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Don’t Date This Person

Don’t you wish cheaters came with forehead stamps? Abandon Hope All Ye Who Date Me! Kibble Whore. Flaming Freak.

But no. We’re left to our own faulty powers of discernment.

After reading my umpteenth letter of Relationship Recitation with Waving Red Flags, I thought I should compile a list of People You Should Not Date. Feel free to add to the list. Maybe we can save the next generation of chumps.

Drama Doris. Life has been very unfair to Drama Doris, but you there (what’s your name?) You Understand. Could you bring her a cold compress for her forehead while she collapses on this fainting sofa? And maybe some snack crackers? You’re so sexy when you’re useful. All these other losers tried to bring her snack crackers and understand her pain, and failed! But you… you truly understand that she hates caraway seeds.

Sparkles Mc Gee. Incandescent in the 100-watt glow of his flaming ego, tap dancing his way into your affections, flattering the socks off you is Sparkles McGee. Yes YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE. Aren’t you lucky to win one so fabulous? Sparkles drops love bombs on you like you were Dresden. He thinks you should move into together! He’s picked out names for your future miniature schnauzers! It’s only been three weeks, but hey, you’re the one. (The one who will regret ever meeting him.)

You-Don’t-Mind Martha. Martha is still friends with all her ex-boyfriends. You don’t mind, do you? Tuesday – Saturday is Girl’s Night Out. Ronny is just a guy she works out with at the gym. A friend. No, you’re not invited to her Pilates class. You don’t mind, right?

Ambivalent Andrew. He could love you… if ONLY. If only his girlfriend wasn’t overseas right now. (He needs closure.) If only he wasn’t so tormented by his devotion to voting rights in Namibia. If only you tried a wee bit harder to win him. Ooh! So close! He feels something for you! But nope… it passed. Oh hang on! There it is again! Did anyone ever tell you what nice tits you have? You do. And so does that Sarah chick on Facebook. No, of course she doesn’t mean anything to him. He likes your tits better. He could even love you if ONLY…

Mourning Mona. No one can ever replace Ralph. Just don’t even try. He was the love of her life, but cruelly went to college on the other side of the state. Wouldn’t you like to know all about their break up? Or the funny hijinks they got up to on high school year book staff? You should’ve been there! But of course, you weren’t. It’s 15 years later, and thanks to Facebook she can see he’s married someone undeserving who really doesn’t get him the way she got him. They’ve reconnected! No, no. It’s just friends. She’s just getting some closure, so she can move on and focus on your relationship. And your inadequacies. Your not-Ralph inadequacies.

Two-Buck Chuck. Due to an Unfortunate Circumstance Utterly Beyond His Control, Two-Buck Chuck needs a loan. I mean, he wouldn’t ask, it’s just that he’s short because he’s spent all his money on something special for you. He can’t say, it’s a surprise. He’s also helping his widowed mother learn Esperanza. And he sponsored a couple orphans. He wouldn’t mention it but… Thanks. The orphans will really appreciate it.

This column ran before. And… these people are still out there.

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  • Ha! I knew I was going to find my ex on that list just as soon as I saw you were making one and not even surprisingly, he’s not one but two of them: Sparkles Mc Gee and You-Don’t-Mind Martha. He’s the insatiable ego (Sparkles Mc Gee) who desperately clings to every woman who’s ever said hello to him (You-Don’t-Mind-Martha) because proving he’s desired by women is the only way to keep his ego ready to pop. Those types really are that fragile.

    No lie, he’d keep his wallet full of business cards so he could pass them out to women in hopes that they’d all be impressed and call him. We’re talking gas station clerks, the chick who worked at Jiffy Lube, waitresses, random people at restaurants… Anything and anyone at all. Then whoever actually called would become someone he’d keep it touch with forever, just like all of his ex girlfriends. Basically, if they have a vagina and show any interest at all, he’s never going to stop contacting them and these women eat it up because all they’re shown are the Sparkles.

    • You nailed it! Mine had a phone contact list bulging with women contacts for the same reason, to pad his ultra Large ego of ALL the women in his directory ! He was just the nicest GUY!! Always SO over the top nice to the Lady’s and liking all the attention. He is also good at faining some silly little thing Just to get thier attention because he is so funny and so amusing and and fun to be around ! Flirt oh you better believe it , in any situation. He would pretend to trip and fall going into a store or restaurant if he thought it would work to get that gals attention. Why I bet his collection is so large he has a different contact for every other day of the week! Mr. Sparkles, what a guy! Found himself a newbee 22 years younger, for now.

    • This was my ex too. Collected female friends like a harem lord, kept in touch with every ex, and I dreaded going anywhere with him because he’d latch onto store clerks, waitresses, etc and flirt with them right in front of me. His facebook was full of women- sorry, “friends”- and he’d heart their selfies and tell them how gorgeous and radiant they were. When I didn’t like it, I was just a jealous insecure bitch. I was hurting *him*, because all he was a NICE GUY who was only trying to “brighten someone’s day”.

      Funny- he was never concerned with brightening MY day, in fact he seemed completely fine with ruining my day.

  • ~~Sister Christian~~

    “Hey, I don’t care what those text messages say…..I’m a CHRISTIAN!!! I wouldn’t do those kind of things! What kind of person do you think I am???!! I donated your paycheck to help the Food Pantry. Perhaps you should start going to church and become a better person…instead of working that extra job on the weekends. Even my Christian friends agree that you are Satan disguised as an angel of light. I am a GOOD PERSON….because I am a CHRISTIAN. “

    • TEO went to church a few times towards the end, solo. Our autistic DD “couldn’t go, she’d be too much of a distraction”, so I would stay home and he went to church. I was never invited, never allowed to go to any church by myself, he would never stay home alone with DD, ever. He went three or four times, I believe, looking for his escape hatch.
      Must not have been received well there, because he stopped going after a few weeks.
      I would still get their monthly newsletters addressed to us, the married couple, blech. I finally just started sending them back “return to sender”.

      • I wouldn’t even bother with that; just put them into the recycling bin. That way something good will happen to those at least.

    • OMG. Nothing against the Christian religion (I was raised a Christian) but whenever someone says, “Well I’m a Christian” for whatever the reason I want to slap them silly. It’s usually said in a condescending tone and that may be the main reason I’d like to knock their blocks off but it is just so annoying.

      • Yup, good people don’t TELL you they’re good. You figure it out by watching them, quite fast! The extra good ones? It actually takes a little bit longer to figure it out, because they’re VERY DISCREET about the good things they do!

        • They TELL because they are trying desperately to believe it themselves, and, because apparently what your eyes and heart are telling you flies in the face of what they want you to believe. Liars lie, even to themselves.

          • Ditto. I live by largely Christian values. As I’ve grown and read I’ve added more. But the moment someone says to me that they are a Christian(or any faith or belief) I become wary of them. Largely because I’ve found self-confessed Christians et Al are the opposite of what they profess. Frankly if they had not announced it christian is the last thing I’d class them.

        • Yes!!!! ???????????????????????? The OW in my situation was the queen of posting Bible verses….right after she’d fucked my husband. She is early 40’s and been married 3 times, with 2 other engagements thrown in. I’m sure she will be faithful to my STBX. Clearly, commitment means a lot to her. ????

      • Totally agree. I call them “conspicuous Christians”. It’s often a sign of a fraud wrapping him/herself up in religion to disguise moral corruption. Just as often, it’s the kind of Christian who tries to force their faith down your throat, and there is lots of overlap between the two. The announcement will often be followed by “have you been saved?”,”have you heard The Word?” or “do you love Jesus?”
        Many of my in-laws are like this. The only decent, intelligent people in the family are the non-religious ones. The loudest, proudest of the supposed Christians are the most amoral assholes in the bunch.

        • I love that term ‘Conspicuous Christians’. I hope you haven’t got that patented because I am so going to save that!

    • LOL. Sister Christian can justify all of her behavior because, after all, she’s a CHRISTIAN!!! She’s loved Jesus her whole life and she knows that God forgives all as long as she prays the sin away. YOU may not understand her need to pursue her passion–which is why its not cheating–BUT GOD DOES!!! And, doesn’t she deserve it?!?

    • Sounds very similar to Mr. Integrity, presents himself as a man of high morals, strict law abiding citizen.
      He’d come home from business trips telling me stores of men who had AP’s in different cities. He would be appalled then tell me how lucky I am that he is’t like the other men.

      Avoid anyone who tells you he’s a man of integrity, if he feels he needs to tell you he’s a man of integrity chances are he isn’t. Men of integrity don’t need to tell you, they show you by their behavior.

      Avoid the Whoa is me, I’ma good guy…., sad sausage, not his fault, nothing ever is. I’m such a great guy, trying to do the right thing, I just don’t understand why more people don’t like me.
      He can’t help it if he’s perfect..

  • Combine Drama Doris with Sparkles McGee and you get my Douchey Dickhead. Making fun of fuckwits is great therapy.

  • Sparkles McGee = exh2 The Evil One, without a doubt.
    The more I watch Dirty John, the more I flashback to 2002, freshly divorced (less than six weeks), totally crushed and desperately needing a man to tell me all the things exh1 said I wasn’t. … The one thing he never told me that I needed to hear most was that I’m beautiful to him, never once, not even exh1 ever told me that I was beautiful to him…
    Oh, the love bombing back then…the drawings, the CDs of love songs, the overwhelming presence of him all the time, the frequent instant messaging all day long on the computer yep, the red flags a-waving that I ignored, justified, or defended… I must have been fresh blood in the water to him…ugh… That my “knight”… My fresh-out-of-jail (he had me convinced he had just left Army boot camp, and was home awaiting his next station— but!!! After a few weeks with me and he wanted to give it all up for me, and I believed him ????????????)
    Unemployed, covicted felon, with a jailhouse GED…sigh, those were the days…
    As the truth of his station in life slowly became revealed, it was too late. He had already hooked me with the love bombing to dump him. Oh, to go back in time…
    Once the glitter and shine of his armour faded, it became more of a cringe-worthy life of disappointment and shame. My own anger and resentment towards myself for allowing him to mistreat me, and the anger, resentment, disgust for him as time went by was hidden away as best it could, but he could tell that I was breaking away. It became an endurance race. Physical, mental, emotional problems within me became the norm. I was miserable and was just trying to survive day by day…
    Thirteen years later, he leaves for OW#???? and my life has been 1000% for the better… wasn’t easy, or enjoyable, but I made it through to Meh-topia… Almost 4 years now since D-Day, wow.
    Since he left, thank God, I’ve developed a keener sense of tactics like all the ones listed above, still single, but happy. I may be alone, but not lonely. Even when I am feeling lonely, I remind myself that it’s better to feel lonely and single than to feel lonely and unloved married.

    • Ugh, Dirty John……a landmine of triggers for me.

      In particular, the part where he confronted her in the closet sent me into a tizzy; it was far too familiar.

      • The podcast of Dirty John was mesmerizing. I’m watching the series now and yes, ugh. I met a Dirty John on line too and that will be it for online dating. He wasn’t as bad as John, but he was a lying bullshitter, love bomber extraordinaire and a predator. I bet he has spreadsheets and maps on his walls on all the women he’s met online and tried to con. He definitely had a ‘type’ that he preyed on. Educated, financially secure, home owner, attractive, in the caring professions. He spends every spare minute of his life searching for women on line.

  • Ah, yes, tipping the waitress and leaving her his business card because she said she was struggling in community college. No worries, he’d love to help her. Can’t help with the yard work or the dishes, but he can help the lovely, blonde, 25-years-his-junior waitress. Indeed.

    Fortunately for her, she was better at identifying the secret code on Mr. Sparkles forehead than I was. I imagine it was a necessary skill in her line of work.

    • Oh, yes. TEO lllllllloved to help out the single ladies we knew— odd jobs around the house were his fave.
      They appreciated his help, but always thought he was an ass to me and knew he was always looking for a hand out (“Can you give me ten bucks for changing your light bulb?”)
      They held their tongue with me, but it was known nonetheless

    • As a professor h was very often helping students and struggling hookers- you know, he had such a big heart.
      I’m still surprised no one filed sexual harassment against university….
      Beyond creepy
      Funny part? It took the whole session for my therapist to “ explain” to my h why going out with students to “ help them”( I don’t think it was any sex) was a big no-no

      • It’s more than a no-no, it’s grounds for dismissal. Outlined in every college faculty manual. You should have him fired. A quick email to the Dean would minimally launch a low key investigation.

      • [em]It took the whole session for my therapist to “ explain” to my h why going out with students to “ help them”( I don’t think it was any sex) was a big no-no[/em]

        And you know the funnier thing? It didn’t stick. Faculty at my institution go through an entire orientation session that tells them that you don’t go out with students–at least individually. I can’t think it’s different elsewhere.

        This all goes to illustrate George Simon’s observation (google ChumpLady’s interview with him) that it’s not that narcs don’t see; it’s that they disagree. Sure it’s wrong to exploit your position as a faculty member with control over your student’s grades in order to have sex with them, but that’s not what [em]he[/em] is doing. He’s merely helping them adjust to life in a different environment. Or tutoring them after that bad grade on their organic chemistry exam.

        No one is the villain in their own narrative, that is for sure.

  • Non-existent Ned. Where there seems to be no possibility of ever finding someone kind and good and appropriate to date, ever. Maybe he is invisible.

    • Lol. He is out there….just waiting to find you.

      I felt the same…but have now been in an awesome relationship for almost 2 years. Every day is exciting. Ironically, we are complete opposites. Extreme opposites.

      Best of wishes.

  • No I am going away with Bill. Bill likes to play pool and I go to his house to watch football.
    Those texts from Chris(his ex girlfriend from high school). I didn’t think it was her. I thought you were setting me up. I was just playing along. I only messaged Jess the bartender on facebook because I wanted her to paint the garage.
    And the best one yet. I only hung out with skankella for 5 years because she liked to have fun. Yup, skankella was Bill. No I did not have sex with her. I would not do that kind of thing.

    • OMG you just reminded me of the time Fake News Nick told me he HADN’T been going round to Ginger Rogering’s place every Friday night for a sleepover while I stayed home with the baby when i worked it out. But had IN FACT been going to his pal Rick with a silent P’s place as he had told me. But NOT to play poker as he told me but to sit around watching porn with Rick and masturbating together! While Ricks wife was upstairs!

      Can you believe i stayed for another 7 years after that? What a chump!

      I didn’t believe it btw i just think i was completely speechless and went into denial.

  • Check the track record on keeping agreements!

    “We’re going to fix up the house, live here 3-5 years, then sell it.”

    It took 20 years to get matching doorknobs out of the guy WHO WORKED FOR THE DOORKNOB COMPANY. The lawn got done immediately (you know, it’s important to put on a good impression for others to see)
    Five years to get the prison bathroom remodeled.
    And it’s still not 100% complete on year 26.
    Six sets of plans from an architect in the office.

    He wanted to marry me.

    At year seven, I said I needed to leave if he didn’t want to get married. Oh, OF COURSE he wanted to marry me. Of course I fell for it.

    Hey, that house we love is still on the market! Let’s buy it!

    The entire year I was pregnant, we were in negotiations with the sellers. Like a hormonal idiot, I didn’t prepare my house for the new baby because we were moving to the dream house. One month before she was born, he let the house go to another buyer. Nine years later, he tells me “we were never in a position to buy that house.” He had been sabotaging the deal the entire time he was pretending to negotiate, watching me, pregnant, cry over not getting the house for almost all of 2006.

    Do you want a Honda Element? Of course! The perfect car for our family.

    He took me car shopping and we ordered the car.
    Then the car didn’t show up. Then the shifting stories about why the car wasn’t here. Months later, he tells me HE canceled the order because HE decided WE didn’t need the car. Why? Because HE decided WE didn’t need four cars. Then goes out and buys the Dodge Ram Hookup truck (making a total of four cars). Well, for Pete’s sake, HE needed a big roomy truck to fuck Craigslist skanks in to avoid cheap hotel room costs.

    I could fill volumes. But this is typical of how he operates. WATCH FOR KEEPING AGREEMENTS.

    And don’t jump in bed with anybody until you have known them a LONG time and have an AGREEMENT about not seeing other people. You will survive and it’s one good way to hopefully weed out the human dreck.

    • PS…call me old-fashioned, or newly old-fashioned, definitely culturally unpopular, but I won’t even be thinking about dating (having fun without sex) until after I am officially divorced.

        • This creates another archetype… The undivorced wanderer who has a great job story about the ex and a great yarn to spin about how the relationship is actually over but they just still love together for the kids or whatever.

          Some people choose to wafe in that water, but my take on it was always that if you don’t want to be with someone, you will want out, and staying half-connected won’t be a feasible option, especially if it entangles you legally, so for me, people who were still married (and very freshly unmarried)like for any reason were off the list.

            • Velvet, I realized that I was clenching my teeth while reading about the doorknobs. “Remind me later” is guaranteed to send me into a homicidal range. My heart breaks for you with all that gaslighting and deception. I nominate RemindMeLater Ron to be added to the list..

              And Amiisfree, I really admire your tenacity at fixing those typos.

              Thirdly, I agree with both you and Velvet about the ethics/wisdom of dating while still married. I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it, but it does give me a definite frisson of pleasure to recall how Ex delayed and delayed getting divorced from me while spending years living with Poopsie. I’m sure it drove her crazy.

              • ????????????????????

                I taught my phone the word autoincorrect for a reason. I read my comments and texts through before I post/send and this phone somehow still changes things to the weirdest things. I’ve adjusted every setting I can find to no avail. I think it’s possessed by Peeves.

                Thanks for the giggle! ????

      • I’m old fashioned too, still not divorced and wouldn’t consider dating.

        Not that I plan to when the divorce is done; don’t trust my picker, don’t trust online dating, and women over 60 are usually only interesting to men over 80.

        Of course this still being married thing is no obstacle to the Python: he just writes “divorced” in his online dating profiles. And says he has a college degree (another lie). And is of “average build” (yeah, for a sumo wrestler).

        • It’s the one thing I still cannot understand, the dating before the divorce was final. On Mother’s Day, the now XH informed me he was “ready to date” and had his Schmoopie lined up. I think it was actually to get me to file and make it happen fast. The day the papers were filed, he informed me that Schmoopie was so happy she jumped for joy. That really made me feel great… I find it kind of ridiculous that his FB says “in a relationship with Schmoopie since May 2018” and the divorce was actually final in September. As he was cultivating his new relationship and living with us, I asked him many times, can’t you wait until the divorce is final before bringing Schmoopie to our town/around the family, etc. He couldn’t wait. I think it just shows how much of a Jackass he really is. And he wonders why DD won’t have anything to do with him.

          • Mine was living with his MOW employee for months before even being willing to admit to the affair. He was living with her while still playing “confused” and insisting he didn’t want a divorce. He continued to live with her while I filed, and during the years of high conflict divorce. She was willing to live with him, while still married to her chump, dragging her YOUNG children back and forth from their daddy’s house to the house of mommy and her married boss. They have no shame. Trust they suck.

            • @Calgal1 you’re so right about no shame. He abandoned our daughter, he said “I’ve been with her every day for 16 years, I did my job.” Really? Job done, huh? XH moved in with his GF in July because I had to kick him out, it was too much to take – him going away on weekends to be with her and expect to do family stuff during the week. The first weekend he went to “meet” her, I was taking the parenting class that was required to get the divorce ball rolling. Did he ever take the class? Nope.

        • Yes, I will have to be out of the burn unit for a long time after the official divorce before even having coffee. After that, maybe coffee with those to whom I am personally introduced by friends after security clearance by my retired Navy SEAL friend. He’s friends with the SEAL Team Six leader, so I may someday have a chance at meeting a genuine good guy.

        • I keep attracting never married men a good ten to fifteen years my senior (smh). A great meme on Fakebook of a geezer in a wheelchair with the caption “I’m ready to get married”

      • I’ve been officially divorced for 6 months and I’m still don’t ready to date. Although, it hasn’t even been a year since this whole shit show even started. I get lonely for human company and touch but not enough to throw my hat in the ring. I haven’t even though about fixing my picker yet.

        • Me neither. Just the thought of giving up any type of freedom makes me cringe at times. I am also not at meh, yet.

      • It’s different for everyone, but in my view, it’s less about a length of time and more about a level of communication.

        For myself, I think it is important to be able to have “unromantic” discussions about sex before I have sex. That accomplishes two goals. One, I don’t end up in a scenario where someone is asking me for some kind of sex I don’t want to have and I have to decide what to say and do while my mind isn’t clear. Two, I weed out people who aren’t emotionally stable enough to have a clear conversation about the realities pertaining to what we are about to share.

        As a single person, this didn’t result in me having much sex with other people. It did, however, result in me having only quality sex with other people and being able to relax and enjoy it more because the agreements were in place, including regarding the level of commitment of the relationship and exactly how we were going to work together to avoid any virus risk and unwanted pregnancy.

        I’d rather do it alone than do it with someone else in a way that isn’t any fun for me.

        To each their own. This is what worked for me.

      • For me, somewhere over six months and under a year. Not like it’s the ultimate guarantee, either. I was friends with my husband almost a year and a half before we dated. We dated (fun activity with no sex) for three months before I kissed him….then actual agreement about being exclusive (which now who knows if he ever kept THAT agreement) then the rest after that. But I do agree with the no sex outside of committed relationships boundary…which cheaters seem to be unconstitutionally incapable of and is a deal breaker with no backsies for me. I am definitely not wired for polyamory either.

        • The old way for me was
          1) have sex right away
          2) get to know them
          3) relationship status is assumed, not discussed
          4) wake up one day and wonder WTF am I doing with this person?

          My therapist suggested
          1) get to know someone for a long time
          by dating them.
          2) dating is doing something fun together without getting physical (getting physical releases BONDING HORMONES and it’s a good idea to gather lots of beta to decide if you want to bond with someone).
          2) have an actual discussed agreement about relationship status.
          3) get physical

          And again, no guarantees. Unfortunately there is no way to take the risk out. ????

          She also told me every relationship has problems and the goal is to choose a partner who you can problem-solve with.
          My STBXH fit that description for a long time but I think he has relapsed (addict) and became incapable of that.

          She also told me, NOT EVERYONE I LOVE IS AN APPROPRIATE PARTNER FOR ME. Prior to that, how I felt was the only beta I considered.

          Lying and cheating definitely means I am
          with the WRONG PARTNER.

          • I thought my ex and I were good at problem solving. I thought we had worked out our issues and compromised where necessary. I guess it was after the emotional affair when he had some stupid slut chasing him for a few months that he came to the conclusion that he didn’t have to compromise anything because he had other options. After that he resented every compromise he had ever made and wanted to have his way in everything or it was no good. Eventually his resentments lead him to go off seeking strange because he “deserved” better.

            • We were good at problem solving until he stopped working a program and relapsed (dry drunk…relapse with a person instead of a drug….maybe a drug?)

              I forgot I married an addict. ????

              • …mine too…WAREHOUSE of resentments…instead of a 4th step he let them fester and therefore “deserved” the affair…a big secret FUCK YOU at ME for all of HIS resentments. More than one way to relapse, that’s for sure.

          • Wow, Velvet, your therapist almost got it right. I did all those steps with my intended and things were cooking right along until I discovered she was pregnant by another. The strong bond I thought we had after nearly five years was a mirage. So, I guess the only way to determine if your SO is a cheater is to wait until they actually cheat on you. There must a better way to determine the character of your SO!

            • My mirage was revealed at year 27…people who knew us still cannot believe it. I wish there was a way to tell but I don’t think there is. Best offense is a good defense….get strong on my own and be willing to walk.

      • I think it’s also about not being in a hurry. About being willing to withhold JUDGMENT on someone’s character until you’ve observed them in a number of circumstance. My theory is you want to see them over at least a calendar year so you can see how they handle holidays, vacation time, and random things that come up in life. You want to see how he treats his family. You want to look at what he does, how his FOO operates, whether your values and theirs are aligned. You want to withhold judgment because you don’t want attraction or “need to be in a couple’ to drive your decision making.

        • Definitely a good idea! wait out the romance phase before making major decisions about partnering up….everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning.
          Lots of beta and time for sure.

          Knowing my OWN boundaries and values and morals and does this person compliment that? That’s key. I overlooked a lot that contradicted my boundaries and values because he had a reputation as nice guy…he is really Bernie Madoff and snowed everyone.

          Being willing to walk away is a good skill to have…I didn’t as much as I thought I did. That’s the skill I want to hone razor-sharp now. Getting solid again on my own is my goal, and in that regard it’s going to be a long time before I consider dating anyone.

          Unless Jaime Fraser asks me for coffee.

          • Good use of this time on my own is to examine my side of the street…look for patterns…FOO….where did I totally run red lights and STOP signs? Continuing with my outside help, my emotional and mental health. The healthier I am, the healthier I will choose. Looking at how did I end up here….not that his deception is within my control or my fault, but once again, did I abandon myself somewhere? Make a list of what I want in a potential mate….then that becomes MY homework for ME to become. Not finding the right person but BEING the right person…for me and my daughter and friends first (I have no extended family) and anyone else after that can be an addition to my life, not the foundation of it. I am the foundation of my life, with a Higher Power I choose to call God, and I am taking this opportunity to continue improving myself for me. I need to learn to more quickly walk away from those who are pulling me off the wall instead of helping me climb. If my focus and goal is becoming the best tennis player I can be, on my side of the net, I don’t need to try to control the person on the other side of the net. Who I am determines who inhabits my life, and the better I get the better they get, and the better and faster I get at discernment. Then there are con artists, who are experts at hiding themselves, where developing resilience and maintaining ME as my foundation will be a very helpful defense.

        • He left 2.5 years ago, 2 months divorced. Although he moved right in with OW and her two kids within a few months, I didn’t really want a hot and heavy relationship while I was technically married, though I was open to socially dating if anyone asked me out. Crickets.

          I decided that I would at least do one round of online dating attempts sometime this year. My kids are out of the house and I spend most of my non-working time alone. However, that’s a big step for me.

        • Its always a good idea to spend time getting to know someone, but with true narcissists, it still doesn’t matter. My STBX and I were together for 12 years before we got married!!! We lived together for 7 of those years. I thought I knew everything about him. We officially got married because it was time to start a family and I’m old fashioned in the sense that I wanted to have my children while married. Not long after 1st was born the cheating started. Looking back, he was probably cheating on me for most of the time we were together but I don’t have any hard evidence, just suspicions.

    • ????????????????????????????????
      This is the best advice to warn others. If what they say doesn’t line up with actions in just one or two key life decisions/situations, the odds of them being a lying/cheating sack of shit is 99%. This right here is the holy grail of bullshit detection.

  • Mine would be SPARKLES MCGEE at first. Then evolved into who I will call PROMISE ME PETE.
    PROMISE ME PETE always promises he will get around to doing things he has promised to do. Like promising to find out why we don’t have enough hot water. Promises a new floor for Christmas but never orders the materials or lays said floor. Just promises, promises and promises more empty promises.

    Then morphs into INVISIBLE DON. Never shows up for dinner, always has an excuse for where he has been. Gets many hobbies to disguise the time spent with other women. Like playing a round of golf with Patrick. Who is Patrick? Who knows. He may be invisible too.

    INVISIBLE DON can morph into I DON’T KNOW YOU SCOTT. Scott announces he wants a divorce with no warning, moves out of the house and his biggest skill is forgetting who you are. His time spent being INVISIBLE DON goes into full on mode and he just vanishes into thin air.

    Seems I got 4 for 1. LOL

    • Gaaaah, the hot water thing triggered me!! Assholio could spends endless hours/weeks/months working on projects that benefited only him (intricate mechanical work on his beloved Porsche, painstaking comparison shopping for an expensive new kayak), yet we all went for six months with minimal hot water because he resented the time he would have to spend diagnosing and fixing the problem. He didn’t care about the three other people living in the house because “cold showers are good for you, just look at the research!” When he finally did get to it (after I finally threatened to call a plumber), it only took two hours to fix, but you would thought he had climbed Mount Everest for all the drama involved. Ugh.

      • Garage door was broken. He “fixed” it but then it wouldn’t open for two months. We weren’t going to pay to fix it so I schlepped groceries around the long way through the front door, in winter, tracking dirt, several trips.

        Got fed up and paid someone after a couple of months.

        After he moves out one day the door just crumpled in on itself. I was moving in a couple of days so all my stuff was in the garage. Slept in the garage in a chair until the wee hours my daughter could pick up her car and come help me close it. Turns out he’d put the wrong tension spring on initially.

        Let’s call this one “Half-ass Harry” who wants full credit without the effort.

        • OMG! “Promise Me Pete” is so right on!!

          Lots of projects around the house started and left FOR YEARS partway done. (Or done sloppily.)

          But tinkering with and playing with and buying new toys? He somehow found plenty of hours every week for that! And every tweak on those toys done with the utmost care and attention to detail.

      • Mine was “fixing” the water heater but never mentioned it. I noticed that I could not get enough hot water for my bath. He never admitted touching it, but, I got my hot water back. He went back to “fixing” it while I was at work and somehow flooded our entire finished basement (busy upstairs maybe?). Of course never admitted ANY involvement in any of this. Six months post DDay, the water heater blows for good and I am faced with my first capital expense based upon his negligence of me and everything else. PS: he actually was a licensed plumber/ HVAC person.

    • I had a Promise Me Pete but about marriage. He promised we would marry but only if we lived together (I am very anti cohabitation) so we lived together. Than we had to live together more but he PROMISED we would marry soon. Than I had to stop asking him about his promise because how could he fulfill his promise to marry me if I asked him when he meant to fulfill that promise? Ugh never again, that was a compromise I never should’ve even considered. Also, I’m never shutting up about marriage for anyone again. Men who want to marry, talk about it.

    • I too was married to PROMISE ME PETE. For about 10 years he promised every summer to replace our roof. This past Summer I thought something was up. Two days before he asked for a divorce he asked me for 10,000 to buy roofing supplies for HALF the roof. Old him no,we’d go together to pick it out. Never. Would. Have. Done. The. Roof. His son (who is 14) said ‘dad never does what he says he’ll do’…..which is true. Contractor replaced all the roof for $9,000.

      After he left I paid for a roof, they were supposed to replace insulation as needed. None replaced. Today I learned that my fiberglass insulation in the attic is covered in mold. I am very allergic and have asthma…..yet another gift. The insulation company told me it really didn’t need to replaced — they were just going to blow in more insulation as it’s not think enough.

      I am overwhelmed and bleeding money

  • Oh I wasted 20 yrs on a complete DRAMA DORIS!

    I’d hate to count the number of times I’ve gone to the freezer to bring her “a cold compress for her forehead while she collapses on this fainting sofa” — CL puts it so wonderfully well — and a drink and maybe some biscuits or ooo maybe a little cake as she’s so weak and grrrr……

    In fact the sofa seems to be where she spends most her life, either watching endless soap operas, lying down ‘cos she has a headache / feels faint / etc. and invariably whenever she has to parent the kids. Appears to be genetic too. She took the kids to visit her sister in UK last year. They arrived Wednesday and straight to little sister’s tiny apartment. Spent all day Thursday there. Spent all day Friday there. Actually ventured out on Saturday for a couple hours so she could meet a friend. Then came back Sunday. Because yes, life has also been unfair to cheater’s sister, and it’s not her fault that she’s too lazy to take the kids to a park or something.

    Hmm and a fair bit of Two-Buck Chuck too I reckon considering I feel like I spent 20 years funding her and her extended family who never seemed to have a peso to their name ever.

    Divorce will be happening in 2019 and life is going to be so much better

  • Interestingly for some folks (eg Willing affair partners), they do come with these signs on their foreheads. What screams poor character louder than “I am willing to blow up my whole family for some strange?”

    Talk about a big clue that something may be wrong with this person. Hence the reason I will never feel sorry for OW/OM. The writing is literally on the wall but they go for it anyway.

    • My Ex actually sheepishly told me that it felt kinda good to be w/OW, ’cause ‘she doesn’t judge me. She was unfaithful in her marriage, and that ended in divorce. So she understands!’

      Water DOES find it’s own level.

      Of course, she later dumped him. For another man. Twice.

      I’m sure he was ASTOUNDED! How could that possibly happen?

  • Asshat is a combination of Sparkles McGee and Ambivalent Andrew, with a little Two Buck Chuck for good measure. He’s really sssssssssspecial.

    As much as I feel sorry for the girlfriend (half his age) he now has dancing for him, I am happier to be rid of him.

  • *Silent Sam*

    The guy seems so quiet, so thoughtful, he speaks only when it matters. What a noble and stoic soul. Any warm attention and statements of affection from this guy really count because they are so infrequent. You know he means them because it is just not his habit to gush. You know he really loves you because you know what it takes for him to pop his cork.

    Actually, he is a child waiting for someone to do something, anything, so he doesn’t have to be responsible for any forward motion. He can drift along and let everyone else be the adult and make the decisions. He can hang on and see what happens and it will be just fine. This system is also very handy when he declares 30 years later that he never ever loved you and never made any decisions in his own life. He was dragged along by you the whole time and simply won’t stand for your controlling and judgmental ways a moment more.

    This new young chick lets him be in charge! The fact that he is her father’s age has nothing to do with it, right?

    • Reading this actually gave me chills… that’s my ex. I always understood his calmness to be a sign that he was content and thought that his relative lack of emotion was a positive thing, a mark of sincerity (since he never gushed or love-bombed), but for him to be equally calm upon leaving me, our home, and our pets behind for the OW was a sign that he hadn’t really invested in anything.

      This is the thing that concerns me about looking for a new partner again (when I’m ready). We had so many long conversations over the course of our years together, and we did and planned so many things together (travel, several moves, an unconventional wedding), and in his telling, all of it was my doing – he never really got what he wanted. But I always asked him how he felt, and for his help, and he made many of the arrangements himself – so how did I fail to detect how little he was actually giving, how little enthusiasm he actually had for anything? The red flags for someone who’s overly intense are a little more obvious, but how do you distinguish someone who seems calm and thoughtful – and otherwise appears to have their life in order – from someone who’s just drifting along?

      • It was an ambush. He absolutely was that Silent Sam and really could have been that person until he died. But he was a boiling pot with a lid on it. There is no way we could have known it was going to blow up because they gave zero warning. It was not our fault, Reeling.

        So my policy is no more Silent Sam. If I hear about a dude who is “Really nice, kind of introverted though” that is a hard NO for me. No more Rubik’s cube of trying to guess what he wants. No more figuring things out for us to do every time. No more cheer-talking and plans-making. I will never chase a guy again. The first time I ask him a question and he sits there silently, ostensibly pondering, for wayyyy too many moments, he is gone.

        Grow the fuck up already and shove your passive aggressive behavior right up your hairy ass, Sam!

        • Yes to this!! I once asked cheater ex-boyfriend, ‘If I were to call your ex-wife and ask her what she found most difficult about being married to you, what would she say?’

          He said, ‘She often complained she never knew what I was thinking.’

          And then he told me how he silently prepared for their divorce by buying her a better car, etc., and that he only realized what he was doing ‘when he looked back on it.’


  • I married “You-Don’t-Mind Martha.” That woman had a guy “friend” for every place she went: work (several there), the gym, the other office at work, the courthouse she went to once a day for work, church, the coffee shop, whatever. She got into trouble at work at one point for being too “friendly” with the guys at the courthouse; the office manager there actually called her boss to complain.
    Good Lord, I don’t miss that AT ALL. Believe it or not, in a way, finally catching her (and having her admit she was a serial cheater) was kind of a relief. There was no more agonizing over whether there was something going on, there was no more listening to her angry lies and gaslighting. She threw everything back in my face.
    Unfortunately for me, for whatever reason, I saw none of this while we were dating. Either she hid it super, super well beforehand, or marriage for whatever reason made her want what she didn’t have; knowing her personality, I think it’s the latter.

  • Don’t forget about “it’s never my fault Dalt”. NMFDalt is never to blame for anything because it’s everyone else- not him. He’s just a victim. Said or did something nasty to you? NMF BECAUSE YOU… Problems at the office? NMF BECAUSE THEY…. Problem with the OW or Ex? NMF BECAUSE SHE…
    If someone blames every problem in their life (or almost everything) on someone else or something else RUN LIKE HELL!!! Seriously- don’t date the blame gamer. (Blameshifting Betty would also be a great name)

    • I laughed out loud at that. No in fact I think I snorted 🙂

      Blameshifting-Betty— great one, I prefer that — most of STBxW’s family fits that description

      • Yes, this one. After job after job lost, and poor after poor him, and high after drunk after partied out in compensation for the awfulness of adulting… I just threw up my hands and said “everything that happens to you is somebody else’s fault.” this is one of my sins that he was able to convey to the OW for sympathy. Emotional rescue, both of our specialties. Now I’d rather kiss a cockroach, any day.

    • Oh, yes, I married Never My Fault Dalt.

      It’s weird how I used to believe him, too.

      “Wow, you’re right. The only reason why you never graduated high school because your mom was A BITCH.”

      “Wow, you’re right. The only reason why you never failed community college was because your instructor was A BITCH.”

      “Wow, you’re right. The only reason why you were fired after sexually harassing your teenage coworker was because the manager was A BITCH.”

      “Wow, you’re right. The only reason why you got fired from the construction job was because the owner was A BITCH.”

      So many bitches.
      No matter where he’d go, there was alway A BITCH who stood in his way.

      Too bad the only reason why he’s getting a divorce is because his STBX wife is A BITCH.

      Poor Dalt.

  • Know-It-All Norman: He knows it all. He knows more than his boss and his boss’s boss. He knows more than the best doctor, lawyer, engineer or plumber within 1000 miles. Somebody does a great job? He could do it better. He can work miracles, accomplish things no one else would try. He’s the person people call in an emergency. He’ll tell you your plumbing, your car, your roof is shot and only he can fix it. He knows how what the local football team should have done and how to solve the crisis in the Middle East. He could cure cancer if he had time to work on it…

    And that’s why he can’t hold a job more than a year. No one respects what he knows and what he can do…

    • Haha, you just described skankboy beautifully! My favorite was when he would argue with me regarding medical situations. Yo, loserboy, when did YOU get YOUR medical degree? (I had my nursing degree for 34 years at the time.) Idiot!

    • That’s my BIL to a tee. He tried to tell me all about therapy. Of course, he’s never had any, and I’m a psychologist, but hey, he knows aaaallll about it. Maybe he stayed in a Holiday Inn Express one time.

    • Hahaha… mine fell into this category, too. He burdened with the fact that he knew so much, could do everything, and always had better insights than anyone else.

      • But then they can’t hold a job because they know more than the boss.

        Jackass went from job to job. I suspect now he overpromised people and then made an excuse to bail (“they are asking me to do something illegal”) or it was just too much work. I used to think he had a strong work ethic but now I know there was some thievery in his background and his FOO, plus some con artistry. So…

      • Thanks for the link, Marsydoats. I finally can put a name to Ex’s maddening trait of exuding confidence in his own decidedly sub-par abilities. Toward the end of our marriage I used to actually demand concrete evidence of all of his outlandish claims of mastery. It turns out that he truly was incompetent at so many tasks, but his overwhelming self-confidence continues to fool people to this day.

        • happy, this helped me lots too. Took the capitalized ‘WTF??’ speech bubble off from over my head, where it had been floating like a balloon.

  • My picker was very broken -but I am a stubborn lass and decided to date right out of the chute any way…let’s call it “lessons learned”.

    Hoarding Hank: I have at least 4-5 vehicles in various states of repair. Likes to drop lines in front of people such as, my Beemer, my Mercedes…let’s people know he’s a man of substance. Thousands of dollars spent on vehicles that he needs to store in your garage or possibley at a buddies because he can’t drive them and his motorcycle collection is taking too much room at his Mother’s house….and did you know that he might need to live on your couch for a wee bit.

    The Dude. The Dude wants to take you to play darts at the Legion. He has a decent truck and a decent job, but there is something off about him…
    It’s midnight and he and his family members are all very much drunk at 1 pm. You are at the Legion and darts ended at 10pm.
    Everyone gets behind the wheel and drives home – intoxicated. Thank God you drove your own car and are sober. The Dude never gets hung over ( or caught – he’s above the law ).
    He wants to take you to his alcoholic Sister’s to sit in the Hot Tub on Saturday. He is blowing off his kid’s this weekend for you – won’t you do the same?!?

    Juggling Jerry. He thinks you are swell. In fact all the girls are just fabulous!!! He likes to text all day and says he’s just on POF to meet people and look at the pictures ( ewe ).
    He wants to get to know you / you are special. So special that he ghosts you for about a week and then jumps right back in like nothing changed.
    He thinks we could “hang out” some time. Cool.

    Misunderstood Marty. He’s such a special snowflake don’t you know! That is why his jobs only last about 6 months ( and he’s actually very well qualified).
    Marty interviews well and has credientials up the wazoo. He leaks money like a sive and doesn’t like to pay his bills – but let’s go to Cuba for a week!!!
    Oops – Marty stepped on some toes at work. He might not get hired off that contract. In fact, he may just show them and quit!!!
    Marty would like you to pay his hydro bill. You don’t mind. Could you also co-sign on a car loan?

    Casinova Carl. Lied on his dating profile. He’s not 46 he’s 60-ish. But the women his age are just so old and tired looking!!!
    He thinks he looks 46, so technically he’s not lying. He feels that you are a nice girl, but that he could do hotter than you. Can you give him a blow job anyway?

      • My 60 year-old was getting fashion advice from a 20-something. THAT should have been a red flag, right there.

      • Ugh. That reminds me of a man I went out on a date with who is in his early 60s. (I’m in my 40s.) I had no interest in him to begin with and then he said, ‘I know I’m in my 60s but I feel like I’m in my 50s so I feel entitled to have sex with women in their 40s.’

        OK, cool, so because I’m a woman in my 40s who feels like she’s in her 30s, does that mean I should be having sex with men in their 20s? ‘Cause if so, then we’re looking at a 40-year spread between you, Dr. Dumbass, and my target age range.

  • Mine was definitely of the drama Doris variety.

    I would add Misunderstood Mastermind to the Taxonomic Key. He was between Drama Doris and a mastermind. He would sutly leave his Standford alum magazine around for himself in case he forgot how amazing he was, among other mind Olympic trophies. And causually work in conversation gems like, ‘my mom never let me do a single chore – I have no idea how to do a thing around the house – she said I be famously rich and would have people for that’ (spoiler: that ‘people’ ain’t me!)

    • The Misunderstood Mastermind seems to be a common theme with these Narcs. Assholio always nattered on about how he was “ahead of his time” and “revolutionizing the xyz industry” and how other companies were stealing his ideas and monetizing them. Yet he stayed in a mid-level government job for 30 years, even though I encouraged him to take his brilliance somewhere he could make more money. He is still bitter and angry that no one appreciates him at work.

  • A thought regarding a good relationship red flag spotter app:

    Observe with one’s own eyes how a prospective long term partner treats his parents, that can be how a male person treats his Mother.

    My cheater told me countless stories of all the outstanding ways he helped his parents, especially his Mom…..things like he took out the garbage, painted the living room, ( bought the paint himself) cut the grass, ( every time), ETC.ETC.

    Well, when I visited when we were first going out, I did not see him do one thing for his parents or talk about returning to carry out something they needed done. NOT one word about anything like that.
    ( he was very spoiled, youngest adopted child in family)
    Also, how he spoke to his Mom, how he treated her. All huge red flags!!
    ( love is blind)!

    Pay attention to their actions, not their words!
    Words mean nothing without living proof!

    • Mine told me that all the women in his family were crazy. In 30 years of marriage, I watched all three sons and their father patronize their mother with oh-so-cute phrases like “You’re so pretty” when she said something that they thought was stupid.

    • Jackass used to scream at his mother on the phone. When you find yourself telling a man, “Please don’t talk to your mother that way”–run. And pretty soon, you will hear that same angry, disrespectful, arrogant tone when he talks to you.

  • How about the Martyr? He’s always doing things for others but never gets anything back, at least nothing that he notices or even acknowledges. He puts in so much time and effort and everybody takes it for granted and doesn’t appreciate it. He is so generous with his time and his money. He’s always giving, giving, giving but never receiving. People take advantage of his good natured helpfulness. He always has everybody else’s back and nobody has his. He is always so kind and generous and helpful and for just once he would like somebody to show him a little kindness and appreciation. His ex wife never appreciated him in spite of the many many things he did for her that she never actually asked him to do and she never gave anything back or did anything for him at all. All he needs is some skank to show him how much she appreciates him by fucking him (sex with the ex wife didn’t count because she must of just done it out of obligation). Other expressions of gratitude will go unnoticed, unless you are his boss. Then you can show your appreciation by giving him huge raises every week for doing his job.

    But don’t try and counter his narrative or it will go something like this: Did you volunteer? Yes. Were you told you would be compensated for your efforts? No. Were you even asked to help out with that, do that favor for that person, put in those extra hours? No. Were you thanked anyway? Yes, but I wasn’t given accolades, praise or a raise. Did you do it out of kindness or did you do it hoping there would be something in it for you? Errr… What about all of those zero interest loans you got from your in laws to help with grad school, house down payment, etc? What about all of the monetary gifts and help with expenses from them over the years? Well, all of that was really for my wife so it doesn’t count. What about that time when those complete strangers showed you that bit of kindness? That was just me being friendly and sparkly which compelled them to be generous and help me out because I was so awesome in their direction. No I didn’t do anything to reciprocate beyond those sparkles. No I didn’t keep in touch so I could reciprocate later. Hey, stop changing the subject. We were talking about my martyrdom. What about all of those things your wife did for you to improve your life and make you comfortable that everybody but you seemed to notice? It’s not a contest, hmf.

  • I’m going to have to agree to disagree on the “How they treat their Mother”.
    My now x is good to his mom. Of course she also helps him cheat. Allows other women to accompany him to her house when he visits. Because he’s been working too many hours and is tired. He will be up in the area that his mother lives. So he’ll just spend a weekend with her don’t you know.

    • I agree. My ex did a lot to help out his family but behind their backs he resented it all because he didn’t feel he got much back (sometimes true, sometimes not true). Hence my Martyr comments above.

  • Can we add to the mix “BATHROOM BRAD AND BRTINEY?”

    See these two take their cell phones with them when they go to the bathroom without fail. You later learn, the hard way off course, the reason is because they like to sleep with you and call you the love of their life, and then go to the bathroom and text other people. The moment anyone of us gets a whiff of this narcissistic non-sense, just leave and never turn back.

    Maybe we could call ALSO them “CELL PHONE CHARLIE AND CHARLA.”

    • Ex liked to take his phone into the bathroom along with a pair of headphones…..and stay in there for an hour. I thought he was just really constipated 4 times a day. I realize now he wasn’t just using the restroom. Ah chumpy naivete….

      • And many people have magazines in their bathrooms so it seemed perfectly plausible to us chumps that some people really do just take a long time to go and need the cellphone for entertainment while they are there.

        Alas, there was more to the stench coming out of the bathroom than just bodily functions.

        • Well, we could also add if they take the cell phone into the bathroom AND get nervous if you ask to use their phone like mine did, then that is likely a dead giveaway. Mine would panic if I got near his phone. He also had the audacity to sit across from me and use his Ipad, and Whatsapp to message people. See on Whatsapp it doesn’t get tracked on a phone bill.

          Trust they suck.

          • Oh, and to add to that, usually he did it after we had sex at night. Then he would go into the bathroom which seemed normal, but then I found out he was wishing all his other lovers goodnight. He’d do the same thing in the morning — have sex with me and then go to the bathroom with his phone and wish these other unsuspecting women good morning. Meanwhile, I was the “love of his life” and living with him. He also made sure that text messages did not appear on his phone, so I wouldn’t see them. He is the worst person I know. Not an iota of guilt….I later learned he got a married woman pregnant. She left her marriage for him and once she got pregnant he dumped her and moved on to me (she, btw, was just one of about 8 women he was fucking). He has no contact with the kid or her, except I know she hired a paternity lawyer and now doesn’t work…(ex is uber-wealthy). I had no idea how bad of a guy he was…and I could go on and on and on…I totally got duped. He is just a bad seed. So, yeah, normal people may take their phone into the bathroom, but for a chump like me, I learned the hard way why he did it.

  • Sad Sausage Sam. The reason he doesn’t try anymore is because though he tells you what the problem is, you don’t change. So he just gives up. He still likes watching you juggle his balls of discontent trying to find out how to make him feel appreciated; how to make him feel loved. Forget the fact that you don’t remember him telling you what’s wrong. That’s part of the game. You have to guess. And because he deserves to be happy, he needs to get some pleasure in life by keeping Loose-leg Lucy on the side. He needs to seek happiness wherever he can because you just can’t figure out how to make him happy. You’d think you’d figure it out by now, after all, he gives you plenty of clues. Why can’t you figure out what those long drawn-out sighs mean? Why can’t you guess why he has those vacant stares into a continued future of unhappiness? He’s just so disappointed that you’re so oblivious.

    • And it is all because you are a poor communicator for refusing to demand to know what was really bothering him and or asking the right questions instead of meekly asking “what’s wrong” and accepting whatever bullshit answer he gave you. You should have been more aggressive and intuitive in drawing it out of him.

  • I got this message on a dating site after we matched:

    “Hi! I have to go buy Christmas stocking stuffers for my AMAZING nephews and nieces…. I have the best family in the world.

    So, I am sure you have lots of questions about me. Feel free to send me a list and I will do my best to answer them over the holidays. No guarantees!!! ????. We have more fun than any family I know!!!”

    After I gagged up everything I had eaten that week- BLOCKED.

    • Questions:

      ‘Why are you messaging me?’
      ‘Why do you think you have the best family in the world?’
      ‘Why are you such an asshole?’
      ‘What makes you think I am going to show the slightest interest in you?’
      ‘Why don’t you stay with your family for ever and leave me alone?’

  • My ex was a combo of Drama Doris and You-Don’t-Mind Martha. He was always quitting jobs after about 2 years because they were awful and his coworkers were all narcissists (this was a red flag I later realized). He also was besties with his ex (maybe current?? they’re so on and off) girlfriend and would always say how I wasn’t mature like him because I wasn’t like that with my exes.

    • Mine was a You-Do-Not-Mind Martha, because he always tried to keep his work life and friendship circle separate from me. He insisted on going out with friends without me with the excuse that I was mean to the friends (I was not), but he could not declare it guy’s night as there were other girls present. Now I know that he just wanted unlimited freedom to flirt and more.

  • Good morning fellow chumps! Or not chumps anymore! I’m getting so close to meh! It’s amazing!!!!!
    I need everyone’s help! I don’t think I’m doing a good job and drawing boundaries! Please help! Recently he’s come to me and told me he doesn’t want things to change and rather we continue to live in the current way we are. Both in the same home….. it’s better for the kids and also he wants to take care of them financially even if it means taking care of me…… um no? Sorry you’ll have to pay for them either way buddy. Says he misses me, loves me and wants a good relationship with me….. says I’m an amazing mother blah (I know I am thank you). And keeps saying how he can’t help but want me when he sees me because I’m so attractive….. his AP is not cute at all. How do I set healthy boundaries? Because when I have before he gets so mad! I didn’t want any of this, he’s the one that cheated and caused me to file for divorce and now he wants to keep things the same? No fucking way dude. Please help me ladies and gents! I want good boundaries but when I set them, it makes him angry and things awkward between us. I have no desire for him anymore and idk how to make him realize that. The love I had for him as a husband is long gone. Why do I not want to hurt his feelings!?

    • Well yeah, it sucks at first, but you have to keep enforcing it. Stop allowing him to say all that bs to you. Gray rock now. He didn’t give a shit about your feelings so stop caring about his. It’s hard, but keeping going and it will come naturally.

      • I’m trying to grey rock him, it’s like he doesn’t understand boundaries! Yeah you are right I also need to learn to not care about his feelings because he didn’t care about how his actions affected our family. But it’s like why do all this shit now, just let me live in peace! You wanted a divorce I’m giving it to you, and shit i don’t want him anymore.

    • Because you are afraid of him. This is known as domestic abuse.

      Don’t let the ass win; No Contact, or if you can’t avoid him, “Grey Rock”. Grey Rock is just being polite in the way of a good clerk. Yes, no, too bad.


      • Yeah I think I might be afraid of his reactions. I can’t go no contact, but I have been grey rocking maybe I’m just not doing it right!? He also must think I can’t resist him, who knows but I don’t want him.

        • You may be doing it right, you just need to do it for longer. His old habit is watching you cater to his emotions and outbursts, to get him to break that habit you have to break yours. But that doesn’t happen overnight. It took 8 months of me consistently being low or no contact (as much as I could with a shared child) and total gray rock for him to stop regularly harassing me. And it took the divorce being finalized for him to stop semi-regularly harassing me. Like raising a toddler, it’s time and consistency.

          And it’s exhausting and soul crushing, but that just how it is. It’s the tax we all pay for marrying fuckwits

    • It’s not a boundary if you don’t defend it.
      Was he worried about hurting your feelings when he fucked his AP? I didn’t think so.

      If you are living together, maybe it’s time to end that. He’s hoovering you (see the link I will attach below). He doesn’t want consequences. Moving out–a consequence. Divorce–a consequence. Giving up Schmoopie–a consequence. Child support–a consequence. Once you understand that you are not dealing with a person like yourself, that he’s a type of disordered person, then you won’t take his words at face value. Look at what he has done over the past several years. How much do his actions align with his words?

      “NO” is a complete sentence. Stop eating meals with him. Don’t do his laundry. Make sure the kids know he’s having an affair. (“We’re getting a divorce because dad has a girlfriend.”)

      If he talks to you, say “Put that in an email.” Over and over. “No.” “Put that in an email.” “Talk to my lawyer.”

      • “It’s not a boundary if you don’t defend it”.

        Thank you for this. I defended, defended, defended, which, of course, resulted in his blaming ME for his lack of a job – because, apparently he is only capable of working in the field where Schmoopie still works. What I came to realize is that every time he would test the boundary, I was the one who suffered…not him. Oh, he would gripe and complain, and put on the Sad Sausage costume.

        Does anybody have a source on free, low-cost divorce papers? I have NO money to put towards this. I am also confident I can make him roll over. He is oh-so-concerned that Schmoopie might get somehow hurt. Whatever. I have piles of emails SHE wrote HIM ready to send to her husband, plus other pretty horribly indicting info his former employer would find interesting. Plus other emails regarding additional OW she may find..enlightening.

        He is an entitled ass, and I am sorry it has taken me this long to figure out that my life will be so much better without him in it.

        • In US my local county has free downloadable divorce and legal separation documents that can be filled in, some require notary. They also had packets of free documents I could have picked up at the courthouse. That’s what i did, plus attached several negotiated settlements (vehicles, house, pets), which we both signed. We had no kids, no shared assets other than some home equity, and we sold the house. The division was cookbook. It was a lot of stuff to fill out, but it worked. There was a county employee who reviewed my documents, and each of us consulted with our own attorneys a couple times. It was lower cost, but I ate a lot of shit sandwiches to get away. He refused to sign any paperwork, so I had to have him served and we had to go to court, but it was low cost.

      • Thanks for linking to the article on narcissism, it was a very good read.

        And I could have done with your advice earlier today, to just reply “put that in an email” over & over; though at least I have learnt enough from CN to have walked away fairly quickly rather than put up with the word-salad-rage

    • This was me. We did week on week off in our homen staying at respective parents on week off.

      It took me making myself available for a work trip to Europe (24 hour plane trip) for me to get all the evidence i needed that he had been seeing #cattleclass for 3 years or more (denied for 3 years): her car in my driveway while i was away (got the photo and her name on the registration plus it was there still at 3am), a receipt with her name on it in the trash from 5 months prior, 2 bottles of champagne in the trash (not the bottles just the corks, her favourite brand according to her Facebook), her wearing MY hat i never wear on her Insta mid my trip (#coolhat for a #coolday it said), said hat left out in lounge on my return (i never wear it, nice triangulation though), her insta from a year ago (wish id looked then) wearing same underwear he buys me (my favourite print too, although i hide it under my clothes unlike her), and him coming into house on my week on (not allowed) to access my emails and find me asking my lawyer about an occupancy order for me on our home (hey i felt violated). He lost it on that last one. He was out within days, no occupancy order (would make him look bad ????). Was as simple as me saying I’d pay the bills and the mortgage (he’s cheap and needed money for bottles of Mumm champagne to keep love bombing #cattleclass!

      It wasn’t easy. But was SOOOOO worth it. To finally have proof of all his lies – priceless!

  • “All Eyes On Me – Jim” — He expects you to focus all attention on him when he enters a room. Like living in a 50s fantasy, a woman and kids have to run to the door to greet him when he gets home, a warm meal needs to be on the table, someone needs to bring him the houseshoes, and then a cold beer. He deserves to be treated this way. Full admiration.

    “Instant Expert” — Of course he knows more than you. Of course, he understands you better than you yourself. Throw any topic on the table and he is immediately expert by the pure fact that the topic is on the table. Could be medical, could be engineering, he knows it all.

    The Talking Tom Transmogrifyer — Every conversation you are planning on having with him turns into something different. Usually to how you are wrong in some way, shape, or form. You are no longer capable of speaking proper English, your conversational tone is off, and of course you forgot all the things you do wrong when addressing his faults. Even when you just want to talk about some personal interests and news, the attention will be eventually on him. You always wonder how did you get to here, when the conversation ends. You never feel to get out of a talk what you want. And frustration increases as time progresses.

    • Oh yes. My ex wanted the 50’s fantasy family. Instead he got a real family and it was just so disappointing. I guess he imagined himself as the grand patriarch benevolent dictator surrounded by adoring children and a worshiping housewife. What he got was stubborn children with minds of their own who don’t always do what they are told and sometimes talk back (it’s even worse when they use reason). Meanwhile he had a working mother wife who was career oriented when he married her but he didn’t bother to mention that he thought the woman’s place was in the home while they were courting. He just thought she would give up those stupid notions of being a successful engineer and go back to her proper place when the first child was born. It all turned out to be a disappointment so he had to go run off with someone else’s SAHM with five children who do what they are told (at least when Mother Dearest is looking) because they don’t dare have thoughts and opinions of their own in front of Mother.

      • OMG, we are the same person. My STBX forgot to mention how important a SAHM was to him. I was very clear to him all along that I cared about my career and loved my job. And then after the first kid was born, he told me: “I just assumed you would change your mind like any normal mother would.”

    • Ah yes, know this guy well…cause I married him. He wants all these things from you but also requires you be a full time working expert that can make him money and that he can brag about…but all that work better not impact your cookie baking and toilet cleaning time! And certainly your abject adoration of him mustn’t waiver!

  • OMG! Serial cheater Ex is EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE SIMULTANEOUSLY!!!! Wow.. I’m impressed I think.

    I mean one could make the argument she’s not Two Buck Chuck because she didn’t ask _me_ for money per say… But she has her mom to financially support her, cook all her meals, buy her fancy toys, and support her fancy dining out habit with affair partners…. Sooooo….

  • I misread this Chump Lady I thought you wrote ‘Don’t you wish cheaters came with Foreskin stamps?’ Ahaahaahaaha

  • I wish there was a way to get this information out for teens, and those just starting to look for long-term relationships/mates. Sadly, we are mostly preaching to the choir.
    Having said THAT, thank you to everybody who has contributed. IF I ever consider dating again, I will at least be armed with what to look for before I get too invested or besot.

    • My 16 yo son is just starting to dip his toe into dating. I was trying to give him dating advice while not mentioning or obviously insinuating ex as an example of what not to do and/or what not to date.

  • Oh, and it goes without saying, “Honest Herb”, who is very forthright about his past infidelities and all the extenuating circumstances surrounding them. Because if YOU live up to his ever-shifting goalposts, he would certainly never cheat on YOU. YOU are special. (Until you aren’t.)

    • Yep. My very stbx new role. Sure fire way to shoot himself in the foot since he can’t help himself and is already at his games.

      Is there room for Captain Save-a-Ho? I read that one somewhere. He can’t pass up an opportunity to help out a ‘struggling’ single mother or a struggling married woman or a struggling single woman or any ‘struggling’ woman.

    • He and Nice-Guy Gary probably hang out. They’re so nice, everyone thinks so, it’s not their fault you can’t meet their every changing and bottomless “needs.” For such a nice guy, you should try harder. If you were nicer, he might not have had to “have his needs met elsewhere.” Everyone will understand…cause he’s a nice guy.

  • NO NEWS NICK. Or FAKE NEWS NICK. He shapeshifts a bit depending on whether he’s been confronted and given a chance to come clean. Even when he’s being “honest” and talking aka not stonewalling with the silent treatment (it’s rare) it’s still a lie. I think this guy genuinely believes that omission (of his double life, 3 long term 3+year relationships that I know of) is not a lie.

    He also believes his own lies. I know this as have installed cameras only to find him rifling through my stuff and taking things (to gaslight me) when he picks up kids, not allowed in house, and I’m at work. Called it to his face a couple of hours later and I tell ya the body language was perfect. No sign of a lie there. Except for the live view I recorded ????????‍♀️

    I first caught him cheating with not one but two women, one a friend of mine, both unbeknownst to each other. And of course chump me.

    Denied anything happened but turned one into a threesome. I know. I’m a chump. Only found out last year a month after we split that he carried on with the friend for 3 years, when I got pregnant, had baby, and even when we got married! Chump tip: Never block the other woman on social media!

    No news is good news right?

    So after we split I gave him a chance to come clean about it. 7 months it was up to the point I caught them.

    I did some digging. Nah. 3 years, 1 baby (mine and his, with same red hair as her. Special) and 1 wedding later (also mine and his) and they were going strong.

    Then #cattleclass came along and started liking our old couple photos on Facebook (including our wedding). He’d already told me he thought she was hot but still managed to deny the likes were anything to do with him fucking her while he told his dad/boss he was looking after our kids after school (and I was organising their after school care). Turns out she picks her son up from school 100 metres away from our place and we’re fucking each other here before the pickup! No sleaze here.

    Then a year ago her BFF tells me all about it. Plausible deniability kicks in again. I stupidly confront him he cunningly says we’re over, even though he says BFF is lying. By this point I figure BFF is right. This is 4th strike time, although in my mind it’s 3rd strike cos I’d stupidly bundled the two I found at once in together as one incident. I won’t go into the lawyer (another friend of mine) I caught him getting his cock sucked by shortly after I’d gotten pregnant after trying for 3 years. Also put on the fake news shelf. It was a one off. Yeah right. Chump or what. I put it down to hormones and my need for a safe secure home for my two babies.

    So I didn’t believe that round of fake news. Waited 6 months to find him sexting girl on girl porn gifs with “a girl he met at the lunch bar”. Still I knew this was fake news. Off I trotted overseas for work and landed all the evidence I needed that #cattleclass had been going for 3 years, in my home, on her Instagram, and in our trash (it was good to work that out. No going back now).

    I texted him all the evidence, right down to car registration and her car in our drive, at 3 am. Still he denied it! Plausible deniability not plausible anymore. But still he denies it.

    Unbelievably, he hasn’t admitted to any of this still (he doesn’t need to as I’m no longer his main supply). I see online he’s bought a ring for Christmas. He’s not wearing it and it’s not his size. It’s tiny compared to my and his fingers. I bring it up last night for fun. Now I’m being bombarded with indignant texts about said ring and what the HELL am I on about! This after two weeks of hoovering (the ring obviously didn’t get the desired result, or it did but he now needs someone to triangulate against her now she’s hooked by a $100 ring #classy).

    I’m not answering the texts. Playing his own game. No news is good news right? Except when it’s fake.


    • I should add he was also sucking lawyers cock when I walked in on them both with their trousers down, 2 feet away, outside, from my sleeping 5 year old daughter! He’s not picky. Male female. Anything going basically. So long as they can be manipulated into screwing over their friend (me) while screwing over me, exploited and triangulated they’re in.

      • Oh Lord. Your dude is a sociopath. No conscience. That’s a lot to have to reconcile and I’m sorry this happened and is happening to you. Even your friends are toxic. I hope you can continue to unwind yourself from all of this and cut ties with these people.

        • @Nena, I see a LOT of my ex Asshat in your experience as well. Equal opportunity mindfuck, nevermind gender or boundaries. Just out for whatever he can persuade to fill that everlasting void.

          I was with him for 14 years, finally he suddenly wanted to marry me. We did so, in spring of 2017. By winter, I discovered what he was really all about. It was as if once he’d “hooked” me he figured I wouldn’t leave. He was dead wrong. I am happily rid of his disgusting arse, and at age 56, not looking to ever have another relationship with anyone but myself. This may change, but right now, it’s right. Much love to you <3

          • Katiedidnt 14 years for me too. 5 years married. Proposed right when he was hooking up with Ginger Rogering or shortly after. Ginger the one he was still with when we got married! Funny thing is, he was with his first wife 14 years and married for 5. It was actually his monogamous style i was attracted to lol. I was over falling for shallow cheaters so had made a list. Little did i know what a gift that mirror i mean list was for him. I never stood a chance.

        • Chumper I’d say he’s easily ASPD and more than likely Histrionic HPD as well. Maybe i should call him Full blown Cluster B Dick. Pretty much. Needy AF too so there’s the borderline BPD as well. My psych had never heard of anyone in the Cluster this bad.

      • OptionNoMore been doing great at grey rock til i got the pity party at Christmas. A couple of days he came camping with me and kids last week and the hoover suction was strong. Wierdly the trauma bond reignited but i knew what was happening. Took all of 5 days till the hoover turned to a massive drama read devalue discard last night! I thought I’d test all that I’ve learned and let it unfold. Yep. Nothing changed. But i knew that. Glad i got it behind me to be honest. I know the script well. Even got the sad lonely depressed line in between the text message raging last night ???? its a script. Hopefully he’s learned his lesson now. But i doubt it. He needs someone tp triangulate #cattleclass with and Ginger Rogering (the wedding and baby OW) obviously not complying. #theycanhavehim

  • “Ad Hominem Al”…oh, you don’t agree with my position on North Korea? Well, you must be a terrible person. You don’t like my joke? Ugh, you’re a monster. You don’t want to know all the inner workings of my brilliant mind every time we meet? Time to cut you out of my life! Unless you agree with me enthusiastically all the time and never challenge my correctness and intelligence, you deserve the silent treatment and my scowl.

  • Brilliant blog today CL.

    My STBXH is a huge serving of Ambivalent Andrew with me, but he’s acting like a Sparkles McGee with her.

    I’ve got one to add to the list, I think:

    Existential Erica.
    Erica wants you to understand that it’s important to be the real her and that there are others she can be more her real self with. It’s out of her control when it’s written in the cosmos. She has spent her life doing what others have expected of her, and now she’s understood that she just has to be who she was meant to be. Keeping her from her true self and keeping her from those to whom she is bonded is negative energy that must be cleansed with essential oils, incense burning, and consultation with the enlightened psychic. Good morals is not standing in the way of the path to bliss. We are all good people who have just made some mistakes. We must all seek happiness. Namaste!

  • How about Fucked Up Family Frank.

    You really need to check out the family and take your time doing it. You need a good year to really get the hidden and secret info from the person you are dating. It takes a while.
    Divorced parents, dad a serial cheat – got the babysitter pregnant. Mom screwing dad’s bro and third child looks like him.

    Dad arrested for selling stolen goods. Sister pregnant several times and aborted all but the last and never had anything to do with the father of that child. Mom and Sis have an unhealthy emotionally incestuous relationship – joined at the hip every single day. Sis seems to have more than one personality.

    H was allowed to sleep with what was most likely his half sister at 14 and his mother would bring them coffee in the morning. Rumor has it that dad slept with sister in law – hence the half sister.

    I could go on but nobody would believe it.
    I was the outsider. Came from a fairly decent home. Some dysfunction which made me vulnerable to certain types but nothing like his completely bat shit crazy family. They hated me. H told me much later that they hated me because I was honest. True they were a pack of liars and H inherited some of that trait although he did a lot better than the rest of them.

    H was always nice to his mother. She demanded it. Held him hostage with guilt because he had spinal meningitis as a two year old and she did the exercises etc. to get him to walk again. I guess this was over and above what a mother is supposed to do (sarc).

    So, check out the fam. Find out as much as you can.

    • That is scary f*cked up. The whole lot of them.

      I have a crazy story, not nearly as crazy as yours, but I found CL is the only safe place to share it. Whenever I tell anyone about the crazy shit shit my ex was doing prior to me and while with me, though unbeknownst to me, people look at me like I’m the crazy one! It doesn’t matter that I left him because of the stuff I found out, it’s just that it is so f*cked up, they think I’m nuts! Now, I hold my tongue except for here.

      These sociopaths leave a path of destruction.

    • OMG it sounds like we were married to the same person, who I will now only refer to as “Fucked up Family Frank.” Thanks for that BTW!!

      Every holiday with his family was like a Jerry Springer show.

      His mom was knocked up at 16; and married shortly thereafter.
      His dad is a raging alcoholic and was arrested for robbing a bank at some point in his life (I didn’t learn about that until we were married)
      Sister knocked up at 16; later cheated on her hubby, got divorced and remarried and then divorced again. She has drug problems and a total of three kids.
      He has two brothers with drug problems; one who usually works but never procreated and one who never works and did procreate with a batshit crazy looney-toon.

      Even though they were poor, every single one of them (save for the alcoholic dad) is just busting with entitlement.

      Ex had a great relationship with his mom. Part of it (I think) was that he was the only one who didn’t have drug problems and had some ambition. He also had a normal wife who had a fairly normal upbringing. I had to hold my tongue a lot in their company because it was often a literal shit-show when they were around.

      I definitely should have vetted Frank’s Fucked up Family for a much longer period of time.

  • Party On Marty
    This guy wants his life to be like the scene from Wayne’s World where they are in the car singing along with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. He is frantically making up for all the fun he feels he didn’t get around to when he was young. He frequents bars, clubs, music festivals and other places young people gather to get drunk and stupid. The local vapor lounge is another favorite haunt. He is sadly unaware that the frequent use of expressions such as “awesome!” and “sweeeet!” sound ridiculous coming from a paunchy, balding 50 year old. He’s equally unaware of what a pathetic stereotype of a mid-life douchebag he is for chasing skanky young things and passing the joint or the flask with 18 year olds at a rock concert where his ears ring painfully. He doesn’t realize his young companions think he’s an amusingly pitiful old loser. He seems to think he can absorb youth by osmosis by having sex with younger women, or failing that, at least watching them in porn. It’s those OTHER middle-aged guys who are pathetic, in Marty’s mind. The ones who drive Volvos and spend their spare time with their wives and families. They just aren’t cool and youthful. They’re boring. But Marty is a fun guy. Everybody likes him. That is, except for the family he chronically neglects and abuses. In his alleged mind, they keep trying to “control” him by daring to demand he not drive drunk and spend time with his kids. Marty is basically a 15 year old in a 50 year old body, rebelling against the oppression of adulthood. A 15 year old who is a whiny, entitled little bitch.
    Marty’s likes ; Grecian Formula, vodka, anal.
    Dislikes; responsibility, self-awareness, sobriety.

    • Yep mine too only I called him “life of the party Lionel” because that’s what he genuinely thought he was. What the rest of us saw was a loud, embarrassing drunk. Oh and “it wasn’t me Mick”! He beats the shit out of me and I am covered down the front of my body in bruises. “It wasn’t me Mick” – that wasn’t me, you must have been drunk and fell face first down the stairs. So when I take my top off and show him the bruises on my back, “it wasn’t me Mick” then decides that after I drunkenly fell forwards down the stairs first time, I staggered back up and threw myself down the stairs, but backwards this time – you know, just to even out the colouring a little!

        • I’m glad to say I did!! And in the divorce, at court, I saw that HIS attorney had a copy of medical attestations from the hospital describing my injuries (must have been my attorney that gave it to him), plus photos, and I suspect his attorney didn’t exactly try his hardest to help his own client!

    • OMG Chumperella this is No News Nick to a T! Doesn’t go for the young ones that i know of, but boy that paunch, that chin, really not gonna be welcome at his Real Housewives of Mt Eden sex parties he’s no doubt frequenting and supplying drugs to. Grow up dude. Run your business instead of running it into the ground. A big dick is useless when its attached to an even bigger dick. And a belly the size of a small nation.

  • Moving Goalposts Gary/Glenda; Re-Remembering Raymond/Rita; Double Standard Dave/Denise.

    Spouse: It is not my job to make you happy. Happiness comes from within.
    STBex Spouse: One of the reasons I’m divorcing you is that you didn’t make me happy.

    Spouse: We need to travel with the kids and expose them to more things.
    Me Book any trip. Spouse: Where are we getting the money to pay for this?

    Spouse: How would you feel if I retired early? I really want to pursue my dream. Me: If that’s how you feel, we’ll figure it out. Just wait for the kids to graduate college.
    STBex Spouse: I wasn’t quite ready to pursue my dream and you made me do x, y and z. Later: You never supported me.

    Spouse: I don’t believe in all that Christian stuff. I practice Hinduism. You’re brainwashed by the Catholic church.
    ExSpouse Married to (thrice-divorced) Minister: We shouldn’t judge. What would Jesus do?

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is why listening to anything they say is a Waste. Of. Time. Nothing they say means anything except in the moment. One of the blessings of divorce is that I never have to listen to this crazy-making nonsense again. Praise Jesus and Krishna.

    • I forgot:

      When we were dating:

      Him: I would never cheat on you; I saw what happened to my mother when my father cheated on her.
      Later: I want to be free to have sex and children with all types of women so I can see what they look like.
      Even later: I don’t remember saying that (with regard to the various sex partners/children).

      Anyone who sounds like they are two different people – yeah, cray-cray. Press the “escape” button and jump.

      • Chump Princess… wow, he actually admitted out loud that he wanted to have children with many different women just to see what they would look like. There has got to be a term for someone like this. It’s highly narcissistic. But it’s also promiscuous. Words fail me.

        Isn’t Hugh Grant doing something similar? He has two competing baby mommas and one of them was stupid enough to marry him.

        • Oh yeah, he said that. At the time, he may have been cheating with one of those “different” women. He says whatever suits him in the moment. That’s why nothing he says means anything. He has now moved on to his OWife minister who is even more of a loon than he is. She is him on steroids. Meh.

          Hugh Grant has a problem. I don’t think the word “faithful” is in his dictionary or it doesn’t mean what he thinks it means.

  • Great post, Tracy! And so true… when I was single, I had been hoping for something along the lines of a neon sign flashing on their foreheads, but yes, a forehead stamp would be perfect. Any warning sign at all would be FABULOUS. Here’s a couple:

    Victor (or Victoria) the Victim: They will tell you how all their exes were terribly abusive. And if you don’t ask them lots of clarifying questions, you are in trouble. A conversation with them might look like this.

    Victor or Victoria: Thank goodness you are not abusive like my ex. You are such a breath of fresh air in my life.

    You: Ahhh… thank you. You deserve to be treated well.

    Nope… not the right response. Here it is:

    You: That’s terrible, what did your most recent ex do?

    Victor/Victoria: They were soooo controlling. They isolated me from everyone.

    You: That’s too bad- what did they do to isolate you?

    Victor/Victoria: Well, I had this (opposite gender and single) friend at work. My friend and I liked to have late night dinners. You have to understand I had to silence my phone during these late night dinners. It would have been rude to my friend if I didn’t silence my phone. Every time I got home at 1am, my husband/wife would just flip out for no reason. They were so controlling and abusive because they kept asking me to stop seeing my friend for late night dinners. I don’t understand why all my ex’s have been so controlling and crazy. But you aren’t that way, are you?

    (Cue to run to a galaxy far, far away.)

    Kevin the Knight: He always wants to listen to another woman’s problems in life for hours on end, change her lightbulbs, fix her cars, and text her all night for emotional support when her cat vomited up another hairball. He is a knight in shining armor as long as the woman he is saving is NOT you. Women who are NOT you, think he is the most amazing man they have ever met. They envy you because they assume you are married to a real Prince. But the reality is, Kevin the Knight can only pretend to be a Prince and search for Cinderella and her slipper as long as Cinderella is NOT his wife. He can only be valiant to other women, while his wife sits at home doing deep dives into Netflix and tubs of ice cream. Her living room is usually piled high with self-help books on improving her marriage, but Kevin never notices because he is too busy attending to any woman BUT his own wife (and family).

    • Yes, I had a Kevin!! OMG. I asked my boyfriend of 3 years to help me with my finances bc he worked in finance and was rather astute in this area, yet never had time to help me. However, I start unmasking all this cheating behavior to uncover he was helping 2 other women (one with her business plan) and the other was funding for her “creative not-for-proti-project” and meeting these women for dinners every week. I later found his hidden profile. He is such a scumbag and wanted to be seen as such a nice guy. What a POS. He is the reason I learned about CL and gaslighting and all this other bs. Sadly, I find another POS years later and here I am again. Ugh!

  • PS-

    An example from my own dating life when I was single. Me and my girlfriends had a nickname for this guy. The guy’s name was Care. Yes, that was his name. It was spelled a little differently, but was pronounced just like the word “care.” Care was a Christian and an officer on an elite military team. (This was all true). I told Care I wanted to take it slow. He said that as a Christian man he too wanted to take it slow. So, we had lots of dinners together chatting and talking about what we wanted in a marriage partner and on and on. (By the way, he pursued me heavily, but I wanted to take it slow). So he and I were both moving to the West Coast and had plans to meet up in a California costal town. We both had job offers there. (I had not accepted my job offer because I had offers from several different geographical locations). So Care drove across the country during a snowy winter and I was supposed to follow by plane. He was supposed to call me each night from the hotel. Well, a terrible snowstorm hit the areas he was driving through and I got no phone calls for two weeks. During the time in between, I assumed he was dead by that time.

    But alas… he called me two weeks later from the beautiful coastal town to tell me NOT to come out. I asked why. Well, he didn’t want to tell me so I kept asking until he did.

    So here is what happened according to Care. As he was leaving from his East Coast city, he got a call from his best friend. He told me his best friend told him that best friend’s sister needed to ride to California and couldn’t afford a plane ticket. So at the last moment, best friend’s sister packed her things and drove from the East Coast to CA with him. And well, during the drive, Care said they realized they were soulmates and that they were engaged and presently living together. He said that it was best for me not to meet him in CA, considering he was now engaged to and living with his soulmate. Care was actually telling the truth. But he had no insight as to how it made me feel. There was no apology. It was more like a call to a business associate. Care was cold, factual and unfeeling when he told me about his new true love.

    From that day forward, his nickname became, “Care who didn’t give a shit.” He earned it.

    Did the story end there? No. He called me four months later when I was settled in another state and working. He said the soulmate thing didn’t work out… he discovered she was not his soul mate and they broke up and he was back to thinking I was his soul mate. He asked for another chance. Did I believe him? No. I called his bluff. I told him (in my own way) he was just looking for filler material until the next thing came along. He promised me that it was not how it looked and called me for a whole week begging for another chance. And then his next big thing came along in the form of a single mom.

    And Care truly did not give a shit about all the lies he told me about me being his soulmate when the next thing came around either. I asked him never to call again and thankfully he did not. I feel sorry for whoever married him because I don’t believe he grew up. He was NOT 19 years old when this was going on. He was closer to 30. (Thankfully I never even held hands with this guy, let alone allowed anything else).

    • “Care who didn’t give a shit!” LOL!

      I see you got to learn early on about the “recycling” things these disordered liar/cheaters do quite often. When the new shiny sparkle is no longer their true love anymore, they go back and recycle their exes.

    • Please. I dated an Ambivalent Andrew who had had two other soulmates before me, and it was always touch and go as to whether I was really soulmate material.

      Oh, I pick-me danced a treat. Until I didn’t any more.

  • Lady Killer Earl
    Out of commission. Poor sucker after years of wishing for a dream girl and believing he found his soulmate, became stagnated in a depressive state of imprisonment.

    Can’t go south and there’s nothing down south that works. Now when he tells his tale of woe with nothing to offer, decent women cringe. Such a pathetic state with no where to go.

  • PPS- There are MANY victims of actual spousal abuse. These are not Victor/Victoria’s. A Victor/Victoria is likely a cluster B who intentionally appropriates the experience of actual victims. They are often the one who victimizes domestic partners with emotional abuse. But they have found it to their benefit to appropriate the role of victim before their actual victim (usually their spouse) talks about what happens behind closed doors. These are heinous people who isolate their actual victims through gas-lighting, crazy making, and saying things to make the external world believe they are the victim when they are the perpatrator. When an actual abuser is able to convince the world that they are a victim, it’s one of the worst types of gas lighting that an actual victim can suffer. It also truly isolates the real victim in the scenario. The Victor/Victoria is an intentional emotional abuser who victimizes their spouse or intimate partner to control them. But Victor/Victoria is such an adept manipulator that they convince others- or try to convince others- that they are the victim when they are actually the abuser. Needed to clarify that. These folks are dangerous because they appear to be a sheep but they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And they do tremendous damage to their intimate partners or spouses.

    Now I will stop bothering everyone. Thanks for listening.

    • Amen to that Sarah! Mine had told his drinking cronies that I used to attack him when he got home from work. When one of those cronies repeated this to my hairdresser she introduced me to said crony and told me what the Twat was saying. To my credit I was just so shocked when I heard it I burst out laughing so the crony could only believe I was telling the truth. But yuuuuuucccckkkk, I don’t even know if the Twat had actually convinced himself of this!

      • Attie,
        Yep. I totally get it. You were with a Victor the Victim. I hope you are free of him. It only gets worse. But that is a good story about the hairdresser. Hairdressers know EVERYONE and everything so the honest ones can set the record straight when a bad spouse is lying about a Chump.

  • How about the Maestro of Mirroring Manipulation . . . that obscure band you love that no one else has ever heard of? OMG, they’ve seen them in concert! You’re a longtime volunteer with Habitat for Humanity? Why, they’ve been donating to them for years and can’t wait to join you on your next project! You’re an avid fan of European football? Arsenal is their favorite team! You were cheated on and emotionally abused by your ex? They were too! You want nothing more than honesty and loyalty in your next relationship? Say nothing more!

    I’m exaggerating a bit here because, unfortunately, my ex was much more subtle than these examples, but I’ve seen other friends get targeted by MMMs in their post-divorce dating lives, and they can be really tricky to spot because usually they’re among the most covert of narcissists. From everything I’ve seen, read, and experienced, though, I think the number-one red flag is someone who wants to move quickly on a relationship, and covert narcs love to use the whole, “we’re soul mates who are passionate about all of the same things and who share the same values, so why wait?” justification.

    • Yes!! My XH “fell in love with me” as I walked by…. and we had every single thing in common, loved the same music, books, outdoor enthusiasms! It was made in heaven!

      I was young (he was much older) and I fell for it. Of course, he is a classic Cluster B who made my life miserable for more than two decades.

      But, boy, did he look good doing it… thanks to me, my energy, interests, etc.

      Not that I have any interest in taking on some man, I’m much to HAPPY by myself, but I would run from anyone who liked me too much too fast, or mirrored me in any way. Just creepy.

  • Momma’s Boy Mike – He loves him mom more than anyone else in the world. She is his everything and you will never live up to her greatness. When she dies, he will divorce you to go live in his momma’s house. It happened to me – after being together 27 years! Run away fast!

  • Mine was Drama Doris, and this resonates so strongly – “You’re so sexy when you’re useful.”

    Happiness, kind words, decent behavior, etc. were all contingent upon my being useful to her in some way, and generally at the expense of and by making my needs smaller. These artifices of real humanity only appeared when she was getting some personal need met–flattery, sex, booze, and unwarranted adulation. Once the alcoholism turned me off, she needed to find someone else useful to “make her feel wanted” rather than to do the hard work of getting her shit together.

  • Mr. Perfect. He has heroic stories, he buys you expensive gifts, dinners, his clothes are amazing, the car, the house, he’s worldly and a jet setter. But, his ex wife is a psycho bitch who keeps him from having a relationship with his kids. Everything good is due to him, everything bad was because of his wife who didn’t want him to be happy. Actually mr perfect is perfect if you’re an escort or stripper. Make sure what he buys you can be resold! Because his divorce isn’t finalized and he hasn’t paid taxes in 3 years and he actually doesn’t have money and those fabulous stories are just fables and his kids are freaked out by what they discovered on their own and have been told by their shrink that he’s probably a sociopath.

  • facebook francesca – constantly on social media, what she ate, memes 10 times a day, selfies at every opportunity. You know why…

  • Mine was “The Nutty Professor”: Oh, you small, piteous creature of average intelligence, you! The Nutty Professor is forged of such such gossamer, rare, abnormally high intelligence that he just doesn’t understand such low, mundane constructs like morals, loyalty, promises, kindness, and empathy. He cannot be bothered with properly ending a relationship before he secures his next kibble source. You are just an appliance there to serve his genius! Isn’t that quirky and fascinating!

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