Hey Chump Lady,
My wife had an affair for a year with a married man. When she told me, she then blamed me for all the bad things I am. Seven months later she decides that we are going to separate as I have been too controlling. When I pressed her on how, she gave me what I believe are petty examples.
Anyhow, it seems to me that moving out is a major power struggle as she says she now taking control of her life. Please tell how she so easily carried on an affair if I was that controlling? I feel the real issue is that I won’t let her sweep it under the rug. By her moving out, she gets her space. In that space she can continue to ignore her own problems and continue to blame me. She’ll see no personal growth and continue to make mistakes.
I guess I will be better off for it, but I tire of her blaming me and talking shit to her friends. Why do all cheaters do the same stupid shit? Why do they all have a set of rules for them and a set for everybody else?
You’ve got a case of Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness. Why is she doing this? Why does she think that? How can she be so oblivious/uncaring/deceitful/amoral/irresponsible…
Put down the skein, Alex. Trust that she sucks. Even though she cheated on you for a year and blamed you for it, you still gave her a shot at reconciliation for seven whole months. Your reward? She refused to be be accountable and moved out.
Next, in perfect chump fashion (BTDT, wear the crown…), you are railing at her, engaging in the “major power struggle” to get her to be accountable.
What you see as expecting a modicum of human decency, she sees as “controlling.” Yeah, that’s totally infuriating. However, she’s right in a way — you are trying to control an outcome you cannot control — her decency. Instead of asking yourself if this moral midget is the right woman for you, you’re trying to salvage the relationship. WHY? What did you think you had to work with here? The blameshifting? The pettiness? Her terrific spinach lasagna?
I can answer your WHY WHY WHY questions (she sucks), but the real WHY, is why you, or any of us chumps, engage in battles of accountability with cheaters. When someone refuses to be accountable? BOOM, unleash the boundaries.
“I’m sorry, we don’t appear to want the same things out of life. I want a faithful partner who respects me, and you want a place to park your ass while you create Tinder profiles. Yeah, I don’t see this working out. Here’s some Hefty bags for the immediate removal of your possessions.”
“And if you act now, I’ll throw in some twist-ties.”
Trust me, this is a far more effective strategy than those counseled by the Reconciliation Industrial Complex — to wait patiently while she comes out of the “affair fog,” to not make any decisions for 6 months, to eat the immense shit sandwich of your pain lest your pain frighten her, to do a brutal self-assessment of your inadequacies, which drove her to cheat…
NO. The only question to ask yourself when presented with an utterly remorseless cheater is — is this relationship acceptable to me? And then, if the answer is NO, NO, IT IS NOT — accept the truth of your answer AND accept the truth of the other person. You want better AND they will not give you better. They may be incapable of it, they may not want to, it doesn’t matter. Either way, this shit remains unacceptable. We cannot fix other people. We just have ourselves and what we will tolerate.
Now then, you wanted me to answer a few questions.
I guess I will be better off for it,
Oh, you totally will.
but I tire of her blaming me and talking shit to her friends.
Well, that’s what cheaters do. But it won’t matter, because you can’t hear her when you go no contact, and her friends aren’t your friends.
Why do all cheaters do the same stupid shit?
Because there are only so many ways to manipulate a person.
Why do they all have a set of rules for them and a set for everybody else?
Because entitlement feels great (if you have no empathy) and it is Good to Be King (or Queen).
Think about it — why is all the Stupid Shit Cheaters Say so damn similar? Why is there a script? Why is their behavior, even as chaotic and self destructive as it is, so predictable? Because there are only so many moves on the chessboard.
You do a Bad Thing and don’t want to be accountable?
Project it on to your chump.
Flip the channels — rage, charm, self-pity (which are all just kinds of deflection).
And when all that fails? Live in an alternative reality. One where your superiority is preserved and you’re free from all the controlling, horrid little people who Expect Things.
Alex, do you want to live in her Bizarro World?
She’ll see no personal growth and continue to make mistakes.
Her human potential is not your problem, Alex. In Bizarro World, every day is a carnival of fuckwit obliviousness.
Live in the truth and stay no contact. Better days ahead.