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Stupid Shit Said in Therapy

Most chumps have tried therapy with fuckwits. No knock on the mental health profession, but therapists are not wizards. They aren’t going to hand out hearts, brains, and courage. You either bring that stuff to the shrink sofa, or you don’t.

So today’s Fun (?) Friday Challenge is to share your Stupid Therapy Shit. It can be Stupid Shit Cheaters Say in Therapy. (I submit for your consideration my ex’s “I LIKE being a narcissist!”) Or it can be Stupid Shit Therapists Say. Perhaps yours saw a unicorn. The Reconciliation Industrial Complex is full of silliness. (Okay tragic silliness that costs $140/hr). But consider the dada-esque gem that is “affairs make marriages stronger!”

Mostly, I’m looking for the dumb. Or the cloyingly New Agey. “I would’ve told you about Sienna, but your negative energy triggers my toxic shame.”

The Holiday Season is the therapy season. I’m sure you guys have material. Lay it on CN, and TGIF!

 

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  • She went off the pill without telling me, to try to force a baby onto us. She knew I didnt want kids and never did. I certainly didnt with her. This event led us directly into our only (short) period of marriage counseling. In a session, I was relaying just how deceitful and destructive that behavior was, how it ruined my trust in her and didnt make me want to have kids with her EVER.

    This was her explanation for why she did it, which the ineffectual, godawful therapist accepted:

    “Well you changed your mind on getting married, I thought youd change your mind on this.”

    • Again, another revealing statement, one that puts me in mind of Gavin de Becker’s point that we teach predators what it takes to get us to comply with their wishes.

        • (Here as Sarah the Chunp). Does reading infuriating articles count? I read the most infuriating article I have ever read about adultery and I read it last week.

          Some family background: my mom’s side is Jewish, but they don’t practice it. My dad’s side was here before the American Revolution and fought in it. They are Scandinavian and Ulster Scot. My religion? I don’t attend any organized religion. But I study Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity at home while alone and in a contemplative mood.

          So, last week, I started reading articles about the Jewish views on adultery. After all, Moses took the 10 Commandments from God and God said, “don’t commit adultery.” I read several articles by Rabbis and they all said adultery was a sin as “grave” as murder.

          Then, I came across The Infuriating Article. It was an article by a Rabbi. To be fair, most of the articles I have read by Jews are very clear about the grave sin that is adultery. So this was only one person, who was a Rabbi, and who was writing about infidelity. Was he against infidelity?

          Of course he was! So far so good…

          Oh but there was a big catch in store when the Rabbi/author DEFINED adultery. The Rabbi that wrote the article defined adultery as thus:

          “Adultery (is) sexual intercourse between a married woman and a man other than her husband. The Biblical prohibition does NOT include sex between a married man and an unmarried woman…”

          I was stopped dead in my tracks.

          Anyhow, I wrote the website a letter and asked for a clarification on why it was acceptable for a married man to have sex with an unmarried woman and why such an act does not qualify as adultery. No one wrote me back. (Surprise, surprise).

          I am married to a Jewish man and my soul is weeping.
          Here is the source article.

          https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/adultery/

          This is very controversial, but I would like to see that article run through the UBT. My head is spinning.

          Sarah

          PS- Please don’t post anti-Semitic comments. I am not posting this link to stir up hate against Jews and this is the first time I have ever encountered this opinion in the Jewish community…. besides Esther Perel’s (unacceptable) viewpoints. (She is a European Jew.)

          • AFAIK, what he said is correct but not complete.

            “Adultery” (ni’uf) in the Torah is narrowly defined as sexual intercourse (things other than PIV sex don’t count AFAIK) between a man and a women who’s married to someone else (both of them are adulterers regardless of the man’s marital status). Part of this is likely because polygamy was allowed at the time and given other trends in Jewish law, I suspect the definition is still deliberately held narrow (although there are minority opinions which consider it much broader) because the consequences are so severe (death, at least in theory, for the adulterers and mamzer status for any offspring of the union).

            However, even looking strictly at the Torah, there’s a condemnation of a husband betraying or abandoning his wife (Malachi 2:14). And Judaism follows not just the written Torah but also the Oral Torah. The majority of rabbis and commentators – certainly in modern Judaism, even among the ultra-Orthodox – consider a husband’s betrayal to still be a grave sin (actually AFAICT most of them would consider it a group of separate sins), even though it soesn’t meet the technical definition of “adultry”.

            • Eyal,

              (Again, commenting as Sarah the Chump). Thank you for your kind comment and detailed comment. I have to admit I hesitated asking it because I did not want to stir up anger. I was interested in the source article because I am married to a Jewish man (both his parents are Jewish). After reading the article, it dawned on me that after 15 years of marriage, his definition of adultery might be different than mine.

              If that is the case, then I can recall one experience where I felt he was walking the line. It happened in the past year. I found out about it in September after the woman had died from what appeared to be HPV-related cancer ands she was young. My husband had always said she was with someone, but after she died, he said she was only living with her boyfriend. (I had assumed she was married to her live-in partner of several years). I have concrete evidence that she was going after him and possibly some other men as well, but no concrete evidence he took the bait. He and I talked about it extensively after she died.

              I know if people want to cheat, they will find a way. People can get a lot of stuff done in 10 minutes that can quality as adultery.

              Anyhow, my husband keeps a very tight schedule that is accounted for and has a job where he works from home 90% of the time. I also work from home 100% of the time. If he is home and I am on errands, we have a teen who home schools and sits in the office with dad. My husband has never traveled for business and we have not spent night apart except for on the odd occasion where he had to work a nightshift. (And it was verified he was there).

              So why did I comment about the source article? After I read about the Jewish definition of adultery in that particular article, it hit me that my husband and I could have radically different ideas on what actually constitutes adultery. If my husband is following the “it’s ok to have relations with an UN-married woman,” definition, then I am in trouble.

              Anyhow, it made me realize it is time for a full STD panel. I was chumped once before (not by my husband) and I will have a completely different way of handling it this time around. I will metaphorically put on my steel-toed Doc Marten’s. 99% of the time I am agreeable. But, I realized if I find evidence there was adultery (per my definition), my husband is going to meet the archetype Katy Perry developed in Dark Horse. He is going to wonder where his sweet and nurturing wife went. (Out the door is the answer).

              Eyal, if you don’t mind sharing (and I will assume you are Jewish) would you let me know what constitutes infidelity in your opinion and also in Judaism? I am asking this question to figure out roughly how this new information I learned from the source article about infidelity pertains to my marriage.

              Thank you, Ayal,

              Sarah

              • Sarah

                I’m Jewish, but hardly an authority on the issue. However, I’m also Israeli, and since our system requires Jews marry and divorce religiously (a subject for a separate rant), I do get exposed to various discussions of divorce in Judaism when cases hit the news. I’ll also qualify that to the extent I’m knowledgeable on the subject I’m mainly familiar with the Orthodox view.
                Bear in mind also that as with most subjects in Judaism, you can usually find rabbis who dissent from the majority view.

                My personal view of infidelity is in line with the common Western one – it doesn’t matter which of the partners strayed, it still counts as cheating. That’s the common outlook among most Israelis and Jews, AFAIK, and you can find plenty of prominent rabbinical authorities who condemn male infidelity (e.g. Rashi, who’s considered to be one of the greatest commentators of the Torah).

                Unfortunately, with Jewish law (halacha) and consequently the rabbinical courts, it’s not quite as clear cut. While infidelity is condemned on the part of both husband and wife, AFAICT infidelity on the part of the wife is considered grounds for divorce but infidelity on the part of the husband isn’t, unless he’s seeing prostitutes (or got an STD, IINM) – at least not directly. however, a husband’s infidelity typically also involve the husband causing his wife “great grief” or cause her to have great distaste for him (not a very accurate translation but the best I can think of ATM) – both of which are possible grounds for divorce(1)(2).

                I hope I managed to help at least in part. Again, Conservative or Reform Judaism probably sees things in a more equitable fashion, but even under Orthodox Judaism a husband’s cheating is considered an offense.

                Best of luck to you.

                (1)There’s an added problem, however, that Jewish courts can’t grant divorce; they can order a divorce but if one of the partners (usually the husband, but I’ve heard of cases where the wife refused to accept the divorce) refuses, the court can’t decree the divorce in their stead. This is more a problem for women because the husband can go on to form a relationship (Although not marriage) with another woman and even have children without any religious consequence, while the wife can’t due to the definition of adultery as I described in my previous comment. The traditional remedy was, according to legend, to take the husband out behind the courthouse and beat him until he relents. That’s not considered acceptable these days, so it can leave religious Jewish women stuck (known as “aguna”) – however, in Israel, since the religious courts have a legal status, they’ve been given the power to inflict various sanctions up to and including indefinite jail time to force compliance.
                (2) To inform this, you need to understand how Orthodox Judaism often works. The text of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) is considered divinely granted and the laws within are inviolable. In American terms, you can think of it as the Jewish Constitution, in a way. How to implement those laws, however, is laid out in the Talmud and rabbinical pronouncements (psak din), and while they can’t contradict the Torah, they tend to show much more nuance. Also, like I said earlier, in cases where there are possible excessively negative consequences, the halacha often chooses to interpret issues narrowly.
                A good example is capital punishment in Jewish law. Under the Torah, there are ~40 (IIRC) offenses which are punished by death. However, while the Oral Law doesn’t cancel the death penalty explicitly, it requires very specific conditions hold in order for a death sentence to be allowed – so much so that the death penalty is outlawed in practice.
                There’s a reason why lawyer is a stereotypical Jewish profession 🙂

          • Thanks for posting this Sarah, really interesting! I looked at the article and later on it states that although an unfaithful wife and her lover will be killed, an unfaithful husband suffers no such fate… my marriage was the victim of an emotional affair which to my mind can be far more insidious than sexual infidelity. Putting the bar as low as physical infidelity is much too low, such an easy get-out for unfaithful husbands – “But I never touched her…”

            • ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump,

              Oh yes, emotional affairs are insidious. That is certainly the perfect word for emotional affairs. Emotional affairs twist your mind in knots if you let them. They are a complete betrayal of the sacredness of the relationship as well as the sacredness of the emotional bond in a couple. They mess with the head of the chump big time. It doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t touch another, it’s still a betrayal.

              Hope all is well for you,
              Sarah

            • There is also the 10th commandment. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex. 20:17).

              In the sermon on the mount Jesus said that any man who lusts after a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart. I’ve heard it said that the greek word used here for “to lust” means to covet.

              So, from both a Jewish and Christian perspective, coveting would also be wrong. I would think that most “emotional” affairs would involve coveting. This is, of course, that the person isn’t lying about it not being physical.

            • Sorry I’m so late to the party. Artist, I wanted to join on your band wagon about defining affairs. My marriage was also sabotaged by emotional affair. But that only scratches the surface when assessing the damage. Infidelity is any sharing of intimacy that rightfully belongs to the spouse. Intimacy is something that is a sacred agreement. Truthfully, the damage to the marriage is caused by the same thing as with any other infidelity. There are secrets and lies that you will never know. It took my H. 15 tell me the most intimate of the details. You will never know the extent of the lies. You will never know how long the secrets and omissions went on. It’s not just that the trust is gone, it is decimated with a nuclear bomb. You will realize you really didn’t know your spouse at all.

              Get checked for STDs. It’s a small price to pay for piece of mind.

              • Thanks, One. It’s actually been a year since I last had sex with him, in a couple of weeks divorce should be final. I never really considered having an STD test as I doubted OW would assent to sex. Maybe I should rethink.

          • This argument is what I find inherently flawed when citing any religion to defend adultery.

            Call it adultery. Or cheating. Or the one that bugs me the most: an affair, as though fucking someone behind your unsuspecting spouse’s back is as harmless as attending a luncheon with tea cakes and hats. All terms do not define willful choice of one person to lie to another who trusts them and EXCHANGED vows to be faithful.

            All terms define a well-crafted, emotional, financial, neglectful, financial and physical (STD’s anyone?) ABUSE.

            You won’t find that in the religious books.

            • Agreed. It’s the deception, lying and deliberate choices to work against the spouse that’s the deal-breaker.

            • Hello chutesandladders,

              I do agree that citing religion to defend adultery is flawed. (And nothing should be used to defend adultery because it’s wrong.) Not everyone is religious and no one should have religion shoved down their throats and have it invade their daily lives. I was researching something for my specific situation and was very surprised to find that the “rules” were different for men and women in Judaism at one point in time.

              I like your metaphor about adultery being as harmless as attending a luncheon with tea, cakes, and hats. I have often thought of that same image in my mind. Adultery is nothing like a luncheon for the Junior League.

              I am coming to the conclusion that adultery should fall under the category of a type of abuse. Adultery is just one more way of abusing a spouse and it’s an awful way to abuse a spouse considering this type of abuse affects EVERY aspect of a chump’s life and endangers them on so many levels. Trying to get the psychology community to classify it as such is darn near impossible even though adultery almost always meets the criteria for abuse.

              Sarah

              • Fascinating, Sarah and Eyal! Thank you for posting.
                I’m always interested in learning other religions and so much about the Jewish Faith to learn. My b/f is Jewish and she’s trying to teach me Yiddish!

                Has anybody read Emmot Fox (sp?) . I’m working myself through one of his books now.

              • The national domestic violence website lists signs of emotional abuse. Here are a few of the things they listed:

                Blaming you for the abuse
                Gaslighting
                Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
                Cheating on you intentionally to hurt you and then threatening to cheat again
                Cheating to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you are
                Punishing you by withholding affection
                Humiliating you in any way
                Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them

                These are things most cheaters do. In fact, some of them are necessary if they want to keep cheating. Being cheated on can be humiliating, affection is often withheld, cruel things are often said to keep the supply of cake, etc. There were a few more things on the website that may resonate with some people. But, yes, the national domestic violence hotline even validates the fact that these behaviors are abuse. https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/

          • Hey Sarah – I think your reply is one of the best and most interesting I’ve read yet – and then I remember reading this before in a novel – a Leon Uris (one the most celebrated authors on the planet) novel!! It’s either ‘Exodus’ or ‘Mila 18’ anyway it’s so true – in the old days men we’re permitted to have ‘concubines’! I was so young then (and so naive) but being a boatrocking smartass I thought – ‘but that undermines the whole concept of marriage’! I was raised a Catholic and was really a (naive) believer (until I got to ‘Nam ‘ – ‘God wasn’t in ‘Nam’ was the saying you had to be there)! Anyway there’s just no understanding a behavior that causes so much pain and therapist are just produced in factories to give swimming lessons – how to tread water! Thanks and all the best for you

    • No.

      Just flat out… NO.

      He was honest from the start. He didn’t want children. They had intercourse with the understanding that she was on birth control because they agreed to a marriage in which they would avoid pregnancy.

      She broke that agreement and didn’t tell him.

      If she entered into a marriage, agreeing to avoid pregnancy, when what she actually wanted was children, she should have made that clear and… NOT MARRIED HIM.

      If it happened that she thought she could do it but later decided that it wasn’t possible – she was determined to have children after all – she should have said so, filed for divorce (when he didn’t consent to changing the terms of their marriage), and found someone else. But, she had no integrity and felt entitled to deceive in order to get what she wanted.

  • Ok so tell me what you love most about your wife.
    “Umm. She does things for me.”
    Ok good. Good. See… He loves you.

    • Too bad we can’t know rhem and their shit over the head with a baseball bad. Maybe they would learn to shut up with there fukinf stupid lies, Do they really thin we’re that stupid to believe them. Just about you have been fucking & foing down on sweetie. I would at least respect you more.
      I hate fucking lying men!!! I would never never mever have another men- all lyers and cheaters!

    • Years ago a good friend went to see a MC regarding her cheating husband. At the first session, the MC, upon seeing all the signs and warning signals, looked at my friend and said: “I think you need to prepare yourself to be a single woman.” What shocked by the honestly. No b.s. or shifting the blame. Too bad more can’t be straightforward.

      • Excellent advice! Wish our counselor had said that and offered to see me after I kicked his ass out.

  • “Let’s first work on your flaws which caused her to seek and fulfill her needs outside of the marriage.”

    Looking back 3 years later…..it would be worth the $25.00 co-pay to go slap the shit out of him and bury the right Tony Lama boot on the right side of his ass.

    • We went to a Therapist who came recommended by people in our S-Anon group as being an expert in Sex Addiction. (Already something, in retrospect, I’m not sure I subscribe to)

      It took 4 sessions with her before my whore-fucking husband actually admitted to ANY infidelity. He said he had gotten “like maybe 10” blowjobs from randoms. Even though I had all the proof I needed, it was the first (and only) time I heard my beloved husband admit to cheating on me. I freaked out. It was too hard to hear. I had to leave the office and run down the street and cry to clear my mind.

      In our next (and last) session, these “maybe 10” came up again and once again I started to sob. This therapist actually had the she-balls to look at my whore-fucking husband, dumbfounded, and say to him with a shrug “I thought we already covered this?” He shrugged back.

      That was our last session. Like SuperDuperChump said above, my co-pay would have been better spent for the chance to punch them both in the face.

      • Our marriage therapist said “haven’t we already discussed this” any time I brought up one of the 4 affairs (that I knew of) up. We were in therapy to DISCUSS THE CHEATING. And the therapist said my cheater was just using sexual acting out to cope with problems in the marriage—and said problems were 50% my fault. Had I known my husband was a liar and serial cheater – I could make informed decisions for our children and me. Noooooo-I was kept in the dark. To add insult to injury Mr. Therapist FIRED US saying “I see I can’t help your marriage since neither of you are working on it and can’t move past the serial cheating” I think the therapist was uncomfortable discussing infidelity because he had cheated on his wife in their 41-year marriage. Ugh!

        • Pookie, your therapist is a piece of shit. But you already know this. I’ve been reading the books of George Simon. Now he’s the therapist you want to go to when you’ve got a cheater. He calls them on their shit. The rest? Only damage the chump with their ignorance, or greed — to keep the poor couple coming back.

      • There’s a difference between providing information (“covering this”) and processing it and the emotional fallout! And any therapist worth paying ought to know this elementary fact.

      • Our therapist did similar things. She and my lying, cheating husband would exchange looks after I reacted to things I had never heard.

    • I’d love if we could arrange to do a twist on Murder on the Orient Express and all of us chumps take a turn booting that prick in the caboose. I would wear my heavy duty cockroach stomping boots.

        • Hehehe I’m a health care professional myself (although not in the mental health area I did the same basic training as psychiatrists). We were taught many times that you shouldn’t make vulnerable people feel shit about themselves. So given that they don’t look to be changing, I think rolling chump dinner parties post RIC quack whipping may be the order of the day…

          (Im turning into a pretty keen baker post-cheater life too…).

  • When our son called in the middle of our first session, the quack said “See? Your son senses something is wrong.”

    He just wanted to know if we had any ketchup.

  • LOL one therapist told me to stop living in the past and find a job so I could distract myself (I was a home-maker and already self-employed part-time). He wasn’t wrong in the end, but he didn’t mean it at all in a “gain a life” way. He thought we were a “magical couple”.

    Cheater went to another therapist on his own and he reported the therapist said “Quetzal must be a very important person in your life, you seem to care about her opinion of you”, while he was still hiding everything I hadn’t still discovered.

    • Oh and the first therapist, a year after starting, had forgotten we were there because of cheating in the first place!!!! LMFAO

  • xw: “I think he is taking notes to bring back to his lawyer.”

    Therapist: “Yes, I think you are taking notes to bring back to your lawyer, and I am upset you would schedule this session under a false pretense!”

    Me: “We all have notepads and we are all taking notes. So why are you singling me out? I assure there is nothing that will be said in this session today of which I am not already aware. I scheduled this session because she said she still had love for me, but all she wants to to is berate and blame me for the destruction of our marriage in the presense of a counselor. If anyone is here under false pretense, it is my wife.”

    The therapist had an intake form and one section asked that I list any topics that were out of bounds to discuss in the session. So on the form I noted that a divorce had been filed, and I was not willing to discuss any matters regarding this pending civil action…

    Therapist: “Why did you file for divorce on grounds of adultery against your wife? Were you angry at her?”

    Me: “Why are you violating your own session policies by bringing up in the presence of my wife a pending civil matter that I clearly noted was not to be discussed in session?” 🙄🙄🙄

    • Awesome!!! Stay strong brother, I wish I had put hard boundaries on my ex wife earlier. It would have saved a lot of heartache

      • OMG, I too wish I had a smarter head on my shoulders during my sessions. Extra credit to you XP.

        BTW. Love my current & new therapist. Getting the work d-o-n-e.
        So, shout-out to the smart ones.

  • When I brought up DDay #1 (which happened a decade ago) in MC, and how it destroyed me, the counsellor asked STBXW why she did it. Ex replied that it “made her feel powerful and respected.”

    The AP was a concierge/security guy from her financial institution whilst she was a middle manager. STBXW also told me before DDay that he’d slept with half the office – we used to joke about it.

    • Hmmmm…..
      Ex and I would also joke about howorker sleeping with any one who would hold still long enough 🤦🏼‍♀️
      Whore has broken up 5 families just in the building not to mention alllllll her friends on the outside!
      Yet I’m still amazed at how these men know how she works, and still believe they will be the one to tame her and make an honest whore out of her! 😂

      • I used to beat myself up about the kind of woman my ex left me for, but there’s a reality here that’s taken me awhile to really digest: healthy people don’t want to be in “love” triangles. That’s why people so often end up cheating with people they previously dragged on. That’s all they can get. I thought it must have been how awful I was. My ex ran off with a thrice married woman with two kids. She’s older than me, uses all of her exes for money and is still married to the third one. 🤷‍♀️ she sure ain’t a supermodel either, but it’s really all he can get.

        Honestly, that’s hard to swallow sometimes. It means I never had any control over it and it didn’t have anything to do with me really. Ah well.

        • It’s actually liberating to find out it had nothing to do with us. Yes, it meant we had no power to keep a cheater happy in a marriage, but it means it’s easier to detach ‘cuz nothing we can do.

    • And I thought my ex wife was the only one sleeping with half of her co-workers….I thank God I didn’t catch anything

  • Thr first thing our counsellor said was ‘The two of you are colluding in a lie: that BH is very clever and that FF is stupid.’ That was about 6 years ago and I am only just starting to see the truth of it. I really did think him extremely brainy and myself a dimwit (which of course in many ways I was). That’s why I believed him and not me, and still sometimes feel drawn to do so.

    Other things she said, all that time ago when I was gaga with grief, are pinging their way into my consciousness now as I undergo therapy on my own. It goes without saying that BH lied through his teeth throughout, and I am realising that I preferred to accept and believe his lies rather than her truths. After all, the sun shone out of his arse, right?

    • You aren’t stupid. You loved and trusted somebody who turned out to be a skilled con artist. That can even happen to a genius. I’m much smarter than my cheater and even he admits it. He simply took advantage of my abilty to love and trust, something he does not have but ptetended to have. He’s such a natural at faking it he actually believed his own act.
      How were you supposed to know your cheater was faking it, Florence?

      • Exactly. My x was brilliant in a certain way. I was far smarter than he, overall. We both knew it.
        I still got chumped to the core.
        They are evil, that evil is the basis of their abilities to obscure and abuse.
        We are generally smart, loving, giving, happy people. The evil is foreign to us. They pick us for our beautiful qualities.

        • More on subject, at the end XH was seeing a CSAT (certfied sex addiction therapist, see yesterdays CL) recommended by his sex addiction camp. I wondered at the time: a woman??

          It was a disaster.

          I later got several calls from her husband. She herself was a “sex addict” (cluster B pd), addicted to psychotropic drugs (which she shared with XH) and he was listing my XH in his divorce petition.

          She left that practice but is still practicing her magic against other unsuspecting chumps.

          • You mean she has a practice somewhere else? Do you know where? It’s easy enough to expose a fraud on those sites where people rate their therapists.

            • Unfortunately, no licensing for Sex Addiction Therapists, unless they’re also a professional such as counsellor, psychologist, SW….

              The ‘certify’ each other. Terrifying.

        • So true – you forget the most important part – they want to destroy what they can’t have – your integrity! They’ll never be the type of person YOU ARE! And it’ll ride them right to the grave! See – it’s easy!

    • Florence – that’s exactly how I saw myself, the dimwit while he was the supersmart, intellectual scientist! Although he always told me that I am very analytical, I never believed it, after all he was the Ivy League educated scientist! Only now am I finally able to realize I am not dumb at all.

      • This is interesting: X thought he had all this power over me because he fashioned himself as an expert Bond Trader. I was more street smart.
        Guess who street scrapped and got 52%?

  • We didn’t go to MC. I knew that was pointless. But he goes to a psychotherapist who said the immortal, profound words; “It sounds like you love your wife, but you aren’t IN LOVE with her.” He still sees that blithering idiot. I briefly saw a therapist for my trauma who asked me; “Don’t you think a man can love two women at once?” Me; “Absolutely not. Genuine love is far too all-encompassing. I do believe self-deluded assholes convince themselves they love two women when they actually don’t give a shit about either of them. They’re just using them both for the ego boost of pretending they have a harem because they’re so studly. They are pathetically insecure, misogynistic losers who dream of living like Hugh Hefner.” She was quiet for several beats after that and never brought it up again.

    • Mine said the same stupid shit. “my love for you is separate from my love for her.” “i can love more than one person at a time.” they all read the same crap on the internet. And the HER he had known for a couple of weeks was cosmic love and worth discarding a 28 year marriage for, BUT he still wanted to keep me around so he thought he could entice me with the idea of being polyamory. NO EFFING WAY. Divorce final. don’t know what happened to her, but I think he’s now into BDSM, might be bi, and is sort of living in his truck.

      • Mine said “well, you love your two kids, right? so can’t you see how I can love more than one woman?”

        Dude. DO NOT compare the love for children/family with romantic love. JUST DON’T GO THERE.

        • Wow. That belongs in Stupid Shit Cheaters Say. Truly epic idiocy.
          Plus, the scumbag is using supposed love of his kids as an argument for cheating, which breaks up the family, which hurts the kids.
          Hypocrite of the year award material.

          • OMG – mine said the SAME thing.
            “I can love many people at the same time.”

            Great, asshole – not me. I thought he was having a brain aneurysm the way I looked at him.

            Unbelievable that for the longest time, he didn’t think he was doing any wrong.
            (he’s paying thru the sphincter now)

          • I like this. I’ve recently re-read a book by CS Lewis called “The Four Loves” that makes the point. Helped me. In English we only have ‘love’ and ‘like’, I suppose that’s the origin of ILYBINILWY.

      • 😁It’s pretty hard to pull off BDSM action in a vehicle. Aw, poor sausage. Looks like the karma bus (or truck) hit him in ass.
        Good for you for giving him the boot and telling him where to stick his “polyamory” bullshit.

        My cheater’s somewhat moronic therapist might actually be doing him at least a bit of good, because today he finally admitted the obvious; he actually doesn’t love me. It took five months of me hammering him with the truth that his actions proved it and not giving any of his mewling drivel the least credibility, though.
        What a relief to finally get to the truth.
        Still, it’s horrible to have to hear those words even when you’ve known for a while it is true. I am totally deserving of love. He admits this. So how dare that POS not love me and say he did just to keep kibbles. These narcissistic bastards don’t love anybody. I can’t wait until that pile of toxic waste is out of my life.

        • They don’t. I’m not sure that the Dickhead truly loves his son and daughter. They are 22 and 24, and he still tells the story of how his ex wife supposedly tricked him into getting pregnant. I’ve always suspected that in his mind that lets him off the hook for any of his bad behavior or unwillingness to step up to the plate. He just says he loves and they know that he’s not the best dad. Therefore, it’s excused and alright. Nope, that doesn’t make it alright.

          • Miss Bailey, I don’t believe they love their kids. First, if you love your children you wouldn’t make selfish choices that will destroy the family. Shattering their children’s lives isn’t a concern.
            Children are used for image management or manipulated into believing their bullshit.
            They’re used as tools, Cheaters aren’t capable of loving even their own children.

            • brit – I totally agree!

              In my case, I ‘only’ had dogs, thankfully, and he never looked back on them.
              We were ‘dog people’, raised rescue and show dogs: at the time of D, were living with 4 Danes. He just walked out and left me with it all (not that I would ever ever let him lay a hand on one of dogs ever again, and he knew not to fight me. whew.)

              But, what stumps me is how many memories of these dogs we had in photos (not to mention family photos) and he left w/o taking one photo.

              To me? That is a very Pathetic Person.

            • brit, you are soooooo right! My XW had multiple affairs. She knows that my son (step-son but I raised his since he was 1, he’ll be 14 next week) is the most important thing in the world to me. During the divorce she did not allow me to see my son and she made him block me on his phone so we couldn’t talk or text. She let me see him after the divorce twice (I assume to go on dates when she didn’t have a babysitter). She uses our son as a weapon whenever she wants because she knows it hurts me and it’s the last bit of control she has over me. She tells everyone (including her new husband) that I was neglectful and abusive to our son. She won’t let him go to therapy because she hasn’t told her family or new husband that she cheated, she knows if our son talks about it all her lies will come unraveled.
              As a step-parent I have absolutely no legal recourse. It is the darkest time of my life. I think about him everyday. I am seeing 3 separate doctors to help me cope.

              I’ll let you all decide who truly loves that child.

    • Can you love lots of people at once? Sure. Can you intentionally lie to, deceive, and betray someone if you love them? No.

    • Love is action. It’s about thinking of someone else’s needs and feelings, not just your own. I don’t think a lot of our exes have ever loved anyone.

  • My ex went to therapy after I left him. He was trying to explain his behavior of cheating and lying for 2 years to me and gave me this gem from therapy. I found out I needed to destroy the marriage to make it better.

    Our divorce was final 6 months later.

    • “I needed to destroy the marriage to make it better.”

      Wow. I’m sure he was chewing on that all the way home and couldn’t wait to drop that epic statement on you, the poor chap. Lol

    • Mine said something similar “it’s the shittiest way to realise how much you love someone”, that lucky someone was me folks….hey fuck you dickweed, our 23 year marriage wasnt perfect but I didn’t need to fuck around with someone else to remind myself that I loved him!!

    • Wow, again with the playbook. My X Asshat said, “I had to tear some things down to hopefully find a happier place for myself.” This was relayed to the youngest adult daughter as she was calling him out on his bullshit. He had just left the country to permanently move to Europe to be with the 25YO sparkletwat, a chick our daughter’s age.

      He missed both daughter’s college graduations this summer. Both daughters are disgusted with him and see him as a complete asshole. He has not heard about their first professional jobs, interesting boys, new cities, none of it. He gets zero of that good stuff and I get it all. If things continue he will not be at weddings and will not know his grandchildren. The women who once comprised his family look at his life now and simply see a whole lot of shit that is torn down.

      But hey, at least he is happy.

      • Is there room for me on the “tear it down to build it up” bench? Mine said some dipshit thing along the lines of: “I think we need to burn this to the ground to see if there’s a chance for us to build something good.”

        There’s a piece of land in my town that used to be a junkyard. Piles of old cars leaked transmission fluid and antifreeze and oil onto that land for decades. It all soaked right in. They cleared out that land and now it’s a field of tall grass, waiting to have something new built on it.

        Sure looks normal. But don’t ever ask me to help you put in a garden there to feed my family, buddy. I know all I need to about its history.

  • Burned into my brain is the marriage counseling memory where my X is on the couch worrying about his affair partner – a 29 year old ho-worker he’d been having an affair with for 2 years behind my back! My x was 55 yrs old at the time, and we had been married for 30 years – with three children 18-23 years old…she was his assistant and he had just made a large amount of money selling a company….. i was in shock during this period, from both the D-day revelation and the 18 mos of gaslighting that had gone on while X pursued this double life and discarded me…

    X’s exact words…….”Tired Chump is strong. But J (affair partner) will be lost if I end things. Her father died when she was young and she has abandonment issues………”

    What??? MC was so shocking to me – that i had almost nothing to say in the sessions because every revelation enabled me to see just how far he’d gone into the ‘true love” rescuing a dumsel in distress he was. I didn’t know how i felt because I couldn’t believe this person in the room was my husband and this mess was my life.

    I mean seriously, you were worried about someone you’d known 2 years versus your life partner of 30 years – and you didn’t think me/Tired Chump might have some abandonment issues herself after being unceremoniously dumped after 30 years

    I still can’t believe what cheaters have to tell themselves to rationalize their behavior. yeah – so its okay im nuking my entire family – because my wife is competent and will fix the mess for us all

    • Tired Chump, much love, exact same here. Competent, proactive wives like us, as we age, seem to be increasingly seen as mothers instead while our Peter Pan husbands assume we will always be friends and it’s possible to swap over lover and best friend roles between the wife and the schmoopie without any fatal fallout. Just…. 😵

    • Yep! The howorker needed him so much more than me. After 30 years of marriage, I was too competent, too happy, and “didn’t need him enough” anymore. Unbelievable!!

      • Yes!

        Cheater, after I was asking him why he always picks ugly IDIOTS: You’re so smart and beautiful and capable. It’s intimidating! You don’t need ME anymore- you’ll always be amazing! You’ll be fine! I’ll always struggle but at least with someone who isn’t that strong, *I* won’t ever feel as stupid as I have, compared to you.

        Me, stopping my weeping because I was FURIOUS that I was being punished for Being Fucking Awesome: Bitch, please. I have NEVER needed you.

        It wasn’t very “productive” but it was ENORMOUSLY satisfying… and at the time? I needed that dousing of ice water. Because he stopped ALL the fake feelingses, straightened up, and was furious himself… because I’d agreed with him instead of what he’d intended: To get me to self-deprecate and build him up.

    • Well, that’s both the great attraction for them and the unforgivable sin–you are competent and an adult. That is both super convenient for a long time and something they can’t tolerate after some point.

      • Cheaters subscribe to the adage, “The only thing harder than being a saint is living with one,” because they always have to be on top. Knowing, deep down, that their partner has more integrity, irks them into a devalue. If they can’t live up to our level, they try to bring us down to theirs.

        • I still remember XW returning from a conference and telling me “I was discussing you with my colleagues and telling them what a saint you are.” Even at the time, I thought “What a great compliment … but do I really want my wife to think about me that way?”

          A year or two later she was having an affair with one of those colleagues and they were destroying two marriages to be together. I wonder what the rest of them think of her now…

        • Wow. I can relate to this. He couldn’t measure up & had to tear me down when he could.
          He even told me that he felt inferior to me after DD#1.
          Instead of trying to match our goodness they do the exact opposite. They cheat to feel better about themselves coz the AP thinks so highly of them. Such stinking thinking!

    • Ex told me (about 2 months before he moved out) that the last time he broke it off with OW that “it destoyed her” What. The. Fuck.

        • My cheater XH cared so much about the ugly skank’s feelings but apparently NONE for his wife. He had known the skank two whole months before discarding me and running off with her. He went from my bed to hers within 24 hours, never missing a beat. Just goes to show you these fucks aren’t even capable of real human emotions.

      • The OW was destroyed – diddums. Was this where you were supposed to bring out the violins, tissues and show your utmost sympathy. Ugh what a knobhead!!!

    • “its okay im nuking my entire family – because my wife is competent and will fix the mess for us all“

      Damn straight. Except my ex hadn’t planned on my fixing everything would mean excluding him. He thought I would continue to let him be part of our lives when he wanted to participate.

      • Yep mine too thought I would continue to fix everything and he could still hang around (and come back to me when he wanted). The best I remember hearing was when he had had his licence suspended yet again for a DUI and had to show up at the police station. So he said to me in front of my boys, “after X drops me off at the police station I’ll need you to pick me up there at xx o’clock!” At that time I was still (stupidly) driving him to and from work (I know, I know) so he would leave my kid alone. But when he said the bit about “I’ll need you to pick me up at ….” I just went “wowwwwww there. IF I accept to bring you back to town that night you can meet me at the park and ride at 6 p.m.” At which point it was “how do I get there, I don’t have a car”. To which I replied “like the rest of the f….ing world does, by bus, on foot, (it wasn’t that far) however the “f” you want”. I guess he realized I was on the outs then because he made his own way home. But talk about entitlement!

      • Damn straight. Except my ex hadn’t planned on my fixing everything would mean excluding him. He thought I would continue to let him be part of our lives when he wanted to participate.

        Lol, bless his heart.

    • My STBX did not want to go to marriage counseling, but I felt like I really needed to have a third party present to talk with him after D-Day, so he agreed to come to a session with my therapist. I will never forget his responses to her questions, which were along the same lines. He didn’t want to promise me that he wouldn’t call or text or meet with the damsel-in-distress OW if she reached out again, because she needs him, and he “didn’t want to disappoint her”.

      Oh, God forbid she be *disappointed* in you!

      We’re still in the process of moving forward with our divorce, so all of this is really fresh. We live in a super-expensive area where I can’t afford to remain on my own, and being stuck in limbo until we have an agreement is making it really hard to figure out what I need to prioritize in order to take care of myself in the short and long run. I am still so hurt that I spent so much time and energy trying to build a good life with someone who cares more about *disappointing* a junior coworker (who has already slept with other married men) than completely blowing up the emotional, financial, and social foundations of his wife’s life.

      • Amazing how our spouses could give two shits about us. You’re supposed to feel safe in a marriage, protected. Nothing was farther from the truth. I had no idea how precarious my life would be married to a cheating, lying POS. Our house was going to be paid off two years and I ended up refinancing for a 30 year mortgage so I could afford to stay in it. Every single dream I had about retirement blew up in a poof of smoke when he ran off with ugly skank woman.

      • That was a hard one for me to swallow for me too. Ex was more concerned about hurting Schmoopie than what he was doing to me. He saw her as a victim of all of this but she had agency. She lost her right to not get hurt as soon as she decided it was ok to fuck somebody else’s husband.

  • Mine tried that ploy; “Maybe I just needed to destroy the marrige in order it to rebuild as something new and improved.” I responded that he needs his face destroyed to rebuild it as something new and improved, but I somehow managed to resist that temptation.

    What a crock. They destroyed it because they didn’t value it. Full stop.

  • Just after I loaded his moving truck, he asked me to go to counseling with him. I went mostly to appear cooperative because I wanted him to consent to the divorce without argument.

    Part way through the first session, the counselor said something like “Are you here to try to save your marriage, or are you here for help with your divorce?” And I said something like “The latter.”

    The ex acted stunned. Hundreds of APs later plus $25K stolen from our account and a separation already under our belts 2 years prior, and he still thought I would believe he was stunned.

    I glanced at the counselor and saw the corner of her lip twitch as she seemed to attempt to resist… a smile?

    I looked away like you do when you’re trying to stop laughing in church.

    Cheaters. All the same. Total entitlement.

    • When the counsellor asked why we were there, I said I wanted to find out if it was worth continuing to try and rebuild our marriage. Ex said he wanted to understand how he felt about me. Hmmm…

      • Reminds me of what my ex said when I decided to take a week away because living with him while he was giving me the silent treatment and emotional freezeout: “While you’re gone I’ll think about what I want from you.” I just stood there speechless: not “what we might do to improve things” but “what I want from you.” You really don’t need to hear any more after that.

        • Yup, that’s really how they think! When my ex was hoovering, I asked him if he would change anything about how he dealt w/me and our relationship, if he could go back. His answer? ‘Oh, yes! I would be much clearer about my needs!’.

          They do show us who they are, once we stop spackling and open our eyes.

          • Yes, they do show us who they truly are once their mask is dropped and they start talking. My ex said to my face, “You never took good care of me.” This from a manchild who’s only contribution to the household cleaning for 20 years was vacuuming the stairs about once a month. Who never once did laundry. He made dinner once a year on New Years Day and of course he managed to make me feel indebted to him for this great sacrifice of his time. I pretty much took care of everything, including “guy” jobs like trimming all the landscaping, mulching, cleaning the garage twice a year, cleaning the basement, for years I took care of the cars including things like getting tires changed and brakes fixed. I paid the bills for half of our marriage. I did close 100% of childcare. I made all the appointments. I’d drive him to Quest Diagnostics when he had to get a blood draw. I’d bring juice for him as he’d get dizzy and shaky afterwards. I’d help him get to the car and into the house to lay down. He never once did anything even close to that for me. He let me go to all my prenatal appointments on my own. Even when I had a cancer biopsy, I went by myself. Did everything all by myself for all of the holidays, including all the parties we had at our home. I gave and gave and gave, but it still wasn’t enough according to him. I have no doubt in my mind that he now believes that I never took care of him. I wish I would have said to him at the time, “Exactly what didn’t I do for you? Give me some examples of how I didn’t take good care of you.” I have no doubt in my mind that he would have said something like, “I can’t do anything right! I don’t have time for this right now!” And then he would have given me the silent treatment and walked away. Assbrain!

            • My ex tells the story about how his first wife wouldn’t save his favorite piece of chicken for him. I’m pretty sure that was why he opened their marriage – to finally find a partner that would care for and cherish him the way he deserved. It doesn’t matter all that we do, or how much we get right, or how often we go above and beyond. They will nurse the poison from that one error for years.

              After living with his self-centered laziness and selfishness, I’d have eaten it out of spite, though.

            • My ex complained about the things I didn’t do to take care of him (mostly laundry as he didn’t like the way I did it) and when I reminded him about the things I did do for him he barked at me “you mothered me”. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Whatever we do or don’t do its just wrong.

              • Another time when I reminded him of all of the things I did for him after he tried to play sad put upon sausage “I have to do everything” I got “It’s not a contest”.

              • These fuckwits look for excuses as a way of deflecting and rationalizing the shitty things they’ve done to make themselves feel better. If you do everything, it’s too much, if you don’t then you haven’t done enough. It’s a lose lose situation as these people will blame everyone but themselves for their problems.

                It’s been 8 years since I split with my children’s dad and he still goes on and on and plays the victim. Because they’re 10 and 11 I’ve gotta put up with this for 8 more years. I just simply don’t respond or listen to it anymore. I can’t wait for the day when I can tell him to go fuck himself.

                If your ex starts the blame game – as hard as it is not to, don’t engage with him. He’s doing it to push your buttons as it’s a game to them. Hang up on him or kick him out the front door. It may not stop him from doing it but it will make you feel better about putting those boundaries in place plus you end up with less stress because you’re not engaging in conflict with him.

            • What a bastard! Boy, does this ring bells for me. Not once did my worthless louse ever cook for me. His only regular job around the house was the garbage and he passive-aggressively “forgot” that many times. I did all the yardwork on a half acre lot, despite having a painful and debilitating physical ailment. He was perfectly healthy. I was then forced to do far too much renovation work on a new house HE insisted we buy because he was either too bone idle to do his share or (as I found out later) too busy courting his mistress. The effect of that stress on my already poor health was staggering. Did he care? Not even a little bit. A few weeks before dday he yelled hatefully at me because I refused to clean the garage, something he had repeatedly promised to do. I pointed out that not only had he promised, but I was in too much pain for such heavy physical labor. Still he had the nerve to whine to his mistress about how his mean wife wouldn’t do his job for him. The gall! The sheer, unmitigated gall of these creepily selfish, cheating scum makes me want to kill every last one of them.

            • Mine would have said, “You didn’t watch me ride my bike. You know how much that means to me.”

  • At our second session I stated, “I think you are having an affair.” Ex angrily denied such an allegation. At the next session I brought it up again and the therapist said, “We discussed this last time and your husband denied it. Why are you bringing this up again? Are you accusing your husband of being a liar?” The look of smug satisfaction on my ex’s face was enough to make me vomit. Needless to say, I was able to confront my ex several months later (I had long since quit therapy with this loser) and he admitted to a lengthy affair with his 28 year old ho-worker (he is 47 years old). I felt like I was crazy when I was in martial counseling. So glad I trusted my own intuition and got out!

  • First visit to MC and I was completely numb. Ex and I were seated in front of therapist who had just told us that he had been happily married for 30 years. I asked myself – now why is this relevant?

    Therapist then asked me what brought us to him. I answered that I not only discovered my husband’s 5-year affair with a married co-worker but also was digesting his declaration of his love for the OW. Therapist looks me in the eye and says “and how does this so called affair make you feel?” WHAT??? So called affair?!?!?

    It was very early after discovery and I was still confused, bewildered, pick me dancing and riddled with disbelief. I didn’t know how to respond.

    But boy, 7 years later I have conjured a million rebuttals to that insensitive and unprofessional question.

      • Tempest! You always teach me new things!! I had to google ELIZA and yup, those canned Rogerian answers would have been less painful and more helpful!

    • I feel your frustration! MC left me in a constant state of bewilderment and I questioned the entire process as it seemed I was constantly on the defensive while my ex got complete validation.

  • While in a session with the therapist, I asked, “How can I trust that he is telling the truth now?”

    Therapist replied, “Well, he comes to therapy every week with you. That shows he wants his marriage to work out.”

    My response, “He said he wanted our marriage to work out and went to therapy when he was still dring his mistress. He had no problem lying to me and two other therapists. So, how do I know he is telling the truth now?”

    Therapist was quiet for a bit because it hadn’t occurred to him that my husband would lie to him, finally said, “Things will feel different if he has another affair. You will just know something is different.”

    And we paid him for over a year of counseling! When you know better, you do better.

    Happy to be free!

      • Did it ever occur to your super intuitive therapist that a lot of cheaters go to therapy for “impression management” so people in their own family and community won’t think so harshly of him? I know my cheating ex wanted me to go to therapy with him for that reason and nothing more. He also gets the “We tried to make it work with therapy, but we just couldn’t.” It’s a good story to be able to share vs my girlfriend dumped me because I was cheating on her.

        Mine also rushed to “improve himself” with therapy after I left him and moved out. And he also rushed to instantaneously start fucking every divorcee and realtor in his small ass town as well as all the lonely women with low self esteem he was fucking before I entered the picture and while I was in the picture. He’s a scumbag. A very wealthy scumbag, so he always has options and he recycles exes all the time whenever someone with standards catches on to him like I did and leaves him. It’s gross. But again, his wealth attracts a lot of new women all the time so he likes his I’m tryng to better myself in therapy” story. Um. Yeah. Whatever!

        • Absolutely. Or they do it to get you to think they really intend to change so they can keep you and continue sucking your blood. “But I’m in therapy!I’m trying!” they mewl.
          Anybody can sit in a chair and whine about their shitty childhood for an hour once a week. The real work happens outside of the therapist’s office, when you start to put into practice the relational and coping skills you learn. If they show no sign of doing that, it’s fake.
          I can’t say The Asshole hasn’t been trying to do that at all. He has been attempting mindfullness, less reactivity and sorting out his issues, but it’s too little and way too late. I told him he could come out of this a totally changed man, become a Nobel Peace Prize winner, discover a cure for cancer and donate a kidney to a stranger and I still wouldn’t want him back. No matter who he becomes, he doesn’t love me. I deserve somebody who loves me. So do you.

          • Yep. I agree!

            I really don’t smoke a hopium pipe and believe cheaters change with therapy. Experience has taught me this painful realization.

            On a side note, I’ve had to interact with my ex recently and all of his months of therapy have done absolutely nothing for him. The man still lies and tries to deceive me and but now he thinks he is enlightened. Um. Yeah. Whatever.

            Hugs to you!

        • Exactly. These people do it not because they want their relationship to work – they do it to make themselves look better to others.

          I knew couples therapy was going to be a waste of time when my ex partners response to the suggestion that the problem was with me and not him and that he felt he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

          Even though he had zero interest in working on our relationship and was actively in a relationship with the AP which he had no intention of of ending, I was still made into the bad guy for not wanting to do therapy and work on the relationship.

          I don’t knock therapy, but it will only work if both parties genuinely want to work on the relationship and the cheater is willing to take responsibility for their actions.

          • Ironic. My cheater was the first to suggest us to go to therapy, too, and he made me feel bad for not wanting to go because I knew it was useless as well because he was the one leading a duplicitous life not me.

            I don’t knock therapy either, but like I said earlier, my ex-POS goes weekly and many, many, many months later, nothing has changed with him. He still lies, has no remorse and plays multiple women at the same time, yet, I’m the one with the problem. Like I said, whatever. He can say whatever he wants about me, because I just don’t take it on anymore and try to defend myself because it is useless. He will never change and I, as hard as it still is, accept that I was in love with a sociopath.

            You are not the bad guy in your story, either. These liars/cheaters/narcs/sociopaths, all play from the same playbook and blame shift their shitty behavior onto us.

            As CL says, “Trust that they suck.”

  • “I give her everything she needs, and it’s still not enough for her.”
    His therapist looked at me and said, “(Chump) what are your feelings on this?”
    I said, “Why would you think YOU can define MY needs? I can have no wants either?”
    His therapist looked down.

    So I said, “Do I know what you want in bed?”
    He replied, “Yes.”
    Then I said, “Do you know what I want in bed?”
    He rejoined, “No.”
    His therapist looked at him and said, “You don’t know? You’ve never asked?”
    Silence…..

  • Thank you CL and CN, your collective wisdom saved me from the pointless and painful exercise of MC. I feel much chumpy guilt at benefiting so greatly from your painfully hard-won and generously shared experience. I took myself to individual counselling about the domestic abuse, followed the escape plan and left while he was away. Clean and clinical break. He was blindsided, I was ready. 2 years and 57% of the assets later I’m doing OK. Lawyer fees were the Best $10k I ever spent. Oh, and going from some contact to no contact at all for the last 2 months has been the best boundary ever and an incredible kick along on the road to recovery. You can easily manage your part of shared custody of one teenager with a joint calendar. Chumps, it all works. Lose them – REALLY lose them, EXCISE them, and gain a life. The pain is big but finite. As chumps we have to steel ourselves mightily to behave in an unchumpy way. But we are mighty! Love you all ❤

  • My biggest issue with therapists tends to be that – at least ALL those I’ve come across – they seem to think that they get a 100%-infallible, Bullshit Detector, along with their state certification.

    Because WHY would anyone even agree to attend if they only plan to lie? Clients ALL go there for help and would never, EVER lie to a PROFESSIONAL. ::eyeroll:: They will bare their dark, nasty souls because their affordable office space doubles as some self-declared safe space… and all will be well!

    They don’t consider that, to a seasoned liar, a client’s motivation to lie can be as simple as knowing that they can fool the therapist too. “That woman actually believed my bullshit. A PROFESSIONAL. Damn, I’m good.”

    • Cheater lied to every female therapist we had, and his ic too. I got the truth when we finally saw a male. His default with the women was to charm.

    • That’s not been my experience with therapists who work with individual clients/patients.

      I did joint counseling once and my thought was, “This can only work if both parties are on board.”

    • Yes, my cheater definitely got self-congratulatory kibble highs from hoodwinking our MC into believing his lies (gems such as “I would never have an affair” and “I’m here because I love her so much and I just don’t know why she treats me this way”). He enjoyed perfecting his pathological lying with her just because he could. Later, when I did eventually discover his affair and gaslighting, and confronted him about the boldness and theatrical conviction of his lies during MC, he told me he’d decided that therapy was such a joke he’d decided to become a counselor himself. I thought he was making a cruel joke to further hurt me, but he’s more than halfway through the masters degree now so the cruel joke is really more upon the poor souls that will pay him one day. He claims he’s ideally suited for the job “because you can’t bullshit a bullshitter.”

    • I think that some therapists are over confident about their abilities. But I also think a lot of them PROJECT. They are mostly caring and empathic people, so they assume that every client is also caring and empathic, deep down. They know how shame and defenses work and have experienced those themselves, so assume that every person who presents as calloused and mean is full of shame and defending. They sometimes have the training about what personality disorders are, but VERY MUCH underestimate the likelihood that the high-functioning person in front of them is Cluster B, and also tend to assume there’s a soft melty center even to narcs and sociopaths. They need more Dr. Simon and Lundy Bancroft!

      WAY better training is needed for therapists in general, and couple/family counselling especially. At least 10% of the people they see in couple’s counselling will be narcs or sociopaths, but most are NOT prepared to deal w/this, and cause a lot of harm in the meantime.

      • I 100% agree with you that the majority of counselors, therapists and pastors are not equipped to deal with narcs, sociopaths and psychopaths. They don’t seem to have a clue that these people really exist and can present as “normal” people. For many reasons I had to see a few different counselors and doctors. I had to teach them and I had two counselors who wrote down the name of some of the books I had read (Dr. Simon, etc) as they were interested in learning more. I even had one counselor email me to ask again the names of a few of the Youtubers I had been watching that talk about Narc Abuse Syndrome. My counselor had a client that she felt was in a relationship with a narc and wanted to pass along what was helping me. Thankfully there are counselors out there who don’t think they know it all and are willing to learn.

      • KarenE, your comment is so true.

        I recently attended a dinner party with my best friend and her college-aged daughter who is specializing in child psychology, specifically “infants”.

        This young girl is 22 and has already done 4 years of university changing her course from criminal psychology to infant psychology.

        This peaked my interest and I was asking her what age range they school was teaching her an “infant” is. She said 0-3 years. (FYI – I recently attended CPR and they say an infant is 0-1 years).

        I asked what psychological issues arise in a child 0-3 years. She said mostly family related. Ex. issues with attachment, parenting styles, neglect, etc.

        So I summarized by saying that it sounds like the therapy is really related to the parents, so how much about cluster b personality disorders, was being taught in her course?
        Blank stare.

        “What is a cluster b?” She asks.

        I reply: narcissism, personality disorders, sociopaths, etc. Having any of those disorders would greatly affect how a person parents.
        Nope. They teach nothing about it.

        Let me restate: she is in year 5 of becoming a psychologist!!!!!

        And sadly, my best friend and this girls father are divorced, and he has been working for years to alienate this daughter and her brother from their mother (my best friend). He has told them they do not have to thank their mother for anything, do not have to express good manners when at her house, and he blocks most attempts for my friend to celebrate special events with the children (who are 22 and 24 and whom still live with dear old dad). He is definitely an undiagnosed cluster b and this daughter has no idea. The good news is that she is starting to acknowledge that something is not right with him and my friend prays daily that her daughter will break free of him….

        But scary that she knows nothing about cluster bs and will be in a field dealing with them so frequently…

        • Whoa – now, that IS a scary upcoming Therapist.

          I don’t mean to stereotype, nor do I mean to insult any Therapist on here, but the few I’ve known in my person life have been, frankly, bat-shit crazy.

          The one I hired to get me thru my troubles wanted me to attend a Marriage camp – haha. So, I saved myself a lot of money by tuning into ChumpLady every day. What a saviour.

    • After Mr. Fantastic left but before it was clearly decided that we would divorce, the OW’s baby daddy started texting me about how he was pursuing her again. She was an employee (in another country) where Mr. Fantastic is a very high executive. When the baby daddy started threatening to go to HR (thereby threatening the livelihood of me, the SAHM, and my three children), I started a simultaneous text conversation with Mr. Fantastic, who said “I’m not going to get into a debate over whether I’m truthful or not.”

      We had a therapy appointment scheduled for that morning, I told him not to bother coming. I went by myself and told the whole sad story to the therapist, who blew up, cursing and all but shouting, “I can’t believe he lied to ME!!”

      Chumpy me continued seeing that therapist for three more months, until one session when he said “I want to be the shoulder you cry on,” and stood up and *held me in his arms* for several minutes. After that, my senses cleared just enough to see there was nothing healthy in what was going on there and I fired him.

      In the aftermath, he had the nerve to call Mr. Fantastic and let him know that the card had been declined and did he have another way to pay the bill.

    • Most therapists are not trained to detect Cluster Bs, especially the high functioning Cluster Bs. They approach everyone as if they are sane, and can be reasoned with.

      The best infidelity education, for me, was developing interpersonal wisdom; I feel like the kid in the Sixth Sense, but instead of dead people, I see manipulators.

      • Yep, Tempest! Sadly I work with a lot of lazy people and I can now see how they manipulate to look like they are hard workers. The charm and flattery. The constant need to play victim. Making comments on how overworked they are and they “just sat down”, when in all honesty, they’ve been sitting down most of the night and on their phones and taking breaks. Charm, rage and self-pity playing out with manipulators. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt when I first meet them and think well of all. But when they start showing me who they truly are, I now believe them. I can’t be charmed or flattered anymore. You show me you’re a shitty person, and I will most certainly believe it now!

        • Martha, I call what these people do “the George Kostanza “…

          Remember in the TV show Seinfeld, that George Kostanza figured out that if he just walked around the office carrying paperwork then he would fool everyone into thinking he was doing Very Important Work?

          I work with a ton of folks who do this same trick.

          One day, the boss pulled me in the office to ask me what I think about X employee (I train staff, in addition to my regular job). I shrugged my shoulders and said she has a “George Kostanza ” problem on her hands….

          Sadly, she was too young for Seinfeld but I explained and she got the idea….

          • I worked with a whole bunch of these in my last job and they got away with it because they were that far up the bosses asses. The people that actually do work end up with their workload then they’d take the credit for it and if you complain you end up being thrown under a bus because the bosses are that hoodwinked in their eyes the lazy workers can do no wrong.

            Cluster Bs are a nightmare to work with and deal with full stop and I stay away from them like the plague.

            • Same here. They say, if you want something done ask a busy (wo)man! We had a person in the office right next to the boss who rocked in at 10 a.m., left for lunch at 12. Back at 3.30 and occasionally stayed till 5 p.m. When he was in he would stand in the corridor and talk football for a couple of hours. Another one rocked in at noon (but did he stay till 9 p.m.? Of course not.) The boss didn’t have the balls to do anything about it but when I asked to telecommute occasionally because of my 3-4 hour daily commute (which was company policy) he said no. I resigned on 1 October after 35 years (he didn’t see that coming – nor did I actually) and they have no-one to replace me yet. I’m not indispensable of course but someone definitely needs to do that job – it can’t just disappear. Then the boss asked me if I would help them out after January when I will be retired. I just looked at him and said “what from home, like I’ve just asked”?

              • Way to be mighty, Attie, with that comment to your ex-boss!! Well, from reading ChumpinCanada and Groovygrove, I see I’m not the only one who works with a bunch of slackers. ChumpinCanada, I totally forgot about that episode of Seinfeld with George K.! I’m not sure if I’m a chump at work, because I get the same feelings I got when I felt used by my exes family — all the parties, etc that got forced on me to host and do all the work for. And everyone pretty much sat around while I worked my butt off. Work is just so different, because it’s my job and I am getting paid to work. It’s just tough when people are allowed to slack off and no one really does anything about it. Oh, well. I have a clear conscience, so I guess I have that.

      • Yes. Absolutely.

        Boundaries and Reciprocity is the name of the game, trademarked by Chump Lady. Without her and this site, I would still be prey to every person who used Nice words but never DID a single thing. Actions make Nice words KIND. And not a moment before.

        This tore my social world wide open, with family and friends and co-workers and neighbors. The decent ones quickly reciprocated… the narcs didn’t and I soon learned how crucial it was to Gray-Rock them all. They don’t deserve the truth and giving it was like handing them bullets to give *others* to shoot me with. I starved them of kibbles of ANY kind – “Well, I hope that [sad sausage/I’m a victim AGAIN story] works out for you. Sorry, I’m busy with [brief sad sausage story of my own, that might require them to help me] and have to run!” and they lost interest. I was of no use. I MADE myself appear to be of no use. DONE.

        Thanks, CL!

      • “Most therapists are not trained to detect Cluster Bs, especially the high functioning Cluster Bs. They approach everyone as if they are sane, and can be reasoned with.”

        This is the best news I have heard. I had a woman therapist who helped me for 2 + years. I got involved with xnarcbf. She knew NOTHING of Cluster Bs. After 6 months or more of gas lighting from my therapist which was very damaging to me, I found out about narcs on the internet. Stopped therapy. It took two years to educate and extricate myself.

        I have shamed myself for not knowing these kinds of people exist. And going along with something I knew was not right.

        I know now .

    • This drove me nuts every time I tried to get my child support increased (he was ordered to pay $300 a month for three kids). He would quit his job to keep the minimum ordered payment, then charm whatever social worker/deputy attorney we were meeting with to get them to feel sorry for him. He only ever tried to charm women.

  • After he confessed to a now-ended EA, he scheduled mc because he was shitting himself in fear of divorce. I felt he was still lying about the “truth” he’d told me, and said as much to the social worker therapist. She was so sad for my cheater – it must be so hard for him to have told me the truth and not be believed. She really felt bad for him. I ran out the door. Of course he was lying about the truth. I got as close to a mental breakdown as I ever hope to get. The c/mow was a social worker, my mil is a social worker therapist, It was our family business – if there’s a set of women he can charm/lie to it’s them. When the affairblew up, mil decided that the ow had been loyal so kept her as cheater’s only direct report. Because family loyalty. Cue the breakdown and instant end to my contact with mil forever. I was worthless. My kids too. We’d brought nothing to the family for 20+ years.

    A neighbor and her husband saw the same therapist (not infidelity related). She told me that the therapist spent the whole session complimenting her husband. Gushing over him. My faith in social workers is nil, due to my experiences, which is unfair to the good ones out there.

    • I have zero interest in every seeing a “social work therapist/counselor.” A tough-minded psychologist who comes with great recommendations is a better choice. Therapy is never comfortable but the best evidence that it’s working is that over time, you see positive change in your life.

      • I found a kick ass woman with a PhD from Harvard. She kicks my ass and makes me better every session. And she’s in my plan. $25 bucks and I’m better than ever.

      • Best therapist I every had, Jane Stoyva of Boulder, Colorado, was an MSW with a degree from the University of Chicago.

      • I have to say my thereapist is really supoortive. She flat out told me after about 5 couples sessions that I am worthy of love ans should leave. When I feel ready. And i know she is right. My wife has jumped on the polyamory bandwagon….but surprise surprise she doesnt want me dating. And i dont want to date. I want the marraige i was promised.

        • Wow – how simple and beautiful – that’s so defines all us chumps! Don’t worry Lesbian chump – just stay on the karma train – it’ll work out!
          We’re all right here together!

    • Champ will do great work.
      I had no clue about cluster b and my therapist- with her experience in that area- seems like a good choice.
      It’s nice- with her designer clothes, loving husband and sweet spot for the office- to see life from that perspective.
      Totally useless for a chump client.
      He charmed her, then cause a big scene – resulting in pity and “ let’s take care of this poor guy, obviously he is having a breakdown “, followed by an advice to work on the marriage with C’s books ( useless of course)
      I know now that everything was for show, he got what he needed, she wasn’t able to see reality in which we were living ( I admit- it’s hard to see reality when u meet a couple for one hour a week, one person is a total mess and another composed and charming)
      Yet, the red flags should be enough….

  • Blessedly skipped MC, but the cheater declared that he wanted to become the honest, genuine man of integrity he knew he could and ought to be, so he made an appointment with an individual counselor recommended by his attorney. Counselor gave him homework: list your values. He deemed that stupid, and could or simply would not do it.

    Claimed that he went to counseling for months, but nope. Pretty sure he had that one session and lied about the rest.

    Seems like the vast majority of counselors have no clue how to proceed with a narcissist or cluster b, but even the most wise and experienced therapists would likely fail to make any inroads, there, anyway.

    • True. Also, what people report is their top value doesn’t necessarily translate into behavior. XBF, while not a cluster b, reported his top value as “authenticity,” on our first date, then rolled out multiple lies of omission over 18 months.

      • So true! Exhole used to talk about respect respect respect. It took me until after he left and abandoned us that I realized that it was not about mutual respect, he completely disrespected me in so many ways. But he wanted everyone to “respect” him, not treat him badly because his feelings would get hurt, admire him, blah blah. It was never mutual respect, only respect for him.

        • Oh my… same here… respect, truthful, trustworthy, etc.
          Everything I lived by…. everything he talked about…
          Now I see that he was just mimicking everything I said….

  • Stupidest story I have to tell relating to counseling:

    My weirdo nark female friend who was trying to bully me into marrying Cheater #4, who I had been dating for a whole six weeks and had already discovered his harem of overlapping relationships:

    “Maybe you should do couples counseling”.

    Neither she nor #4 are a part of my life any longer. Couples counseling, forsooth. After six weeks.

  • When I initially confronted whore Nancy she denied the affair and recommended marriage counseling.

    Two years out I was told Dad was depressed and she went into counseling because she was unmanageable, explosive and I’m guessing insecure as she’s borderline with intermittent explosive disorder.

    That bus ran the fucker over big time. For every nasty horrible lie he told about me I consider this the perfect hell he deserved. She resorts to physical assault when angry.

    Recently he attended a funeral. He looks like shit, worn and unattractive. No self respecting woman would even consider ‘saving’him now.

    Going forward I will never manage another’s image or overlook another’s need to be rescued. We live; we learn.

    • When you see that you think – how pathetic – and realize how right you were ‘on down the line’ – it’s like war – nobody really wins except you have your integrity and self respect – and they have and are … nothing

  • The marriage counselor that we saw, for all of three sessions, was brilliant! At the first session she gave us “homework” for the week. Of course, my husband refused to do it that week. I brought it up a few times and he flatly refused. He said it made him feel uncomfortable. At the second session, she asked my husband a few questions that made him uncomfortable. She also asked if we had done our homework. I let him answer. NO was all he would say. My husband had a hobby when we were married (race cars) for which he spent ALOT of his time. I participated in this until we started having children. Then it became hard for me to join him. I did not stop him from doing what he loved. I just spent more time with the kids alone and he continued to enjoy his hobby. He eventually lost interest in his hobby. So he was telling the therapist this fact. Then she said……”so, you stopped participating in your hobby and started an affair instead of spending your time with your wife and children?”. He said with no pause or thought…..”yes, that’s right”! We left that visit and he was pissed!!! Said he was never going back. I made him go to the third visit. He refused to participate. She asked him why he was there. He said because I made him go. She asked him to sit in the waiting room. Then she asked me if I was prepared to divorce him. I told her I absolutely was. She actually advised me to get a lawyer and get moving on it! I had nothing to work with here. She told me I was smart, had alot going for me, I was beautiful and had alot to offer someone. HE IS NOW MY EX!!!!!

  • We went to 3 sessions together and my STBXW felt like we were ganging up on her. I did one individual session and my counselor asked me what am I waiting for? Divorce her ass she’s at least having an emotional affair. I went home and told her I wanted a divorce. Best $35 co-pay ever.

    • My ex thought the therapist (chosen by him upon recommendation from his “bestest friend”) was ganging up on him because she told him there was no need to yell. He missed the next session because he was drunk and pranged someone’s car on the way to the session. I didn’t need therapy. Frankly I have my family for that and they were a rock. I just needed a divorce.

  • Me sobbing uncontrollable after recalling particular event ( pregnant, finding prostitutes adds pics on the computer, begging my h to stop gaslighting, h walking pass me and going to bed)
    And my h sitting on the opposite side of the sofa… no emotions whatsoever

    T: do you see how upsetting it is for her? Your wife is emotional and upset right now, just look at her…
    H: yeah… sorry?

    H: she is switching from being lovely to being mad to being very emotional ( after our session when the 14 years of cheating was for the first time brought up to light) and I AM CONFUSED

    T: is that true? Are you confusing your h?

    I was starring st her… wasn’t getting it myself, but hey, maybe I was creating an issue?

    One year on good sites thought me that yes, bouncing from anger, clinginess, despair and anger are perfectly NORMAL behaviors.
    My therapist had a PHD and apparently lots of experience with narcs, sex offenders etc.

    Right.

    He played her like s violin… with few exceptions

    Plus – I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression…. he was tested and no PTSD … I was scratching my head…. if he was so ashamed and broken by his actions ( good act) why there was absolutely no psychological signs of it?

    Now, I know.

    • The Dickhead and I never went to MC but if we had. I imagine it would have gone down like what you described. He never would have told the truth and would have tried to make me put to be a sad, depressed wife with no life. So happy to skip all that.

    • Elsa, I wish there was a special hell for men that cheat while their wives are pregnant with THEIR child. Thank goodness, you are away from him and his abuse.

      • Miss B

        It is.
        Everyone here has a story and no story will include all the pain, abuse and heartache…
        When the news about Tiger woods broke… we happened to be in the park…. beautiful weather… two toddlers running around, me- pregnant with our 3rd child… all happy and smiling… while kids were playing, we started talking about Tiger, the cheating… my h
        “ I think it’s disgusting that he was cheating on his pregnant wife, I mean, really? “
        And everything along this line for another hour or so….

        Yes, you guessed it…. my H was great with words,
        He was seeing people from the moment we started dating… but was extremely good with hiding it…
        He was putting me at risk from day one…. then risked lives of his 3 children, just because he wanted to live his double life

        How do you move from there?

        Knowing that the person that should be your rock and protective shield plays Russian roulette with your family for years…

        He believes in God
        He believes in being good person
        One day- the reality will catch up.

  • In his visit alone with her our second marriage counselor, his seduction of her had already begun. No more matronly smocks for this honey. For her next meeting with him, even if the wife was along, now it was skin tight t-shirts. But oops! She farted, before we entered. The kind that lingers and makes your eyes water. Like a skunk that is freaked out. Was she a skunk that was frightened? Let’s see . . .

    “Your wife wants you to think she’s beautiful,” scared skunk tells my husband, James Bond. He scowls and looks away from me. “She’s kind of like a stallion, elegant, sleek, high strung,” She offers. James Bond smirks.

    To me, “You and I need to meet privately, there’s some things we need to talk about.” And then to him: “Put both of your feet on the floor, I want you to promise: I did nothing to betray my wife. I’ve been a faithful husband.” I’m thinking: “What?! Could the frightened skunk create an honest, truth-teller by simply his putting both feet on the floor and making a promise? Shouldn’t he take off his socks and shoes?”

    I panicked, and blurted, “She is like a daughter to us! She is our neighbor! We had planned to include her in our devotions! He was supposed to pray with her, not prey on her!”

    Scared skunk said, “Wait. What? She is your daughter?”

    James Bond patiently explained, “No, that’s how she refers to young people, as being either our son or daughter.”

    Scared skunk is looking at him, looking at me. She gently explains to him, “I think you’d better tone it down.” She quietly proceeds, “Maybe wear less cologne.” Interesting, another reference to fragrance.

    Finally, after we had left, and James Bond had made scared skunk pick-me dance to be our marriage counselor (yah, he did), over an elder in our faith community, this is what James Bond the Devout growled, on our way home, as we entered the on-ramp to the highway, “You think I f****d her.”

    Hohhhh. Thank you Chump Lady and Chump Nation, that I have put that whole demon and his evil behind me with your wise and loving assistance. If I’m not at Meh, I’m still in a very good place. Sipping the tea of No Contact. Life just keeps getting better and better without James Bond the Disordered. Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life.

  • After two years of separation from my husband of 35 years, who was living with the OW, I could not give up on the hope that he would come to his senses and come back to me. I desperately wanted to move on but just couldn’t seem to give up on my marriage. And I was exasperated by my therapist, who seemed to encourage such hopes. So I went to see a new therapist, who looked at me in near-disgust and told me I was like a small spoiled child who couldn’t get what she wanted. I told this new therapist that he was a quack who did more harm than good and walked out. After that experience I concluded that I was on my own in moving on and creating a new life for myself.

  • I’m yet to find a therapist that works. They do not speak from a place of truth. In fact I find the ones I’ve seems deny a lot of truth. They are doing more harm than good because they don’t really understand. Either that or they realize after years of studying that it’s all a lie but it’s the only way to make a living.
    Those of us on chump lady who read and heal will eventually cut back our visits and comments. In the early days we needed it every day.
    With therapists the idea of paying someone to listen to you just galls me. It tells me off the bat that they don’t really care. But they want you in regular appointments. Nah. I’m not convinced about them.
    My children told me they’d rather talk to me.

    • In my life, I have probably seen more than 50 professionally licensed therapists. I think four of them were worth seeing. (I am not a therapist, nor will I ever be.)

      Those four people have been walking human gifts to me. No question about it. Might not be here without them, and I for sure wouldn’t be the “mighty” I am today without them.

      Sometimes I say a thing in session and it becomes crystal clear that I have punched the therapist right in the balls of his or her own key issues. I see blinking eyes, or sweat, or a nervous smile, or even a small involuntary shudder. They are humans, after all.

      The most skilled therapists either (1) briefly admit it, then go to clinical training and get back to helping me or (2) go straight for clinical training and get back to helping me. The best ones sometimes give opinions (stated as such, and in a supportive manner), but they don’t minimize, invalidate, justify, or cajole. They respect, support, and guide. That’s why I go.

      We all have crap. Therapists must be held to a higher standard. They must also be a good fit for the patients they see. There’s no failure in changing. We don’t owe them anything as patients, including loyalty.

      It isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. But for those who benefit from seeing a great therapist, it can be a game-changer.

    • I’ve had two really helpful and compassionate therapists since DDay – when I had to stop seeing the first one because I moved it was a real loss for me. Both of my therapists took my trauma seriously and understood Cluster B disorders really well. I have absolutely no problem with the fact that they are paid to listen to me – they have expensive and extensive professional training and I assume mortgage payments and electric bills to pay just like the rest of us.

    • My individual therapist was very helpful. She helped me to truly recognize that what happened really had nothing to do with me or any of my perceived faults. She helped validate that what he did was abusive. She helped me to understand that I needed to put more distance between me and ex both physically and emotionally (“really those Sunday night “family” dinners are not helping”). She helped me to understand how emotionally immature and weak he was. I had always thought he was the strong one in our relationship. She helped me to see otherwise. She helped me to see how much of the weight of our relationship I was carrying when all along I thought he had been the one carrying the weight and no wonder he got tired of it. She is the one who first suggested he might be a narcissist. When I balked at that she softened it to “he has narcissistic tendencies” so I could accept it. She helped me detach when I really didn’t want to and helped me to see that I really am better off without him in my life dragging me down. She also helps me navigate my relationship with my in-laws to whom I am and still wish to be close. Now she is helping me to navigate my insecurities in regards to my new relationship and helping me to learn how to perceive NewGuy based on who he is rather than who ex was. I have heard enough horror stories here to know how lucky I am to have gotten a good therapist, but they do exist.

      • I’m glad you found a good therapist. My individual therapist suggest I read a book on how to spice up our sex life so I would be more interesting in bed. I don’t think she understood cheating at all.

      • I need to see your therapist. She sounds very insightfulunlikr most of the jokers out there. Thankfully I’ve come to many of those realizations from reading CN but it sure would be helpful to actually speak with someone regarding my actual relationship.

  • Ah, stupid shit said in therapy. Where do I start?
    I’ll just throw out this little gem, told to me by the first therapist we went to after the latest DDay: Mr. Magoo told him (he insisted on a male, he thought that a man would be on his “side”) that he was polyamorous during one of his individual sessions.
    The therapist told him that real polyamory required all parties in the relationship to be aware of the NATURE of the relationship and of ALL the other “participants” in the so-called relationship. He was told that his actions were not polyamorous if they were secret. As we had signed consent forms allowing the therapist to relay what was said in our individual sessions with each other, the therapist told me what was discussed. After the therapist told me of the claim of polyamory, we both just looked at each other in silence.
    Multiple affairs over more than 40 years, many one-night stands with howorkers and random strangers he picked up in bars, trolling Craigslist M4M section and cruising in parks for car dates, etc. All done behind my back. Nope, that’s just garden variety cheating, it is NOT polyamory.
    He doesn’t have enough integrity for polyamory.
    And keeping the other person/s aware of who else is in the picture would not work for him, as a big part of his betrayals was keeping me in the dark. Haven’t I heard the term “duper’s delight” here? Yeah, he got a huge charge out of the sneaking around and bringing whores into our bed while I was away. Out of fucking the neighbor skank while I was home, standing in front of her bedroom window which looked out over our house. Out of sneaking out at night while I was sleeping. Out of fucking a stranger, then coming home and fucking me with his unwashed, filthy, diseased dick. Out of texting his hook-ups while sitting next to me. And on, and on.
    Mr. Magoo lobbied hard to change therapists after that. Don’t know whether he was more upset over being called out for his bogus claim, or if he was shamed for not knowing the facts about polyamory.
    Not sure if Mr. Magoo tried that one on his new therapist. Maybe he found one that fell for it. I certainly didn’t.

    • Eeeewwwww. He wins today’s prize for the foulest, creepiest pervert.

      Yeah, the cheater’s high is a real thing. Getting away with doing something that is dirty, mean and morally and socially unacceptable is what they get off on more than the sex itself. They tell themselves they’re badasses and cool guys rather than what they are; pathetically disordered empty shells, so devoid of decency and sense that they are barely recognizable as human beings.

    • Old Crone, the “duper’s delight” is something I’ve struggled so much to comprehend. It’s just so sick and so wrong.

      I was also married to someone who got a big high from duper’s delight. Because the OW revealed their secret affair to me (Christmas morning), she texted me screenshots of every detail of their “relationship”. These were highly pornographic screenshots that detailed every sexual position, time, place, bodily fluid, you name it.

      What I know for sure is that my abusive ex husband often, continuously enjoyed sex with both of us on the same days…one right after the other, without bathing in between encounters – or even brushing his teeth. (And I was pregnant). I don’t want to get too graphic and make everyone uncomfortable, but the sexual things he did to/with me IMMEDIATELY following a secret sexual rendezvous are absolutely disgusting. (And I know he did it to her too).

      Had I known the risks that were being taken with my unborn baby’s health…

      I have struggled for a long time to come to terms with this abuse. It has been devastating.

      Thank heavens for all of you.

  • Like I always win the contest of worst Xmas gift when I say I got an effing OVEN MITT right at my Xmas discard, here’s a good one. After telling me he fell in love with a new coworker he knew a handful of weeks, his new soulmate, trashing 28 years of marriage, etc., he suggested we get a double session at a marriage counselor. He said he had a solution. Stupid me thought he was going to talk about remorse, amends, etc..Here’s what happened. He spent 1.5 hours talking about how he was addicted to this person and she was the love of his life and his SOLUTION was for me to allow him to fly 3000 miles away so he could pursue their relationship and determine if it was real or not. WTF! He said he had researched POLYAMORY and MONOGAMISH and I needed to let him do this if I really loved him. The therapist’s mouth dropped open. I had been sobbing, but somehow was able to say this, I’ll never forget it. “You are delusional. You have free will. You can make all of these choices but if you do, there will be consequences. I am not your mother and this isn’t summer vacation where you can go play and then come home.” He went into a complete narc rage and ran out of the room. The therapist asked me if he was on drugs (I said no, cos in his industry he gets checked all the time, high clearance, etc) Then she said, “Get a lawyer”. And I did. Best advice EVER. He never stopped raging/hoovering/wanting an open marriage. Don’t know what happened to his soulmate.Total no contact now.Divorce is final. Thank you so much to Chump Lady when I was in despair.

    • 1.5 hours of gaslighting and planned bullshit? Always blows my mind, the amount of effort that goes into a cheaters’ plots, and they usually end up with egg on their face. What a prick.

    • ^I’m right there with you on the oven mitt Christmas gift. Only one, mind you, because apparently he thought I take heavy casseroles out of the oven with just one hand. But I was happy because it was an improvement since I hadn’t received anything for Christmas the year prior. Then I found out he stole it from the kitchen at his work.

    • Some blithering idiot on Quora was touting that monogamish and polyamory drivel while giving “advice” about reconciliation after affairs. Naturally, he linked to the infamous Escare Peril (Esther Perel) video.
      I told him exactly how stupid that advice was and why. I’m pretty sure he’ll report me for hurting his poor widdle polygluttonous feewings. They usually do.
      I do liken polyamory to gluttony. How is it not just greedy and entitled when you feel you should get to have more than you need?

  • NarcWife refused therapy. Therapist said ‘wife compartmentalizes’ her love of you and her love of the others’. It was explained that my wife may not really know if she loves me or not. At one time therapist validated my facts that wife is a cheater and then she turned around another time and said ‘well that’s your story but you don’t have any proof’. The therapist suggested I talk to the wife about my feelings and needs. One time the therapist suggested I tell my wife that maybe we should have an open marriage and see how wife reacted. Therapist suggested we watch a ‘forgiveness’ video together and then let my wife know I’m open to forgiving the cheating. Therapist suggested I tell the wife I am susceptible to having an affair outside the marriage. I left therapy when the therapist said if I leave my wife not to expect having a new relationship with a healthy woman. That hurt the worst. Therapy was a total disaster. NarcWife never admitted cheating and only gave lip service to meeting my needs. NarcWife wanted me to stop therapy and things get back to normal. Wife was happy just the way things were, why was I being so insecure and clingy as to want change.

    • I’m sorry, RatinaCage, that you were so badly abused both by XW (please tell me she is XW?) and therapist. Cheaters always want things back to normal because we are of use to them. Do you want to be without your refrigerator? No, of course not. We are mere appliances to them.

      • Thank you Tempest. narcwife is not XW yet. I don’t have the money for an attorney and a new place just yet. I’m working on it. In the meantime CN keeps me focused. It’s so encouraging to encounter people through this blog that have integrity and morals. It helps to know that other chumps exist and we struggle together. Narcs really do suck. I agree with Chumperella that narcwife is a runt.

  • Our therapist, to me: “You’re exhibiting very dominant behavior.” (I was putting my hand affectionately on top of my husband’s shoulder as we sat on the sofa, and I had just ruffled his new haircut that I loved — felt like velvet. We had had unplanned morning sex right before the meeting, and I was still feeling “touchy.”) She pointed out that my hand had touched on TOP of his shoulder (Um, yeah — I wasn’t going to dig under, in his armpit) and I had briefly touched the TOP of his head (Um, yeah — that’s where the cool new haircut was). TOO DOMINANT. She then decided that my husband and I needed to have weekly family meetings where he set the agenda and led the meetings, since communication problems were among our issues. Keep in mind that he was the cheater. FUCK HER and the therapy model she rode in on.

  • We weren’t really in therapy long enough for ex to say anything stupid. He was being too careful with his image and trying to “rationally” and calmly explain why Chumpinrecovery was clearly inadequate as a wife and so of course he cheated because the marriage was a 2 out of 10 so what could I expect (therapist provided that ammunition by explaining that marriages below a 4 are vulnerable to adultery but 6 and above generally aren’t – his goal was to get us up to a 6 or higher). Never mind that most of what ex said was half-truths that left out a lot of context. It was difficult to respond without looking defensive or saying something that might sound stupid myself.

    The therapist was trying to save our marriage, but in his defense that is what he was hired to do so I can’t really fault him for trying to do his job. During our one on one, however, he told me that I needed to take a firmer stand with ex and demand that he stay away from and stop contacting Schmoopie and do whatever it took to make that happen. When I tried to suggest that perhaps he could help me out with that in his in his one session with ex it was suddenly “oh no, I have to treat him with kid gloves and make him feel that I am on his side or I might lose him”. A bit of a double standard there. I felt like he was telling me he wanted me to play bad cop to his good cop. I will give him credit for giving me one good piece of advice, however. He told me not to accept just anything to stay married. I think this is what helped give me the backbone to at least not accept the “open marriage” that ex tried to propose as a viable solution to our dilemma.

    • Wow, just wow. A mental health professional cannot spot NPD traits as he is explaining them to the wronged partner? Yikes! I guess you can have a Chump for a therapist?

    • When exhole blamed me he used the “truth” but twisted it so that my mouth would be on the floor. Because everything he said WAS the truth, but twisted and rewritten for his narrative.

      Example:
      Cheater: YOU wanted this divorce too! We talked about it that night on the couch and we agreed to get a divorce!

      Jaw on floor. Yes, we did talk on the couch when you told me ILYBINILWY, and I was sobbing to get you to agree to see a MC. Yes, I agreed that I would let you go if you didn’t want to stay married to me after we went to a MC. Yes, I did admit to him that I was getting frustrated with him and was thinking of *threatening* him with a divorce as a way to get him to pay attention to our marriage and shape up as my previous efforts were not working at all.

      So much partial truths, all twisted against me in a narrative that was so far from the actual truth. And yes, it’s difficult to respond or defend yourself because you sound defensive or 7-year-old blamey sounding, “No I didn’t, YOU did”.

      I could not see this behavior for what it was while in love and in our marriage. Because, as a logical, problem-solving chump, I was open to his (minor) grievances so I could create some solutions and actually fix our (piddly and lame) problems because I obviously was the one causing all of them.

      I could only see through this very dangerous and damaging behavior, after strict no contact and everything only in writing. That way, I could reflect back and read and reread it and pinpoint that I wasn’t crazy and that his *truth* had been so aberrated by half truths, omitted or altered information and twisted angles.

      Thank God for CL and CN which I found early on, got mighty, stayed mighty and didn’t get mindfucked anymore than I already had been.

  • My first therapist – shortly after D-Day when I was suicidal and terrified about it (and everything else) demanded for me to tell her why my wife wanted to leave me and what I had done to force her to have an affair.

    She also insisted on telling me that affairs were perfectly normal, that I should just accept it and move on with my life and that if my wife wanted to drop or continue the affair it was none of my concern.

    Because I was legitimately unable to find any reason why I was the cause of the affair, she pronounced me as un-helpable and fired me as a client.

    A few weeks later through my family doctor I found a much better therapist who focused on me, my goals of getting strong enough to survive and gave me the tools to deal with suicidal thoughts and let me talk out my issues. She literally saved my life.

    My doctor also made the comment that my first therapist (who I had picked as a mature person who specialized in trauma) “didn’t work well with men” – and that was pretty obvious from her body language.

    A number of months later I stumbled across that therapist at a store and she seemed startled to see me alive I think.

    The second therapist, after I consumed the available sessions provided via my Family Health Team, I gave a nice box of chocolates to. My wife had been muttering about getting counseling and this therapist told me that under no circumstances would she see her as she had become very biased during our sessions.

    BT

    • Oh and reading other posts reminded me. Therapist #1 also told me very clearly that I was obviously un-lovable and unless I changed myself radically according to these flaws that she was sure I had that I would be alone forever.

      Well – I’m still not seeing someone – but that’s by choice.

      And she threatened to call the cops on me when I said that I was very angry at both my wife and the OM. That I think was her “highlight” – she got very animated about that possibility.

      • Evil. Pure evil. Did you report her to whatever organization is responsible in your area? My God, this sick bitch blatantly abused a suicidal patient! She could have caused your death. Can you sue her? She needs to pay for what she did.

      • Our therapist said that if we divorce, I would likely be poor and unhappy three years out and Troglodyte would be happy and well-off financially.

        I hope we prove them wrong!

    • Please file an ethics complaint against that therapist. Makes me furious that she would further victimize a victim. I hope you’ve regained the self-esteem to know you are worthy of love.

  • Gems from my ex therapist:

    “All men cheat. Your choice is to look the other way while you live your own life or leave”.

    “At your age you’ll probably have to date very old men or recovering drug or alcohol addicts.” (I was 47)

    “I like your ex. He seems like a nice, fun guy.”

    “It’s absolutely none of your business what he does in his personal life” (while we were still married)

    These are just a few of the things he said. I’d get into my car following sessions and sob thinking to myself,”this can’t possibly be the truth. I can’t be so entirely wrong.” Here’s the funny thing though- all that horseshit he said- it really made me dig down and figure out what I did believe and what my true convictions were. When I figured those things out and decided exactly what I wanted for my life I fired him and I didn’t need a therapist anymore. So in a big way he did help me find my principles and my boundaries. To this day I remain uncertain if that was his plan but I certainly got what I needed from him. Also, as an aside therapy added on top of my abandonment made me so angry that I absolutely crushed my ex in the divorce. When I think back on how fiercely I fought for MY principles it is one of the things I am most proud of in my entire life.

  • One of the many therapists we saw told me that I shouldn’t complain about his affairs at home. That is just caused arguments between us and that’s not productive to our healing. Whaaaaa????? I stood up, told her to kiss my ass, told my ex our marriage was over and walked out of the session.

  • My ex, when confronted about his at very least EA with a trashy ex gf for our entire 15 year relationship, claimed simultaneously that it was just fun to catch up and that she’d hurt him and made him angry and bitter.

    Of course .. it makes perfect sense that it would be fun to catch up with someone who supposedly was so horrible to you that you were left angry and bitter.

    It also makes perfect sense to continue to lie about a relationship that was only about catching up. Of course “catching up” never included one single word about his wife. We all know that bringing a spouse into the conversation fucks up the nice flirty atmosphere.

    I told him to save his bullshit for his bimbo.

    On the bright side it’s no my problem.

  • This occurred during the lowest, most humiliating pick-me-dance period:

    She couldn’t make up her conflicted entitled mind: me or the AP?

    Her, in agonized, self-pitying time: “I just can’t reattach myself to my husband at this time!”

    Therapist: “Well, maybe if you just stopped seeing AP and devote yourself to your husband the conflict will decrease?”

    Her, standing indignantly: “I don’t have to listen to this abuse!”

    Stormed out.

    No more therapy after this. Instead, a divorce.

  • Firefucker: “You and OW are the same, except you can’t squirt during sex. She can do it without me touching her. I don’t think I can have a healthy sex life without that.”

    AWESOME THERAPIST: “So you’re saying you can’t be in a relationship without your, clear, porn addiction and unrealistic expectations on your partner?”

    Firefucker’s jaw dropped, and stormed out; I proceeded to see that therapist in private til I changed insurance; he was the only one to call Firefucker out on his crap, and Firefucker walked out on him too; so I guess it’s not just me.

  • After three months in therapy…
    Him: On this last trip to China I went back to the massage parlor where I had hooked up with that twenty something girl just to prove I could go and resist temptation
    Therapist: How did that work out?
    Him: Weeeeellll we ended up back in my hotel room because she offered me a blow job. It was NOT sex.
    Me: What the fuck! Why would you do that???
    Him: Why are you always so judgmental? God, you make me feel so ashamed ALL the time.
    Me: But you’re fucking prostitutes!
    Him: She was a MASSAGE therapist.
    Me: Did you give her money after the blow job?
    Him: Yes. But it was for the massage, not the sex, I mean blow job.
    Therapist: Yeah. She’s a prostitute.

    • @You Deplete Me; I absolutely love your screen name! That tired Jerry McGuire phrase of “You Complete Me” has always bugged the shit out of me! That character, as well as the actor portraying him, is such a Narcissist! Ugh to the max! You DEPLETE Me indeed!!!

    • Mine was not only going back, but he was running after ( literally) a “ madam” …. company paid for all…🤮 and the “ ladies” were provided by the local representative… sick sick sick…
      He was so absorbed in all that, that the only gift he was able to purchase ( two weeks business trip) was at the airport- cheap, piece of crap as a gift- I played dumb “ oh that’s lovely… is it for our child? He will love it!!!”
      H “ mhm… no, it’s your gift..”
      “ oh… well thank you?”

      🤮

  • I said I hasn’t seen my family in 2 years and that I would like to go home for the holidays. I asked him what he thought of that idea. Later he told me that was being “super dominant”

  • After our last therapy session when I told the whole story – the therapist literally had a panic attack. Started shaking and said it was a lot to take in. Enough said.

    • My therapist’s jaw literally dropped a few times over certain details. When I told her the OW had brought her young teenage daughter along on one of their dates she said ; “She did WHAAAAAT?!”
      You’d think a therapist would be shockproof, but I guess there is no getting used to the sheer depravity of cheating scum.

    • Mine was also shocked…
      T: “ do you understand that seeing a student outside of the academic environment was against the U’s policy?”
      H: “ well, it’s not like I was dating her”
      T: “ so… what were you doing?”
      H: “ I met her for coffee, I tried to help her, complemented her, told her that she is smart and beautiful- all in relation to her studies”
      T: …..😳
      After a moment
      T: you could be in legal trouble for that- as it can be seen as sexual harassment, University could be in legal trouble, you could be fired for that… etc”

      H: but why? I haven’t done anything wrong

      Look on T’s face- priceless

  • On the fuckwit’s behavior in therapy: After OW#1 we did 3 sessions of MC. It ended when we got to his issues and he simply refused to go any more. When filling out the questionnaire at the beginning, one question for the spouse having the affair was, “Do you feel guilt?” X Asshat looked up and sneered at me with his sing-songy hateful voice, “Guilt, huh. You would liiiike that, wooouuldnn’t yooooou!!?” I should have left him on that basis alone, it told me everything I needed to know. Instead I pick me danced and was with that asshole for the next 9 years before he poofed on me completely for OW#2.

    On terrible therapists: After the final shocking abandonment with him moving out while I was on a business trip, receiving an e-mail as my toodle-loo from him, the crisis counselor I saw didn’t believe that he really did that. She yawned her way through our 3 sessions and said, “Well…if what you say is true….” Sheesh. I was still in shock and barely believed it myself. Trying to avoid eating a bullet, I had to sit with a complete dumbass who somehow thought I was making up this shit. Whattabitch.

    I finally saw someone 4 months later that helped me find a little peace IRL, but mostly I had to do the work myself. Chump Lady has been the best therapy I could ever have.

  • Here are a few gems:
    In the middle of a particularly difficult session, during which I was upset and not feeling I was being heard by my STBX, he literally stopped the session in order to inform the therapist that she was doing a “really great job today.” I just looked at him dumbfounded. This is exactly what he does- he can’t just focus on us and our issues- he’s got to stop to hand out compliments to our female therapist. She was quite pleased with this compliment while I sat with my jaw open.

    Another time, the therapist recommended that I consider seeing my own private therapist 2x a week since I was so upset about and fixated on my STBX’s 4 years of cheating with 2 women and couldn’t get past it enough to make progress on the issues that HE wanted to talk about, mainly, what a frigid, raging nightmare I was during our 20 years of marriage. After that session, I informed the therapist that I would NOT talk about our marriage anymore- that I would focus on co-parenting issues and that’s it.

    • I refused to go to couples therapy, but cheater wanted us to go and work on “co-parenting issues”( It sounds so good and looks good on paper, which he does so well). He arranged the appointment and at the first session, the therapist acknowledged the cheater’s loss of having to end his 4 year relationship with his married girlfriend and the the grief that he must be feeling…WTH? I sat there in almost disbelief and wondered if I heard that right…what did he tell her when he made the appointment?! I felt that once again, he was coming across as the nice guy and I was the crazy one.
      Post therapy moments…cheater reading and highlighting the book WHY GOOD PEOPLE HAVE AFFAIRS?, as I am in the same room playing with the kids.
      Cheater telling me that she (married girlfriend) made our marriage better.
      Thank goodness I found CL…it saved me and made all of the craziness make sense.

  • The big lesson I learned from my ex wife destruction of our marriage, is that a good marriage counseler is extremely rare. Most make situations worse. This is backed by alarming statistics you can read about on the internet. I also found, that finding a good individual therapist is rare as well. Most are just using textbook methods they haven’t mastered, with no life experience behind them. After all a college student who partied during school and barely graduated with a D- is still called a psychiatrist/psychologist. However, I found it much easier to find a life coach who went through similar experiences and coached me into rebuilding my life in a positive direction rather then focus on problems in the past and discussing “how it makes me feel”. Maybe a life coach isnt for everyone. But if you love how the Chump Lady blog brings a breath of fresh air into your life compared to the reconciliation industry complex. Then a good life coach might be for you.

  • The therapist said we needed to understand what I did to cause the cheating. But she also said that it wasn’t helpful to discuss the actual cheating but that the marriage couldn’t be saved because I couldn’t get over the cheating both he and the therapist refused to discuss. Oh and by the way, he was still cheating the entire time we went to therapy, which was years.

  • Cheater pants and I went to 4 sessions of counseling. During the first session the therapist told us to write down boundaries that were important to us and deal breakers for our relationship. At the next weekly session I present my list, read things like stop texting OW Slut Dog Waker, stay off Craig’s List. Cheater pants doesn’t have his list, but says he doesn’t want to put rules down for our relationship, that would just make the relationship rigid and boring.Therapist tells him he needs to do his list Week 3 session Cheater pants has his list. After he reads his I point out that Cheater pants has already broken boundaries from my list he hasn’t stop texting Slut and won’t stay off Craig’s List. Cheater pants points out my boundaries list doesn’t count for last week because he didn’t have his. Therapist agrees with him. Cheater pants also points out that since we never had a boundaries or a rule list written down during our 10 year marriage nothing he did should count. He goes on to say I never told him he couldn’t text OW or solicit men and women on Craig’s List, send dick picks. Therapist points out that if we never specifically had boundaries or rules in place than Cheaterpants really isn’t wrong. She asks if I ever told him I would be upset if he solicited other men and women?? WTH? I actually went back for another session. When I told Cheaterpants I wasn’t going back to her, he says I figured you wouldn’t, I could tell you were jealous of her big boobs!!

  • Therapist also said: have you always been anxious like this? Well no, it only started when my husband started fucking other women.

  • Mine spent weeks lying to both me and the therapist, insisting there wasn’t anyone else, when in fact he was having an affair with his (15 years younger) married employee. He claimed his reason for not wanting to be with me after 25 years of marriage was because, in his words “SHE holds me back athletically.”

    Yes, it is true, his workouts that pushed him were done on his own time, and when he ran or rode bikes with me, it was at my pace. However, I had just run two half-marathons within a four month period when we landed in therapy. I was hardly a lounge lizard. Also, I always supported him in taking his time for his workouts, and would bring the kids and cheer him on during his triathlons. Even if I was a sloth, and didn’t cheer him on, it wouldn’t be an excuse to have an affair. The longer I am away from him, the more I realize what an asshole he is.

    Funny thing is, now that he’s been living with her for three years, he’s put on weight, has a huge beer gut, and looks like he’s aged ten years.

    • “SHE holds me back athletically.” I think that’s a new one here at CN!! Unbelievable. One of my co-workers husband said he cheated and wanted a divorce, because she wouldn’t go for a walk with him every single time he asked. I can’t tell you how many times I heard her say this at work, because just couldn’t wrap her mind around this statement by him. The truth was she was a great wife and mom, but he just had to find something to blame her for his cheating and abandonment. My ex said he wanted a divorce because “he wanted to be with someone who trusted him 100%.” I “couldn’t give him what he wanted. Trust.” Those are his exact words from the Divorce Letter. What a mindfxck! Of course I didn’t trust him! He’s a pathological liar and serial cheater! But he wanted a divorce because I didn’t trust him. Man that played with my scrambled brains for a long time!

    • @calgal1 sadly my STBXH went down this route – “maybe I need somebody who can push me more athletically”. He strenuously denied an OW, who turned out to be an aspiring crossfit trainer (I believe X has paid for all her courses, so maybe she’s going to get there…). I also run half marathons, but he started looking at me at disgust because I couldn’t get a sub 2 hour finish. Perhaps because I was working full time as a doctor and also supporting his expensive and time consuming Ironman hobby. He went part time, bought the obligatory $10K bike and went out “training” for three hours every Saturday morning whilst I slept in and then got up to do DIY work on the house we were building together. He was of course hanging out with OW during this time as Strava records will show.

      He demanded that I “do my part in the relationship” and cook more healthy dinners for him as the athlete even though I finished work two hours after him. He couldn’t do it because of, ahem, the “training” he needed to do. I did everything he asked, and more, losing my own needs and wants in the process. Obviously it wasn’t enough. Me being told off by a marriage counsellor for “lacking emotional intimacy” really wasn’t what was needed. Then being told STBXH really was “a nice guy”.

      Five months after D-day I finished a half in 1:57:40. Cheater weight is awfully heavy, losing it made me go way faster.

  • One gem I like to share. Is that my ex wife said I was controlling. I was mortified, I started to believe her baseless gaslighting so I brought it up to our marriage counselor so we can work on the issue. They (we had a male and female counselor at the same time) asked her how I was controlling. She paused and didn’t have an answer so out of desperation she told them I was controlling with the money in the safe. That I made her log in the ledger whenever she took money out. I then tell our counselors that we got into financial trouble in the past and I wanted to be more careful with our money, I also told them anything under $200 she could just write “petty cash”. I then realized there are way to many “petty cash” transactions in the ledger. At that point I realized all the gaslighting she did to me was just that.

    So glad she is out of my life, with the help of Chump Lady waking me up to reality

    • Yeah, I got controlling too.

      But what he won’t tell people is how right after our daughter was born, he was spending $250/mo in bars and I asked him to stop. Then my family started getting creditor calls because his dad defaulted on $20,000 that he took out in Ex’s name, FIL dies and then ex gives his mom $2000 while we have a $2000 hospital bill to pay and then the next month we get a disconnection notice because our gas bill hadn’t been paid in 5 months.

      So yeah. I took over the money. I created a budget. I asked him to participate but he refused. But he still had his own credit cards and used them frequently to go to the bars. So how controlling really was I?

      • CC…to funny, even though it’s not

        Your story reminded me that my ex wife kept her paycheck for herself while I paid all bills with mine plus the petty cash she took out of my paycheck…I guess I was very controlling!

        Thanks for bringing up the nostalgia, I can only look back and laugh

    • Dd61999, if you’ve been reading CL and CN for awhile, you will see that to be called “controlling” by a cheater is from the Cheaters Handbook. I got the same, including being told I’m judgemental. I did the same thing you did. I was shocked to hear that he thought I was controlling! I of course took his statement to heart and started thinking about what I could have done that was controlling. I always felt like I was just the opposite and let him do whatever he wanted. I never once told him he couldn’t do something or go somewhere. Our entire marriage and family life rotated around him and his schedule, wants and needs. The last few years of our marriage, I told him that I wasn’t comfortable with his close female “friends” and that it bothered me that he’d see women behind my back. I guess that was me being controlling of him and judging him too? Now I know that these accusations are very common of cheaters.

      • Yep, classic tactic right out of the cheater playbook. The Asshole and his whore both deemed me controlling because I had the gall to express how terrified I was about his habit of riding his bike drunk out of his mind on busy streets, nearly getting killed at least once that I know of. The miserable whore actually said; “It’s your life to risk. None of HER business.” He has two children and grandchildren, FFS. He had a sick wife and disabled daughter financially dependent on him. It’s astounding how despicably selfish, to the point of being evil, these people are. I later found out he’d secretly driven the car drunk on several occasions as well.

        Here’s the thing; if we were so controlling, why were they allowed so much free time to cheat that should have been spent with the family? A controlling person would have never agreed to let them have all those “nights out with buddies” “fishing trips with friends” and the many other excuses they used to be away from home and neglect their families as much as possible.
        Fuck them. Each and every one.

        • My response to Troglodyte when he wanted to do something dangerous was to respond, “Well, then we need a million dollar life insurance plan if you’re going to live like that.”

  • So sad that these purported “professionals” get paid for these comments and advice, especially when we are extremely vulnerable. I am currently looking for a new therapist as mine believes that ” I should just get over it”and has never mentioned the words trauma, shock and emotional abuse.

    She actually mentioned that she had asked me if my husband was having an affair in 2012? I actually did not confirm an affair until late 2015. So, I guess her timeline started when she mentioned the word affair.

    Some of these people believe that all divorces are created equal. I think that all of us in CN know differently.

  • Longtime reader but I had to register just to post on this. During a session where we were supposed to be working on our marriage, the therapist looked at my now ex-h and asked what he felt he could do to work on our marriage. He looked at the therapist with all sincerity and replied “She (me) could go on medication.” Yes, fuckwit felt the answer to all our problems was for me to be so doped up it either didn’t bother me or I didn’t bring it up any more. In his fucked up and demented psyche, there was nothing he did that was wrong….. So glad to be out!!!!!!

    • Thanks for being here. I was triggered by your post, Chumpedout, because my father also said I needed medication when I finally, as an adult, confronted him on his sexual abuse of me when I was a child. He flew into what I now understand is narcissistic rage, then manipulation (“What do you want me to do now, KILL MYSELF?!”), then he switched to being very worried for me (he loves me, after all) that I was having a mental breakdown.

      He insisted I go see a psychiatrist to get meds to “calm me down” (really, to shut me up) and he was going to pay for the appointment. I was already seeing a therapist who helped me prepare for this significant recovery milestone of confronting my father. I didn’t need medication and he was the one who needed psychiatric help.

      People who do not accept responsibility for their abusive behavior will deflect, deny, project, gaslight, blame-shift and call the OTHER person a crazy liar. Self-delusion is preferred to admitting wrong and making amends. Apparently, these tactics are all in “The Handbook” for perpetrators – cheaters included.

      • Hi RDWNs,
        I got loads of the ‘deflect, deny, project, gaslight, blame shift’ from Lying Loser in and out of marriage counselling.
        I was sooo glad to find Chump Lady and followed her advice and Chump Nations many examples and went No Contact.
        The only way to handle all that mind fuck from abusers. All communication through lawyers now and I’m Very happy to pay lawyer’s bills.
        I’ve also been grey rock and minimal contact with FOO abusers now. It’s funny how the distance helps process all my pain and clear my mind.
        Life is only getting better 😀
        Thanks for posting.
        Hugs to you

  • We never managed to get to a therapist together more than twice (in retrospect that was fine) but my ex’s therapist who he starred seeing months before DDay basically told him he was justified in all of his behavior. Some gems:
    Ex: “She’s so mad right now” (after I found out about an 8 month affair when my kid was 2 months old)
    Therapist: “your wife is like a pinball. You just have to let that quarter play out.” (Like why wouldn’t MY emotions be real) and “She needs to own her part in this” (MY part in screwing other people and lying?!?!)
    And the worst was when he requested that I go to a session with him and the therapist says, “you have to set aside your anger and look at him with compassion. Can you do this?” My response was “I’ll try” and he says, “Yoda says there is no try only do.” Why would a person misuse Yoda this way?!?!?
    What a quack.

  • I only went to one MC session with Ex. Before our session together, we had individual appointments. He came home livid after his appointment, saying he being made into the bad guy. He felt it was unfair that we had to deal with his cheating first. And he didn’t know if he wanted to continue to get ganged up on. He felt this way after his solo appointment!!

    Our only session together was odd. The therapist barely touched on his affair. Only saying that I could determine how much I wanted to know and that he had to answer my questions. I wanted time to think through what I actually wanted to know, so we put it aside and then went on to work on Gottman love maps. I listened intently. Answered questions when asked. One of those being how my family showed love–which I said was being there for each other, doing stuff together, etc. When he was asked how his family showed love he answered “We just knew we were working towards the same goal.”
    When trying to set up the next appointment he was difficult, saying he was very busy at work. I knew then that he was never going to another session.

    After the appointment, he went to pick up our 6 year old and I drove home. When our daughter burst through the door she said “Dad said you didn’t say anything during your appointment today. That you didn’t participate at all!” I was flabbergasted. That he discussed things with our daughter was beyond inappropriate and what he was saying was completely untrue. When I asked him about it he said he was angry that we had to deal with his cheating instead of what he considered to be my issues. It was the first appointment. And he didn’t even bring up my issues. I honestly think he thought we should have a fight in front of the therapist and then she would have seen what a horrible person I was (which probably would not have happened) and how I was the reason he cheated.

    I continued on with the therapist after he left. She was great. Called me on my chump shit. Help me set boundaries. Gave some good insight into the toxic relationship we had. He went on to confess his faults to a sympathetic ear who later birthed his child. It verified to me that he cannot handle being told he is in the wrong.

  • Based on the comments, I think finding a good counselor/therapist is a crap shoot. Fortunately, ours was a gem; she was no pushover and immediately had my STBXW pegged as a cheater, even through I still had my head up my keester (denial).

    During our first visit, my wife was relatively quiet, so I gave the Doc a quick rundown of the prior 6 months – how my wife was dealing with something. She had become progressively distant; emotionally and physically, that she was “feeling restless”, “in a very selfish place”, “needed space”, “didn’t know what was going on with her”, and lastly I told the counselor “She said she loves me but isn’t in love with me, want to be single, and wants a divorce.” The counselor looked at my wife and said, “Is that accurate?” STBXW said “Yep”. The counselor then asked, “You say you want to be single; what does that look like to you?” STBXW paused and said “I’ll have to get back to you on that.” The counselor, sensing a wall of BS asked us if we were committed to making this (our marriage) work. I, of course, said “Yes, 110%!”. But when she looked at my STBXW, she replied “If we’re being honest, no.” That was our first and last session. I began seeing the counselor individually after that and, in my first solo session, she said “Chumpy, I can almost assure you she’s having an affair.” I started snooping, employing some PI tactics and quickly found out she’d been screwing one of her married Sergeants (she’s a cop).

    The counselor/therapist was (and remains) money well-spent. But, again, I think I got lucky.

  • Ex narcopath and I attended 3 counselling sessions while I was living with him and his two kids. (I also have two kids from a previous relationship. )

    We were there under the guise of “difficulty blending families” but truthfully it was because after I moved in to ex narcopaths house he became completely hands-off with the kids, the household and delighted in triangulating me with his ex wife and ex girlfriends. I felt like I was losing my mind and was angry all the time…

    The 1st counselor was beyond useless.

    The 2nd counselor blamed me for infantilizing ex narcopath and not allowing him to make decisions.

    For example, ex narcopath randomly decided one day that the 4 children should have no electronics after 6pm.

    This was after he just bought his boys an xbox for xmas, and I had just bought my 2 kids tablets and we finally had just gotten a wireless router.

    I said I might be open to that as long as he was going to lead by example and turn his show off. I would be ok with them helping with chores and reading and walks and board games…

    However, ex was a huge TV junky and had it on all day. His life revolved around the Price is Right, Young and Restless, the 6pm news and sports.
    He was aghast that I would suggest such an atrocity. Big nope on his end. He just meant the kids lose electronics, not HIM.

    So, I said no. I said I refuse to entertain the kids while he lays there watching TV in his underwear, drinking beer, and the kids are going nuts because we are all trapped in the small house and we can’t go out and do anything because a) he always wanted me home at night, and b) he was too cheap to offer any money….
    He wasn’t willing to give up his electronics and actually spend time with us….

    I thought I was perfectly reasonable in saying no to that insanity. The counselor suggested I let him implement his failed plan and suffer the consequences. I said that the KIDS and I would “suffer the consequences ” while his life carries on oblivious to our distress. So, no.

    I left that counseling session, scratching my head, feeling like that advice was bullshit and then overthinking that maybe *I * was the problem. After that, ex majorly amped up his emotional and financial abuse as punishment for not getting his way.

    3rd counseling session was because I had decided to move my kids and I out, and back to my apartment that was still available (thankfully), and ex and I were there to discuss how to continue dating while living apart.

    The whole drive there, ex was giving me the silent treatment once he realized he couldn’t change my mind and stay in his house.

    When we got there, ex was all tears and snot and why was Chumpedincanada doing this after he had given her everything? I didn’t say much during that session as exs performance stole the show, but the counselor clearly wasn’t buying his bs, and finally said to him: “Chumpedincanada is stating she is exhausted, depleted and has nothing left to give. Yet you are here asking her to stay and invest even more in trying to repair this relationship….how do you feel it is fair to ask that of her? And what are YOU going to change?”

    Ex: “because I just love her so much and I’m not saying that I would cheat on her, but if she is not here at the house with me, then it would be hard for me to be faithful…..”

    And that, folks, is someone showing you who they are. Right. There.

    Needless to say the counselor was slack jawed at that statement. I started yelling at that point saying that I was right to leave him if he is already planning to cheat on me, which he denied. I told him if he said it out loud, then he is thinking it!

    I did leave him after that. And unfortunately we broke up on and off 3 more times after that. But no further couples counselling as he declared the problem was me and not him and that I refused to communicate with him.

    I went to 2 more individual counselors after that, but it was my final therapist that helped me the most and validated that my experience was very traumatizing and that ex narcopath is a cluster b personality.

    I think the most profound thing she said to me was: ” your relationship with ex was doomed from day 1 because of who he is. You went into it doing all the things a loving caring person does. Loving him and his kids. Revealing insecurities. Sharing worries. You were trying to build a relationship with someone who is incapable (based on his previous and post relationship cycles)…
    You exhibit the qualities any man would be lucky to have….it wasn’t you….”

    But I really think CL helped me the most and her daily dose of reality and reading everyone’s stories helped clear my mind and find my inner strength…

    I am should change my name to
    NoLongerChumpedInCanada

    • “I think the most profound thing she said to me was: ” your relationship with ex was doomed from day 1 because of who he is. You went into it doing all the things a loving caring person does. Loving him and his kids. Revealing insecurities. Sharing worries. You were trying to build a relationship with someone who is incapable (based on his previous and post relationship cycles)…
      You exhibit the qualities any man would be lucky to have….it wasn’t you….”

      NoLongerChumpedinCanada (like the change!) that statement also sums up my marriage. I also get affirmation from friends and family who look me like I’m nuts when I express that it could have been me. There wasn’t a damn thing we could have done to change the outcome. We got unlucky when we wed them but we are lucky now to have our freedom and chance to live our lives to the fullest.

  • After 2 sessions, the therapists said she didn’t think that she would be able to help us – I was too angry. This was after we spent almost the entire hour talking about how he didn’t like to be teased. Out of all the problems in our marriage (the other woman, the financial shenanigans, the lying, etc…), I had to listen to some garbage about being teased? I had stopped lovingly teasing him a while ago. It was our friends who still teased him. I had warned them, but I had no control over anyone else’s actions. Besides, aren’t therapists SUPPOSED to help you face and handle the anger?!!!

  • In MC after DD #1 in 2016 I asked therapist her advice with whether we should go ahead and move forward with fertility treatments and building a house and she encouraged it. I should have gone with my gut and moved slower. Two years later and DD#2, now we have IVF debt, mortgage debt and no baby. Wish I could go back two years ago.

  • When I told my therapist that he was terrifyingly verbally abusive, her suggestion was that we develop a safe location, where he couldn’t follow me, like one of the bedrooms. How f’ing lame was that. The trouble is, is that therapists are trained to think that all of the people in marriage therapy are basically good at heart, just misunderstood. What we know, and what science is starting to show is that are basically some seriously f’ed up people for which there is no hope of humanity. All you can do is walk away and put a flaming wall to keep any more of their ilk out of your orbit.

    Also, if anyone thinks they can get good therapy out of Kaiser, save your time. Kaiser throttles therapy to 12 weeks, then if you are still whining, they funnel you into some lame group therapy deal and they have shitty therapists too. So pay out of pocket for therapy. Even then, you take your chances. Hope calling out Kaiser doesn’t get you in trouble CL. But Kaiser has been sued multiple times for their shitty psych services.

  • Therapist to wife as wife described her feelings on her new affair relationship: “the look in your eyes says it all, kid.”

    Words of encouragement on continuing the affair when we had a 7 month old baby at home. 😳

  • The last couple of rounds of attempting couple’s therapy proved to be truly eye-opening experiences, confirming to me the toxicity of his head-space. One of the most memorable, and fortunately I now find amusing, pivotal moments, was when I FINALLY got brave enough to ask him… What about those four finger scratches on each side of your back, a few years ago? Him: There were no scratches. Me: umm, yes, there were, twice. Him: it did not happen twice. Me: yes, it did. Him: I scratched myself… Me: what?! how? Him: I don’t know, you must have done it… Me: umm, no. // All the while, I was doing my best to stay steady, not to trigger, or surrender, while watching his body language twist and torque, and his energy rapidly escalate. He looked to be holding his breath, still seated, but somehow rising from his chair…. until the therapist finally asked him, very gently, “why can’t you just admit you had a passionate affair?” His response showed no remorse. In fact, he appeared put out and disgusted. And he was angered and totally offended when the therapist ultimately advised we go no contact, even though, at the time, we were still living together. Fortunately we had driven separate cars to the appointment. I cannot express my relief to have seen him deny what had happened, and then try to spin it to be my fault, in front of a third party. And for that third party to be a professional doctor who was a couple’s conflict resolution therapist/counselor. Having the therapist there, provided me with the security/confidence I needed to stay in the moment, rather than run away, beg forgiveness, and duck and cover, anything to make his anger stop. I could witness his behavior in a safe place. It was a vital turning point in the clarity of my understanding of what is this thing called “gaslighting,” and the door opener to learning more about the elements of his crazy-making behavior.

  • We went to MC back in 2010 at my stbx h’s request. All because he thought I was cheating or if I wasn’t cheating I was “too friendly” to men. So not true! By the third counseling session our female therapist told us straight up that h is insecure and has “attachment” issues with his elderly parents and was becoming depressed. He admitted I did nothing wrong and was to attend solo follow up sessions with her. Never did it! 3 years ago, after his 88 year old mother died, I could see him spiraling down into depression again. I repeatedly requested that he go back to MC. He refused. Last July (2017) he moved into his parents house while his dad was in hospice with round the clock nurses. Oh yes his hunting and drinking friend -a guy – also moved in with him. They “share a passion for farming” and love that house! My FIL died Sept. 2017. The friend filed for divorce from his wife of 25 years in Oct. 2017. My stbx h spent 6 nights in our marital house with me and our 3 kids from Aug 2017-Jan 2018. He briefly began spending a few weeknights with us but always went back out there to be with his buddy on weekends. H finally went to a new therapist in Feb 2018 and by Feb 24th he knew he needed a divorce! He said his friend was there for him as he parents died (a guy who only became a friend to my h about 8 years ago due to his wife and I being friends)! So he threw away 28 years with me to hang out with his friend of 8 years! And he says his therapist could see that he had been “miserable” for years! HA! I know he didn’t tell the therapist the truth. That he had serious attachment issues to his parents; was used to controlling everything they did; was depressed as they died; began drinking too much; abandoned his family to live in his parents new house (not the house my H grew up in) and was living with a married man, who recently filed for divorce and had thoughts of suicide after his dad died. No way the therapist covered all of that shit in 7 sessions! He filed for divorce in June and we are now in litigation. After a year of basically ignoring the kids he now wants regular visitation!!!! WTH?

    • so, I should sum it up by saying our MC (female) was great and saw right through H’s pile of shit stories! I truly doubt the new therapist my stbx is seeing got the true story. Knowing someone was suicidal and drinking heavily (in a house filled with guns), I can’t imagine any therapist would not see a problem with that!

  • “And you really don’t want to consider an open marriage?”

    “Open relationships have helped scores of people.”

    “Why don’t you want an open marriage? If you have a position on something, then you should be able to explain yourself.”

    Of course, my ex was lying to the therapist, claiming that the affair was over. So, therapist was playing without a full deck.

    Regardless, I should not be required to defend the traditional marriage we had agreed upon on our wedding day. If wifey wanted to explore other options (so as to retroactively get “permission” for her misdeeds), the it’s up to HER to make the case for it, not up to ME to make th case against it. And more importantly, other options must be explored before cheating occurs, not after.

    Marriage counseling to address an affair is like eating vegetarian to address alcoholism.

    • “Marriage counseling to address an affair is like eating vegetarian to address alcoholism.”

      This is one of the funniest things I have heard all year. I seriously can’t stop laughing.

  • I never really went to therapy with my STBX. He suggested it after DDay and I was so happy that he did. I had asked him to go for years and he always refused. I saw this as a sign that he wanted to work on us.
    When I scheduled the appointment via Outlook, I got an immediate Email back. „Why did you schedule this on a Wednesday? You know that this is when I go mountain biking. You never let me do anything for myself.“ I had scheduled the first session on a Tuesday.
    On the day, we were to go, I was waiting in the building when I received a call and him angrily stating: „I will be late. I cannot find a parking spot.“ I had arrived 5min before and there were plenty of spots available. Three directly in front of the building. He indeed arrived completely stressed out and angry. The counselor used the session to explain his method and wanted a commitment to actually work on the marriage with him. My cheater could not decide. He explained how his cheating had nothing to do with the marriage break down, the marriage was over before, and that he just needed think time before committing to working on the marriage. I was so frustrated. Why did he even suggest the counseling if he did not know whether he wanted to work on things?
    Essentially, he later decided against marriage counseling, becuase he understoood that he marriage counselor had said that we needed to forever commit to the marriage before starting therapy and he did not want to get trapped in a marriage that would not make him happy. It was a complete mind fuck. He did not deviate from „what he heard the counselor say“ even though it was clearly not what he had said. He just did not want to do marriage or work on himself. What I did not know at this time was that he had continued seeing the OW who had since decided to file for divorce herself. So, the shiny new thing appeared better than working on a 14 year marriage with 2 kids.

    The next session with a different therapist was after DDay 2. I had thrown him out of the house and told him that I would not talk to him without a third person present. We needed to tell the kids and could not agree on what to say. He introduced me as his wife and told the therapist that I wanted to tell the kids about the cheating, because I wanted to play victim. He then explained that he handled the marriage break up wrong, because when the marriage was over, he started an affair instead of breaking up with me first. Yeah, right. For two years, he just made „a small mistake“.
    I said that there was no way I was lying to the kids. I am a few suggestions on what and how I wanted to tell the kids. However, my cheating husband did not want to use any of my suggestions. I insisted on the following: For as long as he is seeing the OW, I will insist on telling the kids that there is another woman. My STBX explained that he was not „seeing“ the OW, he was just testing where things would go. I lost it in front of the therapist, started crying, and the stupid therapist told me: „You may just not like his answer. He has given you an answer.“ And I just turned around and told him: „You think that is an acceptable answer? He clearly has been with the OW for years, he clearly has all intentions of dating, and you fall for the lying that he just wants to test things out? He is lying right here to get what he wants. Like he always does.“

    Oh, and a week before DDay2 when my STBX had a big fight, because I had found out that the OW had filed for divorce the same week he refused marriage counseling and that he had lied about her divorce being finalized a year before our DDay1, and he insisted that he was not talking or seeing her… he called me later that day to tell me that he needed to start therapy becuase he felt so bad. He insisted that he needed therapy to feel better. And so he scheduled therapy. And… I later learned that he claimed he could not understand why he chose to lie to me and could not make right choices. So he went to therapy, because he was still seeing the OW. He wanted a blessing from a therapist that he was doing things in an ok way…

    I love my own therapist (not any of the ones mentioned above).

    • The Dickhead suggested that MC might be option about 2 months before he filed. The day he filed, he told me that there things that he would never discuss with me and things that he’s never discussed with anyone. Uh, OK, then why the hell did you suggest MC? He would have lied and gaslighted just like your ex. .

      You get cheated on and then further shitted on in therapy. I’m so glad that I didn’t subject myself to that. He would have found some way to make me look like I”m the bad person. No thank you.

      What the heck were we thinking, inescapable? The cons of being married to those fuckwits far exceeded any benefits.

      • Yes, making me look like the bad person was is favorite thing to do.
        There were not enough benefits to be married to him for sure.

  • I am a psychologist and I can tell you from both sides that it is enormously difficult to find a skilled and thoughtful therapist. Searching for my own therapist I found most people are simplistic (eg “go get a massage”,“practice good self care”, “well you tried that and it didn’t work out so let it go”). Hardly anyone I’ve met does depth work that helps us make important connections and really confront our own character issues and patterns in relationships. In private practice I definitely felt pressured to keep people comfortable and not call them out on their bs. CL is right, therapists aren’t wizards and you should trust your gut and run if they spout platitudes or normalize abuse like cheating.

  • We went to MC after DD#1, which I found out about a year after it was over. My therapist told me it was my choice whether we stayed together or not. That he clearly wanted to be in the marriage.

    We managed to get out of the bickering stage but never recovered further. (He went to see a therapist on his own and nailed after two visits. And never read the book the therapist gave him about committed love.)

    Later, after DD#2 a few years later, I asked him in disbelief, why would you lie in MC? His response? “Of course I lied. You were there.” Classic.

    I pushed my therapist about why she didn’t see the narcissism and her response is that she can only work with the information he provided. Isn’t their job to be able to see beneath the surface?

    I’m more than 2.5 years from DD#2, divorced and downsized into a place smaller than the first home I bought 30 years ago.

    things look ok in the surface but any trigger brings tears to my eyes immediately. I’m working with a grief therapist because my Mom died of lung cancer in the midst of my divorce. She says I have complicated grief because of the multiple losses on top of one another.

    • Oh, Giddy, my heart goes out to you. I lost my mother right in the middle of my divorce as well. Of course, the Dickhead offered no consolation to me nor did he go visit her in the hospital. 18 year together and I didn’t even get ‘how are you dong, anything I can do for you?”

      As you will find from others, these disordered POS seem to have a knack for bailing just when you need them the most.

      • There is another side to this. If my mother dies I know ex will fall all over himself to offer his condolences and it will drive me crazy because I will know he is just doing it to show what a “compassionate and thoughtful” guy he is. If you ex (stbx?) had offered condolences he wouldn’t really have mean it anyway. I hope you had other people to offer you sincere condolences and support for your loss.

  • After rushing straight from work (artist, painting a set in a warehouse in south FL all day), looking sweaty and still wearing my painted up tshirt and jeans… the therapist suggested that it’s my lack of fancy looks that drove my husband to lie and cheat on me. She told me to make an extra effort to look good for him, buy some pretty underwear and to be more “lady-like” and sexy. Never returned for more of her wisdom!

    Next therapist only wanted to discuss my FOO, not my husband’s cheating or lying.. then laid a bunch of crystals on me and told me to envision being surrounded by white light whenever I’d discover him lying. What a magical mindfuck that session was. Next!

    Third and final therapist told me to focus on my career and creativity and everything else would work itself out. Mmmmm, brilliant.. thanks?

    Needless to say, I took it as my fault, worked on my own life after kicking him out to have his affair. Two years later I took him back when he came back, begging. Fast forward 9yrs, he’s “hanging out” with a mutual friend of ours after I’d moved ahead of him to our new city. Started watching a ton of Youtube therapists for free, used exercise, eating well and my new knowledge of neglectful/abusive people – and finally got stronger and healed!

    Wish I had that original 500$ back from the therapists. I’d buy myself some fancy underwear just for ME!

  • Our MFT kept telling me “stop shaming him” in front of him. I never had the opportunity to express my anger. That was supposed to magically disappear and I was supposed to just focus on dating my f’ing cheater husband. Issues of betrayal were just swept under the carpet completely. She also threw out there that many marriages were strengthened by infidelity. She also suggested that while we were trying to decide if we were going to work things out or not, he should introduce our 6 year old daughter to the AP th see how she might fit into the picture if he chose her. WTF! I lost it completely on that one. I believe that her statement later helped him justify/normalize introducing the AP to our daughter ONE MONTH into our separation. He has no insight into the damage he has done to our daughter as well as myself. I will never forgive him for that or any of his transgressions for that matter. Looking back, I am glad our therapy and wreckonsiliatiion only lasted a month but I cringe at even considering it at all. I think that I was so shell-shocked that I could not properly stand up for myself and tell the “therapist” and the cheater to fuck off right from the get-go. I now have trust issues with therapists too, because unfortunately I also had a bad experience with an individual therapist during this time frame. I have learned how to process my anger on my own and lean on CN or a few trusted friends for my therapy. I am now happily divorced since October and so grateful not another millisecond was wasted on this horrible human being. I wish I did not ever have to see, speak, or communicate with him ever again, but there is our daughter☹️.

  • I love it Chump lady I would have told you about Sienna but your negative energy triggers my negative shame!😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Yeesus, I love this blog.
    So 2015- I suggest counseling. I do a bunch of research and find 2-3 options.
    His Response: “I need to work on my own issues first.”
    2018- D Day April- promises to take action, nope.
    The end.
    There’s no cake in therapy. Only exposure. And work.
    Regarding all of the comments on the Psych communities out there- I had to take an earnest look at my expectations.
    I wanted the therapist to evaluate things. Like some kind of omniscient life adjudicator, priest or sage. Then issue an opinion, or decision- from a neutral perspective.
    That’s not what they do.
    Today my expectations are that I show up for the session. I ask for help to teach myself new ideas and practice the new ideas.
    Lately, it boils down to “radical acceptance”.
    Yes, I’m still pissed at all of the emotional labor I gave to him.
    The relief is that I don’t ever have to do that again. No matter how many days it took me to figure it out, I know that today and tomorrow, the next day, etc.- are free of that slimy, thick, creepy sludge of a pain swamp that was my life-with a person who never knew me.

    • I need repeat these word as a chant – slimy, thick, creepy sludge of a pain swamp that was my life-with a person who never knew me.”

      • You got this, Miss B.
        Trust that they suck-you don’t.
        2019 is the year of the Chump.
        We can take a pig on, any day.

  • STBXH, third session: “I’m not really getting anything out of this. All we talk about is how I’m the bad guy for cheating and you (Not A Thing) just insist on being a victim.”

    Counselor: “I think it is best at this point if you both pursue individual counseling. And, STBXH, I hear you saying that your porn use is only occasional, but if that’s true, it seems like a silly thing to throw away a twenty-year marriage for.”

    Best $130 ever.

  • After DD #1, we went to ONE session with a completely worthless counselor who said it was my choice to accept and forgive. Didn’t tell him he’d done anything wrong. He smirked, we went home, and I tried to forget everything.

    After DD#2 and the first separation, I told him to find a therapist and he never did. Stupidly, I took him back after about 6 months, when he promptly cheated AGAIN. Cue DD#3/4/5 (do you get one for each AP you discover?). This time, I found a therapist myself, and oh boy, did I find a doozy.

    Six sessions, and I was allowed to speak for a sum total of about 15 minutes. HE got to monopolize the sessions, whining about how I neglected and misunderstood him. he is a narc with a “chronic” health condition that he refuses to adequately treat, and leaves him “too tired/ill” to do much, so I’d go out on my own – he’d refuse to do ANYTHING outside of the house, and monopolized the TV with sports, which I loathe. He claimed to love playing cards and games, and in 10 years, we played one round of gin total, despite me and my kids asking him to join us in games. His constant whining and complaining led the kids to avoid spending time with him, and he griped that they “did not respect him as a father figure” – well, dude, you hide from them by sleeping 18 hours a day and bitching at them about their normal kid noise when you are awake. Oh, but the biggie: how me being angry over his “true polyamorous nature” — which came out after I confronted him about the cheating — made him sick, so he could not discuss the cheating in sessions at all as it would lead to a “migraine”. Therapist bought it ALL and the two of them would gang up on me and start a blamefest.

    The real kicker came just before the last session. Therapist had signed a contract with us that she would NEVER speak to us individually and in confidence. That is, we could talk privately, but she would tell the other party what we’d discussed and that we had talked to her privately. Guess what — she lied and had at least 2 private sessions with him, and he told her I was borderline, had threatened suicide, and threatened to harm HIM. Uh, guess what NEVER had happened? He HAD been diagnosed with mental health issues in the past, and even hospitalized for suicide attempts. Me, not so much.

    Very luckily, I was in individual therapy with a great counselor. She got a call from the couples counselor about how “disturbed” I was and went off the deep end at her. I think she may have even reported her to the licensing board for her shenanigans. I was also seeing a psych for the severe anxiety the whole thing brought on, and I point-blanked asked him if I was borderline. He laughed, then quickly apologized and said “Absolutely not. I only laughed because this is so absurd. You have severe anxiety, because who WOULDN’T in your shoes? But you do not have any kind of personality disorder. I can’t diagnose your ex, because I don’t know him, but I CAN tell you that a very common trait for narcs is to transfer blame…and consider for yourself if that is what might be happening here.”

    So — couple counseling – garbage. Individual? Lifesaving.

  • I showed pictures of 18 empty hidden jack daniel bottles i found in his desk to our marriage counselor. Her response was “hes not an alcoholic. He is using alcohol as a crutch to get through our marital problems”

      • Nothing but enablers, these types of counselors. God forbid she should upset him by calling him an alcoholic. ‘Alcohol abuser’ is so much more compassionate and sensitive. Yeah, he claimed he ‘drank because of me.’ Right, and since leaving in 2012 I’ve heard through the grapevine that he’s had at least three more ‘cycles’ of ‘alcohol abuse’ that have created drama and chaos for people he works with as well as schmoopie. Soooooo glad not my monkey, not my circus anymore!

  • The therapist’s worst crimes were those of complicity omission, but she also criticized me for being angry 72 hours after Dday and said: “Affairs happen for a reason” and “He’s been more empathic to you than anyone he’s ever known.”

    My current therapist, who oversaw some of her clinical hours, says she should have never agreed to work with us post DDay–that she created a forum for domestic violence to continue.

  • 2011 D-day- horrible therapist (cheater’s personal therapist) told me I was full of crap and couldn’t tell when cheater was lying.

    2018 D-day- much more supportive couples therapist and recommended me to a personal therapist- both told me I should get a divorce- run and don’t look back.

    Supposedly (in all her sadness from cheating on me) cheater went back to 2011 therapist and “cried on her office floor about doing this bad thing”. I have often thought about visiting that therapist and saying see I wasn’t full of crap- I knew something wasn’t right.

    I wish I had divorced her in 2011. I could have saved myself so much pain and humiliation.

  • So I went to 3 therapists before I found my life coach. The first one rightly y told me my ex was circling the drain and I should join a dance class. She was cheated on and still stalking the OW. Not helpful On Day 4 post dday. The second wanted to explain to me the relationship between my husband his cheater dad that drive him to cheat on me-Interesting but not helpful. The third told me she cheated On Her husband and it made her feel alive and that was what fuckwit felt. Again interesting but so not helpful. My life coach was fabulous- she let me grieve when I needed to and then helped me envision the future. Staying positive while supportive. Hugs!!

  • So I’m a therapist, who was also a chump. My ex was lazy and selfish. He was a narcissist who told our therapist that what he liked about me was that I reminded him of how to be caring to other people. I did just about everything in the relationship. I worked a 60+hour a week job (ex didn’t like my hours but liked the money), cooked, cleaned, mowed, did my own car maintenance, took care of the finances, and so on. I would ask my husband to scratch my back at night sometimes, and apparently, that was too much to ask because he bought me a backscratcher to keep on my nightstand. When I brought up how my ex refused to help with anything (ex later admitted that he knew I would end up doing it if he didn’t) and how I did so much for him and he never reciprocated, the therapist reminded me that we aren’t supposed to do things for others so that they will do things for us. I was just like, “Seriously? The man is sucking the life out of me.’

    • Other than working the 60 hours, just 40 for me, I did everything you listed The Dickhead refused to even take my vehicle in for an oil change because ‘he didn’t drive it’. Yet, I washed his clothes, made him dinner, bought him his favorite foods and drinks, and rubeed his head and hands while we lay in bed watching TV. He said he was good to be but he hEdly ever fixed me dinner, be never rubbed my back or my head, he never went out of his way to help with any chores or errands. Yep, he was so good. Good riddance.

      • I am sorry you experienced that too. My ex told me that because my dad taught me how to maintain a vehicle, he knew I was perfectly capable of doing it. I would give him foot massages and so forth. He would say, “I really need to do this for you sometime.” We were together 18 years and I never received any kind of massage from him.

        • 18 years too. There’s a part of me that wishes there was a man out there who is really willing to be a partner. To share in each other’s life, to be a true friend. Someone who would rub my head when I’ve had a bad day.

    • This sounds like me. When “we” were preparing for my retirement I told him he would have to get a job to pay his healthcare since he was younger than me. Seemed fair since I had been “taking care” of everything for so long. He just said “oh is that what you we’re thinking” dday 3 wks player. He just wanted my money so he could be hot shot. Knowing my income would be reduced scared him so you know divorce so he could tap into my 401k. One of many issues. Fucker

  • When confronted in therapy about never telling me that she had a host of STD’s…”wow, I guess it’s just weird right now that my safety net (me) is gone”

    • Unbelievable. It’s amazing how when the mask slips they show their true selves. On DDay night I asked my Ex did he love the OW? I just wanted to know what I had to work with. He screamed back at me (not unusual for him), “It’s probably not even going to work out with her! and my whole economy will crash! and I will end up homeless on the street!” Very quickly I realized what he was saying was that I, the breadwinner for 16 years, was “his whole economy.” That was ALL I was to him at that point.

      He was angry that night because I found out about his affair, and told him to GTFO and as he put it, “he wasn’t sure he could trust [he meant freeload off of] the OW yet.” That was five years ago. I’ve heard he still lives w/OW in her cushy house in upper crust suburb Ex could never afford on his own but that they are no longer a couple but she lets him live there because he can’t afford his own place. I’m so glad that abusive lying parasite is out of my life.

  • I filed for divorce in March. In July the ex asked, almost pleaded to go to to counseling to see if the marriage still had a chance (it didn’t). I asked him if he was dating anyone (I knew he was) but he strongly denied it. But I said if he made the appointment I would go.
    So I show up at the therapists office. She asked which one of us would like to speak first. He folded his arms across his his chest and said ” I have nothing to say “. I just looked at the therapists, thanked her for her time, and said there is nothing to work with here and I left.
    He sent a text later to tell me what I owed him for my half of the cost for the session.
    So glad I am free.

    • What is it with these cheaters that suggest therapy and then opting out before even starting.
      It appears to be just another control play; see I can make you hopeful and then I will crush you again.

    • Mine did the same thing. After 2 months of my asking for a divorce, THEN Hannibal Lecher decided he would go to therapy. I ask him, “Do you want to tell her what is going on, or shall I?” He let me have the floor. I said, “He claims he seduced gradwhore for 3 weeks, then fucked her for 3 weeks.” In his Oxbridge accent, he haughtily said, “I object to that language.”

      Even in my decimated emotional state, I stared at him with amazement. Okay to actually fuck a student, but not okay for me to call it fucking. SMH. It was our one and only marital counseling appointment. I filed within 5 days, pro se.

  • Oh, counseling. How worthless it was.

    Right after D-day #1, I dragged Asshat, kicking and screaming to counseling. We had 3 sessions.

    Session #1- Asshat announced that he would NOT stop fucking his best friend’s wife. Because, it was TWU WUV!!! And why didn’t I respect and understand that he DESERVED to be HAPPY? MC says, “well, if you won’t end the affair, then we aren’t really talking about saving the marriage, are we?” Asshat says, “BBBUT! I don’t want a divorce! This doesn’t affect how I feel about Katiedidn’t!”
    MC asks- “so, how do you feel about Katiedidn’t?”
    Asshat: “I love her, but I am not in love with her”.
    MC: “Katiedidn’t, how do you feel about that?”
    Me: I think he’s lost his damned mind

    Session #2- MC asks me- “so what would you like from Asshat?”
    Me: I would like him to tell his so-called bestie that he is fucking his wife.
    Asshat: “Shmoopie and I will tell him on our own timetable. Because. TWU WUV!
    Me: If you don’t tell him, I fucking will.
    Asshat: “You see? She’s bitter and she also calls me NAMES! She needs to work on her ANGER!”
    Me: Fuck you, Asshat.

    Session #3- MC asks Asshat if he’s told bestie about the TWU WUV.
    Asshat (shifting around in his chair) “well, yes and no”
    MC- “what does that mean?”
    Asshat- “well, shmoopie and I invited got him drunk and invited him into their bedroom for a threesome. I mean, he’s hinted at it from time to time, we thought he wanted that.”
    Me- So how the hell did that go???
    Asshat- “not very well”
    MC- “so, you basically lured the guy into a ‘threesome’ to somehow give him agency in your affair with his wife???”
    Me- #$^@*!!!!
    Asshat- SEE? Katiedidn’t needs ANGER MANAGEMENT

    Yeah, I walked the fuck out of there.

          • @Kale- actually, he dumped bestie’s wife 6 months later, as it was apparently too difficult to continue seeing her when bestie went off the rails and beat the shit out of the mailbox out in front of then ‘our’ house and threatened to do the same to Asshat. He’s now moved on with a new Twu Wuv- an overweight, insecure 27-year old, who apparently thinks that nearly 57-year old Asshat is the bees knees. So glad to be rid of him.

  • When our premarital counselor, who is a recovering sex addict himself, was “helping” us through Creeper’s porn addiction issues, he explained why he would look at porn. I think he was trying to help me understand. He said this verbatim, “My wife doesn’t make me feel that way.” Meaning, his wife doesn’t make him feel like the porn stars do. Well, no shit sherlock!! THEY ARE ACTING. THEY GET PAID TO GET YOU OFF. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU. And, they loathe you and feel homicidal toward you! And, they don’t have to deal with your sex addicted ass like your poor wife does, and they don’t have to wash your underwear and iron your shirts. “MY WIFE DOESN’T MAKE ME FEEL THAT WAY”. You can’t make this shit up.

  • Asshat’s therapist said I needed to give Asshat more time to “get over a love that great”, referring to the 6 month affair. Then proceeded to tell me I “need to be more like his affair partner and not question him about anything”.

    • Good Lord! He is hurting you in his role as a therapist – therapists are supposed to heal not wound. “A love that great?” Wow ! This person should be reported for unprofessional advice. telling the chump that they should be more like tha affair partner is adding insult to injury. Should be reported.

  • Premarital counselor told me that my “reactions to [Creeper’s lust addiction] are going to drive his addiction.”
    Whaaaaa?? Creeper told me he’d been severely addicted for 16 years and that he’d “never been able to beat it.” And here’s the counselor trying to pin the blame on me ( girlfriend of 5 months). So glad I kicked both of them out of my life!!!!

  • The worst thing about couples therapy [supposedly a safe space, where you bare your soul to become a better human being]

    is that he would take what the therapist said, and twist it around to use against me. He would claim things the therapist (also his IC) said to win the argument.

    Actually, that is a huge red flag I now know – if you NEVER get heard in an argument.

    It would just be nice if we had grown apart, or he was just haunted by his childhood or whatever. But to discover the lengths we will go to to lie and manipulate, how much everything was a power struggle.

    – that is quite shaking.

    • Completely unethical for his individual therapist to see the two of you for couple counselling.
      That’s got to be the first warning sign that the couple therapy will not go well!

  • Our therapist asked us to imagine that, the next year, everything had been solved and we were happy together, and that we should each imagine a trip or experience that we would like to have with each other. I thought it was a nice idea, to reinforce the fact that we have always had very similar interests and passions. I thought carefully and told ex that I wanted to go with him to hike in a yew forest a few hundred miles from us, the biggest and most ancient yew forest in Europe. His idea was that he wanted to feel happy and comfortable with me again.

    IMO he put no thought into it at all. The AP was a huge outdoors gal and revered nature, and his imagination and hopes for the future were totally settled on her by now. He told me once that when he imagined sitting on the top of a hill gazing at the countryside, he wanted to be there with her. That hurt.

    • ArtistFormallyKnownAsChump,
      “He told me once that when he imagined sitting on the top of a hill gazing at the countryside, he wanted to be there with her. That hurt.”
      So painful. I am so sorry and I understand.
      Cheater told me on DDay ( he told me very little), that he cared about ow more than he had ever felt about anyone else ever.
      I got what he was expressing to me, that he loved her much much more, then me, the girl he married.

      Their words can really hit on your heart, I think, forever.

      • Thank you, sweetie. I and ex met through our shared passion for nature – Creation – which has never lost its great importance in my life and faith. The OW was far more a ‘nature girl’ than me – because she was half my age, had no fixed career, lived in a caravan and had no children (if you don’t count her three horses and wolf-dog), unlike us with our three beautiful and now damaged teenagers. He also told me that he never really felt committed to me (23 years? We married when the OW was in nappies) and he felt that with the OW, it was Meant To Be. It turned out that she didn’t want him as a partner despite his several offers, and so it was hardly Meant To Be. Tragic for everybody involved.
        But I do now know that he’s capable of deceiving, lying and concealing, so I know he’s not the person I want to be around.
        Lovely Peacekeeper, I doubt we’ll ever forget those wounds, I wonder if you like me have feared becoming bitter, but the understanding of human nature that comes with the wounds is another source of compassion. The trick is to know how to act around him with grey rock and not to see him as a hypocrite when I see him on social media liking things our friends post about respect and love. Thanks for your understanding and hugs to you today X

  • Initially I sought “religious counselling.” Pastor told me: ” if you think he is having an affair then you should also find somebody on the side.”
    I was too shocked to respond to that. I always thought of him as “next to God.” Now I think of him as a big lump of poop!
    Hmm…. never went back and I am still surviving!

    • My exBIL and his wife are Catholic religious marriage counsellors. They have almost no training (think a few part time lessons). After I disclosed that X had hit me and beaten the kids (2 reports to our Child Safety Agency)* exBIL said “IF it happened, you must have done something to cause it.”

      Basically, in his view, a beaten wife was responsible for the abuse, not the asshole who hit her. He had also been told that X had cheated on me and ignored that. There is no way they could ever give any meaningful counselling to people in an abusive relationship. “Religious” counselling of that type could only ever be an untrained person spouting their own prejudices.

      *I left X because of the abuse to the kids, immediately after the incident that led to the second report. I had (stupidly) thought the first report would make X leave the kids alone. I will never forgive myself for not getting out earlier, despite his threats that if I left he would ensure I never saw the kids again.

      • Nevermore, that’s unspeakable. So sorry, and proud of you for getting out! Was exBIL (haha autocorrect just wrote that as eVIL) ex’s brother?
        It so upsets me when I see ‘religious’ people speak like that, when God demands such very high standards from a husband, even to loving his wife as God loves the Church. What about the kids, did they also deserve to be beaten? 😲x

      • Nevermore, you left, and you protected your kids and yourself. That’s what matters. Find a way to forgive yourself a little. You were in a difficult situation with emotions running on high. It’s hard to think and take action at the same time. You did it, you took action and you didn’t look back. That was being brave and courageous for your children and yourself.

  • “My wife and I have a date night every month, you should try that, it’s worked for us, we’ve been together for 30 years.”

    A fucking date night is not going to make sorry and realized that he is a cheating asshole, asshole. 🙄

    • Foolme

      I was having dates with my h…. humiliating… him ogling the women, or not being interested in what I say, or million triggers on the way and me smiling, while in my head there was a chaos of a 1M questions and issues that h was just ignoring…
      Let’s have a good time… 🤮

      • Oh, that blatant ogling.

        How much CONTEMPT for a person do you have to have, to do it?

        I would pretend it wasn’t happening because it hurt so much.

        Why was I so blind to my own need to respect myself?

  • I was fortunate that Cheaterpants never agreed to go to therapy with me though after D-Day and my initial show of strength in kicking him out, I begged him to go; this was because for six months every time I talked to him (hadn’t gone NC yet and he kept coming back to the house to get his things), he kept explicitly stating that “if you play your cards right, WisedUp, you might just get a second chance.” After hearing variations of this statement a dozen times over a few weeks I asked him to go to therapy with me and he responded, “I don’t need therapy! [screaming at me] I need money! Money and a house!”

    He told me that I was a really messed up person and that after I got individual therapy, we could get back together. I was heart broken and so confused. And he was already moved into OW’s house. So I started individual therapy shortly thereafter. I found a good therapist, who was able to get me to see that I was abused and had stockholm syndrome, and that Ex was a narc though w/o seeing him in person he couldn’t diagnose him, but the therapist gave me all the book titles, starting with Dr. Hare’s book. I also found CL around that time, and started educating myself. I’ll never forget the moment the therapist took my hands and looked me in the eyes and said, “WisedUp, he abused you.” I had been so loyal to my ex for sixteen years that every time a friend or family member had tried to tell me that (they heard the screaming rage a thons, at times, and they observed the financial exploitation), I fiercely defended my Ex to all of them. I called it “his little anger management problem,” and claimed he was “working on it.”

    The last time I spoke to my Ex in person, the conversation showed me the true meaning of gas lighting. In the discussion which of course consisted of his revisionist history of our marriage, I said to him, “you never even gave us a chance. I asked you to do therapy and you refused.” He smoothly and in his most condescending charming voice looked at me quizzically and said, “What are you Talking About? We BOTH KNOW that dozens of times over the course of our relationship I begged you to do counseling with me and every single time you refused, WisedUp!”

    “What?!” I said, “That never happened ???!!” And he glibly replied, “Oh Please. We both know that as you are getting older, you are developing memory problems.”

    Suddenly I understood and the picture came into focus about the manipulative sociopath I had been married to for sixteen years. Oh, BTW, I was 57 years old at the time that he said that. True gaslighting at its finest.

    The stories about idiot therapists are appalling and I feel so badly for chumps who wasted time and money, and ended up being blamed and shamed by these incompetent practitioners.

    • This brought tears to my eyes. There’s a part of me that’s beginning to understand that he abused me. His temper tantrums, his gaslighting, the money he kept his savings (he never told me how much), and what you just said about the memory. The Dickhead was always saying that I didn’t things right. I only recently told my cousin (the only person ive confided in) that I was afraid that he would not take care of me. I was afraid that if I ever had real memory problems, he would not be one to take care of me. Instead he would lie, gaslight, steak or cheat to his advantage. The very man that I love and was supposed to trust was the man that feared to watch over me in my most vulnerable state.

      • MissBailey I am sorry you went through this too. I was his biggest defender though my gut kept trying to tell me, I denied the abuse, I was in such denial.

        • I’m sorry for you…big hugs. Your therapist gave you validation which you desperately needed. So many people, even the ones that love and support us, don’t fully grasp the insidious behaviors the disordered use to charm and disarm their victims. So subtle and yet so destructive.

          • MissBailey, You nailed it with your last comment. So many people just don’t understand. I don’t fault them (most of them anyway) because they have not walked in our shoes, so they just don’t get how painful and debilitating a narcs affect can have on us. That true lack of understanding is also what makes this whole experience even more isolating and lonely. If it was not for Tracy and her blog and all the wonderful people on here, we would all be up shits creek (the only foul word my God-fearing mother ever said). 🙂

            Hugs to you. I’ve been reading your stories…I change my name a lot on this site but our traumas happened around the same time. I’m finally getting to nearer to meh but I still cry at times when I least expect it. I also started seeing a therapist recently and he just listens….I’m finding it somewhat helpful because he is someone I can tearfully bare my soul to and that in and of itself seems to be purging some of the sadness that lives inside of me from everything that happened. You are a good person. A really, really, really, good person. What happened to you was wrong and evil. I’m sorry and I hope beautiful things happen for you…and you seem like the type that will make it happen, too! 🙂

  • I called bullshit on therapist after one individual session and a disclosure session. It was supposed to be full disclosure, and STBX confessed to 20 years of prostitute use, but I knew in my gut he minimized. I asked if he would agree to a polygraph and he said yes in the session. I later saw a communication from therapist where he advised against a polygraph as I already knew enough., and husband admitted in the email that he may have left out a few encounters and likely could not pass. I also saw in writing in notes he made to himself, that I asked for complete disclosure. On paper he wrote “I told her some”. I am still trying to get a divorce. My therapy is CL and CN., but I am tired of all this, more than 2 years since Dday.

  • This topic brought back so many memories. I remember during our counseling session. One of our big issues is that my ex wife wanted to spend the summer in Nova Scotia after having multiple affairs during her past trips there. I mentioned this and said she should be working on our marriage instead. She cried saying I should just stay home and do nothing, while you work? I was dumbfounded and even more so when the counselor said I should let her go to Nova Scotia. Looking back I should have booted her selfish ass to the curb along time ago.

  • XH and I saw a Minister for MC for a long while following Dday1, which was 2 years into the marriage and about 19 years ago now. In many ways, he was ahead of his time.

    The Minister greatly helped by telling us in our first session that it didn’t matter what I had done or didn’t do, XH’s cheating was all on him. When I told him I was such a mess after learning of the affair that I could barely function, siting crumbling to the floor crying while trying to do dishes as an example. When I asked him what I could do to help he said, “You let yourself crumble to the floor and cry to get it out” (which was great advice). Early on when now XH said I sometimes acted like a Mom to him, the Minister didn’t miss a beat and said something like, “You force her into that position because you act like a child and demand to be mothered”. (Awesome insight by Minister.)

    In a one-on-one session after months of MC the Minister told me that he thought my now XH wasn’t capable of anything more than surface or selfish love. He said there was something missing with my XH and that I’d most likely never have a fair, mutual, or satisfactory marriage with him. (Again, spot on and very helpful insight.)

    In that same session, following all of that helpful and insightful information, the Minister then told me that God doesn’t want is to divorce and that divorce is a sin against God! Yep, after he helped me see the situation and my XH’s lack of character clearly thorough my fog, instead of advising me to divorce, he shamed me into trying to make the marriage work anyway! WTF, WTF, WTF?!?! I ended up eating the huge shit sandwich and staying with XH for 12 more years until he walked out for another OW. (Note that I had entered Mc 12 years prior believing we would divorce and seeking emotional support and advice in regards to doing that). To this day, I’m very conflicted about the MC.

  • Him: My affair was therapeutic.
    Me: shoots daggers with my eyes

    Counselor in a later private session with me: I thought you were going to kill him when he said that.
    Me: I wanted to.

    Ultimately I chose to leave instead. 🙂

  • I have always been totally against therapy because it seems like 90% are quacks like this. Still, when my narcissistic husband cheated, we went to a therapist, who was a former client of ours, in our own business.

    I feel lucky, because had I gotten one of these quacks you are all talking about, I’d probably still be tied up in that sham of a marriage.

    She listened to our story, and told me she wanted to speak with me separately in another session. I thought she thought I was the one that was crazy. I was so distressed, but I went back.

    Her opening words to me were, “He is a classic narcissist. You need to get out. You need to get out RIGHT NOW.” I was SO grateful. I backed up his computer (which was joint property, since he and I were both directors of our company, and it was company property), and looked at the contents, because of what she said, and I found out about years of infidelity, and theft of our finances. It’s only too bad that where I lived was in a no-fault state.

    A year later, I was out of that sham of a marriage, and I now have a great life with a man who is the polar opposite of that joker.

    Thank you, kind therapist.

    I know this is supposed to be crazy comments about BAD therapists, but I wanted to note for the record there are good ones also! In case we’d lost faith!

    • DancesWithMeh,
      What a beautiful post.
      Your therapist words regarding your cheater being a full fledged narcissist and strong advice to get out now, so powerful and so ON.
      She saved you seconds, minutes, hours, years, of trying to fix things, trying to change him, trying to make things acceptable and good for everyone in your life, years of trying to be a perfect peacekeeper. It just doesn’t work. We can never change a narc.
      We spackle, then some of us just survive the best we can.
      I am so happy that you found a genuine, good, loving partner. You deserve happiness.
      I am glad you posted your inspiring dance with meh.

      Many hugs to you.

      • I too had a good therapist. Male, called the bullshit.

        He saw us once only. He said to him ‘you do know you have committed the worst violation a marriage can endure?’ So X shut down.

        Later with me, he lost his temper and shouted ‘HE IS A NARCISSIST! HE IS NEVER GOING TO CHANGE!’

        Truth.

  • Couples therapy was a total waste of time for me and my ex. My then-husband just sat with him arms crossed and gave only one-word answers when prompted. I didn’t know about the cheating at the time, and curiously, HE was the one who had suggested therapy. Looking back, I realized that therapy was just a way of going through the actions so that he could claim later that he “tried to work on the marriage”.

    One line that comes to mind, however, is from when he attended individual therapy after couples therapy failed. He came home one day after therapy and told me that he learned from his therapist that it still counts as lying when you don’t tell someone something, “So I guess that means that I lied to you. I’m supposed to apologize to you for that.” I responded, “Yeah, it’s called lying by omission. And of course it’s still lying”. He’s such an idiot that he actually thought that lying is just when you say something that is false. I’m so glad that I don’t have to deal with him anymore (outside of coparenting), nearly 3 years later.

  • Our marriage counselor trying to explain infidelity to me: “sometimes you’re driving a Chevy, and you see a Ferrari that catches your eye but you know it wouldn’t be the best thing for your family to go drive the Ferrari.” I’m thinking, what? He’s calling me a Chevy? Moreover, there’s no way I’ll ever compete with the Ferraris. I’m a 40 something woman and they’re men in their 20s. Wow that was a monumental waste of time. Bad enough to try MC with a cheater and utter futility to try with a narcissistic gay in denial serial cheater and a RIC marriage counselor who’s also in denial due to his religious agenda.

  • This was before my divorce (and yes, I did factor this into that decision) I was seeing an individual therapist for my own struggle with depression. It was a small office, with a short hall leading to a small room.

    My (now ex) husband is very…very…LOUD (also a factor in my decision to separate…) and in addition to his loudness, he did not know the meaning of discretion (or boundaries for that matter.)

    In this office (and in other therapist offices I’ve been to, I figure this is standard practice) there are white noise machines so people in the waiting areas can’t hear the sessions on the other side of the door.

    So I’m in my session, and my (ex) husband is in the waiting area. While I’m in there I can hear faintly, what sounded like his voice here and there. At the end of the session, the therapist turned off the machine and then I hear it clearly, I w