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Situational Truth

Stephen Colbert coined the awesome word “truthiness” — when referring to politicians who spin their own versions of reality. They seem so sure of themselves, who cares if it’s not the truth? It’s truthy!

Similarly, the food writer Michael Pollan in his book “In Defense of Food” distinguishes between actual food (things “your great-grandmother would recognize as food”) and “food-like substances” such as Hot Pockets, go-gurts, and most public school cafeteria lunches. It’s sort of like food. Heck, it might contain actual bits of real food — but it’s not truly food. Pollan fears we’re losing our ability to distinguish and prefer the fake over the authentic.

I think quite a few people exist in this alternate universe of truthiness and food-like substances. They’re sort of real, but they aren’t really. They look good, but they taste like sawdust. They say the right things — and gosh, they seem totally convincing — but they don’t really mean a word of it. Or they meant it when they said it, but then they walked outside and got distracted by a butterfly and forgot whatever it was they were convinced of a moment ago.

This is the phenomenon of “situational truth.”

From a recent letter:

I thought he meant it when he said he wanted to grow old with me. Well even when all this happened, he said he DID mean it at the time. He just knew that might change.

So did he change his mind and forget to tell her? Did he say it because it sounded noble and romantic? Did he have his fingers crossed behind his back? Or was he simply keeping his options open, and shame on her for taking him at his word?

We’ll never know. We’re chumps. Our minds don’t work this way.

I think we all understand what it is to change your mind. To regretfully renege on a former commitment — “I’m sorry, I know I agreed to bonsai pruning on Thursday night but I forgot I have a PTA meeting.” Situational truth isn’t changing your mind — it’s changing your truth. Instead of reality being a constant, for the “truthy”, the truth is fluid. It can adapt to your ever-changing whims and desires.

Let’s put it in elementary school terms. Suzy has cookies in her lunch. I tell Suzy “You are my BEST friend forever! And you’re invited to my birthday party!” Suzy, moved by this flattery offers me some of her cookies. I eat the cookies. But, alas, I want more cookies. I see Robert. I say “Robert, you are my BEST friend forever! And you’re invited to my birthday party!” Robert gives me his cookies.

Suzy WHO?

Look Suzy was all very fine and great so long as she had cookies. And she might have cookies again, and when that happens, I’m sure Suzy and I will patch things up. Did I believe what I said when I told Suzy she was my best friend? Well, sort of. My vision of a best friend is someone who not only has cookies in their lunch, they give me cookies. So yes, Suzy was absolutely my best friend in that moment. But then she just wasn’t that useful to me after I ate the cookies. I could wait around until tomorrow, when chances are Suzy’s mom might pack more cookies in her lunch — but that proposition is iffy. Right now Robert has cookies! — so best friend allegiances must shift.

We chumps get so hung up on veracity. To us, when you tell someone they are your best friend, you mean it. It takes a lot more than fresh cookies to rock our commitment. We internalize the things we say. We hold Suzy in our hearts. If anyone asks, Suzy is our best friend. We actually invite Suzy to our birthday parties. She is so much more than her cookies.

For the truthy, all truth is situational truth. It’s not a constellation based on the North Star, where the moral compass turns to an affixed point. No, instead the truth is an Australian shepherd puppy. You have a treat for me?! Awesome! Oh, hang on — SQUIRREL! Whoa… OMG! squeaky toy!!! Where were we?

Okay, perhaps that’s not the best analogy because Australian shepherd puppies are not malevolent, they’re just dim-witted. The best practitioners of situational truth are the personality disordered — they manipulate as easily as they breathe. They don’t agree with your version of reality because it’s yours, and withholding consensus on reality fucks with your head. Bonus!

So if you find yourself in the company of one of these wingnuts? Hold on to your cookies, chumps. And don’t invite them to your birthday party.

This column ran previously, as I’m slowing waking up from a long day of travel yesterday from northern Michigan. Where are the blue skies and fish spread? (sad face)

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  • Any word coming out of their mouth is a bag fat lie. My ex went so far to tell me they made a mistake on the cheque for the sale of the car and he would have to return the extra. Chumpy me had no reason to doubt him at the time! TRUST is a big word…..

    • Lioness, thanks for sharing this story. I feel so much better knowing I am not alone in my extreme chumpiness.

      The truthiness part of your cheater’s story is that there really was an “extra”.

      • ClearWaters your not alone my dear my ex Narc was sneaking around everywhere. When I found out all the lies I was in shock, I’m still in shock 3 years later! DDay was December. 4, 2016 and I still haven’t fully recovered! This POS destroyed our life, family and finances all for his filthy affairs. These sluts knew full well he was married!

        • I know exactly how u feel. It will be 2 years for me come Oct 15, I continue to find out more crap each and every day

          • Ditto. My DDay was aug 28 2016 and a month ago another realization of another affair partner clicked for me.

            Gut punches.

  • yep I got two Valentine’s day cards after 15 years together, one with ‘super lover’ on front and inside “you have made me the happiest woman alive love always…..” by July she had fallen in love with married schmoopie at work…..”they couldn’t fight their feelings for each other”. By Aug they were shagging and by the time I found out in early Oct “I had killed her love for me, treated her like an object and should have known what she wanted if I truly loved her.” mind fuck or what, thankfully chumping only lasted 3 weeks before I kicked her out. She went on to marry the twat!

    • The Dragon (x) mirrored my mother’s thoughtful chump habit of exchanging Valentines and Birthday cards.
      Great Image Management tool. Deception at it’s finest.

  • Absolutely! I always found it irritating that my ex would bend truths to meet his agenda. Also, using the Bible and Christianity and bending those teachings to serve his will. They will stop at nothing!

    This goes along with the post from yesterday I think. Where they will bend the truth and tell people fabrications to justify what they are doing.

    • My sister has done this (the Bible bending truthiness), and my heretofore adamantly-Christian-there-are-moral-absolutes parents have drunk the KoolAid, too. I don’t get it: all my life I was taught that our moral compass comes from outside of us (i.e. God) and hence is an “ever fixed star that looks on tempests and isn’t shaken.” But now when I question my sister’s decision to cheat on and then divorce her sick husband (a beyond kind and gentle man who had the misfortune of contracting early onset fronto temporal dementia), I am met with angry responses of “not everything is so black and white.” Well, if everything is relative, then how dare you question my right to question her decisions?? ???????? /rant

  • The lies I uncovered were mind boggling. In hindsight he lied about everything throughout our entire marriage. I would dismiss these lies as “unimportant”, but, they were still lies for no reason whatsoever other than to improve his image. I never knew that this all pointed to he being a Sociopath.

    • Now that I know the truth & who X really is, I don’t think he’s ever willingly told/tells the truth. He has to be cornered by someone who knows the truth for him to tell the truth. Then he acts like he deserves a reward for doing so.

    • The lying. The never ending lying. And somehow our fights about his lying always were necessary because of something I did.

      Actually, he squirmed away from the actual term lying by finding some loophole like, you didn’t ask if I had dinner with Grace on Wednesday. You asked, did you have dinner with Grace? And I hadn’t had dinner with her when you asked.

      So glad that BS is over.

      • Oh my Lord, THIS word salad with a side dish of smugness. It frustrated the heck of me. If he finally gets cornered like a rat, he goes with, “I don’t know” (as in, “I don’t know why I did that”).

        So, so glad it is all over.

  • Tbh I’m guilty of this. Never cheated obviously but the whole “oh I like you sooooo much” followed a week later by “god I hate this how do I get out” is me. Sucks because it basically means I can’t form a normal healthy relationship. I’ve actually got to break things off with someone because I went in with all the warm fuzzies and now just want out. Just trying to think of the least hurtful way to phrase things.

    I’m not trying to hurt others. I just do so by acting naturally.

    • Blyatman, a helpful hint:

      you cannot love someone you do not know. Warm fuzzies does not mean love.

      First you have to get to know someone. What do they think, feel, like? That takes conversation, and listening, and TIME.

      Then you can decide how you feel. People who declare love within a week are fakes. Don’t be a fake.

      Hope that helps.

      • He’s talking about infatuation, which is a normal human thing. When it’s not normal, as in, lying for decades through kids/mortgages/illnesses….in order to extract value….that is the problem.

        Blytman, if you are comparing yourself to the former, you and several billion other humans are in the same boat.

        However, if you are the latter….you don’t need to be a cheater to be a worthless POS sociopath. Using people while you recognize you are doing so is a POS sociopathic thing to do, particularly when you deliberately encourage trust from that person.

        There. FIFY

  • Thank you, Chump Lady, for re-running this column, because I needed the reminder.
    I have had to communicate with my stbx over divorce details, and after that email, I got another, saying “I’ve spent a lot of time this summer hoping that we could have some kind of friendship when we’re past the hard part.” I have no interest in having a friendship with him–he treated me abominably–but I got tied up in trying to figure out how a man who decided I was his enemy and someone he didn’t feel he could talk to could now want me as a friend. It appears contradictory, but situational truth explains it–and the one common denominator in what he says is that he says whatever he benefits from at the time he says it.
    When I was naked-pick-me dancing, it was “I want to live with you for the rest of my life.” When I expressed my doubts about his behavior, I became the enemy and it was “I’ll never forgive you for what you did to me.” And when he wanted to find a way to explain the demise of our marriage that let him off the hook for his behavior, he said, “Our problem was communication. But you made me feel that I couldn’t talk to you.” And now he wants “some kind of friendship”? Fat chance.

      • Mitz, that is the best line! I’m going to use it next time my STBX says he would like for us to remain friends. No, I don’t think so!

        • I told my “husband” a few things after DDay, when he said I was his “best friend”

          1) I deserve better friends

          2) We are not friends. Friends don’t lie to you and stab you in the back unawares.
          We are associates, and only as long as I absolutely have to be (child, business)

    • “I got tied up in trying to figure out how a man who decided I was his enemy and someone he didn’t feel he could talk to could now want me as a friend.”

      I had one of those that tied me up…”If her was unhappy enough to ____ then why did he_____?” One action was unthinkable if you assume he was honest about the first thing.

      I was literally knotted up about that FOR YEARS because I refused to see that he had lied so maliciously to save his own ass. Once I realized that he was really a self serving liar, the knot was untangled, but I was not willing to go there FOR YEARS.

      • Mr Magnificent is on his 4th girlfriend (1 was a soul mate of 3 years) since me. So that is 5 years and she is the only ‘non overlap’. Now that the house has been sold, the kids tell me they are moving in together (whilst he travels extensively).

        I send her mental telepathy: I am sure you are a lovely person. But he does not love you. You are of use. You are exotic (again), over 10 years younger, look up to him and treat him like God. And you have a roof he needs.

        Good luck, he is going to waste years of your life, because when he is done you will work it out. And that is such a painful lesson.

        • This brings up a good Chumplady question: Should you tell the innocent new partner of your twisted ex- what lies in wait for them?

    • Kibbles. When schmoopie was a sure thing and he was riding high on his own fumes he didn’t think that he might need you for anything. Now that the bloom is off and he’s left to himself, you look like an attractive source again.

    • Trying for Mighty, I recognized my ex in your post….he said/did everything you described to a T, and even though we’ve been divorced a few years now – and he’s remarried to his last affair partner (there were many during our entire 26-year marriage) – he still wants “to be friends.” In fact, he wants us ALL – including his former howorker/current wife – to be friends. I know that the sociopath lacks a conscience, which explains his outrageous behaviors and thought processes, but I still have to shake my head at the absurdity of it all. And evidently, she’s just as sociopathic as he is, because she plays along. I wouldn’t want to be friends with either one of them if they were the last 2 individuals on earth.

      • I feel your pain there. My ex suggested the same thing, although I am unsure if they have married yet. I know they plan on it. Even tho he and the ho-worker denied their affair and relationship until July when she finally finished using her fiance for all she could get before leaving him in the dirt for my ex. This has gone on for 2 years now. I’ve never despised 2 people more than them in my life!

  • This is how I know I’m different than a cheater. When my son’s father and first husband had a mental breakdown and choked me when I threatened to throw out his hoarding items to reclaim my own closet, I told the truth. He knew what was up. I packed my things and the Baby’s things and told him to get help and I moved the heck out.

    It was Greg last straw, not the first breath. And yes, by that point I had no positive feelings for him anymore but the situation had been discussed numerous times. I did not draw extras into that scene to salve my own unhappiness. It was not a hackneyed happy movie ending like A Beautiful Mind. My son was not safe. I was not safe. I laid down a dealbreaker and he curb stomped it for fun. BYE.

    Most Chumps, when the floodgates open and you suddenly find out that You Are The Worst Spouse Ever, Specifically in Comparison to the Schmoopie You Neber Knew Existed, find that not a word of discontent had been offered prior. Cheaters don’t deal with unhappy. They need salve in human form. And after they build a tolerance to Schmoopie and destroy everything in sight, they have two choices. New Schmoopie. Pretend to put up with Now 40% less shiny Schmoopie because Finances. Toggle Between Both Because Now Ya Old!

    I just cannot imagine not discussing marital dissatisfaction with the one person I pledged to be faithful to before seeking outward. It’s lazy and emotionally stunted.

  • I’m getting closer to meh, but one of the things that still gets to me about the discard is that she blames me for believing that she was truthful. At the time, she was crystal clear in every interaction with me: “this marriage is over”, “I’m not in love with you”, “there is no chance I will ever change my mind”, “I’m already gone”. (All quotes). It took me a couple of months but I finally accepted it and filed for divorce. Now she says the divorce was my fault because she was “just confused” and didn’t know what she wanted.

    In other words, it’s my fault because I believed the words of grown woman (PhD, university professor). I’m at fault because I should have known that when she said “it’s over” she really meant “I’m confused”. I didn’t pat her on the head and say “yes, dear. Are you hormonal? Is this menopause?” – I believed her, I respected her right to self-determination, and now I’m the bad guy. If I didn’t have independent confirmation that the affair was going on during all this time (from OBS – XW still denies it even though they’re now engaged), I think I would be tied up in self-doubt over whether I’d pulled the trigger too hastily.

    I think she meant what she said when she said it, and now she means it when she says she never said it. Cheaters truths morph to protect their egos – it’s how they can be so sincere when they are in fact lying through their teeth.

    • You are smarter than I was. He told me he didnt love me and wanted out and I though he was confused and waited for him mind to clear.

      If I had divorced him based on those statements, I am sure that he would later have said things similar to what your XW said. My nowhusbands XW has done this. She stated no love and firm desire to end the marriage, resisted his dancing for 6 months then (when he had a “come to Jesus moment” about their future) said “I am no longer attracted to 6’3″ blond men”.

      But now their divorce is his fault. She remarried first. We didnt date until they had been divorced for 12 years and we are treated like we are Cheater/Schmoopie which pisses me off because I detest Schmoopies…any inference that Im a Schmoopie is beyond contempt to me.

      • Hmmm!

        My message was:

        I do not love you and never will again because you are such a terrible wife who has made me so unhappy. My dismissive, rejecting, disdainful behaviour towards you (the art of clinging to the edge of the mattress when sharing it with your spouse etc) is caused by you and I will not let up in my treatment of you, that is your fault. Dance harder.

        But carry on being a mother, housekeeper, administrator and property manager, and do not talk about divorce.

        I was so bewildered. I remember saying to him ‘if I vanished in a puff of dust so that you did not have any responsibility to me, is that what you want?” “NO! But its all your fault, etc”

        Now, knowing about disordered people, it is crystal clear.

        But who does and says anything in order to have all resources (mine and Schmoopies) focused on them with no concern as to what harm is being done and what deceit has to be told?

        It is not something my chump mind can wrap round.

        • Maybe you should be glad you can’t wrap your mind around it. Because you’re honest and thoughtful. The hard part for chumps is accepting that some people just aren’t like that. Hardest part is when it’s a beloved spouse. Fooled you, ha ha!

          • Wrap my mind around it? Have never been told anything…but, got three post its: “it’s about us”, “let’s make this work” and “maybe we can date”. Only communication I received until the Marshall knocked on my door. The fact that I was able to live through all of this still amazes me. Now on to thriving!

    • IG, this all sounds so familiar… I was supposed to realize that after DDay, when Assholio said he wanted to “work on the marriage,” it really meant he needed to spend another six months screwing his whore because he needed to “wind things down” with her, and he thought I would understand. Once I focused in on this, I could see that kind of disconnect was rampant in every part of his life, and whatever benefited him the most became the “truth.” I finally concluded (and told him) that we live in two different realities, where whatever he wants to do/think/feel is absolutely right and should have no consequences. It’s truly mind-boggling to normal people, and I wasted a lot of time trying to get him to understand that what he did was WRONG. I finally had to just walk away in frustration, and trust that he sucks.

      • “disconnect was rampant in every part of his life, and whatever benefited him the most became the “truth.”
        In a nutshell.

        • “disconnect was rampant in every part of his life, and whatever benefited him the most became the “truth.”


          • “disconnect was rampant in every part of his life, and whatever benefited him the most became the “truth.” I finally concluded (and told him) that we live in two different realities, where whatever he wants to do/think/feel is absolutely right and should have no consequences. It’s truly mind-boggling to normal people, and I wasted a lot of time trying to get him to understand that what he did was WRONG.

            Exactly! I cant count how many times I’ve attempted to explain that his lying, selfish and cruel behavior is WRONG but he looks at me like I’m speaking a language he doesn’t understand. His main goal in life is to make himself feel good and avoid all consequences.

            • SMQ they know it’s wrong they just don’t care. They are happy (or think they are) so it doesn’t matter. Once I got that through my head writing him off was so easy.

    • IG, Silence is our primary weapon.
      Like alcoholism, Infidelity is “an Equal Opportunity Destroyer” and it doesn’t respect income, education, religion, race, anything.
      PhD = Piled High & Deep

    • When they tell you, who they are- believe them.

      I was seeing a wounded souls, great man who would die for his family, hard worker and a man of integrity.

      What was hidden? Cheater and lied who gaslighted me for years, lied from the start of our relationship and had absolutely no issue exposing his young wife/ children to deadly diseases( oh wait… he “ could tell” which hooker was hiv free????????????????????????‍♀️)

      And no, he is not a low life scum bag… pillar of his community, someone to look up to…

    • OH MY GOSH, Involuntary Georgian, the mind warp is unbelievable. Mr. Creeperpants denied, minimized, and blame-shifted his behavior our entire relationship. Then, towards the end, when he knew I was starting to check out, he tried a new tactic, and made the following suggestion to help with my “healing”: “Forgive yourself for what you’ve put up with.” Huh??? But he had told me he wasn’t doing those things and that I was too sensitive and insecure and was “believing lies” about him…. Mind boggling…..

  • Situational truth! never knew there was a term for it…..I was so confused as I had situational truth coming at me from all directions as everone had there own agenda and reason for the cheater and I to stay together and non of them cared what I wanted, before D’day the cheater was very situational and then him and his support screw in the weeks that followed were coming up with a new truth ever other day. I really struggles to identify my own truth and what I was willing to accept (or not) when I did I decided I was never going to be swayed from it again so I had the word “truth” tattooed on my wrist as a reminder.

  • CL has referenced that those that got ghosted are luckier than we think. She’s right. The X, though we lived in the same house for over 2 months post “I want a divorce” and 1.5 months post D-day, essentially ghosted me. He didn’t want to talk about the divorce, our marriage or what the hell happened. He didn’t want to talk…period.

    I tried to get a few things like, you were telling me the truth when you said X, or Y, or Z. A good friend, a male, said quit doing that. You open a can of worms that could make things worse. He was right as well. All the cards, the sentiments, the touches, the kisses, the promises – I would rather believe that he meant some of what he did or said. Otherwise, I’m unraveling the skein of fuckupedness and we all know how that goes.

    For those of you that had to hear the lies, the ugliness – big hugs to all you. No one should ever have to hear those things from someone that you loved and who claimed to love you.

    • I asked and asked and asked. I posed more questions that you can believe and each one was answered in vitriol or lies or whateverthefuck he could spew in the moment.

      Asking questions of a cheater is like loading a gun, handing it to them, instructing them to point it at you then begging them to pull the trigger.

      • What a bastard! Same for me, minus the vitriol. I got sad puppy dog instead of snarling junkyard dog. I would ask endlessly, plead for the truth that I needed to heal and move on. He would tell me something that made no sense or sounded fishy so I would check his google maps or activity and find out things that were not true. The moron let his phone track and keep every place they went, all his searches about divorce, marrying younger women, etc. and keep the photos of them snuggling, when he had said there were never any photos and he never wanted to leave me to marry her, and the list goes on. He says he “didn’t know google could do that”. The guy’s a programmer-analyst and that ignorant of how google works? Incredible. Each day, another lie and more detective work. Each lie would cause another PTSD meltdown. Even a suicide attempt didn’t stop the lies. Meanwhile he’s saying he wants to help me get better, is a changed man, so remorseful, etc. He’s in therapy to understand his “issues”, goes to AA and SAA meetings and wants brownie points for that as proof of change. Puh-lease. Try telling the truth for once instead.
        Today’s the two month anniversary of Dday and he stupidly let the truth slip an hour after reiterating a massive lie, that he had an epiphany and decided to recommit to me and leave her (at some vague point several years in the future while still seeing her, of course) out of love, family ties etc. I said it couldn’t be true because he would have left her then and there. Havee swore it was true and that he didn’t know why he didn’t dump her. In fact, it was because he finally realized he’d never be able to be with her (too crazy and wouldn’t leave her marriage), so he kept me around as a backup for when he got bored with a relationship that had no future. I knew it all along. Happy anniversay, soon to be divorced scumbag!

  • His truth-That extra $6974 that the IRS taxed us on…The Department of Defense made a mistake and we should just pay the taxes. I tried to get them to fix it but they are impossible to deal with

    The real truth, he got the check for $6974 for a paid government move. He took the money, hid it from me and it turns out it counts that it is considered taxable income. Neither the IRS nor the Department of Defense made a mistake.

    My truth, I left his ass on Christmas Day, took the kids and the dog, filed Innocent Spousal Relief from the IRS, won. Got the money back that I paid to the IRS and the state taxes that we owed on the $6974.

    His new “truth”, in the hole to the IRS and the state of MD. Go F yourself asshole!

    • Raff-
      My exhole did something of the same lines. Judas decided to cash in his ROTH ($11,000+) behind my back. He didn’t think I would ever find out about it nor ‘remember’ it existed. (We were married the entire life of the ROTH so even though it was solely in his name, I was entitled to half) Not until it was close to tax time and we received a 1099-R. I kept it hidden. I didn’t let him know I knew about it until tax time. Then I made a ‘deal’ with him to pay the complete tax burden for that year. He agreed. He about shit his pants when he found out what WE owed. Too bad asswipe.
      Then I got my ‘half’ in the divorce (he REALLY REALLY hosed himself by cashing in that ROTH because not only did he agree to pay the full tax burden for that year, but he also ended up only receiving like $8000 when he originally cashed it out. THEN he had to pay me half – so about $5500.00. By cashing in an $11,000 Roth behind my back – he probably ended up with maybe $1000. Fucking dumb ass. Karma Bitch!
      I also contacted a lawyer regarding the Innocent Spouse Relief Form – just in case. I didn’t have any issues after the divorce (as I intended because asswipe is such an asswipe), but the lawyer I spoke with told me that this kind of shit happens more than you think.
      Pretty sad….

      • Stupidhole lost $90,000 in a bad investment. That was equal to an entire year of income for our household. I do the taxes, and question him about it, thinking it must be a mistake. He smirks and says, “Oh, I didn’t tell you about that?” No. No you did NOT.

  • Tracy, I rented a car and drove to the Thumb for a visit with my grand daughter & family. 13 hours. OHGawd! My son’s directions (short-cut method). I turned on “The Bitch in the Box”(GPS) as my son calls her (Marines! *#!) The stuff he comes up with courtesy of Uncle Sugar’s programming keeps me in stitches half the time I talk with him. Detroit (Go Tom Sizemore), Frankenmuth, Yeh it’s a trip up and back for sure!!

    “Pollan fears we’re losing our ability to distinguish and prefer the fake over the authentic.”
    I think he’s right. I gave up cable TV- one of the divorce sacrifices. I’m really liking not having it, time to Think. This damn electronic tether iPhone is distraction enough. Reality requires silence to process.

    “…but then they walked outside and got distracted by a butterfly and forgot whatever it was they were convinced of a moment ago.” <<<spot on. This behavior is especially evident in cheaters when it comes to cleaning the house.

    "…best friend allegiances must shift." <<< That pretty much sums up the whole affair (no pun intended). It's amazing how quickly they do this too.

    COOKIES!!! This is a great parable with which to demonstrate to those that don't get it (the idiots we're soon to be rid of if we're healing). They probably wouldn't get it if you recited this to them verbatim.


    I said to my ex “you do this again, I won’t take you back again”.

    He said to me:
    – I promise I won’t come back
    – If I do, you shouldn’t take me back
    – In fact, it was a mistake for you to take me back all of those other times.

    Mouth wide open, completely speechless. It’s *my* responsibility to make the decisions and you have no responsibility for what you do? It was a mistake for me to take you back all of those other times when you begged for me to take you back and promised that you would do better? Well obviously “promise” means nothing from this man.

    Guess what happened CN? I took his advice and didn’t take him back when he showed back up again ???? ????????✊

  • After two years, a house we both loved (very hard to find) was still on the market. He brought it to my attention. We negotiated with the sellers. Almost the entire year of 2006. I became pregnant that April, and sure that we were moving didn’t really get my house ready for the new baby.
    I cried over the house numerous times in the course of our failed negotations, which are led by my husband, the big deal maker.
    December 2006, they drop the price significantly.
    Shouldn’t we make another offer? Oh, no; who buys a house at Christmas? Christmas Eve the house goes into escrow. To someone else.

    Somewhere in 2016 he says “We were never in a position to buy that house.”

    2009. Our daughter is three. He asks, Do I want to buy a Honda Element? Yes! Perfect vehicle for us! We can hose it out! So we go car shopping, spec it out, place the order. Then the waiting begins. And the shifting stories when I ask when the car is arriving. Months later, he finally reveals to me that HE canceled the order because HE decided WE didn’t need it.

    But now it is 2014. And HE needs a Dodge Ram 8000 Hookup truck! Hey, it’s a TAX CREDIT! The truck is in the driveway in a matter of minutes!

    2017. Denial breaks after 20 years of marriage. It’s safe to assume that if his lips are moving he’s probably lying. The web of lies is LONG and THICK and DEEP, the same words used to describe the hoped-for condition of his d**k after taking the Stree Overlord Chinese ED pills the cheating accomplice gave him.

    2018. I could tell you lots more stories like this. He also wonders why we had a crummy sex life…..

    • Stree Overlord Chinese ED pills!!!! Bwahahah

      VH? Is this actually a thing? Probably available at your local Walmart gas station on the impulse buy rack.

        • Mine, too!! I packed it up with all his other belongings after I threw him out. Hannibal Lecher didn’t have ED, but screwing two women in the same day must require extra stamina (because he knew that if he stopped relations with me, I’d know something was up given how important sex was to him. shudder).

      • Nope…’s on the Internet. Where you can also find the FDA warnings. I think he imagines he looks like the picture on the box.
        “Stree Overlord” is one of my secret nicknames for my “husband”.

        • The Python bought Extenze AND VirMax “male enhancement” supplements after he switched from waitresses to dating websites. If one brand doesn’t do it, surely 2 different ones will do the trick?

          May the snake be ever limp.

  • Mr. Twatwaffles was fabulous for this. His “truthiness” came in the form of exaggerations and half-truths. If he said he’d hiked 5 miles, I automatically adjusted it to 2 miles in my head and stopped trying to get him to be “accurate”.

    He was just a liar, through and through.

  • Red Flag # 87,563

    After D-day, I remembered a strange conversation I had with my ex-husband a few years before. He was telling me that he always told “people” (OW ?) that he had 4 children, but 1 child had died. When he told me this, I remember being so surprised. We had 3 children at the time, and we’d had one miscarriage towards the end of the first trimester. I remember feeling shocked, and wondering what he was thinking, and how he could rationalize his statement? It was kinda-sorta true, but also extremely misleading….
    And who were these mysterious “people” with whom he was sharing the pain of our pregnancy loss?

    Now, I wonder if he took the opportunity for sympathy using “truthiness”.

    • I’ve lost an infant (3 days after a full term birth) and I totally understand someone counting a miscarried child as child loss. No judgment from me at all.

      But using it to troll for APs?? Pretty damn low.

      Sorry he had the depth of a puddle on concrete over it. Fucker.

  • One of the main reasons for why I love this site so much is that practically every single post made here is something I can relate to or experienced directly.

    The whole, “I meant it at the time.” I heard that multiple times after D-day when I was broken down in tears and begging to know why he did what he did and if he ever had any intentions of honoring his vows.

    Hilarious. I love how they always forget to mention that they only mean their vows and promises when they speak them. How convenient. They get whatever it is they wanted from making the vows, knowing full well that they were totally cool with changing the rules later without telling anyone.

    So, really, I get it. Must be nice to make the rules up as you go. But like I’ve been saying for a while now, THESE PEOPLE NEVER LEFT HIGH SCHOOL. They’re determined to have their way no matter what. They’re like those people on that commercial about the “fear of missing out.” An opportunity shows itself? They’re not going to let some dumb vow stop them because they’re entitled to have everything that looks good and feels good to them in that moment. Everyone else should understand this. Come on? You get it, right? They were going to miss out on the fun!


      Exactly this @lastinline. Their thought process is an oily mixture of cowardice, indecisiveness, and entitlement. They aren’t sure exactly what they want, but they’re sure they deserve to be happy, even if it comes at someone else’s expense. Yet they’re too cowardly to own up to the choices they do make and take any consequences. Truthiness and lies of omission are the tools they use to slide under the radar.

      • Not Afraid, you speak so much truth. #TRUTH! How do I change the font to make this bigger?!?! This is exactly what I dealt with and still deal with “the oily mixture of cowardness, indecisiveness and entitlement….”

        Your whole post is amazing! Yesterday, I confronted sparkly cheater for the first time since he walked out 6 months ago. Since then, I’ve read all about narcissism, covert manipulation tactics, etc so I was pretty happy with my performance and even STILL, despite my newfound knowledge, our conversation was circular and mind-bending. Round and round with a phenomenal performance on his part of “trying”, “sacrificing” and with a whole bunch of no responsibility. No wonder I could never put my finger on it, or figure out what I was “doing wrong”. Why? Because it was the “oily mixture of cowardice, indecisiveness and entitlement.” I happen to have recorded it and I’m so thankful, because each time I listen to it, it’s more and more absurd. I was ghosted so this has been good closure for me to trust that he sucks. Thank you for this wonderful piece of gold ????.

        • @Unexpectedchumpiness Glad to be of service 🙂 And good for you recording the mind-bending circular conversation. It’s hard to get a handle on the oily mixture when you’re bobbing around in it, but it’s all so devastatingly clear when you can observe it later. During wreckoniliation I made a point of having a lot of conversations via text or email, so there was written proof of what he actually said when he tried to maneuver around it later. When I get weak and nostalgic (like today) it’s helpful to have a real time record of the mindfuck to remind me of the reality, rather than the fantasy I’m grieving.

          • Yes, when the oily mess of indecisiveness goes down the drain with the help of NC soap the water starts to run clear! xoxo

    • // I love how they always forget to mention that they only mean their vows and promises when they speak them. How convenient.//

      There will be a follow up…
      Ecc 5:4  When you vow a vow to God, don’t defer to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you vow. :5  It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. :6  Don’t allow your mouth to lead you into sin. Don’t protest before the messenger that this was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? 

      Pro 6:27  Can a man scoop fire into his lap, and his clothes not be burned?  :28  Or can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be scorched? :29  So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife. Whoever touches her will not be unpunished. 32  He who commits adultery with a woman is void of understanding. He who does it destroys his own soul. :33  He will get wounds and dishonor. His reproach will not be wiped away. 

      The stories I read are heart-wrenching. I have to admit that I can only visit in small doses. The best line today, one which might be the best I’ve ever heard, was “who wants Judas as a friend?” That line is telling by how we answer it. If we are in a covenant marriage, we are bound to our “Judas”…until one of us dies. That’s troubling food for thought. Emotion collides with reality. I wonder if it’s ok to be mad?…just mad. Where does “mad” live in the grieving process? I wonder if it’s ok to have desires in front of God that seem irrational to CN, and even more irrational to those in the world around us? Something like….is it ok to go to the gym to lose some weight or gain some muscle just to look or feel sexy? Or does it have to be some rational reason like to lower blood pressure or to be able to climb stairs when we’re 80? Nobody would go for the rational reason, at least not for long. Why does the first reason motivate us to go, but we reply with the 2nd when someone asks?

  • Cheater is a pro at truthiness. I could give a million examples–big and small. I’ll give two:

    1. He got lazy about sorting the trash and recycling (which we were required to do) and just piled the regular trash into the recycling bin. When I called him out on it, he blamed our autistic son. I knew that was wrong, because autistic son is very committed to recycling and never gets it wrong. But just goes to show how low they can be–blame your laziness on an autistic person.

    2. Cheater hatched a plan to go to a vacation spot with his mother (also a cheater) and leave me home because I wasn’t fun, and they were mad at me for yelling at him about his stealing and such. When I brought it up in counseling, he adopted a patronizing expression and said, “Carol39 does not get along with my mother. I thought it would be more comfortable for her to stay home.” Apparently “not getting along with someone” can be defined as just standing there innocently and suddenly finding out there is a whole plan to exclude you from a vacation that you didn’t even know about. Yeah, me and my darn problem “getting along” with people…

    What weirds me out though is that I think on some level they sort of believe it when they say it It’s like they think they create reality themselves. Reality is whatever they say it is.

  • I’ve been working with our marriage counselor (who I’m now seeing alone) on this very issue. It boggles the mind how my STBX can say one thing one moment, and the exact opposite thing ten minutes later. “I love you! I love her! Take me back! Fuck off I’m leaving! You’re my dream girl! I hate you!”

    His professional opinion essentially boils down to “this guy’s brain is broken.”

    • Broken brain????
      I love you
      I hate you
      You are the most important person in my life
      I can find any younger, willing person at any point
      I’m so sorry for hurting you
      I hurt you but you are hurting me too
      Yes, I’m a main breadwinner and you will be SAHM
      Well, at least I’m earning money, not sitting at home
      List can go on….

  • This craziness does not just apply to spouses!

    I am a very chumpy chump, and have been trying very hard to overcome the traits that make me susceptible to craziness.

    I recently went on a trip with a girlfriend who has recently lost her husband. Since I have lost my husband to every addiction known to man (literally), and have known this woman for a very long time, I thought it a good plan.

    Nuh uh. Turns out she deals in Truthiness and is a secret alcoholic. I found myself confused, being taken advantage of and being told stories that made no sense. She also got very angry with me when I questioned her nonsensical statements and actions. Ding ding ding! Dealing with a crazy!

    I did not speak the last two days of the trip, decided she was banned from my friend circle, and have gone NC.

    Golly, it is everywhere. Be careful.

    • “I found myself confused, being taken advantage of and being told stories that made no sense. She also got very angry with me when I questioned her nonsensical statements and actions.”

      The X’s stepdaughter displays some of the narc traits as her father. This one that I had to deal with while she was in high school. Half the the shit she said just didn’t make it sense, at least to this not-narc person. Even the X would pipe up with a few of these. Shaking my head – the fact that they think we would buy their shit without thinking still dumbfounds me.

    • I had been taking a class with someone I thought was a good friend several years ago. He had told me a story at the beginning of our friendship that he had relocated from his family home in Nebraska to live with his then gf (later wife) in Salt Lake City…because he was getting a job in the sheriff’s dept there.

      When i was walking with him down the hall of school a year later, after I had found out that his wife was filing for divorce, he said that he blamed her for “luring” him to SLC by threatening to kill herself and that if he moved, she would get him a job as a sheriff.

      I said, “You told me last year that you were completely in love with C**** and that you moved because you had a job already lined up!”

      He turned to me with a straight face and said, “how am i supposed to get anywhere with you if you keep remembering what i said?”

      True. Fucking. Story.

      And i didnt “re adjust” what this guy said from that point on….like reducing a 5 mi run to the actual 1 mi run.

      No….i had to literally switch speaker and listener. Whatever he said about someone, something he was repeating, a conversation where he claimed words for himself….i had to remember that it was most likely that the words were said by the OTHER PERSON, not him.

      He would lay claim to the words and deeds of others routinely. Like when he claimed to be a pilot, and it was actually his roomie. he took a half of a class in college, never completing a single hour of training himself.

      Whole entire conversations were repeated to me, particularly when he was trying to garner sympathy from me…and it ramped up to high gear when his wife revealed to everyonehe had actually been caught cheating, which was the reason for the divorce. He would say, “i have never been a good provider for my wife and kid. She should find someone more suitable for her”

      It was actually…his wife told him he was a lousy provider, always a deadbeat, a total liat and that she will go on to find someone better.

      They are insane. Suffice it to say, it was entertaining for a little while for me and my friends to listen to his bullshit….but it got old. When we all were done and started pointing out the glaring inconsistencies….we got RAGE.

      He hated us. We were all bitches and whores. We were stalking him. He felt threatened by us. He needed protecton.

      Luckily his wife left him and none of his entourage remains. I sit and laugh now, but this is not an unusual thing, it seems. Ours is a fantasy driven society these days.

  • Lies oh so many. still to today He denies having sex with my cousin. They only hung out together 4 or 5 years. Just for fun. He did not think of her that way. He would tell me that he was going out with his friend Brian. Found out Brian was a fake name.. Question my fellow Chump nation. Do you believe that a man can sneak around for 4 or 5 years with Skankella and they never had sex?? Just asking.

    • It sounds really smelly to me. Why not bring you along? Anyone? If they were always hanging out alone and he’s LYING about it? Yeah. Smelly.

      What does it matter if they were having sex or not? He lied on an epic level. Repeatedly. That’s not a mistake. It’s a conscious choice. Ask me how I know. *cough* 11 years of ex co-worker dinners and sporting events and ‘just friends’ and lies, lies, lies about being out with the guys when out of town.

      Never lie to someone who trusts you. Never trust someone who lies to you.

    • Some actually can. Emotional affairs are real. My asshole’s affair consisted of drunken intercourse two times and the occasional brief fondle. He waited five more years for her to put out again and was going to continue indefinitely even though he had finally clued in that she would not. She had even stopped kissing him for at least a year. The assclown was in it for his “strong feelings” for her and “fun”. I interpret that as malicious feelings towards me and the fun of screwing me over. Nobody stays in a sexless affair without it being in some part about hostility towards the spouse, IMO.

  • “I found myself confused, being taken advantage of and being told stories that made no sense. She also got very angry with me when I questioned her nonsensical statements and actions.”

    The X’s stepdaughter displays some of the narc traits as her father. This one that I had to deal with while she was in high school. Half the the shit she said just didn’t make it sense, at least to this not-narc person. Even the X would pipe up with a few of these. Shaking my head – the fact that they think we would buy their shit without thinking still dumbfounds me.

  • Truthiness, like a Hypercolor T-shirt from the 90’s! When I confronted the Magician, he said-
    “It looks bad, because it is.”
    “It’s like I have three halves and no whole.”
    “I can’t see what a future together would look like, after this.”
    The real truth:
    He looks bad.
    He never had a complete self.
    Any future with the “pasteurized, processed cheese food” seems to work for him…
    Meh. Meh!

  • My X loved domain-specific truth:

    Tell your wife Tempest about the graduate and undergraduate student affairs? No. Tell her about the beautiful student you tried to seduce and then drummed out of the university when she resisted your advances? No, better to tell wife that the student was not academically advanced enough.

    BUT, if wife performs a task and her performance is not up to your exacting standards? Criticize her to the point of oblivion and claim that you “just have to tell the truth.”

    • I work at a university. That shit really pisses me off. In certain fields, women are still at a disadvantage and then some creep like your X takes advantage of them. He needs a karma bus, karma train, and karma blimp.

      • Narcs are absolutely rampant among the professoriate. They are also rampant in the would be professoriate. There are many narc profs exploiting students. There are also many shameless grad students who coldly plan sleeping their way up the career path whether their choices harm innocents or not. You can only hope these two groups find each other.

        • Sadly, they did find themselves–in the middle of my marriage. Narc husband (now X) and gradwhore who tried to seduce yet another married professor after Hannibal Lecher broke up with them.

          I’m at a U and work alongside people I know have slept with their graduate (or undergraduate) students. They suck.

          • Oh how they suck. I spent 20 years in universities and mostly learned that intelligence does not equal goodness. A very important lesson. Their word salad might be longer and more complex, but their morals are just as base.

    • Cheater: I was not aware, that seeing a student outside of the academic environment is ethically shady. I was just helping her with the big decision regarding her future career.
      Chump: Are you serious?!?
      Therapist: Any contact with a student outside of the classroom can be seen as a violation of conduct.

      Cheater: But I haven’t done anything wrong. We met few times for coffee or dinner, I was trying to help. I complimented her, sure, but I just wanted to be nice. She wasn’t sure about her future plans, so I told her, how smart beautiful she is and with that being a ground for her future, she should not worry too much. She was really an extraordinary student, bright .., just a bit shy.

      Therapist: gasps…. you said what?!?
      Chump: oh fuck…

    • Or….tell everyone EXCEPT me, rendering me powerless to address anything, act like you are happy, tell me you are not angry when I say you seem angry, tell me you have nothing to say when I mention, more than once, that I think you should talk to someone, while I go to counseling alone….
      and then post DDay tell me how WE tried to improve our relationship for years… steam come out of my ears and the top of my head blow off from circuit overload….and then finish me off
      by telling me you were “always trying to make me happy”…..

  • Situational truth and revisionist history of two of my favorite terms that have come from this whole mess. Both are specialties of the cheater. After the initial blow of infidelity, I have found that I can also use situational truth and revisionist history.

  • I don’t know about anyone else but just hearing all of these stories makes me so grateful that I left that cheater X, divorced his ass, went completely no contact. Meh is so peaceful!

  • Once, I marveled at then-husband’s remarkable ability to say something with complete authority and confidence when he hadn’t even bothered to check if it was true. He gave me that “does not compute” look and said, “When I say something, I believe it to be true at the time.”

    In other words, the arrogance prevents him from ever questioning whether his opinions might not carry any actual — you know, factual — weight. Whereas I’m the complete opposite. If I dare to offer an opinion, I’ve probably Googled it a hundred ways from Sunday. He cares more about being trusted. I care more about being trustworthy. And there can be a chasm of difference between those two things.

    • Most spats with the X came about because he said something that I contradicted because I have the facts. He would get pissy and then act like it was my fault because I dared said something that proved him wrong. It was a Catch-22 for me.

      Me: I might try doing low-carb to lose weight.
      Him: You need to work out.
      Me: No, Mark lost weight and has been doing it for years (Mark is a coworker of mine, has been for years).
      Him: Mark lost weight because he worked out. You can’t lose weight doing just low-carb.
      Me: Yes, you can. Lots of people have lost weight that way.
      Him: (gets huffy) You do always have to argue.

      It’s was always a no-win for me.

      • I hear ya, MissBailey. If I contradicted him, he would act like I was purposely trying to emasculate him. He would actually pout. I’ve since realized that his enormous arrogance masks deep insecurity. He’d prefer that everyone just went along with him so he wouldn’t have to face his uncomfortable feelings. Gotta say: Don’t miss that.

      • OMFG!!!!!!!
        THIS EXACTLY!!!!!!!^^^^^^^^^
        I wanted/want to bash my head against the wall daily for this very reason.
        I am always wrong and he is always right even if he has no idea what he is talking about.
        Trip to Europe I get the period early. I need to stop at a pharmacy and get appropriate gear for onset of said period.
        Asshole: “These will work until we get back to the hotel.” (While holding up a pack of PANTY LINERS!!!!)
        Me: “No they won’t. It’s a waste of 5 euros. I need something stronger. We need to go somewhere else to buy what I need.”
        Asshole: “Why are you always so unreasonable.”
        How is this fucker going to tell me HE knows better about MY FUCKING PERIOD then him.??????
        I can’t. This is just one example of an almost daily occurrence with my asshole.

  • “The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.”
    – John Dewey

    ….trust that they suck……

  • At the core of the cheater and the useless words that come out of their mouth is an individual that is not capable of loving another person in a normal way.

    What a chump must learn is that there is no cure or therapy for someone like this. A recovering drug addict has a better chance of steering clear of drugs than a cheater has steering clear of their own ego.

  • Mine cannot keep any facts straight. When I first found out about the OW he said she had a hard life, her husband left her ( yes he said that to me ! ) and she didn’t get along with her mother. I know I shouldn’t have asked him all the questions I did but he kept answering me so I kept asking to see how much he would tell me. Anyway, a while later in an argument he said she got along fine with her mother and then in a similar situation a couple of months later he says her mother has been dead for years. I don’t ask anything anymore needless to say ! I just answer what he asks me if necessary and have stopped trying to keep our son and him connected. Our son is an adult and they can deal with each other however they see fit. He is so mixed up.

  • This is another case for no contact or grey rock. The lies hurt as much or worse than the betrayal. It did in my case, anyway.

    I heard WHOPPERS. Coming from a man who in 30 years was never accused of lying to my knowledge. Secret second life.

    I sure hope Sweetums does not mind bing next in the queue to be the “lie to” rotation, because I am out.

    Even though I know they claims are B.S. they still ring in my ears and memories as true.

  • When I was younger and dating, I called this ‘testicular mirage syndrome.’ I imagine there’s an ovarian version as well.

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