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UBT: I Didn’t Know How to Express My Unhappiness

Hi Chump Lady,

I’m 7 months out from D-Day…40-year old chump, married 15 years with 2 sons. Some highlights I discovered…

  • My wife had multiple affairs throughout our marriage, including with someone that she hired on to work for my business.
  • She would have me watch our kids while she said she she was attending writing conferences (she was a wannabe writer.) In reality, she was attending swinger resorts, hooking up with girls and meeting up with other couples she found on Craig’s List.
  • She would often lie about being sick, including having Cancer! It mysteriously went away…
  • She often brought affair partners around our kids and had them lie about it.
  • She stole tons of money out of our joint business to give to various affair partners.

My ex has been attending therapy but recently stopped. This is what she sent me…turns out everything for her has been great. Seems the problem all along has been me…

I am really healthy now. I am doing amazing at work. And so good in every way. I meditate, exercise, and take vitamins. It turns out I was just really unhappy in our relationship and didn’t know how to express it. My therapist said it is unnecessary for me to go weekly. I read many books and am probably the most confident and least anxious I’ve ever been in my life. I would say I have never been this healthy in my life. I have not had a migraine in months. I don’t think a woman who was mentally unhealthy would be able to take classes, work a new job, take care of kids and a dog, cook, keep the house clean and pay her bills. I was very unhappy in our marriage, but didn’t have the tools to express it. Now I do. I’ve never felt better in my entire life.”

If you could UBT this that would be awesome. I don’t wish ill on my ex, but to suddenly hear she’s doing awesome is a bit disheartening.


The husband to blame

Dear Husband (who’s not to blame),

She faked cancer? I have a batshit crazy relative who did this. (My husband refers to her ailment as “Cancer of the Imaginary Glands.”) Dude, there are no amount of vitamins that can make that kind of crazy right. You’re probably dealing with a Borderline. In any case, it doesn’t matter what flavor of fucked up it is, you need to get away from it.

I’ll put her self-serving, blameshifting, whackadoodle Happiness Report through the UBT, just promise me you’ve got a lawyer.

I am really healthy now.

The Imaginary Glands are in remission and everything is tickety boo. I can benchpress a hundred narwhales. And my body-mass-index is 1.7 Tinkerbells.

I am doing amazing at work.

Other words used to describe my professional self are: stupendous, astounding, breathtakingly original, a paperclip prodigy, the MacArthur Genius of Receptionists, and “the first person you think of when you think of coffee.”


And so good in every way.

…Thanks entirely to your absence. I don’t want to connect the dots or anything, but with you, I’m a toxic, lying cheater with a bad novel in a drawer. Without you, I’m a toxic, lying cheater with a bad novel in a drawer.

I meditate, exercise, and take vitamins.

Pay no attention to my crimes, I’ve cured my Zinc deficiency.

It turns out I was just really unhappy in our relationship and didn’t know how to express it.

All that shit I did? You made me do it…. because unhappiness.

I thought affairs would make me happy… group sex… Craigslist hookups… writers’ conferences. But your suckitude was too powerful.

I could express myself to total strangers I met naked, but I could not form the words “therapy” or “divorce lawyer.”

Your suffocating inadequacies render me mute.

My therapist said it is unnecessary for me to go weekly. I read many books and am probably the most confident and least anxious I’ve ever been in my life.

I read books. I have all the best books. I am a stable genius.

My therapist said it’s unnecessary for me to go because I read many books. She is not as powerful as my books. I could crush her with a single paragraph. She shudders at my self-help library. BEHOLD MY CONFIDENCE!

I would say I have never been this healthy in my life.

And the narwhales agree with me.

I have not had a migraine in months. I don’t think a woman who was mentally unhealthy would be able to take classes, work a new job, take care of kids and a dog, cook, keep the house clean and pay her bills.

They do these things in insane asylums and prisons too. #madskillz #watchmeadult

I was very unhappy in our marriage, but didn’t have the tools to express it.

Hands, vocal chords, and tongue do not count.

Now I do. I’ve never felt better in my entire life.

And that’s what REALLY matters — ME. You’re just someone who made me unhappy.


Husband, don’t internalize her blameshifting. She’s responsible for her unhappiness, real or imaginary, not you. Just work on you and being a sane parent to those two little boys. Your life is about to get MUCH better without her crazy. Big hugs.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • Dude. Watch House of Lies. (Not house of cards. Different) I think you were married to the character reference for Don Cheadles wife. Seriously.

    Was one of the books eat pray love?
    ‘I meditate’. Well… you do something in a bendy position, sure but I think there’s more snake/downward dog in your actions than namaste. I read books? Um… how does that change that you lack basic empathy, respect, consideration, and life skills related to not fucking up your kids and exposing your partner to disease and oh yes, fraud.

    What a pile of word salad. You are so much better off.

    • I was thinking “Borderline” as well as I read this as it reminded me so much of an ex-gf who was borderline. She also went into therapy and then announced her therapist had told her she didn’t need to go regularly anymore. Borderline need YEARS of therapy because their emotions are so up and down. When they’re feeling up, they then give up therapy as they don’t feel bad at that point in time.

      They also justify their shit behaviour – usually by projecting it on to others (like a narc) – and then announce why it’s your fault they feel bad or did bad.

      As CL said – get the fuck away from her…. The fact she still says this shit and has ceased doing therapy means she isn’t better. She is just going through another phase of being a Borderline.

      BPD is a terrible illness, but it’s hugely destructive to those around the borderline as well.

      And if she’s says she’s doing well? Feelings are facts with BPD – so she probably feels it right now, but it won’t last. The emptiness will return and she’ll be off to do group sex, etc.

      Hopefully you’ll find the strength to go NC and be miles away when it does.

      • Her message sounds so much like something fuckwit would say. I have wondered if he is a male borderline. He is definitely narcissistic and disordered but that is just untangling the skein. Just need to trust he sucks.

        It is funny though because in the course of him gas lighting me, I was always trying to fix myself. After dday and him leaving I wrote him this long apology letter (much to my regret) and told him how I was better now, I had changed. (I had fibroids and endometriosis and was bleeding all the time- felt terrible and finally had a hysterectomy which was a miracle worker but truly that didn’t cause him to cheat, it was his poor character) I kept telling him how now I had energy and everything would be better blah,blah, blah.

        He was like this ex: I am in therapy and my life is so much better. I am the happiest I have ever been. Really? You are in the middle of a high conflict divorce, 3 of your kids will not even speak to you, your dad is dying of an incurable disease and you are the happiest you have been in your life?

        I feel for you and your kids. I hope you can get to the point of no contact. That is much more difficult when you have kids. Stay sane for them. The disordered will never get it. Their quest is all about themselves and their own “happiness”.

        • I’m married to a male Borderline (also has PTSD thanks to shitty parent) who thankfully hasn’t cheated and whose shit I have called out steadily through the decades. He wants to be a Good Guy, mostly he is, but he’s as rare as they come. So glad you dumped yours! I advise anyone who has a spouse with a PD to run. The odds are dreadful. Run!

        • Yep they really are a piece of work . Mine was hysterically happy posting his fab new life on facebook as he left behind 3 devastated kids facing a foreclosed house and 5 dead pet rabbits. Disordered does not even touch what must be going on in their heads

      • She is absolutely borderline. There is an adage among therapists: “How do you know you have a sociopath as a client? After the first 3 sessions they want to kill you. How do you know you have a borderline as a client? After the first 3 sessions, you want to kill them.”

        • That can explain the hasty exit from therapy in two ways. One–as a borderline, she thinks she’s cured now. Two–the therapist knows it’s hopeless and tells her to read and take vitamins. Maybe both.

          And Tracy–I see that stable genius reference.

        • And narcissists think all therapists are assholes if they don’t agree with them. I watched it happen first hand with my husband and parade of couples counselors.

          • X told me a degrees in Psychology and Human Development are bullshit degrees I have degrees in both. Being a therapist is a bullshit job.

            Cheater has BS in Physical Education and a MS in Recreational development.

        • Tempest,

          I have never heared that theory before but it is so true.

          these people have to have some from of mental health issue as no one with any shred of empathy could do what they do. My cheater blamed all of his actions while we were married squarely on me. 4 years out, Now he focuses he emotional abuse towards our youngest daughter and now blames her for the breakdown between them but still tries to blackmail her into visiting, she is 13. His own family do not like being around him but no one calles him on his actions. This use to really upset me but I realised they do not call him on it becasue he is in total denial that he has any part to play in the damage that has been done.

        • I was hearing echoes of unmedicated bipolar in a serious manic phase. Lots of grandiosity. My prior clients with borderline are clingy, self-harming, threaten suicide regularly, and chronically feel empty. Just my thoughts.

          • Yes I agree with you.

            A BPD person would typically be devastated by being “abandoned” even if they dumped you.

            Ask me how I know.

            I try to explain the difference between BPD and NPD (my father is one of the rare NPDs that received a diagnosis.).

            You dump an BPD and an NPD person.

            NPD: “I never loved you anyway. Go jump off of a cliff, you’re completely replaceable. I’m so awesome that I’ll replace you by tomorrow afternoon.”

            BPD: ” Plllllleeeeease don’t leave me. Ill jump off a cliff. Youre completely irreplacable to me. I’m so worthless that you’ll have me replaced by tomorrow afternoon. You never loved me anyway….”

      • This^^^ This is all so true of BPDs.

        As I read the wife’s glowing depiction of “all’s peachy-perfect now”, it gave me chills. This tactic is a thing with BPDs in particular, and all narc disordereds to some degree. They can’t endure correction or reality for very long and so they do what they’ve always done, self-indulge in sparky self-delusion and then sell it to others.

        You must keep in mind that she has lived her entire life doing exactly the same thing as she is doing in this letter to you – presenting and believing in a false self. They are like split personalities. The superficial public details of her daily life serve to assure her that she is fine, just like everyone else. She’ll never square them with the underlying truth of her second self, the one who is crazy. She knows full well she is the creature inside (the one faking cancer, cheating, manipulating kids, etc) and will go to great lengths to feed that creature the emotional oxygen it lives on, but all her self-assessment is based on the first self, the outer public self (the job holder, the book reader, the yoga participant). They vindicate and rationalize the deeds of the true self saying this or that doesn’t count or isn’t wrong because who got hurt, or they deserved it, or any other version of “feelings are facts” and then proceed to not trouble themselves with even thinking about it for more than a nanosecond. They are and have always been reflexive deniers. Almost guaranteed, it was a necessity for surviving in their FOO. It’s all they know. Then they actually believe this outer self and it’s achievements as being who they are. It’s how they can outwardly seem so normal and live untroubled by the dichotomy. She isn’t lying here, she is simply delusional. And it’s how she has ALWAYS been.

        When shit they have been hiding/in denial of comes out, and they can’t escape it through lies, they so often pursue this course of “rejuvenation” with the quickly following claim of success. I’ve been through several iterations of this, each one guaranteed to collapse under the weight of facts and be replaced by yet another rendition. (You would think they would have to be mentally retarded to keep doing the same predictably dumb tactic, but they aren’t. They actually have only one way of being, and this is it. Their brains long ago lost or failed to develop the ability to keep full contextual truth before them. This is a developmental achievement that isn’t a given. It leaves them able to concurrently know they are lying and believe the lie – it’s incredible. They are like jackasses following a carrot which they themselves hung out in front of them). So this then becomes their only option – a momentary step to the side before stepping back onto their lifelong path of dual personality and deluded self-assessment.

        • TKO “The creature inside” analogy is great! I once told my ex I thought he was a demon. His responce was no I’m not bit maybe a really bad on lives inside me…..

        • TKO, what a fantastic description of disorder. Perfectly describes my ex, who was diagnosed with NPD.

        • “It leaves them able to concurrently know they are lying and believe the lie – it’s incredible.” This is exactly what I believe about my ex. He told so many lies, about so many things, so often, that they became the truth to him. Regarding “therapy”, my ex went for the first time (to someone unknown) and moved out THAT day. He continued weekly therapy sessions (through MY insurance) all through the divorce. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for those sessions. No doubt, this “therapist” had no clue that they were dealing with a Sociopath. Because that’s how charming and believable he is!

        • Well I learned something new today. I discovered that there is a difference between Bipolar Disorder (BD) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Ex’s Dad was BD and I always wondered if ex was mildly BD because he was always so moody. It never quite seemed to fit, however, because the extremes weren’t extreme enough. The characterizing traits of NPD don’t quite fit either (although some may). The characterizing traits of BPD fit him to a T, however. He would be the high functioning (invisible) type. I know this is untangling the skein which we are not supposed to do, but it does make me feel better. Understanding his behavior helps me to understand and fully believe that what happened isn’t my fault. It is hard for me to believe he is malicious at heart which makes it difficult for me to just “trust that he sucks” but it is possible for me to believe that he has a mental disorder that caused this clusterfuck and it truly wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do. Ex would probably rather be labeled as malicious than mentally ill, however. Too bad.

          • I thin the wife described in this letter has Bipolar Disorder as her swings seem more extreme and of longer duration.

        • I think your reading of this is spot on. I saw it with my ex that he thought if he did a few nice things and acted all normal it made up for the shittiness which we should all leave in the past because you know he’s doing the right thing now.
          People generally revert back to type it’s just a matter of time.

        • Wow, TKO, that is so helpful. It explains so much. My ex checks almost every box on the list of narcissistic traits. I believe his is the compensatory brand. He does present a carefully cultivated self to the world. Sparkles galore. I was one of the very few who got a look behind the charming, funny, goofy, good-guy mask to discover how completely comfortable he is with lying. I remember back when we were in marriage counseling (Silly squirrel! You were in it by yerself!) and the therapist wanted to see each of us alone for one session. The STBX couldn’t come up with excuses fast enough for why he couldn’t do it. I think he was terrified of someone peeling back a corner of that mask, someone capable of assessing his level of fucked-upness. He has zero interest in self-awareness. His prime directive is to preserve the outer image at all costs.

      • The worst thing for borderlines is “talk” therapy!!
        Short, sharp, time controlled, limit setting treatment. CBT, DBT has the best results. And this is from someone who works with them.
        Also borderlines are the easiest of the cluster B’s to work with. But it takes years.
        Often people with ptsd get diagnosed as BPD, and there’s often an overlap.
        But in 25 yrs of psych nursing you can tell one from the other pretty quickly.
        BPD ‘s usually love coming to hospital and staying as long as possible. And tend to cause mayhem .
        PTSD want to not be there generally. But for safety have to be. And will do the work to get better.
        In crisis can present the same, but after a while it becomes obvious.
        Hardly ever meet NPD, unless they’re dodging something.
        Same with antisocial/psychopath… usually sent in for legal reasons.
        This is is inpatient settings.

        • Evans, thank you for posting this. I have some strong cluster B traits, but have been working on them bit by bit over the years, and really seriously over the last 2 years. My counselor has reassured me that my symptoms are PTSD, not BPD, NPD, or BD, but it’s really helpful to hear your take on it, especially when much of what TKO wrote could apply to me at various points in my life. But my hospital stay after dday#4 is exactly what you described with the PTSD patients.

          It’s a long road to climb, but worth it if I can give my kids a better start than I had.

        • I’ve often wondered if I was mis-diagnosed because I had EMDR therapy and that was most effective for me. As well, since EMDR the things that has helped the most is ADHD medication. Those two things hace helped me live a functional life. I haven’t had to go back into the hospital for 13 years now. I haven’t been suicidal since EMDR.

      • Agree. My ex is BPD as well and a cheater (three years of serial affair before SHE filed for divorce…but of course the rewrite was that it was all me) and four years after divorce and she is still constantly sending me messages like this one. About how great she is, etc. Followed with a beat down on me to contrast. Overtime the dysfunctional and very predictive nature of her behavior leaves me observing in awe vs hurt or affected by her shit. Her words and behavior are still very caustic and vindictive. Still can cause actual damage…not just to me on a psychological front, but with my kids, other relationships, career. It is near impossible to get away from their destructive dark clouds, especially when you have kids. And live in the same community. Most of the time I look at life through the lens of this expectation: 8 more years until my youngest is an adult. Then I will be free of her. And that’s a low and sad bar to set for my life. For what? Marrying her and having kids? For that I have to live this? IF I want to see my kids at all. If I wanted to abandon it all it could be different. Until then…I find ways to endure and cope, because I have no idea what else to do and have exhausted my fight and my resources to help fight. Faith…in something bigger in the universe, and belief that all human beings are good at the core. That is the fundamental base, plus my kids, that keeps me from giving up.

        • David44, Your words ring so true that they hurt my heart, as I’m sure they do to so many others here. Some days I feel imprisoned for my crime of believing his lies. That’s it. I believed him and I tried to help and support and love him. That’s what I did to deserve such punishment.

          Other days I feel freer and lighter and more hopeful. I’m grateful to be away from him but the old familiar rage can come back when I think about how he used me, disregarded the welfare of my child, stole my money, and on and on. I do my best not to dwell on it now though some days it’s a mental marathon to keep it at bay.

          Your kids are lucky to have you. I hope meh comes very soon. It’s a good sign that you’re viewing things with more clinical bewilderment than emotional pain, even though I know it’s just all exhausting.

          CN has your back.

    • Hey i read books!!! You must be afraid to better yourself!!! You are so close minded. Some people are always trying to improve themselves. (The previous has been a monologue i constantly got from psycho friend who had a huge self help library and not a damn clue in the world.)

      • Plenty of truly TERRIBLE, terrible crazy toxic people read books, succeed at their jobs, look nice in business clothes, know how to cook, pay their bills, remember to feed the cat, keep a fairly fit body, and manage not to toss their children out the window. All of those “accomplishments” mean nothing! Absolutely nothing. Especially when combined with the smug narcissistic bragging you are being subjected to. This is not doing *awesome* – her kind of crazy can never be awesome. Please, shut down this shit immediately, as hearing it only makes you feel disheartened and tempted to blame yourself. Go NC except strict business about the kids. Be the sane parent who shows them what true awesomeness really is.

        • well said.. .. anyone who has to repeatedly say they are “doing awesome” is not doing awesome. .. she is either trying to convince herself or trying to convince you or both.. just like good people usually do not walk around telling everyone they are good people. something the disordered person never understands.

          i know it is disheartening to think that your ex is doing so much better now that they got rid of you. .. of course it is easy to think that all the bad things really were your fault — just like she told you.. .. for years, everything was YOUR fault. please do not fall for that shit and remind yourself that the things she did was way beyond betrayal and so very much NOT awesome. you did nothing to force her to lie to you and have group sex.

          In my case, somehow it was MY fault that he got another dwi, that he stayed out all night drinking.. .. because you know i made him mad by asking if he was coming home. … somehow it was MY fault because apparently asking him to come home every night, spend time with his wife and kids and actually talk to us plus wanting him to pay bills before spending his money on beer and God knows what was “asking TOO much from him”. And somehow my being upset that he was not helping out around the house, yard and with the kids was reason enough for him to treat me like shit because it was my fault in the first place for expecting that from him and trying to control/manipulate him.. ..

          Look. the disordered are really really good at pretending. they can not handling “feeling bad” so they will twist the truth to fit the “doing awesome” fantasy they have going on in their heads. they can act so convincing and believable that even YOU start to think it is true. you need to remember the TRUTH. *personally, i actually had to write the truth down and go back to remind myself every time he would pull the FOG (fear, obligation, guilty) over my eyes.. . your exwife letter is a prime example of emotional blackmail at it’s best. focus on the TRUTH. it does not matter if she thinks she is “cured” or “doing awesome”.. . what matter is how she treated you when you were in a relationship with her. .. anyone who lies to their spouse and hooks up with craigslist couples (while lying to her spouse) is NOT a good person to be with….

          it take time to heal from the mind fuck and toxins. heal your heart, clear your head and do not let the crazy get to you.. .. good luck

          • Mrs. Vain,
            “the disordered are really really good at pretending. they can not handling “feeling bad” so they will twist the truth to fit the “doing awesome” fantasy they have going on in their heads. they can act so convincing and believable that even YOU start to think it is true”
            ^ ^ ^
            This is where I was. He constantly told me what a great guy he is, everyone likes him.
            He gets along with everyone but me.

        • Still, in the interim, I wish my BPD-x cheater would have been able to do the following:

          succeed at their jobs, know how to cook, pay their bills, remember to feed the cat

          But to her credit, while I worked, cleaned, cooked, paid bills and parented, she did:

          read books,
          look nice in business clothes,
          keep a fairly fit body,
          and manage not to toss their children out the window.

    • And from what I hear, the gal that wrote ‘eat pray love’ turned out to be the cheater and gaslighted us all.

      • Oh big time cheater but I think she was pretty upfront about it- she left her husband to explore life ( probably cheated but that doesn’t make the book, it’s messy) and found love or whatever… to leave him for her other love- her best friend, who then died so it’s beautiful? Gag. She’s a loon. Her whole book was about cake.

        • I agree Gilbert is a loon. The cheating did not make it into the book, so I don’t consider her upfront about it.

          In fact, the opening scene where she is sobbing in her bathroom was because she was in couples therapy BOTH with her husband, and with her AP at the same time.

          • Very fair assessment, my comment about her being upfront may indicate my still messed up understanding of truth after years of full on delusional mirror house of deception- she at least doesn’t deny it entirely so she is less liary than some. Thank you for the gut check Tempest, you’re a star.

              • (and count me as dubious about her “reform” at the end of the article, given her recent rejection of Felipe to start a romance with her dying female friend)

              • Textbook BPD & a truly mean one at that.

                I feel badly for all the therapists she must have burned out through the years, as well as the unknowing chumps of the men she pursued.

                Now more than ever I’m happy I never read the book or saw the movie.

              • I read somewhere that her first husband decided to write his version of her Eat Pray Love memoir. She wrote of her devastation because her marriage failed and never mentioned the countless AP’s. She had to pay him several million dollars to not go public with it. I do love to hear of a chump win!

              • OMG, i had never read that article. I love how she likes to call herself “a serial monogamist who isn’t exactly monogamous since her relationships tend to overlap”….

                and how she turns herself into a new person to attract her latest “conquest” including going lesbian for her current love story book.

                Yeah, at the end of the article she congratulates herself for going 1 afternoon without f*ing someone new. Bet that lasted a whole 24 hours….NOT.

              • They really all sing from the same song sheet! The Traitor claimed he was a serial monogamist too, while he was cheating and plotting his exit with the Whore and her family coaching him.

              • This article is gag worthy! What a truly appalling character. Thank you Tempest!

        • I can just hear the cogs of her thought processes graunching as she realises she can place herself front and centre in a kibble-filled death drama as the bereaved spouse, and hey, the relationship will have a natural expiry date. Total cluster B.

      • true. CL did an article on her. Not only a cheater but an unapologetic cheater that basically described how she was a predator that hunted and strategically presented herself to APs. A horrible person.

    • My first wife could have written this. Like the earlier poster said ” word salad” par excellance.
      I think in some of these cheaters, there is such a strong draw to the new agey, meditation, type of garbage. CL has touched on this in the past in some of her stuff about word salad and on folks like Esther, and Vicky whatever their last names are..

      These folks are nuts, just nuts. You would not believe the gibberish my XW spouts.

  • Ahh….. the I’ve been unhappy card. Tell me which chump didn’t get this? I got the I’ve been unhappy for 7 years, no 10 years. I have to admit I was surprised when I heard it. We were only married for 14 years…. I must’ve really sucked as a wife or he must’ve been a real saint to stayed married in such unhappiness. When I read shit like this…. I just take a deep breath, close my eyes and channel Karma cause you know it’s coming.

    • My dear friends, who I’ve known for ages and who supported me unconditionally after the affair, and held cheater accountable 100%, are splitting after 30 years. Turns out after years of travel together, building a life, a business, a family, and constant togetherness (we were all in awe of their partnership), he’s been unhappy the whole time. Also turns out that he’s been in the company of prostitutes, masseuses, strippers, the whole time. He spent so much money. None of us knew. Even his closest male friends who often business traveled with him (including my cheater) had no clue. Not one. And his wife didn’t know either. She’s gone from planning her very comfortable retirement with him to going no contact and figuring out life alone. In one month. The trail he left is ludicrously loud and clear.

      After all I’ve seen and experienced, this one shocked me. Shocked. I was I’ll and I cried and cried. That he, who comforted me, loved me, supported me, and who I never saw act inappropriate in any setting, even when tanked, is a stranger to me. He was family to me, my husband’s best friend and I adored him. With my whole heart. My family considered him family. Once he said he’d never been happy, I couldn’t look at him the same way and I knew something ugly was going to happen. He was the happiest guy I knew. I still wake up in shock at how her life (and frankly mine) has changed so quickly. She had no idea. She adored him and trusted him. We all did. The rewrite of his life (according to him) with her has begun and it tastes like a lying sack of shit.

      • Because it is a lying sack of shit. People rewrite history when they are living a lie. Many of our Cheaters successfully hid double lives. I always felt off balance in my marriage, even when I had “everything” and as the years passed he became more disengaged. I believe that at a certain point in time the disordered can no longer keep up with the pretense, and the Cheater playbook follows. Just wish X hadn’t wasted 20 years of my life.

    • Oh yeah Pret your spot on with that one.

      She told me she had been unhappy for couple of years, then it was 4, then it was 8, then it just turned into a really really long time.

      Wow! I’m so happy she was able to grace me with her presence for sooooo long despite me being such a terrible person.

      • Funny that, how Mr Fab was unhappy the ‘whole’ twenty years during which I sent him through engineering school, built my own career, supported his working unsocial hours while raising a kid, bought another house, made money renting the other, planted nice gardens, raised a gorgeous, kind child, and was a kind, supportive pal to his brother’s ex, now aka the Downgrade because he was fucking her the whole time. I am SUCH a wench!

        Fast foward, five years. Hey Sole Sane Parent Chumps, the only way out is through. I got sole custody (Kiddo voted with her feet) and Kiddo got to be a Kiddo for a bit longer, and will study Psychology this fall. No idea how to pay for it, because Mr Fabulous snorted all the money, BUT: Kiddo knows all about the Clusterfuck B range, and how to manage the PTSD her dad left her with. She knows she finds assholes attractive, but now has a sweet, chumpy boyfriend and most importantly knows what and where her boundaries are. I never forbade contact with Mr Fab, but somehow he never really made time for her, still doesn’t. I didn’t badmouth him either-well, not much-but focused instead on pointing out to her what is and is not healthy behaviour in the people around us. She drew her own conclusions about her dad, which make her very very sad and angry, and probably always will. But on the other hand, she has seen me be honest and kind and boundaried with people. It will always be a wait and see, but provided you have told your kids why you are splitting up, age appropriately, of course, then they will know it is okay to have dealbreakers. UBT skills are life skills, too. In other words, Clusterfuck B parents hang themselves with their own rope, eventually. As to Schmoopie, Kiddo related this convo: Mr Fab “Please listen to your stepmother” Kiddo, “Back when you were my Auntie, Ms Downgrade, I might have. But now, you are just my dad’s girlfriend.”

        I am working on getting my own life now the nest is empty. Career has stalled,spent every penny on the high school years, living in sister’s attic, but it is my life now, I can do what I want with it. Not at the full Meh about Mr Fab, because he is a fucking criminal and a stain on the undies of Humanity, but frankly there are bigger fish to fry. He doesn’t bug me. At Kiddo’s graduation, she ran to me first. So did her friends.

        As Chump Lady puts it, “This is what you missed, asshole” So, OP, let them get on with their lives using shitty life skills. Trust me, having been the Sole Sane (No contact) Parent was the much better path to take.

      • The truth is, i believe, that they entered into every relationship knowing that they are different. They know that they are not attached to you the way you are attached to them. So these great revelations at the end of being unhappy for 5,10,15 years are just another one of their ever changing lies to hide the ultimate truth. They never loved you at all. They have never loved anyone.

        • Very true. Their version of love is based on nothing but feelings. Cheaters only know the “in love” feelings and they don’t go any deeper than that.

          For me the “in love” feelings are fun but feelings constantly change. Real love goes much deeper than that. Real love is something we do whether we feel it at the moment or not. Real love to me is the truly fun part.

      • Mine had to leave me because, in his words, “HE deserved to be happy JUST ONCE before he died. So, i guess that makes me responsible for all the years we weren’t even together. RIGHT.

        • Sounds right in line with all the other cheaters.

          I never got the memo that I was the one solely in control of her happiness.

          Meh. Guess it’s someone else’s job now.

      • He told my 14 year old daughter he hadn’t loved me for years; he was always going to leave me…
        Yep, disordered on sooooo many levels. Eighteen months later he was back at the doorstep wanting to come home. He apparently had amnesia.

    • Pret,
      I’ve heard very similar lines from my ex-husband and ex-boyfriend. I think that a lot of these people who flit from one relationship to another, often overlapping or running the relationships in parallel, not even series, confuse love with infatuation.

  • I see lots about about her “health” in the letter, but she doesn’t discuss her morals. Given her failure to address them, I think you can conclude that they are just as poor (or absent) now as they were before.

    I hope YOU are doing better without the migraines she caused you, the cancer anxiety she caused you, and the mental health gymnastics you had to do to wrap your head around her behavior!

    • Morals don’t matter to a person like this. She doesn’t care about the pain she inflicted because it’s all about her and what she wants. She certainly doesn’t want to reflect on her own conduct. She just wants to blame everyone around her for the path of destruction she has created.

      It reminds me of Ted Bundy. Just before he was executed he was “saved.” And guess what, according to him, it was pornography that was to blame for the 30+ murders he committed! He was just a poor, little tool, who had no agency.

      Regardless of one’s opinion of porno, I think we can all agree that it did not cause Bundy to murder. It certainly did provide him with a convenient excuse for his monstrous behavior. Perhaps he saw it as his cosmic get of jail free card.

      That’s the way malignant narcissists see the world. Nothing is ever their fault and everyone else is to blame. Self-examination is never going to happen, so therapy is a joke. The best we mere mortals can do to avoid getting sucked into their darkness is to stay as far away from these freaks as possible.

      • I saw an interview with Bundy on YouTube. He is a great actor at playing the poor me card. He said ‘the number one hobby of serial killers is porn’ he weaves you around his finger that bastard in that interview.

      • @ Violet: it’s all about her.

        That’s what I saw in the letter too. Me, me, me, me, and me again. Nothing about us. Nothing about the good of the family. Just “me” is happy now, meaning someone else was to blame.

        Does she care whether the person she pledged fidelity to is happy? Or the kids who were born of this temporary fidelity?

        No. Why should she? They’re just baggage that made her unhappy.

  • Definitely Borderline Personality Disorder or possibly a combination along the spectrum (ask me how I know…) Please use the link that Chumplady provided. Randi Kreger is an expert on BPD and she provides a compassionate approach to the subject. Be prepared for the lightbulbs to begin going off in rapidfire succession…

    • I think Randi Kreger has BPD herself. There was a lot of discussion about it on bpd411 long, long ago

  • If she were really so much happier and healthier without you, she wouldn’t need to broadcast it that way. It’s one thing to say “I’m doing well, thanks for asking”, it’s another to make a production of it.

    • THIS. Husband Not To Blame, she’s doing about as “awesome” as a house of cards sitting in the eye of a hurricane. Lawyer up, and go No Contact! It is the path to enlightenment lol

    • Exactly. Impression management is a huge tipoff of someone who has a weak sense of identity and huge faith in fooling people with their public mask.

  • “Yeah . . . hi Beatrice. This is Dr. Gettlefinger. I’m calling to tell you that I don’t think you need to come in weekly any longer. Actually I think it’s healthier for both of us if you don’t come in weekly. Just keep taking your vitamins and call my answering service — not me, my answering service — to book a session at least 3 months in advance, so I can have my own therapy session . . . I mean, make the necessary preparations. Ok then, you take care now. Bye.”

    • Can this be a Friday challenge of some kind- that is, writing what we wish a therapist had said to the cheater?

        • Therapy takes courage and the capacity to be introspective. It take a willingness to face the things you’ve done that hurt yourself and others and then to learn and grow.

          Disordered people prefer the kibbles bar.

      • Therapist never got anywhere with Mr Fab,in fact they were totally Bundied into triangulating me and making it all worse, but my own counsellor gave me the 2×4 of, “May I suggest you stop overestimating your ex and stop underestimating your kid?”

      • Therapist talking to my ex wouldn’t have worked. In fact his therapist at the time was complicit in his cheating. He’d been in therapy since day 1 of our acquaintance with several different therapists of differing abilities. At the time of his extracurricular relationships his therapist actually encouraged him in those activities. After D-day, when I was in the puking, blubbering on the floor and wandering the house like a zombie with grief stage, she encouraged him to bring me into one of his sessions so they could tell me that sometimes these things just needed to happen- She also gave me homework- to write a want ad for the husband I’d like to have- seriously should have seen that as the red flag it was. That was all before I knew that she had encouraged him while he was having the affair with his high school student. I’m 5 years out now, and don’t think about it much, but it makes me feel ill when I do think of it.

    • That’s my guess too! Huge sigh of relief as the therapist shuts down her file.

    • Totally! I have been seeing therapists off and on for 35 years and not one of them — not even the ones I found seriously lacking — ever told me how often I should or should not see him/her. Not once.

    • Yes! Psychologists will not generally work with BPDs one on one, if they’ll even work with them at all. My experience has been that they require at least one other person (non-disordered) from among their family to provide accuracy and corroborate or correct the stories told in session. Otherwise they are totally wasting their time. This was probably a marriage counselor who came to realize they were dealing with a Borderline and then extricated themselves from it.

      • I had independent counseling sessions with a DBT therapist for about a year.

        It happens.

        But that’s a self-reported BPD- diagnosed person reporting on her own treatment so I get that others may not take that seriously.

    • X2 used our therapy session to bully the therapist. Because X2 is a Sparkly Genius and will not tolerate little therapy people quizzing him.

      X2 launched into lengthy monologues to avoid engagement. He also claimed he was there solely to “help Born Free with her issues with her mother”.
      Say What?

      Therapist, who was an amazing calm presence just gave me the side eye – This is hopeless, Born Free. Run.

      • Born Free,
        Sorry you went through this. Your husband’s therapist is not the only therapist who has told a chump that the problem in the marriage is due to chump’s relationship with her mother. During wreckonciliation with my husband, I was told this when I FIRST SAT DOWN to talk to the therapist of my adulterous abusive husband, right after I calmly (numbly?) told this therapist about the crimes my spouse committed (against me and others). (By the way, my mother virtually always has energetically, generously cared for her children and grandchildren.) My husband also told me that his therapist told my husband that husband needed to see this therapist only once a month! I thought, ‘Why did a seemingly reputable university grant this bozo a PhD?’

  • “I don’t think a woman who was mentally unhealthy would be able to take classes, work a new job, take care of kids and a dog, cook, keep the house clean and pay her bills.”

    I’m not patting her on the back for being an adult, but this point actually HELPED me after I left my XW.

    When I filed for divorce, I was convinced that my wife’s behavior was caused by some sort of mental or hormonal imbalance: you know, that way it “wasn’t really her.” A version of the “affair fog”/dopamine argument.

    But CL and others helped me to see that XW managed to live the rest of her adult life. So what’s more likely? (1) She had a mental imbalance that ONLY manifested itself in her cheating, or (2) she had no mental imbalance at all and instead just sucked as a human being.

    Door #2.

    • Clear, concise and well put!! Thank you for that! I find trying to explain my situation so long and exhausting and verbose.

      I was in that place as well, “it must be a mid-life crisis” then when learning it was serial cheating and long term porn addiction, “it must be a manifested childhood fear, or temporary problem” then when I discovered his entire life has basically been a lie, he actually didn’t pay D1 basketball, he didn’t actually have a degree, he didn’t have close friends from youth…. all made up BS. Well then I had a hard time coming up with a no-fault, sad pseudo-temporary illness that I could help him conqueror… I just had to face the truth that is a a Cluster B Cluster Fuck and I need to move on. Two points to him for having the foresight that ensnaring an innocent 18 year-old, 7 years his junior, would help keep the lies and double life hidden for as long as it was….

    • This is a pretty profound way to approach the logic. Thank you for that. My ex was great at adulting from an outsiders perspective–held down a good job, mowed the lawns, lots of higher education, kept his sock drawer organized…you get the picture. But there was so much general dissatisfaction all the time that he never seemed to do anything about. He was so bored. It was always up to me to make our life happy and engaging, but it was a moving target. It would have been easy to blame his cheating and other emotional abuse on his troubled childhood, yet he managed to overcome those challenges in other departments quite well.

      Alas, it’s in the past cause it’s no longer my job to figure his dysfunctional shit out.

    • She keeps harping on how “healthy” she is now, meaning lack of health (which was not her fault) somehow caused her to be a crazy, immoral cheater. Unless that refers to a bona fide brain tumor or some massive chemical imbalance that truly causes behavioral changes, then this is just another bogus cheater excuse. Although I must say it’s original. It’s the first time I’ve heard the “lack of vitamin B made me cheat” excuse or “not doing enough sit-ups made me go crazy and tell everyone I had cancer.”

      • That’s because cheaters confuse gratification with health: “If I get gratification of my desires, I feel happier. And if I feel happier, I’m healthier.”

        KK threw around the words “healthy” (directed solely at herself) and “unhealthy” (directed solely at me) so often in the months following DDay, I thought I was living in a 24-hour-per-day infomercial for the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer.

  • Omg, you are singing my song!
    There was no fake cancer or anything but it was all about how I sucked.
    Seriously, everything about why he cheated, was checked out of the marriage, everything was because of his unhappiness and how I wasn’t what he needed…..he didn’t feel “desired”.
    I was raising two kids and recovering from multiple D days, fuck face! Those books on getting over the affair and being sexier and better weren’t going to read themselves!
    As it turns out 3 years later, he’s still with the AP (he’s a nice meal ticket and she was living in her Grandparents house with three kids after she left her husband hoping my husband would leave me.) and the AP also thinks I suck and was the reason for his unhappiness. Shes the woman that can make him remember “where he lives”.
    Okay, good luck with that.
    So. Happy. I’m. Free.
    What I didn’t suck at? Divorce.
    I’ll be over her enjoying a cheater free life with half his shit….and alimony.

    • I love what you say here @Paintwidow. One of the best discoveries I had after all of my fears was “I don’t suck at divorce.”

      It’s not easy rebuilding my life. It’s not easy being alone. But I definitely don’t suck at it.

    • Paintwidow, kmanning, since I had two D-days I had some practice, and not sucking at divorce is just wonderful :). I’m not saying divorce doesn’t suck, it’s not what I wanted, but if you have to do it, do it well! Cheers!

  • The calling card of ‘You are responsible for EVERYTHING, I am responsible for NOTHING! Yay, it’s all your fault! ‘
    #willneednewChumpfixsoon, beware
    Tracy clears the deck of made up crap once again.
    It’s so hard for us to love and care about someone and trust them, and then slowly learn that we must deviate from our togetherness to the sanity of our own solid perception, all alone. It’s a tough transition. Read all of chases stuff. Read all the posts here, when it fits for you. Let it all sink in. Because your life has been filled with “things“ that you didn’t even know where things, you thought they were just things that she thought or said. Believe me, the more you read, the more commonality you will discover. and with that, and reading everyone else’s experiences, and discovering what you have in common, your confidence will grow. You will grieve and you will have loss of what you thought you had, what you had been contributing, what you thought your poor children had, and slowly you will separate. Slowly, you will learn to stop think thinking, engaging in her mindfuckery. You will learn to recognize the skein of fuckupedness, Steer clear, and instead, turn and focus on doing one small thing, right now, toward building your new gorgeous solid honest healthy life. Come here to get support, to glean from everyone else’s learning and suffering and rising up and experience. Understand the process, and sometimes how long the healing takes. Be kind and patient and compassionate with yourself. Your kids will watch all of this and they will learn.
    This is an excerpt I read all the time. From Tracy. It’s really helpful to save pieces, and stick them on your refrigerator or by your bed. So that when you fall into a trance from the trauma of the mindfuckery, you will notice how it feels. You will realize you’re in a trance. You are in mindfuckery. You will remember how you got out the last time. And you will get out this time.
    From Tracy:”AMAZING- “Meh is the liberating sense of acceptance, when you stop getting broadsided by who they were , because you know what they were.
    Anger helps with that, keeps you from falling for the impression management.
    Meh is when you stop giving this jerk the power to hurt you. You accept what happened. Doesn’t make it right, or them less of an asshole. It means you see the truth — they suck.
    And you realize you can only control yourself here. Not what is done to you — but how you react. How you’re going to march forward anyway.
    You control your resilience. You control what kind of person you want to be — a person who faces adversity and builds a new life
    Let their Bimbos have them.
    Meh is sane and peaceful. Meh’s stable. Meh doesn’t hurt. In fact, I’m writing to you from the verdant fields of Meh.
    I won’t lie to you, it takes ages to get to meh. The point of this blog is to get you there faster. It’s a journey. (Oh shut up, Tracy. Embroider that on a pillow.) Acceptance comes after the bloody struggle to get free of a fuckwit, physically and then mentally. But I promise you, meh is attainable.
    Meh can seem impossible when you’ve bred with a fuckwit, because of course you can escape, but your children cannot. You’ll have set backs, for sure. Learn iron clad boundaries. (Find a way to go NO CONTACT, which is important even if they are dead, and includes NO think thinking , but instead turning and doing one more thing to build your gorgeous new life-GM)
    Meh will come.
    If I think about it, I’ll lose my carefully curated meh. Somewhere in my core, I’m enraged. Weirdly, I’m also meh. That. Is. Who. They. Are. I can try and untangle it. Mental illness? Dementia? Not giving a fuck? Or I can accept it. That. Is. Who. They. Are.
    Your idiot is a parasite. They have adapted their lifestyle over many decades to bleed people and they are alarmingly good at it. The OW and OM will get their turns too. Sure, they took them on a trip. That’s just salting the mines, as they say. Sprinkling a little gold dust on the mine to convince an investor that the whole mine is gold. Bernie Madoff gave a great return on the investment dollar… for awhile.
    The good news is you’re free of a parasite. That’s GOOD NEWS. Doesn’t feel like it right now, right now you’re choking on the injustice and the hard work ahead, but gloria hallelujah you’re sicko Cluster B Personality narcissist sociopath free!
    All this person was going to do is drain you. Financially, emotionally, physically. Now you get your life back and you’re free to rebuild.
    All that energy you were throwing at them is now yours to invest in yourself.
    So take it back and don’t look back.
    The only antidote to hope sickness is self knowledge. Know what you will and will not tolerate. What your values are. Where your boundaries are. Be unswerving in your loyalty to yourself, to your well-being and what sort of relationship YOU want. Hold out for that. Cheaters lie and they lie artfully. So it is essential to watch what your cheater DOES and pay zero attention to what they say.
    Remember — infidelity is not your failure to own. Do not borrow shame. It takes a lot of strength and character to navigate this shit. If you loved a lousy partner, okay, so what? You’re human. You picked from the barbed wire monkey pile. Explore that, fix it, and choose better next time.”

    • This is SOLID and I read it three times. Thank you and God Bless. Happy Easter to All!

    • Phoenix, you are an amazing writer! Very well said ????????????????????

    • Wonderful words that lift us all up! Thank you god bless and happy Easter!

    • Phoenix- These words were just what I needed today. Thank you for this reminder of how to rise from the ashes. I printed your comment with Tracy’s words so I can read them again and again to help me through this storm. I was in a long term marriage (32 years) and it will take a long time to get over this. But I will “focus on doing one small thing, right now, toward building your new gorgeous solid honest healthy life.” I know I will find Meh… on a Tuesday.

  • That whole thing was like a spoiled child’s foot-stamp. I was channeling Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka the whole time I was reading it!

    Therapists are human too and I’m sure hers is happy not to have to entertain that on a weekly basis. Like it’s going to help anyway, she’s not going to change. Mature, maybe, but she’ll always be Veruca.

  • I am a breast cancer survivor & just the thought of anyone “faking “ it should be thrown in jail!

    This woman is a low life excuse for a wife & mother.
    You have to get your self respect back & lawyer up.
    There is nothing to work with in your marriage.

    Let her live her morally corrupt life by herself. Free yourself of this sociopath who doesn’t deserve you.

  • These psychos loooove to tell you how happy they are now. Don’t get pulled in. They enjoy your pain. It is the sprinkles on the sundae that is their black rotten sadistic soul.

  • I actually got a sadz email from my ex asshole.

    “Because of you I have no girlfriend, kids or wife. My life is not worth living, I was not allowed to be happy”

    Girlfriend – got top billing me and kids relegated to the 2nd division…. yes 14 years of his never ending misery ….that I inflicted on him. Only his affair partner could save him from the unrelenting awfulness of me and his children….

    Does any of what these dickheads send us matter ? Its all the same ….designed to make us feel awful – and we do because we can feel real emotions. Why the need to make us feel less than human, why the need to hurt us more …after destroying us. This is when you realise …we are lightbulbs. Interchangable . We mean nothing to them – we never have, not us , not the children.

    • When it was clear I was not going to forgive Hannibal Lecher for his indiscretion from 8 years prior, he sadly said, “I’ll die alone.” Nope–already had his last AP lined up to leave her husband to be with him. They are now happily together, oh, except she had to go on antidepressants after a year and a half of living with him.

      • I heard something very similar to that, too, Tempest, from the boyfriend who I thought was the Most Honest Man on the Planet…until I discovered approximately a week later that several things he had said to me were blatant lies.

    • I came to realize he loves me like i love my cell phone.
      I love what it does for me. i get frustrated when it doesnt do exactly what i want when i want it to. if i were to break it or lose it I would be frustrated by having to get a new one but i would never mourn it. And not once have i ever given the way it feels a second thought other than plugging it in to charge the battery, and then I’m annoyed with it for requiring me to do that.


      • Oh Mrs Vain, this is such a good analogy.
        I also have an ex with mysterious retrospective unhappiness. Apparently he never wanted to get married, never wanted to move interstate, never wanted children- although each time I thought saying ” Are you really sure you want to do this? If not you need to tell me now” was clear enough.The children he didn’t want and the business he didn’t want to buy are the biggest achievements of his life, and the things he posts about all the time- cruel me for ruining his life with them.All those nights i stayed at home with the kids while he was out at one of his three major hobbies, turns out I was still somehow managing to ruin his life. I am a dark pit of sadness. even now, he and his new fiancee quiz the kids as to how miserable I am ” She’s painting the kitchen” my kids report. “She bought new roses, she’s writing a book”. The happy couple are surprised to hear that actually, I am not miserable at all, anymore….

        • i cant take credit for it.. . it is a meme i found years ago. i tried to post a picture but i did not do it right. But it does remind me how wasband must have thought of me all those 15.5 years we were together. he literally left my bed to go to her bed. . . he never missed me a single day.. . she just picked up where i left off and he is perfectly fine with walking away from me and his kids.. . we never meant anything to him.. just like his cell phone.

          if i could learn how to post a picture on this site

      • Ah, yes, so true! In the beginning most users are love bombing, even mine persevered for eight years, before we married. X pulled out all those wonderful traits then and it truly is a pattern. (See 20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths, And Psychopaths Use to Silence You and many thanks to another here for referencing this article.) IMHO, there is no one better to fool than a naive, loving, honest, trusting Chump.

      • That’s so funny – I use the cell phone analogy too. I was confused about how my now-XW could just discard me and our marriage without attempting to fix it first … until I realized that this is how she treats her cell phone. When a new iPhone comes out she buys it and throws away the old one, even if the old one was working perfectly, even though she was so enthusiastic about the old one a year ago, even if the new one is just the old one with a new color scheme that matches her computer (gold iPhone anyone?). She attaches the same moral weight to trading up her cellphone and her husband: none.

        • The cell phone analogy is perfect. My XH just HAD to have the latest __________ (fill in the blank.) Always. I believe he was truly perplexed and probably embarrassed why I waited so long to trade up my old phone, nicknamed “the brick.”

          He once told me he “didn’t believe in saving money.” Clearly, adulting is foreign to him.

          Like moths to a flame. Idiots.

          Involuntary Georgian – great name. I can just imagine the story behind it.

    • What these disordered Exes of ours NEVER get is that No ONE or no THING can ever really make you happy !!
      Only you can make yourself happy — no one else. Other people can enhance your happiness and bring you joy but at the end of the day YOU are responsible for your own happiness.

      When I was dating after the divorce, that was one of my top requirements — that the person I was dating was happy all by themselves. If they were then it would be ok to get serious if things developed.
      If they were NOT happy —- RUN !!
      My Ex and most of our Exes have never been happy and will never really be happy. They spend their lives trying to fill the whole within themselves with people and things and it never works and they move on to the next.

  • This is just the female version of what my husband texts me. Victim victim blame blame. We made them do it. Ok sure yes whatever.
    All Husband had to do was be a stranger from a sex club, a woman, put vitamins in her mouth, get her a yoga DVD, and take her to Barnes and Noble. Easy peazy.

  • Ahhh… cheater tinder-man’s speak here. Of course unhappy marriage led him to his ex-gf also married right from the beginning. Well, to be precise he never ended the relationship with her and was going to start active cake eating after proposing to me. His married gf had been eating cake all along with her own set of a chumpy husband plus lovers so my tinder-man decided he wanted the same. Of course tinder-women and co-workers who came along were more capable of making him happy than pesky wife and son. Good riddance to tinderworld!

  • Sorry to hear. Your ex is a manipulator and reminds me of my ex.

    My ex lied about having a dead brother while we were dating – who was killed in car accident. His parents never recovered and the boy was never to be mentioned around them due to their fragile emotional state. I sympathized as I understood losing a child to be the greatest pain and never brought him up. We named our son after this ‘boy’; albeit it’s a good common name, but now that I know better I resent my son baring that stain. I used to feel bad for my ex – Poor guy, he was so torn up internally and had doubts God existed. He would invoke this messed upness over his dead brother with all his misdeeds. He would swear on his brother’s grave that he didn’t do xyz. I would end up feeling sorry for him and would forgive or acquiesce.

    2 years after divorcing him, I just could not take the crazimaking from suspected infidelity and real financial shenanigans anymore, I discovered this ‘boy’ was a made up story. On a hunch, I did a death certificate search for him and the state searched every single county spanning 10 years, and found no existence of that person.

    Busted and the depth of his pathology was revealed. He’s a conman.

    He now says he never claimed that story, that I’m making it up and am the crazy one. (They always have an out, never own up.) Fortunately he repeated this story to several people, including a priest. As an aside, this priest has determined our 16.5 year marriage invalid and is helping push an annulment through. Even the conservative Catholic Church sees the absurdity in marrying such a hoax of a person. The person who you vowed to love isn’t really that person.

    Your wife strikes me as similar. Please fight for primary custody as she will target and manipulate your kids and their chances of becoming damaged or like her are heightened with exposure.

    And tell the world. Don’t keep her true character a secret. It will help protect your boys if the village is aware of her true self.


    • Wow, Life is Good, I had a low level conman too! X was a striker for a big team in England but his mommy never even once came to see him play. ???? She was cruel to him but not his sisters. Yada yada yada. Turns out it was just something he had started telling people when he moved to this country (including on our first date!) and I fell for it. So many other huge lies! And when I confronted him about it all he had no explanation other than “oh yeah! Oh yeah! Oh yeah!”
      It was so embarrassing because all his lies became lies I told unknowingly throughout the ten years we were together!
      Life is truly good to finally be away from all the deception.

    • Wow. Lying about a dead brother! And using him to “swear on his grave.” that is so creepy and horrible. These people are completely demented.

      • Thanks you two!. Experiencing my own conman and reading has been a boon to me professionally. It has helped me recognize and predict manipulative Cluster Bs tactics (pity ploy/rage/charm) in my career field – healthcare – and react more appropriately. Boundaries and consequences to poor behavior keeps the workplace happier – there’s no reasoning with the disordered.

        I’ve learned that Cluster Bs are more common than most realize (fortunately they’re still the minority though!)

        Cheers to all!

  • Husband (not) to blame,
    I have been where you are, I think allot of us have. With my Ex, he told me over and over how much HAPPIER she made him. How she made his dreams come true, how she is soooo wonderful. He told me on the phone, in person when he dropped off the kids after his rare visitations how WONDERFUL she was. That she had made him happier in 6 months than I had in over 15 years. That 15 years by the way encapsulated being his first love, his highschool sweetheart, having 2 of his children, moving across the country giving everything up for him.

    She made him sooo much happier, that 7 months after taking ownership of the pub that she bought for him he burnt it down. He literally set his whole life on fire because he lived above that pub when he burnt it. Even after pulling that stunt (but before he was exposed) he was mouthing off about how HAPPY she made him and about how much of a failure and a waste of skin I am. Funnily enough, since he was arrested he hasn’t talked to me once. He didn’t just burn down the pub that day he burnt down his career, his reputation, his personal connections for the most part, he burnt down his entire life, she made him soooo happy that he literally burnt down his own life. He is currently serving a minimum of 8 years for the arson and fraud charges.

    My point is, usually when they are soooo emphatic about something like this, when they are so vocal about it, it is a case of protesting too much. Why does she feel the need to tell you so explicitly about just how happy she is, how well she is doing? You should be able to see that for yourself, you shouldn’t need to be told if it is true.

    • If i broke someones heart who i knew loved me so i could be with someone else i would go out of my way *not* to gloat about how happy i was with the other person. Why do you need to injure that person more. My husband did this exact same thing with me right after d-day and it still seems incomprehensible to me. I still don”t know if he is just that clueless or that cruel. I think both. But i do know now he complains about how unhappy he is. I dont know if it has anything to do with the ow or not but i do know his life is not soooooo perfect now without me.

      • I can’t say that my ex is more unhappy without me than he was with me but he doesn’t seem to be any happier either. It was just a sideways move. He was unhappy here, he is still unhappy there. He is still who he is no matter who he is with.

    • A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It’s a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity. -Jimmy Carter

  • These people are just plain nut jobs. Boy I have a great one for you ! His mom passes away which is very very sad and I go to the wale and then the next day during the afternoon I had something to do He is begging me to come back to the night session I come back to the night session he says to me please I want to get back with you I told him absolutely not not an option he’s like do you really want to divorce say yes I would like to divorce to continue and he looks at me and he says so I guess you’re over me. That night we go home I tellmy 21-year-old son this is what your dad said he looks at me he said mom he brought a girl to the wake last night and introduced her to his sisters and his dad as a coworker She had her children with her she had her sister with her and she was Spanish being that the soon to be ex-husband is Irish of course someone knew something was wrong nobody knows them. So this nut job does this to his son and his daughter embarrasses them and the whole family is in an uproar my nephews are texting me they think it’s disgusting. He comes to my house yesterday he’s like it’s not what you think I said really what is it he says they are from my support group. Now come on people have you ever heard of an excuse like that it must’ve taken him three days of looking up excuses on the Internet to come up with that one because I’ve never heard of anything like this in my life I looked at him and just shut the door. Then he proceeds to call my children and say oh if I never see you again don’t worry you have your aunts to always take care of you. I callthis piece of shit and say listen jerk off don’t you dare manipulate the kids I said we think you’re a joke we know exactly what you’re doing. I told him I won’t ask for anymore in divorce on one condition that I never have to see him Or speak to him again. This is the Psycho that I have to deal with so I told my children every day at least you have one sane normal parent. SMH. Support group I can’t stop laughing. And as he’s walking away yesterday he says to me you were always mean to me you’ve been mean to me for years I said OK let’s change that narrative now right all of a sudden I was mean to you whatever and then I laughed and shut the door

      • really thats what your worried about !!! I was talking into my phone. You are a little rude and need to get a life !!!!!!! hows that for punctuation

        • I could follow your story just fine, Takingback- and it’s a good story.My ex is avoiding his family now because they are “unsupportive”- in other words they got sick of being introduced to yet another OW. I talk more to his mother than he does.
          Cheaters are like toddlers- they want things, therefore those things must be ok. He wants to take his new girlfriend to a family event- why is everyone being so judgey?They really genuinely don’t understand morals, or standards, or true attachment- they think we are all faking these things.

          • That’s true. My cheater was always “I want, I want, I want.”

            “I want This vacation, that expensive thing and a genital buffet.”

            I was always like “okay you want This expensive thing, let’s come up with a plan to pay for it.”

            Ugh. That never worked. He always abdicates financial responsibility.

            He once bounced an employee’s paycheque by $8 just because he couldn’t be bothered to check the bank balance in the account. Well he did check it out one time just before he emptied it and took off.

        • TBMN, Lol ???? I have always loved your comments and see nothing wrong with the way you communicate. Hell, if I were talking into my phone, I shudder to think what autocorrect would do to half my responses.

  • My ex lied about cancer, and suicide, some people are shit aren’t they

  • “It turns out I was just really unhappy in our relationship and didn’t know how to express it.”

    Yep… sounds all too familiar! Of course this conclusion was drawn AFTER I had enough pick me dancing and filed for divorce. Funny how that works. Once they are left they run to a therapist, their crisis of unhappiness wasn’t enough to run into therapy, but getting caught cheating is!

    They also don’t have enough maturity to recognize their own unhappiness. apparently someone else needs to help them figure that out; affair partners, therapist, the local palm reader, tea leaves… whatever works to preserve their blamelessness. I guess being told they are not responsible for their own behavior is like a spiritual cheater moment! They want to share it with the world, and with chumps!

    • Exactly, why don’t they know how to say I am unhappy in the relationship, because that is just an after the fact bullshit excuse. Yes, they are miserably unhappy but with everything not the spouse, she is just the whipping boy.

      Fuckwit learned in therapy that he had not expressed his happiness all these years and apparently that was my fault. Fuck him, it was his abusive emotion stuffing parents fault but he can’t turn on them because he needs their money. And instead of learning how to express his emotions and trying to repair the damage, I am just the evil bitch who caused everything. How long before I am out of the picture and he starts blaming his new bitch?

      Just fuck him! (can you say anger?)

      • Feeling it, i do know anger. Fuck them and they momma. I am so angry that some asshole pretended to appreciate and love me while using me. And his mother encouraged it. And now talks about how happy he is. We are still married. They don’t care if they destroy their spouses or their children. And the sick parents of these monsters enjoy seeing the spouses and children hurting. There is no way i will ever play along with their story. I tell everyone how rotten the whole lot of them are.

        • Yup????????????????????????????????????????????????Me too x1000:

          “And the sick parents (my in-laws of 25 years) of these monsters enjoy seeing the spouses and children hurting. There is no way i will ever play along with their story. I tell everyone how rotten the whole lot of them are.”

  • I recieved a letter similar to this about a month after I kicked out my alcoholic narc ex. It was his attempt to hoover me back in, thank God I didn’t take the bait. But basicly saying that since he had “detoxed” for four days he was cured of his alcoholism. Who knew that’s all it took, four days of detox to cure a life long addiction.

    Since you have children with crazy town, please look into the gray rock method when dealing with her. Trust that they suck!

    • A very good gauge, srfrgrl.

      I have trashed all of sparkledick von glitterball’s correspondence, the little that this shallow bastard managed to produce, but I estimate the numbers would be similar. And any quantities of “you” would be in the context of blameshifting.

      • Yep. First thing to do when these jackasses send a message. And if there are any references to “you, be sure that they blame, accuse, wheedle, cajole, or spew rage.

    • Great point. I get lots of “you” when STBX demands a safe space to be honest. Which goes like this: “I feel that you, Not A Thing, are a harsh, controlling bully. I”m just being honest and sharing my feelings.
      And if you argue or defend yourself, you are “shutting me down, as usual.”

      His “feelings” are really criticisms of how I make him feel.

      • Ah yes…
        The infamous “but YOOOUU” or “because YOOOUU”
        And the second you call them on their bullshit, it’s “I’m not having this conversation with you anymore because… ‘you twist things’ – ‘you won’t stay on the subject’ – ‘you always have to argue’ – ‘you always have to be right’ – ‘you think you know everything’ – ‘you always have to keep poking at me’ – ‘you never do anything wrong’ and my favorite ‘you think you know what I’m thinking’.

        • srfgrl.
          This is dead on! Are you sure you weren’t married to my ex?

        • Ex always managed to twist things around on me too. He was telling me how unappreciated he felt and gave me a list of the “sacrifices” he had made for me that I supposedly didn’t appreciate which lead him to stray. I tried to explain that he was appreciated and I showed my appreciation by making sacrifices for him too and I reminded him of what those sacrifices were. His response “It’s not a contest” as if I was trying to one up him. I wasn’t trying to one up him I was trying to defend myself and point out that our relationship wasn’t all give from him and no get from me.

  • Wow I feel for you. She is a flat out bitch with no insight or ability to self reflect, deep as a puddle and likes to try and rub you face in how well she is doing. Look at me look at me, all bullshit that won’t last and she will go back to her deviant ways and implode.
    CL is right, it is only up from here as she is the bottom of the pile. You won’t know yourself in a year. Do YOU and love the hell out of yourself and your boys and as always said here keep contact to a minimum.

  • Yep, if you couldn’t believe anything she said before because you’ve confirmed multiple lies, why start believing her now.

    She’s horrible. You can take that to the bank. The less of her that’s in your world, the better.

  • I got the “I’ve been unhappy” line like everyone else here. I also got “I never wanted to get married, never considered you a partner, basically married you to further my career for 13 years” and I have that shit recorded. (he has no idea)

    Right before his mother de-friended me on Facebook (I’ve made like one post a year on average so no, I didn’t post anything to offend her) she posted a picture of her and her precious son stating that he’s “never been happier in his life.”

    I do think these narcs are happier when they don’t feel “tied down.” How dare they commit to one person? That makes it harder to trade up and there must be better people out there for amazing me!

    I don’t know about you all but all the cheaters I’ve known have traded DOWN. My ex’s mistress (married mother of three, musical obsessed ethics teacher) is about as homely as they get. Not being petty here. It’s just quite ironic given how vain my ex is.

    I digress.

    Dear husband (not) to blame – she’s bonkers even when she’s in “a good place.” You’re going to save a lot of energy stepping off that crazy train. Good luck!

    • Ahh, I too helped his career! “I don’t know if I ever really loved you, but everyone at work thought you were great and they were all married and I was trying to grow my career.” Mine a total conman and serial cheater with a double life for the entire 25 years I knew him and 20 married. I was a beard and he too was appalled by having to be tied down to mundane things like marriage, home, children…

    • Tuesday — Let me get this straight, the OW is an ETHICS teacher? OMG, I wonder how she managed to rationalize cheating on her husband with a married man?

      • Chicky – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She is also a Sunday school teacher and gives talks on being “wholly holy” or some crap like that. I could go on and on. It’s f-ing hilarious. She self-describes on social media as “loving mother, devoted wife” (as she is still mistress-ing it up.)

        BUT I’m really positive that she’s “just unhappy” and “deserves to be happy” and her rich husband and three kids didn’t do it for her so she went after my giant a-hole of a husband.

        They are perfect together. Two nightmares collide.

  • This one is so going to hoover when she hits the next down. Just watch. Don’t take her back when that happens. Just remind her how “unhappy” she was with you and move on with your happy new life without her in it.

    • YES. Watch out and DO NOT TAKE HER BACK because she’s going to try for “reconciliation” the moment her current high ends. Count on it.

  • Blame shifting – don’t buy it for one second. Mine still blames me for MAKING him have his affair. It’s been over 4 years, but I’m sure he always will blame me. Whatever, he’s gone and that’s all that matters!! It is very hard to have to read those things from someone that you loved so completely, and thought that they loved you. So stop reading them, because she won’t stop sending them. She needs to rationalize her behavior in her delusional way so that she can sleep at night. My kids therapist once told me that they have to do that, because if they actually acknowledged the horror and pain that they caused, it would destroy them.

    Just because she’s in therapy doesn’t mean anything. They offer therapy in prisons . . . maybe that’s where she is? I went to therapy immediately upon DDay, and my therapist was ok – but definitely not the best. Not even pretty good now that I look back. But at that point, I was looking for someone to keep me from hanging myself from the rafters. Consider that a job well done!! As far as dealing with the trauma and the dysfunction behind all of the ex’s actions, and the absolute insanity of a disordered person, not so much. So do NOT take your wife’s assertion that she’s in therapy so it was YOUR FAULT as some sort of validation. I think they may give therapy degrees away in random cereal boxes at Whole Foods.

    • Triumphafterterror, I too received the “you made me do this….” bullshit. If I was that powerful, I would have been capable of stopping X from doing it too……Nope. No such powers????????????????????????

  • WTF-ever. They alllllllll seem to go with this “but now I am magically happier” deal.

    And after being really upset about that for far too long—the injustice of blaming me for unethical idiocy was just too much—I am finally totally a fan.

    Yay, cheater is happy! And that should translate into cheater and schmoops moving on with their bad-ass ninja happiness selves. Like, maybe to another hemisphere, another country, another state. Heck, would totally settle for another zip code. Because, you know, I think that happiness of theirs needs lots of open space in which to unfurl to its fullest grandeur. And I believe that space should not be the MILE from here that it currently is.

    Sheesh. By all means, be deliriously happy elsewhere, m’kay?

    • I agree my ex husband had multiple affairs also and blamed me for everything. He has issues from childhood that were never dealt with. Narcissistic mother and now he’s a Narc all I could do was move on, he lives now with his latest affair it’s insane but I’m also moving on to a better place, slowly!

  • During MC the possibility that ex might have some depression issues was brought up, but he rejected that notion because he was functional. He was able to go to work and groom himself so he couldn’t possibly be depressed. At one point my mother made a comment in an e-mail that suggested he might be having a midlife crisis. He was quite offended by that notion. “That implies a certain level of unhingedness that I don’t think applies to me. It was just years of dissatisfaction in my marriage that caused me to stray”.
    Less than 5 months before he “strayed” (that I know of) he sent me a large bouquet of flowers for our anniversary along with a heartfelt card declaring how lucky he was to be married to me. What an odd thing to do if you are “dissatisfied” in your marriage. Either he was deliberately lying to me so I wouldn’t leave him before he had a chance to find my replacement because he is too cowardly to be alone, or he really did become “unhinged”. Who knows which is the truth, but it really doesn’t matter as the result is the same either way.

    • Chumpinrecovery, after DDay, my X also made up the farsical narrative that he had “been miserable and hated every minute of our family life and being a husband and father for the past 10 years!” I had kept all the cards and inscribed books he had given me, including ones given the previous week! They all professed deep appreciation and love and gratitude for our lives, our 25 year relationship that was filled with fun and passion. WTF????!!!!! X even bought me Pablo Neruda’s and Rumi’s books of love poetry and read me ones he felt were emblematic if his deep love for me. I learned from an OW who came out of the woodwork after a different young OW was discovered that he gave the exact same books to her and read the same poems to her at the exact same time as doing so with me! WTF?????!!!! I knew then that I was dealing with all kinds of crazy fuckedupedness. TRUST HE SUCKS!

      • I know exactly we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in 2014 , had a wonderful getaway and literally a year to that date he was messing around and wanted a divorce, WTF??? Lol

    • 4 months before he demanded a menage a trois, the Traitor emailed his old high school buddy he had just reconnected with ahead of their high school reunion. He told him he finally was with the woman he should have married in the first place, me. Fast forward 4 months and he claimed I was asexual and he NEEDED to have sex with his ex, or else…Fast forward another 6 months of cheating with the ex and he claimed I was trying to poison him.
      BPD? Psychopath who hurt animals and shot pellets over my head? Who knows?
      Now he says he walked away from the only 2 true loves of his life aside from his kids (note the series of qualifications): the farm and me. Guess that gets me the bronze medal.

  • “My therapist said it is unnecessary for me to go weekly.” Translation: My therapist said I’m wasting my time and money. I’m so completely disordered that she can’t do anything for me. BPD can’t be fixed and I think I’m fabulous so… other than reading whatever books I can find that reinforce my fabulousness and also meditating on the sheer wonder that is me, I’m not changing anything about my behavior. Oh, she also said you should run for the hills but I’m not going to tell you that part ’cause then you might start thinking this isn’t your fault

    • My therapist insisted on talking to X’s therapist whom X saw for a few sessions when I threatened to file for divorce after the first DDay. God bless that woman. She called and said: your X takes no responsibility for his actions, he blames everything on you, he has no interest in changing, he likely has narcissism with BPD, he is not likely to be amenable to any therapeutic treatment, he is only going to hurt you worse, and you need to divorce him and get away from him as quickly as you can.” Boom.

      • God bless her indeed. Therapists that will just come out and say it are life savers. Mine’s words, when she heard about the discard and I was boo-hooing: “You can never go back.”

    • Yes, the avoiding therapy. Pretty sure my youngest daughter, 17, is headed for a BPD diagnosis, and just asked to quit therapy after 4.5 sessions because it isn’t helping her, she doesn’t want to talk about issues, and the therapist (a young guy) is “uncomfortable.” I imagine he is since she may be one of the toughest, most stubborn teens he has ever worked with. Poor guy. With only one year to help her before she turns 18, no way I’m letting her out of therapy.

        • Thanks, RSW. Fielding yet more manipulation from her today. The fun never ends.

      • EMDR and DBT (in that order) helped greatly with my BPD. I have only had one instance of (I call it) “emotional flooding” in about a decade. But I was able to get through it knowing it would pass and that there was something on the other side of it. EFT therapy was also helpful once the EMDR was concluded. It’s one thing to remove or minimize the emotional trauma triggers, it’s another to learn how to deal with feelings that are no longer flooding you left and right. Best of luck. It’s a rough road. I see that my daughter is pre-disposed to it and both of us parents are working very hard to help her regulate, be introspective and care for herself.

    • i seriously doubt the therepist said that.. .. she most likely is lying. i know my ex would often say someone said something just to drive home his point.. .. most often he lied. ..

      so this crazy is saying her therapist said it is unnecessary for her to go in for weekly therapy? you know because she is doing so good right now. she is not anxious anymore (because you know hiding a sex affair and keeping all the lies straight were causing her anxiety) and she doesnt get migrines now (same reason). she is just so normal, and healthy and happy now that even her therapist agrees with you.. .. cant you see it. why dont you believe her? she told you her therapist said. see, this is the reason why she could never tell you how unhappy she was in her marriage because you never believe her anyways.. .. it is all YOUR fault.. .

      nope, if wasband told me that i would have to call the therapist myself to see if it was true.

  • Dear Husband to Blame… I hearby wave my Teflon magic wand over you – POOF! – no you longer let anything your soon to be xfuckwit says or does enter your psyche.

    Her therapist only dialed her back to once a week because she knows crazy when she sees it – and some people just can’t be fixed. She doesn’t want her “cure” statistics to drop with your X nut job.

    Anyone who lies about having cancer AND likes sex parties… yeah, that shit ain’t changing because of good book (unless she’s permanently buried under a pile of them). My X liked sex parties too… funny thing, I married to be monogamous – him, notsomuch… you can’t unring that bell.

    Good luck – good riddance – now go get your kids.

  • On a positive note, this might be one of my top 3 favorite UBTs–the combination of narwhales, “my body-mass-index is 1.7 Tinkerbells” and MacArthur Genius of Receptionists is stellar.

  • Husband:

    I read your wife’s missive and it’s 100%, unmitigated CRAP, sitting there, just like a pile of steaming dog poop on the sidewalk that you curl your nose up at and have to walk around. As others have said, a nicer term for what she wrote would be “Word Salad“.

    Remember those Charlie Brown specials on TV in which Lucy is blathering on about some irrelevant thing that only she cares about, and all Charlie heard was “Whaa, whaa, whaa”?

    None of what she said makes sense to anyone but her. Please, do NOT take any of this bullshit on yourself – this truly IS all about her (and not in a good way). It was never your responsibility to make her happy; we are all accountable for our own happiness and if it’s not happening, then the finger is pointing back at us.

    Rid yourself of this self-absorbed fuckwit as quickly as possible so you and your kids can go on to having a beautiful life.

  • That letter reminds me of the way my cheater ex talks. He also quit therapy after two visits, when the therapist told him he seemed manic. Cheater said the therapist “Wasn’t on his same spiritual wavelength.”

    My take on this clearly personality disordered bullshit:

    She quit therapy because she didn’t agree there was anything wrong with her after her therapist told her there was. Her personality disorder tells her she is perfect exactly the way she is, and any wrongdoing is always entirely someone else’s fault (in this case, of course, her husband’s.)

    The only cure for true disorder is getting the hell away from it. These people do not change. They do not accept blame for anything they do, no matter how bad. They never feel remorse or regret.

    The letter-writer here doesn’t mention divorce, but I truly hope that is in the works. Unfortunately, that means he is going to have to share parenting with a disordered nutjob, but at least he will have a chance to make a new life for himself and maybe eventually meet a normal woman to be a role model for his kids.

    I once read something about personality disorder that stuck with me; it said that a relationship with a personality disordered person was a “relationship of inevitable harm.” If you are closely involved with a disordered person, you are always going to be hurt. It’s only a matter of how badly and when.

    • Mine went to therapy for a bit and then quit- cold turkey and abruptly… I equated it to him likely hearing something he didn’t like too much.

    • Please, everyone: copy this and reread it when you are tempted to reconcile or when the cheater starts to hoover. This is what you are really dealing with, not the AP and winning the pick-me dance:

      “It said that a relationship with a personality disordered person was a ‘relationship of inevitable harm.’ If you are closely involved with a disordered person, you are always going to be hurt. It’s only a matter of how badly and when.”

      Great reminder–“a relationship of inevitable harm.” It’s not the chump’s fault.

  • My ex said pretty much the same thing. He was unhappy the whole time we were together and just didn’t know it. Apparently I was his source of misery, and his therapist agreed. What a revelation! He was suddenly happy, full of life, and had full mental clarity now that he was free of the oppressive troll that was his loving and supportive wife (who sometimes doubled as target practice, but I digress).

    The truth is that he cycles through perceived sources of misery because he still doesn’t understand that HE is the source. First it was his father. Then it was his ex girlfriends. Then it was his lack of job. Then it was his job. Then it was his next job. Then it was his boss. As soon as he’d change things up he was blissfully happy…for a while. Then when the novelty wore off, he’d sink back into misery from a seeming new source. When he had run out of possible sources of misery, I was the only thing left, so naturally he had to try to destroy me as the Enemy of Happiness. He traded me out for a different model, leaving my life in shambles, and the novelty made him happy for a while. But only for a while. He was dating someone else behind the OW’s back mere months after we separated. I have absolutely no doubt that he’s once again fighting battles with invisible forces that he thinks are conspiring to rob him of joy. Once your ex wife settles into her new normal and the temporary shine wears off, she’ll be right back to her old tricks.

    Also, regarding this statement: “I don’t think a woman who was mentally unhealthy would be able to take classes, work a new job, take care of kids and a dog, cook, keep the house clean and pay her bills.” Sure she would, if she was a responsible adult. Only irresponsible, selfish jerks and the truly mentally ill fail to meet their responsibilities just because they have the sadz. I was NOT mentally healthy after D-day (with good reason) and still managed to resolve outstanding real estate issues, get a new job, move my 3-year-old and me to a new state, work full time, enroll him in preschool, pay bills, do laundry, do the grocery shopping, pack healthy lunches, complete my divorce, get my dog to the vet regularly, floss my teeth, and a whole host of other adult responsibilities. I did them because they had to get done. People like our exes leave that stuff at the bottom of the priority list, and only IF there’s enough energy left over they’ll get to it. Real adults do it first, regardless of where we are on the feelz chart.

    Husband, she’s on a temporary novelty high. You were never the source of her unhappiness, you were just an Object in the Way of Something New. It won’t last. Watch and see.

  • Yeah I got blamed for Cheater Wife’s unhappiness also. She pulled that out in reconciliation marriage counseling session #1. The female therapist shut that shit down immediately BAM !!! She told cheater it’s not your husband’s job nor is it his human ability to make you happy. Cheater is lost inside her own mind. So many twisting hallways who knows if there is a way out.


    Key words I’ve heard for 17 years. Different story around her pro adultery friends.

    @The husband to blame……. you didn’t cause your wife to cheat. She was into the hyper-sexed world but needed you for the purpose to project an image of normality + adulting. You were a husband appliance.
    In addition what she wrote is image management. She’s likely not doing any of the things she listed. Books=half read, exercise= went twice took 300 selfies and posted them, cooking=fast food, cleaning=nah. The vitamins might be legit– they love taking pills, solution in a bottle.

  • I have a different approach to interpreting this pile of drivel. (And she wants to be a writer—arrrghhh). Let’s imagine that, being unhappy in her marriage, she had turned to therapy, yoga, meditation, exercise and taking vitamins. As opposed to going to swinger resorts, exploring her bi side, hooking up with couples on Craig’s List, and dissipating marital assets. Once she got into a more healthy state, she could have started addressing whatever problems the two of you had in the marriage. But that is not what she did. She cheated. And now therapy and yoga and what-all are just the human equivalent of money laundering. They’ve washed her clean of the lying, the cheating, the manipulation, the stealing and the cruelty. And they have the added benefit of being the sorts of things that normal people do when life goes off the rails or to keep it on the rails in the first place. It’s all impression management.

    This message is an act of aggression, with multiple intentions. First, she’s telling you it’s not her fault. She’s also telling you that the sin has been washed away by yoga and reading. She knows on some level that you are deeply hurt and angry but, heh. She’s never been better. She’s not just telling you it’s your fault. She’s rubbing her new life in your face. See that for the aggression that it is. And when you read it, realize that she is just making sure she has a hook in you and won’t give that it. She can hurt you whenever she feels the urge.

    Go no contact with this hyena. Use scheduling software if you can. Do not respond to any communications that aren’t necessary for raising kids.

    The one thing this message tells me about you is that your own self-worth is shaky, as is common after years of living with someone who is massively self-centered and fucked up. (Count the number of times she says “I” in that short message. And the number of times she expresses remorse for what she did to you or the kids. I always recommend therapy because it’s been essential to recognizing how my childhood coping skills were screwing me up as an adult. For you, therapy might be about re-establishing a sense of normal human interaction and relationship and learning to recognize when someone is running a con on you. If it turns out that your STBX/XW is a borderline, be aware that they often abandon the kids along the way when things aren’t fun anymore or the kids don’t fill that black hole of suckitude at their core. Your own new, happy life will depend on knowing your own worth so that an attack message from XW is meaningless.

    • “This message is an act of aggression, with multiple intentions.”

      Totally agree with you, Loved. The fuckwit wants to be cruel.

    • As always, LovedaJackass hit the nail on the head. The letter was written to both brag about the disordered wife’s greatness-in-her-own-mind AND to rub husband’s nose in her mess. The letter is exactly the sort of thing ex would write me and for the same purposes.

    • “And now therapy and yoga and what-all are just the human equivalent of money laundering.”

      Excellent analogy, LAJ.

  • Who ARE these people?

    Husband to blame – When I read posts like yours, I am so very glad that I’m single.

    One day soon, I hope you too will be single.

    That way, you will get to find out how fantastic life can be when you’re free of disordered nutcases!

    • The peacefulness is remarkable.

      My mind still goes back occasionally to the first four years of the 17 year relationship. Falling in love, the companionship, the laughter, the having a baby. But those are memories she didn’t value like I did.

      • One of these days you will please a real woman. And she will reciprocate. #chumpedbutstilldreaming ????

  • Husband, you are lucky to be rid of your MacArthur Genius.

    Your X sounds a lot like my mother. You will avoid repeating my father’s story. He desperately wanted to be able to love my mother who exploited his values to her benefit. My father spackled for 60 years and died a very, very depressed man. I think he calculated all the sunken costs and life lost its meaning for him.

    My mother tricked him into marrying her (she was supposed to be pregnant and my father was a God-fearing man, but I was born 47-48 weeks after estimated LMP and, BTW, my weight was normal; my dad was a whiz with a slide ruler and a great engineer, but he could not count to 9…). Furthermore, my father raised a daughter that was not his.

    I joke that I’m lucky that my mother raised me when she was trying to be a good woman. Eventually she concluded that it was too much work and that she deserved better.

    To trace your new path remember to use Tracy’s questions from a post this very week:
    1) Who am I?
    2) What do I tolerate?

    Good luck and be mighty.

  • “I have not had a migraine in months. I don’t think a woman who was mentally unhealthy would be able to take classes, work a new job, take care of kids and a dog, cook, keep the house clean and pay her bills.”

    …Well that’s just not true.

    Mentally ill people do normal adult tasks all the time. Doesn’t mean they’re not mentally ill.

    This is actually such a problematic viewpoint when it comes to mental health. Especially for people with depression. Normally functioning on the outside and falling apart on the inside. Like you can see someone with depression making it to work, maintaining their job, raising kids, etc. And since they look like they’re functioning outwardly, the people around them are like “Well they don’t LOOK depressed…”

    Same shit here. Ok so cheater wife goes to classes, works, raises kids, maintains the cleanliness of the house. So what? That doesn’t mean she’s not still fucked up in the way she handles her relationships.

    I know people who hold down high-paying jobs, thriving social lives, support themselves fully…but are alcoholics.

    Checking off a list of regular adult responsibilities doesn’t cancel out a massive character flaw like that. Nobody gives a shit if you go to yoga three times a week if you fuck around on your spouse and lie about cancer.

  • Husband (and probably much of CN), highly recommend reading “Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist” by Margalis Fjelstad. It’s excellent, practical, and really explains these dynamics well. This is not your fault! Your wife is really mentally ill.

    • +1

      I am halfway through Fjelstad’s “Healing from a Narcissistic Relationship” which concentrates on the post-discard phase. Very helpful! My X is all over those pages and it is really helping me see that it is NOT ME.

      • Now I.C. thank for the rec, that’s on my list next! She explains things so well and clearly.

  • I haven’t read through more than the first couple of comments yet, but the first thing that came to mind while reading her ‘note’ to you is:’She wrote this while she was high’. Whether pharmaceutically, or on a manic turn, this lady it just reeks of emotional swings, especially all the things she can do all the time all together. Good luck, man. Be that sane parent.

  • I got a very similar letter to this about a year after my cheater left me for Prince Cheating. To me, both these letters read like the wrap-up monologue at the end of an episode of a narcissistic reality TV show. They both are just airy, my-life-is-wonderful-despite-all-my-tribulations, but-I’m-actually-a-victim bunch of humblebrag. My cheater also told me how her therapist told her she’d actually been unhappy all these years, and it was apparently all my fault. As she was a serial cheater, she laid out in detail what grievance I did led to each affair.
    These letters look like they all came from a template. Where do women (or men, if they write this stuff, too) come up with these? I’ve always wondered if it was “Eat, Pray, Love,” but I’d rather choke than read that crap.

    • When I first read “Eat, Pray, Love” I was still married…I didn’t understand what was actually happening in the primary relationship in the book and what Elizabeth Gilbert was actually doing. I was still naive to who/what my now XH really was/is, still naive that I thought I had a trusting marriage with my best friend, and naive and unaware as to what selfish entitled narcissism actually looks like and how it behaves. I am a classic empathetic chump, who thought “good for her!” for taking her independent journey of self-discovery and happiness to Italy and India and Bali. I mean, who doesn’t want to stuff pasta in their face for three months and ride a bike around a tropical paradise with their own personal shaman, only to find their true soul mate-we all get to indulge in those kinds of luxuries after our divorces, right!! Oh wait…no I didn’t. Hmm…Elizabeth Gilbert left her “true love” 2nd husband she found on Bali for her current girlfriend, and I left my copy of “Eat, Pray, Love” in a pile of ashes at the bottom of my fire pit during one of the many “cleanses” I’ve had since my divorce. Fuck that shit.

  • Still blame shifting.
    Still claiming she made the right choices.
    Still not taking any responsibility.
    Yawn, whatever.

  • Husband (not) to blame,

    I’m sorry. I can’t imagine what you’re going through, and my situation isn’t as bad.

    While our wive’s behaviors are not far from each other’s, I at least never got the blame shift and she took responsibility for the (continued) shit storm. It made me hold out out that she’d come around, but what I’ve learned through all of this is that you’re powerless to her feeling remorse, taking responsibility, or anything else.

    Start a new life (you say your “wife”, but then call her your “ex”). I hope you aren’t considering reconciling with someone that can’t even say a single “sorry” in that letter she sent you.

  • I swear my x used the phrase i know how to express my unhappiness. Bingo! I think i might be winning at identical phrases robot bingo.

  • Skankboy, 60 years old at the time, said he “did not know how to breakup since every other woman broke up with me.” Dear sweet, baby Jesus….we were together for 16 years….and your f*&^%$# 60 years old. Then I remembered, yeah, a 16 year old in a 60 year old body. Idiot!

  • Today’s letter was so funny by itself, it didn’t even need the UBT to make me spit my coffee! Still loved the UBT, but this cheating wife and her happiness/awesomeness are just too funny.

  • My ex husband once wrote a hateful, sneaky, passive aggressive piece of disparaging nonsense about why walking out on me (mere weeks after tricking me, and my retired parents, and our 3 young kids, including an infant, into a cross country move) was the only way he could be haaaaaapppy. Because I was horrible! But he and I never let anyone know we weren’t haaaaapy because we’re private people! He then decided to email his message, the day after Christmas, to every friend of mine in our old town across the country who he had not yet heard from. Impression management, par excellence. In his message, he congratulated himself on working out everyday, bragged about his swell new job that actually pays much less for a lot more work, and then accused me of isolating him from his friends — yep, in an email calculated by him to isolate me from my entire support network back home. Emails like this are great diagnostic tools. After a few of my friends on his email list my friends forwarded it to me, it was immediately clear that I had to get away from the delusional, covert abuser. Divorce sucked. Life is good now. It’s been a long road, but I am so grateful for the friends who forwarded his email. It was a truth bomb he never wanted me to see.

    • Hush, i am so sorry! I hope you know everyone who got that email went what a freak! These people completely miss how insane they appear to literally everyone. Even robots go that one had a screw loose!

    • Total freak. But I’ve found that no matter was said and done by my ex, those who know me never questioned what happenned and my role. When people have learned about my divorce and I start briefly and pragmatically explaining, I have several times had folks say something like “you don’t need to tell me, I know you and he must have done something very bad for things to end like this.” Yes, he did.

      The beauty of being an authentic person is that most people authentically know you.

  • While reading all I could hear was “Na na na na na”. What is she? Five?

  • She is one special kind of crazy.
    I’m sorry, …husband, but her letter just reeks of crazy.
    I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the fact that she puts it all on you.
    I’m sorry.

  • Husband,

    Sorry that you have been exposed to such hurtful, disordered behavior.

    Your spouse sounds like my ex-spouse. If she is like mine, she may be inclined to blame you years from now–no matter WHAT you do. Complete separation can be helpful, but it is not generally possible for those us who share minor children with our exes. If she is a repetitive blamer for any and everything like mine, then you might want to develop short responses to some of the most common ridiculous insults she may hurl at you. Doing so can save your time and sanity.

    Although I have tremendously grieved the loss of what I thought would be a comfortable future with my children every day (in spite of having a bizarre, strained, unhappy marriage) and the loss of my post-separation boyfriend, who discarded me for the last time several months ago, I am starting to see the benefit of having been discarded multiple times by multiple partners. I no longer walk on eggshells; I no longer do the Pick Me Dance and thus expend a lot less energy on missions (pleasing my partners) destined to fail; (with the exception of my ex-husband berating me for something, generally related to money and kids), I no longer am insulted; I no longer waste time on people who don’t appreciate me, no matter how hard I try; I no longer worry about being defrauded by a spouse; I worry less about being physically harmed for no reason other than my spouse is in a bad mood due to something unrelated to me/out of my control. I still physically and emotionally struggle, so I try to remind myself of the REAL, but sometimes intangible, benefits of this new life. My new life is harder in some way, but it’s a lot less confusing.

  • His email doesn’t indicate this but this letter sounds to me like someone setting a foundation for not losing access to kids (or gaining more). Maybe child custody is at stake here and she’s trying to demonstrate sanity…I dunno.

    No matter, totally typical. These people rewrite past, present, and future to justify their actions. Well lady, facts can change opinions but opinions don’t change facts. There are a million ways to respond to misery—cheating and faking cancer are not the preferred path.

    My ex rewrote history all the way back to our wedding day 15 years ago…”you never gave me what I needed. Probably marriage was a mistake.” And you know what…he’s right on both counts, but for all the wrong reasons.

    • Having the whole history of a marriage re-written is one of the most insidious things a cheater does. Making you doubt every memory you have and every confidence you once had in that person is just evil. The marriage became tainted when your spouse cheated; therein lies the mistake. The marriage is not the mistake; he/she is the mistake. It’s all on them.

  • “I married you because you checked-marked all the boxes of an amazing wife and mother to my future children. I realize now it wasn’t love. Within a couple of years, I didn’t even like you as a person and knew I wouldn’t even be friends with you if I had met you again. But, I had made the commitment of marriage for life and thought I had convinced myself that I could live out my life with you. It wasn’t always bad. There were a lot of good times and a lot of just neutral times. Now I realize that I just didn’t do a great job of hiding my dissatisfaction, so it’s not your fault that you complained about me so much.

    It was that I was never connected to you and you were trying to get me to plug in. When I didn’t, you complained. So, there is nothing I need to forgive you for. It isn’t your fault that you criticized me all the time; it was you reacting to me never really loving you. The truth is that you’re just too strong, and I know that I will never be able to express how I really feel about things with you. And, your A-type personality makes you just take over everything and puts you in control. Then, there is nothing about me that’s left in this life and I feel worthless. There is nothing in this house that reflects me. The kids aren’t being raised doing the things I think are fun. But, don’t get me wrong. You make me a better father. I would have probably let the kids watch tv and play video games all the time.

    I knew you would never change. You just don’t know how to be happy and dwell on all the things I don’t do according to what you think should be done. So, why tell you what is making me unhappy? What good would that do? I just need to be with someone who is less strong. Who appreciates me the way that I am. Who has more in common with me. I’ve never been able to be my real self with you. I always felt the pressure of not measuring up. You kept expecting something from me that I couldn’t give you, and I always worried that you would just leave me one day anyways. I tried but there was no making you happy.

    We probably should have started marriage counselling years ago. I don’t know why I kept putting that off when you suggested it over the years. I always thought that time would make things better. People talk about how stressful things are with kids. So, if we just waited, things would work themselves out. But, they didn’t. You just made me feel more worthless. You made me quit a job that I liked and go back to university to earn a degree. You were never satisfied. But, hey, I tried the marriage counselling this last year and see how it just made everything worse?

    I didn’t reveal that I was having an affair in counselling because I knew that it would turn the focus of the counselling on to that instead of the real problems that we had in our marriage. We needed to get to the real root problems that led me to having the affair. Then, when it all came out, that’s all we could focus on. I became the bad guy. I know that what I did wasn’t right. I never slept with her. But, she listened to me. We have so much in common.

    I have not left this marriage because of her. It would have happened anyways because I have never been in love with you. I haven’t felt any desire for you in at least two years. Your physical presence is as uncomfortable to me as a stranger in my personal space. It’s not that you are not attractive. It’s not about that. You are a beautiful woman, and intelligent, and hard-working and helpful of others. You are the best mother our kids could ever have. I already know that people are going to tell me I’m crazy for leaving. I’m going to hear it from everybody. But, I just don’t love you. I’ve never been able to talk to you. I’ve never been able to be my real self with you. We’ve just never had anything in common. How was I ever supposed to say that to you. That would have been just cruel, and I never would have wanted to hurt you that way.”

    • Ah geez, there’s a clusterfuck of blame shifting and self-victimization. So sorry you had to get this, in any form. Please don’t spend one more minute dissecting this crap–spend all that time figuring out ways to never again be with someone like this.

      • It’s is the most bizarre behaviour to witness. His family, my family, and good friends are stunned. It’s been about a year-and-a-half of watching a train wreck coming at me. Who am I kidding? It’s pummeled straight through my life. Thank God everyone is seeing what I am seeing, and they have been so supportive of me. They hope that he’ll turn around (mid-life crisis?), but tell me to live my life, give up the suffering and the marriage to God, and protect the kids. It’s the best that our very Catholic, pro-marriage families can offer. They are all disgusted by him these days and see completely through his crap. They’ve make it very clear to him if he is seeing this woman (which he is) that there is no way that they can ever welcome her into their homes. So far I think that the family taking that stance is the only reason why my husband has not introduced this woman to the kids yet – the wrath of everyone combined would be quite the sight. However, it’s just a question of time, and so I brace for it as I strive to remain the sane, responsible parent who stays.

        • That is so unbelievably cruel. He sliced you open over and over and poured salt into the wounds. He is one angry, heartless person. Whoever gets him is getting a problem. The very first part of the letter spells out how he thinks. You were not a person to him. You donated eggs, incubated them and gave him children. Xyz. Done.
          Don’t put one more minute into thinking about him. Even if he felt this way he could have left with your dignity intact. The fact that he wanted you in pain says you are so much better off without him.

    • I think this is very similar to how my husband felt / feels.

      Buuutt…. he slept with her.

      • Oh, he slept with her alright. Discovered an email account that he used to communicate with her that pretty much details most of their relationship for over a year. He doesn’t know that I know all of this.

  • Dear Husband to blame,

    When I read your ex’s note to you the first thing that popped into my mind was that she is merely rubbing salt in your wounds. “Not having the tools to express her unhappiness in your marriage” is nothing more than a BS excuse and off-handed way to shift the blame to you. If she truly had good intentions, her letter would have been an apology full of remorse for the things she did while you were married – not a “My Life Is Wonderful Now” brag session.

    She hasn’t seen the light – she exists in a fantasy world. She using therapy as a facade. I seriously doubt her therapist would have encouraged her to write such a letter to you…

    It belongs in File 13.

  • I need to post. I have just said goodbye to my three youngest kids from now until Sunday at 4pm. This is so hard. When my now separated husband told me the good news that my happy and solid marriage of 14 years plus 5 year relationship before that was all a lie and that he had found someone (a troll who courted him and connived – she couldnt keep her own marriage apart so move on to a man who is taken but suits her mentality) and she supported him and silly me a stay at home mum of 5 who now one year later from dday realise I was emotionally abused, was trapped in a home and family that I loved but was angry and frustrated that I carried the can for us organising all activities, outings for walks, trips, any home repairs, jobs to be done, shopping, childminding etc (the list is everything apart from putting the kids to bed which he excelled at falling asleep beside them in the bed and taking hours to help wash up after dinner). He got to go to work, further his career, make good money and travel (a lot which has mysteriously stopped since he is now living with ow); I have gone back to work (ironically I got my first 9-5 professional job in the week I had to kick him out) and I now see how stimulating working with fellow adults is, how much fun and fulfilling it is, how boring and naggy I must have seemed coming home to asking if he could get milk from the shop as we’d run out when I was making dinner. How he never turned to me and said I realise how boring this is but you’re not being a fun wife and maybe you need support. No. I was discarded cos I like the kids was hard work. All my memories activities and shared interests we shared for 18 long years meant nothing. He met someone who was delighted to walk away from her own kids and live with him. I am of the mind that that is his mentality too – cold, narcissistic and cold. He rarely sees his kids. hes supposed to have them one evening a week and every second weekend. The kids love their home. They say they love me. They dont want to go to him. Of fourteen days in two weeks with five children maybe three nights for five children ie 5 children x 14 nights – of that just 3 nights in total from the lot of them as in one child one night and two children two nights and the two older boys dont go at all – 90 days of childcare. 3 actual child nights he has children. And then he has taken my three youngest today. My 11 year old daughter is angry with me forcing her to go. She has so much on her plate – puberty etc and a complete Noddy of a father. And i get the anger making her spend time in his company. This is purely for childcare this week. I have paid enough for last week to have them minded (2 week Easter vacation) and although I am exhausted and beat from having them 99% of the time I would never be without them. I never had these children to only see them part time. He is the one who decided to go outside the marriage to make him happy. I didn’t. Never occurred to me. I thought this is highs and lows of marriage. Silly me. Today I cried before they went. They left a tear strained woman who needs a break but who also doesn’t want them gone. Cant have my cake and eat it it seems. Pity I chose a cold narcissistic sod to father them.

  • After D-day, I got the “never been happier” letter, too. Said he got in his car and couldn’t stop grinning. He went on to write that now that he knew I didn’t love him any more, he felt “free to love me.” WHat a charmer. He was so shocked that it didn’t work.

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