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Dear Chump Lady, Why won’t he admit cheating?

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Dear Chump Lady,

What do you do when they will NEVER admit to the truth? Even after you have hired a Private Investigator who traced him to two different hotel rooms in one week with the affair partner?

He claims she slept on the couch. Sure, because that’s what adults who have been having inappropriate contact for months do. Let me back up. I was 8 months pregnant, had literally just moved into a new house in a new city (he had been there for a few months prior at his new job that forced the move). I started getting feelings that something was going on. I started catching him in lies about where he was and who he was talking to. He became a ghost in our house — he was never around me and our two small children. When he was home, he was on his phone or his computer.

Then I checked his phone records online when he was out of town and discovered the 1000 text messages and 700 voice minutes between the two of them for the month of December alone. Did I mention they work together? He was talking to her every night on the way home from work, when I was with my kids at soccer practice or dance, and one time they talked for an hour and a half while he was out of town at 11:00 p.m. And those are just the highlights.

I confronted him and he managed to talk his way out of it, actually making me think I was crazy for even thinking anything was up between them. He swore he would stop all contact with her (even though there was nothing going on. They were “friends” and she was “really cool” and I would “really like her”). Then two days later I caught him in a lie . He had taken her to lunch ALONE, but I was “over-reacting.”  A client had canceled and he didn’t want to be a “dick to her.” So instead he was a dick to me and betrayed me again.

Then I went into labor and basically had to beg him to stay at the hospital with me. Then I had to be re-admitted with serious complications from the epidural and had to beg him again to even visit me. So this goes on and on, I catch him in even more lies and he continues to convince me I am crazy. Did I mention I had a two-week old infant at this point? And no friends or family? And two other small children?

I reached my lie threshold and I hired the investigator and got the proof. He denied the whole thing and has continued to deny the whole thing. He denied it even after I filed for divorce. Even after I said I would go to counseling and work through the infidelity for our family (something I always said I would never do).

His response is that I want him to “admit to something he didn’t do” and that “I did nothing wrong.” It is infuriating to me. I filed a month and a half ago so this is still a pretty fresh wound, but I feel like I will never get closure and never be able to get to “meh” without him admitting to what he has done. He continues to tell me I rushed to file, I “quit on my family” (my personal favorite), I never loved him, etc. But no remorse, no inkling of admitting anything. I can’t believe someone would hold on so tightly to a lie and allow it to destroy his life and his children’s lives. How can I move past this and accept that he will never admit it?

Thanks — your blog has literally got me through many, many rough times in the last month!

Crista

Dear Crista,

Let go. I hate it when people tell chumps to let go (as in “stop being bitter! let go!”), but seriously — LET GO. This guy is a disordered wing nut of the highest order. You got a PI to trail him THREE TIMES and BUSTED him every time. This is like that Richard Pryor skit — “Who ya gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

Believe your lying eyes, Crista. Don’t let him deny your reality. He can say any fool thing he wants to say, you KNOW the truth and you’re acting on that truth. His denial is just a play for control. Frankly, it’s another effort to control you and abuse you. (Because, yeah, cheating on your pregnant wife isn’t abuse enough). He is projecting his sins on you — “quitting on the family,” which is a heinous mindfuck. He desperately wants it to stick. It would be so much nicer if you would just accept the mantle of Very Bad Person Whose Fault This Is, otherwise he’s going to have to create that narrative anyway without your help. But it’s a much more convincing act if you’re in on it too.

What? You don’t want to be party to your own abuse? The nerve!

He is a sick motherfucker. To preserve your sanity, you need to go absolutely no contact with him. All communication must be about kids and finances and done solely through email so it is documented. You give all the PI info to your attorney and let them make hay with it. And you don’t engage with him. He’s a crazy person. Imagine a tinfoil hat. He is a raving lunatic in a tinfoil hat talking crazy talk. Of COURSE he was having an affair and OF COURSE he is guilty as hell. You are NOT the crazy person here, HE IS.

You know how you stop needing to be right about this? Believe yourself. Trust that he sucks. Know that your truth is ENOUGH. Quit looking to him for validation, because he’s not going to give it to you. He wears a tinfoil hat. Do you ask your local homeless schizophrenic for a reality check? No. You do not.

You’re going to get to “meh” when you really internalize who he IS — which is a cheating scum bag who was screwing around on his pregnant wife and the mother of (now) three small children. He’s that guy. A guy who wants to subjugate you and abuse you. That’s the truth. And just like he cannot control your narrative (sing like a bird, Crista! Sing!) — you cannot control his.

Let go of the need for him to “get it.” He is very invested in not getting it. Prepare yourself that he will try and smear you and deny the truth. Don’t let that bother you. You keep telling the truth if people ask “I got a PI and discovered he was cheating on me, repeatedly.” Once he recedes from your life — and he will — have faith he’s going to recede — the need for him to admit it will grow less and less and less.

I used to be hung up on wanting my ex to be sorry. Oh, he was “sorry” all right. He’d say anything. What a stupid waste of my heart. I needed to realize then, as you need to realize now, that the truth is situational to these freaks. Your ex would say ANYTHING. What’s going to happen if he admits it? Yes, Crista, you busted me. I’ve been fucking that other woman. Do you think he’s going to follow that up with apologies and mean it? He doesn’t mean it. His actions tell you everything you need to know about exactly how sorry he is — when confronted about his cheating, he KEPT CHEATING. When you were in a hospital having HIS child, you had to beg him to be there. When you were sick and alone in a new city with small children he abandoned you.

There — that’s your sorry.

Closure doesn’t exist. At least not in the sense that you have some Great Reckoning with your cheater and they explain why they did it and finally it all makes sense, and then rainbows appear, and the clouds part and a ray of sunshine comes down and bathes you in a heavenly glow.

No. You give yourself closure. You keep believing your senses and listening to your gut. You give it time. You’re kind to yourself. You surround yourself with people who believe the truth about him and hold you up. He’s a bad man. Life is going to be much better without him. I know it’s scary, especially with three little kids, but you just get the best damn settlement off him you can get, and you go build that awesome life without him. Because Crista, life is so much better without him. He is an abuser and a mindfuck.

I wish I could sprinkle some magic chump dust on you and give you closure. Actually, I wish I had my own personal cousin in the mafia to go knock his head in. But I don’t have either of these things. You’re going to have to take my word for it that “meh” is out there. Keep moving toward it and don’t look back at him. Forward march, Crista. You filed — good for you!  You are mighty! — keep going!!

This column ran previously. And I don’t know what happened to Crista. Good things I hope.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • On what would have been our first anniversary after the shit hit the fan (and just a few days after she moved out under court order), I rewrote my wedding vows to KK as a set of promises I was now making to myself, amongst which was:

    “I promise never to forget that, from this day forward, the trust that I place in others must never be greater than the trust I have in myself.” — https://www.chumplady.com/2016/12/making-a-vow-to-yourself/

    Christa, trust yourself.

  • The sleeping on the couch reminded me of my ex telling our daughter he was sleeping in a tent in the yard at ow house! He went so far as to set one up and put some of his things in it..sick!

    • omg that is above and beyond and really sick. Image management to the point you furnish a freaking tent in the back yard of a whore”s house. wow.
      I have one of these freaks. Deny until he dies. “Whats really sad, whatringofhellisthis, is you destroyed our marriage and I never even cheated! I was just wild and had friends and made some mistakes when I wasn’t thinking.” He decided to do a PR campaign on social media that entailed posting pictures of pretty sunsets and him petting baby animals. He’s a sensitive nice guy! Wifey must be nuts! No man that pets fawns could be a ruthless lying cheater. And the pages of police report must be false! Look he’s so gentle and innocent. 😤

    • Ha!
      Mine said he was sleeping on his office couch and I felt sorry for him.
      It wasn’t even a clever or creative lie.
      Hand hitting forehead repeatedly 🤦🏻‍♀️ How could I have believed that???
      Turned out that ‘couch’ was a king bed in her luxury building.
      Best news is that years out I can laugh at it*

      *note to newbies – peace comes years later not months later…hang in there.

      • OMFG, I totally get it now. My dad was cheating on my mom for decades; one time he told all of us that he worked so late at the office the car park closed, so he had to sleep on the couch in his office. I see now that he was just trying to get ahead of the narrative, and I was young and naive and believed him. He made enough money that he could have taken a taxi home and back the next morning. Or he could have called my mother to pick him up. There was no work late, there was no sleep on the office couch. And his mother, my grandmother, worked at that same company so I’m sure she covered for him left and right. Thank you for opening my eyes. I learn something new here everyday. No wonder my mom spent all of my childhood angry and took it out on us kids.

        • The legacy of cheating is multi-generational, and something that doesn’t get much attention. Like other forms of abuse, it can become learned behavior. It is up to us to break the cycle. Chump Son used to remind us of this important point, and his posts were always so thoughtful and compelling.

    • Mine slept in our camper in October claiming I wouldn’t let him sleep in the house ( because I insisted on sleeping in our bedroom making him sleep on the queen sized bed in the office). Waaaaaa!!

    • Sadly, I have no trouble at all believing this. It is right out of the Cheater Scout Handbook. Maybe we should start a list of what they should all get demerit badges for!

    • Mine was that I forced him to sleep in our finished basement/ family room. I think that after his daily transgressions, he was just too tired to come upstairs.. Never been told about the affair nor did he tell me he was filing for divorce. Guess that after being married to him for 35 years, I should have been accustomed to receiving nothing!

    • Mine told me he was sleeping in a tiny tent at her sister’s house when I was away. With a legal agreement in place (that named her, a copy was sent to her, this kind woman whose dead husband was a serial cheater) that stated she could not set foot on my property. I found out they were in my house, fucking in my bed. He lied. Bald faced. She eventually sent me a very pathetic apology. The stuff of nightmares, and so surreal. Someone turned my extremely happy life into a weird soap opera.

  • My ex, won’t admit he had an affair (s), the ow, swore at me, hung around outside the school, (I did tell the schools), outside my neighbours house, outside my road, etc, still won’t admit anything. Sad piece of shit both of them. Split up 5 years ago, she actually was on the opposite side of the road, swearing at me last week, apparently ex said I should have dealt with her. How, cause he knows where she lives, doesn’t care enough to tell me, who do you think he’s really protecting?

      • Hi, she doesn’t drive, I contacted a stalking website, was told she has to attack you physically not verbally, once, then the police will take action, I have no contact with her at all. Was told by the charity that they police actually would not be interested at all. Was unfortunately on a bus once and she pushed me over, I still didn’t talk to her. Unfortunately she picked him over her kids. Their not together he has a new girlfriend.

  • Wow this guy is an absolute loon. Good riddance. I love the paragraph about if he admits, then what? Does he say he’s sorry? Then what, does he mean it? Does he get what he’s sorry for? It’s like an onion, but it’s bottomless. I still have a hard time with that, being mad that he doesn’t understand all the ways in which he hurt and destroyed me, the enormity of the devastation that projects back into the past and forward into the future, the incredible sunk costs, etc, you chumps all know what I’m talking about. But he doesn’t. For him it’s “what’s the big deal?” Why do I want closure with this person? Who he hell knows, I guess that’s part of being a chump. But Chumplady is right, closure is not possible, there is no rainbow ending to his horrible character and the horrible things he has done. I need closure with myself. I need to say, OK, I thought I was making a great decision to marry this person, but it wasn’t. People make mistakes when they are young. Forgive myself and move on. I know that’s where I need to put my focus. But there’s this part of me that wants him to “get it”. Why? What on earth good would that do? None. None at all

    • Hi, everyone! Thank you so much for checking on me. Here I am 4 years later and I couldn’t be happier. His affair (which he never did admit to) turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me. It got me away from a shitty man and terrible father and led me to the most amazing man I have ever known. It took me a couple of years to find him (so don’t lose hope!) but it was worth the wait. When someone treats you like gold, like you never thought you could be treated, it’s just incredible.

      The ex stayed with the OW for 3 years, they broke up several times (hmmm, wonder why? Perhaps trust issues?). The OW reached out to me when they were finally over and apologized. I could care less. I don’t feel bad for her, in fact I am thankful that she got him out of my life. He is a lazy, no good father, leaving the kids with a sitter most of the time on his weekends. My kids are all fine — doing great in school and sports and are happy and well-adjusted. Kids really are so resilient!
      Thank you Chump Lady and everyone on here for your advice and support! It helped me to get where I am today! If I can do it, you can too!

      • Amazing! So happy for you! I’d love to hear more stories like yours. I think a lot of us struggle with a little despair about what comes next. I ain’t got it in me to deal with another person like my ex, but I think I’m wiser and a lot less naive now. I am willing to wait for someone who is worth being in a relationship with.

      • Crista thank u so much for giving us hope! This is my second marriage and the second time I was cheated on and left for a coworker. U give me hope that there may possibly be decent men out there.
        Thank u for sharing your story and congrats!

      • Crista I am beyond thrilled to read your post. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful happy life with us! It gives us hope! Optimism! And I am so very happy for you!

      • That’s so nice to hear!! Always nice to hear of a happy ending. Confirmation too, of what I frequently say… kids really are very resilient. Children who have parents that divorce (for any reason) are NOT doomed to unhappy, unsuccessful lives riddled with mental illness issues. Just the opposite in fact….kids are very perceptive, and it is extremely unhealthy to stay in bad marriages for the kids. Actually, you should leave for the kids!!!

      • YAY Crista! Thanks for your update. It’s wonderful to hear that your little ones will get to see you in a loving relationship. I imagine it is in stark contrast to what their dad is showing them.

      • Woot woot, Crista! And, a big thank you for returning to update us. You have no idea how much “happily ever after” like yours can give much-needed hope to Chumps who feel as though our lives will never again be joyful.

      • Thanks Christa, gives me hope.

        My STBX was also a strong denier. One time our security camera caught him sneaking a woman in our home past midnight and back out at 6am. He said “it wasn’t like you think…she slept on the couch and I went to bed…never touched her I swear…”. Hmmmm, ok. Another OW called me to confess the affair and of course he said he never had sex with her it was just an emotional affair and she was lying to make me mad so she can “win”. Makes me laugh now, how I almost wanted to believe this s*** at the time even though I’m too smart for that. I told him many times he should marry a dumber woman next time if he’s going to try to get away with this ridiculous s***.

      • Yay, Crista!!! Thanks for the update! Your children are lucky to have such a mighty mama!

        Enjoy your wonderful new cheater-free life! 💜

      • When I saw your post after 4 yrs I just got the biggest smile.(11:11) Just sharing your success and the fact you moved on and are thriving gives me alot of hope for my future. I give you nothing but love and respect and hope you continue to thrive. I am firm believer in what you said about the OW. It was a gift. I never want to be with someone who isn’t worthy of me. Xo sweet

  • The need for closure is so powerful. I know it’s a form of control but it also just feels so unfinished. I’ve finally realised that STBX couldn’t say or do anything now that would make me think differently of him – I trust he sucks. I thought I knew him (after 26 years together) but I really, REALLY didn’t. And I don’t want to. Meh, come at me!

    (I really hope we hear from Crista 💜)

    • ALL OF THIS-
      “The need for closure is so powerful. I know it’s a form of control but it also just feels so unfinished. I’ve finally realised that STBX couldn’t say or do anything now that would make me think differently of him – I trust he sucks. I thought I knew him (after 26 years together) but I really, REALLY didn’t”

      I caught cheater ex AT the hooker place using find my iphone. I parked behind his car & watched him come out with my own “lyin eyes.” And yes, he still tried to lie to my face. Once he realized I wasn’t buying what he was selling about being at said hooker palace, he launched into rage mode telling me that “I couldn’t make him talk” and that “he wasn’t going to admit to doing anything wrong because he didn’t” and so on. I spent a long time obsessing over the need to know everything he had done & that he had to say he was sorry & admit his wrongdoings. What a waste of precious time from my life. These sick jerks think it gives them power & get off on the fact that they are withholding that information because it is something you want. Cheater ex actually told me that I would never know.

      I went to therapy, joined CL/CN and finally accepted that I didn’t ever really know him or the depth of his depravity but that I didn’t need to know that in order to move on. Cheater ex took the majority of his secrets to his grave and I forgave myself for letting him treat me so poorly for so many years and found closure that way.

      • I am trying to forgive myself for allowing my two beautiful boys to grow up watching this. Yes, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

  • I had emails, photos and prank calls from OWs friends. He was staying out all night, ‘sleeping at the office’. He smelled wrong, joined a gym. He was vacationing with her at her sisters house and even took our neighbor with him. The whole nine yards. When confronted he said “I will not discuss with you the allegations you accuse me of”. I had already filed. I never got an apology. Never will.

    • Mine said the same thing. “There are things in my life I will never discuss with you, and this is one of them”. Nothing to work with here.

    • Amazing how these defects have Flying Monkeys at their disposal. How anyone can justify someone cheating with a married man but then go on to torture the wife, at the OW’s bidding, on top of it is mind boggling.

      • I can add to that, his last OW was introduced to him as potential f#cking material by a friend of ours( we were married 34 years at that point and 4 years after our vow renewal in Central Park). I dont’ know what lies he told as this friend left her husband too and was living in another city. I tried to reach out to the friend that introduced them but she declined to answer me.

        all evil monsters.

      • The OW (and her mother) in my case actually taunted and mocked me via FaceBook. I could never really properly respond because I didn’t want to jeopardize custody issues. So I chronicled the whole thing in an anonymous blog because short of getting that fabled ‘closure’, I just had an overwhelming need to have it on record that this all happened. Like somehow, chronicling it all and laying out an argument for how insane the whole thing was allowed me to process it in my own way. Somehow, it gave me back some of the power they stole. I still add posts to it here and there because it is the single most effective form of therapy I’ve found.

        In four years, neither of them have found out about its existence, and I pray they never do. It’s for me and any readers it may help, not them. They can rack off.

        • I hear ya!
          I have a Pinterest board dedicated to exh#2, but he’s blocked anyway. It is therapeutic.

      • It’s amazing how many people either enable, assist, or know what was going on.

        My STBXW was involved in some messed up ish with not just her sister’s neighbour as the AP, but her sister as well. The two of them had some kind of ‘sharing arrangement’ with the douchebag. I have copies of messages between both of them about the AP discussing logistics (who sees him when), being jealous of each other spending time with him, discussing “no I don’t love him, but I do want to kiss his face…” (that was my STBXW saying that btw!), and other stuff. It’s disgusting. And this was all 3 months after DDay as well.

        The sister was at best an enabler, and at worst – don’t want to think about that. She has told so many lies to cover up for my STBXW, and I stupidly believed them for many months and wasted over a year trying to keep my family together when I should have just separated like she requested immediately after I confronted my STBXW on DDay (no admission or denying – just “I think we should separate”). I’d have already been divorced by now instead of in separation limbo.

  • Crista, this was me. He moved in with her and said he was ‘renting a room’ despite my eldest daughter (4 at the time, I had a – year old also) telling me daddy slept in Katie’s bed! He told her to her face, in front of me, that she shouldn’t tell lies! Then he takes her to stay at his parents for a weekend, yet they are just friends! Cause you do that will a female friend you are renting a room off. She sleeps on his parents sofa apparently. After 3 years of this (the lies went on and on. I would catch him out in a lie and he would lie some more) I though I was crazy. He told me I was crazy. My counsellor (and chump lady) finally made me see that I had been married to a narcissist. They will never admit to anything. I had to go cold turkey, stop asking about her, about us, why he was lying etc. Stop thinking about it. It’s been almost a year since then (4 years apart) and i’m slowly getting to ‘meh’ it’s been hard. But it’s so worth it. He was killing me with his lies. They live together now (but if you asked him, he doesn’t love her, still wanted s family with me, just needed me to change… Cause I’m Crazy remember! You can’t ever win with a narcassist apart from to win your own sanity back. Believe in chump lady when she says no contact apart from the children and finances. Keep your sanity Crista, be the sane, reliable, loving parent. Focus on you and your children. He doesn’t even deserve your thoughts.

  • They figure out what their narrative is going to be. And then they stick to it and it becomes their “truth “.

    My ex always claimed that he and the OW didn’t get together until after he left. In her deposition, she admitted it started before that and while I was pregnant. He was sitting in the room as she gave her deposition. And then in his deposition right afterwards, he stuck to his story that it didn’t start until after he left. Chump Lady is right…this is who they are. Trust he sucks and leave it behind. You will never make sense of it.

    • “They figure out what their narrative is going to be. And then they stick to it…”. Oldest trick in the book for Cover Up 101: when caught in a wrongdoing, select a story, try to keep things internally consistent if possible, and proceed to lie, lie, lie like a broken record until the other side gives up and goes away. Or you can convince them there’s a reasonable doubt about your guilt.
      (Lance Armstrong, Harvey Weinstein, OJ, the list of examples is probably endless).
      My own X perjured himself on multiple occasions rather than admit under oath he is fucking a patient. The higher the stakes, the greater the likelihood of cover-up lies. And the angrier they get when someone exposes the cover up. I hope Crista got out alright.

    • Ex and OW also maintained that they started after he left me. Then I found the companion ticket he purchased for her just 2 weeks after he asked me for a divorce. They were going on a trip to Portland to celebrate his birthday. I confronted him, after 18 years together, my once gentle husband wrote to me: “Refrain from contacting me. I’ve advised my attorney that all communication is to go through him.”

      My IC said that closure from XH would never come. That I would get more closure from IC than from XH. IC said that when OW dumps him, he’ll understand what he did, but it is pointless to wait for that day. Chances are my XH would be too much of a coward to come forward and admit it. It’s been five years and he and whore married. I’m no longer focused on that pile of shit. I hope to hear that those two have fucked each other over, but I won’t hold my breath.

      • These two defects will implode of that I am quite certain. Remember this is a man that after 18 years of marriage and leaving you for another woman said “Refrain from contacting me. I’ve advised my attorney that all communication is to go through him.”
        This is the “prize” OW won & he won a skank that thinks it’s honky dory to pursue a relationship with a married man. I don’t care what nonsense or BS he fed her about you.
        Also, it always seems that with these particular couples the police tend to be involved in their break ups.

        • I wonder if X will try to pull the “we hooked up only after the divorce” shit if he winds up sticking with schmoopie and has to embarrassingly introduce her to me and the kids at a family occasion (like college graduation, etc.). I kind of look forward to meeting her—I plan to smile sweetly, look her in the eye and say, “Must suck to be you”!

          And if she’s been living with X for any length of time by then, I’m pretty sure she’ll know exactly.what.I.mean. She only needs him for the money. And I don’t.

          • Don’t count on them still being together. While she is content to be a side piece with a married man……the married man once divorced has better options.

        • Thanks KB. Yes, police for sure. They did the RO with me, so I’m certain it will be DV when they breakup. Disorder will always resurface for them. Whore loves the drama.

      • Yep. If my ex has to send me something by mail (i.e. medical cost reimbursement), he addresses it to me using my formal name and middle initial. After 26 years together, he can no longer refer to me by my nickname. No one calls me by my formal name except the IRS.

        • GetMeFree, I got this too! My Ex used my name instead of my nickname. Most people believed my nickname was my legal name! I loved using my nickname because if I got things like unsolicited phone callers that used my legal name then I knew they were “strangers” who did not know me at all. I also got the BS about Schmoopie not screwing him in hotel rooms and sleeping on the very tiny loveseat! Yeah, sure! I called BS on that too. Because when I pulled up to the hotel at 3:00 am they were on the balcony and she was in very sexy nightwear, but when I finally managed to get into the hotel room she was dressed like a lumberjack in khakis and a checked shirt! But they really wanted me to believe they were “just friends”!!! Please!

      • My cheater did this but it just messed with my head further. He was more sad about losing schmoopie (who he had only know a year) than he was his family. He thought that we were now even and he understand just how I felt.

        • Same here. 12 years of marriage (15 total, long distance for the first 3), and 2 kids later. STBXW was crying on the couch unmoving for about 3 or 4 days straight – not even moving to deal with the kids – and looked like utter shit, about a month after DDay. I think it was when the AP must have got cold feet or favoured her sister (don’t ask!), or something, before it all resumed again. All that feeling, all that emotion, and even me spending months talking with her about why she’s wrong to feel anything for him etc etc and why it wouldn’t work etc. All of my support and our family destroyed for an already married douchebag with 4 kids, who was doing something with my STBXW and her sister, and at least 1 or 2 other women on the side too (intercepted messages and emails of STBXW and sister talking about it, trying to figure out who they were).

  • “A client had canceled and he didn’t want to be a “dick to her.” So instead he was a dick to me….”

    This. So much, this.

    He was so charming and nice to everyone else.

    The wife he had made vows to, to love, honor, cherish?

    He treated me like $hit.

    What a slap in the face that realization was, but it’s also what got me unstuck.

    • It’s absolutely incredible how they can do this. They seemed so “normal” with other mutual friends etc., and even around family members. Just not with us/me. No one else saw it, no one else knew what was going on. I have no idea how they can do it with a straight face. 12 years of marriage and 2 kids for me before DDay, 13.5 until I finally pulled the plug.

  • Closure doesn’t exist when it comes to cheaters. There is a special kind of evil that lives in them. We will never truly understand the injustice of it all. We just need to get to a point where we love ourselves more than we hate them. While the hurt will probably forever live somewhere deep inside us, we must forge ahead and build better lives. Going No Contact is the first step to that. Living as though Cheater is dead forces us to truly let go….

    • I wish I could live as if the asshole were dead but I have to see him at work every day, where his latest tactic is to act like it’s all just a friendly divorce between two people who “grew apart” and amicably decided on an amicable divorce and can not act as amicable friends. I live within walking distance of the office now (he’s buying me out of the house) and he saw me walking in the other day and said, “It must be nice to be able to walk to work.” As if this were a benefit that his breaking apart our marriage had conferred on me; the fact that after 40 years of home ownership and a paid off house has now become a ground floor apartment and an unexpected expense that will carry over into my retirement in a couple of years apparently is nothing in his mind. In his mind he did me a favor!
      No apology forthcoming. Ever. And I won’t be apologizing for never forgiving him, either.

      • And again with the coffee.

        “the fact that 40 years of home ownership and a paid off house has now become a ground floor apartment and an unexpected expense that will carry over into my retirement in a couple of years apparently is nothing in his mind.”

        • OH! This is another level of mind blast. The “EVERYONE will be better off and happy!” fallacy.
          Cheaters have always have to play an angle for the crowd.

          The next step to this is the “Cheater is a HERO because they HAD TO DO SOMETHING to end the abuse/unhappiness/arguing/misery that was going on. Mine actually justifies his behavior as a psudo- hero who saved us all from being miserable.

          What a piece of shit.

          I can’t imagine having to live with forced contact and hearing this (*%&$*(&%.

      • I think you should practice this grey rock expression whenever your STBX says something stupid like “it must be nice to walk to work:”

        evil stare

  • Christa I had 4 d-days over 2.5 years through texts messages. He SWEARS they were just friends and nothing sexual ever happened. The last email I found he asked her to join the mile high club with him; he said it was just a joke with a friend. He denied ALL physical relationship it to family friends and even lawyers. I have had many friends believe him and not me, he would never do that. In the end does it matter? He sucks, I am divorced. I still do not 100% know what happened but I am like “meh” what difference does it make?

    • My ex’s lawyer as well as mine didn’t believe his lies that he didn’t have sex with his Schmoopie. I had proof that they were meeting in a motel, yet my ex admitted he met her there but denied they had sex. My attorney told me that when he and ex’s attorney met to discuss the case over lunch, they laughed about ex and his lies that he didn’t have sex with the slut. I thought people would believe the ex, because he is so charming and lies so convincingly, but actually they didn’t.

  • Crista, there is some shit that would merit untangling in orde to avoid repeating it. Alas, this is never going to happen, see all the wars over the centuries.

    But in the case of “she slept on the sofa” shit, frankly my dear, you shouldn’t give a damn. Just makes you suffer.

    A fellow chump introduções me to Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning. We can’t avoid suffering, but we can chose how we deal with it.

    You and your children deserve better.

    • Frankly him sleeping in a hotel room with another woman and lying about it is enough to leave over. He doesn’t need to have laid a finger on her.

  • My wife still denies the affair. After being caught by the other man’s wife. After I had a conversation with the other man where he admitted to the affair.

    She comes up with an implausible excuse for everything.

    She even asks…Why won’t you believe ‘my truth’…

    “My truth”. Not the truth.

    • Oh the “subjective truth” defense, aka “alternative facts” which means the actually reality of my behavior makes me uncomfortable because it may have consequences I don’t want to face so I will simply create my own reality where I’m the star and everyone (especially Patman) revolves around me. You need to stick a “former” in front of that wife label, Patman. She doesn’t deserve you.

      • Ah yes, “it didn’t happen because I don’t want it to have happened. I regret getting caught therefore there was nothing that should have been caught.”

        Did she try blaming Hillary yet? Apparently that can be an effective blame-shifting tactic for some folks.

    • Patman,
      If that is the case, please reconsider the term “wife”.
      You deserve better than someone who cannot tell the truth. Strangers will treat you better.

  • God, this is my ex to a T. Just a week ago he told our kids that he never cheated, and that the only reason he fell “so deeply in love and so quickly” with the OW now OWife was because….get ready for this…..”you guys and mom had each other, and I had no one but OW” after he left to go live with…the OW.

    What the actual fuck?!

    Every time I think he has sunk to a new low he goes even lower. I cannot stand that piece of shit and thank god that our kids are old enough I don’t have to have anything to do with him.

    I also thank god that my kids knew the truth since almost day 1. They saw how this played out, they remember that he was never home because he was so busy at “work” the 3 months prior to him leaving.

    Every time he tries to rewrite history and make himself out to be the victim in all of this (my kids made me do it — what a reason for an affair!) I realize that he is a severely damaged person and whatever I thought he was for 28 years was a mask. He has the emotional depth of divit in golf ball – unless it is about himself, in which case it is as wide and as deep as the Grand Canyon. He may be deeply in love with OWife, (and yes – that still hurt to hear) but his love is only as deep as he is capable of – which isn’t very deep at all.

    • He started cheating 2 months after buying our first home, on the day I found out the truth a year and a half later he said ‘you had the house and the kids and I just wanted something for myself’
      Freakin asshole, he plays the I’m so heart broken card now as he has no one and he’s not coming back.
      Kids 10&13 knew the truth straight away and I emailed his family the truth before he could spin them his bullshit.

    • Calmafterstorm – Your words are mine as well.

      “You had the kids in your life. It’s not good to be alone.” He had the kids in his life, too. And he made choices to spend his time elsewhere, long before he left.

  • My first cheater came back after a few years (Schmoopie Fest fizzled) and finally admitted everything.

    It was a trap!

    Remorse was just a tool – bait for the trap

    Luckily for me, an unintended consequence of Schmoopie Fest was extended No Contact so I was at Meh when he resurfaced, otherwise I might have fallen for the Naugahyde remorse.

    Not that I didn’t fall for a string of other wingnuts, but I digress…

  • Yeah. Mine told me that of course he wasn’t cheating! And was I ever insecure for thinking such a thing! Oh, buy the way – he wants a new, bigger truck to tow our camper so we can be safe camping. He wants me to cosign it. So I cosign and then he takes OW camping in our camper and new. He said he was taking our daughter camping. Then I figured out OW went, too. He’d moved in with her by this time, confirming that everything I suspected was true. Then I look back over the years and realize he was probably cheating when I was in the hospital giving birth, when I took our daughter out of state to my cousin’s funeral, on his lunch hour and bringing skanks to our house – the long black hair in the shower….the bobby pins….
    During divorce I wanted my name off the truck. He went all ballistic calling me names and being his usual nasty self because if he took my name off, his interest rate would go up and he was not losing that truck! So he refi’d the truck and the interest didn’t go up. So he hurled all that abuse at me for nothing – what a surprise.
    He wanted me to keep cars on the same insurance so he could keep getting a discount.
    Oh sure dummy. Abandon your family but we’ll keep things the same so you can continue to get discounts while you buy your 22 y.o. a big diamond ring and have a baby with her.
    He needs those discounts because diapers are expensive, you know. Yes, let me give you discounts while you screw me over. No
    When he wants his way it’s bully and threats. Our daughter finally realized what a jerk he is and doesn’t want to see him. Does he show any remorse or try to talk to her? No. He just takes it on on me dragging on the divorce and having his atty add in all kinds of language to a judgment that was already read before a judge 6 months ago with the agreement that the judgment could not be changed. The final signing has been postponed like 4 times now because opposing party won’t comply. They don’t know negotiation or empathy – it’s all bulldozing and posturing to ‘get their way.’ So he proves to his daughter that he is an asshole instead of being any kind of stand up individual. She told him she didn’t like what he did to us and she doesn’t like his girlfriend. He told her to go tell his girlfriend that she hated her. And then he brought her home at 2 a.m. without her bag because she ‘hurt his feelings.’
    Oh, yeah, that’ll make your daughter respect you and want to see you. Not
    I keep hearing something his dad said years ago: “He’s fast, but he’s not too bright.” (Fast on the motorcycle).
    I hope Crista got on her feet. I’m here alone with no family, too.
    Oh, stbx texted our daughter he was sorry, what more did she want?

    • Yup I hear ya! My 15 yo daughter doesn’t want to see her dad much either and he keeps foisting his schmoo on her, my daughter is frustrated beyond words cuz he doesn’t seem to hear a word she says. Actually she’s right he doesn’t listen to anything he doesn’t want to hear.

      And yup again on the legal cesspool. Instead of accepting responsibility for the damage he does to his relationship with his daughter he starts throwing the parental alienation card.

      • Oh my goodness – yes, playing the parental alienation card when he’s the one who left us, he’s the one who lied, etc., etc. We know the drill. It was ok when he alienated our daughter from me with his lies, but when I told the truth he freaked out saying how I turned her against him! The drama king was in full drama mode over that one. Hope your daughter is ok. Yes – frustrated because her dad doesn’t hear a word she says.

    • My ex’s father told me this about ex : “He is the most selfish person I know. Think caveman mentality. Woman, get me beer. Woman, wash dishes, etc.”

      Later, same ex fil told me (when he and exmil realized they would be stuck cleaning up expsycopaths drama and messes when if I left): “I can see the live between the two of you. You really have something here. You just need to cool the sexytime and make a contract with him so he will treat you better….”

      Yeah….sadly this is not a joke.

      • When people rationalize stuff it just comes out sounding crazy. 🙁
        My in-laws want to remain friends with me – but it was so weird seeing them at the baby shower at my husband’s house he rented with his girlfriend – all smiling. – yay! a new baby! In front of our daughter. Talk about confusing for her. I asked if she wanted to go visit them. She says, “NO.” Can’t blame her. The baby is probably a year old now. And we’re still not divorced because he keeps stalling – the final signing has been postponed 3 or 4 times now. Ugh.

  • The cheater has already come up with rationalizations and justifications of how what they are doing isn’t wrong or technically cheating. They are different. They are special. They really just want cake. A big, hug helping of cake. You are home base to which they can run away from to seek sparkly thrills. And can you please keep that baby from crying when they are home (this is what I got to endure).

    It really is as simple to ask yourself “Is this relationship, as it is, acceptable to me?” Is this how you picture the rest of your life? Always questioning him? I think us chumps think if we can get the cheater to see how what they’re doing is wrong, then we can fix it. The problem is, the cheater will never believe they are truly at fault. They had unmet needs and that was your fault. Will you ever be comfortable in your marriage again?

    You just need to step away from the cheater and their wants and their reasons. Unfortunately I think it takes no contact/gray rock to really step back and see. You need to seek your truth. What do you want?

    • My cheater is a champion of rationalization. At first I thought she was denying the affair because we’re in an at-fault state and her lawyer told her to, but we’re a year+ out from the divorce and she still denies everything. The closest I’m come to an admission was “nothing happened while we were still married” (which was kind of rich, considering we were still married when she said it), which I interpret as “At some point I decided the marriage was over. That’s when I started having an affair”. There is always some way they can interpret their circumstances, their morality, their life so that it wasn’t *really* cheating. It’s best not to worry about how and why, because you’re not going to recognize their reasons even if you they tell them to you.

  • One thing I wish I had understood back then is, the line between cheating and not cheating is not defined by whether genital contact did or did not occur.

    Let’s take Crista’s asshole as a case in point.

    He had a person in his life with whom he had countless hours of contact, a person who lived in the same town Crista was moving herself and her kids to, a person who worked at the workplace that motivated the move, and this asshole was contacting her regularly without informing Crista, who was far away and, though she was his partner, was not getting nearly as much of his attention.

    Why does it matter whether or not inappropriate physical contact occurred? 80% of his energy is outside the relationship. What if 80% of his energy was focused on… Oh, I don’t know… Maybe painting. So Crista can’t reach him as she tries to uproot her life and the lives of kids to move far away, when she does reach him he’s preoccupied, when she needs someone to talk to he’s not available, when she’s giving birth and dealing with complications he’s off painting somewhere, etc. Is that better than him being a douchebag because he’s having sex? Maybe, yes, but not by much.

    I am remarried. I would never have that kind of contact with anyone that my husband didn’t know about. It would be super weird to know someone that well and keep it a secret from him. It would take a lot of effort, and that wouldn’t even make sense. What would be the point unless I had something to hide?

    The friendship with the other lady is out of line because it strains the primary relationship. Basing its appropriateness on the presence of absence of genital sharing is splitting hairs to distract from the point. That is gaslighting, which is its own betrayal.

    • EXACTLY Amiisfree! “Why does it matter whether or not inappropriate physical contact occurred? 80% of his energy is outside the relationship.” <<<< That's the deal breaker right there, not whether they did the nasty. It's whether the relationship is inappropriate, not whether the physical contact is inappropriate. That's why an emotional affair is just as much a deal breaker as a physical affair.

      • This !

        My STBXH has never admitted to the physical adultery, and maintained the texts I found on his phone boasting about fucking the rat faced whore were just ”lad’s banter.” When she first moved into his flat, he insisted she slept on the sofa, and was there to help him with decorating and bills. That she was ”just a friend”, and I was paranoid because his friend ”happened to be a female.” Dear God, I still can’t believe I swallowed that shit !

        Reading his Form E, he’s even had the gall to describe the cunt as his ”tenant/lodger who pays him rent and half all bills.” Jesus. And that’s a declaration on an official form for the Court.

        I can’t figure out whether he actually *knows* he’s lying, or whether, as someone up there says, he’s created his own reality and believes it now.

        • Ah the “lads banter!” That hairy old excuse. One of the most crushing things you realise when you find CL & CN, is how unoriginal they all are. No exceptions (sigh).

      • Yes.
        I have zero caught-them-in-the-act proof or admittance that cheatery occurred.
        T’was the cumulative emotional-relational discard that broke me. The secrecy, manipulations, the sudden “need” for 4, 5, 6-hour conversations with OW (cheater previously barely used phone), the lying, the refusal to acknowledge my deteriorating physical and mental wellbeing, the diverting of our $ to OW, the isolating me from our friends + telling them that I was a controlling, angry *housemate*, the utter disruption to our domestic life, their overt sharing of romantic music – – iceberg, tip. Any and all these actions undermined/ eroded our relationship. The soul-wounding was done, regardless of if fucking also took place.

        • I love what you said here. So true! All the little actions that erode the relationship. The soul wounding. Yeah. That’s it exactly.

    • Yes. I have a similar post below. My ex only had two physical affairs that I know of, but I am realizing more and more just how many emotional affairs he had and they were all damaging to our relationship. Initially I was only concerned about the first one that very nearly went physical but was ended just in time. After that I was nervous every time he had a female friend. It made me so uncomfortable, but I never found any smoking guns. There were tender e-mails and declarations of “how wonderful it is to have a friend like you”, “I am so happy to have moved to the state you live in”, and “thank you for making this year so special”. I have reason to believe that those ones didn’t go physical, but those statements made to other women were still not appropriate. It is only now that I understand that those friendships pulled emotional intimacy out of our marriage and caused serious harm to our relationship. His mind was not focused on me or our kids and we became unimportant. He was also negatively comparing me to other women thereby breaking his vows to “honor and cherish”. I was bothered by all of these “friendships” at the time, but I didn’t want to be controlling and make a fuss over his having friends. I was such an idiot. In hindsight, the correlation between those emotional affairs and when he was being a jerk to me and the kids is so clear. When the first physical affair started, that’s when he really became a full time dick. When Schooopie 2.0 came along, he became a flaming dickwad turd.

  • The part about waiting for them rob”get it”.

    This.

    I’ve dreamt of being trapped in an elevator u til he got it.

    I need to stop wishing for it, stop praying for it.

    God granted a prayer of mine about my sister the other day, because He was able to.

    I don’t think God is able to bring a spirit of conviction on my ex husband, because my ex husband is unrepentant, and God is going to leave him to that.

    So I guess I’ll pray for something else to satisfy my need for that closure.

    • In my experience, Sunflower, even when they purport to “get it” they really don’t. Anyone who truly understands the magnitude of suffering their behavior caused would not DO THAT BEHAVIOR!! What thinking, feeling human being deliberately causes their loved ones to suffer? My ex and I did a “disclosure” with our therapists. He was given specific instructions that it was to be a factual account of what behaviors he had engaged in. He was not to, in any way, excuse or justify the behavior. He cried, and he apologized for the hurt and suffering he caused me and our children but he STILL had to add in that he had been “increasingly unhappy in the marriage” yada yada yada. No matter how bad he felt, still, at the base of it, he felt justified in seeking his own happiness with strippers and porn because the kids and I were simply not as important to him as he was. And what’s more, his remorse didn’t stop him from continuing to engage in those behaviors. The more time that passed, the more chances I gave him to show that he wanted to save our marriage and the more and more convinced he became that what he did was my fault. At the end, he said “maybe it wasn’t 50/50 but he sure wasn’t totally to blame for the end of the marriage.” Which I guess is technically true since I’m the one who filed. The only closure we Chumps find is that which we grant ourselves. We loved them, we did our best to make a good marriage and a happy family, we gave them every chance to do the same. THAT is your closure. We did our best. We loved them completely and truly. We tried and tried until the end. Walking away with your integrity intact and your head high. That’s closure.

      • Well, my integrity is lacking, and my head would only be held high out of rebellious defiance.

        But i did love him truly and I do feel I did my best before he told me what he did. It’s since then, I’ve let my shirttail hang out a bit too much.

        Sigh.

        • I’m not sure why you believe your integrity is lacking, Sunflower. I see integrity shining all through your posts here. I think you’re being too hard on yourself. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with rebellious defiance – in fact it is incredibly mighty! You hold your head up high and know you have great worth.

        • Good for you! I’m with Beth–you left the cheater to honor your values. That allows you to hold your head high, with rebellion or not (as you choose).

  • My XW is denying the shit out of everything, and during the divorce protected herself by going mental every time I reached out or met with anyone beyond her control. After the divorce it is obvious that Schmoopie has moved in and is living there whenever the kids are with me (50/50 custody).

    So this weekend I told the kids. XW and Schmoopie have a relationsship. XW and Schmoopie saw each other in secret when we were still married. I am not keeping her secrets any longer. And I confronted her, by asking if she planned to bring her boyfriend to a family event. She pretended not to understand who I was talking about. I said THE GUY YOU CHEATED ON ME WITH.

    But still she is denying everything. I really boggles my mind how she just keep on lying about the obvious. Sooner or later she will have to tell the kids that her “good friend” is her new love, and they are not stupid.

  • Chump lady is exactly right. Your meh will come. It may be awhile but you sweet warrior woman will get it you must let go. I was in a similar situation and I am just javing my meh. Let the lawyer do their thing to make sure your financially set and you be good to yourself. The sun will shine again even more brightly. Believe it!! No contact is tje best advice you will ever get and know. Took me awhile bit thats when meh comes to you.

  • I really needed this today. I have been desperate for closure. Desperate for him to be accountable for all the horrible things he put me, my son, and his daughter through. He never will, to admit to it would shatter his fragile ego (can you say narc?). I have to find my own closure. I have to move on. It’s been a year and a half since I kicked him out and a year since the divorce was final. Everyday gets better but I still stumble here and there. This column gives me reassurance that I am doing the right thing. Thank you Chump Lady.

  • **He claims she slept on the couch. Sure, because that’s what adults who have been having inappropriate contact for months do.** LOL – this was my experience too! After being ratted out by the AP’s friends that she spent the night with him, she admitted it….but she claimed there was no sex. The guy said the same thing. (Rehearsed much?) This was a clear signal to me to leave her and “gain a life” elsewhere, but I was young and stupid and fell for it. Six mos. later was the real D-day and from then on it was NC forever. Ah, what a relief it is!

    • This ‘sleeping on the couch’ thing-that alone shows who he is-he should have said, “I slept on the couch”. Isn’t that what good, kind, gallant, generous, honest, gentlemen would do?

  • My gut was screaming at me towards the end but I didn’t understand it. Like it was in a different language. Somethings going on here but I don’t know what.

    I remember the night I went into labor. I was very excited. I realize now that his strange behavior was dread and anxiety. He was sleeping in the basement at this point because of “allergies.” I told him I think it might be happening tonight. It was my second so I had a beMy gut was screaming at me towards the end but I didn’t understand it. Like it was in a different language. Somethings going on here but I don’t know what.

    I remember the day I went into labor obviously. I was very excited. I realize now that his strange behavior was dread and anxiety. He was sleeping in the basement at this point because of “allergies.” I told him I think it might be happening tonight. It was my second so I had a better idea of what labor felt like. He said, text me the progress and I’ll start getting ready. I went to bed and couldn’t sleep. I texted a few times. I called him and no answer. I start getting ready. I go to basement and wake him up. I’m pissed he wasn’t answering or concerned about me at all. I think my gut is worried he’s been drinking and is passed out when I need to be getting to the hospital. He grudgingly gets ready. He fucking takes a long ass shower!!!! (Probably to text ow ) I’m laboring on the couch, waiting and making arrangements for my parents to watch our other daughter. He comes out sits down and I yell at him, “what the fuck is wrong with you?! Why are you being so cold?” He responds in a cold robotic voice. “How should I be?” or something stupid cause it should be obvious what the husband of a laboring wife should be. I wanted to have a happy easy delivery so I dismiss all of this behavior. He holds my hand limply as I give birth to our daughter. He doesn’t kiss me after she’s here. He later asked me after Dday if I noticed there was no kiss. I didn’t notice but I did just have a baby on little to no sleep after cleaning the house all day. I’m excited about the baby. I’m giving him a free pass on all behavior because I wanted to be happy. Why didn’t he kiss me after all the hard work I did for 9 months? Why should I be kissing him? I should be the pissed off one. B/c in his mind his affair is my fault. I didn’t pay attention to him. Me not kissing him proves it all. He had already unbeknownst to me, cheated with 2 Ashley Madison women and an ex g/f before current ow but he’s still pissed I wasn’t a good wife and partner. It’s fucking insane!
    Men who could do this to their pregnant wives are the lowest scum of the earth. What a prize the other woman has “won.”

      • Gah, I sure botched that post up. Yes he has been my ex husband for a little over a year. I was so naive.

    • The disordered are “checked out.” Looking back at our long marriage, I am able to see this clearly now. When Fucktard was physically present he was often intimately and mentally absent, but for the majority of the marriage he was off doing his own thing. There were moments he’d show up but for the most part he could not be consistently present. My parents would often come up to visit us, taking time off work (unpaid), and he would have “forgotten” to schedule time off work (he was a very well paid State worker). I remember how hard it was to get him to participate in birthday celebrations. He seemed always to have plans that didn’t include us, often choosing to work late or spend time at the club. When our daughter’s birthday fell on a day in the middle of the week we decided to celebrate it on that day with a small cake. So we sat down to a special dinner at home and then waited and waited for her father to show up. He didn’t get home till well past nine and never even got her a present on his own. Cheaters are wired wrong. What makes me angry is that these imbeciles marry and waste all the beauty and beautiful moments life provides. Everything good is difficult for them (babies, holidays, a new house, moving) and they will always fuck it up. One Christmas our family spent hours looking for a tree on one of those huge cut it yourself tree farms. Each of the kids found trees that were perfectly fine but Fucktard spent that day stomping around and around, finding fault with each perfect tree, and hurting us all with behavior that didn’t make sense. One after another was shot down as not being good enough until, of course! He found “the one.” Looking back, his need to be central stole the joy from what should have been good times 😂. Over and over again. MEMEME, right? By that time, we were all frustrated, disappointed, bewildered, and exhausted by his crap behavior and what should have been a good time was ruined. The kids and I celebrate holidays together now and realize we are so much better off without the disordered.

      • “His need to be central stole all the joy from what should have been good times”. That nails it right there—X did usually make the effort to be involved when the kids were little, but usually wound up making them miserable. Then he’d go on like a martyr about how his family doesn’t appreciate him. I could never really put my finger on what went wrong, but it was exactly this. He saw the kids as competition for the spotlight, and psychologically fought them tooth and nail for it.

      • I’am so sorry Drew.
        I was thinking much the same thing myself about life’s most beautiful, precious moments. They mean only one thing to a narc type character, but to a Chump they mean the world. We get pretty good at masking and making things as good and as special as we can for our Children and other loved ones, but sometimes it just gets exhausting and overwhelming.
        It is so hard to deal with sad times alone too, really hard.
        I understand, and I send you hugs.
        You are so deserving of spending happy times now with your kids!
        I wish you many beautiful Christmas trees.

    • I had that happen to me with two different husbands on the last child I had with both.

      The first husband begrudgingly held my hand. I had a home birth, early in the morning, my then husband was a full time student. I had her around 7 a.m. and by 8 a.m. he was going to class. Even my midwife couldn’t believe it.

      I had a friend pick up two of my pre-school children, my 5 year old son stayed home with me while our oldest daughter went to school… and I was home alone with a newborn and my 5 year old son. My son, was the sweetest, “I’ll keep the cartoons quiet so you can rest, mama….” and my husband was too busy going to class.

      He wasn’t the cheater, he was the beater… and a narc to the nth degree.

      The second husband began to devalue me when our 3rd child (DD7) was another girl and I failed to deliver him a living son. He did the same, limp, hand hold and the begrudging dragging of his feet. In hindsight, I wished I’d had him kicked out of the room. I could have kicked him in the head with his moping.

      Gah!

        • Well, I managed to keep my head… sort of.

          But really. My ovaries aged out. He didn’t want another kid unless it was going to be a boy and she wasn’t. He swears and declares it’s not true, but it is.

          And now he’s got a new, younger baby mama, who just gave him another girl….at the ripe old age of 49!

          • It’s my understanding that the male’s sperm decides the child’s gender at conception. So HE was the reason he wasn’t having boys! Idiot.

          • Just for the record: the Ys are the sprinters, the Xes are the marathoners. So if you want a boy you want deeper penetration at the moment of ejaculation. I read this in a book called Confessions of a Gynecologist that I bought on the sly when I was twelve, thinking it was going to be titillating. It turned out to be incredibly educational. (It also taught me that nobody has pretty genitals, which was a great relief to me.) I realize this is totally beside the point but just thought I’d share it. Mainly I just want to say Thank You Chump Nation! This evening you have once again lifted my spirits and made me feel less alone. Coming here works every time.

    • When I think my asshole wins the prize, one like yours comes along. I actually felt sick reading your story. I hope your are doing well and 100% cheater-free.

  • Trying to get accountability from a cheater is a fool’s errand.

    After finding his handwritten notes preparing for his sexual harassment hearing for the affair with gradwhore, mine claimed, “It was just kissing.”

    Evidence of at least 3 affairs, numerous on-line dating sites, conference hookups, etc., he still claims that I was largely responsible for the downfall of the marriage. SMH.

    The first stage of healing is when you stop caring what the cheater says or thinks. You cannot get to Boardwalk without that step.

    • I think of trying to get the types of partners described here to admit to lying, quit lying, and truly repent is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone. I have foolishly tried to squeeze blood from a stone for years. Way past time to admit the stone is an unfeeling stone, at least toward me, and invest my energy and money elsewhere.

      • Exactly, RSW. While you are trying to squeeze blood from that stone, little nuggets of gold are floating past you in the stream (not that the nuggets have to be other romantic opportunities, but rather aspects of a more fulfilling life). Hugs.

        • Thanks, Tempest. I agree. No point in literally or figuratively throwing good money after bad. It helps to realize that several of my exes felt no love for me when they left–and probably never felt love for me. I could not have ‘won’ them. I am an incredibly slow learner!

  • The thousands of text messages and phone calls were my first proof then I became my own PI and busted them numerous times. When he took her to a VERY expensive hotel for Thanksgiving weekend he swears they didn’t lay in bed and cuddle or share a room….right…
    Trust they suck and even if he did try to tell you the truth would it really be the truth? I have noticed that narc cheater doesn’t know how to tell the truth anymore…he has lied everyday for the past year it has become a habit to him. Move on.

  • So much THIS! My asshat actually said to me, after I hired a PI, after only two months into our new marriage, he was caught at a hotel room, overnight—12 hours together, said “Well, I saw your PI; he isn’t very good at his job.” Seriously?!? No remorse for the anxiety, sleepless night of knowing he was with another woman (my PI kept me informed all night and slept in his car to catch them leaving in morning and get photos) and No remorse that he was doing this to Me—his new wife—a widow who had PTSD from her LH shooting himself in front of her just less than two years prior—-Nope…. all he had to say to me was “Well, I saw him. Not that great at his job.” Well, apparently photos of you leaving with your mistress is not being great at being a PI. WTAF???

  • Some admit it, if they see doing so as in their self interest at the time. And that self-interest May be to get out of an uncomfortable discussion, or to quickly bite the bullet and go for divorce (only to renege the next day).

    But otherwise, no. And don’t expect it.

    This is a tough lesson, but worth learning. Chumps live in a truth-based world. We value facts and place importance on their inherent definition.

    Cheaters don’t place the same definition or value on facts. Their truth is situational, depending on what serves their needs.

    My XW never admitted anything that she thought I hadn’t seen with my own eyes. These were often split-second decisions on her part–what to tell and what to hide. Those late-night calls and texts are all too familiar. “We NEED to text late at night for our jobs!!”

    Yes, and I “need” you as a wife like I “need” sunburn behind the knees.

  • Liars gonna lie. It’s what they do.

    My biological dad recently relapsed back into an addiction with a particularly nasty substance. When I confronted him about it he lied, and lied, and lied some more before he finally admitted to it. Then 3 days later he was back to the lie that he is perfectly clean and sober, despite having JUST admitted his continued use. He is so deeply entrenched in lying to cover his tracks that truth-telling is an unnatural state of being. He somehow believes in the magic of lies to shape reality and erase knowledge of the truth. Cheaters cling to the same fallacy that they can control the narrative if they just dig in deeper and deeper. I find this fascinating from an academic standpoint and appalling from a personal one.

    I hope Crista held strong.

    • Drug addicts and alcoholics usually become compulsive liars, can’t help themselves. People that lie pathologically will lie about anything and everything, it is not natural to tell the truth, even with when there is absolutely no need to lie.

  • Here you have a typical case of an entitled prick hell bent on preserving his image. He’ll deny you the truth of your own reality; creating scenarios defendable by plausible deniability (“I slept on the couch”)

    Then he can pass the buck (blame) as if the outcome is your responsibility (“you are quitting on our family”). This enables him to stay clean and denounce responsibility for the consequences … a.k.a. it’s not my behavior that’s the problem, it’s your response to it.

    Manipulators and liars take advantage of empathy. They use it as a tool so that a victim’s will is turned against itself; they are made to believe that at every moment there is something they could do to escape the pain (admit they are mistaken) and that becomes itself part of the torture. If only you could see that they are just friends and drop this nonsense, you could work on this. This of course has the effect of implying that maybe they really do care. If they really do care, maybe you are wrong. Maybe he really did sleep on the couch. Maybe ….

    People who care about you don’t use deniability to persecute your hurt. We aren’t talking about some minor oversight, like they forgot to pick up milk on their way home from work. We are talking about the foundation of marital vows. Oops, I forgot I wasn’t supposed to sleep with other people” isn’t the same as “I forgot to pick up milk on my way home – get over it!”

    • ^^”entitled prick hell bent on protecting his image”
      This is it – all summed up.

      They are masters in muddying the waters with plausible deniability after they get caught.
      And like you said, then they blame with “reasons” when all else fails. Their “reasons” are contradictions and incriminating because nothing is grounded in reality.

      Narcs in summary: I didn’t do anything. And if I did, then it’s your fault for making me do it. You’re imagining things. You overreacted to what I did. But i didn’t do it.

  • Besides for reasons of image management, cluster Bs usually live in their “own reality”.
    They are the type who constantly rewrite history and the old adage “if you tell yourself a lie enough times you will end up believing it”.

    My Ex of course was a master at this. Even though she was cheating on me with 3 guys at Dday and she filed divorce so that she could marry OM #3, the story is now that I left and abandoned HER and she met and started dating him after we were divorced. Of course he moved in with her and the kids the week after I moved out but that’s all a vicious lie.
    Another example is Ex’s birth father is a cluster B from Hell and he is a major reason why my Ex is the way she is. When I married the Ex, he (who has plenty of money) refused to pay a dime, said weddings were stupid, he wasn’t coming, etc. Now my Ex’s much younger half sister got married and he threw her a huge wedding and told my kids that he paid for everything for our wedding 20 years ago.
    When my son repeated the truth, he got red faced and yelled and said “that’s a lie”. I later showed my kids the cancelled checks (I kept them because it so pissed me off at the time and knew he would eventually pull this) and told them to smile but never believe a word he says.

    Life lesson for the day “Never ever believe a word a cluster B says without verifying it” !!

    • They are a level of selfish self-centeredness that doesn’t make sense to a sane person. That should be in some sort of psychological clinical study report.

      Once you realize how f’ed up they are it makes it easier to walk away.

    • Months after DDay, my Dear Daughter, a Senior in college, mentioned that her Grandmother (My ex-MIL) claimed that she had paid for her college the first two years. WTF?!? Dick must have told her that he needed a loan for that, not to pay his damn taxes. OR ex-MIL, also a narc, made it up in her senile old mind. I showed DD the cancelled checks that I paid her tuition and even hand delivered it to the Bursar’s office. Daughter was unsure whom to believe, as either way, someone dear to her was lying, either her Mother or her Grandmother. Didn’t get that it was her FATHER that was lying. Oh, the lies go on and on.

  • “quit on the family”. You are literally giving birth to the family.

    They want it all. If it means anything to you, even when they finally do admit it they get annoyed that you just won’t get over it. ‘Who cares that I’ve been swapping bodily fluids with another person and then you right after for half a year!”

    They are disordered selfish scum and not worth waste your life on. Just keep telling yourself that your life will be better. Because it will be. The peace and quiet of no longer having to deal with their BS and drama feels so good.

  • CL’s right. Even if you get an admission, you’ll rarely get an apology. And even if you did, it would undoubtedly include a list of all of your shortcomings and how you forced them into their affair. In fact, you’ll probably get blamed anyway whether there’s an admission or an apology, or not.

    The guy in Crista’s story is obviously a piece of shit and a coward. He needs to look up the term “gaslighting.” I hope Crista moved on from that, because there’s absolutely nothing there to salvage.

  • Here’s a fast track to meh that worked for me and might for others:

    Picture your favorite badass character. Mine are Sharon Stone and Clint Eastwood lol

    Picture yourself as that character when being fed a line of shit from a sniveling coward and liar or even thinking about it.

    The curled lip, slightly narrowed eyes. Yeah badasses don’t buy bullshit and they don’t need cowards to confirm that’s what it is.

    They just know and deal with it accordingly.

    Be the baddest badass in your mind and you might find it easier to shrug it off when the clowns are juggling their bullshit balls.

  • Thank you for rerunning this column.

    I think we’d like to believe that, once confronted, the Cheater will admit the affair,but nope, it doesn’t happen. Heck, in my case, we’d officially divorced and he still wouldn’t admit that he was sneaking off with Schmoopie.

    They announced their engagement within days of the decree. I was still stuck in the marital home while awaiting the settlement. CheaterX was in the habit of telling me where he was going or that he’d be out of town. I’d been seeing the flyers on “your Disney vacation” come into the house for a couple of months. It was clear that he was taking Schmoopie to Disney World. He told me that he was going to be out of town over the holidays for an academic conference (he was pursuing an online degree and his cohort had to meet about twice a year). I shrugged, as I was largely Gray Rock in order to stay sane.

    I went on my holidays. He went on his. Schmoopie posted pictures of their vacation on Facebook.

    When CheaterX arrived back home, I asked him how his vacation with Schmoopie went. He denied he’d been seeing her at all.

    This made no sense. We were officially divorced. He could see anyone he wanted to see. He could admit the truth.

    But he didn’t because he’s a cheater. Cheaters lie even when they have no reason to lie. You learn that they can’t give the truth.

  • It doesn’t matter if he actually had a physical affair or not. He was still cheating on his wife and he still abandoned his family. He was present for this other woman and not for his wife and kids. He put a stranger higher on his priority list than his family. He is a terrible person even if schmoopie did sleep on the couch (yeah right).

    Emotional affairs matter. They are still affairs and they do irreparable harm to marriages whether they go physical or not. They cause spouses to focus on someone outside of the family which will inevitably create distance and tension with the primary partner. I am discovering more and more just how many emotional affairs ex had and I am responsible for allowing those to happen because I was stupid. They didn’t go physical until the end, but I am sure now that he thought about it with every one. It just took a while for him to get up the nerve. I didn’t see the harm in his having female friends, but every one of those “friendships” was another nail in the coffin of our marriage. I was so naïve.

  • You know when you read of a celeb relationship that has fallen apart and you’re in shock, like no? No way? As if you knew them on some personal level? Well that feeling along with my own delusion and wanting so badly to believe the lies is where I’m at. I would look at his body language and verbal language and majorly knew it didn’t match up and the defensive bs and attack on me as if I was a terrible person and “I ” had indeed instigated trouble somehow? I was at fault?

    I won’t ramble on. Just breaks my heart reading about the cycle, their traits, the same old same old, yet I AM, OR WAS THE OTHER WOMAN, AKA DUMB ASS and it was inevitable that it TOO WOULD HAPPEN TO ME. . . YUP THE OLD ADAGE, “ONCE A CHEATER ALWAYS A CHEATER” IS TRUE. . . Even if you don’t believe it initially, you’re told repeatedly you’re the only one ever, my one true love. . . Yup, sadly history repeats. And be it your story of being a young mum with little ones or my own which btw we knew each other for over thirty years and still it happened. . Time isn’t the anchor. . The dead weight is them, their bs repeated ways and the given that they’ll continue on regardless of what you do to help or hinder their ways. . So sad. . Sadly defeated here but wanting to warn others also. And just wish I had listened and not wasted my life away . . . LISTEN DAMN IT, LISTEN!!!!

    • If you were the OW, you don’t belong here. How **dare** you come here and pretend you’re in the same position as *real* chumps. Fuck off, you entitled, skank *whore*. I hope you die alone and in screaming agony.

      • Actually I don’t mind hearing from her. It would be nice to hear some remorse for having interfered in somebody else’s relationship, but at least she is now realizing that she didn’t win the prize. It is reaffirming to us to know that in fact the OWs are not special and that it isn’t just something wrong with us that caused our cheaters to cheat. It is good to know that those who are playing with fire do in fact get burned and recognize how stupid they were to have ever engaged with somebody else’s parter or believed that somehow the original faithful partner was to blame for the cheater’s unhappiness. At least she gets that much even if she won’t admit to her own suckitude in having encouraged some asshole’s entitlement attitude . I know we hear these kinds of karma stories from our fellow chumps too, but it is sometimes good to hear it directly from the OW who isn’t just basking in the glory of karma hitting someone who has wronged us. No, asshole won’t treat Schmoopie any better in the long run.

    • Don’t really care about you wasting your life away ALREADY – same as you did’nt care about the woman you hurt by fucking her husband or their kids – if they had any. I’m glad that the karma bus gave you a small dose of the pain you helped cause another – you bought and paid for that.

      But it is LOVELY to hear how that turned out for you … that made me smile ! So thanks for brightening my day and re affirming for me that OW/OM whores are nothing special and cheaters are predictable !

  • “His response is that I want him to “admit to something he didn’t do” and that “I did nothing wrong.” ” I think the latter phrase is the more telling and accurate one. He had an affair and he’s been lying to you and He Doesn’t Think It’s Wrong. If he’s a sociopath (and people who always have to be right and always have to win usually are) he thinks he’s So Special and his situation is SO UNIQUE. He had an affair while you were pregnant with two littles at home? He’s a fricken cliche–and I hope you told him that. I hope the OP and her kids are doing better, where ever she is…

    • Oh wow! Nail on the head! Mine hit me recently, with the lame line about all being fair in love and war….that’s why he had no conscience about lying to me during wreckoncilition, and lying to me in custody mediation! He reveals so much of his crazy in every one of his current ramblings that have nothing to do w/ kid logistics. Distance has served me well.

  • I still struggle with this to this day. His affair was 30 years ago. I left 24 years ago! I still wonder if there were others and if he cheated throughout our entire marriage. I suspect he got our babysitter pregnant. Suspect anonymous sex with men. I never even asked him about the BS or the men because I knew he would never admit to it! Eventually I came to terms with the fact that I would never know for sure. He would only admit to what I had irrefutable proof of. This torture is what hurt the most and what finally convinced me to leave. Mostly now I simply trust that he sucks!

  • Have gotten to place after one year since DDay, that I accept I loves and cared for Fuckwit pre 2017 when the affair started. But do not like nor want to have anything to do with him post 2017. This allows me to preserve the memories of my son’s childhood with him present and the good times we had and not destroy everything he touched or we mutually owner including pictures. I am ok with that compartmentalization. Post 2017, I don’t know that man-he is a stranger. The atrocity of Crista’s story is so unbelievably sad. I just don’t get it and hope I never will.

  • After fuckwit’s initial abandonment he was back at the house a few times for the final clean out and sale prep. The last time he came our adult daughters were there to remove things they hadn’t taken with them to college. We all went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch, and it is the last time we ever sat together as a family.

    Opening our fortune cookies, mine and my daughters’ read things like, “you are a deeply sensitive person” and “trust your instincts” and “now is the time to support a loved one.” Incredible.

    His said, “A half truth is a whole lie.” I shit you not. The family women let out a collective gasp.

    Fuckwit’s face got very red. He hid his face in his jacket for several very uncomfortable seconds while we wondered what was going to happen. Was he going to cry? Rage? Suffocate?

    He finally put the jacket down and it too-loud-for-lunch, angry voice he said, “THERE IS NO ONE ELSE!” I thought he was going to start screaming and throwing chairs.

    This was before I knew there was anyone else. That confirmation was just a month away from this lunch but at the time his crazy over-reaction made it clear that yes, indeed, there was someone else. When proof came it was in the form of a 25YO co-worker, our oldest daughter’s age. To this day he continues to lie about it even though he left the country to go live with her in Europe. Lie, lie, lie.

    He is a colossal POS and he will never tell the truth. I am working on accepting that I will never know the whole truth and accepting that it has to be OK. My daughters know what he is, too.

    • OMG!! This is sitcom irony! I’d like to say it’s funny, but it’s like watching someone fall on ice. You want to make sure they are okay before you laugh hysterically.

      So Now I.C., are you okay? Is it okay to double over laughing with tears streaming down my face? What a fucker he is.

      And BTW, Dr. Cheaterpants left for DD14’s 20-something asst sports coach in our kids’ Catholic High School while he was volunteer coaching (they both got fired). These 2 fuckwits are still together. Both pissed off she’s been banned from the school and shunned by parents, priests, teachers, athletes, students. Why they really do think they are that special. And you know, they may not have bumped uglies until I threw him out (according to him). The expensive dinners, trips overseas, constant texting was because they were friends and he was miserable.

      DD was trying to reach him for an emergency this past weekend and couldn’t. She said he’s probably at church. Damn, hope he’s not getting singed by the Holy water or communion wafer 🙂

      So not laughing at ya, but with ya. If you believe this bullshit, I’ve got a bridge I can sell ya.

      • twice, you rock!

        At the time of the lunch it was terrifying. He completely lost his shit. The more time that has passed, and especially time away from him and moving forward for myself it seems clear that there is a higher force at work here. The fortune cookie incident was before I found CL and before I found my strength to see him as perpetually sucking. The episode hasn’t struck me as funny yet but maybe one day it will as he continues his cartoonishly stupid life as the old goat chasing young ass. And denying it every step of the way of course. I have to radically accept that he is a liar, first and foremost.

        The elder daughter had a brief text exchange with him last week where he said he was having weird dreams that included him trying to find our youngest daughter, back in the old neighborhood where he had grown up. He was back in childhood but was trying to find his own daughter, and he couldn’t catch up to her. He told the eldest that he has been very mentally scrambled since he left the country. All I could think was, “Good. Suffer, you fucking miserable fucking moron.” I hope he feels bad every single day and it eats him away inside. He was never one of those outwardly horrible narc sociopaths, always a covert narc. And a wimp with super sensitive tender feelings (all about him, not empathy for others).

        So it must be hard on him to not be adored by his daughters anymore, something he took so completely for granted. He blames me for it but it still has to feel bad that he doesn’t get to be Daddy Do No Wrong any more. I am cheering for his destruction, so not meh. I don’t beat myself up for my hateful feelings, he hated me for years and lied to me every day.

    • Now I.C., why do you want to know the truth? It will only make you cringe in shame and hurt you. You should know enough just to get a good settlement.

      What your really need to know even the fortune cookies know (what a story, BTW). That you have to get rid of a person who took advantage of you and disrespected you and lied to you for years. It is awful and hurts as it is. But he is poison.

      I could not care less how many affairs there were, who knew. 40 years down the sewage, but I do not want to know the details.

      • Yeah, see, we are all done. I got more than half in the settlement, so no issues there. All that is over and I know he is a total POS and I am glad he is gone. Still angry.

        Sudden abandonment with an e-mail toodle-loo to me was a year ago, Chinese lunch 10 months ago, divorce final 5 months ago. I am working through the grief of losing a 28 year marriage still.

        It is the same anger as the original OP; that he simply will never tell the truth. And he blames me instead of admitting that he chose this.

        Must be my lying eyes.

        One day it will be my Tuesday and I will be laughing at the circus his life has become and I will cuddle a newborn grand baby that he only will hear about via texts from his alienated daughters. I am certain I will never feel bad for him that he destroyed his life, but I will settle for a state of meh.

    • Any time you catch him in a lie (if you ever need to interact with him), just quote that fortune cookie back to him: “a half truth is a whole lie”

  • My stupidassdickhead told our pastor made up stories. Pastor walked up to me in front of a whole congregationat a thanksgiving at someone’s home just before the service started. Tells me all about the dickhead telling him we are living apart. Pastor wants me to make an appointment so we can hold talks on wreckonciliation! We have been apart for 10 $#@& months. I have information that he is living with woman and child. (His?) perhaps. I have no idea nor do I @$#& care.
    When does the torture stop??? When???
    This happened last Sunday. When do we get to have our PEACE!
    I’m really having a field day today!

  • Crista, I’m so sorry you are going thru this! He is a twisted monster. The sad truth is he would have told you about the affair, but not until he was certain he had set everything up with the ow. My husband did the same thing. He took a job out of town. I knew something was up for a few weeks which he denied. He was just waiting for the ow to make the first move with her husband, which she did. Then he totally blind sighted me. He did the whole future faking thing, even in front of his own kid who is plenty old enough to be well aware of what he did. It was incredibly emotionally traumatic and damaging to everyone involved. And it was intentional. He admitted it to me. He is a sick bastard. They all are.
    I hope your lawyer rips him a new one. Tell your lawyer everything. It is all abuse. I only wish these bastards could be sued for fraud. I have noticed they tend to move their families *knowing* what they intend to do. You are a strong woman. Please keep fighting for you and your kids.

    • Your reference to moving families really got me thinking. When we moved cross country ex claimed it was because he missed his homes state, wanted to be closer to family and it would be better for the family etc. Now I think it was because he had a crush on an old acquaintance with whom he had started to correspond shortly before he announced that he wanted to move. Chumpy me took a job in the new state so we could move and he could be happy. Once we moved, the emotional affair with that woman intensified and he really started to treat me badly. Eventually that relationship tapered off and things got better for a while until he found physical affair Schmoopie 1.0 and he became an even bigger dickwad than before. Things continued to spiral down hill as that relationship progressed and was quickly replaced with Schmoopie 2.0. He eventually left for Schmoopie 2.0 and it is actually much more peaceful in the house these days.

    • “I have noticed they tend to move their families *knowing* what they intend to do.”

      There seems to be a theme here with transitions such as moving, a new baby, or buying a new house and affairs in their wake. For me, my ex started her affair with a married co-worker two months after we bought our dream home (that I am now paying entirely for and trying sell as she stays rent free with her mom–and yet she is entitled to 50% of the equity!!).

      I wonder if Chump Lady has noticed this theme of transitions and affairs?

      • Yep. I got this too. XW moved ahead of the family for a new job; I followed with the kids 6 months later and she dumped me 8 weeks after arrival. I think it was a combination of the extra space allowing her to ramp up the affair, and also her realizing that moving hadn’t filled the hole in her soul, so she decided to jettison another part of her life (her husband of 17 years) to see if that would fix it. Post divorce she is stressed and unhappy, perpetually angry and looking progressively less healthy, so perhaps in the end the problem with her life wasn’t me, or her old job, or our old hometown, after all. At some point, when you’ve changed everything else in your life except you and you are still angry with the world … maybe the problem actually is *you*.

    • My husband did the exact same thing to me. I was totally blindsided. I have no idea how long his affair with a younger coworker has been going on. I cant believe she would leave her husband and 2 small children to be with mine. Just sick. Please tell me it gets better with time. Thank u.

      • It gets better – when I know my worth and value myself and refuse to put up with crap from the shitheads.

  • He won’t admit to cheating becaue it doesn’t fit his image and narrative of being the good guy, and he can always blame the breakup of the family on you; you know, cause you won’t put up with dishonest and shady behavior…and he was doing ‘nothing wrong,’ and you were delusional due to your post-partum…
    Fuck him! I hope you gained an awesome life w/o him, sister!

  • Seriously, these monsters should be sued for fraud. In any other circumstance it would be applicable. Hitting them in their wallet is the only thing that makes them think twice about their behavior.

    • I hit him in the wallet, trying to save myself from xh and ow’s plan to have me “just go away”.

      Their plan included me – (at bomb drop) simply signing over and leaving my home to XH. My children would simply live there with him, AND it included me agreeing to go up to the church and “go with” a Catholic annulment proceeding; re: LIE to a Catholic tribunal.

      All so he could marry the OW at the alter of God. He was absolutely FURIOUS that I would not sign over the house and agree to the church thing.

      He was absolutely incredulous that I refused. He then IMMEDIATELY started threatening to force a fire sale of our “dream home” and forcing me to take a $60,000 negative equity bill. He had a smirk on his face when he said I was going to do as he suggested “or else”.

      Two weeks later, the mortgage company sent letters addressed to the both of us, explaining that, no, my husband could simply NOT write me off the mortgage and deed to the property. He would have to refinance AND show a clear title for the property. I still have the letter.

      He was actually trying to force me to give him the house. In his “kitchen table” type of divorce. I’m supposed to “help” him recover a relationship with his daughters after this?

      WHO the actual *(&(#*&$( would think that shit would fly?

      • Whoops, sorry for the vent, but my point actually was – I think the OW is going to hit his belt A LOT harder than even I could after 30 years together.

        It is going to be a yellow colored karma bus kind of day. I hope I never hear or know about it first hand, but it will be justice when his leftover $$$ is picked clean from his wallet.

        • Magneto i hear ya! The woman he is with now is coldblooded. She is a pro. Good luck with that!

      • How dare you not agree to his “plan” that totally screws you over and leaves you with nothing ??

        He obviously doesn’t know how the law and mortgages work. He also doesn’t know how annulments work either. FYI make sure that the diocese has your up to date address since if he applies for an annulment you would be “the respondent” and have a right to say your side of things (especially if you are Catholic as well). Also if you ever wanted to get an annulment, “adequate maturity on the part of the spouse to understand the seriousness of lifelong commitment” are grounds for annulment and you absolutely have that.

      • I’ll bet the part the pisses you off the most is that he actually thought you were that stupid. Glad you set him straight on that account. What an idiot. She’s an even bigger idiot for wanting him. How can she witness that and not recognize what an asshole (prize not) he is?

  • I hope Crista divorced this abusive, gaslighting nut job. I hope she moved the kids to be near people who love and support her. I hope she has learned to have concepts like “manipulation,” “gaslighting” and “devaluing” at hand when she is confronted with a disordered person in action.

  • This reminds me of my counsellor after DDay#1. She said you know what is going on why do you need proof. I just felt I couldn’t blow up a 30 year marriage without it( never mind he was the one blowing up the marriage by cheating with our friend) I went on to hire a PI that didn’t catch him and pick me dancing after his proposal of remarriage for 4 years–long enough for him to quit working full time, then quit working all together and steal our life savings. I should have listened to my awesome counsellor. She helped me get through DDay#2 and subsequent horror show of stalking, cptsd, anxiety, depression, and finally divorce. I love my counsellor.

  • I got the “Quitting on family” thing too. I still do sometimes if I end up in an argument due to kid scheduling, etc. We have 3 small kids together and, surprise…he often cancels or reschedules last minute and only takes our 3 toddlers for about 6-8 hours a week total (even though he agreed in divorce papers to 2-3 nights per week—-also had to garnish his wages for support as he never ever paid, using a revolving door of poor-him excuses). Of course he still tries to come across as super dad on social media. When I give him any pushback about the changes, I get “you’re just going to have to deal with it. I’m not the one who chose to end our marriage. I didn’t quit on the family!” (I try my hardest to ignore him but sometimes I take the bait and remind him of the cheating, lying, gaslighting, prostitutes, etc. It never helps, but sometimes I can’t help but defend myself. I will learn one day!!)

    Anyway, I am amazed out how often on this site I am reminded of just how textbook and predictable these crazy narc cheaters all are!!!

    • Never let them rewrite history !!
      Reminding them of the truth angers them and doesn’t SEEM to help but long term it does. I did the same with my Ex and now years later she knows better than to try to rewrite history to my face because I will respond with the truth no matter who is around and can hear (this messes up their impression management and they hate it). The truth of their shitty actions being made public to a cluster B is like garlic to a vampire.

  • My cheating X husband lied to me for years with the affair with the Owhore. I was in denial for awhile terrified of finding out the truth.

    When I found them together at whores home I knew I had enough. Only then did he admit it. He is a coward & narcissist. I asked him while I was devastated why didn’t you just leave instead of putting me through all of this?

    His answer was “I had patience “ whatever the fuck that meant. He wanted the benefits of being married & screwing a white trash whore. Well I threw him out then divorced him. He moved into her house until Karma kicked in .. whore died & months later he’s now living with another woman.

    Financially strapped, lonely but getting to meh. Getting half of his pension checks soon.

    I wasted so many years..😔

  • The cartoon accompanying this article reminded me of Dday. Cheater Wife (still denying everything) says with cool convincing conviction: “if you are going to think these crazy thoughts then maybe we shouldn’t be together”. Ten minutes later she admitted to cheating.

    She was so confident she could talk her way out of it.

  • Writing it all down really helps to keep you grounded in the reality of what they did.

    Journalling is terrific – I wrote pages and pages. It also protected me from a recent dating disaster, when I made a list of all the things that concerned me about the guy (came to 28 items) and a list of the things I liked or was comfortable with (9 items). He dumped me, which saved me a painful effort.

    You have to create your own closure when you are ready to let go. Ritual is great for this. You can have a whole series of door-closing rituals of all kinds, as you get more and more of your life back.

    Closure can take time, but you CAN do it – and you must, if you want any peace and to achieve Meh. But it’s up to you to figure out how.

    • Lola.

      What an impressive effort in “Fixing your picker” and spotting 28 red flags with the (potential) new guy.

      Are you willing to share some / all of the red flags with the rest of CN ?
      I for one would be grateful.

      May CL can work up a post for those of us who are wanting to move towards another relationship, and with Lola’s advice, avoid falling for another narc / cluster B.

      • Blee, I think the Archives on CN will give you some handy hints! I remember finding this site and simply spending hours reading them – that was back in 2014, so there’s more to read now …

        It was a year ago so I can’t remember all of my list, but here are some I remember:

        – harem: long-term ex-girlfriend, rich lady ‘friend’, mother … who else?
        – feeling on edge, nervous, insecure around him
        – the effect he had on me: I got arch and snippy, with a lot of verbal sparring with him, which he liked but I didn’t
        – he didn’t bring out the best in me in other ways
        – pressuring me for sex
        – different values, even though we seemed to have interests in common
        – I was expected to be part of his family, but not the other way around
        – same church, but completely different attitude to it and to religion generally
        – his tendency to use me as an emotional offloading-point with no warning
        – his constant one-upmanship in EVERYTHING with me

        There were LOTS of others. Oh I am so glad I caught him out with the harem – that was the end of it. My refusal to do the pick-me dance proved fatal, thank God.

        • Thank you Lola.

          He showed you some real narc / super insecure person red flags there !
          Dangerous in an acquaintance / friend, more so in a prospective (?) partner.

          I’m glad you stood up for your self and escaped before being caught up in this.
          Thank you for replying to my question.

  • I found CL 4 years ago. Ive been free of cheater AH for 2 years legally. Was married to mr Wonderful for 32 years. Had NO IDEA he was living a double life. I had an aaha moment in 2013 and said DONE. So I won’t bore any of you with the familiar details (they AREN’T NORMAL) and that is the truth. Can’t and WONT change, even for a beautiful family, grandkids, reputation, etc. Mine left like a coward while I was out shopping. It was the divorce from HELL bc he didn’t think I deserved ANYTHING WTF!!!

    Long story short, he broke my heart, then my mind, and then my body. Last summer, I had a conversation with him after our youngest son and wife had their first child (baby shower) I asked him what he tells people that wonder why we are divorced.!!! This is classic…….. he said “I tell them the truth, …… YOU LOCKED me out”! WTH. I did change the locks after he left, moved, took most of his stuff, changed his address and was gone for many months before I knew he had relocated. Please know these cheaters are psychos, narcs, never take responsibility, and its best to just forget who they are ……….. life is MEH now!

  • Tracy,

    I want to punch your drawing in the face.

    It’s that good. Somehow, you perfectly capture an element of contempt that begs for a good throttling.

  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/04/25/affair-leads-to-murder-suicide-on-phillys-main-line-leaving-two-successful-women-dead-police-say/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.24bc055ad208….

    On a completely unrelated note, but much too important of a message not to share. This happened near my hometown. It happened Monday night, and there have been many articles like the above written since then. Apparently, the shooters husband had told her as long ago as last November that he wanted a divorce. She shared that on her new neighborhood website, saying she was looking desperately for a marriage counselor. Please, please, please….if your spouse asks for a divorce, do not threaten, deny, or beg. Just leave….or, let him/her leave. These two women are dead, and it is a terrible waste of two human lives. I don’t even know what more to say….So, so sad….

      • I pray it wasn’t one of our own! I read this earlier today and thought had she come to CL & CN, she would learn he wasn’t worth it. She and her dog could move on to meh and let those two cheaters implode.

      • Yes, and no blame for the husband for having an ongoing affair and ruining two people’s lives. He will just go on to another woman – or two! SMH

  • Christa,

    I am sorry you are going through this. Your story resonated deeply with me and I know your pain all to well. I was involved with a SOCIOPATH like your husband who gas-lighted me all the time and tried to make me think I was crazy when I had concrete proof of his infidelities. I left him and it took me a very long time to get over the senseless mental cruelty he inflicted on me. I do feel I had PTSD because the lies are enough to make you feel crazy.

    3 years later, I found myself with yet another SOCIOPATH. (It will never happen again that much I know.)

    I went to a therapist to help sort all of this out and he told me: PEOPLE LIE BECAUSE IT’S A STRATEGY AND IT WORKS.

    I share this with you because I hope it will help give you some peace like it did with me. You are not crazy. Your future ex-scumbag husband is just a lying piece of shit. And because he is a lying peace of shit, he will continue to lie even when you have concrete proof. He won’t feel remorse either because he is incapable of it. He is sick in the head. Truly. The closure you want will likely never ever come nicely wrapped like the way you want it to, i.e., he admits the truth. Instead, you will just have to accept that he is toxic and the best thing to do is believe in yourself, be kind to yourself and know you are not crazy.

  • Bravo Chumplady!!! I just needed that today to flush that nasty hopium that keeps on getting to my system.
    haay! Nice one. Nice.

  • I got nothing to add today.
    I never got any admissions, confessions, nor once did he show any remorse.
    I was Christa for a long, long time. Thanks to CL and the mighty CN, I finally accepted that I will never know the full truth nor ever get any admissions nor apologies. Never.
    And now I’m OK with that.
    He sucks, and I don’t, that’s all I need to know.

  • This is so similar to my ex! He denied it … said they were just friends, said he’d stop seeing her, said they met at her parents so ‘nothing could have happened’, promised it was over …. and on and on and on ….

    I had a light bulb moment and just stopped believing him after 35 years together. Hired a PI and caught him at a hotel with OW on his way back from business trip abroad (wonder if that was on his company credit card??!!). Oh and discovered ‘meeting at her parents’ was actually on their farm where she has her own cottage!!! Filed for divorce 2 days later and apparently I’m the one who “broke up the family” WTF!!!

    D day nearly a year ago now and looks like a long legal battle ahead to get a fair financial settlement but I’m moving forward and happier now than I’ve been in a long time. I’ve learned to trust my instincts and realised they are not often wrong 😊

  • BECOME A PATRON and subscribe, people!

    Chump Lady is THE ONLY person (I bought all the books, joined all the websites) that very clearly describes narcissism – how it thinks, how it works, and what it does.

    Chump Lady is THE ONLY person who advocates self care above all other things.

    Chump Lady is THE ONLY person who helps us navigate our way out of this shit, warning us that they are incapable of change (they are incapable of change, I spent 7 years trying before admitting defeat. No, he hasn’t changed).

    Chump Lady has literally saved lives. And she has done this every single day for 5 years.

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  • I was JUST talking to my therapist about this last night – the level of delusion that these people operate on. Not just for the initial discard and replacement of our entire family, but the ex operates in a world of alternate reality all the time. He sends my son messages like “I’m always here for you if you need to talk. Mom and I are always here for you.” (Huh – that made me scratch my head. We are strict no-contact, have been for years, and I have sole custody so there’s zero co-parenting that goes on). It’s unclear who “Mom” is in his world … ME, the actual mom that would never align myself with that malignant narc, or the OW is “Mom”? Could be either one of us honestly. The therapist thinks he’s created this world (this is one example of SOOOOO MANY weird ideas that the exhole has spouted) to diminish the amount of responsibility he has in the divorce and destruction of our marriage. He’s convinced himself that it didn’t happen, because I think if he actually acknowledged what he’s done, it would destroy him. Although the decline in his mental state pretty much shows that is already happening.
    I had the kids for spring break, and he showed up one day to pick them up for regular visitation. When I texted him that it was break, he responded “thank you for reminding me why I divorced”. That was a good one too!!!! Typically I don’t respond, but after an hour or so I felt the need to clarify it … simply stated “you’re right, I kicked you out because of spring break. It had nothing to do with your affair, abuse, and herpes. Have a nice day!” It felt good to stick up for myself, and to also refuse to allow his narrative to go on. He has never really admitted to the affair, randomly he’ll say things to the kids like he fell in love with skank while he was still with me (duh!) and that he’s ashamed of that. But I don’t believe he’s ashamed. These people don’t have the capacity for shame or empathy. It’s simply lip service to feel out how to get back into good graces with the kids. That ship has sailed a LONG time ago!!!!

  • Two people are riding in a car together. One lets out a hellacious fart , terrible, odiferous etc.
    When it is commented on, she/he denies it.
    Now you know she/he did it. He/she knows who farted. And, even more unbelievable, he/she knows you know( how could you not?).
    Yet, the denial persists. Some people are so incredibly fucked up, this is normal for them.
    I found my XW’s journal. Her sister busted her and told me. I know the names of some of the people ( men and women). My XW bragged about the physique and equipment one guy possessed. I tracked her out until after 2 in the morning 112 out of 180 nights, well after bars closed here in Minneapolis ( so, pray tell, where was she?).
    I could go on. Yet, despite al this. the only admission I got ,some years later was ” Yes, there were inappropriate relationships where the “Chemistry became Sexualized” ( good grief what word salad). She , also, asked that this period of her life ( married, mid 30’s with two kids) be referred to as ” The Restless Period” ( I shit you not, how pathetically idiotic).
    I guess I have seen this a fair amount, the continued denials by cheaters in the face of incontrovertible evidence.
    But, you know, I guess that is one facet that makes them cheaters to begin with: They believe others are stupid and they have the incredible lack of self awareness so as to make them not realize how they come off to others. It is fascinating, if not pathetic.

  • 6 months into recon,I got a letter from cheaters Xw saying he was telling their daughter that he wished it could be just the two. Of them! “I’m just telling her what she wants. to hear!” OK. What do YOU want? He answers, “I want to do what I want to do, and if you want to be here, OK.” I said. that’s pretty much how I felt too, and I started fucking around with whoever I wanted to within one week. I was 29, and pretty damn good looking. He couldn’t. get it up! Porn. Addiction!

  • 5 year marriage, iffy sex, most often, Not! Kids and errands, put on hold so I could cater to a limp dick for an hour or two! The last18 most no sex at all! WTF? Always had a way of making me feel. Unwanted. But she was his schmoopie! Gag me with a spoon!

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