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Dear Chump Lady, He keeps returning and crying

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!!

sky_ryder

Dear Sky_Ryder,

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?

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Yep this was true for me. I gave him one chance and he fucked it up then went to divorce. Hurt like hell but needed to stand up for me and to model for my sons that this behavior is unacceptable. This legacy cannot be in their dictionary. Now the asshole is messing with them when ever OW breaks up he comes running looking for sympathy saying how much he misses his family and how sad he is I hate him. They’ve got this though and great for them! Success! Still makes me sad for them that they have a schmuck for a dad but happy they are not buying into his shit.

    • It’s so bizarre and selfish of the cheater but indeed I have seen this as well. In those moments when cheater wife realizes how much she messed up her life she manipulates our daughter and seeks pity from her. And if she doesn’t receive it she rages.

    • Another CL point of wisdom. What he wants isn’t important. What do you want and deserve? I suspect you want more than his actions offer.

  • Don’t afford him the opportunity to make you Plan B. Put that cheating asshole in your rear view mirror and keep going. Schmoopie can wipe his tears along with his butt…that’s all she’s probably good for anyway…having such high moral character and all to sleep with a married man.

  • I dealt with this same horseshit for a year…before, during, and after my divorce. She was everywhere.

    I finally left town and moved 2 hours to get away. No job, no money, no place to live except the backseat of my car. I am a planner and this was unnerving and scared me to death. But I knew it was safer and better than the alternative.

    Best decision I ever made. Much like the Tortise…..slowly and steadily I am winning the race.

    • More power to you, SuperDuperChump! That was brave and I predict you will continue to rebuild and go on to an absolutely fabulous cheater-free life!

      I moved an hour away to get away. No job, as I worked for the same company in the same building as both of the cheaters and I didn’t want to run into either one of them while healing. It’s cost me a lot of lost opportunities as my town is basically a one-employer town, but the freedom from the disordered was worth it.

      Keep on being mighty! Best wishes for an awesome future.

      • I am currently looking to leave the area too. Some of it is him trying to get cake, but a lot is to get a fresh start… even want to change my name—the AP and I share the same first name, and get this, the husbands have the same name a well! I know, God is cruel.

        Lately I only find peace when ever I go away for an extended period of time. He has clients in the neighborhood, so I really want to leave before the landscaping season starts up again. I just can’t bare the thought of coming home and seeing him.

        • Oh, I wish you all the best trying to relocate. It really does seem like the path to peace and healing. New routines, new views, reduced risk of seeing them around. Good luck!

          • Same here on the same first name as Schmoopie. That’s a whole special kind of feeling replaced, isn’t it?

  • When you’re still worrying about his actions you’re not actually working on your healing. This is something I have to learn and keep top of mind.

    • Yes x1000!!!! This is why I really did not start deeply feeling peace until after the divorce was final.

    • Creativrational — tell us what works for you? I think about him and what he did W-A-Y too much. I have accepted it all, and truly believe I am better off without him, but it’s still in my mind all the time. Being around friends helps but the rest of the time it’s a fairly incessant loop. I live alone, children are grown, and distractions are ….. distracting. Which helps but I am looking for release rather than reprieve. Haven’t found it yet.

      • Lemonbirch- I think the looping thoughts are normal and if you’re like how I was, you might find yourself in this pattern of trying to stop the thoughts which is kind of like trying to stop thinking of a pink elephant if I tell you to not to think about one. It’s also kind of like an itch, the thoughts, and catching yourself in the thought loop is like becoming aware you’re scratching again. For me its effective to say each time, “there goes the story, how do I feel and where in my body am I feeling it?” and then I just stay with the feeling until it passed and boy were those some angry and hurt feelings. I learned this from meditation and for me short circuits the story which is such a blessed relief and it places the focus where it belongs- on ourselves. It was very hard for me to do this at first because the thought loop seems to be almost like a place where I was getting a reward but then I realized the real reward was paying attention to myself. I think that’s at the core of loving yourself – paying attention to you.

      • Meditation practice is the place I’ve found increasing peace of mind. I also find a lot of support in a twelve step program, where the focus is in self-healing, growth and sanity. You can find both of these things online if not possible to do in person. Hug!

        • Chumpster in charge, I’m a long time 12-Stepper, too. Meditation has become my medication, too, especially lately. It helps with the crazy, the boundary violations, the emotional roller coasternlike few other things do. Great suggestion!
          Cleopatra – that’s some critical insight, there. I’ve had ongoing health problems since about 3 months after Dday (last June) and it is CLEARLY related to f*wit stressors! Good points and wonderful advice! I think I’ll take it.

          • Creativrational: I too still have too many triggers and find myself going “there”. To me sleeping alone is the worst. I stay up all night because I hate going to bed. All that being said, I discovered “tapping”— a technique that is sorta like mediation but more active. Look it up, it’s everywhere now. I find if I do it before getting to the edge, it immediately calms me and makes me focus on me. I also heard that you get what you focus on, so I am trying to focus on ME and the POSITIVE.

            • I am totally that person often, I was far far worse a year ago, and I don’t know exactly what helped me move on aside from me having a hard job and incredible co workers. They covered for me and worked with me to help me concentrate on other stuff and slowly I allowed myself to concentrate on work and me. as for batting around the house at all hours… set alarms on your phone. At 8, turn off alllll electronics. Go have a bath or read. No fibbing to yourself. At 9, have a warm non caffeine drink. At 10, go to bed, put on some good essential oils for calming (cedarowood/lavender/vetiver) and make it a ritual. Make going to bed about following through on those chores. Make sure you have a sleep mask that isn’t tight but ensures alllll things stay dark. Your brain is going to want to stay awake because panic. But you’re following your steps. That’s what I did and whenever stuff gets crazy it helps me start to teach myself to sleep again. I still sleep bad because I just do. But this helps. Screens are the enemy, your brain wants to find reasons to keep you awake. 8,9,10, bed. Good luck? Sorry, I’m no pro, this is my best habit.

            • I do tapping, too, sky_ryder! I teach it to my counseling clients for all sorts things – anxiety, grief, anger. For myself, it helps with my asthma attacks and anxiety.
              Easy to learn and I usually feel even better than before I tap. A friend of mine has a great YouTube video tbat teaches tapping, search “Tap Yourself Free” & Joanna and friends will show you how.

      • I’m not Creativrational, but it only takes me having to think of my wife having sex with the other man to leave behind any “romantic” notions that she didn’t gut me and leave me for another. It’s an effective buzzkill.

        I think the key to growing through it (I don’t think there will ever really be healing) is just recognizing when you’ve entered the loop. That’s most of the battle. When you see yourself there, give it the Tomahawk chop move…and I mean physically make the tomahawk chop move with your arm. It will physically interrupt the destructive thought pattern. Say “I’m not going there today.” And after you’ve done it a few times, you’ll begin to recognize the loop more quickly and can stop it before it takes over large swaths of time and energy, time and energy which can be directed to small steps to building the foundation of a new way and a new, though altered, life. In time, those small steps will add up to the point where you can look back and not see over that old horizon.

        Blessings!

      • Not a pro. I’m still very very behind on this. I was stating this as a fact I use to gauge if it’s worth picking that scab, not as something I have managed to triumph over. I just know that when I focus on getting me to ok, I always stop worrying about his stuff. And that if I’m worrying about him and his actions, what they mean, what I want from them, all that, I spiral back into the nervous panic that had me basically near a breakdown. It’s a part of checking my reality: am I worrying about what I need? Then I’m doing good for me. Worrying about his stuff almost always means I am giving up something I need. Time, energy, conscious thought, I need all that for my healing.

      • I do yoga every morning. I try to pray, too… whatever. I’m not even close to ok. My statement wasn’t advise it was noticing similar patterns. I focus on others when I should deal with me. Much love, and thank you for asking because I love the suggested stuff below.

  • The best place to drop them off and file is with a motel 6 kinda slut. It’s a win for the chump; instant karma is glorious.

    Go ahead and file. He has no self respect and therefore has nothing to offer anyone. I dropped the Limited off with a HOJO classless slunt. In four years time I’m living better and he’s still dumpster diving while sending her to therapy.

    Let this be the dropping off point. He found his equal.

  • Your intellectual side seems to have figured him out. Your survival instinct knows what to do. But your emotional equilibrium may take a while to recalibrate. Don’t wait until your feelings settle down because with him stirring them up constantly they aren’t going to. Get out of there now, later after being away from the drama you will have loud agreement from all parts of yourself that he was bad news for you. Sometimes you have to just point your shoes in the right direction and start taking little steps out. Recognize that your reality has probably been under extreme attack by this practiced disordered person long before this one event. Your poor brain is battered and dazed by his frequent 180s and lies! Don’t try to figure it out now, just get yourself to safety. Later, time and nature can work their magic to make you whole and strong.

    • Thanks Cupcake, I know you were writing this for Sky_Ryder, but I needed to hear it. My emotions are still going through all sorts of changes even though my mind is saying RUN.

      • I am in exactly the same place. My mind saying run for the hills and I have retained at attorney while my emotions won’t let me really really and finally pull the plug even though I know there is nothing he can do do erase and make up for 2+ years of physical cheating (that I know of) and many more of emotional cheating during our 11 yr marriage. How do I just say for the 3rd time I want the divorce and there is NOTHING you can do to change my mind, no point in trying, I am OUT! Every time he asks are you there I leave him with a sense there is a 1% chance.

    • So so so true — March 30th will be one year since she walked out.
      I was a mess but then I met my girlfriend and she introduced me to Chump Lady and it’s exponentially better now.
      They all play the same game. I am no contact with her except trying to finalize a divorce, the last time I actually talked to her I thought she was going to discuss the divorce instead she started telling me what a great husband I had been & just to talk cuz she wanted to hear my voice.
      Her boyfriend apparently had been out plowing snow for 14 hours so she was lonely. Lol. Disordered much?
      Being able to see clearly now I so regret not leaving her back in 2005 when she picked up the first bottle or 2010 when she had her first affair I truly think I hurt my kids by staying when that was one of main reasons to try and “keep the family together”.
      Splitting the family up ultimately I think helps the children when you’re with a disordered person.
      It’s so hard to see that especially when you’re with somebody for a long long time and after 25 years I was totally bamboozled.
      If your kids are telling you to kick them out, as mine were, listen to them– listen to them.

    • I have filed, but am still living with STBX. I really needed to hear this today. Sometimes I’m clear headed and full of peace, and other times… not particularly.

    • Yes, I call this “the frog in boiling water.” The water just slowly gets hotter and hotter and you don’t realize it until you jump out. That’s why No Contact is so imperative to solidifying that boundary, clearing your mind, and moving on towards healing. Looking back, you will see what a mess you were in. It truly is a mind fuck. I just celebrated 4 years of NC in February. Meh is bliss!

  • “I will … give you all my account information…..”

    UBT: “When things have died down, I will create new accounts in different places using different names and passwords. Then, when you catch me yet again later on, I’ll be able to remind you that I didn’t lie, that I did what I said I was going to do.”

    • UBT: “I’ve learned how to use cheese wraps so there’s no trace of anything that I’m doing” #You’reNotTheBossOfMe

    • UBT: “I’ve learned how to use cheater apps so there’s no trace of anything that I’m doing” #You’reNotTheBossOfMe

          • Wow, I am such a trusting fool! I never even thought of that! Though, I am hoping my detective side would have kicked-in and I would have thought of it. So glad I don’t have to go through that!

            • Sky_ryder,
              Chief Detective on the marriage police squad is no way to go through life. Been there, done that. I love the validation that I’m smarter than he (Not a stretch, but I need all the positives I can find), but it’s a waste of perfectly good energy that I could be using to build my happy, cheater-free life!

      • I think “cheese wraps” was great, MC99. Seems to fit in this situation! Sometimes auto-correct is, well, correct!

        Gave me a chuckle, anyway

        Love all ya all as we all ForgeOn

      • I gave that some thought. Like, taking the plastic film off of processed slices to wrap around the phone? What?

        • Kinda like using whatever you can find when rubber gloves aren’t available.

          Cheese wraps also leave no fingerprints, but they have the added bonus of leaving a greasy mess as a diversion.

  • Trying to gain a new life while negotiating with a cheater about reconciliation is like trying to get over food poisoning while negotiation with a rotten prawn in your belly about whether you’ll throw up. As long as you try to reason with the foetid lump, it continues to leach toxins into your system. It’s not a cycle that can lead anywhere healthy or happy. And yes, your STBX is a foetid lump.

    Half measures accomplish nothing. The sooner you accept what’s required—the whole of it—the sooner true healing can begin. Get him out if your life, now. The cure is traumatic, but decisive.

    • Well said.

      “Traumatic, but decisive.”

      Place a bundle of dynamite, blow up the dam, and get the river flowing again. Chunks of concrete will land everywhere on everything, but you can gradually clean it up over time.

      • Wow, nomar. I love your post! Half measures availed me nothing until I could finally gove NC the true effort it deserved. It. Is. The. Key. To. FREEDOM.
        Block him, stop listening to him, lock the doors (change the locks if you haven’t yet). NC is the path to sanity, serenity, and peace.

        • You all absolutely correct. Unfortunately the NC is hard for me too, it’s like getting off an addictive drug. But I am staying strong. Hoping to see that light at the tunnel of peace.

          • I wrote below about this sky_ryder. When he flips to the anger channel, it gets alot easier to go NC…in fact it can get quite scary so you will be going to great lengths to avoid him (if you’re anything like me), especially with your ex’s track record of harassment. Please be prepared.

          • Sky_ryder,
            That’s exactly what it was like for me: addiction…before NC took, I would send him texts trying to unravel his skein of fuckedupness. I thought if I just understood, or if I thought he really loved me, or if I knew what he was thinking about me while he was having his 3-year (cough, cough) “EA”, then I could find some peace. Alas, his answers were pathetic & self-serving, nonsensical, ludicrous at times. There was no peace there.

            What I have learned since is that I was “pain shopping” – seeking something that didn’t exist (unicorn!!), and there was something in it for me. Not something healthy, but my own search for where I was in his disordered head. Ugh. What became crystal clear to me was, after 30 years of marriage, leading him into recovery from alcoholism (he followed me), breaking generations of active addiction, having 2 children, losing 2 other children, being there for him, saving his life x3…he just didn’t think about me…AT ALL. That was enough. Once I saw that – he even said it – it was much easier to cut the ties. I’m still grieving, but it’s not him, it’s what I thought I had, who I thought he was, who I thought I was with him.

            I DO have someone now I can rely on completely. It’s ME. I was doing the best I could w this jerk. I didn’t cheat. I was all in. And as I work on those things in me that stayed w his sick ass for so long, I KNOW I WON’T CHEAT ON. ME. My new commitment is to honor my wonderful self and allow no one else to ever treat me the way I tolerated him. This cuts through the sad pain very nicely. Hope this helps you, sky_ryder.

            • ChumpDiva: It does help. I too am working on myself and giving myself everyday reminders to be good to me. Focus on ME. Some days are more productive than others. I think the main thing now is to stop focusing on him/them and what they are doing. I know that keeps the pain alive. I am waiting for the day where I can look back and say, “wait, I didn’t think about him yesterday!”

          • sky_rider… it IS an addictive drug.

            Our bodies get used to the hormones of suffering at an unconscious, physiological level. Trauma bonding, peptides, something something.

            Sounds kind of hokey, but what is helping me is to just carefully evaluate my emotions in the context of whatever STBX is doing. Observe… do not absorb. Observe… do not absorb.

            Feeling peaceful actually takes getting used to.

            • Thatisnotathing….
              I LOVE observe…do not absorb.
              Brilliant, chère!
              Sending all good things your way, t.

    • +1 what nomar says

      You don’t believe me now but life is better on the other side. It’s so much better when you’re no longer swimming in the sea of disorder. Things make sense. You can heal. Your life becomes your own and you find peace.

      Decide once and for all that you are not going to be the hypotenuse in this triangle. File. Enact consequences. Go No Contact, the path to the truth and the light. Shut the door on the idea of him ever coming home again and be free!

      Life is better on the other side. Come to the other side.

        • It could take 6 months. It could take a couple years. Just get busy having a cheater-free, peaceful, productive, and wonderful life. That Tuesday will come and go without you barely even noticing. That’s how you’ll know you’re at Meh.

      • Read ALL of the comments from March 2 about “How is Your Life Better Without a Cheater?” Every comment applies to your situation, but the bottom line is that none of us can be our best selves tethered to a lying, cheating dbag. Same for you. Let that ho have him and free yourself. Everything better about life awaits.

      • I love your rotten food analogy! I have let something going to rot sit in the fridge thinking “maybe I could salvage part of it and cook something new” or “if I open the container it will smell, so I will just leave it along for now” or “I hate that I wasted that–I’m too angry at myself to deal with it now.” Much the same could be said of my marriage!

      • And its spelling, too: “Foetid!” Yes, lemonbirch!

        I love our delicious cheater adjectives (along with a few nouns). I submit, for your edification:
        Banal
        Insignificant
        Obtuse
        Petty
        Solipsistic
        Inane
        Objectifying
        Materialistic
        Dim-witted
        Masturbatory
        Inconsequential
        Disordered
        Humanoid
        Insipid
        Self-congratulatory
        Demeaning
        Bottom-feeding
        Shallow
        Hollow
        Twisted
        Sick
        Manipulative
        Debased
        Degraded
        Distracted
        Disgusting
        Cliché
        Pathetic
        Deceptive
        Festering
        Deluded
        Pod-people
        Downwardly-mobile
        Gutter
        Syphilitic
        Soul-deficient
        Disingenuous
        Devoid of empathy

        Come along, CN, let’s inventory their foetid essences here. It’s fun! Feels good!

  • I have known couples, that the cheating partner goes back and forth, to the spouse, and the affair person, this personally is not good for your mental health, or definitely if there are children involved. Warning there could be sti”s involved. It only takes once to get hiv as well. Incidentally my ex asked me to share him, unfortunately he had a sti, he called her a slag, but what does that make him. If he slags her off, what does that make him. Remember she will give him a easier life, my exs affair partner wasn’t entitled to an opinion. She actually thinks he’s wonderful. Some people are just deluded

  • The sad sausage routine continues because you are still listening to him whining and crying. He still thinks there is a chance you will cave and let him “come home”. Get moving on the divorce so that when he finally realizes you are serious, you will have things started when the channel flips to rage. And it will with a force you never would have expected. Trying to divorce a narcissist who is set on rage is the most unpleasant experience you will ever have. The only positive that comes out of that rage is that you finally get to see him for who he really is. And when that happens, it suddenly becomes easier to detach. Good luck. And go hard core no contact.

  • This is EXACTLY what happened to me! I re-read those parts of the book about not listening to their words and only paying attention to their actions and about filing for divorce. Then, I did both and left my cheater and gained a life!!!! My heart STILL does not understand cake, but now I know it when I see it. It is the ultimate entitlement at everybody else’s expense.

    • This>>> “My heart STILL does not understand cake, but now I know it when I see it. It is the ultimate entitlement at everybody else’s expense.”

      WW has been gone/separated & living with Schmoopie for almost 6 months. I’ve maintained NC for over a month now. There are fleeting moments of headspace peace until she lands an unannounced visit to me. Gray Rock 180. Yesterday she materialized as I came out of the shower in all my glory (I’ve lost 65# and have toned up considerably). The look and impact on her were priceless. (wee bit o karma but no kibbles here). She exited rather quickly after that. I had somewhere to be with a more caring group of homosapiens.

      She was full, unfettered access to Wonderful Cake now WITH MY BLESSINGS. Run Girl!! GO, AND Find Yourself!! I’m FINDING ME. (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y8GOjjMnhAg). <<<—- cut and paste to have a listen. It’s uplifting for this chump.

      I don’t think I’ll see the rage channel from mine though. The reptilian transformation is complete. Reptiles are the definition of cold blooded BTW. I’m shooting for the cleanest divorce possible. We both sign the papers and walk away amicably NO FAULT. Material things are just not worth one’s self respect and sanity. Surely goodness will follow me all the days of my life. The book says so.

      • How on earth did this apparition materialize as you got out of the shower? Or was this just a hypothetical? Inquiring minds want to know–shudder–but the result was good!

  • Start watching all the videos you can on narcissism, and read, read, read! One of the most Informative videos that I think will help you, is called torture by triangulation! Excellent!

    And I believe that sometimes they DO want you to know, or at least strongly suspect! Kibbles. Power and kibbles!

    I think that video was made by Imaginary Gallery. The guy wears make up and a wig in parts mimicking the narcopath, but don’t let him scare you! Just listen o what he says.

    And kick your cheater to the curb!

  • It was ironically helpful to me to realize I was incredibly unimportant to Cold Slab O’Meat. After years of being the Big Pedestal Shit, suddenly I was about as important as a couple loose Ikea screws in a random cello bag.

    All the things he loved about me he now hated and were REASONS WHY his dick went a divining for fresher waters. Innocent expressions of self were now disgusting faux pas. My achievements were vulgar, my Care was meddlesome, my support was an attempt to control.

    Buddy, if you’ve managed to text and call the Howorker 5K times in a month and impregnate her under my nose, I need to work on my Iron Grip, because that’s not controlling at ALL.

    I am glad I gave up the Pick Me Dance fairly early on. I can’t say that I’m healed completely. I still am terrified to trust anyone, and more time has passed since the marriage than the marriage lasted.

    But time also reveals that the Cake Eater MO never changes. Because I shut that shit down, he had a Third for His Triangulation Pleasure set up within days of our divorce. How he managed to get a third woman on the Hook changing diapers for another woman’s Adultery Baby while being cheated on by Cold Slab and The Sluterus is pretty fucking amazing. It was clearly beyond my Ken and nothing personal. Because I was just an errant Lego Piece on the carpet of life. Nothing is personal with cheaters. Nothing is intimate unless it can be used later to shame. Nothing is permanent unless it’s a supply of money and excitement. Nothing is deep to them but the depths they will sink to deceive. Nothing is sincerely shared but the joy they get making fun of feckless Chumps and Hypoteni.

    So it has been informative to see from afar that buying a Red Microwave wasn’t the horrible wrong thing I did with my own money. It would have been something else. It was just my time to be discarded. I do see now that I should have seen it coming, but I had no idea what I was dealing with. A complete sociopath and Fuck Up.

    • “This past Thursday, he got into a fight with her due to his feelings for me and walked out on her.”

      Really? Says who? Says him? Because it’d hardly be the first time he fed you a line of bullshit, would it?

        • No worries, it’s an excellent point. The LW seems a little high on the idea that the Cheater is simultaneouly pulling his dick out of the OW while defending her Wifely honor.

          That’s not the kind of knight I need, and that’s not the kind of sad crumbs I want out of life.

    • “Buddy, if you’ve managed to text and call the Howorker 5K times in a month and impregnate her under my nose, I need to work on my Iron Grip, because that’s not controlling at ALL.”

      1000000+ This!! My ex still accuses me of being a control freak. It just boggles my mind how he can even conclude that since I was so obviously NOT in control.

      • I got this response ab oit me being “controlling” too. And how he has to “walk on eggshells.” Etc. So clearly this was all my fault

        I said “if I am so effective at being controlling, how come we never do what I want?”

      • Yes same here. I hope he meets someone one day and falls in love and she breaks his fucking balls with her controlling ways. I was as liberal as they come, stupid me wasn’t bothered that he never proposed in 13 years. Serious bare raising needed over here.

    • “incredibly unimportant”. I thought I was important, I thought our sons were important. But we were not.
      That. Hurts. Very. Much.
      But it is the truth. And Truth frees.

      I feel free from being exploited, used and humiliated by all the metaphorical smelly goats sparkledick would put in the room to make him look good and me look bad.

      Found out sparkledick had been eating cake for at least twenty years. My guess is that the latest slut was putting a lot of pressure on him and and so the icing got spoiled and gave him a loose bowel.

    • THIS: “It was just my time to be discarded.”

      It was just that simple to Mr. Sparkles. Truly. There is such peace in acceptance that it was never about me.

    • “All the things he loved about me he now hated and were REASONS WHY his dick went a divining for fresher waters. Innocent expressions of self were now disgusting faux pas. My acheivements were vulgar, my Care was meddlesome, my support was an attempt to control.”
      ^^^^^
      THIS!!!!!!!

    • Ahhh… the case of the red microwave! How could one forget!

      I wish Tracy would do a cartoon and put a red microwave in the frame! It’s so emblematic!

  • Why, exactly, do you keep suggesting therapy? All the therapy in the world will not change his basic nature. If he was a reasonably healthy person he would have recognized he needed help and gone years ago. His new sweetie has lost her luster. Still, he is afraid to let go of her because you might not come through and then he would have no one, the poor sausage. You did not say how long this ridiculous show has been going on but it is taking up your valuable time that you won’t get back. Just accept the fact that he is about five years old emotionally and you don’t do babysitting. Tell him to take up bungee jumping. It will give him all the excitement he needs and you won’t have to get any more phone calls unless of course the cord breaks.

  • Fuckwit and I have a special needs son, so I have to speak with him on occasion about my son’s issues. He thinks these cordial conversations mean that I’m open to starting something with him, and the texts start up again “Good morning! It’s a beautiful day!” WTF! I have been divorced for 2 years and he will never stop this behavior. The man makes my skin crawl and he thinks he can charm his way back. He was one of those disgusting cake eating, serial cheaters (craigslist whores, women overseas, dating sites, etc). Who in their right mind would think they have a shot after all that gross behavior? These fuckwits do. 🤮

  • A couple of add-on thoughts to consider… Opinions for you to take or leave as you need to.

    1) His actions may be a stalling tactic to give him time to do bad things you aren’t noticing. It’s more common than you’d think. You will need to move quickly to avoid this possibility because time has already passed and who knows what he has done with it.

    2) He has demonstrated stalking behavior, and when he switches from self-pity and charm to rage, this will likely be a problem. You may need to make sure your home and money are secure and that he can’t access them (new locks, sticks in windows and patios, etc., and change every password there’s any chance he could know or guess). You will need to document any following, watching, excessive contact and/or contacting you when you have asked for no contact (like if you block him somewhere and he gets a new number or creates a new account to follow you), etc. and report it to your attorney (or the police if you are threatened or it gets creepy). Describe events in detail (who/where/what/when/how) but without emotion in your log. It is good to establish a fact-driven log of the pattern of behavior. It can help to write it outside the log first to get your thoughts clear and ordered, then transfer the specifics to the log. An attorney can help.

    Many people think their weepy, clingy, emotional ex won’t go in a weird direction because s/he seems so weak are first. The truth is that a healthy self-reliant person doesn’t act like he’s acting and it’s a harbinger of how he might deal with anger. Consider, how many times in your post-high-school life have you followed a person around and begged the person for anything?

    He is a wild card. My thought is, secure your borders and enforce your boundaries for your own well-being.

    • This. I was shocked when my “nice guy” ex turned on the anger. True colors come out and what not. And once you see it, you can never un-see. The writing is on the wall with this stalker type.

  • IMO, this is THE lesson of being a chump. And CL puts it in a clear, organized framework and thought process so you can understand it:

    Except for the few that outright abandon, cheaters DON’T want to choose between the AP and the spouse. They want both, and they’ll maintain that dynamic for as long as possible, using any means necessary. This is when you see what kind of person your spouse really is–not just that they cheat, but the house-of-cards lies and manipulation that they are willing to construct for to trick everyone else in their lives…the play-acting and self-pity, the blameshifting, the money spent on “marriage counseling” to put up a show of trying, let alone the money spent engaging in –and hiding–the affair itself.

    It’s ALL bullshit!! The purpose of it all is to plant red herrings, to keep you in your place and believing their lies.

    The sooner that you realize this, the sooner you can file for divorce and get on with your life!

    • Yes, it is a LOT of effort to live a double life. This concept escaped my true understanding for a long time. My ex was/is very charming and loved by all who know him. How could such a “good” person have done such a bad thing for so long? Cognitive dissonance on steroids. Even today, I sometimes have to remind myself of the massive effort and lies it took for him to essentially be married to two people for 30 years … I can only see the disorder by using my peripheral vision!!! So pay attention to how much energy this guy is putting into stalking, pleading, crying, promising … he is willing to put a lot of effort into cake but never into having an actual functioning marriage.

      • Dixie Chimp – you remind me of me. I thought everyone thought he was such a great guy, too. SPACKLE + IMAGE MANAGEMENT. He made an across-the-boards decision to hide his true self from everyone. But especially me, since I was a useful “dignity appliance:” Hardworking, loving, dedicated wife? Two awesome children? I was a great beard for his dark disorder. Losing both the triangle and his mask of respectability at the same time brought out the Eeyore of all sad sausages. Waaah. Now he’ll have to earn it like the rest of us with his cover blown & people knowing he’s a POS. And he doesn’t have dignity in him (affaired down, big-time!) to try to take it. If I hated it for him, I would, but I don’t. He effectively killed my devotion & love this time (#3, for you mathies).

        Since I tell people who ask where he is what happened, I’ve discovered there were some people he hadn’t snowed.THAT helps. They saw his anger, rage, chronic pouting unhappiness…all this while he was a cake-grubbing scum. So, if THAT doesn’tmake him happy….what’sfor dinner tonight? Cook don’t care about the disordered. Meh…I hear you coming, baby!

  • Dear Sky Rider, He comes back crying? Really? When he’s porking his affair partner, he’s certainly not thinking of you. So let him cry and stop falling for his lame manipulation tactics.

  • Please read up on the 3 channels: charm, self pity, rage. They use whichever one works for them and switch when that one doesn’t have the power to lure you. He’s checking in with you on occassion using the sad sausage routine as he wants to make sure he still has you hooked.

    You are his Plan B in life and he may want you to take center stage again if things don’t work out for him with his ho. He also like using you to triangulate so that ho dances extra pretty. He has a pregnant wife and family, she sure has to perform at Dancing With The Stars level to come above that.

    And when he comes to the realization that you are done with him, he will turn the rage on. He will use anything within his power to punish you including kids and finances. Please, please, please get all those ducks lined up and secured while he’s toying with you. You may have to wait a full year to divorce but please get that separation agreement signed (I’m not a lawyer, but in my state whatever you agreed to during this separation time cannot be changed once divorced).

    You must move quickly now, a storm is coming. Please protect yourself and those sweet babies. He will never do it or be the man you hope for. He has shown you who he is, please believe him.

    • A man who will stalk you to plead his sad sausage case will also stalk you to seek revenge for your audacity at leaving him.

    • This is SO true. I thought that he would be amicable in the divorce process because he was so nice in the beginning when I first left with the 4-month-old and dog. Unfortunately, once I started exercising boundaries and only communicated via lawyer… the rage switched on. Huge storm. Custody battle for daughter (that he never GAF about before), restraining orders, etc. Nuts. Prepare yourself. Livefortoday2 is right… it’s ugly, it’s unrelenting, and you will need all of your ducks (financial information, binder of shared communication about any children you share, budget worksheets, etc etc etc) lined up PRIOR to the rage coming. Twiceachump is right. He will want to punish you and the children in any way he can, and he will try his hardest.

      Get a good lawyer. Not a bully, not a pitbull… You need someone who stays ABOVE the chaos and knows how to switch him putting you on the defense all the time (because he will try his damnest) and turn all of his antics on him so he’s on defense and you are on offense. A good, strong lawyer with boundaries who takes the high road.

      Also, go and pay for initial consultations with a couple of top attorneys in your area so he can’t use them. #sorrynotsorry

      • “Also, go and pay for initial consultations with a couple of top attorneys in your area so he can’t use them. #sorrynotsorry”

        Wow! Quite the Golden Nugget right there.
        Love it!

        • Yeah, reading “divorce for men” websites is wayyyyyyy more useful than the vague and generic “find your documents and take a long bubble bath” advice.

  • So true chump lady. Once I put my foot down..went no contact and served him papers the tears dried up and he pursued his real life of “crazy”. Charactor is fully developed and it shows itself when you as the chump are no longer there to provide some of their cover to the rest of the world!

  • I was thinking about this during my commute this morning.

    One thing that I came to the conclusion of is that the cake I’ve been serving is actually made up of my own soul, fluffed and frosted. That is why each time I serve it up, I hurt after.

    Mme YogaPants never came to me looking for cake. I provided a delivery service. All she had to do was to act indecisive and sad and I would be sure to make sure that old Mr. Tie was still showing as a viable option.

    She only ever once said that she was absolutely leaving and not coming back. That was almost exactly 2 years ago now. From there she backed off – “I need to get away from the noise”, asking what I needed from her to reconcile – she just wanted the list – didn’t do anything with it, refusing to answer when I demanded she make a choice, and on and on.

    For me, I kept baking different flavours and styles of cake. Obliging her to start the legal separation and obliging her to file for divorce so that I would be seen as a reluctant player in her drama. Even a month or so ago when both of her elderly parents died shortly after meeting OM for the first time (a coincidence I’m sure) I sent her a card signed with love. I told myself that I was just messing with her mind and being compassionate – but that fresh slice of my soul put me into a spiral ever since.

    Even coming here and writing this is giving centrality in my thoughts and baking up a fresh slice of cake for her whether she knows it or not.

    There are times that I wish I could muster the hate that many here feel. I can’t. I am hurt and sad and angry but try as I might and knowing that what she did was indeed evil – I still can’t bring myself to hate her. And that’s another layer of cake.

    BT

    • BT – I don’t hate Mr. Sparkles. That would require energy and I am choosing to put my energy into me. But, I do not like Mr. Sparkles in the same way that I do not like serial killers. I do not choose to spend time engaging with Mr. Sparkles in the same way that I do not engage with telemarketers. I do not give Mr. Sparkles the benefit of the doubt with regard to changing because I very realistically understand what it takes to MODIFY BEHAVIOR.

      It sounds like your grieving and rationalizing, and that is ok as long as you are still moving forward and away from Mme Yogapants. You do you for you.

    • No need to hate. But you do need to accept that she is not the right person for you anymore (and possibly never was.) A lot of time can be wasted hanging around waiting to full-out hate her. Spend the time and energy generating more love for yourself. Love yourself as much as a precious child or other loved one. Treat yourself at least as well as you would that other person and great things will start to happen in your life.

      • Dixie Chimp…very well put! I love your focus on love – it’s so important since that nasty “unlovable” myth hits us chumps hard. We are NOT unlovable. We just paired up with someone incapable of love. Totally different thing.

        And hate doesn’t really help. Anger does. But not resentment – and there’s a big difference there. Anger helps us set safe boundaries to protect ourselves. Resentment festers and wants someone else to suffer. It’s like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

        The opposite of love is not hate, anyway (Cluster B’s love the energy behind hate. I think it turns them on). Love’s opposite is indifference, apathy: MEH. Meet their crazy with crickets and boo-yah! WINNING!

        NC is a little tough at first, but when you start noticing you’re happier, freer, lighter…then it becomes the addictive thing. I’m ignoring cheaterpants right now. Ooooo…that feels gooood baby.
        😘

    • BT,

      I am not sure that you need to hate, that is also soul sucking. But you do have to detach and quit making cake with her name on it. Maybe re-framing will help. Start researching Trauma bonds. I believe that you can not have real love without respect and intimacy and that pretty much is gone when the 3rd person enters the marriage. What you do have is these trauma bonds that keep you connected. Realizing this gives your brain a new way of approaching detaching. Start seeing her as she really is, and that is sleeping with another man. That part grossed me out.

      Just like a kidnapped victim with Stockholm syndrome, you do not leave them with the toxic person just because they have been abused enough to believe it is the only way to survive. You get them out and retrain their brain to see what was really happening.

      It takes the magical thinking away when reality starts sinking in. But then you have to deal with the emotions the bonds were keeping stuffed. Grief and anger are two big ones. It hurts like hell but it is worth it in the long run. I have just started my journey after 2 years of grief and anger, lots of pain but far enough in that I actually have days of joy again, and then it crashes for a few day. I am seeing the sun, just got to wipe away the clouds.

      Keep telling yourself that you deserve joy, do not let her suck the joy out of your life, it is worth fighting for.

    • The Best of Me: I feel you pain of not getting to “hate”. I can get to angry and hurt, but not hate. That would be soooo much easier. I too have been guilty of serving some cake I guess, I never thought if it that way. But now know it’s best to be 100% NC, it the healthy way to go.

    • Bow Tie, Your last sentence.

      “There are times that I wish I could muster the hate that many here feel. I can’t. I am hurt and sad and angry but try as I might and knowing that what she did was indeed evil – I still can’t bring myself to hate her. And that’s another layer of cake.”

      That’s our (my) residual hopium addiction as well. I totally ‘get you’ on that point. I refuse to be ruled by hate and in my heart I know that I know that I know WE CANNOT BE MAN AND WIFE AGAIN. Her character is not designed with the necessary qualities required.

    • Same here BowTie. I’ve tried and failed to hate him but all I feel is sorrow for his inability to see that his FOO damage is going to wreak havoc for the rest of his life and insure that he routinely experiences his deepest fear: being alone. I didn’t have the day-to-day negative experiences that many here have endured. He was wonderful to me. Kind, loving, attentive, thoughtful, supportive and giving. No rage, no criticism, no insults. In my 45 years of relationships he was the first man who said he loved me and I actually felt loved. I truly believe he gave me the best he had to give and it was wonderful. Then one day ….. POOF! All over. No warning. New girl.

      I saw him once after DDay. Asked him if he was happier now, and he said no. So I said Why would you do that? Why would you trade down? And he said: Because I ruin everything.

      Hello FOO.

      All relationships are best experienced in terms of the gifts and lessons you receive. Here, for me, it was a net positive even though the months of anguish after DDay were the absolute worst experience of my life. As to him, I’ve tried on every emotion. Anger. Love. Resentment. Distain. Compassion. Whatev. Put them on and took them off, like jeans in a dressing room. They were all ok but nothing fit right.

      Which brought me to where I am today. As to him, acceptance is what fits.

      • Lemonbirch: It’s funny my ex said the same thing, over and over. “I’m not happy. I fucked up, I’m fucked up, I hate myself and I can’t come back to you because I ruined everything.” I know this is kibbles, but I believe him, he’s a wreak but hasn’t reached rock-bottom to actually DO anything about it. He’s living in denial and me being his emotional tampon is just enabling him, prolonging his ultimate downfall so he too can move forward.

        I’m having a hard time moving forward because like you, with our marriage, for the first time in my life I felt truly loved. I could be my true self w/o judgement and in fact his personality complimented mine. We fed off of each other in a great, positive way. We were best friend and happy (so I thought). I kept on giving him chances because I thought it was a mid-life thing. A perfect storm of mid-life, low funds, and him going through some medical/psychological stuff. I kept on thinking he’d snap out and get the help he needed. But after a couple of months when he won’t leave her and seek help, I knew I had to save myself. It’s been a over a year and he just keeps on going down towards that drain.

        I am finally putting myself out there. I have to. I’m not really ready, but I am ready to laugh again. To smile. Me just “working on myself” is not working and sometimes makes it worse. So I’m trying to make new friends and experience new things.

      • I think some of these disordered beings plan to take you down from the get go. They delight in pulling the rug out from unsuspecting you. Then they cry how f’d up they are blah blah blah…..so you still want to somehow save them from themselves by showing them care & support on steroids. Oh & of course crying a river may leave a door open in the future when they need to use you. Normal people are not loving & wonderful one day and then poof the next day they have left for someone else. I think these individuals are far worse, much more sinister than their typical narc brethren that devalue & discard.

    • It’s not hate. It’s indifference. It’s detaching from their disorder and drama and moving on. It’s realizing that there’ s nothing to work with. It’s confronting the trauma bond and getting help to get past it.

      It’s the read to Meh. Indifference to who they are, what they do, what happens to them.

      • Yes LAJ, yes. Indifference is the goal, not hate. Hate requires far too much energy. Everyone who is stuck in some sort of trauma bonding with the cheater needs to go back and read last Friday’s “How is life better without a cheater?” posts. The responses, many of which, dwell on newfound peace and wellness, are enlightening. Once you get them out of your heart and off your mind and focus your energies on your own healing, the benefits are incredible.

        • I went from commitment to confusion, to anger, to numbness, to just not giving a damn and making a life for myself without him. All while I was still married to him.

          Cheater was, on a very superficial level, a personable and responsive fellow. But under that very thin surface was a lot of rot. His was ugly, bloated, fetid, consumptive, adherent rot that kept trying to draw me in and assimilate my soul. He could spew incoherent, conspiratorial, unverified, vacuous sophistry ten times faster than I could debunk it. He coupled that spew with a barbed tongue always ready to insult me for being unenlightened, narrow-minded, and unable to see reality.

          So I took to criticizing his information sources. (One of them was recently exposed as a Russian disinformation network.) Or I would just ignore him, then he took to wearing headphones to listen to his alternative news sources.

          Superficially there was peace and quiet. But just under that surface was a man who used to act intelligently, but had descended to believing we had to prepare for an impending global anarchy that would make the Zombie Apocalypse look like a Spring Day. Long term alcoholism probably killed a bunch of his brain matter. To his paranoid mind, the only thing now holding back the inevitable total societal implosion is the election of Donald Trump.

          I don’t miss him. Yeah, he’s the father of my kids, so there is still some minimal superficial contact. Fortunately the kids are grown now.

          He never did understand why I’ve always refused to friend him on Facebook. I tried explaining, years ago, but he couldn’t understand even then. I don’t want to be used as a conduit to affront my real friends with his brand of crazy. Also, I was looking for a job, and didn’t want to be refused an offer because a potential employer did a background check that included social media. But the kids understood.

    • There is nothing wrong with not being able to hate. That is part of who you are. That is one of your positive qualities and another reason why she is crazy for having given up a good man. You don’t need to hate her, but you do need to let go of enough of your compassion to let her suffer the consequences of her own foolish actions without trying to save her from herself. She is her own problem now. She chose that and you can’t help her now. Don’t let her past mistakes keep you from living a positive future.

    • @Bow Tie,
      I see some similarities in our experiences ,here. my cheaterTurd had a phrase “I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT” , with a wide eyed facial expression of “NOW WHAT”? as soon as he said this ,i would go into a hypnotized fog and “reading “his expression , i would begin questioning myself ……saying to myself “he doesn’t know what your talking about” , am i making this up ? am i seeing things? all the attention would be turned on to me , implying that i was crazy to even think such a crazy thought , much less ask him about it …this “phrase” kept me in a whirlwind fog for many years , by distracting and deflecting me from “real evidence” and turning it back on me and my “crazy thinking” . so he got away with murder , constantly, using this phrase . i am wondering what phrase or action is/was MME yogapants doing to cause you to go into your automatic “delivery service” of cake and kibbles , you did say “act indecisive and sad” ,could it be that simple ? God help us ,all . looking back over the decades ,he has used this “phrase and innocent facial expression” a million times on me , because it works and he could manipulate me into any nonsubject , and take all the heat off him . i really feel used. i know now , but i can still get caught up in it , and it takes all my strength to keep a clear head and focus on the reality , of the moment . when i focus on reality , he does not know how to respond , and leaves the room .

      • @repulsedandbreathless – It was simpler for her than that. She never denied anything but also never brought anything up. I was self-manipulating and would imagine that she’d broken off the affair or that she was interested in reconciliation.

        She did mope around the house and was very likely depressed, not letting go of me completely for several months of hell after DDay. She didn’t look innocent – just angry and lost with times that she was arrogant and on top of the world. Usually after spending time with OM. Throughout our 26+ years together she would never discuss any difficulties we might be having. Whenever I tried she would angrily ignore whatever I said and change the subject. Positive things she was happy to talk about. When she moved out she kept connected to me on social media and I’d see all sorts of sad-sausageness and no mention of OM.

        I was doing the pick-me tango all by myself which is sad. The reconciliation site that I was on encouraged me to be someone “only a fool would leave” – which is just the dancing and cake provision. I thought that I was “being a lighthouse” and “paving the way home for her” – all of which are just forms of being a chump and providing cake. She knew until I threw in the towel in January of 2017 that I was waiting for her. She maybe even still believes that – I have no way of knowing. The last message she got from me left the door open for reconciliation. We have done the separation agreement and divorce though which I presume reduces the chances of her hoovering back. Something that she’s never attempted.

        I think what she was actually doing then and for a while after she left is what I’ve heard called “branch swinging” – where she doesn’t let go of what she’s got until she’s landed somewhere new. I suspect that’s pretty common for cheaters.

        Your situation sounds more like deliberate misdirection and gaslighting. Mme achieved that by just not saying anything at all.

        BT

      • @repulsedandbreathless,
        Thanks for sharing this & his saying. They are some skilled manipulators! You made me think that Mine always said, “CAN’T NEVER HAVE NOTHING NICE!” Every time someone dropped an item that chipped or broke, or even just normal wear and tear. It was a wholesale judgment that everybody (except for himself( was plotting to ruin anything “nice.” Nevermind that he was equally culpable and just as likely, but this was his grand pronouncement that didn’t allow for forgiveness or understanding immediately after an event. His feeble IMAGE MANAGEMENT attempts to comfort the kids later, when it was too late & the emotional damage had been done, should have alerted me that he valued the wrong things. It all goes back to FOO issues. But that’s not a free pass. He had 26 years of opportunities to do the real work to address those issues (he’s 64, for chrissake), but chose an affair instead.

        It is all. I. Can. Do. To keep myself from giving him something at the divorce hearing stating “I can’t NEVER have nothing nice, like a trustworthy spouse, in this marriage.”

        I’ll let the angel & devil on my shoulders battle thast one out for a little while.

    • BT, I don’t think it’s a matter of mustering hatred, you either feel it or you don’t. I felt utter hatred for my ex wife for a good while. My IC told me hatred comes from anger and living with a fuckwit for a long time left me with a huge amount of pent up anger. I’ve been very angry at times, with a side dish of hatred but I’ve been told that by allowing yourself to feel these emotions you can process them and in time they pass. The anger and hatred are nearly gone now after nearly 3 years. There was a lot to be angry about. Most of the time now don’t feel anything about ex Mrs Shithead. If you feel it, let it come so it will pass. If you don’t, you don’t.

    • I’m hurt and sad and angry, too. And every day that passes, I recognize more flavors of soul sacrifices made in my attempt to be a good wife.

      I had a terrible miscarriage one summer night, almost bled to death. I drove myself to hospital, because I was a stay at home mom and husband had to work the next day and he didn’t want to wake someone up to watch our sleeping toddlers.

      I was so wiped out from being up all night in ER, low iron count, emergency D&C that I spent the next day laying on the floor of my living room, trying to take care of my 3 and 1 year old from the carpet. Because STBX went to work. And he complained when I asked him to not go on the men’s church camping trip that weekend.

      I felt guilty and needy that I asked him to do that. The next time I got pregnant, and was spotting, I gave the okay for him to go on an overseas mission trip because I wasn’t actually miscarrying… yet. That baby was born healthy and happy, and I interpreted it as a blessing bestowed due to my courage and sacrifice. Trust in the Lord.

      It took me years, like decades of years, to understand why the nurses at the ER were livid on my behalf, wondering why the hell I was there alone, holding the hands of strangers and praying to stay conscious. I thought I was being a good wife. He had to go to work. AT A CHURCH.

      Hurt and angry and sad. I would have stayed forever, loving that man and serving our family, had he been sexually faithful to me.

      • Thatisnotathing,
        That man knows NOT God. How horribly he treated you! I am so sorry you went through all that alone with someone who claimed to be a man of faith. That’s doubly abusive IMHO, spiritually and emotionally. You did not deserve his callous, neglectful abuse at all! But I can relate to feeling guilty for asking him to be there for you. That was his duty, as head of his family. Ugh! I hope you are in touch with your self-worth now, dear t.i.n.a.t. You are in my prayers tonight.

        • Thank you so much, CD. STBX is that selfish because I spackled it, until his entitlement grew to block out the sun, and until there was nearly nothing left of myself. I am grateful for your prayers. My faith has taken a beating these last years.

  • Listen to CL. I sucked on the hopium pipe for 6 long months and even had brief hits after the 6 months. Things he told me that I won’t be able to ever unhear: sex with her is fun and energetic but I can’t finish because I’m thinking of you (hopium translation: he is thinking about me while he’s having sex with her so he still loves me), I know I can live with you, I’m not sure about living with her (hopium translation: he prefers my organizational skills to hers so he’ll surely stop having the affair), I want you to treat me like she treats me (hopium translation: I need to lovebomb more often, I need to be kinder and more loving then he’ll leave her), I love you and miss you; I want my wife back, everything I’m doing is out of hurt and pain (hopium translation: he doesn’t want to be having an affair, her temptress abilities are preventing him from making sound decisions and his PTSD from the military is also contributing to him having an affair). All of this happened AFTER he called the police on me….. he had me looking like the unstable one even though he would drive by the house and take pictures of my friends’ cars, he set up a video camera set to my bed after he moved out, filed a restraining order on me when HE was the one stalking me (I heard that’s fairly common).
    Fast forward: we divorced in September and he got married to homeslice in January. Trust me, he sucks and they deserve each other.
    For your sanity and to keep your dignity, go NO CONTACT. He is not the man you thought you loved. Accept that even though it hurts like hell, it will save you some awful grief.

    • oooh, a hopium translation Friday would be totes awesome! Kind of a UBT thing but rather an opportunity to explore the spackling bullshit we all did in the throes of the trauma, and recognize it for what it is.

      • Now I.C.- hopium translation Friday would be fun: help some of the newbies realize that they aren’t all that unique or special. I thought my ex was special until I read LACGAF…… he did EVERYTHING in that book. So the fact that CL wrote a book without knowing me or my ex made me realize that it is fairly common. It was a hard pill to swallow yet it helped me make my decision to stop trying to find a damn unicorn.

    • “I want my wife back.”—You are a better wife appliance plus I don’t have to give up any income or possessions.

  • It is so freeing to realize that you don’t have to put up with their shit. I recall when I divorced my older daughter’s father (not for cheating). He was constantly doing small shitty and careless things to inconvenience me. Like, with me as a single mom, not showing up for visitation (when I had counted on having a break), or showing up late (forcing me to delay my plans). One night I had enough. So here’s what I did: I got the kid next door to come over and watch my daughter while I did what I had planned to do that night — some interior painting that you just can’t do while watching someone younger than 2. He showed up for visitation, very late as usual. And I told him, “You are welcome to visit your daughter here while I paint, for as long as you like. But if you leave here with her, you are first going to pay the babysitter for the full night’s payment she would have earned. Because I’m not going to renege on an agreement with her just because you’re unreliable. And I’m going to get a babysitter like this EVERY TIME you are late or a no-show, because I don’t have to put my life on hold for you. You may not realize this, but I stopped having to put up with your shit the day I divorced your ass.”

    He was so verklempt that he just gave me the “You’re crazy” look and wordlessly left. He eventually came back that night, contrite, and spent a little time visiting with our daughter before leaving. He wasn’t late again. At least he was a fast learner!

    I wasn’t always so fierce, of course. (Many instances of chumpdom.) But I learned.

  • He will literally tell you anything in an attempt to get you to engage with him again. I watched xh carefully watching me with a (well practiced) concerned look on his face spin story and excuse after each other through at least 6, trying to find one that would put me back under his spell and accept why he would not clean his hoardings off the table so we could eat. Let’s see, there were the ones that could be classified as “I’m not the boss of you”, some “you don’t remember it right”, and the ones that were projecting (“you’re the problem, and let me tell you why in great detail”). I knew then I could never negotiate with him again. Thanks go to our marriage counselor who coached me through my fear of standing up to the yelling big man saying cruel things between telling me how loving he was while he battered my soul.

    A couple years later a bf tried something similar, excusing his stupid lie as my mistaken memory, unwinding to finally admitting maybe he said it but it was a joke, and maybe I didn’t know it. No one gaslights me anymore.

    Get away from this guy. He’s studied your vulnerabilities for years and he’s playing you. The only person who fully has your back in this is yourself. No one else can save us from our choices to go back to these abusive people. Look to your “team you” for support and strength as you go no contact.

  • SR – here is what I noticed about my Mr. Sparkles and Cake. He kept me (and the kids) “pick me dancing” for almost a year. A. YEAR. Then I found CL and CN and I went grey rock (‘cuz of kids) and full no-contact regarding the divorce. I originally filed pro se, but he ignored the service of papers, so I lawyered up and refused his many requests to just “sit down and talk like adults”. Want to know why? Because when I had him over to our marital home to discuss the divorce the first time, we put back two bottles of wine and he massaged my feet while we watched a movie… oh, and never did finish the divorce conversation that night (no – I did not have sex with him). But I realized, I knew, that if I was serious about the divorce and moving on with MY LIFE, I had to go No Contact. From that point on (filing), I told him any conversations he wanted to have with me could be done in writing through our attorneys. Funny thing, he quickly ran out of things we wanted to talk about with me.

    You’ve got to stop playing his game. He has SHOWN YOU that he has no intention of being anything other than what he is – a lying, cheating fuckwit. Get out now.

  • Sky,
    Sorry that you are dealing with a selfish jerk. My ex-boyfriend did the Sad Sausafe routine. When I came to collect my things after he discarded me for the last time, when I asked him why he treated me the way he did (why did you tell me I could hang around you as basically your unpaid prostitute as long as I didn’t expect any ‘lovey dicey’ (his words)?, he threw himself a little pity party, telling me that he had suffered from guilt–for two weeks, but he was ‘getting over it. Poor Sad Sausage Then he told me that he might never have live again. He waa grooming a harem with his work subordinate as #1. Why all the unprovoked lying. Super Sad Sausage (who will make up stories to get even more sympathy. I hope that you can soon recover from betrayal by unfaithfup, unselfish husband. .

    • Another thing–the outrageous lies–like ‘We’re just friends’ when you caught them walking out of the motel hand in hand.’ I got outrageous lives of that sort from my ex-boyfriend (He wasn’t even painted into a corner or asked any questions. He could have just kep his mouth shut instead of inventing lies–guessing he probably justifies his lying as a way to protect my feelings. Instead, It’s tremendously insulting. How stupid does he think I am?) Do you really want to spen even one more nanosecond with someone (your spouse) who thinks and behaves this way? You deserve way, way better!

  • Learning about triangulation was a mental lifesaver. x spent a lot of time trying to make me and the ow compete for him. And loving every minute of it. Guess he was hoping for a Jerry Springer throw down. Problem was I didn’t dance. Then came the rage channel which he is permanently stuck on. Looking back he always had a triangle going. With me and his mom, me and the kids etc. it’s a sick game. Get out now, there’s nothing to work with.

    • “Looking back he always had a triangle going. With me and his mom, me and the kids etc. it’s a sick game. Get out now, there’s nothing to work with.”

      Same here. I don’t think for a second that it stops when the chump is out of the picture. They’ll always be another person they bring into the triangle of dysfunction where the cheater is the most important part of the triangle. There are much better ways to spend your life.

  • Great Big Baby Man. Hilarious.

    I must say that the fuckwit’s behavior was confusing until I read Leave a Cheater… I now see his behavior is laughably predictable. Crocodile tears, obviously for himself and the loss of cake; certainly not for me.

    The anger and hostility came next. Jeez, fuckwit, this is where you should have shown remorse and humility. Did you not read the book??

    I also realize I did a great job of spackling. I seriously need to fix my picker!

    Thank you a million times over, Tracy.

  • It’s been 15 years since I pulled the plug on my disordered ex but because we have a child together I still get to endure the “rage channel” that he switched on once I finally and effectively shut that shit down. I too used to be so confused about the flipping between sad sausage and anger; But like I said now that I have asserted boundaries all I get is the anger channel. And it scares the hell out of me! 2.5 years until I never have to interact with that disordered freak again. It will feel good to block his number.

  • Phenomena of cake.
    I never had this, after final bomb drop. It took years for me to untangle and accept his POSSIBLE cheating. Yes there was pick me dancing; rage, self pity and charm – right up until the final moments.

    Once he left for schmoomps and the love shack, he never looked back. Once I discovered and exposed, I was “villain shamed” into infinity. I guess I was one of the lucky one. I am curious sometimes about who he left me for (never saw photo, carefully crafted extraction) – that has chump drawbacks, too.

    Best advice given lately; “What am I getting out of still wondering about it?” 4 years past bomb drop –
    I still can’t tell you.

  • sky_ryder…… Even if he actually shows up to the therapy sessions he will just LIE about everything, sad sausage, and blame shift. That’s what my cheater wife did. She lied for months. Their concept of love is warped. Luckily the female marriage therapist figured out she was dealing with a BPD woman and backed me up when I proclaimed I wanted the divorce.

    He will cry and cry and profess his love but the mask will come off once you file for divorce. Then it will be all about money after that. Prepare yourself for scams.

    • Excellent point. If you catch him holding hands in a motel parking lot with the AP, and he LIES, any hope that he’ll be forthcoming in therapy is misguided!

    • Lying is just part of their nature.

      It’s the ultimate image management technique, telling you what they want you to believe and hoping you will.

      It’s also the ultimate responsibility avoidance technique. If something never happened, or if it can’t be pinned on them, they don’t have to do the adult if and fix it.

      The sad part for them, if they ever connected the dots, is that chronic lying gets recognized early. And that once that recognition happens, we will never trust them again.

  • Sky, sadly, it indeed all boils down to the Unified Theory of Cake.

    Cheaters can do some math, they can see the future where no one will be around to clean their decrepit butts, so they suddenly realize Cake is bad for their arteries and they suddenly want to diet.

    But they are worried about THEIR arteries, not a damn bit in repairing damages or admitting what evil people they are.

    I got this same shit from my cheater and after he realized I was not turning back (thanks to my enlightenment by Chump Nation’s Bible) he became very aggressive and more cruel than ever. But he lost thanks to my good lawyers.

    You are mighty. Go 100% NC. Cheater does not love you.

  • The moment he realizes you are serious about divorcing him — you are serious, right? — those tears will dry right up.

    I never got the sadz from my ex…. he went right into the “I’m going to do my best to destroy you” mode, and remains there still, although thankfully he only pops up to make trouble once a year or so these days.

  • Thank you everyone and Chump Lady for your replies. To clear things up: we are divorced, since Dec 26, 2017 and Motel 6 was on his birthday, July 15, 2017. The cake eating started March 2017, when I first found a text message he was trying send to her (affair partner). I confronted her via FB IM, and he & I went into couple’s therapy, but didn’t continue (he insisted on individual therapy first…yeah, right). I (now) believe he was already fucking her, so it didn’t matter. I caught them having dinner on June 10 (they tell me “we’re just friends”, but he had lied to me and told me he was shopping for auto parts…I’m not THAT stupid.) I confronted her again and he moved out. I loved him and believed him when he pledged his love for me—he’s very convincing. My head knew the score right away, my heart was much slower. Plus society tells us that they never leave the wife, right? They see the “error of their ways”, show remorse, repent, come back, and the marriage is stronger because if it. What a crock of shit that is!!

    I never took him back. He never came back home. I would hear his pledge of love, excuses and promises—for the first 8x or so I really believed him. I just couldn’t come to terms that this man, whom I loved and trusted with my heart and soul, my best friend, would do this to me. No one did. Up until the text message, he and I were having sex, having a wonderful time, I was happy and thought things were ok. Yes, we needed some adjustments, but I didn’t think his character was so shallow and cruel. So my heart wanted to believe him, I didn’t want to divorce. I believed in my marriage vows and wanted to make things work. So I would say “yes, but let’s work some stuff out before you come home”. The therapy was my measuring stick, an ACTION he would have to take to show he was serious—something I could have proof that he did. It was a way to protect my heart from having too much hope. The other action of leaving her was harder to prove, but thank goodness for GPS and Amazon!

    In Aug. I discovered his ADHD has a lot do with the cheating (among other things). That’s also why I was pushing the therapy, which he would start and stop a couple of times. Then I realized ADHD or not, he made choices and continued to lie, disrespect, cheat, and deceive me. By this time, he had his cake about 20x; finding new and creative ways to lure me. It was a game for him. I no longer believed him, and kept using the therapy & leave her as a measuring stick and to throw it back in his court—to shut him up.

    Knowledge is Power. I finally found and read the “cheating bible” in Sept. 2017, learned what was really happening and about No Contact (NC)—which I started right away, but it made him worse (he would even call my sister and mother). I filed for divorce in late Sept. 2017. To this day I still love him, but now realize I love the “old” him — the man I married. That person “died” and is never coming back. Now that we are divorced, even with him blocked, he finds a way and the pledges of love are more desperate and really pull at my heart. I go spiraling out of control after each incident. It’s like Motel 6 all over again. Even after everything, that “Siren Song of Hope” is strong.

    Your comments make me realize that I need to be clear to him and myself that it’s OVER & please just leave me alone…I will do the same for him. I think with this last round of NC, it’s clear. I haven’t heard from him for a week now, and I don’t think I will. Now it’s just a matter of me getting on with my life, grieve for the man I married, get rid of this anger and humiliation for the situation and being a chump for so long, and move forward. It’s good to know that others went though the same thing. Thanks again for the comments.

    • small world my cheater was also off her ADHD meds and also decided give herself a “birthday present” of cheating. It took a couple of hysterical months but once ChumpLady got my brain right I was able to realize that it takes a really messed up person to give themselves a “sexual bday present” while her husband and kid are waiting for her at home.

      Glad to hear you got your divorce- happier times ahead.

      • Even better, he even made a “date” with me to see a movie that night. We were just separated, in therapy, and I didn’t know they were sleeping together yet. I knew something was up (no pun intended) when he wouldn’t commit to dinner and said he was doing some handyman work where he was living that afternoon when I suggested we spend the day together… he’d rather have an exam than do that.

        Then, they tried to tell it was their “first time.” Again, am I stupid?? Unless your a virgin, you rarely plan your first time—especially at a sleazy Motel 6! And if it was true, it made it worse. I asked, “Ok, so at anytime did you stop to think what you were doing? When you drove there, registered for the room, walked up to the room…..” Just thinking about it makes me shake with anger.

    • My goodness sky_ryder, I’m overwhelmed with your mightiness. Are you really only one year out from finding the first text message and already divorced and living independently? You also made this amazing progress while also mired down by the complications of his ADHD “diagnosis”. So many of us spent YEARS in the world of wondering if our cheaters needed to be coddled and forgiven for cheating because of their diagnosis – you know the love them in sickness and in health trap (even though they won’t do a single thing about their “diagnosis”). You are making incredible progress, and once you’re completely No Contact with him, I’m thinking you’ll find peace. I’m just so impressed with your timeline, I wanted to acknowledge your mightiness. If you’re feeling vulnerable because it’s the one-year anniversary of finding the texts, that’s normal. Keep asking for support from those who love you, and give yourself some credit for all you’ve accomplished.

      • I’m with you, All Rose – that’s one amazing timeline! Your MIGHTY is inspiring, sky_rider! I’m almost 9 months out from Day (#3- steep, 26-year learning curve!), but I’ve just got him out of the house (after 2 weeks and he still has junk all over here), temporary support & exclusive use of the house, but he’s slow walking the divorce…death by 1,000 paper cuts!

        Your speed at divorcing is impressive. Now you can cut all other strings and let him spin off into his crazy spiral. He’ll be back…because they love any attention at all. Mine sent me letters referring to my “devastation” and “ruining my life” without ever acknowledging me…Just the power he perceived he had to “destroy” me. He didn’t destroy me. He murdered our marriage and my love for him, but I’m still standing! He likes the drama language because it puts him at the center: “I destroyed you” but cannot empathize with a feeling if his life depended on it. They are all remarkably UNREMARKABLE – banal clichés & punch line stereotypes. They can’t handle real people with real feelings or depth, but only know their triangulating games to feel anything at all. While my learning curve was a slow slope, I consider myself schooled after studying at the curly head of CL & collective wisdom of CN. It was simple, especially invoking the alchemical magic of NC & Gray rock, to see him for what he is: NOT the man I thought I was married to for 30 years. I can handle being wrong. It’s my key to freedom and the tiniest possibility of mutual love. Meanwhile, I’ve got healing to do. This is the place.

        • Thanks Rose & ChumpDiva! You literally made me cry. Thank you for the acknowledgement. It’s been rough couple of weeks and our wedding anniversary is in April. I have a wonderful support system whom encouraged me, when enough-was-enough, to get closure and file. I also had a dear friend (20 years my senior) who was the cheater and (now) recovering AA, so she helps “translate” for me. But she actually did the work and they are still together, 30 yrs later. She’s as faithful and loving as they come. That is another reason I was holding out and giving chances. I knew it could be fixed, but also knew it took two. I still have some friends who are like, “You’re not over this yet?” I tell them to fuck-off.

          ChumpDiva: I had no issues with his stuff at the house. After the Motel 6, within minutes I cut-off his phone, updated my “happy bday to my wonderful husband” FB post to what a lying cheat he is and named with whom, and then threw everything that was his out on the driveway: including his soap, trash can, toothbrush, dirty clothes…. I was like the Grinch on Xmas Eve! It was all in huge piles. Later on in the summer, I did the same with all his equipment in the shed. But when he wouldn’t take it away after me asking 10x, I piled that on and in front of his trailer when he was working at my neighbor’s. It was all very cleansing & therapeutic.

    • I think you should prepare yourself for the possibility that he will be back. He may take longer each time between attempts to reel you back in, but from everything you’ve written I doubt you’ve seen the last of him. So, block any contacts you can, and have a plan ready (going online to this site is a fine plan but having a friend to call and help you calm you and remind you about NC is good too!)

    • “Plus society tells us that they never leave the wife, right?”

      Winning the pickme dance puts the pain on hold. One chump at a time the narrative is changing. That damn hopium makes us forget it’s not a competition.

      The predator rigged the game, created an illusion and expected no consequences.

      WE.GET.TO.LEAVE. That right there is the new and improved narrative.

    • Sky_ryder, The man you married didn’t just “die,” he never really existed. These narcissists are just good at wearing the mask in the beginning. That’s what I tend to believe.

      • It’s weird, because up until this started, he never showed narcissism. I’ve studied it these past couple of days. Except for this Cake Walk he’s doing, he’s still not doing the other things. He was really wonderful for 12 years! Really. We live with my mother (she’s ill) and my dad was a narcissist—so we could see the signs, she was shocked as well. Even my therapist, whom has met the ex and knows EVERYTHING, agreed that he wasn’t a narcissists. That is why his behavior was so baffling. Though, I DO agree that NOW he is acting like a narcissist and I must cut the ties.

  • I will admit that occasionally I am jealous of the ones whose cheaters hoover as mine isn’t doing that. I know logically that I am better off that way but it still hurts that when I stopped pick me dancing he chose the selfish self centered slut over me and likely would have eventually even if I had continued to pick me dance no matter how hard I might have danced.

    I have been dating somebody for a couple of months now. I wanted to keep it a secret from ex, not because I was worried about making him jealous or him using it against me or anything but because I didn’t want to witness his not being bothered by it at all. I know I shouldn’t care about that, but I can’t help that I do. I enjoy the time I spend with the new guy and for now he is treating me well (and I treat him well too), but it doesn’t make the pain go away.

    • I agree. All of it is dreadful. I know it would be a terrible head-game if my cheater were crying and begging to let him return. However, it’s also agonizing that he left, never looked back, seems delighted with his new life. My ex even asks, hopefully, if I’ve got a new boyfriend yet and then looks at me pityingly when I refuse to respond (he knows the answer is no). I feel like such an unattractive loser because he never so much as cast a glance backwards and tells me he wants me to find true happiness like he has, in a “new and better” love.

      • The worst part is that he and others might think that makes him a great guy caring about your happiness when he is really being cruel by twisting the knife and making it worse. It really isn’t his business whether or not you are dating again and he has no good reason to ask unless he is deliberately trying to rub it in your face while pretending to be Mr. Nice Guy. Ugh. The truth is, he did lose the best thing that ever happened to him he was just two much of a dumb ass to realize it. He lives a shallow existence. You are not an unattractive loser. You just need more time to heal and get over the feelings you had for someone who was unworthy of them so that you can be ready to accept a new partner. Unlike our cheaters, the idea of dating somebody new still doesn’t feel right because we were committed for so long. I like the guy I am dating now, but sometimes it is hard not to experience some level of cognitive dissonance.

  • Of course logically there is that part of me that is simultaneously relieved that he hasn’t hovered as I don’t think there is any way I could take him back now anyway so what would even be the point. A year ago I might have taken him back (with enough humility, counseling, giving up schmoopie etc.), but not now.

  • My ex finally explained it in a way that made a certain (sick) sense. When I found out about Affair #2 (after 7 years of so-so reconciliation from #1; so- so because he did NOTHING to repair, just stopping fucking around) I told him we were done and said I’d move out. He insisted I stay in the house, ‘for the kids’, he’d move out. Eventually I had to find an apartment for him, take him to sign the lease, and make him actually start living there. Then he spent a few months having the sadz (while screwing Shmoops 4 days a week, when he was in her city for his work contract), then openly approached me about ‘our trying again’, then hinted around for a few more months, then open approach … this went on for 2 years!

    So at one point, when I’m querying why he was trying ‘so hard’ to convince me to let him come back, while still 100% ‘in a serious relationship’ w/Shmoops, he explains;

    It would have taken SO MUCH STRENGTH to break up with her without knowing for sure whether I’d take him back. SO MUCH STRENGTH! The same way it would have taken SO MUCH STRENGTH to leave me BEFORE getting involved w/someone new; how could he leave me before knowing for sure that she’d have him?????? He said all this as if I had been asking him to lift up a car with his bare hands!

    So yeah, he admitted to being super weak and cowardly. Incapable of one moment without a wife-appliance. So cheating on me with her, then trying cheat on her with me.

    Doesn’t that sound super attractive? Why wouldn’t I want that back?

    • Yep, they are trying on a new appliance for size all within the comfort of their marriage/partnership with a chump. Hmmmm, does this new one come with complete adoration and constant superb kibbles? Is she better than the chump who takes care of my kids, pets, home, finances, and my family? Maybe she’s better but I’ll need to test drive a little longer. Let’s keep chumpy appliance in the dark while I try on this new appliance.

      The AP is ALWAYS a downgrade because they know about you even though you don’t know about them. Sure he’s told her lies, but she’s dimwitted enough to believe them enough to sleep with a married man while he uses her for kibble.

      My father married his latest young ho when my booted him to the curve after 25 years of marriage and multiple ho’s. He cheated on the young ho as much as he did my mom but she cheated too. In planning the funeral, my dad asked to buried with my mom in the family plot. My mom had to go with Owife to make arrangements while my dad was in hospice. Dad and schmoop’s had been married for 30 years and had 2 adult aged kids and were grandparents. My mom went to the funeral home, the cemetary, and had lunch with schmoops (never had happened before). My mom’s only comment was ‘I never realized how simple she was’. Yep, schmoops was dimwitted. Apparently my dad tried to leave her several times but she was hospitalized each time having tried suicide.

      Sorry-got off on a tangent. These cheaters don’t ride off into the sunset of twu wuvs no matter what they project to the world. They both have crappy life skills and are truly stuck with each other. No garden of eden’s here, move along.

      • That’s what pisses me off. He never would have had the balls to leave me if he didn’t have somebody else to latch onto. He couldn’t handle the thought of being without a romantic partner, and yet he was perfectly happy to thrust me into a situation where I would be without indefinitely. He was willing to put me into a position against my will that he didn’t have the nerve to face himself. That’s cowardly and cruel.

        • He would LOVE it if you were without a partner indefinitely! That would mean he was still central! And maybe you would be his Plan B, or C?

        • Gawd, THIS, Chumpinrecovery!

          “and yet he was perfectly happy to thrust me into a situation where I would be without indefinitely. He was willing to put me into a position against my will that he didn’t have the nerve to face himself. That’s cowardly and cruel.”

          YES! And what is attractive about that? Nothing. Not. One. Atom.

          • What is THAT? They (ex and Ho) both got jealous and upset because (in the beginning) Ho’s Husband and I were talking via phone to compare stories and figure out what exactly happened. It took a while, but he found out about his Ho of a wife. I tried to tell the husband, but someone beat me to it. I just gave him the confirming details when Ho told him “they were just friends.” It was her favorite line, she used it often. Anyway, I quickly reminded my ex that I wouldn’t be communicating with the Husband if he wasn’t FUCKING THE HUSBAND’S WIFE!

            The (then) STBX went off the deep end when I mentioned an old friend (whom is happily married) bought me a beer at homecoming. I got like 20 text that night being accused of sleeping with someone. And now the ex gets upset if he thinks I am dating. I just don’t get that. You left me for HER! You have someone, why can’t I??

            What I think is really ironic, is the ex kept saying he was “just not happy”. That was his excuse to fuck another. So I tell him, I hope you found happiness now, you gave up everything to be with her. You should finally be happy. His reply is always, “I’m not.” I of course just think he’s lying and it’s more kibble. But he really doesn’t look or act happy at all.

            To rub it in, I often will ask, so how is your life now compared to a year ago? Now he’s living in a friend’s shitty room in a basement, has to sell stuff to pay rent (we lived rent free in a huge, nice house), 90% of his stuff is in a pile in a storage unit, he lost a lot of his clients because he was busy getting a BJ from Ho in a crowded parking lot instead working, has gained 40lbs, is completely disorganized due to his ADHD and me not helping him….. the list goes on and on. Yet he STILL won’t get the help he needs. WTF??

    • I got the same story. He wanted me firm in his grasp before leaving her. He admitted he didn’t want to be alone. Really? I WAS alone! WTF? The I too got, “I’m a coward”…. Seriously, so they all read from the same hand book?

  • I’m on the same page as you, chumpinrecovery. It still blows my mind that my ex could just walk away after 36 years of ( mostly happy—cognitive dissonance much?) marriage. He still tries to maintain a relationship with our grown kids( image management—he has to still appear to be a good guy to the wallet—er AP). I don’t want him back but the abandonment hurt big time. I got minor hoovering at the beginning( ok I fell off the wagon big time but woke up when he asked me for $60k right after the deed was done). The pity channel was very short( “ I can’t get it up why do you think I’m going to the doctor”, I just replied funny you never had that problem with me), the rage channel lasted until the financial settlement—stalking that led to DV involvement and rages by email) I cut him off of phone and text but we were trying to negotiate a settlement and reduce the legal fees—a big mistake with a disordered Wackjob—my fees basically quadrupled because he wouldn’t sign. At no time did he say he wanted me back though. At the very beginning he made noise( you move out and work on yourself and maybe we’ll reconcile maybe we’ll even get remarried) Funny I thought you have to actually be divorced to consider remarriage? Don’t worry I did not move out and ended up buying him out of our home. Karma is that I sold it for almost $250 more than what I paid out based on. The whole mess still makes me very sad and angry. 2-1/2 years from dday divorced june 2017

    • Hi Newlady, I just wrote on this below. I too was unprepared for the rage channel that these disordered folks flip to when they realize you are about to take your share of the family stuff. Mr. Sad Sausage flipped to Mr. Angry Asshole with a quickness, and I was traumatized by it all. I wish I had been better prepared for the dramatic channel flip. He was never really an overtly angry guy, more of a passive aggressive angry guy throughout our marriage, so the wide-eyed anger really shocked me.

  • A’right, in honor of Mercenary Monday, bought to you courtesy of an old widow broad who brokers no excuses and suffers fools and other ethically bankrupt scum Not. At. All. Neither should you. Ever.

    File for divorce immediately-as soon as you get all the documentary evidence, tax returns etc. you need to get the process going with Olympic speed and precision. You need to take a couple days off from work to do it, do it. Shock and Awe, baby. Post haste. Overwhelming force. Stealth Ambush Attack, open up on all fronts simultaneously: Legal, social, residential, financial of course, and no more “communication” except through your attorney. Never, ever, ever directly communicate with them, never give away your plans or next moves. Yes, I AM telling you to move yo butt and forget all your “buts:” “But s/he preoommiisseedd” blaa-blaa-blaa.
    Basic Physics: For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. It’s a Law, not a postulation. It’s as immutable as gravity-and gravity ALWAYS “wins.”

    Now hear this:
    IF THEY REALLY WANT TO REMEDIATE THE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU, NO DIVORCE DECREE WILL STOP THEM from *still* getting their pock marked, stretch marked, hemmoridal, anal fissured (pre-butt lift that you were all set to pay for to “match” their after-market jugs, the pair you paid for-in installments with usury interest) saggy ass into therapy and doing everything last thing they “promised” to do. For years if necessary.
    Yes, it is that simple. Behavior talks, bull shit walks.

    Now I know you are in recoil horror that I’m telling you (so you think) to “just throw away your x number of years/kids/daily dose of double lives, lies, lurve!” and other sordid crap and I just don’t get it, there are “the children to consider! Season tickets to (whatevah) sports team! The dog/cat/horse/donkey(ya got that one covered-that’s one ass clown down, another to go)” but that is NOT what I said.
    Please Re-read: If they mean it? They DO it. Even with a divorce decree, they’re doing exactly what they promised. Even when you or they are maintaining another residence, paying support, eventually dating, what ever you CHOOSE to do in your new life, there ain’t no judge, piece of paper, 🎶ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough 🎶to keep them from gettin’ to you by doing exactly what they are promising. Tina Turner escaped down a back stairwell, crossed 4 lanes of major traffic on foot and had one gasoline credit card to her name when she hightailed it to a hotel across the interstate so c’mon and summon your inner Tom, Tina, Dick and Hairy Scary Gotta Do It. Of course it “sounds mercenary” because it IS-and is intended to be exactly that. No you most certainly do NOT have a “communication issue.” You do not have a “growing apart” issue. The person who promised to love and cherish you forsaking all others” HAS. That’s it. It’s called a lack of Character. Not a “one night stand.” Not “a friend that went a little over the line.” Not a “mistake.” Not an “Oops!” Just think of all the “mercenary” and stealth planning and preparation they engaged in to fuck around with a fuck up-just like them. And they will KEEP doing what ever it is they promised you to do to-for years if necessary. Because if you really ARE “the love of my life,” those will be the last words they will ever speak to you (or speak, period) before they die.

    Ask me how I know.

    Now get packin and throw that damn cheap cake out in the rain, sleet, snow, ice, mud puddle, septic tank, and silently tell em to shove those thorny roses up their ass and smile every time you think of them bending over in preparation for for their DITY (did it to yourself) Legal Butt Fuck they’re about to receive, courtesy of your attorney-after you spring your ambush
    No, I don’t care if you’re “the pastor” or they are, your priest/imam/rector/elders etc. said blaa blaa blaa etc. and no offense to jesus or whoever, nice people/spirit/entities I’m sure but not a fan of their fan club-they who would club baby seals mercilessly under the guise of “religion” to keep you right where you are: Settling for disrespectful sloppy seconds Chump Change.
    Because cheaters never do.

    Accept no excuses-there are no acceptable reasons, just (not at all) inventive “excuses.”
    It’s not that I don’t “Get It,” it’s that I do. And you will too-once you GTFO.
    More importantly, so will they. “Lost the best thing I ever had?” Look under the seat of your “hot wheels”/4 wheeler bed.
    That ain’t “mercenary,” “premature” or “karma,” chumps.
    It’s hubris-their’s.

    • This. X1000. Read my post above about the quadruple legal bill. That’s what I got for trying to mediate with a wackjob

      • I’ve been a mediator for 20 years. In 1996 when I started training, in my first class, we learned that ANY case can be mediated ….. with two exceptions, one being a person who believes their opponent is more powerful than they are. In conflict these people do two things: they escalate, and they form alliances. In real life they believe you are more powerful than they are (which you are by the mere fact that you do not feel compelled to live a lie) and that means that any time they make an agreement they believe they are being taken. So, they renege, mis-remember, reconsider, etc. For me, it got to the point that the only thing I could be sure of was that what had been agreed to would not happen.

        This parallels the greater truth of all our experiences: our NPD/BPD/psycho cheater fuckheads believe, deep down, that they are defective. Flawed. Worthless. Therefore, if we choose them, then we are not good enough either. We don’t know they are damaged but they do, and when we sign on with them they perceive us as sub-par because we are willing to accept the human equivalent of a 50-lb. sack of potato culls. Where every one is partly rotten.

        That’s why they devalue us so blithely. In their mind, we had it coming.

        • Never negotiate with terrorists…bullies…abusers…cheaters.
          Compromise is never an option for them.

        • I tend to think the opposite regarding my ex-cheater (and a lot of others I hear about on here especially). I don’t think they think they are defective at all; I think they think they are superior to everyone else. They’re entitled and deserve what they want, even if it hurts others. Tracy talks about this idea and so does the writer George Simon. I have his book Character Disturbance, and I think it makes perfect sense (based on what I’ve seen/experienced). There might be some truly insecure cheaters out there, but mine certainly wasn’t!

    • Mercenary Monday to deal with an abusive,whining mooch ! You knocked it out of the park Tundra Woman !!! Throat Punch Thursday, Mercenary Monday, wisecracking wisdom from the CL community. Keep it coming !

    • Great advice, Tundra Woman.

      Only disagree with one point: “Now I know you are in recoil horror that I’m telling you (so you think) to “just throw away your x number of years/kids/daily dose of double lives, lies, lurve!” and other sordid crap and I just don’t get it, there are “the children to consider! Season tickets to (whatevah) sports team! The dog/cat/horse/donkey(ya got that one covered-that’s one ass clown down, another to go)” but that is NOT what I said.”

      I would advocate considering “all those years” as sunken costs. Except in the most minor of circumstances (a single drunken one-night stand to which they confess), once a person cheats they have launched a scorched-earth policy on the marriage/relationship. Done. Finito. Given the vast array of planning and lying even a one-week affair involves, why would anyone invest in the lying cheater for one more second? Sure, *pretend* to invest as you line up your ducks, but infidelity (IMHO) is a fatal blow to the marriage. Even if there are strong hints that the person will never cheat again, who cares? They drove the javelin in deep and that pain can’t be undone.

      I’d rather be the lonely dog woman for the rest of my decades than stay a single minute with a cheater and give them the chance to wound all over again.

  • Love this, Chump Lady. A master class on the cake/kibbles distinction.

    sky_ryder – is that sniveling crying dude attractive to you? What kind of a man would cry after fucking two women on the same day? A psychopath – that’s who.

    Get yourself free and well and you’ll see in due time that real men don’t cry like that little bitch of yours.

  • Sky_ryder mine said many of those exact phrases. Cheaters are not that original. If you haven’t already it may be helpful to Read up on narc / narcissist cheaters in the forums. They try charm and sad sausage routine. often soon after they try rage. (Mine did within weeks was very vindictive and in complete contrast to the dramatic expressions of regret, and deep assurances of care and consideration.) based on these experiences my advice is NC breath of fresh air to clear those hopium fumes, his actions have shown you he is an unrepentant, recidivist cheater. I agree with the advice above about , lining up your legal ducks in case he turns nasty, because it happens.
    Re spiralling in your comment above, therapy, journaling, lists of facts to remind yourself, can help to start to assimilate your new life, because it is a huge change of focus, and the dissonance means your heart can take a little while to catch up but reminding yourself. I reread CLs book so thoroughly, bookmarking and rereading meaningful paragraphs and writing portions in a journal. CN folk gave great advice in the forums about changing the focus to what do you want to do in your wonderful new cheater free life as you move on.

  • Hello Skye_Ryder,

    My STBX did this at first several times (3 to be exact). One day, he told me he wanted me back and I was 8 weeks pregnant (Found out he was cheating on me at 5.5 weeks pregnant) and drove by the OW house later that night. I texted him that I never wanted him to tell me he wanted me back when I had actual proof that he was over at her house. I also threatened that I would send her the text messages that he was sending me telling me he loves me and wanted me back. Ever since that night, he has treated me like garbage and it is very hurtful, but I am glad that I don’t have to feel like there is still hope. Have you tried to tell him to leave you alone and threaten to show his OW texts that show something different? I don’t know if this will help but it helped me with getting him to stop playing with my heart. It is hard no matter what. We have court on Wednesday and I am so worried about seeing him. I wish you the very best, I truly believe that you deserve better. The limbo of “should I take him back for the sake of the baby” was definitely the hardest time in my life. I decided that it was never my decision, he is not giving you the choice, he is wanting to control you. If he loved you, he would NEVER risk hurting you. 20-30 times is NOT a mistake, it is pure selfishness that you will never be able to forgive. Sending you good vibes, you deserve a lifetime of happiness.

    Danielle

    • Never take him back for the sake of the baby. You’ll just raise a dysfunctional child and the crazy lives on to see another generation. Plus you will be miserable. WE BOTH deserve true love and happiness in our lives.

      As for telling Ho, kinda tried once when he told me he left her. I wanted to confirm it. It didn’t go well and of course he came to her defense. HUGE sign for me. This was before I filed. Honestly, I just can’t be apart of that Jerry Springer show anymore. So if he comes to the house, I will just tell him that it’s over and go away.

      • Unfortunately, just telling him that it’s over DOESN’T make him go away. I think you’ve tried that before, and you’ve also divorced him. He likes coming back, and you let him come back.

        What are your options for moving away from the Jerry Springer Show physically, to a new neighbourhood? new city? new planet?

        Or simply not answering the door when you see it’s him?

        Telling him it’s over is not the same as going No Contact. No Contact means No Contact. You don’t owe him an explanation or a reason for it. You simply STOP ALL CONTACT with him.

        If you don’t have to co-parent, you can do this today. If you have to co-parent, you can use software, and enforce strict boundaries, and document everything.

        I am still sensing an unwillingness on your part to let go completely of the relationship, even in this awful, drawn-out, post-divorce, annoying form.

        • Read the last post, I’m done. I am looking to move away for a bit, even for just a couple of months. We’ll see. I really don’t think he’ll be back. Come summer, I can easily ignore him when he’s working in the neighborhood. But you are correct, I shoul come up with a better plan. Hopefully it won’t come to that. Thank for the encouragement and advice. Good luck to you too.

  • Skye_Ryder……….

    Shut. Him. Down. No more communicating. Lawyer up. Move forward with your plans without him in them. Plan your future without him in it. If he really wanted to make things better he would be doing it, whether he would win you back or not. He would be getting therapy and working on himself. Without the OW in the picture. He would be doing that and so much more without a promise from you that you both could work this all out.

    When I finally (after 5 ddays) said enough was enough and told my husband that I was done, he told me the same thing he told me each and every time prior to that last time. He was going to get therapy, he was going to be a better husband, he was going to be a better father, he was going to end it with OW, he was going to win me back no matter how long it would take. He was out the door and got an apartment. His OW came to visit him within one week. She moved in with him after a couple months. Our divorce was final four years ago and they bought a house and got married! He never even tried to win me back!!!!! JUST WORDS.

    Forge ahead and think of yourself and what is good for you.

  • CL is so right here. Once you in earnest begin divorce proceedings, the practical splitting of your life, watch how fast “cry-baby boy” turns into “angry man protecting his stuff.” I too had an “I feel bad” ex who, thankfully, wasn’t wanting me back, but was working overtime with “compassion” and niceties to attempt to manipulate divorce proceedings–get all his cake (i.e., our community property AND my ongoing friendship). Once I enforced the boundary of insisting on having a professional 3rd party mediate our divorce, someone who knows the laws and was poised to convey them and let him know that his requests were outside those laws and not feasible or fair, he flipped that channel right quick.

    So, in addition to all the other advice telling you to stop giving him any attention, also don’t be fooled by his baby boy shenanigans. Don’t be like me and get caught off guard when the rage-o-meter dials up to max capacity. I wasn’t expecting it and I was floored, scared, and traumatized by his rage and harassment. Don’t be me. Be ready. Steel yourself emotionally for what’s to come. Pre-convince yourself that his rage has nothing to do with you and cannot hurt you. Because it’s coming.

    • Also, consider that your ex has already proven that he’s willing to harass and stalk you, or at least be overly persistent. When he flips to the rage channel, this may escalate and you might actually feel physically threatened. So, I recommend knowing the harassment laws where you live. Many places have laws specific to spouses that have a lower threshold than general criminal harassment laws.

      Be documenting this all and any future harassment in case you need to take legal action to stop him. I send emails to myself when stuff happens, so there’s a time stamp, but a handwritten journal entry or computer file entry will work too. But keep track of it all. Screen shot his texts, save his emails, photograph him at your front door, etc. This guy’s not going quietly into the night.

  • Sky Rider, do you really WANT to be free of him?

    Even your reply post sounded ambivalent. (Also, it was still all about him, his ADHD, untangling the skein, etc.)

    What about you? Kibbles can go both ways. Is is possible his repeat bouts of weeping and pleading have rewarded you in some way?

    Untangling one’s own skein might be the way out.

    Also, with NC, you don’t usually tell the other person you’re going NC, because it’s usually seen as an invitation to more boundary-busting. You might want to work on that.

    Good luck.

    • LG: I admit, it’s like a drug and I still miss him. (remember we have only been separated for 9 months and divorced for 3) I was forced to file because he wouldn’t leave her and I needed to more on for my own health. But I miss my best friend, the person whom I had daily contact and banter with. Then I get mad at myself that I miss him and the self-esteem takes another hit. I was happy, confident and comfortable in my own skin before all this happened. I don’t even recognize me anymore. I’ve lost 60lbs, you can see my ribs, I my nice breasts (size DDD, all natural and full) are now very small and look like my grandmothers, I have creases in my face from the constant crying and I couldn’t tell you last time I really laughed or smiled. Yes I can, last time I talking with my ex. When I see him, that stupid HOPE blinds me from the nightmare and I see my “husband”, we so easily fall back to “us”—Laughing and smiling. The drug makes me feel like I can breathe again. But then reality comes crashing back and I am left in disrepair and do the NC again to try and heal. So yes, I admit, it’s taking some tries and a lot of therapy, self-help and realizations that my “husband” is gone and I need to move on. I deserve better and better IS out there, somewhere. But his coming crying to me every two weeks, no matter how I try to block him is NOT helping.

      You are correct, I do get some joy when he contacts me and tells me he loves me and misses me. It’s that Siren Song and Pick Me Dance. I think, yes sir, YOU FUCKED UP AND YOU KNOW IT!! What ex doesn’t love hearing the one who left you say, I fucked up and I want you back. However, I finally don’t believe the lies/kibbles and know it’s all for the best. It’s all just words and I tell him that. I will never be able to trust him again. The ADHD is part of the situation, but I quickly realized that he was still making choices, even not to seek help, that was HIS choice. So I’m well past making that excuse for him.

      I still have my moments of crying hysterically, but I am finally to the point where I know to contact him is not helping me. I no longer tell him I’m going NC, but when he can’t get through he knows it. I find what works the best is to NOT block him. He knows I am getting the texts. Nothing says “fuck off” more than an unanswered text. Just last week I decided to use any text, communications to SHOW him that even though he doesn’t respect me, I RESPECT MYSELF and SHOW him my boundaries and self-worth buy not falling for his kibbles. Ironically it took some online dating contacts being asshats via text for me to gain this strength. I am using each un-answered text as a building block of my self-esteem.

      • OK, I understand now.

        Yes, it’s awful. We’ve all been there. But the ONLY cure is strict No Contact.

        I don’t care if your ex catches on fire, or turns into Superman, or breaks the bank at Monte Carlo. I care about YOU.

        And you too should start caring a lot more about YOU than about someone who has injured you, and insulted you, and disrespected you, in the worst way known to man.

        There is a book I always recommend now called ‘Don’t Call That Man!’which is cheap on Kindle, and is a really good practical guide to actual No Contact.

        Each day you stick to it, you are getting a clearer head, and getting that hopium out of your system.

        You will soon realise that the wonderful husband you miss is actually a figment of your imagination. He doesn’t exist. The man who actually exists thinks it’s OK to fuck other women and then mess with your head with a crying jag.

        Here at Chump Nation, I learned a terrific phrase: ‘You Miss The Lie’. And you do. We all do, at first. Until we realise that it was actually a lie.

        I hope you’re getting some therapy/counselling to help you with all this. There’s some powerful tangles in there that are keeping you hooked on the drama of it all.

        More power to your silence!

  • Sky, you write that you know what to do—“keep putting it back on him (yes, come home, but you need to leave her/get into therapy…which he’ll never do).”

    No. Nope. Nuh-uh. What to do? Go no contact. Putting it back on him just keeps you in negotiations and that feeds him ego kibbles. Why would you tell him “Yes, come home” after he’s shown such disrespect–even if you know he won’t? Just stop.

    Stop. No contact.

  • It was my experience that even when they come back for good it is only self serving. My Ex, I am sure, got the boot from Schmoopie and had no where else to go. He also was broke because I had all the assets from our 41 year marriage, a house for him to lie around in and he thought he was going to get his hands on all of it again! YOU have to decide what is good for YOU! Do you want to live being suspicious of him all the time? Do you want to go for “round 2” of the infidelity olympics? Get your behind to a lawyer and get as far away as you can! There are better things in life to do. If I had it to do over again I would have kicked his ass to the curb faster and moved away as quickly as possible. I lost my chance, do NOT lose your chance! There are so many good men and women out there who really do want to be in a committed relationship. You deserve better. Let the HO have this one!

    • Thank you Roberta for your advice. Yes, I am done. How do I know? Because the last time he came crying to me (last week), then texted me all the next day like he was “trying” with me. But then the following day, nothing. So I drove by his place at 3am to see if he was home. I found myself praying that he WASN’T home, meaning he was with the Ho. Don’t get me wrong, from the beginning I never believed him. I had to be sure my instincts were still working. But now, my heart didn’t believe him…FINALLY .

      I knew that even if he was sincere and truly done with her and worked on coming home, I didn’t have the time, energy or desire to go through being the Relationship Police again. I have been lied to and deceived too much, the trust is gone, and it’s not coming back. Sure enough, I learned even though he declared his love for ME to HER, they are back together, stronger than ever. He’s texted me 3 times since then, I didn’t respond. I think he’s gotten the message that I am finally done. Plus, I realized he’s treating ME like the OW saying “I’ll leave her, I promise…” Like a husband telling the OW he’ll leave his wife…”just be patient”. I have too much self-respect and self-worth than to be the OW!!

      Though, I don’t doubt that he’ll come crawling back if she ever kicks him to the curb. But I doubt she will. She’s more dysfunctional than he his. They are really meant for each other. I wouldn’t take him back anyway. He’ll find another, and another, and another…. but he won’t find me.

      I was just asking CL if his behavior was normal. It seems so extreme, beyond kibbles. But from reading post all day, I see that it’s very normal. So I can now put this all behind me and continue with my healing.

      • If you’re driving by his house at 3am and considering his reactions to your lack of text response, then you’re still in what CL calls the “bargaining phase,” where basically you still believe there is hope that this turns around. We’ve all been there. I’m not sure there’s a shortcut to the next phase: “acceptance.” But hopefully you get there sooner rather then later. Maybe this guy’s not been ugly enough for you—we all have our own thresholds. Maybe it just clicks one day. The anger my ex threw at me helped—I saw how ugly his ugly was, and I wanted away. A turning point for me was my parents telling me I had to get away. As staunch Catholics, to hear them say “get out of this marriage” was transformative. Look for the things that can help you transform. Maybe it’s the look on a friends face or a moment of clarity. It don’t matter whether he knows you’re getting his texts or not, what matters is your desire to not respond. When you do actually stop responding to him (for more than a week), prepare for him to ratchet it up (see my anger post above). Good luck Sky. You’re worth it. He’s an abuser, you deserve to not be abused.

        • NotANiceChump: You are correct, I was still deep in the bargaining phase, but if you read on, I was actually hoping and relieved that his car wasn’t in the driveway. That is the first time I felt that way, so I’m making progress. I had to be sure his latest declaration of love was just another lie/kibbles. My suspicions were correct and I now I can move forward without looking back. I can’t go back to that life of “where is he? what is he doing? who is he with? can I trust him?”. It was exhausting and gut wrenching.

          Reading everyone’s posts, even if he did leave her (which he won’t) and came home, I will be in the same situation in the very near future. This is nearly breaking me. I CANNOT GO THROUGH IT AGAIN! Especially with the same person. Yes, I miss him (the OLD him) but I know I deserve better and I know better is out there.

          Now, I am eager to get through all the pain, anger and humiliation and do the work so I feel I can meet and be with someone new.

  • Two words: Restraining Order. Keep track of all his calls emails visits by date & time. Go to your Court Clerk and file for a Restraining Order. You can do this yourself. Yes, while the divorce is ongoing

    CANNED/GRAY ROCK RESPONSES (only if you MUST speak with them) GRAY ROCK is ONLY for use when children are involved.

    Your portrayal of me in a negative light is noted

    I’m sorry you feel that way

    I see things differently

    That’s interesting

    Is that so

    Received and noted.

    Your perception of my portrayal of you is noted

    Your actions are factual and provable…your words are not

    Please comply with court order

    I’ll think about that and email you later

    Yes/no

    I do not agree with your portrayal of the situation

    I intend to follow the court order exactly as it is written.

    There was nothing in your letter for me to work with as I don’t recognize the events you describe as factually based.

    I do not agree with your version of reality and I choose to disengage now.

  • Why am I seeing an ad that says “every man should be dating a Russian girl” in the blog? Eewwwwwww

      • There’s been some muttering about it on the forums as well. I see these things all the time. Middle-aged guy doing searches on infidelity – it’s inevitable to expect that I’m their target market.
        I expect these sorts of ads now as well as the random Instagram and Facebook requests from young ladies with photo-shopped cleavage.

        Beats the heck out of not having done those searches and still believing in “mid-life crisis” and that affairs burn out after a few months. It definitely beats seeing what I saw on Mme’s Facebook Messenger feed that blew away the lid on her “secret”.

        I’m personally fine with the ad content but am not perhaps in the majority.

        BT

        • I don’t know how much I can control this, and unfortunately when it comes to ads, Google owns 77 percent of the inventory (so it’s based on your searches). Add to the complications, that some vendors don’t want to advertise on “adult content” sites — that’s CL! because we say cocksucker here! — and it’s a real pot luck on the ads. The ads are probably different for each person depending on their search history.

  • My cheater tried to come crawling back to me in the months following the divorce. My demands were simple: “Go 100% no-contact with the Other Women and check yourself into therapy.”

    He balked. He immediately began demanding that I work on X, Y, & Z BEFORE he go NC with the OWs, to “prove that there’s something worth coming back to.”

    As for therapy, he said, “Put together some options and I’ll check them out.”

    In other words, he’s the one who broke the relationship, yet he wanted me to do the work of fixing it. Luckily I’d lost enough of my chumpiness that I “nope’d” right out of that.

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