Dear Chump Lady,
My STBX got caught over 3 years ago in an affair. The truth came out that he had cheated with about 25 different people during the six years we had been married at that point. We tried reconciliation and for 3 years he did good. And then he cheated again with a coworker. We tried working it out for 3 months and then I caught him trying to start an affair with another coworker through a secret texting app on his phone. I ended things right then and there. We have to live together until I’m done with school and it’s been rough.
We recently had a conversation where he actually cried (never seen that before) and told me that he realized after DDay 2 that he could never be faithful and forced me to end the relationship by doing something he knew he would be caught at (secretly texting on a phone he knew I would check).
He then said he was trying to protect me from wasting my life on him because he knew he’d only hurt me again. That he still loves me, misses me, and already regrets letting me go, but that he knows it’s for the best and doesn’t want to ever get back together because I deserve a better man than him. He even admitted that he knew his life was going to be empty and probably filled with misery, but he not only accepts it, but welcomes the pain as his “emotional penance” for all the suffering he’s caused me.
I guess my question is, is this all bullshit? What the hell does he mean and what the hell does he want from me? Is he trying to keep me hooked on him or is he setting himself up to look like a “good guy” so I’ll be more compliant during the time we live together or during the divorce that will be coming up in a few years?
He’s willing to give me time and space, is pretty flexible with working with me on taking care of the kids we share, and seems content to play with his other women and leave me alone. I haven’t seen any rage or self pity, yet, so is this him using his charm to just stay on my good side?
Honestly, he’s just confusing me. Please un-bullshit this for me so I can see it more clearly.
Good grief. You know what’s worse than the Sad Sausage act? The Noble Sausage.
Oh no, he wasn’t hurting you. Sexting his coworker was all a clever subterfuge to protect you! He couldn’t use his words to say he’s Cheaty McHorndog, you had to intuit it. Because… honor. The code of Knights Templar of Douchebags prevents him. He was thinking of you all along!
Dear God woman, YES, this is bullshit.
I mean, you might need a primer on bullshit, because clearly your sirens aren’t working. Twenty-five women in six years? That’s a prodigious amount of extramarital shtupping. Then he screws up an entire stretch of fidelity (months? weeks? hours?) with another affair with a co-worker? Does his dick ever rest? Perhaps he needs a rub down and a bag of oats like they give race horses. Or a glue factory for retired sex addicts.
I don’t know, but Stronger — you took him back twice. What exactly did you think you had to work with here? I want to give you credit for “ending it then and there” but you’re still living with him and refer to a divorce in a few years? WTF?
Take some of that tuition and spend some of it on an attorney who can advise you about temporary orders and child support. There’s more to this story than mindfuckery (more on that in a moment) — you sound utterly dependent on him. That needs to change. Talk to the legions of chumps on this site who left while pregnant, with small children, in the middle of chemotherapy…
Escape is NOT impossible. Yes, lining up ducks can take awhile, but you need to stop predicating your future on him. He is TELLING you he is not husband and father material. He is TELLING you he cannot be honest or faithful. He leaves you alone to “play” with his other women. You really think this is sustainable for YEARS?
It’s not. Make a plan. He cannot be relied upon. Get in front of this.
Now to the mindfuckery.
He then said he was trying to protect me from wasting my life on him because he knew he’d only hurt me again.
People who want to protect you, don’t express themselves by harming you. If I shit on your spinach, I can’t say I’m trying to protect you from eColi.
There is only one truth here — he will hurt you.
That he still loves me, misses me, and already regrets letting me go, but that he knows it’s for the best and doesn’t want to ever get back together because I deserve a better man than him.
He regrets nothing. Who we are is how we act. He’s already moved on with other women. He’s never stopped being with other women.
You do deserve better than him, that’s true, but if he felt you deserved better, he wouldn’t have wasted nearly a decade of your precious life.
He fucked you over, and now presents it now as For The Best.
How magnanimous of him. What’s his next party trick? Rebranding venereal disease?
He even admitted that he knew his life was going to be empty and probably filled with misery, but he not only accepts it, but welcomes the pain as his “emotional penance” for all the suffering he’s caused me.
I can think of many things he should concuss himself with seeing as he “welcomes pain”…
His life isn’t empty. It’s full of dating profiles and coworker fucking. He probably needs a social secretary. He doesn’t cheat with 25 women in six years because he is miserable. He ENJOYS it. Or he wouldn’t go back for second, third, and twenty-sixth helpings.
This guy wants “penance”? Terrific. He’ll be thrilled with support orders. Throw in some ashes, sackcloth, and a cudgel for flagellating his dick.