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I Love You, But I’m Not In Love With You

“I love you but I’m not in love with you” (ILYBINILWY) is classic cheater-speak. Chumps misunderstand this statement as a definitive goodbye — “Toodles! I’m leaving for my fuckbuddy!” — when really it’s more subtle than that. It’s impression management and an invitation to do the pick me dance.

Lyn asked:

I was just curious about your opinion on using “I love you, but I’m not in love with you,” to end a relationship. I have no doubt my ex felt some sadness over “falling out of love with me.”

Sometimes I wonder if he understood how allowing himself to get involved with his married coworker sucked the life out of our marriage? I felt the distance in our relationship, it seemed like something was wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Whenever I brought up my concern about their relationship he adamantly denied anything was going on.

On D-day he told me “I have so much more in common with her. All we ever had in common was the kids.” The last thing he said before walking out the door was “When I look into my future, you’re not in it.”

In Lyn’s scenario, the cheater leaves. But not before a long period of cake-eating. As Lyn points out, their marriage might’ve stood a chance if her husband hadn’t directed his energies to his co-worker. But to a cheater, they see a different justifiable reason for bailing — “I’m not in love with you.” Ergo I can cast about and love someone else. So, which came first? The falling out of love, or the permission they gave themselves to cast about?

We all know grown up love means not feeling “in love” all the livelong day. There’s no butterflies when you’re doing taxes, or visiting the in-laws, or cleaning up after a kid’s stomach flu. I love you but I’m not in love with you is simply impression management. Translated it means – “I did unloving things, but telling you ‘I love you’ makes me feel better about them.”

It has nothing to do with you, chumps. This is about maintaining the cheater’s self image. And it softens the blow — “Hey, you wouldn’t impose consequences on someone who loves you, would you?” They think they’re letting you down gently.

Cheater love is compartmentalized kind of love — “I love you, but I put that aside while I was fucking someone else.” The two things aren’t at all connected. Why should “love” get in the way of a good time?

Chumps naively assume that people who love us act like they love us. Cheaters subvert that assumption and turn it back on chumps. “But I’m not in love with you” is a subtle blameshift. “I don’t feel giddy and effervescent. I need sparkles. Alas, if you had only twinkled brighter, perhaps it would not have come to this.” It’s so disappointing the way you’ve let them down. What can you do to make it up to them?

“I love you, but I’m not in love with you” is your cue to perform the “pick me” dance (sung to the tune of “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me.”) They may be dumping you anyway for the affair partner, but some parting kibbles would be nice.

“I love you but I’m not in love with you” is cake speak. They want to have things both ways. Cheaters take credit for loving you (because they’re so noble) -– but they’re unburdened by their commitments because — King’s X! — they’re not in love with you.

Chumps, don’t try to parse with your cheater which parts of you they love or what their butterflies are saying to them today – state what you need.

“I need to be in a relationship where I am fully loved and respected. You don’t love me the way I deserve to be loved. Buh-BYE.”

Don’t ask yourself what you did to be so unlovable. Don’t dance the pick me dance. Just let ’em go. I’m sure their butterflies will be migrating again soon.

This column ran previously.

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    • Here in our Australian summer; our deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has ended a 24 yr marriage due to his an affair with a staff member. His wife sacrificed her career for his political ambitions. His 4 beautiful young adult daughters also formerly supported their dad. It is a shitstorm! This staff member was often welcome at their family home. The OW is now pregnant and his family is detailing their devastation at his actions! How I feel for his wife! His entitlement is so obvious. His actions so disgraceful! We need to tell his former wife about CL!
      Another scumbag politician to NEVER VOTE FOR!

  • This was my experience exactly, only his phrasing was a little different: “I love you differently, like… I don’t want to say I love you like I love the kids… I love you like family”

    ((You dumb fuck… we’re supposed to love each other like family… we’re married))

    Anyway, I sure do wish I had discovered this blog and the book at the time I was going through it all, but it sure did help me understand in hindsight. Saying “I love you” made HIM feel better (because he’s so “noble” yes that’s it exactly) and it gave ME false hope, big-time, which was exactly his intention. I see the insidiousness of it now. “Beg for your marriage, bitch. Oops, too little too late” (‘if you had only twinkled brighter, perhaps it would not have come to this..’ the first time I read these words in Tracy’s book, it’s like the scales fell from my eyes)

    Mine isn’t anywhere near the worst story, but pretty horrible just the same. Two years later, I’ve thankfully left “blaming myself for him leaving” behind me. Now I’m firmly in blaming myself for marrying him in the first place, wasting the best years of my life on that shmuck, sacrificing for him, building my identity around him. That’s my road to meh, I wish I could just stop thinking about it at all…

    • My ex seems to use the phrase:
      “I do…until I don’t”

      Pretty much says it all!
      I agreed to marriage until I changed my mind.
      I don’t love you.
      It’s all my choice.
      You have nothing to do with any decision I made now or in the past.
      My decisions are the only ones that matter.

      Good luck to the long-term OW if she finds herself on the other side of that comment.

    • Yes, that is where I am kind of at too, struggling, although I think I am finely letting go of the beating myself up part too! It will happen. Just realize that we can spend our whole lives regretting who we chose or just get on with the process of making our life how we want it now.
      I may be a little more fortunate in that I am SO much better off emotionally and financially without X.

    • I got “I don’t feel about you the way a woman should feel about her husband”. I’m envious that you’re over blaming yourself. I’m 3.5 years on and I’m not sure I’m much further down that road than I was in the immediate aftermath. I woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep because my brain decided to present all of the things I wish I’d done differently, things I realize now that I didn’t then, yada yada yada.

      • I hear you. Except I ruminate on why I had kids with this asshole. And the impact of his choices on them. That keeps me up a lot. I’ve been done thinking about the creep as a paetner.

        • ANC: 3 years out and I too feel sick that I chose X to be the father of my kids. He conned me for years. They are paying a horrifying price with him as their father. 😫😫😫😫😫😢😢😢😢

          • This is my great regret. I live in fear that my kids will become users like him, or, doormats like me because of the terrible father material I chose and terrible relationship I unwittingly helped model.

            • Me, too. All the stats show that children of cheaters are more likely to become cheaters or Chumps, themselves. It is a constant fear in the back of my mind.

              • Same here. My biggest regret is allowing my sons to witness their father’s treatment of me.

              • Dear God, my #1 fear is that my daughter becomes like my wife. It haunts me. It was one of the major reasons I decide to pull the ripcord on reconciliation. At least my kid will get 50% of a normal environment.

              • Actually I am a child of a cheater. My siblings and I have a very strong policy against cheating… it is a deal breaker! Well until I found myself in the same exact situation that my mother experienced with my father. I can relate to everything in this blog and thought that maybe while she was writing her articles she was following me around! If you are honest with your kids and they see what cheating does to you and your family, just because 2 selfish assholes think that their lives will be so much better by what they did, then they will not continue the pattern. I have been dealing with my husband who cheated on me with my best friend, who I never thought either of them would do something like that to me, since October 2017. I have been honest for the most part (age relating) with my kids and have let them come to the conclusions on their own. It is hard to separate my need to tell them everything and letting them figure it out on their own and just answering the questions that come up. My mother sheltered us and I think it made me the codependent person I am and am trying my best to overcome. My eyes are open now and I see so much of what my Dad did to my Mom in what my husband is doing to me. Honesty is what children need, just without all the disgusting details. I still love my father but I will never agree nor see his side of the excuses he still tries to give to us when his cheating is brought up. If he was honest to begin with then he wouldn’t need excuses for what he did.
                If children have a good role model they will make good decisions!

          • I feel a lot of guilt about that too. My daughter is in her twenties and still in denial. Her dad was her hero. Now she is seeing the awful person he really is (I spackled a lot). 😔

          • I, too, bred with a loser. He left when our daughter was a year old. Not once did I put him down and not once did I spackle, ratify or endorse his terrible behavior over the years. Instead, when he did something outrageous, I described his behavior (without adjectives or editorializing), told my daughter he was wrong and should not have done that, apologized for her having to be subjected to such behavior, and tied it up with a global statement that people behave terribly at times, because of them not because of her, and when it happens she needs to walk away and not look back. Every time, no excuses, whether it is a roommate, boss, colleague, boyfriend, etc.

            The beauty of it is she is now 23 and has an amazing template of What Not To Marry.

      • 3.5 years down and not much better than the aftermath? That’s surprising? I’m also about 4 years out of a 24 year coupling, she cheated and left..are you still in contact with your ex? Our kids were thankfully older (both adults now)..so I’ve been able to go 10000% NC and that was really the answer to get to healing. I’m light years ahead of where I was. Praying for you man, I know it’s hard not to ruminate but staying busy on other tasks also helped.

      • WhichWay-
        After trying and learning that the lies continued, I went to the beach for a weekend…alone. I read two books: Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life and How to Get Over Your Ex. Both books were extremely helpful, the second helped me put onto paper the “warning signs” as well as things I could have done differently as well as recognizing things I WAS NOT responsible for yet, took the blame for. It really helped me move farther down the healing path. I also journaled every day for over a year (which ironically, his attorney has requested all of my journals for our spousal support hearing). Talk about it, feel the pain because it hurts like hell, but DO NOT allow yourself to get stuck and allow your cheater to have that kind of power over your present and future. Be well friend.

        • Hi Lost 220# Deadweight. I found your comment helpful – thanks! I’d really like to read ‘How to Get Over Your Ex’ but I’ve found a few books with the same name. Can you remember the author of your book? Thanh you 🙂

      • I’m now over 6 years out and I can honestly say it took almost 4 years before I wasn’t focused on what had happened. Now, I am so thankful that it rarely crosses my mind. In fact, the only time I now think about XH is when I read CL and it brings back memories. So, please, please be gentle with yourself and know you will get there eventually. You will be happy again, whether with a new partner or on your own. It all turns out okay in the end.

        • Yep. Took me about 3 years from d-day before I didn’t spend at least part of my time thinking about it and wondering what went wrong.

          By 4 years, it wasn’t for n my mind anymore.

          At 5 years, I have a new life and am loving it.

          Now, I will never know tow to someone else. I have a new partner, but I put myself it’s always.

          It’s very enlightening and freeing, in the end, so hang in there, everyone. It gets good!

      • “I got “I don’t feel about you the way a woman should feel about her husband”.”
        I got this same statement, with genders reversed. And you know what? From my distance of several years out, he was speaking the truth. That pile of shit DIDN’T feel about me the way a husband should feel about his wife. He didn’t love me, didn’t respect me, didn’t feel the need to be honest with me.

    • Struggling,
      Thank you, you nailed it.
      I found this place about 6 months in, but even that was long enough to be exhausted from the pick me dance.
      Now?? I’m just so happy he’s out of my life.
      My daughters friend had an ex of hers text her on thanksgiving night telling her he wished her a happy holiday and wanted to see if she wanted to hang out. I said to be polite and say “No thank you. Happy Thanksgiving.”
      This week my ex was informed by someone that my dad had suffered a stroke. He texted me to ask how my dad was and said some shit like “whatever happened with us, your dad was always nice to me. I do care about you, I just wasn’t in love with you. Let me know if I can do anything for you.”
      You could die.
      Ummm……it’s been 3 years and I have a lovely new boyfriend and half your shit, go the fuck away.
      No thank you. Happy Thanksgiving.

      • Me, I, I, I. And that’s what counts, really. That your dad was nice to HIM. Nice that he uses your dad’s illness as a chance to discuss himself. He couldn’t just express his sadness for YOU and wish your DAD well? Ass clown.

        Best wishes to your dad and strength and hugs to you.

        • No kidding. If you wanted to be a smart-ass (and I know, I know, Grey Rock) you could reply “Yes, my Dad was nice to you – so that’s one more person who was good to you, whose kindness you never deserved, and whom you conned into thinking that you were someone worth caring about. Add that to your list. And no, I won’t be reminding him of your existence. He needs to recover and being reminded of the son-in-law he liked who turned out to be a traitorous shit isn’t going to help him recover, is it?”

          But there’s no point. Just Grey Rock.

      • dear paintwidow ,
        i loved your post , i laughed and laughed till my stomach ached and tears rolled down my face…..thank God your out of there , ironic for me , cause i can only hope for the “leaving the cheater” part ,i am still dancing around the house avoiding cheaterTurd , as best i can , grey rocking and all . as age and ill health approach , it looks as if “gaining a life” will pass me by . i spackled for 4 decades , as serial cheater is “very skilled” at dishonesty, and untrustworthy , and lack of integrity .very well hidden and very secretive . and knows all the lovely “statements ” to get me to back down ,and believe all his lies .all you lovely angels out there ,please don’t let these disordered ,sick ,creatures steal you life .. as time passes ,he only got better and better ,at lying and sneaking .empaths always feel like they need “proof” , well serial cheaters are like most nomal people , when doing
        the deed they do it behind closed doors ,in the dark ,away from prying eyes. you wll “never have proof” use your “gut” feeling .its always right ,as i have come to know …….

      • One thing I took away from Gavin De Becker’s book “The Gift of Fear” was his statement, “‘No’ is a complete sentence.” I tell my daughter this.

      • Talk about empty platitudes.

        “whatever happened with us, your dad was always nice to me. I do care about you, I just wasn’t in love with you. Let me know if I can do anything for you”

        UBT version

        “I miss the kibbles I got from your dad. I need limerence at all times, and you weren’t doing it for me anymore. I know you aren’t going to ever ask me to do anything, so this is a safe thing for me to say to sound sympathetic.”

        Even in a non-cheater expression of sympathy, that whole ‘let me know what I can do’ drives me nuts. If you really cared about helping me, you’d just spontaneously do something helpful without me having to ask. That sort of ‘offer’ is really just empty words that sound good so you can feel like you’ve done something, but actually accomplishes nothing. It’s like offering thoughts and prayers in a crisis. What a crisis/illness needs is someone bringing over a casserole, someone visiting you and washing your pile of dirty dishes you’ve been ignoring, someone taking the kids on playdates, etc.

        • this completely. I happen to be an atheist so the ”we’ll be praying for you” schtick leaves me cold anyway, though when it’s genuinely meant, I appreciate the intention was kind. Of course, it achieves exactly zero for the one suffering. What does help them is sitting with a cup of coffee and some biscuits, letting them witter on about (in my case) my suddenly-deceased mum, when they are in the middle of a working day, and then a couple of days later bringing a complete dinner for my family. THAT’S the kind of love and support that sticks in my mind.

        • To be fair, though, some of us say that and actually mean it. I don’t want to assume what someone else needs. Maybe because I’m an Introvert and sometimes bein alone with my thoughts is what I need the most. When someone asks me for something and they’re in a bad way, I step up. It’s not always empty words

      • “Let me know if I can do anything for you.”
        That reminds me of the time a few years ago I had chest pains and went to the ER. They kept me overnight, which I wasn’t expecting at all (turns out I was okay, but had really, really high blood pressure.)

        While I was there, I got a text message from ex, saying he was sorry to hear I was in hospital, was there anything he could do (I guess son must have texted him about it, I certainly didn’t contact him.) So I replied that yes, actually, it would be incredibly helpful if he could pick up our son and drive him to work. Ex replied that sorry, that wasn’t convenient for him and I heard nothing more.

        • that’s actually funny in a sick way ”PLEASE let me know if there’s anything I can DO… wait… you actually need help? OMG… um… no… that’s not convenient”.

          Just hilarious.

        • If my ex were to find out I was in the hospital, he’d never even acknowledge it. I’m the mother of his 4 children but could absolutely not care any less about me.

    • I’m with you, sister! Mine cheated on me for 20 years, as I’ve now figured out after I took off my blinders.

      I’m so full of regret and self-doubt for being so blind, so gullible, so trusting, so, so, so…

      I was with this manchild for 28 years. I’m mid-50’s now. My youth is gone, wasted on a shallow, selfish person who felt he was entitled to the thrill of affairs while leaving me to manage the reality of life.

      My therapist is working with me on self-forgiveness. To not beat myself up for believing in my marriage and trusting the person I swore to love and cherish.

      • Giddy Eagle,

        Me too, me too, me too! I am at the exact same place – that could have been written by me. My therapist said something very similar recently.

        I remind myself that I would rather be a kind, trusting, loving person than the narcissistic asshole that is my ex. I will not feel remorse about that even though it meant I was taken advantage of.

        I wish you (and me) a new future focused on us. It will be better – heck, it already is better because I no longer have to be trying to fix the mess that was our marriage!

      • Me, too, Giddy and New. Sadly, it sounds like we’ve lived incredibly parallel lives. I spent almost 26 years with my ex, a life-long cheater, before my blinders were removed. Following divorce, it took me a long time to move past the heartache of realizing that my marriage was a one-sided proposition and that not only did he steal the best years of my life, but he robbed me of the opportunity to have an authentic, loving marriage relationship with a REAL man. BUT, it does get BETTER and better and even better! I had to reinvent myself, but it’s been an amazing journey, and I look forward to the future with great hope and optimism! We all should!

        • Hi Mommamarsh, would love to hear some advice on how you have reinvented yourself and how things have turned out for you. I need a good role model! Our 30th wedding anniversary is coming up. We are in the process of asset division and then, I suppose divorce. I also said to him how sad I was that we had wasted our lives on each other. He of course replied along the lines of : ‘It wasn’t a waste and there were some good times’. Trying to let me down gently. Huh!! I liken it to the king hit punch from behind that knocks you down. And then when you try to get up, out comes the sledgehammer. Whack ! Whack! Like those pop up games at the Easter Show/ Country fairs…….. But I also recognize red flags even precipitating our marriage. Amazing how much you justify.

      • Dear Giddy Eagle,

        It sounds like you are a very caring person, a giver. You feel betrayed and are angry with yourself (!) for giving to someone who turned out not to deserve it. I suggest that the “giving” is what defines you: as a loving person. That is your worth than no one can take away. The unworthiness of the X is what defines HIM, not you. The good you did in your youth and middle age is not wasted. It may have gone wasted on the ungrateful r(d)eceiver, but insofar as the giving was part of your journey of growth, it has not gone wasted on you. Go to the spa, pamper yourself: tell yourself “Good Job!”. That the fruit of your good job has been snubbed is not your problem.

        “For us, there is only the trying, the rest is not our business”.

    • The one I got might be my favorite, honestly. “We’re like best friends who have sex.”

      Uh, yeah. Silly me, I kinda thought that was exactly what a good marriage looked like?

      • LOL, MightyE, that literally made me laugh out loud. What an idiot. Truly, a marriage that’s like “best friends who have sex” is a wonderful thing. Too bad cheaters never appreciate it while they have it.

    • I know exactly I burned 24 years on my ex husband but gained two beautiful kids. I cannot believe this loser and his fuck buddies come through out family home!😩

    • my narc never told me he loved me the whole time we were married…never showed any emotion…but I bet the big skank HO he had his double life with that he poured on the charm and money onto; I bet he told her ‘he loved ” her…better yet ..she was telling PRINCECHEATING her loverboy, that she “loved him” because the dumbass was spending all the money on that desperate for money golddigger and he was lovebombing and paying her for her big ass on a platter…she knew exactly what she was doing to get that money!! and she was not going to let him go…So the two of them were plotting and planning to get me dumped to the curb..He was such a narcissist I discovered later and his dunce friend told me that he called me ‘the wife’. How insulting, the wife…I bet he did not call his HO worker “the whore”..NO he was too busy taking the whore on all his ‘work trips’ while she waited in the hotel room for him after he did his client dinners, because she was big secret. That cow, that sucking c guzzler that she is.

  • I am part of the group that got this line from my cheater and 38 years of marriage immediately after his three days of hotel bliss with Schmoopie. I think that after they had solidified their physical affair he felt confident enough to throw this worn out line to me! Of course he also threw in that he would always care about me and the implosion of our marriage was nothing to worry about because he knew that he was just a paycheck to me anyways! Really?? That was news to me! By the time they deliver this line to you they are already in over their heads physically with their lovers and have discussed how to get rid of you! They truly suck! It is just justification for them.

    • Oh and his butterflies migrated in record time after the divorce. Reality set in less than four months later. Guess who was back at my door?

    • Roberta I had forgotten about the thing with money! That was one of the first things he said to me, that I would only want to stay with him for financial reasons and don’t worry about that he’d support me so just let him go. Money was the furthest thing from my mind in that moment. Amazing how they create this narrative in their minds that justifies everthing, isn’t it?

      • Mine was and is a complete mess financially and he STILL threw that line at me too. It’s all just image managing.

      • Struggling, yes, they all believe we are just after their money! That’s a joke too! My Ex was not rich. If he had a dime in his pocket he just had to spend it and more on something, anything useless! He did manage to finish a PhD before he walked out the door, but that was to the tune of over 130,000.00 in student loans and it pigeoned holed him when he attempted to get a job after returning home. He was “over qualified” in most cases by the potential employer. Add to this the fact that his Schmoopie cleaned out what little he did have in the bank after he left her because he had foolishly put her on his accounts! Who is the gold digger here?? The look on his face was golden when he finally bothered to check his accounts! He just couldn’t believe she did that to him! Yeah, right!!! I, on the other hand, had managed to save enough money to see us through so we didn’t starve or become homeless! But he seemed to resent that too. His affair turned him into a miserable loser and he knew it. It gnawed at his soul till the day he drew his last breath. Even during our divorce action and after our divorce it never would have entered my mind to pull the crap on him financially that Schmoopie pulled. But in the end I felt vindicated. I fulfilled my promise to his late father by taking care of him and my Ex knew in his heart he had done me horribly wrong. I have no doubt in my mind if he had just passed on this affair that our lives would have been so much different. I believe the illness and sickness we’re opportunistic considering the stress on us. This is why I tell anyone with a cheating spouse to get out ASAP and go live a better life without the cheater. Our bodies aren’t made to withstand such stress!

      • I think what it is the money thing mine felt sorry for himself but never relayed this to me. In the beginning when the kids were small he wanted a stay at home wife. Then as he turned 50 he became disgruntled but he had zero communication skills! Just like his crazy mother he has adult TANTRUMS!

    • My STBXH justified his relationship with with that line, too…that all I cared about was his financial support. WHAT?? (He spent almost more than he made, and getting any money to pay bills was like pulling teeth!!)

      And forget about all those times I called to ask where he was at and when he’d be home…I guess I only asked because of his money? (You know…the money he spent on stupid, frivolous things, instead of giving to me for bills.) Yeah, it was all for the money, because why else was I practically begging him to come home to spend an evening with me and his children.

      Roberta, you’re so right…he’d already gone through all the justifications (most likely discussing them over with his whore) so that when it all fell apart, he’d feel ok with all his asshole-ness.

      • I’m materialistic and money hungry according to him, yeh that’s why I spent 13 years with a disability worker, for the jet set lifestyle. Eye roll…

        • They really are all the same! X said the exact same thing about me — materialistic! I’m actually very frugal. I made more than X for the first 15 years of our marriage. I went back to work during the Great Recession and saved us from losing our house.

          AP is a gold digger – 15 years younger, lived at home with her cheater dad, has been on a dozen lavish trips including many to Europe, with x. We never went anywhere— x said we couldn’t afford it. Never once left the US in 26 years together. 🤬🤬🤬

          • Mine tried to say that once about me … my justified shock and immediate refutation shut that shit down pretty quickly.

            The truth, of course, is that he was projecting heavily on that one. I grew up loathing materialism (childhood stuff …) — whereas the dipshit always needed brand name everything–even when we were broke.

            But he was perfectly happy picking up stuff from the side of the road on garbage day for the rest of us. (No shit, he was so proud that he brought me home a broken desk chair that he found in someone’s garbage …. not long after he had gotten a $400 ipod.) Of course, I felt guilty for not wanting it … (I FELT materialistic and unappreciative for not liking the damn thing).

            *That chair was the first thing I got rid of after the marriage imploded.

          • Ha,ha,ha, same here. I’m super frugal, I was even more frugal when we were together so that every cent could go to him and his kids, but I am materialistic and a bean counter…
            I think they confuse being responsible with money and making sure the bills are paid with being materialistic. To them worrying about meeting your financial obligations to others who have sold you something equals being materialistic. A spiritual person like them doesn’t worry about such materialistic things as leaving a creditor unpaid and struggling to pay their own bills. SMH

            • Wow! On the nose! Your experiences sound just like mine, kiwichump! My EX accused me of the exact same form of “materialism” even as he touted his “spirituality.” But the short version of his financial philosophy can be summed up as, “What he wanted he deserved and what anyone else wanted was selfishness.”

              • Spot on!! Man, I cannot believe sometimes how they are all the same! Bunch of disordered fucktards! They accuse of being materialistic, because they know us chumps will knock ourselves out trying to prove them wrong by making our needs non-existent. Such obvious manipulation, in retrospect. Selfish bastards.

      • I was told that he was just an ATM to me, which at the time hurt terribly. I was a SAHM homeschooling our two small children and he was moderately successful in his career which allowed me to do so. That’s trust, not greed. When we met and married he had NOTHNG, he had no job, no degree, no home. The sad thing is who can he trust now to not be a gold digger?? Not OW that’s for sure.

      • Bingo that’s exactly what they do they can mmunicate to the WHORE and not the WIVES and that is a huge mistake. Just think that before long they become BORED with the whore as well and need fresh New sparkly kibbles

        • No, I don’t think they ever communicate with anyone. They just narrate, changing whatever story they are telling to suit their ‘audience’.

          • I don’t think they get bored of the whore. His whore was running my narc, she would call whenever we were out to dinner, he’d go out to the side of the house to take her calls, he’d talk on his earpiece while mowing the lawn, that whore had him saddled to her hip..I wonder if he had not died it he would have stuck with her. She was so scared to lose him that she had the neighborhood dunce friend of his patrol by the house 24 / 7 to make sure I was not home so he could report back to the WHORE that my husband worked with. Oh, yes this was a long long affair that I knew nothing about. I was working 1.5 hours driving distance each way to work, working like a dog while he spent his big 6 figure income on a big Whore that he worked with that was 2 years younger than me. I was paying all my own stuff, he never had me on any accounts (financially abused and controlled ‘the money’) Never bought me a stitch of clothing, I had to pay all my own bills. The only thing he bought me was a car for my 40th birthday. I know now why, it was to hoover me. I learned all about this later. But the Whore was in his life since he got back from the honeymoon, and she had a ‘marriage’ with him all these years right under my nose.
            So, he hid all his assets with the big whore. I found this out after he died. I’m left devastated and financially strapped because WHORE made out with a million dollars…to my estimation, yes, at least over 500K. He wasn’t rich but that whore cost him a lot. and she’s gross…maybe she can get some of those moles off her face now, that big whore bitch

    • It has been my experience that cheaters don’t love anyone but themselves. When they say they “are not in love with you”, what they actually mean is that you have outlived your usefulness to them. I, too, was in a long term marriage and, like you Roberta, when, X decided to blow up our marriage, he also brought up how much he much money he had made, how that was all I ever cared about, etc.

      The funny thing is that when we were first married we literally had nothing. Through hard work on both our parts (I was back at work ONE week after a c-section), we achieved some measure of financial success. I worked hard for the family. Like many others, I wanted to give my kids a better life than I had as a child. I thought I was doing was I was supposed to, but no, I apparently was just a greedy bitch, out to take the money we had worked for. You just can’t win with these cheaters.

      Fast forward eight years and my daughter is getting married. Guess who is picking up all the expenses. That would me. Oh, and I also “get” walk down the aisle with my X! My daughter wants both of us to walk her down the aisle because her dad cannot walk on his own. I understand my daughter’s desire and the kindness behind it, but I am absolutely pissed that I have to put on this fake front and pretend that we are “happily divorced.” I love my daughter, so once again, I do all the work, pay all the costs, and smile like nothing happened, while X preens and brags about being a great dad.

      I am doing this for my daughter because her father is terminally ill and I want her to have this memory. I have intentionally surrounded myself with loving friends, who will lift me up and protect me. Still, I can’t help but feel I am eating yet another shit sandwich I did not order! I will make this a happy occasion for her, because that’s what a good parent does.

      For me, though, it is the death by a thousand cuts, While I tell my daughter I am crying happy tears, in truth, I am reliving all the shit he put me through. That’s part of the cheater legacy-even moments which are supposed to be joyous remain colored by the past.

      Wish me peace. This event may be the hardest thing I have had to do post-divorce (and I have managed graduations, funerals, and all those other milestones with this motherfucker). I just hope I can continue on the path of peaceful detachment I have learned here. Knowing I have the entire Chump Nation behind me brings me great comfort. I know I cannot let him ruin this day. He has already ruined so much that I just allow him to rob me of this happiness. Fuck him and cheaters everywhere!

      • Violet,

        Sending you good wishes. This example is one of the things that makes me the most angry The gift of uncomfortable occasions.

        (((Hugs)))

      • Ugh– I am SO sorry…. I just can’t even imagine how I’d deal with that. Be strong, and please try to surround yourself with strong friends you can laugh about it with at the reception. XO

      • Violet, my heart goes out to you, but remember, this is for your beautiful daughter. Trust me, there will be enough people and guests at the wedding who know the truth or at least can follow the dots! Cheaters have the gall to try to look as if they actually are decent people, but most of your guests will smell his BS pretty quickly! Just smile for your daughters sake and ignor Cheaterpants. He will probably slither our early anyways when he realizes that he isn’t the center of attention!

      • You are so lucky to have eight years out. I am only divorced 14 months and my son is getting married this summer. I am having nightmares! How does one deal with seeing a mother-in-law that travelled to Italy (on a trip originally planned with you) with ex and his whore while you were still married? How can I sit in a room filled with ex in laws that have cut me off? Enjoy your daughter’s wedding. I am so sad that I am dreading my son’s.

        • Wow, that’s a true shit sandwich!

          I’d be working things out with a therapist so that you can survive the wedding. Sadly, if you don’t attend, your son will be disappointed and CheaterX will be there ready to badmouth you.

          Take a friend or close family member who’s not a sibling. That way, you feel as if you have someone in your corner during the wedding and at the reception. Talk with the wedding planner, if there is one, about the situation. The goal here is that the groom’s family will be seated separately, not in the same row/pew. If there isn’t a planner, talk with whomever is running the rehearsal and indicate the need to sit in separate areas.

          It always takes forever for the bride and groom to make it to the reception. Don’t feel the need to rush on your way there. Next, unless you’re having a great time at the reception talking with Great Aunt Sally whose potty mouth is the stuff of legends and who has Strong Opinions about OWife’s general whoreness, don’t feel the need to stay.

          If the wedding is taking place out of town, maybe look up the town’s attractions and create some memories that don’t include seeing Cheater, OW, and evil Xinlaws.

          • Thanks so much for the excellent advice. Right now I’m planning to go to rehearsal (not staying for dinner). Imagine having to sit through “toasts” made by ex! I’d throw up. Planning to attend ceremony but not staying for reception. This is a big improvement from a few weeks ago where I was planning on not attending at all. And as far as the ass bad mouthing me to my son… has already been done. (Needless to say, this son has been less than respectful to me.)

            • Your situation reminds me of something a friend of mine did. She had absolute contempt for her ex in-laws and at a similar gathering just turned to her former in-laws and said with a smile: “And you know how I feel about you” and just walked away. None of them ever spoke a word to her. She was not one to be messed with!

        • NotMyFault: the real question is, “how do these assholes have the balls to show up and act as if they had any meaningful input in your child’s life?” They should be more ashamed of themselves! They imploded their family, put a knife in their spouses heart, irreparably damaged their relationship with their children and any extended family who will be present. And do they really think the other guests aren’t going to know or at least catch wind of the situation? WTH? The betrayed spouse should not feel awful. You were the one who stood strong, held yourself and the kids together sometimes with little or no support from cheater! I say ignor them and enjoy the ceremony and reception. Hell, you probably paid for it anyways!

          • Thanks. The Sociopath IS THAT convincing and charming. In fact, other than the fellow chumps, very few people actually believe the truth of what he did. I have one son that is starting to see the truth, the other, not so much.

            • I can so relate. Yes, they are charming and glib and do everything (in public) to give the impression that they are such caring parents. In reality, we chumps have carried the load of childrearing essentially alone. I know I sure did.

              I refuse to let anyone ruin this day, but I would be lying if I said I do not resent this charade. I have raised my kids virtually alone (even when I was still married to X). But I have no doubt that he will play Father of the Year to all who listen. At least I have enough time under my belt to hear his BS without giving him the satisfaction of reacting to his shenanigans,.

              • I have actually said that raising my sons would have been easier if I were single. He made it more difficult by working against me and undermining my attempts at their upbringing.

              • Attended my daughters wedding 12 months after dday. I paid for almost half. He didn’t contribute except to tell her she could find cheaper everything. I walked her down the isle with Asshat. It felt empowering. I wasn’t about to let him have this moment when i raised her and put my heart and soul into my family. He stood by like an outsider while all family photos were taken. My sister commented on how sad he looked. His toast was laughable. All about him and his involvement with my daughter. My brother and others commented on how inappropriate it was. Funny thing ..my family showed up and his did not. No responses from his side. Not even a card from his mom..this a year after dday where he told me nobody liked me not even my own family. He has been proved wrong over and over. People arnt stupid, they know. I say, go to the wedding and enjoy yourself. Pretend he is invisible and ignore the bastard. In the end, it is about your child’s big day and nothing else matters. My mom passed away 2 weeks later …so glad we had that last big celebration. If i knew that was going to happen, you can bet I wouldn’t have spent a second even considering that fucktard and how i felt. There is a much Bigger picture to consider. Be brave, buy a beautiful outfit and rock the shit out of it. You deserve to shine and enjoy the day you worked so hard to get to. Being a mom can be thankless job..mother of the bride/groom is a wonderful reward. Go be Mighty. I did and you can too!

      • Wishing you peace on your daughter ‘s wedding day. Take comfort in the fact that you will witness your daughter ‘s future and he won’t.

      • I would recommend telling your daughter “no,” because otherwise the parties involved get what they want and you have to clean up the mess.

      • Violet, your daughter is so blessed to have you for a mother! I know the shit sandwich will go down hard on that day, but just remember that, even though your daughter seems focused on her dad with that request, she will undoubtedly remember that it was YOU who made all the sacrifices and were the sane parent she could completely rely on to put her first. Be strong, be mighty and, with each step you take down the aisle with ur ex, remind yourself that this is as good as it will ever get for him. But not for YOU! (((hugs)))

      • Agreed it’s been a year for me now my cheater destroyed our marriage and our family we are in huge DEBT but I’m not concerning myself anymore I’m only looking at the best interest of my kids. The hell with him.

      • What an incredibly difficult situation. I would, at a quiet and unstressed time just sit your daughter down and in a neutral way lay out what you’ve just said. Of course you are not reneging on your commitment to walk her down the aisle, but as a grown woman, she needs to have it clear exactly what is going on here. Do it well before the wedding, obviously don’t spoil her day, just simply and clearly explain.

        My lovely dad died when I was a teenager and my mum was my everything. I chose to have no one walk me down the aisle, to honour the absence I still feel. Mum put back my veil, and was of course very much involved and prominent, but the whole aisle thing, that was for a loving, dedicated dad, an irreplaceable one, no one else. Now I’m crying, dammit!

      • Violet,

        I send you the utmost strength and peace. IF your ex has a shred of insight (and terminal illness can trigger the desire to make amends, insights) he may publicly thank you for shouldering the burden of parenting and all the rest, in a vague way of course.

        But If a miracle happens, he may tell YOU something privately b/c even though you deserve a public announcement of his remorse for the pain he inflicted, not so much at your daughter’s wedding. OR maybe he will leave you or your daughter some money with life insurance??

        But let’s not get our hopes up. Best case realistically speaking is him not making a scene with self pity about his illness.

        Bless you for your strength and setting such a great example for your daughter of selflessness.

        • Thank everyone for the very kind advice. I am keeping your comments in my heart. Yes, I will go and be mighty. I will not let X ruin this day with my daughter. I will continue to be the better person, because I want to remember this day with love. I have no expectations about X. He showed me a long time ago how little he cared. Whatever he does or does not do just doesn’t matter. “Festivities” start today. Wish me luck!

          • violet, I remember how worried I was about my son’s wedding day. It turned out that my ex was actually much more of a basket case than I was. He sort of made a fool out of himself while dancing with his mother. I think he drank too much but thankfully I didn’t have to deal with it. Just focus on your daughter and nothing else and you’ll be fine.

  • Reminds me of D-day when I was told “We’re not the same. We are not in love anymore. I love you but I’m not in love with you.”

    Well that was news to me after 20 years of marriage, and now when she finds her self 6-8 weeks away from the finality of divorce, she is back peddling like a Olympic cyclist.

    #nogold for you

    • These people confuse lust with love its that simple. They think it’s mad deep love but it’s the honeymoon chemistry that lasts two years after that reality kicks.

      • When I found out the ex was pursuing another schmoopie 12 years after the first one I had found out about and attributed to a midlife crisis @ 34 years of age, I hit the internet again looking for the why’s.

        I stumbled across the affair fog theory and limerence sites and thought ‘my poor husband is on a ho high’. Well after more time and distance, you realize it doesn’t matter why they do it. This is who they are. Is this a marriage that’s acceptable to you? Do you want to be their Plan B in life between their sparkly fuckbuddies? Nope sure don’t. Know your worth and say Buh bye 👋

      • That’s part of what drives me nuts about still blaming myself! My ex tends to leave partners and jobs shortly after the glow wears off. Granted, she stuck with me for 5.5 years and even commented that it was her record. I thought she was proud of herself, but in reality I think she was itching to leave.

        • I know exactly my ex husband thought marriage would be like the honeymoon, NOT and I believe he thinks now this whore will make up for the 20% he claims I didn’t cover in the marriage well good luck, lol

      • Yes I remember doing the internet searches for why (otherwise known as trying to untangle that skein) and came across affair fog theory and limerence sites. I thought ‘oh my poor husband is on a ho high’. I am definitely a chump because this was the 2nd known schmoopie in our 20 years together and now with 2 teenagers.

        The first schmoopie was discovered when our kids were little-2 & 4 years old-and he ran off into the sunset for the twu wuvs. The only info really available then was midlife crisis, but we were 34 years old, so I settled on an early one because of his stressful job, 2 small kids, a wife who worked and didn’t keep the house clean enough. Yep the spackle was strong.

        He has shown me who he is twice now and I do beleive him. It really doesn’t matter the why’s. He has a defect and he will continue to do this as long as I let him. I knew I was done upon discovery of young schmoopie (DD14’s 20-something year old asst sports coach in the kids’ Catholic high school) but I still tried to untangle.

        Divorced almost a year and a half. Well on the road to meh. I’ve said before ‘while I was waiting for him to come to his senses, I came to mine’.

    • Nasty little things called consequences. I’ll bet she’s longing with all her evil heart to get back what she’s going to lose.

    • What a great response DM. Wish I had this line in my pocket back when I got ILYBINILWY. Never too late though – I’ll be sure to share this one with my daughter, my son and everyone else who may cross my path while trying to cope with that particular line.
      Funny, I’m pretty confident I’ll never hear that line again because I’ll be long gone before it gets to that after all the excellent lessons I learn every, single day here in CN.

      #knowyourworth #thatsokbecauseiminlovewithme

      • Haha! I said the same thing! No response on his end. These poor sad sausage disordered people whose experience of “love” will always be shallow. Boo hoo. I am playing my tiny violin for them all.

      • My serial-cheating, abusive asshole kept insisting he loves me and the kids (and ALWAYS will). My response was similar to yours. “You have no fucking clue what love is …. cheating and lying are not love; humiliation is not love; degrading is not love; abuse is not love.”

        He didn’t get it. He never will. Shocking, right …. SMH

        • Jessmom I know exactly I was supposed to be the perfect mom and wife, cook dinner every night and be dressed in sexy lingerie to meet him at the front door after work. Problem is after a 10 hour day of chasing kids, back and forth volunteer at school, running errands and a son with ADHD I was exhausted so he found my replacement!

  • You know, I don’t have to be “in love” with someone to refrain from destroying their life. Decent people avoid destroying *anyone’s* life, even the plainly loathesome. ILYBINILWY simply has no place in discussions of infidelity.

    If you stop being “in love” with me, stop being “in marriage” with me. And also “in house” with me, and “in checking account” with me, while you’re at it.

    #DontNeedThatKindaLove

  • Wow – I got those sentiments almost word for word!!!

    The … when I look at my future and you’re not in it…phrase was said with emphasis and great nobility. More to himself than me that day.

    Yup. I was useful while the kids needed to be raised. Useful for impression management and financial reasons while you went to school for 7 years to achieve a new life for “us”.

    But the moment you get that new shiny career – complete with a relocation away from family and friends – it is all about you in the end. My role is over.

    He and schmoopie prayed I would get cancer and die.

    This was my cue to exit right. I tap danced my way to Meh and have never been happier!

    • The deal: I’d support my ex through school, and then she’d return the favor.

      I was supporting my ex through nursing school. First she wanted to change jobs to something where she’d make less money. She didn’t like that job, so she changed to part-time. She decided that working part-time and going to school part-time was too hard, so she quit working altogether. Despite her being home a lot, having two teenage boys in the house on summer break, and me suffering some major health issues, I heard all about not doing enough chores.

      When she left me I mentioned our plan for me to go back to school after she finished. “I’m sorry, that’s not going to happen now.”

      • Yes I mistook intelligence for character too. The now ex husband is a physician and religious. Somehow I thought that meant he would do the right thing. I chose to ignore all of the other red flags that were telling me how self centered and entitled he was. I worked full time (and actually more hours than him), but was also expected to keep the house spotless, do all grocery shopping, and fix all of our meals. It was never enough for him.

        He volunteer coached our kids in their sports and pressured kids to practice for hours and hours outside of scheduled practice and games. And be excellent students. I thought it was because he loved them and wanted them to succeed. Nope, now I realize he got lots of kibbles from being the coach and having the best kid on the team. Until teenage DS started objecting and not complying, then son got discarded. DD was all in and became the golden child that could do no wrong. Then when DD14 found out dad was screwing around with her 20-something asst sports coach in their high school, she wouldn’t speak to him. And he and schmoopie got fired from coaching. But their twu wuv’s still survives. DS is the only kid really dribbling any kibbles his way.

      • Yup… I supported my ex through his university degree, with the agreement that when he was done, we’d move back to Canada and he’d work while I did my PhD. He stuck around long enough to allow me and my family to pay for his immigration, get a high paying job, make a close friend on his soccer team… and I’m sure you all know the rest. I’m doing my PhD nonetheless, but I don’t have children to support. It’s financially scary and I’m living off savings.

      • Whichwaydidshego….

        We had that agreement too. So I it was a double whammy on DDay!

        I went back to school without him. Lived in what I can only describe as “the ghetto” during this time and struggled to figure out how I was going to make it out the other side.

        It took about 4 years – but I got my licensed trade and have my own business. Did it on my own and even though things are financially tight – I am so much better off this way!

        You can go back and get an education without her. It helped me focus on something other than my destroyed marriage.

        And I pray is showed my kids how to pick up the pieces and be strong and independent. They suffered a lot during this whole mess.

    • At last discard, I got, I don’t see you in my future,’ from my ex-boyfriend who had just finished taking a walk with me hand in hand. Then he told me he loved me. WTH! Next day, ‘you deserve to be with someone who is present.’ Then, he said the bit about how I can have the honor of his company if I essentially prostitite myself to him without pay.

      First discard off 1.5 years earlier, out of the blue, I got, ‘I love you as a friend.’ Funny that I never heard that in the nearly three decades that preceded our intimate relationship. These liars give love a bad name! Obviously. I’m stuck trying to unravel the skein of F–kedupness.

        • Those weren’t his exact words, but his idea was I could stick around if I ‘serviced’ him, expecting nothing from him in return. What a magnanimous gesture, Mr. Nice Guy! Entitled narc behavior much?

    • Lucky, this exactly! They use you up and then say ILYBINILWY just before discarding you for a younger, sparkly “you” (OW).

      He also hoped I’d get cancer and die. While
      I did get cancer, I’m not dead and continue my journey to being cancer free (2 – 90 day NEDs -No evidence of disease)

      Since kicking him out and going 100% no contact two years ago, it seems I’ve gotten rid of the biggest disease of all; him. Hooray for ridding my life of all cancer.

      Loving my cheater, liar, thief and cancer free life. Never again!

      • FreeNow, knowing what I know now after DDay, I have no doubt mine was hoping I would die when I was diagnosed with one kind of cancer, and then probably got his hopes up again when I was diagnosed with another kind of cancer. Just to make it easier on him. But you and I are both still here. BOOM!

  • Mine was something like “yes, I love her. But that doesn’t affect the way I love you in any way”.

    Oh, BS, you f*#kwit.

  • After 34 years of a marriage I thought was pretty good
    (Chump) he started telling me “I don’t love you I have feelings for other people “. Other people? Didn’t even have the nerve to say “Other whore”.

    After many red flags & getting physically & mentally sick I discovered them together. Served him papers week later & threw him out 8 months later .

    He said “ you better find someone else” which tore my heart to pieces. Now 2 years divorced I’m better.. not financially but trying to find Meh.

    It’s a hard road when I feel his life is better than mine but reading here on CN I feel connected to my wonderful friends who understand what it’s luke to be
    betrayed by a psychopath.

    Bless them all 💗

    • Kathleen,
      Oh, if you talked to him, which you don’t, but still know this in your heart! ( the best place to know).
      I can say it though, 😊
      “Listen, fuckwit, my CN brave, strong friend, Kathleen, DID find someone else!
      She found HERSELF!
      Might I add,
      HER MIGHTY SELF!

      (((((((Kathleen)))))))

    • Agreed Kathleen I love this forum also and these cheaters are just SCUM and remember you continue to beg he amazing woman you are because KARMA BITES!

      • Carol& Peacekeeper

        Thank you for your concern for me. 😊.
        Only chumps like us understand how being treated
        & discarded feels like. I’m so grateful to have friends like you.

        (((HUGS)))

  • Lucky, you are really LUCKY. I did get cancer during my divorce and these two idiots actually contacted his attorney to see how they could “spin” the story of our divorce to make them look better if I did die. They also wanted to know what they might gain if the divorce wasn’t final when I died! Who does that?? Unfortunately for my Ex he did get diagnosed with cancer 3 months after our divorce was final. He was broke financially, unemployed because Schmoopie insisted he move to her condo in another state. Once she realized he wasn’t the cash cow she thought he was then she wanted to off load old boy. He passed last year and I’m still kickin’ Even with cancer. Go figure. These cheaters will say anything while they are exercising their selfishness, but let the real world crash their fantasy and the “true love of the century” is over in a heartbeat. We were legally divorced just shy of eight months before he was back in my town and begging forgiveness. These idiots are a joke!

  • I didn’t get “I love you but I’m not in love with you”….I got “ With her it’s “effortless”….I would say talk to me in a few years but I’m No Contact

  • 50 Chump – Love the hashtag #nogoldforyou !! Made me laugh – needed that this morning!
    Tracy says ‘Cheater love is compartmentalized kind of love, I love you but I put that aside while I ….. ‘ This is what I got when I asked ‘how could you do that’ after I found out he cheated! And this – ‘Grown up love means not feeling in love all the livelong day’ …… SOOOO true. Thanks Tracy!

    • Exactly your not going to be in the honeymoon phase forever, relationships get comfortable and the love is a more mature love it’s not like when your 18!

  • This is the line I got after 26 years. Not I am having an affair and want to leave. Image protection its all about them and that they are not the sort of person to be selfish and cruel and put a grenade into their families lives.

    I too so wish I had understood what these words actually meant. My response to them would have been so much different. I did the classic pick me dance and ultimately ended up sick in the depths of betrayal and abandonment trauma. This could of all of been avoided if he had just said I am having an affair, but hey in his mind he was not the sort of guy to have affairs- go figure Trust that they suck

    • Yup I know exactly but I REFUSED to do the pick me dance. NO way in hell I have too much self respect and I have that lying POS 24 years of my life. For what a whore in my bed!😩

  • “I need to be in a relationship where I am fully loved and respected. You don’t love me the way I deserve to be loved.”

    Love this! I’m starting to understand what CL means by “Is this an acceptable relationship to you?” and this fits right in with it. Watch their actions!

    • Mine simply said “I deserve to be happy.”

      And I deserve to be lied to, deceived, taken advantage of, emotionally abused, and not given the opportunity to find someone who would truly love me?

      FUCK YOU!

      • Yep. I heard at both discards from ex-boyfriend, ‘I just want to be happy! (Implication of blame on me) How would I know that ‘You weren’t happy’ if you didn’t say so for months and acted irritated at me and denied problems when I asked if anything were wrong and encouraged you to open up?

  • F***. I’m at work and I broke down crying at the ‘“When I look into my future, you’re not in it.”. That and the distance part. I was on the receiving end and the pain of it is still raw. There is nothing worse than having a gut feeling that something is amiss, that the distance is growing, but wishing it’s not true. What a f***ing idiot I was.

    I stood by my X during his not-so-sparkly times; but when I went through a depression over my parent’s grief I didn’t realise it was too heavy a burden for him to carry and he went looking for ‘something different’ and ‘laughter’ in his own words, when the OW hadn’t done a THING for him. I thought that by proving how reliable and loving I was during the mundane things – the writing of his PhD, the taking him to the hospital when he fell ill during my visit, the daily notes of encouragement (we were LDR so I tried hard with my gestures) – I thought I had shown him how lucky he was to have me in his future. I forced myself to love him when the shine was off because I thought, hey, this is what love is; it requires effort.

    So when we went on holiday I couldn’t comprehend the distance, the lack of a ‘spark’ and sexual intimacy, the constant snapping and hurtful comments from him and the vociferousness of our fights. On my last visit to him before this holiday I had started to glimpse some distance in hindsight but now I see it’s because he and OW got serious. He didn’t have the courtesy of telling me or breaking up with me before we went on holiday that expensive holiday in Bahamas.

    It’s only after D-Day (and a bit of pick-me-dance where I was willing to forgive him and put in MORE effort) that he said he had thought ‘hard’ but he didn’t see me in his future. That we fought too much, that he wanted to try something different etc etc.

    I am still struggling with the rejection even though it’s been half a year. Still at work, still crying. Thank god my coworkers have gone home.

    • I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but one day you will laugh at how ridiculous what he said was. And not the superficial snicker, but a deep-belly-can-hardly-breathe laugh. You are still in the thick of it. And this sometimes lasts aa bit. But you will kick back and wonder, “THIS guy?”. I cried over HIM???
      It will happen, but time and grief will have their due first.
      You were amazing, him, not so much. Just think how much better a future relationship will be with someone who actually reciprocates your efforts and tenacity to work for a relationship.

    • (((((((Chumpyte))))),
      I feel so sad reading your post, wish I could give you a big hug in person.
      The pain, I understand the pain, but I am glad your cheater is your “ex”. You have a good kind heart and you deserve so much better.
      I pick me danced, cheater stayed. It has been so difficult.
      Your post reminds me of my cheater telling me ( at DDay) that he was tired of being so many things to me-parent, lover, husband ,friend.
      (I guess that’s what he meant). Asshole, he worked away, he was never there for me. He was an absent dad to our tiny precious child and suddenly I couldn’t possibly be pregnant at a worse time! ( according to him). I guess this all had to do with him finding his tru sparkling new luv, co-worker. Well, he wasn’t even the most important of all those things to me, the husband part!
      Chumpyte,
      Dry your tears, ( knowing they are sometimes necessary, that they are ok, you earned the right to them), but after you finish work today you go out and do something nice for YOU. Your ex never deserved a person like you.
      Find comfort that it was all on him, not you.
      Leave him in your rear view mirror where he belongs and go forward. There can be a land called meh in your future.
      You will find it one day.
      I believe in YOU!

      Xxxxxxxxxx
      peacekeeper

      • Thank you for sharing “he was tired of being so many things to me”. That really resonates, as my ex accused me of wanting to be a teenager and then listed off all the things she’d had to manage while she went to school part-time and I worked 40 hours a week all while dealing with a major health issue. Apparently leaning on my partner in a time of great stress was the wrong move.

    • I have significant health issues and tried like hell to make being with me worth it. I thought that if I was supportive enough, loving enough, etc that she would stand by me as I struggled. I knew being with me could be a challenge and I wanted to show her how much I appreciated her, in both words and deeds. But when it came down to it, none of it mattered.

      And likewise, towards the end, I remember wondering if she even liked me, never mind loved me. And the last time I saw her will forever be seared into my memory: she was down right giddy, like she’d been freed from a long prison sentence. I still question how toxic I must have been for someone to be so happy to be rid of me. I know that that’s a framing issue, but that’s how I’m feeling about it again today.

      I’m sorry you have to experience this. It sucks. It’s not fair. So it goes. 3.5 years on I still rankle at the injustice of it all.

      • Marriage and partnership is a give and take. I always knew I gave more but I didn’t think about keeping score. But really it just came down to he always took, and took, and took. And the more I read about toxic, character disordered types, the more it shines through that they cheat when the feel like they aren’t getting enough. But that’s how they view life, by what they are getting. Then they cheat when their chump is pregnant, has cancer (or health issue like you), has just lost a parent. It all equals a loss of kibble for them.

        I’m a giver in life and that’s how I feel most like me. You kept throwing more and more at a taker. And she gladly accepted it full well knowing she was taking from elsewhere too. That’s on her. And my ex was all smiles and happiness as he was riding off into the sunset with his twu wuv’s too.

        This site has helped me see in so many ways how it’s him and not me. I can only control me. And if my best isn’t good enough for him day in and day out, then so be it.

      • Whichway, I can see that you are still hurting and upset – and rightfully so. I still rankle at the injustice of it all too! Your comment about “questioning how toxic you must have been for someone to be so happy to be rid of me” made me wonder if you are interested in therapy or have a good therapist. I am a ruminator and I think those of us who tend to ruminate can benefit so much from therapy.

        Understanding the difference between normal human flaws and major character deficiencies can be extremely helpful. It sounds like your X wasn’t capable of real love and long term commitment. That’s really not on you.

        • KathleenK, thank you for the concern. I am in therapy, for this and a host of other reasons. I think I know why all of this has flared up again: I recently came to the conclusion that I don’t have the energy to pursue or maintain a romantic relationship. My kidneys are failing and I’ll need a transplant sooner rather than later, and it hurts that the person who was here when I was diagnosed isn’t here supporting me like I thought she’d be. When I consider having a partner and the limitations my health place on me, I always think back to the line from the movie Clerks: “I’m not even supposed to be here today!” Dating shouldn’t be a concern, I had my forever person. Yes, I know I need to grow up. Hopefully therapy will eventually help with that.

          • WWDSG I know it is very hard, but try and focus on your health, not her. She does not even deserve a thought . Get better and than get yourself a good woman. Alongside your treatment, research about foods and herbs that nurture the kidneys, since you have to eat, eat those. Learn what to avoid too. Maybe a nutritionist can help and put together for you a menu, or list of foods. Maybe join a group of people that help each other and change knowledge about the kidneys health? There are a lot of people out there with a lot to share out of a good heart. Ask the older people, the older the better, what was common knowledge at their time for kidney treatment. Barley water was recommended even by doctors for kidneys. Use organic as much as you can. Spend time on things that is going to get you better. Research, research, research. Do something you like, fishing? painting? Even if you don’t feel like it, do it for yourself. Take care and here wishing you the best of health. You are not a loser to have your mother as your contact, it is a blessing to have someone who loves you to stand by you and with you. I read horror stories here when spouses got sick and were let down and abandoned by crappy partners. Loving parents any day over that.
            May 2018 bring you and all of us here and our loved ones the blessing of good health and recovery!

        • I agree with this. Therapy could be helpful.

          What I realized (after decades of punishing myself) was that I gave and gave and gave, he took and took and took … and when I needed anything, even the smallest thing from him, it was a huge imposition from his perspective–it broke the normal “take, take, take” he preferred. And, because he was married to me, he knew he SHOULD assist me — leaving him feeling obligated in that “ball and chain” way.

          So, try to remember, even a completely rational, minor need from a partner is an imposition to these people — because they just don’t do reciprocity.

      • WhichWay,
        I have a chronic back injury that started a couple of years before ex-boyfriend and I started dating, so I can somewhat relate to your predicament. I routinely expressed gratitude to my ex-boyfriemd for dealing with my lack of productivity caused by the pain of the injury and the sleep deprivation which caused me to operately more slowly and less accurately. I think that my injury and its consequences just added to the number of strikes against me and his eventual permanent discard of me. I didn’t leave him for his permanent deafness in one ear. I would have stayed by his side if he had become a demented paraplegic.

        • RockStarWife, I always appreciate your comments because you put into words the rawness I feel but can’t adequately describe.

          I’m with you on the expressing gratitude thing. I wanted to be a good partner, and I thought I was. I thoughtt she thought so too, but then the rewrite of history began.

          It breaks my brain, but the way someone in the thread put it is probably right: she accepted my illnesses and supported me until she didn’t. I know I’m fortunate that my parents are still able to help, but being nearly 40 and having my mom as my emergency contact sucks.

      • Is there a way you could get out of your head for a while? Sex, camping, even a roller coaster ride?

        I am about the same amount of time from DDay as you are.

        The urge to go over and over the cheaters thought processes and actions becomes like scratching a bad rash or picking a scab. It feels perversely good in the moment but in the long term it just hurts you.

        There is something about being around decent people and doing activities that have nothing to do with the cheaters filth that will start to actually heal you. You won’t wake up as much burning with fire at the injustice of it all.

        I understand the misery. But here’s the rub. She stolen years of your life. Put an end to her path of destruction in your life. Go out there and grab some joy. It’s a decision you make. An act of will… like exercising.

        It’s hard at first but then you feel better.

      • My boyfriend seemed giddy to get rid of me, too. My replacement started spending the night at his house before my stuff had been completely cleared out. After I discovered my replacement, boyfriend was very eager to dump off my stuff, even telling me when he wanted to dump off my stuff, which I wanted to accept in person as it included an unusual racing bike, so that he could maximize the time that weekend he saw my replacement, which he already saw at the office 60+ hours/week. In spite of me nearly killing myself to win his love, I think that most of our relationship, he either actively hated me or just ‘tolerated’ me. Sadly. I still miss him all the time six months later.

        • I totally understand. Remember a post a few weeks ago when Chump Lady said “don’t long for crappy people.”

          That got my attention like a wallop upside the head. I do it too.

          I am actually longing for someone who took delight in mentally abusing me and toying with physically abusing me.

          I don’t think your ex was giddy to be rid of you. And I don’t believe that he hated you when you were together. Remember, these Narcs only do things that they enjoy… their life is a hedonistic quest.

          He would’ve never spent time with you if he did not enjoy your company.

          He is a sadist. What he enjoyed was torturing you and shoving another woman in your face, after he decided to seek new supply source. Making you come and get your things, like your specialized racing bike and rubbing your nose in the fact that he had a new person in his life were truffle dipped caviar kibbles to his alien brain.

          Your pain and longing for him was probably such a high that we can’t imagine it. Just like a shot of morphine.

          Do not internalize any of his revolting treatment of you as a measure of your worth. Imagine someone that you find morally repulsive. For me, Michael Vick always comes to mind. Now, do you think I give a rats ass what that animal abuser motherfucker thinks of me? Not a chance.

          That’s how you have to think of your ex. Never long for someone who make who you feel despair.

          We must learn this. I’m not sure why we don’t have an internal mechanism that would teach us this….I believe it is the legacy of a Catastrophically unhappy mother and an absent cold father.

          Being treated like shit just feels like home.

          • Wow. Yup, gotta deal with all those FOO issues to see why disordered “felt like home.” It’s funny, even for those of us who chose with greater intention, and who “did better,” I still ended up with someone who needed to be “fixed.” Sparkley Alcoholic Cheater Mom (married first to Psycho Abusive abandoning Bio father) and Disengaged Superior Chump StepDad who didn’t value us “girls” and where did I end up? Married to a Man who was all three. Working hard to fix my past and it was familiar. Marriage with him had me off balance, questioning my worth, but in spite of it all I knew I mattered.

          • Oh, the infamous FOO. That was a large part of what I was going through at the time of abandonment, finally getting through my denial and recognizing just how fucked up my upbringing was, that my mother seriously damaged me and my father was more interested in watching Mr. Ed and Beverly Hillbillies reruns than stopping her – if he spoke up she turned it on him.

            My therapist at the time said my ex seemed so great because life with her was at least better than what I grew up with. She damaged me in different ways, but she felt safe compared to the tumultuous environment I was raised in. That means I didn’t feel safe in life until I was in my early-mid 30s, which seems ridiculously pathetic to me.

    • Chumpyte-
      You describe the rejection as the worst part, still with you over these past six months. I read your comment and can’t help but feel you weren’t actually rejected. The guy you describe is a bottomless pit of self interest. I can’t imagine saying “I can’t see you in my future” to anyone, as if people are auditioning for the play that is my life. To say something like this displays volumes. You were pouring yourself into a hole that can’t and won’t ever be filled. It is a hole that will only ever seek fillers who are useful in its current circumstances, and it will keep moving through them as it’s circumstances change.

      It’s hard to understand them that way but it’s absolutely true. On a very foundational and developmental level they lack in a way you cannot meet or repair. Point is, you’ll never achieve a connection with such as these. The only connection that exists with these is the one you imagined and projected out of your own goodness, the stable self at your core. We all infer the same exists in others as we experience within ourselves – it doesn’t.

      So there is no “rejecting” from these kinds of people, because there’s no chance of their ever accepting. There’s no chance of an enduring bond, or any real bond at all except usage. They are incapable of it. He didn’t reject you, he engaged with you precisely to the maximum amount he’s capable of engaging with anyone. He didn’t judge your qualities and find them flawed, he adjusted his wants. Does the wind reject the east when it shifts to blow west? If you want to look at it as a matter of winning or losing in his estimation, then you won first place. The prize is a shit sandwich, but that’s first place with these types. But I think you’re better off looking at it as winning or losing in life. Your life. In that competition you’ve really won big time. Imagine having wasted a lifetime only to finally learn what he was all along. You dodged that! As long as you continue to imagine he is like you internally, you will imagine that it was with your kind of sincerity and meaning that he considered you and found you so lacking. He didn’t.

      • What a helpful piece of writing, TKO.

        Even though I shouldn’t pain shop , I have peeked a few times at Mr. Rectal Yeast’s Facebook page.

        Literally from day today, there are two different women fighting over him. One day he’s in a relationship with one, then the other will post a photo of him on her page that shows he was sleeping in her bed. When he was in the relationship with the other one.

        (These are actual adults).

        He then post pictures of himself -believing him to resemble Bradley Cooper- and dozens and dozens of women post how much they like and love his pictures.

        His two sluts then send snarky messages to the women who liked his FB photos. Again these are adults. Scary.

        I have no Facebook page. However, I am forever grateful to Mark Zuckerberg for giving me a front row seat to the *pathological triangulation * that he practices with the women he deems lucky enough to be in his presence.

        What a bullet I dodged.😳

    • I know 200% stay STRONG and I do a ton of praying everyday these bastards are garbage and we are beautiful men and women we deserve better!

  • My X is on his 4th gf after me busting him with ho-worker AND the Old Flame whilst we were ‘reconciling’.

    Its all those holes trying to fill a hole…

    I saw a wife yesterday, darling girl, rather porky, porkier than me, probably drinks too much, drinks more than me, I am sure is difficult…. and her husband loves her and is happy to spend time with her doing stuff that he doesn’t like (horsey chumps, you know what I mean. My X would never have come and supported me at an equestrian event).

    This horrific disloyalty, their shallow connection – really isn’t about us.

    • You got that right Patsy! I’m a horsie chump and my ex NEVER once came to a show or watched me ride. The most he would do is carry a bale of hay or bag of feed, under great protest! Pre d-day I always viewed his absence as he wanted me to enjoy immersing myself in an expensive and time consuming hobby. Now I realize he never cared about what I did because it wasn’t all about him. In my darkest days after d-day, and there were many, my horses are what kept me sane and mentally present. About the only time I didn’t cry was when I was riding, socializing with barn mates or at the farm doing chores. So thankful for what those four-legged angels did for me to get me through that horrible time of my life.

      • I grew up on the back of a horse, and the thing I hope for most after my divorce (in the early stages) and the separation of assets is that I can be in a position and place to once again have a horse! And not in a stable…in the back yard, the way I had when I was growing up. The best love of my life was my horse.

  • Thanks, I needed this today. I had un-chumped for a moment, and suggested I claim both kids on my taxes and give my ex a check for his claim. (I know, I know!) He came back, offering to do both of our taxes, to “get the best return”. I don’t want him to know anything about my finances, and I reeled. I had forgotten for a moment to be mighty. And I had slowly veered off Gray Rock and in to kibble territory. He gets to be the “good guy” who still does his exes taxes for her. Dumb European blonde, lost in complicated American taxes.

    • Ugh.
      We got divorced through mediation (dumb dumb dumb! but I was broke!) and the mediator suggested I claim our son every year because I would get more back than my husband since I was “poorer”, and then I give my ex husband a check for half of the tax benefit I received. Apparently this would involve running my taxes twice- with and without claiming our son, printing that and giving it to him, along with a check for half the difference.
      I definitely put my foot down on that one! I spent enough time in our relationship doing all of the work, and my finances are none of his business unless they affect child support. I let him claim our son every other year, and considering he’s never asked me or the daycare for a tax form, I don’t think he even takes advantage on his years because he’s too lazy to figure it out.

      • Please, please, please get expert help when it comes to tax issues! I agreed to amend two years of taxes in my divorce because he pitched a fit that he owed so much. It ended up being a two year battle with the IRS. If you can avoid con joining anything about taxes please do so. The IRS doesn’t give a damn about your divorce decree. I even tried the innocent spouse route, but it requires your Ex to fill out paperwork on your behalf and my Ex and Schmoopie refused to complete the required response. I was on the hook for a load of money!

    • My ex was a CPA so he always did our taxes and every. fucking. year. he moaned and carried on about how hard it was and what a sacrifice it was for him to do it. When we separated and I became aware of how much money he had been stealing to support his stripper habit, I decided to do my own taxes. I got myself the same tax accounting software that the ex had always used (TurboTax) and wouldn’t you know, it was easy! The software walks you through the process step by step. I’ve done my taxes and my kids’ every year since. In hindsight I realized that probably a sixth of the time he spent “working on the taxes” was really working on the taxes and the rest of the time was a long porn viewing session because I always left him alone so he could “concentrate.” I’m probably one of the few people who doesn’t mind doing my taxes. To me, it’s an annual reminder that I am stronger, smarter and more independant that my ex ever gave me credit for. #winning

      • What is it with the taxes???? Is it because it’s such an ADULT thing to have to do? They either never do them, or whine and complain as if it were this huge deal!

        My ex, true to form, thought I’d do his taxes, as I always had, the year after I kicked his ass out. He really didn’t get the concept of ‘DIVORCE’. Also wanted to keep coming back to the house to do his laundry, to go with the kids and I to MY sister’s cottage for the July long weekend …

        • Wow, just wow! I guess he always saw you as his servant. So even though he wasn’t having sex with you anymore, he could use you otherwise to serve him and do his chores. It’s unbelievable how some people have bad judgment and bad discernment. This guy is wacked!

        • This^Lmfao. My ex too. Jackass couldn’t believe that that i was refusing to do our taxes for him. This happened a month after he threatened to throw me out in the street after a 30 year marriage. Entitled mother#€!£$. Fuck him! Cost him @$600 to file plus he lost in deductions I wasn’t there to corroborate/tell him about. 😂

      • I had the same experience. The EX would moan about taxes from mid-Feb until the night before they were due and he was racing the clock. He’s need special dinners; he’d insist the kids and I leave the house all Saturday so he’d have quiet to work on them; he’d holler at me to chase down all kinds of documents. I thought taxes were akin to neuroscience. Then he left. And I did my own. With TurboTax. In a couple of hours.

        Several other routine household tasks turned out to be 15 minute jobs once he left–not four hour marathons of work. The first time I completed one of these tasks I was proud of myself for doing something that was “so hard.” Then the other shoe dropped, and I realized it wasn’t hard, I had just been manipulated by the EX into thinking that changing a water filter was a long, tough job. Post-divorce I see all of this behavior as aspects of his cheating–they were just other ways he’d lie to me to enable more pleasure and satisfaction for himself.

    • My ex is required to provide me a copy of his W-2 every year. This was written into our divorce papers so that IF he ever got a good job again, my spousal support would be adjusted. Every freaking year, I have to threaten him with a contempt of court charge to have him produce it. This from the guy who said, “don’t worry, I’ll pay alimony because I still care about you.” A year after our divorce, he quit paying alimony and got hauled to court; he told me I should have talked to him first. As if!

      However, I did laugh when he had to do his own taxes the first time. I got a note that money was tight for him because he owed so much in taxes. Apparently, no one told him to adjust his withholding!

      • I drag my ex to court each time he changes jobs to have the alimony and child support withdrawn directly from his paycheck. He’s also pulled the “Don’t worry” about the alimony, but rather safe than sorry. He’s highly embarrassed that his wages are being garnished. I think he should be more embarrassed that he cheated on me, but hey, what do I know?

  • Cheater told me he had attended counselling at work for his gambling. He had decided in the counselling that he wasn’t in love with my anymore. This was in the summer and instead of telling me this revelation he had he continued in our relationship and in trying for a baby with me (he also continued to gamble).

    D-day with in the New Year and he told me all this and said he still cares about me. One of the times in the first week we met up to talk about finances and child issues, I was still in the fog and I asked him how long he hadn’t been in love with me for. He said I think I am still in love with you. I went no contact shortly after this.

    He is telling people that he didn’t love me anymore so it wasn’t fair to stay with me. He ignores the fact he had an affair and concentrates on what I did wrong that made him stop loving me and just have to leave me.

    • Oh, he really pisses me off how he hurt you pregnant chump!
      As a matter of fact all cheaters really really piss me off.
      I am smiling, recalling that yesterday I called CN a band of angels, today I am calling us a band of pissed off chumps.
      There has to be a balance somewhere!
      But that is the thing about cheaters, there is NO balance, it is all one sided, their side.

      Stay Mighty, stay the course Chumps!
      Fuckwits think they win, but do they really, in the long run of the life marathon?
      Do they really win ( toys maybe, true family bonds, NO).
      At the finish line, they will always come in last!
      LAST!
      Right where they belong!

      • Thank you peacekeeper your posts always put a smile on my face. We are lucky to have your kindness and wisdom here at CN.

    • pregnant chump – The impression management spin is so infuriating. He leaves out just the tiniest part of the story (his affair) and concentrates on your flaws to explain to people what is going on. So typical and right on script. I do hope you are getting the real story out a bit. Yeah, he had an affair while I was pregnant – but you know, I always did load the dishwasher “wrong” so….

      • Thankfully those that matter to me are not fooled by his blameshifting and excuses. Those they are fooled are not

        • Those that are fooled are mostly his disordered family and people who don’t know me. I don’t need these people in my life. He will always believe what he wants to but I know the truth.

    • LOL, I know exactly my ex Narc husband blamed me for everything as well. I couldn’t do anything right in his eyes but funny thing every time we went out in public people would remark on how well mannered our children were. I was a stay at home mom for years but I did nothing in his eyes. The house cleans itself and the meals cook themselves.

  • Gee, “ILYBNILWY”???? Your cheaters were so … … … nice.
    Mine snarled on the phone; “and I LOVE having SsssEeeeXXX TWICE a DAY! SHE treats me like the ROCK STAR I AM!!!!”

    Well… … … ..party on Wayne. Party on, Garth.

    • (mouth agape). What.an.asshole. So glad you are rid of him, Magneto. May he suffer internal parasites. Painful ones.

      • >giggle. He was not an asshole, he is not a cheater, by the way, he is a HERO! don’tchaknow? He is completely sanctimonious about his choices, even til today, from what I hear.

        He never could apologize nor take responsibility for anything. I should have seen this as the red flag it was.

        Hence my villain name. If I was going to be cast as a villain, I’m going to pick a good one to be! Never mind I was teacher of the year, plus other un humble things to say, I was a curr who SPENT all the money – ALWAYS!
        He would get teary eyed and recall how he had to walk around with only five dollars in his pocket all week for lunch and spending money – for years!! Really funny, I first and only heard about that at the divorce decree – thirty years later.

        I heard that I never appreciated him – he was going to take away my phone (Mothers Day gift) and give it to OW, because she appreciated it! He was going to take away my car and give it to her, because she would appreciate it!

        — What. an. asshole.

    • Who calls themselves a “rock star” seriously? I’m surprised that semi-permeable barrier we call skin could keep his ego contained!

      • For a few years I had this EMMINEM clip as my ringtone

        “When you walked through the door
        It was clear to me
        You’re the one they adore
        Who they came to see
        You’re a rock star (Baby)
        Everybody wants you!
        Player, who can really blame you?
        We’re the ones who made you…”

    • Magneto-
      Mine said “sex with her is fun and energetic but I can’t finish because I’m thinking about you. I tell her it’s because of my meds but it’s because I miss you”. What…..the……fuck….

      • L220: See, again. You ‘ins have nice cheaters. Upon exposure (targeted), XH went and tried to file a police report!
        They said “They were afraid for their LIVES!” from ‘lil ole me! Oh! the romance and the drama! They could write a ROMANCE NOVEL!
        What they were afraid of was a work exposure. Fucking psycho creeps. Sail off into the sunset, you pair of inbred assholes.

        THANK goodness the reporting officer said: “You have to remember we are talking about your xh, here, the biggest bold faced liar I’ve ever met!” He said that after dealing with him 3 hours and 3 visits.
        The officer worked diligently to help me from then on.

        • Magneto-
          Mine called the police on me saying I pushed him. I may have while he was destroying the upstairs looking for a tablet— had his email linked to it so his trashy emails between him and homeslice were all out there. He was going to have me arrested….. crazydoodledoo.

    • My husband (now ex-husband) demanded our toddler son get out of our bed. Then husband threw his wedding ring on our bedroom floor, told me that he had sex with his AP co-worker at leart five times per week for eight weeks (I could not as I was raising kids, working on grad degree 60 hours/week while he was on the road 75% of the year.) Then he tried to force me to immediately sign and notarize a document he has prepared stating that I would hand over my assets if I filed for divorce. Why I didn’t file on the spot still amazes me. Trauma bond?

    • Oh, I got the “it was worth all the pain to you and the kids getting sex 3 times a day.” I hate his fucking guts!

  • I got two variations. From Rhys, I got “I could have fallen for you, you know.” From Mac, I got “You never could say you loved me, and she can.”

    • From Rhys, the invitation to pick-me dance. And from Mac, proof it’s all about his getting the kibbles.

      Assholes both, glad you’re away from them, VulcanChump.

      • Agreed it’s all about his kibbles it’s sick and mine is a 53 year old man, half bald and two back teeth missing. A bad foot he broke years back and has a limp now, I don’t know how he thinks this latest whore is going to solve all his problems!😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Emotionally healthy, mature, intelligent, compassionate, kind human beings have the capacity to appreciate and revere the intimacy of deep friendship and shared experience (good and difficult) much more than they enjoy sparkles. Sparkles are nice and they feel good, but just like we chumps would rather snuggle puppies than shoot heroin, we would rather share true intimacy and trust than get off on the sparkles of novelty-driven sex.

    Cheaters are emotionally shallow, immature, undeveloped, neutral, cruel people. They act pretty when novelty provides sparkles and they act pretty to maintain the kibble supply. They can only stay interested in whatever is brightly-covered and moving. Like toddlers, they are totally self-oriented, discompassionate, petulant when they don’t get what they want, and unable to sustain any significant attention span. They look like adults at first, but they are really about two years old mentally.

    “ILYBINILWY and I deserve to be happy” might as well be accompanied by stomping feet, shouted phrases like “I don’t wanna!”, “You can’t make me!”, “I hate you!”, and “Miiiiiine!!!”, and “Noooooo!!!!”, a few crocodile tears for a good dramatic show of frustration, and a meltdown into a tantrum.

    Toddlers aren’t sexy, nor are they aren’t suitable partners for adult relationship. Toddlers are dependent beings who require parenting in their homes and constant affirmation and guidance from other adults.

    Cheaters are adult in age, but not in development. Don’t force yourself to remain in relationship with a grown toddler. You can’t help that person grow up, and it squanders your precious life.

    • This is absolutely spot on. My ex said he left to be happy, and he left because he “fell in love” with his whore. Yes, he was so “in love” with her that after I found out about the affair, he STILL tried to sleep with me because, as he said, “I could” (yes, he really did say that), and even started dating another woman (I bet the whore doesn’t know about her, either!).

      Actions speak louder than words. I actually feel sort of sorry for the whore for falling for his BS hook, line, and sinker, but she’ll find out that his “love” is nothing more than empty words.

    • This belongs in a chump primer. So astute, Amiisfree! (and I could have sworn you must have met my X after reading it! His middle name is “Novelty-driven Sex.”)

    • I love it well said my ex husband 200% he will never mature into manhood until he accepts he needs professional counseling!

    • The bad news is my exes repeatedly behaved like self-serving immature toddlers. The good news is my children, even as toddlers, behaved more compadsionately, generously, and maturely than my middle-aged exes!

  • “There’s no butterflies when you’re doing taxes, or visiting the in-laws, or cleaning up after a kid’s stomach flu.”

    You know what though? Now that I’ve left an a-hole and am married to a good partner (hopefully), there ARE butterflies for me in those moments! Those moments make me feel like I have a teammate in life, not just when things are fun or romantic, and THAT gives me the warm fuzzies 🙂 Look for someone you wouldn’t mind doing taxes with. It doesn’t sound romantic, but that’s how you find a steady partner!

    • The first time I saw my new wonderful husband sit down on a Saturday and just pay bills, unasked, not pouting, without screaming at me, like it was just the most normal everyday thing to do—I got butterflies. I felt a rush of love and was more than a little turned on by his adult-taking-care-of-business-self.

  • In my 20’s I dated a guy that at first love bombed me, wanted to be with me all the time. I was reluctant at first as he was not my type but eventually gave him a chance because “he adored me”. About six months into our relationship the games began. He flirted with other girls, he hit on my best friend, and then one night at dinner he said the “I love you but I am not IN love with you”. Ok well I was in my 20’s and was not too shabby…..other guys were very interested. Long story short I started dating another guy and dumped him. That idiot pursued me, almost could say stalked me for 6 years!! I didn’t know anything about narcissism or sociopaths at the time but I do remember throwing back in his face, many times, but you said you really are not in love with me so please find someone that you truly can be in love with……

  • I got ILYBINILWY just before D-Day.
    It all makes sense now.

    How come many of you know the emotional state/relationship situation of your (stb)X’s?

    I am no contact except for kid stuff, but I DO want to know how miserable she is for my own emotional health (which seems twisted – so I don’t pursue this).

    • I don’t know any emotional stuff but I know the status of his relationship by accident. When I first found out about his cheating I blocked the OW on Facebook. We tried wreckconciliation for a bit and when I decided I had enough I divorced the loser.

      About a year later I was adding all the people from my married life to my blocked list and I scrolled past OW name and it had changed. Her last name was now the same as my ex’s. Did you know that name changes propagated through blocked peeps on Facebook? Yeah, neither did I.

      Of course I just assumed since she took on his last name that they were married. She’s a little old to be faking that shit. I don’t know when it took place and my own children have never brought it up even one time which I think is kind of sweet. Anyway, that’s all I know and it was quite literally an accident.

  • After 21 years I’m glad I’m done with him! Coming to Chump Lady, reading countles Narcissist books help me to understand NOT to play the triangulation game anymore..this game is so cruel and I played it for some years and I realize I don’t have to wait for the other women’s karma..they are already hit by it by being with that horrible man..

  • I got the version “I’ve never loved you, only the things you’ve done for me.”

    It still hurts when I’m thinking about this.

      • Oh yes he is stupidly, brutally honest. He told our mediator that he only wants the kids so he doesn’t have to pay child support. He doesn’t see anything wrong with it! It’s his right! Yeah…. nope.

      • Yep i got…”I’ll miss your cooking” said completely matter of factly. (After 25 years) I could either look at this as the most sadistic way to leave a person or he really has no other true feelings other than basic human urges and everything else is too sophisticated.

    • I know Jaypeg mine hurt was immense for nearly two years now I thought I had a great guy and a good marriage it was all a LIE!

  • Here is what I experienced with my ex husband/ex best friend/douche………..

    When HE was caught with OW……….he LOVED me SO MUCH!
    When HE was sneaking around and gas lighting me……..he loved me but wasn’t IN love with me.
    When HE was getting kicked out of the house………he LOVED me SO MUCH! (he would do anything to win me back)!
    Now that HE is out of my life and we are divorced…………….he NEVER LOVED ME!!!

    See…….it changes depending on the circumstance. In my book…..that isn’t love. So his feeling that he never loved me is absolutely accurate.

    Sad……but so true!

    • Wow Kimmy and your so attractive what a idiot. I know exactly mine would change his tune according to what he needed that day. Nothing I ever did was good enough. Mechanic by trade and a good one I was so proud of his accomplishments until I found out he was messing with the attractive women whose cars he fixed. No wonder I never got any affection in over 5 years!👎

      • Carol…..thanks for saying that! He managed to crush any positive thought I had about myself during the last five years of our marriage. Now I am just so glad to be free of him and feel like I am finally living my adult life without negativity.

        My heart breaks for everyone of us on this site. But thanks to CL we can find our voice!!!

  • I only knew about Mr. Sparkles and Schmoopie because I was taking care of HIS Mom and Dad in their golden years while he was off reliving his teen years. Then his Dad died and his Mom was so deep in Alzheimer’s disease she couldn’t even open her eyes. Once my Ex was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer it was then that his Schmoopie started calling my adult children for help. She tried shaming them, but they stood firm and reminded her how miserable she had made me during the divorce and how her lover boy gave me zero help while I was undergoing operations for cancer. My kids had to travel miles and leave their own families to take care of me and my fuckwit was only three miles away in a hotel with her!
    Trust me, you don’t really want to know what they are doing. It won’t really make you any happier. I will say that the delight with their “new toy” will wear off in the event of any serious trouble and most of these lust relationships start to get old at the two to three year mark especially if they are shacked up together.

    • Exactly! It’s been about 3 years since ex hooked up with the current Schmoopie, and wouldn’t you know it, I recently got an email from the ex trying to hoover me back in. I find this hilarious, since they just got an apartment together. No better time to line up future kibble supply than when you’ve just locked down your current supply! No longer my problem; you fired me long ago from having to be circus ringmaster of your three-ring shitshow of a life.

  • I got a double of this on Dday after she finally admitted what she had done (not everything- that took three months to admit to and I think I still don’t have everything).

    “I haven’t been in love with you in 6 years”
    “I love and care about you, but I’m not in love with you”

    By the next day (once she realized her world would now implode) she denied saying either and that I “must of misheard her”. Like I would freaking forget !

    They are con artist scammers.

    • Definitely con artists and they hang with OTHER scum like themselves! Mine was always hanging with other divorced men, alcoholics and even one dopeheads so what are you learning from that level of people?

      • Isn’t that so weird. It’s like they find each other. I pointed this out to cheater wife- she always seems to find other women that are supportive of adultery. Dday1 2011 cheater female friend cheating on her husband. Dday 2017 two different women supporting her adultery. So bizarre- like its a club or something.

  • Ex was always able to say “I love you”, but it never seemed to have any weight to it. She would say it almost like a throwaway line.

    After D-day it became “I care about you”, and sometimes “I *deeply* care about you.”

    The sad truth is that she was incapable of experiencing real, deep, abiding love from the beginning. She is a full on narcissist and merely play-acted her way through the 15 years we were together.

    It became easier to disengage from her once I realized that getting her to understand the concept of love would be like trying to teach algebra to a broom.

    Protect yourself. Get away from a narcissist. Cut your losses. Move on. Surviving is winning.

  • I got the famous line along with your my best friend. Well my best buddy brought his whore down to my house while I was visiting my son and his family. His mantra was you will never have to worry about money until I just said “I’m so tired of hearing that”. He wanted to make a quick exit and I ended up leaving him with the house and all of its neglected problems.

    He so generously offered to provide rides to the airport or doctors appointments or whatever I needed. Really I told him his OW wouldn’t like it. He really wanted the kibbles and I failed to provide them. Then I got the “Happy Labor Day” call 2 years ago. Probably had an argument with his honey.

    I went no contact and he got pissed. So sorry. There minds are so warped.

    On my way to meh!!

  • I love you but I’m not in love with you means that the cheater is not physically attracted to us. He love us like he loves a family member, like he loves his mother or his sister. There is no sexual attraction there. And apparently, you can’t be attracted to two people at once, meaning you can’t bond sexually with more than one person. So if the cheater is not sexually attracted to you, it’s because he’s sexually attracted to the affair partner.

    Hence the statement, I love you (like a sister or my mother), but I’m not in love with you (I’m not sexually attracted to you). And when we get, I never loved you, it means they were NEVER sexually attracted to us. In which case, it’s their fault for dating, courting, starting a relationship, proposing, getting engaged and marrying someone they were never attracted to. Shame on them. I would never marry someone I’m not physically attracted to.

    • This exactly! I remember becoming suspicious when the gifts he started giving came right out of the little old lady department – giant ugly flannel nightgowns, bulky horrible sweaters etc… and the places we went on dates became exclusively sports bars and beer drinking festivals. It strikes me now that it was undermining and abusive as the message was “cover that shit up” and “shut up and let me drink” so I did- for awhile- until one day the truth showed up and I realized how miserable I was allowing him to make me feel while I turned a blind eye towards his cheating. So I kicked him out and divorced him, reclaimed my true nature, grieved the loss for a few long years and then made the most important decision of my life – I decided come hell or high water I was going to choose to be happy. And you know what? I am. And the benefits are tremendous – I feel sexier, I’m in great shape because I have a lot more energy, I’m at peace with my life, I’m finding that I attract men that want to go out with me and women that want to be friends with me because happiness is so freaking attractive- and I’m 50 with three teenagers and a mom body so it’s not because I’m physically perfect. In fact today I’m seeing a wonderful fellow chump with a similar back story and ex and we both laugh at the situations our exes are in now and the way they look at us when we are together. So fucking satisfying – gaining a life!

    • Mine told me that he wasn’t attracted to me the day before I got “I love you like a family member.” I asked him if wasn’t attracted to me physically or emotionally? He said both. Fucker…after 18 years. Those words can’t be unheard.

  • I didn’t get this….
    I got “I don’t love you but I still care about you”
    Pah ! If he’d “cared” anything he wouldn’t have done what he did !

    • Yes, he meant, I’m not attracted to you sexually, but I care for you like a sister or like you were my mother. He cares about you as you were a member of his family, but his sexual well being comes before you.

      So his statement should have been: “I care about you (I wouldn’t hurt you), unless it has to do with my sexual needs, in that case, I don’t care about you but care about my sexual needs first.

      • BINGO and it’s so GROSSE mine has already been in two affairs and admitted he doesn’t protect himself in this day and age!😩

    • Yep. My ex-boyfriend told me that he ‘loved me like a friend.’ I don’t literally or figuratively screw my friends and then abandon them with virtually no explanation and ignore them when they ask for the littlest things (like a referral to their brain surgeon to save a relative’s life). Using hypocrites.

      • I dont even believe that shit “love you but” that person would not then go on a systematic campaign to financially ruin the family they left behind. I think it is so they can tell themselves they ‘said the right thing’ to make them look like the good guy. 2 weeks after leaving and just before xmas my ILUBINILWY ex kicked me off the health insurance while telling the kids he didnt hate me. Who does that…hence the handle.

  • I think the “ILYBINILWIY” comment, complete with hang-dog look and sad sausage *sorrow*, is part of a cheater’s inner mental swamp of giving him/herself PERMISSION for the affair. Hey, since being “in love” is the end-all, be-all for human existence, then of course I am entitled to pursue it, as “sad” as it makes me feel. I have a GOOD reason for cheating – this is something I have a *right* to. This is the ultimate entitlement statement while appearing on the outside to be something BEYOND MY CONTROL, and even includes the mindfuck beginning “I love you…” to further cloud the issue and raise false hopes in the chump. Don’t be fooled. It’s pure entitlement from start to finish.

  • Yeah, I got that standard cheater line word for word. I remember looking at him and saying “Really? Then why are you still here?” It wasn’t often Mr. Gabby was at a loss for words, but he certainly didn’t have anything to say to that. Usually, he never shut up, talked incessantly, but that one left him stymied. I walked away in disgust. At that point I was so fed up with his behavior, emotionally, I was done. Rather than being devastated, which is what he was looking for, I was at …..just GO already you horse’s ass.

    Of course the real reason that he was still there was that I was still of use, in his mind he hadn’t extracted all the value he could get from me.

    It wasn’t too long after that I got his attempt to regain control…..the ….. “When I feel depressed, I feel like getting my gun and killing you and the kids, and then myself.” speech….my cue to start making preparations to get me and my kids gone. It took six months, but I did. Unfortunately it was a bit of a Phyrric victory, but that is a story for another day.

  • Boy, this conversation makes me really uncomfortable because I said words like that to my STBX.
    He love-bombed me when we met. We were married a year later and then had our first child a year after that and then he went back to the way he really was. Self-centered.
    For 26 years, I was a good wife. I moved around the country for his career, did everything for us and our family and worked unpaid to build his image and his career, tried to keep intimacy in our relationship… Early in our marriage, I fought for what I needed in us, yet it seemed that my needs were never as important as his. After about 10 years, I settled into a no drama relationship with him so that our children would have a stable home. Our family had great times together but I sacrificed my own happiness for them. In the last few years of our marriage, after his giant, stressful promotion, I really should have left, but I felt I had committed to him and his career and could not abandon him. And all those years, I was a chump faithful wife.
    But then, our marriage revealed its spackled self. I started an emotional affair with an old friend and a few months into this EA, I found out that my STBX had joined Ashley Madison and other dating sites. In confronting him, he admitted to a one-night stand early in our marriage but said it was a mistake and he was drunk. I told him I had been drunk many times and had never fucked anyone else but him. He then told me his AM was only for fantasy and he had never met up with anyone and I believed him, to a degree. Eventually, when he was trying to get me to stay in the marriage, he admitted that he had hooked up with one of the internet hos. That was enough for me to walk away. I told him, “look at where we are. I am here and you are there. We are too far apart.”
    I told him if I had known about his earlier affair in real time, I would have left him. How I struggled all those years by myself. I was the loneliest married person on this earth. When the kids were young, I begged him to come home just one night a week at 6 pm to be with us but he never could do it. When he had extra time, it was not to be with us/me but to do loner activities (or maybe he was meeting OW). I filled my empty time with gardening, reading, friends… not fuck buddies.
    But he wanted to make the marriage work, even after my EA came to light. I was not willing to do the pick me dance or to make love to a man who was interested in fucking strangers because “life is short”. I got checked for STDs. He had worn me out long ago. I just wanted out and decided to leave him within a couple of months of the discoveries. And yes, I said that “I loved him but was not in love with him” and that “I had not loved him like he should be loved for some time.” Pathetic, I know. He tried to be the victim because I did not want to go to MC with him. I kept coming back to what he had done.
    I was an OW, which haunts me. But I am very much a Chump. I did not say those words to engage my STBX in a dance. I said those things because I am weak and had not been truthful for a long time. Now, I am living alone in truth and I feel fine.

  • I agree Arrow. The old, “I can’t help how I feel!” Along with, “We didn’t mean for it to happen, it just did!” Yeah, right! But you went looking online for months till you found what you wanted THEN you made the hotel arrangements in advance of your trip to hook up. Wow, just Wow! And they spew this crap and expect us to eat it up!

  • Got the ILYBINILWY, and then asked his if you’re not in love with me then who are you in love with?
    Answer:
    Someone he fell in love with on internet couple weeks before.
    She couldn’t speak English, she had an opposite religion, and culture wasn’t even close.
    He wanted to marry his soulmate and of course need to divorce me.
    I was the greatest mistake of his life.
    He had NEVER been in love with me.
    It only took 22 yrs for him to realize this of course.
    Seeing her picture he had the insight from God that she was the one meant for him.
    He’d already been forgiven.
    Plans were made ready for me to leave and bring her over here in three months.

    Update 4yrs: She’s never been here, he’s not married her, I’m still here, have the home, and the dogs.
    Their “truth” does not have to be our “reality”.

  • “Chumps naively assume that people who love us act like they love us. Cheaters subvert that assumption and turn it back on chumps. “But I’m not in love with you” is a subtle blameshift. “I don’t feel giddy and effervescent. I need sparkles. Alas, if you had only twinkled brighter, perhaps it would not have come to this.”

    Chumplady is amazing! Yes! This! My XH actually said to me: “…sniff, sniff…If only I had felt a spark for you in Maui…sniff sniff, gahhhhhhh!” BTW, we were in Maui to scatter my mother’s cremains with my family and have a funeral for her. He started this shit on the way home from the airport. Anyway, he then continued: “I love you like a family member.” So, that’s something I guess. I felt like Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber when his romantic interest tells him there’s a one in a million chance that she’d ever date him: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance! Yeaaaaahhhh!!!” He wasn’t too interested in my snot-laiden, grief kibbles. OW had sparkled much brighter having been a pro at dating married men by age 32. She had game for sure! They were engaged within a year of our 74 day divorce. Married 6 months later.

  • I was told a little bit of it all. They are all eerily alike. But really how are these people not being studied in an underground lab somewhere. These kinds of coincides just don’t occur. A really small coincide generates a huge amount of scientific interest. And this is no small coincide. Oh well…i just think these people should be checked for robot parts.

  • I joined the marriage police when I first got suspicious. I thought I could fix any problem — I was delusional. I thought we were in love. I was delusional. I hoped I would find out I was wrong to be suspicious. I was delusional. I was doing the ole pick me polka to try to make things better in the marriage, but I think the pick me part was subconscious, I knew I wasn’t perfect and wanted to be better. After I discovered what I suspected to be true was true, and much worse, I found out what Aversion Therapy is all about. I knew I was not in love, and I verified that there was no love coming in, either.. Just selfish, narcissist behavior. I was VERY useful. I set out on a course of treatment which made me less useful to him and more useful to me and my children, immediately. It took a while, but finally I was on my own and he left with very little. What ever it cost me, I learned a great deal, and I was much better off without the drain and without the pain.
    Image management has a lot to do with obtaining status and things from you and other people in a position to provide useful things to the dysfunctional person. ILYBINILWY is a really stupid defense — but they think it sounds noble. They learn to say things which are meaningful to chumps, and words cost them nothing and mean nothing to them, they are simply a means to obtain an end result. They see what works when they are young, and get progressively better at lying and juggling as they age. Until they get sick, or too old to attract quality chumps anymore, or battle trained chumps anymore. Then their standards drop considerably. My last X is now approaching 69, he has been married and divorced at least 6 times, and he still claims he is looking for just ONE woman to be his DREAM GIRL, and to live with in an EVERLASTING HONEYMOON. He was just misunderstood and unlucky in love, before, and of course you don’t hear an accurate marriage/previous relationship count when you meet him, because that would make him look bad. I think he is looking for a warm place to spend the winter, and a posh retirement income to finance his needs. He probably should be looking for a retirement home that will take him for what little retirement funds he has from social security. At any rate, I no longer care. I hear about him sometimes from people who knew us both, and sometimes he contacts my sons to act like he cares for them, and to find out anything he can about what I am doing. They know they should act as vague and ignorant of my life as possible. He is the one who is delusional, and seems to have no way out of his destructive cycle, but that is his life. I am so happy that it is not mine.

  • How bout this one ? I hate your F#%^*€£ guts… YOU need therapy, nobody likes you.. here’s your 8th set of divorce papers …or a post bio…. now, come here and F&$& me -you know you want it !

    This is worse than bile in my mouth -luckily I fled from this sick person

  • Hmm…been pondering this, because my X never said ILYBINILWY.

    Although it provides the cheater with an excuse for their affair/s, “I love you but I’m not in love with you,” also kind of admits the cheater him/herself has a deficiency–“I know I SHOULD be in love with you as my spouse/SO, but I am not.”

    My X would never permit that. Instead, he claimed he had an affair with gradwhore because he thought *I* didn’t love him. Subtle difference, but notice it throws ALL the blame on me–I was deficient in my love, therefore he was justified in seeking that love elsewhere.

    Have to admire him for his complete and total blameshift, which it has taken me 3 years to detect. I guess if he was going to be a manipulative ass, might as well be masterful at it.

    • Same with my xhole. “I didn’t think you loved me anymore” was justification for throwing away 30+ years.

      But what that sentence really meant was…”you aren’t doing a good job of worshiping me and I need someone to feed my ego.”

      All those years, memories, and the future be damned. Fuckwit!!!

      • My ex-boyfriend on first discard said, ‘I miss bein married (but don’t want to be married to you).’ and ‘Don’t you want to date other people?’ (Projection much?) No, when I tell my partner so live him, I mean that I romantically love him and love him for his (perceived) ‘goodness.’

    • I got I didn’t think you wanted me anymore. I think this was him projecting his feeling towards me but also it was him saying I didn’t pay enough attention to him. Of course it’s my fault for putting our 2 year old ‘before’ him.

  • “We all know grown up love means not feeling “in love” all the livelong day. There’s no butterflies when you’re doing taxes, or visiting the in-laws, or cleaning up after a kid’s stomach flu.” News to ex.

    I got “I love you but I am just not passionate about you”. He wanted those butterflies and thinks it’s not really love without them.

    • My fuckwit: doing taxes- nope, couldn’t be bothered. Visiting inlaws- held his nose and rolled his eyes. Cleaning up after kid’s stomach flu-that is the wife appliance’s job.

      Even though I allowed him to be a child and not do the necessary adulting he was still just oh, so unsatisfied with his life. Such a baby.

      The first time he said ILYBWINILWY with OW#1 (escalated to, “I don’t think I EVER loved you”) I should have believed him. Instead I danced and “won.”

      9 years later I am sooooo wishing I would have kicked his ass out of my life and carried on without him. I will never allow myself to be abused like that again.

  • “I need to be in a relationship where I am fully loved and respected. You don’t love me the way I deserve to be loved. Buh-BYE.” That statement is so true. This is exactly how it went down with me. You could have written this entire article about him and me.

  • Before I uncovered the extent of his lies, I got, “There’s a part of me that will always love you.”

    As God as my witness, my mind immediately went to the picture of the cow at the butcher that shows where all the different parts of beef come from. Weird, I know. But trauma brings your mind to bizarre places.

    Now I know that the “part of [him] that [would] always love me” was contingent on me continuing to be a willing dupe. When I woke up and pushed back, his hatefulness came FULL FORCE. It was terrifying.

    I guarantee there is NO PART of him that loves me now. Still, it makes me happy that – from what the kids share after their visits – he’s regretting his now daily dose of ground chuck and hooves.

    🙂

  • I think what they mean is, “I’m supposed to love you, but I don’t.”

    Also, they have no idea what love is.

  • My cheater still lies about his indescretions. Still no name of affair partner(s), no time line, no honesty regarding why he crawled, correction; slithered back into our lives, like the snake that he is. He tried to pull the ILYBINILWY but only got to “I love you but…” before I cut him off to finish his rhetorical statement. He looked at me with bewilderment and tried to claim that I didn’t know what he was going to say… I didn’t know what he was thinking, and to always assume my assumptions are wrong, yada, yada… All this happening while I was pregnant and caring for our not yet two year old little boy. All the while, denying an affair and making me believe that I was just too horrible and angry to live with.
    They keep us hanging on with those words. They keep that carrot just out of reach, and if we are “lucky” enough to snatch that carrot, and ultimately win back the fucktard, we usually discover that the carrot we so longed for is nothing but a rubbery semblance of the root vegetable- it looks tasty, but it’s rotten to the core- bitter and unenjoyable.
    This is what marriage usually is once continued on with a cheater.
    I thought I won. For a moment. Now I know the only thing I “won” was constant rumination over the infidelity, who his affair partner might be, and when to expect the other shoe to drop (ie when he’ll cheat again).
    The signs are all there:
    Always gone, and when he’s home, he isn’t really home. He never has time for his family.
    He never asks about our day but always talks about his.
    His job is at risk, and he doesn’t even seem to care. He’s undermining his employers and has been warned about his behavior twice, now. If I say ANYTHING objective or showing concern, he treats me as if I’m the enemy. He asks me whose side I’m on, as if he were at war. I’m here aren’t I? After everything he’s done to me. I’m still here, constantly swinging from trying to work it out to trying to find a way out.
    Now he’s keeping his phone on him again (he was leaving it out before) and he goes through my phone whenever I’m in the other room. He interrogates me over any male “friend” I have on social media yet still refuses to answer any questions I have regarding his affair… With an unnamed co-worker HE STILL WORKS WITH. (Although, he’s never admitted it, but blew up about when asked in front of the marriage counselor he no longer sees with me, which kinda gave it away for both the mc and me).
    Twice he’s come home smelling of perfume. It was faint, but easily detectable since we use perfume and dye free detergent.
    He has bought me roses and a high end blender in two weeks time. Unheard of. Especially the roses… He a utilitarian.
    All of this could be nothing. He has a lot going on. Had he not betrayed me I would be more concerned than wary, more appreciative than suspicious.
    I hate this. I hate feeling like an unrelenting bitch. I want to enjoy the niceties without questioning the kindness.
    One last thing- he has made zero concessions. When he first left us, two years ago, I had conditions I needed him to meet (to establish boundaries) if he wanted to return-
    1. He not drink while at home
    2. He be transparent with our finances
    3. He seek individual counseling
    He literally have me the.middle finger and walked out.
    To this day, he has not attempted to meet any of these conditions. I, however have continued marriage counseling, begun psychotherapy, seen a psychiatrist to treat my depression and severe anxiety caused by all the trauma, and quit drinking as a motivator to encourage cheater to follow suit. (having two very small children, I didn’t drink much to begin with).
    Sigh. Take my life as a lesson: if you can get out do it. If you’re financially held hostage, squirrel away until you have enough to start a life without them. I am terrified to take the leap having absolutely no financial independence. I have to own my own responsibility in this. I let him have control. I trusted him with my life when I should have teuste that he sucks. All the signs were there from day one.
    As a friend once said to me: “I only saw assholes on TV until I met your husband”.

    • I hope you find a way to get out. There are others on here who were financially dependent and broke free. They can give you advice. You need to leave for the sake of your sanity.

  • Funny. I never considered the ILYBINILWY speach as a blame shift. But now that CL has pointed this out I totally agree. When my ExWhore gave me this line with the sad sausage eyes and all she immediately jumped to “what happened to you?”.

    Perfect intro to the pick me dance. How humiliating. Well fuck her. I don’t care anymore.

  • ILYBINILWY update: Spoiler Alert – this is basically a love letter to Tracy 😀

    A couple years ago when this article first ran, I hadn’t split from the ex yet. I found that post interesting, but not relevant to my life. Still, I tucked it away in the back of my mind, because it seemed like such an odd thing to say. I was on CL reading every article every day because most of the posts spoke to what I was experiencing day-to-day. This one stood out because it was so… different. Well, three weeks later, when the ex was driving back from what I now know was the Schmoopie’s in another state, I got this EXACT line, and all the surrounding stuff… almost verbatim! Fortunately we were on the phone, and I was in front of my computer. I didn’t react or give anything away; I just let the ex keep blathering. I know now it was a cue for me to start pick-me-dancing. But this was a game of AssholePoker – and when the ex played this combination of cards, what it meant was that they’d locked up the relationship with Schmoopie and they were looking to extract the last bit of value out of me before the discard.

    So [thanks to ChumpLady and ChumpNation!] I knew to sign into my online banking and started deleting automatic payments and payees. There were automatic check transactions coming out of my account every month I’d had no idea had been set up; it took 6 hours to track down and remove them all. I got done barely 30 minutes before ex got home and walked in the door. I said nothing. I knew ex had been starting to divert funds, change mail addresses to the other “new” addresss, and move things out thinking I didn’t notice. I noticed. I counted on the ex not paying much attention to finances (narcissists are consistently and reliably bad with money) to buy me time before the ex noticed those bills were no longer being covered. I figured this would a) save me money and b) accelerate how quickly ex would leave (why prolong the agony?).

    This worked like a voodoo charm. I cut off funding around end of September or beginning of October, ex dumped me on Xmas, publicly dumped me on FB the next Valentine’s Day, and final move out was beginning of March.

    Tracy saved me over $20,000 that year alone.

    That was just a couple of years ago.

    Had she not ridden through the night like a modern Paul Revere, on a web-based digital horse, screaming, THE NARCISSISTS ARE COMING! THE NARCISSISTS ARE COMING! THEY WILL SAY I LOVE YOU BUT I’M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU!!! I would have lost hundreds of thousands more dollars.

    Since then, the ex has stolen the tax return money of their youngest child, gone through their parents’ life savings, and who knows how much of the Schmoopie’s money.

    Tracy has saved my life, my sanity, and my ability to retire [eventually]. No thank you can ever be enough, so for the rest of my life, I’m going to try to do whatever I can to pay it forward. Maybe others won’t have to suffer the way I did.

    • Aww, thank you very much. A big round of applause for CN — because I’m just one voice, and it’s EVERYONE’s experience — it’s hundreds of thousands of people getting the exact. same. shit. that underscores my warning. (LOL at Paul Revere!)

      And take a bow for yourself. It’s one thing to hear the advice from those who have BTDT — it’s another thing altogether to take it.

      I love to hear stories like this. That’s why this site is here — so everyone’s learning curve is a LOT shorter, and the pain is lessened, and the losses are few.

      Thank you!

  • Naw, exasshole never said ILYBNILWY. Once early on when we went to an MC he said; “I never loved you, I just needed a safe place to live”.

    He told me he didn’t mean it within a few hours, that he really loved me… The fact is, that was one of the first times that he told the truth. Too bad I believed his ‘take back’, I could have been gone much sooner.

    My favorite lie was when I had the PO in place after he pulled a gun and he called: “if I wanted to kill you I would have, I didn’t even need a gun, I could have used a knife from the kitchen”. Yeah, no – he wanted to kill me, he just realized that if he did he would go to jail, and he couldn’t handle that. When I told him I didn’t give a shit, the PO stayed and we were getting a divorce he said “I will destroy you” – now that was his truth right there. He didn’t manage to do that.

    I’m here because this week I heard he has a pacemaker, he has a pancreatic stone that is inoperable and he just had a stroke bad enough he can’t drive. Just maybe, it’s not only the good who die young…

  • Right before I filed, the glorious Miss Skankalot and I were discussing love (honestly I was bored so I thought I’d watch the trainwreck), at some point she sniffled, “I know what love is” and I laughingly said, “awww, I know you pretend you do.” I could see she knew she was outed. There was nothing left to say on her part. I served my purpose and now, I had ceased all function for her. It was beautiful really.

  • I got… “I do still love you” a few weeks later that was downgraded to “I do still care about you”. I ran it through my own UBT and it translated both as “I don’t give a flying fuck about you”

    The feelings mutual.

    • OMG, I got the “I do love you” or “I do still love you” all. the. damn. time. Too little, too late. I’m out.

  • I only wish I had found CL earlier and learned the translation of this before I had wasted what precious little time I did have! But I am glad she is here to guide the newbies so they can get away from the cheaters faster and gain the life of dignity they deserve.

  • Along with all the tired ILYBINILWY and similar lines cheaters all use, mine said, “I need a woman who is an extension of me.” When I told him that was creepy and narcissistic, he tried to back peddle, but that was really the truth. He never saw the OW as an actual person in her own right, and he never saw me that way, either. Or anyone else, for that matter.

  • One of your best. This was so good. Totally relatable. At the time he made me cry but today this made me laugh. They are such a joke. Thank you!

  • Amen!! I got the “I’ll always love you because you’re the mother of my children, but I’m not IN love with you” speech. Then he proceeded to shut off our utilities, stopped making the house payment, withheld all financial support (I work part time). Because he’s soooooooooo concerned about his children, but they don’t need heat, light or food!
    Interesting to think about how this translates to the kids as well. “You wouldn’t impose consequences on someone who loves you, would you?” He’s doing this to them. He’s completely off the hook in any actions whatsoever because he LOVES THEM!!!! “sorry I can’t (insert excuse here) but I LOVE YOU!!”

    • Omg triumphafterterror. I had to re read your post several times i thought id posted and forgotten. Every detail the same EXACTLY . Told the kids he loved them soooo much and proceeded to make us all homeless….at christmas. I had the bank calling with foreclosure on the cards . He did not care. Let him know DD was suicidal. …did not care. I get so much comfort from these posts as i used to feel so alone and no one would believe how horrific he was being because public image was everything to him. Now i know it is pathalogical and predictable. Just wow.

  • I wish I had known about this blog a little over 2 years ago. I got the ILYBINILWY speech, not even fathoming he was cheating. I was the terrible wife who got fat and abandoned him 🤢 🤮

    I was so broken and unknowingly codependent at that time, I wondered where I went wrong! How could I have let this happen?! 🤢🤮

    Healthier and smarter now, I cannot believe how I took that shit. I wasn’t a doormat either. But I had other issues not identified That facilitated my poor decisions about me.

    However, I can actually relate to the ILYBINILWY sentiments. That’s how I feel about my husband now, and I’m not even trying to be in another relationship right now (in other words, not a cheater). I do not love him anymore in a way that a wife would love a husband. I have love for him like a distant family member. We were together 25 years since high school, built a life together, had kids and it wasn’t all bad all the time. Sure, I am not happy with him, but that doesn’t change I still have a distant love for him. I in no way shape or form want to be his friend or help him, but I also am not hoping to see him get smashed by a Mac truck or other devastation. So, I feel like I could say the ILYBINILWY and actually mean it to describe my feelings at this point in time. While I agree this phrase is a huge red flag when said to a spouse out of nowhere, I think there are situations (like mine) where it can be a reflection of my actual feelings.

  • This article was so dead-on (was someone in my head thinking the same?). Not sure what our exes thought, but did they assume that everyday should have been a happy scene out of the movie Grease or something? There are good days & bad days, but not once did I have the heart or morals to consider any of them a “Hall-Pass Day” to get away w/cheating. I can only imagine: what’s she gonna say to the OM after she realizes that not everyday is a “romantic day”??? #LMAO #youlosteverything #dontletthedoorhityouonthewaytoHell

  • I avoided reading Chump Lady on Thursday so I missed this excellent blog. The Thursday after the super bowl will always be a difficult day if I stay with my cheater. 2 years ago on the Thursday after the super bowl my cheater away on business trip had live mutual masturbation skype sex with one of her online affair partners in her hotel room after she told me on my son good night on the phone and that she loved and missed us.. In my gut I do believe that he was there, he only lived 100 miles away from her hotel and they have been sexting for 2-3 months. Just before she left she had herself waxed and she has never done that before in the 20 years I have been with her. She didn’t tell me she was having it done. She says she did it to look good on the webcam, then she said she did it because she got a coupon for the waxing, then she said she just wanted to try it. Hmmm you decide to get a waxing just before you leave on a business trip where your affair partner only lives 100 miles away?

    Anyway I missed this article because I didn’t want to read about infidelity on that day, it was tough enough just seeing her.

    All chumps have probably been giving this bullshit line, “I love you but I’m not in love with you” garbage. I got it from my cheater. But now she does love me, and is so very sorry. PUKE PUKE PUKE bullshit bullshit bullshit.

    The Urban Dictionary defines this bullshit phrase so accurately: People who use this overused cliche usually suffer from a combination of schizotypal disorder and sociopathy. A catch-all phrase when the person doing the dumping knows there is no reason for the relationship to end, other than for purely selfish reasons of wanting to pursue sexual relations with other individuals outside of the current relationship.

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