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Dear Chump Lady, Why is he copying me?

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Dear Chump Lady,

My ex cheated on me relentlessly, with a mind-boggling amount of women. We had four D-days before I had the strength to get the hell out of there, so yes, I’m a super chump. It’s been a couple of years, but he still reaches out and seems clueless as to why I hate him.

Recently, he texted to congratulate me for bringing HIM success in his new career choice… which is the same career as ME. I looked at his social media and saw that he’s friended all of my professional contacts, and even had the balls to ripoff one of my pieces. (I’m a commercial artist). He’s also bought the men’s version of a very distinct clothing piece I wear. (I know this is petty but WHATTHEFUCKKKK).

Not surprisingly, things did not end well between us. It feels melodramatic to call it harassment but I FEEL harassed! Why is he copying me, and how can I deal with him forging into my industry when all I want is for his sadass-self to disappear? I already hide from so many of my once favorite places, because I know I’ll run into one of his dozen cheating partners. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing I give two-Fs, but WHERE IS HIS SHAME?! Also, his work is embarrassing, and I hate the idea that he’s telling everyone that “I taught him everything he knows.” I just want to be classy and hold my head high, but God it’s exhausting.

Feelingstabby

Dear Feelingstabby,

Love your username. Yeah, an ex going all Single White Female would make me feel stabby too. I wrote about this copycat phenomenon in “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life.” (The cartoon I used here “An Array of Jennifers” comes from that chapter.) The same thing happened to me, and it happened to my husband with his cheating ex too, so apparently the appropriation of your core essence is a THING. Either that or changelings are real. (Keep watch over your cradles, mamas!)

So, what the fuck? Why is he trying to morph into a off-brand Stabby facsimile? Why is he professing to love the things he was indifferent about (or perhaps even hostile to) previously? Why is he stealing your coolness? Because he has no self. He’s just a conglomeration of appropriations.

Hang on, Tracy. He has a self — he’s a serial cheater.

Well yes, Stabby, but those dating profiles don’t write themselves. He needs quirk. He needs your quirk. He requires the facade of character. You can’t expect a shallow nitwit like your ex to actually invest in real interests and develop talents — no, he’ll just steal some of yours. It might help polish his veneer of humanness.

Back in the earlier days of my chumpdom, when I didn’t understand the wisdom of no contact, I took a glance at my ex’s dating profiles and was ASTOUNDED to see him list obscure singer-songwriters I like and claim he enjoyed trips to the Neue Gallerie. WHAT?! As I wrote, the man wouldn’t know an Otto Dix painting if it bit his left nipple. Why was this freak appropriating my interests?

Same reason yours is. It’s a masterstroke of mindfuckery. First off, he’s creating a chump decoy. Mine wanted to attract another “arty hippy chick.” I was prime kibbles. So just list all the stuff Tracy likes, and the chumps will alight on his freak pond.

Your ex did one better — he became an arty hippy chick, all the better to meet other prime kibble sources like you. He probably misses your kibbles.

The other reason copycatting is masterful mindfuckery is that it upsets you. And it probably upsets his latest round of fuckbuddies too. Who can get him over the tragic breakup with Stabby The Artist Who Didn’t Sufficiently Appreciate Him? Ooh! Pick ME! I’m special! Wearing your signature look signals to the Schmoopies that they have to pick me dance harder. Take it off! Pick ME! This is a winning strategy for fuckwits — it keeps everyone off-balance.

How can I deal with him forging into my industry when all I want is for his sadass-self to disappear?

By ignoring him. By having iron boundaries of NO CONTACT. He shouldn’t be able to call you, and you shouldn’t know what the hell he’s wearing, or who he is talking to. If some mutual acquaintance reaches out and tells you what he’s up to, shut that down. “He’s pathetic and I don’t want to know what he’s up to, now or ever.”

It bears repeating — there is no louder “fuck off” to a narcissist than silence. Don’t react to his provocations. Don’t take the bait. Don’t warn everyone. Just. Keep. Being. Cool. He can’t be you, he doesn’t have the raw materials. His act is pitiful, and anyone who falls for it is an idiot you could never respect.

Remember “forging into an industry” is WORK. And these freaks don’t like work. Effort is for chumps. Wait him out, and he’ll change his focus. (Look! Shiny thing!) I promise you, he can sustain an art career about as well as he can sustain a relationship. Relax.

WHERE IS HIS SHAME?!

Oh, right there next to his wood-burned dog portrait on Etsy. Hey, this could be a Friday Challenge — WHERE IS THEIR SHAME? It’s there in his art installation of cigarette butts. It’s pickled in a tank of formaldehyde (Damien Hirst joke for all you art nerds.)

Stabby, he has no shame. Trust that he sucks. His talentless, cheating ass is out of your life. Be grateful. Keep rocking your originality. He’ll keep sucking. Nothing to worry about here.

****

Every time you support Chump Nation on Patreon, Dean McDermott falls backward into a latrine.

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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.
  • All true, Chumps! Tracy speaks the word…. hit the ignore button repeatedly until the succubys finds someone/something easier to crib off of.

  • The only exception I would make to Meh in this case is in reference to the art theft. I wouldn’t say to engage your ex directly of course, but it might be worth it to let some people know “Hey, this guy is a biter and poached my pieces.”

    • Or if it becomes truly professionally damaging, maybe treat him like any stranger — lawyer writes a cease and desist and it escalates legally from there without your direct participation or any need to contact him.

      • Yep. Have a lawyer handle it, and if he insists on contacting you instead of your attorney, consult your attorney about the advantages or disadvantages of pursuing harassment charges.

      • A cease & desist letter has zero legal standing. All it does is let him know you noticed & are irritated.

        A cease & desist ORDER is from a judge & has legal weight.

        So you may need to pursue it professionally for your own sake. But don’t bother with meaningless letters. They will only fill him with false courage & encouragement.

        He’s an ass.

  • I always wanted a farm
    He pretends to farm
    Animals hate him
    They trust he sucks

    Good luck Farmer Fucktard

    • How interesting Lexie! I had been begging sparkledick, who is an agronomist-turned think-tank guru (so think bullshit factory foreman) to buy a small farm. Chump here thought he was frustrated at think tank.

      Well, he was in debt (guess why). The first thing I did when divorce was final was sell my house and buy a farm.

      I joke that when he quit being an agronomist his character went down the toilet.

      Through the grapevine I hear Baron Sparkledick von Glitterballs is calling me crazy for doing this. Strange things is that the bank is financing me because I gave a good project.

    • I always wanted a farm too! I had the money saved to put 60% down on farm and when we married we bought a beautiful 100 acre property.

      I planned to raise my kids and die there. I didn’t understand his short attention span ( new job/career every 2-3 years ) and was left running this farm pretty much by myself when he got bored and started to resent it all!!!

      Eventually we had to sell it. Just as my Mother was dying of cancer I had to finalize the sale of my beloved home.

      • I’m sorry about your lost farm, and your mother. Maybe a smaller more-management version of your farm is in your future:)

    • Too funny
      Mine said he was going to buy land and build his own house, completely laughable. Fancies himself as an off the grid type but is completely urban and hates discomfort.
      I took up yoga quite seriously after d day a year ago, guess who goes to classes now and then, sure it’s to pick up a yoga chic or at the least perv at some tight buns.

      • Oh and he went vegan for about 6 months. Pretty sure this was to attract nice empathic vegan hippy type on Tinder. You know point of difference and all that.

      • I always wanted a ranch style house on a large lot in town. Now he bought a ranch style house on a large lot in town with schmoopie. But he bought it EXACTLY one mile from where I live. Why would that whore girlfriend of his want to buy a house one mile from his Ex wife? If I did what she did I would want to live as far from the Ex I still view as competition as possible! Crazy!

        • 3 months after our divorce was final, wasband ghosted us for almost 2 years. Just POOF.. quit his good paying job.. turned in his cell phone packed his shit and disappears.. not a word to me or his 2 boys ages 8 and 12 that he was visiting every other weekend.. . . .

          Leaving me to explain to 2 upset, confused, angry, frustrating, hurt and betrayed little boys who wanted to talk to dad, visit dad, see their dad thst i did not have a phone number and i did not know where dad was.. .. no i cant drop you off at dads house, i dont think he is in town anymore.. ..

          Almost 2 years later, he shows back up… .. POOF.. .. 2 blocks from my house!!! With the neighborhood party girl meth head that he replaced me with. She could literally hear me yelling for the boys to come inside to eat dinner.. .. who does that? Why would his troll want to live that close to me when she was already so worried that i hadnt gotten over him and was trying to get him back?.. .. i literally was on pins and needles until they moved. Luckily i only had to wait 6 months but it was the longest drama filled craziest 6 months of my life.. she actually told my then 14 year old that i was stalking them by stopping at the stop sign on my street and a block down where they lived before i drove home.

          You cant logic with crazy.

    • Lexiechump, thanks for the LOL!! (E-I-E-I-O!)

      “I always wanted a farm
      He pretends to farm
      Animals hate him
      They trust he sucks

      Good luck Farmer Fucktard”

  • I also think there’s a bit of attempted coercion involved. They pick the things you like, and hey!! Look, they have a lot in common with you, ergo they aren’t horrid people, you should like them!!!! They are feeding off of a stable personality to show people that they are stable. They try to at least!!! But, as Tracy pointed out, anyone with a modicum of sense will see right through that shit. People need to figure things out on their own, so trust that they will.

  • Even while married, “he has no self” . . I’d hear my words coming out of his mouth. On the phone. With friends. With family. I’d hear my words in stories people would repeat about him . . things he’d said. All while we were married. I felt sorry for the poor guy . . . after all, it must be terrible to be unable to articulate your values and beliefs. I’m better at it. Of course it’s fine to borrow my words. I mean, he’s better at fixing things than me . . . so that. It was years and years and years before I could confront the reality . . . he’s a void. Devoid, in fact, of any internal mechanism that resulted in a recognizable code of behavior. And he didn’t just “borrow” from me . . . he’d borrow from people he admired. So even when we leave, we are still useful. We leave behind a kind of map that they can copy. And I did get better at fixing things.

    • Same here, betterlatethan. He couldn’t come up with one original thought and only echoed mine. Irony: first he was attracted to my brain; then he ended up hating me for it. Too intimidating to be married to a smart woman.

      I read some of his dating profiles too. HAHAHA yeah, he’s a “family man whose spirituality is important to him,” and he “Loves to cook.” ie. “Make me a sandwich and wrap your leg around your back while I fuck you, bitch. Namaste!”

      Good for a laugh.

    • I literally just cried and reread this 5x over. THIS is exactly what I’ve been trying to wrap my head around for months. Everyone including myself was like its so weird he was actually becoming such a much better and mature person of the past few years before the discovery that he was a serial cheater. I get it now! It’s because of me. Not as in how people become better in relationships out of love for someone, but literally copying me and the people he admired to be more like us so we wouldn’t see thought the bullshit. This was the last piece of the puzzle I was confused on still so thanks so much for writing this!

    • Oh my… .. yes!!! This was my life also, i just never realized it until after my divorce. And just like ohhellno, he ended uup hating me for it. I was too strong for hhim although he worded it as “too boring” .. i was also going thru the death of my 25 year old first born so i probably was boring too.. .

      “We leave behind a kind of map that they can copy. And I did get better at fixing things.” .. .. And i found my joy and fun again and i am less boring now.. ..

      we are so much better off with an empty shell dragging us down. He can never be me and is really too stupid to even know what he lost. I, on the other hand, lost a manchild who expected me to handle everything while putting me down and sabotaging me while secretly resenting my strength and ability to handle everything.. .. . I can breathe again

  • “He’s just a conglomeration of appropriations. ” Favorite line ever. Mine: used my phrases as his own, in an article in his work newsletter on audible books, used my rationale for enjoying them, claimed to read books that I had and never acknowledged that I introduced him to audible books to begin with! And the best was his taking credit for a cruise ship costume party idea that I had created and we won first place. He would do and say these things right in front of me.

    • Mine liked to go to my book club meetings. I’d read the books, give him the executive summary and broad talking points, and he’d offer his “masculine insight” as if he had read them. He told his son to forget Tindr and bars; go to book clubs to meet smart women. So gross!

  • “He’s just a conglomeration of appropriations. ” Favorite line ever. Mine: used my phrases as his own, in an article in his work newsletter on audible books, used my rationale for enjoying them, claimed to read books that I had and never acknowledged that I introduced him to audible books to begin with! And the best was his taking credit for a cruise ship costume party idea that I had created and we won first place. He would do and say these things right in front of me.

    • That line hit me, too. My stbx, he of the trans reveal, appropriated Woman, even, except his appropriated version of Woman bears no relation to actually-existing women but has everything in common with the image of Woman in porn: sexually submissive to the point of masochism, or as a pretendbian (that’s pretend lesbian) performing for the male gaze. He creeps on women, starting with me, for everything: their sexual response, their interests. He fixates on women colleagues he’d like to both fuck and be, and worms his way in to their company by expressing an interest in what they do or like, even though he’s never before in his life done or liked or even expressed an interest in doing or liking it.

      We’re both English profs, and early on in our marriage we used to joke that we’d never read any of the same texts. One of my sub-specialties was nature writing, one of his cognitive approaches to lit. Concrete; abstract. Body; mind. But after he decided to indulge his penchant for taking sexual pleasure in performing femininity, suddenly he claimed an abiding and overriding interest in nature and natural phenomenon. Last August, at the time of the eclipse, he even lectured me on his superior appreciation for “the wonders of the universe, “ and said he would “go out of my way to see an annular eclipse or the northern lights.” I’d been married to him for 35 years at that point, and my first thought after he delivered this gem, was to think, “And yet in 35 years you never have.”

      Now that I’m gone I wonder who and what he’ll appropriate next. Nah. I really don’t wonder all that much. Not my problem anymore.

      • Mine wants to go to every national park. He says he always wanted to see them. I love nature and going into forests, mountains and deserts. Where was the desire when we were raising 3 boys who would have LOVED to go see this wonderful country? My vacation ideas were shut down fast and hard. Oh wait, he was “too busy” to take us anywhere, when we live in the middle of the country and some great destinations are less than a day’s drive away. Too busy getting drunk in bars, playing golf and watching sports on TV when he wasn’t with one of his fuck-buddies. Our vacations were to theme parks and his separate vacations to golfing destinations. He was always a pill during these times (he was missing his current Schmoopie, no doubt). I kick myself that we just didn’t go without him.

  • All CL said, and also: As I’ve said before in other contexts, a key component of the cheater personality is laziness. To them, conspicuous effort is a sign of weakness. So, many of them strive to show no effort under any circumstances, in relationships, career, reconciliation—WTF-ever. In short, Cheaters steal your enthusiams because it’s LESS EFFORT than ginning up their own.

    It’s also an expression of their laziness: without the effort, your quirk is a something-for-nothing proposition. #StealingIsWinning

  • Stabby, nothing to worry about indeed. Perhaps take this “appropriation” even as a compliment just to stop getting upset and keep up NO CONTACT?

    My XH traded far down in building a new facade. The schmoopie involved in DDay dresses like a hooker, to give one example. I cringe in shame for my sons.

    X never had ANY friends so his work at a useless think tank, bullshit factory, bonfire of vanities, filled with shallow, mediocre, entitled people became his persona. Or rather, brought out his persona.

    Your X is not worth one Second of thoughts. You are lucky in many ways: rid of a shallow asshole with infantile, but apparently harmless coping mechanism for his mediocrity (hopefully not involving taxpayers’ $).

  • Mt stbxh changed drastically for every new OW. His clothing style, music preferences, habits (smoking if she does), hobbies, faith in God (or atheism) etc. Drastic extremes depending on what the OW prefers.

    Trust me when I say that people on the outside of the relationship are seeing these changes. They are aware of how insane this makes a cheater appear. We, the chumps, need to be ourselves (which will improve even more so after leaving the cheater).

    • Reminds me of Julia Roberts in “Runaway Bride”… she morphed so many times to please others, she didn’t even know how she liked her eggs!

    • How funny, my Ex does the same thing. Whatever guy she was dating, she cloned herself to be like him. As if she has no personality of her own which is really a sad way to go through life. Oh, and when she met the guy she is with now. she dumped all her previous “friends”, too.

      • Same experience here. I didn’t realize she was mimicking me — big time professionally and personally to some extent — for years, until she wasn’t.

        She sucks as a human being.

    • So true that people see right through the cheater’s image veneer.

      My wasband-massage parlor-cheater pants, after years of cruelty, left while I fought cancer and had squandered massive amounts of marital assets, posted an article on a professional networking website on integrity. He even pondered in comments section, where has integrity gone.

      Yeah, because he has so much of it right? Disordered and delusional. So glad he’s a blip in my rear view mirror.

        • Mine lectured me almost daily on how lucky I was that he was so honest and a “man of integrity”. Cheater never missed an opportunity to point out the indiscretions and shortcomings of others who didn’t live up to his high standards and clearly weren’t as responsible as himself.
          Some examples that I remember are the person who didn’t return their shopping cart, or that person going back for a second food sample when the sign clearly states, “one per person,” shaking his head in disgust, he’d never be so inconsiderate, blah, blah, he’d never…
          He was a man of integrity.., Brit, you are so lucky, not everyone is like me.., (thank God).

          Evidently his high standards don’t include cheating, lying and being deceitful.

          I should have known, anyone of any substance doesn’t need to tell people how honest or upstanding they are, their actions speak louder than words.

      • Sorry you were abandoned when you likely needed someone the most.

        These people really are idiots.

  • Just as they go to the same places or places you always wanted to visit, they have no originality.

    In the early days after Dday, I looked on cheaters daring profile, and he listed things he claimed he enjoyed doing and interests, 1) going to concerts, in the 25 years I knew him he never went to a concert, or was interested in going to a concert. A few times when I’d suggest going to a concert, he’d complain about the drive, how long it would last, the crowds, and then the drive home. 2) he claimed to enjoy weekend getaways.., as long as I’ve known Cheater he hated them. 3) loves last minute getaways and stopping to explore small out of the way towns along the way, he hated to stop for anyone to use the restroom. Forget stopping at a fruit stand or small town to explore 4). walks on the beach.., he hated sand on his feet, on his shoes or to be anywhere near sand. He hated leaving the house. These activities listed are all things I enjoyed which he refused to do. Every weekend he’d stay home and do nothing other than watch reruns of old sit coms or movies.

    • Now this is just freaky!

      I thought I was the only one with a fucktard who when I looked on his dating profile was searching for … um ~ ME.

      He described he liked going places on the spur of the moment. He described that looks weren’t important, honesty & trust were. He described he enjoyed acts of PDA no matter where he was ~ the fucktard wouldn’t even hold my hand!

      Unbelievable. He is me looking for me. Freaky!

      • I wonder how long they can pretend to be honest and wholesome enjoying their spur of the moment getaways?

        Cheater had no idea how to be affectionate and didn’t enjoy physical contact unless it was immediate sex, absolutely no foreplay or physical contact afterwards.
        History will repeat itself, they’re not going to put that much effort into a relationship for very long.

        As Tracy says, they don’t get a personality transplant when they find someone new.

        • Same brit. My cheater was never affectionate. We never even really kissed, like a make out kiss. I remember when I was dating him and though this was odd. It made me think of the movie Pretty Woman where she wouldn’t kiss because it was too intimate. I thought at the time maybe it was a sign that he wasn’t really into me, as he went directly to sex (also no foreplay or physical contact afterwards). But I brushed it off as me using a movie as real life. Now I really truly believe it.

    • Mine hates drive-in movie theatres. It is the one place me & the kid can go & not argue (much). The few times his dad came along (we begged) he made it a miserable experience. Could not stop complaining about it. Too crowded. Too warm/cold. Not comfortable enough (seriously!). Took too long to get the food. Cost too much ($27 for 3 people to see 3 movies).

      They live to shit in your punch bowl.

      What made me see red is how he went on about how great he was for taking us out to the drive-in and wasn’t he so fabulous to others, later. After he had actively tried to ruin it at the time. I bet he will make a point of bringing up his love of a drive-in theatre in future dating profiles. Gotta reel in the chumps! They can’t be me (I’m impossible, evil, etc.), but he will have to go repeat his life with them. Maybe he thinks he’ll be better with more rehearsal. Don’t do anything new, of course.

      New requires courage, tenacity and no guarantees of success. Not his thing anymore. Upon teflection I’m not certain it ever was his thing.

    • Yes. After the divorce I have travelled. He puts on his dating profile that he loves travel. In reality we always had to come home early from any trip. He couldn’t fly due to his phobias. How can he love travel when he can’t use a public restroom? When driving more than 3 hours gives him a violent headache? When he won’t swim in the ocean due to a fear of sharks.

  • I think appropriating our successes is just part of the cheater scam. I cannot imagine how furious I would be if my EX tried to take public credit for my professional work (he took private credit for it among family and friends all the time).

    Now he largely tries to take credit for our kids and their successes. (You can count the times he’s seen them in the past two years using your thumbs, on one hand.) Recently, one of my kids showed me a text from their Dad that said, “You know scientific research shows the most important factor in a child’s success is whether they had a strong relationship with their father when they were a baby.” I am far enough out of my marriage to find this wild fit of ego dressed up as scientific research laying claim to my teenager’s achievements as comic rather than infuriating now, but it goes to show the principle: Narcissists really believe the world is THEIR oyster.

    I know it is hard to hold onto this right now, but the smart and sane people in your life are either ignoring your EX or will recognize his faux art as a soulless imitation. As time goes on, you’ll grow and change and be different in all kinds of good ways, but three years from now he’ll either have found a new victim to plagiarize or he’ll still be showcasing his versions of your 2018 identity as “cutting edge” and growing angrier and angrier that no one is recognizing his genius. You won’t notice because you’ll have long moved on.

  • The blank slate that they are is really, really blank. They are chameleons. They are whatever they rub against. But they have no concept of what any of it means.
    But boy do they like to act like they do! That is what is so pathetic. They are truly pretentious.

    • These blank slates mimicked our integrity and morals while we were dating.
      We were conned into thinking we were marrying someone with similar values and interests.
      Chameleons, is a good analogy of what they are, which explains why they’re pathological liars who not only lie to others but to themselves.

  • I was just talking to my therapist last week on this topic. My ex likes to recreate things I do with my daughter.

    In all the years we were married, he expressed his hatred for Harry Potter. Hatred. Now he buys my daughter whatever Harry Potter item she wants.

    I dressed up as a sloth our last Halloween, my daughter loved it. Now he buys her sloth stuffed animals.

    We had Friday pizza & movie night forever, which the ex would eat the pizza and never watch the movie with us. Now every Friday he has her, they watch a movie together.

    My daughter loves fairies. I first started making doors “magically” appear in the yard. Then for the past few years, every spring, my daughter and I build a fairy garden. We shop for the plants, houses, decorations and plant them together. Last year he had his mom create a fairy garden and this year he is having the OW create a fairy garden.

    He also stated over and over that he would refuse to ever go to Disney. I would have to take her alone. My guess is that sometime in the future I can expect him to take her to Disney with the OW and their new child.

    It’s maddening. I’m to the point where I don’t share the things my daughter and I do together or want to do together. I expressed the frustration and pain with my therapist and she offered me an alternative viewpoint. My ex wants nothing to do with me. Act as if I’m the one who destroyed everything. I am not to know what goes on in his life at all. I am not to know what his new baby looks like or what her name is. But he keeps recreating these things and in doing so is actually keeping me in his life. When my daughter spends time there, she will have memories of me surrounding her. I’m not sure if I buy into that yet, but I’m trying so I don’t go completely mad over it.

    • Oh! I love the “act as though you destroyed everything” advice!! Empowering! Guess that’s like “fake it till you make it” – which really worked for me. I obsessively faked not caring and then one Tuesday I woke up and my wish had been granted. The subconscious is very powerful when it comes to internalizing messages.

    • Cancer Chump
      My children’s sperm donor tried doing the same thing to me. He NEVER took the initiative to plan and organize fun things and scoffed at participating most times. Now the children are BORED when they are with him and make excuses not to go. Post D Day, I started geocaching with my children which they found to be enormous fun. F’Wit got wind of it through the children and told them that they could all do it together too. I explained to the children that this is “our special thing” and they can tell him to come up with his own ideas. They did! This is one of the many ways that dealing with an F’Wit is so hard on children. He still tries to copy other rituals but as Chump Lady points out so rightly, they don’t have the energy to sustain these things. Those fairy gardens take enormous effort. He has already wearied of it and has delegated the work to his mother and OW. Really? The freaks don’t like work. Effort is for chumps. Keep up the effort and don’t hesitate to talk about “your” family rituals as “our rituals”. My children’s sperm donor squanders loads of money now (never did before) on expensive outings to musicals and performances. It is all image management. “See what a great Dad I am”. He skipped their birthdays, wouldn’t dream of driving them to school on a rainy day and has never filled out a school form or arranged a sleepover with anyone other than a prostitute. Sure, children love Disney etc, but they NEED their Mom who makes sure that their life is stable, consistent, safe and full of love. Have confidence in yourself that you are doing all the right things and shut out any visibility of that F Wit.

    • He is copying you, but he is NOT you, and he NEVER will be , YOU.
      You are the REAL deal. Rejoice in this.
      Your daughter knows, and will always know, the truth.

      Xxxxxxxx
      peacekeeper

    • I guess the part that really worries me is the fear that my cancer will come back and I won’t beat it. Then my daughter gets raised by my ex and his new baby mama to instantly become a perfect family of four. Since they have already expressed to me that they want their life completely separate from mine (complete with actually telling my daughter to not tell me what the baby looks like or her name) and he is going to such great length to have the OW recreate my life, I have no doubt that they would pretend that I don’t exist. The OW would instantly replace me. Also, my ex has expressed extreme hatred for my family and I would have concern that he would make it difficult for them to see her.

      I love my daughter with all my heart and one of her best and worst qualities is that she is instantly accepting of new people. She also does not share her feeling with her dad, especially when she is hurt because she does not want to hurt his feelings for fear of abandonment.

      I know I can never know if my cancer is going to come back or not, but it is a real fear that I deal with daily. All I can do is spend as much time with her as possible, making as many memories as possible, just in case. And try to be comforted by him inadvertently creating memories of me in his home.

      • Preplanning for extreme events is not a bad plan; ask your daughter if she would prefer to live with her dad if something happened to you or if she would be more amenable to living with your side of the family? I did that with my ex (before we were on the path to being exes), and discussed the plan with the one she chose.

        It doesn’t have to be cancer returning, it can be any everyday disaster. None of us know what the next moment of life can bring.

    • It could also be he’s trying to ONE UP you. Meaning if you did X with your daughter, then he’ll do X on steroids with your daughter. If you took her to Disney, then he’ll also take your daughter to Disney but in an exponential way. So anything you do, he’ll try to do better with your daughter. It’s major insecurity and feeling not good enough and seeing you as competition that they copy things you do. It’s to ONE UP you any chance they get, because after all, you’re not good enough, and they always have been and always will be better than you!

    • When our kids were little, I would use a big puffy makeup brush and some gold or silver theatrical powder to show where the tooth fairy landed on their windowsill, ran across the room and kissed them on the chee before leaving a dollar coin under their pillows.

      To his credit, he thought it was utterly charming.

  • OMG! I thought I was just super petty because i was bothered when someone saw mr. Sucky at the coffee shop that I love on a date when I know he abhors coffee. We had our first meeting there at my suggestion because I did not know he hated coffee. My other disordered ex got a whole early childhood degree ( my dream job) when he can’t stand kids. Why do they do that!!!??? Ugh!!! But it’s no longer my dream job so I can laugh at that now. Laugh and shake my head is all I can do I just live my best life being my genuine self. The poor fella has to live a fake life. I no longer entertain any info about what he is doing. When curiosity strikes, I come to this site to remind me to trust that whatever he is doing, he still sucks!

  • I can relate Stabby. Most of the regulars here and in the Forums know that both KK and RPD “coincidentally” took up my storytelling hobby months after I started doing it. Not only does it hit the mindfuck note, but it also impacts somewhat my ability to form new friendships in a community — both of them rush to become ‘friends’ (on social media and otherwise) with every regular performer at the events, and it’s just not worth the hassle to attempt going any further than pleasantries at the actual events.

    But the co-opting of AP interests can be a marvel to behold. RPD is a novelist and college writing instructor (which provides KK with “coolness cover” for the time being), and shortly after taking up with him, we started getting Amazon deliveries almost every day. Within two weeks her dresser was piled high with books — erotic poetry, current events, edgy novels, classics, female empowerment — one of them was a novel I suggested to her years before and which she dismissed with an “I have NOOO desire to read that or anything else by that author…”. I can’t prove it but I know it’s true: most of them are untouched save for the first 30-40 pages that give her the ability to say she’s “read some of it but it just wasn’t able to hold my interest.” Like it’s the book’s fault.

  • I told mine I was going out of town and told him my sister would be handling pickup for his weekend during our mediation time-frame. My sisters convinced me to book a long weekend to Puerto Rico to get my mind off everything going on. I had been a wreck and they thought it would be a good get away. Two of them went with me. During this time my *other* sister was mediating between me and fucktard, so he’d email her and I would get the run-down without any bullshit. We arrived very late Thursday and guess what she got on Saturday morning? An email asking her if I could get him his passport. He found out I was in Puerto Rico so now he needed a vacay, too. And he had to email her during my trip, cause …. centrality, I suppose. Not a month later he was in Nicaragua. The best part is he took the trip during the two weeks between his last job (which he quit cause HO-worker) and the new, and we had no health coverage. I told him I didn’t like it, and couldn’t he sign up for COBRA? (Or I dunno, not take two weeks? His old job loved him and would have kept him on the whole time). No, he needed a break from his life. Cue me having a seizure at the top of my mom’s basement steps, falling and cracking my head open, Ambulance ride, staples, 2 day stay at the hospital = $16k bill. Thanks fucktard. (As an aside we did get the COBRA retroactively enacted but what a fucking headache for me) Just made me hate him even more.

    • Oh another example, fuckface always wanted a dog. We had two throughout our marriage and I was always the one taking care of it, naturally. Well, I told him I couldn’t keep the giant doberman that he’d wanted only a 1.5 years before, so I made him figure out what to do with him after he moved out. Well, he it was a banned breed at his apartment and he couldn’t find someone to keep him while he sorted it out. Took him back to the breeder that we got him from. I felt bad but it was literally the thing that kept me on edge the most, the barking at every passerby, the dirt everywhere and he smelled so bad. A couple days before I told him that me keeping the dog was not going to work he ripped up one of my son’s brand new sweat shirts and then a library book which I had to pay for. I just had had it. The day he took the dog I brought home a new kitten. I always wanted a cat, and it eased the transition for our son. Well who do you think got a cat not more than a couple weeks later? Hmm? What the fuck man, all these years you forced me to pick up giant dog turds all over the yard, deal with the whining and barking and smell and muddy paws, not to mention the vomiting on the carpet and all the other things – and you get a cat? He never so much as mentioned wanting a cat EVER. It just flew in the face of everything I’ve ever known about him, mainly how much he was “dog person”. So fucking weird.

  • So much this!! So many of my exes have done this to me…especially the ones who rejected me (yes, yes, I’m seeing it right now that there is something wrong with me that I attract and am attracted to people without an identity of their own…or maybe they just mirror me in the beginning and I fall for it). Anyway, I agree 1,000% – it’s annoying as hell, but it’s a mask and they are just wearing it on the surface so while they can copy so much of you initially, over time they cannot keep up the masquerade because they have no depth to back it up. Instead they meet new women, with new interests which they adopt as their own. They soon become an amalgamation of all of the women they have fucked over 😂

    It used to drive me nuts that my crazy ex adopted the Boston’s Red Sox from me. I LIVED in Boston, I was a fan when they SUCKED, I EARNED that team! When he and I were together, he never even watched sports! Didn’t know how the game worked and the one time that I took him to a game, he gabbed through the whole thing. I was like ‘could you at least look at the field and *pretend* that you are watching the game’??

    Anyway, after we split he became THE BIGGEST BASEBALL FAN EVER. And guess who his favorite team was?

    It’s fine. I moved to Maryland, I’m an Orioles fan now. And you know what else? Give them time and they will just fade away. I don’t know if he watched baseball now, I don’t care. I feel bad for all of the women he got and duped by pretending to be someone he’s not (me) but hopefully they found their ways here too.

    It is excruciating to endure which is why No Contact is your saving grace. But it does get better.

  • Sounds like a warped version of ‘mirroring’. Yo Yo knickers did it with her AP and her current boyfriend, but to copy your ex?!?!

  • He is a hollow chocolate bunny masquerading as a solid chocolate bunny (you). He is a shell and can’t or won’t do the WORK to define himself. So he hitches onto your identity.

    It’s irritating but it goes to show that you are the real deal and he can’t even manage to be your pale shadow.

    Is it worth the time, effort & no at to take him down for stealing your
    art work? If it was bought by someone, can they sue the lackwit blind?

  • So, fellow chumps, let this be a clear lesson to all of us about how these people work. If you’re seeking a date, remember that the peraon’s initial persona may be a construct.

    It takes a long time and a lot of varied experience with a person to get to know the person. Some people can wear the mask for an astonishingly long time. There’s no substitute for time when you are getting to know a person’s character.

    Romance is temporary. Character is forever. The only thing being swept off your feet does for you is knock you off balance. You only know where you stand when those feet are both planted where you stand.

    This is what I most wish I had learned from strong adults when I was young.

  • Mine too!! During my divorce I started practicing yoga all the time. My children mentioned this to my ex and he started practicing and bragging about it. I also became interested in cooking ethnic foods so when my children mentioned that he suddenly became chef sparkledick. These are two of many examples. I’m thinking that this behavior is really just an extension of the triangulation he needs with OW to keep her dancing for him. My pleasure is in knowing she’s usually too drunk to stand on one foot and that she thinks any food more evolved than a chicken tender is gross. It’s funny too, that during this affair he became obsessed with playing the guitar (OW thinks she’s quite the singer/songwriter) and crafting beer (she loves those vanilla stouts). Hmmm… my guess is when he develops his next “new interest” -he’ll also be screwing her.

  • My ex rode my coattails to a bunch of activities, interests and friendships, and it took me a long time to realize that was what he was doing. He was quite new to the city and the country when I met him, so it seemed natural that he didn’t have many friends, or know the music scene …. Now I wonder whether even the two interests that seemed genuine, cooking and ‘film’, were actually his, or his ex-girlfriend’s, or just seemed like what any self-respecting French intellectualoid should be interested in. Later, the only movies he seemed to enjoy were action flics.

    But what really drove me nuts was that there were things I liked that he DESPISED the whole time we were together, and it was pretty clear that he despised them because a) I liked them and b) he’s French, and that’s what educated French people do. So, the newspapers I read, the radio station I listened to, the country I was from and we lived in ….

    Then about a year after DDay #2 and my dumping him, in a magic combo of showing me how he had changed and was so much better a person, and btw, wasn’t I interested in ‘trying again’ with him, he starts telling me how he had really given that newspaper and radio station a chance recently, and realized they were quite good. And was becoming a citizen of the Frozen North (something he had sworn he’d never do!). And the most hilarious of all, was now drinking CANADIAN WINE! I knew he’d fallen right off the edge of reality with that one. In his previous incarnation as my arrogant, ranty husband, he would have died before drinking Canadian wine. Hell, he hated drinking even California or Australian or Chilean wines, which are actually very good. I don’t drink, but everything I’ve ever heard says most Canadian wines are undrinkable.

    So yeah, the 14 years you were with me, you wouldn’t give any of this stuff a chance, and constantly rubbed my face in how crap my tastes were, but now that you were trying to show me (and probably also Shmoops and ‘new friends’) what a great guy you are, you’re up for that.

    Feeling stabby indeed!

    • Careful there us Canadian chumps night take offence😆
      But seriously my ex took his AP/“new girlfriend” to our favorite restaurant in the way to our cottage where she “slept” in my side of our bed. Did the save with our house in Florida and I believe our home( I found a champagne cork topper and I don’t like champagne), they are like dogs marking their turf and also installing the new appliance in their old life. He even looked for a house with her in our small town and called her his wife shortly after we separated and long before we divorced. They didn’t buy here( my guess is because it’s her money in the house—he is just a toxic squatter that she doesn’t know is one).

    • Sounds like an arrogant asshole that you are well to be rid off. Hopefully he’s gone back to France.

      • NOW I realize that Shmoopie really did do me a favour. Unfortunately, he is still in Canada – and nobody liked him in France, either, only his mom!!!

  • I believe a big reason I was attractive to exasshole was that he wanted to BE me (but without any effort). It is when they can’t really be and do who you are that they begin to resent you. They still want you to take care of them of course…

    There is also the need to suck you in, don’t know about anyone else but exasshole pretty much agreed with most of my views from the git go. LOOK how compatible we are! 17 years and I never knew he was a racist until I told him we were divorcing. In fact he worked with me to help with social issues, always said the right things, never a whisper of racism. After the mask was clearly broken, I’m hearing despicable slurs about hispanics and black people. How can we be expected to really know these people who can wear a mask for that long a time?

    • THIS!!!!! It’s all well and good to say “fix your picker” but you cannot account for the unbalanced character disordered who can hide themselves that well for that long. My ex was the same. I had ZERO red flags until I literally blundered on to the evidence of cheating. Then it all came out and he was instantaneously a monster–saying and doing thing I had never seen or heard in all of our years together.

  • One of the (many) things I do not like about “profiles” is that the dysfunctional dweebs can write about all the things they are not, things they do not actually have, opinions they do not actually believe. They will do or say anything to “appear” to be real. It is an affront to see a picture of MY home and car on his dating profile. It is hilarious when he says he has “some” college (a photography course at a local community college about 100 years ago — good place to pick up chicks!)
    So the lesson is, don’t believe what they write, don’t believe what they say. Listen, carefully, and verify anything you can verify. Trust? That is for chumps. Ask me how I know. It is a sad state of affairs that we have to practice Defensive Dating, actually Defensive Living, but that is the world we live in.

    If you ever find yourself weak and wavering and are getting the ole “why can’t we forget the past, and start all over,” routine — just check out the dating sites profiles. Probably on there, and probably full of lies. This isn’t strict NO CONTACT, but it always hardens my resolve and turns my stomach at the same time. He says he has changed???? NOPE!!!

    • Yes this. My ex had a dating profile ( I think because he knew I’d hear about it—he had a girlfriend already) I just loved reading about how he wanted a woman who wouldn’t sweat the small stuff( I actually confronted him about that saying what is the “small stuff”— cheating? stealing 500k of marital funds? Abusing your wife every way possible? Judy which one is “small stuff”? That was before grey rock and no contact and I was very reactive it was all so raw…and he was still living in our house.

      • A couple of months ago…I believe it was a Friday challenge we wrote our cheating X’s dating profiles here and while it was hilarious, I also found it frightening because this is true stuff and it’s what the disordered write. I tried internet dating just long enough to see that’s where the predator’s and perverts hang out. I know people who have met their significant others on dating sites and more power to them but no way am I going there again. I found one of my X’s there nine minutes after we broke up and his profile said he was looking for someone ‘Beautiful, smart, educated, secure, fit, athletic, generous…oh the list goes on and on !!’ (his exact words) Oh gawd yes, his list of desirable traits in a woman just goes on and on and on. What an arrogant, pompous ass. There’s NO way he can tell the truth about what a loser he is, otherwise no one would take the bait in a million years.

        • I vote for another such fun Friday challenge-the hilarity of a cheater being on Christian Mingle ! A bunch of lies to reel in women looking for their “soul mate”. Not exactly attaining the state of meh but for kicks and giggles.

          • I love that idea! I found my cheater on Christian Mingle using the screen name “Churchman1”
            I got immense pleasure from changing his profile to say that he was looking for a nice Christian girl who would be willing to fuck a 50 year old lying cheater with a tiny dick and enough hair on his back to knit a sweater.

            Apparently the Christian Mingle folks found that offensive and deleted his account. Oops.

    • I hate it too. Even when I am trying to write one for myself. I have tried internet dating with no good results. This last time I put on that I was not interested in their car, their boat, or how big of a house they have, I was more interested in their character, their values what was important to them. I got ZERO responses. I just gave up after that.

  • Stabby, the shame thing, yeah they don’t have shame. If they did they never would have cheated in the first place. My ex shows up at shit with no shame. It’s as if he never did anything to hurt me or our children. He acts as tho he did me a favor by having a girlfriend for five years? Seriously!!! No shame!!

    As far as the copying thing, well they are just not that original. To keep a very LONG story short, I have been dating my ex-husbands OW’s ex-husband (we are now engaged). I have mentioned this in previous posts. So my partner’s ex-whore is trying to make my ex-husband into her ex-husband. Buying him the same lawn tractor, guns, gun safe, even the same breed of dog!!!! There is no explanation for it!

    • Insane!!!! That’s just so embarrassing for them. But one weird thing about my ex, he never got embarrassed. Ever. Like he could shit his pants at a party and feel nada. There’s a chip missing for sure!!

      • My ex “sharted” in his pants at a thanksgiving dinner at his parents house. He had gone outside with the men to drink beer and talk while I wrangled my two kids and his two kids in the house.

        He was gone long enough that I was started to wonder where he went and started looking for him. No one had seen him. I go back in the house.

        Finally, after maybe 45 minutes he’s creeping downstairs from his parents loft and I catch him and pull him aside to ask wth?

        At this point he’s had one too many beer and tells me he was leaning against a tree takin a piss and thought it was a fart, but oopsy. It was a shart. He shit his pants.
        He snuck threw the house and showered in his parents bathroom which conveniently has the washer/dryer and (GET THIS!) his MOTHER quickly spot washed his pants and dried them for him.

        No embarrassment. He told this story to everyone afterwards. Meanwhile, I’m in the corner shamefaced….

        • My current boyfriend/partner (we’ve been together 14 years and I’m still trying to get the will to leave him, even though, I know I don’t want to be with him anymore.) pissed his pants-emptied his full bladder-inside a bank’s ATM area while on vacation in South America last year. He was a little drunk but not drunk enough, in my opinion, to have no shame. I was so embarrassed when he came out and just nonchalant said he’s pissed his pants because he had to go to the bathroom and couldn’t hold it.
          Just like that. Deal with it. Didn’t care. He had to pee and that was that. I kept thinking, “what are you, 4?!”

          • You have a will to stay that is stronger than the will to leave? Exactly why are you holding on to this little gem?

              • You’ll make it, Sunflower! CN will cheer you forward! And you’ll see how much better it is here on the other side!

        • Is there a cause and effect connection between cheating and leaving not only skid marks on male underwear, but taking pleasure in exhibiting these skid marks for the delight of all who work in the laundry room???

          I confess that my only morbid curiosity about sparkledick is if the schmoopies get to see these skid marks and if they launder them….

          • No. I never dealt with skid marks. Although I would have never dealt with skid marks. Ever. I never would have taken any man seriously who did that. I used to clean houses and thos one house always had a full on orange lake around the toilets. The patriarch of the house was not shy about his urination and in turn his 3 son’s weren’t either. No way I would have stayed with anyone that blatantly, daily disrespectful of shared space. Yuck.

            I did have an ex (I was 16 and he was 19) that was so conflict-avoidant that he couldn’t even ask my Mom (who gave us a ride home from the movie theatre) to please wait while he used the washroom. He pissed himself and tried to hide it. Then when he got out he cried. He had a lot of issues. I don’t think he ever cheated on me though.

      • My XH had absolutely no shame either. He could get drunk as a pig in a bar, fall off the bar stool and then go back in the next day like nothing happened. Nothing embarrassed him. Not being married and divorced FIVE times, or cheating on every single wife and girlfriend, or filing bankruptcy, or paying bills on time or having shitty credit or getting a DUI. Ugh.

  • Golden D##k complained constantly about new pieces I would bring in to the house. His only comments to me about the art and decorating accessories that made our home special and unique were negative or questions about how much they cost. I spent a lot of thought and effort (not money) to find them (mostly thrifting and flea markets and online auctions). I could hang up a new pice and he would literally not notice for months and sometimes not ever (hard to notice anything around you when your head is down and you’re texting Schmoopie or for the meet-up location of your latest M4M hookups from Craigslist). He had no interest in where the pieces were from (culture of origin), what they symbolized or who the artist was. I made several pieces myself, those received the greatest scorn.
    But when anyone came over, HE would give the grand tour and talk about how HE found this at such and such a place. Some of the objects that he claimed he purchased were actually things that I made. Thanks, dickwit. He would attempt to give some background information. I used to be so embarrassed for him as he knew NOTHING about what he was talking about. How could he know, he never asked me for the information. I just shut my mouth and let him talk.
    So I was able to experience the assimilation of my interests first-hand. And I can tell you, the cognitive dissonance drove me crazy. To me, he was uninterested, dismissive and belittling about my choices. To everyone else, he was the mastermind behind it all. Trust that they suck.
    And thanks for the Damien Hirst shout-out! But where could you put any of his pieces in a normal-sized house (not to mention the $$$ he commands)? I guess that’s what galleries and museums are for.

  • My husband went shopping for an Asian woman on Craigslist to have sex with. “It was just for sex but we liked each other.” He liked her because “she is kind”. I told him kindness doesn’t hurt people (she knew he was married; he told her his family was his priority). He then told me he had always been attracted to Asian women but never acted on it because his parents wouldn’t have approved. I found an email to her (his “sole mate”) expressing how he has come to “love and respect her culture” (she is a native of China). I had to laugh. Did he tell her I had to drag him to the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco every year? I have always loved Asian cultures (Asian Art Museum donor, collector of all beautiful things Asian, collections of antique traditional clothing, art, etc) and it was something he RESENTED. One of the things he did that hurt me to the core….I have a collection of tribal jewelry…he bought her a tribal “Wish box” necklace with prayer beads (because they are such a spiritual couple)…..he has never bought me a piece of tribal jewelry. I feel the knife in my gut as I write this. 😔
    I never knew about his Asian preferences….We went to Japan in 2004 at my request….no wonder he wanted to go.

  • Thank you Chump Lady e Chumpies!

    This has been such fun fuckery to wrap my head head around, I feel so much more classy-stabby to see how common this behavior is. “Because he has no self.” It clicked! – because I knew this. He’s always been a try-hard. It dawned on me that he copied my tastes more than I realized while in our relationship. Now he’s copying my general identity, but his lameness is also reeking thru. He’s doing a lot of “collabs.” That gets a huge NOPE from me. I saw that his current girlfriend is his latest muse. She looks cute & cool and like someone I would actually like. She should I guess, she’s dating a hybrid of ME.

    I’ve been good, not perfect, with the no-contact. I did lose my cool on this latest development. And got sucked back into the crazy.

    Him: I just wanted to congratulate you for my success!!

    Me: SkehdhdidjjrjdkdjehehrhdksehdhhdjsjsjshdhdjdjdjsjhdhdjshdhdWTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Him: I can’t believe this is how you respond when I’m trying to congratulate you for all the great things happening to me. You’re selfish. Tataa!

    So no contact from now on! But – my social media is public. It’s 99.9999% my work, I post very little of my personal life. So it feels weird to block him now, and also, I just don’t want him to think I care. And it probably wouldn’t keep him from stealing. So I’d guess I should leave it be?

    • If you can block him on SM, do. Also, try putting water marks over your work (if it’s photo’s or graphics). If it’s written, can you post as pdf’s/graphics with hidden ‘written by’ in the headers/footers?

    • Feels weird to block him from your social media? Did it feel weird for him to fuck someone else with a wedding ring on his finger? Block that stupid F**K – no explanation required. You have no obligation to him at all. He will not know if you care or don’t care because you are…no contact! He no longer exists.

    • IMO, you should block him and drop him from every social medium. Let him find his ‘muse’ elsewhere. He’s still using you. Do it now! If he’s not in your network anymore he won’t be hooking into your clients and friends anymore either.

  • No shame. My ex tried to Hoover me back a couple months ago after dating another woman for 6 months. Begged and pleaded “can we please be friends?”

    My reply: How dare you even come crawling back after you knew how devastated I was from your betrayal, lies and disrespect and having to get tested for stds.

    Him: I’m not interested in a relationship right now, I just want to be friends…

    Me: Blocked.

    They only care about themselves. It was interesting to talk to him now that I know he’s a narcissistic psychopath.

    Listening to him rewrite all of our breakups as me “running out on him after he ended things” when the reality was I left HIM 5 times!!! And each time for relationship crimes that he perpetrated. It was unreal.

    His version of reality is so warped it’s like he’s not even human. He expresses no regret or shame. He just chugs happily along replacing each one with the next.

    And CL is right. Kibbles are kibbles to them. If you express any outrage at what they have done = kibbles because they have provoked a reaction. Any reaction is worth it to them.

    • ^This^ ChumpinCanada….I have honestly thought many, many times that cheater XH isn’t human. He simply does not have the necessary emotions required of humanness. He never once expressed regret or shame for anything. It never hurt him to hurt me. The only time I’ve ever seen him upset was when he did something really bad at work and almost got caught. The consequences would have been devastating to him. When it involved HIM, he could cry real tears. When it involved anyone else, he was cold as ice.

      • Yes, my ex cried ALL THE TIME. But. It was only used as a manipulation.

        First time he cried was about an uncle who had died years before. We were dating, having drinks and a bbq on a nice summer night. He starts reminiscing about uncle, bursts in to tears while I hold him, wipe away his tears and kiss his cheeks. We dated over a year (on and off). Was that uncle ever mentioned again? Nope. I even got a picture of the uncle and framed it for him. Did he care? Not really.

        Another time? His ex wife (who I later friended after ex and I broke up for good) was giving him a hard time. Harassing text messages about him dating me, his neglect of their two kids, etc. I mean, incessant, hateful texts. We are cuddling and He starts to tear up that I am going to leave him over it……queue it up: like all the “others” have. Stupid me. Hugs him amd promises i will never leave him over her.

        Later. I break up with him 5 x. Each Hoover was tears, snot, whining “but you are are my best friend, I didn’t realize it till now. And we are just alike: both of us have kind hearts”

        The tears were never for me. They were a manipulation.

        • My fuckwit cried about me not being there when he got back from Afghanistan. Where he got that idea I don’t know.
          I wrote and talked to him every day for 4 months while he was there. Took care of the home, his child, full time medical job
          I have no doubt that he cheated there after finding out about the others whores
          He then sat on the back porch bench and cried for 30 minutes, while I kept the door shut
          Manipulation at its best.

  • “There is no louder “fuck off” to a narcissist than silence.” This should be on a coffee mug. As a normal person with feelings and the ability to connect to others, it’s difficult to understand the narcissist. (My mother is one, and probably most of my x’s and I’ve been in therapy for years trying to unpack that baggage.) My shrink said it best: a narcissist is like a bucket with no bottom on it; you can fill it and fill it and it’s never full. It’s never good enough. And when you look in the bucket, there’s no THERE there. Forgive yourself for being fooled–narcissists can be very charming; a lot of actors are narcissists. Block him on all SM. And if anyone calls for a reference, decline.

  • “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”
    Oscar Wilde

  • My ex was attracted to me because I possess characteristics that he covets: confidence, extroversion, quick thinking, resilience, bravery, critical thinking, independence, creativity, honesty, steadfastness, problem solving, responsibility, and decisiveness. He lacks all of these things on a core level, and he must have believed that he would magically absorb the things he liked about me into his own character and personality to cover up his own failings. When he couldn’t suck the good qualities out of me like a personality vampire, he turned the tables and resented me for all of the things he once admired. When he couldn’t take my personality traits from me, he tried to shut them down. Then he went out and found someone who seemed like a facsimile of me on the surface (except for the character and values part) as a replacement. Then together they went on to try to recreate the family life I wanted but they both professed to reject, because evidently having a family was too conformist while they were both married to other people, but now it’s bold and edgy.

    They want what we have (what we ARE), and when they can’t BE us they instead try to damage us, and then become us.

    Cling, suck, destroy, copy.

    It’s the cheater-virus lifecycle.

  • Fuckwit began drinking gin because OW#1 drank gin. I saw e-mails where he declared she was “having quite an effect on him, did she realize this?” charm-charm-charm channel, makes me want to barf. Of course he stopped drinking gin immediately when she went away. He hates gin and always has.

    I have no clue what he is trying to mimic with the current Schmoopie other than trying to be 25YO in his 49YO skin. (Better get those teeth and that hairline worked on then, asshole.) She is just a little twat girl he can run away from his mortality with. For now.

    He will not mimic me because that requires showing up to his life every day, doing the hard things, following through and making sacrifices to honor commitments, being there for his daughters and pets, and being honest. Nope, he is not interested in any of that.

    • The disordered will mirror the current person of interest or their current obsession. A few disordered women I know would all of a sudden be obsessed with football when they previously had absolutely no interest. It was a way to latch on to their obsession. Look at Jodi Arias. She became a Mormon for Travis Alexander. So creepy. One woman I know actually ran the NY marathon because the guy she was “dating” (more like a dysfunctional hook up) was a marathon runner. She did not have an athletic bone in her body. Never even attempted to exercise. It was hysterical, she came to the finish line at around midnight and (not being disrespectful) participants with severe disabilities easily beat her. Another guy I know that is a narcissist came from a rather conservative background and at nearly forty he had tattoos & piercings all over his body, started riding motorcycles and tried to look like a thug. Hooked up with a stripper. Later he went for the Ragnar (Vikings) look and I hear he dumped his stripper for a woman with a Scandinavian background. Can’t make this stuff up. Another working class guy from New Zealand started dressing very preppy, tried to come off as a British Upper Class (think Sloane Ranger) and was a complete laughing stock with my English friends.

      • It’s funny you mention it I noticed a couple of women I worked with bacame rev heads, got into going to speedway events with their new husbands. Sounds like a nightmare to me, something I might go to once at the most.
        My son told me the other day that his dad was watching a football match on his iPhone. My immediate thought is he must be trying to impress someone, he knows little and cares less about football.

  • My father was a narcissist to the core. He hated, abhorred, my mother for no other reason than she had the gall to leave him. When they were married he would never miss an opportunity to demean my mother’s Cuban nationality. He’d say/imply that it was a third-world cesspool full of uneducated subhumans basically. He being European he felt superior to her. He always hated going on vacation anywhere when they were married saying it was a waste of money. Well, a few years after she left him he started taking vacations. You don’t have to guess his favorite vacationing spot.
    He’d go to Cuba every year. Land in Havana and then rent a car and drive to the center of the island, to my mother’s hometown…….

    • What a fucked up thing to do. I’m laughing this is so unbelievable. What a freak, belittle your mom’s origins and then vacationing at that exact spot afterwards. I will remember this example. I’m shaking my head.

      • Yes!! He was such an asshole My mother had been in a state of meh for some time by then but she still found it indignant, you know. He LOVED (or as much love as a person like him can have) my mother’s hometown. He couldn’t stop gushing over how quaint it was, how nice the people were, how beautiful the women were, etc. I remember thinking as a child how confusing he was. He never stood for anything. Nothing was ever to his liking or standards. He viewed EVERYTHING with disdain. The only reason why he seemed to love Cuba so much was because we kept not believing him to be sincere about it. You know how these people can never say, “you’re right.”
        The only constants in his life were the hate he had for my mother and his horrible childhood.

        • He isn’t sincere about loving Cuba. If your parents had remained married to this day, he would have still hated Cuba to this day and refused to set foot there. He’s really messed up and a total Narcissist to the core! You’re so right.

          • Yes, you are correct on both. He WAS a narcissist to the core. I would say he went being just a narcissist to a sociopath/psychopath. (He passed away 5 years ago. That’s a story in itself.) Don’t miss him, though. And he would have hated Cuba still if he were with my mother.
            NOTHING about him was sincere. You never knew what to expect from him. To a child, it’s terribly disconcerting. It’s no wonder people like him mess up their kids’ sense of well being.

  • Mine would take credit for anything I did that he fancied:
    Any decent photo I took would in time become a photo that he took.
    Any idea I’d have that he liked eventually became his bright idea.
    He even replaced me with himself in certain memorable events.
    He also threw me under the bus in the same way.
    Any bad idea he had became mine.
    Or if he did something unfavorable to piss someone (or many people) off he’d somehow insert me into situation. E.g.- after he suggested that he post a photo taken of all the neighborhood kids playing on our jungle gym on Zillow when we put our house on the market, I told him not to do it and that if someone posted a photo of my kids anywhere on social media, or in this case a real estate site, with AN ADDRESS LISTED I’d be absolutely irate. I found out he did anyway when a neighbor showed up at our door. Irate. Because said photo of his kid was posted on… Zillow. Then another neighbor. And then another. When the first person came knocking, I was in the shower but that was when my husband to him that it was MY idea to post the photo. So all the seething anger was directed at me. I had to go around the neighborhood and explain what really happened and apologize for my husband’s idiocy. A true test in humility and eating a buffet of shit sandwiches that should have been for my husband.
    Narcissists have no moral compass.
    These people will steal your soul if ya let ’em.

    • While we were married, I used to text my ex images of my daughter while we were out enjoying life. He never came with us but often posted those pics to his FB page as if he was there with us! Drove me nuts. Now he re-shares those FB memories. I’ve been tempted to comment and ask if he knows where the photos were taken or what the pic is even about.

      • The now ex would get angry and say I was spoiling the moment when I took pictures. He never took pictures of me and rarely of the kids. He would however repost the pictures I took as if he were an active participant in our lives. When I was lining up my ducks before tossing him to the curb, I took all my pictures and stored them at my moms. I’d be damned if we were taking any of those with him. It was all for not. He only wanted his clothes and a few items from his man cave so he could start over with young schmoopie 🙂

        • My ex never took a picture, and never posted any pictures of he or his family anywhere. Just pictures of him
          Go figure.

      • My X, among all the other things mentioned previously here, also co-opted my family pix. Specifically, of MY children and grandchild (form my prior marriage). This is YEARS after out divorce.
        These kids he was never interested in during our marriage. Now he shows them to strangers as HIS children and grandchild.

        Its SICK.

  • I think they do this weirdo stuff to “redeem” themselves inside their own brain. It’s a way to convince themselves that they did nothing wrong to us and they are good people. Image management.

    Pretend they don’t exist. They don’t know how to deal with that.

  • Oh yes the copycat phenomenon! It’s so comical. My ex decided to join the same charity that I volunteered for after I dumped him. He joined the same online dating site after I dumped him. We met him person and when I took down my online profile after we became exclusive, he specifically told me he would never be part of that specific online dating site. He chose an apartment close to my home, a few blocks down where I live, after I broke up with him. These people are pathetic to the core. They try to get a rise out of you and when it doesn’t work out, they come back with their tail between their legs crying. Whatever, block.

    • And of course, all this is to ONE UP me. My ex was the most insecure person I’ve ever met and he tried to compete with me and that’s why I dumped him. But after I kicked his ass to the curb, he got on this rampage of trying to ONE UP me in everything I did, and he wanted to show that he could do better. He’s a certified loser.

  • Wow, I could have written this letter myself. My ex went to the next level by taking a job where I work… AFTER we were divorced!

    Despite her damaged soul, she has become very good at what she does, (IT) and ironically, I played a significant part of her professional growth… this woman can get a job anywhere.

    I’m an engineer at a national lab in pure research and love what I do, but now I’m (still) being held hostage by an emotional terrorist in my own ‘home’.

    I walk into the cafeteria and the first thing I do is scan the crowd for her… I feel like Riker, “Shields Up!”. And the woman is psychic… In those brief periods of blissful forgetfulness, she will approach me in pathetic attempts re-engage her emotional vampirism. She’s even had the gall to invite the Schmoopie for lunch. Yes, @FeelingStabby, they have no shame.

    • I feel for you. How AMAZING for her that her life benefited so much from your relationship. What did you get out of it? This is similar to how I feel. I hope that when I reach true “meh” I will no longer feel like a hostage in my own life. Xx

  • Oh creepy.

    I haven’t had any contact with my ex, or seen anything related to him on social media since the day I dumped him. But if I found out he’d hijacked my style or interests it would really creep me out and make me even more determined to keep distance from him.

  • I was going to take my kids up to Alaska & Canada on a cruise for vacation, then figured it was too expensive 🙁 . Guess who is now taking the kids on that trip? It’s the exact same cruise. So glad my thousands in child support are going to buy shoes and groceries.

    She complained for years that she hated comic book movies (Avengers, Superman, and so on). It made picking a movie hard, as that is a big chunk of the movie market these days.
    Now, she’s not only watching all the movies, she’s taking the kids to comic book conventions…

    • If only! It’s nothing that hilarious, just a designer jacket. Mine was given to me by a client several years ago. It’s a designer he didn’t know at the time, but he is very into clothes and “appearances.” It’s several years/seasons old, he must have scoured the internet for it AND spent a pretty penny. There are now press photos of him wearing that jacket. Which makes me laugh since I would never spend that much on a jacket, I’m just lucky to have awesome clients.

  • Oh YES, the Copycat syndrome. Over 3 decades of him studying me to become me. FREE now and in the land of MEH, so I truly don’t give a shit what, who, when or where. Until my sanity was saved her on CL / CN I thought he was just trying to make me more crazy than he already had. Straight up, straight out of the “play book”. It is impossible for them to be original and now that the charade is over I do get to laugh at this freak for who he REALLY is! DON’T think there is contact, NOT, but we did have a long marriage, 3 grown kids, grand babies etc. Now that he doesn’t have me to copy, I chuckle at the gifts he struggles to come up with especially for grandchildren. He wouldn’t know what a baby liked or wanted it if hit him in the face. Example: babies HATE Jack in the Box, loud screaming police cars (yes he was cop) and toys that the parents put away (forever). Christmas 2017 he bought the 3 month old a stuffed Monkey that had a recorded message in it from him. Basically it freaked the whole family out. CREEPY gramps.

    Don’t get me started on the farm! The only farm he belongs on is the funny farm. When he left 3 yrs ago, he bought a 5th wheel (bc I was a dud and never wanted to travel in one) NOT with him, I like planes, hotels and getting where Im going. Like most of us, divorce from HELL he took tons of money from joint acct. and bought some land. Another pipe dream that no one wants to share with him. So nothings been built. Recently he heard that I was looking to to sell our family home and downscale and move to a 55+ active community near kids, grandkids. Next thing I hear is he purchased a …… stand by, small ranch where he is going to learn how to board horses for people, park his 5th wheel and hope to have awesome family time with 3 kids/grandkids that don’t want to be around him. He knows NOTHING about horses, I rode and had a horse (copycat). He also bought a car like mine ONLY the Sports model (college guys envy) REALLY! Such a loser…. I admit now that I embrace him wanting to copy me, mainly bc its so obvious. He will NEVER be me or even HIM for that matter…. LOL

  • Here’s a weird one:

    As a life long horse breeder/trainer/exhibitor, I have a ranch brand. It is comprised of a number and a letter that mean something ***only*** to me.

    During his tenure with me, I came to learn that POP was using MY BRAND in his profile name on Match–

    as in “_ _4U”

    How’s that for absolutely senseless and ballsy?

    Stupid fucker.

    • Maybe he would like to have that brand affixed to his tail end with a red hot branding iron … since he is so into it and everything.

  • I was mulling over other copycat crap my ex did on my drive to work. I really wanted to go on vacation to Belize (both for professional interests and because, obviously, beach vacation), and ex blew me off. He said he wasn’t interested, Belize didn’t capture his interest, and it was way too expensive. I even checked out travel guides from the library and brought them home, hoping to get him excited about it. He said no. Then a few months later he and his college friends decided to take a “guy’s” trip, and of course he tried to convince them to go to…Belize. I asked if I could go when I found out some of the other wives and girlfriends were going, and he said no. (They ended up going RV-ing in my home state instead.)

    In another incident, I really wanted to move to a particular place that ex and I both liked. Ex refused to consider it. I was disappointed but didn’t push it. (You know, compromise and all.) After we separated, I was very excited to get a job offer and moved there without ex. (He was already living in a different state, so I wasn’t taking our son any further away.) Suddenly he wanted to move there AND told me of his intentions to apply for a job with my employer, which would have put us in the same building and living in the same small community (with OW, of course). I had to put myself in the awkward position of explaining the situation to my employer since they would have no way of knowing who he was if he applied. Ex was livid that I would “interfere” like that. Now he and OW want to move to my home state (I recently moved back), even though he couldn’t be bothered to consider living here when we were together.

    I’m solidly at Meh, so I don’t really care what he does as long as he’s not in my space or negatively impacting our son, but I’m not beyond rolling my eyes at this kind of crap.

    • That’s just sick. It’s like he wants to be as close to you as possible so he can rub OW in your face and try and induce a pick-me-dance. Good thing you are above that. Glad your employer understood. Boggles the mind.

  • He’s such a chameleon. He tried hard to be me and resented me for being me. the mindfuckery!
    I always loved plants and gardening and he never was interested. Now, suddenly he decided he’s into growing plants. His new schmoop likes to travel and he lied and said how much he loves to travel. He hates it and never wanted to go anywhere and if he did, he would sulk and ruin things.

  • I looked in the encyclopedia and his picture was there with the description “Poopy head pea brain”.
    One time I stood on a hill and watched a flock of Guinea Birds. The whole group would be bunched together. One would scream and they would all run across the field and then stop. Then another scream and off they would go back the way they came. They kept it up the whole time I watched(which wasn’t long). I am pretty sure your husband was in that flock. Monkey see, monkey do. Guinea bird scream, Guinea bird run. You become successful, he wants to be you. Simple. Poopy head pea brain.

  • They have no sense of shame. Mine didn’t end up with the OW, because she was a stripper and she was done with him. But after I kicked him out, he did manage to find a super chump that he met online and she let him move into her house in very short order. She then took on the responsibility of paying his bills and when she was finally broke, he took her into bankruptcy with him.

    After things were well over and no contact firmly in place between him and me, and he is living with super chump, he sent me an email asking me if I would share my secret recipe for getting the shower doors clean.

    LOL! Apparently his new super chump wasn’t a very good housekeeper, and he’s asking me to tell him how to clean the frickin’ shower doors? Of course I didn’t respond, but I saved the email for laughs.

  • Got my mind going now! Don’t be enamored by anyone who has “everything” in common with YOU. He liked all the same music, sports, travels, goals, skills, etc as me (even GOD). Basically he did ‘pick’ me to hide behind while he serial cheated on me forever. He managed to fool most of the people most of the time until I said NO MORE. Whatever I was involved in…. so was he, I loved working out, SO did he, I liked traveling, SO did he. Then I became a mom, 3 kids in 4 years and thats when he really went wild. I found out that every single vacation we went on, every town visited, every major event, every home we lived in, EVERYTHING …. he took those times and defiled them, with cheating, strip clubs, porn, & lying, lying lying.

    My job took me too Alaska one year where we lived. Always one of my favorite memories UNTIL I found out he had used my flight benefits and cheated on me throughout this beautiful state with women he picked up in bars. I thought he was exploring the state, when I wasn’t able to go with him. I had small kids and felt like it was a gift to him to be able to go. That was my first DDay. He admitted it to me years later to “clear his conscience”. It was Never the same. Biggest Regret is not leaving him then! TRUST they SUCK and it has nothing to do with you. LOOK at the facts, ALL of them and get as far away from them as possible.

    • Not to croon about your ex, but the Alaska thing is pretty impressive. From what I’ve heard, they have way more men than women up there. If he could convince a number of women to have flings with him, in that environment, well, he’s a professional pick-up artist.

      Glad you’re free of him.

  • He may have done it a bit early in our relationship. Back then he didn’t care what we did or where we were as long as we were together so he was happy to morph his tastes to mine. His aunt told me how startled she was to discover that he suddenly just loved Indian food back in the day when he had never liked it before. I love Indian food. I thought his political views started off fairly liberal and then got more conservative over the years. Perhaps they were always conservative but morphed briefly in order to reel me in. After the first few years, however, he stopped liking anything I liked and I had to morph my tastes to match his if I ever wanted to spend time with him. Eventually he stopped wanting to do anything with me or the kids.

    He did seem to morph a lot to please whoever was the influencer du jour. His tastes, likes/dislikes, politics, opinions kept shifting and it was hard to keep up. Often I would be trying to get the kids to do something that mattered to him more than me only to have him say it didn’t matter, making it look like I was being the tyrant. If I didn’t make them do what he wanted, however, then I wasn’t backing up his parenting. Other times I would think I was expressing an opinion similar to his only to find out that his was now completely different. I always ended up feeling foolish and confused.

    Now he seems to be morphing to please Schmoopie. He suddenly has an interest in movies that he never would have wanted to see with me. He suddenly likes Harry Potter. Before he hated Harry Potter because that was something I did with the kids (he was free to join in but chose not to). Now suddenly he is a fan because it’s something he can do with her, our kids and her kids (although that has kind of ruined it for the kids). According to daughter his political beliefs and opinions are morphing towards more liberal again too. Grace keeps trying to call him out on it when he contradicts long held previous opinions but he just says “oh I used to feel that way but not anymore”. WTF!? Why was he willing to change for some slut but not for his own family? My biggest fear is that daughter might start to think Slutface is a good influence on him.

    • I hear ya! My ex, who was an athiest, ran into a church during a service and blurted out his sins after I kicked him out of the house when I learned what he had been up to. I had clients who were at the service, and witnessed this.

      Guess my idiot ex thought this would “soften” my heart toward him!

  • ‘…his work is embarrassing, and I hate the idea that he’s telling everyone that “I taught him everything he knows.” ‘

    Well, that’s an easy one to fix. If anyone mentions this to you, just reply that it’s true, but that you only taught him a small fraction of what YOU know. So if they want the real deal instead of a cheater knockoff, they know who to call.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.
    aeronaut

  • X hasn’t copied me to my knowledge, but I swear it seems that OW (young, golddigging homewrecker), who is just one whore in a long string of whores X has sought narcissistic supply from, is trying to accomplish what I have professionally. Many problems with this for her: first, I have integrity and in my profession that matters a lot. I also obtained my professional degree and began my career, which has been exceptional, when she was still in grade school. I was top of my class and had amazing opportunities. OW is a terrible student and is at the bottom of her class. I’m 25 years ahead of her and spent all that time working hard at building my reputation and my experience and knowledge. I’m an expert in my field, which takes decades.

    “Whore, you may have “stolen” my husband and destroyed my intact family, but you cannot ever be me!”

  • Stabby,
    In a way, the imitation is the highest form of flattery. Can you focus on the value and ingenuity you bring to the world? You rock!

  • “I already hide from so many of my once favorite places, because I know I’ll run into one of his dozen cheating partners.” That’s my life ,too.
    Their harem is the universe. All ages, sizes, shapes, colors. Friends or complete strangers, neighbors, shopkeepers, hairdressers, his clients, mothers and sisters of our children’s schoolmates. Above all hid friends’ wives. I can’t even go to the grocery without running into one of his whores.

    • I’m sorry to hear that. During one of our D-days, I asked him in despair “how could ALL of these women do this to me?!” He said, “well…they don’t think about you. They all have a lot of problems.” Obviously. And NONE of them actually wanted to be with him. So what was the point? I’m so glad I can’t even relate to this whole level of sub-people. In a way, the sheer number of them have made it easier for me to see the ridiculousness but I’m tired of feeling embarrassed. We should leave the house, to hell with them.

    • I can’t either. I run into them everywhere! I don’t even get groceries in this town! Did I mention that she now rents near me and works where I work?

  • Oh just wait, soon they start claiming everything that makes up you, came from them.

    My stbx recently told the kids that he is the one that introduced me to my love of wine. Like he’s some wine aficionado. We joined a wine club together, and developed the passion side by side. His superiority would never allow him to admit being on the same playing field though.

    He has this view of himself that he is an expert at everything he doess. Anyone associated with him that likes the same things must have learned what they know from him.

    You like certain clothing… he introduced that style to you.

    You like avocado toast … he’s been making that since before it was popular.

    You got lucky on a stock trade… he’s known for months that stock was going to skyrocket.

    I’m not sure what’s worse, being copied, or their belief that the existence of you having interests is a testament to them.

    In either case, the strongest reaction cheaters should ever get is an eye roll.

    • Oh mine was a wine connaisseur too! Since we lived in France he had to be right? He would buy REALLY expensive wine, drink 3 bottles of it in one go and then stagger around being an “expert”!

  • In our family life, I was the queen of road snacks. I love packing goodies (healthy and a few unhealthy) to munch on during a road trip. It fills me with happiness. The ex used to openly mock me for it. So now, my 21-year-old daughter travels for work and tweeted a selfie of her and her road snacks. My ex responded by tweeting, “I have taught you well, young Padawan.” So not only is he taking credit for the thing I clearly taught her, but he also fancies himself a Jedi. Dumbass.

  • Where is his shame? Great question. Is it hiding under the hydrangeas that he proudly proclaimed were peonies at his new home. Nope, don’t think so. His yard looks like hell, no mater what he does. That is because his wife appliance/gardener is not taking care of it. He also planted the double knock out roses that I used to love. And he is planning a wedding in the park, just like I did 24 years ago. Not an ounce of originality…I swear.

  • We had a farm that I left, my son was crushed. Luckily though b!tchface texted me that she “loves the country”. Then her husband wanted a divorce so they sold their home and she now rents beside me (isn’t that fun?). But here’s the best part…she now got a job working where I work. Say what?!?!? Honestly they are all batsh!t crazy!!!

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