Dear Chump Lady,
From the time I caught them coming out of Motel 6 holding hands and reeking of sex… (The affair partner tells they’re “just friends.” I respond — do you fuck all your friends? In her defense, she probably does…) Anyway, back to the cheater…. from Motel 6 day to just last week, he constantly comes crying to me telling me: “I love you, I miss you, I never ‘really loved her’— I couldn’t because I only love you, I want to grow old with you, and I want to ‘start over’ —just you and me. You’re the best thing that happened to me, I will do anything, I will go to therapy, I will leave her and give you all my account information…..”
I reply, “Okay, truly leave her and get into therapy. We’ll go from there.” He never does either one and it starts all over again, usually with me once again going No Contact. In the beginning I believed him and had hope, but then read your “bible” on leaving a cheater and learned different. I filed for divorce right after I read the book.
I have now heard his empty promises at least 20 to 30 times either via text, email, or (when I have him blocked) with him coming to the house, bawling his eyes. He even chased me down on my way to work. This past Thursday, he got into a fight with her due to his feelings for me and walked out on her. Then came crying to me staying that he can’t let me go. However, every time he makes his declarations of love for me, about 6-12 hours later, I discover he’s back at her place or I see he or she have put a heart icon post on a recent Facebook image.
Seriously, this seems BEYOND kibbles! Is it normal? Is it a form of narcissism? I know how to deal with it, just ignore him and keep putting it back on him (yes, come home, but you need to leave her/get into therapy…which he’ll never do), I just want to know what I am dealing with. Mostly so I can avoid this kind of person in the future!! Please help!!
It was precisely by experiencing this exact same phenomenon that I discovered this principle of infidelity physics — The Unified Theory of Cake.
Cake eating is the preferred Nirvanic state of the unrepentant cheater. It’s the situation in which the cheater has the affair partner (AP) and the spouse. (“Having your cake and eating it too.”) In fact, cake is a preferred lifestyle for many.
Ideally, the spouse is unaware of the AP, because that means the cheater has unfettered access to cake. After discovery, however, many cheaters will go to tremendous lengths to maintain cake. Cake eating is confusing to chumps. Chumps tend to think of affairs as competitions – it’s me or him! Or what does she have that I don’t have? Chumps see marriage through their own lens, of monogamy and commitment to one person. If they are not committed to me, a chump thinks, then they’re for the AP. So who’s it gonna be?
Cake eaters do nothing to dissuade a distraught chump from this line of thinking. They would prefer a competition in which they are the center of the drama — all attention is on them! And a catfight ensues over their fabulousness. Cheaters would prefer you not discover their cheating, but if it must be revealed, this is how they’d like to see it play out. You try harder to win them back and maybe if you’re lucky, they’ll choose you! (See “The Humiliating Dance of ‘Pick Me’!”)
The goal of cake is not to choose. Chumps often go painful round after painful round as the cheater “commits” to the marriage and then retreats. Swears to be faithful to the spouse, and then is caught again with the AP. Makes promises to both the chump (and the AP), and breaks them. The cheater is NOT trying to decide between two people – the cheater is trying to maintain cake. Cake eaters are NOT confused. They are deliberately trying to maintain an unfair situation at your expense.
Your husband isn’t confused (and neither was mine) — he’s manipulating you (dial set at Sad Sausage) to return to cake. He wants the power of having you both with zero consequences. And if he can’t have that? The Great Big Baby Man is going to cry.
How attractive, right? Tell him to take his snotty, hyperventilating drama queen self back to Schmoopie. Maybe she has a hanky in her big Mommy purse.
You’re making the very common chump mistake of thinking his tears are for you, or your shared history, or your children — they’re not. They’re for himself. How do I know? By paying attention to his actions. The minute cake is secure (you’re back! trying again!), he’s reunited with his Schmoopie shoring up kibbles on that side.
Here is your mistake:
I have now heard his empty promises at least 20 to 30 times either via text, email, or (when I have him blocked) with him coming to the house, bawling his eyes.
It should not take you 20 (or 30!) times to hear an empty promise. It should take you two, three times tops to realize that this person’s words are NOT aligning with their actions. Empty promises mean he cannot be relied upon. Empty promises mean you need to start doing for yourself and take this person out of the equation. Twenty, thirty empty promises means you are not controlling YOU here.
At some level do you like the attention? The perceived shift in power? (Ha! Now HE is begging for ME! I WIN THE PICK ME DANCE!) Is it another hit on the hopium pipe?
I know how to deal with it, just ignore him and keep putting it back on him (yes, come home, but you need to leave her/get into therapy…which he’ll never do)
Yes, COME HOME? WTF?
No, you don’t have a conversation about this, (i.e., “put it back on him”) — NO, you let your ACTIONS do the talking for you. File for divorce and go NO CONTACT. He can convey his regrets to your attorney.
His actions have been sending you a very clear message you’ve had a hard time understanding — his actions say CAKE, CAKE, CAKE #yourenotthebossofme
Your actions — listening to his bawling, still holding out therapy and second/15th chances and homecomings — while simultaneously hiring a divorce lawyer — mean you are sending him a mixed message.
I want you! I’m going to leave you if you don’t shape up! Watch me! Watch me hire that attorney! Are you scared? Where’s your heart-shaped emoji NOW motherfucker?
STOP IT. Put down the pipe, and get serious about no contact. Your mixed message is just one message to him — CAKE LIVES.
I just want to know what I am dealing with. Mostly so I can avoid this kind of person in the future!!
You’re dealing with a cake eater. They exist in all walks of life. You can’t avoid them, you can only control YOU. You get very clear on who you are and what you will and will not tolerate in relationships. Then your enforce your boundaries.
He won’t stop being a fuck up and disrespecting you with his affair. Ergo, you must end it. Because there’s nothing to work with.
I guarantee you his tears will stop the minute your hopium-laced mixed messages stop. Once that divorce is rolling, the channel will flip to rage.
But you can’t hear his shrieks, because you’re no contact. Got it?