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Dear Chump Lady, He’s promising to better himself… for her

Dear Chump Lady,

I decided to leave my husband 5 months ago. Despite wanting to give it yet another fiftieth chance, I decided it was finally time to protect myself, remembering that history shows he’ll never change (despite his pleadings otherwise).

But now, with this new girl, this is the last straw for me — he’s told her everything about his fuck-ups upfront because he wants to “make it work”. He’s never done that before. He’s promising to better himself…for her. He’s promised to break any contacts she asks without question. Allow her access to all his devices, accounts and messages. Keep tabs with her to put her mind at ease. Things he never did for me even with reconciliation. When I requested it always ended in a fight. He got angry, saying it’s an invasion of his privacy and shows I had not worked on trusting him.

But now suddenly he wants to do all those things for her? Right off the bat? No request given? It’s stupid, but I can’t help but feel hurt. I’ve done such a good job at moving past all the other crap… but this one persists.

I know he’s a dirtbag and a liar and selfish and narcissistic. But. This was my “best friend” for 10 years. He knows me inside and out. If he determined I’m not good enough, then it must be true on some levels. Right?

I just was never good enough for that kind of effort.

It creeps its way into my hobbies, my friendships, my workplace, my fitness routine. And especially if there’s even an entertained thought at a new relationship in the future. Everything I do I hear that in the back of my head and it’s all I can do to not give up and say fuck it.

How do I take back control? How can I train my brain not to think this way?

KitFoxx

Dear KitFoxx,

With logic.

He has a “new girl” — and his best romantic, let-me-impress-you play is “Here’s access to all my devices, accounts, and messages.”

Wow. Way to sweep a lady off her feet. What next? An ankle monitor?

If this is true — he’s offering her a big sheriff’s star to be Relationship Police, and he never gave that star to you — THANK THE SWEET LORD JESUS!

He is NOT A PRIZE! He’s not even pretending to sugar frost his turd. His flagrant turdishness is right there on display and he’s handing the OW the frosting knife. “Want to check my cell phone?” Wink, wink, nudge, nudge? (The burner phone is in his truck.) NO. SANE. PERSON. WANTS. TO. DATE. THIS.

No sane person wants to stay married to it either, which is why you left. Why on earth are you questioning that decision?

He’s told her everything about his fuck-ups upfront because he wants to “make it work”.

You have no idea what he’s told her. He’s goading you into the pick me dance.

And again, even if this were true (and I doubt it is), who LEADS with their serial cheating? If she’s a recent OW, the crazy bitch KNOWS he’s a serial cheater, and she’s already drank the Koolaid that she’s Special and Things Will Be Different for Her. So this Twu Wuv scenario is different than the millions of other stories on this blog… HOW?

Your ex wants to make cake work. In that he is sincere.

He’s never done that before.

No. He didn’t have to make desperate promises to improve, because you were his chump. But now you’ve left him, so he’s got to up his manipulation game a bit.

He’s promising to better himself…for her.

Exploding Ford Pintos are promising to better themselves… for her.

Strains of Ebola virus are promising not to mutate… for her.

Chernobyl is promising not to be radioactive… for her.

He’s promised to break any contacts she asks without question.

Charming. Another romantic evening spent playing “How Short Is My Leash?”

Allow her access to all his devices, accounts and messages.

Followed by the daily frisk and cavity search.

Keep tabs with her to put her mind at ease.

Keep her guessing and off-balance. All the better to mindfuck her into cake submissiveness. Winning!

Things he never did for me even with reconciliation.

He didn’t do those things? You weren’t in reconciliation. And those aren’t the real things anyway. See “postnup” and “credit report.”

When I requested it always ended in a fight.

So how do you imagine this going over with the Schmoopies?

OW: “No, not THAT phone. Your burner phone.”

Him: AIGGGHGHHHHHH!!!!!

He got angry, saying it’s an invasion of his privacy and shows I had not worked on trusting him.

You know what’s an invasion of your privacy? Your husband fucking another woman. Yes, because nothing says PRIVATE and EXCLUSIVE like the inclusion of 50 fuckbuddies into your marriage.

He invaded YOU. The person who should be angry here is YOU.

You LEFT. That was sane. He’s just a DARVO mindfuck.

I know he’s a dirtbag and a liar and selfish and narcissistic. But. This was my “best friend” for 10 years.

Do you really want a lying, selfish, narcissistic dirtbag for a best friend? Because I suggest you do better. And let me point out the obvious — you didn’t have a best friend. You had a planet to orbit around. A cold, dark planet. Go explore the remaining universe and discover the alien species of “friends.” They’re nothing like the creatures that dwell on Planet Narcissist.

If he determined I’m not good enough, then it must be true on some levels. Right?

NO. Why are YOU making HIM the final arbiter of your worth? YOU control that. YOU are buying into this idiocy. So own that and STOP DOING IT.

If flaming bags of dog poop don’t find me “enough”? Hallelujah! I don’t set my worth by flaming bags of dog poop.

Go back and read from “HE IS NOT A PRIZE” and work your way down the paragraph again until it sinks in.

KitFoxx, you have a classic Trust That He Sucks problem. He really sucks, but you have to believe it. I can’t convince you of it. If you don’t believe me, head into the ring for Round 51, and see how that works out. Ask yourself — do you WANT to be marriage police? Really?

There’s no good man at the end of that tether. There’s a mindfucking, serial cheating bastard. Please, let go of the rope. No contact is the path to truth and light. Quit talking to him. I promise your self-worth will become more evident with time.

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.
    • Even jet lagged you’re spot on. My STBX plays in the back of my mind all the time. I have to make an effort to change the channel. 30+ years is a long sick habit.

      • I fou d that my husnand was the voice in the back of my head for awhile. So when we separated I made sure if I heard it or thought if him that I would take him to a mental door in my mind, escort him out of it tell him “you can’t be here anymore” and lock it.

        I did this mentally probably a dozen times a day at first. Then finally my mind stopped reaching for him.

        At that point I was praying a lot and anyway, I was shown I was truly alone and that was an amazing turning point for me.

        • Genius!!! It’s amazing how they’ve brain washed us and played mind games for so long that we think their twisted sick voices are our inner voices. UGH!

    • LOVE IT, agreed marriage police, not for me I DESERVE BETTER and I’m going to FIND better! I left my cheating dirtbag.

    • Glad you got home safely. Dodged the volcano.!
      Was so inspiring to hear you speak in person.
      So inspiring to be with other chumps.
      Man!!! What you have started is unbelievable!
      And I never say “ man”!
      I think we’re on a roll.!!

      • Egans – I’m with you. I couldn’t wait to hear Tracy speaking live and in person and reading from her book. Who else could read it any better. Very inspiring for sure. It was certainly worth the trip.

        I hope you don’t mind – Tracy but…

        And, for those that may not realize it, Tracy is rather shy (and a little coy when it comes to her hunky husband), and a lot of fun to be around. What she says about herself and how C/L is in her head and lives there seems to be very spot on. A sweet voice, a continuous smile, and very warm. A shy, porcelain skinned, seriously curly haired lady and appearing a bit fragile at first. It must be the white skin! And, later, you realize what a deep river runs through her spirit. It was such a pleasure to meet you, Tracy!

        • I enjoyed reading your post SheChump. For those of us many many miles away, your description of CL sounds delightful.
          She sounds so very very beautiful, inside and out!
          What an experience of a life time for those Chumps who were able to make this amazing trip!

    • You are right to feel this way – I remember having the same feeling when a cheating ex told me she was “trying to be good” with her new BF, before later asking me to stay the night with her….

      That really put things in perspective – even “trying to be good”, she still tried to cheat

      The key as CL says is no contact. Life’s good when you don’t have the eggshells breaking and the mindfuck of gaslighting and goading.

    • As othees have said, what he is offering her is nothing of value. Consider yourself lucky he didn’t drag you into the mindfuck that is the Marriage Police.

      My cheater was only too gleeful about putting me through those paces.

      If he gave me access to his computer, it was only because he had a secret browser which I couldn’t access the history.

      If he gave me his email password it was because he had 5 others he didn’t tell me about.

      If I gave the boundary that he could NOT touch my tablet he would deliberately figure out the password so he could “accidentally” leave traces of hos revolting porn on it. This was my fault, of course, because the password (which he wasn’t provided), on the device he was explicitly told NOT to use (so I had one electronic device in the house that didn’t trigger me) was “too easy to guess”.

      His deliberate baiting of me to become the Marriage Police was one more way for him to continue his psychological torture of me. It broke me more than the cheating, more than the million other violations against me. It broke me more than the time he held me down and raped me.

      This is what he’s giving her. You do not want this.

      • You’re so right. It is torture. We’re just so conditioned to thinkthe only real abuse is physical.

    • Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender–it’s a standard ploy first detected among sexual offenders, now known to be a key strategy of cornered cheaters.

    • I didn’t do that thing you accuse me of!
      How dare you suspect I could do something like that? I’m hurt, offended, angry…
      If YOU didn’t have such poor self esteem and weren’t such a bitch, you’d never accuse me of that thing. You need therapy, crazy person.

      DARVO.

      • Omg my mom’s husband. To the T. I am sharing that with her. She will immediately identify. And, because I’m the one who outed him a year ago after I found evidence he was cheating (I was his office manager), their marital problems are now exclusively my fault. In his words, I’m a ‘fat bitch’ who ‘drove my husband away’ and nothing but a ‘moron playing junior detective’ (just got my bachelors in criminal justice). So I’m banned from their house, and I am THE DEVIL. Darvo.

      • VERY familiar with the behavior, just didn’t know there was a nifty acronym I could use for it!

      • 2nd Gem…

        Are you my husband?!?

        “ dating profile? What dating profile…. show me… oh this one? It’s an old one
        – it shows your recent activity
        “ it’s not possible, I have to investigate that and prove it’s not true
        – sure.
        “ you see? I wasn’t using that profile in the past 6 months, and yes, history doesn’t go further, so chat should I do? You don’t trust me
        – no, I don’t. This is your picture, profile and account.
        “ but I haven’t used it recently”
        – u signed a week before our engagement, which means that another memory is fucked over
        “ omg you are so negative and now trying to turn the table and make impression that “ the hurt” is an issue? I need an apology for accusing me of using that account in the past 6 months”
        – crickets 🦗 speechless…

      • I supported my stbx in all of his hobbies – boats, motorcycles, racing, etc., etc.

        He got a camera. Was out until 2:00 a.m. taking pictures, he said. Every weekend.

        I said I did not like that. He needed to come home earlier. Unless – is he cheating?

        Well, he whined, he pouted, he cried about how mean I was! I did not support his hobby! He NEEDS his hobby. He works so hard for us! He is so stressed! I am so insecure! How could I???!! In fact, he wants a separation because I am so unreasonable and horrible!!

        Well, his ‘hobby,’ of course, was his coworker.

        I gave him one better than a separation. Divorce papers are supposed to be finalized this month. Unless he keeps dragging in on another 6 months.

  • My ex also claims he is a “different man”. He’s no longer with the OW but a new GF and I have no idea how much she knows about his sordid past. However, I have no illusions that he actually has changed – because that would require a lot of self reflection and in an email not more than a couple months ago he told me that he “wanted out of our marriage” and that I “had to make it as painful as possible”…. uh…. I’m sorry I didn’t roll over and let you walk all over me. I’m sorry I stopped pick-me dancing and pretending I was ok with you blowing up our family and walking out on me…. and by sorry I mean “go fuck yourself”.

    • The “new girlfriend cure” works as well as the “geographic cure.”

      As in, it doesn’t.

      No matter where you go, there you are.
      No one else can fix that for him.

      In fact later on in the relationship when the new fun chemicals wear off it becomes “you knew who I was!”

      • Absolutely. He told the OW “who he was” so he could blameshift onto her when he, inevitably, cheats on her. “You fault! This is how I am, and YOU knew it!”

        It is pre-emptive on his part. What a POS.

    • It would make me happy if someday my ex ditches the bitch, gets counseling and does become a better person. If he does take up with a new girlfriend after that, I hope he will be a changed man at that point. I just don’t want him to change for the woman who conspired with him to tear our family apart because she isn’t worthy of the effort it would take for him to change.

      • Yes. In fact, I believe that this is the only kind of change really possible. If someone has been a horrible person to his partner, he can never really get “good” with that partner again. Partly, because he hasn’t faced any real consequences and partly because that partner can’t “unknow” things. They can’t “unremember” the pain and betrayal. I think true, transformative change can happen. But it happens so rarely because there must be the consequence of real loss followed by the introspection and reflection of their part in the chaos of their life.

        • I agree, change can happen. I have seen it with people I go to church with. However, it takes ALOT of work and those changed people will tell you that.

          As far as my ex; he will never change. The first part of change is admitting you have a problem. Over 10 years later, he still denies having an affair. Everyone in our community is lying and making up something that is not true.

    • “I’m sorry I didn’t roll over and let you walk all over me. I’m sorry I stopped pick-me dancing and pretending I was ok with you blowing up our family and walking out on me…. and by sorry I mean “go fuck yourself”.” I just this week had to state similar. Explanation shouldn’t be necessary for these very smart narcs.

  • Yes yes yes!!! This is me, literally!! Except i am starting the no contact today. Im done chasing unicorns! Thank you chump lady. Needed this now.

  • When the final bomb drop happened, and the mask started really slipping, the person he claimed publically to be, the person I thought he was shattered.
    At the time I said aloud “What a waste of a good man.” {It rather pissed him off at the time.}

    He chose to act on those urges, he chose to give himself permission to lie, cheat and steal. Not me.
    When he did this, made the conscious effort, he turned his back on not only his family but who he professed to be.

  • His promises are just as believable as mine are if I said that I do not have blue eyes and I am going to change them to brown and they are going to stay that way. I am going to change the fact that I’m allergic to codeine (and it could kill me) but I’m going to absolutely take it and make sure it works. I am going to change the fact that I can’t stand watching somebody eat okra. I’m going to sit there and gag but I’m going to do it because I’m changing for you. Put his promises in context and you will see just how ridiculous they are.

  • I overheard my ex telling the OW he would do any available work in her area to make money for them. He wasn’t proud. This after years of me begging him to have a job, any job, to help pay off all his debts, to be met with: ‘I am not talking a shitty job just to please you!’
    How did that play out in his 7 years with her? I think he was employed for about three weeks. They can’t change, however much they may fantasize about it. Unfortunately she was unemployable, too, so sadly there was no one to take up the slack.

    • They’re like actors trying to play a part. It’s all fake to them! Hmmm, she wants me to work? That must be what people do, and will make her stick around to take care of me!
      Then Monday at 7 am – “Oh, fuck it”
      Spends the day in his underwear on the couch. Classic lying loser!

  • I think imagination is such an underrated quality. If you used your imagination to dream up a wonderful courtship phase, hmmm what would you have? Moonlight on the beach, running in the sand, music concerts, roof top dining, trying new activities together, discovering films and books, and so many more wonderful things to do with a new partner.

    Not looking through their phone, gosh, even talking about it is weird.

    Love chumplady, never failing to explain the logic so beautifully.

  • FORGET HIM! ITS A ADDICTION .DROP IT LIKE A BAD HABIT. SERVES YOU NO PLEASURE. RETRAIN YOUR MIND WHEN IT GOES TO HIM> THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU REALLY DESERVE !!!!! NO CONTACT!!!

  • KitFoxx:
    Two things occur to me about your STBX’s behavior and his “reform” (cough cough):

    1-He’s testing OW’s ability to tolerate his infidelity. How do I know? I started dating Hannibal Lecher after his divorce from wife #2, who left him for rampant emotional abuse. He was still shell-shocked that someone could leave his fabulous self, and willing to admit he had not behaved well toward her. In what I took to be a confessional to ease his conscience, he admitted cheating on wife #2 (rampantly, I might add).

    My interpretation at the time was that he was recognizing his errors in the former marriage, but I now think he was testing my reaction–would I leave him, knowing he was a womanizer? Or would my staying give him tacit consent (in his eyes) to cheat on me, since he had revealed the truth of who he really was/is? Turns out it was the latter–I should have run a mile, sprinting, upon hearing what he did in his former marriage, but I was young, believed in redemption, and believed his bullshit that our relationship was more fulfilling than his marriage (ha ha–that doesn’t matter to someone constantly in need of “new” and “strange”). He didn’t even promise that he wouldn’t cheat on me, I inferred it (though I did issue multiple warnings that I would not tolerate infidelity).

    Looking back on it, I now see his “confessions” of cheating were really humble brags, and my interpretation that he had seen the error of his ways was entirely in my head because I wanted to believe he was reformed. (here is where I bang my head on the table several times). Your STBX is doing to his AP what Hannibal did to me–laying bare his dishonesty as a form of deceptively convincing impression management, and testing to make sure she will stay with him even after knowing he is a lying, cheating bastard.

    2-Deception is like a drug. As with other pharmaceuticals, people need to increase their dose over time to get the same psychological effect. As CL pointed out, showing OW his phone and giving her his email passwords means he will have to up the ante in deception–burner phones, secret emails–all of which will give him a frisson of pleasure to have deceived someone he has tricked into thinking him honest.

    Let her have him; he will never reform, he will only pretend to.

    • That is exactly what I was thinking- if he actually did tell OW all this he is just setting it up with a high bar so he gets to have fun getting around those rules and barriers. It is like playing an Escape Room in real life–just look at how clever and superior he is and how he can put one over on this new chick whom he has promised transparency. How much fun for an entitled cheater!

      Honestly though, I don’t believe he was all that transparent and this is him trying to hurt the chump and invite her to pick me dance. He is telling her essentially that she was not worth him changing but this little bitch is worth it all (feel that? does that hurt gooooood? are you in agony? yay for me! see how speshul I am? DO YOU SEE?).

      Give me a break. Lying cheaters lie so why believe that he has offered any transparency to the OW at all.

    • I thought of your story when I read today’s post, Tempest. Hannibal’s supposed honesty seemed so humble and reflective. Excellent chump bait. My ex makes a habit of partial confessions to gain people’s trust and convince them he’s changed too.

      To KitFoxx, this used to drive me crazy. It is easy to buy the blameshifting. That they only acted in such terrible ways because we were so terrible. Please don’t wear that anymore. Him SAYing he’s different, him making a big show of being different is just a big show. If he really was different he wouldn’t need you to know any of this at all. He would just do what’s right and STFU about it. But somehow you do know. So it sounds like he’s still getting high off centrality and manipulation. Here there be dragons. Stay the hell out of his Bermuda Triangle of mindfuckery.

      The thing that helped me the most when my ex was showing everyone how great he was without me was “let the story tell itself”. It will take a long time for the truth to come back around, but I trust that it will. My mom was a cheater and discarded my dad. And while someone looking in on her life a few years later would say that she had changed and her life was so much better without him, 10,20,30 years later the deeper truth was clear. Be patient and trust that Your Truth Matters. It matters way more than the spin of a liar and manipulator. Maybe only people who’ve been through something like we have will be able to understand it right now but over time his character will show itself again and again. Chump lady says by then we won’t care. But right now I still care so I sat “Let the story tell itself.” Best wishes.

    • Yep, Tempest, I agree. Humble bragging, plus he’s baring his chest to OW now so that later on, if he marries her, he can pull the same stunt as your ex (and yesterday’s cheater), and tell subsequent OWs “hey my wife knows I cheat and she’s OK with it”.
      Plus, I think some cheaters on some level realize their behavior can be self destructive (not like they care about anyone else) and they really should stop it. But that usually lasts about as long as a New Year’s resolution, where “the diet starts tomorrow”.

  • My now X was an alcoholic/opiate addict. He started up with the OW within 3 months of release from prison for selling his pain meds to an under cover officer. He assured the OW he was a changed man and went through the drug program in prison. He’d pick the OW up at the airport in Wis and they’d drive to the UP of Mich. to his parents cabin. Unknown to her she was sitting on a pound of weed going North also. Some things never change and addictions are very difficult to over come. I was keeping my fingers crossed he’d get pulled over crossing the state line. The OW banked her future on promises and it looks like her accounts now over drawn. Sucks to be her. Words mean nothing, actions speak.

  • I remember well the phone call that came WHILE WE WERE STILL MARRIED, and EX declared that he was a habitual liar no more. He was going to quit lying and have a relationship based on truth with a new girlfriend (not OW) of several weeks. He really liked her and he wanted to make it work. Complete disclosure, a new man.

    Wow did that hurt!!! I just told him good luck, and hung up.

    Two weeks later I got a call from one of his old high school buddies that became our friend and then she became my friend after divorce. She told me that a girl at her brothers work had just started dating a great new man, when her brother found out his name and called her, she told her brother oh no he is married and has kids. The poor Lady (and she was a Lady) WAS SHOCKED and dumped him right then, like never even told him why. How do I know, he call me upset because she dumped him and ask if I knew why. I said nope and hung up on him…. A new man indeed. His new path to honesty??? I found out later she was a fellow chump and wanted nothing to do with another cheater.

    He turned around and married yet another GF less than a year later, not really true love either. You deserve so much better than what your Cheater has to give. Read the book “Psychopath Free” by Peace, regarding Toxic relationships and their patterns. It has some great insight and suggestions.

    Trust that they suck.

  • Well at least he’s honest(about being dishonest.)
    If you are a con artist you work with what you’ve got.

  • After I left my ex I had a moment of insanity where I thought he was going to be better for his affair partner. He was crashing at mutual friend’s house and the friend called me complaining about what a houseguest ex was. He told me how ex would borrow the car and return it with the gas light on, cook breakfast with his affair partner and leave the kitchen a total mess, never bought groceries, and was just his typical dick self. All of his complaints were the same I had for the 13 years we were married. He was the same self centered, irresponsible idiot. I didn’t trust that he sucked. So glad I had that inside view at that time to knock me out of the fantasy I was picturing.

  • They never change. Skankboy, emailed me one day, not too long ago, about how difficult it was living in another person’s house, how she was moody, blah, blah, blah, still not used to having young kids around, but at least he had his golf and biking buddies. Really? I texted, check out BPD. He said, yes, that is her! I said, “hope you’re wearing a helmet and seat belt, enjoy the ride!” I broke no contact, but it was delicious!

  • How do you know all this?

    He told you?
    Well… I mean, you know he’s a liar.

    Why would he tell you?
    To.HURT.you.

    If* he does give her unsolicited transparency, rest assured it is anything but. I’m sure he enjoys having her think she has the upper hand… what better way to thwart suspicion? There are still Incognito modes and burner phones and whatsapps to hide in… is there anything more delicious for a sociopath than to use his gaslighting of one person to hurt another? How very efficient!

    This gives Reduce.Reuse.Recyle a whole new meaning.

    You are better off now. Turn his mindfuck channel OFF.

  • I did wonder if my ex’ violence would stop when he got together with the heavy drinking skank. Maybe they were a better fit and she wouldn’t “infuriate” him the way I did – you know, because I read books, or stacked the dishwasher a certain way. She cheated on him after 3 years and he was devastated but I heard through the grapevine that she “had to leave him” because she was afraid he would end up killing her! To the person I heard this from I just said “I couldn’t give a shit about her, but that much I believe – he almost killed me”. Latest schmoopie is a friend from years ago who did nothing to me but I do wonder if the violence will stop for her. It could be that he is back in the States and around family so might not be able to “get away with it” over there but who knows. I still don’t believe a leopard can change its spots. I’m just waiting to hear he’s pulled another drink-driving stunt over there because goodness knows the US cops and legal system won’t be as lenient as they are over here!

  • He didn’t hand you the leash because he knew he was expected to walk himself without any fuck ups. And when he screws up for her? Well surely she’s to blame because she didn’t check under the bed for any schmoopies laying in wait. What a way to live!!

    • “she’s to blame because she didn’t check under the bed for any schmoopies laying in wait.”. OMG I’m dying laughing.
      So much truth, those schmoopies under the bed, poltergeist style.

  • My ex is now engaged to a psychiatrist!! She has her own practice and specializes in EMDR for trauma patients. Believe me, I have NO clue how he’s hoodwinked this chick. But one thing I DO know? He is a disgusting man, who never loved me, sexually assaulted and traumatized me. I could give a flying fuck how he treats someone else. How he treated me shows the type of person HE is, not how I “deserved” to be treated. I have value, that is not dependent on taking care of that low life who could never get his shit together. I am so happy since I walked away and gave up my addiction to trying to control, fix and “earn” his love. I have stopped abandoning myself for someone else’s needs and am happier and more centered than ever. Yes, I have a new partner, dating for over 4 years now. But, if I didn’t have him, I’m confident I would still be happy and centered. Because I love myself and won’t ever depend on anyone else to validate my worthiness. I am worthy. I am loved.

    • She must think an awful lot about herself.

      The primary problem I’ve found among those in the mental-health profession is that they consider themselves too knowledgeable and/or astute to be deceived… and when you’re dragging in a manipulative/lying asshole (who get away with it BECAUSE they’re charming and disarming), they also do *there* what they do best. LIE.

      Therapy doesn’t work on liars. They’re either bad at it and leave or are good at it and enjoy the game of manipulating new prey.

      I’ve seen several therapists quit once they found out The Liar was lying (because they were shown cold, hard facts.) All with remarks like, “I cannot continue treating you if I’m not getting the truth; it’s impossible if I can’t get the simple facts!”

      NO SHIT. See what we’re working with, here?! LOL – how do these people enjoy gainful employment without experience of this very-basic premise?

      • It’s like building a wall made of glass blocks only to find they’re made of jello.

      • “how do these people enjoy gainful employment without experience of this very-basic premise?”
        A – fucking – men!!!!!
        The whole industry needs to be blasted until they get this issue figured out.

      • My therapist is a the therapy version of Judge Judy–“don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

      • My STBX lies to doctors, counsellors and psychologists alike. More often than not he “omits” key facts. Like his fear of dying soon, the length of his affair…

    • She must be looking for a project. She thinks she has a fixer upper and the expertise to pull it off. She will find out soon enough that this one can’t be fixed.

      • Probably true. I hope he’s not her patient. If she does indeed sleep with her patients, she may be a narcopath herself, like my own ex.

        • Yep, experienced first hand a Dr. of Psychology that was a seriel and predatory lying cheater. Sick man under the guise of a noted doctor (he has 2 doctorates…the other is in Theology). Know-it-all doesn’t begin to describe his intellectualizing and condescending personality.

          He counseled my X in IC and weekly group therapy for 2 years. Two years of his drivel psycho babble. He was married 4x and all his X’s somehow all had BPD.

          He then, after his counseling X stopped, started “showing up” at concerts we liked to attend. He became “our friend”.

          In actuality he preyed on us. He tried hitting on me, my daughter-in-law, my sister and girlfriends.

          He was a drunk and pharmaceutical drug addict. Once, he got so wasted at a dinner party, he needed to stay over night.

          He was a master manipulator and gaslighter. I would have reported him in U.S. but he moved to Mexico permanently. Too many “patients” and families were on to him.

          Creepy! Good riddance!! Sorry Mexico and beware.

        • No, he’s not her patient, my ex went the “Jesus therapy” route. A few group bible studies a few times. He stopped when he realized it wasn’t going to win me back. I’m sure he told her a whole sob story and comes off as a genuine victim. I’ve been there. Not my monkeys, not my circus!

  • “Water finds its own level” was a line I read here not long ago.

    That helped me.

    I imagined myself trying to dry out a leaky basement. And who the hell wants that kind of life?

    No contact is key.

  • Oh, they promise the moon and stars. The STBX made those promises to the kids, and undoubtedly to the OW, as well.

    He would be the kind of guy a person could trust. The kind of guy that could hand you his phone. The kind of guy who had integrity.

    Except, no. Last week, I was driving with DD, and wanted to check my bank balance, so handed her my phone and asked her to do it.

    She took my phone, and commented about how great it was to have at least one parent who was completely unconcerned about a kiddo rooting around in the phone. Two years ago, he promised to become that kind of guy. Did not. Could not.

    And in reviewing the credit card charges, I see that true love with OW has in no way altered his appetite for digital porn. Nice. I know that always made me feel loved.

    They may grow ever more clever about managing their image–mine apparently has a whole crew of flying monkeys who think he is just the best–but they do not change.

    Trust that they suck.

    • Ironically. Your story just reminded me of something.

      When i was dating wasband and when we were first married.. … he would hand over his phone to me easily. No questions, no upsets , just hand it over.. ..

      In him doing so from the beginning made me “believe” i could trust him. I actually could not tell you when in the 15.5 years i was with him he started hiding his phone and not allowing me to even hold it for a phone call without him standing over my shoulder. .. ..

      Nice trick huh.

      • My ex narcopath did the exact same thing.

        Maybe 2 months in casually handing me his phone asking me to answer it if it rang, or could I Google xyz for him….it was part of his grooming me to believe I could trust him.

        Shortly after I moved in with him, he was upstairs having a shower and I had his phone with me down stairs. He had been complaining his phone was slow and could I clean it up for him.

        I started going through his text messages. YEARS old. Names of girls. Lots and lots of women. Suddenly i start seeing names of his exes. He had told me reasons why they broke up.

        Curious, I started reading them. The whole relationship was there to read. Made me sick to my stomach. And then finally, their breakup texts to him: “I am done with you, I am tired of the drama, you exhaust me and I have nothing left to give.”

        All the women had the same breakup texts to him. I quietly deleted them, but they were seared on my brain and I found it very curious how the text version differed from his version of how their relationships ended.

        Needless to say, my radar was on high alert. And in the future, I caught him in more lies. When things got really rocky between us (read emotionally and financially abusive) I questioned why his relationships with those women ended, again. He changed the stories! Each time I asked. His version of the breakups changed.

        When I brought this up I was gaslighted into believing I was making a “mountain out of a molehill” and that I over think everything” and can never “just leave the past in the past”.

        Ironically, when I moved out, their words echoed out of my mouth while I am crying in therapy with him that I am burned out, have nothing left to give and am exhausted from his bottomless black hole of need.

    • The porn . Ugh . They NEVER give that up . Doesn’t matter who they are with or what they promise . Mine was FOREVER claiming he stopped watching , but his laptop and cell phone history told a different story
      After the divorce , I found out he watched it the entire time he was married to first and second ex wife ….it’s an addiction they have no interest in giving up

  • Very timely. My ex got remarried last weekend (not to OW). I understand the feelings of losing my best friend on DDay and questioning why I or our children or 20 years together “weren’t worth” not cheating. And feeling hurt that this new wife (they started dating a year ago) *is* worth honoring his commitment. For my children’s sake, I want to trust that he doesn’t really suck as much as a suspect that he does. And for new wifey & her kids, who had nothing to do with our divorce.

    I actually said to my boyfriend something along the lines of “there must be something wrong with me to make make me not worth being faithful to.” Which is not what I believe in the light of day, but you know, at night sometimes those doubts and fears come sneaking in. And the fear that new boyfriend will figure out what it was (bc clearly I have no clue, and, by the way, I’m 2 for 4 with serious relationships turning out to be cheaters and #4 is boyfriend and #2 is gay, so my picker obviously sucks. #1 was high school and he cheated with one of my best friends, who was 15 to his 18). Boyfriend’s response: “you are wonderful and your ex is a dumbass.”

    Anyway. Even 3.5 years after DDay, 1 year post-divorce, these thoughts still haunt us. I’m also realizing that my kiddos have the same “why wasn’t I worth it” thoughts. But I think it’s 2 steps forward, 1 step back. We’ll still get there someday

    • Sometimes it is hard to let go of our self doubt. I was chumped twice. Once by an overt asshole, and yes I sure should have seen those red flags. But once, I was chumped by a really covert narc playing a really long con. There were NO flags until the universe just dumped a piece of irrefutable evidence in my lap. I used to think it was possible to “fix your picker” to avoid all bad people–but no more. Sometimes you cannot tell what lies beneath. As Duncan says in Macbeth, “There is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.” Give yourself a break. You stumbled on jerks. It’s a numbers game involving probability and randomness. Some you can learn to avoid. Some you can’t. The good news is that it works in reverse too. There are good people out there. You will run into your share of these as well.

  • Something I’ve learnt since I discovered personality disorders: they always project. Common sense doesn’t come naturally to them, so they keep adding to their arsenal what they learn from others. The things they say are not what they mean, it’s just something they heard. He is giving her access to his phone? No. He is only saying that. He will keep doing what he is used to: lie and deceit. That’s his “normal”.

    • Fakers. Shallow. Cowards. Projection – yep. When they accuse you of cheating – then you KNOW what they’re doing. And Lie, deny, justify. I came up with that with my first unstable ex almost 30 years ago. Lie about what you’re doing, deny doing anything wrong, and if no way out – justify – no matter how ridiculous it sounds. His step mom told me later after his threats of suicide where I had to call 911 for him and his loaded gun, that I was lucky he didn’t shoot me and then shoot himself. Around 11 years later I met the narc stbx who I thought was a stand up guy, turning his life around after difficulty, etc. And I never thought that I would be grateful that I went through nightmare number 1 – because I saw what was coming when stbx #2 turned on me after starting up with his coworker. I knew what was coming. The cruel things he did didn’t take me by surprise. I was just stoic – no tears. No way in hell was he going to see me cry. It’s still been a nightmare (better now), but I am glad that I wasn’t blindsided. They all follow the same playbook. Charm, pity, rage…. that, too. Brutalize others and then claim to be a victim. Ugh Current stbx cried to our daughter what a poor victim he was – his gf saved him from me. She knows better now, though. Lies and deceit – story of their lives.

  • When I agreed to see POP 7 or so years ago, he had told me he was a ‘different man’. He wasn’t. He might have been sober (temporarily) but he was still the manipulative narc.
    I never saw him again.

    IF he’s involved with some unfortunate woman now (he CANNOT be alone-must live off of someone at all times being the parasite he is)—-he’s not a ‘different man’. He’s still a drunk for one thing, among many other negative characteristics.
    For some odd reason a few weeks ago my intuition said ‘check his court records, I feel like something is up’. Low and behold he’d been arrested for DUI the week before; his second. Here in Texas they don’t take that lightly. He’s not been to trial yet but he’s got some really hefty punishment ahead of him. It will be far more punitive than the first time and that time was no mere smack on the hand. I am keeping an eye on the proceedings and I expect him to fuck up sometime soon–like not appear for his hearing and have a warrant issued for his arrest. (A reoccurring rinse and repeat chickenshit event).

    He doesn’t learn. He never will.

    Not my monkey, not my circus.

    (In other BIZARRE dating news, I’ve been contacted by a fellow on a dating site who looks so much like him he could be his twin. NOT kidding.)

    • Wow, “lucky” for my ex he is not in Texas then. But still waiting for the next DUI! Like you said though, “not my circus”!

  • I think sometimes we forget that at the heart of every cheater is a LIAR. First and foremost, they lie… in everything they do and about things that don’t event matter.

    Mr. Sparkles tried to get ahead of the cheater narrative with his OW by “confessing” to her that he had posted personal ads during our marriage. BUT… the LIE he told with that little tidbit was that he did it to “get back at me for installing spyware on his computer.” Because he gave her this unsolicited confession during the lovebombing, she believed him, who wouldn’t. Yet, the truth is… I have a copy of the invoice for the day I purchased and installed the software. All the ads and emails I found were in the trash folder of his email… all dated up to six months PRIOR. But, the OW didn’t want to hear my story or see my proof… because he had told her his story she was “past all that”.

    Guess what I’m saying is… you just gotta do you here. Go No Contact. Trust that he sucks. In your relationship he was a liar and a cheater and you deserve better. It really is that simple.

    • BTDT.. .. i really did have a GPS tracker in his truck… .. only after years of him lying to me where he was and why he was late coming home from work. Of course he tells crackhead how i did not trust him… .. hmmm i wonder why.

      Now she might now have a GPS tracker in his truck but she is so far up his ass, she thinks she can see his shit coming… he cant do anything without her going with him or questioning him. She answers his phone and questions the people would want to talk to him. He can not go anywhere without dragging her along. Hows that for a trusting relationship?

      Isnt it funny how he bitched and complained about how i was treating him when now his new thing treats him so much worse? And yet, he is literally too stupid to see what she is doing and still running around blaming me. Haha

      You cant logic with crazy.

      • I was wondering why Schmoopie, who has five kids of her own, would want to go to my son’s baseball games and my daughter’s orchestra concerts and the honors ceremony for my daughter to receive her high honors cords for graduation when her own son, also a senior at the same high school, was not receiving honors that night. She also accompanied ex (at least as far as the parking lot) when we had back to back appointments with our accountant to sort out our taxes post divorce. This was two hours each way from where we all live, that’s a long way to go just to sit in the car for an hour. Perhaps there is more to it than just being so enamored of ex that she just can’t stand to be away from him every waking moment of every day. She probably has conniptions every time he takes a female flight student out for training in the Cesna. Or maybe she insists on tagging along in the back seat for that too. Poor thing (not).

  • My ex solemnly told our kids lots of stuff, in his attempts to convince them he was changed and a much better person and they should go back to spending lots of time with him.

    Among those things was that he would never cheat again, as he had seen how bad it was.

    Interesting; he cheated on his first long-term girlfriend, she pick-me danced for a long time, he cheated on me TWICE. Shmoopie #2 cheated on him TWICE. I don’t know if he cheated on her – wouldn’t be surprised. THEN he decided cheating was bad, he wouldn’t do it again.

    You know what I think? I think he didn’t like it when the consequences of cheating hit HIM. Prior girlfriend eventually did dump him. I wouldn’t let him come back after Affair #2, and Shmoops dumped him for that other man, twice. Poor baby.

    But you know what? Even if he never cheats again, it’ll be because he no longer sees it as to HIS advantage to cheat. It’s not because he doesn’t want to hurt OTHERS, it’s not because he’s honest or can truly commit to a relationship. It’s not because he’s suddenly developed empathy and caring. It’s not because he no longer thinks he’s entitled to be treated like a king no matter how badly he behaves.

    I’m still betting that in another 5 years or so (he’s been w/his current girlfriend for 3 or 4 years now), he’ll start getting antsy and resentful that she no longer treats him like he’s perfect, resentful that she expects reciprocity, feeling deprived of the novelty of a new woman making googly eyes at him, and of new sexual adventures. And if somebody makes themselves available, he’ll cheat again.

    But even if he doesn’t? He is still (and has given ample evidence to the kids and I that he is still) a negative, critical, demanding, entitled asshole.

    I think most cheaters are like this; not going to change, and no prize with or without cheating.

    • “If he never cheats again, it’ll be because he no longer sees it to HIS advantage….” Yep. It’s all about what’s in it for them. As they have no empathy, they cannot really care about another person. Only what that person can do to make them ‘feel happy.’

      “Treated like a king no matter how badly they behave..” Stbx had baby shower at his house within six months of leaving. He had to have our daughter there. How confusing for her. And then her grandparents (his parents) are all happy ….. people saying congratuations! My poor kid. She’s better now that she’s refused to see him for about 6 months and having a good therapist. She called him on his rotten behavior and he turned on her. Hopefully our divorce finalizes soon.

      That’s another thing – stbx blew up our family with lies, betrayal, cruelty, etc., etc…. And then says we need therapy.

      He doesn’t need therapy – everyone else is the problem, you know.

  • KitFoxx – I discovered a secret email account that the STBXH created the last few months of our marriage when he said that he was fully committed to doing whatever it would take to save the marriage. The email account was created two weeks later to get back in touch with the OW (so much for sincere reconciliation).

    There are emails in which he takes the principles we were learning in MC, but applying those lessons to how he is going to have an amazing relationship with her. He identified himself as a withdrawer in relationships, so his answer to that issue with her was to make sure he keeps communicating. He identified himself as someone who will ignore problems, so his answer to that issue with her is to make sure he keeps communicating. Everything was about communicating.

    What a genius!

    Here’s the issue. Did he actually do the work of learning to communicate? Did he delve into why he does these things? The root cause? Identify his triggers? Develop better coping strategies? Test those coping strategies? Seek professional counsel in cognitive behaviour therapy?

    Nope. He’s just going to do it out of sheer will-power for her. Well, we all know how well an addict does when he decides he’s just going to quit on his own. Your STBXH is offering this woman bandaid solutions to deep-rooted problems in his character. He probably read somewhere that these are the actions you must take to demonstrate your trustworthiness in a relationship, but he missed the byline that this is what you do for the spouse you betrayed as a first step to reconciliation, not what you present in a new relationship. He’s too stupid to know how to apply this appropriately.

    If she’s too stupid too to see what he’s doing as a serious red flag, then let her get duped so she can learn her lesson.

    Here is how I see it, and I hope it helps you. The fact that he’s even presenting these “solutions” means that he knows he is a screw up and he’s trying to be proactive in curtailing his shortcomings with another woman. It’s not that he wasn’t wasn’t willing to do this with you. It’s that he is aware that you know full-well what a screw-up he is, so he figures there is no point in trying with you. That’s a win for you honey, he’s not going to try to waste your time anymore. He’s moving on to fresh, naive cake who doesn’t know any better. He’s spackling himself right up, probably thinking that he presents as being so self-enlightened. She might fall for it. It’s then just a matter of waiting. For how long will the spackle stay in place before chunks fall away? You know what? Not your problem anymore. Go enjoy your life!

    • Another side of this is that your finally leaving him resulted in consequences he didn’t like so he is trying to improve for the new kibble source so that he doesn’t have to suffer the loss of kibbles again like he did with you. He probably really does intend to change, but he won’t be able to do it because that would require self reflection and cheaters aren’t good at that.

    • My H used the principles he learned in IC to beat me over the head with.

      I [my traumatised response] abused him. He didn’t feel safe with me.

      etc.

      [I really think his IC empathised to the point of being a patsy herself. When he confessed to her he had an OW she said ‘I wondered where you were getting your emotional support from’; when he confessed he was seeing OW again despite ‘wreckonciling’ , she said ‘she has forgiven you’.]

      It was awful, having my mistreatment turned around to where “I” was the one mistreating. That was a real mind mess, horrible.

      • So how did you hear about what his IC was saying? Did your delusional lying husband tell you? It may just be his interpretation of what she said in his desperation for validation of his shitty behavior. Or it could be that the IC is an idiot twat herself. My ex was always good at perceiving things in whatever way suited his narrative.

  • Damn! I just wrote a semi lengthy comment about POP never being able to change (and current knowledge of same) and it didn’t post.
    Wah!!!

    Synopsis–he’s recently been arrested for his second DUI and is looking at a lot of punishment which will include some incarceration, fines, suspension of his license for at least a year and $2000 per year to maintain his license after that, an interlock device on his vehicle and more.

    He never learns. He never changes.

    Not my monkey, not my circus as we say here. I scraped that shit off my shoe 8 years ago.

    In bizarro world news, a fellow has contacted me through a dating site and looks wise, could be POP’s twin brother. Not kidding. It’s really freaky and honestly I don’t know if I could even handle meeting him.

  • KitFoxx,
    My post-separation boyfriend, the guy I thought was the most Upstanding Man in the World and my friend of 30 years, told me after he discarded me the last time in an email (because heaven forbid that he talk to the partner with whom he shared his bed and told he loved who loved him more than anything) that he was ‘trying to do better (for her, his work subordinate and my replacement).’ He didn’t apologize or look in the least bit upset about discarding me. Then he blocked me from all forms of communication, even though I was polite enough to congratulate him on finding my replacement when he dropped of the last of my stuff. (I didn’t understand why as he used to talk to the abusive, adulterous ex-wife and even considered getting together for dinner (without me?) while he and I dated. (I was trusting and not territorial so I never told him that he couldn’t communicate with her, but good grief, Red Flag, anyone?) I felt like the lowest creature on the evolutionary totem pole in the universe. All these actions devastated me. And although he lied to me, disrespected me, and invalidated me over a few years, I, too, took to heart how he felt about me and used his judgment of me as a marker of my worth. I hope that you won’t let your ex do that to you!

    • Don’t let your ex boyfriend do that to you either. She is clearly keeping him on a short leash. She must know he isn’t trustworthy. His blocking you was at her insistence because she knows he might be tempted by you. That wasn’t his idea, it was hers. He is going along with it to please the new kibble supply. Those boundaries are bound to chafe eventually and he will either break free or be stuck in a cage for the rest of his life with no other options because she will make sure he has none. It won’t be because he actually loves her. He has already shown he is incapable of that. And as for her, maybe she is smart to set those boundaries, but it really must suck to be with a man where those kinds of boundaries are necessary. If I had set better boundaries in regards to other women, perhaps my ex would not have strayed, but I didn’t want the kind of husband that requires boundaries to keep him faithful. I thought he would protect our marriage on his own, I was wrong. He wasn’t the man I thought he was.

      It is just as well for you though. If she wasn’t setting those boundaries he would come crawling back to you every time they got in an argument only to dump you again over and over. You don’t need that. You get to be the one who got away who he will pine for whenever he is unhappy with her but there will be nothing he can do about it. Even if he breaks free of his cage, you know better than to take back that pile of shit. You are free of that selfish asshole. Good riddance. You can look after yourself now.

      • Thanks, ChumpinRecovery,
        My psychologist close relative who has also known my ex-boyfriend for decades, even once took a week-long road trip with him, told me the same thing–my replacement is probably keeping him on a short leash and he doesn’t want to jeopardize his relationship with her.
        Anyway, not going to try to win him anymore. He’s unwinnable and, in terms of character and in a few more superficial ways, not worth the Pick Me Dance nor even the time of day. At the moment, I am sick of men, not because I am a man hater or somebody who hates sex and emotional intimacy with the opposite sex, but I am sick of the bull crap from my partners and most of the guys I’ve dated. If I could better financially and physically manage my life, especially while my kids are young, I might, surprisingly to ME, prefer to be single (celibate) for the rest of my life. I’m quite sad that life has come to this, that my attitude has come to this. Well. I guess that I will get practice single-handedly handling everything–so there’s that (positive aspect of the situation). I hope that someday I’ll be really glad that my last boyfriend left.

    • The building of self worth has been my biggest mountain to climb & I’m still climbing 🧗‍♀️.

  • I already know the ending to his new love story. The sparkle wears off, she becomes the controlling girlfriend who invades his privacy (even though that’s the standard he set), and her jealousy and controlling ways drive him to cheat.

    I “marriage policed” for 12 of 16 years… I know how this one ends!

    This isn’t about this new girl, or even about their relationship. This is about him hoping he’s not who he really is, and wanting someone else to manage that.

    He doesn’t want integrity… that comes from the self. Integrity is hard; it takes agency, self-control, and self-sacrifice, and… time to develop. Most of us develop integrity out of the process of growing up. Integrity doesn’t grow out of accountability, it grows out of a desire to HAVE integrity. Accountability only goes so far as the honesty of the person whom WANTS to be accountable. If I had to make a bet, I’m going with, he has NOT been completely honest with her.

    He knows he’s not capable of integrity so he’s putting the burden of “being mommy” on his new girlfriend. He’s slapping a band-aid on his own infected wound and hoping out of sight out of mind. He doesn’t know boundaries, so why not put someone else on the job? There’s not a whole lot of romance in that now is there?

    The cheaters ways are impression, omission, context dropping and deceit.

    Giving false impressions: withholding the whole truth (lies of omission) and using half truths to twist or misdirect facts, setting the stage for deception. Presenting partial information intended to cloak the entire truth by giving the impression of honesty, without revealing the entire picture, and knowingly giving the receiver a misrepresentation to rely upon. Protecting hidden agendas behind false impressions, thus denying the receiver a complete picture of the circumstances.

    In other words, he’s probably told her a bit of truth, but with the intent to twist the context of the truth. He gave her just enough to make her feel sorry for him, admit a small fault, and then claim he’s the victim of your unreasonableness.

    Lies of omission: withholding the entire truth as a means of placing the responsibility of truth onto the other person. Lies of omission allow the perpetrator plausible deniability, because the receiver has no way of proving the withholding of information was an intentional act of deception. Using invalidation to back-up the omission so that one questions their own perspectives.

    In other words, if she does happen to find out more information, he can claim he told her x&y, and didn’t realize he didn’t tell about z. I would bet if you sat down and compared notes, there’s a whole lot she doesn’t know.

    Deceit is
    -False representation of a fact.
    -Representation made with the knowledge that it is false.
    -Intention to make someone act and/or fail to act, and make decisions upon the belief that the fact is true.

    Aka… if you think she knows, you’d likely fail to bring it up, since the information is already known. If I had to guess, I’d say this is a covert defensive strategy for him. He’s hoping to god YOU think she’s okay with his past behavior so there’s no point in warning her.

    All of this is part and parcel for impression management. It’s a strategy to save his own ass and hopefully detour the truth from being revealed. But the good news is… it’s no longer your problem!

    • “This isn’t about this new girl, or even about their relationship. This is about him hoping he’s not who he really is, and wanting someone else to manage that.”

      All of this! Ex refuses to take any accountability for his actions. He believes I caused him to act the way he did and all he needed to do is find a better person than me and he himself will be a much better person.

      The OW in my case, recently told me that her and Ex had talked extensively about how he left me. That he was honest with her from day 1. She doesn’t condone his behavior to me no matter what happened in our marriage. So she herself is telling me she knows, with him CC’d on the email of course. But I know she has probably been told 1/4 of the story and most of that is full of lies.

      Part of me wants to clear up the lies. But I know it’s not worth it. She’ll find out in her own time and go through what I am currently going through.

    • Got-a-Brain,
      Have you met–and done an on-depth case study–of my last boyfriend? Thank you for eloquently and succinctly putting into words what I’ve been trying to describe to me and others for over a year.

  • I didn’t want my ex to suck. I thought I could be free and not have to see her as the monster she is. She never did a thing to make me see her as anything but the mister she is. Now, I’ve found someone new and it a real eye opener. To have someone who actually cares about you and sees you as a person not a pawn. To really be loved and not manipulated into thinking you are. It’s an adjustment and every day it gets better. It’s been 13 months since I filed, 18 from DDay (only one thank God) I never regretted filing even when it was hard even when I still fought for my marriage. I didn’t give up and I’m proud of that, I can tell my kids that when they’re older, but I never tried to sparkle over stuff. I know is it hard to realize they are shit. But they are. That’s their problem. My sister is a chump too and she once told me that her ex is still the same. He didn’t become a better person; he’s not treating his new wife ( OW #1) better. People how change do say Look at Me I’ve Changed! They do the hard work honestly and quietly for themselves not to prove their worth to others. That’s the centers point, so long as they seek value validation and self esteemed from sources outside themselves they are broken and will continue to seek out thrilling shortcuts like cheating. Trust me, he sucks, sorry.

    • I have question for you… since you are a chump and a man…
      I completely lost a feeling of “ normal” ( as most of us here) and I remember that stuff seemed strange for me at a time…. at this point- it’s a big numb fog…
      Q: how would you react if the person you are with now
      1) sent you sexy pic with a note, that she is hoping for a nice evening with you
      2) what would be the first thing to Do while on business trip far away from home?
      3) what would be your reaction on your new partner suggesting some books, date nights, games, even role plays
      4) what would be your reaction after hurting your partner deeply?
      5) would you rather have a clean house/ folded laundry or time to spend with your partner?

      Etc.
      Sorry.. I’m just so chumped out…. I knew more at the age of 20 than now 🙄
      15 years of brainfuckery did the number on my perception of reality

  • My XH also claimed to become a “different man”. All that meant was that he took his cheating underground… deep underground. The only thing he changed was his MO, not his heart or soul. I now unflinchingly trust that he sucked then, he still sucks today, and he will always suck. Hence, my impenetrable boundary of Zero Contact, the path to truth and light.

  • Kitfoxx…..

    Cheaters rarely change. He isn’t going to change for her or for anyone else. And suppose he does….what he did to you remains the same. That should be enough to bury that relationship and never look back. Please don’t question your worth. This isn’t and never was about you. It was about his lack of character and selfishness.

    My 22 year marriage ended because my cheater x couldn’t change and likely didn’t want to. He is now married to the OW. I have had to be in their presence several times and have witnessed enough to know that they don’t trust each other AT ALL. The OW holds and answers my ex’s phone. They are constantly watching each other when they are on their phones texting. The question each other after a phone call on who it was. Seriously!!!! I don’t even think they realize they do this in front of other people. They are so wrapped up in being detectives they don’t consider who might be watching this unfold. They have to know I’m watching and laughing. My daughters told me that their dad has a GPS tracker on OW’s car.

    Kitfoxx………..they don’t change! Just be glad you got away!!!

  • I think its all mind games, love bombing in the beginning, ow she thinks he will treat her better. Ow normally don’t get treated better, my exs ow he called her a slag, but what does that make him?. Chump lady is correct when saying actions speak than words

  • “He’s promised to break any contacts she asks without question.”

    But she can’t make such a request about those contacts unknown to her. And why would she ask him to not contact “Steve – tennis” (who is actually named Asian Gym Whore) from his phone contact list? Doesn’t she want him to have any “friends”??? And she never TOLD him not to contact “Asian Gym Whore Du Jour” (of whom she was unaware because this person was mentioned NEVER) so it was okay, right?!

    You have absolutely no worries regarding his changed nature. He’s the same ole shit he always was.

  • Same here.. after 34 years married told my son he wants to be a better man for the controlling screeching white he left me for. When he moved into her home after I threw him out..he had to take pictures of who & where he was when he went out without her!

    But told me before D day that didn’t want to retire with me & move to a warm climate cause I would give him too many restrictions. Almost funny but she died few months ago & he now lives with another woman.

    Why don’t the become a better man for there spouses instead of a piece of ass?

    Mental illness is evident in narcissists.

  • Cheaters love to conquer and control. ow obviously knows he’s a cheater and maybe has some concerns as to whether she really does have the magic vagina. he will say what he needs to con her, then revert back to his old self. I would take is as a compliment that he didn’t try it on you. Obviously he knows you are to smart for that shit.

      • Thank you for reminding me of my last boyfriend’s lack of maturity–I now remember him dating when I calmly asked him if everything was OK in our relationship approximately a year ago, him telling me. ‘Why are we even talking about this? I can’t and ai won’t try to predict the future!’ The ‘You can’t make me (talk about our relationship at all)’ ploy. I was too numb to acknowledge the writing on the wall (our relationship was doomed–and it had Ben for its entirety. I lived in a fantasy world for 2.5 years–foolish me! I used to love hearing my boyfriend say, ‘I love you.’ Now I hate the expression.

  • Ex cheater is full of crap. He’s playing the both of you. He is trying to impress new GF with coming clean about his sordid past and how he is a new man for her, because she is sooooo special. To prove it she can have access to his devices. At least the ones he chooses to let her have access to, not the ones he is going to hide. All he is doing is controlling the narrative as he knows his past will get back to her. He is also sticking it to his ex chump by making sure she knows how he has changed for his special new gf because ex wife is not special. This is just so typical of narcs. THEY DO NOT CHANGE!

  • my ex cheated on his first girl friend and then twice in our marriage.

    when he ‘apologised’ to me re the affair during DDay2, he confessed that ‘women is his weakness’ and that he is actually worried he might hurt the current AP in future.

    fucked up much?

  • Such a bullshitter! Next he gets a second cell phone or whatever. Look lying is just at the core of their nature, they are cowards like all liars and their only concern is for themselves. People who want to change, usually first have to acknowledge wrongdoings and then work on themselves for themselves.

  • So my understanding for a full recovery from a personality disorder, the so-afflicted must hit rock bottom. Gut a punch in the gut from life that knocks the wind out of ya. Laying on your back, paralyzed and helpless (like we chumps were, remember?). Deeply knowing of the many ways you fucked up, and pleading with God to help you — ? — help you do what, you do not know, but desperately knowing that you need help. Sooo sorry for the shitty things you did: seeing your spouse’s face, your kids’ pain, seeing clearly the train wreck that you caused . . . unbearable. Longing for forgiveness, “I’m so sorry, spouse!!! I see clearly what I did wrong! Please tell me what I can do to make it up to you!”

    That’s what remorse looks like. If you’re not witnessing the above rock bottom remorse, then he doesn’t have it.

  • Oh man, please don’t fall for this, “you weren’t good enough” crap that EVERY cheater pulls. Real change is hard work and consistent effort doing the right thing, even when it’s difficult, over and over and over again. Cheaters are not made of that stuff. Your dirtbag ex is hoping you buy this shit so he can justify his shitty self. Don’t buy it.

    My ex recently requested that we go to therapy so he could explain and “apologize” for all his behavior during the marriage. Now, this is after FIVE YEARS of being apart and divorced. So, no, they don’t change. He still feels quite justified in his cheating and continues to blame shift and be a general all-around loser of a human being. (And ya know, FYI, you don’t have to have a therapist in front of you to sincerely apologize – your apology is your actions, which is abiding by the divorce agreement and leaving an ex the f*ck alone) What my ex misses is the triangulation and fronting like he’s a “good guy.” They miss the idea that they are splendid but misunderstood creatures – cue “sad sausage routine.”

    Please don’t buy this from a cheating ex. They suck, you don’t. Just block him in every possible way from contacting you and if he persists have your lawyer write a letter telling him to. You’ve got this.

  • God I needed this today!!!

    My ex has seemingly changed his ways for his new baby mama and it bothers me more than it should. It seems every single thing I had asked him to work on over the past 8 years, he has suddenly decided to do for her. Cut back on drinking. Actually listens to her complaints and tries to adjust his behavior. Sticks up for her. Is concerned about her level of stress. Actually took time off after the baby was born. Actively talks through issues with her. But he still behaves the same old crappy way to me. So I know it has to be a facade for her. Still hurts though.

    • It will not last. He can not keep up the act for long. He will behave crappy with her too. Just give it time. He is too shallow to really change.

      • He’s also changed his act in regards to our daughter. Previously he checked out of everything. Never went to school parties. Didn’t have the time! Couldn’t leave work! Now he shows up all the time.

        And this week, he & the baby mama accuse me of harassing them. Something I have denied for the 2 weeks they have accused me (of sending magazine subscriptions under bad names). Because I am trying to enforce limited contact I tell him I no longer want him at the house for school car pool during my time. He rages. Tells me how I am not accommodating, full of conflict, uncooperative and abrasive among other things. Today? Sends me a pic from the school party. Wtf

        • It is image management. He doesn’t really care about his daughter but he knows he is supposed to care. He might be able to get away with discarding the wife without everyone knowing he is an asshole, but most people think pretty poorly of those who abandon their children so he has to keep up the appearance of being a devoted father. Eventually, however, if she doesn’t respond the way he wants and when it has been long enough since the divorce that he thinks nobody is paying attention anymore, he will start to fade out of his daughter’s life again. He has already shown that baby mama is a higher priority than her well being.

  • Well, he wants it all. Part of him wants to believe that he’s a changed man, that he can actually be trusted, and if this is the case then he wants lots of credit for doing so. Bc, y’know, saying that you’re going to be faithful and then actually being faithful isn’t just what we expect of all decent people but something for which he would deserve much adulation. But, if (and of course we know he will) he cheats, a) if new girlfriend doesn’t catch on then its HER fault, because if only she’d been more diligent about tracking his calls and texts, it never would have come to this… and if b) new girlfriend does catch on, then think of all the triangulation and pick-me dancing that will ensue.

    I do believe that people can change. But, we rarely do because it takes time, thought, hard work, humility; it’s easier to stay the same. If your ex had taken a few years without dating, had gone into intensive therapy during that time, had done his best to make amends to you and all the others he’d hurt with his cheating, had changed many other life habits and stuck with them for at least 18 months… then I’d say that there was a chance he might actually be doing his best to be above-board with his new girlfriend (and even then, chances of relapse would be pretty high). As it stands? Not a chance.

  • Cheaters rarely change, but yes, sometimes it happens. I personally know of several in my extended circle who have moved on and seem happy with their new partner. That being said, what they can’t change is what they have done to their former partners. Why would you want someone who has disrespected and cheated on you? I think that would be a deal breaker by any definition. I have read frequently here about chumps who stayed long after DDay number one…reasoning that they did because they meant their marriage vows. Unfortunately it only takes one to break a contract. Once it is broken, you are not obligated nor encouraged to stay as the agreed upon rules have been violated. Not to mention that staying says loud and clear that you are okay with the new rules. So if you do that you have made a choice, and I’m certain it’s a choice not made from strength or thinking about the big picture, rather one made from fear….and intelligent choices are rarely made from a position of fear.

  • It hurts for awhile. It took me 3 years to finally trust that he sucks. Watching him in his new relationship with the neighborhood party girl meth head just about killed me. He looked so happy. He believed everything that crackhead told him and allowed her to come between him and his kids.

    There he was, having the time of his life. Going out to eat, visiting family he never took me too. Buying cars, clothes, shoes speakers without a care while i was struggling to feed his children and put shoes on their feet. He was running around and partying while i was stuck with 2 very hurt and damaged little boys who were angry at the world. He was skipping off to the sunset with someone to love him while i was literally down on my knees trying to piece my life back together.

    I did the why is he doing this FOR her. He started doing construction for her. He was fixing up an old house willingly for her. He shared a cell phone and was not even talking to me (or his sons) for her.. . For the first 2 years, it looked like he found the perfect girl for him. It killed me knowing i was not his perfect girl. I invested so much into my relationship with him. i gave him everything i had to give. And it felt like i was no “enough”, i did not do “enough” even thou i was doing 95% of the house, yard, vehicles, children, bills, finances and vacations. I felt like i did not give “enough” even thou i lowered my morals and standards over and over in the past 15 years trying to accommodate his selfishness and emotionsl damage.

    But then i remind myself that i did NOT want to live that way. Sure there were good times. But i did not want ti xhase my husband down ever 3 ti 6 months and drag him home where he belonged. I did not want to spend hours or days begging him to “not give up” on his wife and children, trying to remind him or convince him that we have a good thing. I did not want to worry every time he was late if he was out eith someine or drinking or cheating or spending all his miney on stupid shit. I did not want to stay up all night crying and worried and my texts and calls being ignored. I did not want to feel unloved or given the silent treatment because i dated to talk to him about his bad behavior. And i did not want to teach a grown man basic decent human behaviors over and over.

    Believe me, it will get better. And that perfect relationship he is showing you is not real. Of course he is trying to look like he is a great catch but you know the ugly truth behind the mask. You know what happens after the smiling picture at the bar, you know what it is like to sit up waiting for him to come home, you know how good he is at hiding those texts and calls.

    One of the things that helped me heal is to write down everything he did. So many times i forgave and forgot. It wasnt until i started reading other stories that i was reminded of a similar story i had so i started writing it down. I ended up with 3 notebook full of shitty and selfish things he did.

    The other thing is time. I use to hate it when people would say it takes time. But it is the truth. I am 4 years out and i have peace and joy now. I have my children and grand children. I have my house, my job and my truck. He literally has nothing. He cant keep a job, his brand new car i was so jealous of got repossessed, he cant keep an apartment, they move ever 4 to 6 months. He is still with that thing he left me for but she treats him like shit now. She literally beats the shit out of him, throws bottles at his face and keeps him on a short leash.They fight all the time and break up at least once a year… .. not so perfect now huh.

    Stop watching him and focus on yourself. What do you want out of life and start working to get it. Good luck.

    • I keep a running record of shit asswipe said to me or shitty things he did – as a reminder of how he sucks donkey ass.

      One year for Christmas – he and his 2 brothers went in on a $1200 grill for his parents – didn’t bother discussing with me he was spending $400 on his parents! Anyway – guess what I got that same year? Well – asswipe worked a union job and every quarter his job would hand out ‘safety’ awards if there was nobody hurt on the job within that last quarter. Third quarter of that year – they gave out ‘safety award jackets.’ THAT is what I got from him for Christmas that year. I still have that fucking jacket (still in the plastic) as a reminder of how meaningless I felt to that jerk.

      I still add to that list when things pop into my head on occasion.

  • KittFoxx, for what it’s worth, I also worried that my cheater was going to do all this self-improvement for the next guy. I had had to put up with someone who didn’t like going to movies or concerts (or anything else that was fun), who lied constantly, who never dressed up, looked feminine or wore make-up, and who was a serial cheater.
    When she left for the AP, she started going to therapy, suddenly went to all these concerts and other fun events, started putting on make-up, styled her hair, and wore dresses, and so on. She lost a whole bunch of weight. I think she even started going back to church.
    I worried that I had to put up with the “broken” version, and now someone else was going to walk off with the new, improved, shiny version of her.
    I figured out pretty quickly that the other guy didn’t get a prize. For one, even if she did all those things to make herself better, she was still a serial cheater. She would probably cheat on him sooner or later, and if she didn’t, he would be the one lying awake at night wondering if she was.
    But more importantly…I do think people, over the long haul, can improve themselves, especially their character, but it’s rare. It’s rarer still for people like cheaters, because that is something that requires real work and real moral standards, two things they lack. In other words, these kinds of “changes,” if they’re sincere at all, probably won’t last.
    In the case of my ex, the old self eventually returned. Her current man has a woman who hardly ever leaves the house. Therapy lasted about 4 sessions. Church lasted a month. She still lies. The make-up, styled hair, and feminine clothes are gone, and in their place is the old Miss Frumpy wearing ill-fitting yoga pants and t-shirts with holes in them. Not to be mean, but she’s back to being overweight, too. And if I was a betting man, I would think she’s still cheating.

  • Kittfox,

    Trust that they suck works, believe me. My STBXH did the same thing — took the OW to concerts, out of town trips, met her family and even did competetive bbq with the OW’s dad… all the time gas lighting me and pressuring me why i can’t move to Texas to be with him (I’m working in another state). little did OW know that STBXH is continuing to meet up with i don’t know how many women on craigslist to have fun with and POF dates (yes he still has a dating profile!)

    They are living together now and I’ve already filed for divorce last year. I haven’t talked to him since — and he doesn’t care about his 2 year old son either (my son stays with me). I don’t care anyway, I just need the child support and divorce is taking too long because he keeps on evading the process server as per my lawyer’s update
    All he just need to do is accept the dang papers! I think OW doesn’t know he’s not divorced yet — his POF profile shows he’s divorced (duh??).

    So trust that they suck, Kittfox. They never change. They promise all those for cake. My STBXH needed a new momma to mooch on to cause he already lost the comfortable life he had with me. And i am sure glad I am not the cake anymore!! I don’t want STD’s and all those feelings of being rejected and paranoia of thinking what the hell is wrong with me and i sure don’t miss the pick me dance!!

    And i did send an email to OW before as courtesy saying that STBXH is still married to me. And told her she can do what she wants with that information. Never heard from her. So goodluck to her, she’ll need all she can get!

  • Remember that Chameleons need to blend for a while. My theory is that they will have to play that they care for several reasons:
    ✅ If they are older than the AP this might be the last chance before Karma bus shows up.
    ✅ They are trying new strategies to cheat in different ways. Social, work, finances etc

    My cheater ex is in the love bombing/ perfect world stage and the cheating/narc will be in “hold” mode until the Narc demond shows up again.

    Cheaters are not ok. I imagine my ex ruminating & in the “suck it up ” for the AP stage. Mr. Cheaterpants is moving with ho-worker after a year plus of long distance “whoremance” he was a traveling cheater and now will be stock in an office cubicule from 9-5. I am waiting and my bet is that the Karma bus will come in a few years & he will have to wear a mask for a loonng time since he will be working with ho-worker. He wrote me in a text that “his time will come”. I really believe that AP is going to have her day instead of him. She has the same age that I had when he started cheating. Once they have kids and she is no longer the center of attention & that he does not even change a diaper & Mr. Couchpotate is in full action. She will have the same age than me (early 40’s) She will realize she lost her prime time with the sparkly turd & the arguments will start. Meanwhile I will live my life & eat popcorn once in a while. 🍿

  • I know my STBXH will never change for the better. During our separation I found out:
    * That he lied to his parents for 5 months as to where he was living. He didn’t tell them he was living w the OW..so I did 🙂 BTW, he’s 45.
    * He didn’t tell his brother about the OW, again, I did.
    *He’s abandoned his kids…rarely visits & barely speaks to them when he does see them.

    Plain & simple, he’s scum. During our marriage his siblings, parents didn’t want much to do with him & now I can see why!! Our kids & I don’t like him either..

  • (1) My XW claaimed to be different for me (because it’s “true love.”), given she had a sketchy past.

    (2) I’m sure she claims the same now, still with her OM after 5 years. But she hasn’t changed.

    More importantly, even supposing that she actually has chnaged–she didn’t change for me. She changed for him. She decided that a man who cheats on his wife with another man’s wife is WORTH changing for, while someone like me is NOT WORTH changing for.

    I don’t want to be with such trash. I deserve WAY better than that. I deserve a faithful woman, not a woman who chooses to be faithful to an OM and cheater.

    You will get beyond this. There is a good life on the other side, and getting this asshole out of it is Step 1.

    • “More importantly, even supposing that she actually has chnaged–she didn’t change for me.”

      This is so critical. Sometimes these issues are strictly binary.

  • Um…why do you “know” these things? Did he *tell* you these things? If so, you’ve got to ask yourself WHY. Seems to me that he gets off on trying to make you feel inadequate.

    If he was so happy with his Schmoopie, he would just go and be happy with her, he wouldn’t feel the need to tell you about it first.

    Go no contact. Life gets better. He’s still the same shit, he hasn’t changed for her.

  • He’s not changing, he’s blowing smoke up her ass.

    He can pledge to do anything he wants to, or she asks him to do. Doesn’t mean he’s not going to put on a good reconciliation theater show, and then turn around and do whatever he wants behind her back.

    I wouldn’t believe a word of it. Liars lie.

  • KitFoxx, I myself had the “reformed cheater” Cheater, and guess what? He cheated! I do understand your feelings, and remember having them myself, which is pretty natural considering we do derive some worth from how the people we love view us. Only time and space from him will give you the needed perspective to truly understand that he views you and everyone from a broken mirror. And that you are for more than that view. The cheaters have a way of extending the pick-me dance into the breakup. At this point, if I knew categorically that my cheater had changed, I wouldn’t even care, because he doesn’t matter to me. If he did change, well, more the better for womankind. He wasn’t what *I* needed, and that’s all that matters now. Good luck! You can do this.

  • Another thought is that his intentions are good, at this point, but his actions may not hold out, long term – he knows that about himself. Anyone who relies on an accountability partner is TELLING you they don’t really trust themselves to follow through. Just by the nature.

    I think people who desire true change do not announce those changes, they just behave differently. I remember when I truly put down polishing the rocks of revenge and regret and then of a few personal bad habits. I just stopped doing them or tapered off until I did not do it anymore. Emotional literacy and working through those rough spots generated healing. That healing was me wanting to do things that are good, basically for myself and less destructive in nature.

    Trust that this cheater sucks. Told his xw he wanted to change for new ow – to HURT her feelings. Does that sound like a changed, ethical person? No. It’s passive aggressive needling of the “x” that is very mean spirited.
    This guy is a mind fuck. She is probably well advised to get to meh as soon as she can. He is not changing, he is simply putting on a show.

    • As I have written before, I am friends with ex narcopaths ex wife. As a matter of fact, we took all of our kids swimming today and they had a blast.

      She was a huge support for me when I had my final dd5 with ex narcopath and we exchanged stories of our relationships with him.

      From those stories, I realized that any time ex told me anything about ex wife (she was supposedly abusive, bipolar, crazy, horrible mother) it was 75% truth with 25% omission, usually to reconstruct himself as the victim in the story.

      I remember him telling these stories and always cocking my head at the end of them, going “Really?” But he was a very, very good con artist with a side of charm and tears for full effect.

      Hearing ex wife version of the same event was wonderful because her version actually made sense.

      Now the roles in our relationship have changed to me supporting her. I am much stronger now and no contact with him. Ex and Ex wife have 2 boys together and he is dating someone new. I am free of him and she is trapped in the nightmare of parallel parenting with him.

      Ex preys upon the single mothers, usually they have 2 kids, kind hearted women who have been hurt by love and he is going to give them the family they have been yearning for. Reality: nightmare ahead.

      Ex wife and I usually avoid talking about him, because: trust that he sucks. But she had a weak moment and warned the new girlfriend 2x via text and Facebook. I warned the last gf so I am not judging. It’s really brutal to watch these innocent women walk in and know the cycle of abuse is beginning and they have no idea what awaits them.
      Since ex wife warning this new gf, ex has amped up his game of trying to provoke ex wife big time. This is where I come in and remind her of what CL says and stay grey rock and ignore it.

      He also knows that ex wife and I are hanging out again. This enrages him so he is hoping for a double dip of kibbles. He also knows i warned his previous gf, and He took the letter I sent to her and flashed it all over town and to friends and family. I think he is hoping that I will send another letter to new gf just for an extra dose of the drama he loves so much.

      I refuse to warn this woman directly. Ex wife has already done so, but new gf and I both go to the same waxer and she has warned her.

      That being said, Ex wife and I heard from their youngest son that he phoned his dad’s house last night to see if he was coming to his ball hockey game. Guess who answers ex’s phone? New gf.

      Guess who dropped the boys off at exwifes on Sunday? New gf. Reason: ex narcopath was tired and needed a nap at 1pm in the afternoon.

      Ex narcopath and new gf are 2 months dating. This timeline of her doing all this stuff for him matches EXACTLY the same as mine when i was with him. Now that I am free and clear of the whole mess, I can see how crazy he was trying to triangulate us. And he is doing the same with new gf.

      Ex wife and I got a good laugh over it all. Ex narcopath just checks the same playlist with each gf over and over and over.

      Has he changed? Nope.com
      The only thing he has changed is the woman’s name.

  • I have no idea if Narkles the Clown claims to be a different man for the Flying Whore or anyone else.
    Embrace No Contact, the path to the truth and the light!
    Who cars what he does now? The answer should be, not you!
    Go expend that energy on your life.
    What are your hopes, dreams and desires? Follow them, chase them, make those things happen for you.

  • Never forget that most of these turds cycle through a predictable relationship pattern, often ascribed to narcissists, but regularly seen in the doings of all sorts of undiagnosed but disordered con artists disguised as ordinary people:

    1. They overvalue you and the relationship. You are awesome and special and “best friends”! He knows you “inside and out” because that is what con artists do–know their mark. He’s playing “best friends” because that is what they have to do to hook you in. So it’s a love bombing fest that gets the mark hooked on this super special love drug.
    2. Then they devalue you. Lots of ways that can happen but the big symptom/indicator is the Chump blames himself or herself for losing that special love drug, not realizing it was just bait in the long con.
    3. Then the discard, which can happen long before they actually leave. Once they start having an affair, they are well down the devalue trail and mentally discarding you for anything other than spusal appliance services and a basic ration of kibbles for them.

    Read everything you can get your hand on about this relationship cycle. Stop looking at him and the New Mark and start looking at how he operates. CL is right; his current behavior is just the resetting of the cycle. He’s love bombing and accustoming his new mark to his eaknesses, which involve lying and cheating and which will require her to police the marriage or relationship to stay in it. Either that or just ignore the abuse.

    It’s like that shell game con artists play. They get you looking at the shells and you lose track of what they are actually doing. You never win the game because it is a grift, a con, and you are the mark.

    • *spousal appliances; *weaknesses
      Sorry for typos. I am either at war with WordPress and my laptop or sliding into dementia.

    • This is so very true and I lived it.
      Ex narcopath continues this pattern with every woman he meets. Truly disordered.

  • As far as what I believe, I don’t think these cheaters EVER change for anyone. I had a discussion with a colleague who is a mental health counselor not long ago and she asked me if I would ever take my cheating XH back and I said, ‘No, because I think I deserve a better husband than him’ and she asked ‘what if he changed?’ I thought about that for awhile and I honestly believe from the bottom of my heart that man will NEVER change no.matter.what. She tried to tell me that she has seen people change in her practice but I remained adamant in my mind. That guy will NEVER change in a million years. Sure, he might be somewhat ‘better’ for her but he certainly wasn’t good enough for me and that’s all that matters. If he hasn’t physically cheated on schmoopie yet, the only reason is because he’s OLD now and more than just a little long in the tooth. Most likely has a dead dick too.

    Yeah, Kit….I don’t care what anyone says. These people do not change.

    • I would never take my ex narcopath back because I can’t unsee what I have seen in him. And it is so horrifying and ugly that it is seared on my brain.

      He claims he has changed but I have seen no evidence of it other than changing the name of the women he dates. He is a liar and completely unworthy of me.

      • Yes, you can’t unsee what they really are. I was totally amazed to find out that my cheater ex used the same exact dating propaganda on his gf that he used on me. “I’m a GOOD GUY! I always get looked over/abused by women because I’m TOO NICE and they want creeps!”. I can see how it worked on me, cause I had no reason to believe otherwise. But how do you sell that to the person you are “dating” while you are married, with a small child, and committing Adultery? It’s mind boggling.

  • I love this one: “He’s promised to break any contacts she asks without question.”

    What I learned is that if you have to ask your supposed partner to break a contact that puts your relationship at risk, you don’t have a partner. You have a cheater.

    No one has EVER had to ask me to break a contact. Or to stop drinking all weekend. Or to stop flirting with groomsmen at a wedding who are 40 years younger than I am. That’s the difference between the person you are in a relationship with having boundaries and not having them. The other day, the VKM took his XW and her adopted Kiddo (not his child) to a hospital facility where Kiddo was scheduled for overnight testing. The next day he picked them up. I wouldn’t have known except he told me. I don’t need to ask him to break that contact because if he decides he wants her back, he’ll tell me. I trust his character. he doesn’t have to warn me preemptively that I better have my investigator’s hat on because he doesn’t lie or heat. Last year, after her home was broken into twice by drug addicts, she floated the idea of moving in platonically with VKM. He told me about her suggestion and I said, “Up to you. But living with your X is a deal breaker for me.” That was the end of that. I offer that story to say that some chumpy types like VKM can contemplate stupid rescue moves with people who have duped them before. But if two people have a relationship that is straight-forward and honest, if they both have character, they understand tjat the other person needs to have a choice. That applies to both me and VKM. He gets to chose. So do I. But that only works because we both stay in our lane. He’s not a liar. I’m not the relationship police. This new AP is in for the same ride you took. You just can’t see that yet. And it may take her years to see it. People don’t change. Character is character. Even behavior is hard to change, as my recent jellybean and chocolate relapse would indicate.

  • *slow clap* yess… so much yes. both OP and CL. OP read my mind I deal with the same, and CL cleared that right up with this post.

    You just saved me from so much backlide!

  • Kitfoxx,
    I can see where this might be tempting to let it get to you. But, the truth is…he is NOT changing.

    Case in point. When I met Dickhead, I had no idea he had cheated on his ex wife. (He had been divorced for 2 years when we met…which also turned out to be a lie) The thing is, right off the bat, everytime his phone rang or a text came in he immediately explained who it was. I saw this as odd because I never even thought it was anything but work related contact, or a friend maybe. He also was sure to give me all of his passwords for computer stuff…I found that odd as hell.

    This guy has no idea how to have a healthy relationship. He learned in reconciliation how to build trust…and the dipshit thinks that’s how to build trust in a brand new relationship?!

    When Dickhead did these things, giant red flags were waving and I even brought that up. Of course the mindfuckery was in play back then and so was my sppackle from the love bombing. Your ex turd will do the same thing to her…mark my words. Then when he’s supposed to be open and all…he will NOT be…just like he wasn’t with you.

    Get that turd out of your head and his Schmoopie too. You may not realize it yet, but you are so much better off without the jerkwad!

  • “Come into my lair,” said the spider to the fly.

    He’s not being better for her, he’s just changing manipulation tactics since you demonstrated that evasion leads to loss of cake. He’s gambling that faux transparency will give him the advantage he failed to maintain in your marriage.

  • I have been divorced 3.5 years. D-Day almost 5 years ago. Saddam married the last AP. Cheaters can’t hold it together long term. My ex did and said this, too. Said “With THIS wife, it’ll be different!!” My kids report to me she won’t even let Saddam go to a restroom without her. She follows him EVERYWHERE. She knows she can’t trust him, which is why she’s 300 pounds, with bags under her eyes so big she looks like Droopy Dog. She’s in her mid 50s, but could pass for 75.

    Why do you want that, again???

  • Thank you so much for this blog and thank you also to all of the people who comment. I am rather new to this, being four months in since D-Day. I have never heard of the acronym DARVO but, now that I have, this is something that I lived with for 27 years. It’s so sad that sometimes DARVO can separate us from our families when the cheating spouse sexually harasses family members (my sisters). One HUGE takeaway is to remember not to allow anyone to separate you from your family as a result of their poor choices.

    I feel that I’m progressing well but the biggest change came last weekend when after reading Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life, I internalized the suggestion that my husband’s behavior does not define me and it definitely doesn’t define my children or our family. I’ve also realized that the term “broken family” will not define my family either as we are all much less broken without him in our lives.

    • IDF hugs to you and the education I’ve got here has been the only thing that’s kept me sane, so glad you found Chump Nation so early! All the best to you and your family for the journey out of the fog x

  • Why does every time I go to CL she is speaking directly to what I am experiencing?! The number one thing that has been bothering me is this! He has been telling everyone what he did and including some disgusting details. Ex. sleeping with a tourist three weeks after engagement. He has told me that he lets women know what he did because he is trying to “own up to it” and let them know so they can make an honest choice unlike the one he gave me by lying the whole time. However, all this does is create still an abnormal relationship with trust is already slighted from the beginning by letting them know he is a serial cheater. I don’t want that life. I want someone that is trustworthy off the bat, not someone that tells me he is a fuck up and I can have access to his devices. I don’t want to track where he is all the time or go through his phone. That is why I left in the first place was not wanting to play detective anytime anything seemed off. Its just another lie and manipulation tool for him to seem like a good guy by owning up to shit but in reality it still paints him in a negative light. Idiot.

  • “You were never in reconciliation”

    THAT’S why he broke promises and deleted conversations and lied and gaslighted while I floundered around trying to understand what he was thinking.

    I feel like the weight of the world just lifted off my heart…

    • Artist,

      This is so true … while I floundered around trying to understand what he was thinking …

      Why did we try to figure out what was in the mind of such a disordered person? We can never figure it out because we don’t think the way that they do!

  • “ebola wants to mutate… for her” lol you are so funny Tracy. Anyway, one of the sentences caught my attention. “he was my best friend, he knows me inside out” Yes he knows you alright, and knows how to play you and keep you feeling devalued. This man is not your friend and never was!

  • I am so grateful and thankful for this site and everyone on it. I read that letter and completely identified with it. My thought was, yes, how do you get over feeling you are not enough or you were not “special” enough? Chump Lady and fellow chumps thank you for your responses. I was actually saying…YES! this is correct! I still question myself and of course I am reminded all the time of how unworthy I am by him. It is so sad because we have two amazing boys and he has walked out on everyone for a howorker. ( I love this term, I read it here.) I am constantly slandered by both of them and like all of you, I don’t deserve that. I have not filed for divorce yet, as I am still in school but it is coming soon. He just thinks I am blindly in love with him and will take all of it. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t question why? I do know that it really bothers me that my boys and I would be tossed aside like garbage. I find great encouragement on this site. Thank you to all.

    • My STBXH tossed the kids & I aside like garbage. For months I couldn’t figure out why…until I found CL. People like that have no empathy for anyone.
      File as soon as you can!

  • CL you have been on FIRE!! the past couple of days! Jet lag you say? More like that please.

    Cheaters condition Chumps to view, evaluate, interpret, act and articulate life and information based on how Cheaters teach/groom Chumps to see the world. We actually use the Cheater’s language, the cheater’s interpretation and see things through the cheater’s narrative. That’s the purpose of no contact – to begin to see the world through our own eyes and to speak with our voice again.

    Let me tell how that “gonna be better” works out. My Ex told me that he was going to change for the OW/Owife. While he was dragging out our divorce, he was in therapy. He said he didn’t want to marry the OW and be the same person he was with me. I, too, believed he would get all this help and be better for her and that I had wasted over 25 years waiting for him to be “better” for me and now she was going to reap the benefit of all my and now his hard work. I was no contact during the divorce process for a good 3 or 4 months straight, which is sometimes hard to do at that stage of the divorce process, and I was a religious reader of CL and CN, while in therapy myself during that time.

    I have been separated for 5 years and divorced almost 3 and let me tell you I don’t know if he’s still in therapy, but I know he hasn’t changed. He is still self-centered, self-absorbed, shallow and superficial. He still tells half-truths (lies), leaves out relevant information to mislead (lies) and/or tells outright fabrications (lies). I know this because sometimes in frustration my adult children that still speak to him call me to vent. I can STILL predict his response in certain situations and I have not set eyes on him since I walked out of that courtroom almost 3 years ago – that’s how much he hasn’t changed. He’s still him. The only thing that actually changed is his employment situation (he “retired”), geographical location and his spouse. That’s substitution, not change. You know who has changed? Me. Once I freed myself from what seemed like some type of demonic possession, I returned to my old self, but a much better, wiser version. You’ll notice I said “returned to my old self.”

    Acting different in order to lure in your next victim isn’t change. It’s a con’s tactic to lure in a mark. Remember – a woman who marries a man who cheats on his wife is married to a man who cheats on his wife. As some comedian once said, once she marries him, her old position will be open and available. Anyone who sees cheating as a viable, appropriate problem resolution skill will more than likely employ that skill again as necessary in the future. It may seem simplistic because we all like to believe in a good change/redemption story, but that is rarely what happens. People rarely “change,” they tend to reveal themselves over time. Your husband has revealed himself to you. Believe him. Let her have the illusion.

  • When you have the thought “I’m not good enough,” maybe the next two questions should be “what exactly is good?” and “what exactly is enough?”

    There are 7.6 BILLION people on this planet. Don’t let one cheating fucker out of 7.6 BILLION people decide for you that you aren’t good enough. HE. IS. NOT. SPECIAL.

    In fact….

    HE SUCKS.

  • He’s promising to better himself for her?
    Don’t fall for the old potential gig. It’s a trap.

    What OW/OM ignore is what they have in common with the cheater. They’ve already started at the bottom rung.

    You’d be surprised at your own potential that was dormant while all your energy was being sucked by a con artist. Focus on that, not the bottom feeders.

  • KitFoxx – I am here to tell you I was that new girlfriend and his bullshit to her is still bullshit. He won’t change f*cking ever and she will eventually learn this and either leave with her dignity barely attached or he will discard her for another. Your ex is a scumbag and you will see in time how his bullshit plays out and will crash and burn.

    No, I am not the new girl in your story but one very similar. I got access to phone records, emails, phone, ipad, etc. but I still caught him lying up a shit storm to me. This fucker was lying to me from the start about so many things and still continues to lie to me. I think I have discovered about 8 women now, I’ve had to confront him with. Getting all that stuff he gave me only made him smarter in his deceit.

    Once a cheater always a cheater still rings true. Narcissists can’t help themselves and will repeatedly lie to get what they want and once they have it….they want more….and will lie and hurt others again because of their entitlement.

    I left him with some dignity lost. Trust me. He sucks.

    • BTW, my guy was single when we started dating….or so I thought. He was not married, but he had many women he was courting, all unbeknownst to me. I was handled over all the “documents” when I suspected he was a dirtball and left him. He wooed me back and like an idiot, I came back only to discover I was right, he was a total sociopath. I never recovered learning how he played me for a fool. All the days that should have been special were complete fake – he was texting/calling so many others on the day he told me he was in love with me, etc. Trust me: He fucking sucks.

  • The corollary to the Lola Doctrine – Cheaters Never Trade Up – is that APs Never Win.

    Meanwhile, what about YOU?

    Let’s get your ass into deep No Contact, right now.

    This really is the path to the truth and the light – and it works really, really fast if you stick to it.

  • I was in “reconciliation” for almost 18
    Months and had all those wonderful “transparencies” of access to this that and the other, promises, blah blah blah and I can tell you hand on heart it was utterly demoralising and humiliating.

    I am CERTAIN he was laughing at me on the inside the whole time, and it’s a fool’s gold, ridiculous fucking theory anyway that a lying prick is suddenly going to be honest.

    It’s a slippery slope to insanity because no amount of checking is ever reassuring enough. The what if’s keep getting whispered. So you go down the route of installing spyware on the device and you sit up at 2am in your pjs scrolling down messages and tracking deleted messages. THEN you suddenly realise the software has tremendous limitations and then you’re more anxious because you realise you will never know for sure and that’s terrifying. The whole process is a LIVING HELL and you HATE YOURSELF. I look back on that time with MORE shudders than I do the bit where I was being cheated on and not aware of it. It is a slow suicide.

    Be grateful you are not there and that he didn’t “gift” you that. Be really grateful.

    As for her… great good fortune. She has a man who is actively saying “I’m so untrustworthy you will need to do this”.

    What the fuck?

    Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life. There is no other way.

  • I agree, these other women are from a different planet. He’s telling her this stuff cause she knows he’s (and she’s a cheater) and this really is all he has to offer.

  • I was thinking about this topic this morning.

    When Mme YogaPants ran off 2 years ago chasing her dreams and his wallet I was indeed confident that he was getting better sex from her than I had received in many years. And she perhaps was working hard on demonstrating that she was the reincarnation of June Cleaver.

    Having lived with this woman for more than half of my life I knew though that she couldn’t sustain it. She has never been able to follow-through on things.

    I on the other hand have indeed changed and become better – for me. And perhaps if someone enters into my life I’ll be the new improved BowTie for her as well and Mme is missing out on it.

    I’ve lost weight and kept it off and look better than I have in years. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about relationships. I’m still the thoughtful, occasionally funny, kind man that I believe that I’ve always been. Despite having to pay spousal support I have a good income, a nice house, more and better friends than before and some really awesome bow ties.

    The last time I saw Mme she had aged a fair bit and seemed to have a barely controlled fury inside of her. I believe she is still living in her small apartment above the liquor store which undoubtedly is the same sort of mess that this house was before I was able to take control of the cleaning. And from what I’ve heard she is currently full of angst and drama.

    https://youtu.be/WF5fIONJP3Q

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