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Dear Chump Lady, He keeps calling me “Babe”

Dear Chump Lady,

I told my husband I want a divorce today and stupidly gave him some criteria about what I’d need him to do to win him back — and he started trying to do them, but already fucked up.

I said I needed to meet one of his OW “friends” and we needed to jointly tell her that he is ending his relationship with her.

But when we got there, and I politely told her about his admitted affairs with other women, he got all mad at me and said, “Eileen is my friend and we are going to remain friends”. So, I just left and told him, “Fine. Then please have your attorney contact my attorney.”

But then he comes home and calls me “Babe” and keeps saying he loves me and wants to work it out.

It is remarkably textbook like what your site says. He just doesn’t want the consequences. He keeps saying the divorce is going to be so much harder — getting two places and telling the girls — it would be so much easier if we work this out.

All he cares about is his image and what will his investors think if they find out. But I have hopium and actually enjoying seeing him squirm to win me back, even though I know there is nothing more he can do to win back my trust. Am I not doing this right?

I told him let’s not drag this out. But how do I get more firmly resolute in my heart when he keeps throwing the “I love yous” at me? I told him love is a verb and fucking Russian women in between dropping off and picking up our daughter at theatre practice is not a loving action… (and that is just one thing he did.)

Thanks for your advice.

Fortitude

Dear Fortitude,

He’s not trying to win you back, he’s trying to win cake back. Poor sausage — the logistics of divorce! Having to be in two places! Yeah, I think he mastered that multitasking superpower when he was fucking a Russian escort in between arts practice.

He doesn’t care about you. He doesn’t care about your daughter. And frankly, he doesn’t care about his “friend Eileen” either. His loving concern goes as far as the end of his own dick and stops there.

how do I get more firmly resolute in my heart when he keeps throwing the “I love yous” at me?

Look at his actions, not his “I love you’s.”

He threw you under the bus in front of one of his affair partners. How’s that sit with you?

Speaking of which, this whole I’m-going-to-march-him-in-front-of-Schmoopie-and-make-him-recant is an epically stupid chump move. It’s the pick me dance performed in front of a live studio audience.

I’m sure he absolutely wanted to shut down your crazy wife talk of his other extramarital affairs. Pay no attention to the mad woman trapped in my attic! But it was also gloriously high-stakes kibble for him. Ooh. Two women he can deceive simultaneously! In front of each other! Eileen leaves the encounter convinced of your insanity. Poor man, she’s so controlling. And you can just be kept in line with a few “babes” and the reminder that divorce is Bad for Children. (The drop-offs! Oh the horror!)

His entitlement remains intact.

You know what screams douchebag to me? One word that conveys the entire male privileged set of investors and Russian hookers? Babe. I loathe this term of endearment.

Now a hundred chumps are going to tell me how their dear, departed Aunt Mildred fondly called them “babe”…

Men who think of grown women as bunnies use “babe.” You’re all babes. There’s a room of babes! How can we score a babe? He calls every woman he ever fucked or ever hoped to fuck “babe.” It’s interchangeable. Ubiquitous. UN-special. Babe is tinted sunglasses and a thatch of chest hair. Pervy 1970s swingers wearing astrological pendants don’t call women “Pumpkin” or “Sweetie” — they say babe.  It’s that cartoon. No one who respects you calls you babe. Divorce him over babe.

Geez Tracy. Put down the femi-nazi pamphlets and go shave your legs or something…

Okay, I’m over my babe rant. (No, not really. ABOLISH IT FROM THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE EXCEPT WHEN REFERRING TO ACTUAL BABIES. Thank you.)

Fortitude, he sucks. Call a lawyer and quit tipping your hand. Just do it.

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.
  • “Babe is tinted sunglasses and a thatch of chest hair. Pervy 1970s swingers wearing astrological pendants don’t call women “Pumpkin” or “Sweetie” — they say babe. It’s that cartoon. No one who respects you calls you babe. Divorce him over babe.”

    HAHAHA SUNGLASSES HAHA CHEST HAIR DIVORCE HIM OVER BABE

    Made my day. # me too, hate this so much. Rant on.

    • “Divorce him over babe.” Ha!

      This made me go check out Patreon membership/support levels again…now considering taking on that red flag client I’ve been avoiding for days just so I can afford a year’s support level.

      CL you’re such a great thinker and writer!

      And cartoonist! With that one problem client and I could reward myself with a cartoon portrait of Porn Star ⭐️ !

      Win-win-lose!

      Me win-
      CL win-
      LOSE the Porn ⭐️ and Gain a Life!

      • The Limited pronounced it as Behbeh and asked, “Do you want a beer behbeh?”

        I have celiac and never drank beer!

        Dump the cunt whisperer and gather all financial accounts and assets. Then file.

        • ‘Cunt whisperer’
          That’s hilarious – I just fell off the bed laughing!
          My ex husband has been renamed the ‘cock womble’ by a couple of my friends, but ‘ cunt whisperer’ is even more priceless!

    • Yes, thank you. I cannot stand being called “Babe.” Mostly because I’m usually called “Babe” or “Baby” by creeps hitting on me on the street, but even by partners I hated it. I couldn’t really put a finger on why, but that’s it. THAT is why. It’s unoriginal. Babe is interchangeable. A partner who calls me Babe has called all his partners Babe.

      I’m the kind of person who comes up with individual nicknames, and I think about them. I have never recycled a nickname. Ever. Because each one is chosen for a reason. Plus that’s just weird.

      “Babe” is the ultimate recycled nickname. If I’m “Babe,” then so was the last person you put your dick in. And the woman before her, and before her.

      No thank you. I am unique. Don’t call me Babe. …and a guy who would be offended by that might not be for me.

      • Mine always referred to me as ‘Special Person’ and I thought that was so nice until I found an email to skank ass schmoopie calling her the same thing. So fucking un-original. I guess he called all of his women that. I most certainly wasn’t ‘special’ to him.

    • Just the title of this post cracked me up! Funnily enough, as I was splitting from my cheating ex she said “I wish someone would call me babe”, so says it all really.

  • “His loving concern goes as far as the end of his own dick and stops there.”

    As a great way to start the morning, CL is better than a bowl of Wheaties.

  • My ex tried to call me babe when caught at the first affair( with our friend). I called him on that—he never had an endearment for me. He called her that. This made me laugh. Thanks, I needed it.

    • Same here. Made me want to vomit though. 30 years, no terms of endearment. Then Schmoopie calls him babe and he slips and calls me and our daughter that. Vile.

      • Same, 25 yrs no endearments then…suddenly a brand new vocabulary, his new word was “darlin'”, with a new found drawl as if ex was from some southern state and not DC. Even more interesting was ex’s inability to suddenly pronounce words correctly and even our almost grown kids picked up on this and had to ask him several times what he was saying. The fuckwit playbook is on repeat…

  • Babe is a term many men use when they are momentarily unsure which sexual partner they’re talking to and don’t want to be caught confusing them.

    #YouAreAThingToHim

    • You hit it nomar. Pos called me sweetie. He called every woman sweetie then no need to confuse names.

    • I used to call all the men “babe” when I was young and went on lots of dates. No stumbling or mumbling, one name to fit them all!!

    • This is a real thing, the use of the same nickname for all lovers. One of the most common slip-ups occurs when the person uses that same cutesy nickname for some other creature s/he thinks of as diminutive, like a pet or a child.

      I call both of my cats a whole lot of cutesy nicknames. I don’t repeat them when referring to my husband. Ever.

      • Mine used to call me “toots”. At the time I thought it was funny and endearing – now, the term makes me want to puke.

        • Babe doesn’t offend me because I’ve always called my kids that – and they are men now. Not sure it would have bothered me (under other circumstances) from ex even. Better still would be if he never contacted me at all! “Babe” as in trying to get back with me would probably piss me off though!

      • My XH called me “Bear” for 40 years; there were literally dozens of people in our social circle and at his workplace who never knew my real name. I thought when he left, that nickname would go with him and I’d be done with it… Then he married AP #14 who, quite creepily, has the exact same first name and middle name as I do. Now, some family members, in an effort to differentiate between me and Wife 2.0 in conversation, have occasionally gone back to calling me Bear because that’s what I’ve always been to them. And, of course, friends from many decades ago still refer to me as Bear. If I didn’t love them so much, I’d get in their face, but it’s not worth it because at least HE’S not saying it to me (gag). It doesn’t happen very often, but it does tend to grind on my last nerve.

        • Maybe you should get in their face because you love them–and they should respect you enough to call you by your name, wife 2 notwithstanding. She can be “Wife 2”. Or Hyena.

        • Mine had a myriad of nicknames for me. But Bear was the most used. Also Hunk, Snooks, Monkey, etc.

          When I picked up his phone one day, he was calling the one he left for, bear and monkey throughout the message.

          Fucker. Original AF. Hope she likes it, being interchangeable.

        • I called him Hunny Bunny all the time…after the Pulp Fiction movie where Rosanna Arquette was standing on a table swinging her gun around while robbing a restaurant. For some reason, I thought the endearing term fit him….maybe that should have been a clue..

      • My ex called his AP “parsnip”. Unsufferable turd that he is. Amazingly he was able to keep all his nicknames separate but later, after AP was no longer in the picture, he encouraged our son to name his build-a-bears parsnip and radish. Yeah, he’s an odd one. Still single after his amazing imploding engagement a few years ago. Funny that.

        My husband doesn’t call me parsnip, or any of the saccharine sweet things my ex used to make up. Awesome.

        • formerchumpnowbride…. ‘parsnip’? He might as well have called her ‘Potato’. That’s not endearing at all! Squash? Kolrabi? Carrot? See, i’m just playing around with this now, lol. Good you’re done with that and have gained a life!

    • Looking back now – a red flag: ex very rarely used my name in conversation. No terms of endearment, he just didn’t address me at all by name. It was so obvious that I brought it to his attention early on in the relationship. He explained that his ex-fiancee’s name rhymed with mine and he was worried that it would come out wrong. But after 20 plus years and 3 kids, you’d think he would have eventually adjusted to the new name. Nope. Perhaps acknowledging me by my name would have made me more than a wife appliance. Sometimes dysfunction is found in the weird little details.

      • I can count on both hands how many times my X asshat addressed me by my name over a 31 year relationship, 28 married. No nicknames either just…nothing.

        One of the times I am including in that count is the formal use of my name in the salutation of the e-mail he sent me to announce that he was abandoning me without notice while I was away on a work trip. It stuck out as very odd to see my name used by him.

        I was ignored and treated passive aggressively for 3 decades. Can’t believe I put up with that shit.

        • Wow, this exactly ^^^^ I actually have a very unique nickname given to me by my dad when I was a baby as I have the same name as my mother so it was used to differentiate us and all my long time family and friends still use that name, but I cannot recall an actual time my ex every used it. Then we had children he called me mom, but he has a mom, so several times I reminded him of this and told him to use my name. It wasn’t until the discard that he finally used my full name, not my family name and that my friends is exactly when I knew it was over. #fuckwitplaylist129

      • The disordered Fuckwit X never introduced me as or called me his wife until I was packing up the cabin by the lake with friends and he demanded to speak to his wife, alone. I didn’t even look up. Just said, “You don’t have a wife.”

          • I looked right through him that whole day. It drove him nuts, and he couldn’t bring himself to be an asshole in front of my posse. Image control at its finest.

        • I’ll never forget the time X was bragging to all his important clients that….he was ‘taking his bride to Hawaii’. 3 days I heard it. Bride? Asshole.

          It was my idea and I was no bride to him.

          I had just caught him red-handed with his toy..

  • Your husband is telling you he wont give up the ow, she’s his friend. He pretends to care about his children. Better 2 homes than living a lie. My exs ow thinks she treats me like shit, swearing etc, but I wont let her affect me, my ex says she’s really nice, is she fuck, drunk, drug taking piece of crap, dumped her kids, do nice people dump their kids?. I’m no contact with her, and it works.

    • YES! He’s ALREADY living two lives, Fortitude! You’re just calling it like it is. The story in your letter is NOT a love story. It is an ABUSE story. What would you want your daughter to do if she told your story? I have a daughter too. I would NEVER want her to accept being treated like my husband has treated US….yes, US. Because his affair abused her too!!
      What a horrible man my husband is to put her in the godawful position of having to reconcile her love for him with his abuse of us!! My heart breaks.

  • I call my boyfriend babe and now all I can think about is chest hair and cheesy porn music. I need a new term of endearment,clearly lol xo sweet

  • He says babe and all I hear is I can’t keep all y’all straight.

    Be strong and let your lawyer as well as electronic communication tools are used are relevant factual kids stuff.

    Your mental space is no longer available to rent

  • Fortitude… is your dream to be married to a cheater? Do you one day want your daughter to be a chump too?

    Break the cycle. File.

  • Sorry, but your husband getting all defensive and telling you that she is a friend and he is going to stay friends. Is his way of telling you that he is not giving up the OW. He basically rubbed it in your face that he is going to keep seeing her. And I still can not understand why these OW think it is OK to screw a married man. He wants cake. I say take that cake and smash it in his face and contact a lawyer ASAP. Please get checked for STDs. I too played the pick me dance and all it did was make me ill. You and your children do not need a lying POS cheater. Life is so much better without a cheater.

    • “He wants cake. I say take that cake and smash it in his face and contact a lawyer ASAP.”

      Ooooo, like!

    • The ‘I’m going to stay friends with her,’ is a version of ‘You’re not the boss of me!’ and not an indicator of someone who will deal with you fairly and kindly.

  • Lol – my ex called all of his affair partners babe! Presumably so he didn’t call them by the wrong name – he had three of them on the go at the same time.

  • “it would be so much easier if we work this out” meant to my then husband an open marriage. But it took 4 years from DD for this to come to light. Call a lawyer.

  • Do you know who calls a woman Babe?!?
    Those creepy guys you meet on dating sites.

    My Ick Meter is on red🤢

  • “But when we got there, and I politely told her about his admitted affairs with other women, he got all mad at me and said, “Eileen is my friend and we are going to remain friends”.

    Ah, yes… the remorseless “We are going to remain friends”. Nothing says “I’m truly sorry” more than breaking someone’s arm on purpose, and then daily giving it a little twist so it never heals. Your protests at such benign behavior have got to stop… you are beginning to look bitter and crazy! It’s really not a big deal; he doesn’t feel any pain! You know what your problem really is? You have trust issue! If you didn’t flinch every time he came near your arm, you wouldn’t drive him to twist it every day! You can’t, and won’t control him!
    Maybe this is something you can work on together, since it’s half your fault. You should just offer that broken arm up every day, and let him decide if he’s going to twist it. And for gods sake, quit your dam whining “Babe,” it’s becoming tiresome!

    Yeah, uh…. NO! Let’s call this what it is – sadistic!

  • This reminds me of an episode of The Office where Michael and Jan keep calling each other Babe when they both clearly can’t stand each other. Lol.

    My ex used to call me Sweetie or Sweets or SweeD. Now he calls his mistress the same thing and claims he doesn’t remember calling me by the same names. Lol. Recycling at it’s finest.

    Lawyer up.

    • Haha, that episode us exactly what came to my mind while reading this post, too. 😆

      The best part was Jim and Pam at the end, in the car at the fast food burger joint, playing the purloined copy of Hunter “The Hunted”, and ironically calling one another “Babe.” 😆😊

    • My last boyfriend called me ‘Sweetie,’ which made me feel special. He probably called a lot of his partners that. He once called me by the wrong name at a Christmas party for his company–after knowing me for nearly 30 years. Guess the generic name is easier to remember.

  • Pervy 70s swingers with chest hair…BWAHAHAHAHA OMG that made my day!
    On the other hand, my BF (who is a great guy and very monogamous, thank goodness) doesn’t actually call me “babe”, but he does say that in texts sometimes and I also say “babes”. Now all I will think of is polyester and platforms. hahahaha

  • It was so nice to hear that someone else hates the phrase “Babe” as much as I do. My husband says it all the time to me……… and casual aquaintances. It makes my blood pressure skyrocket. My mistake is that I did not divorce the jerk. (I would love to see CL do a column about us chumps who didn’t divorce and deeply regret it.) Fortitude, run away from this Babe-speaking narcissist. He will not change. He wants to stay immature and keep his “image.” Get away from him and don’t look back. Listen to Chump Lady!

    • You don’t need another episode of infidelity to divorce him. If you regret staying married, line up your ducks and find a lawyer. File surreptitiously (like he screwed around behind your back).

      Glennon Doyle reconciled with her cheating husband, wrote a book (Love Warrior) about her personal growth as she worked it out with her H, and then decided to divorce him right before the book launch. It’s soul sucking to stay with a cheater. Most of us have decades more to live; best to live them cheater-free.

      • Love her courage and the work she does with TogetherRising, but why TF is she hanging with Esther Perel these days?!

        • I vote for money. I doubt they get to choose who they appear with and if they do, it’s to get more exposure/money.

          They don’t do it for free, that’s for certain.

        • True–befuddling why anyone would hang with Esther P (unless she was plying them with Belgian chocolates. That I could understand.)

      • You are so right, Tempest (as usual). And ou know what? Even if I have only a year to live I’d rather live it alone than in the situation I was in.

  • My cheater used “princess”, before I found out this was his term of endearment with all his marks I used to like it. Now the term gives me the creeps if someone uses it. Their words are meaningless for sure. Mine asked me to remarry him, run off the Vegas and he would prove to me and the world he could be the man I deserved and only a few hours later was scheduling a hook up with som slut he found on a sex hook up site! Run fast, run far, these fuckers are all words and no action!

    • The hooker fuckers are really something else. Nothing says “I love you” like trying to make your wife do the pick me dance against someone whose vagina is like a clown car.

      • “Who’s vagina is like a clown car” ha ha ha! – these comments have been a great read this morning (NZ time).

    • My ex used to call me “princess” too a long time ago and then he called our daughter that. I think he still calls her that. He also kept telling me he loved me as we were going through the divorce process. He’s so screwed up. How can you say you love someone and devastate them at the same time? I’ve never disliked someone so much in all my life and that one person used to be my husband! One of the only things that makes me so angry now is the damage he has done to me. Trying to date and trust anyone now is so hard. It gives me such anxiety and I think I’ll be sabotaging anything good that comes my way because of the damage. All I can do is continue coming here and going back to therapy. Fine tuning my picker!!!! “Babe” has a whole new meaning now.

  • Love the rant about “Babe”. OW sent me screenshots of my ex’s texts to her. When I saw that this middle aged man called this woman 13 years his junior Babe, it struck me as gross. I would never want to be called that term of endearment.

    • My ex accidentally texted my daughter instead of his whore, and he used the term “babe.” So my daughter was like, WTF? He tried to play it off like he was actually texting my daughter, but she knew the truth.

      My ex also calls his whore, who is 13 years his junior, “babe.” So disgusting.

  • Only people who have ever truly loved their partner understand that the “cheat” never enters the mind of the love bestowing person, and with never entering the mind it never becomes an action. There is no interest, no desire that can develop because that person loves, really loves, that other person. And it is not a matter of degree. It is the blackest of black and the whitest of white. Someone who cheats on you cannot love you. I don’t believe the person even likes you. Normal people do not do bad things to people they like. That thief who robs that liquor store doesn’t care about the owner. That thief did what they did because they think they will get away with it. That’s your cheater hub, pretty much-he doesn’t love you, doesn’t like you, doesn’t respect you, doesn’t care if you are hurt, your life is altered, doesn’t care if your children’s life is altered, hurt, damaged which also means to me, he doesn’t love his children, really. Whatever path you choose, I wish you the the very best and great strength.

    • Perfectly sums it up. My ex the “I’m not such a bad guy” who brought his OW down to stay at our house before informing me of his desire for a divorce. But I didn’t mean that come back!! When I asked him to his face why if he had so much respect for me he would cheat on me BLANK STARE. They have no feelings for anyone but themselves.

    • Re: “Someone who cheats on you cannot love you “:

      My XW’s childhood best friend sent me an email a few months after the divorce with a quote from a book she’d been reading. It’s in Italian (they’re both Italian): “Non è chi tradisce che vince. Chi tradisce è destinato all’oblio. Vince chi sa amare. E chi sa amare, non sa tradire.” This roughly translates to “Cheaters don’t win. Cheaters are destined to be forgotten. The one who wins is the one who is capable of love. And one who loves cannot cheat.” It works better in Italian because the word for “cheater” is literally “betrayer”, which I think is a lot closer to the emotional effect; plus Italian does gender-neutral sentences more elegantly since it omits the pronouns most of the time.

      This was one of the most touching messages I received about the divorce, because she prefaced it with “XW is my friend so I am not going to abandon her”, but made clear that she didn’t understand or agree with what XW was doing (presumably because she’d just gotten the full story of the adultery). One of these days I’m going to print it out nicely and frame it.

    • very well said.. .. and so very true.

      i was in the same miserable marriage. i was dealing with the same issues (if not more so) that he was. there were many things about him that i did not like, there was a whole bunch of things he did that i did not agree with or enjoy. there were many many times i was not happy either with him or the life we were living.. .. ..

      and yet. i never once cheated on him. no matter how mad or upset or disappointed i was with him, i still did not find comfort in another mans arms. .. . if any man tried to flirt with me or sweet talk me, it would make me sick. .. . i loved wasband and never once thought about being with any other man but him.. .. ..even now, 4 years later, i am still stick on NO mode. {i do NOT want wasband back, but i am still not attracted to any other man}

      i wish i had realized the first time i caught the poor widdle sad sausage cheating that only a man who did not love me could and would actually cheat on me. yes, i thought it was sort of my fault since we were actually separated at the time. he even tried to tell me several times that it is not cheating if we are “broken up” at the time. .. my idea of marriage is that you dont “brake up” during separations.. . . sigh, i gave him too much credit.. .and too much time and energy. .. and way to much of my love.. ..

      MEH… i have peace now but this is very good advice

      • I never cheated either, 13 years, had our ups and downs, but was never tempted. I’m only 16 months out, tried dating early after the break but complete disaster, I clearly wasn’t into it or ready, but I’ve been single all year and I’m starting to feel the benefits, where I’m liking this solo thing, and I have my 10 year old daughter living with me during the week so it’s nice just the 2 of us. I don’t even regret the marriage anymore, it was fun at the start, I loved her genuinely and authentically, and of course we had a wonderful child together. The ex still annoys me, but just part of shit sammy of co parenting. Things will be alright.

    • DANNI SMITH,

      oh my , I have spent many decades, KEEPING that phrase from coming into my conscious mind ,“Someone who cheats on you cannot love you “ because common sense tells me its true, and then I must act on that truth. and here you are ,full of courage and truth ,saying it , putting it right out there . the words that i could not bring my self to say or think ! the reaction from CN , these must be some POWERFUL WORDS . i feel weak just reading and thinking about it ;“Someone who cheats on you cannot love you “: thank you .

  • Omg same boat but with my wife. She does call me babe and the I love you and your my world statements are overwhelmingly present since I filed, served and haven’t rolled over yet. Same story think of the children it will be so hard on them. I feel your pain and it sucks. Mine has recently gone through our history reminding me of good times and pictures. But the list of things you needed, like my list that I needed didn’t seem to matter until shit got real. Now that shit is real and lawyers are involved, she’s worried about her self. Really listen to their conversation, you’ll find that the overwhelming theme is me, me, me. I’m not heartless. It hurts bad, but so does putting up with bullshit. The half ass attempt to save things as the end is approaching is that last gasp of air before the ship goes down. My soon to be ex is the most driven woman I know, seeing her sputter and half ass trying to attempt to meet the list, just reinforces the idea that she isn’t trying. Example she was sorry she couldn’t do the things I wanted because she was just very sad that I had hurt her by filing for divorce. She wasn’t sad about the affairs, secret messages, or meet ups that caused the situation. That’s a bullshit statement. She might have been sad about her boyfriend leaving her after he found out that she got served with divorced…..;) Anyway you had bullshit before in your relationship before and now your seeing it. It’s hard on the heart, but if you’ve had enough shit sandwiches then get a divorce and have a salad. It’s better for you anyway. Hang in there. The cheaters want to flip you back on their side. If it feels too emotional go no contact except for schedules on the kids, it gives you clarity.

    • Thanks. Sounds like we are in a very similar boat. My husband is also an extremely driven person and a very “successful” entrepreneur who built himself up from childhood poverty to be rather well off, had no real loving family growing up and upon getting one (me and the girls) decided he was so great and awesome and better than everyone now he could treat me like dirt apparently. I found out about his infidelity in January and tried to drag him to therapy, but he was “too overwhelmed with his serious business challenges” to go with me past 3 sessions. He promised me he had ended his “friendships” with the Russian and the 23 yr old. He gaslighted me and lied to me about everything for months, made me think I am crazy but thanks to this site and the Option B support group on Facebook I learned that these cheaters just continue to lie so I continued to investigate and found him out big time. I am a very reliable and stable person so I knew I was NOT CRAZY!! So I retained an attorney and here I am. He tells me “I don’t like the trajectory my life is headed in!” “I don’t want to be one of THOSE dads”. UGH UGH UGH

      Reply

      • he should have thought of that BEFORE he was meeting up with the Russian after dropping off his daughter.. …

        BTW. WHO DOES THAT!!!! there is no way i could think “let me drop off my kid at this dance class, and then i can have sex with Russian and go back to pick of my child and act like i did not just have sex with someone else besides her mother/father” .. .. .. just the fact that he was able to complete this action repeatedly (more then once) is just mind blowing for me.. ..

        no, you are not the crazy one.
        good luck

        • Did it for years. Also, other dates he slept over at her home included this past Valentines day evening (told me he was taking a red eye home from a business trip), for a week at a time whilst I was minding our kids at our summer home while he was “too busy at work” to be with us, and during this time on the eve of our 10th wedding anniversary. Charming, huh?

          If I were advising a friend I would say GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT YOU ARE FAR TOO AWESOME TO DEAL WITH THIS!!!

      • Sounds like my ex
        “I can’t believe I’m doing this(divorce)@51”
        Yup, you caused it and you can’t believe it???
        not only that, but it’s the second marriage you did this to…
        Victim mentality, WTF?
        Get out

      • Mine said I ruined his retirement years by divorcing him (after discovering his 3 year affair). It was ME apparently who ruined everything. And also the ‘how can you do this to your babies??’. Babies? Our son was 22.

  • …Men who think of grown women as bunnies use “babe.” You’re all babes. There’s a room of babes! How can we score a babe? He calls every woman he ever fucked or ever hoped to fuck “babe.” It’s interchangeable. Ubiquitous. UN-special. Babe is tinted sunglasses and a thatch of chest hair. Pervy 1970s swingers wearing astrological pendants don’t call women “Pumpkin” or “Sweetie” — they say babe…

    Oh, thank you Tracey.

    Finally an explanation as to why the adultering, abandoning, circus monkey refers to me as BABE!

  • Fortitude, please, please read your own words:
    …and he started trying to do them, but already fucked up.
    He just doesn’t want the consequences.
    All he cares about is his image and what will his investors think if they find out.

    All that is important, but he most important sentence in your letter is:
    Then please have your attorney contact my attorney.
    After you put up this boundary, you seem to keep engaging with him. STOP, just stop. You have nothing to work with here. Call your lawyer, move forward with getting out of this situation. Move forward into your new life.

    But how do I get more firmly resolute in my heart when he keeps throwing the “I love yous” at me?

    You wont feel better until you distance yourself from this person. If it helps, think of it as your head knowing what’s better for you right now than your heart. You won’t feel better until you take all the energy you are putting into him and focus it on yourself and your children.

    • Thanks I appreciate that and you are right about just needing to focus on myself and my girls. I am taking the kids on a trip away with my best friend and her extended family who I have known forever next week and I am really looking forward to it. I need to turn him off and make him less and less central in my life. Push me over the edge Chump Nation!! Love to you all

      • You have only an illusion of anything to work with here. Steel your heart for your own protection and for your kids, or know that you’re choosing a life of pain and regret.

        When I took our child and left for a weekend trip to see my BFF shortly after DDAY #1 of 3 my cheater took his OW on a mini vacation YET still mamanged to call and text me constantly with I love you’s and I miss you’s and the most incredibly fabricated details of what he was absolutely NOT actually doing (like going to Home Depot, installing a ceiling fan for a friend etc). Turns out the filthy, disgusting scum bucket OW was also calling and texting her man with alibis and lies of her own! What a winning pair they were! Probably naked high-fiving each other in their seedy hotel room for being so superior to their gullible chump partners back home!
        Trust me – you are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in their capacity to LIE and DECEIVE and ENJOY the PAIN they cause.

        Wishing you the strength to get out and find the love that you deserve.

  • Fortitude,

    The status quo is causing you and your daughter harm. Stop coming up with experiments to prove once and for all your husband sucks. Why are you still trying to reason with an insane person? This is not your circus. Your husband’s ideal life is the status quo. He will manipulate everyone around him to preserve it. It will always be about him. Wake up! Instruct your attorney to begin divorce proceedings and get it done.

    Starting a new life is scary. But people do it every day. Be mighty for you and your daughter! You’ve got this!

  • When I saw emails between exasshole and his OW, he used ‘hon’ and wrote the same emails he wrote to me daily. Then I started thinking, and realized he had called me ‘hon’ for years and that he never used my name…ugh. I stopped answering to ‘hon’.

    And that ‘we’re just friends’ shit is the same old bullshit, exasshole did that too. Fortitude, I suggest you let him keep “trying” to reconcile while you get all your financials in order – make sure he can’t take any of your marital funds. See an attorney and work out a settlement to present to him – then inform him it’s over. Find out the laws in your state, proof of adultery can be very useful if you are in a state like mine. If so, put a PI on his ass and get the proof.

    • This. When I found out ex narcopath was talking to other women, I demanded to see his phone to read the texts. Crying like a baby, he handed it over to me.

      What he wrote was absolutely identical to the crap he wrote me when we were dating. Word for word. Same compliments. Same commentary on what he was making for dinner and what he was doing with his kids. And he was the king of emojis (I think emojis are silly so I don’t use them) and even the same stupid emojis.

      It was punch-in-the-gut sickening.

      After I left him, I did a little more detective work to clear up the cognitive dissonance issues I was having, and discovered much of the same with different women.

      I remember thinking:he can’t even think up new stuff to say to women, he just recycles the same crap over and over.

      But then, I concluded, why should he change, as all the women fall for it! It works for him! In a really sick way, his con is really good and works on a variety of different victims. That is how I knew he was a predator. So sick. This is what grooming looks like.

    • My traitor called her his “best friend”.

      And then tried to take that back and tell me I was his best friend about six months later

      What a disturbed, confused fuck wit

  • Thanks everyone. He subsequently texted “Eileen” to end their friendship and told her not to contact him anymore, implemented GPS tracking on his phone, gave me the password to his phone, and after I told him I still want the divorce is now begging me to give him another chance and saying he will go to therapy with me twice a week if I will just please even give him one month to prove himself to me and he just wants to show me how he can be the best husband and father possible, he will now magically be home every night by 6:30pm to help with the kids, etc after years of coming home past 10pm. However – to all of your point I can’t really imagine what he could do to make me trust him again after he cheated on me for years, lied to me about this “friendship” and spending time with this “friend” throughout the course of our 11 yr old marriage, and picked up a 23 yr old hot woman (he is 49) who was catering an event decided he was going to be her “mentor” and brought her on business trips with him to Las Vegas and LA where, according to both of them (yes sorry CL but I spoke to her too) she ‘slept on the couch’ and it was ‘completely platonic’. And this is just what I know about (Russian woman aside),

    We have a pre-nup and divorce should not be that long to get done. I already retained an attorney.
    Thank goodness I have a kick ass job and already provide the health insurance for the family anyway, a loving family and lots of friends, 2 nice girls who really don’t deserve any of this and live in a vibrant city where there is lots to do. Really all I will be missing is a romantic partner and honestly I look pretty damn good at age 42, am educated fun and interesting so that should be a solvable issue over time, plus no more biological clock to worry about – I can take my time and find a good, kind nice honest person to treat me the way I deserve.

    So why am I having a hard time just forcefully saying “I’m DONE DONE DONE!”. My therapist says maybe I just need to let this play out so my heart can catch up with my head and when he inevitably does one more thing wrong in the next week or so, I’ll get there. Help me out Chump Nation!!! Love and Courage to you all by the way.

    • I can’t tell you what to do or not to do (we each have to live with our decisions) but I can say this – “one month” is BS. That doesn’t undo years of neglect, years of not being there, years of blaming and gaslighting, years of worry and stress, years of trying to please your husband only for him to not make you a priority, years of having to deal with thoughts of cheating on his part. This isn’t a quick fix and he should know that.

      If he truly wanted to be your husband and stay married, all those things that he would do in “one month” should extend for the rest of your marriage. You know things, like helping around the house, paying attention to your needs and wants, making you happy, being a family with the children, cooking meals for you, going places that you want to visit, family vacations, being loving and honest and kind – can he do all that and expect nothing in return?

    • Fortitude, you are mighty. Also foresighted with a pre-nup in place.

      All of us need a bit of time for our heads and hearts to sync.

      We all of us want to believe that They Really Love Us but Are Confused. Or that They Will See the Light. It’s that dang hopium that somehow they’re redeemable.

      But wait! Isn’t it possible for them to change?

      Yes, but only if they want to change, only if that change comes from within. You don’t have that. He is offering to change contingent upon your remaining married. This is not a Paul on the road to Damascus moment when he realizes that he must repent and turn his life around. This is his fear of consequences.

      Go ahead with the divorce. You have a prenup.

      If he truly wants to change, he’ll do it on his own. He’ll start going to therapy. He’ll stop having sex with escorts. He’ll adhere to the visitation schedule and pay whatever child support is due on time. He’ll own his actions and their consequences. He’ll agree that using Our Family Wizard is a great way to schedule and communicate about your child. He’ll be okay with No Contact other than regarding child care situations.

      In a couple of years, which is how long it’ll take for any meaningful change, and if you decide you can trust him, knowing that he’s cheated on you previously and therefore is capable of cheating again, then that’s an option.

      My hunch, based on the experience of CN and my own experience with CheaterX, is that this won’t happen. He’ll possibly reach out more to get back together, but he still won’t own his cheating. He will discover that caring for a child puts a big damper on his social life. He can be Disney Dad for a few months, but then he’ll get bored and try to swap weekends around to suit his schedule.

      And you’ll have more time to work on yourself. You’ll start to see that the cheating was only the tip of the iceberg with respect to the kind of emotional abuse you put up with. You’ll see that you never had a true partner. Instead, you had someone who saw you as a great babysitter, a cook, a stable influence in the home.

      In short, a spouse appliance.

      You deserve better! Divorce allows you to open up to better possibilities.

      • Printing this out & taping it to my mirror! They don’t change. They don’t come back. They were never truly there in the first place.

      • This is very true. I have been a useful object to him carefully minding the kids, taking care of the household, earning a substantial income and providing health insurance and sex while he stayed out late every night “working” and was “travelling for work” a great deal of the time. He would not even lift a finger to clean up his own plate after dinner thinking of himself as “the king” of our household. It is clear I have been in an abusive relationship, and now I know one that included significant lying and infidelity. He triangulated me constantly flirting with other women. And would criticize and and put me down on a regular basis shout orders at me to do things for him. Why I should have ANY hopium at all that this man can change is just beyond me. I am smart. I know in my mind this is a lost cause. Heart, catch up with my head will you!!! Let’s GO GO GO! I feel sad for some reason when I think of him stopping chasing after me and moving on with his life. I don’t know why because he has been moved on living his own cheating life the whole time anyway!!! I think you guys are right and once I am no contact (except for kids) I will feel better. Until we get hte divorce moving though I really can;t break free all the way. Gotta goooooooo!!

        • Please get STD tested. And please run credit reports and financials. Many of these jackasses commit horrific medical and financial infidelity–very often WHILE they are trying to “reconcile” with you. Skimming money, draining retirement accounts, making their business look unprofitable (on the books anyway), running up debt, secret safe deposit boxes etc. Don’t think “Well, he cheated but he’d never do that.” Yes he would.

          • Oh, and he’s probably already got a secret burner phone for affair use and bogus email accounts you don’t know about. They don’t change, they just get better at hiding it.

          • Yes I did get tested but that was a while ago and I should do again and again since now I know he continues to lie. I have already seen 5 divorce attorneys and retained one and thus feel confident he will have to give support even though I already know he is arranging his business to show he has no salary. But the firm has 25 employees and is audited and named as a going concern by an audit firm and I have been advised they do a lifestyle analysis. A man who manages to pay over 15k in monthly expenses to support our family surely has some income and will be imputed. I am no dummy my friends and he messed with the wrong lady.

            • Preparation for shenanigans is important. Cheater X went on “stress leave” throughout our divorce, claiming that he was unable to work due to emotional distress caused by the breakdown of our marriage. Then he wanted me to pay him spousal support, when I always earned half as much It turned out that he was working all of that time, but not turning in his time cards.

            • Yes, yes, yes. Get that lying cheating son of a bitch over a barrel. Get your own copies of paperwork you need to prove his income. You can take copies of any of his paperwork in the marital home. I did this myself. Obviously I waited for him to go to work then I seized the opportunity to grab and copy as much as I could. Then replaced it carefully – my ex was very OCD so would notice anything out of place. To combat this, in case your STBXH is like this, I took photos of things with my iPad before taking stuff then I could replace things perfectly using the photos, worked a treat.

              Also, do take heed of Jojobee, he will probably have secret accounts, some will probably be online which are hard to trace as no paperwork, and also check he hasn’t fucked up your credit rating by taking out credit using your name. He has been living a secret sex life, expect to find he has also been living a secret financial life.

              I discovered that my ex had at least two banking accounts that were online which I had been unaware of plus he had tried to forge my signature for credit ( I discovered he’d kept some of my old out of date credit cards to copy the signature. To this date I honestly don’t know how he acquired these old cards of mine.)

              Also, I noticed you mentioned you had a good job- I do too which was how I was able to afford to leave and get a decent home for me and kids( I didn’t want the family home, I discovered he had even had people there for sex whilst I was at work and kids were at school). But with a good job you probably have a good pension. Get your lawyer to protect this pension so he can’t touch it. The last thing you want is having to hand over a substantial % of your hard earned pension to fund his fucking sex life!

    • I don’t think the heart catches up with the head until you go no contact. When you’re in it, you just can’t look at it from a rational, 3rd-party perspective. I have gone no contact. Every week has gotten better, but I still have grief around “missing him.” He made a last-ditch effort and left me a voicemail yesterday. He started to cry and said he was sorry. I’m a SUCKER for a crying man. Because I had gone NC, instead of responding right away with, “it’s okay,” I was able to remember that I am his drug. He hasn’t gotten his fix for a while and wants another hit. I don’t give drugs to addicts. Also, I remembered, HE CRIED BACK IN JANUARY TOO AND I FELL FOR IT!! Don’t fall for it again. Remember – they want their drugs and their kibble.

    • Oh, how romantic – he’s giving you the keys to be the marriage police for him.

      Also, if he really wanted to change (which he doesn’t; as others have pointed out, he just wants cake back) he would be taking responsibility to figure his own life out independent of help or involvement from you. That includes getting into therapy for himself and not pressuring you to remain married.

      He can’t be the best husband and father possible – that would require him to give up his entitlement and to have not cheated in the first place.

      You are right there are no quick fixes for you to trust him again. He has earned your mistrust. Earning your trust would be a long, gradual, no-expectations-attached process – and is highly unlikely considering he is an entitled mindfuck cheater.

      Lastly, mindfucks can put on sparkly exteriors and seem to keep them up for a while. He likely won’t be able to keep up his act for more than 6 weeks, though. All his entitlement will creep back in and more likely than not he’ll start turning this around and making it all about you.

      My recommendation would be to not wait for your heart to catch up. Act now to protect yourself, get yourself away from the mindfuckery (so you can start healing and seeing more clearly), and let your heart grieve once you are a safe distance away.

    • My husband was home every night at 5:30 for the entire time of the affair (the one I found out about). Therapy has been a part of our entire 27 year relationship. He still cheated. He was calling the Lower Companion from the front yard after my daughter and I were asleep. He was leaving work for hookups (massage parlors, affair partner, who knows who else…). He was probably texting her while sitting on the couch with us. If I can’t be the woman who is his partner IN HIS MIND AND HEART THEN I CANNOT BE MARRIED TO HIM. I do not want to be in a “relationship” where I am a fish in a blender, having to monitor, which is FUTILE and NOT A REAL RELATIONSHIP ANYWAY. Hold out for REAL love…start practicing real love on YOU and your daughter!!

    • When I left ex narcopath the first time, he said the exact same things as your stbxh, and I went back and told him he had 3 weeks to shape up.

      He verbally agreed, but his ACTIONS demonstrated “you aren’t the boss of me” and he actually amped UP his gaslighting, manipulating, and covert abuse.

      I went to individual therapy during this time because I was really, really angry and could not figure out why, if he was pretending to do the things necessary to reconcile.

      I had a horrible therapist at the time who convinced me that I was the controlling one and to feel sorry for him being so hen-pecked by his mother and me. He was the victim. Of course, when i got home and he plied me with questions about it he was on cloud nine that he was right and i was wrong, and he increased his abusive behaviour even more!

      Three weeks and he was even worse and i moved out.

      We got back together a couple more times (while living apart) but it was never the same and i was very trauma bonded, and this was before I found CL.

      My opinion is that if they value and respect you, they act right from day 1. They don’t fuck up and then try to fix it.
      What’s the #1 lesson we teach our kids: do it right the first time!

    • I told the cowardly liar that I didn’t know what the future would hold but I knew that I we needed to end the marriage we had created, then see what we might want to create for the future based on the new normal. I also said that I needed the financial separation to rebuild what I had lost because he had spent a lot.

      This advice from a friend bought time and motivated his compliance because it allowed him to save face and do some pick me dancing of his own, as I was his stable foundation and his beard, so I made his shenanigans more feasible. It took the finality drama out of the divorce process and made the conversations “just for now” talks.

      It’s not for everyone, and it’s hard to manipulate when it isn’t your nature, but it did help me expedite the divorce.

      • I second Amiisfree’s “just for now” approach because you won’t get his agreement to divorce since he stands to lose very much from the split (not just financially). However, he certainly earned the consequences. When he told you he wasn’t going to give up his “friend” the first time, that’s was him being honest and showing you who he really is. All of the recent promises to change is for self-preservation only. I’m sorry to tell you that it does not mean he loves you or respects you. You don’t know what else he’s done ..

        Look out for yourself and your daughter. File surreptitiously, if needed (as per Tempest’s suggestion) – but I also caution you do this when you are both no longer living together. Be safe. Desperate people can do unexpected things.

        Many years ago, I told my abusive husband that I wanted a trial separation to see if we can fix things between us; and we can get back together later on. He was very against getting a divorce when I first brought it up – he cried, raged, and threatened me. I secretly found a place to move into (we didn’t have kids); then filed for a divorce a couple years later after he found a girlfriend he liked enough to marry (he did first ask me if I’d reconsider). It was the only way I could get away from him since he was never going to agree otherwise.

        • thanks – good news is my state is no fault so I can get a divorce without his ‘ agreement’/ Also my parents own an apartment in the city I live in that lies empty much of the time so I have a temp escape venue if needed. But he has not seemed violet so far thankfully. He is very concerned about his image.

    • Because it is a loss. And you have to mourn it. He killed a family. No way would you ever trust him again. You can’t build on that. It’s like building on quicksand. It is very sad. But he had many chances to do the right thing and now, when there is child support to be paid, and property to divide, he ‘sees the light’.

      Where was his compassion for you and his kids all along? He will play the pathetic figure now….he will be your ‘victim’ in his lore. He killed the trust, let him eat that.

    • the fact that he totally threw you under the bus in front of anyone, let alone OW, is the part I would never be able to get over. Made you a fool in order to save HER feelings. That is the part I would never recover from. Worse than the sex, worse than vegas, worse than anything else.

    • Regarding what your therapist says, your heart is going to catch up, but it’s able to do that with or without Babe Magnet. When your house is on fire you don’t wait for feelings, you get out.

    • Fortitude… just get the fuck out of there.
      Regardless of the constant crap he is trying to feed you, you will no doubt find that the OWs you already know about are just the tip of the iceberg.
      And it really doesn’t matter if it is one OW or 100.
      All that matters is he made a choice and that choice wasn’t his family.
      Fuck him. Fuck his douchebag bollocks to hell and back.
      He broke a commitment to you and your girls.
      He doesn’t deserve a fucking minute, month or year to prove anything, it’s too late, he made his choice with his dick.
      Lawyer up big time, take everything you can legitimately get and are entitled to.
      Don’t allow him any leeway or opportunities to sweet talk you or whine about how difficult life may become.
      Life is more than difficult staying married to a total fuckhead who cares only about his dick and where he’s putting it.
      Look up how to ‘grey rock’ when dealing with these bastards – and learn to do this effectively. It will save your sanity in the end.
      Remember that there can be no sufficient ‘closure’ when divorcing a self centred idiot so please make all efforts to get to ‘meh’ asap. He must have been at ‘meh’ in regards to you when fucking these OW. Because if he legitamately had actual love for you and his girls he would have left his dick in his shorts.
      Divorce his sorry entitled ass and go build the life you deserve with your beautiful girls.
      Most of us on here have done exactly that.

    • Fortitude,
      Let your heart catch up to your head away from him.
      AWAY.FROM.HIM.
      FAR.FAR.AWAY.FROM.HIM.
      Stay Mighty!

    • Fortitude, I am sorry that you are going through this. I just want you to ask yourself if you can really trust him. You will always wonder where he is and what he is doing. This is very painful and a bad way to live, ask me how. I gave soon to be XH too many chances and you know what, now I have Herpes 1 and 2. I am lucky I do not have anything terminal. I was with him for 8 yrs, married 6. I gave him so many chances that I have lost count. My soon to be XH is still asking for one more chance and we have been separated since July 2018. He gave me a list of what he would do differently last week. I won’t lie, but I was considering it but I know my heart is not going to be in it completely. I do not want to be a marriage police anymore. They rarely change.

    • He is a terrible human being – such an entitled turd. Do you want to spend the rest of your life with a turd ?!??

      How about flushing the turd and taking time to yourself. A better, more loving partner will most likely come along if that is what you want in the future.

      You deserve much more than what he can give you.

  • Some of us really need a brick to the head (I’m guilty) to make peace with the decision. I can assure you, if you keep it up, you’ll inevitably get one. I trust that this guy SUCKS.
    I don’t know why we don’t trust ourselves and our decisions in the quest for the non-existent unicorn.

  • Gradually approaching meh, but one thing that sets me off is when the idiot cheater refers to me as “honey” or “sweetie.” BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT HE CALLS THEM ALL.

    “Cutie” seems to be reserved for the target of the moment, but all of these things from his nasty mouth make me want to spit nails.

    At the place where his heart should be.

  • In a drunken stupor he called me ‘babe’ and then I knew it was his term for her. She uses it with her boyfriend, too. I pointed that out to him. At first I was miffed about babe…that’s how messed up you get. But I hate the term and think it’s stupid.

  • Thanks. Sounds like we are in a very similar boat. My husband is also an extremely driven person and a very “successful” entrepreneur who built himself up from childhood poverty to be rather well off, had no real loving family growing up and upon getting one (me and the girls) decided he was so great and awesome and better than everyone now he could treat me like dirt apparently. I found out about his infidelity in January and tried to drag him to therapy, but he was “too overwhelmed with his serious business challenges” to go with me past 3 sessions. He promised me he had ended his “friendships” with the Russian and the 23 yr old. He gaslighted me and lied to me about everything for months, made me think I am crazy but thanks to this site and the Option B support group on Facebook I learned that these cheaters just continue to lie so I continued to investigate and found him out big time. I am a very reliable and stable person so I knew I was NOT CRAZY!! So I retained an attorney and here I am. He tells me “I don’t like the trajectory my life is headed in!” “I don’t want to be one of THOSE dads”. UGH UGH UGH

    • Yeah well I don’t think you liked the trajectory your life was on with his carryings on and you have a right to correct course and move in a different direction without him. He chose the course he’s on. You get to chose yours too.

      • Great point!!!!! Turn the rudder steer and the ship in a different direction away from his CRAP! Be the Captain of my ship as CL would say. thank you

  • Fortitude, he is manipulating and using you. You don’t need him. He needs you at his beck and call to feed his giant, fat ego. That’s the only thing he is trying to achieve here. He humiliated you right there in front of the OW. Sit and stew on that. Really it sounds like the only thing you fear is being alone. You won’t be alone!!

    • She already is alone, as he has checked out a long time ago. He’s emotionally and mentally not there, and it’s just a matter of time, before he physically bails too. But she is and has been alone for a long time.

    • I know. If I could flash forward and envision my future with my nice new dentist husband. I am joking that I want to marry a dentist because he is just an elitist that he has told me over the years he only values entrepreneurs and senior execs as being the most value added people in society that he wants in his social circle and thinks that dentists just wash teeth and are not value added and he does not want them in his social circle. I told him a garbage man who is an honest man is much better than him! Any Chump dentists out there!? LOL

  • Of course he’s calling you babe, he wants to keep you around to use you further. He knows what he’s doing. Continuing the false intimacy so he can have his cake and eat it too. All abusers operate this way, they aren’t nasty 100% of the time, otherwise, you’d leave. They sprinkle false niceness here and there, to keep you around and further their agenda.

    • “.. he wants to keep you around to use you further. He knows what he’s doing. Continuing the false intimacy .. ” That is exactly how users and abusers play. Seen this tactic used many times, on me and subsequent targets.

  • Fortitude, from your response above you seem to have your ducks lined up. In any case, in my opinion you have MUCH bigger things to worry about than if he calls you babe. But it seems like you already have him crapping his pants so keep on going. Good luck to you.

  • And from your other response about his snobbery, I’d try to find myself the kindest, sweetest pizza delivery guy and flaunt this lovely person in front of that snobbish pig of a husband you have. THAT alone would make me walk out of there!

  • I always cringe when I hear “babe.” It just sounds so flippant and insincere to me. I guess now I know why. 🙂
    My husband called his 30 years younger Ukrainian dating site girl “Sweet Heart”, “Dear Heart”, and “Sweet Juliette” (her dating site name was Juliette) but in over 30 years together, he never had a pet name for me.
    He also said she’s his “friend” and he’s not the kind of person to dump a “friend”.
    I don’t know how “dumping a “friend”” is a worse crime than shitting on your wife. That right there proves that’s it was more to him than friendship.

    • Friend for him means Dick Supply. He just wanted someone to satisfy his pipi. That’s what it means when a guy labels a female as a *friend*. It’s the oldest trick in the book. He’s either already sleeping with him or hopes to in the near future.

  • The jackass I was once married to was a huge flirt. Not only did he call me “babe,” he called every woman “babe.” I felt so special…..

  • Fortitude,
    Leaving aside the whole “babe” question (which I don’t really agree with, but don’t want to get into), you need to stop giving him criteria for winning you back, stop listening to all his prattle. In fact, unless it concerns picking up and dropping off children (hopefully without a Russian paramour), or the children’s welfare, do not talk to him AT ALL. He or his lawyer can talk to your lawyer, period. If he’s not out of the house, have the attorney make arrangements to get his skanky butt out of there.

  • Fortitude,
    I think that what to some might seem like ambivalence, waffling, poor timid forest creature behavior from your husband is just your husband vying for cake. Regarding your husband telling you he loved you after cheating on you and hurting you in a variety of ways, in his final discard of me, my last boyfriend half an hour after telling me, ‘I don’t see you in my future,’ told me as I walked out of his house, ‘I love you.’ (What a mindf–k move on his part.) The next day, he told me, ‘You can stick around (me), but don’t expect any lovey dovey.’ He also asked me for the weekend to consider whether he would stay with me or not–after 30 years. Right then I finally started feeling offended. And I wondered if any of the other ‘I love you’s’ that came out of his mouth over the years were ever true. I felt as though the whole relationship had been a lie (a ‘dalliance’ to him) and I was just as Natalie Lue calls it, ‘a passing time candidate,’ an ego boost to help him gain enough confidence to bag his current partner for a wife. These ‘ambivalent’ partners of ours are entitled, arrogant F–ktards who lack respect for their loving, loyal partners. I am sick of being treated like a disposable plastic toy. Wish that I had left at the first sign of disrespect instead of hanging around, pick me dancing in denial, hoping that I could get my partner to appreciate, love, and respect me. The pick me dancing was a complete waste of time that just made me feel worse as the treatment grew worse over time as he knew that I would tolerate disrespect. And he just grew more contemptuous of me. It was all very degrading to me. If I had left at/near the time I started observing signs that I was not valued/respected, then at least I would have held onto a shred of self-respect. Now I have neither partner nor self-respect. I hope that you won’t let yourself go down the path that I did way too many times. You deserve so much better than the treatment you are getting.

  • I hate the word “babe” as a term of endearment. That’s what my ex calls his whore. Makes me gag.

  • Oh my! Thank you CL for clarifying yet another mystery: why my pet name suddenly changed to Babe!

  • This one hit the nerve. The ex would use “sweetie” to wait staff and any other females. It made me feel sick. During depositions, my lawyer had to remind him several times that it was not appropriate to say that to her. He could use her first name or her last name but not “sweetie.” He despises her along with all other women. We are simply objects to him. Puke!!!
    I held the door open for a man behind me and he said, “thanks honey.” I replied, “I’m not your honey and do not call me that.” I told a friend about it and she called me harsh. I told her he should keep his terms of endearment for his partner because flippantly using those make him creepy not sincere.

  • The sit-down with OW told you everything you need to know.
    He’s going to keep her around, “Babe”. Deal with it.
    You got an in-person glimpse of your cheater playing both sides. Most betrayed spouses don’t get to see that so clearly. Most simply tell their spouses what they want to hear while keeping ‘friendly’ w/ OW on the sly.
    Thank him for the clarity then serve him divorce papers.

  • Ahhh….one of my favorite movie moments is Pamela Anderson shooting a bad guy and saying “Don’t call me babe”.

    My controlling father used to call me babe. No one else has ever been allowed to call me that since.

  • He probably has a burner cell &/or sends emails or soon will. These guys are very skilled at hiding their shit & decieving. I don’t know how or where they learn the tricks but they do. There must be a Manuel, lol.

    My x came home after work everyday. A few times I suspected I looked at his email & cell & even for evidence of receipts or something in his truck but found nothing. I told myself I was just being suspicious & that was horrible of me because I knew he would never hurt me like that AGAIN, after knowing what it did to me the first time – HA! All that happened is he stopped for MAYBE a few years and then got really super good at hiding it. He deleted all his correspondance, texts, emails, browser history, etc. I was/am a techno dum-dum so I had no idea. When he walked out for one of the OW, all these emails for sites like Friend Finder & Ashley Madison popped up on his e-mail, including gay & bi sites! Talk about a shock of a lifetime! I also found out after he left that he would take vacation hours or days from work or call in sick to go see AP’s. He would tell me he was going to Home Depot or similar & be gone for hours. When he came home, he would have a small item from the store. When I asked why it took him 2 or 3 hours to get one thing he would say he went to several store & couldn’t find what he needed, or give some other half way believable lame excuse. I speckled with cement!

    Please don’t do what I did & go to Marriage Counseling, get him to prove he loves you, re-take vows, etc & believe it. I wasted another 12 years of my life doing this. He has already shown you who he is. That won’t change, believe me. All that will happen is be will get better at deceiving you, hiding things, & lying! TRUST THAT HE SUCKS & ALWAYS WILL! GET THE FUCK OUT NOW!!!

    • If he’s anything like my POS asshat he not only has burner phones, emails and aliases he probably grooms his affair partners in the finer points of being a successful cheater.

      TRUST THAT HE SUCKS.

  • Um…how fucked up is this…Exhole’s AP refers to him as “Pluto” and herself as “Charon” a nickname even her small child has been groomed to refer to them as. Charon, the largest of the five moons, is mutually tidally locked with Pluto, and is massive enough that Pluto–Charon is sometimes considered a double dwarf planet.

    The reference she has made with the pet lover names is laugh out loud ridiculous. She not only chose the largest of “Plutos” five moons placing herself central to his existence but Charon is a greek mythology god, the ferryman of Hades (the god of the underworld) who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. She literally announced her role of leading this man into HELL. Not that he needed any help to get there but by all means lead the way Charon…

    I can’t help but giggle that in her choosing of a pet name for him (hoping to sound as smart as the narc with a newfound fascination with all things space related) she chose soooooo appropriately “Pluto”, the misfit planet. Then announced their noxious relationship by proclaiming herself “Charon”. Letting everyone know that their relationship is locked in toxic orbit of each other, leaving the other 4 moons (AP’s yes, other, other women) to orbit around them. I made the decision to remove myself from that toxic orbit of doomed chaos and learned a very valuable lesson: think wisely before engaging in the seemingly sweet ritual of a lovers pet name. Don’t be a Charon – double dwarf dumbass.

  • “But I have hopium and actually enjoying seeing him squirm to win me back.” It’s worth noting that on one hand, we have a cheater who revels in power and control over others, hence the pick-me dance between APs and the betrayed spouse. But it’s no good to counter that attempt at power and control with one on the other side–“watching him squirm to win [him or her] back,” That’s an endless power struggle, one that can fuel years of false reconciliation. The cheater acting like a spoiled adolescent who wants his own way and the chump acting the parental role, trying to make the cheater either behave or squirm at the consequences.

    What makes a liar and manipulator and cheater really squirm is stepping out of the power game and pursuing your own best interest, including maintaining no contact. Even if you lined up every AP and had Cheater walk down the line to tell all of them he has to give them up, the world is full of potential cheating partners. The only remorse that counts is real remorse, and that involves grappling with the damage done to all by the cheating. If you have to drag a spouse to put affair partners in their place, there’s nothing to work with, no matter what is said at such a meeting. But when the cheater refuses, in front of you, to end the contact, that’s game over. If he wanted to “win you back,” HE would devise ways to show you that he’s given up his Schmoopies. His decisions and actions created the crisis; he would have to make a similar effort to fix it.

  • And how do you get more firmly resolute when he love-bombs you?

    1. You study character disorder. You need to know what he is, rather than relying on your memories and nostalgia to determine your picture of him.
    2. You remember that he lies to you, all the time. So talking to him is useless.
    3. You remember that actions are what matter. He would have to show you that he’s changed, and that’s better evaluated when he is living on his own. He courted you once; he can do it again, if he cares.

    • LAJ,
      Thank you for reminding us to remember that they lie to us–something useful to remember when we start missing the ‘good stuff’ in the relationship. Sometimes I think, ‘my ex-boyfriend readily lied to me and insulted me because he neither loved nor respected me, but he refrains from lying to and insulting the partners he loves and respects (like his adulterous, abusive ex-wife and his current partner).’ The thought makes me feel awful about me.

  • Fortitude (great name), at this time your emotions are not your friends. It’s hard but only by concentrating on what he is doing ( not saying) and by ignoring your emotions can you do what has to be done. I was there too, it hurt like hell but I could see no remorse, just ongoing cake eating and although it broke my heart at the time I filed. Hardest thing I ever did. 3 years later I wonder why I waited so long. You deserve better.

  • a little story to hit home that a cheaters words don’t mean shit:

    during reconciliation my XW had an old tape recording put onto a dvd that she thought was of our child when she was an infant. She was going to show me that “I” shouldn’t break up our little family with divorce. Turns out it was the wrong tape- it was from a Christmas with her family and former boyfriend before I knew her. But there was this moment in the video- she beckons to her boyfriend and calls him “babe” and I’m sitting there thinking in shock “Oh my God, ‘babe’ is also her nickname for me for the past 17 years, she recycles the word with whoever she is with, I’m not special AT ALL. What a fool I’ve been”

    If he calls you a nickname, it’s not a term of heartfelt endearment- it’s just easy to remember- he’s probably totally unoriginal and uses it for his hoebags also.

    • What a reality slap, bittersweet that you had to see that straight out of your XW’s mouth. It goes beyond nicknames…vacation spots, gifts, hikes, hobbies, favorite wine…they keep it fairly similar across the relationships as to not “forget” any detail.

  • A domestic abuse recovery coach told me recently that while not every man who called his partner ‘babe’ or ‘love’ instead of calling her by her name was abusive, in 20 years of working with both abused women and male abusers, she had yet to hear of an abusive man who didn’t always call his partner ‘babe’ or ‘love’ instead of by her name.

  • This popped up in our news today. A young woman took to an expensive Mercedes and vandalised it with key phrases like Cheater; man whore and slut graffitied all over it. Couldn’t help myself; have a belly laugh!

  • My cheater told our common friend that I will always be his “Sweetie” and the Schmoopie is his “Babe” *Vomit*

  • Fortitude, many of the disordered engage in drama around discovery to throw you off the track of what they are actually doing. While you are focused on mending the relationship he is dissipating marital funds and lining up his new life. Once the game is up, most Narcs move on. My advice? Go No Contact and concentrate on the BIG picture, your (and your family’s) future. Recognize that you are modeling behavior to your children and ask yourself if how you are being treated is okay. Your heart will take a while to catch up because you have history and want to believe in the fairytale. Problem is your husband will never be that prince. Best wishes on your journey forward. Life is so much better when it is not built on a foundation of lies.

    • Thank you Drew. Still battling and I needed to re read this today. He will NEVER be my prince. Today I learned he would d to the Russian woman’s house, work out, and then have sex, then go pick up our daughter. God I want to vomit.

  • You are talking to your cheater far too much. As CL said…stop tipping your hand!

    If you leave now or later or never you need to stop giving him insight into your brain. Hold your cards close to your chest . They hate it and it helps you.

  • Mine never called me “Babe” EVER until after he started his relationship with Skank. During ‘wreckonciliation’ it dawned on me that is probably what they call each other. It would be in what I thought were comfortable – things were going well moments – then bamm — I’m Babe. So Bizarre.

  • At the end – maybe last few years – when I think he was cheating – he never used my name. I was referred to as “her” and “she” – I guess as not to confuse the AP and me?

    And then after D Day – I was called “babe” – never been a babe – ever.

    I told him “babe” was the name of a pig.

    Turns out it was probably what he called both of us.

    Lol.

    What a POS.

    Onward.

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