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“I Didn’t Mean To” Debunked


Dear Chump Lady,

I was married to a very lovely man for 15 years. He was “nice,” yet he needed parenting. That’s where I came in.

There were days when I felt as though I were married to a teenager. He was self-sufficient, held a job, appeared responsible with money, but he CONSTANTLY made bad decisions. Very simple common-sense matters were a challenge and I was always there to clean up the mess left behind by his poor choices.

When I would ask him why he would make that decision (such as ignoring the check engine light until our pickup blew up), his standard answer was always “I didn’t mean to.”

I am 6 months post D-day. He had two affairs while I was working out of town for a few months and while I was recovering from cancer treatments as well. When I asked him why and how he could do this to us (his family) — his response was, yep, you guessed it, “I didn’t mean to.”

So, I have divorced him. He is moving the OW into what was once our family home and he has not once asked about or seen our granddaughter. He voluntarily has cut himself from everyone’s lives, but I get a text from him regarding some belongings I missed in storage and at the end he says, “You know, I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

What the hell did he or does he mean by that shit? What did he think would happen? How can he say that stupid shit? Translation please?


Dear Debbie

There are a variety of Universal Bullshit Translations of “I didn’t mean for this to happen.” What they all boil down to is “I don’t accept any responsibility for what happened.”

He didn’t mean for this to happen? He didn’t mean to get caught. He didn’t mean to give up cake. He didn’t mean for you to lose your impression of him as a swell guy.

He didn’t mean to blow up the pickup truck? He didn’t care enough not to.

Look, everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes we forget to put the scissors back where we found them. Or we don’t return that overdue library book. We get “overcome by events,” as they say.

But there is a difference between absentmindedness and being asleep at the wheel. It sounds like your ex isn’t an airhead so much as he is just outright negligent.

If you blow up the family truck? You should at the very least apologize, not stare at the engine fire slack-jawed and shrug “I didn’t mean to.”

Implied in “I didn’t mean to” is QUIT BEING SUCH A HARDASS. Quit ascribing INTENT to me. Now, blowing up the truck might actually be a stupid mistake, based in the parent/child dynamic one has with cheaters. (“Oh the check engine light is on… I’m sure Debbie will take care of that…”) Blowing up a marriage? That takes planning and aforethought. Affairs are deliberate choices. He absolutely intended to fuck someone else while you had cancer. What he didn’t intend were consequences.

What did he think would happen? He thought you’d take him back. After all, you’ve cleaned up every other mess.

How can he say that stupid shit? Because it works for him. If you believe he didn’t intend for any of this to happen, (and he’s not responsible!) then you won’t stay mad, and you’ll take him back and cake will be preserved! More kibbles! Fewer consequences! Tastes great!

“You know, I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

What? What’s that? I’m sorry I can’t hear you.

“You know, I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

Debbie, you’ve blocked his number, lost his address, and his email goes to spam. He protests? Just shrug.

“You know, I didn’t mean for this to happen.”


“That wasn’t my intention” seems to be at epidemic levels. Thought it was time to run this one.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “He was self-sufficient, held a job, appeared responsible with money, but he CONSTANTLY made bad decisions.”

    Wow. This so describes what life was like with my now-ex. I felt like I was constantly giving him remedial courses in how to be an actual adult. Of course, I loved and trusted him, and believed he just didn’t “get it,” and so if I could just make him understand how hurtful his selfish, thoughtful behavior was, he would have that “lightbulb moment” and better align his intentions and actions. #yeahnevergoingtohappen #super-chump

    • Me, too! If I had a nickle for every word I said to the X, “explaining” how to adult, I would rival Queen Elizabeth in wealth.

      CL hit it when she said that it is not that they don’t understand, rather that they disagree.

      I felt sorry for him, this big time lawyer, who could win huge cases at work, but was helpless at home and socially. He really did not MEAN for all those awful things to “happen”. Me: blah blah f’cking blah.

      All that time, love, interest wasted on a lying loser.. He knew exactly what he was doing.
      He was doing what he wanted to do.

      • Count me in on the trying to explain how to be a decent adult to a fuckwit group. .. .. ex had such a bad childhood, he just did not understand what real love really was. If only I could explain to him that you dont act like he does when you love someone. You dont stay out all night. You dont spend money before paying Bill’s. You dont talk hateful just because you would rather be doing something else (drinking) instead of fixing the toliet.. .. .you put family first. ..

        He never “got” it because he did not WANT to get it. The first time I read that saying “it is not that he doesnt know, it is that he doesnt care” blew me away. It hurt so much when I finally realized he DID know, he just did not CARE. I meant nothing to him. Just the wife appliances that took care of everything and made his life easy. Hell, there are so many just like me, he never even missed me a day. Literally went from my bed to her bed. He never looked back.

        • Yes, it’s not that they don’t KNOW better but it’s becaise they don’t CARE! I know the truth and trying to get to the meh stage. Don’t care and I feel blah about everything that has to do with him

          • “It’s not that they don’t KNOW better but it’s because they don’t CARE!”

            This, exactly!

            Non-disordered people really struggle to comprehend this because when we empathize, we try to understand how another person is thinking AND feeling – but we get confused when we try to go inside the cheater mind because they have a missing (or very damaged) “chip” in their circuitry. So their ability to have normal emotional responses is limited or not there at all.

            They know damn well what they do is wrong. The missing part is feeling bad about doing it anyway. They just don’t experience guilt, or that sick feeling in the pit of the stomach after causing pain to others. That stuff is not in their repertoire. Rage sure is though! They feel anger quickly and easily, toward others (not themselves). But no bad feelings well up if they behave badly.

            “I lied. I cheated. I dropped my hat.” All get the same emotional reaction from them: No big deal.

            • This is EXACTLY how my FXH behaved. I’m kind of glad. I would have made more excuses and justified his cheating if he had responded with an emotional reaction. The only reaction I saw was when I (unfortunately) tried to end my life on Day 4 (after 22 years, 4 children and being financial provider). He was HAPPY! Smiling at me in the hospital. He said “Now I know you that you love me.”. Sick. Deranged. Never shed a tear for my pain. My sister told me, very wisely I might add, that I needed to stop looking at the potential I thought he had and look at who he is. Less than 3 months from the first Dday and less than 2 months from Dday’s 2 and 3, we have filed, signed and submitted our Divorce Agreement to the court. It cost me a little more than I wanted but it is worth every penny to get away from him. I don’t know who I was married to all of those years.

        • My ex, on discovering the divorce papers, spent 3 hours whining how he wanted to keep the family home but it took him 3 days to ask about our daughter. He also took off his wedding ring within 24 hours yet constantly whined on about how the divorce was all my idea and he didn’t want it, despite having cheated, and made himself keepsake sex tapes, with over 250 people. I guess he ‘didn’t mean it’ either. Dickhead.

      • So many triggers for me I n this post and the comments.

        Entitled, selfish people do not adult well in so many ways. It always falls on the chump to some degree- we clean up the mess, spackle and usually believe it was not intentional to harm us.
        The cycle repeats, while the mess gets messier and more confusing and they get more deceptive. Add gaslighting and then our ability to discern what’s going on while doing the work of two adults and all of that responsibility wears us down.

        Affairs take multiple premeditated thoughts and ACTS… they surely intended to cheat. They don’t think beyond that. It’s what they want at that moment and they have all gotten away with lying and manipulating in the past so they assume they will keep getting away with it.

        The only thing I believe is that they did not INTEND to get caught or that we chumps would see them with the mask off. Then they flip channels. Here is some of the insanity I heard when he flipped channels.

        Rage: How dare you think so poorly of me that you think I wanted this to happen! I didn’t want it to be this way. Wow- I cannot believe you! How dare you accuse me of doing this on purpose!!

        Charm: I just need some time to figure this out. I have been under a lot of stress and I’m trying to get a new job and get back on track. I know you have no reason to trust me but “all of that” has stopped. (It was actually worse. Lol)

        Pity: I’m not emotionally healthy right now. I need some time and prayers to find a way to love myself. I have tried SO hard for years to be a great dad and husband. You’re lucky to be so stable and kind and loving. I’m trying to get there to find a way to love again. Flip…

        Rage: I tried for years, bitch. I never loved you.

        See how this goes? I turned off the TV and chucked the remote fast.

        That is the difference- I took control of my thoughts in my vows and was never tempted because I would not allow myself to entertain the thought of cheating so my actions had no bad path to follow. Cheaters do not have the restraint, loyalty, self control, or integrity to do that!

        • Free2bme..that sounds like mine. It was a lot worse than I thought. What can i say he’s good at lies. But i found all this out after he had a massive stroke last month.
          He’s a truck driver, so i was going thru receipts for taxes. Hin and his “sweetie”
          Were having a great time…motels, gifts….
          Now where is his “sweetie”. Wish she would fly here from Ohio (she’s welcome to him) but her free ride is over. I don’t want him or to look after him, but if Indidn’t my daughter would and I can’t do that to her. “Sweetie” is more than welcome to him. She needs to support him for awhile now. I guess i can’t say it was a free ride…..she paid…just not with money.
          I’m angry & feel stuck.

        • Reading your comments on the switch is so close to home.
          1st -blame, my fault he cheated
          2nd-rage he had to cheat bc I treated him like crap, wish he never met me or married me
          3rd-fake remorse. He is shit and can’t help it. He really tried to be a good husband and dad

    • Years to banging my head against a brick wall trying to get him to understand how his choices affected us. Never made a difference. Now, I just remind myself of that every time I feel the need to explain. It is up to him to “see” it for himself. He is no longer my project to fix.

    • Mehbesoon,

      I concur with you. This described my marriage with FOTY perfectly. I always felt like I was parenting 3 children. I thought of it much like you – when will the lightbulb of adulthood blink on?

      Then after the emotional affair where FOTY transmitted images that could land him in prison – endangering all of us, he said “I never wanted to be a husband, home owner or parent. I want to go to work and come home and play my video games.”

      Alright that would be “cute” if you were 15 not 44.

      Needless to say, on his third marriage to another fuckwit that encourages him to sue me and stop paying child support.

      Hardest for me to learn was your hashtag #nevergoingtolearn

      • Omg, mehbesoon, my X also acted like a helpless toddler at times despite being very successful at work and when the narcissist mask was ripped off he raged at me and our four kids: “I never wanted to be a husband, home owner or parent!” 25 years of never wanting to do what YOU said you wanted, or at the very least acquiesced to? WTF???!!! He said that I “made” him do all “that” and he HATED it. Instead, he said he wanted to be “free” (4 kids, huh?!) and that young gold digger made him happy. He told our children this and literally broke their little hearts— two became seriously suicidal, one had panic attacks that were so bad she’s been in therapy since she was 10. I loathe him for this harm. He has seen our youngest less than 10 hours this year. Only two overnights in four years. Complete and total loser. I thought at 22 that I was marrying someone who would turn into a mensch. I was so wrong. He was extremely driven and book smart but didn’t have the character and it never developed beyond that of a selfish toddler. So many wasted years…..

        • Mother, you describe my ex to a T as well. High-achieving, driven, cheater narcissist. When I figured out what he was doing and who he was (after 32 years together, better late than never), he had the exact same reaction yours did. He said he never loved me and only got married because “You wanted to.” He said he was leaving me because “life is too short” (to be an adult, apparently) and the OW “sees me on my terms.” He was also one of the ones who said “I didn’t mean for it to happen this way.” He later told his own son “Don’t get ever married or have kids.”

          My children have borne the brunt of the narcissism, as yours have. I can at least take half of everything and go on and live my life in peace pretending he is dead. My son (now 30) needs to take anti-anxiety meds to deal with his father. My daughter (27) fears she will never meet a man she can trust.

          I will always hate my ex for betraying and blindsiding me. But my abiding fury and fervent desire for karmic retribution is for the sake of my kids, who had to grow up with his long con instead of a loving father, and are now the ones he circles back to for periodic kibbles.

          • Me, with my sons, exactly. They are both messed up after being the sons of a covert narc/ Sociopath. Growing up watching their mom be abused emotionally and they do not know one tenth of what their father did during the affair/ divorce. What a disaster!

        • Yup, so many wasted years waiting for him to come into his “potential.” The entire marriage was one long con.

      • I want to go to work, come home, and play video games as well. Sadly, the need to adult regularly interferes and my video game time has been significantly curtailed.

        • I don’t even want to go to work. I’d rather stay at home in bed, read trashy novels, watch soap operas and eat chocolate.

          • And I don’t even want to pick up things I dropped on the floors or ever hrlp around the house. Both me and my wife works. But since she is the wife. She supposed to do the heavy lifting on house chores. If she ever nagged me then I can go find another woman and cheats on her and it’s because of her nagging. I mean can’t she see I worked very Hard to support our family?!
            Even though most of my money were spent on golf and fishing equipment. Heck if that bitch divorce me. Then she would take at least half of my earnings Which she did not deserves!!

      • “I never wanted to be a husband, home owner or parent. I want to go to work and come home and play my video games.”

        That’s all they did anyway! Cheater said this to me once… and I shouted at him that his daily life is exactly the same as it was before. EASIER actually, since he no longer had to laundry, clean, or cook for himself. I’d found him better, easier, fewer-hours jobs that paid him several times more. So he had nicer things, better food, a car of his own AND A LICENSE, no legal troubles, a beautiful home, a fantastic wife, three amazing children, pets who adore him (cats love the person who ignores them the most lol and the dog cannot be blamed), extra money, extra time, SAHW/Mom to do all the nitty-gritty stuff of life, etc.

        You.are.WELCOME. You got to do all that YOU love in fucking splendor, with less effort than you could have ever imagined. All you had to do was not cheat.

        They’re idiots.

        • Yes, indeed, as I raise my hand, trying to maintain a marriage and raise 3 children with a
          “ man-baby “. There is a very long queue of us chumps.
          Instead of video games, man-baby chose model trains, a bike, puttering in the basement
          and weekends on his 6 foot ( not a typo ) boat.
          For years I wondered who would grow up first, the children or their dad.
          The children won that contest by a country mile, collecting many degrees in the process.
          Father’s reaction? Sheer anger.
          So very glad he is not my problem any more.

    • MehBeSoon, so well put. I’m just in the beginning of figuring all of this out.

      Except, my husband is not self-sufficient, doesn’t have a job, and is horrible with money. I’ve spent fifteen years trying being Mom and Dad while attempting to coach him on how to be a human.

      This lovely community is making me slowly realize that it’s not that he doesn’t understand, it’s that he doesn’t care to, and that I need to come out from under the fog of all his “good intentions.”

      • “Good intentions.” Right up there with “potential.” And we chumps “spackle.” Until we find Chump Lady and learn things like “it’s what they do, not what they say” and “reciprocity” and “it’s not that they don’t see, it’s that they disagree” and then, on Monday, “trust that they suck.” On Tuesday, we reach “meh.”

      • You have to somehow convince the bum to get a job or you may end paying alimony. However, getting rid of a soul sucking bum even if you have to pay will be a better way to live. Start planning now.

    • Yet another red flag. He made poor decisions. There’s a huge learning curve to this because over time these poor decisions are cumulative AND if you’ve reconciled it gets worse.

      These decisions usually involve moving, relocating for a job in another state, investing in a business, or putting your career in hold.

      These fuckers know exactly what they are doing.

    • Same here. I didn’t have one of those cheaters who couldn’t hold down a job or was wanted by the police. He had no idea how to parent our children; I had to make sure that their needs were cared for and that they were in bed if I wanted to go out with friends or family and leave him at home with them (and believe me, I was one of those mothers who wanted him to help, not one who wanted to control everything). My kids have little to no relationship with his family now because he’s done nothing to cultivate one. That was always on me.

      So many red flags that he was a manchild– just because someone gets good grades in school and manages to hold down a job does not mean that he/she will be steady and reliable in general. I wish that I had spent a little more time seeing him for who he was rather than what I hoped he would be.

      • For my ex, the absent minded brilliant but befuddled doctor is just an act. It’s a distraction from his double life of hidden galpals, back page prostitutes, and Ashley Madison hookups, because once he’s found out he’s suddenly very capable and cunning. And MEAN.

  • This has been discussed in the forums multiple times, cheaters that don’t seem to be able to do the simplest of tasks on their own… paying bills, doing taxes … I still don’t fully understand the benefit …. to lure us into to being their savior or their helper … I guess maybe chumps are always helpers in our hearts.

    At the end of the day though, they are quite capable of conducting affairs (multiple affairs) in secret with advanced technologies for messaging and finding creative ways of getting money out of joint accounts without any help from us …. so it MUST be a manipulative strategy for their life – right?!

    • Yup, Fitzy, it really is a manipulative strategy. By acting a little helpless they attract a responsible/fixer/parenting type to do everything they think is boring or beneath them, which in turn frees them up to do all the “fun” stuff (e.g. screwing around behind your back). There’s likely varying levels of awareness of their own behavior, but they all do it with the express purpose of extracting value from a person in order to make their lives “better” (whatever that means for them). They’re generally willing to pay in a little as long as they feel like they’re getting a lot more out of the relationship, and Chumps consider care-taking to be an expression of love. It absolutely is, but so is reciprocity, and that’s the part I was missing. To avoid these types of relationships in the future, which takes active work due to chump-tendencies, I followed the CL edicts of filling your life with Real Monkeys and Knowing Your Worth. Cheaters, whose minds work inherently differently from ours, their tendencies generally just have them move on/move in with the next fun “thing”. Losing your kibbles, oh they didn’t mean for that to happen, but finding some new ones, yeah, they did plan for that. Too bad, so sad, don’t forget to nail the door shut on their way out.

      • Yep, my cheater ex was way too special to do the mundane everyday tasks of real life. Before me, he always had a wife/girlfriend/female roommate/maid/accountant to free him up to do the fun stuff. Once I came along and assumed all that stuff, along with the child-raising, he was free to focus even more on his fabulous self. He complained so bitterly when I asked him to pick up our daughter from daycare (mind you, we both worked full-time, and I did EVERYTHING else related to her care), that I finally gave up. God forbid he give up 15 minutes of his afternoon workout to make my life a little easier…

    • Yup, Fitzy, they just act like they can’t do things because they don’t want to — they are lazy and selfish and want us to take care of adulting.

      X was perfectly capable at work. It would enrage me that he acted helpless at home and refused to do anything approaching equal share of family life tasks. I had almost all of the emotional labor of our family and rental business — he literally used me for most my life. After I kicked him out because he wouldn’t stop cheating he apparently has had to start doing minimal adult tasks — he is living with a much younger woman (OW) who is using him for his money, refuses to cook or clean, hates children (we have 4, one her same age!) and pets (“ too much work”!). Wow.

      They really do suck. Not my monkey, not my circus any longer.

      Since I

    • I had kind of the opposite problem, at least from his perspective. He was quite capable when it came to physical adulating. He was also very particular about how things got done. As a result, I tended to let him handle a lot of things around the house. I also let him take care of the finances and bill paying etc. because he seemed to want to have control over the money (Should have been a red flag right there). He also kept track of the joint calendar because he was the one who liked carrying around the little black calendar book in his breast pocket so it seemed to make sense and it also seemed to make sense to have all of the goings on in our family of 5 in one place in order to avoid conflicts. When he quit his job to be a SAHD I let him take over the laundry because he had the time and he had complained for years about the way the nannies and I did it. When he started working again I started helping out with that again. When we moved cross country at his request and he was a SAHD while I was working, yes I let him set up the utilities. I let him get the kids registered for school. I never made him do anything, I let him do the things I thought he wanted to do and over which he seemed to want control. Also, it’s not like I sat around on my duff doing nothing. I was still the one mostly responsible for getting the kids breakfasted and out the door for school in the mornings. I am the one who made their lunches, helped with homework and got them ready for bed. I did dishes, most of the cooking when he worked and still cooked on the weekends when he was a SAHD. I also worked full time taking on more hours so that I could support the family when he chose to make a major career change which involved him not working for a number of years.

      Fast forward to the weeks post DDay. In marriage counselling he lamented “I had to do all of the laundry and she used me as a person secretary keeping track of all of the appointments”. At one point he said “I didn’t feel needed”. The next day he said I was too needy and he had to do everything for me. I asked him point blank “when do you want to be needed and when do you not want to be needed”. He said he would have to think about it and then the next day he denied that he had ever said that he didn’t feel needed because I was so needy he felt like he had a fourth child. I found that highly offensive and I let him know it. I guess he forgot about that time when we lived apart when I was in graduate school and he got a job in another city. Somehow I was still able to pay the bills and keep the household running in spite of my ineptitude. Then there was the time when he moved cross country for his job three months before the rest of us followed. That time I somehow managed to keep things running, paying the bills and dealing with crisis as well as the contractors getting the house fixed up to sell all while being a mother to two toddlers and a newborn and working full time. Yeah, I’m just not good at that adulating thing. I am just a helpless child who needs someone to do everything for me. Well fine, he’s gone now and guess what? The house is still standing, the bills are paid, the laundry gets done, the dog is vetted, the kids get to all of their activities, repairs get made, vacuuming, meals, cleanup happens, leaves get raked, snow gets shoveled, the cars are maintained etc. etc. Also, I have control over my own finances and I am operating in the black. That wasn’t always true when fuckwit was in charge. I am sure he is amazed that things haven’t completely fallen apart whenever he comes to get the kids. Of course things aren’t done as perfectly as he would do them but sometimes good enough is good enough.

      As for ex, he may be plenty mature and then some when it comes to the physical world and looking after physical things, but when it comes to emotional maturity he’s stuck at about age 9 (no offense to 9 year olds).

    • Tell him you didn’t mean to cause him any problems when you instructed the dog to pee on his things, piled them in the garden and burnt them to ashes. Also, explain to him you aren’t his warehouse or charge him to store and manage his things. Time he starts to adult.

    • I don’t think she had contacted HIM about things he had in storage. It sounds like she’d gone through their storage, missed a few things, and he was letting her know that they were still there.

      “He voluntarily has cut himself from everyone’s lives, but I get a text from him regarding some belongings I missed in storage…”

      • I think it can be interpreted either way. After all, she spent years being The Adult, so I can imagine him telling her that SHE forgot to give him HIS stuff.

    • Sounds like mine. Seemed mostly functional “nice guy”. But…No common sense. He never apologized just said “I didn’t mean to.” I didn’t mean to take the dog out at night during a snow storm on a busy road with no leash and get him killed, didn’t mean to total the car while texting. Didn’t mean to hurt me by cheating.
      Then he wasn’t a nice guy, because I didn’t buy it anymore. “Didn’t mean to..” means I did not care enough about anyone but me.

      • Wow this sounds like my finally ex. He never said the words I didn’t mean to he always said” I don’t know what happened?”

        For example: he came home one day with my then eight year old son and said ‘we got in a car accident I don’t know what happened all of a sudden car turned in front of me, I wasn’t looking at the GPS, I don’t know what happened! ”

        Funny when the police report came it showed he ran a red light with our child in the car.

        Half the time I was treating the guy like he was a little kid and the other half of the time he was acting like he was my father gross neither one of those people do I want to sleep with.


      • Wow! I get that txt every once in awhile from ex when he is lonely. “I never meant for any of this to happen” didn’t mean to cheat and betray me and our daughter but I am a narcissist and do whatever makes me happy. I made ONE “mistake” since I met you. Feel sorry for ME!!
        It is like they are saying these things from a handbook!

  • Me too! I loved him so he always got the benefit of the doubt, or he just wouldn’t do something, or had “forgotten”, or left it to the last minute that my nerves couldn’t take it.
    He has now made his choices that have blown up our family, our extended family, he’s lied beyond belief, cost me £18k, handed one of the OW (who also happened to be our tenant in our old family home!) his ‘business’ (that i was bank rolling), he’s a coward and has fled and abandoned his children to move into a caravan with the 2nd OW in her parents back garden, his mother is taking me to court for access to her grandchildren as once every 3 months isn’t enough for her… (I’m now responsible for his mother seeing his children too).
    Yet he can decided to go on holiday with each of them, book flights and hotels, accompany one of them to a wedding, tell me about his ‘hectic work schedule’ so I help him schedule childcare around him going away and my work shifts. When I analyse it I realise what a good con job he done on me. Play the victim and poor me to get everything done for him.
    Now it’s cost him, me, a nice life, his kids, 2 houses, child maintenance…
    I am free. I miss the thought of him and a person beside me to bounce ideas off or chat to at night but I don’t miss him and his selfish entitlement disguised as helplessness.
    I’m away to find a real man!

  • Another sneaky thing about the “I didn’t mean to” response is how it plays on our heart strings…or can.

    “See, he/she cares! He/she didn’t mean to do that….”

    Trust the actions. A truly caring person doesn’t cheat and lie. They certainly don’t avoid taking responsibility and owning their mess if they do.

  • ”Oh I know you didn’t mean for this to happen, for me to find out, kick you out, divorce you and so on. I know that. It is actually quite rational. No one means to get caught doing nasty, deceitful stuff. I know I don’t! Don’t fret anymore, I am well aware you didn’t mean to get caught or for all of these consequences to happen as a result. I myself didn’t mean to marry someone who would cheat on me while I was being treated for cancer, and yet it happened, how does that work? All the best, X”

  • He’s the type who can lie, cheat, and break people’s heart and sleep like a baby at night. How lovely for him.

    This is called having no conscience. No empathy. No shame. Sicko. Creep. Revolting waste of skin.

  • I think this excuse also goes hand in hand with the “I don’t know” excuse. My ex, when confronted about his lies and cheating, would say “I don’t know why I did it, I didn’t mean to ruin this, but I ruined it”. He did know, he did mean to do it; he’s just so good at manipulating me that he thought he could get away with destroying my heart by not taking responsibility for his actions.

    This is manipulation at its finest – abusers never assume any responsibility for their wrongdoings, for the ways they’ve hurt people. Assuming responsibility means consequences, and abusers hate them. Consequences mean they don’t get to do whatever they please with you anymore.

      • My X said “ I don’t know” so many times that I wanted to club him over the head.
        It was his response to any question that made him the tiniest bit uncomfortable.

        After a time I learned that it was also used to buy him some time. Time to create a lie that would cover his lying ass.

        • This is so true! My ex would also give me That Dead Eye Stare while trying to come up with the best way to manipulate me and lie to me. At the time, I didn’t understand why he’d behave like this, but reading CL helped come to terms with the fact that he’s just a sociopath I happened to fall in love with.

  • I just read about sociopaths. Most of them are not ax wielding murderers. They are often like your husband. People are interchangeable things to them. Empathy is missing. He cheated because he wanted to. He found early in life that he could skate through by just saying he didn’t mean to. It’s gotten him what he has wanted so far. Don’t wait on karma to get him. He won’t even notice. He is an incomplete personality. Btw, I have no idea if he is a sociopath, he just has a lot of the traits.

    • So right about sociopaths not even noticing when karma hits them and it hits them quite a bit. As smart as some of them are they never, ever learn from their mistakes. In fact they will repeat the same mistake over and over. Just doesn’t register to them to consider operating differently or using another method. That different wiring thing I guess.

  • I am not a trained counselor, just reacting to my life experience, but I don’t believe these dysfunctional personalities have the capacity or the will to change. They get away with bad behavior, and always are able to find new caretakers who become more useful when the old caretakers become disillusioned, and worn out. They do this as long as they are young enough and energetic enough to project an image to tempt new useful people to play with them. They do not choose to spend their time doing anything they do not want to do, and do not see the need to act remorseful for not keeping promises they never intended to keep. They operate on the premise that you are willing to spend your time doing whatever they do not want to do, so you deserve to do it. You volunteered.

    Even if they catch a fatal illness, or grow old alone, without any of the material possessions they sought in life, and no one in the family wants to deal with them anymore, they will never accept blame or be remorseful. They will not apologize, or the apology is false and given in hope that you will play another round of taking care of their crap. I have lived long enough to see this unpleasant result of a lifetime of bad behavior catch up with my dad and my 2 ex spouses. Old, unhealthy, living in a poor environment, and none of it is their fault. All of it was caused by ungrateful people (Mother, sister, wives, girlfriends, children . . .) . They are entitled to more in their opinion. We did not serve them well.

    • So true Portia. At 90 my father continues to manipulate if given the opportunity.

      The Limited while he’s covert never changed in 41 years.

      Both are toxic.

    • This is an excellent description of my EX. Not only doesn’t he ever accept blame, he grew angrier and angrier as he aged and his ability to spin his history and charm his way into another job or relationship where he could be boss and others would take care of his needs and responsibilities faded. He’s pushing 60 and living off of his parents now.

      I worry about my kids–and the decisions they’ll have to make about him in a few years. I want them to be empathetic enough to feel some responsibility to family but not so chumpy they make their needs small and let their father abuse them. Their father has never contributed to their support since the divorce, but I don’t want them to view all relationships transactionally. I am left wondering how you came to terms with your father and the boundaries you had to set?

  • For this kind of BS, I will give blame to their parents FOR SURE. I’ve yet to see one of these A-holes whose parents didn’t either dote on them or scream at them for miniscule things, demanding compliance with chores for the parent… doting or “discipline” in EVERY WRONG WAY.

    They’re shot out into the world without adulting skills and are instantly embarrassed and insecure and start REALLY faking it. Faking everything. They don’t have a license. They don’t know how to even start doing their taxes. They don’t have a bank account and don’t know how to use it or checks or which numbers go where. They don’t know how to apply for FAFSA and grants, enroll in their own classes, or set up accounts to pay student loans. They don’t know what to do with a ticket. Or a summons. Or how to write basic letters. Or register a car. Or get insurance. Or speak with people in a professional manner and hold them accountable to contracts, even for their own benefit. Someone once hit Cheater’s car… and didn’t get their information. He simply came home and said, “That’s what insurance is for though, right?” ::DEEP GROWL::

    But at a certain point – like when you meet a great person, whom you can share your vulnerabilities with – they yank that blame right back onto themselves with every moment of inaction. They spend so much mental and emotional effort in trying to keep the facade up that they never have the space to LEARN. And every day that happens, it’s more and more their own fault. I wouldn’t say it’s just laziness… it’s fear that asking will expose them. I mean, it’s mildly acceptable when you discover that your 5th-grader hasn’t done their project because they don’t know where to start and they let it go too long and are now miserably embarrassed… and you have to chastise them about this being the consequence of NOT ASKING FOR HELP when you need it.

    But that’s bullshit when you’re a grown-ass man and do it for decades.

    Some people, especially Cheater’s family, think I’m too harsh with my kids. They’re young teenagers who clean, cook, price-compare, have pretty good boundaries with their peers and relatives, and typically require very little help from me. But when they do, they’ve learned it’s SO much better to ASK. And when they don’t ask and there’s no time to learn quickly, I explain why they’re about to fail that project/assignment/task and what the probable consequences will be. That happens less and less often. I am NOT going to type their paper for them. I am NOT bringing them in late so they can finish. I am NOT making an excuse for why they aren’t going or making that call/writing that email for them. If my child doesn’t WANT to babysit/dogsit/tutor, they need to make that call themselves and they may not lie about it. (In the end, they always end up honoring that, then being more thoughtful about their choice to take jobs later on. “But that’s Thursday, and I’ll probably want to go to x-event that night.” And say no.)

    When *I* mess up something, I show my frustration *with myself* and explain what I should have done instead but now, I have these consequences to deal with and they’re never worth it.

    And I do that because our kids DESERVE to have an upbringing that actually taught them to take on responsibilities, honor commitments, learn how to at least START to handle things they’ll encounter as adults, and then, how to handle the consequences and avoid making them again… so that they’ll feel capable of having of a fulfilling life without these insecure hangups. Adults make mistakes; but *being* an adult means fixing them.

    • I wouldn’t blame the parents for everything. I survived a bully, alcoholic dad and an enabler mother. I was codependent for awhile, but I wanted to have a better life, so I did the hard work and made the changes needed. There was a learning curve for sure. Also, I am not sure sociopaths are not born that way ??? Genetics do play a factor, and so does bad parenting, but some of this can be overcome with time and the willingness to learn and take responsibility.

      I have 2 sons. They are pretty responsible most of the time. However they are not perfect, and I see some aspects of their dad in them at times. I usually point it out to them, and I refuse to clean up their problems. I may choose to assist, and I may say, Nope, your mess. That is up to me. They are grown men, what happens to them in life now is up to them.

      I wasn’t a perfect mother, either. The difference is I did apologize when I realized I made an error, and they always saw me working and being responsible. They have the choice to have a good or bad life, regardless of who their parents are. I don’t see signs of either being a sociopath, although both are capable of being selfish. They will have to learn from their mistakes, just as I did. I love them, but I am not responsible for them anymore.

      • Exactly… their parents are to blame for raising them that way but the real world is REAL and every day they’re faced with it and choose to not grow and improve? It’s their own fault instead.

        I was raised to be perfect. 100 isn’t enough; was there extra credit? It’s not good enough to pass your driving test; were you marked off for anything? It wasn’t enough to win my races at swim meets; was it a new record? I was slapped in the face for anything they didn’t like to hear. My parents were racist, homophobic, and extremely religious. To them, parenting was a series of tasks to achieve a perfect child. There was/is no deviation permitted.

        A great many of us have demons to exorcise from our childhoods. I started officially on the second day of college, when I was thrown out at 18 years, 1 month, and 24 days old for not choosing to quit my new job (to provide myself with some financial independence), which my parents didn’t approve of: a waitress for an upscale restaurant. Few hours for high pay. I leaned in and began the hard work of unlearning years of bad parenting. I still am. Because that’s what you do when you’re an adult. Just as you did. It IS hard… and if I hadn’t done it, the failures I grew up with would have continued to become my own.

        • …my own and then, my children’s.

          They don’t deserve that. I didn’t either. But, it happened.

          My children love me and I don’t even demand that they show it. They just do. They don’t flinch when I flap my hands around, talking. They’re not AFRAID of me. We talk about fun things and hard things and work on things together. I’ve said no to things they want to do and can do, because someone has treated them badly, consistently, and it was grooming them to be used, not appreciated. And explained. Sometimes, I let them quit and sometimes, I tell them, “You know I hate demanding that you do something when it doesn’t make sense to you… but I’ve explained it and at this point, YES – you MUST do this. Because my job is to make sure you’ll be okay when you’re an adult… and this is just one of those things that you HAVE to know how to do/have experience in.” And they trust me that it is, even when they begrudge it, at first.

          And that’s really all I could hope for… children who are unafraid. Children who are learning, more and more, to become healthy people in every way. I don’t demand perfection; I ask for real effort. I ask for honesty. Last night, my youngest was just… exhausted. Homework was turning into an argument. “Listen- your mind is useless right now. You ARE tired. Stop. If you can’t do it now, take a shower, we’ll snuggle and watch the Goldbergs, and go to bed. I’ll wake you up a little early and you can start again, fresh. And if it’s still too hard, tell your teacher that you’re finding x and y REALLY confusing, and you can stay after for extra help.” She was so relieved. She woke up perky, remembered her homework, and did it all in 20 minutes. The consequences were manageable but she knew it was unnecessary… and made her own choice.

          That’s what I want for them. I know this is such a tangent but my upbringing means I have to REALLY TRY, all the time, to be a good parent to my children. It’s hard work that I do because it’s necessary.

          Cheater didn’t feel he owed his children anything but a roof, food, clothes, and toys.

          • I applaud your efforts and fine parenting skills! You are truly doing a fabulous job for your children. Sometimes, parenting isn’t easy and we all make mistakes. However, our children knowing that we support and love them helps groom them to be grounded adults.

            Your cheater and mine (and probably many other here) will never know what it’s really like to have real relationships with their children. Our cheaters will get back exactly what they offered…………….superficial stuff with no real meaning.

  • This was one of my ex-wife’s go to lines as well.

    I think this is certainly a sub-species of cheaters: people who are bad at apologizing about lots of things in life, even before the affair.

    In hindsight, that my ex didn’t apologize for things even when clearly in the wrong was a huge red flag.

    These things sound familiar?: Justifications? Excuses? Minimizing?

    The major positive takeaway from my ex’s affair is that I now know what to watch out for in a bad partner.

    • Oh man – the inability to apologize. XW has that in spades. I realized about 5 years into our marriage that if we *ever* had a disagreement about something that I would have to search deep within myself for whatever shred of blame attached to me (no matter how small) and apologize for it; otherwise the conflict would never get resolved. We had a normal marriage in which each spouse occasionally screwed up in minor ways(forgetting to put the milk back in the fridge, waking the other person up with a misthrown elbow, taking the car without checking whether the other needed it) but she could not apologize for even the smallest things.

      I gave her a pass on this (like on a lot of things) as just a personality quirk, but now I realize what it really means: her entitlement is so strong that she doesn’t understand that she’s ever in the wrong. It’s not that she knows she’s made a mistake and can’t get the words out to acknowledge it: she literally cannot comprehend that someone else’s needs, wants or opinions could legitimately differ from hers. In her mind, if she does something it’s the right thing to do because she wanted to do it. This showed up in our marriage, in her relations with the kids, and in her work life as well. For similar reasons, she makes snap decisions and never, ever, reconsiders whether they were correct. In a way, I kind of envy her: it must be wonderfully freeing to go through life considering only your own self-interest, never second-guessing yourself and never worrying whether you’re treating other people fairly.

      • Amazing comment – this describes my STBXW as well.

        She’s a supposed writer and poet (I should have known…) and for 10 years now I’ve been doing literally everything to keep the couple afloat while she just hangs out doing who knows what, publishing literally nothing original (some translations that she gets a few hundred euros and for which I never thought was useful to ask her to fork over for bills and such).

        The woman is 43 and has never held a regular job for more than 4 months in her ENTIRE LIFE. Her behavior drove me to drink quite a bit, which obviously didn’t help things, especially my mental health (if this happens to you – get help immediately from a specialist doctor) and of course my problem became another reason for her to explain her total inactivity and chaotic choices.

        So what does she do? Takes up with a 70 year old man over the past year. Daddy issues anyone?

        You got a wife like this? Run!

    • I was just thinking about this yesterday. I’m not sure Ex ever apologized for anything meaningful (as opposed to bumping in to me or something equally minor) in the 30+ years we were together. Anything remotely resembling an apology always came with a caveat explaining how it was really my fault. The irony was that he was always demanding that our kids apologize for anything that they did wrong and when they did, usually grudgingly because who wants to be forced into apologizing, he would refuse to accept it because they weren’t “being sincere”. Of course now I know that he could recognize a lack of sincerity a mile away since he lacked it too.

      • Beth – it was the same way for me. Every explanation of bad behavior came with a caveat about how it was really my fault.

        The worst is my son has picked up these behaviors. For instance, he’s been forgetting his backpack lately. Today I noticed he forgot it again, and I gently reminded him to go get it. My son then launched into a mini-lecture about how it’s my fault because I didn’t “remember to remind him.”


        I calmly explained to him that when I say “oh hey, where’s your backpack?” The only acceptable answer is along the lines of “Oh, I forgot it! I’ll go get it, thanks for noticing, I’ll remember it tomorrow.” We don’t blame other people for our actions and behaviors.

        I’m learning ever-so-slowly to see these things. I feel like I was blind before CL.

        • Wobble, my adult son has returned to the nest for a time and since he was already out of the house when his dad and I divorced, this is the first time we’ve lived under the same roof without his dad. It’s been interesting to see the differences. The other day he got a little heated with me about something I said to him (I don’t even remember what it was) and then left the house. When he came back he told me he was sorry for the way he spoke to me, that he had been upset about something else and shouldn’t have taken it out on me. It was so gratifying that he apologized without my asking and he took responsibility without blaming me. It’s amazing how much better the kids and I get along without the tension their father brought being part of the dynamic. Teaching our kids to be accountable for their own action is, IMO, one of the greatest gifts we can give them. That way we won’t be responsible for loosing more fuckwits like our exes on the unsuspecting world. 😀

      • It’s been 7 YEARS since Dday and the divorce, I live 500 miles away and we are both remarried yet anything negative that happens to her is STILL my fault somehow.

        It’s amusing to me now but like all of you nothing was or ever will be her fault. OM#3 now her husband is a good old boy and he won’t tolerate her BS so everything is still my fault. Mention that she cheated on me, filed for divorce, etc and she will respond that I forced her to do that due to the “bad things I did”. Ask her exactly what “bad things I did” and she will respond “you’re such as asshole”.

        I’m SO glad to be away from that crazy.

        • LG, my ex MIL was just as bad as Ex, always blaming me for the marriage ending. She made the mistake of trying that shit on my kids one time. They told her if she ever blamed me for what their dad did in front of them again they would cut her out of their lives immediately. Since they are her only grandchildren, this was a very serious threat. Worked like a charm! My daughter is always amused that at least in her presence, her grandma speaks better of me now than she ever did during the 30+ years I was with her son. I’m sure it pains her greatly every time she does it. Hahaha

      • My X never apologized for anything. I would sometimes force an apology and he would gulp and gasp and try to form the words, but “I am sorry” never emerged. He literally could not say the words.
        That is sick

        • Not only was I never apologized to for any of his screw ups in 35 years, if his screw ups brought me to tears, he could not care less. My feelings just did not matter!

    • Raising my hand as well. Ex never appologized for anything. If I tried to call him out on something he would twist it around and make me the one who was being unreasonable for calling him out. I would always end up beign the one appologizing when he did something that was upsetting to me.

  • Wow. I heard the “I didn’t mean for this to happen” as he was walking out the door with his stuff for the last time. And I, too, was constantly teaching him how to adult.

    My ex had certain things he was obsessive about taking care of. Example: He would pay his bills on time every month, by check and never online, and he kept a meticulous checkbook, written. He kept every receipt and wrote down every ATM transaction. YET, he had all his credit maxed out and had no idea how to begin to pay it off. He was simply paying less interest than he was accruing.

    He washed his clothes every single week, folded them immediately and with great care, had them organized by color and sleeve length. YET, they looked old and needed to be replaced or they didn’t fit. He’d put his wore down, scuffed up, holes on the bottom of his shoes, in the exact same place every night.

    He was completely detail orientated with no big picture. I had to take care of everything else that wasn’t on his list of “important” things to do. I thought this was just how his brain worked. Nope. He didn’t want the responsibility.

    • I’m glad you wrote this, cause I was feeling bad about myself reading some of the other posts. I myself am adhd. I struggle with organization and car updates (check engine lights are a different story) My clean laundry is still in buckets instead of put away. My ex on the other hand is an engineer and meticulous with bills and finances and his laundry (name brand ) he folded and kept meticulous….
      He also depleted his IRA, had high and secret credit card debt that he just kept paying the minimums on and was spending horribly. (I’m a saver and more frugal) but the contrast in being so organized in one sense but such a fuck up in another is what threw me for a loop. It also makes him appear sane and put together to the world.

      • You know these comments are helping me to realize more and more how “not together” my ex really was in spite of seemingly having it all together on the surface. Ex was meticulous in everything he did. The things he did do always turned out perfect and everyone (me included) was impressed. The downside of his meticulousness, however, is that many things just never got done because it took to long for him to do them. There were a number of unfinished projects resulting. This trait also resulted in him always being late which sometimes caused me to be late too and I hate begin late (in general I hate it when my reliability depends on someone else’s reliability). I tended to be more sloppy in how I did things but I was way more efficient and actually got more done. I used to joke that if it needed to be done right I asked him to do it, if it just needed to get done I did it myself. I thought that was working pretty well for us but apparently he dissagreed. He wanted it all to get done and get done perfectly and if it didn’t turn otu that way it was because I was failing to do my part.

        He always came accross as doing more and doing it better but looking back, that wasn’t really true. It was my therapist who one day remarked “aren’t you glad you don’t have to clean up his messes anymore”. That was the moment when I first realized that I had actually been doign that. I had always thought he was the one who had it altogether adn was looking after me, but that was just image management that I fell for along with everyone else. I am glad my therapist was able to see through it just from my descriptions of my marriage when I was completely unaware of what the real dynamic had been. I never put it that way but she saw what was really going on. It was quite the eye opener for me.

        • Mine also appears to be such a calm, collected man. Very logical in his speech. Laid back and responsible. He’s a big helper. When we would host a BBQ, he’d be setting up and picking up after people. Yet, prior to the morning of the BBQ, he would do almost nothing. No menu planning, doing the groceries, making all the side dishes, getting the house cleaned up for guests, pulling the weeds from the garden because people will be in the yard, figuring out the set up, plus making sure the regular things still got done for the rest of the week that will follow.

          He figured that because he mowed the lawn, helped set up the morning of and manned the BBQ, he did plenty. I did the rest, with two kids under seven in tow. It’s the unseen labour that women often get strapped with. The question I hated on days like that was the morning question of, “So, what’s going on today?” because he had literally brain-stormed nothing and knew that I had everything meticulously planned out and ready to go.

          The result was a man who looked like he did much more than reality. He felt he did so much. Years of him not recognizing that I was dying a slow death of triple duty (my own career in which I earned almost double than him, the majority of the child-rearing because he was a commuter gone 11-12 hours a day, and most of the housework/social responsibilities…then I supported him through full-time studies for a degree while he started his affairs and left with the OW when he got full-time employment). What he recognized clearly was all my “complaining” and how I “can never be happy.” Maybe there is truth to that. I certainly struggled to be happy with someone who often lacked initiative and rode a lot of coattails. He did the same with friends…always going along with what they planned but rarely reciprocating.

          He now lives in a rental and brags to his family how home ownership is for suckers because now he just calls the landlord when something goes wrong. He has the kids 35% of the time and doesn’t do anything beyond pass the time with them and feed them – no appointments, school work, extra-curricular, therapies for our son with autism. And, parties with the OW, who herself was a cheater on her ex-husband and only had 20% access to her three kids until recently. He pays nothing for the kids because I made the money and have kept the house.

          It’s a bizarre turn of events, this life of ours. Didn’t know that “adulting” would have been so hard on him; there really had been no indication of this when we were first together.

      • J., I’m like you! Clinically ADHD diagnosed. That was a huge difference in my relationship with my ex. When he told me that my disorganization in our bedroom and bathroom was upsetting him, I went and got help. Went to therapy and went through CBT for over a year. I improved greatly. Some with my bills. I didn’t pay them because of the disorganization and had bad credit. I worked for years to improve this because it had affected him.

        What did he do to improve himself when I had issues with his behavior? I think we all can guess. A BIG FAT ZERO.

    • Auntiemame- WOW! You just described skankboy in great detail. The line I received when he was busted: “it just happened.” Sure, your penis just fell out of your pants and into someone else’s vagina….happens everyday! (eyeroll)

      • The old “It just happened”, is a corollary of “I didn’t mean to.” How can their minds even concoct that BS? I mean in the 50 some years I have been walking around on this planet, I have never stumbled and magically landed on top of a naked, hard, penis without meaning to. It is LITERALLY impossible (unless forced) to have sexual intercourse without MEANING to.

      • Mine never said stuff like that. He never did anything he didn’t intend. That would imply loss of control which would make him imperfect. He told me that he deliberately did what he did because he was miserable in his marriage, didn’t feel loved and didn’t think I would care. Nothing wrong with him. He did it deliberately and it was justified.

      • I bet at least 70% of the chumps here got the classic “it just happened” line or the variation on the theme “I didn’t mean to”, myself included (I got both). That’s probably the number one cheater go-to crock of shit when they get caught, number two being “I made a mistake”, which I also got. Anybody who uses those insulting excuses after getting caught betraying a supposed loved one is an irredeemable scumbag. First they cheat, then they insult your intelligence with crap like that? Bye, Felicia.

        • I also got “I wasn’t thinking” and when I told him it was over with no discussion or debate, “this isn’t what I wanted.” No shit, it isn’t. You wanted to cheat and still have a wife who took care of all of your needs.

  • Had a teenager in my hands from day one. He too appeared to be a nice guy, lovely would be a stretch.

    He was a bitch cookie addict complaining about just about everything one normally does as an adult.

    I didn’t mean it is a lie young children use to avoid consequences for their actions. The Limited was like raising twins, it was overwhelming.

    There’s nothing attractive about living with a manchild. In the last year when my mother passed away he wanted to invest in a go nowhere business, have me sign for a mortgage and buy himself a new car (toy). This was in the first eight weeks of grieving her death.

    I said NO.

    Weeks after he realized he needed my signature to get financed I was told he found someone and wanted a divorce. He had every expectation I’d fight for him; I filed instead and threw him out.

    The first year I heard how he lived like a teenager, bought those toys, and ended up taking out a three year loan to pay his income taxes. He lost most of his business. When I asked why he hadn’t moved to Florida with the dream girl I was told he couldn’t afford it. No Shit.

    Don’t care. Gained.A.Life!

    • My ex blamed me up and down for our nonexistent financial problems. He too left and bought toys, and a new car. He racked up several credit cards, a car loan, multiple personal loans, spent all of our 50 grand 401k and now has declared bankruptcy, all after making over 150k every year and paying only minimal support to me, which has resulted in an enormous domestic support debt. It’s really comical considering how he railed on for months because one time I bought a new trash can for the kitchen.

      • NoDancing, he spent thousands on an old BMW, wracked up thousands in credit card debt, and overvalued his junk cars (Antique/Not) in the settlement. It worked in my favor. He was stuck paying his credit card debt and couldn’t sell the car after the divorce.

        This isn’t about organization it’s about a lack of character, always. The Limited was Mr. Perfect with paperwork yet couldn’t plan anything, or so I thought. Within a few weeks after Dday he booked a trip with the Slunt, ONLINE with a computer and all! Never once in 41 years did the man child make travel plans.

        It catches up with them. That skill set certainly became a burden once Mama DoingMe let go of the reins. Nanthony, wasn’t a good mother to her only child. She’s failing miserably mothering a 62 year old serial cheater. Karma, Bebe!

        I was recently told, “She is really dumb if that makes you feel better.”

        Nope, living better works for me.

        • My cheater XH found a house that he just had to have…way over priced. He was jumping up and down insisting we buy it and have TWO house payments. On top of that he wanted a Harley. I said no to both. Five months later he was fucking the slut puppet. Good thing I said no, the house he wanted sold a year later for $150k less than what it was selling for when he wanted it. The slut puppet bought him a Harley and she got herself a pink scooter so they could ‘ride together’ into the sunset. Two besotted idiots who deserve each other.

  • My STBX wife always told me words were everything. The only thing. I am not much of a words person as they lack the tangibility of action. She would become upset because I didn’t say the right things and that was a problem. I was confused because I was working so hard to show my love and she didn’t seem to care. From her I received only words and no action and I was dying. It was all about appearances.

    She was happy to take all the work I was putting in because I handled everything no one could see. Keeping the house running, handing the kids, cooking, and cleaning. All the while telling me how much she loved me and how awesome I was… until I wasn’t. Then hostility and vitriol until she wanted something again. Then the hatful words shouldn’t mean anything but I should never forget the nice ones she said. She would say you are doing everything so what can I do. I feel useless. I would always say just handle the groceries. Handle making the list and going to the store and I will do everything else. She would do it once and then stop. She had offered you see.

    I always took her insistence that words were paramount as a sign that she had not been shown love as a child. That she would eventually see the value of love with effort. Words were everything because they took no effort. They could be ignored when you didn’t feel like it anymore. At the end she said, “Walking down the isle was nice but it is over now”. What matters is what people see.

    Your ex and mine believe intention, i.e. words, is all that matters. The rest of us, we chumps, tend to see intention as a precursor to action. Our word is our bond. People depend on us and need to know we follow through. We believe they want to be like us and love like us but they just aren’t quite there yet. What they really want is to be ascribed the benefits of being seen as a “good and loving person” without the effort.

    I’m not a bad person. You think you are so perfect. I tried but I’m not as good as you. I didn’t mean for this to happen. Their intent is not enough, but when you look back it is all they every really gave you or anyone else. Intent looks good and is easy. We were not worth action. Not to them. And it left us empty. They are not “good and loving people”. We can’t make other people see past the intentions they so easily throw out and abandon. We can remind each other here that we are not crazy. We have seen behind the curtain. There is no wizard. The golden road led nowhere. It is time to go home.

  • The Asshole is the king of “I didn’t mean for this to happen.” He also uses “I had no idea it would cause all this,” “I didn”t intend to hurt you,” and, when confronted about his plan to abandon his family; “I had no intention of abandoning my family. People divorce all the time. It’s no big deal.”
    Everybody who lives on this planet knows divorce is a very big deal indeed, even when it’s by mutual agreement. When it’s one spouse suddenly announcing, after mamy years of cheating, cake eating and pretending to be commited, that he is leaving, it is waaaay beyond a big deal. It is incredibly devastating for everyone in the family. Everyone except the callous, narcissistic cheater, that is. He knew perfectly well what a big deal it is because he saw what being dumped by her husband did to our daughter. Notably, he was going to bide his time and wait 15 years, until I was too old and, by that time, probably too sick to start again and would most likely have killed myself. I guess he was counting on our diasbled daughter to take care of me while he fucked off to be with some skank, because his own child not being able to have a life didn’t matter either. Evil bastard. There’s no way he thought he could still have a family after that. He would be persona non grata even in his own extended family, let alone with his daughters. No doubt he was going to wait that long in part because he wanted to make sure that ~I~ would not be able to find a new relationship, would eventually have to go into nursing care and be lonely and miserable forever.
    You only do that if you do, in fact, intend to both abandon and destroy your family. You only do that if harm is not only intended, but is an essential part of why you’re doing it. You only do that if you have hatred and murder in your heart.

    So yeah, he intended every bit of harm that he caused. He could easily have predicted getting caught, my heart being broken and our kids hating him, and he did know he was risking that, but now he just lies about it so he won’t look so vile. No sale on that crap. He must feel bad that he didn’t get to keep me strung along for many more years so he could dump me when I’m helpless. Instead, I dumped him. Thay explains the sad sausage face. He certainly didn’t intend to get caught before he could put his sick abandonment plan into action. Now he has no mistress, no wife, and no kids. Sure, he’s sorry. For himself.

    He was also another one who needed to be taught basic common sense and practicality, even down as low as proper hand-washing and ass-wiping. He’s a 195 pound manbaby and all that weight being off me feels great!

  • Engine light blew up the truck… then the Jeep… bad decisions like punching his boss… and a little extortion…fired again.

    I loved him
    But fixed way too much.
    Still fixing really.
    Now it’s childsupport… 7th year… kids mostly grown … and that is the only game he has left with me.

    My son wrote on the bathroom wall when he was 14… mom you should have picked a better Man…
    The only punishment could be “be that better man son”. It’s still there to break my heart.

    I’m raising them alone – no family – Dad made bad decisions all the way to another place. With schmoopie number 8-9? Lost count.

    I don’t make great choices either apparently. But I’m sure not taking on that kind of project again.


  • In my case with exh2/The Evil One, he made claims of previous jobs before me, but it took months, almost a year or two before he found a real job and actually did well at— for just under a year, then got bored or they got sick of him, either way, all in all, 13 years together, he had over 30 jobs.
    I handled all the household bills, but rarely had money left over out of my own paycheck for even a new dress for work, or a haircut.
    I had to file Ch. 13 bankruptcy because I couldn’t keep up with all the payday loans, and signature quick loans I was doing each month to support the household because he couldn’t keep a job.
    About four years before D-Day —- we had just moved to house #6 in 9 years together at that point— I had to sit him down, look him in the eye and as tactfully as I could tell him that if he didn’t work, we wouldn’t be able to eat.
    It finally clicked I guess and he finally did better employment-wise, but looking back now, I see that was probably when he started cheating too. I’ll never know for sure, and at this point it doesn’t matter.
    D-Day was just after he had found his best job to date and I saw it finally as equal-financial footing. Nope, instead, he ended up leaving.
    Four years almost now since those dark days. I have a few others like TEO, needing a mom rather than a partner,nor looking at me like some kind of sugar momma, nope, nooity, no. Not happening.

    Meanwhile, in TEO’s world, he’s still with OWife and her two kids, plus her senile granny lives there too. Mrs. Dumbass (OWife) works from home, and TEO has had probably 8-10 jobs in the last 4 years—- what about that dream job, you ask? Oh, he got fired from that job 18 months after D-Day

    He hasn’t changed one bit. He is still an idiot, totally incapable of adulting. Mrs. D.A. is 10 years younger than him, so the White Knight I’m sure she imagined she was getting has badly diminished in her mind.
    Cause, adulting is hard, yo.

    • same. wasband can not keep a job or a house/apartment or a vehicle or a cell phone. he moved like 10 times that first year after our divorce. he moves at least 3 times a year since then, living with her 88 year old grandma, her still legally married husband, his crackhead sister, or living in a busted old crackhouse “fixing it up” rent free or is homeless. i lost track of the number of times he moved. i havent seen him since last fathers day and i lost interest altogether. he knows where his son’s live if he wants to see them.

      he bought a new car after the first year we divorced. i was super jealous (mostly because he wasnt and hasnt paid child support and i was struggling to put shoes and clothes on my boys).. .. it got repossessed a year later because apparently he never made a car payment

      at one point in our 15 year relationship (12 married), we tried to refinance our mortgage. he was quick to throw it in my face how his credit was 850 and mine was 600… .. i can still remember the singsong sarcastic way he put me down and laughing for having such a low credit score.. .. i can still remember being literally SHOCKED that he believed he was better then ME!!!! i knew he did not have a CLUE how the credit scores were built up, he did not even know how much our truck payment was or who it went to, he had no idea how everything was in MY name because his credit sucked when i first met him so all the credit cards, bills, loans were all in my name and suffering because he wasnt helping pay any of those bills off. i knew the only bills i paid religiously and without fail were the few that had his name with mine on which was the ONLY reason his credit score was so high.. .. . But i just could NOT believe that he had the audacity to BELIEVE he was better then me, when i was the whole reason his score was higher then mine and i carried the wieght of our whole marriage, bills and lifestyle which is why my score was low.. .. And instead of thank his wonderful wife for getting him there, he sarcastically threw it in my face that he was “supposedly” better then me.. . . .. … i should have divorced his ass then.

      the troll that he left me for saw all that we had. she saw the 6 vehicles. she saw the 4 wheelers, jet skis and boat. she saw the big house and big yard. she saw the swimming pool and nice bbq. she saw a hard working man who she thought was providing all that for his family.. .. .. well she was wrong. she threw him out in the streets 5 years after she “took” him from me.. .. . he is STILL misable, STILL broke, STILL dont have shit.. .. and now his credit score is lower then 380.. .. who is laughing now bitch.. ..

      • Oh, yes!!!
        The bills were all in my name with exh2 and exh1!!!
        Exh1 bought a house after divorcing me, idiot then moved into OWife 3’s house and allowed his house-flipper step-dad to flip it then rent it out. When owife3 threw exh1 out, he stupidly thought step-dad would allow him to move back into “his” house … April fool’s, dumbass. Step-dad told him no way! LOL
        TEO claims his credit is shot as is Mrs. Dumbass’s from her ex-husband. Peas in a pod, those 2 are
        Meanwhile, I’ve been slowly rebuilding my credit, maintaining stability and being the sane parent.
        I met TEO the other day to get DD back from visiting him. He looked absolutely wretched, red, teary eyes, 5 o’clock shadow stubble, tired, worn expression on his face… Meh. Didn’t even ask him about the weather.
        Thanks to mail coming to my house, I’ve learned that he’s had yet another accident is likely going to be on workman’s compensation. LOL, they will take child support out of it before they pay him
        Plus, he’s still in arrears so I’m likely to get his tax return this year too.
        LOL, freaking sweet life it is.

    • He’s her problem now. Best of luck to her with that titty baby leeching off her. It sounds like the only smart choice he ever made was to marry you, but naturally he loused that deal up. Total loser.

  • My XW said this. When she told how she went out for drinks and went to the OM’s house to use the bathroom. “I didn’t mean for it to happen” is the excuse she used to try to gain sympathy from me. I told her what do you expect would happen if you went to another man’s house drunk? The affair lasted 2 years. She had a least 2 more affairs. They very much wanted it to happen.

  • ****graphic warning****

    If he didn’t intend to put his penis in another woman’s vagina, then he has a medical condition that should be looked in to immediately!

    This is why that answer “I didn’t intend for this to happen” translates only to “I didn’t intend to get caught.”

  • “I was married to a very lovely man for 15 years.

    No. Nope. Nopety nope.

    You weren’t married to a “very lovely man.” You were married to an irresponsible, entitled boy/man.

  • “What did he think would happen? He thought you’d take him back. After all, you’ve cleaned up every other mess”.

    When I got a lawyer…I got this, “I thought we were waiting until March to decide” and “I just need some space to think, clear my head.” and “After 20 year relationship, this is all it’s going to be”. (with no contact).

    He was shocked that we weren’t going to be friends or close so I can continue to clean up his messes and he can do whatever he wants. He’s a man-child.

    • Mr. Sparkles was shocked by my “No Contact” initiation as well. After all, none of his other X’s did that to him (either they fight with him all the time re: child support; or they need him to “be the man”… weird stuff). But the truth of our whole relationship was that the only think I really from him was for him to love me and be monogamous… and he couldn’t do it. SO, there is nothing else staying in contact with him does to improve my life. We parallel parent and that is all.

      • Oh, that is a good thought. I hadn’t really thought of it that way but it is 100% spot-on. I absolutely did all the grown up stuff for us and put up with a shit-ton of incredible crap from him. I just took it on myself to be the fixer codependent and he got to be unchained and free to be The Man Who Could Do Whatever He Wanted. I thought I was an awesome, zero-nagging, non-harpy, accommodating wife. He got to do whatever the hell he wanted whenever the hell he wanted and all I asked of him was to be FAITHFUL. That was a bridge too far.

        None of my awesome wife-ness kept him from screaming at me that I was so Controlling and Judgmental as he fled to screw a woman our daughter’s age.

        All rebellious children eventually leave home.

        I will never accept this sort of lopsided relationship again in my life, from anyone.

    • i was the stupid one that wanted to be “friends” after our divorce.. .. for our boys.. .. . luckily his girlfriend would not allow him to be friends, she did not want him talking to me without her being with him, she did not trust him enough to come to my house for visitations (the one place she could not come with him which is why my boys wanted visitations at my house).. ..

      now 5 years later, i learned so much in that time. i am glad that i dont have to deal with him and his shit anymore. my boys are grown 17 and 13 and can make up their own minds as to whether they communicate with their dad or have him in their lives.. . i no longer have to play taxi, shuttle, or protector to them. i put up with so much disrespect from both him and his troll just so my boys could talk to their dad on the phone. now they can do it themselves if they want (although to be honest i would still help the youngest one if he asked but he doesnt ask anymore)

  • Debbie, #1, I am sorry for what he put you through, though he “didn’t mean to.” You are mightier than anything for kicking him to the curb as fast as you did. #2, Thanks for the laughs.

    Mr. Creeper Pants-man child also “didn’t mean to” commit the heinous crimes he did, and sometimes even blamed me for them. Our premarital counselor said to me, “At some point, we’re going to need to talk about your part in this.” Huh? As if, in the middle of the infatuation phase of our romance, I was responsible for Creeper’s 16-year-long severe lust and p### addiction.

    Thank God I don’t have to carry his ass any more. Examples of his childish antics: he would triangulate me with his grandma and with his family dogs, and when he expected me to wait for two weeks after Christmas to have a date night and gift exchange with him, I complained about how he’s giving me the shaft, he said, “It’s like how I save up the green gummi bears. I save the best for last.”

    He treated his cell phone like gold bouillon, and, after 10 months of his sneaky monkey business I had to outline the double standard of him having full access to my electronics, yet he guards his electronics with his life, all while he’s saying, “I don’t want any secrets between us.” His response: “I’m ashamed to let you know I play video games on my phone.”

    Then there was the time when his dad finally pushed him out of the nest a little by making him get his own auto insurance (at age 28), and he was utterly exhausted by having to make those phone calls and now “have a bill” (stomps foot) that he had to lay down and take a nap over it.

    I could not imagine being caretaker for this grown “man” with PIED for the rest of my life, so I unloaded him back onto his family. It was like getting a 180 lb tumor excised.

    Debbie, I am so glad you can live in freedom!! Congrats to you and your future!!

  • I got the exact same words but backed up with “I’ll make it up to you” …… he never once did in 28 years!

    Pathetic specimens

    • YES. “I’m working on it,” “I’m going to make this right,” “I’m not giving up,” “I’m going to make this better.”

      Trying not to hate myself for believing it all these years.

    • “I’ll make it up to you”. Never. I married that guy, and not once in the decade we were married did he made up for anything. “I didn’t mean to”. On repeat. Why, then, did he keep failing to do what he says, etc? His specialty was ruining any plans we had together. The night he invited me to dinner and a movie was a classic example: he had a hotel in the city and was already there. I got there after driving more than an hour on a busy and very snowy highway in a heavy snowfall. The minute I arrive, he tells me we’re going to the airport to pick up a guy. A heated conversation ensues where it turns out someone else was supposed to do it but didn’t feel like driving in the snow. Being a great guy, he volunteered. Haha. Dinner and a movie: airport pizza and Law and Order re-runs at the hotel. He pouted because I mad at him. Aww, how heartless! He didn’t mean it! You’d think I was the cruelest woman on the planet because I wouldn’t cozy up to him. Considering that was in our first year, we had a long long way to go before I quit believing a word he said.

      He had a secret life and no empathy. He’d fall asleep every night as soon as his head hit the pillow and declare that was due to having a clean conscience. Thanks CN for pointing it’s NO conscience.

      • yep, always so willing and ABLE to help other people but for his wife and kids he was too tired, his back hurt, he worked hard all week, he will get to it later, he didnt know how or whatever excuse he had for me and the boys. .. . but he was so quick to help ANY body else, his back did not hurt when he helped his sister move for the 4th time in 3 months. he was never too tired from work to go pick someone up and fix their flat tires, or work on their cars on the weekends i had plans.

        ruining all holidays, and special dates like my birthday and our anniversary. he had some serious issue with mothers day because he would run off and disappear days before every single mothers day, or would stay out drinking all night to show up at 5 in the morning demanding to take the boys somewhere. (then get angry because i would say no the kids are staying with me today on mothers day).. .. he would complain and whine every vacation, always finding something to bitch about or would decide to “discipline” the children on their behavior when he never made any effort at home. and usually something so trivia it was stupid for him to even attempt “discipline” but would put the kids in a bad, pissy mood.. ..(like the 2 and 5 year old were jumping on the hotel bed while i was trying to sort out all the tags, ski lift passes, rental discounts and directions to both rental and ski place from out hotel as well as figure out where and what times we can eat and driving times… .. he decides to yell at them and then give them a swat when they did not stop jumping fast enough, so now on top of everything else i was doing, i had to deal with 2 crying littles clinging to me. .. .. of course when i said “give me a break” he got all upset because i was undermining him and i am the one that dont want the children jumping on the beds, it was my stupid rule in the first place, how dare i get mad at him for disciplining the kids for my rule… .)

        he would ruin every single vacation in all 15 years. i could never even enjoy going out to the bar for my birthday without his doing some stupid shit.. ..

        • Mrs. Vain, skankboy would always, ALWAYS pick a fight when we went on vacations. I learned to be selectively deaf on those days.

  • This is timely for me. I was laying awake last night and drifting in and out of lucid dreams. Instead of being horrifying nightmares of him back in the house with the OWs, stealing precious baby pictures or some such thing, I was screaming at him the litany of crap he has screwed up since he abandoned me 2 years ago. He has:

    After poofing but before divorce he left a pyrex pie plate on a burner until it exploded into 1000 shards. He then announced he could have been blinded by it and declared that if he was blinded it would have been my responsibility to take care of him the rest of his life.

    In his new apartment he put a whole chicken in the oven and then promptly had a 5 hour nap, nearly burning down the place (so used to the wife catching all that kind of stupid shit he did, things like that happened all the time when married).

    Forgot to pay his rent and had to call his youngest daughter to cover it out of her very scarce funds including his late fee.

    Offered prescription drugs to youngest daughter’s college friends right in front of her at a house party.

    Did a sexual rating of all of youngest daughter’s roommates, ranking them from first to last on who was the most fuckable. Asked youngest daughter to participate in said ranking activity.

    Left his cat outside on the apartment balcony all night in 30 degree weather because he fell asleep.

    Let same cat wander around a wetland area near his apartment so she got fleas which infested the apartment. He then blamed that on the youngest daughter staying she must have brought them into the apartment herself (yes, he accused youngest daughter of having fleas). Youngest daughter then spent HOURS treating the cat with chemicals and combing out nits, doing bug bombs in his apartment, etc.

    Mailed the OW the exact trilogy set of love stories he had given me years earlier. This box set was the one he stole from me when he abandoned me, and then passed them on to the youngest daughter because they have some interesting artwork. He then stole them from the youngest daughter to mail to the European Schmoopie. Youngest daughter discovered this double-theft and realized the horror of him sending her mom’s love gifts to the OW (same age as older daughter). Cue gaslighting and blameshifting.

    He took the same cat to Europe and had the Schmoopie-who-is-not-even-a-thing take care of the cat; dumbass OW immediately let the cat wander, cat now has a grave spinal injury and is paralyzed in her back end.

    Without warning, he mailed his ~original~ truck title to me demanding I sign away my interest in it (he was awarded it in the divorce). Attached was a sticky note saying “sign here, twice.” Purely instructional for the Wife Appliance. Gee, the title fell into my shredder. (Didn’t mean to)

    He freaked out with the stock market slide from late last year and promptly sold about $400K in stock at the low point only to buy it back 9 days later, effectively locking $80K in losses as well as triggering a massive tax bill. He has bought high and sold low, the same stocks over and over, several times. (I always used to do the investing and had a very even hand, he is now blowing his money because he is a flibbertigibbet dumbass who can’t keep a thought in his head.)

    BTW, youngest daughter is zero contact with the fuckwit and has told him to go to hell. Has had lots of therapy because she was his favorite punching bag after me. Eldest daughter finally blocked him completely just this month after having a thread-bare grey rock relationship.

    So many more, I could go on and on. I guess I did. Thanks for the vent.

  • When I lived with my ex, I had to remind him that rent was due every month. Every time I did, he’d look really sad and say “Again? We just paid it last month.” Yes, I had to explain to a man in his 30s that rent was paid monthly.

    In retrospect, he’s just a sad little creature who was babied by his Mommy. I hope On/off AP/GF enjoys having this monthly conversation now.

  • “Mistakes were made.”

    Cheaters, the disordered, and people in the throes of addiction will cut off their dominant hand rather than admit responsibility. In fact, blameshifting is the NUMBER ONE predictor of cheating. XH (the cheater) would give me the old British “I’m sorry” which is really just a palliative way to pretend to assume responsibility for the state of the marriage when I threatened to leave due to his emotional abuse. XBF (alcoholic) continually points to the trauma of his abusive marriage to an opiate addict for why he lied to me about (a) past infidelities; (b) his alcohol abuse & smoking (hid it for 18 months), (c) contact with other women during our relationship. He would rather go the rest of his life alone or in bad relationships and blame his XW for his shitty & deceptive relationship skills than fix himself.

    Avoid anyone in your life who cannot own up to their mistakes and make restitution–friends, dating partners, co-workers (to the extent you can avoid them). Integrity requires admitting that you sometimes make mistakes, be willing to fix them, and trying to do better next time. Dishonesty and refusal to accept responsibility do not permit integrity.

  • Let me first state that I didn’t read all the comments, but a lot of them. It seems most people had a spouse that was a child in an adult’s body, and that the chump did most of the cleaning up of the messes that were made. My situation was different. My husband and I were married for 12 years. 3 kids. He handled all of the finances. I trusted him. He came home from work one day and told me he was leaving. Within 2 days I found out about the other woman. He would not answer ANY questions about her. He would only say he “wasn’t going to talk about it”. I have found out who she is and as many details as I care to know. Did anyone have a situation similar to this?

    • Your situation was not different. He handled all of the finances so he could wine & dine others without you knowing about it. I, too, found this out the hard way. I actually used to thank him for handling all the finances so I didn’t have to worry. Chumps, indeed.

    • My marriage was in a “rough spot” because of his prior infidelities that we were “trying to work through” even though he refused counseling because “it didn’t work the first time” (Note: I was married to a serial cheater.) I managed all the household responsibilities. He gave me a sculpture of a couple in an embrace for our wedding anniversary and a card saying he loved me and wanted to “fix us”… 45 days later he announced he was leaving… six weeks after moving out he announced “he met someone… didn’t think he could feel that way again”… yes, their relationship overlapped with my marriage.

      If your X doesn’t want to talk about it, take it as a blessing. There is nothing he can say that matters. You need a pitbull lawyer (if you don’t have one yet)… and let the lawyer do all the talking now.

      Remember any person who “wins” a cheater… wins a cheater.

  • When we got divorced, I dragged my ex to get his will redone,to ensure he left everything to our kids- he seemed quite cooperative, hadnt realised that divorce invalidated previous wills.Later, when we needed to divide the property we owned together, it turned out he couldn’t use that set of lawyers again because they had sent him to the debt collectors for not paying. He hasn’t registered his dog- he’s a veterinarian. He consistently fails to notify the school if our kids are sick on his custody days, and then the school calls me. And so on, and so on, and so on…..

  • Debbie, no translation needed, because he’s lying. He did mean to. He intended to do that which he knew would cause harm. So he’s a superficially nice guy, just like my cheater. But nice is not the same thing as kind, and they are not kind. They are heartless users. They play the hapless bumbler, but are crafty enough to conduct double lives for some time. It’s bullshit, my friend. All their chaos, cruelty and negligence is intentional. At some point they made a decision to use and abuse their way through life, abdicating any responsibility for the results of their choices. It’s really that simple. It took me some time to accept this reality, but once you do, it explains everything that formerly perplexed you about the person.

  • Debbie,
    Don’t know what kind of financial situation you are in, but please get what was once your family home back if you can. I admit I regret not fighting harder when EX moved OW into the house where I was the first on the title. I admit I regret not calling the police when he physically beat me to get me to leave said house. My attorney told me to let it go. He was right at the time because I was under 30, had no children, and wouldn’t have been in a good state of mind to call the police. And also, (off topic) very few women make false claims of being raped and beaten by exes. The shock of a situation is just too much when someone is assaulted in this way. Or it was too much for me because I was the type who was fortunate enough NOT to have that happen until then. I had no context and it was first-time behavior for him so that I would leave and the OW could move in within a couple of hours after I left.

    I am no one to speak since I didn’t have the strength to fight and this was paired with an attorney who reminded me (correctly) the abuse my ex would continue to extract if I tried.

    But, if your Mr. IDK is truly as passive as he seems, you could send the pest control to fumigate your family home. The kind of fumigation where a tent is required to encase the house. If they are sound asleep when the bug squad shows up, you can tell him you didn’t know they were there. And besides, it was annual fumigation time for the former family home since Mr. IDK forgets to maintain important things like truck engines. (Okay, this paragraph about sending pest control was satire).

    However, if there is any way to get your family home back, please do. It makes me ill that someone who is in remission for cancer cannot be in her former home.

    It shows your ex is one of those people who pounces when their spouse is physically at their weakest point. (Hello, chemo). Those are the MOST disgusting predators. They are real buzzards except they don’t wait. They go in when the spouse is weak. Very, very gross.

    Or maybe they are like the people in the song called Dirty Laundry by Glenn Fry.

    Any way you slice it, please get the two parasites out of your former family home. And if they have to sleep on the cement street, they can give each other angry punchies in the arm and yell “I don’t know how I got here! This isn’t fair! I was a “good person” and I don’t know why bad things always happen to me all the time! And where are the beds! Where is the blinkin’ concierge!”

  • “It was an accident” was my fuckwit’s refrain. Chumpy me would think “of course it was, who would do that on purpose?” Turns out he would.

  • I think of “I didn’t mean to” as a passive-aggressive form of “it isn’t about you, but you always want everything to be about you – it’s about me, and everything SHOULD be about me, NOT you”.

    My response to that line of.thinkimg these days is generally along the lines of, “Well, that hardly matters, because you did it, so now we’re here, and has created some pretty big problems for both of us” followed by some boundaries and expectation setting.

    Wish I had been this Amiisfree 20 years ago.

  • “I didn’t intend to” is the responsibility equivalent of the “I regret that anyone got hurt” apology. I too am sick of this lack of responsibility BS, in person and in the political sphere. Just own up to your shit people, look yourself on the mirror and see the true reflection, then do better.

  • Fuckup never meant for anything to happen. Based on his messages to me (#1 below) and the years of emails I found between him and assorted others (#s 2-4 below), the following is true, according to him:

    1. He never meant to hurt me (when he cheated on me with a skanky ex-girlfriend). It just happened.

    2. He never meant to hurt the skank (when she found out he was “wreckonciling” with me, and therefore was “cheating on” her.)

    3. He never meant to lead a different ex-girlfriend on. He just started hanging around with her, having dinner with her, giving and accepting gifts from her, and saying he wasn’t satisfied with his relationship with me–and she made assumptions.

    4. That woman on the plane? Well, he was just being friendly. He didn’t mean to make her think he was single–it just never came up in conversation.

    It seems his life has been a series of random, unintended events. Who knows how these things happen? The important part is: none of it was done on purpose, okay? What more do we want from him? Jeez. How many times does he have to go over it and say he’s sorry? Everyone just piles on him all the time. This is why he just wants to be left alone.

    • LOL, so true. At one point I recall screaming to my ex “is there ANYTHING, ANYTHING AT ALL in your life that you’re willing to take responsibility for?” Got blank stare in return and then he accused me of being mean. Boo hoo

  • With my XH, all of the bad decisions were wrapped in, “Oh. I forgot.”

    Me: Why didn’t you tell me you loaned the rent money to your boss?? I just wrote the rent check and it’s going to bounce!

    Him: Oh. I forgot.

    Me: Why didn’t you tell me you couldn’t make our date tonight that you requested?? The sitter is already here and my own husband standing me up is embarrassing!

    Him: Oh. I forgot.

    Me: Why didn’t you put your check in the bank like I asked?? We have hundreds of dollars in overdraft charges now!

    Him: Oh. I forgot.

    In The Princess Bride , there’s this part where Buttercup realizes that every time Wesley says “As you wish,” what he really means is, “I love you.” This happened for me, except I realized that whenever XH said, “Oh, I forgot,” what he was really saying was, “I don’t love you.”

    And that made it easier to put him behind me.

    I suggest the OP do the same. When he says, “I didn’t mean to,” what he is really saying is, “I don’t love you.”

  • When I was married, my EX and I had an ongoing argument about intentions. I said they mattered–they weren’t the only thing that mattered, but they had weight. When a plate breaks, it matters if a person flung it to the floor in rage or tripped on the carpet and dropped it. “Nope,” said the EX, “broken is broken.”

    After the divorce, when his life was imploding without me to do the adulting for him, he pulled me aside at a child exchange, and said some version of, “You have to forgive me for being late, forgetting the kids sports equipment, etc. because I didn’t intend to and you finally convinced me that intentions do matter.”

    I was too dumbstruck to react. Should I roll my eyes at the blatant attempt to manipulate me? Whack him upside the head for his arrogance (probably not the best strategy . . . but tempting)? Laugh at the stupidity of his remark. In the end, I think he’d simply realized that blame shifting and insisting everything was my fault wasn’t going to fly anymore, so he’d embrace the new idea that nothing was ever anyone’s fault if they didn’t mean it.

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