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UBT: “I wish I could take it back”

When a cheater apologizes, it can seem awfully churlish not to accept their “sorry.” After fucking around, at last they’re owning it! Chump hearts swell, a little waft of hopium hits the neurotransmitters, and you begin to wonder, “Maybe I was mistaken? Maybe I’m being a bit cold-hearted? Maybe there’s a chance for us?”

Oh, pretty, pretty words.

AKA sent this email from her cheater to be fed to the Universal Bullshit Translator.

Dear AKA,
I’m terribly sorry for what I’ve done to you. I have destroyed any trust you could have in me. My actions have been selfish and self-serving and I’ve hurt you in an irreparable way. I wish I would have made different choices and I would take it all back if I could. You’re justified in feeling the way you do and there’s probably no point in trying to explain or rationalize why I did what I’ve done or the lies that I’ve told you. As you mention, it would only be self-rationalization and self-preservation. Ultimately, I made selfish and reckless choices and you are paying the price for them. I wish I could take them all back, but that’s impossible. You are a sweet, sensitive, generous person that deserves much better than the way I’ve treated you. I have and do love you, though. We’ve shared many beautiful times and a lot of love, though its been terribly flawed on my part. I hope that we could share more beautiful times and enrich our love for each other. However, I will honor your wishes and move all my stuff out and leave you alone if that’s what you want and/or need. Regardless of what you decide in this regard, I am breaking it off with the other woman and will tell the rest of my family what happened between us. I hope that we might be able to heal the wounds I’ve caused you and that we could walk side by side together, truly, honestly and with empathy, as partners. I love you, CHEATER.

What do you think, Chump Lady? Did he cut and paste this from his Cheater Handbook?

Thanks, AKA

Dear AKA,

After much hand-wringing, subtly minimizes himself as “flawed”? Check.

Demonstrates his respect for your no contact with a misty-water-colored-memory-filled entreaty to take him back? Check.

Parrots buzzwords that have meaning to people with empathy synapses? (Words such as “empathy” and “honestly”?) Check.

Yeah, sounds pretty playbook to me. Let’s check with the UBT.

Dear AKA,

I’m terribly sorry for what I’ve done to you.

As a token of my apology, let me batter-ram your boundaries with unwanted contact.

I have destroyed any trust you could have in me. My actions have been selfish and self-serving and I’ve hurt you in an irreparable way.

I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to be in touch!

Please tell me that the hurt I inflicted on you is irreparable — meaning impossible to repair. Which means I’m super, super central and you’ll never get over me! Surely you don’t mean this no contact!

I wish I would have made different choices and I would take it all back if I could.

I didn’t mean to do those things I did over and over and over again, that you told me not to do, but I did anyway. I would take it all back if I could. And ignore you again! Because it gives me frissons of delight to know You’re Not the Boss of Me!

I wish I was different! (Okay, not really. I’m splendid. Have you noticed?)

You’re justified in feeling the way you do and there’s probably no point in trying to explain or rationalize why I did what I’ve done or the lies that I’ve told you.

You’re justified in your completely irrational desire to be done with me, but I know better. Okay you have your feelings. I could go to the trouble to make up some new bullshit, but why? It sucks to be me! You lie to a person a few thousand times and one day that shit doesn’t work any more.

King’s X! I’d take it all back if I could!

Let’s go back to the days when you trusted me, okay?

As you mention, it would only be self-rationalization and self-preservation. Ultimately, I made selfish and reckless choices and you are paying the price for them.

Well of course you should pay the price for them. You can’t possibly expect ME to accept the consequences. I think you should take me back right this minute and STOP this!

I wish I could take them all back, but that’s impossible.

But just saying it makes everything better!

Won’t you believe in the futility of me again?

You are a sweet, sensitive, generous person that deserves much better than the way I’ve treated you.

Damn you for acting like you deserve better and dumping me.

I have and do love you, though.

Which I’ve demonstrated by cheating on you and violating your boundaries.

We’ve shared many beautiful times and a lot of love, though its been terribly flawed on my part.

Consider my whoring around, destroying our family, and leaving you with trust issues a blemish. Hey, it’s just a festering pustule on an otherwise lovely life! Can’t you see past my weeping abscesses?

I hope that we could share more beautiful times and enrich our love for each other.

Enrich me again. #bootycall

However, I will honor your wishes and move all my stuff out and leave you alone if that’s what you want and/or need.

I’m going to honor your wishes by completely ignoring your wishes.

Regardless of what you decide in this regard, I am breaking it off with the other woman and will tell the rest of my family what happened between us.

I will tell them that you couldn’t forgive me, because you’re irrational and bitter like that. And next month I’ll introduce them to my new girlfriend, Carol!

I hope that we might be able to heal the wounds I’ve caused you and that we could walk side by side together, truly, honestly and with empathy, as partners.

If I was truthful, honest, and had empathy, I wouldn’t cheat on you. But I need a partner chump.

I love you, CHEATER.

I love me! You love me! Kibbles!

AKA, Chump Lady again here. (The UBT has exited to go have long, hot shower and scrub the bullshit off its transponders.)

Words are meaningless. When you’ve disrespected someone this grievously, there are only actions. He can demonstrate his sorry by how humbly he accepts consequences, how fairly he treats you in the divorce process, and how well he co-parents with you (if you have any children). First and foremost, however, he should appreciate the gravity of his actions by respecting your need for no contact. You are exercising self-care and removing yourself from his manipulations. You don’t need to break no contact to EXPLAIN no contact. IMO, he’s just ramping up his manipulation to get a foot in the door, and keep you from imposing unpleasant consequences.

Let the natural consequences of his regrettable actions happen — then report back on his “sorry.”

Merry Christmas, CN! Forgive the rerun. UBT is gorging on cookies.


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • When not enough supply on the narcissist’s backburners they go out and recruit old supply that they’ve discarded and/or who’ve shown any signs that they could be persuaded with just a couple of sweet words. When I told my ex-H/narc that I wasn’t falling for those old tricks of “nicey-nicey manipulation” he immediately went into a rage accusing me and projecting his behaviors. Don’t fall for it! And be safe!

    • Hi Jen! I’ve been following your blog for a year or so and I comment too, but I’m not “Martha” on your blog. lol. 🙂 You’be been a BIG help to me too! Merry Christmas!!

      • I think it is kinda of weird that someone with her own blog is on chumplady blog. And it is kinda tacky to advertise your blog on someone else. I am immediately suspicious and think the advertised blog must not be doing well.

        • Mrs Vain I have a blog but it is nothing to do with Chumplady, it’s not about cheating, it’s not monetized and you wouldn’t guess my blog’s name from “Attie” either. I have found a few good “cheating” blogs through CL and am glad to see them commenting here.

        • I like to think of our infidelity survivors group as being bigger than just those of us here, and with the varying stages of recovery we may need to find support in other places. I think it’s a nice thing we can all find different tools in different places and it’s great to know there are other resources out there.

          • I agree totally, AOK. With hurting Chumps all over the recovery journey, all of the legitimate sources of help and comfort should be allowed.

            There have been several different bloggers who have posted here regularly, and I don’t recall any of them being criticized for posting.

        • MrsVain I disagree completely. I wish her well with her blog and her effort to gain a life! There’s room for everyone! I also enjoy blogs by Happy Hausfrau and Divorce Minister.

          • true. i enjoyed the divorce minister. i havent looked up others. but i remember in the beginning i was looking and searching for anything and everything to help me make sense of my pain.

            honestly, i guess this statement just hit me the wrong way that day. i say what is on my mind and sometimes i can be wrong or overly blunt. i am suspicious of others advertising i guess.. .. *shrugs*

            whatever. my bad

      • Thank you, Martha! Back 5-6 years ago I used to read and comment here often. It really helped me to see what I needed to stop doing (participating in the “Pick Me” dance). I’m glad you’re finding encouragement and empowerment here too!

        • We can all use as much encouragement and empowerment as we can give to one another. Applause.

          Gonna check out your blog now. First Christmas without kids. And I didn’t have to let them go – I love my kids more than I hate my X. Merry Christmas!

  • “IMO, he’s just ramping up his manipulation to get a foot in the door, and keep you from imposing unpleasant consequences.”
    They do not like to be held accountable. Ever. So this is today’s story. Tomorrow it will be whatever it takes.

    • My cheaters regret and sorrow was so sincere and I believed him…for the same two seconds that he believed it….cause…you know…squirrel.

    • This sums up my issue. My X Asshat could make mouth noises that sound like “sorry” only to wipe them away days, months, -or more likely- years later. He forever reserved the right to remove from evidence that he ever, EVER loved me. Any declarations of emotion toward me or feelings were simply him responding to my manipulations according to him. He could very easily look me square in the eye and declare something as sound and truthful only to walk away silently resenting me for somehow making him say it. Therefore he must never be trusted again.

      Mental illness? Immaturity (at 50)? Nah. Simply put, it is entitlement, poor character, and crappy life skills.

      There is nothing he could say today that would make me go back into his world and put up with his ever anxious and dissatisfied, leaky bucket life.

      Merry Christmas, Chump Nation!

  • Textbook case of him telling you what he thinks you want to hear.

    There was an early email from my cheater titled “regrets.” It included a sanitized, foggy version of events that didn’t really cop to what really happened, including “I wrote her that I loved you and I didn’t want to mess things up between us so we shouldn’t text anymore. That only lasted a couple of days before we were texting again.”

    What only lasted a couple of days? A meteor storm? Did some planetary alignment or barometric pressure kick back in and force you back into contact with one another? Poor things. You were powerless to stop it.

    The email ended with ‘chump, I apologize for putting you through this. It was wrong of me and I shouldn’t have done it. I completely understand you wanting a divorce and that’s why I didn’t fuss when you said you wanted one even though it hurt and I didn’t know what I was going to do. It may take some time for you and even though we may be states away from each other, I want you in my life and consider you an important part.”

    Poor sad sausage. So, so sad and hurt and confused he was rendered immobile. Unable to even utter a response. Because so, so sad. But I’m very important to him. Not important enough to quit trolling for babes on Words with Friends. Not important enough to quit making jewelry for schmoopie and sending her money so she and her kids can go eat Mongolian barbecue and have fun even though her mean, mean husband who is home recovering from surgery on disability just won’t give her money for important Mongolian barbecue outings. Not important enough to stop spending 8+ hours per day texting with schmoopie. But very, very important. Possibly special even. Look at me respecting you! You’re not mad any more right? And I’m awesome for being so honest and vulnerable with my recitations of your importance! You’ll help me decorate my new house now, right/. Cause your’e really good at that!

    • Wow, I didn’t realize Words with Friends was a marketplace! I play a lot but so far so good!

      • I get at least one new riequest every day. They will play a play of rounds, start chatting and then resign after we play a few rounds and I’m don’t chat back.

    • I also got, “you will always be an important part of my life”. Translated, I think that means, “you’re important to me because you gave me good kibbles in the past and may do so again in the future”. Nope! Seven weeks no contact, and loving it : )

  • Reading this ,it was almost verbatom the same diolog of my X. The 1st time he cheated. I was an unconsolable wreck. Id had suspicions long before due his over the top flirting with married women or who ever he could get to find his humor fun and delightful. He could never get enough attention! His profound opologies to never do the cheating again, what a weak person he was, hie professed determination to win me back, restore us and repair the damage. Dummy me to give him a second chance. Dummy me for listening to councelors and doing everything to improove, inhance our 19 year marriage to find out a year he has been having a new afair .Having learned of Chump Lady has helped me with the recovery process. And yes. I am divoced and going forward.

    • O.M.Gosh Onward,

      I could have written this word for word….Second D. day, was the second time I heard the “I am sorry”, “I won’t do it again”, “I broke it off with her” (no, her fiancee found out and broke you two up)…. “are you going to throw away 24 years away?”…. aahh, I believe you did honey when you fell into another vagina…. Where do they find the same book to write from?

      It’s Christmas 2018, divorced on paper 2 years, but emotionally divorced for only six months. It’s MY Christmas, with no fake promises (lies) or love bombs. I smiled at the sunset last night with a glass of wine, the pups near me on the front porch and NO CONTACT.

      2019 is going to be a Good Year. Thank God for Tracy (and my counselor =),

      Merry Christmas Chump Nation!!!

  • Got the “ I messed up and you got every right to be angry” spiel this week. How unoriginal they all are. I interpreted it as his need for centrality. His need to think that he still runs my show. I didn’t bother to tell him the truth which was that I’m deliriously happy having nothing to do with him. That every day without him has been drama free and great. No. I rly him think that I’m still angry and bitter. If they smell a whiff of your new found joy they swoop in. It’s like the ring in lord of the rings.

  • AKA, I hope by now you have mastered grey rock/no contact since writing this.
    The closest I ever go to an apology from exh2 The Evil One was almost a year after D-Day at a DD exchange and I spent about 15 minutes telling The Evil One exactly how much of a piece of shit he was…all I got for a response was “…Yeah, I f*cked up but nothing else I can do about it…”
    That was 3.5 years ago and I am over here in Meh-topia living my best life as I can, getting my health in check (gluten and dairy free, ulcer-avoidance diet), getting things done.
    Meanwhile, he is still married to the Mrs. Dumbass, still a full-time daddy to her kids, but seasonal part-time dad to my Autistic DD, up-and-down employed, so not my problem…
    He has no one but her as far as I can tell, his own parents have disconnected from him. They didn’t even send DD a Christmas gift this year …
    His parents loaned him money, but made him sign a contract with the caveat is that unless it’s life-threatening they are not giving him another dime. Mrs. Dumbass told me how disgusted she is with them…why they find it necessary to tell me these things, I have no idea, but it’s good to file such disclosures away for future reference.
    His grandma passed away recently and he wasn’t even given funeral.information, they didn’t want him there, and he got some money from Grandma too, which settled the loan, but still…
    According to TEO, he never cheated, so he has nothing to apologize for.
    Remorse/regret is only validated with action, as CL said. He’ll never be that person to admit his wrong doings…and that’s OK now. I don’t even care anymore…
    Which reminds me, exh1 finally apologized to me about 10 years after blowing up my life, my boys’ lives, and all that I knew and valued…by the time he got around to apologizing, I no longer needed to hear it. In fact, I had forgotten why I wanted one so badly. That’s meh.
    Like Madea says, “If you have a chance to get back at someone that did you wrong, and you takie it, you’re not over it. But if you get that chance and don’t do anything, then you are over it.”
    Meh-rry Christmas, Chump Nation!!!!

    • Wasband also said he never cheated on me because according to him it is not cheating if we ‘broke up’ at the time. (Meaning separated) I tried to tell him that you dont ‘break up’ when you are married. I think it is something SHE told him and he thought it sounded good.. ..

      5 years later I have peace and happiness. He is still toxic and miserable. I know this last years he told his sister that she was cheating on him…… #karma

      • Hahaha…I’d be very rich if I had a dollar for every time he was disloyal to me because ‘we were fighting’ or ‘we broke up’. He loved excusing himself with those lies. The most memorable was him hitting on a woman at a party while I was with his 7 year old daughter helping her in the bathroom. So tacky. Yeah, riight…we were a happy little family but happened to be fighting at the time. Disgusting that he had no respect even for his little girl.

        • Ex narcopath said the same thing.
          Sick. All the while, they are crying to you that they are a “changed man” and you are the “loves of their life”, with their POF browser windows open quietly in the background looking 100 profiles fishing for their next catch…sick.

          • Oh yes! POF, Tinder, Craigslist and more. He claimed it was social media just like Facebook. Meanwhile he’s living with me, a surrogate parent to his little daughter. Lying to the world he is single and looking for a relationship. What a two-face. Happy he’s out of my life.

    • Thank you for that quote Molly, I’ve recently had multiple opportunities to get back at OW and indirectly exDH (dickhead) and didn’t take them.
      I keep feeling like I’m not over him and still get sucked back into their drama, so that quote gives me hope that I’m much further along the path to meh than I thought!

      • You are most welcome, OzChump!!! It’s from my favorite Tyler Perry movie Diary of A Mad Black Woman.

  • Ouch – UBT is especially pissed tonight. Always appreciated.

    Neither of us fought for each other.
    My pride and ego was very damaged, and a bunch of other things in my brain.
    My anger was immense.

    He seemed to think he did nothing wrong (incredulously!), until we sat down for mediation after 8 months of not working it out. I seriously was NOT worried about money or that part of the settlement (foolishly) – all I wanted was a sincere apology. And, the mediator gave me 20 mins to say my piece. I am a very shy person but, hell, I couldn’t wait to look him straight in the eye, undeterred, for those 20 minutes – we sat directly across the table. And I wasn’t allowed to swear – damnit, but I got my point across that I wanted an APOLOGY (if not, we’d be off to court). He said – ‘I’m sorry”. And, I looked at him, at my lawyer, at his attorney, and the mediator, and simply said – THAT IS NOT AN APOLOGY. And, simply walked out. End of negotiations. I was ready for court.

    Next thing we saw sitting in my attorneys office was him hiking fast down the sidewalk, and his $600/hr attorney chasing him. It reminded me something out of Fargo – ‘he’s taking the Sahara’..

    Anyway, they brought him back and called for another mediation.
    I will say, he gave me one damn good apology from his heart. (either that or I imagined it) . He was pretty upset and shaking (hoho) and admitted what he’d done in front of the 3 attorneys. I wish I had a recorder but I do remember him taking it like a manxxxcheater, looking me straight in the eye the entire time.

    I went back to the attorney hole and settled immediately; he was generous, and I went on my not-so-merry-way….but I’m getting there..

  • It’s not you, it’s me, yadda yadda yadda, you gonna stay mad, or what? Love, cheater.

    Turns out the OW is bat-shit crazy, and I could really use a warm place to put my…er…sleep, that is, if you’re not still mad.

    • That’s exactly what it sounds like. Chumps need to follow the no returns policy.

      There’s always a basement somewhere.

  • I got a mail about 6 months ago saying that his doctor had changed his meds (bipolar) and they seemed to be working much better. Good for him. But his therapist wanted to backtrack to when he “became unstable” (read “monster”) so if I had 10 minutes could I write it all down!!! 10 f…ing years wouldn’t be enough. “When did I start hurting you, when did I start making your life hell”? I seriously thought about doing it, not wanting to push him over the edge though as I have kids with him. In the end I thought “screw you, I’ve spent too much time thinking about you”. And I never bothered. Best wishes for 2019 to all the chumps out there from one VERY happily divorced (and newly retired) chump in France!

    • Yup – you have no more wife-duties here. You aren’t required to keep track of him or his past. Good riddance to him and his ‘I know we’re divorced but I’m too lazy to do any self-introspection, so would you do it all for me” ass.

    • Holy crap! 10 minutes? Ha! It would take me 10 years too if I had to detail the Narkles the Clown backtrack. Good for you for letting him figure out his shit on his own, just like you had to do. Enjoy your meh!

      I had the pleasure of waking up to someone who loves me for me this morning, the first person in my life to ever do that. Honestly that kind of love is a gift better than any found under a tree. May everyone here find the same in 2019.

    • 10 minutes!?!?! LOL, same here, I’d definitely need longer than that ????
      Merry Christmas and best wishes for your retirement!!!

  • “I have and do love you, though” – Which I’ve demonstrated by cheating on you and violating your boundaries.

    This is really what it comes down to. If you think you love a person, but whatever counts as “love” to you doesn’t include honesty and loyalty, then… ok, you can call it love, like, or a ham sandwich, it’s still not worth anything.

    “there’s probably no point in trying to explain or rationalize why I did what I’ve done or the lies that I’ve told you.” = “Basically, at the time, doing those things was more important to me than not hurting you. Why? Well, who knows? But what it all boils down to was that I don’t love you enough, nor have enough strength of character, to be a good husband. Take me back?”

  • Hmmm. Interesting.

    After decades of a secret life, decades of lies, gaslighting, emotional, life destroying behaviors, after a DDay and his months in a facility, I never received an apology.

    Why? In his sick, self centric, cluster B mind, he never did anything wrong! It was good for HIM. Period. He is his own universe.

    He did helieve that I could never live without his perfect self, and passively stalked me for several years. Waiting, I guess, for me to return to my senses and pass out more gold covered kibble. I ignored every overture. Never reacted where he could see it (lots of calls to calming lawyer and friends).

    He married a future chump immediately after the divorce, I am sure all puffed up with indignation anf fury that I did not care or react. He even emailed a video of the wedding!!

    My life in MEH is heaven. Thank you, CL and CN. And happy Christmas!

    • Ew, a video of his wedding!?!?!
      Exh2 remarried within days of our divorce to his OW, their wedding photo they look miserable af,

  • I got that line ‘I’d take it all back if I could.’ in his last hoover. Yeah and ‘I’ll always love you.’
    All I hold him to is the line ‘I won’t be bothering you again.’ Make it so!
    Merry Christmas everyone!!

  • I don’t know what’s worse., the cheaters who Wish They Can take It All Back” or like my ex cheater who went “poof” & never apologized. Just left for the Owhore without looking back while I was in a fetal position on the floor.

    I suppose it doesn’t matter now but the realization of I wasn’t even worth an I’m Sorry still stings my heart.

    • I understand this completely.

      Mine went “poof” and never apologized either. I was never in a fetal position on the floor, but I still walk around with this spear stuck in my chest while he romances the OW Circus Clown.

      No, it does not matter ~ but dang, every now and then this spear stuck in my chest kinda hurts a little.

      Merry Christmas, Kathleen.

      We are so better off without them.

      • Jodi

        I’m so sorry you got the same evil ice cold ending
        but you’re right! We are so much better off without them. They deserve every pain they gave us.

        Merry Christmas to you too . ????❤️

        • Kathleen and Jodi-
          I’m in your club as well-with a slight twist.
          The day after I found out and confronted him- there were 4 things I asked him to do:
          1. End all contact with her-immediately;
          2. Get an STD exam;
          3. Schedule a counseling appointment for us as a couple;
          4. Remove passwords from electronics.
          So what happened?
          We had minimal contact by phone for a month- then met for coffee. He pretended that he wanted to reconcile, but my demands- wow they were rough, “she was a person, too”. His last words were that he would schedule the appointment. That was in May, 2018. Then poof-disappeared.
          How convenient.
          “If I never really end it, maybe the door is still open, just a crack?”- the ultimate mindfuck.
          Chumptastic me went to the next therapy appointment alone- and asked the therapist if he had called to schedule anything. Duhhhhh.
          All of this to say- if we were unsure about being “appliances” in the relationship, the Houdini move is the billboard that confirms it.
          Ghost on, jackasses.
          Let’s go spend 2019 with some people who will treat us with real love and respect.

          • Chumptastic

            Sadly it doesn’t matter how long we were married to the evil sociopath. I spent 30+ years with someone who never loved me.
            You like so many of us here gave it our all.

            But it still wasn’t enough. They chose to lie & cheat for that’s who they are. We deserve so much better & maybe some of us will find honesty in another. Stay strong ????????
            Merry Christmas to you ????❤️

        • Hi, mine pretty much ghosted me too after a little back and forth-mostly me raging. On one of these blog posts, it was said that ghosting is good because we don’t have to deal with their crap and they are probably afraid to engage. This fits my coward fuckwit. I intimidate him and used his guilt and shame to move quickly to divorce and get the lions share of the settlement. It is to your benefit that your guy is leaving you alone-you won’t have to navigate the minefield of apologies-hopium-lies to manipulate you. You are blessed! It all still sucks but I’d rather deal with disappearance than Hoovering. Be well, hugs and peace to you!

    • What kind of person does that?
      A no prize subhuman whose purpose was to illustrate to us that the disordered exist in the world and that we need to be careful with who we include in our circle of people.

      • Respectfully, this goes much deeper than awareness of the existence of disordered people, or being careful. CN-CL knows this. There’s a healthy way to own our part in this without questioning how we could have vetted people more diligently.

        • Sure it goes deeper. The journey is self discovery. For my part I didn’t know the disordered (narc, socio, pycho) existed and looked like real people. And there are a lot of them in our world. Giving people the benefit of the doubt and trusting without question is something that I and many others were taught.

          I certainly need to question my selection process. And continue to question my motivations.

          Awareness for me is the beginning.

  • “Ultimately, I made selfish and reckless choices and you are paying the price for them. I wish I could take them all back, but that’s impossible.”

    If only the ‘wish’ could be granted! See chump you are powerful and have THAT power. It’s an illusion,

    The truth is the. CHEATER doesn’t want to pay the price (consequences) for flaws (actions).

    You do not have to pay the price for them.
    After years of buying into the shaming, forgiving and loving a cheater I layered up and served up those consequences.

    It cost him not me in the end. Here’s what I got in the end, freedom from abuse and a life! I’m debt free, saving for a retirement home, and pumping money into a retirement fund.

    What did he get? An ugly needy skank with BPD who has no earning power.

    The letter is very scripted as if a therapist advised the narcissist; the nark can’t help himself. It’s littered with manipulation, magical thinking and entitlement, and nark speak.

  • The disordered Dickhead never showed any remorse for his cheating and he certainly never truly apologized unless you count “I apologize for the cheating”. Sounds like an apology to an attorney rather than to a wife of 18 years.

    • Yep. I got empty words like this, too.
      Not one single actions to match those words.

    • The best apology I got was a single, “I’m sorry you feel hurt”, as if the pain was triggered by some other worldly species from a distant galaxy. No sense of responsibility. No accountability. No realization that HE was the source of the pain. Oy, I’m so glad to be rid of him… he was/is a total waste of skin.

      • Closest thing to an apology I received- “I’m sorry you’re so sad”.

        Not one twinge of regret over anything he did. But I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything more when, after confronting him on D-Day with the fact that I knew he was screwing his best friend’s wife, he simply said- “this doesn’t affect YOU”.

        Disordered fuckwits, the lot of ’em.

      • I got, “I’m sorry I had to hurt you.” You HAD to hurt me? No, you CHOSE to hurt me to get what you wanted…regardless of what I would feel, your needs outweighed any pain or embarrassment that I’d feel. My feelings were of little consequence to my cheater. A 29 year relationship blown apart seemingly overnight. Him telling me he was leaving with cold, dead eyes. Not one shred of sorrow or pain on his part. Just so matter-of-fact as if we had just been dating for a couple months. “I’m sorry I had to hurt you…” What a pathetic excuse for an apology. He’s a pathetic excuse of a man, too. 49 years old, running after a 28 year old girl who is still in college – one of those perpetual student types who already has a degree but Daddy is paying for her to go to med school while my ex gives her a high-end apartment to live in minutes from her classes. (She’s got two men, just about the same age, father and boyfriend, wrapped around her little finger – paying for all her whims.) Hope she enjoys throwing his 50th birthday party in June! Maybe that age difference will then smack her upside her little entitled-generation head! Though I surely would like to see her changing his diapers and brushing his dentures for him some day, while I’m claiming half his social security as per our divorce decree. That would be some sublime justice for her encouraging him to leave me! But my guess is she finds some doctor who is, easily, better looking than my homely ex, and she dumps him on the curb. That will be sublime justice, also.

  • And no I didn’t get an apology. What I’ve recieved is his attempts to manipulate through adult children, trying to be the good guy. He told his daughter he’d talk to me after year four.

    When that didn’t work he upped the anti. Centrality is ever present.

    Here’s what letting go looks like years later:
    Don’t care. Not my circus, keep your monkeys.

    • Me too. I wish there was a UBT app that I could immediately feed things into and get an instant response. I’m getting smarter, but I still give people the benefit of the doubt way more than I should.

      • My long-deceased Okie Mama told me when I was a young girl: A Stiff Prick Has No Conscience. (Meaning a horny man will tell any lie necessary to get into your snatch.) I read all this UBT bull and I realize it’s still just as true now as it was sixty years ago.

  • Anyone getting this line of bull beware! He is not telling you the real reason he wants to get back together. More than likely he talked to a lawyer or financial advisor who told him he has much to lose financially. I know two guys who did this! One guy had his own business and saidhe could not afford to support two households. The other went back because the woman he was cheating and moved in with broke up with him. Botherwise of these wives took these guys back and don’t know they just prolonged their heartache. Do not fall for that bs! The chances are greater than not just as this letter writer. I guarantee you he only want to make up for financial reasons. He is lying to her and will be more careful about cheating. He doesn’t want to lose his money. Don’t fall for it.

    • Yep, early after D-day, a few days after he moved out, he came back around with, “I love you… I’m sorry for hurting you…” and proceeded to move back in (well, clothes and toiletries), but nothing changed, at all. Within a week or so, I confronted him on everything and had my GTfFO moment.
      Found out through comments he made to me and snooping on his Facebook that the only reason he creeped back around was because he didn’t have money for his slut-shack’s gas water heater to be turned on. Yep, I got played for hot water

  • I liked how he says he ‘will’ break up with the OW. He will if you take him back but won’t if you don’t ? Just the weak of the species thinking they’re king of the jungle. I got a half hearted sorry but really, he just checked out without letting me know with a skanky tramp. But I have to admit they are perfect for each other. I never let on how happy I am. Oh it hurts when it’s his holiday with the kids and grands. But it is what it is. Merry Christmas, all!

  • Wish I could take it back.

    What we as chumps can never get back is the wasted energy and time. Cut your losses chumps. It’s better investing in yourself.

    My wish is that all chumps know their worth, take care of their own needs and live free from narcissistic abuse.

    • Yeah, I wish I could take back my youth and the more than two decades I wasted on a disordered cheater. But the best I can do is cut the losses and move on. It’s actually pretty awesome doing exactly that.

  • “I’m going to honor your wishes by completely ignoring your wishes.”


    Happy Yuletide, Y’all!!!

  • Geez, I never received anything remotely like an apology. Just a sad sausage “I ruined my life”, which he probably doesn’t even think any more since he went on to create a whole new family.

    Nope. I don’t think he ever once even pretended to consider my feelings. He was angry that everyone would view him in a bad light since I had cancer—that wasn’t fair to him, because I was such a shitty person that I deserved to be cheated on and left.

    The only person who received an apology was the AP because I sent her a glitter bomb. THAT, he apologized for.

  • The closest thing to an “apology” I ever got from the cheater was a text, “I am sorry for things.” It came out of the blue some time after final separation. I resisted replying — it was difficult, believe me — because I knew he wasn’t actually sorry for ANYTHING, and he really just wanted to see if he still had power over me. A reply would have shown him that yes, he still did.

    • “Mistakes were made.” The classic Cheater inability to take responsibility.

      • X had a “funny” sign he kept on his desk at work, “Mistakes have been made. Others will be blamed”.

        Not so funny. He took it to heart.

  • Merry Christmas CL and CN!!! I am beyond thankful for the support this site has provided. Great and timely writing as always CL.

    This is my 2nd cheater free Christmas and it is even better than the last. I’m almost 2 years out post dday/abandonment. X walked out when our youngest was 3.5 months old, cheated while I was pregnant and is still with howorker. I’m finding myself and my strength everyday while single parenting (95% of the time) my kiddos with a substance abusing cheater. Many days are hard AF but nothing worth having comes with out busting ass! I haven’t even attempted dating. Working on me and accepting all of my emotions is my priority.

    To the newbies finding this site – hang in there and change the narrative in your head. Read here at CN. Trust your gut. No contact/strictly limited contact (even with kids) is the best gift to give yourself????

  • ‘Regardless of what you decide in this regard, I am breaking it off with the other woman and will tell the rest of my family what happened between us.’

    Passive voice. I am breaking? Let me and schmoopie take a year long cruise around the world as we are breaking it off! In other words, double cake eating opportunity. Get now, while the supplies last. Dance, bitch! Do the ‘pick me’ dance. He doesn’t want to be alone. He’s a sick and needy boy who can’t be alone. He’s testing the waters to see if he can come play in your sandbox before he might break it off…or might not.

    If he was serious about a life with any woman, it would be broke off with the other and he’d want to fully dedicate his life over to serving the special lady. …. but he’s so special he’s entitled to be served….

  • This letter sounds so familiar ????‍♀️????‍♀️????‍♀️????‍♀️????????????‍♀️????‍♀️????‍♀️
    I found this book while looking for a time- killing- mindless- reading session, completely unaware of the content….
    Kaira Rouda “ best day ever”

    Dear chumps- it’s a novel, it’s easy to read… yet, early on, each and every page will feel like a page out of your life…but on the other side of the fence…at least, that’s how I felt…. it’s chilling, but world few hours of your time

    Happy Holidays and enjoy:)

  • “You are a sweet, sensitive, generous person that deserves much better than the way I’ve treated you.”

    Meaning: “You are a sweet, generous person that deserves much better than the way I’ve treated you but I expect you to take me back anyway.”

    • Add, “So I can keep benefiting from your goodness without me ever giving back the same.” Spot on interpretation, LAJ. I hope you had a good holi-day.

  • Chumplady, you’re one of the best writers ever. You should write a movie. It’s how people get their message out now. Movies are our culture. You have an important message and theme. Maybe the Friday challenge could be script ideas. I’d go to the Chump movie.

  • Today’s post is about “Sorry, not really sorry; take me back so I can trample on you some more!” I found the CL blog during Thanksgiving weekend 2014 and it carried me through two years of bleak, depressing winter holidays until I was able to stand back upright.

    I wish CL and family, plus the folks at CN, a peaceful holiday season. Thank you for all your past contributions. xo

  • Gaaawd, not the “I now regret my actions ploy”. Ten to one his relationship with his AP now sucks. If it was going well, no way would he have attempted this thinly disguised hoover.
    I reminds me of my jerk claiming it was twu wuv for me because he dumped his long term AP right after dday. Then he slipped and admitted he knew there was no future with her anway and he had planned on ending it (translation: he’d lost hope of her ever putting out again). He expected me to be second choice, a consolation prize? Fuck a bunch of that!
    None of us should ever settle for being a fallback plan if the affair goes sour. What kind of monster treats a loving, loyal spouse as secondary to some amoral piece of trash who deliberately hits on married men and destroys families?
    These cheaters should all be marooned on an island in the Arctic Ocean. It’s too cold for them to get naked so they’d be awfully bored.

  • Chumplady,
    One for the UBT? An article on the thought catalog titled I fell in love with a married man and I’m not really into apologizing for it. Pretty terrible. I’m sorry I don’t know how to link it. I’m tech illiterate.

  • Never got the apology. Husband never apologized for his affairs–told me he was glad. Last boyfriend sent me an email around last discard (in pseudo-apology?) telling me that he was ‘trying to do better (for his new partner)’–this time he told the truth–I think that he married her shortly after he discarded me for the last time.

    Last boyfriend would tell our friends in public, ‘I am a bad boyfriend.’ I would respond, ‘No he’s not; he’s great!’ Stupid me. He would also tell our friends that I pursued him or I was on vacation with him because I wanted to be with HIM. What strange things to say to people. I suspect now that he was a covert narc who was trying to manage down my expectations. He also used to talk about sex with past partners who I knew (although I did not ask for that information), mention that he was thinking about getting together with his cheating ex-wife for dinner (without me) while he and I were a couple, and tell me after vacation that he thought of his (adulterous) ex-wife while he was on vacation with me. (I guess that I was not ‘fun’ on that trip as I was in a clinic for emergency treatment for a respiratory illness, this ruining the trip for him?) I am trying to recover from embarassment and shame for tolerating degrading treatment for years. Maybe in some ways lucky he is not hoovering with faux apologies. Hope that good chumps don’t fall for these sorry excuse ‘apologies’ described in UBT posts.

  • Thanks K and checkmate! Our culture is getting pretty crappy. Try I was a mistress for 42 years on daily mail. Did she (mistress) use the word celebrate regarding his wife’s death? Really? Just ignore his wife in favor of having kids with this douche had she not decided on abortion. Yay! She died! Now I can serve you as a wife instead of a mistress! These people need Jesus!

  • I received a similar message a couple of weeks ago – and FIVE YEARS after DDay. I’ve gotten five years of messages about how it’s all my fault, but now he’s changing the narrative. Now he “takes full responsibility for having an affair, he’s truly sorry that he hurt me but most of all he’s sorry that he lost me as a friend”. Of course, he hopes that I can heal myself and stop being so angry so that we can have a relationship in the future and coparent for the sake of our kids.

    He gave up custody of our kids 4 years ago, and has been hounding me with coparenting emails since then. In the beginning I took the time to explain that sole custody does not mean coparenting, but that (of course) fell on deaf ears. I have made the kids visit him for years, but now they refuse to go and are big enough that “making” them is impossible. They know exactly who he is, and they know that they are the low priority for him and always will be. I don’t think he likes the consequences of his actions now that the kids can’t be controlled!! Impression Management . . . change the narrative in the hopes he can get his foot in the door with me and the dysfunction can continue. Nope, sorry. Not my job.

  • I am in this exact spot.
    Day was at the end of November. Our 13 year old daughter found out and told me. Brave girl.
    Cheater moved out immediately at my demand. The kids will live with me. They are teenagers. And are very angry at him.
    He is extremely remorseful. Apologizing. Crying. Ow is long gone. She was a young skank. But it went on for a few months before being found out.
    I have supported him through addiction and recovery. He has never cheated before…I don’t think.
    Together 25 years.

    I feel free. I’m financially stable and perfectly happy without him. I feel like life has gotten easier.

    But I feel sorry for him and wonder if I should try to reconcile. But, honestly, I don’t think I have the emotional capacity to deal with another blow like this one. And that gives me pause.

    Am I being mean of I just end things? We work together and I am completely willing to be amicable, especially with the kids. But I don’t think I ever want to live with him again.

    Scared to choose.

    • “I feel free. I’m financially stable and perfectly happy without him. I feel like life has gotten easier.” <– This is what you should follow, IMHO. Also, that the affair "went on for a few months" indicates it was not a single mistake, so this is a concern. You aren't being mean and it'd be difficult to trust him now, since real change takes a long time (several years), if that can happen at all. Keep taking care of you and the kids. The kids need time to heal over the betrayal too.

  • THIS needs to go into the classics.

    This describes narcissist thinking to a T.

    And that narcissists think and are wired very differently? Is what ordinary people really struggle with.

    It has taken me YEARS to fully understand and accept that the person I invested in really is a narcissist, ie what a narcissist really is (not just the word ‘narcissist’), and that I never had a relationship.

    And then a couple more years to get over that!

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