nice person mask as if nothing as happened and we are not going to court in four weeks time to slug it out. This confuses me — why be suddenly so nice to me? What is going on?

Help as my mind is getting crazy and confused again.

Polly

Dear Polly,

Someone once described narcissists this way: “Come here closer… so I can slap you.”

If he’s beckoning you nearer, you can guarantee there’s a slap coming. The “nice” act is to conceal the forthcoming slap. He wants to lure you into complacency, so your guard is down. Easier to manipulate you that way.

Oh, Chump Lady, you’re so cynical! Ascribing evil motives. Maybe he’s just really conflicted at his relationship ending and feeling a bit sorry.

Look, anyone who accuses you of cheating (a classic cheater move) and assassinates your character and gaslights you is not your friend. That seems like such a patently obvious sentence to write, but if I could scream advice at chumps from the roof tops (and hey, I kinda do) THEY’RE NOT YOUR FRIEND! would lead my apocalyptic sermon. Just because you once loved this person, does not mean they wouldn’t step on your neck to get what they want.

And because you probably do still love them (despite yourself), they’ll play that for everything it’s worth, sidling up to you to get shit — your money, sex, your good opinion of them. Whatever it is they want, be suspicious. That’s why the advice here is go No Contact. But you’re living with him, so you’re going to have to be extra mighty with boundaries for a month.

Is there no sofa you can sleep on? No hotel you can lodge yourself at to avoid the mindfuckery? It really would be worth it. But I get that separated while living together is a hell some chumps must endure. (I endured 6 months of it in my first divorce as he would not move. the. fuck. out. Longest 6 months of my life. I still shudder.) So my advice to you, is make yourself scarce so you can avoid the “nice guy.” And the raging asshole behind the nice guy.

I hope you have a good attorney. You mentioned “evidence.” Put that in a safe place, make records of all the financials, and do everything to protect yourself — including reaching out. Tell those closest to you the truth — you didn’t cheat! He discarded you. The last thing you need right now is to be isolated. That just gives him more power. Circle the wagons!

Remember, the pain is finite. Soon you’ll be rid of him. Hang in there and come here for support.

P.S. He’s NOT nice!

This column ran previously. 

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  • After all the pain and shit storms I went through with my cheater ex, I have come to imagine him (and those like him) like a monkey in a cage. As long as you tolerate and try to make sense of their behavior (whatever the fuck this may be) they are out of the cage: they can scratch you, bite you and harm you. Go no contact and poof: the monkey is back in its cage. I can even smile now when I see my ex (maybe once a year due to our 2 shared sons) because I just picture him in the cage, bars and all . 🙂

    • BTW, I think monkeys are cute, are above cheaters and deserve to live free into the wild. It could be a representation of any creature.

  • They ACT nice to get shit. The ugly lying, cheating & stealing – that is the real face. You aren’t two faced, they are. Don’t fall for their duplicitous bullshit. You deserve better.

  • There does come a time when the cheaters suddenly realise that this is real life, and not their strange self-centred construct of reality. Your day in court is approaching and he knows he’s lied about you. It’s obvious that he’s starting to be scared and wanting to get back in your good books. But he’s been a real shit to you and there’s no evidence he’ll be anything else. Don’t fall for his self-serving schmoozing.

  • Dear Polly,

    I agree 100% with CL – heck, when don’t I? There are 3 channels (or personalities) that these fuckwits typically exhibit. Rage, Charm, and Pity. Right now, you have something he wants… PROOF. In 4 weeks, the shit will hit the proverbial fan and unless he can get ahead of it and control it, the narrative that you cheated will come to and end and the bright spotlight of whoredom will be upon him.

    So, why did he choose Charm from his arsenal? I see it this way, based on my experience with Mr. Sparkles. Charm looks good to the outside world – anyone watching you two will see that he is “trying” and he is “taking the high road”. Charm might get you to go easy on the divorce proceedings, “why can’t we just end this as friends?”. Charm might get him laid again, nothing says “You’re forgiven” like sex with a chump. And, most of all, because he thinks he is Rico Suave when he’s oozing charm and it makes him feel good.

    NONE of it is about you. People are believing his lies – then they aren’t your people, they’re his flying monkeys. Use these four weeks to be with your people (or person, or cat, or bench in a park), but stay the fuck away from him. You can be mostly no contact while living in the same house. It’s like being on a diet – the cake is the on the counter, but you can’t have any so stay out of the kitchen – see what I mean?

    Mr. Sparkles only charmed me when he wanted me to have some kibbles to keep me trapped in Chumpy Town; when he wanted me to spend money on something he wanted; when the kids were watching; when it was an event that required a Hallmark card; when he wanted a financial payout in the divorce; when he wanted to believe he wasn’t a pathological lying bisexual whore. NONE of his being charming was about being authentic or owning his actions. Never was, never will be.

    • “NONE of his being charming was about being authentic or owning his actions. Never was, never will be.” This is so true. Assholio would fly into fits of scary rage, and then act sooooper nice the next day, like nothing had happened, because he realized it was pushing me one more step towards divorce and the end of his money and kibble supply. Never took ownership of his actions, ever. I just wish it hadn’t taken me 10+ years to see this pattern.

      • It’s very hard for me to read all this. Embarrassing as hell, actually. I’m feeling very duped today (it’s the DOCTOR’s birthday so at least I’m not dancing around giving him a gift he MIGHT give a shit about but can’t b/c it was all HIS money so – you know, everything I gave him was worthless…)

        My 35 year marriage was once, (I thought) “extremely strong”, then it was a “pretty darn good one”, then a “work in progress” and then a

        “WTF??? How could you be this cruel/dishonest/selfish AGAIN???”

        Now I’m in the phase of How could I the- DOCTOR’s1stWife, – have been so very blind for so very long?

        Today I came here and realized more profoundly, that he’s not a unicorn. I’m a chump, and it makes me very sad.

        The other day the DOCTOR sent a polite text about how my brother was helping us save legal costs on the divorce. My brother had said my soon to be ex, sounded “subdued, beaten down” on the phone.

        God help me, I first felt sorry for him, and THEN I wondered if the text meant that my husband was reaching out to me.

        This was solely b/c he sent me a text that was not rude or outright nasty. Incredibly, I then worried that not answering the text would be rude of me.

        RUDE OF ME???? OMG, what is wrong with me? It’s like I’ve been in an institution for crazy gaslight victims.

        Among the saddest moments of my life, came for me this week. I realized it is hopeless due to the following:

        -Even if there was a sudden seismic change in him & he realized he deeply wounded the 4 people who loved him the most (miracle #1)

        and EVEN IF he then had a unicorn like character transplant, in which he cared about others as much as himself; and felt remorse (miracle #2)

        and then EVEN IF he really did all the work it would take to re-establish my trust (miracle #3)

        I would still never see him the same way. He’s not who I thought he was. He is a man capable of great cruelty, with malice aforethought. Not a sudden snap, or momentary loss of temper. But the type of man who can shove a shitty public pot of humiliation in my face & in our children’s. Apart from all the other deceit and thievery and selfishness, it’s the cruelty that startled me most.

        So This is not about my & forgiveness, it’s about really seeing him.

        In my head it is clear we cannot ever reconcile. It’s hopeless. But in my heart, a part of me resists this concept at a cellular level.

        Like I said, it’s embarrassing.

        • It sure is hard, but CL gets it so right when she says that nice part, that’s just the trick to get you close so he can smack you. I am, frankly, amazed, at how much of the descriptions on here hit home.
          Take care of yourself, and know that you are not alone – and he’s a fuckhead.

        • The part about feeling sorry for him resonated with me. I feel sad when I think of ex being happy with Schmoopie after all he has done to his family, but on those days when I see him looking wrung out frazzled and/or sad, that makes me sad too. It makes no sense. I’m not happy thinking of him being happy or sad. The only time I feel better is when I am not thinking of him at all. Those times are getting longer in duration, but I am not there yet. It doesn’t help that I am not NC as we still deal frequently because of the kids and I still see him when he shows up to get them.

        • (((Hugs)))

          It is sad. It’s about the saddest damn thing ever. But what you are really sad about is realizing the dream you had of a wonderful man in your life, is actually that psycho you thought your good heart could bring around, and despite your best efforts, you couldn’t.

          That’s what I’m sad about.

        • I can relate to your post. All of it. I’m divorced now. Making a life for me. Those things you mentioned? They would be miracles. Mine has walked away from not only me but his kids. Sad.

          • LIVEfortoday

            unless my kids reached out to him for his birthday yesterday, then it has been a year since he has seen our children. So I understand the pain of seeing a husband and father disappear. Mine is in Alaska. Though that sucks in many ways, thank GOD I don’t run into him.

            And when he spoke to my brother – he mentioned not seeing the kids in a sad way. Like he was hurt. And Of course he is.

            I think if he had told my brother that HE had hurt them/me, or wished he could at least repair the relationships (not saying to reconcile the marriage, but to realize HE HURT US/THEM)

            then I would see him in a better light. But he doesn’t. I don’t see him as the extreme NPD some portray here. But I am leary of projecting too much goodness or confusion onto him.

            He clearly justified his choices or he would not have made them. (Somehow this lesson was lost on me until recently).

            So I’m sad that I was wrong (and I want to say that he changed. But it’s more like time revealed the truth – yet I still denied, until it smacked me in the head with stunning horrific clarity).

            I’m sad that I am starting over and resentful that he has a pristine resume and I have a work gap of 10 years.
            I’m sad to be positive our kids will never ever feel the same about him, and I’m sad that he must realize it at some level. Sucks to be him. Which sort of makes me sad and happy at the same time.

            I am sad that our kids have a puzzling absent man for their dad. I’m sad they saw him being cruel to me in public (Facebook posts about the “love of his life Schmoopie, whom I did not know of) and when I was at my most vulnerable. I had just gotten out of the hospital for a serious but ‘out of the blue’ medical shit. Which terrified me and my kids.

            He really can look good in other’s eyes, and sure had me convinced for decades. God I loved that man.

            I am not ready to hear that I loved a mirage. I’m a lawyer and consider myself smart.

            But I can also be a fool. Fuck.

            • So much of what you said resonates with me.

              The sad part is all the self doubt I hear in your post. I am the same way.

              You are a smart woman, the problem is that doesn’t make it hurt any less and probably makes it worse because you look for rational answers and there are none.

              Be glad he is away from you because he is still the same messed up individual there. If he is sad, it is only for himself, not for you or your kids.

              I hope Time helps. That is what I am praying for.

            • Your phrase ‘capable of great cruelty’ is the one that rings in my head. I just can’t get past it in my situation, either.

              Did you read The Velveteen Rabbit to your kids? How love makes things real? You loved your husband and your family and your co-created life. It was real. Your devotion to that was real. Doctor? He’s still got stuffing for a soul.

              The fact that it took a long time to integrate his capacity for cruelty into your understanding speaks to HIS ability to hide it, and to YOUR essential goodness in believing the best of people.

              You loved your family enough for two people, and he used that to his advantage. I”m sorry.

          • I’m with you all on the sadness…it’s a bitch, for real. BUT, imho, I’d rather be a chump, capable of empathy, love, generosity, compassion, & yes, even sadness, grief and loneliness. These remind me that I am NOT a narc and won’t retaliate by becoming more like one of them. Staying open and learning to set appropriate boundaries and spot sociopathic tells – ChumpSurvival 101 here at Chump University – I can prepare myself for the possibility of a healthy, reciprocal love one day. And I can show my kids how to take care of myself and teach others how to treat me and…how to feel sad and still be okay. This grief is HEAVY. NC gives me the space to heal some before narc undertow pulls me back out to those choppy waters of anger, doubt, rage, and betrayal.

  • yeah my cheater wife is telling me “how bad” she feels and she can tell “how much she has hurt me”, but behind the scenes she’s complaining about how I need to be “progressing” faster with my therapy, “I’m behind” and we can “move on” quicker and “repair the relationship”. My pain annoys her and she wants nothing to do with feelings of guilt or shame. I’m supposed to be on her schedule of how I deal with my broken heart and devastation.

      • Dude, your woman is like a hurricane. There comes a time when you need to pack your bags and get the hell out. I lived your nightmare…get out now. It’s only getting worse and you just don’t see it.

        • Mine offered to pay for counselling for me … could have been for a number of reasons: To help me get over his fabulous self? For him to prove in court that I’m the whack-job, not him? Because I wouldn’t be able to pay for it myself, because I’m a loser financially (so he implied throughout our relationship and now could prove it by still having to hand me money)?

          I declined his generous offer. I suggest, Zell, you pretend to get over her, whether you actually do or not. She is probably enjoying your visible grief. Work on Plan B (which is for yourself, and the alternative to Plan A: The Unicorn). I didn’t want to let my hope go, so my sister said, “If he loves you, he’ll find you in Plan B”. That sustained me long enough to come up with a Plan B, and then Plan B sounded so much better than Plan A, I didn’t care about him anymore.

    • Get the hell out NOW. She isn’t remorseful at all. She simply wants to act like her intentional conduct never happened. Her lack of acceptance responsibility for her conduct is probably the best indicator that she is either still cheating or will cheat again in the future.

      Your feelings don’t matter; it’s all about her feeling better about the shitty things she has done. From what you have posted, I can promise you that she is a classic narcissistic cheater, who is doing nothing more than putting on a show of pretend remorse. Please, please do not be fooled.

    • Zell, maybe you aren’t ‘progressing’ fast enough in your training (aka therapy) because the whole thing is one stinking pile of mindf@ck?

    • Zell, this is exactly what my cheater was saying to me during our wreconciliation: not moving fast enough with my therapy, I was too emotional, blah, blah, blah. It was all just bullshit. My healing begun AFTER divorcing his ass and going no contact. I know – we here all do – how hard this is for you. I have a friend who has found out that her husband (who happens to be my ex husband’s best friend :)) had been cheating on her with a 20 something years old woman for the past 3 years. Once she shared her story with me I have immediately directed her to this site. She chose to take her husband back and last time I spoke with her she was complaining how fucking hard was to do marriage police on him, how she id not trust him any more, how she was going through his phone looking for evidence all while posting happy family photos on Facebook. This is not a way to live, it is torture. You deserve better. You can heal your broken heart and move on with your life and meet people who are worth of your love and affection.

    • Zell – you’d be amazed at how your recovery and healing would progress WITHOUT HER. Tell her to take her stop watch and time how long it takes her to accidentally fall onto another man’s penis… I bet she’d qualify for the Olympics.

      No contact was/is the hardest thing I’ve ever done (next to delivering a baby)… but man, oh, man… talk about CLARITY and PEACE and HEALING. I couldn’t have achieved any of it staying with a person who can look me in the eye and LIE (let alone fuck other women and men).

      • At least delivering a baby is over in 24 hours or so. Staying no contact is a daily struggle (not unlike a stubborn toddler).

    • Both my wife and our marriage counselor fed me this BS, Zell.

      —“Move on.”
      —“She’s already stopped and apologized; what more do you want her to do?”
      —“You need to figure out why you can’t get past this.”
      —“JC is having a hard time because he had a girlfriend in high school…20 years ago…who cheated on him, so he’s damaged.”
      —Etc.

      So you know, my wife was actually still fucking her OM through all of this, lying to both me and our MC (as well as to everyone else in her life).

    • I got the same thing–within weeks of D-day, I was supposed to be able to be “cheerful,” and “put the past behind us,” and “focus on good, happy thoughts about us.” I had already stopped being ‘marital’ in any way & had fully moved into the guest bedroom. Hannibal Lecher’s chances to fully make up to me were dwindling rapidly with such statements and other BS and gaslighting that I was forced to endure.

      He reiterated “put the past behind us,” in a letter the day I filed on his pathological lying ass. Why try to convince me to reconcile the DAY I filed? Because they never think we will leave them. Until we do.

        • Mine ramped up his efforts after I filed and kicked him out. It’s been two months and he’s still throwing out “We can have a better marriage, that man you married is dead, you just have to want it!”

          Given the three existing (failed) attempts at reconciliation and the continued betrayal….Do. Not. Want!

        • My divorce was finalized in May, and my ex is doing the best hoovering I’ve ever seen from him. He CAN NOT figure out why it’s not working this time. Like the actual divorce was just another instance of me being upset with him because I found out about yet another girlfriend, and I should take him back again. He never thought I would go through with it, even though I kept telling him “One day I’ll divorce you.”

          • Yes 13 Years a Chump, he took your statements in the past as nagging and complaining, but nothing really serious on your part. Hey after all, it’s just another instance that will go away, this time, just like every other time in the past. It’s unbelievable how these cheaters are so entitled and full of themselves. Is he in for a surprise, when he realizes you went through with it this time and his ass is left out in the cold. He is in for a rude awakening!

          • In their own minds, their Mate Value is astronomical. Lowly little chumps, who have often been kissing the cheaters’ asses for years to placate them, will never find anyone as fabulous as the cheater (so they think). In addition to not being true, who cares? Life alone is so much better than with a manipulative cheater.

        • They never think we’ll leave them til we do is so true. Dr. Crazy was truly surprised when he got my text and email informing him that I’d filed for divorce and he was to never contact me again or I’d call the police. Maxing out my half of our joint credit card on a new laptop, bedding, car repairs, contact lenses, carpeting and three pairs of boots should’ve been his first clue.

      • Yeah, mine thought I should get over it on his timetable, too. Expected things to be grand again within weeks. The only cure I found was to get cheater free.

    • Definitely read CL’s article “Real Remorse? Or Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse?” … because what you have is the intentionally fake bullshit that many of us received from our cheaters.

      Your pain is a part of the consequence (a natural consequence) of her betrayal of you and your marriage. The problem is that cheaters don’t like consequences. Hell, most of them feel entitled NOT to have consequences. “Oh, I gutted you and devastated everything we built together? … So? Get over it already!”

      When you have the person who DID the harm telling the HARMED individual to “hurry up and get over it” … you have nothing to work with. This person does not care about you — or even about what they did.

      • The Fucktard told me that I just wanted to wallow in my own self-pity. Because reacting emotionally to his deceit was a bad character trait on my part.

        • What a complete asshole. As if what he put you through wasn’t bad enough … he decided to pour a bunch of salt and acid in the wound. Definitely a Fucktard.

          My STBX would pretend to give a shit for a while, then the rage channel would kick in and I would get similar comments to the one you got.

          When things are still confusing (pathological lying and gaslighting have that affect), the harsh criticisms are piercing. Thank heavens for clarity. Once I started to see through the BS, the comments didn’t hurt anymore — they pissed me off instead. And every time I read another Chump’s story (like yours, Survivor), I get pissed all over again. The injustice is mind-blowing.

          We have one, short, precious life. Why anyone would choose to use that time to purposefully hurt and demean those closest to him or her is simply beyond my comprehension. Basic human decency is not rocket science.

    • About 2 months after I said “enough!”, KK wrote to a Facebook friend:

      “I know he’s hurting but I assumed after a month or so I’d start seeing something some positive movement forward. Anything. I really don’t understand it. I feel sorry for him, but he has to accept that this is happening and start putting on his big boy pants for the sake of our daughters.”

      It took every bit of strength I had not to react.

      • Anger rising just by reading this.

        They sure are good at putting on a show, lacking any real empathy and feeling entitled all while blaming others, especially those closest to them.

      • UXWorld, I certainly hope you have a physical outlet like a sport or something. Reading this, and your description yesterday of KK’s photo posting and her delusional revisionist story of heroic personal growth – that is, how she lost enough weight to become a remorseless cheater – I worry how much you can take. The condescending gall of these disordereds! It’s enraging enough coming from an ignorant smug third party like a RIC therapist. But this. I just hope you have access to some sort of athletic release activity.

      • UX
        “Put on you big boy panties and get over it”
        This statement enrages me. I recall very early days before no contact when The ClusterFuck B Sociopath would revel in my pain and hysterics. He would get all gussied up for a date with CockSlobber, skipping around, singing, totally enjoying my pain.
        Often he would say “put on your big girl panties and get over it”
        I had NEVER heard him make a statement like this in 18 years. I know it came straight from CockSlobber’s whore hole mouth.
        You know, this is such a fucking heartless juvenile statement to make to somebody in such pain. It shows you that they have no idea the pain that the depth of their betrayal has caused. What a fucking insult to have two stupid fucking lowlife pieces of shit advising me on how to navigate the pain they created.
        Well, two years out here now. Yes, that statement infuriated me so much that in fact, I did put on my big girl panties and got over it. That single stupid statement emanating from an ordinary bar whore slut was part of a driving force that shut down The ClusterFuck B Sociopath attempts at any reconciliation (Thank God).
        Us poor chumps suffer the brunt of their brutality and they love it, until we rise up, get mad, and fight for our sanity.
        May every motherfucker who intentionally causes pain on innocents burn in hell.
        I will tell them to “bitch, put on your big girl panties and get over it”
        Just a sauna in hell, no biggie.
        Moral of my rant: this statement triggers me. Lol.

    • Zell – I got much the same as you and others who have responded to your post. We were in wreckonciliation and MC and I wasn’t owning my part enough and not getting past her affairs fast enough. I wish at the time I had found CL and CN and had the vocabulary to describe her serial cheating, gaslighting, deceit, and narcissistic behavior as the abuse that it was. I later found out that she was still cheating. I would take her attitude toward your pain and slow pace of recovery as a sign that she is not invested in your relationship, doesn’t understand at all what she has put you through, and is probably still cheating on you. I’m really sorry man. Wish I could tell you there is another way forward other than divorce. I remember how hard it was for me to hear this advice.

      • Thus is perfectly written. Thanks. There really is only one legitimate way forward with people like this, and it took me years to get that.

      • Here is the way I viewed it: She has to live with her narcissism. I do not. When the boat is sinking, you need to save those who can be saved. She cannot be saved, but you can be.

        If it helps you any, you do not have to hate her. Just get the hell away from her. It actually helped me to view it that way. It is not in my nature to hate despite the horrific abuse. In the end, I kind of feel sorry for her, I really do, but I am free now, and enjoying life again. She is abusing her next victim. She will do it her whole life.

    • These are not the words of someone who’s truly repentant and working to rebuild her spouse’s trust.

      If you’ve not filed, please find an excellent attorney and do so. It’s not your job to move “past” her affair. It’s her job to reassure you that she will NEVER betray you in such a way again. If your therapist is complicit in your cheater wife’s insistence that you need to move on, fire the therapist (and find a lawyer).

      People who demand that you forgive and forget are people who feel entitled. She figures that if she says she’s sorry, that’s enough. Is she the one booking the appointment with the therapist? Whose idea was it to go to counseling in the first place? Do you need to give her reminders to show up?

      Go see that lawyer. Even if you decide that you don’t want a divorce at this red hot second, at least you need to find out where you stand with respect to your state’s laws. You can line up your ducks, if necessary.

      That said, marriage to a cheater means that you’ll be marriage police for the rest of the marriage. You may feel differently, but to my mind, if you have to police a marriage, it’s not much of a marriage. You’re better off with a divorce. At the very least, you’ll be available for a genuine committed relationship with someone who truly loves you and shares your values.

    • Betrayal is never “over”. There is nothing to “get over”. A cheater can’t un-cheat. No amount of time will change the past. It is the rare cheater who grasps this.

      It is not in the nature of a person who has a sense of entitlement large enough that s/he would deceive a partner about intimate betrayal to empathize with that partner or eat humble pie.

      Any person who disdainfully tells you that you need to put it (“it” being their cruelty, your trauma) in the past, get over a traumatic event (a.k.a “move on” and “choose to be happy”), stop discussing your pain (a.k.a. “throwing it in my face”), etc., is a person who does not mind harming you. That is a person who will laugh while you bleed and tell you that you need to clot faster so s/he doesn’t have to waste time at the hospital because it interrupts his/her fun. It’s a special life-destroying kind of cruel to treat a person’s heart that way.

      Any kind of alone is better than that kind of cruelty.

    • I echo many comments above, having been almost exactly where you are. Sadly, your relationship is over. I hope you end it sooner than I did (took me 2+ years past where you are) and take the time you need to heal and be authentically you. There is no replacement for someone who truly understands you, accepts you, and loves you. Your wife is not that person, but you deserve that. Best of luck.

    • This is an example of cheater REGRET. She regrets getting busted and your healing is taking toooooo long. Hurry up and get over it!

      Beware. Your asshole has no REMORSE for inflicting trauma on you. This is a huge red flag. This crap is still all about her and her lying cheating ass.

      Your healing needs to be on your terms. You are the victim of her emotional abuse. Any rapist telling you to move on with it because it inconvenices them is still raping you.

      Sorry.

    • I went through that same bullshit with Douchebag Debbie and a marriage counselor for over a year. She wants unconditional love and fireworks? Go file for divorce. To borrow a Toby Keith concept….As soon as you can see clearly through your big black eye, go light up her world like the 4th of July.

    • Laid out plainly: you seem to resent your wife, possibly even hate her. The question is: Wha exactly do you need to work on? If you don’t like this person, if this relationship is s burden, why keep doing it? Even if she did nothing to deserve you feeling that way (just for arguments sake), isn’t that enough to just drop her? She threw everything away first, who do you need to try to shove the pieces back together?

        • I’m not claiming it’s simple or easy. I do think those are very important questions he should ask himself, but then again I don’t have kids and have never been married. However it certainly does feed into modeling a toxic relationship dynamic for the kids and accepting abusive behavior. She broke her vow, is it worth trying to make work with someone he hates?

    • Oh, Mr. Twatwaffles told me to ” put on your big girl panties” and deal when I found out he moved his can of Alp-Ho and her three kids in with him before thecink was dry on our divorce and after he swore it was over.

      Yeah, my pain was ridiculous.

      I read here somewhere that that is pretty much the same as pouring gasoline on me, lighting a match, and then bitching about the smell of smoke.

  • “Is there no sofa you can sleep on? No hotel you can lodge yourself at to avoid the mindfuckery? It really would be worth it.”

    YES!!

    I know that not everyone has this option. But I moved into low-end “corporate housing” for the first five months after I left my wife and our marital home. It was a studio apartment, fully furnished, and marketed as a place where companies could send project managers who have to work in another city for a few months—cheaper than paying for a hotel, and you get to shop for your own food and cook your own meals.

    It wasn’t bliss, mind you. I could only afford the cheapest of the cheap,” of these places, and I stopped contributing to my 401k for those 5 months. And it was right on the edge of a rough part of town—homeless addicts often slept under the building awnings across the street.

    It wasn’t a long-term solution. But it was the first step toward one.

    And that’s what divorce is. None of it is what we planned, and it sucks. But take that first step toward making it suck a little less. Then then next, etc.

    Through a friend, I know a man who’s been a stay-at-home dad for 6 years, and before that he was barely employed. So now, he doesn’t want to “start from scratch” bagging groceries.

    But I say that’s EXACTLY what he has to do. Start with *something.*. Anything. We all have to take the first step toward our new lives. The first step doesn’t solve all of our problems—in fact, it may create new ones. But it’s a step in the right direction.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a divorced life.

    • Agree! Maybe check with the lawyer, though, in case there are rules you should know. They carry by location.

    • JC,
      I had a similar post-divorce accommodation experience. I was a homebody, raised two boys, corporate wife, PTA, all that stuff.

      I left cheater and my beautiful home of 20 years to get away from the mindfuck of him and OW trying to start the life they had long-planned behind my back. That included her moving into my home! Once I knew the truth, my freedom became more important than any material possessions or sentimental objects.

      I literally took the contents of two large suitcases, a backpack, bought a plane ticket, rented a house off the internet, and left in a taxi. My valuables I posted to myself, and just took the risk the package wouldn’t get lost.

      I filed from 3000 miles away, instructing my lawyer by skype.

      The rented house turned out to be built in 1805, had a damp problem, and few furnishings. It was a dump compared to my previous home, but it was mine, I could lock the door and enjoy the peace and quiet. I met my first new friend when a neighbour knocked on the door with the parcel which had been dropped in his doorway by the postman.

      I rented a car at first, then within a week, bought my own car for £500. I got a job, made a few acquaintances, and gradually built a life for myself in this foreign country. Those first months passed by on adrenaline and chutzpah, but they were exciting too.

      Now, 8 years later, I’ve had all sorts of experiences, good and bad, but I can say I’ve truly faced my ‘real’ self and feel contentment. I still go off on last minute adventures just because I can. I have a chump partner, but we stay independent, take some holidays together and some apart. No more depending emotionally or financially on anyone else.

      It is like tearing off a rotten bandage to leave a cheater. It feels so good when the tearing stops, and the fastest way to do it is No Contact. Sometimes it is even fun to take a peek on their social media and see how they’ve further farked up their lives. They usually do.

      • Bravo Marci! You were/are mighty and quite an inspiration. I bet your story and adventures in this phase of your life could be a blog. Thanks for posting.

  • Yeah Zell…you’re a real buzz kill. Don’t you see that the longer it takes you to “get over it” the longer it takes for her to move on to her ‘happily ever after?” Quit whining about your ‘hurt feelings” and “get over it” will you? She can’t deal with the consequences of her actions….it’s so annoying to her. Cheaters are delusional and selfish assholes. The world revolves around them. My cheater couldn’t “understand” why when he comes to visit his daughter in another state, why can’t the three of us just go out for breakfast? Why can’t we just “get along?” Uhhh….because you are a spineless, disgusting, despicable, cowardly, poor excuse for a human being? Deep breath…No Contact….thank god for it…children or no children…it’s the only way for all of us to move on and leave these asshole cheaters behind. They don’t deserve to know any of us again.

    • This kind of BS invitation is a construct to try to make us look bitter in the shining glow of the cheater’s obvious enlightenment. Image management is key to them at all times.

  • You have to remember that a narcissist doesn’t see you as a person….they see you as an object. You are simply something that is of use to them like a car. Being nice to you is equivalent of changing the oil or getting a flat fixed. It’s just an investment of time and money to make sure they can keep you running so they can drive the hell out of you.

    • SuperDuperChump, I love the car analogy!

      Next time he’s nice to me I will remind myself “he’s getting the oil changed.”

      Haha!

      This analogy works really well because he does the bare minimum to keep his real car running – oil changes but little else. He leaves trash in it and the driver’s seat has had a big tear in it for a couple years which he doesn’t bother to get fixed (though he can easily afford to). The outside looks OK, but the tinted windows hide the mess inside. He doesn’t really treat it with respect, just does the minimum to keep it running.

      Occasional oil change – BFD!

      • When Douchebag Debbie was screwing around on me behind my back, she did absolutely nothing for me….except making sure my work clothes were done. Duh….I finally figured that one out….. $$$

    • +1

      Very well said.

      Years prior to the cheating, I used to feel this way, so yeah, a red flag, harbinger etc.

      She wanted me to provide so many services to her (except sex) but reciprocated nothing. I was always trying to reach farther to garner her love and respect.

      In the end, she did respect me, the same way you respect the floor for holding you up, or respect a chair for providing a place to sit.

      I was an object to her, an easily manipulated one at that.

      After she cheated, she let me know that I wasn’t meeting her needs and that she needed an emotional connection in her marriage. Even though every night I tenderly listened to her while massaging her back and getting soundly rejected for sex. Even though every day I was there for her for every thing, invested, concerned, focused.

      Sorry for the rambling, but the comment section today is especially powerful and revealing and accurate and rekindling.

      • Buddy, I know your story well. My stbx also just wanted to me to provide services for him. He too offered me no emotional support of any kind, including sex. And after he cheated, he didn’t say he needed an emotional connection but instead said he needed to be social. This coming from a man who would never tell me about his day, ask about mine or even try to schedule a date night for us. I basically was his assistant. Even after he left, he kept asking me to do things for him (I gave him a very firm no on that).

        It’s hard to have been there day after day, invested, concerned and focused and get absolutely nothing back in return. They don’t give anything in return because they can’t. That would mean that they care for someone other than themselves and they don’t.

    • Wow, perfectly said. Now that I’m well and truly done with the marriage, I’m watching Mr. Justification try to do everything I’ve ever said was missing from his half of the marriage. He’s complimenting me, cleaning, being proactive with childcare, and there’s almost a puzzled dog quality to his face when I say thank you and then retreat to my room for the night.

      It’s like I’m a computer and he’s trying to run the right protocol to get the output he wants, and is completely bewildered that it doesn’t work. Eerie, really.

      • I lol’ fat your computer analogy, have you seen the to program comedy “little Britain”?.

        There’s many (hilarious) sketches in there and in one the computer operator woman says “computer says no”

        It will make you howl with laughter

    • SuperDuperChump, what a perfect analogy. Add that to the list of perfect CN descriptions that resonate and teach.

      This site and the commentary within it should be required reading for every therapist and PsyD candidate. It is like having years of clinical experience with the most insightful trauma victims and extreme cluster B cases condensed for you.

  • Reasons for a sudden positive behavior shift:

    1) Attempt to manipulate you into giving up more or asking for less or otherwise agreeing to the settlement the cheater wants. Just a short term, strategic pretense of niceness.
    2) Desire to look good for other people (you only think the cheater is being nice for you–he or she is really performing niceness for the new partner or the kids or the relatives or the boss).
    3) Excitement over the cheater’s own new life or relationship has improved his or her mood immensely and the cheater sees no reason you shouldn’t be happy for him or her as well (the fact that it is coming at your expense is irrelevant, and probably hasn’t crossed the cheater’s mind). The cheater is not so much being nice as that he or she has just stopped being a complete jackass for the moment.
    4) Straight up cruelty–the cheater wants to play with your hopes and expectations and is smart enough to employ strategies that keep you off balance.
    5) Misinterpretation–the cheater is not really being nice to you at all, but you are so accustomed to putting a good face on things or reinterpreting atrocious behavior as something acceptable that you are seeing niceness where it does not exist. Example: The cheater is finally cleaning out the garage as you’ve been asking him to do for two years. Reality–the cheater took everything of value (including the antique Christmas tree ornaments inherited from your German grandmother) to his girlfriend’s house and sold the stuff in a garage sale. Most of the tidy cardboard boxes newly lining the back wall are filled with the junk you wanted him to sort and toss or are half empty. He’s betting you won’t figure this out for a couple of months, and in the meantime is thrilled to be seen as being nice. In fact, when Christmas rolls around and you discover the missing ornaments, he’ll complain to everyone about how you first complimented him on being so nice as to take care of the garage before he left and now you are a bitch on wheels chasing him down and complaining that you stole stuff when “really” he only did what you asked.
    6) Guilt–a short term phenomenon that will evaporate as soon as your cheater realizes that it is supposed to be accompanied by a sustained change in behavior.
    7) Undiagnosed brain tumor.

    Please note. There is no actual “niceness” among the possible options.

    • WOW… totally forgot this motivation:

      “Excitement over the cheater’s own new life or relationship has improved his or her mood immensely and the cheater sees no reason you shouldn’t be happy for him or her as well (the fact that it is coming at your expense is irrelevant, and probably hasn’t crossed the cheater’s mind). The cheater is not so much being nice as that he or she has just stopped being a complete jackass for the moment.”

      That was Mr. Sparkles x 1000000… when speaking to me of the OW (after we had just told our 9yo that we were divorcing)… he was gleeful and remarked “I didn’t think I could feel this way again.”

      A human would’ve been mortified for having broken up a THIRD FAMILY… but my fuckwit, he was just happy he could feel “love” again. Meanwhile, I took my son to therapy.

      ARGH.

      • There’s a strange comfort in knowing that asshat wasn’t the only one who talked to me about OW with no regard for the fact that he was dumping salt on the wound he just gave me. I referred to this as his “playing dumb” move. He did it throughout our marriage.

        It’s like they have no capacity to step into someone else’s shoes and seem perplexed at your reaction to their behavior. “Wait what? You don’t want to hear about the sexual acts she performed on me? I don’t understand why you are upset by this! I can’t deal with your low self-esteem! Now she has great self esteem! She’s not afraid to dance on a pole naked and she did it all just for me. The other strip club patrons were jealous she wanted me! Wait, what??? Why are you yelling at me! You are just acting jealous, it must be because of your poor self-image! I finally found someone who makes me happy and you want to ruin it for me! You are so selfish! Can’t you just be happy for me!
        Speaking of happy…” and on and on he’d go with no regard for anyone other than himself.

        What I learned from that… if you have to explain respect and empathy to a grown adult… run!

        • Got-A-Brain – wow! That is just far-out there, for lack of a better phrase.
          And, a real trigger for me.
          During the not-so-subtle discard period, he would often take off on weekends ‘solo’ because he needed alone time.
          One 4-day Labor Day, he comes home and was literally skipping.
          I really don’t know when I’d seen him that ‘happy’.
          He plugged in (and ruined for me) “Johnny Be Good” and danced to it half the night.
          I was definitely confused because, well – I wasn’t invited to dance with him and I wasn’t near as happy as him and couldn’t figure out why he was. Duh.
          I just wonder why it took me so long to accept what he had been up to.

    • Awesome list eilonwy!

      I see my cheater in every item on the list. #7 probably isn’t there but that is the only forgivable possibility.

      Seeing this is the continued reminder I need as I have to “justify” no contact with Stbx to kids’ therapist. The burden of proof is daunting.

    • Yes, my ex said such nice things about me that I was cut off from all former in laws and friends as he is quite believable and oh, so charming! I even had the local barber (his gambling buddy) badmouthing me to his customers. Yet, to others he asks, “oh, how is she doing” or says “she was a good girl”. I have been no contact since Dday, but, he has ended emails with “I really want the best for you”! Mindfuck extraordinaire!

  • I’ve had two narc husbands, that’s what they do. They charm to hit you harder. Both the overt/grandiose and the covert/cute used this strategy. There’s double satisfaction catching you off guard, making you fall for their niceness all over again. Mine both first tried to hoover me back then the very next day showed off a new supply.

  • Oh, how I hate the charm channel. The pity channel is equally bad. I would almost rather have the rage … simply because at least you KNOW what in the hell is going on.

    It took me far too long to understand that any kindness coming from my STBX was all-encompassing bullshit. This is partially what kept me stuck for more than two decades … the doubt he planted in my brain. “How could such a NICE guy have done X, Y, Z? Maybe I’m condemning him too harshly.” (I’m facepalming myself for being so darned naive … argh …)

    The truth is that his behavior towards others is a direct result of his character … and his character is such that he will throw anyone under a bus at any time to get anything he wants, the very moment he wants it. Inherently selfish > everything he does is about him = his kindness is, therefore, about HIM.

    What I would say to any Chumps experiencing this crappy cheater “Charm” channel:

    Exact motivation doesn’t matter much. Maybe he’s buttering you up so you don’t ask for much in the divorce. Maybe he’s working on his public image. Maybe he’s trying to recruit YOU as a flying monkey. Maybe he’s hoping to find and/or have you destroy your evidence.

    At the end of the day, all of these motivations would be bad for YOU. That’s all you need to know. Protect yourself — emotionally. Get your Captain America or Wonder Woman shields up. You’ll need them.

  • Your cheater wants something. My ex is never more dangerous than when she is “nice”. It means she wants something !

    Do an experiment, while he is being nice tell him he’s not getting something in the divorce. That “nice” mask will drop in a flash and you will see the angry disordered narc underneath screaming at you.

    • Truth.

      My individual counselor opened my eyes to the fact that in a healthy relationship, the other person treats you with love and respect not only when things are going well they are getting what they want, but only when things aren’t going well.

      I realized that I confused “things going well” with the relationship going well when if fact, it was simply a time when I was providing enough time and money to her. The moment we faced more challenging times financially, the mask came off.

  • I sought out therapy 2 weeks before d-day #1, since he had me convinced I was crazy. After d-day my therapist asked me what triggered my intuition, my response “He was being nice. We were at a 4th of July party and he walked up and held my hand.” Sadly, both my therapist and myself mistook his niceness for guilt. It wasn’t guilt, it was a maneuver intended to throw me off his trail.

    True to his nature, and 2.5 years into divorce, when he pulls out his nice mask, I know he’s up to something. We took our daughter to college this year and he was overly nice during that weekend… and what followed? He was getting ready to cut me off financially.

    Cheaters rely on the unspoken rules of reciprocity to take advantage. Unfortunately the majority of human beings mislabel this a guilt- assuming they somehow feel bad for what they are about to do.

    My non-disorded mind can’t quite grasp why even bother pretending, but my guess is they use it as strategy just like in any kind of sport that requires defense (Though someone forgot to remind them playing with people’s lives is not a game). They patiently wait for the perfect moment when your guard is down to throw the blow that will be the knock-down punch. If they punch you while you are down, there’s no momentum to carry you to the fall, but if they help you up, prendend they are tiring of the fight, you’ll lower your boxing gloves, glance at the clock, and then they can go in for the blow that will land unexpected, hard and fast. The next thing you know you are laying on the mat disoriented. With the disordered you have to remember – the best offense is a good defense. Expect that there will be an unlimited number of rounds. To them it’s not about fairness, good sportsmanship or mercy… it about winning the fight. Be ready!

      • My gigilo H would buy me expensive charms to put on my bracelets, buy expensive chocolates or take me out to a expensive dinner, plan a adventure outing, etc… whenever he was in a new relationship/s with the new or next AP. And tell me how good I was to him. Now I realize through CL and CN he was getting his kibbles at home and elsewhere. I can’t tell you how stupid a I feel that I fell for all his BS. I have filed and am trying to work with him to get the house up to Code in order to sell it. He was ACTING nice because I was the one who followed up and hired the contractor and electrian. I waited 3 weeks for him to find these people, all the while he was cleaning the yard and tried to fix a small fence. Lord, he couldn’t even do that right. Then he texted me about how glad he was that I “got the ball roll” regarding the home repairs. Then within the same day complained that one of the repairs were done wrong. All it needs is a simple repair. I can’t wait to be free of his stupidity

  • By now, Polly has divorced her cheater and has gained a life. Polly, if you’re still reading here, please let us know how you’re doing.

    For other Chumps who have noticed that their cheater has suddenly become “nice,” this is a wake up call.

    eilonwy’s list of reasons for cheaters to be nice is an excellent one. In all these cases, the Cheater wants to hoover you back in order to manipulate you.

    I’ll add another reason: things may have soured a bit with the AP.

    I had to line up my ducks, so I was under the same roof as my cheater for quite a long time. He treated me horribly. I made all the meals. Before his affair, he’d take pictures of the food I’d made and would post it on Facebook. Once he was fucking Schmoopie, he hated my cooking (this splitting is why I suspect he’s more BPD than NPD). I cleaned the house so he wouldn’t have to. He complained about my housekeeping. Nothing I did had value.

    But then he’d suddenly become nice to me. And by “nice,” I mean not mean. By “nice,” I mean “normal” in his interactions. So he wasn’t extra “nice,” but more respectful. He’d thank me, or make a small compliment.

    What gives? Was he starting to See The Light?

    I then noticed that his periods of niceness coincided with the times he’d leave his cell phone in the car. Since he was glued to his cell phone, I wondered what was up. I popped into the garage, opened the car, and noticed that he would have text after text, call after call, from Schmoopie. They were fighting.

    I understood that he was being nice to me because he wanted to keep me as his Plan B.

    So don’t trust it when they start treating you with the courtesy that you’d normally extend to a stranger. Sure, it feels as if they’re treating you with respect (they’re not. It’s common courtesy, not niceness), but all they’re doing is trying to hoover you in for some reason.

    • Very true.

      After the fact, I was able to correlate her becoming more “engaged” with me or the kids (Plan B) with times where things weren’t going well in the affair (Plan A).

      • This is making my skin crawl.
        I never thought about him fighting with the schmoop and that’s why he was suddenly bringing home flowers and cooking dinners.

        This healing shit can sure keep hurting.

  • Polly,
    Your asshole is trying to disarm you, keep you off kilter. Keep your boundaries. It’s an act to manipulate and control ESPECIALLY in court where it will count the most. BRING you cheater evidence with you. He will most likely present in this setting your non-cheating cheating=DARVO.

    This past weekend asshole was drunk and ragey. He presents as NiceGuy publicly. Usually it’s NC but we had somethings come up with our younger kids and man-oh-man was the mask dropped after all day at a craft beer festival.

    You KNOW what your cheater is. Keep alert to the BS.

  • I think the simple fact is when someone you loved betrays you, there is no going back. It’s over and no amount of apology or remorse or whatever can fix the betrayal. It’s the end of your relationship/marriage. It hurts and takes a lot of hard work and time to recover. Some folks can recover faster, depending on circumstances, then others. Bottom line, save yourself the trouble, to quote Tracy: ‘of trying to figure out their fuckedup skein’ and do what you have to do to save yourself. Sorry no second chances they don’t work, I speak from experience.

  • It’s not about you, it’s about him. Add me to the list of people who can verify the only time the cheater is nice in the process of separation, divorce or post-divorce is when they’re winding up to drill one right into your head.

    I still keep falling for it UGH. Ex says he’ll show up to school parents’ night and I am mildly impressed. For him it is the perfect opportunity to present the semi-live in girlfriend I’ve never heard about and who has even been on vacation with the kids. He offers to let the kids spend the evening with me “on his time” for dinner with relative. Cool, right? Then, without telling me, he takes the kid on my time which happens to be the child’s birthday, despite a holiday custody schedule set by state law. I had to host a birthday party without the birthday child present.

    I am learning slowly, people. Learn from my example. I’d love to know what other stunts are in the disordered co-parenting handbook.

    • Hosting a birthday party for an absent child because your ex contravened state custody law? Holy shit! Sometimes you gotta wonder if they’re like actively trying to sabotage their own custody cases or something. Birthdays make narcs act out even more than they normally do— I once read that somewhere online and I’ve certainly found it to be true.

      Here’s my narc parallel parenting stunt entry. Once my ex narc secretly planned our child’s party, rented the place, ordered the cake, had invitations printed, passed the invitations out to the child’s classmates with his name on the rsvp line, then I heard about it from the other parents in my child’s class being like “Uh, why aren’t you on the invite? Are you invited to your kid’s party?” People were miffed on my behalf because it was so odd and underhanded. Of course I went to the party, and people thanked me for hosting even though I really didn’t. Most importantly, my child had an awesome birthday, so all’s well that ends well. Pass the shit sandwiches.

  • In my case I think ex and I are generally nice to each other and get along on the surface most of the time because we are both lazy and everything else is just easier if we get along whether it is deserved or not. I will say that he was fair in the marital agreement (as was I), and he has not badmouthed me to others (except maybe his Schmoopies) so that makes it easier for me to act nice too. He also needs to keep up image management for the sake of his relationship to the kids and his family. Whatever. I see no reason to encourage him to be meaner to me than he has already been just to prove he isn’t a great guy. I already know that. I have made it clear, however, that I will never accept his relationship with Schmoopie no matter how nice he tries to be. I won’t ever condone adultery. Meanwhile, I will continue to rant about him here and I presume he will rant about me to Schmoopie.

  • One year after divorce, 2 1/2 years from dday & 1 1/2 years NC I received a sympathy card from ex for an out-of-state aunt who passed away a month earlier. Don’t know how he got the news. The card was addressed to me with my nickname – from dday on all communication was addressed to my given name. In the card he wrote a “nice” message about my aunt. For a moment I was tricked into thinking that he did care. I knew better & immediately shredded the card. I did have a few teary seconds while muttering “you bastard.” A day later a card came from my former in-laws who dropped me as fast as they could after dday (I had been very close to MIL). I shredded their card too without any tears.

    A month later thinking about the cards & pissed off I broke NC & sent him an email saying that he & his family needed to stay out of my life. His response was “ok, didn’t mean to upset you, just sorry for your loss & won’t happen again.” A tearful moment happened – tricked again into thinking that he did care. That was 4 years & never heard from them again.

  • Hurt1,
    Yes, I got the same weird sympathy crap fom my ex whom I divorced when I discovered he’d had a mistress [Camilla scenario] for 20 years.

    The lovely couple co-signed a card and sent it when my father died. How the OW could be so deluded as to think I ever wanted to hear from her! I was sorely tempted to bitch her out, but what’s the point in putting moral reasoning on a moron.

    Some Switzerland friends also tried to contact me…they wanted a place to stop over while in Europe. My reaction was to quietly unfriend them on facebook and ignore their request. What a cheek.

    These people seem to be able to forgive their treachery to the point where they have no residual shame.

  • I messed up today. Yesterday we fought about doctor appointments and paying for Halloween costumes. I looked up exit affairs, wondering is that what this was. Last night, I got home late and had to get my spare car keys and there was the wedding ring. This morning I woke up and I have to know, I had to ask. I asked before and she said “I don’t think so” and she told me after this first time they had sex she told him “I’m not going to leave my family” I filed for divorce which she hangs on me as a huge act of betrayal or to make this all my fault. We ended up talking all morning. She yelled at me, blamed me for causing the affair, said I abandoned her, that I only think of myself and always turn things arround to me. She thinks I’m a narcissist that she did it because she always put me and kids before herself and that she wished had developed a pill popping or drinking problem instead. I was stupid to ask, stupid to think she’d be nice or say anything to make me feel better. Stupid to think she was ready to really look at me and Us and what happened. Now what?

    • Betrayed –
      First, you are not stupid. It was a brief lapse. We’ve all done it.
      Get back to the basics:
      Trust that she sucks.
      No contact.
      No hopium.
      Nope, she’s not a unicorn.
      And stop giving a damn what she thinks. She’s shown you her thoughts, and she herself, are not worthy of your concern.
      Get your head back where is belongs – your life. She is the past. The lying, cheating, pathetic past. There is no fixing it and no changing it.
      Make yourself look to the future. Be grateful that deceitful creature is no longer in your life.
      Take a breath.
      You got this. You CAN do this.

      • Thanks, everyone. Funny the ring was my wedding ring I put in a box, but yea throughout the marriage she would forget to wear her ring or say she didn’t want to because of what we were doing. Never thought of it as a red flag till now. This was supposedly the first affair. I felt it right away but didn’t realize, never though she could. Now who knows.

        • I had similar. Long story short my husband had a mistress for just over 5 years. Looking back, he never seemed to keep that ring on over those years. He always had a reason it wasn’t on his hand.. it hurt when he worked out… or he worked out and just forgot to put it back on.
          Chumpy me bought the lies.
          Here’s the thing though….WE chumps trust and love!
          Cheaters do not do either of those things (sad lives actually if you think about it).
          While the cheaters live these crazy fake lives we live on a life of reality.

          We grieve who we thought they were and the potential of how things could have been.

          My divorce was just final this month.
          Hang in there!!

    • What MLT said. She’s projecting. Her affair is not your fault.
      You are getting a divorce because SHE cheated. SHE has the low moral values. SHE has the poor coping mechanisms. SHE sucks.
      Don’t get caught up in her bull crap. The UBT would basically summarise that whole interaction as ME ME ME.

      Peace bro. You got this.

    • Betrayed and Confused,

      Do you notice that NOTHING is her fault ?? It’s you or the kids, blah blah blah. Anger and then sad sausage because you forced her to face the consequences of her actions !
      You did the right thing and a married woman not wearing her wedding ring out in public == MASSIVE red flag !! She’s still cheating and trying to gaslight you because you found evidence of her continuing cheating. Stick with the divorce and move towards having as little contact as possible.

      • My ring was broken twice at the state mental hospital I worked at..I paid to get it fixed myself..after having 2 kids and arthritis it no longer fit..I waited 10 years for him to get it fixed..by then he had screwed his way thru my friends and family and didn’t want to have to think about my ring and be reminded he was still married…for our 22nd anniversary right after I told him I was done with his bullshit he bought me a new ring..for 13.26$ I shit you not…he makes over 80 thousand a year and has 2 3,000$ bicycles..the tape on his handlebars cost more than his stupid cheap hurtful ring. I will never wear one again.

  • Kids notice the sudden ‘niceness’ too. Days before we went to court, my daughter’s dad got her a gift (after not seeing or calling her, only communicating with a “have a good day” text 3x a week. My kid felt guilty after she got the gift because of her short text responses “you too” What was the gift?
    Pepper spray and chocolate. It’s easier to buy something than spend time with someone.
    He was nice to me too before our court date. I refer back to the angry text he sent me 2 weeks ago. What a psychotic train wreck he is.
    Remind yourself of all the shitty things he’s done and said. He demonized you. Don’t trust him. His kind words were only spoken for him to feel better. His kind actions were only taken for him to feel better.

  • Another thought. For people who care about image the thought of anybody hating them, including the person they dumped on, is more than they can take so they are nice in an attempt to make you not hate them.

  • I am having the opposite problem. My STBX had no remorse when he “admitted” to having a female friend at work (He won’t admit anything further than that even though if it was just a friend, you don’t stop wearing your wedding ring to work). He continues to say he will not work on anything, refused marriage counseling, and wanted to go stay with his father to “live a single life”. How can a person have no conscience? I don’t get it!! I filed for divorce today and got a lawyer, but its eating me alive! 18 years married, 22 years together down the drain. No. Remorse. Whatsoever. What the actual fuck?…

    • TCBR- I’m so sorry. It is so shocking. Glad you found CN. They helped keep me sane as I tried to face the reality I was living. It does get better, but it’s a process that you will get through! Don’t be surprised if he starts acting “nice” at settlement time/court dates. It isn’t real either, so don’t be tempted to believe it is genuine. When his “nice” moments come, remember it is a ploy. But it looks dang genuine. . .
      Hang in there!

      • Thank you conquered hopium. I do find myself reading all the archives here to make sense of what happened in my marriage, and how someone could just leave like that. Its really hard as he left a month ago, and I just filed for divorce today. I know that he is truly a broken sould for doing what he did and having no remorse, but I cant help but think of all of the good times. I just want to stop myself from thinking of the good times so I can just be pissed off, if that makes sense. It just hurts so much! Thank you for your support.

        • 18 years and no remorse from my ex. Don’t bother trying to make him see what he did or feel bad for what he did.

          This post was perfect timing… After 7 months of absolutely no remorse (just blaming and hating me). Two hours before we are to meet at court, I get a text from him saying he’s sorry for what he put me through. And that he CAN imagine all the pain he put me through.
          Yeah, right. He will keep believing whatever he wants to and listen to only what sounds good. This ‘sorry’ was for him to feel better and forgive himself.

          • It’s all about them, hey? Unbelievable. These cheaters are so selfish. I really don’t understand how they have no soul.

        • Your husband must not have been fully invested if he left so easily. And by the time these people actually leave you, they had already checked out a looong time ago, they just didn’t tell you. If you get into his head, you’d even discover that he may have been talking badly about you to the other woman, or seriously badmouthing you to others. He just didn’t tell you. And if your husband wants to live a single life, it sounds like he got married too young and never should have gotten married in the first place. I could be wrong, but he doesn’t seem like a person with good character, but a juvenile idiot who never grew up. He’s an asshole on all counts. I’m so sorry. big warm hugs to you.

          • Thank you Kellia. Yeah we did get married young. I do believe he probably has bad mouthed me behind my back. He always plays the victim in everything. It’s always about him. Now it’s HER problem. Lol 😂

          • Almost 8 years since dday, I still get a stabbing feeling in my gut when I think about him “already checked out” when he left. I had no clue.

    • TCBR,
      no remorse from my wife either. 10 months out from Dday and just last night she says “I’ve done nothing wrong”
      Thousands of texts to a married man each month, over 20 hours of phone conversations with him, after Dday she gets a burner phone to continue on with him, all the lies, deception, etc on and on!
      Never once have I gotten a apology, no sadness, no remorse, just….I’ve done nothing wrong. So maddening!!

      20 year marriage, 20 years stupid me!

      • It’s so hard for me to understand how people can function when they do these kind of things to other people that they supposedly “love”. The only thing I wonder is if it was ever truly love then?! The no remorse just gets me. Like what the hell?!!

        • I agree with you.
          I feel as long as she was getting the attention, affection, and all the props, she was good.
          When it came to me, nothing. I’m not one who needs attention, not high maintenance, but a simple heart felt thanks would have been nice.

          I recall when I would massage her back, I would take my time, try to be as gentle and caring as possible….when she would reciprocate all I got was a quick stroke down my back like you would give a cat as it walked by.

          I guess I just shrugged it off and now she took things to a whole new level. I was raised, and still believe in, consequences for your actions.
          I raised our kids the same way, right from wrong, for every action, there’s a reaction.
          Always take the high road, BUT……
          when a loved one guts you, and twists that knife over and over, tells you to be s man and get over it….Game Over!!!!

          So looking forward to the time I might actually get to spend with a human who has feelings and isn’t afraid to express them.

          • Yeah, I agree. I know that once we get that from the right person, we will see how different it is on the other side! I can’t wait! 🙂 There is better out there!

    • Welcome to Chump Nation and the only website you will ever need. I am so sorry for your nightmare. But help is on its way!

      Trawl the archives and/or read the book – everything you need is there. It will really help you to heal, and so will getting a good counselor to listen to YOU and be on your side.

      If you register on this site (top of page), you can then access the forums to talk to fellow chumps.

      GET IT ALL OUT – on paper, at the site, to a trusted counsellor. It helps you process.

      Are you No Contact with the ex yet? Learning to practise No Contact is really the Jedi training of chumpdom, and boy, does it pay off.

      ((((HUGS))))

      • Yep. We have started no contact. I actually cut off his cell phone since it was in my name and he stopped giving me money for any of the bills. 😂😂😂 That really must’ve chapped his ass! Harder to text with his hoe worker when he isn’t at work. Oh and BONUS- it makes no contact between us even easier! 😂😉

    • This Can’t Be Real, you are in the exact same situation I was in 4 months ago. I was in shock and virtually nonfunctional for a couple of weeks. Trust me when I say from my vantage point, you need to prepare your escape from an abuser who absolutely does not have your best interests at heart and probably has not for some time, and if you trust in yourself, rely on close friends and family and CL and CN, all of whom have your back, you will start to realize that you are moving toward a better and more authentic life. Once you allow yourself to get angry, let that anger propel you toward what I know will be a better life.

      • Thank you intothelight. I fluctuate between sadness and anger but always try to keep in mind that this was HIS CHOICE to break up our family and break our vows. And that is what angers me. I know that he has some issues, and I am just glad to be done with them, and hold out hope for happiness. Thank you for your kind words.

  • “Come here closer… so I can slap you.”
    Spot on! This is exactly why they suddenly act “nice” -especially before a court date. They hope your guard will come down so they can stick it to you. My ex played this sick game too.

  • This is why I have found it hard to trust that he sucks and to sort the person I thought he was with the person he is. He was always Mr nice guy to peoples faces and always wanted to help people out. I understand that he was just wearing a mask and if I think about it I can see the red flags. It’s very hard to explain it to other people who didn’t see this side of him.

    • Actually, it’s a manipulative tactic so he can look good to others. It’s putting on a facade, being fake to others, so he can look like the good guy. It’s ill intentioned and devious. He’s doing it, to get something in return. If those outsiders were to become family, rest assured he’d be just as much as an asshole to those folks, than he did to you.

      • He has always been different behind his own families back than he was to their faces. Of course now he has fed them his lies about the awful wife and his unhappiness. They will choose to believe it is me and not their precious son. He is such a covert manipulator that he does it without raging etc so it’s basically my word against his.

        • Wow this is so chillingly similar to my STBX! He had a “public face” and a “private face”. He was always nice, comical, focus of the room type of person in public, but when it was just us, he was irritated, angry, irritable and withdrawn. Even to his own family too! His family and I were really close before dday, but now I haven’t heard anything from them since he left. Hmmm. Wonder why. I’m sure he has told them lies too. I think mine has undiagnosed borderline personality disorder honestly.

          • One of his reasons (excuses) for leaving me was a total re write of history regarding his family. They live about 10 hours drive away and the decision to visit them or not was always up to him. I would always ask him if he wanted to go see them. He said he wouldn’t go up and see them until they make the effort to come see us. His rewrite of history was that I was pushing his family away and didn’t want to go see them. D-day was 4th jan and I had just spent a lot of time finding the perfect Christmas gifts for his mum, step dad and young sister from us and from DS. These people welcomed young schmoopie in 2 days after d-day when he told me he was thinking about our marriage and lied to me about OW going to meet them. I had one conversation with his mum where she shouted at me and told me he was in floods of tears and how he was just soooo unhappy.
            These people don’t want to except that they have a pos son as they would have to accept some form of responsibility for their own shitty behaviours.

  • He is not NICE! He is being manipulative. He’s laying low, plotting, and he’s pretending to be amicable so he can get what he wants. Someone being amicable and being nice are completely two different things. Nice suggests he is doing something for your benefit, as in he’s being kind.

    Nope. He’s being amicable, meaning he’s faking getting along to get something in return from you. Which in fact, isn’t being nice at all, but rather being an asshole.

  • They’re only nice when they see something of value they can extract.

    Ex’s AP dumped him 6 months after divorce. He’s lonely so he comes sniffing around me, asking for forgiveness, being the ultimate version of nice guy. I am not fooled for a second.

    I’ve already seen behind his mask. I know the real him, and he’s a Monster.

  • TCBR, it is incredulous that these cheaters can walk away without so much as a second glance. They apparently are without conscience or any normal emotions. It’s the sign of a true narcissist, a total lack of empathy for the pain and hurt they cause to the people who have loved and cared for them for decades. The world revolves around the cheater and their needs. As normal feeling people we can’t comprehend that this person we trusted and made the centre of our life, would betray us and so casually walk away. My STBX wrote an email to my grown children that recounting all of the history he had with them, how proud he was if them and me too. It was a detailed essay of all the highlights of our life as a family; the good times and the difficult. He ended it by saying that he hoped they could understand why he had to be on his own. Of course he wasn’t on his own he had left for his Schmoopie and, no, they couldn’t understand it. It was devasting for our entire family including our four beautiful grandchildren that adored him. There is no rhyme or reason for this behaviour, we’d had a good life, no money concerns retired for 16 years, travelled, successful children, lovely home, good family and friends. BUT, it wasn’t enough for the cheater.
    When I look back over our 40 years together I see all kinds of signs and red flags that I speckled over and accepted as ‘it’s just him’. Truth be told, he was childish arrogant man, never satisfied, jealous of other people, made everything a competition, had to win……the list goes on and on. He needed constant validation and attention. Of course it’s impossible to know what goes on in the cheater’s I heads, but I believe, they are empty vessels bereft of any type of moral compass. They look at their life decide they aren’t happy and the child takes over and do whatever they think will make them happy, whoever gets hurt is not in the equation. The family history, the family itself, means nothing to them they walk away. My Cheater told me he was “well aware of what he was giving up” in other words, he weighed the love of his family and our life together against his happiness and his happiness was more important.
    As I said above, as normal caring human beings , we can’t comprehend this behaviour and we are devastated. Little by little, we begin to accept that it’s true, this person betrayed us and our family and that we must now summon the courage to move forward with our lives. We will never understand the disordered thinking that led to end of what we thought of as a good marriage. I refuse to let this betrayal ruin the rest of my life and I’m making a new life for myself and my family. I hope you will be able to do this too. Hugs 💕

    • Thank you so much for that Lyndaloo! My heart hurts for what yours did to you too. I know we are good people and they are just very selfish and damaged. Normal people don’t do this to other people with no regard for the ones they supposedly love. I am very scared for the future but I know it is what is best. I too looked over some red flags when I shouldn’t have, but I think it’s because we wanted to see the best in other people. I now know that people like this exist out here in the world, and will always have my cheater radar up. Thank you for your support! ❤️

  • Wow, so many similar stories. Just to add a little of my current experience – I’m currently still living with STBX, I have been going Gray Rock for the past week or so since I found out she was still in contact with the OM and they’d been making plans to move in with each other. She’s been flipping between the charm/rage/self pity channels pretty regularly but I agree that the charm channel is the hardest to deal with. She’s been trying to get me to “open up” to her and tell her how I’m feeling. She’s worried that I’m not dealing with this well. She just wants to get along for the sake of the kids and to make the separation as smooth as possible. All of the classic BS that’s already been noted above. It’s hard to not engage when you’re living with them and raising kids together. There are times when I’ve been so tempted to slip back into being friends, laughing and having a joke but I keep trying to tell myself “remember she sucks”. I don’t know when she is going to move out, it may be another couple of months so it’s going to be pretty rough but everyday I practise Gray Rock it gets a little easier.

    • Hang in there dude. The sooner you live apart the better.

      This is a horrible, horrible generalization, but female cheaters seem far more interested in maintaining your emotional support/engagement than anything else (whereas male cheaters seem to want to maintain a wife/mother). She wants you to ‘open up’ because that means she gets the same kind of emotional intimacy from you that she would get from you in a relationship. But it’s obvious that in return you’re not going to get the kind of physical or emotional intimacy back that you get as part of the two way deal that is a normal, healthy, loving relationship. She still wants to take from you. I use the term ’emotional vampires’, and you’re a nice tasty meatsack of emotion right now!

      So if I were in your shoes (and infact I have been), I would tell her in no uncertain terms “Look, we’re not in an intimate relationship anymore – you ended that – so i’m not going to tell you what I’m feeling as if you were my girlfriend”. Remember, she’s not your partner anymore, she broke that bond. You don’t owe her anything, let alone your emotions.

      Two words: Clear. Boundaries.

  • At the end of the day you must hold on to your own truths, no matter how significant or insignificant others may see your rationale.
    After financial monstering and wasting tens of thousands, for me it boiled down to a semi precious stone.
    Over the years, I had been given a collection of Amethysts, my birthstone. They are not hugely valuable, but are very pretty and — they were my gifts.

    After BD/move out – xh cleared the desk/safe out of all valuables, yup – all stones including my 10 ct Harlequin cut favorite birthday amethyst. OF COURSE, he claims he didn’t take it, {heck, it is worth pennies compared to the thousands he wasted}, but it was my. birthday. gift.

    Today, even when he try to act “reasonable” or wants a favor, like switching back the mis matched poop/muck boots, I remind myself, “What type of creep would steal a birthday gift lie about it and act like that was ok?” I’m quite sure he smugly grins as he denies taking it – THAT image hardens my resolve for nc, too.

    Something tiny in a world of obnoxious actions – but keeps me pointed in the right direction.

    — I’m quite sure OW loves it.

    That simple thought keeps me from interaction.

  • My ex has been so wonderfully, helpfully ‘nice’. It used to seriously mess with my head. To keep things in their proper perspective, I now have a little card on my desk (with a chump comment from a year ago) that says: “Men and women who lie and cheat are not nice people.” It’s as simple and profound as that!! I read it each time and it immediately clears my head. It doesn’t matter how ‘nice’ they seem to be, repeat: people who lie and cheat are NOT nice people! And certainly not to be trusted!!

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