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The Mindfuckery of Reverse Victim Offender

There must be a bazillion “How To Tell If He/She’s Cheating” articles on the interwebs. You know, the usual — new cologne, sudden penchant for 9-hour Pilates classes, weird showering habits, furtive texting, requires cavity search to reveal cell phone… But here’s the real clue you’re dealing with a cheater, and it’s not lipstick on their collar — it’s anger and defensiveness.

And I’m not just talking after discovery or suspicion of cheating, I mean bizarro anger about little insignificant things. I TOLD YOU THE PROPER PASTA/SAUCE RATIO IS 3:1 ! WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?!

Well maybe he’s just grumpy, Tracy. Maybe he had a bad day at work. 

No, no, no. That was the big sign. FURY when questioned. Indignation.

It makes sense if you work from the supposition that cheating (and most bad behavior, really) comes from entitlement. Not only are they entitled to screw you over, they’re entitled to not be questioned about it. Who are YOU to stand in their way?

We’re all familiar with the mindfuck of It’s Not What I Did, It’s Your Reaction To It. Here are two other bits of mindfuckery — It’s Not What I Did, It’s How You Found Out About It — and It’s Not What I Did, It’s What You Did.

1.) It’s Not What I Did, It’s How You Found Out About It. The problem isn’t the cheating, the problem is that you looked at their cellphone. The problem isn’t the hooker habit, the problem is the “insecurity” that drove you to snoop. The problem isn’t the affair with the co-worker, the problem is you discovered the disciplinary action from HR.

See how that works? It’s called deflection.

Good people aren’t cocksure. They tend to second guess, give the benefit of the doubt, and want to believe the best about people they’ve invested in. When met with righteous indignation, the non-disordered person thinks, “Am I out of line here?”

Freaks have no such doubts. It Is Good To Be King. The problem isn’t their crimes and gargantuan sense of entitlement, the problem is you KNOW. You saw past the mask. BAD CHUMP.

Solution? Believe the evidence, people. Pay attention to the actions and pay ZERO attention to the spin. Good people are transparent. Good people willingly answer questions. Bad people are mindfucks.

2.) It’s Not What I Did, It’s What You Did. Otherwise known as “Whataboutism” or the false equivalency. Okay, so they have a hooker habit. You once spent too much on a leather sofa. You know, you’re not exactly perfect either. (Perfection being the standard you apparently hold everyone to.) Who are YOU to judge THEM, Ms. Profligate Spender on Soft Furnishings?

If you’re a chump, you’re going to take the bait and defend your sofa purchase. Or worse, you’re going to lead with vulnerability and fair-mindedness — “Yes, I once made a terrible decision about a sofa.”


Stay in the sane lane, chumps. Hooker habits are not equivalent to dubious sofa purchases. Do not get distracted from the point at hand — this person has endangered your health, your family, and your finances. You bought a sofa, this person bought a human being.

Abusers and autocrats have a distinctive MO — they victimize others and then claim victim status. Pedophile? That child came on to me. Dictator? The Rule of Law oppresses me, how dare you subject me to it! Cheater? I am misunderstood and you are controlling.

There’s only one appropriate response to this kind of malignant entitlement — consequences.

You control you. Don’t engage, go directly to actions. End the conversation, close the account, call the lawyer. Enforce that boundary.

Narcissists understand consequences. They don’t like them, but they understand them. Your pain though? Not so much.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • EXACTLY what I went through! Bingo! Bizarro Anger!

    Sparkledick would get furious when I asked to see his bank balances so, together (chumpy ol’ me), we could understand how we could save since our decent joint salary was not going far enough for some strange reason… He would prance around like a Nobel Prize in Economics and make me feel as though I could not even add and subtract.

    He once yelled in my ear, so loudly it still buzzes when I remember, “I’m a failure and it’s YOUR FAULT!”

    And chump here would think all this was due to frustration in his bull-shit-factory think-tank job, which I kept telling him to quit, start a small farm with me and we could eat dog chow as long as he was content.

    Actually, making up excuses was becoming exhausting. And the debts were getting larger …

    Looking back I know exactly when he was having affairs: when he was having bizarre anger surges. His expenses were always top secret.

    • Yep I agree. I know the month he started his affair because he started treating me like shit and resented doing anything. In order to put someone on a pedestal someone needs to be demoted. In a sick way they need to see you has bad and inade so they can justify their shitty behaviour.
      Glad to me free of the head funk.

      • “In order to put someone on a pedestal someone needs to be demoted”
        Although never as high as being on a pedestal, I did believe at one time that he cared.
        Before DDay, when he bought all new underwear, Chumpy me lovingly laundered it, folded it nicely to put in his duffel bag, in between the N&V of first trimester pregnancy, caring for tiny child, keeping up all the household chores, part time occupation, etc.
        Geeez, Chumps just keep on caring, doing, loving, believing. Until we don’t!
        Then some of us just keep on, keeping on.
        Many do go on to become Mighty!
        Some get out, reach MEH even.
        Therein lies the wonder of CN.
        (but scars are always left, that is why we are all here).

        • Peacekeeper:

          “Chumps just keep on caring, doing, loving, believing. Until we don’t!”

          This is exactly right! I cared. I did. I loved. I believed.

          And now I don’t.

        • Your new underwear mention reminds me of a VERY chumpy story. When X first left to “find his happiness” he called after one week to say he wanted to “try” to come home. I knew nothing at this point other than that he was “extremely depressed” according to him…sniff, sniff. Being the good little chump I was I said, “of course! I love you and only want to see you get better.” For 4 days he came home after work and ate my thoughtful chumpy meals and then went out “with the guys” to help him “get over” his depression. On day 3 it happened to be my day off so I asked him if he needed anything. Yes. He needed new underwear, a specific brand and color. I had to go to two stores but I got them. He also needed cash, which I had been consistently giving him over the years even though he made more money than me and paid for less of our bills. (Chump extraordinaire!!) He sent me a text on day four that he decided he needed to leave because he wasn’t happy atbhome anymore.
          It was only a few weeks later that I accidentally found out about all the lies, and there were SO many. I had been living with a conman who used me for impression management and money in the beginning and as an appliance in the end.
          I filed and when we had the four way meeting I purposely brought up the underwear. I added up all his requests like that from the time it seemed as though the cheating started the last time (phone records). I gave his attorney that separate amount from everything else that I requested in the settlement. Did I sound mad? Lol. It was the start of my healing and I am so glad I did it. Now his 20 year younger ow appliance can buy his underwear;)

      • I was putting in 14 hour days at work when my wife started bitching at me about not doing my share of the house work (Guilty). But, the guy she was fucking wasn’t doing any of the house work. He wasn’t helping me with maintaining the car or mowing the grass either. Also, he wasn’t helping me with my night school homework.

        • This sounds familiar. I would leave for work at 6:30AM and come home around 7:30PM. But the ex (who was a stay at home mom) always complained about how I needed to pitch in more! And while her AP wasn’t helping me with maintaining the car, mowing the lawn like you I found out during the divorce that I was buying his groceries!!! Yes, when the ex went food shopping, she was buying for our household and the AP as well. I figured that out after we separated and my food bill (minus only her) went down by over one third. I kept trying to figure out why my food bill was so low even though I was buying more. Confirmed when one of the kids mentioned how she was glad we didn’t have to stop at “mommy’s friends” house after shopping before we went home.

          • I never understood why his affair was blamed on me- the anger and defensiveness. He even claimed he never met her, only talked on the phone. This was my year to get out, saving money and paying bills off, then lost my job. Now I’m having to live off him till I find another job. It doesn’t bother him and said I didn’t have to go back to work. Just don’t bring up the affair. I’m in control of finances and still saving money. He trust me to pay bills. I’m sure he’s hiding money but so am I. I’m the biggest chump ever.

            • Crazy Lady, you are a survivor. You are getting your ducks in a row the best you can until you can get out. Fingers crossed that you find a great new job and can set yourself free.

          • I was paying for the whore’s petrol… I never suspected anything until the Traitor left and the farm fuel bill immediately dropped 70%. Then I really added up all the kilometres we’d been driving, and really looked into how much fuel the ATV uses when I am driving it around the farm. I figured he must have bought her around $100 of fuel every week. Over 9 years, it adds up…to about $50,000. Meanwhile I was struggling to get all our groceries for less than $100/week because the farm business was struggling. In all the time we were together, I didn’t buy one single item of new clothing for myself that wasn’t from an op shop, except for 1 maternity bra. Even my socks were pre-loved. Because we were struggling.
            Madam ( this is what I used to call the Whore before DDay) had a nice holiday to Central every year and new clothes all the time.
            Since he’s been gone, I’ve had to borrow a lot more money to pay him out, but I’m am doing so much better, making decent profits, improving the farm and making extra capital repayments on my new debt.

            He hasn’t had a job since we settled. But he has a new truck. I have 2 jobs, our 25 year old truck and a clear conscience (priceless).

      • I forgot about the resenting doing anything himself. He used to do a lot around the house but once he started up with Schmoopie 1.0 it’s like he went on strike. He stopped doing anything. I picked up the slack without complaint because I thought that maybe he had been doing too much and I wanted to lighten his load so he wouldn’t be so stressed, worn out, and cross all the time. Of course it didn’t work. He was a jerk to the kids too. They didn’t have perfect table manners (not holding forks properly, etc.) and read books he didn’t think were appropriate (Hunger Games). I didn’t back him up enough in his efforts to correct and sensor, so he just didn’t care anymore and wasn’t going to parent at all. If he didn’t like the dinner conversation he moved to the kitchen to eat by himself so he could escape his family. The whole thing was terrible. I didn’t know what was going on I just knew he was not happy to be around his family anymore and had nothing but criticism for any of us. It was like we were all an embarrassment to him. At least he treats the kids better now that he doesn’t live with them anymore. He finally realized that he loves them after all (or maybe it’s just image management because he doesn’t want them to hate him. Who knows).

        • I believe we were married to the exact same person… always stunned art the parallel lives we have all lived.

    • I don’t know about you ClearWaters but my finances are so incredibly clear and easy to understand now that I am cheater free.
      I also have enough money to pay my bills and never wonder about how I will do that.

      • Exactly! I feel so relieved!
        Sparkledick would like to show off in stores, even for things for me (but I only felt bad about these stupid expenses), income is less than half of what it was, we were able to afford a housekeeper 5 days a week, I no longer have one (thank God she got a good job elsewhere), but now finances are crystal clear, sensible.

        I sold our lovely home (I got it thanks to good lawyers) and, thinking of my sons who are going to have to support sparkles in his old age, was actually was able to buy a small farm to make some extra income for their future. Things are planned in a way that sparkles will not drain them.

        • ClearWaters-
          I got the house too-selling next month and will get to save a good amount. SparkleDick and Douchebag McGee must be friends. The love of “stuff”. He and homeslice just purchased a $27,000 vehicle (records submitted for mediation) and they are paying 19.4% interest for 7 years. For those not mathematically inclined, that’s $20,000 in interest. He makes $96,000 a year without her contributions, why the hell would anyone pay that?……. for the appearance of status. Dumb and Dumber really do deserve each other.

          • How can these people be so shallow! 20K interest! And for what?! I bet the luxury auto market loves cheaters. Mine had a Minicooper (very expensive in my country, not for middle classers, which we are) that cost a month’s worth of my salary to maintain/year. Not to mention to two SUVs.
            Before I divorced I had a beat up Citroen station wagon (middle class in my country) with 130,000 km, after divorce I bought a used Honda Fit.

          • One of the things my STBXH is supposed to do is get the van he uses for work into his name (currently in my name only). But his whore’s car lease was up, so what does he do? Gets her a (used) MERCEDES!!

            His reasoning? “Because I needed a car, too…for me! Because if things don’t work out with me and her…I’ll have the car.”

            LIAR!! He bought her the car because she’s being sued by Amex for owing over $21,000! And would never qualify on her own. He got her that car for image control. I can hear him saying to her: “Of course I’ll help get you a car, my lovely slut!”

            But without him burning through all our money, I’m also loving actually having money to pay the bills, and knowing where it’s all at. Now to get him to consistently pay the money he’s supposed to…our divorce is still pending, so there’s nothing legal forcing him to pay up.

        • My ex is 51 and starting from ground zero. No 401k, no investments, no nothing but a new 30 year $150,000 mortgage, $5,000 a year in property taxes, a 6 year Harley payment (had to trade in for a new bike, the one pd for wasn’t good enough), and $15,000 in credit card debt! Now he has two children of hers he’s paying for (both are from different dead-beat dads she was married to) and between the two of them they make less than $70,000 a year! Ha! Im debt free and loving it!

      • Yep me too. Actually I always knew what he was spending (just not what on) as he was withdrawing tons of cash but the positive is that without his “impression management spending” I am now twice as rich on half the salary and like you I know exactly where everything is going.

        • My money isn’t being shifted around anymore from checking to savings to transfer somewhere to cash to deposit to purchase to sale to cash to hidden.
          He had some sort of money laundering game going on. It worked though. I was so confused what the fruck was going on and if I asked for an explanation a fast talking “simple” explanation was given. I couldn’t ask for clarification because then I’m “difficult” and a “nag” and “busting balls”.
          Me: “why is there stacks of cash hidden in the closet?”
          Him: “you are so NEGATIVE! YOU NEVER HAVE ANYTHING POSITIVE TO SAY! You have an evil face.”
          Me: Umm what? I’m not mad just wondering where did that money come from and where are you going to put it?
          Him: None of your business!
          And then my punishment is to sit at home alone on Friday night because I asked a question.

          And now ???? ????I look at my account and sometimes chuckle. Money doesn’t need to be shuffled around. This isnt the mafia. Why did it ever have to be difficult? It was the lunatic liar that was overspending and stealing and only buying things for himself. It wasn’t my fault. I’m not bad with money like he had me believe. Everything is on auto pay now. No mysteries need to be solved anymore. He needed me to be at a disadvantage so I felt stuck and incompetent as he cheated and abused me. I think thats disgusting and evil.

          Attie same here! I live 10x better on one salary than i did on 2. ???? And he’s furious. That kind of says it all. I want him to be ok…. and he wants me to suffer.

          • I just said yesterday to someone this exact thing! It is SO much easier now with finances. I am lucky I make a good living, but now that I don’t have a common criminal as a financial partner whose channel was permanently set to rage when I asked any financial questions, my financial life is SO simple! When I was married I really could never figure out why everything was SO difficult in that department from the time I met X to the time I received a partial record of his accounts. (I wasn’t “allowed” to know much about his finances…easier to keep the cheating and drug use a secret, I now know). I have a bit of anxiety about money security so I save, save, save now. I never could before…I was on a sinking ship when I was married from day 1.
            And to comment on today’s post, the raging blameshifting was a source of incredible confusion and chaos once he started the slow and then progressively faster devalue…over 10 years. YIKES. It really is amazing to look back on and realize I was that frog in the boiling water.

            • Wow! exactly my life minus the drugs and replace with his alcohol. Suddenly nothing is difficult!!! My parents asked me how in the world I’m struggling with our 2 incomes. I kept saying I don’t know. They told me to leave him if for no other reason than he’s a lying thief.
              The day i got the financial documents I cried. I even went on interviews for a part time job. I listed my few possessions of value for sale. He let me. All the while he’s rolling in cash telling me I’m useless. I almost barfed. I lived poor while he had stacks of $100’s running all over the country playing with his friends. but we couldn’t afford a vacation in 10 years. At a time that i didn’t have enough money to go thru $1.25 tolls, he was living large. I wasn’t allowed to buy a coffee. That made me ill.
              Now as just me on my own I buy delicious coffees whenever the hell i want and prepay the tolls and I somehow am not “poor” anymore. Apparently people started whispering behind my back laughing that he married an ATM that cooks. Real funny.

              • I’m so sorry but you must now know how mighty you are! That will never happen to you or me again!!

              • FYI, when I received his checking account statements (he never got around to sending the cc statements or savings but agreed to my demands so I stopped asking) I cried too. He was taking out an average of 3 grand in cash most months and skipping months at a time of the mortgage or his car while i ate tuna out of a can for lunch to try to give him even more cash because he was “struggling”. They were angry tears. I was so angry at myself for not trusting my gut. I felt the resentment the whole 10 years but was too afraid of his big guy rage channel to do anything about it until he left. I will never be that person again.

              • WhatRing…-
                I can empathize with you on the financial level.
                I am a stay at home mom and my husband makes 6 figures yet, despite our modest lifestyle, we are, in his words, “going “backwards”.
                I should say “I” live modestly. My husband on the other hand spends thousands on his music hobby, always has $$ for a six pack of beer every day, there’s always $$ for going out to lunch during his work week, always $$ to go drinking with his buddies on Friday nights, always $$ for new shoes (he has an obsession with and more than 20 pairs of shoes) and other personal expenses.
                I, on the other hand, spend too much on coffee, drive around too much (he insists I drive only to drop off/pick up son from preschool) in our gas guzzling VW (to his credit, Touaregs do have poor gas mileage, but our son’s preschool is less than two miles from our home), I spend too much on groceries. I have to account for every penny and I get scrutinized for any non essential food item. I am gluten intolerant but despite this, my husband makes a point of buying non gf items because no one else in the house needs to eat gf foods.
                If I push him for financial transparency, he whines and deflects until I back down.
                He knows he’s trapped me and doesn’t seem to care. I know he’s just using me as a fill in until someone “better” comes along, and when he has secured next victim, I’ll be discarded like last week’s trash.

                I know my value to him yet know my worth as well. I have a plan, and a lot of patience.
                One day, I’ll be writing about how lovely life is without the asshole in it. (Directly- we have children).
                One day…

              • Fedupchump it would astonish you to know how much my ex and your husband have in common. The big salary, stupid VW thing, the stupid clothes thing, the shoes obsession, the accusing me of spending all our money on groceries. The only differences are that he “needed” a bottle of wine, not beer, for himself every night so there goes $1000+/month, more than I spent on groceries. And his “buddies” were not the dudes I thought they were.

                Stay strong!

              • WhatRing..I lived the same scenario. A family member who was a banker kept telling me that there was no way we were continually struggling and poor after all those years of marriage. I spackled and defended him. But of course, he was hiding money, spending money, dropping $20 tips for waitresses and bartenders who made him feel special (food bill was less than $20).

                I’d love to share some delicious coffee with you and make a toast to a cheater-free life. Stay mighty!

          • “Why did it ever have to be so difficult?” OMG YES. I could never figure out why The Paying Of A Bill was even remotely tricky. His electric was turned off, in February, at his house located on a snowy mountain, meaning his garage door opener didn’t work. So he got to break into his own (cold) house, in the dark, with his kid beside him, and sleep WITH HER BECAUSE IT WAS SO COLD and this was all the electric company’s fault. Because he thought he sent them enough.

            And I’m wondering how, exactly, the amount owed can be a mystery? They tell you straight out. On the bill. That they send. Every month.

            This is the guy who bought a used car, financed it at 15% and walked out with the car plus $5,000. Somehow rolled a cash-back into that ridiculous loan. And would happily, and sincerely, tell me he was “really good” with money.

            It hurt like hell, 15 on a scale of 10, and at times still does. But I’m sure glad the mind fuckery is gone. It was painful just being in close proximity to that mental illness.

            • Oh my God, if it wasn’t for having his child with him that would be so funny. And mine did pretty much the same thing. The only thing I insisted on in the divorce was that he refinance the 60,000 euro car he bought himself in his own name. When he refinanced, let’s say the outstanding amount was 23,000 – well he refinanced at 32,000 and spent the difference. Easy to spend of course but I know for a fact that he has now refinanced THAT loan over in the US to get rid of his French loans and now, on top of that he has another loan for an expensive car in the US. I hadn’t heard from him in ages (it’s easy when you don’t answer the phone) but I know he is currently in a mess with the IRS and panicking like crazy. The good news is whatever he may owe them has nothing to do with me as I stopped filing with him when I handed back my green card in 1992. Take heart, these fuckwits more often than not still run themselves into the financial doodoo even if they earn tons.

          • Omg!!!! This!!! Now that I’m at meh and NC and divorced and in love with the man I’ve beeb dating 2 years and supporting myself in my career and healthier than ever I truly do want X to be ok — for my kids’ sake. Him? He got exactly the natural consequences of his actions and he seems to want me dead or homeless or suffering ….. sick fuck

            Oh well…. his problem…. I really don’t care that he’s evil.

        • Why is this????
          I ‘theoretically’ had access to half of everything, because we were a team in community of property. I truly signed up to that team work and every one of my Scottish genes worked towards enhancing our assets/

          He bought motobikes a boat a sportscar another one high end clothes and accessories a house

          HE SPENT US INTO A COMA before and during his new pussy solves depression solution. It was the finally unacceptably hurtful thing and after years of disrespect, chumping and humiliation I said ‘no more’ and applied consequences.

          Now I have 25% of his income in maintenance, I am wealthier than I have ever been.

          HOW CAN THIS BE!!!!!

      • YES! Me, too!

        It used to take my XH *multiple* hours to do our semi-monthly finances. Since he often complained about how difficult it was to do alone, I would offer to help. His answer was either “No thanks”, or he would give me some menial task that didn’t really serve any purpose (like putting our grocery store receipts in chronological order?) while he took care of the “hard stuff”. I never understood why this was so time-consuming and complex (apparently, it takes a lot of time and energy to hide the siphoning of joint assets to pay for all his APs). When he moved out, I demanded to take over managing our finances until our joint assets could be divided. He very reluctantly agreed. Not only did this give me an opportunity to completely overhaul his nonsensical process, but I now had access to information about every one of his expenditures. Eye-opening! Anyway, I can now do my corporate payroll, taxes and bills, my personal bills and investments, and reconciling 6 bank accounts in about 1 hour.

        And, I seem to have a lot more money in the bank than we ever did on our two salaries. I’m now able to pay for things for myself that we never had money for before (security system, yoga classes, patio furniture, good haircuts, IRA contributions). And it’s not because I’m only buying 2 bananas per week instead of 4, it’s because the money is being spent on the people (me) who earned it, not on funding his extramarital affairs.

      • Same sentiment but opposite side of the spectrum. I can do things now financially without the Spanish Inquisition and furrowed brow of malcontent. I’m thrifty myself but by gawd, I remember buying popcorn at a movie theater with my daughter and being nervous how ex would react when he found out. Or heaven forbid we want a drink other than water at a restaurant, and on and on. Controlling people are exhausting.

      • Ha ha, these are funny!!! My ex thundercunt was a gem. She was a stay at home mom…who never stayed at home not took care of the kids. I brought home $7k a month and we spent $8k…andour house was paid off and we had no car payment or cell phone bills. Now post divorce, I spend more money (that I know about) and it is FAR less than when I was with the idiot….even with child support (although we have 50/50 custody that I bought and paid for).

      • I love her stuff and follow her on FB! Great insight for those of us dealing with the personality disordered which is pretty much everybody here in CN. 🙂

    • Totally relatable! SparkleDick wouldn’t show me any of his credit card statements, give me passwords to any of his accounts, and when I asked to see his phone I was met with “I’m not going to let you track me like a dog.” Dog indeed! #Attorneycangetthatforme

      • Well, good luck with that. My ex NEVER produced the credit card statements that proved he paid for schmoopie’s trip to Italy while we were still married. (Mother in law went also!). Sociopaths/ psychopaths do not follow laws, rules or subpoenas! I spent way to much money due to his lack of cooperation.

      • My ex preferred I manage our finances. That way it all my fault if we aren’t a success. Lots of emotional abuse to spend money for him even when I didn’t know how we could afford it. I had to work more hours. Can’t win either way.

        • During my divorce my attorney subpoenaed phone, credit card and bank account information. I also hired a forensic accountant which was very helpful and a little hurtful, as inbound out just how evil and deceitful he was. Good bye and good riddance younsick, disordered and devil incarnate…..

  • This is the lesson to teach our children when it comes to what to be on the lookout for.
    It doesn’t simply apply to cheating but the whole mindfuck of the other person being right all the time or beyond reach of logic when it turns out they are wrong or untouchable when it comes to consequences. It applies to who drives a new car and who has to get by with the broken down rust bucket or who gets to buy whatever they want and who has to scrape together to purchase food, or who has their stuff all over the house and who has their stuff hidden away in a closet, or, or, or…..there are so many examples from reading this site I can’t list them all.
    This is a foundation lesson for everyone.

    • This! When we got divorced the Twat’s car was valued at €32,000 and mine at €1,000 (and that’s being charitable)! Say no more right!

      • Yuuuuuuupp. When Cold Slab O’Meat and his daughter moved in with me, he was going to have a 30 minute commute. Somehow although we were not yet married he ended up driving my much newer nicer sedan, which was in great shape. I ended up driving his shitty broken down minivan. In 3 years he put 80K miles on my car and broke the seat lever. I had to nag him to order a new one. He ordered the wrong side and wrong color and jammed it on upside down and it was never fixed.

        I continued to pay repairs and maintenance on a car he was driving.

        During the last year of our relationship because I helped him with his credit, and living rent free does wonders for your DTI, he qualified for a great deal on a newer car. I got my car back on its last legs. Not only was it made clear that the newer car was his and I was rarely allowed to drive it, but after years of eating in my car not so much as a water bottle was allowed in his.

        When a fellow driver made a small coin sized dent in the door of his new car, he pursued estimates and getting it fixed like it was a new job. My seat remained broken.

        The sense of entitlement is incredible.

        • Luziana, I, too, had to deal with a spoiled car hog. Whenever she borrowed my car, it came back with no gas in the tank, and trash in the front seat. Just so you know, she never left garbage in her own car, and anyone that knows me knows I keep the inside of my car immaculate (and, no, the rest of my possessions are fairly cluttered and messy; it’s just my car that’s neat). She would get fast food on the way, and stuff the trash from it under the passenger seat. I don’t know how many times I would discover there was 3-day old burger and fries in my car by the smell.
          And when I got a new car, she would try to repossess it, or bitch that she still had to drive an old one. I bought her a brand new car in 2007, then bought a new one for myself in 2008 when mine had 150k miles on it. She then kept trying to borrow mine to drive.
          When mine (the 2008 one) got totaled in an accident in 2010, I went to get another one as, you know, I didn’t have anything to drive. All I heard for two weeks while I shopped for a new one was “And next year *I’ll* get a new car.” Hers was all of three years old, but it wasn’t fair in her mind. I finally just gave up and let her buy a new car, and I drove hers.

        • How did I not see this? While he was driving around in a $90,000, fully loaded, brand new Cadillac Escalade, I was putting around in a used manual $13,000 Jeep. He had three kids from a previous relationship, me none, and we made almost the same amount. I never had enough for essentials like bras and underwear, while he wore expensive jewelry, clothes and $80 bottles of men’s cologne. And I dare not say a word about his $400-500 a month eating out expenses compared to my sandwich toting lunches to work, or I’d get the cold shoulder and discard for weeks at a time.
          I’m not working, living off my military Retirement while a full-time student right now, yet I can afford a better car and decent clothes now. Go figure. His credit is shot because he is still spending as if he has both of our paychecks to splurge on himself with….and Shrek only makes minimum wage.

        • Luziana I can identify. I cannot recall ever being allowed to drive Douchebag’s luxury SUV, even when my car needed repairs and DB was away on business travel and I needed to transport child to school/myself to work. And I should probably put air quotes around “business travel.” I had to get a ride, rental or loaner while his car sat locked in the garage and I was not allowed an extra key fob because “those cost something like $800.” I always drove a sturdy, reliable car, full of the inevitable kid messes. It makes me cry when I read this back and see how chumpy I was.

          • Right before Cheaterpants and I separated, he decided he wanted a brand new, fully loaded truck. I already knew about OW, he already told me he was leaving, but he wanted me to cosign on the truck because his credit was crappy and he wanted a lower interest rate. He even had the sales man call me. I very nicely explained to the sales man that he should call OW because I was not going to be stupid and co-sign for care. Cheaterpants got the truck but ended up with a payment of $650 monthly.

      • Ha! Wow, you really hit home with this one. Exactly the same here. Likewise with retirement accounts and cholesterol levels and wardrobe. Why didn’t you take care of yourself better Chump? One may ask. And that is a great question that I work on every day now. Back then it was difficult to take care of myself when the ex took all the care in our life for himself.

        • For better or worse, right? They get the better, and we get the worse.

          Now that I don’t take care of him any more, he has gone from bad to worse. Me? Life is so much better without his lies and anger and blameshifting.

    • So true AOK! Even though our paychecks went into one account, his credit cards, no matter what the balance, always got paid in full every month (his expensive habits & materialistic crap) while I scraped for household items and groceries, drove the 10-year-old rusting vehicle while he drove a newer VW.

    • Indeed. For anyone here still on the fence, if the marriage or relationship is not between equals, if there is not mutual respect, if there is not reciprocity–that’s the truth of what you are living.

      It’s indeed a “foundation lesson.”

    • This hit a nerve with me.

      X had a brand new truck and a very nice motorcycle.
      I drove a car with no breaks and no AC.
      And I drove it with the kids in it.

      And we were not poor – very middle class. But I guess in his mind that is all I deserved.

  • I remember this so clearly.

    We were in the car and I was going to start my first day of college classes. It was January 2013. He had started the year before on the path of a nursing degree. I decided I needed to get my shit together when he’d stood in my living room, looked me in the eye and told me if I didnt start putting out more to his liking, he was going to go looking elsewhere.

    Anyway, I thought I had time to “get it together,” never realizing at that time, he was already fucking someone or that that was what he needed to tell me before he started fucking her the next day.

    We were in the car, he was driving, and I had a new outfit and looked, well, smashing. He proceeded to light up a cigarette and I asked him not to because I didn’t want to smell like smoke.

    He was LIVID. It was soooo out of character for him at the time. He was never mad about anything. But he was about that.

    Since then, I’ve realized his affair partner then, was another student. He was NOT crazy about my going to school, but he didn’t say no. The AP was someone I had met. He brought her to my house and I was clueless as to who she was. She suddenly quit school when I started going. She was another nursing student who’s partner/boyfriend actually started working at the same hospital my then husband was working at, and my husband would tell me how horrible the boyfriend was to her. I thought that was weird. Why would Mr. Twatwaffles care that much?

    I was sooooo dumb.

    • Your cheater had a bad case of “mentionitis.” Mine did too. All through that long (and increasingly terrible) summer I kept hearing stories about “Emily.” Emily this, Emily that. Oh, and the best, “I think [other guy at work] has a thing for Emily.”

      Trust that they suck.

      • The thing is, it looks as if they’re being transparent, and that lulls us into safety. Transparency is what husbands and wives are supposed to exhibit in relation to friends of the opposite sex. So, for example, when our nephew was killed in Afghanistan, I became friends with a retired Colonel who contacted me after the death. He was really helpful to me. We continue to correspond, sporadically and intermittently. I made sure from the first email to keep my husband in the loop.
        Meanwhile, my husband had been corresponding with (and visiting) an ex student/alum, but I never knew anything about it, except when he’d “mention” something she was doing or had said, or let slip information that began to paint a picture for me that this was not a normal professor-alum friendship (he knew way too much about her relationship with her father and met her over coffee to “help” her; she asked him to get an online minister’s license so he could marry her–a relationship that later failed–they shared a joint fondness for a certain chair in his office; he had to leave the phone store once when we were getting new phones because he had a “coffee date” with her).
        He had a case of “mention-itis,” which he tried to pass off as transparency. I was actually transparent.

        • I’m so sorry for your loss, Trying for Mighty. How terrible for Cheaterpants to be pulling the mindfucks while you were grieving hard. Keep aiming for Mighty and MEH!

      • OMG THIS! That happened all the time with my fuckwit. He would tell disparaging stories about the OW. She wore the same cargo pants every day. She was incompetent at her job. She was such a Bohemian tofu-eater. She had chaotic relationships and was a nitwit. Whatevs. That was with the first OW now 10 years ago and it became the fucwit bat signal for who he had is eye on next.

        Not sure if he was trying to cause me pain by having his little secret and dangle it under my chump nose, or if he wanted my feedback on the litany of junk about the OW to somehow get the Mommy Stamp of Disapproval from me (no one is the boss of him). I think it was a combination of both.

        • Whoa. I got this too. His direct report “always wears cargo pants when we meet with lawyers. She only has 2 or 3 ‘business attire’ dresses and they’re old and worn out and it’s embarassing. She’s crass and unpolished and uneducated. She’s a redneck who married 2 brothers so I don’t know if her kids are brothers or cousins”. She was woodsy and outdoorsy, but not in the llbean glistening rosy cheeked athletic way – more like she looked as if she had been sleeping under a log in the bush and arrived in the city not showered, headed off to meetings. Seriously.

          I was also told in a screaming raging tone that if he was going to fuck another woman it wouldn’t be her, she’s nasty, he has access to hedge fund managers mbas private school smart women and seriously, if I’m gonna go there, I’m gonna raise the fucking bar.

          The words told me nothing. The screaming raging storming told me everything. In 25 yrs he’d never raised his voice like that. I laughed and said the smart good ones wouldn’t fuck a married guy, nice try, he was none too thrilled.

          When he passed it off as an EA only, while raging, I said “Jesus, you couldn’t close the deal with a known whore?” No real good answer for that.

          But the rage was the most telling every time. Fucking cargo pants. Hope they had reinforced knees cuz that was where she was all the time.

        • NOW I C ,

          my cheaterTurd did that always talking about OW (he had many ) but i always had the feeling that he was saying “i know something you don’t know” ,(i’m fucking her) very covert , and it wasn’t the words he was speaking , it was an attitude , a body language , that always upset me , but i knew in my gut what he was doing …….but when you are an empath , abused, and low self esteem , then you don’t trust yourself , you question yourself . he took such pleasure in my distress and anguish , he was delighted with himself that he could cause me so much hurt ……he would smile and watch me suffer . this was all done covertly . never about the real subject . do i need to say that after 4 decades i know nothing about him , except that he is full of malice and hatred , that is hidden by “mr nice guy”. can’t wait for the karma bus to hit this evil POS ….

          • when I met evil turd, who I thought was the love of my life, but as it turns out in 209 years I don’t f’en know who the hell I was married to…anyway I digress, so when we were engaged, I raced over to his job to take him out to lunch only to find that his secretary was taking him and she came over to me and smugly said ‘ too late, I am taking him to lunch for his birthday” I stood dumbfounded while Narc-y boy walked right past me like I was dirt. This was the same ugly secretary that I caught him kissing her on the lips. I had to tell him OMG you don’t kiss your secretary on the lips ! Flash forward a few years later I worked with my husband after we were married, dog face did not work there anymore. I worked in a different job and my husband hired a consultant. SHe was dangling a amex card In my face saying “look what your husband gave me to pay for expenses as a company card” this was the same bitch that was harassing me and came right out and said one day “I would love nothing more to see your ass out on the f street” (he made her MY boss) I confronted my narc husband (I did not know what I was dealing with, eg I did not know at the time my husband was a narcissist sociopath) and said “why is this woman saying this to me, oh my god, nobody would say that to the VP’s wife unless you were at the back of this” also, I said “you must be screwing her” I was soon thereafter let go (he orchestrated getting me fired, yes my own husband) when I found out 20 years later that a new whore was on the horizon…already in the pipeline…and he promptly got rid of this hooker I suspected him of cheating with and hired another POS piece of ass…anyway, before Long Island Lolita decided to sue the company (he claims it was because she claimed she was owed money for consulting work, I say it was because he was trying to now dump HER because a new whore/new supply was in the pipeline) well, before this happened he came over to us and said ‘you two can go ahead and have a catfight” Mindblowing. THis is the guy I stayed with and DUH what a chump, I never knew that all throughout my marriage that all of this meant that He had Sooooo many pieces of ass. Once I was out of the job, he tried to destroy all other jobs I tried to get and/or was about to be hired and he somehow destroyed. UNTIL he became focused on the longest running whore of all times, the 15 year HOworker that he stuck with the longest, behind my back. I should have known from the beginning red flags that NO accounts were joint with me, all the phones, cellphone, housephone, computer and fax machines were ALL password protected !
            Agenda much? Double life much? I am so destroyed over what was done to me mentally. This was a psychological crime. I cannot make this shit up. I call it the biggest scam to ever be perpetrated on a nice wife. AND he came out sparkly clean, with an image intact, I was destroyed and made to look like the evil horrible wife…he destroyed me SO BAD that I am now isolated with no friends, nobody that would ever believe what I went through and what the REAL person he was. Cuz he looks so good, so handsome, so charming, so intelligent….

      • The opposite can also be true. After my dday, I found out the OW had contacted him yet again but he didn’t tell me. (So much for transparency) When I confronted him about it, he replied “What about “new male boss”, you talk about him an awful lot these days. Yes, because he was new, he was effective and quite a nice departure from the sock puppet/mouth piece for upper management our team had endured before. So yeah, I guess I was guilty about talking about work a lot and bringing up his name since he was the new kid on the block, however it was that moment (of his deflection and projection) that gave me clarity.

        Before he and the ho-worker started canoodling her name came up in conversations a normal amount and then all of a sudden nothing. It was like she didn’t exist anymore so I told him “Trust me, you only have to worry if I all of a sudden stopped talking about “new male boss” because it seems like that’s when all this started with you and the ho-worker. I got a blank stare and crickets for a response. He was never much for admitting when he was wrong, but his silence spoke volumes.

      • Oh, Jackass had ‘mentionitis” too. I still recall the first “mention” of the OW. I knew then–my whole body reacted.

        • He came home with a jar of homemade jam that the cow had made. I asked “who’s that?” He works mostly with women, the job was new, we had relocated, I hadn’t met anyone yet. And he flipped out. “You don’t give a shit about my job, you don’t listen when I talk about these people I’m with all day! You don’t give a shit about anyone but yourself”. It was so weird and every hair on my neck stood up. My body knew way before I did. I didn’t listen to it, I listened to him.

          • anytime someone is delivering something to your husband, I realize now that is someone he is fucking. I remember when a male coworker’s wife kept bringing my husband rum coffee cakes each week. I asked why does she keep bringing those cakes to you? answer: she knows I like them. Then when I went for 3 weeks on a work trip and I called the house when we were newlywed’s and he said “snookie” (the coworker wife) “is coming over for dinner, I cannot talk” I said WHAT, the wife of your coworker is coming over to our house alone for dinner? (I was in Europe for my job) I did not know what the hell that meant ! Turns out he was a narcissist and this shit was just mindblowing, I had NO idea he was a narcissist at the time let alone to know what one was. He then took the phone off the hook and would not answer, I had to send over his niece to tell him to put the phone back on the hook !! When I look back on this now, I don’t know why I continued the marriage and turned a blind eye to this really twisted strange behavior that I truly did not understand. He put me through the mill. ONe day I came home to find a gushing note on the door from a Jehovah’s witness, with big woman’s signature on it and the screen door was practically pulled off the hinges…I confronted him that there was some woman left a note that looked like a love note on the door. He said he was giving ‘them’ money. I said OMG why would you give Jehovah’s witnesses money…never dawned on me that she probably was a Jehovah (they came once and I answered the door she was a blond haired woman, never realized she kept coming back for more) but that he had most likely pulled her into the house for sex ! What a predator !

          • So true—the ho-worker gave him birthday cards, attended family events, cooked him lunch. He knew all about her—medical conditions, dogs names.
            When confronted he said, “but you go salsa dancing.”
            And I knew….

        • LAJ, I just remembered the moment “mentionitis” occurred. STBX had mentioned a few people that he hung out with in NYC occasionally, no real ‘alarms’ were going off, as he mentioned them all on now and then. But one night he flew in, and mentioned her name 3 times in the first 30 minutes of being home. I said nothing at the time, but it was duly noted as a WTF? Yes, that just-a-friend, had turned into GF, No doubt at all.

        • Ex’s first affair was obvious as hell to me, because of the ‘mentionitis’ – love that term. Second one was obvious because of how he changed towards me. Actually, I think I figured them both out before he even fucked them … although of course he got around to that.

          I guess in some ways I got lucky to have ended up with a STUPID narc. He didn’t even get much cake-eating in. Although my pick-me dance following Affair #1 was pretty fabulous …., he sure enjoyed that.

        • Mention-itis, yeah.

          My whore fucking ex-husband didn’t have a specific OW, just a bunch of prostitutes said he would fuck during his lunch break. Once D-Day hit, I discovered that there is an acceptable name among Johns that frequent prostitutes… instead of calling it what it is, they call it “the hobby.”


          During the years he was “Hobbying”, he often told me that *I* needed to find a hobby. It was just one of the things he would say to put me down, which I found weird, because I actually have a number of hobbies.

          He must’ve thought himself to be really friggin funny throwing that word in my face all those years. Now that I understand what he meant, I’m very glad I don’t have that particular hobby, or, at this point, that particular husband.

      • ‘mentionititis’
        I get that it is a thing now. I can see so many when I look back. How naive I was… Or one step removed mentionitis when actually they are right in the midst. No wonder I have lost trust in people (men) I don’t believe them half the time now. They could be saying anything. I have no faith in honesty anymore. After being with a game player, manipulator and fabricator for over 20 years, I am only now putting all the pieces together. It’s insane. He lied about so many trivial and major things with ease.
        How do I stop someone else’s madness passing on to me. I think therapy is my quickest route!

      • Yes!!! “Mentionitis”!! I’m pretty sure mine did this as a way of getting his triangulation jollies, as in “I bet you think I’m fucking her but nyah, nyah, nyah, you can’t prove anything! Better effin pick me dance, bee-itch!”

    • Sunflower, your are not dumb. I know we chumps all feel this way, but please don’t. We are just the proverbial scapegoats used by cheaters to look splendid.

    • Sunflower 36, YOU are NOT dumb!
      I read your posts.
      You are one of the most loving, amazing, caring persons in the world.
      I am so sorry you are going through a very difficult time right now with the addition of a new baby to the perfect blissful happenings in your ex’s and AP ‘s life. Your daughter’s joining in on all the bliss is so hard on you.
      You are, and will always be, the sane, present, loving parent.
      All of their glitter, will flake off, tarnish, will not last, but you, you are constant, rock hard, lasting. Your daughters will need you more and more as time goes on.
      Be gentle on yourself, believe in you!

    • The same thing happened to me. If i didn’t do blah blah blah he was leaving. I remember laughing when he said it because it was so dumb. But he wasn’t laughing. What incredible assholes these robots are.

      • I remember when mine said something similar, I had the genuine feeling of “Go ahead, make my day!” That’s when I realized I wanted out, and it was a year or two before I discovered all the bad stuff. In a way it was kind of a relief when D-day came and I knew I could leave with a clear conscience.

  • This is exactly right. Before things came to a head I noticed he had a short fuse with our son. He also wanted to pick fights with me. One time we were watching a documentary before bed and I was talking to him, and suddenly he didn’t respond. I looked over and asked “Are you asleep?” He popped up and started ranting about how he can fall asleep if he wants to, it was his house and his life and I needed to chill the f*ck out! He really let loose that night, in a way I’ve never seen. This was almost three months before he blew it all up. One time the week before he insisted I misplaced the car title, he got down on his knees in my face and when I told him to please leave because I was getting upset and didn’t want to argue he looked at me without flinching and just said “no”. Like a damn child about to throw a tantrum. The anger made zero sense to me at the time, but now it does. Spot on, CL.

    • 12YearsWasted,
      I relate exactly to every word you said.
      I am still haunted, to this day, at the memory of the cold, dead eye, soul piercing look in his eyes as he carried on this suddenly different way and baffling actions. And to think, that as soon as he left the house, travelled to the city of his employment, arrived at his destiny-the OW’s arms, that this look of hatred in his eyes, would melt away and become the soft, loving eyes of the man I once knew.
      (That is a whole new post heading, EYES, the mirror to the soul. Haunting!)

      • After abandonment I looked back at some photos and some pic-video-photos I took (that thing Apple does by having a moment of action before a still shot). I could see the loathing on his face. He looked like he ate a bug. He hated me, he hated his life, he was a cold and dead-eyed person. He was opening a birthday gift in one shot and it looked like he was about ready to behead a kitten. Same, horrifying look of rage and disgust and bloodlust.

        I can see very clearly now that he was hating me actively every moment of the day up until he poofed.

        Good luck Schmoops, he is a super creep.

        • I have the same photos. They still break my heart a little, mostly for my daughter. There is one where she made him a silly hat and tried to put it on his head and it was so cute and I came in to take a picture and he got so pissed. This was several years ago but I remember clearly what he said “I just want to be left alone. I just want to live my life.” Ummmm, I thought this was your life buddy. Whenever I feel bad for him or overly empathetic for his current loneliness, I remember that moment, and it keeps me working to protect my heart and my daughters heart.

        • I remember in the past two years him never speaking to me anymore, the distance …I was home one afternoon sitting on the couch, each time I made it home at the precise time the house phone was ringing. His number cropped up. How did he know to call the house right when I got there. We had grown distant for years mostly because he was fucking the big HO from work…anyway, there I sat on the couch and the door from the garage flung open and he just stood there just like a statue…staring,….in a stone trance, eyes were like saucers…I will never ever forget that spooky stare, not a word, just standing staring over at me…no hello…not a sound … still like a statue….I jumped up and ran…I will never forget the look, it haunts me to this day. I read up about that it’s called the sociopathic stare…

        • jeanny
          did your husband do the same thing? I have wondered about the stare for years. I still will remember it. Even at dinner he would go into a trance staring at me. I told him not to stare like that…at first I thought it was a stare of ‘love’. But clearly it wasn’t because he had that little howorker secret all along. But the creepiest was coming home and standing there staring in a trance (mind you this guy did not drink or do drugs) I had never seen anyone do that until he started doing it the last two years. It was trancelike. Did your husband do that? And what was that ? Did you ever figure out what that was or why he did it? I think it was something that narcissists do? Most people would blink or look away. But to stand there and stare like a complete statue?

    • Yes. Right before both affairs, mine blew up at DD in a very scary irrational way. Made no sense to me at the time and I attributed it to job stress. Now, of course, I know what was happening. On the other hand, I recall him going out of his way to be nice to me. It makes me sad to think that was just another sign that he really didn’t care about me.

      • Mine blew up over a hook on the bathroom door that my robe “broke” and he attacked me about the hook falling off the door. and then he verbally attacked me again about the missing ‘beach umbrella” that he wanted back because he must have had a big romantic beach getaway with his HO. I would also come home from work to find my clothing that was hanging in the bathroom on a hook thrown into my closet along with any other personal item I may have left out. Thrown into the closet !! We kept a very clean house. I know now he was taking his HO worker over here to F her in our bed, so of course he did not want that jealous whore to think I was still in the picture….

  • For the newbies, here are some textbook examples of all three, courtesy of our favorite female narc, Kunty Kibbler:

    1. It’s Not What I Did, It’s Your Reaction To It: “Our daughters will survive a divorce. They won’t survive a father who won’t engage civilly or even acknowledge their mother in conversation.”

    2. It’s Not What I Did, It’s How You Found Out: (after stupidly admitting to finding out about The Carrot Singer by looking on her phone): “Well, I hope you realize this means I can’t trust you anymore.”

    3. It’s Not What I Did, It’s What You Did — or Didn’t: “You never allowed me to go to patisserie school” (or any other ‘new career of the month’ that held her interest for at least 5 minutes).


    • “You never allowed me to go to patisserie school”

      Wow! Just wow!

    • Ooohhh, UX I like your style, so here are my experiences to your prompts:

      1. It’s Not What I Did, It’s Your Reaction To It: “Just die already.” Being confronted with proof his lies was just too much for him. My life became problematic for him.

      2. It’s Not What I Did, It’s How You Found Out: (after forgetting to lock his emails, so while walking to the laundry room, his skank messaged him and I saw it all): “I’m going to have you arrested for hacking my private email account.”

      3. It’s Not What I Did, It’s What You Did — or Didn’t: “You’re not entitled to my inheritance (that he had promised for 18 years that it would be our retirement so I never saved from my company’s profits) because it’s in a family trust. And you’re not my family.” Seems his kids aren’t his “family,” either.

    • “I can’t trust you anymore.” How very rich that the cheater “can’t” trust the chump. Of course, in cheater world discovering the truth always makes the chump untrustworthy!

    • I asked him why he’s raging when I’m the one that discovered his affair. He told me I handled it wrong. And I can’t even do that right. I was supposed to contact his affair partner. If I did that then she would have told me they are just friends. But i f’ d that up too. Because I’m a book smart child that doesn’t know how to use my head properly.

      • Yeah, I got that too…”you are just book smart and don’t know how the world really works!!!” He also wanted me to call his affair partner because she wasn’t an affair partner, she was just his therapist, S*******. (Big lie. It wasn’t his therapist or a S*******.) Sometimes, I feel snarky and think it would be funny to someday (when I have to be near the ow appliance) call her S*******and ask how meeting affair partners through her psychology practice is working for her. Just a fantasy I will never act on but it would freak her out, I’m sure.

        • I think that we both had simple abusers cluster b’s. Women haters. X has issues with his mom because she never went to see him play even when he played professional soccer in London. Turns out he never played soccer professionally. That was just another lie. Sigh.

        • Nejla, I hope you reported her to her registration board. That is some unethical shit there. Other patients (and their families) should be protected from that horrible person working as a therapist.

          • She actually isn’t a therapist…she is a medical biller. X was lying because he thought I might believe she was just his therapist. X has had many therapists;) My DDay was when I looked at a 79 page phone bill with 54 pages of one number that X was calling and texting. I confronted him immediately over the phone (he had already left to “find his happiness” and “figure out” his depression and anxiety) and he went into a rage, screaming that the calls were to his therapist, Stephanie. He also said I should call her. I calmly told him that 3500 calls at all hours of the day and night were not to Stephanie, his therapist. I told him he was an awful person and hung up. I have never spoken to him again since that day other than about divorce or child related matters. I came to find out weeks after that day (it was over two years ago now) that X lied from day one about everything from what he did in his country of origin to his first marriage to his drug habit, to the cheating. He is a low level conman.

        • Send her a potato parcel with a message anonymously…… that will fix the dumb HO bitch

    • #2…you find out she’s committing adultery and her reaction to her trust-breaking is that she now can’t trust you. Unbelievable.

      I have noticed my 10 year old showing this kind of heads I win tails you lose self-justification more and more to his brother. Irate, for example, when his brother interrupts him while talking. But when he in turn interrupts his brother, he’s still the one who becomes immediately indignant, saying his brother does it to him all the time. He’s the victim either way, and entitled to anger. It’s been happening on in a variety of forms and I’ve been correcting him mildly. But last night it was time to lower the boom. He was cut off rather abruptly mid-justification and reprimanded. It’s was then explained thoroughly, including how he is training himself to think improperly to suit selfish emotion rather than honesty to suit big-boy accountability when it’s his. There will now be zero tolerance for it, and he knows I mean it.

      This is partly where this crap grows from if not stopped. Simple invested parenting and consequences stops it. Shitty or disordered parents, when they aren’t modeling this, don’t even notice what’s happening (except that it’s a disturbance of their favorite sit-com) and so it grows into permanent layers of neurons in the child. And there are hundreds if not thousands of subtle events like this that’ll never get measured in a study of why disorders run in families. You have to care more about the child’s development than you do about your own selfish serenity or about always campaigning to be the fun parent. Or one day soon you’ll have produced another entitled adult POS.

      • Tko hallelujah! I hear you. And i clearly remember watching my husband become so enraged when his sweet child dared to interrupt whatever he was watching. He became the most entitled creature i have ever been around.i can never unsee the coldness i saw in him. Everything i do is to try my best, and then some, so that my child doesn’t become like that monster.

      • TKO,

        Totally agree. This starts early, and if you don’t see it in your kids and correct the behavior, it just grows and gets worse. Helps when entitled cheater parent is out of the house. My STBXH used to criticize me if I said ANYTHING negative to our teenagers. Of course, he was reacting to when I was setting boundaries, something his FOO never did. His parents never reprimanded him or modeled healthy behavior and he turned out so well.

    • Oh gawd. Once my ex lamented that he never played college basketball (a fact that occurred well before I knew him) and therefore will never know if he coulda made it to the NBA and now he’ll never know cause, presumably, he was trapped in the HORRIBLE HIDEOUS life we had made. Lololololol Basically, I got blamed for him not being an NBA star. Could not make this shit up.

        • Mine would lament how great his life was as a major league soccer start all those years back in another country…it always made me think he preferred that life to his life as a husband and dad. Turns out he never was a major league soccer star. Just a lie he told everyone when he came to this country. I don’t think he realized that the internet would be a big deal way back in the 90’s;) After we divorced I told him to stop telling our DD those ridiculous stories because the mask is off for me. I told him the list of lies I knew. That one was a big one because I don’t want my kid relaying those soccer star stories to her friends and getting laughed at. He has since changed the story…I know because now if DD mentions it she just says, daddy played at a very high level. He just cannot let it go. He coulda been a contender;) if it weren’t for everyone else in the world stopping him. Lol.

    • UX, number three is priceless.

      3. It’s Not What I Did, It’s What You Did — or Didn’t: “I never got to surf. “

      First thing he did after the
      signing the settlement was to buy a vehicle. Then he was hit with a huge tax bill. Then she bought a car. This was after taking a vacation booked weeks after Dday.

      A few years back I saw him in a muscle shirt with a surfboard on it. I swear I bought it when he as 39. He looked ridiculous wearing it at 58. Wannabe! Guess what? He’s still blowing his money at a casino, buying weed and getting drunk. He reached his potential all right.

  • Wow, chump lady your article was spot on. Looking back now I understand stand his being angry for dumb things. Like parking the car in the wrong spot. A fork in the sink. I could go on and on. His anger was worse on weekends. Now I understand those where the days he snuck off to see my cousin. Thank you chump lady your blog has helped me in so many ways.

  • Yes, the anger is a flashing light. Good insight. It is another power play cheaters make as they love power and driving the narrative.

  • Whenever I asked my cheating ex-wife about a household issue (bills unpaid while $20k sat in the bank, her laundry piled in mountains, huge revolving Visa bill after we agreed to pay-as-we-go, etc.) she immediately jumped to watery eyes and shouting, “I AM NOT A FUCK UP!” Then I spent 40 minutes apologizing and consoling her (“You are wonderful. I’m sorry I’m so controlling. I will work on that. You deserve so much better.”) And, of course, my concerns were never addressed.

    So weird to look back years later and think of all those instances—which all occurred while she was maintaining various affairs—and think, “Yes, you really are a fuck up. And you were all along.”

    • Fuck, Fuck, Loose!! (sorry … children’s tunes running through my head!)

    • Then I spent 40 minutes apologizing and consoling her (“You are wonderful. I’m sorry I’m so controlling. I will work on that. You deserve so much better.”) And, of course, my concerns were never addressed.

      This is exactly how I lived. If I meekly questioned things. (like women calling, local hotel asking for a review about our stay, odd rages about strange non-nonsensical things … he flipped out in a super scary rage way, screamed, punched walls, punched the fridge, broke a cabinet, etc… told me everything I did wrong. I was horrified *at myself*, would beg to be forgiven (which come to think of it, he never accepted an apology) and then I would strive to do better… I still can’t believe the clarity I have now and the complete lack of seeing things for what they were back then- just flabbergasting even now! And I’ve been divorced for a year.

    • Oh. This.
      Except his favorite quote was “YOU’RE TREATING ME LIKE I’M STUPID!” Followed by a close 2nd: “YOU ACT LIKE I’M NOT TRUSTWORTHY.”
      Coming out of the mouth of a serial cheater who “forgot” about the wild n crazy technology known to only us educated folks as “The Condom”.
      As for the apologizing and consoling… I would fling my arms around my cheater and beg him not to leave me for being so offensively intelligent and suspicious when he would drop hints about what a trial it was to stay faithful. But my concerns? Dismissed, ignored, turned back on me, twisted into a full frontal attack on his character when all I wanted to know was whether or not he’d be home before 4 am that night.
      I can’t believe I thought that was normal.

      • Yes, I got that one as she was starting her relationship, “I feel like you don’t trust me”, it stopped me asking questions for the duration of the relationship because I didn’t want to strain the attenuating fabric of our bond as she disengaged and drew it so tight it would break if I asked anything else.

  • I got a couple of extremely moody days before d-day and he walked out. Prior to that there were no signs of discontent and there were other things happening in his life that were plausible causes of a couple days of a bad mood.

    Now, I look back and marvel on my submissiveness to his bad mood during those days and realize how he systematically managed down my expectations over the years. It’s insane how walking on eggshells evolves and they really do come to effectively control via that behaviour.

    Oh and those angry days included Mother’s Day, the memory of that last one together is like the icing on the cake…

    I’m thankful for this memory now, Good riddance to that behaviour!

    • “Now, I look back and marvel on my submissiveness to his bad mood during those days and realize how he systematically managed down my expectations over the years. It’s insane how walking on eggshells evolves and they really do come to effectively control via that behaviour.”

      YES!!! so clearly stated!

  • My XW used the first tactic, “It’s Not What I Did, It’s How You Found Out About It.”

    I have two points here.

    First, yes, I did snoop, and I’m not proud of that. But I snooped because I had justifiable suspicions that she was harshly dismissing and deflecting. I “found out about it” from her deflections and suspicious behavior, not from the snooping. The snooping just confirmed things.

    Second, halfway through the affair, I extended a fig leaf and made a clean break from snooping…in the belief this would engender trust and respect from my wife. It was liberating, because she suddenly had nothing to complain about me. I was respecting her privacy. And yet at the same time she was so fucking stupid about hiding her affair. I realized that I had enough evidence all along, and snooping was never necessary; the evidence was abundant, and she kept right on going.

    I’m not claiming every chump’s situation will be like mine. But I will say that if your cheater is upset about your “invasion of your privacy,” then you already have all of the evidence you need; this person doesn’t respect you, so it’s time to get away from him/her.

    • Snooping gets this bad rap but from my perspective you were investigating important details that were impacting your personal life. Yes, everyone has a right to privacy, but we have a right got of disclosure of things that directly impact our lives. You need neither be proud or ashamed of snooping—it was a survival tactic.

    • “if your cheater is upset about your “invasion of your privacy,” then you already have all of the evidence you need; this person doesn’t respect you, so it’s time to get away from him/her”.


      I spent years being raged on over every little ridiculous thing. Every bad thing that happened was somehow turned into my fault. I lived my life walking on eggshells and cheater x held a tight dictator’s grasp on all our finances. Deep down I had a sick feeling something was very wrong but I had nothing tangible to prove it. Then, when I finally tracked him down at the hooker massage place using the find my iPhone app all hell broke loose.

      He raged that he couldn’t trust me & that I violated his privacy. He ignored me when I told him I thought my/our marriage was private. After that, he went into super secret service stealth mode with his phone & passcodes on everything. He acted out in other insanely crazy ways and treated our son & I terribly. He didn’t have a remorseful cell in his being. I did feel like he hated me and eventually I started to hate him too.

      There was nothing to work with. 20 years gone/wasted and I’m sure he was cheating the entire time. Luckily, no STD’s from his escapades. He died unexpectedly last year before the divorce was final and since then I have discovered I have peace in my house, money in my bank account, and am definitely happier.

      I wish I would have left him years before……………

    • “First, yes, I did snoop, and I’m not proud of that”
      JC, I think you should be proud of that. You listened to your gut feeling and you acted on it. I hope everyone who has a business partner that they aren’t feeling good about takes a closer look at the books, too! Since I had nothing to hide in my relationship, I gave my X all passwords – everything. People shouldn’t be hiding things from their spouses. When I found out about X’s secret email account and private bank account I was so shocked. Moving forward I will trust people who have earned my trust, not before.

    • oh they have new tactics, the set up their contact name to reflect that of a man (if your cheater is a man,, they set up their whore as a friend’s name (a man) so when it flashes on their phone as its ringing your dumbass thinks it’s that guy friend of theres. Here’s a good one, he would announce Whore’s real name in the car to alert whore that I was sitting next to him in the car. He would have the phone in the opposite hand and hold that cellphone really really close to his ear so I could not hear the horny whore rattle on in his ear while he gave her his FULL attention….but If I called him he’d say “you’re breaking up””cannot hear you, you are breaking up” or the famous, I am in a meeting, or If I called for 9 hours with no answer he’d come up with more and more lies “oh it was in the saddle bag on my motorcycle” Oh yeah, he failed to mention that Miss Twat was legs spread on the back of said bike with the tits rubbing against his back…oh yeah. the dog that she was. I bet she misses him now …I hope she is suffering cuz Karma bus got her …(he died)

  • Once the cheater checks out, it’s at that point that the rejection process begins of his spouse. When you no longer want someone or like them, you start rejecting them. When they used to be kind, now they are angry at us all the time, when they used to be patient, they have a short fuse now, when they used to be accepting, they are very defensive. They no longer want to be with us and everything they say and do reflects that. CL is spot on with her insight!! Thank you!!!

    • Kellia, You are spot on. This, IMO, is all part of the Discard cycle for the Narcissist. He has to, in his mind, reconcile his constant internal rage and to do that he projects it onto the very person he originally “loved”. If you look back at their romantic histories, you’ll see that not only do their relationships “overlap”, but they cannot be alone (ever), and they follow the same lovebomb-devalue-discard with every “soul mate”.

    • One of my most difficult memories is being on holiday with him and the kids and kayaking, I tried to keep up with him but he would not kayak next to me on the beautiful river. I just wanted to share it with him. Also our first family overseas holiday, he didn’t sit next to me on the plane, would always snorkel away from me and spent hours every evening at reception getting wifi to his whore. All makes sense now, at the time I thought he was embarrassed of me as I was at my heaviest, (chubby) yep put on the kgs from his emotional abuse.
      Hoping to one day go on a holiday with a man who doesn’t ignore me. In the mean time one of my goals once I am in the position to, is to take my boys to Vietnam or India. I’m a seasoned old backpacker so do fine on a budget in culturally different places.
      Onwards and upwards.

      • Oh yes, do it! Memories you all will cherish for a lifetime. I’m taking a backpacker style trip to Paris with my daughter next summer. I can’t wait!

        I was recently looking over family vacation photos and noticed how absent my ex was. He was only available for family time in a very limited capacity. Now my daughter and I travel with my sisters family a lot and her husband is so present and engaged. He plans special outings for the kids and wants us to all eat together and stuff. He’s just pleased to be there. I’m not sure I knew men could be this way. So much time wasted on such a selfish grump. Never again!

        • I hear you. I see dads at my kids school who are fully engaged and involved, mine was always hanging around the edges, he can’t give of himself as his first instinct is to please himself. Have a great time in Paris. I love backpacking, lots of freedom and you can keep you plans easy and mix in a bit of five star here and there.

      • Oh trust me, your weight had nothing to do with his behavior…
        On my honeymoon instead of spending time in the room my H wanted to go to the bear by bar and eat something ( one particular evening)
        Puzzling to me… we went and surprise surprise there was a blond girl with a long legs in her bikini swimming in the pool…. it felt odd … but I’m connecting dots now… ugh… newlywed … next day we fought ( stupid reason picked H) he left me in the middle of a town….

        • jeanny
          on my honeymoon he suggested that I go home…yes, he had picked a fight with me on the honeymoon ! I was so confused. I did not know why. And he did not want to have sex on the honeymoon ! Then when we got back, 6 months after the wedding, I find (found out after all those years that passed) out that the Howorker was renting a beachhouse at the time right in our town! Actually I do not believe, after piecing this together now, that SHE did not rent it, but that he actually rented it for her ! I believe that she had left her baby daddy *cuz no evidence she ever had a husband, and he was renting that house for her because she worked with him and because he knew she was going to give him sex behind my back….so it all worked out for them. The perfect plan ! To your point,
          they start as early as the honeymoon. It is surreal. It’s not normal. Who does that. We had a glamorous wedding, we were a good couple and some Howorker that his friend introduced him to was his next target and he moved quickly to secure her !

    • OR sometimes they triangulate and hoover you back by throwing you a trip or romantic getaway to make their HO jealous…it’s to make HO jump through hoops to get them to worry and stress that he may be still staying with the wife. They know they can do this because they know that you don’t know anything about the ho so you essentially are the little chess piece in their little game. They have dupers delight and they are pitting you in the middle of their f ‘d up affair and you don’t even know you are just a chess piece. This brings them great job and makes the other HO puppet controlled and beggy and more clingy. You are just said appliance wife and HO and him may have had a little fight. Like maybe he’s not moving fast enough to marry HER and therefore, he has to flex his control and make her a little jealous. Make her grovel a little. Keep her in tow. It’s all about the fun of the emotional abuse they delight in inflicting on us.

      • Exactly. They use not just the spouses as chess pieces but also the kids. It’s horrible, leaves everyone confused and walking on eggshells. It’s pathetic.

  • And here’s another take on the anger part.

    I recently saw one of those “how to tell” articles that CL refers to, and it specified sudden and out of proportion outbursts at pets and other animals.

    For years, KK talked about how she loved hounds, always wanted a hound, someday we were getting a hound. When we bought a house with a fenced in yard, she went out and brought home a basset/beagle mix (no discussion with me about it, she just did it). She tried training it for about a month but gave up when the beagle stubbornness proved a tougher nut to crack then she’d figured on.

    About a year later, when the newness had worn off and I was doing all of the evening walking, she came home from grocery shopping one day and screamed at the dog for a full 2 minutes, in front of our daughters. All kinds of things about what a mistake he was, how we never should have gotten him, etc. It was so bad I forced her to apologize to the girls later in the day — she passed it off, exactly as she had done so often over 15 years, to her default being “tired” and “not feeling well.”

    • She raged at a Bagel dog? That is beneath contempt… I have had 2 Beagle/Bassets and they ARE stupid, but they are SO sweet. She is a horrible human, but I believed that already

    • Hahahah- telling the dog off! How dare he not be just what she wanted! (she should have gotten a robot doggie!)
      My X reeeeally wanted a Dachshund. He was constantly talking about them, they were so great, and so cute! We were raising small kids, and trying to live frugally, not a lot of income, so I had to keep saying no.
      It became a game.
      Then, he brought one home ????! He said if it ‘didn’t work out’ then we could return her. He never took care of her, and she was really high-maintenance, and I was juggling little kids! Of course, he refused to give her back.
      Then, he brought home a second one. I personally took that one back. Oy Vey, they are so taxing to our peace and safety in our own home!

      • This. I love dogs, always have. My cheater knew this about me and claimed to like dogs when we met, but, when he started up with Schmoopie, suddenly decided he didn’t like them after all. He would get furious if an elderly dog would have an accident, and would blame me for bringing this problem into our lives. All my fault, even though he personally brought two strays into our home. Whatever.

        • Yup, me too – I’ve always loved dogs and always had one or two (not a whole passel of them as they were usually big) but they were part of the family.
          When he started up with Schmoopie we had one OLD SMALL dog who occasionally would pee (like an 1/8 of a cup) on the hardwood floor. He would go nuclear! I shoulda seen that RED FLAG for what it was. Now he claims he “never” liked dogs and Schmoopie must be his true love since she doesn’t like dogs either. Cold hearted bastards both of them.

          • Mine got himself a dog from the dog’s home in February. Never walked it though, just tied the poor (ex hunting dog) bugger up in front of the house. New schmoopie comes along, it is a wuv that cannot be denied and he buggers off back to the States in June – leaving us to take the dog back to the pound. I am gone for work 12 hours a day so no I don’t want your bloody dog, and if I do eventually get one it will be when I retire and one that I choose. So you see, nothing actually means anything to them apart from twu wuv.

    • My husband did the same thing to our dogs (husky, Shepherd, Akita mix) when he was cheating. The dogs would give in the spare room whenever he was around. It was a great (and troubling) example of his potential for awfulness.

  • It pains me, now, to ponder exactly how much time and effort I put into trying to create absolutely perfect conditions on order to prevent the fury that always erupted whenever he bothered to roll out of bed with the OW and head back to our actual home. Totally futile, of course. No matter how thorough I thought I had been, something always seemed to provoke the rage within minutes–sometimes seconds–of cheater’s arrival.

    There was a basketball on the lawn, or a stray weed in the mulch. My parking job in the garage was less than stellar. The shed needed painting. The windows could stand a good washing. He had spotted a bee. Was I not keeping up with my bee eradication duties? The candy dish had candy in it, which proved my nefarious involvement in an ongoing effort furtively to undermine his efforts to be slender. Kingdoms have fallen because of a single Hershey’s Kiss, and my evil candy oriented ways were not appreciated. Hadn’t he told me so before? He was sure he had. So why was there candy in the candy dish despite his orders to the contrary? And where was his hairbrush, toothbrush, phone charger? Was I inviting assorted gremlins to make off with his favorite nail clippers yet again? Could I do nothing right? What about that errant light life burning in an empty room, or the closet or cabinet door left ajar? Why did I insist on disrespecting him that way? He worked hard and deserved to come home to a properly run house, not this rampant evidence of irresponsibility and just barely contained chaos. Worse, I seemed unhappy to see him, and so did the kids. Why didn’t they love him like they loved me? Why were they always running off to friends’ houses on the rare occasions he bothered to come home? Where were the warm greetings, the ticker tape parades, the marching bands, the balloons, the impressive releases of doves? Was that a stray dog hair on the floor? Couldn’t the inside of the microwave door use a scrub and polish? Why was there no bowl of freshly washed seedless grapes, still glistening with water droplets, waiting for him in the refrigerator? Had I noticed the crumbs accumulating in the toaster? Could I maybe do something about that soon since I obviously wasn’t doing anything else of worth, and so clearly had the time to see to it? And maybe after that I could just run his shirts to the cleaners.

    And then he would go off in a huff to text the OW, or cruise porn, or head out to a bar, or have a “working” breakfast/dinner/lunch/whatever with the OW.

    Yup. I lived that for an extraordinarily long time. It was intermittently punctuated with cards (“We are building a great life! Love you always, Cheater), over-the-top gifts, flower deliveries, and solicitations of work advice (“Because I trust your instincts.”) Now, I get what utter perfection this routine was for keeping me constantly wounded and worried–the perfect storm of a use in every way–but at the time I was mostly frightened when he was anywhere near, and simultaneously relieved and crushed all over again when he left.

    Eventually, relief won. But it took a good long while, and actual discovery of (some of) the double life.

    • Beautifully said and so sorry. The blowing things out of proportion is a classic symptom. Mine was “YOU made me sleep on the couch”….I tied him to it? ” You don’t deserve my last name .” “He needs his own kitchen. “. His driving also became erratic. Honestly, I just thought he was crazy and having a midlife crisis. NEVER imagined an affair.

      • Yes and all these things that they are so upset about or just use for excuses, normal people see them as life’s problems and you deal with them and move on. So much of what you said is merely life with children but they are somehow above that and entitled to a life without annoyance.

        “He needs his own kitchen”, yeah and I need my own personal chef. Just another childish rant.

      • Guess who slept on the couch the night I found out about the affair, me! His back is ‘too damaged to sleep on a couch’. Fucking makes my blood boil to this day thinking about it.

        • My cheater was sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the basement. I was 7 months pregnant. He whined about how bad he hurt and that maybe I should take the bed in the basement. I just walked out of the room without saying a word. Truth was that I was speechless that he would even suggest it. That was the beginning of discovering who he really was behind the masks he wore for so long.

      • Yes, I thought he mentally ill way before I knew he was a character disordered cheat. He is mentally ill, but he used that as his pity card throughout the systematic devalue over the years and I thought I was strong enough to help him through and things would change. For 10 years.

      • These comments are all so spot on. The night my turd demanded a divorce out of the clear blue sky…he went to sleep on the couch as i lay there thinking he was having a nervous breakdown. Next morning he angrily confronts me (while i stand there in stunned silence) he says ” and the worst thing is i didn’t sleep a wink all night thinking you were going to come and kill me in my sleep” . If thats not victim blaming i don’t know what is! Poor lamb didn’t get his beauty sleep after blowing our family of 5 to smitherines and wanted me to feel bad he didn’t get his regulation 8 hours. Just wow. Never mind the next 2 years of my constant nightmares, waking up crying living like a zombie…and even i was no contact from the day he walked he had the nerve to demand that we all “get over it already” as he had “moved on” . It has taken 2 years of constant researching the mind fuckery of these people to understand they believe truely that life works like this!! He never had that sense of ironic humor so thats going to be my first dating red flag. ( that and mommy issues) :))

    • “Kingdoms have fallen because of a single Hershey’s Kiss, and my evil candy oriented ways were not appreciated. Hadn’t he told me so before? He was sure he had. So why was there candy in the candy dish despite his orders to the contrary?”

      Lol! My fucktards was ice cream. Why the fuck did I buy ice cream for the kids! He’d told me a thousand times not to do it. It was MY fault he’d sit down and eat a whole gallon in one sitting. It was MY fault he got fat!

      Omg, I just had a lightbulb moment! I’d been ice cream gaslighted from the beginning. When we first got married he would always tell me he didn’t like ice cream. I’m an occasional ice cream eater. A quart could last me a hole year. Every time I would go to get some ice cream, which wasn’t very often, it was gone. I’d think, “I’m sure I bought ice cream. Did I buy ice cream? Oh well, I’ll get some next time I go to the store.” Finally I started asking him if he was throwing it away. He’d respond “no”.

      Finally about after a year of marriage, I had gotten up out of bed in the middle of the night, and there was ice cream guzzler, eating it directly from the container. At the time it was funny to me (if I only knew then what I know now), and it was a running joke for years. Gees, if someone did that to me today I’d probably flip shit. After having experienced gaslighting to the point I thought I was insane.

      • Gotabrain, the ice-cream thing! I grew up in a household where it was a big treat to go out for ice-cream. I think that is pretty normal and people in general like to do that. So, on occasion and sometimes at the pleading of the children, I would say lets all go out for ice-cream. Cheater would sometimes not go or if he did, it would be to drive. We would get there and often, he would wait in the car. I would always ask him what he wanted whether he went or not and the vast majority of the time he would say he didn’t want anything.

        But sure as the sky is blue, as soon as we got back in the car or got the treats home, he was there taking bites of everyone elses. They would let him but were always disappointed they didn’t get their full treats. Occasionally I was smart and bought him something even when he said no but I was a slow learner.

        I have now analyzed this and think there was a lot at play. He is still in the toddler stage- and would say no to anything that was not his idea. Then he had to figure out how to control the situation. Also, he needs to be superior and was sending a message that going out for ice cream is bourgeois and he is above that. His mother I realize now is that way. Anything she is told to do, she has a knee-jerk no reaction regardless if it is the right, sensible, good thing to do or not.

        • Oh gawd, yes! My ex’s holier than thou attitude about ice cream and frozen yogurt treats was exhausting. He was like that with anything that didn’t fit into his idea about “good living.” Of course now after divorce he’s playing the Mr. Fun Dad role and takes our daughter to frozen yogurt all the time. Go figure.

          I recently started dating this nice man who loves to eat out and try new foods. He gets so excited about ordering interesting appetizers, which I love but never ordered because they were not on ex’s List Of Approved Things. Even if I tested his patience and ordered one, no matter how amazing it was he would refuse to try it and then pout for the rest of the night. When my current special friend first started taking me out and asked me what appetizer I’d like to order, he said “let’s have some fun, let’s eat all the things!” I immediately started crying. Date 2, tears at the table. I realized how broken I was that a person encouraging me to order food I enjoyed sent me into an emotional tizzy. He reached across the table and grabbed my hand gently and said “it’s ok to enjoy things. You are worth it.” We still order appetizers together, and it is fun. : )

      • Mine also ate a huge bowl of ice cream every evening then blamed me that he was fat

        • Not ice cream, but the meal-before-the-meal. OK, Cheater #2, I understand you come home from work hungry. But I’m not going to make a meal for after work, then dinner. There are leftovers in the fridge you can have to tide you over while I make dinner. After he plows through every scrap, tupperware and container, and eats a full dinner, with seconds, it’s my fault the scale is up again. Uh, wrong, buddy. I didn’t eat everything in sight and then eat dinner to the point of Thanksgiving stuffedness.

          I am still gobsmacked at the lack of personal accountability all these cheaters show. Slow learner, I guess.

          • Her Blondness, I was triggered by your mention of leftovers. Saddam refused to eat leftovers, ever. A brand new, freshly cooked dinner every night. Even Thanksgiving leftovers, he’d refuse to eat, so I’d have $400 worth of food in the garbage the day after Thanksgiving, because he’d absolutely refuse to eat any leftovers. None. Not chili, lasagna, etc. Foods that are meant for leftovers!

        • Mine joined a Country Club so he could work out in the mostly empty gym. Then he would stop in at the bar for a ‘pop’ or two and some bar food (Chicken wings are protein, right?). He wondered why he wasn’t seeing results from all this working out…. I couldn’t imagine he could not seeing the connection, but hey, I never mentioned his weight. Ever. I should also stop cooking food for myself and the kids that we liked, but cater to his new WTFever ‘diet’… it was the only time I’ve ever bought ‘fried pork skins’ in my life!!?! (Note: Neither myself nor kids were ever overweight. Seems like we ate very healthily.) Didn’t seem like a problem I needed to fix, right? But in his head, that was my fault too.

          • Hell! I just realised another one… He told me he was joining a gym and had to go for induction etc. He’d “go to the gym” when I was at work or in the morning before my shift started… He didn’t join a gym, he couldn’t organise shit or set up a direct debit without being babied. He was away screwing whichever one was free that morning and he knew when she was free as he made up the works staff rota!

          • “…WTFever diet…”

            Love how you put that! I can relate.

            So much control imposed and rejection dispensed at meal time in spite of all my healthy, lean, cooking…all in the name of “WTFever diet”!

    • Cashmere, relate, relate, relate with it all, but this stood out the most:
      “Where were the warm greetings, the ticker tape parades, the marching bands, the balloons, the impressive releases of doves?”

      I still catch myself, if only I would have fallen at his feet 100% of the time when he walked through the door and offered him a blow job, maybe life would be perfect today. These freaks are not pleasable. They don’t raise the bar, they lower it like a limbo contest until we can go no lower.

      • Feeling it, 2 1/2 years out and “*I’M* asking where were the warm greetings, the ticker tape parades etc., for us? Oh, wait, we didn’t need all of that when we came home because we are not the disordered ones!

      • After Affair #1, I tried to be ‘better’ – and I legitimately had not been as nice, caring, and affectionate towards him in the previous year or two (BECAUSE HE WAS SO FUCKING HARD TO LIVE WITH!), but of course the goal posts kept changing, and he was making no effort to be better.

        After Affair #2, I asked myself whether things would have been different if I had been less patient, caring and set more boundaries from the beginning. Maybe if I hadn’t been bending over backwards and giving in to his entitlement and selfishness and crabbiness, he wouldn’t have gotten as bad as he did, maybe he wouldn’t have seen himself as entitled to an affair.

        Then I realized two things;
        a) If I had set more boundaries, our relationship would have ended MUCH earlier, he wouldn’t have been able to stand that. (Now I realize that would have been a GOOD thing, that the relationship end before we had kids, especially.)
        b) I don’t want to be married to someone with whom I have to constantly set boundaries, then enforce them. I actually want to be married to someone more like ME, who rarely needs boundaries set, because I have consideration for others, and because I respect boundaries, never needs them enforced.

        • Yes, it’s bliss when both of you want only to please the other because their fruition is yours. It is so hard to find someone you share so much culturally with that the focus is more on the realisation of the sharing than on what you are doing together, then you are happy doing anything just so you are together. But it’s hard to meet anyone you desire who even likes you. Just meeting a person you desire who desires you is difficult enough unless you are attractive. I find it impossible to even meet anyone who wants to say hello to me, any relational states beyond that are unavailable.

    • Cashmere, you are such a great writer. This is gold. I laughed so hard because this was my life and I can’t believe that I put up with so much bullshit. I’m going to be giggling all day.

    • Cashmere, what GREAT writing. You expressed yourself so beautifully. You have a gift. Sorry for the way he abused you, all those years.

    • ((((Cashmere))))
      “Crumbs accumulating in the toaster” how could you!?!
      I loved your post, can relate to most of it.
      The more we did, nothing was ever right and cheater’s job was to point it out to us, to make us perfect, to make us “do it right” the first time.
      Ya, blah blah blah!

    • This was mine life too. Rarely did anything right – when I did, I was never thanked. She wasn’t raging with anger, she was raging with disappointment. It was a cloud that never lifted… it would part enough to give me a little hope to hang on, then darken again.

    • “Now, I get what utter perfection this routine was for keeping me constantly wounded and worried–the perfect storm of [abuse] in every way”. That was me too, Cashmere, “constantly wounded and worried”. The insidious trickle of abuse that goes on so long and so quietly that you don’t realize it’s happening until it’s gone. He knew me so well, knew all of my secret fears and all of the things I felt guilty about or ashamed of and he used every one of them against me over and over again. I can’t imagine ever allowing someone to get close enough to do that to me again.

      • Beth, I too, know the humiliation and pain of having someone you trusted use your test against you. X used all my secret fears, any thing I had ever confided in him that I felt ashamed or embarrassed about was used as a tool to ridicule and humiliate me especially anytime I’d question him, ridicule would be a convenient tool used to divert attention from his behavior.
        He took pleasure in using these things to crush me.
        As Cashmere mentioned, I was constantly wounded and worried.
        I never felt at ease in his presence.

    • OMG THIS!

      Cashmere your life was so similar to mine. I was expected to create the perfect home. Make the meals he liked. Keep the house perfectly clean. Why are there a pile of papers on the desk? Don’t you have time to deal with them right away? If they have sat there for a few days they must not be important so I will throw them away. Oh they were important? Then why were they just sitting there? Ugh the cat peed on the floor again. It smells. Can you do something about that? Can you figure out how to solve this problem? No not that way, find another way that pleases me. Ugh, why did you have to cook such a big meal? Now the kitchen is a mess. Are you ever going to put the laundry away? Yeah I know my clothes have in the dryer for 3 days. Its not a big deal. I don’t do laundry that often so you can just deal with this. Didn’t I tell you I had a thing after work? I have this event every year. I shouldn’t have to tell you about it any more. The house is dirty all the time. Can’t you keep up with it?

      Meanwhile he goes to happy hours whenever and come home and relax at night because he worked all day. He even pulled this crap while I was going through cancer treatment. Yes, even then he complained about any messes in the house. And like a chump I always strived to do better.

      Like you I now realize how crazy it was making me trying to keep up with his ridiculous demands. How it set me up to be the angry person he was portraying me to be. I was never angry. I was hurt and exhausted. I wanted his attention. To feel loved by him but I also lived for business trips would take him out of town for a few days so I could have some peace.

      I wish I could say it is all behind me, but I am still recovering.

    • cashmere – I experienced the exact same scenario. I was blindsided when the double-life came out, and even then he became the victim.

      CL – this post came at the perfect time to help me gain mightiness. I am stronger every day and am finally realizing the worth that I have.


    • This! Cashmere, always the perfectionist pressure and blame about aspects of the housework that could be improved. We both worked full time, I accepted blame, tried harder, sparkled his stress and higher earning power meant that he needed more support. The sudden rages, financial inequity of discretionary spending. This CN post stirs painful memories. The abuse is so clear in hindsight. Thank goodness that DX is now part of my past and has no part in my future.

    • This is brilliant. All of it. Mine would roll in at 9:30p after another happy hour (or hook-up? Who knows?) he’d failed to tell me about and rant for another 2 hours about how I’d clearly run food through the garbage disposal, then demolish the entire downstairs (but just my things, never his). It’s so nice to go to bed every night without hiding my work computer and favorite coffee mug, just in case he decides to throw a fit.

      • You ran FOOD through the GARBAGE DISPOSAL???? How could you!

        (Isn’t that what those things are for????)

        Glad your favourite mug, and your heart, are safe now!

        • Right?!?! I’m clearly conspiring to drive him to go spelunking in his colleague’s nethers every time I scrape a plate and flip that food disposal switch.

          Thanks ❤️ – it’s been so peaceful and lovely with him gone (other than the whir of the food disposal).

    • Love (and hate) this!
      I hope that whenever you feel the slightest bit sad, you read this description of your humiliation and rest in the fact that you get to fly away free from that, forever.
      Good God, I want to slap your tyrannical, manipulative, ass of an ex with a giant, thorny stick. Honestly, I didn’t think it would be possible for me to hate anyone more than I hated my stbx, but ya’ll are giving me a run for my money when I read these narratives of pure douchebaggery.

    • Yep, everything you wrote, cashmere, was spot on. I lived this, too. After my first son was born, Saddam went back to work two days after we brought him home from the hospital. My son was a low birth weight baby, spent almost a week in the NICU under the bilirubin lights (of which Saddam only visited TWICE, while I ran over to the hospital every three hours at midnight, 3am, 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm, etc, to feed and hold our son. And now I’m on maternity leave, with a newborn barely 4lbs, so I’m feeding him, doing laundry, pumping beastmilk, all of the normal newborn baby responsibilities. No help from Saddam. He comes home from work and screams, “WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO ALL DAY?!?” In one of my moments of tiredness and strength, I screamed back, “I’M TAKING CARE OF OUR SON!! THERE IS NO FREETIME TO JUST PAINT THE DINING ROOM!!”

      Assholes, all of them. So glad he’s gone!

      • Hugs from another NICU Mom! Handling these jokers during that experience takes every ounce of mightiness available. Something about the incredible vulnerability of being a new mom really seems to activate their worst tendencies and crank the turd-meter up to 100.

    • Yep. Off in a huff to text the other players in his double lifes…mine typically had me (his “normal to the outside world” wife, an AP from work, an AP from the internet/long distance (who may or may not know of the co-worker affair), several chatting Adult Friend Finder “friends”, S&M Meet Up groups of people and of course the porn site chat rooms. Like seriously dark topic rooms (incest, pregnant sex, beastiality…) as if anything ANYTHING the kids and I could have possibly fucked up would have come close to the chaos in his head. Of course in the thick of it you’re just left questioning what did I do wrong here?

      And they let us think it has everything to do with us.

      As if.

    • OMG Cashmere, this brought tears to my eyes. My life for almost 19 years. Constant ranting and raving about any and everything. Now that I am free if this totally disordered Narc, I realize it was his way of keeping me off balance, walking on eggshells. There was no stability, no peace, and now I realize no love. It was all a lie, my brain knows it but my heart hasn’t caught up. We are no longer together, he still takes up space in my head, (working on that daily). It is so hurtful to realize that they never cared at all.
      I love this place, it gives me validation that I am not alone. Can’t tell most people these things without them thinking you are the crazy one.
      Thanks ChumpNation, I’m still working towards Meh, is it Tuesday yet?

    • Oh cashmere, you so nailed it! The errant weed, the crooked park job, no one ecstatic to see him when he strolls in at any random time, dinner not ready at precisely 6:30, a smear of peanut butter on the counter, a tuft of dog hair under the couch, my cursed inability to read his mind. All good reasons for a rage or extended sulk. Yes, this was my life too…

  • During my painful years of “wreckonciliation” I got more false equivalency (its not what I did, it’s what you did) than he got hookers.

    The problem …

    – It’s not my porn habit, it’s your self esteem from your childhood. Funny, didn’t seem to be an issue when he married me.

    – it’s not my sleeping with strippers, it’s your refusing to ride on my motorcycle. (This from a guy who’s lost his license twice during our years of marriage. Uh… no thanks!)

    -it’s not my deception, it’s your failure to give grace. You should probably work on your faith

    – it’s not my signing up for hookup sites, it’s your controlling nature. You should probably find a hobby and stop worrying about what I’m doing

    – it’s not that I won’t help you out with the kids, it’s that you won’t advocate for your own needs and find a babysitter.

    – it’s not my endless hours of being gone, it’s that you don’t appreciate how hard I work. Yeah, I’m sure having boobs thrust in your face while lifting dollar bills is exhausting work.

    – it’s not that I sleep with hookers, it’s that you won’t run around in a maids uniform and be available to my every sexual whim

    – it’s not that I’m never home on time, it’s that you don’t greet me at the door like the dog.

    – it’s not that I don’t tell you about large financial decisions, it’s that you think you have a say so in them.

    – it’s not my mother’s boundary jumping, it’s your lack of understanding she’s just trying to be nice by giving you things (and hiding them in the basement) after you’ve told her “no thank you”

    – it’s not that you aren’t allowed to disagree with my controlling, hypoctical, staunchly religious family. It’s just that you have to pretend to be who they want you to be.

    – it’s not my bad behavior that’s the problem, it’s your judgmental nature.

    I could literally come up with thousand of these that I’ve heard over the course of 18 years, but I think you get the picture. There’s nothing to work with!

    • Got-a-brain, I could echo almost all of these.

      In the false equivalency category:

      Me: Why the fuck do you think it’s okay to lie and cheat on me?
      Cheater: HOW DARE YOU CURSE?! And you call yourself a “Christian”?!

      Ah, the Christian Cheater. Mother Nature’s fuckup in the evolutionary chain.

      (btw, I AM a Christian — one who thinks that using the word ‘fuck’ is a necessary part of my own personal expressive therapy. Fuck you very much.)

      • Well said. I got this too when towards the end, I used the word fucking. In his reptilian brain, that was all the evidence he needed to confirm I was the worst wife on earth. Him cheating and lying and living a double life for years—-not a problem. But now he plays the sad, sad sausage act on our grown children, saying that he will “never darken the door of a church” as long as he lives, due to my hypocrisy. He didn’t leave the faith you see, it was his evil wife that made him become disillusioned.

        I hope you’re free of your cheater. I am free and loving my new life. Stay mighty!

        • THIS!!!! Mine said he ‘didn’t believe’ anymore because ‘all the people we knew’ in church were hypocrites. Like it was the ‘alleged’ (by his own judgement, like who is HE to be judging?) hypocrites’ fault and somehow justified his fucking around and lying about it.

        • I’m also guilty of using profanity. X was appalled, which earned me the title of “Trailer Trash,” and/or “White Trash,” labels I wear proudly coming from self proclaimed “Mr. Integrity.”
          Funny that I use profanity once and immediately labeled “Trailer Trash,” X has three sisters who curse like drunken sailors, any time of the day, drinking or not drinking, without any provocation. X explanation, “that’s different, that’s just the way they are.”
          Evidently he suffers from selective amnesia, he’d forgotten the language he used the day before when he came home from spending a few days visiting his “Mother”.
          I simply asked how his Mother was feeling, when he became enraged and called me a stupid, fucking, ugly bitch, grabbing the neck of my blouse, he then said he’d like to punch the shit out of me but I’m not worth it.
          Looking back it’s obvious that X wasn’t spending time away from home visiting his Mother.

      • I’m a Christian too. A bible teacher, seminary student, ect. I’ve picked up a horrible language problem thru this garbage. It was all so buried in me for so many years while I was trying to be Miss Perfect for him that I think it’s part of throwing all the insane rules off, and the awful things I endured needs awful words to express how I feel about it all. I too lived a version of cashmeres rundown.

    • “it’s not my signing up for hookup sites, it’s your controlling nature. You should probably find a hobby and stop worrying about what I’m doing”

      I was told that I needed to get a hobby so that I wouldn’t be all in his business or be so overly concerned about what he was doing. Then I asked him how I was supposed to be able to do that when he was always gone & I was raising our baby alone on a full time basis?!

      Shockingly, Mr. know it all didn’t have an answer for that one

      • Haha I was told to get a hobby too. I once told him that our marriage was completely lopsided. I did everything – finances, kids, house, pets, medical, groceries, cooking, cleaning etc etc. He did not work much and was restoring an old car, painting modern art ????, training for triathlons, and yes he was on the men’s LUGE team. When I said we were living totally separate lives where I did everything and he did nothing, he suggested I get more hobbies. We went to marriage counseling and the therapist actually laughed in his face. So empowering.

        • X suggested I get a hobby, after he came home from a business trip and I had the gut feeling something was “off.”
          I asked if he’d been with anyone while away on his business trip, he chuckled, “you know I’m not that kind of guy,” more chuckling, “do I look like that kind of guy?” Brit, with your wild imagination, you should write soap operas, or novels, really.. Brit, silly, silly, Brit.., you need a hobby, something to keep your mind on something else other than what I’m doing so I can walk in the house with a smirk on my face and not listen to your questions.
          It never entered my mind that he was cheating until he walked in the door and I felt the “something’s off” feeling in my gut. I shrugged my suspicions off trying to convince myself it was all in my head, besides, he confirmed, “he wasn’t that kind of guy,.”
          My gut feeling kept telling me otherwise.

          Must be in the Cheater handbook, shit to say if she questions or doubts your word, to throw her off, build a false sense of security, tell her she needs a hobby.., tease her about her wild imagination, chuckle…, be a pretentious ass.

      • Oh yes, I was asked if I thought taking on a lover myself was what I wanted.



  • So true on the anger and defensiveness, what a massive red flag! Classic anger moment arose a couple of months before Dday when he was well into an affair with a woman from his school reunion, the 6th OW in our 7 year relationship (as it later turned out). He picked a huge fight with me about how I apparently wasn’t impressed enough, sometime years ago, when he told me he had never been to a strip club. I didn’t even recall the original conversation he was getting angry about, it was so many years ago. I apparently hadn’t seemed respectful enough of his amazing morals and he claimed it had been bugging him ever since. This fight was between his OW fucks. He was really enraged. A while after Dday I was going over my text history with him and stumbled across my confused and placatory text I sent the next day trying to smooth it over. Can’t wait til our house is sold and I never have to see his lying face again.

  • “I would never even think about asking to see your phone and invading your privacy.” Even though my gut knew something was wrong, this statement by him made me feel guilty and as if I was the shitty one.

    I have come to realize that was his intention and that it was a true statement. Not because he was so virtuous but simply because he did not give a shit about me.

    • I got this all the time too.

      “I would never go through your phone”
      “I don’t care how often you go out or who with”
      “You don’t need to tell me where you are”
      “I don’t trust you because you don’t trust me”

      It was all how he wanted me to treat him. He didn’t care to go through my phone because he knew he wouldn’t find anything on it. I rarely went out because someone had to be home with our child, but on the rare occasion that I did go out I would tell him exactly where I was and when I would be home. Then the entire time I was out he would text me everything our daughter did and ask me when I was coming home. If I had ever just gone off and done something after work without telling him he would have flipped out.

      There was some truth in what he was saying. He didn’t care about me so therefore he didn’t care about what I was doing or where, but he did care that he had to be responsible for our child during those times.

      • I heard, “I wouldn’t have cared if you’d had affairs.” Sorry, bubba, I do care. Buh-bye.

        • UGH-trigger– I got that also. Followed by he wished I would have had affairs because then I would have been better and more adventurous in bed. And I am too judgmental for him to have shared his fantasies with me. When I inquired WTH he meant. He wanted to invite other women AND men to our bedroom and be more adventurous (anal) but I am prude because of my upbringing. WTAF?! His porn addiction skewed his reality obviously.

        • Oh, yes. Mine actually claimed he wanted ME to have an affair, so that I would see it wasn’t that bad. Right. I believe he wanted me to have one so that I would be drug down into the mud with him.


        • Mine said, “If you had done what I did, I would have forgiven you like this (with a finger snap for emphasis)”. Because he is a forgiving person. No, because he doesn’t bond like normal people and he probably wouldn’t have cared.

      • Yes, I had this with my ex too, exactly same. She’d use the argument that because she didn’t need to know where I was and didn’t care whether I was unavailable then I shouldn’t either. The problem was she always knew where I was and could always get hold of me at any time and she was always out with men every night after work, sometimes missing overnight and was unavailable, making sure she was out of communication, which got worse as she devalued me and finally found a regular sleeping partner and began to openly ignore me, effectively ghosting out of a relationship she ended by text message, never even allowing me a final conversation until, ten months later, she decided to come back and twist the knife some more. By the time I got to speak to her I was so overwhelmed by loss that I was incoherent and she was as gleeful as the previous time we spoke when she humiliated me picking up on certain physical flaws I have in front of her new boyfriend. Stuff you never live down. Wounds that scar forever.

  • Dear Lord, I am reading about my former life. Things that never used to bother him were suddenly a national crisis. When I offered to help with a project, nothing I did was helpful. Resentment when asked if he would do things around our house, when he would gladly trot off and spend hours doing the same at hers. Claims of we, our sons and I, were leaving him out of the loop. And all the things I did to try and smooth things over. The ingratitude when I tried to do things to his exact specifications.

    When I finally asked him if he was sleeping with her, I got “I am not going to dignify that question with an answer”. Should have known by the defensive body language that accompanied his answer as well.

    So, yeah, don’t miss being constantly torn down trying to make him happy.

    • Holy crap… verbatim here too “I am not going to dignify that question with an answer.”

      • I got “You can’t make me talk” from x after I caught him cheating red-handed….

        Just like an overgrown baby man!!

  • The months leading up to D-day I was angry and defensive because the cheater-O-pot-O-mus was angry and defensive. I didn’t understand any of his behavior bc I didn’t find this site until well after the discard. I allowed his behavior to dictate mine, I played into his anger, now I know better. This helps me understand when he actually began his affair bc of course he still denies her. Even though I caught them together in a compromising situation. “We are just friends.” “Your to stupid to know what you’re looking at.” “This is us being friends, go away and mind your own damn business. GOD YOU’RE SO FLIPPING NEEDY AND NOSEY I CAN’T STAND YOUR FACE!!!!!!!”
    I thought it was August 2017, I’m now convinced it was June 2017.
    Mind fuckery indeed.

    • Yes, I think you can read when they start betraying you from their behaviour. My ex has done the same, she’s never ever admitted what she did and I can never know what is lies and what is true but she insists she “never betrayed anyone”, which is absurd given the way her behaviour changed so completely in the three weeks before discard. As you suggest, you can tell when their expressivity changes. Mine adopted this nonchalent air of disdain and condescension and said some awfully hurtful things. She was still lying to me that we were together and even had the gall to say she’d not met anyone “yet…” the dots were revealing of her motives, she knew I couldn’t prove what she was doing so she lied and then a week later said she’s “just started seeing someone and they didn’t know how it was going to turn out” (it lasted four months before she was asking me to be her friend after humiliating me and gloating over her wonderful new boyfriend). All of her behavioural routines changed suddenly and she was texting me saying she was “going to bed early”; then weekends she was “ill” but couldn’t use her iphone even though she sleeps with it. She texted me about an emergency she had to attend one weekend so she had to go out of town, the message was sent at a time she knew I would not respond. But, you can tell when their manner changes. She sent me one saying “take care you, I have to go now” then when I called her she was in a bar with a man after she’d told me she was meeting a woman from the office nearby. She used this formulation a month ago, after asking me to be her friend, then she hit me with “Yup, you take care coz I’m wit hi” typed so fast she couldn’t even type it correctly, so anxious was she to twist the knife. But I think the similarity in expression and expressivity indicate she was betraying me before we ever broke up. She exhibits the same manner now that she did in the final three weeks. Indeed, when she asked me to be her friend a month ago I think it was so she could triangulate me and get negative supply from the sense of hurt that came through in our interactions. But, I do think you can tell when they start fucking them, the dopamine and oxytocin hits seem to lead them to glow with esteem. I regret I never made her feel that way. I was never good enough for her.

    • Probably a hell of a lot sooner than that, unfortunately. I thought mine was in October – turned out he’d already been making future plans with a long distance lover in FEBRUARY of that year. By the time we are clued into the chaos, they’ve been doing it so long they simply get sloppy or actually want us to find out. I’m pretty sure the behaviors in my situation were going on for most of our 25 year marriage.

      Don’t get stuck in the details, it will consume you and make it harder to forgive yourself for being so naive in the face of such devious behavior. Trust they suck and move on with your life.

  • I had a quiet cheater. He didn’t display rage or anger (at least not until AFTER I filed for divorce – hahaha)
    With this type – the quiet, conflict-avoidant-type – watch out for disgust or revulsion in their facial expressions or eyes, and/or just flat-out ignoring you or pretending you are not there. You will get the sense that they are just barely tolerating your presence.

    • Missdeltagirl i got both rage and what you are describing. I’m not sure which was worse. I just know towards the end i cringed being around him. I could feel the hatred oozing out of him. It still is so horrible to think about.

    • After calling him out on his passive aggressive behavior, mine said he could “never stay” with a person as rude as me. After 30 years.

      He was sending our private email battles to his family. One day he hit “reply” instead of “forward” to his brother, another cheater, describing me as crazy. ALL THE WHILE lying to my face. I was enraged at the betrayal.

      I came home fuming and was arguing with him while he was calmly eating popcorn, I noticed a hand held voice recorder in his hand – I knocked the popcorn bowl out of his hand to expose the device after he lied about it.

      You guessed it. He went to family counselor talking about how unreasonable and angry/abusive I was >sob, sob< all about the popcorn bowl being knocked out of his hand – without one mention of his forwarding the emails nor the voice recorder stunt.
      He was such a victim of emotional abuse!!!!!!!
      I sat there floored in the office. He tried to babble so I did not get to add my details. Thusly minimizing his act.

    • This was my experience too Delta. For a while I thought i was going crazy because he never understood the simplest things i said

    • Exactly, the contempt that oozes out of their pores. They can fell us by not saying a word; the indifference they extend as we are throwing love at them is painful.

    • MDG,

      My boyfriend was the super conflict avoidant type. Projecting, gaslighting, stonewalling, controlling, sulking like a maladjusted entitled preschooler, quietly.(I used to feel glad that we never fought, but now I realize that for a very long time, he held in his contempt of me, even when I invited him to open up.) Such is life with the emotionally unavailable who emotionally are ‘just not that into you.’ In a way I found dealing wth my husband’s dramatic tirades easier to handle. I think that I found the overt physical and verbal assault less destructive than the cold treatment (soul destroying) ’emotional violence’ from my boyfriend. I should be glad that both of them are gone. Saw my now ex-husband at kid’s event last night and thought, ‘He’s ‘ugly,” and wondered, ‘What does his girlfriend see in him?’ I hope to soon get to that point with my now ex-boyfriend. I constantly battle denial; I need to trust that people who devalue me and lie to me suck–no matter how nice they may be to others and even though I am quite lonely, especially thinking that I will be alone forever and my exes have partners they seems to adore, I am better off even if permanently alone as I could not respect a partner who disrespects and lies to me–for whatever reason.

      For years, I felt bad that I wasn’t ‘good enough’ for my boyfriend. Fortunately, those thoughts and thoughts of being ‘less than’ my replacement are becoming less frequent. I might not be as competent, high earning, young, unencumbered, cheery as my replacement, but maybe I am caring less. I just want to feel good, shortcomings and all. I wish that I had asked more often, ‘Is he (whichever partner) good enough for me?’ instead of ‘How can I (literally) improve my Pick Me Dance?’

    • THIS ! I so remember the shark eyes as he said “I love you too” but really didnt mean it! It was an automatic response to cake. For years he went from ignoring me to barely tolerating me then to disgust. His excuse : ran out of little blue pills . I wasted so much time & energy on a soul-sucking vampire. Now I am grateful to OW/AP for taking out my garbage.

    • This s exactly my experience. He spoke to his son and ignored me and my 84 yo mother at that time who had broken her arm. My now gone to heaven mama said, “ he’s not present”. Smart lady. What was also going on at the same time was poinsoing of the well o. His family’s side with , “ we are not getting along”. What an absolute mindfuck. So glad to have him in my rear view mirror.

    • Yep this… i got a cold rage “i wasted my 30’s” … hard to hear after 25 years and 3 beautiful kids. Fuckers

  • This is possibly the best article I have read here.

    A Chump Pulitzer is deserved.

    It was exactly like this.

  • Did anyone else get “i already told you blah blah blah” raged at them. This was pre-d day and i was clueless but still i recall thinking what kind of subliminal mind trick is he trying to pull? As if screaming “i already told you” would magically hypnotize me.

    • Oh, definitely. And Cheater always had the tactic of admitting to maybe 10% of what he was actually doing… watering it WAY down, giving the most innocent version possible…. And then he’d claim he already confessed it, so why was I bringing it up again? Damn, Carol39 is so unforgiving! That was WEEKS ago, and I CONFESSED it and she said it was okay, but now it is being thrown in my face that I made a MISTAKE!

      When I pointed out that he only admitted to looking at a little porn, not phone sex and strippers, he says, “Well, I wanted to tell you everything, but you are so unstable. You would have freaked out. I had to protect your mental health. You just can’t handle things very well. But I did TELL you, I just didn’t tell you every little detail.”

      What a mind-fuck…

      • I get this, Carol–the not telling us because we ‘can’t handle the truth,’ they are trying to be kind to us by ‘shielding’ us from the facts, etc. when they are really just trying to protect themselves and advance their OWN agendas at our expense. I think that a lot of them are lying to themselves as well as us because admitting that one is an a–hole is unpleasant to most people and they don’t want to quit their self-serving, manipulative behavior.

        That ‘I made a MISTAKE’ thing gets really old, too. How about saying after wrongdoing of the grevious type, ‘I screwed up. I behaved terribly. I am sorry.’

        • NOW I C ,

          my cheaterTurd did that always talking about OW (he had many ) but i always had the feeling that he was saying “i know something you don’t know” ,(i’m fucking her) very covert , and it wasn’t the words he was speaking , it was an attitude , a body language , that always upset me , but i knew in my gut what he was doing …….but when you are an empath , abused, and low self esteem , then you don’t trust yourself , you question yourself . he took such pleasure in my distress and anguish , he was delighted with himself that he could cause me so much hurt ……he would smile and watch me suffer . this was all done covertly . never about the real subject . do i need to say that after 4 decades i know nothing about him , except that he is full of malice and hatred , that is hidden by “mr nice guy”. can’t wait for the karma bus to hit this evil POS ….

    • Oh yeah, I would get told things by her that I did wrong, or things that she told me before, that I had absolutely no recollection of actually occurring. I thought I was losing my mind. But I really think they tell their AP (and themselves) about so many things that they hate about us, that they end up embellishing or making stuff up – and they tell those stories so much that they eventually brainwash themselves into thinking that whatever their story is actually happened.

      • Wow that reminds me that my Ex was the master at gaslighting where I would find out about something and she would say “I told you all about that months ago”.
        I would say “No, you didn’t” and she would respond “I MOST CERTAINLY DID, THE PROBLEM IS THAT YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME” !! She would then start a fight and what I found out about was conveniently dropped.

        The amusing this is that I have a high IQ, several advanced degrees and have a memory like a trap — I can repeat almost per verbatim conversations from a decade ago.
        Yet she gaslighted me so well she would convince me that either I wasn’t listening when she supposedly told me or I forgot.

        Funny how in relationships before and since I have never had that problem. 🙂

        • In MC one day my ex was describing what a great guy he was, in part because “I never hit her.”

          The counselor (an older white man, like my ex) was not at all disturbed by this rationale.

          Years ago, another ex kicked me in the back as I walked out of the room. There was no argument, tension, etc. or other indicator that he was planning to snap. I never saw it coming. Hit the floor, spent two days in the hospital with internal bleeding. Our pastor recommended a counselor, who he said had a lot of experience with violence.

          At the first visit the counselor asked me what happened. I explained and my ex (a lawyer) agreed that my account was

          The counselor said to me: DID YOU ASK HIM NOT TO KICK YOU?

          Fucktards abound people. Be careful out there.

          • all the therapy i had , was fucktards like the one you described , off an on for 4 decades , never got a one that even knew the word “narcissist ” ,much less utter it . not one said the guy might be a “psycho” , give me a clue……. i just found out about narcs last year .i believed if i could be better ,and love him more and better , everything would work out ..believing that BS i just lived in the burning house ….BTW he is a fireman .

            • i use the word “fireman ” with disrespect , they only want to be called “firefighters” …

            • So many “therapists” cannot identify narcissists and cluster b’s — so we have to be very careful which therapists we choose to invest in. Honestly, CL and CN were much more therapeutic for me than my actual (good and well-trained) therapist was. My therapist encouraged me to stick around in the marriage for a month more than she should have, when I was clear that I wanted to run. But it all turned out ok since I was left by a cheater, and gained a better life.

    • Yes, I always just answered with “not me, it must have been your OTHER wife you told.”

  • Wow! I have not thought about this before your post. Her anger about little things like I didn’t fold the towel correctly or her rage when I used her coffee cup were really confusing at the time. The amount of vitreal that came from her would take hours to subside. I now drink from any cup I want, and fold the towels just fine. I’m 6 months out from the divorce being final, and still struggling, but I do enjoy the peace. Thank you for this post.

  • Something I would like to see addressed more is the phenomena of the chump, who takes a lot of crap trying to pick me dance, finally explodes at the ridiculous accusations, stunts and games.

    Then the cheater uses that reaction against you to prove his/her point. Keeps details memories, notes and recordings (yes voice recordings) to “prove” to the world you are crazy and they are the poor innocent victims.
    Once the counselor pointed this out to cheater, he was suddenly “done” with that therapist.

    I had YEARS of this before I had infidelity worries. Years.

    • That was the absolute first crack in my self inflicted spackle of him. The knowledge that he was unfairly blaming me- and secretly telling others – about my “abuse” but conveniently leaving out his role completely in the entire ordeal.
      Once facts were brought forth, he minimized his role. I never trusted just his side of the story for years.

      • Yes, the one sided story. I don’t know what he was saying to others, but in MC he complained that he had to do all of the laundry. This was true for a couple of years, but that was only after years of him complaining that I didn’t do it right and after he chose to leave his job and deliberately took on the role of stay at home Dad. I did help with some of the other household chores and shared laundry duties again later after he started his new career (before DDay and the MC session where he complained about having to do the laundry).

        • Same thing here, except instead of “laundry” insert the word “cooking.” Utter bullshit, the whole ordeal.

    • Magneto,
      My husband tried to make me think that I was going crazy. How could I question HIM? Man of principles and integrity. The benevolent family man.

      When I changed the locks on the doors one day after I found out about his affair, my rage was focused on how he tried to make me feel crazy. My self defence FINALLY kicked in. These are all stories about horrible people, but CN gives me faith that there are some nice people still out there.

    • I was also told that I was “recorded”! He was VERY adept with that locked cellphone.

    • When I reacted to the abusive mindfuck circular arguments my ex used to say to me: “now I see your true colours “.

      Before that, I was the “best thing that ever happened to him, I make him want to be a better man, blah blah blah”.

      It would absolutely enrage me when he said this to me and in the moment I would be aware that no one else in my life had ever pushed me to this point of seeing red before. No one.

      It wasn’t until I found CL and realized that my reaction was normal considering the mindfuck. He was just trying to spin it and use it against me. But I was stupid and fell for it every time.

      Now? Floating in a land of peace and contentment.

    • Magneto,
      I like your idea. I was told by ex-boyfriend that he would not talk to me anymore because I gave him a hard time–the weekend I discovered that he had lied to me several times, I calmly (proud of myself for staying composed) told him, ‘You’re lying. When else have you lied to me?’ I don’t think that stating that life-changing fact was unreasonable. In fact, I think that it was way past time to state that the recurring bad behavior and quiet but real expressions of disdain by him were noticed and NOT ok. Nobody deserves to be treated like a doormat. Also, told him I didn’t offer services (e.g., back up booty-callish services) to anyone for free. I finally stood up for myself. Too bad I didn’t do so 2.5 years earlier with him and a few decades earlier with a lot of tremendously dishonest, disrespectful people. Gonna stop lying on the floor–sick of bad people wiping their s–t-laden shoes on my face, which has always said, ‘Welcome.’

      • X recorded me and forwarded my e-mails in response to his to everyone, not just family and friends but acquaintances. If he had your e-mail you got a copy. Exaggerations of events to paint me as mentally unstable. I’ve told this story before but ‘ll repeat a condensed version here. In the aftermath of his leaving, I went to the high school to pick up our son and accidentally backed into a chain link fence. X told everyone we knew including our son’s teachers that I had been drinking. Fortunately I had a police man show up and write a police report stating I wasn’t under the influence. There were some parents who I’d chat with at school or in the grocery store who quit speaking to me. Evidently they believed Mr. Great Guy’s accusation that I was driving drunk in a school parking lot.
        X’s list of underhanded tactics to destroy me is endless.

        I’ve spent my entire life being a “Polly Anna,” overlooking bad behavior readily making excuses for them. I continued to be nice while people continued to take advantage of me. I thought the nicer I was the more I’d be liked and appreciated. I rarely if ever showed anger or let anyone know I was hurt or upset. I had no real expectations of others, including respect and have been mercislly taken advantage of.
        I gave people including X permission to treat me with disrespect by not setting boundaries or thinking more of myself. I’ve spent too much of my life being a door mat, no more.
        Shit on the bottom of your shoe?? no problem, Brit’s here, scrape, wipe, whatever..

        • I was the same. any 1st counselor said all my relationships were ‘user friendly’. I was friendly and they used me. I’m not so nice anymore.

  • Oh, the ANGER directed like a missile where your gut/heart was the target that usually leaves you going WTF? It’s a complete asshole move that will allow you to “target” the cheating timeline after you are NC.
    I was the exhausted snooping marriage police the last few years. However, I had the sick issue of his total invasion of privacy with me and I had nothing to hide. Every single time I left and he happened to be there, he would go through my things. It always felt off but when I wrote something (toward the end documenting a feeling from an anger incident) and placed it in a specific place, he brought it up and totally had it twisted to be about him. My point is do not ever feel guilty for snooping because they put you in that position ( I guess if you feel the need, you have enough of an answer anyway) but watch out for his/her insecure projections and your invasion of privacy. My life is eggshell free and I can now journal if I want.

    • Informal, this is rather embarrassing, but after we stopped sleeping together my RRR went so far as to get into my dresser drawer and bend the prong on my Hitchai (ahem) massager, then accuse me of using it as a substitute for him.

      I am new to responding here, but have lurked on CN for months absorbing and learning and gaining a backbone. Finally, I exerted some “mightiness,” left my cheater, and gained a life after 2.5 years of mind-fuckery. Thank you, all, for the refreshing and raw honesty!

  • Yes this exactly! My ex was mad at me now for something that hadn’t happened in the future and his perceived defense of it. Mindfuckery. So when called out on it, he actually realized his stupidity and that was the last time I ever saw him have a rational thought. Fleeting and gone. Disordered mind. Irrational entitlement. Whataboutism. Deceit. Deflection. Projection. Gaslighting. Crazymaking. Finally divorce and hoping peace will follow.

    • Hey did anyone else have a complete argument with their cheaters WITHOUT EVEN OPENING THEIR MOUTHS? Mine would say “you think this, and you think that, and I’ll tell you, ya ain’t gonna put one over on me that way”. And I wouldn’t have even opened my mouth! I do remember asking him how I had just had a 20 minute argument with him without even opening my mouth but he just went off on another one. Don’t miss him AT ALL!

      • I went through that.

        My father was also the same way.

        I realized what he was projectingin me though – his mother.

        I started saying “I’m not your Mom. Why don’t you ask me what _I_ would think instead of just using the same quoty voice for me as you do for her?”

  • That cartoon – oh lord. If it just said “Blame Yourself!!” instead of “You’re Crazy”, it would be a spitting image of my ex-wife yelling at me. When I saw that cartoon just now…….that really took me back. Back to a time when I had no idea what was going on with her, with my life, my marriage, etc. What a nightmare, god I’m so glad that’s over.

    And Tracy, you’re so right about the rage and anger. I wasn’t allowed to question why she was working out before work, during lunch, and after work, why she was a member of 3 different gyms, why she needed a personal trainer, why she could never get home soon enough to eat dinner with me and the kids. I’d hear things about her, ask her about them, and boy she would get so mad. And when I looked at her cell phone one night, saw the texts to her BF and started to put things together…..well look out! I was the worst husband ever, I brought all this on myself, I did this 10 years ago, I did that 6 years ago, I had too much control (really?), I was basically whatever failure she could think of.

    It’s amazing how much entitlement was going on…….and the gaslighting. Good lord. Great post.

  • Oh the anger…

    I caught cheater ex and his mistress in the city and confronted them. When he got home the first thing he wanted to know was – “Who came with you, was it your brother?” Really this is what you’re interested in?
    When he knew I was digging around the house for “evidence”- “This is my house, you don’t see me digging through your stuff” – Uhhh… no because I don’t have anything to hide..
    The time he called me stupid in front of his mother, aunt and our daughter.
    The time we went food shopping and he got pissed as we were putting the groceries in the trunk- “I thought you were gonna get a full time job…”
    And my favorite- The time we were on line at Boston Market and he reminded me that he was going to a baseball game with his friend the next day. I said I’ll probably get a meal then so daughter and I can have leftovers tomorrow. He became livid about how I waste money meanwhile the “baseball game” was with his mistress whom he was going to spend marital money on.
    I could go on forever. All these cheaters are the lowest scums of the earth. They are vile, disgusting creatures who belong in the hottest part of hell. Please, let’s hope they get there someday while we deservedly live an internal life of Tuesdays.

  • “Good people aren’t cocksure. They tend to second guess, give the benefit of the doubt, and want to believe the best about people they’ve invested in. When met with righteous indignation, the non-disordered person thinks, “Am I out of line here?”

    Needed that this morning, I met him for the first time in over a year yesterday. Nothing cocksure about him, he played the sad sausage. Didn’t look good. Whatever. Need to keep the focus on myself and my life.

  • Whenever I would ask questions like “where are you going?” or “why did you come home almost at dawn?”
    he would give me some fill in the blanks..lie.

    I felt it in my gut it wasn’t true but being I waited up all night until dawn.. I would try to sleep (with my stomach turning) Horrible memory.

    I have to admit though at times I would try to have sex with him for some sort of affection. So sad when I think of that. I was so desperate to hold on to the marriage that I thought I had. I was the biggest chump ever!

    • Yes, I understand. We need to feel certain relational states so badly that we will fabricate them to ourselves. I can understand, after my relationship, why people stay in fake relationships. You want so desperately to be with someone you are prepared to believe the lie: the lie itself panders to a status we need affirming and when they lie it’s like an affirmation of that status so we feel something. I knew, months before, when she ghosted me and sent a message the next day from work that something was wrong, then she did it again and when I spoke with her, I was sure it was over and when she said she’d not met anyone I felt such a relief that it renewed my commitment to her and I felt really bad for doubting her. At the end and after break up I tortured myself with guilt and blame that was so toxic I still feel them almost a year after because she insisted she was not seeing anyone and it was all my insecurity that had driven her away. She was unavailable the final few weeks. If she was not seeing someone else, why did her behaviour change? It isn’t like we went along as normal and then suddenly she decided it wasn’t for her, no, there was a seismic change in her behaviour, manner and routines three weeks before she ended it by text message.
      I came out of it feeling like a wretched person and was begging her to forgive me for my insecurity and questioning her. I was begging her and pleading with her to forgive me and give me another chance. But, when all you have to go on is behaviour and changes in expressivity you can never know and they play on this: they know what you can know and they just stand by their account.

      • Simon,
        I hear you. I SO wanted to believe the LIE, to believe that I was in a solid, loving relationship that when my boyfriend broke up with me last time, coldly telling me that he ‘didn’t see me in his future, then half an hour later, ‘I love you,’ I smiled–instead of saying, ‘WTH are you talking about? What type of mindf–kery is this?’

        • Yes. You commit to their lies and start to share their narrative while they sustain the lies as if you are participating in a status, colluding in an illusion you are invested in because you love them and you want them to lie as a form of commitment to you. I would wait, in terror, on her speaking, after she’d been missing without word and I knew what all the signs were and I’d try and appear nonchalent so as to appear like the confident men she compared me unfavourably with, and when I asked her “did you meet someone” and then my stomach churned and heart pounded for the eternalised moment I waited and she looked down and said “no”, after missing overnight, I felt so relieved that she was lying that it was like it was actually true because it was as if something affirming had occurred and the truth is usually affirmative so, in your confused state of malaise brought on by betrayal black becomes white and you sustain the fabric of belief that unites you and you just want the lie to continue because you love them so much. What a chump.

          • SIMON ,
            that kind of cognitive dissonance will get you ill from sheer stress . the experience you described is the bedrock and cornerstone of being with a disrespectful ,dishonest , untrustworthy , lying cheater . looking back on it ,it makes me wonder how i could give up my personhood ,so easily , allow myself to be “knowingly” disrespected , i do know why ,because i believed him . at least for the moment .

          • How eloquently you describe our horror story, Simon. Six months past last/final discard by boyfriend and 3.5 years since discard by husband, I am still peeling away the layers of the onion of truth. It’s amazing how long it has taken me to leave the state of denial. And with the removal of every layer of the onion comes pain like the pain of removal of a layer of skin. (I know what it is like to have had my skin come off in a serious burn accident when I was a child.) I hope, though, that the removal of each layer also provides opportunity for new scarred, but resilient, protective tissue to grow. If I could talk to my younger self, who was terrified of abandonment, I would have told her that in the long run, it would hurt less to leave the state of denial as soon as I realized that I was in it than after I had been discarded and forced to face the truth. At least I would have felt as though I had exercised some agency (and maybe retained a bit of dignity) if I had chosen to leave these awful relationships as opposed to feeling powerless, humiliated, and self-doubting. (My partners called all the shots).

            I wish that, along with academic subjects, as an adolescent, I had learned some important concepts and skills about intimate human relatiinships.
            I wish that we could make a Chump Nation team to visit high schools to help young people develop self-protective discernment and self-respect. We teach little kids how to protect themselves from physical abuse by strangers (recognize stranger danger), but as a society, we don’t do much to help the young (adolescent) general population learn how to protect themselves from emotional abuse/mistreatment by an intimate partner. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

            • The loss of agency and any capacity to exercise will or affect outcomes in a relationship that is supposed to concern your actualisation is the savage aspect. They reduce you to a purely passive state by not being honest with you. I have said my ex has the dispositions of a whore because she will accomodate the rich men she fucks but she never gave me any rights in the relationship, she never extended the same decencies to me, she reached a decision based on my relative value and then compartmentalised me and used me until someone offering her the money she wanted came along. she rendered me purely passive and didn’t give me any chance in the relationship. Even when I knew something was wrong she kept saying things were ok, even though her avowals were given in a form that contradicted her, but I didn’t want to make her life more difficult by questioning her, she’d just see me as over-sensitive and insecure (what she said all the time). We face so many forms of powerlessness and we turn to personal relationships to offer us some experience of actualisation and when we are lied to were are effectively excluded from the relationship. We aren’t allowed to affect the relationship. Apparently most trauma is relational and when you are treated like this, it mortifies. Life is worthless alone and our experience of meaning requires intersubjective donations of significance which lying and inauthenticity deny so our identities are mutilated on a terrain we cannot resist: when you love someone their view of us is the most vital source of self-identity, esteem and meaning we have and when they betray us, they show our insignificance, our worthlessness and it is hugely damaging.

        • RockStarWife

          You should be proud as you stated earlier for calling him out on his lies.

          Unfortunately these disordered types can never own their shit and are predators.

          • Thanks, Doing Me,
            The silver lining in the cloud is my willingness to state the uncomfortable truth when necessary (think the boy who said the emperor was wearing no clothes). As I have not been officially in an intimate relationship for many months (and unofficially not in one for years as my partners were emotionally checked out years before they left), I can only use that willingness to ‘call people out’ for relationships with others (relatives, my good colleagues). I hope to convey the willingness to stand up for oneself to my children. Then at least some good would have come from the nuclear holocaust of my ‘love life.’

    • Ohh Kathleen… been there done that. My pick me dance days were filled with sex everyday. And I have to give the disordered asshole credit, the sex was just that, sex. He never attached any emotion to it- he kept saying “I’m going to miss this”… he was not going to miss “me” but this. We did what we had to at the time. Now we know better and life goes on.

      • I’m sorry, Pret. What an awful thing for your X to say. Points for honesty, I guess, since he revealed himself to be emotionally shallow.

      • Pret

        Yes, it’s a terrible feeling that we experience when realizing they are cold, ice water in their veins &
        didn’t love us. 34 years I feel was wasted, except for my son.

        We did nothing to deserve the cruel abandonment they gave us. His OWHORE he left me for died few months ago & he quickly has a new woman.

        We are decent, honest people & deserve truth & honesty in our lives as hard as it might be now.

        Stay strong & Hugs to you ????

  • I think cheaters change the goal posts all the time, on purpose, to fuck up the innocent party, my ex lied about terrible things, he admitted about them, shockingly apparently she was abused, a lie, incidentally I was abused, did he give a fuck no, she gave me, the ow, some verbal crap, and told him, did he give a fuck, no. I stupidly told him, I was abused as a child, maybe she copied that, he actually said he likes her because she didn’t want her kids. What can you say about that. Soul destroying.

  • So so spot on! So happy I no longer live with the daily mind fuck that was life with Cheaterturd.

  • I got rage, I got mind fucked so bad I questioned my sanity, and the silent treatment. And yes as many of you mentioned I could feel his disdain oozing out of him when he was silent. When he moved into my daughter’s room, because he needed space! Daughter slept with me or on the sofa. I knew something was up. Oh and refusal to go to counseling, AA, church, ect……

  • The night I found out about my replacement I asked one question about why she was a priority to him and she melted down. Reading this makes me even more sure than ever that she was sleeping with him all that week. Other signs are persona change from mirroring and changes in forms of expression and viewpoint as they take on the schema of perception of the person they are valuing and mirroring. Also, the nature of our bond is manifest via form of expression and as they devalue you the form of their expression changes: as their feelings for us degrade, so does their ability to attend to us: as we lose significance they disengage and that is manifest by a poorer quality of expression manifest in more casual forms. They attend less as an effect of seeing us as insignificant. Annoyance is just an effect of their frustration with having to attend at all.

    • So true Simon. Damn it became obvious once I met the skank. She sounds like a man and his voice changed.

      The discard happens way before you know. It’s subtle at first. However, I’d I’d have say the bond is one sided.

      • Yes, you are right. My ex, I am almost certain, had two goes at establishing the relationship, one in January when I think she had sex with him and then he disappeared on her. I think she felt devalued and abandoned because she suddenly revalued me and told me how much she loved me and valued me and said “I think it’s impossible for me to meet someone”, a strange thing to say for someone who was with men almost every night and who is now into her second relation in eleven months so she is running relationships concurrently. You can sense the disconnection and the personality change as they connect with someone else, they just cease to disclose the fabric of meanings that constitute the space you inhabit as a couple because they don’t need you and don’t value you anymore. With my ex when we met she needed me, I could tell from the depth of her engagement, and engagement is a condition of mutuality: you forge your relationship, you make your love via the meanings you constitute one another via as part of the reciprocal completion of your shared existence and when they meet someone else they desire, they just disconnect and you sense the loss of significance via their presence, their expression changes as well as their countenance as they manifest a change in the aspects they perceive you via. She needed validation from me: appreciation and love are coterminous: if we feel appreciated we feel loved and hurt people need affirmation and this was what she got from me when we met but as you lavish attention and try to help them feel the wonder of everything beautiful they are, they just start to feel you’re a sap and as they feel empowered they start to look above you. Powerful men don’t give such great appreciation, only someone devalued can give so much and they start to equate appreciation with a devalued person and they start to think “course you love me, you aren’t good enough for me” and they look for powerful men with money and professions, “confident” men who, my ex said “she notices as soon as they walk in”. As they devalue they start restructuring their time to fit in others. Eventually they connect and try and establish that, they then go utterly cold and distant while they concentrate time and energy on another. I was going through this a year ago while she was finalising the transition and suddenly her behaviour changed, initially out later and unavailable longer, then the sudden change came in two weeks, when she was sleeping with my replacement. The discard follows a process of devaluation that is protracted, they’ve left you weeks before and this is why they are so callous: they have no feelings for you by the time they discard because they are already in a new relationship and they experience it that you are “clinging on” and being obstructive. The final time we spoke she said “you’re very difficult you know that” because she was already living another relationship and I was just a boring incumberance to her new pleasure and source of esteem. I sensed I was a chore for her throughout the final month. It’s heartbreaking. By discard they’re fully committed to someone else and you are suffering lag based on misinformation and then you suffer the pain of coming to an understanding of what has gone on. It took me months to process. The truths of the judgements their behaviour manifests are what hurts the most. The way she looked at me at the end, will haunt me until I die. I only got to see her eyes that last time, laughing at me while displaying her beauty to the man she was with, ostentatiously displaying herself, I never evoked that energy, I never made her radiate with esteem, I was never good enough to be significant enough to elicit such feelings, I was just for when she’d been hurt and was lonely. Well, that’ll be my last memory of her face. It’ll haunt me but that is how life is for devalued people.

        • Wow, Sinon, incredibly accurate and poignant description of what I, too, lived during the discard. Thanks for laying it out like that. I’m sorry for your pain, but it’s nice to know I’m in good company. I also will never forget those powerful feelings of being rejected. Be strong, and find your mighty. Anyone who can introspect and analyze like you do, definitely has it in spades!

            • My ex didn’t blow up on questioning but became very frosty on questioning, she also would give no information at all. She was so evasive. A conversation would go like this:

              Where you been?
              For a meal. (Who doesn’t say where and who with?)
              Who did you go with?
              Friend (who doesn’t volunteer this information when you explain where you’ve been?)
              Male of female?
              Guy friend (as if I needed to ask, when it was a woman, which was only once, she’d tell me her name!)

              The only argument I had with her I said “just tell me who you are with before I have to ask, every time you say “friend” I know it’s a man because otherwise you tell me the name of the woman you’re with” anyway that single argument was the end of me, and I didn’t realise she was already love-bombing my replacement.
              I was the same as you, I didn’t question her out of suspicion, I honestly trusted her all the way through because I am an autistic chump (I should have used that as my screen name) and I believed all the very late evening bars and restaurants were “work colleagues”. All I ever heard was “guy friend” and “work collegue” and it wasn’t until we broke up and I was utterly traumatised with grief, guilt, anguish and physical pain like I’ve never felt over nothing in particular that I started to realise that maybe she wasn’t normal.
              Her reasoning takes place via evasion and displacement and, if you do absolutely force her to answer, she’ll pick on one proposition, the most innocuous and run with that. I would never have the courage to be so evasive because, where I come from, it’s a mark of respect to be forthright and you are expected to give fully detailed accounts in your associational life. I’d feel like I was disrespecting someone to give such blatantly minimal responses. An example is, when she asked me to be friends with her a month ago, after all the pain I’ve been through, I kept asking her “why did you get involved with me? I offer you nothing, I am just so far from everything you want” and she replied “I was curious”: curious is a reason to get to know someone not fake a relationship with them for six and a half months. Evade and displace are mental habits to her. She seems unable to conceive of what you’ve said most of the time and when forced to respond, does so to a portion of what you’ve asked. When she asked me to be friends the first time I asked her to apologise for lying to me, betraying me and besmirching me to her lover and she gave the ambiguous apology for “unintended pain” and then said “I never told my boyfriend about you”, which I take to indicate she accepts she lied to me and cheated on me. When we spoke a month ago, for the final time, she wouldn’t answer a single question. I asked her, repeatedly “why did you get involved with me”, silence, then “do you have any memories of our relationship?” “Did our relationship mean anything?” I regret now not pressing her, I didn’t realise it was the last time we’d speak. eleven months ago I never thought we’d ever speak, she ghosted out, ending it by text and that was that. Least she saw how much she meant, of course it meant nothing because I don’t have what she wants.

              • You are spot on about the short, no-details answers they give when asked a seeming innocuous question. It seems like so much work to always be filtering how much to share, rather than the natural, chumpy answer that is forthright and hides nothing.

            • Yes, you are right, this is why they don’t give closure or ever talk about the relationship, they can’t really remember what they told you at the time and the relationship was never a unitary phenomena for them, it was never the core of their existence, it was just one option among others. When I spoke, for the final time to my ex she never referred once to us but she’s not been in two different relationships for 4 months and 7 months so I am ancient history to her. I was just a transitory target and stop-gap between better men. When she did refer to it, at the end she said “It is so difficult coping with work, friends, personal life, and this”, which shows the compartmentalisation of reducing me to a function, I didn’t even make it into her “personal life” or “friends”, and then, in her final communication she wrote, “I will forget this now. Have a good life. Goodbye”. What had been the most significant relationship in my life to her was “this”. It shows how instrumentally they use you and how that affects their perception of you. You make an astute observation about the filtering, I never really realised that. I miss her so much. How do you feel so deeply for someone who related so inadequately?

  • When I think back to the way my husband was treating me when I first suspected his affair, it makes my skin crawl. He was so mean. He was so vulgar. He was distant unless he was yelling at me. It was a stark difference from the mild mannered person he had been. This was my first clue that something was very wrong. Just remembering it makes me so sad. It truly was the very worst time of my life. I had never felt so devalued and yet……I was pretty much devalued for my entire marriage. The yelling and snark and dirty looks just made it that much worse.

    And the lying! He lied about simply everything! About whether or not he bought something, was working on the weekend, or had flushed the toilet. He just lied.

    I am so glad to be free from it and I hate thinking about that time of my life. So happy to be on my own and living a (mostly) stress free life. Oddly enough, ex-husband is still angry. He hates me. My ex father-in-law told me so. I assume he is angry with me about the consequences for his cheating. Hey…..I warned him!

    • They are so angry and they stay angry. Its too bad they are angry at the wrong people. They are their own worst enemy. Once we see the mindfuck they can no longer bounce it off us and they hate that!

    • Yes, you sense the change immediately, like a tear in the cosmic flux. I knew the moment it happened. It’s when they stop disclosing the fabric that you generate your relationship via, interpersonally, they are projecting via someone else and their mind is on the joy of that communion but they are stuck with you and they resent you and you feel unworthy because recognition is the heart of our humanity, we need recognition to feel viable, when they connect to someone else, they disconnect but don’t end the relationship immediately so we are enduring confusion and a sense of loss as they cease communicating as a loving person. I knew the first night it was over, I knew it meant only one thing, she didn’t love me.

      • Simon,
        Unfortunately, I think that a lot of our partners want to ENSURE that our prospective replacements, their ‘love interests,’ will stick with them and they will be better off with our prospective replacements before they discard us.

        • Yes, they embed the new relationship, my ex did this for the final three weeks. They make sure they have what they want before discarding. She did this in January and he disappeared on her so she came back to me for a few weeks. I am sure she was abandoned because I can tell from her persona: when she has a source of affirmation she looks down on me and talks to me in a condescending way and when she is alone she is completely different, I can tell from her mode of address and how she attends to it whether she’s fucking someone. When she’d being fucked she thinks she’s something very special and I am an irrelevance. The arrogance of January and her callousness dissipated as quickly as it had arrived and she reassured me how much she loved me and said she wanted me to know how special I was to her and that she loved me as much as I loved her. A week after this affirmation of my importance she said “I wish I could get free of you” and was talking about practicing sexual positions with other men so, I realise, the other man must have come back into touch with her and then there were other changes in her behaviour that made me realise she was on a course to discard. He was out of town for another month so she continued the pretence for me, then when he got back, that was it, she was sleeping with him immediately and her behavioural routines changed completely. I don’t know how she has the gall to say, as she did a month ago, “I never betrayed anyone”. If she had been single she’d have continued with the same behavioural patterns, there would have been no change in routines and she’d have been the same with me, she changed routines and got even nastier because she was sleeping with someone else and she identified herself with that relationship and with him and I had become the other man to her. They replace and betray and establish a relationship and then, to them, you are the other man, they are not fully involved, committed and identified with their new soulmate, but they never told you this so it gets very difficult for you. Even the day before she texted me she insisted that she was not seeing anyone even though I could tell from how much she’d changed and her arrogance, she was the same a month ago when we spoke for a last time. This is what causes the anguish: you sense the reality and they rob you of even self-righteousness, you can’t even prove they’re lying and yet the glee and exuberance they manifest, and the contempt for you, is clearly an effect of a new-found status they are enjoying as they look-down on you as inferior to their new world-disclosing relationship. I felt sick, utterly sick, like I wanted to throw up as she ran rings around me, insisting it was me who was paranoid and that she was sick of my “insecurities” and “interrogation”, from someone pretending to be in a relationship while sleeping with another man. When I could get hold of her I had to concentrate on getting answers. They do it to derive pleasure from the anxiety they incite it heightens their sense of validation and superiority as they see you flailing around like something writhing in its death-throes and then because they won’t be honest that there is someone else, you can’t even express everything deeply significant about them. I always imagined that when the end came we’d talk and I’d tell her everything she meant to me but there was no “end” because she lied and lied until she got caught by me calling her in a bar and then she realised she didn’t want me calling her anymore and so ended it by text after sleeping with him. That relationship was fully operational, she’d been sleeping with hiim three weeks by that point. I was made to believe I was ‘in’ something while she was in another relationship. This was the same triangulation she put me through a month ago when she asked me to be her friend while in another relationship, it felt the same as the final three weeks: she was enjoying gloating and condescending and treating me like a poor useless dysfunctional fool, which is pretty much what I am which is why the sense of me she manifests hurts so much. All through she crucified me with talk of “confident men”, implying the negation, but, as I asked her over and over, “why did you ever get involved with me?” It shows the depths of self-compromise people will stoop to when they are desperate.

  • Oh dear God, yes. This brings back SO many memories of his unreasonable anger that only made sense after DDay#1. Ex developed a painful pinched nerve in his shoulder the night before we were leaving on vacation. I offered to cancel or postpone the trip until he felt better. RAGE! I insisted on driving the entire way so he could rest his shoulder. RAGE! I stopped in Washington, PA so we could get something to eat because the kids were hungry. RAGE! (turns out that is where he and the OW used to go to eat dinner so I guess that one makes sense). He barely spoke to me the entire trip and the only time he was visibly happy was when we stopped at Cabela’s in Wheeling WV on the way home (surprise, surprise, that’s where OW worked. I suspect she was there that day and they both enjoyed their little secret meeting right under his wife and kids’ noses). Another telling moment: I needed to add our daughter to our cell phone account when she got her first phone so I had Verizon add me as a second account manager. As my husband was the account primary they called him to verify that it was okay. MAJOR RAGE! He called me and was screaming at me for adding my name. I was flabbergasted. Until that moment it had never dawned on me that all of his rage and obvious disdain for me which seemed to have come out of nowhere was related to an affair. It never crossed my mind UNTIL THAT MOMENT that he could be cheating on me. Totally gave himself away with that major hissy fit. It took me another eight years to free myself from him completely but I still look back on that moment as a major turning point and probably the last moment I fully trusted him. Also, I will never forget the look of shock on my daughter’s face as she listened to her dad screaming at me on the phone over something I was doing for her. I think that was a turning point in her relationship with her father as well.

    • Beware the quiet ragers, too. I never remember Hannibal Lecher ever raising his voice or throwing things, but he was verbally cruel on any number of occasions, sometimes overtly, sometimes subtly.

      The worst is when they are covertly cruel–devaluing the chump with potential legitimate criticisms, while never applauding the myriad things we do right.

      • “The worst is when they are covertly cruel–devaluing the chump with potential legitimate criticisms, while never applauding the myriad things we do right.”

        This is so true. I have my faults, but there are also many great things about me that he never noticed or appreciated and when I did improve on some of the things he complained about he even noticed much less appreciated it. I can tell that this is also true for most of the other people here.

        • I lost 50 lbs. He didn’t notice. When I made a point of bringing that up, he accused me of doing so “in secret and behind his back”.

          The mindfuckery is strong in this one.

        • They don’t acknowledge the many good/great things in you, only what they consider bad.

          • What USED to be considered your positive traits are twisted into negative ones.

  • What the other posters said about financial shenanigans was spot on for me. My ex was always shady AF with money and when i asked about it I was “busting his balls”. And he would yell at me and be a complete asshole for the smallest “infraction” on my part. Now I’ve been free of that asshole for 3 years, I’m sitting very pretty financially and he is struggling to pay his utility bills. HA HA HA. I’m sure he’s saying its’ all my fault, but since i know it’s not I DON’T CARE. All my f*cks flew away long ago.

  • I have to admit that I still feel quite guilty and uneasy about reading his emails. It never even occurred to me to be curious about them until AFTER he spent months suddenly glued to his phone and finding dumb reasons to go outside with it. It took me awhile to notice his behavior, because I had no reason to distrust him. But once I did notice, the pattern was OBVIOUS. He would go “walk the dog” 2 minutes after I had just returned from walking the dog (!!) because he really needed to “stretch his legs” …

    I resent him putting me in the position of feeling the need to check on him. See? I can deflect too!!

    My new way of dealing with distrust is to know that if I feel the urge to check or sense I am being played … to honor that feeling, assume it is probably true, and exit. No need to dirty myself by looking for verification. I was always hoping and praying to NOT find what I feared, and I was always disappointed, because there was always painful truth just sitting there waiting on me. Ugh.

    • Rule (Gibbs) # 36. “If you feel like you are being played, you probably are.” There is a Gibbs rule for everything!

  • I *love* the false equivalency game, combined with a frisson of blameshifting!! It’s a great way for cheaters to express their creativity (except for when a few who write horrible blog pieces about their life as OWs).

    My serial cheater professor had to boink students in his orbit (which, BTW, turns out he’d been doing before I even hit high school), because:

    a-I kept the cupboards too full, and didn’t clean out the junk room fast enough. Things must be taken to Goodwill YESTERDAY. This irritated neatfreak cheater, and apparently made him really horny for really young p***y.

    b-I spent too much time on “other people,” where Other People = our children (I did over 90% of the parenting so that cheater had time to discuss Deep Ideas and Deep Orifices in coffee shops with said students), and my own students (a common complaint was that I wrote too many comments on papers and that’s why grading took me so long–time that could have been spent fawning over Hannibal Lecher).

    • Ooh ooh, and also, despite having physical intimacy an average of 3-4 times per week the whole marriage, toward the end I wasn’t enthusiastic enough. Why? Because he was boinking students and devaluing me, so I didn’t feel especially close to him. During his affair with gradwhore (though it would take me another 8 years to find out about her and divorce him), I remember having sex and thinking, “Why am I doing this? I don’t even like him.”

      You.can’ the disordered. Lose-Lose, those are the options.

      • Distrust and vague misgivings definitely kill longings for intimacy.

      • Tempest,

        Your comment was almost like a brick to my head. I had almost forgotten about me being denigrated because I would not have sex with him in the morning. Now at the time he was doing his most vociferous complaining, I was working nights so I could be home with one half-day kindergartner and one pre-school toddler. My shift was 5 to midnight and I would take the last commuter train of the night home, hop in a local taxi and get home sometime around 2:00 a.m. I would get to bed about 2:30 and be up about at 5:30 or 6:00 to get the older children up for school, iron their clothes, make breakfast, make lunches and stand at the bus stop. There were nights I would get home at 2:00 and the dinner dishes would be in the sink because Man of the Year would have decided to go to bed after watching television or porn or whatever and not load the dishes into the dishwasher. Of course, he would still be in bed when I got up to begin my day because he was very passive-aggressive about sleeping to a point where he was always going to be late for work. Of course, he would tell me if I would have sex with him in the morning it would motivate him to get out of bed and he would help me get the kids ready. I tried it a few times as I am not actually opposed to sex in the morning. He did not help with the kids or really crawl out of bed any earlier. I once tried to explain to him that I worked a full time job, did all the laundry, did some of the cooking, helped the kids with their homework and did most of the cleaning of the house and that I was not going to add “sex in the morning” to that list unless he helped out more. He complained that I didn’t need to get up and cook breakfast for the kids, to give them cold cereal and why did I have to iron their clothes. I ignored him. So the morning sex thing was something he berated me for the entire marriage, the thing that showed I didn’t really care about him or his needs (along with the rest of his petty grievances such as me not walking around the house in sexy clothes on the weekend while cleaning the house and doing the laundry; all of which gave him an excuse to justify being a cheating fucknugget) up to and including a reason for why he and OWife were meant for each other. Of course, by that time we were having sex pretty much whenever he wanted, but I had already been judged and found wanting.

        So happy to be free of all of that self-serving, self-absorbed fuckery.

        • Chump Princess–I am glad you are free of the incessant demands (sexual and otherwise), the lack of gratitude, and having to sacrifice your own needs and sleep for a never-satisfied fuckwit. Good riddance.

    • Yuck! Your ex-husband sucks! What a silly comment about you spending too much time caring helping your students–in a legitimate way!

  • Ha! Ex was going on about how Schmoopie’s “suspicious jerk” of an ex, then husband, was so paranoid that she might be cheating on him that he walked two miles to the location where she was fucking my ex, then husband. That’s how the affair was confirmed. My response “He was right to be paranoid. I was the clueless sucker who didn’t follow up on my suspicions and chose to trust you when it should have been glaringly obvious that you were having an affair”. Of course her ex was a cheater too so he knew the signs and knew when to be paranoid.

    And the poor treatment thing. Before Dday he was criticizing anything and everything I did. I could do nothing right. I was pick me dancing like mad and didn’t even know about Schmoopie’s 1.0 and 2.0. I still suffer from insecurities wondering if the things he complained about might be serious flaws after all. I can be a bit scatter brained sometimes, especially under pressure. Looking back now, I don’t know why I wanted to save my marriage so badly. He is much “nicer” to me now that we aren’t married anymore.

  • As noted above, another CFM (Chump Field Manual) basic training ‘must-have’.
    I wrote them all down on the legal pad I used as my student guide while listening to LACGAL the first dozen times through. Yes, it took my Shell shocked brain that long to decipher the CL dialect before graduating to the CN masters program of study.

    Being a trusting, left-brain, Imbicile capable of actually grasping Integral calculus,differential equations and what not, I came to the realization one day (amidst rying to learn how to read sheet music), that I needed to ‘just ACCEPT’ (unquestionably) a core set of fundamentals to move forward. My brain could not accept that an A sharp and a B flat were one in the same. Why would you need two notes when both ‘vibrate’ the air with the identical frequency?

    Any road, I came to the same conclusion in my education of Who My STBXWW really is. Understanding their natures is beyond MY comprehension and I tired rapidly of the RIC rhetoric.
    The linear path RIC offerings always came with a price tag or Big Shiny hair. Red Flag.

    Now I’m learning behavioral pattern recognition. I’ll know I’ve mastered spotting the cheater defense mechanisms, (when face to face meetings with my cheater are necessary/by surprise), when I can walk away unplussed, indifferent and sure I cannot fix her unfortunate brokenness.
    More Importantly That I Don’t Have To.

    • yes there is some inability to feel as they must. Even though I have read so much on cluster b and can analyse the behaviour, I still write to her as if the things I write would matter to her. I do vacillate between accounts of her constantly and find it hard to hold on to one for very long. Dealing with a manipulator and liar is really perplexing. You are always left with this awful feeling that you could be COMPLETELY wrong and making the most awful judgements about someone who was maybe struggling with circumstances. I try to fend this off now since she never gave us chance to talk and never gave me a chance in the relationship. She acted out a decision I had no part in and she should have ended it when she started trying to organise the state of affairs her behaviour was aiming to realise.

  • Also for any newbies, this doesn’t nescessarily mean the cheater is aware of this themselves. When Dr. Cheaterpants discarded me the first time when our kiddos were 2 & 4 years old for a twice married and history of cheating on her husbands howorker, the anger surfaced. We had just built our dream home, one where he chose the huge lot backing to a stream with lots of trees. I was outside planting and the kids were playing in the yard. He started raging at me and I told him ‘that’s enough’. Then since he ‘worked’ all the time, I worked full time, did all the cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, took kids and picked them up from child care, paid all the bills, etc… Then I started mowing the yard, because well-a cheater is off doing what a cheater does.

    We sold our beautiful home (I drive by sometimes just to see the fruits of my labor from all those years ago), the kids and I moved into a smaller home, and cheater came begging back. He later told me he didn’t understand why he was so angry that I was mowing the yard.

    Fast forward 12 years and Dr. Cheater has run off with DD14’s 20-something assistant sports coach while he was volunteer coaching. I caught him early pursuing her (the icloud is a bitch). I never gave him the chance to bitch about me or what I was or was’nt doing. I saw the text he sent her ‘can we get together for a beer on Thursday? Remind me to tell you how it all started 5 years ago’. I have no doubt he believes his own rationalizations and justifications of how and why he deserves to be happy. I had listened to his misery about his job, family, hobbies not understanding how awesome he was and how they didn’t value what he had to offer.

    Only after 2 years and no contact/gray rock with teenagers, do I see the idealize, devalue, discard pattern of everything in his life. I saw the pattern, didn’t recognize it, and never thought it would/could include me – his wife of 20 years. He is always the victim or hero in his life story. This is who he is. Now it’s on me to free myself of this and move along.

    Whatever way they have to rationalize and justify is how they relate in life. It’s like a virus that never intends to kill it’s host. But sometimes it just goes to far and either kills the host or the host kills it.

    • I’ve been noticing lately my husband constantly takes the kids iPads to “play games” but Safari history is full if and manage your apple id history. im not iOS savvy at all. what’s the purpose of doing this with an Apple device and how can I view iCloud? I have windows PC and android phones….and the iPads be is so obsessed with currently. I’ve suspected he may have a hidden phone but I wouldn’t dare obsess over finding that if he does, I’ll drive myself crazy

  • When his first affair went from inappropriate 900 texts a month to obsession 4000 texts a month, is when he turned into a monster. I went from a gift from Heaven to a waste of space in a matter of a few months. At the time I had no clue what was going on. I didn’t know about her yet.
    Rage and insults for no reason over every little thing. It escalated so quickly that I was actually afraid to move, talk, make a decision, even to look at him wrong.

    Any place I was… it was the wrong place. Everything I did was wrong even if he asked me to do it. If it wasn’t wrong I just didnt do it fast enough.

    It was double bind after double bind followed by rage and contempt. It somehow turned me into a terrified zombie. I was trying to think 10 steps ahead to all possible outcomes so I could try to be perfect and keep him happy. I literally believed it was my fault. These monsters are so good at blaming and playing the victim because they practiced their whole lives. That’s why it seemed so believable.

  • The way my ex spoke to our children, particularly our eldest… it fills me with dread. It was so mean-spirited and designed to cut her down. We would argue over it and it was always ME who was wrong for thinking that speaking to a child in a way that demeans them and kills their spirit is a bad thing. WTF?

    I kicked him out after I found out about his affair and one day he was over after to see the kids and he started in on my eldest. I was in the kitchen listening and getting that dreadful feeling all over me again, that, “we’re going through this again”, when I suddenly realized, we don’t HAVE to go through this again. I walked in the living room, told him his visit was over, and he’s not speaking to my children in my house like that. POWER. He was livid, sure, but he LEFT. And he hasn’t done it again, at least within my earshot. Treat your new girlfriend like shit, not me and my kids.

    His defensiveness continues to this day, 8 months out. It is MY FAULT he cheated, and I was bad for snooping on him. I categorically refuse to take the bait. It’s so damn hard, when he sends an email about how my hostility is bad for him to be around… He basically parrots back things I have said to him, about him. I’ve been telling him for months that I don’t want to spend time with him, that it’s not good for me, and I want a set schedule so we don’t have to interact on such a regular basis. 8 months out, still no schedule. He seems to think there is, and it’s whenever it freaking suits him. Talk about entitlement.

    We’ve started mediation, because I need to put an ending point on this mess and have a final divorce as soon as possible. I’m getting my own lawyer to advise me through it, though. I just want to come out the end of it with my finances intact, my kids fairly happy, and my cats by my side.

    • “I’ve been telling him for months that I don’t want to spend time with him, that it’s not good for me,”

      Stop telling. Start showing.

      “and I want a set schedule so we don’t have to interact on such a regular basis. 8 months out, still no schedule.”

      Set it yourself, and go No Contact as far as you can. Use scheduling software. Don’t engage.

      “We’ve started mediation, because I need to put an ending point on this mess and have a final divorce as soon as possible.”

      Then why are you mediating? Do you have to? It’s a good way of getting ripped off and drawing out a divorce to infinity, as many chumps here will tell you.

      “I’m getting my own lawyer to advise me through it, though. I just want to come out the end of it with my finances intact, my kids fairly happy, and my cats by my side.”

      You need a lot of good advice right now. This is a good place to get it. Read the archives, and maybe join the forums as well.

  • All this, ALL THIS!!! And all I and our children ever did was try to help him, meet his needs, give him the affirmations and support we thought he needed. We all P-M danced, even the kids, and cheater-troll continued to RAGE RAGE RAGE even so far as attempt to punch his DD for wanting a donut hole. I used to say “why are you angry dad?” and “try to remember not to be angry dad at this event today”, why I even attempted to manage him and his disordered thinking I don’t know. I’m not such a skilled and talented writer as many above and everyone described my life with the cheater-troll to the very last detail. What strikes me is not only the continued themes and playbook-like behaviors apparent from all the cheaters listed but that we compassionate and empathetic people also fell into the similar roles and actions of the victimized. I ask myself, what do I want to emulate and what example do I want to model. What do I consider acceptable treatment by my actions and apathy because apathetic decisions are still decisions by inaction. I am glad to have regained more order from chaos in my life, still working on a more direct path to Meh, and I’m sure since divorce is final that moving and selling the family home will hopefully get me to that elusive Tuesday morning.

  • Oh wow – I still am shocked at the sameness of these people. Nex would RAGE at me for finding out or suspecting (correctly) that he was using hookers. When I discovered he was sexting one of his students – he strangled me so severely I blacked out.
    Ugh. Thank god I got out. Still doing the custody battle – but getting there.

  • All of this. Every single thing.

    Ice cream gaslighting, rage, cold shoulder treatment, thinking I was developing early-onset Alzheimer’s because of the mindfuckery, and losing my hearing because of the mumbled responses (if any) to any carefully-worded and politely-expressed ordinary question or comment.

    And on and on.

    The waves of emotional abuse, the deliberate torment he inflicted will never be forgotten, forgiven… or accepted in any small part from anyone else in my life, ever again.

  • I was married to the Queen of Reverse-Victim-land and Stop-Asking-So-Many-Questions-isstan.
    Whenever I asked an innocuous question about her whereabouts, or who she was with — just asking as a curious spouse, as I was actually totally clueless for a long time — she would go straight to the rage channel with “What is this, THE INQUISITION?” As if I, her husband, was invading her privacy.
    Whenever I mentioned that I didn’t like some behavior that looked disloyal (say, “girls night out” with no wedding ring at a known singles hang out), it was again turned around on me: “a jealous man is SO unattractive.”
    When I discovered her, it was all about what *I* was doing wrong: the issue was that I saw suspicious texts because I was “snooping” on her phone, not because, oh, there was something suspicious. I was “controlling” to ask why she was going to a concert with. She HAD to contact the OM even though she said she never would again because I had clued in his wife something fishy was up. I was continually “invading her privacy” asking so many questions, and yes, her cell phone was locked up and required the figurative cavity search to get looked at.

  • My cheater wife said many things over the months following Dday. Her views change as the wind blows. One time she actually did admit she felt entitled to cheat. But, alas, she then went back to blaming me.

  • Ahh, good old DARVO……(hope I get this right)….. deflect….attack….. reverse……. victim and…… offender.

    I forget where it came from, maybe Dr. Simon’s site? Anyway, another site has a great explanation of it in their tool box. It is called Out Of The Fog, and is very helpful in dealing with cluster B’s. Lots of good information there. I found Chump Lady through that site when she was mentioned.

    I am very grateful for both.

    • CL and Out of the Fog saved my life during the first year out of my relationship, and baggagereclaim has been extremely helpful to me during my second year of recovery and preparing myself to enter the dating world again.

  • I just heard some of this BS this morning. Every time I try to hold him accountable to having an affair, breaking up our marriage and hurting the kids he always says things like “if you had acted better”, “our marriage was already in trouble” my favorite is that if “I hadn’t acted so crazy when I found out then he would have considered stopping the affair sooner”.

    HELLO… your affair has nothing to do with me! You and married with a 3 yr old AP made that decision all on your own time and time again!!!

    • Eventually you realize its best to not to have the discussion anymore. The will lie and rationalize about doing bad things for the rest of their life. It’s a waste of your energy. I limit my conversations with cheater wife to three topics: divorce, selling house, daughter. You will be amazed how much you feel better about life when you go minimal contact.

    • 28yrChump–Cheaters don’t do Accountability. You would be better off banging your head against a tree than trying to get a cheater to admit their faults or that they are responsible for bad behavior. And banging your head against a tree will feel better than trying to reason with a cheater. Trust me.

  • Cheaters also tend to be masters of the bringing-up-shit-from-years-ago tactic in an argument because they don’t have any other leg to stand on. You found inappropriate messages on their phone? Well YOU did -insert ridiculous, irrelevant incident from three years ago-so you’re just as bad!*deflect deflect deflect*

    Cheaters also like to accuse you of doing the thing they’re doing. “I’m not doing anything, maybe it’s YOU that has something to hide!” Once they throw that out there, there’s nothing you can say or do. Everything you say is twisted into “proof” that you’re the one who’s really cheating, “because if you aren’t then why are you getting so upset?” Next thing you know, it’s you who’s having to turn over all your phone messages and emails. The messages and emails that ACTUALLY have nothing hidden. *twist, reverse, accuse*

    • Mine felt unloved and just had to cheat because he had to wear a condom on his wedding night 20 years earlier.

  • As always when I read these posts I am amazed that even though there may be a slight twist between everyone’s stories, they are so similar. We could probably compile a book the length of War and Peace. Before I found this site I was convinced that I had lost my mind. Now not so much.

    The cheater was most excellent at never expecting blame or responsibility for anything. The most egregious was the day I came home to our house surrounded by state and local police. Being stopped and questioned in my driveway about who had access to our internet all the while having a panic attack because my daughter was home being questioned by the police. We had been served a warrant to search the house for child pornagraphy because an image had been traced to our Internet address. I was pretty freaked out. Thought the cheater had be a victim of some sort of click bait. What had actually happened was that the cheater was downloaded large numbers of photos to throw off the google search because he had posted photos of me (Pictures I didn’t know he had taken and posted without my knowledge) and didn’t want them to appear in google search. What really floored my about the whole incident was how enraged he became about the nerve of the police to search his home and question what he was doing and that they had no business questioning what he did with his wife blah blah. Never did he think that maybe he was at all in the wrong. I was so mortified and embarrassed on so many levels by the whole situation, so what did he do to make me feel better about everything….he took me to meet his lawyer. Not the kind of comfort I was hoping for. Luckily for us, he was never charged with anything.

  • I like my privacy. I would be upset if anyone went through my phone or bills or read my correspondence. However, I live alone, an I pay for my phone and all my bills. My Wacky Siamese Cat doesn’t know how to read (I am almost positive!).

    When I was part of a couple, I didn’t start out by invading his privacy. But I was unable to be totally blind to irregularities. I started snooping when money started missing, or material things (which could be pawned) started missing. I thought we either had a thief with the uncanny ability to know when I was not home, OR . . . . I started paying closer attention. Other things did not add up. I overheard conversations when he thought I was asleep or in another part of the house. One day he ran out and left his computer up — probably to call Schmoopie # ???? . Bingo! Found the thief and found the truth. Started paying much closer attention, didn’t want to totally believe, looked for excuses not to. Damn — that truth thing, it changes everything!

    Actually I should have noticed sooner. I made the mistake of trusting, blindly. I falsely assumed since I wouldn’t do those things, neither would he. I didn’t know how a Narcissist’s mind worked. I started trying to figure out why, why, why, and how do I fix this??? Boy, I had a lot to learn. I figured out how to get out, and how to protect myself as much as possible. Finally, I had enough, and I left.

    All of these techniques were used on me. I see them clearly now. I wish I had been more savy, and had protected myself better. In a way, I think my preparation for being married to a Narc was started when I was a young girl — many of the techniques were used by my Malignant Narc Father (I see that NOW!). I was well trained, unfortunately. But I found out that I can rebel very nicely, thank you, when I am provoked.

    I wouldn’t let a stranger treat me like I was treated. I will not be treated that way by someone who is supposed to love me. Anything I did to verify what my gut was trying to tell me is ON HIM. If he had been innocent, my gut would have been proven wrong. Damn, that truth and my gut were right on target. So glad I am not the object of his dysfunctional ravings anymore!!!