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“Our Marriage Was Already Over”

gibberishHere’s some one-size-fits-all cheater bullshit for you — “Our marriage was already over.” Cheaters say it to affair partners, “We’re all but divorced!” “We’re separated!” “Just roommates!” And cheaters say it to their spouses when they’re discovered cheating. Our marriage was already over.

Well, yes, yes it was when you fucked that other person. But did chumpy you get that memo?

Hey, they gave themselves a mental divorce! Had a few concentrated thoughts about it, and shazzam! Legal and ethical responsibility ended!

Why do cheaters say this?

a) To duck responsibility. It’s blameshifting — weren’t you aware the rules had changed? You’re not very observant, are you?

b) To goad you into the pick me dance. They didn’t tell you it was Over because they wanted to perpetuate cake. It’s too bad you know, but perhaps this crisis will provoke you to try harder to win them back. Kibbles, kibbles, kibbles.

c) Actual divorce is hard work. Hard work sucks. They’re going to boldly strike off after that new life. You can clean up the mess. You’re welcome!

Which brings us to the question of how do you properly END a relationship? Nobody likes to be dumped. And that’s the mindfuck — after you’ve been devalued (“our marriage was already over”), you’re insulted with the accusations that you’re just jealous and covetous of their newfound happiness. Tut, tut. You should take it better. Can’t you see you’re yesterday’s news? Okay, so maybe they went about it in the wrong way, but It’s All for the Best! Their happiness is what Really Matters!

This is how you properly end a relationship:

a) You communicate. “Hey, X, Y, and Z are deal breakers for me. I’m very sorry. We need to go our separate ways if we can’t resolve X, Y, and Z.”

b) You communicate and communicate some more. You get therapy to address X, Y, and Z. You work hard to see if there is some alternative to divorce. You pay attention to how invested your spouse is or is not in addressing X, Y, or Z. If the deal breakers persist, or you can’t reconcile yourself to X, Y, or Z — then you end it with “We need to go our separate ways.”

c) You don’t eat cake. With the statement that it is over, you ACT like it’s over. You don’t continue to fuck your spouse. You don’t send mixed messages to your family or your spouse. You publicly own your decision to end it. You quit extracting value from your married status and you go it alone.

d) You take LEGAL steps to end it. You see a lawyer. You draft a separation agreement. If you’re in one of those crazy states with a one-year waiting period, you start that clock ticking with physical separation. If you can’t get your ex out of the house, you do everything in your power to leave or compel them to leave.

e) You end things fairly. If leaving was your idea, you recognize there will be hard feelings and you put your Adult Pants on and divide things evenly, according to the law. Not based on your feelings of entitlement. If you can’t figure out what “fair” looks like, ask a mediator.

Ending a relationship ethically is what grown-ups do. Whoring about, stuffing your gob with cake, and getting caught is what cheaters do.

Response to “Our marriage was already over”?

It is now. Sayonara.

This column ran previously.

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  • I got this.
    “It hasn’t been good for ages. Didn’t you realize?”
    No, because you :
    1 – consistently told me you loved me,
    2 – wrote me a bday card about how much you loved being with me 2 weeks before dday,
    3 – & if I ever asked you your thoughts on how we were going you always said everything was great.
    Pathological mother fucker.
    Boy bye…

    • Of, God… not this one!!

      Yep – I was at fault because it took me two years to work out she was having an affair – ie “that’s how disconnected we were”.

      Of course – the DIRECT questions I asked her about it over the two years, and her well planned dishonesty in hiding it? Yep, nothing to see here folks, just keep moving on…..

      And when I asked – why didn’t you just leave? No direct answer but the real answer is because her beloved fuckbuddy wouldn’t take her. “It was too complicated”, which she worked out after she asked him…. hence the real answer.

      Sorry, but this story really unearthed a sore point for me !!

      • Oh yeh (memories coming back now…) – I got “I love you” every single morning as we both left for work.

        How could you ever trust someone again after they can so blatantly lie to your face and fire bomb the family?

        • Of course he loved you he just wasn’t “in love” with you. Didn’t you notice the difference? I got “we aren’t communicating well” before DDay. Yeah, it turns out there was a whole lot he was neglecting to communicate.

            • The ” I have been unhappy for a long time is always ( ALWAYS!!!) described in mutliple of 5…thus ” I have been unhappy for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 etc… Always! I’d love to have a tally on that one from CN.

              • ha ha this literally was in long long time ‘speak’ first it was since 10 years, then 15 then he told a counsellor it was since our first born…. happened to be 20 at the time… go figure – moving target and just random. in fact mine was soooo unhappy (despite me checking in constantly and getting – ‘dont know what you’re talking about) he was apparently going to kill himself. If he hadnt spent so much time with us as a family together I would have swore he had a double life with another family.

      • I’ve had countless conversations over the past two years, with me bringing up that I thought they were together again, to which he would reply with an overly vocal: “I LOVE YOU!! I’M NOT WITH HER!!” (As if yelling makes it more true?!)

        And then, after D-Day#3, he brings up a very old conversation from years ago, when I told him I’ve been unhappy since our youngest was a toddler (she’s now 16–and for the record, I was unhappy for way longer than that, and my sharing that I’ve been unhappy was a cry for some changes to happen!).

        Well, then he said, “If you’ve been so unhappy, you should have said you wanted to get a divorce.”

        Wait, what!?! Actually, I did…on several occasions, but those always somehow ended with me apologizing, saying that I didn’t mean it, and vowing to prove how much I did love him. (I was pathetic, truly!)

        I was proud of myself for saying this time: Well you should have come to me two years ago, when you decided to start fucking the whore again, and told me YOU wanted a divorce.

        He had no comment, except to have a stupid, pathetic look on his face, and say: I’m sorry.

        Dumbass.

        • Same here. Even backtracked on his devaluing phrases which had me more than confused. I had no idea anything was wrong. I thought he was just having a rough time with me being in constant physical pain and being ill while still performing as mother, wife, and employee all on top of being laundry maid financial advisor, grocery shopper, kids carpooler etc etc.

          How nice of him to just emotionally divorce me and pursue his married howorker instead. Must have been fun for all. Except the one person who didn’t know, me.

      • I kinda hate this fucking column. Apparently my 35 year marriage was “over for awhile” but nope, I did not get the memo.

        I got the “hell no I don’t want a divorce & I’d tell you if I did” when I asked the DOCTOR why he seemed intent on moving to Alaska, knowing I did not want to live there, AGAIN…for him. This was a month before other things came to light.

        I got very ill suddenly, and was hospitalized. But instead of having my back, he left for Alaska with the tundra Schmoopie I knew nothing of. I was alone and in a daze, he was in a hurry. I’m still amazed by that betrayal, btw. Like a level of betrayal that means “I’m still in therapy” now.

        It’s a triple cream mindfuck b/c

        1) they do not tell you they are unhappy AND I’m still not sure the DOCTOR was unhappy! But when I got sick he was most uncomfortable b/c people might, you know, expect him to help care for me. He flew out after I had been released from the hospital, a week later…it’s embarrassing, to be honest.

        2) Schmoopie was waiting and waiting….for him. Must have been hard for her.

        3) the “long time coming” is the ERASURE OF ALL GOOD MEMORIES b/c you know, it was so lousy then, apparently. I am now denied the marital future I expected AND I’m denied our marital history, too.

        What a terrible person he is.

        • PS

          we made love the morning he left to “take a break and reboot our marriage”. Only when I realized he blocked my access to joint accounts and didn’t take my calls for money AND then posted on fb that we had “gone our separate ways”

          and then that he had found “the love of his life”, did I bolt upright and say WTF?? No wonder our kids are proud I filed, and long overdue according to them.

          God, I have to stop blaming myself for believing in him.

          Shit

          • Right there with you, Sister. I feel so damn dumb… and I hate feeling dumb…feeling CHUMPED. I also hate feeling like I lost something so precious. I keep repeating over and over that I lost the prize fuckwit in the Fuckwit Thunderdome Challenge and that Alp-Ho is the Grand Prize Winner of Mr. Twatwaffles. SHE GETS TO KEEP HIM!!!! Whoo Hoo!!!! She’s Da WINNER!!!

            And all that makes me smile and I DO feel better.

            • Sunflower

              I understand the feeling of being duped and wondering how we, presumably intelligent women – could have been so blind! I know I could have called him on more of his shit sooner, and it’ll be a regret I have maybe forever.

              But recently I’ve had moments of meh. It was when I saw DOCTOR in a new way, which was as a loser.

              Sounds obvious, right? But seriously, it was new in the sense that I stopped harping about my loss of the future I hoped for, or the good times from our past, which I think were real.

              I stopped asking myself “HOW he can do this??”

              Instead, I let myself remember the more recent past, his goofy nerdy ways of social awkwardness – often with our own kids.
              How affected he’d behave. And his food control issues, his obsession about weight and the critical remarks he’d make more & more.

              Anyhow, when I think about the strained moments of him “acting” I remember wondering what was going on with him, and (I think) this was before the cheating. Just his own shit peeking through as he aged. To be honest, I would not have dated him if I had met him then.

              When I see him as being that way forever, in those moments I swear I feel sorry for him. Kids and I have NC and have not seen him in a year. They feel replaced, and he’s a fool if that is true. Our kids are great. And we all loved him despite his repeated times away. We were loyal, no matter what he tells himself.

              The pity I am starting to feel for him feels close to meh, and as long as it doesn’t cost me money, it helps ME.

              Sunflower, can you get there?

          • Omg, how horrible!! My thoughts are with you. Geez, you think you know someone & then this happens. I’m going through a similar situation, too. Thank goodness for the support on this site. Hang in there. We all HAVE to be strong 🌷

    • Exactly, all lovey dovey right up to DDay. I think Schmoopie told him to ditch me or else and well….there you go! 40 years of life together, facing all of its challenges; the death of loved ones, children’s marriages, arrival of grandkids, wonderful holidays, good friends, lovey home and comfortable retirement. When he dropped the bomb, I was stunned, the conversation lasted 5 minutes. I asked him if he knew what he was giving up? His reply “I’m well aware”. That simple sentence registered with me like a thunder bolt. I replied “then get the fuck out now and don’t ever come back”. His caliousness showed me just how evil he was, he blew up an entire family, weighed the consequences of his actions and did it anyway. Bottom line we (his family) didn’t mean as much to him as fucking a cheap whore! It’s almost 7 months and I’m surviving very well on my own, as I still have the respect and love of family and friends. We are mighty chumps and we know our worth!

      • It’s almost as if they are incapable of gaining anything or remembering all of those life experiences together. Positive experiences, but also the negative ones that you were there by their side to help them through. Years ago when my cheater wife’s brother died I was there for her and her family. When my dad died in April my wife cheated on me 9 days after the funeral. They are so warped and self centered. Mindboggling.

        • Yup, same here.

          My sons had to tell me they found out my wife was banging my cousin.

          Of course, I got Word for Word the ” our marriage was over anyway ” and ” we were only roommates ” despite her telling me she love me every day, and seeming to live that on the surface.

          Upon discovery she commenced an epic display of blame shifting and gaslighting.

          Hideous times indeed.

          • And, I meant to add, when my father died shortly thereafter, she spent the weekend of the funeral away for me, banging my cousin. And then tried to put on the impression management act that she actually cared what happened. It made me sick.

        • I literally wiped my husband’s behind for days after his surgery and supported him through many other health issues over 25 years. One of his excuses when leaving me literally was, “when I was sick you never took care of me.”

          • That’s ok. Mine resented all of the things I did to take care of him because I was “mothering him”. There is no way to win.

      • lyndaloo:

        Yep, 40 years for me too. Everything seemed completely normal and one Wednesday night 5 years ago, after a perfectly relaxed dinner, my XH says “We have to talk”. Then he pushes a piece of paper across the table and says “I’m moving out on Saturday. Here is our separation plan”.

        I was so blindsided, you could have blown me over with a feather. I could barely breathe as I struggled to read and comprehend the 6 distinct rules included in his plan, all of which, of course, were designed to benefit him.

        To this day, my biggest regret was not doing exactly what you did, responding with a “Get the fuck out and don’t ever come back!” Instead, I went into typical chump mode (and we all know what that looks like). I didn’t get a hold of myself until 6 months later; once I admitted to myself that I’d wasted 4 precious decades of my life with a habitual liar/serial cheater who expertly employed deception skills that would make the KGB envious, I decided I couldn’t lose another minute to this clusterfuck of a marriage. I took off my wedding rings, retained a great attorney, started taking better care of myself, and most important, went 100% Zero Contact. Best. Decision. Ever.

        • MyRedSandals, you make me feel so much better. I, too, sometimes feel sick over the almost 40 years wasted on Sparkledick von Glitterballs. With us, too, it was “completely normal” including something I came to understand was really blameshifting and mindfucking and gaslighting. Except that my son threw the shit on the fan about his father.

          Reason the swindler was not capable of presenting ‘a list’ like yours was, was that, unbeknownst to me, he was full of debts and could not afford a divorce. He would swear that he had no debts and make a scene if I doubted him.

          And, except for anger at my stupidity for not seeing through this, I am so much better off. ZERO contact. I don’t even write or pronounce name of cheater anymore, I call him ‘the swindler’ when I have to be specific.

          Good luck to us.

          • Sparkledick Von Glitterballs

            THAT

            IS

            AWESOME

            No Comtact is the path to the truth and the light! Embrace it! Love it! Make it your own!
            I also refuse to say the birth name of Narkles the Clown. He might be the x, or the father of my children, that’s really the best I can do for warmth.

            • AllOutofKibble, SvG is a compilation of all the humor I’ve picked up here at CN. (How would we survive without CL’s humor?)
              MY original contribution is Flatterfuck. It works for cheater and AP.

        • My Red,
          The BSFB had pulled this stunt about 20 years earlier with a coworker. Just announced that he wanted a divorce and was in love with this women at work. Evidentally, it was an EA and the coworker wasn’t interested in anything further. So BSFB came crawling back with the usual ‘I made a mistake, don’t know what I was thinking blah blah’. I was busy with teenagers, carrying for my aging mother and a high pressure career. It was easier to take him back then separate so I did. If I’m honest, over the years I’ve had moments of suspicion but after 40 years, I figured the previous ‘mistake’ was a mid life crisis and we were like most senior couples enjoying the rewards of our hard work. He was all lovey dovey right up to DDay 2, go figure.
          When DDay 2 arrived, once again, I was completely and utterly blindsided but this time I was MAD AS HELL. I had 40 years of sunk costs and getting slapped in the face at 72 years of age by this BSFB, well I was incredulous. As you may know, I’m Canadian and we aren’t big on (family guns) up here, so let me just say it was his lucky day!
          When he announced that he ‘realized exactly what he was giving up’ without any hesitation, like the past 40 years was nothing, our family was nothing our grandkids were nothing, I felt rage like I have never experienced in my entire life. Like I say, lucky day for him.
          So now, I’m living my life for me, bought myself a cute house in another town close to my sister, enjoying my family and friends, and you know, life is pretty darn good! Hugs to everyone! 🤗🤗🤗 we are mighty chumps.

        • 40 – wow – I thought 25 was bad. I got the same; the bomb drop and a few days later a piece of paper (delivered to me in the presence of a witness! – for future cross reference of his ‘informing me’ ) with all his ‘non negotiable’ conditions!! – he stole my credit card out of my bag for good measure. what a wanker

      • Lindaloo, you are mighty! I was still blubbing at 7 months!

        I understand about the “I’m well aware” comment and the callousness of it. My XH said after ILYBINILWY that he was “100% sure” that he understood what he was doing and that it was a good idea. I was with the bastard for 18 years and it was ended with a few sentences. I tried to pick-me-dance, but aside from a few smirks from him, he showed no interest.

        • Mine told me he had “nothing to lose” by leaving me. He also said he wished he hadn’t been so nice to me because he might have gotten better out of me if he hadn’t treated me so well (he hadn’t treated me well in years by then). Whenever he is being nice to me (not hovering to get me back, he just wants to use me for family), I just have to think back to those words to remember what he really thinks of me.

          • Chumpinrecovery, he lost the best thing that ever happened to him. You are the one who didn’t lose anything worth keeping. 🤗🤗🤗

          • Chumpinrecovery, You’re smart to remember those words. It helps with healing when you accept that you’re dealing with a pyscho. Best to you!

        • No-kibble,
          100% that he made the right choice, oh and when he married you was he 100% right then too! This guy is 100% fucking stupid and 100% fucking loser. You are 100% better off without this fuckwit. Remember you too mighty all the best.
          🤗🤗🤗

            • Oh, how sad I am that I relate. I got ‘the marriage was over’, and ‘you’re my best friend’, and ‘I haven’t been happy for 4 years’, plus the added pleasure of the smirk when I was shakily trying to grab his phone after he dropped the bomb with ZERO warning. My pain and confusion were…amusing to him. Never once saw the deviant, cruel version of my nice, lovey dovey husband before that. The notion that this was who I’d been married to seemed so unthinkable that I actually thought he might have a brain tumor for a while. Nope. The mask just came off and I was able to gaze upon the real Honey in all his slimy glory. Then he took a packed bag and walked out and left me with our 1 and 2 year old babies and moved cross country…20 hours after the blindside.

              They all work from the same playbook.

              • Eurgh, the smirk.

                I distinctly remember the last one. It was because he had a new secret girlfriend that I didn’t know about.

        • K, my response was purely out of anger! What’s that saying ” fool me once ….” I’m a proud person and the anger I felt that day was actually frightening. I’m Just waiting now for divorce in a few months all else is settled and I’m happy! Going to NY for huge holidays with my two daughters, we’re going to paint the town! Hugs 🤗🤗🤗

      • I feel like my husband has used these excuses too. He still won’t admit to screwing the whore. Really? They text hundreds of times a day & when he’s working (he’s a cop) I’ve seen him at her house using tracking gps app. The kicker is that SHE HAS A RAP SHEET!! Theft, public intoxication, drugs, etc! Omfg!! She’s the kind of person him & I always shake our heads & roll our eyes about! We’ve been together for over 15 years & have 2 young special needs kids together. My stepdaughter has always known me in her life & we are close. She’ll be deviated if we divorce. I’m a sahm right now & do everything I should. Just feel so discarded. I am trying so hard to get into a better place in my heart & mind but I gave up so much for him (my owned home since I was 26, my career in the veterinary field of 18 yrs, my friends, etc.) just to follow HIS career. And then we had kids. He makes me feel like less of a person & told me I wasn’t the same woman he married. OF COURSE I’M NOT! I’m 47 yrs old with little kids! We always haf fun together & sex as often as we could. I am really needing the confidence & personal strength I have within me back so I can do this. I know it’s in there. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. So grateful I found this site a few weeks ago.

        • Hang in there. Read Chump Lady’s book as well if you haven’t. I wish I had 5 months ago after Dday. It’s difficult when you give up so much of your own life in order to accommodate someone else who then epically lets you down in the end. Selfish people.

    • Here’s what I got:

      “I married the wrong person and spent the last 25 years coping with it and made some bad choices. I did some shitty things, they don’t define me.”

      Makes my stomach turn just writing that:)

      • Ouch.

        What a lovely way for cheater to abdicate all personal responsibility. Shithead. Makes me made on your behalf – not necessary to throw that bomb on you. Good grief do these people have no idea of the impact of their words.
        Polar opposite of how a character driven spouse leaves a relationship as CL described above.

        I’m sorry you were subjected to that and I hope you have been able to give that sentence the middle finger it deserves.

      • cheater wife kept saying: “I know I did a bad thing, but that doesn’t make me a bad person” while crying of course. She’s good at crying in front of me, but then laughing and celebrating with her pro adultery friends while I’m destroyed. 17 years of my life I will never get back.

        • Don’t think about it as 17 years you’ll never get back. She’s lying to herself as well as you. She has to do this to justify her shitty behaviour. It’s cheater 101. Pay her no heed.

        • I felt the same. 17 years a lie. It felt I was robbed of my past all those memories were fake. But then I realised they weren’t I was honest my experience and feelings were true. My sister gave me some good advise the other day. So you gave him 17 years don’t give him the next 10. Still on the way to Meh.

        • I got this, too! “I know I told a lie, but that doesn’t make me a liar.” A lie?? ONE lie? Noooooo….multiple, complex, chess-playing strategic lying = MASTER LIAR

          • I love that mine said that he never lied to me. He in fact was not the Liar that I excused him of being. His rationale? I just never asked him the “right” questions. WTF?!? I am sorry. I should have asked..” Excuse me honey, did you pay the electric bill this month and by the way have you been screwing my best friend of 25 years?” Silly me.

            • Leo, I didn’t say things in the right way.

              That’s why we would never resolve issues, because it wasn’t what he did, it was the way I reacted to them that was the problem!

              Sheesh, I did not have a clue. The game is rigged from the start. Just be sweet and kind at all times, no that you fulfil a function, and have no needs.

        • Zell, you have the rest of your life, don’t waste one more minute thinking about what you’ve lost. You lost nothing but a whore. She lost the best thing that ever happened to her. Look forward, lots of good years to enjoy! Hugs

      • He’s right he did marry the wring person, you are far too good for him. He should have married a low life like himself and that would have saved two other marriages! These assholes make me laugh, like they are so fucking special who the hell wants them, used goods! Ugh!

    • I got the “I assumed you didn’t care about me anymore because you didn’t see how unhappy I was, so I hated you.” Uh, I did see! I asked all the time and would always get “I’m just tired” for a year! We had 6 deaths in 6 years, plus me in a car accident that disabled me. I knew we needed to communicate, but he wouldn’t talk. Instead, he went out with a co-worker alone a lot…which to this day still claims is like a sister to him. She is currently in an affair with another taken man. But my STBXH claims she is less drama than me. Grrr

      When I confronted him, he got the blank look and told me he hasn’t loved me in 2 years, which changed to never because I didn’t give him a child when he turned EXACTLY 30 like I promised when we dated. Uh…my dad and I were in the accident, he died, then his mom died of cancer the next year. A little busy and trying to deal with my new disability! He planned to leave me a year ago, but it took me to corner him for him to say something! Wow, thanks for letting me know the plan. Never did he say he wanted a child or he would leave me in all that time. I actually told him I was ready for one last year, but he refuses to remember this and demanded proof…WTF?! The day before he kissed me and told me he loved me. Then a few days later, he was trying to hold my hand in front of my friends. Also asked me to go to a work party to show me off the day after that! He moved out, saying I made him. Whistled while I cried. Has been blame and severe rage ever since.

    • Ohhh! Got this too!

      1. I pointed out that he constantly told me he loved me. Apparently they were “just words”. “Everyone says it”. I told him: I DON’T. I only tell it to people I truly LOVE! Until then, him and my kids. Now? Just my kids.
      2. I had “stopped saying I love you before he drove to work”. I told him before bedtime, and lots of OTHER times. But I had stopped saying it before he drove to work. Why? Because I said “Drive carefully”. Why? Because he went to bed late, got up early, and looked exhausted. I was worried he’d die in a car crash. But because I stopped saying I love you at that VERY moment, I must no longer love him.

      Then there was the roommate crap. “We’re just like roommates!” While, I’ll admit our sex life wasn’t sizzling hot due to two young children, and me getting up multiple times a night, I would NEVER sleep with a roommate. Or kiss him on the lips. Just not how I treat my roommates. I also wouldn’t spent hours pondering what to buy him food wise and what to cook that he, sans teeth, could eat together with the family. Or making sure the kids would call him to say good night when he was “working overtime”.

      I would have LOVED to be informed that we went from “married” to “roommates”. According to him it happened (at the time) 4+ years ago, when our youngest was a baby. Because I spent too much time trying to find her a formula that would work alongside breastfeeding. How DARE I have goals and things I wanted to achieve in my life that I felt was important, that did NOT involve him! I apparently did NOT get the memo that he was to be EVERYTHING I thought about ALL THE TIME! Not those pesky children.

      He even got pissed that I spent time finding the best dog beds and dog foods for the dogs. Claiming I spent more time on the dogs than him. Ummm… Whut?

      • ” How DARE I have goals and things I wanted to achieve in my life that I felt was important, that did NOT involve him! I apparently did NOT get the memo that he was to be EVERYTHING I thought about ALL THE TIME! Not those pesky children.”

        Yeah me too. I wasn’t supposed to have a career either. Well that might have been ok if it had been making way more money so that he could benefit from that, but alas, I didn’t make oodles of money, merely enough to get by when he quit his high paying job. I also enjoy my job, but that doesn’t really benefit him.

    • I had EXACTLY the same thing. Little notes and cards telling me how she’d always be mine, wanted to spend the rest of her life with me etc.

      • I found a Christmas tag the other day with “to Chumpinrecovery from the man whose heart you will always have” written on it. I left it for him to discover in his mail pile. Just another lie.

  • Yup, he apparently needed a girlfriend because he was so sad over the state of our relationship… funny 48 HOURS before he walked in and set off the bomb that blew up my life he was standing in our kitchen kissing me and telling me that I was his future and how much he loved me…. 2 days…. Then afterwards despite the fact that HE LEFT ME he felt quite free to demand that I don’t date (and yes he was still with Shnookums), then a few months later called me a slut and a whore because I didn’t deny it when he asked me if I was dating (I wasn’t but I also wasn’t going to tell him that!).

    THEN he took my car – it was registered in his name, so rather than signing it over like he agreed to do in the separation he simply took it. Leaving me and our 3 kids with no transport – oh and nevermind that his parents had just given him their old car, which was exactly what he had been bitching at me to get for years before he left… my car really wasn’t… he sold my car to pay his lawyers bills for his criminal trial… I hope he gets found guilty.

    • Wow, isn’t that funny how they tell you not to date as they’re simultaneously shacked up and living w A.P. while you’re still married? The fucking double standard audacity!!! I just remember thinking…”Yes, Daddy.”
      Fucking asshole hypocrites…

  • Basically all this is “scramble, scramble, scramble, hustle, hustle hustle “ because they didn’t think they’d ever be caught.
    Well moron- you’re just not that clever or special or exceptional. You’re just like every other cheating idiot.
    And no. Because you did all the wrong things as opposed to Tracey’s fabulous “right” list you get consequences not cake. Boo hoo. And fuck you.

    • Boo hoo and fuck you. So appropriate and funny near Halloween. Luv it. My cheater was completely textbook right down to the love letters to me while he was cheating and later the he was not happy for over 15 years once I caught him in the act (we have a planned 15 year old he certainly seemed happy). Thanks for my new favorite saying.

    • ” Boo Hoo and Fuck You” For some reason I feel the need to cross-stitch that on a pillow. One phrase says it all.

      • Battle-tempered. I’d love a pillow with that, or maybe I’ll get a tattoo.

        Boo Hoo and Fuck You! Love it.

        What do you say when they tell you that…..Shechump – you married the wrong guy.
        Sounds like projection?
        Blame-shifting?
        Compliment or complaining?

      • I love the cross stitch idea. I also think maybe Tracy could sell CN patches…imagine a cool jacket covered in Chump Nation quotes ❤️
        I’d buy them all!

  • These exact words are what’s on the judge’s decision for my divorce.
    “We grew apart” is the Sparkly Official Excuse that I’ve been hearing from mutual acquaintances. Cheater-speak is indeed universal, these exact words are also in Tracy’s book.
    On these occasions I respond with Tracy’s UBT output: “Well, cheater forgot to send me the memo about this. If we grew apart, then why was I paying for his brother’s MIL’s funeral? Changing his mother’s diapers? Buying, under his command, a brand new KING-size bed that I need like another hole in the head?”

    It used to anger me that, in order to argue with the judge, cheater exploited the situation where we worked in separate cities (also stating to judge, ipsis verbis, that it is “natural to have extra-conjugal affairs”). I always believed that this sacrifice was mutual and made to advance our family and careers; cheater would come home every weekend (official home was where I worked so X’s job would pay his rent).
    This no longer makes me angry with cheater. Lately this makes me angry with ME: although X does look like an a-hole for saying this BS, how could I be so stupid?

    I think many chumps have this question: where does the sociopathy stop and the chump’s stupidity and spackling begin?

    • My divorce date was just a few weeks ago. I filed just a week after I found out about the affair and finding an attorney was a quick check off my list.

      I was assigned a judge who, if you show any inkling of wanting a reconciliation, will advise counseling. The judge for our IBH is well-known as very anti-divorce. I gave no details, other than “we have our differences” and “I tried counseling, he did not want to attend” (I offered MC before I found out about the affair, no way would I want to fix a relationship after discovering betrayal-too many years of lying about drinking)

      I did not mention the affair or my ex’s drinking (although judge put 2+2 together when he read through the property settlement in front of us, asking me about it)

      I don’t know if had I brought up the affair, would it have dragged out my divorce or not.. But I got the dissolution, instead of just the IBH. Content that I kept it classy after feeling like I had been living in a Jerry Springer episode filled with alcoholic behavior, cheating, lying, and a trashy whore. My court time was focused on keeping my main goal…’divorce this guy and get rid of him’ other than let me ‘expose him for the liar he is’

      Looking back, I wished I had found CL earlier. Despite good reviews, I think my attorney was a cheater himself. Everything was split evenly (I live in a no-fault state). I’m happy he switched wording as far as visitation goes, and a few other things, but I never really felt like he had my back. I’m glad to be done with both of them!

      Ex wanted to go through mediation, live at home, and drag this out until our kid graduated high school next year… All while seeing his whore. Then he kept hounding me for taking too long with the divorce, lol. Big effing baby.

      • Happy, I think this “mediation”and “drag this out until our kid graduated high school next year” crap is a strategy for protecting assets. As we all have painfully learned, divorce costs a lot and, except for my cheater, most other cheaters know it.

        If it’s any consolation, your cheater seems craftier than mine: after our son threw his father’s shit at the fan (it’s a long story about why he filed and not me) he was very happy-go-lucky about divorcing, all huffing and puffing and strutting around until I changed lawyers, they froze his assets and since he was full of debts his glitterballs were then stuck in a vice. So I got a better deal than he did. Saving assets is part of cake eating.

        Good luck with your new life!

        • Thanks Tempest and CW! Good luck to you and all you chumps out there!
          Blergh! I still have to deal with ex since we are selling the house together.

          Despite not knowing about CL, I was somewhat stealth… Or maybe ex just didn’t think I had a spine considering all the crap I put up with through the years.

          March of this year…
          Mon- I kicked him out of the house the night I found out about the affair.

          Tues- He came back under my conditions… He could stay but had to find an apt asap, no communication, no gifts, clothing, jewelry the whore gave him allowed in our house while here.

          Wed- called and made an appt with my attorney for Mon.

          Thurs or Fri- I told him I was getting an attorney. He wanted mediation. He probably didn’t believe me and didn’t think I had it in me to meet with an attorney.

          Sat- found communication between he and the whore, put all his stuff in trashbags. I got the satisfaction of kicking him out twice! He was mad at me for snooping, lol.

          Mon- met with my attorney who advised me to open up my own checking account, take exactly half out of our joint acct, get my direct deposit checks into my new account. I did that within 2 hours after meeting with him since I had the day off work.
          There was a significant amount we had just sitting in the joint acct. Ex would have gone through it. Ex was pissed when he discovered what I did. Entitlement.

          My daughter is just 70 days away from turning 18. I never thought I’d count that down. She’s pretty comfortable NC. Ex doesn’t understand and blames me.

          After 7 months of giving up on having any sort of relationship with his daughter, he’s suddenly interested. I can only guess he’s trying to complete step 8 in AA before he moves in with his whore in another city. Make amends, you’re doing it wrong.

      • @Happy, you are so very mighty for kicking him out **on DDay** and for getting your ducks in a row ASAP, then filing for divorce right away!! I bow down to your mightiness!!

    • People are only 54% accurate at detecting lies, even of people they know well. Even CIA agents not trained specifically to detect lies (based on the latest research) are only about 54% accurate.

      Throw in the cognitive framework that we trust those we are intimate with (trust is normally a prerequisite of a marriage or relationship), and of course we were duped. It’s not “stupid,” it’s normal.

      Fascinating set of TED talks on lying:
      https://www.ted.com/talks/pamela_meyer_how_to_spot_a_liar
      https://www.ted.com/talks/kang_lee_can_you_really_tell_if_a_kid_is_lying

      • Yep you were not stupid you were trusting which is not wrong. To go through life without trusting would be really sad. Hopefully we have learned better who is trustworthy but I think it is not possible and we will still take our knocks. But there are a lot of really smart cookies on this site who were fooled by good liers.

      • Thanks Tempest. I watched the talks and they are very useful for lots of other terrain as well. I feel better.

    • sociopaths are good at what they do. They’ve been doing it since they were young. Sometimes I think they even lie to themselves.

      • I am pretty sure they actually believe most if not all of their lies. That’s part of why they are so disordered.

        • Exactly. This is far and away the most frustrating thing. There is no reasoning with him. He simply will not consider any thought besides “I’m a decent guy. Screw ups are because of other people”

    • CLEAR WATER

      your question about where the shit of the cheater ends and our stupidity begins, has recently been my BIGGEST question.

      I’m in therapy to address it.

      So far I’ve heard (from my Godsent therapist) that we “believed what we had to believe what confirmed our choice to stay”

      and to forgive myself for choosing to believe in my husband. But my kids saw things I did not, or that I refused to see.

      That is on ME and I’m working on it. Looking forward to hearing what CL and CN has to say, too.

      • Thanks 1st Wife&Kids.

        Chump Lady could tackle this one. Actually she has when she addresses spackling and fixing pickers (Chumps decoded) and Unified theory of Cake and Ego-kibbles (Cheaters decoded), but I still can’t get over how smart people like us in Chump Nation fall for these sociopaths.

        My friend who is a therapist says we adapt to all kinds of shit.

        I keep wondering about how things would be if I had put my foot down the first time I was financially disrespected (I know it’s a material thing, but it is emblematic). The swindler would make me feel petty, selfish, belligerent if I questioned the fairness of something. The first time a kid disrespected me and cheater told ME to be quiet and keep the peace. I never dreamed what accompanied this. I had no imagination.

        That’s why I love Chump Lady, she has fixed all of my pickers. I don’t know. I feel more honest admitting I was stupid and at peace for having kicked his ass out of my life.

  • I was told mine was basically over 2 years before D-day because he didn’t think I wanted him anymore. Of course I didn’t get this memo and was not aware he felt unwanted (because he didn’t). I think there is just something I’ll never understand like why he planned a baby with me only to leave me shortly after. He also said he was never able to communicate with me and never felt good enough for me all as a way of blaneshifting and excusing his choices.

    • Hands up here. I couldnt communicate either. Yeah sorry was too busy raising our kids, working, cooking, cleaning. While he did the bare minimum. In fact it was him who couldn’t communicate mainly because he’s a deluded narc who will only talk about himself and of course his needs.
      My realisation was he managed down my expectations of him over the years while I was expected to do more and more.😐
      And yeah apparantly it was on the fade 5 years ago, news to me. Translation I wasn’t falling over myself to please him.

      • He was the one who said he could never communicate with me when asked why he didn’t tell me about his unhappiness. It is one of those things you can’t really disputed as they clearly can’t communicate properly. It’s the fact that they use it as an excuse for their choices or for leaving.

        • I also got we don’t communicate, but she didn’t come to me with her issues with me, wasn’t willing to go to MC with me. Isn’t the person with the issue with their spouse the one to come and say I have a problem with x, y and z? Or more likely was this just blame shifting to justify her leaving to go live with Mr Sparkledick Homerecker.

          • Another one for the “I didn’t feel I could come talk to you” team!
            In my 6+months here with CN, this is the first time this one comes up as yet another excuse from their script book.
            Mine tried it on me but without much conviction, because he knew too well that I had been the one at times to try and engage him in discussing our relationship, important issues that needed to be adressed, etc. and he always ignored, stonewalled, backed out brutally. For years. He still tried to push “but that was my perception of it, and that’s what counts”. No darling, it does not. Your actions count!

      • I got the “you don’t communicate” justification too.

        There is some truth to that, albeit it I was 110% dedicated to meeting her needs, and she literally spent 0% effort meeting my needs.

        So I also got the “my emotional needs weren’t being met” justification.

        So, yeah, what I wasn’t communicating is “I feel that you are an entitled narcissist with a serious personality disorder. Your ability to use and abuse me and take from me without reciprocating anything while saying I’m not doing enough makes me feel frustrated. Your lack of empathy and lack of caring about the destruction and suffering you bring into my life does make me angry. I am concerned that your behaviors are modeling poor relationship dynamics to the children, and I feel you are neglecting them, too focused on all those things you feel you deserve from strangers: shallow love, passion, anal. But you know, the chump that I am, I’m still willing to work on this marriage and not go off and fuck other people.”

        • Lol my 6’5” real championship winning black belt said to much smaller middle age mom IT pudgy me that he could not communicate with me because he was scared of me as he proceeded to trap me in small places and get off as I cowered. It’s not our lack of communication skills obviously. Now his Svete Bosnian mistress has taken all the money I had to give him in the settlement to get rid of him and he is broke. Boo hoo and fuck you (still loving the person who posted that saying).

          • Mine trapped me in small places and got off as I cowered, too. It was terribly abusive, and I’m lucky I survived.

        • Oh yes . I cant communicate was number one followed by I don’t meet his emotional needs. Needy sums him up teally

    • same with me.. .. i tried so so super hard to make him feel loved, wanted, appreciated, needed, desired and supported. and he would still say the same thing.. ..
      *”he didnt think i wanted/loved him anymore”.. ..
      *”he never felt like he was good enough” (even though i went out of my way to make sure he knew how grateful i was for anything he did. to the point that it was ridiculous. practically worshiping him on my knees [pun intended] just because he washed… and by washed i mean put the dishes in the dish washer.. half the dishes [for some strange reason he never put in the silverware or pans] or because he cleaned the living room or made dinner.. ) .. ..
      *”he would say i was never happy with anything he did” (because i would bitch and complain every time he stayed out all night, or was broke 3 days after payday without paying for any bills or never spent time with us, never wanted to do anything with us)
      *”he would say i never listened to him” (even thou i tried talking to him over and over and over… asking him what was wrong, what am i doing wrong, what does he want from me, from our marriage, in life in general..and all i ever got was ‘i dont know’ answer)

      he told the neighborhood hood rat party girl that our marriage was over the same time he was telling me he loved me and cant live without me.. that i was his anchor. .. and telling me that he did not want a divorce.

      3.5 years later, i found my peace and i have my happiness.. .. he is still blaming me for his miserable life and telling everyone i am jealous that he loves the silly little party girl who happens to beat the shit out of him, throws bottles at his face and hospitalized him, leaves him stranded. and destroys his property but yep, i am so jealous that she loves him.. .. hahaha still delusional as ever. life is good on my side. i dont have anyone lying to me, making me feel bad, or throwing bottles at MY face.. ..

    • Hear hear! Mine said he couldn’t communicate with me and he felt as I didn’t listen or validate his feelings. Sometimes he would get frustrated when I would ask him to clarify what he said because it wouldn’t make any sense. All bullshit!

    • My ex also planned a baby with me and left when our child was a tiny infant. Why he actively planned to bring a new life into the world, only to so quickly discard us, is a mystery too deep and dysfunctional to figure out. My guess is he left because he could tell I was starting to figure out that he’d been having a long-term, same-sex affair with another closeted, married dad. Then, bizarrely, my ex tried to smear me for allegedly having postpartum depression, and refused to pay child support. Yeah, that behavior did not fly when our judge found out!

  • x didn’t have the balls to own any of his actions (big surprise). He didn’t cheat because HE stopped loving me, he cheated because I stopped loving him. The time frame for how long I hadn’t loved him constantly changed as the length of his affair became known. Total cowardly mindfuck.

    • Yup, my X pulled that on my daughter (then 13 and refusing to speak to him): “I had an affair because I thought your mother had stopped loving me.” (That was his second attempt at an excuse, um, reason for his affair–the first was marital problems so “it wasn’t all my fault!” She responded, “Yes it was,” turned her back on him at dinner and has not uttered another word to him in 3 years.

    • Yes me too. I guess that one must be in the playbook as well. Just more projection. Funny, when he found out I loved him after all he didn’t drop Schmoopie and come running back to me so, nope, guess that wasn’t it after all.

  • Oh Yes! I remember this excuse. That’s why we were looking at buying a new home, that’s why I bought him a new iphone (days before Dday) and said “I just want you to be happy”, That’s why I had implanon inserted in my arm and the old one dug out….but that’s right during an argument he said Do you think we can fix things and I said “I don’t Know” shit for brains her “No!
    So when I garbage bagged his life together and left it on the footpath I messaged him and said….”Hey because you are such an idiot and you don’t know when a marriage is over….It’s OVER!”

  • I got the “I haven’t been happy in TEN YEARS, but I DIDN’T KNOW IT.” You see, he had to trace his “unhappiness” back a whole TEN YEARS, because he had to find a story in the past to pin why he as “pulling away” from me the whole ten years. Funny, but there was absolutely no evidence that I could see or feel that he was pulling away from me those whole ten years. I’d go so far to say that the last ten years of our marriage was even closer and more loving then the first ten years.

    The truth is that he wanted me, the wife appliance who did everything for him. He had the loving, supportive wife. Family to come home to every day. Always had someone there for him for all his needs at home. BUT….the narc also needs and is entitled to lots of ho’s on the side and is entitled to do whatever the heck he wants to do behind my back. He wants everything and me trying to uphold our weddings vows was so judgey and controlling of me.

    I can only imagine what type of lies he told to all his ho-workers all these years. No doubt lots of lines from the Cheaters Handbooks.

    • Mine tried this shit with the entire 23 year marriage. Evidently, I never wanted to be with him … wha?????

      He really thought saying this would make for the perfect excuse to cover anything I already knew as well as anything I might find out about as I kept digging.

      Even with my full-blown depression, crappy self-esteem, and being prone to self-blame … this one stopped me in my tracks. It was such an obvious, overt lie. My response was something along the lines of “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” It was enough to stop him from using that line of BS again (at least with me … I’m sure his flying whores and flying monkeys heard it plenty).

      Of course, for every line of BS that didn’t work, he just made up a new one. “You have too much integrity!” “You didn’t make enough money and I had to work too much!” “You were never grateful!” “You think you’re perfect!” “What’s with you and lying? It’s how the world works!” “I was never going to leave you for any of them!” “I’m a gamer — that’s who I am!” Sadly, I could keep going. *Facepalm for putting up with any of the BS, let alone this much …. agh!*

      Heaven forbid he simply admit he’s an asshole who never gave a shit about his vows.

    • Yes, he didn’t realize how unhappy he was until he met Schmoopie (what an unrelated coincidence!). Then all of a sudden he starts tell me how he had been unhappy for YEARS. Asshole.

      • Yeah I found out that when he told me he had been unhappy over a year, then 2 then 5 then 10 then 17 then since we were married, I asked him if he been so unhappy how could he have acted happy. He told me he didn’t know he was so unhappy until he just one random day had an “insight” that he had NEVER been in love with me. When I asked him when he got that “insight” he told me it was when he fell in love with his” soul Mate”. You guessed it right, he was in love with someone he had never met, halfway across the world, and couldn’t even speak English. So he threw me away after 20+ years for someone on the internet after just couple of weeks. But don’t forget my Jesus Cheater(thankyou CL I never could put a name on it before) believes that God meant for them to find each other. Marrying me was the biggest mistake of his life and now he was going to correct it.I could have written my master’s thesis on Jesus Cheaters, but then I’d have to defend my thesis and I won’t bore you. FTS(fuck that shit)

  • I continue to be amazed at how well you know my cheater.
    What is dawning on me now is that I drew my line in the sand, and we couldn’t ever talk about it at therapy because he was too busy placing all the blame for how bad he felt (and so had to act on….) on me – the therapist ate it up. She wondered why I was so angry. That was one of his favorite topics – the therapist even recognized how angry I was, it must all be my fault.
    You know, all that crap, was just to get the needed reaction. I still get these messages that are designed to get a rise out of me. The content – meaningless for itself – its sole purpose is to get me to react. Mean, angry, manipulative narc.
    When I think about that, I feel bad that I have to put up with it, so I turn off the messages (don’t delete, need those for divorce hearing), and think about how peaceful my home is now, how what is in my bank account stays there until I spend it, and how all of you on here know just how I feel and that it will be alright. Fuck him.

    • “how bad he felt”??!!
      Wow, Chumpsterincharge, classic cheaterese. My cheater also said “you make me feel bad”.

      To think that I lost sleep trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Of course, now I understand that it was not his guilt, it was the fear of getting caught that made him feel so bad.

      • ClearWaters — Not only did he say that I made him feel so bad he had to pay something to fuck, but that he was the one who was always expressing the apologies in our relationship, and I wasn’t really sorry.

        I could only ever be dumb-founded. And now, slowly, it all unravels – or the waters become clear! Just how ridiculous he really was.

  • Things you don’t say when you know the marriage is over and commence cheating:

    — “I think for the first time in a long time, we’re being really honest with each other.”
    — “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had, and nothing is more important to me than the life and family we’ve built.”
    — “Iloceyouiloveyouiloveyouiloveyouiloveyou”

    Three days after I said “enough!” I was unloading the dishwasher — I actually had steak knives in my hands — when she calmly, almost off-handedly, said: “You know what? I realize now that I wanted out of the marriage, and was using this as a way to do it.”

    How those knives ever got back into the drawer, I’ll never know.

    • The image of KK tied to a wall while you throw kitchen knives around her outline, a la magicians, is a satisfying one.

    • I wonder sometimes if it would have been better to be told that. That’s what I believe the Cheater really wanted. Of course, if I was willing to take care of his home, let me fuck and worship him while he fucked all what he could find (because those would be “what”s, no “who”s), he would have agreed. But he wanted out, he wanted to be free again and being a selfish bastard asshole like most of his family, he decided to have a relationship with his cousin-whore, knowing that I was going to end everything after knowing. He didn’t even try to hide it, although it was his emotional distress what I saw, not really the affair. Poor boy, as soon as he came back from fucking her, he needed an emergency appointment with his red pill IC.

  • Yup, X also tried that line when I found out about his over-a-year-long affair with a gradwhore half his age. No Contact and facts are cheater’s kryptonite…

    Fact: A few month after starting his affair, why give me a new wedding and engagement ring set for our anniversary (instead of say… divorce papers)?

    Fact: If he was that unhappy, why dedicate his latest book to me and write a sappy acknowledgement about how much I mean to him while he was already balls deep into his affair?

    Oh yeah, he is a lying cheating coward, that’s why! So glad I divorced him!

    • I got a eternity ring for Christmas last year during his affair. I wore it for 10 days, but he hadn’t been happy for 2 years. Divorce papers would have been easier but wouldn’t have worked for his continued cake eating. He had to be sure he succoured new supply before he left.

    • Omg!!!! Cheater X wrote a book in his field and I edited it. He wrote a very heartfelt (sounding) and loving and grateful acknowledgement to me as his wife and partner in all ways, his best friend of 25 years…. bla bla (image-fucking-management) bla bla WHILE FUCKING AT LEAST 2 WHORES whom told me that he said I was evil incarnate, “crazy,” vindictive, never accepted him, was insatiable, materialistic, and our marriage had been “over” for a decade ! Sociopath!

      He bought me Naruda’s book of love poems and read Puma (written about the passion for a wife) to me for our 23rd wedding anniversary. He bought one whore, his legal client(!!!!) the same book and read that poem to her AT THE EXACT SAME TIME!!!! Sociopath!!!!!

      When the kids caught him during week 6 of false wreconciliation with a burner phone and disgusting sex messages from gold digging young whore/ yet another OW, and confronted him, X screamed at kids (ages 9, 15, and 19) that he HATED every minute of the past 10 years being in our family and being their father!!!!! Sociopath!!!!!

      Middle daughter tried multiple times to kill herself (she had been daddy’s girl),oldest dropped out of college and became suicidal, youngest developed severe panic attacks that left her feeling like she can’t breath…… FUCKING SOCIOPATH!!!!!!

      • OMG I am so sorry. Yes, life with a Sociopath is hell, but, at least now I have an explanation for all of the unexplainable things he did during our 35 year marriage. I am so sorry for your children. My two adult sons ( ages 33 and 34) are still in the denial phase. Mostly believing their father’s bullshit. i.e. 50% of marriages end in divorce, it takes two, etc. etc. Yes it took two…he and the whore! As they have not lived at home for the past ten years, they have no idea how good their father was at leading a double life.

  • Aw! I wish I could go back and hug the chumps me that was a ball of pain and tears over all of the blameshifing and lies. She wouldn’t believe me, no doubt, but I wish I could tell her that a year and a half later she would more than capable of laughing when pondering the cheater’s mental gymnastics.

    Oh, gosh. Taken together, I am now pretty sure that all of cheater’s excuses pretty much have the marriage being over for him long before we ever even met and started dating.

    And you know what? That’s inadvertently accurate. Any relationship with a cheater has always already been doomed.

    So glad–so grateful–to have that gone from daily life.

  • I got this line too, and it’s such a damn gaslight of a line. DDay was a few days after Valentine’s day, he and I got dressed up and went to a swanky sushi place (his idea, but of course I had to make the reservations and secure the babysitter). He presented me with a new computer and a card that he had handwritten a sweet note: “to my one and only.” If that wasn’t a fucking hint I don’t know what is?

    My DDay was a bit unusual, he just told me he had hired a lawyer and he thought we should get a divorce. I thought he was playing a cruel trick. I asked if there was another woman, he said no, but was adamant that our relationship had been over a long time and he was moving forward with the divorce. No counseling, no conversation, no fight. He was ending it. The most cruel things he said to me were “you’re still my best friend.” I balked “well you’re not mine. This isn’t how best friends treat each other.” And he also said “I saw you charting each morning when you woke up and thought it was so sad that you had no idea.” (We were actively trying to have another baby and I was trying to determine my fertile days.) How fucked up is that? That he was boinking co-worker all while leading me to think we were expanding our family. I mourned for that potential baby for a long time after.

    • “I saw you charting each morning when you woke up and thought it was so sad that you had no idea.”

      Strawberry Jellyfish–that line is a kick to the stomach with a combat boot. Horrifying, and a real glimpse into the coldness of cheaters. I’m sorry you ever had to hear that.

    • Strawberry, you are much better off without this sadist. I love my sons, no adverbs needed. But it pains me to see the father I gave them. You were spared that pain, even though obviously your ex’s intention was to humiliate and hurt you.

      Read about what Mary Claire King’s (discoverer of the BRCA gene for breast cancer) ex gave her to “soften the blow” when he left her all of a sudden.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-maryclaire-king/brca-marriage-testing_b_17908074.html

      Many of us chumps survive downright cruelty.

  • I know Hannibal Lecher used this line on his numerous student whore conquests, convincingly, as at least 2 of them insisted he leave me for them (while I blithely went on my way being wifely).

    I would love to go back in time and ask, re: gradwhore (student #1):
    “If the marriage is already over, WHY ARE YOU STILL IN THE HOUSE eating the dinners I cook, attending soccer games for our daughters, having sex with me, giving me the passwords to the stock account, planning to get a puppy for the kids, and adding on the house?” More importantly, I would like to go back in time and LEAVE him at that very moment, instead of having to wait 8 atrocious years to find out about gradwhore.

    With student whore #2:
    “If the marriage is already over, why am I traveling to England with you to deliver a heartfelt talk at your mother’s memorial service (and why are you still having sex with me, you sick fuck)?

  • I got sort of the same thing. I got the”ILYBINILWY” out of nowhere one day. Apparently she had become sick of me, but not so much that she felt compelled to stop me from making her car payments, helping her pay for plastic surgery, buying brand new furniture (that she promptly took), or personally assuming her student loans. And all of this occurring during the affair. Of course, even after a year in limbo, the marriage wouldn’t end until I filed.

    Why not just honestly and fairly end the marriage before all of this happens? I was still of use to her (i.e. cake).

    • “I got sort of the same thing. I got the”ILYBINILWY” out of nowhere one day. ” Ditto. It’ll be exactly 3 years 5 days from now when she gave me that speech. She was quite happy for me to live at my Brothers for months while keeping the benefits of the M going while fucking hewhore.

  • Ah yes, this old chestnut. I got the same. She even told me when we started drifting apart. It was 5 years before DDay. 5 years of me not noticing my wife growing distant. I must have been naive to have not noticed that. I also have a mental block on all those conversations where she explained where we were going wrong because damn it I just can’t remember them.

    Here’s a real kicker though. I did get the memo, and the texts. Trouble is that those memo’s and texts must have been meant for someone else because the versions I got usually had something romantic or flirty in them (when you cut out the mundane ones that is). In fact, the day her EA became a PA (29th May 2014. It was a Friday) we were flirting on email. She had a works night out that night (there were a lot of them that summer. No need to guess why) and she told me what we were going to do the next morning when our kid went out to play. And we did (wink wink).

    A week later and she was treating me worse than something she stepped on.

    You just can’t make this up.

  • I was told we are no longer married. Then I love you! Such a fucked up mess when I look back. Turns out she actually was preparing to leave for the 7th grade bf man of her dreams. Unfortunately for me, he dumped her. Not saying it would not have hurt, but if she had left would have saved me 4 years of mental Hell!

  • My ex gave me a version of this at D-Day#2 (I never discovered actual cheating, so I’m talking about other incidents and that’s why I let it go so far).

    His line is “Oh, I felt that we didn’t have a relationship, I couldn’t talk to you, you had your troubles and I didn’t want to burden you, I just wanted to unload and have some fun. If I felt I could talk to you, I know this wouldn’t have happened. I feel like a loser, because IF ONLY I’d come talk to you, none of this would have happened.”

    And he takes full responsibility for this, because he has no choice, he knows full well that HE was the one who always refused to talk with me about serious things.
    But he’s also playing enlighted-new-man when he says this, failing to see how stupid his “discovery” is. It’s what normal people in a relationship DO, you idiot!
    It’s also one of the four different excuses he has for four different moments in time where he was caught chatting other women up. And he still calls it ONE mistake.

    I’m so tired of his sociopathic games. They want to play the “relationship game”, but are too stupid to learn the actual, properly-functioning, human rules of empathy and cooperation. Too stupid to realize no one will keep playing with them when the ruse is up.

  • I have tried countless times to have some understanding of the Cowardly Liar I was married to, the denial and confusion stage of grief still swings back around. What must it have been like to be miserable every day with me until he point that he had to escape like some sort of pit-in-the-basement captive? How awful that must have been for him. But then I get my head straight and the empathy poofs just like he did.

    Just weeks before he declared that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me while simultaneously planning his grotesque exit. When asked direct questions about why he kept taking work assignments away from home, he lied. When asked if were we really OK as empty nesters or was he trying to distance himself, he lied. When asked why he started spending nights on the couch, he lied. Over, and over, and over. SO MANY CHANCES he had to say in even the tiniest way that he wasn’t happy and he lied. He was so mentally divorced from me that he was able to look me square in the face and deny everything no matter how I tried to approach it. He is so entitled. He is so weak.

    After he left initially he came back for a couple days. Despite having done something so cowardly (leaving me while I was out of town and sending me an e-mail notice that our 31 years together was over), he still felt so entitled as to stand there and SCREAM at me that I was the the one who dropped a bomb on our family, I was the one who destroyed it. That I was hated by our adult daughters. That I ruined everything for us. That I was a horrible person. He did his best to humiliate me and I literally dropped to my knees BEGGING him to spend a few months ‘working on it’ with me. Nope, he was relishing seeing that he had crushed me under his heel. He relished that I fainted the next day in front of him from shock, lack of food, and no sleep.

    I kept up basic text contact while we were in the dissolution process and separation of joint accounts to assure that he didn’t play any games. This week that ended, everything is finally and completely separate. He texted asking for one of the cat’s immunization records. NC from me, not even a snarky comment that I was fired from being his fucking mommy and it is time for him to figure his shit out– and maybe the WonderTwat can help him. It feels good to take the next step and shut him out.

    What kind of evil, sick, twisted fuck does all this? I have glimpses of meh yet these skein of fuckupedness mysteries still haunt me. I realize that only a monster could treat another human so badly and I do wish he would get some horrible, rotting cancer and die.

    Thanks for the vent, CN.

    • Now IC,
      Thank you for speaking for me. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around my ex-boyfriend lying to me for months when I asked him, ‘Is something wrong?’ (Answer: No) and ‘Is there someone else?’ (Answer: No), him telling me, ‘I need time (as in months?) alone to figure out what I am doing with my life’ while he was trying to decide whether to string me along or just kick me to the curb. (A few weeks later, he told me that he needed that monastic ‘alone time’ to decide whether to stay with me or toss me aside for co-worker and he had been ‘curious’ about this co-worker for months. He told me that she had been in the company ever since he joined a few years ago, but in spite of having attended numerous events in this very small company over the years, I had NEVER met nor heard of her. Can’t help but wonder if she just got divorced and was suddenly ‘on the market’ or he is lying and she just joined the company. Doesn’t matter–either way, he was on paper committed to me but emotionally not committed and jumped at another opportunity when it became available. He often said that he ‘cared’ about me. Enough to lie, abandon ship and then go from talking to me a couple of times/day to suddenly cutting off contact with me after decades.) I never got a chance to discuss ways we could enhance/save our relationship, probably because he always thought of it as temporary and disposable (like a non-rechargeable battery or a paper plate) and our relationship was always on his terms with me doing all the emotional lifting. He would go through this rapid Jekyll-Hyde cycle–hold my hand on a walk, then tell me he didn’t see a future with me, then tell me he loved me, then tell me, ‘You deserve someone who is present,’ then tell me, ‘You can stay with me if you don’t expect any lovey dovey’–in a 24 hour period! What leads people to behave this way? And his cover ups of lies on top of lies on top of outrageous lies–‘because he didn’t want to hurt me.’ Puts my head in a blender!

      Am fighting mightily to focus on getting a life rather than attempt to unravel this skein of f–kedupness.

      • The

        “I would have told you but I did not want to hurt you” = They get a NOBEL prize for lying! Thanks for protecting me!

        And the “I knew you’d overreact!” = another mind fuck.

        HOW in God’s name were we to respond? “Oh, that’s fine. Sorry I’m breathing your air”???

        • Got all that too, plus the “If you REALLY love me you would want me to be happy”
          I told him then that just proves he doesn’t love me at all.

    • Yup, I gave my Asshole so many chances to say he wasn’t happy, etc. but instead, he insisted that he was, that we would be together forever, etc. He made me believe that we were starting a new chapter in our lives, at the very same time he was writing me out of his story. We had one terrible fight after the affair started, and he straight up lied to me and made me feel like I was crazy for listening to my gut which was SCREAMING that something was off (in retrospect–my body knew before I did: I was having nightmares, breaking out into rashes, constantly sick, gained weight, etc.) He’s not only a liar and a cheater, but a sad, pathetic coward.

      • Slowtolearn this was my experience right down to the horrific rash on my neck that people thought id been strangled… made we dub it my pain in the neck aka cheater wanker after he left it miraculously cleared up. Goes without saying nightmares and panic attacks but throughout it all he denied anything was up until hed gutted us financially and was ready to leave. Then the story changed to ….”chump knew for ages our marriage was dead but chose not to face it” . How many ways can one person be betrayed. It beggers belief except to know these people have BIG problems

  • Ah yes. I got the, “We didn’t have a marriage.” line. Uh…really? Could have fooled me! On the way to work this morning, I started laughing because I remembered how, even AFTER I found the nude photos of the whore, he said, “I didn’t cheat on you.” It takes a sick person to lie like that.

    On the plus side, I was laughing instead of sobbing. Progress!

  • I got “I realize now I have not loved you in years, I only liked you as a friend.”
    Riiiiiiiiight.

  • Lol I got the “I’ve been thinking of leaving you for months” “ILYBINILWY” “I have to go away for a weekend to find myself”
    1) Only a couple of weeks before he had booked a romantic holiday for us to the Maldives (he later took homewreckingwhore – it was our wedding anniversary and my birthday present (did i mention I married him on my birthday …)

    His weekend away was a guest house with HWW – he still denies even though I have the booking email..I was also told that I was not allowed to date anyone else – as in Northern Ireland until divorce its adultery – he denied denied denied affair – so glad that i did not believe him so glad i chucked him out (weekend he was away) I had sex with him a few times after – just to prove to myself that he would cheat on the woman he blew his life up for – so she wasn’t that special ! He begged to come back so many times – RAGE CHANNEL – “You STUPID woman !! Dont you KNOW that I love you !!” No, not really because you keep fucking other women …..He lives with her in Scotland now – none of our kids speak to him. So I guess he got what he wanted LOL wtf !! One more year for the divorce (takes 2 years in Northern Ireland ) NC for 6 months and Im loving life !

    • STUPID BIG FUCKWIT BABY took Schmoopie to our Beach rental cottage in Maine then on a cruise up the Canadian East Coast. SBFB booked the cruise on our joint cruised card which I had set up, so confirmation email came to me! Boy I had to really control myself. I wanted so much to screw up their passport information but I hadn’t got all the settlement money so in an abundance of caution didn’t do anything but oh my, it was sooooo tempting. SBFB couldn’t even handle booking a holiday. They are useless idiots.

      • lyndaloo, I would have fallen into the temptation of screwing up their passport information, but I’m glad you kept your cool.

  • Ah yes, this statement. Expect my cheater wife used: “We were living separate lives”. She didn’t tell it to me she told to her girlfriends so they would not think ill of her.

    My “separate life” was at home with our daughter cooking dinner and helping her with her homework while mommy was “getting massages”.

  • Thank you Tracy, I needed to read this today and probably every week! Even though you know in your heart this has nothing to do with you, as time passes, you accept that well yes, it wasn’t the marriage you thought you had. It’s a stark reminder of the lack of character in these Aging Adolescents we thought were actual grown ups. They ignore and avoid the hard work of facing up to the realities of life and take the easy way out, someone else can clean up the mess. This is a good reminders of what we have escaped!

  • I got blindsided with the out-of-the-blue comment “I’m re-evaluating everything in my life right now. Including you.” Followed by “can’t you tell there’s something wrong with our marriage?” Uh, No! Up to that point, I was living a dream life. I believed myself to be in a safe, happy and secure marriage. Frequent vacations, raising a beautiful daughter together, healthy sex life (weekly). So no, Asshole, I didn’t think anything was wrong with our marriage!

    Also, Jackass, if you were so “unhappy” why didn’t you want to try marriage counseling? Oh, that’s right cuz you had a piece on the side. Clearly, you were being pressured to leave your family behind.

    He denied the affair to EVERYONE. Then I caught him. While he was on vacation visiting his friend, he brought the dumb cow with him. I figured it out on the phone one night when he called to say good night to our daughter. And he acknowledged it.

    Stupid piece of shit. My daughter and I are too good for that turd.

    Good Riddance!

  • Here is my take on this. It doesn’t matter if you thought the relationship was good or rocky. The gut punch is the lies, the manipulation, and rationalization/blaneshift. My ex planned her exit before dropping the “we’ve been divorced for years.” Our relationship was rocky and I knew it but finding out about what went on behind my back hurt like hell. I’m now 18 months out from Dday and 13 post divorce. Her behavior toward me remains the same, ie blaming shifting, manipulation, deceit. She didn’t get a character transplant when she hooked up with her HSBF and married him.
    I go grey rock because we have keep kids. I’ve accepted she sucks and I’m moving on. There is a right way and wrong way to do things. Just accept the cheater will choose the wrong way. Stay mighty CN.

    • “The gut punch is the lies, the manipulation, and rationalization/blameshift.”

      Exactly. The lying thing is the WORST. I had a feeling something was going on and I point blank asked him if he was cheating. He scoffed, told me, “If I was cheating on you, I’d have the balls to tell you.” Fast forward a couple of months when I found the evidence. I point blank told him, “I guess you didn’t have the balls, did you.” Him: “I guess not.”

      What floors me is that I had EVIDENCE and he STILL denied it. You have to be pretty sick in the head to do this.

          • How about calling it by a clearer name–like The Big Lie, or better yet, The Nuclear Con? That’s how I feel after being hit with the bomb of lies, manipulation, and rationalization/blameshift/projection. I feel as though I (and kids) have been exposed to a megaton of radioactive fall-out from two atomic blasts (first from ex-husband and second from ex-boyfriend) and am walking through the nuclear holocaust waiting to drop dead from radioactive poisoning while they and new partners ride off into the clean, idyllic sunset.

            And yeah, the denial of obvious lies is really insulting. The ‘She stayed over but nothing happened’ is the latest insulting lie hurled at me. Not only are you, Liar, offending me by disrespecting me by writing/uttering a lie, but also you are insulting my intelligence. Have you really convinced yourself that I am a three-year-old moron? Incredible.

  • STBX’s version of this was “we weren’t ‘right’.” As in, why didn’t you support me when my mom lay in a coma for five days? “We weren’t right.” When I pointed out that during this same time I was visiting HIS mother in the hospital multiple times, sending her flowers on behalf of US, making calls to see how she was doing because HE wouldn’t – his response “I didn’t think there was any meaning behind those actions, you did them because you HAD to.” Um, what?!? When I asked him numerous times why, when I came to him to discuss the fact that we weren’t having sex, he was, for all intents and purposes, living in the basement (playing video games, watching HOURS of porn, texting whores), all he had to say to me was “nothing is wrong with me, what’s wrong with you?” or “it’s just easier for me to sleep down here” or “it’s normal for a sex life to dwindle (down to once a year) after being married for so long.” After I found out everything he was doing and confronted him, the excuses dried up and just became “we weren’t right.” Yeah, I hear ya – I wasn’t “right” in the head for putting up with all of his bullshit and he wouldn’t know right from wrong if right hit him in the head with a 2×4. Asshole.

    • So familiar. She used those exact words. “You are a great guy… it’s just not right though.” This was a week before I walked in on her and her chiropractor. In the ensuing conversations I asked her if she had told the good doc about her HSV-2? She said yes she had, and that he had it too. I replied with “oh you guys have so much in common, classy.” Bet he was never told, just like I wasn’t as she claimed she was too embarrassed and ashamed by it. Not her fault, like nothing else ever is/was/will be.

  • I got that line too. “We weren’t together anymore…” This is what she said to me as I was shredding her to pieces on the phone after I walked in on her and her chiropractor in our bed on that rainy Thursday back in May. Yeah I had moved out into a buddy’s place just 3 days before and we were taking some space at her request. (Time and space both have a name, right???) Funny how I was just over at her/our place the night before dropping off supplies from Costco, cooking dinner, reading to and tucking in her daughter for bed. Snuggle time in “our” bed before I was told it was time for me to go so she could rest from such an obviously taxing night at home. So glad I never married her, idiot. Peace to all those here that had the unfortunate situation of being married to one of these narcs.

  • What I hate most about my husband right now is that he keeps telling our kids that he loves me but is not in love with me. How do you tell two adolescent girls that? He has also sold that story to his family. That our marriage was over but that he did not “manage” it well. Needless to say, I never received the memo.

    I told my sweet girls that you don’t treat people that you love (but are not in love with) like he treated me. IT. IS. NOT. OKAY. And then I tell them that I am going to be great again (even if I don’t know how or when). If I say it enough, will I eventually believe it?

    • Yes – you will. Slowly but surely, as you get more distance (and sleep, and hugs from those two daughters), you will realize that you already are GREAT. Let him go, and all his crap with him, down the drain where he belongs. Those stupid, stupid lies – you are great because you are a good enough person to keep on believing in people, even liars like him. There a lot of good people, like you, and you will be better able to spot them, especially after a good does of CL and CN!

  • Dear new chumps

    Please pay attention to the story below.

    I got this line and it’s laughable now but honestly when you’ve just discovered that your SO has been having an affair; adding this gas lighting piece of garbage onto the flame the cheater ignited is just more abuse added to the pile that a chump has already endured. I was gobsmacked by this memo that I certainly never received. A mere 3 weeks before the discovery of his affair, we went on a tropical vacation together. He told me he loved me every day and life seemed pretty normal. He was being a bit of a shithead (hello discard phase) before and after the vacation but I chocked it up to the stress he was enduring at work due to his company being sold. (hello spackle)

    So I sat in our living room trying to figure out how I missed the signs that our marriage was over while he went on to cite the four very specific things I did to make the marriage over (cue the four different cheeses in the lasagna defense) I think the most hurtful thing was that he told our children the marriage was already over along with his family and anyone at work who would listen to him.

    Of course this cued an enormous pick me dance which I “won” for three years. (<—-insert sarcasm font here) At some point during year three I found chump lady and the sky began to clear. (from my fog-not the cheater fog) What did I do?

    1. Put on my big girl panties and told him that this was no longer working for me.
    2. I mentioned my deal breakers and hoped he would do something to change but I knew that if he hadn't done any of that stuff in three years, he wasn't going to start now.
    3. Even though it took 5 months to get out, I stuck to my guns. There was no more "I love you" bullshit and I never gave him any reason to believe that I changed my mind. I was chumpily convinced to stick it out through the holidays while he actively went on dating sites which he also lied about. (smh-I was such a chump!!!!)
    4. I took legal steps: a mediator, which I don't advise and neither does chump lady, but I had three years of pick me dance, shit sandwiches and more emotional abuse. I was all set and I wanted it over quick. Our kids were adults and we only had the house as an asset so it only took three months from the first conversation with the mediator until my new cheater-free life
    5. I moved out

    And that is how you end a relationship like an adult! My parting sentence to him on our day of court when I reminded him that he told me "our marriage was already over" three years prior was "This is how you actually make a marriage over!" The. End!

    • “And that is how you end a relationship like an adult! My parting sentence to him on our day of court when I reminded him that he told me “our marriage was already over” three years prior was “This is how you actually make a marriage over!” The. End!”

      DAMN! That’s AWESOME!!!! <3

    • cheaterssuck, well done and well said: “This is how you actually make a marriage over!”

      This memo-less “we grew apart” shit is indeed painful and cowardly. It turns all our investment and dedication and sincerity into … into…. I can’t even come up with a word for it. Maybe black hole because it sucks up our very being.

      • There are variations of the “our marriage was over” canard that are equally news to chumps.

        The one I got was, “There is no ‘us’ .”

        Huh? I waited through a deployment 6 weeks after we were married, I gave you 3 kids, I walked the pain of losing one of them, with you. I visited your family, hosted your friends, engaged in most of your interests (besides fucking around behind you) I cheered you on while you decided to go to school for nursing and kept encouraging you to keep going over single time you failed a math class and A&P, ( no less than 3 times per math class and twice for each of the 2 A&P classes) I bragged you up, told people how much I loved you and how proud I was of you…and told you that also, frequently. I even told my closest friends that I thought I was a terrible wife and didn’t deserve you.

        Yeah, there was no “us” all right….only YOU.

        • My cheater wife wanted to become a school counselor, but lacked confidence. I built her up and did mock interviews over and over again. She got a job. We did it all over again a couple years later when she wanted to become the head counselor- again SUCCESS!! And then on Dday the scumbag actually declared as one of the reasons she screwed her 24 year old massage therapist was become “I didn’t respect her job or the students she counseled” and massage boy “told her how much he respected the work she does”.

          • “Good Golly Mrs. Zell. You’re soooo wonderful! I really respect the work you do.”

            I’m imagining a Howdy Doody face gazing upon a vacant-eyed Anna Nicole Smith.

            **gag**

        • OMG! Mine said the same thing! I asked “what about us?” And that was his most hurtful response of all of them. I forgot about that one, must of shoved it in the back of my brain.

        • Yes yes all of the above X 10 what the fuvk are these fuckers on? While our daughter was feeling suicidal herself he felt it was a good time to tell her he would have killed himself if he’d stayed any longer. ..thx dad !!

  • Once they come out with it the progression of degrading, insulting, soul crushing and delusional non- rationalizations spiral as follows:

    I love you but I’m not in love with you ( who the hell you in love with?)
    I was NEVER in love with you (wtf, why did you marry me?)
    We weren’t truly married in my heart ( 3 year engagement, you asked me, no gun to your head, no oops pregnancy, etc.)
    We’re not spiritually connected ( so? didn’t stop you from pursuing me, wanting me, needing me)
    I love you like a sister ( ew you’d fuck your sister?)
    You are my best friend (more like I’m your best friend and you’re my worst enemy)
    I still care about you ( gee thanks, I still care about my teddy bear )
    You’re sounding crazy ( sure I am, just a reflection of your crazy actions)
    You need anger management (hmm, maybe I need to get rid of what’s making me angry!)
    You won’t make it own your own ( maybe I will, maybe I won’t, watch me try )

    • I got the I love you like a sister line too!! My first thought was you would f*ck your sister?? Ewww. I think x thought that sounded like a good consolation prize for the wife appliance.
      I knew in my head right then and there that whatever we had been engaged in was as far from marriage as you could get, my heart took a little more convincing and replaying that line over and over in my head helped me along though.

  • You can’t really understand it emotionally because you do not think that way — but remember that many of these “partners” are emotionally detached, and can compartmentalize everything. You can understand it in a functional, logical way if you remove the emotion you feel from the equation.

    They are going to continue to have sex because sex feels good (to them) and they don’t really care if it means something else to us. We should have learned this in high school when we saw “couples” who “dated” socially and “couples” who were only “together” to have sex. The sexual partner may have wanted to be a real “dating” partner, but the one who was there for the sex, only, could have sex with the “dating partner” and sex with the “sex partner” — and it meant little to them either way. Even bad sex still felt good.

    It is hard to take, ask me why I know, but you have to understand that Users will use you because you are useful to them. You might provide everything for them — money, sex, housekeeping, childbearing, errand running — on and on. But they might have a spare 15 minutes to have sex with another, or the other can do something useful for them that you cannot or will not do. They live in the moment of immediate gratification. You live in a world of meaningful commitment. Wrap your head around being of use — no matter how distasteful it is to you — and you will see why they kept you around. There is nothing in it for them to be honest with you, or to leave a relationship where they have so many rewards. They get your usefulness and the AP ‘s usefulness too as long as they can prolong it. When circumstances demand it — they change the situation. They never intend to limit themselves in any way for the AP either — but it may be useful to pretend to for awhile. This is who they are — they cannot change that.

    • Thank you, Portia, for that thoughtful explanation. This is what I’ve been struggling with the last few days. It’s hard to believe. It’s hard to believe that everything I believed about our relationship was a lie. You explained it well. Thank you.

      Now – on to the work of building a new life for myself. I am looking forward and trying to stay focused on the positive things!

    • You are right, Portia. Because they lack empathy (the specific diagnosis is academic) they can easily treat people like objects.

  • After 34 years being married.. after I caught them together at whores home I got – “Our marriage ran its course & I have feelings for other people “.
    WTF?

    Other people? Didn’t have the balls to say “Other woman”. Divorced him after realizing my health was at stake.. I was getting physically & mentally sick.

    After living with the whore for 2 years Karma hit them..
    Whore died in car accident. He now has no one to take care of his 70 year old body! Aging cruel narc..
    Hope he ends up alone in the street after being so very cruel to me.

  • I picture a cartoon man walking along with the bubble of “Blah, Blah, Blah” over his head. After years of almost every comment above, it’s easier to see (from a distance) that everything they say is a lie, irrational, self-serving blah. I keep no-contact for my own sanity and well-being. Thanks to CL and CN for reminding me that they suck.

  • This is word for word what I heard on D-day – almost as if CL recorded the STBX trying to justify himself and blameshift.

    I also got “it hasn’t been good for 10 years”. Coincidentally, this was the age of our oldest child as of D-day — I guess once the narc STBX stopped being the sole focus of attention and had to share some of the kibbles with a baby and actually do something useful, things just went downhill in his mind (but he wouldn’t want to share that with me because then there would be consequences rather than cake).

    And I got all sorts of versions of “you weren’t happy either”. A true statement, because trying to maintain a marriage with a narc whose solution to all problems was to have me do more of the work and lower my expectations about what type of partnership and help he would provide left me feeling angry and resentful – yet I managed to not fuck someone else as a way to deal with my unhappiness.

    For a while, I was so gutted by the wreckage of everything I thought was true in my life and everything that I expected for my future that I was willing to carry some of that blame, wondering why I hadn’t seen it and what I could have done differently. Now, STBX is on his own with the responsibility. He spouts this set of lines to everyone who will listen in his continued attempt to come out of this without looking like an asshole, but when people ask me, I don’t spackle for him anymore (and if people know us both and just swallow his side of it, they’re his friends and no longer people I care to have in my life).

    At the end of the day, there is a right way and a wrong way to leave someone if you have decided that your marriage is over. No one’s search for “happiness” and “meaning” entitles them to betray people they claim to care about, and if you’re too much of a chickenshit to handle the “our marriage is over” conversation before you start sleeping with someone else, you suck.

  • My STBX was full of such heartwarming phrases.

    I got the standard “we haven’t gotten along for years now”. (Hmm, news to me.)

    Plus a lovely side of “well, you mostly wrote our wedding vows” (not true) “so those vows probably meant more to you than me.”. Geezus. He was the one that proposed!!!!!!!

    And misquoting my own statements about “roommate status.” A few years prior, when he was tough to pin down for date nights, I pointed out that I wanted us to keep feeding our marriage, and that no date nights would lead to feeling just like roommates. So when he was moving out, he twisted that around like a pretzel and threw at me: “Well, you yourself said we’re just roommates”. AAAAARG!

    All variations on what is apparently a very common rewrite-the-past theme.

  • The common theme seems to be that cheaters aren’t truly unhappy until their bad behavior comes to light. Once their chump is onto their deception, they spontaneously reveal that they have been unhappy for some period of time; exactly how long is changeable as their narrative evolves. The “marriage was already over” claim is nothing more than cheater recognition that they’ve screwed up so badly that once they are found out the jig is up. The idea of being held accountable is too daunting to bear.

    The marriage was already over because they’d already done the deeds that killed it. It was only a matter of time before the corpse was discovered.

    • Oh ex was unhappy alright but he had all kinds of other excuses for that. He didn’t like his job, didn’t like where he lived, etc. He didn’t tell me it was the marriage that was making him so unhappy until months after he started cheating on me. I kept trying to accommodate his unhappiness in all of the wrong ways. It turns out all I needed to do was leave him and he would have been happy. Who knew?

      • Chumpinrecovery, your ex does not sound capable of happiness. Sadly, he’ll have to find a new scapegoat to blame for his misery. I’m sure the candidates are already lining up.

      • Same. He wasn’t happy with work, with our home, with our kids, and then finally realized (after he met Schmoopie) that it was THE MARRIAGE. I wonder who/what he will blame for his unhappiness once the divorce is done. I suppose it will all still be MY fault because he will be unhappy about paying alimony. I want to send him a picture of me smiling every time I cash one of those checks!

      • Ironically, my now XH was happy with our lifestyle, was happy with our mini farm, was happy with our dogs, was happy with our orchards and gardens, was happy with our home, was happy with our semi-retirement, was happy with our meager belongings, was happy with our relationship etc. He said even after BD that I was his “best friend, great wife and we have a wonderful relationship.” I thought everyone wanted a marriage like ours. He didn’t blame his “unhappy” on me, he didn’t find faults with me, he actually liked me, we were very compatible, YET, I wasn’t his “soul mate” and he felt that there had to be a “spiritual connection”. So I tried to be even a better best friend and wife hoping to save us when I couldn’t understand why anyone would need to. Thus I picked me danced for no audience and there was no applause or encore.

    • True, Survivor. They know when they poisoned the marriage but it takes awhile for us chumps to feel the effects and figure out what’s going on. Once you realize what’s happened, they blame you for not being aware enough to notice when it happened. No matter what, it’s all your fault.

      My ex never once acknowledged any responsibility for his affair. He laid the blame solely at my feet. I was devastated until I found Chumplady and realized that what he told me was from a page out of the cheater’s playbook.

      • My ex never admitted anything even when I showed him that I had proof. Then I was paranoid, delusional and controlling. Abusive even. And I wasn’t young enough, thin enough or pretty enough for him anymore. Oddly, there was no indication of unhappiness until after I’d busted him for lying and cheating.

        I heard later, much to my surprise, that the weasel had been telling people we were separated, and he was now living at our vacation cabin. We weren’t, and he wasn’t, but I guess that sounded better to the younger, thinner and prettier applicants aspiring to my job.

  • I love the caption with the photo. Ex never said what he really meant and I was always confused. No wonder I was unable to “meet his needs”. I guess Schmoopie understood that no matter what he said wha the meant was “I want a blow job right now”.

    • The more blow jobs she gave, the higher her salary went. My ex was her boss. He was soooo grateful, it didn’t matter that SHE made more money than he did. But, this did explain the broken console cover in the XC90.

  • My life had turned into a black comedy during the death spiral end of the marriage. XH said we were “legally separated” when I told him to sleep on the couch. Think that story helped his “sexless marriage” story. Not sure how conception of 2nd child fit that story, though!

  • I got all of this and “I’ve been carrying the weight and doing everything for years.” I did call bs on that one!

  • It’s amazing how all of our stories are so similar. After d-day, I got, “I haven’t been happy for a long time. For at least the last 10 years (of our then 15 year marriage).” At the time we had a 10 year old and an 8 year old. So basically, you were miserable but decided we should go ahead and have not one, but two kids together?
    And then I heard directly from the howorker after d-day, “He told me your marriage was effectively over. That you were like roommates, and he was just staying for the kids.”
    Ummm, roommates who still fuck a couple of times a week? Roommates who decide to put a substantial amount of their money into a big new house? There is no originality with these fuckwits.

  • #1 Two years since he left and HE HAS NEVER TOLD ME about the affair or that he was filing for a divorce.

    #2 When he moved out, he left post-it notes saying “Its about us”, “Let’s work this out” and “Maybe we can date”. I had NO IDEA what was going on or what the hell he was talking about.

    #3 He DID USE the “marriage was over long ago” during the divorce process…and it was repeated by his lawyer. Hmmm, did he ever mention this to me?

    Bottom line, he’s a chicken shit cheater and I am glad he is gone.

  • All of this applies to ex except that he did follow through on part e) under the ethical way to end a relationship. Based on that he thinks he gets to fall into the good guy category. He was 3 for 3 on the don’t do’s and 1 out of 5 on the do’s and he thinks that absolves him of all guilt. Nope. It’s still not ok.

  • Reading all these comments today has been very helpful.
    I found out that “the marriage was already over” after a cooperative Tinder whore sent me their conversations. He said to her we are “in the middle of divorcing. And it’s taking a while because it’s not easy coming to an agreement on splitting up our stuff. She’s trying to take everything from me and the house.” 🤔 interestinggggg. That morning he kissed me said he loved me and it was news to me that we were in the middle of a divorce. I was home being a good little wifey cleaning cooking folding his underwear. Since he seemed confused that you don’t go on Tinder to get a divorce… I had to show him the proper procedure. So I lawyered up. Filed for divorce without him knowing. And had him served. Have a nice day💁

  • Seeing that XH blindsided me and just left, he scores high on all the things not to do. He is definitely a Chicken Shit cheater! I eventually heard that he was telling people that we had a “loveless marriage.” Fuck you asshole. I loved you and our family with all my heart. Please don’t speak for me when describing why you left. And you only love one person…..Yourself.

  • My marriage was over before it began, apparently, since he was with the OW before our engagement and through our wedding. Says he just didn’t want to disappoint me. Except that he swears he meant our wedding vows…in the moment. I didn’t realize a marriage or relationship could start and stop so many times with only one party aware of these fluctuations in reality.

    • Related to that, she used the “I feel like we’re just roommates” to excuse her affair to her friends…

      …but then asked multiple times after I left her that we not complete the divorce.

      Why would she want so much to stay married to a “roommate”? And why did she continue to be with him if she wanted so badly to get back with her “roommate”?

      Because the one thing consistent about cheaters is their utter lack of consistency.

      • It’s far more socially acceptable to cheat on your roommate than on your husband. So stick a new label on, and boom! Cognitive dissonance solved.

  • Yep. Mine said, “We never even had a real marriage!”

    Oh, excuse me. I suppose that wedding album belongs to some other people who just look like us. And I guess our children and our home and our marital bed and the sex and loving words were all for show. How could I have ever been so mistaken to think it was real? Thank you for helping me to understand why you led a secret life banging multiple men.

    For the love of WTF! At some point I remember thinking that this is exactly the type of f’d up situation why divorce was invented. Now I’m pretty much at meh. Thank goodness for CL & CN!

  • He first declared that he had divorced me “in his mind.” Then came “you duped me into marrying you.” We had been together for 29 years, married for 24, and when we got married, while pregnant, he was 27 and I was 31. This was not a teenage entanglement. He’s always the victim, and everything’s always my fault. Rewrite history? He’s a card-carrying Christian and was always the first to condemn people who left their partners for someone else. Oh year, he’s known all around as such a nice, honest guy while sad sacking around on how mean I was to him during the divorce. We were going to still be best friends, don’t you know . CN knows this drill.You saved me.

    • Oh, get this. When I asked Mr. Twatwaffles why he even married me in the first place, he looked confused and then said it was a trick question.

    • DistantMemory,
      I got that too! My STBX told me in marriage counseling that he was mad at me for making him marry me. What? We were married for 20 years and have 2 kids. When we were dating, he pursued me, not the reverse. How dare he look back 20 years and claim that I made him marry me. It is beyond ridiculous.

      In reading this blog, I am always amazed at how cheaters all seem to be working from the same script. My STBX told me that:

      “My needs haven’t been met for a long time.”
      And the corollary, “You haven’t met my needs for a long time.”

      “We are nothing more than roommates.”

      “We run a great corporation.” [Apparently, the “corporation” that he was referring to was our family].

      “I’m not attracted to you and haven’t been for 20 years. I’m sorry if this hurts you, but I thought it was time to finally be honest.” [What? He has no idea what it means to be honest].

      “I don’t feel what I’m supposed to feel.”

      Most recently he told me that at some point in our marriage, I stopped taking care of him. [Uh, I’m sorry; I guess I was too busy working, taking care of our children, our house, etc.].

      Sighhhhhhh. He is exhausting. The worst part? If I mention any of the above statements to him, he would deny saying them or say that I took them out of context. THAT has been my life for years — trying to get truth and consistency from someone who is completely unable to be truthful or consistent.

      • If “unmet needs” truly caused cheating- I should have been pouncing on every pecker I came across! Cheaters do not even think about their spouse’s needs!

  • Yep,

    I thought our marriage was over.
    I feel like we are roommates. (So room mates with benefits?)
    I haven’t been happy for a long time— which morphed into: I haven’t been happy since shortly after our marriage started 26 years ago.

    This guy should win an Academy Award for his performance covering this stuff up, although he did whine a lot, just not about ‘us’ being over and needing to boink a Slut in addition to me.

  • I’m a little over two years out from d-day and five months out from the divorce being finalized. I would have been in a fetal ball on my couch and financially fucked I hadn’t found Chump Nation. You got me off the couch and into an aggressive lawyer’s office. You energized me to serve him at his work- twice. With your support I established jurisdiction in a state that supports long-time partners who are not the primary breadwinners but have been stay-at-home parents or have opted to work part-time in order to care for the family and do many chores and maintenance and cooking and everything else it takes to keep a family running. When it came down to mediation, his lawyer, with my then-husband’s blessing, wrote that he had been separated since 2007, when our 15-year-old son was diagnosed with bone cancer and I moved to Seattle to be with our son during 5 1/2 years of treatment. His father was offered a job by his corporation so he could be with his son during treatment, but he declined and in fact failed for quite awhile to tell his family about the offer. The point is, some people only care about themselves, and the hardest lesson is they don’t care about us. Lesson learned.

  • This “grew apart” is on a cheater book as an excuse #1. See part of an email sent by Mr. Cheater Pants I think I put it before but for the new chumps. On this email he was looking to convince me to be his “friends” after the divorce he was “honest cheater” and I do not have the time to do UBT but you know.. is all about them.

    Cheater said:

    ” I don’t ever want for you to hate me..sometimes I think that we did change, I got lost in my own life and to tell you the truth, I’ve felt that some differences between us grew over time and I did terrible things instead of doing what I should have done, which was to tell you all about it and try to work things out. But on the other hand, I thought that I’ve had already ruined us so I kept the lies and before I knew it, we were over. Listen, you live your life and don’t let my faults as a man, husband and companion dictate the way you’ll see love in the future..You are a young, smart, hard working, good and very attractive woman and any good man would lucky to have you! I know the day will come when I really see what hurt is and it is exactly what I’ll deserve! I’ve failed to realize what I had in you as my wife and lost your love but I’m sincerely hoping that I don’t lose you as a friend! ”

    Who wants friends like that!!

    • Quote:”You are a young, smart, hard working, good and very attractive woman and any good man would lucky to have you!

      I guess that’s the point of it “any GOOD man”, also they always slip in some truths to distract the LBS from all the other lies. You see if they say something that true then it might cover up or conceal that the rest is BS.

  • The whole we are still-best-friends narrative is to make them keep looking like the good guy or good gal to the rest of the world. Call bullshit on that. Friends don’t cheat, lie and betray you.

    • Uggggh! The ole “friends” routine. I don’t have friends that lie, sneak, cheat and give me Chlamydia. Only an ex husband who did things like that.

  • I got “I knew before we moved to this farm (2008) that it wasn’t working between us”. So in 2008, when we got engaged, before he got me to leave my job, sell my farmlet, invest all my money in this farm (he didn’t have a dollar to his name), he knew he was still in love with his ex. He knew before I looked after their child for 9 years. He knew before I had all these miscarriages and 2 surgeries to try and have a baby. Yet 4 months before DDay 1, he reconnected with an old school friend and emailed him that “he was now with the woman he should have married in the first place”. And in 2006 he claimed that his ex was trying to destroy him and that she had killed his dog. I guess he tells everyone now that I’m trying to destroy him…
    Also when I found out from his first wife that he wasn’t even divorced from her, he said he was divorced in his mind since 1999 so that’s what counted.

    My theory is that they suffer from amnesia but they have a miracle recovery, anamnesis, when they find their lost memories of the chump’s awfulness up in some slut’s hole. Sadly, it’s a partial recovery and the good memories of the chump remain inaccessible unless it doesn’t work out with the slut later on…

  • I never got any of these lines. I couldn’t blame the other women (plural). They were being lied to as well. They all thought he was this great single father that worked hard to support his kids. They never knew he was dumping his kids on the current chump. When he got caught it was just denial and pity party. I can’t do anything, your always accusing me of something, I have to work, on and on. The texts to other women were a joke, didn’t mean anything, she is just a friend, the porn sites and dating sites were just for fun and curiosity. Then the offense, I can’t do anything, your always accusing me of something, your crazy, your insecure, don’t you think my phone would be blowing up (the secret one yes), not the one he left he left out in front of me. When he was caught in the three year affair red handed, it was I have been trying to get rid of her for a long time, but she threatened to tell you and you mean so much to me I didn’t want to hurt you. Give me a second chance, I’ll never hurt you again. But, in truth, what you don’t know wont hurt you.

  • I never got any of those sorry ass lines, but I got the hint loud and clear. The porn, webcam hoes, and lewd unwanted texts to my neighbor across the pond told me that it’s over.

    Even before it was “over”- it was “over.” I couldn’t stand looking at him- let alone touching him. I tracked his activities on the internet/cell phone- and became physically sick (for real). The porn was so disgusting- I vomited for days when ever I allowed myself to think about what I found.

    The perv wanted me to do marriage counseling with him- so that I could forgive him (so that he could do it again when my guard was down). Marriage counseling would have helped him thrust at least half the blame onto me. No thanks….not my circus….not my monkeys.

    I instinctively knew that Marriage counseling can’t and won’t help a deceitful lying, pervert- so I threw him out and filed for divorce. There was nothing to work with.

  • This resonates with me. In November 2016–when he first told me that he had been unhappy for years, and that he had not loved me for years, I was so confused. I actually made a slideshow of pictures showing how– for 13 years– we had been happy, he had been happy. I had all these lovely shots of us together because HE would always pull out the phone to take a picture of us in our happiness, as concerts, at clubs, on trips, whatever. But the truth was, he had already started sleeping with another woman, and it took him a year until November 2017 to finally tell me the truth that he was cheating on me. And turned out he cheated once before, years ago. And all during the past year, he CONTINUED to text me that he loved me. he continued to tell me that he didn’t want to lose me. No wonder my head is spinning

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