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.
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.