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Cheater Exceptionalism

I am not defined by my relationship.“Marn” submitted this delicious nugget of Stupid Shit Cheaters Say:

“I live outside the boxes that others live in. I’m not like other people. I am not limited that way. I am not defined by society’s rules.”

Raise your hand if you had a Maverick Cheater, unlimited by the constraints of society. Esther Perel has constructed an entire industry based on The Exceptional Cheater trope. The dreamer on an epic “quest for aliveness,” committing “exuberant acts of defiance” against the cruel, cruel forces of monogamy.

Where do you fit in? You don’t.

You’re not a victim of their bad actions, you’re an unsophisticated rube who fails to understand their Greater Purpose.

You there, the Little Sheeple, playing by the rules, must take consolation in the Maverick Cheater’s exceptionalism. They cannot be defined!

“Liar,” “cheat,” “fraud” — are so limiting. Quit trying to define them with judgment. They are not like other people, who care if they spill red wine on your white sofa or fuck your best friend. The Maverick Cheater is beyond petty, base emotions like empathy or shame. Regret is for suckers.

At Chump Lady, we could poke fun at the pomposity of cheaters and cheater-speak all day. But the fact is, people buy into this shit. You probably bought into this shit once, or you wouldn’t be a chump. Chumps accept their partners’ entitlement as right and proper. Sure, we might grumble, but we keep dishing up the kibbles. We reinforce the lopsidedness, we spackle over idiocy. We accept their specialness and deny our own.

Until the day we stop.

Nothing is as tiresome as narcissist. You want to be a revolutionary? Consider other people. Empathize. Real mavericks have integrity — their words align with their actions. They don’t hold themselves above the law. (Heck, if all the old Westerns are to be believed, mavericks are the law. Strolling into dusty towns, taking down the bullies.)

We have a name for people who “live outside of boxes” — outcasts.

Shun an Exceptional Cheater today.


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    • No they’re not shunned enough in our society, instead they’re put on a pedestal of being worldly, exciting, daring even.
      What happened to values, devotion, respect, and maturity?
      Cheater was manipulative enough to organize followers unbeknownst to me before his dramatic exit.
      These people included neighbors who I thought were my friends and he previously ignored.
      Cheater told me he was better educated and had nothing in common with these people until he needed to build his alliance. These same people suddenly became his confidants, best friends. He confided in them, with tears, that he could no longer suffer in silence living with me.
      I no longer speak to these people and I’m quite certain that since they no longer have any useful purpose in his life they’re friendship has fizzled.

      • My STBX told friends that he was being ‘brave’ when he abandoned us. And texted OW : ‘For a long time I’ve grappled with the pain. But the hurt is not about us. Its about them’.

        • Bestill, mine told friends when he left me something very similar, he told me and anyone who cared to listen that he wasn’t a quitter, but by leaving me and destroying our family he was being a man. Clearly cheater doesn’t know anything about being a man.

          He wasn’t a quitter?? Cheater claimed that he tried everything to please me but I was never happy and refused to go to MC. I don’t remember Cheater doing the pick me dance, it was more of the fuck you Brit dance as I recall. While I danced myself into a pretzel trying to please the lying, condescending jackass. I was beginning to question my own sanity.
          I thought surely there had to be something I was doing to make him want to leave.
          If he says I wasn’t happy then I’d plaster a bigger smile on my face while he looked at me in disdain and found something wrong with everything I did or said.
          It’s all about them.
          Finding Chump Lady and Chump Nation saved my sanity.

          • Cheater refused to go to marriage counseling. I’ve learned you can’t believe anything they say. They’re full of shit.

            • and of course they’re going to find something wrong with us when they’re fucking someone else. How else are they going to justify themselves?

        • ‘For a long time I’ve grappled with the pain. But the hurt is not about us. Its about them’.

          It’s about how much hurt WE can inflict on them. I’m grappling with how to best destroy them.

          What a sicko. I hope you are rid of him, BeStill.

        • Mine said – do you know how hard it was to leave everything? The house that I built? Another time, He told me he missed the back yard.

          Lol he did not build this house. And the only thing he mentioned leaving was the house and yard. Not the family inside it.

          Lately I have been coping by remembering the my children and I are worthy humans. Worthy of love. We are wonderful people that he should be missing and loving. We are the heart and soul of this home we share. We can make it without him.

    • Cheaters aren’t shunned enough in this society.

      Oh hell no , there is a planet full of like minded slutbags out there ,mirroring their behavior , and welcoming with open arms . and speaking of neighbors , my cheater maggot was sneaking and slithering across the street at 4am everyday and getting back before i was up (went on for years). what i learned from this ,when i stopped spackling , is that he does not want or love me .


  • Totally my ex. He became more and more selfish after he decided he was an anarchist. My expectations of faithfulness were simply me being judgemental. He wasn’t hurting anyone, according to him, so he was just fine in his actions. Anyway, even if breaking up our family wasn’t good for me or our kids as he admitted, it was better for him, and how selfish am I that I’d want to stop him from his better life?

    • I think someone should whack him upside the head and then just claim they’re an anarchist.

      • Tracy

        … “Regret is for suckers.” xWV(2.0). Eureka!!

        OK!! And This rocks… “We accept their specialness and deny our own.” (Madea- Lawd Yas! You spoke da truth dare CHILD…) Yep. I got Financial ‘taps’ as my Dad would have put it. He went to Cuba in the Navy btw.

        …and last but not least…

        I’m officially (I wish) entering this as a new entry request the the 2019 edition… Lawd Yas! (Madea! Get the Hell outta here!) que LAUGH


        Tuesday noun Tues·day \ ˈtüz-(ˌ)dā (orig: Chump)

        1) “Until the day we stop.”

        Oh! and by the way!!! … whoever posted that thing about the ‘MEH’ printed on Snickers bars.
        Great. Freakin’. Idea. I LOVED IT x10!!! I FOUND ONE!!! Hell to the YAS!!. ( in the fridge)… On a recent road-trip LAST WEEK to see family disintegrating slowly (Her son, No Fuck That! …MY Son, My Marine.) He’s got character in the molding process right now. More Nuclear fallout from MY ‘Free Lance Concubine’s carnage and damage from his mother for much of his young life. He’s insisted I focus on MEH and Tuesday. But I think he’s got the guts to get his shit in line because of his family. You know that decision, commitment thing. This requires a change of heart…and Head.

        Thanks for the goal post marker idea OH BLESSED UNKNOWN SAINT OF CHUMP NATION. 😉 #whodathunkit Treasure Hunt at fuel stops scouring the candy bars… OMG the Temptation. While my brain whispers to me … Pssst- You KNOW YOU HAVE TO WORK THAT SHIT OFF IN THE DOJO, YEH? Yeah. Sweat Equity. Love It.

    • Recovering Chump , if your husband was a genuine anarchist then he is in direct violation of the non aggression principle by voiding his marital contract with you. Therefore as a anarchist he is required to pay big restitution for the damage caused.

    • This is making me envision your H as a 16 year old, yellow Mohawk-having punk rocker, ala a 1979 after school special. Which isn’t totally illogical, he’s acting like a 15 year old.

    • In my work with wives and partners of men called sex addicts, the guys who were into fetish activities always were in the “identity quest” group. They often had elaborate personal narratives of their “journey” that they posted online with others of similar interest. The wive or partner had a specific role in the narrative—usually a sympathetic supportive person that he didn’t really want to hurt, blah blah blah, but that eventually she was not enlightened enough for her to follow him any longer and he would have to let her go…sigh. He had worked so hard to let her be a part of his self-actualization, but she simply wasn’t evolved enough herself.
      kind of puke.

  • This is no joke – my husband broke his foot (requires surgery) in 2016 and he says that incident changed how he viewed those around, even his two kids. He dropped old friends because he “was tired of being manipulated.” That how exceptional the ex-cheater thinks he is. No one ever treated him as bad as he treated others.

    He probably thinks he’s exceptional but deep down, he knows that he’s a rather ordinary man with nothing exceptional to offer. Once I stopped buying spackle, I could see what a flawed person he really is.

  • Oh geeze. My ex spewed similar things. He was so philosophical. Had his own Facebook page where he discussed agnostic writings (zero followers btw). After he abandoned his family and ran to his mom’s house, I saw a copy of “Man’s Search for Meaning” while I was there picking something up ????. He didn’t need to go to marriage therapy because he wasn’t going to pay anyone to spew their nonsense at him or tell him what he did wrong. Can’t have that!!!

    He’s just saying misunderstood. As the OW says, everyone makes mistakes. We should all just accept that and let him act however he wants to. So glad I’m away from that train wreck.

      • Pretentious? Have I got PRETENTIOUS for you! Not just the Cheater-

        -from OtherWhore to Fucktard:

        “If you [Fucktard] were to choose the path with me, it seems to me, you would be a man who walked away from a long dead marriage. Yes, you chose a bad way to do it. Yes, you . . . we . . caused more pain than necessary. But it would have been the right thing, it seemed and seems to me, to do. You were and are an honorable man who made mistakes.”

        AND from OtherWhore to one of her flying monkeys who later shared it with me:

        “Fucktard needed to be out of his not-a-covenant. He needed to be away from it. The path he was supposed to be on the path along which he was supposed to live and to learn and to grow and to glow, was away from that path that had him bound. Staying with the outward forms was keeping him from the life that was intended for him.”

        Truly vomitrotious.

    • The Cowardly Liar gave me a similar line about needing to be accepted for who he was and needing to be happy. I told him I was, indeed, accepting him for who he was, but the thing he couldn’t get through his head was that accepting him and allowing him to be who he was didn’t automatically mean I wanted to stay married to who he was, and that, in fact, I didn’t want that, because I wanted to be happy, too, and being with him was not happy for me.

      Aaaaaaaand, cue Crickets.

      • ha ha ha … you completely deflated hours of carefully crafted self-serving rubbish, you meanie!!

      • Weird robotic freaks. They should all just get together, make one collective generic message. Make copies. And disperse.
        I seriously loathe these creepy weirdos and their weird lines. Gotta be me! And me is just like every other creepy weirdo just like me….

      • “The Cowardly Liar gave me a similar line about needing to be accepted for who he was and needing to be happy”

        YES!! One our one and only marriage counseling appointment, the therapist gave us Gottman Love map questions to go through. One of them was what we were concerned about.

        I answered that I was concerned about my cancer treatments and how that would affect our daughter. Would she be scared? Would I pass this on to her?

        He answered, “Of course I am concerned for our daughter, but I’m most concerned about my happiness.”

        Oy vey. Epitome of selfishness right there.

        • Fuck. I also had a cancer cheater. Brutal. Their words are brutal. I’m thankful for that — complete lack of remorse makes it easier to see who they really are.

          • I still hear his words daily in my head…

            “It’s not a big deal. Just a medical blip”

            “If it were me I would just walk into the woods and disappear. No one would miss me.”

            “Are you going to be like that tomorrow too?”

            ” I can’t miss my holiday party for your chemo! It’s a required event! I’m the VP!”

            And then he left and basically asked nothing further about my treatment. It all cuts me to the core but also tells me he did not care about me at all. Perfect strangers cared more about what I went through than he did.

            • It’s only about him. It’s not so much he didn’t care about you, it’s that he only cares about himself. If that makes sense.

            • Cheaters are dicks. When my mom was in her last days at the hospital, ex cheater couldn’t even be bothered to come up from the basement to see is I was OK or needed anything when I would get home from the hospital. He couldn’t even take the time to see her and she always loved him. No care or compassion for anyone but themselves.

              • Yes, MissBailey they’re selfish, arrogant, dicks.
                Similar experience when my Mom had cancer. He did make a phone call to her a month before she passed to inform her that leaving me was the best decision he’s ever made. My Mother loved him and treated him as her own.
                No compassion or regard for anyone other than themselves.

                Cheater would quickly point out the faults of others. On business trips he’d come home and tell me stories of people he worked with that went to strip clubs, picked up girls from bars..
                Cheater would be disgusted when he’d see someone taking more than one food sample from a kiosk at Costco. The lectures on integrity would begin.
                He would never do such a thing, “he was a man of integrity.”
                Cheat, lie, destroy your family, integrity remains in tact, he’s a man of integrity.
                Taking an extra cheese sample from a Costco sample kiosk and he’s horrified at the lack of integrity..,

              • Mine could make the twice weekly, seven hour round trip to schmoopie’s, but did not see his own dying mother for three and a half weeks before she died. I visited at least once a week, and was with her 36 hours before she died – and I was pushed aside to a large degree by the rest of her family by then, after thirty years, and mothering our three kids. Lovely.

                Character – lack of – on full display right there.

                Interestingly, with a little time passed, his family are all still on good terms, including social media, with me, and yet outwardly have accepted schmoopie – but not one friend or family member is friends with her on any platform I am aware of – and they are a year deep now. Weird.

              • Oh, dying mother lived just 20 minutes from our house…he was her favourite child…

              • Yep, my own cheater didn’t go see his own mother on her deathbed, though both of his siblings were there; one had to fly just as far as he would have had to. “It was too far away, and I was just there anyway.” (No problem flying all around the world on vacations with hooker GF).

                This was just a couple months after D-day and my filing for divorce. It showed me that he was for a fact just as cruel to others as he was to me, and how deeply and truly I could trust that he sucks.

              • Mine too
                Big breath
                Mine got captain in the US Army one year after the shitshow
                Integrity and honor, blechhhhhhh

            • Too bad it wasn’t him — to walk into the woods and disappear! The world would be a better place, I think.

            • Reading this turned my stomach. I’m repulsed. These people walk among us.

          • I have a ‘You were no longer attractive when you were in your wheelchair after you got hit by that car.’ cheater.

            • That is disgusting. I guess the whole “for worse” part of the vows was only supposed to apply to you.

              • Apparently so. I had already figured out by then she only cared about my looks. The crazy thing is that I really only had cuts and bruises and was barely using the chair. I imagine she would’ve tried to have me put down if I was actually seriously injured.

        • What about the cheater that lets you know that he stops feeling anything for you or finding you attractive once you had kids? What are they called?

          “You know. It was all nice until the kids came. Then, all you did was complain. I realized that I made a commitment and had to try my best to live out my life with the choice I made. And a lot of the times it was okay, and I would have been fine the rest of my life leaving things that way. But, then nothing I did seemed to be enough for you and all you did was criticize.”


          “You know. It was all nice until the kids came.”

          You were a good time when we had no responsibilities. Then adulting needed to happen. You jumped on that train full speed. I just thought, “Good God. This is real life. Crap!” But, I’ll pretend my way through this.

          “Then, all you did was complain.”

          You started to have expectations that I adult. How dare you be tired. How dare you expect I do more now that there is the added burden of children. How dare you struggle to balance your full-time profession with 1, then 2 kids (one born really early, one diagnosed with autism, and then there is your sick mother) How come you’re not jumping up and down with joy because I’m changing diapers, giving baths and reading bedtime stories? You know a lot of men just don’t do this. So, you’re lucky. What’s your problem?

          “I realized that I made a commitment and had to try my best to live out my life with the choice I made.”

          I wanted out but even I knew I was an asshole to want to. So, I tried to man-up and put on my big boy pants. Tried my best to look like an adult, look like a husband. It’s all so hard. Why can’t you just jump up and down more often with glee?

          “And a lot of the times it was okay, and I would have been fine the rest of my life leaving things that way.”

          I mean, hey, you make really good money. When I get laid off, you’re there to ensure that our lifestyle is maintained. I know that if I don’t do something, you’ll just do it anyways. You’re paying to put me through a university degree, so finally I have the same level of education as the rest of my siblings (and my mother thought I couldn’t do – well I showed her). I go out often enough with my buddies and you don’t give me grief over it. Everybody says how awesome you are and you look pretty good after having had two kids. As for those times when you complain, well I figured that I could easily tune it out by nodding my head in agreement most of the time and then really doing what I want (aka – nothing).

          “But, then nothing I did seemed to be enough for you and all you did was criticize.”

          Shit. Here’s the thing. You’re actually really smart. You’re calling me on my bullshit all the time. You don’t buy my excuses anymore. When I give me my excuses, you put them through the bullshit translator and spit it back at me. You’re now pointing out that you outearn me, do most of the housework, look after every aspect of the kids lives (including the research and therapies for the son with autism), keep up the social caledar for both our families, and pursue most of the house renovations. You’re no longer accepting my “nods of agreement”. You don’t seem satisfied that I also cook supper sometimes and do laundry. I’ll also do more if you ask me or leave a list. Hey, what do you mean that just another job I gave for you to do? What do you mean you want me to be a self-starter? What are these terms you are spewing, like “more equitable division of household labour”? I’m done with being emasculated (see I know big words too). You just don’t know how to be happy. I need to find someone who I can be my real self with after so many years of my sacrifice for you and for my family and really for all of society. I need to be happy.

          • “Dads don’t babysit. It’s called parenting” printed on a t-shirt

          • Cheater exceptionalism… apparently ( as he told my 11 year old daughter) “ I was always going to leave your mother…” or “ I hadn’t loved your mother for years..”.

            He was such an exceptional human being I should have been grateful that he married me, let alone stayed for 28 years.

            As for the wider circle around us; the boys club excused him. A wink here… a comment there.. “Dirty dog”, said with awe, envy and probably incredulousness. Fucked up.

            • My daughter asked my stbx if he loved me. She told me he
              Said, “very much”. She then asked him to sump his girlfriend and get back with mommy. She told me he said, “that would not be fair for me to dump her since I have feelings for her.” Wtf!

    • After DDay #4 (when my baby was 8 weeks old), Mr. Justification actually ordered “Man’s Search for Meaning” for ME. He thought that I needed some perspective because I was having such a hard time forgiving him for his cheating, lying, cruelty (hello, texting Schmoopie while I was in labor) and gaslighting. I never touched that book.

      Later, when I told him I was done with him, he made a big show of reading it for “self-improvement”. I saw the dog knock it under the sofa one day. It was still there six months later when I moved out. He was obviously really dedicated.

      He still hasn’t pursued any real understanding or growth. That’s for us “other” people who need that sort of thing, not someone as special and intelligent as him.

      • They go on and on about “self improvement”
        I thought it was funny and lame.
        Then i was reprimanded for not being “open minded”
        And told everyone constantly needs to be “self improving”
        My version of “self improvement” is freeing myself of some fake cardboard cutout freak.

        • I hate to break it to the idiots but the reason they need these these books is because they are that completely clueless. On basic things. Like appearing human.

        • He owned 60+ books on leadership, self improvement, management. He paid a woman to mentor him outside of the mentoring he received in his job. I gave him the book : Raising Boys after we had our son, now 25. He never opened it.

      • Mine took notes with page numbers of what thoughts he was referencing!!! Most of his notes were on drug use? So maybe he was trying to find meaning behind why he drank so much?

        He only made it halfway through the book, so I’m pretty sure he didn’t find meaning.

        The thing is with these jerks, is that they aren’t really self-reflective. They like to think we are the real issue. They need to find meaning somewhere else and everything will be magically fixed. They never stop to actually reflect on their own inner emotions and why they really do what they do. If they did that they would have to admit some fault within themselves and they cannot do that.

      • While my idiot was in the middle of his affair I got a book’how to declutter your life’. After our wreckonciliation he decluttered himself from my life. Adios to that crazy shit

        • I’m knee deep in collecting all the records for full financial disclosure. STBXH now wants to change the access arrangement because he just learned it puts him in a child support paying position (even though the current access came to be when our autistic son derailed when we did 50/50 because it caused too much sleep interruption, so now he sleeps at home on school nights but dad gets him half the days – just not all the nights). He thought he was going to get off free of paying me anything because I’m the higher income earner.

          I thought we were wrapping things up. Now, I’m in an anxiety tailspin again. Spent almost an hour talking with the STBXH on the front porch last night about the emails that I have been sending him to get the ball rolling on the agreement to which he has yet to reply. Listened to all his lies about how he was working on the marriage and was conflicted right until the moment he left after Christmas. He doesn’t know I have the emails he was sending the OW the last three months of the year that detail just how long their affair had been going on (15 months), how extensive their involvement was, and how he was getting things lined up to leave the marriage to be with her in those final months. For some reason, I’m still holding my “evidence” close to my chest, but I’m calling him out on his lies. He gets so mad at me that I don’t believe him and then starts to say how this is all an example of how I never listened to his feelings.

          I am so anxious to de-clutter my life. I thought that we were coming to a place of agreement that would make ironing out the legalities easier. Well, I don’t think so anymore, and I may be revving up for a fight, especially when he pointed out that he could go after my pension or spousal support but has chosen not to if I pay for the kids. Hey, he’ll contribute something when he can, and he’ll contribute more when he starts to make more money in later years (the kids are 8 and 10). I dared him to go after me – my lawyer already told me it’s unlikely he’ll qualify for spousal support considering I have the kids 65-70% of the time and I just supported him through a university degree that his positioned him more favourably then he ever was in his career before.

          I would rather eat shards of glass then have these conversations with him. Can I just wake up tomorrow and have this done? Let the chips fall where they fall. I’ll pick up what I have and rebuild with the peace of knowing that I have my kids more often for their well-being and no asshole in my house anymore.

          • Stop talking to him! Have everything go thru your lawyer. He’s manipulating you and putting you in a tailspin, so just stop. Gray rock like a champion! Emails only about the kids and document everything you spend on them, what you do for them and how much you spent financing his degree. You can do this! (((( Big hugs to you))))

          • The stage of divorce you’re going through right now is extremely stressful. Even with only communicating through attorneys, I remember thinking I couldn’t keep going through the battle. I felt relief on Friday at 5:00 when I knew I wouldn’t get another attorney email for that week. I wanted things to be fair and they just weren’t. It’s not fair that you financed his degree for the benefit of your family and now won’t be a family with him to receive any benefit from it. Having a cheater for a spouse is not fair.

            There is relief after the divorce is final. Building a new life is not easy, but so worth it. You’re close to having this stressful phase of moving on completed. Take care of you and your kiddos and just get it done so you can start re-building a cheater-free life!

    • Omg! This???????????????????????????????????????? X also had Man’s Search for Meaning and a lot of other quasi-new-age philosophical and self empowerment books on his kindle.

      • I, for one, do not understand their obsession with Man’s Search for Meaning. If this is the same book that I read, it ends with the secret to life is “reponsibleness”. These idiots are nothing if not the kings of irresponsibility.

        • My ex never pushed that book. I looked it up for myself. Profound yes but …..Not sure my ex could read to be honest.

        • Mine picked up two from the church bookstore and never touched them.
          So glad he’s far away In my rear view mirror!

    • I freaking hate this book. And the laws of power. My husband is obsessed with both. There’s some good insight in there, but mostly they’re primers on how to be selfish and manipulate. He doesn’t need a justification

      • Mine was OBSESSED with 48 Laws of Power, and was reading it during the discard, along with some airport book on Emotional Intelligence. Ugh!

    • I really believe every chump should read Man’s Search for Meaning. Its essential message is that you choose your thoughts, your destiny, and your happiness. It is a great book about triumph after unbelievable torture and pain.

      I can’t think of how a cheater would actually appreciate the true message. I think it’s crazy a cheater would find it informational since they’re already so exceptional.

      • When my cheater was pushing me to read the book it was in the face of us living in separate countries after the Arab spring and me and my son relocating to Canada. I kept complaining that this is not what I signed up for, I did not want to live in a long distance marriage, I wanted him to visit more than twice a year for 2 weeks at a time, I wanted him to be part of our lives and witness and guide our son growing, I wanted to go back and live with him while he kept saying it was unsafe. All the while he kept creating stories and finding justifications for prolonging his absence from our lives, the necessity to live long distance and no committment to the future. He shoved the book to me during one of the times I broke down when living with my MIL and her alcoholic second husband, raising my son, trying to find a job in a new country and create a new life again (2nd time with the cheater). He said I should read about the life of this man and maybe then I could understand my husband.

        Granted, after I read it I thought my problems were no problems at all. I am good. But I could not figure out how after reading Frankl I would be able to understand my husband. Was he equating the concentration camp to his life full of luxuries???

        • I guess I am totally missing something here because the Frankl book I have wouldn’t suit any of our cheaters. Is there more than one?

          • Man’s Search for Meaning is an amazing book in my opinion. I think cheaters might use it thinking they’re the poor sausages in these situations, when actually they’re more like the men running the concentration camps. This book was actually life changing for me. The basic message for me was that if you can come to truly believe the “why” of why you are living, you can endure and rise above any “how”. Hearing stories about the atrocities Frankl endured in multiple concentration camps and yet overcame them by focusing on the true meaning of his life was inspiring to me. I am a firm believer in the purpose of my life and no cheater is going to keep me from living a full life.

            Tracy said in her post that they don’t have regrets. I can’t remember the line, but in Sexaholics Anonymous there is some line about them not living with regrets that they say in their readings. My cheater ex hung onto this line like it was the wisest thing he’d ever heard. I wonder if he has any regrets now losing his family, including his two adult children, who won’t even read an email from him?

        • Oh I wasn’t trying to criticize you! Not at all! Just wanted to point out the irony that a cheater would recommend that book. How arrogant to compare themselves to Victor Frankl when, in fact they are not victims, they are torturers. Frankl’s experience was one of “ do what you will to my physical body, you cannot have my mind.” Really? Cheaters think they’re that type of victim? It’s preposterous.

          I’m really sorry you thought I was being critical. I think nothing of the sort. You’re a badass who’s living an authentic life and valuing yourself and your children. ❤️

    • This thread is the first I’m hearing of Man’s Search for Meaning being the cheater holy book. I studied Frankl and logotherapy extensively in grad school and never did it cross my mind that Frankl’s search for meaning in his experience at F**KING AUSCHWITZ would be appropriated by underachieving weirdo narcissist cheaters. But I guess they wouldn’t be narcissists if they couldn’t unironically equate marriage with a literal concentration camp. Smdh.

      • I think you are onto something here with narcs and Frankl. Mine also read the book and then actively encouraged me to read it. We read different things in the same book. I read about resilience in the face of adversity, while he? Not so sure. But it’s definitely a thing with narcs.

      • Amen to this! That narcs could interpret a book about surviving the Holocaust as a license to live as selfishly as possible is astounding. Ayn Rand, maybe, but Frankl?

        • Ayn Rand for sure – “The Virtue of Selfishness” really should be the Cheater Bible.

          Two things:
          1) they may or may not actually read them, but they love to brag about their intellect and profundity (FB page for my x has self description “philosopher and adventurer ????). And they love to show off their bookshelves.
          2) they can parse ANYTHING thru the Entitlement Lens and make it support their world view. Mine actually thought that Brene Brown’s vulnerability stuff backed him up on ten plus years of a double life!!

          They’re all hilarious freaks basically. Declutter declutter.

    • CC
      Jedi hugs!

      These entitled bastards do try to rewrite history. That their behavior transcends simplistic societal rules because they are so special. They have to say that because they don’t like the consequences. Bleh.

      About, Frankl’s Search for Meaning. He talks about how his own experiences and then how he believes one can cope and stay sane under the greatest psychological, emotional, physical abuse ever imagined. For him, it was surviving Nazi camps.

      Viktor Frankl, Matthew Kelly, and CL+CN have got me through my own special hell with my soon to be XH.

      • Your Frankl comments make sense to me because Ex thought I was a bully, controlling and belittling. He probably thought he was under the greatest emotional abuse of his life. He made some comment to me that he wasn’t strong enough to take the criticism I gave him (of wanting him home for dinner instead of at the bar or that I wanted him to support me, or be involved with the budget etc. etc. )

    • I have a series on my blog about a man who tries to use Ester Perel-style excuses in other parts of his life. In ‘not guilty by reason of awesomeness’, he tries to defend car theft that way. In ‘hey man, that’s my burrito’ he does the same thing with a…well, I think you can figure that out. I did it to highlight the absurdity of these kinds of justifications and how they would fall flat in every other part of life. I have to point and laugh at these jokers. It’s helps keep me sane!

    • Wow, CC, MotherChumper99, and NotToday, how did all of you end up with cheaters who somehow twisted the teachings and insights of Viktor Frankl, the author of “Man’s Search for Meaning”, to justify their cheating?

      Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally), when my cheater ex-husband Snakeface was working on his M.A. in gerontological studies at a local seminary many years ago, “Man’s Search for Meaning” was on the syllabus for one of his courses, and I read some of it. It doesn’t deserve to be lumped with “quasi-new-age philosophical and self-empowerment books”. And while Snakeface justified his frequent absences and intimate friendship with Spiritual Slut (he never admitted to the affair), he didn’t use Frankl’s work to do it.

      For those who are not aware, Frankl was a psychiatrist, neurologist, and, most significantly, a Holocaust survivor. He was sent to Auschwitz, then a camp connected to Dachau, and during that period he suffered the losses of his brother, his mother, and his first wife, who was killed at Bergen-Belsen. Unless he had an affair that I’m not aware of during his second marriage, which lasted 50 years, I’m sure Frankl, a practicing Jew in his lifetime, is weeping in Heaven at knowing that his life’s work has been used to defend immoral behavior. His life, philosophy, and work were shaped by his own experiences in the concentration camps, and through his teaching and writing he shared the discovery that finding meaning is essential to life, and that one can find meaning even in suffering.

      I Googled and found a few quotes:

      “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

      “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

      “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

      Cheaters reaaaaaaaaaalllllly fail to live up to the standard Frankl set for finding meaning in challenging and painful circumstances. He also understood that freedom is only meaningful if its used responsibly, so the direct corollary of his teachings on finding meaning would be that situations that can and should be changed should be changed in a MORAL way

      I just had to defend Viktor Frankl, NOT cheaters!

      • NLG,

        Sorry if I gave the impression that I was anti-Frankl. I’ve read the synopsis and some of the quotes from the book, and I think it’s probably an excellent book. Right now, it’s a trigger for me. Maybe I’ll take a look again when I get to my Tuesday. I’ve been reading a ton of Brene Brown and resources on C-PTSD on top of counseling, and that’s been helpful for me.

        I was just floored that Mr. Justification would take a look at the situation and think, “Well, she obviously needs to do something about herself, but me, no, I’m just fine.”

        • “Well, she obviously needs to do something about herself, but me, no, I’m just fine.” = Cheaters’ Clarion Call

        • No worries, NotToday. The main purpose of my response was to dissociate Viktor Frankl from anything that could be interpreted as support for cheaters and infidelity for anyone who isn’t familiar with him and his work. I still think its crazy that cheaters use it to support their own agenda!

          I definitely get the “trigger” problem. I used to be interested in Native American spirituality – not as a practitioner, but intellectually, and because I think we have something to learn from all faith traditions. Snakeface and Spiritual Slut screwed that up for me. Lakota traditions are worthy of my respect, but because the two of them haven’t followed their “spiritual path” (gag) with integrity, sweat lodges and other rituals and ceremonies have really negative connotations for me. Makes me feel guilty, like I’m some kind of racist, even though it’s not my fault.

        • They pretend to quote Frankl in an effort to appear deep. Deep deep thinkers. Nope- shallow & self-absorbed fuckers. I doubt that any of them had time to read the book. They’re grandiose to liken themselves to someone who made a difference in this world.

      • AH see, RIGHT THERE!!

        To “choose one’s own way” means “growth and freedom”.

        Noble entitlement, get it now?! ????

    • Mine’s on the pretentious wanker bus big style. Poems on instagram, everything has to be a line from a poem or lyrics about how much he appreciates every minute of life, freedom etc.

      When discussing all the myriad of things over the last 10+ years that had been ‘wrong’ (that clearly I’d never been told before) and led to the relationship making him so very ill that he had to get out, just had to you understand as good friends were really worried about him (not cause she, the actual only ‘good friend’ was there waiting in the wings when he was ready to ‘open his heart to love’) I said, ‘Wow, you have really harboured some pretty deep resentments there over the course of the years.’

      His response was ‘I feel things, differently, I feel both the good and the bad things very deeply – my life is VERY experiential’. And he said this in this new tone that seems to have been adopted that comes with statements like this (for arranging a childminder a few weeks in advance). ‘I could look at long-ranging a sleepover?

      All the philosophy too, anything that will point to the path of enlightenment that proves why this was the ‘right thing to do’ and now he’s on the right track. I suggested post relationship counselling to help our communication as it’s clearly been dire. No acknowledgement of that email. Course not, that’s the real world. Counsellors you see are good but he thinks I should have therapy, like he had (but didn’t tell me, but we can guess who held his hand through that can’t we) where you get to look deep inside and really understand what makes you tick.

      I’ll just go back to emptying the dishwasher and making sure there is food in the fridge for our family shall I and just ignore this crap, probably for the best.

      I’m such a luddite clearly. Move away from the narcissist, step away.
      Once again we are all singing from the same hymn sheet it seems xx

    • Mine started an anime blog that got zero traffic and became a “freelance video game journalist” (i.e. unemployed).

      Apparently what that really meant was spending 3 years living off an inheritance, and his new wife’s salary, before he finally had to get a cubicle job.

      Note that poor new wife had a PhD and a long track record of REAL accomplishments to her name, while ex got rejected from every PhD program to which he applied.

      Narcissists really believe they’re experts and God’s gift to mankind, without the credentials to back it up.

    • Thing is being exceptional and philosophical and philandering hookups and many hours perusing porn sites takes up so much time. I had encouraged him to go back to college and get a degree to improve his work prospects. I supported us financially and at one point held down two jobs! Explains why the ex never earned a living for years. He was a leech. The current other woman told him he had alot to offer! Yeah sure he does like Pacific tendencies, STDs and financial abuse and debts. Good luck with that!

  • He sounds like a 14 year old kid trapped in a grown man’s body. I second Tracy’s idea – whack him hard like a piñata and see if you can release the inner idiot!

  • I just read the title. Nothing beyond the title. And I know it’s about my exceptional cheater! It’ll strike the nerve. So now onto the reading….

    • Yesss!

      “I am not your regular Norwegian husband with 3 kids and their activities, a house with a tree, a dog and a 9 to 5 job.” – granted he did not produce any of the above so he maybe right. And he is not Norwegian, but if there are any Norwegians that fit this description, please get in touch!

      -Society rules don’t define me. I am a bigger person!

      – You (chump) with your limited imagination and your narrow minded friends will never understand me.

      -I gave you (chump) the highest level job – my wife! You should be happy with this honor (this was when I discovered his serial cheating and a love letter to his 12 year AP where he was committing to her and planning his exit. It didn’t work out as she wanted to stay married but the relationship continued)

      – I was not going to leave you and son entirely! I was going to split my time between you, her and my personal time (I also found a calendar drawing with times committed to each country later in his notebook)

      – I am a Leo, the King! I decide the course of my life and other subordinates around me. Others follow! If you want to be a part of my jungle you have to accept me as your ruler and follow my rules! ( I found exact same words he texted to his main AP and who knows how many others: he is obsessed with being a Leo)

      I can go on and on. I knew this article would do this to me!

      I look forward to tonight, CL!

      • What the hell is it with these idiots being obsessed with being a Leo?! He had also decided he was a satanist at this point. Sigh. I even read the damn book he was basing all his behaviors off of. He got pissed when I pointed out a few parts in “the rules” about how to treat people that he was blatantly breaking…. Doesn’t matter what they’re into, nobody’s the boss of them.

        Exhole and his Owife refused to “define their relationship”. That would be labeling it by seeing things in black and white… society would judge them then.

        • Ha ! Mine turned into a Satanist too! Hillarious!

          They are not REGULAR people! But they are REGULAR CHEATERS!!!

          • I think the only true thing they admit is being a satanist. They are literally dripping with confusion and evil.

        • Not surprised. Another excuse to be selfish. Mine is super into Ayan Rand and her ilk. While she has some good one liners, the gist is an argument for personal selfishness

          • Yes. Ex liked Ayan Rand too. In his view he probably thought I was just like Rearden’s wife and that’s why he wasn’t as successful as he thought he should be. Her books also glorify adultery (and even rape).

          • Mine was a Libertarian. It made sense given his selfishness and defiance against authority.

          • Leo also. Thinks outside the box. I am morally rigid because I say no to an open marriage after 27 years of monogamy? No, he’s messed up but acts out like a toddler…”you aren’t the boss of me”, “don’t tell me what to do”, “I am different”, “I deserve to be happy” after the worst devalue and discard I had to endure, I almost died from the shock of it. Entitled? I say he’s entitled to feel the pain he caused.

              • Are you acting like an asshole? If yes, then yes. If no, then no.

                Mine was simply absolutely focused on it giving him some kind of “I am right to act this way.” boost.

      • I am not your regular Norwegian husband…and he’s not Norwegian. That made me laugh. So hard.
        What the hell?!

        • Yeah, eh? Neither of us is Norwegian or has ever been there. But I am inclined to think regular Norwegian men are what I want.

  • When a cheater realizes the devastation & pain he caused the faithful spouse but never apologizes, does
    he think he’s exceptional?

      • I think it’s impossible to judge anyone’s inner life (or lack thereof) — there’s just their actions. Someone who doesn’t express remorse, probably doesn’t have any. If he’s acting like he’s exceptional, he probably thinks he is.

          • The Alcoholic wasn’t sorry he did any of the abusive and selfish things he did, and the things he stole. He’s just sorry that he got caught. The only apology I ever got was “Those were dark days.”

            Oh he denied a lot of it for years. To me anyway. Then one night he got on a roll and actually BRAGGED about some of what he did, to my face.


            I looked at him and said, “I always knew you were the one who stole and sold the valuable family heirlooms my mother entrusted to me. I also know that because you sold them to the pawnbroker you were only paid a fraction of what they were worth. What I’ve never understood is why you claimed the thief was our son. And our son never understood that either.”

            His response: Crickets. Mumble. “Those were dark days.”

            He forgave himself, and expected me to do the same. No reform. No regret. No reparation. Just blanket acceptance of him and his flawed nature.

            I’ve mostly gotten past the pain. But forgiveness is something I can’t do. There’s nothing to work with.

        • Totally agree, Tracy! My ex cheater expected me to constantly eat his shit sandwich like the others had before me and they continue to accept whatever kibbles he throws their way.

          I’m going to say, I was the exception (al) one and walked away.

    • What makes you think a cheater/narcissist would ever “realize the devastation & pain he caused the faithful spouse”?

      This is the problem with chumps – we project normal emotions onto people who are not capable of seeing the past the way normal people would.

      Cheaters won’t realize or don’t want to realize anything!!!

      Focus on what YOU have realized and leave the cheater!

    • “When a cheater realizes the devastation & pain he caused the faithful spouse” Huh? What are you talking about? Our feelings aren’t even on their radar.

      • Oh yes they are, they love our feelings. They want us to feel bad! Mine LOVED that he upset me. It was his number one goal. I remember once we had an argument and afterwards I said that I didn’t like fighting and he agreed that he too hated it but when I looked at his face he was smirking. Like literally smirking that the villain from the smurfs.

      • They know. Most are clever enough to construct and fund underground lives for years.

        They just simply do not care. They are the type of people that could drive past a dog on the street limping with a broken leg and only care about what’s for lunch.

        In fact, the pain they cause the chump gives them a tremendous thrill. I promise you that if a person does not care if someone is cheating ( I have met these people) most of the thrill is gone for the cheater.

        This key point is what helped me remain in no contact. No one who loved me- even a modest love- would want me to suffer such anguish. He was the architect of my misery. He knew it and proceeded balls to the wall anyway.

        A life in a muddy culvert ditch with 15 stray cats would be paradise compared to living with a man who delighted in my tears.

  • What is up with cheaters and their obsession with not doing what society dictates? Why put it off on society? In reality these freaks are just the dregs of society. They know it too. Wow. They are so sophisticated….

    • Because they don’t want to admit that THEY are breaking THEIR INDIVIDUAL promises. The promised you love and fidelity at the wedding, so they say “societal expectations forced me to get married.” They promised to “love honor and cherish” so they say “this bougie culture doesn’t understand that you can’t limit love.” They said “forsaking all others” so they rationalize “Schmoopie is my soulmate the universe created just for me.” See how clever it works both ways. The society made them commit and the universe is making them cheat. Easy Peasy, they are never to blame.

    • Totally agree. Thanks. My narc cheater said things like ” life is dull when you have the perfect life”, “what do you want me to do sit at home bored with you” and “I do what I want” (this last motto he would mostly say the our 2 kids 7 and 10). His ho-worker 16 years younger with no kids calls him “daddy”. His friends who think he is funny and sophisticated who he has not hoovered in a while often say things to him like “your from another planet”, “your on drugs” and “your on crack” . Just vague and rude and entitled – disordered!

      • I loved
        “People make mistakes, it’s a slippery slope!”
        “It must be amazing not to make mistakes like you!”
        And the winner
        “You can’t keep my dick in your purse”
        Fucking loser

        • Fucking exceptional losers ” you cant keep my dick in your purse” wtf! ????
          Mine did say “People have sex. I enjoy fucking you” after DDay. Then looked me in the eye and said ” well we havent had sex since the kids were born” ahaha um you do realise its me your talking too not your ho- worker. I was stunned – guess thats what he told her and he is so exceptional he wanted me to make his false narrative reality by agreeing or something. Please carry on I thought lets see whats in your head oh yes I had cheated on him because there were eggs thrown at the house one night and a teenage girl knocked on the door one day looking for her cat – that was suspicious for fucks sake. Also thrown in was “I hate women” that made sense because when I read DDay message from ho- worker (including a threat from her saying “you promised me kids” he response was “fuck you women are stupid”. Exceptional fucking loser. He cheating was at work overseas. Ho- worker has applied for permanent residency. My kids think their dad is exceptional. Great!

  • I guess mine thought he was “special”, if not exceptional. “Special” enough that it was ok to beat the shit out of me and I would take it like some love sick puppy. Special enough to warrant spending all our disposable income (and more) on himself. Special enough to be able to talk to me and our kids like shit but God help anyone who answered back to him. Special enough to bark Marine Corps orders (even 30 years after leaving the MC) to his non-MC wife and kids. And all this from a scrawny (112 lb) dick with cystic acne. Yeah, you’re special!

    • Isn’t it funny in a Shakespeare tragedy way that these cheaters… on the open market…. would be in the bargain bin of a yard sale on shit street?

      By cheating, they manipulate their apparent worth.

      When the gas clears, we realize we were suffering a spiritual death for a partner most people would recoil from in disgust and ridicule.

      It reminds me of something I read about Bernie Madoff. Apparently, no matter who the client was, or how much money they wanted him to “invest”, he usually rejected them about 5 to 6 times.

      He created an artificial sense of worth or drama about his “special” skills by rejecting the person in a brusque manner. It ties in directly with CL’s thesis about their delusions of exceptionalism. He was creating a fantasy that he was above all the normal financial strategists- Only he had the golden ticket.

      He had the balls to do it to celebrities and titans of industry. You know those people we are supposed to admire? ???? as exceptional and special?

      And it worked.

      • ‘By cheating, they manipulate their apparent worth.

        When the gas clears, we realize we were suffering a spiritual death for a partner most people would recoil from in disgust and ridicule.’

        So true, Momo Momo. I’m always curious to read about how revolting some of these cheaters are – bad manners, terrible hygiene, chronically unemployed, severely underskilled in bed, abusive, addicted to drugs or alcohol, just plain stupid. And you wonder: How is it that MULTIPLE people assign inflated value to them?

  • The Special One was told by his Mummy when he was three that he was exceptional and he has believed it ever since.

    He isn’t one of ‘those’ cheaters – he has more class and he is so Special that he arranged everything for our divorce and did it all respectfully etc etc
    Funny though because from our point of view he just a cheap cheater who ran with his co worker but not before running to Mummy after Dday and hiding. He left us with 30 minutes notice – blaming everyone but himself. He counts this as talking like adults. I did all the arrangements for our divorce and paid.

    He even used to take special convoluted driving routes to places rather than a normal quick route from A to B. So Special. So infuriating!

    Last week, on a Tuesday no less, I banned him from our house and all direct contact with me due to a disrespectful passive aggressive email where it read sad sausage, rage and charm all in one!

    I suddenly realised I don’t have to deal with him anymore. He is not so bloody Special that he shouldn’t treat the mother of his two kids and wife of 20 years with some damn respect. Kids are old enough to deal with him themselves (20 and 14) though I love and support them of course.

    I am free of the Special One. I feel lighter!

    • Oh yes, can’t shake fuckwit’s comment from early on “I am not going around trashing you to everyone. We are divorcing better than others.”

      Me: “what could you say to trash me?”

      Fuckwit: “I could lie.”

      • Sounds like my ex – I was saying something he didn’t like about his sinister sister and his comeback was he was biting his tongue and nothing saying about me and my family. My family? In 19 years, he weren’t around them that much and they treated him like a respectable person they thought he was. Besides I also said that his opinion of me and my family meant squat to me. He doesn’t realize that he lost all integrity or class – what a fuckwit.

      • Oh yes, I had some of cheater Ex’s friends say that he hasn’t said anything bad about me or really said anything about the situation. Of course he didn’t!! Then he would have to keep track of his lies!

      • “I am not going around trashing you to everyone. We are divorcing better than others.”

        Me: “what could you say to trash me?”

        Fuckwit: “I could lie.”

        Proof that they know exactly what they are doing and why!

      • Clusterfuck objected that me telling people he had lied and cheater was “character assassination.”
        “According to YOU,” he said, “I am a liar and a cheater!”
        No, I said, according to your actions.

      • I got the line ‘please dont talk bad about me to other people…’ until i realised he’d done just that about ME to everyone we knew for YEARS. Talk about projection. !! Then he just out and out lied to our kids about his torment in the marriage of which we were all completely unaware until he walked…. but his happiness was the special thing…and he deserved it. After all “I’ve spent year’s doing everything for you lot” duh …thats adulting for you fuckwit.

    • OMG! The special driving routes! I thought that was unique to my cheater. He refused to just go down the large straight street with traffic lights when that was an option. No he had to take back ways and “shortcuts.” No matter how much longer it took he would insist that it was a “faster, better, way to go.”

      • Wait. This is a thing?! The driving? Both X-Turd AND narc dad would never take straight routes anywhere. Just “shortcuts.” Always crazy driving in their powerful sports cars. Ugh. At least I can relax while driving myself now.

  • Yep…entitled to live out their happiness at any expense to their spouse and children’s wellbeing. Trauma? A life of recovery? So what? All that matters is me. Broken promises and hurting people is just collateral damage along the path.

    Disturbed people believe their joy is worth sabotaging others and their massive cluster b character deficits are justified.

  • This is so spot on. He says he lives in different dimension, he feels more love, he is complex, we don’t have to adhere to society’s expectations. Oh and he needs to have alot in his life to keep him interested, its just how he is. And don’t tell anybody of course!!!! Unbelievable garbage. Said goodnye yo this 30 year relationship during cancer treatment. Told him he was worse than cancer lol.

    • They do live in a different dimension. The dimension of duhhhhh…

    • He feels more love so he doesn’t give a shit about you… Serial cheater said the same to me. She’s just so full of love to give! While she was lying to me and cheating on me, refusing to spend any time with me while I was in the hospital/recovering from treatment, and being verbally abusive when she did see me. Yeah, just so much more love….

  • These fuckwits and their grandiosity. They twist logic leaving the sane completely perplexed.

    This week’s nugget is fuckwits response after adult daughter who lives on her own 2000 miles away asks him for monetary help with bills she will incur as a result of upcoming brain surgery. First he rambles on about how much money he has to give me in the settlement and totally fabricates the figures (doubles it) then he says: “Money is the root of all evil and that you, my daughter are. Sorry for the bad grammar, you get the point.”

    Yes chump lady, you have clarified things for me, I can now put a name to his rants- exceptional thinking.

    • Feelingit, so sorry to hear your daughter is dealing with a fuckwit of a father on a health related issue. In the hindsight, how can someone with a permanent brain damage comprehend brain surgery?
      I hope your daughter will recover soon. I am glad she has a sane parent like you. (((HUGS)))

    • I’m a brain surgery survivor and the recovery went very well. Since there’s not much muscle to cut through, the healing isn’t very painful. At least in my situation. I only took 2.5 mg of pain meds when needed for 2 days, not because my head hurt, but because my diaphragm hurt from the breathing tube that had been down my throat during surgery (I didn’t want to take meds I didn’t absolutely need because I was pregnant). The only pain I felt at the site of surgery was my suture when I would accidentally lift my eyebrows so I had to be careful not to use many facial expressions for a few days. I hope your daughter’s surgery is easy to recover from too.

      • Thank you for your story. I like to hear good things. DD is very nervous and has asked me to do all the research on what to expect in recovery as she doesn’t want to dwell and freak herself out. I will be taking care of her during her recovery so any info is always helpful.

        • Been there. My son had an accident freshman year, which required emergency surgery (TBI) and another brain surgery two months later. Take one day at a time and trust your gut. I was at son’s side observing his care and later advocating for his treatment. Rest when you need to but ask questions when you have them. Hospital staff can recommend the better surgeons, follow up care, therapists, etc. Nurses shared that personal items (we made a photo board with son surrounded by family/friends/and things he loved) make a big impact on quality of care. Later, when he was out of his coma, we surrounded him with the familiar, with family and friends for short amounts of time (make sure to respect staff too) and with things he could do (art and music and games). When we moved to a rehab facility, many nurses were overworked so I stayed there 24/7 and took over much of his care. I knew him best and anything I could do was helpful. In recovery, I attended physical therapy, speech therapy, and other classes with him so I would be able to work on the same things at home. Educate yourself, knowledge is power. Recognize that brain surgery may have outcomes you didn’t expect. Time helps too. Read. Brain science is amazing and we are resilient, believe that. Trust that your daughter will be well. Faith and a positive outlook were helpful, that and knowing challenges can be overcome. My best to you and yours.

    • Or projection. He sounds like the evil one. Jesus — BRAIN SURGERY FOR HIS OWN DAUGHTER?

      • Oh, yes, I think he bats a thousand on every thing he says to any of the kids or me is projection. I think he must be the devil incarnate.

  • My future ex-fuckwit’s reply about a remark I made about co-parenting…I told him, “see, that’s what normal and grown-up is…” and his reply : “but i’m not normal and definitely not like everyone else”
    The subject was about letting each other know about our 5 y-o last day of school…

  • My ex tried to throw it back in my face and call me a hypocrite because I live outside the boxes, defy societal norms, follow my own path, and do whatever I want.

    But there are two big differences between me and him. I own my choices and accept the consequences. And I avoid harming others. I don’t lie, cheat, steal, abuse, and mindfuck.

    But none of that stopped him from trying to use it to excuse his cheating.

  • We’re not defined by our relationships but rather by our choices. What are we if not a series of choices? We are free to make them but not free from the consequences…

  • Cheaters are a special breed aren’t they? I was told that he needed to have fun. It wasn’t his fault that I wanted to stay home and clean and grocery shop etc. It wasn’t his fault that he thought that I did not love him anymore.It wasn’t his fault that I went through early menopause and suffered depression. And if I would not have gotten those credit cards. His excuse for screwing around with my skanky cousin. She liked to have fun and she never complained. He threw away a 34 year marriage for a skank that wanted to have fun.

    He did not once think of the pain he would cause me and his children. Gotta have fun.

    • It’s amazing how it never dawns on us chumps that lying, betraying, cheating, stealing, devastating children, abusing people, bullying and threatening people, raging at your spouse, seeing hookers, possibly getting STDs and passing them on – is fun or leads to happiness.

      • Yes, I got the “I cheated coz I was unhappy” crap, & I thought but what about my happiness? & it wasn’t until our 13 year marriage was over she told me that none of her past relationships were over, I wish she had told me that before we married!

  • ????????‍♀️ raising hand!

    I swear CL must have spoken to stbx serial hooker cheater…

    “Quit trying to define them with judgment. They are not like other people, who care if they spill red wine on your white sofa or fuck your best friend. The Maverick Cheater is beyond petty, base emotions like empathy or shame. Regret is for suckers.”

    STBX saw a group of my best friends out one day at lunch. He knew they knew all the gory details and actually said “I don’t understand why got-a-brain doesn’t trust me financially, all I did was stick my dick in a few hookers!” ????

    They said their mouths dropped like the time square ball. What do you say to that? They said they were in shock and didn’t know what to say. Someone said “Well trust is trust!” Keep in mind their kids were sitting the next table over! … and he’s spent every penny we ever saved. If assets were divided on day one, I would have walked away a moderately wealthy woman; instead it looks like I’ll be walking away 200k in debt! How silly of me not to trust him financially!

    Yeah, that’s the guy I married! Thanks Esther for spreading your “Living for aliveness” narrative, it’s creating a world of guiltless entitled assholes who say shit like that in earshot of kids. Maybe her next Ted Talk should be on mandated middle school classes about the confining societal constructs of marriage, shame and guilt. Hell, maybe it should replace higher education ethics classes too!

    This new age compartmentalized idea that your behavior doesn’t define your character as long as you put spin or a label on it is like the suns rays for Superman. It gives them superhuman strength to defy societal norms, ethics, morality and “constraints” that the “less evolved” follow. PUKE ????

    • “I don’t understand why got-a-brain doesn’t trust me financially, all I did was stick my dick in a few hookers!” ????

      Mine said: “You should trust me since I have your back. I still love you like my daughter, I care for you. I have good intentions for you and want you to find your happiness. Unfortunately, I tried, I tried hard, but I could not make you happy.”

      All this while dragging the separation agreement and coming up with more ridiculous demands each time we meet.

      • Yep, the disordered ALWAYS say that they tried and tried to make US happy, but couldn’t. Exactly how is lying, cheating, stealing, and leading a double-life supposed to make us happy?

      • “I care for you. I have good intentions for you and want you to find your happiness. Unfortunately, I tried, I tried hard, but I could not make you happy.”

        I got a version of this as well, and something along the lines of “it’s not my job to make you happy.”

        No it’s not, but it was his job to be faithful, and he certainly contributed to making me miserable. I’m sure I should just take my Grievances up with Adult friend finder, Ashley Maddison, the strip club owners and hookers, since my misery was someone else’s fault.

  • My ex was so hung up on not being told what to do. One evening I told him to come sit down for dinner. His response, “Don’t tell me what to do!”

    He had told me long ago how he was going along with an old girlfriend over something and his brother and father goaded him telling him how pussy whipped he was. So he turned on the girlfriend and put her in her place!

    So, Instead of standing up to his brother and father, he let his brother and father pussy whip him. Better to be a chauvanistic jerk like the other males in your family instead of a stand-up guy.

    That was a major red flag I should have taken seriously.

    • “Don’t tell me what to do”

      Ugh. ????

      I need a CL article (or a link to a previously written one that I may have missed) to help me process why I’m such a “controlling bitch” – although apparently only to Mr. Extraordinarily Special Maverick but no one else. Not even any of my five kids, ranging in age from preschool to grad school, have ever thrown this one back at me. Yet he said it almost daily.

    • During reconciliation (when of course she was still seeing the other man) she mentioned at MC that I never held her hand, then when I tried to hold her hand while walking she let mine go and said “my therapist says I don’t have to hold your hand if I don’t want to!”. Constant eggshells and mindfucks.

  • My ex’s motto: “Better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission!”

    No one was the boss of him; least of all me.

    Red flags that should have sent me running for the hills. Glad I figured it out eventually!

      • The first time I heard that better to ask for forgiveness crap was when the Python said it. I agree, cheaterssuck, that should have been a big red flag!!

  • Hannibal Lecher took exceptionalism to exceptional levels; rules were for mere mortals, not for Sparkly-Professor-with-an-International-Reputation.

    His key gems from post-D-day:
    -invoking Anna Karenina to explain why I should forgive him his indiscretions (“Dolly just decided one day to forgive her cheating husband”)

    -“Unlike you, I can forgive anyone anything. I’m like my mother that way.” (apparently this did not include forgiving me for the multitude of flaws that drove him into the arms and panties of gradwhore & many women thereafter)

    -during settlement, he tried to get me to take less than the 50/50 split our state dictates (community property state) by telling me I should feel fortunate for what I was to get, as it was more than I should have been able to expect from marriage to a professor

    -lament to daughters after “your mother took half my money” (after I had given up both tenure and salary to move with him to a new state, was still making significantly less than I had 12 years earlier, while his salary had doubled)

    • His mother clearly forgave so much of his behavior she turned him into a spoiled brat! Mine was that way too. Whatever cheater wanted to do his mother would support unconditionally and then she would criticize me for being such a bad wife as to dare to want to have a voice.

  • One of my exes is so special, he types (yes, on a typewriter) his political tropes onto index cards and leaves them in random library books.

  • “ I live outside the boxes that others live in. I’m not like other people. I am not limited that way. I am not defined by society’s rules.”

    This is the mentality of a hit and run driver, a coward. No, Marm you’re not like other people. I believe we are in agreement.

  • Yep, describes my parents to a tee. Sperm donor was a proud anarchist who never got caught breaking the law. Egg donor did have to follow the rules somewhat as she was one who got stuck with having to work since sperm donor was too special to be told what to do….as in holding down a job. She was a chump and put up with all his bullshit for 40 plus years including cheating. However, while he was a malignant narc, she was a covert narc. Of the two, I’d say she was the more vicious though.

    While I am mostly at meh about them, I refuse to honor them with the names of mother and father. It would be an insult to good parents everywhere.

    As for spouses it was never talked about but always implied.

    Glad to be away from all of them.

  • They’re all special — that’s why it’s always your fault that they had to run around with other people. They would have never had to do that if it wasn’t for you….

    My ex used to gossip all the time about some of her married co-workers fooling around with one another, and how did they possibly think that nobody else knew, and how stupid they were, etc. Until she started her own thing with a married co-worker….then strangely the stories she’d tell about everyone else went away. And of course, she thought while she was able to sniff out the other affairs at work, she was special to the point that nobody would ever notice her affair. Yeah, that didn’t happen.


    • I think this is common. My X-Turd would talk about the other crappy docs cheating on their spouses at the office or, alternatively, about “Cougar Wives” on TLC and judge them, but once he took up with his 23 yr old ho-worker (27 yrs younger), he said “you can’t help who you love. I just see things differently now. I don’t judge.” Seriously? WTF?

  • And this: “Chumps accept their partners’ entitlement as right and proper. Sure, we might grumble, but we keep dishing up the kibbles. We reinforce the lopsidedness, we spackle over idiocy. We accept their specialness and deny our own.”

    This defined my entire marriage from Day 1. I relocated to his country in the Middle East and one of the very first sentences I was taught in Arabic was how to say “Yes, Master”. This was a customary phrase lots of people in the service industry use today as well but it originated from being said by subordinates to the ruler. My MIL’s friend taught me this in my first few days after relocation, saying jokingly that every time my husband addressed me I should respond with that phrase to show my love and respect. Of course this was all presented in a joking format and we all understood it. I recall the first time I used the phrase everybody laughed. This coming unexpectedly from me with my foreign accent (and a professional successful woman I was at the time) sounded cute.

    I used it many time since. Both jokingly and not. When I wanted to show my anger with his entitled demands I would bark at him “YES, Master”. When I wanted to indulge his what I thought crazy but cutely extraordinary requests that made me uncomfortable I would say “Yes, Master”.

    I never gave enough weight to this phrase, it was just a phrase for me. For him, it defined him and our relationship: he was the master and I was the servant. That, combined with his mommy’s pumping into him he was a king since he was 3, pretty much was the cause of his entitlement and our doomed marriage.

    I am now working on myself to not fall into this trap with other people in my life. I am prone to naively believing people, seeing the good side only and taking everything they say at a face value. Trying to reprogram my own wires on that. Thank you for your invaluable lessons here, CL and CN!

    • You thought it was a joke, he thought it was for real. What an entitled ass

  • My ex said he was “independent”, no, you were an alcoholic, drug taking, sti piece of shit. He even you his ow was a slag! but what does that make him?

  • “I live outside the boxes that others live in. I’m not like other people. I am not limited that way. I am not defined by society’s rules.”

    Interesting. I would define myself that way. It is ex who wanted to fit in with “polite society”. He wanted to fit in the “successful but normal” box. He also put a lot of stock in “society rules”. That’s why he got married and had children in the first place, so he could be “normal and respectable”. For most things, (evidently cheating is the exception, at least for him) he has very conservative and traditional values. He would probably think Esther Perel is a nut job. His cheating and discarding me in favor of trash, was just the result of years of being unhappy in his miserable marriage. I didn’t fit into his box see. I don’t pay much attention to society’s rules. I pay attention to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and I try not to make other people uncomfortable, but that’s about it. I didn’t really care what most people thought of me (although honestly most of ex’s friends and family seemed to like me just fine). I am always myself. I don’t put on airs in order to impress people. I wasn’t “normal” enough for him so he went and found someone who does a better job of fitting what he sees as “normal”.

    New guy gave me a birthday card that had a bunch of identical smiley faces on the front. One, however, had a party hat and appeared to be going nuts in an “I’m having fun” kind of way. Inside the card said “There’s you, and then there’s everybody else”. New guy and ex both see me that way. The difference is that new guys sees that and thinks “She’s unique and special”, ex sees that and thinks “She doesn’t fit in”.

    • My ex was a lot like that. My weirdness was a good thing when it benefited him and a bad thing the rest of the time.

      He’s all about appearance and a good impression.

      He was always afraid I’d say, do, or wear the wrong thing and embarrass him. But his friends, family, and coworkers all seemed to like me.

      • That last line pretty much sums up my marriage. He was embarrassed by me but I am not sure why.

        • Same on the being embarrassed of me. Hmmm. He was a womanizing, ogling, drinker who lied endlessly. But I embarrassed him. Seems like the problem was that I had ideas, spoke out loud, and had facial expressions. The facial expressions really, really bugged him. How dare I?

        • I think it was envy, not embarrassment. My ex wished he didn’t care what people thought about him, but you can’t be a weirdo if you need to be adored by everybody.

    • Chumpinrecovery you summed it up so well. It could be my story. Our xs are imposters. They secretly are envious of how real we are. They know they need society. And they hate anything they need.
      And anything they cant control they try to destroy. Im so glad you have found someone who appreciates you! We dont deserve to be destroyed because they are too cowardly to be stand up people.

  • I think part of the challenge is the future chumps who enable these fuckwits to think they are SPECIAL after they have abandoned wives and children; can’t sign a loan on their own; have a history of cheating.

    Until people stop overlooking these character deficiencies in the name of Love (or the Fear of Being Alone), the cheaters will always have a way in this world to continue feeding and multiplying.

    Take Mr. Sparkles:
    – had 5 children with 3 different women
    – had two wives (divorced twice by age 46)
    – at the age of 48, owned no property (not even a car) and in debt (including IRS debt) up to his eyeballs

    YET… a single woman, no kids, owns her home, 2 dogs/2 cats… finishing her bachelors degree after 18 years of night school… survivor of an abusive marriage when she was younger… in therapy still… SHE THINKS HE IS HER SOULMATE.

    She just co-signed a mortgage with him after knowing him for only 18 months!
    She believes I am angry and bitter about my divorce (and that is why I avoid contact – aka gray rock).
    She just found out that he has a personal ad on Ashley Madison where he calls himself Mr. Grey (LOL!)… and she’s staying put.

    SO, yes… the greater issue is the entitled fuckwit… but coming in close second… people who have no self-worth and knowingly ignore the red flags and stay with an abuser. As long as there are willing victims, there will be abusers.

    That is why it so important to speak up and share your story… it is the only way we will change the narrative.

    Rant over.

    • My X will never be alone to handle his own shit. His enabling/self-center sister will always be there to help him pick up the pieces, and I took care of everything for the last 19 years. Consequently, I don’t think any woman will ever be good enough when they are competing with the saintly sinister sister who is probably the only woman he will ever really love.

    • So true! As long as these defects have enablers and partners that will put up with their nonsense, why change?

      Of course if these same “rebels without a cause” had the tables turned on them, see how quickly they revert back to expecting everyone to be living inside the box and abiding by society’s rules.

  • My xh dedicated himself to a book, “No more Mr. Nice Guy.”. Some of the key advice; “Remember, YOU are the prize”, “Take care of yourself first” and other entitled mantras. It also classified women as “RGW” = really good woman, or NOT really good woman.

    Of course, “RGW” want a man to lead, and will disrespect any man who refuses to rule the house type [email protected].

    Basically, it tanked weak men up with false bravado and entitlement and sicked them on the women in there lives. I’m betting these women were the only things holding the family together in many cases. I’m sure this tactic works out for these guys 100% of time! There was massive amounts of blaming, labeling and justifications.
    And if your “RBW” does not want to be ruled, don’t worry, there are thousands of “RGW” on every bus corner.

    It’s a victim narcissists wet dream, in a book.

    • Yes, and the author of that book is a raging narc himself. Divorced 3 times, big cheater, and a complete POS.

    • My ex believed that “nice guys finish last” and that’s why he stopped being “nice” because he didn’t want to be the loser. I never believed that myself and the nice guy I am dating now is glad.

    • My ex’s go-to was a book called “Don’t Be Nice, Be Real.” What I heard about the entitled freak who wrote that book was that he decided to be “polyamorous” and his wife stayed with him, but insisted on living in a separate house, away from his shenanigans and fuckbuddies. My therapist said she went to a party once that this man and his wife both attended; the wife looked miserable the entire time while the “husband” flirted with every woman in the room. My therapist left because the party turned into a “cuddle puddle” and she wasn’t into that.

  • My whore-fucking ex-husband used to proudly tell our friends that he only shit on Tuesdays.

    He truly believed that he was better than everyone, smarter than everyone, better looking than everyone. He told people this so often, that I think we all believed him. He was soooo different. He’d zig when they’d zag, he never dreamed while sleeping, he didn’t like food at all, he only ate out of necessity. He was a better, more advanced creature that none of us could ever truly understand. And he only shit on Tuesdays.

    Every time he mentioned the shitting on Tuesday thing, I kept my mouth shut. I never called him out. He wanted people to think he was special. Choose my battles. Let people believe this great looking, brilliant man who was above REM sleep only shat on Tuesdays. Whateves.

    Though every now and then, when I would walk into our particularly stinky bathroom, and he was in earshot, I would say loud and clear “Iwwwwwww…. and it isn’t even Tuesday!” He never responded.

    If he would insist on lying about something so dumb, why was I surprised when I learned he’d been lying to me for years about what he was doing during his lunch breaks?

    20 years of this. Until the day I stopped.

      • That would be a fine path to colon cancer.

        He is a true dumb ass. Who would brag that they are literally full of shit?

      • Was that like a 24-hour thing on Tuesdays? Or were there other things on his calendar too?

    • My total narc older sister used to brag about her poop too. Don’t you know—it’s textbook perfect. Right color, right shape, right length. She even used the phrase “textbook perfect.”

      She also never admits to being wrong, never apologizes for anything, and denies ever hurting anyone in her whole life. If you disagree with her version of reality, you’re discarded.

      As far as I’m concerned, she’s a textbook perfect example of a narcissist. Her damaged adult children still look to Mommy for approval on almost everything, as displeasing Mommy would bring on her rage. I’m glad to be NC with her too.

      Oh, and she always hated the ex—until I divorced his cheating, lying ass. Then, she reached out to him to make sure he knew he was family and would always be accepted at her family gatherings. They can have each other. Being free of both of them has changed my life in beautiful ways.

      • Wow – your sister sounds like a real bitch. My BFF shares a similar situation with you. Except it is her MOTHER who stabbed her in the back. Her mom couldn’t stand my friends’ Ex – until they divorced. Then suddenly he was invited to MOVE IN with my friends’ mother. He would be invited to family functions while my friend was not. Pretty fucked up if you ask me. I’ve known my bff for 33 years – we met in high school. I’ve ALWAYS hated her mother.

    • All that self-touted exceptionalism is actually due to an overactive Pompous Gland. An untreatable medical condition.

    • I am on the train out of London and everyone is looking at me because I am creased up laughing about the smell in the bathroom/not Tuesdays thing. Is Brits and our toilet humour. Thank you GiveTimeTime for making me smile.

    • Only shits on Tuesdays ?! So he is literally full of shit ! Hilarious !

      p.s. Not at all healthy to only poop once a week…

  • What makes them Super Special is that they realize one only gets one life and it is more important to be happy oneself than worry about whether anyone else is also happy. It is apparently a zero sum game (in their disordered view of the world) and attention paid to others’ happiness might come at the expense of one’s own. We can’t have that!! But if someone else encroaches on THEIR happiness?! OMG … they are so outraged!!!!!

  • Sigh…. Just the address changes.

    Lord sparkledick grew a beard and, in spite of his many debts made to impress flatterfucks, spent a lot of $ on a guided excursion to climb a very tall mountain. And bought an expensive imported car and bought a 4WD jeep.

  • Lord, if I had a dime for every ass hat entitlement my ex thought he had I’d be sipping booze by the pool for life. Once he ‘found himself’ (aka Craigslist love of his life) he exclaimed all the specialness of their love. He was made this way; he just enjoys things I don’t; I would never understand his needs…oh the bs was strong in this one. Fast forward to now – when I see him in court he looks like death. He is broke. Has lost the love and adoration of my children (he is merely a sperm donor now). Has a job that even a high school kid wouldn’t be jealous of. But hey, he’s got true love and all the sex swing time he wanted. Me thinks I came out the winner here.

  • Mine threw trash out the car window so he could ‘make jobs for people who clean the roads.’ He would also urinate on men’s rooms floors if the restroom was not immaculate. He once left a movie theater half way thru the movie…. he abandoned his date……. he decided she was not pretty enuf for him.

    He ‘answers to no one’. It is his motto.

    • Someone should pee on him for not being “pretty enough.”

      Just a thought.

    • Mitz – Your husband had traits of a serious psychopath or sociopath. His behavior is disturbing.

      • Yes. Last week he sent me an email about how he is going to sue me for not calling 911 when he had his heart attack 10 years ago. Hell, I thought it was an anxiety attack! He had 100’s of them. I still pay support to him for our youngest, so there is some contact sadly. He makes sure to call and text her constantly during her rare visits to me.

        His favorite books? Anything about Hilter and the 3rd Reich. And he literally worshipped John Lennon. Go figure.

    • “He would also urinate on men’s rooms floors if the restroom was not immaculate.”

      That is a serious huge red flag for so many reasons. Man, I’m glad you’re shot of him.

  • Oh, does this column apply to me.
    I was lucky, I happened to be married to the most Exceptional Person in the Universe. Or, at least that’s how she thought of herself. I got long lectures about how the rules of human morality didn’t apply to her. Marriage itself didn’t mean anything (for her). She had a right to be happy, and that was more important than whatever she did to me. I, apparently, had no right to happiness.
    She further explained that she was obviously destined to be with someone more attractive and better, because men clearly couldn’t resist her. Her cheating was a sign that I was not good enough for her.

    Later, she tried to come back. On two occasions, I asked her: “What would you do to me if I cheated?”
    “I would leave you without a second thought.”
    “So why do you think I should give YOU a second chance?”
    She didn’t answer either time.

  • Lessee, mine tried on for size “polyamory”, “I need a muse”, “biological imperative (to get his genetic material out there)”etc. etc. When those got shot down, then it was ALL blameshifting onto me: you got fat, you won’t do anal/swallow my cum. Oh, and I would “assault” him by suggesting an alternate route to our destination. And then there was all the boundary testing, because, you know, what does a fence mean? Can he go up and touch it? What about lean on it?

    He was ABSOLUTELY “exceptional”, “living outside the box”. But he wanted ME in the box. You cook all those meals, clean the house, raise the kid, have a job. He, on the other hand, is incapable of having a boss because reasons. Oh, and mowing the yard is so in the box. I had better do that, too, because I’m comfortable in the box. I guess.

    I thought I married a man. I certainly wanted one. But what I got was an entitled ass with the emotional maturity of a 12 year-old. My bad. I was the spackle-queen.

    • Excellent point about the need those who “live outside the box” have for keeping the rest of us in our box, in our place, etc.

    • i got the polyamory bs too. He can “separate” his love for both of us, this person he just met who was now his “soulmate”. He wanted a home to come home to when he wanted to. All about him. I have no idea if he is even human at any level. No remorse, integrity, character. Lies, deceit, duplicity, betrayal, delusion. And now it’s MY fault because I said no. All my fault.

      • Oh yea the polyamoury crap. Unlimited love. He connects to us on different levels. Blah blah. When I came home after my first chemo I told him to choose. He aaid that he does not do ultimatums and will not leave hia friend. It was a moment of enlightenment for me. What a chump I was! I told him I was moving out and he called me crazy and sick from the chemo. I said watch me and I was out fully in 2 months. Best decision of my life.

        • After I found out about the coworker
          I told my frightened ex, “let’s just have an open marriage since you’ve been doing it anyway!”
          He panicked, no,Nono ononononononono,no
          So funny, I didn’t want to have any relationship with him after really anyway, just askin,

    • Yup, X was polyamorous all of a sudden (i.e. I did a really shitty thing and now I need to explain away my lack of decency). This, just before the truth (prostitutes) came forth. We’re all special, just some of us more than others, I guess. And all of a sudden, spouse goes from partner to roadblock. You think they would figure this shit out before dragging someone else into it, but we do make for convenient disguises/stepping stones to their “greatness”.

      • “I am a connoisseur of many different kinds of experiences” is one of X’s favorite self-descriptions. (meaning = three-ways with $1000/hr call girls).
        It brings to mind a limerick I heard when I was a kid:

        You call yourself an “epicure”,
        A term you really dig,
        But no wonder, after all
        It’s got more class than “pig.!”

  • Cheater ex told me he didn’t realize how
    “broken” he was! Excuse me? You cheated behind my back for over 500 days and you’re broken? They are all delusional.

    • Ah yes, heard this Dday 2017 and through the months of “reconciliation”. But versions of it changed over time:

      “He (AP) saw that I was broken and took advantage of me.”

      3 months later ….

      “I was broken and I took advantage of him.”

      Ironically Dday 2011 at marriage counseling session…..

      “You just see me as broken and want a therapist to fix me”

      Crazy the manipulative shit cheaters say

  • So many versions of “you aren’t the boss of me” as the foundational principal of cheater philosophy:
    –I’m an anarchist
    –I think outside the box
    –I’ve has a spiritual awakening that brought me to a new level
    –I’m more evolved than other people
    –I can’t be contained by your expectations
    –I won’t be limited by conventionality
    They are all just so special. Special jackasses.

  • My deranged husband told me I ‘shouldn’t have put him on a pedestal’! No pedestal though I did tell him once that one of the reasons I married him was because I thought he had integrity. But best of all was the ‘I’m not committing adultery – we live separately’ – of course he was and actually still is married to me. But guess the rules don’t apply to his exceptionalness. These days he is intent on ignoring his parent’s will and declaring intestacy. Guess there never were any rules that applied to him.

  • Dr. Cheaterpants perception is his reality. He really thinks other cheaters are bad and horrible people who will burn in hell for being sleazy, lustful, 10 commandment breaking, poor excuses for humans. He would judge others for this horrendous behavior that affected their spouse and kids. But when it came to him, well it was true love and justified because he wasn’t lustful.

    He told our teens he had to leave because he was miserable. Of course he didn’t tell them he was only miserable after hooking up with DD14’s 20-something asst sports coach in our kids’ Catholic High School while he was volunteer coaching. And unfortunately I was so stunned by his behavior and actions, moving out of the family home with a giddy, goofy smile on his face that I didn’t tell them either. I was paralyzed and mistakenly thought he’d come to his senses after he left, they both got fired from coaching, and he realized what he had thrown away. Thankfully I came to my senses and filed. I got a great settlement while he was preoccupied with running off into the ho-ville sunset.

    But here’s where I’m not so proud of myself. This was the second time he abandoned his wife and kids for a twu wuv schmoopie. He left when the kids were 2 & 4 years old for a howorker that other’s had knicknamed crazy. We sold the dream house we had just built the year before. I let that fucker come back when it wasn’t all he dreamed it would be.

    This is the first site that has made any sense of this to me. He is entitled and selfish. I’ve always known that. It’s always all about him. He see’s the world through his victim lens though. If I hadn’t been such a bad wife, he wouldn’t have had to go looking soft of mentality. I saw his texts to young schmoopie. He needed to tell her how it all started 5 years ago. That’s his perception so that’s what he truly believes.

    So this whole leave a cheater and gain a life thing to me means I can only change my lens. I need to stop caring about what his perception is. I need to figure out why I let him control me for so long. It was really a miserable existence for me, I just didn’t truly see it at the time. The whole frog in the boiling pot of water scenario. I’m 2 years out and my life is sooooo much better!!!

  • My cheater and his OW had a great explanation. They were two grown adults, and their private decisions were private and this was ok because they were not affecting or hurting anyone else. They joined up with a local poly group of people and recruited a bunch of our mutual friends into this way of thinking as well, which lead to these ‘friends’ knowing about the cheaters and their actions long before I found out.

    • Oooohhh, I just love your nickname. You win the internet barely_a_wake!

  • “I have destroyed your faith in humanity”
    Said with a little sadness then the sneer of absolute power.
    I will never forget that look. It starts with pity, almost regret then morphs into suppressed glee. I saw it on other occasions too. He just loves the power. Divorce Minister is right, there is something demonic at work in them when they do this.

  • Our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife, I found emails from another woman on his computer (an ex-girlfriend of his. She was 20; He was 40). I called him out on it and he said, “Look. I have a lot of friends. You can handle it or you can’t.” That was 3 months after our wedding. Should’ve left him then and spared myself the next 7 years of misery.

    • What an asshole response! In a loving relationship, one would go out of their way to comfort you and/or acknowledge how something like that could be perceived in the wrong light, but no, a cheating scumbag will do the opposite and blame you for his shitty behavior.

  • I found out about my husbands infatuation from 12 years previously by finding a load of song lyrics/poems stuffed in a drawer, along with the CDs where he recorded these songs and sang on them. As you say all about ‘all senses are alive when I look out the window’ and ‘it will all be alright if you will be there for me’ , this was a 21 year old girl who worked for us and he was 41. As far as I’m aware she wasn’t aware of all this shit, although there was over texting at the time between them but I do think she thought it was just a friends thing and she texted a lot! It’s especially disturbing I found seeing stuff like this in your husbands handwriting and hearing him singing it. We are still together 18 months post discovery , but I’m not sure I will ever feel quite the same and he has blown my trust , a crying shame really as he certainly isn’t a womaniser, I think it was a mid life crisis when his mum wAs dying but he certainly has made me seem him in not quite the same way

    • I don’t believe in the kid-life crisis excuse at all.

      I grew older. I lost loved ones. I experienced existential crises of various sorts.

      Didn’t have any affairs, though.

  • Mine is so much more intelligent than everyone else- he just knows that ALL lawyers are out to rip us off. Truly smart people , like him, know that you can do all your own legal work by printing out forms from the internet.Except that the conveyancer doesn’t believe them , and the bank doesn’t believe them, so we wasted yet more time, -just like I said at the beginning. Now I’m gettinga lecture about how its in my best interests to get things settled. Yes, it is, that’s why I went to see a lawyer.
    I’m trying to get this done ” cooperatively” because I don’t have spare cash to pay my lawyer for a contested settlement, and it SHOULD be straightforward, it’s really straightfoward if he would just stop ranting and sign the fecking forms, but Mr ” I know lots of people who have done it this way” can’t toe the line.

    • Just to clarify- I said I would only sign said forms from the internet if advised to do so by the conveyancer and the bank. They didn’t advise it.I was internally gleeful, but mortified at being seen in the company of the huge jerk I used to be married to who was ranting about lawyers again.
      Chump Nation, DON”T EVER try to keep running a business with your cheater, even if you have poured your heart and soul into it. DON”T.
      And then because he’s weird, he wanted a cake yesterday because we started up 16 years ago, as if we’re celebrating that now. WTF?

  • Totally my STBX as well. When we were “trying” to make it work after I told him I wanted a divorce, I asked him a simple question. He works away from home – he is a pilot and his base is in another city. At the time – he had a condo and and only one other pilot roommate. I asked him if we were at the point where he was being monogamous. I knew who he was – I knew he basically had his own place. He said that he wasn’t a normal person, as a husband, partner or lover (haha). That he couldn’t hide out in his closet. That every time he went out he was approached and tempted. There were opportunities everywhere…..But – there were some nights that being intimate didn’t cross his mind and he just wanted to hang out with his friends. He was trying to keep it in his pants. But – he told me not to start the hate if he slipped up and fell (meaning – Fucked someone else). If he did slip up – he would be careful.

    OMG. I actually accepted this explanation!!!!! I stayed for another year and 9 months. All the while he did whatever the fuck he wanted. NO MORE!!!!!

  • ???? Today I bought a ticket for the bye-bye train instead of the but, but, but … train, a year and four days I signed I must say A generous separation agreement with my husband because he couldn’t be bothered to retain a lawyer, and today I filed for divorce! choo-choo! I am so excited to have boarded the bye-bye ???? train ! I didn’t do it just for me , I did it for my kids. My STBX has ghosted the kids for over a year because they saw the tip of the iceberg…. not only do I deserve better , but so do my fabulous kiddos thank you CHUMP NATION because in June 2017 on THE 20th of June I was laying on the floor crying my guts out looking for a solution from the RIC conglomeration luckily I found CHUMP NATION instead and it save my life. I bought the book and I’m living the life!!!!! Leave a Cheater Gain a Life. I won’t lie some days I am swimming thru jello , my credit card is Crying ???? and it Has been hard, but my kids are so awesome dropping pearls of innocent ???? wisdom , and it is enough to keep me going just knowing I don’t swim Alone…. ❤️ Love ❤️ Hugs ???? & Might
    ???? JUST KEEP SWIMMING ????

  • He owned 60+ books on leadership, self improvement, management. He paid a woman to mentor him outside of the mentoring he received in his job. I gave him the book : Raising Boys after we had our son, now 25. He never opened it.

  • I am lucky enough to live in a reciprocity State my soon to be ex did not want to go to court over his behavior so he said he figured it was a win-win for him to just to sign ( leverage the guilt, if you can ) turned out to be a win-win for me and my kids he didn’t bother to get a lawyer, he did not need one , he was to smart for that lol ???? everything was settled in the separation agreement. And now after 365+1 days I filed for divorce I don’t even need to go to court. I’ll let my lawyers handle it….sure I paid for it all but in the end I got the house, child support, alimony and the contents of the house. He couldn’t be bothered he’s off now with his new sparkly girlfriend ! ( he lives in a camper trailer! With no day to day responsibilities) SHE ????WINS ????THE SPARKLE✨ TURD ✨

  • Although there are so many nuggets on this post I realise the biggest ‘exceptionalism’ of all is that their words and what they thought are the truth and what we may think is either ‘deluded’ or ‘not facing up to reality’.

    Could it not be possible that I had been mainly happy in our relationship, OK it wasn’t perfect but hadn’t spent the last 10+ years crying about it.

    No. It was time I started to face up to how I had put aside or avoided the problems in our relationship.

    Despite the hilarious cack that got espoused did at the time really hurt me the thing that’s I take mos offence to is that THEIR view is right. It has to be though doesn’t it or it’s clear they all suck. That ‘exceptionalism’ is the worst of all cause it’s not even funny.

    ps: still chuckling about the guy who said he only shit on a Tuesday x

  • Yes, this is my ex, so, so, so glad I left. He claimed to be ‘above society’s rules” and that I “needed to relax and just go with it…” and that he was tired of “being constrained” – along with the fact that he was drinking heavily and likely doing drugs. The drugs were about “experiencing freedom” and “expanding the worldview.” Uh-huh. At age 45.

    Then he started criticizing my cooking and giving me ‘cooking tips.’ NOPE and where did you learn that (ex) husband – no answer? He did not generally cook because for all his being ‘above rules’ he certainly expected ME to cook, clean and do all the shopping. Which he would deny up and down but lord forbid if dinner wasn’t ready when he came home (at any hour, I never knew when he would show up).

    So the lack of rules was only in benefit of himself, selfish jerk.

    He didn’t see my leaving coming, but should have. Because he was too much into his own little world of only fun stuff.

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