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“Closure,” Don’t Do It.

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“Closure” is just another word for hopium. Put down the crack pipe, chumps.

Don’t confuse closure with acceptance. We’re all about the meh here. Acceptance — learning what you control and what you do not — is peaceful and hard won. I’m talking about that insane stage chumps go through where they try to speak truth to stupid. Where they bargain. Where they do the pick me dance of “WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?!!!”

Chumps spackle and delude themselves into thinking they’re just going to give that cheater a good talking to! For CLOSURE.

They hope the impossible hope that the cheater will come to their senses. And apologize. And explain. See what they’ve been missing. And hand back the Crimea.

If you’re a cheater, “closure” is kibbles.

Cheaters hear: “I’m central! I matter!” And then they think: “I wonder how I can exploit this vulnerability for further gain?”

In my inbox this week was an example of this nutty dynamic. “Jennifer” writes:

A month later he contacted me and I sat down with him to tell him he will never have a place in my life and to see him in a capacity that was comfortable for me instead of running into him at work (he’s in an office 30 mins away from mine). He denied everything still, blameshifted to me that I wasn’t appreciating him, made him feel small, etc etc. He also flipped through the manipulations and left with what I thought was closure.

I sat down with him to tell him he will never have a place in my life

You know what says “You don’t have a place in my life”? NOT SITTING DOWN WITH HIM.

Let him address the empty chair.

And how on earth do you get “closure” from someone denying an affair and then blameshifting (the fictitious) affair back on to you? I didn’t do it. But if I did it, it’s your fault.

That’s NOT closure, that’s mindfuckery. Check!

The problem is while my mind felt great, my heart/body got in the last word. I stupidly invited him over, thinking we’d duke it out in real life and give me the chance to say even more to his face. He showed up and after I laid into him again and he did his best to take it, we ended up sleeping together.

NOoooOOOO!

See what I mean about “How can I exploit this vulnerability for further gain”? Sleeping with your ex is the pick me dance performed naked. It’s top shelf kibble. DO NOT DO THIS. If you did it, get an STD test, brush yourself off, and recommit to no contact. But whatever you do, STOP thinking you can bargain with someone into recognizing your worth.

What are you duking out? He cheated. Make a determination about that and if that’s acceptable to you. If it’s not? There is nothing left to say — you let your actions do the talking for you.

You want the last word? Have it with yourself. “Jennifer, you are not going to accept this shit another second longer. Quit looking to fuckwits for validation. You’re worth more than this. Tonight, how about you, me, myself, and I have a nice evening in with Netflix and box wine and watch ‘Escape to the Country’?”

Jennifer accepts this invitation with herself. Fuckwit sits alone in a bar, drinking next to an empty chair.

Voila. Closure.

 

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • I agree. We can close the closet door. Inside it’s still filled with stuff. We are not looking at the stuff but we are picturing it. Later we can open the door, rearrange the closet, rid ourselves of some things, whether it’s his old tennis racket, our old coat, and we close the door, we still remember those things, even those we can never see again in real life, the memory of those items is still in our head. And the new us is a different us because of the experience of betrayal.

      • I think you’ve summed it up perfectly. It’s been a tough week, Facebook keeps reminding me about a holiday of a lifetime we went on three years ago, me blissfully unaware that my then husband had repeatedly betrayed me. All the memories of that time are now tinged with sadness that I was being so horribly made a fool of. I am a very different person because of it. I am stronger but I can never forgive and forget.

        • Never even think of the fools errand of feeling nostalgic and asking the then husband ‘But what about all those lovely holidays’. My partner was ‘Lonely on all of them.’ apparently. FFS. Yawn. Pathetic. If it’s true he’s pathetic, if it’s a lie he’s pathetic.

          Q.E.D.

          • Dudders, you’ve hit on a variation my new mantra, that I am using to try and weed through the motivations of people at the moment with a bit more clarity and less rumination. ‘If they didn’t mean it then…. If they did mean it then…” For instance – If she seriously fell in love with Cheaterpants, then she’s a boundariless fool. If it was a ploy to grift him then she’s a disordered freak. Etc etc. It’s helping me in many situations to narrow their motivations down to two quick options and deal with them quickly and accordingly, with less handwringing and back and forthing. Less time, less fuss. Although you’ve also hit the nail on the head in that, in many cases, whatever their motivation, the result is often the same.

            • Dudders, you’ve hit on a variation my new mantra, that I am using to try and weed through the motivations of people at the moment with a bit more clarity and less rumination. ‘If they didn’t mean it then…. If they did mean it then…” For instance – If she seriously fell in love with Cheaterpants, then she’s a boundariless fool. If it was a ploy to grift him then she’s a disordered freak. Etc etc. It’s helping me in many situations to narrow their motivations down to two quick options and deal with them quickly and accordingly, with less handwringing and back and forthing. Less time, less fuss. And I may never know which of the two definitively but it allows me to be aware of what I may be dealing with and focus my further observations of them to looking for information that confirms either of those two theories better, but allows my brain to stop going in endless circles. Although you’ve also hit the nail on the head in that, in many cases, whatever their motivation, the result is often the same.

              • Stig, I think your trying to unravel the ball of twine. Which CL advises against. Yesterday my 5 year old was being naughty and I told him to stop. He said he was sorry, but then continued the bad behavior. I told him, if he was really sorry he would stop what he was doing. Of course he is only 5 and still figuring out boundaries. But it occurred to me that the disordered cheaters are like my 5 yr old, no boundaries, and no remorse. Because if they did have true remorse then they would stop said behavior.

          • Pathetic and ridiculous. I went through a phase of having my memories tinged with sadness, but I know I was genuine and authentic, and that’s good enough for me.

            • Agreed my for mother in law used to cut me down because she thought I wasn’t good enough for her precious son. Turns out that little old me from the wrong side of the tracks had all the MORALS!

        • Onwards and Upwards, you can change your preferences for memories notifications on Facebook. Click on “memories” and then “preferences” and then put in the dates you don’t ever want to see again. I hope this helps a little!

          • Thats what makes me so sad about it, that I genuinely felt we’d got through a rocky patch and were moving forward, he was clearly lying to me the whole time. I was so angry through the divorce and that was way more empowering than this.

            • Oops that reply was for magical feelings.

              Thanks Martha, it’s good to know that. The other pictures this week have been from when our eldest son was born ten years ago. Just seeing us together as a family makes me so sad, it was all a big lie. M counsellor says I will get to the point where I can separate the good memories from the bad but at the moment it’s all just sadness.

            • Anger is a great motivator, and sure I get the sadness, esp for my childs sake, that her parents broke up coz one was a selfish greedy entitled cow, but at least I didn’t cheat, and because I’m so awesome I’ve kept things safe, stable and sane for my child since, and outwardly civil (inwardly I want to firebomb the exes house, but meh). I can happily live with myself, my values and decisions, I’m not the drunk pissing her own bed.

        • @Onwards and upwards FaceBook and other social media can become a death by a thousand posts. I went through my FaceBook photos and deleted all the ones with my ex in them. All the ones with trips, etc., in them, because I didn’t want to be visually reminded of a past with him that wasn’t true.

          The truth of you is what matters. That trip you went on is still the trip of a lifetime for you. Hold on to that.

          • ‘A past with him that wasn’t true.’ A year since I last saw my boyfriend, I’m still grappling with the fact that, in many ways, I was the only one in the relationship. He was on a different planet.Makes me feel as though years of my life weren’t real–just a figment of my imagination.

            • yeah , i ‘ve been living with a “hologram” , and a few cardboard cut outs well placed . while he is running in and out going to “meet-ups” and “in your zip code” ,”close-by” fuck fests . when he was in the house ,he would say things like “you look great ” , that was awesome . good cooking , other positive statements . looking back , i can’t believe i didn’t see anything wrong ………(4 kids keep me distracted) but this has been going on a long time , i can’t believe i didn’t see the truth.

              • AS far as closure , that will never happen , if a word is uttered about the past , his eyes glaze over and he goes into a trance . there will be none of that . he will turn and leave . if cornered , will say what CL stated : “i didn’t do it , but if i did its your fault”
                .

            • That’s how I feel. Our relationship never existed. It was all fake, smoke mirrors and lies.
              He still would try the nostalgia on me said, “I was going through Facebook and we have so much history together”. Although it was meant to pull at my heart, I lost it on that one! This was the best example of how delusional he is and how in his head he rewrote Our story. Not reality. Reality: In 7 years there’s Not One pic of us on FB. He would go on pof or tinder then add potential girls to his fb so he could further vet them. I was often even blocked from his fb him cruely telling me I was “too jealous” he was “allowed to have friends”, or my favorite “geeze it’s just Facebook it’s not real life, YOU are my girlfriend and I love YOU”. It still brings me pain. I regret the lost years and I am recovering from his insipid abuse.

              • Seeing,
                I was starting to think that I was the only long-term partner whose photo was not put on Facebook at least somewhere (acknowledged as being liar’s partner). The photos of me in his air space were deleted from his relatives’ pages, too, at the end, so that nobody would know that he and I ever even knew each other, although I met him in university 30 years ago. I, the honest Chump in this ‘partnership’ (at least that’s what I thought it was), was eventually blocked on FB, too. I feel your pain.

              • See Red No More,
                I guess we are lucky in a way. I too don’t have any Facebook pics of him with me or the kids, and we were together 7 years as well. Honestly, in total there may be 10 pictures of him on my computer maybe if that many. I don’t go looking for them. I also came to the realization about a year ago that it was all fake. It felt true to me but in reality it was fake because true love takes two, and I was the only one in love. It helped me move on, still hurt like a motherfucker, but helped all the same. He still likes to email me and say things like…remember this day, bla bla bla, I think of it often. And what I say, to myself (because I am no contact and remember there is no closure, or better we give ourselves closure) is….whatever, dream the fuck on hooker, dream the fuck on! (that’s from a comedian). Good luck and hugs!

              • My STBXW joined FB 10 years ago, me 4 mos ago (and 2 mos before Dday).

                She has hundreds of photos of herself (many taken by me at her request), the kids, trips we’ve taken together, birthday cakes I have baked for her…..and my presence or acknowledgement….almost zippo.

                There are about 3 photos of me total, all unflattering/humorous, with her GFs having a laff in the comments at my expense.

                And quite a few arty, sexy, ‘come hither’ profile pics, most ‘loved’ by her friends’ husbands. Oy.

                When I joined, she also explained to me that I was NOT to put my status as ‘Married’ b/c…..the cool kids just don’t do that. She has her Relationship status as ‘none to show’ for 10 years.

                Of course, she dug up her last three APs on FB, so this all makes perfect sense.

          • I’m not friends with him or the new girlfriend but the pictures keep popping up. I can be meh about a lot of stuff, she moved in with him, couldn’t care less, but for some reason the lie of the family I thought I had still hurts. Thankyou so much for all your lovely replies, it helps so much to know you’ve all been there

            • My exhusband 15 years never had a picture of me or the kids on the Fakebook. His main picture was a smoker/grill. Others were him in some once in a lifetime army pose. Major Weirdo.

        • If it helps, delete all his pictures and block him on all social media. I did save pictures to my phone but got them off Facebook and Instagram. I also blocked the OW and his sister. I don’t need to see their stuff and they don’t need to see mine. No contact is best – trust in it.

          • This ^^^ I have done the same.

            It’s all about curating your own reality – about what you allow into your life. I have decided I don’t want Figment or the drama he brings in my life. That means blocking, deleting, moving, minimal contact, and maintaining a detached, professional demeanor when I do have contact. Those are the tools I use to make that happen.

            He isn’t allowed into my fortress of sanity.

        • I am fortunate in that I only joined Facebook a couple of month ago several months after divorce. I didn’t friend ex (who is on Facebook but never posts) so it’s been all about new beginnings, photos with kids and other people I am close to, reconnecting with old friends etc. Ex doesn’t exist at all for me on Facebook which is awesome. The only time he occasionally shows up is when Facebook tries to tell me that I should friend this guy because we have some of the same friends. Nope. I’ll pass.

          • You can block someone on Facebook, which will keep you from being shown them and them from being shown you. Should keep those friend suggestions from recurring.

            • I blocked both CheaterX and Schmoopie. CheaterX had blocked me before I told him I knew of the affair since he didn’t want me to know what he was up to. As a result, he never updated his status (“married to kb”). He unblocked me a few months after I moved out of the marital home. It gave me quite a shock to see his status!

              I blocked him. He’s tried to reach out to me. I’ve never responded. In his first message, sent about 9 months after I’d moved out and about 7 months after he married Schmoopie, he left a Sad Sausage message on my voicemail, telling me that Schmoopie was filing for divorce, and that he’d give anything to have me back and that once things had settled, “we” could get together and find out where “we” could go from there.

              What a joke! But it does show just how badly they want to be front and center in our lives. No contact is the way to go.

              • Nothing says Twu Wuv like, ‘I think you should be my Plan C in case it all goes bad’.

              • Wow, looks like the Karma bus rolled around really early for him!! Great for you. Wish that bus was early or even on time for the rest of the chumps here….

        • Hi Onwards, I feel ya today. My ex was stationed overseas for most of the last year of our marriage, but I went to visit him to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. What should have been a trip of a lifetime–traveling in Southeast Asia–was the beginning of my realization that something wasn’t right. There was no sex–he was “recovering from a bug and not 100% yet.” There was reiteration (without my prompting) that when “friend” OW came over on their way to scuba trips, she slept in the bedroom furthest away from his.

          Despite his weird behavior, I had not hit D Day yet and enjoyed traveling so much. When we split, I cropped him out of all the pictures and kept them. LIZ C. had a fantastic trip, despite his presence! LIZ C. deserves to look back on the good parts! That’s simply what works for me. As for social media, deleting photos I couldn’t get him out of, unfriending him, OW (who of course had friended me months earlier), all of his Switzerland friends and family (as others above have said) made such a world of difference. Even if they aren’t actively hurting you, their presence in your life is a constant reminder of what was. It’s like death by a million paper cuts. Don’t do that to yourself.

        • Oh, the memories of vacations thinking we were a happy family. I can’t even look at those photos now, seeing my innocent, smiling, chumpy face. And we visited some pretty great places, ALL of which have now been tainted by the knowledge of his deceitfulness during that time. CN, I am considering cutting his body out of those photos. Does this help? Or am I deluding myself?

            • I have used stickers over the EX cheater troll, especially where there are group shots of other special people who I love and have dumped him too. If I’m creative I have elephant faces and pig faces, or just about any comical stupid thing to put over the comical stupid image of ex cheater troll :-p mostly makes me laugh now

        • I know Exactly what you mean about memories of family vacations and shared memories, She destroyed them by her cheating, Thats is one of the hardest things for me to deal with.

          • I totally agree with you. I can’t even look at pictures of us on vacation or with the kids when she was having her affairs. She looked totally the same as before the affairs and after the affairs. It makes me sad that I spent my inheritance, in part, on our 10 year anniversary vacation while she was having an affair. In hindsight I can see the signs. So makes me question everything we did together. She has destroyed such good memories.

        • Onwards, your post reminds me of a quote that I loved from Hannah Gadsby in “Nanette”: “There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.” This is my mantra now.

          • I love that quote, Intothelight, and I LOVE Hannah Gadsby. My other favorite quote from “Nanette” is this one:

            “To be rendered powerless does not destroy your humanity. Your resilience is your humanity. The only people who lose their humanity are those who believe they have the right to render another human being powerless. They are the weak. To yield and not break, that is incredible strength.”

            CHILLS. Every time.

              • “Nanette” isn’t a book. It’s a comedy special on Netflix. It’s not your typical comedy though, it’s more like a badass feminist manifesto, encased in comedy. It’s all about finding your voice and reclaiming your story.

    • No closure, trust me. These bastards are chronic egotistical narcissist with low self-esteem. They will never have the decency to say sorry and admit they f’d up. I tried to get closure but it slammed into my face like a steel door. Thank GOD I never married this monster. He destroyed my self-esteem, made me too scared to speak to anyone when I was with him, especially other men or I’d be in for an emotional beating followed by sulky silence when I got home. And then the accusations and the projection would begin. He bled me dry financially, promised to repay me the $2500 western union transfer I sent him in May because he said he was broke and had no groceries because his *asshole ex employer* never paid him. ALWAYS LIES< EXCUSES<PROJECTION and I fell for it because I am by nature kind, gentle and very giving. I thought he loved me, he said I was his forever. And very shortly after the abuse began. I HATE myself for being so pathetic and weak. And I hate the fact that I really need him to repay that $2500 because I'm also struggling to make ends meet. This is a nightmare. He is a sick, hateful man who sleeps around due to his work with new women all the time. I wish to goodness the next time he does this the company he just started with fires him for sexual assault.

  • Trying to get closure is also dangerous. The couple of times I felt I would exercise my right frankly to call out my partners behaviour as being TOTALLY off the scale inappropriate, wow I got it both barrels. Vile things said back to me belittling our relationship over the years and the black snake eyes thing. It was so violent and horrible that is still hurting me more now almost than the split. I kept feeling I had to say something in order to get my point across, have my say, it must get me somewhere in this process, I need closure, I need to understand what happened and for us to discuss it in order to move on. It got me nothing but vitriol.

    However, that doesn’t stop that I am constantly trying to get closure in my head which is the ‘untangling the skein’ type of closure that thanks to CL I realise is futile.

    The only way I can stay true to myself, express my hurt at what happened in the greyest of rocks. Even that is interpreted as me not facing up to my part in the downfall of our relationship, the problems that we had, that I am unreasonable and can’t be adult about it and carry on co-parenting like nothing has happened. Tra la la, oh when can invite the Honey Bee (the OW) over for tea and scones, she sounds soooo lovely and probably right, it really does sound like she nourishes your soul much more than I ever did, god I’m so sorry that I was so neglectful that our relationship made you ill. I’m in therapy right now so I can learn what I could have done better (NOT). I’m really glad for you both as I know you just want me to be happy with my new found freedom and for me to open my heart to love.

    Get f*cked the pair of you. Stay out of my life and take your shit poetry with you Byron. No point talking to me cause I’ll never trust another word that comes out of your mouth.

    This is starting to feel like closure……… not meh, too early. But this is the best path for me and it’s only through CL that I even thought this was the most sane route possible and stopped thinking that I needed closure or to ‘try to be friends’ for our daughter.

    • I thought I needed closure by knowing that I had done all that I could do to “get him back on the right track” (he never was – just the “nice guy” act). I followed advice of a popular Christian author – pusher of the shared respond lie. I apologized & asked forgiveness for anything I had ever done to offend him. I’m not perfect, but I couldn’t think of anything so those are the exact words I used.
      His response was virtually a no response.
      He did say that he knew God would take care of the kids a I though. He was stealing from out joint account at the time and has contributed nothing to kids beyond child support that stopped when they turned 18.
      His goal was to be a great absentee father! I thank God that he has been almost completely absentee & we have been free to move on in life without him! Except for graduation open houses & weddings that the kids & I put on & pay for, we rarely see him.

      • In marriage counseling (before he admitted to OW), Ex of course blamed my quick temper and moodiness on his “falling out of love with me” (??? I have never been accused of these qualities except by him, and this was the first time he ever expressed it). My response was to search hard over all our interactions to find SOMETHING I could do to fix myself for him. When he backed over a curb a couple days later, I spilled hot coffee all over myself. In the moment I exclaimed, “Jesus Christ!” Not at him, not at anyone. It was a spontaneous exclamation. But I apologized so hard you would have thought I had thrown that hot coffee right in his eyes while merging onto the freeway.

        Later, after D Day, I bought my husband a book on Amazon called something like “How to Help Your Spouse Recover from Your Affair.” I waited with baited breath for him to read it, to acknowledge that he had the tools to save us! That WE could get through it!

        He texted that he read it. Then a couple days later (the eve of my 32nd birthday) he texted to say that he was not interested in staying together.

        Ugh. I was and am better than that groveling. But like you, I wanted desperately to do everything I possibly could. Its ok. Now we know.

        • Liz C., I bought that book, too. To his credit, he read it and even made margin notes for himself. He said it helped him see how much he was to blame for my state (duh). It was a seminal book for him, but then, I believe he was truly interested in attempting to get our marriage back on track. Another important book for him was “Your Brain on Porn”. Porn had been an ongoing issue for us, me believing it was harming, not helping, our marriage AND at least partly to blame for his increasing sexual disfunction, and him denying and becoming angry any time I brought it up. He accused me of being a prude, of being anti-porn because of my religious beliefs, of having issues because I was raped as a child.

          None of which had anything to do with his (lack of) performance. He simply couldn’t ejaculate, even after hours of pure sex. I believe his masturbation habit had trained him to only achieve orgasm in a way another human cannot reproduce. The book YBOP addresses how high-speed internet porn can actually alter your brain, which makes it particularly worrisome for teenaged boys. It cites actual studies on how erectile disfunction, once unheard of in teenagers, is now affecting almost 25% of boys.

          He FINALLY has come to acknowledge that, maybe, porn has been an issue for him all along. He has been a robust user of it since he was 14. Whatever.

          I am tired of it all being about HIM. Frankly, I have needs too…yet I didn’t cheat. And I am thinking more and more that I am tired of being mom to a 60 year-old adolescent, tired of being the marriage police, tired of impression management, tired of promised tasks undone, tired of being triggered by mundane things that send me spiraling into places I don’t need to go.

          I told him, on DDay, I would give it two years. The first for him to get over the OW (while I held on with bloodied fingers), the second for me to attempt to get past everything he did, including giving me HPV. I am trying, but every stupid defensive snit he has sends me closer to the edge.

          He has made some rather dramatic turn arounds. I don’t know if they are too late, but I, at least, keep my promises.

          He has until the end of October to convince me to stay.

          • I can’t speak for my ex, but I thought “How to Help Your Spouse get Over Your Affair” was a good read. Of course I read it voraciously. Lol, I was the one writing in margins in our scenario.

            The more I look back, the more I realize that there were so many secrets on his part–porn being one of them. Never spoken about, never caught with it (often), but there was one night about 7 years into our marriage I will NEVER forget: reaching for him in bed in the middle of the night, then wandering the house looking for him, only to find him in his office in front of his laptop with a large glass of wine (he didn’t drink), in his big white cowboy hat, a women’s skirt (NOT a kilt, a mini skirt) and nothing else, as he either chatted with a naked person or was watching pornography (he said the latter, but based on the clothing, I am assuming the former).

            He had excuses and lies, I chumpily believed them, and it was never spoken of again. But he rarely wanted sex from me…in retrospect it had to be porn, sex chats, or downright sex outside the marriage. I suppose hindsight is 20/20…that incident was just such a red flag of secrets and lies. And I was just so surprised–I just didn’t want to see it.

            • Liz – OMG! I have no words!

              Can you post on the forums?
              I think there would be a few interested in your thoughts..

          • Ivyleaguechump – so good to hear from you.

            This ‘reconciliation’ – which sounds more and more like the lurching, undead, zombiefied version of your earlier marriage – is going nowhere, and you know it.

            You are trying to live on crumbs of half-assed superficial change, while killing yourself with worry, stress, and tension.

            You have until October to get your ducks lined up, and find a place to live for YOURSELF (do nothing more for him – you have done enough – the only thing you should be willing to do for him is put his stuff in black trash bags when you throw him out).

            Get your finances in order, get them audited now by a forensic accountant, and find a good therapist for yourself who can work on the abuse history with you.

            This fiasco is nearly over. I pray for your liberation.

      • I also went through the whole self-reflection of my own “issues” and “fixings” while my STBXH was boomeranging in and out of the house for his “breaks to get his head straight.” Sure, I have my own issues and fixings that I continue to work out with counselling now, but even the counsellor has communicated to me multiple times that I am not “broken” and am now responsible for what he chose to do. She’s said that he’s got some major issues himself (identity issues) that he has to work through on his own and it’s best that I am out of that mess – and she is a pro-marriage counsellor that I initially sought out to work with individually while I was trying to save my marriage.

        I wrote notes of recognition for the parts that I played in issues in our marriage. I apologized. I demonstrated how I was working on myself. Started making lifestyle changes so that I wasn’t so busy and stressed out. All the things that happen when you are a normal couple facing challenges in your marriage and seek out the aid of a counsellor to help overcome. It took me far too long to understand that this wasn’t a normal situation, that he is in fact not normal at all. I was walking this path of reconciliation all alone without realizing it and had a man with narcissistic tendencies eating up all my efforts for his own ego without giving in return.

        Now I know better. There will be no day of reconciliation or redemption. Even though I believe that all things are possible with God, should an authentic time of redemption occur on my ex’s part, it would have to be so spectacular for me to believe it that it would warrant its own book about a rare true story of a man’s journey through his own existential crisis.

        • Oh, he hauled me to counselors to get them to show me how “flawed” I was, leaving everybody confused. Because, of course, he didn’t bother telling the counselors that he was cheating, which is kind of important. Ya think???? Meanwhile the counselors would listen to his grievances (“she gasps when I brake hard!!”), and look at me with a WTF? look on their faces. Every. Single. Counselor I went to thought the problem was him, not me. And that was without knowing about his double life.

          That will be $80, please.

          • I got that in couples counselling too, he said “Magical, you are fine, now you Ex, on the other hand”, as we walked out my ex said to me “I hate being interesting!” coz she’s basically a psychologists wet dream, layers and layers of impenetrable fucked upness (which of course the ex has done nothing about, whereas I continued the therapy for the last 16+ months).

      • Nyra – ‘I apologized & asked forgiveness for anything I had ever done to offend him. I’m not perfect, but I couldn’t think of anything so those are the exact words I used.’

        Wow, that is very powerful. Of YOU. Dancing. I think we all did it.

        Very forgiving to tell him that and a plea to think about this love and the things you have built together. Believe me, I think all us chumps felt that way, to a degree.

        I wasn’t quite so…humble? He knew the things I’d done for 35 years and I knew what he had done…the sacrifices.

        He cheated and YOU are taking the blame? Make a nice chocolate gooey cake and throw it in his face. I have NO regrets in kicking the sewer rat down into the sewer drain. Tracy, fixed my life…and, I’m having a pretty good time being single..

        • I’ve learned a lot since those Pre-Chumplady days!!
          The only thing good about my dancing is that I know without a doubt that I did all I could to “help” him.

      • my daughter actually said to my face that i WAS going to shake her (ow) hand and welcome her to the family…wtf???

        it pretty much went downhill from there. total mind***k job he did on my kids.

    • Yes! Me too! Being angry isn’t a bad thing! And being civil, like not bitch slapping them, is okay too. No you don’t get to meet my new gf/bf. No I don’t have to give you any details about my life.

      The other day I was sitting on the porch with the guy I am dating and a mutual friend of ours, who happened to meet my narc ex as well. So friend says to date, ‘narc ex says there are no bad feelings, and he just wants you and Prison Chump to be happy’. WTF??? One I didn’t know friend was talking to ex narc, and not only talking but about me! I immediately said some choice words and kicked him off my porch. Good riddance! I don’t need ex narc or his flying monkeys.

  • I sometimes wonder if chump lady reads my mind… the cheater wanted to meet today to ‘tell me how he really feels now’ and that he’s ‘booked the time off work because all he’s got left is hope’

    Pass the sick bucket would you.

    • Behold, your incredible value, that he would take a day off work to remind you of his wonderfulness! Sparkles fly through the air! Look how pretty! And his feels are super significant, so you should take a day off, too, simply to hear them. On short notice. Because HIM, obviously.

      Lucky you. The chosen one.

      (Ah, sometimes sarcasm is just the only thing that really fits.) 😀😀😀

    • Don’t go!!! It’s a trap to get you to put your head in the mindfuckery blender again. Stay strong; hugs!

    • He probably took time off work for a dentist appointment. Or to get new tires put on his car.

      The proposed visit is a side gig – “hey, maybe I can get tires AND get kibbles from itdoesntchange.”

      Liars just keep on lying!

      • Yes! I now think everything my ex suggests comes with barbs, the most recent was we both go with our kid to her new school open day, sounded innocuous, until I picked her up and she’s wearing the necklace the guy she cheated with bought her (she wore while we were together I had no clue of course) & she had a whole bunch of her freinds/admirers/enablers all coming to the school thing too. Just confirmed to me shes a callous/cruel &/or stupid/thoughtless bitch. I keep getting these helpful reminders. (the married guy she cheated on me with dumped her arse when me and the kid finally walked out on her).

    • Itdoesntchange,

      Now THAT’S what I would call a “poor sad sausage”. They taste awful and are full of salmonella, so don’t even get near them.

  • X told me he couldnt give me closure. He is an arrogant asshole. There is no closure with these monsters. And they want it that way!
    His disgusting actions and cruelty are my closure. He is a mean spirited freak. Case closed.

  • Closure I something I have realized I will never get. I have accepted that and have moved on. How can you get closure from a person who will not admit that they choose to cheat. My STBX last time I tried to get closure continued to blame me. If I would have given him more attention. He went away with her because she liked to have fun. Not once did he say that he cheated because he wanted to. Cheaters do not give closure. It is a waste of time and energy to expect any type of closure from a cheater To think my STBX ruined a 34 year marriage for a women who just wanted to have fun.

    • I’m guessing that what most people consider ‘closure’ would require that your ex appreciate you, respect you, consider your feelings, introspect, tactfully tell the truth. Considering the track record of the chronic abusive liars mentioned here, how likely is that?

      • It’s not. At all. Ever. Kinda the point of the whole exercise unless you were asking a rhetorical question.

      • Unlikely as hell, RSW. Waiting for closure, reliving the discard repeatedly, and beating yourself up gives the fuckers centrality. And the shitheads don’t think about us for a moment.

  • Expecting truth from cheaters is hopium, I expected that from my kids dad, never happened, never will. Never have sex with a cheater, you don’t know what unfortunate things you can pick up!. You can only make yourself happy, not anybody else.

  • This was perfect for me to read today – an excellent reminder. I’m a long way from meh (early days here) but am solid NC and it’s helping a lot.

    • A good reminder for me, I’m 16 months out, only discovered grey rock a few months back (share a kid, I thought I had to keep contact), but I wish I’d known it was possible to co parent NC it would have helped me heal. But everything will work out fine.

      • Every day I wake up is a bad day for me. Why? Because I loved him for 22 years. I keep reliving/replaying the rejection. I’m not sure he cheated technically, but I suspect he has an interest in mind with which to replace me given the total change in his personality, the ability to turn off emotions, and the cruelty with which he neglected me (he rejected intimacy for almost a decade and told me to “Ask myself why”). At the end, he seemed repulsed by my presence, not even wanting to spend time as friends, and he wanted me to settle on “just being roommates.” So I left, but always hoped my absence would make him come to his senses and value my love. After years of rejection, I feel completely worthless.

        • Long-term. You are not worthless. You feel that way right now because you based your worth on his judgement. It gets better. Here is a quote I like.

          “If you are willing to look at another person’s behavior toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time cease to react at all.” Yogi Bhajan

          It takes time..you have worth. He needs to walk into a moving train.

          Hugs ((()))

          • Thank you so much for that quote…I needed to hear that. I am trying to learn how to rebuild my self-worth. It deteriorated consistently but gradually enough that I didn’t know it was happening! But he became so cruel in the end that I found myself hospitalized for suicidal ideation and a nervous breakdown. I felt as if I was already dead in his mind and he had broken me completely with his passive aggressive behavior. Yet he does not believe he was abusive because he never raised his voice, called me names, or physically touched me (irony is I had no physical touch of any sort, so thank you also for the hug, even if it is virtual).

            • The book The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist: Recognizing the Traits and Finding Healing After Hidden Emotional and Psychological Abuse by Debbie Mirza was very helpful to me.It helped me realize how much damage was done by this “nice guy”.

              Been were you are. The cruelty was hard to comprehend. Spent a lot of time being hurt and confused. I also thought I had no reason to go on. Truly believe that it does get better. Hold that in your beautiful, strong heart.

              • Sorry for the late reply, but I bought and am almost finished reading the CN book you recommended and I cannot thank you enough! It is an excellent book that had me underlining and writing in the margins YES! on every page. It validated so much of my experience and pain. I am still painfully lonely and depressed but I am trying to find my light again…thank you so so much.

              • I’m glad it helped LTChump. Validation really helps in recovery. Wish I could help with the lonely. I get waves of it then periods where I’m content. Hang in there, take care of yourself. (((hug))).

  • Closure requries honesty. Most cheaters don’t do honesty, so why would anyone see them as capable of giving closure? It’s like expecting my cat to display empathy for the sparrow it just pointlessly slaughtered. It’s just not in their nature.

    • Yes…don’t ask someone for 5.00 when you know they’re broke….that’s my insanity. Closure is NC (as much as possible). Closure as in, “I am closure-ing the door in your face.” Closure is my daughter and I in karate last night, imagining their faces on the kick targets.

  • It is interesting how us chumps seem to need this “closure” from the disordered. It the dishonesty and the fact that our whole lives seem to have been earased like we didn’t exist. Just replaced and we’ll go “get on with your own life”. We keep going over and over things what happened, why etc. we know in our rational minds that it has nothing to do with us it’s their disordered minds but yet somehow we need to understand. Perhaps it’s our humanity, something they lack. Accepting the fact that this person we once loved is capable of these horrendous things is almost incomprehensible. But true, they did these rotten things to us and our family and we will always carry the scars. I have a strong desire right now to lash out at se real people who have taken the “Switzerland ” route now he is dead and it’s very painful.
    All seems forgiven but not by me. The struggle continues.

      • Eventually erasure means that you accept they aren’t even in your orbit. Feels like freedom to me to not be on their radar. Harming others to be sure, but I cannot save strangers.

    • And the problem with the constant going over and over to try to make sense of it not only doesn’t result in closure, as you keep going round always takes you back to ‘Maybe it was me’. Fortunately I’m getting to that part just as regularly and then give myself a very stern talking to.

      Closure for me isn’t about what happened in our relationship any more, it’s stopping the ‘crazy’ in my head and not thinking about it all for maybe, er 5 minutes a day. It will come, it will come.

      • Thank you for writing this, Dudders. I keep trying to make ‘sense’ of bizarre, hurtful relationships. I almost feel as though I can’t put the body parts in the body bag at the scene of the horrific accident–I have to try to put the body back together again in some Frankensteinish Pet Sematary redux. And we all know how those stories end! (While with my last partner, I saw a traffic fatality, and in my shock, wanted to put the body together again, while on the phone with the dispatcher. That was the day I also found out that my twenty-something year-old cousin was in the advanced stages of stage 4 cancer. It all felt horrific.) You said, ‘…you keep going round always takes you back to ‘Maybe it was me.’ That’s one of the thoughts that tortures me most. Maybe I screwed up. Maybe if I had done things differently, been different, been BETTER, this wouldn’t have happened…

        • RSW

          After repeated attempts of reconciliation and forgiveness with the Limited that wasted YEARS of my life I figured out why I tortured myself.

          I never faced the pain. You have two mangled bodies you’re still trying to fix in their absence. It’s time to bury the corpses and focus not on the dead but the living.

          Facing the pain isn’t about keeping assholes on a pedestal as you realign the intestines of fuckwit one and two.

          You didn’t cause this so wash the blood from your hands and do something for your amazing self. Reframe your thinking.

          • Doing Me,
            I’m sorry that you spent time on the Wreckonciliation Merry Go Round.
            I think that I, too, have had trouble acknowledging reality as I was trying to avoid the pain of knowing. It’s taken almost a year to really acknowledge what has happened. Ideally, now that I am starting to acknowledge the reality, as much as it pains me, I (and chumps like me) will start to feel better.

            I think that I might henceforth call my last two exes Thing 1 and Thing 2 in ‘polite company.’

        • Stuff that’s yours:

          Dating too soon
          Thinking that being partnered is the meaning of life
          Dealing with teen abuse issues
          Dealing with PTSD from shitty marriage and high conflict divorce
          Boundary issues

          Stuff that’s his:

          Revelling in the role of Super Friend for years while never actually having to deliver on that
          Swooping in on a vulnerable newly-single high-status woman
          Being totally unable to deliver on new Romantic Savior role
          Being too cowardly to say, ‘This was a mistake’ and break up cleanly
          Deciding to blame you for the mistake instead, because it couldn’t possibly be his fault
          Deciding to stick around for the kibbles, sex, etc while shopping for an escape hatch
          Blowing hot and cold
          Cheating on you

          Does this help?

          You do you. That’s more important.

          • Lola Granola.

            Thanks for writing this. I don’t know if you realize how impactful your writing to me has been. Today, while driving around, I thought about some of the things you have written recently (in a supportive, humorous way)–and answered some of your questions. (I realized that I wanted my ex-boyfriend to be someone he was/is not–someone who loved or at least respected me–a completely untenable dream.) I want to start working on developing me as an independent single person (parent), one who feels completely self-sufficient and capable of supporting well a family.

            I think that in many ways you would be an excellent therapist.

            • No worries. From one ruminator to another!

              Just as long as you realise that the dream was untenable because of HIS weaknesses, not because of yours.

              You’re very loveable. There may be wonder-dudes in the future. But you need a lot of time to get strong and happy first, and then you will probably make much better choices.

              Either way, if you’re strong and happy, it won’t matter!

              PS I am going to create a range of throw pillow embroidery kits with useful slogans on them …

      • It does get better. And as chump lady said…acceptance is a better goal.

        I accept that nothing I say will get through to him.

        I accept that this is really who he is and I shouldn’t forget it or start to project who I wanted him to be (or who he pretended to be).

        I accept that I will never understand how he could do all he did (because thankfully I am not built that way and am capable of empathy).

        I accept that we will not have any relationship in the future (even for the kids) because he lies and manipulates and therefore is untrustworthy.

        I accept that he will not contribute a dime towards the kids’ expenses beyond what the court will order (i.e. college, sports, etc). And if I want those things for my kids, I should save or help them put themselves into positions to help pay for them (jobs, good grades, researching scholarships and financial aid).

        The more I accept, the sooner I will get to Meh.

        • Needed CL post today, and I needed your list GMF. Brilliantly done. I will copy and paste elsewhere for my new mantra. Thank you.

        • GMF,
          Thank you for reminding me of the issue of trustworthiness (or lack of it). When I start feeling sentimental about my ex-boyfriend/missing what I thought was him, I will remind myself that even if he came crawling back tomorrow, the relationship could not be as good as I used to believe it was as now I know better, I cannot trust him and I cannot fully respect him as he lies (makes up stories, gaslights, etc.) to me and partners who preceded me even when there seems to be no incentive to do so.

    • The erased part is the worst. I finally had the guts to get rid of Switzerland people. They are cowards. I only hang with brave people. It has been such a relief. Most are his family. I have spent 30+ trying to like these people, to get along (it was always on their terms) now I don’t have to and it’s freeing. Marrying into that family was like marring into the royal family. So many rules about how and when things were done and excepted. Lots of unspoken expectations….so many way to get it wrong. No thought that the rest of the world may do or want things differently. They are now free to stew in their own rigid dysfunctional juices. Switzerland can bite me!

      My closure is kicking them out of my brain. Some days it’s a struggle…but less and less so. I did not do anything wrong. My needs, wants, desires and expectations are true and valid. I am a good person.

      I matter and my brave friends and family matter. They do not make me try hard. They just like and love me.

  • Only I can create my own closure. It can’t be given to me by somebody else.

    Took me about 10 years to figure this out….

    My X and Miss Piggy got engaged last week. You know – the one who was just a friend throughout the last 3 years of our marriage.

    But from my understanding ( the kids tell me things here and there ), he still blames me for all of his life’s problems.

    Funny – my life is a million times better now that he is gone.

    • Ah ‘just a close friend’. How familiar. Even told him mum that two weeks ago but said it may develop into something more. Ridiculous. They have just been to a wedding together and are going on holiday in two week’s time. Everyone is right here, if this is how appalling they bother to lie then really why would we ever get anything sensible out of them that might look like closure.

      • Yeah.. I got ~ we are just gooood friends.

        Now it seems he has talked his gooood friend who I call the Circus Clown into selling him one of her properties. He can’t get financing so I guess that’s the only way he will own a property.

    • Wow Lucky…that was a long time coming…I wonder how much was to make it seem like their relationship grew slowly…gag.

      It also took me in the 10 yr range to really grasp some of my reality…I had a terrible thought-loop which I played in my head thousands of times.
      “Why did he ____ when he said ____and was otherwise doing ___?”

      The answer was that he was much meaner and more selfish that I was previously willing to admit to myself. His actions didn’t make sense if you assumed he had a shred of decency. It all made perfect sense when I admitted how badly he sucked.

      • About a dozen years ago, my STBXH went on a retreat. This was a small group, maybe 10 participants.

        Believe it or not, Esther Fucking Perel was the Resource for the weekend, speaking and conducting workshops. I didn’t know it but my marriage was likely doomed from that weekend on.

        Here is the thing that EFP gets right. A cheater is dissatisfied with his or her life. They look around and see that they have not achieved the accolades, success, validation, or excitement they thought life was going to bring (entitled?). Then they make a conscious decision to choose ‘excitement’ over integrity. Yay Dopamine!

        That’s it. That’s the reason. Maybe not in 100% of the cases, but in many, many cases, it’s simply that.

        For me, I could understand that as ‘the reason.’ But it didn’t help me so much. I still yearned for him to understand that he had No Integrity, that He Sucked. I deflected his requests for communication as often as possible, but when the calls or face to face meetings happened, they always ended with me, triggered, YELLING ALL THE WAYS HE WAS A PIECE OF SHIT.

        Worse, I spent hours in my own brain obsessively telling him off. As if finding the right ‘tell off’ would bring me closure.

        Nope. What helped?

        1) In Al Anon they say D.E.T.A.C.H. Don’t Even Think About Changing Him. Helped me see that my need for closure was me still wanting to fix him.

        2) When thoughts of His Shittiness now pop in my head, I imagine myself opening the door in my brain, shoving him out and slamming the door on him.

        3) Time. I’m still breathing. This didn’t kill me. I used to have obsessive thoughts 90% of the time. Now it’s down to 30% or so.

        4) New calamities. My sister has started calling me Job. I don’t have time or bandwidth to focus on closure. Insert smiley face here.

        Anyone else have a similar take?

        • “Here is the thing that EFP gets right. A cheater is dissatisfied with his or her life. They look around and see that they have not achieved the accolades, success, validation, or excitement they thought life was going to bring (entitled?). Then they make a conscious decision to choose ‘excitement’ over integrity.”

          This is exactly what happened to ex. I guess EFP gets some things right. The problem is that she applauds it as something positive instead of disordered and messed up.

          • That sums up really for me how we are different. Maybe it’s to do with how secure and perhaps ambitious you are. I have had a lovely upbringing with many fun times and great friends tinged with the sadness of losing many close relatives very early. I would like to work less, probably think had I pushed myself I could have been more successful, probably go to with losing 7lbs and getting fit, don’t write novels in my spare time. But I have everything (I thought) a loving family. Nothing else required. Oh so that’s got taken away. The ex on the other hand posts arty quotes about how precious time is with his 8 year old daughter at Xmas while knowing full well he is going to dump me soon thereafter. Found something in his room about his anxiety all typical kid life crisis stuff, she doesn’t fancy me any more, I am last my prime, I am tooo shy and cowardly, I was never good enough to be really successful and break through (he has a great career). God me me me me. But his flaming insecurities and entitlement as EFP says lead him straight out to seek excitement elsewhere. Argh. He told me he could have had one night stands but didn’t even though other men would have done because that’s not his style and he wanted something more. EFP’s right that hey want more more more. Find it exhausting I presume it’s never enough. Just book me a two bed flat in a retirement home and I will now and I am not even fifty. Just give me some bloody peace!!

        • You are so on the money Chumplata.

          “A cheater is dissatisfied with his or her life. They look around and see that they have not achieved the accolades, success, validation, or excitement they thought life was going to bring (entitled?).”

          These are the actual words that came out of my x cheating skank mouth when I confronted her about her fuckboddy from work.

          She concluded with “I deserve to be happy. Everybody deserves to be happy. Everybody is cheating. You need to grow up and get over it”

          • At least yours took on the shitiness role on alone. Mine used our daughters as appliances when using this justification: “My girls deserve a mother who is happy.”

            • “My girls deserve a mother that is happy” – I’m surprised I didn’t get that one, that is quite despicable. But it is one of those classic cheater comments that when you hear you are silenced by what you just heard, it’s not til later you think WTF? For me anyway.

          • Why is cheating=happy?
            Is it all just breaking out to grab a new partner?
            Hoping nobody finds out?
            So now when someone says “I’m not happy”
            I’ll think that they are cheating….?!
            Does it make you happier? Solve some personal sadness?
            So weird.
            I don’t get it

      • Unicorn – I believe you are right. It’s all about appearances of course!!!

        I get a small chuckle because I think she’s been after this the entire time. She always wanted my old life – and now she is welcome to it !!!

        Having your husband pass away and then finding out the depth of his douchbaggery is a whole new mind fuck.

        I am so happy that you are living an authentic life now XO

  • Why would you think a person who cannot give you commitment can give you closure? If they had the appropriate depth of character, they would not have cheated in the first place.

      • Truth!

        It’s a “one day at a time” life away from a cheater… sometimes a one hour/one minute… especially in the beginning.

        And, I think on some level that our “need for closure” is just another sparkly-coated aspect of the PICK ME DANCE. We think if they respect us enough to give us closure (listen to our cries/tears/anger) then on some level they may still “love” us and there might be another chance. There. Isn’t. They’re just bored and sourcing for kibbles like a crack addict. You aren’t special to them – ever – you’re just available.

    • I had never considered this fact ICanSeeTheMehComing!, I will be meditating on your statement to take it in, to know it.

    • Yes! Nothing says “I suck at relationships” like cheating. Running off with the affair partner is switching deck chairs on the Titanic. Run for the lifeboat! They do NOT magically acquire long term relationship skills and character when they leave. Thankfully they take their baggage with them into the next entanglement.

      • Rock Star Wife, please read this and then write it on the mirror and also have it embroidered on a matching set of throw pillows.

        “Yes! Nothing says “I suck at relationships” like cheating. Running off with the affair partner is switching deck chairs on the Titanic. Run for the lifeboat! They do NOT magically acquire long term relationship skills and character when they leave. Thankfully they take their baggage with them into the next entanglement.”

  • I think if you reframe it to see their BS as a form of neuropathy, you come to realize that you can’t rationalize crazy. Shitwit truly gets off on manipulation and underhandedness. I would run a mile before contemplating the prospect of sitting down with him anywhere, let alone the idea of trying for closure. Closure to me, is my independence of him, and freedom to make my own decisions, and zero to minimum contact. Hallelujah.

  • The problem with closure is that we seek to understand “why” this happened to us. There is no good reason!

  • CL,
    Thank you for this post, I needed to read this today. Over the last few weeks I have been struggling with this very thing. Needing closure. Wanting closure, desperately. It’s a cycle really, going from hating the cheating STBX, to missing him, to desperation, back to seething hate and finally to yearning for closure. I wanted this closure to help stop the visceral pain I feel daily. I just want it to stop, and for him to be kind to me again. He is the type of “nice” you explained in your last post. He is NOT kind. This yearning was so intense yesterday and through the night that I didn’t sleep, instead I prayed all night. Asking God to take these feelings and cast them away, to show me His true path for me, I asked God to be literal bc I cannot read between the lines. Finally after drifting off for a few hours I wake up to this post. Ask and you shall receive says the Lord.
    Message received.

    • My story exactly not2day Satan. I feel like I can’t move forward until he at least shows some remorse or empathy for detonating our 15 year marriage with 12 year old twins. He tells the kids, “I wasn’t happy and no one should have to live a lie.” The twins don’t seem to have a problem with dad leaving to be happy with his 11 year younger married co worker who has 2 and 4 year olds.
      I just don’t get it.

      • Almosttomeh, I am sorry for your pain. I have been married for 18 years, together 20. We have a 10 year old son, WE have a successful business, a beautiful life wWE created for our family…. fantastical actually. He chose a girl half my age and has been running around in OUR circle of people, employees, customers and vendors to rub it in my face. I’ve removed ALL of Switzerland persons… I’m kind but I don’t share my life with them and stay away as best to my ability, kindly walk away when approached. I too don’t understand, had been fighting for nearly a year now to understand…. it’s now time to understand and trust he sucks and his actions do not define who I am. My actions do that. It’s time for me to understand I will never get closure or remorse from him.
        It’s time to love myself and move forward.

        • Thank you, Not2day Satan and DGC!
          I needed those words. Dday was August 27th last year, so it will be a year soon and I really need to move on. And yes, I was totally blindsided and had no idea he was “unhappy.” Divorce will be final in October. Thank u again!

          • Don’t feel the need to move on according to a specific timescale – this is a huge life trauma, don’t underestimate that. It sucks not moving on I know, I’m totes fed up with it and what’s ahead with the co-parenting and eventually having to move and sharing my daughter – exhausting. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t moved on yet accordingly to a timescale you feel is right – this is major shit going down stuff.

            27th Aug is my birthday – I’ll raise a glass to you getting one day nearer towards meh.

            • Yes that was the hardest part, getting pissed off at yourself for not “getting over it” by now. I accept I will be over it when I’m over it.

      • But they don’t have remorse or empathy.

        I think we are all grown-ups here and realise relationships don’t work out but you know if you have children you would think you’d throw everything at it, give it the best shot wouldn’t you for their sake and your sake as surely being in a happy family relationship is good right? No, they don’t though do they. Did you know he was living a lie? Er no, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t even know he was unhappy (or that unhappy). So instead of facing up the difficult business of addressing problems in your own relationship just easier to skip down the road to someone a bit more sparkly (for the time being) that blows more smoke up your backside and then blame the person left behind. True, why live a lie. Fair point. Why does it always end up with you shacking up with some younger woman then. Almost always.

        Honestly, don’t give it credence and stay true to what you believe. Spineless twats the lot of ’em.

      • He can’t give you what he doesn’t have – remorse or empathy. If he had either, he wouldn’t have prioritized his own selfish wants over the needs of his wife and kids. I found that the way to stop fixating on wanting closure was to accept that my now ex is a deeply flawed “human being” (I use that term lightly) who is completely incapable of giving me or my children what we need from him. With that acceptance came the ability to move forward and seek happiness and peace within myself rather than looking to anyone else for it.

    • Your closure is your a good person and the cheater is a sinner. trust God to see you through these times and let God fight your battles. NO CONTACT and continue to pray for strength to carry you through to the next phase of your life without a cheater. God is walking beside you every inch of the way.

  • Really, REALLY needed this today. I am moving today. Last night was the last I would spend in this (his) house. 8 months after D-Day, I am finally getting out. I asked him the night before last if he would help me take my bed apart for the movers. He said he would. 8 pm, when he still wasn’t home, I texted and asked if he intended to help me with the bed. He replied that he was ‘having dinner’ and ‘it’s only 8 pm’. Well, fine, Asshat. Nevermind that I was at work at 6 am and had a long day of moving ahead of me. Nevermind, I’ll take care of it myself. And everything else in my life. From this day FORWARD!!!

    • I wish we could post pictures here there is an amazing pic I have found of the Lucy van Pelt from Peanuts (she’s my heroine) and she’s flexing her arm muscle and it says ‘You can’t do it – BUT I CAN’. Hell yeah sister.

    • Congratulations, and peace, and a big celebration of your mighty to you. Today is the first day of your gained life. May the move be smooth and may your sails be graced by the perfect wind!

    • They really, really suck. Once you see it’s all about them, then you realize there’s nothing to work with. DD17 had surgery yesterday. Dr. Cheaterpants was there but stood with his hands in his pockets when the registration clerk asked for the $75 copay. He had stopped paying for DS car insurance when he graduated in May. That really hit home for me that he sucked for the kids too. I have so little expectations of him now that it didn’t even phase me. I pulled out my credit card and paid it. My DD sitting there probably not surprised either.

      I’m so happy for you Katiedidnt. Although it’s horrible circumstances, you are leaving to start your new cheaterfree life!!!

  • It doesn’t matter how long your marriage was. These sub human beings don’t care if they give you closure.
    They just leave onto the Owhore without looking back.

    Myself after a 34 year marriage had to accept that I will never have an apology or seeing remorse from him. Like us all here, we can only control ourselves & accept the fact that it’s over. Hopefully our lives now will be better without the toxic sociopath. 👿

  • My kids psychologist said that I would never get closure from my stbxw. That a person who can lie and cheat for years will never come 100% clean and admit they made the choice to cheat. Only once did she say it was nothing I said or did caused her to cheat. That she wanted to. Right after she said that she came after me both guns blazing. Evil, vile woman. No Contact is the best ( can’t do it 100% because of kids and things to wrap up when divorce is final)! I don’t know how many affairs she had, how much she spent that drove us into bankruptcy, all the secret addresses she had, etc. There are some things that will take me years to get to “meh”. Lying, theft, fraud, getting pregnant with the OM and telling it was mine, Narcissistic abuse, making me a part time father, etc. I don’t need closure to divorce the Evil One. I am so excited for August 31st, then I will be FREE!!!! That will be my closure.

    • I have walked this path, Sir. It gets better all the time. Righting wrongs is impossible with a sociopath.

  • Wishing you a much better life, without the anchor around your neck. It’s going to get better form here on.

  • I have some words for you. Don’t do it. If you’re No Contact and that is working for you do not seek answers to ANYTHING that a lawyer could handle for you. It’s really not that important. BUT BUT BUT BUT.

    Enjoy your freedom. It’s really not important.

    My D-Day was June 04, 2014. I had Cold Slab O’Meat out of my home by June 17th and the marriage dissolved by September. He paid all costs and I refused him a cent, even to move. The only joint debt we had, I had myself removed from. Three years down the drain. Bye.

    My daughter and I attempted to maintain a relationship with SD, but the price was usually news of instability and drama in the Free Love Bonobo Monkey Circus. Not my circus, but something I must admit that threw me was the revelation from SD in 2016 that there was now a one and a half year old child conceived during my marriage innocently bopping around the Universe. And that she had been told to not tell me at the time.

    That’s a shock. Your first inclination would be to do the math, come up lacking and demand answers from a man who had none two years ago about fucking around.

    I already knew he gave me HPV. I didn’t yet know it would turn into Stage 1 cancer which I’m still getting treatment for. But for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to pin down just when the fucking started.

    I asked my OBGYN about the timeline. The baby was born a week past due, EIGHT MONTHS after DDay. ‘A Uterus is Not an Instant Pot’ she famously quipped.

    So I sent him a long email. Pointed out the timeline and appealed for an honest answer as to when the Adultery became physical. I didn’t even exhort him over the HPV.

    Guess what, frens? He lied. Then the Sluterus, offended that I dare speak aloud against the sham narrative the last several years of her life has been based on, began to stalk me on social media and send me DMs after shyly hiding from my ONE attempt to speak to her while she was fucking a married man. Which we KNOW she was because the Sluterus is Not an Instant Pot.

    Yet tale as old as Time, this is the story they tell. That Baby was conceived on an unmade mattress on GTFO Day. This is their best possible version of the story. I left my wife and blended family on borrowed money from my 80 year old dad and didn’t use protection in a shitty bedsit apartment. I texted a married man 5000 times in a month, attempted to show up at his wife’s family home to physically help him move and then didn’t use protection being fucked on a pile of boxes.

    When that is the best possible version they can muster, does it matter if it’s true?

    I took my dignity (which I had preserved) and shut down all avenues for them to contact me. I stopped making an effort with SD. You can’t be a constant painful reminder of reality to someone who has been forced to live in her dad’s fantasy.

    Trust me. There is nothing you need to know from someone who thought nothing of lying to you daily for months or years.

  • I will add that apologies and admissions of misery also do not necessarily result in the closure we crave:

    Last year, six years after D-Day and four years post-divorce, XW came to me with tears, “I’m sorry’s,” “I made the mistake of my life,” “I’m miserable with the OM,” etc.

    I’d waited six years to hear these. But while it did give me a throb of vindication and a high, these were short-lived. A few days, max. Closure? I guess. But it faded into a vague sadness at the utter waste of a generally good life (I thought) we had.

    I can’t say I’m at “meh” but the intervals between sadness grow longer and longer.

    In any case, I guess I got the trappings of something approaching closure. But if what I heard from my Ex is something you long for and believe it will push you into the Promised Land of Meh? It may not. It’s really about time and distance and living your life.

    • Great words of wisdom. Thank u. I’ve been holding out for those words and some vindication. What a great way to reframe that.

    • I think it would be the same for me if I heard all of that from ex. I would feel vindicated yes, but it wouldn’t really make me happy because it’s too late to make a difference in our relationship. I don’t want him to be miserable I just don’t want him to live happily ever after with Schmoopie. I think the closest thing to a good outcome for me would be if he came to me in a few years and told me things didn’t work out with Schmoopie but I have this new girlfriend now who came along after Schmoopie and I ended things and its going ok and I am generally content. Weird, but maybe then I would feel like he could be a decent person again even if it didn’t help us. I don’t want him to be that decent person for Schmoopie though because she doesn’t deserve it (ie. I am not at meh).

      • I have reached the point that I trust that he sucks. Now I want to trust that he’s miserable. I don’t need to see it, I just want it to be true.
        The problem with “his punishment is that he has to live with himself” is that he’s perfectly fine living with himself! Nothing I can do about it, don’t want to do anything about it. I just want to trust that he’s miserable.

        • X was never “happy” married, so why would that be any different with someone else? Especially the crap people they leave us for 😆. I mean, I never doubted my value. Even after he told me, “Everything about my life is perfect, except for you.” I realized this was a truth in reverse, he’d just stated my truth. As much as X wanted to hurt me (using our kids, dumping dream home, and all the sneaky lying crap behaviors that disordered Cheaters use), I was of value for 28 years. So, yeah, the best karma was that he married his stupid AP. I was freed, only loss was that dishonest toxic spouse, and trust me, when someone you love spends all their time planting hurt this is not the fairytale. Chumps, at first the grieving process is so overwhelming…just know that in time it gets better. Also, own that you were a good spouse and working on that marriage, but it takes two engaged individuals to make it successful.

  • “Escape to the Country” is awesome, and I’ve also run through all the episodes of “Escape to the Continent”! 😁

    Closure? None. 39 year marriage and he poofed with only a text message that he “was done” to mark the end of a near four decades relationship. He “closed” things by erasing me from his memory banks. No explanation due you when you don’t exist.

    • My closure looks like this:

      I win the lottery and escape to the country and only have to text/email him about our daughter. I never have to see him or hear his voice ever again.

      My friends are moving to Scotland (he is a Scot and I told them about Escape to the Country; it inspired them to move back…I now am on the permanent guest list of a Scottish estate!). I can’t tell you how jealous I am and wish I could move there too.

      My husband and I are on the divorce path, which he initiated. I get frequent apologies, expressions of regret and remorse. He refers to the affair as a huge mistake. He moved out in FEB and told me recently how unhappy he is. Even if he was a unicorn, I don’t have the kind of amnesia or superhuman denial required to “reconcile”. An affair is a 10th degree psychological burn. The skin is gone gone gone and will never come back.
      He and my daughter were my only family. He knew that I had no one but them and still poured gasoline on us and set us on fire. Good riddance.

      • My daughter is about to move to Scotland for college. She has also been watching “Escape to the Country” and has gotten me to watch it wit hher a few times. I won’t have a place in a Scottish estate, but maybe a place on the floor in a college dorm. 🙂

      • PS…the lottery scenario is my fantasy closure. In real life this translates into NC as much as possible. I don’t call someone to tell them not to call me me anymore. My closure is being as scarce as possible. I have always hated that TV show ‘The Bachelor’….women vying to be picked! He made his choice whenever it was he stepped out of the marriage. I am not vying for anyone and my closure is staying away from him as much as possible. He is toxic, poisonous, icky, scummy, skanky, yucky, stinky, dirty, slimy, fetid, radioactive waste and I don’t want to get any on me.

  • There is no closure with cheating fuckwits. In the first few months when I failed miserably at no contact, I received an email at work from ex.

    The weekend prior was a little melancholy for me because I went to a place we had gone many times together. I answered his question and proceeded to vomit out all the feelings I had over the weekend while searching for an answer of why he willingly threw away 27 years. (It makes me sick just writing the previous sentence)

    As we all expect here I didn’t get anything close to remorse, closure or a response from a human with empathy. I honestly don’t remember how he replied because it’s not worth remembering.

    The one good thing that came out of it was the realization that I could put lipstick on that pig all day long but he would never change and I would never get anything from him that I wanted or was healthy for me.

    I mastered no contact after that and haven’t texted, emailed or spoken to him in 4 years. Now that IS closure!! Don’t bother Jennifer. There is nothing to see

  • I added this to yesterday’s thread, but it really fits here.

    I found this and think it’s a good way of looking at a lousy situation.

    “And don’t hold on to a bullshitter or a bullshit situation because bullshit begets more bullshit, something that you don’t need in your life. If they’re lying, deceiving, manipulating, chopping, mind effing, tap-dancing all over your boundaries and taking advantage of and abusing you, let go and flush as many times as needed.”

    • Copied and pasted in my Notes on my iPhone
      “Reality Check Chumplady Style” note….thank you!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • No Shit Cupcakes, this quote brings a smile to my face. Especially the “flush as many times as needed…”

      Ex narcopath, during one of our reconciliations spent the night at my apartment. I left for work before he did and get a text from him a couple hours later asking me where my plunger was. I didn’t have one. Oh well, he said, and left on his merry way to work.

      I get home from work and am LIVID to find his giant shit clogging my toilet. I won’t go into the specifics of how I handled it, needless to say I unclogged it and flushed as many times as needed.

      Stupid idiot was flabbergasted that I was angry. I tried to tell him he had a whole “decision tree” of options on how he could have handled it differently but then realized that it was ironically the best metaphor for our relationshit: his taking a giant shit on everything and me frantically trying to clean up the mess…

      Ugh! Flush as many times as needed….took me 5 x but he is now floating in the great beyond …..

      • Ex would pretty often leave the toilet unflushed. I never did that. One evening he was in a foul mood and ranted at me for leaving a giant turd in the toilet. I went up, took a look, came back down and then asked if that was me how come there was cigarette end floating on top of it? I have never smoked. But you win that battle but it only makes them madder because you proved them wrong! Couldn’t resist it though.

        • We lived in a house with two toilets, and ex used to come home from work each day and just as we were about to sit down to dinner, he would go to the toilet right next to the kitchen and do a big stinky shit that we got to enjoy the aroma of as we sat down to dinner. I begged him repeatedly to use the upstairs toilet, but he never relented. Sick pleasure, so grateful never to be experienced again.

  • As I was waiting for him to come to his senses, I came to mine.

    He had left before, when our kids were little, for a howorker nicknamed crazy by her peers. Twice divorced, history of cheating on both her husbands. Shocking that lovefest didn’t work out and he came begging back. Twelve more years with a self centered, entitled, extremely selfish and needy man.

    He left again for DD14’s 20-something asst sports coach in our kids’ Catholic high school while he was volunteer coaching and on the school board. All I can think of now is good luck with that.

    He’s very good at getting his way though. When he wants something or to learn something, he will pull out all the stops til he gets it or masters it. He’s not lazy. I know I’m no match for him and his delusional thinking and rationalizations. Best avoid him at all costs. I don’t ever want to get trapped in that life again!!

  • There are many ways to end a relationship. The ways in which we become aware of the character disorder often come years of investing, sacrificing and planning a future.

    And one cannot help untangling the sheer maliciousness behind their actions. Oh, the move was to live closer to the OW; you dropped me off so you would know where I was; you wanted another child. Aren’t we supposed to be able to depend on the person we partnered with? The ‘IT’ we are expected to get over is in fact the con, a lifetime of living around a third persons schedule, multiple hookups, the double life.

    Stop looking for closure, believe in monsters. Acceptance is facing the facts. The person you loved was a monster capable of unthinkable actions. You know the truth.

    Fill that void with sharing joy with authentic people.

  • Closure requires honesty. Honesty would preclude cheating because an honest person would tell their spouse that the relationship isn’t working for them and either wholeheartedly participate in marital counseling or pull the plug on it straightaway.

    Cheaters aren’t brave enough to be honest.

    Cheaters want everything and don’t wish to give up anything, or anyone.

    Never bargain with a cheater and that’s what “closure” or hopium is all about. That this time the cheater will be honest. Nope.

  • STBXH doesn’t know that I have a binder full of printed emails from the secret email account he created in the last few months of 2017 to keep in touch with OW while he was at home with me to supposedly work out our marriage. He left for good after Christmas, claiming that those months proved to him that he is leaving because the marriage is simply over, not because of another woman (impression management). He went running to her and is still with her (as far as I know as he keeps his place to house the kids on the days he has them). He lies to everyone about the nature of the relationship – they were only ever friends who just talked – no he’s not really seeing her, just hanging out sometimes – no he did not have an affair. He tells people that I was controlling and that I emasculated him. He tells people that I have exaggerated the affair relationship and warns them to watch out what I say because I have a “perspective” that isn’t accurate.

    I want closure – that final conversation when I reveal that I have these emails, know the truth of the extent of their relationship, and have the proof of the depth of his lies all in his own writing. I want to let him know that his family has been privy to key emails and so have a few of his friends (or the wives of the friends who are friends with me). Everyone knows that he’s a liar. They have known all this year, which is why everyone is so disgusted with him. He looks them in the eye and flat-out lies. Everyone has held back on letting him know what they know because they want to see me settle the separation agreement without complications.

    We’re in the middle of hammering out our legal separation agreement. Once his name is on the dotted line, I will reveal. Perhaps even let him know that if he dares allow this woman around our children, I will make these emails public (not sure if I want to go this route though) – or send some to her parents so that her family knows that this has been an on-going illicit affair since late 2016. I’ve also got all her financial records (both business and personal) for all of 2016 and early 2017. Hubby was doing all her accounting on our home computer throughout the affair (I made copies just after DD and came across this information on the computer before he deleted it). She’s embroiled in a nasty divorce and is trying to get custody of the kids she lost (ah, but she’s a “good person”). She’s been stalling on providing financial records to her ex’s lawyer for over a year now, yet copies of these records are sitting on my computer. She hasn’t paid any support for her children in the over two years that she has been separated. But hey, coincidentally, her husband is a controlling person too and he abused her too. Well, maybe this controlling ex-wife (chump me) will see fit to provide a fellow controlling ex-spouse (chump ex of OW) the records he needs to move along his divorce from his cheater.

    My closure comes from the opportunity of dropping my own bomb. I don’t hope for remorse from him. I don’t hope for apologies from him. I picked me dance for over a year. Over 20 marriage counselling sessions, a couple’s therapy weekend, two different counsellors, an on-line RIC marriage course, a half-dozen marriage saving books read, praying novenas in church for my marriage, the involvement of both of our religious, pro-marriage families…and the whole time he maintained some form of contact with the OW that he denies but the emails prove otherwise. It may not be very Christian of me to scheme in this way, but I want my moment to hose down the spackle of his image management. Hey, if I’m going to be accused of being controlling and ruining his life, then I might as well get some satisfaction in seizing control of the narrative from right under his nose and achieving my own measure of closure on this mess.

    But then, I have moments when I rethink this whole plan and wonder if it’s better to just quietly sail on – I know it’s the classier way to go…

    • Your story = my story. Almost exactly. I have a load of stuff like his phone bills, crappy posts on insta proclaiming twue wuv – enough to ensure he is guilty m’lud. I keep it so I don’t forget the madness or on the very small off-chance someone I admire starts down the ‘are you sure he had an affair’ route. Don’t go public with it, there is just nothing to gain. You know it, your friends know it, he knows it. I have been dying to control the narrative. Their narrative is totally out of my control which is maddening at times (he blanked me out of all social media existence from the minute he met her I only now realise). So maddening but so what. You have to be a certain sort of person to bother to do that stuff. Rise above.

      Somehow he’ll turn this back on you and it won’t give you the peace you think it will. Having this info gives you peace in reassuring you that you are not basing your presumptions on things you ‘think’ happened. Best do a little collage with copies of them all in a round shape, paint some numbers on it and use it as a dart board.

      • I agree, I don’t think you’ll get the satisfaction out of it you are hoping for. I might think about sending Schmoopie’s financials to her STBX though. It might just be enough for your ex to KNOW that you have all that to scare the shit out of him. Another very valid point is that in the case of my ex, I wouldn’t want to poke that bear. He was dangerous, but stupid and dangerous!

    • “Well, maybe this controlling ex-wife (chump me) will see fit to provide a fellow controlling ex-spouse (chump ex of OW) the records he needs to move along his divorce from his cheater.”

      Please do so.

    • Maybe you don’t go public with it or use it as a threat, but sending the financial documents to your fellow chump might be in order. Check with your lawyer first though to see if there is a way to do it without getting into legal trouble yourself. I can see where that could be an issue and you don’t need that even if it is to help out another chump. You could probably at least send him some of those lovey douvy e-mails, however, if that helps bolster his certainty of the affair.

    • KEEP THE HARDCOPY! Proof positive! Ace up your sleeve! SMOKING GUN! I had a very similar situation. Once he knew I had the documentation- the game changed in my favor. He is scared of me (which is totally surreal!) If your ex has been working hard on having a “false self” for the public, he will be terrified, as they don’t want their true selves revealed. Mines looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life!

    • Well I spent months like you collecting so much info (texts, emails, money transfer receipts, etc.) after I found the long-distance affair had started back up again in March. I got to do my Big Reveal at end of June. I expected silence but STBXW just exploded and actually physically assaulted me!

      But I reckon it was worth as like @CactusFlower said, they now realise you have all the info on their true selves. I’ve made several copies stored safely “in the cloud” and won’t ever be deleting this. Something nice for our children to inherit

  • My idiot died. I thought about closure for the first few months. I then realized, if he admitted everything, took responsibility and was truly sorry, nothing would be different. Everything would still have happened. The closure for me is to not have him in my head for a moment. He’s someone I used to know. Bye Bye, closure!

  • I thought that I would get closure when my X died of cancer and I was doing ok, until I found out about the secret funeral with my children grandchildren and various other family members. I still haven’t spoken to 2 of. My children. The are adults they knew this would hurt me but went ahead anyway. I know his sister was a major influence but the thoughtlessness that I wouldn’t know so it was acceptable. I think but the hurt will always be there, it’s betrayal all over again. One kid said I was upset because I felt they chose him over me and that’s not what they intended to do. It’s so much more than that just the thought of that whore anywhere near my family is just sickening. Geekmom. As you say 39 years and poof! Even from the grave the fuckers continue to hurt us.

    • How painful SilverQueen. It’s the duplicity that’s unnerving. I’ve struggled financially for years since I threw his ass out and divorced the loser.

      I asked nothing of my adult children and took pride in the fact I supported my granddaughter a son in college, and my adult daughters start up their business.

      The shame is on them when despite being a good parent they chose to lie and disrespect you under the guise of protecting you from their poor decisions. I’ve detached with love from my oldest whose daughter I’ve supported since birth. The other daughter is leaving a cheater and has lied to me in ways that are unacceptable.

      Children will and do identify with abusers. What they fail to understand is that it’s not about picking ME; it’s about honesty and respect. Without these there is no relationship.

      So sorry you had to deal with that on a grand scale.

      • Doing me, thank you for supporting me, I feel quite torn about D erything. My friend says I should let it go and contact daughters, otherwise he wins in the end and destroys the family. I did write asking for an explanation but to no avail. Son says that they feel bad but don’t know what to say. Frankly I don’t know what to say either. Part of me wants to forgive and move on part of me wants to just wants to walk away. I feel a bit numb, it’s been 16 months since DDay and I just feel like I can’t or don’t want any more chaos in my life. These people are all adults not teenagers so what is the point. I’m tired of trying to explain my hurt if they do t understand then what’s the point?

        • Don’t explain anything. Try telling them what you expect going forward. This is what I did with the daughter going through a divorce with a cheater.

          As for my oldest I’m no longer willing to allow her to derail me with purpousful triggers, denying my reality, lying and calling me delusional.

          After taking her call last week was met with vague responses and justifications for her behavior.

          I’ve learned to stop with the victim role she plays. If one can plan a ten day vacation when they are broke they certainly can attend an amazing 17 year olds performance that costs 15.00.

          I’m sad for the loss of this relationship. I’ve been her strongest enabler. And dad took her to OW houses when she was young but old enough to remember.

          At 61 I’m accused of making it all about me. It’s about fucking time after raising three children and a granddaughter. Yes, raising my hand. Doing Me!

  • Yes, this is what I was trying to say yesterday to Rock Star Wife.

    1. What do you WANT from the cheater?
    2. What does closure look like for you?
    3. Is it even remotely realistic?

    1. If you are honest – look into your heart: you want soothing, love, apologies, morphing into perfect partner, more apologies, happy ever after. “No I don’t, Lola! I really am over them! It’s just that …” Pfft. Whatever.

    2. Revenge. The karma bus packed with oversized and hungry alligators. Public humiliation of Roman Empire proportions. Impoverishment, STDs, and alienation of affection.

    3. No.

    And then you slowly realise that leaving a cheater is about gaining a life, not gaining closure.

  • I’m not sure closure is the right word for what us chumps are searching for when we think that talking to our cheaters is going to help us move on from the hurt they caused. For me…..I believe I thought I could get him to see/feel my pain. I thought he would see the error of his ways and that I would instantly see his regret.

    None of these things is possible when you are dealing with someone who would so carelessly throw you (and children) away for a new side piece of freaky sex. This is really all it boils down to. They really aren’t that deep so don’t expect emotions and connection. Clearly that isn’t in their make up!

    • Yes, Kimmy we are expecting humane treatment from a disordered person. And for that lacking just ONCE I’d like people in general to call them out on their shit when they summarize everything into, “I loved her but wasn’t IN love with her.” No fucker, you abandoned your family and are a cheating coward.

  • Closure. Interesting. I think it was ex who wanted closure. He wanted, after the fact, to have a nice tidy closure on our relationship (not divorce mind you, that takes work), putting it to bed and getting my blessing on it so he could run off into the sunset with Schmoopie conscious free. For me, closure meant initiating and following through on the divorce (i.e. accepting that reconciliation wasn’t possible and my marriage was truly over). All of the bargaining, raging, questioning, seduction attempts, reasoning (totally pointless with someone who is delusional) on my part all happened when I was still smoking the hopium and imagining that reconciliation might be possible, not when I was seeking closure.

    Ex is the one who wanted other types of closure. On the night he told me he decided to move out because “Schmoopie means the world to me” he suddenly got horny and decided he wanted to make love and stay the night in my room (he had moved to a different room a few weeks before). I was traumatized at his decision to move out but of course I slept with him and let him spend the night. I was still smoking the hopium. I had gone weeks with him rebuffing my physical advances because “I just don’t desire you anymore” but suddenly he wanted me. We made love and it was successful. “see, you can still desire me”. Somehow in my pitiful brain I thought that he would see that there was still hope for us. Nope. A few days later when I tried to come on to him again it was “That’s just not where we are Chumpinrecovery”. So what was different about that night? I get it now. That was his answer to closure. That was his final goodbye. That was the tidy bookend to our 25 year relationship. “See, it ended on a good note. Now we can part as friends”. A couple of weeks later he gave me his wedding ring and told me I should keep it in a safe place at the family property (my side) in Maine which is where we had our first kiss, got engaged and got married. I was planning a trip to see my parents who were there at the time. He was bewildered when I got upset. He probably thought he was being all sentimental, “keep the ring in a place that used to have meaning to us”, like he could put our entire 25 year relationship into a box on a shelf in Maine. I was upset because all I saw was him wanting me to put his wedding ring in a location thousands of miles away where it would be difficult to retrieve. What better way to tell me he was through and didn’t want to be married to me anymore (but of course he still wasn’t going to file for divorce). A couple of months after that he gave me a book for Christmas along with what I am sure he thought was a sweet, sentimental break up letter that basically said “it’s been fun, hope we’ll both be happy without each other”. It felt like a middle school break up letter. I think all of those things were his attempts to find closure and end our relationship in positive feel good ways. The problem is, it was too little too late because he had already blown up our marriage through betrayal, disrespect, callousness and stupidity. I finally showed him what closure really looks like by filing (technically jointly but I am the one who did it) and following through on divorce. That’s your closure buddy even if it doesn’t “feel good”. It’s too late to get away without me thinking you’re a jerk.

    • I’m gonna be sick. That’s an attempt at a ‘nice’ break up where we can wistfully have longing for the good of the past but see there is no way forward and make poetic statements about the same that are quite frankly plain psychotic and hurtful.

      Some classics from my jerk (these were pre me finding out about OW but after he told me he had ‘found his voice’ and was moving out. Once I confronted about OW he became vile).

      – Love Never Dies

      – These kisses are gratitude, gratitude for all that you’ve done for this family

      – In brief ‘break up sex’ period which was a bit manic he suggested I had had an ‘awakening’ or something like a ‘re-awakening’ as if I’d been sexually ‘dried up’ until that point. Maybe you had to just make the flipping effort to try to show some interest one me or actually sleep in the same room with me instead of someone else you jerk!

      Like being in a shit Mills & Boon novel from hell.

    • I know my ex narc cheater would address an empty chair saying:
      “See what a coward she is”
      “She can’t face me”
      “She did this all along the marriage”
      “This is what I had to deal with”
      “I was always left alone”
      “She’s immature”
      “She can’t keep a promise”
      And a lot of other fabrications…
      So what I did was delay the so-called closure date…tomorrow…then tomorrow…then tomorrow.
      What could I do if I was really busy? I found a lot of other more interesting things to do. For example my nails, then read a book, then buy ice cream, then I was somewhere out of town, etc.
      Sure he must have said I was making a fool of him. He would have said something negative about me anyway. So at least I produced suspence in cheater’s two wrecked neurons floating in empty little brain. And he couldn’t say I refused, I was just busy. The unavailable Chump. Haha.

    • To chumpinrecovery: your ex wanted closure, but he’s the “see, you can still desire me” type.
      All he wanted was you to remain hooked. The nice breakup is a scam to keep good memories in order for him to come back and you not to say bad things about him.

    • I had a boyfriend in college whose father had cheated on my boyfriend’s mother and was now married to the OW. When the father left the mother, the night before he initiated fantastic mind blowing sex with her as some sort of pity move, a kind of “now you’ll have this great memory of me to hold on to.” (What kind of father tells his son a story like this?)
      Well, boyfriend didn’t cheat on me, but repeatedly he decided that I wasn’t “good enough” for him (didn’t look like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, I guess), but twice after he broke it off he came running back and I took him back. (Really I think that the problem was that I was his first, and he just couldn’t get over the idea that he needed sex with more than one woman.) The night before he told me for the third time he wanted to break it off? Guess what he did, and then he told me the story about his father the next morning, and looked at me as if I, too, would be grateful he’d left me with such a good memory so I’d have something to hold onto-apparently the rest of my lonely life. Next thing I knew, he came running back, and wanted me to take him back because this same father told him he was a fool to leave me. I told him I wasn’t in a relationship with his father, but with him, and I would never be able to trust him again. It hurt like hell but it was the right thing to do and I never regretted it.
      When my stbx started his games, the first thing I did was say, “I want a divorce.” Unfortunately, I didn’t understand about the sad-sausage and love-bombing hoovering, and fell right for it. For far too long. Now he wants to pretend like we split, after 35 years of marriage, because “we’re just happier apart.” That’s not the reason we split, but it turns out he’s right–at least about me. I’m much happier without him. (But I still hope he’s miserable…as I said above).

  • I think this is the real problem with reconciliation too. When you start to wreckoncile, you think you can reach a place of closure with the Fuckwit. You can Get Past It. You can Move On. But that would require them being honest. It would require them working at the relationship.

    So instead you end up with a lot of half-assery and blame-shifting. The last time I tried to wreckoncile with Cheater (after he tearfully proclaimed he wanted me back), he immediately started wanting to know what I was going to do to show him I had moved on and was no longer hung up on his cheating. And he wanted to know when I would be excited about having sex with him again. That was the sum total of his interest. He had no interest at all in admitting his guilt beyond mumbling a few things about having “made some mistakes,” and he wanted me to say that I was at fault too for various vague offenses that included (and I’m not making this up) failing to realize sooner that he was cheating when he made it so obvious that I should have known. And when I told him that was insane, he was deeply offended and sniffled about how it was hard to be with me when I was so stubborn and hurtful.

    So either way you go, you never get closure. But at least when you leave a cheater, the lack of closure isn’t staring at you across the dinner table.

    But this is what those reconciliation books NEVER TELL YOU. They make it sound certain that Cheater will realize what he did, be ashamed, work to make the relationship better… and you can put it behind you and move on to better things. You never can put it behind you, because they do none of those things. You end up in Chumpy Limbo Hell, trying to tell yourself that underneath all the blame-shifting and insane excuses, maybe they really do feel some remorse. And it takes industrial-grade spackle to even imagine that. In your heart, you know it’s only a matter of time before they do it again.

  • When I tried to get closure all I got was the ‘if you were a Christian you would believe in the principals of forgiveness and reconciliation.’ This from a man who hated the rare times we went to church, and would make a point of reading the church bulletin instead of paying any attention to the service.

    Asking for closure only gives them more opportunity to blame shift.

  • I don’t even remember the exact moment that I lost all hope. I’m sure it was intertwined with a million other painful moments. Or maybe it came at the end when it started to hurt less? I don’t even know. It’s like I felt hope when I thought about it and then I didn’t feel it. Just can’t pinpoint the transition.

    I still cared, though. For a long time. I cared about how foolish he’d made me look and about letting his whores know they were busted and that they were each only one of many. And I did, with no regrets. But then I stopped caring, too. I can’t pinpoint when that happen, either, I just know that I eventually realized that I didn’t care as much anymore. Then I realized that I barely cared. Now, I think the only thing that’s causing me to hold on to that one last, stubborn morsel of caring is habit. I’ve been with him for over half of my life and I know that old habits die hard. I just look forward to the day that even that is gone. But hope? Yeah, that’s definitely gone. And I definitely don’t want any more “closure.” It only rehashes the old and dirty sins of the cheater and prompts his/her own stones about how you weren’t perfect, either.

    It hurts a little less every day and that’s way better closure than waiting for him to finally take responsibility or genuinely admit how awful he was to me. I’m letting go.

  • The best closure is indifference. It happens when you stop seeking compassion, remorse, or reason from the cheater. Yawn….moving on….

    • because indifference gives the cheater nothing to manipulate and cheaters aren’t capable of compassion or remorse (because they have a weird empathy deficiency) and don’t make decisions based on reason- everything is about “the feels”.

  • You would have a better chance getting closure with a burglar who robbed your house.

    These cheaters are a level of monster that you can’t even imagine.

  • I don’t want closure for the cheating. I was so glad to be rid of him when he cheated that it was a relief. I can’t get closure re the physical violence. I genuinely believed he had a decent soul, and still do to some extent, but the absolute rages were frightening (out of the blue) and made a million times worse by the booze. I want off THAT merry-go-round! How could he, when I was the driving force in our marriage, got the good jobs that allowed him all his toys (although he later got a good job) and I did every single fucking thing in the home. Maybe it was that he was just inadequate, but I will never forgive nor understand the abuse. Schmoopie left him after 3 years telling people round town that she had to because she was afraid for her life. On that I agree with her 100%. The latest Schmoopie, I don’t know. I don’t believe he will ever change but being back in America and closer to family who could “find out” might make him tone it down a bit. As for news of him, I just don’t want to know. He is one bloody car wreck after another (both literally and figuratively). She can deal with it now. I don’t wish him ill because I don’t want that for my kids but I so wish I could get this “trying to understand the violence thing” out of my head!

    • Violence is what the disordered turn to when the usual three mindfuck channels no longer achieve the desired control. I only experienced that in the final chapter of my marriage after the jerk knew I was onto his shenanigans, but that may have been because he did charm/rage/self-pity so well that he did not find it necessary before then. Perhaps your abuser was less adept at the more subtle manipulation techniques?

    • Attie

      What I’ve come to understand from growing up with the rages and violence you’ve described is that each and every year it gets worse. Abusers like your X are weak individuals who are quite possibly sociopaths. As you can see ‘It’s what they do’ regardless of the love and support you provided.

      The way to get off that merry go round of still believing in those good parts is with a therapist who gets trauma bonding. Recently, my fucked up head led me down the path of believing in the good vs bad parts of my aging father who lives in squalor and is alone. He attempted to guilt me into paying his car payment and when that didn’t work he tried to sell me my mothers furniture.

      I used to tell my children there’s good in everyone. Not so with these types. So do the math and ask yourself what percentage of the time would be acceptable for your children to tolerate abuse?

      The higher you raise your bar the further you get from the merry go round.

      • You’re right in that the abuse got worse over time. Started with pushing, then hitting, then because he was a marine and knew how to fight, tripping me over backwards. The most frightening was when he pinned me to the bed by sitting on my chest and holding my arms down with his knees. Then threatening me with (his) broken whisky bottle saying “I’ll do it you know, and I’ll do the time for it”. Turns out he wasn’t so brave after all when my oldest took a swing at him. He was stunned. So I guess they are only brave on those weaker than them. He was so “brave” when the judiciary here were possibly going to imprison him for the domestic violence (and all the other convictions) that he was just going to skip off back to the US, which is what he did in the end. A weak bully, yeah that’s him. Although I didn’t wish it on her, I felt vindicated when she spewed about the violence. I also don’t wish it on the latest but doubt that he will change.

  • When I was hoping for closure (and not getting it) this thought struck me one day – what would it change? Would I feel vindicated? Like I’d been given more value as a person? Would closure erase the devastation I’d already felt? Would I change for the better because of closure from him? All my answers led back to “closure changes nothing.”

    I read once that one of the most powerful things you can do to bring you peace is to create your own mission statement and then consistently try to live it. Mine is, “Be a positive light in a dark world filled with woe”. That kind of closure – choosing to live in a way opposite than that of my adversaries- feels like freedom and truth to me.

    • I like your attitude. Mine is pretty simple – I’m doing one day and one foward step at a time.

      The X isn’t interested in how I feel, what I think or even if I’m functioning. My closure, my resolution. my peace is all that matters to me.

    • No Rain, I love your post. Thanks very much for it. It inspired me to think of a personal mission to focus on for the remainder of my life. I feel this will be the key to truly moving on from my unhappy past full of liars, users and abusers (starting with my own parents).

    • I was at a workshop this weekend where we came up with mission statements for our selves.
      Mine is – I create a world of Joy through encouragement.

    • That’s super awesome, Rain. CL advice is so practical. I read it every day. It has helped me look at my emotions from a step back, and thus begin to sort out what my VALUES are. The question “is this relationship acceptable to you?” tortures me. The answer was, and is, no.

      So. What next?

      If I value kindness, and it is my mission to extend kindness, how can I continue to allow myself to be treated unkindly? That’s a different kind of hypocrisy than the accusation STBX levels, “well, you’re not perfect either.”

      I want to be kind. I have to start with myself. CL is great at telling us what to do, how to think, how to process emotions. And that makes space for our personhood to emerge. “Oh, hey, hi there, Not A Thing. You’re pretty great, you know? Loyal, devoted, selfless, competent, resilient, forgiving. You deserved better.”

      • Yes, this! “You are great and deserve a good life.” My son said that while we have been struggling financially and living hard, it is way preferable to living the dream with someone who is disordered. Sometimes crap happens to good people. It’s on us to get up, brush ourselves off, and move forward. When X began his ILYBINILWY speech I knew the marriage was over. With 20/20 vision now, I didn’t realize how much of my one precious life was being wasted on a man who did nothing in our marriage but try to destroy every thing I valued. Going forward, I will never settle for less than and will pay attention to my gut.

        • Drew,
          You reminded me of some events in my life with my ex-boyfriend on which I felt as though my values of compassion were regarded with contempt. As an animal rights advocate and an aspiring Buddhist raised Catholic in a family of mostly bleeding hearts, I once, to prevent him/her from drowning, scooped a bee out of a pool as it struggled in the water next to me and, to prevent him/her from suffocating, I carefully removed from foam a little bug that landed on the foam of my cup of cappuccino and got stuck. Both times I sensed contempt/ridicule from my boyfriend, who came from a family of guys who loved to fish and killed the fish and indirectly the live bait they put on hooks. I have not had anything even remotely close to a relationship or mutually very enjoyable date since my boyfriend left a year ago for work subordinate, so I don’t imagine myself ever finding an appealing guy who wants to be with me. But in the outside chance that I do, I will not date him if he dislikes me or holds me in contempt for following what I consider noble principles (e.g., compassion for all sentient beings).

  • Give YOURSELF closure. You don’t need the cheater to do it for you … you will either get self-serving lies or some other form of manipulation and impression management. For me, closure sounded something like this:

    Self, he married you because he loved that you loved him and put him first and made him feel special and did things that made his life easier. He didn’t love you. He betrayed you frequently and repeatedly for thirty years because he wanted to do so. It was fun for him and he thought he was smart enough to not get caught and he didn’t care whether it would hurt you. He walked away without a backwards glance because the jig was up and he knew it. He has always and will continue to sleep comfortably at night, because he does not share your values. He is gone and that is a good thing. Make the next 30 years fabulous, because you cannot go backwards and redo. Closure.

    We have the power to move on all by ourselves. There really aren’t any difficult unanswered questions. S/he did it. S/he sucks. We are lucky to finally know the truth. Now lets find ways to fully enjoy our new found freedom! The skies the limit!

    • Dixie Chump, so much my story. Sometimes i just feel sad at the waste of my wonderful gifts to be spent on a fuckwit. BF that I just broke up with turned out to be a manipulator, liar and user too, but was a totally different guy so I was fooled into believing I was safe with him. not so. He tried to manipulate me into him buying half of my house( at the lower value currently happening in a soft market) so he could will it to his daughter. Even then it took me a couple of weeks to wake up to what he was trying to do ( he still denies it–it was to “help” me and was just an investment for him ya right–I would lose my house–little doubt of that, and thanks to the narc/sociopath ex I already lost all of my retirement savings. No guy is getting my house, that is a for sure. Now I do me… hopefully I’ll get to meh…

      • For what it’s worth … you did the right thing. To set you up to lose your house under any circumstance is just plain wrong … he was taking advantage of a vulnerable person. Perhaps he would also like to take life insurance out on you? Glad you saw him for what he is. Lots of nice men out there … one day you will find one.

  • You can’t get closure from a cheater. By seeking closure, you’re opening yourself up to a mindfuck. Any contact is opening yourself up to a mindfuck.

    For me, closure was ending the relationship and immediately going total no contact. That door was closed. No more mindfucks.

    But what about unanswered questions? Why would I ever expect him to do the honest thing when the relationship was ending? He was never honest before.

    IMO, closure is removing them from your life.

  • “Closure” is just a feel-good word for wanting to pick the scab some more.

    Leave it alone and let the damn scar form. Move on.

  • I gave myself closure. I told him he was dead to me. When I see him out, I ignore him because he really no longer exists in my world.

  • Entitled users don’t give closure, but I got other things. A feeling of validation when the dumbass later proclaimed that I was “always the only one” for him in a Hoover letter after the OWife left him. Satisfaction when I realized that the home I bought for myself felt a whole lot homier and more peaceful than the old marital homestead ever did. Relief when I read his obituary and knew that there would be no more victims.

  • In the months after DD I certainly wanted to know ‘why?’, but eventually I got to the point of just wanting ex to tell the truth. Discovering just how easily and blatantly he lied was by far the most difficult thing to come to terms with. Obviously this man actually expected me to believe the bullshit he was feeding me. I began to ‘question’ every aspect of our 40 years together. Getting far away from him was the only way to get ‘closure’.

  • Take it from me chumps. There is no closure, there never was closure and there never will be closure, for anything!
    We had “come to a new agreement” about porn use in marriage. I can’t tolerate it. It kills love, kindness, intimacy, patience and harmony. After the millionth blowup and subsequent agreement, acting on a hunch i placed a recording device in a place that i knew would record all goings-on in our small apartment. He dropped me off at the train station as usual and we talked about intimacy when i got home in the evening…i get home 7 hours later and scroll thru the recording while he showered. An hour and 20 minutes of him jerking off, about 30 minutes after he got home from dropping me off at train!!!
    I watched his mannerisms carefully in the evening and after he had initiated an argument i asked “so, do you masturbate in the bed or on the couch”. Bald faced lying to my face “i haven’t done that since our last agreement!”. Caught him jizz-handed. Disgusting. Combed through my hair with the same hand he jacked off in! 🤢🤢They’ll just lie and deny!
    It ended with me going on a 30 minute rant in the morning while he pretended to sleep and throwing all my anger and frustration his way. I could see him rolling his eyes behind his eyelids!!!
    Porn kills love! If you have a selfish porn cheater don’t ever think they’ll change. They are some of the worst kind of emotional abusers. They’ll say its normal, even good for the relationship! Meanwhile it’s just another boundary to be broken.
    Our sex life is usually unfulfilling to me, because it’s 5 minutes of wham bam fuckyou ma’am! No foreplay, no intimacy, nothing to work with in the sack. But he’ll sure get his jollies on the regular for an hour plus! Vomitous!!
    This is just one thing in the long list of memories of non-closure. Raining questions of “what’s the allure? What happened to our agreement? What happened to builiding intimacy?” And you’re just met with an annoyed expression or total and utter silence. It’s like you can literally see your life force being sucked out of you til you give up in exasperation. Don’t fall for the Thief and their charming tricks. It’s all one big mindfuck to lull you into compliant.

    • You use the present tense when you talk about your sex life with him. I hope you aren’t still living with this.

    • The following is NOT a comment on pornography per se, if adult informed consent is involved. I don’t really care if seven people want to get naked, roll in peanut butter and cheerios, watch Tony the Tiger and all sleep together. Note that informed consent part.

      However. More and more evidence that porn use *causes* problems in an intimate partnership, rather than being the result of them. Causes ED. Causes brain changes.

      That aside, if the two (or more) people in the relationship have an agreement about that kind of exclusivity, breaking deal erodes trust. Period the end.

      I’m preaching at myself, really. Because of the “porn isn’t that bad every man on earth looks at it stop being a prude” noise. But the relational misery in our marriage goes back to the month three years ago when he started looking at it. I had clocked that in my mind, and he got busted on DD#1 he independently confirmed it.

      But porn isn’t reallllllly cheating, so I had to face up to my own contribution to our problems, consider how I caused him to cheat, deal with my own insecurities blah blah wreck un blah silly a shun fucking blah, setting me up for DD#2.

      But I still hate it, it makes me feel like shit. He made a big deal all these many years about how we were virgins when we married, the specialness of our sexual exclusivity. It was all a lie. That I was devoted to; that sense of uniqueness and oneness was my north star. Except it was just a passing plane, apparently.

      Mg, honey, I hope you’re taking steps to get out. I sometimes felt I didn’t belong here because it was “just” porn. And not even hard core porn, no web cams or degrading videos. He is warm, funny, handsome, involved in charity work, everyone adores him. Not A Thing is just oversensitive and must just be really bitchy at home, eh?

      I’ve got your back. Email me privately if you want notathing@protonmail.com

      DD#2 scared him silly, and he got some fancy schmancy prevention software and an accountability partner and our marriage counselor suggested he see someone for sexual addiction. That session was worth every blessed penny, because she said it in a way that didn’t use those exact words. Basically, if porn is no big deal, why are you willing to throw away a twenty year marriage for it? So get some help.

      He is probably now a dry drunk. He still exhibits all the behaviors of the other cheaters here. He’s selfish and mean. I’m still in purgatory. Is this relationship acceptable to me? No. Is this the father of my children, a good provider, the only man I’ve ever been with, co creator of our family? Yes. Same question to me, I guess… am I willing to end an twenty year marriage over porn? Do I want to financially devastate our family, move my kids out of their schools, work more, see them less? No.

      I filed for divorce in February, but had it continued. I’m a wimp. I’ll get stronger.

  • Chumps want closure. Cheaters have a vested interest in avoiding closure. Chumps want fidelity. Cheaters have a vested interest in avoiding fidelity. Chumps want transparency. Cheaters have a vested interest in obfuscating. Chumps want accountability. Cheaters have a vested interest in weasel maneuvers.

    Do you see a pattern emerging here? For most of us, satisfactory closure goes on the trash heap of reasonable expectations along with everything else cheaters feel entitled to avoid and withhold.

  • We should do a day on “The Corollary(s) of MEH”. I think many chumps liked math in school,…
    so from Wiki (they need $$ BTW)…

    Corollary: In mathematics, a corollary is a theorem connected (by a short proof) to an existing theorem.

    OK Now, think about how that statement applies to adultery and the process we go through as Chumps. We see Evidence and know something’s wrong. The Gut Eureka moment. (Eureka literally means ‘I have found it!’) Existing theorem, yeh?

    Time goes forward,… then Another nugget of the fuckwits’ sheer intellectual brilliance demonstrated in their superior project (cake) management skills comes across the table at you. New Theorem, Yeh?

    Pretty soon, there’s a stream of inter-related theorems that point to the ‘certainty’ of the original one being Absolutely correct. So what was the original theorem? My Gut knew xw was Exiting/Transforming. (Neurochemical Interference- in her (OM, plural)- detected as an anomaly to my normal pheromone detection wiring? Yeh. Probably So.)

    In school My teachers would always advise me to “Go with Your Gut Response”. If you find a question you can’t answer, SKIP IT. Maybe you’ll have time to come back to it. I kinda look at The Hurtful Hopium questions that come out of my soul in this light now. When those thoughts pop in, I try to reset my head back to Theorem 1. It helps me separate a little further,..with thoughts like, “Dude, You’ve got to restring your Yamaha. Tonight is open jamm. Genuine People to observe, befriend, hug and learn from. Healing. Laughs. Life! NOPE! Be lazy, play the Martin tonight. I’d forgotten how good it sounds”. You get my point.

    Now,… How does ALL this relate to “Closure and Hopium” for Me. A lot of you with kids will live a certain hell and readjustment period deprogramming from your special Fuckwit. I see it here and on another site that has helped me immensely. Sadly Sometimes, I’m reminded by a favorite lyric on mine, “Sometimes It ain’t always better up the road”. OK ML,That’s life. Adapt and Improvise (Clint Eastwood). Adultery kills. Ask the suicide victims (their family). Because, Injustice. That’s the level of seriousness an A causes in some. It’s Serious Shit to Me when I review Reality from that perspective. That gets my ire up when I think like that, but I also hear self talk and let myself hear what GOOD genuine people I know have said about my Character. Those warm whispers in my conscience mind’s ear.

    I see others that have a self preservation ‘breaker switch’ that trips and fries immediately breaking the connection with Fuckwit. I think we all get to that at some point. Mentally it becomes to heavy a burden to carry when the lights of the world filter in, and we get to do the comparisons about what Good looks like. Now we’ve got RADAR though. Good Trade for a Fuckwit? Fucking A it IS. Learning to live with me again and learning who I am. Discovering me. Watching other new people liking Me. You know, those self validating moments. Also the Work part. What are my Boundaries? Define THEM. Grasp hold of them. Be a Jedi.

    In hindsight, My “Closure” began the moment I found the Chump Lady Method of Thought Reprogramming. Then I started to see others, on other sites- carrying the same anti-RIC message. Self-proselytizing prophets of The Truth and the Light. Announcing from the rooftops the tools of recovery and the Empirical nature of the mentally disordered and deranged. I don’t know this person any longer. And I certainly don’t want to ever meet another like this one.

    • That was incredible. Thank you.

      I get so lost in my emotions sometimes. I don’t want to ‘trust that they suck’ because it goes against my nature to condemn people. I like the theory/evidence model. And your compassion for those of us that have kids.

      I so concur that we know on a physiological level that something is different. And we know it because humans deeply, deeeeeeeeply bond, especially when we’ve grown a man’s babies in our own body.

      I feel like a conjoined twin that keeps rescheduling the surgery. Both might live. Both might die. There will be voyeurs and critics and nurses and a shocking loss of blood in all cases.

      I filed in February, but had it continued. I need a circuit breaker.

      • ((((That Is Not A Thing)))

        …it goes against my nature to condemn people…

        Me Too. I’m not practiced at it..That’s where boundary management should be my focus. We’re empaths of sorts. The YIN balance to the YANG outlaws we chose. Although we see evil in the world, we choose to carry the light. We volunteer our help. That is how we are Mighty. We’ll learn.

        …we know on a physiological level…
        I think we know on every level except an intellectual one. Bio-chemical, Emotional, Psychological, Spiritual, All Levels. The Mind is the last hurdle and the heart is very slow to catch up.

        …Both might live. Both might die. …
        Both happen. We learn to live without the person we thought we knew through and through. We breathe another day. Our hearts die a little or a lot. Our hard forged idea of what a ‘mate or partner is” dies. But one day,…after massive exposure to loving, authentic people- we start to see where we were wrong. I’m OK with being wrong. That is something I can forgive Myself for.

  • The only way I would sleep with my XH is if he wore two condoms and left $5000 on the night stand when he left. Lol. I’ve always bristled at the word ‘closure.’ I get it if someone is missing and they’re looking for a body but in the instance of cheating, IMHO…there is no such thing.

    These cheaters looked us in the eye and lied their asses off. Mine was positively giddy he was so in luv with schmoopie, nancing around popping his daily viagra, eagerly waiting to meet up with her skanky ass. What could he possibly say now to give me ‘closure’ on this shit? That he didn’t really mean to hurt me? Pfffttt. There is not a single thing in the world he could do to get me to forgive him. EVER.

    • “There is not a single thing in the world he could do to get me to forgive him. EVER.”

      AGREED!! He lied to me, he hurt me, he completely disregarded my feelings, he threw aside me like a piece of garbage, he half-assed apologized, and showed no remorse. He deserves nothing. In fact, I find him quite pathetic and lacking any integrity, class, or any characteristic worthy of admiration..

    • “What could he possibly say to give me ‘closure’ on this shit?” Still exactly the way I feel. No Contact is the only way to closure.

  • Give back the Crimea? Hilarious CL! Keep doing what you do best! I’m over here crying with laughter! FUCKING SPOT ON!

  • Amen, Dixie, thisDoing me, thank you for supporting me, I feel quite torn about D erything. My friend says I should let it go and contact daughters, otherwise he wins in the end and destroys the family. I did write asking for an explanation but to no avail. Son says that they feel bad but don’t know what to say. Frankly I don’t know what to say either. Part of me wants to forgive and move on part of me wants to just wants to walk away. I feel a bit numb, it’s been 16 months since DDay and I just feel like I can’t or don’t want any more chaos in my life. These people are all adults not teenagers so what is the point. I’m tired of trying to explain my hurt if they do t understand then what’s the point?

  • So good so funny. So accurate. I wanted the closure. And yes ended up in having sex with him. This was years ago. No contact is the only way. And distant contact if kids are involved. He still comes around years later to try to hug me and tell me he loves me. All words. I don’t engage in convo. He is trying to start the crazy train again. Watch their actions not their lying words. In time you don’t need verbal closure. Their actions and lack of will give you all the proof you need.

  • I suspect ChumpLady somehow taps into the chump collective’s psyche when she’s choosing which topic to post each morning!

    A couple nights ago, I had a vivid dream about my cheater ex coming to me when he became sick and old, to apologize for what he did to me. In this dream, I reply by saying, “What good will your apology do me? I want back all my wasted years and you coming to me now isn’t going to give me back my youth and lost opportunities.” I woke up with my heart pounding, so upset and angry that I wasted so much time and energy on him.

    For the past four years, I’ve been studying narcissistic behavior and he is classic. This blog has aided tremendously in my education. I realized my misunderstanding when I tried, several times, to get closure from him and failed. I wanted to know why and what happened. I wanted to know what I was to him. He would not participate in the discussion and refused to be forthcoming. Eventually, I figured out that he isn’t capable of caring about anyone else, and has played games and told lies for most of his life.

    My closure came when I truly saw that he’s a very screwed up person and he’ll never change. I didn’t cause it and I can’t do anything about it. I just have to let go and choose better when it comes to who I let into my life. It’s really all I can do.

    • I too had a horrific dream the other night. There were all these rattlesnakes in my bathtub and I was intent on destroying them. Yup, my marriage in a nutshell. Good to be free, I just didn’t know who I was dealing with. *Note: nothing against real rattlers here as long as they stay away from me and mine.

  • Closure is like relying on them to fix the damage they did to you.

    Acceptance is giving yourself back the power and control to fix yourself.

  • I got my closure today when my cheater received my divorce petition. He was less than pleased and cancelled his evening with our children (7 and 8 years)

  • ignore the sweet talking. think about their actions.

    cheaters have no interest or empathy in helping chumps get closure.

    no contact is the way to peace and happiness

    trusting that cheaters suck and moving on is the best closure

  • This was a hard lesson for me, but I finally got it. I just wanted some kind of sorry, some kind of remorse, or something for crying out loud…I wanted to believe that there was some semblance of the man I married who was the father of my children. I finally realized that it isn’t possible. He just does not care. I was wasting energy on stupid. We married pod people. It happens. I agree with Born Free. There is no closure. There is recovery and, eventually, acceptance.

    • I’m still amazed, dumbfounded, scared, that a person can turn so quickly. My X went from being my husband to a complete stranger in one hour. Still unnerves me to think about which is why I don’t dwell on the transformation. I did in the very beginning but not now. It’s that whole skein thing.

      • It’s amazing how quickly it unravels isn’t it. Mine wasn’t quite as fast but over a few weeks from the ‘we need to make a change’ (er bit vague) which actually meant I’m of and I won’t be coming back to everyone I know thinking hmmm, something smells fishy, oh yes a bit of digging he’s been wooing another lady behind my back to confronting him and being treated horrifically. The lawyers doing our settlement agreement (not married, stupid me) said do everything quickly cause it goes downhill spectacularly quickly. God were they right. I look at him now and it’s like looking at someone I don’t know. There is nothing I recognise about him. I thought I would be really in love with him for years and not be able to get over him. The end of our family life is devastating but I can’t love someone I don’t even recognise. Such a totally weird sensation. Oh well, that’s enough about that crappy relationship then, I’ll go and do something more important like bleach my cups. Heh heh.

      • My cheater did the same thing. He immediately turned into the nastiest bastard once confronted. It’s like a demon came out of him. I had no idea who I was dealing with and it was rather frightening to acknowledge he was always this person, I guess, but he masked it from me. In retrospect, he kind of got nasty with me once he started cheating; that’s when he started picking fights with me. Ugh. So happy to be out of that toxic relationship.

        • Bodhi, my X did the same transition (picking fights, a little distant) but really had no idea that he was cheating. I had to discover that on my own after he said he wanted a divorce. I thought he wa going through some weird phase and would snap out of it. Yep, he snapped right out of marriage and straight to OW, his exit affair.

          • My story too, except along with the deny, devalue, and discard, X spent a lot of time dismantling our finances as well. Be careful of this. If I had a chance to do it again, I would make sure finances were addressed in that first hearing. Or put a hold on what can not be spent. (Sigh)

            • How many cheater X’s here were ever truthful re their financial disclosure forms? X just never provided his. Family courts are overwhelmed by the number of cases; they simply want to get dissolutions done. Our lawyers just held out for more money.

          • Miss Bailey you described my ex exactly. She would pick fights over things we never fought over. Her meanness started to show continually. She would ask me how does it feel to be treated mean ? I wasn’t perfect but I always treated her with respect and not meanness. But it was a setup for the exit. So she could tell folks how mean I was. On the divorce decree it stated mental abuse and irreconcilable differences. But no where did it meantion cheating,lying,betrayal,or the thousands of dollars stolen from “our” 401k accounts to feed her present and/or past affairs. No contact is hard because of children but if she told me what her name was I would ask her to prove it ! That’s how dishonest and untrustworthy I feel about her. And she thinks she a nice person.

  • for my cheater: closure wallet, closure fly.
    for his schmoopie: closure legs, closure mouth.
    for me, I agree, theres no closure.

  • Longing for explanations, remorse, apologies or “closure” from someone who lies and cheats is like expecting sound financial advice from someone who embezzled money from you. You KNOW, or should know, that his words is no good. And if you can’t be in a room with him without ending up having sex, well, you need “no contact” in the worst way.

  • I am late to respond, but I am struggling with a similar question. I don’t want closure–STBX made closure impossible when he chose to have an “exit affair.” But I continue to feel the need to speak my experience–even if no one is listening. For this reason, I’m considering handing him a letter when the divorce is final. I don’t care if he reads it or tosses it in the trash–it’s the enunciation that matters to me, not the reception. At this point, my psychologist supports this idea, but I will have to see where I am if/when we reach a settlement–and interrogate my intentions deeply to ensure the action is not, in fact, an effort to persuade.

    • Perhaps you could write that letter and then burn it in a private little ceremony … I respect your need to speak your truth but hate the idea of blessing him with undeserved attention.

      • I like this idea, too. It’s like journaling; writing out your emotions is very cathartic. Buddhism also teaches us to “have a cup of tea” so to speak with the thoughts that occupy our mind. We acknowledge those annoying/sad/angry/jealous/resentful etc thoughts like a visitor to our home. We invite the invading thoughts in and invite them to tea to chat. Why are you here? Why do you keep coming into my head? And in doing so, we have a little conversation with our demons and oddly, it’s incredibly enlightening and cathartic. Reading up on this practice might be interesting for you….there are lots of little examples of this on the web.

        • Thanks, Bodhi. I’m actually a lazy/inconstant Buddhist practitioner, so I have been trying to work with this experience in some of the ways you describe. The invitation into the home metaphor, however, is new to me. I will give it a try 🙂

    • Ninon, I’m doing the same, I have been working on a letter for months, it has changed a lot, I may or may not give it to him, I’ve not decided. It’s closure for me, I’ve made this clear in the letter and and that it requires no response and I’m not eneterong into a dialogue, If he does respond I shall return it unread. But sadly I know at the heart of it is the hope that he’ll read it and sob that he sees the error of his ways and realise how much he has hurt me, so it’s hardly likely to be sent, we will see! Don’t think someone that thinks a partner should try and “win them back” whilst they are totally uninvested in a relationship, and screwing around is really on the same page as me!

      • Don’t send it! Write it for you and to get your feelings and thought out. Don’t send it. Won’t get you anything good but might get you something bad. Also don’t let them think you care. Even if you do. If I sent something like that he would probably show OW and they would have a laugh at my expense. That is always what i think of worst case. Step away from the postage stamps (or send button)

      • ((Smart Woman)). I’ve been writing for months, too. I like your idea of returning any response unopened. I know people caution strongly against this, but writing played a central role in our life together, and our identities within and beyond the relationship. In the end, he appointed himself “the writer” (and scholar); I supported him while he wrote and worked part time, and he left as soon as his book was under contract. I am reclaiming my voice, creative practice, and creative power now that he’s gone, so “speaking up” feels important to me (I say this now….).

        Wishing you strength and clarity!

  • Maybe because it wasn’t my 1st rodeo with a Sociopath, but I surely didn’t do “closure” with the 2nd dimwit and believe me, he has tried and keeps trying to see me/reach out to me. Uh, yep, not going to happen ever and I like that it way because I know he doesn’t get to tell people we are still friends/in contact for his image management. I left him when I realized I was engaging in these asinine conversations where he denied any wrong doing and blamed me for his shitty behavior.

    It sounds to me that Jennifer might not have been ready for real closure, as in the “I shut the door and you will never get the key to see me ever again” closure. I get it. I kind of went back and forth with my my 1st sociopath because I guess I was lonely and hated the idea of the great unknown and starting over. It was a bad mistake and he continued to lie and deceive me. No surprise. It sucked. It broke me, but that experience taught me to shut the door on this sociopath. Liars and cheaters are flawed and disordered. They will never change. I get that now. Blame shifting is incredibly disordered. Just even trying to rationalize that nonsense makes me shake my head.

    Jennifer, forgive yourself and learn from this, after all you are only human. Next time you need face to face closure, just think of how he blamed you for his cheating. Where is his remorse? A loving and kind person would never put you in these situations. Going no contact really is empowering once you get through the hard part which are the first few weeks/months. It also sends a clear message to the abuser that you love yourself and you won’t put up with their shit. They hate that.

  • Closure is simply closing the door and not opening it again. After D Day, Principal Sparkles and I had all these “deep” convos about why he did what he did, but you know what? None of that fucking matters. He did it, it was unacceptable, and two years later, if he sent me a long, insightful letter with exactly why he did it (let’s just argue for a second that it was all, ahem, the truth)? I wouldn’t give a fig. It would mean absolutely nothing to me. I sent him a fuck-off letter when I broke it off that was *my* closure, and to be sure, I had to read that letter over and over to myself some days, but really, I think I understood his actions perfectly. He is fucked up, he wanted to be a secret perv on the side while maintaining a presentable relationship, so he did. The end. None of the bargaining ever got me further than that anyway.

  • Yes, I suspect that many of the Cheaters here were amazingly good at juggling their many lies, until they weren’t. After Dday, when I let X know what I suspected (and had not much proof at the time), X let slip that “AP threatened to tell.” He knew my dealbreakers. X very easily abandoned his family to “move on.” Of course, X referenced the many chapters in The Cheater’s Handbook. His crap life skills re intimacy have always led him to make poor decisions, he is just at the mercy of “what others want,” and pleasing himself 😂. Looking back, probably not the first he’s fucked…nor will she be the last.

  • You can’t get closure because that requires common ground. You want a nice solid chunk of granite (“I cheated, I hurt YOU, I’m sorry and here is what I’m doing to prevent it from happening again. I know it will take a long time and lot of hard work on my part to regain trust.” “You cheated, I’m devastated and it will take a long time to rebuild a measure of trust. Don’t rush me.”). They are on the shifting sands of “shit just happens”, so the blame-shifting and mindfuckery continues.

    Cheaters are liars. That is the underlying truth. It’s an ugly habit. Addictive, even. No one expects a heroin addict to go clean immediately, but chumps (naturally) expect their lying cheating spouses to do so but they’re hooked on LYING. So Wreckonciliation commences and mostly chumps get their hearts and minds stomped over and over and over again because chumps aren’t accustomed to thinking that their spouses are addicts.

    Addicts lie. Don’t trust. Verify. Or don’t bother and go straight for separation.

  • IMO the only closure is walking away and never looking back. 3 decades of wasted energy on an alien. He never had any intentions of changing! I had to make all the changes for myself.

    I like to use the illustration of a door closed. CLOSED & LOCKED. NO ENTRY. However, if its even slightly cracked or ajar then its NOT closed. Shit gets in. I allowed the cracked door for years. Once I closed “that” door, I divorced him, and got the toxic energy out of the home and away from me. I believe its just a matter of moving forward. We can never get over what these mofo’s do to us. Just keep that door closed and don’t open it ever again to them.

    Peace

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