Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

UBT: “Neither of us are perfect”

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on pocket
Share on print
Share on email

Dear Chump Lady,

One for the UBT, please.  

This was brought on by a note I discovered this morning in which he asked a third party to tell the OW that “I miss her, and think of her constantly, but I am charged to do my best to make my marriage work.”  

I left his computer open, with that little note right there on the screen, and left my wedding ring on the keyboard.

For the record, I have been dancing for 2 years. Today, I got the separation papers, and am working on the division of property. I asked him to move out before I get home from work.  

This was his response to finding the computer open, and my ring:

Dearest,

I am so sorry to have pushed your boundaries again. This time I won’t argue that I crossed a line you made very clear by using a channel with OW that I said I would not. I could explain why I did it, which would be that same conversation I have longed to have where we find the answer to my frustrating questions about “self” and “privacy” and all that. I have waited a long time on that, for you to be ready to have the conversation it was obvious you really didn’t want to have. I don’t agree with your position, but I do recognize that you made your position clear. I stopped waiting and acted in my own interest with no regard for yours. I know you consider this a show-stopper.

To make it right, if that is possible, I would be enthusiastic about pursuing counseling to understand better how to agree on boundaries, self, selflessness, marriage, and privacy that have been navigated somehow properly – whatever that means – wherever it would take us. I long to go on this journey together with you. I would also pursue assessment regarding my sexuality in all those regards that have frustrated you so much. If there are answers, I want to learn them. If there are solutions, I want to find them.

We are both weary of waiting for each other to come around. I understand if you want to stop. I am willing to keep waiting and keep working. I don’t think what happened is worth ending our marriage over, but I am fairly certain that you do, and that this is what you will pursue now. I do understand that. I feel terrible for what has happened as a result of what I have done, and I hope you will forgive me. Neither of us are perfect, but you have shown me over the past couple years that you have been worth all the energy I have put into it so far, all the energy that I have pledged already, and all the effort yet to come.

I hope you will not end our marriage. If you do, I will understand. Next step is to talk through an orderly progression from here, regardless of which direction we go.

I love you,

Ivyleaguechump

Dear Ivyleaguechump,

Gosh, he just longs to find answers to the imponderables of his sexuality. He’s willing to learn! And go through orderly progressions! And pledge energy!

I love the language of commitment in service of fuckwits. It’s so mind bending.

UBT at your service!

Dearest,

Person to whom I am charged.

I am so sorry to have pushed your boundaries again.

You are not the boss of me. #sorrynotsorry

This time I won’t argue that I crossed a line you made very clear by using a channel with OW that I said I would not.

Busted. I am too weary to gaslight you. So let me lay down some faux remorse and see if you lap that shit up.

I could explain why I did it, which would be that same conversation I have longed to have where we find the answer to my frustrating questions about “self” and “privacy” and all that.

I long to have conversations with you, but I keep having them with OW instead.

I could explain why, but why be accountable? Let’s just pretend the answer is lost and we have to “find” it.

Oh look! I think I see it in OW’s lap!

I have waited a long time on that, for you to be ready to have the conversation it was obvious you really didn’t want to have.

I long to have conversations about myself and my privacy. I’m just waiting on your readiness. But you don’t want to hear about me! And the secret shit I get up to behind your back privacy! #youretherealproblem

I don’t agree with your position, but I do recognize that you made your position clear. I stopped waiting and acted in my own interest with no regard for yours. I know you consider this a show-stopper.

I don’t agree that I should stop doing this thing that hurts you. Your position is clear: Oww! My position is: Whatevs.

I act in my own interest with no regard for yours. When are you going to come around and embrace my entitlement? I’m waiting!

To make it right, if that is possible, I would be enthusiastic about pursuing counseling to understand better how to agree on boundaries, self, selflessness, marriage, and privacy that have been navigated somehow properly – whatever that means – wherever it would take us.

To make it right, please accept this run-on sentence.

It’s just some stream-of-consciousness bullshit I strung together with words I found in the self-help books you’ve left on my nightstand.

Fact is, I’d rather chew off my left arm than pursue counseling with you, but I’ll let you book the appointments. I might even sit there sullenly, or stare at carpet fibers if it means I get to keep my 401K and all my stuff.

I long to go on this journey together with you.

I long to discuss myself. An epic journey where we learn more about ME! I long for you to join me discussing me too! #togetherness

Actual real-life journeys to vacation destinations and favorite restaurants we used to enjoy, however, are reserved for the OW.

I would also pursue assessment regarding my sexuality in all those regards that have frustrated you so much.

Do I frustrate you?

If there are answers, I want to learn them. If there are solutions, I want to find them.

This is all such a mystery! Perhaps we should convene a panel to research why I’m such a fuckwit? #findthecure

We are both weary of waiting for each other to come around.

I am weary of your intolerance. And yet you persist in holding me to commitments I made to you, and keep making to you, to throw you off my trail. God, you’re exasperating.

I understand if you want to stop. I am willing to keep waiting and keep working. I don’t think what happened is worth ending our marriage over, but I am fairly certain that you do, and that this is what you will pursue now. I do understand that.

I am stalwart! And you are a QUITTER! Pursue your petty agenda. I don’t think your continued pain at my behavior is worth ending our marriage over. I am will to keep hurting you for as long as it takes!

I feel terrible for what has happened as a result of what I have done, and I hope you will forgive me.

I hope I can keep my stuff. I feel terrible losing control. Why not call off all these consequences? Or are you incapable of forgiveness?

Neither of us are perfect, but you have shown me over the past couple years that you have been worth all the energy I have put into it so far, all the energy that I have pledged already, and all the effort yet to come.

Neither of us is perfect. But one of us fucked his mistress. That was me. But for the sake of mindfuckery, let’s say these things are equivalent. You’re a giant pain in the ass, but you’re worth ALL THE ENERGY I have put in so far. Which is negligible. Like a single joule. In fact, if love were particle physics, I’d be dark matter. Theoretical and unseen.

I hope you will not end our marriage. If you do, I will understand. Next step is to talk through an orderly progression from here, regardless of which direction we go.

Tell me exactly what you intend to do so I can fuck you over first. Don’t leave me directionless. It really screws up my manipulation game.

I love you,

I love me.

***

Ivyleaguechump — I suggest you orderly progress your way toward that divorce. And don’t discuss it with him. Just do it. #showstopper

Mr. Nobility there can search for answers without you.

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on pocket
Share on print
Share on email

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • OMG.. this could have been written by my ex. He used the same calm tactic about how he was committed and I wasn’t. He was soooo sorry and understood my choice but prayed to God for our marriage…etc etc etc
    What caught me is this “I miss her, and think of her constantly, but I am charged to do my best to make my marriage work.” He is commited to his marriage but please don’t forget me, I plan on coming back to her!!

    • Yup. IvyLeagueChump, I left when my husband sat down to write his farewell note to Overseas Whore via email. He asked that I help him write it. I made a few suggestions–really, really gracious ones. “You are a wonderful woman, but I love my wife and am committed to her. Please don’t contact me again.” You know, all that garbage.

      He didn’t think I’d want to read the “Sent” copy…because at the bottom was a special little code from him to her.

      At that point, I knew it was over. I have been happily away from him for almost 2 years now. Pursuing Meh, and really, really enjoying dating again.

    • ….and Ivy, he MIGHT have even plagiarized Prince Charles….

      Love?

      “Whatever that means”

      I gave my icky cootie-tarnished meaningless wedding ring back to the cheater too.

      Launch him. Meet me at Cape Canaveral at o-dark-thirty. I’ll bring the lawn chairs and the eclipse goggles.

      (((((((big big big hugs))))))))))

    • Notice how the stuff he really cares about is written in active voice (“I miss her and think of her”) while the stuff that’s been forced upon him (“I have been charged”) is passive? You can often sort the sincere from the insincere just by looking at the verbs.

      • So very true. My ex has a PhD in writing apology emails. I used to be a total sucker every time I read one. Then I started paying attention and picking up the key words. For example, even though he was the cheater and I dumped him, he would say “I’d like to keep you in my life”. Yes, “keep”. He had to be in control. And he must be the one permitting me to move on with my life too by saying “you’re free now”. How gracious of him isn’t it. If anything, he had made me a stronger, wiser woman and I love myself more now than ever!

        • Mine hates not being in control. Hates it, hates it, hates it. He can’t work for other people, HE has to be able to call his own shots at all times, because having to be, you know, accountable just isn’t his jam. Plus, he can’t simply vanish for hours if he has a boss. God forbid.

          Keep the snark coming. It helps. A LOT. You should have heard my co-workers shrieking with laughter over this UBT! They know the cheater, which made it all the more funny. #laughterISthebestmedicine

          • Ivy, what stands out the most in this special, special letter is the CONDESCENSION!!! He is just so GOOD to forgive your gaping imperfections, and he even understands why little you might not be able to forgive his tiny tiny flaws.

            And he wants his PRIVACY, after all he’s done? Oh yes, bro, you are going to get SO MUCH PRIVACY. IvyLeague will never, ever again know what you’re doing, and neither will she care!

            HURL!

            • This was hard for me to read as it jerked me from my “almost at meh” life back to the insanity inducing drivel that my ex wasband THE DOCTOR would write on the rare occasions he bothered to write at all.

              I once texted him a polite but upset message about his missing our daughter’s homecoming. I did not call him a name or ever curse at him.

              He texted back (and I quote ) “I AM WEARY OF YOUR ABUSE.”

              It’s moments like that in which I want to go back in time and splash cold water in my face and yell at myself to

              “GET THE F— OUT NOW! STOP WASTING YOUR PRECIOUS LIFE ON AN UNGRATEFUL NARCISSIST WHO CAN BE VERY CRUEL – AND WILL NEVER – EVER ‘SEE THE LIGHT’.”

              We were married 35 years and he married OW weeks after our divorce was final, having moved in with her within weeks of our separating WHILE also claiming they just met.

              To be frank, if he really had met her just after we separated and moved in 10 weeks later, he’d be a bigger idiot.

              Sigh…I have to get back on the horse and ride on to MEH b/c it’s still not here.

              Serenity prayer time (AGAIN)

  • Pontificating blow hard. And what’s that shit regarding his sexuality? Just how dog eared is his dictionary, or his thesaurus? If he can’t explain it no one can.

    • He has Delayed Ejaculation, probably related to his porn/masturbation habits. He has gotten to the point where he has to have a dildo shoved up his ass AND a vibrator going in order to have an orgasm. He believes having sex every day for an hour is normal. #not

        • Tempest…Im with you on that. eeek

          ILC… you are my hero drawing your line in the sand and sticking to it. He has no remorse and you rock.

      • Fuck a DUCK. my ex had erectile dysfunction, since I met him. I have nerve damage from repeated intercourse with a flaccid penis. I’m only glad for two times – when I conceived those children. I didn’t even care – I loved him and that didn’t factor in. But then the porn… It really fucks with sexual function. I didn’t know.

        • My first argument with him was over porn when we’d probably been married about or less than a year. Rot set in when we had 3 young kids, I was menopausal and we had big debt worries and I found him using porn. He then had ED and sex was problematic. After D Day he used to make me leave the bedroom so he could use porn as he ‘needed some release’. When we tried to reconcile I asked him to give up porn and to dance with me. We never danced (ever in 23 years) and during reconciliation he just wanted hugs and strokes, he moved out of our bedroom after 4 months. He said porn came in and out if his life, but I doubt he ever really appreciated the impact it had on either of us. Mentally and physically porn must retrain you to the point that sex with a real life person is very difficult?
          He said that sex with me was more lust than love – I do believe that a good dose of lust in a marriage is pretty vital tho!! Would love to hear Chump comments.

      • Ohhhhhhhh! That explains my ex. According to him, the problem with our sex life was me being too vanilla. Good luck with that, asshole.

  • “To make it right, please accept this run-on sentence.”

    “I long to discuss myself. An epic journey where we learn more about ME!”

    “Perhaps we should convene a panel to research why I’m such a fuckwit? #findthecure”

    “I don’t think your continued pain at my behavior is worth ending our marriage over. I am will to keep hurting you for as long as it takes!”

    No “I’ve been there” commentary by me today. Just rolling in the luxurious, euphoric snark that is the UBT. You’re outdone yourself today, Tracy.

  • I love ‘charged’ with making the marriage work. How noble. I found letters to the OW saying he had to at least give me a chance. He also included things we were discussing in counseling.

    • Yeah, he is a deployed soldier in the far-off war of marriage. The OW shall stand and wait until her brave lover returns to her.

      Translation- time to do the pick-me dance, bitch. Our love is too strong and all that good BS.

        • “Charged with making the marriage work…um, charged with 1) taking the hill without ammunition is NOT quite the same.

          You know he really SHOULD be charged -as in charged with what ought to be a crime, = “felonious cheating by Narc’s with writer’s diarrhea”.

          Sentence to life in the prison of being him

    • Right?

      The Sad Sausage is charged with performing service in his marriage. This is the current goal. He’s a snappy, clever, numbers guy. He failed to perform his duty but after serving his punishment, he’s back on track now! He’s been told to not speak or write or meet the OW but no one has told him that he can’t send messages indirectly, via 3rd or 5th or 12th parties… he’s totally within the parameters of performing his duty.

      Behold- Wife is obviously a Control FREAK! SHE’S the one who’s made the rules and even though his by-the-book self is *technically* following the rules, she’s STILL not happy.

      WTAF? Does he think he’ll get Husband unemployment if he makes her fire him, rather than quitting? Housing credits with the OW for Wife having kicked him out, rather than him leaving?

      ‘Cause he’s.no.quitter!

        • OMG, YES!! insistonhonesty, you are dead on. “How will I know what the boundaries are unless I test them?” “You didn’t say I couldn’t have professional contact with her!” And the latest has moved into accusation, “You are trying to destroy my career!” Because, apparently she is the ONLY person he can work with. What a pile of crap.

          • My Cheater claimed he took a call from OW because she had a question about her computer. Of course she did and had to call you since she lives in a city where no one knows how to use a computer…Seattle.

            I keep meaning to send her a note that the spot to be buried next to him is free and since I dont want it, its all hers.

  • Sounds like he’s writing with the knowledge that it may be submitted in court. It’s so tidy and “nice” and without any facts at all.

    He’s given you a great big letter of nonsense. With the assistance of a Turn Small Words into Big Words app.

    Faux-Intellectual Cheater doesn’t get to talk through any mindfucking, “orderly progressions” anymore. He can pay his lawyer to talk to your lawyer.

    Be high, be dry, be MIGHTY!

      • That’s what I thought too! I got dozens of similar hints about his “issues” and verbal vomit about him “finding himself” but he was “addicted” to the whore while he wanted me to be polyamory after 28 yrs of monogamy or him hiding his bisexuality or SOMETHING he’s deceptive about but kept dangling the carrot all to make me stop the divorce. Not because he wanted to get mental health help but to avoid the financial/legal consequences. No contact is the only way to stay free of this toxic vomit.

        • Mine was so evolved, not only was monogamy impossible for him, he displayed utter disgust in the fact that I refused to “be happy” for him and his Twu Wuv. Gosh, I’m so un-enlightened! How did he ever stand me?

          Freaks. All of ’em.

        • So much yes. I was “morally rigid” and there were all these new ways of being “monogamish”and I needed to let him explore this or that new relationship but always be there when he wanted to return. When I researched that BS, I realized he had really lost his mind. Go for it, but never with me. EVER. All just smoke and mirrors for justifying the penetration of random holes. NOPE.

      • Oh, you have NO idea. He sent me Esther Perel links today. #vomityourwaytoweightloss
        I sent him what the CL had to say about that “enlightened” bitch. I hope they name a new STD after her.

        • At the beginning of the pick-me dance I read both of her books — now thankfully I’m far far wiser thanks to CL & CN — I’m so tempted to go to one of her live brainwashing sessions err I mean events — one coming up in Germany at the end of March about affairs I see hmmm

          Thanks so much @IvyLeagueChump for sharing that letter from STBxH — truly priceless — it brought a smile and guffaws before I even got to the UBT bit — is he a politician?

          …and to add my 2 cents to Monogamy, then STBxW said she was monogamous….with OM……which was why she moved out of the bedroom…..yeah

          • Can anyone explain why these cheaters all of a sudden think they are a higher life form? My STBX was always a bit arrogant but now he feels he is an enlightened New World Man who is so far above me and our “cookie cutter marriage”. When I said that he did not just betray and lie to me but also to his children his response was big deal I’ve been lying to them since they were two (they are late teens now). He is now all about the flavored lube, the viagra, his married colleague, and his pot. The dude just turned 53 and is acting 15. He is genuinely surprised that people are not happy with him. When I am in a generous mood I really do think he has a brain eating amoeba but then I snap out of it and remember that he is really is human trash. I am living with him while our separation agreement is written and our house is sold — it is a hellish situation but he refused to leave. I feel like I am grace under fire for my kids. I love my kids more than I despise my husband but I am so looking forward to getting the hell out of here.

  • Toss him a GPS, and a self-addressed, stamped post card to send to himself when he “finds himself.”

  • Standing ovation for UBT (and CL) today. Applauding so hard my hands hurt.

    Besides that my ex the Delusionist could have written this – why does the “perfect” thing ALWAYS come up?!?

    As in:
    sorry I’m not perfect, I’m just a poor sad sausage good guy trying to do his best in difficult circumstances. We all make mistakes.
    #theshowmustgoon

    • “I’m a poor sad sausage who is a good guy. What’s a few girlfriends over the years when I have a wife appliance like you doing the heavy lifting? We separated- poor me and having to go it alone with little consequences. ( I don’t want to talk divorce. Just avoid talking about paying the unpaid mortgage to the I laws. It’s easier that way for me. ) Poor me – keeping up the pretense that my wife left me.”

      • Seriously, I think his biggest panic was when he realized that, if I left him, he would be responsible for paying our bills.#adultingishard

        • Bet you are dead n there – my ex is in bankruptcy court this week because he couldn’t manage to keep up with paying his own bills for one damn year.

    • So true that they always drag out, “I know I’m not perfect, but . . .”

      I also got a whole lot of, “I’m just a flawed guy, but . . .”

      Those were generally followed with a list of his great qualities, and questions about when I intended to “admit” my “role in the demise of the marriage,” which seems to be another of their favorite go-to phrases.

      • Cashmere—I swear I always think that we were married to the same person. I heard the same infuriating and threatening lines about when I intended to “admit” my “role in the demise of the marriage,” which was usually followed by his raging about ridiculous accusations I was hearing for the first time in 24 years (e.g. that I never “accepted” him!) I’d try to respond with logical defenses such as: “I married you, and stayed with you even after DDay 1– that is the penultimate form of “acceptance”— isn’t it? But he’s just move the goal post and try another stab at destroying me mentally.
        It is obvious now that those “conversations” were all manipulation tactics by a master narcissistic abuser and designed to keep me off balance and sickly hooked so I didn’t get away and impose consequences (Divorce and splitting assets, custody schedule, etc.).

        This is exactly why no contact is essential to heal and move forward.

        • I fully agree. And I am the third person married to the same.
          I remember all the bad things I apparently did that I only heard about after DDay. This included that I did not love him, because I did not run to the door when he came home, I did not drop everything to greet him, that I apparently showed him no affection, because me spooning and hugging him every night apparently does not count.

          • We spooned every night too. I was the smaller one so I was usually the one on the inside because we fit better that way. He managed to spin that around as I didn’t love him because he was the one hugging me not the other way around. Never mind that I actively cuddling into his embrace rather than pushing him away. I also tried to kiss him goodbye every morning before I went to work except when he refused me when bundled up to bike to work in subzero weather because “you don’t look like a woman dressed like that”, but I was the one who must not have loved him because I didn’t show him enough affection.

            • I was guilty of ‘making him move house’ and forcing him to have another kid… We talked about both for months…. Lied at the time to shut me up and agree to playing ‘the game’ called real life…. Whilst he was off playing his games. I thought it was love not a contest.

      • Yes, along with the “I made one mistake” referring to the fact that they apparently forgot to tell us how unhappy they were with us before starting the affair or in my case forgot to inform me that they broke up with me years before the affair started… and what they did was not that bad compared to what I did that drove him to the cheating. The cheating is just a symptom and the real root cause is as usual the chump.

        Yes, my STBX is completely convinced that the above makes sense.

        • Yes-I got this-our relationship ended years ago. Funny how I never knew that or that we were getting a divorce according to tramp ow. Yep they suck-just heard from my accountant that fuckwit needs to file 2017 taxes(yr we divorced -I filed single; must have gotten a letter from IRS) and needs information from me. Hmmm. Being an adult and taking care of business isn’t as easy as we chumps make it look. I’m pretty busy these days living my fabulous life, May get to it sometime soon-you know like he did with the divorce. Hugs!

        • The only thing my ex ever apologized for was not asking for marriage counseling sooner. In other words “I’m sorry I didn’t try to fix you first before going shopping for your replacement”.

          • Whoah, Chump! My story too!

            ALL I have heard come out of his mouth is

            “I didn’t speak up….”

            (About what was wrong with YOU)

            Hey, dude, let ME write your 4th step. You missed a few things.

            • Popular variation: “I didn’t feel like I could speak to you” (despite me asking several times to do so!)

              To which I started to reply: “Fine, and how does you going out with other women FIX the fact that I’m (insert whatever you accuse me of)?” Drove him up the wall real nice.

          • At least your cheater admitted that marriage counseling has a place. Mine flat out stated that marriage counseling is brainwashing and he is afraid he will stay unhappy without actually knowing that he is because of the brainwashing… He literally said what I just wrote. I am not kidding.

            • The Twat suggested marriage counselling and his “bestest friend in all the world” suggested a name. We went and all of a sudden it was rubbish because “she is obviously siding with you because you’re a woman”. No face-ache, she just asked you to stop yelling.

              • Ugh “bestest friend” just triggered me. What is it with the EA stating this. My OW wrote this on a public card from the entire team. So everyone could read what she wrote, she wrote before we moved overseas for two years: “You will be horribly missed and I cannot wait to see you again in a few years. You are not only a great leader, but also my best friend.” He was her boss. How inappropriate just even if there was no sex, I mean, shouldn’t everyone in the office be alarmed if a pretty subordinate calls her boss best friend? Oh.. and he basically spend half of his time with her in the US not needing to worry about me finding out sitting back in Europe. We also kept our house in the US with all furniture. What a great opportunity for his sex life.

            • He didn’t do it earlier because he felt the same way. He only suggested it after he started cheating because Schmoopie suggested it (possibly when they were still in the EA stage and she was waffling as to whether or not she wanted to be his homewrecker). I was thrilled when he suggested it (before DDay) because I had been afraid too but I thought it would be an opportunity to fix things. It was too late by then. He just wanted it to look like he tried before bailing on his marriage of 20+ years.

              Meanwhile, when he actually took her up on her suggestion she did her best to scuttle it. She’d be damned it she was actually going to let him follow though on it.

              • Oops. Afraid to not afraid too. I had to correct that one because it completely changes the meaning of what I was trying to say.

            • Mine Refused Counseling and told me they would tell him he was wrong! So that never happened. I filed for divorce 30 days later. He left to clear his head- be with her! When I found out he says to me if a man wants a open marriage his wife should allow it.

              • Therapy. For our entire relationship. 27 years. At my request because I wanted to avoid re-creating the train-wreck marriages/super dysfunctional crazy families we had both grown up in.

                He cheated anyway, probably the whole time. I have to try to avoid thinking about the colossal waste of
                money and time on just that fact alone.

                And the affair I discovered with
                the Craigslist alcoholic who doesn’t even speak his language? That is going to cost us 40K a month for the next five years. Why? Because of instead having his head in the game during contract negotiations at our business, his head was SOMEWHERE ELSE and not reading the fine print. We are now on the hook for the equipment we designed and built for a project, which the client cancelled, and according to the very clearly written contract they don’t have to reimburse us. He wasn’t even there the day it was being installed. I was at the business that day wondering where he was (her house).

                And of course, now the client is the villain who is ripping us off. No, I will not listen to that EVER. It was HIM NOT PAYING ATTENTION.
                I will NEVER let him forget that if he dares to shift blame in my presence.

                Not to mention that even if he had a bank balance like Jeff Bezos, he could NEVER be able to make restitution for the emotional damage he did to me, our daughter, our friends, our descendants…..

            • My Ex suggested, in between Affair # 1 and #2, after some nasty fighting, that I go ALONE to see our marriage counsellor, to figure out how we could be better at resolving conflicts between us.

              I remember just looking at him, thinking first ‘Did he just say what I thought he said?’, then ‘I wonder if he realizes how stupid that sounds.”

          • He never, ever considered the remote possibility that the problem just could be HIM. God forbid. Nope. Always me.

      • UBT is on fire today! Mind-blowingly awesome.
        False equivalencies abound! These are a type of logical fallacy used most often by politicians, criminals, and cheaters. ‘Neither of us is perfect’ is a logically flawed argument intended to ‘make our positions equal’. It’s also total horseshit when espoused by a cheater.

      • Mine would never admit to being imperfect. That was me, hence the cheating. it was just “years” of dissatisfaction with his marriage that lead him to cheat. No issues on his end.

      • Sure as shit I’d hear how he was a simple guy, had no problems with anyone else. The show stopper want the cheating; it was divorcing him.

        In the court hallway as I waited for the final copy, he approached with the saddest of sad sausage expressions stating he thought about me all the time.

        I’ll bet he does. Nanthony….#lovewhereidropoedhimoff

    • I am so sick of the “I’m not perfect,” “neither of us is perfect” nonsense.

      It is a passive-aggressive way to try to elicit a shared accountability for the cheater’s actions. Perfection is not the standard. Honesty, Integrity, Decency, Faithfulness is the standard – that they cannot meet because – liars and cheaters.

      • At first I was chewing on it…. after some time I had a simple answer “ you made a choice to fuck up our marriage from the very beginning, you are 100% responsible for your actions and damage you caused to all of us. I take no responsibility for any of that. It’s all on you”

        Repeat
        Repeat
        Repeat

        They know we are good people with values morals and self doubt. Show them 0.1% of understanding and you are fucked up with the whole 50/50 version of event.

        🤮

        • Wow! You hit that on the head. That sums it up… my ex said this to our 4 kids who live in the world of “It takes two to make a marriage and two to break a marriage.” thinking. It’s the RIC-like pervasive sentiment. Share the blame! Help wandering Willy or Winifred.

          My answer to all of that was to pursue my exit with passion and divorce him with a business like attitude…nothing to be emotional about. The cheating destroyed and ended the marriage. The divorce is the legal untying of that commitment for my freedom and step one to gain a life. It’s never so black in white in the heart at first. But I redirected my mind there because of this nation giving voice to the truth in my head!!!
          Thanks CL ans UBT. Your clarity and wit is no match to her bloviating soon to be ex!!! 👍 well done!

        • “Biggest myth/cliché that I hear over and over again on those sites and books ; It takes two to ruin a marriage. You are 50% responsible for the marital problems.
          Sounds good, right?
          Do any of the folks spouting this stuff do any analysis at all?
          Of course, one person can ruin a marriage. And, a cheater , by definition, is someone with little to no integrity, poor communication skills, poor problem solving skills and lacking in empathy.
          Does anyone actually think that a person possessing those qualities was only half responsible for the pre-affair problems? How likely is that?”

          Can’t remember where I got the above quote, but I copied it down and read it often.

          • Thanks, VH. I really need that, right now. Thank you. I am going to copy that quote, write it out in calligraphy, and tape it to my bathroom mirror. This is Not. My. Fault.

          • Thanks Velevet Hammer. I sent your quote to my childhood friend- a new chump after 29 years of marriage. The ‘ol unspoken grievances.

            Let’s dissect this shall we- cheaters divert the blame and even change the entire focus to look at the timeline leading up the “the” (sure- just one- is that’s what you have evidence on? Then yes- it’s just one) affair.

            I would even be ok spending time looking at that timeframe if there was a way to view Cheater vs. chump in a split screen with actions in clear view and thoughts printed in a thought cloud bubble above.

            In my case I have zero moments in thoughts or actions that would have made me cringe or fear being seen in such a movie. No I’m not perfect- but I was perfectly committed in actions and thoughts, and worked in the best interest of him and our kids- consistently. Probably true for most chumps.

            Can’t say the say for cheaters. I bet those thought bubbles all started with “I”. “I…. deserve more, want what I want, am entitled to, am superior…
            You get the point here. If there is a pause…it’s not long enough or deep enough and lacks any empathy or sense of responsibility or integrity.

            Then they do it over and over with ease and more justification.

          • It was from Arnold.

            I am so grateful to Arnold for pointing this out.

            Its true. Our marriage problems stemmed mainly from his selfishness, his ‘you’re not the boss of me’, his silence, his refusal to engage, his silent treatment (which once started at Heathrow, lasted an entire flight to Sydney and continued for the week of our supposed dream holiday), his escalating everything into a power struggle he just had to win because listening to me or meeting me half way would destroy him.

            Then I was a patsy who went along with it all, tried harder to find the right way to say things, and handed over my power to him. And whined and nagged and moaned. That I am responsible for.

      • I got the opposite.. .. he would throw it in my face how he was not perfect like me… or not everyone had the perfect childhood (or perfect parents) like you mrsvain.. .. .. or he would hateful yell me that I think I was perfect and my shit dont stink.. ..or how I think I was better then everyone else . ( everyone else being his methed up druggie alcoholic in/out of jail friends asking for hand outside because they would rather party all night and sleep all day then get a job) .. . Or he would literally cry hiw he is just a loser that fucks everything good up. And I would rush to prove HIM wrong.. ..

        It was still passive aggressive thou and had me following all over myself to prove him different. Just like he would always tell me that I did not love him and I would fall over myself trying to prove to him I did love him. No mention on if HE loved me. Geesh how stupid i was. He didnt have to do anything.

        Never again. I have peace now. He us still miserable and a loser

        • These lines must be in their handbook, I was told I never loved him so being a Chump I did everything I could think of to prove how much I loved him. I would avoid any type of confrontation or letting my feelings known to avoid an argument. Afraid he’d sulk or think I didn’t love him.
          Ex would accuse me of being spoiled which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m sure saying I was spoiled was a ploy knowing how I’d react proving I wasn’t spoiled, and less likely to confront him. My pattern was always to work harder to prove that I loved him.
          In my distorted thinking I thought if I continued to be nice despite his shitty behavior he’d grow to appreciate me. He graduated to the next level, adding that he had a list of resentments towards me things that I had never heard of before dating back to 1990.
          I don’t think they’re capable of being genuinely happy or content.

          • The resentment list! I didn’t even get to hear what was on it. There’s just this
            mysterious very long list.

            Which, I told him he had been able to talk about.

            Once a week.

            In therapy.

            For 27 years.

            And didn’t.

            I haven’t heard about The Resentment List since.

            Their logic is laughable. I am imperfect; you are imperfect; ergo, my cheating is justified.

            Too bad we can’t jail people for it like all the other perpetrators who commit crimes that do major damage to others. The damage this does is invisible and not as tangible so we all dismiss it and make romantic comedies about it.

      • In my case, he’s adamant about putting on the same level his lying,cheating, deceiving, gaslighting and secret inclinations for God knows what at this point, with everytime I have something unpleasant happen to me (being sick, losing my car keys, etc.) because I “introduce grievances in his life he wouldn’t have without me”.

        The smartes thing he’s said so far in this mess is coming to the conclusion he should be alone. Too bad he says that triumphantly, as if simply no one is good enough for him. The man who desperately wanted me to live with him because he didn’t want to be alone.

    • I think the “I’m not perfect” is simply a way to manipulate us. It creates a sense of guilt in us that we are being too condemning. That our standards made it impossible for them to live up to. Plain and simple it is to get us to look at ourselves and how we may have wronged them instead of the wrong they have done.

      • Yep. I know I think about how I could have been a better husband and judge myself harshly at times. I avoided confrontation, I didn’t try hard enough to have the uncomfortable conversations about trust, intimacy, and values that I should have, I think because deep down I was afraid that I would find out that my wife wasn’t as committed to the marriage as I was. That is on me. But…then I remind myself that I did try at times. XW dodged, evaded or flat-out refused to engage. Yes, I should have done better, but my weak effort was met with nothing from her. So while some blame attaches to me, more attaches to her.

        And this is all independent of the question of adultery. I am still thankful that I didn’t have that moral stain weighing on me while I was going through the hell of separation and divorce. I don’t think at affected her much, but I’m not sure I would have been able to handle it.

        • Georgian

          Let me tell you this:

          I had countless discussions with my h before marriage and during the marriage- deep, long discussions about fidelity, honesty, safety, trust and sex.
          That was the reason why I even considered marrying him….

          It was all BS on his side…. word salad and mimicking what I was saying, pretending to believe in virtue and nobility, while living double life the whole time….

          At some point, after dday he admitted- it was an abuse, he didn’t have names for his actions ( gaslighting etc) but he was doing it regardless.
          Why? He said that he felt entitled, powerful,smart and witty…. easily compartmentized his life in two sections – and was livid when I started poking and asking….

          No number of talks could have prevented your cheater.

          • Yup. Except after D-Day, I was told “Well, I meant what I said *then* but my feeling have changed.” I told him that honesty, integrity, commitment, trust, etc. were NOT feelings, they were values and the core of one’s character. So either his values changed or he never had any.

          • This^^^
            I had discussions, too. But they never went anywhere. Either he flipped it on me to make me feel bad about something or he agreed without meaning it. What was the truth and what was BS is so intertwined that nothing is real anymore. Once you accept that, it makes it a whole lot easier to stop trying to figure it out and let it go.

  • When faithful spouses get stuck on the “Why do they do these things?” question, CL usually answers “Because they CAN.” And to be honest, I personally get frustrated with that explanation because it just isn’t enough to switch off that part of my brain which is determined to ruminate and untangle his skein. However, the explanation of “I act in my own interest with no regard for yours” does feel satisfying enough that I can catch my breath for a moment of clarity from all my intrusive thoughts and just trust that he sucks. Thank you for that.

    • I would qualify that with “ I just want to get my dick wet with strange. You just want to talk about paying bills and family stuff and doing things together as a family. Geez!” Hugs

      • Yes this. Mine told me that this old people stuff was boring. That I was a bean counter and only was happy when I was counting the money to pay the bills.

        I am livid at him for this. We filed bankruptcy a few years after he lost his job and was on unemployment for 18 months. I attended Dave Ramsey financial peace university BY MYSELF although it is for married couples to learn together how to budget their money. I made a budget and got us out of the financial hole. Now that he’s making a lot of money it’s all of a sudden I’m bad and boring and counting pennies to make sure we have enough to pay bills is super boring. I hate him so. Mister buying expensive lingerie for Schmoopie. And I’ll take the clearance bra thank you very much

    • I bet completely stuck in the why and could probably provide a psychoanalysis of why…but then it turns out they have been texting for years and he introduced him to his friends as she’s an addict and so is the friends wife.

      Screw that. This is a whole world beyon a mid life crisis.this is long term sneaky behaviour.

      I’m glad I know. My last hopeful energy has been converted to dark matter. The future seems scary alone, but it has to be better than with a complete liar who still feels he was only trying to help a friend. Ha. Good luck with that.

    • Hopeful, I’m with you there. “Because they CAN” makes it seem callous and premeditated, sociopathic. “I act in my own interest with no regard for yours” is less sociopathic, more narcissistic. And toward the “nicest” least-disordered end of the spectrum you get something like, “My best interests were more important to me than your best interests, and here’s why. Deal with it.”

      • In my case, he never even thought about MY interests or feelings.. .. I was never on his mind until he came home and had to see my years running down my face.

        I also spent years trying to understand WHY he did and HOW he could.. .. the answer that makes sense for me is “Because he wanted to” nothing else mattered to him. Not my feelings, not my pain, not my worry, not my love for him, not the kids, or the job, or the house. His only reason is because he wanted to do it. Whatever “it” entails.. .. drinking, spending money, buying useless things, staying out all night, quitin job after job, using drugs, having sex with chicks he runs into and who hit on him, stealing my guns.. .. whatever he wants. He is like a toddler. No impulse control, no forward thinking, no conscience, no guilt, just on to the next want..

    • Whenever I start to try to untangle the skein I’m reminded of that old story:

      The Scorpion and the Frog
      A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies that it was in its nature to do so.

      …The fact that his cheating and abuse hurt BOTH of us didn’t matter to him. It is just “in his nature.” I repeat that phrase to myself whenever I start to ask myself all the why questions. It just IS.

        • Ivy league, I am very sorry. You say you danced for 2 years and then find the email where he says his missed the ow terribly. Aside from the fact he was having someone else contact her so in his mind he wasn’t lying to you. I am sure it was like a knife going through your heart. The one thing is it was finally the last straw for you to see you had nothing to work with and you were ready to make the step to end it. I guarantee he would continue with her but tried to be smarter and not get caught. Many many times this is not about really wanting to work it out. Usually it is financial. They are either trying to bide time to move assets and hide money or they will stick it out because they don’t want the financial fallout. I know two people who have done this. I urge you to get a good attorney and do not tell him anything and make sure he cannot access your email, mail or whatever. Gather all account information, retirement or anything because hiding money is the oldest trick in the book. He said out of his own mouth he misses her and thinks about her all the time. That means there is not much for you. I bet the farm a lawyer or financial advisor told him to stick it out. The letter is to show the court he tried. Please get your financial affairs in order. The mr. Nice routine will go out the window when he finds out. You get what you are entitled too.

      • Want to know the definition of irony? Cheater told that fable to the marriage counselor we were seeing under the false pretense of him not having an affair and me being the sole cause of everything wrong. He had the gall to muster up the most pitiful sad eyes as he whined about how I was the scorpion and he was afraid he’d never be able to trust me not to hurt him since it was just in my nature to be cruel and manipulative.

        So believe me when I say that, although it was intended to help from a different angle, your reply definitely solidified my knowledge that he SUCKS!!!

  • Omg… I was thinking about this very thing yesterday. My stbx does image management constantly and tells people in our community that”we” were having problems and that he hasn’t been perfect “either”. By not being perfect he actually means 20 years worth of affairs, pornography, online masturbation via Skype, and prostitutes too numerous to count. Added bonus are the STDs and pathological lying that goes with his narcissism. I’m not sure where the “either” comes in. Perhaps his definition me not being perfect is changing diapers, raising kids, working two jobs, and keeping up the house while he was screwing hookers. If that’s the case then I wasn’t perfect. Apparently I could have done more! Less than a year’s worth of RIC and Mr. Not Perfect figured out I was no longer a kibble source, so he took up with hoochie-mama in the middle of our “reconciliation therapy”. These disordered asshats never change. I hate it took me so long to figure it out. Hopefully everyone reading these posts will heed Chump Nation advice and get away from their cheaters quickly.

    • My ex, when asked why I traveled to Italy alone replied” we’re having problems, we’ll be seeing someone when she gets back”. Image management. By this time, he had already filed for a divorce! He just could not admit what he had done.

      • Don’t you just hate that? A coworker told me that Mr. Not Perfect attempted to make small conversation and asked the co-worker what his weekend plans were. The co-worker explained that he and his wife were having a romantic getaway. Mr. Not Perfect then told co-worker with a straight face “That sounds wonderful! Ophelia and I need to do more of that!” Nevermind the fact that the asshat had already moved in with hoochie mama and we were in the middle of divorce proceedings with lawyers. Image management! They can do no wrong.

      • We used to spend a month every summer with XW’s family in central Italy. Everyone knew everyone else at the beach, and it was universally acknowledged that when the spouses stopped vacationing together (known as “vacanze separate”) that was the de facto end of the marriage .

        My SIL went to the beach without her husband one year (when she’d found out about his ethically dubious activities – mostly mob-related – that’s a whole ‘nother story) and other husbands that she’d known for years started propositioning her within days. In retrospect it’s not so surprising that my wife would learn that adultery is a viable marital strategy, but I was confused by the fact that she was such a committed Catholic. I choose to think of this as charming naivete on my part.

        • Involuntary, those devout religious cheaters are the most nauseating breed. My STBxH found Jesus while atoning for his sexual sins at SAA meetings. He and the affair partner go to church regularly. It truly is mind-blowing how they justify this shit while proclaiming to be right with God. Vomit.

        • I would submit that she is NOT a devout Catholic. She is faking that relationship, just like she faked every other relationship. It is all image management without one iota of sincerity. That my friend is blasphemy and she can’t come back from that. If she sincerely believed she would be afraid to blaspheme in such a manner.

    • Ophelia….

      It’s the same story with them….
      Mine was doing same as yours and claimed that I’m the cause of all problems… why you ask?

      Well… while getting my two degrees full time and taking care of the house and 3 kids ( especially when he was on his business trips week/ two at a time) I wasn’t cleaning the laundry enough…. when I started dancing like a mad person and keeping an ongoing laundry in check… the goal moved to “ not exercising enough”, or not spending enough time with kids, or….. fill the blank.

      I’m not a hoarder, most of the food we ate was made from scratch ( I liked to cook) and kids were taken care of, House was relatively clean ( as it can be with kids)

      I think my flaws were comparable with dating, dining, fucking, chatting, with countless of women or paying for sex with hookers.

      Right.

  • I got the snarky rage “you think you are perfect” thing. Not an intellectual discussion at all, just a rage filled hate-fest. With lots of sing-song voices about me being an aaaannnnggggeellll. Lots of “when are you going to recognize your role in all this?”

    Just a different channel. If Ivy turns the screws and follows through this asshole will get to that rage easy enough. Of course, he will tell the OW that he has Chosen Her and simply cannot deny their love, there will be no mention that Ivy tossed his ass out.

    • Yes. This is exactly what I received as well. And when I asked him why he did not discuss all his unhappiness and my role in this with me before starting an affair that lasted to my knowledge 4 years: “I made one mistake, ok?”

  • “I don’t agree with your position, but I do recognize that you made your position clear. I stopped waiting and acted in my own interest with no regard for yours.”

    There’s the truth of the matter – the rest is just BS. It’s right from Dr. George Simon’s work on the disordered: “It’s not that they don’t see, it’s that they don’t agree.”

    This sentence sums up my entire facade of a marriage– and yours too, IvyLeagueChump, from the sound of it. Stay strong and leave. #thetruthhurts #theresyourclosure

    • This! Absolutely the crux of the matter in my marriage, too. I spent over a decade thinking, we just communicate so differently. If I could just find the right words or right analogy or perfect illustration, he’ll understand and stop hurting me.

      No. He understood perfectly all along. He just didn’t agree. My understanding of this truth is what set me free.

      You’re a class act, ILC. I’m so glad he will be out of your home by the end of business. Push through to freedom. You’re mighty!

      • Yes, my STBX also did not agree. For years I was wondering how I could explain that his jokes were hurtful. And that I have the right to a different opinion and different priorities. And that it is ok to let someone know that you do not like garbage lying around, shoes on the floor, or anything.

        Had I understood that he simply did not agree with my position, I might have gotten away with fewer soul crushing fights that went nowhwere.

        • Yeah–my Ex thought it was funny to make remarks about Alzheimer’s when I would forget something.

          I got into his face and “splained” to him that if he did it again, I’d start referring to his bald spot and stooped shoulders on a regular basis. He quit.

          Of course, the fat jokes never quit, but I finally let him make the decision to use those on his new girlfriend.

          • Soldiering, I was always slim but piled on quite a bit at menopause. I’m not horrendously fat now but I’m by no means slim. The Twat, on the other hand, weighed 112 lb wringing wet (you should see that in a swim suit)! At my first son’s wedding in 2017 he obviously felt entitled to comment on my weight by saying “oh, you put on weight”, to which I replied “well you obviously didn’t”. He left me alone after that. I’m now officially cuddly and sleeping with him was like screwing an ironing board!

          • I wish I had been strong enough to do the same when he continued to insult me. I took it as part of his imature, toddler behavior and ignored it.
            After DDay, I was as acquiescent as they come (still a doormat not wanting to rock the boat), however I know that my lack of Pick Me was frustrating to him.

        • My ex didn’t bother to make it a joke (making fun of people is wrong). He would just flat out insult me. “God your hair is poufy, you look like you have an afro”, said all angry like it was my fault and I was doing it on purpose to turn him off. Never mind that I have always had poufy hair and he knew that when he married me 20 years earlier.

      • Selfrespect

        I think it takes a long time to realize that someone, the person that should love cherish and help is the one, who hurts us the most.
        Cold blooded, premeditated actions- watching us chasing our own tail, breaking up emotionally and trying to figure out WTF is going out.
        Sick

        • When I got a perm once he called me “Kizzy” like from Roots. That was about a week after we got married.

          Oh, quick, let me get my spackle…… SMDH

          • Too bad you didn’t get an annulment for that comment…ridiculous.

            My rock star made an annulment-worthy comment on our honeymoon.

            We were in Mexico and had a great excursion day. We returned to the hotel and were chilling in the hot tub. I was all chatty about how great the day was, and he just sat there nodding once in a while and not saying a word.

            When I asked him why he was so quiet, if he was just tired or ??, he said that he had been really mad at me all day and couldn’t shake it. I’m like, what? You were mad at me? On our honeymoon? I had no idea you were mad at me. Did I do or say something wrong?

            He goes..I had a dream that you cheated on me and I woke up out of a sound sleep and have been extremely angry since then. I said, “You do realize it was a dream, right? It didn’t really happen. You cannot be mad at me for something you dreamed about me.”

            He continued. You need to know something about my dreams. About 90% of them come true.

            Even though I assured him that this is one that wouldn’t come true, I swear he NEVER got over that incident and didn’t believe me.

            Ironic, isn’t it? A cheater having a dream about his non-cheating spouse cheating on him. This dream stuff never came up for the 2 years we dated, 1 year living together.

            Oh and as for all those other prophetic dreams? I think what he meant to say was that 90% of them do NOT come true because none of them ever did. #dreamsequence

    • And notice he couldn’t even disagree with integrity…he still made a promise he broke. Then he retroactively essentially suggests he never really meant it. Ish. Nothing to work with except more abuse of trust!

  • As my Yiddish grandmother used to say, “Oy vey, what a meshugna hunt!” (crazy dog)

    This is mindfuckery at its best. Your wedding ring needs to stay right where it is, on the computer keyboard! Go Zero Contact and let your lawyers hash things out.

      • I didn’t want my ring, the money from it, to make something else from it, to give it to my daughter. To me it was radioactive toxic waste and so was anything to do with it. I designed it and we had picked out the diamond together from a diamond broker friend. A ton of platinum, symbolizing strength. Right.

        It felt good giving it back to him. He paid for it. I don’t want the icky cootie juju.

    • Yep. CheaterX married Schmoopie a few months after I moved out of the marital home. Within 6 months, he left me a voicemail about how she was divorcing him and he’d like to find out where “we” could go from there. About 6 months after that, he sent me a Sad Sausage voice memo–about 20 minutes of moaning about his life, how Schmoopie had supposedly bugged the house and caught him making threatening comments regarding her, and that he didn’t remember any of this and asked her to play the recordings but she refused, and oh by the way, he discovered he has chiari malformation, which he believes led to his developing Dissassociative Identity Disorder (the psychologist had suggested that he could be Borderline Personality Disorder or ADHD or some other condition that is marked by mood swings, poor impulse control, etc. He didn’t like the psychologist’s suggestions, all of which would need to be further explored, but did like the one that he came up with because hey! It wasn’t him cheating. It was this other dude. Oh yeah, and could I forgive him?

      20 minutes of Me, Me, Me and not one “I’m sorry that I really fucked things up.”

      • Let me get this straight: He didn’t like the fact that the doctor told him he was psychologically messed up and had a character disorder, so he tried to pin his cheating on a physical brain malformation? I looked up chiari malformation and the list of symptoms includes headaches, numbness, neck pain, ringing ears, difficulty swallowing, and dizziness. That symptom list does NOT include: incessant lying, sticking one’s penis in a strange vagina, breaking vows, or dissipation of marital assets for strange cooch. What a horse’s ass!

        • Yep, pretty hilarious!

          The thing is that he does have headaches, numbness, neck pain. That’s 50% of the known symptoms. He also has a lot of the signs of BPD and the family background to go with it.

          For what it was worth, it took me several tries to get through the entire voice memo. Needless to say I did not respond. 😀

        • Seriously?!?
          I have a pretty severe chiari malformation also. The crashing headaches just make me want to lie down in a dark room; not go out and fuck prostitues- but hey, maybe that’s just me??? 🤔

      • Poor impulse control?

        OR, you’re an asshole and you do exactly what you want. Because you want to.

        If people with “poor impulse control” stop or slow down when faced with consequences, it’s not a lack of ability. They’re just assholes.

    • “The longer the soliloquy the bigger the lie” is brilliantly put and all too true.

      Can’t believe how long it took me to realize that the longer and meaner the rages, the greater and more involved the wrong he was up to.

      • Ding ding ding! Boy, it really lifts a big dark cloud when we realize that!
        Shakespeare had it right…. “me thinks he doth protest too much”!

      • Yes. This.

        I only very slowly realized that whenever he was in the fullest and loudest rage phases, he actually was lying.
        He once yelled at me “I am not seeing her”, when I found more and more evidence that he told me blatant lies since day 1. He probably closed his eyes while fucking her to make this lie work…

        And whenever he claimed he felt something, it was always “I am so miserable”, “I feel so bad”, “Of course, I am sorry, don’t you see how bad I feel?”

    • *Lightbulb moment* Spot on. An aphorism for the ages, like “Trust that they suck” and #findthecure. To be recited when being mind-f*cked or mind-f*cking yourself with misplaced guilt.

  • Mine did this too. False equivocating. “Neither of us are perfect… I am just human…blah blah blah” as if that’s sufficient to justify/excuse 5 years of mindfuckery. Oh the tears! I probably cried enough during that 5-year period that I may never be able to cry again! 😂

    Life is SO MUCH better without him. Free yourself.

  • Oh for f*cks sake!! How are they able to drone on and on about themselves? UBT is spot on as usual. And again it boils down to “it’s your reaction, not what I did…”

    “I act in my own interest with no regard for yours. When are you going to come around and embrace my entitlement? I’m waiting!”

    Respond with divorce papers and no contact. STAT!

    • Ahhh, the “it’s your reaction, not what I did” is my stbx wife’s favorite tactic as we deal with our divorce and custody. I wish I could plug in an automatic UBT every time we have to meet to talk…

  • As others commented, the gist of this is exactly what my ex use in me. It bought him three years of continued wedlock and therapy. Expensive ruse to stay put. I’m so unbelievably relieved to be divorced from his BS. Phew!! This site is so helpful. What’s UBT? Duh!

    • UBT stands for the Universal Bullshit Translator. Tracy puts cheaters letters through it to be translated into what the cheater really means.

  • Mhm… is that an unsend letter from my husband?
    If you add “ I am so sorry but treating me without respect and trust is unhealthy and since we look for a new, healthy way, fix your angry demeanor ASAP “

  • There is a huge difference between privacy and secrecy. When you start to run over the rights and needs of others behind their backs, that’s secrecy.

    My ex pulled the same bullshit as well, say I kept violating his privacy. I told him privacy are his private thoughts, and he violated our marriage vows by fucking strange all over Europe. Taking an action he knew that violated our marriage, and keeping it under wraps is secrecy. If he gets pissed I violate his “privacy” to uncover the secrecy, he can go fuck himself and get over it.

    • My cheater also got really angry that I found the evidence by searching through his text messages, because “private”.

      • Mine played from the same playbook! “There are various levels of trust. Like, for instance, I can’t trust you to go to the grocery store and come back with the right stuff. I don’t even want to get started on the fact that I can’t trust you not to go through my phone – that’s a violation of my privacy!” All this was said in a condescending tone. They’re assholes – the whole lot of them.

    • I am glad that I am not the only one who thought he was crying a little too much about his privacy.. .. he said he wanted to talk to her about that but she wasnt willing.. .. well duh.

      I dont worry about privacy since I had 5 kids. I cant even go to the bathroom alone. When we were first married, we had no privacy. I could grab his phone when ever to make a call or text. I went thru his pictures, music and emails. He had nothing to hide then… once he started getting angry that I was using his phone, i knew something was up. And that only made me look harder to find it. Of course, he complained and raged. And I up’d my sneak mode so he wouldn’t catch me going thru his phone.. ..

      All this because he was breaking his vows and promises in the first place. He was lying and cheating and God knows what but I was a horrible person for going thru his PHONE!?!?! The same phone we used to share?

      Twisted thinking. And it actually worked on me for awhile until I remembered 2 things. 1. He used to let me have his phone and 2. He has access to my phone anytime he wanted.

      Fuck that shit. There is no privacy when you are married. He would go in to poop when I was in the shower.. I know what he looks like naked. What kind of privacy do you need? Yes I understand some careers require privacy and secrecy but wasband was a dairy factory worker. And I am just an IT technician.

      My parents have been married 70 years. They have no privacy except my dad does poop alone. He refuses to walk in when mom is on the toilet also. Everything else is both of theirs. Including their cell phones.

  • I also love how they say they have violated our boundaries. Like what bullshit blame shift is that? It’s like saying our having boundaries are ridiculous. They violate our marriage vows.

    • “Violated” barely comes close to what they do to our boundaries. They bludgeoned them, dragged them down the road, and poured gasoline on them before lighting the match.

  • Per the meme, it’s Hammer Time!

    IvyLeagueChump–SOOOO glad you have started legal proceedings. There will be very rough moments, but also a palpable sense of relief. My X, Hannibal Lecher, could have written that talk-around-the-points, subtle blameshifting, evasive letter. It’s exhausting to deal with the BS and verbal gymnastics of a master manipulator. You will be glad to see the back of your cheater. Hugs.

  • Yay UBT! My cheater has a PhD in mindfuckery. She makes this guy look like an amateur. I have no regrets that it took me so long to see reality, though. I was played by a master. We chumps are perfectly imperfect but cheaters are from another dimension. They only pretend to be human. We need to recognize that some are highly skilled in their trade and that they can fool us. I am thankful that Chump Lady and Chump Nation helped me see under the spackling and sparkle. I saw an attorney and a therapist this week. Thanks to all.

    BTW, I have a 55 gallon drum of spackling if anyone wants it.

  • 😁 Nice job, UBT. What a laughably self-involved tool this man is. This sort of drivel sounds awfully familiar. It’s in a similar stilted, overly formal, full of himself style my stbx wrote notes and texts to me in. To me that screams insincerity louder than an air raid siren. It’s a red flag; if their writing is nothing like they would say it to you in person, it’s phoney baloney.
    My cheater actually wrote me a note the day after Dday and whined about an upset stomach from anxiety in order to demonstrate how much HE was suffering, along with the immortal words “I suppose that is my penance.” Even in my state of post-revelation shock and horror, I had to laugh at such ludicrously pathological centrality. I really should send the UBT some of his crap; like the treacle-dripping list of sweet promises he made while trying to get me to stay, which I later hounded him into admitting were mostly, if not all, bullshit. Like most cheaters, he’s a master of I-meant-it-at-the-time-I-said-statements. Then five minutes later, they don’t mean it anymore and spout a new, completely opposite claim.

  • My exs favorite was, “Im not perfect but God isnt done with me yet and neither are you.” Hahaha. I cant speak for God, but I am SOOOOO done! Divorced 8 months now, happy happy joy joy for me!

  • Yet another airy-fairy, self-discovery letter written by a cheater with half-ass remorse. What is it with these people and their need to turn a selfish act of obvious betrayal into self-absorbed navel-gazing? There is nothing hard about understanding why someone is upset by cheating.

    What I am curious about is: what does this guy mean by “privacy” (quotation marks his)? Is he upset that his soon-to-be-ex wife, who he was supposed to be honest with, snooped and found out what he was doing? There is no privacy in marriage, and there should be no secrets. My own ex also complained that our problems stemmed from me “snooping” and finding out what she was doing. That’s like someone blaming his stealing on the security camera.

    • Omg… the “ snooping”
      You know you are fucked up after you come across a naked pics or dating add written by your husband, and after half an hour argument YOU apologize for “ snooping around”

      Man.. what was I thinking? ( ok, I know… I wasn’t thinking at all…. taking care of 2 kids under age of 4 and carrying third child, while doing full time school definitely cocoon-Ed my brain )

      For years… I was the problem because I was snooping and bringing the subject…. him fucking around was an unimportant detail…

      🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

    • OMG. “Blaming his stealing on a security camera.” Boom. Right there. His need for “privacy” notched WAY up when he start seeing Schmoopie, though it had always been an issue because of his porn habit. He didn’t want me to realize how much he masturbated, how much he spent on porn sites, etc. I know that, now.
      My stance is like so many of yours here: there is no room for privacy of that sort in marriage. You want privacy while you are pooping because of the smell? Fine. Don’t take your phone in with you. And while I get that I might feel uncomfortable if he were looking for something in my desk, it was only because my desk is typically messy, and he is a neatnik. But if I were to look through HIS, OMG the world is coming to an end. #deskapocalypse
      I have come to understand that those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. BTW, he started his little note to the third party with “I will delete this as soon as I send it”. Yeah, THAT builds trust, right there.

  • One of the gems from cheating fuckwit came after his great-aunt once removed died. He wanted to take our 2 year old to the funeral but I said no since we were still in the divorce process, in the same house, no custody orders were in place yet, and how this was just more appearance management. Plus our daughter was 2 – she wasn’t going to understand a funeral for someone she’s never met.

    He then raged about how I don’t know the relationships in his family and how ‘family means something different to him than it does to me’. I hadn’t discovered CL at this point or found my mighty, but I actually laughed in his face at that one. Out loud.

    He didn’t end up going to the funeral anyways, dumbass. Now he and his version of what ‘family’ means are the skank’s problems now. Grey rock that shit.

    • Gentlechump, so he wants to take a 2 year old to the funeral of his great aunt once removed. Wow. Talk about image management!

  • It’s funny how scum somehow manage to see themselves as noble. They are not the quitters, you are. So nauseating.

    I dearly hope she has copies of every bank account, investment, pension papers, loans, credit card bills, mortgage, etc.

  • As soon as I read “Dearest” I was picturing this putz wearing a heavy cable sweater and corduroys, smoking a pipe and typing this on an old fashioned manual typewriter because he’s an INTELLECTUAL cheater fuckwit, don’t cha know, not an ordinary plebeian cheater fuckwit. I’ve got news for you pal, no matter how many intellectual sounding words (and run on sentences) you use as sparkles on the turd, it’s still a just smelly turd. The sense of entitlement is strong in this one. Keep right on going straight to divorce court, Ivy, you’ve got nothing to work with here.

    • I’m dying of laughter, Beth! Putz, and Intellectual Cheater Fuckwit (ICF, for short), indeed. (though my ICF preferred Diesel Jeans and UnderGear underwear to sweaters and corduroys, because… Forever Young, you know).

      • IFC!!!! Oh yeah, Beth- u nailed it!!!!
        “Zipper” – very triggering but still worth watching… about politician – yeah, he was better than any ordinary fucked up cheater..ugh…
        No matter what H says- my values are still the same for the past 25 years, morals are the same, and actions prove it.
        No matter what H says- there is no values or morality in him and actions prove it

        Simple

    • Yes Beth! He’s an ICF and they are sooooo sensitive. They UNDERSTAND why you are so crazy and irrational. It’s a PITY you aren’t evolved enough/smart enough to understand your own part in this and just accept the blame already. This hurts them most of all. They SUFFER as they nobly carry on the marriage despite their yearning for their twu wuv.

    • Yeah, well. He feels the sting of lack of a college degree of any sort, and so makes up for it by writing as he does, and fucking women with graduate/post-graduate degrees.

    • You know “THINGS,” nebulous events visited upon them by the universe. There is no third law of thermodynamics for these fuckwits. They see no connection between their fucking strange and you filing for divorce.

  • The Cheater’s Style Guide to Writing Word Salads – as soon as they contemplate stepping out of the marriage, it suddenly appears to them. Why can’t these fuckwits use direct sentences and questions? Hell, the Dickhead wrote me a couple of emails that I left me shaking my head.

    “Neither of us are perfect, but you have shown me over the past couple years that you have been worth all the energy I have put into it so far, all the energy that I have pledged already, and all the effort yet to come.”

    This is biggest pile of horseshit I’ve ever read. He’s a cheater yet she had to prove that she was worthy of love and energy? What a loser. That right there should tell you all you need to know. Marriage isn’t a contest, it’s not a race to see who finishes first or comes out on top. Take your energy, take your worth and put them to a better use.

  • Jesus! It’s all just so similar to what my XW would write: blameshifting, word salad, allusions to a “mystery” of how the marriage isn’t working and how you both have to do work to fix it.

    But the real purpose of all of this is just to deny, delay, and distract.

  • I haven’t read any of the responses yet nor the UBT but what really strikes me is that he totally doesn’t get what the real problem is here. He basically stated in the note he wanted passed on to OW that he would rather be with her but he is obligated to fix his marriage instead. Wow! Doesn’t that just make his wife feel special. The message from her is clearly “don’t do me any favors, if you would rather be with OW then have at it”. It is clear form his response that he doesn’t get that. He seems to think she is just upset that he tried to contact the OW but it goes much deeper than that. She doesn’t want to be married to someone who sticks around out of obligation while pining for somebody else. Why does he even want to work on the marriage anyway if he misses OW so much? Ivyleaguechump deserves so much better.

    That was the main reason I let ex go. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with someone who would rather be elsewhere and would just end up resenting me for the choices not made. I wanted to reconcile, but I wanted it to be because he remembered that I was the best thing that ever happened to him. Eventually it became clear that was never going to happen.

    • I suspect the cheater very much understands the meaning behind both his and Ivy’s actions but is basically saying, well you found me out, do you have the balls to follow through on your initial reaction. And if you do well the consequences are all on you. That’s the thing about not ending things cleanly at discovery: more often than not the chump ends up looking like the bad guy when, after limping along for however long in a mortally wounded relationship with a halfhearted spouse who is only three because they’re more concerned about not being cast as the overt villain but are happy to be seen As some hapless alltoo human sinner who happened to trip onto vag or peen (or in some cases both) that was lying in the road decides to say fuck this shit and pulls the plug. Only to be immediately turned into the one who was not committed or was too bitter to forgive. Speaking of run on sentences… to me this kind of bull is your not the boss of me passive aggression at its finest. If you must do that I suppose you must I will accept it but I won’t like it (it’s what I had planned all along).

      • ~2.5 years since DDay, 2.25 years since he moved out of the house, 2 years since I had to initiate the divorce because he wasn’t doing anything about it but was still loopy over Schmoopie, 1.25 years since the divorce was final. I am still not at meh, but much much closer.

        • @GMSB and Chumpinrecovery; Chump, sounds very much like my experience, DDay 2 years ago, I told him to choose between us 4 months later, he left, came back 1.5 years ago when I told him I didn’t want anything to do with him and he panicked and I thought unicorn. 8 months ago I told him to leave as nothing improved and our kids were suffering very much from stress. Had to file for divorce 3 months ago as ‘the piece of paper isn’t important’ to him. Divorce isn’t final yet, Meh comes and goes but doesn’t stay yet.

    • Yes, CIR. Why would any healthy person want to be romantically involved with somebody who was “constantly” thinking of somebody else? That was the final straw. He has nursed fond feeling for her the last two years, and hasn’t attempted to really put her behind him. That was finally made clear to me.

      • That is one thing that I will never understand. The things I have heard over the years, nothing surprises me anymore. The depths that people will go to to keep their “relationships” is nothing short of incredible. How about this one? Catch husband cheating in a three year relationship with a co worker. The healthy and sane thing to do is leave.. obviously…but no. Husband told everyone at work that he was newly divorced to make it easy to continue with affair. So… make husband post on Facebook six months later that “we just remarried” except… they were never divorced. Three years later, she catches him again.. with yet another co worker..so, she posts brand new pictures of them kissing and hugging each other as their Facebook profile photos…The latest? She made him buy them a brand new 900,000 house… because clearly THAT shows that he really loves her.. um, except guess who has a brand new profile on Ashley Madison? Rinse and repeat…I just shake my head….

  • I never had the pleasure of letter’s full of word salad or even a hint of remorse for anything my STBX pulled over the last year. Every time he got caught, it was my fault. Every…single….time.

    -Get’s caught texting another woman everyday for 3 months…”Well you sent a Merry Christmas text 2 months ago to someone of the opposite sex” (there were no additional texts after that one)

    -Get called out for constantly and I mean constantly talking about your “friend”, like 3 months where I couldn’t have a conversation with my STBX without the Cumpsters name being mentioned….”You mention your friend Jim a lot, do you want to fuck him?” (I was telling a one off funny story involving a toddler and Jim happened to be there at the time, hence I want to fuck Jim)

    -Lie about where you are going and then having your wife find you someplace else…”You tracked my phone, you are a psychopath”

    He was actually quite slick about it all. He actually started to go through my phone and look for reasons to have a fight with me first. I have a male friend that I have know since we were 2, we grew up together, he’s family and was in my Brother’s wedding. My STBX couldn’t stand him, but he knew that asking me to cut this person from my life was a non starter. So he asked that I not invite him to our house and or any of our family functions “if he is your friend, then he is YOUR friend.” I said fine and agreed, why deal with the hassle, it’s not like my friend was overly fond of my STBX. Mind you I only talk to my friend a couple time a year and see him even less.
    So when my STBX started his EA he fired the first shot and demanded that I cut my friend from my life. I of course refused as I had done nothing to warrant that kind of ultimatum, also we don’t do ultimatums, you sit down and talk about shit first. After a host of mindfuckery from my STBX I did eventually cut this person from my life. Only that didn’t stop my STBX from using it against me at every opportunity. Apparently I chose another man over him, and that absolved my STBX from any consequences for his actions.
    STBX insisted on marriage counseling, I didn’t want to go, I knew what the problem was (his affair). STBX then spent 4 hours and $400 complaining about my friend and all the wrongs done to him by this person over the last 13 years. And anytime I would mention how fucked up I was about what my STBX was doing to me, all I would here is my friends name. “Well what about…” WTF about him? It was crazy making at it’s finest.

    To this day my STBX still has not admitted that he had an affair and destroyed our marriage. He still insists that it was because of my friend that our marriage fell apart. Actually he has several excuses as to why I am the cause. Of course my STBX living with the Cumpster not three months after manufacturing an excuse to walk out on me has anything to do with it LMAO

    • It used to drive me nuts, the ex to this date doesn’t admit to an affair either. Lately I can only shake my head and laugh at him. He ran out of the condo and right into her shack of a house in the east everglades. Pretty pathetic, aren’t they?

      • Sooooo pathetic. We had a nice life, own a house, good neighborhood, 3 vehicles, a boat even. STBX took off and lived with his Mommy for a bit, ya know so it didn’t look like he immediately ran off with The Cumpster. I guess they think that 3 months and no legal separation agreement is appropriate and totally not adultery, but whatever. So now they live in her rental, she has two children but not primary custody, he moved in with just the clothes on his back and what fit in his car.

        He won’t be getting much else, the house is mine, his car is about to repo’d and the boat is to be sold to pay down our shared debt. I told him that he will leave with nothing but debt, and I intend to keep that promise.

  • I just worry about that wedding ring on the keyboard.
    Surely it deserves a better fate? I had mine melted down for a school in Africa. Just nice to think about.

    • I had mine melted down and recreated as a “Mother’s Ring”. Used asshat’s wedding ring as a down payment for my new ring!

    • Bruno, getting it off my finger was far more important to me. He received the message, loud and clear, which is what I was going for.

  • “Next step is to talk through an orderly progression from here, regardless of which direction we go.”

    I got a variation of that line from xhole. It means… “I will talk and you will listen. I know we are getting divorced. I will keep you busy on other things while I take from you as much as I can. Then I expect you to submit to all my wishes and demands during the ‘friendly’ divorce process.”

    No, thank you.

  • Indeed, nobody’s perfect. But our imperfections don’t include actively lying, cheating, hiding, stealing, and plotting against our spouses.

    My imperfections mainly involved not doing enough to make my ex “happy” and other word salad sayings, etc. Her imperfections included hiding money and sleeping with a married guy at work for several years.

    So…………yes, nobody’s perfect. But not everybody sets out a plan to screw over their spouse.

  • If I would not have had first hand experience with a cheater, I would find this f.. unbelievable. As it is, I can only shake my head good grief, there is really no end to their pathetic image management.

  • Why do they try so hard to keep the broken mirage I mean marriage going? Why why why??? They do all this crazy shit to break it then cry when they broke it. If they want to be with someone else, just go. Stop putting us through the wringer.

    • Because they don’t want to be the one that ended it. yeah I made some mistakes but I loved chumpy. She however was bitter and unforgiving and refused to do the work to try. Total image, it’s not my fault seeee I’m not the bad guy mind fuckery

      • This! Mine had ZERO intention of leaving me. He was more than happy to get his side action and continue our life as if nothing was going on. When he found out i had moved out my things his biggest complaint was that i hid my intent to move out and divorce for a whole month! Not a single, “i’m sorry”, “please come back”, or “i fucked up” – just a complaint of “how could you do this to ME?!?!?!”

        I was flabbergasted, he hid entire human beings from me for years. And he wanted to be all sad sausage that I secured a lawyer and apartment???

        But it works for him because now he can tell everyone that his wife left him. He always forgets to mention why on earth i left. but, now, thats not my problem. Him having a girlfriend 2 weeks after i left solidified for most people what was actually going on.

        • Right! They leave or make you leave and then they immediately shack up with someone else and then act like they are the wronged party. And they expect people to believe this. It’s delusional, and everybody can see right through it.

          My STBX did this, he tried everything to get me to leave, gaslight, blame shift, the nines. But the house is mine so there was no way I was leaving, so then he moved on to how terrible a person I am and he now has no choice but to leave. He left me for something someone else did, yes you read that correct, I wasn’t even the offending party. My Mom invited someone he didn’t like to her birthday party, it was a travesty, he had no choice but to leave.

          He attempted to be friendly to me, but by that time I was so fed up I would have nothing to do with it. So then he attempted to assassinate my character and dug up the bodies from our marriage and paraded them around for everyone to see. I’m talking stuff from a decade ago, he was passing off as if it just happened. Or misrepresenting actual events from years ago in order to paint me as the worst wife on earth. It was delusional and pathetic and nobody bought it. But man he is holding on to his delusion for dear life. Even his Mom didn’t buy it, judging from the last conversation I had with her.

          How does one do that? How can you not be aware of how pathetic and desperate it makes one look. Seems a lot easier to be honest and have integrity and own your mistakes. But hey what do I know I’m just a homeless, abusive, controlling, cheating, worthless, CNT.

  • So the problem really is her “boundaries,” and not that he’s shagging some other woman? And SHE’s ending the marriage, not his shagging some other woman ending the marriage? The blame-shifting is strong in this one!

  • Oops I am a small puppy that just shat on the carpet again. Will you deign to put me outside where I can play with other people which I’d really like or will you clean up my mess again and hope the training pays off in the end because in the end it’s. Your choice except I’ll keep shutting on the carpet because I really want you to put me outside.

  • PRIVACY???!!!!

    Yeah privacy is an invalid point if it means exposing you to STDs, many of which are deadly, emotionally/physically/sexually/financially abusing you, and breaking the relationship contract without your knowledge or consent.

    Fucking entitled piece of shit.

  • I’d like to do some sort of data analysis of the language narcissists use when they are cornered. Great post today, thanks.

    The haziness play book is so consistent; using the passive tense, the non-answer answers, the amazing slippery ability to never own or apologize. If they are intelligent, like my ex was (still is), the philosophizing, and carefully crafted dodging and hiding is second nature.

    I think you could write software to tell you if the author is a cheater …or perhaps would be too simple: if you cannot find “I’m sorry” then it is def a narcissist.

    Look at our president. He’s far from a professor, but when pressed on an issue, it is rarely addressed with a yes or no. Sidetracking blame, subject switching and a squid ink billow of stinky clouds. My personal favorite is the sidetracking “some people say that…” to insert a convenient fact.

    • >> “if you cannot find “I’m sorry” then it is def a narcissist.”

      Disagree. Because then what do you do with this one? (Based On A True Story): “I’m not sorry that I did it, but I’m sorry that I hurt you.”

      • That’s not so much an “I’m sorry for what I did” as it is an “I’m sorry you reacted the way you did”. Not really an apology.

      • A Narcissist’s Prayer
        That didn’t happen.
        And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
        And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
        And if it is, that’s not my fault.
        And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
        And if I did…
        You deserved it.

    • Oh, mine used weasel words all. the time. “I could” (not “I will”). Too bad he didn’t use his weasel words when we got married. Then, of course, he just lied.

  • “I stopped waiting and acted in my own interest with no regard for yours.”

    Again.

    “I know you consider this a show-stopper.”

    Be prepared for the shit-storm he will unleash when you act in YOUR self-interest instead of his.

    “would also pursue assessment regarding my sexuality in all those regards that have frustrated you so much.”

    He’s pursuing the “I’m a sex addict!” angle. Don’t buy it. He’s an asshole.

    I hope you shared this little gem with your newly hired attorney. Good luck!

    • Yes. The “I’m a sex addict” gets them a get-out-of-jail-free card they think. Mine is “reformed” and “redeemed” praise Jesus!! Nevermind he got caught red-handed last week stealing money from our company. Not at all What Jesus Would Do.

  • I really wish I had had the translator in my brain when I first separated. XH would say similar things as in the letter analyzed. I had not figured out to go no contact in the first 2 years and so would listen in my numbed state as things were said about him finding himself, our being friends, etc. After every encounter I was demolished. Once I realized this had to stop, I said we were no longer going to talk. That’s when emails started that ran the gamut of wooing, rage, hurt. I managed to not answer them and started to really see what he was saying. It was about then I discovered Chump lady and was bolstered in my decision. Now 8 years out and past it. Still like reading this blog. Feel fortunate to be where I am now.

      • I needed about 4 years to let it all go. I am impressed that others found peace quickly, but that wasn’t me. Even after 4 years, I had occasional moments where feelings would come back. But, these became further and further apart and haven’t happened for about a year. So, finally reached the land of “meh”.

  • Can’t believe the balls on this guy to talk about “privacy” twice here. He is blatantly telling you he feels entitled to stay married and keep cheating on you. Unbelievable. But these people always are. Divorce this piece of Shit, Ivy, and don’t look back

  • I have wasted all morning trying to figure out why he wrote this. What is it going to get him? Aaaaahhhh. Money, court approval, something. This is a letter that was thought through one syllable at the time. He is looking for a pay off, and I finally get it. He has evidence to show that his precious little narcky self did not cause the marriage breakup, his wife did. So now he can be with snookums and show that he tried. You know, when I want to waste time I play free cell. He writes drivel. Both get us nowhere but older.

  • You guys….thank you. This is helping me so much the day after. He is actually dancing REALLY hard right now, pledging all sorts of stuff. Right. Like I want to be with somebody who is thinking about OW “constantly”.

    Fuck that shit.

    • I read a brilliant statement on this site-

      “The problem with someone who behaves better because they are trying to avoid consequences FOR THEM, is that they are constantly re-calculating that equation as conditions change.”

      Sure, he will dance hard now that you are lowering the boom. Even if he actually dumped this OW he will forever have the option in his mind to choose another. Your fault of course.

      My X asshat had 2 OWs, 9 years apart. With the last one he simply said that all of the false wreckonciliation after the first one was something I made him do and he never meant any of it. Any love declarations over 28 years of marriage or even the love letters from when we were 19 years old were just me forcing him. He Never Ever Loved Me. He gets to wipe away any evidence at any time by blaming me for making him do things.

      Mental illness, that. Entitlement. A petulant child.

      Honestly, with all the issues your asshat has with sexual function I can think of no greater gift to an OW. He nearly needs an instruction manual to be able to pop one off, doesn’t he! Have fun with that, fuckwits!

      Good for you that you are so done with his shit.

    • You know what he wrote to the OW through a third party, that is all you have to know. Leave a cheater, gain a life, and you will Ivy.

    • Of course he’s dancing really hard, because you found your mighty and he can’t smash those boundaries anymore! Hope you’re having a good laugh at the frantic flailing. Hugs to you Ivy!

  • Hot dang, love the the snark, sass and realism you put into the analogy of these cheater narccisstic fools!! It also reminds me of the person I was long before being subjected to a truck load of cheater BS and how this kind loving, trusting heart allowed itself to be fooled, twice! If And when I ever allow a man into my life the one thing I will notice ( That he has nothing to proove) I will have leather lace around my heart and be smart and wary to any and all personality disorders or minipulation. And Chump lady has been a huge help in the recovery process!!!

  • I have not readall the comments yet, so forgive me if I’m repeating what others said already:

    IvyLeague – my hat is off to you to pick-me-dance for TWO YEARS!! It’s time for you now, my friend. I did 6 weeks of pick-me-dancing & electronic surveillance marriage policing and it almost killed me.

    But to all the other Chumps out there trying reconciliation: If a Chump can pick-me-dance for TWO YEARS, and the Cheater is STILL “thinking of the OW CONSTANTLY” (after TWO FULL YEARS!!!!), this just proves reconciliation is pointless & hopeless. That’s 730 days, people. 8 seasons, dozens of holidays. If the Cheater can’t move on and “get over” the AP after two full years, how much of their lives do Chumps have to waste on a Cheater in reconciliation? Five years? Ten years??

    The answer is you’ll never be “in the free and clear’, you will ALWAYS be marriage policing and looking over your shoulder.

    #blessedtobeCheaterfree

    • My guess is he was no more “thinking of the OW constantly” than he was legitimately worried about hurting his wife. If they’ve been in reconciliation for two years, the OW is probably not dancing hard enough for him anymore either. He’s losing sparkles from every direction!

      Get away while you can! The only way to win is to not play this game.

  • “Next step is to talk through an orderly progression from here, regardless of which direction we go.”

    This is delusional.
    Is he coordinating a fire drill?
    Orderly progression-people! Stay calm!

    There is no “we”.
    The direction of your erection is where you are, “dearest”.

    Ivy- we are all with you. Run, sister, run!!

    • LOL, I was thinking the same. This dude sounds like he has some control issues. She should let her attorney dictate the orderly progression of their divorce, ASAP.

  • I don’t understand the giving back of the wedding ring. Mine was silver with blue Saffire worth approximately $100 and could maybe sell it for $10, so after pummeling him with a bag of limes I launched it into the trash can. but honestly, why not keep it and sell it?

    • Did you actually pummel your cheater with a bag of limes? 😀 That sounds like a Chump Lady cartoon! My friend threw a roll of kitchen paper at her cheater, bless her.

      I never threw anything, but considering I believe the ex had anger issues and was definitely conflict avoidant, used to smack the kids (‘parenting style’ apparently) and after DDay hit a table and a door-frame pretty close to me (out of frustration?), things could have been worse if I hadn’t told him to leave. I may be doing him a dis-service, but I can’t trust him, and if he can cheat at a 23 year marriage, what else is possible?

  • “I am willing to keep waiting and keep working.”

    I’m curious as to what work he has actually done? Maybe all the mental energy he has expended on missing the OW constantly? Yes – that must be hard work. Oh and thinking only of self and not his actions and how they affect others. Probably also hard work. Not to mention how much it must have taken out of him to let you do all the heavy lifting in the marriage while he hooked up with the OW and sought out new and exciting porn. Exhausting!

    Well dude – we are ALL “waiting” for you to locate one ounce of integrity or decency – which is not likely based upon what we are reading.

    IvyLeague Chump – you are headed in the direction that is going to make your life so happy. It may not come tomorrow, but it is there and being free of a petty, selfish dbag is truly the greatest gift ever. I love the symbol of your ring on the keyboard. BUT – get that ring back and sell it! Good luck!

    • According to HIM, giving up the OW was herculean. Then, lessee, he quit his job, and was unemployed for a year. Then he finally got a two day a week job “to make ILC happy”, not because we were sinking fast financially. Oh, and he had to move all that pesky evidence in the form of 7 years of emails to some sort of storage, either a thumb-drive or the cloud. I really don’t care. I ran hard-copies of enough evidence to present to the judge AND the OW’s husband.

  • His use of the term Showstopper is interesting. He meant dealbreaker, but maybe it was a Freudian slip to say showstopper, as though she would be in awe and amazement at his behavior. To him it was a showstopper. He was quite proud of pulling a fast one on her.

    • I caught that too, LOL. Idiot.
      Reminds me of the time that exh2 referred to himself as a “narcissistic chump”
      I was laughing too hard at him to correct him.
      I never have received any such email, letter, or note in almost 4 years. He is a pathetic liar and sociopathic narcissistic abusive bastard who claims that he “never” cheated, ever. Lies lies lies.
      Ugh.
      Spot on ubt!!!

  • When my Cheater trotted out the “I’m not perfect” shit I replied:
    “You didn’t need to be perfect – just honest.” Dead eye stare.

  • “show-stopper” LOL- They just search for bullshit to say.

    Totally agree about the marriage counseling. Cheater XW wanted the counseling and then would just sit their in silence or lie about stuff. Just her and I would then have a post counseling discussion where she would reveal all the stuff to me that she just lied about in front the of the counselor. Then at the next session I would have to update the counselor on the real information. Such BS.

    • I am surprised by how many of these cheaters actually go to marriage counselling. I asked mine to go and he said ‘there is nothing wrong with me’. Now of course we all know there is something really wrong with a piece of shit who lies to his wife and kids and uses family money to vacation with another woman. My SIL had a Dad who cheated on her Mom and had a counsellor say there is a huge black hole in him that can’t be filled. This is how I see my STBX – as a huge black hole. He can’t be honest about emotion and has no courage or empathy. He is now offering pot and alcohol to his teens to try and be that cool Dad – I cannot wait until he is out of my life (the separation agreement is at his lawyers waiting for ??? and the house will be on the market soon).

  • Just remember this letter is to be shown to the public. When you show all of your family and friends they will what a nice letter it is and how humble he seems. He shows it and everyone will see that he has tried diligently to make peace with you so it is understandable that he now has a new schmoopie.

  • Yup! And whether that’s because he’s truly too scared to talk honestly with you, or because he’s acting the sad sausage and just wants to get into the OW’s pants, ARGHH! 😂

  • He isn’t truly scared to talk to you about anything. He just doesn’t care to. He’s simply been spinning his sad sausage lies to get into the OW’s pants. I guarantee it.

  • That letter is nothing more than a mind-fuck and it’s about him. Going to therapy gives him another convenient out to dissolve the marriage. It brings in a 3rd party who can quickly turn things around and make you look like the one with problems and the two of you can “agree” to dissolve the marriage. This way, he comes out looking like the good guy for the “impression management” he is desperately trying to salvage here, right? How convenient, right?

    He’s a fucking dick. He keeps proving he is one.

    • Sorry, lots of typos in that…. basically, going to therapy is a form of “impression management” for him. Cheating is not good for one’s reputation. Going to therapy shows he was trying to “improve himself” and is a good story to share with others when he is forced to answer why your marriage broke up. By going to therapy, he buys times on the damage control you can do with the real reason: cheating. It also can work to his advantage because in therapy even though there is still a high likelihood of a dissolution of marriage, he now gets to control the impression management narrative and spin it in his favor: “After seeking marital counseling, we agreed to end the marriage.” That’s such a nicer story vs “I’m divorced because I was cheating on my wife.”

      And as we all know on this blog, therapists can make the narc-cheater the victim.

      • And to add, I share the above, because my ex wrote the same type of drivel to me. His “understanding” of me leaving was rather convenient for him. Now he was able to fuck his skank without it being called cheating. He did not skip a beat in bringing her into our house after I moved out. I’m talking like 2 days after I moved out. There was never going to be any “reconciliation and work this out in therapy” it was all a bunch of image management BS.

        Cheaters all play from the same handbook.

  • You are the best, chump lady!!! The best! Wonderful, wonderful article, and great video piece of Can’t Touch This — genius touch!!

    PS: See? I’m so indebted to your UBT, cuz I know I was getting sympathetic to Cheater. Yes I was! I was thinking, “Ohhh! He’s sorry! I hope that can work it out.” After I read the UBT translations, yes, it was so obvious. Duh.

  • Copious amounts of the word “I” = narcissistic fuckwit.

    Also, if he was so intent on getting help for his “issues” – he should have thought about doing that before fucking the OW.

    No sympathy.

  • Have to admit this one triggered me. Why? I have always belonged to highly educated circles. (Note: People without college degrees can be highly educated.)
    I know this guy who wrote the letter. I don’t know him literally. I had an ex like this. These men are The Worst as far as gas-lighting goes. Their mental acrobatics will make you feel insane. You are NOT insane. But, they are the masters of “let’s make the chump feel crazy and let’s redefine facts.” They love using word salad to minimize, invalidate, redefine, and to make themselves look perfectly reasonable while the chump is not.

    I want to scream at the top of my lungs to this man: “Just leave! Pack your clothes so that you can be with the skank that you miss so much and you, the skank, and syphilis can live happily ever after. But, pack your stuff and LEAVE.”

    The thing that makes me most angry about this type of person is they will say they don’t want to leave- you are the problem- you misunderstand their complexity, (ergo bullshit) and why would you (the chump) want to ruin the marriage? Oh they are not ruining the marriage- the chump is ruining the marriage because the chump blows everything out of proportion.

    These are also the cheaters who will spend tremendous amounts of time dropping hints about your mental stability. So, if their affair comes out, they will act shocked and tell everyone the poor chump is suffering from delusions. They will talk about how they have been long-suffering and didn’t want to tell anyone about the chumps paranoia and delusions. If others believe the BS, they will see the cheater as a long-suffering spouse who won’t give up a marriage to a crazy person. (That would be the chump who they tell everyone is crazy.).

    These cheaters are the worst. Run away. I have been trying to figure out the motivation of this type of cheater for years. What drives them? Well, cake drives them, but there is something deep inside that makes them pathological. I would like to know what. I assume they are Cluster B’s, but there is still more. Why do I want to untangle the skein? If I know how they tangle it, I can explain it to a chump and give them tactics to counter this type of cheater.

    • Sarah, you have described him perfectly. He doesn’t have a degree, but is highly intelligent and articulate. And he has been quick to point out, over the past two years, how “unstable” I was. Victims of trauma ARE unstable, douchebag. And, just when things started settling down, he would brush up against my boundaries again, tipping off the scabs of an unhealed wound. Little things. Tiny things. Just to see if I would notice, to see if he could get away with it. Which, of course, would drive me crazy. And then, like a petulant child, he would say ridiculous things like, “I guess I don’t dare ever leave the house, then, or even my chair. I might just cross one of your BOUNDARIES”.

      Asshat.

      • Hi IvyLeague,

        I think there should be different colors associated with/to Asshattery. Like is someone a whitebelt in being an Asshat? Or is someone a triple blackbelt in Asshattery?

        Which one is your Asshat?

        I would say my ex was a black belt in Asshattery. Yours?

        You are so right about what trauma does to people. It is devastating and when someone is in the process of a highly traumatic experience, they are not going to do the “keep calm and carry on” thing very well.

        Nice slogan, not so realistic when the asshats of the world climb out of the sewers, looking for new victims.

        Did you know sewer rats refuse to associate with asshats?

        The Asshat problem has gotten really bad down there.

        Sewer rats have written by-laws for their sewer rat home owner’s associations. They all have “no Asshat” policies. Quite progressive, if you ask me.

        Even sewer rats have standards.

        Hope my absurd humor gave you a laugh. Satire layered with absurdity is what I find funny.

        Onto the serious stuff.

        I think we should consider creating a change.org page to outlaw Asshats in city sewers. Don’t you?

        Okay- now I promise I will be serious…

        Trauma… trauma messes with people and they come unhinged. Doesn’t matter how sane someone is, trauma metaphorically takes your breath away.

        The worst kind of trauma is intentional trauma- the kind caused upon finding out that you have been betrayed by your spouse.

        Even then, it’s like a spectrum. Some spouses cut off the affair when their betrayed spouse finds out. They feel shame and remorse upon their cheating being discovered.

        Then there is the opposite side of the spectrum: the skilled gas-lighters who get a kind of sick pleasure when they gas-light their betrayed spouse and watch with glee as the betrayed goes off the deep end.

        Then, this cheater gets to step into the role of long-suffering victim and martyr. And they enjoy this role, even though they are the VICTIMIZER. These are TRULY sick individuals.

        The one time I dated someone like this, I broke it off. He told everyone I was crazy. I remember one time in college going to his dorm room to ask for my things back. I specifically wanted the bikini photos back. I have never taken nudes for anyone- not even my husband. But, boyfriends were allowed to have bikini photos when we went to the beach. And back then, bikinis were not tiny. Anyhow, I demanded my bikini photos back because I had an idea that he was going to use them to self-stimulate. I went to his room to get my photos and stuff. He kept them in a shoebox and he refused to give it to me. I was angry and I grabbed the shoebox. He threw me against the wall, I ducked out from under him and ran out the door. He pursued. Luckily one of my male acquaintances was in the hall. I told him my (ex) boyfriend had become violent because I was trying to get my photos back.

        My ex straitened his shoulders, smiled at my friend and said in a calm and collected voice, “Oh, you know how women are. So emotional; always exaggerating… she is acting crazy. It’s her time of the month. Well, you know how irrational women are during their periods.”

        I looked at my ex and at my friend and said, “Ex, you are lying. You know you are. These are MY photos in the shoebox and they are not yours. You can have your shoebox, but I take my photos.”

        My ex said, “Let’s be reasonable. Come back inside my room and we can talk reasonably. Sarah your voice is so loud and it’s not proper for others to overhear. You need to stop acting crazy and we can talk this over like normal people in my room- just you and me.”

        I said NO. I told my friend I would follow him to his room and call a taxi. And I did that. I put my photos in my purse, my male friend walked me to the taxi, and I gave him the shoebox to return to my ex. This guy knew me well enough to know I was NOT crazy, but he was dumbfounded at the flawless act my ex could put on and my ex could put on this act on the spot. My ex was very scary and manipulative. He could look people in the eyes and tell lies without flinching in the least. The only thing I can say about these men is document all conversations, tell friends you trust, do NOT isolate because that gives a manipulative person more time to distort your reality. I do not believe it is worth salvaging marriages with such people. I know it’s sad to divorce.

        But, at the end of the day I ask myself questions like: “If I were at the end of my life, could I trust that person to speak for me? Could I trust them to carry out my wishes? Will they accidentally trip over the plug that keeps the oxygen coming?”

        Questions like this will give you the opportunity to explore if this is a safe person for you. If not, it’s best to get out now. As for the other woman he misses… he misses having two women fight over him. If you file for divorce and go no contact, you will get a barrage of letters about how you are the only one he can love. And if he dates, he will talk about you as the cruel woman who broke his heart for no reason whatsoever! He did nothing! He is a good boy and you left the marriage just like that! He will talk about you endlessly. Believe me. But if you return, he will go back to missing the OW.

        What I do know about these types is they cannot emotionally connect with another human on a profound level. They will sabotage true intimacy. They prefer to live in their minds and create fantasies. But, true intimacy is as real as it gets. They cannot do “real” and so they constantly sabotage any real intimacy. Doesn’t matter who the woman is, they will do it to anyone with whom they have a long term relationship. They don’t change and you deserve The Best. (Also women do this to husbands, but IvyLeague is speaking about her husband. I am not hating on men. I have sons and I love men.)

        Hope I have helped. Peace.

        Sarah

  • >